Friday, October 31, 2014

Dodgem Cars on House Husbands

I just finished watching an episode of House Husbands.

The characters go to an amusement park and they ride the dodgem cars together. We have those in the US too, but we call them bumper cars.  In my experience with bumper cars, you give the attendant your ticket; you pick a car; you ride around and bump into people; the ride ends; and you exit.

It didn't happen that way on House Husbands.  The characters rode around; then the ride stopped, and the attendant ordered everyone to get out and pick a new car. Then the ride started again.

I'm wondering...is that typical Australian dodgem culture? Or was it done that way just for the plot of the show?



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jeremy Cumpston

Today I will be learning about the actor Jeremy Cumpston. He played Connor on All Saints.

You know I get so confused with these posts about whether I should use present tense or past tense. All Saints is not on anymore, and Jeremy Cumpston is no longer pretending he's Connor (well, at least not professionally). So it's past tense in that sense. But I've been watching All Saints lately. Every morning. So for me, it's in the present.

Connor is a male nurse. He's one of two. He and the other are roommates. They're both wonderful, and if I ever have to go to the hospital, I would want my nurses to be just like those guys. The female nurses are wonderful too. The doctors are usually shit, which matches my prejudices. Maybe that's why I like the show so much.

I worry I'm being sexist by talking about Connor as a male nurse rather than just a nurse. Should his gender matter?

Well, I guess it kind of matters to me. I don't encounter many male nurses. I'm trying to think of nurses I've had in my life. I'm pretty sure they've all been female.

I imagine, these days, a lot of people (whether male or female) who express interest in going into the medical field are pressured to become doctors. It's more prestigious.  But with men, I think the pressure is even stronger. So for that reason, I think I have a lot of admiration for a man who ignores the pressure and stigma, and goes for the job he wants. If the reason they want to become a nurse is that they have compassion for people in need; well, that makes it even better.

The one thing I don't like about the nurses at All Saints is they order agitated patients to relax.  I've had that with my real life doctors and nurses; and I hate it. When I'm tense, talking back to me in a tense voice and telling me to relax doesn't make me feel relaxed. I think it makes me feel more tense.

I'm wondering though...what should be said instead? Or does it even need to be changed? Maybe most people don't mind it, and I'm a rare case.

On the episode I watched today, a patient was having a bit of a fit, which was understandable. He was realizing he was going to be a paraplegic. So he lashed out. When the medical staff said relax, I think what they really meant was STOP.  I think maybe that would have been a better word.

In other cases, patients are simply tense, which makes procedures more difficult. Saying Stop wouldn't be appropriate. Maybe relax would be fine, but only if the doctor or nurse can say it in a soothing relaxing tone. Or something reassuring can be said. How about...I know this isn't fun, but it will be over soon.

Now...enough with my medical ramblings. I should get on with the Jeremy Cumpston stuff.

I'm going to start with his bio page on IMDb.

They say he was born on January 10, 1967. He's six months older than Tim. I'm ashamed to say I don't know the age of my own husband. I had to do some math just now. Anyway...both Tim and Jeremy Cumpston are 47.

Holy crap. Here's something interesting. Very interesting. Jeremy Cumpston is a doctor!  In 2001-2002, he worked in Bourke at the Aboriginal Medical Centre.  Is that before or after All Saints?  Was he a doctor while playing a nurse on the show; or did the show inspire him to become a doctor?

You know when I googled Cumpston's name a few minutes ago, I saw an article about a doctor named Jeremy Cumpston. I thought, how funny...there's a real medical professional named Jeremy Cumpston. But now I'm thinking that might have been the one I'm writing about today.

I'll go back and look....

Here's the article. And yep. It's the actor-doctor Jeremy Cumpston.

Unfortunately, it's not a happy story. In 2010, Cumpston was suffering financial ills and marriage problems. Hopefully, now...4 years later, things have gotten better.

I'm trying to understand what the article is saying. It sounds really awful.

There's this maybe-evil company called Idameneo.  In the article, they sound definitely evil. But as they say, there's always two sides to the story.

So Cumpston needed money. He sold his practice and started working for an Idameneo medical center. He was overworked there and Idameneo ignored his needs and complaints. So Cumpston tried to work elsewhere, and then Idameneo sued him for breach of contract.

It's bad for any company to make any person work too much. But with some careers, it's even worse. Like doctors! Not only is it bad for Jeremy Cumpston's personal life, but it can put patients' lives in danger.

According to IMDb, Cumpston married a woman named Jessica Bretnall in 2005.  There's no divorce date given, so maybe they resolved their problems and are still together. Or IMDb hasn't updated their information.

Cumpston and Bretnall have two sons, one was born in 1999; the other was born in 2005.  So now they'd be 15 and 9.

I just looked up Jessica Bretnall's filmography. She's a producer. She produced the Julie Leigh movie I wrote about weeks ago...Sleeping Beauty.

I just went to look up the dates for All Saints.  It started in 1998. That's pretty close to 2001. I don't think you can get yourself a medical career that fast. So I'm going to assume, for now, that Cumpston was a doctor BEFORE starring on All Saints.

I have so many questions swimming in my mind right now.  When did he decide to become a doctor? When did he decide to become an actor? Why? And Why? When did he go to medical school?

If he was a doctor before starring on All Saints, did portraying a nurse help him have more respect and compassion for the real nurses who worked with him?

Is Dr. Jeremy Cumpston as wonderful with patients as nurse Connor?

The other thing I'm thinking is that the only other actor-medical professional I know of is Mayim Bialik. Bialik was a child actress. She become a doctor of neuroscience. Then she went back to acting and now stars as a neuroscientist on The Big Bang Theory.

Maybe Cumpston did sort of the opposite. Maybe he pursued medicine; decided he didn't want to do it, and went into acting instead. And then later he returned to medicine.

Or maybe not.

Hopefully I'll find out more later.

For now I'm going to look at his filmography.

Not only is Jeremy Cumpston an actor and doctor; he's also done some directing and producing.

Here's a short film Cumpston directed in 2011. It's called The Last Race. I'm going to watch it later. I saw the first few seconds. It seems to be about medical stuff.

Cumpston's first screen thing was in 1997. He appeared on Roar, the show starring Heath Ledger. Cumpston played Aiden in the pilot episode.

Here's part of the episode on YouTube. I'll see if I can find Cumpston.

I just looked at the credits of the show. Vera Fermiga from Bates Motel is in the episode. I was just thinking of the show, because I was thinking that the scenery in Roar is pretty. I should find out where it's filmed. Tim and I often find ourselves wanting to travel places because we see them in TV shows. Right now we're both eyeing Cardiff. Prior to that, Tim was interesting in visiting Canada, because Bates Motel is filmed there.

I might not be able to find Cumpston in this show. There are a lot of people, and some of them are disguised with beards and such.

Wait never mind. Someone just said Aiden. So now he must be here somewhere....

His scene begins at 4:18. He's getting married.

By the way, I just looked. Roar was filmed in Queensland. IMDb doesn't specify where in Queensland it was filmed though.

Jeremy Cumpston guest-starred on another TV show in 1997. This was in a show called Murder Call. It was a homicide detective type thing. Cumpston played a character called Adrien in the second episode. That name is sort of a similar name to Aiden.

He did some short films in 1998. I'm not seeing them, so I'm going to skip over those.

Cumpston was in 66 episodes of All Saints. The seasons of that show have a lot of episodes, so I'm guessing he was on about 1 1/2 seasons.

No. Never mind.

I just looked at his last episode. It was the 33rd episode of the 4th season. Though he might have been back just for a visit.

Let me look closer....

He was not in many episodes in 1999. Only four.

He doesn't show up in season 2 until the 6th episode. He's in episode 8 and then he disappears until episode 32.

He's in 5 episodes of season 3.

He was in 17 episodes of season 4.

What was Connor doing in 1999 and 2000? And what was Jeremy Cumpston doing? Maybe he was getting a medical degree in that time?  Maybe I'm wrong about it taking so many years. Or maybe he had the beginning of his medical education, and he just needed to finish it.

From 2001-2003, there's a gap in Cumpston's filmography. For part of that time he was working at the medical center in Bourke.

In 2004, Cumpston was in the TV movie The Mystery of Natalie Wood.  He played John Payne. Lord Wiki says John Payne was an American actor. He provides a photo of Payne. I see a slight resemblance to Cumpston.

The last thing on Cumpston's acting filmography is a 2004 movie called Get Rich Quick.

I can't find a trailer for it.

Cumpston had directed three short films. I mentioned one before. I found another on YouTube. The third I can't find. So...I'll have two to watch.

Before I watch the films, I'm going to see what Lord Wiki has to say about Cumpston.

Lord Wiki says that Cumpston was born in Darwin. I don't find many actors who are born in the Northern Territory. So, that's something sort of unique.

He has two children that IMDb didn't mention. One was born in 2007 and the other was born in 2008. Cumpston now lives in the Eastern Suburbs. I'm going to guess his family lives with him as well. Lord Wiki doesn't mention any divorce or separation.

Now I'll watch the films.

The first is from 2008, and it's called The Sky is Always Beautiful.

I'm watching it....

