Friday, May 29, 2015

Reed Doctors, Vibrio, Traditional Japanese Inns, and Acting

1. Dreamed about watching Wentworth.

I decide to have a quick peak at the first episode of the second season. But then I end up watching more than I planned. A certain character, who I assumed died in the finale of the first season, has returned. I figure, although her injuries looked catastrophic, she was able to be saved. One of my nieces (or both?) come into the room, and I realize I should probably turn the show off. I regret that I started watching it in the first place. I'm thinking when it becomes the official time for me to watch the season, I will have to re-watch the 30 minutes I already watched. For some reason, that annoys me.  

2. Excited to start watching Reef Doctors today.

3. Watched an episode of The Saddle Club.  It was all about misconceptions and accusations.  Is Phil cheating on Stevie with Carole? Is Phil poisoning the horses?  Is Deborah cheating on Max with Drew? Did Veronica really gain two sizes because she's eating too much ice-cream?

The problem with happy feel-good shows is we know in the end, it's all going to be a case of mistakes and mistaken identities.  There are rarely any surprises.  If it was a dark and edgy show, there might really be cheating and poisoning.  

4. Started watching Reef Doctors. I hope it's exciting as it looks.  From the title and the opening credits, I get the idea that it will involve venomous animals sometimes. I hope so!  Those animals scare me, but at the same time, I find them fascinating. 

5. Grossed out by a leg wound on Reef Doctors. Sometimes I can be a bit squeamish.

6. Wrote something here, but later came back to proofread and it was mysteriously gone.

7. Thought about how there is so much blood on Wentworth. Injuries that kill. That didn't gross me out. But this leg wound is haunting me. What's the deal with that?

8. Wondered if maybe, with Wentworth, I'm distracted by the tragedy and crisis surrounding the wounds. I'm thinking about the grief and the complications that will result, so therefore I'm spending less of my mind energy on the actual blood stuff.  With the leg wound, the injured guy didn't seem to be in immediate danger and seemed to be in a good mood, so a lot of my focus was on the actual injury.  

9. Learned that the leg wound is an ulcer.

10. Listened to the dialogue on the show again. I THINK I'm hearing that it's a coral ulcer. If the show wasn't called Reef Doctors, I'd probably assume I misheard something.  

11. Looked at medical information about coral injuries. I think basically someone gets cut on the coral, and then something from the coral infects the wound. 

Interesting...they say alcoholics have a tendency to develop bacterial infections by something called Vibrio SPP.  

12. Learned, from Lord Wiki, that this Vibrio thing is known for causing foodborne illness via undercooked seafood. It usually lives in saltwater. 

13. Read FDA information about Vibrio and the danger of eating raw oysters.

I always thought it was Norovirus that we had to worry about when it comes to oysters. 

If you don't share my phobia of vomit, AND you don't have liver disease, cancer, immunity problems, diabetes, or iron overland disease; then it might be okay for you to take the risk.  If you get infected, you'll probably feel absolutely horrible. But it seems there's a fairly good chance you'll survive.  

14. Saw that the alcoholic problem with Vibrio is due to liver issues. I don't think you necessarily have to have the disease of alcoholism. You just have to use alcohol enough to cause damage to your liver.  I think you need a good liver to be able to fight Vibrio.  

15. Confused about whether heavy alcohol use also puts you at risk for Vibrio skin infections. I guess it does, because I first read about it on the page about coral cuts. It wasn't about food poisoning.  But maybe they're saying if you got it on your skin, somehow you might also ingest it?

15. Found medical paper about Vibrio infection. And yes, alcoholism increases risk of skin infection as well. At least I think so. I hope I'm understanding things correctly.  

16. Wanted to give another warning. What I read on the FDA site is that the only way to kill the Vibrio is with heat. Stomach acid doesn't kill it; nor does drinking alcohol. It doesn't matter if the oyster comes from so-called clean water, or if it's a fancy reputable restaurant.  OR...who knows. Maybe the FDA is trying to scare us.  

17. Started feeling paranoid about this Vibrio thing. Is it just in oyster? Should I worry about Tim and Jack eating sushi?  

18. Read health page about eating sushi. They say illnesses from parasites and Vibrio are rare.  But if you have health problems, you should avoid it. It's kind of like pregnant woman having to avoid cat poop and soft cheeses.  

19. Read article about how the risk of getting sick from raw oysters is increasing.  The reason is that although the little Vibrio bugs don't like super hot temperatures, they do like warm ones. They're more likely to infect oysters in warm water. And now the oceans are getting warmer, so more oysters are infected. It's another downside of climate change.

20. Reminded of one of my bad nights in Australia.  

It was our first trip there. We were in Port Stephens. This was back when I had a crush on every single Australian person.  I was delighted because we befriended some Aussie families who were staying at the same holiday park.  

