Thursday, July 31, 2014

Doormats Kicking Ass

So far, I'm really liking The Secret Life of Us.

I like a certain theme that keeps popping up. Someone is treated like crap. They let it go on for awhile. Then they stand up for themselves in a biting and eloquent way. It's quite lovely.

Then there's Jason. He's treated decently by people, but he treats them like crap. Or at least this is the way the jerk behaves towards his wife. Then he's the one who stands up for himself. It's really unfair. But there ARE people like that in the world. They do you wrong, and then when you get mad, they twist things around to make themselves the victim.

It can be incredibly frustrating.

And I wonder....Do they really see themselves as the victim? Or are they just very clever at manipulation?  

Maybe I'll Get Back to Biography Posts

I'm thinking that I'd like to learn more about some of the actors on The Secret Life of Us.

I've actually already done biography posts on three of the actors—Claudia Karvan, Deborah Mailman, and Abi Tucker.

I'm not sure I ever mentioned this, but I once got a very angry email from someone about the Deborah Mailman post. Why? Well, it was back when I had the previous title for this blog. The Girl Who Wished She Was Australian. He thought the title referred to Deborah Mailman, and that I was implying Deborah Mailman was an Australian wannabe. 

I just went back to read the email exchange. It's kind of funny. The guy was pretty apologetic in his own little way...when he realized his mistake. I was a bit hard on him. Fortunately, in the end I was nicer. Looking at the emails, I kind of wish we had become friends. 

Anyway, I kind of want to go back to doing biography posts, but differently than what I did before. The problem with before is I made these huge lists and I'd stick to them. So I'd be interested in someone one day. I would add them to the list; but then it would be months before I'd get to them. By then, sometimes I was much less interested in the person.

Now I think I'll write biography type posts when I find myself interested in someone, or a certain subject. I'll write it that day...or soon. I won't make any type of list.  

And yeah. I'd like to know more about the cast of The Secret Life of Us.

I'm going to start with the guy who plays the guy I strongly dislike. I don't know either of their names. Let me look on IMDb.  

Okay. The character's name is Jason Kennedy. The actor's name is Damian de Montemas. I like the name Damien. I don't really like his last name. Those types of names are confusing to me. I always forget if it's a di or a de and whether or not to capitalize the de or di part.    

In my old biography posts, I'd spend hours looking at their filmography—tediously going over almost everything.

I'm not going to do that now.

I'll just glance at the stuff that's familiar to me, and talk about whatever interests me.

It looks like his screen career started in 1995. He was on an episode of Police Rescue. Six years later, he was on The Secret Life of Us.  There was stuff in-between both projects.  

He was only on The Secret Life of Us from 2001-2002.  I would guess that's one season, yet IMDb says he was there for 44 episodes. I would guess 44 episodes would fit into at least two seasons, maybe three.  

Now I'm looking at the list of episodes on IMDb. The first season had 22 episodes. It ran from July....

Wait. Something is weird here. They list the pilot/telemovie as being on July 16, 2001 (Tim's birthday!), but then they say the third episode was on July 10 and the fourth was on July 11.  

If it weren't for some of our experiences with our binge-watchings shows, I'd assume IMDb had made a mistake. But with both Happy Endings and Ugly Betty, they had episodes that were completely out of order.   

Ah! But in this case, it seems maybe IMDb has made a mistake. TV.Com gives different dates for the episodes.  They say episodes 3 and 4 were on July 23 and July 30.  That makes more sense.

I need to get back to Mr. de Montemas.  

He's been on both my soap operas—Home and Away in 2007-2008, and he did two episodes of Neighbours in 2013.

It looks like he hasn't been in any of the other John Edwards projects.  I wonder why.  Because if you see an actor in one John Edwards show, it's likely you'll soon see them in another.  Well, I'm probably exaggerating, somewhat. I bet there are many actors who are in just one John Edwards project. But Claudia Karvan has been in at least three. Asher Keddie has been in two. Deborah Mailman has been in two....

I just looked at IMDb's biography page for Damien de Montemas. There's not much there. Maybe Lord Wiki will have more to say.  

No, there's not much there, either.  Lord Wiki doesn't even know de Montemas' age or where he was born. He does say that the guy studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.  

Now I'm just going to Google.

Here's a whole article about him taking his son to the beach.  They refer to him as a Neighbours star, so I think I misunderstood IMDb about him being in only two episodes.  

I guess they could have been very important and memorable episodes?

Reading this article, about the beach, makes me lose any demented fantasies I have of becoming a celebrity. It's so ridiculous. The article describe the color of his swimming shorts. Should we really care? And if we do, it's still not necessary, because there's a picture of the swimming shorts right below the description.

I would really hate to be famous and be in an online magazine where people talk about the color of my swimming suit. That's kind of humiliating.  

In case anyone is wondering, though, I have a very ugly pink swimming suit that's not at all flattering. And it's a really stupid swimming suit that takes forever to dry. I bought it from Lands End, and it was advertised as being quick-drying. I thought swimming suits dry fast in general, but was eager to have this suit that dried even faster than normal. But then it ends up drying incredibly slow. I don't get it.  

Here's another trashy article from a trashy magazine. This one provides some surprising information. Though Damien de Montemas plays a not-so-nice guy on Underbelly, he's nice in real life. How does that work? I thought if someone played a jerk on TV, they have to be a jerk in real life too.

Yes, I'm being sarcastic.  The thing is...well, is it me? Or does it seem like almost every time there's someone mean on the screen, we learn they're super nice in real life. And if there are two enemies on screen, in real life they're the best of friends. One day I'd like to hear of a villain on a show who is also incredibly mean in real life. 

No, I don't really want to see that. I guess I do like knowing that mean characters are played by actors who are not so-awful in real life. It's kind of comforting.

I'm going to go on and read more of the article. 

It's actually more of a slideshow.

Damian de Montemas has a life size poster of Marilyn Monroe. I guess he's a fan. Or maybe not. Maybe a friend mistakingly assumed he was a fan, gave it to de Montemas for a gift, and de Montemas stuck it to his wall in order to avoid hurting his friend's feelings.  

Damien de Montemas plays tennis. Fun.

He likes to eat at Mojos Tapas Bar in Bondi.  They have free WiFi there. This blogger recommends their garlic meatballs. I wonder if Damien de Montemas likes those.  

Well, here's something that's interesting. It looks like de Montemas has written a children's book. There's a spotlight page about him on Harbour Publishing House's website.  The book is called Nancy the Narcoleptic: The Story of a Little Girl Who Could Never Stay Awake.  It kind of sounds like one of those educational books for children—the ones that teach kids about various medical disorders and social problems.  But from the cover, it looks more like a fantasy. And the title would be a bit too exaggerated for an educational book. I mean if she could NEVER stay awake, then that would be more of a coma.

No...actually it wouldn't be a coma either. Because then you're not awake, so there's no chance of staying awake. Nancy is awake, but can't stay that way.

I guess maybe there are extreme cases of Narcolepsy? 

I read the first few provided pages of the book. I'm not sure what to think of it.

I'm backtracking so I can read the spotlight page.

As a child, de Montemas was a fan of Enid Blyton. I hear of her so often, but I don't think I've ever read one of her books.  I should probably change that fact someday.  

De Montemas speaks in favor of book-books versus electronic books. I used to be on the same page, but I've been converted a bit. I still prefer book-books. But when I put my novel on Kindle, I started to feel obligated to read other people's Kindle books. And with self-published books, you can often get books for 99 cents or a few dollars...sometimes even for free. I like that. I like cheap reads.  

I also realized that what I didn't like, in terms of e-books, was the Kindle itself. The device annoys me. But then I started reading on my laptop, and now I often just read on my phone.

De Montemas has a love for a place called Mollymook. He calls it his spiritual home.  

Where is Mollymook?

Lord Wiki says it's on the south coast of New South Wales. We were in that area once.  

Well, I'm looking at Google Maps now, and actually we were about 80 minutes north of Mollymook. But still.....

Here's something that confuses me. Damian de Montemas is on a Muppet Wiki. Why? Because he was on FarScape. FarScape is a Muppet thing? What?! 

Oh. Wow. It kind of was. The make up and puppet-effects were done by Jim Henson's Creature shop.

But. I don't know. Is everything created by Jim Henson's Creature shop a muppet?  

