Saturday, October 8, 2011

Compliments, Visitors, Skinny Brides, and Crumbs

1. Dreamed I was on the set of a an Australian soap opera.  Or actually, it could have been an American soap opera with Australian characters.  There're these two blond twins who should have Australian accents, but I suddenly realize they don't. They have American accents.   Later I'm sitting at a picnic table with them (although they don't seem to be blond anymore.  I think it was one of those dream character change things).  There're four of us at the table. I bring up the accent thing.  The three other girls aren't very cheerful and friendly, and they're pretty defensive about the accents.  They're of the belief that you're born with an accent and you can't change it.  I gently try to tell them that some people can do it. I think of how sometimes I do it, but I'm afraid to try and show them, because I might mess up.

Then one of the girl starts singing "I See The Light" from Tangled.  I start singing with her. I'm expecting the two other girls won't know the song, but they do. We all sing together.   

After we sing, people come up to us and compliment our singing.  Some people compliment me personally, but it's in a kind of condescending way. They also act surprised that I sang okay.

The compliment seemed like the type of compliments that are almost insulting.   It's like when someone says, You look good TODAY.  And the underlying message is you usually don't look good.  

2. Remembered that this morning, or last night, the name Susan Summers suddenly popped into my head.

She's one of the Tallygarunga witches.

I have no idea why she came into my brain.

3. Did some dances with Jack from Just Dance 3. I started thinking it would be really cool if they had an Australian song version of the game.

4. Read another article about the young teenager in Bali.  

They've made arrangements for the kid to get his own jail cell, and his father is going to sleep in an office close to it. That's good.

Jack's going to be 14 in four years.  That's not too far off. I imagine it happening to us, and I really feel for that family.

My little inner voice just said, Yeah, but Jack would never do drugs.  

I'm sure most parents tell themselves that.

The article says the boy's lawyer is pushing for the Aussie teen to get rehabilitation instead of punishment.  I hope that happens for them. And hopefully the rehabilitation can happen in Australia, so the family can come home.

5. Read Fruitcake's post about Sarah Palin, Jenny Macklin, and Paulina Hanson.  

I think what she says here is thought-provoking.

If Palin does not like the idea of sex before marriage but stood by her pregnant daughter, she deserves a little credit. If she does not approve of abortion but is able to love and care for her Downs Syndrome son, she deserves a little credit.

I'm pretty sure I've heard people say negative things about Palin in regards to her daughter getting pregnant.  But just because we're against something, it doesn't mean our children will be against it.   Our children won't necessarily have the same values as us. Or they might believe in our same values, but not be able to follow through with them. 

If Palin spoke out against pre-marital sex and then had some of her own, that would be hypocritical.   But if someone is against pre-marital sex, and their child gets pregnant, it means one thing: No parent has full control of their children's lives.  This is especially true as the child grows up. 

6. Saw that Fruitcake is in agreement with me on another Sarah Palin issue. She says,  

If she is unashamed of her willingness to go hunting and proud of this measure of self-sufficiency that fills her freezer, is this any worse than me buying meat at a supermarket without having to deal with the less appealing parts of the process? 

Vegetarians have a right to scoff at Sarah Palin, but why should meat-eaters?

There was that whole fuss about the turkey video.  I'm trying to remember what happened. I'll go look for the video in a second.  I think she was doing a news report around Thanksgiving time. In the background a turkey was being slaughtered.  Palin calmly blabbed on and on. That's so wrong; but apparently it's okay to buy a turkey from the grocery store and happily eat it. I guess we're supposed to believe grocery store turkeys have a happy life and are slaughtered without pain and gore.

7. Watched the video.

There is some sick irony there, because the news report was about pardoning a turkey. One turkey gets to survive while the others provide Americans a chance to indulge in extreme gluttony.

I'm thinking the video may have been a positive thing though. Maybe it inspired some meat-eaters to become vegetarian.    

8. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read the continuation of We'll All Be Portions For Foxes

I read the first post of that story thread the other day. Eudoxia was angry with Thomas who was trying to convince her that Jason didn't truly love her.

