Saturday, April 9, 2016

More Blogging Doubts, Love, Cheap Plane Tickets, and Seeing Our Own Faults

1. Had thoughts about quitting my blog again.

This time it was mostly about my overwhelming TV and movie to-watch list. I started thinking that if I stopped blogging, I'd have more time for watching.

The thing is, though. I think one of my favorite parts about watching all these Australian TV shows and movies is blogging about them.

Still, I was torn and confused.

I actually consulted online Tarot cards for advice. I don't know if the advice came from the spiritual world or was just random, but there was something there about persevering.  I'm going to go with that.

2. Thought of something else. I personally think the most important thing to consider with Tarot cards or other divination is how you feel about the answer given.  Are you relieved? Annoyed? Happy? Stressed? Disappointed?

I wasn't disappointed with the Tarot card's answer, and I think I was a tiny bit relieved.  It was like the Tarot cards were giving me permission to keep blogging, and I was grateful for that.

The other thing that was making me consider quitting was the usual thing about not having enough visitors. I tell myself that's okay, because I can just write for my future-self.  But I think there's a part of me that feels I'm being indulgent by blogging when hardly anyone is interested.

3. Reminded myself that there are lots of people on the Internet who are blogging, updating, posting photos, etc. while hardly anyone is reading or noticing.

For now, that's one of the gifts of the Internet. Anyone can post and share.We don't have to be popular. We don't have to audition. We don't need permission.

It's quite nice, actually.

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

5. Decided that Ash (George Mason) is one of my favorite guys on the show. I think he and Matt (Alec Snow) are my favorites.

That could change, though.

I used to like Phoebe (Isabella Giovinazzo) and Hannah (Cassie Howarth). Now they both annoy me.

I liked Nate (Kyle Pryor).I don't like him anymore.

My least favorite person when I started watching was Ricky (Bonnie Sveen). Now I like her.

6. Tried to understand Phoebe and Hannah.

They both cling to men they no longer seem to love.

I can TOTALLY understand them not wanting to hurt someone. I think it's very hard to break up with someone.  As it's painful to get a broken heart, it can also be very painful to break someone's heart.

I get it.

However, if the person no-longer-loved gives you an out, then I think the opportunity should be taken.

With Hannah, Andy (Tai Hara) had already picked up on the clues that Hanna had lost interest. Because of this, he broke up with her. She pleaded for him to come back to her. Why didn't she just take the opportunity to get out of the relationship?

In Phoebe's case, she and Kyle (Nic Westaway) had already been separated for weeks or months. He asked her to get back together with him, and she told him she needed time to think. During that short time of thinking, she suddenly developed feelings for Ash. Instead of telling Kyle no, or she needs more time, she rushes back into the relationship. Why?

7. Thought about how it could be one of two things...or a combination.

First of all, even though Phoebe and Hannah wouldn't have to literally dump anyone, they'd still be hurting Andy and Kyle.  Kyle would be hurt if Phoebe rejected his idea of them getting together.  Though Andy dumped Hannah, he did it because of feeling unloved and rejected. When Hannah pleaded with him to come back to her, he was probably relieved.

So, I think part of it IS about preventing pain in someone else.

The other possibility is Hannah and Phoebe are trying to protect themselves. In the episode, Hannah talks about choosing the safe bet, and how, if you go with the second guy, you're at risk of losing the first.

8. Thought about how Hannah and Phoebe claim to love Andy and Kyle.

I'm skeptical, but I guess I should believe it.

It's easier for me to believe Phoebe. I think she really does love Kyle and has just developed a small crush on Ash.

With Hannah, she's been showing a reduction of Andy-love for awhile. She had a romantic dream about Nate. She told Andy she needs space from him, and she didn't like him moving in with her. She did some heavy flirting with another man. And now her ex is back, and she still has feelings for him.

9. Wondered what will happen on the show, because Hannah has now had sex with the ex. Is Andy going to find out? Will Hannah come clean? Or is she going to keep lying and pretending she hasn't lost interest in Andy?

10. Thought of going to Australia, because my brother-in-law found really cheap flights.

I feel horribly conflicted about it, though. Our next international trip is supposed to be Japan for Tim's birthday trip. Though the flights to Australia are very cheap, it's still going to be an expensive trip.  We'd have to pay for food, lodging, activities, etc. That will leave us less money for Japan.

It's not just about that, though. I've been planning to go to Australia for my fiftieth birthday. It's weird, but I kind of like the waiting, the planning, the anticipating, etc.

I feel weird about rushing there just because we found cheap flights.  It reminds me of the recurring dreams I've had—where we take a quick last minute trip to Australia.

Then again, those dreams are usually positive.

11. Decided I wouldn't be okay going to Australia in the next year or so, because I fear it would interfere with our Japan plans.

HOWEVER, after Japan I will start looking out for deals. If we find another super good one, maybe we'll go before 2022.

