Monday, August 18, 2008

American Stuff

My cousin and other expats talk about how being in a different country makes you appreciate and miss your own country.

I think my cousin believes that if I come to live in Australia, I will be like her and miss America.

Well, the funny thing is, I'm actually still IN America, and I kind of miss it.

This summer has been so totally about Australia.  We watch an Australian TV show. I have been sometimes forgetting to speak with my American accent.   Most of friends are Australian.   I write in a blog about Australia. I do research about Australia.  Lately, all the music I listen to is Australian.

In some weird way, I'm already a bit homesick for America.

So in honor of my homesickness, I decided to write a post celebrating that which I currently love about my own country.

Here be my list.

1. Stephen Colbert--He doesn't make me proud to be American, but he makes me feel okay about being American.  He can make me take a break from hating our government....fearing it, and have me laughing at it instead.   I rarely watch his show anymore, but when I do, I almost always end up laughing hysterically.  I think he's so funny that he doesn't even really have to say anything funny.   I just look at him and laugh.  Oh!  And I love when he struggles to keep a straight face. He's too cute when he does that.  

2. My TV Shows!   I love McLeod's Daughters, but I really miss my American shows, and I can't wait for them to come back on. My current favorite American shows are Medium, Eli Stone, and Lost.  Well, Lost is kind of Australian related too since the fated plane did take off from Sydney.

3. American authors.   The funny thing is one of my favorite books about Australia was written by an American.   Blue Latitudes by Tony Horowitz.   I highly recommend that book to anyone interested in Captain Cook and all that stuff.  And I also love another Australian book written by an American. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson.

I love a lot of popular American fiction writers: Stephen King, Anne Rice, Pat Conroy, John Irving, and a lot of less known authors as well.   

4. Joshua Radin.   I got into his music after hearing it on Eli Stone. I'm not big into music and usually do not get interested in a specific artist.  I'm one of those people who never knows what's going on in the music world.   You guys could probably tell that from my post about my favorite Australian music.    I didn't really have anything current on my list.

But I love Radin's music.

5. Chocolate Rain.   I didn't even know about this until my friend told me about it.   It is a huge YouTube phenomena and I totally missed it. I thought it was very creepy when I first heard it and then I found myself wanting to hear it over and over.   I like the song.   I love that some guy wrote a song, recorded it, put it on YouTube, and then became famous.  I also love all the parodies.

6. Americans.   I love the people who live in my country. Close to half of us didn't vote for Bush, and I think many of those who did now regret it.   Yes, we're a bit ignorant about what's going on in the world, and yes we're very ethnocentric.  But most of us are fairly okay.   As a whole, we're pretty decent humans--okay, even some of those who still support Bush. As Jesus said."Forgive them for they know not what they do."  

Below is the first Joshua Radin song I've ever heard.   I'm waiting for someone to put the clip from Eli Stone up on YouTube, but no one has yet.  So, here is a VERY awesome cover by FabTheGap.   BTW, He's not American OR Australian.


  1. As an expat Aussie living in England, I can definitely confirm you appreciate your home country so much more when you're not living there. But then... being in a new place, too, you can appreciate all the differences (so long as you know home is only a flight away).

    To add to your American list:

    Michael Phelps. A 1-man Olympics.

    PS what Aussie music are you listening to?

  2. I love Stephen Colbert. I have a tote bag with his face on it that I found at Barnes and Noble.

    I am currently 3 chapters into Sunburned Country and there isn't a page so far that I haven't had a good chuckle at. Bryson is a fantastic writer.

  3. Incognitrix,

    I hope you're enjoying your time in the UK. What about Australia has it made you appreciate the most?

    Here is the link to my post about my favorite Aussie music

    After I posted that, people gave me suggestions of other stuff to listen to.

    I've been listening to Gyroscope, Icehouse, Paul Kelly, Ganggajang, and some other stuff.

    Do you have favorites you can recommend?

  4. Darcy,

    We've been watching more of him that we don't have McLeod's Daughters to watch.

    So funny about the totebag!

    Have you read any other stuff of Bryson's? I read his autobiography....I think it's called The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. It's very funny and insightful.

  5. I absolutely agree about appreciating home more when you're away from it. I didn't realise just how much I loved Australia - and specifically Sydney - until I lived in Asia for a couple of years. It made me determined never to take home for granted again - I do, of course, but at least I try not to!

    I liked your Aussie music post - music is my greatest I shall ponder some more suggestions for you as well :)

  6. Gina,

    What part of Asia did you live in??

    I'm sure I'd miss America if I lived in Australia for a few years...although probably not enough to want to rush back.

    I did NOT miss America when we were in Sydney for a month. I dreaded coming back.

    One of the worst moments was when we got to the Los Angeles airport and went into the customs area. A framed photograph of George W. was there to greet us.

    It was a total nightmare for me.

  7. I lived in Singapore. Which I didn't enjoy at all, except that it meant I could travel to surrounding countries quite a bit, and that was a great experience.

    So glad I didn't notice the framed George W on the wall when I arrived in LA - I think I may have turned around and got straight back on the plane!!

    Nah, just kidding, I had an awesome time in LA and who was running the country bothered me not at all!

  8. Gina,

    I felt like getting back on the plane!!!

  9. Well the good news is that even if you eventually do move to Australia-- you'll be able to get mostly all your favorite American shows here! I also love Stephen Colbert, I wish he was still running for president.

  10. I like Josh Radin too! He's great. There is heaps of great Aussie music! Try Angus and Julia Stone, Josh Pyke, Magic Dirt, Little Birdy.... There's plenty!

  11. I hadn't ever seen/heard of the chocolate rain craze! lol Quite interesting what you learn/find on the internet!

  12. Laura: I think you're right. It would be easier to watch my American shows in Australia than it is for me to watch Australian shows in America.

    So I might as well just move to Australia and then I can watch American AND Australian television.

    Joh: Thanks for the suggestions!! I will go look them up.

    Bettina: I think some of the stuff is hilarious, but there's also a lot of amazing talent out there. Well, at least I think so. I really like the FabtheGap guy.

  13. I can highly recommend Powderfinger (particularly their song 'My Happiness' but everything of theirs is good - one of my favourite bands of all time), 'Kong Foo Sing' by Regurgitator, Angus & Julia Stone (particularly 'Paper Aeroplane'), Pete Murray and you may get into the Waifs (especially 'Bridal Train' about Aussie war brides who went to America).

    I miss the blue skies and I particularly miss my family being a 21 hour flight away, rather than a 30min drive.

  14. The Incognitrix,

    Thanks for the music suggestions. I added them to my youtube playlist.

    How long are you going to be in the UK? Is this permanent or will you be going back to Australia?

  15. Dina I Love This Blog So Much!!


  16. Jack,

    Thank you for liking my blog.

    Love always,