Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Little Moral Debate? Really? Are You Sure?

The other day, my dad brought to my attention that Fox New's Bill O'Reilly talked about Australia on his TV show.

While my dad acted very impressed with what O'Reilly had said, when I read the transcript, I was disgusted and angered.

O'Reilly talked about Australia's detention center policies, and then said,  But you don't hear much condemnation of Australia and inside that country both political parties support the tough immigration laws. There is little moral debate.

I actually can't say that O'Reilly lied, because his statements above are open to interpretation. Maybe his idea of "much condemnation" and "little moral debate" is different than mine.

From my years of being interested in Australia, I feel I've seen a huge amount of moral debate among Australians regarding immigration and asylum seekers. I've also seen quite a bit of condemnation from the international community.

But again. It's open to interpretation.

It's like an outsider can point to the United States, and say, Americans have little moral debate about abortion, gay marriage, guns, etc. They have a right to believe it, and they have a right to say it.  I have a right to believe they're ignorant and delusional.

As for the political party thing... From what I can remember, O'Reilly is correct on that point.  I think both the Labor and Liberal party do support immigration policies that are similar.  But what Bill O'Reilly failed to mention is that, in Australia, parties outside the main two DO have some political power.

According to Lord Wiki, Australia's parliament has ten members that come from the Green party. The Green party is very much on the left, and they campaign heavily for the rights of asylum seekers.

How about the average Australian who is not in politics? Do most of them support a system that would make people like Bill O'Reilly happy?

According to this article?  No. There was a poll, and 63% of Australians questioned said refugees needing protection should be allowed to settle in the country.

Yes. Australia has Pauline Hanson and many others like her.  I'm sure that she and Bill O'Reilly would get along handsomely. But O'Reilly needs to take off his rose-colored glasses and see that Australia is not some kind of xenophobic-utopia. case anyone from team O'Reilly comes to my blog and doesn't believe me about Australia, I'm going to provide a list of links below.

1. Here's the Australian Greens policy page about immigration and refugees

2. Here's an article about Amnesty International condemning Australia

3. Here's the actual condemnation from the Amnesty International Website.

4. Here's a reality TV show in Australia that showed the plight of asylum seekers.

5. Here's an article about the United Nations not being happy with Australia's treatment of Asylum seekers.

6. Here's an Australian newspaper editorial about the treatment of asylum seekers, and it's one of many.

7.  Article in the Huffington post about the mistreatment of asylum seekers.

8. A whole feature by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) that teaches young (and other) Australians about kids in detention.  There are many comments posted by Australians who wish for better treatment of asylum seekers.

9. A long, informative, and powerful editorial written by Julian Burnside, a barrister and human rights advocate.

10. Recent (December 2016) editorial from an Australian who is very unhappy with Australian policies against asylum seekers.

11. Sydney Morning Herald editorial by Waleed Aly from 2014.

Yeah. Seriously.  I have spent several years reading about Australia, and seeing Australians speak out against the shitty treatment of asylum seekers was NOT a rare thing for me.

P.S- I'm too lazy to search for a bunch of articles/links now, but as I run into things, I will add them to the list.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Season Three of Wentworth and Other Stuff

I've been watching season three of Wentworth.  It's wonderfully intense, and I'm loving it.

When I watched the second season, I wondered why there was only one Aboriginal prisoner, since I have been given the idea, throughout the years, that there's a disproportionate number of Aboriginal people in Australian prisons. I was pretty sure Australia had the same problem as the US when it came to putting too many black people in prison.

During my season two days, I did guess that maybe things were different in Victoria, the place where Wentworth takes place.

This time I decided to actually look things up.

I went to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.  There I learned that although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders make up 84% of prisoners in the Northern Territory, they only make up 8% of prisoners in Victoria.

SO, Wentworth has it about right.

In season three, the show has ten or so actresses who play fairly prominent prison roles. It's not unrealistic to have only one of them be Aboriginal.


There's something else on my mind.

Last night I started thinking about how I love TV shows.  I love watching them. I love talking about them. I love writing about them.  TV is one of my favorite things.

Then I felt annoyed at myself.

The thing is, a few months ago, I had felt bad about writing so much about television. I can't say it's because I thought TV wasn't a worthy subject.  It was probably more along the lines of the fact that I worried it's hard for people to follow along if they aren't watching the same shows.

I'm realizing, though, that I don't need to have the type of blog that people come to and read every day. I know from Statcounter that most people who come to my blog are not loyal readers.  Mostly I get people who are interested in a particular person or subject.  And guess what? Usually that subject involves TV actors.

The reason I'm annoyed with myself is I REALLY need to stop trying hard to please other people.

There are times when such a venture has merit. For example, let's say I had a large number of loyal readers and I was making money from their visits.  Then it might be wise to consider writing more for other people than myself.  But that's not happening in my universe.

Also, if I lose the small amount of people who come to my blog because they liked my old posts about politics, history, and things like that, I'd maybe, at the same time, gain readers who like reading about TV-related things. Yeah they might not understand my posts about shows they don't watch. But if that's the case, they can easily just skip those posts!

We live in a very content rich society.  There are so many choices when it comes to finding stuff to read and watch.  If we don't enjoy the creation, we can move along and find something different.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Not Quite Hated In the Nation, But Still....

Last night we watched the "Hated in the Nation" episode of Black Mirror.  It deals with the subject of people who are targeted and hated by society because of something they've done on social media.

The show hit a strong chord with me, because I've been hated for things in the blogging world.

Now, fortunately for me, my experiences have been about a million times less severe than what occurred on Black Mirror. I've never been hated by nation or even a large community—just a very small group of people.  Still, the worst of my online dramas was very emotionally stressful.  It happened seven years ago, and I'm still not over it. I don't think I'll ever get over it, actually.

So anyway, I wanted to share some guidance and insight with the hope that a few people might read this.  Maybe it will make them think twice about joining a hate-parade. Or if my words don't reach them at all, maybe watching Black Mirror will scare them into rethinking their behaviors.

Here's my list:

1. Before joining a hate-parade, please ask yourself, Is the "hateful"-person actually doing something bad, or do they simply have a different opinion than me?

I am so disturbed by the fact that some people online can't handle opinions that differ from their own. Yes, I understand being upset if someone says they want to reinstate slavery. But if they don't like the same Universal Studio rides as you? If something like that troubles you a lot, please take a deep breath or two before writing out a response.

In my case, my very hated opinion was in opposition to a blogger's daughter (guest poster) who was harsh towards people dealing with obesity. I wasn't mean to the girl. I didn't attack or insult her.  I just stated my opinion. But in the eyes of certain people, simply having a different opinion is a crime.

2. Please remember that even if someone does have a shockingly horrible opinion—like they think it's okay to eat puppies—they still might be sort of decent...sometimes.

They probably have feelings, and those feelings might be deeply hurt. Speak against their opinion, but try to do it with more honey than vinegar.

Also remember that these people have mothers, fathers, grandparents, daughters, sons, best friends, siblings, etc.   If you're a parent, imagine that your child did or said something shocking and offensive.  Would you want them attacked by crowds of people online?

3. Please make sure you know a lot of the story before joining the hate-parade. In my case, there were people who gleefully joined the bandwagon, and I'm pretty sure they hadn't read my comment. The comment had been taken down not too long after I had posted it, and all that was left was the blogger and her entourages' angry responses.

I'm not saying we shouldn't believe anything without absolute proof. We don't always need to see things with our own eyes.  But I think we should ALWAYS keep an open-mind.  It's fine to believe and take one side, but we should keep some doubt in our mind. We should always remember there are two sides to every story, and the one we believe might not be the more honest one.

4. If you do feel passionately against something someone has said and done on social media, please remember there's a way to speak up without turning yourself into a monster.

You can argue, complain, and defend in a mature and fair way.

A week or so ago I said something controversial on Twitter about Game of Thrones. A lot of folks were unhappy with what I said.  It hardly stressed me out, though. Now that I think of it, I understand one of the reasons why.  Although people showed strong disagreement, no one wished me dead. No one encouraged me to harm myself.  They didn't pick on me for my nationality or religion. They didn't really insult me outside of saying some basic anti-liberal stuff.

5. If you join a hate-parade, please ask yourself whether you truly care about the cause or whether you're just having fun with the hating.

I say this, because hatred CAN be a fun and exhilarating emotion. It's passionate and exciting. It helps build a bond between yourself and fellow haters. Not only that, but it can distract us from our own faults.  You know....

Who cares that I eat too many animals abused at factory farms? That dentist shot a lion!

