Sunday, October 13, 2019

Oh my, I'm on a roll today! Redderina theory issue...

I've been fascinated by the theory that Katarina had a sex change to become Reddington.

The 'fact' Katarina enters present day Blacklist in season seven might convince many that Reddington can't be Katarina after a sex change op. Theories are already developing that the Katarina of season seven isn't the real Katarina...

Imagination that, Reddington is Katarina and Katarina is... God only knows. Reddington? Ilya? I look forward to seeing that theory unfold.

There is something I haven't been able to find on the net. While fans have been comparing Reddington's eye color and hair colour with the Reddington on the wanted poster, and Katrina's young eye and hair colour with the older Katarina, we all know eye color and hair colour can be changed. Lenses and hair dye are great for this. Sex can be changed as well, of course.

What about height? Can height be changed in adulthood? Well, maybe to make someone shorter, but to make someone taller? In 12 months?

You see Katarina would need to gain 3-4 inches (7.5 to 10cm) to become Reddington - that would stretch belief.

Reddington is 5'10 (178cm), and Katrina's height is variably 5'5" (168cm) at 30 played by Lotte Verbeek and 5'7" (170cm) at 60 play by Laila Robins.

How does Katarina grow like this? Growth hormones don't work on adults because growth plates close in girls around 13-15 years of age and in boy at 15-17 years. 

'Slpain me that one.

Does Reddington have dementia?..

I have noticed Reddington plays a lot of games in the fifth season. Puzzles, strategy games, word games. There are also a couple of references to his death for several minutes in Marrakech.

This mirrors Samar's situation after drowning and being revived in the sixth season. Due to her temporary death, parts of her brain died causing vascular dementia.

Progressive memory loss might explain Reddington's determination to tick the people off his blacklist. He wants to protect Lizzy before he forgets those who threaten her.  Of course, being able to spend time with her before he no longer recognises her is a bonus.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Raymond Reddington is dying...

Reddington is dying...

This is another theory I have about The Blacklist.

Raymond 'Red' Reddington is dying and that is what all his closest people keep telling him 'Elizabeth deserves to know the truth' about.

The first hint about this is in SE1, EP8 when Elizabeth's foster father calls her from his hospital bed. Sam Milhoan has terminal cancer. He tells her he is in just having a few tests.

A nurse tending to Sam overhears his conversation with Elizabeth and tells him he should tell Elizabeth - that she 'deserves to know'. Later in the episode Sam tells Raymond he only has six weeks to live and that he wants to tell Lizzie Red's secret, Raymond says, 'No'. Sam responds with, 'She deserves to know the truth'. 

Raymond smothers Sam with a pillow, though it is implied Sam wants to die and that Raymond is doing him a kindness. Sam thanks him beforehand. Raymond is distressed while smothering Sam and kisses him goodbye before leaving.

In following seasons we see Reddington using medications, injecting himsel, and drinking green smoothies. At one point he involves the task force in a case about a doctor willing to trial experimental cures on terminal patients desperate to try anything. At the end of that episode Raymond confirms that this doctor is still working on a case for him.

How does Reddington surrendering to the FBI fit in with this situation of him dying? Well, partly it affords him the opportunity to be close to his daughter, who he has had to watch from afar throughout her life. Additionally, it allows him to eliminate threats to Elizabeth's safety after he dies. 

The Blacklist is Red's bucket list.

He is having a bet each way, if he is able to secure a cure for the illness he is dying from, great! If not, he wants to do what he can to protect Lizzie after his death. additional twist would be that what Red has is congenital and there is a chance he might have passed whatever it is to Lizzie - so, the cure might be for her.

I'm about halfway through the first season again. There may be further theories coming.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Raymond 'Red' Reddington is...

Raymond 'Red' Reddington.

Yes, it's a double bluff.

I've been fan-girling on James Spader for many years now, but by far my favourite character of his is Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist.

For those who don't watch the show (you're missing out, by the way from a writer's perspective), the premise of the show is that of a notorious criminal who has been on the run for nearly three decades, turns himself in to the FBI and offers his services to track down some of the most desirable criminal fugitives on the planet - but only if he gets to work with the newly minted FBI agent Elizabeth Keen. The Blacklist is a list of criminals not only important to the FBI, but to Reddington as well for a yet undisclosed reason. He manages to kill most of the criminals before they are captured - except those few who are useful to him, usually in capturing other criminal he wants dead.

