Monday, June 15, 2015

Absence, The Dark Side, Party Planning, and Tearful Goodbyes

1. Read the Project 2014 blog post about pulling kids out of school. The parent bloggers had mixed feelings about having their kids miss a day of school for a family camping trip. BECAUSE...
The Department spokesperson proceeded to lecture all the Mums and Dads on truancy and how missing a few days of school would result in your child protegee failing to reach their full potential, indeed any potential and how they would be doomed for life.

Once again, I'm so glad we homeschool.

At least, in Project 2014's case, the school told them that a family event is a valid excuse for taking kids out of school. Though Project 2014 thought that wouldn't include a camping event. So, they lied.

I don't know. Why isn't a camping trip a family event?

What IS a family event?

But anyway. I think allowing a family event (whatever that may be) to be an excused absence is more generous than what I've experienced in the United States.

From what I remember, the high school I attended only allowed absences for personal illness and death in the immediate family. Maybe illness and hospitalizations counted too. I missed several days when my sister was hit by a car. I'm assuming that absence was excused.

2. Looked at the guidebook from a school close to us. It's not as bad as I imagined it would be. Students are allowed up to three days of consecutive illness absence.  If it goes on longer than that, they need a doctor's note. Death or life-threatening illness in the family is excused. And pre-approved family events are excused. They give examples—wedding, funeral, event sibling graduation. This is probably what the Project 2014's school was referring to.  Yeah. And camping probably doesn't count. But I'm glad they went anyway. I imagine kids learn much more on camping trips than they do in the classroom.

3. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

4. Read another editorial by Anthony Dillon. This one is about self-determination in Aboriginal communities.  I think there are two basic ideas in the editorial. One is that people should work to help themselves get out of trouble. Second is that Aboriginal communities shouldn't push away help from non-Aboriginal people and organizations.

I think I might have had the mindset that Dillon is speaking out against in the latter idea. I've had negative feelings about the notion of a white person coming in and saving the day. Communities should have the power to help themselves. What Dillon says is this ideal pushes an us vs. them mentality.

I'm starting to see his point there.

As for the other point of the editorial. I like what Dillon says here:  What is needed is personal accountability. Being accountable is not about blame. It is about finding solutions. Being accountable does not mean you are responsible for the plight you are in, instead it means you take responsibility for finding a solution. Suggesting that people begin to take responsibility for their lives, often invokes the argument of 'victim blaming'. However, victims are not being blamed.

One example that comes to mind is an alcoholic. Is it there fault they have an addiction to alcohol? No. And we should have sympathy for their plight. But if is up to them to fight against the affliction.

I feel the same way about my past eating disorder. Do I deserve guilt for being that way? Am I to blame? No. It's just something that happened because of my nature and things, in life, I encountered. But I feel it was definitely up to me to pull myself out of the problem.

5. Reminded myself that sometimes there are no ways to fix the problem. And sometimes fixing the problem is too close to impossible; and the victim is unable to be okay again. For example, Haley on Coronation Street can't pull herself out of her pancreatic cancer predicament.

6. Watched Paige (Olympia Valance) plan a crusade with the intent of getting naked equality for women. If men can go around without a shirt, why not women?

There's a valid point there. But with Melanoma dangers, it's probably best that both men and women keep their shirts on.

7. Read cancer website about clothes protecting us from the sun. It says all clothing offers some protection, but certain colors and fabrics don't keep you very safe.

8. Thought about a monologue and storyline I saw yesterday on The Secret Life of Us. It's the idea that people have different sides to themselves; and in good situations, we find people that love and accept all our sides.

It sounds lovely, but I had a hard time relating to it.  I don't love all sides of people. I LOVE some of the people. But I strongly dislike some of their sides.

That feeling was driven home for me this afternoon. Because someone in my family displayed the side of them that I strongly dislike—the side that's demanding, uptight, controlling, narcissistic, lacking in appreciation, and taking themselves way too seriously.  I prefer this person when they're being funny, silly, appreciative, and relaxed.

All my family members have their bad and good sides. I often try to stay clear of them when they're at their worse. And no, I don't avoid them when they're sad or troubled. What I'm referring to is when they're unnecessarily bitchy—waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

Do I have a bad side? No! I'm totally perfect. I'm wonderful to be around 100% of the time. Well, minus those moments where I storm out of the room, break a plate out of anger, randomly start crying, hold secret grudges, and bring up grievances from 10-20 years ago.

9. Thought about the ending monologue from the last episode of Sex in the City. It was about finding the person who loves the you that you love.  The idea from that monologue has stuck with me through the years.

I don't mind people disliking some of my sides; because it's likely that I dislike some of their sides. And I'm not fond of all my own sides. But I would greatly prefer to be around people who love the side of me that I love. This is the Dina who feels free to open up; acts silly, randomly start singing, laughs hysterically, loves Australia, shares the conversation, etc.  Sometimes I think there might be people who prefers the Dina that is quiet, polite, closed off, and lets the other people talk on and on about themselves.

Fortunately though...lately this doesn't seem to often be the case. Lately I've been the Dina I like to be; and people seem to appreciate that for the most part.

