Friday, February 23, 2018

February 23. Day 54. Apples to apples

Yada, Yada, Yada

Demi Lardner
Luke Heggie
I never knew how much passion people had for apples. To me, it's largely a question of red or green. The red ones I eat. The green ones are for cooking. How wrong am I. It started this week, when my son refused an apple I had in my bag because it was a Royal Gala. He was hungry but not hungry enough to bite into anything else but a Pink Lady. This is weird for a person who for years would only eat green apples because Snow White had taught him the red ones were poisonous. The next day in a consultation with a student about something completely different, she volunteered that she would only eat Pink Lady Apples. None of this Royal Gala nonsense. Either this is a "thing" or I just happen to attract Pink Lady tragics. I decided some peer reviewed quality research was needed. I took to social media instead. The outpouring of love for the the Pink Lady was instantaneous and overwhelming. Okay, let's take this hypothesis to a wider audience. Today I was fortunate enough to be invited to a media preview ahead of tonight's opening gala of the Brisbane International Comedy festival. We were given one-on-ones with three performers -Luke Heggie,  Demi Lardner and Yada, Yada, Yada (AKA Lauren Edwards and Jude Perl). Five minutes with each. That's not long enough to delve deep into their psycho and runs the risk of asking the same stock questions and getting the same stock answers. So let's go all random. The same five questions for each, not at all related to their performances - at least as a starting point.
Our questions were.
1. If you could ask five people living or dead to a dinner party, would Barnaby Joyce be one of them?
2. A quick game of F**k, Marry, Kill with the choices being Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein and Karl Stefanovic
3. Which reality TV show would you be forced off first: "I'm a Celebrity Get me Out of Here", My Kitchen Rules or Married at First Sight?
4. Could you please settle an argument we are having? Which is the superior apple: Pink Lady
or Royal Gala?
5. What would you tell you 10-year-old self?
The Pink Lady was three from three. Not one person gave a moment's hesitation. They didn't even seem to think it was a randomly stupid question.
Our Brisbane Comedy Festival podcast is available for your listening pleasure here.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

February 22. Day 53. Bad hair day

I know I have no right to but I feel kind of bad. I have convinced my neighbour Margaret that she needs a carer to take her to the weekly hairdresser's appointment. We have reached a compromise where I will cover the occasional visits - such as to a specialist - while the MyAgedCare-appointed carer will be the haircut man. Today Geoff was on duty and I felt guilty. The thing I only got the taxi to the hairdresser gig by accident. When Margaret was discharged from hospital last year after a fall, I sensed she wouldn't be steady enough to make the weekly pilgrimage alone. I offered to take her for a couple of weeks until she regained her strength. Weeks became months and clearly taking a cab was now out of her reach. So I got the job by default. I know finding a more suitable permanent arrangement does not make me a bad person but I still feel bad about it. Geoff did a sterling job and she arrived home to her birds happy and groomed. Job done.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February 21. Day 52. Blowing in the wind

 Sometimes you see something that until that moment you'd never considered had to happen. It's a thing, you never knew was a thing. Such it was today. There are there beautiful bright coloured banners flapping in the wind outside QPAC.
They are there to promote Aladdin and are glorious sheer fabric numbers with the faces of the cast in costume. It would be hard to drive, walk or ride across the Victoria Bridge and not be lured into the magical cave inside the performing arts centre. What I didn't realise is that you have to work hard to retain that beauty. The Brisbane sun is hard on everyone and every thing including coloured banners. In short, they don't last the season and have to be changed.
Today I watched as a bloke struggled in the wind to pull down old banners and replace them with ones identical apart from the fading. In part the process is like hoisting a flag but it's far more complex. The raising and lowering is quite straight forward. The threading on to the wires that keep the banners neatly vertical looked far more difficult - at least in the wind. But our lone hand was not deterred. He kept at it.
The funny  thing is that you only really noticed how faded the old ones were when there was a line up of both old and new. The new ones really did outshine the old. That has to be reward in itself for a really annoying job.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February 20. Day 51. All is not lost

All Who Wander Are Not Lost. So said a sign that appeared near the bus stop at UQ some time since I was last there. It was one of a series which I suspect is an orientation thing encouraging new students to explore the campus. It's a great campus and a fine message which I suspect many, if not most students will ignore as soon as classes starts. One you know where the lecture theatres, refectory and watering hole is the wandering stops. I see a few students hanging down by the lakes but not many. All the more room for me, I say selfishly. I need to get back to mindless wandering because it is good for your mind. I also need to take the advice of one of the other recently installed signs.  "Take a minute, breathe and enjoy the surroundings." Words to live by which I will almost certainly not do,.You can take a girl to the lakes ....

Monday, February 19, 2018

February 19. Day 50. You have to laugh

I find that there is something uniquely demotivating about motivational sayings. Sure attitude counts for a lot  but a few words can not change the world as must as we might like them to. Still, there is some truth in some. Laughter is a good medicine. But take something like "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life." I don't believe that for a second. I do believe that a job you love is a whole lot better than something that will destroy your soul but a job is still a job and work is still work. You still have to work hard to perfect the things you love. Attending a play briefing for the upcoming production of Queensland Theatre's The 39 Steps highlighted this for me tonight. The cast have clearly found the rehearsal process to be a laugh. There was a playfulness in the way they described how the rehearsal room worked. But it was also clear that to make the chaos that the audience will see on stage come together seamlessly will require a huge amount of hard work and precision. There's a huge reward in that which really only comes as a dividend for the hard work put in. That almost certainly won't make the cover of a motivational book but even if it did I wouldn't read it. Perhaps if they turned it into a play...

Sunday, February 18, 2018

February 18. Day 49. The Year of the Dog

Happy Chinese New Year.
The Queen Street Mall was today overflowing with our place in Asia.
I love that but it's just as well I'm not Chinese.
The Chinese astrological calendar has The Year of the Dog coming up only one year in 12.
In our house, every day of every year belongs to the dogs. Apparently there are five types of dogs - wood, fire, earth, gold and water.
The 2018 version of dogs are the earth kind.
The earth dogs are communicative, serious and responsible in work.
Rumple might fit that bill.
No-one would confuse Winkle with being serious.
On balance our dogs are wood dogs.
Wood dogs are sincere, reliable, considerate, understanding and patient.
Elvis Presley was a wood dog. Who would have thought. My guess would be more hound dog.
Chinese astrology has no hounds but the Chinese are the home of the shih tzu so they understand my dogs. So happy new year to you and yours.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

February 17. Day 48. Roses are red

This week has kind of sucked. It sucked because I wasn't at the beach. It sucked even more because Charles is at the Coast but will spend the fortnight in a convention centre playing bridge. It sucked because it was back to work right into the chaos of Orientation Week. It sucked because I started a diet and that makes one irritable. It sucked because the heat sapped the will to live. And on top of all of that it well and truly sucked because the sleep apnea splint I took possession of feels like something invented for a torture chamber. Let's force the jaw into an unnatural position and hold it there for hours. It really hurts. So there's a bit of feeling sorry for self going on. And then the package arrived. Twelve long stemmed red roses. There was no occasion, just because which is just the way I like it. Of course the roses won't cure any of the above but a little bit of colour in a dull week does make life feel better.