Monday, February 29, 2016

Immersive Experiences, Unhelpful Advice, Cliffhanger Series Finales, and Needing IMDb Assistance

1. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

2. Wondered about the Anzac trench replica used in the show.

The Summer Bay students are being forced to sleep there overnight. The experience includes hearing gunshots and/or other explosives and being hit with falling dirt things.  

I Googled and saw that one of these trenches was made in Melbourne for 2015 Anzac.  

The Summer Bay kids are supposed to be in Canberra, though. Or they're on their way back from Canberra. Melbourne would be quite out of their way.  

3. Found an article about a trench replica in Western Australia. 

4. Could imagine that if they have one of these replicas in Western Australia and Melbourne, it seems likely they'd also have one in the ACT or New South Wales.

5. Thought that Roo (Georgie Parker) said the wrong thing to Maddie (Kassandra Clementi).

Maddie is trying to decide if she should return home with her mother (Kathryn Hartman) instead of continuing to live with Roo.  

Maddie says something very sweet. You and Mr. Stewart have done so much for me. And I know that if I leave, I'm going to hurt you. I'm just really confused. 

Roo replies, You have to do what you think is the right thing.  

I think that's incredibly unhelpful.

It seems to me that the main thing holding Maddie back is the fear of hurting Roo. What Roo said isn't going to make things any easier for her.

I think what Roo should have said is, Yes. It's going to hurt when you leave. We love you. We'll miss you. But if you want to be with your mother, I completely support this. I want you to be happy.  

6. Wondered if I've ever made one of Jack's tough decisions even tougher by saying the wrong thing.  

I say Roo said the wrong thing, but I understand why she did it. When we're hurting, the stuff that comes out of our mouth is sometimes not very helpful or supportive.  

7. Thought it was generous of Alf (Ray Meagher) to have a health-related collapse.

The Summer Bay High kids weren't really gaining any insight from the trenches replica activity.

But now they're all bonding together to help Alf.  

Seriously, though. I think museums, replicas, and reenactments can give minimal insight into what people experienced in the past.  I don't think there's anyway we can come fully understand other people's trauma and drama without experiencing it ourselves.  

Personally, I think if there's anything that can give us a somewhat close understanding, it's TV shows, novels, films, and theater. 

8. Realized I could be wrong about this. Maybe it's different for other people.

I'll use The Holocaust for an example. For me, I'm going to get more insight and emotional connection from movies like Schindler's List and Europa Europa. Walking through a museum and seeing artifacts is going to touch me much less. But with other people, it might be the opposite.

And maybe for some of the Summer Bay High students, the replica/reenactment was having an effect on their psyche. Maybe they didn't need Alf's medical collapse to make the experience more meaningful.  

9. Started to watch the last episode of Tangle.

10. Stopped watching the episode before getting past the recap and did other things.

One of these things included reading part of a sample of a Paul Kelly Book—The Triumph and Demise.  It's about the Rudd and Gillard drama. So far, I like it. I'm definitely going to finish the sample, and maybe I'll actually buy the whole book. It will probably depend on how much it costs.

I'm going to have to REALLY love the book to want to spend more than eight dollars on it. And I doubt I'd love it that much, because I don't usually love nonfiction that much.  

It might end up being one of those books where reading the sample is satisfying enough for me. I had that yesterday with another nonfiction book—about the Americas.  It was sort of interesting, and I'm glad I read the sample. But I don't think I'd want to read a whole book about it.  

11. Felt I needed to clarify that the Paul Kelly who wrote the book isn't the singer.

At least I don't think he is.  

12. Checked. He's not.

I'm sure I've checked on this before.

It's just sometimes I doubt myself.

13. Went back to Tangle.

14. Wondered who Ally (Justine Clarke) is going to end up with at the end of the episode—the best friend of her deceased husband (Matt Day) or the brother of her deceased husband (Kick Gurry).  

I have no idea who it's going to be, and it could actually be neither. 

I like that I have this uncertainty.  

I think it makes the show more exciting.  

15. Didn't know who I wanted Ally to end up with. I think the brother is the better man. I think he'd treat Ally better than the friend would.

However, I feel Ally is more in love with the friend. She has more chemistry with him. And that makes a difference.

Sometimes settling is not about going with someone who isn't decent enough.It's about going with someone you're not truly in love with.

16. Wondered if it's better, in the end, to choose the person you love less but treats you well over the person you're madly in love with but doesn't treat you the way you'd like.  

I don't know.

The problem is, if you choose a person for how they treat you and not for how much you love them,  you might not end up treating THEM so well. The relationship might be very uneven, and the less- loved person might be taken for granted.  

17. Liked scene with Christine (Catherine McClements) bitching out her psychologist.

Christine does this, because she feels the psychologist gave her bad advice—advice that went against her own instincts and advice she feels ended up causing major problems for her family.  

I don't know if I agree that the advice was bad or not, but, at the very least, I feel the psychologist was annoyingly condescending.

The thing is,  I resent some people for advice they gave me in life, and there's a part of me that would like to bitch them out. Most of this annoying and hurtful advice comes from people who don't know or refuse to try to understand the full story.  

It's unlikely I'll ever bitch them out, but it was cathartic to see Christine doing it. 

18. Heard Christine bitch out Nat (Kat Stewart) for being a selfish parent—putting her needs before her child.

That's another thing I'd like to bitch out—selfish parents. 

I don't think parents should be selfless. Definitely not. They don't need to be martyrs all the time.It's just sad that there are parents who usually put their own interests and ego ahead of their children's needs and wants. They rarely make sacrifices, big or small, for their children.  

That being said, I'm not sure Nat is that kind of parent. I think she was in the past. And in the present, she's an actress who has a bit of an ego. That probably makes her selfish to some extent.  I'm not sure how bad she is as a parent now, though.  I know she's not perfect, but I don't know if she's absolutely horrible.

19. Saw the ending of Tangle.

Not only did it lack a happy ending—or at least a temporarily moment-of-peace ending; it was downright troublesome.  It seems like a cliffhanger, which makes me think the creators of the show did not expect it to be the last episode.

20. Thought that if TV show writers are not 100% sure their show is going to be renewed, they should end on a slightly positive or, at least, hopeful note.  I think most viewers are intelligent enough to know there's not going to be a happy ending for these people. Heck, there's never a happy ending for ANYONE.  But most people are lucky enough to have moments of contentment. There's no reason to end a series on the day the shit totally hits the fan. End the series on the day AFTER the shit hits the fan...with the inference that one day shit will hit the fan again.  

21. Went to the Tropfest website.

Today I'm going to watch a 2010 finalist film called "Nick and Shauna".

Pia Miranda is one of the stars, and also a producer.  I can see that from the icon picture, and the small amount of credit information that's on the film's Tropfest page.

There's a guy in the picture who looks familar to me, but I'm not sure who he is.

I'll find out later.

22. Started watching the film.

23. Had an idea of who the guy is.

I'm pretty sure he was in the last season of The Secret Life of Us. He played the brother of Jane Harber.

24. Recognized another actor.

I don't remember his name, but I think he was one of the stars of Howzat. 

25. Finished watching the film.

I thought the premise was fun. It's about cousins whose childhood dance video goes viral, and they try to capitalize on their fifteen minutes of fame.

I can't say I was overly entertained by the execution of the film.  I'm not sure why.  It could just be my mood.  It could be that I felt the actors were mocking the characters.

No, that can't be right. 

I mean the actors WERE mocking the characters, but plenty of comedy does that successfully.

I can't really give a definite, rational reason for why I didn't like the film very much.  It's just that for some reason I found it more annoying than funny and endearing.

26. Thought the name of the director (Alyssa McClelland) sounds familiar. I think maybe she was one of the actresses on I Rock.

I'm probably totally wrong about that.

27. Saw that the main actor in the film is Ryan Johnson.  

28. Saw that the Howzat actor's name is Abe Forsythe. His role in this film, by the way, is very brief.

29. Saw from IMDb that Alyssa McClelland is NOT the actress from I Rock.   

I do know her as an actress, though. She's the one who was in the short film with Kerry Armstrong—the one with the elevator.  I watched it twice—once because of Kerry Armstrong, and another time because of the director. Now I can't remember who the director is.

