Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friendships, Phil, Claire, and Storms

1. Laughed a lot while watching Stephen Colbert's segment about the American military invading Australia.

For those who haven't seen it, here's a link to the episode.  I'm not sure if the video will work outside of America.  

The Australia part is in the beginning of the episode. 

2. Had lots of zombie dreams after watching The Walking Dead.  I also dreamed about Australia.

I check out someone's Facebook profile.  I haven't gone to it in a long time. I learn that she and her family are going to Australia and New Zealand.  I'm excited for them, and jealous. I also feel bad because many of her status updates are about the upcoming trip. There's even one that mentions she knows people who love Australia. I'm guessing she has been waiting for me to say something—respond to her updates.  

I think that's one of those reversal dreams, because it's usually ME who's waiting for someone to respond.

I also dreamed that I got a really nice email from a Tallygarunga person.

3. Loved a line in Snowy's recent post.  He talks about a famous person who inspired him and says, Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll get to pay my respects at his final resting place. No matter, Max, so many millions of us get to pay our respects every single day because of the truths that you taught us.

I love that.  I know some people are really into visiting graves. It makes them feel closer to those they've lost.  I'm not into that.  I think we can remember people in our heart.  And I think we can talk to them from wherever we are.

Whether it's a grandparent, parent, friend, child, spouse, or famous person who inspired us—using their words and ideas to inspire our actions means much more than visiting their grave.  At least I think so.  

4. Started to read an editorial by Judith Ireland about Australia's relationship with the United States.

It reminds me of my relationship with certain other people.

Ireland says,  After two cancelled visits, Australia has been on tenterhooks for more than a year waiting for Barack Obama. When will he come? Will he bring Michelle and the kids? Will he stay for a month to make up for ditching us before?

Nope.  Australia should simply be happy that America is gracing Australia with it's magnificent presence.  

I'm being unfair.  Obama is busy and I'm sure he had valid reason for canceling his trip.

It's not a one time thing, though.  The relationship between Australia and America has always been unfair and uneven.   Australia kisses America's ass, and America rarely kisses back. I'm talking just government here.  I kiss Australia's ass, and I'm an American. And there's plenty of Australians who'd rather spit in America's face than kiss its ass.

But yeah.  The relationship between America and Australia reminds me of most people in my life. I say and do nice things for them.  The most I can usually hope for in return is some amount of gratitude.  In some cases, I don't even get that.     

When people thank me, though, sometimes I'm grateful for their gratefulness.  Other times I sit there and think, Well, if you like my support so much, why can't you return the favor?  

5. Thought about how some Americans think America is the center of the world. They think it's the best country in the world, and they think other countries should readily recognize America's extreme greatness.

It reminds me of some people in my life, and how they seem to feel about themselves.

Their problems are dreadful and dreadfully important.  My problems are silly and trivial—ones that should be minimized and invalidated.

Their schedule is packed with extremely important things. I must understand and appreciate that they're too busy for me.  In comparison, my schedule is full of meaningless crap.  I should be able to put it all aside when they need me.

Their accomplishments are fantastic and deserve much kudos.  Mine are meaningless and boring.   They don't deserve to be even mentioned.

6. Thought about how Australia's relationship to America is not a perfect analogy for my relationship to others. Some Australians dislike America for war and death reasons. We drag Australians into our wars. Australians get killed.   

I can't figure out a way to make that symbolize something in my own life.

But I think a lot of Australian anger towards America is about the other stuff.   It's about America's cockiness.  It's about America's ignorance about Australia. It's about America ignoring Australia while Australia gives so much time to America.

Maybe part of my love for Australia comes from the fact that I relate to it...at least in this specific way.

Sometimes I'll literally get teary when I hear an Australian song that I love, or watch an Australian TV show that I like.  I feel this immense sadness that Americans don't know about the song or TV show.  I have often wondered why I have such a strong reaction to the situation.

Now I'm thinking maybe I feel Australia is neglected in the same way I sometimes feel neglected.

7. Thought about how some Australians act hateful towards America and Americans.   It hurts my feelings. But now I'm thinking I can be more sympathetic if I remember that Australia is treated by America in the same way I'm treated by many people in my life.

