Friday, July 15, 2011

Stranded, Horror, Evanna Lynch, and Imagination

1. Continued to read The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay.  Despite it being a great books,  I haven't gotten very far.  This is my third day reading it, and I'm only one page 30.

Rosemary (the main character) has moved to New York from Tasmania.  She's trying to get a job at the Arcade Bookstore.  The staff there seems to be very cold and rude. I'm wondering if the bookstore was inspired by the Strand Bookstore in New York.  

The Strand Bookstore is a rarity for me; a bookstore that I do not love. It feels overwhelming, inaccessible, and unfriendly. 

2. Found mini-biography of Sheridan Hay. It says she's worked at Strand.

I wonder if she liked it.

3. Loved this quote from Fruitcake's blog.  Providing some sort of religious instruction - on a voluntary basis - is an idea that has merit. Just one good reason is that if we don't know religious stories or beliefs, we'll never get a laugh out of religious jokes.

I think there's some great truth to that. Actually, I think it's the most valid argument for any type of education.

Question: Why do I have to learn long division. We have calculators!

Answer: It exercises your brain.  It gives you practice with criticial thinking.   

That's really a crap answer. There's tons of other ways to exercise our brain. Do we really need archaic math for that?

So instead we can tell kids.  One day someone is going to make a joke about long division, and if you've never done it, you'll be completely lost.  Everyone will be laughing except you. You'll look like a fool.  

Although it could end up that no one else knows about long division; and in that case the one making the joke would look like the fool.

Seriously though.  We can't know everything. We're all going to miss out on some jokes.  But the more we know, the more jokes we'll understand.  The more joke we understand, the more we'll laugh.

Laughing is good for you.

So go forth and learn....something.

4. Read Red Nomad Oz's post about one of her favorite places in Australia. It's Troubridge Island in South Australia.  It's this deserted island type place.   A boat drops you and your companions off and you have solitude.  There's no shops or restaurants.

For some reason that doesn't really appeal to me.

Maybe it's because we get that feeling at the lake house.  It's not an island. There are houses right next door; and you can get into your car and drive to shops close by.   But when we go there, most of us rarely leave for the weekend.  We spend the whole weekend on the property.  We relax.  We go without make-up. We dress extremely casual.

I think the other reason it doesn't appeal to me.....

Wasn't there some horror movie or story about people going on a deserted island and getting stuck there?   It might have been a short story in a travel collection.  Maybe it wasn't horror like a Wolf Creek type thing. I think maybe it was just one of those bad-experiences-while-traveling type things.

5. Thought about Australian movie involving a dead Manatee or Dugong.  I forgot the name. I'll go search for it.  But maybe that involved tourists being stranded on a tourist island.  

6. Found the name of the movie on Yahoo Answers.   It's called Long Weekend

Yeah. So that's probably why the alone-on-an-island thing doesn't appeal to me.

After seeing the trailer and/or clips for Wolf Creek, I lost most of my desire to go to the outback.

7. Remembered that Wake in Fright is another movie that made me rethink my outback desires. 

It also helped me to remember the dangers of gambling.

8. Found one of those Hitler reacts videos.  I've seen a Lost one, and we saw an Google + one the other day.

This one is for the Australian elections.

9. Watched Australian Election Pokemon. It's very clever.

10. Went to Tallygarunga.   I'm going to read the newest post on Because You Saw Me When I was Invisible.    This is the story with Delia and Leanna in the library.   There's only one new post, and it's short. Delia thinks about how Leanna has invited her to meet her family; and Delia considers having Leanna meet her family. That's about it. 

My time in Tallygarunga is going to be short today; ironic since today is Harry Potter day. 

11. Found out my Australian of the day is Alfred William Anderson.

He was a butcher, and his father was a butcher.

William was born in Melbourne. When he was eight, his family moved to Perth.

In 1911, he opened up his first butchery. He had no refrigeration and gave away leftover meat on Saturdays.  It was a way to gain customers; and it would also be a good way to reduce waste.

I wonder how long meat can go without refrigerators.  I'm so paranoid about that.   No, I don't eat meat.  But my family does, and I don't want them puking all over the house. I feel that when we buy meat, we need to rush it home to the refrigerator.

