Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jeb, Fictional Characters, Heroin, and 2007 Trip

1. Stayed up late finishing The Distant Hours.

I had the mystery all figured out.

Then I learned I was wrong about most of it.

2. Went to bed and had dreams.  One of them started out as one thing and then totally changed to something else. In the something else: I'm with other people and they're watching as I go through my huge food gift box.  It's a treasure of treats. There's so much food including big chocolate Santas. I have the idea of sharing it with the others.  Some of the people talk with an Australian accent.  I accidentally imitate them, maybe. Then I declare (either to myself or aloud) that next time (what next time?) I'm going to have either all American friends or all Australian friends. That way I won't have accent confusion.  

3. Looked at my private/dream journal thing.  On April 25, 2007 There was another case of a random name popping into my head.  This time it was Jeb.

I decided to play around with it. I googled Jeb and Australia. I got a gay blogger with a blog called World Wide Jeb.  It seems he hasn't posted since July 2010.  I've skimmed through a few of his posts.   They seem pretty entertaining, so far.

Hopefully he's still alive—and okay.  Maybe he just got tired of blogging. That happens to people sometimes.

4. Looked around a bit more. He has these city guide things on the blog. I was trying to figure out if he wrote them or not.  I was confused.

But below on his about page, he says that's what he's been working on (instead of the blog). He even has one for Dallas, although there's not much there yet.

What he does is ask questions about a city and then has other people answer the questions.  No one has answered the Dallas questions yet, unfortunately.

5. Saw that Jeb has had better luck with his Melbourne guide, maybe because he has lived in Melbourne and has Melbourne friends.  

Twenty-seven people have answered his question about vegetarian and vegan food in Melbourne.  

6. Decided to bookmark Jeb's website. It might be useful if we ever manage to make it back to Australia.   There're a lot of good vegetarian restaurant suggestions.   I recognize some of them from my earlier research (Soul Mama, The Vegie Bar, and Lord of the Fries.).

7. Started reading Addition by Toni Jordan. It's about a woman obsessed with counting.

I like it so far.

I like that in the beginning of the book Toni has a note for Americans explaining Celsius vs. Fahrenheit, the reversal of seasons, the use of the metric system, etc.  I much prefer this to Australian books that are Americanized for American readers. 

Maybe Americans are dumb when it comes to international things because people treat us like we're dumb.

Or it could be the reverse of that.  

8. Decided to go to Kate Morton's website to see what she says about The Distant Hours. I didn't want to read it while reading the book—in case it gives something away.

I love what she says on this page. She talks about the characters as if they were real people, haunting her and insisting that she write their story.  

I think fictional characters can be pretty good at haunting people.

I also love what she says here:

No matter how much I adore writing, though, no matter the pleasure my stories give me, it isn’t until books are read that they really start to breathe. So let me take the opportunity to thank you. Because by reading The Distant Hours, it is you who brings the characters, the past, Milderhurst castle itself, back to life. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did.

Would Harry Potter be satisfied if he never left JK Rowling's head? What if he was left in the back of a closet or the bottom of a drawer?

I'm sometimes sad for all my characters.  Some of them are lost and ignored in cyberspace.  Others are smashed together in a plastic bin in the closet. A few are trapped on disks somewhere that no longer work on the computers we have available.

It's sad.

9. Watched book trailer for The Distant Hours.  It's very neat.   I love the paper castle.  But I think it's a bit too long for what's in the video.   I think it would have been better if it was kept under 30 seconds. Maybe 60 seconds would have been okay. Two minutes is too long.  

10. Read apology from Kate Morton to American and Canadian readers.  Apparently the word wings is replaced with the word fender throughout the book.

What happened is she needed to change one instance of wings to fender, but the program accidentally changed it through the whole book.  She didn't notice it until it was already published.

I didn't even notice. Maybe this proves I don't read carefully enough.

11. Listened to more of my new Gleeful CD

12. Loved this video of a sports team in Melbourne.  It's made up of Jews and Muslims.  They're promoting peace by getting people to play together.

The group was inspired by the Palestinian-Israeli AFL Peace Team

13. Read article about the weakening Australian dollar.

Maybe we'll be able to go to Australia in 2012.

It's looking good for us. 

Right now the dollar is equal to 1.025 American dollars.

14. Confused by article about Tasmania and gay marriage.

Oh...wait...I get it.

Tasmania Parliament has voted to officially support gay marriage. They're not going to have gay marriage (yet), but they're officially supportive of the idea.

Hopefully the support will make a difference. 

Maybe it will help Julia Gillard change her mind.

