Sunday, January 3, 2016

Koalas, Subspecies, Impressive Parents, and Guitars

1. Dreamed that we're riding on a bus through a wooded area.  I see a koala that's low in the trees. He's very easy to see. I point it out to Jack and Tim. Tim then says something like, "I wonder what kind of koala that is".

2. Wondered if there are different kinds of koalas.

I don't think there are.  But I'll check just in case.

3. Glad I checked.

Lord Wiki says there are three subspecies of Koala—Queensland Koalas, New South Wales Koala, and Victorian Koalas.

The Queensland koalas are the smallest and the Victorian ones are the biggest.

4. Read more from Lord Wiki and saw it's debated about whether the koalas are really different subspecies.

From what I'm reading, it seems to me that saying a Queensland koala is a different subspecies than a New South Wales or Victorian koala is equal to saying a person from Finland is a different subspecies of human than a person in Korea.

5. Tried to figure it all out.

From what I understood from our Crash Course Biology lessons, an animal is the same species as another animal if they can breed and have fertile offspring.

Although a poodle and golden retriever look very different; they can still have sex and have a baby that might one day have it's own baby.

I'm not sure, though, what a subspecies refers to.  Is a poodle a different subspecies than a golden retriever?  We use the term breed. What does that meant?

6. Learned from Lord Wiki that breed is a term used for domesticated animals.
7. Consulted Lord Wiki about the definition of subspecies. It goes way over my head, but I'm trying to understand.

I THINK what he's saying is that in order for there to be a subspecies division between animals, the genes between the two groups have to be different enough.

With koalas, scientists have not found enough genetic difference. So that's why there are disagreements about the subspecies division.

8. Learned that words "population" and "race" can used for the divisions of groups that are not different enough to qualify as subspecies.

I think with humans we also often use the word ethnicity or ethnic groups.

9. Went to the Australia Koala Foundation. They have a page about taxonomy. I want to see what they say about the three types of koalas.

10. Read the page.  They say there is debate among scientists about whether there are three subspecies of koalas, two subspecies, or none.

11. Started to watch an episode of Scooter Secret Agent.

12. Liked that, on the episode, a girl (Greta Larkins ) refuses to accept her father's (Brian Lipson) declaration that he obsessively plays chess for her.

The daughter expresses surprise that he was willing to purposely lose to save her from a kidnapping. He says, why do you think I do all this in the first place?

She replies, Please don't tell me it's all for me, dad. I wouldn't believe it.

The sad thing is parents like that probably DO believe they are pursuing careers and hobbies for the benefit of their children.

I think it happens with grandparents too.

Sometimes adults do this because they believe the best way to win the love of the children, in their life, is to impress them.

Other times, it's probably about being self-centered, but not wanting to take on that label.

I think it's totally fine for parents to have careers and hobbies. I mean it's more than fine. It's great.

It's not so great, though if the child is often neglected; or if the child often has to make sacrifices in order for the parent to pursue their career or hobby.

Let's say a parent often misses his child's birthday party or other important event because of his hobby or career. It's sad enough as it is, but even worse if the parent tries to say he's doing all this for his child.

Sometimes the parent will put the family through sacrifices, because doing so will bring in more material wealth for the family.  Yes. I missed all your birthdays, don't know the names of any of your friends, and have no idea what TV shows you watch. But I've been busy working, so we could afford your iPhone, Playstation, hoverboard, and trips to London.

In some cases, at certain ages, a child might prefer the material goods to adult attention.

Actually, I think this is the case with many people of all ages and stages. I think most of us are quite greedy when it comes to material things. I think the exception is with people who DON'T get the attention and love they desire.  Then it becomes: No! I don't want a five hundred dollar Amazon gift certificate. I want you to spend time with me and show that you're interested in me.

13. Thought again about how other adults imagine their hobbies and/or career are important for their children, because they think it's important to be someone that their children can be proud of.

I do think it would be lovely  if I could be the cool mother and aunt who also happens to be a successful writer.  I'd love for my son, nieces, and nephews to brag about me to their friends. That would be fantastic...for ME.  I don't think, though, that it would make me a better mom or aunt.  What the children in my life need from me is my attention and love. My lack of success and impressiveness does not detract from my ability to give these two things to the kids in my life.

14. Did feel that things can go bad in the other direction—a parent or grandparent who has no life outside his or her kids, and therefore becomes overbearing.

I'm already overly interested in Jack's life—to the point of annoying him, sometimes. If I didn't have Australia, Coronation Street, my blog, and other things...I'd probably be a very much hated mother.

15. Thought more about parents who can afford to give their children awesome, expensive gifts.

I think the decent ones takes their child out to lunch and then hands the child a close-to-perfect gift ....BECAUSE they know the child so well.  The not so good parent is too busy to take their child out to lunch. So in lieu of a lunch date, they mail the child a check for a few hundred dollars.