10. Started watching another episode of The Secret Life of Us.

I'm wondering if Claudia Karvan isn't going to last through the full third season; because there's talk of her being sent to Edenhope.

11. Tried to decide if I want to look for casting spoilers on IMDb.

Maybe I will.

Curiosity is getting the best of me.

12. Saw, on IMDb that Claudia Karvan is on for a total of only fifty-three episodes. A season is twenty-two episodes. I'm thinking she was on most or all of season one and two. That would total forty-four episodes.  So maybe for season three, she'll only be in nine. I'm guessing most of the nine will happen in the beginning of the season; and then maybe she'll come back for a guest appearance later on.

13. Looked closer at IMDb, and saw that I'm probably right. Karvan is on the episode I'm watching now, and will be on the one after that. Then she disappears; and reappears again for episode twenty, twenty-one, and twenty-two.

It looks like she doesn't come back at all for season four. From what I remember hearing, the only original cast member that remains for the last season is Deborah Mailman.

No...never mind.  Simon (David Tredinnick) sticks around as well.

14. Saw that Evan (Samuel Johnson) also appears in some episodes of the last season.

15. Saw that Christian (Michael Dorman) is in season four too. Although I'm not sure if he counts, because he wasn't an original cast member.

But I like him, so I'll count him.

Unless season four is total shit, I might end up liking it. Because Deborah Mailman is my favorite actress on the show.

16. Wanted to say that I'm often intrigued by this scene in the credits.

I have no idea why. It's just those people tend to grab my attention. The girl does some kind of body movement while the man watches. I wonder what they're doing.

And I wonder about the man and woman? Are they actors? If so, have they done other things? Or was The Secret Life of Us credits their one hit wonder?

If they're not actors, are they people who knew the creators of the show; and so were given the honor of appearing in the credits? Or was it random people who happened to be around when filming was being done?

17. Wondered if the man and woman in that credit scene tell people, they meet, about their role on The Secret Life of Us. When they meet someone new, do they say Hey, remember that show a few years ago? The Secret Life of Us....

18. Thought of Lily Rabe when I saw that Pamela Rabe is going to be one of the guest-stars of this episode.

I think Lily Rabe is so beautiful.

19. Felt a lot of hatred for the bully doctor (Kim Gyngell) on The Secret Life of Us.  He's so incredibly mean to Alex. I think it puts the patient in danger, because it's making Alex upset and nervous.

This show is not helping me overcome my dislike of doctors.

Yeah. Alex is kind, conscientious, and intelligent. There are good doctors out there! But I wonder if their spirit and decentness is often destroyed by all the shitty doctors.

20. Added Rex (Vince Colosimo) to my list of shit doctors.

Well, actually I don't know if he's a shit doctor. But he's a shit boyfriend. He's awful to Alex. So I'm assuming he's awful to patients as well. Although that's not necessarily the case. Maybe he shows his decent side to his patients.

What happened is Alex is upset about being treated like shit by the bully doctor. Instead of being sympathetic and supportive; he gives her a hard time about crying and walking out of the surgery.

21. Looked forward to Alex dumping Rex. I hope it happens!

22. Softened a bit towards Rex; because at the end of the scene, he gives Alex a nice hug.

23. Disappointed. Alex isn't dumping Rex. He's dumping her.

24. Reminded of Tim when seeing Gabrielle (Sibylla Budd) on a date with a guy who talks on his cell phone and responds to texts at the table.

Tim's done that at times. Some of them have been somewhat understandable. Others have not, but I probably pretended to be tolerant.

25. Felt bad for Alex. She has this great opportunity in London. She's excited about it; but doesn't want to lose her insensitive boyfriend Rex. She asks him to come with, and he says no. He also doesn't show any sadness about Alex leaving. Now she's acting all desperate; crying about having to lose him.

It's not a good situation.

I'm wondering what I'd want if I was in Alex's shoes.  I'd want someone to support my career. But I'd want them to act sad about me leaving.  At the very least, I'd want them to not PUSH me to go. I wouldn't want it to seem like they're happy to get rid of me. That's pretty much how Rex is acting.

26. Got idea that Rex is actually over Alex; but doesn't want to dump her. So he's just kind of hoping the universe takes her away.

27. Decided I'm sympathetic towards Rex if he secretly has fallen out of love with Alex; and is relieved she'll be leaving for the new job.  I'm not impressed if he DOES love her, and is simply an asshole about the whole thing.  Then it's about taking someone for granted and failing to express love.

It's kind of like what happened with Evan and Alex. As soon as a romance started blossoming between them, Evan left the country. Then he hurt Alex by not showing a continuation of the feelings while he was away. He failed to write her anything sentimental or romantic. All her sent her was an impersonal videologue.

All that would have been fine and understandable if Evan had lost interest and/or fallen in love with someone else. But he hadn't. He had feelings for Alex the whole time. He just failed to express himself.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it's inevitable that we're going to hurt those we don't love enough. But it's foolish and a huge waste when we hurt those we love, simply because we're lazy, stubborn, taking things for granted, and afraid to be vulnerable.

