Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Books, Dreams, Western Australia and Sims 3

1. Decided that not only would I take a break from posting, I'd also take a post from blogging.—writing things down.   I would take a month break from recording all my Australia-related stuff.

Then I changed my mind.

So I'm writing this the day after announcing my little break.

I think I'll still do the basics—write down my Australia-dreams, my Australia books, and stuff like that.

2. Played Sims 3.  I started a new neighborhood because the last one had a glitch.  I hope this new one doesn't have the same problem.  I haven't play the new neighborhood long enough to determine whether it does or not.

Anyway, I didn't create any new Sims for the neighborhood.  Instead I used ones that I had created for my first and second neighborhood.  The first neighborhood had lots of families named after Australian Prime Ministers.

Today I played with the Hawke family, the Keating family, and the Fraser family. They're all neighbors.

3. Ate a tiny bit of Vegemite on my toast.  I like it in very small doses. Tim ate much more of it on his toast.  He's a bigger fan than I am.  

4. Started to read The Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky.  It's a children's book about a young girl and her two sisters in 1950's Sydney.

It's interesting.

There's a disembodied voice thing that turns out not to be an imaginary friend.  I'm not sure what it is yet.  It could be a manifestation of mental illness.  Or maybe it's some type of demon?

I might never find out. Maybe it will be one of those open-ended things.

5. Watched a YouTube recommended video.  It's a song called "All These Things", by an Australian named Darren Hanlon.

I like the song.  The lyrics are cute.  

Hanlon reminds me of Ewan McGregor.

6. Finished reading The Red Shoe.  I thought it was spooky and sad.   The general idea of the novel is that traumatic experiences cause people to have mental/emotional issues.

7. Found myself daydreaming through the ending chapters of Australia, It's History and Present Condition.   I paid attention in the beginning.  I'm not sure what happened.  Maybe I'm more distracted right now, or maybe the content of the later chapters are less interesting to me.

8. Played Sims.  I spent a lot of time with the McMahon family.  William McMahon is friendly, good, and highly-skilled.   Alfred Deakin is mean-spirited. The game made him that way, not me.     

9. Gave Jack Vegemite for breakfast. I had oatmeal.  Maybe tomorrow I'll have a little Vegemite.

10. Started to read another history book on my Kindle. It's called In A New World, Among the Goldfields of Australia.   I'm not sure if it's nonfiction or historical fiction.  It has a sort of story-like feel to it.  But that might be the writing style.   

I'm looking at the book's information on Amazon.

They say the author is American, and that he's a novelist.

Two of the characters I've encountered so far, in the book, are American.  

So...I guess the book IS a fictional novel.  It's an American-adventure-in-Australia type thing.

11. Watched Bran Nue Dae.  Finally!  Tim taped it for me. I was so excited.

I LOVED the movie.   Tim liked it a lot too.

I liked how it ended.

12. Had to watch my Lost crying scene.   I got myself in the mood for it, because I was thinking of times that we're thankful to people; and they have no idea why we're thankful.

Thank you.

It's just a blanket.

I totally love that.

13. Cried while watching my crying scene. That thing gets me almost every time.

I think the part that got me sobbing-the first time we watched it-was at 2:48.

14. Went to sleep and had a dream.

We meet some people somewhere.  One of them is a woman named Lisa. Later Lisa sends me an Australian coffee table book.   She has written a message on the inside cover.   She explains that the book is a Canadian view of Australia. I think about how I already have a Canadian book about Australia, and I have several other Australian coffee table books.

I'm thinking it's neat though that despite my having a lot of Australian books, Lisa managed to send me one I don't already have.   

I think the general idea I had in the dream is that there can never be too many Australian coffee books.

15. Started reading Nightmare in Quentaris by Michael Pryor. It's part of this project where different Australian fantasy writers write about the same place—Quentaris.    I love that idea.  If I like this book, I might order one or two more.  

16. Saw that Margo Lanagan and Isobelle Carmody have written for the project. I've read some of their stuff.

17. Asked, by my mom, about the book I was reading.  I got about 1.5 words out of my mouth before she stopped listening and started talking to someone else.  Actually, I think I'm being generous.  She probably stopped listening before I got the first word out of my mouth.

It's kind of typical of my mom.  She asks me questions and then doesn't listen to the answers. Why?

Maybe she thinks asking questions is the sign of a good listener, and she doesn't realize listening to the answer is part of the equation.

Maybe she's just asking to be polite and she really doesn't want to know the answer. It's like when people say, How are you? and they really just means Hi.  They don't want a run down on your health, problems, and activities.

The other possibility is that she's easily distracted and forgetful. Maybe she really wanted to know about my book.  But then something distracted her and she then totally forgot she was interested.  This is possible because I'm so scatterbrained.  Maybe I inherited it from her.

18. Started reading The Year of Eating Dangerously by Tom Parker Bowles.  I'm loving it so far. I feel a kinship with Bowles because he too has a passion for a country not his own.   He's British, but has/had a huge passion for America....especially it's food.  

19. Continued to read In a New World, Among the Goldfields of Australia.  It's very cheesy and didactic, but I'm enjoying it. It's very fast-paced.

20. Received my books from Powells!  There's a lot. It was so fun opening the box, because I had forgotten most of what I ordered.  Each book was a great surprise.

Jack stood by while I opened the box.  He's so supportive. He was excited for me...very enthusiastic.

It's nice to be happy. I think it's even nicer when someone shares in our joy.

21.  Thought about one of our favorite Australian families.

My Sims 3 game seems to be saying they're our destiny.

Besides making families named after Prime Ministers, I also made some people from our life.  And I made us.

Sims 3-Dina has only made one friend outside her family.  It's someone from one of our favorite Australian families.   I didn't make that happen.  The game did it.   But I was very happy because this person and their family is very special to me.

