Friday, November 18, 2011

Missing, History, Guests, and Emblems

1. Listened to iTunes DJ while reading Notes From The Teenage Underground.

As I read an emotional Christmas scene, "Auld Lang Syne" came on.

It definitely added something to the story.

I thought it was really cool.

2. Listened to Dame Melba sing "Auld Lang Syne".

It's a beautiful song.

3. Listened to Sally Seltmann's "Heart That's Pounding".

It's been awhile since I've heard that song.

4. Wondered when season three of Offspring is coming.

5. Dreamed about my blog.  I'm busy with other things.  I become distracted and don't do my blog stuff.  I end up being two days behind.   

I  caused the dream to start coming true when I woke up.   I kind of have a morning ritual when I wake up.  I veered from it by getting distracted by my email.

I usually give a quick glance at emails; then write down my dreams.  This morning I became distracted and stressed by something in my email, so I started actually reading it. Then I read another and.....

It's no big deal really.  I just did things out of order.

But now I feel all out of sorts.

6. Found an old weird thing in my dream journal.  I'm pretty sure I've written about it before, but I think it's weird enough to mention again.

On September 8, 2007 I had this hypnagogic episode.

Lots of popped into head....Irwin family stuff. Almost as if my subconscious is totally obsessing over them.

1. Something about Terri Irwin in conflict with in-laws about property ownership

2. Something about Steve and his dad. Taking pictures of each other. Maybe before he died? Kind of poignant.

Weeks or months later I learned that Terri Irwin WAS having problems with her in-law. But from what I remember learning, it wasn't public knowledge when I had the hypnagogic thing.

3. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He says the Irwin in-law drama became news on March 2, 2008.

So I think I had a sort of psychic thing going on.  

Or it could have been a coincidence.

4. Saw article and learned that after Oprah comes Bollywood.....

A Bollywood movie is being filmed in Sydney.  If it's popular, it might increase tourism for Australia.

People in India will see the movie; and it might inspire them to want to visit.  

I'd like to see it; or at least part of it.

I don't think I've ever seen a Bollywood movie; but I've heard some Bollywood music.    I like it.

5. Looked up the movie Orange.   The article mentioned it.  It's an earlier Bollywood movie that was filmed partly in Australia.  The article says it was filmed in Melbourne; but IMDb says it was filmed in Sydney.

I don't know which one is right.  

6. Found another article about the movie.  It takes the side of the article. They say the movie was filmed in Melbourne.

IMDb is probably wrong.

Lately I've felt IMDb is less reliable.   I feel awful saying that because I love IMDb.

With The Walking Dead I'm sometimes too anxious about who's going to live, die, or zombie themselves.  I'll look at the cast list on IMDb to see which actors are sticking around for the whole season.  A girl went missing and I assured myself and Tim she'd be returning.  She's listed as being in most of the episodes of season two.

Well...she hasn't returned yet.

According to IMDb, she should have been missing for three episodes.

She's been missing for four.

No, wait!   Never mind.  

I just remembered.  On the fourth date of her absence, she was in a flashback

So maybe IMDb IS reliable—at least when it comes to The Walking Dead.

I feel much better now.

7. Watched a video from Megan, the singing Tallygarunga girl.  It features a Bruno Mars song and bubble tea.

I love hearing Megan sing.

8. Read a little bit of a book called History of Australia and New Zealand From 1606 to 1890.   Tim downloaded it on the Kindle a few months ago.  It was free.

9. Wondered if there are any more free Australia-related books on Kindle.

10. Read Andrew's post about bad experiences with house guests.  

I could relate to some of it...especially these lines.

I was a bitch to them, although not outwardly.


They went home a bit earlier than they intended. (I am at the moment looking away into space like a guilty dog.

I feel a little bit guilty, but not too guilty. 

Our guests came the week of Thanksgiving.  We thought they were coming FOR Thanksgiving, to be with us.  Well, actually Tim thought that. I was a bit skeptical.

It turns out they were probably just using our home and hospitality so they wouldn't have to pay for a hotel.

They came the day of my birthday.

They didn't bring a gift.

