Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Prison Break, Character Bonding, Zak Hilditch, and Emotions During the Finale

1. Started to watch an episode of Home and Away.

2. Learned that Andy (Jackson Gallagher) and Josh (Tai Hara) are brothers.

I had no idea! 

3. Noticed for the first time, when looking at IMDb, that Josh and Andy both have the same last name—Barrett. 

4. Felt that Brax (Stephen Peacocke) was being somewhat selfish...or at least thoughtless.

He's asked Kyle (Nic Westaway) and Ash (George Mason) to break him out of prison so he can be with his family.  He's putting his friends' lives and freedom in danger.

Then, on top of that, what about Ricky (Bonnie Sveen) and their baby?  

Is Brax sure that Ricky wants the life of a fugitive?  He hasn't even asked her. It's not like Brax can break out of prison and then live a normal life in Summer Bay. He and his family are going to have a life on the run. Does Brax really want that for his child?

5. Started watching the rest of These Final Hours

6. Thought that Vicky, (Kathryn Beck), in the movie, is annoying and disgusting.

I wonder if it's because she's on drugs. When she's not intoxicated, maybe she more tolerable.  

7. Thought about how alcohol, and other drugs, makes some people more entertaining, others scary and dangerous, and others simply embarrassing.  

8. Saw that an actress from Love My Way is in the film. I didn't know her name, but I found it on IMDb.  It's Lynette Curran.  

Curran plays the mother of James (Nathan Phillips).

9. Remembered that Curran is also on Wentworth. Well, I saw that on IMDb when I looked but didn't remember her character. 

Now I do, because her character on These Final Hours is similar to her character on Wentworth. Both women are bitchy, difficult mothers.

10. Saw Curran's character in this movie isn't so bad, after all. She's just a bit rough around the edges.

11. Thought that Angourie Rice, the young actress who plays Rose in the movie, looks a bit like Candace Cameron.

12. Thought this movie was hard to follow emotionally.

I think I'm supposed to feel a strong bond between James and Rose, but I'm not. I know it's supposed to be there, but I'm not feeling it. I think it's because there haven't been enough scenes of them enjoying each other's company. I know that's hard to do when the end of the world is approaching, but still....

Maybe if there was just one or two scenes of them having a good time together. Maybe they could have danced to a song or played a board game.

They did have a moment where they laughed together—part of a conversation.  But I don't think that was enough.

13. Realized I probably have it all wrong.

I don't think it's supposed to be around James bonding with a young girl.

I think it's what being with the little girl teaches him.

NOW I get it.

14. Wanted to confess that what I read yesterday, on IMDb's plot description, is partly responsible for the light bulb going off in my head.  

A self-obsessed young man makes his way to the party-to-end-all-parties on the last day on Earth, but ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father. Their relationship ultimately leads him on the path to redemption.

15. Finished watching the film.

I think it was well done for the most part.

I can't say watching it was an enjoyable experience, but it was interesting.

16. Wondered if it would be better if the world ended completely within a few days—everyone dead. Or would it be better for there to be survivors.

I guess it would depend on the problem.

With The Walking Dead, it seems to me that the survivors are pretty much just prolonging their deaths. I think eventually most people are going to become zombies—unless the survivors become more proactive.  It seems to me they're more about trying to avoid the zombies than actually trying to rid the world of zombies. Yes, many zombies are killed, but it seems in most cases, it's self defense.

If the survivors of an apocalypse are going to have to live their lives constantly worrying about a threat that's going to kill either them or their still-living loved ones, I'd say the death of everyone is preferable.

With something like The Stand, though, the survivors were able to fight off the virus that killed everyone else.  Most of the world is gone, but there's hope that those remaining can rebuild society.

17. Concluded that if a substantial amount of hope remains after the apocalypse begins; then there's some worth in having survivors.

If there's little hope—if for the most part, the survivors are only trying to stay live, it's probably better that all of humanity just die at once.

18. Did recognize that The Walking Dead folks have happy times once in awhile. They laugh together. They fall in love. There's been a lot of bonding.

I just think that the gruesome deaths outweigh the happy moments.

19. Thought of how I'm coming from a very spoiled and sheltered viewpoint.

There are people out there who live very dangerous and uncomfortable lives.

Maybe they'd watch The Walking Dead and think, Yeah. That's doesn't look too different from the life I live.

Some of them might feel hopeless and wish themselves dead. Some of them might actually kill themselves.

But others might feel it's, for some reason, worth being alive.  Maybe they DO have hope that things can get better. Or maybe even with the pain, hunger, and fear; they still manage to find bits of joy in life.

20. Started watching an interview with Zak Hilditch, the writer and director of These Final Hours.

There's an emphasis on Western Australia, because the film was made there and takes place there; then also the interviewer is from there.

21. Heard Hilditch call his film a thriller.

I'm not sure I'd agree.

I personally feel it was more of a drama.

I think with a thriller, there needs to be a chance that the characters can escape the death or danger.  A thriller needs suspense, and how can there be suspense if it's inevitable that the characters are going to die.

That being said, I did have some false hope that somehow Western Australia would be spared in the end. But as I was hoping that, I realized if that happened, I'd see the movie as being incredibly ridiculous.

22. Learned that Hilditch previously worked with young Angourie Rice in a short film called "Transmission".

I'm going to watch that now.

23. Saw that this film is about an illness.

Maybe it's apocalyptic as well.

24. Saw multiple cars with a door open.

What's the deal with that?

I guess people left their cars. But why didn't they take a moment to close the door before leaving?

I mean it's not a huge deal. I don't think it matters that much. I guess I imagine people would close the door just out of habit.

25. Saw the cars aren't all empty. Some have people—probably dead.

Maybe they opened the door to let more air in?

26. Saw that this film is similar to These Final Hours.

In the beginning, there was a mention of sickness, so I assumed it was about a germy pandemic.  But now they've mentioned something about the air.  I think that's making people sick.  So this, too, is some kind of environmental issue.

27. Saw that it might be an infection, after all.

I'm confused.

28. Finished watching "Transmission".

Now THAT was a thriller. There was a very suspenseful part.

29. Went back to watching the interview.

30. Liked how Hilditch describes the theme of the film.  He says, it's never too late to find redemption.

I think it's true. In the movie, there was not any realistic hope of survival. But there was hope of reconciliation and redemption.

31. Learned, from the interview, that one of Hilditch's early projects was a low-budget feature film, that he made with friends, called The Actress. The budget was $700.  

That's pretty awesome.

32. Heard Hilditch say something that reminded me of our economics lesson for today.

Hilditch talks about how, in filmmaking, you should work with as many talented people as possible.

In Economics, we learned about specialization and trade. It's the idea that countries, people, businesses, etc are more prosperous when they specialize in things rather than trying to do everything themselves. Then they trade with others who have different specializations.

On the Crash Course video we watched today, they said self-sufficiency is inefficiency.

Sometimes a small group of people, or an individual, with multiple talents can make a decent film.  But I think there's more of a chance of making a good film when you have a large group of people who are experts at what they do.

I think there are often directors who also manage to do a good job writing their own films and also acting in it.  But then it's stretching it a bit if they also do the music, set design, editing, sound effects, marketing, etc.

33. Thought that it's probably fine to have a very small crew for a short film.

I still imagine, though, that even then, larger crews are better.

34. Heard Hilditch say that he hopes These Final Hours will make the viewer think about what they'd do if the world was ending.

I did think about that but couldn't come up with anything.

I have no idea.

Maybe I'd want to hang out with loved ones and eat chocolate.

What's selfish of me is I wouldn't want to be around people who were really upset. That would annoy me. I'd want to spend the last hours laughing, celebrating, eating, dancing, singing, joking, etc.

I wouldn't want high drama. Tears would be okay, and of course, we'd all be scared. But I wouldn't want to be around people who were absolutely hysterical.

If the hysterical people were children, I'd be understanding, of course.

