Friday, July 24, 2015

Future Australia Trips, Emotions, Relationships, and Toy Store Gender Divisions

1. Saw that the Australian dollar is down to .73 US dollars.

It's making me want to jump on a plane and go to Cairns.

Why Cairns? Because I have a weather app on my phone, and I can see Cairns has really lovely weather lately. Brisbane too.

2. Figured by the time we paid for the plane tickets and got ourselves there, both the weather and the dollar might change to something that pleases me less.

3. Decided that although it can be fun to be spontaneous, I prefer planning things out. I want to stick to my plan of waiting until my 50th birthday to go. Maybe we'll go a couple of years before that, but I don't want to go eight years earlier than planned.

4. Decided that I'll seriously consider going earlier than planned if the dollar is low again, and we have accumulated enough airline points to get us into business class.

5. Found a link to a song on one of my old blog posts.  On my old post, I talked about liking it a lot. I was curious and decided to have a re-listen

The song is on the Australian Screen website; and the description says the backing vocals were done by the Sapphires.  That's pretty cool. Back when I heard the song the first time, I had never heard of the Sapphires, because the movie hadn't come out yet.

6. Watch an episode of Neighbours.

7.  Started to watch an episode of Packed to the Rafters.

8. Liked a scene with Rachel (Jessica Marais) going on a blind date with Marcus (Wayne Bradley).

Rachel learns from her friend that Marcus has just come back from Cuba. So when they meet, Rachel asks him about this.

Marcus is very negative about Cuba. He talks about potholes and other problems.

Rachel completely ignores his negativity and talks about more positive experiences she's heard; and talks about wanting to go there someday.

I think they both made a mistake in the interaction.

First of all, I think Marcus should have tried to be less negative. Yes, he had a bad time in Cuba. It happens sometimes. We go to a place, and it ends up disappointing us.  I think with a trusted friend, or family member, it's more safe to completely bitch about a place.  With someone new, we might be trying to impress, it might be wise to try to soften our negativity.  Maybe he could have balanced his negative statements with some positive one. How about, Beautiful scenery, though the potholes got on my nerves.  Or if he really had nothing positive in his Cuba experiences, maybe compare it to another place he prefers. I can't say I had a really good time in Cuba. I much preferred South Korea. 

This statement might have multiple benefits. First; He'd be showing that he's not a complete misery guts. Second, it will help change the subject to something he prefers talking about. Third, it gives the idea that he's well traveled.  Although...all this would fail if Marcus has traveled only to Cuba.

As for Rachel. She looked like a horrible listener in the scene. It's like she asked a question, and didn't listen to the answer. She completely ignored his feelings. I think a better choice might have been, Oh. Sorry you had such a bad experience. Was it all horrible? Was there anything you did enjoy?  Or, Yeah. That doesn't sound good; though I've had friends who went there and loved it. I guess it all depends on your personal experiences and perspectives.

9. Saw that I spoke too soon.

The show returns to the conversation. Rachel names off various places, and Marcus has something bad to say about all of them.

Really. Marcus should just stop traveling...and talking to people.

10. Thought of the movie Inside Out.  I think Marcus is a case of someone having disgust take too much control of the reigns.  Those type of people annoy me as much as the ones who give too much power to joy.

Emotional balance is a wonderful thing.

11. Felt bad for Ben Rafter (Hugh Sheridan). He's given the challenge of organizing an event at the boat club.  If Ben's event is more popular than the guy organizing an event for the next night, he wins a job.  Ben works hard to put together a trivia event. Then the only people to show up are his family.

It reminds me of when Tim and I organized an end-of-the-year party, and invited the teachers at the preschool where I worked.  From what I remember, several people said they'd be coming. We had a lot of food ready, including Tim's homemade sushi. I think only one or two people showed up.

12. Started to watch another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

13. Thought that the new guy working for Dave Rafter (Eric Thomson) looked like someone. I couldn't figure out who. But now I think I know.

