Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lost, Connections, Religion, and Calendars

1. Watched a deleted Lost scene on Entertainment Weekly's website.   It made me feel all warm and fuzzy about Lost again.   So I decided to watch one of my old favorite Lost-related videos.  

You broke my toes in the bamboo forest.  

Those guys are brilliant.

And I love this video.

2. Wanted to say that I love when I get the idea (whether it's true or not) that people found each other via my blog.  I mean not like people who fell in love and got married; although that would be incredibly awesome.  I'm referring more to things like bloggers finding new blogs through my blog.   And of course, I have found blogs through other blogs. I like how we all find new connections through each other.

3. Read James' post.   In this one, he surprises Swedish people by being an Australian who speaks Swedish.  They're probably not used of people learning their language. Are Australians as bad as Americans with learning new languages?

I would love to be able to speak another language, but I really don't put enough effort into it.

I know a little Spanish which is helpful because my brother-in-law is trying to make my nephews bilingual.  He often speaks to them in Spanish, and it's nice that sometimes I can understand what he's saying.

4. Saw that James took a photo of his apartment before he made it messy.   Andrew commented on it.   He's the one who recently wrote on his blog that he forgets to take a photo before the room gets messy.  And I'm the one who often forgets to take a picture of the room all together.

5. Surprised that James used the word "bathroom" instead of toilet. I thought bathroom was an American word.

6. Consulted Lord Wiki about Eva Cox, because I read an email in which she was mentioned.

She's Jewish, and was born in Vienna in 1938.   Her family left when she was a baby...well, because Jews weren't exactly well-loved in that time time and place.

Eva spent her early years in England and Rome.  Then when she was around ten, her family moved to Sydney.

Eva grew up and became a feminist and member of the Labor Party.

7. Started to watch this video about the Sydney Slut Walk.  I found it while searching YouTube for videos about Eva Cox.

I like the guy at 2:06. He talks about how sexism effects everyone, not just women. People are pressured to conform to certain gender expectations.  

 I was trying to convey this in an email the other day, but I don't think I did a good job of it.

In some ways, I think it's harder for men.  I don't often see people worrying about little girls who prefer to wear pants, play with toy trucks, and are good at sports.  I think it's usually seen as cute.   But people often worry when there's a boy who likes to put on skirts, play with dolls, and mess around with make up.

What's really crazy is how people react to boys wearing pink.

When Jack broke his arm, he chose pink for one of his casts.  I thought that was cool.

8. Started to watch Eva Cox's speech.  It begins at 6:54.  I like that she defends women who wear not-so-much clothing as well as women who wear a lot of clothing, such as the burka.

9.  Started to say that the search thing on my blog isn't working right, but then I tested it and it works okay.  I've tried it a few times in the past, and it didn't work. Yesterday I needed to use it on my fictional blog, and it didn't work.  

Maybe it's been fixed?   

10. Checked my fictional blog.  The search thing still isn't working there.

11. Read Andrew's post about visiting Science Works with his niece.  I think Andrew loves science museums as much as I do.  He says, No reason to go into the details of Scienceworks except it was extremely busy and Little Jo did not want to leave.

I feel lucky in that we're past the stage where Jack wants to spend an excessive amount of time at the museum.  He's usually bored within an hour or two, and ready to go home.   We went with my mom to our local science museum a week or so ago.  It was way too crowded for Jack's taste. It's much more enjoyable to go to museums and zoos when they're almost empty.   The first time we went to Sydney, Sydney's Wildlife World was open in the evening, and our hotel-apartment was right next to it.   Jack and I would go at night, and hardly anyone else was there. It was like having a private party with the animals.

 12. Read Andrew's angry rant about religion, prompted by the Norway murders.  He says,  Stupid, hokus pokus nonsense. I just cannot get any kind of mind set on religious people. All that superstition and those fairy tales that otherwise quite intelligent people believe in just does my head in.

I think religion and spirituality is fine; but I think most of it should be done in private—like farting, sex, and picking your nose.

