Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Disposable Dishes, Ovarian Cancer, Terminated Accounts, and Australian Television

1. Started watching the first episode of Offspring.  This show is full of girl-crush potential. I think I'm developing a small thing for Deborah Mailman.  I like Asher Keddie too.  This is nice.  I haven't had a girl crush since my Helena Bonham Carter thing a few months ago.

2. Loved that Darcy (the father of the baby) asked Cherie if she was vegetarian or gluten-free before he went out shopping for their new household.  From what I've heard and witnessed, Australia is more sensitive to special diets than America.  But America is coming along fairly well. At least these days it's easy to find vegetarian food at the grocery store.

3. Dreamed about Stephen, one of my Australian Facebook friends; one that I met through blogging.   I'm throwing a party and it's going to start soon.  I need to take a shower, but when I get to my room a guy is there who wants to talk.  He sits on my bed.  (at this point I don't think he's Stephen.  I think he's just some generic guy that my dream self knows, but my waking self does not).  I don't know how to tell this guy to leave so I can get ready.  (Then at some point around here he becomes Stephen.  I mean he doesn't magically transform.  But you know how characters in dreams change sometimes.  You don't notice until you wake up and think about it.).

Stephen wants to talk about an upcoming science debate/project.  He asks me what I'm going to do.   I think about doing something on litter/garbage, but then decide I'm going to study the reason why many American eating places use disposable dishes.  Stephen is confused, so I have to explain. I say in Australia if you take the food out, you get disposable dishes. But in many places if you decide to eat there, you get regular reusable dishes.   In America, it doesn't matter.   If you eat at the place, they still give you a paper/plastic bowl, plate, or cup.  I add though that regular restaurants have reusable dishes.  The ones that use only disposable are food courts, fast food places, coffee shops, and ice-cream parlours.   

4. Intrigued by something I saw on the Statcounter. Then all of a sudden I felt very dizzy. Since I'm weird I took that as a sign.  A sign of what?  I don't know.

5. Tired of reading about Bin Laden news and conspiracy theories. So I think I'll just ignore most of that now. 

6. Found out one of my Aussie internet friends has crazy vivid detailed dreams like me. I didn't know that about him.  You know, I wonder what percentage of people have these types of dreams; and I wonder how many have them on a fairly regular basis.   

7. Read article about Julia Gillard's plan to force teenage mothers back to school once their child is a year old.  If they don't do it, they lose their welfare money.  

How would homeschooling fit into this? Would that count?

What I'd worry about is the babies. Who's going to take care of them while the mother is in school?    Can we guarantee that the formal or informal daycare will take as good of care as the child as the mother? 

I think a good alternative is for these mothers to have online/correspondence education.   I would allow them to take classes from home.  That way they can school themselves, AND take care of their child. 

8. Read article about an Australian study on Ovarian cancer.   What's fascinating to me is that although it's an Australian study, the articles I'm seeing on Google News are not from Australian newspapers.  It seems like most of the main Aussie newspapers haven't picked up on the story.  

The news goes against everything we were told during the ovarian cancer awareness month.   The idea given that month is that we should watch for symptoms such as bloating, stomach aches, pelvic pain, back pain, and frequent urination.  It could be nothing.  You could have cancer.   If you have cancer, better to rush to the doctor and get diagnosed early. You're more likely to live.

The Australian study is saying this might not be true.  They found no survival improvements in women who got diagnosed soon after the symptoms began.   Once symptoms start showing themselves, the cancer has already progressed to a fairly dangerous stage.  So what do we do?   I guess it's not about relying on symptoms, and more about relying on testing and regular medical exams. 

I talked to the doctor Monday about ovarian cancer.   I just told her I've been paranoid about it.  She was reassuring, and not too dismissive.  She asked me questions about my family history, and then said she'd check a bit during my pelvic exam.  And I guess she did.  She reassured me after the exam that she felt no tumors.   Now maybe I have a tiny tumor there that she couldn't feel; and by the next time I go to the doctor I'll be all sick and she'll say,  Well, this explains it.  You have a huge tumor and you're going to die in a few weeks. That wouldn't be good.  

