Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fearful Steps

I just watched a documentary clip on the Australian Screen website. It's from a film called Land Mines-a Love Story.

A man and woman in Afghanistan fall in love. Both have been victims of a land mine. Before the man became a victim of a land mine, he was a soldier that planted them.

The Australian Screen website says that there are about ten million unexploded land mines in Afghanistan. Waiting for their next victim. Every 22 minutes, a civilian is killed or injured by one of these things.

Scary.

Although Afghanistan has a war going on right now. So that's scary in itself. But even when the war is over, there'll still be new victims.

This website has a list of countries with the most land mines; Somalia, Mozambique, Bosnia, Kuwait, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Angola, Iran, and Egypt.

Egypt has the most. I'm kind of surprised about that.

Lord Wiki has some info.

There's an anti-landmine treaty; the Ottawa.

Australia has signed it.

The United States has not, which is really embarrassing. Shameful. I'm so tired of being ashamed of my country.

The US government website says they ARE trying to change things. They plan to eliminate use of all persistent land mines. I think these are ones that can be activated simply by coming across them.

It is a step in the right direction.

But it's sad that we have to have ANY weapons.

Couldn't we just spit on each other? Or even better....pick our noses and wipe them on each other? Actually, that could be a deadly weapon if you have a bad strain of the flu. So maybe those are NOT good ideas.

Life is seriously scary.

I was watching this video and thinking. How horrible it would be to be fearful of each step.

But then I thought—even in relatively safe countries—there's horrible things that can happen, at any moment.

We might go to the grocery store the same time a crazed gunman shows up.

A serial killer might decide we'd be the next fun toy to play with.

Our plane could blow up.

You could be go to get your mail, and get hit by a drunk driver.

Your next highway excursion might be your last because an adventurous teen wanted to see how fast his car would go.

And if nothing like that happens to you....there's always cancer. Or a heart attack.

You can choke on a piece of steak.

Life is a gift, but one that's a bit hard to hold onto some of the time.

I think I'd be happier and more relaxed if we were all immortal.

But even without that guarantee.....I'm a pretty happy person. I'm a happy and SCARED person.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Bulgarian Mystery

I am feeling doubtful of whether or not I should be writing about this.

But it's bugging me to the point that I'm starting to feel I might have some kind of nervous breakdown. So maybe getting it off my chest will help to keep me sane.

Those of you who have read this blog for awhile know the Julian McMahon story. My whole Australia obsession pretty much began with me having weird and frequent dreams about the actor.

I still don't know if

A) I had a crush on an actor....that led me to having the dreams....and that led me to an Australian obsession.

OR

B) I had frequent dreams about an actor that led me to having a crush on him...and later it turned into an obsession with Australia.

I kind of lean towards B, but I could be wrong. Or maybe it's a combination of the two....one of those circular things.

So anyway, I've pretty much come to terms with all of it, and I've been at peace with the whole thing.

It's all kind of quirky. And at times, I feel all warm and fuzzy towards McMahon and his parents because this Australia obsession has been a really great thing for me.

Now I'm feeling incredibly frustrated.

I'm having a really weird thing going on with my Statcounter. For the last few weeks, I've been having a Bulgarian visitor come to the William McMahon post. They come 2-3 times a day....around the same time, but not the exact time. And sometimes they come at extra/different times.

The start of all this somewhat coincided with me reading the Harry Potter books. So I think the first thing that ran through my mind when I first noticed it was Viktor Krum. That's pretty much all I've ever known of Bulgaria. It's the homeland of Krum. Yeah. I know he's fictional. Don't worry.

I don't think I've ever had a person come to one blog post multiple times a day for many days. I mean they might go to one post multiple times in ONE day, but they don't continue to return to that same post. Eventually, they stop coming....or they read other stuff on my blog.

To me, it's all weird and mysterious just for the fact that someone keeps coming back to the same blog post. But the fact that it's a McMahon thing has made the issue grab my attention even more...well, since that family has special meaning to me.

I tried to let it go....just enjoy the mystery. You know, it's what we were supposed to do with the Lost finale. Stop asking questions about this and that. Just smile, cry, and say That was such a fantastic finale.

I was able to do that with Lost.

I'm failing with the Bulgarian mystery.

I want answers!

I tried contacting the Bulgarian. I left a large bold red message on the McMahon post. That's not one of my most popular posts, so I figured I could leave a message up for a few hours, and not have anyone else see it.

It ended up that two other people went to that post before I took the message down. I was a bit embarrassed. Those people probably thought I'm insane.

They're likely not wrong.

Anyway, the Bulgarian didn't contact me.

My friend and I talked about different possibilities.

Maybe it's not a person visiting me. Maybe it's all being generated by a computer.

It's possible. I don't know much about that stuff.

Maybe they ARE going to other posts, but my Statcounter isn't recording it for some reason. Maybe they saved the McMahon page to their bookmarks, and so that's the first page they always go to. Then Statcounter doesn't record them moving about on the blog.

My friend suggested that maybe somehow they accidentally saved the McMahon page as their home page. So every time my Bulgarian surfs the Internet, they pop up on my Statcounter.

Yesterday, I got really frustrated, and took drastic measures. I took down the McMahon post. I thought maybe this way, the Bulgarian would have to go to other posts, and I'd see it.

I didn't see them on the Statcounter at all. So that leads me to think it IS a computer. Wouldn't a human try to investigate....figure out where the post had gone? I don't think they'd land on the page, see the message that this post is gone, and then go about their day.

I did start feeling all guilty yesterday about hiding the posts. My overactive imaginations came up with all kinds of sad scenarios.

In one, the Bulgarian is severely autistic, and has somehow formed an attachment with the McMahon post. He sees it missing, and is very upset. But he is too rigid to realize he can try and search around the blog for answers.

In another, the Bulgarian is being held prisoner, and for some weird reason, my post about McMahon is the only thing he can access on the Internet. Yeah, he's bored reading about McMahon for the fiftieth time. But it's the only thing he can read. It would be really sad if he couldn't even read English. Or maybe it would be better. I guess it all depends on what people think of my writing.

This morning, I put the post back up. The Bulgarian returned soon after.

It probably IS a computer.

Or it could be a VERY dedicated fan of William McMahon.

I wish I knew.

The mystery is killing me.

I've actually started crushing on this person. That's really sad.

Here's a confession. I once had a bit of a crush on one of my blog commenters. That was my weirdest crush because I didn't even know what the commenter looked like. But at least then I knew SOME stuff about the person. I knew their gender, general age, interests, personality, etc.

