Sunday, June 30, 2019

June 30. Day 180. Night of nights

Winners are grinners.
Tom Gleeson grinned when he picked up the Gold Logie tonight. Indeed he told us we should all lighten up. He was a comedian. He made jokes. Smile and the world smile with you.
Not so much tonight. Making a joke about an industry's top prize is probably not going down well. Tonight there was no probably about it.
It wasn't so much that Gleeson had run a slick campaign. People probably would have forgiven him for that.
Gleeson's sin was not being gracious in his win. His sin was not acknowledging the hard work and success of all those in the room. His sin was not really understanding the tradition and history attached to that little gold statue - or at least not being seen to do so.
The red win in hand when he made the speech may have had something to do with that. He won't be the first person to wake up the next morning with regrets.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

June 29. Day 179. Filling in the Blanks

For the late 70s, Blankety Blanks walked about as close to the line as you could get. That's why Australians loved it. It was risque and full of double entendres but not actually blatantly rude or crass - well not by 70s standards. Contestants were asked to fill in the blanks of a sentence, a sentence obviously designed to allow funny or foul answers. "That girl's dress is so tight, I swear you can see her ...."  You could say lunch or underwear or unborn child or tampon. Well perhaps not all of those given the time slot but you get the idea. We loved it. We loved Graham Kennedy and Ugly Dave Grey. We loved that it was retired after tow seasons before it overstayed its welcome. So I was excited to be in the audience of Dolly Diamond's Blankety Blanks tonight. It was a staged version with two contestants so young they clearly had no idea what was going on at the start. The celebrities did, however, and it made for a whole lot of fun and a great trip down memory lane.

Friday, June 28, 2019

June 28. Day 178. Such a drag

I watched drag queens do their make-up tonight. I was in a dressing room in The Powerhouse as part of the performance of La Silhouette. The make-up was fascinating as was the show that was revealing itself around it.
What was unfolding was a story about queer history in Brisbane. It was about police protection and brutality, gambling, harassment and intimidation and an underground culture that survived and thrived despite all the obstacles. We were invited into a cabaret club to watch and join in, to observe and learn and in my case even pick up some make-up tips from some of the best in the business.
It was a night to remember.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

June 27. Day 177. Somewhere over the rainbow

There's obviously something in the air right now. Check your social media feed and it's almost certain to be overflowing with rainbow pics. It's not just today but for a week or so the environmental conditions have been just right to create one of nature's great beauties - the rainbow. It really doesn't  matter how many rainbow you see, there's always something just a bit special. Scientists have a simple explanation. Something about refraction. But there is zero romance in that. You want rainbow romance you need to go to The Wizard of Oz or Kermit the Frog. Those guys understood. The pot of gold may be a myth but the magic endures

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

June 26. Day 176. Say cheese

It pains me to say so, but it turns out The Wiggles are not always right (Here I am not talking about the incident of the "salaried Wiggle" Sam Moran being dumped in favour of founding member Greg Page).
No, according to The Wiggles in their song Talking Cow they tell children "Camels' milk won't curdle. There's no camels' cheese."
Turns out that's a big, fat lie. I know this because I tasted camel haloumi and camel cheddar, camel feta and fromage blanc - and it was not only delicious it was locally produced. So how did The Wiggles get it so wrong? In fairness it is not so much a lie as out of date information. Camel's milk has less fat and lactose than cow's milk so it is notoriously difficult to turn into cheese, especially cheddar. But the creative brains of Summer Land Camels  in the Scenic Rim and Pure Artisan Cheese in Mount Tamborine cracked the code. They admit their initial efforts didn't turn out well (much like the ill-fated Yellow Wiggle handover) but they didn't give up and the proof of the cheese is in the tasting. And the good news is for those with dodgy tummies, the very thing that makes camel milk difficult to turn into cheese is what makes it so attractive.
That low fat/low lactose combination may be the foe of the cheese maker but it is the friend of all those with a problem tolerating cows' milk. That's enough to have everyone smiling. Say "cheese".

