Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lucid Dreams, Ages, Teenagers, and Peter Lindenburg

1. Glad that my lucid dreams had a little bit of Australia in them, so I have an excuse to talk about them here.

There was a lot of stuff, and it's all mixed up in my head (out of order) so I won't talk about all of it.

In the dream: It's 3 in the morning. Tim, Jack, and I are in a house.   (not our real life house). I keep having the ability to leave the house through the window and fly off to lucid-dreaming worlds.

Note: In my lucid dreams, there's often NOT a sense that I'm in an imaginary dreaming world; and now that I'm aware of it, I can have lucid dreams. It's more like my mind thinks the dreams are real-life; but I've suddenly been blessed with the power to float through windows and go off on magical adventures.  

Back to the dream. At one point, a window leads to an airport runway.  I want to go out and maybe see a Qantas plane.  I float out the window, but don't find the plane. There are airport employees working outside. I'm hoping I'm invisible, but worried that I'm not.

At another point, I talk about going on more adventures. Tim forbids me to go.  He says I've had enough and now I need to stay home.  I'm disappointed. I want to fly out the window more.    

But then I decide to fight back.  I say he goes out all the time. It's not fair for him to get to go out, and not me.  He doesn't really fight back, and I go out again.  I take Jack with me.   I show him how I can bend window glass by pushing on it. I'm wondering if he has this power too. He doesn't seem to.   We're thinking of flying out this high window; but I worry about misjudging my flying powers at this time. What if we both fall to our deaths?

We decide to go out a low window, or door. We travel to this field that is full of rabbits and some other animal.  Maybe ducks?  I love rabbits, so I'm very excited to see them.  

Each rabbit seems to be in a pair with another rabbit.   

People are there too; and some of them are touching the rabbits—petting them.

There's a body of water in the scene.  Many people have gathered there. Jack and I join them.

Suddenly, scary music starts to play. I get a little  nervous and suggest we get the hell out of there.   I'm predicting a shark will appear and attack those close to the water's edge. Jack and I take quick steps backwards. Then we see a giant squid appear.

Later in the dream, the squid and rabbit thing was some kind of popular tourist attraction in Sydney.  

2. Related to some stuff in James' blog post about the restless years.

James says,

In your twenties you think you’re so much brighter and smarter than anyone who has lived before you. You think people in their forties and fifties are people who don’t understand “the real issues” and who have lost touch with reality. Or at least that’s my recollection of the twenties.

When I was in my late twenties/early thirties, this is exactly how I saw people in their early twenties.  I definitely had a prejudice against them. At the same time, I felt people in their 40's and 50's looked down at me for not being smart enough and experienced enough.

Well....what I mean is I thought people in their early 20's were a bunch of naive know-it-alls.   I saw them in the same way I see pre-parenting women. They're full of judgement towards mothers and KNOW they're going do a better job of it.   By the way, here's a fantastic blog post about that. 

Anyway, the main point of James' post is about the restless years. He thinks it's in the 40's. He's 40 and is feeling restless.

I think of all the ages, I've always dreaded the 40's the most. I didn't mind turning 30.   I'm excited to be 50 and 60....70 if I'm still alive and in good health.  But 40.....ugh.  Maybe it's because I always sort of knew, that in my 40's, I'd be parenting a teenager.  (insert fearful scream here).  

I'm not terribly upset though about turning 40, mostly for the fact that it gets me closer to 50.

3. Misread the lower part of James' post. I thought he said he was suffering from post-holiday depression. I felt sad for him because I had a HORRIBLE case of post-holiday depression.

But that's not what James said.  He did mention post-holiday depression, so that's why I got confused. I read too fast and made assumptions.

What James really said is that he feels restless when returning home from a holiday. You go away, you have a wonderful time, and then you’re transported back into life as it was.  Instead of feeling depressed about this, James tries to reinvent his life in some small way.

