Monday, May 17, 2010

Garry McDonald

I think Garry McDonald MIGHT be the guy from Mother and Son. And then if he is that, he also is the guy who did the funny news report things; the one who was there at the Whitlam dismissal.

Let me go see if I'm right.

I'm right!

That's good. It's nice to know I've remembered something.

The funny news report thing was where McDonald played the character of Norman Gunston. I think it was kind of like his alter-ego? I think it's a bit like Stephen Colbert. Although Stephen Colbert plays a guy named Stephen Colbert. But although the names are the same, from what I know, the actor is very different from the character.

I just watched a brief interview with Colbert, and I think he said exactly what I needed to hear this morning. It was about how we can't be afraid if we're laughing. There are so many scary things in the world, and laughing keeps us from being afraid all the time. I like that. I've been a bit....I don't know. I'm not depressed really. I feel happy most of the time. I'm not having symptoms of anxiety. I'm just feeling....well, it's like I'm over-aware of all the bad stuff that COULD happen. I think it stems from my whole losing faith in humanity thing. Then it escalated with my family's cancer scare. Okay, that ONE was benign. But what if the next one is not? With so many mean people, diseases, and natural disasters out there, I feel I should be incredibly grateful for each day that those I love are still live.

If I dwell on all this though, a dark cloud will be covering me. And then I WILL get depressed. I think I prevent the depression by doing what Colbert says: Laugh.

I think we'll explore this a bit later, because McDonald's show Mother and Son deals with that concept. It's a comedy about Alzheimer's.

For now, let's go back to the beginning.

Baby Garry was born in Sydney on 30 October 1948. He's about two months younger than my mom.

McDonald attended Cranbrook School, which is a school for boys. Lord Wiki says it's in Rose Bay. We know people that live there. Maybe they send their kids to that school. I should ask someday.

Later in life, McDonald went to NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts).

I'm trying to decide if I should do IMDb for McDonald's career, or stick to Lord Wiki for that.

Maybe I'll rely on both.

Well, he actually has a long filmography. I thought maybe there were just a small handful of substantial things. And in that case, it's easiest to just use Lord Wiki as my main source. But now, I'm thinking I'll use mostly IMDb.

The first thing on the filmography was a 1967 TV show called You Can't See Round Corners. This TV website says it a drama about a woman's love affair with an army deserter during the Vietnam War. There was some controversy about the show, because the romance scenes were a bit intense. Some Australian TV stations cut certain scenes out.

I don't think McDonald had a big role in this.

In the year I was born, McDonald did eight episodes of a TV show called Snake Gully with Dad and Dave. McDonald played Dave, so he was one of the title characters.

This Australian television website has a whole page on the show, including a photo of Garry McDonald. The characters of the show originally came from a novel, then they were on a radio show, and then the TV program.

The show takes place in the late 1800's. Dave is a guy living with his parents on their farm. The parents are often at odds with their neighbors. And Dave has a romance going on with their daughter.

Here's the opening credits of the show. And here's a short clip from the old radio show. I love the music.

In 1973, McDonald was in the family adventure movie Avengers of the Reef. I can't find much about it. Maybe it was about a reef. They have some of those in Australia, I believe.

In 1974, McDonald was in the TV Flash Nick from Jindavick. I may have encountered this movie when I wrote about Max Gillies. It does sound vaguely familar. IMDb says it was made up of the same cast of people who were in the Aunty Jack Show. Was McDonald on The Aunty Jack Show? I think maybe I did see it mentioned when I was skimming through Lord Wiki.

Oh, okay. Yes he was. I had another IMDb mix-up. It's really confusing because they don't place the TV shows in the filmography at the time the person was in the show. They place it at the time the TV Show ended. So although McDonald started working on The Aunty Jack Show in 1973, before he was in Flash Nick from Jindavick; it's listed in 1975, because I guess that's when the show ended.

So let's back up to that.

From 1973-1975, McDonald was in The Aunty Jack Show. Way back, when I was looking for Australian music to download to my iTunes, I ended up with a song from that. Maybe it was the theme song. I'll go listen to it now......

