Post-midnight group photo using the trusty phone timer. Thanks, technology!
Happy New Year! It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for: the first day of a new year, a new beginning, another set of 366 days (it’s a leap year, remember?) to live our lives (for the better). More than ever before, I am so delighted to say goodbye to one year and welcome another. 2015 was not kind very kind to me. As thankful as I am that many wonderful, memorable and unforgettable moments happened during 2015, the lowlights outshine them all. That makes me sad. But enough sadness, nobody has time for that. It’s the beginning afterall, remember?
Although 2015 was a year to forget, the constant gift of friendship is what got us through the year just passed. Friends near and far who called, messaged, wrote and we were lucky enough to see in person. So it was only appropriate that we bid farewell to the year surrounded by some of the friends who made us laugh, made us feel accepted and comforted us. What a wonderful thing indeed.
So here’s to 2016. Here’s to keeping the faith, looking forward to each and every day and to feel gratitude for every single moment we will be blessed with for the next year. What an exciting and frightening concept. Bring it on.
If you reside in Brisbane and haven’t checked out the We Can Make Another Future – Japanese Art After 1989 at the Gallery of Modern Art. You get to check out the room above for three or so glorious minutes. Just don’t stop over the platform because beyond it is water. Most likely not very deep, but water nonetheless. Just stand there and be mesmerized by the beauty of the colorful balls, the darkness and the glow of your clothes (& teeth for that matter). Then come out of the room and enjoy the rest of the exhibition. Good artsy time, all for free! You can’t beat that.
We finally made it to a rugby league game. Hurrah!
It’s obviously no secret that we have a love for sports. We wake up at the crack of dawn just to watch our Mizzou Tigers during football season. We clear our weekend mornings just to devote over three hours watching baseball games. We signed up for the ability to watch AFL games online since we live in a rugby state now and it’s a rare occurrence to catch Power games on free-to-air TV around here. We are very much invested in sports, whatever shape or form.
So it was inevitable that we would eventually make it to a rugby league game and it’s a no-brainer that we would barrack for the Brisbane Broncos. This past Sunday, we made the quick train trip to Milton and walked to Gate E of Suncorp Stadium wearing the closest colors to maroon and gold we could round up in such short notice. At first we thought we scored nosebleed seats, but it actually worked out for the best because we got a bird’s eye view of the entire field from our section. Luckily we were with a group of friends who are seasoned rugby followers and they were more than willing to answer our incessant questions about why that guy did that and why the umpire gave him that penalty. It was one question after another and truth be told, I still went away from the game with more questions that I care to ask.
The entire evening was a success because the home team won and we got to sing the team song (which was rather amusing, lyrically). The best part? We got to go on to the actual field after the game. Apparently this wasn’t a regular occurrence, so it was a real treat. We spent about half an hour taking photos, frolicking and looking up around the stadium. It was a delight and I sure do enjoy those on-field experiences, even more so after a great win!
My husband is the cyclist in the family. Almost everyday he takes his trusty bike to work (a mere 3 miles away from our home) and he gets a good workout from it. Sometimes, because he’s a glutton for punishment, he takes (literally) the long scenic route which sees him go through the City (he works in the suburbs) and adds an extra nine miles to his trip. He loves it and gives him time to unwind from a busy day at work. He is a willing participant to the whole endeavor.
Me, not so much. I could count with my fingers and toes the amount of time I took the above bike out after purchasing it (back in the Columbia, circa 2011). I always struggled to bike for a long period of time due to sheer exhaustion. In hindsight, knowing what I know now, I attribute my lack of fitness and stamina to my thyroid issues.
But after being on thyroid medicine for the past three months, I braved the idea of taking seven mile ride from our house to South Bank so that we could attend Regional Flavours over the weekend. I am pleased to report that I made it to and from South Bank in one piece. Sure I nearly overdid it on the first leg as we climbed up the Go Between Bridge. I was still getting used to my gear changes and I pushed myself so hard so not to show other cyclists how badly I couldn’t make it up the hilly parts. Big mistake. So after a short pitstop after crossing the bridge, we soldiered on (mad props to my husband for his patience at my rather slower pace) and I knew that it was such a huge personal achievement to even make it to South Bank. But I quickly told Zach that we were going to be taking the ferry back to Milton – no ifs or buts about it.
A couple of hours and a mouthful of feta balls later, it was time to venture home. I’m not entirely sure what came over me, but somehow my husband managed to convince me that I could cycle back home. So I hopped back on and this time took it nice and easy. I went on my own pace, didn’t care about cyclists behind me and slowly mastered the fine art of changing gears at the precise time (especially going up the hills). Halfway through crossing the Go Between Bridge I was feeling (again) so accomplished and as we zoomed by walkers along the Coronation Drive part of the Bicentennial Bikeaway, I was feeling like a boss. I knew I was on the homestretch and was about to conquer something I never imagined I could. I had my moment of glory.