I totally did not get that. And it seems like it ended really abruptly. I'm not sure if that's the whole movie; or there was a mistake with the uploading.

Now I'm going to watch The Last Race.

Well, now I'm confused. The video I found is only 3 minutes, but IMDb lists it as being 28 minutes. So I think what I've found on YouTube is just a clip from the movie.

Oh well. I'll just watch that.

The movie is about organ transplants.  What I just saw was the last three minutes; and the end has a public service type message.

I think organ donation is one of those times where you have to REALLY put yourselves in other people's shoes. I'm not talking about registering to be a donor.  I think for most people that's an easy thing to do. But when you're in a situation where doctors are asking for your loved one's organs, I imagine it's very hard. When you're about to lose the one you love, I think it's probably hard to care about the people who might get to keep their loved ones.

And it's strange hoping for an organ donation. Because when you're wishing for that, you're kind of wishing for someone to die.  I guess the best mindset to have is understanding shit is going to happen. We might as well make the best of that shit.

This Australian television website has information about Cumpston. They provide the doctor facts.

Cumpston completed six years of medical school. He worked as an intern and a general practitioner. THEN he went to acting school.

While working as an actor, Cumpston would sometimes do doctoring stuff. Because he still liked that career as well.

I like what Cumpston says about himself as a doctor. I'd like to think I am a good GP because I really like people and I always try to be fair and honest when dealing with my patients. Listening is the key to medicine for me and in this regard I am interested in my patient's life on the whole and not just their symptoms. 

I definitely agree that listening is very important.

Cumpston has medical people in his family. His dad is/was a hospital administrator. Then his grandfather and uncle are doctors.

I wonder what Cumpston was like on the set of All Saints. I wonder if he often shared his expertise with the directors and actors.

Cumpston's family was in the Northern Territory because his father did X-ray screenings in an Aboriginal community. Then they moved to Canada for awhile.  When he was 11, the family moved to South Australia.

Cumpston planned to pursue acting. Then in year 12, he decided to study medicine.

Basically...it looks like the guy was torn between both careers. It's fantastic that he was able to do both. And it's really great that he worked on a medical TV show.

From what I see, it seems in the 1990's he did both acting and doctoring. He pursued both.  Then in this century, it seems he's doing more medical stuff than acting. I wonder if that's because he got tired of acting. Or was he unable to find more acting jobs, so he decided to fall back on the medical stuff?

This website has an interview with Cumpston about the organ donation movie.

I kind of missed something on the other website, but now I'm paying more attention to it here. That happens to me sometimes.

Anyway...Cumpston created a theater company called Tamarama Rock Surfers.  He performed a one man boxing play there called Shadow Boxing.

I just went back to reread the Australian television website. They say Shadow Boxing was the first play produced by TRS, and that Cumpston created it along with his sister and some other guy.  It's a pretty big deal. The theater company is still in business.  I mean it was a successful project...and a lasting one.

Cumpston asks why he wanted to make a movie about organ donation. He says it's because he learned that Australia has low donation rates.  He says about 20 people die a week because they didn't get an organ.

Cumpston talks about how it's important for people to talk to their family about organ donation; tell their family that this is what they want.

I wonder though if this is the main thing that makes people hesitate. Do they sit around thinking...Well, I'd like to donate dad's organs, but I don't know if he'd want us to do that? 

Maybe there are cases where people are against organ donation; but the brain dead patient expressed their wishes, and the person, against the donating thing, is nice enough to respect the wishes of the almost dead.

I imagine in most cases it's a matter of people agreeing with organ donation, but they're not willing to let go.  They had a storyline on All Saints like that.  There was a psychiatrist who was definitely pro-organ donation. But when it was his wife who was dying, he refused to let go. At first. Later they were able to convince him to donate.

It's very easy to check off a box on your license. It's maybe a little harder to have the talk with your family. But both of those things are much easier than actually being faced with someone who asks you to give up all hope,so someone else can live.

Right now I can easily think. Yes, of course I'd make the right choice, so someone else can live. But I know if I'm ever in that situation I would sit there asking, Are you sure he or she is completely brain dead? Are you sure there's no hope? Are you sure there couldn't be some type of miracle in the next few days?

Here's where Jeremy Cumpston works now. It's called the Ageless Clinic.  He does anti-aging work.
So if you're brain dead, he wants you to give up your organs. If you're brain is intact, he can help you look as young as possible...for as long as possible.

I wonder why and how he got into aesthetic medicine. Is it something he's passionate about; or did he need the money?

It's not the most noble medical profession.  That being said, today I looked in the mirror and started pulling at my face, wondering about plastic surgery.  I think it's a bad thing. I want to grow old gracefully. At the same time, I miss being beautiful.

Again, it's one of those things that's easy to have an opinion about when you're not dealing with the problem. When you're young and beautiful, it's easy to declare you'll never get plastic surgery. It's different when you're beauty points begin to drop.

And even the not-so-young. There are these beautiful women my age, or older, who say they have never done any plastic surgery; and don't plan to do it.  But maybe they're the lucky who don't need it!  What if they weren't so pretty anymore?  What if they turned a bit ugly? Would they still say no to plastic surgery.

I probably won't end up getting plastic surgery. I'd be embarrassed to do so. I'd feel like a moral failure. Plus, I don't like having medical stuff done.  On top of that, I'm cheap. I wouldn't be willing to spend the money.

Here's a video with Cumpston talking about something called Cool Sculpting.

It gets rid of your fatty bulges.

This video is making me feel kind of content in my ugliness. Or I should say my reduction of beauty. I'm not really ugly. And that's in the eyes of the beholder, anyway.

I think I just have to learn to accept my age and my changing self.

I don't think these types of treatments would work on me. I mean physically...they probably would. But I'd feel like a lie. If someone complimented me, I'd have the urge to blurt out Well, it's not really me. See I went to this clinic and had something done....

In the long run, I think I'd be more embarrassed about the treatments than I would about the aging.

MAYBE though...if it was affordable, I'd want to fix my pigmentation problems.  It could be because I see that as being abnormal.  I see wrinkles as something that's supposed to happen as you get older. Hyper-pigmentation feels more like a mistake.

You know what. I think I know the difference. Let's say I go to a party. Someone says, Dina you look so young! I can't believe you're in your 40's. I'd feel compelled to confess the plastic surgery thing. And that would make me feel ashamed. I'd feel like I'm one of those people who can't accept that humans age.

But if I went to a party, no one is going to blurt out, Dina! What happened to the dark patch of skin over your lip?  So I wouldn't feel compelled to explain anything.

I watched more of the Cool Sculpting video. I have to admit...it sounds tempting.  You lose fat and it's noninvasive.

Lord Wiki calls it Cryolipolysis, and he has nothing really bad to say about it.

This website says the average cost is $1675.  There's messages from people talking about their experience. From what I see, many of them tried exercising and dieting but that didn't get rid of the love handles and stuff.

The thing is I know that's not the case for me. I've lost a lot of weight...twice. First I had an eating disorder. Then recently, I lost my appetite.  With this last weight loss, I lost the love handles and my pudgy little tummy. My thighs had a lovely little space between them.  So it IS possible to lose the fatty parts with a reduction of calories. The thing is you have to be awfully extreme about it.  Then I have to wonder what's better....to go on an extreme diet where you're eating less than a thousand calories a day and pacing around your office so you get in 10-15 miles of walking a day.  Or is it better to just pay the thousands of dollars and get the treatment?

The best thing is to accept your body for what it is and eat and exercise reasonably.

That's easier said than done sometimes.

It's such a huge question. If there's something that can help you fit in better with our society's idea of beauty, and it's not dangerous to your health....is it a bad thing to partake in it?

Again, I'd be embarrassed about doing it. And I'd feel like I've joined in all the shit that pushed me to have an eating disorder....the horrible mentality that's pervasive in the media.  And I'd feel like I'm rewarding my parents who have too much admiration for thinness.

On the other hand, I think about a lunch conversation in which my table mates confessed to wearing undergarments that hid their fat. Is that any different from Cool Sculpting?  I don't think so. And I didn't look down at these people for wearing these garments.

And when I get dressed, I try to shy away from stuff that makes me "look fat". If I think we should all embrace our size and love ourselves for who we are, shouldn't I not care how my clothes make me look?

I gained back most of the weight I lost. I should be okay with that. I tell myself it was a medical fluke, one that caused me a lot of emotional stress, because I worried I might have cancer.  I shouldn't want or expect to keep that weight loss. But I do.

All of this stuff is so complicated.

I think I'm going to end here though, because I have work to do. We're going on a road trip. I need to work on packing, and I want to finish my episode of House Husbands.

Plus, I kind of want to stop thinking about all this plastic surgery and weight stuff. It's making my head spin.


It's hours later, and there's one more thing I want to add.

We just watched Torchwood; and then I watched a little bit of Doctor Who. Here's the thing. Captain Jack Harkness is as very handsome guy. But you know what? So, is the Face of Boe.

Being beautiful won't make us loved. But being loved will make us beautiful.










Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Animals

Lately I've been worried that, when my 50th birthday comes along, I'll be tempted to go to Cardiff and London, instead of Australia. But then I tell myself...don't worry. You'll be way over Doctor Who by then. It will be easy to choose Australia.