Actually, the song I have is called "Farewell Aunty Jack". Maybe they played it at the end of the program?

Here's a video of the song from the show. It actually has words. The version I have is just instrumental.

McDonald is the guy wearing the orange shirt.

I'm so confused, and not in the mood to be confused. But oh well. What can you do?

IMDb says that McDonald was on The Aunty Jack Show from 1972-1975. But they say the show was on until only 1973. And now Lord Wiki is also saying the show ended then. Maybe they had a few specials in 1974 and 1975?

It's so funny. I think because the version of the song I had was instrumental....kind of in a big band type way....I pictured the show being pretty wholesome and old-fashioned. And plus there's that whole aunty thing in the title. I kind of pictured it as a talent show type thing with corny jokes. Lord Wiki says it's about a violent transvestite who knocks people unconscious and threatens to tear their arms out.

I'm reading more of what Lord Wiki has to say about the show. He says it's often compared to Monty Python, but the show aired before Monty Python aired in Australia. I don't know though. That doesn't really prove anything. One of the creators of Aunty Jack may have gone to England, and seen the show. You never know. But I can buy that it's just a coincidence that the shows have a similar tone.

When McDonald first came on the show, he played Aunty Jack's sidekick Kid Eager. But then later, a new role was created for him. This was Norman Gunston, the character that eventually made McDonald famous.

Here's an Aunty Jack show clip featuring Kid Eager. It's very silly.

Here's another scene from the show. I think McDonald is in it, but I'm not sure which character he's playing. Well, I don't think he's Kid Eager or Norman Gunston. Maybe sometimes they played other characters. This scene is about a bus driver job interview.

Lord Wiki says The Aunty Jack Show was loved by some, and not loved by others. Young people tended to think it was great. Critics tended to think it was crap. ABC received many phone calls after the first episode complaining about the violence, bad language, and the whole drag queen aspect of it. ABC considered canceling the show, but the children of some of the ABC executives pleaded with them not to do it.

I guess those children were persuasive, but only to a point. The show went on for two years, and then was canceled. The title character was done away with by having her have a heart attack. Why did she have such a heart attack? She had been mortified by the bad language used by other people on the show. That was a pretty clever response to the criticism and cancellation of the program.

It did earn some kudos though. It won a Logie in 1974 for best comedy, and in 1985, the master tapes and negatives of the show were placed in the National Archives. Well, I guess it's like most art. Some people like it, and some people don't like it. Some things are considered to be crap, and then later people realize it's a classic.

I feel all twisted around and dizzy from the filmography here. But I'll try my best.

In 1974, McDonald appeared in the movie Stone. IMDb says it's a cult classic, about a motorcycle club. McDonald appears low in the credits, and his role is simply titled Mechanic. So I'm guessing he didn't have a huge part in the movie.

Here's a trailer for the movie. It's not really the type of movie I'd usually watch.

In 1975, McDonald played Norman Gunston in two shows. One was The Norman Gunston Show, and the other was Wollongong the Brave.

Guess who was one of the writers for the Norman Gunston show? Morris Gleitzman. Did I mention that when I wrote about Gleitzman? Let me go check....

Well, I didn't mention it exactly. But I did mention that Gleitzman started out writing for television. So, that's good.

Here's a Gunston interview with Chevy Chase. I'm not sure if it's from The Norman Gunston show, or another one of the similar programs.

I don't know if I've ever seen Stephen Colbert interview a comedian. I wonder if it's harder to do these fake interviews with people who are funny themselves. I guess the same goes for any comedian interviewer, even the ones being themselves. Does it make it easier or harder if the interviewee is a comedian too. Do they play off each other, or is there some kind of comedic clash?

Maybe I'm asking that because I didn't laugh at the Chevy Chase interview. It didn't work for me. I'll try an interview with a more serious person, and see if that works for me.

How about Ray Charles?

No.  That didn't make me laugh.

How about Olivia Newton John? That amused me very mildly, but I didn't laugh. I'm feeling like a failure here.

