Friday, July 31, 2015

Celebrity Dreams, Social Suffocating, Packed to the Rafters, and Collapsing Pregnant Women

1. Dreamed about Kate Miller-Heidke.

I'm hanging out with Jack. My cell phone rings. I see from the caller ID that it's Kate Miller-Heidke. I answer and talk to her, without letting on that I know she's a famous singer. She needs my help with something. At first I think it's with a blog, but then I realize I'm wrong. I ask her if it's for a self-promotion thing. I feel asking her this will let her know I know that she's a celebrity.

It wasn't like I was trying to hide the fact that I knew she was a celebrity. It was more like I didn't know how to bring it into the conversation.

Later: I look at a man's blog, and I believe he's the brother of Kate Miller-Heidke. He talks about his life growing up Jewish. His sister is mentioned, but her last name is different. I figure Miller-Heidke is her married name.

In this part of the dream, her name was Rachel instead of Kate, but I'm pretty sure it still referred to the same person.

I also had dream-within-dream things where I wanted to blog about the Kate Miller-Heidke dream, but I didn't want to talk about the fact that I had real-life interactions with her.

2. Tried to understand why I dreamed about Kate Miller-Heidke. It wasn't completely out-of-the-blue...random.  I've seen her name this week. Siany Young had a cover of her song, I saw her name listed on Packed to the Rafters music, and I saw one of her songs mentioned in one of my old blog posts.  But I've seen lots of different faces this week, and have seen a lot of different names. Why did I dream about Kate Miller-Heidke and not the other people?

3. Started to watch an episode of Neighbours.

When I saw Harley Bonner and Ariel Kaplan together in the credits, I thought it would be fun to see a list of actors who played family members, but dated in real life.  The only one I could think of was The Brady Bunch. I think Florence Henderson dated one of her stepson actors.

4. Found a list.

I'm just going to name the ones with actors and/or shows that are familar to me.

Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey—played siblings on Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Well, actually most of them aren't very meaningful to me; because I haven't watched any of the shows listed. I actually haven't even seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

5. Found another list. I like this one better, because I've seen some of the shows.

One of the items is Michael Emerson and Carrie Preston from Lost.  They were married, and then Preston guest-starred on Lost as Emerson's mother.

There's Nick/Tuck. Joley Richardson started dating her on-screen son.

And there's the one that creeped me out a bit: The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) ended up marrying his onscreen daughter (Georgia Moffett) On top of that, Moffett is the REAL LIFE daughter of Peter Davison, a past doctor. And from what I remember learning, it was Tennant's favorite doctor. Hearing that made me wonder if he married Moffett because he wanted her as a wife. Or did he marry her because he wanted Davison as his father-in-law?

It's probably all good. I just maybe took it to heart, because Tim has sometimes shown a huge amount of father-in-law love and admiration. There have been times where I have felt insecure and imagined he was more excited about being my dad's son-in-law than he was about being my husband. So....

6. Felt bad for Amber (Jenna Rosenow) on Neighbours.

I thought yesterday that she might have tried to runaway permanently, but it turns out she just needed some space. She communicated that in her note.

Daniel (Tim Phillips)  insists on finding her and comes to the cottage where she is hiding out. Then a little time later, Josh arrives too. I think they're just going to end up making her feel crowded and stressed.

I do think it's kind of nice that they both show this strong display of love and concern. But I'm hoping that after a short visit, they'll leave her on her own for a few days.

7. Annoyed with Daniel. He's being a clueless jerk. He acts all high and mighty, because despite his girlfriend sleeping with another man, he's willing to forgive her, love her, and love the child no matter what.  That's all lovely, but at the same time he's being an ass to Josh and trying to push him out of the whole scenario. Does he really expect Josh to stay away if the baby ends up being his?

Yes, Josh did a bad thing by having sex with Amber when she was supposed to be partnered with Daniel. But to be fair, Daniel stole Amber from Josh.

The other thing is, Amber wants to be alone, and Daniel is completely oblivious to that. When Amber gets mad and asks them to leave, Daniel wrongly assumes she's rejecting only Josh.

8. Hoped that Daniel and Josh feel guilty. They stressed Amber out so much that she collapsed.

9. Thought that although I feel very bad for Amber and all the people crowding her; I feel worse for pregnant women who have no one around to help them.

10. Started watching an episode of Packed to the Rafters.  I have three episodes left for season two.

11. Thought that Chel (Gillian Jones) reminds me of one of my aunts. Like Chel, my aunt is kind of strange and awkward but good-hearted.

12. Had a feeling that the couple Ben (Hugh Sheridan) and Melissa (Zoe Ventoura) have met on their honeymoon are swingers.

It seems to be a thing. If a TV couple meets a very friendly couple, and they get along with them well; it's quite likely the other couple wants to have some group sex.

We'll see if I'm right.

I could be wrong.

I was wrong about Chel not being Dave's (Eric Thomson) mom.

13. Saw Melissa and Ben concluding the same thing I concluded. This comes after the couple says they're going to slip into something more comfortable.

What I'm thinking now, though, is that they're NOT swingers, and it's going to be some kind of comical misunderstanding. I'll prefer that, because it will be something I haven't seen before.

14. Learned that they ARE swingers.

15. Annoyed with Ben. He rushes home from his honeymoon to check on his mother after hearing she collapsed. That might be sweet, except his sister Rachel (Jessica Marais) promised him everything was fine.

I'd be annoyed if I was Melissa. If there truly was an emergency; I'd be understanding of my new husband bolting. But that wasn't the case here.

16. Saw that Melissa came home with Ben.

Well, that's good. At least they had the car ride together.

17. Learned that Dave and Nathan (Angus McLaren) disagree with me. They both say they'd do the same thing if they were on their honeymoon—rush back to their mother.

It makes me feel like a bad daughter.

I totally understand if the mother is still in the hospital, and there's a lot of worrying happening. But Julia was sent home from the hospital. She's on bedrest, yes. But if she sticks to bedrest, it seems probable that she and the baby will be okay.

This to me is different from someone's mother collapsing because of a stroke or heart attack, or a pregnant mother collapsing, and the doctors can't get her blood pressure stabilized.

18. Started watching another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

19. Intrigued by the Rafter's long lost cousin, so I looked at the actor's filmography.

His name is Ryan Corr.

IMDb says he won the Heath Ledger scholarship thing, and he's been nominated for Logies.

20. Learned from Lord Wiki that Corr got the Logie nomination for Packed to the Rafters. According to IMDb, he sticks around for many episodes. Sixty two!  So I guess he becomes one of the main stars. I'm glad. So far I'm liking him.

21. Liked the Welsh Girl in Australia's post about rescuing a Cane Toad rather than killing it.

Yeah. I know, and she knows, that the proper thing to do is euthanize them. Cane toads aren't good for Australia.

But the cane toad is really cute.

The thing I've been thinking lately is even if an animal is dangerous, spreads germs, or causes ecological destruction; it doesn't mean they're mean animals.

The rat that visits our bird feeder late at night might be as kind as the cardinals that visit it in the daytime.

The wasp that flies around our pool might be no more out to get me than the cricket that used to live in my room.

An individual cane toad's personality might be as lovely as the personality of the koala being photographed in a tree.

22. Started watching the last Season Two episode of Packed to the Rafters.

23. Saw that Jake's (James Stewart) mother (Mercia-Deane Johns ) has gotten a bit better.  She's nervous about her son bungee-jumping—as I'm sure most normal parents would be!  But she didn't forbid her son from going. She's reluctantly supportive.

She's also being nice to Rachel (Jessica Marais)

24. Disappointed in Nathan. He won fourteen thousand dollars from gambling. He and Sammy (Jessica McNamee) have enough money to move out of the Rafter home and rent an apartment. What does Nathan do? He goes gambling again—trying to win more.

Is he a gambling addict? Was that one of the storylines of season one? I can't remember.

25. Thought that Nathan needs Roy Cropper. On Coronation Street, Roy's mother lost a lot of money through gambling.  Roy was able to get it back, because he has card-counting type talents.

26. Saw that although Chel (Gillian Jones) is free spirited when it comes to cannabis, she is not lenient when it comes to gambling problems.

Nathan gambled the fourteen thousand dollars he won and then lost it all. He then borrows money from Chel. She insists he never go to the casino again. She makes him promise.

Nathan breaks the promise.  He wins back enough money to move out and pay back Chel. Instead of being impressed and grateful; Chel scolds Nathan. She insists they go to the bank right that moment to deposit the money. She also orders him to tell Sammy the truth about what's been happening.

I think she handled it all quite well. I'm impressed.

27. Figured that Chel is not pro-drugs and anti-gambling. I think she's probably okay with either one, within limits. What she's probably against is self-abuse and addiction.

