Monday, August 31, 2015

Blackmail, Deprivation, Online Trickery, and Pig People

1. Dreamed that I am going to be performing a skit with Jay Pritchett (From Modern Family) and Sheila Canning (From Neighbours)  

Jay has taken it upon himself to be the boss of the project. I don't like his ideas, which include having us pretend to be in different cities and representing this by wearing clothing with the city's name on it.

I start to remember how I used to write screenplays, and I'm mad at myself for not putting myself in charge of the project.

There's a scene that deals with pizza. Sheila starts ad-libbing a lot. I really like her lines, and I'm impressed with that she's doing.  

2. Dreamed about a man having a pee accident. I think it might have been Kip Gamblin.  Or maybe it was Brad Willis.

3. Wanted to say that I didn't know Wes Craven had died when I started writing about the horror stuff last night.

I found out after I posted.

Did I write about horror because some little part of me sensed that there was big horror genre news that day?

Probably not.

I was probably thinking about horror, because Tim and I have been watching a horror TV show. Also, I had read an editorial about The Walking Dead yesterday.

4. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

I'm intrigued, because on the previously-on-Neighbours segment, they showed something that happened months ago. It was when people on Ramsey street wrote their secrets in envelopes and handed them to Sonya (Eve Morey).  The segment always connects to what's going to happen on that day's episode; so I'm curious to know how that's going to play out.

5. Saw that Sonya keeps the secrets in a purple bag.

Their young houseguest Jimmy (Darcy Tadich) finds the bag and wants to know what's in it.

6. Felt that Neighbours was promoting the message that children shouldn't be deprived of sugar.

Amy (Zoe Cramond) doesn't let her son Jimmy eat sugar. She's very strict.

Now Jimmy is blackmailing the residents of Ramsey Street in order to get candy and baked goods. The kid has gone evil.

I'm not sure how I feel about it.

We're not anti-sugar or junk food in our house. We probably fail too much in the other direction, though. We allow too much crap to go into our bodies.

On one hand, I feel depriving children of things will make them want it more. But then with that argument, there's the question, should anything go?

What if our child wants to drink a beer? Should we not deprive them of it?

7. Realized what I have swimming in my mind.

It's that some parents feel very strongly about things. Some parents are very much against artificial sweeteners. Some are against sugar. Some are against television. There are families that follow a strict religious or ethical diet. Is it right for parents to impose these life choices on their child? Is it going to make their child want the forbidden thing more? Is the apparent message on Neighbours correct? Will depriving a child of something turn them into blackmailing monsters?

Do parents have a right to push their beliefs on a child? Does society have a right to question and try to change parents who do these things?

8. Started to watch another episode of Neighbours.

9. Wondered what's up with Imogen's (Ariel Kaplan) dress?

Is she going for the pilgrim look?

10. Thought that Amber (Jenna Rosenow) had made a friend online on a message board for mothers, but it looks like it might be Josh (Harley Bonner) in disguise.

Or am I misinterpreting what I saw?

What happened is Amber found out that Josh was selling illegal substances, and worse, lying to her. So she told him to back off. Then she went online to her Mum's group to complain about how she feels alone.

11. Thought about how this is the third time I've seen a young Ramsey Street resident get tricked by someone on the Internet. Paige (Olympia Valance) got tricked into thinking she was talking to a hot guy. Bailey (Calen MacKenzie) was tricked into losing most of his family's money. Now Amber might be venting about her baby's the baby's father.

12. Started watching another episode of Neighbours.

13. Thought that Amy is acting incredibly stupid.

She knows her son has been blackmailing people. She found out that he was doing it to Susan (Jackie Woodburne) and Karl (Alan Fletcher).

Later, she witnesses Sheila (Colette Mann) giving Jimmy everything his heart desires even when Amy speaks out against it. Then when Sonya and Toadie (Ryan Moloney) suggest that Jimmy is blackmailing Sheila, Amy refuses to believe it.

Oh, and did I mention that they told Amy that Sheila told them that Jimmy knows her secret?

14. Disagreed with Kyle's mindset when he argued that Jimmy is a nine-year-old kid—meaning he can't be too much of a blackmailing menace.

Children can be quite evil.

They can be malicious and conniving.

They can cause a lot of emotional torment.

That's not to say I think it's okay for children to be verbally or physically attacked by an adult. The adult needs to try to have more self-control and decency than the child.  I think, though, that we need to try to have understanding and sympathy for the adult who's blackmailed and/or bullied by the child. We shouldn't dismiss the issue by pointing out the child's age.

 I think we can talk about the child's age in some circumstances—maybe in an attempt to get the adult to understand that the child needs time to mature.

I think though that there's a difference between the message of He's nine, and desperate to get what he wants. He'll hopefully gain some kindness as he gets older; and the message of He's nine! How can a nine-year-old hurt an adult?   

15. Thought that Paige should go to the United States with Amber instead of Josh.

Paige seems obsessed with America.

It seems like she wears an American-themed T-shirt almost every day.

16. Went to the Triple J 2014 list.

Today I'm going to listen to the 36th song, which is "Won't Let You Down" by the Hilltop Hoods.

It features some guy named Maverick Sabre.

17. Learned from Lord Wiki that Maverick Sabre is an Irish guy.

18. Started to watch the video for "Won't Let You Down"

19. There's a pig person, like in Doctor Who.

20. Felt like pig-headed people are from something else besides Doctor Who.

21. Wondered if I'm thinking of that Twilight Zone episode.

22. Wondered. If a human had a pig head instead of a human head, would they taste like pork?  Or would their body taste like a human?

23. Saw a girl making flirty eyes with one of the pig-human hybrids. If she ends up having sex with him, would that be bestiality? Even if his genitals are humanish?

24. Wondered. What's the symbolism of the pig-heads? Or is there no symbolism?  Did they just add pig-heads, because they feared otherwise people might be bored by the video?

25. Saw comment on video that explained things to me. Dasfx says, If you listen to the lyrics they are talking about how they've been too pigheaded (obstinate and stupid) to realize or respect what they have in life. They've taken their woman for granted. The video is a representation of Suffa falling into the wrong crowd.

Yes! That makes sense, and it does match the lyrics.

I didn't think of the whole pigheaded=stubborn and stupid thing.  I wish I did. Then I'd feel more clever.

26. Started to watch a Kate Kendall backstage Neighbours video.

27. Saw the cast eating in the Green Room. It's kind of odd, because they're all at their own little desk/seating areas. It looks like they're all eating alone.

They're not really.

They're all in the same room. And I guess they can chat. But it kind of looks like they're alone.

Maybe I'm used to people eating at a table together. Or like we sometimes do—sit on the couch together and eat while watching television.

28. Amused, because Tim Phillips is supposed to enter the scene with Ariel Kaplan and Jenna Rosenow fighting. He has trouble getting the pool gate open.  I wonder if they kept that in the scene. I don't remember. But they probably should have. It's kind of realistic. Gates can be a challenge to open sometimes.

29. Saw that there's another Australian Kate Kendall.

She's a yoga teacher in Sydney.

30. Saw that there's another Australian celebrity Kate Kendall. Though she lives in San Francisco now.

She's the CEO of a company called Cloud Peeps.

She's not super famous, but she does have 51 thousand followers on Twitter. That's quite a lot. And, she's not one of those people who had to go on a follow-spree in order to get such a huge amount of followers.

30. Learned from Lord Wiki, and a YouTube commenter, that Kendall was one of the stars of the TV show Stingers.

31. Went over to Kate Kendall's Instagram—the actress one.

32. Saw that the latest post is a photo of an article about Neighbours.

There's an upcoming episode that focuses on one storyline only—the one with Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou), Brad, and Lauren.

Or maybe it's aired already.

I saw some maybe-spoilers on the Neighbours YouTube channel about Brad becoming bad.  I haven't watched the actual video, but I'm wondering what it's all about.

I guess I shall find out someday soon....

33. Wondered who Brad ends up with—Terese or Lauren.

I hope it's Lauren.

I want something better for Terese.

Lauren and Brad can have each other. They both annoy me these days.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

RIP, Funerals, Soundtracks for Sad Moments, and Aussie Horror Shows

1. Dreamed that Jack is watching a movie with two older teens. The movie is about teens on a bus, or train, using drugs.  

I watch the movie too, but it's in the form of me chasing the train and peering in the window to watch. 

I see that the teens taking the drugs all die. I realize the movie is an anti-drug story. I am sort of amused that the kids ended up watching something like this. I then suggest to them that another teen thing they might like is Puberty Blues. Jack and the other teens tell me they've seen it. The way they say it makes me think they're talking about a movie. I try to correct them—explain that it's a TV show and not a movie.  

Actually, though, they would have been right. Before Puberty Blues was a TV show, it was a movie. And before that, it was a book. My waking self knows that. Apparently, my dream self does not.

