Monday, July 11, 2011

Joan Lindsay, Parrots, Grief , and the Amos Family

1. Decided that I really don't give myself enough chances to be ignored, rejected, and excluded.  So I joined Google+.   This gives me the chance to put names I recognize into circles, and then wonder why these people aren't adding me to their circles.

2. Started watching an interview with Joan Lindsay that someone suggested I watch.  



She talks about her life and career.   It was recorded before Picnic at Hanging Rock came out.  

I may be too tired to understand and enjoy it. I had major insomnia last night; only got two hours of sleep.

3. Confused by interview.  Joan Lindsay talks about some mountain.  Mount...something.   She says she said her first words there, at the age of three.  I think she may be referring to Hanging Rock, but I'm not sure.

4. Rewinded the video a bit.  She must be referring to Hanging Rock.   She talks about how she didn't go to the school in the book; but she did go to Mount...something; and she mentions most of the book taking place there.

I can't understand the mountain name she's saying.  It's something like Mesna?  

5. Started to find the interview more interesting.  It kind of reminds me of the Lost issue.   Joan Lindsay talks about how fans will write to her wanting to know the answers to the mystery.  She thinks they should accept the lack of answers.  Although I think later she wrote a book that provided the answers.

Do all mysteries need to be answered for the reader?  No, probably not.

Does the writer need to know the answers to the mystery?

I don't know.

I think it helps the writer to avoid inconsistencies and paradoxes.

I'm dealing with that issue now for my fictional blog.   My characters have just found out that Julia's ex-boyfriend is dead.  He was killed by his sister.  Why was he killed?  I don't know yet.   I'll probably never reveal it on the blog.   I don't think my characters will ever know the truth. But I should probably figure it out—at least, in my head.

Or is it better that my ignorance match the ignorance of the characters?  Should I know something they don't know?

We don't need to know where the picnicking school girls vanished to; but does Joan Lindsay need to know?  Did she know while she was writing the novel?   

6. Learned that Joan Lindsay believed she had the power to stop people's watches just by sitting by them.  I guess it happened to her a few time, and she believed it was more than a coincidence.

She could be right.

I've begun to think I have a power.  It's like a new-parent karma thing.  You know when you have a baby or young child; pre-parental people tend to make ignorant comments and assumptions.  When Jack was little, pre-parental women would say things that would make me want to slap them.   I'm not a violent person so I refrained from doing so.  Instead I would think, just wait until you have kids....

Most of the people who said annoying things to me ended up having karma slap them hard on the ass.

I won't give any real examples right now.  Instead, I'll just illustrate with a made-up one.   Let's say a pre-parent says, What do you mean you can't get sleep?   Just put the baby in the crib and go to bed.   It's not rocket science!  This person would end up with a baby that rarely sleeps; the type that only sleeps if someone is holding them.  Sleep would end up being a huge issue for the parent.

Yeah, so Joan Lindsay stops clocks.  I have karma on my side—at least with the annoying pre-parental people.

7. Realized I can think of only four examples of the karma thing; so maybe it's just a coincidence.

8. Consulted Lord Wiki about Picnic at Hanging Rock.  I've consulted him before about it, but I need help remembering stuff.

The mountain Lindsay mentioned was Mount Macedon.

Some bits of Where the Wild Things Are was filmed there.

I forgot that was partly filmed in Australia.  Or was the whole thing filmed there?  

9. Reminded by Lord Wiki that Joan Lindsay solved the mystery in the last chapter of the book.  But then she changed her mind and removed the chapter. A few years after her death, the chapter was published as another book.  I have a feeling Joan wouldn't have been to happy about that.  

10. Looked at IMDb for the filming locations of Where the Wild Things Are.   Except for a little Los Angeles studio work, it's all filmed in Victoria, Australia.  

I love the trailer to the movie.  It has my current favorite song.  Well...and I actually learned of the song from the trailer.  



