Friday, January 13, 2012

Angry Birds, Changing Plans, The Holocaust, and Zombies

1. Watched Bran Nue Dae again, with Tim and Jack. What's very cool is that it was Jack's idea to watch it.  I love that he likes the movie.

I love when Tim and Jack like Australian things. For example, I love that Tim likes John Birmingham books and Max Barry books.

2. Went to bed and had a lot of dreams. A few that I remember involved Australia.  One that I vaguely remember had me parachuting into Broome; or maybe just making plans to parachute into Broome.

In another dream, my dad starts asking me about why I don't wear my wedding and engagement rings.  I tell him I don't like diamonds.  He offers to buy me a new ring.   I'm grateful for his generosity, but then realize I can't have my father buying me a wedding ring.  I start thinking that what I really want is to buy another ring from Australia.

I bought a very inexpensive ring when we were there in 2009.  I loved it and wore it, but then it broke. 

3. Found an old dream about Nicole Kidman. It's from February 4, 2008.

I'm a child in a car. I sit in the backseat. A man appears and puts a gun to my head. Somehow we get the gun away, and we get man to come home with us. At one point, the gun is at my feet, and I'm worried the man will get it again.  At home, we give the man a place to sleep. Nicole Kidman wants to give the guy his gun back.  Then the dream became slightly lucid as I wondered, why the hell is Nicole Kidman here anyway?

4. Realized from reading Bev's trip journal that if my dreamed up Australia trip ever becomes a reality, we'll be able to see both the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean. The other day I told Jack we could see the Indian Ocean in Perth.  We were both excited about that.   Then I read what Bev write about being able to see the Southern Ocean from the southern part of Western Australia.    I planned on us driving north from Perth,  but was thinking maybe we should drive a bit south as well, just to see the Southern Ocean.   Then I realized we could see the Southern Ocean from Victoria!

Yeah.  In case you couldn't tell, my oceanic geography isn't very impressive.  I never knew the Southern Ocean was below Australia.

5. Thought that MAYBE there's a way for us to go to Australia in the spring of 2013 rather than having to wait until 2014 or 2015.   But if we have to wait until 2014 or 2015, it's not too huge of a problem.  Time goes by very fast for me.

6. Started reading A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley.   

It's supposed to take place in Australia, but so far it's not specified where in Australia.There's mention of "the city", but Crowley doesn't mention the city by least not yet.

I've read the first two chapters of the book.  I'm enjoying it.

I love what is said about the book on the jacket cover.  Charlie and Rose's "little wanting song" is about the kind of longing that begins as a heavy ache but ultimately makes us feel hopeful and wonderfully alive.  

I can totally relate to that.  It reminds me of my wishes to go to Australia.

Sometimes, though, the little aches can turn into depression rather than hope and wonderfulness. I think this happens when our longing goes against what's realistic and also clashes with what other people want.

That happened to me when I wanted to MOVE to Australia. Things became much easier once I found satisfaction in blogging about and visiting Australia.

It's the same kind of thing when we have a crush on someone that shows no indication of feeling the same. It's thrilling at first...when we can keep the delusional wishes alive. But when reality sets in too deep, the game becomes less fun.  

7. Learned that the mystery city in A Little Wanting Song is Melbourne.  On page 78, Acland Street and Luna Park are mentioned.  

8. Heard "Edelweiss", thanks to my iTunes DJ.  Captain Von Trap sings it with Liesl.  

I've always loved that song.  This time hearing it, though, I felt kind of like falling apart.

Then I realized maybe it's because I've been reading A Little Wanting Song, and it kind of has a Von Trap type story.   Like the Von Trap children, one of the characters has lost her mother. And like Captain Von Trap, the father of the character has lost his zest for life.  

Also, yesterday, I read a book about a child without a mother.   It was written by William Peter Blatty, the guy who wrote The Exorcist.  This book wasn't a horror demonic thing, but it WAS religious like The Exorcist.  

It might have been a bit too religious for my taste, but I sort of enjoyed it.

9. Had a weird dream that involved my blog.

I'm thinking about my blog. I've just finished doing one of my Australian internet-related things (the ones I would do every day for my blog). I think of doing another one and then remember my rule of not doing too many in one day.  I decide, though, that I could do other Australia related stuff on the internet.   

Then I pass a utility room with a glass door. The door is mostly covered but I can see partly out of it.  I see a black-robed figure.   I'm scared, but not very shocked and surprised. 

I have so many mixed feelings.  

I don't have to open the door. I can walk away. But then I also feel I can't walk away.  It's not possible.  