I hate cancer.  I do have to admit though that I like letting go of the responsibility of having to worry about my symptoms.  I'll just hope that if I get cancer, it's beginnings will correspond well with the timing of my yearly doctor's appointments.  

9. Questioned the intelligence of my doctor.  I thought it was a good appointment, but I don't know.   I just played with this breast/ovarian risk factor calculator thing.  The funny thing is I did it, and then after I finished I realized it was Australian.

Anyway, the doctor said that my being on birth control greatly reduces the risk of me getting ovarian cancer. This website says the opposite. So who is right?

Also, the doctor acted incredulous when I told her my grandfather had breast cancer. She asked me to repeat myself and then said she was going to write FATHER in caps because no one will believe her.  But breast cancer does happen in men sometimes.  It's not totally out there.   

Anyway, I have a pretty good score.  I'm at moderately increased risk.  My genetics aren't great, and maybe my birth control pill isn't good.  But I don't drink, my weight is healthy, and I breastfed a LOT.

I don't think the family cancer thing is a big issue.  First of all, I've had only one second degree relative with cancer; and I don't think he had it until he was elderly.   I think it's more of a concern when you have close relatives who got cancer at a young age. 

10. Looked up birth control pills and cancer.  It turns out the doctor is right, and so is the website.   The pills protect women from ovarian cancer,  but they increase the risk of breast cancer.  Yikes.  I guess I'll risk breast cancer.  I like taking the pills. Without them, I have horrible periods.    

Well, that's good.  I can have faith that my doctor isn't giving me totally wrong information.   I feel better now.  Still, she didn't have to act so shocked about my grandpa.  

11. Disappointed to learn that the person who was uploading episodes of Offspring has had their YouTube account terminated.  I hate that.  I end up having so many dead links on my blog. As for morals, to me, it seems too extreme.   I understand not wanting newly released movies, because then people can watch it online instead of paying for a ticket or paying for rental fees.   But a TV show?   People would watch it for free anyway.  And if you're not in Australia, it can be hard to watch Aussie TV shows. 

I feel a little guilty and paranoid since the day after I watched the videos and talked about them they disappear.  But I didn't see anything on my Statcounter to indicate that people were searching for illegal uploads of Offspring.  

12. Headed toward Channel Ten's website.  Maybe by some miracle they'll let me watch the episodes there.  

Nope.  No luck there.

13. Left a message on Offspring's Facebook Page.   Then my message disappeared, and I was no longer a fan of the page.  This is so annoying. I'm going to be a pest and try again.   

I'm wondering if they deleted my message and kicked me out for mentioning illegal uploads. But it happened so fast, so I kind of doubt it.   

Okay.  I retyped a message, not exactly like the first.  Here's what I said. Is there any way to legally watch this show from the US?   I watched the pilot and first episode via uploads on YouTube and fell in love. Then the YouTube user's account was terminated.   I really want to see more!!   Is there any chance it will be shown on American TV?   Or is there a website where we can legally watch it?    I really wish Aussie TV was more readily available. You guys get almost all of our shows. It's not really fair!  

14. Decided there's a big difference between watching an illegal upload for free because you're too cheap to pay; and watching an illegal upload because it's the only way for you to see it. 

But you know what. McLeod's Daughters came to DVD in America.   Maybe the same will happen with Offspring.   

15. Reloaded the Offspring Facebook Page to see if my message was still there, and BOTH messages were there.  So I guess it didn't get lost after all.  I still don't know why I suddenly stopped being a fan of the page though.  That was weird.  

16. Thought about ordering the DVD from Australia, but it's too expensive.  I might as well just make myself get over the show.  If it comes to America, I'll watch it or buy it. Otherwise, I guess my relationship with Nina, Cherie, and all the others is over.  It was nice while it lasted. 