Well, I'm getting tired, so I think I'll stop here. And actually...I need to finish the episode of The Secret Life of Us that I was watching before.  


Ailsa Stewart Loses Points In My Book

Today, in my episode of Home and Away, Bobby Simpson is reunited with Al Simpson, her adopted father, who, in the past, treated her and her mother like dirt.

Bobby rightfully has a lot of anger for this man, and she shows this in her behavior towards him when he visits her at work.  

Her best friend and co-worker, Ailsa Stewart, meanwhile is very pleasant towards Al. This in itself would greatly annoy me. I'm imagining someone close to me, and I've told them about an enemy from my past. Together we encounter this enemy. I would expect my friend to be civil to my enemy, but I'll admit I'd probably like it if there was a subtle amount of menace coming from my friend.  

I mean I'm not expecting Ailsa Stewart to jump up and attack Al Simpson. But she could have been a little bit colder.

What's worse, though, is that when Al Simpson leaves, and Bobby Simpson makes a negative comment, Ailsa says, Give him a break. He seems pleasant enough.  

I hate when people have that attitude. Just because someone manages to be charming to you for five minutes, doesn't mean they're a decent person. And it doesn't negate the turmoil they have caused to people who have had to spend much more time with them.  

After Ailsa says that, Bobby defends her feelings. She explains why she hates her adopted father. I'm going to assume from past dialogues, and the nature of Bobby and Ailsa's relationship, that Ailsa has already been told this stuff about Al Simpson. I can't imagine it's all new to her. 

Then Ailsa puts her arm around Bobby and says something like, Don't let it upset you. That's such an invalidating thing to say! Why wouldn't Bobby be upset about seeing a parent who has treated her like crap? Who wouldn't be upset?  

When someone has valid reasons for being upset about something and you tell them not to be upset, is that really helping? I'd say no. I think it just makes them feel worse. It makes them question their own feelings. It's likely to make them feel like they're having the "wrong" emotions; that they're being too negative; that they're not being strong enough.

In Ailsa's defense, she later explains to Bobby's biological father that she has sympathy for Al Simpson because he's just gotten out of prison. Ailsa too has a past history of coming out of prison and wanting a second chance. She wants to believe Al Simpson is like her— someone who's made mistakes and is trying to make things right.

She's wrong about him...as we see from future scenes. He's a con artist who exploits his daughter to get money from generous strangers.

But Ailsa doesn't know that. And I do admire her for wanting to see the best in people. There IS a chance that a bad person can turn good. I also agree that people deserve second chances.  

It's just there has to be a better way of going about it. Maybe in private, Ailsa can simply ask Bobby. Well, do you think there's any chance he's might have changed?  I think if someone said that to me, I'd be slightly annoyed, but I'd appreciate that they're presenting it as a question and not an observation. It's also inviting me to share my opinion and feelings rather than telling me what I should feel.  


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dolls on Flickr

I was going to wait awhile before writing this post, but I can't get it out of my head.  I'm really eager to learn more about the photos I saw before. To my credit, though, I did hold off long enough to feed the birds and put some laundry away.  Oh, and I interrupted Tim's TV watching to inform him about Mark Pelligrino's stance on the whole Israel nightmare.

But now I'm here and I'm going to take a closer look at the photos.

What happened is I went to my Flickr account to retrieve a photo of Heath Ledger's wax figure. I then saw that my photo of a museum exhibit's Home and Away photo had been favorited by someone named Lyndsay2011. My photos aren't often favorited, so when they are, I get curious about who is showing interest.  So I clicked on her name and found myself looked at photos of creepy dolls.  They're like horror movie dolls.

The dolls are positioned in ways to make them look like real children, which I think is really spooky.

I do wonder about person (or persons) who own these dolls. What do they think of it all? Do they see them as their children?  I know there are people who are like that. Or do they too see it as a horror-movie type thing and they're purposely creating that type of image?

And what is Lindsay2011's connection to Australia and Home and Away? When I was writing my previous post, I quickly looked at their albums and did see something with Australian animals, and I think I saw something about Summer Bay.

They might be Australian. Or maybe they're English?. I know a lot of English people love Home and Away.

Well, now I shall take a closer look....

I'm looking at their profile. They don't have any information about themselves.  But I'm looking at photos they favorited, and I see Home and Away stuff.

Now I'm looking at their albums. The Aussie wildlife one has only five photos, and one is a news photo of the koala drinking water.

There's an album about the Queensland flood. From the description on the album, it's leading me to think that Lydnsay2011 lives in Queensland.

Here's a doll album.  From what I saw in some of the comments, I'm starting to believe Lindsay2011 takes his dolls very seriously, and it's not some kind of dark joke.

Though I think it looks a bit like a horror movie (especially since I recently finished reading this book.) I'm trying not to judge people for loving their dolls so much.

When I was a tween, I loved my Cabbage Patch Dolls and would pretend they were real kids. I grew out of that, but I don't see why it's necessary for everyone to grow out of it. And even though I no longer have relationships with dolls, I do have strong feelings for other fictional characters.

I'm thinking there are different levels to this type of doll collecting.

Let's say level one is people who like the dolls for their weirdness factor and like taking photographs.

Level two is people who like the dolls and like to pretend the dolls are real. But they're well aware that the dolls aren't real.

Level three is people who truly believe the dolls are real and therefore these people have lost touch with reality. We might call them insane.

Level four is people who have dolls. And the dolls REALLY are real and we're in the middle of a supernatural horror story.

I feel most comfortable with level one and two. I struggle to be comfortable with level three, and remind myself that not all types of crazy are harmful. And maybe it's not even crazy because a lot of us have beliefs that are quite out there.

I don't think I'd be okay with level four. That bothers me. Although why should I assume they're evil dolls? I've just been brainwashed by horror movies. Maybe the dolls are really nice.

Here's one that's died. How does a doll die?  Did she break? Was she stolen?

Okay...this doll picture contains the story.  Lindsay2011 had a friend...sort of...babysitting? And the friend put the dolls in the trash. I have a feeling the friend didn't like that Lindsay2011 loved their dolls so much and wanted to try to fix things.

You know, here I'm thinking that Lindsay2011 is a bit off their rocker, but I sometimes feel that way about my stuffed animals. I see them as being real. And it's the same with my Minecraft animals. I have a hard time convincing myself that they're not real animals and I don't need to feel any empathy for them. Sometimes I'll have an animal that gets itself trapped inside my house. Then I feel bad leaving it there all alone, so I'll work hard to get it out.  Or once I had horses stuck deep down in a cave, and I struggled for about 20 minutes to rescue them.

So...maybe I should conclude Lindsay2011 is a bit nuts. But so am I.

Or maybe we're not.

Maybe the dolls are real and maybe my Minecraft animals are real as well.

Anyway....

I'm looking at the whole photostream. There are certain photos that make me feel a little less open-minded and tolerant. Sometimes I feel a line has been crossed. Though people could say the same about me.

And we all draw our lines in different places.

The thing is... Though, I often think of certain fictional beings as being real, I realize I am probably being ridiculous. And I can laugh at myself. I get the feeling that this is not the case for these photographs. They seem very serious.

But you never know what's behind these people's stories.

Maybe Lindsay2011 is a guy who lost his family and the only way he could cope is to love dolls.  Or something like that.

Here's an editorial/article about adult-doll collecting. The writer's mixed feelings remind me of my own.

That article and this one talk about something called reborn dolls. They're dolls that are made to look very much like real infants. I'm not sure if Lindsay2011's collection would be put into this category, because most of his dolls are children/toddlers rather than infants.  But it's the same general spirit...people treating their dolls as being real.

I think there are so many questions.

Is it creepy or not creepy? I'd say very creepy.

Is it normal or abnormal? I'd say it's abnormal.

Is it harmful or not harmful?

I would say it's probably NOT harmful. Something can be creepy and abnormal, but not be a bad thing. It could actually be a good thing. If it makes someone happy, gives someone comfort, and doesn't cause harm to others, then why is it wrong?
















Wax Museum Picture

Yesterday I talked about how writers sometimes do their work while not actually writing.

The thing is we think about stuff when we're not at the keyboard or with pen and paper in our hand. We compose in our head and later write it down.

At some point, last night, I started composing a blog entry in my head. Maybe when I was in the shower? Yeah. Probably.

I thought of writing and posting what was inside my head, but decided against it. I had already written two posts for the day, and I still had other stuff I wanted to do—like watch True Blood.

