I Can Count On You Like 4-3-2

[Count On Me – Bruno Mars]

I think I can hit 15 posts a month this month! WOW! It shouldn’t have been so hard but oh boy…

Yesterday I caught up with Cathy and what I’ve come to associate as “Cathy’s Group” for a joint birthday picnic. I went into the city early because my parents offered to drop me off at the station. I took the opportunity to stroll from Flinders to Melb Central – though, with the number of people in the city yesterday, it was a slow walk – and bumped into Mo- and Bon along the way. There was a moment of slight stalkerism when I did a double take to get Mo-‘s attention, but because they responded to my call, I think I was redeemed.

Spent quite a lot of time trying to buy a present. I think, from now on, if I decide to buy feminine jewelery, I’m going to try to dress more appropriately for the store, because I walked into Diva and it felt like I had neon arrows pointing at me with the label “DOES NOT BELONG HERE”.

I did manage to find presents for both Cathy and Anna – a rather cute bracelet for Anna, and a rape whistle for Cathy (it looked really cool and had real leather for the strap and I felt like it could see Cathy through her Europe Trip) – and then walked around Borders trying to find one more overdue birthday gift, only to realize I had no more money on me for such purposes, so I started wandering back to the clock where everyone was meant to meet.

Almost had to use the rape whistle when Pearl tried to hug me from behind to surprise me. Her and Sheina had gotten to the city early, and they’d just arrived at the clock as well. There was a Diet Coke retail therapy sort of area near the clock, with couches, so the three of us did some “free advertising” for them by sitting there and drinking their free hand-outs and looking like we were having a good time. It turned out to be a blessed rest, because Cathy and Carey took over half an hour to finally arrive.

After they’ve arrived, followed shortly by Jalex, it was nearly 4 pm. Cathy mentioned that she wanted to go to the Fitzroy Gardens, and that she “had a general idea” where it was. Unfortunately, her general idea included walking around the entire Parliament house instead of cutting through Parliament Square. It wasn’t that hot yesterday, but the walk was long enough for complaints to be warranted.

So we finally found the park, and a lovely shaded spot to have our picnic (which wouldn’t have been complete without an exploding bottle of coke). Halfway through, Jack mentioned that he needed the bathroom, and completely missed the fact that when we pointed vaguely into the park saying “there, there, there”, we were actually pointing at various trees he could go behind. After a few minutes of him looking aimlessly past the trees, he wandered off in the opposite direction to find an actual toilet building.

Perhaps 5 or 10 minutes later, he came wandering back, and the first words that escaped from his mouth were, “Okay, don’t go to the boys’ bathroom. There was a beat going on in there.”

His twin, Alex, responded immediately, “Oh my god, really? What happened?”

It turned out that there is actually a word for when males solicit sex in the toilets: BEAT, and poor Jack had walked in on one such male waiting for a client. His harrowing experience thus led to a full explanation of glory-holes – I learned something yesterday, and I’m not sure if I wanted to learn it. (Especially certain things about MHS.)

With the time nearing 6pm, and the winds picking up strong enough for us to be cold, we packed up our little picnic and decided to head back for Melb Central to meet up with Angie. On the way back to Parliament station, we passed the Hyatt (which was convenient because I actually was worrying about finding it on Friday but now I know where it is), and Alex said he wanted to use the bathroom (and none of us wanted to use the park bathroom after what we were told). We were worried that we couldn’t just waltz into the freaking Hyatt and use the bathroom, but Alex did anyway, and he came out full of praises about how extravagant the place was. At his words, the girls (Cathy, Sheina, Pearl and I) and Jack decided that we’d go as well – if anything just to see what it’s like inside. (Needless to say, it was obviously very glamorous and high-class, but that’s not my story yet.)

When we were done and about to leave the bathroom, Sheina mentioned that we should do the obligatory bathroom shot, especially since we were in a bathroom in the Hyatt, where there were vases. I was holding the door open, saying that we should just leave, when Jack showed up and saw that we were trying to take photos. I don’t know what he was thinking, or if he was thinking at all, but he stepped into the girls’ bathroom, grabbed the camera, and while just on the threshold of the bathroom, started taking photos of the other girls while I hid behind a door, disbelieving.