30. Used IMDb to refresh my memory.

The name of the film with Armstrong and McClelland is "Mind the Gap".  The director is Rachel Givney. She's the one who directed "Bargain"—one of the 2009 finalists.  That film introduced me to the actor Andrew Steel, which led me to watching the show Justice Lease.

I wish my brain had the capability to remember all these connections.

31. Looked for the I Rock actress.

It's Allison Bell.

That's not very close to Alyssa McClelland. 

I guess I got the Al part right.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Maddie's Cancer, Teenage Secrets, Baboons, and Names for Fruit

1. Started to watch an episode of Home and Away.

2. Wondered about Maddie's (Kassandra Clementi) cancer. Since I've started watching it, I've not heard what type she has.  

I'm guessing it's some kind of cancer that's common in teens.

Maddie seems open to the idea of dying.  It's not that she's excited about the idea. But she seems to have accepted the possibility. When she tries to talk to her friends about this, they're dismissive. They act as if death is not an option. Maddie just needs to go through with the treatment, and all will be well.  

I'm wondering, then, if Maddie has a very treatable cancer, and she's overreacting. Or is fairly likely she'll die, and her friends just don't know how to respond to that fear?

3. Wondered about this Summer Bay High trip to the Anzac Memorial.

I'm getting the idea that this field trip was not connected to any curriculum.

I think the teachers just brought the kids to the museum with the idea that seeing artifacts would make the kids learn something and feel something.  

Evie (Philippa Northeast) sees the field trip as a waste of time—time taken away from what they need to be studying. I'm doubting she'd feel the same way if they were actually studying World War I in history class.  

4. Saw that with one short, passionate lecture, Marilyn (Emily Symons) was able to miraculously transform the high school students from callous selfie-taking brats to deep-thinking, caring kids.  

5. Had a brief moment of emotion.  

It was when Alf added a poppy to the memorial. Evie, who had belittled the war multiple times in front of Alf, watched him and then put her hand on his back as a sign up support.  

Evie's rude attitude was fixed by Marilyn's speech, AND also, she was transformed by looking at some stained glass artwork. For some reason, the stained glass made her see the error of her ways.

6. Heard Maddie tell her estranged mom that she has cancer. Her mom asks what type. I was thinking, oh. Funny. The day I wonder about what kind of cancer she has, it's going to be revealed to me.

Except I couldn't understand what Maddie said.

It sounded like Cevarian cancer? Maybe it's cervical cancer?  Maybe Australians have a different name than we do?  

7. Googled Cevarian cancer Australia and was redirected to cervical cancer.

8. Listened again to see if it might be ovarian cancer.

But it doesn't sound like that.

9.  Looked up Maddie's mom, because she looked familar to me.

The actress is Kathryn Hartman. She played Sally Clements on McLeod's Daughters. I'm not sure who that is, but I'm guessing maybe she's the woman who was engaged to Nick (Myles Pollard).

10. Started watching an episode of Tangle.

11. Learned from Tangle, that people in Australia call traffic cones, witches hats.  

Or at least some of them do.  

12. Had some synchronicity between my episode of Home and Away and my episode of Tangle today.

Both shows have a teenager who has moved out of their home and gone to live with someone else.

On Home and Away, Maddie is living with Roo (Georgie Parker), in Summer Bay, rather than with her mother in the city. 

On Tangle, Max (Blake Davis) has left his adopted mother Christine (Catherine McClements) and has gone to live with his birth mother, Nat (Kat Stewart) 

Today, in both episodes, the abandoned mother gets mad at the temporary guardian for withholding information.

Maddie's mom is mad that Roo didn't tell her about the cancer.

Christine is mad that she wasn't told that Nat's troublesome ex-boyfriend (Dan Wylie) has come to live in the same house as her son.  

13. Tried to figure out how I feel about the above.

I guess I don't know except that I have sympathy for all of them.

I have sympathy for the teens not wanting to share information with their parents.

I have sympathy for the mothers who were kept in the dark.

I have sympathy for the temporary guardians who were caught in the middle of it all.

I've actually thought about something similar before. What would I do if one of my nieces and nephews shared something with me that they didn't tell their parents? And what if Jack shared something with one of my sisters that he didn't share with me?

I think if it's just something personal and not something that puts the child in direct danger, the aunt or uncle should keep it a secret. Sometimes a child needs an adult besides their parent to talk to.  

I guess the biggest example that comes to my head is homosexuality.  It would be nice if kids could/would come out to their parents first, but if for some reason, they'd rather first come out to an aunt, uncle, or other adult; I think that's fine.  

The times where I think parents should be told is when professional intervention is likely to needed— That might include things like suicidal plans, eating disorders, scary medical symptoms, being a victim of crime, etc.  

14. Hoped that the second category of things never comes into play for the kids in our family. 

I also hope that the kids in our family feel most comfortable talking to their parents. And if not, I hope all of us parents can be forgiving of the other adult who hears the information first.  

15. Went to the Tropfest website.

The film I'm going to watch today is a 2010 finalist called "My Neighbourhood has Been Overrun by Baboons"

It looks animated and not the type of animated movie I like.

16. Decided to dislike all Tropfest finalist films by default.

Hopefully, every so often a film will make me veer away from my default setting.  

17. Started to question the Tropfest judges.

At the very least, I know they don't have the same taste in film than I do.  

18. Started watching the film.

19. Finished watching the baboon film.

I'll have to step away from my default mood, mostly for the song.  

The film is a music video.  

It's cute.

20. Saw that the script consultant for "My Neighbourhood has Been Overrun by Baboons" was Simon Butters.  

I can see from IMDb that Butters has done a lot of writing and/or script work for popular teen/kid shows in Australia—Pirate Islands, Scooter: Secret Agent, Wicked Science, H20: Just Add Water, The Elephant Princess, etc.  

21. Consulted Lord Wiki about The Dairy Brothers. They're the ones who are responsible for the Baboon song.  If I'm understanding Lord Wiki correctly, The Dairy Brothers also do work as the band The Beards.  I think I have one of their songs on my Spotify list. It's about beards.  

22. Got the name of the song from Lord Wiki.  It's "You Should Consider Having Sex with a Bearded Man".

23. Started watching the video for "All the Bearded Ladies".

I expected it to be a parody of "All the Single Ladies", but it's not.  

24. Liked the sound of the song.

I'm not sure I care about the lyrics.  

25. Learned from Lord Wiki that The Beards have at least forty-eight songs about beards.  

I think that would get old after awhile...but maybe not, if someone is really into beards.

Are there people who are that into beards?  

26. Found a website that asks, who's better, The Beards or The Dairy Brothers?

Is that a joke, or did Lord Wiki mislead me?

27.  Visited one of Lord Wiki's cousins—a guy who has a passion for the Adelaide music scene.

He says members of The Beards ended up forming The Dairy Brothers.  

28. Saw I got it backwards.

The Beards didn't become the Dairy Brothers. The Dairy Brothers became The Beards.

29. Started watching "Grapefruit" by the Dairy Brothers.

30. Thought the song brings up some important questions and issues.

Why is a grapefruit called a grapefruit when it is nothing like a grape?

Why is a pineapple called a pineapple when it has nothing to do with an apple?

Really. Who made up these names?

31. Thought of eggplants.

That's a crazy one too.

32. Thought maybe Australians call eggplants a different name.

I think I may have come across it at some point.  

33. Learned that Australians call eggplant, Aubergine.  

Or at least the British do.  I'm assuming Australians use the same word.

34. Learned from this website that eggplant got that name because the  white and yellow versions of the fruit were thought to look like goose eggs.  

35. Started to watch video of Wolfmother singing "Wuthering Heights".

I was inspired to do so, because Jack and I learned about the novel today.

36. Thought I had another cover of the song on my Australian Spotify list.  

I don't remember who sang it, though.

I'm pretty sure it's not Wolfmother.

37. Looked at the list.

It's Josh Pyke.

I'm not sure who he is.

I assume he's Australian.  

38. Decided to look at my Spotify list and see if I have any other Josh Pyke songs.  

39. Liked the Josh Pyke cover of the song better than the Wolfmother one, but I don't dislike the Wolfmother one.  

40. Saw that I have only one other Josh Pyke song on my Spotify list.  It's called "Particles".

I'm not sure I've ever listened to it.

Sometimes I add songs; then never hear them.

My Spotify lists are WAY too long.  

