Tuesday, March 29, 2016

House Calls, Messy Houses, the Platinum Rule, and the End

1. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

2. Saw that Alf's (Ray Meagher) psychologist (Blazey Best) makes house calls.

Well, she actually also did that in a previous episode, but I thought it was just a one-off.  

Now it's happened twice.

Do psychological house calls happen in real life?

Are there places where psychologists come to their patient's home?

I can imagine it in an emergency situation—for example, maybe a suicide attempt. It's harder for me to imagine them coming to a patient's home for a routine appointment.  

3. Googled and saw there are psychologists who make house calls. 

For example, here's a family therapist who visits homes. 

4. Read a blog post from a psychologist who is against house calls, with an exception for people who have agoraphobia or have physical limitations that makes it difficult to travel.  

Their theory is that therapy works better when the patient puts effort into it. If Dave isn't willing to put on shoes and drive to the office, he's not showing enough effort.  

First of all, I don't understand that logic. I think therapy is more about talking out your problems and getting encouragement, support, and advice.  I really thought it was more about the destination not the journey...at least when we're talking about the literal traveling to the office and being at the office. 

Second, I think it takes just as much effort to have someone at your house than it is to go out. Maybe that's not the case for someone who is naturally neat and living with people who are also neat.  

But what about people like me?  I'm a slob, and I live with two people who are slobs.  

Our house is so incredibly messy, and I can't keep up with it.  

Yesterday we had a house call from an insurance agent and a handyman. I did some cleaning. For example, I cleaned up Tim's and Jack's pile of shoes that's been scattered in the foyer for many months. I put away some of the crap that's lying around the kitchen. I swept the floor. I did the dishes.  I kind of made the beds.

Still. It wasn't enough, and I was embarrassed.

5. Wanted to clarify that I actually clean everyday. But it never feels like I'm making much of a dent.  It's like digging a grave for an adult human with a tiny wooden ice-cream spoon.  

That's not the best analogy.

It's just that whole thing of taking time to clean one thing, but what's the point, because there are so many other messes around the house. Then before I know it, the thing I spent time cleaning is a mess again.  

It's a never-ending struggle.

6. Saw another downside of home visits from psychologists.

Family members and housemates can listen in on the session.

That's what Roo (Georgie Parker) is doing in the scene I'm watching now. Does she not see that as an invasion of privacy? 

7. Saw Josh (Jackson Gallagher) being unhappy about, and ungrateful, for the surprise birthday party that Evie (Philippa Northeast) planned for him. 

He had told her he didn't want a fuss. Her argument is that when people say that, they don't really mean it.

I think Evie is right...at least in some cases. But in other cases, people truly don't want a fuss.

It's hard to know which is which.

If Josh said he didn't want any fuss made for his birthday, and Evie thought he was just saying that, she could have gone half-way. How about, instead of planning a big party for him, have a small romantic dinner?  

Or maybe just get him a cake.  

8. Thought that too often people follow the golden rule instead of the platinum rule.

They assume other people want what they want, and they give them that.

It would be better if people tried to think hard about what the other person would want.

Evie would probably love a big surprise party for herself, so she assumes this is what her boyfriend would want.

9. Thought about how sometimes we don't know how someone wants to be treated, and we have to make an educated guess or a wild guess.  

Sometimes we'll get it wrong.

But I think it's nice when people at least try to understand another person's needs and/or wants.

10. Felt better about the state of our house.

Our neighbors have their garage open, and it is a mess!  I'm not even sure someone could walk through it. There's just piles and piles of stuff.

Although maybe the rest of their house is very neat, and they allow that one area to be a complete mess.

I don't mind having some rooms messy in our house. Then when guests come over, we can just close those doors.  But I'd like the more public areas to be cleaner, so if we have people drop by, it won't be a total embarrassment,  Or if we get a few days notice of a guest coming, I don't have to get stressed about rushing to get our house into a semi-presentable state.  

11. Started watching the movie These Final Hours.

I like how it begins. We hear messages that people send each other as the apocalypse begins.There's a mixture of fear and love.

12. Saw explicit, and probably gratuitous, sex in the movie.

I'm a prude. Explicit sex scenes annoy me. 

A little bit of discrete sex is okay, and it's especially okay if it's a big part of the storyline. But I think this is just there for the hell of it.

I could be wrong, though.

13. Wondered what's causing the apocalypse in this movie.

There was a warning to stay away from the coast, so I guess it involves flooding and/or tsunamis.  

14. Heard mention of impact.

I guess it's an asteroid or something like that.

15. Thought it would be great if the world was destroyed by an asteroid rather than a nuclear war, a massive pandemic, or zombies.  

Or maybe not.