I'm not a big gift person.  I wouldn't expect anything big and expensive.  A little token would have been nice, though.   Like a jar of jam?   I don't know.  Even without a birthday, I think it's customary to bring your overnight hosts a little gift.

They did say happy birthday.  I'll give them that.  And they ate dinner with us.  Tim cooked for them.  They could have returned the favor later by cooking for us or taking us out to dinner.

They didn't.

And they spent very little time with us.  They'd sneak out early in the morning to visit other friends and family.  They wouldn't leave us a note.  They didn't tell us when to expect them back.  Then they'd come back way after dinner.  They'd hide themselves in the guest room to tend to the baby, while leaving their preschooler out wandering around the house for us to watch.

That was THEIR bad behavior.  And now for mine.   My office was right above the guest room. I would play my music extra loud to make life difficult for them.  I'd also torture them with my loud singing.   Like Andrew, I do feel a little guilty because they had young ones.  They were rude, but they still deserved some peace and quiet.

At one point, my passive-aggressive behavior became a bit more aggressive.   I didn't like feeling so used from people we thought were friends.   I think I gave them one of my evil glares, and I might have said something in an attempt to make them feel guilty for not doing Thanksgiving with us.

Anyway, like Andrew's house guests they left earlier than planned.

They said good-bye to Tim.  They said nothing to Jack and me.  They continued packing quietly after Tim left.  Then they sneaked out of the house.

I didn't get thanked for my very reluctant hospitality.   

11. Thought about things...

In hindsight, I really didn't want them there in the first place.

We had just gotten rid of a two-three month house guest.  I was burned out from that experience.   And these Thanksgiving guests had stayed with us before and made me feel like they were simply using us.

I didn't want them this time. 

I may not have been bitchy outwardly in the beginning.   I tried to fake niceness.   But maybe they could sense my hostility, and maybe that's why they avoided us.

Still.  Why did they stay at our house in the first place?

I don't think it is because we were their favorite Fort Worth friends.   I think it's because we were the people, they knew, that had the best ensuite guest room.

The other thing in my defense.   I do have inner hostility towards people at times.  I won't deny that.   But it's usually very easy to get back on my good side.  If the house guests had been polite and treated us like friends, I think my hostility would have melted away.

12. Loved Fruitcake's comment on Andrew's post.  She says, Hell is not a fiery place, it is where you have to be nice to people you don't like for ridiculously long periods.  

Actually, I don't love her statement.   Because what if she's right?!  Then I'll really regret not accepting Jesus Christ as my savior.   

I can be nice to people I don't like for short periods.  Then I find excuses to exit. Otherwise I might implode. 

13. Learned from Andrew's blog that pee shouldn't be clear.

I may have thought otherwise.

Lord Wiki says normal urine is pale yellow.

He says clear urine is a sign of over-hydration; but he also says that's probably better than dehydration.

This urine website says, Clear urine that does not appear to have any color can mean that you are healthy and have a well-hydrated body, but it could also mean that you are over hydrated and risk water intoxication (water poisoning) or you may even have diabetes.  

14. Read about early explorers in the Australia history Kindle book—Luís Vaz de Torres and Pedro Fernandes de Queirós.

15. Learned from Kevin Rudd's Twitter account that Therese Rein is going to be making a speech at the Telstra Business Women's Awards

Or maybe she already made the speech.   It looks like the awards already happened.   The winners are listed.  

A woman named Kelly-Baker Jamieson won three of the awards in the South Australian division.

That's impressive.

She works for a company called Edible Blooms.   I wonder if that's like Edible Arrangements—a company we have here.  They sell arrangements made out of fruit and chocolate covered fruit.

16. Went to the website of Edible Blooms.

Yeah.  It looks a lot like Edible Arrangements.  

The business award website says Jamieson started her company in 2005.   I remember Edible Arrangements being around before Jack was born, so I think they came first.

17. Consulted Lord Wiki.   He says the Edible Arrangement company launched in 1999. It was started by some Pakistani-American brothers.  

I wonder if Jamieson was inspired by Edible Arrangements.

18.  Read about one of the Telstra winners from Queensland.   Her name is Jean Madden.   She started an organization called Street Swags Ltd.   They make swags for homeless people.  

Here's their website.  