2. Started to watch an episode of Neighbours.

3. Thought that Nate (Meyne Wyatt) was very rude to Aaron (Matt Wilson).

Aaron's brother Tyler (Travis Burns) is missing. Aaron is understandably stressed and cranky about this. At first, Nate tries to be sympathetic. I do appreciate his effort. Then he brings up Paige's (Olympia Valance) involvement. Aaron doesn't know what Nate is talking about.  Nate then says something like, I guess you don't know your brother as much as you thought you did.

If someone has a missing family member, that's really not the kind of thing you say to them.

4. Proud of Paige and Tyler for their fight against Dimato (David Serafin) and his team.

I especially like how Paige helped with the capture of Michelle (Ra Chapman).

5. Liked that Naomi (Morgana O'Reilly) decided to use a fictional gay couple rather than a fictional straight couple for her Lassiter's promotion thing.

Aaron, who is a gay model, was supposed to pretend to be straight, and hang out in a display hotel room with his fictional wife. The female model never shows up, so Naomi throws Nate in the room, and locks him in there.

The only problem is, Nate and Aaron are not romantically involved; and even worse, they're in the midst of a fight. So it might not be a good way to convince the public that Lassiters is a romantic destination.

6. Started to watch Packed to the Rafters.

I don't think this is going to be a cheerful episode.

7. Felt very bad for Ben (Hugh Sheridan).

I think Mel was the whole world to him—or at least most of the world.

When you lose something that's huge, it's very hard to have the motivation to live.

I also feel bad for Ben's family, because they feel so helpless. The thing is, though. They ARE helpless. There's nothing they can do to make Ben feel better.

8. Wondered if it would be better if the people suffering a severe loss, didn't attend the funeral.

I know that might sound weird.

But I think funerals are so fake and formal. I can't see how they'd help a deeply sad person.

I think people less close to the dead should attend the funeral. They love her, and they'll miss her; but it's not a tremendous loss for them.

I think it would be better for Ben to stay home and not have to be confronted with forced tradition and pleasantries.

9. Thought the exception would be if the funeral was very small and private.

I think it would be fine for Ben to have to farewell Mel with his grandparents, parents, best friends, and siblings. That might be helpful.

I don't think he should have to deal with in-laws, neighbors, co-workers, distant cousins, etc.

10. Wondered if other people have a vastly different opinion than me.

I also wonder if there are deeply grieving people who attended a funeral and found it comforting in some ways.

11. Wanted to specify that when I say deeply grieving; I mean people who are absolutely devastated by a loss. They can't find any ounce of happiness, because most of their happiness was dependent on the person they lost.

I was sad when my grandparents died, but I could still easily be happy and have fun without them in the world. I wasn't in severe grief mode.

12. Remembered that some people grieve deeply not because the deceased brought them great happiness in life, but because they had a turbulent relationship. When the person dies, the surviving person is left with feelings of guilt, regret, and other unresolved issues.

I wonder if a funeral is therapeutic for them.

13. Felt little sympathy for Mel's parents.

They were hardly there for her when she was alive. Now that she's dead; they want control of everything.

14. Loved that Dave (Eric Thomson) totally bitched out Mel's dad (Peter Kowitz) about him not being there for Mel.

Maybe that's kind of unbalanced, since I didn't like Nate insinuating that Aaron wasn't a good brother to the missing Tyler.

This is different, though. First of all, Nate was wrong about Aaron. And him not knowing about Paige had nothing to do with his relationship to Tyler.

Mel's dad, though, is an asshole. Mel had problems with him when she was alive. They had a very cold and shitty relationship; and I think very little of it was Mel's fault.

That's bad enough, but then Mel's dad is a total jerk about the funeral arrangements. He also accuses Ben of not doing enough to protect Mel. Yes, because it's Ben's fault that his wife drove through a stop sign.

Anyway, that's when Dave puts Mel's dad in his place.

15. Glad to see Mel's dad being apologetic and regretful.

He knows he's done wrong, and I think that's important.

16. Cried during the Mel and Ben montage during the funeral.

That was too much.

But it was lovely.

17.  Thought that the funeral episodes usually make me cry more than the death episodes.

The death episodes usually have me feeling shocked, scared, and anxious, but not usually very tearful.

18. Thought the title of the episode is very clever. "Rest in Peace". It sounds like they're referring to Mel.  That's what we say about people when they die. RIP.   But I think the title refers more to Ben, and the fact that he's so depressed, he can't sleep.  His mother (Rebecca Gibney) worries about him and wants him to get some rest.

19. Thought of the songs played for dead Australian TV characters.

Mel's songs were "Fix You" by Coldplay and "Go to Sleep" by Sia.

I don't remember if Love My Way had a song for the funeral or death episode. But they did have a song for the we're-struggling-to-get-through-this episode. That was "Won't Give In" by the Finn brothers.

Dance Academy had some good songs.  At the memorial tribute, they played "Easy to Love" by The Jezebels.  At some point, they played "More than Life" by Whitley. I think they had some kind of memorial service on the beach?

20. Found a video that has compiled the sad Dance Academy scenes. My memory was right.There was a scene on the beach.

21. Did not know the songs played on Offspring, but I saw them recently in one of my old posts.  I'll try to find it again.

22. Found the song—1000 Sundowns by Emma Louise.  It's played at the funeral.

23. Thought all the songs are very beautiful and well chosen.  They're making me cry.

24. Wondered about songs on House Husbands and The Secret Life of Us.

25. Found a video of a tragic House Husbands scene.  The song playing is "Skinny Love" by Birdy. I'm not 100% sure, though, if that's the original soundtrack of the scene, or if the uploader added it.

26. Learned that the song was played in the promo for the episode. It might have also been in the scene.

27. Started to watch the last episode of season three of Packed to the Rafters.

28. Saw that it's three weeks since Mel died, and Ben is suddenly looking sort of happy. Or he seems hopeful that life will be okay again.

Is this a real up? Or is this a mental-breakdown kind of up?

I hope it's real.

It's not that I expect him to be over Mel's death. Of course not. But maybe he's found a reason to live again?

29. Thought that in the beginning stages of grief, it's all down. Down, down...straight to hell.

Then later, it becomes a mix of ups and downs.  Sometimes you feel okay. Sometimes you feel happy. Sometimes you feel absolutely horrible.

30. Felt that Ben did have a real up.

Now he's having a down. It happened when he opened the closet and saw all of Mel's clothes.

What's good is he was able to talk to Rachel (Jessica Marais) about how he feels and was also able to accept help from her. He's not bottling up everything.

31. Finished watching the episode.

I thought it was a very good season finale.

It reminded me a little bit of the finale of Offspring. They ended in a similar way.

32. Went to to pick my next show.

It's Water Rats.

33. Saw that Water Rats is about the water police in Sydney.

34. Saw that Water Rats is a pretty old show. The first episode aired in 1996.

I wonder if it's the oldest Australian show available on Hulu.

35. Looked at the cast of Water Rats.

There's Peter Bensley who I know from Home and Away. And he was on a few episodes of Packed to the Rafters.

I see Catherine McClements. I know her from various things. I think the last time I saw her was Wentworth.  On Water Rats, she'll be close to twenty years younger.

36. Saw Aaron Pedersen who I know from City Homicide.

37. Saw Steve Bisley's name. It sounds familar, but I'm not sure what I know him from.

38. Saw that I know Steve Bisley from Sea Patrol.  I don't think he was on the boat. I think he was an officer that worked...not on the ship.

39. Saw Aaron Jeffrey's name.  I know him from McLeod's Daughters; and he's on Wentworth with Catherine McClements.

40. Saw Brooke Satchwell! I know her from Wonderland.

She must be really young on Water Rats. Maybe a child? Or a teen.

41. Saw that Satchwell was born in 1980, so she wouldn't have been that young.  She would have been about sixteen.

42. Saw that Satchwell wasn't on the show until 2000. By then, she'd be around twenty.

I only watch one season at a time, so who knows if I'll ever get to the Satchwell episodes.

43. Went to the Triple J 2014 list.

Today I'm going to listen to the 35th song, which is "You Always Know the DJ" by Allday.

Lord Wiki says Allday is another name for a rapper named Tom Gaynor.

44. Learned that Tom Gaynor also does stand up comedy sometimes.

45. Started watching the video for "You Always Know the DJ"

46.  Saw blood going down a drain.

I think a girl is cutting herself.  Why? Is it because she knows the DJ?

47. Wondered if the song is about someone having two sides—a depressed side, and a party girl side.

48. Watched the blood scene again.

It seems to be coming from her mouth.

Maybe she's not cutting herself.

Maybe she has bad oral hygiene?  Or maybe she lost a tooth?

Maybe she has tuberculosis or Cystic Fibrosis.

49. Saw candy dropping on the girl. I think they're either Smarties or Skittles.

50. Thought the girl in the video looks very familar. But I can't think of who she looks like.

51. Learned that the girl's name is Chloe Worthington. Her Instagram account is provided on the information below the video.

