Sunday, May 22, 2011

Collaboration, Ryan & Rami, Headmaster Alan Burdett, and Heroin History

1. Looked at Andrew's blog post about the latest object of his affection.  I guess the good news is Andrew and I will probably never fight over the same man.   I think we have totally different taste, at least in this case.  Maybe I would have liked his Pablo a year or so ago.  I went through a phase of liking younger man; probably from all the Twilight reading.  Now I think I'm going for the older man.  Well, I did like Don Haney from Offspring for a day, and he's three years younger than me.   But I think the sexist man on the show is John Waters.   He's 24 years older than me. 

2. Read I Wasn't Blogged Yesterday's post about funny advertisements.  They made me laugh out loud, especially the train one.  I can't figure out if it was a joke, or short-sighted planning.   

3. Returned Tallygarunga to my Bookmarks Toolbar.  I took it down yesterday because I decided I probably didn't want to join.   But then this morning I decided I'd like to at least read it sometimes.   I'm still considering participating.

I'm looking at the pros and cons.

Pros:  A) I think it's a fantastic site.  B) the Tallygarunga people seem to be very nice, helpful, and creative C) although it's not the type of writing I usually do, it might be a fun challenge D) I get to combine my Australia and Harry Potter obsession E)I wouldn't have to say good-bye to my beloved characters.  I could keep them going on and on and on. 

Cons: A) it might be very time-consuming B) I could end up getting too obsessed and overly attached to the characters C) It seems like only the school boards are very active, and I don't think I want my characters at the school. D)I will prevent my characters from being left in peace and living quietly happily ever after. 

The other thing is there's definitely a difference between the role-playing on the Tallygarunga site, and the stuff I do on my site.  I'm very independent on my site.   It's like the blogging world.  We all have our lives.  We talk about our lives, and we comment on each other's lives.  But our lives don't often truly cross.  My characters have adventures and dramas with other characters I've created.   Then characters created by other people comment on my character's dramas and adventures.  And my characters comment on their character's dramas and adventures.  Our paths don't often cross in significant ways.  One wizard did insist on coming to visit my family.  I appreciated that, but also felt a bit invaded.  Maybe I'm too independent for this role-playing thing?   I could be too overprotective of my characters.  And with the Tallygarunga site, it's not like blogging.  Characters interact with characters created by other people.  There's a lot of collaboration.     I'm not sure if I could handle that, and be happy with it.  But then a part of me sees it as a challenge I should face and conquer. 

4. Found Ryan Parker's blog via the Discover Tasmania Facebook Page.  Ryan is an American man who has an Australian boyfriend named Rami.   I guess maybe he's living in Australia now, and the blog is about their adventures.  Since gay marriage it illegal, they're forced to live what they call a binational relationship.  They can't sponsor each other's immigration.   Or could they?  Could the Australian move to an American state where gay marriage is accepted? Or to become a citizen do you have to be in a marriage accepted by the whole country? 

Oh.  Wait.  I'm reading on this page of the blog, and it says in Australia you can get permanent residency via defacto partnership via.  That's great!  It costs $2700 to get that Visa, and it takes some time to get approved.   I wonder if it's more difficult and expensive than the marriage Visa. 

5. Went to the Australian immigration site.   There's a different charge between getting a fiancé visa and marriage visa.   It's $200 cheaper to get a visa if you're already married.    There's a hold-any-other-visa option at the bottom of the chart.  The cost for that is $2575.  I'm guessing that's what Ryan was referring to with the $2700?  Anyway, it's good that the option is open to homosexuals; but it would be better if the price was equal to married couples.   Things shouldn't cost more because you're gay.  That's a bit silly. 

6. Sad and disgusted that America doesn't provide immigration possibilities for gay couples. I mean you can try to immigrate in other ways—non partnership.  But as someone who once badly wanted to be a migrant, I know that's not always easy.

7. Looked at Ryan's and Rami's Australia photo album.   It's very nice. 

8. Started reading Ryan's post about Tasmania.   It kind of makes me regret crossing Tasmania off of our  2012 list.  He says he's been in Australia for a year, and being in Tasmania is the first time he's felt a strong UK influence.  Ryan says, Tasmania felt like somehow one of the British Isles got lost and landed down under. Tasmania feels like the last British outpost, and it really seems like where Australia’s mainland grew out of. 