This new crush definitely beats the commenter one. I don't know if this person is male, female, old, young. It could be some ninety-year-old woman. It could be a robot.

Maybe it's a ghost.

Maybe it's William McMahon himself....haunting me.

Or it could be Viktor Krum. Maybe I've opened a magical window to the world of Harry Potter. But why would a Quidditch player be so interested in an Australian Prime Minister?

Losing Love For Australia and America

I had more Australia dreams.

1. I think about how my mom and I took a trip to Australia together. I guess it was some kind of mother-daughter bonding thing. We stayed in the Blue Mountains, but we never saw the Three Sisters. We have been back for weeks, and I start to feel guilty for not writing it down on my blog. Here she was nice enough to take me to Australia, but I didn't take the time to write about it. I worry that she's been to my blog, and is offended by me not mentioning it.

2. I see a newscast with Julia Gillard talking about how she supports the groups/movement who proclaim that marriage should be between a man and woman only. I'm offended by this, and decide to write on my blog that Australia is now on my shit list. I then realize America will have to be on my shit list as well, because they don't have nationwide gay marriage.

While we're on the subject......

I've been wanting to review the whole gay marriage thing. Which countries have legalized it?

I'm consulting Lord Wiki about this. What does he say?

Okay. The countries where it is legalized nationwide are

The Netherlands
Belgium
Spain
Canada
South Africa
Norway
Sweden
Portugal
Iceland
Argentina.

I give all those countries a standing ovation; well, not literally. But I give it in spirit. I'm too lazy to stand up right now.

There are five American states which do gay marriage.

Those are:

Massachusetts
Connecticut
Iowa
Vermont
New Hampshire
Washington D.C

Iowa really surprises me. I wouldn't expect it there. I'd more expect it in a place like Washington state.

And what about Hawaii? I thought that was a big place for gay people to get married.

I guess I'm wrong. This website lists Hawaii as not being gay-marriage friendly. That's sad.

Anyway, the above countries and states are ones in which gay marriage is recognized AND performed.

Then you have states and countries where you can't have the wedding....but the state will recognize your marriage. That's not too bad.

This includes Mexico and Israel. And in Mexico, you can have the wedding if you go to Mexico City.

There's others like that as well, but I'm not going to list them right now.

Here's a whole website about gay marriage in Australia. They say that Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, and the ACT have civil unions. But there's no gay marriage....yet.

From what Lord Wiki says, it seems all the Australian states are at least somewhat accepting of gay relationships. They're just not yet brave enough to take that final step. Hopefully, it shall happen soon.

I honestly used to not see the big deal about gay marriage. I felt as long as people could have a legal union/relationship, marriage wasn't that much needed. Then I saw a video (sorry don't remember the link) that helped me understand things better.

If I remember correctly, one of the things they talked about was how marriage helps bring someone into the WHOLE family.

Let's say Jack ends up being gay. If he has a civil union with the man he loves, that man will simply be known to me as Jack's partner, and/or Jack's boyfriend. But if Jack marries the man, he become MY son-n-law.

I think marriage helps legitimize the relationship.

And yeah. Some people don't need this legitimization. Our good friends have been in a relationship for over ten years. They're not married. I think most of us take their relationship seriously by now. They seem satisfied.

But I think people should have a CHOICE.

Marriage is not for everyone. No. But if people don't get married, it should be because they don't want to. It shouldn't be because they're facing backwards minded discrimination.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Biography Posts

Even though I'm done writing the biography posts, people aren't quite done reading them.

That's why most people end up on my blog. I don't mean that most people in the world come to my blog. What I mean is that most people who DO come to my blog, do so for the biography posts. They're more popular than my other posts.

I've decided it might be helpful to have one post with a link to all the biography posts. Then it will be easier for people to find stuff.

So.....

Here we go.

POLITICIANS

Pauline Hanson
Peter Costello
Mark Latham
Kim Beazley
Bob McMullan
Bob Brown
Natasha Stott Despoja
Sarah Hanson-Young
Random Fun Link
Meg Lees
Lynn Allison
Kerry Nettle
Penny Wong
Harold Holt
Cheryl Kernot
Ross Lightfoot
John McEwen
Julia Gillard
Chris Evans
Jenny Macklin
Malcolm Turnbull
William McMahon
Clover Moore
Paul Keating
Bill Heffernan
John Gorton
Bill Snedden
William Charles Wentworth II
Malcolm Fraser
John Brumby
Steve Fielding
Nick Xenophon
Harry Jenkins
John Kerr
Joel Fitzgibbon
Mike Rann
Arthur Calwell
Stanley Bruce
Robert McClelland
Chris Watson
Doc Evatt
Kate Ellis
Andrew Peacock
Nicola Roxon
Edmund Barton
Alfred Deakin
Andrew Fisher
Wayne Swan
Gough Whitlam
Henry Parkes
Edith Cowan
Maria Bashir
William Deane
Isaac Isaacs
Gloria Joan Lile Child
Nathan Rees
Anna Bligh
Michael Jeffery
Billy Hughes
John Curtin
Paul Haslock
Doug Anthony
Brendan Nelson
Robert Hill
Morris Iemma
Bob Carr
Robert Askin
Neville Wran
Don Dunstan
Peter Beattie
David Bartlett
Jim Bacon
Colin Barnett
David Brand
Steve Bracks
Simon Crean
Robert Doyle
Thomas Ley
George Reid
Joseph Lyons
James Scullin
Alison Anderson
Kim Carr
Stephen Smith
Jim Cairns
Matthew Charlton
Ben Chifley
Joseph Cook
Alexander Downer
Arthur Fadden
Frank Forde
Bob Hawke
John Howard
Robert Menzies
Earle Page
Kevin Rudd
Frank Tudor

ACTORS

Rachel Carpani
Toni Collette
Barry Humphries
Rachel Griffiths
Judy Davis
Ernie Dingo
Nicole Kidman
Heath Ledger
Isla Fisher
Naomi Watts
Bud Tingwell
Melissa George
Robert Helpmann
Amanda Harrison
Cate Blanchett
Hugh Jackman
Hugo Weaving
Guy Pearce
Geoffrey Rush
Simon Baker
Emilie de Ravin
Ruth Cracknell
Ryan Kwanten
Rebecca Gibney
Mick Molloy
Deborah Mailman
Lorraine Bayly
Simon Burke
Jane Turner
Kate Ritchie
Jason Donovan
Abi Tucker
Bridie Carter
Josh Lawson
David Gulpilil
Max Gillies
Noni Hazlehurst
Indiana Evans
Eric Bana
Claudia Black
Rose Byrne
Coral Browne
Claudia Karvan
Bianca Chiminello
Barry Crocker
Helen Dallimore
Stefan Dennis
Errol Flynn
Maggie Kirkpatrick
Anthony LaPalglia
Isabel Lucas
Costas Mandylor
Gary McDonald
Radha Mitchell
Poppy Montgomery
John Noble
Miranda Otto
Portia De Rossi
Thaao Penghlis
Jesse Spencer
Anna Torv
Mia Wasikowska
David Wenham
Sam Worthington

