Friday, September 16, 2011

Weird Dreams, Simanus Redgrave, George French Angas, and Private Writing

1. Planned to read The Distant Hours, but I came downstairs and Tim was watching Rabbit Proof Fence.

He was surprised to hear I haven't seen it before.

I  have read the book, though.

I'm proud of myself for remembering Neville's name; although it took me a few minutes.

Tim asked me a bunch of questions about Australia.  I tried to answer. Some things I know. Some things I kind of know...but not really.

I told him about Terra nullius and Native title; but my understanding of all that is not strong enough to explain it well to others.

2. Went to bed and had some very weird dreams.

One was about Fruitcake. I'm sitting on the carpet in my office.  I have a little hot air balloon toy.  Inside of it are tiny living models of Fruitcake and her partner. I can sit there and spy on them; and I do.  I notice they're both smoking.  This surprises me a bit. I talk myself out of losing some respect for them over this.   

I also have this rubber snake toy. It's sort of alive.  It attacks Fruitcake and her partner in way.   I decide the toy is dangerous and decide maybe I should break it.  I hesitate, though, because I feel the snake is real enough to feel pain.   

Soon after all this thinking I make the decision to break it. I take a scissors and start to cut off it's head.  But the scissors isn't sharp enough, and I cut about only half-way through.  I then try to take off the head by stretching the rubber neck until it breaks.  I feel bad about this, thinking it can't feel good to the snake.   

3. Dreamed about Tallygarunga.   I was a character—living her life.   Yet at the same time I was a writer, creating this character as I went along.

My character is 11-years-old.  She's just gotten her Tallygarunga letter and she's very excited about this.  She's outside and can see the Tallygarunga building from where she's at. (there was just one, but maybe the others were out of sight).  To get to the building, she has to climb a grassy hill.  Right then I decide she doesn't have a happy home life, and there's nothing back there she needs to say good-bye to.  I have her walk up the hill (meaning I walk up the hill because I'm her)

My character goes inside the building.  There's another girl there.  It seems that although my character is happy to be invited to live at a new school, she doesn't know it's a magical school and she doesn't realize she's magic.  The other child does a spell with three white rabbits.  One of the rabbits ends up as an emblem on my character's shirt. She's quite surprised by this.  

4. Received article from Greg about an Australian winning a tennis thing. Greg's obsessed with sports.  I'm obsessed with Australia.  So the article combines are two passions.

The name of the winning Australian is Samantha Stosur.  She won the US Open.

5. Read Michael's blog post about their recent family move.  It wasn't an easy one because they had to make some trade offs.  Their new house is bigger and near the beach.   So, that's good.  But their old house was closer to the CBD.  It was convenient to places they needed and wanted to go.

6. Wondered whether I'd want to live closer to the beach or CBD. I think I'd probably choose the beach, but only if it were walking distance. I hate having to get in the car or bus with my wet swimming suit.  I also hate changing at those changing places.

I wouldn't mind not being near the CBD if there were still shops and restaurants nearby.

7. Read Andrew's post about spending time with his mother.  

He says, I am resigned to giving over my time to Mother. Whatever she wants to do, at her pace, I don't care. I have committed the time. She can do what she wants at her pace.

That's very sweet.  It reminds me of how I tried to be with Jack when he was a toddler.  On the days I managed to be patient, things were much more pleasant and easier.

I took him to museums and zoos almost every week.  When he was two, we went to Disney World.   He was usually not interested in the big attractions.  He loved the little things, like playing around those things that spray water on kids, or walking up and down a ramp.   

I tried not to rush him or push him ahead to do more "worthwhile" and "educational" things.   As he got older I put more limits on him. I would explain that as he gets bored watching me do things—having to wait; I get bored too.  I'll watch you go up and down this ramp for five minutes; but then you have to come with me so I can buy some socks.   

8. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story called Fingers Crossed.

The two characters in it are Eudoxia Karras and Simanus Redgrave.

Simanus is new to me.  She's an amateur wandmaker.   Yesterday, on Pottermore, I read about Ollivander the wandmaker.  One of the features of Pottermore is new material written by JK Rowling. There's not much there, but some of the stuff is fun and interesting.

9. Saw that the story thread takes place in the Victorian Ministry of Magic, in the Magical Commerce and Business section.  I think the story with Eudoxia and Nicole took place there.  Well, maybe that's where Eudoxia works. She's an accountant, and business stuff involves accounting.  

10. Looked at the first story I read with Eudoxia. It's called Paper Airplanes.  I'm too lazy to read the whole thing. The story, though, just takes place in the Ministry of Magic in general—not a specific department.  So maybe Eudoxia is an accountant for the whole office.  Maybe she floats around a bit.  