Who knows though. What if Doctor Who is still on the air, and I continue to be really into it? What if I become a total Whovian?  If I still love Australia, there might be some tough choices there.

Then as I was washing our water bottles, I started thinking I'll probably end up choosing Australia.

Why?

The wildlife.

Australia has awesome animals, and that's important to me.

The UK is kind of lacking in that area. Is there anything besides squirrels, foxes, and rabbits? And don't get me wrong. Those are lovely animals. But we have them here. Squirrels are very commonplace. Foxes and rabbits are rare enough to be exciting.  I love all those animals. But if I was going to travel internationally, I think I'd want something more.

I thought about zoos. Are there ones that showcase British and/or North American animals? In the zoos I've experienced, there are often Asian sections, African sections, and Australian sections. I don't think I've ever seen a British animal display. Maybe the London zoo has one...a local showcase type thing. Our zoo has a section called Texas Wild. 

I'm going to look at the Taronga Zoo. What continents do they focus on?  

Here's their map. They have an African area, an Australian area, and then the rest of the zoo is divided by animal types.  There's some South American animals. I don't see any major European or North American displays. 

How about the Melbourne zoo

I don't see any North American or British mammals.

How about birds?

Well, I just looked at the whole list of animals, and didn't see anything from my country or the UK.

Lord Wiki says UK's wildlife is not too impressive.  He says it has something to do with the ice age...ice bridge.

Whatever. At least I know it's not my imagination.

But then when I look at his long list of animals that ARE in the UK, it's kind of mean that I'm negative about British wildlife. Even if Lord Wiki agrees with me.

There are things besides foxes, rabbits, and squirrels.

There are bats, beavers, otters, mice. 

There's a St. Kilda mouse in Scotland.

There are hedgehogs, moles, and shrews.

There are goats and deer.

Walruses!  

Really though. Shouldn't I appreciate beavers and hedgehogs as much as koalas and kangaroos? Well, maybe not. Since I have all this Aussie love. But how about beavers and hedgehogs vs giraffes and elephants?

Why do some animals make us more excited than others?

Why are gorillas a star attraction at the zoo, but not badgers and foxes?

You know...I don't know if I saw squirrels on the Lord Wiki's list of British animals.

Maybe I'm wrong about them having squirrels there?  

No. They have squirrels. Just found a whole website about squirrels in the UK. Red squirrels have been around for thousands of years. The grey squirrel was brought over from my lovely land.  

So...anyway.

For now it's Australia, because if I had a choice between seeing an Ood in a museum or the chance of seeing a Tassie devil in the wild, I think I'd be a bit more excited about the latter. 

Then again...if we go to Cardiff, we can see the Face of Boe. That's actually quite tempting.

There might be some tough choices after all. 

Websites Listed in My Favorite Bathroom Book (Part 8)

It's time for me to look at another website listed in my favorite bathroom book.

Today I shall be looking at a place in Tasmania's Flinders Island. It's called Healing Dreams Retreat.  It's one of those health resort places. I've never been to one. I wonder if I'd like it. Maybe? It would probably depend on how dogmatic it is.  If they're too down on junk food, I won't like it. I love junk food.

Now I'm fine with them having their visitors take a holiday from junk food for awhile. I'm sure all our bodies need a break from the crap. But I wouldn't want to be at a place where the attitude is no decent human being eats junk food...ever. Or where someone says, I'm not too strict with myself!  In fact, I indulge everyday. They giggle sheepishly and continue. Every other afternoon I eat two small squares of dark chocolate. And on Sundays,I put a spoonful of honey in my plain yogurt.

I wonder if meat eaters feel that way about me. That's another way for me to look at it. I imagine many meat eaters would be fine going to a vegetarian or vegan retreat. I think they can manage to do a weekend of deprivation. But would they enjoy being at a retreat where it was expected that everyone there never ate meat?  I would say...probably not. In those situations, you either have to lie and pretend you're something that you're not. Or you have to stick out as some kind of bad guy.

Now I'm going to start looking at the Healing Dreams Retreat website. The home page talks about hiking, picnics on the beach, spa treatments, and yoga.  I'd like the hiking and picnics. I'm not into the whole spa thing. Yoga? I've done a tiny bit on my own. I've never really gotten into it. In a group setting, I'd probably worry about the whole farting thing. And I might be embarrassed about my lack of coordination and flexibility.

On this page, Healing Dreams Retreat has excerpts and quotes from people saying positive things about the place.

Well, actually...now I see they have copies of the whole articles that talk about the retreat. From the Herald Sun,  I've learned that the retreat also offers boat rides and mountain biking.  From the Qantas inflight magazine, I've learned that Flinders Island has very clean air. Also: it has good seafood, a lot of native wildlife, and lots of plants.

The retreat has greenhouses where they grow their own kiwi, strawberries, herbs, etc. That's very cool.

It all sounds quite nice.

They have some endorsements from celebrities. Ross Wilson says, 2 days is not enough. I will be back. 

I wonder if he ever came back.

The website also has endorsements from people who are not celebrities.  There's a long quote from someone named Marianne. She talks about how the attitude is very relaxed. There's no pressure to do anything. There are many things you can do, and whatever you choose is fine. I like that.  It was actually mentioned in my bathroom book as well.

At the end of her endorsement, Marianne says, By the way, I can't recall having a dream whilst i was there - it's probably the first time i've slept so well for so long and the dreams were so good that they just sequed into day dreams.

I don't understand what she means by that. But is not having dreams supposed to be a positive thing? To me, it would be a very negative thing. I love my dreams.

But she contradicts herself. She says she can't recall having dreams. But then she says the dreams were so good.

I'm confused.

Now I'm going to look at the gallery page of the Healing Dreams Retreat website.

The pictures are a bit small. I think the site would be better if you could click on the photos, and see a larger version.

The small photos show nice things, but none of them greatly appeal to me. None of them call out to me, You need to come visit!

Here's a list of the activities the retreat provides.

There's a guided bush walk. I don't understand the pricing system.  They say, Go out with our guide, half day, $100 minimum, every person over two, add $50.

Or maybe I do understand. I think you can either go alone with the guide; or you and someone else can go with the guide. Either way, it's $100. But if you add any extra people over that, they're each $50.

The retreat is safety conscious. If you take a bike ride, they want you to tell them where you're going.

There's a painting class.

There's a botany class.

There's something called Meet the Dreamtime. It teaches you to open up your senses. I guess it's meditation. Maybe?

They suggest something called a bush wander. This is a very different way of going into the Bush - you set no destination, and permit yourself to be drawn by interesting phenomena this way and that. You do this by choice, so that you become very attuned to what is out there calling your attention. This approach develops from the notion that, if Nature is speaking to us, we usually can't hear it because we shut it out with haste to get to our predetermined destinations.

I like that idea a lot. I like wandering.

Or at least, even if I have a destination, I like to take a free-spirited route. I used to get frustrated with Tim, because he likes to plan out walks when we're in big cities. He looks at a map and tries to determine what's the best way to go.  I kind of just walk and let the traffic lights guide me. I know where I'm headed, but with an awareness that there are many ways to get there.

But that was before I was iPhone dependent. I used Google Maps when we were in Australia. Then when we were in New York, I think Tim managed to be somewhat more relaxed about walking. Or maybe not.

There are times though where it's better to know where the hell you're going.  In NYC, we headed downtown to try to see the 9/11 memorial thing, and none of us knew where we were going. Actually, I think I was the one who started looking at the map. Tim might have been the one who just wanted to walk and see if that happened to lead us where we wanted to go.

We never quite found it.

I'm talking about city-walking here. What about bushwalking?

I haven't done much of it. Unfortunately.

When we were in the Grampians, Tim, Jack and Tracey went to visit some waterfall.  I think it was a very planned trip. Tracey is a planner like Tim; so they make a good pair.

I went on my own walk. I don't think I had much of a destination in mind. I just walked. Or maybe I did look at a map? But not in a premeditated kind of way.  There were maps on the walk. Or signs with arrows and kilometers. I might have followed the signs a bit.

I can't remember.

After you take a walk with nature, you can pay $30 at the Healing Dreams Retreat, and someone will spend 45 minutes helping you integrate the experience. Maybe some people would like that, but to me it would feel very invasive. It would ruin the whole thing for me. At first, I was thinking it was just a way to take more money out of people's pockets, and that's why I didn't like it. But even if it was offered for free, it would bother me.  Why do I want to have this profound personal experience and then....

And then what?

I really don't know what happens.

Maybe I shouldn't judge.

Maybe it's a wonderful life changing experience.

Now I'm reading about the picnic. It's not a casual thing where you get sand in your food. It's one of those fancy picnics with a tablecloth and silverware. Not that I want sand in my food; but I was picturing something more casual. I mean if I was going to have a picnic on the beach, I'd want to sit on a towel and eat a pie and chips. A little beach tent would be nice...or a picnic table.

Oh! They actually have dream-related stuff. I thought they were being figurative with their retreat name.

For $30 you can have an Evening Preparation thing. For $40, you get something called a Morning Discovery.

I'm torn about that one. There is a part of me that would love someone to sit there and listen to my dreams and try to tell me what they might mean. But I'd be afraid it would be bullshit. I would worry that they wouldn't truly listen to me or try to understand.