FILMMAKERS

Peter Weir
Gillian Armstrong
PJ Hogan
Baz Luhrmann
Donald McAlpine
Dion Beebe
Bruce Beresford
Jim Sharman
Russell Boyd
Richard Franklin
George Miller
Adam Elliot
Rolf De Heer
Phillip Noyce
Alex Proyas
Fred Schepisi


WRITERS

Robyn Davidson
Morris Gleitzman
Tim Winton
John Marsden
Peter Carey
Janette Turner Hospital
Thomas Keneally
Martin Boyd
Banjo Patterson
Catherine Jinks
Henry Lawson
A video that makes me cry
P.L. Travers
Colin Thiele
Mem Fox
Judith Wright
Dorothea MacKellar
Peter Kocan
Sally Morgan
Joan Lindsay
David Williamson
Paul Jennings
May Gibbs
Dorothy Wall
Stephanie Laurens
Max Barry
Damien Broderick
Kenneth Cook
Jay Caselberg
Kate Grenville
David Malouf
Melina Marchetta
Ruth Park

MUSICIANS/SINGERS

Missy Higgins
Gabrielle Cilmi
Rolf Harris
Joan Sutherland
Greg Page
Paul Kelly and I can't resist the temptation to re-link to this.
John Butler
John Williamson
Rebecca Lavelle
Sarah Blasko
Bernard Fanning
Vikki Thorn
Kev Carmody
Helen Reddy
Ben Lee
Lior
Christine Anu
Bruce Woodley
Julia Stone
Nick Seymour
Anthony Field
Random Fun Video
Anthony Callea
June Bronhill
Lindsay McDougall
Random fun video
Kate Miller-Heidke
Olivia Newton-John
Stevie Plunder
Nick Cave
Judith Durham
Percy Grainger
David Helfgott
Nathan Foley
Pat Wilson
Peter Allen


ARTISTS

Michael Leunig
Pro Hart
Norman Lindsay
Tom Roberts
Frederick McCubbin
Grace Cossington-Smith
Albert Namatjira
Sidney Nolan
Rick Amor
Anne Geddes

ACTIVISTS AND/OR MEDICAL HEROES
Fiona Stanley
Tim Costello
Jane McGrath
Charles Perkins
Mum Shirl
Noel Pearson
Victor Chang
Random Fun Video
Faith Bandler
Peter Kennedy
Tim Flannery
Chris Sarra
Fred Hollows
John Flynn
Helen Caldicott
Lowitja O'Donoghue
Fiona Wood
Ian Kiernan


EARLY AUSTRALIANS

Arthur Phillip (this was the first ever biography post I wrote)
William Charles Wentworth
Francis Greenway
Mary Reibey
Elizabeth MacArthur
Mary Bryant
William Buckley
Margaret Dawson
Alexander Pearce
Henry Savery
Mary Wade

BUSINESS FOLKS

Chris Coorigan
Eddie Groves
Gerry Harvey
Sidney Myer
Dick Smith
Lindsay Fox
RM Williams
John Wren

COMEDIANS/HOSTS

Adam Hills
Andrew Denton
Shane Dundas
Rove McManus
Hamish Blake
Karl Kruszelnicki
Kyle Sandilands
Shane Bourne
Charles Firth
Andrew O'Keefe
Peter Berner
Paul McDerrmott
Andrew Hanson
Lawrence Leung

ATHLETES

Don Bradman
Cadel Evans
Dawn Fraser
Shane Gould
Andrew Symonds

LAW PEOPLE


Virginia Bell (judge)
Michael Kirby (judge)
Pat O'Shane (judge)
Frank Brennan (priest and lawyer)
Julian Burnside

RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY PEOPLE

Mary Mackillop
Robert Bruce
Rhonda Byrne
Neville Drury
Pat Zalewski
Robert Moss

OTHER

Therese Rein (Wife of Kevin Rudd)
Janette Howard (John Howard's Wife)
David Hicks (Australian accused of terrorism)
Mamdouh Habib (Australian accused of terrorism)
Margaret Whitlam (wife of Gough Whitlam)
Germaine Greer (feminist)
Van Tuong Nguyen (victim of strict execution laws)
Hazel Hawke (wife of Bob Hawke)
Donald Horne (Author of The Lucky Country)
Harry Nicolaides (imprisoned writer)
Kim Bradley (surfer)
Sunday Reed (involved in art scene)
John Simpson Kirkpatrick (war hero)
Edward Dunlop (war hero)
Nancy Bird-Walton (aviator)
Phillip Adams (social commenter)
Geoffrey Blainey (social commenter)
John Monash (military hero)
Tobie Puttock (chef)
James Barnet (architect)
Kate Ballieu (heiress)
Henry Budden (architect)
Frederick Baily Deeming (serial killer)
Rex Gilroy (guy who tries to prove that myths are real)
Julie Goodwin (chef)
Thelma Keane (wife of cartoonist)
Patti Menzies (wife of Robert Menzies)
Lillian Roxon (rock music expert)
Peter Singer (ethicist)

Accents in My Brain

The other day we had someone working on our house. When he left, Tim told me the guy was British, and that he gave us advice for our upcoming trip to London.

Anyway, I used to have a British-accent fetish, and it still lingers within me a bit. So I was a bit disappointed that I hadn't gotten the chance to chat with him. Good news though. Tim said he'd be returning.

He came back...rang the doorbell. I answered, and it wasn't him. Because  A VERY southern accent was pouring out of this guy's mouth. I tried not to look disappointed, but then as he talked more, I realized this WAS the guy. He did have a British accent. He also had a Southern one. He had a very weird mixed-up accent.

I think that's going to eventually happen to me. Or maybe it's already happened.

Here's the deal. I talk funny. Sometimes.

A family email went out with the news that my niece is going to have a British teacher. She had joked that the kids might sometimes be coming home with a British accent.

That got me thinking.....