When we returned from Australia in 2007, I wanted to reinvent my life by moving to Australia.  That didn't work out. I started this blog instead. It ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to me.   

4. Read Jayne's post about compliments. She talks about how she praised people at work and that made them happy. Then in return she was happy.

Jayne says,  A genuine compliment is a powerful thing. I'm going to compliment someone every day.   

I have a friend who never/rarely gives compliments. I brought up the subject one day. She told me a story about a woman who gave lots of compliments.  I forgot the exact story. But the general idea was that she was really fake about it.  She complimented everyone on the same thing—maybe about their shirt?  She would tell people she liked their shirt, even if she really didn't like it. Or maybe it was hair.

It's awful to be so disingenuous. But I think it's also awful to be stingy with compliments.   There's so much fantastic stuff out there.   If someone can't think of at least one genuine compliment a day, I'd say they're definitely a glass half-empty type person. 

5. Read about Fruitcake's trip to Sydney for her father's birthday party.

I love her line here.  Sometimes it is hard to know when it is more useful to not try and be useful.

I think in most cases, there IS something that can be done to help.  One exception I can think of is with children (sometimes).  When I was a preschool teacher, there was that need to be busy and feel needed.  If I'm just standing here watching, why the hell am I getting paid?   But sometimes it's best to just stand back and let children do their own learning and socializing.  You watch and make sure nothing disastrous happens. That gets boring, though, and it would make me feel insecure. It was nice then if I could find some paint brushes to wash...or something like that.

Fruitcake ended up being useful by peeling onions. That's a task I usually avoid.

6. Read article that says Melbourne was ranked, by the Economist Intelligence Unit, as being the most liveable city in the world.  It got a score of 97.5, and it got perfect scores for healthcare, infrastructure, and healthcare.

That's pretty awesome.

Sydney didn't do as good as Melbourne, but it did get 6th place. That's awesome too. Adelaide and Perth came in eighth place.

I'm very proud of my favorite country.

7. Went to the Economist Intelligence Unit to see the rankings for myself.

But....no such luck.  

They won't let you see it for free.

Would it be bad to pay $5-10 dollars for the list?  Probably not. Although I'd likely be too cheap to do it.

But it's not $5-10 dollars.   It's $3150 dollars!

Uh...no thank you.

I guess people from the media buy it.

Will any of them be generous enough to share the list with us cheap people?

8. Learned from the Wall Street Journal that the highest ranking American city is Honolulu. That came in at 26—not too impressive.   

Yet some Republican Americans continue to believe America is the best country in the world and that everyone else wishes they could live here. 

9. Hoped that I don't spend the rest of my life in Fort Worth.

Maybe one day we'll make it to Australia.

I'd also be happy with Hawaii.

10. Learned from Lord Wiki that the Economic Intelligence Unit and Mercer can't get themselves to agree on Melbourne.  While EIU sees Melbourne as #1, Mercer's 2010 survey put Melbourne down at #18.

Mercer and EIU do seem to agree that the United States is lacking in very livable cities; and they also agree that Honolulu deserves the highest ranking in the United States.

11. Read article about social media causing problems in relationships.

People can get annoyed with their special other for seeming less eager about talking to them than they are about talking to their internet friends.  

I think it's like anything else in a relationship.  If we begin to feel like we're very low on our partner's priority poll, we're likely to end up feeling jealous, unappreciated, and resentful.

I wonder if Tim ever feels neglected because of all my blogging. I sort of doubt it. I'm busy a lot; but he's busy too.  We have our together-lives and we have our separate lives.

The only time I get annoyed with him is when we're physically TOGETHER, at a time we could be talking/bonding, and he's talking to someone else who's not there. For example, we were waiting for our pizza to be ready at the Great Wolf Lodge.  We could have spent that time chatting.  Instead he used the time to email my dad about Jack's birthday party.  I understand that's important, but could it not have waited until we were all back in the hotel room? Then Jack and I could have been busy on our computers too.