I will end up opening the door.  I don't have a choice.  

No.  I DO have a choice. 

I don't want to open the door, bad things will happen.  

I want to open the door.  I'm curious about what will happen.

I go to the door and lift the shade or whatever to get a closer look.  I look at robed figure's face.  It doesn't look horrifyingly hideous, just mildly spooky in a Death Eater way.  It stares back expressionless. 

I unlock the door.   I'm ready to open it.  But then I decide even though I've faced this thing and unlocked the door; I still have a chance to say no.  I don't open the door, and I start backing up away from it.  

Then I woke up. 

To me it sounds very much like a death thing.  But since I was thinking about my blog before it happened, I would guess it's more about blogging than bodily death.

10. Loved these lines from A Little Wanting Song.

Dahlia uses to say I had a dad other kids dreamed about.  "He never yells, he wouldn't notice if you sneaked out, and he cooks the best chocolate cake I've ever tasted.  What more do you want?"

I want a whole lot more.  I want someone to talk to.  I want someone who can fix things when they're broken.  I want to scream and have someone come running down the hall in their slippers, out of breath with worry. 

I can relate to that in some ways, but not really regarding my dad.  

11. Read more of Bev's trip to Australia journal.  I love what she says on this page.

Then I remembered something important. When Jeri was in the first grade, she started ballet lessons.
At the end of the school year, they had their first ballet recital and we all went to it. I, naturally, had my camera at the ready. I was so intent on capturing her first recital on film (and did in so-so photos) that when it was over, I realized I'd missed the entire thing. 

How many things in my life I have experienced through the lens of the camera rather than as a participant in what was going on? 

Here I was having the experience I'd dreamed of all my life and I decided to put the camera away and just experience it

Yes.  I think sometimes some of us are focused on our photography, we forget to enjoy the actual experience.   THAT is why I'm not going to take any photos on our pretend Australia trip.  I'm just going to enjoy the experience.

12. Finished reading A Little Wanting Song.  I thought it was a beautiful book. I had some tears at the end.

Now I'm sniffling a bit.

13. Started to read Jewels and Ashes by Arnold Zable.  It's about the Holocaust.

I learned about Zable from Fruitcake.   I think I heard of The Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee from her too.

14. Found some more old dreams about Australia.  They're from February 10, 2008.

In one, I go somewhere with my mom and Jack.  There's some point where we can get off somewhere and go to Sydney (maybe a magic portal?) We do that. We go to some garden place. I am excited and happy to be in Australia again.  I can hardly believe I'm there.  I think about how I should make sure my mom sees how happy I am.  I want her to notice.

In the other dream that night.   My mom is setting up a Sundae bar. She takes some of my honey. I'm a big hesitant about her using it because it comes from Australia. She takes a huge spoonful. But instead of putting it in sundae bar, she eats it. Then she scoops out more for sundae bar.

15. Wondered. If my parents had some type of magical way of knowing that the three of us would be happier living in Australia, would they have supported us moving there?

Did they not want us to move to Australia because they were afraid of losing us?  Or did they not want us to move to Australia because they worried we'd pay all the money, go through all the hassle, and then we'd realize living there was not as great as we imagined?

Well...I'm guessing it was probably a little bit of both, rather than just one of those.  

16. Looked at an old post today and took a peek at some of the comments. Two of them were very kind and thoughtful.  I need to remember that I DID get nice comments sometimes.  Maybe I just didn't get them often enough?  Or maybe I'm too greedy?

As I said in #15, it's probably a and b rather than a or b.

16. Went to Tallygarunga.  I'm excited to get back to reading, but a little nervous that I'll be totally lost.   It's been about three weeks since I last read anything.   But I think storylines go fairly slow in Tally land.

I think I'll be lost, but only a little lost.


Today I'm going to read I Just Came To Say Hello.  It's a Eudoxia Karras and Jason Miller story.

Jason has a new icon photo.  I'm guessing it's a new photo, and he doesn't have a whole new face claim.  But I could be wrong.  His face claim is some person named Paul Walker.   Is that who it was before?   I can't remember.

17. Saw that the story takes place in the Victorian Ministry of Magic, where Karras and Miller work.

I'm still tickled by those two names.  

18. Started to read.

It's the afternoon of Friday, December 16.

Something big HAS happened since I've been gone.  Eudoxia and Jason are engaged.


Eudoxia is wanting to avoid the big family wedding.  She wants something easy and simple in Vegas.