McDonald didn't just do comedy in 1975. He appeared in Picnic at Hanging Rock. I love that movie, and I haven't even seen it yet. Maybe I just like the music, and the IDEA of it. McDonald is low in the credits, and played Constable Jones. You'd think by now he was a fairly big star. I wonder why he took a small role like that?

Lord Wiki is helping me out here. It's hard to get a clear story from IMDb at times. Lord Wiki says Picnic at Hanging Rock came out around the time of the Norman Gunston stuff. It was his first big screen appearance. Maybe he wasn't yet as big a star as I imagined. He might have been more of an emerging one.

I'm going to see if I can spot McDonald in the trailer for Picnic at Hanging Rock. I'm kind of doubting it.

Is that him at 2:12?

I think that's him at 3:57.

In 1977, McDonald was in The Picture Man Show. The plot sounds kind of good to me. It's about a man and his son who travel around with their piano to play during silent movies. Judy Morris is in the movie, and she'd later be one of McDonald's co-stars in Mother and Son. She plays his sister-in-law. And she was also with McDonald in Avengers of the Reef.

Here's a trailer for The Picture Man Show.

It has a very catchy tune. I hope I'm not singing that all day.

I didn't see McDonald. Did you?

The Norman Gungston stuff is hard to follow on IMDb. It just kind of pops up here and there. So I think I'm just going to skip recording it in that way.

Why don't I just get it all out now, and then I'll skip it during the filmography.

I'm reading what Lord Wiki has to say about the guy. He says McDonald says the character was initially a parody of an American expatriate named Tommy Leonetti. In Australia, Leonetti was known for a song called "My City of Sydney", and hosting a talk show.

Gunston was known for being underprepared for interviews. I guess he did the same ignorance act that Stephen Colbert does. I wonder if Stephen Colbert was inspired by Gunston at all.

One of the things that Gunston is most famous for is his news report from the big Whitlam dismissal thing. When I first saw it, I assumed it was doctored footage. I didn't think he was actually there. But someone told me otherwise. Now Lord Wiki tells me it was just a good luck accident on McDonald's part. They happened to be in Canberra when it all happened.

Here's the video for people who haven't seen it.

I love his line; What I want to know is this an affront to the constitution of this country, or was it just a stroke of good luck for Mr. Fraser?

I'm betting it was a little bit of both.

Now I'm going to move onto other Garry McDonald stuff.

In 1982, he was in The Pirate Movie, the movie with Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins. He played the inspector/Sergeant.

Here's one of his scenes. It's strangely entertaining....kind of annoying though, after awhile.

McDonald earned an AFI nomination for the movie. The movie itself won a Razzie Award for worst director, musical score, and worst song.

Here's a video of Sandra Bullock winning a Razzie award for worst actress. I guess you have to have good sense of humor to do that. And her speech IS pretty funny. Since she won an Oscar the next day, I'm guessing her bad performance may be caused more by bad writing and directing, rather than her own lack of talent.

Also in 1982, McDonald was in Ginger Meggs. He played John Meggs. Maybe that's the father of Ginger? I think of Ginger as a girl's name, because of Gilligan's Island and a high school classmate of mine. But in this, it refers to a male.

Oh! Lord Wiki says that Ginger Meggs was a comic strip. No, actually it's not a was. It's an is. The comic strip is still being made, even though the original creator died a few years ago. No wait. The original original creator died before even that. Some other guy took over, and now he's died. So I guess the comic is on it's third artist.

Here's the beginning of the movie. I'm not sure if we'll see McDonald.

And here's the Ginger Meggs website. Ginger Meggs is Australia's longest running comic strip.

I'm wondering if Jack would like this comic.

There's McDonald (in the video) at 3:56. He was actually on screen before that, but hiding behind a newspaper.

In 1983, McDonald was in that dog movie with a young Claudia Karvan; Molly. Oh, and Ruth Cracknell was in it too. A year later, Cracknell would be playing McDonald's mother in Mother and Son.