28. Thought of something Jack and I talked about recently. It started with discussing parents who are anti-Minecraft. We imagined some might be against it, because they think it will lead to their child becoming addicted to violent video games.  I decided this would be like saying I don't want my child reading Green Eggs and Ham, because it might lead them to reading things like Fifty Shades of Gray.  Or how about, I don't want my child reading Highlights Magazine, because it might lead them to one day reading Penthouse.

Jack said something about playing card games leading kids to a future gambling problem.  If you don't want your child playing Minecraft, you probably also shouldn't allow them to play Go Fish or Uno.

This is not to say I'm against pornography, violent video games, gambling, or erotica books. It's just that a lot of things have both a sweet and innocent side and a not-so-innocent side.  And also, there's a difference between happy and healthy moderation and uncontrollable addiction.

29.  Got a bit emotional while watching the Rafter childbirth scenes.

30. Finished watching Packed to the Rafters.

31. Went to to pick my next show. It's season two of Farscape! That should be fun. Hopefully.

It will be weird seeing Gigi Edgley, because now I'm used to her being George on The Secret Life of Us.

32. Saw that season two episodes of Farscape are about four minutes shorter than the season one episodes.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Parents, Hawaiian Party, Career Risks, and Kidneys

1. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

Paul gives up his dog, and Amber decides to runaway.

The Amber thing surprised me a bit. It seems a bit immature—like the kind of thing I'd be tempted to do.

Is she planning to runaway forever—be a single mother without the help of her mother, sister, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, and best friend?  Or does she just need time a little time off?

2. Wondered which other Neighbours actors are leaving soon; or have already left.  I really feel they're dropping like flies.

3. Started watching an episode of Packed to the Rafters.

4. Thought about my own parents while watching Packed to the Rafters—kind of comparing them to the parents on the show.

They're not as warm and supportive as Julie Rafter (Rebecca Gibney). But they're much better than Jake's (James Stewart)'s mother (Mercia-Deane-Johns). And they're better than Melissa's (Zoe Ventoura) absent parents.

Melissa and Jake's parents make me grateful for my own. Since I usually bitch about my parents, that's quite a feat!

Unlike Jake's mother, my parents have never tried to stifle our social life. They never forbid us from being friends with or dating anyone. As far as I know, my parents have always been welcoming towards anyone we've brought into our lives. At least to their face. Sometimes they'd make snide comments behind the person's back, but I won't fault them on that.

Melissa's parents called and told her they couldn't make it to her engagement party. A work thing came up. I can imagine my parents maybe not being able to come to something because of a work or similar commitment.  But I can't imagine them not meeting the person we're engaged to. Melissa thinks her parents are going to meet her man, for the first time, at the wedding.  Hearing this made me appreciate that my parents make an effort to see us and meet the people in our lives.

In one aspect, Melissa's parents kind of reminded me of my own, because they gave her a generic gift that indicated they know nothing about her. And they gave the exact same gift to Melissa's brother. My parents have done that at times. They have this thing of giving me and my sister's the exact same gift even though the gift might not be something that matches all three of our preferences and personalities.  There's kind of that attitude of—hey, we spent money on you. Be happy.

BUT other times my parents have given me extremely thoughtful gifts. When I was obsessed with great apes,  they gave me a giant orangutan stuffed animal. Another time they gave me an Australia coffee table book. Plus, I'm sure there have been other things that have slipped my mind.

Well, these days, my dad sometimes picks up some groceries for us. That's very nice and very helpful. He's good at picking out grapes, which I really appreciate.

5.  Learned that Melissa's parents are even worse than I thought.

It turns out they lied about the work thing.  The real reason they're not coming is Melissa's father doesn't want to waste the airfare. Apparently, Melissa didn't go through with a past wedding, so they expect her to fail again.

6. Loved the Rafter's Hawaiian themed engagement party.

It makes me want to have an Hawaiian-themed party.

Though I don't think I really want to have a party.

Maybe I'll just enjoy watching the Rafters have theirs.

7. Had a sudden feeling that Chel (Gillian Jones) isn't truly Dave's (Eric Thomson) Mom. I don't why I'm thinking that.  I probably saw something like it on another show.

If a TV character is overjoyed to have a relative back in their life, it seems it will turn out that they're not truly related.

8. Saw Julie be an amazing and wonderful mother again.

Nathan is the family pariah when it's revealed that he cheated on his wife.  He comes to his parents, crying. Julie comforts him. It was a nice display of unconditional love.

9. Started to watch another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

10. Annoyed with Ted (Michael Caton). He wants to help Dave find his runaway mother, which is very kind of him. But he asks Melissa to risk her medical career by violating medical laws. Personally, I think that's both illegal and immoral—not to mention rude and unfair to Melissa.

11. Annoyed with Ben (Hugh Sheridan). Melissa is feeling down. She's worried she'll get caught for breaking the medical rules. Ben lets her know he's pleased with her, because she broke the rules to help the family.

I don't think a person should be pressured to risk their career to prove their loyalty to the family.

Well, I'm sure there are cases where I'd feel it's okay. But this isn't one of them.

12. Relieved to learn that Chel is indeed Dave's mother.

She was acting kind of flighty, because her kidneys are failing. Chel worried that Dave would think she contacted him just to get a kidney.  She had said no to meeting him at first, and that's why. She didn't want Dave to think she was the type of woman who'd give up her son; then return later to snatch his Kidney.

Eventually, Chel puts a stop to the whole mess by ruling that no one in the Rafter family can be tested to see if they're compatible.

Well, it doesn't stop the mess that's happening to her body. But it does prevent Dave and his family from suspecting that she's using them for medical gain.

13. Started to watch another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

14. Felt bad for Chrissy (Carline Brazier). She has a crush on her boss who also happens to be the husband of her best friend. At least she does the responsible thing and resigns from her job.

On the episodes of Coronation Street, I've been watching recently, Tina falls in love with Peter, her employer. Like Chrissy she tries to resign but then is easily talked into staying.  She ends up almost kissing Peter; tries to talk him out of getting married, and then makes out with him after the wedding.

I was sitting here thinking that Chrissy is better than Tina, but who knows what's going to happen in future episodes.

15. Proud of Julie for putting two and two together and figuring out that Chrissy has thing for Dave.

I just realized this is very similar to the  Imogen-Amber-Daniel storyline on Neighbours.

I hope Julie is forgiving. I don't think people can help who they have a crush on, and Chrissy is trying to do the responsible thing.

16. Started to watch a Neighbours backstage video. This one stars Kip Gamblin.

17. Thought Kip Gamblin was cute in the video. For some reason, I can't explain, he reminds me of one of my favorite campers at the Cystic Fibrosis camp. It was a little girl named April, and she had blond hair. So different gender, different age, different accent, and different hair color to Gamblin. So what's the deal?

I don't know.

18. Wondered if maybe it's something they have the same nose.

19.  Decided to watch another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

20. Liked the pink roses given to Rachel (Jessica Marais).

I'm not a big fan of flower-gifts, but I do think those are very pretty.

21. Found myself taking Jake's side on this episode.

Rachel's season one boyfriend, Daniel, (Luke Pegler) returns. He's the one who gave her the flowers.

Jake knows about Rachel's past with Daniel—that he was on drugs, hit her, and put a sex video of Rachel on the Internet.

Rachel decides to put the past in the past and work with Daniel at the advertising agency. Jake's not too happy about this, and it gets worse when Daniel starts questioning the use of Jake as a model for their current advertising project.

Later, Jake brings his brother, Alex, (Kristian Schmid) to the shoot. Daniel and the other advertising people are vocally unhappy about this and very unwelcoming. Then Daniel actually has the nerve to refer to Alex as Daniel's half-wit brother. Jake hits Daniel. Who wouldn't? Or at least, who wouldn't want to?  Rachel immediately goes to check on Daniel—directs all her concern towards him. Then she bitches Jake out.

22. Thought at first I was feeling angry at Daniel because Alex has cerebral palsy—the idea that we need to give special consideration to people who are disabled.

But no. It's about the fact that Alex is a nice guy. He's a family member of someone who's working there.  Maybe Jake was in the wrong for bringing him without warning; but still...they should have welcomed him. Then maybe later, they could suggest that Jake ask next time.

23. Felt my opinion of Rachel go down several notches. She calls Jake a psychopathic thug.  Really? I think the thug thing might fit, but psychopathic? I don't think it's psychopathic to want to hit someone after they've insulted your brother.

24. Thought Dave was a total hypocritical jerk.

His mother Chel gives her grandkids some of her medical cannabis to help them relax. She thinks she's being kind and helpful. When she tells Dave she's done this, he flips out and starts talking about how the family has had problems with drugs.  So, now they're a drug free family?

Does that mean they don't drink anything with caffeine? How about alcohol?

I can imagine being angry if she gave her cannabis to children or teenagers. But I don't see the harm in giving it to adults. They're old enough to decide if they want to take it or not.