And I have a theory. I don't know if it's original. Probably not. But I'll imagine it is.

Anyway, my theory is that we all have some kind of accent-learning thing in our brain. In most people, it shuts off at a very early age. We adopt the accent of our parents and those that we spend the most time with. Then we're stuck with that accent for life.

I think with other people (like me) that accent-thing in the brain does NOT go away. It lingers.

Some people like Meryl Streep are able to turn it into a talent. They make lots of money, and win lots of awards. They can turn their different accents on and off. They're very skilled.

Other people with this accent-brain (like me) are not skilled. We end up with weird accent combos, and/or we accidentally switch accents every so often.

For me, it's often a surprise. I open my mouth to speak, and sometimes another accent pops out. Sometimes it's American, sometimes it's British; sometimes it's Australian; sometimes it's Southern-American; sometimes it's a hybrid thing. It's often influenced by something I've watched on TV. For example, I go totally southern after watching True Blood.

Occasionally, I do these accents on purpose. But usually it just happens.

The other thing is my accents aren't consistent. It's not like I have one Australian accent. I feel I talk like twenty different Australians. Sometimes, I'll speak and think That sounded just like Michelle! But maybe I sound more often like Tracey, because when Jack talked to her on the phone, he said she sounded like my fake Australian accent.

Maybe I'm more consistent than I imagine.

Now this accent brain thing.....

It's probably something I could control if I REALLY put my mind to it, and practiced.

I tried once. Although I kind of love this weirdness I possess, sometimes it embarrasses me. So I decided I'd only switch accents in front of Tim and Jack. With the rest of my family, and in public....I'd speak in a plain American accent only.

BUT....

That made me too self-conscious and uptight about talking. So I gave it up.

Anyway, back to my niece.

I don't think she'll come home with a British accent....unless she has this accent-brain thing. People spend decades living in a new country, and never pick up the accent.

I DO know of other people with the accent-brain. One of my young cousins in Australia has picked up the accent. I don't think his parents or brother have done the same. So I think he's the only one with the accent brain. The others HAVE picked up the vocabulary. I know that. They're all Aussie-cultured now. But as far as I know, they haven't picked up the accent. I haven't seen or heard them for over a year though, so things might have changed.

Our five-year-old homeschooling friend has it. One minute she's talking British. Later, she's doing Southern.

I think Tim has it a little bit. He'll pick up accents to a slight degree. It's very subtle though.

I don't think anyone else in my family has it, so I must be some kind of mutant. There's always the chance that one of my nieces and nephews could be like me. I haven't seen it yet in my nieces though. I think if they had it, we would have already seen evidence of it. Their accent seem pretty consistent.

I've read two novels where a character had this accent thing. In both cases, the characters were severely mentally disturbed. One was actually evil...maybe the other as well. I forgot.

So, that's a bit insulting.

Where's my POSITIVE role-model?

I don't think an inability to stick with one accent means you're mentally ill and/or evil. It COULD have some connection to Dissociative Identity Disorder though. Don't people with numerous personalities speak with different accents? Or is that just on movies and television?

I'm also thinking that this accent brain could have a connection to people with strong imaginations, and the ability to turn themselves into different characters. This might be as an actor playing different roles. It might be an author inventing characters for novels. It might be a person avoiding the pain of abuse by creating other personalities to deal with it.

I think someone should do a study on this. Is there a correlation between this accent thing and hyperactive imaginations? What percentage of actors can easily switch accents? I bet it's a lot. And how about novelists?

Oh! And another type of person who has this thing.... Well, it depends on what you believe. But how about people who claim to channel spirits? They can speak in different voices/accents. Maybe they ARE doing so. I'm skeptical, but open to the possibility. But it's also possible that they have some kind of dissociative thing going on. They THINK they're channeling spirits, but really just have multiple personalities. Or they could be actors and are purposely conning people.

Anyway, not that I'm a scientist or anything. But I AM curious. If any of you want to do some sharing about this, please email me. I'll have fun reading the anecdotal evidence. I'd love to hear from people who have this accent thing. Or maybe you know someone else who does? And you can tell me if you/they have a strong imagination.....

Edited Later To Add.....

P.S-I just said to the cat, I need to clean up your throw up. And the voice that popped out of my mouth kind of sounded like Marcia Langton. I think that's a first.

And....

On another day, I was talking to myself a bit. Luna Lovegood's voice came out of my mouth. It was pretty cool. I just wish I could have control over it....do it on demand. That would be a nifty little trick to show off.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Don't Really Like Peter Rabbit

Here are some of my dreams from last night. They had a common theme.

1. My Dad works for AOL (American Online). He wants me to switch my blog to their blogging site, and he promotes this idea by telling me my blog will be in their search engine. I don't want to switch. I'm happy with Blogger, and I like that my blog is easily found on the Google search engine. But I worry about rejecting my dad's idea. I don't want to hurt his feelings, nor do I want to seem unsupportive of his connection to AOL.

I think this dream was partly influenced by a conversation with some potential new friends we met. We talked about having your blog on your own domain versus using something like Blogger. They helped me realize that the reason my blog IS easily found, and gets lot of visitors is that Blogger is connected to Google. So I guess those using Blogger get priority. Maybe?

Although my unschooling blog gets close to zero visitors. So, using Blogger is definitely not a full proof way to get people coming to your blog.

2. I'm having a shower soon (not the get-clean-type). At first, it seems like a wedding shower, but later it seems more like a baby one. My mom asks me to switch my registry over to another store. One of her friends has bought me EVERYTHING on my registry. But she used another store. I tell my mom I can just go to the original store, and cross everything off the registry....mark down that it was bought elsewhere.

Then I start getting unhappy about the gifts. It all has a Peter Rabbit theme, and it's my mom who picked it out.

I'm regretting all this, and thinking I should have gotten something with some kind of Australian theme.


So both of those dreams involved someone wanting me to make a switch.

Why did I dream about that theme?

I have no idea.

Ah....maybe it's telling me I need to switch nationalities! I should become Australian instead of American. Yeah. That's probably it.

No, seriously. I had one of those days recently....where I strongly regret living in Texas. Long story. I'll probably stick it in some post....someday. But those I-need-to-escape-to-Australia feelings resurfaced.

I might have a new Texan friend though (as mentioned above) AND my other Texan friend wrote me a very sweet email this morning. So it ain't all bad.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pedal Internet

Today I watched a video clip on the Australian Screen website from a documentary called The Inlanders. The film is about the whole flying doctor thing.