41. Started to listen to "Particles".

It doesn't sound familar to me.

I wonder which song I added first—"Particles" or "Wuthering Heights".

And how did I hear of Josh Pyke in the first place?

Did I hear one of his songs on a TV Show? Was I looking at a list of Aussie singers so I could grow my Spotify list into something massive?

42. Decided I should listen to the original Kate Bush version of "Wuthering Heights".

I have a hard time watching and listening it.  

It's creepy in an American Horror Story kind of way.   

I like American Horror Story, but I don't want to associate Kate Bush with that. 

I want to associate her with Kevin Bacon in the hospital waiting room.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Didactic Television, Coming of Age, Dead Fathers and Cockatoo

1. Had extra-strange dreams. Some of them were related to Australia—including one in which, I start having visions. Some of them include seeing a screen-version of myself on the wall that talks to me. I tell Tim about the visions, explaining that I don't know if they're supernatural or hallucinations. I tell him the only thing that caused an actual physical change in the environment was a banana suddenly going to mush.   

I don't really remember HOW Australia connected to it, but I do remember a connection.

There was a dream in which, I am talking to someone, and realize I don't remember what a map of Australia looks like. Then I remember, and I remember where Melbourne is on the map. I can't, though, remember where Sydney is. Soon, I'm able to remember it's on the east coast. But when I try to place it, I imagine it too far north.  

I eventually remember the right location...generally speaking. I also remember the location of Canberra.  

I also had a dream where I'm talking to someone about our friends from Melbourne. I say that I suspect they're embarrassed of us. When we spent time with them in other places, they were happy to go out and about. When we were in Melbourne with them, they rarely wanted to leave their house.  My assumption is they didn't want their friends to see us.  

We did visit friends in Melbourne, in real life, but they didn't show any signs of trying to hide us. We went out a lot.  

2. Wondered how the hell my dreams come up with their material.

3. Wished I remembered how the vision-dream related to Australia.  

4. Did my daily thing of reading and proofreading an old post.

The one I'm reading today mentions Judy Morris and says that she played Maggie Beare's daughter-in-law on Mother and Son

It's kind of funny, because I very recently mentioned Judy Morris in a post, and I had been wondering who she played on Mother and Son.  It's quite nice that my past self answered the question for my present self.

5. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.  

This one deals with Anzac Day.

It's a bit heavy-handed—meaning it feels more like a PSA announcement than a soap opera.

That happens sometimes with television.

It's not that soap operas, dramas, sitcoms, etc. can't deal with important social issues. Many shows do it quite successfully. But there are times where it works less well.  

6. Decided I'd probably blame the writing.

Also, I think it's a matter of intent.

I think fiction works out better when the initial idea is about plot and character.  

I think it's less likely to work when the initial idea and intent is to get a message across.  

For example: some writers might get an idea about a school class going on a trip. While the class is there, a couple will have a big fight and create a lot of havoc. The teacher will have a hard time keeping things in control. She'll start doubting her classroom management abilities. Then the writers think, hey since the episode is going to be broadcast in April, so maybe the class can go to a war memorial.  

I think these writer will create something better than writers who sit there saying. Hey, April is coming up. We need an Anzac episode. What message do we want to get across to our viewers? I think we need to push the idea that young people don't appreciate the sacrifices of their elders.  

7. Decided to share a piece of Home and Away Anzac dialogue.

Evie (Philippa Northeast)  says: I just don't understand why we're being forced to visit a monument to a war that was forced a hundred years ago when there's real problems we can be fixing right here right now.  

I'm sure by the end of today or tomorrow's episode, Evie will realize the error of her ways.  

And after that, Nancy Reagan will come by to warn all the Summer Bay classmates about the dangers of drugs.  

8. Finished watching the episode.

Evie didn't learn her lesson by the end. But she did feel embarrassed when she learned that she had complained about the Anzac field trip to a war veteran (Ray Meagher).  

By the way, that wasn't the dialogue I quoted above.That complaint was in yesterday's episode. Evie really has a thing for putting down Anzac Day.  

9. Wondered if Evie will have a personal growth experience in tomorrow's episode.

10. Amused, because I just realized part of my fake writers' idea came to fruition.

A couple did get in a major fight—not during the field trip but just before getting on the bus.  

11. Thought of another difference between decent storylines and PSA type storylines.

I think in well-written storylines, the storyline is ongoing.

I'd have more respect for the the Anzac storyline if Alf, the war veteran, had been thinking and talking about his war memories before the April episodes.  

The storyline involves him having a fear of visiting the war memorial. He's never seen his grandfather's name written on the monument.  He's also having issue with the fact that young people don't take the past wars seriously.

All this would have been great as a multi-week storyline. But instead, it's all happening within a few episodes in April.  

12. Thought of 1980's Home and Away. I think the war stories back then had more substance.  They might have put more concentration on the subject during April, but I'm pretty sure other months had storylines as well.

I remember Alf's sister Celia (Fiona Spence) mourned for the loss of her fiancée. He had died during the war. The grief was an ongoing thing and a major part of Celia's characterization.

Then there was also a whole story about someone's brother being disabled from a past war, and he suffered from suicidal-depression.

13. Thought of Maddie's (Kassandra Clementi) cancer on Home and Away. This storyline has been going on for months, and it doesn't feel at all like a PSA announcement.  It would be much different if, for the week of Cancer Awareness Day, they had a quick storyline about a Summer Bay woman not wanting to get a mammogram. Then she meets a guest star character at the cafe who survived breast cancer. That changes the viewpoint of our Summer Bay character.  In the conclusion of the storyline, she goes to get her Mammogram; then comes out and spreads the message to the viewer that getting a Mammogram is very easy, and incredibly important.  

Better yet. Have the breast cancer survivor be a real life celebrity who's had breast cancer.  

14. Wanted to say that I thought Neighbours also had a good ongoing storyline about war veterans.  Nate (Meyne Wyatt) had PTSD, and it brought a lot of drama to the show.  It definitely wasn't a drive-by thing.

15. Started to watch an episode of Tangle.

16. Loved this quote from Karen Pearlman in her Lumina article "The Musical is Back". 

Our films (Australian) are in a rut of naturalism so deep, that audiences might well feel it is almost more entertaining to stay home and fight with your own family than go to an Australian film about dysfunctional domesticity.  

I'd apply that quote to some of Australian television—especially things like Tangle and Love My Way.  

17. Wanted to remind people...if anyone is interested, that Lumina is available to download free on iBooks.  

I wish I could say the same for my novel. I did try. But I had Apple password issues.

Is it just me. Or does anyone else feel personally offended by Steve Jobs when something annoying happens with their Apple stuff?

Like every time, my phone autocorrects something I've texted, I imagine Steve Jobs being this annoying person who has to correct everything I say.  No, Steve! I didn't mean "I'll". I actually did mean "IXL". It's not my fault you don't know what that is.   

I was quite upset with the password thing, because I ended up having to reset my password (for the trillionth time) which I especially loved because it was Farscape related. I got a new password, and then when I tried to use it the next day to buy an iBook, it didn't work. I had to change it yet again.  

 18. Thought there was a good juxtaposition of scenes on Tangle.  

First, young, lonely, and virginal Gigi (Eve Lazzaro) is on the couch with a boy (Ben Schumann). They watch a cartoon while having a stilted conversation. Then Gigi gives the boy permission to finger her. It seems she was trying hard to do something that separated her from childhood.

Then in the next scene, two teens, Charlotte (Georgia Flood) and Romeo (Lincoln Younes), are walking together. Charlotte suddenly asks Romeo to chase her.  Like young children they run happily through the streets; then collapse on the ground, laughing.  Charlotte has already had sex, gotten pregnant, and had an abortion.  It's like she's trying to return to her childhood while Gigi is trying to escape hers.  

19. Finished watching the episode.

It's funny. A few days ago, I really was not excited about watching the third season of Tangle.

Now I'm feeling sad that I have only two episodes left.

I guess it's not uncommon for me with TV shows, though. It's hard for me to get into them. Then often, I fall in love. 

We watched the new X-Files episodes this past week. I wasn't very thrilled about the idea. I think I did it mostly to please Tim and out of morbid curiosity. But now I'm into it, and I was very disappointed to learn there's only six episodes.  