In that exact moment, a complete stranger walked into the bathroom, and I could only imagine what she was thinking as she saw Jack standing there with a camera, pointing into the bathroom. Cathy and I hauled ass as fast as we could – I just really didn’t want to get blacklisted before Friday – and managed to hold our laughs in until outside the hotel.

When we made it back to Melb Central, the Diet Coke retail therapy had been cordoned off, but because all the seats around the clock were taken, they decided to sit in there anyway. We caught up with Jackie O (oh I like writing it like that), who I haven’t seen since the first time I met her, and waited there for Angie to show up. When she finally did, she did so in the most fashionable way (late, and incredibly well dressed in her Forever New outfit because she worked there and had to leave her job at Myer and ergh what a successful girl) with Richard (i.e. Exclamation Mark guy from Pearl’s Flare performance). I was surprised to hear that they all knew and wanted to go to Giraffe cafe, and after having Jalex yell at her about how adorable the place is, Angie and Cathy thought they would check it out.

Since the last time I was at Giraffe wasn’t exactly the happiest of times, I was determined to have some fun this time around. It turned out to be pretty damn easy to do it – we started off with a game of Jenga, and my GOD that game is intense! Everyone starts breathing in sync and I’m pretty sure I was telepathically linked to my fellow game-mates Jackie and Pearl for a while there. In the end, it was Jackie’s gusto that led to her demise, as the tower came crashing down on her otherwise fluid extractions.

After Jackie left, the drinks and foods started arriving. When they’ve been adequately consumed (but not wholly), one of the waitresses brought out the birthday brownies for Cathy. Poor girl didn’t light the candles up when she brought it in, instigating some sighs from Alex. And when she tried to light it at the table, her lighter failed on her.

Another round of Jenga ensued, but this time we noticed that a table behind us were creating architecturally radical designs, and that prompted Carey to do the same. Things became ridiculous when pieces were stacked vertically on top, or on a slant. When the tower fell, a piece fell into Cathy’s ice cream. This prompted Jack to say, “Are you still going to eat that now that woody’s been in it?”

The day was finished off with a more than jovial ticket barrier lady at Melb Central. Cathy’s ticket got eaten by the machine, and so the lady stood there and had a chat with us about what we could possibly do to get the ticket back out. When the ticket finally came out, the lady took a look at it and tsked, “well, here’s your problem it’s expired.” Off Cathy’s startled shriek, she broke into a grin, “Just kidding! Have a happy new year!”

I think all staff should be like that. Enjoying their job and not putting other people down.

WELL, over 1500 words! It was a long, eventful and HILARIOUS day! There were many stories I didn’t put down for the sake of Sheina’s privacy (oops?), but maybe that sentence will at least jog my own memory.

Happy New Year, everyone, I won’t be writing in here until after we hit 2011. (I will queue up a post for midnight, though!) Have a safe few days, and may 2011 be better than 2010 if you had a shit 2010, or be better than 2010 even if you had a good 2010.

Alex.

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Parking Garage By The Theater

[La La Lie – Jack’s Mannequin]

So here’s a thought: when two people who used to be rather close to each other meet up again after a long hiatus – during which the relationship has been stashed away in a shoebox under the bed, then further covered by new boxes, topped off with a glazing of dust – there is always a winner and a loser (this idea was explored in How I Met Your Mother, with Robin’s Sandcastle in the Sand – yeah, one day I’ll write an original post).

They might not admit to it, but the moment they meet up again they start sizing each other up, to see who fared better in the time apart. They start comparing stories after they went their separate ways, and after mentally compiling a list of pros and cons, as unspoken as it may be, one person goes home that night feeling better about themselves – they’re in a better relationship, better job, better house, or they’re just so much sexier, whatever.

