Thursday, May 5, 2016

Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye, and Goodbye

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'll list them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Goodbye Forever.


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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

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

1. Started to watch an episode of Water Rats.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Followed a link to an article about Watson.

She's twenty-two now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think there's a big difference.

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

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

14. Thought about twists.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18. Decided twelve is probably old enough for remembering.

19. Started watching the scene.

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

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

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

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

21. Started watching the movie A Few Best Men.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But if that's not the case?

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

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

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

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

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

28. Laughed at a dumb thing in the movie.

Sometimes really dumb things can be funny.

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

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

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

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

I hate when that happens.

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

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

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

I think the awfulness of it is really underrated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

40. Stopped watching the movie for today.

I'll watch the rest tomorrow, probably.

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

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

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

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

It doesn't look like Rosiniak to me.

I think it might be, though.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Losing Visitors, Incapacitated, Guilt, and Blaming the Victim

1. Spent time looking at Statcounter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Started watching an episode of Water Rats.

This one is about a ferry crash.

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

Four people were killed.

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

5. Finished watching the episode.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Either way....

Sandra Bullock took over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

13. Started watching another episode of Water Rats

14. Felt something was missing in the episode.

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

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

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

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

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

I don't think he did.

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

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

16. Felt unnerved by the episode.  

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

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

Terry says, Officially, Yeah.

What the hell does that mean?

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

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

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

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

18. Remembered another scene.

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

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

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

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

That sounds kind of corny.

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

I don't know....

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

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

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

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


Monday, May 2, 2016

Drug Bust, Legal Habits, Adventure, and Regrets

1. Started watching an episode of Water Rats.

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

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

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

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

3. Thought about the drugs in the episode.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Had confusing thoughts about the whole thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. Started to look at the illegal drugs.

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

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

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

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

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

17. Googled.

It's the Festival of Dangerous.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19. Finished watching the episode.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I like the honesty there.

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

22. Started watching the rest of All About E.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30. Finished watching All About E.

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

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

It's a movie called A Few Best Men

32. Looked at the cast.  

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

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

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

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

35. Wondered if Saskia Hampele is still on Neighbours.

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

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

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

I don't think she has, unfortunately.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

And...will they miss being on Neighbours?  

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

I remember liking him in the past as well.

Maybe he should do more comedy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

33. Watched a little bit.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

38. Started to watch All About E.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

42. Saw that Brett Rogers has a website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

53. Couldn't really think of any.

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

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

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

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

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

I get confused about the whole anti-hero thing.

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

I might be acting egocentric here.

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

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

58. Stopped watching the movie for today.

I shall hopefully watch more tomorrow.