Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gratitude, Moving Aboriginal Ausralians, African Wild Dogs, and William

1. Dreamed about Mousie from Tallygarunga.

I see Mousie go to a room.  I follow her, feeling awkward about the whole thing.  I worry she doesn't want me around.  But she seems fine with it  She's very nice.  

Mousie is working on some kind of project.  I feel I should give it some attention, but I'm too busy working on my own project.  I'm working on some history thing about Tasmania.  I'm looking at Tasmania-related scrapbooks.

What's weird is when I woke up I realized Mousie didn't talk.   It was like she was mute.  But I didn't take note of it in the dream.  It wasn't an issue. Actually...maybe I didn't talk either.

2. Had various Australia-trip dreams.  In one we're already in Australia and planning to go to one of the big cities the next day.  In another dream we're leaving for Australia soon.  And then there was a dream where we were in Australia and I start to worry that we forgot to tell someone to take care of the cats.  

3. Strongly related to a part from Cecelia Ahern's Thanks For The Memories.

Joyce has been going through some very weird stuff.  She's mystified by it and asks her father why it's happening to her. First he reminds her that it's not hurting anyone, and that she should see it as a gift.  Then he says: In my days something just was. None of this analysis a hundred times over. None of these college courses with people graduating with degrees in Whys and Hows and Becauses.  Sometimes, love you just need to forget all those words and enroll in a little lesson called "Thank You".

It reminds me a lot of my Australia obsession.   I think I actually wrote something similar to Joyce's dad's words on one of my trip reports.

4. Found the post.   It DOES sound a lot like Ahern's book. Maybe we were channeling each other.

It was the day I had planned to go to a psychic, but was unsure about the whole thing.  Then I ended up getting to the psychic shop too late, and decided to forget the whole thing.

I wrote:

I think one of the reasons I had wanted to go was I'm always hoping to get the answer to my big question.

Why the hell did I become so obsessed with Australia? Was it just random? Is it my destiny? Is there a reason behind it? Is one thing supposed to lead to another? And if so, have I reached what I'm supposed to reach yet?

But at this point, all those questions didn't matter to me all that much. For the most part, my obsession with Australia has led me to the most wonderful things. When I'm happy with it all, I think to myself, I don't need to ask why. I need to just say thank you.

Australia is a blessing to me.

For now I think that's all that matters.

5. Learned from Sally, one of Tallygarunga's role-players, that the Jackson Dalton and Reade Ainsworth fight scene has been rewritten and moved.  

Here's the new link.  

It confused me, and apparently other people were confused too by Jack's thoughts being in Reade's post.

I don't think the story itself confused me too much.   I was confused because things are not usually done that way in Tallygarunga.  I was wondering why something different was happening.  

Sally explained the reasons for the differences on my Facebook Page.  I'm not sure I understand 100% of what she's talking about, but I understand enough for my curiosity to be satisfied.  

6. Read through the Reade and Jackson story.

Reade ends up using magic on Jack which I guess is not allowed on the Quidditch field. Oops.

I had been wondering if the feisty side of Reade would scare Jack away from bullying him.

It's seem the answer is no.

Jackson is vowing to take revenge on Reade.  

7. Read article about Amnesty International being appalled at the living conditions of Aboriginal Australians.  

Amnesty's Secretary General Salil Shetty says, I've been to many places in bad shape in Africa, Asia and Latin America, but what makes it stark here is when you remind yourself you're actually in one of the richest countries in the world.

I'm guessing other wealthy nations have situations that are just as bad.   America is likely one of them. I know we have people living in extreme poverty.

Why are things so bad, and how do you fix it?  

8. Watched video that went along with the article.  The end of it gave me some insight, and I think Fruitcake mentioned it in her recent blog post.   I wasn't sure what she had been talking about, but now it's gelling in my head.    

The federal government is withholding funds from the community so they'll leave and move somewhere else.  Maybe? I might not be understanding things right.

The people in the community want to stay because it's their traditional homeland. That's understandable.

What I don't understand is why the government wants them to move. 

