Sunday, June 19, 2011

Offspring, Manhattan, Military, and Lost Thoughts

1. Watched the "Six At Best" scene from Offspring, with very little volume because I'm in a room with mixed company . And there are kids here. I'm not sure it would be appropriate to blast a song about sex.

Anyway, I'm watching it, and even without sound it's funny. I love all the actor's facial expressions.

2. Went back to my room (a little later) and watched the "Six At Best" scene with sound.

3. Watched the last scene of the finale of season one of Offspring. It made me cry. It's so sad.

Now I have the sniffles.

4. Realized suddenly that both of my current Australia sub-obsessions (Offspring and Tallygarunga) began when we were at the lake house.

Well, I guess that's not too surprising. We've been at the lake house a lot lately.

5. Wondered what my next Australia sub-obsession will be.

6. Excited to go to Manhattan today, but that excitement is slightly clouded by the fact that I have my period. I'm feeling a bit gross.

7. Hoped that we had internet in the apartment we're staying at in Manhattan. It's much easier than having to go down to the lobby or something.

8. Had a mini-dream while in the car. I was half awake-half-asleep. I guess I confused Melbourne with Manhattan. I thought about how I should have called this near-Melbourne former email-pal of mine to tell her we were coming. I felt a bit guilty and regretful for not doing so. Then I woke up and remembered we were going to NYC not Melbourne.

This fits with my recurring dream about visiting Australia and forgetting to tell people that I'm there.

9. Had another mini-dream in which I was thinking I should thank my sister-in-law for helping me fix Jack's shoes. Then I woke up and remembered it was our Australian friend who helped us (in Hawaii) and not my sister-in-law.

10. Went to a small food shop/deli, and saw a nice selection of Aussie licorice. They also had British candy, like Maltesers. Seeing all that made me a little emotional. I started thinking I'm worse than the cat girl. She gets emotional about wanting to hug every single cat in the world. I get emotional about Australian and British food.

11. Saw Australians at Nintendo World. They were asking the store guy about the Nintendo 3DS. They didn't seem to know much about it; yet they were interested in buying it. I think they're doing one of those Australians-in-America shopping sprees.

The store guy told them the 3DS wouldn't work in Australia because it's regional specific. I talked to Tim later about it, and he said he thinks it would work. They would just need to buy American games. I wish Tim had been there to tell them about it. He was upstairs with Jack.

Oh well.

12. Confused when we were walking; Jack said something about stepping on Australian's backs. At first I thought he said something about bats. I was so lost. I had him repeat himself. and realized he said something like if we were in Australia, we'd be stepping on people's backs.


He said, Because of the planking!

Earlier, when we were driving to Newark, I told Tim and Jack about the whole planking fad in Australia. So Jack was making a joke in reference to that. I thought it was funny; imagining planking becoming so popular that you walk down the street and there's people lying on their stomachs everywhere. Since I'm a nice person, I'd try to step over them instead of on top of them.

13. Went to the Tuck Shop on St. Mark's Place.

Tim had the lamb and vegetable pie. Jack had beef, and I had the veggie pie. Tim said he liked his, but didn't love it. He preferred Jack's.

I loved mine. It was very good on its own, and fantastic with hot sauce added to it.

The man working there seemed a bit sad and tired. He didn't seem too eager to talk to us. We did chat a little. I asked him if there was a place to buy Australian groceries nearby. He said no, and talked about Vegemite being fourteen dollars here. He said he'd get some when his parents came to visit in a few weeks. I tried to tell him about Simply Australian.

Oh crap. He's right. I just went to Simply Australian's website. It's $15 for a large jar of Vegemite! Here I'm telling this poor guy that he can get it much cheaper from them.

I'm pretty sure it used to be cheaper. I don't remember it being $15 for a jar.

I wonder if all their prices have gone up. I guess it makes sense. If Australia is more expensive in Australia; then it makes sense that importing is going to be expensive too.

I feel so stupid. I thought I was giving this guy helpful advice; that I knew something valuable he didn't know yet.

Well, hopefully he ignored the advice, thinking What would these crazy Americans know about Australian food? If he didn't think that already, he'll probably think it when he goes to the website.

He didn't seem that interested in the fact that we've been to Australia. He told us he was from Manly, and we talked about loving it there. He didn't say anything like Oh, you've been to Manly. Where else did you go? Or When did you go?

He seemed a bit bored by us actually. He probably meets too many annoying Americans who want to tell him that they've been to Australia before.

