Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nicole Kidman, Eating Bugs, Hoon Yu, and Chants

1. Excited to see that Penny Wong and her partner are expecting a baby.  It's due in December.

2. Called into bathroom because Jack saw a big ant on the toilet seat.   I joked around that it was a bull ant.   But, really. It was much bigger than the ants we usually see here.    

2. Found an old dream about an Australian.  It's from December 26, 2006. The dream involved being at some company that makes a purifying product.

....And Nicole Kidman is there. I can't figure out if this is her charity event, or if she is making a movie about the company...playing a character. I go to this room with fancy clothes. I pass by her.   She doesn't talk or look at me. I make up some song about her and the purifying thing.

3. Found another old dream about Australians.  This one is from December 27, 2006.

A whole thing about me having relationships with the ghosts of the Irwins. Vague and confusing? I'm having relationships with their ghosts? But confusion about the wife. There seems to be two of her. Past and present? She's still alive, but I'm having relationship with her as a ghost...the ghost is her past self? I think I like Steve better and am actually thinking this relationship might work, but then I realize I'm terrified of alligators and crocodiles. It wouldn't work because one day he might have a croc in bed and I'd come in and be freaked out to find it.

4. Found this in my dream/spiritual journal.  Here is other news. Had fortune cookies that said my recurring dreams are my destiny. Not sure what that means.

Well, I don't usually believe in fortune cookies; but I think that one was telling the truth.  My recurring dreams about Julian McMahon led to my whole Australia thing, and to this blog.

This blog and Australia make up a huge chunk of my life. So I definitely see it as my destiny.

5. Figured it would be rash to rush out and buy plane tickets. But if the Australian dollar stays low for awhile, maybe we shouldn't wait until November.

I don't know.

I'm thinking we could maybe lock into hotel rates.

No, that wouldn't work. You can lock into hotel rates, but not dollar values.  I guess the only thing it would help with is places where you have to pay a down payment before you arrive.   I think apartments are like that.

I should wait until November.

I feel guilty about being excited over this.  The rest of the world is crying over the economy and I'm sitting here thinking, Hey, we might be able to go to Australia now!

6. Thought of entering a Jetstar competition, but you have to be Australian.     

If anyone is interested, the prize is a trip to the Gold Coast. You get to stay in Sea World and get Sea World passes.  

7. Decided to watch McCrann's Wrap.   It was recommended on Facebook by news.com.au's Facebook Page.  They said it will help explain the financial stuff.  

Okay. I'm watching it. America's stocks went down. Then Australia's share market went down.

Is the share market the stock market?  Or is it something different?  I'm confused about that.

Anyway, Australia went down down down.  Then it came shooting back up again.

For thirty-five minutes the Australian dollar went below the American dollar.   Then it came back up again.  But it's still very low.  I mean it's low compared to what it was a few days ago.

8. Listened to the rest of the video.  I agree with news.com.au.  McCrann does explain things in a way that's easy to understand.   I can't say I understood all of it, but I think I understood most of it.  And I like him because he's cautiously optimistic.  I listen to him and feel like the world's not going to collapse on itself.  Yet I also don't feel he's blowing useless smoke up our asses.  

9. Looked at article about the alternative census.  

This should be fun.

The favorite foods of Australians are Italian and Australian food.  Right after that comes Thai, Chinese, and Indian.

My favorite of all those is probably Indian.

10. Loved this line from the article.  The 44 per cent of us who choose low-calorie options when they can were more likely to have taken a sickie in the past year so low-cal either makes you sick, or makes you fib.

My guess is the same people who misrepresent their health are also the same people who misrepresent their dietary choices on census surveys.

The way they say it....it makes it seem like some people take ONE sickie a year and other people take none.  Are people in Australia super healthy or something?  

Oh wait.   It talks about it right now here.   It says 40% of Australians took no sickies this year, and 20% took only one or two.  That means 60% of people are taking less than 2 sickies a year.  That's pretty good.  Australians do sound healthy...unless they're sick and going to work anyway.

11. Loved the alternative survey's same sex marriage chart.  It's very interesting and entertaining.

Supporters of gay marriage were more likely to be women, like all cuisines (vs. preferring Australian food), be thinner than last year, want Australia to be a Republic, have smoked pot, be on Facebook, and more likely to support the AFL or not be into football at all.

The state which has the most people in support of gay marriage is Tasmania.

Men are more likely to want a Republic than women.

I used to be pro-Republic.  Then I went to London and that changed.