I remember a trip to NYC where Tim spent copious time emailing his ex-stepsister about us all getting together.   He'd read and respond to emails as we moved about the city.

That being said.....

I've been guilty of it a few times.

I remember being in the car in Canberra and texting/talking to an internet Australian friend. Tim didn't complain...even though it was a guy I was talking to...and even though Tim knew I once had a crush on him.

Tim's much more tolerant than me when it comes to that stuff.  He doesn't get jealous. I do.  

12. Thought about how it's a struggle to know when it's okay to BE there physically and not mentally.  Personally, I think there's a big difference.

That's not saying there aren't nice moments where we sit with someone and do our own things. I love when the three of us are in a hotel room. Tim watches TV.  Jack and I play on our computers. We're together, but we're not interacting.

Still to me that's not enough.  If that's how are are all the time....I'd think we're failing as a family.

As a parent, I feel the need to interact with Jack; not just be next to him. This could include having a conversation, reading a book together, watching a show together, playing a game together, playing with stuffed animals together, etc.

I don't feel I'm bonding with him if I sit on the couch reading my book while he plays a video game.  My mind is on the book, not Jack.

The other day we watched some of The Great Muppet Caper while eating dinner.  I was a bit bored by the movie and asked Jack if he minded if I read my book.   He said not at all. I felt a little guilty, though.   My feeling is once we stop watching the movie together, the bonding moment has ended.   Our minds are on different things.  I told myself it was okay though, because we had many other bonding moments that day.  

I think if you have bonding moments, then it's okay to fill up other parts of the day with physically-but-not-mentally together moments.  If that was my only time with Jack though....Let's say we were one of those busy families who only got to see each other for about an hour each day.   Then I'd think it was wrong to spend that time reading while he watched a movie.   I'd either suck it up and watch the movie with him. Or I'd suggest we do something else together.

13. Figured when Jack becomes a teenager, all my theories about bonding may be thrown out the window.  Then I might feel lucky if we simply manage to be in the same room together.

14. Recognized that severe teenager/parent friction is a stereotype; and it doesn't happen in all families.  Maybe we'll be lucky and bypass it. But I try to do the old hope for the best and prepare for the worst. If I get cocky and say Jack loves me, that will never happen to us, SURELY the next several years will be disastrous for both of us. 

15. Went to Tallygarunga and saw that some of the wizards and witches have been welcomed into Pottermore.  Jack and I haven't gotten in yet.   

I do have my name though; and I love it.  DreamMagic121. I like dreaming, so it fits me well.  

16. Found the Tally story thread I'm going to read today. It's called Oh!  It's You.   Eudoxia Karras is one of the stars, but this time she's not with Jason Miller.  She's with another ministry worker named Thomas Sgouros.  

The story takes place in the western suburbs of Melbourne. It's early in the morning on August 9; and it's raining.

17. Started reading the story.

Eudoxia was drinking the night before and is now feeling the effects.

She hears a knock on the door, opens it, and finds Thomas.

18. Got the idea that Thomas and Eudoxia have some kind of history together.

It says here: The open mouthed stare turned into a smile, how long had it been? Probably her engagement party three years ago. It had been uncomfortable no one liked Malcolm and his mother and her father dropped several hints that he had stolen her out from under Thomas’ s nose. Which was impossible, Thomas spent his time mercilessly teasing her and she reacted the same way, only to a brattier and often more lethal degree

I'm guessing that Eudoxia and Thomas were friends, but Eudoxia's parents wanted there to be something more.

Will there be something more now?  Will Thomas get in the middle of Eudoxia and Jason? Do I sense a love triangle?

19. Learned that Thomas does have feelings for Eudoxia.

20.  Continued to read and wondered if Eudoxia is going to tell Thomas about Jason.

21. Wondered if Thomas and Eudoxia did have some romance in their past.  In one of Thomas' post it says, He already felt more comfortable with Eudoxia around than he felt in Greece for years, anyway, though. Perhaps it was a trade off; the comfort of home for the comfort of his first love.

