Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Love, Servants, Noodles, and Young Adult Novel Characters

1. Looked for more Australian authors and books with Lord Wiki's help.  I found an author named Les Haylen.  He was also a Member of Parliament.

Lord Wiki has a picture of Haylen.  I think he sort of looks like Geoffrey Rush.  

2. Learned from Lord Wiki that an Australian author named Antoni Jach wrote a novel called Dina Club.

It's unpublished though.

Why would Lord Wiki list an unpublished novel?

2. Realized that maybe Antoni Jach has only one unpublished novel, and that's why it's significant.

It's strange to me, because I have MANY unpublished novels.

3. Looked up Dyna Vox.  It's talked about in The Genius Wars. A character with cerebral palsy uses it to communicate.

I was wondering if it was a real thing, or if it was made up for the novel.

It turns out it's real. Here's the DynaVox website.

4. Read article that says a study has shown abused mothers are more likely to suffer postpartum depression.  

It seems kind of obvious to me.   I think it's reasonable to expect that if you're being abused by your spouse, you're not going to be full of joy.

What would surprise me is an abused mother who manages to not be depressed? How would she manage to do that?

I guess she'd have to have a ton of inner strength.  

5. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm reading another story about Frankie Dean. I promise I'm not TRYING to stalk the celebrity wizard.  

When I go to Tallygarunga I read the story with the most recent update.  The exception is if I read the same story the day before.  I did read a Frankie story yesterday, but it was a different one.

Now there's a new one.  It's called.   Wait, They Don't Love You Like I Love You.

That kind of statement is actually one of my pet peeves. I think it's fine to tell someone you love them the most, as in out of everyone in the world, you're my favorite person. That's sweet.   It's a compliment.

If someone says they love you the most, as in no one loves you as much as I love you, it's presumptuous.   And it's kind of an insult.  

I think it's also controlling.  Maybe I read too much into it.  But I interpret it as saying, You're not worth much, but I manage to love you.  Don't expect anyone else to do you the same favor.  

Enough about that, though.

Let me go read the story.

6. Started to read.

It's the evening of December 2.  That's three days after Frankie and Ro were walking on Santa Monica Pier.

Frankie is at Dave's wake.  Dave is his best friend, and his sister's secret boyfriend.

7. Saw that Ro is at the wake too.  Poor Ro. Maybe the title refers to her feelings. It might not be about her thinking she loves Dave MORE than any of the others....just differently.   She loved him in a romantic way.

That too could be presumptuous though. Someone else might have secretly loved Dave in a romantic way.  It might have been an unrequited love type thing, but still....

Unrequited love can be very powerful.

8. Saw that my Australian of the day is Frederick Armitage. He was a priest and headmaster type person.

9. Learned that Armitage was born in England in 1827.

In his late twenties he migrated to Sydney to take up the headmaster post at The King's School in Parramatta.  

Lord Wiki says The King's School is Australia's oldest school. It was founded in 1831.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography believes that Armitage probably had a good source of private funds.  He personally paid for building improvements.

10. Learned that Armitage had to take time off as headmaster because his wife was ill.  It was nice of him to do that for her.

11. Saw that the school didn't do well in Armitage's absence.  I guess he was good at being a headmaster, but not so good at finding a reliable replacement.

The school's enrollment shrunk and then closed for awhile. It reopened in 1869.

12. Saw that the Australian Dictionary of Biography thinks other things also contributed to the closing of the school.   They believe the lack of financial support might have caused issues. Other people believed Armitage lacked discipline.

I'm not sure what is meant by that.  Were the students not given enough discipline? Or is it that Armitage lacked self-discipline as a headmaster?

13. Read what Lord Wiki has to say about the issue. He says the discipline refers to Armitage not having the discipline to stay on as headmaster.

So it's undisciplined to leave and take care of an ill family member?

Well...actually it could be.

I think my first impulse is to think, What a nice husband!  He leaves his job to take care of his wife.

And there's every possibility that this is what happened. Armitage could have been a man who chose family over work.  That's admirable.

On the other hand, he could have been the type of man who uses heart-tugging excuses to get out of something he no longer wants to do.  His wife might have been truly sick.  But maybe she was okay enough that Armitage could have worked, and then taken care of her after he came home for the evening.

The other thing is.  Armitage didn't just leave for his wife.  He left to get another degree. He could have probably worked and taken care of a sick wife.  Working, going to school, and taking care of a sick wife might have been a different story.

The guy had money, though.  He probably didn't need the job.   It was probably fine for him to dedicate more time to family and studies.   I'm just wondering if he really DID want to take care of his wife, or was that just a way to bring admiration and sympathy towards himself.  

