Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where Are You, Dr. Who?

I was just looking at the news and saw there was a UFO spotted in Melbourne. It had flashing colorful lights.

This week a woman in Pennsylvania saw a UFO as well.

A commenter on the Pennsylvania article provides a link to a blog where a bunch of people talk about seeing a similar UFO, and they discuss various theories about what it is.

It's kind of exciting. Though someone will probably come along and ruin things with a reasonable scientific explanation. Or the story won't advance beyond a slightly interesting unsolved mystery.

I'm sitting here wanting it to be much more—an exciting science-not-fiction adventure.

Then after the initial thrill is gone, and we're enslaved by the aliens, I'll sit around deeply regretting my wish.

They could be nice aliens, though. Although I think in cases where the aliens are good-natured, they keep hidden. Like ET, Or The Third Rock from the Sun aliens.

Are there any stories in which aliens come to Earth, make their presence known worldwide, and it doesn't end up that they plan to eat, kill, or enslave us all?


Jodi Saves Nick. Or Did She?

On my episode of McLeod's Daughters today, Jodi decides she wants to join the local fire brigade. She's bored on the farm, and wants to expand her horizons.

Her neighbor Nick leads the brigade and the training sessions. Jodi volunteers to go first in an activity in which the trainees wear a breathing mask while having to locate a victim inside a smoked filled room. 

Jodi panics. She feel she can't breathe and tears off the mask. She fails. Her spirit is down.

Minutes later, her sorrow and shame are interrupted by an emergency call. Or really...not quite an emergency. They call it a domestic issue.

There's a possum in someone's attic that needs rescuing. 

I'm wondering.  In America, the stereotypical non-fire problem that firemen are called out for is a cat stuck up in a tree. In Australia, is it possums in the attic? Or is it cats for Aussies too?  Or maybe something else?

But, anyway, this time it was a possum issue.

Nick goes into get the attic to retrieve the possum. He picks it up as Jodi watches from outside the window. Then Nick gets bit by the possum. He hits his head, falls, trips on some wires that spark. A small fire starts. Or at least there's smoke.

Jodi suddenly gets brave and tells her partner she'll go in after him. He doesn't stop her.

The whole thing kind of unnerved me. I think I was supposed to be proud of Jodi and relieved that she overcame her fear. Instead I was thinking that's it doesn't seem appropriate for her to risk Nick's life and the house just so she can prove to herself and others that she's over her fear.

I could understand if she was the only one around who could help. Then I'd be glad she was trying to squash her fear. Beggars can't be choosers. But otherwise, I think it would have been better if she had more training in mock situations before throwing herself into the real fire.

At the end of the episode, in a conversation between Nick and his brother Alex, it's inferred that Nick faked the whole thing, just to get Jodi over her fear.  He not only tricked Jodi. He tricked me as well. I totally believed it.

And I'm a bit confused about the fire. So he purposely tripped on wires to start a fire? But was it a fire he knew wouldn't spread? I'm no expert on pyrotechnology.  

If he didn't know the fire wouldn't spread, I'd say that's hugely irresponsible. 

I'm watching the scene again, and it does seem the incident was just a spark and then some smoke. No real fire.

When I was watching the episode I thought of an episode of The Secret Life of Us. Alex is offered the chance to do an amputation on a diabetic patient. She's new at this surgery job and doesn't feel she's ready. She says she wants to watch a few more surgeries before doing one herself. I personally was very impressed with her honest, cautious attitude, and I would prefer all the doctors in my life be like her.

But her supervisor thinks differently than me. Alex is criticized for not taking the plunge. I would hate for me, or someone I love, to be under the knife of a doctor who feels he's not ready, but feels pressured to do it anyway.

Of course there are cases where people ARE ready to do something, and they just don't have confidence. If someone knows them well enough, it can be a simple matter of giving them the push they need.  If Jodi managed to succeed with five mock rescue activities, but refused to participate in any real ones, I think it might be okay to push her to do it.   Or if Alex watched many amputations, helped out with them, and still refused to lead the surgery, then I think it would be appropriate to say cut off this guy's limb or we're going to have to consider replacing you.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Randall Berger

Today I'm going to learn about an American-Australian. Randall Berger. He had a small role in Come in Spinner.

It's not often that I see American characters on Australian television shows, and when I do, they're usually portrayed as buffoons or bullies. Well, I'm really just thinking of Home and Away and Neighbours. I don't think I've seen American characters on other Australian shows... well, besides Come in Spinner

There were three American characters on Come in Spinner. One was bad—a rapist. The other two were rather neutral. Randall Berger's character was friendly enough. He seemed like a sweet guy.  He kind of reminded me of Wayne Knight from Seinfeld. Although Knight's character from Seinfeld was neither sweet nor friendly. 

Anyway, when I saw the Americans on the show, I thought it would be interesting to look at one of their careers. I'd like to get an idea of what it's like to work as an American actor immigrant in Australia. Because usually it's the opposite. Usually we have Australian actors working in America. 

I'm going to start my research with Randall Berger's IMDb biography page.

Berger was born in Fort Irwin, California on May 10, 1953.

He grew up in Santa Barbara and did theater work.

Then in 1973, he moved to Australia. The reason given is "wanderlust". Why Australia? Because his best friend had moved there a few years earlier with his family. I guess Berger loved them enough to want to follow them. 

Berger continued with his theater work in Australia. 

He got married and lived in Melbourne. 

IMDb says his body size and Americanness kept him from having a wealth of roles available to him. 

I wonder if he tried doing an Aussie accent.

Australian actors do pretty well in America, but I think that's because they fake the American accent. If they didn't, I think there'd be much less work for them. There's not a lot of Australian characters on our shows. The two I can think of offhand both had a relationship with a Vanessa Williams character. I think that's pretty funny. 

You know..now I'm curious. I'm going to look that up: Australian characters on American TV shows. 

I found this list, which is actually Australian actors and not characters, but it does include a couple of Aussies who played Aussies.  

Emilie de Ravin played an Australian girl on Lost.  Julian McMahon played an Australian on the American soap opera Another World. And this isn't on the list, but it just came into my brain. I think Elle MacPherson played an Australian on a few episodes of Friends.

Can any of you think of more examples?

I should get back to Berger. 

He's married to a woman named Helen Sandercoe. According to this website, Sandercoe is a drama teacher. Unless I'm looking at the wrong Helen Sandercoe. It's possible...but I doubt it. 

Now I'm going to look at Randall Berger's filmography. 

His first screen thing was in 1981, about eight years after immigrating to Australia. Berger guest-starred on Prisoner: Cell Block H

I think I found the episode on YouTube. I'm going to see if I can find Berger. I'm curious to know if he attempted an Aussie accent, or if he's playing an American. His character name is 
Hal Leifenbacker. That sounds very German to me. Or maybe some other type of European. So maybe his accent won't be Aussie OR American.

I just googled the name Leifenbacker and all I got was Prisoner websites. So maybe it was a name created for the show.

While I wait for Leifenbacker to appear, I'll continue with Berger's filmography.

In 1983, Berger played an American reporter in the movie Phar Lap. His character didn't have a name, so I guess it was a small part.

Berger has a very long filmography. I think I'm going to skip anything else in which his character doesn't have a name. Usually unnamed characters are small roles.

The filmography is long and I think most of the roles are small. That leads me to think that we can label Berger as a character actor.

In 1986, Berger was in a movie called Death of a Soldier. Lord Wiki says it was an Australian film about an American serial killer. Interesting.

Here's the trailer. I didn't expect to see Berger in it, but I was curious about the film. So I decided to watch it anyway.

Guess what. I think he's actually in the trailer. He's at the very beginning, looking happy.

And he comes back for even more scenes.

I'm trying to figure out the story.

Maybe it's about an American serial killer in Australia. I was about to say London. But that was a werewolf.

So far, I'm hearing only Americans. Maybe Australian filmmakers were just interested in this particular American story, so they decided to make a movie about it.

No. Wait. A synopsis for the film on Imdb says...Set in the context of WWII and the uneasy US-Australian military alliance. So that means Australia does have a part in the storyline.

I'm talking to Lord Wiki now. I'm glad I finally came up with the idea of doing that. Like usual, Lord Wiki has the answers.

The movie is about Eddie Leonski.  He was an American solider that murdered three women in Melbourne. So the movie is about Americans and Australians.

In 1987, Berger was in a TV movie with Noni Hazlehurst—Nancy Wake.

Here's the trailer.

Actually, I think it's the opening credits.

In 1988, Berger appeared in a movie called Backstage. The star was the singer Laura Branigan.

Lord Wiki says it's about an American singer who gets a lead role in an Australian theater production. The rest of the cast and crew aren't happy about an American getting the role.

In 1989, Berger was in a British movie called Shadow of the Cobra. I was wondering if he moved to the UK for awhile. But it looks like the answer is no. The movie was filmed partly in Australia.

In 1990, Berger did a lot of projects. One was Come in Spinner, the mini-series I saw him in. He was in seven things besides that. One of them was a short film. In three he played unnamed characters.

I'll just go over the full-length projects in which Berger played named characters.

He was in a mini-series called Flair. Lord Wiki says this starred Heather Thomas as an American who wanted to work in the Australian fashion industry.

I'm seeing a pattern here. Well, there's two cases of Berger being in projects about Americans trying to work in Australia. I'm not sure if two examples actually equals a pattern. But maybe there will be more cases to add to the not-quite-yet-a-pattern.

Berger was in the pilot of a TV series called Embassy.  Lord Wiki says it was about an Australian embassy in a fictional Asian country.

He was in a mini-series called the Lancaster Miller Affair. Lord Wiki disagrees about it being one of Berger's 1990 projects. He says the show was made in 1985.

Lord Wiki says the movie had some troubles with the Australian actor equity, because they hired a British person and an American person for the lead roles. It wasn't Berger who had the lead role, but a guy named Joseph Bottoms.

So anyway, back to this Australian equity thing. Is there a rule about hiring Australian actors rather than other actors?

I can kind of see why they'd need something like that. Since American and British music stars seem to do better in Australia than Australians, the same case might be true for actors.