25. Temped to watch another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

Should I?

I shouldn't.

But I'm going to.

26. Saw another season one person return. Kat! (Melanie Vallejo). She's the one who robbed Nathan, Cabo (George Houvardas) and Melissa.

27. Learned that Melissa's parents are as bad onscreen as they are offscreen. They're pushy judgmental people. They remind me of Nick (Damien Fotiou) from Neighbours.  They're the kind of people who try to make you feel you're not enough.

Seeing them makes me feel appreciation for my own parents again.

Although then there was a scene with Julie Rafter being her wonderful supportive self, and it made me wish I had someone like that in my life.

28. Wondered why adults didn't have imaginary friends. Well, some probably do.

I think I've actually tried in the past, but I don't think my imagination is strong enough.

If I did, though, I'd want Julie Rafter as my imaginary friend.

29. Liked Melissa and Ben's wedding.  It was in the park, and there were only fifteen people. It was pretty much just family.

Through the years, I've grown to really appreciate small weddings.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Siany Young American Culture, Parents and Soulmates

1. Followed a link on one of my old 2011 blog posts.

It's a YouTube Channel called Siankummer.  It belongs to an Aussie girl named Siany who sings and plays a ukulele. Back in 2011, I thought she was adorable; and I liked some of her singing.  

Sadly, she stopped posting. Her last video is from a year ago, and there's just one video. She stopped posting regularly three years ago.  

2. Listened to Siany sing "Pumped up Kicks". I think it sounds quite nice.  

3. Continued to think that Siany is adorable. She reminds me a little bit of Cristin Milioti. 

4. Started to listen to Siany sing "Cupid". It's the Sam Cooke version— the same that was used in Blackpool

5. Had to watch the Blackpool Cupid

6. Hoped that Siany is doing okay and that she's still working on her music. 

7. Tried to do some Siany stalking.

I found a blog written by her sister-in-law. She talks about her brother getting engaged to Siany.  

Though that was in 2009, before all the singing videos. I'm not sure if the wedding actually happened. So maybe the blogger isn't Siany's sister-in-law.  

8. Saw from this post that they DID indeed get married.

I feel like such a stalker right now. 

It could be because Siany herself has a blog, but it's private. So I'm digging into the life of someone who might want to be hiding.  

9. Found an Instagram for Siany Young. I think Young might have been her name before getting married. Then after getting married, she became Siany Kummer. Well, I know Kummer is her married name, because that's her sister-in-law's last name.

But yeah. The YouTube channel has both Young and Kummer. Kummer is in the address, but the name listed on the channel is Young.  

10. Looked at Siany Young's most recent Instagram post. It's of her cat. He's cute. The picture is from a week ago, so Siany hasn't dropped off the face of the Earth. 

11. Saw that Siany got an Apple Watch.  My niece bought one. I'm not sure if it's wonderful, or not. I remember her making a big deal when she first got it. But I can't remember hearing anything recently.

12. Saw that Siany still has her ukulele. That's encouraging. 

13. Saw a cute photo of Siany and another one of her cats. Or maybe it's someone else's cat. It's very cute, though. 

14. Found a short Instagram video with Siany singing. It's from 23 weeks ago.  

As far as I can see, she hasn't posted any music for about a year.

Why? Or is she posting it elsewhere?

15. Hoped that Siany would get back to pursuing her music.

Maybe she's singing but just not singing online anymore.

16. Started to watch an episode of Neighbours.

17. Learned that Sonya (Eve Morey) is NOT exploring her lesbian side. It's another one of those misunderstanding storylines. Toadie (Ryan Moloney) thought Sonya had met a woman with a dating app. And yes, Sonya did that. But it turns out the dating app has a friendship section.

This is the second time in recent episodes that Sonya and Toadie have had a misunderstanding. A few episodes ago, Sonya thought Toadie had bought her a too-large blanket robe thingie but then it turned out the robe was supposed to be for his mother.

18. Had respect for Brad (Kip Gamblin) for trying to set boundaries between himself and Lauren (Kate Kendall).

Lauren argues that they're just friends. Brad tells her it's really more than that. They share a history together, and a child.  It's not very appropriate for them to drink wine together and fall asleep on the couch with their bodies touching.

19. Did not respect Lauren for acting hurt and annoyed by Brad's rejection. But I did sympathize with her. I can imagine myself feeling the same way if I was in her shoes.

20. Learned that Susan (Jackie Woodburne) was once married to Nate's (Meyne Wyatt) uncle.

I had no idea!

Is this a recently invented fact. or has it been mentioned before?

21. Saw from The Perfect Blend site that Nate's Uncle Alex was a real character on Neighbours.

22. Saw that Alex homeschooled his kids, and they were characters on Neighbours too.

23. Started to watch an episode of Packed to the Rafters.

The Rafters have a surprise birthday party for Chel (Gillian Jones), Dave's (Eric Thomson) newly found mother.

I think it's very sweet, because Chel gave up Dave when he was two-years-old. They finally reunited, but things were a bit rough in the beginning. Dave resented Chel for giving him up.

I love stories of reconciliation.  I think it's lovely that this woman, now, not only has her son but also a daughter-in-law, grandchildren, and the rest of the Rafter gang.

24. Thought that forgiveness is lovely in itself but even more fantastic when it leads to friendship.

25. Liked expat Nikki's blog post describing her excitement over American mailboxes.

I remember learning that, in Australia, no postal worker comes to your house to pick up the mail you want to send.  It's something we take for granted here. Although I rarely mail anything anymore.  We pay most of our bills online, and we rarely write letters or send cards.

26. Loved what Nikki wrote at the end of her post.  Well, at some point she shows a picture of American flag stamps, and says, The stamps, could you get any more ‘American’*?

The asterisk indicates there's a footnote thing.  The footnote says,  American – to clarify is not a derogatory term, just a term used to describe something that really has no other way to refer to it, that we associate with the way we see American culture as an outsider. You may have to be not American to truly get it.

I am NOT a not-American, but I think I get it.

Many not-Americans have a certain imagine of America, and it's exciting for not-Americans to see Americans fulfilling this image.

From spending some time with Australians, I have an image of what not-Americans see as being very American. I think it involves yellow school buses, Pop-Tarts, and Trick or Treating.  There's probably a lot of other stuff.  I think, though, that if an Australian came to the US and saw children eating Pop-Tarts and then those kids were picked up by a yellow school bus; the Australians would be quite pleased.

27. Wondered what else Australians imagine when they think of American culture.

28. Tried to think of Australian cultural things that make us excited as American tourists.

Vegemite is probably one of the biggest one. Oh my God! Look! They're really putting Vegemite on their toast! Real Australians using real Vegemite. And we're here to witness it! 

The other thing would be hearing "G'Day" or "Mate".  Jackpot if we actually hear the two words together.

29. Decided that simply hearing the Australian accent is a huge thrill...especially if it comes out of the mouth of an adorable young child.

30. Read comments on Nikki's post that had other American-culture things. Walmart!

When our Australian friends met us in Hawaii, they were overly excited about Walmart.

And there's summer camp. I think that's a huge one.

31. Felt very bad for Rachel (Jessica Marais) on Packed to the Rafters. She tries to talk to Jake (James Stewart) who dumped her a few weeks ago because of his excessive mother-love.  Jake totally gives Rachel the cold shoulder.

I think that's one of the worst feelings. You try to talk to someone who has rejected you, hoping they'll be a bit less rejecting.  But they're not. They're cold, and it makes you feel cold.

What's also bad is when they don't act cold. They're friendly. Your hopes go up but then later, the person acts cold again, and the hopes are squashed.

32. Wondered if Jake and Rachel will get back together. Will Jake finally realize his mother (Mercia Deane-Johns) is controlling and unfair?  Or maybe his mother will realize her mistake and start acting decently?

33. Wanted to say that I see nothing wrong with mothers and sons who are close. I'm very close to my son, and I hope we'll always be very close.  I love hearing of close mother and son relationships. But there is something wrong when a mother is possessive and tries to scare a perfectly nice girl away.

Really. I think Norma Bates is a better mother than Jake's mom. Norma and her son get uncomfortably physical at times, but at least she TRIES to let him live his life. Jake's mom might think she has it tough raising a child with Cerebral Palsy,  but Norma deals with a son who has blackouts and murders people.

Has Jake's mother ever had to hide a body or lie to the police?  No, I don't think so.  She needs to get over herself.

34. Learned that Rachel did get through to Jake's mother. Jake didn't give any indication of that, but his brother, Alex, (Kristian Schmid) shares this information with Rachel.

Thanks to Rachel's lecture, the controlling mother has backed off a bit. Not only did she let him out of his cage, but she helped him get a job.

