Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Bali Boycott

I'm reading an article about how people are planning to boycott Bali.

No, the boycott won't bring anyone back to from the dead. But it does bring me satisfaction to imagine Indonesia feeling some level of hurt from the boycott.

I'm impressed with the type of actions people are taking. The National Schoolies Site will no longer do Bali bookings.  They do have Bali listed under their overseas options, but then there's nothing there to click on. No accommodations listed.

There's a travel agent in Dulwich Hill who has joined the boycott. The article says that Marie Tadros  took the Bali sign down from her storefront and is no longer selling holidays there. Though her website hasn't been updated yet in regards to this. It still has sections about Bali.

Who knows how strong the boycott will be and how long it will last.  The article talks about how, after the original arrests of the Bali 9, tourism was reduced. But then the numbers crept up again.

I can't say I'm very good at boycotts. Not that I often join them. But once I do, my passion and motivation usually fade. Unfortunately.

It's easy for me to support the Bali boycott, because I've never had any desire to go there.

Then again, the main reason I've never had any desire to go there is it scared me. I worried someone would sneak drugs into my bag and I'd end up spending the rest of my life in an Indonesian prison.

But I will try to have sympathy for people, still wanting to go to Bali, by imagining how I'd feel if there was a massive Disney World boycott. That's kind of our family's Bali.  Oh, and I mean a boycott that I'd agree with. If anti-gay people were boycotting Disney World, I'd want to go MORE often.

If Australians make Bali plans in the next few months, there could be various reasons.

Maybe they think executing people in the drug trade is a good thing.

They might be very apolitical. They don't pay attention to the news. They just want to have fun at an inexpensive destination.

They might be against the executions, but they just love Bali so much. They can't let it go.  They might justify these feelings by saying they don't want to hurt the innocent Indonesians in the tourist trade.

The article says some people are taking this stance; not necessarily as an excuse to keep visiting Bali. That might just be their political viewpoint.

I can see where they're coming from. Though I definitely don't think people should feel regret or guilt for boycotting Bali. If they don't give their money to the people in the Bali, they'll give it to people in other places.  Think of all the people in the Australian tourist trade who could end up getting more business.

Folks who are strongly against all forms of the death penalty probably wouldn't want to visit my country, because we do put people to death sometimes.  But if there are folks who are only against some forms of the death penalty, Hawaii might be a decent alternative to Bali.  Though I think it's more expensive, probably.

Wait. Never mind. It seems the death penalty is a state-by-state thing.  Hawaii hasn't had the death penalty since 1957.

And yikes...just did more research. Lord Wiki says that, in the United States, heavy drug trafficking is listed as a crime that's punishable by death.  I'm not sure though if it's ever been used.  Hopefully not.

Now I'm looking at Lord Wiki's list of Americans on death row.  I don't see any drug convictions. Though Lord Wiki hasn't listed crimes for everyone. From what I see though, most are murderers.

Anyway....

This post was supposed to be about Bali. Then I got lost in tangents.

The thing I had on my mind when I started this post was airlines.  I was thinking about the people who already have flights to Bali.  I would feel their pain in trying to decide whether to cancel or not. Who would want to lose their holiday money like that?  It would be nice if the Australian airlines took a stand against the execution by offering refunds or alternate flights.  I'd be very impressed if they actually cancelled their flights to Bali.  But that's probably asking for a lot.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Attempted Suicide on Sea Patrol

I'm watching an episode of Sea Patrol, and it somewhat illustrates my feelings regarding suicide prevention. That is...Society treats people like crap; then it fights like hell to save their lives once they decide to off themselves.

On the episode, the navy folks run into a man trying to kidnap his children. Why? Because his wife has remarried and is moving to the US with her new husband and the children.  No, I don't condone kidnapping. But I do have great sympathy for a parent who understands that it will soon be extremely difficult to see their children.  I can understand the desperation.

Once the navy goes after the father, he goes to an island with his children and tries to hide there. What he doesn't know is that the island is crocodile infested.  The navy chases after him. He tries to escape. A crocodile enters the picture. The man realizes he's put his children in danger. He's visibly regretful about this.

They all go on the navy ship. The father is apologetic...ashamed. He tries to talk to the navy folks. None of them will give him the time of day. They treat him like scum.

Then later he tries to commit suicide by jumping off the boat. The navy folks rescue him. They make it known that they did this out of duty and not because they give a crap about him.

What's weird though is that they were sympathetic towards the guy UNTIL he took his kids on the croc island.  But he didn't know about the crocodiles. It wasn't his fault. Well, and he also pointed a gun at the navy guys; so maybe that's what turned them against him.  But I would think professionals  could be understanding and realize that desperate people sometimes go a bit dangerously nuts.

I don't know.  I do understand the Navy's frustration with this guy; but I think they could have tried to be understanding. Or at least fake it. Then maybe he wouldn't have tried to jump off the ship.

The attitude of the navy people towards this man is. We hate you. You disgust us. But we're going to make sure you stay alive on our watch.

I'm sure there would be severe legal ramifications of not trying to rescue the man. I can respect saving him on that account. But if they did it on moral grounds, I don't see the point. They might have saved his body, but did nothing to save his soul.  I imagine it's likely he'll try to kill himself again.  Or he'll feel completely worthless and wish he were dead...which in itself is quite sad and awful.




Edited to add: I finished watching the episode, and am feeling a bit more sympathetic towards the navy's attitude toward the man...specifically Flynn's (Ian Stenlake) attitude.  The thing is there were extenuating circumstances.  Flynn has the hots for the mysterious scientist Ursula (Sybylla Budd) and she's involved in some big mystery on Bright Island. Flynn has been obsessed with getting to the bottom of the mystery.  When they go on the croc island, they find not only the father and his kids, but a man who happens to be one of the keys to the Bright Island puzzle. He's severely injured and they need to get him to a hospital. But then they're delayed because of the suicide attempt. So that's why Flynn was such an ass to the suicidal father.  He himself is feeling a bit desperately nuts.

THOUGH on the other hand....if they hadn't chased the father and his kids onto the croc island, they would have never found Bright Island man in the first place.  And if they treated the father decently— accepted his apology and provided him a shoulder to lean on, maybe he wouldn't have wanted to commit suicide.  Then they might have gotten Bright Island man to the hospital in time.

Also...At the end of the episode Flynn tells the father that his wife can't leave the country without getting his permission. So maybe the father's biggest mistake wasn't kidnapping his children and bringing them onto a croc-infested island. Maybe it's the fact that he didn't do enough Internet research before going on such a foolhardy adventure.  

Selling Dangerous Things

Yesterday I thought about the Bali 9 stuff...my mind going in all directions. I thought about the various opinions I've been seeing—one being that we shouldn't forget the tragic victims of the drug trade.  People die from taking drugs, right? So in our sadness over the death of Chan and Sukumaran, we shouldn't forget those they would have harmed if their heroin adventures had not been thwarted.

We shouldn't forget that Chan and Sukumaran were villains.

For a moment, I wondered if perhaps I agreed with that.

But that was a quick moment, because then I remembered the tobacco and alcohol industry. Those industries lead to the death of many others.  My own sister had severe and lasting injuries because some guy had way too many drinks and then got into his car.  Why is it legal to be in some industries that have the potential to cause harm to others, but illegal to be in other such industries?

I just checked the Wiki travel guide, and it says alcohol is legal in Indonesia. So, why is that okay and drugs are not?

And for those who think Chan and Sukumaran were awful people because they planned to bring heroin into Australia...do you have the same ill thoughts towards those who bring in and sell alcohol and tobacco?

Anyway, I was thinking of writing a long detailed post about this; but then this morning I found an article that pretty much expressed my thoughts and feelings. So I thought I'd just provide the link. Is that lazy?  Yeah. Probably.

David Van Mill, the writer of the article, believes drugs should be legalized.  I'm not sure if I believe all should be legal. Well...I probably do. I'm not 100% sure.  But what he says makes sense to me.





A One Week Trip to Australia

My recurring dreams, about traveling to Australia alone and having regrets about leaving my child behind, seem to have ended.  Now they've evolved.  In the past week or so, I've had three nights of dreams in which Jack and I are planning to go to Australia. Then last night, Tim joined the party.

I had a bunch of going-to-Australia dreams, but they were out of order. It was like the same storyline...repeated.  The basic idea was that we were going on a last minute trip to Australia.  It's not something that we had on the agenda for a long time.

Here are the bits and pieces I remember.  This is the order in which I remember dreaming it. But storyline wise, it's out of order.