And here I'm judging their program without even knowing what it is.

Then again, they're asking to be paid $70 without explaining what they're offering. Although maybe at the resort, you're provided with more detailed information.

My guess about what it is? You ask a question in the evening; and the idea is that your dreams will provide an answer. I would imagine there'd be some type of meditation in the evening thing. Maybe it would involve some tools like candles, gemstones, herbs, etc. Then in the morning, I would imagine you discuss the dream with someone.

I could be totally wrong.

If I did pay the $70, I'd want to tell these dream gurus about the fact that there are so many people in my dreams that I don't know. It's been happening more and more lately. My dreams are full of strangers...though in the dreams they're not necessarily strangers. I seem to know them, sometimes.

It could be because of the Internet. More and more of my social interactions are with faceless people. Or at least I rarely see their face.

In the dreams, the people aren't faceless. They have faces. I just don't know the faces, and I wonder where my mind gets them.

Maybe I get the faces from people I've briefly seen. I've seen them enough for my mind to record an image, but not enough for my conscious mind to identify them.

Or they could be people from a parallel universe. I like that idea. Sort of. It's more fun than the brain thing, at least.

Now I'm thinking the Internet theory has holes. Because what about books? Through out my life, I've read books which provided my brain with a ton of faceless people. But I think in the past, I was more likely to dream about people I know.

I should move on....

Here's a list of the retreat's amenities.  They recognize that people differ in their preference for bedding situations. So they provide both doonas and blankets. And they provide a choice of pillow types. That's very nice of them. I like that.

Their food is ethical and environmentally sound. I really like that as well. Although I would probably eat and sit there feeling guilty for all the times I eat food that's not ethical and environmentally friendly. But still. I guess it's nice to start somewhere.

I'd think I'd like the food there. Although I love junk food, I also love healthy food.

They have Muesli, which I love.

They have eggs that come from their own chickens. I'd love that as well.

And they have dessert! They have ice-cream and pastries. And look at this. They say, Chocolate…we always try to have something chocolate!

Now they have totally won me over.

So it's not one of these health menus that's about avoiding a certain ingredient. It's not low sugar or low fat. It's about using fresh ingredients and ethical ingredients.  I respect and admire that.  Do I live by it? Unfortunately, not enough.

If there was a food scale with organic wholesome ingredients being a 10, and processed crap food being a 1....I'd say my diet was at a 5 or 6.  I eat the junk, but I also eat a lot of good stuff.  Although the good stuff we buy is often not organic; so maybe it's not that good, after all.

I'm feeling like a really shitty person now. Thanks a lot, Healing Dreams Retreat.

I wonder if that's how meat eaters feel when they bite into their dead baby lamb flesh, and I'm sitting there next to them peacefully eating my lentils.

This page of the Healing Dreams Retreat site has a history of Flinder's Island.  It's named after Matthew Flinders, the explorer. He's the one who gave Australia it's name.

The retreat is on a mountain; and that mountain is named after a Polish explorer named Strzelecki

I was wondering if Strzelecki was the Polish guy who came up with the name for Mount Kosciusko.

Lord Wiki says he is.

The retreat's website says Flinders Island has a reputation for being windy, but it's actually less windy than western Tasmania.

I guess Flinder's Island is in the eastern part of Tasmania. I forgot to check before...or even wonder about it.

I'm looking at Google Maps now. The island is north-east of Tasmania.  It's in the Bass Strait.

This page has a list of the wildlife found on Flinders Island. It's not a place to see kangaroos and koalas; but they do have wombats, echidnas, and wallabies.

It seems they don't have Tasmanian Devils.

They have a whole page about their birds.

I'd love to go to a place that has a lot of Aussie birds.

I was wondering before if this resort is worth it. They offer a lot of activities, but you have to pay extra for so much of it.  But knowing there are a lot of birds, there....I don't think I'd have to pay extra. I'd probably be okay just hanging birdwatching. And eating chocolate and doing the bush-wandering thing.

The retreat website has a whole page promoting their microorganisms. They say, Seldom do you see 'microorganisms' as a 'feature' but it is absolutely the case, for the healthy vitality of the food that we grow at Healing Dreams Retreat is directly the result of the health of the microorganisms. We keep microorganisms out of the bedrooms but encourage them in our gardens.

Yep. Microorganisms. They're magnificent as villains, but there are some who do good by us humans...and other animals as well.  It's nice that the Healing Dreams Retreat recognizes this.

This page has a history of the resort. It's run by David and Lila Tresemer.  They're the same ones who provide the morning and evening dream services.

There's a guy named Robert Lawlor. He wrote a book called Sacred Geometry, Voices of the First Day: Awakening in the Aboriginal Dreamtime.

Here's a website about sacred geometry; and they have information about Lawlor.

And why am I writing about this?

Well, it's what inspired David and Lisa's journey. They did work based on Lawlor's ideas in Colorado. Then they came to Australia to meet him. I think on Flinder's Island?  And they fell in love with the place.

So I guess originally they were American.

As for sacred geometry....it sounds New Age. Here's a page about it.

I don't understand it, really. But it sounds kind of lovely.

At least I don't understand it enough to summarize it well. So if you're interested, probably better to just look at the page yourself.

Now I'm reading Lord Wiki's description of sacred geometry. I'm getting that it's along the lines of spirituality through architecture and music.  And art in general, probably.  Maybe it's shape and form influencing our souls and the world.  I can get on board with that.

Here's another website about sacred geometry.  I think they summarize it well. They say, And See the Wonderfully Patterned Beauty of Creation The strands of our DNA, the cornea of our eye, snow flakes, pine cones, flower petals, diamond crystals, the branching of trees, a nautilus shell, the star we spin around, the galaxy we spiral within, the air we breathe, and all life forms as we know them emerge out of timeless geometric codes. 

So I'm guessing the dream therapy provided by Lila and David would involve some of these geometric codes.

Now I'm looking at the page of the Healing Dreams Retreat site that provides practical information; travel and all that.

They say they're open to singles, couples, and groups. Children under 12 aren't allowed. Jack's 13 now, so we'd be welcomed.

They suggest you rent a car, because sometimes they don't cook dinner. That's kind of a bummer. And I'd be out of luck if I went there by myself. I can't drive.

I'm wondering about the dinner though. Is it included with your stay? Or do you pay extra for it?

I'll probably find out more on the rates page....

To get to the island, you have to take a small plane. You fly from either Melbourne or Launceston.

There are bag size limitations, but the retreat provides certain things so you don't have to pack them—umbrellas, slippers, robes, etc.

Here are the rates.  It's $260 per room. That's not bad!  And they also have single rooms which cost $160. I like that they provide that.

It doesn't include dinner, but you do get breakfast.

The mountain bikes are included, and you can take walks for free.

There are various extras you can add onto the price. None of them would really interest me much...well, except maybe the lunch and dinner.  I'd probably want that if I came to the retreat on my own. Or maybe there's a place in walking distance where you can grab a pie and chips.

From what I'm seeing via Google Maps and Trip Advisor, there's no restaurant nearby. You have to drive 14+ minutes to get to anything. That would bother me. I would prefer that the retreat provide all food, so we wouldn't have to travel out to find anything.

I would want to be lazy.

Wait! I spoke too soon. Very close to the retreat is another place you can stay. And it has a restaurant. So if the Healing Dreams Retreat Kitchen is closed for the night, maybe you don't need to take a drive to find food.

Now I'm looking at a Flinder's Island Tourism website. They have information on flights.  Two of the airlines offer flights for $181 for one way. Why do they sell it that way? Who's going to fly there and not fly back eventually?  I mean even if you decide to move there; one day you'll probably leave the island...at least temporarily.

I'm wondering if I'd want to go there or not. I do have Tasmania tentatively on our schedule for our next (way-in-the-future) Australia trip.

I like the idea of the retreat, although I'm wondering if we'd be able to find something similar in regular-Tasmania. And that way we wouldn't have to pay extra for the flights.

It wouldn't need to offer a lot of New Age stuff. I'd just like a relaxing place where you can do the bush-wandering thing and see lots of wildlife.  Something like Halls Gap.

I found a website that has pictures and information about David and Lila. They're part of something called The Starhouse.  I guess it's a religion?

David is a writer and does astrology work.  Lisa is into meditation, yoga, and feminine mysteries. And like her husband, she writes as well.

I wonder what percentage of the people who come to the retreat are into the New Age spirituality stuff.  Do a lot of people come for that? And for those who aren't into it, how many people end up trying the services? Like the dream thing.

I was about to quit this post.  But I just found Lila and David's website.

They sell their books on their site. They're pretty expensive. Lila's novel is $25. I wonder why she doesn't offer a low-priced e-book?

Oh! Wait. Here we go. I found the book on Amazon. And you can get a Kindle version for $10.  I think that's a bit much for that type of book—meaning a self-published book. Although I'm going to raise the price of one of my self-published books. Right now it's $1. I think I'm going to raise it to $3  I thought having it very cheap would get me more buyers, but that hasn't really been the case.  And if I raise it to $3 I can get a higher royalty. So that way, when once in a blue moon, someone buys it, I'll get more money.