What films do better in Australia? American films with American movie stars or Australian films? I think I already know the answer.

If you hire Australian and British actors, the films might get more attention.

Here's the 2014 Australian box office stats.  As far as I know, they're all American movies until you get to Wolf Creek 2 at #40.

I'm not easily finding anything about the Australian Equity rules. Do any of you know more about this?

Anyway....I'm gonna move on.

Before I go off to 1991, I wanted to say that I found Berger on the Prisoner episode.  His scene starts at 21:39, and he does play an American.  A guard's husband calls to kindly request that she not wear her uniform home because he's entertaining Americans, and Americans judge people by their family members. I won't deny that's true in some cases. But I think some Americans would be impressed by a woman who's a prison guard.

The man wants a job from the Americans.

The wife doesn't want to change without getting her shower first.

Such drama!

American accents sound so strange to me in the midst of a bunch of Australian ones. They sound so...American.

It's a fun scene. The husband is trying to answer questions about his wife without revealing the fact that she works with prisoners. He tells them she does social work, and of course the guests aren't picturing prison-type social work.

Oh well. The secret wasn't kept from the Americans. It turns out Mr. Leifenbacker saw the guard on television...in her uniform.

The cat is out of the bag.

And the Americans do seem unsettled about the prison work.

That kind of surprises me.

I mean I can understand prejudice if the woman was a prisoner herself. But a guard?

Now the Australian husband and wife are fighting. The woman stands up for herself. You don't tell someone to hide who they are so you can make a good impression. I mean you can, but you'll have to expect that you're going to make someone angry and unhappy.

I've kept things quiet about family members, but not to the point of asking them to hide parts of themselves.  And you know, I think that's fine. It's not like you meet someone and then start blurting out things about your family. But eventually, if things go well...the time will come for them to meet your family, and then the certain facts will be revealed.

I just watched the end of the episode. The Australian man lost the contract and he blames his wife. He says it's shameful for a businessman's wife to be working at all, and even worse for her to be a prison guard. Really? In the 1980's? Or is the show supposed to take place in an earlier time period?

Although in late 1980's Home and Away, there was a storyline about Frank not wanting his new wife to go to uni, and he also wasn't keen on her helping to manage a coffee shop.

I know there is sexism about women working...even today. But I'd expect it to usually be more subtle.

There was a time that I felt like a victim of sexism—in terms of working; Tim not taking some of my wishes seriously. But I think it was more a matter of my plans interfering with Tim's plans. Because he's very supportive of women working in general. I'm guessing for a lot of couples it's the same way. It's not about men vs. women. It's about my career plans vs. your career plans.  I guess there are  cases, though, where it is pure sexism. I'm the man, so I'm the one who should have the job...even if the woman has an equal or better chance of succeeding.

Let me get back to Berger.

In 1992, he appeared in a movie with Anthony Hopkins. Spotswood.  Lord Wiki says It's about a consultant who tries to improve the efficiency of a company.

Here's a trailer of the movie. I don't see Berger.

The movie does have a lot of names (and faces) I recognize, though—Ben Mendelsohn, Toni Collete, Russell Crowe, and Dan Wylie.

In 1992, Berger was in the miniseries Stark. It was a British-Australian science fiction comedy thing.

In 1996, Berger was in Shine.  He plays a character named Isaac Stern. That sounds familar to me.

Lord Wiki says Stern is a violinist and conductor. Since Shine is about a pianist, I'm guessing this is the Stern that Berger played. It fits into the whole music thing.

Lord Wiki says it was Stern who wanted to be David Helgott's mentor in America.  I'd love to see that scene. I'm not sure if it will be on YouTube.

I searched for Stern and the movie...didn't find anything. I'll watch the trailer. Maybe Berger/Stern will show up there.

Well, I heard Berger's voice. It's an off-camera type thing...at :43.

Also in 1996, Berger did voice-work on a video-game called The Dame Was Loaded.  I've never heard of it. I wonder if Tim or Jack ever have. They know more about video games than me.

Lord Wiki says it's a PC game with a film noir kind of mood.

Here's a walk-through of the game.

Berger appears at 1:14. I think he plays one of the main characters.

I'm impressed with the graphics. It looks more like a movie than a game.

And we have one more project for 1996. The Genie From Down Under.  I thought the movie was American. I know down under refers to Australia. But I picture it as something other countries use to refer to Australia rather than Australians using it to refer to Australia.

I was thinking of something along the lines of Sabrina Down Under and The Facts of Life Down Under. But from what I see, The Genie from Down Under is an Aussie film.

No. Wait. It's a British-Australian thing, and the main character is British. She's a young girl who finds an opal pendant that contains two Aussie genies.

Berger was on the first episode of the show. It's on YouTube. I'll try to find Berger.

The two genies are a father and son.

I think Berger is the guy sneezing in the part two video of the episode. That's at 4:10.

In 1999 Berger was in the movie Dead End. It's about an ex-detective who becomes a crime writer.  I can't find much about it.

Berger also did an episode of Stingers that year. I think maybe I've heard of that show.

In 2000, Berger played an American ambassador in the series The Games. The show was a parody about the Sydney Olympic games committee. It sounds pretty cool to me.

In 2001, Berger reunited with his Come in Spinner coworker, Rebecca Gibney. in an episode of Halifax. Though I don't know if they actually have a scene together in Halifax.

On the children's program, The Basil Brush Show, Berger played an American tourist named Harvey.

Oh! Lord Wiki says it was a British show.  Did Berger move to the UK for awhile?

In 2002, Berger was in a Star Wars fan film short called Broken Allegiance.

Or maybe it's not a fan film. Maybe it's an official thing?

No. Lord Wiki says it IS a fan film, and it received a lot of attention from the media.

It's kind of a big deal in the fan-film world.

Since I'm not big into Star Wars, I'm not going to watch the whole thing. I'll just skip around to find Berger.

I think that's him at 3:34. I hear a slight bit of Australian in his voice.  Or maybe it's my imagination.

At 5:55, you can see Darth Vader using the force on Berger.

In 2006, Berger was in When Darkness Falls, a movie about a lesbian detective. I can't find much about that.

I'll move onto his other 2006 project. This was Welcome Stranger.

Lord Wiki just reminded me that Welcome Stranger was the name of the largest gold nugget found in Australia. The movie is about something different, but the title still might be alluding to the gold.

Well, I can't find much about that movie either.

Moving on again....

In 2009, Berger was in the movie Personality Plus. It's about a criminal with five personalities.  And though it was filmed in Australia, it's about an FBI agent. So I guess it's about Americans. Unless there's an FBI agent in Australia?

Also in 2009, Berger was in a show about TV Sketch comedy called I Can't Believe It's Not Better. It sounds similar to 30 Rock.

One of the actors on the show is Leo from Offspring!

According to IMDb, there was a competition on the Comedy Channel where people would pitch their ideas. I Can't Believe It's Not Better won the 2008 competition.  Although from what I read in this article, it sounds like they won the 2007 competition.

In 2010, Berger was in the Ballad of Des and Mo. It's about an Irish couple who comes to Australia for a second honeymoon. They lose their luggage and then their bankcard. Yikes.

Here's the trailer.  Is that Berger at :20. I think it is. His beard throws me off a bit. But that does sound like him. It's not just his American accent that stands out to me. But he also has a distinctive voice—kind of hoarse.

In 2011, Berger appeared in the second episode of Angry Boys. Isn't there an American character in that? I wonder if Berger appeared in that particular storyline.

Recently, Berger was in the movie John Doe: Vigilante. It sounds like something Tim or my dad would enjoy.

Here's the trailer.

Lachy Hulme from Offspring is in it!

The movie actually looks kind of interesting to me. Maybe I'd like it too.

Tim and I watched a show recently in which a police detective administered vigilante justice. What he did was wrong...yes. But at the same time, what he did was incredibly right.  It's so morally complicated.

The guy he killed was selling young Asian women in a sex trade.

There ARE people in this world who are just evil...filth.

The problem is there are also people in this world who are part evil, but then another part of them is very decent. Like another character on the same show who happens to be a serial murderer. Yet at the same time he has a really sweet and loving side.

I'm okay with extremely bad people being murdered by vigilante justice. I'm a bit more hesitant on those who are less than extremely bad.

And sometimes it's about perspective. Maybe the guy abusing Asian woman has a soft side we're not seeing. Like maybe he has a younger brother in the hospital that he visits all the time. And maybe he makes gorgeous fondant cakes that he donates to the hospital.

Anyway...I missed something before because it's on the top end of Berger's filmography, though it happened in the 1980's. Berger was on three episodes of Neighbours in 1987.  The reason it's on top of the filmography is Berger also appeared in a 2012 episode as a different character.

IMDb confuses me when it does stuff like that.

Now I'm going to see if Lord Wiki has an entry on Randall Berger.

No. It looks like he doesn't.

Here's Randall Berger's Twitter page.  It's been two years since he last updated.

In July 2012 he talked about Americans dying from guns.

Here's his Linkedin page. Besides being an actor, Berger is also a civil celebrant. He can do weddings and a variety of other services.

Berger has also worked in marketing and advertising for Yodgee Footwear. Though he had that job for less than a year.

He's a lecturer at Victoria University. If I'm understanding this right, he teachers business communication.

Here's his celebrant Facebook page. He strongly supports same-sex marriage.

The Facebook Page has a link to Berger singing "Happy" in a JibJab video. Maybe Andrew  will enjoy it, or at least count the women to make sure it's gender-inclusive enough.

Oh! Wow. This is so sweet. It totally tugged at my heart strings. Berger writes, Did a wedding today for a lovely couple who sought me out because I was in favour of marriage equality. The Bride asked me to add, after the Monitum, "She hopes that one day she can stand next to her sister (as maid of honour) when she marries the woman she loves." Got a round of applause!

I think I would have probably cried if I was there.

Wouldn't that be funny, though, if the sister was secretly thinking, But I don't want you as my maid of honor!

Berger has a cool photo of people at a wedding all eating watermelon.

From what I see on his Facebook Page, Berger seems very awesome.