In the clip, I saw, they show pedal radios. These are radios that worked by foot power. If you want to talk to folks far away from you, then you have to give yourself a workout at the same time.

I think that's so cool.

Lord Wiki says it was invented by an Australian; Alfred Traeger.

What if we had to pedal in order to use the Internet?

I'd say our obesity rates would go WAY down.

And I'm sure it would cut down on fossil fuels, and all that.

We wouldn't have to fret so much about our electricity going out.

I know some scientists are working on stuff like that.

I saw in some magazine (Maybe our National Geographic travel ones) that some big city is trying to make street lights that are powered by human foot traffic. I can't remember where though.

Maybe I can find it on the internet.

Hold on....

This article says it's in France. I don't really remember it being France, so maybe this is a second place that's doing it?

Ah! And here's a whole website about pedal power. They say there are computers in Afghanistan that work on pedal power.

I can imagine it would be frustrating and exhausting having to power our Internet with exercise. But I think the benefits would outweigh the cons.

I love modern technology. It's a beautiful thing, and I think for the most part it has improved our world. But in terms of having a healthy body, it's kind of detrimental. For most people.... Unless they puts their mind to it, they're going to live a very sedentary lifestyle. We have to make time to take a run, go on a swim, ride our bike, go to the gym, lift weights, play basketball etc.

Pedal Internet could totally change that. Or I guess it makes more sense to say pedal computers. You'd pedal to bring power....I don't think you could pedal to create a connection.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Learning About St. Kilda

I've been learning about St Kilda lately, thanks to the website of the St Kilda Historical Society.

I thought you should put a period in St, since it's an abbreviation. But neither Lord Wiki nor the historical society do it. So I guess I won't either.

I'm reading over this time line of St Kilda. It has some fun trivia stuff.

First of all, St Kilda was named after a boat called Lady of St Kilda. Lord Wiki says the boat was bought and named by a British guy; Sir Thomas Dyke Acland.

Acland named the boat St Kilda after a Scottish Island.

Now we have to ask. Why was the island named St Kilda?

Lord Wiki says this is unknown. There's theories and ideas, but there's nothing concrete.

The island's website says it is not named after a saint. Instead, it MIGHT come from the word Skildir. That's a Norse word that means shields.

Interesting....

Wow. There was some kind of evacuation in 1930, and now only three of the original inhabitants are there.

What happened????

Here we go. It sounds like it happened gradually. Population declined, and then the remaining folks felt isolated.

So we have an island, a man who named his ship after the island, and a suburb/area named after the ship.

The ship met it's doom in 1843, near Tahiti.

I'm looking at the time line page again. Governor La Trobe named St. Kilda after the ship BEFORE it sank.

It was anchored off the beach of St Kilda, so I guess that inspired the governor. Although back then, it wasn't actually called St Kilda beach.

What else.....

St Kilda was THE place to live in the 1860's. It had mansions, and a seaside resort.

The glory lasted for about 30 years. Then the shit hit the fan.

People lost their money.

Mansions had to be sold.

Giant homes were split up into guesthouses and stuff like that.

In the 1900's, an Italian guy came over, and tried to turn St Kilda into an entertaining type place.

In 1912, Luna Park opened. The St Kilda historical folks describe it as, the newest and greatest amusement park in the world.

Really? That sounds like something my dad would say. He's often telling us that something is the greatest, best, most famous, etc.

What came first? Luna Park in Sydney, or the one in Melbourne?

Ah, Lord Wiki says it was the Melbourne one. Sydney's didn't open up until 1935.

In the 1920's and 1930's, apartments/flats dominated St Kilda rather than houses.

In the 1940's, we get a lot of American (soldiers) and Jews.

In the 1950's and 1960's, St. Kilda becomes associated with drugs, crime, and artistic people. I'm picturing it kind of like the East Village in NYC...specifically Alphabet City.

In the 1970's, a historical shopping area of 150 buildings was destroyed to to widen a road called High Street. Then this High Street was renamed St. Kilda Road.

In the 1990's, St Kilda was still known for being affordable (good place for backpackers). But it started to become a bit more trendy.

And what of it now?

Well, the St Kilda Historical Society says it continues to be trendy.. They say, St Kilda property booms as waves of affluent new residents seek a trendy lifestyle by the sea. Good old gentrification.

Anyway, that's it for now. I shall be learning more later.....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gringotts Wizarding Bank

We're all into Harry Potter over here.

I'm rereading the books...will be onto The Deathly Hallows in a few days. Jack is suddenly obsessed with the whole thing. He doesn't want to read the books (not a big novel reader), but is watching some of the movies, and asking me tons of questions. Oh, and he also tells US stuff. It's crazy. Here this kid has never read the books, and hasn't really watched all that much of the movies. And I'm reading the books for the second time. Right? He knows more than me sometimes! I mean he remembers the names of characters that I can't remember.

I think Jack is the opposite of me in terms of learning and memory.

Anyway, I'm very glad for this sudden Harry Potter passion because we're going to London soon.

I was looking up Harry Potter tours, and I found this one. I don't think we're going to do it. But I was reading, and got some interesting Australia-related info. Apparently Australia House in London was used for exterior shots of Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

I think it's the Australia embassy thing. The Australia Ambassador is there, and it's a voting place.

Lord Wiki says something a bit strange. He claims there's more votes cast here for Aussie elections than in any single polling place in Australia. Wow.

The current ambassador in London is John Dauth. Maybe we'll see him.

Here's the Embassy's website. I guess it's a good place to go if you're an Australian in London...and you need guidance/help.

Where do you go if you're an American in London obsessing over Australia?

Well, I guess we can go to the embassy too. We can stand outside and suck up the glorious Harry Potter/Australia aura.

Then we also need to go to the Australia Shop so we can buy Australia candy!!!

Don't worry. We'll buy British sweets as well. Of course.

Oh, and we should buy Indian Sweets. I bet they have them in London. I LOVE Indian Sweets.

You Put Your Peanut Butter In My Chocolate

In America, we have an awesome candy called Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

In some of the old commercials for the product, there'd be an accident; and chocolate and peanut butter would come together. The owners of the chocolate and peanut butter would taste the new concoction, and like it.

I don't know. Maybe back then, chocolate and peanut butter mixed together seemed unusual. Here in America, it's now quite commonplace.

These days, if you want to get exotic with your chocolate, you have to mix it with bacon or cayenne pepper.

So....

We can mix two types of food, and get something great.

Can we do the same with politics?

Maybe.