35. Disgusted with Jake. Rachel comes to talk to him, and she mentions Alex, working at the skate shop.

I think Jake SHOULD have said, Oh yes. Thanks, by the way, for saying what my mother needs to hear. Now she's giving us the freedom adult sons deserve.

He doesn't say anything remotely like that. Instead he warns Rachel not to talk about his mother. She gives him an undeserved apology, saying she shouldn't have pushed his mother. Yes, she should have!  Then Jake tells her she should apologize to his mother.

I think Rachel should forget about Jake, and date his brother instead. Alex is much less full of himself, doesn't seem to have Mommy-issues, and has a great sense of humor.

36. Touched very much by the episode.

It ends up that Char is HIV positive, and has been that way for over twenty years. She doesn't want to burden her son and her new family, so she tries to back away. They pull her back in again.

37. Felt lots of love for the Rafter family.

I'm really loving this show.

I do wish Rachel would find a new man, though. I'm not liking Jake.

38. Liked the song at the end of the episode. It's called "All Turn to Love", and it's sung by Galleon.

39. Saw that Galleon is a band from Adelaide.

40. Looked at Galleon's Triple J Unearthed Page. They don't have "All Turn to Love" there, but they do have some of their other songs.

41. Listened to Galleon's Kamikaze.

I like it.

42. Tried to understand my feelings about love, relationships, jealousy, and possessiveness. I'm still struggling with all this.

Right now, because of Packed to the Rafters, I'm thinking of it in terms of parent-child relationships and romantic relationships.

I feel ideally parents should love their children with all their hearts and put them a reasonable degree.  However, the love shouldn't be about capturing and keeping the child. The parent should want the child to fly free and eventually find its own family.  Or if the child isn't meant to find a partner and make babies; then at least they might find happiness in other ways.

The parent shouldn't want to be number one in the child's life. It's fine when the child is very young, but as they grow older, the parent should be fine with becoming less important to the child. Of course, it's fine to miss the good old days and feel a little sadness. It's not okay to feel angry towards the child or guilt them into giving up their social life for you.

Note: If you cook them their favorite meal; they know you're doing this, but they then rush out to meet their's okay to be upset and somewhat bitchy about the whole thing.  There's a big difference between expecting respect and common decency and keeping your offspring as emotional prisoners.  This doesn't count if you cook their favorite meal every night as a method of keeping them in your prison. 

43. Felt that although possessiveness shouldn't be part of parent-child relationships, it does have some place in romantic relationships.

There's a such thing as being too possessive. A person shouldn't expect to be the only important person in their lover's life. They should be okay with their partner having friends, siblings, parents, etc. They shouldn't expect to be conjoined twins with their partner. They shouldn't be overbearing.

But what I feel is that in an ideal situation, the two people will usually prefer to be with each other.

If this is not the case, it's not because the couple doesn't work hard enough; are not dedicated enough; are selfish; or are failures at commitment. Well, sometimes these might be the case.  But I think mostly, it's because they're not a super match.  I'd say they're probably not soulmates.

It doesn't mean the relationship won't work. But that type of relationship TAKES work to keep it going. It takes effort and deliberation. I think in an ideal relationship, there's much less work. It comes more naturally.

44. Felt that ideal soulmate situations are probably very rare.

45. Came up with ways to determine if we are possessive parents and whether we have soulmate relationships.

As for the the parent thing.  I have two questions. First: When we see our child having fun with friends, does this make us feel happy and good about life, or does it make us feel sad and uneasy? Second: If our child has a falling out with their friends, do we feel sad and anxious? Or do we secretly (or openly, Lord Forbid) feel relieved?

I don't think I need to spell out what the answers to the questions mean.

Note: If the friend is a dangerous criminal, it's probably okay to feel somewhat relieved. Though I think there should also be some amount of empathetic sadness.

As for the soulmate issue. Let's imagine we're on a cruise ship with our lover. What makes our heart sing more; the idea of partying and meeting lots of new people—having an exciting social experience; OR finding a quiet corner up on deck to watch the stars with our partner.

It's totally fine to want both, but I think the one we prefer says something about our relationship.

46. Thought that if we're having fun hanging out with people on the cruise ship, and we think to ourselves, I need to be a good spouse and find my partner before they get mad; then we're probably not in a soulmate relationship.

If we're having fun hanging out with people on the cruise ship, but start getting tired of it, and desire time alone with our spouse; then we're probably partnered with our soulmate.

47. Decided to apply my crazy ideas to Neighbours.

I think if Brad and Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou) were soulmates; Brad wouldn't have ended up falling asleep on the couch cuddled up next to Lauren. He would have been kind enough to have dinner with Lauren but would have ended the evening early. Instead of sitting on the couch drinking wine with Lauren, he would have said good-bye to her and then spent the evening texting Terese.

So, yeah. I don't think Brad and Terese are soulmates. But I do think they put a lot of good effort into their relationship. I think they can work to make things work.

48. Wondered if some people have no soulmates.

And I also wonder if some people have multiple soulmates.

Do soulmates even exist?

Yes, I think so.  It doesn't have to be a magical spiritual kind of thing.  It could just be two people who are very highly compatible; and along with that, there'd be a strong chemical attraction.

But I like to believe in the spiritual thing. It's fun.

49. Decided it's time for me to watch a Neighbours backstage video.

Today, I'm going to watch a set starring Harley Bonner. He plays Josh. I often want to say he plays Chris, but no. He hit Chris. He isn't Chris. There's a difference between hitting someone and being them.  Probably?

50. Started watching part one.

Harley Bonner says he's been around the Neighbours set since the age of eight, because of his mom.

What's that all about?

51. Started watching part two of the video.

52. Thought it was cool seeing the Neighbours wardrobe collection.

53. Found an article about Harley Bonner and his mom.

54. Learned that Harley Bonner's Mom, Carla Bonner, acted on Neighbours as someone named Steph Scully.

55. Looked at Harley Bonner's Instagram.

One of the posts freaks me out a bit, because the girl in the picture looks like Justine Clarke. That wouldn't be freaky in itself, but she looks like 1980's Justine Clark.

56. Read the caption on the photo and saw that it's Bonner's mom.

57. Liked photo of Harley Bonner eating ice-cream (or yogurt). He looks good with a hat. And I prefer Bonner's fashion sense to Josh's.

58. Liked Photo of Bonner with Tim Phillips. They both have beard-things.

59. Disagreed completely with the little inspirational message Bonner posted. Whether You Think You Can or Think You Can't; You're right.

The other day I felt very tired and my arms felt weak. Jack wanted me to open a jar, and I had serious doubts about my ability. Then I tried, and it ended up I could open it.

I think there have been other days where I imagine I can open something, and it turns out I can't.

So there!

60. Watched video of Ariel Kaplan licking Bonner.

61. Noticed that Bonner has a lot of photos of Kaplan. Are they dating?  Or...maybe just really good friends?

62. Saw photo of Bonner with the three Kaplan girls, plus two other guys. The caption says it's a wedding. I'm thinking Bonner was Kaplan's date?

63. Concluded that Bonner and Kaplan are together.

That's very cute.

So now I know of two sets of dating Neighbour's actors—Kaplan and Bonner; and Jenna Rosenow and Chris Milligan.

I wonder if there are any more.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Infidelity, Layla, Saskia Hampele, and Jealousy

1. Started to watch an episode of Neighbours.

Brad (Kip Gamblin) has been suspended from his teaching job. Although I think Brad is a good guy; I think he deserves the suspension. He looked through a student's confiscated phone and read their text message.

Brad's excuse is that the message upset the student, and Brad was concerned.

Well, this student is also the son of of one of Brad's enemies. Because of that, I'd say it was more about nosiness than concern. But even if it was concern, invading a student's privacy is inappropriate.

2. Enjoyed reading the 1YearOff's blogpost about Denmark, Western Australia. This is probably because there was mention of a chocolate factory, a toffee factory, kangaroos, and kookaburras. Totally my type of place!

3. Thought it was inappropriate for Lauren (Kate Kendall) and Brad to sit close together on the couch drinking wine while Brad's wife (Rebekah Elmaloglou) is out of the country.

Yes, I understand that Lauren meant for it to be a family thing, and they can't help that all of the kids are busy doing other things.

It's probably fine that they have dinner together. But did they have to move to the couch? That's a bit cozy.

4. Saw that now Lauren and Brad are sleeping on the couch together, kind of cuddling.

I know there are people who would think this is fine. It's all fine as long as lips don't touch, and there's no penis and/or vagina involvement. As long as there's no sex, it's totally okay.

Really. I'd rather find out my partner had a wild night of sex with a sex-worker, or someone he met at a bar; than learn he got close and cuddly with a good friend.

5. Intrigued by Sonya's (Eve Morey) storyline. She met with a mysterious woman. Toadie (Ryan Moloney) heard about it. He asked Sonya about her day, and she didn't mention the woman. Then later Toadie saw a text from the woman, and it seemed to be coming from a dating site.


