Thursday, November 17, 2011

Circles, Certificates, Trust, and Forrester

1. Continued to read Notes From the Teenage Underground.

It's about filmmaking.

It makes me want to make a movie.

I usually just do montages. I think I pay more attention to the editing and music choices than I do to the actual filming.

This book is making me want to pay more attention to the cinematography aspect.

It will still end up a montage, though.  I like doing those.  I don't have much interest in narrative or documentary films.  I mean I have interest in them. I just don't have interest in making them. I'm fine watching them.

Anyway, if we go to Australia, I think I'll make a video this time.

2. Watched a video of Missy Higgins and Ben Folds performing together.

I think they're both adorable.

I love Ben Folds on The Sing Off.

He's critical but in a very nice, honest, and constructive way.

4. Watched Ben Folds perform with Ben Lee. Apparently they do a lot of singing together.

I like these America-Australian musical partnerships.

5. Wondered if Australia will have their own version of The Sing Off.

6. Frustrated because I dreamed about Michael from Australia.  But when I woke up, I couldn't remember what happened in the dream.   

7. Found an old dream about Australia. This one is from September 5, 2007.

Another point I go outside. Or first I look outside. There are various weird animals. I see something in bushes and think maybe it's a rabbit. But it turns out to be some weird weasel like animal. It has a koala. But the koala is maybe dead? Stuffed? Deformed?

I go out. There are people there....women maybe. I feel out of place. Like I shouldn't be there. There's a baby tiger. I try to pet it, and it rejects me. The women says something like he doesn't want to mate...which I take to mean he doesn't want to be touched.

Then that night I also dreamed....My mom goes on a quick rush trip to Sydney to see something...maybe a performance. I'm quite shocked that she goes all that way for a short trip.

I've had other dreams like that, but it's usually me who goes to Australia for a very short trip.  

8. Found another old Australia related dream. This one is from September 6, 2007.

Dreamed that I wanted Tim to work for Australian zoo. I think we went to a place where you stand in line and apply for job?

I noted in my Livejournal that I had watched a Steve Irwin tribute before going to bed, and that probably influenced my dreams.  

9. Enjoyed Miss Sparkles very informative and illustrative post about the differences between American and Aussie English.

I knew most of them already, but a few are new to me.   

I didn't know bangs are known as fringe in Australia.

I didn't know sweatshirts were called windcheaters.

I didn't know sausages were called snags.   

I didn't know braids were called plaits, but I think I've probably heard it before.

I didn't know sweatpants were called trackies.  

Miss Sparkles points out that Americans say sofa and Australians say couch. As far as I know, we say both.  I probably use couch more often. And no, I didn't pick the habit up in Australia. 

10.  Felt some envy when I read a post from Diary of a Dingo.

She says, I'm someone who keeps a small circle.

A VERY small circle.

The people in my circle are people that I trust completely.

Lifelong friends and family only.

I don't have that. I don't know if I've ever had that.

I'm not sure why. Is it bad luck? Do I have untrustworthy people in my life?

Are my standards higher than most people?

Am I less forgiving? Am I more likely to hold secret grudges?

How do we define trustworthy?

Do I define it differently from most people?


I guess under my definition....

A trustworthy person would

A) Listen when I need to be listened to and not frequently interrupt or look bored.

B) Not use my venting as an opportunity to trash something about my life.  Although I have to admit I'm guilty of this with people—especially Tim.  There's a difference, though, between offering words of support and going off on total rant of I told you this part of your life was awful!

C) Listen to me and not exploit my secrets and problems the next day when we're in a fight.  When I'm having a difficult time, even if they're angry with me, they wouldn't scream,  You're sick! You're sick!  You need help!

D) Not tell me I'm too open with them and say that they wish I wasn't. When I'm feeling very troubled, they wouldn't repeatedly tell me I'm lucky that they took time out of their important and busy schedule to talk to me.  