Mother and Son lasted until 1994. I didn't realize it was on for that long. I've seen a few episodes....maybe five or six?

In 1994, McDonald won a Logie for the show. According to IMDb, the show itself never won a Logie....or any AFI awards. That really surprises me. Is there some mistake?

In my opinion, it's an amazing show. They take a very serious and depressing subject, and make it funny. But it's not in a mocking way. The sadness is still there. Oh, it's so hard to explain. I'm not even going to try.

Someone used to have a bunch of episodes online, but they got taken down, unfortunately.

There's a few clips here. I'm not sure if there will be enough to illustrate how brilliant the show is.

Here's one of the clips. I've seen this episode.

Ruth Cracknell was so beautiful.

This show in itself makes my Australia obsession worth it. But there's other good stuff too. I watched Dating the Enemy the other night. Did I mention that already? Anyway, that was really nice.

This I didn't know before. There were Mother and Son commercials....I mean not commercials for the show, but commercials for products featuring the actors. It's for Dynamo Detergent.

In 1985, McDonald was in a TV movie filmed in the Northern Territory; Banduk. I can't find much about it. Wait. Here's something. It's about an Aboriginal girl fighting a bird smuggling operation. McDonald plays the bad guy in this.

Also in 1985, McDonald did another TV movie called Winners: Top Kid. The Australian Screen site has some clips from it. It's about quiz show cheating.

I'm not sure if McDonald is in any of the clips. I'm watching the third one. The description sounds a bit like The Slumdog Millionaire.

Oh, that poor kid.

McDonald appears at 2:21. He's the quiz show host.

It looks like a sad and thought-provoking movie. What message do you give to a child when you encourage them to cheat? Well, first you're telling them it's okay to lie. Then second....you're telling them that they're not good enough. The kid was robbed of accomplishing something on his own, and being truly proud.

McDonald appeared in a comedy about the explorers Wills and Burke. McDonald played Burke. That same year, there was another movie called Burke and Wills. I guess it was a big year for those guys. They're the ones who died while exploring, right?

Yeah. Lord Wiki says it's likely that they died of Beriberi. That's a Thiamine deficiency. So hey...remember to get your Thiamine. Vegemite is a very good source!

Oh! I just noticed that Nicole Kidman was in Wills and Burke.

In 1987, McDonald was in the dark comedy Those Dear Departed. McDonald plays a murdered actor.

Also in 1987, McDonald appeared in a romantic drama called The Place at the Coast. Fandago has a description of it. It sounds like a family drama type thing. A girl goes to the coast with her widowed father. She becomes friends with a young woman. Then things go a bit sour when her father and the woman fall in love. Ouch. That might be a difficult situation.

McDonald isn't one of the main stars in it.

In 1990, McDonald was in Struck by Lightning. It's about a halfway house where disabled people do factory work. Then some sport stuff enters the picture. I guess it's one of those feel-good inspirational sports movies.

McDonald plays the boss of the factory.

The Sydney Morning Herald has a review of the movie. It's from 2006. I guess they reviewed it when it played on television.

McDonald's character is an alcoholic, and the children are intellectually disabled. The reviewer says, Along the way to the climactic match, we meet a procession of caricature charity parasites, whose self-righteous posturing is of little value to the future of the children. That sounds intriguing. I wonder what they did, or didn't do. Now I'm curious.

This kind of surprises me. While McDonald and Judy Morris were still doing Mother and Son, they did another show together. This was Eggshells. How did they manage to do TV shows at once?

An IMDb user named Simonotsimple says the show was about a divorced man taking care of his children. The ex-wife has little interest in them. Simonotsimple says, Although this is a fairly common scenario in many broken families today it was not considered politically correct, thus only fifteen episodes. Women being portrayed as reckless and indifferent to their own children was not popular with the feminists.


I'm sure it does happen. My guess though is that it's more often the man who abandons the family.

