Friday, November 28, 2014

Big Cities

I was thinking more about my last post and my fading Sydney love.

Earlier today, I blamed it on negative experiences and associations. But now I think that's probably bullshit. It doesn't make sense.  I have had huge dramas at the lake house. Many negative things have happened here, but I still love it.

I think the real reason I love Sydney less these days is I love big cities less.

I used to be a huge fan of NYC. Now it mostly just exhausts me.

I think the same goes for Sydney. It's just too crowded, and I get overwhelmed by all the tourism stuff.

Melbourne was a little better, because we stayed in St Kilda which was a bit away from all the hectic stuff. I have felt that we failed Melbourne because we didn't actually go into the CBD very much. But now I'm thinking it's for the best.

I'm not saying I never want to go to another big city. I think we'll still go but just spend a few days there instead of several.

So...when we go to Australia, we won't even go to the BIG cities. We'll go to Brisbane, but just for a few days.  Hobart's pretty small from what I understand. I think I'd like it and would like to spend more days there. The only thing is it seems to be quite cold. I'm not a big fan of cold weather.

How about you? Do you like big cities? Why? Why not?

When you travel, what kind of places do you prefer to visit?

What Is The Most Beautiful Place You've Ever Been?

Yesterday, I was playing a game with my sisters and cousins which involved asking ourselves questions. Well, actually we weren't playing the game anymore. We gave up and were just using the cards to spark conversation.

When we came to the question of where's the most beautiful place you've ever been, I felt a bit lost. I felt it should be Australia, but I wasn't sure where in Australia. And the beauty that's really in my heart currently is Arizona, because we just got back from there. But I felt wrong saying Arizona, because I'm supposed to be the weird American who's obsessed with Australia.

I ended up saying Sydney Harbour...and Arizona.

It's true in some ways. At the time that we first went to Australia, it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my whole life. I was so in love with it. And that love lasted through out the first trip and also through the majority of our second trip there.

Then things happened. And I have a hard time admitting this to others and an even harder time admitting this to myself, but my feelings for Sydney soured. I had hoped that these feelings would be reversed when we returned in 2013, but it didn't really happen. Sydney Harbour sadly doesn't have the same magic for me that it had in the past.

I felt like a failure being only able to come up with Sydney Harbour. And my sister Melissa who is NOT known as the weird American who's obsessed with Australia, picked the Australian outback!  She's been to many beautiful places, but she picks somewhere in Australia.  And that gave me doubts about my tentative itinerary for our way-in-the-future next Australia trip. Is it awful that I haven't been to the outback yet, and I don't have plans to go? And am I questioning all this because I really want to go to the outback, or am I feeling some kind of competitiveness with Melissa?

Anyway, this morning I thought about things and totally had a true and good answer to the question. I thought of announcing it to my sisters and cousins today but imagined they'd look at me weird, thinking, Dina...we are totally done with that conversation.

So then I decided I'd write a blog post about it instead.

The most beautiful place I've ever been (so far) is Halls Gap.  I loved the seeing the mountains and all the trees. I loved the wild kangaroos just hanging around. I loved the sulfur-crested cockatoos, magpies and other birds that came to visit us. I loved seeing the group of emus walking by.

I don't know why I forgot Halls Gap when the question was asked. It kind of sucks.

The other thing I'm thinking is, I should make sure we visit a place that's like Halls Gap when we return to Australia. I think some of the places in Tasmania will be like that. Hopefully.  And maybe there will be something near Byron Bay?

If anyone has any suggestions, PLEASE share them with me. I'm looking for places in the Brisbane area...or anywhere in Tasmania.  I want to be somewhere where I can wake up early in the morning, go outside, and see wonderful Aussie animals.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Movie Trailers Featuring Famous Australians

I watched a few movie trailers today.

There's a new Peter Pan movie coming out: Pan. The villain is played by Hugh Jackman.

And then there's Cinderella.  The villain for that one is Cate Blanchett.

I wonder if either of them will be any good.

Cinderella doesn't look much different from the Disney animated movie, and it's made by Disney. It was filmed in the UK and directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Pan is not a Disney movie, but it too was filmed in the UK. It's not like the Disney animated story of Peter Pan. Nor does it look much like the JM Barrie book. It's a prequel.  From what I saw in the trailer, Hook isn't the bad guy. It's Blackbeard. And that's who Hugh Jackman plays.  He looks quite different from his usual self.

Has Hugh Jackman ever played a villain before? And what about Cate Blanchett?

I'm looking at Jackman's filmography. It's mostly filled with X-Men stuff. I think that takes up most of his time. There's Les Miserables too. I know he's not a villain in that.  As for the other things, some are somewhat familiar to me. He might be a villain in some of them them, but I don't think so. Maybe?

I'm less familiar with Cate Blanchett's work, so I don't know if she's a hero or villain in most of the movies listed.

Well, it looks like she was probably a villain in the latest Indiana Jones movie.

Then in the FUTURE...she's going to be a villain in a new version of The Jungle Book. Or at least I think she'll be a villain. She's Kaa, the snake. In the Disney version, from what I remember, he was at least dangerous. I'm not sure what he was like in the original story, and what he'll be like in this movie.

I'm saying he, but maybe in this version, Kaa is going to be a she.

I think the the main villain of The Jungle Book is Shere Khan, and that's going to be Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch.

It sounds like an interesting movie.

I don't imagine we'll see any of these movies in the theater, but if they get good reviews, we might rent them when they're out on DVD.

I'm horrible at seeing movies, though. I'm much more of a TV show person.

Websites Listed In My Favorite Bathroom Book (Part 10)

I thought about quitting these posts, because it seems not many people are reading them.  But then what will happen to me and my blog if I write only posts that I know will attract attention? Besides, I often think that, even if no one is reading now, someone in the future might read.

If anything, Future Dina will probably read the post. I often read what I've written in the past. Sometimes I'm ashamed of Past Dina, and sometimes I'm impressed. The other day I got a lecture from Past Dina. When I wrote it, I meant to be lecturing other people, but then it turned out I needed the lecture too.

I should get down to business now. My bathroom book.....

Today's website is part of a bigger website. It's Wombarra Beach House, which is part of a business called Contemporary Hotels.

I'm reading a little bit about Contemporary Hotels, in general. It was started by a woman named Terry Kalijo.  Her first hotel was called Medusa Boutique Hotel.

Here is a photo from Terry Kalijo's Instagram account. She's feeding a giraffe at Taronga Zoo. Or at least I think it's her. It could be a friend.

You know what. I think I've written about Contemporary Hotels before. I was just looking at their list of properties and saw Bedarra Island Villa. I'm pretty sure I wrote about that one.

Yeah. I remember noticing that they have a lot of properties in Byron Bay.

Well, I should probably get onto Wombarra Beach House. What's that like?

First of all, I know Wombarra Beach House is in or near Wollongong, because that's the page of my bathroom book in which it was mentioned.

Wollongong is south of Sydney. I always connect it to our 2007 Disney cruise. We went on a few weeks before our first trip to Australia. I talked to someone who worked on the ship, and I was super excited because he was Australian. I asked where in Australia he was from, and it was Wollongong.

Google Maps shows Wombarra as being 24 minutes north of Wollongong.  It's about an hour south of the Sydney CBD.

From the front page of the The Wombarra Beach House I've learned that the building was designed by an architect named Ed Lippmann.  Here's his architecture website.  He and his team helped plan the eastern bits of Darling Harbour. That's pretty impressive. And he/they have designed a lot of buildings around Sydney.

This overview page for the Wombarra Beach House pretty much repeats what was on the other page; with a few additions.  They say, While the drive from Sydney takes an hour, once there, the private track to the beach takes less than a minute.

I don't think I'm very impressed by their selling tactics. What exactly does that mean? Are we supposed to be annoyed that we have to drive an hour from Sydney. Is that considered far? Or are we supposed to be amazed that this place is so close to Sydney.  It kind of seems like they're saying, I know it's a pain to have to drive all the way down to Wombarra. But don't worry, once you get here, you'll only have to walk for a minute to get to the beach.  Or is it a walk? Maybe it's a one minute drive?

I'm guessing it's a walk. Who would advertise a one minute drive? It would be kind of ridiculous to drive one minute to the beach when you could simply walk there.

Now I'm looking at the features and facilities page.

You get four bedrooms—two with king-sized beds. There are two bathrooms. There's a spa/hot tub, views of the beach, and that private track to the beach.

There's a fireplace and air-conditioning, so you're covered for all types of weather.

I just noticed the page has a slideshow of the house. I can't say I'm very impressed. It's not my type of style.

Here's the location page.  It looks like, to get to the beach, you walk through a park. That sounds nice.

Here's an image gallery. I'm going to see if any of the photos call out to me.

The house has a lot of glass. It has more windows than walls.  I guess that would be okay, because I think the property has privacy. But I'm not sure I'd like it much. I'd feel exposed.

That being said, the second picture calls out to me. Unfortunately, I can't link to the photos directly. Maybe I'll just describe it. So...there are lots of windows.

I'm looking at the sixth photo now. From the dining room table, you can see the ocean. That's pretty awesome. I guess there are benefits to having a house with a lot of windows.

From the eleventh picture I can see the view you get from the living room area. You can see the ocean and trees. It's lovely.

They have only one picture of the bedrooms. Interestingly, it's not one of the ones that has a King bed. I wonder why. I would think they'd want to show that off...unless they feel it would fail to impress people.

Here's pricing information.  It's definitely out of our range. It's $800 a night. We usually aim for places that are less than $200. Even if we shared with another family, it would still be too expensive for us.