16. Met an Australian woman that was working at our Disney Hotel. She was very friendly. Tim did more talking than I did.  I was feeling kind of shy, which is kind of unusual for me these days.  It was almost like I was starstruck.

17. Found the 2008 Tropfest film I'm going to watch tonight.

It's called "Blues for the Soul".

18. Started watching the film.

The beginning sounds like some kind of New Age nature sounds album.

19. Thought that the movie seems like a documentary.  Is it? Or is it a pseudo-documentary?

I didn't consider that Tropfest might have documentaries

20. Disagreed strongly with that the musician in the movie says about music.  It's the key really to unlocking a lot of people. Or getting people to forget their hassles and their hangups...and how bad things might be....

I can't make out the rest of what he says.

But anyway.  I feel the opposite is true. I think music can very much remind us of our problems.

In the summer of 2014, I was sad about something in my life. The Lumineers song "Stubborn Love" really got to me, because there were lyrics that reminded me of the sad thing.  I rarely get sad about the issue anymore, but the main exception is when I hear that song.

I think music doesn't take us away from our problems. I think it makes us think about them, but sometimes it's in a healthy cathartic way.    

21. Started to get the idea that this film really is new age. There are shots of candles, and words such as "soul" and "resonate" are used.

I'm not sure what resonate means, but it sounds spiritual to me.

22. Saw from this dictionary that resonate can mean, to have particular meaning or importance for someone : to affect or appeal to someone in a personal or emotional way.

It doesn't have to be spiritual, but in the case of this film, I think it is.

23. Thought that this movie isn't my type of thing. For the most part, it's just a guy playing guitar, and once in awhile he says something.

I think fans of guitar playing might appreciate it much more than me.

I like the sound of a guitar if it's mixed in there with vocals and/or other instruments; and if I listen to it while doing other things. I don't really enjoy watching someone play. It's not that interesting to me.

24. Felt that I wouldn't mind seeing someone a close up of someone's fingers on a guitar for about twenty or thirty seconds, but this is going on for much longer than that. The film is six minutes long, and most of it is just the guitar playing.

25. Finished the film.

I didn't like it.

I hope it finds it's way to people who'd appreciate it more.

26. Read a lovely review of the film on IMDb.

Planktonrules says: "Blues For The Soul" is a short documentary about a man named Peter Crowe who lives in Australia. While he does not have any albums on Amazon.com nor any prestigious record contracts, he has a deep and abiding love for his music. Some might give up or seek the limelight--Peter just wants to play the blues. His slide guitar is great to listen to and you can't help but wish he'd produce an album...but Peter just lives in the middle of nowhere and plays. There is a real nobility about a man who loves his art like this....

Even though I didn't enjoy the film or the music, I can understand Planktonrules's point. I appreciate that he appreciates the film.

27. Felt that I probably gained more from the review than the actual film.

I think the basic idea I get from the review is that fame is not synonymous with talent.  There are many people out there who enjoy their art and are good at it; but they're not rich and famous from it.

28. Realized that I'm not actually sure if it's true that Peter Crowe didn't seek the limelight.

Maybe he said something along those lines in the film. I might have daydreamed through that part.

Or is Planktonrules making assumptions?  Is he thinking that if someone isn't out there selling albums and doing concerts, it's because they have no interest in that.

29. Re-watched the speaking parts of the film.

I didn't hear Peter Crowe or the narrator/filmmaker say anything about Crowe not seeking the limelight.

It does sound like he's happy playing for his local Tasmania community, but that doesn't mean he didn't dream big at some point in his life.

It's like I'm quite satisfied being a blogger, but there have been times in my life that I've worked hard to sell my novels and screenplays.

30. Saw that Dean Preston, the director of the film has made two other short films. From their description on IMDb, they seem to be narrative rather than documentary.

31. Saw that there's an Australian Dean Preston who's a photographer. He seems to mostly take photos of female models.

I'm wondering if the photographer Dean Preston is the same Dean Preston that made the short films.

32. Found an Australian Dean Preston on Twitter. He's a photographer and filmmaker. I'm guessing then that the filmmaker is the same guy as the photographer. Though it could be that this Dean Preston made "Blues for the Soul", and takes photographs that are not of the female models I saw. Or it could be the Dean Preston who takes photos of female models, and he makes films, but not the "Blues for the Soul" film.

33. Followed one of his Twitter-to-Instagram links and saw Twitter Dean Preston does take photos of female models.

34. Read some of Dean Preston's Tweets and got the idea that the director of "Blues for the Soul" and the photographer of pretty women are one and the same.

He Tweets about gratitude, which, in certain doses, feels New Agey to me.

35. Saw on Preston's Twitter that Peter Crowe has sadly died.

And well...now I know for sure I have the right Dean Preston.