Who cares that I sometimes pinch people's butts at work. It's nothing compared to what Donald Trump has done! 

Anyway, yeah.  Hating can feel nice. I'll admit I enjoy it sometimes.  But I suggest, if we desire that emotion, we target fictional characters. We can start with Negan, of course.

6. If you're going to hate a real person, try to do it without sinking to their level.

For example, if you hate Donald Trump for judging women on their appearance, it makes little sense to focus on his hair style and skin color.  If you hate Donald Trump for making fun of a disabled person, it makes little sense to make fun of his sniffing problem.  Yeah. MAYBE it's a cocaine thing. But it could also be a nervous habit or a tic. (Have to confess I did enjoy reading Tweets making fun of this, but really. I should have been more sensitive) 

If you're angry about someone's behavior and want to bitch about it, fine! Sometime we do need to speak out against someone.  But when going on the attack, try to go after the things that matter. Before slinging the insults, ask yourself if you'd be bothered if a person you liked had the same traits. Before you make fun of the homophobic Twitterer for having big ears, ask yourself if you'd be bothered by the singer of your favorite song having big ears.  Tempted to ridicule the meat-lover for his bad grammar? Ask yourself if you'd make fun of equally bad grammar if it belonged to a vegan.

8. Try to have a heart and be kind, even with people who seem to really not deserve it.

Remember Daryl Dixon used to be a bit of an asshole, and now he's a lovable sweetheart.

And Hitler!  He was a horrible mass murderer in the 1930's and 1940's. Now look at what he's become—just a simple YouTube man who's extremely passionate about various TV show plot twists.

On that note, I leave you with this scene.  We should all think of it every so often.

If we were all more like Ilana, the world might be a better place.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Dream About Guy Pearce

I'm thinking I will stop being a blogger-on-hiatus and will now instead be an occasional blogger.

I won't blog daily like I used to, but I also will no longer be no-longer-blogging.

Anyway, I wanted to share my dream.

We're in some kind of clothing store.  Something big has happened, and it's led me to think that it will have greatly lowered the Australian dollar. I'm predicting it's going to worth around .50 American dollars. I think about how, if it is that low, we really should seriously consider going to Australia soon.  

Guy Pearce comes into the store. He's looking for a tie. He seems stressed and rushed. Tim ends up trying to talk to him, and asks Pearce to come and meet his family. I'm embarrassed about this and not pleased with what Tim has done.  (I'm not big on the idea of bothering celebrities when they're going about their personal life, and especially not if they seem stressed).  I pretend to be busy looking at a tie.  


I forget exactly what happens next, but I think maybe someone gave the tie I was holding to Guy Pearce. But he didn't like it.

When I woke up, in the middle of the night, I tried to remember the last time I saw Guy Pearce in anything. I soon remembered it was last month when we were in Colorado. I watched In Her Skin. That was a creepy and depressing movie, but also fascinating—the type that has me frantically Googling to get more information.

In other dreams....

The night before last, I dreamed we were living in Australia for six months.  I was very happy about that.

I'm not sure if my waking-life self is as keen to move to Australia as my dreaming-self.  I'm very attached to my backyard lately. That being said, I'm sure I could totally end up loving an Aussie backyard.

But moving to Australia would have its stresses (i.e: cat quarantine!!!), and more importantly we've been offered no such jobs or other such opportunities. So for now (and probably a long long time), moving to Australia will be just something I do in my dreams.

Monday, August 22, 2016


I'm coming temporarily out of hiatus, because I feel the need to talk about the TV show I watched last week.

It's called Banished, and it's a BBC program about the first hanging in New South Wales.

Well, it's the first hanging of a white person. I'm not sure if the Aboriginal folks used hanging as an execution method.

Speaking of Aboriginal people, Banished did not show any of them; though they were mentioned occasionally. So I think there might have been some complaints about the whole white-washing thing. However, Jimmy McGovern, the creator of the show, has an answer to all that, which is laid out in this article that he wrote.

McGovern says...Banished is not a drama about the settlement of Australia, it is not a broad, sweeping colonial history taking in months or even years of events. Instead it concentrates on a specific set of fictional events which take place over a couple of weeks within the confines of the camp – a story about a love triangle and how Australia got its first hangman. And he says,
 I chose not to include any Aboriginal characters as I was clear that story needed to be told properly, and that Indigenous people shouldn't be included in a tokenistic way as simply background characters.

McGovern wanted to do a second series which would be about Aboriginal Australians, and he planned to have the stories be written by Aboriginal Australians.That would be wonderful, but unfortunately BBC has cancelled the show.

The other imperfect thing about Banished is it's not historically accurate. Most of the characters are named after, and based on, real people. But the drama of the story is invented.

It IS a great story, though. I loved it.

Yikes. I had so much to say, and now I'm tongue-tied.  Or...fingers tied.

Well, I guess the correct term is writer's block.

Maybe I'll just start by talking about Ryan Corr. He's in the show. I have a thing for him.  It's not a crush. I'm not romantically attracted to him in any way.  I just kind of adore him.  With most actors, it takes me some time to warm up to them. But with Corr, it was like fandom at first sight. I was attracted to him as soon as I saw him in Packed to the Rafters.

Crap. I feel like I'm not explaining this right. I'm using the wrong words. Fandom makes it sound like I go to Ryan Corr fan club meetings and have created Instagram accounts dedicated to him. It's not like that. And when I say attracted, it does sound like a romantic-crush type thing. But it's not.

If anything, the feelings are similar to the feelings I have for desserts that contain red bean paste.  I highly enjoy these treats, but I haven't joined their fan club, and I don't have fantasies about marrying them.


Keeping on the subject of Ryan Corr, I also recently saw him in Wolf Creek 2.  I don't handle slasher films as well as I did back when I was a teen. But still...I enjoyed it. I was very stressed when John Jarrett was playing the Australia trivia game with Corr.  I imagined it happening to me and worried that I would fail on some of the questions. I could relate to Corr's character, because he was a foreigner visiting Australia who happened to know a bit about Australia history.

And now I'll move away from the subject of the wonderfully, brilliant, fantastic, Ryan Corr.

I wish I could find someone who has seen Banished, so I could discuss it with them.  There are things about the show that are plaguing my soul. The main thing is, I didn't like the character that was described as being heroic—Tommy Barrett.  He was supposed to be Christ-like, and I just saw him as kind of an ass.  I mean I don't think he was awful, but he did things that made me angry.  Or actually, it's what he didn't do that made me most angry.

My favorite character was James Freeman. Freeman's played by Russell Tovey, who I know from the Kylie Minogue episode of Doctor Who and the one episode of Being Human we watched. Well, he's in more then one episode of Being Human. He's one of the stars, actually. It's just we only got through one episode.

James Freeman, in real life, because the first hangman of Australia. Banished is a fictional account of how that all came to be.  I don't know what the true story is like, but the one invented by Jimmy McGovern is VERY sad and intense. It's great drama. It's the kind of drama that makes me feel I need a therapy session or a support group to help me process it all.

I really liked Freeman and had complete sympathy for the choices he makes on Banished.  He's hated, though, by the other characters in the story. It makes me wonder if most of the other viewers agree with me, or do most viewer see him as a unlikeable character.

It's fascinating to me that people view characters in such vastly different ways.  I see it with Coronation Street.  I'll watch an episode and have a ton of sympathy and understanding for a character. Then, after watching, I'll read the comments, on Hulu, and I'll see someone bitching about that character that I liked.  Sometimes there will be a fight between two characters.  I'm on one person's side, and the commenter is totally on the other's.

Here's another thing. I don't know if it's because I'm getting up there in years or the Internet has made it possible for us to reach out to people who were once much more unattainable, but lately I've had very strong urges to send messages to fictional people. It happened with James Freeman. I really wanted to write him a letter telling him that he's not completely alone; that I'm on his side. A few months ago, I watched House, and was very tempted to write angry letters to one of the characters.

I'd also probably write a letter to Ryan Corr's character in Wolf Creek 2. THAT guy needs some major moral support.

Before I end this, a few other things....

I watched the second season of Wentworth and loved that. Back to the subject of lacking diversity, though.  I think the show needs some improvements there. As far as I know, Australia has the same problem as we do—locking up more black people than white. I think both our prisons are racially disproportionate. Yet, out of all the main characters on Wentworth, only one of them is aboriginal. Well, and there's also a black prison guard. But still. I think there should be more aboriginal characters.

The only excuse I can think of is that prisons in Melbourne are less diverse than prisons in central Australia. Maybe Melbourne prisons really do have mostly white people.  I don't know....