I guess I'm looking for something that would quickly kill pretty much everyone and not leave struggling, suffering, survivors.

16. Got the idea that it's not an asteroid.

It's something that's killing humanity piece by piece. Western Europe is completely gone. Parts of North America and Africa are gone. Australia is waiting to be hit. Or some of it already has been hit.

I'm wondering what would do that.

17. Thought it might have something to do with heat and the sun.

Everyone looks very hot.

Though it could just be that the apocalypse is coming to Australia on hot day.  

18. Looked up Roleystone, a place mentioned in the movie.

Google Maps shows it being about forty minutes south-east of Perth.  

19. Consulted Lord Wiki. He says it's a suburb of Perth.  

20. Learned that there was a bushfire in Roleystone in February 2011. Many homes were destroyed or damaged.

21. Saw more sex in the movie.

I didn't mind this sex, because it fits a lot with the story.

James (Nathan Phillips) goes to an end-of-the-world party, and it's a big orgy.

The problem is, he has Rose, a little girl, (Angourie Rice) with him. He rescued her earlier from rapists; then tried to find a place to drop her off and failed.

From what I saw in the IMDb description, the whole story is about James becoming less hedonistic after having to take care of Rose.  

I can see it now. He's not jumping into the party fun. He looks very stressed. It's almost like he's seeing the drunkedness and craziness through Rose's eyes.

22. Realized I'm probably wrong.

I don't think James is concerned about Rose yet.

He's stressed, because he's late to the party, and his girlfriend has been waiting for him. He's heard she's angry.

23. Saw that once James finds Lisa, his girlfriend (Kathryn Beck), he's still stressed.

I'm not sure if that's Rose's influence, or he's just unhappy about the world ending.

Also, he's seen a lot of shit—a crazy man attacking people with a machete, his sister and her family dead from suicide, and a cop who asks James to kill his children because he doesn't want to do it himself....

24. Stopped watching the movie for today.  I'll watch more in the future...probably tomorrow.  

25. Wanted to give an update on the Aussie books I've been reading.  

First, there's The Spell Book of Listen Taylor by Jaclyn Moriarty. It's a re-read for me.

I loved it the first time.

I'm still loving it, but reading it slowly because I'm reading six other books simultaneously.  

One problem with reading something slow vs. fast is, I think it takes longer to get into it.

My other issue is there are so many characters in the book. I get confused. I'm starting to get things straight in my head, though.

I shouldn't complain, because my novel, The Dead Are Online, has a lot of characters.  From what I remember, some of the reviews mention getting confused with all the characters. But I think it was the same for them as it is for me with Moriarty's book.  Eventually, the characters become less confusing.  


As for the other books.

There's The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I'm close to the end of this one.

I like it, because it's never boring.

I dislike it, because I find it offensive.

I'm waiting for a punchline that makes me say, Oh! It's not bad after all!

Is that going to happen?

I don't know.

So far, The Rosie Project is pretty much the story of an autistic man (Don) whose character is improved when his life becomes entangled with a neurotypical woman.  

It's like Don is broken, and Rosie comes along to fix him.

The relationship between Don and Rosie reminds me a bit of Sheldon and Penny on The Big Bang Theory.  I love Penny and Shelton, though, because they change each other. Or really they don't change each other...at least not very much. But despite their differences, they learn to coexist and even love each other.  

With The Rosie Project, I see Don changing, but I don't see any growth or change in Rosie.  

As for the third book. That's Lost in Kakadu.

I think it's a fun and exciting romance. It's the first bisexual romance novel I've read. I wonder if there are many out there.

26. Thought Lost in Kakadu reminds me a bit of The Blair Witch Project just because it involves people lost in a situation where if they kept walking in the right direction, they MIGHT find civilization.

27. Thought of Lost

I guess even on an island, people can find civilization.  

28. Shocked.

I consulted Lord Wiki about Kakadu.  

It's close to eight thousand miles!

Here I was thinking the characters can just do a few long days of arduous hiking and eventually they'll run into some tourists.  

29. Saw Lord Wiki's mention of crocodiles.

I've been waiting for the characters to run into one. If it doesn't happen, I'll probably be disappointed.

30. Started to read a safety page for Kakadu.

They say to stay in designed tourist areas—don't go wandering off. 

The characters in the romance weren't naughty little explorers. They were in a plane crash. 

31. Learned that going in a small boat puts you in danger of being a crocodile's dinner.

32. Thought I'd be kind of terrified in Kakadu—mostly because of the crocodiles and also because of the whole getting-lost thing.  

Still, a part of me wants to go.  It seems beautiful and exciting.  

33. Read a scary article about 2014 crocodile attacks in the Northern Territory.  

One man was grabbed from a boat.