Monday, October 10, 2011

Traveling Performers, Selfish Parents, Bookstore Treasures, and Money Talk

1.  Started to read Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It's a Swedish book about vampires.  

I know one of the child actors, in the movie version, is Australia.

I forgot whether it's the boy or the vampire girl.

I'm going to go look it up on IMDb.

2. Started to go to IMDb.  I haven't looked at the cast yet.  But I think I remember.  It's the boy, and he's the same boy that's in that movie with Eric Bana.  I forgot the name of it.

Hey, but at least I remembered something.  

3. Looked at the cast of Let the Right One In

4. Saw that I'm very wrong.

The boy character is played by a young Swedish actor.

5. Realized I'm not wrong.

I'm just looking at the wrong movie.

It turns out they made a movie from the book in Sweden.

But there's also an English-speaking version.

6. Saw that the remake is called Let Me In

The boy in the movie IS Australian. His name is Kodi Smit-McPhee.

The character name has changed, though. In the book, it's Oskar. In the movie it's Owen.

I'm betting they changed the location of the story as well.  

7. Saw that the Eric Bana + Kodi Smit-McPhee movie is called Romulus, My Father. 

8. Saw that Kodi Smit-McPhee is going to be in an animated movie called ParaNorman.  It's about a child who can speak with the dead.

Is this going to be a family movie—like a Dreamworks thing?  Or is it one of those more adult-oriented cartoons?

9. Read an article about ParaNorman.  It's made by the same company that made Coraline.

10. Went to bed.  I dreamed something about going to Bulgaria and then Australia.

I think I dreamed this because yesterday I saw a map of Bulgaria.

11. Saw that Allison Dubois is going to be in Australia in January.  She's doing five shows.

I wonder if she'll spend time playing tourist in Australia. Or will it be an in and out thing?

I can't imagine going all the way to Australia to work for a few days, and then leaving right after that.

I'd want to stay for awhile to explore—even if it wasn't a place I'm madly in love with.

I guess the exception would be if Jack and Tim weren't with me. Then I'd want to rush home to them.

12. Enjoyed reading Miss Sparkle's post on where she'd like to live.  

She says, Far too many places come to mind when I ask myself this question. Narnia, Hogwarts and Oz all come to mind but I’ll try to pick somewhere in this universe.

Personally I'd be scared to live in those places. Although I guess they're no more dangerous than our own world.

As for picking somewhere in our own universe, Miss Sparkles loves London.

I do too, but not as much as I love Australia. 

13. Enjoyed Eurasian Sensation's post about Middle Eastern celebrities.

I learned about Steve Jobs the other day, and I knew about Casey Kasem.

I didn't know about F Murray Abraham.

A person I often think of that's not on Eurasian Sensation's list is William Peter Blatty, the author of The Exorcist and Legion.  His parents came from Lebanon.  

14. Liked what Andrew said on his post.  

In days of old if I wanted to change something, I would have write a letter, make a phone call or have a conversation. Now, all I have to do is click 'like' on a Facebook page, and the world changes. Well, maybe it is not quite so simple.

If you REALLY want to do good in the world, you have to do more than that.  You have to do one of the following

A) change your Facebook icon photo to go along with the ongoing theme. For example, if you want to fight child abuse, change your icon to your favorite cartoon character.  As soon as you do this, a child will stop being brutalized. 

B) post your bra color on Facebook. The more people who do this, the faster there'll be a cure for breast cancer.

C) Copy and paste those status updates that ask other people to copy and paste the status updates for their status updates. This allows the Facebook gods to know you care about that particular issue.   If they know enough people care, they'll snap their magical fingers and the problem will go away.  

I joke about this. But honestly I have clicked "Like" with the feeling that I've done some good in the world.

15. Started to read an editorial by Barry Walters, an obstetrician in Perth.

He warns against women putting off their baby-making years until they're in their late 30's and 40's.

I think he has very good points.

I remember when I was doing research about first cousins marrying and making babies.  I learned the risk of first cousins having a child with a defect is close to the risk of a woman having a baby after the age of 41.

Dr. Walters gives some statistics in his editorial.

He compares the rate of miscarriage at different ages.

At age 27, it's 14%.

At age 40, it's 40%.

Age also increases the rate of pregnancy complications.   

16. Saw that Dr. Walters received a lot of hatred for something he wrote last week.

He says, the vigorous nationwide reaction to my views last week astonished me. Many expressed support but there were numerous immoderate and aggressive critics. ''Value judgment'' was a polite term applied to my opinion, much more acceptable than the virulent abuse directed at me in language usually applied to football umpires.