The overarching question of the series is 'Who is Reddington?' Who is he to Elisabeth, that he only wants to work with her?

Is he her father? Elizabeth was raised in a foster home, so is open to finding her biological father.

Some think he's her mother - a double agent for the KGB and the Cabal - after a sex change operation.

Is he her mother's childhood friend, Ilya Koslov, who had a facelift to look like the real Raymond Reddington - a naval officer her mother had been tasked with turning against his country. 

All sorts of twisting and turning story lines have taken us through six seasons, so far.

With the seventh season coming out next Friday (in the US, who knows how long they'll make us wait in Australia), I took it upon myself to watch the entire series again to refresh my memory.

By the end of the sixth season we've learned that Reddington was Elizabeth's father as the result of her spy mother, Katarina, having an extra marital affair with Reddington. Boy, was her stepdad pissed about that one. We then find out that the Reddington we know is not, in fact, the Reddington Katarina had the affair with. Then Elizabeth is told by her maternal grandfather, Dom, that the imposter pretending to be Reddington is Katarina's childhood friend Ilya, who had his face changed to look like Reddington so he could access Reddington's bank accounts to fund Katarina going on the run from the KGB and the Cabal.

Are you still with me? Congratulations.

So, all sorts of theories abound.

Several people around the man we know as Reddington know who he really is, and all have encouraged him to tell Elizabeth because she 'deserves the truth'. Many of those people have been killed by Reddington to preserve his secret.

The closing scene of the sixth season shows Reddington finally locating Katarina - after not having seen her for an undisclosed length of time, we're led to believe nearly thirty years.

On meeting they kiss, rather passionately, before she injects him with some sort of paralysing agent - never trust an ex, they're an ex for a reason!

I think that crosses out the theory that Reddington is Katarina after a sex change operation (I didn't believe that, myself). I think the kiss is too passionate for it to be Ilya because we've seen evidence that Ilya's depth of love for Katarina is unrequited.

So, this is what I think - given Reddington's obvious and overwhelming protective love for Elizabeth - Reddington is in fact the real Reddington. I believe that he survived the fire he was supposed to have died in and that knowing he couldn't trust Katarina, who had conspired to frame him to look like a traitor to his country, he fled into hiding.

He was also motivated by wanting to keep his daughter - Elizabeth - safe.

I believe he caught up with Ilya and killed him, so the real Reddington - the one who gave himself up - could slip back into his own life and become a criminal as he was believed to be anyway. Doing that allowed him to build a crime syndicate, and create a nest egg for Elizabeth. He surrendered himself when he realised Elizabeth was in ever increasing danger for being the daughter of a double agent and a criminal mastermind (they do tend to attract enemies - who knew).

Tonight I watched a 'behind the scenes' show on YouTube where executive producer, Lukas Reiter, - referring to the identity of the Reddington we know - posed the question; Who would care this much about Elizabeth Keen and keeping her safe?

Parents are the most invested in their children. None cares about a person more than their parents (in an ideal world).

We know Elizabeth's mother is alive, we know her mother's husband is definitely not her father. We know Ilya is not her father, and of course her foster father Sam has died - was killed by the shows Reddington.

Who does that leave but Reddington?

He has burn scars on his back. Ilya definitely wasn't suffering extensive burns after the fire, and had no reason to have them surgically replicated as the pre-fire Reddington had no burns either.

Although, there was a suitcase of bones in play which matched blood stained clothing in police storage, there is nothing to say those bones didn't belong to Ilya after Reddington caught up with him or that the blood stained clothing wasn't Ilya's. *I need to add here that after writing this post I remembered The Alchemist (S.1, E.12). The Alchemist is said to be able to change DNA. Taking that into account the best way to discover synthesised DNA - according to the shows logic - is to do a spinal cord biopsy. Therefore, the DNA taken from the skeleton, - no spinal cord available - the DNA result from the bones attributed to the real Raymond Reddington, could have been mis-diagnosed if the Alchemist changed the DNA. The bones could be Ilya's.

Reddington did have cosmetic surgery, but that would have been to repair burns and minimise scaring from the fire.

Each criminal on the Blacklist is numbered, and we have yet to find out who the no.1 Blacklister is. My bet is Katarina. Reddington had her, but expecting he would sooner or later she was ready for him. 

Here is why she would make the top of the list - Reddington once explained the code he lives by to Elizabeth;

Red: I live and work by a very strict code built on loyalty, justice, trust. I survive because I eliminate those who betray it.

