Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Covers, Damper, Ethnicity, and Propositions

1. Decided the girl on the cover of Ruth Park's Swords and Crowns and Rings looks like Allie Grant from Suburgatory.  

2. Threw away the jacket cover of Robert Drewe's The Shark Net.  There's this scary man on it staring out behind some bushes.

It totally gave me the creeps.

I've read lots of scary books before, and I'm sure they had scary covers. This is probably the first time I've been creeped out enough to get rid of the cover.

3. Watched Jack play his new downloaded app on his iPod.   It's a kangaroo jumping game.   If I understood him right, you have to get the kangaroo from Perth to Sydney. There's lots of jumping over obstacles.

4. Loved this part from "Over there" With the Australians

New arrivals in camp were always called "Marmalades" because they were distinguished by their relish for marmalade jam.   After they had consumed over a ton of it and forgotten the taste of any other kind of jam then they looked at a tin of it with loathing, when they would be considered to have passed the "recruit" stage and be on a fair way to becoming soldiers. 

I thought that was very cute.

By the way, that was the first time I've utilized Kindle's highlighting and note-taking capabilities.  It's pretty nifty.   I didn't have to rush to the computer to copy down what I liked, or make the decision to forget about it. I could mark it and save it for copying in the morning.  

5. Looked at Wagga Wagga weather.  It's really hot there lately.  I don't think I could tolerate it.

Although the other day I was thinking about temperature issues.   I keep saying I've become intolerant of the heat, but I'm actually not sure if that's true.   All I know is I've recently become more tolerant of the cold.   If it's not too windy I can wear shorts and a t-shirt and be comfortable in 50-60 degree weather...sometimes even the 40's.  

The other day we went to the Botanical Gardens.  It was in the 60's and I felt totally comfortable, even a little warm at times.

I have been assuming that if I'm comfortable in the 50's and 60's, the 80's are going to feel like hell to me. But maybe that won't be true.  

6. Thought about how I've gained some weight lately.   Maybe that's what's keeping me warm.  

If I keep getting more and more body fat, I might even be able to tolerate a holiday to Antarctica.  

7. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read the continuation of the story Happy By Myself.   I actually wasn't sure, at first, if I had read it before or not.  I searched through my blog, and while I was searching I started remembering a bit.

I remembered that this is the story where the guy is half giant and the girl is half fairy. 

The half-giant is Stuart Hosking. The half-fairy is Nerual Spencer.

8. Started to read.

9. Related a lot to these lines. He hid behind his large tome, eyes scanning the text as he continued to pretend to read but didn't actually take in any of the words.

I've been guilty of that many times.  I don't do it to trick other people. It's like I WANT to be paying attention to the words,  but my mind drifts elsewhere.

I find myself doing it with the Kindle book, but I did wake up to pay attention to the marmalade part.  
10. Thought Nerual is an interesting character.   She blurts out a kind of rude question to Stuart.  What breed are you?   She wants to know if he's half-breed.

I kind of like people, though, who blurt out things like that.   It could be because I'm sometimes overly curious about ethnicity and stuff like that.  

The question really depends on how it's asked.   If someone asks me my ethnicity, I'm cool with that.   If they ask it along the lines of Where are you from?  No, I mean where are you REALLY from, with the underlying message that someone like me couldn't possibly be American—well then that's ignorant and rude.

As for Nerual, she asks the question to Stuart.  Then she regrets it because she doesn't want the same question asked of her.

It's one of those cases where people treat someone one way, but then don't want to be treated the same way themselves.  To Nerual's credit she at least recognizes her mistake.

I know other people who seem to have made an amendment to the Golden Rule.  Their rule is, It doesn't matter how you treat other people. It only matters that they treat you like royalty. 

11. Thought the mutual secretiveness and awkwardness, of the characters in this story, were very cute.

12.  Saw a small mistake in the story, but knowing me I'm just reading something wrong.

In one of the  posts, it's said that Stuart has been reading his charms textbook. Later he tells Neural he's reading a book about Centaurs.

Would that be a charms topic?

Or maybe he's lying to her for some reason?

It does say in the earlier post,  That she didn't let him get a word in actually suited him fine. The more talking she did the less he had to do and the less time he spent feeling stupid. He was also not reading anything particularly interesting, just his Charms textbook, so it wasn't really a conversation point.

Maybe he thought a centaur book would sound more interesting.

Stuart, though, doesn't seem like the type of person to lie in order to impress people.   Despite his shame of being half-giant he was willing to reveal this when asked.

I'm going to guess that this was just a mistake.  I make plenty of them. Some I catch with proofreading.   Others I don't.  

13.  Saw that my Australian of the day is Robert Edward Armstrong; better known as Bob Armstrong. 

Bob Armstrong was born in 1911, in a suburb of Sydney called Erskineville.  I'm not sure if I've heard of that before.

14. Found Erskineville on Google Maps.   It's right below Newtown.  

15. Learned that Armstrong became an orphan when he was about eight.   Both his parents died from the flu. That was in 1919,  so I guess it was that big bad flu of 1918.

Lord Wiki says the pandemic lasted from June 1918 to December 1920.   Estimates say that fifty to a hundred million people died.

It's scary stuff.

16. Learned that Armstrong did some military stuff during World War II.  One of his jobs was assessing interned aliens.

I'm wondering if these people were refugees.  Or were they the people interned because their ethnic origins put them in the enemy category. 