20. Started watching the second episode of the Bryan and Matilda Brown series, "Lessons From the Grave"

21. Saw that, like the first episode, this one shows the death of Bryan Brown's character.  

I guess it's what they use for the opening.

22. Didn't really understand the point of the show.

I'm not sure why they need the father to be dead. Why not have a father and daughter show with a living father?  Not that I'm against dead characters. I wrote a whole book full of them.  But it doesn't seem like there's a point to it in this series...except that it gives them an excuse to use cool death make-up on Bryan Brown.  

23. Decided to keep watching the show, because I want to see if the death aspect plays a bigger role.

24. Remembered that the death part did play a bigger role in the first episode.

A young man came forward  claiming to be the son of Bryan Brown. He wanted part of the lottery inheritance. That storyline wouldn't have been possible if Brown's character was still living.

In this episode, though, the death seems insignificant to the story.  

25. Looked for the names of the characters, so I don't have to keep saying things like, Bryan Brown's character.

Okay.  Bryan Brown plays Douglas. Matilda Brown plays Bonnie.  


In this episode, Dead Douglas helps Bonnie celebrate her birthday. They shop together. She makes a Pavlova. He watches as the blows out the candles.  

The same story could have been done with a living father.

26. Started watching the third episode.  

27. Thought that a guest star actor looks very familiar.

I'll see who he is when I watch the end credits.

I think he MIGHT be in the short film "Cockatoo" with Matilda Brown. I saw a short bit of that in her show reel yesterday.  Then, I thought he looked familar too.

Although it could be two separate actors.

I'm not sure.

28. Though,t in this episode, Douglas being dead IS significant. Bonnie is asked how it feels to lose someone, and she has a hard time answering.  She says it hasn't really hit her yet. What she doesn't tell the friend is that it's because her dad's still around.

How do you miss a dead person if you see them all the time?

29. Saw from the credits that the actor that looked familiar to me is Marcel Bracks.  IMDb doesn't credit him for "Lessons for the Grave". I noticed yesterday that the show lists only the Browns as actors in the film.  I'm not sure why.

30. Saw that Marcel Bracks was in the TV show Trapped. I watched a few episodes of that a few years ago.  The show was a kids show, and most of the stars were children or teens. There were a few adults, though. I guess Bracks was one of them. I don't really remember much.  

31. Went to the "Cockatoo" video, and saw the actor in that doesn't look at all like Marcel Bracks.

I don't know what was going on in my head.  

32. Started to watch "Cockatoo"

33. Saw that the NOT Marcel Bracks actor is named Alan Dukes.

He played Wayne Swan in At Home With Julia

34. Loved the film so far.

It's very cute and creative.

The premise is, Michael (Dukes) hires Melanie (Brown) from this company that provides non-sexual role players. Michael wants Melanie to pretend to be his ex-girlfriend. The problem is the ex-girlfriend is from London, and Melanie is not very good at doing English accents.

35. Finished watching "Cockatoo".

I thought it was beautiful—one of the best short films I've seen.

Actually, I think it restores my faith in short films, because many of the Tropfest ones have made me lose faith.  

36. Saw that "Cockatoo" was written and directed by Matthew Jenkin. He's also the co-writer (along with Matilda Brown) for "Lessons from the Grave".  

37. Thought that Jenkins and Brown should make a series out of "Cockatoo".

I really liked Melanie.

Well, and I liked Michael too. It's just with the premise, I'm not sure it would work to have the client return.  

38. Changed my mind.  

I thought of Rake and Satisfaction.They both involve prostitutes who have returning clients.  

Melanie isn't a prostitute. There's no sex. But her services are somewhat similar.  

Michael could return as a recurring character.

39. Started to watch the fifth episode of "Justice Lease".  I'm going to finish the series tonight.  

40. Saw that this episode features Spiderman.  

41. Saw Superman (Pail Michael Arye) get the bad news that the movie about him (Man of Steel) received a 56% on Rotten Tomatoes.  

Throughout the series, he's been eagerly and nervously waiting for his movie to come out.   

42. Grossed out by vomit in the episode.

I'm used to seeing vomit on TV...pretty desensitized.  But this one involves vomit dribble on Batman's (Andrew Steel) chin. It's very yuck.  

43. Started to watch the finale of "The Justice Lease".  

44. Finished watching.

It's a fun series. I imagine most fans of super heroes would like it.  

43. Started to reread The Spell Book of Listen Taylor.

I remember loving the book, but don't remember much about it.

I really enjoyed reading the first chapter just now, which gives me hope that I'll re-love the whole book.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Formal Introductions, Spencer, Found Books, and Matilda Brown

1. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

2. Saw Zac (Charlie Clausen) and Ash (George Mason) formally introduce themselves to each other.

That surprised me a bit.

They've both been on the show at least for the first two months of this season, and I know it's been even longer than that. They weren't new to the town when the season began.  

Summer Bay is a very small town, and they both know the same people.  

I don't think it's impossible for two people to live in the same town, hang out in the same places, know some of the same people; but still not have met. 

I guess it just caught me off guard.  

3. Looked at IMDb.  

Charlie Clausen has been on the show since May 2012

George Mason is newer. His first episode was in October 2014. 

4. Thought that Spencer (Andrew J. Morley) was rude.

Andy (Tai Hara) is getting assessed as a fitness instructor. Spencer is standing in as his trainee. 

In front of the assessor (Mark Slater), Spencer corrects Andy when he forgets information and upstages him. He makes Andy look bad.  

I don't think Spencer is purposely trying to make a fool out of Andy. I think he's just so eager to show off. He's not mindful of how his actions might effect others.

I'm not a big fan of Spencer.

He's the one who organized a cancer run in honor of Maddie right after she said she's tired of people talking about her cancer so much. He's also the one who publicly humiliated Maddie about being dumped by Oscar.

As for the cancer run, Maddie didn't get angry at Spencer for that. She wasn't too keen on attending the event at first, but in the end, it did her good.  Still, I think it was insensitive of Spencer to put his energy into the cancer run just after hearing Maddie say she was tired of people focusing too much on that aspect of her life.

5. Started watching an episode of Tangle.  

6. Realized, when watching the recap, that Dan Wylie WAS in the episode yesterday—but only his voice.

He left a phone message.

I'm betting in the episode, I watch today, he'll show his face as well.

7.  Looked up the person who does the musical score for Tangle

I'm guessing that would include the theme song in the beginning. Or maybe not?  I'm not sure.

But, anyway. The music person is a woman named Bryony Marks.  

She also does/did the music for Please Like Me, Anzac Girls, Angry Boys, Cloudstreet, Summer Heights High, and other things.  

8. Saw that Bryony Marks music is available on Spotify; though there's no Tangle stuff.  

9. Thought Kat Stewart's character in this show is overly similar to her character in Offspring.

In both shows, she plays the annoying sister who can tell if someone's had sex just by looking at them.  

It's definitely a case of type-casting. Though I think some of Stewart's other characters might be different from that.  

10. Saw that Stewart was in a recent comedy movie called Sucker.  Timothy Spall, from Harry Potter, is one of the stars.  

11. Watched the trailer. It's about a Chinese-Australian man.  

Lawrence Leunig co-wrote the film, and the main character's name is Lawrence. It might be semi-autobiographical.  Or it could be like The Mindy Project.  On that, the main character has the same name as the creator, and main star, of the show. But the real Mindy is an actress/writer, and the pretend Mindy is a ob/gyn.  

12. Looked up a girl who looked familar to me in the trailer.

It's Lily Sullivan, and I saw her in Camp, Mental, and an episode of Rake.

13. Saw a plastic bag in the garage.

I decided to peek inside, and found three Australian books.

One of them was Jaclyn Moriarty's The Spell Book of Listen Taylor.

I searched for that a few months ago, because I wanted to reread it.  

I guess I can do that now!

It will be a slow read, because I'm already reading six other books. 

14. Saw Dan Wylie on Tangle.

His character is dating Kat Stewart.

15. Tried to remember if Wylie and Stewart have acted together in anything before.  

16. Started comparing their filmographies.

It's kind of complicated.  I mean it's not easy for me to cross-reference. I'm not talented at that kind of thing.

17. Saw that Wylie and Stewart were both in the first season of Underbelly.  I think Stewart was one of the stars in that season. Wylie appeared in only two episodes, but then he had a larger role in another season.

