Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Eddie Perfect, Sally Seltmann, Books, and Writers

1. Heard "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz.   It made me think of Elliot Freeman's cover of the song, and hanging out with my sister at the lake house.  I wanted to introduce her to Elliot Freeman's music, so I turned the video on for her. The only problem is the internet connection was horribly slow.   The video had to keep stopping to do the buffering thing.  It paused a lot and we kept seeing Elliot Freeman in frozen mode.  For some reason that made us laugh a lot.   

I wanted to show her Elliot Freeman's Jewish music, but we never got around to that. I need to remember to do it at some point.  

2. Had Tim listen to Six at Best from Offspring.  He thought it was funny without even seeing it within the context of the TV show. 

3. Consulted with Lord Wiki about Eddie Perfect.  He's the one who sings "Six at Best", and plays Mick on Offspring.   Lord Wiki says he's a political comedian and songwriter.   He wrote a musical about a cricket guy named Shane Warne.  The musical won the 2009 Helpmann Award.  

4. Struggled to find the name of the song played at the end of the last episode of Offspring. Actually, I'm still struggling.

I'll keep looking.

5. Found the song thanks to a commenter on this article.  It's called Heart That's Pounding, and it's by Sally Seltmann.   It was also played in an earlier episode.   It's a beautiful song.

6. Learned from Lord Wiki that Sally Seltmann co-wrote Fiest's song "1234".   That's a song we hear at the lake house.  My Elmo Junkie nephew likes the Sesame Street version.   Now when he listens to it, I can tell people it was co-written by an Aussie.  Well, actually...she might not have written the Sesame Street version.  

Here's another Sesame Street song we hear a lot.   I love it.

7. Watched video for Sally Seltmann's Dream About Changing.

8. Went to bed and had some Australia related dreams  Sometimes they seemed to take place in Australia, and sometimes they seem to take place elsewhere.  My sort-of Australian cousins come over to visit.  We spent most of the time in the backyard.  Tim's not there for some reason.   Towards the end of their visit, I go inside to get something done.  Later I tell Tim this and he's annoyed that I left my guests alone.  He thinks I was rudeI explain that I left them for a very short time, and he relaxes a bit.  Still, we seem to have very oppositional feelings about the whole thing.   I feel it would have been okay to leave them longer, and he seems to feel it really wasn't okay to leave them alone at all.   

Later I am wondering if I remembered to take photos of my cousin's visit.  Since they live in Australia, it would fit into my blog theme.  I then think about making a video-interview with Jack and putting that in the blog, have him talk about our visit to Australia.  At this point in the dream, I think it had changed to us being in Australia.  I try to decide if I want to write trip report blog entries while in Australia; or do I want to wait like last time, and write them all when I get home.  

9. Learned from an email that the Sydney Writer's Festival is going on right now.  I'll have to look into that later.   

10. Saw that Qantas has expanded their frequent flyer program.   If I'm reading it correctly, it seems that now you can earn points with Jetstar flights.  In the past, I don't think they counted.   

11. Learned that there's been another planking accident.  Why are people risking their lives like this?  Come on...really.   f you're going to risk your life, at least do something exciting.   How about climb Mount Everest?  Swim with Great White Sharks.   Chase a tornado.  Those things are dangerous and scary, but at least there's something fantastic about it.   

The most recent planking injury happened with a guy planking on the trunk of a moving car.   Now the guy's in a coma.  The father says You do these things to be noticed, to get attention. Well look at the attention Simon's getting from the doctors and nurses, and he doesn't even know about it.   

You know I can see some connection between planking and eating disorders.  There's the need for attention, the belief that the worst won't happen to you, and the competitiveness.  You're fine with how thin you are until you see someone who is more thin.   Then you make an even lower weight goal.

Planking in itself is likely harmless, but not if all this competitiveness enters the picture.   Then people will feel it's cowardly and meaningless to do safe planking activities. They'll feel compelled to do the most dangerous thing possible.   

12. Read article about Sharia Law.  A Muslim leader wants it in Australia.   Robert McClelland the Attorney-General is saying no way.   He says, As our citizenship pledge makes clear, coming to Australia means obeying Australian laws and upholding Australian values.  Australia's brand of multiculturalism promotes integration. If there is any inconsistency between cultural values and the rule of law, then Australian law wins out.  

