Monday, June 1, 2015

A Fraction of the Whole, Self-Diagnosis, Music Videos, and Germophobia

1. Dreamed about Australia. Or NOT Australia. I'm walking through an area with a friend. I consider it to be Australia, and I want it to be Australia. But I'm having my doubts. I get this feeling that I've heard accents that are not Australian. Also, I see black people who look African.   

I think I expected black people to look more Aboriginal than African. Though my waking self knows and understands that there ARE people of African-origin who live in Australia.

2. Worried that I accidentally said something rude a few weeks ago. At the time, I didn't think of it as being rude. It took me until this morning to realize I might have made a mistake.

I was talking to my sister and her husband. I made a comment about how when Jack was their child's age, we took him to Australia. Now, when I think of it, it sounds like bragging.  And it also could be insulting, comparing our life with theirs.

I don't think I meant to brag. I think it was more a feeling of amazement—looking at their child and imagining taking someone that young all the way to Australia.  I think sometimes I fail to appreciate and understand how young Jack was at certain times until I see another child who is at the age that he was then.

But yeah. It was probably a thought that should have stayed in my own head and not spoken aloud.

3. Examined and remembered my own feelings about international traveling with young children. I definitely don't think it needs to be done.  I think to do it for the child's sake is pretty ridiculous. They'd probably get as much excitement and enrichment by going on a local mini-vacation.

Tim acted eager to travel when Jack was young, and I pretty much put my foot down. I thought it was a waste of money and a huge hassle to take a young child on an airplane.

We ended up going to Australia, because I became obsessed.  I dragged Jack along on my adventure. Fortunately, it ended up that Jack traveled well. I think he had a fantastic time in Australia.  I don't think it hurt him in anyway. So I don't regret taking him. I'm glad we did it. But I think he would have been fine if we didn't go to Australia.

4. Consulted Lord Wiki about African-Australians.

He says wide-scaled immigration from Africa is fairly new in Australia. So if my dream took place a few decades ago, seeing people of African-origin might have been a sign that I wasn't actually in Australia.

These days Australia gets a fair amount of newcomers from South Africa and Sudan.

5. Looked at Lord Wiki's chart.  Sydney has a lot of South Africans. But I think many of them are white and not black, so they probably wouldn't have been the people in my dream. Besides, I think maybe my dream took place in Western Australia.  In that case, I might have been seeing people from Kenya, Zambia, or Zimbabwe. Though, if I'm understanding things correctly, immigrants from Zimbabwe are often Caucasian.  So I'll go with Kenyans and Zambians.

6. Took A Fraction of the Whole off my bookshelf.  Yesterday I started reading a library book, and quit after the first chapter. It's the third book, in a row, that I haven't liked. The first one I completed; the second I quit after about a hundred pages.

I'm hoping I'll like A Fraction of the Whole.  I read it about five years ago, and loved it. So, if all is right in the world, I should love it again. If I don't like it, I'm going to assume reading novels just isn't for me at this point. I'll take a break for a few weeks. Maybe I'll read just blogs instead.

7. Found a butterfly wing in the middle of A Fraction of the Whole. I'm not sure if I put it there on purpose, or if it landed in the book on accident.

No, don't worry. I'm not a cruel person who tears wings off butterflies. The wing is from a butterfly that came out of a chrysalis in our garage. He fell to the ground and didn't seem very healthy. I brought him inside the house and hoped/wished/tried to get it healthy, but things didn't work out.

8.  Liked this story about a cafe owner who asked a customer to leave because he complained about a woman breastfeeding.  He complained. The owner offered to sit him somewhere else. He declined; then asked the breastfeeding mom to cover herself up. THEN the owner told him to leave.

9. Thought back to my breastfeeding days.  I think the only person who complained was my sister. I forgot what she said, though. All I remember is that we all were at my other sister's house...I think for my Grandfather's funeral.

Now that sister has had three babies of her own, and breastfed all of them. I think her view of public breastfeeding has probably changed.

10. Imagined that some of these people who complain about public breastfeeding might just be ignorant and inexperienced. In a few years, they might have children or grandchildren of their own. They could end up very supportive of breastfeeding.

It's like I sometimes feel exasperated with the elderly folks on scooters  who slow down the buses at Disney World. But one day I'll probably be one of them.  And worse, since I've had bitchy thoughts about it, Karma will probably kick my ass, and I'll be one of those unfortunate ones who ends up having to use a scooter before become elderly.

Or maybe not...since I'm kind of expressing regret about it now. Maybe Karma will be forgiving.

11. Impressed with the episode of The Saddle Club I watched today, because it actually mentioned something Australian. The boys tried to trick the girls into thinking there was a Yowie in the woods.

12. Remembered there was a chocolate bar on the episode. I was half-paying attention, because I was simultaneously playing QuizUp.  But maybe it was an Australian bar?  I should rewind and check.