Fifty-five percent of Australians don't like the chant Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi.  

I hope people don't hate me for saying this, but the chant makes me cringe.   I've seen it written a few times on blogs, and I think I heard it once....by Oprah.   There's just something about it.   I don't know if it's the patriotism that gets to me, or just the form it has taken.  I think it's the latter. I usually don't mind patriotic songs and chants.

I don't know.  But when I see  the oi oi oi thing written or spoken aloud, I feel the same way, I felt in the synagogue, when they'd march around with the Torah and the congregants would kiss it.

I feel embarrassed. It's hard to explain.

12. Looked at the Facebook statistics on the alternative census.  Fifteen percent of people have more than 400 friends.  I'm with the 27% who have 100-199 friends.

I'm also with the 55% of people who have Facebook "Friends" they don't actually like.

13. Felt sad again for Rose Pickles.

14. Terrified for London after reading this article.  It's about a restaurant in Notting Hill that features an Australian chef. Rioters attacked the restaurant.

Fortunately the restaurant won.  The staff came rushing out with rolling pins as weapons.

What scares me about the article is it says police warned the public, in Notting Hill, to stay inside because there were people outside with machetes.   It makes me think of what happened in Rwanda.

I have no sympathy for people who use violence in their immature temper tantrums.

It's so depressing.

I hate the story in this article.  A store that was 144 years old was burnt down by rioters.  Really.   What does that accomplish?

15. Read interesting article about mercury and autism. It says scientists in Melbourne found that people with a type of mercury poisoning called Pink Disease had higher rates of autistic grandchildren than the general population.  

I've heard speculation of autism being related to mercury poisoning, but not in that kind of genetic way.

16. Went to Tallygarunga.  Today I'm going to read a story thread called Finding Korea.  

I think it takes place in Korea.

The timing of the story is June 30-July 31.  That's different from what I usually see. I think most story threads in Tally take place over a much shorter time period.

The two characters in the story are Hoon Yu and Benjamin Lawson.

Is Benjamin the one that started the chocolate story and then disappeared?

17. Found the chocolate story.  It did involve Benjamin Lawson.  He had some hot chocolate at an internet cafe.  

I guess Benjamin is in Korea now.

18.  Wondered if I will find the story thread to be complete crap.   Both of the role-players have warnings/disclaimers about the crappiness of the story. 

19. Started to read.

It is crap!  Total crap.  What the hell?

No, I'm joking.   I haven't started to read it yet.

I will read now......

Hoon has eaten bugs a few times.   It says here one bug, in protein, was equivalent to five eggs.  Really?  That seems a bit unbelievable.  Maybe they meant to say one cup of bugs equals five eggs.  

20. Looked at website that talks about the benefits of eating bugs.    I'm all for it in theory.   Unfortunately I'm a bit too squeamish to do it.   I ate a freeze dried mealworm once.   It wasn't very pleasant.   It might have been the method of preparation though.   I mean if a top chef prepared the mealworm, it might have been delicious.

The website says 100 grams of crickets gives you 12.9 grams of protein.  That's pretty good. And it's only 121 calories.

Lord Wiki says 100 grams of chicken eggs equals 12.6 grams of protein. It has 155 calories and 10.6 grams of fat.

Crickets have 5.5 grams of fat.

I don't think I could eat a cricket though—at least not a whole one.   Maybe I could eat a pureed cricket that was added to other things.   Lord Wiki points out that we unintentionally eat insects when we eat certain foods. It's permissible for food manufactures to have products that contain a certain amount of insect bits.  For example, wheat flour is allowed 150 or more insect fragments per 100 grams of flour.

So when we look at the protein value of flour, does that include or not include the insects?

21. Went back to reading the Tallygarunga story thread.

Sorry. It's hard for me to read about insect-eating without getting side-tracked. 

Hoon talks about kimchi and bulgolgi.  Yum.  Bulgolgi is one of the foods I've missed since becoming a vegetarian.  

Hoon is with his son Zhen and his Aussie friend Benjamin.  He met Benjamin while in Australia and then invited Benjamin to Korea.

22. Learned that Benjamin has been open with Hoon about his homosexuality, but less open about his slight attraction to Hoon.  That makes sense.   I don't think most people often blurt out to their friends I might be slightly attracted to you.  If there's a major attraction thing happening, a confession might appear.  That could lead to romance (if it's mutual), or awkwardness and embarrassment if it's not.  

23. Learned something interesting here.  Hoon explains that when Koreans meet with hand-shaking  foreigners they bow and then shake hands. This way both cultural greetings are factored into the situation.