It's funny. A few days ago, I thought of him as this World War II old-fashioned American soldier who reminded me of Newman on Seinfeld.  And now I see him as this modern guy with a huge passion for human rights.

Here's his resume on an acting website.

It says his build is very large. I don't think he's that big. Again, though, the screen industry has such different standards. In the regular world, I'd say he'd be moderately big. In the screenworld, he's probably considered huge.

Well, I just plugged his given stats into a BMI calculator. It does list him as obese.

Maybe I'm just a bad judge of size.

The resume lists his accents. He does American.

It's too bad he couldn't do the Australian accent. I think he'd have a much easier time finding work.

Berger is also a writer. I'm not sure if I saw that on his Linkedin resume or not.

For three years, he was an editor for Macworld Magazine in Australia.

He has worked on some projects about Victoria history.

The resume has some personal information. Berger was naturalized in 1995. I think that's the same as becoming a citizen. Right? Tim was naturalized. It kind of sounds weird....like being pasteurized.

Okay. Yeah. Lord Wiki says it's becoming a citizen. Same meaning, different word.

Randall and his wife Helen have three daughters.

And in 2002, he did move to the UK for 12 months. I wonder if his family came with him.

You know I ignored something on IMDb because it didn't list a character name and I was skipping those shows.  But it's on Berger's resume, so it's probably important to him. I'm feeling like I should mention it.  In 2001, Berger was in Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story.  He played the president of Chase bank.

Well, I think I'm going to end here.

Bye!













Happy Birthday!

I just learned from Instagram that it's Melbourne's birthday.

So happy birthday, Melbourne!

You're 179 years old.

What happened 179 years ago to make this your birthday? Was something signed? Made official?

This website might help me answer some of my questions.

August 30, 1935 was a settling day.  I guess it's when the settler's arrived?

Although Australia Day is January 26 and the settlers came days before then. Well, the convicts and the officers at least—do they still count as settlers?

Anyway, I hope Melbourne has a fun birthday.

I hope she gets better gifts than Andrew's blog post.  Although I do see he posted it on the 29th.  He posted it on the birthday-eve which is better than posting it on the actual birthday.

It reminds me, though, of when I got into a big fight with Tim on his birthday. It was awful. I felt really bad. Though I felt my anger was quite righteous, it was such bad timing.  I couldn't have done the night-before thing like Andrew did. Well, because Tim didn't do the thing that made me angry yet. But what I should have done is smiled, held in my anger, and then brought it up the next day.

Speaking of birthdays. Tim just told me it's dinner soon. I asked what are we eating, and he said it's a birthday dinner do-over.  He's referring to Jack whose birthday was nine days ago. But we're still celebrating because we haven't done the big family celebration yet. That's this Sunday.

Birthdays are stretched out in our family. Sometimes. So maybe I would have needed to wait weeks before bringing up my anger with Tim.

Anyway, we don't need a dinner do-over. That went well. What we need is a breakfast do-over. Tim made waffles for Jack and they had an awful bitter taste.

Well, maybe Tim made breakfast-for-dinner?

I'm curious. I need to go down and see.


Baby Charlotte and Baby Zoe

I just finished watching another episode of McLeod's Daughters. Claire has just had her baby, and she declares that nothing is going to change. Yes, she's going to go to town to get supplies. Yes, she's going to help with some road thingie project. No, she's not going to sleep when the baby is sleeping. Her attitude is like the John Lennon song. Nothing's going to change my world.

By the end of the episode, Claire changes her song. This comes about after she realizes she can't do what she wants to when she wants to do it. Why? The baby might be hungry and that means Claire has to stop what she's doing, sit down, and feed her.

And she's exhausted because the baby wakes up multiple times at night. There's a lot of crying.

Claire learns it's really not easy having a new baby. It does change your life. It's not like getting a pet hamster or a kitten.

I liked that McLeod's Daughters gave a realistic portrayal of parenting an infant, or at least something that was moderately close to what I experienced.

I couldn't relate to Nina Proudman's mothering experience on Offspring. It was so just easy. Baby Zoe is passed around Nina's family and friends like Flat Stanley.  It seems there was always someone willing and eager to take care of Zoe. And why not?  It seemed for the most part, Zoe cooed happily in the background.

I'm probably exaggerating. It's likely there were moments where Zoe cried or exerted her presence in other ways. I'm guessing I just forgot them. I think, though, for the most part, the show gives an unrealistic view of parenting young children.

One argument in defense of Zoe's easiness is Offspring skipped ahead to when she was six months old. I think for a lot of parents, things do get somewhat easier at this stage.  It's still very exhausting, but maybe less exhausting than the early few weeks.

I like that McLeod's Daughters didn't skip the infancy stage, but I can understand why Offspring made the choice. Offspring is supposed to be at least part comedy, and I think it might have been really hard to find humor with a new mother struggling with both an infant and the very recent tragic loss of her partner.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Let's Stay in the Northern Beaches. No...Let's Not

For some unknown reason, yesterday, I started thinking about our next Australia trip. This is kind of ridiculous, since I'm not planning on us going until 2022...or even later.

I don't think I started thinking and planning because I'm itching to travel. I think it's more like I'm itching to travel-plan.

I came up with this idea that we'd do one flight within Australia and one drive. For example, we'd fly into Sydney from Dallas; stay awhile. Then we'd fly to some other city and take a driving trip from there.  I'm kind of tired of Sydney, though. I hate saying that, because I used to be so in love with it. And you know...I do still love it. I'm just fine loving it from afar. I'm fine with our long distance relationship.

I thought about how we could fly into Sydney, but not stay in the city. We could stay in the Northern Beaches. I wanted to visit there the last time we were in Australia, and we never got around to it. And now since I've become a fan of Home and Away, we could stay in Palm Beach. Then we could do a day trip into the CBD.

Late last night when I should have been getting into bed, I instead started researching all of this. After I looked at Google Maps and reminded myself about the long bus rides, I decided maybe the Northern Beaches wasn't the best idea. Maybe we'd do something else.

What's funny is, this morning I did my daily reading of an old blog post. I don't choose what post I'm reading. I've been reading them in order.

Well, the post for today was about me considering staying in the Northern Beaches for our 2012 trip,  but then deciding against it.  I talk about how Tim is so sick of the Sydney CBD.

We didn't end up going in 2012. We didn't go until 2013, and I think it was Tim's idea that we actually stay closer to the CBD this time. So I guess he got over his being-tired-of the CBD.

While I was doing my extremely premature travel planning, Jack was sitting next to me and started looking at the Dreamworld website. He suggested we go there. I thought it would be nice to do that for him, but I started thinking no, by the time we go, he'll be an adult. He probably won't care about Dreamworld. Then I thought about Jack's involvement with a Disney Minecraft server. We've encountered some adults who are passionate Disney World fans. Tim and I got married there...as adults. So it's quite likely that Jack will still be interested in going to Dreamworld when he's in his early 20's.

Right now, my idea is to fly from Dallas to Brisbane; skip Sydney all together; Do some driving in Queensland;visit the Gold Coast; then fly somewhere else. Maybe Hobart?  Who knows....

I'm looking at the Qantas website. Certain places are much more expensive than others.

There are deals right now. It's $149 one way to Hobart. It's $215 to Perth. That's not great, but reasonable. But then Alice Springs is $320 and Uluru is $351. Geraldton is $424.

I know distance determines a lot of the price, but there must be other factors. Taxes? Airport size?

Whatever.

I think, though, that I'm changing my mind about the one drive. Because if we go somewhere like Hobart, Perth, or Adelaide I'm definitely going to want to explore  at least some of the states. So maybe we'd rent a car in both Brisbane and the other city we visit.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Shocked by Rodger Corser's Filmography

Today I started watching another TV show. It's a 2008 Melbourne police drama called Rush. That's usually not my type of thing, but I'm giving it a chance. Who knows.  It could become my type of thing.

One of the actors looked very familar to me. I decided to look him up on IMDb—Rodger Corser.

I was slightly surprised to see he had been on Camp.  Corser was the one Australian on the show to play an Australian rather than an American.

What really shocked me though is he played Peter Johnson on McLeod's Daughters! I had no idea.  I mean I would have thought I'd recognize him when I watched Camp. But I didn't.

And though the guy racing around in a police car looked familar to me, I'm still not thinking, oh yeah, that looks like the guy from Camp. Or...yeah, that looks like Peter Johnson.

I think this Rodger Corser has some kind of face-changing ability.

Or maybe Rodger Corser isn't the guy in the police car, and I looked up the wrong person on IMDb. Maybe later I'll see someone on the show and think, oh yeah. That's totally Peter Johnson.

Anyway....

Guess who else is on the show.  Evan from The Secret Life of Us!  I already knew that before watching it, though, because I saw his face on one of the little episode icon photos. 

Club For Down Under Moms

My dream last night:

I see that someone's bag has a sticker that says something like Down Under Moms. I think about this club and how America does more for Australian immigrants than they do for others.  I figure this must mean Australia and America have a strong partnership.  But then I start questioning that. I think of other groups of immigrants and how they have special clubs as well. I also consider that maybe America didn't create the Down Under Moms club for Australians. Maybe the Australian immigrants created it themselves. 

You know I was sitting there thinking about the dream and wondering what it meant. I figured maybe Australia and America represented people and not countries. It's the idea of believing a person gets special privileges and then realizing maybe they were't handed the privilege. Maybe they got it for themselves.

Now I'm thinking the dream was inspired by the episode of McLeod's Daughter's I watched yesterday. Becky has a new fancy saddle that she plans to use for the female horse race. Jodi is jealous and assumes Becky's new rich boyfriend gave it to her. Becky tries to quiet Jodi's complaining by letting her use the saddle during the race. Then at the end, we learn Becky didn't get the saddle from her rich boyfriend. She bought it herself with money she had been saving for awhile. 

Although in the dream I wasn't jealous of Australians for getting the imagined special privileges. It was more of an observation...a misunderstood observation. 

The Rapist

In the second episode of Come in Spinner, Justine Clarke's character is raped by an American soldier.