On the last night, all the adults got intoxicated except me. So that was one problem. You know, how they say you need a designated driver with drinking. Well, I also think you need a designated parent. All of us had young children, but I felt I was the only sober one. I can't remember exactly why this was a problem. I think there was something that would have concerned most parents if they were sober, but was of little interest to the drunk parents.  I think it had something to do with bikes? Maybe the kids were riding their bikes in the dark.  That's dangerous, right? Or was I just being uptight, and if I drank, I'd be rightfully relaxed like the others?

Eventually, Jack wanted to go to bed. I think I was reluctant to leave. Or maybe I wanted Tim to come with us? But one of the woman said something that hurt my feelings. It was along the lines of, if you want to be part of our Aussie culture, you have to accept the gender divisions.  Of course, those weren't the words she used. But what she really wanted was for me to get the hell out of their party, but leave my charming husband with them.  It was really bullshit, because she was a woman and she was staying behind. Well, because we were hanging out at their cabin, and all other kids were sleeping there together.  

I guess another way to interpret the message was, Go do your woman's work, and let your husband have his fun. With us.  

In Tim's defense, I usually AM the one in our marriage who happily forgoes socialization to be by myself or take care of our child.  I couldn't expect him to understand that this was an exception for me.  I don't think he understood my massive crush on every single Australian person.  

Anyway, why did I think of this just now?  Because also that night, Jack was given raw oyster to eat. by one of the other mothers. I was furious with Tim, because he gave it the okay.  He doesn't fear gastro illnesses like I do.  So not only did I go to bed feeling rejected and disillusioned...but I also was paranoid about Jack waking up and vomiting all over the place.

21. Decided that I prefer loving Australia in the way I do now...without having a crush on every single Australian. Although it was hard at first.  The change occurred gradually between our 2009 and 2013 trip.  So I think maybe I felt kind of sad about the whole thing when we visited in 2013. Or I was kind of confused.  

I wrote a whole post about it. Maybe I should read that. It might give me a clue to how I felt, because now I'm not so sure.   

22. Read the post.  Reading it, it actually made me kind of sad...or just emotional.  The change was almost like a coming-of-age experience.  Can you have a coming-of-age experience in your 40's?

23. Watched more of Reef Doctors. It's exciting and suspenseful.  

24. Learned about ryokan from Eric Thompson's Japan- travel blog.  They're traditional Japanese inns.  If you sleep in one, you sleep on the floor using a futon. You get some kind of special dinner called Kaiseki, and an onsen bath. 

25. Learned from Lord Wiki that onsen baths are hot springs. I think Tim mentioned them to me. He said it involves being naked in front of other people.  

26. Learned from Lord Wiki that Kaiseki dinners are multi-coursed meals. It involves small servings of a variety of things.  I hope I'm understanding this right.

It reminds me of this vegetarian Indian restaurant we used to go to in NYC.  It was multi-coursed and involved getting to try a small sample of a lot of different things.  

27. Read about Eric and Kate's experience in the onsen baths. They didn't get naked in front of anyone. They were the only ones in the bath. Both of them were a bit nervous about the whole thing, but they were brave enough to go for it.  I would hope that I'd do the same.

28.. Read about the toilet room at the Japanese inn.  I also want to briefly state that the communal toilets were very clean and we didn’t see anyone in there either- they’re separated into stalls like normal. Just make sure to use the special toilet slippers.

I'm not too keen on communal toilets. I like having our own private one. But it might be worth the sacrifice, so we can experience a traditional Japanese inn. Maybe if it's just one night?  I don't think I'd want to do several nights.

I wonder about the toilet slippers. I just started reading the novel The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed out the Window, and the 100-year-old man uses slippers when he uses the toilet. It's because he's old and pees on his feet when aiming for the toilet.

I'm not old, and I'm already having pee issues. As if it wasn't bad enough that I have to pee way too many times a day, and at night. But also, my pee often goes in the wrong place—on the floor or/and on my feet.

At least I'm not wetting the bed...yet.

29. Concluded that Reef Doctors is going to end up making me paranoid about a variety of things.

30. Feared the ocean and decompression illness.

31. Felt there was something I didn't like about Reef Doctors, but I can't really say what it is.

All I know is it's the same thing I disliked about Under the Dome and The Leftovers.

I think it's something with the acting, writing, and directing. Maybe it seems somewhat fake to me?

Or it's like I'm unable to forget that I'm watching a show and these are all actors.

Well, I think most of us always know that we're watching actors. But then a part of us is able to forget. I think it's that whole suspension of disbelief thing.

32. Had huge amounts of appreciation for TV shows in which I find it incredible that the lawyer is not a lawyer. He's an actor. The police officer is not a police officer. She's an actress. And no, that's not really her daughter. The woman and child aren't related.

What's even more impressive is when I've seen the actor playing a different role in the past, and I still see them as the character they are playing.