18. Saw that they both appeared on the TV show It's a Date but on different episodes.

19. Recognized an actor on Tangle

I looked on the episode cast list, and saw that it's Ben Schumann.

I saw him in Slide.  

Dan Wylie appeared in an episode of Slide.  

20. Went to the Tropfest website.

Tonight I'm going to watch a 2010 finalist film called "How God Works".

The woman in the little icon photo looks familiar to me. 

I'll see if I end up knowing her from something else.  

21. Started watching the film. 

22. Continued to think the woman in the film looks familiar.

23. Saw that the movie is about a rude woman—kind of heartless.  She reminds me of Tracy on Coronation Street.  

Tracy has her occasional sympathetic moments.. I don't think this will be the case for the woman in this film. It's probably hard to fit sympathetic moments, for a bitch, in a short film.

24. Wondered if the two women in the film are played by the same actress.

They look alike...sort of. And they both look familar to me.

I might be imagining things.  

 25. Finished watching the film.

I liked the beginning.

I didn't like the ending.

26. Saw that the two women WERE played by the same actress.

Her name is Matilda Brown.  

27. Learned from Lord Wiki that Matilda Brown is the daughter of Bryan Brown.


28. Saw that Matilda Brown also wrote and directed "How God Works".  

29. Saw that Brown was in two episodes of season one of Offspring.

Maybe that's why I recognize her.  

30. Saw that Matilda Brown is in an upcoming movie called The Death and Life of Otto Bloom.  

It's about a guy who experiences life in reverse.

Is it going to be similar to the Benjamin Button movie? Will Otto Bloom age backwards?  Or does he stay the same age throughout the movie?

31. Saw that Xavier Samuel is playing Otto Bloom.

I don't see a young or old Otto Bloom in the credits, so I'm guessing Bloom stays the same age through out the movie.

32. Went to Matilda Brown's Vimeo page. 

She has a lot of videos, AND she very recently updated the page. Usually, when I go to Vimeo pages, the youngest videos are about a year old.

33. Started watching Brown's comedy show reel.

She has huge eyes. She's like a computer animation character. 

34. Thought that Brown has a mild resemblance to Alyssa Milano.

35. Liked the monologue, in the show reel, about love.

It's quite profound. The theory behind it is that everything centers on love and heartbreak.

It all comes down to that. Or most of it does.

I can buy into that theory.

36. Started to watch the other show reel that Brown recently uploaded.

I guess it's the non-comedy one.  

37. Saw some comedy.

Maybe the comedy show-reel was just extra stuff that Brown forgot to put in this other showreel.

I say this, because this show reel is over seven minutes, and the other one was two minutes. It seems almost like Brown forgot to put stuff in her show reel, so she made a sequel.  

38. Thought more about the love thing.

Maybe the world is divided up into people who center on love and people who center on sex.

The love people are the ones who usually watch regular TV shows and movies.

The sex people are the ones who prefer to watch porn.   

39. Saw that I'm wrong about the show reels.

The long one includes some of the same scenes as the comedy one.

Now I'm thinking the shorter show reel is probably for people who have a shorter attention span and are looking only for comedy stuff.

40. Realized that, in some of the scenes, Brown has an American accent.

I'm sometimes really slow about noticing that kind of thing. I think it's gotten worse lately.

A week or so ago, I was watching Coronation Street and pointed out this guest-star actress to Tim. I thought her acting seemed a bit off. She reminded me of when non-actor celebrities make guest appearances on TV shows.

Anyway, Tim pointed out immediately that the woman had an American accent. I didn't even notice.

What's up with that??!!

41. Saw a drama scene in the showreel...finally.

It's with Brown's father. He's dead, but still there. Matilda Brown is acting dramatically upset about that.

Well, I mean she's upset that he's dead. She's not upset that he's still there.

I don't know why he's still there.

Maybe she's imagining him? Or is he like a ghost-visitation thing. I've seen that a few times on Australian shows—Packed to the Rafters, Offspring, McLeod's daughters, and maybe others I've forgotten about.  

It makes me wonder if Australians have some kind of genetic disposition for seeing dead people.  

42. Figured it might happen on American shows but just not the ones I watch.

43. Saw that Matilda Brown uploads a show reel every year.

That's pretty cool.

Also, she has the dead father series  (Lessons from the Grave) on Vimeo.

I'm kind of tired of watching stuff now, but I'll bookmark it for another day. 

Maybe I'll watch some of it tomorrow.  

44. Bookmarked the short film "Cockatoo" as well.  I saw some scenes in the show reel, and I thought it was quite funny.

45. Had a meal break and realized I have refreshed my video-watching energy.

I'm going to watch an episode of  Lessons from the Grave episodes.

46. Saw that the dad dies of a heart attack...just after learning he has won the lottery.

47. Thought an actor in the show looks familiar.

48. Surprised by the show.

Bryan Brown's character dies.

Then, in the next scene, he's already a ghost communicating with his daughter.

They don't show the initial conversation between the living and dead.

I'm wondering if she was surprised when he first started talking to her.

Well, I imagine she would be. Stupid question, probably.

I guess what I'm really wondering is if she thinks it's really her dad. Or does she think it's a figment of her imagination?  

49.  Felt unsure of whether I like the show or not.

I'll try some more episodes later.

50. Thought about how I also need to watch the rest of The Justice Lease. I really like that show. I don't know why I haven't gotten around to watching more of it.  

51. Bookmarked The Justice Lease so I remember to watch the rest of it.

I have only two more episodes.  

Monday, February 22, 2016

Confusing Senate Stuff, Ending a Relationship, Weirdness Intolerance, and Not Seeing Dan Wylie

1. Wondered about what's going on in Australian politics.

I've been too lazy to read.

But I'm wondering....

Am I going to wake up tomorrow and find there's a new Prime Minister?

2. Started to read an article about Turnbull trying to make Senate changes.

I don't get it.

3. Finished reading it.

I'm confused.

It's something to do with changing how people vote for the Senate.

If I'm understanding things right, some people think the new way would to make it harder for Independents to get into the Senate, and some think it will make it easier.

4. Figured I'm either understanding things wrong, OR this is a case where people want the same thing but disagree on how it can be obtained.

I definitely think government is better when small parties and Independents have a fighting chance.

5. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

6. Finished watching the episode and thought about how it dealt with the ending of two relationships.

One storyline had Phoebe (Isabella Giovinazzo) breaking up with Kyle (Nic Westaway). She did it, because he wants marriage and a family. She doesn't want those things and can't promise she'll change her mind. She doesn't want to hold Kyle back from the life he wants.

I think Phoebe's decision was self-sacrificing and kind; though I don't know if it's the best choice.

It's a huge problem when two people love each other but want different things. If it's something trivial, like one person wants to watch TV every night, and the other person wants a TV-free household; if they're both decent enough, they can come up with a compromise.

7. Thought it was nuts that I just called TV a trivial thing.

My God. TV is a huge part of my life.

But anyway....

The disagreement about whether or not to have children is a tough one. I would hate for Phoebe to be pushed into having a child she didn't want. I'd also hate for Kyle to be deprived of fatherhood.

In a perfect world, they could split up, both find someone new, and live happily ever after.

But that might not happen.

What if Kyle finds a wife, gets married, but never gets over Phoebe? What if he spends his lifetime missing her?

8. Decided to move onto the next couple; though they were never really a couple. They had just started dating...and then stopped...and then started again.  Really. What they are is an on-again-off-again pre-couple.

Nate (Kyle Pryor) wants to be with Katarina (Pia Miller). She's obviously attracted to him, but she's not keen on having a small town romance. She's very sensitive about people knowing about her love life.

Nate is a bit of an ass about Katarina's feelings. He pressures her into dating him and goes as far as saying her worries aren't normal.  It's almost like he's saying,  If you don't agree to date me, you're a freak.  

Yes. I think Katarina is a bit uptight about the small town dating thing. But everyone has their thing.
If someone doesn't want to date you, I think their wishes should be respected. Pressuring them and belittling them is really not the way to win them over.

9. Thought about how I have many weirdness-issues, and that Tim was very decent about one of them yesterday.

I won't go into details, but it had to do with my vomit phobia, which can be INCREDIBLY irrational at times.

