Friday, February 5, 2016

Decisions, Self-doubt, Suzie Wyld, and Trading Services

1. Tried to decide if I want to quit my blog for awhile.

The problem is, my main reasons for quitting and my main reason for not quitting are ones I frown upon.

The main reason I want to quit is I've been getting less readers.  I don't like this reason, because I want my main reason for blogging to be that I love blogging. I don't want to feel that I need a large audience in order to want to blog.

I only need an audience of at least one, and if that one person is me in the future, that should be fine.

I guess I also worry that I'm taking up too much cyberspace. But there's a lot of space out there, isn't there? If there's not, I'd probably get some message saying I've used up my allotment of free blogging space.  Is there such a message? I don't know.  I haven't gotten it yet, though, so I feel maybe it's okay that I keep blogging.

As for my main reason for not quitting, I'm in this mode that I can't do Australia-related things unless I blog about it. This is especially true for TV shows. I feel that if I quit my blog, I'll have to stop watching the Australian shows.

I don't know why I feel this way right now. I've taken long breaks from my blog before, and watched plenty of Australian shows while doing it.

2. Thought about how the reason kind of DOES make sense. I think future me might regret that past me didn't blog at the time I was watching all that stuff.

In fact, I don't remember what I was watching at the time I wasn't blogging. I THINK it was old Home and Away and Neighbours. Though I also remember blogging about those shows.  Maybe I started watching them while on a blog hiatus, but then then blogged while continuing to watch those shows.

I do know that I was watching shows illegally uploaded to YouTube. I didn't learn about all the Aussie shows on Hulu until after my hiatus was over.

3. Thought for the most part, my blog is for myself. It's a way for me to sort out my feelings and opinions...argue with myself.  It's also a way for my present and future self to stay connected to my past self.  I read an old blog entry almost everyday. I see how I've changed and I've seen ways that I've stayed myself. I also enjoy knowing what my past self was doing back then.

But with all that, I also do enjoy having an audience. I like seeing, or imagining, that other people are interested in what I'm saying.

4. Thought about how seeing visitors on Statcounter is a boost to my self-esteem. And having a higher level of self-esteem gives me more motivation to write. It's a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless.

However, I don't need a huge audience. I'm not hoping for thousands of visitors. That would probably just make me nervous.  I'm happy to get around 75-100 visits a day.  It's fine if it's a little lower than that.  It's also fine if it's a lot lower than that...for a day or two.

I guess I start having doubts when the numbers are consistently lower.  The doubts might start with I'm not popular enough...which is not a huge deal. But then it sometimes turns into, My blog is boring. My blog is a waste of space. I'm so narcissistic to think that people want to read my shit.  No one is reading my blog. They're just dropping by; then leaving.  

5. Reminded myself that most content-creators, whether they're popular or not, probably have these self doubts at times.

6. Remembered something else that made me feel conflicted this morning.

I was reading an old post from 2011. In my post, I was so overly excited about finding Australian travel books.

It's been some time since I've felt that much enthusiasm about visiting Australia. I'm not talking years, but maybe months.

I get excited about Australian TV shows and Australian music...sometimes also Australian celebrities. But I haven't gotten super excited about the country itself.

I miss having that level of enthusiasm.

7. Told myself maybe it's a good thing I'm not currently excited about visiting Australia. I wasn't planning to go back until around 2022.

If I get super excited about visiting Australia, it might be hard waiting the six or more years.

8. Wanted to mention that one thing I HAVE definitely decided is I'm going to take more days off from blogging.

Tomorrow I'm taking the day off because I need to help with a project.

Last weekend we went to Dallas to visit family, so I took the day off then.

In the next couple of weeks, I want to work on getting The Dead Are Online on iBooks, so I'll take a day off for that.

Often, when I'm not on blogging hiatus, I get anal about blogging every single day. I want to get myself out of that mode.

Well...actually I've already gotten myself out of that mode.  I guess what I want is for myself to stay that way.

9. Concluded that for now on I'm going to keep blogging, but take breaks.

And I'll try not to be bothered by low numbers on Statcounter.  Usually, I'm not, really. And when I say bothered, I'm talking about a mild feeling of unrest. It's not like I'm crying or feeling depressed.

10. Read an article about Kathy Margolis. She quit teaching in Australia, and wrote a Facebook update about it. The update went viral.

She talks about overcrowding, too much reliance on testing, teachers being underpaid, children being under too much stress, learning not being enjoyable anymore, etc.

For me, she's preaching to the choir.

I think more and more people are going to turn to homeschooling. I think schools are going to continue to get worse, and homeschooling is going to continue to get easier and better.

11. Thought of another thing I plan to do—make my blog posts a little shorter.

I might have very long posts on somedays, but on most days hopefully I'll have medium length posts.