That makes sense to me.  I don't know much about Sharia law.  Some people have talked about it, and they make it seem like the horror of all horrors.   We'll lose all our rights and go back to the dark ages.  Is that true?   Would it effect people in the non-Muslim community?  Would it cause great harm to people within the Muslim community?

Well, Lord Wiki says one of the Sharia Laws is that Muslims converting to another religion are guilty of treason and this is punishable by death.  I don't think THAT should be allowed in Australia.  Actually, I don't think there should be any Sharia death penalties in Australia. But if there are less harsh laws, more custom/culture type things, I would think that's fine.

13. Read editorial about Sharia Law which makes me think a lot of the fear towards it is not proportional to the actual threat.  I'm sure there are some fanatic Muslins out there who want Islam to take over the world.  But for the most part, Sharia Law is probably not very different from laws in Judaism.  Religious Jews follow 613 commandments, but they don't push usually force these beliefs on others.  They usually manage to follow their laws AND follow the laws of the country in which they live.  

14. Read yet another article about the out of control rising Australian Dollar.   It makes me think we've made the right choice by changing our mind about my other decision.   We really need to go to Australia soon because it looks like the dollar is going to get higher and higher; and stay that way for awhile. I think if we don't go by sometime in 2011 or 2012, we probably won't be able to go until after 2015.  It might even be longer than that.  

I'm looking at history charts.   From 1971-1982, the Australian dollar was higher than the American dollar.  So if the same thing happens, the Australia dollar might be high until 2022.

Then from 1982 until the end of 2010, the American dollar was higher than the Australian one.    That's twenty-eight years.  Now it could be Australia's turn to be on top for that long.    It might not change back until 2039.   Or what if it never changes back?  What if the Australian dollar is forever higher than the American one.  It could happen. I don't think there's any guarantee that it's going to go back and forth in some type of even and fair manner.  

15. Talked to Tim about the Australian dollar.  He remains skeptical about it remaining high for a long time.

16. Ate some Darrell Lea Liquorice.   Tim got it at Target yesterday.   When we went to the grocery store, I thought about buying some Aussie-style liquorice that was on sale.   Tim said why not buy real Aussie liquorice instead.  He reminded me they had it at Target, and he said he'd be in the area later.  

17. Went back to the Sydney Writer's Festival website.   This looks nice because they have a long list of Australian writers.  It could give me ideas of books to order or look out for.

18. Added a Deborah Abela book to my Powell's wish list.  She writes spy books for children.   I'm not sure if I usually like these, but I might.  And it might be something that Jack enjoys.   It's hard though to get him to try new books and authors. 

19. Added a Tristan Bancks book to my Powell's wish list.  It's another kid's book. This one is about an inventor-child.  I think Jack would like it....if he's willing to give it a chance.  

20. Thought about ordering an Inspector Challis Mystery, but then learned it's about a missing toddler.   I don't like reading about that kind of stuff.  

Maybe I'll order this Inspector Challis Mystery instead; The Dragon Man.   It's about a serial killer.   It will scare me, but I don't think it will bother me in the same way the missing child one would bother me.  

21. Added The Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky to my wish list.  It's a children's book about 1950's Australia.   It looks good.  

22. Learned I have an Australian book I didn't realize was Australian. It's Fresh Milk: The Secret Life of Breasts.    I wonder if I still have it?    I read it a few years go, and remember it was pretty fascinating.  There was something about a man being able to breastfeed, and a grandmother too.  Or maybe I dreamed that?  No...I'm pretty sure it was in the book.  

I didn't know it was written by an Aussie.  Maybe I'll skim through it later; if I still have it.

23. Added the Genius Wars to my wish list!   I read the first two novels in the series.   I've been looking forward to reading this one.   I wonder if it's the last.   Maybe it's a trilogy?  

24. Added Toni Jordan's Addition.   It sounds like it's a romance involving someone who's a bit obsessive-compulsive.   It looks pretty good.   I think it's chick-lit probably, and I usually like those books.  

25. Added The World Beneath by Cate Kennedy to my wish list.   It involves eating issues, and I'm fairly interested in that topic.  I might be able to relate to some of it. 

26. Added Summerland by Malcolm Knox to my wish list.   It involves Sydney Harbour, so I might like it.  I kind of worry though that I won't.   It's $3.20 though, so not a big loss if I end up disliking it.

I'm thinking I might just order books today.  I need a $50 order to get free shipping.   I'm pretty sure I can do that.  Maybe I'll just use up the rest of the gift certificate.