Katarina is a pretty good candidate for lister no.1 because Reddington loved her so deeply and she betrayed him so greatly.

There you have it. Our Raymond 'Red' Reddington is, in fact, himself!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Finding myself..

I've been struggling for some time to figure out who I am in terms of style. This has been an ongoing process since I ever became aware of style, and here I am at 47 still struggle with it. I've come close at times. I know for example that I don't do well dressing like most of society. I always have to stand out - whether I really want to or not. I'm not sure why this is. I guess I'm just not into fashion as such. I've worn all sorts of things in an attempt to find myself style wise. Peasant clothing (and by that I mean actual clothing that resembles what peasants work centuries back), all monochrome, loud colours - REALLY loud designs. Lagenlook (look it up)). Just recently, I thought I'd found myself in swing tops and balloon pants. Apparently not, because I'm still looking.

Some of the changes I've made have been in pursuit of fitting in. Fitting in with my alternative friends, or in with the office environment expectation of dress. Neither suits me.

The other thing I've always tried to avoid is anything resembling brown, including oranges and warm neutrals. This stems directly from associating brown with my mother and all the furnishings of our home in the 70s. Mum told me last year that those were not her choice of colour but that having to live within the very strict confines of what my dad thought was reasonable budgeting for clothing and decorations, she had limited herself to browns to be sure her clothes always worked together.

It struck my then that the reason I had not like all the brown and orange, and had associated this with mum was that those colours were not colours that reflected her personality.

Slowly, I've reintroduced myself to oranges. I've come to terms with orange. I've come to accept that warmer colours work better on me than cooler colours - although my skin is a neutral colour. And having accepted that my base of complimentary colours sits within what would be considered an Autumn in all those colour coding systems I've also come across a system called Dressing Your Truth, which is also a colour system, but based on your personality. Like so many things I've tried before I don't know for sure that this will work either but I'm willing to give it a try. As it turns out, my personality - the drive I have to get things done, to be loud, and a bit pushy, even to walk heavily on my feet and not be the cultural definition of what is considered feminine (the reason behind changing my name from Claudette to Sif to soften the sound of my very name), is a type 3, which is a colour range that fits within the autumn palette. Though, DYT will argue that neither black nor which belong in the colour range, which some charts disagree with that argument.

Unfortunately, with my recent attempt to fade into the background by wearing monochromes, and black and white and grey, I've just gone through my wardrobe and there isn't much left. Interestingly, the stuff I bought from Keshet, that I've been hanging onto until I lose some more weight IS within the colour range. It seems I was on the right track there. Which is good, because I felt good wearing them. I put them aside because I felt they were too loud for the office.

So, here we go again. Hopefully this time I'll get a lot closer to finding myself - at least my style - a bit quicker.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

My biggest vice...

My biggest vice is my shopholism. Seriously, my name is Sif and I am a shopoholic.

I try not to be. I've locked myself out of shopping sites such as eBay and Aliexpress, but I end up just letting myself in again because I NEED something. The thing is, there is always something else that I need.

Recently, it has been clothes and shoes. When we first moved into this house it was furniture items. Just recently I bought a fold out bed for Erik because he was staying here a lot but you know, he never uses it, he just dosses down on the couch (which annoys me, by the way).

Internet shopping has really fuelled my shopping fervour. It is just so easy, it's like drive through and not having to leave the car - I don't even have to leave the house. I'm also addicted to getting packages. It's so exciting to have deliveries. Sometimes I can't even remember what I'm waiting on in the mail - then it's like a little surprise.

Being a minimalist just plays into it. I like to declutter. I LOVE getting a skip and filling it up, or sending Dave to op-shops with a boot full of donations. Of course, this then leaves space and an imagined need to buy more stuff. It's s vicious cycle.

I'm very nervous about having our household income reduced so severely now. Even though I'm losing about 2/5 of my annual income, it seems I'm working too many hours a week for Dave to qualify for getting his carer payment back. I need to be working 25 hours or less a week, and while I'm working 22.8, they also count travel time because it is time away when he is not caring for me. So, basically, his income is the $130 or so a fortnight he gets in carers allowance. The rest is the money I earn plus my pension and family allowance. We're not on the poverty line, we can pay our rent, our utilities, food, and petrol, but after that there is basically $50 a week left. So, we can't afford any kind of emergencies.