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

June 25. Day 175. Picture This

God I'm talented. I can drink and paint at the same time. Admittedly I can't do either of them very well but I can do them at the same time.
I really enjoys plashing paint on a canvas but it kind of terrifies me more than other artistic endeavours. An actual blank canvas presents endless possibilities and it is that open-endedness that makes it so confronting.
There really is no right and wrong in art. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all at but there are things I would like on my wall and things I wouldn't and I know where I draw the line. Throwing in a couple of drinks doesn't actually move the line but it blurs it. So tonight I went to a paint and sip session. That's where you have wine while you paint socially. It was great. My painting wasn't. I didn't actually care.

Monday, June 24, 2019

June 24. Day 174. On the ball

I did a wee small bit of baby sitting today. Well, actually what I did was play soccer and handball and shoot hoops.
It turns out I can still land a ball through the middle of a basketball hoop.
It turns out I can beat the goalie when he is five years old.
It turns out that when the said five-year-old throws a sticky ball somewhere in the region of my sticky catching mitt I can catch it fairly well.
It also turns out that when the opponent is scoring and making the rules up as he goes along the chances of winning are next to none.
But it was a bright sunny afternoon and it was very nice to play in the garden.
I also put a two year old to sleep and read bedtime stories and had the joy of the post sleep cuddle.
So that's a win and no-one was keeping score.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

June 23. Day 173. To market. To market

I love going to the markets on a Sunday. It's true that some markets are full of cheap, low quality imports. Those markets I avoid. Some markets are full of fresh local produce. Those I don't mind but they fall into the category of grocery shopping.  It elevates the experience of a necessary evil but it's still a necessary evil.
But then there's the markets filled with hand made and designer items. These markets are my friends.
We get on like a house on fire.
Today I was back at one of my favs - the city botanic gardens.
I blame Charles because he needed to go into the officer and that put me just around the corner. It would have been wrong not to drop in. It would have been wrong not to admire the good on offer. It would have been rude not to buy something. I am not that rude. And the dogs gave their regards to the ducks. We were all winners.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

June 22. Day 172. Ice, ice baby

For someone who had four wisdom teeth removed yesterday, my niece Cleo was looking very chipper this morning.
Sure the only food she was eating was pureed and sure the ice packs were being regularly replaced but all things considered I've seen a lot worse.
Really why does evolution not get rid of those teeth and not destine just about everyone to surgery in their late teens.
Why are parents of those in their late teens forced to pay the price for redundant teeth?
This hardly seems just. We've endured the pain in our teens only to have to cop the financial pain.
But that's a bigger issue. Today's issue was Cleo. She may not have been about to tuck into a juicy steak or even go for a jog but I've seen patients look far worse with four new holes in their mouths. Any anyway, apple puree tastes pretty fine ... on day one post surgery.

Friday, June 21, 2019

June 21. Day 171. Chaos and confetti

When you think of all the horror stories about weddings, it's no wonder so many people elope. 
I mean really for something that is supposed to be "the happiest day of my life" there is so much that can go wrong and oh so much politics.
Who to invite, who sits where, who pays for bridesmaids dresses and what they look like, who gets too drunk and says things they shouldn't, who gets too drunk and does things they shouldn't. And that's before you get to speeches. It's a wonder more weddings don't end in divorce before the honeymoon. But we love weddings because we love love. And also because we love a laugh. This is why Chaos and Confetti works so well.
We are guests at a wedding from hell, where all the things you've ever heard go wrong at a wedding reception will play out over the course of a three course meal. It's huge fun and you don't even need to worry about what present to buy,
What more can you ask for?

Thursday, June 20, 2019

June 20. Day 170. Reflective beauty

I was in the City Botanic Gardens today with the dogs.
They love the smells. I've I'm honest I don't think the smells of the gardens are their best feature.
On market day, the food vans certainly add an element of deliciousness to the air, that's for sure.
When the floral gardens are in bloom that's also deliciously fragrant, I admit.
But those are not the areas that attract the dogs. They head straight to the ponds and frequently the area nearest places such as ibis roosts. They are pretty much how you would expect a bird roost to smell.
But they are pretty. So while the dogs sniffed  I used my mother senses, mostly sight.
On a calm day like today the water lilies are beautiful.
I'm not really a pink kind of girl but there is no doubting the beauty of the reflective glory of a lily on a pond. If the dogs lifted their noses above the bird poo they may have appreciated it. I somehow doubt it. But then again, I'm never likely to take to the delights of duck dung so I guess we are even. Each to their own