The article points out something interesting.  Tasmania was the last state in Australia to decriminalize homosexuality.  Then it became the first state to recognize civil unions and the first state to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere.

I like that.  It gives me hope. Texas is such a backward state—with homosexuality and other things.  But the Tasmania story makes me realize it doesn't have to always be that way. Maybe one day Texas will be one of the most open-minded and progressive states.

That would be so awesome.   

15. Lost when reading an article about Israel and Palestine.  Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd are wanting to vote no to recognizing Palestine as an independent state.

I thought having a separate state was a good thing?


I think I sort of get it.

Palestinians want the UN to vote that they're a state.  I think Israel wants this done with negotiations.

Maybe it's kind of like Palestine saying, Well, if you're not going to give us what we want, we'll just go and ask other people for it.

I don't know enough to choose sides on this issue.  I'm too lazy to learn about it right now.   My guess is both sides are wrong in their cute little annoying ways. The Palestinians and Israelis should just shut up and go play some football together.  Or why don't they do a flash mob.  That might be entertaining.

16. Learned that Rove is doing a show from Los Angeles now.

Will Americans get to see it?

I think I remember hearing of an Australian show that was filmed in Los Angeles, but it wasn't on American TV.  Maybe it was Hamish  and Andy?

17. Consulted Lord Wiki about Hamish  and Andy.  He said in 2009, they did a program called Caravan of Courage.   They drove around places in America, including Texas.

Lord Wiki also took time out of his busy schedule to tell me the new Rove show is going to be on Fox8.  He says that's an Australian channel.

I wish it was on here too.  Maybe someday?

18. Saw that while Americans don't get to watch Australian television, Australians are watching a whole bunch of American television.  This article talks about that.

The show most Australians love to watch is Big Bang Theory.   We tried it once.  I thought it was okay.  I'd be willing to try it again.  The first time I watched Modern Family, I wasn't really thrilled with it.  I thought it was mediocre. Then I watched another episode and liked it a bit. By about the third episode, I loved it.

19. Disappointed to look more closely at Australia's ten favorite show.  Modern Family isn't on there, and neither is Offspring. And where's True Blood?

20. Intrigued by J.C.B of Outback's comment.  He says, know wonder aussies love tv shows from usa and; uk is because that is what is rammed down our throats every day tv stations like programs from overseas because they cost em nothing to buy.

Is that true?  I'm sure it's not absolutely free. But maybe it IS cheaper to buy an already made show than to make your own.

I wish America would ram Australian shows down our throats.

I will admit that I feel some pride in the fact America makes shows that are very popular overseas.   And I do think we have some great programs. But I also wish we could have more international shows. I think it would be make Americans less ethnocentric.   And on a selfish note, it would make it easier for me to watch Offspring.  

21. Wanted to add that, for the most part, I think the commenter is wrong.  Australians don't watch American TV because it's forced upon them by their networks.  The networks put it on there because Australians are wanting to watch it.

Would Americans be willing to watch Australian shows?  Maybe. I really don't know. I would think so.   But then it would depend on how much the show is promoted. It would have to have really good marketing.

I know there's been a few Australian shows on American TV.

Some of Chris Lilley's stuff is on our TV. I should probably watch it to be supportive. I'm not really into his stuff, though.

McLeod's Daughters was on Lifetime for awhile.

22. Saw that Chris Lilley's Angry Boys is going to be on here in December. I thought it was already on.  I thought I missed it.  Good.  Now I don't have to feel guilty for not being supportive.

Maybe I'll remember to watch it.  

I watched one or two episodes of Summer Heights High.  I didn't hate it.  I was mildly entertained.  But I didn't like it enough to add to our DVR thing.  

23. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story thread called The Fabulous First Meeting of Mr. Oblivious Clutz and Ms. Grumpy Mcgrumpy.

The stars of this story are Susan Summers and Hunt Clayton.  Hunt is new to me.   He's the owner of the joke store where Riley L. talked to Riley A. Riddle Me This. 

Oh!  And this is where this story takes place as well.  

24. Started to read the story.

It's the afternoon of September 11.

Hunt is enjoying the nice weather.

25. Reminded of myself when I read, He looked up over his shoulder at his apartment, 3 floors over his head in the building, and reassured himself he'd turned off the oven before going.

I worry when I leave the house for a long time. Sometimes it's about leaving an oven on.  Mostly it's about the cats.  Did I remember to give them water?  Did I remember to give them their food?  Did I make sure not to lock Mushu out of the room that has his food and water?     Usually I'll end up checking a few times before we leave.  Even then, though, in the car, I start to worry that I accidentally forgot something or made some kind of mistake.