13. Went back to watch the candy bar part. They don't give a close-up enough view.

14. Wondered why The Saddle Club doesn't have a nationality.

Maybe it's because the Canadians and Australians fought over it taking place in their  own countries. Then, as a compromise, they decided it would be neither place. It would be a combination of Australia and Canada. Some people would have Australian accents, and some would have Canadian.

It's kind of like how Canberra was a compromise between Sydney and Melbourne.

15. Saw that The Saddle Club book series was written by a woman from the US. So we're in the mix too.

16. Started reading A Fraction of the Whole, and am already loving it.

I mean I only read the first paragraph, and had to stop to quote it.

You never hear about a sportsman losing his sense of smell in a tragic accident, and for good reason; in order for the universe to teach excruciating lessons that we are unable to apply later in life, the sportsman must lose his legs, the philosopher his mind, the painter his eyes, the musician his legs, the chef his tongue.

Though that's not always true. Case in point: Stephen Hawking. If I look at him through the eyes of that paragraph, he's kind of fortunate.

17. Wondered if the first paragraph was true.

I don't think so, actually. If a sportsman had a bad injury, the news would probably drone on about it for weeks. Those interested, could probably find out about every injury that occurred, including a loss of smell.

18. Stopped being so fond of the first paragraph. Now I feel the need to poke all these holes in it.

What's wrong with me?

19. Started watching another episode of The Reef Doctors.

This one features a cone shell. On the show, they said, there's no anti-venom. Yikes!

20. Reminded of myself when watching the storyline about the guy who has diagnosed himself by looking online. I do that a lot.  Last night, I diagnosed myself with neuropathy.

21. Wondered how often people are correct about their self-diagnosis. I imagine it must happen sometimes.

22. Learned the guy who thought he had a brain tumor really just had too much ear wax.

The show makes him look like a fool. I guess it's fair. Because in a past episode they made the doctor look like a fool with a misdiagnosis.

That's the thing about self-diagnosis. Maybe people do it too often, and end up with wrong answers. But sometimes doctors provide the wrong answers as well.

23. Liked the storyline twist on The Reef Doctors. There's an elderly woman, and we're briefly led to believe she's being abused by her carer; but then it turns out to be the opposite.

I think there was something similar with a breastfeeding mom on Wonderland.  No, she wasn't being abusive. But she WAS somewhat rude and annoying.

I think certain groups of people in our society are often painted as being innocent victims. And yeah. They might be victims, but they're not always sweet and innocent. Sometimes they're bitches and assholes.

24. Liked this quote about Australia in A Fraction of the Whole.  ...Because while Australia is an eventful place, what goes on there is about as topical in world newspapers as "Bee Dies in New Guinea After Stinging Tree By Mistake". It's not our fault. We're too far away.

25. Loved this quote as well.  And now everyone returning from an armed conflict is a hero too. In the old days you had to commit specific acts of valor during war;  now you just need to turn up. These days when a war is on, heroism seems to mean 'attendance'.

I also don't like it when victims of disease or catastrophe are called heroes. Now some of them might do something truly heroic, and then they might rightfully earn the title. But they shouldn't get the label just for getting sick or being injured.

26. Received Aussie music information through email. This used to happen to be on a regular basis. I think I told one of them them (nicely!) to stop at one point.  It's not because I'm a mean person, but because I wasn't blogging much anymore.  Or maybe I didn't tell them they had to stop. Maybe I just said they might WANT to stop, because it's kind of a waste of their time.

But now I AM blogging a lot, so music emails are appreciated.

27. Started listening to the first song. It's called "By Water" by Esther Holt.

I like the lamp in the video.

I didn't like the song at first, but slowly it's growing on me.

28. Wondered if the animal at 2:25 is a Tasmanian Tiger.  I think it is.

29. Started listening to the other video the music people sent. This one is Whitley's "My Heart is Not a Machine". They sent it, because it features Esther Holt.

I like Whitley.

30. Liked the cat and the macaw in the video.

31. Realized that Esther Holt is more of a background singer in the video. It's not like other songs featuring singers. In those, the singers usually have solos.

32. Started to listen to Whitley's "Cheap Clothes", because YouTube automatically started playing it. Does anyone know how to stop that, by the way?  I find it annoying.

Anyway...I decided while I'm listening to the song, I might as well watch the Australia video I made that uses the song.  This one is from when we were in Halls Gap.

33. Saw that my video has cool animals too. No Macaw or cat, but there is a cockatoo and a kangaroo.  I bet there will also be magpies.

Oh! And now I remember...emus as well.

34. Impressed with my video. Though the narration is hard to follow. I don't think people will understand what the hell is going on, unless they were there with us.

But then again, music videos are often hard to follow.