If I could go back in time, I'd do the same thing. I'd prefer a small private wedding.  Probably on a beach.  We did have a very fun wedding in Disney World.   But I think the party overshadowed the whole romantic partnership thing.  I think it would have been better to have a private wedding and then a party at a later date.

Or even better.   I'd say have the private wedding.   Then if you're still together ten years later, have the big party.

19. Saw that Jason didn't sign a bunch of papers and Eudoxia had to go get him to sign them. Then he confessed that he didn't sign them so she'd have to come and see him.

That's kind of sweet.

20. Learned that a guy named Simo is gone. I guess he was fired?

Have I encountered him before?

Was he the guy at the shopping center watching Riley Lightfoot and his friends?

21. Saw that Jason got a fax indicating that a relative of Eudoxia is wanted for murder.


22. Saw that Simo was the guy at the shopping center.  Here's that story thread.

23. Went to bed and had dreams that are now all jumbled up in my head.  I think one involved me hanging out with an Aboriginal teen or young adult. Well, actually I know it did. But I don't remember much of what happened.

24. Saw that my Australian of the day is Hugh Traill Armitage.

He's actually probably my Australian of the last three weeks or so.

25. Saw that Armitage was born in Sri Lanka. His mum was American, or at least born there.

Armitage and his family moved to Australia when he was about six.

As a teenager, his father died.  His mother supported the family by being a typing teacher. Although I think she did that before her husband died.  He had bad luck with his business ventures, so she came up with a way to make money for the family.

Hugh Armitage ended up doing bank work. Then he became governor. I think of New South Wales.   I'll go check.

26. Checked with Lord Wiki.  He doesn't list Armitage as being one of New South Wales' Governors.

I'm reading through all this again.

I think he was actually governor of the Commonwealth Bank.

27. Consulted Lord Wiki again.   And yes.  Armitage IS listed as a governor of the Commonwealth Bank.   He had that role from 1941-1948.

28. Talked to Jack about where we'd meet if there was a fire at our house.  I've been nervous about that lately, mostly because of what happened to the Australian TV chef and his family.   Then we watched the episode of Modern Family about the house burning down, and I was reading about Lost stars, and learned Evangeline Lily's house in Hawaii burned down.

The Walking Dead has made me nervous about pandemics, and we now have the highly communicable Bird Flu virus out there.

I'm reading the book about the Holocaust now and...

Well, I feel like every morning that I wake up, I should be incredibly grateful to still be alive.  

There was a line from The Walking Dead a few weeks ago.   Lori Grimes said, It's like we live with a knife at our throats every second of every day.

I worry one day my luck will run out, and we'll be living that type of life.  No, there's no zombies in our world, but people do exist in situations where they're terrified, hungry, thirsty, and struggling to survive.

29. Cried while watching this beautiful Lost video.

I've been watching a LOT of Lost videos during my blogging hiatus.  I kind of thought I'd be over it.   But I'm not.  And I think I'm a little bit in love with Michael Giaccino. Or maybe I feel towards him the way I feel towards JK Rowling.  It's a little more than admiration and a little less than worship.  

30. Looked at an Australian animal website with Jack.  We also looked at Australia together on Google Maps.  We had a great time together.  

Jack reminded me, though, that Magpies attack.  And then I remembered they do their swooping thing in October, the time we were planning to go.

The attacks are probably not too common though.  Right?   I mean if it was that huge of a threat, Australians would be locking themselves in their houses.

31. Looked around the internet, and it seems the swooping magpie thing isn't that rare.  I can totally picture Jack being paranoid about it and refusing to leave the hotel room.

Maybe we should go to Australia in April instead.   Or May?

Maybe we'll go April to May.  That might work.

32. Spent way too much time last night obsessing over picking a good time to go to Australia.

Jack's tearfully reluctant to miss any important family lake house time.  It's annoying to me, but I have empathy.   It's one thing to miss a weekend here or there.  If we go to Australia, we'd be missing several weekends.

April and May is a good time to be in Australia;,but it's also a prime Lake House time.

March is not a big lake house time.  It would be a fairly nice time to go to Sydney and Melbourne.   It would be too hot for Western Australia. I mean it would be too hot for ME in Western Australia.   I've become very sensitive to the heat lately.

My sister and brother-in-law are threatening to send their daughters to camp all summer.   I don't know if they're serious or joking, but if they truly do it, it would probably be very hard on Jack.   He's so attached to them.   That would be a great time to spend a month away from Fort Worth.  And summer in Fort Worth is unbearably hot.   But then it's winter in Australia, and maybe too cold.    Plus, it's very rainy— at least in Western Australia.