17. Learned that Armstrong worked with Arthur Calwell. His work involved immigration. He helped develop programs to assist new migrants and also programs to encourage the community to welcome the migrants.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography talks about how in the 1940s and 1950's it was assumed that mass immigration would be a good thing for Australia. Then in the 1960's, it changed a bit. People started questioning whether there were enough jobs and resources to support such a thing.

18. Started to look at the rest of Fredweng's day Eighteen in Australia Flickr set.   

19. Liked this photo of Fredweng. 

20. Thought that these photos might be out of order.  There are photos of the sun setting; then all of a sudden it's daylight again.

21. Loved this picture of the stars. I like that you can see trees if you look carefully enough.  

22. Thought of Wolf Creek when I saw this photo. Wasn't there a scene with them talking around the fire?  

23.  Went to Funtrivia to take another Australia quiz.

The one I'm taking today is called Australia Revisited-Bewildered Jottings.  I think the basic idea is that Captain Cook has landed himself in 21st century Australia.

This might be fun.

24. Learned from the quiz that people sometimes eat damper with treacle syrup.  Awesome!I really need to try that.  I think we actually have some treacle syrup in our pantry.

I've made damper once. It didn't taste very good, but that's probably because I'm awful at cooking.

25. Found this recipe for damper. They say mix flour and water together; but they don't tell you how much. Do you just guess?  

26. Found this other damper recipe.   In this one, you need milk and butter.

I guess there's not a definitive damper recipe? 

I would think the one with water and flour is more traditional.  It's supposed to be a bread that people made while camping.  Do most people take along milk and butter when camping?

Well....they might, I suppose.

27.  Found this page about damper.  They say originally it WAS just made of water, flour, and salt.  Then later butter was added to the mix to make it taste better.

I'm thinking maybe when I made damper I made the original version.  I got it from a kid's cookbook of international recipes.  

28. Went back to taking the quiz.   

29. Got question #7 wrong and learned Australia has basketball.

I didn't know that.

One of the teams mentioned in the quiz is the Wollongong Hawks.  

30. Finished the quiz.   I got a 9/10.

I'm happy with that.

31. Listened to the Bran Nue Dae soundtrack, with Tim and Jack, while we ate lunch.   

32. Learned from Tim that he saw part of The Proposal.  He knew it was Australian, but didn't know which Australian actors were in it.

I don't know either.  I forgot.

I want to say Guy Pearce, but I could be wrong.   I think Tim would have recognized him.  

I remember that someone famous did the music for The Proposal.   Was it Nick Cave?  Or maybe it was Paul Kelly?    My guess is Nick Cave.

33. Went to IMDb for answers.

34. Ended up with a Sandra Bullock movie


35. Found out the Australian movie is NOT The Proposal.  It's The Proposition.  

Is that what Tim said?  Did only I get confused, or did both of us get confused?

Anyway, Guy Pearce is in the movie.    I'm guessing he looked different enough to confuse Tim.

36. Looked at photos of Guy Pearce in The Proposition.

He does look like himself.

Maybe Tim just forgot.

Or maybe he has less Guy Pearce awareness than I thought.

37.  Saw that Nick Cave did make music for the movie. 

38. Started to listen to a song from The Proposition

It's a pretty song.  It's called "There is a Happy Land."  A child sings it.

39. Saw that "Danny Boy" is another song in the movie.   IMDb says the words are by Nick Cave.   Is this a different song from the usual "Danny Boy"?  Or maybe he tweaked the lyrics a bit.

I'm laughing now, though, because I'm thinking of some bit that Stephen Colbert did about "Danny Boy".   It was with some GOP candidate singing the song.

40. Found a clip of the Stephen Colbert video.

It's a Herman Cain thing.  

It's so hilarious.

I know a lot of Australians keep up with American politics; but in case you don't know what's happening with the Stephen Colbert issue...I'll fill you in.

Stephen Colbert has joined the political race as a possible GOP candidate.  He's doing this to expose the ridiculousness of whole Super Pac thing.

This weekend they're voting in Stephen Colbert's home state, South Carolina.   It was too late for him to get on the ballot, so what he's doing is asking people to vote for Herman Cain.    Herman Cain dropped out of the race several weeks ago.   The idea is that if people vote for Herman Cain, Stephen Colbert will see that as votes for himself.

It's all very fun.  And what I love is that Herman Cain is joining in on all the fun.  He and Colbert had a rally this weekend.

I like when people can laugh at themselves.

41. Watched another song from The Proposition.  This one is called "Peggy Gordon".

It's a horrific scene while the singing is so gentle.  Major juxtaposition.  

It kind of reminds me of this scene from Lost.  

I think it was the eeriest Lost scene in the show's history.  

42. Listened to Nick Cave's "The Rider Song" from The Proposition.

It's kind of awesome.

43. Felt compelled to watch the Harry Potter Nick Cave song.

44. Decided to switch from italics when quoting to large font.

I hate reading italics. Whenever I see italics I skipped over it.

I was hoping my readers didn't feel the same way.

But now I'm thinking, what if they do?

What if no one reads what I've quoted because it bothers their eyes?

If you have a strong preference either way, please let me know. If enough people want me to change it back, I will.   Or if one person wants me to change it back, I probably will....unless someone else disagrees.   Then I might have to flip a coin.

45. Tried changing to large font, but it wouldn't work. I guess I'll have to use italics.

On my post writing thing, it showed the font as large.   But when I looked at preview, it was normal font.  And when I tried publishing it; it was normal.

Is there anything else to do besides italics?

What about color?

Would that work? 

Maybe changing the font?  

No, I don't like that.


Tell me if you have any ideas.......