Lila's book has three reviews on Amazon. They're all 5 stars, and they were all written within months of the book being published. This is strong indication to me that the reviews were written as a favor. Or out of obligation.  I think all writers are going to have reviews like that. But if that's all they have, it's wise to take the reviews with a grain of salt.

In my opinion, you're book isn't succeeding until you get at least one rating from each star type.  Right now, my novel has mostly 4 stars. Then I have one 5 star, and a few 3 stars. I'm still waiting for a 1 and 2 star. Though one of the 3 stars has a review that reads more like a 2 star. So maybe I can count it. Sort of.

I want someone to hate my book. Although it's probably one of those wishes, that when it comes true, I'll start sobbing.

But once I get past the sobbing and thoughts of suicide, I'll remember this. It's literally impossible to write a book that everyone likes. Every book I've ever loved has people who've hated it. So my book needs to find its haters.

Then again, some people have started my book and then never finished it. You know what. That counts. They're quite polite haters, but still haters.

Now I'm feeling better about things.

Although I still think it's important to get a vocal hater.

It's every writer's destiny.

If you don't meet that destiny, it means your book isn't being found and read enough.

It's hiding from the world.

Here's a video made by David and Lila. They talk of lights and oneness. It is VERY New Age.

I'm not a big fan of the oneness idea.

David says relationships are about growing each other. That....I can accept. I believe we help each other grow. Sometimes it's by annoying the hell out of each other.  Ah...I just noticed a new meaning behind those words.  In a way, it might be saying, by annoying our loved ones, we help remove the hell within our soul.

When someone is annoying us, we have to work on our patience.  We have to work on not becoming angry. Sometimes that fails. We get angry. Then there's the struggle to deal with the anger in a way that's not catastrophic.

So yeah...I think the aspects of partnerships that probably provide the most growth are the negative and/or challenging ones—the fights, the differences of opinion, the insecurities, the manipulation, etc.

But if we have only the negative, then the growth will be a bad growth. It will probably lead to an awful outcome. Like suicide and/or murder. So you also need laughter, good times, support, compassion, and kindness in there as well.






Edited to Add: Today I started reading Neil Gaiman's The Ocean At the End of The Lane.  Soon after editing and posting this post, I read this paragraph in the book.

I have dreamed of that song, of the strange words to that simple rhyme-song, and on several occasions I have understood what she was saying in my dreams. In those dreams, I spoke that language too, the first language, and I had dominion over the nature of all that was real. In my dream, it was the tongue of what is, and anything spoken it it becomes real, because nothing said in that language can be a lie. It is the most basic building brick of everything. In my dreams I have used that language to heal the sick and to fly; once I dreamed I kept a perfect little bed-and-breakfast by the seaside, and to everyone who came to stay with me I would say, in that tongue, "Be Whole", and they would become whole, not be broken people, any longer, because I had spoken the language of shaping.

I think that fits eerily well with what I read, researched, and wrote today.











Sunday, October 26, 2014

Rove McManus on Twitter

Today I was looking at Twitter and saw that Rove McManus was there on the little recommended accounts sidebar thing.  Who To Follow.....

I looked at his account, and I'm very impressed.  Yeah....I like to judge celebrity Twitter accounts. 

I've decided Rove McManus's account is fantastic.

First of all, he's very conversational.  Most of his Tweets are responses to other people's Tweets. This, to me, is extremely important in my judging of Twitter accounts. 

Second. Though he does some bit of promoting of his own projects, it doesn't dominate his account. He Tweets about many other things. He Retweets, but his Retweets are often about things besides his own work.  

His most recent Retweet was about donating to a telethon.  A few days ago, he Retweeted something about endangered dolphins.

The most wonderful and important thing about the Rove McManus Twitter account is there are several Tweets about Doctor Who. So that has totally won me over. 

He recently responded to a fan by saying, Is that nerd bigger on the inside?  She had Tweeted, You make my inner nerd oh so happy. And one of the hashtags is #TARDISsocks.  I guess maybe Rove wore TARDIS socks somewhere?

There's a conversation with a fan involving River Song and Fezzes. 

He has a conversation with DoctorWhoAustralia's Twitter. It's about someone doing a marriage proposal in a a Tardis. 

And he has posted a photo of a Dalek TV shirt. 

It's all wonderful.

Yesterday I bought what I thought was my first Doctor Who purchase. I was so excited I posted it on Instagram. 

What did I buy? John Barrowman's autobiography. It's my early birthday present. I bought it because I was suddenly obsessively curious about why he speaks in a Scottish accent when talking to his Scottish parents. I hope he'll talk about that in his book. But if not....I'm sure the other stuff will be interesting as well. And I totally adore that guy, anyway.

I am very curious about the accent thing though. If anyone reading this happens to have a different accent then their parents, I'd love it if you'd leave a comment about that. I'd love to know if you switch back to your parent's accent when talking to them. 

Anyway....

After bragging about it on Instagram, I remembered that a few years ago I bought a couple of Doctor Who books. Before I was a fan. Because I wanted to be a fan.  It didn't work. The books didn't win me over. But eventually....Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, John Barrowman and a little kid in a gas mask would do that for me.

This post was supposed to be about Rove McManus. I'm totally off on a tangent here.

Who am I kidding? You know I was just using the guy as an excuse to talk about Doctor Who.

But still. I AM very pleased and impressed with the the Rove McManus Twitter account.  He seems like a wonderful person...or at least he is in the Twitterverse. 


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Geoff Paine

Today I'm going to learn about Geoff Paine. He portrayed Clive Gibbons on Neighbours...I think in the late 1980's.

I also hope to learn a bit about Clive Gibbons.  I'm not able to watch the show anymore, and I'm wondering what happened to him.

Before I left Ramsey Street, Clive was struggling with pressure from family (or a friend?) to go back to his medical career. Clive was a doctor, but for some reason he quit that profession. Then he worked as a landscaper. Or he pretended to work. He was kind of lazy about the whole thing. Then he went into this business where he relayed messages to people...kind of like a version of a singing telegram. Maybe? I'm not sure how else to describe it.

I liked Clive though. He had a fun sort of energy about him. He was one of my favorite characters on the show.

So...now I shall start my learning.  I'm going to begin with IMDb.

The only thing biographical on IMDB's bio page about Geoff Paine is that he's 5 ft 11 inches (1.8 metres).

I'm not good at judging people's height. I thought David Tennant was a short guy. I don't know why. Then I found out he was 6 feet.  Well...actually. I just looked. He's an inch above that.

Smart people look at someone on TV and compare them to the other actors to get a sense of height. My brain fails to do that usually.

You know what. I'm watching House Husbands in between working on this post. I'm going to pay attention to how tall and short everybody is.

Now I'm going to look at the Geoff Paine's filmography.  It's much longer than I expected. And here I thought I was going to have an easy blogging day!

Paine has been in a lot of things besides Neighbours. Like usual though, I will be skipping one time appearances on TV shows...unless it's a show I've watched. And I will be skipping movies in which I can't find much information.

So...let's begin.

It looks like Paine's first screen thing was actually Neighbours.  He played Clive Gibbons in 172 episodes between 1986 and 1989. I actually didn't see the beginnings of Clive Gibbons. The person who uploaded the old episodes to YouTube was a bit sporadic. So I would be watching the show, and suddenly find that many episodes were missing.  It felt like I was jumping through time. One day there was no Clive, and then the next day he was there...along with several other characters that were new to me.

I'm going to see what The Perfect Blend site has to say about Clive.

They call him eccentric. That's a pretty good way to describe him.

When Clive first came to Ramsey Street, Max Ramsey didn't like him. Yeah...but Max Ramsey rarely liked anyone. Well, that's probably an exaggeration. But I do remember him giving Daphne a really hard time.

Ah! Now I get the answer to why Clive quit medicine. He made a medical error that resulted in the death of his girlfriend. Yeah....I wouldn't blame him for quitting after that.

Lately I've been thinking about doctors and their errors. I feel some people are too forgiving when doctors make horrible errors.  There's that whole attitude...well, everyone makes mistakes.  Oops.

I'm okay with doctors making human errors....like accidentally giving a patient the wrong medicine. I mean I'm not okay with it. But I understand it. Humans make errors like that. I think the doctor should feel guilty; and they should really work hard not to make these mistakes. But I get it.

What I think is unforgivable is when doctors make mistakes from being cocky. An example would be someone having horrible stomach pains. They believe they have appendicitis. The nurse believes the patient has appendicitis. The doctor refuses to consider the possibility. Then....

You know what. I thought of a better example.  It was in the book and movie Alex: the Life of a Child.  Alex is in the hospital because she has Cystic Fibrosis. Her lung collapses. She knows it's collapsed, because this has happened to her before. The nurses believe her. The doctor doesn't. He dismisses her concerns, which results in Alex enduring even more pain than necessary. Later, when the doctor learns he's wrong, he's very casual about the whole thing. He's not too bothered. Yes, he made a mistake. But no one died. No big deal.  That doctor was an asshole, and I think people like that should lose their job.