9. Felt a bit angry when I read this article about the situation.

So yeah.The government wants Aboriginal Australians to move to towns instead of their homelands.

I guess by homelands they mean rural type communities.      

Why can't people live where they want to live?

It really seems to me like it's another case of the government saying, OUR type of life is the right life and we're going to help you get here. 

Some Aboriginal people might want that type of life.  And that's fine. They should be able to pursue that. But it's not for everyone.

It's very manipulative for the government to say we'll give you funding as long as you live the life we want you to live.

That's not to say we should be 100% tolerant of everything.

Fruitcake talked about that in a blog post too. I forgot which one.

I'll try to find it.

10. Found the post.  She talks about plurality vs. multiculturalism.

She says,  Plurality, on the other hand, assumes that significant or excessive differences - such as a tradition of female genital mutilation - must be ignored. 
It is the support of such extremes, in the name of political correctness and tolerance, which people fear and find abhorrent, not tolerance and an agreement on the most important issues.

The problem is determining which traditions are acceptable and which are not.

Many people think MALE circumcision is disgustingly horrible and abusive.  Yet it plays a very big part in Jewish culture.

Some people think it's abusive not to send your child to school. They think schooling is an essential part of the human experience.  Many of us disagree.

What if there's a family who lives completely in the wilderness?   The child wears little or no clothing.  She never wears shoes.  She's never watched television.  She's never seen a computer.   She's never been to a grocery store.  She doesn't go to school.   She doesn't know how to read.   But she does know how to hunt.  She knows how to identify edible plants.   She knows how to sing, dance, and play.  She's happy and her parents love her.

Would this child's life be wrong?  Should she be taken away so she can live a "normal" life?

My answer is no.

But my answer would change if the child was unhappy.  What if, as a teenager, she learned of the world outside her bubble?  What if she wanted to join that world and her parents refused? What if they kept her prisoner?  Then I'd think there was a problem.

I think it's wonderful that Jack is unschooled.  I think he has a great life. I definitely disagree with our neighborhood rabbi's assessment that homeschooling is akin to child abuse.

But if Jack decided he really wanted to go to school and we refused to let him, no matter how much he begged; that may be akin to child abuse.

11. Decided maybe child abuse is too strong of a word.  I prefer to save that for things like starvation, rape, bruises, broken bones, etc.

I'll just call it bad parenting...or toxic parenting.  

12. Saw article saying that Mike Rann has spoken out in favor of gay marriage.

Good! I think the more people who speak up the better. 

13. Saw that the Australian dollar is back up again—at least when compared to the American dollar.

It's now at .98 cents.

It hasn't changed much in relation to the British pound. There it's at .63 cents. I think that's about where it was last time I checked.

It's worth 6.65 Swedish krona and 75.16 Japanese yen.

It's gone down a teeny tiny bit in Sweden and up a bit in Japan.

14. Went back to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read the continuation of Starry Eyed Surprise.

This is the story thread where Anna Maria Rodrigez and William Kent share a bonding moment while Anna transforms into a werewolf.  

15. Went back to my first post about the story to see where I last left off.  

The last I read was post #6, and now there's a post 7-8.

16. Started reading and learned that wild African dogs (William's Animagus) make weird noises.  

17. Finished reading.

Anna jumped out the window.  William watched her and knew he couldn't manage such a jump.   He transformed back into his human form and apparated to where she was.  Then he turned back into a dog again.

18. Watched various bits of videos of African wild dogs.

Here's one of them.

They do sound a bird. Or maybe sometimes like a crying dog.

I think the Fort Worth Zoo used to have an African wild dog.

Yeah this website confirms that.   I don't remember hearing it, but I remember it from it's appearance.  

It's no longer at the zoo, but I can't remember when it left.

19. Saw that there are African wild dogs at the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.  

I love that they give the names of the animals.

There's Zuri, Notch, Browny, Jengo, Guban, Zazu, and Zahara.

The Fort Worth Zoo rarely shares the names of their animals with the general public. It's one of the reasons I don't like it too much.