35. Thought it would also depend on how much warning we have of the end.

If it's twelve hours, like in the movie, that's enough time to gather around nearby loved ones. You have time to plan something fun.

If I find out now that the world is ending in an hour, there's not much time to plan anything fun.  I think I'll just be in shock and denial.

If the end approaches with very short notice—like in a plane crash, I couldn't blame people for being hysterical.  I don't think you get past the shock and fear stage.

36. Wondered if there are psychological stages of approaching disaster-death.

Maybe it's the same as any other death, but it just comes at a faster rate.

What are the stages again?

Denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance....

Those are what's in my head.

I'll go look it up.

37. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He says, Kubler Ross's stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

I can't imagine people going through all that in the midst of an approaching plane crash.

The only thing I really imagine is bargaining.  Maybe there'd be some denial.

I guess there might be fleeting moments of depression and anger.

38. Felt if there's acceptance, it would be there from the beginning. I don't think there'd be time enough to develop it.

But if there's someone who's very at peace with themselves, and or at peace with the idea of death, they might have acceptance.

39. Could imagine the stages happening with an approaching, or in-progress, natural disaster.

40. Thought that fear should be one of the stages. I think, for some people, fear might be there instead of anger.

Anger makes sense to me if there's actually someone to blame.  For example, if there's a natural disaster caused by human-induced global warming, people can be angry about that.

But sometimes bad things happen, and no one is to blame.

I guess people get angry about their fate, or if they don't believe in that, the random bad luck they're encountering.

Edited to add:  I forgot to pick my next show via before posting.

So...did that just now.

It's a TV show called Killing Time.  The star is David Wenham.

I'll start watching it soon, hopefully.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

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

1. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

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

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

Now it's happened twice.

Do psychological house calls happen in real life?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's not the best analogy.

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

It's a never-ending struggle.

6. Saw another downside of home visits from psychologists.

Family members and housemates can listen in on the session.

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

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

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

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

It's hard to know which is which.

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

Or maybe just get him a cake.  

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes we'll get it wrong.

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

10. Felt better about the state of our house.

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

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

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

11. Started watching the movie These Final Hours.

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

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

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

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

I could be wrong, though.

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

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

14. Heard mention of impact.

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

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

Or maybe not.

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

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

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

I'm wondering what would do that.

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

Everyone looks very hot.

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

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

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

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

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

21. Saw more sex in the movie.

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

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

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

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

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

22. Realized I'm probably wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I loved it the first time.

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

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

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

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


As for the other books.

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

I like it, because it's never boring.

I dislike it, because I find it offensive.

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

Is that going to happen?

I don't know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27. Thought of Lost

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

28. Shocked.

I consulted Lord Wiki about Kakadu.  

It's close to eight thousand miles!

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

29. Saw Lord Wiki's mention of crocodiles.

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

30. Started to read a safety page for Kakadu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

One man was grabbed from a boat.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Aneurysm Surgery, Funny Matt, Peter Rowsthorn, and Nicholas Bell

1. Started to watch an episode of Home and Away.

2. Relieved to see that Leah (Ada Nicodemou) has finally made the choice to get the aneurysm surgery.

I have sympathy for her fear of the surgery, and I think people have the right to make choices about their medical treatment.

BUT...I think waiting for a aneurism to maybe burst is very nerve-wracking.

3. Thought that there are probably a lot of people who are ticking time bombs. Many of them probably don't know about it which is both a blessing and a curse.

If you know about a condition, you can sometimes take steps to protect yourself. But sometimes the steps are difficult, and people don't have the perseverance.  Or sometimes, like Leah, a person has to undergo frightening surgery.

If you don't know about a condition that's going to kill you, or almost kill you, you can be blissfully ignorant.

Well, it will be blissful until the shits the fan.  Then you and your loved ones, or JUST your loved ones, are not going to be very blissful anymore.

4. Saw Zac (Charlie Clausen) being very selfish.

Leah tells him there are thing she wants to take care of before the surgery.

Zac is dismissive about her worries. He has the attitude of, it's going to be fine. No worries.

I really hate when people act like that towards someone with a medical condition. Do they REALLY think they're doing anyone a favor by giving false and/or dishonest reassurances?

Anyway, then Zac takes things a step further by telling Leah they don't have to talk about it. It's almost like he's presenting it as a favor to her.  At least he could be honest about his selfishness and say, I don't want to talk about it. Instead he acts like he's relieving Leah of the burden to talk about it.

If Leah didn't want to talk about it, then she wouldn't have brought it up.

5. Started watching another episode of Home and Away.

6. Annoyed to see Andy (Tai Hara) and Hannah (Cassie Howarth) together.

I forgot that they undid their break-up.

7.  Liked Matt's (Alec Snow) sense of humor. I think, joke-wise, he's my favorite on the show.

In the episode I'm watching today, he apologizes to Leah for causing her stress. She replies in a loving supportive way but does ask him not to rob anymore ATM machines. Matt says he won't have to, since he's now scratched that off his bucket list.

I think that's cute.

Then when Nate (Kyle Pryor) and Kat (Pia Miller) insist on being there for Matt during his court appointment, he requests that they refrain from heckling.

I know it's not funny when I write it down. I think it rarely works when people try to describe or explain comedy they've seen elsewhere. It's just I didn't want to say I think Matt was funny without having evidence to back me up.  In my school days, I learned that was a no no.

Anyway, I like that Matt can bring light to serious situations. He doesn't do it in an annoyingly avoidant way as some people tend to do. He still takes things seriously. But then he makes a joke or two to help release the tension.

8. Bewildered by what the neurosurgeon (Luke Pegler) says about the aneurysm surgery. He says they don't go through the skull. They go through an artery in the groin.

Did I hear him correctly?

It seems to me that our groins are pretty far from our brains.

Medical stuff amazes me sometimes.

9. Looked at a medical website.

I didn't mishear the doctor.

There really is an aneurysm surgery where they go through the groin.

10. Learned from the website that if an aneurysm is very small, it doesn't need to be treated right away.

I guess this is when they take a watch and see kind of approach.

11. Looked at a website about endovascular coiling, the surgery Leah is planning to get.

There's a lot of scary risks listed, but the website doesn't list how common they are.

The list includes stroke, paralysis of half the body, loss of ability to speak, and rupture of the unruptured aneurysm.

I don't blame Leah for initially not wanting to have the surgery.

12. Went to the Tropfest website.

I think it's been awhile since I've been there.

Today I'm going to watch a 2011 finalist film called "The Applicant".

13. Started watching the film.

The actor in it looks familiar to me.

I'll find out who is he later.

14. Saw another actor that looks familiar to me.

Then I realized it's Nicholas Bell.

Or at least I think it's him.

15. Got the idea that the mystery actor played a villain in one of Jonathan Shiff's shows. Maybe Scooter: Secret Agent?

16. Finished watching the film.

It was interesting.

I didn't love it.

I didn't dislike it.

I guess that would mean I like it, but I don't think I really did.

I guess my feelings are between like and dislike.

17. Guessed that I would like the project more if it was the beginning of a TV series rather than a short film.

I think many short films are too long, but then some rare ones are too short.

18. Decided to watch the film again.

It's one of those films where knowing the ending might give a different perspective on the preceding events.

19. Started liking the film.

Knowing what it's all about makes a big difference—at least for me.

Though it would probably ruin the film if it gave away the end at the beginning.

20. Liked the film a lot after watching it a second time.

I still wish it were a TV show, even more so.

21. Saw that the mystery actor is Peter Rowsthorn.

He's from Kath and Kim! He's the husband. I remember now.

What I can't remember is which one is Kath and which one is Kim.

22. Got help from Lord Wiki.

Kim is the younger one.  Peter Rowsthorn played HER husband. Or maybe they were just dating.  I forget.