The song also reminds me of Lost. Camp Erdman in Hawaii used the song for one of their montage videos.  Some of Lost was filmed at Camp Erdman.   



11.Read Lee's very funny post about bushranger names.  He sent me the link yesterday, or the day before.   He thought I might like it; and I did.  

Here's a little sample:  Guys like Frederick Ward, whose bushranger name was Captain Thunderbolt. Now while Thunderbolt can come across a bit threatening in a Thor, Viking God way, it's highway cred is completely undermined by that Captain bit. When I think of Captain Thunderbolt I can't help but see a guy on a horse – or maybe a pony - in tights and a cape.

12. Felt a bit jealous of James because he had a cockatoo visit him on his balcony.   

We had a raccoon visit us on our balcony.  That was a bit creepy.   It happened late at night.   I heard a noise and looked out the window.   I thought it was the friendly neighborhood cat at first; but then I saw that it was a raccoon.  I was glad I didn't open the door for the "cat".   I wouldn't really want a raccoon in my house.  Although he would have probably just ran away.

Anyway, I'd much rather have a cockatoo visit.

13. Wished that some pet parrots would escape and breed so we'd end up with feral parrots in America.  I want parrots!

I'll feel bad though if my wish comes true; and it totally messes up the ecology.

When I visited my sister in Miami several years ago, there were some wild parrots that had flown in from....somewhere.   South America, I suppose.

14. Found website that says wild parrots ARE in America.  I'm so excited!!!

And I feel guilty for my excitement.  

15. Felt better after reading the website.  It says feral parrots have not caused major problems.

That's good.  And I'm so excited they're here.

I'm feeling like the eHarmony cat girl; although I'm not crying....yet.  

I do have a few tears.  It might be from the lack of sleep.  When I'm tired it's easier for me to get emotional. 

16. Read Maggie's post about the very friendly people of Oklahoma.  Her opinion differs from a commenter on Andrew's blog.   Linda thinks people in Oklahoma are awful.  

Anyway, when I started reading Maggie's post, I figured I had the answer.  People are nice to her in Oklahoma because she's Australian.   Americans tend to love the Aussie accent.

The first time we went to Australia, I met Michelle.   She's an Australian who spent many years living in California.  She told me Americans were so friendly.   I disagreed.   Australians are the friendly ones.  After awhile, I came up with a theory. Americans were nice to Michelle because they loved her accent.  Australians were nice to me because they liked my accent.

But Maggie says this wasn't the case for her.  She says, They often seem genuinely interested in you.  And that’s BEFORE they find out that you’re a foreigner and that you have a cute accent and that you might know Steve Irwin.  Which I don’t.  But there’s no harm in asking, right? 

AlthoughMAYBE Maggie didn't realize that they did know she had an accent.   Maybe they had heard her talking earlier?   Maybe that's why they struck up a conversation in the first place.

It's possible.

But it's also possible that Maggie didn't talk at the store.  Maybe she was alone there, and not the type to talk to herself.  Maybe she really did meet very nice people in Oklahoma.

I can't remember if I've ever been to Oklahoma, or not.  I'll have to ask Tim.

People in Texas are usually friendly; but with strangers we don't often go beyond Hi and how are you—stuff like that.  Every so often, we'll get into a conversation.

My parents randomly started talking to people at some restaurant when they were in California.  I don't know who talked to who first; but they ended up being all friendly with each other. The other couple owned a castle and winery. They invited my parents to visit it. That was pretty cool.

Tim and I started chatting with strangers in London. We didn't become friends or anything; but we had an enjoyable conversation.

It's not an American thing though. When we were in Hawaii, our Australian friends got all chatty with some Canadians.  

17. Thought of another theory about Maggie's friendly encounter with Oklahoma people.   It's the same with me in Australia.  Maggie loves America.   American-love oozes from her pores; just like Australian-love oozes from mine.   I think people can sense when you're happy to be in their town.   You have a type of happy enthusiasm; and it attracts people.   I go to Australia filled with Australia love, and I think people pick up on that.  I'm full of joy, enthusiasm, and love when I'm there.