If Clive killed his girlfriend because he was an asshole doctor, then it's good he didn't go back to medicine. I don't even think he should consider it. If he accidentally caused her death because his hand slipped and he cut the wrong artery...something like that. Or he misread her medical chart and gave the wrong medicine.  Freak stuff like that is very unfortunate. But it happens to everyone.  As long as it doesn't happen repeatedly and the doctor is usually wonderful at their job, I think it would be tragic to lose them in the medical field.

I should get back to Clive's story.

It was Clive's brother who came to Ramsey Street to convince Clive to return to medicine. He didn't know about the girlfriend dying, and finally Clive told him. I guess opening up helped, because then he did return to medicine.

After that, Clive met a woman named Susan. She and her baby needed a place to stay, so Clive let them move in with him. He fell in love with Susan, but Susan had feelings for someone else. Oh! It was Paul Robinson. Yikes.

Oh...this gets sad.

Paul rejected Susan, so she decided to settle for Clive. He was happy, but then Susan decided she couldn't go through with it. She left him. Clive got really depressed. Poor Clive.

He picked up the pieces though, and he left Ramsey Street. That was in 1987. In 1989, Paine returned to the show for a few weeks.  So Clive was back on Ramsey Street.

Then....

In the end, Clive Gibbons went to do medical stuff in the outback.

I'm looking more closely at IMDb now. Paine's last episode in 1987 was on February 27. Then he returned on September 6, 1989.  So he was gone for about 2.5 years.

Now I'll look at the rest of the filmography.

In 1987, Paine appeared in six episodes of The D Generation. I think that was a variety show.

Yeah. Lord Wiki confirms that.

Paine was in all the episodes of season 2.

From 1987-1989, Paine appeared on A Country Practice as Jeff Ryan. He was in six episodes.

According to this Australian Television website, Jeff Ryan was a football star who got himself injured. So on one show, Paine played someone who is a doctor, and on another show, he played someone who NEEDS a doctor. That's actually a stupid thing to say though.  In real life, doctors end up being people who need doctors.  Clive Gibbons might have been able to perform an emergency tracheotomy on young Lucy, but he wouldn't have been able to do one on himself. Or at least...it's unlikely.

Here we go. A man in Omaha saved his own life by performing his own tracheotomy. Wow.  That is damn impressive.

Anyway...back to Jeff and Geoff.  Jeff got married to a girl named Jill. I guess she was one of the main characters?

No. Wait. She was part of the guest cast too.

Anyway....I'm going to move on to the next thing.

In 1989, Paine appeared in two episodes of The Gerry Connolly show.  This was another sketch comedy thing. I'm guessing Paine was good at that.

Now I'm seeing that most of the stuff on Paine's filmography is one time appearances on various TV shows. So this won't take me long after all...at least not the filmography part.

It looks like maybe Paine tried to get work in the US. In 1989, he appeared on Mission Impossible. Although it could have been filmed in Australia. I'll look.

Well...yes. It was filmed in Queensland. At least this particular episode.  So Paine didn't do what I imagined.

What I saw was that he was in an American show and then there was a gap in his filmography. I thought maybe he struggled in America for awhile, and ended up getting only one job.

In 1996, Paine was in four episodes of Blue Heelers. He played a guy named Roman Kellerman.

The episodes are on YouTube. I'll see if I can find Paine in one.

There's a guy here, 5:10, who MIGHT be Paine. He looks very different, but there might be a resemblance. It's just that he has dark hair instead of Clive Gibbon's red.  I'll keep watching to see if there's anyone who looks more like Paine.

There's another guy at the end of the episode who might be Paine. He appears at 41:23.

I'm really not sure. I'm going to look at another episode.

Maybe that's him at 3:53?

I really have no idea.

I'm so lost.

It's just that so far, there's no one with an obvious resemblance to Geoff Paine. But maybe the guy at 3:53 is close enough?

I'm giving up.

But you know what. The woman from Blue Heelers looks so familar to me.  I'll have to see if I've see her in anything lately.

She's....

Tasma Walton. She's married to Rove McManus.  And I saw her in The Secret Life of Us. She played the ex-girlfriend of Joel Edgerton.

In 1997, Paine appeared in a TV movie called Kangaroo Palace.  Lord Wiki lists several actors in the movie and Paine isn't one of them; so I'm guessing his role in the film was quite small.

In 1999, Paine appeared in The Craic.  Lord Wiki doesn't mention Paine here either, so again I'm guessing the role was small.

But I'm going to watch the trailer...see if, by chance, I can spot him.

Even if he's there, I doubt I'll see him. I couldn't manage to find him in Blue Heelers. Why should this trailer be any different?

I feel like a failure today.

Wait! I think I saw him!  MAYBE that's him at 2:02.  I think it is. And he has red hair...like his did with Clive.

The red hair is helpful.

I didn't see anyone with red hair on Blue Heelers.

Also in 1999, Paine appeared in three episodes of The Mick Molloy. I think this is another sketch comedy.

Paine was in the first episode, and that episode is on YouTube. I might be able to find him, because IMDb specifies that he's a photographer in the sketch "How Delightful". Having that information might be helpful.

It's a long episode though...almost 2 hours. It's going to be slow to load. I'll look at other stuff while that's happening.

In 2000, Paine was in the movie The Wog Boy. I think this was another case where he had a small role. But I'll see if I can see him the trailer.

No, I didn't see him. And I didn't recognize Abi Tucker until the announcer person mentioned her name.

I found the Mick Molloy sketch with Paine. It starts at 1:03. It's a pretty short scene.

In 2006, Paine did yet another sketch comedy show. This was called The Wedge.

From reading this post, one might think that Paine's career consisted of Neighbours and sketch comedy, but remember I'm skipping a lot of other TV shows in which he appeared just one time. And some of those were dramas.

In 2008, Paine was in eight episodes of Very Small Businesses. I think that's on Hulu actually; and on my to-watch list.

Here's a trailer for that. Maybe I'll see Paine.

I didn't see him. Or at least I didn't see anyone with red hair. If he was there with a different color of hair, I missed it. Sorry.

In 2010, Paine was in the movie The Wedding Party.  Here's the trailer for that.

I see Paine! And he doesn't even have red hair. It's light brown. But I managed to recognize his face this time. He's at :08, and again at :44. Plus, his name is shown in the trailer.

Paine was in a short film called Pisces, Arise. I found it on YouTube, but it took me awhile to figure out if it was the right film or not. I kind of skipped through, and I saw Paine. Maybe I'll watch the whole movie later. If I decide not to...while I'm here, let me just say he first appears at 1:26. Or at least I think that's him. I'm not 100% sure.

In 2011, Paine starred in the show Mal.Com. He had the title role. So that's a pretty big deal.

Lord Wiki says it's a children's show on the ABC. Malcolm is the host of a television show, and he happens to be a robot.  The ABC website has a picture of the show, and some information.

It looks cute; kind of reminds me of Small Wonder, that 1980's show where the daughter was a robot.

The most recent thing on Paine's filmography is a show called Be a Man. Paine is the star. But I can't find anything about the show. Maybe it hasn't been released yet.

So I'm done with the filmography. I think the first next thing I'll do is read this interview on The Perfect Blend (Neighbours) website I saw it when I was reading the biography page of Clive Gibbons.

The interview is from 2003.

Paine says before Neighbours, he was in acting school.

He says the show started becoming popular in the UK just when he was leaving.  That kind of sucks for him. I didn't realize it took a few years for it to gain popularity.

Paine is asked about his favorite work on the show. He says it's when he played piano for Myra De Groot. I remember that!  On the show, she sang really bad. It was funny. Paine says in reality, she's a good singer.

Paine says the reason he returned in 1989, was there was going to be a Neighbours spin off called City Hospital. I guess Clive Gibbons was going to be one of the characters. But it didn't work out.

Paine says he doesn't really keep in touch with any of his Neighbours co-stars; and when asked if he'd return, he gives a simple No.  That's too bad. It's a happier story when actors do keep in touch with their castmates, and they do want to return to the show.

Here's a 2011 article about Paine.

From what it says, I get the idea Paine didn't like Neighbours because Clive was too good...too nice. Paine says, He was a real nice guy.' At one point he even played the church organ. That's when I realised I had to get out.

Well, I LIKED that Clive was nice.

I like nice people.

But maybe it's boring playing them on TV. Or at least boring for some actors.

I personally don't feel Clive was boring-nice though...or too nice. He was wacky. Or as The Perfect Blend says: he was eccentric.

The article is mostly about the fact that Paine hit his neighbour.

The neighbours were being loud at 2 in the morning. Paine went over there. They argued, and Paine head-butted him. Then he had to take an anger-management class.

The anger-management class was a one day thing and there were things there that annoyed Paine—Such as people revealing too much to strangers and the idea that problems can be solved in a one day class.

Paine turned his experiences into a play called Unpack This.

Yesterday one of the characters on House Husbands hit another character. I couldn't really blame the guy for feeling violent. The injured character really antagonized the hitter.  And today I started thinking maybe we shouldn't be so down on hitting. Maybe if people hit each other more, they'd be less likely to shoot each other. But then I started remembering that some people actually manage to kill each other with hitting.

What if there was a non-dangerous way to be violent and angry?

How about instead of blaming video games for school shootings...what if they used the games to maybe prevent school shootings?  Let's say you have students who are having some interpersonal conflicts. You take them to a room and make them play a violent video game against each other. They can fight and kill each other; but not for real. They can get their aggression out. I'd say have a few sessions though...and give the kids a chance to practice between the sessions.