The other thing I want to mention is I've been reading Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies.  I've been reading it for many months, so I might have also been reading it before my hiatus began. The reason for this is I was going through a phase of reading multiple books at once.

But anyway, I am loving the book, and don't want it to end. I'd like it to go on and on forever.  I want to stay with these characters until the end of their natural life.OR maybe even beyond that.

Big Little Lies says some big, and little, things about bullying and domestic violence. There's some very intense, stressful drama in there.

A TV show based on the book has been made.  I think it's coming out this year. I'm very disappointed that the characters and setting aren't going to be Australian, but I might give in and watch it anyway.

Well...that's all for now.  If you managed to read all or some of this post, thank you!  Lately, I'm somewhat surprised and impressed by any traffic I get that is not Kate Jenkinson related.  These days, most visitors to my blog are looking for Jenkinson. Though today they're seeking out Little Patty.  But I'm sure, in a few days, Jenkinson will dominate again.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye, and Goodbye

1. Dreamed that, my dad has been given a gift from an Australian. The gift has something to do with American singers.  

My dad makes a quiet snide comment about getting an American gift from an Australian.  I'm offended by his comment and call him out on it. But then I start feeling bad that he didn't get an Australian gift.  

I'd probably be disappointed if an Australian gave me an American gift. I'm not sure my dad would mind. Well, he might be disappointed, but I don't think he'd be mean about in the dream.

When we lived in New York, I volunteered in a first grade classroom. The family of this little Japanese boy invited Tim and I over for breakfast.  We expected a traditional Japanese breakfast, and were disappointed to get an American one. We weren't rude about it, though.

2. Decided to maybe quit my blog...or at least take a long break from it.

I hate to think I'm doing it because I'm losing popularity. That's probably one of the reasons, but there are others.

I'll list them.

A) It's been something I've been considering the past few weeks...or months.
I thought about it again this morning. Then today, the past post I read was this overdramatic one.  I had planned to quit in 2012 but then came back again.  I don't fault myself for returning. Well, it is kind of embarrassing.  I think it's always a little embarrassing to dramatically announce your exit and then return again.

B) I've grown to really despise narcissism.  I try very hard not to act/be narcissistic in my life outside the blog—talking to people, emails, texts, Twitter, etc.  But this blog is just naturally narcissistic.  I blab on and on about myself. Sometimes it embarrasses me.

C) I keep using the same words over and over.  Yesterday I used the word "strange" in my post way too many times. Today I'm stuck on the word "embarrass".

D) I feel I'm just repeating the same opinions, stories, and insights over and over.  I'm pretty sure I've already told the story of the not-Japanese breakfast.

I do think I have some brilliant opinions and insights, and I'm glad I've gotten them down here for the world to see.  But I don't think I need to keep repeating them.  (See? Narcissism!)

E) Time issues.  I want more time to read books, read the news, exercise, watch TV shows, clean the house (no not really) read other people's blogs, learn French, be outside, etc.

I was going to sound like a good wife and mother by saying I want to spend more time with my child and husband.  But Tim is usually happily, busy playing his Battlefield game.  I think we're both content with the amount of time we spend together.  Jack is a teenager, and probably would not appreciate me increasing my time with him. With the homeschooling, we already spend quite a lot of time together.  I am VERY grateful for that.  If I tried to increase the time, Jack might try to become one of those kids who divorces their parents.

F) This morning I realized all I really do for this blog is watch TV shows.  I worry that what I write doesn't even make sense to people reading since they're probably not watching the same shows.

Even if they watched the shows in the past, they might not remember enough for my post to make any sense to them.

I think the main reason I have continued to write in this blog, the past several months, is the fear that what's keeping me watching Australian TV and movies is so I can write in my blog.

It's all confusing, though. One thing I tell myself when thinking about quitting is I can just take breaks. But on days that I take breaks, I also take breaks from watching my Australian TV shows. I feel that I'm going to get all behind on my Australian-watching.  I have such a huge list of things I want to watch!

I'm realizing, though, that if I quit my blog I can keep watching Australian shows. I can watch MORE Australian shows, because I'll have more time. It takes longer to watch a show when I keep having to stop and write about it.

G) I know my blog will continue to get visitors even if I quit.

I do have a need for attention. I personally don't think I have a higher than average need.  I mean I don't think I have an unhealthy need. I just like to feel that I'm not invisible and that some people out there are reading the stuff I've written.  I don't need a huge audience.  But I do like when I go on Statcounter and see that someone has spent time on my blog.

The thing is, I don't need to keep writing my blog to have that. People visiting my blog usually come for my old biography posts. If I quit, I think people will probably keep coming.


Goodbye Forever.


Goodbye for now.  Hopefully I'll manage to stay away for at least a few weeks!

I'm on Twitter if anyone wants to be with me there. I haven't often posted Australian stuff, because I do that here.  But now, if I'm not blogging, maybe that shall change.

Edited to Add: Also....if anyone is interested, I have two novels available on Kindle.  

There's Thirty Cats, which is novel about a young woman who has neurofibromatosis.

The other is The Dead are Online.  As the title suggests, it's about a world in which talking to the deceased is easy and commonplace.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Avoiding Risk, Shocking Twists, Taking a Second Look, and Not Amused

1. Started to watch an episode of Water Rats.

I wonder if they're going to deal with Terry (Aaron Jeffrey) and his stalker issue. I hope they will, but I'm expecting they won't.

One thing that makes me think that is Helene Joy, the woman who played the stalker, doesn't return for another episode.

Although, then again, Terry could deal with his feelings about the attack without having to see the stalker.

Actually it would be strange for him to meet up with her.  I don't think having a meeting with the stalker is part of the victim healing process.

2. Saw, on IMDb, that Aaron Jeffrey isn't even in this episode. So I doubt they'll be dealing with the stalker issue.

3. Saw that Justin Rosniak, from Neighbours and Packed to the Rafters, is in this episode.

4. Saw that this episode has a Jessica Watson type storyline.

There's a sixteen-year-old boy doing a sea adventure.  Rachel (Catherine McClements) thinks it's wrong, and Frank (Colin Friels) thinks it's impressive.

I remember when Jessica Watson went on her adventure, opinions about it were very strong.

5. Went to Jessica Watson's website to see what she's up to.

6. Followed a link to an article about Watson.

She's twenty-two now.

7. Thought it was interesting that Watson says she's not adventurous.

How can someone wanting to sail solo around the world not be adventurous?

The only answer I can think of is that she just wanted to do that one thing, and outside of that, she's not interested in seeking out adventures.

8. Disagreed with Watson's mindset about risk. If I'm understanding her correctly, she believes the adventure wasn't risky because she was very well-prepared. I definitely think that being well-prepared reduces risk. But I think bad things can happen and having all the right supplies and training won't neccessarily stop you from getting killed or injured.

If Watson truly believes that disaster can be avoided, what does she believe about all the people who HAVE died at sea. Were they not prepared enough?

9. Thought about how it's easy for people to believe in their personal philosophies when things turn out positively for them.

If someone believes all risk can be avoided with proper preparation, and they avoid getting seriously injured or killed, they'll probably keep believing in that philosophy.

If someone believes that thinking positively will make them rich, and they win the lottery, they'll probably keep believing in positive thinking.

10. Saw that the young sailor on the show is presumed missing, and it's suspected that canned quinces are to blame. Botulism!

Did Jessica Watson prepare for life threatening food poisoning?  How about other infections? Aneurism? Heart attacks?  Appendicitis?

11. Wanted to say that I'm not against what Watson did. I think it was brave and brilliant. I just disagree with her idea that planning can subtract all risk.  

12. Thought that maybe I misunderstood Watson, and what she meant was that planning can subtract MOST risk.

I think there's a big difference.

13.  Found out why Helen (Toni Scanlan)  gives Taylor (Raelee Hill) such a difficult time.  She's not just Taylor's boss; she's also her estranged aunt.

I was NOT expecting that! It was a great twist.

14. Thought about twists.

I think the best ones are the ones that come as a complete surprise, but then you can look back, and some strange behaviors start to make more sense.

15. Thought that the strange behavior shouldn't be too strange, because then we might start looking for an explanation. We might end up making a correct guess, and then the twist isn't so exciting. It's predictable.

16. Remembered that I did wonder about Helen's behavior, and I did make guesses. But I guessed wrong.

I thought Helen was upset about Fiona (Sophie Heathcote) leaving the force.

Maybe the trick is to either have behavior that's strange but not too strange; or have behavior that could be explained by other things.