For example: I know Kate Atkinson is an actress. I've seen her on Offspring. But when I see her on Wentworth, I totally believe she's really a prison guard who has an overbearing mother. It's shocking to me that this isn't true.  The same goes for Nicole da Silva. I know she's an actress. I saw her as a police officer on Rush. But I still manage to see her as a prisoner.  It feels very real to me.

33. Decided that although I'm having trouble believing that Lisa McCune is a medical doctor in the tropics; I don't remember having trouble believing she worked in the navy when I watched Sea Patrol.

Things like this make me imagine that when I think I'm seeing subpar acting, a lot of the blame goes to the director and/or writer. On the same token, with superb acting, a lot of the credit probably goes to the director and writer.  It's like a recipe in which the three main ingredients need to be almost perfect. One off ingredient and the whole thing goes a bit sour.

34. Started watching another episode of Reef Doctors.

35. Saw an adorable Lace Monitor on Reef Doctors.

36. Learned from Lord Wiki that monitors are the animals labeled goannas by Australians.  The lace monitor is the second largest Aussie monitor. The largest is the perentie. We saw some of those at Wildlife Sydney.

37. Found one of our photos of the perentie. At least I think that's what he/she is.

38. Glad that the lace monitor bit the human on Reef Doctors. He was annoying. He kept telling the monitor he was all right, and that he should calm down. But the poor reptile is being kidnapped! Why should he feel calm about that?

39.  Imagined the newlyweds on the show are going to have a challenging marriage. The bride wants a comfortable resort with restaurants. The groom wants adventure in the unspoiled wilderness. The groom got what he wanted.

What kind of offends me is one of the characters talks to the couple and comes away saying the woman is high maintenance.  Is that fair? What about the man? He obviously picked a honeymoon place without any consideration for what would be comfortable for his new wife.

I don't think either holiday preference is better than the other, but there should have been honesty and compromise when making the plans.

40. Disgusted by the arrogance and rudeness of Dr. D'Alessandro (Richard Brancatisano). He reminds me some of the doctors I've encountered in real life. They're the type who seem to think they're superior to the patients AND the nurses.

41. Wondered what type of medical catastrophe is going to befall the newlywed couple.

42. Enjoyed Bec's post about her favorite witty quotes. I want to share one, but am having a hard time picking my favorite.

Maybe I'll go with....A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

That rings true for me. I'm not an overly positive person, and I think the whole positive-thinking thing is usually bullshit. But I'm remembering times where I've been around a negative and/or uptight person, and I think I might end up being more positive than usual.  It's almost like I'm being positive to spite them. It's kind of bitchy, now that I think of it. But you's not just about the other person being negative, but that also they're annoying me with other things. I'm probably angry at them about something else that I've tried to sweep under the rug.  My positivity is an act of passive-aggressiveness.

43. Continued to wait for disaster to meet up with the newlyweds. There's only 19 minutes left in the episode. It should happen soon. Right?

44. Stopped having to wait.  It's happening now.

45. Saw that the bride stepped on a stonefish. Her reaction was somewhat underwhelming. I thought stonefish stings were supposed to be incredibly painful. And yeah, the woman screams. But it sounds more like someone who has gotten bit by a few fire ants.

She's hysterical, but it seems more out of fear than pain.

46. Failed to appreciate the gratuitous vomit imagery on the show.

47. Intrigued by this whole storyline. Dr. Stewart (Lisa McCune) is refusing to give the bride anti-venom until she knows for sure that this is indeed a stonefish bite. The bride stepped on a stonefish, and the fish was brought in for identification, but the doctor still wants confirmation. So maybe the bride's reaction isn't one I imagined for a stonefish bite, because it is NOT a stonefish bite.

Dr. D'Allesandro argues that the patient has the right symptoms (high blood pressure and vomiting). Dr. Stewart suggests this could be because the patient is hysterical.

48. Started to get used to Lisa McCune as a doctor. Sometimes it's just a period of adjustment. It's like it took an episode or two for me to get used to Claudia Karvan's role in Puberty Blues.  At first, I felt like it was more like impersonation than acting.

49. Decided I had no trouble transitioning from Richard Brancatisano as a Manjipoor resident to a cocky physician.

50. Wondered if I'd ever become a pro at spelling Brancatisano's name. For now, it's a struggle.

51. Read A Welsh Girl in Australia's post about her bathroom renovations. Strangely, I prefer the before bathroom over the after bathroom.  But I do like the new shower more than the bathtub. I think it's just the old tile I prefer.

52. Started watching another episode of Reef Doctors.

I wish my Hulu wouldn't freeze so much,

53. Read about Caz Vincent's unfriendly experience at William Creek.

Unfriendly people can ruin a place for travelers...or at least make it go down a few notches.

54. Started adding more Netflix shows to my to-watch-list. So far, I've added Rake, The Code, and Secrets and Lies.  I might add a few movies as well.