And if Australians want to understand how I feel, they can think about how they feel about America.   For most Australians, it's a love/hate type thing.    That's how I usually feel about these certain people in my life; except in the past few weeks, the hate has overshadowed the love.

8. Went back to reading the editorial.  It's really long—six pages.  I might not read all of it.

We'll see......

9. Read more of the editorial and started to wish Australia was a person. I think we'd totally be best friends.  We'd whinge together.  We'd comfort each other.  We'd listen to each other.

She would play the didgeridoo and I would sing.  We'd have our own little music group.  

10. Read page four of the editorial.

There's talk of the uneven relationship. Some guy named Shearer excuses the unevenness.  America is a superpower. Australia is not.

The editorial also talks about how many Australians feel dependent on America's military assistance.

There's some poll that says only 21% of Australians feel Australia could defend itself without America's assistance.

I don't know.  Maybe Australia does need America for military reasons.   I'm not sure.   But that doesn't mean the relationship should be uneven.  One really has nothing to do with the other.  You can help others without being cocky. And you can help others without giving them the idea, that if they disagree with you, you're going to withdraw any future assistance from them.

11. Thought about the fact that I don't need military protection from the people I'm angry at. So why do I continue to be nice to them?

I guess I like being a doormat. Or I don't know how to stop being a doormat.

I say I will no longer be there for people, but then I jump at a chance to be there for them. Do I do it out of guilt?  Empathy?

Is it a way to make me feel good about myself?

It hurts to be nice to those who aren't as nice back.  But sometimes it hurts me more to be mean.

12. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story thread called Trapped in Tedium

The stars of this show are Riley Lightfoot and Hunter Stratus.

Have I read anything with Hunter yet?  I can't remember.

13. Searched through my blog for Stratus, and didn't find anything. It seems he's probably new to me.

14. Saw that the story takes place in the games room in the Southern Cross Tower.

The story is happening on November 2.

15. Started to read.

Riley is bored because he didn't sign up for enough electives.  He has too much time on his hand.   That wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that he has pranker's block.  Oh and also, the weather is bad.

16. Related to some of Riley's post.  Most of it is about him being bored and feeling alone.  He can't seem to find anyone.

I remember days at college like that.  I'd want to see people I knew.  I wanted to be social. I'd hope to run into someone, but it wouldn't happen.

I've also had days on the Internet like that.  Sometimes everything seems so quiet. I get no emails.  Hardly anyone comes to my blog.  No one updates Facebook.  If I'm busy enough, that doesn't matter much.  But if I'm bored and wanting to hear from people, it's annoying.

17. Started to read Hunter's post.

He's been having recurring dreams about a three-headed dog.

I wonder what that's all about.  Is it like the Harry Potter dog—the one helping to protect the Philosopher's Stone?

What's that called again?

18. Consulted Lord Wiki.

It's the Cerberus.  That's the dog with three heads.  

Why is Hunter dreaming about the dog?  Is this important background info?  Foreshadowing?  Or is it just a random quirky dream?

19. Learned that Hunter is broken-hearted.  He's been dumped by his girlfriend.

20. Thought these lines were so poignant. That made almost no sense. He didn't know what was wrong with him and his thoughts nowadays. It seemed like all he could think about was her. He didn't have many friends, but the friends he did have didn't talk to him very much, because all he would talk about was her. It was actually becoming quite annoying, for himself just as much as for those around him, such as his friends.

I can totally relate to that.  I'm going to assume most people can.

We all have times where we obsess over a loss...or another type of problem.   We talk on and on about it. We worry that we're becoming boring.

Sometimes we do become boring.

Is it best to talk about it?  Is it best to not talk about it?

It is best to bury the feelings?

Maybe it's about balance. Talk about it, but don't spend 100% of your time talking about it.   Try to change the subject once in awhile.

21. Saw Hunter and Riley meeting each other. It's nice because they were both bored and lonely.   Now they have each other.

22.  Looked at the biography of Hunter Stratus

His face claim is Logan Lerman.

