Friday, August 12, 2011

Finnikin, Fakeness, Forgiveness, And Frans

1. Realized I may have to follow through with my new rule of quitting a book after two chapters.   I read the first chapter of Finnikin of the Rock.  So far I'm bored with it.   I'll read one more chapter and see what I think.  If I don't like it, I'll return it to the shelf and maybe try again one day.

I don't think it's a bad book. I've heard very good things about it.  It's just not my thing.

Well, it could be my thing.  Who knows.  Maybe something in the second chapter will grab me.

2. Read James' post about his return to Sydney.  He was a recipient of someone's random act of kindness. That's really cool.  

That actually happened to us in New Jersey.  We were at an arcade and someone gave us their leftover game tickets.   I realized then that although we've occasionally given tickets to strangers; I think New Jersey was the first time tickets were given to us.  It was pretty cool.

I disagreed with James when he said, That said, the first day back at work after a holiday always tends to be a fairly nice day doesn’t it? You spend a lot of the day answering the question “how was your holiday?” and receiving compliments about your tan.

I used to hate going back to school or work after a holiday.  I always found it depressing. The only exception would be if the holiday wasn't that great; and I had a major crush on someone back home.   Then I might be eager to return.  

3. Went to Tallygarunga.  I'm going to read the continuation of Advanced Dada Lesson 1: Boggarts and Ridikulus

Two students have entered the story; Reade Ainsworth and Cecilia Chorrol.

Cecilia is new to me. 

Reade is nervous to be in the class because Arti isn't with him. He's a bit attached to his girlfriend; not just for romantic reasons, but because Jackson (the bully) tends to leave him alone when Arti is around.  

Cecelia is optimistic about the class even though she doesn't tend to do good in school.   It says here, Professor Rodrigez seemed like she'd give Cecilia a fair shot at a passing grade if she put enough effort in, so she was going to try her best. Of course, Cecilia's best was a little less than everyone else's average, but this was beside the point.

Some people have to work much harder than others to learn things.   

Well, hopefully she'll enjoy the class and do fairly well in it.

4. Finished reading the first two chapters of Finnikin of the Rock. I think I'll continue with it. Some if it's getting interesting, sort of a reflection of our own world.   It's confusing though.  There're all these names that are unfamiliar to me, and I end up getting people confused with each other.

It would be helpful if the book had one of those character guides.

5. Consulted Lord Wiki about the characters in Finnikin of the Rock, and I think I just got a major spoiler. It's my fault.  I knew the risks of talking to Lord Wiki about fictional things.  He tends to give away too much information.  

I guess I thought I'd be safe if I avoided the plot description and looked at only the characters.
6. Started to read the biography of Cecilia Chorrol.

Her face claim is a Norwegian singer named Marit Larsen.

Here she is singing at a green grocer in Oslo.

She's very cute. And I like her singing.

7. Learned that Cecilia was born in Kilcoy, Australia. It sounds familiar to me...I mean in a Tallygarunga context.  Was there another character from there?  

8. Googled Kilcoy and Tallygarunga.  I found only Cecilia's biography, so I guess she's the only witch or wizard from there.

9. Consulted Lord Wiki about Kilcoy. He says it's in Queensland.

Here it is on Google Maps. It's about 1.5 hours north-west of Brisbane. 

10. Learned that Cecilia is a fourth year student. She's Muggleborn, and her Patronus is a wasp.

A wasp?  That's very interesting.

11. Learned that Cecilia is petite, but in excellent physical shape from doing work on the farm. 

12. Learned Celia is not up to date with pop culture.  She's an old fashioned farming type girl.

She believes in using good manners.  It says here, She thinks things like politeness and company manners have the utmost importance even if there is no sincerity behind them.

What is meant by sincerity?  I think there's sincerity just in the fact that someone is trying to be kind.  I think some people are so worried about being fake that they're rude to people they hardly even know. To me gross fake is when people are overly enthusiastic about getting together with you when they don't even like you.  Oh! We really should get together and have lunch!  

But I think it's nice to greet people in a friendly way.  I think it's nice to say please and thank you. I think it's nice to say sorry if you bump into someone.

If someone gives you a gift, is it fake to say thank you if you dislike it?  I don't think so.   You can at least be thankful that they made an effort.  What's gross fake to me is acting overly excited about a gift when you don't really like it. To me, action speaks louder than words. If you say you totally love the necklace I bought you, I'm not going to believe it if I never see you wearing it.  

13. Learned that Cecilia is not always very nice.

 Cecilia may be quiet and a little passive, but when it comes to fulfilling her aspirations she can be ruthless. She is capable of doing amoral or even cruel things if she feels the path to her goals is being threatened.


I don't know if I know anyone like that.  Well, at least they're not open about it.

I mean nothing is screaming out to me right now.  Yes, that reminds me of so and so......

I guess that's a very good thing.

14. Started to read Cecilia's history.

She's a twin.

Her story has some similarities to my fictional blog.  Cecilia's sister Vivian is a prodigy.  The witch in my story has a sister that's very intelligent.   It's different though because Cecilia liked fairy tales and daydreaming.  In my story, the witch had no interest in that type of stuff.