11. Started reading Fingers Crossed.

It's early in the morning on September 10.

The weather is murky.

I just thought of something. Is there some kind of Tallygarunga weather guide?  How do they decide what the weather will be like?  Do they check the Victorian weather forecast for the day; or do they just make something up?  What if one role-player decides its murky on the morning of September 10, and another character decides it's bright and sunny?

12. Saw that Simanus is sitting on an uncomfortable chair in the commerce department.

If I'm understanding things right, she's there to acquire a license for her wand shop.

13. Learned that Simanus is also working on creating a broom.

14. Continued to read the story. Eudoxia doesn't usually deal with the business assistance that Simanus needs. But the guy who worked with that stuff has been fired.

Eudoxia reluctantly offers to help Simanus. 

15. Confused by these lines in Simanus' post. She took the proffered hand briefly before following at the woman's cue. Spanish, this drink of water is or I am very much loosing my touch, she thought.

First of all, proffered is a new word to me.   This dictionary site says it means to put before a person for acceptance; offer.

I'm not sure what is meant by drink of water; but I'm guessing she's referring to Eudoxia.  Maybe it's a way of referring to a person?

I think of Eudoxia as being Greek, but I forgot. Her mother was from Spain.

So...anyway....I'm guessing maybe Simanus has some kind of psychic power.   Maybe she can look at people and know their nationality.  Then again, it doesn't need to be magical.  Some Muggles probably have that skill. They can recognize facial features, accents, etc.

16. Finished reading the story thread.  There's a lot of bureaucracy to go through in order to open up a shop in the magical world.  But I guess it's the same in the Muggle World.

17. Looked at the biography of Simanus Redgrave.

Her face claim is Kristen Bell.  I've heard of her, but don't know much about who she is.  She was in a trailer I watched recently for another face claim.  It was the movie with Jamie Lee Curtis. The face claim wasn't Jamie Lee Curtis though.  I've forgotten who it was.

18. Learned that Kristen Bell plays the voice of Gossip Girl in Gossip Girl.  She was also in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  I think I've seen a scene or two from that.



The movie looks sort of good to me. Maybe I'll watch it one day. Although I might just like it for its setting.

19. Learned that Simanus is 23, and she was born in Virginia in the USA.  Her Patronus is a fox.

20. Thought this line was interesting. Her physique is complimented and somewhat offset by what appears to be unerring grace, but which she has long confessed to be the product of over-compensation for her natural clumsiness.

I guess you'd really have to work hard to go from being clumsy to graceful. I imagine it's possible, but it would take a lot of dedication.

I've sometimes been tempted to try and be good at something I'm naturally awful at.  For me, it would probably be anything athletic. Actually now that I think of it, I have tried to be better at it.  I exercise.  I lift weights.  I do a small amount now, but there have been times when I've tried to do much more.  I've had fantasies of becoming one of those super muscular woman.  It would be quite an accomplishment for someone who had to go to physical and occupational therapy as a child (for gross and fine motor weaknesses).

21. Learned that Simanus had tics as a child, and still has remnants of them today.  Several months ago, Jack had a tic.  I was a bit alarmed about the whole thing. Then I read online, and what I read made me feel much more relaxed about the whole thing. The tic went away. I have a feeling others might appear at some point. Who knows......

22. Learned that Simanus doesn't like unicorns.  That's odd and very interesting.

I love interesting people.  I love quirky likes and dislikes.

23. Read Simanus' history. Simanus' father runs a corporation. Her mother is part of the Solomon family dynasty.

Isn't Solomon a Jewish name?  Is Simanus Jewish?  

24. Found Solomon in this surname website.  They say it's Ashkenazic, at least in origin.  So the name is Jewish, but that doesn't guarantee the family is Jewish.  As SethSpeaks points out on Yahoo Answers.....

No. Because in western countries the last name is passed down through the father by marriage, not by the mother, the ethnic origin can be anything. Sure, I would assume there were some Hebrew relatives in the family tree, at least by marriage. In Jewish tradition, Jewishness is passed through the mother, which is not going to be evident by last name.

It's very likely that Simanus has Jewish ancestors, but she's not necessarily Jewish herself.   

25. Learned that besides unicorns, Simanus also dislikes spiders and ants.   I don't mind most spiders, but ants can bother me at time. I don't mind them so much outside.  They give me the creeps when they come inside.  I don't like seeing something infested with bunches of ants. That's gross.

