Monday, November 7, 2011

Sympathy, Empathy, Horror Movies, and Singing

1. Dreamed about Tracey.

We're gone somewhere together.  Now we're both traveling back to our prospective homes.   

In order to get to Australia, Tracey has to pass through Texas.  As we travel to Texas, we talk about couches.  I get the idea that Tracey should actually see our couch. I ask her if she can come over for awhile. She says she has only an hour before she has to leave for Australia.  That wouldn't give us enough time.  I think about how we should take different flights next time, but then realize there's only one flight time available.  

2. Heard a child at Epcot imitating an Aussie accent.

Hello, Mate.  Put a shrimp on the barbie! 

It was mildly amusing.

Speaking of accents.  I think, for the first time, Tim gave me some maybe indication that he thinks I do an okay job with the Australian accent.

He never says anything about me talking Australian a lot of the time.  He kind of just ignores it.    And a few times he's said to me, when talking about actors,  I don't know how some people change accents.   I figured, in his eyes, I'm not one of those people.  I mean because I wouldn't say to Tim,  I don't know how people manage to make good pizza.   I would say, I don't know how you...manage to to make good pizza.   Or I'd just say, How do you make such good pizza?   


We were standing in line for fish and chips at the United Kingdom pavillion.  Jack and I started talking about accents.  I said I can FINALLY tell the difference between an Australian and British accent, but some Australian people I know sound more British to me than Australian.

I then told Tim how some Australian people say I sound more British than Australian. Tim disagreed with that and said I sounded Australian. 

3. Decided to look at another Australian horror movie mentioned in the horror movie article.  

The one I'm looking at right now is Road Games.  I vaguely remember it. The director is Richard Franklin. I think I've written about him before.

I think he's the one who directed Psycho II.

I'll go check.

4. Checked.

Yep.  Richard Franklin made Psycho II.  And he's also the one who directed Patrick. 

5. Saw that two of the main stars of Road Games were Americans— Jamie Lee Curtis and Stacy Keach. 

6. Saw that Road Games was filmed in Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia.  

7. Read on the IMDb trivia page that Jamie Lee Curtis received hostility from the crew for being American.  They didn't like that she was in the movie instead of an Australian actress.

It was  unfair of them to treat her badly.  But I do think they should have used an Australian actress for the main role.

Then again, Australians are often in American movies.

I guess the difference is Americans aren't usually asked to change their accent to Australian.   Australians are usually asked to change their accent to American.

Then there are Australian movies filmed in Australia.  The American actors speak American, and so do the Australians!  This is still happening today.  An example I can think of is Daybreakers.

8. Read rumor that Australia's Animal Kingdom park is going to have an Australia section.

I WISH that were true.  But I don't think it is.   Before I found that rumor, I learned from Jack that Disney is building an Avatar land in Animal Kingdom.   That's an official announcement, and not a rumor.  I doubt they'd be building an Australian section plus an Avatar section. 

I'd much rather have an Australian section....obviously.

9. Read article that says Qantas is going to be giving away free airline tickets to those who were affected by their bizarre action of grounding their fleet.  

That's nice of them.

The whole thing reminds me of divorced parents trying to win over the child in the custody battle.

Or maybe that's a bad analogy.  It's not like the pilots, and other folks, are trying to win over the customers.  They're fighting for better pay and all that.

I guess Qantas doesn't have enough money for them.

But they do have enough money to waste by grounding their fleet. They also have enough money to give their CEO a raise.  And they have enough money to offer people free tickets.

10. Watched a little bit of Silent Hill because Tim turned it on.  It's not an Australian horror movie.  But it's a horror movie, and it has an Australian actress in it.  

11. Saw there's a lot of UK people coming to my blog via the keywords Bindi Harris.

What's that all about?

I don't really remember who she is, but I assume she's related to Rolf Harris.

12. Learned (reminded?) that Bindi Harris is an artist.

This website has some of her work. 

13. Looked into another horror movie from the Aussie horror movie article.

This next movie is called Razorback.  It's about a killer pig. Maybe Babe's grandfather?

It's another movie that stars an American.  This time it's Gregory Harrison.

14. Saw that Razorback was filmed in Broken Hill and Silverton.

15. Watched an awesome trailer for Razorback.

Judy Morris the actress from Mother and Son and The Plumber is in the movie. I may have misunderstood the trailer; but I think despite her being Australian, she's playing an American in the movie.

That's not unusual for Australian movies—having Australian play Americans. But this movie takes place in Australia.  You'd think they'd have Australians playing Australians.

