Monday, May 18, 2015

Television, Regret, The Elephant Princess, and Aging

1.  Dreamed about Julia Gillard. I don't remember a lot of the dream, but it started with a milkshake. And then later: We put pressure on Gillard and some other individuals, to provide us with some type of good or service we're waiting for. Gillard and the others seem stressed, and I start to feel bad. I say something to Gillard about Americans having a tendency to cause grief for Prime Ministers.

2.  Skimmed an article about Steve Irwin's last words. Supposedly they were, I'm dying.  I thought it was going to be something more shocking and offensive, because the article talks about Irwin's father being upset that they were revealed. Well, and he was also upset that the details of the death were revealed as well. I can understand that. I don't think many people would want to know the details of how a loved one died.  But then again, the worse part is losing the person. Knowing or not knowing the details isn't going to change the fact that they're gone.   

I think a lot of it depends on why someone is revealing details about a death. Is is for exploitive purposes—to profit in some way?  Is it for cruelty purposes—to rub the family's nose in it?  Is is for practical purposes—preventing further tragedies from happening or catching the culprit responsible? Or it could be for cathartic purposes. Sometimes people need to talk about the terror they witnessed and experienced. 

As for Irwin's last words, though. I think they were good ones—coherent, factual, and not too bizarre. 

3.  Found myself strongly relating to Alex (Emily Robins) on the episode of The Elephant Princess that I watched this morning. Veronica (Alexandra Park) plagiarizes Alex's song.  At first Alex is angry, and she gets Veronica in trouble. But once Veronica IS in trouble, Alex feels bad for her.

That's what often happens to me. I get angry or annoyed at people...actually quite often.  I wish for the person to have to pay for their mistakes.  Then, if and when it happens....Well, I do feel some amount of satisfaction. But then I feel sad for them.

I get more satisfaction from remorse, reconciliation, and redemption than I do from revenge. 

4. Wanted to find out if Emily Robins does her own singing on The Elephant Princess. I'm guessing she does.  It seems to me that a lot of people who have acting talent also have singing talent. If you're going to have a character who has singing as their main hobby, why hire an actress who can't sing?  

5. Consulted Lord Wiki about Emily Robins. He says she's a singer and actress from New Zealand.  

6. Learned from Lord Wiki that the UK changed the name of The Elephant Princess to The Rock Princess. I wonder why. This might be silly, but I'm wondering if it has something to do with Joseph Merrick (AKA The Elephant Man). Maybe they worried people would think there was a connection. 

When I first read about the name change, I was wondering what it meant. I was picturing rocks as in geology. But then I realized they were talking about rock music. With that in mind, I think the name change is a good one.  

Lord Wiki says, though, that he's saying this stuff about Emily Robins and her princess role without any verification. He's warned me that he might just be making this stuff up for the fun of it. He does that sometimes.

7. Thought about my recent blog post about taking risks and having regrets, because I was asked again to be on Australian television. My answer was along the lines of no, thank you.   

I was definitely flattered and excited by the offer. I think I'll always have some amount of regret for saying no. But the thing is, I feel it's likely I'd have more regrets if I said yes. And I think the stress of the experience, for me, would outweigh the benefits for me. (Yes, I'm thinking selfishly here)

It's funny because, this past week, I was imagining that this was going to happen to me. When I thought of it, I asked myself whether I'd say yes or no. I decided then that it would be no. I thought about being on TV last summer, and how it was such a miracle that I didn't totally embarrass myself. I mean not that I think I was absolutely brilliant. And actually, I never fully watched the whole segment. After a lot of avoidance, I finally watched the segment without sound. That's it. I never heard myself talking. But my family and some friends said I did well. Oh no! What if they were lying?

Well, then it was a lie of kindness. 

I do know that it probably wasn't awful. I didn't start giggling uncontrollably, or start crying. I didn't accidentally say something horribly offensive to make the whole country of Australia instantly hate me. 

I didn't fart or burp on camera.

I didn't sneeze and then have a big mushy booger hanging from my nose.

I feel it was mostly luck, and not my talent or abilities, that prevented disaster from befalling me. With that in mind, I'm not ready, at this point to tempt fate again.  

8. Wanted to say that I AM grateful that I was on TV the first time. It was fun and a bit thrilling. On that day, I felt like I was a person of importance, and that was kind of cool. I'm glad I had the opportunity to experience it once in my life. I just don't know if it's something that needs to be experienced twice.  

9. Needed to say that, of course, I think EVERYONE is important and valuable. It's just that we all have days where we feel more important, or more valuable, than we do on other days.

10. Started watching another episode of The Elephant Princess. I'm wondering if any of Caleb's (Richard Brancatisano) romantic feelings towards Alex are real.  He's using her as part of a scheme to take control of black magic and then destroy Manjipoor royalty. But has he developed real feelings in the process? I'm sure he will eventually. I'm just not sure whether or not it's already happened. 

The whole storyline reminds me of Cole and Phoebe on Charmed.  And...there was a scene on The Elephant Princess where Caleb absorbs this black airy substance. It reminded me of Cole absorbing the source-of-all evil substance.

11. Watched more scenes from the show, and got my answer. It looks like Caleb really has feelings for Alex.

12. Went to Richard Brancatisano's Instagram page, and decided he reminds me of one of our houseguests.  It's funny, because before this individual became our house guest, I thought he kind of looked like a hot-actor type person.  But then, when I got to know this houseguest, my perception changed.  

13. Wondered about Brancatisano's post about The Graduate.  Is he projecting the film onto his fish aquarium? Or is that a scene from the movie? It's been so long since I've seen The Graduate. Decades, actually!  Shit. I feel old.

