Thursday, July 30, 2015

Parents, Hawaiian Party, Career Risks, and Kidneys

1. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

Paul gives up his dog, and Amber decides to runaway.

The Amber thing surprised me a bit. It seems a bit immature—like the kind of thing I'd be tempted to do.

Is she planning to runaway forever—be a single mother without the help of her mother, sister, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, and best friend?  Or does she just need time a little time off?

2. Wondered which other Neighbours actors are leaving soon; or have already left.  I really feel they're dropping like flies.

3. Started watching an episode of Packed to the Rafters.

4. Thought about my own parents while watching Packed to the Rafters—kind of comparing them to the parents on the show.

They're not as warm and supportive as Julie Rafter (Rebecca Gibney). But they're much better than Jake's (James Stewart)'s mother (Mercia-Deane-Johns). And they're better than Melissa's (Zoe Ventoura) absent parents.

Melissa and Jake's parents make me grateful for my own. Since I usually bitch about my parents, that's quite a feat!

Unlike Jake's mother, my parents have never tried to stifle our social life. They never forbid us from being friends with or dating anyone. As far as I know, my parents have always been welcoming towards anyone we've brought into our lives. At least to their face. Sometimes they'd make snide comments behind the person's back, but I won't fault them on that.

Melissa's parents called and told her they couldn't make it to her engagement party. A work thing came up. I can imagine my parents maybe not being able to come to something because of a work or similar commitment.  But I can't imagine them not meeting the person we're engaged to. Melissa thinks her parents are going to meet her man, for the first time, at the wedding.  Hearing this made me appreciate that my parents make an effort to see us and meet the people in our lives.

In one aspect, Melissa's parents kind of reminded me of my own, because they gave her a generic gift that indicated they know nothing about her. And they gave the exact same gift to Melissa's brother. My parents have done that at times. They have this thing of giving me and my sister's the exact same gift even though the gift might not be something that matches all three of our preferences and personalities.  There's kind of that attitude of—hey, we spent money on you. Be happy.

BUT other times my parents have given me extremely thoughtful gifts. When I was obsessed with great apes,  they gave me a giant orangutan stuffed animal. Another time they gave me an Australia coffee table book. Plus, I'm sure there have been other things that have slipped my mind.

Well, these days, my dad sometimes picks up some groceries for us. That's very nice and very helpful. He's good at picking out grapes, which I really appreciate.

5.  Learned that Melissa's parents are even worse than I thought.

It turns out they lied about the work thing.  The real reason they're not coming is Melissa's father doesn't want to waste the airfare. Apparently, Melissa didn't go through with a past wedding, so they expect her to fail again.

6. Loved the Rafter's Hawaiian themed engagement party.

It makes me want to have an Hawaiian-themed party.

Though I don't think I really want to have a party.

Maybe I'll just enjoy watching the Rafters have theirs.

7. Had a sudden feeling that Chel (Gillian Jones) isn't truly Dave's (Eric Thomson) Mom. I don't why I'm thinking that.  I probably saw something like it on another show.

If a TV character is overjoyed to have a relative back in their life, it seems it will turn out that they're not truly related.

8. Saw Julie be an amazing and wonderful mother again.

Nathan is the family pariah when it's revealed that he cheated on his wife.  He comes to his parents, crying. Julie comforts him. It was a nice display of unconditional love.

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

10. Annoyed with Ted (Michael Caton). He wants to help Dave find his runaway mother, which is very kind of him. But he asks Melissa to risk her medical career by violating medical laws. Personally, I think that's both illegal and immoral—not to mention rude and unfair to Melissa.

11. Annoyed with Ben (Hugh Sheridan). Melissa is feeling down. She's worried she'll get caught for breaking the medical rules. Ben lets her know he's pleased with her, because she broke the rules to help the family.

I don't think a person should be pressured to risk their career to prove their loyalty to the family.

Well, I'm sure there are cases where I'd feel it's okay. But this isn't one of them.

12. Relieved to learn that Chel is indeed Dave's mother.

She was acting kind of flighty, because her kidneys are failing. Chel worried that Dave would think she contacted him just to get a kidney.  She had said no to meeting him at first, and that's why. She didn't want Dave to think she was the type of woman who'd give up her son; then return later to snatch his Kidney.

Eventually, Chel puts a stop to the whole mess by ruling that no one in the Rafter family can be tested to see if they're compatible.