26. Learned that there was a spin-off sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall called Get Him to the Greek.  Rose Byrne is in it, along with Russell Brand and Jonah Hill from the Sarah movie.  



It doesn't look like the type of thing I'd like.

27. Saw that Rose Byrne was in X-Men: First Class.  I sort of wouldn't mind seeing that someday.    Although I'm not sure I'd want to see an X-Men movie without Anna Paquin. She's the main attraction for me.  

28. Intrigued by these lines in The Distant Hours. And that was the strangest aspect of all for Saffy...who always worked towards the thrill of binding her work and pressing it into a reader's hand.  Juniper had no interest whatsoever in whether or not her writing was read.  There was no false modesty in her failure to show her work to others; she simply couldn't have cared less.

With writing, I'm much more Saffy than Juniper. I don't really enjoy writing unless I imagine someone's going to read it someday.

I can't relate to Juniper, but I sort of admire that attitude. It would be nice to do something just for the joy of it and not worry if it was liked by others.

I do write things down just for me.—in a private online journal.  But it's more about record-keeping than expressing myself.  There're things I want to remember—weird stuff that occurs, things people do to annoy me, my dreams, etc.  

29. Decided writing for oneself is kind of like talking to oneself.   It's fine in small doses, but after too much of it, I think I'd get lonely.

Despite the fact that I'm somewhat introverted, I don't think I'd do well on a deserted island.

Then again, if I had paper or a computer, I could write down all my thoughts with hope that someday my adventures would be published.  
 
30. Saw that my Australian of the day is the son of the guy I wrote about yesterday.

His name is George French Angers.  He was a painter.

George was born in 1822 which was before his dad got all interested in the South Australia thing.

31. Saw that George did his own traveling to South Australia.

He sailed to Adelaide in 1844 and stayed for three months. Then he returned in 1845 and stayed six months. 

George recorded his journeys with water color paintings.

These days pretty much everyone can record their journey with a camera.  Back then only an artist could manage it well.

No, I guess that's not true.  People without artistic abilities could use writing to describe what they see.

32. Saw that George eventually became the secretary of The Australia Museum in Sydney.  

33. Looked at a website that has paintings by George French Angas.

Here's one of Adelaide.  It looks sort of familiar to me. I might have it saved to my screensaver picture collection.

34. Found another Australian YouTube person.   The name of his channel is ebbikinz. 

Here he's singing a song he wrote himself.   It's called "Fruit Drink".



I'm not sure if I love his lyrics, but they're better than anything I could do. 

I'm really horrible at poetry and song-writing.   

Also, it's hard for me to truly judge his lyrics without reading them.  It's hard for me to pay attention to song lyrics when I'm hearing a song.  I often don't.  If I think I like a song, I'll usually go read the lyrics to see if I like them.

All I know really is that none of the lyrics to "Fruit Drink" immediately jumped out at me.  

35. Started to watch another ebbikinz video.  This is another song he wrote himself.   It's called "Command Your Area".



It's kind of a struggle to hear his singing over the guitar playing. 

36. Thought more about private writing.  I guess there are benefits to it. I'm trying to do more personal venting with it, because 38 years of venting has taught me it really does no good to do it in front of other people.

Maybe other people have better luck at it than me.  Maybe I'm just cursed. Who knows.

But this is what often happens to me.

I get annoyed or hurt at something that someone's said or done to me.

I vent about it to someone else. Then their response often makes me feel more hurt and annoyed than the original thing.

If I'm stupid enough I'll vent to a third person and they'll make me feel even worse.

Sometimes I'll vent in this blog, and that feels nice sometimes.  But I usually do it in vague ways.  Sometimes I want to be more specific.  That's where my private blog comes in handy.

The existence of the private blog symbolizes the fact that my very best friend in the world is myself.

And....

I'm not ashamed of that.

37. Wanted to say that every so often (in a rare moment) someone will listen to me and respond in a supportive way that makes me feel good.   I wish I could say that was a positive thing, but it's actually a bad thing.   It makes me feel trusting.   It makes me let down my guard.  I get the desire to open up more and more. Then I end up getting hurt again.

I don't know if I'm too sensitive or the people I talk to are insensitive.

I don't know if I'm too picky or the people I talk to are not careful enough with their words.

It doesn't matter though.

Venting is not for me...at least not directly to another human.

Plus, there're time issues.   This blog takes so much of my time.  On top of that I want to read a lot and spend a lot of time with Jack.   I struggle to keep up with emails.   I need to exercise.   I need to clean.  I need to sleep, so I can have my fantastic dreams.  If I refrain from venting about my problems, it leaves me more time for the other stuff.  

