Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oprah Dreams, Yasi, Facebook Pages, and Taco Bell

1. Dreamed about Oprah.  She was nice.  I tell her how I was nervous about coming to Australia the first time, because I worried that once I started talking people would hate me.  I imagined most Australians hated Americas.  She asks me about where I had stayed.  I say Hunter( but I must have meant Darlinghurst...because that's where we DID stay).  I tell her it was north of Hyde Park (actually south).  She tells me she never went to Hyde Park.

2. Dreaded getting out of bed. I felt a bit avoidant.

3. Had delusional fantasies about turning on news and seeing that the Cyclone was majorly downgraded.

4. Looked at a blog post that Martin had sent me.  The blogger came up with an idea for a new Australian flag.  It didn't scream out to me visually right away, but I'm impressed with it because the creator put a lot of thought into it.  The more I read about it, the more I like it.  

5. Listened to Rod Stewart song "Sailing".   Martin was kind enough to email me and clear up the mystery of the song I heard yesterday.  

6. Tried again to utilize the Suggest to Friends thing on Facebook, for my cyclone page.  It's still not working.   Four people were kind enough to join, though.  I had put a link up to it yesterday on my regular Facebook Page and the page for this blog.  

7. Read Yasi stuff on Facebook. They're telling people to stay inside, and not go outside to take a look....even if things seem calm.   It reminds me of a tornado we had.  We were at the lake house.  Usually these events seem nonthreatening and we seek cover just to feel responsible.  But this one felt like it could actually turn into something.  I remember worrying suddenly about shoes.   I started to think we'd need shoes if the tornado did hit. We'd have to walk around broken glass. The five of us were in the bathroom (me, Tim, baby Jack, and my parents).  And my sister's dog was locked in the shower. She has a phobia of storms, and this was a way to keep her calm.

Anyway, I remember my dad and Tim going out of the safe haven to take a look....check things out.   I can't remember my reaction exactly, but I probably yelled at them.  

8. Sad to read comments on Yasi Facebook page. All these people worried about family and friends.

9. Saw from Statcounter that someone in America came to my blog using keywords America ignores Australian Cyclone. So I'm not the only one in America  noticing the lack of coverage.

10. Thankful to my Facebook friend for putting a link to my cyclone page on her Facebook page.   She has a lot of Facebook friends, so this should bring more awareness to Americans.

11. Watched video about Yasi's attack on  Townsville on Sydney Morning Herald page.  Electricity has gone out there.  Trees are falling.  People are worried and scared.  When I finished watching the video, there were links to other videos. One of them was about the snow in Texas. So most Texans have no idea about the HUGE cyclone in Australia. But Australians probably know about small bit of snow that has fallen in Texas. Crazy.

12. Read article about government plans to help in the aftermath of the storm. They're not planning to raise the flood levy yet.  Hopefully, they'll be able to get a significant amount of money from worldwide donations. Australia shouldn't have to deal with this on their own, especially when the world has all these billionaires.

13. Saw this article which compares Yasi to Katrina, Tracy, and Larry.  It's really scary. This thing is much bigger, and probably much meaner than it's predecessors.  

14.  Watched 1931 video of Frank Forde advocating for support for  the Australian Film Industry.   This was done years before Forde did his brief stint as Prime Minister.  

15. Saw that Bloomberg Businessweek has an article about the cyclone.  They say the cyclone may last for up to three days.   Shit. The article talks about the financial devastation the cyclone will cause—crops, cattle, mining, etc. And there's also the loss in tourism dollars.  Hopefully, most human (and animal) lives will be spared.  But even if that happens, it's still going to be awful.  

16. Watched George Wallace tap dancing.   

17. Saw that Time Magazine's website has the cyclone in their front page headlines.  Here is the article

18. Read scary Facebook message warning about not using generators in enclosed spaces because it could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.  I'm paranoid about stuff like that. Someone else warned about using candles...because of gas leaks.

19. Informed my parents about the cyclone.  I don't know if they knew or not. They're on a cruise, and I know when you're on a cruise, you sometimes lose touch with the world. They DID know about the Texas weather, though.

