Thursday, August 27, 2015

Breaking the Seal, Biters, Excusing Criminal Behavior, and Daniel's Family

1. Dreamed that I watch a commercial that uses footage from a real party that Nicole Kidman attended. She's dancing to a song that mentions the color of a dress. She's not wearing that color.  I wonder, to myself, about the legality of using footage from a real party.

Then I'm in the backseat of a car. I think about how I've already watched many Australian videos today, but I haven't even started a blog post. I decide I can write exactly that—that I've watched Australia-related videos, but haven't written anything yet. I figure once I do that, the seal will be broken, and I'll write a lot of stuff.

Next thing I know, there's a man pointing a gun at me from the outside of a car. I don't think much of it. It seems I think it's a video I'm watching. It takes me a few moments to realize it's really happening.

The man with the gun has me stand outside. He has another hostage. I kind of stand alone, away from the the gunman and the other hostage.

I'm not overly worried about any of it. I decide to sing.  I go with "Somewhere over the Rainbow". I use a soprano voice, and it's not very good.

Then I see the gunman being friendly towards the hostage.   He walks over to me. I can't tell if he's holding the gun out towards me as a sign of surrender; or he's pointing the gun at me, planning to shoot. I reach out to take the gun from him. There's no struggle.

2. Thought that the break-a-seal thing came about because, before falling back asleep, I was thinking about nighttime urination.  My brother-in-law has talked to me about the breaking the seal concept.  I didn't think of that when awake; but I guess it crept into my dream.

Maybe I should be disturbed that my brain connected urination and my blog.

Is my blog like pee to me?

3. Thought that the gunman in my dream might have been inspired by yesterday's shooting. But who knows. It could have been inspired by the many other shootings that have happened in the past few years.

I'm surprised I don't dream of guns more often.

4. Started to watch an episode of Neighbours.

From the previously-on-Neighbours segment, it looks like Nell's (Scarlett Anderson) biting is going to be a big storyline for today.  I kind of imagined it concluded yesterday.

I guess maybe we're going to see Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Sonya (Eve Morey) struggling with disclipine issues.

5. Remembered that Modern Family had a storyline about young children biting.

I don't have a young child right now, so biting children seems somewhat trivial and comedic. But when you're a parent going through the whole thing, it can feel like a huge deal.

6. Imagined it's also a bit deal if you or your children are victims of the biting child.

I'm glad that none of my young nephews have started biting...yet.

I hope I didn't jinx us by saying that.

7. Thought that when you're a parent of a toddler or preschooler who is biting, kicking, hitting, etc; it can be very stressful.  But I think when we're past that stage and see it happening to other parents, it can sometimes seem like a small issue. It seems normal and kind of funny.

That being said, I don't know what's normal and not normal. I think a short-term biting habit is normal; and so is hitting here and there. I'm not sure about young children who are chronically aggressive. Do they grow out of it?  Do they continue to be violent?

Should a parent be worried if their preschooler is often hitting his classmates?

8. Realized that the mindset of worrying and not worrying can apply to any issue. I think certain things seem like HUGE deals when you have a young child. Then when the children are older, it seems funny that we worried so much. Things like— will the child breastfeed forever? Will she ever be able to fall asleep on her own? Will she ever get out of diapers?  Is she always going to scream at the grocery store? Is she ever going to get out of the habit of stripping off her clothes in public?

Unless a child has a major developmental disorder, they usually overcome all the things that had us worrying when we were young.

Well, I guess that's another thing to worry about—whether or not our children have a developmental disorder.  It seems funny, when you're child is five and running around the house, that you once worried he'd never walk. It's not so funny when he's sixteen months, and you're still waiting for those first steps.

9. Decided I should stop blabbing, and get on with the show.

10. Saw that Sonya and Toadie are now having sleep problems with Nell. She's crying in her room instead of sleeping. They don't know what to do. Should they go to her and give her comfort? Will that send the wrong message? Does she need comfort from her parents?  Is she crying because her schedule's out of whack? Or if she crying because they've taught her that if she cries she can get whatever she wants?