Lord Wiki says he's the star of the Percy Jackson movie.

We saw that.

His upcoming film is The Perks of Being a Wallflower.   I thought that sounded familiar, and was reminded by Lord Wiki that it's the movie with Emma Watson.

23. Tried to find a trailer for the movie; and all I can find is fanmade ones.  I guess there's no official trailer yet?

Oh well.

I'll watch a fan one.  It might be good.

24. Realized that these trailers are for the book not the movie.   It seems it was a school assignment.

25. Started to watch this trailer.  I'm not sure if it was one of those done for a school assignment.



It uses scenes from Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.

26. Confused by the trailer, but also somewhat touched by it.  It makes me want to read the book.

27. Went back to reading about Hunter.

He was born in Ireland.

He's eighteen. He's in Bourke house; and his Patronus is a squirrel. 

28. Learned that Hunter was in a car accident when he was young.   He has a scar from that.

29. Learned that Hunter is slightly large for his height and not very muscular.

It's nice to read about characters that are not in idealistic physical shape.

30.  Learned that Hunter is very nice and is willing to do things for other people, as long as they haven't extremely wronged him in the past.

He's romantic and likes to be in a relationship.

He's shy.

He doesn't adapt well to change.

He has a slight hint of Aspergers.  I think I do too.  

31.  Felt sad for Hunter because his sister died of breast cancer. He was very close to her. They were siblings and also best friends.

Hunter comes from a Muggle family.  His sister was jealous, yet supportive of Hunter.   I really admire that.  I think jealousy is normal.   It's okay to feel it.  But what's nice is when people put those feelings aside so they can be there for their friends and family.

It's like the bridesmaid who wishes she could be the bride. It's fine to wish that.  It's not really fine to be a bitch about the whole thing.

32. Wondered about this line in Hunter's biography.   In his third year at Tally, Hunter had a girlfriend whom he adored. He treated her as if she was a princess, and he never made her feel bad about anything.  

Is that a fact, or is that his perspective?

It could be a fact, because Hunter is described as being a VERY nice guy.  Maybe the girl couldn't appreciate that?   Maybe she didn't like being treated like a princess.  Maybe she loved him only because he made her feel that way.  And maybe he was easily replaceable by other people who could also make her feel like a princess.

On the other hand, it could also be that he wasn't as nice as he imagined himself to be. Maybe he did things to hurt her and he didn't know he was hurting her.

It's like this episode of Modern Family.  Claire is furious at Phil.  He has no idea why. She expects him to know, and he doesn't.

Phil isn't a mean guy. He's very loving. He tries hard to treat his wife like a queen.

He unknowingly hurts her feelings.  To him, it's a small thing. To her, it's huge.

What he did was eat a salad.  That seems innocent enough.  Who could get mad at that?

Claire did, because she had been recommending the salad to him for years.  Phil always ignored the recommendation.  Then someone else recommended it.  Phil tried the salad and talked to Claire about how it was so wonderful.

For insensitive people, this would be no big deal.  For us sensitive people, it IS a big deal.  I totally had empathy for Claire.   I understood what it meant to her.   It meant that her husband valued other people's opinions over her own.

So.....

Yeah.

I'm wondering if maybe Hunter did little things like that.   Sometimes people hurt our feelings purposely.  They do it because they want to hurt us.  Other times people hurt our feelings accidentally.  

We could excuse that which is done by accident.  Well, he didn't mean it, so you can't get mad or upset.  

I disagree.  Although Phil didn't mean to hurt his wife, his actions and words still carried a hurtful message

What's nice about Phil is he didn't fight back with the argument of, Well, I didn't mean to hurt you, so let's just drop it.  You have no right to be mad at me. Instead he responded by taking time to show Claire that her opinion DOES mean something to him.

It was a very sweet episode.

Oh! And it's the episode that mentions The Book Thief

33. Thought of another thing.  Sometimes people can be so nice that it's insulting.

For example.  If the other person insists on doing all the work, it might make us feel incapable.

If the other person never disagrees with us, it might make us feel that they think we can't handle adversity.  