20. Saw that my Australian of the day is Thomas Anstey.  

He was born in England in 1777.  That was between the years that Captain Cook found Australia and the First Fleet arrived.

Sadly, I had to go look up those years, because I forgot them.

But miraculously.....

Despite forgetting these important days in history, I've been able to function in life.   It makes me wonder why schools put so much emphasis on kids memorizing dates.

I will admit it helps to have a general idea of when things happen.   It would be a bit sad if I thought Captain Cook found Australia in 1982 or that the First Fleet arrived in 1420.   I think, though, that as long as you have a general idea of when things happen, you can have a fairly decent understanding of history.  

21. Learned that Anstey emigrated to Australia, with his wife and three kids, when he was in his mid-forties.

They moved to Hobart and bought land. 

22. Learned that Anstey helped with the capture of a bushranger.

Later he became a coroner and then a police magistrate.  I'm not sure exactly what that is, and I can't easily find a simple answer. I'm just going to pretend I know and continue.

23. Learned that some people complained about Anstey. They thought he used his office for malice.

24. Learned that Anstey's 6 year-old daughter was debauched by servants.

I had to look up that word too.

I'm reading between the lines of this dictionary site and am guessing the child was raped and/or molested.  

The three guilty men were sentenced to death.

I can't say their punishment proved their crime was rape.   These were the days where people were hanged for petty thievery.  But how else would a child be debauched?

Maybe they had her drink alcohol or something?

25. Learned that Anstey had some ideas he shared with the Lieutenant Governor.    He wanted civilians to organize and take care of thieves.  He also wanted to send Aboriginal Australians away from Van Diemen's land.   He saw it as a way to avoid war. 

26. Consulted Lord Wiki about Fowler's Bay. This is where Anstey wanted to send the Aboriginal people.

It's a township in South Australia.  

Lord Wiki says there's no sealed roads for getting there.  

27. Found Fowler's Bay on Google Maps.  It's near the Nullarbor area. 

28. Did some digging and found out that the place the Tasmanian Aboriginals were taken was Flinders Island.

I found this by clicking the link to George Robinson's biography on the Australian Dictionary of Biography. He was mentioned in Anstey's entry.  

I probably already learned all this in the past; but like usual, I forgot.

29. Learned from Lord Wiki that Flinders Island is close to the north-east tip of Tasmania.

30. Went to the YouTube channel of Poobotsmellyweebum

That's kind of a cute name.

She's a piano player that likes sticking her tongue to the freezer and flicking boogers at her dog.

Here she plays a Missy Higgins song called "All For Believing".

I don't think I've heard it before.

31.  Listened to Missy Higgins sing the song.

32. Watched video with Poobotsmellyweebum explaining why she chose the name Poobotsmellyweebum.

Her Australian accent doesn't seem very strong.

I'm not sure if I'm imagining that; she's playing around with another accent; or if she's originally from somewhere outside Australia.

33. Watched this video with poobotsmellyweebum telling a story of her child seeing a breastfeeding baby at the grocery store.

Here she sounds Australian, but every so often her pronunciation of words sounds more American.  

Maybe she's like me and can't keep her accent straight.

34. Looked at Poobotsmellyweebum's deviantArt page.  

She has some interesting photography.

I like this picture, and it's title.   It's called "Neglected Serenade"

35. Started to look at more of Baroo42's Perth to Melbourne Flickr set.

36. Thought this kangaroo looked sweet.  

It could be a wallaby.

He reminds me of the wicked fantasy I had today while exercising.

Crazy things go through my mind sometimes.

My fantasy is that I meet an Australian...not in Australia.  I ask them where they're from.  Then I say.  What?  I've never heard of it.

They'll probably give me a look of bewilderment...maybe mild disgust.  

I'll then say. Oh...wait.  Is that The Sound of Music place?

Then they'll start talking about kangaroos and koalas, and I'll slowly look like it might be ringing a bell.

It would be so fun.  The problem is I don't usually see Australians around...when we're not in Australia.