The thing is I got confused and...I don't know. Sometimes I'm not good with faces. And I guess I didn't notice the accent.

I don't know what my excuse is, or where my brain was, but I thought the rapist was another character.

I thought the rapist was the ex-boyfriend of Rebecca Gibney's character—Clarke's onscreen sister. 

Because of this, I interpreted a huge chunk of the movie completely wrong.

I kept waiting for Clarke to cry out to her sister. He raped me! She never did—even when she was sent to live with "the rapist" and his mother. She didn't protest. I thought maybe she was so broken, she didn't have the strength to protest. I figured, though, that eventually the truth would come out.

Then I watched the last episode and the victim had this warm and tender moment with "the rapist". She didn't seem mad at all. I was thinking, maybe the attitude towards rape was different in those days. Maybe women just accepted it as part of life.

Then the last scene had a sweet moment with "the rapist" and Rebecca Gibney getting back together. I was totally not on board with this, but was thinking we have only about two minutes left. Are they really going to leave with happily ever after with the younger sister's rapist?

Okay, but by then I started thinking maybe my eyes had made a mistake. So I went back and found the rape scene. That's when I found out "the rapist" wasn't the rapist.  

I was thinking a similar thing happened to me recently. It was with the movie Divergent. A character died and Tim and I both thought the same character had already died in another scene. But it was just another case of mistaken identity. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Naming Minecraft Goats and Bunnies

When Jack started playing Minecraft a few years ago, I gave it some attention because parents are supposed to show interest in their child's hobbies. Sometimes I'd watch him create stuff. Often I'd look at his finished creations. One time I went through a maze he created, and that taught me some of the basic keyboard skills for the game. I saw Minecraft as a valuable and fun creative tool, but I didn't see it as something I'd personally want to play. Then I started learning. more about the other mode of playing.—Survival. You enter the game with nothing. You find materials. You use the materials to build stuff that's needed as protection from zombies, giant spiders, skeletons, and creepers (mobs that sneak up on you and explode). The zombies caught my attention. I was really into The Walking Dead at the time, and I loved the idea of being alone in my virtual world trying  to survive.

I've been playing the game for the past couple of years. Then in the past month or so, my game ...crashed? I don't know what you call it. But it's reset itself and sent me back to my original spawning point. The first time was annoying. The second time was very annoying. The third time was intolerable. I didn't have the heart to start again, so I decided to give up for awhile.

I then wondered if I should maybe try using creative mode. I mean I've tried it before in very small doses...with Jack. But I never did a project on my own.

This week I decided to try it. What I was excited about was using the mods Jack had installed for me a few months ago. One of them is called Mo'Creatures. It comes with a huge variety of animals...not many traditional Australian ones, unfortunately.

I'm not good at building buildings in Minecraft. I make rudimentary shelters in my survival games. The houses are far from impressive.

I decided I would skip that in creative mode and instead spawn a bunch of animals and make a park. I planted trees and flowers. I spawned birds, bunnies, goats, fish, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, etc.  The fun thing about Mo'Creatures is you can name the animals if you manage to make them your pet. It's easy to make bunnies your pet. You just click on them. So I decided in memory of my beloved days in Summer Bay, I'd name a bunch of rabbits after Home and Away characters. Then the next day I spawned a bunch of goats and named them after Prime Ministers.

I never imagined I would like playing Minecraft Creative Mode, but yesterday I spent....I think over three hours playing. In a way I felt like I wasted time. But then, in a way, I really didn't.  If you're having fun and you're using your imagination, maybe that's a really good use of time.

And I didn't just sit there spawning animals and naming them after real and fictional Australians. I started getting into the whole building thing—making various structures. Not buildings, really. It was more along the lines of statues and fountains.

What I'm not proud of, is the fact that I participated in some major animal cruelty. I decided it would be nice to have some large animals. I made a structure of wood and glass for some big cats. Then I spawned the cats and they were bigger than I remembered. There's two tigers in a house that's too small for them. But it's not like I can move them. I would have to kill them.

The same thing happened when I made the crocodile house, the underground bear structure, and the shark tank.

The worse is, I decided to train a baby elephant—make it my pet. But I forgot that you can't specify the age of the elephant you want. You get what you get. I didn't get babies. And you can't train the adults. I felt it wasn't appropriate or safe for a park to have wild elephants roaming freely about. And I definitely didn't have room left for a structure. I slaughtered them.

That's all very bad.

But I will say this. I was making an Arthur Fadden goat. I accidentally misspelled the name. And you can't go back and change it. I had my eyes on perfection, so I started killing the goat. But then I stopped myself and healed the goat's injuries with wheat seeds. So now I have a Fadden goat and goat that's not quite Fadden.

Anyway...here are some photos of my park.


That's John Howard the goat and Edmund Barton the goat fighting. Note: I couldn't fit full names, so used last names only.


Here's John Gorton standing around.


And here, John Curtin jumped into the shark tank. When I was building it, Ailsa from Home and Away kept jumping in.  I thought I was going to lose her. Not from the shark. I hadn't put him in yet. But from drowning. Fortunately, she survived. 

Anti-semitic Flyers

Some antisemitic flyers were put in people's mailboxes in Sydney. I imagine there were two purposes to the papers: a) encourage other people to join the fight against Jews b) scare Jews and make them think another Holocaust is about to happen.

I'm reading the pamphlet, though, and I think for the most part it's positive publicity. 

First of all, we supposidly own ALL Hollywood studios. I don't think that's true, but if it is...that's kind of awesome. Hollywood movies and TV shows are very popular and well-loved all over the world.

The pamphlet does say we pump drug abuse into the world. That's bad, and I wouldn't be proud of it if was true.

We also pump out anti-European values. I'm not sure what that is, so I'm not sure if it would make me proud or not.

We promote race-mixing. I'm all for race-mixing. I think it's great. And I think most modern cool humans are supportive of mixing with other races. So I'd love it if we Jews were responsible for a lot of that happening. 

The pamphlet says Wake Up white Australia.  I think most modern Australians are over the whole White Australia thing. I think only shitty racist people are into the white Australia mindset, so I don't mind being hated by those people.  

Anti-semitism is much worse when it's done by people you like. For example...Mel Gibson. I think that was hard because I used to like his movies a lot. I even had a small bit of a crush on him.  

Unschooling Style

One of my Google News requested subjects is unschooling. I get mildly excited when there's an unschooling article that happens to come from Australia. Today there was one about a family in North Queensland. The last time I wrote about an article about unschooling in Australia, it was about Queensland too. Maybe unschooling is more popular in Queensland than the other states. Or maybe it's more noticed?

The article has a photo of the family and they look like an unschooling family to me....or the type that goes to unschooling conferences. A lot of unschooling families have a certain look. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, click on the article link and you'll see.

I also think they look the way I imagine families in North Queensland to look. I've never been to north Queensland, or Queensland at all. I'm haven't seen a lot of families, so I'm probably mostly using my overactive imagination to come up with this stereotype.

I'm just thinking if people from North Queensland naturally dress like the typical unschooler, maybe that's why unschooling might be growing in popularity there. Maybe it's a natural fit.

I'm wondering if we look like unschoolers. I think maybe I do...sometimes. Jack does too, sort of. I don't think Tim does.

I don't have any problem with the style of the typical unschooler. I think it's lovely. I like that look, especially the bare feet. What bothers me, though, is that there IS a style. I almost feel like unschooling has a uniform.

I was talking to someone in email about unschooling and said something like unschoolers often look like Darcy, Geraldine, and Jimmy Proudman on Offspring. And that's fine. I like how they dress. But when we go to conferences, I wish there was more variety. I wish there were people who dressed like Nina and Billy Proudman.

Now I'm looking at pictures of unschooling conferences online and thinking all of my issues are in my head.

Here's one group shot from an unschooling conference. A few folks match my stereotypical idea of an unschooler, but many others don't. And maybe people dress the part when going to the conference, not just so they can appear like a proper unschooler, but because the conference is casual and has a free-spirit type aura. People might have their casual conference clothes just as they have their church clothes and/or cocktail party clothes.

I'm thinking of Disney World. There's a certain style there—funny hats, Disney t-shirts, comfortable shoes, etc. But most of those people probably dress differently when they're away from Disney World.


Monday, August 25, 2014

The Finale of True Blood (Spoiler Alert)

No, True Blood isn't an Australian show. But since one of it's stars is an Aussie, I'll use that as an excuse to talk about it on my blog.

Jason Stackhouse, Ryan Kwanten's character, didn't end up with Jessica the vampire. I would have rather he did, because I liked them together. Instead, Jessica ends up with her first boyfriend on the show, another human—Hoyt Fortenberry.

I did like Hoyt and Jessica together in the beginning. I thought their relationship was sweet and very romantic. But then things got ugly and they broke up. I lost interest in them as a couple. Now suddenly I'm supposed to be happy about them ending up together. It's like the Robin and Ted thing again. Yes, I liked Robin and Ted as a couple. Definitely. But then Barney came along and everything changed.

The whole finale of True Blood centered around Hoyt and Jessica's wedding. Vampire Bill is planning to suicide and his last wish is to see his vampire progeny (Jessica) married.  That would be sweet and all, except for the fact that the reason Bill gives for suiciding is he doesn't want Sookie Stackhouse, his human lover, to be stuck in a relationship with a vampire. He wants her to get married and have babies, all the human joys he had before becoming a vampire. So why is he pushing Jessica to marry a human? If it's important for Sookie to be in a human relationship, the type that makes breeding possible, then why is it okay to deny all that to Hoyt?  Hoyt was actually in a human relationship with a fairly nice girl from Alaska. Jessica helped break them up by coming to Hoyt and telling him about their past relationship. Hoyt had previously forgotten it all after requesting that he be glamoured (hypnotized) into forgetting.

Back to Bill. I don't mind him wanting to end his vampire life. And if I look at the story as a whole...if I think about it being about a woman who ultimately helps her vampire lover commit suicide, and all the love and turmoil they endured prior to that, I think it's kind of poetic. It's dark, but beautiful in a way.