Tim didn't argue with me or try to get me to be rational. He kind of just gave into my wishes....which weren't difficult. They were just a bit mental.

What I'm thinking, though, is I don't have a problem with Nate thinking Katarina is abnormal. She IS being abnormal.

I also know that my vomit phobia is abnormal. And there are other things about me that are abnormal.

What I don't like about Nate's attitude is he treated Katarina's abnormality with derision.

10. Hoped that I'm usually tolerant of people's abnormalities.

Now I think it's sometimes okay to be annoyed or angered by the abnormality itself. I think that's different than being disgusted by something simply because it's abnormal.

In other words, it's fine to dislike something that's weird. But don't dislike something BECAUSE it's weird.

11. Started watching an episode of Tangle.

I think, with the other seasons of this show, I disliked them at first. Then by the end of the seasons, I was liking the show.

Maybe it will happen this time as well.

For now...I do like the opening credits, at least.  I like the song and all the dollhouse stuff.

12. Saw, from IMDb, that Dan Wylie is in this episode.

I had to take a closer look to see if he appeared in previous seasons of Tangle. I couldn't remember.

Anyway, the answer is, he didn't. This episode is his first appearance.

13. Saw that I have two minutes left of the show, and I haven't yet seen Dan Wylie.

Either he's going to pop in at the last minute. Or there's a mistake on IMDb about him being in this episode.

14. Figured it could also be that Wylie was in another scene, and I failed to notice.

Yeah. I'm betting that's the case.

15. Finished watching the episode.

I like this one more than I liked yesterday's.

16. Went to the Tropfest website.

Tonight I'm going to watch a 2010 finalist film called "Fish Lips".

I think I saw another film by the person who made this. I can't remember the name, but it involved underpants.

17. Looked at the filmography of Duane Fogwell, the director of "Fish Lips".

I'm totally wrong.

It turns out Fogwell is the one who directed the golf movie—Fore! He also directed the movie where the kid goes missing on New Years Eve.

18. Started watching "Fish Lips"

19. Saw that this film involves Yahtzee.

20. Thought that there's a lot going on in the film.

It's visually stimulating.

21. Liked the pop culture references in the film.

I like pop culture stuff.

22. Finished watching the film.

On the plus side, I liked some of the visuals and the pop culture references were sort of fun.

On the negative side, I thought the plot was a mess.

There was too much going on, in a short period of time, and I didn't feel connected to any of it.

23. Noticed that like Fogwell's New Years Eve film, this one too featured a child in peril.

24. Saw that the adult version of the child in the film was played by Jessica Marais from Packed to the Rafters. I didn't recognize her. Though I did think she looked vaguely familiar.

25. Saw that Jessica Marais is an upcoming British film called Chasing Satellites.

What's interesting to me, about the movie, is it's written by the Australian actress Judy Morris.

I think she's from Mother and Son?

26. Had a closer look at Morris's filmography.

Yeah. She IS from Mother and Son. I forgot who she played.

27. Saw that her character had the same last name as Ruth Cracknell's and Garry McDonald's character—Beare.

So, she might have played McDonald's ex-wife? Or maybe his sister?


Now I'm thinking maybe she was the sister-in-law.

28. Saw that Chasing Satellites was not Morris's first writing adventure.  She was one of the writers for Babe: Pig in the City and was also one of the writers of Happy Feet. Plus, she has other writing credits as well.  

29. Went back to the filmography of Jessica Marais and saw she's the star of Love Child.

I don't think I knew that.

But it seems like I should have.

30. Wondered if Hulu is going to get Love Child.

I hope so.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Visiting Internet Friends, Depressing TV Shows, Falling Backwards, and Witches in Britches

1. Dreamed that, we have returned from Melbourne. I think about how it was our second best trip to Australia. I decide one of the reasons it was good is we didn't meet up with anyone. Though I also decide we can't really know for sure the trip was that good until time has passed.

We go with my family to some place. For some reason, I get a feeling of needing my space from them. I rush off. Tim has my phone, so there's no way anyone can contact me. I feel conflicted about this.

I walk to this place that has all kinds of pretty rocks lying about. I pick one up and carry it with me, though I don't feel right about keeping it.  

I see a store that seems to be Australia-related. There's a koala figure in the window display. I go in the shop and see the store is full of ship related stuff—mostly photographs. I can't tell if the store is Australia-themed or nautical-themed.  

The woman working in the shop compliments the rock I'm carrying. I start babbling about how I feel bad taking it, because I might be taking the rock away from friends or family. The woman doesn't really respond, and I feel kind of stupid for saying all that.  

2. Thought about visiting people in Australia.

Some of the best times we've had in Australia involved being with friends.

On the other hand, most of the stress and negative feelings I've had in Australia involve the visiting people thing.

It's way too emotionally and socially complicated for me.

I feel, the last time we went, that I pressured two people into meeting me that didn't really want to meet me. And by pressuring, I don't mean I hounded them and begged them to see me. I mean I just asked them. Why did I ask them?  Well, mostly because I felt pressured to do so. I felt weird coming to their city without trying to arrange a meet up.

Then there are the people I was writing to that did not live in cities we planned to visit. I was so confused. Should I tell them we're coming? What if they pressure me to visit their town? Should I mention we're coming and ask them to drive up to Sydney? Are we emotionally-bonded enough to warrant a visit?

I think that's the thing with visiting a place where you have email-friends. Then, suddenly, you're forced to weigh the relationship. Are we good enough friends that I'd fly or drive out of my way to their city? Are we close enough that they might drive out of their way to see us?  If we don't make an effort to see each other, does that mean we're really not friends?  Should we then stop writing each other?

3. Thought about our 2009 trip. We actually flew to Tasmania to stay with a family of one of my Livejournal "friends".  We really weren't friends. We just read each other's journal.  I don't even think we commented that often on each other's journals. But both of us went out on a major limb.  My family flew out of our way to stay with almost-strangers. Then this Australian family opened their home up to almost-strangers.

Our families ended up becoming friends.

There was also a family that drove from the Central Coast to Sydney to spend the day with us.  I don't think we had really actually talked that much online. I think that was more a matter of us both being homeschooling families. Maybe we were each eager to meet another homeschooling family from a different country.

4. Wondered if a lot of people have these kinds of problems.

I do imagine there're a lot of people with international Internet-friends. And there're a lot of people who travel.

Someone should come up with etiquette for this.

Maybe they already have.

But here's what I want to know.  If I'm visiting another country, and I know someone online from that country, is it up to me to ask them to meet up, or should they ask me?

Should I say, Hey, do you know how I'm coming to Melbourne soon?  Do you want to meet up anytime?  Or should they say, Hey I saw in your blog that you're coming to Melbourne. I hope we can get together!

Next question: If my family flies to Australia, should our Internet friends or acquaintances offer to come to the cities and towns we're planning to visit?  Should we come to them?  If neither of us really wants to make the effort, how do we handle that?

5. Thought about a time that an Australian, on their blog, talked about an upcoming visit to the US.  We weren't close, but I still felt obligated to say something.  She was going to be in our general region but not in our actual state.  I said something like, if you decide to come to Texas, we'd love to see you. She politely told me that wasn't in their plans. I was trying to be nice, but I probably just ended up putting her in an awkward position.

6. Decided I should have just wished the blogger well on her travels. Mentioning a visit to Texas hadn't been necessary.  If we were closer, it would have probably been appropriate.

7. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

8. Realized I already watched this episode.

I think maybe my Hulu is messed up a bit.

9. Started watching the next episode of Home and Away.

I hope this one is the right one.

10. Felt that Home and Away has too much of a certain kind of thing.

I don't know if there's a name for it.

I'll try to describe it.

It's when Character A has a secret and feels guilty about it. Character B then shows gratitude towards Character A, and this makes Character A feel even more guilty.

One example from the show: Before Leah (Ada Nicodemou) woke from her coma, VJ (Matthew Little) gave permission to Zac (Charlie Clausen) to stop acting as VJ's guardian.  Zac took him up on the separation offer.  Both of them believed Leah would never wake up and didn't see a point in sticking together.

Then Leah woke up.

Awakened-Leah has thanked Zac for taking care of VJ, for standing by him. She did this at least once...maybe more than once.