One's belief in a particular (probably fictional) supernatural being shouldn't be forced on other people. It most certainly shouldn't be used as motivation to kill innocent people.  

I'm joking about the privacy bit.  I think it's fine for people to express their religious identity. And I know people find a lot of joy and solace in joining religious groups.  

13. Remembered my viewpoint about religion.  I think I lost my way a bit after hearing of what happened in Norway.

I don't think there's anything inherently bad in religion.  There's nothing wrong with believing in something that may or may not exist.  I don't think the world would be better if religion disappeared, although many atheists seem to think this is the case.

I think people use religion as an excuse to be who they are and to do what they want.

Some people use religion as an excuse to help others.  Allah wants me to feed the starving people!   Without religion in the world, this person would still feel compelled to reach out and help others.

Some people use religion as an excuse to murder others.  Allah wants me to blow up this airplane.    Without religion in the world, these types of people would still find excuses to kill innocent people.

14. Read about Andrew's visit to Blue Lake.   But it wasn't blue.  Apparently, in the winter it loses the blueness.  He seems to take it in stride, but I'd be very disappointed.  We drove all this way and the water isn't blue!  What the hell?!  I could see a regular lake any old day.   

Then I'd cheer myself up by indulging on chocolate, and we'd laugh about it.  

15. Read Maggie's post which waxes poetic about America; particularly diners in America.  I love her writing, but can't share her love.  I don't usually like diners.

16. Liked that Fruitcake embedded Christina Anu's "My Island Home" in her blog post. I used to listen to that song a lot back when I was depressed and homesick for Australia.

Fruitcake talks about the definition of home in her post.  How do we define it?  What feels like home?

Home to me is any place where I can walk around with a bra. It's sort of home if I can at least take off my shoes and feel comfortable helping myself to the refrigerator.

Oh!  And it's home if I don't feel shy about spending several minutes in the toilet.

17. Checked my Statcounter to see if anyone in my family has visited my blog.


I check often, and usually come up empty.

Jack looked at my blog today though.  I thought that was very sweet of him.   

18. Went to Tallygarunga.   Today I'm going to read the two new posts in Fun For The Family.   This is the story thread in which Arti is spending time at her boyfriend Reade's house. She's getting to know his family. 

19. Started reading.  I like this bit from Arti.  She felt glad to be here, with Reade, and with his family, but she also wondered if she really belonged. Was this how Muggleborns felt when they were surrounded by people who'd spent their entire lives surrounded by magic? It was kind of an 'out of place' feeling, but she wasn't going to let it ruin this time.

I can imagine it's difficult for both sides—Muggleborns joining the wizarding world and wizards joining the the Muggle world.

Culture shock.

It doesn't have to be magic vs. non-magic.  You can get it by visiting with people from a different country or culture.  Actually, I think you can get culture shock even when you visit another family that's from the same culture and country as you. There's always things that are done a little differently, and sometimes it can be hard to adjust to those differences.

20. Listened to a little bit of "Advance Australian Fair" on the Tour de France.  I felt obligated to listen to all of it, but Jack was waiting to play the dance video game.

I can't say it's my favorite Australian song; so it's okay.  Plus if I want to hear it, I can watch it on YouTube.

Here's the version that's probably most appreciated.

If they sang it this way at Tour de France, I'd tell Jack he'd have to wait a few more minutes.

21. Saw that my Australian of the day is Ernest Augustus Anderson.  He was a bishop.

Was he the type who used his religion for good; or the type who used his religion for bad?   Or maybe he was in the middle somewhere.  

One thing I can see is that he lived a long life. He was born in 1859.  He died in 1945.  My calculator says he lived 86 years.  That's pretty good.

Ernest was born in England.  He came to North Queensland in his early twenties as a missionary preacher.

I'm usually not a fan of missionaries because I feel their main purpose is shoving their religion down the throat of disadvantaged people. But I need to remember that's not always the case. I think some missionaries are more into passing out water, food, clothing; and less into passing out ideologies.