I'm getting all these crazy ideas from the manipulation stuff I read last week.   Here's a quote from one of the articlesPlaying the Servant Role Covert-aggressives use this tactic to cloak their self-serving agendas in the guise of service to a more noble cause. It's a common tactic but difficult to recognize. By pretending to be working hard on someone else's behalf, covert-aggressives conceal their own ambition, desire for power, and quest for a position of dominance over others.

An example would be someone who says, Sorry I can't come into work today.   I'm visiting my sick sister in the hospital.  She has cancer.   The sister really does have cancer. The employee really does go visit her.   But she sits in the hospital room absorbed in the novel she's eager to finish. She barely talks to her bored and lonely sick sister.  She used her sister as an excuse to get off work, so she could read her book.  

Hopefully Armitage wasn't like that.  Hopefully he really was a family-oriented man.

14. Started to look at Fredweng's day twelve in Australia Flickr set.  

15. Decided Fredweng usually has noodles for breakfast.  Here's one example

16. Saw that Fredweng probably woke up early to see the sunrise.  

17. Saw that Fredweng traveled back to Hobart.   It's probably where he needs to catch his flight back to the mainland.  He's going back to New Holland. 

18. Wondered about Fredweng's lunch. What is that?   It's the color of Vegemite; but I don't think Vegemite is that clumpy.

Maybe it's some kind of jam?   

19. Saw that Fredweng ate more noodles.  Really.  He eats them a lot.  

Maybe it's because they're cheap and easy.

20.  Went to Funtrivia to take another Australia quiz.

Today I'm going to take a quiz called Australia Unearthed.   The quiz description confused me and I thought of skipping it.  But then I decided to look at the first question.   It's a fun thing. The idea is that you've come from the future and you're uncovering artifacts from our present.  

21. Got question #2 wrong and learned there's a non-alcoholic drink in Australia called Claytons.

Lord Wiki says the Clayton bottle looks like whiskey.  

The quiz and Lord Wiki says the word Clayton is now used in Australia to refer to something that's fake or a bad substitute.

22. Confused by question #4.  It's something about a kangaroo named Matilda, and the 2000 Olympics.   Maybe Matilda was some kind of mascot?  I think I sort of remember reading about a kangaroo and The Olympics.

23. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He doesn't say anything about Matilda at The Olympics.  But he does say there was a mechanical Matilda kangaroo at the 1982 Commonwealth Games. 

24. Got question #7 wrong and learned that Australia has a special flag to commemorate winning the American Cup.  

This flag website has a picture of the flag.   It features a boxing kangaroo.  

25. Got question #8 wrong.  It was about cars.  I chose Holden, just because that's the only Australian car I know.

The answer was Falcon.

26. Got the 10th question wrong.  It was about Kath and Kim.

All together I got 5/10 right.   That's kind of sad. The average was 7/10.    

27. Watched a lovely and powerful video from the Australia Red Cross about using negative terms to label people. 

It was on my recommended video things. 

I like having videos recommended to me.

Sometimes I find good things that way.

28. Continued reading Genius Wars.  It's great, very fast-paced.  It probably deserves as much attention as other more popular young adult series. 

29. Looked at the Amazon sales rank for the first book in the series. The paperback ranking is 76,488.   That's pretty low.

In comparison, The Hunger Games is number 6!  There's such a difference.

I think both series are fantastic.   I don't think The Hunger Games is much better than Evil Genius

It's interesting that one book is so much more popular than the other.  

30. Decided that although I loved The Hunger Games trilogy; I MUCH prefer the protagonist of the Evil Genius trilogy.   Katniss Everdeen got on my nerves.  

It's funny how people react differently to these overly popular characters.  I know a lot of people hate Bella Swan.   I didn't mind her too much.  On the surface, she can seem shallow....well, because she fell in love with a guy who's very nice-looking and very wealthy.   But I interpret it as she fell in love, and the guy happened to be very nice-looking and wealthy.  I don't think his wealth was very important to her.

Her attachment to youth is a bit annoying, but I won't fault her too much on that.  

I like Harry Potter. I don't think there's anything about him that annoys me much. 

31. Ranked the four book series in my head.

On top, I definitely put Harry Potter.

Next would be Twilight.

Third would be the Genius thing.

Last would be The Hunger Games.    I do think The Hunger Games was addictive and engaging.  I definitely enjoyed it.  It has some powerful political statements.   But of all the books, it annoyed me the most.  There were too many times that I knew or understood something before Katniss.   Either I'm very smart, Katniss is sort of dumb, or the author was dropping too many obvious hints.