I'm sure there's some kind of innocent and comical explanation.  I think, these days, Sonya and Toadie usually have the comic relief storylines.

6. Started to watch an episode of Packed to the Rafters.

I'm really getting into the show. I like the storylines.

7. Glad to see that Rachel (Jessica Marais) is still loving on Jake (James Stewart). She hasn't yet allowed his mother's (Mercia Deane-Johns) crazy bitchiness stop her.

8. Thought it was so touching that the Rafter family is so welcoming towards Dave's (Eric Thomson) birth mother (Gillian Jones).

Rachel gave up Dave when he was two-years-old, because of a grief-induced breakdown. Now they've found each other; and Dave's wife, kids, and daughter-in-laws are very eager to meet her.

It's lovely seeing them all talking and laughing together.

9. Saw that Gillian Jones was on Love My Way. I didn't remember her at first, but now I'm thinking she played Claudia Karvan's mother.

10. Realized that not all the family is ready to extend a warm welcome—including Dave.

Dave's son Ben (Hugh Sheridan) sympathizes with his father's ambivalence. Rachel stayed away from her son for forty years. Ben asks his grandfather (Michael Caton) if he can imagine staying away from his daughter that long.

11. Liked that YOUNG Rachel speaks up against Grace, Jake's mother.

Rachel reminds Grace that her sons are adults. Then she reminds Grace of when they first met. Grace spoke about limits and not having unrealistic goals. Rachel tells Grace what she's doing is stifling her kids.

I agree.

Yes. Sometimes kids get a bit unrealistic at times; and you have to gently sprinkle some realism into the picture. For example...let's say your child wants to jump out the window and fly to Neverland. But there's a difference between gentle guiding and stifling.

12. Disappointed in Jake. He gets mad at Rachel for speaking up against his mother, and defends his mother.

I don't think it's good to date a person who allows their parent to treat you horribly, and you're not allowed to defend yourself.

13. Hoped that I don't turn out to be a crazy bitch to the romantic partners that Jack brings home.

14. Started watching another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

This one gives attention to Cabo (George Houvardas). His mother (Dina Panazzo) and an old friend (Sophie Katos) visit from Greece.

15. Related to scene between Layla (Rita Vandervis) and Sammy (Jessica McNamee).

Sammy accuses Layla of trying to make the moves on her husband Nathan (Angus McLaren). Layla assures her she's not interested in Nathan that way. She's just a lonely girl with relationship problems, and Nathan is the only friend she can turn to.

We had a houseguest that reminds me a bit of Layla. She was rejected by the object of her affection, and turned to Tim for both comfort and housing.  It seemed doubtful that she had romantic feelings towards Tim...because she was in love with someone else. It did seem, though, that she liked getting attention from Tim. There were long intense talks in the kitchen; bike rides together; duo shopping adventures;  a gift they bought together as a team, with a co-signed greeting card. One night, they sat side by side on the couch, watching a DVD and drinking wine. Another night they talked in the wee hours in the morning in a dimly lit room.

It wasn't a romantic relationship, but at times it kind of looked like one.

To the houseguest's defense, though. She did make attempts to be nice to me as well. She showed interest in my Australia-obsession. She watched McLeod's Daughters. She acted impressed about my fake Australian accent. And she even went as far as reading one of my novels. Since I easily succumb to flattery, I almost started liking her.

Sometimes I thought she was just a nice lonely girl who didn't understand boundaries. Other times, I thought she was a sly The-Hand-That-Rocks-the-Cradle type person.

I think I've usually see her as the latter. But I think seeing Lauren on Neighbours today is making me think maybe it was more the former.  I think Lauren acted very inappropriately. But she's not a sly, wicked bitch. I thinks she's quite loving and respectable. She's a great mother to her kids. She was a fairly decent wife. She's a good daughter. She tries to be a good friend and neighbour. It's just she's also a lonely woman who lost her husband, and maybe she still has some feelings for her next door neighbour.

16. Wondered about Layla. Is she a selfish, manipulative, bitch who'd love to break up a marriage? Or is she a sweet but troubled lonely girl who looks for attention in the wrong places?

17. Enjoyed the Welsh Girl in Australia's post about spiders.

I like spiders. I used to be very scared of them. I'm not sure what happened.

Maybe the Spiderman movie converted me. Should I give credit to Toby Maguire?

I remember, many years ago, going to a restaurant near the lake house with my parents. I couldn't relax because there were fat orb-weaving spiders above our heads spinning their webs. Now I walk out to the dock at night JUST so I can watch the spiders making their webs.

18. Wanted to say that I don't think all spiders are adorable. The huntsman variety give me the creeps. And I also don't like the scary Cave Spiders in Minecraft.

19. Liked the song played at the end of the Packed to the Rafters episode.

I think it might be Greek.

20. Found the song on YouTube. It's called "Turn on the Sun" and is sung by Nana Mouskouri.

It's a fun song.

21. Started to watch another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

22. Thought Sammy was smart.

After she and Nathan have sex, Nathan confesses that Layla propositioned him. Sammy, at first, expresses anger and disgust with Layla. Then she puts two and two together. Layla offered Nathan sex. He said no, rushed home, and had sex with Sammy instead.

It could have been that Nathan feels nothing for Layla and wanted to get away—back into the arms of his wife.

But the show has given us Nathan's fantasies, and they involve having sex with Layla. So Sammy is smart to be suspicious.

If someone's partner shows zero, mild, or moderate sexual interest; then suddenly becomes a horny devil; I would say it's likely they're using their partner as a stand in for who they really want.

23. Remembered hearing that both an increase in sex and a reduction can be signs of infidelity.

My guess is a reduction probably signals that a secondary relationship is already happening. Your partner doesn't want to have sex with you, because it would feel like he's cheating on his new love. OR it could just be a matter of being exhausted.

If there's a sudden strong increase in sexual advances, I would guess there's a desire for an affair, but it's not happening yet. Your partner is using you for a substitute, and also trying to prove to themselves and you, that they're not only faithful, but attentive.

24. Liked the "These Boots are Made For Walking" cover played on Packed to the Rafters.

25. Found the Channel 7 Packed to the Rafters site. They list the music for each episode. That might be helpful!

The Boots cover is sung by Nick West. I can't find it on YouTube or Spotify.

26. Compelled to watch David Tennant and David Morrisey sing "These Boots are Made For Walking".  Blackpool is mesmerizing and addictive.

27. Disagreed with Sammy. She confronts Layla and tells her she wants to have sex with only one man her entire life, and this is what everyone should want.

I don't feel that's true.

I don't think it's bad to want an open relationship.

I think what's bad is to try to turn someone else's closed relationship into an open one.  That's rude, disrespectful, and selfish.  But if Layla finds a couple who have an open relationship; I see nothing wrong with her pursuing one...or both of them.

28. Confused about my feelings towards Sammy's outburst. She tells Nathan she's angry that he was tempted to have sex with Layla. He wants to quit his job, and she refuses to let him do that. She wants him to be the type of husband who can be around other women and not be attempted to cheat.

I feel she's being unfair. People can't help how they feel, and at least he's TRYING to behave.

On the other hand, I've been hurt and angry by someone's feelings even though they tried to behave in the proper way.

It's like I'm thinking, Yes, I know you're trying to do the right thing and trying to make me happy. But I don't want you to have to make an effort. I want it all to come naturally and effortlessly as it would for someone who felt the way I wanted them to feel.  

What Sammy wants is a man who's so overwhelmed with love that he doesn't feel things for other women.  I think a lot of us wish for that, but it probably rarely exists in reality. Well, it might happen at the beginning of a relationship, but as the years go by, I think most people are going to have eyes for others.

29. Started to watch part one of a Neighbours backstage video starring Saskia Hampele. I like her a lot. Or at least I like Georgia.

30. Thought that Saskia Hampele has a cute voice and accent.

31. Heard Hampele singing. I think she has a lovely voice. I know Georgia was supposed to be a singer, but then throat surgery ruined it all. I wonder why Neighbours did that. Did Hampele not want to sing anymore?  Maybe like her character, she developed a voice problem?

I guess it could all be the sake for a good storyline, but wouldn't it have bothered Hampele to know she couldn't showcase her voice on the show anymore? Though maybe she didn't want to?

32. Started watching part two of the backstage video.

33. Thought Saskia Hampele looked very pretty here. I like her outfit, hair, and make-up.

Well, she looked much better on the video, really.

This is making me think my ugliness might not be as strong as I have been believing. Someone can look fine in action; but the camera fails to capture their face in a good moment.

It's probably better to judge physical appearance with a video or face to face in real life. A photo can make someone look uglier than they are, or more attractive.

