Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Playing Dead, Disaster, Licorice, and Confusion

1. Surprised to hear there's been an earthquake in Victoria.  It's bigger than what Victoria usually gets; but it's not a huge scary disaster.  Still, I hope no one was injured.  And I hope no one is injured from the aftershocks.

2. Found Australia mentioned in my dream/spiritual journal.  It's from August 18 2006.  In that journal, I mostly write down dreams; but I also write down coincidences and other weird things.   For that day I wrote, last year dreamed of cruise to Australia and playing game where people pretend to be dead.  Last night dreamed of putting money on a corpse to make sure they are dead.

By last year, I meant August 18 2005.  Whenever I write down my dreams in the journal, I also read the dream I had a month ago and a year ago.

3. Went to the August 18 2005 entry to see the Australia dream.   It's pretty long, and I'm sure I've written about it before.   But I'll copy and paste it again.   

A whole thing about going to Australia. I think we went on a cruise and one of the stops is Australia. Or we're planing on going on this cruise. I'm looking at the excursion catalogue with...my mom maybe? There's something about necrophilia. We figure out it just means there's this game in Australia where you pretend to be dead. Whoever can act the most dead...move the least. Wins. I say I shouldn't play because I'll lose immediately. Either I talk with my mom or Tim. Or both. About how we really love to spend more time in Australia. And New Zealand. Maybe we should just skip the cruise and spend time in New Zealand and Australia. But then I say it will be easier for Jack to be on long cruise ride, than long airplane ride.And at one point, Tim says we can just spend the weekend in Australia. the weekend coming up. I say it's a little crazy to go there just for a weekend. We talk about maybe going to Disney World instead. And then Tim suggests NYC. I'm game with that. But then decide I don't want to go because I don't want to go off my diet. But then realize I'm letting my diet control my life too much.

4. Read article about Western Australia cattle farmer who planned to shoot three thousand of his cattle today.  He has changed his mind about starting today because he doesn't want the media filming it.

Ethics and humane treatment aside...isn't that a bit exhausting, stressful, and gross?

Oh. Wait. I missed this. He was going to shoot two hundred today, and more later. Still. Two hundred in itself is a lot.

How would you dispose of all those bodies?   I'm sure it's possible.  But I can't imagine that it's easy. Anyway, the government and the RSPCA are trying to get him not to do it. They want him to use provided emergency funds instead.

I want to believe that will help; but if this guy has three thousand cows he doesn't need, I don't know.

I guess one question is whether this guy's situation is desperate enough to shoot three thousand cows; or is it a publicity stunt to protest the ban of live transports to Indonesia?   Well, hopefully everything works out as best as it can

5. Read article that says Federal Parliament is going to set up some time next month for Members of Parliament to speak up about gay marriage.They're going to get five minutes.

It's a small step, and it took a long time to get there. But I think I'll be grateful for every tiny step.   We'll get to our destination eventually.

The article says that The Queensland Labor Party passed a motion to support gay marriage.   Tasmania, Victoria, the Northern Territory, and South Australia have already done the same.

What's up with New South Wales?  Maybe they feel it's enough that they have the Mardi Gras parade?  I'm joking.   I'm sure they're not far behind. And I think Western Australia's Labor Party will change eventually too.

Maybe Julia Gillard will change her mind someday. Or maybe one day there'll be a new leader of the Labor Party.

6. Consulted Lord Wiki about gay marriage in Australia.  He has a list of Federal MP's who support gay marriage. There's lots of Labor and Green people; and two Liberals.

7. Looked at the New South Wales Labor Party website.   They have a massive list of "hot topics"(a tag cloud).   I don't see gay marriage there.  I looked under homosexual as well.   I don't see that either. I guess they're not important topics?

8. Read Ann O'Dyne's blog post about the earthquake. She felt it. Andrew commented on the post.  He felt it too. I don't think I've ever felt an earthquake. I'm pretty sure I've been in one; but it was small and I slept through it.

Ann O'Dyne says we shouldn't assume things like that can't ever happen to us. We should be prepared.

That's true.   I'm not very good at being prepared for disaster, though.   I probably do have a bit of that it-won't-happen-to-us-mentality. It's horrible because the universe punishes people for that attitude.

I do like to have bottled water in the house.  I don't use it on a daily basis. I believe in using reusable bottles.  But I like having them around just in case we end up having a water shortage. I also like having food that doesn't need to be cooked or refrigerated...like energy bars.

Ann O'Dyne talks about having a to-go bag. This is a bag packed with survival stuff.  You can grab it and rush out of the house if needed.   I don't have that, but I have my backpack and that's usually packed up with a good amount of useful stuff.  Well...no...probably not.   

I'm not a good survivalist.