Don't worry.  I don't do this when we go to the grocery store or any day-outing.  It's just when we go to the lake house or on a trip.  

When we go on a long enough trip to get Tim's friend to watch the cat, we have to remember to not use the special lock on the front door.  If that extra lock is used, Tim's friend won't be able to get inside. I guess he'd have to break a window or something. I don't know. It's another thing to worry about.  

26. Read that Hunt tripped on something and fell flat on his face.

Jack broke his arm that way.

I don't think he literally hit his face though. Or at least I don't remember him having cuts or anything there. His poor arm got the blunt of the accident.  

27.  Read that Susan was hanging out with her family and not having a good time with them.  She's eager to say farewell.

Susan's with someone named Annie. Annie doesn't know that Susan is a witch.

Is Annie her sister?  Why wouldn't she know that Susan's a witch?

28. Skimmed Susan's biography.   I don't see anything about a sister. Maybe she's a cousin?

It might be explained in another story thread somewhere.

29. Saw that when Hunt fell, he maybe knocked over Susan too.  She fell on her butt.

He apologizes in a nice way.  Susan doesn't accept his apology. She yells at him.



She does accept his apology after she yells at him. Then she apologizes for yelling at him. That's very sweet.

I can understand her yelling.  She was in pain and annoyed. Sometimes we lose our tempers. But I wouldn't be understanding if she continued to be mad.

30. Started to read the biography of Hunt Clayton.  

He's half-fairy. That's like Sookie Stackhouse. Well, actually, I think she's 1/4 fairy.

31. Saw that Hunt Clayton is fairly old. He's forty-one. I pictured him much younger. Maybe fairies age differently?

His face claim is Chase Crawford, and Chase is only twenty-six.

Chase is one of the stars of Gossip Girl.

He's going to be in the movie What To Expect When You're Expecting. It's based on that famous pregnancy book.  

32. Wondered if the book is popular in Australia?

I'm not a big fan of it, personally. That being said, I grew to dislike pretty much all parenting books. 

33. Watched Chase Crawford on Ellen.   

I can picture him owning a joke shop.

34. Went back to reading about Hunt.

He likes to wear trendy clothes.

He has good skin, and works hard to take care of it.

He obsesses over his weight which is challenging since he loves sweets. Then again, if someone didn't like sweets, they probably wouldn't have to worry so much about their weight.

No, that's not true, actually. They might like something else fattening such as hamburgers and potato chips.

35.  Learned that Hunt loves pulling pranks, but not with malice. He likes to make the target of his joke laugh.

I like that. It's better than using one person in a cruel way to make other people laugh. 

36. Started to read Hunt's history.  His father is a human and his mother is a fairy.

His parents didn't live together.  Hunt lived with his father, but visited his mother in her fairy world.

Hunt struggled with his bicultural identity.

37. Read about Hunt's age thing.  It's part of his fairyness.  When he reached twenty, the aging process slowed down for him.

He has other fairy qualities such as being able to communicate with animals.

38. Learned that my Australian of the day is Edward Houghton Angelo.

He was born in India, but I don't think he was Indian. He was probably a British guy living in India. 

Edward's father was a military guy. I was all confused, at first, because I thought the Australian Dictionary of Biography was talking about Edward. Then I realized they were talking about his dad.  They gave all this military information; then suddenly said Edward went to school in Perth.

It's hard to explain. Just trust that I was lost.

But now I'm okay.


In his young adult years, Edward became a treasury clerk and worked for a bank.

Then, in 1917, he became part of Western Australia's Parliament.

39. Learned that Edward supported increasing trade with south-east Asia. He also pushed for tourism in north-western Australia. I guess that would be around Darwin and The Kimberley.  

40. Found some more Australian YouTube people.

Here's a music group called Handsome Alvin.   It's made up of two guys; James Palframan and Vincent Hickey.

They're from Brisbane. 

They do covers mostly—stuff I like.   It's going to be hard for me to choose what songs to listen to.

41. Decided to listen to "Wonderwall" because it reminds me of Lost.

42. Realized I might have been wrong about downplaying the ability to do good covers.

It probably won't make someone a successful rock star or anything. But they can do things like weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. They could perform at clubs and restaurants.

Also, I think people prefer to hear music that's familiar to them. It's probably best to get people to like you with your cover songs. Then once they're a fan, they'll probably be more open to hearing your original music.

43. Started to watch Handsome Alvin's cover of Five For Fighting's "Superman".

I love that song.