If Fiona hadn't left in the previous episode, I might have sought answers elsewhere. I might have started to wonder if perhaps Helen and Taylor knew each other. Probably not.  I would have still probably missed it.

17. Decided to watch the first scene between Helen and Taylor again. Will I see things I didn't see before?

Another thing I'm wondering is if Taylor didn't know, at first, that Helen is her aunt. She last saw her when she was twelve.

18. Decided twelve is probably old enough for remembering.

19. Started watching the scene.

It's cleverly done. There are these subtle facial expressions that could mean nothing, but now I see them as meaning something. Well, and now knowing what I know, I think they DO mean something, but back then I hardly took notice.

When Helen sees Taylor, she has a subtle look of surprise. Then Taylor has this kind of proud-nervous look—the kind someone gets when they receive a compliment.

20. Thought that a smarter person might have wondered about Taylor calling Helen by her first name. I just thought it was a nervous mistake.

Also, Taylor immediately tells Helen that she's been trying to get into the water police for years.  I just took it as nervous babbling, but now I see it as a...Well, it's still nervous babbling. But it's not just the nervous babbling of a person talking to her boss for the first time. It's also the nervous babbling of a young woman seeing her estranged aunt after a long period of time.

21. Started watching the movie A Few Best Men.

22. Saw that Xavier Samuels plays a British person in the movie.

23. Wondered if the actors played his English friends (or brothers?) are Australian as well.

24. Looked at IMDb, and saw they're British. Or at least Kevin Bishop is. There's no birthplace given for Kris Marshall, but he was in Love Actually. So he's probably British as well.

25. Consulted Lord Wiki.  He confirms that Kris Marshall is British.

26. Introduced to another character.  Luke. He's British too but played by an Australian (Tim Draxl).

27. Felt it would be easier to have Australian playing Australians, English playing English, Americans playing Americans,  Scottish playing Scottish, etc.

So why do movies and TV shows have actors play different nationalities?

It makes sense when the budget is low and you have to work with a small pool of actors.

But if that's not the case?

The only explanation I can think of is that the actors LIKE to change accents. I guess pretending to be something you're not is one of the joys of acting.

I guess from an actor's standpoint, I get it. Outside of that, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

In the movie, they have two British actors playing the British characters, and then two Australian actors playing British characters. How hard would it have been to find two more British actors?

I'm also thinking of Fear the Walking Dead...though there are a zillion other similar examples.

On that show, within the main family, the daughter is played by an Australian and the son is played by a British guy.  Would it have been that hard to find two American actors to play the part of American teenagers?

28. Laughed at a dumb thing in the movie.

Sometimes really dumb things can be funny.

29. Thought of describing the funny thing but then remembered that second-hand comedy rarely works well.

So I'll just say it involves an escalator. That way if you ever watch the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about.

30. Thought it was strange that Mia (Laura Brent) introduces her mother (Olivia Newton-John) by saying, This is my adorable mum, Barbara.  I don't think I've heard someone say anything like that before.

31. Felt awkward watching the movie, because the comedy is making me cringe more often than laugh.

I hate when that happens.

In a way, it feels very similar to the feeling I get when I'm with someone who makes a joke and I don't find it at all amusing. They're laughing at their own joke. I'm not. I feel like a bitch.

Sometimes I'll try to fake a laugh, but that doesn't help. I'm not a good actress.

32. Started to think that mismatched humor is one of the worst things that happen between two people.

I think the awfulness of it is really underrated.

Being on either side of the equation is horrible.  I also hate that feeling when I'm telling a funny story or I make a little joke.  The listener looks bored, gives me a blank look, or they do the awful fake laugh thing.

33. Thought that one of the best things between people is shared laughter.  It's a major bonding moment.

34. Hoped that there'd be more moments in the movie that make me laugh.

I did laugh at the escalator; although after the scene ended, I started to wonder if it was even supposed to be a joke.

35. Felt that the drug dealer in the movie looks a bit like Richard Davies.

I also think that Kris Marshall looks a bit like Richard Davies.

Two Richard Davies look-a-likes in one movie. That's quite interesting.

36. Wondered if Richard Davies IS in the movie, and my eyes are just missing him in the credits.

37. Wondered if people who liked The Hangover would like this A Few Best Men.  I've never seen the movie, but from what I know of it, I think it's similar to what I'm watching now.

There's also Bridesmaids, which I think has been compared to The Hangover. I haven't seen that either.

I wonder if I'm not the type of person to like that kind of movie.  Or would I like that kind of movie, and A Few Best Men is not as good as others in its genre.

38. Looked at Rotten Tomatoes.  A Few Best Men got a score of 16%!  Yikes. That IS very bad.

In comparison, The Hangover got a 79%.  The second sequel, though, got a 19%.

39. Found something in the movie that I like...besides the escalator scene.  At the wedding reception, the wedding singer sings the theme song from The Love Boat.

40. Stopped watching the movie for today.

I'll watch the rest tomorrow, probably.

41. Started to proofread, and realized I never saw Justin Rosniak in the episode of Water Rats.

Maybe I was looking at the cast of the wrong episode?  Or maybe I just didn't recognize him.

42. Realized that Rosiniak might have played the teen who was trying to beat the sailing record.  I watched some of the episode outside, and sometimes it's hard for me to see.

43. Re-watched the teen sailor scene on Water Rats.

It doesn't look like Rosiniak to me.

I think it might be, though.

44. Thought more about shared laughter.  It's a great thing, but it can also be a painful thing. For example, if two people are laughing AT you, in a mean way, that doesn't feel so good.  Also, even if you aren't the target of the laughter, simply being excluded from the laughing group can be painful.

45. Found the teen sailor's name. It's Kingsley, and that's who Rosiniak played in the episode.

It's him.  He just looks different...younger.

I wish I could remember what he looked like as a child, on Home and Away.  My brain is not able to bring up the image.

46. Remembered there's a such thing as Google Images.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Losing Visitors, Incapacitated, Guilt, and Blaming the Victim

1. Spent time looking at Statcounter.

I had thought my blog was in a slump, but I was wrong. What really seems to be happening is, each year my blog gets less and less popular.

By 2020, I think I'll have about ten visits a day...or maybe even less.

I was a bit disheartened to see that my blog is getting less and less popular. Then things got even worse. I Googled for information about blogs losing popularity and ended up seeing an article with this headline: Why Do Narcissists Lose Popularity Over Time?

I have this fear that, while I'm disgusted by narcissism, I'm actually one of the worst narcissists out there. The headline fed into that fear.

Not only has my blog lost popularity, but the not-blogging part of me seems to lose people as well.  It's one of the patterns that makes up my life.

But then I started to feel better...sort of.  The thing is, though narcissism might repel people eventually, there are other things that do as well.  For me, it's probably the other things. The narcissism thing is doubtful.   

The thing is, though I've had a reduction in popularity, I've never been very popular in the first place.  It's not like I've gone from very popular to not popular. It's more like I've gone from not popular to even more not popular.    

I don't have much of that narcissistic charm and confidence.

2. Started watching an episode of Water Rats.

This one is about a ferry crash.

3. Learned from Lord Wiki that there was a Sydney Harbour ferry crash in March 2007.  

Four people were killed.

4. Learned that, in 1927, there was a more severe disaster. A ferry called Greycliffe crashed into a mail steamer. Forty people were killed.  

5. Finished watching the episode.  

6. Realized one of the themes of the episode was feeling guilty for things in which we really can't be blamed.

Tommy (Jay Laga'aia) feels guilty, because during the disaster, he ordered a passenger to go radio for help. The passenger ended up dying, and Tommy thinks the man would have survived if he hadn't been given the radio task. One of Tommy's colleagues points out that other people died, and they hadn't been given orders by Tommy. There's no guarantee that the man would have survived without Tommy's interference, and if he hadn't called for help, more people might have died.  

In another storyline, Taylor (Raelee Hill) ends up returning stolen loot to a thief. The thief had lost it during the crash and then came to the station to retrieve it.

Later the real owner of the money shows up, and Taylor feels stupid. Her colleagues point out that she had correctly followed procedure. There was no way she would have known the money was stolen, because when she gave the money to the thief, the money hadn't yet been reported stolen. 

In contrast to those stories, there was another one in which a person WAS to blame for their mistake.

The reason the ferry crashed was the captain had an angina attack. At first, the story seems similar to the two above. The captain says it was his first attack, and who can blame anyone for suddenly having a debilitating heart problem?  However, then it comes to light that the captain had known he had the problem and his doctor had told him he needs to retire. He didn't, because he liked his job.  

It's nice that he liked his job so much, but not so nice that he risked other people's lives.