I buy a bunch of Stephen King books. I bring them all on the plane with me. We go on the plane and put our stuff down, but the plan it to then leave the plane for awhile.  Later we return.  We're at our seat. I'm looking at something; then I look up and see someone is in Tim's seat. I tell Mr. Someone he's in the wrong seat. But then I remember that before, when we put our stuff down, we were sitting close to the back of the plane.  This is not the back of the plane. So it's probably me that's in the wrong seat.

Jack's reading a Stephen King book for the first time; and I've been reading a Stephen King book review blog lately.  That's probably why Stephen King books showed up in my dreams.

We're leaving for our trip to Australia soon. I'm very happy and excited about that. EXCEPT....Prior to that though, we've been away somewhere else. Or at least we've been separated from our cats. I'm missing them, and regret that we're leaving them once again.  I decide it's probably best that we make this trip only a week long.  I figure though, since we'll be saving a lot of money due to there being less nights we'll be needing accommodations, maybe we can splurge a bit and take a little trip somewhere. I consider going to the Blue Mountains. I'm wondering though whether we should take a day tour there or actually spend some nights there.

I did consider the idea that we didn't have to stick to the Sydney area; but I'm not sure I did this within the dream or when I woke up at some point to pee.

And...No, I'm not saying that Blue Mountains is in Sydney. But it's a place that tourists go for day trips when they're staying in Sydney.

It's the morning before we have to leave. I start getting stuff done, including feeding the cat.  I ask Jack when we're leaving and he says 1:00.  That's earlier than I expected. I still need to pack.  I think about our friends that live in Melbourne. Should we tell them we're coming?  I decide against it. We're not planning to go to Melbourne, and it's too late notice to ask them to come to Sydney. Besides, I know they've come to the United States without informing us.  

There were other bits and pieces, but I think I'll skip sharing those.

It's funny about recurring dreams. This isn't the first time mine have had a change.

I used to have the dreams about an upcoming exam for a class I've barely attended.  Then the dreams changed. Now when I have them, my dream self realizes and/or remembers that I've already graduated; or that I don't need this class or this particular degree to get by in life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Video For Tony Abbott

I don't know if the executions have happened yet.

I haven't looked.

I guess I'm being avoidant.

But last night I thought more about the celebrity video message to Tony Abbott. The more I thought about it; the more it bothered me.

In some ways, it feels like SOME of the celebrities were using the tragic impending death of two Australian men to publicly show their general disgust of Tony Abbott.

If I didn't know any better and watched the video...from what some people were saying, I'd get the idea that Tony Abbott supported the death penalty for drug offenses; that he believed the two men should die; and that he's made no effort to stop the execution.

None of that is true.  I looked at Google, just to be sure, and there are various articles from the past few months that say Abbott expressed his anti-death penalty feelings with Indonesia.

Besides insulting Tony Abbott and inferring that he could save these men if he truly wanted to; what was the purpose of the video? What do these celebrities expect? Do they really believe that there was a simple solution to all of this—that if Tony Abbott got on a plane and showed his face in Indonesia, the executions would be halted?  Do they imagine the threat of execution was just a ploy to get Tony Abbott to visit Indonesia?

I think I would have more respect for the video if some of the celebrities actually instructed Abbott on what he was supposed to do once he reached Indonesia...if they had an actual plan mapped out for him.


Oh! Well, this is interesting. I was going to find the link to the video so I could stick it in the post. It's gone from Vimeo now.  Is it gone everywhere?  And was it taken down because the person who made it realized it was a bad idea? Or is it gone, because now it's too late to make a difference anyway? 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Stand For Mercy...How?

I'm watching this Australian video featuring some Australian actors.  They're pleading for Tony Abbott to fly to Australia to take action.

The key phrases their using are Save our boys, I stand for mercy, and the time for diplomacy is over.

What do they want Tony Abbott to do?

The diplomacy line is making me think they don't want Abbott to just have a chat with Joko Widodo. They want Abbott to actually fight him.

Or are they trying to say in a roundabout way that Australia should go to war with Indonesia?

I didn't want to say anything, because I was afraid it would make me sound overly American. But yeah. I was kind of thinking, last night, that this should happen.

Well, maybe it doesn't need to be an outright war.

But maybe there needs to be an actual physical attack and rescue.  Maybe the death-row men should be kidnapped from prison.

I don't know how that would be done. And it's scary, because there might be even more casualties...both Australian, Indonesian, and other.

Still. It does sound a bit odd to me—just asking Abbott alone to go to Indonesia.  It's almost like they want Abbott to hop on a plane and then have a one on one boxing match with the Australian Prime Minister.

Also, I'm thinking...what if all these celebrities hopped on a plane and went to Indonesia? Maybe they could do some kind of protest in front of the prison. Would that help at all?

Well...whatever.

I wish something or someone could help give us a happy ending.  

Saskia Burmeister Reminds me of the Cupcake Girl

I started watching Sea Patrol today.  It's quite exciting so far.

One of the female actresses, Saskia Burmeister, reminded me of someone. It took me awhile to realize who.

She reminds me of a grown-up version of the cupcake girl.

Who is the cupcake girl?

She's from this commercial I keep seeing on Hulu.  Yeah. That's one downside of Hulu. You have to watch a lot of commercials. And I actually don't mind commercials. I often enjoy their creativity. But Hulu shows the same commercials over and over and over and over again. So I feel overly acquainted with the cupcake girl.

The cupcake girl is from a detergent commercial.  I can't remember the name of the detergent, but I think it starts with a P; and it's only available at Walmart.

Wait. I found it. It's called Persil Proclean.

Ah! And I've found a website that has the commercial and information.

Cupcake girl is played by a child named Afra Tully.  She's been in various commercials, and is now on a TV show, Your Family or Mine, that just premiered a few days ago.

Now I'm using Google Images to compare Tully with Burmeister. Is there a resemblance? Or was I being nuts before?

Well...I think I can see a bit of a resemblance. I think it's mostly in the mouth. The smile.

Some of the pictures of Burmeister also remind me of an actress I recently watched in I Rock.

What was her name?

Let me see....

It's Kate Sherman.

When I first saw Kate Sherman, she sort of reminded me of a Kaplan girl. I thought she might be related to Dena or Ariel. Then later, she started to remind me of Linda Blair.

All these resemblances....



Edited to Add-I decided to watch some more Afra Tully commercials and found this brilliant Old Navy one. It pays tribute to National Lampoon's Vacation. It's fantastic. I don't know how I managed to miss it.  It pokes fun of fact that there's multiple versions of Rusty and Audrey.  Tully plays new-Audrey.




Coronation Street and the Bali Executions

In the middle of the night I found myself thinking about the pending Bali executions, and how horrifying and frustrating it all is. I realized it reminded me of a storyline I'm currently watching on Coronation Street.

On Coronation Street, Tina agrees to be a surrogate mother for Izzy and Gary.  Izzy has problems doing the whole gestational things...maybe because she's in a wheelchair. But I'm not 100% sure, because I didn't see the beginning of the storyline.  The baby though is made from Izzy's eggs and Gary's sperm. Genetically, it's their child.

Tina wasn't just doing this out of kindness.  Izzy's father gave her a flat to live in; and the family also gave her a job.  Plus, it was agreed that once the baby was born, they'd give her a large sum of money.

Then the baby is born in the midst of Izzy, Gary, and Tina having some drama with each other. Because of this and general giving-birth hormones, Tina bonds strongly with the baby. She doesn't want to give him up. I had a lot of empathy for her there.  I had no fault with Tina feeling the way she felt; and I have no fault with her wanting to keep the baby. I do have a huge problem with her actually going through with it—telling Izzy and Gary that she plans to keep THEIR baby and then declaring they're not allowed to see him.  Now I think Tina's a major bitch.  It's so frustrating to watch her. I just want to scream...Come on! Do the right thing!  PLEASE!

You're probably wondering what the hell this has to do with the Bali thing. Well, my feelings towards the Indonesian government are similar to the feelings I have about Tina.  It's the idea that with one decision they can make a ton of people extremely happy and relieved. But so far...they're refusing to do it.

I guess it's all about people having complete power over other people's life and well-being.

It's also about me feeling there's definitely a right and wrong choice, and so far Tina and Indonesia are picking the wrong one.

I mean there are many times we have the power to make someone happy, but maybe they don't deserve the happiness. For example, a rapist might be angry we put him in prison. We could let him out and that might make him happy. But I wouldn't feel that's the right thing to do.

With the two men in Bali....

I definitely don't think they deserve execution. No way.

I want to open up my news page and hear they've been pardoned. In a few weeks, I want to read about them arriving home to Australia. In a few months, I want to read that they're writing a book about their experiences.