Maybe the whole point is to confuse people.

35. Started watching another episode of Reef Doctors.

36. Excited by Open Water type storyline on Reef Doctors.

37. Felt some sympathy (maybe empathy?) for the characters on Reef Doctors, because their friends are lost at sea. I'm imagining how we'd feel if our close friends were lost.  It's incredibly stressful, waiting to see if you're going to get good news or bad. Well, I've never had anyone lost before. But I have experienced waiting to see if someone is going to survive injury, surgery, get a terrifying diagnosis, etc.

38. Felt a kinship with Eric Thompson when reading his Japan blog.  He's an Australian who loves Japan, but he does NOT like Natto, the fermented soybean that is loved by "real" Japanese people. It's just like I'm an American who loves Australia, but I do not like Vegemite.

39. Started watching another episode of Reef Doctors.

Something is wrong with one of their snakes. I hope it's okay. I think it will be. Reef Doctors is the type of show where people and other types of animals are often in peril, but they usually survive.

40. Tried to remember if there have been any deaths on Reef Doctors.

I don't think so.

Past deaths are mentioned, but I don't think any on-screen characters have died.

41. Felt kinship with woman on Reef Doctors, because she's quite militant about food safety.

She's cooking with a nurse and doctor who exchange looks about her need to follow safety guidelines.  It's like they're annoyed. That makes me kind of annoyed.  I think medical professionals should be militant about cleanliness and food safety as well.

Then again, maybe she's going too far? I'm not sure.

I might go too far sometimes.  I mean I don't think I go beyond guidelines. The thing is the guidelines are quite strict, and I get uptight about other people following them. For example, in Hibachi restaurants, it bothers me when the chef monkeys with the vegetables using the same knife or spatula that touched the raw chicken.  I try to reassure myself by imagining that maybe the germs on the spatula (knife?) are being killed by the very hot cooking surface.

The thing is I worry less about food cooked in closed kitchen, because I'm not having to watch.  It's easier for me to be in denial—pretend it's okay.

The hard decision is when someone I know is cooking.  Is it better for me to police them and make sure good cleaning habits are used. Or is it better to hide and just hope for the best?

Often, I hide and then later come and wipe various things in the kitchen with an anti-bacterial wipe.  Well, I do this with Tim, and sometimes at the lake house. I wouldn't do it at a friend's house.

42. Found out the woman on Reef Doctors is a general germophobe. She also opts to give visiting the clinic a miss, because it recently had a TB infection.  They did a thorough cleaning, but she's still worried. I'd feel the same way. I'd prefer to skip it, but if there was good reason for me to go, I'd go ahead with it.  Maybe.  I hope I would. I hope my germ paranoia hasn't reached awful dimensions.

The weird thing is, for me it's all about vomit.  If there's a contagion that doesn't usually cause vomiting, I probably would be a lot less freaked out.  So actually...I probably wouldn't hesitate too much about the cleaned TB area.  But I would be extremely hesitant about visiting a clinic that recently had a patient infected with the norovirus.

43. Could not relate to germaphobic woman's disgust at having a dead man's ashes blow on her. I don't think that would bother me. I think it's actually kind of a morbid creepy way.  Well, I wouldn't want a whole urn's worth to land on me. But an ash or two?  No problem.

44. Saw that I spoke too soon about nothing dying on Reef Doctors.

Poor snake.

45. Wondered if I'd be classified as OCD, because the woman I've been relating to has just been identified as having OCD.


46. Took an online OCD test and scored 9 which is in the category of OCD is probable.

I don't like the test, though. I think it's confusing.

There's a section that asks Have you ever felt driven to perform certain acts over and over again, such as....

Then they list some things I do such as washing hands, checking appliances, opening and rereading and writing letters.  Well, I don't do that with letters, because I rarely write letters. But sometimes I'll do it with email.  I don't know if I check it over and over. But I worry about it sometimes.  I worry about accidentally saying something some kind of Freudian slip.

I have a worry about leaving the freezer open, so I'll check that...ONCE at night.  I mean I'll be in bed, start worrying about it, and then I'll go check. Since it's only once, is it not OCD?  Maybe that's normal and okay. Maybe it's only OCD if you do it multiple times.

I also worry about things, but I don't bother checking. For example, this weekend, when we went to the lake house,  I worried that I left the oven on at home. But I didn't insist my mom drive me home. Nor did I worry about it excessively.  I still had a fun time at the lake house, and was usually thinking about other things.

47. Decided to self-diagnose myself with NOT having OCD.  I'm going to take the test again, and be more be conservative with my answers.

48. Got a 2 this time.

So, basically I range from not having OCD and probably having OCD, depending on which way I feel like interpreting the questions.

49. Continued to believe I do have neuropathy.

50. Self-diagnosed myself with hypochondria. I feel very confident about that diagnosis.