Yesterday, we started talking about what we'd do if we ever won the lottery. I wonder if I'd want to stay at these very expensive places. I think doing so too often would make us  turn into one of those people who won the lottery, and now they're broke.  I feel it would be better to continue staying in the price range we do now. But maybe we'd splurge every so often.  Go to Australia for a month. Spend most of the nights in holiday parks, but then spend a handful of nights in a place like this.

One thing cool on the rates page is they give you a $100 voucher for your next stay at one of their properties.  That's fairly significant. And you get entered into a drawing to win a free weekend stay.  They don't tell you how often this drawing is. Once a week? Once a year?

Anyway, I think that's it for today.

See ya later...alligator.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Statcounter Google Maps Game

I decided to play a game today and turn it into a blog post, even though it might be a really bad blog post.

We'll see how it turns out.

Anyway, this is the game.  With Statcounter, I'm going to look at the next seven entities that visit my blog.  I'm going to plug their location into Google Maps, randomly choose a Street View image, and then decide if I'd want to live there, visit there, or avoid it all together.

Three notes before I begin. 1. It might not be exactly accurate, because locations given don't always actually match where people live. 2. I'm just judging the particular street I land on and not the whole suburb, city, state, country, etc. 3. The places probably won't all be Australian.

So...let's see. What's first.

Boston Massachusetts!  I was going to list what post they visited. But I don't know. That kind of feels like an invasion of privacy. Or maybe it's not. I'm not sure. I'll leave it be for now, though.

I landed on New Broadway Bridge.  It doesn't look at all appealing to me. It's looks like one of those places, in which, if you're walking, it's very hard to find the place to cross the street. It's confusing. The red brick buildings don't excite me. So I'm going to choose avoid for this one.

Now I have to wait until someone else visits my blog.

It might be a long wait. 

I'll go do something else in the meantime.

I'm back. Still no visitors.

I'm thinking of eating the rest of the leftover Pavlova. I was going to have it for dessert tonight, but Tim took the sticky toffee pudding out of the freezer. So now that's available. 

Two desserts in one day. I'm very bad. And here I'm trying to make it look like this is unusual when, in reality, it's pretty much typical for me. Plus, I just had trail mix that involved chocolate and other sugary stuff. 

On the plus side, though, I had an apple for breakfast, and salad and broccoli for lunch. 

I got another visitor!  This one is from Sheffield in the UK. I totally forgot, but then was reminded by Google Maps. I have Sheffield, Tasmania on our way-in-the-future Australia trip itinerary. 

I've landed on Newlands Road, which is a residential area. It reminds me of Doctor Who and Torchwood. I'm guessing anything in the UK these days will remind me of those shows. 

I think I'd want to visit there; probably not live there. It's lovely but not beautiful.  Plus, when I picture myself living there, I imagine getting murdered. By aliens. 

See my problem is most of my ideas of the UK come from Harry Potter, In the Flesh, and Doctor Who. So I associate it with wizards, friendly zombies, and aliens.

Now I have a third place. This is Saint Catharines in Ontario Canada. 

I've landed on Michelle Drive.

By image alone, I'd like to live there.  It looks like a happy neighborhood.  It reminds me of my childhood...not my own streets but ones of my friends. I can imagine my mom dropping me off to one of these houses for a birthday party. 

I like that there's a sidewalk, even though it's only on one side.  

Knowing the weather of Canada, though, I probably wouldn't want to live there This website says June through September in St. Catharines is usually comfortable. Then everything else is either cool, cold, or freezing. That's not my type of place.  By the way, comfortable is defined 65-75 degrees, Fahrenheit. Comfort's quite subjective, though.

Wait! I actually read the chart wrong. I missed the warm bit. They have some warm days during the summer. If I'm reading things right...81% of the time, it's cold in St. Catharines. 66% of the time, it's comfortable, and....

That's not adding up right. I must be reading things wrong. 

But I AM reading information beyond the chart and they say the cold season goes from December 5 to March 9 and the average high is below 40 degrees. That's too much cold for me.

In comparison, Fort Worth (where I live) has it's cold season from November 26 to February 21, and our average high is 63 degrees. 

Sydney's cold season lasts from May 29-August 23, and the average high is 65 degrees. 

This is a fun weather website!

Well, I ate the Pavlova. Then Tim emailed us this link to a YouTube channel of this girl (Malinda Kathleen Reese) and she sings Google Translate versions of songs. It's very entertaining—funny, and she's quite talented. 


I have a new place on my Statcounter. This one is Bremen, Maine. 

I landed on ME-32. I was less random with this place, because there are not many areas there covered by Street View.

It's very beautiful. There's lots of trees with their fall colors, and one lovely white house. 

I'd like to visit. But again, because of the cold, I might not want to live there.

Next visitor is from Sydney!

I landed at the airport!

I don't think I'd want to live there; nor would I want to visit. I wouldn't want to do anything more than drive past this area.

There's a river in the picture. I left Street View to find out what it is. It's Cooks River. 

Lord Wiki says it's a tributary of Botany Bay. Yeah. I remember learning that Botany Bay is near the airport. 

Botany Bay is south of where I landed. 

The next place is Hampton, Victoria. 

I landed on Kerferd Street

Something I notice is there are a lot of fences, and each fence is different. 

It kind of reminds me of the street I researched when I had been doing research for my novel-sequel that I'll likely never write. I do remember the name of the street, though. Oven Street. Does Oven Street really look like Kerferd Street, or is it just my imagination?  Do Victorian Streets have a certain look to them? 

I'm looking at Oven Street now. It's quite different from Kerferd. The fences are more uniform. 

Well, no never mind. One part of the street has a bunch of white picket fences. But then in other areas of the street, the fences have more variety.

So...where is Hampton Victoria? Is it part of Melbourne?

I just zoomed out. It seems to be Melbourne.  It's north of the Mornington Peninsula. 

Lord Wiki says it's a wealthy area. 

If we could afford it, sure I'd like to live there. 

I'm guessing Kerferd Street is named after George Kerferd. Lord Wiki says he was the 10th Premier of Victoria. 

I have one place left. What will it be?

It's Baulkhalm Hills in New South Wales. I think that's in Sydney.

I landed on Raemont Lane. It looks like a commercial area, and not somewhere I'd want to live. But I'd like to visit.  There's a park.  It has a nice bench, and maybe there's a playground.

Nearby, there's a South African restaurant and a Korean-Japanese one as well. 

I just zoomed out. Baulkhalm Hills is in the Western Suburbs—slightly north of Parramatta. 

Lord Wiki says the original owners of Baulkhalm Hills (and other nearby suburbs) were the Bidjigal people. These were the people of the famous Aboriginal man, Pemulwuy.  

About 20 minutes south of Baulkhalm Hills is a suburb named after Pemulwuy. 

Well, my game is done. I had a lot of fun and will probably play again someday. I hope it wasn't too boring for people to read!

Traditional Pavlova

On Instagram, and maybe on another occasion or two, Tim has referred to my birthday Pavlova as not being traditional.

I wondered what he meant by that, so I asked him. He said traditional Pavlova has Kiwi, strawberries, and blueberries. I had never heard of such a thing. I thought Pavlova was just supposed to have fruit.

Lord Wiki seems to agree with me. He says traditional Pavlova has soft fresh fruit. He gives the examples of kiwi, strawberries, and passionfruit.

All this being said, Tim's right about his Pavlova not being traditional. The fruit wasn't fresh fruit. He made a strawberry sauce, and the cherries came from a jar.  Then we had chocolate, which I guess isn't very traditional. And he added candy pecans. I don't think I've heard of nuts on a Pavlova.

I'm glad Tim's Pavlova wasn't traditional, though, because I really wasn't in the mood for fresh fruit. That make me sound very unhealthy. But it's okay. Usually, I do like it.

This website has a recipe that fits Tim's ideal for the traditional Aussie Pavlova.  But the same site has a recipe for another traditional Pavlova, and it has passionfruit and bananas.

I just found a recipe with pecans, so Tim's not the first to go nuts with his Pavlova. Though this one isn't Aussie. It's from the BBC.  And here's another British one. Sticky Toffee Pavlova.  The past few weeks, I've felt like my heart is trying to choose between the UK and Australia. At this moment, the UK is definitely ahead...way ahead.

For those of you who eat Pavlova, here are some questions. 1. Do you like to stick with fresh fruit? 2. What are your favorite Pavlova toppings? 3. Have you ever had Pavlova with a very unusual topping?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Birthday Fun

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a nice mixture of Australia and BBC love.

Thanks to Chef Tim we ate pies and Pavlova while watching Doctor Who, Torchwood, and then the Catherine Tate Show.

I was a bit apathetic about the Pavlova at first, because I was totally not in the mood for fruit. I have a weird relationship with fruit. Sometimes I love it...almost too much. I can have strong cravings sometimes. Other times, I'll get really tired of it. I had an apple in the morning, raisins for a snack, and after that felt blah about fruit. Then Tim came home with all this fruit—strawberries, cherries, and grapes. Usually, I'd be thrilled about it. But this time I wasn't. 

He later revealed he was making Pavlova, and I couldn't get myself to look forward to it. Just because I was not in a fruit mood.

But fortunately, the bad feelings towards fruit lifted by dinner.  I ended up loving the Pavlova, and I look forward to eating the leftovers today. case you're wondering. The grapes weren't for the Pavlova. That was just an extra bonus. Although I suppose you could put grapes on Pavlova. Why not? 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Vanessa Downing

Today I'm going to be learning about the actress Vanessa Downing. She played Pippa on Home and Away, and this week I saw her on one of my episodes of All Saints.