I don't want to open up my news page and see that they've died.  If this happens, I will absolutely   hate the Indonesian government.

I'm wondering how the Coronation Street folks will feel towards Tina if she does come to her senses and return the baby.  Will all be forgiven or will grudges be held? And I wonder the same about the Indonesian government...if they decide to do the right thing.  In my opinion, it's enough to do the right thing in the end; but I think hard feelings can still be expected.  I guess there'll be happiness and relief for a happy ending, but regret and some anger for all the prior tribulations.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Characters on Wonderland

Yesterday I finished the episodes of Wonderland that are available on Hulu. Before I move on to my next Aussie shows, I want to take some time to think and blog about the each of the main Wonderland characters.

Note: This post will be of no interest to folks who don't watch Wonderland.  It's unlikely you'll understand what the hell I'm talking about. If you do understand, then you're a mindreader.

So...here we go.

Miranda (Anna Bamford)-She's beautiful and adorable...definitely girl-crush material for me. She's sweet, but kind of mopey.  I think she has an Eeyore quality to her.  I feel the star-crossed lover thing with Tom is getting a bit old. I'm hoping they don't stretch that out through the whole series. It's a bit annoying that Miranda won't even try to give things a chance. I can't really understand why she was so offended by the wedding napkin bet. It would be much worse if the goal was the opposite—for Tom to sleep with a flatmate.  The napkin bet was nothing personal against Miranda. I can understand her feeling hurt about them keeping it a secret; but I think it would have been more awkward if they told her. Can you imagine moving in with someone and then being told Hey, I have a habit of sleeping with my roommate; but I've made a vow not to do that with you. Why should she be told?  Well, she says she felt like she was the butt of a joke. But even without the bet, it would have been that way. All the Wonderland people would have been wondering when Tom would sleep with her.

Oh yeah. Wait. Miranda was also upset because she didn't like that Tom's car was more important to him than her. I don't see a problem with that at all. Yes, it would be awful, in a life and death situation, if Tom chose to save the car instead of Miranda. But I think there's nothing wrong in choosing a beloved inanimate object over a person you find yourself slightly attracted to. Later Tom's feelings for Amanda turn into love; and then he is ready to choose her over the car.


Wow. Shit. I didn't plan to write so much about one character. This post may be a novel.

Tom (Michael Dorman).  I love this guy. I have nothing bad to say about him. He's wonderful to Miranda. He's wonderful to his parents. He's great with his friends. I guess the worst I can say about him is might be nice to the point of being a doormat.

For example, in the first episode with the public proposal at the wedding. If that happened to me...I'd feel very bad about hurting the person proposing to me. But I'd also be angry at them for doing that. I would see myself as being one of the victims; not the villain. Tom seems to see himself as being the one who's to blame. He's so apologetic to Kristen; and when his friends give him a hard time about his relationship with her and past relationships, he takes full responsibility. He never argues. He never tries to say it's not his fault. Or at least not that I can remember.

Yes, Tom has a habit of sleeping with his flatmates. But I don't think he's a womanizer. From what was said on the show, he falls in love (maybe lust) with this flatmates. It's the proximity thing. I think he mentions something about seeing them in his kitchen, and then he's a goner.  It's just Tom doesn't want commitment...at least not at that point. Later in the series, he warms up to the idea. He starts to realize that maybe commitment is a good thing if you're with the right person.

In the second season, Tom did do a few weeks of prolific dating.  But he wasn't using women for sex. He was dating all these women in order to get himself over Miranda. He was hoping to find someone new.  I think that's fine...although maybe a bit hectic.  Well, maybe it's a little unfair to the women he was dating in those weeks, but it's not as if he led them on for several weeks. It was just one or two dates.

Colette (Emma Lung): I love her dresses.  I don't have much to say about her. Or maybe it's just that I'm already tired out from Tom and Miranda.  I do hope she ends up back with Rob. Yes, it was naughty of her to cheat on him with the barista; but she didn't deserve all the grief she received. Personally, I don't think one act of infidelity needs to lead to divorce or separation.

I think one of Colette's best scenes is the one where she visits her in-laws house and they're so unwelcoming towards her. I could feel her pain.  My in-laws are much nicer to me than Colette's in-laws are to her, but sometimes I do feel invisible around them. Or there's that general feeling. We love Tim, and we love Jack, of course. And yeah. I guess it's okay that you're here too. 

Maggie (Tracy Mann). I love Maggie's relationship to Tom, her son.  This is because I'm the mother of an only son. We've always had a close and wonderful relationship; and I worry sometimes that things will end up going sour. It's nice to see a relationship between an adult man and his mother that's positive. It's a good antidote to what we're seeing on Bates Motel, and what I saw recently on American Horror Story: Coven.

I love that Maggie lives in the same building as her son, and has a nice relationship with him and his friends. Yet she's not creepy and overbearing about it. Then again, maybe Tom takes a lot of credit for that.  He welcomes his mom into his life. Though I have vague memories of him maybe one day complaining about it? Did he ask her to back off at one point? I'm not sure. I do know Warwick, Maggie's husband, gives her a hard time about it—accuses her of trying to feel young by hanging out with Tom and his friends. I can't remember if Tom himself ever had a problem with it.

Carlos (Glen McMillan). Gorgeous. Let's just leave it at that.

No, I'm joking.  I have more to say.

I like when he yells at the biker for insulting his girlfriend, but then he goes too far and throws the bike down the hill.  I like that he gets jealous, but he takes it a bit too far at times. Then again, he ended up having good reason to be jealous of Nick. He isn't just imagining things or blowing things out of proportion. He sees Nick and Grace together; and knows his days, with Grace, are numbered.

Recently I was thinking how Carlos and Grace's relationship is so uneven. He loves her much more than she ever loved him.  Wouldn't it be better for Carlos to be with someone who loves him as much as he loves her? And it seems it would be easy for him to find that woman. I think women would be lining up for Carlos. But then I wondered if perhaps Carlos needs to be in a relationship where he's loved less. Maybe there's some kind of thrill in that...a chase type thing?  Or it could be a matter of the heart wanting what the heart wants. Sometimes we love someone who loves us much less. Or doesn't love us at all! We tell ourselves we deserve better, but our heart doesn't listen.

Rob (Ben Mingay). He looks part Aboriginal to me.  I've tried to find out if Mingay has an indigenous background, but I haven't found anything. Either I'm wrong or it's not something he heavily publicizes.

I like Rob, though I wish he didn't give Colette such a hard time. The boat wedding episode is so sad. I felt horrible for both Rob and Colette.  I can totally understand why Rob is jealous of the barista and thought Colette was still having a fling with him.  But I wish he had just been upfront and asked Colette what was happening. That being said, I would have likely done the same thing as him. If you have trust issues with someone, how can you ask them to give you an honest answer to your questions and accusations?

A part of me wonders if Rob is less upset about Colette cheating on him because he feels betrayed, and whether he is more mad that she got to sleep with someone else and he didn't. I mean, on a conscious level, I think he imagines himself betrayed. But maybe he allows himself to feel so much anger and anguish, because that gives him the excuse to break up with her and sleep with someone else.  He just seems so eager to break up and jump back on the saddle. Then once he does that, he's ready to forgive and get back together with Colette.

Steve (Tim Beaumont). He's probably my least favorite (leading) man on the show. I mean not that I don't like Beaumont's acting or I find Steve boring. I just mean I think he's the one who does the worst things. Though he is very supportive and sweet with Dani when it comes to her family problems. I do like that about him.

The things I don't like?

Well, I think he's a complete ass to his best friend and his sister. It's awful that he tells Tom he's not allowed to date Miranda. Maybe in the beginning it's okay, because Tom has a reputation of not being able to commit. Why not just tell Miranda that? Why not say, Hey sis. I think you and Tom like each other. And that's fine. But just be warned that Tom has a problem with committing. He might end up hurting you.  But to sit there and forbid a relationship, because he's afraid it won't work out and then he'll lose Tom as a friend?  It just seems very selfish to me.

Then there's that thing of Steve accepting a job in Singapore without first consulting his wife. Wow. That's another very selfish act.  I understand him wanting to take the job. It's a great position for him. And if he talked to Dani about it, it would have been very nice of her to agree to go to Singapore. It would be very supportive of her. Though not a definite obligation, because like she said, she has a job and life too.  She shouldn't be required to sacrifice all that. If she wants to make the sacrifice, that's very wonderful and noble of her; but it shouldn't be expected.  So poo on Steve for his behavior there.

Grace (Brooke Satchwell) She's beautiful and very muscular. She often looks like she's crying. I don't know if that's how her face just works; or if she's very emotional.