That's unfortunate.

What did he say that was so awful?

It's implied in this editorial that he called women selfish for waiting to have children.

Personally, I think it is selfish.  I think having babies at any age is selfish. How can it not be when the world is overpopulated and there are so many orphans?

But life is full of selfish things.  I'm selfish right now for sitting here blogging. I could be out feeding homeless people.

I'm selfish for sleeping on a bed. I could sell the bed and give the money to earthquake victims in Haiti.

17. Wondered if Barry Walters was attacked for simply having an unpopular opinion; or was he attacked because he presented his opinion in a nasty way?

18. Found article about what he originally said.

I guess he didn't write an editorial.  He had just said it in an interview....or something like that.

From what I see in the article, he did come off a bit judgmental.    

The doctor said, The medical side is only part of it. It is selfish and self-centred of older women to have babies because they are not just babies - they are babies for a little while and they become people.

''They are starting out in life, having a family, working, getting mortgages and have to deal with geriatric parents. It's just not fair.

He has a right to his opinion, and people have the right to agree or disagree. They also have the right to come back with an intelligent counter-argument.

What's disgusting to me is people who would attack him for his views.

You can disagree with someone without calling them atrocious names and wishing violence against them.

19. Agreed with Barry Walters on the medical stuff. I'm not sure though if I agree with him on the other stuff.

Is it harder to have older parents than younger parents?

I don't know.

I started thinking, younger parents are sometimes more selfish. They're too wrapped up in their own lives to care about what their kids need and want.

But then I thought, if someone is selfish in their early twenties, why would they not be selfish anymore in their late thirties?

Do we get less selfish with age?

From my experience, I don't really think so.   I know selfish and self-centered people who are way past their twenties.  

Younger parents might be better in that they can run wild with their children. But if you're too tired too run with your kids, you can watch them run and cheer for them.  

If children need young, healthy, and active caretakers, why do they so often enjoy being with their grandparents?

20. Decided that, minus the medical-pregnancy-fertility issues, whether parents are older or younger doesn't really matter. At least that's what I think from what I know at this point.  

I think what matters most is the personality of the parents. Are they considerate and gentle?   Are they good listeners?  Are they understanding? Do they take their children's needs in consideration?   Are they happy to spend time with their children?

Are they overly self-centered? Are they over-controlling? Are they violent?

No parent of any age is going to come out with a perfect score on these questions. But some parents are better than others, probably. I'm not sure if age would make a difference.

21. Read Barry Walter's opinion again and realized he didn't really say anything about parenting abilities at the different ages. He talked more about young adults having to deal with geriatric parents.

I guess that's hard, but I think it's hard at ANY age.

The other thing—as medical advancements are making it easier for women to have babies in their late 30's and 40's, it's also allowing people to stretch out their healthy years.

I think many people are still active, healthy, and independent in their sixties.

And there are people in their thirties and forties having to deal with severe disabling medical disorders.  

I know statistically speaking there's more of a chance of having a chronic illness or disability as you get older. But being young doesn't guarantee that you're going to be healthy and active. It doesn't even guarantee you're going to be alive.  

22. Went to Half Price Books.

We went through all our bookshelves and found a ton of books we don't want anymore.

We had five to six bags full of books.

The sad thing is they offered us only $23 for all our books.  

I took it.

I was tempted to say forget it, and take all the books home.  We'll sell them on our own.

But we won't. They'll sit there, and the shelves will get more and more crowded.

I can kind of understand why they're not offering a lot of money for the books.

There were more people trying to get rid of books than there were people buying books. With Kindle and other e-readers, is there that much of a market for used books?  I don't think so...unfortunately.

Anyway, enough of the bad news.

The good news?

I got two awesome Australian books.

One is a general travel guide book. I think it might be British because the original price is in pounds.

It's called Baedekers. Is that British? 

Lord Wiki says no.

It's German.

That's cool.

And I love it because it comes with a big folding-type map of Australia.  

Then I got this guide to Victoria. It's a MAJOR treasure for someone like me.

It was published in 1997, so it's probably a bit outdated. But in a way, that makes it even more awesome.

Each town has it's own one to three pages.  Some towns have only a map, but other towns have information, advice, and advertisements for various accommodations and attractions. 

I'm so in love.

These are the books I buy in dreams. Then I wake up and think, Shit, that was just a dream. I really don't own that book in real life, do I?

23. Went to Tallygarunga.

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

This is the story with Eudoxia Karras and Jason Miller.

24. Realized I still can't get over those two names and their connection to The Exorcist.   But I've been told it was just a coincidence.

25. Started to read.

There's something about Walter.