27.  Learned about the Quentaris Chronicles.   Lord Wiki says it's a collection of fantasy books within a shared universe.   They're written by various Australian authors.    I added one, written by Michael Pryor, to my wish list.   Okay, and I added a second one as well.   It's written by Pamela Freeman.   I don't know if I'll like either of the books, but I like the idea of it at least.

28. Looked at the Quentaris Chronicles website. They say each book is a stand alone thing, so you don't have to read them in order.   That's good.  

29. Added The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly Completely Lost It to my wish list.   It's by Lisa Shanahan.   From what I'm reading on the Sydney Writer's Festival site, it has a different title in Australia; My Big Birkett.

30. Added The Fabulous Nobodies by Lee Tulloch to my wish list.  Then deleted it because it doesn't seem like the type of thing I'd like.  Lord Wiki says it's set in the bitchy, trashy nightclub scene of New York.   I'm not in the mood to read about bitchy trashy people. 

31. Listened to Eddie Perfect's cynical song about Kevin Rudd.   The main theme is that all politicians are pretty much the same.   Kevin Rudd won't be that much different from John Howard.   I guess it was made before the 2007 election.

32. Started to listen to Eddie Perfect sing Dwayne's Song (Some of My Best Friends are Aboriginal).   I am at the beginning, and it's already made me laugh out loud. 
 The song reminds me of people I know.  There's those people who say bad things about various cultures.   If you call them on it, they insist they're not racist.   It's either A) they're not racist.  They're just telling the truth.  Hey, they met five Chinese people before.  That gives them all they need know in order to judge all Chinese people.  B) They're not racist.  How can they be?  Their dad's best mate is Aboriginal.

33. Joined Eddie Perfect's Facebook Page.

34. Looked at Sally Seltmann's website, and joined her Facebook Page

Her website has some songs on it.   I'm going to listen to some of them.  

35. Gave up listening to songs on Sally Seltmann's website.  I keep getting confused; and I end up listening to more than one song at a time.   I was thinking, wow.  This sounds weird.   It took me a while to realize two songs were playing simultaneously. 

36. Listened to The Heart That's Pounding again.   I think it's my favorite song right now.   I mean my favorite song, period; not just my favorite Sally Seltmann song. 

37. Looked at what's going on today at the Sydney Writer's Festival.  There's a workshop called Harry Potter to Tim Winton: How to Write For Young Adults.  Something about the title annoys me.  I probably can't give a rational and sane reason why I feel this way.

I'll try though.

To me, JK Rowling and the creation of Harry Potter is this magical, amazing, and mystical thing. It's not just a book series.   It's a cultural phenomena.  You can't pass on that type of ability and experience within a workshop.

I think I failed.  I don't think anyone's going to get it unless they themselves are Harry Potter fans.

And I'm sorry.  Tim Winton is a fine writer, but I just can't put him in the same category as JK Rowling.   I can't put ANYONE in the same category as her.

I'm also bothered by part of the description of the workshop.  But how do you know if you’re hitting the market? Do you know what – and what not – to write about? How do you create a story teenage readers will adore?

I don't want to read books by authors who are trying to hit the market.   I want to read books by authors who had a story jumping in their brain screaming, Let me out!  Let me out!

38. Remembered that I forgot to order the books from Powells; or at least see if I have at least $50 in my wish list.

39. Ordered the books from Powell.

40. Tried to decide if I want to watch the next episode of Offspring.  I'm having an argument within myself.

One self is saying, Yes!  Watch it!   Why deprive yourself!  Live each day like it's your last!  Not watching it is like the people who never use their good china.  They wait and wait for a special occasion that never comes. 

The other self is sayingRemember that study which showed children who gave into instant gratification are less likely to be successful in life?  Or maybe they turned out to be criminals.  I don't know, but it was something bad.  And Modern Family is on tonight.  Should you watch two favorite shows in one day?  What are you going to watch tomorrow then?   You're going to have post-favorite TV show depression tomorrow.  

For now I'm going to let the second self win.  If I can have self-control, maybe I'll save the episode for this weekend.   I can watch it at the lake house.  That's fun.

41. Proud of myself because it's about 15 minutes later, and I still haven't started to watch Offspring.

42. Learned that the world is going to end on Saturday May 21.   I better watch Offspring on Friday then.  Although Friday here is already Saturday in Australia.   How does that all play into the story?