Friday, August 21, 2015

GST, Second Chances, Dying Alone, and Kidney Donations

1. Saw that the government plans to make Australians pay a ten percent GST when they order anything from overseas.

I wouldn't be happy about this if I were an Australian customer.

I'd probably be happy if I owned an Australian retail business.

It might not happen until July 2017. So the next year or so might be a good time for Australians to do some major overseas shopping sprees.

2. Wondered if Australians are ordering from the US lately, since our dollar is higher than theirs. Does not having to pay a GST make that much of a difference?

3. Started to watch an episode of Neighbours

4. Thought that Tyler (Travis Burns) was being an obnoxious brat.

He stole prescriptions from Karl (Alan Fletcher). Then later, he asks for forgiveness, and asks to move in with Karl and Susan (Jackie Woodburne), since his brother (Scott McGregor) kicked him out. Karl and Susan reluctantly say yes, which I think is quite generous since Tyler has been involved in criminal activity, and one of his victims was Karl.

Karl is nice to Tyler but weary. For example, when he goes to bed, he takes his doctor bag in his room with him, instead of leaving it out. He also questions Tyler about his suddenly missing guitar. 

Tyler gets very angry at Karl for inferring that he stole the guitar and not trusting him around the doctor bag.

It would be one thing if Tyler has done nothing wrong, and Karl was profiling him because of ethnicity or socio-economic background. But he has done a lot wrong, Why should Karl trust him?

5. Thought it was one thing to ask for a second chance. It's another thing to ask for a clean slate.

If someone is brave enough to give you a clean slate; that's very brave and generous. But it shouldn't be expected.  

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

7. Worried about Chel (Gillian Jones) At the beginning of the episode, they show a body bag being pulled out from a house with some of the Rafters watching.

Then the show goes back in time. Ted (Michael Caton) tries to protect a teen girl from getting bullied. The bullies turn on him and Chel. Chel gets hit in the head.

8. Figured it's probably a manipulative trick. Chel is probably fine, and some minor character has died. 

9. Figured out that it's not Chel who's died. It looks like it's the next door neighbour.

10. Thought about the storyline on Packed to the Rafters. A lonely old woman dies in her house, and no one knows for three days.

I agree that it's awful, but I don't think it's one of the worst things.

First of all, she's dead. This could mean she's completely gone and that her pain, suffering, and loneliness are over. OR maybe there's an afterlife, and she's been reunited with people who loved her once upon a time.

I think what might be worse is to die in a hospital surrounded by people who love you out of obligation but never really liked you. They're not very sad you're going.  But they're decent folks, and they don't want to see a person dying alone. They're there for you, not because of who you are, but because of who they are.

What I think is even worse than that is someone who is surrounded by people who will be devastated by their death. Like a mother who has her young children at her bedside. Or any situation where the death is going to cause massive amounts of grief and depression.  

11. Decided the best death to me is someone who has people close by who truly love and like them but will be okay after the death occurs. The dying person doesn't have to worry about leaving a huge sad mess behind.

12. Wondered if I'm lying to myself. Because I've always found it romantic to imagine having a partner completely devastated by my death—to be loved with that much passion.

Maybe I'd still want that. I'd want them crying at my bedside. REAL tears, mind you...not crocodile ones to impress the attractive nurses.  But then I'd want them to be okay a few days later.  I want to be the cause of someone's intense short-term mourning not longterm depression or mental breakdown.  

13. Felt insensitive.

Maybe I'll give them a few months to be sad but not full-time sadness.They can be sad a little bit each day but should also have daily doses of fun and happiness.

14. Wondered what's the risk of donating a kidney.

Dave (Eric Thomson) wants to donate his to his mother, because she's on dialysis three times a week. He doesn't think she can live much longer without a new kidney.  She doesn't want him to donate. Is it very dangerous?

I'm guessing some of the risk comes from having only one kidney.  If something goes wrong with your one; than you'll be the one on dialysis.  

15. Started to read John Hopkins website about kidney donation. They want to make sure people have healthy kidneys before donating. They also look out for underlying health problems that could lead to them having a kidney problem later on. A big examples would be diabetes. 

16. Learned that if you donate a kidney; then later your one kidney fails, you get bonus points on some priority list. I don't know if that's everywhere or just at John Hopkins.