34. Thought about video, and the problem there is, it can reveal stuff about us we'd rather not know. For example, when I watch videos of myself, I see how I stand and walk awkwardly. Or I do this thing where I hold my hands over my stomach.

35. Watched a video where I have my hands in an awkward position. It's not pretty.

But more importantly...while watching the video, I saw this Healesville bird trainer guy.

He reminds me of Denis O'Hare from True Blood and American Horror Story—more so in the video than the screenshot.

36. Saw article that says Saskia Hampele is leaving Neighbours.

What the hell?

Is anyone going to stay on the show?

37. Saw that Hampele leaves the show in May!  That's the month I'm on now. Where the hell is Georgia going to go? Is Nick going to escape prison and kill her?

Or maybe Georgia's not leaving. Maybe she's going to go through a regeneration process.

38. Saw that I'm on the May 18 episode of Neighbours, and Hampele leaves the last week of May. That's very soon.

39. Saw from Hampele's Twitter that she has her own website. It's called Peachy Keen.

I think the name's kind of funny, because Hampele wore a peach-colored sweater in the the first backstage video. I didn't think it was a very good color on her.

Or maybe it was more salmon-colored?

40. Looked at the recipes on Hampele's site.  They're health food stuff. Hampele avoids refined sugars. But it looks like yummy, not-boring health food stuff.

In other words: the recipes involve chocolate. Well, at least three out of the four recipes do.

41. Started to read Hampele's blog post about Instagram. I can relate, because she talks about being addicted.  She says, When did instagram become so popular? Why is it so uncontrollably addictive to scroll through the endless images and double tap your seal of approval?

That was totally me for awhile. I then realized enough was enough. I signed out of my account, so I wouldn't keep checking it multiple times a day. Now I just look via my laptop for my blog posts. And I made a rule that I can check my own account once a season. I checked in the middle of June. I'll check again in September...if I can remember my password.

42. Saw that the rest of the post is Hampele speaking out against all the photo-editing that goes on in Instagram. People edit their photos to make themselves look better.

I had no idea!

Is that why I see all these people with beautiful selfies, and I look so ugly in comparison?

Hampele is pretty awesome.  On her blog, she shows before and after (editing) photos of herself. She posted the edited ones on Instagram, and she got more attention than usual.

To be honest, though, I don't see that much of a difference between the photos. She looks lovely in all of them.

I think you can take a pretty person and make them beautiful. I'm not sure you can take an ugly person, and make them beautiful.

Well...never mind. I've seen those celebrities-without-make-up photos.  I guess sometimes you can work miracles with make-up and photo editing.

43. Loved what Hampele said here: Because I am that awkward girl with the double chins in most my selfies. I have pimples and wrinkles and sun spots and thighs. And my favourite photos, the ones that need no filter or editing or alteration, are usually the ones where I am smiling and laughing with the people I love, not the ones I take on my lonesome when I’m trying to look like something I’m not.

I might have to add Hampele to my list of favorite Australians.

What's funny is, I worried I wouldn't like her as much as Georgia. And now I'm thinking I might like her even MORE than Georgia.

44. Thought that I might fall in love with Hampele as I read her post about society's obsession with a flat belly.

45. Started to read Hampele's third blog post.

I can relate to what she says here. I became inescapably aware that I, a woman and a feminist, am often too scared myself to join the conversation about inequality. I’m scared of being seen as too outspoken, too bossy, of being told my opinions are not welcome, of the negative connotations that the “F-Word” – feminism – seems to invoke.

I thought about this today. For some reason, I was thinking of how I personally like men to do some things for me, but I get annoyed by other things. For example: I would like a man to walk me home if it was late at night. I would think he's a jerk if he felt that wasn't necessary. But I don't like a man to open a car door for me. It makes me feel awkward and useless. I worry about being attacked at night, and appreciate the protection. But I can perfectly handle a car door, thank you very much

Anyway, though...I was imagining myself trying to tell people this. And I immediately pictured people rolling their eyes, calling me a feminist.

46. Saw that the feminism post is the first post in Hampele's blog.   It explains why she wanted to start the blog. Peachy Keen is a space to shed some of the niceties that we are fed everyday through magazines and mainstream media, and get to the real stuff. It’s about having the guts to say the things that make me nervous to say. Giving a voice to the things that so often go unsaid. An unfiltered playground where the good, the bad and the ugly are all on the table. Where nothing is off limits.

I really hope she keeps up with it. She's a great writer; and I like her opinions and spirit.

47. Thought more about the whole infidelity thing.

I once got romantic online with an email-pal. I tell myself I'm innocent by society's standards. There was no sex involved, so I'm still a faithful woman. Right?

Or wrong?

It's weird. I don't feel necessarily guilty about it. I can justify it by saying my marriage was having a bad patch.  It's more like I feel ashamed and tainted. I feel like I'm not living up to some kind of high standard. But I think it's more society's standard than my own.

48. Decided that I don't think it's evil or naughty to stray from our partner, whether it be in a sexual, romantic, or intense friendship kind of way.  But I do think it signals that there's a problem in our relationship, and in our lives.

I think when two people are happily in love together—there's much less need to seek attention elsewhere.

49. Realized that's not always the case. Some people might need/want love from more than one person.  Cleaver Greene from Rake is that way. He talks about how he continues to love the women  he was partnered with in the past.

Also, someone could be happy with their partner until something more exciting comes along.

50. Wondered, if Nathan and Sammy, on Packed to the Rafters, were okay until Layla came along.  I don't remember what happened between them on season one.

51. Thought about Lauren on Neighbours. I think she does have feelings for Brad; but I know she also loves her deceased husband.  The same goes for Brad. I think he loves Lauren and his wife.

52. Realized I'm using fictional characters as my only examples.

Oh well.

53. Thought about how jealousy, possessiveness, and insecurity can be a part of any relationship, not just romantic ones. We can be jealous of our parent's other children; our grandparent's other grandchildren; our bosses other employees; our siblings other siblings; Our best friend's other friends, etc.

Why are romantic and sexual relationships the only relationship in which we're not told we need to share?

Well, no...even in romantic relationships, we're told to share. But more boundaries are expected and allowed.

People would probably be understanding if I said I didn't want my husband holding hands with a female friend at the movie. They would probably think I'm a bit nuts if I said I didn't want my email-friend Jen emailing other friends.

Why does society say we can have multiple children, grandparents, parents, nephews, nieces, friends, neighbors, dogs, cats, grandchildren, pet crickets, students, fans, favorite celebrities, email-pals, etc. But we're only supposed to have one romantic/sexual partner, and we're supposed to stick with that one partner throughout life?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Packing, Returning to the Workforce, Celebrity Crimes, and the Kennedy Son

1.  Dreamed that I'm sitting at a table with various people including my mom, Jack, and my sister Melissa. My mom asks me a question about having an only child. I find it to be insulting and aggressive. I try to defend my parenting choices, but my mom won't let me get a word in. She keeps talking. I keep trying. Melissa commends me for my perseverance, pretty much in a joking way. 

A little bit later, I tell Melissa that our mom really wasn't asking a question. And I tell her about the TV show Q and A—how Tony Jones will responds to these type of fake questions by saying,"I'll take that as a comment". I try to give Melissa other examples of people trying to disguise a comment as a question, but I can't think of any examples. 

I also dreamed I was at a party. Val Kilmer came over and took pieces of a radish out of my ear. That was very random.

2.  Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

3. Liked expat Nikki's post about packing up to go to a new country. I can relate to it, even though I've never moved to another country. And it's been awhile since we've moved interstate.

Nikki talks about how useless things from one house are moved to another. Her most bizarre example is used ant traps. She also had a bag of used batteries.

We have so much junk in our house. Sometimes we have actual trash in our cabinet and drawers, because we 're too lazy to throw things away.

I think if we packed ourselves up, we'd leave trash behind. But we'd probably get professional movers to pack for us, and I think they usually take everything. It's not their job to distinguish between trash and treasure. How would they know that plastic toilet paper packaging doesn't have special significance to us?

4. Wanted to say that I do make a point to go through drawers and  cabinets periodically to get rid of trash. And last week I threw away a whole bag of wire hangers and dry-cleaning plastic.

5. Started watching an episode of Packed to the Rafters.

6. Saw that this episode is about the difficulties of finding a job when one has been out of the workforce for many years.

On Packed to the Rafters, it's a socialite woman who's recently divorced.

I read a book a few years ago, The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittenden. It talks about how hard it can be for divorced women.

The socialite woman is lost and stressed, but, on the bright side, her daughter is grown and can take care of herself. Some divorced women also have to take care of their children. They might go from being stay-at-home moms in posh neighborhoods to working moms living in an apartment in a not-so-nice area.

7. Thought of other people who have to struggle with a gap on their resume. There' are people who have been ill.  How about someone who has taken off a year or two of work to deal with cancer?