I imagine some people might argue against that. Some people don't want any violence in the world...period. Not even fictional and/or virtual. I disagree with them. But....The only problem I see with my idea is that maybe it could actually increase the violent feelings. I kind of doubt that, but I don't know. I think it would depend on the personality of the fighters. In some cases, I imagine the students having a great sense of humor. They work out their conflict through fake violence, and in my fantasy world...they actually end up as friends.  But I can also picture two people playing the game, and they get even more angry at each other. What if someone is really bad at the game, feels insecure about that, and lashes out?

Still, I think it's worth a try. Or at least a thought.

Has anyone thought of it before?

Well, here's an article about video games being a good way to let off steam...angry steam.

I think we're totally on to something here.

I just found this website about Geoff Paine. He has a company called Ready to Roll.  It involves him working as an MC at corporate events.

Here's the actual website. It's a production company.  And I guess they do corporate stuff...at least sometimes.

The company is based in Melbourne. Paine is the creative director.

The website has some sample videos that feature Paine.

Here....you can find a training video.  In this Paine plays a guy named Travis.

Here's a safety video with Paine.  He asks the woman on the video why accidents happen, and the answers she provides would also probably work for why doctors make mistakes.  I'm not going to quote the whole thing, but it's along the lines of wanting to get the job done and kind of not being fully there. She says, the blinkers come on.  I think maybe it's like you daydream. Or you take your abilities for granted. You might be in a kind of daze. Stuff like that.

It's like when I accidentally put the ice-cream in the refrigerator instead of the freezer. Since I do stuff like that, I might have sympathy for the doctor who removes the wrong kidney.

Ready to Roll looks like a fun company. I think it's very cool that Paine took his acting, writing, and other skills; and started the business.

Now I'm going to watch that short film...Pisces Arise.

The beginning has a narrator telling us about a UK witch from long ago.  She had a spell book that is now available because of internet shopping.

Paine plays a guy who works at a fish and chip shop. He's the boss of the younger guy there.

The food doesn't look very appetizing. The younger guy tells Paine he's going to go out to eat. Paine suggests he eats the food that's there at their shop. And then we see that there are a lot of flies on the food.

The young guy (Grant) is the main character in this. I think Paine is sort of a antagonist. He's the annoying boss.

Grant has the spell book! He has a crush on the girl who works next door at the bagel shop. I'm guessing he's going to try for a love spell.

Grant has brought the fried fish back to life. It coincides well with the episode of Torchwood we watched tonight. It was about a resurrection glove (AKA the Risen Mitten).

Well...I'm done watching the movie. It was...interesting. I liked it a little. I didn't love it.



It's Really None of Their Business

Last night I had this dream:

I start writing a blog post about our friends who are moving, and the fact that I'm happy for them. I then write about how I wanted to move to Australia, and how certain people were not supportive of that. 

The dream might have been influenced by the book I finished reading last night: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen.  In the book, a woman in her thirties is pressured by her parents to continue living with them. The mother employs psychological warfare whenever her daughter starts making plans to move into her own home.  I think reading that brought back memories of how I received so much antagonism and guilt trips when I talked about wanting to move to Australia. And prior to that, we also received disturbing amounts of antagonism for simply saying we'd like to spend six months overseas at some point. 

Then today on Instagram I saw this post from 19kimf, an account that posts inspirational type things. 

The post says: Don't ever feel bad for making a decision about your own life that upsets other people. You are not responsible for their happiness. You're responsible for your own happiness. Anyone who wants you to live in misery for their happiness should not be in your life to begin with. 

I love that. But I would make exceptions. And that would be your immediate family—the people who live with you and share your life with you. So, for me that would be Tim and Jack. With your immediate family, sometimes you have sacrifice your own dreams in order to balance the happiness of each family member. Balance is the key, though.  If one person is too often forced to be the one to make sacrifices, that's not fair, and it shouldn't be tolerated. 

Outside the immediate family, though, it's really none of anyone's business. And they should keep their opinions and pressure tactics to themselves.

I'm pretty much over wanting to move to Australia. I'm fairly okay living in America. But despite this, and despite the fact that certain people now say they're over their controlling need for geographical closeness; I think I will always hold a bit of a grudge for the responses I received regarding my desire to move to Australia.   

As far as the Instagram quote, I don't think anyone WANTED me to be miserable. I think what it is, is that they were content with me being miserable if it meant them getting what they wanted.  Or more precisely, they want me to make the choices that make them happy, and then I'm supposed to be happy about it too. 





Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mismatched Love

On my episode of All Saints today,  the nursing staff learn that Dr. Luke and Nurse Bron are having some romance together.  Bron is very pleased to have their relationship become public. Why? She's excited and happy that they're together. Dr. Luke isn't so happy. Why? He's secretly in love with another nurse—Stephanie. And Stephanie loves him back. They could get together if it weren't for the fact that Stephanie is married to someone else.

There was a painful scene towards the end of the episode where Bron is thrilled about going on a ski trip with Luke.  Luke appears much less thrilled. It's obvious he wishes he was going with Stephanie instead. 

I wonder if Bron notices that Luke is much less excited than she is.  Is she so busy being excited that she doesn't notice he's less excited than her? Or does she notice, but she tries her best to ignore it?

Bron is adorable. There's nothing lacking about her. I personally think she's cuter than Stephanie.  If I could reach out and talk to fictional characters, I'd tell her to find another man. Why waste her time with Luke? She should find someone who totally adores her. She's definitely worth it. But then I thought about it. She's probably very attracted to Luke. She has strong feelings for him. What happens when we have strong feelings for someone, and they're willing to go out with us? Maybe they're not passionate about us, but they're willing to give it a go.  How many of us would say, no thanks. I'm going to wait until I find someone who really loves me...A LOT

What if we do say that and wait? What if someone shows up and they're madly in love with us? What if they think we're absolutely wonderful, and then we don't feel that about them.

How often are people madly in love with someone who loves them that much back?

Well, I actually think it's impossible for two people to love each other exactly evenly.  But sometimes it's probably very close. 

You know....the problem there is that out of the people who love each other almost equally, many of them are likely in Stephanie and Luke's situation. They can't get together because one of them is already taken.  Well, I guess they can, actually.  There's the whole forbidden love thing.   

Incredibly Adorable

I think I have a new favorite Australian thing.

Baby Emus!

South Australia's Instagram account had a photo two days ago that I loved.

Then today, Tourism Australia's account had a photo of baby emus from Western Australia.  The caption on that one says it's the fathers who take care of the eggs and babies. I didn't know that.  It's pretty interesting.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Please Drive Carefully

Last night I got an email from my sister. Her neighbor's daughter was hit by a drunk driver. That sparked a conversation about my own family's experience with this.

This morning, I checked Andrew's blog, and he has a post regarding a tearjerker video involving car accidents. I haven't had the heart to watch it yet.

Then I go check my Instagram Feed, and there's a post on one of the accounts I follow regarding another account. The girl hadn't posted for awhile. Then her brother appears with a message. His sister has died recently. She was hit by a car.

It's really depressing and scary. Unlike sharks and Ebola, cars ARE likely to kill you.

I hope people will drive more carefully, and avoid driving while drinking, tired, texting, playing with the music buttons, etc.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Websites Listed in My Favorite Bathroom Book (Part 7)

 It's time for me to look at another website listed in my favorite bathroom book!

At some point, I will take a break from the website and we shall go to the zoo. I'm not in the mood to go to the zoo. Nor am I in the mood to write this post. It's one of those days.  Do you ever have days like that? Nothing in particular is very wrong. But you just feel blah?

I'm hoping, though, that writing this post will help me get out of this mood. The zoo might be helpful too.

Anyway....

Today I'm looking at Como Cottages in the Dandenongs.

The Dandenongs is in Victoria; not too far from Melbourne, I believe. I think it's east of Melbourne.

I'll look at Google Maps to see if I'm right or wrong.

I'm totally right! It's 48 minutes east of Melbourne. I actually thought it was a bit farther than that. I was thinking a couple of hours.

On the Como Cottages website, the Dandenongs look really beautiful. It's very green and flowery. And I love the cottage. One of the windows has stained glass on the edges.

It all feels kind of magical.

It makes me feel...something. I'm not sure what. But I'm definitely attracted to this place.

Now I'm going to read the few paragraphs on the home page.

It's a bed and breakfast.

It's supposed to be romantic.

I wasn't thinking romance when I looked at the picture. I think I was imagining something more solitary.

Maybe it would be a good place to be a hermit. Or a witch.

The writing on this page is annoying me. They say.... and you have the luxury of climbing into bed made with crisp white sheets, after a soak in your claw-foot bath or a bubble in your large, romantic two-person spa. Complimentary chocolates, quality toiletries, a selection of pillows, in house massage, tv, dvd, cd hifi and board games are provided for your complete comfort and entertainment.

That sounds too ordinary for my magical hermit-witch retreat. What I want them to say is This is a quiet place for you to work on your spells and divination skills. Or perhaps you'd like a nice place to return to after you go on your astral travel adventures. Our cabin will fulfill all your magical needs.