17. Looked at kidney website about donation risks.

The risk of death is 1/1700 procedures. That seems like a lot. But how often are these procedures done?  

18. Decided my feelings were it's quite risky to do it for someone you're not very close to. And I don't think it would be nice to ask it of someone who doesn't play a big part in your life. Yes, I'm thinking of Locke and his Dad on Lost. 

I think, though, that if someone is a very close family member or precious friend; it's probably worth the risk.

I can totally understand Dave wanting to take the risk for his mom. He's grown close to her; and she's become a beloved member of the Rafter family.

19. Wondered how Dave would feel if he's not a good match for his mom, but one of his sons and daughters is a good match. How would he feel about them taking the risk and donating?  

20. Wondered how I'd feel if my parents asked me for a kidney.

And how would I feel if I needed a kidney, and Jack offered?

I really don't know the answer to either of those.

21. Thought maybe there's a difference between asking for a kidney and being offered one.  

22. Decided I'd put hinting for a kidney under the same category as asking for one.  

23. Figured that I don't like the idea of my parents wanting my kidney; and I don't like the idea of Jack giving me a kidney.

So why am I okay with Dave giving his kidney to his mother?

Maybe it's because they lost so many years together, and now they finally have a chance to get to know each other.  

24. Not at all touched or impressed with the end of the episode.

The family heads to a memorial service for the dead neighbours even though they didn't like her or know her much when she was alive.

So, what's the point now that she's dead?

I don't necessarily fault them for not giving her love and care when she was alive.  Apparently, she was a crabby woman—difficult to get to know.  She might have had a wonderfulness underneath the tough exterior.  If that's the case, it's a shame the Rafter family didn't get to know her better. But things like that happen.  It's a tragedy, but I don't think it's a tragedy that can be remedied by attending the memorial service.  

25. Went to the Triple J 2014 list

Today I'm going to listen to the 25th song on the list, which is "I'll Go Crazy" by Bluejuice

26. Noticed that I mentioned the 25th song on the Triple J List on the 25th item thingie on my blogpost. 

27.  Started to watch the video for "I'll Go Crazy".

28. Thought the video was visually stimulating. 

I think this is the video Samara would have used if she had been a happy child rather than a sad scary one that lived down in a well.

29.  Learned from Lord Wiki that Bluejuice is no more. 

The band ended on August 28. 2014.   

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

31. Tried to remember what I was watching last week.

Was it Farscape? Or was that the week before?

32. Remembered what I watched.

The Slap. 

I remembered because of Gillian Jones. I remembered whatever it was; she was in it.

33. Glad to see that Jake (James Stewart) on Packed to the Rafters is now acting supportive of his mom (Mercia Deane-Johns) having a boyfriend.  

34. Wondered what is up with Jake's brother Alex (Kristian Schmid). In season two, he was the only one in that particular family that seemed well-adjusted. He seemed happy and had a good sense of humor.

Then he comes back from New Zealand with an attitude.

35. Learned why Alex is upset. In New Zealand, Alex had a girlfriend. They went on a few date,; and then she said she'd rather have him as a friend. Alex assumes it's because he has Cerebral Palsy.  So, now he's upset about having CP. But if the woman had a problem with him having CP, why did she go out with him in the first place?  It's not like he can hide the CP. It's quite obvious.

That's not to say CP didn't play a part in the rejection, but I'm guessing there were other factors.

36. Started to watch a Neighbours backstage video.

This one is about Morgan Baker leaving.  I saw those episodes. When I first started watching, Callum was heading to America. Ramsey street had a good-bye party for him with American-themed decorations. 

37. Thought it was sweet that Baker's voice got a bit emotional when he said they were going to film his last scenes.

38. Wondered if Baker misses being on Neighbours.

39. Amazed at how much Ryan Moloney reminds me of my brother-in-law.  

40. Started to watch part two of the good-bye Morgan Baker video.

41. Thought it was a very good video. It was a nice mixture of sad and funny moments. 

The Neighbours cast really does seem to be made up of fun people.  

Although I do wonder why so many of them end up wanting to leave.

42. Remembered that some of the actors stay for a quite a long time.  

Maybe it's just about some people wanting and needing change.  

43. Hoped that some of the people who have left will return and not just for a brief guest appearance.