Just as there's a pregnancy glow, there's also a I'm-so-happy-to-be-here glow.

On the same token, if you're NOT happy to be there, I think people will pick up on that as well.   They'll be resentful of your dislike of their town.   They'll be less friendly towards you.   Then you'll dislike their town even more.   It becomes a horrible cycle.   

18. Decided I'm doing pretty well blogging for someone who's had only two hours of sleep.   I'm not sure I'm going to survive math today though.  We're supposed to do long division today.   Scary.  It's two digits into three digits.  We've just worked our way through one digit into three digits. That was hard enough, thank you very much.

Yesterday, Tim and I were practicing the hard stuff.  Thankfully, we were both able to do the problems.   I got most of them right.  I was very happy with myself.    But transferring the process to Jack is going to be hard.  I might just do the problems WITH him, and not require him to be able to do it on his own.  It will depend on how much he pays attention and participates.  If he gets that attitude of I'll sit here and daydream while you do all the work; then I'll get mean and force him to do it on his own.   Otherwise, we'll do it together.   When he's older, we can push more long division independence.

19. Saw that the Offspring Facebook page is asking whether people are team Patrick or team Chris. 

I'm totally team Patrick, but I might change my mind after seeing Chris again.

By the way, I found a way to watch the show for free.   I'm going to refrain from giving any details on that issue.

20.  Related to Peter's comment on the Chris/Patrick issue.  He says, Am I the only boy on here? Seems to be all girls!!!! LOL  That's how I feel about Magic is Might, but with the age issue.   Sometimes I was tempted to ask, am I the only one over twenty-five here?   

21. Read article comparing Generation X people to Generation Y.  They say Generation Y folks are more responsible. They're less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

I'm Generation X which includes people born between 1962-1981.   Generation Y people were born between 1982 and 2000.   I guess I'm more like them because they're less likely to smoke, have unprotected sex with a stranger, and drink and drive. I don't do any of that.   

The study talks only about Victorian people, so I guess the study was done there.  I wonder if the same results would be obtained in other locations.   

22. Went to Tallygarunga.   Today, I'm going to read the spin-off to Find An Orbit Closer To The Ground.   It's called Kick it Up A Notch.  The story thread involves Adrian Tallenry and Mereditha Tallenry.  They used to be married.  Then they were driven apart by the loss of their baby.   Now they've ended up at the same party.  Things are awkward, yet also romantic.   

I heard something interesting in the chatroom yesterday.  Meri and Adrian were created eight years ago.   The same two role-players created them for another role-playing site.  I wanted to know if it had been a Harry Potter site; but the conversation moved onto something else.   

23. Started to read the story thread.  

24. Had a hard time relating to Meri.   She exits the room to be by herself, and she doesn't want anyone to follow.   When I leave the room because of some drama, I'm wanting someone to follow.   I want someone to ask me what's wrong.  I want someone to ask me if I'm okay.   I want someone to let me know that they're there for me.   After awhile, though; then I might want to be alone.

25. Tried to figure out if I tell people to leave when I really want them to stay.  I don't think I do.   If I say I need time alone, I probably mean it.   But I do engage in the ridiculous nothing's-wrong-when there-is-something-wrong game.  What's the deal with that?  Why do we do it?

It's tempting to think that we're testing the other person.  Are you going to stay and fight to figure out what's wrong with me?   But I don't know. I think we're intelligent enough to know that it's a losing battle.    Most people (especially men....sorry to stereotype) are going to say, Oh. Okay. You're fine.  Good!  I'm going to join the poker game then.   

I think I say nothing's wrong because I fear it will be too much of a struggle to explain my feelings.   And I think I say nothing's wrong when I feel I'm going down the same road I've gone down a million times.  I get upset over the same types of behaviors from the same people.   It happens again and again and again. Will talking about it really help?   