We could argue that writing my problems in a journal takes time.  But it takes less time.  I understand myself.  I don't have to argue with myself. I don't have to try to explain things and give background information.  Since I'm the only one reading it, I don't have to worry about sounding eloquent or interesting.  

38. Saw that the fire in Canberra has been put out.

That's good.

It's not 100% okay though because it was a chemical fire. There may be toxins around. 

There's a suburb called Mitchell.  For the weekend, that's going to be close—I guess to both residents and businesses.

Hopefully everything will turn out okay. 

39. Found Mitchell on Google Maps

It's about twenty minutes north of Old Parliament House.  

40. Decided it was time for me to start looking at Arthur Chapman's Australian plants Flickr set.  

Here's some Gold-dust Wattle.  I know wattle is a big Australian thing. Is the Gold-dust one a common type?  

41. Went to the Australian Government's floral emblem page. 

The emblem is the Golden Wattle, which I guess is different from the Gold Dust Wattle.

The Golden Wattle's Latin name is Acacia pycnantha.  The Gold-dust's Latin name is Acacia acinacea

42. Learned from Lord Wiki that Gold-dust Wattle is also known as Wreath Wattle and Round-leaf Wattle.

43. Liked this close-up picture of Gold-dust Wattle. 

44. Saw that there's also something called Rough wattle

I'm guessing it has that name because its stem looks a bit rough.

45. Watched video of Snowy River Wattle.

I wondered. Why would anyone take a video of flowers?  But I watched it, and the flowers sort of dance in the wind.

46.  Wondered why this is called Knife-leaf Wattle.   Are the leaves sharp?  

47. Learned from Lord Wiki that the plant has many thorns. It's sometimes used as a protective hedge.  I never thought of using plants as protection.  I guess people could use it as a natural fence.   Although if other people can't get in, how does the plant owner get out? It's not like you can open it with a lock and key. 

People can't open a hedge with a gate opener.

Maybe it's used more with nonhuman animals—keep them out or in.  I'm guessing some animals could find the path to get out or in; but it would probably take them longer than humans. 

48. Saw a photo of Golden Wattle.  It's the celebrity one.

49.  Wondered about this plant.—Common Acronychia.  Are those fruit like things edible?  

Lord Wiki says yes, they're edible.  Birds eat them and humans use them for preserves.  They might taste like oranges.

The common name is White Aspen.

50. Found a website that has more information about the White Aspen.  They say another name for it is Lemon Aspen.

Lord Wiki says the fruit tastes like oranges. This website says they taste like grapefruit and limes.   So at least they all agree it has a citrus flavor. 

51. Liked this Flannel Flower.  It's kind of eerie. I'm not sure why. 

Lord Wiki says it's common in Sydney.

He also says it's the Australian emblem of mental health awareness.

Wow.

It's weird that I saw it as eerie.

Maybe, sometime in the pas,t I saw it in association with mental illness?

Do I associate mental illness with eeriness? 

Yes.  Sometimes. 

I'm not going to be spooked out by someone who's depressed or anxious. But if someone hears voices, I might have some doubts they're hallucinating. I might think they're hearing ghosts, or something. 

52. Thought this plant was cool.  It's called a Red and Green Kangaroo Paw.  

Lord Wiki says it's the emblem of Western Australia. 

53. Wondered if these Diamond Pittosporum are edible.

54. Consulted Lord Wiki and another website. Neither of them say anything about eating the Diamond Pittosporum. 

55.  Asked Lord Wiki if Midgen Berries are edible.

He says yes.   They taste good.—sort of like ginger.  But Lord Wiki says they're not commercialized because it's hard to harvest and handle them. 

I wonder if they're ever sold. Maybe locally?   Or do you need to eat them right off the plant? 

56. Reminded of a bridal bouquet when I saw these Alpine Myrtleheath flowers

57. Saw this photo and tried to remember the author/artist who turned Banksia into children's book characters.

Was it Dorothy Gibbs?  

No.

It was May Gibbs.

Where did I get Dorothy? 

58.  Figured out that I combined two famous authors of children's literature—Dorothy Wall and May Gibbs.

Oops. 

59. Thought this Bull Banksia looked like some kind of wasp net.  

60. Amazed by the weirdness of this Firewood Banksia.  

And....

It gets even weirder. 

61. Consulted Lord Wiki about the new movie Dream House and saw Naomi Watts is one of the stars.

We saw a trailer for it while watching Stephen Colbert's show.

It looked kind of interesting to me, but now that I've read the plot description, I'm much less interested.   

62. Reminded of bullies when I saw this Lemon Bottlebush.   I'm not sure why.