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.