On the All Saints episode, Downing's character was having neurological symptoms. I thought for sure she had Multiple Sclerosis. But it ended up she had a completely fatal disorder similar to mad cow disease. I'm assuming it was a prion thing, because that's what Mad Cow's disease is. The cause was a fertility drug she had taken. Actually, maybe I misunderstood and it WAS mad cow disease, but instead of being caused by a bad piece of steak, it was caused by the medication.

Well, this is scary. I googled fertility drug and mad cow disease, thinking I might find something about the 1980's. Because Downing's character took the drug in 1984. Instead I'm finding all these articles from 2011.  Here's one of the articles. It's about urine-based fertility treatments.  It's not urine from cows. It's urine from other humans. The article is about Canada and it says 1/10,000 people have the prion problem in their blood and could pass it on. But how many of those people are donating their urine? I would think the risk is pretty slim. But still. I'd probably be scared.

Enough about All Saints. I want to talk about Home and Away now. Like the Doctor on Doctor Who, Pippa went through the process of regeneration. It happens sometimes on soap operas. And it happened on Roseanne.  But on these shows it's different from Doctor Who, because the loved ones of the regenerated individual tend to pretend not to notice the change.

So yeah. There's Pippa 1 and Pippa 2.  Downing played the first one. Another actress played the second. And like the Doctor, each Pippa had her own companion. Pippa 1 had Tom. Pippa 2 had Michael. I've never seen Home and Away with Pippa 2. A part of me was glad to be forced to stop watching, because I worried I wouldn't be able to endure the change. But now I think maybe I'd be okay. I've survived the jump from Doctor 10 to Doctor 11, and I seriously had my doubts that was possible. I actually PREFER Doctor 11 to Doctor 10 now. So maybe I would have ended up liking Pippa 2 better than Pippa 1. You never know.

As for Vanessa Downing, I have a lot to learn, because I know close to nothing. I do vaguely remember reading that she was younger than she appeared on Home and Away. While a lot of actors often play characters younger than themselves, Downing played someone older.

Well, I shall start my research now by visiting Downing's biography on IMDb.

She was born in 1958. She's ten years younger than my mom. She would have been thirty when she started playing Pippa. And yeah, that's younger than she seemed.  I would have guessed her to be in her late thirties or early forties–close to my age.

Downing is married to a guy named Rodney Fisher. He's nineteen years older than Downing.  If I dated someone nineteen years older than me, they'd be 61. If I dated someone nineteen years younger they'd be 23.  Sorry. I just thought it would be fun to calculate that.

There's some more information her on IMDb.

At the time that Downing got the Pippa role, she sang in an accapella group called The Madrigals. That's very cool. I hope she had fun with that.  She did some singing on Home and Away. There was a band with Frankie and...holy crap. I forgot their name. Let me think....

Lance and Martin! Thank you!  I'd feel like such a failure if I had to Google that.

Downing has a Master's Degree in English Literature. That's impressive.

At one time, Downing was out of work and depressed so she joined the Sydney Philharmonic Choir. Well, if you're in a choir, that's not really being out of work.  Maybe it's not paid work. I'm not sure. I'm looking at their website now.  I imagined it was going to be very exclusive, but they're actually inclusive. Their website says, Whether you’re a trained singer, someone who can hold a melody or someone with basic music skills wanting to explore whether you have a voice - set your voice in motion and sing with us!

I like that. Maybe I should join a choir one day. I wonder if I'd like it. I did chorus in high school and I never sang. I was too shy. I think I just mouthed the words. But I've gotten better. I sing now...even by myself with people listening.

Here's the weird thing about me, though, that would make me doubt my ability to sing in a chorus. You know how many people say they sing okay as long as they're singing with the radio? Well, at least that's what people in my family say. I'm the opposite. I often sing horribly if I'm trying to sing along with music and another singer. I tend to sing better alone and without any instruments. I don't know why.

I was going to say I CAN sing okay with other people singing—no instruments. But I'm not sure, because when I sing with other people they usually want to sing along to a video.

Back to my question about paid work with the Sydney Philharmonic Choir. I'm not finding anything about that. I'm guessing it's a volunteer thing, but I'm not positive.

And I just found for this Christmas Carol program, the singers pay to participate.

Still...whether you're paid, not paid, or have to pay to participate, singing for an audience is work. I hope Downing enjoyed it, I hope it helped her with her depression.

Now I'm going to look at Vanessa Downing's filmography.  I won't go over everything, though. I'm going to skip one time guest appearances on TV shows, unless it's a show I've watched. And I'll skip movies if I can't find much information about it.

Downing's first screen thing was in 1977. She was on the TV show The Restless Years. Have I written about this show before? I'm not sure.

IMDb doesn't tell me whether Downing was in many episodes, a few, or just one.  Also, the name of her character's not given. I'm going to guess that maybe she was something like an extra. But I could be wrong.

In 1982, Downing appeared in two episodes of Sons and Daughters. But IMDb says back then she was credited as Vanessa Ryan. And her character had the same last name. I wonder if she changed her name because of a marriage. Or maybe she just changed her name as actors sometimes do.

There's a Sons and Daughters website. They briefly mention Downing's character (Cheryl Ryan) on their death page. Cheryl didn't die. Sadly, her son did. He had a brain tumor.

In 1983, Downing was in a TV movie about the Chamberlain case: Who Killed Baby Azaria. She played a character named Mrs. Lowe.

This article talks about what happened and how the Lowes were involved. They were one of the families camping near the Chamberlain's in the Uluru area.

It's a very sad story. Lindy Chamberlain nursed the baby Azaria while talking to the Lowes. Then she brought the baby and an older son back to their tent. She went to retrieve some beans from their car and heard her baby. She went to check on the baby, and Mrs. Lowe heard her cry out that a dingo had her baby.

Someone has uploaded some of the movie to YouTube.  I'm wondering what stance the movie took about Lindy Chamberlain's guilt or innocence. Now it's been determined by the courts that she's innocent. I don't think that was the case back in the 1980's. She might have even been in jail back then. Let me go see....

Yep. She was in jail at the time; not released until 1986.

I'm watching the video now.  Vanessa Downing can be seen at 1:39. I kind of forgot, for a moment, that this post was supposed to be about her. I'm kind of obsessing over Lindy Chamberlain now.

Oh! How funny. Mr Lowe is played by Ray Meagher, who plays Alf on Home and Away. Alf is the best friend of Pippa 1's husband.

So far, the movie isn't making Lindy look like a murderer. She seems quite loving towards her children.  I don't know how the rest of the movie presents things. Maybe it's on her side. Maybe it presents her as a probable murderer. Or maybe it gives alternate sides of the story.

I should move on.

In 1985, Downing was in a 1960's college drama called The Boy Who Had Everything.  She played a singer. The character doesn't have a name, so I'm guessing it was a small role.

I'm going to skip ahead to 1988. This is the year, Downing started working on Home and Away.  She also appeared as a judge in a movie called The Everlasting Secret Family. Lord Wiki says it's about a secret society of gay men. It sounds interesting.

As for Home and Away, IMDb says Downing was on the show for 363 episodes between 1988 and 1990. She was on it a lot— probably appeared on most episodes.  Her last episode was on July 20, 1990. What episode did I stop at?  I used to have it saved in my bookmarks, but I deleted it.  It was somewhere in 1990, a few episodes before Julian McMahon and his body builder friends were supposed to appear.

I'm trying to figure it out, but I can't. So never mind.

Now I'm going to look at Downing's career after Home and Away.

In the early 1990's, she did three one-time guest appearances on TV shows.

In 1994, she appeared in a movie about Mary MacKillop. She was Flora MacKillop. Maybe that's a sister? A cousin?

Nope. According to this website, she was Mary's mother. Why didn't I consider that?

There are more one time guest appearances on the Vanessa Downing filmography. Then in 1997, we get something more substantial.  She was in 26 episodes of a TV comedy called Bullpitt. It looks like she was one of the main stars.

Lord Wiki says Bullpitt was a reprising of another show called Kingswood Country.  Is a reprising of a show different than spin-off?

Someone has uploaded the first episode of the show to YouTube. I'll watch a little bit.

There's a cockatoo in the credits.

It has racial comedy. I like racial comedy sometimes. There's that fine line between being funny and being offensive. And it's easy to cross that line. I guess the difference is funny makes fun of racism, while offensive is actually racist.

Despite her being in the open credits, I didn't see Downing in the episode.

Here. She's in this episode.  She appears at :42, and it looks like she's playing a resident at a retirement home. Downing would have been only about 39 at the time. I think she's wearing make-up to make her look old. Either that, or she's on a fast ageing track.

In 1998, Downing appeared in the All Saints episode I saw this week. In 2002, she appeared in a different episode as a different character.  According to the Australian television website, in this episode, Downing played a character with Lupus.  Oh! And the website says that Downing wasn't the only Home and Away star on the episode.  Adam Willitts who played Pippa's foster son was also a guest star on the episode.

I'm going to watch a little of the episode, but not too much. I don't want to get a lot of spoilers. I really love All Saints. So far, it's my favorite Australian show I've watched on Hulu.

Downing appears at 7:02.  Her doctor is played by the guy who played the dad on Packed to the Rafters.

Downing's character has been taking hormone replacement therapy even though that's shown to be bad for Lupus. Yikes.

Now I'm going to try to find Adam Willitts.

Found him. He's appears at 23:28. He shot his wife with an arrow. Accidentally? Or on purpose?

Well, and he's been shot too. Maybe the wife shot him back.