7. Imagined there might be real life people out there who are risking our lives by staying in jobs they shouldn't be in anymore.  

8. Didn't think that people necessarily need to retire because they have a health condition that can incapacitate them.  

I think, though, that they need to be honest, take the needed medications, and in jobs like transportation, have backup personnel. Although maybe that would get expensive.

I think with things like airplanes, there already usually is a co-pilot. I imagine ships would have co-captain.

I'm not sure if the ferry, on Water Rats, had one. There was a guy frantically yelling at the ferry captain as the crash was about to happen, but I'm not sure if that was a co-captain, another type of employee, or just a passenger.     

But anyway, I'm thinking when it comes to things like buses, having a co-driver for every bus might be difficult.  

9. Remembered the movie Speed. I think the bus driver had a heart attack.Or was he shot?   

Either way....

Sandra Bullock took over.

Maybe with buses it's different. I think there are more people who know how to drive a vehicle than there are people who know how to fly a plane or drive a ferry.

Then again, a bus is quite different from a car.  

10. Did some more Googling and saw various things that made me realize just driving a vehicle can be hazardous if someone becomes incapacitated by a health condition.   

This UK website says that if you have a heart condition, it's likely you'll be able to drive again. For heart attacks, they say to wait four weeks before getting back behind the wheel. For angina, they say you need to talk to your GP. There are different types, and some are less easy to control.I'm guessing the captain had a hard to control type.   

11. Thought that if someone is pushed to retire from a job or a favorite hobby, because of a health condition, it might be a good idea to bring in a counselor. Or at least doctors should be kind and sensitive about the issue.  

12. Thought that whether or not someone is willing to quit because of a health condition probably depends on A) whether the risk is only to themselves or a risk to other people as well B) the  likelihood that the health attack will reoccur C) the personality of the patient D) Whether the doctor is known for being overcautious.

13. Started watching another episode of Water Rats

14. Felt something was missing in the episode.

There's this whole scary stalker storyline involving Terry (Aaron Jeffrey).  

The stalker (Helene Joy) breaks into his apartment and ends up stabbing Terry in the chest.  He falls to the ground and is having trouble breathing. Then the scene cuts to him being taken away by paramedics, and the stalker is in police custody.

I would kind of like to know how he escaped the predicament. Why would the show just skip over that?

15. Learned that Terry has damaged lungs now, and won't be able to dive anymore.

Hearing that made me really hate the stalker, but Terry's talking as if he's the one who did something wrong.

I don't think he did.

The stalker flirted with him. He responded. They had sex. Then Terry learned she had a boyfriend and tried to end things. She wouldn't let it end and accused Terry of using her.

I definitely don't support men using women. And maybe Terry had been using her in some ways.  On the other hand, he could have thought the encounter was casual sex and didn't realize she was expecting more. Also, it's possible that if another man didn't accuse Terry of sleeping with his girlfriend, Terry would have been interested in continuing the relationship.  

16. Felt unnerved by the episode.  

I just re-watched the scene where Terry briefly talks about what happened. To Dave (Scott Burgess), he says, Look. I'm responsible for what happened to Gina (the stalker). 

Dave, to his credit, makes a small attempt to argue. She was the one with the knife, Mate. 

Terry says, Officially, Yeah.

What the hell does that mean?

It bothers me that Dave doesn't fight harder to get Terry to see sense. And I don't like that the show concludes that particular storyline with the inference that Terry is to blame for what happened to him. 

Yes, he's a bit of a womanizer. Or at least he's a flirt. That's not a great thing. But it definitely doesn't excuse stalker behavior.   

He definitely didn't deserve to be slashed on the arm and stabbed in the chest.

17. Hoped that they return to the storyline in a future episode. I hope someone pushes Terry to understand that he's the victim.  

18. Remembered another scene.

When Terry is being taken away by the paramedics, he says to Frank (Colin Friels). If you tell anyone about this, I'll kill you. Frank responds, Not a word, Mate.

Terry being attacked by a stalker is presented as an almost embarrassing mishap.  

I'm not sure what I would have wanted Frank to say instead.  

19. Decided maybe he could have said something simple like,  We'll keep it between us, but you know you have nothing to be ashamed of.  

That sounds kind of corny.

Maybe Frank could have said nothing, just given him a kind pat on the shoulder.

I don't know....

20. Googled to try to find out if anyone else has had issues with the storyline.

I ended up finding a website that says Aaron Jeffrey himself was a victim of a stalker. It went on for seven years.  

Maybe the storyline was inspired by his own experience, and maybe they are going to deal with the whole victim-blaming thing.

21. Felt a little bit bad for stalkers and their delusional mental problems, but I feel much worse for their victims.  


Monday, May 2, 2016

Drug Bust, Legal Habits, Adventure, and Regrets

1. Started watching an episode of Water Rats.

2. Wondered if Gavin (Brett Partridge) lied to the people at a party.

There's an unconscious young woman (Chloe Allan), and Gavin tries to get information about what she ingested. Alcohol? Drugs? He tells the party people that he's not aiming for a drug bust.He needs the information so it's easier to help the woman with her medical disaster.

Someone speaks up and says speed was going around. Gavin then asks the speaker if he knows who the supplier was. I wondered about that—wouldn't that be a drug bust path?  But I argued against myself. Maybe he wanted to talk to the supplier, so they could get more information about what drugs the woman took. Maybe it would help with her treatment.

Now, though, the woman is in a coma the hospital and the police are questioning her parents. If they're not trying to do a drug bust, why do they need to talk to this woman's parents?  What kind of information are they seeking if not drug bust stuff?   

3. Thought about the drugs in the episode.

The episode is very anti-drugs. The drug creators and sellers are the evils of society. The police are the heroes who fight the drugs.

I just wonder why is it that speed is shown as a big bad evil, but then there's no such action taken against alcohol.  

4. Wondered if speed is that much worse than alcohol.

I think it would be hard to measure, though, because more people are going to use alcohol since it's legal.

Alcohol probably causes the most damage of any drug because it's the most easily obtainable.  

5. Figured that to get a semi-accurate picture of how dangerous a drug is, it would be best to divide the number of users by the number of deaths caused by the drug.

How many people use alcohol on a regular basis? How many of them die from the alcohol?  

How many people use speed on a regular basis? How many of them die?

I guess there'd also be disastrous situations with irregular use. There are people who might not often use a drug but then use too much of it on a specific occasion.  

6. Thought that underlying health conditions might be an important variable. Then with that, I think we'd need to know how common the health condition is. If a drug is likely to kill anyone with type A blood; that's different than a drug that is likely to kill someone with a rare metabolic disorder.

7. Tried to find studies that look at use divided by deaths. I haven't found anything yet.

I found this article, which I'm trying to understand. Drugs were rated by how much they harmed individuals and how much they harmed society. They don't really explain, though, what that entails.  

If a drug hurts society is that due to the drug itself or the laws surrounding the drug?

For alcohol, I think it's often the drug itself.  For example, driving while drunk can kill people. That's about the alcohol and not any anti-alcohol laws.

For other drugs, the criminality of it might cause more problems. In order to get the illegal drugs, people might lie, kill, steal, etc.

8. Thought it might be best to look at the chart and compare oranges with oranges.

How do legal drugs compare to other legal drugs, and how do the illegal drugs compare to other illegal drugs?

For legal, alcohol is rated much worse than tobacco—72 vs. 26.  It's interesting then that we have more rules to marginalize smokers than we do drinkers.  How often do we go to a hotel that has non-drinking rooms?

9. Had confusing thoughts about the whole thing.

It seems to make more sense not to allow smoking in public places. There's the whole second hand smoke thing. It's not just bad for the smoker's lungs, it's bad for the rest of us. If someone drinks near me, it's not like my brain cells and liver will be affected.  

10. Wondered. If drinking was more marginalized, would it cut down on things like domestic violence and drunk-driving accidents?

At first, I thought maybe. But then I realized people would just take it underground.   

11. Wondered if anti-smoking laws have cut down on smoking at all?  From what (I think) I know, smoking has been drastically reduced in the past decades.  But is that more from health education or the fact that all these rules have made it difficult to smoke?

When a teen is offered that first cigarette, does she think.  Well, if I get into this, I might look cool  But it might be a problem, later on, if I get addicted and want to take a long flight to Europe. How am I going to handle not being able to smoke for all those hours?  

Do people say, What's the point of smoking if I can't smoke at any club in the city?  