I don't think I've actually seen her before; but I feel I've seen somewhat who looks like her. It's on the tip of my brain.

I know people don't like to comment on my blog. And that's fine. But if you look at Chloe Worthington and know who she looks like; PLEASE don't stay quiet.

52. Wondered if she looks like someone from an American show.  Or Australian?

Or maybe it's a movie?

53. Decided Worthington doesn't look like whoever I think she looks like in most of the photos.

It's really just the top icon photo that gets my brain itching.

54. Wondered if I'm thinking about Thora Birch.


I think that's it.

55. Started to watch Tom Gaynor's comedy video.

56. Thought his first joke was so stupid.

But it made me laugh.

57. Laughed more.

58. Didn't understand the China joke.

59. Didn't understand the gay joke either.

Now I'm starting to feel dumb.

60. Started to watch a backstage Neighbours video. This one stars Morgana O'Reilly and Harley Bonner—Naomi and Josh.

They had a little fling, a little while back.

Well, Naomi and Josh had a fling. I can't say the same for O'Reilly and Bonner.

61. Finished watching the video. It's mostly about Naomi's feeling—analyzing it.

She's attracted to Josh, but is weary of the situation, because he's so young.

I think that's a no-brainer. I imagine that's how most women would feel if a much younger man showed interest in them.

62. Wondered if there has ever been an Australian horror TV show—not a comedy, but a serious and scary one.

I'm thinking of something along the lines of The Walking Dead, In the Flesh, Bates Motel, The Strain....

I don't think I know of any, but maybe there has been something...sometime.

I know Australia has produced some well-received horror movies.

Is there any chance any of the movie directors would do something for television?

63. Learned from Lord Wiki that in the 1970's there was an Australia anthology horror show called The Evil Touch.

I'm not sure it was very Australian, though. The producer was an American; and the host was British.

64. Looked at the show on IMDb. It looks like they usually used American actors.

65. Remembered seeing a Freddy Krueger type thing on some Australian filmographies. Maybe a Nightmare on Elm Street show was filmed there?

66. Saw that it's NOT a Freddy Krueger thing. It's a Stephen King thing. Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King.  

It was a mini-series that aired in 2006.

It was filmed in Melbourne.

67. Looked at the cast list.  There are a lot of Americans, but I also see some Australians—Robert Mammone,  Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jacqueline McKenzie, Susie Porter,  Nicholas Bell, Christopher Kirby, Eva Lazzaro, Rebecca Gibney, Paul Gleeson, Kristian Schmid, Josh Lawson, Steve Mouzakis, Sigrid Thornton, and Damien Richardson.

I might have missed some people. And there were two on that list that I wasn't sure were Australian until I clicked on their name.

68. Saw that someone was trying to make an Australian horror show in 2010. It was called Deadside.

I say try, because they were asking people to join in on the project.

Did it ever get anywhere?

69. Saw that it did get somewhere! Or at least it's on IMDb.

Only one episode aired. That was on April 2, 2012.

70. Learned that there's going to be a Wolf Creek TV show.  That might be exciting.

I haven't seen the movies.

I haven't seen many Australian movies, period. But I do have a few on my to-watch list.

71. Learned from Lord Wiki that ABC is going to have a science fiction drama mini-series coming up called Cleverman.  Deborah Mailman is going to be one of the stars. Very cool!

72. Looked at it on IMDb. Ryan Corr is going to be on it!

I hope I can see this show sometime.

I like Deborah Mailman and Ryan Corr.

73. Saw Robyn Nevin in the cast list.

The name sounded familar, but I couldn't remember what I knew her from.

It's Upper Middle Bogan.

I like her a lot, as well.

74. Saw that there was a major Australian horror show this summer (winter). Glitch. I think I heard of it, but assumed it was a comedy, because Patrick Brammall is the star.

It's a zombie type thing.

75. Felt happy knowing that Australia has some horror TV shows.

I hope I get to see them someday.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Disappearing Family, Tragic Deaths, Stealing Ideas, and Being a Bit Too Late

1. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

2. Felt a little bad for Lauren. She seems to be losing a lot of family members lately.

First her husband (Josef Brown) died

Then her son Bailey (Calen MacKenzie) and her father (Tom Oliver) moved to Queensland.

Her daughter Amber (Jenna Rosenow) plans to move to the US for awhile.

Now Paige (Olympia Valance) is planning to go to Singapore.

3. Thought maybe this might be a good time for Lauren to travel.

She probably doesn't have enough money for anything elaborate. But maybe she can go to Queensland to visit her son and father?

4.  Relieved to see that Paige has finally come clean about working for Dimato.

The truth might not set her free, but it makes me feel better.

Actually, though, I think it will set her free.

She didn't get into the stolen car ring thing, because she's wicked or greedy. She was blackmailed.

It's not a life that she wanted and confessing will probably get her out of that life.

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

6. Started to find myself liking Cabo's girlfriend Loretta (Hannah Marshall).

She came on to the show kind of fast and furious.

I'm guessing the viewer was meant to feel the same as Cabo's roommates—bombarded and invaded.

7. Wondered if I'm wrong. Is there any difference between Loretta and other new main characters?

Did I feel bombarded by Chel (Gillian Jones)? Or Jake (James Stewart)?

I don't think I did.

Maybe it's more about not being able to understand what Cabo sees in her. I didn't feel the chemistry, because it happened so fast.  I can feel what Ben (Hugh McLaren) is feeling. Who is this girl? Why does Cabo say he loves her when we hardly know her? What's happening?

But now I'm starting to like her.

8. Wondered about the legalities of Liam (Kaine O'Keefe) stealing Jake's idea.

In a previous episode, Jake ate dinner with Rachel (Jessica Marais) and Liam (Kain O'Keefe) as they worked on an advertising pitch. Jake came up with a science fiction-centered idea that Rachel immediately scoffed at. She was very dismissive and told him he didn't need to help. She and Liam get paid to do this.

In the episode I'm watching today, the clients don't like the idea that Rachel and Liam came up with. On the spur of the moment, Liam pitches them Jake's idea. They like it.

So, what happens next?

I don't think ideas can be copyrighted, but could Jake still sue or cause problems in other ways?

9. Looked at an Australian government website about copyright. They say the expression of ideas can be copyrighted but not the ideas themselves. Once something is created, it automatically becomes copyrighted.

Jake's idea wouldn't be legally protected. Rachel and Liam wouldn't be breaking the law by using his idea.

How about morally?  I think it would be wrong for them to lie and say it's their idea. I also think it's wrong to steal an idea. On the other hand, Jake OFFERED them the idea. He served it up to them. What did he expect would happen if they said, Cool! We'll use that idea.

Should Jake get paid for his idea? Should he expect and demand compensation? Or should it be enough that they simply thank him and congratulate him?

10. Thought that maybe in the United States, you can at least try to sue someone for stealing your idea.  I say this, because when I was a young teenager I was really into sending fan mail. A few times I sent a story or play I had written. I remember getting messages back saying the actor/actress couldn't read it because of legal reasons.

I wonder if it's the same in Australia.

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

12. Felt anxious about Mel dying. I think it's going to happen in this episode...or the next one.

Probably this one.

In the tragic promo I watched yesterday there was something about bubbles. The title of this episode is "Perfect Bubble".

Also, Mel (Zoe Ventoura) and Ben (Angus McLaren) are acting abnormally happy. I think extreme happiness is prelude to disaster.

13. Saw that this episode has the tragedy.

Ben and Mel have a lovely drawn-out good-bye to each other. Then in voice-over, Ben talks about the bubble bursting—that if he knew it was going to happen, he'd never have let her go. Well, of course!

It's nice that they had a romantic sweet good-bye. I wonder if that makes a tragic death easier.  I mean it's never going to be easy. But maybe it lessens the pain a teeny tiny microscopic amount.

I do imagine it would feel worse to have a tragic surprise death after a rushed good-bye or a thoughtless one.

And then there are the people who die after a big fight. I imagine that's the worse.  It's probably not super horrible if the people kind of didn't get along that much anyway. Well, yeah. It would probably still be super horrible. But I think the worst of the worst is when two people love each other and usually get along very well. They get in a fight and then one of them dies.  That makes me feel sick just thinking about it.

14. Didn't like how Jake is unsupportive of Rachel's career.

Her career is important to her, and he doesn't seem to respect that. He gave her a hard time about it, when she was working. He kind of pushed her to quit. Well, at least he was very supportive of her quitting. Then when she gets her job back, and she's happy about it; he's not.

I do understand his disappointment, because they planned to go to Bali, and now that has to be postponed. I think I'd have more sympathy for him, though, if he was usually supportive of her career.

Jake talks about how he liked Rachel when she was unemployed. That's fine for him. But does she like herself better that way?

15. Liked Rachel's dress.

16. Saw that it's not a dress. It's a long shirt that she's wearing with leggings.

Or maybe it's a short dress with tights.

This is the second time I've made this mistake.