16. Watched the trailer again.  I didn't misunderstand it.   Judy Morris does play an American.

17. Went to bed and had a dream about Julian McMahon. I don't remember much. But when I woke up to pee I was scared he was going to jump out from somewhere.

I have that feeling sometimes, but not usually about great-looking actors.  Usually it's about zombies and scary creepy ghost girls.

18. Received two VERY nice emails responding to my pity-party post from the other day.

It made me remember that I do have people in my life that are bucket-fillers.  Well, and I wasn't trying to say the other day that no one ever says nice things to me.  It's just that it's not enough to balance all the subtle (and not so subtle) messages that I get—that I'm boring, unimportant, creepy, annoying, unattractive, untalented, have silly problems that are not worth anyone's time or attention, am unworthy of getting a response, and that I exist solely to be there to support other people.

Someone recently asked me a very reasonable question. Is it Jack that's making me feel this way?   Kids can drain you because they're usually very self-centered.

The answer is no.  Jack is caring, thoughtful, enthusiastic, and shows interest in other people....including me.  He's ten-years-old, but is a much better bucket-filler than most adults in my life.  

You know what.  That furthers my belief in reincarnation.  Jack is probably a very old soul. The bucket-drainers in my life are probably baby souls.  That should give me more patience and compassion for them. But at this point, it doesn't.  I'm not in a very tolerant and forgiving mood right now.

By the way, just for the record, I didn't make up the bucket analogy thing.  Here's an article about it.  

The idea is we each have a bucket.  When people say nice things to us and make us feel worthy, our buckets fill up.   When people say hurtful things to us, our buckets become more empty. If our buckets are less full, we become grumpy and it's hard for us to fill other people's buckets.

In my life, I have a small amount of bucket fillers coming my way.  It happens occasionally— more often when I act out with anger and/or sadness.  By then, it's harder for people's kind words to fill my bucket.

I have a moderate amount of bucket dippers.  People say things that make me feel bad about myself.  Sometimes they do it on purpose. Other times they're just not being thoughtful enough to realize their words might sting.  I guess we'd call that insensitive.

 I don't have an excessive amount of cruel words coming my way.   But because there's more dippers taking from my bucket than giving, I am less able to handle the moderate amount of dipping.  In other words, I think I'd be more tolerant of the insults I get, if I was also receiving a lot of compliments and other types of positive attention.

Then I have a lot of people who neither dip or fill.  They kind of do...nothing.   That annoys me often, but I guess it's fine.  What's not fine is when the lack of bucket-filling comes from people I give a lot to.   I spend a lot of time and energy filling their buckets.  They either dip from mine or they do nothing to fill mine.    

19. Thought about how when my bucket is full, a lot of that filling comes from my numbers on my Statcounter.

Strangers visit my blog, spend a lot of time on me, and that makes me feel good about myself.

It's awesome, but in a way, it's really awful.

I shouldn't need be dependent on complete strangers, who I have no communication with, to boost my feelings of self-worth.

Actually, my feelings of self-worth are fine right now.  I'm angry, and I feel I'm not getting what I deserve.

When my self-worth is low, I'm sad rather than angry.   I feel I deserve crap from people—that I did something in a past life, and now I'm being punished for it.

I also excuse people by saying...Well, maybe they don't treat other people this way.  Maybe they treat only me this way.  Maybe they're bucket-fillers for OTHER people. I shouldn't judge people on how they treat me.  I should look at the big picture. How do they treat other people in their lives?

And it would all be fair and reasonable if I played the taken-for-granted person in one or two people's lives.

But that's not the case.  This bucket dipping and ignoring is coming from a lot more than just one or two people.

20. Felt guilty for blabbing on and on about something not-Australia related.

I hate feeling that way; because I know there's no rules out there saying, Everything in your blog must be tied back to Australia.   

Well, there actually IS a rule.  But I'm the one who made it up.  So I'm the only one who has valid reason to complain.

21. Talked to Tim about Pavlovas and macarons. I told told him that I want to try them in Australia; and will forgo my holier than thou no-egg policy at times.  I'm less strict with myself when on vacation.  Today we split a small Portuguese egg tart, and yesterday we split a small creme brulee.   When Jack and Tim have something with egg, I'll sometimes try a bite or two.  But I'm not going berserk and eating egg products left and right.

Anyway, Tim used his little phone device thing to go on the internet and we looked at photos of macarons and Pavlova.