I wish we weren't scared of angry birds.  September-October would have been a great time to go.   I could probably find enough courage.  Maybe.  Jack would be too nervous and we'd have to spend so much time pleading and bribing.  And Tim likely would make false promises that can't be guaranteed and aren't based on fact.  They're not dangerous. You're fine. Would I let anything happen to you?

Then if Jack actually witnessed or experienced one of the birds, we'd probably end up having to spend the rest of our trip locked in the hotel room.

33. Decided March to April might be okay. We could do Western Australia towards the end of the trip; and it would hopefully be cooler.

The thing I worried most about March is sometimes America has snow storms that month. What if our flights are cancelled?

Then I remembered.  We'd be flying Qantas.  Even if the weather is perfect, our flights might end up being canceled...because of some strike or something.  

34. Remembered (and saw on Qantas) that March flights are more expensive than April flights.   But we originally planned to go to Australia in February, and that's not a cheap time.  And the last two times we went to Australia weren't low-price flying times either.

35. Hoped to hear that my parents are doing one of their major travels in April and/or May. We don't often have a lot of lake house weekends when they're out of town.

My parents travel a lot, so it's a possibility.

36. Found old dreams about Australia, but they're not very interesting or explainable.  I'll skip writing them here.

I'm not sure if ANY of my dreams are interesting to anyone besides me.  But I like some of them, and I like having them here.  So...there ya go.

Last night I dreamed about one of our Australian friends.  But it was more like I was just thinking about her.   We're at the grocery store and I'm thinking about vaccines.  This leads to me thinking about Jack and his future wife.   I imagine his wife being an Australian child we know.   Then I start thinking how it probably won't end up happening because I assume it will happen. I think about how destiny is a surprise and not something you imagined happening.  

I think it's amusing when I have deep thoughts in my dream, especially when they're coherent and the type of things I'd think about in real life.

37. Decided that instead of obsessing over our future Australia trip that may or may not happen; I should instead obsess over our fake Australia trip.  That might be less stressful and frustrating.  

Maybe today I'll start looking for some of our accommodations. I already know where we're staying in Sydney, but I haven't gone beyond that yet.

38. Realized I'll probably stress over our fake Australia trip as much as any real Australia trip. I get so anal about details.

For example, I started seeing that hotels charge for internet access.  Two I've looked at even charge for access in public areas.  We have the same in America...sometimes.   I think it's really annoying.

Then I remembered we could get mobile internet access.  I did some research on that and found a plan that would cost us $189 for the six months.  So we'll use that. But uh...not really.

39. Consulted Lord Wiki about the Sydney Olympics. Somehow the three of us got onto that conversation....

Oh, yeah.  Now I remember.   Tim mentioned something about the Canada Olympics and how there wasn't enough snow.   Then I thought about how Sydney would be having summer while us Northern Hemisphere people would be having our winter.  Did people in America watch the summer Olympics during the winter?

Lord Wiki informed me that the Olympics were done during Australia's Spring (September).   They started on September 15, so technically it would still be summer for us.

40. Went to look at more of Fredweng's Australia trip Flickr set.  It's been awhile. I've missed the guy...or at least his photos.

I had to look to see where I last left off, because after all this time I've forgotten.

Anyway, it was Day 12.   So now I'll be looking at Day 13

According to the first photo, Fredweng is headed to Adelaide.

41. Saw that Fredweng stayed at a hostel that served free pancakes every morning.  

42. Liked this church.

I've heard Adelaide is known for having many churches. 

43. Wondered if this guy does the swooping thing.  

Or maybe it's a girl.

Yesterday I learned that the girls don't do the swooping. It's a guy thing.

44. Liked this church too.   Fredweng has it labeled.   It's Saint Peter's Cathedral.  The church's history page says the building was consecrated in 1878.  I think that means it was completed then?

45. Interrupted by Fredweng trip viewing to take a peek at Tallygarunga. I'm very sad to see that one of my favorite characters is leaving.

James Young's role player is quitting, and that likely means James Young is disappearing too.  

James was one of the few Tally characters with an Aussie face claim.  I liked him for that, but I also liked him for other reasons.   He was a really sweet guy.   At first I thought he was a little too good to be true, but that's probably because I've become jaded and skeptical when it comes to humans.  Later I grew to love his goodness.  

I loved James' relationship with Sergei.  It was one of my favorite storylines.

What's Sergei going to do now?

I'm so sad for him.