Then today I thought of writing it but wasn't really in the mood. I didn't feel what I had felt yesterday. Writing it would feel forced. But then as I thought of it more, I got myself back in the mood. Maybe too much in the mood. I started thinking of all these things I wanted to say.

So now I'm going to start writing this post which might be crap and it might be too long, because I have so much swimming inside my head. Shit. Look how long it took to just write an introduction. And did I even need this introduction?

Probably not.

But I'm keeping it here.

So...for some reason I thought of seeing Heath Ledger at the wax museum, and I remembered that we have a picture of me with him. Well, I probably thought of Heath Ledger because I so recently read the book about him. I'm not sure why I thought of him and me at the wax museum.

Wow. I was just looking for the picture on Flickr so I could post it here, and I saw that one of my Aussie related photos was favorited by someone. I went to their Flickr (because I'm always curious about who looks at my stuff), and they have some very wild pictures. I'm going to have to check back later and take a closer look.

For now, I'll just say the pictures are cool but do have the potential to give me nightmares.  Or at least keep me up at night.

Okay. I found the photo of me with Heath Ledger.



I had kind of been hoping it was one of the rare photos where I look sort of attractive. But...oh well. Still. I like the photo because it sort of looks like I'm standing near the real Heath Ledger. Like we're at the same party.

I guess that's what's fun about these wax museums. You can stand next to famous people who you'd never stand next to otherwise. Even ones that are no longer alive.

I used the Sydney wax museum in my novel, The Dead Are Online. In my book, the afterlife is accepted as fact and the dead talk to the living as easily as the living talk to the living. Thanks to the Internet.

The wax museum has special times each day where the living can talk to the deceased celebrities. Though it's not like you get to sit there and have a personal chat. There's a huge crowd competing for the celebrities' attention, and the celebrity usually just recites a prepared speech and then answers a few audience questions.

So...last night (and it WAS in the shower. I remember it definitely now). I thought about how I was somewhat depressed after writing my book. I think while writing the book, there was a small part of me that forgot it was fiction. I created this world where people no longer had to worry about death, and there didn't have to be that horrible sorrow that comes with death.

A few days ago, I was reading some of my old LiveJournal entries, which I do on most days. My reading for that day happened to be about belief in the afterlife. Apparently in June 2007, my faith in life after death was at 99.9%. I talk about how when my faith was weaker, I couldn't understand why so-called believers would cry about death. Why cry if your faith is so strong and you know you can see your loved one again?  What's the big deal about death if you know it's not the end?

Then I became a strong believer myself and imagined I understood. Even if death isn't the end, it's still a huge good-bye.

I still have a belief in the afterlife, but not as strong as 2007-Dina. Now my belief is probably at around 75%.

And I'm kind of disagreeing with my old self. I think she's wrong. Maybe.  I think people cry over death, not because there will be a long separation, but because no matter what they claim, their faith really isn't 100% Or 99.9%.

I just have a hard time imagining anyone is truly that secure in a belief in life after death. I mean maybe there are exceptions...like if you personally see dead people. But wouldn't even these people have at least a tiny bit of doubt? Couldn't they imagine their visions of the dead might be hallucinations?  If we say, but the dead told them things they wouldn't have known otherwise. Well, couldn't it be that they're psychic? It could be that psychic powers are a true thing, but life after death is not.

Now, as I said above, in my novel, not only is there life after death, but there's easy and open communication between the living and dead. If there was definite proof and acceptance of life after death, but no communication; would it still be horribly sad?

Well, I'd say the sadness level would lie somewhere between the situation in my novel and the one we have in our real world. It would be sad, because you know you might not see the person for a long time, but not too sad because you know they're still out there somewhere.

Sometimes the characters in my novel worry about death; then they suddenly remember that they don't need to worry about it. This was really a matter of me forgetting the whole premise of my novel. I'd have the characters worry and then I'd remember that they didn't need to. So instead of editing out scenes caused my forgetfulness, I worked it into the story.

It's hard to fathom a world in which life after death is fact rather than belief. But once I was there, it was kind of hard to let go.

I miss my fictional world sometimes.

I'm not a big fan of the whole death thing.

P.S-Later I might write a post about the weird Flickr account.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Matt Corby

I'm thinking I shall try to do more music posts.

I listen to a lot of Australian music, and often I know nothing about the singer and/or band.

I'm not going to embed videos, because that's been a pain to my formatting. And I don't imagine it's too hard to click on the link...if someone's interested in seeing the video.

I'll also try not to make these posts as long as I did in the past. Tim says it's better to have shorter posts. I agree with him.

So, today I'm going to look at Matt Corby.  I have eleven of his songs on my Aussie Spotify list. I think some I added recently, because they don't seem very familiar to me.

See, I'm horribly anal when it comes to Spotify. I make lists; then I listen to the lists in order. I go through all my lists, and then start back at the beginning. So right now I'm on my Aussie list. Before that I was listening to my Walking Dead list. After I listen to the Aussie list, I'll move down to a list called Dallas Drive. I think I made that one for one of those rare times we had Spotify Premium and could listen to music in the car.

Forget this being a short post. I'm rambling already.

Let me get back to Matt Corby. The song of his that first got my attention was "Light Home". It's beautiful in a very haunting way. I did actually Google this song in the past. From what I remember reading, it was played on some Australian TV show. Maybe Home and Away?

I'm going to reconsult Lord Wiki about this.

Well, Lord Wiki doesn't say much about that particular song. Maybe I read it somewhere else?

No, it was Lord Wiki. I just went and Googled Matt Corby, "Light Home", and Home and Away. That brought me back to Lord Wiki. I just did a bad job skimming before.

But yeah. The song was in a 2011 episode.

While skimming, though, I did learn a few things.

Matt Corby was thought to be part of the Hillsong religious group. Lord Wiki says this isn't actually true.  I followed the link he provides, however, and it took me to an article that says Corby WAS part of Hillsong.

Apparently there was some controversy. Matt Corby was on American Idol, and some believed he came from Hillsong, and that Hillsong had some influence on the show's voting.

I'm looking at various websites, trying to find answers. This one says, Corby is from the Assemblies of God Pentecostal Church. And they say that church is affiliated with Hillsong.

I'm sitting here Googling to try to verify whether the above fact is true or not. That's how these posts end up taking up so much time and space.

I can't easily find any verification.

I'll just leave it at, Matt Corby is/was maybe part of a controversial Christian group.

I didn't expect that.

I'm wondering if there's Christianity in his lyrics.

I haven't paid much attention to the lyrics.

I will admit to having some prejudices about evangelical Christianity. For example, I immediately start to wonder if Matt Corby is anti-gay.

Well, this article gives me some reassurance. It says a pastor from the Hillsong Church has spoken in favor of being more welcoming towards gay folks.  The message is kind of in the spirit of if-you-can't-beat-them-join-them. Or in this case, let them join you.

Anyway...back to Matt Corby.

Here's his official website.

In the news section, there's a photo of him sitting on a chair playing guitar. There's a table in front him of him. Is that an ashtray?  And there' a chessboard. Heath Ledger played a lot of chess. I learned that from my recent reading adventure.

On this page, you can listen to his songs. As you listen, you see comments of various people flash by.

Examples: He's got a legit voice. love this song SO much.  Just Wonderful Good Onya.

Oh! There's a song called "Evangelist".  Maybe it will have clues to this religious thing. In the beginning of the song, his voice is very low...a bit like Nick Cave.

I'm looking at the lyrics.

This line interests me.

It seems that your restrained by devout belief that ruins your life
I won't listen to you, won't you blow right past my door?

It could be he's over the church and is talking about his past self. Or he could be referring to someone he knows who's still part of the Church.

My feeling, though, is that maybe he's imagining how listeners and fans perceive him when learning of  his religious background.

Here's his Twitter page. On both the Twitter page and the website, Corby is talked about in third person. So it looks like someone else is taking care of the social media aspect of his career.

Here's an article/interview.  Corby talks about how some people like what you do and some people hate it.  He says he pays more attention to the negative. I often do the same thing. I can't say I get a ton of hatred, just a lot of disinterest. And that can dampen my spirit a bit.  So sometimes it's helpful to make myself remember times in which my work has been appreciated.

Okay. Corby is talking about his Australian Idol days.  It seems he got quite famous for awhile.  And some un-fans weren't that nice.