Then today another member of that family was at the park.   I was excited to see she was pregnant.   My Sims rarely get pregnant if I'm not actively taking care of them.

I stopped playing and went downstairs to eat lunch. I told Jack the exciting news about the pregnancy. I wondered who the father could be.

Later I went up to play again and I played our family for the first time. I saw Sims 3-Jack; (who's now an adult), and his profile thing indicated that there was a new baby in his life.   I then found out that Sims 3-Jack was engaged to our pregnant Australian friend. He's the father of her baby.

22.  Read some of the news.

People are gossiping about Julia Gillard reshuffling her cabinet people.

Penny Wong and her partner have had their baby.

23.  Finished reading In A New World Among the Gold Fields of Australia.  It was very moralistic; the main idea being that if you're a good person, in the end, you'll find your pot of gold.

Now I've started to read  The Naval Pioneers of Australia on my Kindle.

I'm still reading the British foodie book.  Australia was mentioned in the part I read this morning.   Tom Parker Bowles goes to a chili festival thing and one of the vendors is an Aussie.

24. Found some old dreams about Australia. These are from November 4, 2007, about a month before we went to Australia.

Early dreams about Australian zoo. Don't remember much. Vague. Maybe I work there? Or volunteer? I'm with Steve Irwin, maybe.  We run away from a crocodile??? Maybe Irwin climbs a tree to get away.

(Then maybe influenced by The Lake House).....Something like I'm trying to stop his death.  I plan to warn him about the stingray, but I learn he's supposed to die and will die no matter what. The stingray incident allows him to die in a way that doesn't hurt others or give others blame.

People did blame the sting rays, though.

As for the lake house, I was talking about the movie with Keanu Reeves, not our family lake house.

Then there was this other dream that same night.

We're in Australia, in the wilderness.  We're with some tour group/educational group. It's dark and eerie.  Various animals are shown....kind of like they're put there for the show. I hear a lion and see a lion; but think I must be wrong.  Then someone says there are lions in Australia. I start asking questions. Are there really lions? Or just zoo lions?

25. Started doing research for our pretend Australia trip.  I found our hotel and told Jack about it.  He got really excited and helped me plan our first day, including where we'd eat. Then he got into the fun and planned out a trip around the world.

26. Excited about Jack's pretend trip.  Our first stop is Portland and he picked out an Australian restaurant for us to go to!   I requested that we go at least twice, and he granted my wish.

The restaurant is called Pacific Pie Company.  It looks pretty nice.  They have three types of vegetarian pies, and they say their meat is humane.

Jack's been really into the trip planning today.   Both of us have so much fun with it.   We act like it's real.  Sometimes it's a bit sad to realize it's not real, like when I think about how we're not really going to the Pacific Pie Company.  But then tonight we started talking about where we're going after Los Angeles.   We remembered we're flying to Tokyo.   It's a pretty long flight. Then I was kind of glad this is all pretend.

27. Started reading Peter by Kate Walker.   It's gay fiction—a coming-out-of-the-closet type story.   I'm trying to remember whether I've ever read gay fiction that's NOT about coming out of the closet.   I'm sure there's a lot of stuff out there. I just haven't read a lot of gay fiction yet, so my experience with the genre is limited.

Anyway, the book is good.   It's Americanized which is always a bit disappointing to me.   The thing that drove it home initially was the term "shopping cart".   In the Australian version of the book I'm sure they say "shopping trolley".

Do they really imagine Americans couldn't gather from the context that trolley=cart?

28. Ordered more books from Powells.   I had books in my shopping cart and was going to wait to order them.  But then I found a book about Alexander Maconochie and got all excited. And impulsive.

29. Finished reading Peter.  I thought it was VERY sweet.

Next I'm going to read Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden. I've read a book in the series, but not the first one.  I also read a book in the sequel series.

30. Started to google some of the locations in Tomorrow When the War Began.  I wondered if they really existed, or were invented by John Marsden.

The characters live in Wirrawee.  That really exists.  Or at least there's a website for it.

Okay, but....

I can't found a Wirrawee town on Google Maps.  I only see a road

Did Google Maps miss something?

Or does the town not exist?  Maybe the website is one of those fun fictionalized extras.  

31. Saw that the website is a tie in for the movie. It's VERY clever.  It has me fooled for a minute.   It looks very much like a community website.

I'm impressed.

I like when people do clever tie-in things like this.  Lost had some good ones.

32. Figured Australia doesn't really have a Commemoration day.  The book talks about it and I wondered if I had somehow missed an important Australian holiday. I doubted it, but you never know.  I've missed things before.   Many times.

It seems kind of strange, inventing a holiday. Why not use a real one.  Australia Day? Anzac Day?   I'm guessing Commemoration Day might represent one of those.

33. Went to bed and dreamed about Julian McMahon.  

He goes to dinner with my family.  He's very nice, acts happy to be there with us. Yet I feel insecure and worry he doesn't want to be there.  At the same time I get the sense that he's worried about being liked and accepted by us.

He sits by me.   But for some reason we later change tables or restaurants. This time he doesn't come to sit next to me.  I feel rejected until I see he has chosen to sit across from me.   He talks about going somewhere with some of our family members.  I ask if he means my parents, kind of annoyed by this.  He says no and says he wants to go with my younger sister.   Just as I'm about to feel very rejected and jealous; he points to me too. He wants to go with both of us.   

I'm sure that dream is very symbolic of something.  I'm not sure what, though. I do know that it deals with my insecurities and sibling rivalry issues.  That's about it.

34. Found more old Australian dreams.  These are from November 11, 2007.

The first: We're flying into New Zealand instead of Sydney. I get a brilliant idea for us to stay in New Zealand for a few hours. I consider sleeping over, but don't want to make our Medina stay any shorter.

The Medina is the hotel we stayed at in Darling Harbour in 2007.   