A Member of Parliament thinks the election issue should be settled by forming some kind of combination government. Instead of having Labor or Liberal in the throne, you have a ministry made up of Labor, Liberal, and other.

I'm not sure how it would all work though.

Would Australia have no Prime Minister then?

Or would there be a Prime Minister from one of the parties, but his or her Ministry is made up of both parties?

The MP who came up with this fun plan is Rob Oakeshott. I'm looking at his website now.

If I was a movie casting director, I'd give Oakeshott the role of newscaster...probably in sports. That's what he looks like to me. Or I'd put him in a romantic-comedy. He'd play the leading man, and he'd meet the leading lady at a company picnic. They'd be put together for a three-legged-race.

Oakeshott is an Independent. I'm not sure if he leans to the left or right.

I do know he makes vegetable pie though.

Is that like a meat pie, but with vegetables?

Why doesn't he add meat?

Could he be a vegetarian? That would be cool....to me. But I shouldn't make assumptions.

This page of his site has an article saying that Oakeshott wears a tracking device so people can know where he is at all times.

What is the deal with this?

Why are people wanting to be tracked?

It's on Facebook now. You can let your 300 friends know exactly where you are at every moment.

I may be a bit paranoid, but I get nervous about stalkers and all that.

I don't know. Maybe the voting public has a right to know where they're representatives are all day. It kind of seems like an invasion of privacy to me though.

Anyway, I was just curious about who this guy was.....since I liked his idea.

I think a LOT of us (whether American, Australian, or whatever) are sick of party politics.

It seems more could be done if we stop that game. I could be wrong though. Maybe it would make things worse. But if it does, we could always go back to the old ways.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It Was Sad When the Great Ship Went Down

As I've confessed before, I've had other loves before Australia.

One of them was the Titanic. I think it began when I was in film school. I watched the old 1953 movie, Titanic. I don't think I watched it at the film school itself. I think I just saw it during the time I was doing film school.

Anyway....

The reason I liked the movie was because it was about a cruise ship. My family had been on a few cruises, and I loved them. I loved being on the ocean. I loved looking out into the dark deep water at night. I loved how you lost touch with the world (didn't have easy to email access on ships in those days), and your biggest decisions were what to order for dinner. I loved meeting and talking to the cruise staff from all over the world.

So...I loved seeing an old movie about a cruise ship...even though that cruise ship met with disaster.

My Titanic love affair intensified with seeing the musical in NYC, and the Kate Winslet movie.

It ended when I got a Titanic computer game. I don't know what it was about that game. Was it too difficult and frustrating? Boring? I can't remember. All I know is that I lost the love. Not only did I stop caring so much about Titanic, but I lost my love of cruises. Damn that game. It must have been REALLY awful.

Okay, I can't completely blame the game for my love lost. There's also the fact that my fear of vomit and the stomach flu have intensified in the last few years. And cruise ships are kind of known for passing on viruses.

We did go on a cruise in 2007....just before our first Australia trip. I was weary of the whole thing, but ended up having fun.

Still, I don't love cruises as much as I used to.

I'd rather go to Australia.

I hope I don't ever play a really boring video game about Australia. Then this blog might be in trouble.

No, I'm joking. I've read horribly boring books involving Australia. If that didn't ruin my love, I'm probably safe.

Well, the reason I thought about Titanic in the first place is I was browsing the website of the Melbourne Museum, and they have a Titanic exhibit going on. It's one of those timed exhibit things. I find them to be a bit annoying. We did The Star Wars one when Jack was younger. It was hard because he was scared and didn't want to go in, so it looked like we'd have to just put those tickets to waste. But we couldn't just do that, because at the same time he DID want to go. He was very unsure...hesitant. Timed exhibits aren't really great for hesitant children.

But if you DON'T have a hesitant child, you're in Melbourne, and interested in that ship that sank....you might want to check out the exhibit.

Then on 16 September, there's going to be a lecture about Titanic. It actually sounds interesting to me. Reading the description of it kindled my fire a bit.

The Titanic exhibit and lecture will be long gone when we step foot in Melbourne, but we could go to the Titanic restaurant. Our Tassie/Hawaii friends told us about it.

It's a theatre restaurant type thing....like the ones where you eat with your hands and watch knights in battle. Do you guys have that in Australia?

We probably won't go to the restaurant actually...unless one of us gets into the whole Titanic story again. I'm not sure if it's kid friendly....or more specifically...Jack-friendly.

Taiwan's View of the Election

I found this from Facebook.

It's a great summary of the Aussie elections.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Seaching For Validation

Tonight we watched another episode of iCarly.

Okay. Here's the thing. We've been a naughty family, not eating together at the table. We spend all our meals in front of the TV. Why? Our cat threw up all over the kitchen table, and I'm still grossed out about it.

But that's not what this blog post is about, so I'll move on to less disgusting things.

In our most recent viewing of iCarly ,(spoiler alert) Carly tries to give her brother Spencer self-confidence in his artwork  by inviting his favorite artist to their apartment so he can see his work. Things don't work out the way she planned. The artist comes over and tells Spencer he doesn't like his work. It's not good. It's amateurish.

Spencer is crushed, and decides to stop being an artist.

Carly and her friends try to fix things by promoting his art work on their web show. I was very touched by this, and a bit envious. I thought of all the rejections I've gotten (for my novels and screenplays). I thought, how nice it would have been to have someone there to pick up my shattered ego.

Who cares what that editor thought, Dina. You're a great writer. Keep working on it! Don't give up.

No such luck for me....at least not from my family.

The iCarly plot reminded me of what happened to Ruth Park. She sent her writing to an editor she admired, and the editor heavily criticized her work. Not constructive criticism; but just pure cruel shit.

In iCarly, the celebrity artist later comes to Spencer and confesses. He says Spencer is a great artist. He likes his work. It's just he was jealous of Spencer's talent. Spencer is overjoyed, and we get a happy ending.

I'm guessing jealousy was also the motivation behind the editor that Park had admired.

Anyway, I shouldn't be envious of a fictional character. Maybe it's an ideal that no real people live up to. But I think it would be awesome to have family members behind you like that....ones who believed in your talent.

Well, I do know of a blogger, and her sister seems to read every blog post. She doesn't just read, but comments, and praises. She lets her sister (and everyone reading) know that she thinks her sister is a brilliant writer. She even nominated her sister for a writing award.

So, I'm jealous of that too, because my sisters never/rarely read my blog.

I'm just a nasty envious person tonight. Shame on me.

I want my sisters to read my blog and tell me I'm a good writer.