I get annoyed at her for not loving Carlos more; but then I realize I'm being unfair. Sometimes I wonder if she loves him at all. She says she does; but I don't really feel it. I wonder if she has some lust for him, and the rest is pressure by him and their friends to love him back.

Dani (Jessica Tovey)-I think I started liking Dani more once she took the sanitation job.  It's a nice twist to her character.  I think her best storyline is the one involving her parents.  It's awful that her father manipulated her into hating her mother. He's such a jerk. I'm very glad Dani finally got over her misplaced anger. Or at least she's mostly over it.

Harry (Michael Booth). The guy is totally lovable.  I'm probably a fan, because, like him, I enjoy finding treasures at thrift stores.  Well, I mostly just find clothes. But I think it would be cool to have a house decorated with stuff found at garage sales and second hand shops.

Harry seems to be very nice and intelligent, but somewhat socially awkward. It bothers me that he's treated as a second class citizen. It's like he's desexualized. At one point, one character asks another if Grace is dating Harry...since they're roommates.  The character is told she'll laugh at her question once she meets Harry. Why? He's not a dog. He's a human being. Why couldn't Grace be dating him?
Then there's the fact that Harry isn't included in the whole FAT night thing.  There's a scene where he asks Grace if he can have some leftover soup from the dinner party.  It made me sad that he has to ask and it isn't just offered to him. And Grace almost sounds somewhat reluctant; like he isn't good enough for the soup. First of all, I think it would have been nice to invite him to FAT night. And if not that, she should have offered the soup to him. He shouldn't have to ask.

I think I might feel differently about Harry if he had his own set of friends. But that doesn't seem like this is the case. He seems quite lonely.  He's not a bad person, so why not include him in the circle of friends?

Really. I just want to reach into the TV world and give him a huge hug.

I do think though that he might be more handsome if he shaved off that beard.  It doesn't matter though.  You shouldn't have to be overly attractive to be included in a group of friends.

Warwick (Peter Phelps). I don't have much to say about him; except that he....

I'm trying to think of way to explain this.

It's like he looks like a grown-up child star. Does that make any sense?  No, it doesn't. I'm failing here.

Let me try again. It's like he's a little boy, who's been magically suddenly turned into a man.

Or I can still see the little boy in him.  I can see his inner child. Or I imagine that I do?

Do you understand me?  Probably not.  Just nod and pretend you do.






Saturday, April 25, 2015

TV Show Memory Problems

I've been watching a lot of TV shows lately, and my brain is having a hard time keeping up.

Yesterday I started remembering someone (person a) being angry at a friend (person b) for not knowing how she (person a) liked her coffee. I struggled to remember where I had seen this. A TV show? An Australian one? Coronation Street?  Maybe an American show? Big Bang Theory?

Fortunately, for sanity's sake, it didn't take me long to remember.  It was The Secret Life of Us.  Alex (Claudia Karvan) was mad at Evan (Samuel Johnson) over the coffee issue.

It's just I have all these characters floating around in my head. It's hard keeping it all straight. And sometimes I forgot a show all together.

This morning I was reading a past entry in my dream journal and there was mention of Satisfaction.  I watched that show a few weeks ago and totally loved it. Then the other day I mentioned loving Wonderland and said I might like it even more than Dance Academy and Offspring—my other favorite Australian shows. But what about Satisfaction? That's definitely one of my favorites as well. But I forgot it.

Well, the good news is now I remember it.

Now I'm thinking that I'm glad I have journals and blogs; and that I take time to read past entries. Without that,  I think most of what I've seen and experienced would have vanished into the void.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Oy!

Jews say Oy.

Now I'm seeing that British and Australian folks say it as well.

Well, I did know that Australians say the whole Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi.  That's not new to me.

But recently I noticed characters saying oy on Coronation Street (British soap opera) and now I'm hearing it on Wonderland.

Has it always been around and I'm just noticing it now? Or is this oy/oi a new speech fad?

The British/Australian oy is different from the Jewish one.

Oy for Jews is usually said in the same way one would say Ugh, yikes, oh no, or Oh shit.

From what I've seen on Coronation Street and Wonderland, oy is used in the same way one would use hey!  Not hey as a greeting word, but as a way to express shock, surprise, disapproval....

Or maybe it's kind used as an alternative to stop.  For example, if you see someone trying to steal someone else's piece of cake; maybe oy would be used. I'm not sure if it would be appropriate for more dire situations...like if you saw someone setting fire to a building.

Wonderland on Hulu

I'm a bit obsessed with Wonderland right now.  I think it might be my favorite Australian show.  I might even like it more than Offspring and Dance Academy.

Thanks to a Rubik's Cube on the beach, I was able to pinpoint where Wonderland takes place.  It's Maroubra, which is an south-eastern beachy suburb...in Sydney. Of course, I knew we were supposed to be in Sydney.

According to Google Maps, Maroubra is south of the Bondi and Bronte stuff.  It's about 7 minutes below Coogee, and only about ten minutes from the airport.  I wonder how much real estate costs there. Since it's Sydney, I imagine it's extremely expensive.  But maybe it's a bit less costly than the northern eastern beaches.

Anyway....

I fell in love with Wonderland quite quickly. Usually, it takes me several episodes to warm up to a show. For example, you know how I was recently super obsessed with Doctor Who? Well, I had to watch nine episodes before feeling any amount of adoration.  

Maybe the reason I so quickly felt attached to Wonderland was because I had recently watched Michael Dorman in The Secret Life of Us. His character on that is quite similar to the one on Wonderland...a very sweet, easygoing, and caring guy.  So maybe that helped with the transition to a new show.

Wonderland and The Secret Life of Us are quite similar actually. Both takes place in a beach suburb. Both involve young professionals in their 20's and 30's. Both are about a group of friends living in the same building. Both have characters that have coed flatmates. Is that a common thing in Australia? Around the world? It might even be common here. I have no idea, actually. I thought usually people shared flats with the same gender.  Though, Tim had a female roommate in college.

Another thing both shows in common is they each have a character that cheats on their partner by sleeping with the person who works at the local drink/food hang-out (bartender in The Secret Life of Us; barista in Wonderland). 

Yesterday, I realized I had accidentally begun watching season two of Wonderland.  Hulu has things a bit messed up.  They have all of season one and about half of season two; but they label all 22 episodes as season one.  I hope they fix that, and add more episodes soon.  I wonder why they didn't get all the season two episodes yet.

I feel bad complaining about Hulu, because they're my favorite company right now. I love them, and I'm so grateful to them. It's wonderful that I can watch all these Aussie shows legally.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Auto-Correct Joke on Wonderland

Wonderland had me laughing with an auto-correct joke.

Rob (Ben Mingay) and Collette (Emma Lung) are planning their vow-renewal wedding event.  Rob reads off a checklist of things they need to do. He says they need to get a celebrity. Collette looks at him weird, and then he realizes it's an auto-correct mistake. They need a celebrant, not a celebrity.

I laughed. Rob and Collette did not. I'm surprised, because if it was me having the conversation, the conversation would probably come to a complete halt. I'd be laughing hysterically, unable to control myself. That would list a minute or two, but later through out the day, I'd think about it and start laughing again.

Auto-correct mistakes really crack me up.  Not all the time. Some just make me smile a bit. 

Speaking of celebrities though....

Yesterday, I started reading a novel, Blind Sight by Meg Howrey. It involves a teenager who learns that his father is a famous actor.  I find the novel refreshing, because so far, the actor seems to be a really nice guy. I feel like every time I encounter a fictional actor/actress on TV or in books, they're assholes. I imagine many actors are overly narcissistic, but I would think there are decent folks in the business as well.  

There has to be some celebrity out there who would be a decent guest at Rob and Collette's wedding. Right?  

Dance Academy the Movie

I saw an intriguing article this morning about Dance Academy. Apparently there are plans to make a feature film about Tara and the academy.

It's going to be directed by a guy named Jeffrey Walker. The article says he directed episodes of Modern Family.  The Australian episodes? Or other episodes? Is he Australian?  I'll have to look him up.

Here's his IMDb page.

He's Australian.

He's done a bit of acting, mostly in Aussie Youth fantasy/science fiction stuff—Ocean Girl, Around the Twist, Mirror, Mirror, Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left, etc.

As for directing, he did three episodes of Modern Family.  I saw "Larry's Wife". This is the one where Phil gets closed to divorced women via his real estate career.  I haven't seen the other two episodes yet.

Neither of them were the episodes that take place in Australia.

BUT Walker has directed stuff filmed in Australia...including Dance Academy.  He directed eight season one episodes.