23. Saw that Peter Rowsthorn was NOT in Scooter: Secret Agent.

24. Saw that Nicholas Bell was recently in a TV show with Rebecca Gibney called Wanted.

Stephen Peacocke from Home and Away was in it too.

25. Looked at the filmography of Tim Dean, the director of "The Applicant".

He also made "Fences". That's the film where the father reluctantly takes his son out on one of his police jobs.

26. Saw that Chris Corbett, the writer of "The Applicant" is pretty established in the business.

He's written for Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Neighbours, The Secret Life of Us, McLeod's Daughters, Blue Heelers, All Saints, etc.

27. Saw that Corbett was a script editor for Wanted, the TV show I mentioned earlier.

28. Learned from Lord Wiki that Nicholas Bell is an English actor.

He's worked in Australia for twenty years.

I guess he hasn't gotten citizenship. Otherwise, I think Lord Wiki would call him Australian.  He'd be an Australian born in the Naomi Watts, Julia Gillard, and many others.

29. Learned that Nicholas Bell has been a narrator for some audio books.

At least four are religious related.

Is Nicholas Bell into religion? Or maybe he just has the right voice for it.

30. Followed one of Lord Wiki's links, and saw there's a website where you can listen to excerpts from Nicholas Bell's audiobooks.

31. Listened to Nicholas Bell talk about Jesus.

32. Thought that since Nicholas Bell is British, he can one day play The Doctor on Doctor Who.

I don't know why I'm thinking that. I see lots of British actors and don't consider them being The Doctor.

Well, I might have done that when we were in the midst of watching Doctor Who.  But now I don't think of the show very much.

33. Thought that maybe there's a Doctor Who quality to Nicholas Bell.

It could be something about his voice, since I thought about it while hearing the audio book.

Or maybe Jesus made me think of it. Because I was hearing about Jesus when I thought of the Doctor Who thing.

34. Realized it's not really true that I haven't thought much of Doctor Who lately.

We've been watching 12 Monkeys lately—the series, not the movie. There are Doctor Who elements in that.

35. Googled Chris Corbett, and saw from Chrome that I already went to a website about him, and I went to his Twitter page.

I must have already watched something of his.

36. Saw that it was the same thing I watched of Tim Dean, the director.

They made "Fences" together.

37.. Consulted Lord Wiki about Peter Rowsthorn.

Once upon a time, he was a drama teacher.

In the 1980's, he was part of a comedy-singing duo called The Cactus Brothers.

38.. Saw Cactus Brothers videos on YouTube, but they're from the 1990s.

I don't think it's the same thing, but maybe it is.

39.. Learned from this website that there was a Nashville band called The Cactus Brothers.

I think that's what I'm seeing on YouTube.

40. Learned, from Lord Wiki, that Rowsthorn's brother and father are wealthy businessmen.

They worked for a transport company called Toll Holdings.

41. Learned from this website that Peter Rowsthorn was featured on the show Who Do You Think You Are.

He learned about his convict ancestors.

42. Wished I knew more about my ancestors—not just their dates of birth and dates of death; or their jobs or where they got married.

I wish there were diaries.

43. Thought it would be neat if, one day, my descendants (direct or non-direct) read my blog.

44. Imagined my great granddaughter reading my blog in the year 2016.

12 Monkeys is messing with my head.

45. Thought it would be silly of my granddaughter to spend her time-traveling adventure reading a blog.

Although if blog-reading was keeping her busy, she'd have less time and chance to mess up her timeline.

Or maybe not.  She might leave a comment, and that could have an effect. Then she might find her way to Twitter and mess with the time continuum there.

46. Started to watch a Thank God You're Here segment with Peter Rowsthorn.

47. Liked the segment a lot.

It's about property development. Rowsthorn had some very funny lines.

I should watch that show more often.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Stressed Mothers, Emergency in the Bush, Kerry Packer Actors, and TV Show Clothes

1. Started to watch an episode of Home and Away.

2.  Wondered what the show is trying to say about Ricky (Bonnie Sveen) and the baby.  When she holds Casey, he cries. As soon as she gives it to Kyle (Nick Westaway) or Ash (George Mason), Casey IMMEDIATELY stops crying. They hand Casey back to her, and he starts crying again.

I know some people have a knack at calming babies. But does it really happen that fast? I would think they need to hold the baby a certain way or sing to it with a certain soothing voice.

So...what? Does Ricky smell bad to the baby? Were they enemies in a past life?

3. Thought that if there really are babies that cry when the mother holds them and stops as soon as someone else holds them that this would be a major contribution to postpartum depression.

I know I would be depressed if Jack rejected me like that. Or at least I would be very hurt. I could remind myself not to take it personally, but I think I still would....especially since I'd be exhausted and stressed. It can be hard to think maturely and rationally when you're severely lacking sleep.

4. Heard an explanation from the all-knowing Dr. Nate (Kyle Pryor).

Casey might be picking up on Ricky's stress.

I can imagine that being true to a point. If a mother is acting very stressed, the baby, like anyone else, could pick up on it. Maybe a stressed mother holds a baby differently. Maybe her voice sounds tense.

I don't know....

I know Ricky is most new mothers are. She's also dealing with the father being in prison. But a lot of new mothers deal with situations that make motherhood extra challenging.

Ricky, though, acts pretty calm. If someone saw her at the grocery store, I don't think they'd think, Wow. That woman has issues. She needs to take a chill pill.

So how does an infant pick up on his mother's stress when she's not showing obvious signs of stress. Is it something about the heart rate? Do babies have a sixth sense?  Does stress make people smell differently?

5. Googled and saw articles that say babies can pick up on a mother's stress.

I'll have to read one and see what this is all about.

6. Read an article.

It's pretty interesting. There was a study done with older babies and their mothers. The heart rate of the baby and mother were tracked. All of the mothers had to do a speech. The ones who got negative feedback had an increased heart rate and so did the babies.

The article says, though, that they don't know HOW the babies are picking up on the stress.

7. Couldn't imagine a new mother NOT being stressed, so I'm not sure why so many babies are fine when their mothers hold them.

Then again, the article didn't say anything about the babies rejecting the stressed mothers.They just said the heart rate increased.

8. Looked at the abstract of the study. They don't say the babies of the stressed mothers rejected the mothers. The babies were actually more likely to be avoidant towards strangers.

Jack had early onset stranger anxiety, and it was quite strong. Lord Wiki says it usually begins around four months. With Jack, I think it started at around the first or second month. Maybe it was because I was a neurotic and stressed out mother?

9. Thought there are a lot of factors that come into play—both nature and nurture.

There's the mother's inborn personality, the baby's inborn personality, the stresses in the mother's life, the support system of the mother and baby, etc.

10. Thought about how pregnancy itself can effect a baby's personality and then started reading this article. It talks about mother's stress and cortisol levels affecting the fetus.

11. Thought again about how it's hard to separate the nature vs. nurture.  Let's say an anxious mother has an anxious child. This could be because she passed on her high cortisol levels in the womb. It could also be that she passed on certain anxiety genes. OR it could be a combination of both.

Personally, I'd also go with spiritual stuff. Because I tend to believe in souls, past lives, and all that fun stuff.

12. Saw that manipulative-Billie (Tessa de Josselin) has now turned into very-kind-and-supportive-Billie.

If this was real life, I'd assume the kindness was just an act. But since this is Home and Away, I'm seeing it as a magical personality transformation.

13. Saw Zac (Charlie Clausen) ask Nate a pretty stupid question.

Leah (Ada Nicodemou) is lost in the bush with an aneurysm. That's pretty scary, right?

Zac asks Nate what will happen if her aneurysm ruptures while she's lost.

Well, obviously she's going to be in severe medical distress and extreme danger. Having a ruptured aneurysm when you're in your cozy own home is risky enough.

14. Felt sure that Zac knows the danger, and his question is more about expressing fear than seeking information.

Or maybe he was hoping for some kind of reassurance.