I was just looking for statistics regarding the divorced parent thing, and I found an article in Discovery Health. It's regarding divorce myths. It doesn't confirm my assertion above, but it does agree with other stuff I believe. What it talks about is the belief that kids are better off if their parents get divorced. It's better to have divorced parents than unhappy parents. That's the thing I've often heard. This article says studies show that's NOT true. They say:

 While it found that parents' marital unhappiness and discord have a broad negative impact on virtually every dimension of their children's well-being, so does the fact of going through a divorce. In examining the negative impacts on children more closely, the study discovered that it was only the children in very high-conflict homes who benefited from the conflict removal that divorce may bring. In lower-conflict marriages that end in divorce — and the study found that perhaps as many as two thirds of the divorces were of this type — the situation of the children was made much worse following a divorce. Based on the findings of this study, therefore, except in the minority of high-conflict marriages it is better for the children if their parents stay together and work out their problems than if they divorce.


I know Jack had a difficult time when Tim and I had our marriage problems. I'm pretty sure though that we'd be classified as low-conflict. We got along most of the time. We had a few fights, but we weren't like those who constantly yell at each other.

What the article pretty much says is that it's better (in many cases) to try really hard to make things work....or at least ride through them, until they get better. Of course, this doesn't apply to marriages that contain severe and/or consistent abuse.

I like what the article says about happiness. 86% of couples unhappily married in the 1980's, were happier five years later. Marriage has its ups and downs. When things are down (especially if they're down for several years), there's a tendency to believe that we've found the wrong person, and the next marriage will be better. The article says divorce rates for second marriages are higher than those for first marriages. I can't say that surprises me.

I'm not taking all of this as gospel though. With subjects like this, you usually have one study saying one thing, and other studies saying the exact opposite.

The best situation is for a child to be with a mother and father who happily love each other. But life's not perfect, and that doesn't always happen. So then you have to decide what's best for everyone....staying or walking away. There's no easy answers.

I'd love to stay on my annoying soapbox for a longer time, but I still have a lot of Garry McDonald left to do.

Garry McDonald and Judy Morris sure do a lot of work together. Are they married, or something? Best friends? In 1992, they were in a TV movie called The Other Side of Paradise. How did they do two TV shows, and a TV movie? Where do they find the time for all of this?

The Other Side of Paradise is based on a novel about a doctor who goes to work in a South Sea Island. I don't think McDonald was one of the main stars.

Mother and Son ended in 1994. In 1995, McDonald appeared in two episodes of Fire, a show about firefighters.

In 1997, McDonald was in one of those Rebecca Gibney Halifax movies.

Yeah....I'm kind of speeding through here. Sorry. I'll slow down when something interests me, or I find an excuse to go off on a tangent.

Also in 1997, McDonald was in the TV show Fallen Angels. That sounds familar to me. Maybe I'm thinking of something with a similar title. Or maybe I have Lucifer or Azazel on my mind.

Lord Wiki says the show was about lawyers.

In 1998, McDonald did four episodes of Medivac. Lord Wiki says that's a show about emergency medical staff who help out in disaster type situations. According to TV.com, McDonald played Ernie sharp, a homeless guy with a drinking problem.

In 1999, McDonald did two episodes of All Saints. This Australian TV website says that McDonald played a patient with lung cancer. They have a photo from the show.

In 2000, McDonald appeared in that comedy with Yahoo Serious and Helen Dallimore; Mr. Accident. I've watched stuff from this before. I'm not really in the mood to watch anymore.

McDonald played a doctor in Moulin Rouge. I'm not sure how big a role that was. Would he be in the trailer? Maybe I'll check. Here it is.

I didn't see him.

In the same year as Moulin Rouge, McDonald appeared in the TV show Love is a Four-Letter Word. He did eight episodes of the show. Lord Wiki says the show was about 20-something people living in Newtown. One of the features of the show was that they featured performances from various bands.

In 2002, McDonald was in Rabbit Proof Fence. He played Mr. Neal. I wonder if his character was one of the good guys or bad guys.

In 2003, McDonald was in The Rage in Placid Lake. This is the movie with Ben Lee and Rose Byrne. I remember that I thought it was a horror movie at first. But it's not. It's about a kid who wants to be an insurance agent. Well, we all aspire to different things.

