Thursday, July 23, 2015

New Names, Quitting, Justin Rosniak, and Taylor Glockner

1. Dreamed that, I'm in Australia with some of my family. We're riding in some kind of vehicle through a place with beautiful scenery—lots of eucalyptus trees. 

Instead of fully concentrating on the scenery, I'm busy with something else. I tell myself to look at the scenery, because later I will regret not doing so.  But really...I'm not quite in the mood.  I think about how I wish I lived in Australia, so then I could go ahead and take it for granted. 

2. Read that there's talk of the Northern Territory becoming a state. The article I read talks about how territories are different than states, and how people in territories are kind of treated like second-class citizens. Some examples: The votes of people in territories have less weight than those in states. In Federal Parliament, states are represented by twelve senators. Territories have only two.

I wonder what are the benefits of remaining a territory. There must be some, because there was a referendum in 1998; and 51.8% of the people voted no.

The article talks about concerns over Aboriginal Land rights, but I'm not sure how statehood would hurt that.

3. Wondered about names for the new state. Apparently some people are wanting to name it Deathstar. That would be funny.

I think it should have an Aboriginal name. No state has that yet. Two states have Commonwealth-related names. One has a Dutch-related name. And then two have directional-related names.

4.  Thought Aboriginal place names are beautiful—Kakadu, Wollongong, Woolloomooloo.

Those are the first three that come to my head. I know there are more.

5. Saw from Google that Kakadu isn't exactly an Aboriginal word. It's a European misunderstanding of an Aboriginal world.

Oh well. I still like it.

6. Looked at Lord Wiki's list of Aboriginal place names.  I haven't heard of many of them.

Some that I recognize include Ballarat, Dubbo, Coolangatta, Cowra, Geelong, Jindabyne, Kalgoorlie, Mandurah, Noosa, Parramatta, Yarra.....

7. Realized one of my favorite things about Australia are the Aboriginal languages.

I don't think I ever thought to mention that when asked.

Hopefully I'll remember next time someone asks.

8. Had mixed feelings about watching Packed to the Rafters.

I'm suddenly realizing that maybe Rebecca Gibney's character annoys me. Maybe she's too nice? Too perfect?

Yet Lauren Turner (Kate Kendall) is like that on Neighbours, and I like her.

9.  Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

10. Glad that Daniel (Tim Phillips) is trying to forgive Amber (Jenna Rosenow) for having sex with Josh (Harley Bonner). I especially like that he plans to love the upcoming baby no matter who the father turns out to be.

I think the worst thing that Amber did was believe Daniel had abandoned her on her wedding day, instead of having faith in his love and commitment. That's insulting, and shows a severe lack of trust.

On the other hand, self-esteem can be quite fragile in a relationship.  I think it can be hard to have faith in someone's love. Then if they leave us at the alter; it's hard not to believe the worst. I think for some, it's easier to believe they've abandoned us than believe they're hurt or in trouble.

11. Did not enjoy expat Nikki's blogpost about her family's flight from South Africa to Atlanta, because it involved vomiting. Lots of vomiting. I have a vomiting phobia, and one of my fears is enduring vomiting on a plane. To me, it would be bad enough to be sitting towards the back and learn that someone in the front has vomited.  But to have someone in my own family?  Oh, Lord!

12. Heard shocking revelation on Neighbours.

Daniel used to be a bully!

Wow. I didn't expect that.

So...he wasn't always peaceful hippy Daniel.

Shit. Now I feel guilty, because yesterday I wrote that I prefer angry Daniel to peaceful hippy Daniel. What does that say about me?

13. Thought about bullies. As much as I don't like violent people; mental/emotional bullies bother me much more than the physical ones.

Granted, this could be due to the fact that I've never had to deal with a violent bully. I've never had to deal with being scared for my physical well-being.  If my past was different, I'm sure I'd feel otherwise.  I'm not sure I'd hate the physically aggressive bullies more, but it would probably be equal.

For now though, it's the ones who use taunts and psychological torture that really make my skin crawl. Nick (Damien Fotiou) would be a good example—the way he treated Georgia (Saskia Hampele).  Now we have Ezra (Steve Nation) bullying Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou).

There's some wicked bullies on Coronation Street.  Tracey Barlow really knows how to push buttons and seems to greatly enjoy doing so. Now I'm seeing a new young bully. awful child. I love the storyline involving her, because it shows how even adults can be hurt by these young terrors.

14. Felt Georgia is being a bit misguided and somewhat cruel.

Her mother has had a cancer relapse and talks to Georgia about how she doesn't have much time left.

Georgia talks to her mother about not being a quitter and talks about how they need to keep fighting. Sometimes that kind of attitude is appropriate. It would be in the case of a cancer that has a 80% survival rate. But if the odds are very low, and a person wants to just accept that and enjoy the time they have left; they shouldn't be given a hard time. They definitely shouldn't be accused of quitting.

Of course, I know. We need to be sensitive to the family members of those who are dying.  Impending death can make people act somewhat irrationally and unfairly.  Lately, I've come to see it as a sort of temporary insanity. I try not too judge too much, because if it was me about to lose someone, I know I might act the same way.