15. Thought maybe there's a part of Zac that hopes Nate will say, No worries, Mate. People have aneurisms all the time in the bush. Leah will be as right as rain.  

16. Heard Ash say that Ricky is the most calm he's seen her lately. This is after she went surfing with Billie.

I really can't tell much of a difference.

There were a few times that Ricky cried, but besides that, she seemed quite calm to me.

I started thinking that maybe Bonnie Sveen just isn't an effective enough actress. Maybe she doesn't know how to do stressed, and the other characters have to tell us she's stressed.  But, from what I can recall, Ricky did act stressed and uptight during her pregnancy.

17. Wondered if maybe Sveen didn't get to read scrips ahead of time and therefore didn't know there'd be a stressed mother storyline. Although early on, they had scenes where she wasn't able to settle the baby, and Ash was.

18. Figured it could just be my perception. Maybe I don't see Ricky as being stressed, but other viewers would see something different.

19. Started watching the rest of Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.

20. Wondered about the portrayal of Kerry Packer in the series. In this one, he's played by Rob Carlton. In Howzat: Kerry Packer's War, he's played by Lachy Hulme.

Both series were produced by John Edwards and his team. The shows were aired about a year apart.  With those factors, it seems to me they should have used the same actor in both series. It would have provided some continuity between the two projects.

Maybe they considered that? Maybe Rob Carlton wasn't available for the second series?

Or for some reason, did they think it was a good idea to change actors?

21. Looked at Rob Carlton's filmography.

He was in six projects in 2012, so it could have been that he was just too busy.

Also, I just saw that he WAS in the second Paper GiantsPaper Giants: Magazine Wars. At least there was some continuity there.

And well...I saw Paper Giants: Magazine Wars, and I don't even remember Kerry Packer being a character in it.  So maybe continuity doesn't matter, anyway.

22. Surprised to see the character of Barry Humphries looking so young.

I know he would be younger, because this movie takes place over forty years ago. But I think I'd picture him being in his late thirties or early forties back then. The guy playing him (Toby Schmitz) looks younger than that..

It's possible, though, that I have overestimated Humphries age.

It's also possible that Humphries looked younger than his age back in the 1970's.

23. Consulted Lord Wiki.

I have not overestimated Humphries' age. He's eighty-two. That's about what I would have expected.

In 1973, he'd be thirty-nine.

24. Looked at Toby Schmitz again.

I think he looks like he's between the ages of twenty-two and thirty.

25. Loved this pink dress that Asher Keddie is wearing.

26. Liked what Ita Buttrose (Keddie) says to Leslie Carpenter (Jessica Tovey), one of her employees.

Buttrose has just been promoted and is now one of the few females on an important board.

Carpenter later asks Buttrose how it went. Buttrose tells her it went well, and then says, I'm warming a seat for you.

That's very encouraging.

I think it's nice when successful people encourage others and show a belief that those "below" them can one day be just as successful.

27. Thought that Ita Buttrose, at least the version of her in this series, is very admirable.

She's strong—stands up for herself and others. She also seems to be very kind.

I felt compelled to say that she might not have been the best mother, but that's only because there are not many scenes of her with her kids.  They barely seem to exist. But this could just be because the series didn't concentrate much on her home life.

I'm sure she did have less time with her kids because of job-induced time constraints.  But there could have been high quality within the low quantity.

28. Finished watching the miniseries.

I liked it.  I prefer it over Paper Giants: Magazine Wars and Howzat: Kerry Packer's War.

29. Checked to see if Hulu has the other John Edward's Australia-media bio-pic movie, Power Hames: The Packer-Murdoch story.

They don't, but hopefully they will in the future.

Lachy Hulme reprises his role as Kerry Packer.

30. Saw that I got it wrong.

Lachy Hulme plays FRANK Packer.

That's a little nuts.

Why not have him play the same Packer he played in the last film?

31. Wanted to look up some of the characters in Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo—see if they're real people, and what they're up to these days.

32. Looked up Daniel Ritchie, the character played by Matt Day.

I couldn't find anything, except for a page on the ABC website for Paper Giants.

That doesn't mean Ritchie isn't/wasn't real.

He might not have a strong web presence, and/or I might be looking in the wrong places.

33. Found a 2009 article that involves an Aussie Dan Ritchie. He was the head of equities trading for Merrill Lynch. Could he be the same Dan Ritchie who worked for Packer's company in the 1970's?


34. Googled Andrew Cowell, the character played by Tim Meadows, and found he, along with Ita Buttrose, were judges for the 2014 Maggies. These are magazine cover awards.

I actually thought that Cowell was a photographer for Cleo, but I think I just wasn't listening carefully enough. It turns out he's a graphic designer.

35. Looked up Jessica Tovey's character, Leslie Carpenter, and ended up finding an article saying that Tovey planned to buy her character's clothes in a post-production sale.

I would want to do that too if I here in her shoes.

36. Wondered if shows and movies often have post-production sales.

37. Read more of the article and learned that Leslie Carpenter wasn't a real person.

38. Found an article about what happens to TV show clothes.

39. Learned some clothes are rented, so those would just be returned.

Some of the purchased clothes are rented out to other productions. It would be fun to see the history of some outfits—ones that have been on multiple shows.

Sometimes actors get to keep the clothes, but it seems that's pretty rare.

40. Read about the post-production sales.  From what I understand, they happen after a show is finished.  They're open to the public, or at least sometimes they are.

41. Saw that the article does have an example of a costume jumping from show to show. A Gossip Girl coat was also used in The Carrie Diaries.

42. Learned, from the article, that there's a store in California called It's a Wrap. They sell stuff from TV shows.

That's American shows, though. I wonder if Australia has something similar.

43. Tried to find post-production sales in Australia.

I had no luck.

44. Went to to find my next thing to watch.

It's a movie called These Final Hours.

I think there's a song with that title; or at least a song with those words.

45. Could hear bits of the song in my head. For some reason, I think it's song by Augie March?  Or someone with a name like that?

Is there an Augie March?

46. Saw, to my relief, that there is a band called Augie March.  My brain isn't spitting out total nonsense.

47. Stared to think the song is "One Crowded Hour" and not "These Final Hours".

I take it back about my brain.

48. Found the song.

It IS "One Crowded Hour".

49. Saw, from IMDb, that These Finals Hours is an apocalypse film.

50. Looked through the cast list and saw only two actors that are familar to me.

One is Daniel Henshall.  I saw him as a drunk clown on Rake, and he played the serial killer on The Snowtown Murders.

The second is Sarah Snook. I saw her having lots of sex with Ryan Kwanten in Not Suitable for Children.

51. Started to look at some of the actors with the idea I might know them from things without knowing their names.

One of the stars, Nathan Phillips, played Red on The Saddle Club.  I sort of remember him. I think he was the young man who worked at the stables—one of the girls had a crush on him.

52. Had Tim watch the Josh Lawson fire sketch from Thank God You're Here.

The other night, I was in the room, as Tim started watching his show House of Lies. I saw Josh Lawson's name flash by and said something like, Josh Lawson?! He's Australian!  I was kind of in a state of disbelief.

I looked on IMDb and found out the name of Lawson's character on the show. Tim said he was one of the main stars and pointed him out to me. I didn't think it was the right Josh Lawson. He looked so different. I thought IMDb had made a mistake, but then Tim turned on a behind the scenes thing, and we heard the Australian accent.

I do wonder, though, if I had already learned that Josh Lawson was one of the stars of the American show. Like usual, I probably found out and then forget the next day.

53. Wanted to watch the Hamish Blake sketch on Thank God You're Here.

I thought about it when watching the Josh Lawson one.

54. Found it, and started watching.

55. Realized I'm watching the wrong one.

This is the same thing that happened with Tim. Twice, I turned on the wrong Josh Lawson sketch.

There's a part of me that's thinking maybe I should watch these other sketches, but I really want to see the old ones I already know I like.