Lord Wiki says East Asians will understand that Westerners shake hands, so they'll sometimes start to do that. Meanwhile the Westerners know about bowing and they'll sometimes start to do that. Then they end up with some type of bowing/hand-shaking hybrid thing.  

24. Saw that Hoon feels inadequate as a father because Benjamin is better at making his son laugh.

Hoon does seem a bit uptight.  For example, he pulls Benjamin aside, before they meet Hoon's parents, and says, Benji. I need you to listen for a minute. In Korean etiquette, when you meet someone you have to first bow then shake hands. In Korea we don't shake hands but with expatriates we shake hands after we bow so we blend both cultures. Whoever initiates the bow must say 'Man-na-suh pan-gop-sumnida.' It means 'pleased to meet you.  

I don't know.  That just seems very uptight and bossy to me.   You have to do this and you must do that.   I can't imagine saying that to a foreigner.   If they asked what's expected of them, I would tell them.  Otherwise, I'd probably just let them be themselves.   If I knew they did something in their culture that our culture would take as offensive, I'd probably mention it to them.  Or I'd probably wait until they do it and then say something.  I mean not that I'd want to let them embarrass themselves, but I can't imagine I'd anticipate them doing anything offensive.   

25. Figured maybe Hoon has a very difficult relationship with his parents. Maybe he feels pressured to make a perfect impression on them. He probably doesn't want Benji to make a mistake and have his parents dislike him.  That could be it.

26. Saw that Hoon's mother is not very uptight. She seems very warm and friendly.  Well, she FEELS warm and friendly but she doesn't think it's appropriate to act that way.  She keeps some of her friendliness bottled up inside.  

27. Finished reading the story.  From what I read, it seems to take place within one day and not a whole month.  Maybe it's going to continue and end up being a whole month?   Maybe that's how long Benjamin is planning to stay in Korea.

28. Played the Name Five Game with Jack.  In the game you get different categories and you're supposed to come up with five answers for each of them.  There's a whole complicated board game that comes with it, but we just answered the questions on the cards together.  

One of the tasks we had during lunch was to name five movies with Nicole Kidman.   I said Australia, Bewitched, The Stepford Wives, and Dead Calm.  Jack was ready to move onto the next category before I was able to think of the fifth one.

29. Started to read the biography of Hoon Yu.

He's a Muggle.  That's interesting.  I wonder how he got involved with the wizarding world.  

His face claim is an American named Daniel Henney.  Lord Wiki says his father is of Irish descent and his mother is an American adopted from Korea.   What's funny is that despite not speaking Korean, Daniel managed to become a star in South Korea.  

30. Watched commercial featuring Daniel Henney and Gwyneth Paltrow.

31. Learned that Hoon Yu is the history of magic professor.

I wonder how he got that job.

32. Learned that Hoon loves television, although this was frowned upon by his family when he was growing up.  

He has a thing about punctuality. If he's late and doesn't catch the show from the beginning, he doesn't want to watch it.

The guy needs a DVR.  Then he could worry less about that.  

33. Learned that Yoon Hu likes "unmentionable things."  That's intriguing.

34. Started to read Yoon Hu's history.  His father grew up in a traditional farming-type life. His mother had a more modernized city upbringing.

His mother wanted Hoon to be a star.  She pushed him into singing and dancing. Hoon's father disapproved.  He wanted his son to be a farmer.

35. Learned that there are rumors that Hoon is gay, and Hoon himself has questioned his sexuality.

36. Learned that Hoon was popular in school, but suddenly all that popularity vanished.  He gave it up.

Later, he ended up marrying a Chinese woman and having a child.  

One day his Chinese wife went to visit her family.  They found out she had married a Korean man and were horrified about this.  They forced her to stay in China.  Hoon lost his wife.

37. Sad for Hoon when I read this.   With no mother, no father, no wife, and no friends Hoon really had nothing left to live for in Korea. Nothing but Zhen who sobbed day in and day out, wailing for his mummy. The child would walk around the home holding all her things and just look so broken that Hoon couldn't take it any more, couldn't bare to watch his son wander around so wounded. So, a change of scenery would be made. No more Korean culture, no more Chinese culture, no more loneliness of a lost family so far yet so close away... the two picked Australia.

Well, I'm glad he found Australia.

38. Read about how Hoon got himself involved with the magical world.  He found magic books owned by his ex-wife. Maybe she's magical?  I'm not sure.

