Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Funerals, Josef Brown, CJD, and Vegetarianism,

1. Dreamed about Paul Robinson from Neighbours. There's a person with mind-reading powers who can watch someone sleeping and get an idea of their dreams. The person watches Paul and comes up with the words "Hope" and "Cancer".

2. Had a dream inspired by Pirate Islands: The Lost Treasure of Fiji.  We're at a tourist attraction, and I'm trying to get my parents excited about the fact that where we are at is created by virtual reality. 

I think the dream was also inspired by showing Melissa, my sister, Minecraft the other day. Jack and his cousin Darcy were building Starbucks together. I thought it was so cool that they were working together to create something on two separate screens. And I thought what they made within about an hour or two was pretty impressive. Melissa didn't seem overly impressed. I mean she said nice things, but it sounded forced.

3. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

They're getting ready for Matt's funeral. It feels strange watching it, because we have a funeral this week.

4. Thought it was interesting to see all the different reactions to Matt's death. Toadie (Ryan Moloney) feels strange, because it was his text that Danni (Laura McIntosh) was reading in her car when she hit Matt. Susan (Jacki Woodburne) remembers that the first ceremony she did as a celebrant was Matt and Lauren's (Kate Kendall). Now she's doing her first funeral, and it's for Matt.

Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou) feels odd about going to the funeral, since Matt died saving her husband's life. She's unsettled by the fact that if he didn't die, they'd probably be going to Brad's funeral instead.

And then there's Nick (Damien Fotiou). He sits there giving advice on how to avoid crying at the funeral. What a shit-head. Well, maybe I'm saying that, because I already know Nick is evil. But either way. What kind of person gives advice on how-not-to-cry at a funeral? What the hell is wrong with crying at a funeral?

5. Thought that these episodes of Neighbours kind of feel like a public service announcement against texting while driving.

It's timely for me, because my brother-in-law Judd was hit by someone who was busy texting. No one was killed, fortunately.

6. Felt Neighbours is going strong on the villain thing. There's two of them—Dimato (David Sarafin) and Nick, and they both make me so angry. I guess they'd qualify as villains that I love to hate.

I don't know if I love hating them, though.

Do I?

Maybe it is cathartic, in a way.

7. Started watching an episode of Pirate Island: The Lost Treasure of Fiji. 

8. Tried to understand the premise of the show. Kids get sucked into a virtual reality game and find that the virtual reality game is real. Or it feels real. Does that mean it's some kind of alternate universe, and the virtual reality game was a type of door between the two worlds?

9. Considered that maybe the show is similar to something like Pleasantville—characters sucked into a fictional world that seems to be real.

10. Started watching another episode of Pirate Island.

I didn't like the show too much at first, but now it's starting to grow on me.

11. Saw from IMDb that Pirate Island: The Lost Treasure of Fiji was actually filmed in Fiji rather than Melbourne and Port Douglas like the earlier series.

12. Figured I will be posting this in a few days. Things are going to be kind of intense and busy this week, so I'm not sure I'll have enough material each day to do a blog post.

Maybe I'll post this at the end of the week. Or maybe in the middle?  We'll see....

13. Went to Radio Times, because I was very bored and wanted to see Coronation Street stuff. I ended up seeing Neighbours spoilers.  Well, it's spoilers for me, because I'm a few months behind.

Apparently, Paul and Naomi are going to be romancing each other.

14. Thought about how my blog might be full of spoilers for people watching Neighbours if they're behind me on episodes.

15. Decided it's pretty much impossible to have a blog dealing with television without providing spoilers, and it's almost impossible to read about your favorite shows on the Internet without encountering spoilers. The exception, to the latter, would be if you are totally caught up with the show.

16. Dreamed about Australia.  There was something about a museum I loved and regret about spending too much time in our apartment/hotel room.

17. Attended a funeral, and felt a little gratitude towards Nick and his not-crying-at-funeral advice.  Yeah, I thought the advice was stupid and cold-hearted. What's so bad at crying at funerals?

But there were moments at the funeral, we went to today, where I didn't want to cry. I'd be crying at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons.  The thing is, I couldn't really remember what Nick's advice was. It was something about the roof of your mouth. I just pressed my tongue to the roof of my mouth. I'm not sure if that was the trick or not. But I got distracted by thinking of Nick and struggling to remember the advice. That did the trick.