I wish I liked wearing leggings, because I keep seeing leggings-type shirts that I love.

17.  Continued to feel quite anxious. It's not just the Mel thing. Cody (Ryan Corr) has an anxiety-ridden storyline as well. He's becoming quite attached to the Rafters and within the next few hours, he knows the police are going to know that he had some connection to a burglary. He's waiting for his happy bubble to burst.

18. Thought that this episode was very sad, especially with the Sia song playing in the background.

19. Read the comments on the episode.

Bob Shedd, who I already don't like much, because he said the ignorant thing about clotheslines a few episodes back, says,  Migawd what insipid and moronic background music as Ben walked down the corridor of the hospital to identify the body. Totally cheap and shallow.

What's wrong with a Sia song for a morgue scene?

I wonder what song Bob would have preferred.

The commenter I like a lot (so far) is Monica Brown. She's very enthusiastic.  She says,  I'm on Season 4 Eps.10. OMG have you watched Offspring? After watching Offspring I wanted to move to Australia. LOL

20. Wondered if Monica Brown has watched other Australian shows besides Offspring and Packed to the Rafters.

21. Wondered if Offspring is the most similar Australian show to Packed to the Rafters.

22. Remembered House Husbands. That has the same kind of comedy-drama feel.

And then there's also...something else.

I had it on the tip of my fingers, but now it's slipped away somewhere in my brain.

23. Remembered. Wonderland!

I think there are others, as well, that I haven't watched yet.

24. Thought of a silly analogy to illustrate my feelings about Julia Gillard.

There's this girl with very wealthy parents.

She wants to go to this prestigious private school, because they have a fantastic theater program.

Her parents refuse to let her go, even though they can afford it. Why? Because they're big believers in public school. They think public school is good enough. She doesn't need private school.

A few years later, things happen, and the family loses all their money. The father then says to the girl, You know what. Now I've come to believe you're right. I think that school would have been very good for you.

I guess it's nice for him to say that. Sort of. But it would have much better if he came to that conclusion when he had the power to actually make a difference.

25. Thought that the Gillard thing wouldn't be as bad if she had a logical, understandable reason to oppose gay marriage in the first place. Like...she was Christian and her holy book was against it.

I'm not saying that a Christian stance against gay marriage is fully logical. Well, it might be logical, but it can be quite hypocritical.  Either way, though, it at least makes more sense than an atheist, unmarried, first female Prime Minister being against it.

26. Felt that an atheist against gay marriage might be interesting in a quirky way...IF they didn't have the power to actually make a change.

Although now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure I've read an atheist editorial against gay marriage. I wasn't very impressed. I mean I didn't see his arguments as being persuasive.

Do you know what I mean? You know how you can sometimes read an opinion opposite of yours and think Well, I still disagree, but he does have some good points.

I don't think I felt that way when I read the editorial.

27. Listened to some Disney music while washing dishes.

Twice, I imagined members of the Packed to the Rafters cast singing the songs.

First, I could imagine Rebecca Gibney singing "A Spoonful of Sugar".

Then I started to imagine Zoe Ventoura singing "Let it Go".

I think I heard these things, because I had just finished watching the show. But also, maybe Gibney's speaking voice is somewhat similar to Julie Andrew's singing voice.  And maybe Ventoura's speaking voice is somewhat similar to Idina Menzel's singing voice.

Or was it totally my imagination?

I also am thinking that I connected Gibney to Julie Andrews because in the movie Mental, she plays a woman obsessed with the Sound of Music.

28. Found a video of Rebecca Gibney singing "Amazing Grace".

She doesn't sound much like Julie Andrews.

She does sing really good, though!

29. Figured out the video is from that ancestor-seeking TV show. What's it called again?

30. Remembered.

It's Who Do You Think You Are?

It looks like Gibney had a very dramatic story.  It had something to do with the Maori people—something bad her ancestors did to them.

31. Watched the trailer for the Gibney episode.

It didn't really tell me that much more than what I got from the "Amazing Grace" clip.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Confrontation, Off-Limit Topics, Taking Sides, and Vague Memories of TV Show Episodes

1. Had a dream inspired by Packed to the Rafters.

I've recently donated one of my kidneys. I'm not in pain. There's a woman at the place I'm staying. She tells me she's lost a kidney, and she has experienced all sorts of life difficulties. I think of the passage from the novel that talks about Aunt June having more than her share of problems.

2. Dreamed about bilbies, though I don't remember much—just something with me looking them up on the Internet.

3.  Knew that the novel I thought about, in the kidney dream, is by Jaclyn Moriarty; though I can't remember if the Aunt June passage is in the Ashbury High series or The Spell Book of Listen Taylor.

I quoted the passage in my blog once, though. I'm going to try to find it.

4. Found that, back in October 2010, I wrote a whole blog post about Aunt June's bad luck.

The book was The Ghosts of Ashbury High.

5. Started to watch an episode of Neighbours.

6. Saw that the Australian Celebrity category of QuizUp has been updated.

I played a round, but didn't finish because I got disconnected from my opponent (Richard from Melbourne).

A lot of the questions were about reality TV stars. I don't know much about that.

7. Wondered if Paige (Olympia Valance) is finally going to tell her mother (Kate Kendall) about doing illegal work for Dimato (David Serafin).

I imagine Lauren won't be too happy with Dimato. It was bad enough for her to learn her husband (Josef Brown) was involved with Dimato.  I'm sure she'll be devastated to learn that Paige got tangled up in the mess as well.

Oh, and also her son Bailey (Calen MacKenzie) got himself into the mess!

8. Thought about how Amber (Jenna Rosenow) is the only member of the Turner family not touched by Dimato. But then I remembered she was harassed by some of Dimato's gang for taking photographs.

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

10. Disagreed with Jake (James Stewart). Rachel (Jessica Marais) tells him about how she believes her new coworker Liam (Kain O'Keeffe) is trying to sabotage her.

Jake seems bemused about the whole situation and skeptical about Rachel's side of the story.  When Rachel tells Jake about how she's trying to fight back, he says she should just be direct and tell Liam he's being a tool.

No, I don't think that works. If someone is nice to your face and stabbing you in the back, calling them out on it is rarely going to work.

First of all, there's the chance that you're wrong.  Then you'll end up looking paranoid. Or you could be right, but the perpetrator denies it. And you have no tangible proof.  You'll still end up looking paranoid.

11. Thought that Jake's advice is similar to Susan's (Jackie Woodburne) advice to Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou) on Neighbours.  When Terese learned that Paige is trying to sabotage her marriage, Susan advices Terese to be direct and talk to Paige about it.

12. Wished I could agree with Susan and Jake. It would be nice if confrontation worked. But in my experience, it usually doesn't.

What's the alternative? Fight back.  Now that could be about going on the defensive or offensive. The former is probably more preferable.

It's probably enough for Rachel to work against Liam and make sure her career stays intact. If she wanted to be a baddie, she could also work to destroy his career.

It's probably enough for Terese to work to protect her marriage. She doesn't need to go as far as trying to destroy Paige.

13. Thought that the only time being confrontational might work is if someone's acting angry or acting like they don't like us. I think SOMETIMES it might help to ask them what's wrong or ask, Do you not like me?  Are you angry about something?

I think sometimes they might tell the truth, or explain that they're not mad. They might explain that they're in a bad mood, because stuff is going on in their life.

14. Thought about how sometimes I wonder if someone is mad, but I don't ask.

I guess I'm afraid, if they're not mad, I'll seem hypersensitive.

Or worse, they'll tell me they are mad, and it will turn into a fight.

15. Can't remember a time in recent history where I've asked somebody if they were mad at me.

16. Thought Jake was wrong in requesting that Rachel not talk about work on the weekends.

I think it's rarely a good idea to tell people that you don't want them to talk about certain things.

If someone talks too much about work and hogs the conversation; it might not be horrible to ask them to tone it down a bit. It might not be horrible to try to change the subject.

17. Felt it was one thing asking someone not to work on the weekend. It's another thing to ask them not to talk to you about work.

As for asking someone not to work, that's sometimes unfair too.  Some people have intense jobs and work needs to be done. It's preferable if it's not done when they're supposed to be spending time with you.  There's a difference between someone carving out some time in the weekend to work on something quietly in their office and someone who often checks their texts when they're at a restaurant with you.

18. Worried that I've told Tim not to talk about work.

Have I?

I'm not sure.

Maybe I did.

Or maybe he accused me of not being a good listener when he talks about work. I can't remember, exactly.

Maybe I don't act or sound supportive enough?

19. Tried harder to remember.

I think it happened, at a time that I told him I don't tell him that much stuff anymore. I was mad at him for not seeming to notice or care. Then I think he said it went both ways—that he had stopped talking to me about work stuff.  I don't think I had noticed that until he mentioned it.

I probably am a bad listener, sometimes. Well, I know I am, actually.

Sometimes I'm very good at it, and sometimes I'm awful.