The second: Stuff with Nicole Kidman. Maybe going to a show....reward show? And she's there. I kind of think it's cool being near her.  She seems really nice.

 It's funny that I dreamed about an Australian celebrity being nice.  Then I go and read an old dream; and it's about the same thing.

35. Found a lucid dream about Thaao Penghlis.   It's from November 12, 2007.   In the dream I was in a place I call Dream City; and I had been searching for Julian McMahon.  That's what I usually do in my lucid dreams.  At times I don't even really care about the whole thing, yet I still feel obligated to do it.   It's as if it's my job.  It's really WEIRD.

Anyway, back when I dreamed this; I did not know that Thaao Penghlis was also Australian.

We pass a tight hallway. Thaao Penghlis is there. I tell him I think he's a good actor, but I liked him better when he played Andre.  Then I realize my mistake and say I liked him more as Tony.    I consider whether he's dead or just visiting the Dream City place. And I'm thinking maybe he'll remember this dream and the compliment.   There's a feeling that I did a good deed.

While I'm in the midst of these lucid dreams, I tend to believe all the people are real like me. I figure they're dead (spirits), or other dreamers.

When I wake up I continue to believe it...for a little while.  Then I slowly come to terms with the idea that it's probably all a figment of my imagination.  

36. Finished reading Naval Pioneers of Australia.  I'm glad because it was sort of boring. I wasn't too keen on the writing style. 

My next Kindle book is Eureka: The Story of Australia's Most Famous Rebellion.   I know a little about all that, but not much.  So maybe this will be a valuable learning experience.

Hopefully it won't be boring.

37. Finished reading Tomorrow When the War Began.  I liked it. But I didn't love it enough to want to rush out and buy the whole series.  So I asked Lord Wiki for spoilers on the whole series.

Or maybe I should just say that I was too curious to wait.

If I had a good memory I would have KNOWN what happens next, since I've already read two books in the series.

38. Saw that I had a lot of people coming to my blog for my Bernard Fanning post. My blog has been pretty dead for awhile, but thanks to Fanning, traffic picked up again.

39. Dreamed about Australia.

In one dream...I hear that Julia Gillard is making a documentary film.  It's an investigative report type thing.   It turns out that, before she became a politician, she was into film-making.   I'm kind of impressed; and am feeling this makes me like her a bit more.  

In the other dream: I'm sitting on some kind of tourist train in Australia.  It zips through Wildlife Sydney and I get to see some of the changes.  One thing I notice is that now they have a ton of echidnas.  

My mom 's friend Tish walks over to where I'm sitting on the train. She has a question for me.  She's wondering if property owners are allowed to kill kangaroo if the kangaroo has come onto their property.   I tell her it's funny she asked that because I just read a book and the characters asked the same question.   One of the characters said they'd find out, but they never did.  I joke around with Tish, and say I'll have to wait for the sequel to get the answer.   

I don't know the answer.   I don't know if kangaroos are protected animals.  And if an animal is protected, I don't know if you can shoot at it if it comes on your property.  My guess is no.

40. Saw from this New South Wales government site that kangaroos ARE protected...at least in New South Wales.

It doesn't mean humans never can kill kangaroos.  It just means there are rules about it.

41. Found a page on the site regarding killing native animals on your property.   The government encourages happy peaceful relationships between humans and animals trying to live in the same location.  But they recognize sometimes this doesn't work out.

If you want to kill the animal, though, you sometimes have to get a license.

42. Amused.   This morning, before going to the Chanukah party, Tim and I watched a little bit of the movie Soul Surfer.   I thought the main actress looked familiar, but couldn't place her in my mind.    I thought about it here and there through the day.   Who is she?   Then finally I remembered where I most know her from.  She's a face claim for Tallygarunga.  She's used for the Valentin twins!

I looked at her IMDb profile after I remembered and saw that she was in other stuff I've seen as well.  Still.  I think it's her "role" in Tally that's most memorable to me.

43. Finished reading the book about Eureka.  It was okay. I've also been rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.   It's a little hard to compete with that.  

44. Started reading another book on the Kindle.  It's called The Book of the Bush Containing Many Truthful Sketches of the Early Colonial Life of Squatters, Whalers, Convicts, Diggers, and Others Who Left Their Native Land and Never Returned.  

Yeah.  It's a long title.

So far it's a bit shocking.   I'm wanting to think the writer is being ironic; but I think maybe he's not.

OR maybe be is.  A reviewer on Amazon says, I had no idea if this would be good reading or not but knew I could always delete it if I didn't like it. I had never heard of George Dunderdale but after reading a good portion of this book I have found him to be a very very interesting author with an exceptional sense of good humor making his work a delight to read. 

Hopefully, George IS joking.

Here's some excerpts from the book.  Our ancestors were all pirates, and we have inherited from them a lurking taint in our blood, which is continually impelling us to steal something or kill somebody. 

Now that I think of it.  It probably IS a joke.  I think I'd automatically assume that IF the book was written in this century.  But I tend to imagine people of the bygone days as having ridiculously backward ideas. 

Another part of the book declares that America was given to the Puritans by God.  In contrast, Australia was simply taken...without the Lord's permission.

45. Felt a bit like Salma Hayak, with her reaction to Dame Edna's joke about learning Spanish.   I feel gullible in that I can't tell if this is a joke or not.

At least I'll give myself credit for guessing that it MIGHT be a joke.

46. Went to bed and had a short dream about Australia.  I watch the news. There's a report about some Jewish disease that is triggered by visiting the Great Barrier Reef.   

That's not too far-fetched.  Ashkenazi Jews have some scary genes sometimes. What if there was some type of metabolic disorder that's triggered by exposure to a substance common in the GBR?

47. Found another old dream about Australia.  This one's from November 28, 2007.   It was a few days before we flew to Sydney.