Still. It's okay. I liked hearing his accent, and the veggie pie was really good.

14. Continued to feel bad about the Vegemite. Although if Tuck Shop Man doesn't mind cheese in his Vegemite, he can get Cheesybite for $5.97.

I personally wouldn't go for that, but I'm not a big fan of Vegemite in general. Other people might like it.

I'm thinking it might not be too popular though. It's on sale, so maybe that means they're trying to get rid of it.

15. Dreamed about Jimmy from Offspring. I start to have feelings for Jimmy (I guess I knew him in real life?). I'm worried though that he's way too young for me. I have heard people talking about Shelly Long dating him, and they're very negative about the age difference. But then I think that Shelly Long is probably older than me...maybe much older. She's probably the same age as my parents. I decide since I'm younger than Shelly Long,  Jimmy might not be too old for me.

16. Went to Tallygarunga. I'm going to read the updates to the Satisfy Your Soul story thread. This is the one with Arti and Reade on a date at a Melbourne burger restaurant.

Wow. These writers are really getting into it. I think the post I left off at was post#18. That was written June 13. Now they're up to post #34.

I don't know if I'll have time to read all of it. I'll just read some. Or I might just read and not stop to go off on a million different tangents.

17. Got up to post #22. It's all very sweet and romantic. There's those feelings in the beginning of a relationship where you're dying to touch someone...a lot. But you restrain yourself, and look out for excuses to do mild touching. Arti leaps on the fact that Reade spilled some mustard on his cheek.
She gets close to him to wipe off the mustard. Then she hugs him.

18. Read more of the story. Arti and Reade both have feelings for each other, but they're a bit insecure about the whole thing. It reminds me of the beginning of my relationship with Tim. I had a crush on him from our email relationship. I went to NYC to visit him, and wondered if he had feelings for me too. He SEEMED to like me, but I wasn't sure if it meant anything. I wondered if maybe this is how he treated all his friends. At one point, he started holding my hand. I hoped it meant something romantic, but I figured maybe it was just a friend thing.

Now it all seems kind of stupid. I mean my doubts seem stupid. And as I see Arti and Reade flirting with each other, it's obvious to me that they both have feelings for each other. But I can sympathize with them having doubts.

19. Read about Reade's awkward penis moment as Arti sat in his lap.

It's cute.—romantic and embarrassing for both of them.

20. Finished reading the thread updates. Arti and Reade are obviously attracted to each other. They're sharing a hotel room with one bed. But it sounds like they're going to resist each other and spend the night eating chocolate and watching movies.  That sounds nice.  

The thread ends with Reade trying to decide what movie they should watch. He's prefers science fiction and horror; but he's not sure Arti will like it.

Reade suggests that they watch The Exorcist. Will they watch that; or end up watching something else?  Inquiring minds want to know.

21. Read chapter two of Fruitcake's book/blog thing. This chapter is about traditional aboriginal culture. It's brilliant. Right now Tallygarunga is my favorite online fiction; and Fruitcake's blog/book thing is my favorite nonfiction.

One of my favorite things about this chapter is Fruitcake helps to explain things by comparing Aboriginal culture to Jewish-Christian-Islam culture. She points out both similarities and differences. An example of similarities is the Jewish-Christian-Islam creator is supposed to still exist in the present. The same goes for the Dreamtime creators. Fruitcake also points out that in both Western spirituality and Aboriginal spirituality many people believe that they get guidance and messages from the spiritual world.

As for differences....Fruitcake talks about how place is more important to Aboriginal religion than it is to Western religion. She says, Fortunately for many non-Aboriginal people, faith can be a portable treasure. Muslims should try to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime but if they cannot, this won’t go down too badly on judgment day. Jewish or Christian people might want to visit the Holy Land, but life goes on if they cannot. None of us whitefellas, however, necessarily find our support, confidence and life’s meaning snatched away when we cannot remain in our own Dreaming place.

The way I look at it is to think about how non-Aboriginal people can see man-made objects as being incredibly sacred. To deface or harm one of these objects is horribly offensive. How would Jews feel if their Torahs were burned? How do Muslims feel when a Koran is burned? How does a Catholic feel if someone writes offensive graffiti on a statue of a saint?

I think for Aboriginal Australians, their sacred object is the land. To have their land stolen from them is a horrible offense. People climbing Uluru without permission is probably akin to people doodling on the Torah or Koran just for the fun of it.