Things got better for Corby when he played in London, because there his Australian idol reputation didn't cling to him as much.

It seems Australian Idol wasn't a positive experience for Corby. I tend to think those types of shows are rarely good for anyone. In rare cases, it launches lasting careers. I think in most cases, they launch very short-lived careers. And they probably destroy the hopes, dreams, and self-esteem of many young singers.

This is getting long. I'm going to quit in a few minutes. Before I go, I want to listen to some cover versions of "Lighthome".  I like doing that.

Here's HooperBenMusic.  He sings in a garden with purple flowers. I'm wondering about his accent. English doesn't seem to be his first language.  He does a fairly good job with the singing, but I have a hard time enjoying it because he kind of reminds me of the guy who spent too many weeks living with us.

Now I've begun to watch a video by JnDMusic2012. He doesn't look like our old housemate. But he does look like someone...or a combination of people actually. I see a little bit of Heath Ledger, a lot of Neil Patrick Harris, and maybe a bit of Leonardo DiCaprio.

He has a Game Of Thrones poster. I guess he's a fan.

Well, I'm going to go play some Minecraft and listen to more Aussie music.







Invisible Working

Today I'm watching the fourth episode of The Secret Life of Us.

In this episode, Evan tells a story in which a writer says he's working when it seems he's just looking out a window.

There's a truth to that, and not just for writers.

A lot of work is invisible. We come up with answers and ideas while looking out the window, taking a shower, sitting on the toilet, staring at a TV screen, taking a walk, playing Tetris, etc.

Although I should know better, I find myself judging people who claim to be working very hard while I suspect they're not actually working. They're just fooling around.  But when I think "work" in terms of an artistic endeavor, I am thinking of someone actually sitting down and creating something. The typing on the keyboard. The paint on the canvas. The pen on paper. But sometimes the fooling around is work too. Although if someone fools around too often and nothing is created, then maybe it's hard to justify the fooling around.

That's not to say there's no value in fooling around and having fun—relaxing and enjoying yourself. I just don't think you can always rightfully claim you are doing it as your work.    

Monday, July 28, 2014

Finished Reading the Book

I finished reading the Heath Ledger book.

It was good.

And sad.

There was some kind of financial controversy involving the family that went over my head.

The most interesting fact to me was that Busy Phillips is the godmother of Matilda Ledger. We watched Phillips in Freaks and Geeks.

Another thing interesting is the book says Michelle Williams got the idea for the Matilda name from the Roald Dahl story. That surprised me. I had figured the name was a reference to "Waltzing Matilda".

Then again, names can have multiple explanations—ones that please a variety of people.

Our Jack is named Jack because I liked it after seeing Hook. The son of Peter Pan had the name. Then Tim liked it because he was a fan of Jackie Chan.

My grandfather was named Jack, so my father and his siblings were quite pleased with the name. Then also, Tim's father had a Jack in his family. I think he too was touched by the name choice.

As for the death of Heath Ledger, the book probably raises more questions than it answers. Well, there are a lot of answers, but they often contradict each other.

In the end, I'd conclude simply that life and emotions can be really difficult, sometimes unfortunately to the point that they kill you.

It's a blessing to be able to sleep well and wake up feeling decent in the morning.

Celebrities Giving Their Political Opinion

I just finished reading chapter seven of the Heath Ledger book.

This chapter talks about how Heath Ledger spoke out against Australia participating in the US attack against Iraq.

The book quotes Ledger as saying he sometimes hates it when celebrities are very vocal about their views.

He didn't like other people doing it, but then he does it himself.

I can't fault him too much. I think it's very human to dislike a behavior in others and then find yourself doing it.

We talked about this sort of behavior this weekend.

I came in the middle of the conversation, so I'm not sure how it started, or what celebrity they were referring to. But my mom was bothered by some celebrity expressing their leftist views, and Tim was trying to figure out if she'd be equally bothered if a celebrity expressed views that were more similar to her own.

My mom made a comment along the lines of singers and actors sing and act; they don't have the ability to have informed opinions.

I really get annoyed with this type of opinion. Why shouldn't the opinion of singers, actors, writers, artists have merit?  If you sing and act, does this mean you're automatically immune from having an informed opinion?

But then someone else at the table (maybe Tim?) suggested maybe the problem is more about it being unfair for celebrities to use their fame to express their opinion. They have a huge platform to express their views, and it does feel kind of unfair to those of us who don't have a huge audience.

That being said, I'm not sure unfairness equals wrongness. And since I express my views, in this blog and elsewhere, wouldn't it be unfair to say it's okay for me, but not for someone like Alyssa Milano?

I think we're all entitled to an opinion, whether we're not famous or very famous...or somewhere in between.

The thing though about having a strong and vocal political opinion is you're likely to end up alienating people who have an opposing view.  If you have a small audience, you're in danger of alienating only a small number of people. If you have a large audience, you're in danger of alienating a lot of people.

Does that mean we should stay safe and keep our opinions to ourselves?

No. Not necessarily. It just means we should be aware of the risks of speaking up.

Be prepared for the shit to hit the fan.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sally Fletcher Loses Her Virginity

Now I'm reading chapter four of the Heath Ledger biography.

I just learned something. Well, I might have known it, and forgotten. But it felt new to me.

Heath Ledger was on Home and Away.

According to the book, he's the guy who ends up taking Sally Fletcher's virginity.

I wonder when that's going to happen.

Sally is about nine right now....

Well, I'm sitting here guessing her age and trying to guess at what age she loses her virginity.

Why?

I should just look at the book and see if it provides a date for Heath Ledger's appearance.

No. The book doesn't provide a date.

Thankfully, we have Imdb. Although it's kind of spoilers for the book. I mean it's not like I've never looked at Heath Ledger's career on Imdb. But I kind of forgot a lot of stuff, so the information in the book feels slightly new to me.

Well, I looked and it wasn't a big deal. I just went straight to what I needed. So the information about his film and television career will still be fascinating.

Anyway, he came on Home and Away in 1997 for nine episodes.  If I'm right about Sally being nine now, she'll be about sixteen when she loses her virginity.

I could be wrong, though, about her age. She might be ten or eleven. Or she could be younger.


Twenty-Five Pages

I've started to read the Heath Ledger biography I bought recently.

I've read a lot of celebrity autobiographies, but I don't often read biographies. So this genre is kind of new to me. And yeah, I do think there's a difference. With autobiographies, the subject chooses what we get to know and not know. I feel more comfortable reading them. I don't get that feeling of prying into aspects of someone's business that they might not want people to see.

But despite my ethical misgivings, I'm still reading the book. 

Am I enjoying the book?

I don't know.

I was kind of bored by the third chapter. It goes into great detail about the Ledger family history. I didn't feel like I was reading a celebrity biography. I felt like I was reading a history book.

I'm wondering if this is typical for celebrity biographies. 

I kind of imagined you'd just get a few paragraphs. Grandparents went on this ship. Parents went into this business. This cousin did this. I wouldn't expect the writer to stretch this out for a twenty-five page chapter.    

It's been quite awhile since I've read a celebrity autobiography, and I can't remember how much family history they provided.

I did recently read my friend's biography, and I definitely don't remember her having a whole chapter about her family history—grandparents, great-grandparents, great-uncles, etc.

I feel I should have liked chapter three of the Heath Ledger book more because it's not just general history, it's Australia history. But I have to be honest. Though I love Australia, and like small bits of Australia history here and there, I usually get bored by whole books of it.  

I'm fine with several paragraphs about a subject, but my mind drifts away when it's a whole book. Or a whole chapter. 

Though I might have been more interested in the chapter if it was less confusing. I had a hard time keeping track of who was who.  I got all confused about who was the great-grandfather and who was the grandfather.  

The full title of this Heath Ledger book is Heath: A Family's Tale.  So maybe I should have taken that as a clue that it's going to go into family stuff. Although I think I might have equated family with immediate family. Mom, Dad, siblings, and maybe some extended family. But I would have imagined their stories being told only in connection to their relationship Heath.  

Well, I'll continue with the book to see if it gets more interesting.

What I really wish, though, is that it wasn't a tragedy.  I wish it were about an actor who was still alive and working...and still with his family.  









Saturday, July 26, 2014

Filling Up The Hot Hours Of Texas

I'm at the lake house.

It's too hot outside, so I'm stuck inside.

I'm kind of bored...which is rare for me.

