Monday, September 5, 2011

Trip Photos, Interruptions, Prime Ministers, and Pigeons

1. Saw from Statcounter that once again there's a lot of Americans looking for naked photos of Rachel Carpani. I have people looking for that everyday; but last night it seems there were more than usual.

2. Loved what James did on his trip to Sweden.  It's such a brilliant idea. He took photos of newspaper covers. That way he can have memories of what was happening in the world at his time of his visit.

I'm going to try to remember to do that when we go on a trip—that along with remembering to take photos of the hotel room.  

One thing I like to do, but I don't often do it, is take photos of the books I read on a trip. I think books can play a big part in our holiday, especially if we really enjoyed reading them.

I do sometimes remember certain book-holiday combinations.   I remember reading The Witching Hour on a trip to Disney World. I read The Book Thief on our last Disney trip. In London, I read A Fraction of the Whole.

I can't remember what I read when we went to NYC this summer.  Maybe it wasn't that good?

3. Checked my Shelfari bookshelf to see if it would jog my memory about my NYC reading. I feel bad I forgot, because it was a very good book—The Day I Became an Autodidact.

4. Read Fruitcake's blog post.    

In one part she talks about what went wrong with Stalin's Communism.  Things didn't go in a very positive direction. Fruitcake says, In this form, Communism is the greatest argument for capitalism that ever existed.   

My friend is hateful towards socialism because she equates it with communism.  I try to explain that there are countries out there successfully using aspects of socialism.  Her brain doesn't seem to process the information.  America is the only really good country; and that is that. WAS the only good country; until Obama got a hold of it.

I do understand, though, how fanatic forms of something can push us in the opposite direction. The right-wing people, I know, can talk to me until they're blue in the face.   They won't succeed in bringing me to their side. But if I read something from a website like The Green Left Weekly, I start having some leftie doubts.  Suddenly, the left seems less appealing to me.

5. Went to Tallygarunga.  Today I'm going to read a story thread called Library Encounters. It takes place in the afternoon of August 31.

The two characters in the story are Susan Summers and Kianna Moreaux.

I've read things with Susan Summers before.  But I don't think I realized until just now that her face claim (Emma Stone) was in Zombieland.

I like that movie. 

Kianna Moreaux is new to me; and I think she's new to Tallygarunga.  She's a seventh year student at Tally, and also a university student.

6. Started to read the story.

I might be wrong about Kianna being a university student.   It says on the side thing that she's one, but in the story itself it says she'll be one in a few months.  

7. Continued to read the story. Kianna enters the library.  She sees Susan, and something about Susan is appealing to Kianna. She decides to pursue her as a friend, beginning with asking Susan if she can join her at the table.

Susan would prefer to be alone and isn't that happy about Kianna approaching.   But she looks around the library and sees it's crowded.  There's not many places to sit. She's understanding towards Kianna, and friendly.

I'd probably be annoyed if I was busy studying, the library had many empty tables, and someone tried to be social with me.  I shouldn't say that.  There have been times in my life (like college) where I read or study in public with HOPE that someone will come and talk to me.  Other times I'm really into what I'm reading and not in the mood for conversation.

A short conversation won't kill me.   It's annoying only when the talker is the type to talk and talk without any consideration of the other person's interest and busyness.

It's like airplanes.  Sometimes two strangers might chat for awhile. Polite people will get the hint though if you take out a book or start monkeying with your laptop. Annoying people will blab on and on without any signs of stopping.

8. Started to read the biography of Kianna Moreaux.  

She was born in Paris, and her Patronus is a panther.  That's pretty impressive.

Her face claim is Kendall Jenner.  Lord Wiki says she's a reality TV star.

9. Learned that Kendall likes to wear trendy Muggle fashions.

She's vain.

She's obsessed with her weight.

And these lines makes me think she has a typical eating disorder personality. 

She likes to win, no doubt about it, but she isn’t the kind of person to cheat, and is surprisingly hardworking. To Kianna, it isn’t truly winning if you don’t prove that you’re 100% better than the other person.

That does remind me of myself in some ways. It's that excessive competitiveness. If I'm not the best at something, what's the point of doing it?

Fortunately, I fight against that part of myself. If I didn't, I'd end up doing absolutely nothing all day.   It's impossible to be the absolute best at anything.

I do sometimes feel discouraged though, when I feel I'm good at something; then I go on the internet and see there's thousands of people who are as good as me or much better.

