Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Romantic Friendships, Murdoch, Deathly Hallows, and Video Dedications

1. Consulted Lord Wiki about the coup in Argentine because it's talked about in Sheridan Hay's The Secret of Lost Things.  Rosemary develops a friendship with a woman who later reveals her son disappeared because of the coup.  

Lord Wiki says the coup happened in 1976.  It was a right-wing group that took over.  The government that was in power at the time of the take over was led by Isabel Peron.  She was the third wife of Juan Peron.  I recognize his name because he was Evita's husband.  She was the second wife.

Lord Wiki says about 7000-30,000 people disappeared.

2. Consulted Lord Wiki about Argentinians in Australia. He says that in 2006, there were 11,369 Australians who had been born in Argentina. There were a lot of immigrants coming in between 1974-1982...because of the problems.

The Argentinian woman in Sheridan Hay's book is actually living in America, not Australia.  But I was curious about Australia...well, because my blog is about Australia.

3. Loved this line from The Secret of Lost Things.   How preoccupations insist themselves-how they pursue one!  Whenever I land on an interest, I always wonder whether I discovered it, or the other way around.

I definitely can relate to that.

4. Read my old dream archives.  I found an Australia related dream from 10/11/2006.  I see men in parachutes grab elephants from ground and take them up. It ends up some zoo had a problem so Australia sent army? over to rescue the elephants.

I'm not sure if that means anything, or not.

I found another interesting thing while reading old dreams though.  Last night I dreamed that relatives were coming to my parents house for a long stay.  They weren't leaving until October 31, or after October 31.  I specifically remember that date.  Then I went to read my dream from last year (July 20, 2010).  I dreamed about Nev Campbell, and I said, I get a sense that it's Halloween, or around that time.

I think that's a pretty interesting coincidence.  Two times on July 20ths, I dream about late October.

I wonder if it means anything.  

5. Relieved to hear my sister is out of surgery.  They had to do another follow-up surgery because last week's surgery didn't go exactly right.  Hopefully, things will be better now.

6. Went to a website about Herman Melville's letters to Nathanial Hawthorne because they're talked about in The Secret of Lost Things.  Melville's letters were almost romantic, but maybe not necessarily in a homosexual way.  I remember reading about something a few years ago—romantic friendships.

Lord Wiki has interesting things to say about it.

He says a romantic friendship is one in which there's no sex, but there may be hand-holding, cuddling, kissing, and bed-sharing.  These relationships were fairly common before the middle of the 19th century, and society seemed accepting of it. They were much less accepting of homosexual
behavior. I guess you could do about anything except for the actual sex part. 

Lord Wiki says there's speculation regarding the sexuality of various famous people in history.  Some folks think these long dead celebrities may have been gay or bisexual.  Lord Wiki says they might have just had romantic friendships.  But I think the concept is so foreign to us in the 21st century.

On the other hand, maybe all these romantic friendships had bi-sexual participants; and these people were lucky to be in a time period where they could express their love and affection— at least to some degree.  Then we had a long time period where it was not okay to be gay, and it was also not okay to show too much affection towards members of the same sex.   Now we've moved to it's okay to be gay and bisexual; but romantic friendships would probably confuse people.

7. Learned from Fruitcake's recent blog post that the Hume Highway is a very boring road, and that Australians tend to like the smell of sheep shit and lanolin.

I'm not sure if she's joking or serious about the latter.   I'm guessing serious, but I could be wrong.    I imagine people would get used to the smell, and it might have a positive memory association...well, if they enjoyed their time with the sheep.  

8. Looked at Fruitcake's Hume Highway route on Google Maps.  Hopefully, I understood her correctly, and got the route right.

Here's one street view of the Hume Highway.  It does look boring, but slightly pretty.  

9. Watched some of the sheep video embedded in Fruitcake's post.  I have a CD with the song that's playing; and it's sung by the same singers.  I forgot the name, but it's about shearing sheep.  And I forgot the singers.

Oh, wait. I think I have it uploaded to iTunes.  I forgot about that. 

It's "Click Go The Shears", and the music group is The Aussie Bush Band.   My parents bought me the CD when they visited Australia in 2000.  This was WAY before I was obsessed with Australia.   My favorite song on the CD was "I am Australian."  They have a very nice version, with a child singing the Aboriginal part.

10. Consulted Lord Wiki about Murdoch. I wanted to see what Australian newspapers he owns.

It's The Australian and Sydney's Daily Telegraph.  

Lord Wiki says that Murdoch supported Gough Whitlam and the Labor Party during the 1972 election campaigns.  He wasn't always on Labor's side though.  Prior to supporting Whitlam, he supported John McEwen from the Country Party.

Whitlam ran against William McMahon.  McEwen didn't like McMahon.  I'm wondering if Murdoch and McEwen shared a dislike of McMahon. Well, it's just interesting that Murdoch supported someone who strongly disliked McMahon, and then supported the person running against McMahon.