28. Intrigued by psychological experiment on The Secret Life of Us.

Kelly goes into a waiting room to wait to be involved in an experiment. She hears someone screaming for help. She looks concerned and confused about what to do. She looks to the other people in the room to see what they're doing. They just sit there calmly, ignoring the screaming.

Then the show cuts to Kelly watching herself on screen with the person in charge of the experiment (Rhys Muldoon). He reveals that she was the subject of an experiment on group cohesiveness. They wanted to see if she'd follow the groups lead. Or would she be different and help the screamer.

The thing that surprises me is that Kelly doesn't seem ashamed or disappointed in herself. She seems more fascinated.

I think I'd be disappointed if it were me. I'd like to imagine I'd be the one who tries to take action and save the day.

I probably wouldn't though. I'd probably do the same thing Kelly did.

Kelly is one step ahead of me, because she's accepting and understanding of her behavior.

29. Figured psychologists could do an experiment to see how people react to finding out they were part of an experiment, and acted like an average person rather than a heroic person.  Are they okay with it? Do they feel depressed afterwards? Angry? Defensive? Do they make excuses?

Maybe there has been a study like that.....

I'm not sure how to go about finding it.

30. Disturbed by racism scene on the show. Evan and his friends make a controversial advertisement about pads and menstruation. They refuse to skirt around the fact that periods involve bleeding. They show it to the asshole who ordered the ad. He looks displeased while watching it. I was guessing he was uptight about the blood thing. But no. His complaint was that Kelly (who does the monologue about blood) is a black woman. Asshole!

And he was probably a prude about the blood issue as well.

31. Had to admit I was wrong about Rex.  He ends up trying to find a job so he can go to London with Alex. He says he only said no initially, because he didn't want to promise something he couldn't deliver.

Still, that's kind of annoying. He could have told her he'd try to get a job. What's wrong with that? She'd be understanding if he ended up not being able to find one. It's better than making her feel he doesn't love her enough.

Maybe I don't feel wrong about Rex. I think he was being an ass, but in the end, he improved a bit.

32. Started watching another episode of The Secret Life of Us.

33. Delighted because I ended up being wrong about the mean doctor on the show. Well, he WAS mean. But it was one of those things where his bark was worse than his bite.  He gave Alex the idea he didn't like her, but in reality he was just giving her tough love.

Maybe it goes back to people having different sides to themselves. Maybe the doctor isn't a nice doctor pretending to be mean. Maybe he's a doctor who is sometimes nice and sometimes an asshole.
34. Respected Alex for how she's putting together her own good-bye party. She's planning it with help from her friends. She's leading the way, and then delegating responsibility to others. She's very organized about the whole thing.

It's much better than demanding her friends put a party together for her; demand that they plan it without her help and input (so she doesn't need to stress about it); then becomes furious and makes threats when someone accidentally mentions the party in front of her.  Because some people act that way.  Unfortunately.

35. Had a close-to-crying moment when Alex read letter from Kelly.

Kelly was acting like a bitch...not at all interested in going to Alex's party.  But the letter revealed that Kelly was acting that way, because she was too sad about Alex leaving.

I had a feeling it was something like that. Kelly is such a wonderfully nice woman— full of love for her St. Kilda friends. Of course her rudeness would have to be about sadness and not about bitchiness and callousness.

36. Fought back tears during scene with Alex, Evan, and Kelly.  It was bad enough with Evan having a  voice-over about how this was the last time, for many years, that he and Alex were alone together.  Then Kelly walks in the room. She hadn't meant to go to the party. She was supposed to go away with her boyfriend. But she had been too sad, and he drove her to the party.

37. Found out the good-bye party wasn't just a good-bye party. It was a surprise wedding between Alex and Rex.

38. Figured if I didn't have an issue with dry eyes this week; there'd probably be tears streaming down my face right now. That being said...Claudia Karvan's exit scene did provide my eyes with a bit of needed moisture.

39. Thought more about the Kelly situation—being a bitch, but then explaining herself. I think that's fine.  We all have irrational moments of bitchiness. As long as you apologize and explain yourself; it's usually okay.

I had one of those moments this week. My sister drove me home so I could take care of our cat before returning to the lake house.  Later my sister, my nieces, and Jack came to pick me up.  I get a bit obsessive-compulsive when I leave Max. I worry that I'm going to close off the kitchen with his food, water, and litter box, and he won't be in it. Or I'll close off the laundry room that has his litter box. I become paranoid about something going wrong, and sometimes I check multiple times to make sure things are okay.

My niece and Jack wanted to come into the kitchen. I didn't want that, because I was afraid Max would escape without me noticing. Or something else would go wrong.

It's very doubtful anything would go wrong. I was being irrational. A bit nuts, actually. And bitchy.

When we got into the car, I explained my worries and apologized. My niece and Jack were both very nice and understanding.

Now if someone acts like this too often; then an apology and explanation won't make up for it.

But we all have occasional moments of nuttiness. Most people can be understanding of that, because they've had moments of nuttiness as well.