11. Decided that sometimes, in real life, people might PURPOSELY do this thing as a manipulation tactic. It's a good way to make people feel guilty.  You know your wife is cheating on you. Instead of confronting her, you buy he flowers with a note that says, I love that we have so much trust in our relationship. I know I can always count on you. 

When it's done on film and television, it usually seems like the character is not doing it on purpose. They're not being manipulative. Instead, it's the writers who are being manipulative towards the viewers.

12. Felt a dislike towards Leah.

Something about her annoys me.

13. Thought more about the visiting people thing.

I'm trying to imagine how I'd feel about people coming here, because that might give me guidelines on how to act when going there.

I think I'd be okay if people I loved didn't plan to come to Texas. If they were dear to my heart, I'd try to make an effort to drive or fly out to where they're going.  What WOULD hurt me is if they didn't tell me directly that they were coming to America. I'd be hurt if I found out about it via social media. I'd want them to write me—tell me they were coming here and suggest that we meet somewhere.

If I am acquaintances with someone online, and I read about them coming to Fort Worth, I do think it is up to me to make the first move.

If an acquaintance is not coming to Fort Worth, I think I should just wish them happy travels and not make any suggestions about meeting up.

14. Thought about how it's not as easy as that, because sometimes it's hard to know where the relationship stands. It's not always easy to divide acquaintances and friends.  It's not easy to know if an online connection is meant to stay casual or if it has the potential to to grow into a strong friendship.

15. Thought about how it's also not always mutual. We might feel deeply for someone who likes us in a very casual way. We might be very important to someone who is not so important to us.

16. Started watching the third season of Tangle.

17. Bored a bit by Tangle.

It's blah...depressing.

Do I need a TV show to remind me that life is full of unhappiness and difficult relationships?

Shit. Now that makes me sound like a depressing person.

Life isn't FULL of unhappiness and difficult relationships. There is some crap, but there's happiness too.

The problem with Tangle is it's pretty much all depressing stuff.

I prefer shows with more balance.

18. Thought about the Coronation Street episodes I've been watching lately. There are some very difficult and depressing storylines, but there are also funny and happy storylines. It's a nice balance. If there wasn't, watching the show would be an unpleasant experience.

19. Saw a slight touch of happiness on the show.

Ally (Justine Clarke) calls up Gabriel (Matt Day), the object of her affection, and says she wants to get together with him. He not only says yes, but says he'll come over right away.

In season two, the two of them didn't get along well. I guess at the end, things improved?

I kind of forgot what happened at the end of season two. All I remember is that Gigi (Eva Lazzaro) went missing, and then they found her.

Oh! And I also remembered that Christine (Catherine McClements) was caught in an adulterous kiss by her son (Blake Davis). Though I might have remembered that, because it was in the recap.

20. Saw that Ally's and Gabriel's relationship has gone to shit again.  

21. Saw a fire at the end of the episode. I'm not sure what's on fire.

Maybe I wasn't paying good enough attention.

22. Went to the Tropfest website.

Today I'm going to watch a 2010 finalist film called "Falling Backwards".

23. Started watching the film.

24. Finished watching the film.

I'm very unimpressed.

It was a typical adultery-turned-murder film, except we see it happening in reverse.

Besides the gimmick, there wasn't much to it.

25. Looked at the acting profile of Paula Williams, one of the actresses in "Falling Backwards".

She's a singer as well.

She's part of something called Witches in Britches.

26. Started to watch a Witches in Britches video.

It's a restaurant in Melbourne—a dinner theater kind of thing.

27. Went to the restaurant website.

28. Saw that Paula Williams is listed first on the cast page, so I think she might be the main star.

She also writes for the show.

29. Saw on the FAQ page that the show's not recommended for children, but if the parents are okay with having their kids there, the venue doesn't mind either.

30. Learned that the tickets are $89. That includes dinner, the show, and dancing afterwards.

That's cool about the dancing. I wonder if a lot of people participate.

31. Liked that the website gives a detailed schedule of the night's happenings.

Liking it makes me feel a little anal, though.

32. Liked that the menu has five things to choose from, and that two of them are vegetarian/vegan.

I was going to complain that the vegetarian options are also gluten free; but then I saw that all but one of the options are gluten-free.

It's not that I'm against gluten-free vegetarians. I just don't like the assumption that if you're vegetarian, you need or want to avoid gluten.

33. Started to watch Paula William's show reel. I think one of the scenes includes a Neighbours scene with Ryan Moloney, but I'm not completely sure.

I can see from IMDb that Williams was on Neighbours, so it probably is Moloney. It just doesn't look 100% like him. Though it does sound like him.

He's probably just younger, and looks different because of that.

34. Felt the showreel was too long, and the editing has a lot of room for improvement.

But I see no flaws in Paula William's acting.

35. Noticed that, in 2012, Paula Williams did another short film directed by Harrison Murray, the same guy who directed "Falling Backwards".  

It also had the same actor as "Falling Backwards"—James Liotta.

36. Looked at James Liotta's website.

I've actually had his website opened, in a window, for about three hours.

The thing is, I had to do some challenging algebra between #35 and #36.

I thought my brain was going to fry, but I think I'm okay now.

37. Thought that James Liotta looks good in his blue San Francisco T-shirt.

38. Felt compelled to admit that I don't know for sure that it's a San Francisco shirt.

All I can see is San Fran; then the rest of the shirt is not visible.

It's tempting to conclude it's San Francisco. But maybe it's not.

39. Went to James Liotta's biography page.

He's Italian-Australian, and was born in Melbourne.

40. Learned that Liotta's acting adventures began at the age of eight. He did school plays.

Then he ventured outside of that and did seni-professional plays. Would that be like community theater?

41. Learned that Liotta got an agent when he was eight. He did commercials and TV stuff.

42. Learned that Liotta's dad is an actor. He appeared in The Castle.

43. Learned that Liotta was/is a host of a show called Planet Unearth.

44. Confused by IMDb. They have Planet Unearth being on from 2011-2012. Then they have a separate 2014 listing for the show.

In his biography, it mentions only the 2014 one.

45. Saw that I needed to read down further.

On the 2011-2012 show, he was co-host.

46. Saw that James Liotta works as a wedding mc

47. Wondered if an MC is similar to a DJ. Or do you have to hire a DJ AND MC?

48. Thought maybe people who use a band would also need a MC.  Maybe if you hire a DJ, they also do the MC work?

Also, I see from Google that there's lots of advice on how to be an MC, so I think maybe it's something a friend or relative can do.

49. Saw that Liotta does MC work for events besides weddings.

50. Thought about how I'm going to a Bat Mitzvah this weekend. I'll try to remember to pay attention to whether or not the DJ is the one who does the MC work.

51. Started to watch part of an episode of Planet Unearth.

52. Saw that show is a kind of variety talk show type thing.  It's like the news shows in the morning—not the news parts, but all the little interview and food segments.

53. Decided not to watch a lot of the show. I'm kind of behind, because of the math challenges.

54. Realized I'm wrong about "Falling Backwards"

It's not a typical affair-murder story.  The person who's murdered in the film is the one being cheated on not the one cheating. I think typically it's the cheater that's murdered.

I still don't like the film, though.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Supernatural Storylines, Getting Rid of Evie, Ageism, and Hurtful Comments

1. Started to watch an episode of Home and Away.

Severely brain-injured Leah (Ada Nicodemou) is already home from the hospital after just waking up a few episodes ago. She's walking, talking, and looks perfectly normal.

2. Saw that Leah is, at least, having some kind of headache. Or a dizzy spell? It's something that's making her put her hands to her face.

3. Thought it would be fun if Leah gains some kind of psychic power from her brain injury. You know, if they're not going to make the storyline medically realistic; then at least they could do something supernatural with it.

It could be like The Dead Zone.

4. Wondered if Home and Away has ever had any kind of supernatural storyline?  How about Neighbours?

My American soap operas did. Days of our Lives had demonic possession. It was silly and stupid.

Another World had something, probably. I can't remember exactly. Maybe there was a ghost storyline?

5. Thought that Matt (Alec Snow) was kind of a dark way.

He's depressed because of his breakup with his girlfriend.

Evie (Philippa Northeast) has been trying to help him. Her intentions are good, but her methods seem a bit faulty to me.  Sometimes she tries to guilt-trip him into getting out of his funk. Other times, she treats him as a challenge she has to face and conquer. She tells him that no matter how mean he is to her, she's sticking by his side. Personally, I think it would be better for her to just stick by his side and not announce that she's up to the challenge.