18. Found advice from one of Lord Wiki's relatives about stopping crying. I was right about Nick's advice. One of the suggestions is to press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. So maybe it really works, and it wasn't just about me being distracted.

19. Read scary news article about a man in Sydney who was diagnosed with Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease. It's one of the scary proton disease things. I'm not sure if it's the same thing as Mad Cow Disease. Or related?

I think they had a storyline about it on All Saints.

20. Found a medical page about the disease. It occurs in about one in one million people.

It's not Mad Cow Disease but related. Both conditions are part of a group called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.  Also included with the group is Fatal Familial Insomnia.

FFI was also a storyline on All Saints.

21. Fascinated by what I read regarding diagnosing the disease. The only way to confirm CJD is by an autopsy or brain biopsy. But because diagnosing the patient doesn't help with treatment, the biopsy is discouraged. Plus, there's a risk to the surgeon—in terms of contracting the illness.

So if I'm understanding things correctly, the diagnosis is often made with a process of elimination.

Was this the case with the man in Sydney? Or did he get a brain biopsy?

22. Hoped the family and friends of Frank Burton (the man with CJD) have the strength to get through their difficult time.

23. Dreamed about being in a pool with crocodiles.

24. Consulted Lord Wiki about Josef Brown. Like his Neighbours co-star, Kip Gamblin, Brown is a dancer. And he too was on Dance Academy.  I don't remember him. being there.

Brown's big thing is playing Patrick Swayze's role in the stage production of Dirty Dancing.

If I'm understanding things right, Australia was first to turn the movie into a stage musical, and Brown was the first to do the Swayze role.

Now that Matt has died, maybe Brown will have more dancing time.

25. Saw from IMDb that Josef Brown was in thirteen episodes of Dance Academy. He played Patrick.

I'm guessing Patrick is a dance instructor?

26. Consulted Lord Wiki's cousin, who confirms that Patrick is a dance instructor.

27. Went to Josef Brown's official website.

28. Saw that Brown is passionate about vegetarianism. He wrote and produced a web series about the subject.

29. Watched first episode of At the Fork, the vegetarian propaganda film. It worked on me! Or at least it didn't make want me to stop being a vegetarian.

I did like the writing of the episode. The girl tries to talk to her parents about the environmental impacts of eating meat. Their response is that you can't believe everything you read. This is what we say when we don't like what the other person has learned. If we like what we're hearing, we're probably less skeptical.

But yeah. You can't believe everything you read. Nor can you fully believe everything you've heard or learned in school.

Nothing is absolutely guaranteed to be true.

30. Convinced by the second Josef Brown vegetarian propaganda film that everyone should become vegetarian.

And it makes me happy that we ate at a vegan ice-cream place this afternoon.

31. Felt annoyed that huge amounts of deli meat was bought for our last lake house weekend.

It's not enough for my family to eat meat, but there also must always be a surplus of meat provided.

Having this excessive meat is bad for our health, bad for the wallet, and bad for the environment.

32. Wondered if Melissa and I being vegetarian has even had any impact  on the amount of meat purchased. I'm doubting it. I'm betting that if one of us decided, in the middle of a meal, that we wanted to eat meat, there'd be enough there for us to eat.

What I mean is, I don't think my dad started buying less meat when we became vegetarian.

But I hope I'm wrong about that.

33. Felt a bit hopeless—wondering if the popularity of vegetarianism has brought upon any reduction in meat production.

Are grocery stores buying/selling less meat? Are restaurants serving less meat? Are factory farms mistreating and killing less animals?

34. Imagined a world where meat is an expensive rare delicacy, and the eaten animals are raised on idyllic farms.

35. Looked at an article about the meat industry.  They have a chart that shows the best and worst foods for the environment. The three worse are lamb, beef, and cheese!  I'm not guilty for the first two, but am very guilty in terms of the third. I love cheese and eat it often. Although today I was tempted to get cheese on my veggie burger but decided not to. So I'll pat myself on the back for that.

36. Saw from chart that milk is low on the chart. So for some reason cheese is bad but milk is not.

Still, I don't think the lactating cows are given a lot of tender love and care, so I should cut down on ice-cream as well.

37. Felt disgust for people in the beef industry. Not only do they often provide a bad life for cows, but they also contribute to human health problems and cause a big carbon footprint.

So I'm not feeling a lot of love for Rockhampton Queensland right now.

38. Had fantasy about Rockhampton losing their reputation as being the beef capital of Australia and becoming the kingdom of garbanzo beans instead.