46. Saw that Fredweng ate more noodles.

47. Read about a son of a Nazi in Jewels and Ashes.

The book says:

The son atones for the father.  He goes on a journey to Israel.  He lives in Jerusalem for two years and works among the elderly, as a nurse's aide.  Since then, for several years now, he has journeyed to Auschwitz with a group he has formed-the sons and daughters of former SS men.  Together they make the annual pilgrimage to atone for their crimes of their elders. 

I admire that.

The book's depressing.  I was thinking that although Hitler's dream didn't ultimately come true; in terms of Europe it kind of did.  I don't think there's many Jews left there.

48. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He says I'm wrong.  He says in Germany there's 119,000 Jews. That's a fair amount, although I'm sure there were much more before the Holocaust.

49. Found an animated map on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website.    

They say before the Holocaust, half of the world's Jewish population lived in Europe. There were 9.5 million Jews.  After the war, there were 3.5 million Jews. I'm doubting all those 3.5 million stayed in Europe though.   I'm guessing most of them went elsewhere.

Lord Wiki says that these days Europe has only 16% of the world's Jewish population.

50. Wondered if I should name the hotels we're pretending to stay at.  I was going to, but that wouldn't be realistic.   If I was writing a trip report while on the trip, I would avoid naming the hotels.   I think it's kind of unsafe to announce we're you're at.   Personally. I know a lot of people on Facebook disagree. I remember lots of people announcing their precise location.  What's the deal with that?

The other thing is I might want to add spice to the story by complaining about the hotel, motel, holiday park, etc.  It would be kind of awful to say bad things about a place when I haven't truly experienced them.  It might be a slander type thing.  

I'll definitely have real places in mind when I write; but I think I'll keep them inside of my mind.

51. Figured I should do the same with restaurants.

But I don't want to.  I want to name restaurants.   I don't want to be overly general.  The journal entries would end up looking like, We stayed at a hotel and ate at a Thai restaurant.   Then we went to a museum and learned things.  After that we went to a shop and bought some stuff.  

I might as well pretend to go to somewhere in Texas.  

52. Decided I might as well be specific about everything (including hotels), and I'll avoid letting my imagination get too critical and nasty.

I'll also try to avoid being paranoid about our imaginary stalkers stalking us on our imaginary vacation.

53. Finished reading Jewels and Ashes.  Like most books about the Holocaust, it was horribly sad.  The last paragraph of the book was weird. I think maybe it's supposed to be symbolic. I'm not sure.

I'm not leaving the Holocaust, because next on my shelf are Morris Gleitzman's Holocaust books.  

54. Realized we'll be pretending to be in Tamworth during their famous country music festival.

It's a bit awkward since we're not huge country music fans.

Tim likes it.   I'm relatively open to pretty much any type of music. It would be a good experience for Jack.  Maybe.

It would probably impress my dad.  He's a country music fan.

55. Decided to redo the trip.

It just seems wrong, because the country music festival is VERY popular and crowded.   I don't like crowded festivals of things that DO interest me.  Why would I go to a crowded festival of something that doesn't interest me much?  I'd feel bad taking up valuable space,  when there are other people who'd appreciate it much more than me.

Yes, I know this is all pretend. But I'm trying to be realistic.   

The other thing is, we were heading up north in January.  That's going to be way too hot.

So I'm going to knock some places off the trip—Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Bathurst, and Tamworth.  

It's sad.  I know.

56. Fixed the plans.

It was a crazy mess, but I think I've made it okay now.  Hopefully!

It might be less fun to write about,  because I have us going to less places and spending extra time at a few places.   But if the trip was real, I'd probably enjoy it more. It would be much more relaxing.

57. Went to the Funtrivia website, so I can get back to taking Australia quizzes.

Today I'm going to take a quiz called Australia Surveyed.  It's like the last one I took, where you're pretending to do an archeology type activity within Australia. How would people from another planet see Australia based on it's artifacts?

58. Got question #3 wrong and learned the meaning of the word Akubra is head covering. It's believed to be an Aboriginal Word.  

I DID know that an Akubra was a hat, but I wasn't sure of the exact translation.

59. Finished the quiz.   I loved it because I got only one wrong!   Plus, for the nine I got right, I didn't have to guess. I really knew the answer.  It's nice to get things right from just guessing, but I prefer truly knowing the answer.

60. Finished reading Matthew Flinder's journal...well, really just volume I.  There's a volume II, but I think I'm going to pass on that, for now.

My next Kindle book is called Peeps At Many Lands: Australia.  It's an old children's book, published in 1911.

61. Wondered about something that's said in Peeps At Many Lands: Australia.

It talks about Abel Tasman and it says he called the island Van Dieman's Land, after Maria van Diemen, the girl whom he loved.