Although the first love bit could have been unrequited love.

Then again he flirts with her.  He says things like, Is there even a second bedroom here, or do I get the joy of sharing your bed?

Friends might say that stuff to each other though...if they have a close enough relationship where they feel comfortable joking about such things.  

22. Wondered. Who is Petros?  Eudoxia and Thomas talk about him. He's some kid who was kicked out of Hogwarts for using an unforgivable curse; and is now at a South American school.

Maybe he was mentioned in Eudoxia's biography.  I'll go skim through that to refresh my memory.....

23. Found out that Petros is Eudoxia's younger brother.

24. Saw Thomas being told about Jason in a vague kind of way. It's not compelling him to back away. He plans to fight for Eudoxia.

Who will win?

25. Struggled to understand article about the mining boom.  An economic researching group called BIS Shrapnel is predicting the mining boom in Australia is going to end.  He's suggested Australia should have something to fall back on.   

26. Looked at the website of BIS Shrapnel.  

This page explains what they do.  It's basically what the article said.  They do research on industries, and they make business forecasts.

27. Went back to Tallygarunga.

I'm going to read about Thomas Sgouros.  

He's a pureblood wizard from Greece.

He works for the Ministry in the department of Magical Games and Sports.

28. Learned from Lord Wiki that Thomas's non-magical counterpart would be Mark Arbid. He's the Minister for Sport. Although that's for Federal, not Victoria.

Is there a Victorian Minister of Sport?

29. Found the  Victorian government's sport page.  

30. Did more digging and found the Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation.  His name is Hugh Delahunty.  

31. Decided to go back to learning about Thomas.

He's handsome.  He has nice eyes.

He likes to dress in a professional way. He's not the casual type.

32. Learned Thomas' family is often on the cover of tabloids.


33. Learned that not only is Thomas handsome, but he's also smart and has a good sense of humor.    He sounds like a Mr. Perfect.  I'd likely feel intimidated by him.

34. Started to read Thomas' history.

Thomas has parents that believe strongly in hard-work.

It sounds like Thomas had a very decent childhood.  Because of his parent's involvement in the Quidditch world, he mingled with celebrities. Yet he managed to not let it go to his head.  Life was great, until Thomas had a Quidditch injury that meant he'd be forever out of the game. He got a bit depressed about that, but a friend cheered him up.

35. Thought that from the biography alone, I'd say Thomas needs a few character flaws. But in the story itself, he seems less perfect.   He seems somewhat cocky.  I mean he's not extremely arrogant; but he's arrogant enough that he'd probably get on my nerves at times.  Well, that's if he was real and I knew him in real life.  He doesn't get on my nerves when I read about him.

36. Learned that my Australian of the day is William Hopton Anderson.   He was an air force officer.

William was born in Melbourne in 1891.

He was good at flying.

There's not much more to say.  I mean there is, obviously.  The Australian Dictionary of Biography has a whole entry on him.   But for me personally, there's not much that stands out. It's hard for me to get into military stories; unless there's something very dramatic.

Reading the entry is kind of like reading a resume. It's not overly interesting to me.

37. Consulted Lord Wiki about William Hopton Anderson.

I'm thinking maybe he'll describe things in a way that's more interesting to me.

Well....no....not really.

38. Found the target of my next Flickr stalking adventure. The account belongs to a guy named Nigel Howe.  

Nigel is from Sydney.

I hope I like his photographs.

39. Started to look at Nigel's Northern Beaches photo set.   I've seen photos of the Northern Beaches before and I was overwhelmed by its beauty.  

40. Noticed a lot of Nigel's photos are panoramic. I'm not sure if I like that...mainly because they look smaller on Flickr.

I could just increase the size.  That would work. It's only one extra click for me.

41. Decided I don't really like the panorama stuff.


I'm going to look for another Flickr account.

42. Did not find a Flickr account.

I'll try again later.