He also directed episodes of Neighbours and Home Away; and the first episode of The Elephant Princess.

So...Dance Academy the movie.  It's interesting that they're planning to turn it into a feature film and not just a telemovie.  I wonder which cast members will return. Just Tara (Xenia Goodwin)? Or others as well.

Wait. Who knows if they're planning to have Xenia Goodwin. Maybe they're planning to do a whole recast.

I hope not.    

Voting For Paul Robinson

I dreamed about Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) last night.

I'm at an event where voting is taking place. Both the voters and the candidates are there, hanging around together.  We write our votes down on pieces of paper. 

Then I'm sitting near Paul Robinson. He asks me if I voted for him. I tell him that I voted for him in my heart, but not on the official voting thing. He seems actually somewhat touched by this. 

I watch him looking over the voting sheets of paper. He complains about people not writing their names on their forms. I'm wondering if I did or not.  Then I see my paper with my name. I start to worry though because I can't remember who I voted for. I had meant to vote for the candidate with the first name Melissa. But now I can't remember her last name. How would I have written her name on my sheet if I couldn't remember her last name?  I worry that I didn't write any candidate on my sheet, and the only name there is my own.  It will look like I voted for myself and that I'm very conceited.  

I don't know why I dreamed about Paul Robinson. I haven't watched Neighbours in a few weeks.  It's not the first time I've dreamed about him though. I dreamed about him last year, and used the dream as an inspiration for a scene in my novel The Dead Are Online.  Though I changed Paul Robinson to another character.

As for the Melissa in my dream. I don't remember what it was now, but last night there was another dream with the Melissa name mentioned.  I have a sister named Melissa, so maybe my subconscious was thinking of her. Though I'd think I'd be more direct and just dream about my actual sister. I often do.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Is McMillan Australian?

Last night I dreamed:

 My sister tells me that a certain actress with the last name McMillan is Australian. I want to confirm this, so I start doing research. But I keep coming up with roadblocks...technical difficulties and other problems. I struggle to find the information I desire.  

Then I had a false awakening/dream-within-a-dream:

I want to write a blog post about my McMillan dream. I write it longhand on paper (instead of typing on computer). I keep messing up and crumpling up the paper. I remind myself that I could type it out on the paper rather than writing it out. I feel rushed because we're supposed to be leaving for a leg of our road trip. Tim asks me if I'll be ready to go soon. I'm thinking I'm going to need another hour, and I feel stressed about that.  

I also dreamed about the preschool where I used to work. When I was writing down my dreams, for real, this morning, I remembered that one of the teachers at the school had the name McMillan. Although maybe it was MacMillan.  I wondered if, for some reason, I had the school on my mind and the Aussie actress dream was an offshoot of that. 

Then this morning I decided to see if there really were any actresses with the last name McMillan.  I found one named Babs McMillan. Then I found Glenn McMillan. And there I had the probable explanation of why I dreamed about that last name last night. It wasn't from the preschool. It was from the actor. I Googled him last night, because he's one of the actors on Wonderland.  I learned he used to play one of the yellow Power Rangers.  

I was wondering if McMillan considers himself Australian or Brazilian, because he was born in Brazil.  I just looked at his IMDb bio (which I didn't look at yesterday), and it says he considers himself Brazilian, even though he has spent a lot of his life in Australia.

I wonder why.

Why not both? Brazilian-Australian. Maybe he doesn't like being hyphenated?  Or maybe he's always been resentful about moving to Australia, so he clings to the Brazilian identity.  

I'm consulting Lord Wiki now.

He labels McMillan as being Brazilian-Australian.  

If I'm understanding Lord Wiki correctly, McMillan's father is Australian.  He met McMillan's mother when he was an exchange student in Brazil.

Then when Glenn McMillan was four-years-old, the family moved to Adelaide. That's a long time to be in Australia! I was picturing that he came around his high school years. But to be there since early childhood, and still not consider himself Australian?  Or maybe IMDb was wrong about him not considering himself Australian. Maybe he does consider himself Australian, but stronger feelings towards his Brazilian identity.  Lord Wiki says McMillan speaks fluent Portuguese and visits his birth place often.

On Wonderland, McMillan speaks with a Brazilian accent.  Is that the accent he uses when he's off-camera as well?  Did he not ever pick up an Aussie accent?

Here's something interesting. McMillan is also a lawyer. He took a break from acting to pursue that career.  It reminds me of Jeremy Cumpston, from All Saints, being an actor-doctor.  Though that was even more interesting, because Cumpston portrayed someone in a medical career on All Saints.  McMillan's character isn't a lawyer on Wonderland. He's a guy who picks up drunk woman with his scooter, and helps them get home.  He does date a lawyer though!

Oh! Here we go. It seems McMillan does have an Aussie accent. Lord Wiki says the character on Wonderland was originally supposed to be Argentinian, but because of his familiarity with the Brazilian accent, McMillan suggested the character be Brazilian instead.  I think if he actually used the accent in his regular life, Lord Wiki would have said things in a different way. Or maybe not?  I'm not sure, actually.

Well, now I know. Because I found a video.  It's of Glenn McMillan talking about his year 12 exams. He has an Australian accent.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Music on Wonderland

I've watched five episodes of Wonderland.

There have been several times where I thought a Vance Joy song was about to start...either "Riptide" or "From Afar"

The instrumental score stuff...well, I guess it sometimes has a Vance Joy feel to it.

But each time it was a false alarm. No Vance Joy song would begin.

Then finally, at the end of the fifth episode, "Riptide" started playing.

It was kind of like the farts before a shit—the instrumental bits being the farts and "Riptide" being the shit.

And no, I'm not saying "Riptide" is a shitty song. I like it a lot.

While I'm on the subject of Wonderland music.  I like the theme song, "(Come on) Come Inside" It's not available on Spotify, unfortunately. But it's on YouTube.

Oh! This is awesome. There's a video of the cast of Wonderland singing the theme song. Extremely adorable.

"(Come on) Come Inside"was done by a company called Smith and Western.  Here's their website.  They describe themselves as being a boutique sound house.

They mostly do stuff for movies, TV, and commercials. Here's their showreel.

There're some lovely Aussie car commercials here.

There's also a lovely under the sea commercial and a funny computer commercial.

The vocal aspect of "(Come on) Come Inside" was done by a guy named Mike Paxton.  This might be his Triple J Unearthed page.  Or it might not be, because there could be another Aussie singer named Mike Paxton.

Here's Mike Paxton's YouTube page. I'm pretty sure this is the same one who did the Wonderland theme song. He looks like the same guy in the "(Come on) Come Inside video"

Paxton has three videos on his channel. Right now I'm listening to "Change is On It's Way". I think it's quite lovely.


An Australian in the Walking Dead

There's been a lot of British folks on the Walking Dead, but not many Australians.  Actually, I think there's been only one Aussie...as far as I know. And she had a pretty brief part.

BUT....

I was just reading about the Walking Dead spin-off show Fear The Walking Dead.  I looked at the cast, and saw that one of the main stars is an Aussie. Alycia Debnam Carey.  Have you heard of her? I haven't. Though she's been on an episode of Dance Academy, so I've seen her.  I just don't remember seeing her.

By the way, I think Fear the Walking Dead is one of the worst TV show titles I've ever seen. What else would you do with zombies? Love them? Cuddle? Be amused by them?  Well, I sometimes am amused by them; but that's when they're just on my TV screen. If they were real and in my neighborhood, I probably wouldn't be laughing.

Really though. The title almost implies that these new characters on this new TV show are scared of the zombies, but Rick Grimes and his friends are not.

Back to Alycia Debman Carey. She also stars in that new horror movie Unfriend.  She plays Laura. From what I remember of the trailers, I think she's the one who comes back from the dead to haunt everyone.

I'll watch again.

No...

Wait.

This might be a different movie.

I was thinking of Unfriended.

But the main character in that is Laura as well.

I'm guessing Unfriended is a remake of Unfriend.  Or maybe the opposite? Yeah. It's probably the opposite, because Unfriended is already out, and Unfriend is still in post-production.

Maybe they're not remakes of each other; and it's just a coincidence that they have similar titles and the main character has the same name.

Back to Fear the Walking Dead. I'm going to glance through the cast and see if there are any other Australians.

So far....I don't see any in the main cast, but there's a Kiwi and a Harry Potter actor.

There's only four people listed as being in all six episodes of the new series. The rest of the actors are on only one episode. I guess they all get eaten.

I wonder how long Alycia Debman Carey will last in the zombie world.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Public Wedding Proposals

I'm watching the first episode of Wonderland.