22. Failed to have a pleasant time in the Upper West Side. It might because I don't like Upper Manhattan; and I'm still having gross menstrual days.

We traveled to the museum, which was a whole ordeal. We had a choice between two subway lines; the 1 and 9 or the C. Tim thought the C would be better because it would take us closer to the museum. It was a horrible long walk through the Times Square Station to get to the C train. I complained through out the whole thing; mostly in my mind, but a tiny bit to Tim. I said with all this walking, we might as well have just walked to the museum itself.

We finally got to the C train. We got on and sat down. As soon as we were relaxed, we learned this weekend the train would be an express and it was skipping our stop. So we had to get off and go to the 1 train.

It took way too long to get to the damn museum, and I don't even like museums. I was being a self-sacrificing mom for Jack. But then after about an hour, he wanted to leave and announced he really didn't like these types of museums.

I actually liked it at first. I liked the first exhibit we saw. It was about Asia—Asian animals and Asian people. They didn't just have artifacts and stuff you can read. They actually had whole dioramas.  You can feel like you're spying on ancient civilizations. I was totally impressed. I even said something horribly profane. I said, this museum is much better than the Australian museum.

It turned out though that the other continents had much less exciting displays.

Really. I'm just not a museum person. I'd rather learn by reading a book or website; or watching a movie. Museums have too much stimulation. My brain becomes all scattered and conflicted. Should I look at the object first? Read the information first? Where's Tim? Where's Jack? When are we going to eat? I'm tired of standing. Would it be awful if I found a bench and read my book?

Anyway, we did see a few Australian things at the museum. They had a display of Australian birds. I didn't like it much, but didn't know why. Now I think I know. There were no cockatoos or cockatiels. I don't even think they had rainbow lorikeets. Or maybe they did and I missed it.

They also had a little display about Aboriginal culture. That would have been interesting if I wasn't already very sick of the museum. And I learned more this morning by reading Fruitcake's blog.

23. Decided that you know you're having a bad day on your holiday when the highlight of that day was reading about a fictional date between two wizards in Melbourne.

24. Read Andrew's post about the death of Australian soldiers. He thinks the tradition of the Prime Minister attending every one of the funerals is overkill.

I think he says his point very well; and I agree with all of it. I want to quote from it, but there's too much to quote. It probably wouldn't be kosher to quote his whole post within my post.

I'll share one quote though. Andrew says, In service for their country? That is exactly what I do. I am in service for the people of Melbourne, Australia and people from all over the world. Mine is a paid job and so is the soldier's. I may not be fighting for Queen and country as a soldier may be, but is that what he or she thought upon joining the armed services?

Andrew's feelings remind me of my feelings about the death of fire fighters and police officers. Yes, I think it's sad when they're killed.   I think it's sad when anyone dies tragically.   But sometimes the death of police officers and fire fighters seem to be presented as being worse than the death of other people.   It's bad to kill a regular citizen, but it's even more unforgivable and horrific to kill a police officer or firefighter.  Why?   Don't they know what they're getting into when they sign up for the job?  Isn't it just as bad to be a teacher that's shot?  What about a person working at a store?  If he's killed in an arm robbery; isn't that just as bad as a police officer being shot and killed?

25. Wanted to add that I don't think all the people who take dangerous jobs do so because they're brave, willing to sacrifice their lives, and are self-sacrificing.   I think some do it because they felt it was their best and/or only choice. I don't know what it's like in Australia, but in America they push people to join the military by promising to help people pay for their schooling.   They have commercials that make it sound fun and exciting to serve your country.   It's like being in an adventure movie! They downplay the whole part about getting killed.  

26. Looked at Australia's military recruitment website.   The tagline says Be Part of Something Bigger.  I think they should add And if you're killed, Julia Gillard will show up to your funeral.

Aren't we ALL part of something bigger?  Well,  I'm not in the military and I feel like I'm part of something bigger.  

I'm not trying to downplay the importance of the military; or to diminish the sacrifice that people make.  I think it's just annoying that these recruitment websites make joining the military sound like your kids are going off to a character-building summer camp.

We know that people go off to war and die. We know those who survive often don't come back whole.  They're missing limbs; or they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Almost everyday, I go to that charity website where you supposedly help the world by clicking on various things. One of clicks goes to veterans.  If the people in the military are taken care of so well by the government, why do veterans need charity?

