Monday, October 8, 2007

Mixed Tapes

V. and I had a "date night" on Saturday. After the babysitter showed up at 5 and went to play with Will in the back garden, we snuck away by foot to the Regatta Hotel for dinner. I haven't quite mastered the terminology yet, but "hotels" in Australia are sort of large combination restaurant/pub/entertainment centres. The Regatta in Toowong is a landmark, sitting near the river and having some sort of historical connection to Brisbane rowing. Anyway, we had a very nice dinner there, once I got over my angst about which steak to order. I haven't been so challenged about a piece of meat before. Take a look (the menu is posted on the website):
Stockyard MSA Beef 18-24 month old British Bred Yearling, grain fed at the "Kerwee" feedlot in the lush surrounds of the Darling Downs
Eye Fillet (minimum Med 100 days grain) 200gr $28.0
Eye Fillet (minimum Large 100 days grain) 300gr $34.9
Rib Fillet (minimum 100 days on grain) 300gr $26.9
Rump (long fed) (minimum 200 days on grain) 400gr $27.5

Diamantina MSA Beef Raised in the Central QLD Highlands, fattened at "Bottletree" feedlot in the heart of the rich Darling Downs
Sirloin (minimum 70 days on grain) 350gr $25.9
Rib Fillet on the bone (minimum 70 days on grain) $35.9
After dinner we walked to the ferry terminal below the Regatta and got on a CityCat for the 30-minute ride to New Farm. It was our first river trip all the way through the city centre and under the Story Bridge. Restaurants, clubs, and parks along the river were full of people enjoying the warm spring evening. Large clusters of people sat around public BBQs in the twilight, looking like scenes out of 1950s small-town America.

Disembarking at New Farm, we walked to the Brisbane Powerhouse, an old power station that has been converted into "a contemporary multi-arts, dining and conference venue." We had a nice coffee (a flat white, which has become our fav) before entering the Visy theatre to see Daniel Kitson's "C-90." We figured out that this was our first theater outing in over two years--the last just before we found out we were pregnant. The "play" itself was about 70 minutes long, and was actually a monologue by the fast-speaking Kitson, who wrote and developed the show back in his native England. I enjoyed the performance very much. It's the story about a man's last day at work in a large repository for mixed cassette tapes. (You do remember the cassette tape, don't you?) Most had been made for the benefit of others, either as gifts of appreciation or some romantic gesture (at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the relationship). As suggested by the show, sometimes a person might even make a mixed tape and label it "Sorry" before giving it.

In college I used to make a lot of these tapes. I remember the careful process of putting a record on the turnstile, setting the needle down, and then releasing the pause button on the tape deck set to record. As soon as the final bit of noise from the song was done, I would hit the pause button again and repeat the process with another record. Even after we got a CD player in 1989, I continued to make mixed tapes, but stopped when I was able to burn CDs in the mid '90s (a process that in turn ceased when I got my iPod). I still had many of these tapes when we were packing up to move. Of course, it had been many years since I listened to any cassette, so all the ones I had made were put in the trash and the rest given to Goodwill. After seeing "C-90," the funny thing is that I can't remember ever making a mixed tape for someone else, particularly for a romantic reason. I received a few from others over the years, but I don't think they were accompanied with romantic yearnings either. Maybe this was a more prominent form of expression in other parts of the world...

Did you ever receive or send a mixed tape? Was it ever done out of love?

4 comments:

D said...

Next time, just grill a steak at home for less than $10. I received a couple mixed tapes from Brandi and Sherry.

The Prof said...

Yes, I should point out that those prices include what would be a 15% tip in the U.S. (you don't really tip in Australia) and the tax, and that's in Aussie dollars where $1 Australian is worth about 90 cents in the U.S.

You're the only person who checked in about the mixed tapes, D. Since you grew up where I did, I can only assume that I was romantic loser since I never exchanged mixed tapes with anyone in a romantic way!

Kwirkie said...

Ah date night. We have had a few of them lately. Many times the food taste better and is always cheaper at home but it is definitly atmosphere that you are paying for.
And yes, we use to do mixed tapes in my neck of the woods too. Now, it is discs. The thing with those though is it is harder to leave little sentiments on them like we use to do with the tapes. Ah the good ole days. Maybe I will write a bit on that.

The Prof said...

It must be even more of a challenge to schedule a date night with multiple little ones, kwirkie! Please forgive my whining about the constraints imposed by parenthood...V & I have it very good, we know!!!