Sometimes I think the nicest thing is for someone to just stay with you, know you're sad, but not demand to get all the details of why you're sad.  That being said.  They don't need to fill the silence by rambling on excessively about their own problems. That's annoying. When I'm upset about my own problems, I really don't feel like being a good and sympathetic listener.   

Hearing other people's problems can be helpful to a small degree; especially if you're ashamed of the problem.  It lets you know that you're not alone.   It lets you know other people can understand your feelings...to some degree.  But often people run with it, and it becomes more of a. Oh look.  Now I have an excuse to blab on and on about my own life.  Unfortunately, I do that to Jack sometimes.  

And now I'm doing it to Meri.  

26. Decided to shut up and keep reading.  I can imagine Meri thinking, Shut up, Dina.   This is supposed to be about me.  NOT you.  See.   It's the lack of sleep. I'm imagining conversations with fictional characters.  

I probably need to take a nap.   

27. Thought it was sweet but frustrating that Meri and Adrian both miss each other; but they both seem to feel they don't deserve the other's love and attention.   

Awww, this is very sweet.  They're opening up to each other now.   

It's a very sad story, and I can imagine it's probably realistic.   I mean I don't know how common the situation is...medically speaking.  But the emotions and reactions ring true to me.

Something happened during Meri's pregnancy.  Adrian was forced to make a decision that cost the life of the baby.  They were both devastated.   In her grief, Meri was less loving towards Adrian.   Adrian felt she blamed him for what happened to the baby.

I can totally imagine that happening.   I don't know if a woman would blame her husband on a conscious level.  I guess it might depend on what was the risk to her own life.    If the risk had been low, she might have felt the baby died for nothing.    

But even if the risk had been high; and what was done needed to be done, I can imagine there might be some unconscious resentment.  Then even if there is no unconscious resentment, the grieving father might mistake his partner's cold withdrawal (due to grief) as blame and rejection.   

28. Thought about miscarriages.   Before I was pregnant, I really didn't understand the fuss.   I could imagine the sadness. Yeah.   It's sad.  But I couldn't understand women who totally lost it; became depressed for months.  Or even years.  What's the deal?  They didn't even know the child. Is it that hard to lose something that you never had?

Then I got pregnant with Jack.  I was one of those people who bonded with their child as soon as I took the pregnancy test.   No, actually that's wrong.   I bonded with Jack at the first sign of pregnancy—a brief moment of dizziness that left me full of hope that something was going on with my body.     

I LOVED that little cluster of cells in my body.   When I was a few weeks pregnant, I started bleeding a bit.   I was absolutely terrified, and a bit depressed too.   I didn't care that miscarriages were natural and common.   I didn't care that I could try again and make a new baby.   I didn't want any old baby.  I wanted Jack.  Although I didn't know he was Jack at that point.   

So knowing how sad I felt just being scared of losing my baby; I then could see how a woman might have a total breakdown if she actually did lose the baby.   

The weird thing is I've lost the empathy now.  I'm back to not getting it.  I can understand in a vague sympathetic way.   I know it's sad, but I can't personally imagine the sadness anymore.    It's easier for me to imagine and understand the sadness of parents who've lost a child they've already gotten to know.  Although I hate to imagine it because it makes me horribly depressed and scared. 


29. Thought about a quote I read earlier in The Secret Life of Maeve Lee Kwong.   It reminds me of Meri's and Adrian's story.  Grief is a lonely place, Maeve.  Nobody really "gets it".  Nobody can go into that darkness with you.  But you have to have faith that things will get better.

Yeah.  I think grief is a party usually attended alone.  Even if you share a loss, it can be hard to connect with the others who are grieving.  I think the quote applies best to grief caused by death; but it can also apply to break-ups and other types of grief.   One of my Facebook friends had his heart broken.   He had a lot of supportive messages and Facebook comments.  That was good.   But no matter what you say in those situations, it's not going to make the mourner feel happy.   The only thing that will make them truly happy is to have the lost one send them a message.   I made a huge mistake.   I still love you!   Do you forgive me?  Or There was a huge mix-up.  I'm not really dead!  