So, what does Matt do? He kisses Evie. She doesn't like that—the main reason probably being that she has a boyfriend.

At first, I thought maybe had Matt had some secret feelings for Evie. Then I realized he was just upping the challenge for her a bit. She can deal with his insults? Will she also be able to deal with his unwanted advances?

The answer is no. She got angry and rushed away.

Matt got himself free of Evie.

Now the question is, did he truly want to get rid of Evie?

I have no idea.

He might need to be alone in his depression. He might just need time to mourn.

On the other hand, he might be in that state of wanting support but needing support from someone who's strong enough to stand by him when he's at his worst.

6. Thought about how sometimes we push people away because we need our space. Other times, we push people away when we need them the most.

7. Saw that a new Australian movie has been added to Netflix. It's called Charlie's Country.

I'm going to add it to my to-watch list.

8. Continued my watching of the movie Adore.

9. Felt that, in some ways, the movie is cowardly.

There's a message that it's okay for a woman to date a younger man as long as she knows she has to eventually give him up and date someone older.

I'm not saying that the older woman should refuse to let go. Like any person being dumped, it's nice if the old women doesn't become a crazy bitch about the whole thing.  I just don't think there should be an expectation that the woman eventually give up her man.

If I remember correctly, the most recent Bridget Jones book had the same kind of message. It's fine and fun for an older woman to get together with a younger man. But then eventually they should find someone their own age.

I think this message is unfair to the woman AND the man.

10. Imagined if we had that viewpoint about ethnicity. Well, it's okay to date a black guy...but of course you're not going to marry him. Right?  

10. Read another one of Bridget Neval's blog posts and had a lot of thoughts about it.

The title is "People Say Stupid Things".

Neval tells a story about going to her GP for an eating disorder referral.  The asshole GP responded by looking at her body and saying, Well it’s not serious at the moment, obviously. In other words, she wasn't thin enough to make him worry.  

It gets even worse. The doctor saw a scar on her arm while taking her blood pressure. He asked her about it, and Neval told him it was from cutting herself. He laughed at her.

Why do doctors like this have jobs?! Please! Tell me!  Really. I can't wait until robots take over the medical industry.

I've had few encounters with doctors that weren't ignorant, rude, or insensitive.


The basic idea of Neval's post is that people say stupid things. If you're in an emotionally good place, they won't bother you too much. If you're not in an emotionally good place, the statements can cause more harm.  This make sense to me.

As for people who say stupid things, Neval says,  It’s not their fault. People can’t be expected to know exactly the right thing to say to someone with an illness that’s incredibly hard to rationalise and understand even for the those who have it.

I agree with her in some instances. It seems there are so many rules to follow when it comes to saying the right thing to someone with a problem.  My dad used to use the term, walking on eggshells.

There's a difference, though, between walking and stomping.

I think Neval's doctor was definitely a stomper.  His words and demeanor weren't just stupid. They were downright rude and cruel.

My feeling is, I'd probably replace the term stupid with hurtful and/or rude.

When you have a medical and/or psychological problem, it's extremely likely that someone's going to say something that hurts your feelings. Sometimes they'll say it out of ignorance. Other times they'll say things that aren't necessarily ignorant. It's just they have a different opinion than your own. And opinions CAN be very hurtful sometimes...even valid ones.

11. Decided to use examples from my own life.

One day, I mentioned to my mom that I was concerned about trying a certain diet because of my past eating disorder issues. Now this was NOT the first time I mentioned my eating disorders to her or the rest of my family.

My mom responded by telling me I didn't have an eating disorder. I had just been yo-yo dieting. She argued that eating disorders are those people who weigh forty pounds and are in the hospital.

I am pretty sure my mom was speaking out of ignorance.  She had probably read little about eating disorders.

On the other side of the coin, there's what I read from Neval herself about eating disorders. She declared that people with my type of eating issues aren't eating-disordered. If I had been in a more fragile emotional state, that would have probably hurt me a lot.

The thing is, though, I don't think Neval was saying something stupid. I think she's well-experienced and probably very knowledgable when it comes to eating disorders. She just has a different opinion than I do.

12. Concluded that hurtful comments can be divided into ones that are ignorant and ones that are well-informed yet in opposition to our own.

I think they also can be divided into rude/cruel and....

Shit, I can't think of what the other category should be called.

Maybe I'll just say NOT rude/cruel

I'd put Neval's GP in the rude/cruel category. He should have just kept his mouth shut.

Why the hell would he laugh at a patient?  UNLESS it was nervous giggles, which I can have sympathy for. Otherwise, it's unforgivable.

I'd put Neval's first blog post in the NOT rude/cruel category. She just wrote her own personal opinion on her own blog.  It's not like she came over to my blog and bitched me out saying, You think you have an eating disorder? You're totally wrong about that, Loser!

Also, in her blog post she wasn't overly snarky about people she views as not-having-an-eating disorder.

13. Thought about mom. I don't know if I'd put what she said in the rude/cruel category or the not rude/cruel category.

I'd guess I'd put it in neither.  Instead I'd put her (AND my dad) in the willfully ignorant and perpetually insensitive category. Saying one ignorant thing about eating disorders is one thing.  They do it repeatedly.  And it's not just ignorance about eating disorders in general. It's ignorance about my own personal experiences.  After having an eating disorder, writing to the family about eating disorders, and talking to them about eating disorders, my dad still thought it was a fine idea to compliment me on losing a ton of weight (that was NOT eating disorder or dieting related).

14. Had some deep thoughts and reconsidered things.

I think SOME of what my parents have said is due to ignorance and insensitivity. Other parts of it is about having a different opinion.  To me, what's bad is over-dieting, extreme-exercise obsession, preoccupation with food, and over-valuing the underweight physique.  To them, what's bad is obesity and not exercising enough.

I say this, because I'm pretty sure they HAVE read eating disorder stuff since we had our dramas. And I've talked to them about it. Even with that, though, they still say bothersome things.  I think no matter what they read or what I tell them, my parents still going to think it's more a problem if someone in our family becomes a little bit chubby than if someone starts drastically cutting calories and drops a ton of pounds.

14. Hoped some of my ramblings make least to me.

Sometimes when I go back and proofread my ramblings, I'm pleasantly surprised.

Other times I read and think, Oh...shit.

15. Tried to summarize the stuff swimming in my head.

I'm thinking...if someone says something hurtful or annoying, we should ask ourselves, is what they said ignorant? Or is it just an opinion that differs from my own?                

Then we might ask, Was it okay for them to say what they said?  Usually ignorance should be kept quiet. But there are times where someone doesn't realize they're ignorant, and they also don't realize what they say is hurtful.

As for opposing opinions, I think people should be able to express these, but it's nice to be sensitive around the people affected by the problem.

The other question is whether the person saying the hurtful thing did it on purpose.  Well, no. Of course they said it on purpose.  People don't usually say things accidentally.  What I mean is were they purposely trying to hurt us?  Sometimes people DO mean to hurt us, but it's doubtful anyone is going to readily admit to that.

Then I guess the last question is, whether or not the person is making an effort to be sensitive and kind.  It's one thing not want to walk on eggshells. It's another thing to stomp away like a complete creep and feel you have every right to do this.

16. Felt that I need to learn to be more tolerant of the dieting/weight loss opinions of certain members of my family... even if they're very different from my own and even though they hurt me at times.

They've been too hurtful at times, but I've been too picky at times.

I personally feel they're more to blame in this particular ongoing drama, but I'm not 100% innocent.

17. Went back to watching Adore.

18. Confused by sex scene in movie, because I can't tell which woman I'm seeing.

It's either an incest scene, an older woman-young man scene, or a man with the wrong young woman scene.

19. Learned that it was an older woman-young man sex scene.

20. Finished watching the movie.

For the most part, I liked it.

It wasn't perfect, but it kept me interested, and it gave me things to think about.

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

It's going to be the third season of Tangle.

I'm taking a blog break tomorrow and Saturday, so I'll probably start watching on Sunday.

22. Started to proofread and saw things that made me realize I should say Adore had a different ending than I had anticipated. I think it was strange and kind of abrupt but less cowardly than I thought it would be.