E) Wouldn't ignore me when I tell them I'm struggling with a serious problem and trying to overcome it.

And they wouldn't tell me I don't have the problem simply because my case isn't severe enough to meet their high standards.

F) Would be nice to those I vent about, because I still love those that I vent about. But they wouldn't be consistently nicer to those people than they are to me.  

G) Would understand that although my problems aren't the worse in the world, they are hard on me at times. I don't think I need a certificate that says Dina Has The Worst Problems In The Whole Wide Universe in order to get sympathy and empathy.  

So yeah.


I have very strict standards.

What really bothers me, about the last one, is when my problems are invalidated by someone whose problems don't seem that much worse than my own.

I mean it's kind of tacky to complain that you have a cold to someone who's dealing with breast cancer.  It's tacky to complain, that your husband spends too much time playing with his phone to someone who gets raped and beaten by their husband.

But let's say someone complains about their brother making them watch slasher films when they were a tween.  They're quite dramatic about the whole thing. You give them sympathy. No empathy.  You've been there before.  You then tell them you've kind of had the same thing happen to you.   When you were six your father encouraged you to watch The Exorcist. You were tricked into watching it. The experience traumatized you.

They don't give you the sympathy you gave them for their experience. They brush it off.  Oh, that's male humor for you.  No worries. No big deal. Fathers are like that sometimes.  

It's a big deal when it happens to other people. It's not a big deal when it happens to me.

I'm silly and demanding for wanting people to be there for me. Yet I should be promptly be there for other people when they have a problem.  

11. Wondered. What are other people's standards for trustworthiness?

I don't think perfection is needed. Everyone is going to slip sometimes and not be the best listener.   We're silly to assume that people will be there for us in perfect form 100% of the time.   

People will accidentally say the wrong thing. Or they'll purposely say the wrong thing because they're in a bad mood and/or secretly mad at us.  If they're wonderful 95% of the time, I think we can forgive them for the rare times they make us feel worse instead of better.

12. Figured that even if a person came along and they met my high standards, it wouldn't work for me.  I'm past that point. I wouldn't trust them enough to welcome them into my inner circle. I might open up a crack here or there—let them in. But then I'd be hypersensitive to how they'd treat me.   I'd be waiting and expecting them to betray me or make me feel insignificant.  

I'm better off in superficial type relationships.  And that's fine.

I still have deepness. I have a deep relationship with my blog and a deep relationship with myself.

13. Realized maybe I'm NOT envious of Diary of a Dingo. I think I'm past that. I think I'm more mystified and curious.  Why do some people have a trusted inner circle, and why do some of us not?

14. Felt disappointment in myself because I do open up sometimes—more out of proximity than trustworthiness.  Sometimes I'm compulsive when it comes to talking. I'll hold it all in; then one day it will come pouring out. Or little bits will slip out.

It's like a bulimic binge.  But I can't purge.

Well, I guess I purge by later withdrawing more.

15. Saw a commercial for Movember.  I was surprised to see it on American TV because I associate it with Australia.

I got the idea from the commercial though that it came from Australia. They showed an Australian map, and then showed it spreading to other nations.

I'm not sure if it's an effective method of helping a cause.  I don't even know it helps in raising awareness for the cause.

I always thought it was for depression or domestic violence. The commercial said it was for prostate cancer.

16. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He says it started in Adelaide.  It's for various male health issues including depression and prostate cancer.

People can grow a mustache to raise awareness, and they can also do it to raise funds.

How do they raise funds?  I guess you tell people to sponsor you and your facial hair?  

17. Thought about how when people raise awareness it's usually for things we already know about because awareness has already been so heavily raised.

How often do we encounter a mass awareness-raising thing and say, Oh wow. I've never heard of THAT problem before?

If the color pink disappeared would we forget about breast cancer?  Would we stop caring?

18. Recognized the irony of me being so open about not being open. Pouring your heart out about not being open is kind of like documentaries where someone is alone in the wilderness. They act so utterly alone. Then you remember they have a camera crew with them.  