In 2006, Downing was in three episodes of a TV show called Headland.  If I'm understanding Lord Wiki right, originally Headland was supposed to be a spin-off of Home and Away. The show was going to be called Away From Home. It was about students at Yabbie Creek University. I remember Yabbie Creek! But then they changed the concept of the show. So maybe they broke the connection to Home and Away?

From what I'm reading on the Australian television website, the spin-off aspect of it was axed.

In 2008, Downing appeared as a music teacher in the movie Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger. It's a teen film featuring Toni Collette.

I'm going to watch the trailer, though Downing might not be in it.

The movie looks cute. I'm not sure exactly what it's about...something like this young girl pretends to be someone else—a student at another school?

I just consulted Lord Wiki. Esther goes to a private school, but then she meets a girl from a public school. They become friends and Esther starts going to the public school...without permission. She sneaks in, pretending to be an exchange student.

I was looking at the actress in the movie; Keisha Castle-Hughes. Lord Wiki's filmography on her says she's going to appear in this season of The Walking Dead. I think she's the first Aussie on the show. Maybe? Well, as far as I know. I wonder if she's already appeared.

Yes, she has. Lord Wiki's cousin says she was the one at Grady Memorial Hospital. She was bitten. The hospital people amputated her arm to save her from infection. I remember her.

I should get back to Vanessa Downing.

She appeared in the first season of Packed to the Rafters; the 12th episode.

I would have seen that; but I wouldn't have recognized Downing, because I hadn't watched Home and Away yet.

I'll watch some of the episode online. Downing appears at 3:50.  It looks like it's another example of her playing an elderly woman. Downing would have been about 50 when she was in the episode. I guess that's kind of elderly. It's all about perspective. I follow this Doctor Who account on Instagram, and one day the owner of the account asked the ages of her followers. She gave choices and the oldest age listed was 18. I responded that I'm an elderly woman. I sort of meant it as a joke. But also...since everyone else, who answered, was younger than 18, I FELT elderly.  The owner of the account responded by saying she had meant to say 18+ and not just 18. That made me feel a little less ancient...and more included.

Whatever age Downing is supposed to be in the episode, she does look lovely. She's quite elegant.

I hope I'm attractive when I'm 50 and beyond. I don't feel very attractive as a person in the 40 age range. But later ages have different expectations and maybe I will be better at fulfilling those. Or at least I will FEEL I'm fulfilling them.

I think I feel this pressure to look young—like someone in their 20's or 30's. I have this idea, that when I'm 50, I can look 50. And when I'm 60, I can look 60. But that's probably not true. Probably at that age, I'll wish I looked 40.


The most recent thing on Downing's filmography is The Moody's. Downing appeared on the first episode.  She played Cora's mother. So I should have seen her on the trailer for the show...which I've watched twice already. I didn't recognize Downing. I shall have to watch it again.

Downing appears at :26, and then again at :39.

The ABC website has a brief profile on Downing. They say she's a solicitor. She helps refugees with their Visa applications. She still performs, though, and she's still with the Sydney Philharmonic Choir. She's a soprano.

I just realized the profile is for an audio program. Maybe an interview? I'll listen to some of it...or all of it, if it's not too long.

Downing has a very sweet voice. It's kind of soothing to me.

She's telling a story.

The chorus was singing. A man in the front row brought his dying loved one at the concert. He lifted her up during one of the songs. She died at the concert, and then he took her out.

It's a sad story, but also lovely. I wonder if the dying girl asked to be taken to the concert.

Here's Downing's Solicitor profile. She works for a firm called Craddock Murray Neumann. She started that work in 2006.

I've been sitting here struggling to find more stuff. I was failing and was about to quit. But then I remembered this where-are-they-now video I watched awhile back. It has interviews with the original Home and Away cast. I'm going to re-watch it.

Downing says she was offered work on Home and Away the evening before she needed to start working on the set. So it was very much a last minute thing.

Downing got to the set not knowing what the show was about. She quickly looked at the script and memorized her three lines. She says it was lucky she didn't have many lines that first day. Yeah!

Here's the second part of the program.

Downing doesn't say much after her initial talk about being cast last minute. While listening to the other actors, though; she looks concerned. Worried. I don't know why....

Anyway, I'm going to end this here.

See you later.

Today I am Hating Nurse Bronwyn

I just saw something absolutely ridiculous on All Saints.  I wish I meant ridiculous as completely unrealistic and silly. But no. With what I saw...I can totally imagine it happening in real life.

Jaz, who does administrative work for the hospital, has been raped. Before the rape, she was this very sunny cheerful person—incredibly sweet. Now she walks around like a depressed zombie.

She finally tells her boss Terri what happens and gives Terri permission to tell the other staff on the ward. She wants people to know what has happened to her, but she doesn't want to have be the bearer of the news.

Later Doctor Luke sees Bronwyn who used to work with them. He tells her about the rape. Once Bronwyn learns it's date rape, she pretty much puts the blame on Jaz. That girl needs to learn to be less trusting. If you go to bed with someone, you have to look after yourself. Luke defends Jaz, saying no should be enough. And Bronwyn disagrees. You have to know what to do when the guy won't listen. Oh, and according to her, Jaz has been reading too many happily ever after stories.

So it's Jaz's fault for being raped because she's nice and doesn't have the physical strength to fight for escape when a man is raping her?  Lovely.

Then to make things worse and more ridiculous, Bronwyn asks Luke why didn't Jaz come to them—meaning why didn't she tell them. First of all, she DID tell them. It just took a few days. Second, seeing how Bronwyn reacted to the news, why should have Jaz told them? So people could talk about her behind her back and blame her?

It really bothers me when people blame the victim. I've heard it done with certain people in my family. They're told of a tragic tale, and they talk about how they would've have had a happy ending because they would have done this, this, and that. Or they just do the should've game.

One example I can think of was the roller coaster death at Six Flags. A woman got on the ride; then questioned the attendant about her restraint which didn't seem to be working correctly. He told her everything was fine. She rode off. Her restraint didn't hold her, and she plunged to her death. Someone in my family blamed her. She shouldn't have stayed on the ride when she suspected something was wrong.

But I could totally picture myself being in the situation. I picture myself worried. Then I'm reassured everything is fine, and I feel stupid for bringing it up. I trust the Six Flags employee to ensure my safety and to know what he's talking about what. So I shut my mouth and continue on the ride.

We can all look at victims and say should have, could have, and I would have. But we should really be showing sympathy towards the victim, and our wrath should be directed towards the who or what that caused the problem.

For Jaz's rape, I blame the guy who wouldn't listen to her insistence that they stop. For the roller coaster death, I blame the Six Flags attendant who ignored the woman's concerns. And yeah. Both stories are examples of a woman's needs and fears being dismissed and ignored.  Sometimes humanity can be really pathetic.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Travel Plans for Eight Years From Now

As I said in a recent post, I played my travel planning Google Maps game.  I actually wrote a whole post about it on Tuesday. Then in frustration, I deleted the post. What went wrong? Well, I had it in my mind that we'd drive from Brisbane to Sydney. Then I read that the Pacific Highway is a dangerous road. All roads are dangerous, and all roads scare me. But if a road has a reputation as being scary; I feel it's best that we skip it.

So I deleted my plans and started over.

This is what I have for now. And in the next eight years or so (before we actually go) it will probably change again.

I have us flying to Brisbane. We'll stay there for two nights. It will give us one day in the city to look around and start to recover from jet lag.

Then we'll drive to the Gold Coat and spend five nights there. I don't know where we'll stay. The main attraction for me is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.  Or maybe not. It's expensive! More expensive than Featherdale and Wildlife Sydney. I'll have to do research to see if it's worth the extra money.

The main attraction for Jack is Dreamworld. But that's 13-year-old Jack. I'm not sure the same will be said for 21-year-old Jack. I don't even know if he'll want to travel with us to Australia.  If he doesn't go with us, I don't imagine we'll stop at Dreamworld.

If Jack isn't with us, I'm not even sure we'll go to the Gold Coast. It kind of looks like a big tourist Las Vegas. But I feel silly judging it, since I'm a huge fan of Disney World. It's kind of hypocritical of me.

Have you been to the Gold Coast? If so, what did you think of it? Do you have favorite places there?

So anyway.....

After either staying in the Gold Coast or driving past the Gold Coast, we'll go somewhere in the Byron Bay area. I'll have to do more research. We could  go there, or maybe Ballina. We'll spend three nights there, which will give us two full days.  If, when reading about it, I realize it's a place I might adore, we'll spend a few more nights.  At this point, I imagine it to be a place for trendy wealthy hippies. I'm not sure if that's my thing. Or maybe it IS my thing. I really don't know.

After Byron Bay, we'll drive back to Brisbane. We'll spend one night there, and then we'll fly out to Hobart.

So now we're on to Tasmania, which, for now, I'm more excited about than Queensland. But that will change a zillion times in the next eight years.

We'll spend four nights in Hobart. I probably want to see Port Arthur. I might want to visit MoMA. It's likely we'll go to the Salamanca Markets. My parents went to an animal park in the area. I'd like to see that.

I doubt I'll go to MoMA. It's not cheap. And I don't even like modern art that much.

What else do people do in Hobart?

I think I found the park my parents went to. It's Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. It's more affordable than Currumbin.  If I'm not in my usual cheap mood and I feel like totally spoiling myself, I'll do this Face To Face Feeding Frenzy activity. It's $149 per person. But you get to help feed Tasmanian Devils!

And you know what...I think the money goes to a good cause. From what I see on the website, it seems to be a charitable organization with the goal of helping the animals. They're not just out for a profit. They might not be seeking profit at all.

