Monday, July 4, 2011

Google Maps, Yarri Road, Reunions, and Talented People,

1. Looked at Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mine on Google Maps. I got the suggestion to do that in an email.

Anyway, it looks pretty cool....and big.

If you look at the gold mine and then scroll up north, it looks very empty out there.  There does seem to be vegetation, but I don't see much signs of human life.  

There's a long road here called Yarri.

2. Continued to scroll north and east on Google Maps.  I ran into Emu Lake and Cranky Jack Road.   That's a cute name for a street. 

3. Calculated the distance between the gold mine and Cranky Jack Road.  I scrolled less than I imagined.  I imagined I had traveled hours upon hours; but the journey was less than two hours.  

4. Continued to follow Yarri Road, which sometimes turns into Cranky Jack Road.

Now the road is taking me west instead of east. 

5. Landed in Kookynie.  There's a train station here. 

6. Struggled to decide whether I should travel north or south on the Goldsfields Highway

I guess I'll go north.

Here's some interesting...something.   Is it water?   It looks like pool water.   I mean it's the color of pool water, at least.  

7. Found a town! It's called Leonora.  

It's about four hours from Kalgoorlie.  

8. Consulted Lord Wiki about Leonora. He says there's about 1500 people living there; and about a third of them are of Aboriginal descent.

Leonora doesn't get a lot of rain, and it's fairly hot there.  

It's a mining town.

Lord Wiki says that in 2010, the Rudd government relocated refugees from Christmas Island to Leonora.  I'm not sure if they went to a detention centre, or if they were given freedom.

9. Found out via Google that there's a detention centre in Leonora.  The Australian has a slide show of it.  

The rooms don't look so bad.  It's about equal to the room we stayed at in New Jersey.   Well, it looks a tiny bit worse; but it looks fairly comfortable.  It doesn't look like a five star hotel; but it also doesn't look like hell.  

I can't say the pool looks too inviting. 

The bathroom looks okay.  Hopefully there's enough there to make everyone comfortable.   

10. Decided if the photos are a true representative of what the detention centre is like; it doesn't look bad to me.   It looks like a holiday park, or an American summer camp.

I think it's bad for people to be stuck there for several months or years. But I don't think it's completely horrible for people to be stuck there for a few weeks or months.

I'd say anything under six months is probably okay. That's under the assumption that there's enough room and facilities for all the detainees.  If it's overcrowded and there're not enough toilets, anything over twelve hours is....wrong.

11. Read Fruitcake's blog.  She explains why she doesn't like the proposed preamble to the constitution; I think because she read my blog in which I complained about her not explaining.

Anyway, her reasoning is very sound and it makes me feel racist for not noticing the problems in the preamble.   I had a feeling that would happen.

Here's an example.   Fruitcake says, Everyone mentioned in this preamble is spoken of in the first person [we or our] except for (see point 4) Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders who are spoken of in the third person [their]. This has got to be the Freudian Slip of the Century.

That's a very good point; and I failed to notice the problem.  

Fruitcake sums up her feelings about the preamble here.  In other words, the preamble was meaningless and, being meaningless, it was an insult. It smacked of ‘here you are, we mentioned you now go away and start practising being white.

What I didn't know (although Fruitcake kind of alluded to it in her last entry) is that John Howard wrote the preamble.  If I had known that—knowing his reluctance to make a formal apology about the stolen generations—I may have read the preamble with a more critical eye. If the same thing was written by Bob Brown, I would probably be less critical.   

12. Went to Tallygarunga.   I'm going to read a story thread that's new to me.   It's called Because You Saw Me When I Was Invisible.  That's an intriguing title.

The story takes place in the Tallygarunga Library which is located in Kookynie Hall.  This is the same library in which Reade Ainsworth and Susan Summers both wanted the same book.

The story thread I'm reading today features two witches. Leanna Evans is a seventh year Sturt student.  Delia Stapleton is a third year Bourke student.

13. Started to read the story thread.

Leanna doesn't have a lot of friends.  Right now she's in a big rush for some reason.   It has to do with the one friend that Leanna does have; Delia.  Apparently, Leanna went to China. Now she's back with a gift for Delia, and worries that Delia might have changed.