15. Started watching the first episode of season two of Packed to the Rafters. I'm pretty sure this is where I left off.

I might have missed a few episodes of the end of season one. But I'd rather start here at the beginning of a season.

16. Saw that this episode features a psychic.

I wonder if she'll turn out to be a fake. Will there be an explanation for why she knows so much about Julie (Rebecca Gibney).

Or will the show go the magic realism route?

17. Annoyed by the loud and overly enthusiastic reunion girl on Packed to the Rafters.

When I meet people like that, they make me feel quiet, shy, and awkward. I feel the problem is with me. But the show is kind of cathartic, because it shows other people get annoyed by that type of behavior.

18. Checked to see if Zoe Ventoura from Packed to the Rafters was also on Rush. When I saw Rush, I thought the new policewoman in season two was from Packed to the Rafters.

Now I see that they're not the same people. The Rush actress is Jolene Anderson.

This is the second time I've made a Packed to the Rafters identity mistake.  A few months ago, I thought Firass Dirani from House Husbands played the Greek guy on Packed to the Rafters. But then Andrew corrected me, and I learned I was confusing Dirani with a guy named George Houvardas.

19. Read a post on the Love Your Sister Breast Cancer blog which made me think that some families have to deal with a lot of shit.  Bonnie, a mother of two, has terminal breast cancer. Not only that, but she had other cancers during her younger years.  That seems hard enough...WAY hard enough. But now I learn on this post, that one of her kids has severe food allergies.  I'm talking the type where you need an epi-pen.

So scary. I'd be overly stressed.

Yet Connie still manages to smile sometimes and enjoy life.  I think that's very admirable.

20. Saw Justin Rosniak on Packed to the Rafters and remembered that he played young Ben on Home and Away back in the 1980's.

I learned that when I was watching Home and Away. I looked at Rosniak's filmography and was shocked to see he had grown up to play the obnoxious guy on Packed to the Rafters.

21. Found picture of young Ben on the Bay to the Bay site.

He was the grandchild of Floss and Neville. Ben's father hated his parents, because he disapproved of their whimsical circus lifestyle.

22. Looked at the IMDb STARmeter for the actors on Packed to the Rafters. This shows how popular the actors are on IMDb.

To get their actual ranking, I have to have an IMDbPro account. But without that, I can see if people's popularity has grown or lessened within the week.

Eric Thomson is in the green—he's had a large growth.

Mike Caton and a lot of the other actors have had a small amount of growth.

23. Saw that Ash Richardo, the woman who plays a former high school bully has had a huge loss in popularity. She's down 23,514 points.

It could be that she had a spike in popularity last week and now she's getting back to normal.

24. Saw that Justin Rosiniak has had a huge jump in popularity this week—much higher than Eric Thompson.  I wonder why Rosiniak is suddenly getting more attention.

25. Saw that there's someone here who beats both Rosiniak and Thomson. It's Christian Barrett-Hill. He played Don Barrett in the episode. I'm not even sure who that is. Maybe he's the guy at the reunion?

But anyway, his Starmeter has gone up over a million points.

26. Thought about my idea for a Hulu commercial advertising all their wonderful Aussie programming.

It would feature a narrator who has a Outback Steakhouse kind of accent. He'd say, You have your ideas about Australia! Then there would be three stereotypical Australian scenes: A) Sexy happy people happily surfing with a shark fin in the near distance B) A man wrestling a crocodile C) A mother, father, son, and daughter riding kangaroos to school in the outback.

Then the narrator would say, Come and see what else is here!  That would be followed by a montage of scenes from various TV shows like The Secret Life of Us, Neighbours, Home and Away, Upper Middle Bogan, Kath and Kim, etc.

I'm not sure how they'd fit that all into 30 seconds or less.

Do they ever have 60 second commercials?

27. Wanted to say if you think my commercial idea is bad, you should see what they already have.

There's one with a girl who totally annoys me, because she acts totally surprised at herself for crying over a show.  It's like she's never done that before. I think 90% of my crying episodes are due to a TV show.

Then there's another where a woman admits that she thinks Gordon Ramsey is sexy when he's angry.
Yeah. I think anger can be sexy too—like when a man is angry over the mistreatment of his lover. Or righteous anger over how Boko Haram are hurting and killing people in Africa.  But getting angry at a chef-in-training for messing up a quiche? That's not at all sexy to me.

28. Felt compelled to admit that I've never watched a Gordon Ramsey show. I'm stereotyping here.

Has he ever lost his temper over a badly made quiche or other culinary disaster?

I don't know.

29. Saw that the psychic on Packed to the Rafters was for real. And I think they used her predictions as a kind of coming-up-next in the season segment. Well, instead of having one of those segments, they had her say things that kind of gave a preview of what's going to happen.

There's going to be a wedding; there's going to be a lot of pain; and someone is going to have an affair.

I think the pain refers to Melissa being killed. I'm not sure about the wedding and the affair.