I may be the most opened unopened person in the world. I should probably get a certificate of achievement for THAT.

I'm a very open person.  I think I usually have been. It's just these days I try not to be open with individuals.

19. Thought it was interesting that my blog knows the most about me.  After the humiliating audition; that night I was in a very grouchy mood.  Tim kind of scolded me after having enough of my whining insecurities.  He was annoyed that I was letting one rejection get me so down.  He said I had been FINE before that.

Only my blog knew I hadn't been all that fine.

I can be upset and happy at the same time.  It's not just about putting on a fake smile.  I'm not that great of an actress. If I'm overly upset, it's hard for me to hide it.


I can be sad, angry, and/or worried about one thing but still allow myself to be happy about other things.

I think a lot of people are like least some of the time.

Maybe clinically depressed people are the ones who can't feel the happiness. It's all sucked out of them. They crawl into bed.  They hide. They cry.  

20. Read article that says a maximum security prison for viruses is going to open today in Geelong.


Ebola is going to be there, as well as SARS.

I understand why the scientists are doing this. If scientists can be brave enough to face these viruses and study them, there's a chance they can find cures and treatments for them.

Still.  It makes me a bit paranoid.  

The article sounds like it could fit into the first chapter of a horror novel.

21. Thought of something.

Maybe the reason I'm able to feel happy while also feeling upset is that I have this blog.

I get my feelings out here; then I'm able to function elsewhere.

The only thing is....

People who read my blog might imagine I'm a complete mess.

I'm not.

I'm only sort of a mess.

22. Went to Tallygarunga.

Had a great time looking at Anime versions of Tally characters.  They're extremely adorable.

23. Saw that there's a mother-daughter role-playing team on Tally now.

That's awesome.

It reminds me of the mother-daughter team that writes the vampire books I like.  

24. Remembered that Jack and I sort of have a role-playing thing going on, but we're using stuffed animals instead of writing.

It's fun.

Maybe when Jack feels he's too old for stuffed animals, we'll move onto a role-playing site.
25. Found the story I'm going to read today.

It's called Cherries and Blueberries. 


Last night I had a dream about a front yard garden with apples and grapes.

26. Saw that one of the characters in the story is Forrester Forrester. I think this is the guy who used to be Forrester Smith.

What happened to the Smith bit?

27. Looked at Forrester's biography.  It says his real name is Forrester Gale Forrester.

His mother had the last name Smith.

28. Read some of Forrester's biography because a lot has been added since I last looked at it.

It's very sad.  Forrester was sexually abused by her stepfather.  

He reached out to his stepmother.  She refused to give him any help or support. I think that's why he dropped her last name from his name.

29. Saw that Forrester is anorexic.

That was hinted at last time, but I don't think it was explicitly stated. 

30. Went back to the story.

The other character in it is Viktoriya Valentin.  She's the twin of the girl I read about a few days ago.

The story takes place on the grounds of Tallygarunga; on the evening of November 11.

31. Started to read.

I'm getting the idea that Forrester is still dealing with the sexual abuse.

I think he was trying to get to the Quidditch game, but he was stopped by his abuser. 

Get yohr scrawrneh ass ov'r here." Demanded the beast... The petite youth obeyed these orders... he remembered obeying just to get out in time to attend the grand event. It didn't work out. The world kept moving whilst the monster and the lad were stuck in another realm.

Am I understanding that right?

32. Saw that the story skips ahead five days.

Forrester gets back to school.

He talks to a Bourke student.

He wonders if the girl he sees is Viktoriya or Anastasia.

33. Saw that Forrester is uncomfortable with Viktoriya's hug.

34. Learned that we're leaving soon.

I'll have to read more later.  

35. Went to Half Price books. They had a coffee table book about Queensland.

I didn't buy it.

It looked sort of interesting to me, but not overly interesting. If it was a little less money I might have bought it.