Ernest was good with painting.  He did a mural.  He collected china and knew a lot about roses.

22. Looked at the Tallygarunga stuff for sale on Cafepress.   I'm going to try to remember to buy something.  Or maybe not.  I want a t-shirt but I'm worried the shirts won't be comfortable enough.   I like the super soft shirts, like the ones at American Apparel.  I don't know if the shirts at Cafepress are that kind; or the less soft kind.

I'd get a mug, but we already have too many of those.

23. Looked at Mousie's Australian media database.   The next song on the list is Hilltop Hood's "Nosebleed Section".   I've heard it once or twice before.  I'll listen to it again. 

24. Finished plugging in my imaginary Australia trip into my computer.  I followed my original geographical plans, but not the timing.  I just kind of guessed at it as I put it into the calendar.

The trip ended up being less than 6 months.  I was going to have us pretend to go to New Zealand, but we're ending Australia in winter. I don't think I want to go to NZ in winter.

I think we'll just fly back and have a nice stop in Hawaii.

I'm excited to start the pretend trip, but I'm going to wait until January.  It's going to be hard to wait.  But I want to do it in real time. If I start now we'll be in the south in winter and the north in summer.   I don't think I'd enjoy that very much.  I guess I could have started in the northern states.

I don't want to redo the whole thing.

I'll wait until January.

It will give me something to look forward to.

25. Thought of how it would be funny if we take a real trip while I'm playing this pretend trip.  Hi!  We're in Byron Bay.  But not really.  We're really in Florida!

26. Decided to figure out a way for my wizard/Muggle family to stay in Australia.   I love England, but I don't want my characters to live there.

I think they're going to go underground....into the magical world.  Maybe they'll be treated like Squibs.  That might be a good storyline.  

27. Kept finding myself singing "Advance Australia Fair".  I know only the first few lines, so I don't get too far.

I know more lyrics from this song.

28. Went to my parent's house to swim and eat dinner with them. We had interesting conversations about traveling. Jack asked my dad what's the rarest animal he saw in the wild. My dad talked about seeing bears in Alaska. Then he asked Jack if he saw any exciting animals in the wild while we were in Australia. Jack told him we saw kangaroos and emus. My dad asked where, and Jack said a park. My dad said that didn't count. Jack or Tim mentioned seeing a koala. That counted because it wasn't in a park. It was out there in the regular old world.

But then I started thinking.....

I asked my dad if animals seen in Yosemite counted, and he said yes. So then why wouldn't a park in Australia count?  It turns out he thought we were talking about wildlife Featherdale.  Natural parks/nature preserves DO count.  

He told us the bears he saw were in a nature preserve too.   

29. Heard this song at my parent's house and thought of Lost again. 

30.. Looked at my old trip report post to see what national park we had gone to.   It was Tidbinbilla.  It's funny. The night when Jack and I talked about parrots and Sydney Wildlife World, I also brought up Magpies. I reminded him that we played some silly game at the Canberra holiday park involving the birds.  Neither of us could remember the game. I didn't think to look back at my post; but it's right there.  Every time we saw a Magpie, I'd pretend to lose brain cells.  Jack would ask me some easy question, and I'd pretend not to know it.  Of course Jack thought that was hilarious.

30. Read the first chapter of Nick Earls' 48 Shades of Brown.  I'm not totally bored by it yet; but I'm not loving it.  I don't feel like I'm there.  I don't feel included.

It's hard to explain.

Maybe I'll say that I don't feel connected to the story or characters.  You know when you go to another family's house and you feel out of place?  You feel like an intruder. You don't belong there.  

That's how I feel when reading the book.

Does that make any sense?

Maybe it will get better.

I think one of the problems is that the writer is mysterious.  Why was Dan in Geneva?   Who is Jacq?  Why is he staying at her house?  How old is Dan?

Okay, but now I just looked at the back of the book and the answers are right here.  Maybe I should have read that first.

Maybe the answers were also in the parts that I read, and I just didn't read carefully enough.  I do that sometimes.