I'm walking somewhere.  I look below. I listen to a meditation CD and visualize stuff as I walk. There's mention of a lot of flags. And then later there's mention of a new Bishop in Australia.  I'm thinking they might PM, but then I realize they're talking about Catholic stuff.

I don't know what I meant by PM.   Maybe Prime Minister?   I'm guessing I meant to say, they might MEAN PM.  I can't imagine I meant PM as some type of verb.  

48. Spent some time stalking Red Nomad Oz's blog.  That was quite enjoyable. She's great at describing places and situations.

49. Wanted to say that I feel less interested in going to Western Australia.   Lately, that's what I've been craving.   I started to think that when (if) we finally go to Australia, maybe we'd go to Broome, Darwin, and the Pinnacles.   The problem is it would be very expensive for us to do that.   It's bad enough that I'm in love with a country so far away.   My desire to go west makes things even more expensive, time consuming, and environmentally unfriendly.  

So it's a GOOD thing my Western Australia desires are fading.

Where do I want to go instead?

I don't know.   Maybe we'd stick with our Victoria plans.   That sounds nice.   Or I could end up with a new passion.  The problem is, by the time we book flights and accommodations, I'll probably want something different.

After reading through Red Nomad Oz's blog I just want to go to Australia period.

50. Decided to enable commenting.  I figure I should try and be brave about the whole thing.  It's kind of rude for me to complain about the lack of feedback when I make it challenging for people to give me feedback.

51. Changed my mind.  Of course.

This time it took less than five minutes.

I realized I'm making the same mistake I so often make in life—hoping things will get better and giving people second (and more) chances.

I need to face the fact that it's my fate in life to receive minimal responses from people.

It could be worse, I suppose.  It could have been my destiny to get minimal attention.  My blog definitely gets attention.  I have readers.  I just don't have many responsive readers.  Or I should say they're not responsive to my blog.  They're more lurking-type people when it comes to reading my blog. 

It's December 20 right now (as I type this).  I've had several days of not posting.  I'm just writing.

I can't say that I feel a difference.  I feel like I'm talking to a wall now.  And when I'm posting I feel like I'm talking to a wall.  Or a person in a coma.  But with coma-folks, they'll sometimes squeeze your hand if you plead with them.

I plead with my readers and still usually get silence.

That's fine. I'll get used to it.

And every so often, someone does reach out to me.  It could have been that I never hear from ANYONE.   So I should really make sure to count my blessings.   I might not get as much as I want, but at least I don't get nothing.   So, that's sort of nice.

52. Changed my mind again...and then back again.   I'm having major arguments with myself.  One voice is saying, Well what if someone is SHY?  They want to respond to what you've said, but they're too shy to email. 

Then the other me is saying,  If they're too shy to email, won't they be too shy to post a comment that everyone can see?


Although no...actually I guess there are different types of shyness.  One person might be too shy to say something in public.  Another person might be too shy for the intimacy of email.

Okay, so here's the other argument.   If I put up comments and barely anyone comments, I'll look like a loser.  I don't want to look like a loser.

That's silly, though.   I keep talking about how I'm a loser.  I might as well display the evidence.

If I really want to LOOK popular, I might as well lie and pretend I'm getting tons of supportive and encouraging emails.

The thing is, I'm a fan of honesty.

Anyway, I MIGHT enable commenting.  I might not.  I'll decide in the next few weeks...before finally posting this.

In the event that I do bring back comments, PLEASE read this.  It's a list of commenting guidelines.   I wrote it back in the days that I had commenting.  It kind of gives insight into why I later ended up disabling the comments.

53. Started to think that MAYBE the long-titled book is serious after all.  Well, it's not completely serious.  There is humor in it.  But I think the bigotry might be real rather than satire.

I could be wrong though.

54. Went to bed and had dreams.

In one, Jack has gotten gifts for his birthday.   My brother-in-law has signed some of the cards as famous Australians.   One name he uses is Dame Edna.   I'm amused by all this, but wondering why he did it for Jack's birthday since I'm the one who's so into Australia.

55. Found an old dream from when we were IN Australia. I didn't know I wrote down my dreams then.   I usually don't record my dreams when we're on vacation or at the lake house.   I think what I did though is I took notes in a notebook. Then I transferred it later to my Livejournal account.

On December 26 2007, there's a Livejournal post with all these notes about the other days of December.  

One of the dreams was about zombies.  I thought that was funny, because until recently I never gave much thought about zombies.

There are people who seem normal during day, but at night they turn into zombies. I try to fight some by knocking children into their mother. Finally we escape from the mob, but the ones I had tried to kill, come with us.  For some reason, I am okay with this....as if they are less harmful now.

A bunch of us run.   There's mention of a quarantine of zombies. Masses of people try to escape. People are thoughtless and silly.  They block the escape of others by going in wrong direction.

It's interesting about knocking children into their mothers.   I wonder what that means.

56. Agreed strongly with Peter Collingnon, a professor of Infectious Disease at Australia University.    He says, What is even more a major mistake was that this research was allowed to go ahead in the first place.

This research is something I read about last night.  And it scared me a bit. Some scientists in the Netherlands took a 60% fatal bird flu that's not highly communicable and turned it into something that IS highly communicable.

Now an American science committee has asked the Dutch scientists to censor the information.   They're afraid it could get into the hands of terrorists.

Yeah.  I can imagine that.  And I can also imagine a lab mistake and one of these viruses escaping.

I'm probably overreacting because I read Stephen King books. But still!

Anyway, today I decided to read another article about the situation. I liked that the Australian scientist mentioned was on my side of the argument.

Why create a horribly deadly virus that can kill the majority of us?   Some scientists are saying it's about helping the world, learning about the diseases so they can fight them. Well, why not learn about the diseases we ALREADY have?