30. Saw that Peter Bensley, from Home and Away, appears in the second episode and a few episodes after that.

I think I actually already learned that—back when I did my post on Bensley. But I forget things sometimes.

31. Saw that Peter Bensley is in his early 60's now! He was born in 1954.

How old was he during his Home and Away years?

32. Did the calculations in my head. He'd be in his 30's. Wow.

I feel like we're all getting so old.

33. Realized I don't feel too homesick about 1980's Summer Bay anymore. I think modern-day Neighbours and Coronation Street has filled the hole in my heart.

34. Started to watch a Neighbours backstage video. This one stars Taylor Glockner who played Mason.

I've never seen Mason in action, but I know who he is. He's the no-longer-around son of Lauren and Matt. He's the brother of Paige, Amber, and Bailey.

35. Wondered what Mason is doing.

He must be busy, because he didn't come home for his dad's funeral.

36. Learned from the video that Paul Robinson was quite fond of Mason.

37. Thought that Taylor Glockner seemed a little shy—in a charming kind of way.

38. Looked at Glockner's filmography.

There doesn't seem to be much there post-Neighbours. Though it does say in his bio that he's going to appear in an upcoming movie called No Two Snowflakes.  That sounds a little familar.

39. Started to watch a film clip from No Two Snowflakes.

It's very bright and wintery.

40. Saw that in No Two Snowflakes, Taylor Glockner, an actor from Neighbours, is playing an actor who has appeared on Neighbours. Though I don't think he's playing himself.

41. Looked at article about ideas given by social media regarding The Northern Territory's potential new name.

A guy named Andrew Callaghan suggests Croctopia.  I like that idea.

Andrew Vincent suggests going with Kakadu. I like that a lot a lot too.

42. Read article about a Melbourne scientist warning people not to try to contact aliens. Because they might be more advanced than us, and that could be a recipe for a disaster.

Matthew Bailes, the scientist, says, The history of weak civilisations contacting more advanced civilisations is not a happy one.

In real life, or a science fiction mini-series?

I wish he gave examples. I'm not good enough at history to know what he's referring to.

Mostly, I know of more advanced civilizations contacting less advanced ones.

43. Looked at Matthew Bailes' page at Swinburne University. He's the Director of the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing.

The page gives his calendar, which makes me feel like a snoop. But I'm guessing it's not a personal calendar.

On Wednesday afternoons he does something called Hacky Hour.  Is that like Hacky Sacks?

44. Figured Bailes is probably completely right, and one day we'll be very sorry for not following his advice. It's just so tempting to wish for and work towards alien contact, even though we have seen it turn to disaster on film, books, and television.

It's kind of like ouija boards. We see movies where ouija boards lead to all kinds of evil. But still we're tempted to try it.

Maybe the reason for all this is, that the idea of us being alone in the universe, and there being nothing supernatural is scarier and more depressing than the idea of demons possessing us or a hostile extraterrestrial takeover.

45. Wondered when humans will finally make contact with others. And will the others be extremely evil and hostile; moderately evil and hostile; or relatively nice?

I hope they look like giant insects.

I hope they don't look too much like us. I'm not going to trust them if they look like us.

46. Remembered Doctor Who, and considered amending my last statement.

But I don't know. As much as I love that show, it is a bit far-fetched. This alien happens to come from a planet where their most intelligent species looks just like us?  And not only that, but the alien keeps regenerating into a British male.  I definitely believe there is life out there on other planets, but I'm doubting that any are going to be such strong Anglophiles.

47. Had an idea.

How about aliens that are not giant insects, but instead tiny ones?  They could slip in unnoticed, because we'd, at first, mistake them for earthlings.  There are so many species of insects on Earth. It wouldn't be hard not to miss the fact that we're looking at an alien.

The aliens would be super smart, and peaceful for the most part. They'd also have a good sense of humor.

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

49. Heard the beginning of a song on Packed to the Rafters that sounded familar. But then it stopped playing.

I wasn't sure what it was, but now I'm thinking it's a Whitley song. I'm not sure of the name, though.

50. Saw Peter Bensley.

I think he looks like a mixture of Sam Neill and Harrison Ford.

51.  Heard the Whitley song on Packed to the Rafters.

It's "Lost in Time".

The show kept playing little bits of the song; and then finally they got to the real thing—like the toots before a poop.

Wonderland did the same with a Vance Joy song.

52. Liked what Michelle said, about marriage, in her Crooked Fences blogpost: It is hard to know what the recipe for success is, or even how to define it. After all, a union ending does not equal failure. It could point to growth rather than stagnation in a relationship that is loveless or even unhealthy. In some instances, a celebration of divorce might be more appropriate than a celebration of marriage.

Quitting isn't always the cowardly thing to do, as some people seem to believe. Sometimes quitting is the courageous road.

It's like Georgia, on Neighbours, not wanting her mother to quit fighting cancer.  We have to learn to let go, and we have to learn how to support other people when they're ready to let go.

On the other hand, we have to be dedicated and strong enough not to give up too soon or too easily.