Yeah. And I'm feeling a bit resentful towards all you Australians who watch our Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, and Glee.  While you're watching those shows, think of me and please feel a little bit guilty over the unfairness of it all.  

17. Decided I should stop linking to illegal uploads on things on YouTube.   I'm hoping it's not in some weird way my fault that people are being caught and terminated.   But maybe it is?   And also, these accounts seem to always get terminated (regardless whether I'm to blame); and then I end up with dead links all over my blog.  So for now on, I'll mention watching a TV show, but I won't give the exact link.   

18. Thought of Aussie expats. What if they're stuck in America, or another place that doesn't have Aussie television?  Isn't that unfair and awful for them?    My cousin is an American expat in Australia, and life is rough for her at times.   But at least she can watch many of her American television shows.  I don't know if that helps her or not. I would think it might.   Maybe it doesn't? Maybe it makes people feel more homesick? I don't know.

19. Worked a lot on my Harry Potter blog.  I'm so into it.  I started crying when I wrote some of the stuff.  Then I started thinking Well, if it's making me cry it must be totally brilliant.  But unfortunately it doesn't always work that way.  Sometimes I'll cry when I write something and think it's fantastic.  Then later I go back and read it, and see it's complete crap.   

It's really hard to write with this Magic is Might program though.  I'm trying to follow their timeline and they've become horribly inconsistent.  They used to fit two days into one day, which means they'd publish two news stories a day.   Now they sometimes publish one story, or sometimes they publish three.  They'll skip a bunch of days, which I really hate.  One minute it's December 3 and the next thing you know it's December 7.  It's really hard to have your own storyline with that going on.   

20. Found a pressed flower inside my copy of Perfect Skin.    I saw it really fast as I opened up the book at the wrong page.  I thought it was something awful like a vomit stain, or a big dead spider.   I figured I'd have to throw away the book, and be prevented from enjoying yet another story I had grown to like.  I took another quick peak, and saw that it was a flower.   That's pretty cool.  I've found things in used books before, but this flower has probably been the best find.

21. Heard John Bradlelum on my Wiggles Pandora station.  I love that song!  I put it in one of my family videos, but now I can remember which one. Was it a Thanksgiving video?   It probably was.   I need to listen to The Wiggles more often.  They make me smile.

22. Listened to The Wiggles sing Taba Naba with Christine Anu.  I have to admit it.  prefer Greg Page when he's singing children songs.   I think his voice works better with that. 

23. Had my hopes lifted, and then they crashed to the ground.  There was a update on the Offspring Facebook page about the show being on iTunes. I was so happy and wondered why I hadn't thought of that before.   But I'm checking iTunes and I don't see it!

24. Saw that Australia has their own iTunes.  You know what.   We might as well live on separate planets.  

25. Watched Offspring trailer on Australian iTunes, so I'm hoping this means I can watch the actual episode.   Then I will be very happy. 

26. Tried to download episode with my iTunes ID, and they said this ID can only be used at the American iTunes store.  The question is will I be able to legally set up an ID for the Australian store.  I'll go try. 

27. Faced with moral dilemma, and unable to take the low road at this point.   I should be able to do it.   I mean I was watching illegal uploads on YouTube.  What's the difference?  Anyway, I tried to set up an Australian account.  I got excited because they said if you don't have an Australian billing address, click here.   I stupidly thought this meant they welcomed foreigners.   Wrong!   When I clicked US, they just brought me back to the damn American iTunes.

I'm so annoyed.  What's the deal?  Is is dangerous for Americans to watch Australian television?   Will I turn to stone if I watch too much of it?

It's quite obvious that American culture has infiltrated Australia.   I've heard people complain about it.  So why not infiltrate America with Australian culture?  Sorry, but watching Oprah watch koalas having sex is not quite enough.   

Now you guys can understand why Americans think all of Australians are like the Crocodile Hunter.   Hey, you know, letting Americans have easy access to Offspring might help us let go of the myth that Australians ride kangaroos to school.