Now Jason himself has entered the story.

9. Started to read.

Since it's Saturday, and Jason has the day off of work, he's heading over to visit Eudoxia.

10. Liked what happened next.

Eudoxia was beginning to believe Thomas' harsh words were true.  Maybe love wasn't in the cards for her. Maybe Jason didn't have real feelings for her.  

When Jason knocks on the door, she assumes it's Thomas.  She tells him to go away, and then realizes it's Jason.

That's a lovely moment in life—when you're thinking the phone call, or knock on the door, is someone you don't want to hear from and instead it's who you'd most want to hear from.  I can't remember if that's ever happened to me before.  Probably not.

You know what's NOT pleasant?  When you're wanting someone to call or visit.  The phone rings.  You get your hopes up. And then it ends up being someone else on the phone—someone you don't want to talk to.

11. Realized I'm sometimes the disappointment. Sometimes someone is hoping for a phone call or email from a certain someone; and instead it turns out to be just me.

I'm sure every single one of us, at some time, has played that role in somebody else's life.  

12. Felt happy for Eudoxia.   I hope she has a great romance with Jason and keeps Thomas out of her life.  

She doesn't deserve his crap.

13. Saw that my Australian of the day is Olive Eva Anstey.

As far as I can see, Olive Anstey isn't related to the Anstey I wrote about yesterday or the day before.  Or at least there's not an obvious connection.  They might be cousins or something like that.

14. Saw that Anstey was born in Fremantle in 1920.

When she was a toddler, her family moved to Sydney.  She spent most of her childhood there.   Then when she was about fourteen, the family moved back to Fremantle.

When Anstey was fifteen, she started working at a box factory.  She continued to learn in the evenings.

I think that's very admirable.

15. Learned that Anstey's family was against her chosen career.  She wanted to be a nurse, but they thought that was beneath her.  That's really surprising to me. I would think most families, in those days, would be proud of such a career choice.

I can imagine some families being against it these days.  Some people think nursing isn't good enough.  If you're interested in doing medical stuff, be a doctor!  Or at least be a nurse practitioner.

Nursing is traditionally a female job, and people often look down on traditional female roles. They want "more" for their daughters. 

16. Saw that Anstey became a nurse when she was twenty-four.  A few years after that, she became a midwife.

Then later she became the matron of  the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth. I guess that's means she was the head nurse?  

17. Lord Wiki says I'm right.  The matron is the head nurse.  He says it's used in the UK and her former colonies.   I guess America would count then?  I'm not sure if we use the term or not.  

18. Wondered what Anstey's parents would have wanted her to become? Did they end up happy with her nursing career in the end?

I hope so.  

19. Started to look at more of Baroo42's Perth to Melbourne Flickr set.  I can see already that there's going to be more scary height photos.   

20. Tried to decide if I think Baroo42 and his friends are very brave...or very stupid.

Maybe it's a little bit of both.

I don't see the point of risking your life for a photo. If Jack came back from a holiday with photos like that, I'd likely be screaming at him.

On the other hand, how dangerous were the pictures?  What's the chance of losing your balance and falling?

It's probably minimal, but I still don't feel it would be worth the risk.

There are worthy reasons out there to risk one's life. I'm not sure if showing off is one of them.

21. Wondered then if circus performers would fall in the showing off category.  

I'd say, sort of. But not really.

Yeah.  They're showing off.  But they're doing it for money, at least.   They're performing. And they're doing something that's physically difficult and impressive.  

22.. Thought maybe I'm being too harsh against the guys in the photo.

Maybe they're not doing it to just show off.  Maybe they like the scenery. They might like being up high.  Just because it's scary to me, it doesn't mean it's scary to them.

23. Thought this could be especially dangerous.   A bunch of the guys are on the high rock together.   What if one of them falls or knocks into another?  All of them could have gone tumbling down.

24. Thought this picture looked very dangerous too.

Now I'm back to thinking the guys were showing off.

25. Wondered if this was Wave Rock.  

26. Learned from Lord Wiki that Wave Rock is in Hyden Western Australia.

I'll go look that up on Google Maps.....