20. Listened to 1931 recording of Along the Road to Gundagai.  It's nice to hear that song.

21. Looked at Lord Wiki's entry on Gundagai, and looked for it on Google Maps.    

22. Saw that Yasi has been downgraded to category 4.  Maybe my delusional fantasy is coming true.  There's still horrific amounts of destruction. A town called Tully has been hit really bad.   

23. Read what Lord Wiki has to say about Tully. He says it has the highest amount of rainfall for a populated place in Australia.  Tully is also known for UFO sightings.  I looked for it on Google Maps.  It's about 2 hours south of Cairns.

24. Felt compelled to confess that since I don't believe in God, I pray to famous dead Australians. I figure they must have SOME amount of power on the other side.  Maybe?

25. One of my favorite American friends emailed me and told me she was praying for Australia.   That's very sweet of her, and I appreciate it.

26.  Read report on Facebook that said no reports of death yet.  Knocking on wood and praying. It will be very nice if the death toll stays small, or is nonexistent.  People die everyday though.  So someone is going to have to die but maybe not as a direct result of the cyclone.  

27. Saw relatively good news on Facebook.... It looks like things are going to be less horrible than imagined.

28. Saw that the cyclone was dropped to category 2.  Wow.  That sounds like REALLY good news.

29.  Heard that The King's Speech will be released on DVD on 19 April. Maybe that fantastic news made Yasi happy, and he decided to go easy on Queensland.  I think Yasi is a fan of the film.   I don't know if I'm going to buy the DVD.  I might just rent it. I feel like once we buy a DVD, I never watch it.  I can't tell you the last time I watched a DVD that we owned....minus the ones I've watched with Jack.

30. Just thought about how some Australians are going to be just waking up now (8:16 Sydney time) and they'll be getting the news that I was hoping to get when I woke up this morning (1:30 am Sydney time)

31. Saw classroom picture with Billy Hughes as a child.   He attended primary school in England; not Australia.

32. Learned that the places harmed most by Yasi are Tully, Mission Beach, and Innisfail.  

33. Learned from Lord Wiki that the Southern Cassowary can be found at Mission Beach.   I hope none were hurt by the cyclone. Lord Wiki says that Mission Beach was effected by Cyclone Larry.   It caused problems for the Cassowary, and they started going into more populated areas to seek food.   Some were hit by cars.  

34.  Learned about Innisfail from Lord Wiki. It was also effected by Cyclone Larry. They had issues with their banana and sugar cane industry. They recovered, and now they're hit again.

35. Was thinking that this reminds me of medical scares. For sister got a test result back, and it looked like she might have breast cancer. We were terrified, and worried.   I thought of all these depressing scenarios.  Then she turned out to be okay, and we were so happy and relieved.

That's not the best analogy, though. It's probably more like someone being in a really bad car accident. You think for sure they're going to die or at least have catastrophic injuries that will ruin most of their lives. Then they end up being fairly okay. They might have some serious injuries, but they're alive, and it looks like they're going to recover.

It also reminds me of the Chanukah Story. Everyone thought there won't be enough oil to light the candles. They expected the worst.  But then the oil lasted for eight days.   

36. Watched enthusiastic Aussie school kids on Oprah.  They were very cute.The school was Canterbury Boy's High School. Lord Wiki says this is the school that John Howard attended.

37. Started to think it might be a challenge for The King's Speech people to finish their little video.  Some of their target cities are dealing with weather issues.  So Tim and I might NOT end up on the cutting room floor (or trash icon). Our footage might be default. I told Tim I could just imagine that they use us, but do some major dubbing, so that we say something half-way intelligent.

38. Saw warnings of storm surges.  Lord Wiki says this is when water rises. It can be dangerous.   Hopefully no one will be hurt by it.

39. Saw from Statcounter that Scientologists were visiting my blog again.

40. Told an American Facebook friend that I've been reading about the cyclone, and how it's not mentioned much in the American news. She sent me links to a few articles, so I could remove the veil of ignorance.  I thanked her but felt compelled to explain that I HAVE been able to keep up with the info.   I think she thought I meant that I want to know more about the cyclone, but the American press is preventing me from doing so.  Sometimes I forgot that not everyone knows I have this major Australian obsession.