After Hobart, we'll drive up the east coast to the Coles Bay area. We'll spend three nights there. Or more.  Then I want to go to Wing's Wildlife Park. It's a holiday park with an animal park. It's like a dream come true for me. Although I worry it's too good to be true, and there's going to be something awful about it. I'll have to do more research.  When I did research in the past, though...I don't remember encountering anything to scare me off.

After Wing's, we'll go to Cradle Mountain for a few nights.

After that, I was thinking of staying in some small town. Maybe Sheffield—the one with the murals. Or there's the town with the cool mailboxes.  Any other recommendations?

After that we'll drive back to Hobart. We'll stay a night there, because I don't want to fly right after doing a long drive.

We'll fly to Brisbane. I think we should spend a couple more nights there.

Then we'll return to Texas.

Or somewhere else. Who knows if we'll still be living in Texas.

We might not even be alive period.

All humans might be gone. From what I've learned from watching Doctor Who, the human race is in drastic danger pretty much every day.

If we're all still alive in eight years; there's still an Australia; and I can afford to go there, I shall be thanking my lucky stars.  Or I'll the thank the Doctor and his Tardis.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vegemite and Other Black Food

My parents took Jack out for an early Chanukah gift outing event.

One of the things they did was go to Central Market, which is the fancy grocery store in town.  There they let him buy a few things.  He bought challah, papaya, and Vegemite.

I was surprised by the papaya, because I didn't think Jack liked papaya. He tried a piece and realized I was right. He said he had bought it for me. I'm not sure if that was true or if he had forgotten his dislike of it. Either way, I'm glad to get it as a gift...or regift.

I was touched that he bought Vegemite. Tim and Jack both like it. Why? Why am I the huge fan of Australia in the family, and I'm the one who doesn't like Vegemite?

They started putting it on their pieces of challah but without butter. I asked about that, and they said they like it without butter. So then I decided I should be a good brave fan of Australia and try again. Maybe I would like it without butter. I put a tiny bit on without the butter, and I did kind of like it.

Today I put a little bit more on and tried again. I didn't like it. I realized when I told myself I liked it yesterday, what I was really saying is I like the parts of the bread in which I failed to spread the Vegemite. I feel slightly woozy when I take the bites that have the Vegemite.

It's so sad. I wish I liked Vegemite. But it's nice that Tim and Jack like it. I'm trying to figure out if I feel jealous of them. I don't think I am. I actually feel kind of grateful—like they're fulfilling a task that I cannot fulfill myself. If I can't like Vegemite, at least my family likes it and we have a valid reason for it to be in our refrigerator.

It's funny because a few days ago I gave Jack a hard time about other certain black foods— licorice and black olives. He likes neither. It's interesting to me. They are controversial foods, especially licorice. It seems a lot of people dislike it and then other people love it.  In the family I grew up with, we all loved black olives and licorice. But my child does not. Is that a genetic thing then, or is it more about culture/upbringing?

Or maybe it's neither.

I'm now reading an article about people disliking black licorice.

The article confuses me. I think what they're saying is we're probably born with the like or dislike, but the reasons might vary. And then they say taste is probably something we're born with, but smell dislikes and likes can come from experiences and memories.

From what I'm seeing online, it looks like black licorice has a lot of haters.

I think, though, it could be a case of licorice haters being very vocal. Why else would black licorice be so often sold? Why would they have whole bags of black jelly beans? Why would people sell something that most people hate?

Anyway...what are your feelings towards Vegemite, black olives, and licorice?  Are you a fan of any of them? Indifferent? Not a fan? Absolutely disgusted?

Websites Listed In My Favorite Bathroom Book (Part 9)

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

Today I'm going to be looking at Hawkesbury Cruises which provides water adventures in the Hawkesbury River.

The Hawkesbury River is north of Sydney, I believe. And's not just a belief. When I went into the bathroom to look at the book, so I can find what website is on my agenda today, I skimmed a bit and saw mention of the north of Sydney. But even if I didn't see that, I think maybe I would have already known it. I hope so. Though I could be deluding myself.

Now I'm going to look at Google Maps to see exactly where this Hawkesbury River is.

Well, it's hard for me to get a sense of exact location. I don't really know how to read rivers on Google Maps. I plugged in Hawkesbury River. I got an exact location, but it seems to be below the big river.  And I'm not even sure the big river is Hawkesbury.

Maybe I need to consult Lord Wiki.

He says the Hawkesbury River is north and west of Sydney. If I'm understanding things right, the river begins north of Penrith and ends at Broken Bay. Broken Bay is near Palm Beach. Palm Beach is my point of reference because of Home and Away.

Lord Wiki talks about river mouths. I'm sure I learned about that in elementary school, but I have forgotten what it means. So I asked him. He says it's the part of the river that flows into another body of water. So that's Broken Bay for Hawkesbury River.

Well, I should get to the cruise website. If I have any more questions along the way, I'll refer back to Lord Wiki.

The home page of Hawkesbury Cruise has photos of their ships and listings of cruises.

They say they're a family owned business, and they work out of Brooklyn. Not NYC Brooklyn. This Brooklyn is in New South Wales (obviously) and close to Palm Beach.

I wonder where the name Brooklyn comes from. Where did it originate?

Lord Wiki says the NYC Brooklyn started as a Dutch town called Bruekelen.

I wonder if the Australian Brooklyn is named after the American one.

I think it might be, because Lord Wiki says the NYC Brooklyn came about in the mid 1600's. That's way before Australia started having European names for their things and places.

I should get back to the cruises.

It looks like they have planned cruises you can join, or you can charter boats and arrange things to your liking.

Every weekday at 10:00 am, they have something called The Riverboat Postman.  It's pretty awesome. It's not just a fun cruise. It has a practical purpose. The boat delivers mail and other goodies to people who live in areas that are only accessible by water transportation.

They have another whole website about this cruise. I clicked on it, and so far it's not working for me.

I hope it will work eventually, because I'm curious about it.

Ah! Here we go. It's working.

The Riverboat Postman adventure began in 1910. Though I'm not sure they used the same boat, or whether the same family owned the business back then.

The ride lasts from 10:00 to 1:15. It's Monday through Friday. You get coffee, tea, and homemade Anzac biscuits.  I wonder if that would be enough to hold me over for three hours. Or maybe I'm saying that because I've been hungrier than usual lately.

Never mind. I just looked at their price and inclusion page. You get lunch as well.

The price looks quite reasonable to me. It's $50 for an adult and $15 for a child under 15. It's $44 for seniors. How old are seniors in Australia? Maybe I should wait until I'm a senior to return to Australia. I imagine there'd be a lot of discounts.

I just googled. It's age 60 when you get your special card. What is it here?

Lord Wiki says it varies.

Anyway, I don't think I want to wait until I'm 60 to return to Australia. But maybe after my 50th birthday trip, I'll do a 60th birthday trip.

The lunch on the Riverboat Postman boat looks good. I wouldn't be interested in the ham, but the cheese, bread, and veggies look yum. Plus, they said they'll cater to your dietary requests if you tell them ahead of time.

It all sounds very lovely.

Wow...I might have to rethink our Australia plans.

I was thinking of skipping the Sydney area. But now I see that  on the Riverboat Postman site, they have a list of Brooklyn accommodations. Maybe we should stay there and go on one of these cruises.

I've been sitting here trip planning on Google Maps. That's one of my favorite games.

Right now I've mapped out a trip that begins in Brisbane. Then we drive up to the Gold Coast. Then we head south to Byron Bay, onto Coffs Harbour, and then end up in Brooklyn.  If there's not a large surcharge, we'll return our car to Sydney airport and then fly from there to Hobart. But if it's much cheaper to return the rental car to where we originally got it, I guess we'd drive back to Brisbane.

It would be a total of 20 hours. How long would it take us to do that drive? And I'd want it to be a road trip where we spent ample time in each place.  Our recent American West road trip was about 30 hours in 11 days. It felt a bit rushed in certain places. But if we are in Australia, I think we would be there longer than 11 days. I'd want to go 30 or more. So we could take it really slow.

I should get back to the cruises. But when I'm done with this post, I imagine I might be playing around for awhile.

I'm going to look at the other cruises that Hawkesbury Cruises offers.

Here's the Seven Islands Cruise.  You have to have your own group set up—20 people minimum and 180 maximum. You get to pick the time. And it's a fish and chip type thing. They don't say anything about special diets. But I'd be okay. I'd give my fish to Tim and Jack. I'd be happy with just the chips.

Yeah...and I was going to move on after  talking only about the food. I should probably mention that the ship visits various islands in the area. You get to learn something while eating.

The Danger Island Cruise looks very similar to the Seven Islands cruise, but you see different things. Since I don't really know the area, I'm not sure I'd be picky about which little islands we see.

I don't even know why I'm so excited about these cruises. We went on one in Virginia with friends, and I was hot and bored. Although I don't think they offered food. We just sat there in the sun.

I'm kind of skimming over the various tour cruises. They all kind of look alike to me.  You learn; you get morning tea; you eat fish and chips.  It all sounds great.

They have a New Years Cruise on Sydney Harbour. This one aint cheap. It's $550 per person. Yikes!  It does have an open bar, though; also music and lots of fancy food. It might be worth the money for me if I drank and enjoyed fireworks.

This page of the website has information on chartering a boat. It includes a PDF with menus and prices.

I'm trying to understand it. I think you pay a certain price for a boat, and then the menu would be an add-on.

The cheapest boat is $450 per hour and the most expensive is $550.

The $450 boat is the M.V. Emily Melvey. It fits about 50 people for a sit down meal and about 80 if your people are just going to stand around doing the cocktail thing.