It all seems huge when our children are young...well, maybe not for those calm happy parents who take everything in stride.  I'm curious. Are there many out there?

 I definitely wasn't one of them.

It felt to me, from what I read in parenting books, that if I gave Jack too much comfort, it would screw him up for life. Or if I let him cry too long, that would screw him up for life.  There were two very conflicting viewpoints, both of them grabbing at me. They both seemed to be saying that if I didn't follow their directions, my child would emotionally damaged and/or a huge failure in life.

11. Had a hard time sympathizing with Josh (Harley Bonner) feeling that his criminal behavior is justified.

He's selling illegal substances to help pay for surgery for his embryo that's not guaranteed to work. Nor do they know for sure that the baby wouldn't be okay without the surgery.

I can understand someone resorting to legal behavior to save a child they have gotten to know and love.  It's harder for me to understand doing it for an embryo.

Then again, people can become very attached to their unborn child.

I was very attached to Jack.

The thing is though there are a huge amount of parents who have born or unborn children in life threatening situations. I think most of them deal with the problem without resorting to illegal activities.  Does this mean they love their children less?  Do the ones who commit crimes love their children more?

Is Imogen (Ariel Kaplan) a bad aunt for trying to prevent her brother from making money illegally?

12. Felt morally confused.

13. Realized that I probably can usually feel sympathy for people who resort to crime out of financial desperation.

I think maybe the storyline bothers me, because it seems out of character for Josh. He was so regretful about injuring Chris (James Mason).  He acted very remorseful and showed a lot of maturity and responsibility.  Then he ends up selling an illegal substance that sends Kyle (Chris Milligan) to the hospital. From his past behavior, I think someone like Josh would feel horrible. He'd feel guilty and, at the very least, cut all ties with the supplement company.  Instead his mind is on continuing to make money, and not getting caught.

Has being a father changed Josh that much—has it made him throw away all his morals? Or is it more about the chance of getting back with Amber? Will he do anything to raise the money they need to run off together, with their fetus, to the US?

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

15. Learned a horror movie rule from Packed to the Rafters. Never take three steps backwards.

Apparently doing that is a good way to get your throat cut.

16. Figured that's why the Emu and Kangaroo are on the Australian seal.  They know not to step backwards. So they won't get slashed in a horror movie.

17. Felt bad for Dave (Eric Thomson). He just found out he owes $15,000 to the tax office thing.

I think it's so stressful to suddenly get a huge bill. Or to anticipate a huge bill.

We discovered that our pool was leaking a couple of weeks ago. This Friday the leak detection people are coming out to investigate. It's going to cost at least hundreds of dollars. It might get into the thousands. I hope not.

It's stressful though.

Thinking of stuff like that, and even worse stuff than that...well, maybe I should be sympathetic to those who turn to a life of crime.  We're lucky in that we have people we can turn to if and when we need financial assistance. Other people don't have that luxury. For them, it might be turn to crime or end up homeless.

18. Considered the possibility that the homeless people we encounter could simply be people who chose not to get into drug trafficking.

Maybe they're the ones who said no to armed robbery.

19. Wondered what's going on with Mel (Zoe Ventoura). She feels queasy, which makes Ben (Hugh Sheridan) think she might be pregnant. He's very excited. She seems less so, and reluctant to consider the possibility. Then she takes a pregnancy test. When the answer is no, she seems disappointed.

Ben suggests the test must be wrong, and she claims the tests are always accurate. From what I remember learning, it's much more likely to get a false negative on a pregnancy test than a false positive.

Anyway, what's up? Did she change her mind about being okay with motherhood? Is she already worried about fertility problems?

Does she realize she's going to die a few episodes down the line? Maybe people get a sense about these things.