56. Found the right one...probably.

57. Watched the sketch.

I thought it was very funny.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Armchair Traveling, Modern Freak Shows, Benedict Samuel, and What I Don't Like About George Simon

1. Went to do my morning ritual of reading an old post.

Today I reached my 2012 pretend trip to Australia.

This was where I consoled myself with a postponed trip to Australia by creating a fake one.

I'm kind of impressed. The first post seemed very realistic. I won't give myself too much credit, though, because it takes place in Sydney. We had already been there twice, so it probably wasn't hard to create pretend days there. The same might not be said for the posts when I wrote about places we've never been.

I sort of regret not finishing the project. I quit midway through.  I don't think it was a workload issue—more of a self-esteem one. I didn't get much positive feedback, and I imagined readers were bored or that they thought the project was stupid.

Then I made one mistake about a toilet. Someone commented to correct me—in a very kind way.  But it made me feel overwhelmed and maybe...vulnerable? I had wanted to think that I could get all the information I needed from the Internet—that I didn't have to go to Australia to know what I wanted to know. But the toilet thing proved otherwise.

Maybe I worried that if one thing was wrong, many things were wrong, and people were snickering about it behind my back.

2. Looked for the comment about the toilet, and couldn't find it.

I started to think that certain family members, who respond to my anger by lying and denying that whatever is bothering me never happened, might be right. Maybe my brain IS totally inventing false memories.

But then I looked through my emails. It was there. So I was only wrong about it being in comments.

There's one thing I DID get wrong—or it's just a matter of perception. When I was looking for the toilet comment, I saw that I did get a fair amount of comments about my pretend trip. There were more than I remembered.

I also saw something else that I think contributed to me deciding to quit.  In real life, we had taken Jack to the doctor for a bad stomachache. Then I used the experience for inspiration in a pretend-trip-to-Australia post. I think maybe I worried that I was exploiting a bad situation?  Now it seems kind of silly. I'm sure a lot of fiction writers use their family's real life health situations for insight and inspiration.

Or maybe it's because I wrote it so soon after the experience?  It's like, Thanks, Jack for having horrible pain in your stomach! Now you've given me a great idea for what I can write today! Maybe tomorrow Tim can break a bone, and I can use that!

3. Thought it would be different if months or years after a medical drama one uses the experience for inspiration and insight when writing a story.

When you use it in a story that you're posting that day, or within a few days, it does kind of smell like exploitation.

4. Thought of it in another way.

Writing about it could have been therapeutic in a way. The experience was scary and stressful for me.  I think that's probably WHY I put it in the story—because I wanted to talk about it. But maybe after I did it, it made me feel conflicted about things.

5. Concluded that there were multiple reasons why I quit the project, but they were all related to self-doubt and other emotional difficulties I was having at the time.

6. Wondered if my fiction writing is better or worse when I'm having emotional problems. Or does it not make much of a difference?

Maybe it would depend on the reader...since it's all a matter of perspective, anyway.

7. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

8. Heard Leah (Ada Nicodemou) call Alf (Ray Meagher) dad.

He's her father?

I did not know that.

9. Consulted Lord Wiki and the Back to the Bay website.

So far, I'm not seeing anything about Leah and Alf. Maybe I misheard. OR maybe Leah is confused, because of her brain aneurysm.

10. Saw in a later scene that it WAS a mistake, and Alf is taking it as a sign that Leah's health is in major jeopardy.

11. Felt bad for Leah and her family.

The family, and the doctor, wants Leah to get surgery for her aneurysm.  She doesn't want it.

I can see both sides.

I definitely feel for the family. Leah's acting stressed and unhinged. On top of that, the aneurysm can burst at any time and kill her.

Leah's afraid of the surgery. She worries it will kill her or leave her permanently disabled. And that is possible. I'm not sure of the risks, though.

I think mostly Leah's decision is due to her faulty brain. If her brain was working better, I think she'd get the surgery. I think she's being irrational, because she has brain problems.

The whole thing makes me think of mental illness treatment. I'm not a big fan of psychiatric drugs, but I do accept that they're a lifesaver in some circumstances. I just think they're too readily described.

It seems to me that basically Leah's suffering from a mental illness brought on by the brain injury. In her case, I think she needs medical intervention.

I guess what I'm imagining is if I was in a situation where my family wanted me treated, and I didn't want it. What if I'm right, and they're wrong?  Some members of my family seem quite supportive of psychiatric drugs. What if they force or push me to be on treatment when I feel this is the wrong thing to do. On the other hand, what if being put on drugs is the right thing to do, but my mind is so messed up, I'm not thinking clearly enough to realize that?

12. Figured there are many families facing this very dilemma.

13. Started watching more of Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.

14. Saw that 1970's Cleo had a feature about lesbian mothers.

For those days, that seems pretty progressive to me.

Then again, I think Cleo was pretty progressive for its time.

15. Thought about how the article might not have been very progressive. It might have been more like a freak show kind of thing.

It's like sustained breastfeeding is sometimes in the news, but not as a positive and/or healthy thing. It's usually presented as a really strange and negative thing.

16. Had an image of how these articles and features work. I don't think they come right out and say something is gross or wrong. The story is presented as being objective. But they interview people who are not easily relatable, who takes things to the extremes, and who don't have the most appealing persona.

On top of that, with the right questions and the right editing, they can make the interviewees even more unlikeable.

Then they also have professionals give their opinion about why what the interviewees are doing is wrong. Since they're professionals, their opinions are taken as fact, even though they might not have research to back themselves up.

17. Hoped that the Cleo feature on lesbian mothers wasn't like this.

18. Saw an actor, in Paper Giants, that looks vaguely familar. But I have no idea how to find him on IMDb without knowing his character name.  I hope someone says it at sometime.

19. Saw that the character's name might be Michael.

Michael died of an overdose, but I'm not sure if Michael is the guy I'm thinking about.

Well, it probably is. Because when Leslie (Jessica Tovey) heard that Michael was dead, there was a brief flashback of the actor that looks familar to me.

20. Saw that the actor's name is Benedict Samuel. And I can see from the IMDb photo, that it's the right actor.

21. Wondered if Benedict Samuel is related to the other actor with the last name Samuel. I forgot his first name.

22. Googled and found the name is Xavier Samuel.

I'm betting they're related. The names fit together.  I can imagine parents who name their kid Xavier would be the same type to name their kids Benedict.

23. Saw on Benedict Samuel's IMDb bio that he's in, or is going to be in, The Walking Dead.

And yeah. He's the younger brother of Xavier Samuel.

24. Saw That Benedict Samuel was in The Walking Dead last year!  I can't believe there was an Australian on the show, and I didn't know about it. A lot of times I sit there and check the cast for Australians. Or maybe I did it less in those days.

Also, it's not like I look at every single cast member.  That would get too time-consuming.

25. Saw that Samuel was in the last episode of season five.  I was probably too busy with the excitement and shock of the episode to go searching for Australians.

He's been in four episodes of the current season. We haven't started watching that yet.

26. Wondered if Alpha Wolf, Benedict Samuel's character, has been eaten yet.

Is he still alive?

27. Googled and saw that Alpha Wolf is an antagonist.

28. Learned from Lord Wiki's cousin that Alpha Wolf is the leader of a group called The Wolves.

So, Benedict Samuel probably has a pretty substantial part.

29. Guessed that The Wolves were in the comics, and I probably read about them.

I don't remember it, though.

I think I remember less about the second compilation book of comics than I do the first.

I don't remember much about what happens after Alexandria; though maybe the book ended soon after that?

30. Looked at the book and just got confused.

It all kind of looks alike—lots of zombies and lots of people looking terrified.

31. Thought that the version of Kerry Packer that's in Paper Giants is the opposite of the manipulative-type person I've talked about lately.

Packer's bark is worse than his bite. With my manipulative person, his bite is worse than his bark.