Obviously, I'll be looking for work to fill in the two days I've just lost. Obviously, I'm very grateful for having a job at all - so many people in our organisation have been given redundancies or have not had their contracts renewed. It is no reflection on their abilities, it is just that with the NDIS arriving the entire disabilities services sector is undergoing enormous change. It is affecting all organisations across the board and many jobs are being cut.

Less money means less money to spend on stuff we really don't need, which is on the face of it a good thing. The thing is this addiction to shopping is soothing some issue I'm avoiding and now I'll have to deal with it, I don't know what it is. I'm scared. I'm also scared because my other self-soothing activity is eating chips and lollies - something else I won't be able to afford.

Expect more blogging, writing is something that helps me a lot. You'll probably get to see a lot of the darker side of my world interpretation. My apologies in advance if you find it frightening.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Put together...

Having bought Bryn a new phone of his choice (within reason), I have managed to get my rather old, but trusty, Mac back. Getting use to the old commands has been... interesting. I'd completely forgotten how to set up accessibility on a Mac - it use to feel intuitive. I have to say though that a Mac system still dacks on a Microsoft system in regards to accessibility. There are no jaggies! I feel like my vision is so much clearer.

Anyway, that is not what this post is going to be about. I just get a bit distracted, you know, it's an ADHD thing.

What this post is about is my ongoing struggle to find just the right look for myself. I know this is fairly vain but actually it's quite important if you think about it. Being put together shows forethought. It shows attention to detail. Being put together shows an understanding of oneself. Basically, is about being stable, trustworthy, and centred.

Lately, I haven't been feeling particularly put together at all. I've felt messy, all over the place, and between styles, which I think rightly reflects my state of being at this stretch in time. I'm in a state of transition and flux where I'm trying to let go of the past and step into the future, or better still the present. I'm looking forward to reducing my working week to three days, although it will be a financial strain on the household budget especially because I'm determined not to move from this house in October - I really love this place.

I'm in the middle of a discussion about doing a little shadowing in an area where I'd like to see my career open up. It's exciting, but nothing concrete just yet.

I've also just gotten my second NDIS plan accepted. It's pretty much the same as the last one: I've still got personal training - YES! -, house cleaning, and gardening. This time I'm actually using the funds allocated for a physio and went to see one for the first time ever, yesterday. I'm also going to get a support person, specifically to go shopping with me. It will mean I can get the weekly shopping done myself and stop relying on Dave to do it. His legs are so bad now, he prefers to do single basket shopping two or three times a day. It is driving my batshit insane, and it's no good for the budget. What I'm planning is to get someone to go with me on a Monday or Friday once my schedule settles down. I'll do a weekly shop. I might also get someone in to help me do a big cook once a week so I can freeze some quick meals because I know that is something else Dave is struggling with.

Figuring out how to make the most of those two extra free week days is another area of transition for me, right now. There are a lot of things I'd like to do. Obviously, there are things I need to fit in. My second trainer was unable to work with me this past year because he's only available Monday-Wednesday, and I was working all of those days (all days during the week). Now though, I can fit him in - if he can fit me in. I like his approach, he uses a lot of body weight exercises, which I enjoy. With my usual PT I'll continue on with cardio mostly - more boxing would be great. The physio will be another to fit in. I'm seeing him twice this coming week. The physio shouldn't be ongoing though, just a few weeks and then whenever needed.

I'd really like to get another day's work - or even some gainful volunteering - happening. Something that would help me move towards the kind of work I really enjoy. It's not that I'm loathing working in recreation I like the people, but I'm very much more an advocacy leaning type of person. Whether it be through public speaking, writing, liaising with community and state, or even federal bodies. I like those sort of negotiations. And these are the sorts of things my studies have skilled me for.

Take for example an upcoming opportunity I've created for myself. I'm going to a day long seminar/course type of thing on working with people from migrant and refugee communities. My manager then wants me to teach our team what I learn on the day. This is exactly the sort of thing I've studied for. Teaching, I can do that!

So, back to the clothes. I've wasted money and time trying to put myself together. Today, I think I've started moving in a direction which will work for me. It helps that current styles are leaning towards late 80s fashion - Lord help me, I nearly bought a jeans jacket today... Anyway, I have options I can work with and a sillhouette which suits me. I have high hopes of feeling more put together soon, and with that more settled.

Now, where did I put my phone? Maybe Bryn will know...