Sydney Brickshow 2016

Happy 5th Birthday to the Sydney Brickshow!

We’ve attended four out of the five shows in Sydney; Sinister won a place as a Junior Builder in 2013.

Each year the show is an absolute hit with the kids AND the bigger kids. It’s a huge exhibition for Lego fans to show off their designs. This is not an official Lego show; these are fans who create displays that combine sets with free play – just like every spawnling dreams!

Check out the beach scene – you won’t find this as a set in any store. You’re going to have to cannibalise whatever you have at home.

But it’s not just a flat Lego scene. Look at the barrel in that wave! The use of the linked bricks! And they move! That’s an added level of creativity.

Sometimes the fans just want to build their fandoms, whether or not Lego has released a set.

This year had a stand-out Pokemon display. Not only were the Pokeballs impressive (see above), the complete layout for the original opening route was equal parts nostalgic and inspiring.

That’s the secret weapon of these local exhibition shows – not Lego itself, but the ability to inspire you to go home and create.

I overheard one parent comparing the Sydney Brickshow to the other hot Lego ticket in town, Nathan Sawaya’s Art of the Brick: DC.

Both exhibitions are designed to inspire; both show the endless creativity available with Lego as a medium.

But while I love Nathan’s ability to show play as an art form, I also love the approachable nature of local exhibitions.

For me, the star of the show (for this and ALL the Sydney Brickshows I have attended) was this guy: Henry Pinto.

He just started this year – won Best Newcomer for 2016. Built the above chess set for his son to learn how to play, as well as a very cool collection of Bat-vehicles.

But the real reason I would give him the title of Evil Genius Lego Builder is because of this:


Not only was Henry willing to show how he made his chess set, he actively encouraged the kids to recognise the pieces they may have at home. He is interacting with his audience and showing them how to do it too. He is sharing stories with them! He knows about being a Lego fan and shares that. This all happened so quick and so naturally, I’m lucky to have caught it at all!

While we love all the exhibits and will definitely be back next year (maybe junior builders again?), Henry is the guy I will be looking for.
All photos from our visit will be posted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. No sponsorship – happily paid for our family tickets as the money supports a fantastic charity, Bear Cottage.

EG Parent Award #62

Ugh.

I have just had the week from Tartarus. And all because of being a volunteer parent for multiple spawnlings’ extra-curricular activities.

Parent volunteers. There are some absolutely fantastic parent volunteers out there. And then there is that one who does such a crappy job, no one ever wants the role ever again.

Now, for any of you minions out there – VOLUNTEER!!

i-volunteer

Seriously, you really do end up with the same suckers parents at every damn event. And when you are dragging your sorry butt to every damn event, you need something to break up the monotony.

Somehow or another, I ended up swapping with EG Dad and doing his volunteer shift on the sprints track at our Nippers Carnival last weekend. That’s okay – he was stuck with the spawnlings. 😀

For those who like their Sunday sleep-ins: I hate you.

550210_10151142685941705_1171863240_n

Nippers are junior surf lifesavers. Their weekends are split between training sessions (learning about water safety and life-saving techniques) and carnivals (competitions with events that incorporate some of these skills).

When you volunteer as a judge or official (or whatever the hell I was)  for an event like the sprints, it normally means standing out in the sun for an hour counting the ‘placings’ in each event and then standing in the lane of whichever placing you are responsible. I was responsible for 6th. They clearly knew my experience with running.

Now, carnivals can be a little competitive at times. However, there is nothing more embarrassing than watching some parent on the side calling out some sweet little supportive comment prior to the start… And suddenly turn into a teeth-gnashing banshee screaming “FASTER!! FASTER!! LIFT YOUR GODDAMN LEGS!!” as soon as the starting gun is fired.

Of course, it is then this same parent who walks over to pick a fight because their little ‘miracle’ couldn’t possibly have placed 6th. They were clearly 3rd.

Not even close.

This week’s EG Parent Award goes to my fellow volunteer who was responsible for 2nd placing.

Who, at the end of the race, casually asked me which one I thought placed 6th. And then casually stood in that lane while nudging me over to the one he thought placed 2nd.

And then grinned when the same woman lost her head over where we were standing.

Of course, he apologised profusely to her for making such a simple little error. Of course, he had seen her ‘miracle’ place 2nd and he must have just been distracted by the sun for a minute.

Troll Level: Master. +50

When some of the other scheduled volunteers didn’t show up, this guy made the additional hour of hell a lot more bearable. We repeated this stunt every time we saw parents acting like idiots on the sidelines.

Sad to say, it was more often than even I liked.

Absolute kudos to the spawnlings – none of them minded. A couple even picked up on the joke and had a snicker at their parents expense. Every single one of them was a pure sportsman on the day and I was truly impressed.

And to the EG Parent – thank you. Thank you for volunteering, when so many don’t. And thanks for making it fun for us other parents.

I’m even considering volunteering again for the next carnival.

Evil Genius Parent Award #26

Recently, I have been asked what the criteria is for the infamous Evil Genius Parent Award. 
 
To be honest, it’s purely subjective – and so it should be. It’s not like I’m going to be offering a democracy when I take over the world. 
 
But I do like to help you out. Mainly because by helping you, I increase my own entertainment – at your expense.
 
Win/win. 😀
 
So what do I look for? Mainly three (3) things:
 
* Make me laugh
* Show that it wasn’t an accident – you DID actually think about how to outsmart your spawnlings, even if only by a fairy-tip-toe
* Make it known within the week
 
Yep. That’s it. I told you – it’s subjective. 
 
This week’s recipient satisfies all of that: Suburban Snapshots. And I like the fact that her blog isn’t your stock-standard, boring, blogs that I see a lot of. *sigh* She’s a photographer who is trying to muddle through the strange world of parenting, while bluffing it all with her kid. And if this is how she prepares for her Summer Holidays, I look forward to reading more.
 
Watching Jaws with Anna because this summer I just want to relax on the beach with a book for a change.

See, it’s not so much about educating your children – it’s the context of their education that shows your greatest EG Parent potential.
 
Jaws