I will have to read more of the story later, because Jack wants some breakfast.

14. Back from making Jack breakfast. Now I will read more.

I'm kind of upset right now so it's hard to concentrate, but I will try.

Delia's post talks about how Tallygarunga often has staff changes. There'd been another staff change.  She says, Again. Jeez, this place went through adults like buffets went through food.  That's a good metaphor.

You have to wonder about places that have frequent staff changes.  It could be innocent. People are finding other and/or better opportunities.  But it could be the workplace causes unhappiness.

Or maybe there's a lot of people taking maternity leave.

15. Touched by this story.  It turns out Delia had a very difficult time without Leanna.  I wondered about that.  I guess I worried that while Leanna had missed Delia and was excited to see her; Delia might have moved on and wouldn't welcome back her friend.

It's not that I'm glad Delia had a rough time without Leanna. And it sounds like she had a very rough time. But I'm glad to see that they seemed to have missed each other equally.

It reminds me of when Buster took that trip around the world with his dad; and he and Arthur both worried that the friendship would never be the same.

That episode makes me cry a lot.

16. Realized that I know of Leanna!  She's the one who has a Muggle brother at St. Andrews!

Why didn't I realize that sooner?

17. Learned that Leanna learned that her father was not her father.  He's her uncle, and the man she thought was her uncle was her father.

Leanna didn't like the uncle posing as her father, so I don't think she was too upset to learn the truth.

She went to China to live with her father, her stepmom, and her half-brother.

If I'm understanding things right, Leanna left kind of abruptly and mysteriously.   She says, Still, I should've called or wrote or something to let you know. I just... wasn't thinking properly. I should've let you know somehow, it was unfair to you.  

You're damn right it was unfair!  I think it was rude.  But if Delia can forgive Leanna, I guess I can too.  Maybe.

I understand being too busy and overwhelmed to not write for a week or two.  But it would be rude to be gone for a few months and not give a message to your best friend. If that happened to me, I'd probably guess that I wasn't their best friend.  I'd have a lot of doubts about the relationship.

18. Embarrassed and ashamed because I went to read Delia's biography, and I realized I already read it...recently!  She's the one who's part black and part white.   She grew up with a nanny.  But instead of being the stereotypical lonely rich kid neglected by her parents, she's very much loved.  

I'm going to read Leanna's biography; but not now because it's almost lunch.

19. Started to read about Leanna.  

She has two different color eyes. She's tall and has good posture.

20. Learned that Leanna has trust issues, and she tends to expect the worst from people.

I'm like that sometimes.

21. Started to read about Leanna's history.  Her mother is Laura.  She was pressured by her parents to marry Kayne.  I wonder why. Did they like him? Did they want her to get married, and that was the most likely prospect?

It's not like Kayne was the type that parents usually want for their daughter. He smoked and drank a lot.  He abused other drugs in his past, and he has even been to prison.

Laura ended up having an affair with Kayne's brother Rick.  The affair resulted in a child...Leanna.

Wow.  This gets good.  So Laura and Rick did a paternity test to see if Rick was the father. They didn't want to have a huge drama, so they decided to keep the results a secret.  Kayne believed he was the father.  Rick moved to China and eventually fell in love with a Chinese woman. They had Lee, the little boy at St. Andrews.

On Leanna's seventeenth birthday, Rick told her the truth. It was a planned revelation; not something he randomly blurted out.

Oh!  Wait. I missed something important.

I was wondering where Laura was in this.  Was she okay with Rick revealing the truth?  Did she protest at all?

It turns out she and Kayne both disowned Leanna.  Why? Well, I think it's because of the whole magic thing.  Leanna is Muggle born, which means none of her parents are magical.

The biography doesn't say Leanna was disowned because of magic, but it does say her parents were uncomfortable with it.  Then a few lines down it says Leanna was disowned.  I'm just going to put two and two together.

22. Learned that Leanna spent two months in China.  She wasn't happy there, so her dad, stepmom, and brother agreed to move to Melbourne with her. That was very generous of them. Hopefully, this new family will give her the love she didn't get from her mom and not-dad (uncle). 

I can understand why Leanna has trouble trusting people. How could any child trust someone if their own parents disowned them?