44. Looked for more YouTube people.  I'm going to talk about them on future days.

I'm seeing some good stuff here.

45. Saw that Air Supply is going to be performing at Disney World while we're there!  

I like them.

46. Started to look at more of Arthur Chapman's plant photos. A part of me likes doing that, and a part of me is kind of tired of it.

I don't want to quit though.

I might just speed through—do less research.

I'll look something up if it really intrigues me.

47. Liked this water lily picture

And I like this one too.

Speaking of Lilies, I heard they're getting a new Lily on Modern Family.  I might like her. I'll miss the old one, though.

48. Liked these two Bower of Beauty flowers. They look like sisters or best friends. It's very sweet. 

49. Amazed by these Opium Poppy flowers.

I guess you could turn them into drugs?

I'm surprised it's legal to grow those.  Or is it really hard to turn it into illicit drugs?

50. Tried to remember if heroin is made from opium. I think it is.

Maybe I'm wrong.  

51. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He says I'm not wrong.

He says poppy seeds and opium come from the same plant—the one in the picture. I knew that, sort of.  I know that if you eat poppy seeds before taking a drug test you can get positive results.

Snopes.com has stories of people losing their job because they chose the wrong bagel flavor.  

Lord Wiki says opium is used to make heroin, morphine, codeine, and some other stuff.

52. Learned from Lord Wiki that Australia, Turkey and India are the major suppliers of poppy (opium) for medicinal purposes.

53. Googled "Growing Poppy Australia" and saw a site about the tall poppy syndrome. I never put the two and two together.

54. Wondered why the characters in Candy didn't just grow their own poppy plants.

They didn't do that...as far as I can remember.

I know it would be hard to get enough of the drug with the plants. From what I'm reading, you have to do a lot of extracting.  But if they built up a good enough garden, they might have had a chance.

Would it be that much harder than getting the ingredients from over the counter medicine?   If I remember correctly, this is what they did at some point.

55. Saw from this ABC site that there are various types of poppy. So tall poppy syndrome might not refer to the plant that provides us with opium.

The site also says that you DO need a license to grow the opium poppy (Papaver sominferum).  That might explain why the characters in Candy didn't grow their own.  Then again, doing heroin is illegal in itself. 

Maybe they didn't have a place to grow it.

I forgot if they lived in a house or not. 

They probably didn't.

They were poor...because of the heroin addiction.

But see if they grew their own, they wouldn't have to spend so much money.  

56. Thought this Rose Banjine looked friendly...or maybe menacing.   I'm not sure.  

57. Thought about a scene from The Hunger Games. One of the characters is EXTREMELY thirsty—very dehydrated.  She can barely function.

Now that I think of it, it reminds me of what the characters endured in Candy.  They needed that heroin.  They were such a mess without it.  It wasn't just a psychological need.  It was very physical.

It would be so awful to get in a situation where your body needs something it never needed before.   The need is so desperate, and it's so difficult (expensive) to get the next fix.

58. Liked these Pink Everlasting flowers.  Although they do look a bit desperate. They seem to be saying, Pick me!  Pick me!   I want to dance.

Maybe they're one of the flowers that inspired the term "wallflowers".

59. Thought these flowers looked like the ones I saw in Port Stephens.  They're called Common Coast Groundsel.  

60. Looked at my flower picture.  Now that I see it again. It doesn't really like the Common Coast Groundsel.


While I got the album in front of me.....

Here I am digging a hole in Port Stephens.  

And here's Jack enjoying the controversial and delicious Max Brenner chocolate. 

One day I should make a post with all our 2007 photos and include the captions.  They were pretty silly.  

I would probably have to do more than one post—probably like ten. There're a lot of photos.

61. Decided maybe I'll really do that.  I might even start tonight.  I'll just do mini-posts with about 5 pictures per post. 

I'll start with the Japan album.

62. Excited about my project idea.

63. Realized that some of my pictures MIGHT look familiar to people. The reason is I made a Facebook application back in 2008.  It was one of those things where you send people virtual gifts.   I used some of our photos for it.

It turned out to be fairly popular.  Although it probably wouldn't be so popular that people recognize the photos.

Plus, I stole most of the photos from elsewhere.

It's not like I ran into Ned Kelly and said Say Cheese!

64. Liked these Firewheel Flowers

65. Worried about my photo project a bit.   I posted them out of order accidentally on Ofoto.   Should I fix that for my posts or leave it as it was?

66. Decided I'll leave it because by this time I probably won't remember the right order.  

67. Decided I'll do ten photos per post instead of five.