Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Power Rangers, Leftovers, Prison, and TV Show Love

1. Had a dream about JK Rowling, and Wentworth was mentioned in part of it. I talk to Rowling and tell her that she might have some competition, in terms of Umbridge. I tell her I wrote in my blog about how one of the characters in Wentworth is comparable in hatefulness.

Those weren't my exact words. I'm kind of paraphrasing.

I have this turquoise "It's a Small World" t-shirt, and that played a big part in the dream. When I woke up, in the middle of the night, I had this idea the shirt must have some strong symbolism—the whole small world thing.  But then later I figured it was more about the color of the shirt. It's the same color that the women wear in Wentworth.  I was thinking about their prison clothes yesterday, and how they wear turquoise instead of orange. I wonder if that's the color used in real Australian prisons.  Is there a color used throughout all prisons? And in the United States, do all prisoners really wear orange?

Is there any place that wears the black and white stripes?

2. Had a dream that involved Andrew, but I can't remember or figure out how we were communicating. I feel like he was there...maybe sitting at a desk?  I have the idea that I was standing.

My parents show me their very detailed plans for our upcoming whole-family trip to NYC. I see that they have written down every restaurant we're going to eat at, and every store we're going to visit. I ask, what if I see a store that's not on the list, and I want to go. They say that's fine, but we all have to go. I can't go alone.

Then Andrew asks me if we've made plans for our upcoming trip. I write down the answer.  In my mind, the answer is affirmative, and I think that's what I'm writing. But when I look down at the paper, the answer is negative. I'm intrigued by the fact that I was thinking one thing, but wrote down another.  

 I think my subconscious mind has a hard time understanding Internet relationships. So it kind of mixes up face to face communication with writing.  I'm pretty sure I was in the room with Andrew, but instead of answering him vocally, I wrote it on pen and paper. Although I might have talked to him as well.

You know, there's even a part of me that doubts it was Andrew I was talking to. But when I woke up, I thought of the person I was talking to as Andrew. Later I started wondering if that's true.  I'm thinking, though, that when it comes to dreams, you should trust your earliest memories of them.

3. Realized I forgot to title my last post, and panicked a bit about that.

4. Watched an episode of The Saddle Club.  There was a cast change in this episode. Now instead of having Max (Brett Tucker), we get Drew (Nikolai Nikolaeff).  I looked up Nikolaeff's filmography. He was on Camp. I think he was the guy who had feelings for Rachel Griffith's character.  If I remember correctly, he and Rodger Corser were competing for Griffith's affection.

Nikolaeff was also a star of Sea Patrol, but I don't think he was in the first season. I don't really remember him.

5. Checked Nikolaeff's Sea Patrol credits.  He started appearing in the third season.

6. Looked at the credits for Power Rangers Jungle Fury, because Nikolaeff was in that too. I was wondering if he was in the Power Rangers show starring Glenn McMillan or the one starring Firass Dirani.

I don't see either here.  So this is yet another Power Rangers show.  How many Power Ranger shows are out there?

7. Consulted Lord Wiki about the Power Rangers. He says it's an American show. There's been twenty-two seasons of nineteen different themed shows.

The first episode aired in August 1993, and there continues to be episodes in 2015.

8. Consulted Lord Wiki about the cast of the first season of the Power Rangers. It looks like most of them are American. So maybe back then, they filmed the series in America?

9. Looked at IMDb. The first season of the Power Rangers (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) was filmed in California. I see that it was the first three seasons.

10. Did some digging.  It looks like the first Power Rangers series NOT filmed in the US is Power Rangers Ninja Storm. This is the one with Glenn McMillan.

But it wasn't filmed in Australia. It was filmed in New Zealand.

10. Wondered if most of the Power Rangers are filmed in New Zealand, and I just assumed Australia, since it has Aussie actors.