If someone flatters us too much, we might feel they're being fake.   It's nicer to get compliments from people who can also be constructively critical at times. At least I think so.

34. Saw that I had two Australians of the day today.

They were brothers.  Edward Walker Archer and Robert Stubbs Archer.

Robert and Edward were brothers. And they too are part of that group which had ties to Scotland and Norway.  

35.  Saw that Robert was the older brother. He was born in 1858.  Edward was born thirteen years later.

They had a wide space there.  I wonder if any other kids were born in-between.

36. Saw that Robert and Edward started their lives in England.  Later they moved to Queensland.

37. Learned that Robert worked with cattle.  He did work in the field of fighting ticks.

38. Learned that Edward Archer spent some time in Canada.

39. Learned that Edward got himself into politics a little bit.

40. Started to look at more photos from Fredweng's first day in Australia.  

41. Remembered these trams from Darling Harbour.  

42. Thought these chips look like McDonald's French Fries. 

We had some good chips at Disney World.  The UK pavillion at Epcot has a fish and chips stand.

43.  Wondered, when seeing this photo, if Fredweng did the Skywalk at the Sydney Tower. 

44. Noticed that Fredweng has a lot of photos of St. Mary's Church.  I wonder if it was special to him for some reason.   Or maybe he just liked how it looked?  

45. Looked at the Australian Monopoly board.

The next space for me is luxury tax. 

I'll skip that and move to King's Avenue.  It's the last space on the board, and the most expensive.

I would have expected a famous street in Melbourne or Sydney to have the most expensive space.  But nope.  King's Avenue is in Canberra.

47. Found King's Avenue on Google Maps.

It starts at Parliament.

It goes past Lake Burley Griffin and it seems to end at the eastern end of King's Park.

48. Learned from Lord Wiki that King's Avenue was originally called Federal Avenue. At least that's what Walter Burley Griffin wanted to name it.

I guess someone else wanted to honor British royalty.

49. Went to Funtrivia to take another Australian quiz.  This one's about Australia in the 1960's and 1970's.    

I hope I do okay.

I can't handle failure right now.

I'm just joking.  I'll be fine if I fail.

50. Got the second question wrong and learned there was a radio soap from 1949-1976 called Blue Hills.

51. Listened to the theme song from Blue Hills on the Australian Screen website.  

52. Learned from Lord Wiki that, at one time, Blue Hills was the longest running radio serial.  

Lord Wiki says that honor currently goes to a British radio soap opera called The Archers. It's been on since 1950.

Wow.

53. Got the third question wrong and learned there was a toy called a hop-skip.

It was supposed to help with the development of balance skills.

54. Tried to find information about this hop-skip toy.   I didn't have much luck, but to be fair, I didn't put too much effort into it.

55. Got the fifth question wrong and learned that Johnny Farnham had a hit song called "Sadie the Cleaning Lady".

56. Listened to Farnham sing "Sadie the Cleaning Lady".




It's cute.  

57. Got the seventh question wrong and learned some singers named Bill and Boyd did a song called "Santa Never Made it to Darwin".

The song was released in 1975, so I'm going to assume it was about Tracy.

58. Started to watch a sad video about the cyclone.



The Santa song is in the video.

It sounds kind of like country music, or maybe folk music?

59. Thought about the other Christmas disaster. The Tsunami. Didn't that happen on Christmas...or the day before Christmas?

60. Consulted Lord Wiki. He said the Tsunami happened the day after Christmas.

61. Got the tenth question wrong and learned there was a skipping rhyme called "High Low Dolly Pepper"

62. Finished the quiz.  I got 5/10.  That's lower than the average which is 6/10.

63. Finished reading Mac Slater Hunts the Cool.   I also finished reading a zombie book.

I think I'm done reading two books at once...at least for now.

The next book on my agenda is The Song of An Innocent Bystander by Ian Bone. It looks kind of dark.

Is it good to read a dark book when you're in a dark mood?

I don't know.

Maybe I'll feel less dark in comparison?

It might be cathartic.

It could also be one of those books that's dark, but also uplifting.  That might help me.