Well.  It's okay. We'll see UK influence when we go back to the UK someday.  All three of us want to go to Ireland and/or Scotland.  And we want to go to England again as well.


9. Went to Ryan's post about Melbourne.  He strongly warns against driving at night, saying....Driving was not fun on highways that are narrower than my parents cul de sac street and in the pitch black. It felt like every two minutes was a “Kangaroo” warning sign, or roadkill to remind you that driving on these windy, narrow, 100km/hr roads is hazardous.    Yeah.   I'll try to remember that.   It sounds terrifying.  

Okay.   I think I love Rami and Ryan.   They're totally my type of people.   I love Ryan's explanation of why they ended up not choosing to sleep in their car.  He says, This is not the American style rest stop with a McDonalds and a big bathroom, but a pull over dirt parking lot on the side of the highway. If you’ve seen Wolf Creek or Deliverance you’ll understand why I was absolutely freaked out getting out of the car to pee. Rami flat out refused to get out. No sleeping was going to happen in the car that night, we trucked on till we found a hotel. 

10.  Read article about how mothers are being pressured to quickly lose their pregnancy weight; and how weight-shedding model and actress moms are adding to the pressure.   Melissa Doyle, a television host, says We have to stop tallying up how many months it took them to get back into their jeans.  I would rather see their beautiful healthy baby and hear that they have had a wonderful experience and that their child is healthy and they are healthy.    Amen to that.   And it's probably not the celebrities themselves who are to blame.  It's the media—the celebrity magazines and websites.   They put so much damn emphasis on weight-loss. A woman's worth is measured by by her BMI; at least by the celebrity media. 

 11. Spent more time in Tallygarunga.  I just read the profile page of Headmaster Alan Burdett.   He's the character created by the founder of Tallygarunga.  I love the description she has of Burdett.   She says, Farm work has made him a little muscular, although regular drinking sessions and a love for high fat foods tends to make him a little more on the squishy side. He takes no obvious care to look after his appearance, dislikes and distrusts formal wear, and would be quite happy living his life out in a singlet and an old pair of tracksuit pants.    I love that.   And I also love....They know he has spaceships on sheets of the single bed he keeps at his parents house, they know exactly how many rings he's bought, and they've followed along as he got his heart broken time and time again.

I totally want him to find love with one of my characters.   The age difference is a bit too much though. Headmaster Burdett was born in 1967.  My characters were born in 1980 and 1982.   He's 44.  In 20011, my characters will be 31 and 29.   Actually, that's not bad.   But anyway. The Burdett character is probably super popular (since he's played by the founder of the site); and my characters will never have the chance.   I'm setting my sights WAY to high.   It's almost as bad as going after Harry Potter.  

12. Started listening to Sally Seltmann's Heart That's Pounding.   Then, after that, I shall watch more Offspring, because this is totally putting me in the mood.

13. Laughed a lot while watching hospital scenes in Offspring.  It's such a funny show.    


Okay.  And now I'm crying.   Nina reminds me so much of me in some ways.    She won't cry when things are scary and bad.  She'll hold it all together.  Then when everything is okay, she finally lets go and starts crying.  I've done that before.

14. Had to stop watching Offspring because Jack came back.   The shows not really Jack-appropriate. It's probably not that much more risqué than Modern Family and McLeod's Daughters; but there are some moments that are a bit too much.

Actually...now that I think of it, I'll just go down the hall and watch a bit.  I want to at least get to the next commercial break.

Sometimes I fail to realize there's an easy solution to things.    

15. Read more of Candy, and then told Jack to never use heroin.   It seems though that the worst part about heroin is saying good-bye to heroin.  That bit sounds like hell.  The heroin itself doesn't sound so bad, as long as you have enough money to keep up the habit.

It probably is bad though.

Or is it?   I mean outside the whole dependency issue, how harmful is it?  Of course the dependency issue is huge.  From the book I'm getting that once you're addicted to heroin you can't be happy without it.  You can't even feel relatively okay without it.

It makes me realize that it's a huge blessing to be able to feel happiness without heroin.