There are two toilets on board. I guess that would be enough for 50-80 people. It's probably more than what you get on an airplane.

If you have a bigger party in mind, you can charter the M.V. Zarapito or the M.V. Bayrunner.  They can each fit about 120 people.

Now I'm going to look at the menus.

Fish and chips is $18.50 per person. This includes fish, chips, salad, and then you have to choose between watermelon or truffles. I'd want both, thank you very much.

The Cabin Boy menu is $22 per person and includes various appetizers. It's like fruit, cheese, veggies, olives....that kind of thing.

The Bosun...I think it's the same meal you get for the New Years cruise. Or at least it's similar. Both have an offer of vegetarian quiche.  If you're not vegetarian, you can have salmon or beef. The price for the Bosun is $45 per person.

One of the things you can charter the Hawkesbury cruises for is your wedding. You can have a large grand affair with 120 guests and the whole meal thing. That's about $6000. I don't think that's too awful in terms of weddings. It's cheaper than our Disney World wedding.

You could also have a small casual affair with 50 or so of your favorite people eating fish and chips. That would be about $1400.  That sounds fairly reasonable to me.

Wait! Oops. I missed two of the menus.

They have the Captain, which is the same price as the Bosun. It has a similar menu, but instead of salmon or beef, there's a chicken or beef.

The Admiral is $60 per person. You get oysters and prawns, plus some ham;this along with beef and chicken. And all these menus include the vegetarian quiche.

Now here's something I forgot and why I managed to come up with a very affordable wedding on these boats. Alcohol!

If you want a full open bar, it's $12 more per person.

Well, that's not too much actually.

For the most expensive menu plus drinks, it would be about $9000 (including price of the boat charter).  But then you have to add in the damn wedding dress, the flowers, music, wedding favors, etc. That's how it goes up in price.

But if you're smart (unlike I was) you can have a nice simple affair.

If I could do it over again, I'd have something very small and simple. That's not to say I didn't have a great time at our wedding. And I loved planning it...probably as much as I love planning vacations. But it was too much about the party and entertaining our guests, and not enough about love, commitment, romance, etc. Plus, the crazy thing is neither Tim and I had a lot of friends. So most of the guests at the wedding were my parent's friends! There were a very few number of my friends, a few of Tim's friends, a little bit of Tim's family, some of my relatives, and the rest were my parent's people.

Well, I can't change the past. But I can hope for better in the future. So I hope if Jack gets married, he'll have something that's much different. That might not be the case, though, since it's the bride's family who usually pays for and controls everything. Well, hopefully they'll be the type of people who like simple things. Unless Jack wants a huge wedding. Then hopefully he'll marry a rich person, or a person with a rich family who likes to throw big parties.

Anyway, I think I'm done with this post. I'm going to quit, and go play my Google Maps trip planning game.

Bridie Carter's Disturbing Storyline on All Saints

Bridie Carter is one of the guest stars of my episode of All Saints today. The character she plays is very different from Tess McLeod, and her storyline is quite troubling. She makes romantic advances towards Jared, one of the nurses. When Jared rejects her, she cries rape.

I think that's something that really scares me. What if one day I get accused of a horrible crime I didn't commit? What if it happens to someone I love? And worse...what if, because of the accusations, I start to doubt this person?  Maybe it's different when you know someone, and you can have some amount of faith that they're innocent. But then you can never know for sure. We might think we know someone, and maybe they hide their darkest parts from us.  

When it's someone I don't know...let's say a celebrity or maybe a new neighbor. The truth is even if they've been cleared, I'm still going to doubt them. I'm still going to wonder if they were wrongfully determined to be innocent. 

I think of what happened on All Saints. I saw the scenes with Jared and his patient. I know that the rape allegations are completely false. But what if I hadn't seen that? If I heard a story of a nurse raping a patient, and then the patient took back her accusations; a part of me would wonder. Did he really not rape her? Or did the staff pressure her to keep quiet? Maybe she was bribed? Maybe they bullied her into believing she was delusional.

The thing is. We often can never know the truth of what happened. That makes me nervous. I guess the only advice I can give myself is to keep an open mind and use critical thinking skills. Always remember that the way we're perceiving a situation can be completely wrong.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ian Meadows

Today I'm going to learn about the actor Ian Meadows. He plays Dan Moody on A Moody Christmas, and also on The Moody's.  He's probably been in other stuff as well, and hopefully I'll read about that today.

On A Moody Christmas, Dan Moody is a photographer living in London. He returns home to Australia to spend Christmas with his family. The series has six episodes, and each episode is another year and another Christmas.  The main storyline for Dan is that he's in love with his cousin's girlfriend.

I feel like my writing is really blah today.

I hope it gets better.

I usually plan to write a short introduction before diving into IMDb. Then I end up writing paragraphs upon paragraphs. I blab on and on. Today, that's not happening.

Maybe it's a good thing.

Let's go to the bio on IMDb.

Ian Meadows was born in Western Australia in 1983.  That means he's probably 31 now.

He's a fan of Heartbreak High, and he got to work with Callan Mulvey who was one of the stars. It might be fun to work with someone from a show you love. Or it could end up being really disappointing.

Like me, Meadows is a middle child. He has a mixed family, though—a brother and a sister. In my family, we're all girls.

Before Meadows became an actor, he wished to play in the AFL. I wonder if he had talent in that. Or was it just wishful thinking type stuff?

Now I'm going to go have a look at the Ian Meadows IMDb filmography.

I see here that he's done some writing, and one of the things he wrote was an episode of Offspring.

It was season 2, episode 5. Do I have that on iTunes? Let me go check....

I have it.

I'm going to skim through it.

Mick and Billie are talking about making a baby with Andrew. Nina is struggling with Fraser issues. That's the guy who was working under her, and then they had some romance. Fraser performed badly at work, and Nina is struggling to figure out how to deal with someone's work issues when you also have a personal relationship with them. Patrick is there, but he and Nina aren't dating yet.

The episode is lovely, so kudos to Meadows for that.

Meadow's first screen thing was in 2003. He was in a short film with a long name: John 'Rocky' Robinson: Roll with the Punches. It's available on YouTube, so I'll try to watch it later.

Then Meadow appeared in The Shark Net the Robert Drewe story about the Western Australia serial killer. Meadows played Richie. I don't think his role was big in the film.

According to these Penguin notes, in the book, Richie is Robert Drew's friend who tragically drowns.

I read the book, but it's been awhile. I don't remember much about it.

I'm going to watch the trailer. I don't know if Meadows is in it. I'm just curious. I'm hoping it sparks my memory a bit.

Since Meadow played a friend of Robert, he might be in this scene at :33. There are three male friends at the beach together. I'm thinking Meadows might be the guy on the right. Though I can't say he looks a lot like Dan Moody. There's maybe a slight resemblance.

Dan Wylie is in the movie. I think he's the killer.

I'm starting to feel I've written about this before.

Between 2003 and 2005, Meadows was in two other short films. I can't find them online, so I'm going to skip talking about them.

In 2006, Meadows appeared in the 18th episode of the 9th season of All Saints. I'm still watching the first season of that.  I'm looking at Meadow's episode—the cast list. The only actor leftover from season one is Judith McGrath.

On the episode, Meadows played Jeff Weiss.

I was looking for information about the episode on this Australian Television website. They have photos and I ran across one of Alex Cook, who played the unfortunate Lou on Love My Way. She doesn't look too healthy on All Saints either.  The description says, there's something fishy about a little girl's illness. I'm betting it's a Munchausen by Proxy type storyline.


I should get back to Ian Meadows.

Well, the description of the 18th episode doesn't mention a Jeff Weiss. There's mention of a young man who's gotten a new liver. Maybe this is Weiss.

Actually, the episode is on YouTube. I shall skim through and see if I can find Meadows.

I found him. He's at 15:34, and he IS the liver transplant patient.

It seems maybe the Australian television website had it wrong. It's a kidney the guy received not a liver.

Also in 2006, Meadows was in the short film Iron Bird. I can't find the entire film online, but I did find a trailer. I'm going to watch that now.

No, never mind. It's not a trailer. It's a scene.

Meadows wasn't there.

Meadows appeared in three episodes of a British-Australian series called Tripping Over. It's an adventure show about traveling.

Lord Wiki says it involves young adults from London and Sydney who decide to visit each other's countries. Their parents know each other, but they don't. All the friends meet at a stopover in Thailand. Something bad happens.

Meadows isn't listed in the main cast, so he might have had a small role.

From 2006-2007. Meadows was on sixteen episodes of Home and Away!  He played Rocco Cooper.

Here's Rocco Cooper's biography on the Back to the Bay site.

Rocco Cooper was an ex-gang member. Ah! It turns out Sally Fletcher became a deputy principal. I didn't know that.

So anyway, Sally Fletcher gave permission for Rocco to attend the school even though the principal wasn't keen on the idea.

Oh! You know what. I think I've read this storyline before. It's with a gang member who wants his brother to get back in the gang. I think the brother was Callan Mulvey. So this is what IMDb was talking about when they said Meadows got the chance to work with Mulvey.

There's a movie here in 2007, but I can't find much info on it. So I'm going to skip it. I pretty much skip anything if the only information I can find on it is from IMDb.

In 2009, Meadows was in a short film called Water. It's available on Vimeo, so I'll watch it later.

Also in 2009, Meadows appeared in a TV movie called 3 Acts of Murder.  It's based on a true story and looks pretty interesting. It's about a crime writer in 1929 who shows his murder story plot to some friends. Then one of the friends puts the idea to real life use. Oops.

Here's the trailer.  From the trailer, I get the idea that maybe I'm wrong about the friend thing. It might have been more like an acquaintance who was eavesdropping.