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

June 19. Day 169. Screen time

Pretty much every rant about "kids these days" will talk about their screen time. Well that must make me a cool kid because I really am every bit as addicted to my phone as the next person. But my screen time is many and varied. I still have square eyes from the box in the corner. And I love seeing a movie at the cinema. I don't, however, tend to choose the big mega complexes. Personally I favour the smaller venues. I prefer the intimate environment to the bangs and whistles. I like wine and cheese. I like quality rather than large numbers of seats. Today that too me to New Farm Cinemas which includes a few real touches of the past in its foyer. Sadly, I still remember canvas seats even though they were not common "when i was a kid". They still existed. The Dawn at Chermside certainly had them. There's a kid of nostalgia to them but personally I'm sure there was a reason they were replaced - and not just the lack of cup holder for your drink . .... but that too.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

June 18. Day 168. Chatterboxes

You know the old proverb: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." I have a variation. Gift a child a toy and he'll play with it for five seconds. Give him the box it came in and he'll have no end of fun. Kids find such joy from open-ended play inspired by things with endless possibilities.
Child's play is not "just" child's play. As parents we want to encourage that creativity but we don't always have the skills or the time or the resources. Enter Little Artists at Play. Every Tuesday morning during the school term the Turbine Platform at the Brisbane Powerhouse is transformed into a dynamic creative space just for kids aged five and under and their people.
The project is led by Brisbane-based performing arts company Imaginary Theatre which each term invites a guest artist to develop a world of play just for little people.
"Children under five are the experts in play," says Imaginary Theatre's general manager Fiona MacDonald. "So this program Little Artists at Play for us is about going “How do we put artists and babies and toddlers and let them do what they do naturally."
The Imaginary team want to make experiences that don't replicate what is already in the market but rather to create art that is immersive, surprising and fun.
"It's really honing in and responding to the needs, those very particular and special and wonderful needs of babies and toddlers," says Fiona. "And really getting to the bottom of what play is, and how artists play, it’s how artists make their artwork and it’s how children learn. "
And one of the beauties of the program from a parent's point-of-view is it is free. You can give it a go and your small person can engage in his or her own way for as long a time as either of you wants to.
It's a formula that is proving extremely popular with families.
"We often joke that the Turbine Platform on a Tuesday morning is Brisbane’s living room because particularly around 11 o’clock we’ve got mums, dads, uncles, aunts, grandma, grandpas, day care workers and various people… laying on the floor playing with children. "
Today I was one of those "various people" playing with my buddies Owen Elliott in boxes, on phones and on microphone. We were enjoying Chatterbox, the Term 2 interactive installation designed by visual artist Amelia Kalifia and a bunch of QUT Creative Industries students including my own son.
Sadly Little Artists at Play wasn't a thing when my boy was a Little Artist. Had it been, I know we would have been regulars. It's just the creative outlet we sought. And quite frankly it would be too good an opportunity to miss. Plus there's coffee and cake on hand and New Farm Park just next door plus a tribe of like-minded parents.
"That’s the community atmosphere we wanted to make here where people feel really safe and really welcome to come into one of Brisbane’s premier arts venues and not feel like they have to put on their best frocks and gowns," says Fiona. "They can rock up in there trackies, no make up who cares… walk in from the playground, bring your kids and have a really incredible time. "
So what are you waiting for? The next Powerkids: Little Artists at Play season starts when school returns.

Monday, June 17, 2019

June 17. Day 167. City beats

I actually hate people like me. I think they have no appreciation of art or culture. I think they have no respect for talent or performance or the value of the creative industries.
I think they take creative people for granted.
Now given what I do both professionally and recreationally, such a claim might seem odd.
But today, I confirmed myself as a member of the group I despised. I became a person who appreciated a busker without coughing up.
I didn't mean to. It wasn't my fault. It's just that I pretty much never carry cash and buskers pretty much never take card.
Everything I need to do in the city I can do with the tap of a card or a swipe of an app. No-one really wants your cash except the busker.
I rather suspect it's an industry-wide problem for street performers. People are now glued to their phones, tuning out the world with their headphones and cashless. There's their business model broken right there. It's sad. Street performers add life and yet I fear it's a dying industry.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