11. Saw that many of the series/seasons of the Power Rangers was filmed in New Zealand.

12. Concluded that there have probably been no Power Rangers episodes filmed in Australia.

13. Found that the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers MOVIE was filmed in Australia.

I'm guessing it also took place in Australia, because one of the filming locations was the Sydney Opera House. You can't really use that in a film, and pretend you're elsewhere.

14. Consulted Lord Wiki about the plot of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I kind of just skimmed his information. It sounds like most of the film takes place on another planet.  He doesn't mention Australia. So I'm rethinking my idea about the Opera House. If they filmed there, it doesn't necessarily mean they used the exterior. They could have used the interior, which is less recognizable.

15. Saw a magpie on Wentworth.  I've heard several magpies on Australian TV shows, but I don't think I've ever seen one on a show.

16. Thought that Matt (Aaron Jeffrey) seemed like such a nice guy. I hope he doesn't have some hidden evil somewhere. Well, I do think he might have been involved in some adultery, but I don't see that as being very evil. His sweetness with Vera Kate Atkinson) makes up for it. At least in my book.  But I don't know...maybe he has some horrible secret that he's keeping. Maybe he's one of those people who are charming, but evil.

17. Wondered about Governor Erica (Leeanna Walsman). Is she more good or more bad? She seems to care about the inmates. She seems decent. Is it all an act?  Does she really just care about career advancement?  I know of one awful thing she did, but am not sure what her motive was.  And I wonder if she regrets it.  I have a feeling that she does have ethics, but just sometimes fails to act on them.

18. Wondered about Jackson (Robbie Magasiva). When he's not drugged by something or overcome by grief, he seems relatively decent.

19. Grossed out when I read this on Eric Thompson's Japan blog.

Another thing of note about the bus stop is that there was a disturbing amount of dark red patches on the seats and ground that looked very much like blood. It looked like it was dry but even so we made sure to avoid it. Another lady waiting either didn’t notice or didn’t care and managed to sit right in the middle of the biggest patch.

I'm really sensitive to gross things on the ground and on seats. It reminds me of when we we all went to a Japanese restaurant for my niece's birthday.  We parked in the parking garage, and headed to the restaurant. There was a lot of red stuff on the ground. Maybe blood, but probably not. I feared it was vomit, and hoped it was some kind of food substance. Tim thought it was sauce. Or so he says. He might have just been trying to reassure me.

But parents didn't even seem to notice it, or make any effort to step around it.  I think it's because they're not the type to look at the ground while walking. I am. Some might say this is due to me having a lack of confidence. But it's really more about me not wanting to step on anything disgusting.

Note: The fact that this was a Japanese restaurant is a coincidence. I'm not trying to infer a connection between the Japanese and gross red substances. 

20. Glad to hear from Thompson's blog that toilets seem to be important to Japanese people, and it's fairly easy to find one.  It reminds me of Disney World. They're good with the toilets there...except for maybe the Mexico Pavillon.  I think we've had a difficult time finding the toilet when we're in that area. Now I can't remember where it is. I know there's one at the restaurants, but is there one elsewhere?

I wish Manhattan was better with toilets. It's pretty decent uptown with the posh hotels. You can slip in the lobby. And some of the big stores have decent bathrooms. But it's often hard to find bathrooms in the lower half of the city.  Well, it's probably okay in the Financial District, but not so easy in the East Village, West Village, Soho, Chinatown, etc.  Or maybe that's changed. I don't know....

21. Learned from Thompson's blog that there is a belief in Japan that Jesus spent some time in the Mount Fuji area.  Fascinating! I never knew that.

22. Hoped the ending of the Wentworth episode, I just watched, isn't as awful and tragic as it looked.

It probably was, though, and now I'm going to have to hate Jacs even more.

Speaking of Jacs...back to the Harry Potter thing. I think she's actually more of a Voldemort than an Umbridge.