I get jealous when my husband sees a singer on TV and says, She has a really good voice. I want him to react to MY singing that way.

Why am I so petty?

Why am I so needy?

Is there something wrong with me?

Probably.

But from what I've read of artistic-type people, these feelings of inadequacy are common. And so is the need for validation.

After seeing the show, I thought these smug thoughts. Maybe family members, who don't show interest and enthusiasm in my work, are JEALOUS.

That's kind of a happy thought. I'm a great blogger, and a great singer....but I don't get a lot of praise from certain people, because they're all jealous and stuff.

But it could very likely be that they don't think I'm talented.

I was about to say it could mean that I'm a bad singer and an untalented writer. But I don't believe in that.

It's all subjective.

I'm a good writer to some people, and I sing good to SOME people's ears. But others think I'm crap or very mediocre.

I should have confidence in myself, and not care what others think.

Yeah. That probably ain't happening in this lifetime.

I could put some time and effort into this personality flaw of mine. But I'd rather spend my time doing other fun stuff, like....

writing.....

and

singing.

The good thing is I DO love writing and singing for it's own sake. But I like it MORE when I feel other people appreciate me doing it.

On another episode of iCarly, the kids try to attract more viewers to their web show. Spencer asks why they're doing this. WHY do they need more viewers?

Carly responds by asking him whether he'd prefer a few people seeing his sculptures, or a LOT of them?

Then he understands.

I liked seeing my feelings validated on this tween show. I pointed the dialogue out to Tim because he sometimes tries to remind me that I should be writing the blog for myself, and not worried how many people are reading, and whether or not I'm getting kudos.

I think he's right in a way. We should do creative/artistic things in a way that pleases us, and not strive to create stuff specifically to please others. But although it's quite pathetic usually, I think it's normal to want our work and effort liked by others.

Tim did a triathlon last week. After he finished, he sent out an email about it to my family, and some friends. I'm sure Tim enjoyed the running, swimming, and biking for it's own sake. He likes that kind of stuff. But I can't think why he'd send out information about it except to receive admiration.

So...you know what. It's NOT just a trait afflicting artsy people. Now that I think of it, there's lots of emails going back and forth between my family. I got a promotion. I'm forwarding this kind email (filled with praise) that my friend sent to me. I'm going to be interviewed on a local news program. My party was a huge success. Everyone said they loved it.
I don't send emails out like that anymore.

Once my dad sent an email to the family praising a novel I had written. I was all excited and grateful for the praise and attention. Plus, I anticipated getting even more praise and attention from other family members. This is what usually happens with these emails. People get responses...kudos...good wishes.

I got....

silence.

But I should look at the bright side. At least my dad said something in the first place. That was very nice of him.

Why didn't my sister, mom, husband, or brother-in-laws respond to the email? I don't know.

It can't really be that they disagreed that the novel was good. They never read any of it.

It could be jealousy. They didn't like seeing me praised. But that's kind of ridiculous. People get kudos all the time in my family. Why would it be a problem for it to be directed at me?

It could be that they simply....forgot to.

Once my sister wore this green outfit when we came over to babysit her daughters. I looked at her in it, and really liked how she looked. I thought she looked great.

Later when I got home, I realized that despite admiring her appearance, I had never said anything. I think simply because I forgot to. Or maybe in some stupid way, I expected her to just read my mind, or something. I felt kind of foolish doing this, but I sent her an email later saying I thought she had looked good. I wasn't sure how she'd respond to that, but I felt I needed to say it.

She wrote back, and was very appreciative. She cc'd her husband and said something like. It's nice to get compliments. Hint Hint.

I forgot my response....or if I responded.

But I probably should have said. Yes! I know.







The American Vote

I had a lot of Australia-related dreams last night.....

1. On Facebook, some American page/group I belong to  has a message saying they think Americans should tell Australia who they support in the election. There's mention of the Liberal party. This makes me mad because I misunderstand and think they're going to tell Australia that America supports the Liberal party. I hate the idea that they think they can speak for everyone.

But then I see that they're going to have a vote first. Then they'll send on the message. I want to vote for the Greens....of course. But I don't know if that will be counted. I'm wondering if I should vote Labor instead.

This reminds me of something from real life. A few months ago, when the American health bill was FINALLY passed...The Governor of Texas wrote stuff on his website about how he was going to fight on our behalf against this bill. That didn't sit well with me, at all. I support the health care bill, and I know other Texans do as well. I understand the leaders of where I live are not always going to have the same agendas and opinions as me. But I don't know....it was the way he said it. There was no recognition that some of us support the bill.

While we're on the subject of Rick Perry. I absolutely despise the man because not only does he proudly state that he's against gay marriage, but gay civil unions as well. I hate living in a state that has this attitude.

Okay well, I just took a break from writing this post, so I could write Rick Perry and share my opinion with him.

Back to my dreams....

2. We're on holiday somewhere. New York, I think. Jack and I decide we want to get ice-cream. Then we're with our Tassie/Hawaii friends (the ones I often dream about). We lose Molly (the teenage daughter), somehow. We're not sure if she's purposely run away, or just got distracted, and went in the wrong direction. We don't make a big fuss about it. We figure the police will spot her, and bring her back to us. But then I remember she's not a child. The police won't question a teenage girl walking around by herself as they might if they saw a five-year-old child walking on her own.

We end up back at our hotel. Someone (maybe Tim?) says he's going to go find her, and bring her some tacos. I'm wondering if the tacos will stay good through the search.

Then I'm alone in the hotel room, and there's a kangaroo in there. I'm not surprised about this, but I seem to be fairly happy about it. How fun! How cute! But then I start thinking he might poop all over our bed. Plus, he's a bit aggressive. He's not really mean. It's more like he's overly friendly. I remember that kangaroos can be dangerous, the strong legs and all that.

3. We go out to dinner with the Hawaii/Tassie friends. I order Australian wine, for some reason. It's a bit strange, since I don't drink. When they come to pour the wine, I realize it wouldn't be right to politely refuse it, as I usually do. Everyone else got a different bottle, so this bottle is all for me. Tim watches as they pour the wine into my glass. I feel very self-conscious about all of this.

4. There's a story...It starts out as a movie trailer. Then it re-starts, and my family is in the midst of it all. The only Australian bit really is the fact that a woman calls her husband after seeing the theatre production of Mary Poppins. Then all hell breaks lose, and there's some kind of horrible imminent attack.