I think I read a little bit about people like Packer on the psychology site.  Well, I kind of skimmed it, because I was more interested in the manipulative stuff. But I think it's a matter of overt aggression vs. covert aggression.

Packer is gruff and intimidating. He has a very visible reputation. If someone comes out of his office crying, the other people standing around aren't going to be surprised.

32. Looked back at the psychology website.

There's a personality described called the channeled-Aggressive.

George Simon's description reminds me of the Packer I'm seeing in the miniseries.

They don’t mind it if others fear them or loathe them. They want everyone to know that they are a power to be reckoned with and have little regard for those whom they perceive to be less tenacious. They might even regard it as a perverted indication of respect if others cower in their presence. They are proud of their tenacity and lack of apprehension when it comes to taking on the challenges of life, and they ascribe to the firm belief that the spoils of life’s conflicts rightfully belong to those willing to do what it takes to be victorious.

33. Tried to think if I know anyone like this.

I don't think so.

Maybe in the past?

I HAVE probably seen that type of person on TV and in movies...but I can't think of any examples right now.

34. Saw that George Simon describes this type of person as heartless.

This is what I don't like about George Simon, and it's a pretty big thing.

I think it's very wrong to label someone as heartless.

I don't think you can judge someone's soul and/or mind based on their behavior.  Well, maybe you can judge one person.  I mean we all can make guesses. But that's different from making a sweeping generalization about all the people whose behavior fits into his little boxes.

What I DO like about his work is the boxes. I think Simon does a brilliant job of describing different types of aggressive people. But I disagree with his conclusions.

35. Saw that George Simon describes these aggressive people as defective.

Well, yeah. They ARE definitely defective, but so are we all.

We're all defective in our own little ways...or big or medium ways.

35. Finished watching Paper Giants for now.

I'll watch more sometime this weekend, probably.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Andy and Hannah, Covergirls, Punchbowl, and Women's Choices

1. Started watching an episode of Home and Away.

Saw that Hannah (Cassie Howarth) is not letting go of Andy (Tai Hara) easily.

She got tired of him. She needed space from him. She started showing interest in other men—dreaming about them and flirting with them. She lied to Andy about something he saw with his own eyes.Yet she still plays the victim in all of it.

I don't have a problem with Hannah losing interest in Andy. It happens! I don't blame her for wanting space. I don't blame her for flirting with other men. I do blame her for being dishonest and trying to cling to Andy when things should be over.

2. Saw Andy and Hannah get back together.

I think it's a mistake.

But maybe I have it wrong.

We'll see how things go.

3. Thought the storyline would make more sense to me if I could see that Andy is clingy and overbearing—the type of person you can love but feel suffocated by.

I don't see that. He seems pretty independent to me. If someone feels suffocated by a person like that, it makes me think they probably have fallen out of love with them.

4. Heard Ben Lee's "We're All In This Together" at the grocery store.

I like when I hear Australian songs in public places.

5. Started to watch more of Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.

6. Watched a scene where the first Cleo covergirl model was photographed.

7. Found that Women's Weekly has an article about Cleo's covergirl.

Wasn't Women's Weekly in competition with Cleo? That's the impression I got from the miniseries. But maybe they weren't

8. Saw from Lord Wiki that the two magazines probably weren't in competition—at least not in the beginning.

Both magazines were connected to the Packer family.

Now they're both owned by a German company called Bauer Media Group.

8. Went back to the article about Cleo.

For the final issue, they're recreating the look they used on the original cover.

Well, both models are wearing a white dress, but the dresses aren't very similar.

9. Consulted Lord Wiki about the last Cleo covergirl.

Her name is Jesinta Campbell. She's a model from Queensland.

She's dating someone from the Sydney Swans.

10. Googled the original model—Louise Francett.

I couldn't find much about her.

11. Saw a commercial on YouTube for an American TV show with two Australian actors.

It's called Heartbeat. In the commercial, I saw Melissa George and Don Hany.

I vaguely remember writing about the show before.

Did I?

12. Searched through my blog for Heartbeat, and didn't find anything.

Maybe I didn't write about it.

13. Searched again using Melissa George's name.

It turns out I had the name of the show wrong. It's Heartbreaker, not Heartbeat.

I did write about it; though I didn't say anything exciting.

14. Looked on IMDb and saw the name of the show IS Heartbeat.

Did they change the name of the show?  Or did I write it down wrong when I wrote the other blog post?

It is possible for shows to change their name, but I'm going with I wrote it down wrong.  I tend to make mistakes like that.

15. Went back to watching Paper Giants.

16. Heard a place called Punchbowl mentioned on the series.

Where is that?

17. Learned from Lord Wiki that Punchbowl is the name of an actual suburb.

I thought it was a nickname.

18. Saw from Google Maps that Punchbowl is about forty minutes south of Parramatta.

I'm trying to get some perspective here. Well, I'm trying to find a nearby place that's familar to me.

Maybe Botany Bay? I know that's south.

19. Saw that Botany Bay is about fifty minutes south-west of Punchbowl.

20. Saw that Punchbowl is very close to Bankstown.

I'm pretty sure I've heard of Bankstown before, but I don't remember why.

21. Inspired, by scene in Paper Giants, to find Ita Buttrose's first letter from the editor.

Crikey has a copy.

22. Liked Ita Buttrose's brand of feminism. It's the type where there's a belief that various life choices are valid.

I don't like when women think all women should stay home, raise children, and be housewives.

I also don't like the women who believe that, to be a person of worth, one must work outside the home.

Buttrose says to all that, I think if you're living the life that suits you, and you like it, then that's it. And I promise you that Cleo won't dictate how you live. We like you how you are. But of course we expect to give you quite a few ideas and if you care to follow them, good luck.

I wonder if the magazine lived up to what she says there. Did it equally respect both housewives and women with jobs?

Did it respect both single women and married ones?

23. Thought about how I read many magazines throughout my life. I think it was rare that I read the letter from the editor.

Now I sort of regret that.

24. Decided if the regret ever gets strong, I have a lot of old magazines in our closet downstairs. Maybe I can read them.

25. Decided that I'm way too busy doing other things. I have my TV shows and so much reading to do on my iPhone! When do I have time to read old magazines?

BUT...if we have an apocalypse and lose all technology, I can spend my free time reading old magazines.

That's doubtful, though, because we'll probably be running from zombies. I'm not sure I'll remember to grab magazines before we dash from the house.

26. Saw Ita Buttrose's husband (Nathan Page) read "The Little Red Hen" to their daughter.

I wonder if that story is supposed to symbolize something about Buttrose and Cleo.

Maybe Buttrose ended up feeling like she wasn't getting enough help from her staff?

27. Watched scenes about Cleo's sealed section.

This was an insert in the magazine that was more R-rated than the rest of the magazine. It was sealed, so readers would have to open it before reading.

28. Learned from this article that Cleo got rid of the sealed section in 2008.

29. Saw an actor in Paper Giants that looks familar to me.

He kind of reminds me of the Neighbours/11.22.63 actor. I forgot his name.

The guy on Paper Giants is younger, but the series was made five years ago, so it could...maybe be him.

30. Found the name of the actor.

It's Daniel Webber.

31. Looked through his filmography.

He wasn't on Paper Giants.

32. Couldn't find the character on the Paper Giant's cast list.

It's a guy working at a newsstand.

33. Went back to see if the guy's name is given.

It is!

Buttrose says, Hello Gary.

34. Saw that Gary is played by Tani Edgecombe.

According to IMDb, he hasn't been on many things besides Paper Giants.

35. Saw something in the film that I think contradicts what I saw in the letter to the editor.

Now I don't know if this really happened or if it was made up for the movie.

There's a scene with Buttrose and her daughter. Her daughter tells her that she wants to be a nurse when she grows up, because she wants to work in a hospital.

Buttrose tells her daughter if she wants to work in a hospital, she can be a doctor.

I wouldn't want any women to feel that she HAD to be a nurse—that being a doctor wasn't a possibility.