The other problem is I probably couldn't keep a straight face.
37. Wondered about this rock formation.  There're two photos of least.   So I'm guessing it's sort of famous. Maybe?  

It sort of reminds me of The Devil's Marble, but not really. It's less round, I think.

38.  Decided it might not be famous. Baroo42 might have just liked it.

39. Wondered if the nonfamous rock formations in Australia are jealous of the famous ones?

They might feel it's a bit unfair.

40. Saw a third and fourth picture of the maybe famous rock formation.  

41. Liked this photo.  I think one of the rocks looks a bit like a Goomba; or maybe a Pacman ghost.

42. Thought this picture was cool.   To me, it looks like the rock is small, and that the guy standing on it is a very tiny person.  

43. Loved the water in this picture.   It reminds me of the water that's sometimes in amusement park rides.  

I love that color.

44. Saw that Baroo42 and his mates got a flat tire.

Fortunately, they survived and did not end up starving to death in the outback, or pursued by scary serial killers.  

45. Looked at many more photos and wondered how long they were stuck stranded on the road.

At one point, they ate a birthday cake.

These guys need to write a book about their adventures.

46.  Saw that the guys have reached Coober Pedy....I think.  

Then I can see from the photos, I'll look at tomorrow, that they went to Uluru.

They went a bit out of their way.  It's not on the direct route from Perth to Melbourne.  

47. Looked at the Australian Monopoly board.

The next street is William Street.

I know there's a William Street in Sydney, and I think maybe there's one in Melbourne too.

There might be a lot of William Streets in Australia.

48. Learned from Lord Wiki that the William Street in Monopoly is in Perth.  

I also learned from Lord Wiki that William Street has a 24 hour McDonalds. I guess that's good for when you're hungry in the middle of the night.

49. Found William Street on Google Maps.  

The Art Gallery of Western Australia is right near it—or it might actually be on it.  I can't tell.  

I think the address would be either Roe Street or William Street.

50. Found a whole website about William Street. 

51. Learned from that website that there's a theatre company on the street.   It's called the Black Swan State Theatre Company.

One of their theaters is named after Heath Ledger.

52. Saw that the next play that will be in Heath Ledger's theater is called When The Rain Stops Falling.

It's written by the guy who wrote the film Lantana.  That's the one with Anthony...whatever his name is.

What is it?

53. Got the name from Lord Wiki. Anthony LaPaglia.

I have a hard time remembering that guy's name.

54.  Looked at the special Google Maps map on the William Street website.  

55. Saw that there's a place called The Moon Cafe on William Street.

On Wednesday nights they have an event called Going Solo. They have three different singer/songwriter's perform.

This coming Wednesday they'll be having Pete Bibby, Julian Polain, and Dean Anthonisz.

56. Went to Julian Polain's MySpace page

I'm going to listen to him sing something.

57.  Chose Morning in the Monkey House.

It's pretty interesting.

I kind of liked the instrumental part better—the beginning.

58. Saw the Moon Cafe has a pizza with blue cheese and pumpkin.

That sounds kind of good to me.  

59. Listened to Julian Polain sing Ararat.  

Isn't that a town in Victoria?

Yep.   I just checked to make sure I wasn't imagining things.

Here it is on Google Maps.  

60. Liked "Ararat" better than the monkey song.

61. Saw that there's a Pete Bibby singer from the UK.   I wonder if he'll be the one singing in Perth this Wednesday.  

Here he's singing a song called "Always On My Mind". 

It sounds very 1980's to me.

62. Learned from Triple J's website that Dean Anthonisz is in a band called Mongrel Country.

Guess who else is in that band?

Julian Polain!

Or at least they were in the band.   I'm not sure if they're still together. 

63. Listened to Mongrel Country's "My Gun Shoots Out Love" on Triple J's jukebox.

Triple J describes them (or they describe themselves) as sounding like Nick Cave.

I agree with that assessment.   It's the same style of music.

64. Watched a video of Mongrel Country singing "Smile of the Crocodile".

I like this crocodile smile song better.