12. Started watching an episode of Wicked Science.

13. Recognized a guest star on Wicked Science—Cassandra Magrath.

From what I see on IMDb, I would have seen Magrath on episodes of House Husbands and Wentworth.  I don't have any concrete memories of seeing her, but I guess a part of me does remember...since she looks familar.

14. Saw that I would have also seen Magrath on SeaChange. I think she played the daughter. And NOW, I'm remembering looking her up in the past. Maybe she looked familar to me when I was watching Wentworth, and I looked her up then.

15. Looked up some Australian places on Google Maps, and felt an actual pull towards Australia.

Maybe it's coming back.

Today I'm feeling some kind of longing for either Tasmania or the northern New South Wales/Queensland area.

16. Realized it's not really true that I feel I have to record every Australian-related thing in my life. I see and do plenty of Australian things without recording it in my blog.

I think it's mostly with TV shows that I feel obligated to blog about it.

17. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

18. Glad to see the Australia History category on QuizUp has been updated.

There are a lot of new questions!

I like the new questions much better than the old ones. With the old, there were too many questions focused on things like Australian of the Year and state sporting colors.  I prefer the new questions which are mostly about Prime Ministers.

19. Learned that Denny (Jessica Grace Smith), on Home and Away, had a man in her life, and he died. Now she's trying to decide if she's ready to move on.

It reminds me of the show Tim and I just started watching—The Returned.

It's a French show about a small town where people return from the dead. It reminds me a little bit of the British show In the Flesh, except in The Returned, people aren't zombies. They look and act totally normal.

In one of the stories, there's a woman who lost her man on the day of their wedding.  Ten years later, she was ready to move on and marry someone new. Then the dead guy returned. At first she thought he was a ghost, but now she's catching on to the fact that it's not quite like that.

20. Went to the Tropfest website.

Today I'm watching my last 2009 finalist film.

It's called "The Furry Cheque Book".

21. Googled to find out which of the 2009 finalist films is the actual winner, and the winner is not even listed in the finalists.

That's kind of silly.

So, I'm actually NOT done with the 2009 films.

22. Saw that the winning film is about a man with Down Syndrome.

Maybe I'll watch both films today.

23. Saw that "Be My Brother" is over the seven minute Tropfest limit. It's close to nine minutes.

This is all quite mysterious.

24. Came up with story in my mind: "Be My Brother" was the tropfest winner, and it was seven minutes long. But then the filmmaker decided to re-edit, and made a longer version. Because it no longer fit into the proper Tropfest length, Tropfest removed it from their site.

25. Saw that not only is "Be My Brother" missing from the Tropfest website, it's also missing from the official Tropfest YouTube Channel.

They have the winning videos from 2000-2013. There's a place there for 2009, but it's labeled as a private video.

26. Wondered if Tropfest removed "Be My Brother". Or did the filmmaker do that?

27. Started to watch "The Furry Cheque Book". It's either a documentary or a mockumentary.

28. Saw that the film is about a woman who decided to get help from sexy handymen by trading their services for sex.

That's not a bad idea.

29. Learned that the woman had a screening method. She'd first talk to them on the phone. If they seemed decent, then she'd interview them in person.

It wasn't like she just let anyone come to her house for a sex trade.

30. Saw that the woman didn't just give sex. She also cooked the guys dinner—or at least one of the guys.

31. Decided that although the idea impresses me, I'm not too pleased with the film.

I think it's something I'd rather read in an article. Or it would work good as a novel or TV show.

With the Tropfest film, it's pretty much the woman being interviewed while in the background an almost-naked guy does her handiwork. He's naked to the point that he looks more silly than sexy...just in my personal opinion.  Nudists might enjoy the image.

It's also strange with the woman just sitting there. The impression it gives is that while the almost-naked men did their work, she just lounged around watching. I can imagine taking a few minutes here or there for a glance. But hours?  I would think this woman had other things to do.  It doesn't have to be anything major.  It could be something like catching up on her soap operas, or answering emails.

32. Heard one of the handymen say he doesn't see it as prostitution.

I do.

But I don't know what the official definition of prostitution is. Does it have to involve money, or can it just be a trade?

33. Looked up the definition.

Google gives me, the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.

Does payment have to involve money?

34. Saw that it does. At least that's how Google defines it.

35. Wondered then if there's a word for sexual bartering.

36. Thought that even though I'm pro-prostitution, I like this bartering idea even better.

It's kind of sweet.

37. Tried to figure out why I like the bartering method better.

It could be that in some ways prostitution feels a little desperate and sad.

With prostitute, all the prostitute is taking from the customer is his or her money.  There's something kind of sad about that.

But with this woman, in the film, she wanted something from the men themselves.

38. Had a weird comparison in my mind.

Let's say you have a friend. It's your birthday. Would you rather them hand you a fifty dollar gift certificate and tell you to have a nice dinner. Or would you rather them take you out for a nice dinner?

The dinner together is more personable. It's saying you want to spend time with each other.