There are people who have been in prison. They probably have a very hard time finding decent work.

8. Wanted to add that I've learned from family experience, that one good way to deal with a gap in the resume is to have a friend or relative who can give you a job.

This is also what happens on Packed to the Rafters. Julie (Rebecca Gibney) gives her daughter-in-law's mother, Trish (Sarah Chadwick) a job. Well, she doesn't really give her the job, but she convinces her place of employment to hire Trish.

9. Started watching another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

10. Remembered something I learned yesterday. I was making a Chemistry Quizlet for Jack's curriculum and saw that the oceans have a lot of chlorine.  I didn't make much of it, but then today I remembered reading and blogging about dolphins in chlorine pools. I had assumed chlorine water was not a natural setting for dolphin, but thought maybe it could still be okay for them.  I never considered that there might be chlorine in the ocean.

11. Looked at this website that made me realize something.

Salt is in the ocean. What is salt? Sodium chloride!

12. Guessed that the people complaining about dolphins in chlorine pools know that there is chlorine in the ocean. Maybe the pools have much more chlorine than the ocean, and that's why it's seen as a problem?

Or maybe the chlorine issue is a small part of it; and it's mostly about dolphins not having enough space and freedom.

13. Thought the dog on Packed to the Rafters was very cute.

14. Wondered if I will ever capture a screenshot of an adorable TV show dog that looks cute rather than creepy.

15. Didn't like the news about Maggie Kirkpatrick being charged with child sex offenses.

It seems to me that these stories usually result in a guilty verdict.

Has there ever been a celebrity accused, and then it turns out that they're innocent? Or at least, there's not enough to convict them?

16. Found a website that lists falsely accused celebrities.

There's a guy named Tucker Carlson who was accused of raping a woman in Kentucky, but he had never been to Kentucky. He also passed a lie-detector test.

Keanu Reeves was accused of rape which resulted in a pregnancy. A DNA test helped him get the charges dropped.

And there are other stories.

So sometimes it's about false accusations. Maybe that's the case with Kirkpatrick.  I guess we shall see.

Although sometimes it's impossible to ever know the truth.

I still don't know if Michael Jackson was a child molester or just a quirky guy who liked having sleepovers with children.

17. Started to watch another Neighbours backstage video. This one stars Scott Major, who played Lucas Fitzgerald.

I don't know who that is, but maybe I shall soon learn.

18. Thought that Scott Major reminds me of one of my in-laws. He has the same kind of attitude and other similarities.

19. Saw that the actors read their script on a tablet rather than pieces of paper. I guess that would make sense in the modern world!  I don't know why I expected it to be otherwise.

20. Wondered if I have seen Lucas Fitzgerald before. I don't remember him, but I do remember the woman standing to his left.  Is Lucas her partner? I think maybe they're the ones who recently had the baby—the ones who wanted Susan (Jackie Woodburne) and Karl (Alan Fletcher) to move to London to help them with the baby.

21. Looked at the Perfect Blend Website. Lucas and his woman Vanessa (Alin Sumarwata) were the one who returned for the Erinsborough Festival. They talked to Chris (James Mason) about his upcoming baby with Lucy (Melissa Bell).

Lucas and Vanessa moved to Daylesford; not London.

I had them confused with someone else.

22. Struggled to find out who wanted Susan and Karl to move to London.

I finally found it, thanks to Lord Wiki.  It was Malcolm Kennedy (Benjamin McNair).

23. Learned that Malcolm once had an emergency tracheotomy.  That's the third I've heard of/seen on Neighbours.  Back in the 1980's, Lucy Robinson had one. A few months ago, Susan performed one on Lou (Tom Oliver). And now I hear about Malcolm.

Are there any more?

24.  Learned that Catherine, the mother of Malcolm's upcoming London child, was played by Radha Mitchell.

I don't remember Radha Mitchell appearing as part of the couple that tries to convince Susan and Karl  to move to London. Maybe they got a new actress? Or maybe she wasn't there. Maybe Malcolm came alone. I can't remember.  It would make sense, though. If she was pregnant, it might have been hard for her to travel.

25. Found a Malcolm-returns video clip.

There's no Catherine.

My memory is really mixed up about all this.  Or it was. I think I've gotten things straight now.

I'm not sure why I confused the Dalysford couple with Malcolm, or why I remembered Malcolm visiting with his wife.

26. Started watching another episode of Packed to the Rafters.

This one has another Whitley song in the beginning. I'm not what the name is. I'll try to find out.

27.  Used Spotify to find the song.  It's "The Life I Keep".

28. Realized the song reminds me of our 2013 Australia trip. I'm not sure why. I didn't use it in any of the montage videos. Nor is it on the Spotify Playlist I made especially for our trip.

29. Disgusted with Nathan's co-worker, Layla (Rita Vandervis) on Packed to the Rafters.

Nathan (Angus McLaren) is a tired married man who's ready to go home. Layla pressures him to stay with her. Oh...and then she offers him drugs.

I'm disgusted with Nathan too, because he bitches about his wife to Layla. Not that I'm against venting about loved ones to a co-worker. But he bitches about Sammy (Jessica McNamee) wanting to go to TAFE and pursue a journalism career.

What an asshole. So it's okay for Nathan to pursue his dream career, but it's not okay for Sammy?

I hope Sammy leaves Nathan.

30. Thought it was crazy that Nathan has a job that keeps him out until four in the morning, but he has a problem with his wife wanting to go to TAFE.

Really! What the hell?

31. Saw that after Nathan gets kissed by Layla, he returns home wanting to have sex with Sammy.  I imagine, if Sammy agrees to it, he'll imagine she's Layla.

32. Liked the storyline about Jake (James Stewart) and his family. Rachel (Jessica Marais) meets Jake's brother Alex (Kristian Schmid) and his mother Grace (Mercia Deane-Johns).

Alex has Cerebral Palsy. He seems to have a good sense of humor and good outlook on life. Grace is uptight. She seems a bit controlling and negative.

They talk about Rachel's job in advertising. Alex mentions that he'd like to be a presenter on television. Rachel tries to be encouraging. Then Grace sternly tells her that, in their family, they try to be realistic about things. She goes on to demand that Rachel name disabled people who've had success in that industry.

I don't think I'm doing a good job of explaining what Grace is like. But I know I don't like her.  She's the kind of person who presents herself as a martyr for having a disabled child, and also the type who works to squashes the dreams of that child.

She kind of reminds me of a watered down version of Carrie White's mother.

33. Gained a little respect for Nathan.

Layla calls him into work on a Saturday night. He tells her he's with his wife and not coming. Sammy than actually pushes him to go...which I think was a mistake.

When he gets to work, Nathan yells at Layla for calling him in and threatens to quit.

Oh, and the work emergency? Layla thinks her boyfriend is cheating on her.

34. Lost that little bit of respect I had for Nathan.  He gives into Layla, which means staying to hang out with her and taking her drugs.

35. Heard Sammy tell Nathan he's too nice—because he stayed for hours to comfort Layla.

I'd say another way to define it is putting other people as high priority and your partner as low priority.

Some people really are very nice. Other people like to play knight in shining armor, and they'll sacrifice time with their family to do so.

36. Learned that Grace doesn't want Rachel dating her son Jake, because she feels when she dies, Jake will be responsible for taking care of Alex. She doesn't think Rachel could handle this. Grace tells Rachel all this and also says she's not good at talking to Alex.

Yeah, Rachel was a little awkward; but I think many people would be in that situation.  As far as I could tell, Alex didn't have a problem with Rachel. He seemed to like her.

I think Grace is one of those mothers who doesn't want any other women in her sons' lives. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Flirting, Preeclampsia, Adult Swim, and Houseguests

1. Had Australia dreams with a lot of drama.

In one part, we have two days left in Australia. I try to decide if I want to call our friends to see if they want to get together. For some reason, I decide not to. I'm thinking I want to spend our last day in Bondi—maybe doing the Bondi to Bronte walk. 

The other dream was either connected to this one or a whole other story.

Tim has been hanging out with some girl. I resent their closeness—the amount of time they're spending together and the way they act towards me. I get angry when I find out they have plans to do the bridge climb together the next time we're in Australia. They've already picked a date. What bothers me most is that they had the nerve to decide, without me, when we'll be returning to Australia.  But then they give me the date. It's May 22. I had wanted to return in May, anyway, so it's not as bad as I thought.

Still, I'm angry. I bitch the two of them out about their relationship. I pretty much say that the reason they like each other is they like getting attention from each other, and that's it.

2. Figured I had the above dream because of the episode of Packed to the Rafters I watched this week—the one where Nathan (Angus McLaren) goes to a party with his parents and wife; then spends the whole time being chatted up by some other woman.