I just asked Lord Wiki about Meadow's character in the film. This is someone named George Lloyd. All Lord Wiki says is that George Lloyd was a guy seen with Snowy Rowles, the murderer.

Meadows appeared in the Bruce Beresford movie Mao's Last Dancer.  I have vague memories of this film.

I'm looking at the cast. It's long. Kyle McLachlan is in it! I didn't know that.

Meadow's plays a character without a name. He's the WTC Backstage manager. What is WTC? The first word that comes to my mind for those initials is the World Trade Center. Could that be it? I'm kind of doubting it.

Well, it looks like it actually is. Here's a website about the World Trade Center in movies, and they have Mao's Last Dancer on their list.

In 2010, Meadows appeared in that American miniseries filmed in Australia. The Pacific. He was in the 2nd episode of the 1st season. According to Lord Wiki's cousin, Meadows played a minor character named Cecil Evans.

In 2011, Meadows was in the TV movie Underbelly Files: The Man Who Got Away. I think I wrote about the movie when I wrote about Clair Van Der Boom.  It's about a drug smuggler. Meadows plays a sergeant named Tim Fry.

Here's a trailer for the movie. I'm doubting Meadows will be in it. But I'm going to watch just in case.

No! I'm wrong. He's in the trailer. He's there at around :29.

Oh crap. I have to rewind. I missed something on the filmography from 2010. Like usual, IMDb has managed to confuse me. 2010, Meadows was in the 3rd season of Rush. He played James Vincent in five episodes.

I can't find anything about James Vincent on the Australian television website.

Wait. I found it.

It's the son of Kerry. He has some kind of addiction. I think I might know who Kerry is. She's maybe the one played by the actress who was also in Tangle and The Secret Life of Us. What's her name again?

Catherine McClements. Thank you, IMDb. And I'm right. She's Kerry. I watched the first season, and I remember her talking about her son. I think they were estranged.

Back to 2011....

Meadows appeared in the miniseries Paper Giants.  He played Andrew Cowell.

This podcast has an interview with Andrew Cowell. If anyone is interested....

Cowell was the launch publisher of a magazine called FHM.

Here's the trailer for the series.

It says that Australia reads more magazines than any other country. Per capita? I assume that would be the case. Otherwise, I'd say Australians have some kind of magazine addiction.

The story takes place in the 1980's. I read a lot of magazines back then. Not that I'm trying to compete with Australians....

At 1:09...Is that Eloise from Offspring? I'll have to check when the trailer is done.

I didn't see Tim Meadows being Andrew Cowell.

I wonder if Andrew Cowell is related to Brendan Cowell.

I just looked up Eloise. She's played by Caren Pistorius. And Pistorius was in Paper Giants. Cool! I got something right.

And it says here that Pistorius is going to be in the movie version of A Light Between Oceans. I didn't even know they were turning it into a movie.

Back to Meadows.....

He appeared in one episode of a TV show in 2011, but I'm not  going to talk about it, because I don't watch that show. I usually skip over one times appearances in shows I don't watch.

There's also some short films I'm skipping, because I can't find them online.

So then we get to 2012. This is the year Meadows was in A Moody Christmas.  He's the main star of that. Since I don't think he's been the main star of anything else big. I'm thinking this show was his big break.

Here's a trailer for the show.  I think I watched and linked to it in a post from my recent past.  I don't think it does a good job representing the show; meaning I think the show is better than the trailer.

This year (2014) Meadows played Paul Wendon in four episodes of the 3rd season of Rake.

This blogger has reviews of episodes of Rake. I've been searching for mentions of Paul Wendon. I'm failing to find it. But I did find a Tikki Wendon. He's a media tycoon. I'm guessing that maybe Paul is his son.

Also, this year, Meadows was in The Moody's.

Have I watched a trailer for that yet? I think I have. But I don't remember it. I'll watch one again.

Yeah. I've watched this before. Now I remember it.

The last thing on Meadow's filmography is Parer's War. I should know it, because Mathew Le Nevez is the star. I should have written about it when I did a post on him. Yet I don't remember it.

Maybe it wasn't on IMDb yet. More was on IMDb. I read and wrote about it; then I forgot it all.

I just found the trailer. Now I remember it. It's about a war photographer.

Maybe that's Meadows at :31. I'm not sure.

I just went to consult Lord Wiki about Ian Meadows. He says Meadows is he grandson of a guy named Paul Ritter. Since they have different last names, I would guess that Ritter was Meadow's maternal grandfather.

Ritter was a Jewish man from Prague, so now I know that Meadows has Jewish and Czech roots. And he was a city planner for Perth. He's known for helping to preserve historical buildings in Perth. He's also known for going to jail for a few years. It was a fraud thing.

Meadows was born in Collie, Western Australia. I'm going to find it on Google Maps.

It's about two hours south of Perth, and a little to the east. It's away from the coast. Another way of looking at it is, it's about 40 minutes east of Bunbury.

Meadows didn't attend NIDA like many other actors. Instead he went to WAAPA, which is the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Lord Wiki just reminded me that Hugh Jackman went to that school as well.

I just noticed that Lord Wiki provides Meadow's birthday. It's February 4.

On a whim, I Googled the date.  It's the day that Karen Carpenter died of anorexia. It looks like that was the biggest news on that day.

I wonder who died on the day that I was born.

Now I'm getting all morbid here.

A Hungarian pianist named Imre Ungar died on my birthday. And also...the mother of Andy Warhol.

I probably have told this story, but I'll tell it again.

My younger sister has often been proud of the fact that she shares a birthday with Gandhi. Later, we came to realize that her husband shares his death date.

Then with Tim and I: I was born on the death date of JFK. Then on Tim's 32nd birthday, JFK's son was killed.

I should one day figure out if my older sister and her husband have any weird coincidence like that.

Anyway....I'm totally going off track here.

Here's an interview with Ian Meadows from Timeout Sydney. It's not about Ian Meadows as an actor. It's about Ian Meadows as writer. He wrote a play called Between Two Waves.

Wait. I got it wrong. It IS about Ian Meadows as an actor, because he also acts in the play.

It's about climate changes. Meadows plays a climate scientist who's very nervous about the future. He ends up with a woman who's very casual about the whole thing—lives in the present.

Here's a radio interview with Meadows. I'm going to listen to some of it. Maybe all of it.  If I have time.  I'll see what I can get done before dinner, because after that, we have a date with Doctor Who and American Horror Story.

There are very loud crows outside. I just wanted to mention that.

The interview was done around the time of Meadow's birthday. The radio woman sings happy birthday to him.

Meadows gives a compliment followed by an insult. He says the woman sings beautifully. When the radioman says this isn't true, Meadows gives a disclaimer to his compliment. He has low standards. Yikes.

I wonder how I'd feel if someone told me I sang good and then explained that they have low standards. I guess I'd respond with something like, Thanks...uh...okay?

 The oddest insult I've received about my singing lately came from a father. For some reason he brought up his daughter's singing. Or I brought it up? I don't know. Somehow we got into the conversation. Then he said something like, she sings like the rest of you guys...if you know what I mean. I forgot his exact words, but he conveyed somehow that he thinks the rest of us (including me) AND his daughter were bad singers.

I was offended by his insult, though I pretended not to care. And I was also bothered by a father saying negative things about his daughter's singing...especially since I think she has some singing talent.

Crap. I'm totally off on a tangent again. It's funny since this morning I felt like a failure for NOT going off on a tangent.

I'm nuts.

The radio people and Ian Meadows are talking about The Moody's.  Meadows explains that Dan Moody has moved back to Australia from London.

Meadows has a cute Aussie accent.

They talk about how Meadows was nominated for a theater award. He lost to a woman who was to later star on Orange is the New Black. And Meadows seems to see that as an honor—losing to this other actress. Or at least he's okay with losing, because he lost to someone who has done well. I'm not explaining this right. But I will say Meadows is pretty awesome and generous in that he spends a fair portion of his interview promoting this other actress.

Here's another interview with Meadows. It's another thing about his climate play.

I'm at the library now. It's been so long since I've done work at a library...probably not since my college days. Or actually...once I visited Tim in NYC and I worked on some school work there.

Anyway...let me get back to the interview.

I like the premise of the play. The climate change stuff is interesting, but I especially like the conflict between two different personalities. It reminds me a little bit of Tim and me. I'm very neurotic and uptight...also picky. He's very relaxed. For example. Food. I have food phobias and food dislikes. Tim will eat almost anything. And he has to put up with my food fears. He's tolerant usually, which is nice.

That's not a really good example. Because I'm totally in the bad and Tim isn't really. In Meadow's play, there's bad and good in both sides.

So, here's another example. Illness. I worry a lot about germs. I'm very picky about washing hands, taking vitamins to prevent illness, getting vaccines, making sure proper protocol is practiced when it comes to food handling, etc. My side is bad because I can be a bit uptight and over the top. But if Tim didn't have me around, he'd probably have much more contact with germs. And although a lot of germs are relatively harmless, there are a few nasty ones out there.

Meadows says his story started as a screenplay. Later he wrote it as a play. I've done that before—written something in different forms. I think usually it's novel to screenplay. You know what...maybe one day if I'm bored, I'll turn my The Dead Are Online into a screenplay. I think that might be fun.

Meadows says he was partly inspired by Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.  I saw some of that, and it scared me. Now I've pretty much forgotten it. I'm not a climate change denier. But I've become a climate-change...pretend-it's-not-happening person. I do some decent things like take a shower every other day instead of every day. And most of the time I use a reusable water bottle. But it's more now out of habit than fear.