They allow you to make donations via Paypal.

I shall do that.

19. Donated.

They provided information about the conversion, and I saw the Australian dollar has dropped.

They said it was at .97 American dollars.

20. Checked Google.  They're saying it's at one American dollar.

That's still low.

I hope it's at that level when (if) we go to Australia.

I won't be rude by wishing it to go even lower. Although I won't complain if it does.

21. Realized I had things backwards.

I was thinking the Australian dollar was worth .97 American dollars.  It's the opposite. The American dollar is worth .97 Australian dollars.

So, the Australian dollar was worth more when I did the transaction.

That means I had to pay a little extra in order to donate what I wanted to donate.  

It says on Paypal that it's the Paypal conversion rate.  Maybe that's a little different than the regular rate?

22.  Heard from Jack that our package of Australian food has arrived from Simply Australian! 

Most of it we're saving for my birthday celebration.   But I bought some extras—Shapes and Eucalyptus drops.  

I'm going to go open it now.

23. Ate some Shapes and an Eucalyptus drop.  

24. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read the continuation of Fear, Itself.   This is the one with Reade Ainsworth is facing the Boggart, thanks to Jackson Dalton.  

25. Saw that Emily Smith has entered the story.  She's the one who looks like Claudia the vampire.

Oh...and there are other appearances.

We get Arti, Reade's girlfriend; and also Professor Adrian Tallenery.

26. Started to read.

Emily has heard that Reade is missing.

People are searching for him.

There was a poignant scene in The Walking Dead.    As they're searching for the missing child, a man talks about getting lost during his childhood.   He tells his companion that no one searched for him.   No one was around to care that he was missing.

I guess the idea is it's bad to get lost.   But if you have a lot of people worried and searching for you....well, that's one thing to be grateful about.   Of course you won't know they had been searching until you've been found.

And sadly, some people are never found

27. Wondered is it better to be lost and never found, but people looked for you.  Or is it better to get lost, find your way back, and then learn no one even noticed you were missing.

Both stories are very sad.

The second one is more hopeful, though.    If the person is still alive, there's always the chance he'll find new family and friends—ones who would notice if he went missing.     

28. Went back to reading.

Emily finds the cupboard with Reade inside. She sees him being attacked by a mysterious scary thing. She runs to get a teacher.  

29. Saw that Arti is back in school.

She's very anxious about Reade's disappearance.  She worries her abusive father might be responsible.

Arti is in the Deputy Headmaster's office when Emily comes in running.  She runs to the cupboard and sees the mysterious scary thing attacking Reade.

30. Got a bit teary when I read what the Boggart turned into for Adrien.  He saw his ex-wife holding their stillborn baby.

It's interesting.  I was wondering what his fear was. A lost baby is less of a fear and more of a deep sadness.

It turns out Adrien's fear is about returning to what he used to be—maybe feeling lost and depressed. Helpless?

He defeats the Boggart by declaring to himself that he's not the man he used to be.   

I don't think parents can ever get over the death of a child.  I think it's a sadness that sticks with them for life.   But many of them can probably get past the stage of feeling extremely awful.  

31. Learned that Reade's Boggart is darkness and silence.  It sounds like he's a bit claustrophobic.

I guess that Boggart didn't have to work so hard when it came to Reade.   He was in a cupboard and unable to move.   Without a Boggart, it would still probably be dark and silent.   Well, maybe it wouldn't be silent.  You'd still be able to hear, probably.   Maybe the silence is the most torturous part.  

32.  Realized that maybe Reade's biggest fear is being deaf and blind.

People mistake him for being deaf, since he's mute.  So maybe he's thought about how he COULD have been deaf and blind.

33. Read about William Dampier in the free Kindle history book.

He was one of the earlier explorers to find Australia.

He wasn't very impressed with it.

He's the one who named Shark Bay in Western Australia.

34. Saw that I'm on my last Archer.

My Australian of the day is William Henry Archer.  

There's a picture of William on the Australian Dictionary of Biographies entry on him.   He reminded me of someone, and I was trying to figure out who.

Now I know who.

Haley Joel Osment.

I don't know.  Maybe it's his eyes?  Or his mouth?