36. Did the coin exchange thing at the grocery store. We ended up with $87, and we still have tons of coins in our house.

We split the gift certificate three ways.

I think I'm going to use mine to buy books on the Kindle—for any upcoming long airplane rides.  

When we did the coins, we ended up filtering out some non-American coins.  We had two Aussie coins, a British coin, an Asian coin (not sure which country), and a New Zealand coin.

I'm not sure how the Aussie coins got mixed up with the American money. I have a place for all my Australian money.  It's special to me. I keep it by my bed.

I have no idea how we got a New Zealand coin.  Tim thinks maybe we got it in Australia.

It has a reptile on the back.

Now that I think of it. That's strange.  I didn't know New Zealand had reptiles.

37. Looked up Kiwi coins on this website.  

The coin is a five cent coin.  The reptile on it is one that's native to New Zealand.  It's called a tuatara.

38. Went back to reading Tallygarunga stuff.

The writing here is fantastic.

It says, There stood the Sturt utmost stiff and awkward while a human being embraced him. It, this action, kindled Forest's heart. The young man swallowed thinly before slowly getting his arms to wrap around Viktoriya. To start with, his hug was as uncomfortable as a corpse cradling a baby... however, the Sturt relaxed himself and gave Viktoriya a warm hug back.

That's such a great way to describe an awkward hug.

My fiction writing pales in comparison.

39. Learned that Viktoriya doesn't like being called Vicky.  It has something to do with her childhood.

40. Saw that Forrester asked Viktoriya out.   I guess it's kind of like a date; or maybe something more casual.

Viktoriya says yes.

41. Saw that my Australian of the day is Thomas Archer.  

At the bottom of his entry on the Australian Dictionary of Biography, there's a list of people he's related to.

There's a lot of them.

I'm not sure if any of these people are part of the Archer family that has ties to Norway and Scotland.  

42. Clicked on one of the names and realized it leads to an Australian obituary site.

The site is part of, or connected to, the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

43. Learned that Thomas' father was William Archer. This William Archer was born in 1754 and died in 1833.

Knowing that I was able to conclude that Thomas Archer is the brother of Joseph Archer—a guy I wrote about a few days ago.  Joseph Archer's father was William Archer too. He has the same birth and death as Thomas' William-daddy.  

44. Learned that Thomas was Joseph's older brother. He was born in 1790. Joseph was born in 1795.

45. Learned that Thomas came to Australia in his early 20's.

46. Read a long paragraph that I didn't understand. And I'm not interested enough to figure it out.

47. Saw that Thomas ended up doing grazier stuff and government stuff.

48. Liked this line from Notes From The Teenage Underground.

And for another, I had come to the realisation that art could make up for anything shitty.  It sounds sucky, but it's the truth.

I'm impressed.  Although my copy of the book was printed in the USA, S is used in realization instead of Z.

Anyway, back to the line.

I was talking to someone a few weeks ago about the dominance of bad news over good news.  There's so much bad news, and the media pays little attention to the good out there.

We should have more good news!

But what is good news?

Good things happen here and there.  But in terms of newsworthy, bad stuff predominates.  

We have good stuff in our individual lives. But I can't imagine Google News is going to scream out the headlines Dina, Tim, and Jack earned an $87 gift certificate today!

There is good worldly stuff, but I don't think it's overly common.  One story that  comes to mind is the baby who survived the recent earthquake.

Most of us love those heartwarming feel good true stories.  There are probably not common enough though.

So instead....

We have art.

That counteracts the bad.

We have our music. We have our novels. We have our comic books. We have our movies. We have musicals.  We have paintings.

Maybe art is our good news.

49. Started to look at Fredweng's day three in Australia Flickr set.

I think it's more Blue Mountains stuff.  

50. Liked this picture of the Three Sisters.  

51. Liked this picture of Coles.

I like grocery stores.

