Saturday, August 2, 2014

Profile of Lisa Merrick...Part III

It's evening, and I'm starting to write this. But I probably won't finish tonight, because we have to eat dinner and then watch True Blood.

And I definitely won't post this until tomorrow, because I don't want to be spamming people. Though I did do three posts the other day.

I'm just having so much fun.

So...I'm going to do 1990 now.  This is the year Lisa Merrick's younger brother died. I'm not sure if I have an exact date of death. I'll skim through my notes.

I don't see anything.

I'll use random.org to find a date, but maybe I'll limit it to the winter months, since a flu death is more likely then.

Lord Wiki says the Australian flu season is May through October.

Random.org says he died on October 7.

I'm trying to find statistics for Australian flu deaths in 1990. I can't find it, but I did find American statistics.  If I'm understanding it correctly, in 1990, 363 people between the ages of 19 and 64 died.

Did Jesse have any underlying health problems that led to his death?

No. I think it was just a freak thing.  He caught the bug. No big deal. Everyone assumed he'd be fine. Then it turned into pneumonia and he died. It's very sad. Although actually it's not so sad in my novel, because he talks to his family on FaceTime and Skype. He actually starts dating Lisa's daughter's college roommate.

But back in 1990 things were really sad for Lisa.

At the time of her brother's death, she was in a serious relationship with her boyfriend Dale. You know...actually, I think they were engaged. But then they postponed the engagement when Jesse died.

It was a long postponement. They didn't end up getting married until 1993.

But let's stick to 1990 for now.

What was 1990 like in Australia?  I think Paul Keating was Prime Minister. Or maybe it was still Hawke.

Lord Wiki says it was not Keating. Hawke it is, then.

This Aussie music website gives details for 1990.

Lisa loved the song "It Must Have Been Love" by the Roxette. The song's from the movie Pretty Woman, which came out in Australia in May. Lisa was a fan. Her fiancé wasn't. He thought it was a dumb movie.

The movie Ghost came out in Australia a few weeks after Jesse died. Lisa has never seen it—too many bad memories for her. And she feels a bit depressed every time she hears the song "Unchained Melody".

An Australian song that Lisa and her fiancé both liked was Peter Blakeley's "Crying in the Chapel".

I just consulted Lord Wiki about 1990 in terms of Australian television. Apparently, it was a bad year for Neighbours. Actors left the show, and all that. You know, I think Lisa got fed up and switched over to Home and Away.

Lord Wiki has just informed me that five days before Jesse died, Dame Joan Sutherland announced her retirement.

And no, Lord Wiki doesn't actually mention Jesse...since he's a fictional character.  Well, Lord Wiki does talk about fictional characters. But not mine.

I just went to make myself some hot chocolate. While I did that, I overwhelmed myself with all this stuff I need to find out about Lisa.

First she needs a job, and her fiancé (Dale) does as well.

I know Lisa did marketing at uni, and Dale was into computers.

I just went to read my notes on Dale, and I saw something I forgot. Dale is from Gympie Queensland.  That's how he and Lisa got together. I guess they were at a party. Or a meeting? Something! And it came up that they had both spent their childhood in the same town.

Dale's a bit older than Lisa. He was born in 1964.. He was coming towards the end of his uni education, when hers was just beginning.  In 1990, he'd be 26 and Lisa would be 24 going on 25.

I guess they'd both work at some company in Melbourne. Do I need to know which one?

Last night I got it into my head that Lisa worked for a condom company. And now I see that the Ansell Corporation is in Melbourne. I remember watching some kind of video about them.

So yeah. Lisa spent years on the marketing team there. If I mention her job in the novel, I probably won't actually mention the Ansell Corporation.

Maybe I'll look for Dale's company later. I might end up doing a post on him as well. I'm having so much fun with these. Though I'll feel kind of bad if no one is having a fun time reading them. No, never mind. I won't feel bad, because they can just stop reading if it's boring to them. It's not like I'm forcing anyone to read. This isn't a school assignment.

I'm going to jump forward to 1993. This is the year that Lisa and Dale finally got married.

I'll use Random.org to find a date.

Random.org gave me the day after the third anniversary of Lisa's brother's death. That's really dark.

I think I'll choose again.

I tried again and got October a second time!

Third time was the charm. The lovely couple got married on January 8 1993.  I was going to plan a whole wedding for them, which is actually not that fun for me. I know, because I did it for the first novel in the series. I'm telling you. It's not easy finding an affordable wedding venue in Manhattan. I should have sent them to New Jersey.

I'm sure Melbourne wouldn't be too easy either.

But I think Lisa and Dale would have a small wedding. They had grand plans for their first wedding, but then Jesse died. And it was hard for them to get back on track. They didn't want to plan another big wedding. So they just did a small legal type thing. Just them and a few friends— their old roommates from their university days. Though by this time, I think the roommates have moved out.

Now I'll look at Australia in 1992. Yes, their wedding was in 1993, but it was January, so I think they'd still be in 1992 mode.

By now, Paul Keating is Prime Minister. Lisa liked him.

Lisa and Dale's favorite song at the time was Crowded House's "Fall at Your Feet".  After their small legal wedding, they went home, turned on this song, and had this private little dance.

I like that song a lot.

Lisa's favorite movie around this time was Strictly Ballroom.  I feel weird saying that, because I haven't seen the movie before. I should at least watch the trailer, so I can see what Lisa was loving.

Well, I watched it. I can totally imagine Lisa loving it.

I just went to pee, and as it often happens...I had deep thoughts while on the toilet.

I think Lisa would have mixed feelings about Jesse returning. She feels pressured to be super happy that her dead brother is back with her. And she feels guilty that she still feels very sad about him dying. The thing is...him returning doesn't erase the fact that he was missing from her life for fifteen years. Also, now he's so much younger than her. He should be forty-give, but instead he's twenty. He's spending a lot of time with Lisa's daughter and is dating a twenty-year-old.  Lisa would rather he still be close to her own age and not be dating her daughter's roommate.

Back to the other stuff....

Now I'm consulting Lord Wiki about 1992 Australian television.

Lisa would still be watching Home and Away. Her husband doesn't watch it. But they do watch Mother and Son together. It's the only fiction show Dale tolerates. Usually he prefers news programs.

Lord Wiki says that in February 1992, there was major flooding in Gympie. I imagine both Lisa and Dale would have relatives there, so they were probably concerned. Also that month: Paul Keating put his hand on the Queen's back.

Three months before Lisa and Dale get married, there was a lot of legal/court stuff happening with the Victor Chang case.

Oh! Cloudstreet was a book winner in 1992. Lisa really loved that book.

Sidney Nolan died a few months before Lisa and Dale got married. She liked his work, so was slightly sad, but not devastated.

I was just looking Lord Wiki's entry on 1993 in Australia. He mentions The Piano. Tim and I were talking about the movie the other day, because of Anna Paquin.  I thought maybe it was an Australian movie, but couldn't figure out why. Lord Wiki cleared that up. It's mostly a Kiwi movie, but it's also Australian because the producer (Jan Chapman) is Australian.

Well, I'm going to stop here. I'll continue later.  I think then I'll do 1995—the year Lisa gives birth to her daughter.