But yeah. The thing with eating disorders. It's not enough to be thin. There's the need to be the thinnest.

10. Started to read Kianna's history

Both her parents are magical.

She has a younger sister.

11. Learned that Kianna was the type of child who liked to be naked.

I've known a few kids like that.

12.  Learned that Kianna and her sister were very close.  Because of that, Kianna didn't have many other friends.

I don't really see a problem with that.

I don't think friends need to be non-relatives.

13. Learned that Kianna attended school at Beauxbaton.  There she met a boy. He put a lot of pressure on her to have sex; and when the pressure didn't work, he resorted to date rape.

Kianna was very traumatized by this and stopped going to school.  The family moved to London to get away from it all.  Kianna's sister resented the move and blamed Kianna for it. This put a rift into their relationship.

14. Learned that Kianna was homeschooled (Via a tutor) after the rape. But a few months before it was time to start uni, she decided she wanted to go to a real school for awhile.

That's how she ended up at Tallygarunga.

15. Saw that my Australian of the day is more contemporary than the Australians I usually read about on the Australian Dictionary of Biography.  Most of them are born in the 1700's and 1800's. This guy was born in 1943.   His name was Barry Geoffrey Andrews.

He died young. He was only 44.

16. Learned that Barry was a scholar and teacher.

He got an English degree from the University of New South Wales, and an education degree from the University of Sydney.

In the late 1960's he worked at Fort Street Boys School.

17. Learned that Barry loved facts and sports.

18. Learned that Barry started an organization called The Association for the Study of Australian Literature.

19. Found a website for The Association for the Study of Australian Literature; but it's probably not the same one.  

This one was founded in 1899.  The one that Barry, and his friends, started began in 1978.

20. Learned that Barry wrote many entries for the Australian Dictionary of Biography. So the website is honoring one of their own. That's very sweet.

21. Read article that says polls show Julia Gillard is losing support. 57% of those polled want Kevin Rudd instead of Julia Gillard.

Maybe he'll come back as Prime Minister?

Has any Prime Minister had a sequel term since Menzies?  I don't think so, but let me go check.....

22. Went to the National Archives Prime Minister Site.

The Prime Ministers that left and came back are: Alfred Deakin, Andrew Fisher, and Menzies.   That's not too many.

23. Thought more about the being-interrupted-when-reading thing.   I realized it's not just about the reading material.  It's about who's interrupting.   Back in my college days, if I had a crush on someone, I'd never mind their interruption.  I'd welcome it no matter what I was reading.  

24. Found another Australian YouTube person.  This one is Greg, a 16-year-old piano player from Melbourne. His channel is called TalkWithYourFingers.   That's a cool name.  

In this video he plays "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls.  I love that song.  

I think Greg does a great job with it. The sound of the piano bothers me though. I mean I don't dislike pianos in general. It's that particular piano's sound. It's too...something? I'm not an instrument expert.

It kind of sounds like the sound you hear when you step on the pedals while playing.

25. Listened to Greg play Katy Perry's ET.

It's pretty cool. I think I prefer it with singing though.

26. Found an Australian YouTube singer.  Her name is Grace Sanders, and she's fifteen.

Her YouTube channel is called GracieWacie14

Here she's singing "Bubbly".  I thought it was a cover of that song I've heard before.   But it's not.   This is another Bubbly.  Grace wrote it. 

I think Grace's voice is fantastic; and she's adorable. Maybe she'll be a big star someday.

27. Realized that Grace sort of reminds me of Gennie James, the child star that was in Alex: The Life of a Child and The Secret Garden.

It's funny.   I don't think I realized back then that Gennie James was a southern girl playing a British one.  It doesn't sound like even tried to be British.   I wonder why? And why didn't they get a British child for the movie?   Still...I did like Gennie James in the role.

And holy crap.   I did NOT realize Colin Firth played grown-up Colin Craven in the movie.  

28. Picked up trash outside in honor of Ian Kiernan.

That was a pretty fun adventure.

29. Read sad and scary article about a virus affecting pigeons in Victoria.  Places are being quarantined in hopes that the virus won't spread too far.

The article mentions something called pigeon racing. What is that?

30. Found a website about pigeon racing.

I didn't know pigeons were such a big deal in Australia.

Lord Wiki says pigeon-racing is pretty old.  It began in Belgium in the mid 1800's.

Basically what happens is they train the pigeon to be able to return home. They tag him, send him off; and then they see how long it takes the pigeon to return.