When Greg was here with his nephews, Tim went with them to Dallas. They bought burgers, and one of the kids didn't finish his.  He had it in the car for hours...planning to save it for later.   I was horrified and waited to hear later tales of him getting sick.  I never heard anything. It could have happened and the story didn't reach us.  Or maybe he ended up throwing the burger away? Could he have eaten it and been okay?

I know it's risky to eat a hamburger that's been sitting out for hours. But how risky? Is there a 90% chance you'll get sick; a 50% chance?  1%?  Less than 1%?

Since I'm terrified of food poisoning, almost any level of risk sounds too risky for me. 

11. Went back to reading about William Anderson. 

In 1918, he moved to Sydney and did meat stuff there.  He had a sausage company, and other stuff.   It seems he was pretty successful.  

12. Wondered why I dream the dreams I dream.

13. Struggled not to start sobbing when I read Evanna Lynch's letter to Harry Potter in the new book Dr. Mr. Potter.   I related to it on SO many levels.  Because I'm nosy, I've sometimes wondered why Evanna Lynch was hospitalized as a child. I guessed something like Leukemia. 

It turns out she had an eating disorder that made her dangerously sick.

I can definitely relate to her feelings about wanting to be smaller and smaller.  But the part that really struck a a chord for me was when she talked about her quest for a best friend. Like me, Evanna Lynch dealt with major self-esteem issues. She believed that if she found a best friend, everything would be okay. A best friend would be by her side. A best friend would make her feel like less of a freak.

But then she learned that's not always quite true.  Evanna writes,  I soon discovered that people inevitably have a way of making you feel more peculiar than you already felt, and I gave up on the idea of a best friend.

I know this is totally not Australia related.  But this is Harry Potter week, so pretty much anything goes.

Anyway,  Evanna talks about her love for the Harry Potter series, and especially her love for Luna Lovegood.   She talks about what makes Luna different from people like us. We're weird.  She's weird.  But Luna doesn't worry about being weird.  She has self-confidence.  She doesn't worry that she's a total freak.  She doesn't worry whether or not she crosses the line that separates eccentric people from mentally ill people. She says what's on her mind and doesn't seem to worry that people might be repulsed.

14. Had delusional wishes to be friends with Evanna Lynch...well, since we have so much in common.   But I'm assuming there are now millions of people out there wishing the same thing. So instead I'll just wish that all of us who are reading Evanna Lynch's letter this week, and crying about it, that we're able to find each other in some way. Or at the very least, I hope we all feel less alone and less defective when we read her letter. 

15. Decided it's time to start planning the Tasmanian part of our imaginary trip.

Should we take the ferry or an airplane?

If it was real life, I'd worry about getting seasick.  But since this is worries.

We'll take the ferry. 

That will land us in Devonport. Where should we go from there? 

Oh.  And since money is no object, we'll be getting  cabins on the Spirit of Tasmania.  We don't need to go overboard, though.   We'll get a three berth cabin rather than the fancy deluxe cabin.  

16. Realized I'm less familiar with Tasmania than I am with some of the other states. 

17. Saw that there's a Kangaroo Island near Tasmania.  

18. Wondered if we should go to Launceston.  That's the place in Tasmania we've already visited.  Our friends lived there, but they don't live there anymore.  It might be less fun if they're missing from the picture. 

Oh...we'll go.  We might meet new friends.  

19. Went to Tasmania website so I could figure out which places to visit....or pretend to visit in Tasmania.  

20. Figured out our plans.  We'll get off the ferry in Devonport and drive to the animal park/holiday park in Gunns Plains.  Then we'll do two nights in each of these places....

Cradle Mountain
Bruny Island
Port Arthur
Coles Bay

That would be a total of fourteen nights.  Add that to the 46 nights we have in Victoria and New South Wales.  I'm now up to sixty nights.    That's 3 states in two months.  I think I'm doing pretty good.  I have four months to fit in Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland. 

If we have extra days, I may have us pretend to go to New Zealand.   Oh, and maybe we'll go to Norfolk Island! That might be nice.