At someone else's wedding, Kristen (Christie Whelan) catches the bouquet; then sings and proposes to Tom (Michael Dorman).

Through out the episode, we're given clues that Kristen loves Tom much more than he loves her. So it's not a huge surprise when he hesitates with an answer, and then ends up saying no.

These public proposals can look quite romantic and make for great viral YouTube opportunities. But they can go quite wrong.  I wonder how often that happens.

And do people ever say yes when they really mean no; but they don't want to hurt their partner in public?  I don't like lying, but I kind of think this might be the best option.  Maybe they can say yes, but really mean, yes, I'll think about it.  Then they can decide later whether they want to go through with it or break off the engagement.  Of course they shouldn't wait too long.  It's probably best to give the belated no BEFORE any deposits are made.

I'm now reading an editorial about public proposals. It has some statistics. A survey was done of two thousand people.  Out of the people who rejected a proposal, 39% were for public proposals. Another survey questioned 500 brides. The survey found that most brides prefer low-key private proposals. 80% wouldn't appreciate a Facebook proposal, and 57% wouldn't want a flashmob one.

I like what the editorial says about confidence.

Putting someone on the spot is hard enough, but when you do that in public, you’re negating their options. No doubt, by proposing, you’ve already reached a conclusion this person will, in all likelihood, say yes. The idea of “other options” simply does not exist for you. And perhaps it says a lot that you’re so confident about your relationship that you can do it publically. But regardless of your confidence, you’re still dealing with another person. Confidence doesn’t equal truth or reality, only an assurance in your assessment of it.

Sometimes confidence, about a relationship, is justified. Both individuals are in love and there's a mutual understanding that they want the relationship to continue.  Other times the confidence is misguided. The confident one is missing clues or ignoring them.  In that case, we have someone lost in their own head...trying to hide from reality with an inner fairy tale. OR their partner is good at hiding their indifference and/or dislike of commitment.

But when someone with misguided confidence turns the proposal into a public show? Well, I'm picturing someone who is a bit self-absorbed—someone who desires more attention than what should be fairly allocated to all of us.  We all need and deserve attention. But some people too often want to be the CENTER of attention.

The other thing about public proposals, and other public romantic gestures, is that it becomes more about flaunting our perceived sense of wonderfulness and less about loving our partner.  If a man posts a video of himself serenading his boyfriend, not only might he get kudos from his boyfriend; but friends, families, and total strangers might jump on the you're-awesome bandwagon as well.  If a man privately serenades his boyfriend; then we know all he cares about is pleasing his boyfriend.

Yeah. I think private displays of romance are the best kind.  

You know....I just went back to proofread this post and found that my feelings about the subject have already changed.  When I started writing, I felt more sympathetic towards the public proposal folks. I didn't want them to be publicly humiliated But after reading the editorial and thinking it over; my feelings have changed. I'm thinking they don't deserve a lie of kindness. Maybe they deserve to be rejected in public.  Not that I wouldn't feel sorry for them; but it would be more of a pity feeling than an empathy one.

And as for Kristen in Wonderland, I definitely think she deserved what she got.  Not only did she do a public proposal, but she made herself the center of attention at someone else's wedding.  And when Tom said no, she didn't accept graciously. She bitched him out in a dramatic scene and rushed out, causing the wedding cake to fall to the ground.  On top of that, she wore a white dress to a wedding that's not her own. Who does that?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

No Kiss No Coach

This morning I watched the "Money" episode of Kath and Kim.

Kath (Jane Turner) wants to rent a Cinderella coach for her wedding transportation. The episode is about her trying to raise the money. At the end, she gets close; but she's fifty dollars short.  The guy who owns the wedding transport business tells Kath she can have the coach if she kisses him. He says, No kiss no coach.  It would be easy to just kiss him and get the coach, but Kath sticks to her principles and runs out.

The episode reminded me of Australian surgeon Gabrielle McMullin. She's the one who said that women should stay silent about the sexual abuse they endure, because speaking out can ruin their careers. 

Just grin and bear it.

Sometimes that's the easy way. I guess. I mean if we define easy as not putting up a fight...maybe McMullin has a point.

But easy isn't always the best path.  

And although accepting unwanted sexual advances might be a career boost; and it might prevent you from having to endure a legal battle...I'm pretty sure the interactions are going to result in some type of damage. And dealing with that damage probably won't be easy.

Well....

Here's an article about the problems people can endure from sexual harassment.  On their list: depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, high blood pressure, sleep problems, suicide, and neck pain.

I don't think any of those things are easy.

I wonder though. Are there women who accept the sexual advances, yet do not have problems because of it?  

What if Kath cheerfully kissed the coach guy, got what she wanted, and didn't feel any less about herself or the world? Would we still say she did the wrong thing?

I really don't know what I'd say.

I'm thinking I'd probably say it was her choice, and if she's okay with it; that's her business.

I hesitate a bit though, because if she says yes, she's making it easier for the guy to do it to the next woman.   

Then again, what if the next woman WANTS to kiss the coach-guy. What if she has a big crush on him?

No....

I guess it wouldn't matter. Whether you find someone attractive or are repulsed by them; no one should be pressured to trade sexual/intimate activity with goods, services, advancement, etc.  

Now I'm thinking it's probably best for all women to say no...stand up for themselves and all other potential victims.  But if a woman does end up saying yes, because that felt like the easiest thing to do, I wouldn't villainize her. I could probably understand where she's coming from.  


Before I end this post, I'm going to get on my soap box and bitch about one of my pet peeves.  I know it might sound a bit far-fetched to some folks. But I think adults forcing young children to kiss and/or hug people they don't want to is quite similar to sexual harassment.  If adults have a right to say no to unwelcome affection, why not children?

Yes, it's awkward when Great Aunt Trudy asks for a kiss, and Mikey pouts and says no.  But I think Mikey has a right to say no. Personally, I think the best thing to do is ask Mikey if he'll wave to Great Aunt Trudy instead.  I think that's much less intrusive.  

I don't think it's wrong to gently ask for a kiss or hug, but preferably only when there's a comfortable and positive relationship between the adult and child. If the adult hardly knows the child or there's been shyness from the child, it's probably best not to ask for that kiss or hug.  And if the child says no or backs away, I strongly believe their answer should be listened to and respected.  Yes, it can be a bit of a sting. But I think mature adults can be gracious about the situation.  

Here's an article talks about these issues...if anyone is curious.  


  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Lewis on House Husbands

I just finished watching season two of House Husbands.  I loved it, and look forward to watching season three one day.

I'm feeling a bit disturbed about Lewis (Gary Sweet) though. I adore him, as I adore every character on that show. Yeah. I think I'm kind of in love. I mean with the show in general...NOT Lewis in particular.

Okay, but something bothers me about Lewis. He seems a bit over-controlling to me.

First there's the camping trip. Mark (Rhys Muldoon) stops being a house husband and goes back to work full time. He kind of goes into workaholic mode. On the day that he's supposed to have a major phone conference with a potential client, Lewis pressures him and the other guys into going on a camping trip.

On the camping trip, Mark does the workaholic thing and isn't a very fun camping friend. Okay, workaholics are annoying at times. And when workaholism is a chronic condition, intervention is valid and needed. For example, it was lovely in Hook, when grown-up Peter Pan's wife did away with Peter's phone. He needed that. The guy was pretty much always neglecting his family.

Mark's not like grown-up Pan. He's a good family man and a good friend. But even people like that have times in their job where they need to be very focused. Lewis wouldn't have it. On the camping trip, he makes a point of sabotaging Mark's video conference.

In the end, Mark realizes he doesn't like being a corporate man. He wants to go back to being a stay-at-home dad. So maybe Lewis wasn't in the wrong. Maybe he helped Mark realize he was on the wrong path. Maybe he knows Mark better than Mark knows himself. That would be lovely.

But I can't help wondering if that might not be true. What if Lewis didn't know what Mark really needed or wanted; and he only truly knew what Lewis wanted  What if it's just a matter of Lewis wanting things to go his own way? He didn't like that Mark was too busy to hang out as much anymore. He didn't like the fact that his friend was changing. So he acted in a very unsupportive way. And then maybe by a lucky coincidence, it turned out that he did the right thing for Mark.

OR maybe Mark "realized" the corporate world wasn't for him, BECAUSE the conference call had failed. What if it had succeeded and Mark got a promotion?  Maybe then he would have felt the corporate world was his calling.

Towards the end of the season, it happens again.  Justin (Firass Dirani) has had a shit year. Because his (sort of) wife died. Before her death, Justin and his friends were renovating a house so Justin and his family could live there. Lewis was especially into the project. After the death, Justin was a bit lost. Understandably.  Towards the end of the season, he decides to sell the house and move his family to a place where he knows he can find work. He wants to start over.  At least twice, during the season, Justin remarked that the house had been for him and his wife—meaning that now that she's gone the dream has kind of died for him.