It's four hours east of Perth.   And it would probably be a good place to stop on a trip from Perth to Melbourne.

27. Thought this picture was interesting.  Is that sand?  It kind of looks like snow.   

28. Read an article about bridal weight loss. 

A researcher at Flinders University looked at 350 brides one month before their wedding. Then he checked on them again six months after their wedding.

The women who felt the most pressure to lose weight gained the most weight after the wedding.

Why? They were too restrictive about the whole thing.  They worked their asses off to reach a difficult goal. Then once they got the ring on their finger, they gave it all up.

That's the thing about weight loss. I'm betting in most cases, if people REALLY put their minds to it, they can lose weight.  You go on a strict eating plan. You exercise a lot. You put your mind to it, and it CAN happen.

All you need is willpower.

And it's not too hard to have that willpower for a few months...maybe for even a year or so.

It's extremely hard to keep up with extreme dieting and exercising beyond that. That's why we see a relative one year.  Oh look at her. She's really lost weight!  She looks great.  Awesome!  Good for her!

Then we see her a few years later.  What happened??? Suddenly, Miss Skinny is a bit fat.

Weight loss is difficult.  Maintaining weight loss is extremely difficult.

You know what's easy though?  PLANNING to lose a ton of weight. This is especially easy when you're not at all hungry.

The other night I was feeling awful about my body.  Earlier in the day I had seen a disgusting photo of myself in a swimming suit.  Added to that, I had an awful evening and was feeling a bit stressed and sad.  Then I woke up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach.   I decided I was going to go BACK to my extreme dieting.  I would eat only a tiny bit each day. I'd lose tons of weight. I'd be very skinny again.
Then the next day my stomach felt better. I was hungry again and happy again. I tossed aside my dieting plans.

23. Thought of this email pal I once had.  He avoided dating chubby girls, not just because they were physically unattractive to him.  His theory was that overweight women were emotionally unhealthy.

That may be true in some cases.  But I know, at least in my case, when I'm on the road to thinness, I am definitely not emotionally healthy.   I never make major weight loss plans when I'm happy with myself and my life.

When some people are upset, they eat and eat and eat.  When I'm very upset, I drastically reduce my food intake—or at least plan on to do so.  

24. Looked at the Australian Monopoly board.

The next street is Macquarie Street, but not the one we know in Sydney.  This one is in Hobart.

25. Looked up Macquarie Street in Sydney because I forgot where it was.

It's right near the Royal Botanical Gardens.

26. Learned from Lord Wiki that Macquarie Street in Hobart is partners with Davey Street in Hobart.  One takes you in one direction and the other takes you in the opposite direction. They're both one way streets.

27. Learned that there's a newspaper building on Macquarie Street.

The newspaper is The Mercury.  I'm not sure if I've heard of that.

Lord Wiki says it's a conservative newspaper that's been around since 1854.

In 1988, it was taken over by Rupert Murdoch's company.

28. Went to the Mercury's website.  I learned there that last night there was a huge rainstorm in Hobart.  

29. Learned from Google Maps that there's a hospital on Macquarie Street called St. Helen's Private Hospital.  I'm thinking it's a hospital for those who can afford private insurance.

Some American Republicans don't seem to understand that having  government sponsored health insurance doesn't mean everyone has to be on it.  

It's really like our school system.  There're public schools available for everyone who wants or needs it.   But if you can afford more you can opt for private school.

The other day I went to get FREE books from our neighborhood library.  But having the library there doesn't mean I can't go and buy books when I want them.

30. Learned from Lord Wiki that there's a church on Macquarie Street. It's called St. David's Cathedral.

31. Started reading one of St. David's Cathedral's sermons via a PDF file.   It's called "Non PC JC."   That's a cute title. 

The sermon talks about a story in which a woman pleas for help from Jesus, and he ignores her.   Then he says, It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs.

What if the children weren't planning on eating the bread?  What if they planned to throw it to the ducks?   Would it be okay to give it to the dogs instead?

The kids might be angry, because they wanted to feed the ducks.   But if you let them be the one to feed the dogs, they might be okay with it.