I thought Van Diemen's Land had been named after MR. Van Diemen.

Lord Wiki does say there was a Maria Van Diemen. She was the wife of Anthony van Diemen.  

Was Mr. Tasman in love with another man's wife. Or is the book just trying to add more romance and excitement to the story?   It does talk a lot about fairy tales and stuff like that.

Here's a fun excerpt.  But not of these nations was destined to be the fairy prince to waken Australia out of her long sleep.   That privilege was kept for the British race; we cannot but think happily, for no Spanish or Dutch colony has ever reached to the greatness and the happiness of an Australia, a Canada, or a South Africa.  It is in the British blood, it seems to colonize happily.  

62. Had mixed feelings about our pretend Australia trip.

On one hand, it's a lot of fun.  I love doing the research and planning.

On the other hand, it's stressful.  It turns out I take it as seriously as planning a real trip.   I thought I could relax, since it's all pretend.  But I'm not at all!   I'm all anal about things like prices and location.  Is this holiday park close enough to the beach.  Where's that walking bridge?  Will Tim be okay with it?   What if Jack is bored?  

I just went to ask Jack whether he wanted to go to the Manly aquarium or Sydney tower, because even in my fantasy world, I'm too cheap to get us the 4 attraction combo pass.  So we're just doing three of the attractions.

I'm also too cheap to pay for a pretend visit to the Harry Potter thing at the Powerhouse Museum.  Well, no...that might be more than a cheapness thing.  I'm afraid we'll dislike it as much as we disliked the Harry Potter thing at Universal Studios.

63. Loved these commercials for Oceanic Airlines and Mr. Cluck's.  I don't know why I haven't seen them before!

63. Finished reading the first Morris Gleitzman Holocaust books.  I think it may have been the saddest Holocaust book I've ever read.

I read many Holocaust books back when I was in college.  They were sad...definitely. And I'm not sure if they were less sad than Gleitzman's book.  It could be that I'm a mom now, and that adds the element of imagining it happening to your own children.

Then there's the style of Gleitzman's book.  The tone is very...what's the word?

Well, it's kind of like an old fashioned overly cutesy children's book.   The book talks about Richmal Crompton's Just Williams books.  Those books would be the perfect example of an old fashioned overly cutesy children's book.   And that's what Gleitzman's book reminds me of. Well, the tone reminds me of that, at least.  The storyline does not.   

Despite the tone of the book, Gleitzman doesn't shy away from describing the atrocities.  There are horrific scenes of death and brutality.   

64. Continued to read Peeps at Many Lands: Australia.   It's racist, but in an innocent ignorant type of way.  There's not really any good racism.  But I think there's a difference between ignorant racism and brutal evil racism.  I'm not just talking about murder and other evil acts.  People can be nasty bigots without getting their hands bloodied.

I'm not sure really sure though if this book is less racist than the Kindle book with the very long title.   My reasons for quitting that book might have been more about it being boring than racist. 

Mathew Flinder's book was pretty boring, but not very racist. I completed that one.   Maybe I can handle reading boring Kindle books and I can handle reading racist Kindle books. But I can't handle Kindle books that are both racist AND boring.

65. Thought about how this scene reminds me of my fake Australia trip.

66. Finished reading Morris Gleitzman's second Holocaust book.  It was extremely sad.

Now I'm thinking we don't need zombies to make the world a terrifying horrible place. Regular living humans can do the job themselves.  

67. Saw that Gleitzman has a trilogy. There's a third book.  

I didn't know that.

It looks like this one takes place in Australia, rather than Europe. And the main character of the book is the child from the other two books. Now, in the third book, he's a grandfather.

68. Dreamed that my family had a big party.  At one point, I'm expecting Julian McMahon to show up.    At another point, I look around at the guests and wonder how many are Australian and how many are not Australian.  Later my mom introduces me to a small group of her friends.   One of them turns out to be Barbara Streisand.  I'm polite and friendly and treat her as I'd treat any other friend of my mom.  I don't make any mention of her fame or talent.  Then I worry it's rude to be that way. I'm wondering what I could say to her.  

I also had another scary plane dream.  I'm pretty sure we were flying to Australia, but I don't know for sure.

69. Finished reading Peeps at Many Lands: Australia.  My next Kindle book is going to be fiction.   It's called The Secret Apocalypse; and it's about zombies in Australia.

The thing is, the other book I'm reading now is also a zombie novel.   It's Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist.  Lindqvist is the one who wrote the Swedish vampire book, Let The Right One In.