Anyway, Hoon found out about the magical world.  He wanted to know more so he applied to VMU (Victorian University of Magic). They accepted him even though he was a Muggle. Then later he became a professor at Tallygarunga.

39. Wondered why Hoon's ex-wife had magical books.  Is she a witch?  Does she have witches or wizards in her family?   

Could Zhen (Hoon's son) be magical?

40. Learned that Hoon also has a daughter, but he doesn't know of her existence.  Back in high school, when he gave up his popularity, he ended up having a very close female friend.   I guess at some point they had sex.  She got pregnant.  Hoon disappeared right after graduation and never learned that his friend was pregnant.  

41. Saw that the Australian dollar is at 1.0086.  

42. Watched a video of the Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi thing.    I thought...who knows. Maybe I'd like it if someone besides Oprah was doing it.

No.  I still don't like it.

It remains one of the few things about Australia that I don't love.

 43. Re-watched the Oprah one.

That wasn't at all enjoyable.

Maybe I don't like it because of the oy.   That's the Jewish sound of complaint or worry.    If Jews say oy oy oy, they're probably saying Oh shit, we're in big trouble.

44. Tried to decide—if I had a choice between eating toast with lots of Vegemite (instead of the tiny bit I use) or participating in one of the Aussie Aussie Aussie chants; which would I choose?

I think it would be the Vegemite.  

45. Read more of Cloudstreet.   The scenes between Rose and her mom are very painful.

46. Learned that my Australian of the day is Keith Stirling Anderson.    He was a businessman and a community leader.

He wasn't born in Scotland, but his mother was.

Keith was born in Portland, Victoria.  I forgot where that was, so I looked on Google Maps.  It's about an hour west of Warrnambool.   

Keith became an accountant in his family's firm.

He participated in World War I, including Gallipoli.  

He was gassed at some point in the war and had health effects from that.   The Australian Dictionary of Biography says he tried to recover from that by farming.  How does that work?   Maybe it was just about being outside in the fresh air?

Later Keith returned to Portland and the family business.

One of his lifetime accomplishments was helping to get a port/harbour built in Portland.

47. Went to Mousie's Aussie music database

The song for me today is Eskimo Joe's "Black Fingernails, Red Wine". 

I'm not sure if I've heard it before or not.

I sort of like it.

48. Went to Flickr.  I'm going to look at page 5 of Frans de Wit's photos.

49. Liked this photo of Kata Tjuta.  I just recently learned that this was the original name of The Olgas.

50. Wondered....what's in this picture?

Frans doesn't do a great job labeling his photos.

Am I complaining?


Am I being hypocritical?


I  rarely label my photos on Flickr.

51. Saw another photo of the weird objects.  Is it a melon? An alien egg?  

52. Wanted to say there's a ton of great photos on this page.   They have a very Aussie feel to them—totally archetypal outback stuff.  It reminds me of that book AND movie. What's it called again?   It's the one with the British kids caught out in the outback. They meet up with David Gulpilil?  

53. Asked Lord Wiki for the name of the movie.

He reminded me that it's Walkabout.  

54. Liked this picture.

And this one totally reminds me of the movie.  The funny thing is I can't remember how much of the movie I've seen.  I don't think I saw the whole thing...maybe just parts.

55. Watched the trailer for Walkabout.  

And yeah....

It reminds me of the photos.

The girl in the film reminds me of Alyssa Milano.  

56. Started to look at page 6 of Frans de Wit's photo set. 

Here's another photo that reminds me of Walkabout

And there's more, but I'm not going to list all of them. That would get old.

I think these are termite mounds?  

Here's the Devil's Marbles

I think this is one of those road trains. 

This photo looks like out of control cauliflower.

No, actually it looks like a warped version of Mr. Snuffaluffagus. 

57. Started to look at page 7 of Frans de Wit's photo set.  

This looks like typical Australia to me. 

Here's a cool picture of ants on a flower. 

I wonder if ants have a lot of protein.

Here's a cute lizard.  

Frans is a really good photographer.

58. Went to pee at a Japanese restaurant.  They had Australia style toilets!  It's the first time I've seen one in America.

I'm talking about the ones where there are two flush choices.  

59. Saw that James was in on a video in a Swedish news website.

I didn't actually see him in the video.  It goes too fast for me.  But his blog post has a picture from the video clip.  

60. Felt a bit sad when I read James' post about his last day in Stockholm.  It's hard to say good-bye to any holiday; but it's especially hard when you're extremely passionate about a place.