Eddie Perfect. But younger and with brown hair.

Or maybe not.

Maybe Eddie Perfect's not the guy.

But he looks like SOMEONE....

14. Saw that Craig McLachlan is in this episode.

I thought it looked like him, but I didn't think it was him. I guess because earlier I had quickly glanced at the cast list and didn't see his name.

It turns out I just didn't look close enough.

15. Saw that Craig McLachlan was in season one of Packed to the Rafters. He played Dave's former bandmate. And...well, eh still plays the same character. I just didn't know who he was at first.  Now I remember.

16. Learned that the guy who looks like someone is named Jake. Well, that's his character's name. But knowing that character name helps me get to the actor name.

It's James Stewart.

By the way, I no longer think he looks like Eddie Perfect.

Or maybe he does.

I'm lost here.

Anyway, James Stewart is on eighty-three episodes of Packed to the Rafters.  I guess I'll be seeing a lot of him.

17. Thought about differences in relationships while watching Packed to the Rafters.

The Rafters go to a party.  Nathan (Angus McLaren) attracts the attention of some woman, and they begin talking. Nathan's wife Sammy (Jessica McNamee) is left on her own. In comparison, Dave and Julia (Rebecca Gibney) who have been married for many years sit next to each other at the party.

Tim and I rarely go to social events, but when we do, I think we usually go our separate ways for the most part.

Well, I guess we'd probably sit together during the meal; and if there's dancing, we might dance together some of the time. Or really, dance together with a group. But with something like a cocktail party—people standing around and mingling; I don't think we're often together.

I think this type of thing bothered me when we first started dating—feeling that couples should be at each other's side. But these days, I'm probably equally responsible for us going our own separate way.

18. Wondered if most couples stick by each other's side most of the time.  Or do they usually separate as they mingle? Maybe I'll watch out for that the next time we have a social event. The only one on the horizon is my niece's Bat Mitzvah. That's not until next February.  But who knows...something might come up before that.

Oh! I know. We go to nephew birthday parties.  I think for the most part, Tim and I go our separate ways. He talks to people, while I talk to other people. I think we rarely hang out together, except at the end. Sometimes we'll share a piece of cake.

19. Agreed with what Michelle said in her Crooked Fences blogpost about toys and sexism.
It is disheartening to fast forward 40 years and realise that while the world has definitely changed for the better in terms of gender equality and expectations, in the area of toys things have in fact gone backwards. In most stores toys are rigidly divided along gender lines.

Yeah. Really. What's the deal with that?

20. Looked at Amazon.com.  I'm pleased to see their toys aren't divided into boys and girls sections.

21. Saw that Target allows the buyer to search through boys and girl toys; but you could also skip that and instead shop by age and/or toy type.

22. Felt that Toys-R-Us's site seems the most sexist. While Target's boy-girl divide is a choice offered towards the bottom of the page; with Toys-R-Us, the gender divide is on the top.  I skipped over the gender division, and instead went to age. I picked 5-7 year-olds. On the top of that page, there's a big box asking me to pick girl or boy.

To be fair though, I don't have to pick one or the other. I can bypass the question; scroll down, and look at a variety of toys.

23. Thought about sexism at McDonalds. When you order a Happy Meal, they ask if you want a boy toy or girl toy.

Maybe they should call it the Sexist Meal.

24. Impressed somewhat with the Disney Store. They do have a boy section or girl section; along with various other decisions The gender sections include clothes, bedding, toys, etc.  The first toy type listed for boys is plush; and the plush items include various princess princesses.

Actually, I think the girl plush and boy plus lead to the same page; which I think is a good thing.

Girls do have a doll section, which boys don't. That's kind of non-progressive.  However, under the boy toy listing, there's a link to all toys, and that will bring you to a page that includes dolls.

Ah! And I see on my browser, that I'm still in the boys section while looking at the dolls.

25. Decided that Nathan Rafter reminds me of Tim in various ways.

26. Recognized actor on Packed to the Rafters. I couldn't figure out where I knew him from. Now I know! He's Harry from Wonderland!