It's just bullshit for the reasons he did it. Not only is it hypocritical, but foolish. Sookie Stackhouse is attracted to vampires...and werewolves. Has she ever dated a human on the show? I don't think so. Why does Bill assume she'll start once he's dead?

Why couldn't Bill just admit that as much as he loves Sookie, he's exhausted. He's tired of living. He misses his wife and children who died over a hundred years before. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. If a vampire wants to commit suicide, fine! But don't say you're doing it to make someone else's life easy and better.

As much as I'm complaining, I didn't mind the finale so much. Well, at least it was better than How I Met Your Mother.

I liked the epilogue at the end—where we see everyone in the future. Sookie is pregnant and there's the big question. Who's the daddy? But we never see him clearly. He's someone new.  I liked that choice. Keeping it open-ended. We should probably assume he's a human—that Bill's hypocritical wish for Sookie came true. But we actually don't have to believe that if we don't want to. He could be a werewolf or shifter. Or maybe he's another vampire, and Sookie finally realized she could just borrow some human sperm to make a baby.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Damien Leith

Today I'm going to learn about Damien Leith, the singer.

I have a few of his songs on my Spotify list. I think most, or all of them, are covers.  I don't know if he writes any of his own music.

I like his voice, though, and I happen to like a lot of the songs he covers.

I looked at his blog once. There was a post about listening. I disagreed with a point he made, and I  made a comment on it. I forgot what he wrote exactly. I'm pretty sure it was along the lines of, if you have a problem, talk to someone. I see that advice often and it annoys me. The thing is, there are many good and prolific talkers in the world. There aren't many people who are willing to listen and show compassion and understanding. But I'll get back to that later...if I run into Damien Leith's blog.

For now, I'm going to consult Lord Wiki.

He says that Damien Leith was born in Dublin on January 18, 1976. So, Leith is Irish-Australian.

He became a citizen of Australia rather recently—January 2007.

Leith's wife is Australian. Maybe that's why he moved to Australia and became Australian. Or did he move to Australia and then meet his wife?

Leith and his wife have three kids—two sons and a daughter.

Lord Wiki has some more information about Leith's childhood. His father was an engineer and the family moved around a lot. At one point they lived in Libya, and another time they lived in Botswana.

Leith had a band with his three siblings. They called themselves Leaf. Is that because Leith sounds sort of like Leaf?

In Sydney, Leith did some performing, and he also worked on science stuff—chemistry to be exact. In Ireland, he got a Bachelor of Science degree.

I'm guessing science was his backup career? Or maybe he loves science as much as music.

Leith was the 2006 Australian Idol winner. I don't think I knew that. The person he beat was Jessica Mauboy. Well, he won against a lot of people. But she was the closest behind him.

Lord Wiki says his win was controversial, because at the time he wasn't an Australian citizen.

I don't know how I feel about that. Well, actually I do. Unless someone convinces me otherwise, it seems to be you SHOULD be a citizen of Australia to become the Australian Idol. I think it's mainly because of the title of the show. I think with something like The Voice or X Factor, you can be more lenient.

Lord Wiki says that Roy Orbison's family was so impressed with Leith's cover of "Crying" that they asked for a copy. I was going to say, couldn't they just buy it off of i-Tunes? But it's not always easy to buy music from another country. The Orbison family is American....I think. Are they?

Lord Wiki says yes. So yeah. Sometimes it's not easy for us in America to buy music from Australian talent shows.

Though I think the idol shows should be prejudice when it comes to nationality, I wish they were less prejudice when it comes to age. Lord Wiki says Leith won at the age of 30 and at the time he was the second oldest of any Idol series in the world.  I really hate the ageism of that show. It's bad enough when you have the unstated bigotry, but to actually have rules telling people they're too old to compete?

Lord Wiki says to enter Australian Idol, you have to be between the ages of 16-29. So what are they saying?  In order to be a singer worth idolizing you have to be under 30?

I'm guessing Leith entered the contest when he was 29 and was 30 by the time he won.

Now I'm reading about Leith's career after Australian Idol. He signed a recording contract and released a song called "Night of My Life". From what I understand, the song was written for the show. Both Jessica Mauboy and Leith did a recording of it. The plan was that the winner's version would be released as a single. That sounds like a fun idea...gimmick.

Lord Wiki says Leith's version of the song did very well, and was #1 for awhile. What chart? Maybe ARIA?

In the beginning of 2007, Leith performed in Canberra on Australia Day. He sang "Night of my Life" and also did a cover of "Tenterfield Saddler". I love that song. I hope I can find Leith's cover on YouTube.  I might have actually heard it before. I've listened to several covers of it before. Leith's version may have been one of them.

Later in 2007, Leith released an album called Where We Land. I kind of like that name.

Leith wrote many of the songs himself. So he DOES write his own songs.

In 2008, Leith was the host of a TV show called Saving Kids. It was about children being treated at Sydney's Children's Hospital.

I wonder how long the show lasted.

Lord Wiki has the answer for me. There were eight episodes. I wonder if it was a good—informative and inspiring. Or did they resort to sensationalism? Although in order to inspire viewers, TV programs often resort to sensationalism.

I guess what I'm wondering is would I like the show. Would I think it was well done—respectful and mature. Or would I have found it to be over-the-top and manipulative?

Leith released another album in 2008. This was called Catch the Wind. Leith did covers of well-known folk songs. I think the songs I have on Spotify come from this album.

I'm looking at my Spotify now. Five come from that album. I have three from Where We Land and one song from each of the albums I haven't gotten to yet.

Oh...and there are even albums beyond that.

We have Remember June was released in 2009.

In 2011, Leith did a whole album of Roy Orbison covers. This was called Roy.

In 2012, Leith released Now and Then. In 2013, he released Chapter Seven. It looks like those albums didn't do as well as his earlier ones.

One of the songs from Now and Then, "Beautiful" was used in an American Estee Lauder commercial. Here's a video of the song. According to the uploader, Leith wrote the lyrics to the song.

This lyric website agrees with the uploader. They say the lyrics were written by Leith and someone named Alex Wasiliev.

Interesting. When I looked up Alex Wasiliev, Lord Wiki took me to the page of Alex Lloyd, another Aussie music star. I have some of his songs on my Spotify list as well. Alexander Wasiliev is his birth name. I'm guessing he's the one who helped Leith write the song. Or it's some kind of coincidence?

I'm looking at the lyrics now. I don't love them. There's nothing offensive or outrageous about them, but there's also nothing that really grabs me.

I think I'll listen to some more Damien Leith music. I'll listen to a few covers, but I mostly want to hear his original stuff.

Here's the Australian Idol winning song. "Night of My Life".

Do many people really have a night of their life? I would think most of us have many important nights.

Out of curiosity, I'm also going to watch Jessica Mauboy's rendition of the song.

I wanted to say I like Mauboy's version of the song better, but it might be because it takes time for a song to grow on me. The first time I heard it, I didn't like it much. But I think it was secretly growing on me. So by the time I get to Mauboy, I liked it a little more.

Here's Leith singing "Tenterfield Saddler".  It's such a beautiful song.

Here's another upload of it, and if I'm understanding things right, Leith took the citizenship oath before singing it. Okay. That touches my little heart a bit, and it makes me feel a little guilty for thinking you need to ALREADY be a citizen to win Australian Idol. Maybe it's okay to win if you're planning to become a citizen in the near future.

Okay. I'm not exactly right. He didn't take the pledge right before singing. He did it earlier that day with John Howard. Then I think they showed it on a screen before he did his singing.

I want to hear Leith sing "Hallelujah". He sang it for Australian Idol. I love that song. You know the first time I heard it was from an Australian singer. I forgot which one. Someone female....

Here's a Leith original. It's called "All I Want Is You". I didn't recognize the name (outside of it  also being a U2 song title),but I've heard it before. I have it on Spotify. I listen to songs and don't know what I'm listening to.

I'm looking at the lyrics. They're romantic and intense. It's basically about loving someone more than anything else.

If I lost you then I would surely die. That's a wonderfully romantic thing to hear if you're in love with the person singing it to you. But it would be an awful thing to hear if you were contemplating breaking up with them.

Here's a City Homicide video with a Damien Leith song. "Shine Like the Sun".

I don't understand the lyrics. When your defenses come down Then I see you still shine like the sun Brighter than anyone Yeah you shine like the sun.

I guess maybe he's saying when this person is truly being themselves and not hiding behind a mask or wall, then they're at their best.

It's a nice thing to say...and feel. I appreciate it because I have people in my life who seem to feel the opposite about me. If I put up a lot of defenses and hide behind a fake sweet demeanor, they prefer that version of me.

To be fair, I can be an emotional overly honest bitch when the walls come down. But that's usually because I've held my shit in for so long. I sometimes end up exploding.

But yeah. I really appreciate those who seem to love the real me versus the fake me.

Here's another Damien Leith original. The Long Way Back. I like how the song sounds. It's one of those rare times that I like a song the first time hearing it. Or at least I think it's the first time I've heard it.

I can't find the lyrics. But from what I hear, they sound nice.

I'm already tired of listening to music, and I haven't gotten past his first album.

I'm going to listen to one more. It's one of my favorites. It's called "Stronger than Superman".  I'm not sure if he wrote it or not.  I'll try to find out.....

Spotify says the song is from his most recent album. Chapter Seven. I still haven't looked to see who wrote the song.

Well, I looked.

I couldn't easily find an answer.

Now I just Googled the song without Leith's name to find out if it has connections to another singer or band. I ended up finding this rap song.  It's not quite the same song.

And here's another Stronger than Superman song. It's a Jesus song that someone wrote for their Bible camp. I kind of like it.  It has some cute cultural references and the tune is quite catchy.

Do I agree with the lyrics? Is Jesus stronger than Superman? I don't know. Does it matter? Is it a competition?

For now though, I'm going to conclude that Leith wrote "Stronger than Superman". Or someone wrote it for him. I don't think it's a cover.

I was just thinking about all that. I love to sing, but I can't write songs. I don't see the point in just singing covers. What would be cool is if I could find a songwriter who had the unfortunate inability to sing. We could work together.  Even better if he or she could play an instrument...because I'm a failure at that too.

