Saturday, January 31, 2009

Game On!

My friend Kylie B and I went to the Game On exhibit at State Library of Queensland today.  I got a free ticket last year when I went to the SLQ Unconference, and I've just been waiting for the opportunity to go.


Game On is an interactive exhibit on the history of video games.  As their tagline says, "Play your way through the history of video games."

I don't think I've ever had so much fun going to an exhibit in my life.  It's all there, from Pong through to the Nintendo Wii, and you can play about 95% of the consoles, handhelds and arcade machines there.  Kylie and I had so much fun playing with the Wii, I have decided to buy one myself.  I love the idea of a video game that actually requires activity and movement.  We played tennis on it and it really does feel like you're playing tennis.  I think even without anyone to play with, I could have fun in my living room just playing against the console.  But I fully intend to have Wii parties too.


As well as having all the games there for you to play, you can learn about the music of video games, how the stories and plots of the games are thought up (there is an awesome post-it-note storyboard for Grand Theft Auto), the artwork, the merchandising that goes with them and the actual history of the computing that goes into them.

If you are interested even in the slightest in video games I can highly recommend this exhibit to you, but get in quick because you only have until February 15th!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kung Hei Fat Choy

As well as being Australia Day tomorrow, it is also Chinese New Year.  And if you wish to celebrate the wonderful multi-cultural country we are, open to new experiences and celebrating diversity, perhaps instead of eating lamb (which I can't do anyway, I'm allergic) you could go for a Chinese meal somewhere.

On Friday night, I went with a group of fabulous friends to Ben's Chinese-Vietnamese Restaurant at Woolloongabba.  All this weekend they are having special celebrations for Chinese New Year, with a special banquet for $39.95, lion dancing, fire crackers and lucky door prizes, as well as their usual karaoke.  I normally hate karaoke, but I got a few laughs out of Friday night's efforts.


Ben's is a favourite restaurant of mine in Brisbane, the food is absolutely exquisite there.  Their salt and pepper squid is like no other - soft and tender, super fresh with a delicate seasoning that just compliments the squid perfectly.  They didn't have it on the banquet on Friday night, but they had salt and pepper quail instead, which was seasoned with almost the same thing.  Divine.


I have to say I've never had a bad meal there, and I've been there a lot.  The service is always prompt and friendly, the food as I mentioned, divine and the prices are reasonable.

One of the great things about Friday  night for us was that we won the lucky door prize at our table.  A $40 gift voucher for the restaurant and a bottle of champers.   What I really liked was the lovely presentation of the gift voucher, in this lucky envelope.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Must... Resist... Temptation...

Yes, the Lifeline Bookfest is on again.  That wonder of wonders here in Brisbane where the Convention Centre is thrown open to the booklovers and bargain hunters of the public, and Lifeline sells off all the books, CD's and DVD's that people donate.

Nine days of absolute TONNES of books being up for sale at bargain prices, from best sellers to classics to the obscure.  Books from yellowed and old and well loved to almost new condition.  Ex library books, books from people having a clean up, or books from deceased estates.  LOTS and LOTS of books.

If you love books, I highly advise that you get yourself there, it is running now until Sunday 25th of January.

I am trying to be good and NOT go to the Lifeline Bookfest.  Because I have literally boxes and boxes of unread books in my spare room, most of them in new condition, and I've told myself that I am only allowed to purchase one book for every one I read out of the To Be Read (TBR) pile.  And no more than that!

God grant me the strength to resist!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Love Libraries?

Do you love libraries?

Then there is an event for you.  Saturday 14th of February is Library Lovers day.  Yes, the same day as Valentine's Day.  It's a movement that's happening around the world.  The Australian website is:

As my contribution to Library Lovers Day, my friend Gina and I are organising a picnic lunch at New Farm Park.  Nothing formal, just a family friendly lunch in a lovely park here in Brisbane, for like minded library lovers to meet and socialise.

It will be from 11am onwards on Saturday 14th of February, bring your own picnic lunch and something to sit on.  Perhaps bring a favourite book or two.  And remember to slip, slop, slap.

If you're interested in coming along, please do, but also please remember this is a family friendly event in a public place.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bag Yourself Some Memorabilia in Brisbane

If you're here in Brisbane, I REALLY urge you to go to this auction on the weekend for the Brisbane Arts Theatre.  Here's the story from Channel Ten news last night:

It's Brisbane's oldest Arts theatre, and a real icon up there on Petrie Terrace.  It would be wrong for it to just disappear.  Not to mention that there are some total gems among the stuff to be sold.

Thanks to Girl Clumsy for getting the word out.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What Brisbane Needs: Part Two

I live over near the new State Tennis Centre at Tennyson.  In fact, I live within about 5 minutes walking distance.  And of course, the Brisbane International was on this past week.

You can only imagine what the traffic, public transport and parking were like.  Let alone the litter, broken bottles and noise.

I live near a church.  They had to put chains up across their driveways so that people didn't park in their car park, as they would need it for their services through the week.

Parking is now restricted in our area.  The first we residents found out about this was a notice in our mail the day before the deadline to object.  My building has limited parking, and now even less because tenants can't park on the street.  There were cars parked EVERYWHERE.  Dangerously everwhere - we had them right up to our driveway so that their wheels were touching the sides of the driveway, on both sides.  Anyone leaving our driveway couldn't see a thing.  On one occasion, either side of the driveway was parked a MASSIVE 4WD without a spot of dust on it.  Another example of people buying these big cars and not using them for their intended purpose.

There is broken glass all over the neighbourhood.  The already dodgy spots on the roads around the neighbourhood were lethal over this weekend.  I saw at the train station one day at least 200 people standing on the platforms looking hot and pissed off.

Don't get me wrong, I think the State Tennis Centre is awesome.  It looks great, is a world class facility and I am really  looking forward to being able to walk to events there.

However, how about some more planning into the infrastructure and the livability of the residents in the area?  How about repairing the disgusting state of Citytrain's service to this area?  Or adding some more buses instead?  Making parking reasonable and keeping the tennis centre parking out of the residential areas.  Allowing the residents to live safely and comfortably when big events are on.

Like everything else that happens in this city, infrastructure is neglected around it.  Come on Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council, isn't it about time you learned from past mistakes?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

In The Words of Cole Porter...

... It's too darn hot!

The weather bureau was touting 37C here in Brisbane today. I reckon it got that and more. It was 36C in my living room at about lunch time, and I am sure it would have been hotter out in the sun. I hope people looked after themselves with lots of water, sunscreen, shade and sunglasses in this very harsh heat.

I was going to go to a movie, but nothing really appealed to me. Wasn't sure what else I could do to get out of the heat. The local swimming pool would have been chaos, it's New Years Day so no shops are open, and I'm quite sure my friends with air conditioning are getting sick of me already.

What do you do when it gets unbearably hot (and you don't have air-con yourself)? Is there somewhere you escape to? What do you do to entertain yourself and keep yourself cool?