I decided I should do a research post.

About what?

Well, I should probably work on my book.

A few days ago, I quit the whole idea. But just for a few minutes. Or hours. Then I decided to just delay the whole thing. I was going to start writing in October. Now I'm going to start a little later than that. I'll give myself more time for Australian TV on Hulu and more time for research.

Now I can't even remember what location I was going to use for my Melbourne people.

The good thing is I think I wrote it down somewhere....

Yarraville.

I'm not sure how much I need to know about Yarraville for my book, but I'll do some research anyway.

Shit. I thought I had chosen a street for my Yarraville people, but now I don't see it.

I do remember considering Oven Street. I'll probably just stick with that...for now, at least.

I'm looking at Google Maps now.

I'm going to use Street View to try and pretend to take a walk.

There's a little shop on the corner of the street. It has ugly graffiti, unfortunately.  Hopefully, that's been fixed since the time the picture was taken (January 2013).

There's a house that's either being built or is falling apart. I'm not sure.

There's a blue house that looks pretty interesting. I think it's 4 Ovens Street. Maybe I'll imagine one of my characters live there.  Which one?  I'll have to figure that out.

I have two families on the street—the Grants and the Merricks.  I think they'd live very close to each other—either next door or across the street.

My only problem is the houses look very small. And the Grants have four kids. Could they all fit?

Well, yes. I'm sure they can. A lot of people live in tighter situations.

Or I could be like a normal writer and stretch reality a little.

Would it destroy the universe for me to imagine the house is a little bigger than it actually is?

And it's not like I'm going to give out the address in my book.

I might not even mention Ovens street.

I have major issues here.

This is why I'd rather blog than write fiction.

Still, though, I AM having fun looking at Ovens Street.

But now I'm lost and stuck on Stephens Street.

I need to find my way back to Ovens.

Ah! Finally.  I'm back.

There's this strange house. I think it's 13 Ovens Street. It looks spooky. And I'm not just saying that because it's 13.

Wait. It's not 13. I just looked up the address and got another house. Unless they tore down one house and replaced it within a few years.

All right. The strange house is 12 Ovens Street. It's too bad it's not 13. Guess what the postcode for the street is....

3013.

Spooky house with two thirteens in the address. That would have been awesome.

I'm now walking further down the street. I'm trying to imagine a big family living in one of these houses.  The Grants have three boys and a girl. Would they all share a bedroom? Would the girl get her own? Would the boys resent her or that?

The western end of Ovens street looks really rundown.

Maybe I've given my families the wrong street.

Or I'll have them live on the eastern end of the street.

This house, 8 Ovens Street, isn't overly small. Well, at least it has a lot of bedrooms.  Four.  And two bathrooms. But guess how much it costs? $1,036,000.  Over a million dollars. It's shocking how expensive housing is these days. This is a small house out in the suburbs.

After you get to the end of Ovens Street, you come to Ballarat Street. There's a lot of graffiti on the first building.

The gray building across from it looks pretty cool. It looks like there's a horse in the window.

Ballarat Street has some retail/commercial stuff. There's a yoga center, and Thai/Laos cuisine.

There's a restaurant that might be...French?  I'm trying to read the sign.

Havsfrau?

Maybe that's not French.

German?

I'll Google.

Oops. I read it wrong. It's a Hausfrau, and it's a bakery.

Well, I think I'm going to stop here...for now.

Maybe I'll do more later.





Friday, July 25, 2014

Self Enjoyment and Attention

In Claire Isabel's most recent Tweet, she says: Do the things you do in life for the self enjoyment, not for such things as attention or accolades from others...

My response:  I say in that case, there's no need to post anything on the internet! If it's just for you, who needs to know about it?

My feeling is you should do things you love and if it brings you attention and accolades, that's even better.

Of course you shouldn't do something you dislike for attention. Well, no. That's not entirely true either. What if it's bringing you a nice amount of money?  Or what if you don't want to disappoint your fans?  It might be worth it to stick with something you don't like...at least for a little while.

What would probably be dumb is to start doing something you dislike simply because you imagine it will bring you attention.

I think the other problem is, when we get into the mode that nothing matters unless it is recorded for the world to see.

I've gotten into this mode, in the past, on LiveJournal. And there have also been times on this blog where I felt compelled to record all my Australia stuff.

I've seen it on Facebook and Twitter—the people who can't seem to do anything without reporting it and getting validation from their followers and "friends".

There are people who have to upload photos to Instagram multiple times a day, because if the creative project they planned for their child isn't recorded and liked by at least 10 people; then well, did it really ever happen?

As for me and this blog, I'll say this. My love of Australia is for me. My own self-enjoyment. This blog is probably more for the attention. I mean, not all the time. I do love writing. I do feel a need to express myself. But the need to express ourselves? Well, isn't that a desire for attention? Or at least it's a need to be heard and understood.

I have another blog and hardly anyone visits it. It's about fiction— books, movies, TV shows, Minecraft, etc. I don't really enjoy writing for the blog knowing that no one is going to read it. The enjoyment of the writing and posting, for me, comes from having an audience. But the lack of audience, doesn't subtract from any of my love for my favorite TV shows, playing Minecraft, reading books, etc.

I went on writing in that blog for awhile...then I gave up.

I have enough visitors to this blog to keep me motivated. If that ended...if people stopped visiting, I'd probably lose interest in posting. But that doesn't mean I'd want to stop reading about Australia or watching my Australian TV shows.

My feeling is do what you love, and if you feel some of it can get you attention, fame, money, etc, then put it out there. But don't get to the point where you are unable to enjoy something without getting attention for it. Have a public life, but also give yourself a rich private life.




Not a Boy Band?

Jack has obtained some Australian information from his friends, and last night he passed on the information to me.

There's a a boy band from Australia called 5 Seconds of Summer. One or more of his friends are fans of this group. I had never heard of them, but I told Jack I'd learn about them in the morning.

So...here I am.

Lord Wiki says the band consists of four boys—Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, and Ashton Irwin.

Ah...maybe Ashton is a distant relative of Bindie.

The boys started off as YouTube stars; then they got even luckier when One Direction invited them on their tour.

I'm wondering how much time passed between them posting videos on YouTube and becoming YouTube celebrities. Does it happen to these people right away? Or does it take awhile?

Sometimes I see these really good singers on YouTube. And they have a really low view count. Let's say...120. Or even less. I have to wonder why it's not happening for them. Why aren't they being discovered? Why are their competitors finding fame?

Well, Five Seconds of Summer has found the fame. Though it seems they're not entirely happy with the fame they've received. Or at least they don't like how they've been labeled. Some of the members insist they're not a boy band. Apparently, there's a criteria for being a boy band and they don't fit it.

I guess it's not enough to just have boys in your band. You have to not write your own music, not play your own instruments, and you have to dance.

This website has a slideshow of popular boy bands.

They have a picture of The Monkees, and the Monkees are all holding instruments.

Crap. That slideshow has way too many advertisements. I quit looking at it.

I think probably the best way to define a boy band is one who's biggest fan base is between the ages of 7-13.  And they're often very zealous fans.

One of my nieces is a big fan of One Direction. For her birthday or Chanukah, we bought her a One Direction puzzle.

But yeah. Five Seconds of Summer seems to be popular with the tween age group. Well, I'm basing this on the fact that they won a Nickelodeon award.

That being said, they might be popular with other age-groups as well.

They might be popular with me. I haven't listened to their songs yet. Maybe I'll listen and love.

Now I'm on their official website.

I like the blue and black coloring.

I'm kind of looking around...not finding anything that gets me wanting to say anything.

There was a game. I was curious about it, but you have to plug in your email address to play. I wasn't in the mood to do that.

Now I'm on their Twitter page. They have 3.83 million followers. That's very impressive.  They also follow a pretty large number of people—28 thousand. I think most celebrities follow much less than that.  I wonder if they follow some fans. Or maybe they followed a lot of people before becoming famous, and were nice enough not to drop people once fame found them.

They were on Jimmy Kimmel recently. I shall try to see if I can find that. Actually, I saw Jimmy Kimmel on their website. Maybe the video is actually there.

No. It's just a picture from their Instagram labeled Jimmy Kimmel. And Jimmy Kimmel isn't in the picture.

I'm going to hop on over to YouTube.

Here. They performed a song called "Amnesia" on Jimmy Kimmel.