41. Annoyed.  Don't ask me why.  But it IS Australia related.  Speaking of stuff that is NOT Australia related.....I might have flashed the neighbors today.  We're having shower issues, because of the weather. So I had to rush from one shower to another shower. It involved going up the stairs and passing a big window.  I was trying not to touch my body to the towel too much, because I have this thing about touching my dirty body with the clean towel before my shower. So I might have been a bit exposed.   And I later realized (because I don't usually pay attention) there's a fairly busy road that can be seen from that window.  Fortunately, there's not much traffic today....because of the snow.  

42. Felt a surge of fan-type love for Geoffrey Rush.  I'm kind of relieved.  I thought I may have lost it yesterday when I was overwhelmed with the excessive amount of Geoffrey Rush photos. It was an overdose. It's like when a kid wants to smoke, so their parents make them smoke a whole pack; and then they never want to smoke again.   I thought that's what might have happened to me yesterday.    But I still have some fan feelings for Rush.  

43. Remembered my plan to practice taking Australia quizzes.   Took quiz about 1971 Australia.   I didn't go well.  I got a 5/10. The average score for that quiz is 7/10.  

44. Did even worse on the 1973 quiz.   I got a 2/10.  YIKES!  I guess I need to study up on 1970's Australia.

45. Watched the Kate, Claire, and Charlie scene.  I still can't watch that without crying. What's Emilie de Ravin up to?  Well, it looks like she might be taking a break.  It doesn't look like she has any projects coming up.

46. Took 1975 quiz about Australia.  Did awful on that one too!  4/10. At least I was able to know the Whitlam stuff.  

47. Read on Facebook that most traffic lights in Townsville are not working. They're really urging people to stay off the roads.  I think it's good advice. I hate driving when there are broken traffic lights.  I think it's scary.  Then again, I always hate driving.

48.  Read article about baby born in Cairns during cyclone.  There seems to be a tendency to joke about her NOT being named Yasi.   Yeah.  I don't imagine parents doing that. I sometimes think of my friend. Her name's Tracey, and she was born a few years before the Tracy cyclone. I wonder if her parents were given a hard time about that.  I'm betting people made little jokes/comments. I mean can you imagine if there are Australians named Yasi?   

49. Took quiz about 1932 Australia.  I did slightly better on that one.  I got 6/10. But was pretty bad.  The average score is 7/10.  

50. Took quiz about Australia in the 1700's and 1800's.  I got 6/10.  At least it's better than the 2/10.

51. Read editorial about how it's better to be overwarned than unprepared.  I agree!  I think with disaster-type situations, it's better to be overcautious.  Sometimes the same can be said for health.   When I was pregnant, I was diagnosed with Preeclampsia.  My blood pressure was higher than desired. The doctor put me on bed rest.  I was to lay down as much as possible, but I could get up to take a shower, grab something to eat, etc.  When I talk about these days, Tim often says something about the doctor being overcautious.  And it SEEMS to me he thinks I perhaps exaggerated the need for bed rest...or that perhaps I misunderstood the doctor.  Why?  Because Tim came with me to an appointment.  He asked if it would be okay if we stopped for a bite of lunch at a restaurant.   The doctor said yes.  Tim took that to mean that I had never been on such intense bed rest. But I think I did NOT misinterpret the doctor.  I think that maybe...since I did listen to the doctor, my condition improved so I was able to get up a little more.

It's kind of like surviving a cyclone, and then saying Why the hell did they make us stay in the bathroom?! We weren't hurt. We could have stayed outside and gone about our normal lives.  

And maybe the doctor HAD misdiagnosed me.  But I think I'd rather have a doctor make a mistake in that direction, then have a condescending one that assures me I'm fine when I'm not. Go home.  You're okay.  Then a few hours're dead.   Oops.  

52. Read that Cardwell was hit hard by the cyclone.  This article says most people DID evacuate, but a few people stayed behind. Hopefully they're still alive.  It will be hard for the others to face the destruction upon their return.  

53. Tim informed me that the CEO of Taco Bell is Australian.  Greg Creed.  I confirmed this by listening to Gayle (From Oprah) interview him. She was excited to hear his accent and gushed a bit about her Australia trip.

As for the meat....or not meat.   I personally don't get the big deal about not having taco meat be 100% meat.  I eat meat that's made up of 0% meat.  It's called VEGETARIAN. So, maybe Taco Bell makes food that is a meat lovers/vegetarian hybrid.   

Here's a video with Creed talking about the meat issue.