19. Felt that sometimes I'm like Jake, and I  sort of defend the other person.

I mean if someone complains about someone; I don't immediately take that someone's side. I sometimes feel sympathy for the person they're mad at.

Is that fair? Sometimes. But when I'm the one bitching and someone does that to me; I usually get annoyed.

It all depends on the situation, and how it's handled.

We can't expect everyone to completely take our side during our conflict. On the other hand, we deserve to at least be heard and have the other person TRY to understand our side of things.

20. Concluded that if someone is bitching about someone, it's not healthy or fair to completely and easily agree that the subject of the complaining is a worthless, evil pariah.

It's equally wrong, if someone is complaining about someone; to assume  that all the blame lies on the complainers lap— that they're just too sensitive or overdramatic.

21. Wondered what the hell Jake was thinking.

He doesn't listen well when Rachel complains about work. Then he turns around and threatens Rachel's coworker.

I have to admit it, though. In a way, I think it's kind of nice that he was protective.

I'm imagining myself complaining about someone and my listener acting totally unsympathetic. If they went ahead and tried to fight my battles for me, it would at least show they're on my side. It just seems that being there to listen to me and say supportive things would be a better way of handling things.

22. Thought the main problem with Jake's behavior is that the reason he tried to handle things is because he felt Rachel was incapable of doing it herself. He accused her of acting like she was in high school. Yeah, because threatening to kick someone's ass is much more mature.

23. Decided Jake is being disrespectful.

24. Had a feeling that Jake and Rachel are going to break up.

25. Glad to see that Jake and Rachel did not break up.

Well, they sort of broke up.  I was kind of sad about that.

Then Rachel apologized, and Jake was decent enough to say that he was just as much to blame.

I think Jake was more to blame, personally. But it was nice and brave of Rachel to take the initiative.

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

27. Remembered that when we were in Halls Gap, I caught a few glimpses of Packed to the Rafters.

I guess someone had left the television on?  I don't think anyone was actually watching it.

I had already seen season one, and what I saw on the screen looked so different from what I was used to.  I remember my friend Tracey making a comment about how so much had changed.

I'm wondering what season and episode I got a glimpse of.

28. Thought that the episode was probably "Free to Choose" from season five. I'm trying not to read anything in the description. I don't want spoilers.

The episode aired on April 9, 2013. I think that was around the time we were in Halls Gap.

29. Looked at my Australia 2013 album, and clicked on a photo from Halls Gap. It says it was taken on April 9.  So I think I have the right episode!

30. Remembered watching a little bit of Neighbours with Tracey. I think this was when I first met her and her family. We stayed at their house in Tasmania.  She's a fan of the show, and I think she tried to watch an episode while we were there. I'm not sure she gave it all her attention. We probably chatted while it was on.

I have vague memories of there being a classroom, and maybe there had been a recent horrible tragedy?

It would have been February 2009.

31. Decided to get dates from Flickr again.

Found a picture from February 6, 2009.

I'm going to see if I can find a Neighbours episode from around that date.

I'm curious to know what actors were on the show back then.

32. Waiting for IMDb to give me the list of episode years.

It's taking a long time.

33. Saw that The Perfect Blend has episode summaries.

I'm going to look at the summary for the February 6, 2009 episode.

34. Saw that I'm right!

I'm so impressed with my memory.

It says here: The students sit down at their desks and Mr. Simpson explains to them that the school still has counselors in place and that they’ll be holding their own memorial for Zeke. Kyle then arrives and Declan can’t believe it. Mr. Simpson however invites Kyle in to take his seat.

The tragedy was the death of Zeke.

Though I don't think he really died.

Didn't I see Zeke in a recent behind-the-scenes video? He had a wedding?  He's related to Nate (Meyne Wyatt). Or am I thinking of someone else?

35. Consulted Lord Wiki.

Zeke is the right person.

He was believed to be dead, because of a school rafting trip accident. The boat capsized, and the only thing found was Zeke's lifejacket and helmet.

36. Learned that Zeke had amnesia.

37. Thought more about Mel dying on Packed to the Rafters.

Mel doesn't know she's going to die soon, but the actress who plays her (Zoe Ventoura) does know. In fact, it was probably Ventoura who decided to take Mel out of the show.

I was thinking that if there is a such thing as spiritual stuff, afterlives, and reincarnation; maybe it works like that.

Maybe the people that we are in this life are the characters. Our souls are the actors.

Our characters don't know when we're going to die. The actors (souls) do know, and they might have even picked the how and when of the whole thing.

38. Wondered if the soul can change its mind.

Let's say Jenny's soul has it planned that she's going to drown next Wednesday. Could Jenny's soul change those plans without Jenny knowing about it?  Maybe she'd know on an unconscious level.

Maybe she'd have a nightmare about drowning.

39. Thought that the biggest problem with this theory is the whole Jesus-Judas type scenario.  It would mean there are no villains but instead just instruments of fate.

If Jenny drowns because a serial killer strangles her, is the soul of the serial killer evil? Or is he just helping to fulfill what Jenny's soul has chosen to happen to herself?

40. Realized ,while thinking about murder and Australian TV characters, that I've not seen many Australian characters killed by the hands of another.

Well, they have, actually; but accidentally. The only character I can think of, offhand, that was purposely killed is Kate (Ashleigh Brewer) on Neighbours. She was shot.

I've seen at least five Australian TV characters get hit by a car. None of them were hit on purpose.

41. Remembered that I watched City Homicide. Obviously, there were murders on that.  But I don't think any main characters ended up murdered.

42. Remembered that Rory on Home and Away got eaten by a shark.

Was the shark hungry? Or was he simply an instrument of fate?

43. Looked up the actor who played Rory on Home and Away.

Gregor Jordan...

He''s a director now.  He's the one who directed Ned Kelly, the one starring Heath Ledger.

I'm shocked by this, but feel I should have already learned it.

How would I have missed that piece of information?

44. Searched through my blog for Gregor Jordan.

I didn't find anything.

Well, that's good.

I'd hate knowing I've learned something so exciting and then had forgotten about it.

44. Felt sad and stressed about the Rafter family and their troubles.

This episode is depressing.

And it's not even the one where Mel dies.

She's still alive.

45. Thought that if there's going to be a tragedy, it's going to happen when either A) the people involved are super happy about their lives B) the people are already stressed out and overwhelmed by their problems.

46. Learned that Dave's Dad Tom (John Howard) is a horrible man.

I thought his only crime was not being able to remember a woman he had sex with over forty years ago. But it turns out he wants Cody (Ryan Corr) to steal from Dave...his own son!

A few episodes back, Tom ask Cody to keep his eyes and ears open... or something like that. I guess I should have known something bad was stewing. I guess I hoped he just wanted Cody to spy a bit to make sure the Rafters were decent people.

Anyway, Cody is starting to like the Rafters and feels bad about stealing from them. He tells Tom he wants to stop all of it, and Tom tries to manipulate him into continuing.

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

48. Could relate to Mel when she heard Ben (Hugh McLaren) saying bad things about marriage to Cabo (George Houvardas).

Ben is trying to convince Cabo not to propose to his girlfriend.  In doing so, he makes marriage sound awful. How is Mel supposed to feel about that?

I never had that happen, exactly.

But it reminds me of a time that Tim said something insulting about someone else, but the insult also totally applied to me. He seemed to forget I was there or that what  he said could also apply to me.

49. Decided to give a hypothetical example to illustrate my point. Let's say there's someone who has never said anything negative about me having a blog. But then when I'm in the room, I hear them talking to a friend. They say, She wastes so much time writing her blog. What a loser. She could be using that time for something much more worthwhile.

Of course then I'd confront the person and they make some lame excuse. No, your blog is fine. It's not like her blog at all. If you read her blog, you'd totally agree with me.

50. Saw that Jake and Rachel are probably going to break up again.  I think this time it might be permanent.

51. Had a feeling that Packed to the Rafters teased the viewers with an upcoming death.

In a few episodes, Mel is going to die in a car accident.

In the last episode I watched, Dave fell asleep at the wheel and got into a minor wreck.

In this episode, Jake gets behind the wheel when he's not supposed to because of his epilepsy.

I'm guessing fans of the show were told someone was going to die by the end of the season, and viewers were kept on edge.

52. Found a promo promising the death of a Rafter.

However, it says it's going to happen next Tuesday. So the Jake and Dave near miss would have already been seen. Plus, Jake is not a Rafter.

53. Felt bad for Cabo's girlfriend Loretta (Hannah Marshall). She's not really welcomed with open arms by Cabo's roommates. Then they make fun of her for being loud during sex.  They're kind of mean about it—laughing at her; not laughing with her.  Even when she shows proper embarrassment, they don't ease up.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Breaking the Seal, Biters, Excusing Criminal Behavior, and Daniel's Family

1. Dreamed that, I watch a commercial that uses footage from a real party that Nicole Kidman attended. She's dancing to a song that mentions the color of a dress. She's not wearing that color.  I wonder, to myself, about the legality of using footage from a real party.