When Julian McMahon (son of William McMahon) played the villain in Fantastic Four, he said he was inspired by Rupert Murdoch.   Maybe it was his way of defending his father—making Murdoch into a villain.  Or maybe I'm reading too much into things. Murdoch might not have been anti-McMahon; and even if he was, Julian McMahon might not have even known about it.  

11. Decided that sometimes it's fun to read too much into things.  

12. Learned from Lord Wiki that Murdoch lost his Australian citizenship when he became American.  Really?  I didn't know that.  Why didn't he do the dual citizenship thing?  Maybe it wasn't available back then?

13. Looked at the government site on citizenship.  It says prior to 2002, if Australians became citizens of another country, they lost their Australian citizenship.  

I think you can get it back these days, but you have to reapply.

Here we go.

I need to deal with this on my fictional blog. The Muggle family's tourist visa is going to be running out soon.  The father was originally an Aussie though, so I think they'll just get the Former Resident Visa.

14. Excited to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 today...well, sort of.  I'm kind of nervous about it.  I heard that it makes people cry a lot.   I don't want to cry. I hate crying at movie theaters.  I'm fine with a few tears, but I don't want to have the same type of sob fest I had while watching Lost. 

I read a lot of spoilers about the movie so I know what to expect.  I'm hoping that by knowing what to expect, I can keep my eyes relatively dry.  

15. Saw the movie.  I did not cry one bit.  My eyes stayed totally dry.  I think the closest I came to becoming emotional was when I saw Cedric Diggory in the Breaking Dawn trailer.  

It was a good movie, but very long.  And my bladder was acting up. I peed twice before the movie, then once during the movie.   By the time Potter surprised Voldemort towards the end, I really had to pee again. I was thinking,  just kill the damn guy, and put your kids on the train already.  Let's get this over with. I need to use the toilet.  

16. Saw article that says Kevin Rudd will be having heart surgery.  I hope he'll be okay.  Rudd has problems from having rheumatic fever as a child.   I don't remember knowing that he had that. My dad had it when he was a young teenager. He spent many weeks in the hospital.  

17. Went swimming; and while we were in the pool, I figured out my feelings for the Harry Potter movies.  I think they're very well done.  I don't have any complaints about the acting, writing, directing, special effects, music, etc.  When I read the books, I picture the actors.  I enjoy that.

But for me, the movies pale in comparison to the books.   I've decided it reminds me of the days before we had digital cameras. We would have some fantastic experience—probably a vacation somewhere. It would be so hard to pack up and go home...return to reality. I didn't want it to end.

But it always does.

Then there was that last little piece to cling to.  We'd bring the photos to the shop and wait for them to be developed.  I think there was some bit of delusional hope that the pictures would make us feel like we were there again. They might prolong the experience.

Or at least the photos would perfectly capture all our memories. We could relive the experience by looking at the photo albums.  

Then we'd get the photos back and it was always a bit of a disappointment.

There were always less photos than I imagined there'd be.  And no matter the quality or quantity of photos, they could never make me feel like I was there again.  

For me, the Harry Potter movies are like the photo albums. They're lovely, but can't fully capture the magic and adventure I feel when reading the books.  

The movies are wonderful, but there's always too much wonderful stuff that's missing.  I don't blame the filmmakers.  You can't fit in everything.   It's the same with taking photos. You can't capture everything, no matter how hard you try.  And if you try really hard, you'll be very annoying to your travel mates. 

18. Went to Tallygarunga.  I'm going to read the story thread History Of Magic Lesson 1.  I believe this will be my first time reading about an actual class.

In Tallygarunga, the history of magic classroom is in the Southern Cross Tower.  This is the same building I visited the other day when I read the werewolf story thread.

The professor teaching the class is the werewolf; Professor Anna Maria Rodrigez.  The actress used for her is Michelle Rodrigez from Lost!  Ana Lucia!

There're posts from four students: Silas Fairchild, Reade Ainsworth, Emily Smith, and Sarah Kent.

19. Started reading the story.

Like Severus Snape, Professor Rodrigez covets the position of Professor of Defense Against The Dark Arts.

Silas Fairchild has recently finished reading about the Zodiac Killer in America. He likes history and is happy to be back at school after the break.  

Reade is exhausted because he's dealing with a bullying situation. He likes history too.

Emily is eager to learn history.

It's funny because Professor Rodrigez is under the assumption that students dread history.

20. Received spoilers about the rest of the werewolf story from Sarah Kent's post.  It turns out the werewolf hunters ended up learning Rodrigez was the werewolf.  Sarah, one of the hunters of the werewolf, is now the student of the werewolf. She's feeling a bit ashamed and guilty.  She wanted to drop the class, but was unable to remove her name from the list.    

19. Decided to read the biography of Silas Fairchild.

He was born in 1995, the year Harry Potter was 15. 