Though I think it would have been sad for Justin to leave, it made sense to me that he wanted to do this. Sometimes people need a fresh start. Sometimes they need a change of scenery. And I can totally see why, at the very least, he'd lose his excitement over the house.

But Lewis doesn't. He's so pushy about the whole house thing. He becomes very sulky about Justin leaving.  The other guys join in and pressure Justin to stay.  Their pressure along with pressure from Justin's sons gets Lewis what he wanted. Justin decides to stay in the house.

Is it what Justin wanted?

Maybe.

Maybe it's what he needed and wanted all along, and Lewis understood that. Maybe he's that good of a friend.

Again though. I wonder if it's more about him being a selfish friend; and a friend who can't let go, even if it's the right thing to do for someone.

I don't think Lewis should have waved a simple casual good-bye.  Yeah. I get it, Mate. Good luck to you.  But how about just talking to Justin? Ask him how he's feeling and get an understanding of WHY he wants to leave.

My feeling is Lewis is controlling, needy, and resistant to change.  He imagines he wants what's best for his friends and family; but I think what he really wants is what's best for him.

I'll be interested to see what he does in the next season....

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Embarrassed of Disfigurement

I've been watching Madeline West on House Husbands, and recently saw her also on Satisfaction. I decided to see if she's been in any short films.

So..today I found her in one called Faces, directed by Nick Kozakis. The film is available on YouTube.

West plays a woman whose son won't give her the time of day because half her face is disfigured from severe scaring.  He's embarrassed of her.  During the scenes where he's a teenager, I wasn't too shocked or bothered. Teens tend to be embarrassed of their parents whether they're disfigured or not.  I mean maybe not all the time, but I think it's a fairly common and known thing.

Okay, but then this continues with the son and mother even when he grows up.  That's really inexcusable. The mother may have a disfigured face, but the son has a disfigured soul.

I'd like to imagine the movie is unrealistic and that most people (at least adult versions of themselves) wouldn't avoid disfigured family members.  But who knows....

It was a good movie though; and I loved the ending.  For me, it was cathartic in a weird way.  Like a very satisfying guilt trip. Usually though, it bothers me a lot to imagine someone having to live with a crippling amount of guilt. But with this movie, for some reason, it didn't bother me at all.

Death on House Husbands

Yesterday, while watching House Husbands, I endured yet another Aussie TV character death.  And it's the fourth character I've seen that's died as a pedestrian being struck down by a car. It makes me wonder if this type of accident is one of the biggest concerns in Australia.

I've seen it mentioned in the news. Unfortunately, it happens to real life people as well as fictional ones. But I also see drownings, car accidents, murder, cancer, lost in the outback, and crocodile incidents. Why is the hit-by-a-car thing so often used?

Well, I guess four times is not incredibly often. Although that's just what I've seen so far. Who knows how many other Aussie characters have died in that way.

The episode on House Husbands was odd. Gemma (Julia Morris) and Abi (Natalie Saleeba) are heading to an awards event. Abi struggles, in the backseat, to get changed out of her work clothes and into her dress. With concern, Gemma frantically begs Abi to get her seatbelt on.

I got the sense that they were going to crash, but they didn't.

They arrive safe and sound at the award ceremony.

I thought it was a bit odd. You know the whole thing about if a gun is shown, it has to be shot by the end of the play. Or however that saying goes.... So why would they have the scene about the seatbelt, and then have no car accident?

Then later, Abi and Gemma leave the event and take Nicola (Leah de Niese) with them.  While they drove through Melbourne, I nervously looked at their seat belts. Although the characters seemed to be in a light-hearted mood, there was an ominous feeling.  Then Nicola gets out of the car to retrieve a washing machine left on someone's curb. She steps back into the street, and that's it for her.

But why did they have that scene with the seat belts?  I'm tempted to believe it was some tacky promotional thing. Maybe they advertised that there'd be a heart-breaking death on House Husbands, and so the show wanted to keep the viewers guessing. They did that on Desperate Housewives—promised the viewers a death, and then throughout the episode, they put various characters in danger.

The other thing I'm thinking is that the episode had a sprinkle of spirituality. Perhaps we're supposed to believe that Gemma had some type of premonition. Maybe she sensed something bad was going to happen to one of her friends, and that made her more safety conscious.

Anyway....

When writing this post, I learned that Leah de Niese's birthday is February 22.  That's my sister's birthday as well. And like de Niese's character, my sister was hit by a car.  Fortunately, my sister survived. I think it would be lovely if an Aussie TV character one day survived being hit by a car. The series can show the struggles of having comas, head injuries, and all that.  Though Neighbours did a fairly decent brain injury storyline that I saw recently.

Maybe this is one of my complaints. I think Aussie TV has done their fair share of showing characters having to deal with a sudden tragic death.  It is somewhat lovely, inspiring, and touching to see how people manage to go on after such a horrible thing. But maybe there needs to also be more storylines about other types of struggles...like dealing with a severe chronic illness and/or injuries that cause long-term hardship.

Well, Aussie TV probably DOES have this. I've probably just not run into those episodes yet.



Health Quote on Kath and Kim

Today I watched the fourth episode of Kath and Kim, titled "Fat".

In the episode, Kim says, It doesn't matter how healthy you are on the inside. It's what you look like that counts. 

It's not that I agree with that quote. Or at least I don't WANT to agree with it. Judging by my bad behavior in the past, I'd say there's unfortunately a part of me that does agree with it.

Kim makes her statement after deciding to give up quitting smoking so she can lose weight and fit better into the bridesmaid dress that she's supposed to wear at her mother's wedding. Her mother is proud of her for this. She'd rather have a smoking daughter, than a chubby daughter.

The episode reminded me of an exaggerated version of my own family. We tend to idolize thinness. The feelings are often marketed as a health issue, which makes me think most of them have not seen (or they've ignored) the studies that show being underweight is a health risk. Concerned emails circulate about our overweight members, but not much is mentioned about those who are underweight.  If I skip dessert, there's a comment about me being good.  I don't hear similar comments being made when an underweight person takes a larger piece of pie than usual.

I think if the weight thing was about health, there'd be equal pressure on both the underweight individuals and the overweight individuals to make changes. And if someone lost a large amount of weight in a short period of time, concern rather than compliments would be distributed...the same amount of concern that would be shown towards someone who gained a lot of weight.





Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kath and Kim and House Husbands

Right now my two Aussie binge-watching shows are Kath and Kim and House Husbands.

I watched some clips of Kath and Kim a few years ago, and didn't like it.  I thought maybe if I tried a whole season, I'd grow to like it.  So far, it's not working. Today I watched episode #3 of the first season, and I've not yet fallen in love. Maybe I will like it by the end of the season?

I've heard it said that Americans aren't typically able to appreciate Kath and Kim.  For example, Wendy Butler Gregory, a Hulu commenter, says,  I LOVE this show!! I think it's hysterical. But I'm an Aussie expat living in the States. When I came across this I was surprised (and grateful) that Hulu's showing it, only because I think it's true Aussie humor, very tongue-in-cheek which I don't think our friends here in the States would get or really appreciate.

So I guess I'm not the only American who's unable to love Kath and Kim. But why?  I mean why am I able to enjoy some Aussie comedy, but not others.  Is it the tongue-in-cheek aspect? Do I not like tongue-in-cheek humor?  I don't know.  I think A Moody Christmas and At Home With Julia had a similar style of humor, and I enjoyed both of those.  Do they use tongue-in-cheek humor? Or is it a different style.

I'm trying to find a definition of tongue-in-cheek, but am not really finding anything that makes sense to me. Lord Wiki says the term is used to imply that a statement or other production is humorously or otherwise not seriously intended, and it should not be taken at face value.

Doesn't that apply to most comedy?

What I feel about the Kath and Kim comedy is that I'm being hit over the head with it. I feel it's not subtle enough for me.

As for the characters. I feel very annoyed by Kim (Gina Riley). And yeah. I know she's supposed to be selfish and annoying; and that's part of the joke. But I end up feeling more annoyed than amused. I do like Kel (Glenn Robbins). He's probably my favorite character. He's such a nice guy. And I like Sharon (Magda Szubanski) She's sweet and cute.  

I'm wondering if I'll end up growing to like the show eventually.  I might. I'll see what happens in the next few days.