Then, I'm in the backseat of a car. I think about how I've already watched many Australian videos today, but I haven't even started a blog post. I decide I can write exactly that—that I've watched Australia-related videos, but haven't written anything yet. I figure once I do that, the seal will be broken, and I'll write a lot of stuff.

Next thing I know, there's a man pointing a gun at me from the outside of a car. I don't think much of it. It seems I think it's a video I'm watching. It takes me a few moments to realize it's really happening.

The man with the gun has me stand outside. He has another hostage. I kind of stand alone— away from the the gunman and the other hostage.

I'm not overly worried about any of it. I decide to sing.  I go with "Somewhere over the Rainbow". I use a soprano voice, and it's not very good.

Then I see the gunman being friendly towards the hostage.  He walks over to me. I can't tell if he's holding the gun out towards me as a sign of surrender, or he's pointing the gun at me, planning to shoot. I reach out to take the gun from him. There's no struggle.

2. Thought that the break-a-seal thing came about because, before falling back asleep, I was thinking about nighttime urination. My brother-in-law has talked to me about the breaking the seal concept.  I didn't think of that when awake, but I guess it crept into my dream.

Maybe I should be disturbed that my brain connected urination and my blog.

Is my blog like pee to me?

3. Thought that the gunman in my dream might have been inspired by yesterday's shooting. But who knows. It could have been inspired by the many other shootings that have happened in the past few years.

I'm surprised I don't dream of guns more often.

4. Started to watch an episode of Neighbours.

From the previously-on-Neighbours segment, it looks like Nell's (Scarlett Anderson) biting is going to be a big storyline for today. I kind of imagined it concluded yesterday.

I guess maybe we're going to see Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Sonya (Eve Morey) struggling with disclipine issues.

5. Remembered that Modern Family had a storyline about young children biting.

I don't have a young child right now, so biting children seems somewhat trivial and comedic. But when you're a parent going through the whole thing, it can feel like a huge deal.

6. Imagined it's also a bit deal if you or your children are victims of the biting child.

I'm glad that none of my young nephews have started biting...yet.

I hope I didn't jinx us by saying that.

7. Thought that when you're a parent of a toddler or preschooler who is biting, kicking, hitting, etc; it can be very stressful.  But I think when we're past that stage and see it happening to other parents, it can sometimes seem like a small issue. It seems normal and kind of funny.

That being said, I don't know what's normal and not normal. I think a short-term biting habit is normal, and so is hitting here and there. I'm not sure about young children who are chronically aggressive. Do they grow out of it?  Do they continue to be violent?

Should a parent be worried if their preschooler is often hitting his classmates?

8. Realized that the mindset of worrying and not worrying can apply to any issue. I think certain things seem like HUGE deals when you have a young child. Then when the children are older, it seems funny that we worried so much. Things like— will the child breastfeed forever? Will she ever be able to fall asleep on her own? Will she ever get out of diapers?  Is she always going to scream at the grocery store? Is she ever going to get out of the habit of stripping off her clothes in public?

Unless a child has a major developmental disorder, they usually overcome all the things that had us worrying when they were young.

Well, I guess that's another thing to worry about—whether or not our children have a developmental disorder.  It seems funny, when you're child is five and running around the house that you once worried he'd never walk. It's not so funny when he's sixteen months, and you're still waiting for those first steps.

9. Decided I should stop blabbing, and get on with the show.

10. Saw that Sonya and Toadie are now having sleep problems with Nell. She's crying in her room instead of sleeping. They don't know what to do. Should they go to her and give her comfort? Will that send the wrong message? Does she need comfort from her parents?  Is she crying because her schedule's out of whack? Or if she crying because they've taught her that if she cries she can get whatever she wants?

It all seems huge when our children are young...well, maybe not for those calm happy parents who take everything in stride.  I'm curious. Are there many out there?

 I definitely wasn't one of them.

It felt to me, from what I read in parenting books, that if I gave Jack too much comfort, it would screw him up for life. Or if I let him cry too long, that would screw him up for life.  There were two very conflicting viewpoints; both of them grabbing at me. They both seemed to be saying that if I didn't follow their directions, my child would be emotionally damaged and/or a huge failure in life.

11. Had a hard time sympathizing with Josh (Harley Bonner) feeling that his criminal behavior is justified.

He's selling illegal substances to help pay for surgery for his embryo that's not guaranteed to work. Nor do they know for sure that the baby wouldn't be okay without the surgery.

I can understand someone resorting to legal behavior to save a child they have gotten to know and love.  It's harder for me to understand doing it for an embryo.

Then again, people can become very attached to their unborn child.

I was very attached to Jack.

The thing is, though, there are a huge amount of parents who have born or unborn children in life threatening situations. I think most of them deal with the problem without resorting to illegal activities.  Does this mean they love their children less?  Do the ones who commit crimes love their children more?

Is Imogen (Ariel Kaplan) a bad aunt for trying to prevent her brother from making money illegally?

12. Felt morally confused.

13. Realized that I probably can usually feel sympathy for people who resort to crime out of financial desperation.

I think maybe the storyline bothers me, because it seems out of character for Josh. He was so regretful about injuring Chris (James Mason).  He acted very remorseful and showed a lot of maturity and responsibility.  Then he ends up selling an illegal substance that sends Kyle (Chris Milligan) to the hospital. From his past behavior, I think someone like Josh would feel horrible. He'd feel guilty and, at the very least, cut all ties with the supplement company.  Instead his mind is on continuing to make money, and not getting caught.

Has being a father changed Josh that much—has it made him throw away all his morals? Or is it more about the chance of getting back with Amber? Will he do anything to raise the money they need to run off together, with their fetus, to the US?

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

15. Learned a horror movie rule from Packed to the Rafters. Never take three steps backwards.

Apparently doing that is a good way to get your throat cut.

16. Figured that's why the Emu and Kangaroo are on the Australian seal.  They know not to step backwards. So they won't get slashed in a horror movie.

17. Felt bad for Dave (Eric Thomson). He just found out he owes $15,000 to the tax office thing.

I think it's so stressful to suddenly get a huge bill. Or to anticipate a huge bill.

We discovered that our pool was leaking a couple of weeks ago. This Friday the leak detection people are coming out to investigate. It's going to cost at least hundreds of dollars. It might get into the thousands. I hope not.

It's stressful, though.

Thinking of stuff like that, and even worse stuff than that...well, maybe I should be sympathetic to those who turn to a life of crime.  We're lucky in that we have people we can turn to if and when we need financial assistance. Other people don't have that luxury. For them, it might be turn to crime or end up homeless.

18. Considered the possibility that the homeless people we encounter could simply be people who chose not to get into drug trafficking.

Maybe they're the ones who said no to armed robbery.

19. Wondered what's going on with Mel (Zoe Ventoura). She feels queasy, which makes Ben (Hugh Sheridan) think she might be pregnant. He's very excited. She seems less so and reluctant to consider the possibility. Then she takes a pregnancy test. When the answer is no, she seems disappointed.

Ben suggests the test must be wrong, and she claims the tests are always accurate. From what I remember learning, it's much more likely to get a false negative on a pregnancy test than a false positive.

Anyway, what's up? Did she change her mind about being okay with motherhood? Is she already worried about fertility problems?

Does she realize she's going to die a few episodes down the line? Maybe people get a sense about these things.

20. Learned what's going on with Mel. She's having mixed feelings.

She was terrified to look at the test results. She didn't feel ready to be pregnant. Then when she saw that it was negative, she felt empty.

I think this is very similar to what happened to me. I did want to be pregnant, very much so. I got excited over every bit of light-headedness and nausea. When I took the test, though, I was scared. I don't remember exactly how I felt. It was probably like Mel, though. I was probably terrified to be pregnant. Then when the test came out negative, I was disappointed.

If my memory serves me correctly, though, I took the test again and it came out positive.

21. Felt kind of skeptical about my story. I'm quite cheap. It's hard or me to imagine using up two pregnancy tests in a row.  I think it would be more like me to wait.

Or maybe not.

Maybe my excitement caused me to act differently from my usual self.

22. Felt some dread about Mel's upcoming death.

However, the bad feeling I have doesn't feel as horrible as the feeling I get when a TV character's death comes to me unexpectedly.

I guess what I'm saying is that the shock feels worse than the dread.

Although I haven't seen Mel's death episode yet. Maybe actually seeing it will be as bad as it would be if it came as a surprise.

I doubt it, though.

23. Imagined trying to apply these ideas to real life.

I thought maybe all this would imply that I'd prefer dealing with an anticipated death than a shocking one.

But no.  It wouldn't be true.

The thing about anticipated deaths in real life is they don't come about by a quick accident.  They involve illnesses—pain and suffering. There are difficult decisions. Do we keep fighting to survive, or do we turn to palliative care?  Do we skip both of the above and resort to suicide or euthanasia?  