McDonald plays Doug Lake. Ben Lee is Placid Lake. So I guess McDonald plays his father.

Here's the trailer. McDonald is sprinkled here and there. He has a beard.

For the movie, McDonald was nominated for an award from the Film Critics Circle of Australia.

In 2005, McDonald was in the miniseries about Mary Bryant. I've thought of this movie lately, because we've been watching a lot of FlashForward. Jack Davenport is in that, and he's also in Mary Bryant.

McDonald plays a reverend in the movie.

In 2006, McDonald was in a TV crime thing called BlackJack: Dead Memory. This Australian TV website says it's about a woman whose car breaks down, and then she's murdered. I hate stories like that.

I'm using a lot of this same Australian TV website today. I'm not sure if I've used it before, or not. I can't remember. But it's been really useful. I need to remember to use it in the future.

Also in 2006, McDonald did the TV movie Stepfather of the Bride. I've written about two other people from this program; Noni Hazlehurst, and Kate Richie.

In 2007, McDonald appeared in a TV biography called The King. It's about a TV star named Graham Kennedy. Lord Wiki says he's known as the king of Australian television. Ah, so that's where the title comes from.

McDonald played Nicky Whitta, a radio personality.

McDonald played Tony Byrne in A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne. I guess he played the father of the murdered daughter. I was trying to remember why I've written about this before. I had to look through the credits. Indiana Evans is in it.

McDonald received a Logie nomination for his role in the movie.

McDonald's upcoming project is an American-Australia horror movie called Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce are in it. It's a remake of a 1973 movie. Here's a trailer of that one.

All right. I'm done with the filmography. I'm going to take a break, and then read an interview or two....probably just one. I'm exhausted.

McDonald was on Enough Rope in 2004. I'll read that transcript.

Denton says that McDonald's father always thought his son was funny, and would be a comedian. Then Denton asks McDonald how he knew he was funny. McDonald said people would laugh. I guess that's a pretty good indication.

McDonald says he's very conservative....politically, or like with clothing and behavior type stuff?

Okay. I think he's talking about clothes. His clothes are conservative, but McDonald wishes he was more daring. One day he went out and bought some colorful clothes. He wore then out, and then realized they were pajamas. That reminds me of something. When I was in college, I wore pajamas to class....on purpose. I don't know what I was trying to do? Start a trend? I think I may have worn regular pants, but a flannel pajama shirt. Or maybe my whole outfit was pajamas.

I do sometimes wear, what I consider to be pajamas, out into the world. But it's really just a t-shirt and shorts that I happen to sleep in. They're not REALLY pajamas.

McDonald is asked what's the big secret of doing comedy. He replies, Oh, well I think the most important thing is that it's got to be totally believable and it's got to look effortless. That makes sense. Jack and I were talking about this yesterday. I played some trick on him. He believed me, and was impressed that I had tricked him. I told him that when you do a practical joke, you can't make it too outrageous. I forgot what my joke was? Oh! I remember. He was eating a Ding Dong for Dessert. While he was eating it, I said Why didn't you want cherry pie for dessert? I inferred that Tim (our resident chef) had made pie, and he missed it. It's kind of hard to explain. You'd have to be there. And I'm sure my comedic abilities are WAY behind the talents of Garry McDonald.

McDonald says that doing the Gunston interviews were scary....nerve-wracking. I can imagine. But maybe some people get used to it?

Denton and McDonald talk about how certain interview subjects had no sense of humor. I personally think EVERYONE has a sense of humor....well, unless maybe they're severely autistic or severely mentally retarded. But even they may a sense of humor. It just might not be one we understand. I personally think it's more precise to say certain people had no sense of humor regarding the Gunston interview.

In 1997, McDonald did a show called Ripsnorters. That was on IMDb, but it was in the starring-as-self category, and I often skip those. Anyway, during the time of the show, McDonald had a nervous breakdown. Lord Wiki had mentioned that a bit. He said McDonald dealt with depression.

McDonald says it started with anxiety, and then got worse and worse.