23. Read about leftovers on Nikki's blog about her experiences in South Africa. She talks about how a lot of people take food home from restaurants. But it seems they don't eat it themselves. They give it away to others—security guards, household staff, homeless people, etc.  I get the sense that Nikki was not very keen about people taking food home until she learned they were giving it away.  Is it so bad to eat it yourself?  I mean yes, it's good to give to others. But I think it's also kind of gross.  Beggars can't be choosers. I know. But I'd rather not eat food that's been germed up by someone I hardly know.

I sort of remember reading somewhere that Australians don't usually take home leftovers. I was wondering why not? Are they more okay with wasting food than we are?  But then someone commented on Nikki's blog.   Coming from the land of plenty, my question is “why don’t they just cut their portion sizes down that they serve you so there is no leftovers for takeaway boxes.

Maybe that's the desired mindset in Australia. Have smaller portions, and then you don't need leftovers. Though I do remember encountering some big portions when we visited.

24. Decided if it was up to me, I'd have smaller portions AND leftovers. A small portion for one person might still be too big for another. Why not take it home?

25. Did think of a downside to leftovers. The containers. It's creates extra trash. What's worse is that here they often use Styrofoam.

26. Found article about leftovers in Australia. They say asking for leftovers in Australia is cringe-worthy.  Some Aussies take the plunge and ask for the leftovers, and some of them get a big fat no.

27. Read article that says there's a movement to get Australians to embrace the whole doggy bag thing.  A nutritionist named Sarah Wilson says, Food waste is a bigger pollutant than cars and industry. Consumers are the biggest contributors to food waste. Because we’re vain. This is unfathomable and unforgivable.

The food waste as the bigger pollutant surprises me. I guess I'll take her word for it. For now.

28. Wondered about food cooked at home in Australia. Is that saved? Thrown away? Do Australians usually not want to eat leftovers?

29. Figured that Jack would fit well in Australia. He's not a big fan of leftovers.

30. Found Australian government page about food waste.  It says, When wasted food is thrown away and breaks down in landfill, together with other organic materials, it becomes the main contributor to the generation of methane – a gas 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Sadly despite our ability to embrace leftovers, my family still contributes to the problem. When we get together at the lake house, even with eating leftovers, a lot of food is still thrown away. The problem is too much is bought and made. There's a mindset that it's better to serve too much food than too less. I totally disagree. I think, if you serve a lot of food, people feel compelled to eat more.  If you have less food, maybe people will be more conservative. Then there'd be less unhealthy weight gain and less tummy aches.

31. Thought about this weekend at the lake house, and remembered that things were actually kind of okay with the food.  A lot was bought and made, but what we did right was not make too many more new things.  For example, Tim made a huge amount of pasta for Saturday's lunch. It was excessive. But then it turned out we were low on food for Monday's lunch, and my dad was quite relieved to find out we had leftover pasta.

What's bad, though, is Thanksgiving. We have leftovers from that meal, but then whole new meals are made Friday and Saturday night. Plus, my dad grills stuff for the lunches. It would be better if we just ate leftovers and just added a few extras to the meals as needed. For example, instead of my brother-in-law cooking a whole pork dish, black beans, brown rice, and steamed broccoli on Friday night; we could say Well, we still have a lot of turkey, plus some side dishes. But maybe we should add some steamed broccoli to the mix.  By Saturday, the leftovers might be gone; so then a new meal could be cooked for that night.

32. Wondered WHY restaurants serve big portions?  Is it to appear more generous?  I mean I don't really want a meal that's the size of a diet frozen least not when I go out to eat. But do we really need meals that are big enough to serve two people and still have leftovers?

33. Decided I'm pleased with large meals when it's a takeaway type thing.  It's nice having the food for lunch the next day. But it IS a pain at restaurants sometimes, because there are times we're not going home right away. Then we can't take the food with us, because it might go bad by the time we get home.