Well, it doesn't stop the mess that's happening to her body. But it does prevent Dave and his family from suspecting that she's using them for medical gain.

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

14. Felt bad for Chrissy (Carline Brazier). She has a crush on her boss who also happens to be the husband of her best friend. At least she does the responsible thing and resigns from her job.

On the episodes of Coronation Street, I've been watching recently, Tina falls in love with Peter, her employer. Like Chrissy she tries to resign but then is easily talked into staying.  She ends up almost kissing Peter; tries to talk him out of getting married, and then makes out with him after the wedding.

I was sitting here thinking that Chrissy is better than Tina, but who knows what's going to happen in future episodes.

15. Proud of Julie for putting two and two together and figuring out that Chrissy has thing for Dave.

I just realized this is very similar to the  Imogen-Amber-Daniel storyline on Neighbours.

I hope Julie is forgiving. I don't think people can help who they have a crush on, and Chrissy is trying to do the responsible thing.

16. Started to watch a Neighbours backstage video. This one stars Kip Gamblin.

17. Thought Kip Gamblin was cute in the video. For some reason, I can't explain, he reminds me of one of my favorite campers at the Cystic Fibrosis camp. It was a little girl named April, and she had blond hair. So different gender, different age, different accent, and different hair color to Gamblin. So what's the deal?

I don't know.

18. Wondered if maybe it's something they have the same nose.

19.  Decided to watch another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

20. Liked the pink roses given to Rachel (Jessica Marais).

I'm not a big fan of flower-gifts, but I do think those are very pretty.

21. Found myself taking Jake's side on this episode.

Rachel's season one boyfriend, Daniel, (Luke Pegler) returns. He's the one who gave her the flowers.

Jake knows about Rachel's past with Daniel—that he was on drugs, hit her, and put a sex video of Rachel on the Internet.

Rachel decides to put the past in the past and work with Daniel at the advertising agency. Jake's not too happy about this, and it gets worse when Daniel starts questioning the use of Jake as a model for their current advertising project.

Later, Jake brings his brother, Alex, (Kristian Schmid) to the shoot. Daniel and the other advertising people are vocally unhappy about this and very unwelcoming. Then Daniel actually has the nerve to refer to Alex as Daniel's half-wit brother. Jake hits Daniel. Who wouldn't? Or at least, who wouldn't want to?  Rachel immediately goes to check on Daniel—directs all her concern towards him. Then she bitches Jake out.

22. Thought at first I was feeling angry at Daniel because Alex has cerebral palsy—the idea that we need to give special consideration to people who are disabled.

But no. It's about the fact that Alex is a nice guy. He's a family member of someone who's working there.  Maybe Jake was in the wrong for bringing him without warning; but still...they should have welcomed him. Then maybe later, they could suggest that Jake ask next time.

23. Felt my opinion of Rachel go down several notches. She calls Jake a psychopathic thug.  Really? I think the thug thing might fit, but psychopathic? I don't think it's psychopathic to want to hit someone after they've insulted your brother.

24. Thought Dave was a total hypocritical jerk.

His mother Chel gives her grandkids some of her medical cannabis to help them relax. She thinks she's being kind and helpful. When she tells Dave she's done this, he flips out and starts talking about how the family has had problems with drugs.  So, now they're a drug free family?

Does that mean they don't drink anything with caffeine? How about alcohol?

I can imagine being angry if she gave her cannabis to children or teenagers. But I don't see the harm in giving it to adults. They're old enough to decide if they want to take it or not.

25. Temped to watch another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

Should I?

I shouldn't.

But I'm going to.

26. Saw another season one person return. Kat! (Melanie Vallejo). She's the one who robbed Nathan, Cabo (George Houvardas) and Melissa.

27. Learned that Melissa's parents are as bad onscreen as they are offscreen. They're pushy judgmental people. They remind me of Nick (Damien Fotiou) from Neighbours.  They're the kind of people who try to make you feel you're not enough.

Seeing them makes me feel appreciation for my own parents again.

Although then there was a scene with Julie Rafter being her wonderful supportive self, and it made me wish I had someone like that in my life.

28. Wondered why adults didn't have imaginary friends. Well, some probably do.

I think I've actually tried in the past, but I don't think my imagination is strong enough.

If I did, though, I'd want Julie Rafter as my imaginary friend.

29. Liked Melissa and Ben's wedding.  It was in the park, and there were only fifteen people. It was pretty much just family.

Through the years, I've grown to really appreciate small weddings.