57. Went to bed and had some Australian dreams.

In one, We've had a party.  Later my dad says he met our friend Alex.  I'm thinking my dad's confused, because Alex is all the way in Australia.   But then I get this hopeful idea that he might have made a brief appearance.

In the dream, making a brief visit to a party all the way from Australia didn't seem incredibly unusual.

The other aspect of the dream differing from real life was that I was happy enough that Alex might have made an appearance.   If this happened in real life, I would have been upset.  But why didn't he come and say hello to me?  

I was just thinking it could all symbolize my blog.  I can see from Statcounter that people ARE visiting. Should that be enough for me?   Should I be like my dream self and simply be happy for their presence?  Or is it right for me to wish for more?

In the second dream: I'm at a meeting.   There's talk about Australian men versus American men.   People say that Australian men are more crude.   They'll make comments about your breasts, while American men are more polite. I defend the Australian men saying this would mean they're more open and less inhibited.   

Then the dream became racist.  I think the Kindle book might be rubbing off on me.

There are complaints at the meeting about companies and organizations hiring too many employees from elsewhere.  I agree with this and give examples.  In one, I say I wouldn't want to go to an amusement park in one state that had too many employees from another state.  I say I wouldn't want to go to an Australia that had hardly any Australians.   

I do agree with that, though.  I wouldn't want to go to an Australia that had hardly any Australians.   The question, though, is, what is an Australian?    For me, it wouldn't be about skin color, citizenship or national origins.

It would be accents.  I'd want most people in Australia to have an Australian accent. It's totally fine if some people don't have an Australian accent, of course. I just wouldn't want them to be the majority.

I guess that wouldn't really be racist then. It's not really about race.

It probably does count as being prejudice though.   

58. Found a lot of old Australian dreams.  These are from January 2008 which is right after we came back from our first Australia trip.

On January 6, 2008 I had lots of dreams about Australian animals.

I have a string kind of thing hanging in my mouth.  It's like a thread made of blood, tissue, etc. Then I realize my tongue is hanging from it and it's getting quite small.  If it finally breaks, what will happen to my tongue?  I am hoping/wondering if it will repair itself.

While looking at my tongue, I have an imaginary conversation in my head, wondering what I'd say if people asked what my favorite non-indigenous animal is. I think of saying humans or dingoes

At another point, I see a Koala outside our own window. I get so excited.  I shout out about it. It ends up the koala is swinging on our swing set outside the window.

The tongue bit is quite gross.

59. Found an Australia-related dream from January 9, 2008.

There is a place in Australia that I think Judd would love. It's like a little American village.  It has a cheap hotel called Ameritech.  And there's another place called  Ameripleasure. There's a Chilis and other American chain restaurants. I walk through and am amused to think that this is Australia and all the people are probably Australian.

Judd is my brother-in-law and he's very patriotic when it comes to America.

60. Tired of the Sims 3.   I've been really into playing it.   But it's so frustrating because the Sims are supposed to have "storyline progression".   This means even if you're not playing a particular family, they're supposed to still thrive.  Well, my Sims grow old.   But they rarely do anything during their lives.   And they rarely reproduce if I'm not playing them.  I want generations spawned!  That aint happening.    I have a bunch of elderly people in my neighborhood now, and VERY few of them have descendants.

It's so frustrating.

With Sims 2, I had so much fun playing multiple families.  The problem with that game, though, was that the people didn't progress unless you played them.   So I might have 2 Sim friends.  One of the Sims becomes an elder while her childhood friend is walking around town; and she's still a child. 

I love the IDEA of storyline progression Sims 3.   I just wish it worked as well as I'd like it to work.

61. Figured I'll probably quit the Sims.

It's probably for the best.   Then I'll have more time for reading, exercising, and other fun things.

Also when I finish my blogging hiatus, I won't have time to play.  I mean I'd have time, but I'd have to sacrifice other things.

I don't regret playing the game, though.   I loved that the game connected us to our Australian friends.  To me it was a sign that these people are supposed to be playing a part in our lives.     

62. Went to bed and had more Australian dreams.

In one, I'm with my mom and my sister.   We're looking at the two CD's that my nephew received for Chanukah.   One's from us.   I look at the other one.   I see the singer on it is June Bronhill.   I tell them that the singer for the CD is Australian.   My mom and sister seem slightly bemused and also slightly exasperated.   They give a response of excited interest, but I get the sense they're being sarcastic.

In the other.   I'm with my parents and we see a program with a lot of animals.   My mom thinks it might be Australian, because there are kangaroos.   There are other animals though that I don't associate with Australia.   At first I'm guessing it might be Papua New Guinea.   Then I decide there's animals in the program that aren't native to there either.    We get the idea it's a zoo type thing with animals from everywhere.    My dad is excited about the whole thing and wants to meet those in charge.  My dad feels that they'll be honored to meet him; and honored to grant his requests.    But the young woman he ends up talking to doesn't seem at all impressed.   She seems annoyed and bored.   My dad offers to give him his autograph and she mistakingly assumes he's asking for her autograph.

It was a major battle of the egos.  

63. Wondered if I might play the Sims again and just stick with one family.   Yesterday I played Sims 3-Dina's grandson.  Cory.  I had him adopt 7 kids.  They were really cute.   And they live in this gigantic fun house.  What I could do is play them in their mansion.  Then when they grow up, I'll alternate between their seven houses.    That's probably better than playing every house in the neighborhood.   When I did that....well, there are so many houses.   By the time I got back to a house, the teen I last saw would be an elder the next time I saw him. 

64. Found an old dream about Australia.   This is from January 10, 2008.

I talk to my parents about Australia.  They say they prefer I move somewhere where they have connections.   I say that's one of the reasons I like Australia.  There are no connections.

The dream wasn't true.  My cousin lived in Sydney at that time.  We definitely had connections.  