As for my other show. House Husbands. I love it. I think I liked the first season; and now with the second season, the like has grown to love.  As we have comfort foods, I think we can also have comfort shows.  They're the ones that make us feel warm and cozy. The characters feel like our friends; they make us laugh and cry. That's how House Husbands is for me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Should I Quit?

I might want to quit writing the biography posts.

What makes me nervous is I've been quitting a lot of things lately.

I quit playing Sims 2.

I quit looking at Instagram.

I quit looking at Twitter.

I quit using my library to-read list to determine which books I read.

And I've contemplated quitting the writing down of my dreams in the morning. (On Livejournal; not this blog)

What is my deal?

I don't know.

It's not about disliking my life. It's maybe more about wanting to make little changes to better my life.

Why do I want to quit the biography posts?

Well, mostly I've felt myself getting tired of writing them, and with the last one, I had some major burned-out feelings. I'm especially tired of the filmography bit. I feel myself getting really annoyed with actors for having successful careers. Oh come on! Did you have to be in THAT many movies? Give me a break here.

Other reasons: 

1. What happened on an episode of Slide I watched yesterday. Tammy and her friend go to an exclusive club where Tammy sees a musician she wrote about on the Internet. She's a fan of the musician and pleasantly surprised to learn he knows her name and has read what she wrote about him. But then he throws his drink at her face. It turns out he didn't like what she wrote, even though she didn't mean to be offensive.  What if one day the subject of one of my posts reads what I wrote and hates me for it?  I know sometimes I'm a bit harsh, and I might actually deserve some of their wrath. But what if it's someone I LIKE, and I wasn't even trying to be negative?  

Although that's not really a reason for quitting the biography posts, because I'll still be sharing my opinion on this blog, and my opinion might still end up offending people. Heck, I might one day share a dream about a celebrity and they end up reading it and THAT offends them. You never know what's going to make someone end up despising you.    

2.  Sometimes I'll feel like I'm cheating. Because I'll be watching a show, see an actor I recognize; and I'll look them up on IMDb. Then I get this idea I shouldn't ever do a biography post on them, because I've already had a peak at their filmography.  Or I'll hope and reassure myself that I'll forget what I've seen by the time I do the post. Which is likely since I have a pretty bad memory.

And now for what makes me second-guess my quitting plans and desires.

1. Most of my traffic comes from my biography posts.

BUT most of this traffic is drive-by. They read one post and leave.  Or actually...they probably just glance at the post and leave. They probably look at the post, think WTF, and then find their way to a website that's much less insane.  

My favorite visitors are the ones who look at multiple posts on my blog—the ones who stalk me for a few minutes or an hour or so. That makes me feel loved. It makes me feel like I'm not writing for nothing.

Also, does it matter if my blog gets a lot of traffic? No, I don't want to write for nobody. But I don't really need to write for a whole crowd. If at least one person reads at least most of my blog post, then I feel I've not completely wasted my time by writing it.  

2. I like watching the short films. Yeah. I realized that this might have been my favorite part of these long drawn out biography posts.  But I can continue to watch the short films.  I may or may not write about what I've seen.  

Yeah. So I think I'm going to quit the biography posts for now. But to make up for that, I'll continue to record my dreams in the mornings.  That will make me feel I have some restraint with this whole quitting thing.  

And just as a side-note. I haven't missed Twitter or Instagram. At all.  I have missed Sims 2 on a few occasions.  Like today. I was watching House Husbands.  Justin and his family bought a run-down house that needs major renovations.  Justin showed his wife where they'd be sleeping. A tent in the yard. It reminded me of one of my Sims family. They had lots of children, but not enough money and space for beds. So the kids had to sleep outside...some in tents and some on hammocks.  





A Fresh Controversy

I just read an article about people being mad at Woolworths.

Woolworths started an Anzac campaign where they invited people to share their stories and photos related to Anzac soldiers.

At the end of the article, you can vote on whether you feel Woolworths was being offensive of not.

I voted yes.

The problem with the campaign is they used the word Fresh. Fresh in our Memories. I had a feeling there was something with that word, so I looked at the Woolworth's website. Fresh is their general slogan.

Woolworths wants us to eat their fresh food while having fresh memories of people dying in battle.

By using the word fresh in their Anzac campaign, it does feel like they're exploiting a sad historical event to sell their brand.

If they didn't use the word fresh, I think it would have been fine. Might they still be exploiting tragic history to make themselves look good? Sure.  But that's life.  It's really hard to draw the line between promoting a cause and promoting oneself.

It's like with the ice-challenge. I can't really distinguish between the people who truly cared about fighting against a motor neuron disease and those who just wanted to look wet, cold, and sexy on Instagram.  In reality, a lot of ice-bucket people were probably a mixture of both.  

My Favorite Blog Right Now

A while back I wrote a post about the Pinetrees Lodge on Lord Howe Island.

When I did my research for the post, I learned that Dani Rourke, the owner of Pinetrees Lodge has a blog.  I've been reading it ever since.  I started at the beginning and read a post almost everyday.  

I really love it, because Rourke is refreshingly honest and doesn't do that whole thing of trying to appear overly perfect. 

Okay, let's be honest. Most of these people on the Internet who appear overly wonderful, and make me feel so inferior, are probably not lying. They probably do cook all their meals from scratch using fresh herbs from their backyard gardens. They probably do recycle everything and utilize every drop of rainwater.  It's likely that they fill their children's hours with carefully planned creative activities, often involving toothpicks and gumdrops. They don't binge-watch television because they're too busy doing volunteer work and having intellectual literary discussions with their children who have never once played Minecraft.  

I love Dani Rourke's blog because she admits to being dependent on frozen spaghetti meals.

I love it, because in this post she describes one of her kids' challenging behavior on a boat ride. And I love that she admits...I’m sure Pixie’s behaviour will improve if I stop laughing every time she does something naughty.

I guess what I love is people who are not living an idealized life, and who are brave enough to admit  it.

Oh! I almost forgot. My favorite Dani Rourke post is this one. It's about the whole glorification of business.

She starts out with this brilliant statement:  Being busy is the new black. When we say: “I’m so busy!” we are really saying how important we are. It can become quite competitive after a while. It isn’t enough anymore to do your job and look after your kids, have dinner with your husband and stay on good terms with your parents.

What I love most though is what she says here. Well, first Rourke explains how her life has gotten more busy lately.  Then she says,  But – and this is a big but – I’m writing this blog, aren’t I? (And you’re reading it!) So what does that say about how busy we really are?

Amen to that.

I think the people who truly ARE overly busy and don't have a choice about it....we're probably not hearing from them on social media.  

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Difference Between Melbourne and Brisbane

I've been watching a TV show called Slide.  It's about wild teenagers living in Brisbane.

In the episode I'm watching now, Scarlett has told the group she's moving back to Melbourne, because she's been expelled from school. She's quite pleased about this, and one of her friends asks what's so great about Melbourne. I love her answer:  There's heaps of bars and clubs. And places where they don't let you in if you have no shoes or bad hair. It's pretty much the opposite of here.

From that description, I'd conclude that I'd prefer Brisbane to Melbourne.  I wouldn't mind being in a place filled with barefoot people who have bad hair.  

The only problem is this show has given me the idea that Brisbane is full of vomiting people. Since I have a vomit phobia, I'm feeling a bit weary.  Yeah. Really. I think someone has vomited on each episode, at least once. Usually, the vomiting is shown in action, so I'm getting the idea that the creators of the show like using vomiting effects.

What do they do for that? I guess the actors put something in their mouth and then kind of spit it out? Hopefully, they're not truly vomiting. That would be way too gross.

I think Barry Humphries used to put vegetable soup in his mouth and then pretend it was vomit.

As much as I hate real vomit, I can kind of imagine the joy of creating fake vomit.  

Wait. This post was supposed to be about the differences between Melbourne and Brisbane.

Vomit-wise they're probably equal.

The Secret Life of Us takes place in Melbourne, and that show has a fair amount of vomiting.  But I think maybe Slide had more.  Not that TV shows equal reality. It's just all I have to go on right now. I don't there are scientific statistics available about the volume of vomit created in Melbourne vs. Brisbane.  And if there were, they'd surely both lose out to Sydney.  

I'm both disgusted and amazed by normal people's reaction to vomit.  On these shows, someone will throw up. Then they wipe their mouth with their hands and go about their business.  In the next moment, they'll use the same hand to give their friend something. The friend doesn't mind a bit. If someone handed me something after touching their vomit, I'd probably go home and take multiple showers.  

I'd be so traumatized and disgusted. I couldn't handle it.  But then I'll pick up beetles and other insects without a second thought. Some people can't handle that and will scream if an insect is simply sort of near them.  

We all have our things.