It reminded me of experiences I've had with Tim. Tim has always been one of those people who has female friends and sees no problem with it. What I might see as flirting, he sees as completely innocent and kosher. He also has no complaints about me having male friends...even the rare times I've blurted out a confession about having a crush.

3. Wondered why I had May 22 in my head.

4. Felt confused about marriage. On one hand, I think monogamy is overrated, and I support the idea of open marriages, swingers, orgies, utilizing sex-workers, etc.  On the other hand, I feel uptight about married people having close friendships with people outside the marriage. I also think there's a difference between casual friendliness and the type of intense friendliness that resembles flirting.

It could be that emotional/friendship intimacy is much more precious to me than sexual intimacy. The idea of my partner having sex with another person bothers me much less than imagining them having fun together on the Bridge Climb.

I wouldn't say no to the Bridge Climb, but I'd probably feel a bit uneasy about the whole thing—much less so if I'm also friends with the person, and I haven't seen a lot of flirtatious behavior.

In my dream, the girl very much had the attitude of, I adore your husband, but I can't stand you. And Tim had the attitude, I enjoy being with this girl, and we both don't care that it bothers you.  So yeah...that got on my nerves.

5. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

6. Thought about how, in the past, Josh (Harley Bonner) was totally open-minded about his girlfriend Amber (Jenna Rosenow) hanging out with her male-pal Daniel (Tim Phillips).

Amber ended up falling in love with her so-called male-pal, and Josh was left out in the cold.

The thing is, you can give your partner your complete trust and full freedom, but that doesn't guarantee they're not going to fall in love with someone else. You may FEEL it's all going to be okay, but that doesn't mean it's going to truly be okay.

7. Disagreed with Josh. He suggests that Amber get a 3D ultrasound, because they're cool. I think they make the baby look very creepy.

8. Saw that Amber might have preeclampsia.

I had that.

I don't know if I had symptoms like she's having—blurred vision and headaches. All I remember is that a few days before I was diagnosed, I had a nosebleed. I remember being very tired at a store and wanting to go home, but Tim was still shopping.

 I'm not sure if nosebleeds and tiredness are symptoms.

9. Found this website that suggests nosebleeds can be due to preeclampsia; but might have just been a coincidence.

I don't actually remember the nosebleed—how severe it was and when it happened. Did it happen at the store? When I got home? Did it happen at all?  A part of me is doubting it. I don't really remember the nosebleed. What I remember is remembering the nosebleed. For all I know, maybe it was a dream; and I'm mixing it up with reality.

10. Figured tiredness is just a usual symptom of normal pregnancy.

11. Felt slightly nostalgic when reading expat Nikki's discovery of the American tradition of Adult-swim time at community swimming pools.

This is the time where children are asked to exit the pool for a short period of time.

Nikki says, We learnt quite quickly that small people must vacate the pool for ten minutes while the life guard tests the pool water, does a bit of vacuuming or uses the bathroom. At the end of this ten minutes – the whistle blows again – beep – kids swim time.

She also says, The reactions when I mentioned this foreign (to me) concept on facebook could be considered country and culturally appropriate. All the US citizens had grown up with it and found it situation normal but remembered not liking it as kids, or their own kids not liking it....

I imagine my friends and I were somewhat annoyed,  especially if we were very busy playing. But I think for the most part, we used it as a time to go to the snack bar and buy Now and Laters, Rainbow snow-cones, and pizza.

12. Figured adult swim might be also beneficial for making sure all children have exited the pool, and none are at the bottom.

13. Thought about Disney World. They don't have adult-swim; and I don't think other resorts do either. It might be something that happens only in community pools and not vacation ones.

14. Remembered that we went to the Jewish community pool with my sister a few years ago. I don't remember there being an adult swim. Maybe it happens in some places but not others?

15. Started watching an episode of Packed to the Rafters.

16. Liked how each episode of Packed to the Rafters is narrated by a different character.

The episode I'm watching today is narrated by Nathan's wife Sammy (Jessica McNamee).

17. Felt bad that I said, the other day, that Julie (Rebecca Gibney) annoys me by being too nice. Because now I'm really enjoying her niceness.  She's so kind, gentle, and thoughtful. She's wonderful to her daughter, her daughter-in-law, her daughter-in-law's mother, and pretty much everyone else.

18. Wished more people in the world were like Julie Rafter.

19. Thought Rachel (Jessica Marais)  was funny on Packed to the Rafters. She watches a game with her brother, his roommates, and her maybe-upcoming boyfriend. They all cheer for the Australian game. She cheers for the Kiwi one.

It kind of reminds me of when I wore an Australian flag t-shirt on the Fourth of July. For me, it was party about love and partly about being oppositional.

20. Felt stressed for Sammy. Her previously-wealthy mother is now homeless. In most cases, good daughters would have their homeless mothers move in with them.  But Sammy doesn't have her own home. She and her husband live with her in-laws. It's a packed house—hence the name, Packed to the Rafters.

21. Thought about how we've had people live with us. But I'm much less welcoming than the Rafters.

Well, I'm warm and welcoming when the person first moves in. Then after awhile, when they seem to be taking advantage of us; I become much less welcoming.

Well, it's not just about taking advantage but also about being annoying.

Here's an example. We had someone stay with us a few years ago.

The guest spent a lot of time in our kitchen, using the kitchen table. Now it wasn't too horrible, because we don't really use our kitchen table. But still. I found it invasive and rude. He would sit there often, and I didn't want to see him that often. Also, he would leave all his stuff on the kitchen table. It was a constant mess.

I'm being picky, though, because we're slobs ourselves. It's not like we had this very neat and tidy house, and the kitchen table was the exception.

The thing is, we had a guest room for the guy. It has a queen size bed, a nice size closet, and a bathroom.  Since we provided that to him, I felt he should stay in there more often and not be out in the kitchen so much. It's not like I'm saying he should stay hidden away ALL the time and never come out. I would have just preferred he come out a little less frequently.

22. Felt I might have been more tolerant of him being out in the kitchen so often if he wasn't the type of person to talk about himself excessively—usually in the form of bragging.

23. Wondered if I'm just the type of person who needs my space, and I'll end up being fed up with anyone who decides our house is a good free alternative to a hotel or paying rent.

24. Realized we more often have guests that want/need free housing than guests who are just there to visit us.

25. Thought appreciative thoughts about the last person who needed the use of our house. He was polite, quiet, not intrusive; and he got his problems sorted out quickly and left. He didn't linger.

26. Saw that I was wrong about Tim liking Rake.  He attempted to watch the first episode today. I went in there to check on him, and saw that he was fast asleep.

Though sometimes he falls asleep during shows he likes.

27. Started to watch a Neighbours backstage video. This one is not behind the scenes of an episode. Instead it's behind the scenes of a promo shoot.

I think it's for a who-done-it storyline involving a hit and run incident. It connects to the backstage video I watched yesterday. Someone hit Robbo (Aaron Jakubenko). Now I'm curious who did it! And did Robbo survive?

28. Went to The Perfect Blend site, so I could find out who ran over poor Robbo.

29. Learned that Robbo was, at one time, romantically linked to Amber.

30. Saw that Robbo did a lot of criminal stuff. He made a lot of enemies.

31. Learned that Amber had sex with Robbo, so Josh wasn't her first.

32. Learned it was Hudson who ran over Robbo.

I don't even think Hudson was on the promo video as the potentially guilty one.

And I don't know who Hudson is.

33. Learned that Hudson was a swimmer. That's all I care to know for now.

34. Decided I wanted to also know about why he hit Robbo.

It was an accident...kind of. He was mad at Robbo and wanted to scare him. But he didn't mean to actually hit him.


35. Wanted to say that I was very ignorant about Amber's sexual experiences. When she got pregnant, and they showed flashbacks of her having sex with Josh, I had wondered if that's when she lost her virginity.

She is only eighteen, and seems kind of wholesome to me.  I guess I thought maybe she and Daniel were going to wait for their wedding night. Or maybe it's just that they never showed Amber and Daniel having their first time together?  Did they ever have scenes that inferred they had sex?

Maybe they did, and I didn't notice.

36. Wondered if maybe soap operas make a big deal out of a character's first time having sex and the other times you just have to make an assumption.

37. Wondered if Brennan (Scott McGregor) ever had sex with Paige (Olympia Valance). Did they ever have a scene that hinted towards that?

I'm thinking that they have hinted towards Brennan having sex with Naomi (Morgana O'Reilly).

I don't think Naomi and Paul (Stefan Dennis) had sex. I think he was too sick from chemo.

38. Wondered if Naomi and Paul are getting back together.

I'm three months behind. Maybe they're already together.

I vaguely remember seeing something about Morgana O'Reilly leaving the show. I hope I'm wrong. I hope that was just a dream.

It would have been a bad dream.

39. Thought about how Amber and Daniel lived in a car together. Maybe I should have assumed they were having sex in the car...or the tent outside the car.