27.  Reminded by IMDb that the actor's name is Michael Booth.

28. Started watching another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

29. Wondered if Julie is going to have a baby with Down Syndrome. This episode is about her having tests that point to a strong possibility of a Down Syndrome child.

30. Felt I was much more like Julie than I was like Dave.

They're waiting for the test results that will tell them if they're very likely to have a child with Down Syndrome, or just kind of likely to have one.  Julie wants to talk about it and do research. Dave wants to not think, read, or talk about it until they get the results.

I definitely believe my way and Julie's way is the better one. Here's my argument. You read and get prepared for that which worries you. If it turns out, it doesn't apply to you, then you can sigh with relief, but then have compassion for people who do have to face the challenge. Unlike a lot of the population, you're well-informed.  If the information does end up applying to you, you already know the good bits and bad bits.  You're more prepared.

As for the other way. I guess the argument is why put yourself through the worry if you don't need to? But aren't most people going to worry anyway?   When we're waiting for a medical test; can we really put it out of our mind and think of something else?

31. Felt conflicted about saying sigh with relief regarding a negative Down Syndrome result. I know people with Down Syndrome can be adorable and wonderful.  I think for many people, their child with Down Syndrome is a blessing and not a curse. There are challenges, but maybe the good outweighs the bad in many cases.  The thing is though, there are health issues associated with Down Syndrome—increased risk of heart problems, leukemia, infectious disease, etc.  So, because of those issues, I couldn't blame a family for sighing with relief.

32. Glad to see that Dave is on my side now. And he even went as far as telling Julie that she's right.

I fear though that he's going to want to abort the child. It's not that I'm against parents who make this decision. It's just Julie wants to keep the baby. I think it would be a big conflict if one parent wants to keep the child no matter what, and  the other wants an abortion.

33. Thought that Dave had a pretty good point, one that I hadn't thought of before.

He worries the child will need round the clock care.  Julie says they can handle that.

But then he talks about how they're getting up there in age. When they die, their children would be let to take care of their young sibling.  Is it fair to bring a person into the world who one day might be a burden to their other kids?

34. Thought about how anytime someone brings a child into the world, there's a chance the work will be passed on to someone else.  Any parent has the chance of dying.

I guess the difference is that in other cases, the child is going to graduate from the dependent stage. If the Rafter baby doesn't have Down Syndrome, and Julie and Dave die; the Rafter kids would probably take care of the child.  But then eventually, it's likely the child will grow up and be independent.  The Rafter siblings wouldn't be faced with a life-long commitment.

It's not a sure thing though.. The child could end up having other disabilities that are not detectable on the ultrasound or with a blood test. Or they could acquire a disability during life.

35. Started to watch a Neighbours backstage video. This one stars Alan Fletcher who plays Karl.

36. Thought that Fletcher sounds a bit congested in the video. Maybe he was coming down with a cold. Or it could be allergies.

I could be imagining things.

37. Learned that most of Neighbours is filmed in a studio or backlot. But sometimes they have to film on the Ramsey Street location.

On the video, Fletcher is heading there in his car.

38. Googled to find out where the real Ramsey street is. I've looked it up before; but now I've forgotten.

The street is Pin Oak Court in a suburb called Vermont South.

It's east of the Melbourne CBD.

Here's a picture of it on Google Street View.



 39. Liked that Alan Fletcher seemed happy and grateful about his job.

It makes me think again of  Inside Out, though.  A part of me wonders if Fletcher is one of those people who are over-influenced by joy, and doesn't let sadness or anger play a part in his life.  I wouldn't like him if he was like that; but I do like people who have joy for certain areas of their life.

Really. What I like is people who have a rich emotional life. When something bad happens, they get sad and/or angry.  If someone vomits on their shoes, they feel disgust. If they almost get in a car accident, they feel fear.  If they're lucky to have a job they love, they're full of joy about that.



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