Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mistakes, Arrogance, Facebook People, and Old TV Shows

1. Divided people (in my mind) based on their reaction to giving/helping others.  

First: People who feel compassionate enough to help, even though the problem has never happened to them before.  Though they've never been in a flood, they can imagine how horrible it might be.  They care...even though it hasn't happened to them.

Second: People who don't feel compassionate when they hear of other people's problems.  They're annoyed by it.  Do we have to keep hearing about this flood?  It's getting old. They usually won't do anything to help, and they may make excuses by blaming the victims.  Well, it's their fault for living in a place with that type of weather. 

THEN....a bad weather thing happens to them.  They learn their lesson. They realize that bad things DO happen to good people.  They eagerly accept help from others, and later they pay it forward.

I was going to include a third group of people.  They'd be just like the second, but horrible in the fact that they would STILL lack compassion for others, and refuse to pay it forward.  But I don't think I've ever known anyone like that. Fortunately!

And....

I think most of us probably spend a little time in each of the categories. I don't think anyone fits perfectly in either one.   

2. Learned via email that Adelaide is known as the City of Churches.  I worried it might be a bit too religious for my taste....kind of like the Bible Belt in America.  But Lord Wiki has a list of countries around the world that have the same nickname. I don't associate most of the cities with having a Bible Belt mentality. Like Brooklyn, New York?  I really don't see anyplace in NYC as being very religious.  

Oh....okay.

Lord Wiki says that the Bible Belt doesn't just refer to religious (Christian) areas.   It's places in America where socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture.    Yeah. In other words, you're not often going to feel very comfortable and understood if you're NOT Protestant.  I've lived in these areas before. I still live in one of these areas. It's not being around religious people that's the problem for me.  It's being around religious people who zealously believe their religion is the only right one. AND they believe that anyone who believes differently is going to burn painfully in hell.   

3. Read Andrew's beautiful (and well illustrated) post on diversity in Australia. He talks about Waleed Aly's TV show, which was a dinner party with guests who don't all share the same skin color, religion, or sexuality. But I bet ALL of them would be scared to swim in a tank filled with box jellyfish. 

4. Found out from two Australians, that the word goog IS sometimes used for eggs. That's good. It's bad enough that I can't rely on CNN for correct geographical information. What if we also couldn't rely on our children's magazines to give accurate information?

5. Read about Julia Gillard's close-the-gap speech.   I have mixed feelings.   I do think it's good that she pushes Aboriginal Australians to do well, and be in charge of their own destiny.  You can't expect a gap to magically disappear.  And although you CAN rightfully blame others for your problems, it's still in your hands to make the most of what you've got.  It's like a book I read in 2008 about family troubles. You can blame your family for a lot of your emotional troubles, and that's valid. But in the end, you have to be strong and move forward.

What I don't agree with is the way Gillard seems to have a narrow view of success.  The article I'm reading has an excerpt from her speech.  She says, A call to every person, to every family, to every community: to take care of your children; to take a job when you find one; to create a safe environment; to send your kids to school, pay your rent, save up for a home; to respect good social norms and to respect the law; and to reach out to other Australians.

I agree with some of that stuff.  I especially agree with taking care of your children, and providing a safe environment.

What are good social norms?  Who gets to define that?  In the Bible Belt, the social norm is attending church every Sunday. Was I wrong for not attending?

And why must children go to school?  Why can't they be homeschooled? Why can't they just learn from the world around them?

And what if someone doesn't have a job, but they manage to be self-sufficient?  What if they live off their own land?  What if they build their own house?   What if instead of using money, they barter with other people who have their needed goods and services?   

So in summary, I'd say.....encourage people to do well, and take charge of their own futures.  But don't be so narrow-minded about social norms, economy, education, and definitions of success.  

5. Read disturbing article about a clinic in New South Wales that used the same needle on 53 people. Now all those people are at risk of having Hepatitis or HIV. That makes me think that geography mistakes are bad, but medical mistakes are much worse.

6. Saw someone on Facebook remark that a blogger reviewing The King's Speech shouldn't quit their day job because he has awful spelling and punctuation.  Maybe I'm not observant enough, and I'm the type who makes a lot of writing mistakes too.  But I really don't see many errors in this guy's writing.  I commented that perhaps they were judging his Irish way of spelling things, failing to realize that not everyone spells things the American way.  Hey, I was confused about this too at one point. But to my defense, I don't judge people's writing on whether they spell and punctuate absolutely perfectly.    I would hate to be so picky about such things.  It would make it very hard for me to enjoy reading.