9. Read chapter eighteen of Fruitcake's blog/book.  This one's about imprisonment of Aboriginal people..  She starts off her post talking about the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody.  The study found that Aboriginal prisoners were not dying at a higher rate than non-Aboriginal prisoners.  But more Aboriginal prisoners were dying because more Aboriginal people are imprisoned.

For the rest of the post, Fruitcake talks about various reasons why there's a lot of Aboriginal people in prison.  It's very interesting, but not that surprising. I think it's typical for disadvantaged people to have a high prison rate.

10. Saw an Australian on Facebook wishing they could move to America.  It surprised me a bit.

11. Found this picture via a link on Facebook.  I'm having a hard time believing it's real. Do huntsman spiders really get that big?   

12. Consulted Lord Wiki about huntsman spiders.
He does say they can be very big.  In Laos, they can have leg spans of about 10-12 inches.

I just looked at my tape measure, and that's pretty damn huge. I'm not sure if that size is usual in Australia though.

Lord Wiki says the spiders are usually more beneficial to humans than harmful. In Australia, people will sometimes relocate them to the garden rather than kill them. However, they do sometimes bite and the bite can cause some moderate health symptoms.

13. Did some research on Lenka Dransfield, because Tim bought one of her products today at Costco.  It's called Lucky Country Aussie Style Soft Gourmet Licorice.  Dransfield is apparently an Australian who has brought Australian-licorice to America.  

Although owned by an Australian, Lucky Country is an American company located in North Carolina.

I looked at the ingredients of the licorice. It's very different from Darrell Lea that is also sold in America.

Here's the ingredients for Darrell Lea's strawberry licorice (click on nutrition facts in the right hand corner)  It's main sweetener is brown sugar.   Lucky Country uses high fructose corn syrup.

To color their strawberry licorice, Darrell Lea uses black carrot extract. Lucky Country uses red dye #40.

I think we'll be sticking to Darrell Lea in the future; although I have to admit I kind of like the taste of Lucky Country's black cherry licorice (the flavor Tim bought) better than Darrell Lea's strawberry licorice. It could be because I prefer the taste of crap over wholesome ingredients. Or it could be that I don't really like the strawberry flavor.   It's not sweet enough for me.  

I do love Darrel Lea's black licorice.  

Anyway....

Not only does Lucky Country put artificial crap in their delicious licorice, they also have ties to a criminal.  AND in 2009, inappropriate levels of lead were found in some of their products.  Lovely.

14. Decided if I'm going to eat crappy American licorice, I'll stick to good old Twizzlers.  Sometimes I crave that stale, waxy, and almost tasteless candy.   

15. Read article about burka laws.  New South Wales is working on having laws that will allow police to insist Muslim women remove head-coverings that hides most of their face. 

I think everyone should have the right to wear their religious stuff. But I think it's a bit risky to disallow police to see someone's entire face. The burka would make a very good disguise for a criminal, if police are never allowed to ask someone to remove it. 

The article says the Islamic Community (or some of them) support the law as long as it's done in a reasonable way. I would think this means the police shouldn't randomly ask people to take their off head-covering. I think there needs to be reasonable suspicion before making the request.  

16. Read article that says Victoria is long overdue for a volcano eruption.  I don't think I even knew there were volcanoes there.  

The article says the average gap between eruptions is two thousand years. There hasn't been an eruption in five thousand years.

It's all a bit scary; especially since the article says the volcano could cause mass destruction.   

17. Read article that helps to confirm my suspicions that Bob Brown is not a fan of Israel. Although he publicly disagreed with members of the Green Party for their boycott against Israel; when the Senate voted on condemning an Israeli Boycott, Brown voted against the condemning.  

My guess is that Bob Brown wasn't against the boycott because he supports Israel. He was against the boycott because he worried it would lose votes for the party.

I still love the Green Party, but I do wish they were more Israel-friendly. 

18. Read article that says a study done in Western Australia has reassuring news for parents of late-talking children. Although studies have shown these toddlers have more emotional and behavioral problems than talking toddlers; these problems do not persist through life.

It's interesting to me.

Jack was a late talker.  At the age of two, he probably had a vocabulary of less than five words.   He was a darling toddler, but intense. He was very fearful. I guess that would count as an emotional problem.

Now he's very talkative, smart, and easygoing...most of the time.   He does have his moments though.
But yeah.  I can relate the study to our life.   Jack seemed to be more difficult than other kids his age when he was a toddler.  Now he doesn't seem more difficult than kids his age.    

19. Went to Tallygarunga.  Today I'm going to read the new posts for Find An Orbit Closer To The Ground.  This is the storyline about the dinner party.

There's one new post from Tamarah Blair, the lesbian athlete with amazing cookie-making abilities.