That being said, I'm not really into singing lately. I'm more into writing...and watching Australian television.

Maybe what I should do is sing my blog posts!

It's sad. I can write novels. I write blog posts. I can write screenplays. I love to sing, but I can't write songs.

I'm looking at Damien Leith on Spotify now—thinking of adding more songs to my long list.

His most popular song on Spotify is "Beautiful". Maybe the perfume commercial helped it become popular?

I know I said I'm tired of listening to music. But I keep finding more stuff. Well, and that's my fault, because I keep looking.

I searched for Damien Leith duets. Here he's singing "A Thousand Years" with Danielle Spencer.  It's nice as a duet.

Okay. Now I'm done. For real. Well, I'm done with listening to music. I'm not done with Damien Leith. I'm going to have a swim, and then I'll look at his Internet stuff and maybe read a few interviews.

I'm back. I treaded water and saved a large bee from drowning. (Yes. I AM bragging about my good deed)

Here's Damien Leith's website.  It's nice because it has links to all the other stuff I'll want to look at, such as Twitter and Instagram.

Here's the blog post I commented on. I love the title of the post. "It's ok not to be ok". That's very true. I think we forget that sometimes.

He talks about listening to a man. Leith says, All I could really do was listen, the personal nature of his troubles didn’t warrant any advice or opinion on my part, it was just important that he got it off his chest and obviously needed to talk to someone.

I'm not sure how to interpret that. I have two opposing pictures in my mind. In the first, Leith stands there like a stone and just lets the guy talk. He says nothing, so it's like the guy is talking to a wall. In the other, although Leith doesn't share his advice or opinion, he does actively listen. I mean he responds in a supportive way. Really. She did that? Oh, that must have been hard. So what did you do?

I personally wouldn't find the first kind of listener helpful at all. But I would definitely appreciate the second one.

I believe some people are different than me in that regards. Some people just need to hear the sound of their own voice. They don't care how you respond to their vocalized troubles. They don't even really care if you're truly listening. Maybe this would be people who don't write at all. Because if you write, either for yourself or others, you're getting the words out that way.

I personally think we need more people who don't just keep quiet so the other person can talk, but also show support, compassion, and interest.

One of the other commenters on his blog says something touching. I was at the checkout and the lady looked sad serving me so I asked if she was ok and she said in the weekend her nephew took his own life. I reached over and gave her a hug. She said thank you she really needed one. Im a big believer of asking people of they are ok.

I believe in it too, and I'm also a big believer in simply noticing that someone's not okay. I was watching McLeod's Daughters the other day, and something really annoyed me. It was Jodi's wedding to Alberto, and it was obvious that she was unhappy. Well, it was actually the night before at the hen night. She was very quiet and anxious, and even tried to express her doubts. The other women listened, but didn't really take notice of how deep Jodi's concerns were. Then at the wedding, she was obviously not a happy bride. But no one seemed to notice or care. They were all too busy having fun. No one really gave her attention until she took off and ran away on a horse.

It could be that the other characters noticed, but were deluded in thinking if they kept quiet about it, the problem would go away. It's like what they say in suicide. Don't be afraid to ask someone if they're thinking of suicide. I'm guessing they give that advice because a lot of us ARE afraid.

Here's a more recent blog entry from Leith. Though I don't know how recent. I don't see a date. It's about traveling with his three kids. He talks about how it's so much easier when you are traveling without younger children. So much simpler.

It's true. I complain about the long flights to Australia, but compared to other people, what we have is a luxury.  Jack's old enough to keep himself busy. The only person I have to worry about entertaining is myself. And sometimes that's actually hard. But then I look at the mother and father struggling to get their toddler to sleep and I realize I have it GOOD.

I was going to look at interviews later, but maybe I'll just read more blog posts instead.

Well, some of the posts aren't that interesting to me. It's more promotional stuff. Although there was a post that mentioned there being a ton of rain. That was kind of interesting...I guess.

Here's one that's more personal. It's about his children and how they're growing up so fast. I can relate to that, as can most parents, I imagine.

I like Jack more and more as he gets older. But there are some things I miss. It's kind of random stuff, like him playing with his upstairs toys. I miss walking out in the playroom and seeing a bunch of blocks and figurines on the floor. I guess it's just a symbol of the past, and I'm reluctant to let go of that.

Here's Leith's Instagram account.

His most recent picture is of his family (parents and siblings?) visiting his studio. They all look so much alike!

This post is from the same day. It's a video from Dublin. So is he in Dublin. Is that where the picture of the studio was taken? Anyway...Leith is adorable when he's talking.

I'm looking at more photos and getting the idea that yes, he's visiting Dublin. I wonder if he went alone or if he children and wife are with him.

Here's a picture of his sister. He says they're going to do a duet together. That's so sweet. I love that he's involving his family with his music.

Well, this post answers my question about his wife and kids. They didn't come with them. He was missing them before even boarding the plane. I have bad dreams about getting on a plane to go to Australia and being sad that Tim and Jack aren't coming with me.

Someone commented on Leith's photo. Just think every moment is one moment closer til you're all together again. That's true. And a lot of times he'll be having a lot of fun and the moments will pass by quickly. Also, when he gets home, though he'll be super happy to see his wife and kids, he'll probably then be missing his Dublin family.

Here's his daughter singing. Too adorable.

I just looked at Damien Leith's Twitter account. Nothing excites me enough to talk about it. It's a lot of promotional stuff. Well, there's stuff that's interesting to me, but it's links to Instagram. And I already saw that.

You know what I want to read about. The hospital show.

Here's a message board about it. Someone says they had a little girl who needed a nose, and the doctors used part of her ribs to build it. That's fascinating. I like hearing stuff like that.

I'm reading that the show was pretty graphic...in terms of the surgery scenes.

I'm thinking, though, it's not what stories are on the show that makes it sensational or not. It's how they're presented. It's the ploys that some shows use to get people to not turn the channel. And I don't like when shows are too intrusive with the family. Let people cry in private. I mean some people are okay crying on television, and that's fine. But it's bad if the producers of the show make an effort to get people to cry because they believe that will get them more viewers.

I'm not sure if Saving Kids was like that or not.

YouTube has a clip. So far it's music with scenes of sick children. I wanted to say seeing the sick kids makes me feel lucky that I have a healthy one. But it's more like it makes me anxious that one day we'll be one of those families. Because at one time, the families in the video might have been in the lucky, healthy camp.

I guess what I feel is a cautious thankfulness and a wish that we remain healthy. And I wish for as many sick kids as possible to get their health and strength back. I like hearing happy endings to scary stories.

You know, I don't know if this is the Leith program, or just a promotion for the hospital. The video does say 2008 and the show was in 2008. So maybe it is?

No....

This might not be the Leith program. I think it's a plea for money. There's a guy singing in the beginning, though. It might be Leith. I'm not quite sure.

I'm going to Google the lyrics.

Yep. It's Leith. It's his song "Not Just For the Weekend".

I'm going to watch a Rove interview, and then I'll quit. I haven't watched Rove in so long!

There's so much to report...just from the intro! Leith has written a novel, and he DID move to Australia for love. I was wondering about that before.

Here's the novel. It's called One More Time. It's gotten only two reviews. That kind of surprises me. I would think with his fame, he'd have a lot more readers and reviewers. Or maybe people are reading and not reviewing. It makes me feel a little bit better about my book's lack of readers and reviews.

Sometimes I'll think, well, I have all these people coming to my blog. Won't they want to read my novel too? If they like my blog, they should like my book!

But it doesn't always work that way. People who like reading blogs might not like reading novels. Or at least the type of novel I've written. People who like listening to Damien Leith music might not like reading his type of novels.

Also...his Kindle novel is a bit pricey. He might have more luck selling it if he lowered the price a bit.

He might not care, though. He might be much more into his music.

Rove and Leith are now talking about shaking hands with people when your hands are wet from washing your hands. The awkwardness of it all. Do you explain the wetness or just assume the other person will understand?

Leith had OCD. I saw that mentioned in one of the novel reviews. The character has OCD.

Leith says he had it when he was young...washed his hands a lot.

I wonder how he got better.

Rove asks how do you know if you have it. Leith says if you leave your house and then return because you think you left the light on, you probably have it.

I sometimes worry about things...not lights. But I worry I forgot to turn off the stove. And for awhile I was having to get out of bed each night to make sure our freezer and refrigerator were closed. Sometimes when we're leaving for a few nights and I lock up our cat with food and water, I have to recheck after I've locked him up to make sure I really did give him the water and food. Sometimes I worry that I dumped the water and forgot to refill it with fresh water.

Sometimes after we've left, I get a little anxious about various things, but I'm usually able to reassure myself that things are probably okay.

I would think most people are like this? Or many, at least.

Maybe the line is crossed when you actually return home to check on things. And when you check on them, they're usually fine. If you return all the way home and see your stove WAS left on and you actually did forget to leave food for the cat. Well, maybe that's not OCD. Maybe that's just self-awareness of the fact that you're a bit of flake sometimes.

I like Leith. Rove asks him if he has fans that are nutters, and Leith refuses to call them that. I mean there are crazy fans out there. And sometimes, unfortunately, they're scary, bad crazy rather than amusing crazy. But I don't like it when celebrities concentrate on those types when talking about fans.

Leith says he has had underpants thrown at him, and one time he accidentally took a pair home. His wife had some questions about that.

There's a woman there who asks a good question. Do women bring underpants to throw, or do they throw the ones they're wearing. I'm betting it varies. And how many women throw their underpants?  Is that a common thing. If I go to a Damien Leith concert someday, is there going to be a ton of underpants flying over my head?

Rove asks Leith if he hopes that the next Australian Idol winner will be less successful than him, I don't think that's the thing that's going to get an honest answer. I mean if Leith did wish such a negative thing, I can't imagine him admitting it to the huge television audience. It's kind of petty.

