Monday, January 31, 2011

Past Dreams, Bunny Munro, Diaries, and Cyclones

1. Dreamed that I went to the Bridge Climb place to get the breathalyzer.  I don't want to climb the bridge. I just want to take the test for some reason.  I end up totally failing.  I can't figure out why. And then I realize I had desserts made with alcohol the night before.   I'm wondering if that did it.   Later I read something my cousin wrote on the Internet.  It was about how being depressed can make you fail the test as well.  She's not talking about me though. She's talking about herself.

2. Found one of my old dreams (from Livejournal), and it was about Geoffrey Rush.  It was from 31 January 2010.  I wrote,  I do research for my blog. It involves Geoffrey Rush. I'm finding interesting stuff about him, but he's not the one I'm writing about. There's something about a science teacher who was the professor of Shakespeare. I spell his last name totally wrong, but Google still gets me there.

Some of it reminds me of things going on now.  I'm interested in Lionel Logue, and that involves Geoffrey Rush.  And Lionel Logue did Shakespearean stuff.   I thought the science wasn't connected, but I just remembered. Before Logue became a Spiritualist, he was a Christian Scientist.

3.  Read Jayne's Gleeful Blog.  She talks about a study that shows happiness is more prevalent among people who can appreciate the small things in life. I like that. I think it explains why I'm often happy.  I get excited and happy over trivial things.  On the other hand, I also get sad over small things sometimes too.  But I think it's a fair trade off.  Besides....I'm more often happy than sad.

4. Realized that my personal definition of depression is LOSING that ability to be happy about small things.  When I'm depressed, nothing excites me.  Sometimes I'll be sad about something, but I can simultaneously be happy about other things.  Then I'm pretty much okay.  When we got back from Australia in 2008, there were days where I couldn't bring myself to feel happy about anything. I was so unhappy...depressed....about being back in America.  But it didn't last too long, fortunately.

5. Read article about the Yasi cyclone, and looked on Google Maps to see where it's supposed to hit.  I hope this Yasi doesn't cause too much damage.  

6. Watched the Singing Chef commercial for Nestle soup. I wonder why Americans and Australians pronounce Nestle so differently.  I'm guessing maybe the Australian pronunciation is closer to the original Swiss one?

7. Read Snowy's blog post about The King's Speech, loving England, and at the same time also supporting the idea of Australia being a Republic.  He wants to keep the flag though. He says, That Union Jack represents the institutions bequeathed to us by the British. For all its faults, our democracy seems to work as well as most. Our justice system has stood the test of time. I think there’s a lot of good symbolism in that flag, and I’m loathe to change it. I can agree with his argument, although sometimes I agree with the other side as well.   One thing to consider is whether there are more important things to change.  In some ways, I think the British-oriented flag is a slap in the face to Aboriginal Australians. And I think it would be better to have a design that's more inclusive towards ALL Australians.  But a flag is trivial, in the long run.  There are more pressing issues.  Although sometimes symbolic gestures might make a difference?

8. Saw 1941 commercial for Tandaco Prepared Stuffing.  It talks about the importance of putting stuffing inside your chicken.   Otherwise, you might fail to give your husband's boss an enjoyable dinner.  These days, food safety experts warn AGAINST putting stuffing inside a bird.   It raises the risk of food poisoning.  We have stuffing at Thanksgiving, but it's not cooked inside the turkey.  My mom makes it separately, and it's VERY yummy.  This Thanksgiving, she was very kind and made it with vegetable broth so it would be vegetarian friendly.  I don't think anyone noticed a reduction in taste or quality. So, that's cool.

9. Watched a 1948 commercial for Vegemite.  It suggests putting Vegemite in the baby's bottle, and that most babies like this.  I wouldn't doubt it. Many Australians really LOVE Vegemite.  It really seems that it's something that's best introduced early.   Maybe babies are better able to tolerate it. and if they grow up with it,  there's a good chance they'll continue to like it. But if someone is introduced to Vegemite at an older age, maybe it's more likely that they'll be resistant to it.

10. Finally finished reading The Rose Crossing.  A reviewer on Amazon says pretty much exactly what I would say about the book.  At first I was really turned off by a strange writing style: it doesn't flow; it seems unnatural; although not complex it requires time for interpretation. However, once the Chinese come into contact with the Europeans, the conflict is intensified and interest ignites.  It became fairly interesting towards the end.  

11. Decided to start reading Nick Cave's The Death of Bunny Munro.  I started reading City of Glass, and I got the sense it's one of those series that you need to read in order. I felt like an intruder...unwelcome among strangers. I'll start at the beginning...someday.  

12. Grateful to The Herald Sun for having a review on what's going on in Egypt. I'm so lost.  Well, I watched the whole slideshow, and I'm still a bit lost. 

13. Looked up Tegretol because it's mentioned in the Bunny Munro book.  Lord Wiki says it's official name is Carbamazepine.  In the book, it's used to treat depression.   It can also be used to treat epilepsy, and various other things.  It's original use was for a disorder that causes painful nerves in the face.

The common side effects include drowsiness, headaches, migraines, motor coordination problems, and upset stomach.  Then there are less common, but more serious side-effects. These include anemia, double vision, thyroid problems, hearing issues, and an increased chance of Lupus.  

I don't know. I guess I was thinking that instead of (rather) blindly hating psychiatric drugs, I should learn more about them.

14. Read an American government page about Carbamazepine.   It sounds like one of those drugs that can bring life-changing benefits to some.  But there are dangerous side-effects, and it wouldn't be wise to use it if alternative treatments were available.

The site warns, you should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways and you may become suicidal (thinking about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so) while you are taking carbamazepine for the treatment of epilepsy, mental illness, or other conditions. A small number of adults and children 5 years of age and older (about 1 in 500 people) who took antiepileptics such as carbamazepine to treat various conditions during clinical studies became suicidal during their treatment.