65. Found another old dream about Australia.  This one is from January 11.

We write to the Port Stephens people and then they ask us to call. We do.   Tim talks to one of the men while I talk to one of the women. I don't even notice the accent. We don't seem to connect well.  They talk about their recent trip to Disney World.  I'm a little annoyed they came to the United States without telling us. There is talk about all of us going to Port Stephens next year, but then the women remember that they were planning to get their stomachs stapled. This means they can eat only 15 pounds of food per meal.

I wrote in my journal that, in the dream fifteen pounds of food, didn't seem like a lot.  When I woke up I noticed the absurdity.

66. Hoped that the Northern Territory doesn't have major storm problems.  I'm seeing the threats on the news.  It's all a bit scary.

67. Finished reading the first chapter of The Power of One.     It's my first reading of a Bryce Courtenay book.  So far, it seems very much like the kind of thing I'd like.

I can't say the same for the Kindle book with the incredibly long title.  It's kind of boring to me.   Should I quit reading it?   I don't know.  

It's not so bad reading a boring book when I'm alternating between that and a good book.

68. Re-watched some of Bran Nue Dae.

I watched this scene repeatedly.

It kind of brings me back to wanting to go to Broome.

Every time they sang, Soon I'll be dreaming in Broome, I started to cry a little bit.   Maybe it's not Broome though.   It could be the line itself.  Since I like dreaming, it's a beautiful way to think of traveling.

It's nice for me to think that once upon a time I dreamed in Sydney, Port Stephens, Gerroa, Launceston, and Canberra.

69. Went to bed and had dreams in Fort Worth.   Many of them, though, were about Australia.

In one.... I'm in a classroom setting.   Then there's another student..an older woman.  She talks about her travels and I hear Australia mentioned.  It turns out this woman is an Australian fan like me.    

Then the dream changes and we're both in Australia while talking about Australia.   But it's like we're there, but not there; maybe sort of like virtual reality.  

I feel incapable of getting this woman to understand that I'm like her—a fan of Australia.   

I'm not sure if her ignorance of my Australia love was because I didn't speak up enough, or if she was very self-involved.

I've been with people who talk so much that there's barely an opportunity to say, Yeah, me too!   And if I do manage to say that, they don't really seem to hear it.  Or at least they don't acknowledge it.  

In the second dream, I'm in an office setting.   There's a woman with Anorexia.   Her husband is a jerk and likes his wife the way she is.  He's intent on keeping her thin and not letting her get "fat" (and his definition of fat is not like my definition of fat).   I take this woman to a nearby eating disorder clinic.   It feels weird finally going to one, since I never went to one when I had an eating disorder. 

A person who doesn't work at the clinic refers to me as fat (can't remember who).  What stings is the counselors don't contradict this.  I feel fat, ignored, and jealous of the anorexic women who's getting all the help and compassion.  There's the idea that if I was thin, I'd be treated better here. 

Then this Australian woman shows up.  She's an older woman and I know her from my past.  I like her and feel some bit of comfort from her presence.  She tells me she had a dream in which a baby named Adina Beth (my birth name) told this woman that she (the baby) would one day be coming to Australia.   I'm impressed with this woman's dream, figure the baby was me, and I tell the woman it sounds very spiritual.   

In the last dream, we're in Australia hanging out with friends (I don't know who they were...another case of strangers that my dream self knows; but I don't).   We're riding in a car and pass a body of water.  I see someone driving their ute into the water.   I point it out and ask if we should be concerned.  Then we see other people doing it, and figure it's some type of new sport.

I guess people decided planking and coning weren't exciting enough.

70. Found an old dream about Qantas.  It's from January 13, 2008.

I'm on a Qantas plane with my family. I'm not sitting by Jack. He sits two rows ahead. There's bad turbulence. Then it stops. Things are too quiet. I remember learning that when the plane gets quiet like this, the plane is about to crash. And it does. It starts speeding down through the air. There's a small bit of hope that it's just doing this on purpose. But I'm doubtful. There's not too much screaming.  It's more like people are heavily disappointment.  

Then we end up crashing in the snow. Everyone is alive. No one is even hurt. We get out of plane. I joke around with pilot that this was the best crash I've ever been in. He doesn't respond much.  It's like he doesn't hear me or is distracted. I also think about how I get to be stranded with all these Australians. 

71. Loved reading Fruitcake's memory lane post.   She describes what life was like during her childhood.    This includes milk delivery and ice delivery.    I just talked to Jack about that the other day—how people didn't use to have refrigerators and freezers.

Fruitcake says that when they went to buy honey or peanut butter, they'd bring their own jars to be filled.    I think that's fascinating.  

One of the things I told Jack recently is that, since I've been a child, there's been HUGE advances in terms of medicine, communication, and entertainment.  Life has totally changed in those regards.   I don't think though that there have been huge advances with chore/domestic technology.  I'm sure laundry machines, ovens, refrigerators, toilets, microwaves, etc. have had improvements since the mid- late 1970's (when my memories begin), but I don't think the changes are shocking.   I think the huge advancements in those areas occurred before my times.

71. Had a brief dream about Sydney.  It's hard to explain, but it involved there being a beginning/front of the city.    Then I also dreamed about blogging.   I sit in a classroom talking to a girl.   She says something that makes me think she's read my blog before.   Then I kind of forget about it as we chat about various things.   Later...suddenly she asks me why I'm so interested in the occult.  Since we've not been talking about that at all, I get the idea she's getting this from having read my blog.   I don't think I'm that much into the occult though.   I figure she might be an atheist, and with that viewpoint it might seem I'm very interested in occult/supernatural things. 

72. Played around on the Qantas website.

The other day Jack and I talked about going to Australia in October.  It might not be October 2012, but maybe it will be SOME October.

