Saturday, March 10, 2012


I'm back to blogging!  That was a short retirement.

I'm joking.

I'm not really back to blogging.  But I decided I'll do updates every so often.

I guess instead of saying I'm a "retired blogger"; I could say I'm an occasional blogger (rather than a full-time blogger).

First off....

I'm still American.

 I'm still weird.

And I'm still very obsessed with Australia.

I think I might be more obsessed now than I was before.   Or at least the love is more strong.   I worried that blogging was what kept my Australia-love alive, but now I'm thinking it actually might have been diminishing it.

The first several hours after quitting were very difficult.   My feelings were a lot like SOME of the lyrics in this song.

I felt incredibly lost.  I wanted to keep doing Australia things; but I wasn't sure what to do.  And I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy doing whatever I did if I wasn't going to blog about it.

I went to the Australian Dictionary of Biography figuring maybe I'd read those. I read a few paragraphs and then gave up on that idea. I've come to realize that the ADB is great when you're interested in a particular Australian and want a lot of details about their life. It's not that fun for browsing.  At least not for me.  Other people might enjoy it.

I did a lot of Funtrivia  for the first few days.  That was fun, but it got old after awhile.

Another thing I did from the beginning of my quitting stage(and that I'm still doing) is major Flickr stalking.

I do it differently now, though.

What happened is this.  During those difficult first hours I realized my computer calendar's days were filled with our pretend Australia trip. I figured I'd have to erase it and that made me quite depressed.   I didn't want to do it, so I came up with an idea. I would continue the pretend trip, but in a different way.

Each day I look at photos from the place we were supposed to be pretending to be.   It's a really great way of learning about a place.   I look at the photos. Then if something interests me or keeps popping up in multiple photos, I google it.

Right now I'm on Bruny Island.   It has lots of birds, including penguins.   There are sea lions or seals.  I love this one rock structure.   It's called The Monument. There's also this cool thing where these small roundish rocks are stacked up as a tower.   It's really odd. I haven't been able to figure out what it is. I'm not sure if it occurred naturally or if someone stacked them that way.

I've spent a lot of time looking at Melbourne photos.   The thing that sticks out to me the most there is the street art.

Nagambie has some nice wineries.

I like the boats and the harbour in Hobart.

I enjoyed looking at too many photos of the Twelve Apostles and Cradle Mountain.

My favorite place so far is Halls Gap.  That town might be my ideal vacation place.   It seems like there are parrots and kangaroo everywhere.   Plus there's a cool rock structure that looks like a mouth. It used to be called The Jaws of Death, but now people are calling it The Balcony.  

I have a whole system of looking at photos.   It's complicated, so I won't try to explain it.   I will say though that while I look at the photos I listen to Australian music.   I started with continuing my exploration of the Triple J countdown. Then I moved onto the ARIA winners and nominations.   Lord Wiki assists me with that.  Right now I'm on 1996.

Yesterday (while still on 1995) I listened to this somewhat annoying and somewhat delightful song.  You know what I mean?   It's one of those things that make me cringe, yet I kind of want to start singing along.

One day we were in the car and Gotye's song came on the radio.

I was overly excited about that and shouted out.  That's Australian!

Jack's been really into Spotify and the song is very high up on the charts on that. I guess it's pretty popular in America.

Recently Suburgatory played an Angus and Julia Stone song.

It worked well in the scene.

Tim and I watched The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.    It was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Yet I enjoyed it immensely.  I loved the scenery and the music.

I later went to look up the soundtrack and learned one of the songs was from Angus and Julia Stone.

It's probably my favorite song right now; and prior to that song I wasn't that much of a Angus and Julia Stone fan.   I did like their songs, but I had never loved one.  Plus, after awhile, their voices would grate on my nerves.  Now I'm feeling somewhat differently.

I've been reading Australian books.  My favorites lately have been Forty-Seventeen by Frank Moorhouse and Portia De Rossi's Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain   I could relate to SO much of Portia De Rossi's book. It was scary, but also probably therapeutic.

I've been keeping up Australian news much more.  Well, I have so much more time on my hands.

I got into the whole Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd drama.

I realized that Bob Carr kind of looks like an elderly version of Tom Hanks.

I felt sad for Rudd and for Kim Carr.   

I now know understand about who Gina Rinehart is. 

My thoughts and prayers are with the people who lived in the very flooded towns of Victoria and New South Wales.   Because of that whole story I now know how to properly pronounce Wagga Wagga. 