12. Started to look at the illegal drugs.

Heroin (55) and crack (54) are about the same. Amphetamines (23) the villain of the episode of Water Rats is actually lower than tobacco (26), and much lower than alcohol. The police worked hard to find the amphetamine dealer but did nothing to find out who was providing the alcohol.

13. Started to read up on amphetamines and was reminded that ADHD drugs fit into the category.  So, although it's an illegal drug, it's not always an illegal drug. The same can be said for opiates. There are illegal versions and legal.

14. Thought it was incredibly odd that society has had legalized amphetamines and legalized opioids for the last few decades...or even longer, maybe?  Meanwhile there's been this huge controversial struggle to legalize medical cannabis.  

15. Went back to watching Water Rats. I have a few minutes left. 

16. Saw scenes of the brain dead speed victim. It made me think of something I read. It was one of those controversial speeches down at the Sydney Opera House. What's that event called?  

17. Googled.

It's the Festival of Dangerous.

Okay, so there was one speech about how people see drugs as a bad thing because sometimes they kill people. Yet there are extreme-adventure type activities that carry a similar risk, and people look at those things in a much more positive light.

The girl on Water Rats took speed and ended up brain dead. The conclusion is that drugs are very bad, the people who supply the drugs are very bad people, and the police who fight against the drug dealers are doing a good thing.

How about when someone climbs Mount Everest? That's a pretty risky endeavor.  If a person climbs and survives, they're celebrated. They can maybe write a book about it or at least brag about it at dinner parties.

Yeah, a drug user can write a book too, but impressing the reader is usually going to come from OVERCOMING the drug habit not from the drugs himself.  

Back to the climber.  Let's say he dies.  He doesn't make it to the summit. He doesn't make it home.  Are the police going to try to find the person who talked him into going on the climb?  Are they going to arrest the Sherpa who helped with the climb?  Well, that might be the case if the Sherpa did something unethical.  But let's say he didn't.  Let's say he followed proper safety and health procedures.  If the climber died, would the Sherpa be presented as a villain?  

18. Tried to find the Festival of Dangerous Ideas topic.

I failed.  But I'm pretty sure I didn't dream it.  

19. Finished watching the episode.

20. Learned that Sonny Leunig, the son of Michael Leunig, has published a book. It's full of uninspirational quotes—an antidote to all the inspiring messages that bombard us.  

Tim was a fan of a similar thing a few years back.  I forgot what it was called.  

21. Compelled to admit that I have some inspiring quotes on my screensaver. Sometimes they do make me feel better. Other times, I realize it could all be bullshit.

Anyway, some examples of some of Leunig's messages:  

No Regrets: Just deep inconsolable sorrow buried in a bottomless pit of missed opportunities and shattered dreams. 

Today is the day for positive change. Tomorrow is the day to default back to our inevitably disappointing self.

I like the honesty there.

It's nice to have no regrets, and I think some people have good enough lives that they can move forward with appreciation rather than backwards with sorrow.  But there are people who took the wrong turn, and they ended up on a nightmare path. AND they're still on that path. It's kind of unfair to ask them not to have regrets.

22. Started watching the rest of All About E.

23.  Thought that the movie has a good example of a regret.  

E (Mandahla Rose) cheated on her girlfriend Trish (Julia Billington) and got caught. This led to E being dumped, which is a problem because E still loves Trish.  It would make sense that E regret cheating or at least regret being caught cheating.  

If E didn't still love Trish, then there'd be less reason for regret.

24. Realized that there is a way around the regret. E could take the attitude that things happen for a reason. Yes her mistake led to her losing Trish, but eventually something better might come along.

I think, though, that it would take a huge amount of inner strength to truly believe that. For most people who say, or think, they believe it, they're probably lying to themselves.

25. Thought that things that cause regret are probably a combination of our own choices and how others react to them.

What if Trish forgave E for cheating on her? What if they didn't break up? Then E might not regret her transgression as much. 

26. Thought that our level of regret is also probably determined by luck.

A person who drinks and drives and makes it home without incident is probably going to regret their misdeed much less than someone who hits a pedestrian and ends up going to prison.  

27. Thought that this movie has the most explicit lesbian sex I've ever seen.  

I haven't seen many lesbian movies, though. I don't have much to compare it to.

28. Thought that the sex was interesting at first, but now I'm getting bored.

29. Thought that Julia Billington looks a little bit like Marcia Brady.

30. Finished watching All About E.

I ended up liking it more than I initially expected to.  

31. Went to to pick my next thing to watch.

It's a movie called A Few Best Men

32. Looked at the cast.  

Rebel Wilson is in it, as well as Xavier Samuel and Olivia Newton John.   

33. Saw that the director of A Few Best Men is Stephan Elliot.  That name was very vaguely familar to me.  It turns out that he's the writer and director of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. 

34. Saw that there's a sequel coming out to A Few Best Men.  It's called A Few Less Men.  It has the same writer as the first movie (Dean Craig) but a different director.  

Deborah Mailman is in the sequel and so is Saskia Hampele from Neighbours. 

35. Wondered if Saskia Hampele is still on Neighbours.

She left around the time that I was forced to stop watching, but then, I think, she returned.  Is she still there?  Or did she leave again?

35. Saw that Hampele is listed as being in only one episode of 2016 Neighbours. 

36. Checked to see if Hampele has written any more blog posts.

I don't think she has, unfortunately.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Book Samples, Visiting Ramsey Street, Airfare Discussions, and All About E

1. Saw a brief glimpse of Stephen Peacocke in the Me Before You trailer.

I enjoyed the trailer; though it was the type that showed so much, I'm not sure why I'd ever need to see the movie.  

I read the Me Before You book sample on my iPhone. I didn't like it at first, but then I started to like it. I didn't buy it...probably just out of cheapness.

I'm kind of feeling guilty for all the samples I'm reading, and then not buying. With nonfiction, I think it's okay because I usually get bored with nonfiction books after awhile.  So it's not just about being cheap.  

2. Decided I shouldn't give myself a hard time about it. Is there that much difference between reading samples and getting books from the library?  Neither are illegal, and I don't think they're unethical.  Yes, I'm denying the author some money, but I'm also denying myself the many remaining chapters of the book. It works out.  

It's not like I'm never giving financial support to writers. I DID buy Big Little Lies and I bought The Rosie Project. Those were my splurges, because they're full-priced. Then I've also bought bargain books. Sometimes I feel good buying those because they're written by Indie authors. I know what it's like to struggle as one of those.   

3. Thought about how I'm not just reading samples to be cheap. Because if I want to, I can just use our library. They have a program where you can download digital books.  

The thing is, I really like reading bits and pieces of things, especially with nonfiction. For example, this week I read a couple chapters about Kevin Rudd, and I also read a few chapters of Andrew Fraser's book. I liked what I read, but I think I would have gotten bored if I tried the books in their entirety.

4. Surfed around YouTube,  looked at my subscriptions, and clicked on the official Neighbours channel. I haven't been THERE in a long time.


I saw that both Tim Phillips and Harley Bonner have left the show.  

5. Started watching Tim Phillip's goodbye video.  He and Ariel Kaplan talk about how they're filming Imogen (Kaplan) and Daniel's (Phillips) last scene together. Are they breaking up? Did they already break up?  Or is Kaplan leaving the show as well?  

6. Saw that there's been a wedding. Was it Imogen and Daniel's?  

7. Learned that it IS their wedding and the couple is driving off together.

8. Wondered what Kaplan and Phillips will be doing with their life now?

And...will they miss being on Neighbours?  

9. Thought about how I like Tim Phillip's sense of humor.

I remember liking him in the past as well.

Maybe he should do more comedy.

10. Wondered how much of the comedy in the video comes from Phillips himself. I imagine some of it is scripted and not ad-libbed. But does Phillips come up with the ideas, or does someone else do it?

11. Started to watch video of Kip Gamblin filming an emotional scene.

I think someone has died, but I'm not sure who.

In the other video, Phillips and Kaplan referred to Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou) grieving about something.

12. Learned that a character played by Terry Donovan is the one who died.

13. Googled and was reminded that Donovan played Elmaloglou's father-in-law.  I'm not sure that they were that close, though. So maybe Kaplan and Phillips had been referring to another death...or loss.

14. Learned there's been an explosion, so there were probably multiple deaths.

Yesterday I watched a major fire tragedy on Coronation Street. It was TRAUMATIC...but also a bit repetitive, because they also had a fire tragedy in 2013.  If they lived in a bushfire area, it would make more sense. But they don't.  

15. Saw from this video description that it's Josh (Harley Bonner) that died. Wow! I didn't expect that.

16. Started watching the video and saw that Josh is played by another actor.  Did they replace Harley Bonner?  Or is this a joke?