7. Read more of The Good Parents.   I'm enjoying it.   The author compares watching reruns of Friends with sleeping with a stuffed animal.   I can agree with that. There's something very comforting about watching a favorite TV show. It's been too long since I've watched Friends.    Maybe I'll watch a bit now.  THAT was fun.  I love Phoebe's little speech at the end.  

8. Decided while watching this video, I prefer the word parcel over the word package. Parcel sounds so fancy, and it also makes me think that there's chocolate inside.  

9. Played a little game while exercising. I used my screensaver slideshow, and said to myself that the next picture would be a message about Adelaide, and the one after that would be a message about Hobart.  For Adelaide, I got a decorated gingerbread cookie.  Here's the story there.   We decorated the cookies, and my nieces picked on me because I was so messy and NOT artistic about it.  I argued that it didn't matter what the cookies looked like; what mattered is that they have a ton of frosting.   Frosting makes cookies taste better. Right? Well, the cookies were the type that looked better than they tasted.   Later we had an extra cookie with no frosting.   I tasted it, and it actually tasted better.

There seems to be a lot of symbolism in that story that could be applied to Adelaide. I just don't know how.

For Hobart, I got a picture of my family having fun at the lake house.   My family is AWESOME.  They're charming, funny, entertaining....very silly.  They know how to have a good time, and I often have a ton of fun when I'm with them. However, I think most of my anxiety, low self-esteem, and tendency to allow other people to treat me like a doormat comes from being part of my family.  

I can manage to work with the symbolism here. Hobart is this BEAUTIFUL city.  It looks pretty. It looks fun.  But it has a dark history....the whole convict thing, and the massacre/mistreatment of Aboriginal Tasmanian.  Plus, there's the recent horror that happened at Port Arthur.

10. Pleased that my score on the Traveler IQ quiz is improving. I still haven't reached my old score yet though.  I need 12 thousand more points.

11. Saw the other people have done the Traveler IQ quiz that Jack and I made yesterday.    Unfortunately, someone says that we got Cooktown wrong. Yikes. Maybe I copied the longitude/latitude info incorrectly.   I'm not sure if there's a way to change it.

12. Found a way to fix the quiz.....I hope it worked. I don't know went wrong, but I had Cooktown up near Papa New Guinea.

13. Saw a 19th century photo of Prince Alfred's College!  Why is that important?  Because it's where Lionel Logue went to school!  It's a BEAUTIFUL building.  

14. Wrote a fan letter to a player on the Traveler IQ game. He is listed as a top player for many of the quizzes. That's pretty awesome.  I told him he was an inspiration to me.  

15. Saw brilliant comments on Facebook about The King's Speech by someone named Cheryl Metzger.    She says, I however, believe that without Geoffrey Rush, Colin wouldn't have been at the top of his game, not to denigrate him in any way. The magic happens when the two of the them play off each others. Geoffrey magnificently tunes his performance to balance Colin's role. It's not a performance as emotionally big as Colin's, but it's equally masterful.    I think she has some great points there.   

I was much more impressed with Rush than Colin Firth. I think Firth did a fine job, but to me....Rush stole the show.  Ugh. I hate that my words don't flow as well as Metzger's.   I'm so bad at reviewing movies and books.   Stole the show.  Crap. That's such a cliche.   Maybe I'll just be simple and say.  I like Firth, and I like Rush.   But I like Rush better...and not just because he's Australian.   

One thing I think is that people are so impressed when actors imitate an accent or disability.  It's a great skill to have, and I'm impressed too. But I don't think we should overlook more subtle acting.    I was amazed by the scene where Colin Firth is talking about his childhood, and Rush gets emotional. He doesn't dramatically burst out crying, but he looks like someone who is trying not to cry.  To me, that seems harder to do than an accent....or a disability.  But I'm not trying to downplay ANY of it. I think it's all very challenging, and all of the actors in the movie did a fantastic job.   

16. Worked on my Hobart vs. Adelaide chart.   Adelaide is ahead by 9 points.   

17. Looked on The Prince Alfred College website. I'm trying to see if they have the same building as they did in the 1800's. I had to look at a few pages, but finally I found a photo of the old building.   


I'm going to read what Lord Wiki has to say about the school.   


The school was founded in 1869.  According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Logue went there from 1889-1896.   The headmaster then was Frederick Chapple.  I wonder if Logue liked him.   You know....I don't think I remember the names of the principals at any of my schools.   


The school is very close to the Adelaide Botanical Gardens.  I'm sure we'll go around there....if we end up choosing Adelaide.   SO, I can be weird with my Logue pilgrimage without making us travel too far out of our way.   Who knows. I may be over Logue by then.   We'll probably walk past the school, and I'll say I heard of that place.  I don't know why. It might be important for some reason.....