15. Thought more about fakeness. I feel some people get this idea that they shouldn't be friendly towards people they don't know and love.  To me, they appear rude and unwelcoming.  They make me uncomfortable. Fortunately I don't encounter these type of people too often.

I think it makes sense not to be overly friendly with people we knowingly dislike. We don't need to go up to our enemies and say, Hi!  How are you!   Wow you're looking great!  We should get together sometime.   That's pretty annoying...and confusing. It probably wouldn't hurt though to be civil—give a nod or small wave.   It can be like Draco and Harry in the train station.

What would be the best is if the enemies went up to each other, and one of them said, Hey, look I'm sorry for what happened.   Maybe we can talk about things and end this whole disaster between us.   But people are rarely brave enough for that.

16. Thought about a time recently when I was nice to someone even though I had ill feelings towards them. Was that fake of me?  Probably. Would it have been better if I said, Hey, you really bothered me with things you said last time I saw you. I really have lost a lot of respect for you.    

I doubt it.  Who needs all that extra drama?   I think a moment like that is worth it when we really care about the person and want our relationship to be honest and whole. If we don't care that much, I think it's better to just fake it a bit.  I wasn't overly friendly and enthusiastic with this person. I was polite and nice, but in a distant and reserved kind of way.

17. Decided to illustrate the difference between okay fake and gross fake—well, in my opinion.

Here's an okay fake email beginning.   Hi! It's so nice to hear from you. How have you been doing?

Here's a gross fake email.   Hi!!!!!   I've missed you so much!   I'm so excited to hear from you!!!!!! My husband and I were just talking about you yesterday. We think about you guys a lot.  We definitely need to get together soon!

Now if the person really means it, it's not bad at all.  It's really nice and awesome.  But if they're faking it, it's just too confusing. Then how in the world are we supposed to know when people really DO love us?  

18. Saw that my Australian of the day is another Australian who was into the education thing.

His name was Peter Corsar Anderson.

He was born in Scotland.

Peter was good at Hebrew, church history, rifle shooting, and golfing.  

He studied theology, but ended up not pursuing it at his career.  The reason given by the Australian Dictionary of Biography is that he had a breakdown in health.   Yet then he moved to Australia and got a career in the education business. Working with children is a lot of work.  I think you'd need to be healthy for that as well.

Well, maybe he started to feel better, but he had already lost interest in theology.

For his health, Peter went to visit his brother in Western Australia. He was in his mid-twenties.

Maybe Peter just needed some clean air and time to think.

He soon ventured off to Victoria and got a job at the Geelong Church of England Grammar School.

After Peter worked there, he went back to Western Australia.  He became the Headmaster of Scotch College.   He had the job for 41 years.   That's a pretty long time.   It sounds like he did a good job.    The school didn't do well under the previous headmaster.  With Anderson in charge, it became one of the leading independent schools in Western Australia.  

19. Read article about Jandamarra O'Shane. When he was only six-years-old, a man came to his school playground and set him on fire.  Now it's fifteen years later and Jandamarra is ready to forgive the man who hurt him so much.  I think that's very brave and noble of him.

I believe in his forgiveness because he's had time to deal with these issues. I find it difficult to believe people who are immediately ready to forgive someone after a tragedy. Yes.  You killed the love of my life.   But I forgive you.    Sometimes people want to forgive; and they say they forgive.  But deep in their hearts they don't really feel forgiving.  Or maybe they do.   I don't know. The idea is so foreign to me.

I think after fifteen years I could maybe forgive someone for doing something totally awful—like setting me on fire.  I think my forgiveness would come from the hope that the criminal has regrets for what he has done and has changed for the better. If I found out he didn't feel guilty and was still an evil asshole, I'd take back my forgiveness.

Anyway, I hope the arson reacts in a way that makes him deserving of Jandamarra's forgiveness.

The story sounds familiar to me, by the way.  I think I read about it before. I'm guessing maybe he's related to Pat O'Shane and I read it when I wrote about her.

20.  Looked at my post about Pat O'Shane. Jandamarra is her nephew.  

21. Went to Mousie's Aussie music database.  

The song for me today is "Cigarettes and Suitcases" by Something For Kate

It sounds familiar to me.  I might have heard it before.  

22. Started to look at page 12 of Frans de Wit's Australia set.

This place looks fun.  It's little shops—kind of looks historical and touristy.  

23. Loved this picture of Australia looking like Ireland.  

It's not the first time I've seen Australia being Ireland.  

24. Excited to see some snow in Australia. 

25. Saw a witch's face in this tree. She looks a little scary, but I think she's probably nice.  

26. Saw that I ended up going past page 12 of the pictures.   Now I'm on page 13.   It's the last page.  

27. Heard this song on iTunes.

I was totally in the mood for it.

It's a nice way for me to end my time with Frans de Wit.

28. Felt thankful to everyone who reads my blog. And I'm also thankful for all the writers, photographers, singers, etc. who keep me entertained (for free!) as I surf the internet.