He's in Sturt House. He was born in Melbourne. His Patronus is a vulture.

Vulture. That's an interesting choice.

20. Learned that Silas has dandruff.  I do too. But right now I'm good in that area. 

21. Learned that Silas has some kind of dental hygiene obsession. He looks forward to flossing, and he avoids drinks that might stain his teeth.

22.  Learned that Silas likes to wear his school uniform, even when not required. The other thing he likes to wear is a semi-casual suit and tie.

23. Learned that Silas would rather read a book than socialize with his peers.

I can relate to that.

He really loves books, and he likes to learn.

I think Silas would be my type of friend if I was a student at Tallygarunga.  But we'd probably rarely hang out because we'd be too busy reading.

Silas likes dark stuff—horror and crime.  I used to love horror, but not as much anymore. I've never been a huge fan of true crime stuff.

24. Learned stuff about Silas that makes me think we probably wouldn't work out as friends after all.  He's not very nice, and he's often sarcastic. I prefer nice people. I get annoyed with those who are cocky and abrasive.

25. Intrigued by Silas' family history. His mother (Evelyn Cronwell) was a Muggleborn witch from America.   For some reason she was invited to attend Tallygarunga. Why didn't an American school take Evelyn?

I wonder if any wizards get letters from multiple schools.  

Silas' father (Gregor) was a Squib from a wizarding family. These are wizards with some kind of defect that prevents them from being magical. 

Gregor ended up working at a magic shop, even though he wasn't magical.  It was there that he met Evelyn.  Evelyn started working at the shop, and the two eventually fell in love.   I guess they had something major in common.   They both were different from the rest of their family.   Although it's kind of different.  Evelyn had something that made her extra special compared to the rest of her family.  Gregor was missing what made the rest of his family extra special.

It's not easy to be Muggleborn, but I think it would usually be harder to be a squib.

26. Excited and grateful because Megan from Tallygarunga dedicated a video to me!   I haven't watched that much of it yet because YouTube keeps buffering.

I feel bad because she posted it seven days ago, and I'm just seeing it now.  I need to be better at subscribing to videos.   It's just I have this habit of not watching videos from a channel once I've subscribed to it.  It's like it jinxes me.  So I have channels I like in my mind.   Then every so often I remember to check on them.  Examples are Natalie Tran, Siany, Elliot Freeman, and....Megan.    I don't subscribe to any of their videos. But I watch their videos more than the videos from the channels in which I have subscriptions.  The exception is Jack.  I subscribe to his videos, and I watch them.  

27. Tried to watch Megan's video again.  It continues to do the buffering thing, but I saw some of it.  She says such nice things in the video; and I don't think I've ever had anyone dedicate a song to me.

It's lovely; and it all came about because I love Australia and Harry Potter.  

28. Found out that my Australian of the day is Charles Grove Wright.  He was a politician, grazier, and soldier.  He was born in South Africa.

That's all I'm going to say because I'm running way behind. And soon I have to do math with Jack.

I'm joking.  I'll read.

Charles ended up in Kenya at some point in his adult life.  While he was there, he met a visiting Australian.   They had some romance, and then they got married.  Charles visited his wife's homeland and decided he liked it.

There's a bunch of war stuff here.  I just skimmed it. I spent two hours of my afternoon watching a massive battle.  I'm really not in the mood for more  war.

29. Felt guilty for not giving Charles Wright more attention.

Okay, fine.   I'll read more.

I hate guilt.

Charles fought the Japanese in World War II.

He became a prisoner of war; and was one of the prisoners forced to work on the Burma-Thailand railroad.  

Who was the other famous Australian POW during World War II?  Was it Weary Dunlop; or was Dunlop the one with the donkey in World War I?

30. Went to my list of biography posts to see who was the Aussie POW.  Then I realized it was Dunlop after all. 

31. Went back to reading about Charles Wright. Like Dunlop, he was brave and helpful during the prisoner of war ordeal.

32. Tried watching Megan's video again.  It's still not working for me.  It keeps stopping at 1:01.

Maybe it's some kind of message.   January 1?

Maybe it's numerology...and that means 1=A.   A A.   Alcoholics Anonymous?  Or maybe I'm supposed to beware someone with those initials.   Adam Ant?  

Maybe it's the words in the song I'm supposed to give attention to.

It says, trying to make your heart fit like a glove.

Am I trying to do that?  

33. Closed YouTube and re-opened the video.  Now it's working! I should have just done that in the first place.

It's a very sweet song, and Megan sings it beautifully.

Watching this is making me more emotional than the Harry Potter movie.

While we're on the subject of Harry Potter and tears, I'll embed this video.  They did a fair job with The Prince's Tale in the movie, but I prefer this one.  

34. Bragged to Jack that someone made a video for me. He was nice enough to ask to see it. So I showed him Megan's video. He said, she sings good!