He found it very hard to get out of bed. That sounds pretty bad.

McDonald got psychiatric help, and took anti-depressants for awhile. Then later his diagnosis was fine-tuned to an anxiety disorder.

McDonald says one psychologist advised him to walk everyday. I agree with that....well, at least if helps me. I NEED to exercise....do something physical. I really do think it keeps me sane...or at least not deeply depressed. McDonald says And that's fantastic advise for anyone with depression. Force yourself to do that every morning, every morning, as soon as you get up, put on the walkers and go out for a brisk walk, and about 20 minutes and you'll notice a change, it's very, very good.

I don't go out for a walk everyday. I have something called a Bosu. I do stepping on it. So, it's something I can do rain or shine, and at night. I don't have to worry about Tim being home to watch Jack. It's REALLY nice.

Reading this has made me change my mind about something. We're going to the lake house tomorrow. I usually bring the Bosu, but was thinking since we'll be there for only one night, I can just leave it at home. I don't need to be that rigid about exercising everyday. But now I've decided I should bring it...not for calorie-burning, but for my psyche. I love my family A LOT. But sometimes I get emotionally stressed when I'm with them. So this can kind of help me be okay. If the weather is nice, I may take walks as well.

McDonald had a hard time with September 11. He felt it was the end of the world. I get end of the world feelings all the time. It's not really a depressive thought though. It feels more like the climax of an action movie. I get this sense that we're just at the verge of some HUGE thing. The ending of the world doesn't really depress me much....I mean the idea of EVERYONE dying. My fear of death is all about people missing each other. But if we're all dead, no one will miss each other. So no.... it doesn't bother me much.

I'm trying to figure out whether or not McDonald still takes psychiatric medicine. This depression website says he took meds for fifteen months. I guess maybe he stopped. Now he uses exercise and cognitive therapy. I personally think that's great.

This page of the depression website lists and rates various treatments for depression. They give the highest scores to anti-depressants, electroconvulsive therapy, and cognitive behavior therapy. They do admit though that anti-depressants have some side effects. I don't know though. Personally, I'd want to take them only as a very last resort.

They list other therapies that have been found to be helpful. One is bibliotherapy. I've used this. It helped me somewhat. I think it helps for awhile. It helped me understand things. But then I feel if you read TOO much, you start dwelling on your problems. For me, there comes a point, where I need to just move on, and think of other things.

There's various types of psychological therapy that work. It seems that some types of therapy work better than others.

Light therapy seems to work. I can understand that. I start feeling down if things are too dark. I like light....except when I go to sleep.

They have exercise on the list.

St. John's Wort helps. I have some St. John's Wort tea. I don't drink it too much. I'm not sure if the dosage is enough to make a difference. Maybe?

They list other stuff that has potential in helping; hormones, acupuncture, alcohol avoidance, aromatherapy, massage, air ionizers (interesting!), vitamins, and yoga.

The things that help me be okay are exercising, writing, and losing myself in fiction. Of course, the BIGGEST one is having a friend and/or loved one to talk to. I don't think ANYTHING can compare to that. The problem is that sometimes that's not available. Some people disappear when you're sad. They may be too busy to deal with it, or just want to avoid negativity.

I find my ideal talk-to-person, in these situations, is one that's readily available to talk. I have lovely friends who I communicate with a few times a month. I love them. But when I'm feeling down, I need those friends who write on a very regular basis. And there's Tim. He's there for me.

The other thing that's so helpful to me is having friends who make me laugh. They can make me see the funny side of my problems. They let me talk about things. We can laugh about it....And they make me feel that I'm normal. They don't make me feel like some sort of horrible freak. Well, honestly....one of the ways they make me feel okay is they're weird themselves. I've tried to talk to those people who put off a I'm-so-normal vibe, and that doesn't make me feel good at all....especially if they're condescending about it.

Anyway.....

I just took a shower, and realized there's something I need....a break! There's this little voice within me saying I don't deserve a break. It might be true. But I'm going to gift myself with a break anyway.

I feel very happy and relieved about this!