It's not especially common to become suicidal with the drug, but it's also not incredibly rare either. I think 1/500 is fairly worrisome.  

15. Saw a baby picture of an Australian named Gilbert Murray.  I was curious about who he was, so I went to ask Lord Wiki. He was a scholar who was very interested in Greek mythology.  And he translated Greek stories into English.  Here's a tribute page for Murray. I'm wondering if one of my friends has heard of him.  She likes Greek mythology.  

16. Continued reading the Bunny Munro book. So far I'm not loving it. It reminds me of The Slap.   Morally depraved characters.  I prefer uplifting books about decent people.   I like stories like The King's Speech.  So far with Bunny Munro (I'm on page 14) we get prostitution, Botox, hangovers, and sleeping pills. But maybe I'm judging too soon. 

17. Read the back of the Bunny Munro book. It actually sounds kind of okay. It sort of reminds me of season two of Nip/Tuck.  I liked that, and maybe I'll like this book.  Hopefully. 

18. Learned from this article that Geoffrey Rush is good at utilizing his body in acting. That's probably cool, and not something I usually notice enough. I think I pay much more attention to voice.

19. Started to watch this interview with Geoffrey Rush, about The King's Speech. He talks about how the screenwriter of The King's Speech was a stammerer himself, and the king was one of his heroes.   It was someone that he could look up to. It's really neat that he ended up working on the movie. 

This is a very interesting. Seriously. They talk about how people stammer less with singing because it's continuous sound.  When there are breaks in the sound, there's anxiety over whether the next words will come out okay.  Nervousness makes the stammer worse. While Rush is explaining this, HE starts to stammer a bit.  I think Tim and/or I started stammering a bit yesterday when the camera was on us.

Rush talks about how people will go to therapy for their stammer. Then they meet up with someone who asks how the therapy is doing. There's so much stress and pressure there.  I must show them how I've improved.  Then the stammering comes out in full force.  

You know what it kind of reminds me of....being at the doctor, when they tell you to relax.   I'm already so nervous;  and the nurse or doctor sternly ordering me to relax makes me probably about twenty times MORE nervous.  

Oh!  Cool.  Rush says that Firth's line Timing isn't my strong point was improvised. That's brilliant.

They talk about the diaries.  They got a hold of them several weeks before the shoot.   So....I need to learn more about the history of this movie.  I guess I pictured it more as a movie based on a book.  But the book is about the diaries. So maybe the idea to make the movie came BEFORE the book. 

20. Consulted Lord Wiki about the production of the film.  He says it started as a screenplay.   David Seidler was diagnosed with cancer, and decided to busy himself with a project.   Now I know this wasn't some person who suddenly decided to get into the film industry.  I've looked at him on IMDb before.  Seidler had written previous things.  For instance, he wrote the TV movie about baby Jessica....not the fall-down-the well one, but the custody battle one.  

As we established before....Seidler's childhood hero was the king who struggled to speak.  So while he was dealing with cancer, he wrote a screenplay about this king.  His wife read it, and suggested he turn it into a play instead.  I'm not sure why, but oh well.

Okay.  I read more.   I'm not going to go over all of it.   It was pretty much passed around to various people, and eventually a movie got made. They tried to make it as historically accurate as possible...probably with limited information to use. Then they learned about the diary.  

So, it's NOT the typical story where someone writes a book, and then the book is optioned, and eventually turned into a movie. 

I wonder if Mark Logue knew about the movie when he found the diaries.  Did the film people talk to him at all....I mean before the diaries were found?  When people make historical films, are descendants often contacted?   

21. Saw very scary news about Yasi.  I really am hoping I wake up tomorrow and read something like False alarm or Yasi was much more gentle than expected.   But I hope people have evacuated, and are not taking dangerous chances.

Well, I just read the article....or most of it.  It's supposed to hit late on Wednesday. So that would be early Wednesday here. That's the day I should be hoping for it-wasn't-as-bad-as-we-expected news.

22. Read more of Bunny Munro.  It's depressing.   

23. Not feeling very happy right now.   I'm not sure if it's the book, what's going on in the news, or stuff from my own personal life.  Maybe a combination of all three?   Just saw comments on Facebook regarding Yasi.  It's so horrible.  People are expressing their wish for family members to evacuate.  I guess some are refusing.   It would be so frustrating to have family members there that are refusing to get themselves to a safe place.  

24. Imagined how it might feel to flee our home, not knowing what we'd find when we returned.   Of course, in the end....lives are what's most important.  But we DO get attached to material things. It's hard to lose them.   It's hard to deal with all the damage.   I guess there's going to be a lot of rebuilding.

25. Looking at list of 50 Must-Read Aussie novels.  I've read only 13.  That's VERY good, because that means there's a lot more out there for me to read.     I wish I saw this list yesterday when I was trying to fill up my Powells cart (to reach the $50 minimum).

26. Realized I shouldn't get TOO excited about the list, because there's books on there that I read, and didn't like.   So some of these books I haven't read yet....well, I might not like some of those either.    Actually, there's only two books on the list that I love....The Book Thief and A Fraction of the Whole.

27. Tried to cheer myself up by watching the trailer for The King's Speech.  I hope the DVD comes out soon.  

28. And watched this video as well.  I love 1980's Jimmy Barnes.

29. Realized I have fallen in love with a movie.  I fall in love with countries. I fall in love with movies.   It's not much different than falling in love with a person.  It's better though.  You don't have to worry about rejection.  I mean how could a whole country reject you?  And movies can't really reject you either.   

Actually, now that I think of it....a country CAN reject you. They could deny you residency or citizenship.  But in most cases, they'd probably still allow you to be at-least a tourist.