Their audience looks like a boy band audience; though I'll admit the band's playing of instruments does make them look less the part.

I'm looking at the lyrics of the song.  It's about being dumped by someone and having a hard time getting over it. I think it expresses those feelings well.

Here's "She Looks Perfect".  It has 56 million views. That's very impressive.  They're quite popular.




I'm pretty sure I've actually heard this song before. I guess on the radio?

The video shows people of various ages, and of various sizes, wearing underwear—specifically American Apparel underwear.

It could almost be used as an advertisement.

Has it?

Well, it's at least free advertising.

I'm looking at the lyrics.

They're interesting!

If you don't swim, you'll drown.
But don't move honey.

That's very dark; though I kind of like it. What does it mean?

It sounds a bit homicidal...if you take it literally.

Maybe it's a suicide thing?

The rest of the lyrics aren't that interesting to me.

Oh! I'm thinking maybe it's not about drowning in water. It's about drowning in love. You can be so absorbed in another person, that you forget about the rest of the world...and the other parts of your life. You'll drown. But the lover is saying he really wouldn't mind that happening.

Just for the record, I don't agree with the message behind the lyrics. I just like the darkness of it.  Kind of in the same way we like The Walking Dead and "Where the Wild Roses Grow".

Wait! I looked at the lyrics again. I think it IS about obsessive love.

The chorus: Your lipstick stain is a work of art. 
I got your name tattooed in an arrow heart. 
And I know now that I'm so down. 

Unless being down has a meaning I don't know about, I'd say the song is saying the person realizes he's lost the plot a bit. Strong love can make you very happy, but it can also make you feel pathetic, lost, and insecure.

I imagine many people will hate the songs of 5 Seconds of Summer's songs. The thing with Boy Bands (and those insisting they are not Boy Bands) is while you have a vocal league of enthusiastic fans, you also get yourself a vocal league of haters. Which probably explains why these guys don't want to be stuck with the boy band label.

As for me, I have very eclectic taste in music and I can see myself adding some of their songs to my huge list of songs I like.

I was recently in an email conversation with a friend and she asked me if I had strong music likes and dislikes. I told her I have strong likes, but not dislikes.  I mean I do dislike some songs, but my feelings aren't often strong about it. And sometimes I'll dislike a song and later grow to love it.


P.S-I think this shall be the last time I use embedded videos in a post. It's a pain. It messes everything up.  When I went back to proofread, I found paragraphs I wrote towards the end way up top.  It's like everything got rearranged.  

And once I embed the videos, the scrolling on the post gets all messed up for me.

I like the looks of posts with embedded videos, but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. Plus, it probably makes the page load slower.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Having a John Edwards Moment

I was taking care of some personal hygiene matters while cool music played in the background. I totally felt like a character in The Secret Life Of Us.

I don't think it's the first time I've felt like a character in one of John Edwards' shows.  

Then I wondered if I ever felt like a character on Home and Away. 

I don't think I have.

I just sometimes WISH I was a character on that show.

Why?

I think the main reason is my teenage American life in 1988-1989 wasn't very delightful. So I sometimes think about how it would be nice to exchange that bit of my past with a fictional one on Summer Bay. 

Also, they drink so many milkshakes on that show. I think on almost every episode someone orders one. It makes me hungry. Though I need to remember Australian milkshakes are different from American ones. Ours are thicker and have ice-cream. The ones we've encountered in Australia seem more like flavored milk.   

Anyway....

I think John Edwards' shows are probably more realistic than Home and Away. So it's easier for me to have moments where I feel like I'm a character on that show.  Plus, some of his shows use a lot of voice-over and I often have those going on in my head.  Like when I'm dealing with personal hygiene issues.  

Boyfriend In Bed With the Best Friend

I'm on my third episode of The Secret Life Of Us.

I still don't know the character's names...except for Claudia Karvan's, because Jason mentioned it. But I'm going to start remedying that by looking at Imdb. That way I can be a little less confusing when talking about the show.

Okay, so the characters I'm going to chat about today are Gabrielle, Jason, and Claudia Karvan's character, Alex.

Alex and Gabrielle are best friends. They swim together. They live in the same building. Jason is in a serious relationship with Gabrielle. He helps Alex when she's drunk. He hears her fart. Later they have sex.

I'm not sure if there was something between them earlier. It kind of seems like it. But the show hasn't been exactly clear. Or my mind's not properly picking up on things.

Either way. The basic story is, Alex has an affair with her best friend's boyfriend.

It's not a good situation.

I can be sympathetic towards all of it, though.

Monogamy is hard.

People become attracted to people outside their romantic partnership.

It's awful if the cheating is done with a friend. Double betrayal. But it makes sense to me. First of all, there's the whole forbidden romance element. Second, we tend to be friends and lovers with people that share things in common with us. Couldn't one of those common things be a liking of the same people?

You love your best friend?  Well, guess what! I do too! And I want to have sex with her.

We have a lot in common. We both like black licorice. We both hate wearing high heals. And guess what else. We both want to have sex with your boyfriend!

For some people, sex outside the relationship is unforgivable. Sex is very sacred to them. Even imagining their significant other sexing someone else is horrifying.

I'm not one of those people. I can imagine I MIGHT be jealous and uncomfortable, but I've probably been equally jealous and uncomfortable seeing my husband taking a long walk with another woman or share a deep conversation while cooking.

Other people have the attitude, everything goes, no jealousy...unless sex is involved.

So yeah. I'm okay with cheating.

If I was Gabrielle, I'd be mad at my boyfriend (who actually becomes her husband in the midst of the cheating) And I'd be mad at my best friend. But I'd forgive them if they were apologetic, honest, and groveled a bit. I'd want them to both majorly kiss my ass for awhile. Then maybe we can have a threesome?  

The problem is that's not been happening for Gabrielle.

Alex hasn't apologized. At least not on screen. She gets a dirty look from Gabrielle; then she goes to the bathroom and vomits.

Jason's been a complete asshole.

First, before it came to the surface, Gabrielle asked him if he was cheating. Is he cheating? Has he cheated before? Does he ever plan on cheating on her?  No. No. No.

I don't necessarily think someone needs to blurt out that they're cheating. That all depends on many things. But I do believe if someone is asked, they should tell the truth. Why? Because if someone is suspicious and you lie, you're confusing their sense of reality. You're making them imagine they're paranoid. And if that's not the case, it's incredibly unfair.

Second, not only is Jason not apologetic, but he actually yells at Gabrielle when she gets mad at him. He treats her as if she's the one in the wrong. Like how dare she get upset about him cheating on her and lying.

What an asshole.

Although maybe I don't have the full story yet. Maybe Gabrielle cheated on him in the past, and he feels she has no right to get mad at him.

I'm betting, though, that he's one of those people who can't accept criticism...even when it's merited, so he loses his temper.

I shall see.

And I'm eager to see. I want to know what's going to happen to all these people.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Borrowing Money Synchronicity

I think it's interesting when two shows I watch, in the same day, have similar plots.

On both Home and Away and The Secret Life of Us, a person is used for their money to help keep a business afloat.

Each story involved three people—the one who needs the money, the one who has the money, and the person who's against the exchange of money.

Well, on Home and Away, both Lance and Martin need the money for their hot dog stand. Martin wants to get the money from Marilyn, Lance's girlfriend. Lance has too much integrity to take money from her. Though he'd probably be okay borrowing the money if Martin wasn't involved. See... Martin has a habit of using people for their money and then losing their money. He's close to being a con artist.

On The Secret Life Of Us, a mysterious ex-girlfriend comes back to town. The boyfriend is happy. His friends are not. Apparently, she's hurt her man in the past.

She comes back. He assumes it's for love. Oh wait. Can she borrow a little money?

How much?

Uh...Twelve-thousand.

He gives it to her.

His best friend isn't too happy about that and scolds him heavily. The money-giver gets defensive.

Then we cut to the next scene. Money-giver and Money-taker are making out. Sex might happen.

Sex doesn't happen.

Money-taker has something to tell Money-giver. She has a boyfriend. She's not available for romance. Of course she tells him that AFTER she has the money from him.

It's all quite convenient.

The crazy thing is, he still lets her keep the money...even though, in her manipulative way, she says he can take it back.

It's crazy, but understandable.

The thing about unrequited love is you end up letting yourself get used.