24. Decided that death and dying are a pain in the ass whether expected or a surprise.

There IS a silver lining, fortunately. That is...if you're the one who dies, you no longer have to worry about death and dying; or going to the dentist; or paying taxes; or cleaning out closets. Well, unless reincarnation really happens. But that's a whole other story. Or many stories, actually.

25. Went to the Triple J 2014 list.

Today I'm going to listen to the 33rd song.  It's "Run" by San Cisco.

26. Started watching the video for "Run"

27. Thought the video was very visually stimulating.

There are parts of it that remind me of scintillating scotomas.

I've had two episodes of that in the last week or so.  I used to have them rarely, but now they're picking up the pace. Or maybe not.  Maybe it won't happen again for many months or years.

28. Started to watch a Neighbours backstage video.

This one stars James Mason who played Chris, and Melissa Bell who plays Lucy.

29. Had trouble deciding between past tense and present tense.

The thing with Melissa Bell is she's left and come back. Because of that, I expect she might come back again.

As far as I know, this is the first time Mason has left. I'm not sure if he plans to come back.

I hope he does!

I hope Chris and Lucy return from the US with their child.  They can at least do a short visit. Or even better, maybe they'll move back to Erinsborough.

30. Heard Melissa Bell and James Mason talk about keeping the Robinson family going with the new baby.

If they don't come back, eventually the child will at some point. Probably.

I started thinking that since the Robinson family continues, why not the Ramsey's?  Why not bring one of them back.

Then I remembered that Daniel (Tim Phillips) is a Ramsey. Right?  Charlene (Kylie Minogue) was a Ramsey.  I think?

31. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He reminded me that Charlene is the daughter of the dearly departed Madge (Anne Charleston).

Madge was the sister of Max Ramsey—one of the principle characters of the early Neighbours episodes.

32. Thought that was very cool.

The Ramsey family lives on in Daniel.

Daniel is major Neighbour's royalty.

33. Wanted to know how Daniel would be related to Danny (David Clencie) and Sean Ramsey.


Let me think about this.

Danny is Max's son.

Never mind.

He's not.

I forgot about that.

Let's go with Sean.

34. Saw that there was no Sean Ramsey.

It was Shane Ramsey (Peter O'Brien)


35. Went back to my brain exercising.

Shane is Marge's nephew.

So that would make Shane and Daniel cousins?  Or wait.  I think it's one of those cousin-once-removed things. Shane and Charlene would be the first cousins. I think Shane and Daniel would be first cousins once removed.

36. Wondered if Shane had children.

37. Figured Danny could consider himself a cousin of Daniel, even if they don't have a biological connection.

38. Learned from Lord Wiki that Shane Ramsey left Erinsborough to travel around Australia.

I imagine it's quite possible that he fathered a child somewhere.

Maybe that child could return to Erinsborough. Daniel now has a cousin, in town, from his Robinson side, but it would be nice to see a Ramsey cousin as well.

39. Reminded by Lord Wiki about Jill Ramsey.

This was the result of Jim Robinson's wife, Anne, having an affair with Max Ramsey. It had to have happened offscreen, because when the show started, Robinson's wife had already died.

I guess Jill came out of the blue at some point.

Jill, though, was the mother of Kate Ramsey (Ashleigh Brewer).

So was Kate Daniel's cousin?

40. Felt that this is way too much for my tiny brain.

41. Figured out that Daniel and Kate share a grandmother—Anne Robinson. So, they'd be first cousins.

Are they double cousins?

Daniel's maternal grandmother was Madge.

Who was Kate's maternal grandmother?

42. Reminded by Lord Wiki that's it's Anne.

So, I guess I'm looking for her paternal grandmother.

43. Saw that her dad was some guy named Patrick Mooney. Mooney's mom would be Kate's paternal grandmother.

44. Thought that Daniel and Kate would have to have a Ramsey connection as well.

They share Grandma Madge.


I think I got it.

Kate's Grandpa Max is Daniel's Great Uncle!

45. Felt so much better, now that I've figured it out.

46. Learned from Lord Wiki that Charlene had a brother, and he was played by Craig McLachlan.

47. Learned that Daniel has a sister!

Madison Robinson.  That's a mouthful.

Maddie's not bad, though.

48. Wondered what's going on with Madison.

Where is she?

Why doesn't Daniel ever talk about her?

49. Wanted Neighbours to bring back as many Ramseys and Robinsons as possible.

And how about people related to other early characters.

Did Des (Paul Keane) and Daphne (Elaine Smith) have a child?  Or maybe the child died?

50. Shocked.

I just learned that Daphne and Des had a child named Jamie. He was on the show in the late 80's and then returned in 2003. Guess who played him?

Angus McLaren from Packed to the Rafters!

Now when I watch Packed to the Rafters, I can look at Nathan and say, that's Des and Daphne's little boy!

51. Wondered about Julie Robinson—the sister of Paul (Stefan Dennis), Scott (Jason Donovan), and Lucy.

It turns out she died from a fall.  The poor girl.

52. Shocked. Again.

It turns out Julie wasn't the daughter of Jim Robinson (Alan Dale). She was the daughter of a rapist.

53. Saw that another Packed to the Rafters cast member was on Neighbours. Kristian Schmid who plays Alex on Packed to the Rafters, played Todd Landers on Neighbours.

Lord Wiki says we must not confuse Todd Landers with Todd Flanders from The Simpsons.

54. Learned that Todd babysat James. There was some kind of mistake, and James almost drowned.

55. Learned that Todd stressed out Jim Robinson's mother-in-law so much, she had a stroke.


56. Wondered if any other Packed to the Rafters actors have been on Neighbours.

57. Saw that Ryan Corr (Coby) was on one episode in 2006.

58. Saw that Zoe Cramond who plays Daniel Robinson's cousin Amy was on Packed to the Rafters.

Did I already knows that?

I think I did.

Maybe I wrote about it recently.

59. Got excited about later seasons of Packed to the Rafters. I see, in the cast, that there are two Wonderland actors and a very classic Home and Away actor.

60. Stopped trying to look for Neighbours actors in the Packed to the Rafters cast. It would take me all the night.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Adorable Actors, Low Self-Esteem, Thundamentals, and Bitching about People

1. Dreamed that, we're in Brisbane. I like it a lot but feel I haven't been giving enough attention to my surroundings. 

We've been going to some club, and I decide it would be a good idea to get something with the club's name on it, so I can find out, and have a reminder of, what it's called.

I go to a desk with postcards. I pick one up, assuming it's free. There's a woman working there who doesn't seem very friendly. She seems annoyed by my presence.  

I see they also have bookmarks. I decide I'd rather have that. But then I see the bookmarks cost money—$0.92.  I go into my wallet to get money and find to my dismay that I have only American money. I never got myself any Australian money. I'm annoyed by this. 

2. Had sudden memory of Jack and/or Tim talking about the pronunciation of Brisbane.

I guess it was in a dream; although it might not have been last night's dream.

I can't imagine why they'd be talking about it in real life. But maybe they did?

3. Saw that Julia Gillard is no longer against gay marriage.

Well, that's good.

It might have been better if she had that change of heart a few years ago.

4. Started watching an episode of Neighbours. 

5. Intrigued by the Jimmy (Darcy Tadich) and Nell (Scarlett Anderson) storyline. 

Jimmy is asked to watch Nell and tries to refuse. His mother (Zoe Cramond) pretty much forces him to say yes. He goes over to watch her and then Nell starts crying.  Nell's parents, Sonya (Eve Morey) and Toadie (Ryan Moloney), try to figure out what happened, but Jimmy doesn't have an answer.

It's a simple storyline, but my curiosity is piqued. 

6. Saw Nell biting Toadie.

I think that's probably the answer.

Jimmy has likely been a victim of her biting, and that's why he doesn't want to be near her.

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

8. Recognized Rachel's (Jessica Marais) new coworker.  I looked up the actor. It's Kain O'Keefe, and it turns out I saw him a month or so ago on Pirate Islands: The Lost Treasure of Fiji

9. Thought that the bitchy receptionist at Rachel's new workplace reminds me of the woman from my dream yesterday—the one who worked at the club.

10. Thought Dave (Eric Thomson) was being a bad husband.

Julie (Rebecca Gibney) finds him getting a bed ready for Chel (Gillian Jones), so she can move in.

Did Dave ask Julie if she was okay with her mother-in-law living with them?

Nope. And when Julie questions this, Dave just asks annoyed. 

Yes, I understand Dave loves his mother. And yes, I understand she's recovering from major surgery. But that doesn't give Dave the right to be an ass of a husband.

11. Wanted to note that Dave also hasn't asked his mother yet if she wants to move in.

12. Thought that there is something adorable about Coby (Ryan Corr). I don't know what it is.

I'm also not sure if it's more about the actor or the character.