34. Started watching another episode of Wentworth.  I'm almost done with the first season.

35. Stopped liking Matt (Aaron Jeffrey). He said one thing and turned me against him.

What he said is that it's an inmates fault that their daughter was hurt. Why? Because she's the one who abandoned her daughter by going to jail.  Okay, that could be fair in some instances. However, in this case, the woman is in jail because she tried to kill her abusive husband. Not that this is a known fact at the prison, but I think it could be inferred by most people.

36. Thought scene with Jackson trying to comfort Bea (Danielle Cormack) was very touching.

37. Felt love for Jackson. He's an ass at times, but he can have great moments of kindness.

38. Thought Wentworth is a beautiful show, because while it show people being incredibly cruel, it also shows them being very compassionate.  Both the prisoners and the prison staff.

39. Cried a little bit while watching the end of the episode.

Now I have one episode left in season one. I'm going to start watching it soon.

40. Decided one of the reasons I love Wentworth is how it makes it difficult to determine whether the characters are good and bad.  I think the general message is that MOST people are not one or the other. They're a mixture of both.

I think there's one character who is pretty much evil. I don't see her as having any redeeming or sympathetic qualities.

But for the rest, the characters do and say bad things sometimes, but they still have some decency.

It kind of reminds me of Lost.  I think Lost was very good at showing the complexity of people.

41. Wondered if any characters of season one will not be back for season two. I have a feeling shit's going to hit the fan in the last episode.

Well, actually shit hits the fan in pretty much every episode of Wentworth. But I think, in this episode, the fanned shit might be even more potent than usual.

42. Had some thoughts while taking a break from Wentworth to do some chores. And I got bitten by some awful brand of mosquitos. The bites itch much more than usual.

But thoughts. Yeah. I should get to those.

I was thinking that if we subtract the evil horrible bully, Wentworth prison doesn't seem like an awful place to be.  Well, and I also think it's horrible being separated from family...especially your children. But for single women? Or women in unhappy marriages? Lonely women. Wentworth seems kind of pleasant and fun. It's looks fairly comfortable. You get outside time. There's lots of friendship and bonding.  The women get their own rooms, so there's some amount of privacy.

There's the lack of freedom. Yeah. It would be awful not to be able to hop out and go to the grocery store.  But you doesn't seem that different to school.

Actually the prison, at least in the show, reminds me a lot of school. There's the good stuff—the friendships and social fun. And as the prison has some guards that are kind and caring; schools sometimes have kind and caring teachers.  But both schools and prisons have bullies that make life absolutely miserable for some.

School kids are allowed more freedom because they have the weekends off and the holiday breaks. But during school days, there's definitely a lack of personal freedom. You need permission to use the toilet. You have to follow dress codes.

43. Wondered if real life prisons are also not-so-bad places, and how do I feel about that? Should prisons be more awful, so they're more of a deterrent? Maybe.  I don't like the idea of a serial rapist or cold-blooded killer having a comfortable time in prison.  But what about decent people who simply made a mistake?  Or people, like Bea, who acted out of desperation. I'd like to imagine that life in prison isn't awful for them.

44. Wondered if prisoners have Internet, and I'm also curious about whether they have things like cable and Netflix.

45. Found some type of activist website that lists Australian prison amenities.

Actually, I think this pertains to Victoria only.

46. Learned that prisoners can make one or two phone calls a week.  This doesn't include calls to lawyers.

They are restricted to five phone numbers. That kind of makes sense.  What if there was a bored and lonely prisoner who'd use the phone to make prank calls?  I was going to say, what if there's a person in prison who has six adult kids with six different households. Who do they not call?  But then I realized that they can make arrangements to visit each other when a call is expected.

47. Learned there are remand prisoners and convicted prisoners. I think on Wentworth,  maybe Bea is remand?  I'm not sure.  She's been in there a long time, though.  How long can someone be in prison without a conviction?  On the TV shows I've watched, people usually get the bail paid and are released.  So it's not really something I've ever thought about—someone stuck in prison without an actual conviction.