Who's Walter?

Should I know him?

26. Reread the previous post in the story thread. Walter is mentioned there.

I'm getting the idea that he's a friend/coworker—someone that knows both Jason and Eudoxia.

Walter gave Jason help in buying Eudoxia flowers. If I'm understanding things right, he told Jason what type of flowers Eudoxia likes.

27. Wondered if Walter was in the first Eudoxia story I ever read. I have vague memories of someone.

Maybe he had bad breath or bad body odor?

I'm probably totally wrong about this.

28. Felt very proud of myself. I went and found the first Eudoxia story I read. It's called Paper Airplanes.

Walter is there.  AND he has a sweating problem.

This is good news for me.  Maybe my memory problem is more about retrieval.

Walter went into my brain a few months ago, and he stayed there. It just took me a few moments to find him.

29. Saw that my Australian of the day is Allan James Antcliffe.

He was born in Brisbane in 1923.  

He became an agricultural-botany type person.  His specialty was vines.

He worked with wine and dried fruit—such as sultanas.

30. Learned from Lord Wiki that sultanas are called Thompson Seedless in America.

I can't remember if I've seen those before.

We have raisins in our house right now. I'm not sure what they are, though.

I'll go check.

31. Checked out refrigerator.  We have Sun Maid organic raisins.

Lord Wiki says the Thompson Seedless GRAPE is green. I've had that before, probably.   I've had some type of green grape.  It might not have been Thompson's.

I personally prefer the purple/red grapes.

32. Went to about.com.  They say the green grapes, we usually eat in America are Thompson.  

33. Went to the YouTube channel of Hayley Legg

I think I've actually seen her videos before—awhile back.

I can't remember what song I listened to.

I'll listen to something recent.  Then I won't end up doing a repeat thing.

34.  Listened to Haley Legg sing Adele's "Rolling in the Deep"



One of the groups sang the song on The Sing Off.

35. Started to listen to Haley Legg sing "When I Had You With Me" by The Beautiful Girls.



I started thinking, that song sounds SO familiar. I know I've heard it before.

I tried to figure out where and when.  

Then I realized I heard it about three minutes ago. It automatically plays when you go to Hayley's channel.

36. Went to Hayley Legg's website.

I wonder if I've been there before.  

37. Searched through my blog for Hayley Legg.

I thought I was there a year or so ago.

It turns out I was there this past July.

I feel like it's been much longer than that.

Wow.  

38. Learned from Hayley's website that she's in Hong Kong.

She's been there since August and is staying through December.  She performs every Tuesday and Saturday at the Novotel Citygate.

39. Looked up the Novotel Citygate.

It's a hotel.  

To me it seems like a very impressive job to have—singing twice a week at a nice hotel.

I wonder if it pays well.

40. Looked at Hayley's list of shows.

She was at the same hotel in Hong Kong from January through March.

She must really like it there. OR maybe they really love her.

It could be a mixture of both.

41. Started to look at more of Baroo42's Perth to Melbourne Flickr set.   

42. Thought this was an interesting view of Uluru.  

43. Saw that Baroo42 got a comment on that picture.  I love his response.

The commenter said, What an awesome capture!  Brilliant!!

Baroo42 said,  thanks! the rock just kinda looks like that...

Sometimes I don't understand photography.

If you can take something mundane and make it beautiful, that's kind of exciting.

But is it that much of an accomplishment to take a good photo of something that's already beautiful?

When I look at a beautiful photo of something famous in Australia, should I be admiring the photographer or the subject of the photo?  

44. Thought this was another interesting Uluru photo.  

I think with things that have been photographed way too many times; it's nice when people find a new of showing it.  

I'm looking at more of the photos. It looks like Baroo42 took a lot of close-ups of Uluru. It's different from the usual far shot of Uluru.   

45. Thought this picture looked really fun.  

The guys are somewhere in the Great Ocean Road....probably. They're standing in the water at one of the sights. I don't think I've ever seen a picture with people standing in the water.  

It reminds me of people stepping into a water fountain.

Jack and Tim did that in NYC.

I didn't.

Why?

I can't remember.

Usually I'm not such a party pooper.

46. Remembered that in Kiama, Tim and Jack stepped into a water thing and I didn't.

Maybe I AM a party pooper.

Or maybe I did go into it?

I'll go look at the pictures.

47. Found the pictures.

I did go in.

There's a picture of me and Jack, and another picture of Tim and Jack.  

I look really bad in the photo. But that's okay.

Anyway, none of us really went into the water, because we were dressed.   We stood right outside the water and let the waves hit us.