I could imagine Haley Joel Osment looking like William Henry Archer when he grew up—especially if he grew a beard.

Haley Joel Osment probably IS grown up.

How old is he now?

I just went to look at IMDb.  He's twenty-three.   There's a picture of him there.   He doesn't really look like William Henry Archer.   He looks more like the older brother on The Wonder Years. 

35. Started to read about William Henry Archer.

He was born in London in 1825.

He worked from an early age to help support his family.

In his twenties, he got a demotion at his job.   It seems that inspired him and his family to move to Australia.  I guess they hoped to find better opportunities there.

36. Learned that William Henry Archer ended up doing census work in Australia.

37. Learned that William Henry Archer eventually sought a law career.

38. Learned that William Henry Archer was involved with the Catholic church.

39. Delighted to see Townsville, Queensland mentioned in the American book I'm reading.  It's about World War II—a guy returning to America after doing his military stuff.  The book talks about the guy being shipped out of Queensland.

I'm not sure if Australia will be mentioned again.  Probably not.

40. Started to look at more of Fredweng's day three in Australia Flickr set.  

Fredweng really seizes the least when it comes to taking pictures.

41. Liked this Blue Mountains photo.  

42. Unable to figure out if this is a photo of the Three Sisters.  It looks like the three sisters; but the title of the picture is Gorden Fall Lookout.

Maybe it's an alternate view of the sisters?  Or maybe it's other sisters?  

43. Found this Blue Mountains website.   They say you can see distant views of the Three Sisters from Gorden Fall Lookout.  

So maybe the photo is of the Three Sisters.

44. Saw that Fredweng returned to Sydney on his third day.   I guess he was in the Blue Mountains for one night.

He did a lot in one day.  

45. Excited to know what Fredweng did on his fourth day in Australia.

I'll find out tomorrow.  

46. Worked on memorizing the lyrics of  "I Am Australian."

I've decided instead of giving up on singing, I'm going to try to IMPROVE my singing.

If I'm an awful singer, maybe I can become less awful.

If I'm a mediocre singer, maybe I can become a good singer.

If I'm a good singer maybe I can become a great singer.

I don't know which I am because I've gotten VERY mixed reviews.  Not many of them have been positive, though.

I like my singing...sometimes.   That's not saying much, though.   I liked Pierce Bronsan's singing; and I've heard many other people thought it was awful.

47. Decided (based on reviews from others) that my singing is in the bad-mediocre range.  Maybe I can get it into the mediocre-good range.

I'll make a video when I feel I've gotten to that point.

How will I know I've gotten to that point?

I have no idea.

48.  Went to take another Australia quiz on Funtrivia.

This one is about Australian emblems.  

49. Got the first question wrong.

Now I've learned that the animal emblem of Queensland is the koala.

50. Got the second question wrong and learned the floral emblem of the ACT is the Royal Bluebell.  

Lord Wiki has a photo of it.  

51. Learned from this gardening website that the petals of the Royal Bluebell are edible.

That's what I usually want to know about plants.  Can you eat them, or not.

52. Got question #5 wrong and learned that the floral emblem of Victoria is the Common Heath.

Lord Wiki has a photo of that one too. It's pink and pretty.

53. Couldn't easily find whether or not Common Heath is edible.

54. Got question #6 wrong and learned the floral emblem of New South Wales is the Waratah.

Lord Wiki has a photo of the Waratah.   It's very cool looking.   It looks like something that belongs in the sea....hanging out in the coral reef. 

55. Learned from this website that you can take the nectar from the Waratah and make a beverage.

It's cool.  The website gives plants edibility ratings.   The Waratah got a 1/5.

Oh...and they say you can use the stems of the plant to make baskets.

56. Annoyed by the website.   I thought it would be a good reference; but they don't have an easy way of searching for plants.  You have to know what kind of plant you're searching for. Then you find what you're looking for by narrowing down the categories.  

I don't know enough about plants to narrow it down.

Oh well.  

57. Got question #7  wrong and learned the bird emblem of South Australia is the White backed Magpie.

 I didn't know there were subspecies of Magpies.

Lord Wiki says there are nine of them.