43. Read article that says The High Court is going to soon announce whether or not its okay for asylum seekers to be sent to Malaysia.

I have a feeling the answers going to be no.  It's just that they put a stop to it. It's hard for me to imagine them saying, We thought it over and have decided it's okay after all.

44. Saw that there's been another dog attack in Australia.   Fortunately, the victim is still alive.

It wasn't a pitbull. It was a rottweiler. Those guys have a dangerous reputation as well.  

Found another Flickr stalking target. His name is Peter Lindenburg

I hesitated stalking his account because he doesn't allow you to download his photos.   I don't like that because I like to save stuff to my screensaver folder.  But he has really great animal photos, and I love that he takes the time to label them.

45. Saw Peter's first photo set was not labeled.   I think I'll skip that one.  I like the ones with labels.   If he allowed downloading, I might be okay with it.  I want one or the other at least.

46. Saw from the second photo set that Peter speaks another language besides English. There's a description in....

47. Went to Google Translate.

The language is Dutch!

This will be the third Dutch account I've stalked.

48. Looked at the photos from the second set. They're not all labeled, but I guess I'll deal with it.

49. Would love to be the girl in this picture.  

50. Thought this parrot photo was fantastic. 

51. Loved the kookaburra photo.   

52. Thought this frog picture was awesome.

Peter's very talented; and I think I like the same type of things that he likes—at least aesthetics-wise. 

53. Thought this picture was cool.  

54. Wished I could cuddle this lizard. He's too cute.  

55. Started looking at Peter's Mammals of Australia photo set

Here's a photo of a cute Western Grey Kangaroos in South Australia. 

56. Looked at website about the Western Grey Kangaroo.

They say the best place to see them is Gawler Ranges National Park in South Australia.

Here it is on Google Maps.  It's about 7 hours west of Adelaide.  

The kangaroo site says the Western Grey Kangaroo can also be found in western Victoria, western New South Wales, south-west Queensland, and  some parts of Western Australia. 

I'm sure it can also be found in other places in South Australia...besides the Gawler park.  

57. Liked this picture of the swamp Wallaby in Port Fairy.  He's very cute.  

Lord Wiki says these guys are found in eastern Australia, from the very top to the very bottom....maybe not including Tasmania.

58. Learned from Lord Wiki that people from Bunjalung nation avoid eating the Swamp Wallaby.   They think they taste bad. 

I'm not 100% sure that's true.  Lord Wiki may be making it up.

59. Thought this koala was very cute. 

60. Thought this wallaby looks a bit angry. 

61. Thought this animal was absolutely adorable.  It's called a Tasmanian Pademelon.  I don't think I've heard of that before.  

62. Decided Peter Lindenburg must be some type of animal whisperer. He gets such fantastic shots of them.  It's almost like the animals are posing.  

63. Consulted with Lord Wiki about pademelons. I wonder how they're related to the wallaby and kangaroo. I think they look like wallabies.

64. Learned that kangaroos, wallabies, and pademelons are all part of the Macropod family. Lord Wiki says they're very much the same in terms of body structure.   The different labels refer to their size.  Kangaroos are the biggest, Wallabies are in the middle, and pademelons are the smallest.

65. Thought this Spot-tailed Quoll is cute.  It looks like he's smiling in the picture.

66. Thought this kangaroo looked very sweet. 

67. Bewildered by article that says a fire broke out at a detention centre in Darwin.  Apparently detainees are protesting.

Why would they do this near the time that the High Court MIGHT declare sending people off to Malaysia is wrong?

Or at they protesting something completely different?

Why can't they have a peaceful protest instead of a destructive one?  

68. Went back to Tallygarunga.

I suddenly remembered that I forgot to look at Thomas Sgouros' face claim.

Well....it's Michael Weatherly.

Lord Wiki says he's been on various TV shows, including an episode of Charmed.

He played a good warlock.   

I can't remember if I saw that episode or not.