I should watch or read something to make me afraid again.

It's like in elementary school where about once a year the school would show us this graphic scary educational film about a bus accident.  On the ride home, after seeing the film, most of us kids would exhibit unusually good and safe behavior. I think that lasted a ride or two. Then we'd be back to behaving dangerously.

This recent article says that Meadows is involved in a play called Blue/Orange. It's about mental illness. I need to read more to see if he wrote the play. Or is he acting in it? Maybe both?

Well, he didn't write it. The play is by a British writer.

I think I'd like it. It questions the difference between mental illness and eccentricity. That is one of my most favorite subject matters and also the one that drives me nuts. (don't pardon the pun).

It's like when Robin Williams died and all these people used it as a platform to talk about mental illness.  And maybe he did have mental illness. But how do (or did) they know that? Is it not possible for someone to kill themselves because their life isn't going well and they're incredibly unhappy? Life really sucks sometimes, and if you're unfortunately smart enough to realize this, why are you automatically labeled as mentally ill?

Blue/Orange isn't about depression, though. It's about schizophrenia. Meadows talks about how it is not dealt with in the media as much as other Bipolar disorder. I think that's true.

I feel bipolar disorder has been pretty much normalized. I remember, years ago, a friend telling me she had it. It was like this huge revelation. I think I was slightly scandalized by the whole thing, but also honored that she told me. If someone told me the same thing today, I don't think it would phase me at all.  It's just like homosexuality coming outs used to be thrilling. Now it's just a mild...oh really? Same with being on the autism spectrum.

And I remember telling my family that I was more pagan than Jewish. I saw it as such a huge deal. Now it all seems so mild.

But schizophrenia...that still has some bite.

It's tragic, but also fascinating. And with someone like me, I start thinking along the lines of, Is he hearing voices that are not there. Or is he hearing voices that ARE there but the rest of us can't hear it?

I don't think I have schizophrenia. But I do have delusional fantasies. Some people might say this is a sign of illness and/or disfunction. I say it makes my life more interesting and entertaining.

Maybe the difference, though, is that my delusions are positive and don't interfere with my life.  It's not so good if you're having paranoid delusions. And sometimes I have those as well. But I think everyone does to some degree. I think we all have those days where we feel people or the world in general is working against us.

I'm home now. I just took my shower, and I had very deep thoughts while in the shower. Hopefully I can get them out of my head and onto this post. And NOT go on and on for five thousand words.


I concluded that in most cases I don't see people as having mental illness. I'm not a big believer in the concept. What other people label as mental illness I label as being human.  But that's not to say if someone is having trouble, that I don't think they need and deserve help. This help might be in the form of a friend, a therapist, medication, etc. Some people and their problems can be lulled with a hot fudge sundae. Other people and their problems require much more than that.

Then, in the shower, I thought of schizophrenia. Let's say someone writes to me and tells me they're very upset. They think they're schizophrenic. They've been hearing voices and the voices are telling them they're worthless and should jump out the window.

Let's say, because of my very active imagination, I decide they're not schizophrenic. I believe they're plagued by a demon. I don't need to tell my friend this. Nor do I need to lie and tell them I agree with their diagnosis. To be a decent friend, all I need to say is That's really scary. I'm sorry you're going through that. 

What should I NOT do?  Ignore their email, because I don't want to deal with it. Or write back to them, but pretend I didn't read the part about the scary voice. That's failing to be there for them, and that's just plain wrong.

Another bad thing would be to say something like, Actually, that's awesome. You're lucky you're hearing voices. It's a gift! Maybe one day God will talk to you, and maybe He he has a message for me that you can bring forth.

I COULD actually be totally right about all that. But still. When my friend's suffering with these voices, it's not the time to be positive and think about how it might benefit me.

I'm now trying to find Ian Meadows on Twitter and Instagram. I'm not finding him.

There is a Twitter account for an Aussie Ian Meadows. It could be him, but I can't see any evidence that it is.

In this Ian Meadow's account, his latest Tweet is offering a trade with the US. If we give them Obama, they'll give us Tony Abbott.

No, thank you,

This Ian Meadows is very political. It could be the actor/writer. I'd be impressed, because there is nothing self-promotional here.

I just found another Ian Meadows on Twitter. This is probably not the right one either. But I was skimming and found he has a funny Retweet from Bill Murray.

Well,'s actually not Bill Murray. It's a parody account of Bill Murray. Kind of strange to have a parody account of a comedian. But oh well. Anyway...he says, It’s been five minutes since Adobe asked me to install an update. I hope they didn’t go out of business or something.

Back to Ian Meadows. My brain keeps saying Tim Meadows, by the way.

What should I do next?

I can't come up with anything besides watching the short films. So I'll get onto that now.

I thought I had three to watch, but I have only two saved. That's fine. Two is enough.

First I shall watch John 'Rocky' Robinson: Roll With the Punches.

I like the music.

I think that's Meadows in the blue robe, but I'm not positive.

I like the story. Rocky is a boxer and he's in a wheelchair. They talk about how this is an advantage, because people are going to be nervous about hitting someone in a wheelchair.

I'm wondering how it work,s though. In boxing, don't you lose by falling down and not getting up. So to win, does the other person have to knock over the whole wheelchair?  Or do they have to push Rocky out of the wheelchair?

The fight's about to happen.

I'm really curious about how this is going to work. Although it might be that Rocky knocks his opponent down, and I'll never know if the opponent was required to knock down the whole wheelchair or not.

He knocked down the whole wheelchair! Although I guess if you're a strong boxer, that wouldn't be too hard.

The ending was wild. I'm trying to figure out what the message of this movie is. What happens is Rocky loses and decides to find a new sport. Then we see him in his wheelchair on a diving board.  It almost seems like it's mocking people in wheelchairs. Or maybe I'm totally wrong and there are divers who dive while in their wheelchairs.

It seems, though, that there are many sports that people lacking leg mobility can participate in, so why do something like diving with your wheelchair?

There was a lot of talk in the movie about being positive and never saying can't. I'm tempted to interpret the movie as mocking maybe not wheelchairs, but the attitude that we can do anything as long as we put our mind to it.

Yes, you can dive wheelchair and all that...maybe. But maybe it would be better to find something more suitable.  Or perhaps there's a way to dive, but without the wheelchair.

Wait! Maybe I have it wrong. The film ends with Rocky on the diving board, rolling forward. I assumed he was going to jump wheelchair and all. And that seems a bit silly to me. But maybe he gets to the edge, parks his wheelchair, and then dives from there. Now THAT makes sense to me.

Here's an article about a woman who dives with her wheelchair—not diving board diving, but scuba diving.  That's awesome. And someone diving FROM their wheelchair seems awesome too. I just can't see the point of plunging off a diving board while in a wheelchair.

Well, maybe it would be fun. I don't know. It just seems scary to me.

I imagine the wheelchair would sink. And then how do you manage to get it up to the surface so you can get air and breath. Maybe that's the sport in it...surviving. And would you be buckled in? If not, might you fall out of the wheelchair while it was in the air?

I should watch the next movie.

This one is called Water. I wonder if there will be any diving.

Yesterday our Doctor Who episode involved water. Lots of water.

So far, this movie is a bit slow. It's one of those artsy things where there's a lot of film with nothing much happening. It's subtle. I'm too American to handle such things.

Ian Meadows appears at about 2:05.

There's a child and two men. I think maybe it's a gay dads family.

This movie, like the last one, is about disability. While the other movie had a guy boxing and diving off diving boards, this one has a man struggling to get food into his mouth.  He's very sad and frustrated, which makes me think he's not had this problem long. I suppose I assume if someone has limitations for a long time, they adjust to it. I'm not saying they'd be happy about it, but maybe they'd learn to accept it.

The movie is showing the child stressed by having to witness the ordeal.  I think it's hard enough for an adult to deal with it, whether they're the disabled person or the carer.

It might not be two dads. It could be that one man is the dad, and the other is a friend or sibling. A cousin, perhaps?

Ian Meadows just told the child that his dad taught him how to surf. I think he was referring to the guy who's disabled. So yeah....I don't think Meadows is the other dad.

Well, no. I guess he could be the dad. If you have two fathers in a family, I suppose one father could refer to the other father as "your dad".

I just went to look at the description of the movie on IMDb. They say the man is mentally disabled. It doesn't look like a mental disability to me. It looks like something like motor neuron disease. That's not considered a mental disability. Right?

Maybe the man had a brain injury, and that could lead to both a mental disability and a physical one.

Yeah...I'm guessing brain injury.

That was a very depressing movie, but touching as well. It's kind of like a Holocaust story. I watch it and feel depressed and horrified, but at the same time amazed that people manage to endure it and survive.

My family dealt with a traumatic brain injury.  Fortunately, it had a happy outcome. But it's hard seeing someone you know and love regress to a much younger age, and see them struggling with everyday skills we take for granted. It's hard when this happens to your child or your sibling. But what if it's your parent, and you're a child? It's actually not something I've thought of before. I often think of children losing their parent to death. But I haven't thought of them sort of losing their parent to a brain injury.

And back to things like schizophrenia...Whether you believe someone is mentally ill, eccentric, possessed by demons, etc. If they're acting vastly different than before and not coping with everyday life, it would be incredibly hard on a child.

It's very sad.

There's death where our heart stops and our brains cease to function. But then there's also the kind of death where someone just vastly changes. We lose the person we used to love. I guess the light at the end of the tunnel is that SOMETIMES a new relationship can be formed with this new version of the person we loved. But still. Something has been lost and there's going to be a lot of grief.  Bless the children and all the adults who have to endure this.