27. Saw a man in the West Village carrying books. I'm nosy about those types of things, so I looked to see which books he was carrying.  One of them was Australian!  Theft by Peter Carey.

28. Took a photo of this advertisement.

29.. Passed by Eight Mile Creek after eating at Rice to Riches.  It was on the other side of the street so I didn't get a close look.  

30.  Found a website for Australians in America.  It's called Billabout.  I found the link to it on the website for Ruby's, which is another Australian restaurant in NY.  

31 Went to the website advertised on the flyer.   It's for a class on how to move to Australia.   I would have loved that a few years ago.

The class is taught by a woman named Lori Scinto.  She says she moved to Australia in 2003 with no job and no place to live.  How did she do that?   Did she go to Australia using a tourist visa?

32. Went to Lori Scinto's website.  She lived in Sydney for six years, and then moved back to the US.  She has dual citizenship now.

It looks like now she helps international people adjust to moving to New York.  That's pretty neat.  At one time, she was the foreigner moving to a new nation.  Now she helps people move to her nation.

It's kind of funny though.  Here she's this woman who welcomes people to NYC.  Yet she has a class that tells people to Ditch the U.S.

33. Had crazy conflicting feelings.  A few years ago, I was one of those people who wanted to ditch the US and move to Australia.   Now after knowing that there are people who NEED a new country, I feel it's a bit superficial to WANT a new country.  If now-me said this to 2008-me, I would totally hate future (now) me.

It's just there are people who NEED to come to Australia because they're in horrible danger in their own countries.  I think these potential immigrants should get priority.   Then next on the priority list, I'd put people who have fallen in love with someone from another country.  Lovers shouldn't be divided.  

I would put people like me last on the list.  Yes, it's great to seek adventure. Yes, it's good to chase your dreams.  Yes, it's tempting to move to a country when you're totally obsessively in love with it.   But maybe it's better to just visit as a tourist and start a blog expressing your undying love.

I don't always love America, but for the most part I have an easy and safe life here.  I sometimes want to move away from America, but I don't need to move away from America.  There's a big difference.

34. Unhappy because I lost part of this blog post. It was Tallygarunga related....about Reade and Arti.  I'm not going to try to remember it....or rewrite it.

It was after #27. I wrote it before we went out to the West Village. 

Blogger wasn't saving after I wrote stuff just now; so I copied what I had written when we got back from the West Village. I was going to reload and then paste the stuff back where it belonged.    Then I realized that when I reloaded, I lost stuff that I assumed had been saved a long time ago.  I've had problems with Blogger saving before; but I usually cut and paste MORE than what's needed.   I overestimate what wasn't saved. This time I underestimated.  

35. Remembered what I wrote, but I'm not going to write it all out again.   I'll just give a brief summary.  Arti wanted to order lots of chocolate stuff, and thought of having leftover chocolate cake for breakfast. That reminded me of myself, because the first thing I ate this morning was part of a chocolate bar.   In New Jersey, I was eating licorice first thing in the morning.  I'm very bad.

I also blabbed on and on about Reade and Arti maybe watching The Exorcist.  Should I try to rewrite it?  I don't know. I thought I had good thoughts, but maybe they were lost for a reason. 

36, Decided to be vain and rewrite it; or try to, at least.

I had wondered if Arti would like The Exorcist.   If she didn't like it, would she find it too scary, or too silly and stupid? 

How would a person with supernatural powers feel towards a Muggle movie about the supernatural?   How they feel about a movie dealing with Christianity and Satan?

On my Harry Potter blog, Alex talked about a book her wizard friend encouraged her to buy.  It's called Magical Muggles.   The premise is that Muggles might have a little magic in them too, especially if they have immediate relatives who are wizards or witches.    The book encourages Muggles to do certain exercises to find their magical potential.  A "witch" commented on Alex's post, saying it wouldn't work.  You're either magic or you're not.   Alex argued that there are non-wizards and wizards who have some bits of magic.   How about the Australian Aboriginals?   I've heard of some magical things happening with them. What about voodoo?  Witchcraft?  Psychics?  Mediums?  Shamans?  

Now I know some people would say, it's ALL fiction.  They may be right.  But in the Harry Potter universe, at the very least, the wizard and witch magic exists.   So where does that leave the type of magic that might exist in our world?   Do the wizards see it as fake/delusional?   Would these other forms of magic be seen as real yet different than wand magic?  Perhaps Shamans are wizards who failed to get their letter from Hogwarts, Tallygarunga, or other such similar school?