12. Felt that another factor in this is the fear that a bargain flight is going to equal a flight from hell.

I think flying is usually hellish enough. I'm afraid a bargain flight is going to entail extra hell.

Maybe extra hell would be okay with a short like Florida. But I don't have the guts to endure it all the way to Sydney.

13. Thought that it's probably not that horrible of a flight. It's Delta Airlines. I don't think they're that awful. But last time, we flew Premium Economy on Qantas. I think that's gotten me spoiled.

If we're going to be cheap and do plain economy, I think I'd feel better with Qantas than Delta.

Though who knows, maybe Delta is just as good.

14. Decided to just be honest with myself.

I'm not really in the mood to visit Australia.

Sometimes I want to LIVE in Australia. I like watching Australian TV shows. I like listening to Australian music. I like reading Australian books. I like blogging about Australia.

I'm not really in the mood to be a tourist in Australia.

Or at least I'm not in the mood for a rushed trip to Australia.

Though it wouldn't be rushed really, because with the ticket deal you have to stay at least ten days.

But still.  For our past trips, we stayed around three to five weeks.

15. Changed my mind.

I can picture being in Sydney, walking around the Opera House. I'd hang out with the sulfur-colored cockatoos in the Royal Botanical Gardens.

It's mostly about Japan.

I can imagine Tim being self-sacrificing and saying we can go to Sydney instead of Japan. Or he'd insist we can do both.

I would feel too guilty about it—I mean guilty enough that I would have a hard time having fun in Australia.

16. Thought about how my brother-in-law was trying to be nice by sending me the flight deal, but what's he's really done is make me feel like I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

17. Concluded that I've been extremely fortunate to go to Australia three times. I know there are people in love with Australia who haven't had ANY opportunity yet.

I look forward to going back for my fiftieth birthday. It's something I've planned for awhile, and I want to stick to that plan.

I also look forward to Japan. Yes, we're going for Tim, but I'm excited too, and so is Jack.

18. Decided there's probably only two reasons I'd choose to go to Australia earlier than my fiftieth birthday.

A) I get some kind of terminal illness, and it becomes doubtful that I'm going to reach my fiftieth birthday.

B) We win a fantastic trip to Australia. It's not just cheap, but pretty much free.

19. Wanted to add that I'd probably WOULD be okay going to Australia and Japan within the same year, or two years, if it weren't for the homeschooling.

I'm stressed about getting everything done.

Yes, of course international traveling is a fantastic educational experience. But we still need to get in all the math, English, etc. hours. That's hard to do while traveling.

20. Thought about Max, our cat.

I'm very attached to him.

It's hard enough leaving him for one long trip in a year.  It would be that much worse to leave him twice.

21. Thought that it also comes down to the fact that I have multiple sides to myself.

There's the side that's obsessed with Australia and wants to live there and/or visit there very frequently.

There's the side that loves the idea of traveling. I want to go, not just to Australia and Japan, but all over the world. I want to go back to England. I want to go to Paris. I want to go to the Philippines. I want to go to Canada. I want to go to to Costa Rica.  There are so many places I'd love to go.

And then....

There's the very lazy side of me that doesn't want to travel at all. I want to stay at home, and at the most, travel the thirty minutes or so to the Korean grocery store. We did that this afternoon, and really, it was a good enough adventure for me.

I love being at home. I love spending hours watching TV.  I love hanging out in our backyard.

22. Started to watch an episode of Killing Time.

23. Annoyed by an article I read about binge-watching.

Dr. Jess Nithianantharajah, from the Florey Institute, thinks binge-watching is bad for our brains, because our brains need a variety of experiences. She says, Doing the same activity over and over sees certain parts of the brain activated, but the other parts will be less stimulated.  

From what I understand, she's basing this on a study of mice who were given only one type of stimulation. When the mice got old, the singularly stimulated ones had less brain connections and more memory problems.

There might be a few binge-watchers who have taken things to that level of extreme, but I think most of us are still finding a lot of time to do other things.

Nithianantharajah says, It’s better to space out viewing time, because a chunk of television which is only serving one kind of stimulation means the brain isn’t getting challenged.

Why is it only one type of stimulation?  At the very least, I think there'd be verbal, audio, and visual stimulation. Then TV shows have a variety of storylines and also a variety of emotional stimulation.

It's not like we're playing Pac-Man or Pong for hours at a time.

So...what about those of us who sat around for almost a whole weekend reading the newest Harry Potter book?  Was anyone worried about that?

How about all the high school and college kids who spend hours at a time studying for an exam?

How about people who do monotonous work at a factory for hours and hours at a time?

24. Thought about how some people would argue that TV is a passive activity, and that's why it differs from other activities.

I don't agree with that.  Maybe some people's brains totally veg out while watching TV, but I don't think that's the case for everyone.