It's the kind of thing a typical tourist will completely overlook.  But grocery stores are a big thing for the locals.  

52. Heard the Maisy theme song from my iTunes DJ. It features some Australian voices.  

I've probably embedded that video before.

It's fine. You can never have too much embedded Maisy.

Jack was a fan of Maisy when he was a little one.

53. Went over to Funtrivia to take another Australia quiz.

I'm loving the quizzes.

Today I'm going to do an M-themed quiz.

It's tough.

I'll probably do horrible.

But that's okay.

I'll learn something on the way.  

54. Had the Maisy theme song bouncing around my brain.

That starts with an M.

55.  Got question #3 wrong and learned a Mia-Mia is an aboriginal shelter.

Lord Wiki says it's a temporary shelter.

56. Got question #5 wrong and learned the HMAS Melbourne had two fatal collisions.

57. Learned from Lord Wiki that the HMAS Melbourne was a ship that carried air craft carriers.  

It had a collision in February 1964.  Eighty-two people were killed.

The second collision happened about five years later, in June 1969.

The Australian ship collided with an American Navy ship.

There was controversy over who caused the collision.   The inquiry determined it was both the fault of both countries.  Some felt the inquiry was unfairly biased towards America, and that the American ship was more to blame.

The guy in charge of the inquiry board, Jereome King was accused of acting more favorably towards the Americans than the Australians. For example, he'd intervene for American witnesses but wouldn't do the same for Australian.

It's like the parent who treats their favorite kid differently than their other kids.  Then later they deny it and say, I love you all the same!

58.  Got question #7 wrong and learned there was a bushranger named Captain Melville.  

59. Got question #8 wrong and learned the Murrumbidgee River is in New South Wales.

It does sound familiar to me; but I guess it wasn't familiar enough that I knew what state it's in.

60. Looked at Lord Wiki's map of the river. 

It goes through/near Hay, Griffith, Wagga Wagga, etc.   It ends around Canberra.

61. Got question #10 wrong and learned Phillip King was the first person to bring Merino sheep into Australia.

I thought it was MacArthur.

62. Learned from Lord Wiki that Phillip King is known as being the founder of Norfolk Island.

63. Got question #12 wrong and learned there's a very hot town in Western Australia called Marble Bar.

64. Learned from Lord Wiki that the average high in November in Marble Bar is 104.5 (40.5).

That's crazy!

65. Got question #13 wrong and learned a gold nugget was found in Moliagul, Victoria.

The piece of gold was named Welcome Stranger.

66. Learned, from Lord Wiki, that Welcome Stranger is known as being the largest nugget of alluvial gold ever found.

What is alluvial gold?

Lord Wiki says it's loose—not connected to something else.

67. Got question #14 wrong and learned that Monte Cristo is known as being the most haunted house in Australia.

I've heard of that claim before, but didn't know the name of the house.

I did sort of know the name of the town. Junee.

68. Looked at the Monte Crisco website.  

Do they have a certificate that proves they have the most haunted house?  

69. Wondered if ghosts like it when their haunting becomes a tourist attraction.

70. Learned that young children tend to act weird on the stairs at Monte Crisco.

71. Got question #16 wrong and learned Mount Bartle Frere is the highest peak in Queensland.

Lord Wiki says the mountain is south of Cairns.

72. Finished the quiz.  I got 11/20 right.  And that's the average score for the quiz.  

73. Thought more about friendships and inner circles.

I'm wondering if I'm that rare.

I have a hunch that there are a lot of other people like me.  

I doubt most people have a trusted best friend or a circle of great trustworthy friends that have stuck with them for most of their lives.

Some people get to be in the Ron, Hermione, and Harry situation.

Others of us are more like Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom.  We have friends but not super close friends.  We're friendly, yet we're sort of loners.  

I think it's fantastic to have a close circle of friends—people you can rely on in your brightest and darkest hours.   But I think you can function....and even be happy without one.

I'm happy

Most of the time.