Does demonic possession exist in the Harry Potter universe?   If Arti and Reade, a witch and wizard, watch The Exorcist, will they see it as fantasy or realism?

37. Had another mini-dream.   I'm having a lot of these lately!   Anyway, this one was about the two Tallygarunga writers responsible for the Satisfy Your Soul thread.  One of them told the other that she'd be busy today and wouldn't have time to update the story.  The other one was disappointed about that.

38. Exhausted after walking through Chelsea, the West Village, and Chinatown.  At Chelsea Market, we were surprised to see another Tuck Shop. Tim knew it was there, but forgot about it.

I got another vegetable pie, and Jack got another meat pie. Tim got lobster soup from somewhere else, but had a lot of Jack's meat pie.

The man who worked at this Tuck Shop was super friendly. 

39. Ordered sorbet instead of ice-cream at the Chinatown Ice-Cream Factory.  I can't say reducing my support of the dairy industry was the main reason for my order.  I was so hot; and not in the mood for dairy.  I was totally in the mood for a sorbet type thing.  

40. Went to a flea market near our apartment to look for used books.  I bought a Doctor Who book for a dollar.  It's called The Nightmare of Black Island.

I've never watched a Dr. Who thing in my life, but the book called out to me.  I often see people mentioning it, and one of my Australian Facebook friends is a huge fan.   I'm wondering if I'd like it.   I feel left out when there is a big fandom for something, and I'm not part of it.   Well, no.   I don't need to be a part of every fandom out there.  But there's a part of me that wonders, what if I'm a huge fan of Dr. Who and I just don't know it yet?  I should at least give these things a try.

41. Had a short min-nap.   I didn't have any remembered mini-dreams.   But I feel a tiny bit less exhausted now.

42. Went to Tallygarunga.   I'm going to read the latest two updates to Find an Orbit Closer To The Ground.    This is the family dinner on Calder Avenue.   There's an update from Jezebel, the witch with multiple personalities; and Mereditha, the witch who tripped and fell into her ex-husband's arms.

Jezebel ends up making a powerful speech to the whole family, kind of putting certain people in their place.  She's a bit harsh;  but trying to help people not destroy them.  She orders Adrian and Meri to go off to another room to sort out their issues.   She scolds her mother (Adele) for being awful to Meri earlier in the kitchen.   I forgot exactly what happened, but it had something to do with Adele criticizing Meri for the way she dealt with grieving for her lost child.  Jezebel tells Adele that everyone reacts differently to loss.  Amen to that. 

Jezebel then gives Améa a bit of a lecture.  She's stern, but also tries to make her feel welcomed into the family.  And she invites her out.  I guess some of the young witches and wizards are going to exit the dinner party.

I think it might be nice if someone gave a Jezebel-type lecture at one of our family dramas.  It might not work though.  People would yell and interrupt.  Other people would rush off and slam doors.  

43. Started to read Mereditha's post.  Some of it includes stuff from Améa's viewpoint.  I like this part.  She was still in a state of holding herself high, she was beating these people. She was winning. They wanted her to be suckered back into a life of dependency, and she was fighting back. Améa was rather proud of herself in all. It didn't really matter who it was - the Blairs, Dave, or anyone else that had pretended to give a crap, she wasn't having any of it.   I can relate to that.    I get that way sometimes.   I become very distrustful at times and close myself off to people.   I'll be friendly, but guarded.  It makes me feel sad, but at the same time it also makes me feel powerful. 

There's some VERY romantic stuff further down in the post.  Meri really loves Adrian. I'm just going to quote the whole paragraph because I think it's so beautiful.  

Holding onto Stuart's arm, she'd felt safe. He was certainly attractive. Until the unbirthday party, she'd let herself believe that perhaps Stuart could fill the void in her life that Adrian had left, now it was clear that he would never have been able to. Stuart was a wonderful friend, there was no doubting that - he just wasn't Adrian. The only love Meri could ever have felt for him would have been as a friend, a brother, but never a lover. She'd never wanted to kiss Stuart like she was desperate to kiss Adrian now. She was still wobbling when Adrian pulled back to let her stand on her own, cold without his touch. When he said her name, she thought she would explode - not that she'd ever expected him to forget her name, but hearing him say it! She loved him so much, it hurt, her whole body ached for just a little more contact - but that wasn't fair. He'd left her. She had to respect that.

It's been a long time since I've read anything that romantic.

I hope Adrian and Meri get back together.