My family is riding in a car. My dad is driving, I think. My sister is in the backseat with me and Jack, plus someone else. That someone else suddenly opens the car door and jumps/falls out. Our car is high up, on a bridge or something. So she falls a long distance. Then my sister suddenly jumps/falls out as well.

It's all weird.

There's these huge lines of people on the street.

We start to suspect something bad is happening. At the same time, I KNOW something bad is happening. It's like I'm playing a part, and know I'm in a movie story.

We stop and talk to some worker. Maybe a construction guy? We ask what's happening. He looks at us as if we're ignorant for not already knowing. He says Japan is planning to bomb us. It's going to be a major attack, and our only plan of defense is to put the children somewhere safe.

Later, we're talking to people in a room. I learn that by children, they didn't mean all the children....just their specific children. They're going to hide and save three kids. That's all. I give them grief about this.

Then someone asks WHY Japan is doing this. I tell them it's because they're the villains...simple as that. I then rub my hands together in villain fashion, and give an evil laugh. People in the room look at me as if I'm insane. Why am I not taking this all seriously? But to me, it's all just a movie thing.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Exciting Melbourne News

So....

Australia has it's first Green politician in the lower house of Parliament!

Does it sound like I know what I'm talking about?

Good. Glad I fooled you guys.

All I know really is that it's a big step for the Green party. AND it's a big step for Melbourne, because the new member of Parliament is the member for Melbourne.

His name is Adam Bandt.

He's in support of gay marriage. It's so refreshing to see a politician that is decent and progressive in this manner.

Bandt has a blog thing, but it looks like he's only updated twice.

He has a Facebook page. I joined. I tend to join everything these days. I have a Facebook joining addiction.

Speaking of Facebook pages....if you're a regular here (or plan to be) and you didn't know this yet....my blog has a Facebook page too. I'd be delighted if you'd joined. Then I can feel loved.

Anyway, MAJOR congratulations to Melbourne.

I was all teary-eyed when I read the news. Not too big a deal though. I get teary-eyed quite frequently. The other day it happened when I saw the trailer for Guardians of Ga'Hool. I said to Jack, That's Australian. Then I got all choked up.

Yeah, so that's my life: joining Facebook pages and crying.

Green Green Green

I give up trying to understand Australian elections.

I'll never be smart enough for THAT.

But maybe I can understand like 25% or so.....

I do get the point that the Greens have done very well. That makes me happy.

The Gillard and Abbott thing reminds me of the Bush-Kerry thing.

Hung

I'm going to have to learn more about this hung Parliament thing, if it happens.

It sounds kind of....fun.

Interesting, at least.

I'm not going to be happy if Abbott wins.

Nor am I really excited about Gillard.

So, yeah. I think I prefer the hung thing.

Or maybe I should say I prefer whatever gives the Greens the most power.

In other news....

Didn't dream about the election last night. Instead I dreamed I was Harry Potter, and I needed underpants. Yeah. Try to interpret THAT one. Professor McGonagall helped me find some.

AND....

We had a nice birthday celebration with Jack yesterday. We went to THIS restaurant. Jack was extremely polite (like usual) and daring in his food choices (like usual). He tried elk, buffalo, and wild boar.

AND more....

I've been wasting major time taking those personality tests. I blame HappyOrganist for that.

I can't really find a definite match, but I seem to be either an ENFJ or INFJ....maybe a little of both.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wishes

I really want Bob Brown to be Prime Minister.

There's not much chance of that happening though....is there?

Maybe?

It would be so great if it did happen.

It would be so awesome to see a smaller party beating out the two big annoying ones.

And double great for me since I LIKE The Green Party.

I was just thinking....most Australians are probably sleeping as I'm writing this (minus those on the west coast). I wonder if any of YOU are dreaming about the elections.

Marching with Bob Brown

First...most important thing...

Today is Jack's birthday!!!!!!!

We're taking him to a nice restaurant where you can eat exotic meat. He loves eating interesting things.

Second....

I dreamed election-related stuff last night.

I'm in Australia, at some kind of crowded place. The Greens are doing a march/walk, led by Bob Brown. I want to join in, but it's going super fast. It's almost like a conga line, but people aren't holding on to each other, or anything.

Finally, I somehow find a way to get in. I talk to people near me. Some man is teasing me (in a friendly way) about how I managed to get myself to Australia at this politically important time. He knows a lot about me, and that gives me the idea he reads my blog on a daily basis. I'm very touched by this.

After writing down my dream in my special journal, I did my new custom of reading old journal entries.

I'm on November 2004 now.

It's interesting because I get insight into why certain things happened, or why I made certain choices.

I mean there's not one big answer to everything....just puzzle pieces coming together.

One entry was about my cousin's son's birthday party....the one who'd later move to Australia.

I ate a piece of birthday cake, and my mom said I should watch out. I needed to fit into my bridesmaid dress.

Well, I guess I really took THAT comment to heart.

Now for most people, they'd probably laugh...and it wouldn't cause any problems. But I'm not that type. I'm super sensitive. And I had done some major calorie restricting in college. It was already in my nature...dormant...and waiting for the right triggers.

Who knows though. Maybe I had gotten a hold of a HUGE piece of birthday cake. Maybe my mom had a right to worry.

I also got an idea of one of the reasons I stopped making the family videos. Before going to the birthday party, I mentioned to my mom that I had finished the video of our Disney trip. Instead of saying, Great! Can't wait to see it. My mom asked worriedly if I was going to ask everyone at the birthday party to watch the video.

Yes, I'm going to ask a bunch of strangers to watch my videos. Right.

Oh...well. I actually DO ask strangers to watch my videos, and read my blog, and read my novels. I'm annoying that way. But I wouldn't do it at a child's birthday party. Goodness.

Anyway, I think my feelings had been hurt by that. I didn't stop making videos right away. Actually, I think I continued with it for two more years. But I started cutting down, because I felt I did all this work, and I wasn't being shown the mucho appreciation I craved.

To my mom's defense, she did show major appreciation of later videos. She loved the wedding video I made for my sister, especially the silly credits. I got kudos for that.

The other catalyst in my retirement from video-making happened when I wanted to show my family a video of our trip to NYC. My sister complained about having to watch it. But we're not in it! The video was of just me, Tim, and Jack. That made me feel....

I don't know.

Maybe I realized that for some family members, it wasn't about seeing my extremely fantastic creative work. It was about seeing themselves on film. They're very vain. So am I.

In other news....

Jen, I also dreamed about Bulgaria. But I don't really remember what the dreams were about. I just know there was Bulgarian stuff.

Anyway....

I hope all you Australians have a happy voting day.