Tamarah is having trouble tolerating Améa's blatant rejection of the family.  I tolerate Améa because I have felt and acted rejecting towards my family at times.   It comes from feeling distrustful and resentful. It comes from feeling plagued by past hurts and mistakes. It comes from feeling that family love is sometimes about obligation rather than admiration and respect.

Are all these people at the dinner party welcoming Améa because they like her as a person or because they feel obligated to accept her into the family?  

I want people to love me because they think I'm interesting, funny, nice, and entertaining. I don't want people to love me because it proves that they are family-oriented and tolerant of weirdos.

At times, I am very happy around my family. Those are the days when I feel they like me for being me.  

20. Decided to stop reading Tally biographies unless there's a new-to-me character in a story thread I read that day.  I think otherwise I'm more likely to forget what I've read.   I think that's what happened with Delia. I read her biography; but without the story thread I think it failed to gel in my head.  

21. Decided instead of looking at a Tally biography today,  I'm going to look at the list of chosen celebrity face claims.  These are the faces that the role-players use to represent their characters.   I'm wondering how many of them are Australian.  

There's....

a) Cate Blanchett. She represents Theresa Talbot, a Tallygarunga Professor.  

b) Missy Higgins.   She represents Zoe Marsden, a tattoo parlor artist.  I wonder if the last name was inspired by John Marsden and/or Samuel Marsden.

c) Claire Holt (a name I didn't recognize, but I saw she was Australian when I plugged her name into Google.  I'm having to plug a lot of these names into Google.  My celebrity IQ is not too high).   Claire represents Emma Rain, a second year Muggleborn Flinders student. 

d) Keith Urban.  He represents Keith Anderson, Tallygarunga's potion master.  

e) Gemma Ward.  She represents Tulip Springwater, a nine inch fairy who's a Tallygarunga professor.  That's very cute.  

22. Disappointed that there's not more use of Australian celebrities on Tallygarunga. There're so many possibilities.

Most of the cast of Offspring would be perfect—Kat Stewart, Asher Keddie, Deborah Mailman, John Waters, Richard Davies, etc.

23. Looked at my list of Australian biography posts for more celebrity Face claim ideas.  

There's Rachel Carpani, Toni Collette, Barry Humphries (he would be so fun!), Rachel Griffiths, Judy Davis, Ernie Dingo, Heath Ledger, Isla Fisher, Naomi Watts, Melissa George, Robert Helpmann (he might make a good vampire), Hugh Jackman, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce (he'd be a great professor), Geoffrey Rush, Simon Baker, Emilie De Ravin, Ruth Cracknell (they need more grandmotherly people in Tallygarunga), Ryan Kwanten, Rebecca Gibney, Kate Ritchie, Jason Donovan, Abi Tucker, Bridie Carter (she's be a cute fairy), Josh Lawson, Noni Hazlehurst, Indiana Evans, Erica Bana, Claudia Black, Rose Byrne, Claudia Karvan (She'd be great as a professor), Anthony LaPalgia, Isabel Lucas, Costas Mandylor, Radha Mitchell, Miranda Otto, Portia De Rossi, Jesse Spencer, Anna Torv, Mia Wasikowska, David Wenham, Sam Worthington, Gabrielle Cilmi, Rebecca Lavelle, Sarah Blasko, Bernard Fanning, Christine Anu, Kate Miller-Heidke, Nick Cave, Adam Hills, Rove McManus, Hamish Blake, and....

SO MANY OTHERS!

I quit doing the biography posts, so there was a lot of people I failed to cover.

24. Started to watch a video featuring two possible future Tally wizards; Adam Hills and Asher Keddie.  



It's a very funny video.  Asher Keddie is as adorable as Nina Proudman.

25. Tried to imagine a good character for Asher Keddie. I'm imagining she'd be a witch mother, and her child's a squib.  She'd fight for her child to be treated well.

Adam Hills can be the Muggle manager of Reade Ainsworth's favorite burger restaurant.

26. Decided to indulge in a certain Australia-related activity; but first I'm going to read about my Australian of the day. 

Today's person is John Amadio.  He's related to my person from yesterday; Clive Amadio.

Like Clive, John was a musician. I'm not sure how they were related. Brothers perhaps?

Nope.   I just looked at their fathers, and they don't have the same one.

Oh....

I think they have the same stepfathers. 

I guess that happens sometimes.

John's mother married Henry Amadio in 1890.  Clive's father married Henry Amadio in....

No, wait. I think I have it all wrong.

I am so damn confused.

27. Figured it out. Maybe.

Crap.  Now I lost it again.

This is like a brainteaser.

I'm reading....

All right.

John is Harry's brother.  Harry is Clive's father.  So John is Clive's uncle.

John was a flautist.  I guess that's someone who plays the flute?

Well, Lord Wiki says it's someone who plays an instrument in the flute family.

Gheorghe Zamfir would count as one.