So I'll be reading about zombies in Australia and zombies in Sweden.

I've been reading my Kindle books in alphabetical order. I questioned whether I should skip the rule this time since it might be confusing to read two different zombie books at the same time.  I decided to go through with it.

I might end up regretting that.

We'll see.....

It could be okay.  You know I used to usually avoid reading two fictional books at once, even if they weren't both about zombies.  I figure it would be too confusing.  Then I realize we watch multiple TV shows at once.   I mean we usually don't watch two shows at the exact same time. But we follow multiple shows.   We don't usually get them too confused.  Well, I don't, at least. 

70. Dreamed about Australia...or Australians. It had something to do with joining something Australian, maybe a school or a massive event.  The details are hard to explain and it's all kind of jumbled in my head.   But the general feeling of the dream was very nice.   I felt very welcomed and appreciated.   I felt like I belonged, and that people wanted me there.

In one part of the dream I was working on finding hotels for my pretend Australia trip.   I've been doing that a lot in real life.  It's fun, but time consuming.

71. Spent MANY hours working on the pretend Australia trip today.  At times it was so frustrating, but also incredibly enlightening. 

I confirmed the fact that I have a hard time stretching my imagination beyond what's realistic.   

For example....
I could not let myself pretend that my bladder could hold on for the eight hour drive between Fitzroy Crossing and Broome.   I looked and looked and could not find toilet stops in-between those two places.

If any of you know of any, please tell me!   I'm not changing my plans, but I'd still be curious to know.

Anyway, I had to do a lot of tweaking to make it more realistic.  We're taking more flights than I'd like.  I feel guilty about it, for carbon footprint reasons.

It's a bit silly since we won't really be taking the flights.

The thing I remind myself is that although I'm being so strict with realism, it's not a completely realistic trip.   We couldn't afford to do a six month trip like this.  When I first thought of the project I planned to take a completely no worries attitude towards money—pretend we won the lottery or something.  We'd even fly business class instead of domestic. Then I felt compelled to be more realistic—fly the way we usually fly and stay in the kind of places we'd usually be able to afford.

But these are places we can afford on a four to five week trip to Australia.  We'd have a much tighter budget if we were going for six months.  I think we'd have to give up our attachments to ensuite toilets.

So yeah.  I AM stretching my imagination a little bit in terms of our finances.  I'm allowing us to be rich enough to afford private toilets, air-conditioning, and flights that allow us to avoid long toilet-less drives.

71. Saw that Sydney may be be losing its monorail.

72. Found this toilet website. It looks like it might be helpful for my pretend Australia trip.

It might also be helpful for any future REAL trips to Australia.

73. Dreamed about Perth.

We're in Australia.  The three of us are riding a cab into Perth.   I'm very excited.   I think about Tim Winton's Cloudstreet. I think about how it would be really cool if we could stay in a big house like that.  

I then remember we were supposed to go to Victoria before Perth. We weren't supposed to go to Perth yet.  I decide, though, that it doesn't matter.   We can switch things around.

The cab has to go on this contraption that takes us up very high.  I'm terrified. I tell Jack to close his eyes and not look down.  He asks why. It turns out he's fine with the heights.   I wonder how the hell I managed to do the Sydney bridge climb.  

74. Saw Australia mentioned in Max Brook's zombie novel.  The Redgum song "I was Only 19" is mentioned, along with some other things.

I'm still reading the Australian zombie novel.

It's fairly entertaining.

The protagonist of the story is American rather than Australian.   She's moved to Sydney from Brooklyn, and becomes the sole survivor of what happens. The story is her flashback.

I do wonder why the author (James Harden) chose to have an American as his main character.  And it's not the first Australian adventure-horror story I've seen that has an American as the protagonist.

It's interesting.

75. Dreamed about returning comments to my blog.   One person writes something very nice that makes me feel my blog was missed.   Then I see my sister has left a comment.  She leaves me all these questions.   I think it's strange because I had told her not to come to my blog anymore.

76. Had a hard time remembering that my pretend trip to Australia is pretend.   I see things while researching that make me excited.  Then I remember we're not really going least not anytime soon.

77. Finished reading the Australian zombie book; and I've started a new Kindle book.  This one is called Escape From Botany Bay: The True Story of Mary Bryant.    It's written as if Bryant herself is writing the tale...or well, dictating it to someone else. So far, it's very readable.   I'm enjoying it.

78. Dreamed about comments on my blog again.  

One of my American internet friends leaves a comment.   She says something along the lines of, "there was a man who sailed to Australia with some other man. He ended up loving Australia so much that 9 days later he created Canberra.   And that became the capitol of Australia".  