14.  Received a petition from that makes me think that while drug-smuggling is punishable by death in Indonesia, not much is done to punish abusers of animals.  

The petition is about cockatoos being stuffed into plastic water bottles as part of the illegal animal trade. Well, at least it's ILLEGAL rather than legal. I guess the petition is in regards to the punishment not being severe enough?  

15. Found CNN article about the cockatoos. I'll read that.  

Yeah. It sounds bad. But I'm not getting the idea that the Indonesian government supports the cruelty.  Though the article doesn't say what type of punishment the smugglers received. Do they go to prison? Do they get a fine? Is the fine large enough to be a deterrent? 

The petition says the punishment is too light, but they don't specify what it is.

I guess I'll sign it, though. They're asking for stronger punishments and more resources for catching the criminals.  Hopefully, they're not wishing for the death penalty to be used.  I wouldn't want that. Though if I had a choice between having a drug smuggler executed or someone who exploits animals in a harmful way, I'd pick the latter. Just my personal preference....

16. Found another blog to add to my list (which is getting a bit overly long).This one is about an Aussie expat living in Africa. That might be exciting.

17. Realized I'm starting to like the second season of The Elephant Princess. I wasn't so sure about it in the beginning. 

18. Liked the Chalk and Talk blogger's post about her love of Beverly Hills 90210.  It reminds me of the love I had for Charmed and also my love of Dance Academy...and The Elephant Princess.

I originally found the Chalk and Talk blog when I was collecting research for my novel sequel that I no longer plan to write. I think she had some information on Yarraville that I wanted.  

19.  Wondered about the ethnicity of Emelia Burns (from The Elephant Princess),  which makes me feel kind of racist. I think I tend to wonder more about the origin and ethnicity of dark-skinned people than I do light. I mean I've not yet wondered about the ethnicity of Maddy Tyers, one of the Caucasians from The Elephant Princess.

I think this curiosity, though, is more with black people from Australia than black people in America. When a black person is from the US, I assume they're African-American.  If they had a non-American accent, then I'd probably be curious. But then I'd be curious about any person in the US, I meet, who has a non-American accent.  

20. Decided to try to find out about Emilia Burns...even if doing so makes me a bit racist.  

Lord Wiki says she was born in Brisbane. That doesn't help me much.

My guess is her family is from either African or an islander. Maybe a Torres Strait Islander? Or they could be from the Solomon Islands.  

In this photo from the Terra Nova TV show, she looks kind of Indian to me.  

Whatever her origins may be, she's very beautiful. I especially like it when she wears purple eyeliner.

I wonder if purple eyeliner would work for me.

21. Read Eric Thompson's post about their last day in Japan.  I really hate the last days of vacations.  

Thompson says they ate McDonalds for dinner before the flight. Reading that reminded me that we ate McDonalds at LAX before leaving for Australia. Then on our last night in Australia, we stayed with friends in Point Cook. We went to McDonalds. I know Jack had that to eat. I might have had something different, because I don't usually find much to eat there.  I guess I could have had a salad? Or maybe I went the unhealthy route and had fries and an ice-cream.  

I took a picture of the McDonalds because they were having some kind of Taste of America celebration. I thought that was kind of funny. 

22. Found another blog. It's getting out of hand. This is another one about traveling around Australia. I wish I could find one about a family that's NOT doing the caravan thing.  It's just because I'm already reading a handful of those, and I don't think we're going to be traveling with that method. But's interesting.  It's nice to read about experiences you might never experience yourself.  It would be nice, though, to read about people staying at hotels, motels, and cabins in holiday parks. The information might be more valuable in terms of our trip-planning.  

23. Wondered if most Australians who travel around Australia do it via caravan rather than car.  

24. Wondered if caravan Australians look down at people at holiday parks who use the cabins. No one has said this in the blogs I'm reading, but I just get the sense that this might be the usual case. Like there's an unwritten caravan club, and if you use the cabins, you're seen as a lower class traveler. And no, I don't mean lower class as in money. I think staying in cabins would probably be more expensive. Sometimes there's elitism, and it has nothing to do with financial wealth. 

25. Counted my blog list. There's twenty-two.  I think all but one are written by Australians. Then I have about three other blogs, not on my list, but I'll read them if the blogger comments on my blog. Or sometimes I'll just be in the mood to visit.  These blogs are different, though, because I just read current entries. With the twenty-two bookmarked blogs, I've been reading from the beginning, and then one entry a day.  I never really enjoyed reading blogs that much until I started reading them this way.  

26. Read about Rebel Wilson lying about her age.  She's really thirty-six, but has been telling people she's twenty-nine. It reminds me of a conversation we once had at the lake house. It was this idea that if you're going to lie about your age, tell people you're OLDER than you are.  It might get you some nice compliments. If I tell people I'm 43, they'll probably look at me and think Okay. That seems about right.  If I tell people I'm 33, they'll probably look at me and think, she's not taken very great care of herself.  Maybe it's all that junk food she eats.  If I tell people I'm 53, they might be impressed.  They might say, Wow you look much younger than that! What's your secret?  I'll tell them it's all about avoiding chocolate. I'll do them a favor right then, and offer to take all their chocolate off their hands. Every bit of it. They'll never have to see it again.

27. Wondered what happened to Alex's family on The Elephant Princess.  I'm trying (and failing) to remember what happened at the end of season one. Did they find out Alex was a princess?

28. Decided to watch a little bit of the end of season one.

29. Read article about Australian men fighting for the Islamic State. Now they say they've changed their mind about the whole thing and want to come home.  Can they be believed? Trusted? I don't know. I'd like to think that they've realized the error of their ways and now want to find redemption. But it's hard to know with these kind of things.

I do wonder what attracted them to fighting for the Islamic State in the first place.