I think a lot when I'm watching a show. I make judgements. I make predictions. I try to find out why certain actors look familar to me.  I think about how something on a show reminds me of another show or reminds me of something I've seen in my own life.

Also, TV is very socially stimulating.  The happenings of a popular TV show creates conversations between couples, friends, families, neighbours, workmates, strangers, etc.

25. Thought about how people seems to fear TV is going to rot brains.

It seems I see less worrying when it comes to films and live theater.

26. Thought about how I rarely sit there and watch many hours of a show in a row.

First of all, I often exercise while watching my shows.  I do steps on a Bosu. Whether I'm doing that or sitting, I often take breaks and do other things. For example, I took a break from Killing Time to read the news on my phone. Then I started blogging about the something that I read.

The one time that I veg out is at night.  The cat helps with that, because he often sleeps on my lap. That makes it hard to get up.  When I say veg out, though, I'm talking about only my body. It just sits there like a lump.  My brain, I believe, is still working fairly hard.

Usually, I watch two episodes of Coronation Street, which equals about forty minutes. When Tim is home, we usually watch one or two episodes of our current mutual show.  Last week we DID end up watching four episodes of 12 Monkeys, and a few days later, we watched three episodes, in a row, of 11:22:63.  We sat on our butts through all of those with only a few toilet breaks.

I don't have scans to prove it, but I don't feel my brain power was damaged or lessoned in any way.

Maybe if we watched that much of one show everyday? Then I might worry.

But really...I worry less for my brain, and more for my butt and bladder.  I think it's tiresome to sit that long, which is ANOTHER reason why I'm not jumping on the cheap Aussie plane ticket thing. Whether it's a bargain price or overpriced, I don't like having to sit through a long plane ride.

27. Saw that Andrew Fraser (David Wenham) in The Killing Time is quick to notice the sins of others but refuses to acknowledge his own faults and losses.

For example, he gets fired from his law job, but when the subject comes up, he avoids telling his drug dealer and one of his clients.

I think most of us are like that in some ways.  Though I confess some of my weaknesses on this blog, I'm sure I spend much more of my blog space complaining about OTHER people.

I know from experience I'm not the only one who does that.

I think, though, there are people like Andrew Fraser who take it too far.

28. Thought that there are three levels of people when it comes to admitting faults.

A) People who never or rarely admit to any weaknesses. They don't make any self-deprecating jokes. They often talk negatively about other people.

B) People who will readily admit weaknesses, but ones that are funny and charming. I'm so bad at remembering which actor is in which movie!  I'm such a klutz. I'm always tripping over my own shoelaces. I always cry at the end of movies and I look so ugly when I cry! Vegetables make me fart!

They see much worse faults in others and talk about them. They themselves have much worse faults, but they either don't recognize them, or they refuse to admit to them.

C) People who will admit to deeper and darker weaknesses. Sometimes I have racist thoughts. I really want to slap my kid sometimes. When my wife is talking to me, I often totally zone out.  I was a bully in high school. I'm not a fan of dogs. 

These people will see weaknesses in others, but they see the same, and/or different weaknesses in themselves.

29. Wondered if the real Andrew Fraser was an A/B person.

And if he was, did prison change him into a C person?

30. Had some thoughts  about Hannah on Home and Away.

Maybe I can understand her feelings towards Andy.

I think it might be similar to how I feel about Australia.

At one time, I was madly in love with Australia.  It was to the point where I had no interest in going other places. I had no interest in reading books that weren't Australian.  I listened to pretty much only Australian music. I was obsessed with moving to Australia.

That was the crazed-love stage.

Now I still love Australia, but with less intensity. It's more of a warm and cozy love.  There are days where warm and cozy love is more intense. Then there are days where the love is much less intense.

Sometimes the intensity is so low, I worry that the love is gone. There are days where I begin to wonder if I should drop this whole Australia thing.  In those moments, sometimes the only thing that makes me say no to dropping it is a fear of failure.  I don't want Australia to join the graveyard of all my other past obsessions.

The thing is, I'm GLAD I always make the decision to stick with my Australia love, even if it's only for stupid and pathetic reasons. Why? Because of all the other days where I AM feeling the love and that love brings me happiness.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe Hannah hasn't stopped loving Andy completely. Maybe her love is just taking a break.  Just like my Australia-love sometimes takes a break.

The big difference is this. Hannah had an affair with another man. That's not quite accepted in society. Nor is it likely to be accepted by Andy.

When I have my temporary loss-of-Australia love, I'm perfectly free to find love elsewhere. No one's going to villainize me for loving on Coronation Street or 12 Monkeys. Not many people are going to think less of me for having a desire to visit Iceland...(which I forgot to mention above).

Romantic relationships can be very hard, because not only does it demand commitment, but it usually also requires saying no to other people that we find alluring and attractive.