You know what I'm a petty person and overly competitive at times. But I think even with my awfulness (in that regard), if I'm doing well, I'm fine with other people doing well. I think if I was in Leith's shoes, since I was doing so fantastic in my career, I'd be happy for the next idol to do great too. If I was doing awful...if my career was sinking, I think my dark evil side would want the next idol to do bad too. And I'd be jealous if they did better than me.

Leith should have tossed the question back to Rove. When a new talk show appears on television, are you hoping it fails?

Rove is doing the thing where he asks 20 fast questions. One of them is, what would you have done if you lost Idol.

Leith says he'd get trashed. I like that answer. It's very honest. I mean not that I'm a big fan of drinking away your problems. But it's like he's admitting he'd be very disappointed. It's better than saying something corny like I would have been totally fine with it. I'd just be happy for Jessica.

Rove asks something like Do you pig in the shower? What does that mean? Is it what I think it means?

Leith says he'd turn gay for Chris who is one of the guys sitting and talking with them.

Well, this is very long. I will finally shut up. I won't be doing another biography post for a few days because I have to work on my OTHER novel—the old Neurofibromatosis one. I've been very slowly re-editing it this summer and am going to re-Kindle it again soon.




































Saturday, August 23, 2014

Justine Clarke

I've been watching Justine Clarke in Come in Spinner. She plays a young woman who's raped by her sister's ex-boyfriend. A total jerk!

Edited to Add (8/26/14) Major correction. Days after watching this, I realized she was NOT raped by her sister's ex-boyfriend. She was raped by an American soldier. My mistake really gave me a skewed view of the mini-series—at least with the storyline concerning Clarke's onscreen sister. 

I used to watch Clarke as Roo in Home and Away. She was on from the beginning, and then left after a year or so. At first, Roo was a bit of a pain—a spoiled brat. But then she had a baby, gave it up for adoption, and somehow the experience turned her super nice. I adored super-nice Roo and was sad to see her go.

I've also seen Clarke in the TV show Tangled. I was about to say I watched the first episode, but you know what. I don't think that's true. I think I actually saw the first episode of the second season.  There was a funeral, and it was for a character who had been one of the stars of the first season. 

Clarke was recently on Play School. Or maybe she's still on it. I know she did some scenes with the guy who played Frank (her lover boy on Home and Away). What's his name again?  

Alex Papps!

Thank you, Google and Lord Wiki.

Yes, So Papps and Clarke played lovers in the late 1980's and entertained children together in this decade. That's very sweet.

I know two more things about Clarke. One is that she had an appearance in a Mad Max movie. And two, she sings songs for children. I have some of her songs on my Aussie Spotify list.

I already kind of know a fair bit about Clarke, but I'm hoping to learn some more stuff.

I'm going to start with IMDb. They say she was born in 1971, but there's no exact date here. They also say she was born in Australia, but there's no exact city or state. It's somewhat mysterious.

She was in a band called Automatic Cherry. I'm not sure when, though. Maybe I'll read more about it later.

Now I'm looking at her filmography. Her first screen thing was in 1984. She starred in a kid's TV show called The Maestro's Company. The other star was Adam Willits who would later be on Home and Away with her. He played the foster brother of Roo's boyfriend.

A puppeteer from The Maestro's Company has left a review of the show on IMDb, and talks about her experiences. It was some kind of opera thing. 

Willits and Clarke played children who stumble onto this opera company while trying to retrieve their lost soccer ball.  

I think basically the show was a program to teach children and their parents about opera.  

1985 is the year Clarke was in Max Max Beyond Thunderdome. I think that's the second movie? It's the one with Tina Turner. 

Clarke played a character named Anna Goanna. That's cute.  

In 1986, Clarke did another show for children. This one was called Professor Poopsnagle's Steam Zeppelin

Someone has uploaded the opening credits of the show on YouTube. I'm glad they did. It's a very fun song. And Clarke does some singing in it.

Lord Wiki says the show was very popular in the UK, and still had a cult following today. I imagine the people who like Dr. Who would like this show. 

In 1987, Clarke appeared in five episodes of A Country Practice. She played a character named Nicki Simpson. Who is Nicki Simpson? I don't know. I'm not having luck finding anything about her.

Let's move on.....

On January 20, 1988 Clarke appeared on her first episode of Home and Away. She didn't start with the first episode as I had imagined. She began on episode 3.

In April 1988, Clarke starred in a children's TV movie called Princess Kate. She had the title role. The movie was about a girl learning that she's adopted. 

I recognize some other names in the credits—Claudia Karvan! And also Rebekah Elmaloglou who became a resident of Home and Away's Summer Bay months after Roo left.

It would be so fun to see Karvan when she was that young. I just looked at her age. She's about a year younger than Clarke, and a few months older than me. How old is Emaloglou? 

Well, she's a bit younger. She was born in 1974.  

1990 is the year Clarke appeared in Come in Spinner. I watched the second part of that today.

Clarke has a long filmography. I'm already getting tired. I'm going to skip writing about things in which I can't find a lot of information. 

In 1994, Clarke was in a miniseries called Golden Fiddles. One of the stars is Kate Milligan. I think she might be in Come in Spinner

No. I am totally wrong. She's not in the movie. She's actually an American-Canadian actress. She was in The Prince of Tides. I think maybe she played Nick Nolte's mother. 

Anyway....back to Golden Fiddles.  Here's a trailer

Well, no. The person who uploaded it called it a trailer. It's more like the opening credits. 

The little description on the video says it's about The Great Depression. 

In the next few years, Clarke was in a couple of other things I'm going to skip over.

I'm going to jump to a 1997 movie called Blackrock.  It's about a young girl who's raped and murdered; and surfers are involved. I guess one of them did it? I'm not sure. 

Lord Wiki says the movie is known as being the first prominent film role of Heath Ledger. I should have recognized the title then, since I just read his biography a few weeks ago. What's wrong with me?

There are other names I recognize in the credits—Jessica Napier, Bojana Novakovic, and John Howard. I don't know if any of those people had significant roles in the film.  Nor do I know if Justine Clarke did. I'm getting the idea that the starring-role part of her career happened when she was a teen and young adult; then she moved onto smaller roles. I think later her career picked up again. Really,though, I'm just guessing about this. She might have had some huge roles in the late 1990's. 

I'm reading Lord Wiki's description of the plot. Heath Ledger didn't play the rapist. I was wondering about that. His character had consensual sex with the girl. But then he watches as other people rape her. I think that might be just as bad. 

No. Wait. I have it all wrong.

It's another guy who watches the rape. And he also watched the consensual sex. What's the deal with that?

Clarke's character isn't listed in the plot description, so I'm guessing it wasn't a big role.

In 1998, Clarke did three episodes of a TV show called Wildside. What seems weird to me is within one year she played two different characters. I know shows do this often. Actors are used multiple times as different characters. But don't they usually space the appearance years apart? Even then viewers might recognize the actor. But if it's less than a year apart, it's even more likely. Why not just hire a different actor? Or if they liked the actor who guest-starred, why not just bring back their character?

I see now that I was totally wrong about Clarke having small roles in the late 1990's. In 1998, she started working on All Saints. She played Dr. Samantha O'Hara in 21 episodes. What season was that?

Well, from what I'm seeing on IMDb, she started in season 1— towards the end of the season. Then she came back again in season 2.

I'm skipping more stuff....

I'm going to stop at Danny Deckchair which came out in 2003. It looks like Clarke had a fairly significant role in this one. This is the movie where the guy makes a flying machine out of helium balloons. Clarke plays the guy's girlfriend...who's not very nice, apparently. 

Here's the trailer.

Clarke changed her hair color for the film.

The movie looks really cute and sweet.

I think I've written about it before—probably when I did a post about Miranda Otto. She's another one of the stars of the movie.

Also, in 2003...Clarke was in the movie Japanese Story which stars Toni Collette. I think most of the movie is about Toni Collete and her Japanese co-star stuck out alone together in the outback.  So I doubt Clarke had much of a role. I'll watch the trailer, though, just in case. I'll see if I can spot here. 

Nope. I didn't see her.

In 2004, Clarke was in a TV movie called Go Big. And she was the main star. She plays a woman who's fired from her telemarketing job.  It's a romantic-comedy type thing.

What's funny is there's this picture of the movie, and there's a woman who looks much older than I'd imagine Justine Clarke would have be in 2004. She looks like she's about sixty or seventy. Then I clicked on the picture because it's supposed to be a link to the film. Well, it turns out it's the wrong link...the wrong Go Big. The Go Big video provided is an art instructional video.  

In 2005, Clarke was in a movie called Look Both Ways. It's about a bad weekend. Not a comedy bad weekend, but a drama one. Clarke plays a woman who illustrates sympathy cards. She witnesses someone getting hit by a train and dying. I think that would be incredibly traumatic...seeing that.

Here's the trailer.  I like it. There's a line in the movie where Clarke's character says everyone has to witness something ghastly one day. She says, you know, your fifteen minutes of blah.

That's probably true. And the world is incredibly unfair. Some of us get rare and small glimpses of horror. Others see things like that on a daily basis. 

Clarke looks very cute in this movie—in a very casual and real way.

I have to say it again. I was so wrong about Clarke having small roles until recently and after the late 1980's.

She had another TV show in 2005. The Surgeon. It didn't last long. But she was the star, along with Sam Worthington.  

Here's a clip from the show. I'm not sure if Clarke is in the scene because the surgeons are wearing surgical masks. 

Here. I can see her in this other video. At least I think that's her. 

Justine Clarke was in Love My Way! Really? I didn't know that. Or I knew it and I forgot. I can't remember if I started watching Home and Away first or Love My Way

Oh. You know what. Now I see what's going on. She was in the third season. I stopped watching during that season. Or maybe I stopped watching in season two? I can't remember. It's just the show got to be too depressing for me. I might have missed her.

I'm skipping some stuff that might be important. Sorry. I'm getting tired.

Now I'm jumping way ahead to 2012. Clarke was in a TV series called Woodley. It's a comedy about a guy who's accident prone. Clarke plays his ex-wife. The guy wants to win her back.  

Someone has uploaded one of the episodes. I'll watch part of it.  

I think maybe that little girl was in Mental. I'll check in a minute.