Although they don't push the witch or solo travel idea; they do go beyond romance. Kids are welcome.  So it could be nice for a family vacation. They also allow pets in some of the cottages.  I like how they say it. A couple of our cottages are pet friendly too, for those who can't bear to leave their loved ones behind.  That's very sweet.

This page of the Como Cottages website has information about their different cabins and their spa.

There are seven cottages. Two are for families and four are for  couples. Then there's one that can't be used for couples or families. And I'm sure they're not strict about who stays where. If a couple wanted to stay in a family cottage, I imagine that's fine.

Minor interruption here. I just wanted to say that I'm now listening to the most beautiful song on my Aussie spotify list.  It's so sad...but also lovely.  I have a lot of wonderful songs on my Spotify list, but I think this one's extra special.

The song says:

When fate delivers me, all I'll ask it for. 
Is a Place to Rest and Shelter for My Soul.

Now THAT is what I feel should be the purpose of Como Cottages. It's not romance or a girl's getaway, or a family holiday. It's a place for a sad person who needs to get away—a person who needs shelter for their soul.  It doesn't have to be a witch. How about someone who has lost the love of their life?  Or they just learned what happens to Donna Noble.

I'm going to look at the different cottages.

Lavender Cottage is the one with stained glass on the window.  It has two bedrooms and can fit four people.

If you have a big family or big group, Costwald Cottage is probably the right choice. It's the biggest cottage on the premises, with three bedrooms.

The Forget Me Not Cottage has a cool Cadbury sign. This is the cottage that is listed as being for family or romance. It fits two people. So maybe it's the one that's best for single-parent-with-a-single child trips. Maybe the other two people cottages are a bit romantic, and things might be feel awkward. I don't know.

The website provides a lot of photos of each cottage. I didn't notice that before.  I mean I didn't notice until I got to the Forget Me Not Cottage, and that's when I saw the Cadbury sign.

Now I'm going to look back at the Lavender Cottage and the Cotswald Cottage.

The Lavender Cottage reminds me of the Pinnacle Loft in Halls Gap. They have the same type of bedroom...where there's no door.  I wasn't a big fan of that.  The TV sounds coming from the den downstairs were too loud for me. And I felt like there was a lack of privacy.

One of the rooms has an old fashioned typewriter. It's very cool.

They have pictures of the Costwald cottages in the snow. It's a total fairy tale.

 I was about to say I'd love to stay there for Christmas. SILLY me.....

Ah! They have a Bill Bryson book in the cottage. So if you get tired of reading your numerology book, you can look at that.

I'm looking at the Forget Me Not Cottage again. I think I made a mistake. I thought it said it was for two people, but now I see that the bath is for two people.

They don't say how many people fit in that cottage, but in the pictures I see a queen sized (or double?) bed and a single bed. So you could probably fit three people.  It would be good for Tim, Jack, and me.

Now I'm looking at the Garden Cottage. Most of the photos they provide for that one are of the exterior. I'm wondering if that's because the inside is not impressive. Or is it because the outside is the highlight. It IS called the Garden cottage, after all.

They do have a picture of the kitchen, which has this awesome old-fashioned refrigerator. I love it.

I like the hill leading down to the Como Cottage. I don't like the bedroom much, though.

The kitchen is nice.

It seems all of the kitchens have something called a Kooka stove. I have no idea what that means, but I guess it would excite some people.

Lord Wiki says they were made by a company called Matters. And guess what...Kooka comes from Kookaburra.

I didn't consider the idea that it might be an Australian thing.

Now I'm excited about it.

Well, I spoke too soon. Not all the cottages come with the Kooka stove.  It seems the Mills Cottage doesn't. Or they forgot to mention it. I think the Kooka stoves have kookaburras on them. The Mills cottage oven doesn't. But it still has that cool old fashioned appearance.

The bedroom has a porch, and the door for that has stained glass. It's pretty.

Their simplest cabin is the Caretaker's Cottage. It doesn't have a fancy bath or Kooka stove. They do say, though, that this cabin might be good for solo travelers. So they're not ignoring that type of holiday.

Now I'm looking at the spa offerings. None of it interests me. I'll move on.

You know...this post is cheering me up. And now I AM in the mood to go to the zoo. I hope we go soon.  I'm really not in the mood to see any particular animal. I just feel like being outside, but not in the general outside. I'm in the mood for a tourist-attraction type outside.  I'd love to be at Disney World today.

Here's a list of the facilities included in your Como Cottages stay.  A lot of it seems to be what's typical and should be expected—like sheets and towels.

There's a VIP Pass and complimentary limo transport to a place called Sky High. Here's their website.

To get the free limo, you have to eat at the restaurant. And they do the free transport only Monday through Thursday.

The limo comes from Sky High not Como. They do pick-ups and drop offs from other local bed and breakfasts as well.

This page has breakfast information. It's not the type of bed and breakfast where you're served brekkie by the hosts and meet your fellow travelers.  Instead the food is there for you in your kitchen. I'm guessing you cook it yourself. That might be fun with the Kooka stove.

One of the foods provided is baked beans. I didn't know that was eaten in Australia. Is it usually served for breakfast?  In the US, I think it's more of a dinner or lunch food.

Lord Wiki says baked beans are part of a the whole full-English breakfast thing. And they are known for causing farting.

Do they cause more farting than other beans....like black beans?

This website says baked beans may cause LESS gas than other beans. And in general, canned beans cause less gas than dried ones.

Well, we just got back from the zoo. It was lovely. Today the Tawny frogmouths were facing frontwards, so we could see their faces. That was very cool.

We also saw two kangaroos and the kookaburra.

I should have told the kookaburra  that there's a stove named after him. He probably doesn't know that. He might not even know he's Australian. And he probably doesn't know that Gough Whitlam died.

While we were at the zoo, I started wondering if there is anything like the Dandenongs near us. It won't be as good, of course. There'll be no kangaroos, koalas, or eucalyptus trees.  No Galahs or cockatoos. But still. It still could be nice. There'd be trees and birds.  I like trees and birds...even when they're not Australian.

Ah! I think I found a place. Hill Country. I've actually heard of it before, so I kind of had it in the back of my mind. Then when I googled cottages in Texas, that's what I got.

Maybe we'll go there someday.

Anyway...back to the Dandenongs.  This page of the Como Cottage site, has a long list of nearby businesses you can visit.

There's a place called Chocolate Sensation.

There's a lot of food besides chocolate. I mean...a LOT of food. I don't see much chocolate. What's the deal with that?

I'm not impressed.

The place that excites me most on the list is Miss Marples Tea Room. But the link doesn't work. The website seems to be gone. I wonder if that means it's closed.

I just watched a promotional video for Miss Marples Tea Room. It's fantastic. The narration is mesmerizing.

Their reviews on Urbanspoon aren't so good though. Their general rating is 62%.  At least two people say the scones are more like cake. I wonder if they're serving American-type scones. That would be WEIRD.

I'm not seeing much that would interest me in the Dandenongs, so I'd probably just hang out at the cottages all day. That wouldn't bother me in the least. I'd relax, read my book, take walks, and look at the birds.

Wait! I think I found a place. It's Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice-Creamery.

Or maybe not. I just looked at Google Maps. It's thirty minutes from Como Cottages. I think I'd feel too lazy to take the drive. I get really lazy when it comes to staying at cottages in Australia.  I'm fine with walks, but I have little interest in driving anywhere.

Then again...when we were in the South Coast, we drive to Kiama. I think that was 25-30 minutes away from where we were staying.

When we were in Halls Gap, though, I didn't want to leave. I think the problem was we had only four nights there, and I loved it so much. I didn't want to subtract anytime there by riding in a car and going somewhere else. I loved the tiny little town, and I felt it had enough to offer.

The last page I'm going to look at, on the Como Cottage site, is the prices.

They're actually not too awful.  Or at least it's cheaper than other places I looked at in my bathroom book.

For the three of us to stay on the weekend, in the Lavender Cottage, it would $327 per night. That's more than we usually spend. But oh well. We'll splurge...in my imagination. Since we're not really going there.

The cottages in Hill Country are much more affordable. But they're really ugly. Usually that doesn't bother me, but now that I've seen these Como Cottages, I feel picky.

The insides look decent, but not the outsides.  But they're no worse than Australian holiday parks.  I like those. I should be able to deal with these ugly Texan ones.

At least with Australia, though, there's a chance you might see a koala in a tree. And all the people have cute Aussie accents. That makes up for the ugly exteriors of the cottages.

I was going to end this post with the paragraph above, but then I decided to add this: I am feeling much better. I think the main thing behind my blah feeling is Minecraft. See, I kind of stopped having fun with the Doctor Who Minecraft. That was kind of disappointing, because I was really excited about it. You know...when you really think you love something and you look forward to it, but then you start to realize it's not so fun after all.

But then on the way to the zoo, I got the idea of playing regular Minecraft and creating a huge resort. Writing this post is what inspired me to want to do that.  I think I'm going to have it like Disney World...where there are multiple hotels. That way I can make different types of buildings. I'll have cottages, cabins, maybe a skyscraper hotel.....

The problem is I'm horrible at building. But maybe that's good. It gives me something to learn...a challenge.