And what if you're feeding the dogs so they don't eat you?  Would Jesus be okay with that?  

Okay.  Also, the woman asking for help from Jesus said she had a demonically possessed daughter.   What does that have to do with dogs?

Was he being symbolic? Maybe it's like Jacob and his wine bottle thing.

32. Read more of the sermon.

It turns out Jesus was probably saying he's the bread and the woman is the dog. His services should go to others. He shouldn't waste his time on her.

That's rude.

And how does the woman respond?  She says, Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.

She sounds very dedicated...and subservient.   

I would have respect for the situation if she had a minor a wart on her thumb.   I know you don't have time for my petty little problems; but if you have any time left over, I'd appreciate it if......

But this woman had an emergency!  Her daughter was possessed. How mean of Jesus to say she's like a dog to him.

33. Read this passage from the sermon and thought about how Christianity goes so far against my mindset.

We are encouraged to let go of our pride and trust in him, for though we are not worth so much as to gather up the crumbs under his table yet he mercifully provides and far more than a crumb, he calls us to sit with him at table.

WHY are we not worthy?

Isn't it believed that God created us?  If he's so perfect, why did he create something unworthy?

The whole thing reminds me of the type of celebrities I can't stand.  They're the ones who give off this aura.  You're lucky to be in my presence.   I'll talk on and on about myself.  And you're just lucky to get to sit here and listen.  

34. Decided I would prefer a god who's much more humble.

35. Realized the attitude of the woman in the Bible story reminds me of Tallygarunga's Améa.   It's kind of like the way she acts around Vince.  Yes, Master.  I'm under your command.

The sermon says, though, I wonder if that message of humble dependence is the real shock in this passage for the modern mind. Humility and dependence are not generally attributes that are prized in our self affirming, DIY world.

Yeah, the message of the sermon is uncomfortable to me because I do believe in having faith in oneself, and respect.  I also have a lot of respect for the DIY mindset.

I'm not against dependence, though; or at least not interdependence. I don't think there's anything wrong in receiving help from others.  Being humble about it is great too. 

I just don't think people need to feel unworthy of someone else's attention—whether it's a god, a celebrity, popular student at school, etc.

That being said, I still feel ridiculous trying to talk to celebrities.  So maybe I'm talking out of my ass here.

I ended up responding to one of Alyssa Milano's Tweets today. And I did have that feeling of shame.  How silly of someone lowly like me try try and reach out to someone fabulous like her.

She says a lot of stuff on Twitter that makes me want to respond.   She's very cute and interesting.   She's also very sweet and I have a hard time not responding to nice people.  

Today I succumbed to my desires.

Maybe it's okay.

I think it's one thing to talk to celebrities online just so you can get that thrill of, Oh my God! Oh my God.  I talked to a famous person and maybe maybe maybe they'll write me back!

But maybe it's equally pathetic to read something from a celebrity, have something to say in response, but be too starstruck to say it.  

 36. Wondered if Alyssa Milano will throw me a crumb.

It might be best if she didn't.

The other day someone responded to a response I sent on Twitter.  I got an email with their response to my response.  I was so lost because I couldn't remember what they originally said.

I'm not good with Twitter.  

37. Decided that although I'm against people feeling they're not worthy of other people, I think it's natural and normal to feel excited about having any connections towards certain people.

I was excited to be in the same room as Kevin Rudd, even though I was far away and didn't even see his face.   I just saw the back of his head.

There doesn't need to be excessive humbleness in such situations.  Sometimes it's just about admiration...and fandom.

38. Wanted to add that I get very starstruck when any of the Tallygarunga writers reach out to me.  First there's the fact that they're so wonderfully talented.   And then there's the fact that I have trouble separating fact from fiction.   I get the writers confused with their characters, and end up feeling that I'm talking to witches and wizards.

My rational mind knows that I'm not. But sometimes my irrational mind doesn't give a crap what my rational mind believes.   

I'm actually much better with Alyssa Milano. I think of her as Twitter-addicted mother who often breastfeeds her new baby, rather than a witch or a housekeeper's daughter.