I'm annoyed that she'd think I wouldn't already know that Canberra is the capitol.   How would I have this whole blog about Australia and not know that?   I don't, however, know if the story is true...the nine day thing.  I decide to do research to see if she's right. I'm wondering what I'd say if I can't find anything to back up her story.  

I think my real life self knows a little bit more about Canberra's history than my dream self.  

79. Finished doing my accommodation research for my pretend Australia trip.  Once again I cut out some places.

I'm having so much self-doubt right now about the project.   I feel people are thinking it's stupid and ridiculous....and BORING.

I guess I need to not worry about that and just enjoy what I'm doing.   It's hard, though. I think it's much more fun doing projects when others are enthusiastic along with you.

Well, Jack is least for now.

I guess my question is, if no one reads my pretend trip posts, should I keep posting them?

I'd like to imagine that I could quit posting them but still do the pretend trip for my own pleasure.  I'm not sure though if I'd have the motivation.

I DID have fun finding hotels on my own, but there was the idea that I'd be writing about them on my blog later.  

I guess I'd maybe keep posting about the trips because even if no one is interested now, there's always the chance (and hope) that someone in the future will come along and be entertained by the whole thing.

80. Received our package of Australian food from Simply Australian!

Almost everything was on sale.  Most of the stuff was on sale, because it's either Christmas candy or close to (or past) it's expiration date.   I let Jack buy one thing regular priced. He chose Allen's Party mix.

We had decided our conciliation gift for canceling our Australia trip would be that we'd order a shipment of food in December, January, February, March, and April.   We're stopping after April because it will probably be too hot. 

I AM keeping in mind what someone said in comments the other day.  If we keep spending money on conciliation gifts, we'll have less money for our future potential trip to Australia.  

I'm not going to cancel our ordering plans, but I'm going to make sure to be careful not to go overboard.

Maybe, though, it might be easier to save money when we're more definite about going.   Right now our Australian travel plans are extremely vague.   The reasons for that are mostly health issues.   If it was mainly a money thing, I think I'd be more up to making sacrifices so we could afford the trip.

81. Ate a magical chocolate elf.  It had popping candy inside of it. Jack ate one earlier and told me it was very WEIRD.

I have to agree with him.  Popping candy is usually weird, but this felt even more weird. After I ate the chocolate I could still feel the popping in my brain.

It was really cool.

82. Found this old dream about Australia.   It's from March 6, 2008.

Jack and I are at Taronga zoo, at the bird thing. There's no show. It's like we're there in the past, before they had bird shows. There are huge birds above us and in that big tall cage... including cassowaries. The birds get really loud and suddenly Jack is scared. He rushes away and I rush after him. I don't want to say anything, but I'm pretty scared too.

83. Received an email from someone saying that they like my pretend trip reports. That was very nice helpful.  Well....I mean it made me feel a little bit better about things.

I feel very rejected and insecure lately.  Although I guess that's stating the obvious.

84. Felt guilty for feeling rejected and insecure lately. And that makes it all the worse.

I guess it's because I know I notice and remember the negative more than the least when it comes to how people treat me.  

To my defense though, I am more often ignored, rejected and criticized than I am praised and supported.  

85. Saw that it's raining in Sydney today.   Or it's due to rain.   This might be difficult for my pretend Australia trip. I'm not really good at reading weather maps.   I can't really know if it rained exactly where we're at.    I guess I'll just have to use my imagination.

86. Remembered this weather website, and bookmarked it.  I think it will be helpful. 

It's nice and detailed.

87. Felt like I'm living dual lives...or actually triple lives.   Jack now has us also on a pretend trip to Disney World.  He seems to have canceled his trip around the world.


Sometimes I'm very glad not to be pretend-me—for example, the day we had the overly long plain ride.  I was VERY grateful to be home in my own bed.

Sometimes I feel neutral.

Sometimes I feel very today.

I'm thinking I should somehow mark the days I'm jealous of pretend me.  Then that might help me decide what to do on our future REAL Australia trip.   

88. Figured I will post this in the next few days. It might confuse people because it was written over a couple of weeks.

Hopefully I won't make anyone extremely confused.

Maybe someone will think this is all about one day and that I live a very busy life.

89. Decided I will probably go back to writing these posts everyday.  I'm sort of excited and happy about that.

I'm also sort of nervous about it.

90. Wanted to confess that I mistook headline ABC news about a cricket game as meaning India was devastated by a cyclone.

I'm glad that wasn't the case.