I've started my own little collection of Australia quotes.  I'm getting them from books, songs, and stuff like that. I'm slowly reading through (and re-proofreading) my old posts.  I know I have some quotes in there.  I might copy and paste some of those to the collection as well.   

Last night I had a Prime Minister dream.   I'm in a waiting room with toys.   Kevin Rudd is there playing with animal toys.  He's making the animals kiss other animals.  He has his animals kiss the animals I'm holding. I'm all excited that he's interacting with me.  But then...the game gets old after awhile.

I'm brought a tea set with the name Sonia on it.  I'm told it's related to a Prime Minister's family; and  I'm supposed to guess what family it belonged to.  I know the answer pretty much right away; but Kevin Rudd doesn't know that.  He gives me a hint. I give him the answer (The McMahon family).   Kevin Rudd acts very impressed with my knowledge of Australia.  

Anyway....that's about it.

How are you doing?   What's going on in your life? 


Martin said...

Thanks for staying in touch, Dina. It seems your obsession with Australia is filling up with new energy and it sounds fun.

I'm leading a comparatively boring life but thanks for asking. Are you still following Australian bloggers?

Dina said...


I'd love to hear about your so-called boring life. What are your big interests right now?

Are you still into that TV show (or miniseries?) you wrote about on your blog?

I've read a few blogs here or there lately; but I'm not reading anything religiously.

Martin said...

Well the novel the series was based on is still the definitive between the wars English novel if you mean Brideshead Revisited. Its only minor problem is that it seems to preach that Catholicism is the answer which it clearly never could be, IMO. To give Waugh his due, though, he wasn't really an overly preachy or conservative Catholic if the novel is anything to go by just a strangely gullible one given his brilliance as a social commenter. I've now started to read Great Expectations but I don't think it could be as good.

The War for Civilisation (as Robert Fisk names the big game of global geopolitics, etc. being played out mainly in the Middle East) is still my big interest.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Hey! You're back!! And we DO have something in common - I've blogged about Halls Gap as one of my favourite places!!! So you sure do know how to pick 'em!

Blogging can so easily take over your reality - especially if, like me, you are blogging about your reality! I sometimes have to ensure I don't spend all my time blogging at the expense of actually doing - which is what I'm writing about after all.

Hope you have a great week!

Dina said...

Martin: That's interesting the book pushes Catholicism. In what ways does it do that?

Why have you decided to read Great Expectations. Did you go to that talk about Dickens that was in Sydney recently? Have you read any other Dickens books?

That's cool about your Middle East interest. Are you still also interested in China?

Red Nomad Oz: Hi! Thanks for commenting; and thanks for being so understanding!

I remembered you liked Halls Gap. I thought about that when I was looking at photos on Flickr. Although I can't really remember what you said about it; so I'll have to go back to read. I'm guessing your love might include a bakery?

I guess I associate you with Halls Gap, good bakeries, and scenic toilets.

I think you're spot on about blogging taking over our reality.

I sometimes end up feeling like a reality TV star; and I don't like feeling that way.

Dina said...

Okay...I just went back to read your post. And you DO talk about scenic toilets and bakery (the BEST bakery). So I guess I remembered more about the post than I thought I remembered.

On the other hand, I think you often talk about toilets and bakeries. So I could have remembered your toilet and bakery love in a more general sense.

Martin said...

The pushing of Catholicism is quite apologetic and crude really (not in the sense of apology for admitted wrongdoing but of the attempt to justify and persuade (as in Christian apologetics)) but its also quite subtle and symbolic. It's about the sensuality of modernism versus the simplicity of grace I suppose. I couldn't do it justice with a short comment.

I'm also still very interested in China (and also the 'this is the only life your going to get' atheist Buddhist philosophy I wrote about). As far as Dickens goes, I've read Bleak House and found its significance slight yet its language impenetrable. I haven't been to any Dickens events recently but Great Expectations has been on in mini series and Miriam Margolyes has also been recommending it on the telly.

Marcie said...

Hi. I just discovered your blog while looking up stuff about Harold Holt. Great blog, lots of fun - you are officially on my blog list. I hope you update regularly.
If you like Australian TV, I think you shoud watch Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, a new ABC drama.Ms Fisher is wonderful and her costumes are divine, but the supporting cast are a bit cringeworthy.Bye
Marcie from

Dina said...

Hi Marcie!

I'm glad Harold Holt brought you here.

Thank you for the Miss Fisher recommendation! It sounds fun.