What I Learned From Home and Away This Week

Here's the important lesson from my recent viewing of Home and Away:

If you walk into a room and see your significant other kissing someone else, don't automatically assume they're cheating on you.

The kiss might be forced on them. Ask Pippa Fletcher!

Though I think sometimes you can get the true picture by watching.

But yeah. Stick around to watch for a few minutes. Don't just see the kiss and rush off...especially if you have a weak heart and are due for a second stroke.

If you stick around to watch the kiss end, you'll see what comes next. Are there declarations of love? Are items of clothing willingly removed?

Or does your loved one slap the kisser? Yell?  Kick him in the crotch?

Then there's another lesson I learned. If a kiss is forced on you by a jerk; then later your significant other acts distant and angry, maybe consider that he saw that kiss. OR someone saw that kiss and told your husband.

You can learn a lot of valuable lessons from soap operas.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Secret Is We Pee and Fart

I finished watching the first episode of The Secret Life Of Us.

A few scenes seemed familiar. I might have watched it while researching some of my biography posts.

I also remember one time trying to watch it on YouTube, but the audio was bad. But I'm pretty sure it wasn't the first season that had been uploaded.

Anyway, one thing I noticed about the first episode is....

I'm not sure what to call it.

Maybe human realism?

Let's make sure we know these are real humans and they do real human things.

There's a scene of with Deborah Mailman on the toilet. She pees while eavesdropping. We even see her wipe herself.  I'm pretty sure Offspring has also had scenes with Asher Keddie and/or Kat Stewart on the toilet.

We had a male using the toilet.

There was clipping of toenails.

Leg shaving.

Putting contacts in.

And Claudia Karvan farted. You know I'm having deja vu writing about this. So maybe I wrote about it when writing my Claudia Karvan post.

Anyway, she was drunk and her flat neighbour found her passed out in the hall. He put her to bed, and she farted. Later he told her about it, and she was really embarrassed.

I wasn't surprised at her embarrassment. Who wouldn't be? But she seemed upset-embarrassed. It put her in a bad mood. She had a very serious depressed face about the whole thing. I think my embarrassment would come out in the form of uncontrollable giggling. And that might lead to more farting.

It would be really bad.

I think my favorite character so far is Deborah Mailman's. I don't know her character name yet. I'm too lazy to look it up. I'll learn it eventually.

Abi Tucker is adorable.

I'm not really into Claudia Karavan yet. I think it's because when I see her I think of Love My Way. For awhile I thought the show was horribly sad in a brilliant way; then I thought it started getting depressing in a boring way.  Just blah.

None of the men interest me yet.

The show asks questions about roommate sharing. Should they share food? Someone said they should. Maybe Deborah Mailman?  I thought, yes! I definitely agree. They should share food. Then I remembered we had someone staying with us. He was all into eating our food and I wasn't happy about that. I told him he needs to ask permission.

I'm not sure if I agree with my behavior.

My justification was he wasn't paying rent. He was staying with us for free. So I didn't like him just helping himself to our food. And he sometimes had this attitude like he partly owned the place. That annoyed me.

Honestly, I think he just got on my nerves, and then I got bitchy and territorial about the food...and our house in general. If he didn't get on my nerves, maybe I'd be generous with the food. Eat it all! mi casa es su casa!

That being said, I'm not sure if it's possible for me to continue liking ANYONE who's staying at our house for more than two weeks.

Some people are good with the whole housemate/flatmate thing. I'm not one of them.

The guy who stayed with us spent a lot of time in our kitchen. He took over the table—had all his stuff there, and there he would wok.  My feeling is we gave him a bedroom and a bathroom. He should have spent most of his time there.

But now I'm thinking if he did spend most of his time in the room, I'd probably complain that he was being creepy and anti-social.

Really. If you're living in our house, there's probably no way to win with me.







I Love Twitter, but....

I got myself back into Twitter, so I could social network in hopes that, somehow, this would lead to me selling more copies of my book.

I didn't like it.

I felt ignored and got tired of people excessively promoting themselves rather than being conversational.

Now I'm loving Twitter.

It started when my family became victims of the Mineorama convention scam.  It was through Twitter that we got details about the scam, found fellow victims, and expressed our anger at the scammers. Best of all, we learned of a fabulous group of generous people who quickly created a free conference to replace the expensive fake one.

Then....I "met" my counterpart—an Aussie who is in love with Texas. I have fun talking to her.

And I'm just enjoying looking at various people's Twitter pages.

I'm finding that there are people who actually want to interact and not just shout out into the void.

I like being part of the Twitter community. I actually might be mildly obsessed.

But I don't think it helps at all with promotion.

I mean it can in a rare fluke moment. You post something and, by a rare miracle, it happens to match someone's interest who is looking at their feed.  But I think usually links and/or promotions are ignored.

I don't usually Tweet my blog posts. Not that I'm against all self-promotion. I think a little here and there is fine. But since I'm a pretty prolific blogger, if I Tweeted all my posts, I'd be a a prolific self-promoter. And I would't want that.

But I did Tweet one particular post the other day—the interview one. One of my followers, Retweeted and I think maybe also created a new Tweet about it. So my blog post was Tweeted three times. As far as I can see from Statcounter and Google Stats, no one has come to my blog lately from Twitter.

Then again, maybe Twitter is a hidden link?  Because the post I Tweeted has gotten much more views than other recent ones.

Maybe Twitter does work! That would be cool.

I'm still not going to excessively promote myself.

Unless I learn there's a guarantee that it will make me rich.

Anyway....

You know how most people end up on my blog?

Bridie Carter.

She's quite popular.

And a teeny tiny microscopic portion of her popularity has rubbed off on me.

Well, not really.

She brings many people to my blog, but she doesn't bring a lot of people who stay on my blog.

I don't even know if they stay long enough to read the post. Most of them probably read the first paragraph and say this blogger is nuts! Then they move on.

A few stay, but I don't think they usually venture outside the Bridie Carter post.

Today I was thinking of Bridie Carter, and you know what....

I might watch McLeod's Daughter's again. Maybe that's what I'll watch after I finish the first season of The Secret Life of Us.  

We left off somewhere in the beginning of season 3.

At the time, we were very attached to Claire, Becky, Jodie, Tess, and that woman who makes Apricot Chicken.  We didn't like the news about there being cast changes, so we gave up waiting for Netflix to have the next DVD we needed.

But now I'm not emotionally attached. I think I can go in there with an open-heart and get to know new characters.

I'm also kind of excited to see Lou from Love My Way. She's in a few episodes. I watched a few clips, but it might be nice to actually watch scenes with the context intact.

If I watch the show, I can feel more connected to all these people coming to my blog. They have the Bridie Carter love. I really don't anymore.

But that can change.

Back to Twitter....

I'm only going back to it, because I put it in the title post, and I'm too stubborn to change the title.

How about I check to see if any McLeod's Daughters people are on Twitter?

Here's a Bridie Carter account, but I think it might be fake.

It's not verified, and she has only 197 followers.

It's very unlikely that a celebrity Twitter account would be that unpopular.  Unless all the fans prefer visiting my Bridie Carter blog post.

That would be funny.

This Rachael Carpani account might be real. It's not verified, but she's following much less people than are following her, which is often a sign of celebrity.

The real or not-real Carpani last Tweeted in March. She's missing her niece.

Well, I'm already getting bored and confused trying to figure out which accounts are real and which are fake.

So I'm going to post this and get onto watching The Secret Life of Us.




Edited to Add-I looked again and now see that I was wrong. I have had a few people from Twitter this week. According to the Blogger-Google stats, five visits have come from there.







Monday, July 21, 2014

Hulu, You Might Be My New Best Friend

Tomorrow is going to be my first date with Hulu. I plan to watch The Secret Life of Us.

I'm trying to decide if I should binge watch or alternate between a bunch of shows. In the past, I've done the latter. I alternated between Love My Way, Dance Academy, All Saints, Home and Away, Offspring, Sea Change...and maybe others.

Now I just watch Neighbours and Home and Away, plus occasionally Offspring.

I think I prefer binge-watching. It's a more intense experience.

The only problem is it's hard to stick to one show when there's so many I want to watch.

What I'll probably do is binge-watch, but not a whole series. Maybe I'll just do a season at a time.

I'm going to continue watching an episode of Neighbours and Home and Away every day; then I'll do an hour or so of Hulu.