18. Decided to illustrate my Lionel Logue obsession with a picture of my Sims 3 version of him. 


Lionel Logue talking to Claudia Winter

Now I didn't choose his clothes or anything. I created him as a baby...or child.  Then the game took over.   Unfortunately, he picked up the trait mean-spirited.  That bothers me.  I'm going to try to get one of my Sims to marry him, and then I can change his traits. Although since he's mean-spirited, it might be hard to get him to marry one of my sims.    


The Sim Lionel is talking to is Claudia Winter. She's half vampire, and a VERY talented artist.  And she was homeschooled. All of my Sims are homeschooled.  I deleted the only school in town. Take that, Julia Gillard!


19. Watched an ad for Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight.  It's very cute. They make it look like it comes from the 1940's or 1950's.  I heard about the show from my friend. She sent me a link to the episode, and I was thinking...no, I don't want to watch another long program.  But then later I thought, maybe I'd like to try a little bit of it.  I don't have to watch all of it.  I can just watch a few minutes.   


Unfortunately, I can't because I'm American. DISCRIMINATION!!!!!!   It's so unfair. Australians pick on us for not being worldly enough.  How can we be worldly if you don't let us watch your shows?   Rude.  Rude.  Rude.

I'm joking.   It's just a copyright law thing. And of course there are lots of Aussie things we can watch from here.


21. Decided to watch this Adam Hills video.  It's from 2009.  The part at 2:41 made me laugh a lot.    Oh....this whole thing is hilarious.   


22. Decided to watch Adam Hills at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival.  It's about sign language.  I laughed so hard I almost cried.   


23. Read article about how Assange's mum is standing by her son.   I like that.   When a powerful country is against you, and the Prime Minister of your own country won't help you....it's nice to have your mother on your side. I'm glad she's there for him.  And I'm glad many people out there support him as well.


24. Decided that today must be OLD FAVORITE TV SHOW day.   First, I ended up watching that scene from Friends.  Right?    Then later today, the Lost Facebook page had an update.   Hurley is going to be on some TV show.  That page rarely has updates anymore. I was excited to see something from them.  And just now....the Charmed Facebook page had an update!   They rarely have updates either.  This is MAJOR synchronicity here.  So, does it have anything to do with Adelaide or Hobart?   Is there a message????  I think there definitely is one.  I'll never figure it out though.   


25. Found this website  (You Don't Know Oz) via my grandmother's cousin's Facebook Page.   It's a website promoting Australia Day to Americans.   They had win-a-trip-to-Australia contest, and I missed it!   My cousin's friends entered.   If anyone wants to vote for them, that would be great.   They're the first picture on the fourth row.   They're at a red table.    


26. Explored the You Don't Know Oz page.  I think they're main thing is promoting Aussie wines.  I like that their front page has a link to the flood recovery appeal.

27. Saw from Statcounter that I still have lots of people coming to my blog for Josh Lawson.   

28. Received another very nice email from Adelaide....and helpful too!


29. Saw a 19th century photo of the Adelaide's Children's Hospital.  I consulted Lord Wiki, and he has a modern photo of the hospital. Now it's a hospital for women and children.  Oh. Wait. I might be wrong.   The hospital has a history page.   I thought it was the same building, but it's not. The building in the old photo was demolished in 1965. That was the Samuel Way Building.    


Lord Wiki has a photo of the Angas building.  I really need to work harder on my visual comparison skills.   


30. Found a beautiful Adelaide church on Google Maps when I was trying to find the hospital.  It's St. Peter's Cathedral.  The interior looks beautiful too.  Maybe if we go to Adelaide, we'll peak inside.  

31. Learned about the Adopt a Cyclone Yasi Affected Town Facebook Page.  The woman who started it is Justine Christerson.   In this article she says, I thought if we made sure that after the cyclone we offered people more information about the towns being affected, then it'd encourage people to not only donate their clothing and household equipment, but to avoid giving too much of one thing and not enough of the other.   


So this is good for people who wanted to help, but preferred to donate stuff instead of money.


32.  Read that a Liberal Member of Victorian Parliament (Clem Newton-Brown) has called for marriage equality in his maiden speech. Wow.  That's fantastic. And why is the leader of the Labor Party still against it? 

33. Watched Jack practice his geography skills. He beat his score, and advanced from 12th to 11th place.

34. Looked at an Australian coffee book that my cousin bought for me. Some of the photos are so beautiful. It almost made me cry. Shit. I sound like Oprah. 

I never knew this....or I knew it, and forgot.   But the book said that The Great Ocean Road was built by servicemen as a memorial to their fellow serviceman that died during World War I.