But I think nurses need to be valued as much as doctors.

I would be more impressed with pretend-Buttrose if she said to her daughter.  You can be a nurse, or you can be a doctor if you want. You can be anything. 

36. Got the idea that being a magazine editor is a very stressful job.

37. Decided being a magazine editor, with Kerry Packer as your bos,s is a very stressful job.

Though I imagine the owners and/or CEO's of most magazines are probably not easy to work with.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Manipulative Billie, Cleo, Jack Thompson, and Bottled Up Feelings

1. Started to watch an episode of Home and Away.

2. Saw Phoebe (Isabella Giovinazzo) make the same mistake I've made way too many times—try to vent to someone about a manipulative person's behavior.

Some manipulative people puts on different faces for different people. Depending on who they are with, they may be extraordinarily nice, quite nice, somewhat nice, not so nice, or downright nasty.
In Phoebe's case, she tries telling Ash (George Mason) about Billie's (Tessa de Josselin) behavior. This was a double mistake, because Billie is Ash's little sister. Venting to someone about their beloved family member is rarely a good idea. I've made THAT mistake as well.

Put the two mistakes together, and I think it's going to be rare to get sympathy or help.

Ash responds to Phoebe by assuming SHE'S the one who did something wrong—she must have provoked Billie's behavior.

That's one of the hard things about having manipulators in your life. Because these people are often so charming and irresistible, they build up a league of cheerleaders and supporters.

Though I'm getting ahead of myself here. I'm not sure that's the case with Billie. She's manipulative but not exactly charming and irresistible. I think it's just her brother she has wrapped around her finger.

3. Learned from Home and Away is that maybe the trick is getting someone else to back you up.

Ash doesn't listen to Phoebe's complaint about his sister, but when Kyle (Nick Westaway) talks to Ash as well about the subject, Ash starts to listen.  He goes to Billie and gently talks to her about the drama she had with Phoebe.

4.  Watched the scene again and saw that Ash actually approaches Kyle about the fight. SO, he didn't completely ignore Phoebe's concerns. He acted that way to Phoebe's face but maybe a part of him suspected Phoebe was in the right.

5. Saw Billie using manipulative tactics again.

Ash gives her a gentle chiding about needing to be careful about not passing on false information. Billie responds with, Well, maybe I did the wrong thing—stuffed everything up as usual. I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't even be here. Then she tells Ash it's best that she leaves.

This is what I was talking about in an earlier post. A manipulative person takes mild criticism and blows it up out of proportion.  It's very woe is me, and then the person complaining might end up feeling guilty. They may leave the conversation feeling they're the ones in the wrong.

As I've said before, though, I think people sometimes say the type of stuff Billie said because they truly have low self-esteem.  Or maybe they've been caught on a bad day. You criticize their behavior on a day they're already feeling like shit about themselves. Then they ramble on about how they're good for nothing.

6. Amused, because I just watched a scene where Phoebe says some of the things I just wrote. She tells Ash that Billie is a manipulator, and she uses the term, wrapped around your finger.

I'm also a bit envious, because Phoebe told Denny (Jessica Grace Smith) about the situation, and Denny was immediately on her side.

I don't think that happens to me very often.

Or maybe it does.

Well, it doesn't happen often.  I know that. But maybe it happens more than I allow myself to remember.

7. Thought that if it does happen....If I do tell people, and they don't immediately take the other person's side or try to get me to see the other person's point of view; their reaction isn't like Denny's reaction when Phoebe told her about Billie.

Denny seemed strongly on Phoebe's side.

With me, I feel if people are on my side, it's more like they're sort of on my side. They're reluctantly on my side. They're taking what I've said with a grain of salt. It's like the difference between telling someone you were annoyed by a telemarketer and telling someone you were annoyed by a green goblin in your bedroom. With the first, people are going to believe you and probably be sympathetic. With the second, people might TRY to be sympathetic, but they're probably not going to believe you.

8. Thought that there is a chance that SOME people believe what I tell them, but I've grown to be too distrustful and paranoid to believe them.

Maybe I see them as the doubter, but ironically I'm the doubter.

I kind of doubt (ha) that's the case.  But I like to look at all avenues. I like to TRY to be open-minded about things.

Actually, I don't like it. I don't like it at all. It's more like I feel obligated to do it.

9. Thought that there is one crazy variable that's jumping around in my head.

What I feel is that I have three manipulators who play a big part in my life. They're good-hearted people, but they have caused me grief.

I think I have often made the mistake of venting to manipulator #2 and #3 about #1, and vise versa, and so on and so forth. When I think about it, it seems the people who are most likely to defend #1, #2, and #3 are #1, #2, or #3.

I have no idea why that's the case.

Well, first of all, why the hell would I vent to one manipulator about the others? That's really stupid of me.

Then second, why do they defend each other?

Well, they do all seem to especially adore each other. Does having similar manipulative traits play a part in them loving on each other so much? Or is that just a coincidence?

10. Thought maybe I'm exaggerating the situation by saying I have three manipulators in my life.

It's more like two and a half.  Two are high-grade, and then one is medium or low grade.

Well, I'll say medium.

We're all probably low-grade.

We all manipulate a little bit.

11. Thought that, in the past, I may have been medium-grade....especially when I was a child and teenager.

I think now I'm low grade.


I'm kind of worried that I'm not. There's a part of me that worries I'm the most manipulative person that I know, but I'm delusional and think other people are manipulative.

12. Glad to see Ash giving Billie a hard time.

Now he does see through her games, and he's letting her know it.

13. Saw Billie approach Phoebe. She gives a sort-of apology by saying her outburst wasn't all due to Phoebe. Some of it was about her own vulnerable feelings.

I'm not sure if Billie is actually trying to make amends, or if this is just another manipulation tactic.

If anything, I don't think she's doing it out of real regret or kindness. I think she's doing it, because Ash gave her a scolding.

14. Saw Billie give a seemingly genuine apology to Kyle.

Is it for real?

I have no idea.

15. Got the idea that Ash managed to magically cure his sister of her manipulativeness with one little lecture.

Is she going to be a nice girl for the rest of her time in Summer Bay?

I wish real life was that easy.

16. Saw Andy (Tai Hara) break up with Hannah (Cassie Howarth) because he suspects her feelings for him have died.

I think his suspicions are right, and I think he's making the right choice.

They both acted badly in this episode.  Andy punched a guy (Oliver Klozoff) for talking to Hannah at the beach.  On the surface, he looked like a controlling guy who won't let his woman have even a short conversation with another man.

HOWEVER, not that I condone violence, but the story is more complex than that. Andy has seen that Hannah is losing the love, and he saw her dancing with the same guy the other night.

Andy's mistake was being violent.

Hannah's mistake was being dishonest. First, she tells Andy that her and the guy had been just talking at the club. She negates what Andy saw with his own eyes. When Andy points out that he saw more than talking, Hannah puts the blame on the club-guy. He wanted more. She rejected him.  I may not be remembering this correctly, but I don't think Hannah did any such thing.  I think her friends are the ones who stepped in and put a stop to the heavy flirting.

17. Hoped that Hannah is honest and mature about the whole thing. I hope she lets Andy go, and doesn't lead him to believe that it's all in his head, or that the break up is all his doing.

18. Realized I get a lot of enjoyment out of analyzing the behavior of pretend people.

19. Got ready to start watching Paper Giants: The birth of Cleo.

This is a story about real people, not pretend people.

I think I might find that I also enjoy analyzing the behavior of real people.  Or sort of real people. It's actors pretending to be real people. That's not exactly the same as real-real people.

20. Saw a note at the beginning of the miniseries saying that some things might have been changed for dramatic effect. So I might judge something about someone that didn't actually happen.

21. Saw that the movie begins in May 1972. That's six months before I was born.

22. Reminded by the series that in 1972, Australia had been with a conservative government for twenty-three years.

I guess Menzies is included in that. I remember Holt, McEwen, Gorton, and McMahon.  They wouldn't make up twenty-three years. Menzies took up a lot of years.