I should be fairly healthy because I exercise while watching my Aussie shows. So I should be getting about 80-90 minutes of moderately intense cardio. That all prevents me from feeling like a total couch potato.

Anyway...right now I'm exploring Hulu and looking at all the Aussie shows. They have a bunch of ABC stuff.

From the Heart looks like something I might like. It's a documentary type thing. Though I tend to prefer fiction. I'm not a huge documentary fan. I like them in theory, but I sometimes get bored. Or depressed. I mean...if it's a depressing documentary. I did like Rachel Perkin's The First Australians. That didn't bore me at all.

They have five week old episode of Neighbours. It would be surreal to watch 1980's episodes while also watching episodes from 2014. I'm not sure I'll do that.

Now I'm looking at a company called Endemol on Hulu. They have a lot of Aussie shows.  Lord Wiki says, though, that their not Australian. It's a Dutch company that works with TV production and distribution.

Some of the Aussie shows they have on Hulu: Offspring, City Homicide, Bananas in Pyjamas, McLeod's Daughters, All Saints, Packed to the Rafters, Tangle, The Secret Life of us.

Oh! And they have two Aussie miniseries that I would love to see—Paper Giants and Howzat.  Both of them feature stars from Offspring.

Hulu has CloudStreet, which I'd love to watch.

I'm not really interested in Sea Patrol, but maybe I'll try an episode or two.

I decided to seek Google's help in finding TV shows to look for. I found this article.  I'll see what interests me, and then see if they have it on Hulu.

So far, I'm not having much luck. I'm seeing shows I'm sort of interested in seeing, but Hulu doesn't have them.

Of course I'm not complaining. Hulu already has enough to keep me busy for a year or so.

Well, here's something that might be fun. A Moody Christmas. Is that the guy from Offspring?

Ah! Yes.  It is.  Patrick Brammall. I like him on Offspring.

The other show I want to watch is House Husbands.

What I think I'll do is watch the first season of The Secret Life Of Us; then use Random.org to pick my next show.


The Pushbike Song

Andrew did my interview! So now I have two! I'm hoping for a few more. Or a lot more.

Here's the link to his post on his blog. He answered the questions there.

He said his guilty pleasure-Australian song is the Pushbike Song. I wasn't sure if I had heard of it before, so I went on YouTube.




I pressed play, wondering if it would sound familiar. Or would it sound new to me?

It sounded very familiar. I checked my Aussie Spotify list. Yes. It's there.

The thing is I feel it's even more familiar than that—like it's something I've heard my whole life. Something that's been on the American radio.

Maybe it has? Or is my mind playing tricks on me?

Well, Lord Wiki says it's been covered before. Maybe I heard one of the covers in the past?

He doesn't say anything though about the song being popular here.

Also, I think I would have noted the familiarity at an earlier date. Sometimes I do come across Aussie songs that I know from my pre-obsession days; and I wasn't aware they were Australian.  I don't remember that happening with this Pushbike song. So I'm guessing I've just heard it on my massive Spotify list, and I'm creating a longer personal past with the song.

Who knows.....

P.S-If you want to do the interview, here's the original interview post.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hulu!

I just found out from ClairIsabel on Twitter, that Hulu has Australian shows!  I often complain about how it's hard for Americans to watch Aussie shows. Well, it looks like I've been complaining for nothing. Or well...actually I think it used to be more difficult. Now it's getting easier and easier.

To watch Offspring, I had to get an Australian iTunes account, which isn't easy.

Now I see I can just watch it for free on Hulu. At first I thought, I had to pay $7.99 a month, but that's only if I want to watch it on a television. I don't. I like watching my shows on my laptop. As far as I can understand, that's free.

The only downside is they're behind a season. They're on season four while Australia is on season five. And I'm on season 5 too.  I'm going to finish with that, because I still have money left on my account. But for season six, I'll probably do Hulu.

What's super exciting for me is they have The Secret Life of Us. I've been wanting to see that. The only thing is I'm worried I'll be horribly traumatized again by some fictional death. The show's brought to us by the same people who bring us Offspring and brought us Love My Way. Both those shows traumatized me, so I'm a little nervous.  I'll be watching the first episode, looking at each character, asking myself, which one of you is going to die?

Holy shit! I think they have House Husbands.

Goodness. I might not be writing a sequel to my novel.

I think watching Australian television is going to become my full-time job.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Josh Does My Interview!

Josh from Narrabeen is the first to participate in my interview. I had a lot of fun reading his answers, and I look forward to getting more volunteers! If you want to learn more about Josh, you can visit him at his Twitter page.

Thank you, Josh!


1. What makes you proud to be Australian in a deep and profound way?
Our current government and treatment of asylum seekers and also the carbon tax repeal doesn’t make me very proud at the moment.

2. What makes you proud to be Australian in a corny/cheesy way?
The clich├ęd things like the environment, our easy going ways and so on.

3. What is your favorite Cold Chisel Song?
Flame Trees. Although I can’t say I am much of a fan.

4. Are you slightly annoyed, deeply annoyed, or not annoyed by American Cultural Imperialism?  Whatever answer you choose...what American thing infiltrating Australia annoys you the most? What annoys you the least?  
IT doesn’t bother me in the slightest.


5. Do you like, love, dislike, or hate Vegemite?  How often do you eat it?  Do you ever use it in recipes?
I love it, although I don’t eat it that often.

6. Who is your favorite Australian author?
Peter Carey, Greg Egan for science fiction

7. Who is your favorite Australian science hero?
Howard Florey

(Note: I am asking for one favorite of things, but I won't yell at you if you list more than one favorite)

8. What is your opinion of Ned Kelly?
A bit over rated.

9. What is your favorite topping for Pavlova?
Cream. But trifle is better.

10. What Australian TV shows do you watch? Or which ones did you watch in the past? I don’t watch much TV

11. Australian TV has some pretty tragic (fictional) deaths.  Is there anyone in particular that devastated you?
Pass

12. Which of these things about Prime Ministers would you know without consulting Google (or other websites...or books....or the person sitting in the room with you)

a) the first Prime Minister of Australia
b) the second Prime Minister of Australia
c) The Prime Minister that disappeared at sea – Harold Holt
d) The Prime Minister that was in office for only 8 days
e) The Prime Minister that was dismissed from office by the Governor-General – Gough Whitlam

13. What is your Australian music "guilty pleasure"? (I think that's a silly term, but I'm using it anyway).
Mi-Sex, INXS

14. What is your favorite Australian movie?
The Castle

15. Have you ever traveled around Australia in a caravan?  Care to share any stories about that?
No

16. What is your favorite Australian candy/lolly?
Violet Crumble

17. What is your favorite flavor of Tim Tam?  
The regular one

18. What is your favorite Arnott's biscuit that is not a Tim Tam?
Iced Vovo

19. Who is your favorite Australian sports star?
Mick Fanning

20. Which do you prefer...Peter Garrett the singer or Peter Garrett the politician? 
The Singer

21. Do you have an adorable Australian accent?
No

22. Do you have a Hills Hoist in your backyard?  Do you use it often?
We have a variation. And yes, it is used every day.

23. Would you rather spend a day with Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer, Bob Katter, or Katie Richie? 
Gina

24. Would you rather go a year without eating Vegemite or have a week where you can eat nothing but meat pies (or veggie pies if you're vegetarian)?
Meat pies, for sure,

25. Where is your favorite place in Australia?
My home, in Narrabeen on the NSW coast

26. What place do you love more, Sydney or Melbourne?
Sydney

Brisbane or Adelaide?
Adelaide

Perth or Cairns?
Not been there.

Coober Pedy or Broken Hill?
Not been to either

27. What Australian stereotype do you think is the most ridiculous? Are there any you feel that are kind of true?  (Like maybe you DO ride a kangaroo to work, but no one takes you seriously when you try to tell them this).
That we use slang like “flamin;” and so on. No one ever uses those words

28. What dangerous Australian animal (not including humans) scares you the most?   Funnel web spider

29. Would you rather eat fish and chips or fairy bread?
Fish and chips

30. Would you rather eat fish without the chips or chips without the fish? Chips, for sure.

31. If you went to the the Sydney Royal Easter Show (or similar event) would the show bags be the highlight for you, or would you care more about something? Regardless of your answer, if you were to get a show bag, which would you want? 
The classic Bertie Beetle bag.

And...if you could invent your own Show bag, what would the theme be? And what would you put in it? Don’t know. Lots of lollies.