Clarke appears at 4:20.  

And no...the kid isn't from Mental. She was actually on Offspring. She played the child version of Nina.

Wait. Back up. I always make these IMDb mistakes.

I have to rewind to 2009. That's when Clarke started working on Tangled. It was on for three seasons. 2009-2012. 

Here's a promo/featurette for the show. 

I had so many misconceptions about Clarke. Another thing I thought about her is that she pretty much quit television and movies to become a children's music singer. But recently she has starred in yet another TV show— The Time of Our Lives

Claudia Karvan is in this?! I feel so lost. I feel like I've been living under a rock. How am I missing so many things? Or at least forgetting them.

The show is made by the same people who made The Secret Life of Us. Shit! How did I miss this? 

And is it on Hulu? I don't think I saw it when I was searching the other day. Maybe it will be on someday, though. 

The last thing on Justine Clarke's filmography is an animated project called Maya the Bee Movie. Lord Wiki says Maya the Bee is an anime series based on an old German children's series. I don't know if this movie is anime and connected to the Japanese thing. Or is it just based on the book? 

Actually, I think it's the book because the credits have actors listed as being either in the German version or English version. So maybe it's a German-Australian thing that has nothing to do with Japan. 

Well...yeah. Now I'm looking more closely at IMDb. It's German-Australian. 

Here's the trailer. The little girl who plays the title character in the movie is going to be in the new Mad Max film. Just like Justine Clarke was back in the 1980's.

Now I'm moving onto Lord Wiki. Unlike IMDb, he knows Clarke's month of birth. But he doesn't know her date. Maybe Clarke keeps that secret because she doesn't want anyone figuring out her numerology number.

I'm joking.

Sort of.

Young Justine Clarke attended Woollahra Public School. I feel like I read about Woollahra recently, but I don't know why. Maybe it was in a novel I read? 

I must not have been paying good attention, though, because I had to look at Google Maps to figure out where it was.

It's a suburb in Sydney, towards the east. 

Anyway....

When Clarke was about seven-years-old, she appeared in a commercial for Arnott's Humphrey Bear biscuits. How cute. I wonder if they still make those. I don't think I've seen them around. I might have seen bears biscuits, but I don't know if they were modeled after Humphrey. 

Someone on a message board asks about the biscuits. No one really answers. Or at least there's no answer that's satisfying to me.

Lord Wiki has some information on Clarke's music career. She did a country music thing in the early 90's with a band called Honky Tonk Angels. Later, she did the Automatic Cherry thing. I can't find any of their songs on Spotify or YouTube.

I totally forgot to look at Clarke's Play School work on IMDb. I often forget to look at the category where the actor plays themselves.  

So here...I'm back over there. According to IMDb, Clarke started working on Play School in 2000. There's no end date. So maybe she's still on it?

Here's a clip of her teaching children to do the Macarena. 

Lord Wiki says that Clarke is married to an Aussie actor named Jack Finsterer. They have three kids. The oldest is about thirteen and the youngest is about five. I imagine she sang/sings to them a lot.

Crap. Our Internet is acting up. This might be difficult. Hopefully it will fix itself soon.

Will YouTube work for me?  Yes! Good.

Here's a song I have on my Spotify. It's called "Watermelon".

And YouTube has fooled me. It's actually not working. I can't see the video. But it worked well enough for me to get the link. You guys can watch the video. I'll listen to it on Spotify.

I'm going to dance.

At one point, Justine Clarke asks if we're dancing. I was proud to say...Yes!

Maybe when people get tired of the ice-bucket thing, we can start a new viral campaign where people dance to the watermelon song. What charity could we connect it to?

Maybe we'll just let people choose their own. And after they dance, they can do a brief explanation of why they chose that charity.

Why does Spotify work, but not YouTube? That's what I want to know. Actually, I don't want to know. I don't really care. I mean I don't need reasons. I'd just like it all to work again.

I think I'm going to take a break—give up for awhile. I've been wanting to work on my new Minecraft world. I'm building a bird park that has other animals as well. Yesterday I spawned a bunch of rabbits and named them after Home and Away characters.  You know what's crazy? I think I forgot Roo!

Okay...I'm gone and planted more flowers and trees in my bird park. I named a rabbit Roo, and I also added Neville and Floss.

While I was working, I was visited and watched by Celia and Carly...at different times. The two of them weren't hanging out together.

The Internet is still not working for me. In fact, Blogger just sent me that little message saying they're not able to save or publish my post.

Ah...now it's saved.

It's going off and on.

I'm going to give up on YouTube, though. I'll just leave it at that there are several Justine Clarke music videos. Maybe I'll watch them later. Or I'll just add more of her music to my Spotify list. Right now I'm listening to the list and hearing Damien Leith's "Songbird".

I'll try to read some interviews. That might work with my moody Internet.

Nope. It's not working.

I CAN get to Google, though, and I'm seeing there are a lot of articles/interviews about her.

Yes! One is working. I have a bunch of windows with various things loading.

The first one to work is in The Weekly Review.

It's from 2011. Clarke's family was moving back to Sydney from Elwood. I'd like to know where Elwood is, but I'm doubting Google Maps is going to work for me now.

Wait. The next paragraph says where it is. Melbourne. Tangled was filmed there. Clarke said her family stayed for awhile (beyond shooting?), because they liked it there.

Clarke says you could get closer to the water with less money in Melbourne. I didn't know that.

She talks about how they have to move a lot because of the acting jobs. She says they're kind of like gypsies. I wonder if her kids resent it. Or if they will resent it in the future. I moved around a lot. I resented it sometimes when it was happening, but when I was older I didn't look back with regret. What did bother me is getting guilt trips and anger from my parents for wanting to move as an adult. It's fine for them to move us around during our childhood, but bad of us to want to move when we're adults. Kind of hypocritical.

My dad did say he's over that now. Which is good. Though we have no immediate plans to move.

I think I'm too lazy at this point.

Clarke is described in the article as being friendly and no-fuss. That's cool.

When she's doing her show on the road, she often leaves her children behind with their daddy.  I imagine she probably misses her own kids while entertaining other kids. Though it's a common thing—like teachers who teach other children and nannies who have their own children at home. Or actually the nanny's children are probably at school being taught by some other child's parent.

Clarke says she loves performing. It's good she gets to do what she loves.

She and her husband met while doing the play Cyrano de Bergerac at the Sydney Theatre Company. That's romantic.

Clarke says she wanted to be on Play School since she was seventeen. She seems to really love it.

You know...I think I'd probably like that type of job. Singing and performing for children. I'm bad at memorizing lyrics, though...even for kid's songs. I sing to my nephews sometimes and my mind often goes blank.

Here's a blog post about someone's love for Justine Clarke. The blogger talks about the year 1988. She was in high school and dreamed of being an actress. She passionately pursued that path, and one of the things she did was write to actresses she admired.

Justine Clarke wrote back. The blogger has scanned in the old letters. They're cute. I was going to be negative and say the letter is egocentric.  Not that I would expect more from an actor writing to a fan. But Clarke is actually quite chatty in the letter. I mean it goes way beyond, thanks for writing to me. I appreciate and love all my fans. She actually opens up a bit, talks about annoying fans and a meddling agent. It almost sounds like had a need to vent her feelings to someone.

I was just thinking, though, if she had the time to write about her life, she could have asked some questions of the blogger. But Clarke was young. And youth sometimes is an excuse.

The blogger goes on to talk about how she kind of lost interest in Clarke. That happens sometimes. We're fans of someone or something, and then other things replace them in our heart.

But sometimes the love comes back.

This happened to the blogger when she saw Look Both Ways.

Then she had kids and Clarke became part of their lives with her Play School stuff and music concerts.

The blogger concludes her post by saying she liked that Clarke didn't mock her acting aspirations in the letter back she wrote. That's true. But she really didn't encourage her either.

The blogger is much more positive than I am.

That being said, I was like her as a kid. I wrote to celebrities. I think it was mostly for the fun of getting mail back. And like her I was happy for any bone thrown to me. An actress from V said something nice about the poem I wrote. Frank Oz answered some questions I asked him. Besides that I usually got form letters and/or autographed photos.

It's not really right to expect more. Actors are busy people. And they have their lives outside of acting. For example—their families and friends. And these days, they probably also have their video games.

I think lately, though, I have this distaste for it all. It's kind of that us vs them mentality. Royalty vs, the commoners. I'm famous. You're not. I'll do you a huge favor and sign your autograph book. Or I'll even let you take a photo of me.

It's a part of life, though, and my distaste of the whole thing is probably not about high-level philosophical objections. It's probably jealousy. I want to be on the royalty side. I look down at those people who beg celebrities to follow them on Twitter, but at the same time I'm secretly wishing those celebrities would notice me.

Why? I have no idea. It's pretty stupid.

Actually, it's very stupid.

But I think as long as you don't go from wishing to stalking—probably harmless. And my secret wishing is probably less bothersome than those who openly beg.

I should say quiet rather than secret...since I'm talking about it on my blog. How can something be secret if you're blogging about it?

I should stop blabbing, but there's more bitching I'd like to do.

It goes back to Clarke's letter. She was young and a busy actress when she wrote that. Both are good excuses to write egocentric letters. What really gets to me is when I have communications like that with people who are neither very young nor celebrities. They treat me like a fan. For example, I might respond to many of their Tweets on Twitter and they never respond to any of mine. Or there's those who blab on and on in their email about their lives. But they never or rarely ask about what's going on in my life.

It's so narcissistic.

Maybe that's why I'm less tolerant of the whole celebrity-fan relationship. I've had so many people in my life who engage in frequent conversational narcissism. I've had too much of it, and therefore have become intolerant in situations where it would actually be normal and expected.

You know. I was just about to quit this post. I was closing the windows on my browser, one of them being from the Sydney Theatre Company. I looked at it and saw Clarke. She's in a play called Children of the Sun. It will be on in September and October.

I'm wondering how Justine Clarke manages to do all the things she does. She seems so busy.

I was getting exhausted by her filmography. And I was just writing about it. She's actually living it.