Tim had never seen the macarons before, and then I couldn't remember if I had ever seen them in real life.  Maybe?  But I can't remember.  I've just seen them while surfing the internet.

I wonder if we have them in America.  They're French, right?  And we have French bakeries. But I can't remember ever seeing them.  

22. Went to seek out another Aussie horror movie.  

I'm looking at a 1986 movie called Cassandra.

I think it plays with the Cassandra syndrome—being able to see the future, but not change anything because no one believes you.    

The movie was directed by Colin Eggleston, the same guy who directed Long Weekend.  

23. Found a review of Cassandra.  

Brandt Sponseller gives it a very positive review.  He says, Cassandra is a great film, but one that's more in the vein of classic horror pacing than modern attention deficit syndrome-caterers.

I guess it's a bit slow-paced.

Sponseller says the movie is about a family. Their daughter starts having nightmares. Then it turns into a stalker-type story.

It sounds pretty interesting.

24. Took a short nap.   I had an almost dream—one of those hypnagogic things.  It was vague...about one of my Australian friends.  She tells me a story about running away.  I try to be sympathetic, but tell her as a parent I'd be upset about my child running away.

The weird thing is the Australian, talking to me about running away, isn't a child.  Maybe she was telling me a story about her past?


Situations like that happen to me sometimes.  Someone will vent to me, and it's hard to give them sympathy because I relate more to the person they're mad at.   I feel defensive about my own past actions, because they're like the guilty party's actions in the venting person's story.

I think often though I manage to be reasonably sympathetic.  I guess the trick is to realize, in most cases, I CAN see both sides of the story.  I just have to think hard and carefully about it.

I'm trying to think of an example....

25. Thought of an example.   

Let's say an email-pal goes on and on about their annoying friend who's a vegetarian.   Of course I'm going to relate more to the email-pal's friend. I'm a vegetarian too.

And I'll probably be annoyed at my email-pal for being so intolerant of the vegetarian.

However, if I think hard about it, I can remember times when I've been annoyed by someone's alternative food lifestyle.  This is especially the case when the person is especially fanatic about it.

Once I remember these feelings, I can be empathetic instead of bitchy.

If I get further information from the email-pal and learn the friend is not a fanatic.   If she's annoying just by the fact that she won't eat bacon for breakfast, then....

Well, I'd probably have to fake the sympathy towards my email-pal.

No.  That's wrong to do, isn't it?

What would I do in that situation?

I don't know.

Let me think.....

I guess I would try hard to be as kind and understanding as possible.  I think I'd also try to help the venting person see the other point of view.   Maybe it would be just like my dream.   I was sympathetic to my friend about running away, but I also tried to show insight from a parental point of view.

26. Figured that sometimes I'm in a more abrupt mood and will just blurt out that I'm on the other person's side.  This probably happens more in real life than in writing.   With writing, I can control my reactions more.  In face to face conversations, I'm more likely to be harsh.    

27. Tried to decide what song I'd sing for my singing audition tomorrow.  I'm supposed to do thirty seconds of a song a cappella style.  It's good it's short because that's about how far I can go lyrics-wise.  

I'm trying to decide between three songs.  "I Am Australian" (first verse), "What a Piece of Work is Man", and the "Chiquita Banana" song.  

I do fine with the songs on most tries, but sometimes I totally mess up the lyrics.   I once forgot a line of "What a Piece of Word is Man".   Then the other day I was practicing "I am Australian".   Instead of saying, I watched the tall ships come, I sang I MADE the tall ships come.

I totally changed Australian history.   In this version, the Aboriginal people had telekinetic powers, and they WANTED the white people to arrive.  

I'll be very nervous during the audition, and will probably mess up the lyrics.   Hopefully, I won't notice that I've messed up,  because that will make me even more nervous and I'll mess up more.  

28. Thought about our maybe Australia trip, and that if we go, it's very likely we won't be able to drive around.   We'll just spend a week or so in Sydney and about two weeks in Melbourne.

I thought of all the sights we'd miss and I decided I don't really care that much.

I can go to various famous sites, and not so famous beautiful sites.  But in the end, what I like most is just hanging out at average places.

Like the grocery store.

I love the days where we just roam around aimlessly.

One of my favorite places to visit in Australia was Canberra.   I liked Parliament and all that.  But one of my favorite memories is walking with Tim and Jack in a regular suburban neighborhood.

I love seeing Australian birds.

I love hearing Australian people talk.

I definitely have an accent prejudice.

I like the American accent.  I like the British accent.

But it's the Aussie accent that steals my heart.  