73. Ate Vegemite—a little for breakfast and a little for lunch.

74. Liked these lines from The Power of One.

It is illogical for a man to be too logical.  Some things we must just let stands.  The mystery is more important than any possible explanation. The searcher after truth must search with humanity.   Ruthless logic is the sign of a limited mind.  The truth can only add to the sum of what you know, while a harmless mystery left unexplored often adds to the meaning of life.  When a truth is not so important, it is better left as a mystery.  

If a mysterious thing makes someone happy and gives their life meaning, why dissect it and burst their bubble?  What's the point of that?

75. Quit reading the Kindle book with the very long title.   I felt bored by the book, and the racism was starting to bother me too much.  It's hard to be tolerant of racism when reading The Power of One.

Still...I had a hard time quitting it.

I'm usually bad at quitting books.   I feel an obligation to persevere, even if I'm bored.   And with offensive material, is it better to avoid it, or is it better to face it and get an understanding of how some people think?

Well, I was still on the fence about quitting or not.  I turned on the Kindle.  Usually, when I click the little switch, the book appears in the place I last finished reading.   But this time it didn't happen.   Instead I was presented with the list of books we have on the Kindle.  It was like the universe was saying, Come on.  Quit the book and start a new one.

I've now started reading Matthew Flinder's book.  

76. Thought of how I get annoyed by imagining people reading my blog when they don't like me or my writing.   So if I don't want people reading my stuff when they don't like it, it probably makes sense that I shouldn't read stuff that I don't like.

It's always nice to give things a chance.  But when I'm consistently bored and unimpressed by something, I should quit.   

77. Began to read Bev's journal of her 2003 trip to Australia.  So far, it's very entertaining.

78. Finished reading The Power of One.   I thought it was fantastic.

It reminded me of Harry Potter....in a way.

Peekay starts his life as a loved child.   Then like Harry Potter, he's thrust into a situation where he's lonely and abused.   Later he finds he has certain special talents.  These talents bring him love, admiration, and a belief, from the community, that he's very special....kind of like "the chosen one".

Peekay has a friend named Doc.  Their relationship kind of reminded me of Dumbeldore and Harry.

I'm not sure about the title of the book.   I think it was more about the power of MANY.   To me, it was about people helping each other.    It makes me think of what Christian Shepard said. Nobody does it alone, Jack.   You needed all of them; and they needed you.  

We all need the support of others to thrive, and we also need to be needed by others.  

79. Started to read Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee by Chloe Hooper.  I wish it was a fictional story.

Unfortunately, it's not. 

The book is about an Aboriginal man in Queensland who gets arrested for swearing. Then he's beaten to death in prison.

Like families, all countries have skeletons in their closet. The death of Doomadgree is probably one of Australia's ugliest.  

80. Continued to read Matthew Flinder's book.   It has a lot of latitude and longitude.    Usually, my eyes just skip over all that.   But a few times I've plugged in the coordinates into this website.   That's fun.  

Right now, Mr. Flinders and I are hanging out in the Papua New Guinea area.   

81. Continued to read Bev's journal.  I'm loving it!

82.  Went to bed and dreamed that Julian McMahon was one of the stars of Three Men and a Baby I also dreamed that I'm wanting Thaao Penghlis to notice me.   I'm thinking this is possible because I've transformed myself, and now I look exactly like Thaao Penghlis.  I figure he'll notice someone who looks exactly like him.  But it ends up that he doesn't.  

Then later I dreamed that  I'm sitting on a couch next to an Australian woman.  I'm eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that also has whole peanuts.   The woman asks if she can ask me something.  I know what she's going to ask, so I answer before she asks.   I say,  No this isn't an American thing.   I add, It's not even a Dina thing. I usually don't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

83. Found an old Australian dream.  This one is from January 25, 2008.   I talk with my parents about Tim's job situation.  I feel so out of touch with what my parent's want.  They ignore the whole Australia thing.  They don't bring it up. I say we have to balance what I want with what Tim wants and what they want.  My parents add "Jack too".  

Jack wanted the same thing my parents wanted—for us to stay in Fort Worth.

84. Found another Australian related dream.   We get to work with a nice guy from Sydney.  He's a young director.   But then he accidentally hits Jack's face with a rubber band.  Jack gets upset. I'm feeling we won't be able to work with the director now.   Jack won't calm down in time.

Well, that's kind of a bad mothering moment.   It's like I'm more annoyed with Jack for getting hurt then I am at the guy who hurt him.   Yeah.  Okay.  It was an accident.  But since it was his fault, he should have stuck around and worked with us.  I shouldn't have needed to worry about getting Jack calmed down in time.  

There was also a dream that night about the people we met at Port Stephens coming to a party at our house.   It's long and confusing though, so I'll skip writing about it in detail.

85. Thought more about going to Western Australia.   I think my problem is I want to go to so many places in Western Australia  and that would be too expensive.   In addition, Tim has also said he wants to go to Darwin.   So I had been thinking of flying to Darwin and then somehow making our way to Perth.  It would be a very long drive or expensive flights.

But I've been reading about Darwin and Kakadu Park.   To me it sounds crocodile infested.   It's probably not, but I don't even want to see ONE crocodile in the wild.  Give me parrots and kangaroos.  I don't want to see man-eating reptilian monsters.    Sorry.

Anyway, so I told Tim I'd probably want to skip Darwin. He didn't really protest.

I'm thinking we could probably manage just Perth and the surrounding area.   Bev's journal is about Perth and it's really brainwashing me into wanting to go there.

I'm wondering how we'd fit it in to the schedule. I'm thinking we'd maybe skip the Victoria driving trip.   We could just do Melbourne for a week; then fly to Perth and spend time there.

86. Hoped that my fictional trip to Australia will give me ideas of where to go.

No.  Wait.  I shouldn't say that.  I have PLENTY of ideas about places to go. There's too many.