Well, I can see the death scene is a joke.  Elmaloglou and this not-Harley-Bonner guy (Ben Nicholas) are being silly.  But is Nicholas standing in for Bonner as a joke, or did he take Bonner's job?

17. Googled and saw Nicholas does not play Josh.  He plays Stingray.  

18. Learned from Lord Wiki that it's a past tense thing. Stingray died.

Maybe Ben Nicholas was just visiting. Or maybe he has a backstage job on the show these days?  

19. Looked at Nicholas on IMDb.  It doesn't look like he's doing Neighbours work. I guess he was just having a visit.

20. Had another talk with Tim about going to Australia this summer. He was excited, because he saw a Premium Economy deal.

I predicted that this would happen—the idea of a cheap trip to Australia would blossom into expensive plans. 

Though I would prefer to go on Premium Class rather than Economy; sometimes I wonder if it's worth the huge jump in price.  

The thing is, being in a higher class doesn't guarantee a happy and comfortable trip.

On our way back from Disney World, Tim upgraded us to first class on American Airlines. I did not have a good time, mostly because I'm a germaphobic and have a vomit phobia,  The flight attendant handed out drinks by touching the rim of the glass where I'd put my mouth. This bothered me a lot, because who knows what else she's touched. Then the woman in front of us vomited, and that was traumatic for me. Being in first class didn't protect me from people with motion sickness and it didn't protect me from flight attendants who are lacking in hygiene skills.    

All that being said, though, once we started looking at Premium Economy, the thought of taking economy was kind of difficult. Tim likes having seats that can go further back. I like that we can use the business class toilets and don't have to share with the masses. But I told Tim I didn't know if we had the money to do both that and Japan within a year or two. Tim seemed to agree with me.

I then realized that the Premium Economy sale isn't really what would make the difference between what we'd pay in 2016 and what we paid in 2013.  What would make the difference is the weakened Australian dollar.  

For now, we have concluded that we're going to go to Japan sometime in the next couple of years. If we're in a good financial place and see a good deal, we'll go to Australia months or a few years after Japan.  If there's not a good deal, I'll wait until my fiftieth birthday. Whether we fly Premium economy or regular economy, hopefully no one close by will vomit, and hopefully the flight attendants will have good hygiene skills.  

21. Believed that whatever class we're in, Qantas is likely to be better than American Airlines.  

I just remembered that not only did we have the flight attendant lacking in hygiene, we had problems with the vegetarian meal. Tim called up in advance to order the special meal and the person on the phone said there would be no meal service.  Then later we found out we were given the wrong information. There was a meal, but it was too late to order it. We weren't too late, because we waited too long. We were too late because American Airlines gave us the wrong information. Did they try to fix things? No. All we got was a half-assed apology.  

22. Went back to watching the Neighbours video—the one about Josh dying.

23. Stopped watching the video.  I'm having a hard time getting into it.  Instead I'm going to Google and find out what happened to Josh. I'm morbidly curious.

24. Learned from Lord Wiki that Josh fell from a falling column in a hotel disaster. Daniel too was trapped by the column, and Josh sacrificed his life to save Daniel.

25. Watched part of an episode of Water Rats outside.

I love that Hulu and Netflix lets you watch your shows on the go. Although you have to be in a place that has a decent connection.  

26. Looked up a guest star on the show, because he looked familar to me. It's Daniel Rigney. I don't think I've seen him in anything else besides The Island of Dr. Moreau. Unfortunately, Rigney died when he was only thirty-one.  He had a brain hemorrhage.  I think that's the same as an aneurysm.  Or an aneurysm might cause a hemorrhage. I guess there could be other causes, though I can't think of any besides injury.  

27. Googled and learned brain hemorrhages can also be caused by tumors, high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, and other things.  

28. Wanted to say that I probably did NOT recognize Rigney from The Island of Dr. Moreau. It's been about twenty years since I've seen that. He probably just looks like another actor.

29. Finished watching The Water Rats episode.  It was exciting, and it also had a fun little ghost scene.  

The episode reminded me a little bit of the Sherlock episode we watched this weekend. Both shows involved hidden bombs and the criminal using bystanders to pass on his message. Though the villain in Sherlock utilized bystanders more often.  

30. Saw that although Home and Away is pretty much gone from Hulu, they do have two episodes remaining that I could watch—episode #181 and #182.  For 181, it says I can resume watching the episode. This would mean I've started to watch the episode.

31. Thought that I hadn't started the episode, but I had. I checked earlier today, on my phone, to see if Home and Away was gone. I saw there were two episodes there, so I clicked on one. I watched around a second.

32. Wondered why these two episodes of Home and Away are still remaining.  

33. Watched a little bit.  

I thought Tank (Reece Milne) was Evie's (Philippa Northeast) ex-boyfriend, but it looks like he was someone she met more recently.  It looks like she's actually interested in him.  So, what happened to Josh (Jackson Gallagher)? Well, I know he gets injured eventually.  But did Evie dump him for Tank? Is she still with Josh, but having an affair?

34. Did some reading. I guess Josh and Evie broke up, and then she went out with Tank. That's the impression I'm getting.  

On a happy note, Evie and Josh eventually get back together, and Josh proposes to Evie. 

35. Wondered if Josh knows that Evie kissed his brother Andy (Tai Hara). Or is that a deep dark secret they're keeping?

36. Realized the sentence, I just read, about the proposal has the answer. I didn't read it carefully enough. Josh DOES find out about Andy; though it doesn't say what his reaction was.  

37. Learned, from this article, that Matt (Alec Snow) is now the prime suspect in Charlotte's murder.

I also learned that the new Dylan character is played by Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, the actor from Underbelly, Puberty Blues, and Sea Patrol.  

38. Started to watch All About E.

I'm doubting I'm going to like it at all.

It's about the club scene. I strongly disliked the last club movie I watched.  

39. Looked up the name of the club film. It's One Perfect Day. Yeah.I really did not enjoy that one at all.  

40. Decided that one of the guys in the movie reminds me of Bing Bong from Inside Out.

I guess that's one positive thing. I really love Inside Out.

41. Learned the Bing Bong character is named Matt, and he's played by an actor named Brett Rogers.

In the movie, Matt is Irish. I don't know if Brett Rogers is as well.  

42. Saw that Brett Rogers has a website.

43. Learned, from his bio page, that Rogers graduated from NIDA.  

The page says,  Brett is currently starring in the Australian feature film All About E playing Matt, a role which saw him transform into an overweight, irish, redhead.

I'm assuming that means Rogers is not Irish. I'm also guessing he's not usually overweight and that he doesn't have red hair.  There's a photo of him on the page, and he looks quite different than his Bing Bong character in the movie.

44. Guessed that Rogers is gay like his character in the movie, because otherwise wouldn't they have mentioned that as something he transformed into?  Then again, it's not like the article is going to list every single thing about Rogers that makes him different from Matt.

45. Learned that Rogers is originally from Tasmania and that he helps with drama classes for intellectually disabled adults.

46. Saw that Rogers is available as an acting tutor.

47. Started to realize I like this movie more than I liked One Perfect Day.

48. Learned from the movie that there's a traditional Arab alcoholic drink called Arak. It's anise-flavored.

49. Saw that Arak is made with grapes, and then, during a second distillation, it's mixed with aniseed. 

50. Realized this movie doesn't have too much club scene stuff.

It's mostly about an Arabic lesbian who keeps her sexuality a secret from her parents.

51. Thought that E (Mandahla Rose) is not very likable. She's cold towards Matt, even on his birthday. She makes a rude comment about his weight. We also learn she cheated on her girlfriend.

I think she's supposed to be unlikeable, though. It's one of those types of stories.  The only other story, I can think of offhand, that's also like that is The Wimpy Kid.

52. Tried to think of other  movies or TV shows that have a difficult-to-like protagonist.

53. Couldn't really think of any.

Maybe Sawyer on Lost. Then he slowly grows more likable.

54. Understood that no character is going to be universally liked.

I think some characters are written to be likable, but they rub certain people the wrong way.

I'm thinking more about characters that are purposely written with strong weaknesses.

55. Wondered if hard-to-like characters are the same as anti-hero characters.

I get confused about the whole anti-hero thing.

56. Decided that maybe it's wrong to label E as an unlikeable character.

I might be acting egocentric here.

For me, her actions and attitude are unlikeable. My sympathies are with Matt. Someone else might watch the film and think E is very easy to relate to. They might be annoyed by Matt.