29. Watched a scene from Beetlejuice on YouTube.   Then I decided to see what Geena Davis is up to.   It turns out that the last movie she was in was an Australian movie. It's called Accidents Happen.

30. Watched trailer for Accidents Happen.

It sounds like most of the accents are American.

Lord Wiki says the screenplay was written by an American, and the movie was originally going to be filmed in Connecticut, where the story was set.   Then the story won an Australian screenwriting award.   It turned into an Australian project, with an Australian director and many Australian actors.   But they kept the story set in America.

See, there's where the difference lies.   If it was reversed; if it was an Australian story filmed in America, the characters and setting would all become American.

31. Validated all the negativity, received by others, by TOTALLY failing the singing thing.   I didn't even get through the initial audition.

That would have been only mildly hurtful if it weren't for the fact that the American Idol Experience staff members at Disney seem so desperate to get people for their show.

We watched a few shows this week.   There were some fantastic singers, but a few others were mediocre.   I THOUGHT I sang better than them, but it turns out I guessed wrong.

 The other sign of desperation was that they didn't have the eight contestants they were supposed to have.   In a few shows we saw, they had only two-three people participating. 

That's one of the main reasons I auditioned.   I felt bad they weren't getting enough participation.   And I know how it feels to want people to participate, and no one comes forward.   So I decided to take the plunge and put myself out there.

It turns out I'm so awful, I'm not even wanted by the very desperate.  

That's kind of sad.

But yeah. It's also funny in a very dark way.

I know all the people who get annoyed by my almost-constant singing will be glad to know that I'm as bad as they believed.

They win.

I'm DONE.  

32. Looked back at the horror movie article.

There's talk about another vampire movie.  It's called Outback Vampires.  In America it was called The Wicked.

I like the Australian title better.   It sounds fun.  

The movie was released in 1987, and it was another one of Colin Eggleston's projects.

This website has a description of the movie; and it also has the movie posters.  

The movie is about people who are traveling through the outback.  They end up with a broken car and are taken to a town controlled by vampires.

33. Went to Epcot to see Air Supply.   It was not as exciting as I had hoped it would be. I think it's because singing and performing is kind of a sore subject for me right now.

There was a huge crowd for them, and well....a huge crowd for Disney World in general.

I don't know why it's so crowded today.  

I'd expect that much of a crowd on the weekend, but not on a weekday in the beginning of November.

Maybe something's going on?  Maybe Air Supply is a huge hit?

I don't know.

Jack and I were too late to get seats for the concert; but we stood around and heard a song or two.    The Air Supply singer man sang with an Aussie accent.  I was glad to hear that.

33. Wondered why a wheelchair has been parked right outside our room all day.

Is the universe trying to tell me to shut up, cheer up, and be glad I have legs?

Here's what's kind of funny.

The song I was going to sing for the American Idol Experience was "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid.    Jack asked me about the story.  Did she ever get legs?

I explained that she traded in her voice for her legs.

Jack asked me if I would rather lose my voice or my legs.

I said my voice because it would be a pain to have to travel with a wheelchair. I figured I could be like Reade Ainsworth.  I'd learn sign language and carry around a notebook.

Maybe I don't deserve to be accepted into a singing contest.

I loved to sing.  But I don't do it well.  And I guess....

Well, I guess me being a bad singer is not the absolute worse thing in the world.

Nor is it the worse thing in the world to be without legs.  But I think it would be a pain in the ass.  

I don't know.

I guess I wanted to do something big and brave...and make people proud of me.

Who knows.  Maybe if I was in the concert and lost, I would have felt awful.  But I'd like to think that just being in the show, and performing in front of people, would have been enough to make me proud and other people proud.

I think another reason I said yes to the whole thing was that I was feeling so down about certain things.  I thought being in the contest would give me a boost.

Instead I ended up making myself feel worse.

34. Consulted Lord Wiki about Air Supply.

I think the singer I was able to see (from far away) wasn't even Australian.    I think I saw Graham Russell, and he's British.

The Australian guy is Russell Hitchcock.  I guess he was there?  But I didn't see him.

35. Looked at pictures of Russell Hitchcock on Google Images.

Now I'm rethinking what I thought a moment ago.

Maybe it was Hitchcock that I saw.

36. Confused. 

37. Decided I'm done with Australian horror movies for awhile.

I'm kind of tired of reading that article.

Plus, it was my Disney World thing.   Disney World is almost over.   I'm ready to go back to my other stuff—Tallygarunga, Flickr stalking, my Aussie of the day, and other fun stuff.