48. Learned that remand prisoners are allowed one contact visit a week, and daily box visits. I think box visits are the one where you have glass between you and your visitor. I'm not sure how many visits convicted prisoners get, but it's less than the remand ones.

49. Learned that prisoners are allowed to get money and reading material from visitors, but not other stuff.  The money goes into an account and can be used to order things.

50. Learned about the protection thing. That's been mentioned on Wentworth.  Prison is dangerous for some people. The website uses the example of the young, child molesters, and informers.  The system will put them in...I guess a special place?  I wonder if it works.  Do protected people usually end up surviving?

51. Learned from Lord Wiki that prison Internet use in Australia varies by state.

52. Read a Queensland government page about prison. They say there are no Internet privileges.

53. Looked at a Victorian government page. Their prisoners don't get Internet access either.

54. Decided to stop researching and go back to watching the show.

55. Finished the first season of Wentworth. Such an AMAZING show.

Now it will be time for me to go to to pick another show.

I'm hoping it will be the second season of Wentworth.

56. Got a new show. It's NOT Wentworth, unfortunately.  It's Reef Doctors. I'm kind of looking forward to that.

57. Went to the Reef Doctors page on Hulu. The guy in the promotional photo looks like Richard Brancatisano from The Elephant Princess.  Is it him?  I should know, since I looked at his filmography recently.

58. Saw that Reef Doctors is a fairly new show. The first season began in 2013. And I see that one of the stars is Lisa McCune. I know her from Sea Patrol.

59. Looked again at Richard Brancatisano's filmography. Yes, he is one of the stars of Reef Doctors.

60. Saw that Reef Doctors had only one season.  It makes me a little nervous, because if a show has one season, it might be because it's not so good. On the other hand, Freaks and Geeks had only one season.  I loved the show Now and Again, and that had only one season as well.

As for Australian shows that were pretty good and only lasted one season...The Straits comes to mind.

61. Decided the two shows I most want to choose for me are Neighbours and Wentworth. There was a brief time that I got bored with Neighbours, but then I got back into it. Saying good-bye was hard for me.

I do like trying out new shows, though.

62. Looked at my list of shows, and remembered that I'm also very eager to see the second season of Upper Middle Bogan.

Oh...and I'm seeing more! The Secret Life of Us, All Saints, Satisfaction....

WONDERLAND!  How could I forget Wonderland? What the hell is wrong with me? Though I'm doubting Hulu has new episodes yet.

I want to see more Sea Patrol and Rush. I don't think I'd be overly excited to watch them, but I'd be a little happy.

63. Thought of the 11th Doctor's good-bye speech, and how I should apply it to my TV shows.  It's okay to move forward and find new TV shows to love, as long as we remember the TV shows we used to love.

During our Doctor Who obsession days, I came to realize something.  Sometimes what makes me really sad about saying good-bye to something is not losing it, but the idea that one day I probably won't miss it anymore. I'll replace it in my heart with something else.

Yeah. There are some things that we miss forever. We never get over it. And those losses are the saddest of all.  But....I'm talking about more trivial things here. Not huge tragedies.   (just wanted to clarify that)

Anyway...when we watched Doctor Who, I wanted to believe I'd never lose the passion. But I remembered how we were so much into Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty. How I Met Your Mother, Lost, etc.  I loved those shows passionately.  By the time we watched Doctor Who, I didn't really care about them anymore. So that made me think, one day Doctor Who will be replaced in my heart as well.

And it's happened. I was so eager to watch the 12th doctor seasons, but now I don't really look forward to it. It doesn't matter to me anymore.

It's like Wonderland. I was so in love with that show, and eager to watch more episodes. Then I forgot it even existed. I needed to be reminded.

Harry Potter is another thing. I had so much Harry Potter love. Most of it is gone. In fact, I've grown tired of the whole thing. Though my dream last night rekindled some of the passion. I guess that's the good thing. I can lose the love for something, but then it might come back.

Sometimes all it takes is a dream.