58.  Got question #9 wrong and learned the floral emblem of South Australia is Sturt's Desert Pea.

Lord Wiki has a photo of the Sturt Desert Pea.   It's nice...unique.

59. Got question #10 wrong.  I'm not doing very well here.

And now I've learned that the floral emblem of Western Australia is the Red and Green Kangaroo Paw.

This government site has some information about the flower. It's been Western Australia's emblem since 1960.  

It's a protected flower, which means you can't go picking them without a license.   Well, you can, but you might get in trouble if you're caught.

What if they're in your own garden though?   Are you allowed to pick them then?

I'm guessing you are. If not, it would probably be a hard law to enforce.

60. Got question #11 wrong and learned the animal emblem of Western Australia is the Numbat.     

61. Watched a Numbat video slideshow.  

I think they'd work well as a character in an animated movie.  

62. Learned from Lord Wiki, and comments on the video, that Numbats are endangered.

63. Got question #14 wrong and learned the Tasmanian Devil is not the official animal emblem of Tasmania.  But it is the unofficial one.

I think that's kind of a trick question.

64. Got question #15 wrong and learned the animal emblem of South Australia is the Hairy Nosed Wombat.

65. Found a whole website about wombats.  They have a page about the hairy nosed one.   They say the nose of the Hairy Nosed Wombat has hair.

66. Got question #16 wrong and learned the animal emblem of Victoria is the Leadbeater's Possum.

Lord Wiki says they're endangered and rarely seen.  They hang out in the Yarra Valley.

67.  Got question #17 wrong and learned the bird emblem of Victoria is the Helmeted Honeyeater.

68. Watched uplifting news report about the Helmeted Honeyeater.

They're critically endangered.

Some bird rescue people released some hand-raised ones into the wild. They're hoping they'll boost the wild population.

They did the release gradually—got the birds ready for their freedom. They weren't just dropped into the wild like the chimpanzees in Project X. 

69. Got question #18 wrong and learned the floral emblem of the Northern Territory is the Sturt Desert Rose.  So, there's a Sturt Desert Rose and a Sturt Desert Pea.

According to this flower essence website, the essence of the Sturt Dessert Rose is good for guilt, especially sexual guilt.  

That's fun to know.

It can also help restore self-esteem that has been damaged by guilt—sexual or otherwise.

70.  Finished the quiz.

My score was 12/25.   The average score for the quiz is 15/25.

71. Browsed a bit on the Australian flower essence site.  I'd like to believe there was validity to the whole thing, but I have my doubts.

Still. It's fun to consider the possibilities.  

72. Thought I could probably benefit from the magical essence of the Illawarra Flame Tree

Or maybe the Red Grevillea.  

73. Decided Jackson Dalton needs some Rough Bluebell

74. Felt inspired and uplifted when reading about William Dampier in the free Kindle book. 

He came to Australia and totally wrote it off.  He told people it was an awful place.  He wrote that down in a book. People believed him.  For many years, no one wanted to go seek out Australia.  

But Dampier really hadn't seen enough of Australia to make a valid judgement. He missed the good parts.

Eventually people came back and found the good parts.  Well, white people.  Black people had found the beauty of Australia a long time ago.

It makes me think that sometimes someone might judge us.  They might declare that we're worthless, ugly, untalented, boring, a failure, etc.     But then maybe later someone else will come along and see us as a very good thing.

The world is full of different opinions. Then you have also the fact that we're not one-dimensional.

Just because someone writes one awful novel, it doesn't mean they're a bad writer.

It just means they've written one awful novel.    

Their second novel might be fantastic.

75.  Thought about how the parts of Australia that Dampier saw wouldn't be ugly to everyone.  Some people would probably find it beautiful.

I'd probably be one of those people.

I guess what I'm trying to tell myself here is that I shouldn't let other people determine my worth.   I do that....a lot.  

It's like my online novel.  Very few people have shown interest in reading it.  What does that mean?   I'm a bad fiction writer.   I have no talent.

That could be some extent.

It could also mean that my novel hasn't yet collided with the right people—ones willing to take the time to read it.    

And even if a lot of people read the novel and most of them said, That's crap; it doesn't mean I'm a bad writer.   It would just mean I've written a crappy novel. 

My other novels might be good.