But even if we can't make someone happy again....for a long time.   It's not okay to stay quiet and leave the sad one alone.  Our presence might not bring them joy, but it might help them from falling completely apart.  Or they might fall and we can be there to pick them back up.  When they're ready.  

30. Tried to take a nap.   I slept off and on for about two hours.  It wasn't a very good sleep.  It didn't make me feel any better.  Then I went upstairs and found that the air-conditioner is not working again.

Shit. 

31. Found out my Australian of the day is Adam Amos.   He was a pioneer settler type person.  

Adam was born in 1774 in Scotland.

When he was in his forties, he moved to Tasmania.   Back then it was called Van Diemen's Land.

There's all this stuff here about a guy named George Meredith.   Before moving to Australia, Adam and his brother moved to Wales.   They leased land from Meredith; then later they sailed to Australia with him.

I'm too tired to try to understand it.  Sorry.   But it has something to do with the Amos brothers having difficulty with Meredith.   I could be wrong (because I'm tired), but it seems maybe Adam and his brother had an agreement with Meredith, but they failed to get it in writing.  Later down the road, the lack of formal agreement caused them some problems.

32. Found genealogy page that might be for the Amos family.  Here's Adam Amos, but not the one I just read about.   I think it's his nephew.  He was born in Tasmania, and his father's name is John.   My Australian of the day's brother was named John.

Yep.  That's the same John Amos. I checked back with the Australian dictionary of biography.   They provide the birth and death year of John Amos, and it matches the information on the genealogy site.  

And here's Adam himself.  

Adam Amos had four sons and five daughters.

33. Decided to follow through the genealogy of one of the kids....or maybe a few.   This could be fun.

One of Adam's daughters was named Mary.   She was born in 1814 in Scotland.   She died in Launceston in 1876.   She married a British guy named Henry Lyne, and had four sons and six daughters.

One of the sons was Harry.  I'll pick him in honor of the Harry Potter movie coming out soon.

Harry Lyne was born in Tasmania in 1849.   He had four sons and five daughters.

One of his daughters was named Minna Una Lyne. She was born in 1881.  She married Trevor Murray, and had two sons and four daughters.

One of the sons was Caerleon Murray.   This guy ended up in Queensland.   He died there in 1973.    He had three sons and and one daughter.

One of the daughters was Bette Murray.  She was born in Mackay Queensland in 1945.

Bette married Rodney Pattemore.  Mr. and Mrs. Pattemore had two daughters and one son.   Brett Pattemore is eight months older than me.  The genealogy site doesn't specify where he was born.  

34. Decided to follow another line in the Amos family, one that keeps the name in the family.

I'll start with the son named after his father.   Adam Amos the sequel was born in Scotland.   He and his wife had five sons and six daughters.

One of his sons was William Amos.   He was born in 1847.   He died in Victoria, so I guess family ended up over there.    He and his wife had six sons and five daughters.

One of William's sons Victor was born in Victoria.   I wonder if he was named for his birthplace.

Victor ended up with only one son; Maxwell Amos.

35. Saw that Maxwell Amos and I share the same birthday!  

Maxwell ended up providing lots of grandchildren for Victor, but they were all daughters.   So there goes the Amos name from that line.

36. Decided to pick another one of William's sons.  

There's yet another Adam.    He had three sons.   One of them was Ian Amos.  

Ian was born in 1927.   He ended up in New South Wales.    He had three daughters and one son.  The son was Desmond Amos.   Unfortunately, Desmond died in his late twenties, and had no children.

37. Went back to Adam Tasman III to pick another son.

Roy Amos was born in 1920 and he's still alive (at least according to the website).

One of Roy's sons is Christopher, born in 1954.    Christopher has two kids; Yale and Melanie.  The website doesn't provide any information about them.