But maybe reading about these places, and imagining being there, will help me decide where I want to go in real life.   

87. Talked to Tim about Western Australia.   He was over Darwin. Now his thing is Broome.   We looked at the price and distance though.   It's not easily workable.   I'm hoping we can find a Broome type place near Perth.   If anyone has any ideas, please speak up.

I'm thinking Shark Bay might be nice.   We could stay in Perth, go to the Pinnacles, and then drive up north to some beachy place.   

88. Did some research, thinking, and talking with Tim and Jack.  I think I'm going to aim for us going to Australia in October 2014 or 2015.

I'm annoyed at myself for obsessing over this so much.   Maybe I jinx myself by planning and dreaming.

89. Received my Powells package.  It came earlier than expected.

I have so many books now!

90. Continued to read The Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee.   I'm getting a lot of insight that I didn't get from reading online.   It really goes into a lot of detail, and shows the negative aspects of both the white side and the black side.   And yeah.   In this, there definitively are two sides. 

The main villain of the story is Chris Hurley.   He'd different than I imagined.   From what I read online, I saw him as a brutal sadistic racist psychopath who got away with murder.  Now I'm seeing something different.   I see him as a man who tried be to be good and WAS partly good, but he also had a bad side.  That bad side took over and he ended the life of another. 

I think there's probably a lot of people out there like Chris Hurley.  They're relatively decent. Then someone rubs them the wrong way and they get violent.

I haven't finished the book, though.  I might end up reading things later that makes me see the whole situation differently.  

91. Went to bed and dreamed that my younger sister starts a journal.   It has writing but also includes some cool stop motion animation.   We're sitting at the table and my dad proudly makes an announcement about my sister's journal.  He thinks it's wonderful.  I'm very angry and jealous because he has never given my blog that type of attention.

The dream ended up being quite okay because next I angrily ran away and flew up into the sky to go to my Dream City.  There I was reunited with my lover from a previous dream.   In that previous dream we had worked at Jurassic Park together and had shared meals of jalapeno poppers.  My man died at the park....killed by dinosaurs, I presume.  But in the dream city, we could be together again.

I also dreamed about some place with kangaroos.  It was a tourist shop, I think.  

92. Found an old dream about Australia.   It's from January 27, 2008.   I tell Andrea that I homeschool Jack. . She puts down unschooling and says eventually I will have to stop this.  I feel like saying something like "And you can't stop me."

I tell Andrea that Jack knows the capitals of Australia. This seems to pacify her, but she wants to see for herself.

We go upstairs to find Jack. He's busy playing with my dad and toy animals. 

There was also a dream that night where someone on Livejournal said they wanted to hear about my marriage problems and not my Australia stuff.   I guess even then I was feeling self-conscious and rejected regarding certain aspects of myself.

With some people I feel pressured to stop talking about personal stuff.  They seem to only want to hear about Australia.   With other people I feel I have to avoid talking about Australia.   They don't want to hear about that.    

What I need to keep reminding myself is I have a right to write whatever I want on my blog—even if it bores some people.    And people who come to my blog have a right to read what interests them, and they have a right to skip over that which is boring to them.

I really need to just write and not worry about who's reading what.

93. Watched video of The Church singing "Unguarded Moment".   It's a song on the CD that Jayne from Gleeful made me.

Jayne's CD had a cover of the song by Dead Letter Chorus, Wagons, and Ned Collete Band. I like that one better; but maybe it's because I heard it first.

It's probably my favorite of the songs on the CD.

I think my iTunes DJ's favorite song on the CD is Lisa Mitchell singing "Pirouette". He's played it several times for me.

94. Bitten suddenly by the home-decorating and rearranging bug.    I played around with our bookshelves and created an Australian-themed shelf.   It's on the playroom bookshelf, which is where we put our children's books.  So I put the Aussie children's books on the shelf.   I added a flag, an empty Vegemite jar, and some Aussie animal toys.  

95. Finished reading Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee.

It's a tragic illustration of the unfairness of life.

I still think Chris Hurley was probably a mixture of good and bad rather than pure evil.   But his police brutality caused the death of someone, and he wasn't convicted.   It's not right.

The lives of Aboriginal people on Palm Island aren't right either.  There's excessive alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, and other horrific problems.

I think some of it can be blamed on the sins of white people; but I don't think all of it can.

96. Decided my addictions include buying used Australian books and planning out Australian trips on Google maps.

97.  Thought about Monkey Mia before getting up and out of bed this morning.  Then I fell back asleep and it turned into a dream.    There's a school group seeing the dolphins.   The guide/worker at Monkey Mia asks one of the kids to do some type of chore.   The child refuses.   The guide/worker is annoyed.  He tries to guilt the child into working by saying if the child cares about animals, he needs to help.  

98. Stayed asleep and had another dream.   We're on a Qantas plane.   I'm reading a book.   Suddenly, the plane starts dropping.  I decide I should probably stop reading.   I'm a little scared we might be crashing, but I figure it's just turbulence.   There's a voice on the intercom, maybe the pilot.   I can barely hear him, but he doesn't sound panicked.  It sounds like he's just giving facts and figures.

I think about how I haven't been keeping track of time, and I wonder how long we've been in the air.   Then suddenly I see we're on the street.  We're landed.   The pilot says something like Oh well.  That happens sometimes.   I'm wondering where we are.  

99. Figured this post is getting long, so I'll probably start a new one soon.   I'll post this one when I'm ready to start posting again.

I think for my next post I'm going slowly to get back to doing all my internet stuff...Flickr, Tallygarunga, trivia, etc.    I love all that stuff enough to jump back in full force.   It's just that I also love all this extra time I now have.

It might be hard getting back into full time blogging.

100. Learned, from Matthew Flinders, that wombat tastes like mutton.

I've never had mutton before though.   I did have lamb once.