If you know that a so-called friend would rather just have the cash, how would that make you feel?

The thing with the handymen is they'd spend hours doing work at the house. Despite what's shown on the film, I'm guessing the woman spent some of that time getting stuff done. But she probably did spend some time hanging out with the guys.

39. Thought about prostitutes and reminded myself that they're not just taking money. They're also getting sex. I imagine sometimes the sex is awful, but hopefully sometimes they enjoy it.  If they do, then they'd be receiving a service AND payment.

With the woman in the film, she was getting double services.

It's all cool.

40. Thought that both the bartering and payment methods have their pros and cons.

With the bargaining method, there's always the possibility that the trade isn't worth the sex. What if someone does shitty work? In that case, cash would have been better.

41. Decided the one thing that would worry me the most about either bartering and prostitution is the possibility of someone being a serial killer or rapist.

But that's a danger in every type of sexual and/or romantic encounter.

You can end up on a very dangerous one night stand.

Or there was that receptionist on All Saints that was having sweet flirtations with a coworker. They finally went on a date, and he ended up being a rapist.

42. Decided this post is getting long enough, and I want to further explore "The Furry Cheque Book". Therefore, I'm going to save the mysterious 2009 Tropfest winner for a future post.

43.  Saw from IMDb that the two directors of the film (Oliver Purser and Bassett Dickson) haven't done much screen work besides "The Furry Cheque Book".

44. Reminded myself that's not quite right. They might have done commercials. IMDb doesn't include that.

45. Saw from Google that Oliver Purser was a Queensland photographer, but it looks like his practice has closed.

46. Saw that Bassett Dickson's other IMDb-listed thing ("I'm Free to Be Me") was a 2012 Tropfest finalist film.

I think it might be another documentary, but I'm not sure.

I'll watch it when I get to the 2012 films.

47. Found an article about Suzie Wyld, the subject of "The Furry Cheque Book".

It's interesting. The film spells her name as Wild.

I wonder which name is her real one.

48. Started to read the article.

It was published in 2005—four years before it was the subject of a Tropfest film.

In the film, Wyld and the men seemed to be talking about the past when being interviewed. So I think the activities had ended by then. Maybe?

49. Read that Wyld had hundreds of men answering her call. She chose only about a dozen to actually work for her.

50. Liked what Wyld says here. If you have $60 in your hand you can pay the lawnmower man or you can buy a new frock. It's not a hard choice.

You know, until now, I didn't actually think of that as one of the benefits.

I think when it comes to prostitution, I feel the person that benefits most is the women NOT in the picture.

I think of the man who pretend to be interested in a woman just so he can have sex. Then once he gets the sex, he drops her. The woman waits around by the phone. Hoping. Desperate. Then she realizes the call is never going to come, and she becomes depressed.

I guess these days it's different. The phone comes with the girl (or guy?) wherever she goes, and she/he is probably waiting for a text rather than a call.

51. Thought about how Susie Wyld's idea is a win-win situation.

The man gets sex.

The woman gets sex and free services.

Less women are used by men.

52. Thought about how some could argue that it's not fair that the woman gets sex AND other services.

The thing is, though, men usually do want more sex than women.

Still. There are exceptions. So, men could get in the business too. They can have women do work around the house in exchange for sex.

It would also definitely work for gay and bisexual people.

53. Found an article that MIGHT be about Suzie Wyld.

Well, it mentions a Suzie Wyld from Australia, but I don't know if it's the same Suzie Wyld.

The article is about a counter-cultural festival in Nevada called Burning Man.  The people who attend are called Burners, and they're free-thinkers. That makes me think that this Suzie Wyld is the same Suzie Wyld in "The Furry Cheque Book".  The woman in the film definitely seemed to be a free-thinker.

55. Had deep thoughts about trading services rather than letting ourselves feel used.

I think often people (usually women, probably) feel used for sex.

There are other things, though, that make people feel used.

I can't really imagine trading sex for services. I'm not really that kind of person. What I CAN imagine trading is being a listener/confidant.  I have felt very used in the past few years, because I've had a handful of people use me as their personal listener and I got very little in return.  I am very much over it...NOT over it in that it no longer bothers me. I'm over it as in I'm making strides to avoid it.

It would be very cool if I could make trades.

What would I want from people? Probably the main thing that comes to mind is people reading my novels.  It's not about people buying my novel, really. It's about people awakening my characters from the limbo-state fictional characters go into when no one is reading their story.

So I would make a trade. You read one of my novels and give me a one page summary proving you've read it.  In exchange, you can send me five emails. I'll read them very carefully and I'll give you a supportive response. The main thing is I'll act interested...which I think is what most people want. They want to know that someone is interested in their accomplishments, worries, problems, etc. And I won't be faking it, because I WILL be interested. I'm a nosy person.

I just grew tired of being interested in and supportive of people who didn't do the same in return to me. SO, it would be nice if I could get something else out of them.