57. Liked that the movie has pretty scenes of Australia.

58. Stopped watching the movie for today.

I shall hopefully watch more tomorrow.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Live Action Zootopia, Being Ignored, Cold Shoulders, and Misjudging

1. Started to watch an episode of Water Rats.

2. Thought about Zootopia, because on Water Rats, a petite police officer has joined the show. I've only seen her for a few seconds, but her personality also reminds me of Judy Hopps.

3. Saw that the new character is played by an actress Raelee Hill. Then I got very confused, because I saw Hill was on Farscape. She has red hair, so I thought she played the red hair character I remembered. But I didn't remember that character being petite.

I can be very bad at judging height, though. For example, when I would look at David Tennant, I'd see a short guy. But he's not at all short.

Anyway, Hill doesn't appear until season four of Farscape.  I saw that and then couldn't remember which season of Farscape I'm on.  I had to look at episode descriptions to figure it out.

I finally figured out I'm on season three, and the red-headed character I was thinking of is Jool, played by Tammy MacIntosh.

4. Saw that Raelee Hill was in the short film "Breath, I watched recently—the one with Michael Dorman and Morgana Davies.

5. Thought that Taylor (Hill) is very cute.  She really does remind me of Judy Hopps.

Like Hopps, Hill is treated with derision. Well, actually, Jeff (Bensley) is quite friendly and welcoming. Helen (Toni Scanlan), on the other hand, is a total bitch.  First, she's just cold.  Then when Taylor makes the mistake of using her first name, Helen chides her on that.  I can SORT of understand that.  In some careers, ranking titles are important to some.  But then Helen says, And if you joined the water police because you thought it was glamorous... She says something under her breath that I don't understand. Then she says, you'll be assigned to the front counter until such time.

I don't know what Taylor did to deserve Helen's attitude. Helen, though, is not usually such a bitch.  Something's up with her.  It could be the fact that they recently lost an employee. In the previous episode,  Fiona (Sophie Heathcote) ditched the force because she misjudged a Munchausen by Proxy situation. She made one mistake and then wanted to quit. Maybe Helen now sees Fiona as weak, and she's worried that Taylor will be weak too.

6. Saw that pretty much everyone on the team is giving Taylor the cold shoulder.

7. Excited to find Anzac biscuits at World Market. We bought some, of course. We also got some Australian honeycomb and maybe one other Australian thing.

8. Saw Violet Crumble at Central Market. I think I've recently seen it other places as well.

9. Looked at the cool Sydney sticker Tim bought me for my laptop.  It was an early Mother's Day present.

10. Tried to remember if we bought a third Australian thing.

Maybe we didn't. I can't remember anything. But I'll check later.

11. Returned to the Water Rats episode.

12. Felt so bad for Taylor and angry at the water police for treating her that way.

Besides Helen, they're not being outright rude or mean. They're just acting disinterested.

She asks two of the guys to go to the pub with her, and they reject the offer. They're nice about it but give her very little of their time. They act like she's not worth it.

13. Wondered if a collective cold shoulder could count as workplace bullying or a hostile workplace.

It might not as bad as working at a place where people activity tease you or physically intimidate you, but I can imagine it being very lonely and soul-crushing.

14. Saw Rachel (Catherine McClement) make an effort to acknowledge Taylor's presence. It wasn't much, but at least it was something.

15. Looked up being ignored at work, and found a page about it on a bullying website. They say it does count as a type of bullying.

I haven't read it yet, but I'd say one way it would differ from other bullying is it could be done accidentally.

I don't think the water police are malicious.

16. Divided ignoring-situations into three levels.

A) Purposeful with intent to hurt. This would happen when people are angry at someone, or dislike them, and the ignoring actually has the purpose of sending a negative message.

B) Insensitive and/or rude. This is when people don't have anything against the victim. Yet they leave them out in an obvious way. I talked about this in a recent post. Three people are in proximity of each other. Person A explicitly invites Person B to do something, and they both leave Person C behind.

C) Accidental/bad luck.  An unfortunate person gets ignored by multiple decent people who just all happened to make the same mistake.

It could be what happened with the water police. Yes, Helen was a bitch.  But maybe the others are just kind of busy and preoccupied. Maybe they figure they'll give Taylor their attention later, and they think that, for now, someone else is giving her the attention she needs.

17. Imagined there have probably been times where someone tried to have a social moment with me. I might have been cordial but busy and distracted. I might have brushed them off, and went about my way.  If it was just me doing that, it's probably no big deal. They'll go talk to someone else. But what if several people on the same day to it to the same person?

18. Started to read the bullying website.

19. Felt bad, because I can think of times that I've done some of the things mentioned. This would include not just ignoring someone but being extra nice to other people that are around.

I didn't do it as part of a group. It was just me alone, and I didn't do it long term. It was probably and hour or two.

One of the times happened when I was a teenager, and it was deliberate revenge. I wanted to make the person feel bad, and they did.

The other happened recently, and I can't say it was deliberate revenge.  It was more like I was in a group setting, and there was the awkwardness of the fact that I was angry at one person and not the others.  I was cordial to this person and did speak to them when they spoke to me, but I was less friendly towards them than I was with the other people. I was cold.

Even though I feel justified about my anger, I don't feel my behavior was okay.

There has to be a better way. And that better way might be pure fakeness.

Giving someone the cold shoulder really is a type of manipulation.  There's the message there.  Hey. I'm mad at you.  Could you tell?  I hope you're noticing, because I'm really making an effort here to get my point across.  

20. Felt sometimes it's hard for me to tell the difference between when I'm truly actively angry at someone and therefore can't manage to be nice to them and when I'm purposely making an effort to act angry so I can "properly" punish them.

21. Decided it's almost always the latter. Because I can be quite nice to people I dislike.  I'm good at faking it.

22. Changed my mind. Maybe.

I don't know if I'm good at faking it, or if it's that I can like people while at the same time despising them.  I can think awful things about a person. In my mind, I put them on my bad list. Then I see them in a social setting and truly enjoy their company.

I have very mixed feelings about most people.

Maybe that's the same with everyone.

23. Decided I should stop blabbing and go back to reading.

24. Finished reading.

Though I think the ignoring I've done is manipulative and wrong, I don't think it's the same as what they're describing.  I think ignoring as bullying is when a leader gets a whole group to ignore a victim.

That being said, a bullying situation might start off with one individual. Then if the individual has power, he or she can get others to follow their lead.

I really don't have social power.

If I did, hopefully I wouldn't use it for evil.

25. Thought about something else.

Sometimes ignoring is not about rudeness, anger, an unintentional thing,  etc.

Sometimes it's shyness.

I've had times where certain people intimidated me. I want to talk to them but am too shy.  I'll talk to someone I feel comfortable with, in front of them.  But it's kind of my way of talking to the person that intimidates me.  Does that make any sense?  I don't do it a lot.  I can think of one instance in the last five years or so. But I probably did it more often back when I was a chronically shy person.

I'm thinking there are also times where someone has done it to me.  They ignore me and are much nicer to someone else around me.  But it might be more about shyness than disliking me or not caring about me.

So...yeah.  I think that's something we should keep in mind.

26. Started to watch another episode of Water Rats.

27. Saw that this episode was directed by Peter Andrikidis, the same guy who directed Killing Time.

28.  Started to see a pattern on Water Rats.

I don't remember if it also happened on the first season. But in this season, it seems like each episode has an officer that strongly believes in someone's innocence.  They get mad at their colleagues for seeing things differently.  Then at the end of the episode, the person who had the strong opinion realizes they're wrong.

29.  Wasn't sure if the first episode of the second season followed the pattern. I can't remember.

30. Glad to see Terry (Aaron Jeffrey) being nice to Taylor. He invites her to go diving with him, and then attend a party.

It seems he's trying to hit on her so he can eventually sleep with her.  Maybe that's not the best kind of friendliness, but I think it's probably better than being ignored.

31. Disappointed in Dave (Scott Burgess).  In this episode, he's the one who ends up being wrong.
During his misguided crusade, Dave attacks a security guard who very reluctantly shot someone. He's very cruel to someone who's already quite distraught over what he's done.  Dave learns he's wrong and never makes an attempt to apologize to the security guard.

32. Thought more about my bad behavior.

I think I understand it now.

What happens is, I start off anger and my cold shoulder is based on real feelings. I can't be nice, because I aint feeling nice. But then my anger fades, and I'm left torn between an impulse to be nice and a desire to hold on to my anger so I can continue to punish the person.

Eventually I end it, because whether or not the person feels punished or couldn't care less, I imagine I'm hurting them and that makes me feel bad.