23. Continued to read Will by Maria Boyd.   It's pretty good.  The copyright page lists homosexuality as one of the keywords.  I was wondering where that's going to come into the story.   The narrator (Will) doesn't seem to be gay.    From the chapter I just read, I think it might be in regards to the fact that theatre students are stereotyped as being gay.  Will has been forced to participate in the theatre, and he's very reluctant because he thinks it will paint him as a loser.   I'm getting the idea that in Will's eyes gay=loser.

Well, I'll keep reading.....

24. Followed a link on Statcounter and found that someone from Tallygarunga wrote a blog post about me.  I'm so incredibly honored.  HappyOrganist has been talking about crushes lately on her blog.  I'm thinking my current crush is a collective one.   I have a crush on all the Tally-writers.    You might think that's weird. And it is.   But it's not my weirdest crush.  My weirdest is when I had a crush on the Bulgarian person appearing on my Statcounter.  I don't know if it was male or female....or what age he or she was.  I knew nothing except the person was coming to my blog from Bulgaria. They kept coming to the same post, and the mystery intrigued me.  

The Tally crush is more about talent than mystery.  

Megan, the Tallygarunga writer with the blog has multiple talents. She writes, she sings, and I'm betting she does other stuff as well. 

Here's a video of her singing I'm Not That Girl from Wicked

She has a beautiful voice.

25. Found another one of Megan's talents.  She plays the ukulele.

That video gave me a little tear....for multiple reasons.   The song itself made me cry.   My dad played it for us a few months ago when I was in the car with him, Jack, and my nieces.  He asked me if I knew of it.  I didn't recognize the title; but when he started playing it, the song was familiar to me.    I think maybe hearing it made me emotional.   I don't know if it's the song itself, or if I subconsciously associate it with something.   Maybe it was the song combined with the family bonding moment?   Or maybe I had a prior association?

The other thing is Megan reminds me of Alex (my Magic is Might character). Although Alex far as I know. I would change that fact if I still wanted Alex to become a character in Tallygarunga. Would that be crazy to use a Tally writer's face as my character's face claim?


26. Saw that the Australian Dictionary of Biography has changed their website.  Now I lost my place.  I went to my bookmark, and I ended up on their front page rather than the page of the index I was on.  

27. Found the page where I left off on the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

28. Saw that my Australian of the day is Clive Lyoff Amadio.  I like saying his last name aloud, even though I'm likely pronouncing it wrong.  

Clive was a saxophonist and a clarinetist.  The season finale of Modern Family had a stupid but funny joke about saxophones.  

Clive was born in Darlington Sydney.  I was about to say that's where we stayed.   But we stayed in Darlinghurst.  I don't really remember Darlington.

I'm looking at it on Google Maps.  It's between Redfern and the University of Sydney.

How could that not be familiar to me?

Well, I probably knew about it, and then I forgot. It's just like how I read about Delia, and then forgot about it a few days later.

29. Learned that Clive's father and uncle were both musicians as well.

Clive wanted to be an engineer, but his father pushed (forced?) him to be a musician instead.  Clive dropped out of school when he was thirteen.  I'm not sad for people dropping out of school to pursue their own interests.  I am sad if someone drops out of school to pursue what their parents want them to pursue.

Clive practiced eight hours a day without a break.   I think practicing that long would become awful even if you loved doing it.   I mean I can imagine eight hours a day here or a few weeks before a performance.   But daily?  Maybe I'm really naive about musicians. 

30. Learned that Clive became successful—well paid and popular.  Maybe some of his work will be on YouTube.   I'll look in a minute. 

31. Failed to find a Clive Amadio video on YouTube, but did find an Amadio family CD on Ebay.  

32. Wanted to listen to one more Megan video.

I love this song.

The first time I heard it was an Australian singer....Sarah Blasko?

I should have it on my Australian Music playlist.   I'll go look.....

I was wrong.   It's Clare Bowditch.

I personally prefer Megan's version.

Oh...and add piano to Megan's talented. She's getting a bit annoying. Is there anything she can't do? Let me guess. She juggles knives, speak five languages, and has puppeteering talents. 

Don't worry. I'm joking. I love talented people.

33. Wondered if Clive ever ended up liking his music career; or did he continue to regret not becoming an engineer?