20. Learned what's going on with Mel. She's having mixed feelings.

She was terrified to look at the test results. She didn't feel ready to be pregnant. Then when she saw that it was negative, she felt empty.

I think this is very similar to what happened to me. I did want to be pregnant, very much so. I got excited over every bit of light-headedness and nausea. When I took the test though, I was scared. I don't remember exactly how I felt. It was probably like Mel though. I was probably terrified to be pregnant. Then when the test came out negative, I was disappointed.

If my memory serves me correctly though, I took the test again and it came out positive.

21. Felt kind of skeptical about my story. I'm quite cheap. It's hard or me to imagine using up two pregnancy tests in a row.  I think it would be more like me to wait.

Or maybe not.

Maybe my excitement caused me to not differently from my usual self.

22. Felt some dread about Mel's upcoming death.

However, the bad feeling I have doesn't feel as horrible as the feeling I get when a TV character's death comes to me unexpectedly.

I guess what I'm saying is that the shock feels worse than the dread.

Although I haven't seen Mel's death episode yet. Maybe actually seeing it will be as bad as it would be if it came as a surprise.

I doubt it though.

23. Imagined trying to apply these ideas to real life.

I thought maybe all this would imply that I'd prefer dealing with an anticipated death than a shocking one.

But no.  It wouldn't be true.

The thing about anticipated deaths in real life is they don't come about by a quick accident.  They involve illnesses—pain and suffering. There are difficult decisions. Do we keep fighting to survive, or do we turn to palliative care?  Do we skip both of the above and resort to suicide or euthanasia?  

24. Decided that death and dying are a pain in the ass whether expected or a surprise.

There IS a silver lining, fortunately. That is...if you're the one who dies, you no longer have to worry about death and dying; or going to the dentist; or paying taxes; or cleaning out closets.  Well, unless reincarnation really happens. But that's a whole other story. Or many stories, actually.

25. Went to the Triple J 2014 list.

Today I'm going to listen to the 33rd song.  It's "Run" by San Cisco.

26. Started watching the video for "Run"

27. Thought the video was very visually stimulating.

There are parts of it that remind me of scintillating scotomas.

I've had two episodes of that in the last week or so.  I used to have them rarely, but now they're picking up the pace. Or maybe not.  Maybe it won't happen again for many months or years.

28. Started to watch a Neighbours backstage video.

This one stars James Mason who played Chris, and Melissa Bell who plays Lucy.

29. Had trouble deciding between past tense and present tense.

The thing with Melissa Bell is she's left and come back. Because of that, I expect she might come back again.

As far as I know, this is the first time Mason has left. I'm not sure if he plans to come back.

I hope he does!
 
I hope Chris and Lucy return from the US with their child.  They can at least do a short visit. Or even better, maybe they'll move back to Erinsborough.

30. Heard Melissa Bell and James Mason talk about keeping the Robinson family going with the new baby.

If they don't come back, eventually the child will at some point. Probably.

I started thinking that since the Robinson family continues, why not the Ramsey's?  Why not bring one of them back.

Then I remembered that Daniel (Tim Phillips) is a Ramsey. Right?  Charlene (Kylie Minogue) was a Ramsey.  I think?

31. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He reminded me that Charlene is the daughter of the dearly departed Madge (Anne Charleston).

Madge was the sister of Max Ramsey—one of the principle characters of the early Neighbours episodes.

32. Thought that was very cool.

The Ramsey family lives on in Daniel.

Daniel is major Neighbour's royalty.

33. Wanted to know how Daniel would be related to Danny (David Clencie) and Sean Ramsey.

Cousins?

Let me think about this.

Danny is Max's son.

Never mind.

He's not.

I forgot about that.

Let's go with Sean.

34. Saw that there was no Sean Ramsey.

It was Shane Ramsey (Peter O'Brien)

Oops.

35. Went back to my brain exercising.

Shane is Marge's nephew.