13. Compared my feelings about Coby to those for Jake (James Stewart).

I adore Jake, but I didn't like him the beginning. I didn't find him at all appealing.  With Coby, I immediately thought he was adorable.

14. Felt it probably doesn't matter if someone is quickly adorable to us.

I found Matt Smith to be completely unappealing. I dreaded him as the Doctor. But then he totally grew on me.  

15. Saw Dave continuing to be awful to his wife. She's weary about having Coby work for Dave, because the job gives him access to their home. He broke into their home in the past, so I think it's understandable that she's not 100% behind the whole thing.  

Dave is abrasive with Julie, about her misgivings, and pretty much says she's a snob.  

I can relate to feeling highly pressured to welcome people into our lives when I'm not feeling completely great about it.

16. Saw that Mel (Zoe Ventoura) was probably right when she said that Cabo (George Houvardas) and the girl he met from the Internet had a love at first site thing going on.  

I looked up the actress—Hannah Marshall. She's in sixty-five episodes of Packed to the Rafters.

She's going to be around for quite awhile.

17.  Saw another spoiler on IMDb regarding her relationship to Cabo.

It all gets quite serious.

18. Hoped that Chel going to visit a friend isn't another way of saying that Gillian Jones is leaving the show.  Chel is one of my favorite characters. 

I think Gillian Jones is beautiful; though I haven't liked her as much on other shows as I like her on Packed to the Rafters. So I have to give a lot of credit to the character.

19. Could relate to Dave's feeling of being redundant and unwanted.  

I have days like that. Sometimes I feel useless. Other times I feel useful but not appreciated. Then there are times where it's worse than being useless. I feel like I'm actually a burden.  

I guess it's when I start asking myself, would people notice that much if I was gone? When things are really bad, the question is, would people be happier if I were gone?

The Answer: yes, they might be. Sometimes. If it's temporary. 

There are certain people I adore, but at times I'm happy when they don't show up. It's nice to have a break from them.

I have to imagine that there are times that people feel the same way about me—that my absence is a relief to them. 

20. Realized I might have veered into a whole other subject.

Needing breaks from people we love is quite different than having bouts of low self-esteem.

Or maybe it IS connected.

Maybe when we have low self-esteem and feel like no one loves us, we can change the script to something more realistic. Such as: People might not like me that much today, but usually they like and love me.

If most people usually dislike us, or we feel they usually dislike us; that's a more serious problem.

It does happen sometimes.

21: Realized and remembered that I have had feelings of being vastly disliked. I haven't felt it lately, though, so it's hard for me to currently relate.  

22. Decided that in order to have chronic low self-esteem, you not only have to believe a lot of people dislike you, but you have to believe they have good reason to dislike you.

You have to agree with your haters.

23. Imagined most people have days, or at least hours, where they agree with their haters.

People who never do are probably narcissistic. 

It's not good to have too much self-doubt, but nor is it good to have none at all.

24. Went to the Triple J 2014 list

Today I'm going to listen to the 30th song, which is "Something I Said" by the Thundamentals, featuring Thom Crawford. 

As far as I can remember, I've never heard of them before.

25. Started watching the film clip for "Something I Said". 

This is the second time I've encountered a film clip instead of a video when watching music from the Triple J 2014 list.  The last time I guessed that the difference is a video clip has parts that do not contain the song.  

26. Saw a woman in a messy house—dirty dishes in the sink. She knocks on the door to the bathroom where her man is taking a bath. The knock causes a bottle to knock over a mop. The mop hits a hairdryer. The hairdryer falls into the bath, and the man is electrocuted.  Yikes!

 It's not graphic, fortunately. 

27. Thought the video was entertaining, so far.  It's like a dark comedy.

The death is tragic but somewhat comedic.

There are somber funeral and graveyard scenes.

Then, all of a sudden, some of the pallbearers start rapping. 

28. Got idea from the lyrics that the song deals with talking about people behind their back.

29. Looked at the lyrics to the song.

The Chorus: It must be something that I said 'Cause you smile in my face,
 then Bitch behind my back when I'm gone

I do that. Guilty as charged.

I feel bad about some of it but not all.

What I feel is okay is being nice and polite when you dislike someone.  It's fake, but I don't think it's a bad kind of fake. I'm not sure the world would be a better place if we treated people the way we felt about them.

I think it's okay to act excited to see someone you really don't want to see all that much.

I think it's okay to act sad about leaving someone when you're really not that sad.

I think it's okay to act interested in someone's story even when you're bored to tears.

And I think it's all right to vent about our negative feelings towards these people to other people.

What I don't think is okay is pretending to be supportive of something and then turn around and talk to other people about it in a derisive way.

I did that in a major way in the last few months. It made me feel like a two-faced bitch. It made me feel dirty.

And no, I'm not saying I'm such a great human being that I've been guilty only once in recent months. I've sure I've done it other times. This particular example, though, was awful.

I won't go into details just in the slight chance the person happens to reads my blog.

You know what. I have an idea. I'll give a pretend example, pretending I'm the victim.

Let's say someone acts super supportive of homeschooling. They act like they're on my side. They seem totally behind our educational choices. Then later, to their friends, they talk about how horrible homeschooling is.

They should have either toned down the support or not been so negative when gossiping.

So yeah...that's kind of what I did but with a different subject.

30. Thought about these lyrics.

When Billy Has a bitch about Susie to Milly
 It says more about Billy than Susie

I think that's true most of the time but not all the time.

Or maybe it says something about both people.

I think our opinion about the person having a bitch depends on various factors—A) our own opinion and experiences with the person they're bitching about B) Whether the person doing the bitching often bitches about other people C) Whether the person doing the bitching is usually negative or positive D) Whether we share the same viewpoints as the person bitching.

Example of D) I like to have time to myself. I need my space, so I have respect and understanding for people who are the same. If someone bitches to me about going on a cruise with a friend that wanted to read her book while laying out on the deck instead of chatting, I'd probably have stronger opinions against the person doing the bitching.

31. Learned from Lord Wiki that the Thundamentals appeared on Like a Version. They did a cover of Matt Corby's "Brother"

32. Started watching the cover.

It's very cool. Some of the lyrics are rapped. I don't think Corby does that in the original, though, I might be wrong. It's been awhile since I've heard the song.

33. Decided to listen to Matt Corby sing "Brother".

34. Didn't hear any rapping.

I think it's great that the Thundamentals did something very different with the song.

35. Listened to some of the rap parts and looked at the lyrics to the song.

It seems Thundamentals added the rap lyrics. I don't see the rap lines in the original song lyrics.

36. Preferred the idea of the Thundamentals changing song lyrics to rap lyrics but adding lyrics is pretty cool as well.

37. Started to watch an Olympia Valance backstage Neighbours video.

38. Reminded by video that Toadie (Ryan Moloney) was hit by a car.  Paige hit him, I think.

Was that when she was driving with her grandmother?

39. Saw that when Valance talks, she has the rising inflection thing a lot.

Does Paige talk that way?  I don't think so. Or maybe she does?

40. Learned that there's a nurse on set for the Toadie-gets-hit scene.

Was there one for Matt (Josef Brown) getting hit as well?

41. Started watching part two of the video.

42. Saw Stefan Dennis being adorable like usual.

If I was delusional enough, I'd have fantasies about him joining us at the lake house one weekend. Really! I can totally picture him fitting in to our craziness. He could do karaoke with us and join in on our water balloon fights.  I wonder if he'd be good at filling water balloons?  Would he be good at tying them. It takes some skill to do so.

43. Decided I'd have to add Tim Phillips to my fantasy as well.

Anyone else?


Maybe Morgana O'Reilly.

44. Figured I have other favorite cast members that I'm forgetting.

45. Remembered Saskia Hampele.

I like her.

But maybe I like her more in a read-her-blog-kind of way.  I'm not sure I can imagine her at the lake house.

46. Saw that I will have to add Kip Gamblin to my lake house fantasy as well.

He's so funny in this video.

Olympia Valance asks why he's using crutches. He talks about doing a short film—he's a method actor and wanted to get used to using the crutches. I totally believed him.  Valance orders him to tell the real story. So then he goes into a whole spiel about being a hero and rescuing some girl who were being harassed by some men.

His story is very detailed. He has quite an imagination.

The real reason he was using crutches? He had some kind of Ninja Turtle injury.

47. Saw that Olympia Valance is wearing an Antartica T-shirt instead of an American-themed shirt.

I wonder if it's her own clothes, or if Paige actually once wore a T-shirt not American themed.

48. Thought that Olympia Valance seems funny and sweet. I'm going to invite her to my imaginary lake house weekend as well.

49. Remembered that I also like Eve Morey and Ryan Moloney.

50. Felt that my imaginary lake house weekend is getting way too crowded.

We don't have enough beds or seats at the dining room table.

51. Decided I will invite the whole cast, and they can all sleep in tents in the backyard.

52. Decided since it's a fantasy, they should have magical Harry Potter tents.

Jenna Rosenow would probably like that.