So yeah, he'd be included.

My brain is slow sometimes.

I was also going to say that the conservative rein ended in 1975, but that's actually when it came BACK again.

I think maybe it ended in 1972? Or maybe it was 1973 that Whitlam took over.

23. Consulted Lord Wiki.

Whitlam started the PM job in December 1972.

24. Thought the actresses in this film look very pretty in their 1970's fashions.

I think I like 1970's clothes.

25. Liked the miniseries so far.

It seems to have a female-power feel to it.

Ita Buttrose (Asher Keddie) interviews a girl (Leslie Carpenter) who left her last job because of sexual harassment.

I thought it was a good scene.

I can't really explain why.

26. Did not like Buttrose's pants outfit on the series, so I guess I don't like all 1970's clothes.

I did like her dress, though.

27. Wondered what would smell worse—all the smoking in the 1970's or all the zombies in The Walking Dead universe.

28. Saw an actor in Paper Giants that looks familar to me. I'm not sure who he is.

I'll look through the cast list.

29. Saw that it's Rick Donald.

I know him from House Husbands and Underbelly.

30. Amused by lines in series.

Ita Buttrose and Frank Packer (Tony Barry) are talking about the name of the new magazine. Packer isn't happy with Cleopatra.  He wants something more similar to Women's Weekly.  Packer gets frustrated with Buttrose and says, Well, call it the women's bloody monthly or something.

Buttrose says, A magazine named after a menstrual cycle?

Someone should name a magazine after that...if magazines were still doing well.

I guess someone could do an online publication with that name.

31. Loved all the old film clips in the miniseries. It's probably my favorite thing about it. But I like the story as well.

32. Heard from the miniseries that Jack Thompson was Cleo's first centerfold.

Then I found this article which has photos of various Cleo centerfolds.

The centerfolds were nude, but the penises were hidden.

33. Looked at the various pictures.

Besides Jack Thompson, I don't know of any of the men.

35. Found another website with Cleo centerfolds.

It's men from the 1970's and 1980's.  Did they stop having the centerfolds in the 80's, or is this article just wanting to concentrate on this particular time period?

36. Consulted Lord Wiki and saw that I'm watching the miniseries in a very timely way.

The last episode of Cleo was March 2016. That's very sad. Although I kind of thought the magazine was already gone. I don't know why.

37. Learned from Lord Wiki that the centerfolds ended in 1985. Mel Gibson was the last subject.

In the 1990's, Cleo started to have a bachelor of the years.

Aaron Pedersen was the second one, in 1994. That was before The Secret Life of Us and City Homicide.  I wonder what he was known for back then.

38. Saw that Pedersen was in a miniseries called Heartland. It looks like that was his first film/TV thing.  I guess it made a big impression?  Or maybe he was doing other things, before that, which caught the public's attention.

39. Read more of what Lord Wiki has to say.

Pedersen used to be a journalist for the ABC.

40. Saw that Anthony Field was the Cleo bachelor for 1999.  He got married about four years later.

41. Saw that Firass Dirani was the Cleo bachelor for 2010.

Lord Wiki doesn't say anything about him getting married. So maybe he's still a bachelor.

42. Noticed that most of the bachelors are in their twenties; none are over forty. What's the deal with that?

43. Went back to looking at the centerfolds.

44. Thought that although I like seventies dresses, wallpaper, and interior decorating, I'm not a big fan of 1970's men. Well, I mean their general exterior style. I'm sure many of them had good personalities.

I think I concluded the same thing when I watched Howzat: the Kerry Packer Wars.  That took place in the seventies too, I think. I'm not positive.

45. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He says the Kerry Packer cricket drama happened in the late 1970's.

46. Went back to watching Paper Giants: The birth of Cleo.

47. Watched the scene in the miniseries with them taking the photo of Jack Thompson.

I'm wondering if the photo was taken before or after Breaker Morant. I have that movie in my mind, because that's the only old one I've seen with Thompson.

48. Looked at IMDb.

Breaker Morant came out eight years later, in 1980.

Thompson's film/TV career started not long before the centerfold—in 1968.

It looks like initially he did mostly just TV show guest star stuff.

He was in Wake in Fright in 1971.  Well, I guess I was wrong above. I've seen two old movies with Thompson.  I wonder if he had a big role in that.

49. Vaguely remember reading that Wake in Fright wasn't popular with Australians when it first came out. So I'm not sure Thompson would be widely known from that.

Also, even if I'm wrong, and it was popular with Australians, I don't think the men in it were portrayed as being very sexy.

50. Wondered if Thompson wasn't that famous when he did the centerfold.  Maybe he was just a somewhat known actor who was willing to get naked.

52. Consulted Lord Wiki, and saw I made my old IMDb mistake. I have a habit of missing TV shows, because IMDb lists them in the time period they were canceled, not when they began.


In 1971, Thompson became the star of a TV show called Spyforce.  He probably was fairly well known for that.

53. Saw a photo of Ita Buttrose.

She looks familiar to me.

Well, I'm sure I've seen photos of her before.

But I feel like I have her voice in my it's someone I've seen interviewed.

I'm thinking, though, that I'm confusing her with some actress.

54. Watched part of a video of Ita Buttrose. She sounds much more like Asher Keddie's performance of her than the voice I'm picturing in my head.

55. Wished I knew what actress I was thinking of.

56. Stopped watching the miniseries for today.

I'll probably watch more tomorrow.

57. Thought back to something I saw today on Home and Away.

When Andy and Hannah were fighting, Hannah asked Andy why he didn't mention seeing her dancing with the other guy earlier.

This is something I've been asked. I get angry. I hold it in. I keep it secret. Then weeks, months, or years later I spill the beans.

Why do I do this?

Because my theory is that anger earns interest. The longer you hold in anger, the more your anger is worth.

No. I'm joking.

I hide my anger, because I don't feel there will be any value in sharing my feelings. I predict that people will invalidate me.  And/or they'll get mad at me.  They might use manipulation tactics. There'll probably be a huge drama with angry and very manipulative emails.  Maybe I'll get teased in the future about the whole thing.

Whatever I imagine happening, it doesn't usually involve me winning. And by winning, I mean someone listening to me, understanding why I'm angry, apologizing if they feel the situation merits that, and making serious attempts to change their behavior.

The bigger question is not why didn't I tell people sooner about my anger, it's why am I telling them at all?


One reason is, I think sometimes my anger boils over and I can't stand it anymore.

It's like Andy. He could have probably kept it a secret that he saw Hannah dancing with another man at the club.  Maybe he would have let that sit in his head for weeks, months, or indefinitely but then he saw the same guy again, and the anger boiled over.

The other reason is kind of pathetic. I think no matter how many times opening up goes wrong, I still have this foolish hope that it's going to, one day, go well.

When I do open up, I usually see right away that I've made a mistake.  Other times, it seems like the other person might be listening and understanding, but later I go over the conversation in my head and realize things weren't as okay as I thought. OR the person later says or does something that makes me realize opening up to them did me no favors.

58. Thought of a better and simpler way of looking at it.

I hold in my anger, because I don't want drama. It's as simple as that.  But then sometimes the feeling gets too big for me, and I can't keep it inside anymore.

You know what, I think that's more correct than the thing about having foolish hope that a conversation will heal wounds and fix the issues. I don't really have much hope. Or maybe I have NO hope. But when the drama gets too big, I have a compulsion to let it out.  It's kind of like when you know you shouldn't eat the second donut. You know it's not going to taste good, because you're too full. You know it's not good for your body. But you still do it anyway.

59. Wondered if blogging helps to make me feel I've opened up about things. Does it make me feel less bottled up inside?

60. Thought about it for several minutes and realized it doesn't.

It actually doesn't feel that much different from talking to myself.