So that would make Shane and Daniel cousins?  Or wait.  I think it's one of those cousin-once-removed things.  Shane and Charlene would be the first cousins. I think Shane and Daniel would be first cousins once removed.

36. Wondered if Shane had children.

37. Figured Danny could consider himself a cousin of Daniel, even if they don't have a biological connection.

38. Learned from Lord Wiki that Shane Ramsey left Erinsborough to travel around Australia.

I imagine it's quite possible that he fathered a child somewhere.

Maybe that child could return to Erinsborough.  Daniel now has a cousin, in town, from his Robinson side; but it would be nice to see a Ramsey cousin as well.

39. Reminded by Lord Wiki about Jill Ramsey.

This was the result of Jim Robinson's wife, Anne, having an affair with Max Ramsey.  It had to have happened offscreen, because when the show started, Robinson's wife had already died.

I guess Jill came out of the blue at some point.

Jill though was the mother of Kate Ramsey (Ashleigh Brewer).

So was Kate Daniel's cousin?

40. Felt that this is way too much for my tiny brain.

41. Figured out that Daniel and Kate share a grandmother—Anne Robinson. So, they'd be first cousins.

Are they double cousins?

Daniel's maternal grandmother was Madge.

Who was Kate's maternal grandmother?

42. Reminded by Lord Wiki that's it's Anne.

So, I guess I'm looking for her paternal grandmother.

43. Saw that her dad was some guy named Patrick Mooney. Mooney's mom would be Kate's paternal grandmother.

44. Thought that Daniel and Kate would have to have a Ramsey connection as well.

They share Grandma Madge.

Right....

I think I got it.

Kate's Grandpa Max is Daniel's Great Uncle!

45. Felt so much better, now that I've figured it out.

46. Learned from Lord Wiki that Charlene had a brother, and he was played by Craig McLachlan.

47. Learned that Daniel has a sister!

Madison Robinson.  That's a mouthful.

Maddie's not bad, though.

48. Wondered what's going on with Madison.

Where is she?

Why doesn't Daniel ever talk about her?

49. Wanted Neighbours to bring back as many Ramseys and Robinsons as possible.

And how about people related to other early characters.

Did Des (Paul Keane) and Daphne (Elaine Smith) have a child?  Or maybe the child died?

50. Shocked.

I just learned that Daphne and Des had a child named Jamie. He was on the show in the late 80's and then returned in 2003. Guess who played him?

Angus McLaren from Packed to the Rafters!

Now when I watch Packed to the Rafters, I can look at Nathan and say, that's Des and Daphne's little boy!

51. Wondered about Julie Robinson—the sister of Paul (Stefan Dennis), Scott (Jason Donovan), and Lucy.

It turns out she died from a fall.  The poor girl.

52. Shocked. Again.

It turns out Julie wasn't the daughter of Jim Robinson (Alan Dale).  She was the daughter of a rapist.

53. Saw that another Packed to the Rafters cast member was on Neighbours. Kristian Schmid who plays Alex on Packed to the Rafters, played Todd Landers on Neighbours.

Lord Wiki says we must not confuse Todd Landers with Todd Flanders from The Simpsons.

54. Learned that Todd babysat James. There was some kind of mistake, and James almost drowned.

55. Learned that Todd stressed out Jim Robinson's mother-in-law so much, she had a stroke.

Yikes!

56. Wondered if any other Packed to the Rafters actors have been on Neighbours.

57. Saw that Ryan Corr (Coby) was on one episode in 2006.

58. Saw that Zoe Cramond who plays Daniel Robinson's cousin Amy was on Packed to the Rafters.

Did I already knows that?

I think I did.

Maybe I wrote about it recently.

59. Got excited about later seasons of Packed to the Rafters. I see, in the cast, that there are two Wonderland actors; and a very classic Home and Away actor.

60. Stopped trying to look for Neighbours actors in the Packed to the Rafters cast. It would take me all the night.