16. Consulted Lord Wiki about heroin.   I just read a little bit; but from what I see it seems the adverse effects of heroin are usually caused by contaminated needles, and or the drug being cut with yucky stuff.   If heroin was legal and affordable, would it be such a problem?   Probably not.   But still. I probably wouldn't want it in my body.  And people sometimes die of overdoses; so even with good clean needles, it's probably not a healthy habit to get into.     

17. Fascinated by what Lord Wiki just told me. Heroin began as an over the counter drug sold by the Bayer company.

18. Found website about Heroin's history. It was invented in 1898 by a chemist named Heinrich Dresser; the same guy who invented aspirin. 

Heroin was a derivative of Morphine.  Bayer was trying to make a less-addictive form in order to treat coughs.  Yeah...well...I don't think that plan worked out too well. 

Oh.  Wow.  This is fascinating.   It took a few years for people to realize that heroin wasn't the wonder drug; that it was very addictive.  In the early 1900's, some people supported their heroin habit by collecting and selling junk.  And that's where the term "junkie" came from.  

19. Looked at a list of the top 20 most popular Australian television stars. I'm shocked (horrified actually) that there's no one from Offspring on the list. What's the deal with that? 

Hamish Blake is #1.   That's cool.   I like him.   Although I really haven't watched much of him.   I probably need to do that.   I did the post on him, liked him, but then kind of moved onto other things.

There's some names on the list I don't know—Michael Caton,  John Clarke, Shaun Micalleff,  Harry Cooper, Adam Gilchrest, Scott Cam, and Megan Gale.

Now I'm wondering why someone like Asher Keddie won a Logie for most popular actress; yet she's not on the list.  

Well, I sort of have a theory.  I think the winner of the Logie popularity contest is chosen by television fans— people who subscribe to, or go out and buy TV Week magazine.   

The other popularity contest, known as Q scores, is chosen by the general population—people probably chosen randomly.   They might not like television that much.   They might not be big fans of any show.   They're picking people who are the most recognisable.  I'm sure part of the scores are based on popularity and likeability.  But I think another percentage of the score can just be about exposure.  If a celebrity has been around for a long time, there's more chance that people have heard of him, even people who don't know about that particular industry.

20.  Thought about my grandparents.  Towards the end of their life they became hip with the whole celebrity thing.   I think my grandpa got into watching movies and he knew about various actors.   But if I remember correctly there was a time when they didn't know about any of that.  My grandparents were pretty clueless about modern day celebrities. However, I'm sure if you asked them about super famous celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Madonna, they would have heard of them. 

With some celebrities you can get exposure to them without trying hard. 

21. Learned from Lord Wiki that Megan Gale is a model and actress who sometimes was a guest caller on the Hamish and Andy radio show.   I'm getting the idea that Hamish and Andy are very popular with Australians. At least three people associated with their program are on the popularity list.

22. Learned from Lord Wiki that Michael Caton is the guy who played the dad in the movie The Castle.

23. Learned from Lord Wiki that John Clarke is a comedian writer type person.

24. Learned from Lord Wiki that Shaun Micallef is a writer-actor-comedian.  And he was on Offspring!  I'm guessing he was the other real estate agent. 

25. Learned from Lord Wiki that Harry Cooper is a television veterinarian.  

26. Learned from Lord Wiki that Adam Gilchrist is a cricket player.

27.  Learned from Lord Wiki that Scott Cam is a celebrity carpenter who does lifestyle type shows. 

28. Had another theory about the Logies vs. the Q rating thing.   It looks like many of the people on the Q list are not ones who play fictional characters. They're celebrities who play themselves.   So maybe this is more popular in Australia. 

29. Thought of a problem with the Tallygarunga site.  I don't blame the site though. It's just a bit of a conflict.  They say they want imperfect characters.   They don't want people with perfect faces and bodies.   However, for the picture of your character you're supposed to use a photo of a celebrity.   The problem with that is most celebrities have close to perfect faces and bodies, especially young women.   There's many female celebrities out there who are drop-dead gorgeous and thin.   I think there's much less who are not that way. And I'm looking at the character pictures on the site.   Most of them are extremely attractive.  They don't look like the average person I see while at the grocery store.

If I decide to join the site, and I want characters who look more like the average human, I don't think it's going to be easy to find celebrities that match that.