June 16. Day 166. Stormy weather

The weather today was like me at an all-you-can eat dessert buffet. Really indecisive. Yesterday I promised the dogs an afternoon trip to the beach. I woke up and thought "no chance". I went back to bed. I woke to sunshine. Right then, I thought. New plan where the new plan is the old plan. Beach. We got ready. By the time we got out the door the clouds were gathering. By the time we got to the other side of town the threat was imminent and inevitable: A bit like my stomach after that dessert bar. New plan. A walk along Kedron Brook.  The dogs get their walk and their swim and we are less likely to die on slippery or flooded roads or in poor visibility due to a tropical downpour. Win. Win. And even though I believe my dogs to be most advanced, if pushed I might just concede that they did not know I'd said beach. But now I've put it in writing ...

Saturday, June 15, 2019

June 15. Day 165. Raking it in

 I hate gardening. 
I'm lazy.
And I don't like dirt under my fingernails.
Also I kill things.
So I hate gardening.
But I like gardens. And I like playing in the garden.
I especially like watching kids play in the garden and listening to the shriek. 
There's always such joy.
They even seem to love things I hate; like raking and picking up leaves and hosing and digging. Today two-year-old Owen was my gardening buddy.
Well he did the raking while I supervised and nodded approvingly.
We did hunt for caterpillars together an activity I approve of even though I'm sure it only counts as gardening if your intent is the kill the caterpillar to protect the plants and not because you think they are awesome. This is why I kill plants. This is why I hate gardening.

Friday, June 14, 2019

June 14. Day 164. Afternoon delight

It's great when some random person decides to take the time to talk to you (provided of course what the person has to say is 1) interesting and 2) not abusive or if it is abusive at least not directed at me or funny abusive). Anyway, the dogs and I were walking along Kedron Brook. I was taking a photo of cockatoos in flight. A bloke walking by watched. He pointed out a tree on the other side of the brook and advised that in about 30 minutes it would be going off. Challenge accepted. We didn't even have to wait. A couple of early birds were already there. Yay.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

June 13. Day 163. Cheers big ears

I love a place that is well set out for dogs and their humans. This afternoon we could have gone to the New Farm dog park that is a dream for dogs. I could have gone to a New Farm cafe which would have been a dream for humans. Instead, I met Linda outside the Powerhouse. This meant we could sit by the water, watch the world go by and drink champagne. In addition there were plenty of water bowls for the dogs and the cafe sold dog treats. 
Not a bad way to spend a Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

June 12. Day 162. Short and sweet

You can tell quite a story in 10 minutes (depending on who's telling it).
There are some - you know who you are - who get so sidetracked by who was sitting beside who and what day of the week it was that at the 10 minute mark you are 1. Still waiting for the actual story to start and 2). praying it will end.
But the Short and Sweet Festival is about drama told in under 10 minutes.
It's bright and breezy and a whole lot of fun.
We attended the first night of the theatre strand tonight and it was a jolly good time.
And then, just before we went home, I spied a nice little spot on the Tribune Platform where the light was interesting and made Oliver pose for a photo.
You have 10 minutes to make up a story to accompany this image. Go

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

June 11. Day 161. Two bee

It's a bit weird when you live as close to the CBD as I do that chook and bee workshops are a thing nearby.
It's even weirder (in a good way) that there's a community garden with chickens and bee hives in walking distance.
The world is starting to wake up to not thinking about the things we don't want in our back yard and instead looking at what we do.
I'm not sure chickens would work here. In fact, I know they wouldn't because my dogs would drive them mad and visa versa.
But bees we could potentially do.  Or perhaps I could at least do a workshop and find out.
The next one is already full (clearly they are popular) but the bees and the chooks aren't likely to be going anywhere any time soon and neither am I.

Monday, June 10, 2019

June 10. Day 160. Flight of the Ibis

Everyone's a critic.
So sometimes you just screen out all the noise. Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. All the critics have said Tolkien is a a pretty shit movie . But I thought I knew better. I didn't. It was a pretty shit movie.
But at least one good thing came out of my decision to see it.
I was in the region of the Roma Street Parklands so I decided to drop in.
I should go there more often. I tell myself that every time I drop by.
But not only do I make poor decisions I never learn when I make good ones.
Some people just can't be helped.