48. Saw that there was only one photo of Melbourne in that set.

The set title is a bit misleading.

And I don't even know if the picture is of Melbourne.

I'm pretty sure it is though.  

49. Looked at the Australian Monopoly board.

My street for today is....

Not a street.

It's the Australia Post.

Maybe it's good I don't get a street today.

I'm kind of in a rush to finish this because we have to watch The Sing Off.

Should I talk a little bit about The Australia Post?

I don't want to.

Here's something quick though.

Lord Wiki says the cost to send a small letter today is sixty cents. Back in 1980, it was 22 cents. In 1971, it was only seven cents.

50. Saw that the Australian dollar has gone up even more.

Now it's at parity. Oh no!!!!!!!!!

Go down! Go down!

51. Wondered if we'll cancel our trip if the dollar goes above 1.01 American dollars.

I said we'd go as long as it was under that.

We were planning to make the decision in November, but then we started saying yes in September.   We even planned to buy plane tickets.

But we haven't bought the plane tickets.

It could go way up again. If we haven't bought our tickets, will we go if the dollar is really high again?

My guess is yes.

I think our hearts are set on it at this point.  

Hopefully, though, it won't go too far above 1.01.

It would be really nice if it's under that.

We'll see what happens.  

52. Saw that the Australian dollar is worth .64 British pounds. It's gone up a bit there.

53. Saw that the Australian dollar is worth 6.65 Swedish Krona.

In the Swedish vampire book, they say Kroner. And I see that on Google.

I'm not sure what is the difference between the kroner and krona.

54. Consulted Lord Wiki.

Kroner is the plural of Krona.

The part of my brain that deals with grammar is not working well right now.

I'm not sure if I should be saying Krona or Kroner.

I guess it would be kroner, right?

It's so confusing.

When I talk about the other currencies, I talk about the Aussie dollar in the singular and the other currency as plural.   The Australian dollar is worth 1.01 American dollars.    It wouldn't sound right to say The Australian dollars is worth 1.01 American dollars; or The Australian dollar is worth 1.01 American dollar. 

Although it could be one of those things that sounds wrong, but it's grammatically correct. 

I don't know.

I'll just say Kroner right now.  If I'm wrong and someone notices, they can correct me.

55. Checked my post from yesterday. The Aussie dollar in Sweden has stayed the same.

56. Saw that the Australian dollar is worth 76.50 Japanese yen. Or should I be saying yens?

From what I see in my blog yesterday, it's gone up a tiny bit today.  

57. Thought of something weird.

When we were at the bookstore, and I was at the travel section, next to the Australian books was a book about Bulgaria.

I don't think books about Europe are usually near Australia books at that bookstore. I think near the Australia books they usually have South East Asia and Oceania related books.

I could be wrong.

But if I'm not....

It's interesting that my dream connected Bulgaria with Australia; then it was kind of connected at the bookstore as well.

58.  Read a disturbing story about an Australian produced movie about Iran.  

The movie was critical about the Iranian government's treatment of the arts. Instead of listening to the criticism, and maybe learning from it; the government is proving the movie's point.

The main actress in the film has been sentenced to a year in prison, and she's going to be lashed with a cane 90 times.

59. Found the movie on IMDb. It's called My Tehran For Sale.  

It's an Iranian-Australian movie.

60. Glad to see that I still have one of my singing videos left on YouTube.

A few weeks ago I lost faith in my singing. I was all down on myself, and deleted all the videos.   Or I thought I deleted all of them.   It turns out I kept one up.

I know there are MANY YouTube people (like Hayley Leggs) who sing much much much better than me.  But there's also some who don't sing better than me. I know I'm not the absolute worst out there.

I'm a mediocre singer.  And I'm a total dork on video. But maybe that will be entertaining to someone.

You never know.....

61. Decided I'm going to work on the fake Australian accent thing.

I was inspired by this video of the Harry Potter actors trying to do American accents.



I always complain that I can do the Australian accent accidentally, but I can't do it on demand.

But maybe if I keep practicing.....




62. Worked on uploading the fake accent to video.   It's me reading Blinky Bill

PLEASE watch it if you can, and give me input!!!

You can email me at notreallyaustralian@gmail.com, post it on the Facebook Page, or comment on YouTube.

Please please please!!!!!

Please tell me if any words are pronounced okay and which parts are awful.

Tell me if I sound Australian, American, British, or....crazy.

You can be critical, but please don't be nasty.   

63. Made another recording.

This is one of me imitating a young child reading The Magic Pudding.



I was totally out of breath. I don't know why. Nervousness probably.

Or maybe I was channeling an asthmatic kid.