But more than 24 hours later, my butt still hurts from the roundtrip. I guess that’s the price one pays to feel the freedom and exhilaration of the wind in you face, cycling around Brisbane. It was worth it. So much so, we may keep doing it whenever we want to go to South Bank without the car!
Work has been crazy busy for the past few weeks. Luckily, I have such a view as the one above to help me clear my head, de-stress and just enjoy the City views. And lately, I’ve been feeling a stronger sense of affinity for this adopted home of mine. I suppose it was only natural because afterall, we have lived here for over a year now. As much as we miss Columbia, Missouri the homesickness is starting to wear off and we are becoming more and more enamored by the River City. I mean, how could you not? There’s always something to see and do around the City. In fact, most weekends it’s a struggle to commit to one thing. It’s a great problem to have and I’m glad we have it. Then there’s the mighty Brisbane River. It honestly adds so much character to the City, without it I don’t think Brisbane would be so enchanting and inviting. It’ll be just yet another concrete jungle. Thankfully, that is not the case.
So here’s to lunch time walks around the Botanic Gardens and around the cliffs overlooking Kangaroo Point. May it be a long winter this year so we can savor the low humidity and mild temperatures.
My husband and I are always up for something new. We’ll try anything at least once. So when the opportunity to participate in a Murder Mystery Night came along, we signed right up.
Despite the evening occurring during one heck of a week for us at work, we still made the effort to don our Roaring 20s costumes and soldiered on to The Ship Inn for a night of murder and mystery. Don’t tell anyone but I made an 11th hour dash to the mall to gather up most of my costume. I had the dress worked out. But as every girl knows, it’s all about the accessories. I brought out my finest pearls, mad dash to the store to find a headdress (it’s really a cheap gold headband) and of course, fishnet stockings to round things off. Smoky eye and super red lips and viola, Kitty Cocktail at your service. Meanwhile, my dashing husband just had to wear his suit and buy a $3 gun from The Reject Shop. Oh, and he dusted off his Michael Jackson hat from New Year’s Eve 2014 and he was transformed into Mugsy Malone.
We didn’t end up being the murderer (it was the Police Chief, of all people!) and I came away with one thing from the entire evening: I am not much of a role player. There were plenty of people there who were putting on accents, acting like their characters and getting right into it. As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t. I kinda got stage fright and honestly, barely really knew my character’s background. Thankfully, I was a minor character and didn’t really factor into the storyline very much. Regardless, fun was had by all and it was an interesting evening. We would certainly do it again!
The Story Bridge on its 75th Birthday
I keep saying that I want to blog more. Honestly, I really do. I have nothing but good intentions about blogging. Almost everyday, the idea of writing a blog post crosses my mind. But for whatever reason, the actual writing part never really gets put into action. I attribute it to laziness and the thinking that what I blog about it not going to be of interest to anyone else. But then it dawned on me that I actually started this blog for my own sanity and as an outlet for my thoughts, share my everyday life (to those willing to read about it) and just as something to read through whenever I want to go down memory lane. I have been blogging since my late teens (hello, Geocities!) and have even continuously kept a private Livejournal account since the early 2000s. Blogging allows me to tell a story for the sake of keeping my stories alive. I like that idea.
So in the spirit for sharing stories, here’s what from a couple of weeks back:
On the weekend of the 4th of July we, along with more than 60,000 of our fellow Brisbanites, ventured/sardined ourselves on to the Story Bridge for its 75th Birthday Celebration. We managed to score a number of tickets which we then shared with our friends. I don’t know what we were on thinking that the would be able to meet up with our friends once on the bridge. Yeah, that didn’t quite happen because it was bumper to bumper once we got there. The lines went as far as the eyes can see (it took 30 minutes to get onto the Bridge) and then once on it, we were getting intimate with one another in a non-sexual but more on a I’m-so-glad-you-showered kind of way. I’m not going to lie, for a brief minute I was scared that had an emergency occurred on the Bridge, we would have been in deep trouble. But then I saw free Story Bridge cake.
We were given an hour and a half to celebrate on the Bridge and it took us that entire time to not only get on the Bridge (30 minutes gone) and then the other hour to walk the length of it. We stopped at one stall to get some mediocre food (it was a wrap of some sort from a stall I don’t care to remember), stopped for aforementioned free cake (thanks, Michel’s!) and then took the time to take photo ops midway through our trek (it’s not everyday that you get to walk on the Story Bridge afterall).
I know that a lot of criticism has been directed towards to the Brisbane City Council with regards to the safety concerns and the crazy amount of people they let on the Bridge. I concur and it doesn’t take a genius to acknowledge that it could have been better handled. But in saying that, we made the most of our hour on the Bridge and considered ourselves lucky that we scored such elusive tickets.
Come its 100th Birthday we will look back on this day and reminisce about the 90 minutes we spent on the Story Bridge.