But there’s also this other scenario, where two people who used to be close sort of part ways, but they don’t lose complete contact. Through one way or another, they’re being made aware on a frequent basis the changes in the other person’s life. New friends, new job, haircuts, tans, holidays etc. So when they two of them meet up again, they sort of have a general awareness of what had gone on in the other person’s life, and thus a general awareness of who the winner is.

So I wonder, which scenario would be the better?

Personally, I find that the 2nd scenario – or what I prefer to call the We’re-Still-Friends-On-Facebook scenario – is much more painful. I mean, when I’m constantly aware of changes in the person’s life, I feel the need to constantly be at that level too (because usually I’m the one who’s being left behind. That’s my thing). So, for example, when I read updates about how one of my high-school friends got her Ps already, I was insanely jealous and went on a rampage to get more hours done – even though the situations with our families are different, and she was bound to get her Ps early anyway.

Or jobs. Oh my God I hate it when I read about how everyone’s got jobs and they’re going on road trips and I’m being unfit alone at home, writing blogs about being unfit alone at home.

I think, though, with relationships, it’s even more of a deal. I was just watching this episode of Smallville (you need to be ok with the fact that most of my blog posts are inspired by a TV show I was watching) where Lana told Clark that she’s met someone new (Ian Somerholder’s character) and she wanted him to know first.

I get that her intentions were good – let the ex hear it from her instead of someone else, since they’re “friends” and everything – but I bet there is a measure of smugness when someone does that. I mean, if I had a chance to go to my (non-existent) ex and say, “oh hey, yeah, I met someone, totally tappin’ it, just letting you know cos, I want you to hear it from me…sucker” I would grab it with both hands and try my hardest not to add “sucker” at the end, or in my tone, or on my face. Because being able to say that is like the ultimate Kill-Shot for victory (of course, further on the track if what I was “tapping” ended up being some major loser, the Counter-damage would be ten-fold).

Since I’ve established that I’m usually the one being left behind, I just feel that in this scenario, chances are I’M going to be the one scrolling through my Facebook homepage one night (because that’s what I do when I run out of I Can Has Cheezburger to look at) and seeing my (still non-existent) ex change their relationship status, and post some otherwise-adorable-but-incredibly-saccharine-to-me picture of them and their slice of victory pie. The worst part is, I’m pretty sure the WAITING for such a moment is even worse than actually living out the moment – either you are watching a live commentary of them meeting someone new, getting interested, and finally hooking up, or you run all these possibilities through your situation-exaggerator of a brain, settling on the decision that your ex will end up being together with a person who is pretty much you, but better. The only consolation I can give myself is that MAYBE, when they do finally end up with someone else, that they’re actually TRADING DOWN. Although to trade down from me you’d have to be sexually attracted to a gnat.

Ooh gnats.

So, yeah, to clear up some vagueness and actually give you a taste of my personal life, most of the people I used to like, bar two (one of whom was always in a relationship anyway and is now in another state, and the other guy totally deserves someone smarter than me so I’m not even spewing), haven’t found anyone yet. But I can extrapolate and imagine, so I would say that if I ever find someone, and then break up with them (hence finally gaining myself an ex), I would rather just not see them for ages, and then work my ass off to have some Pros to chalk up, so that when I meet them again I may have a chance to be a winner.

Unless, of course, my ex and I decide to be friends. Then I can be all Lana on their ass, and hook up with Ian Somerholder.

Ha….

In other news (this is becoming a REALLY long blog post), I was watching a few of communitychannel‘s oldest videos, and I realize that she had developed her style over the years, and she’d started off with just a webcam and her talking. I don’t know, maybe after my Project365 ends, and…maybe after a few months after it ends because I need to give the internet a break from me, I might start vlogging. If I ever do take up that idea, I’ll be sure to tell about it here. But yeah, keeping the idea alive – I don’t think I can be as funny or interesting, but I may develop a style and become the next communitychannel or kevjumba.

And THAT would be SUCH a Kill-Shot. Internet fame, woo.

Alex.

CHRISTMAS! Baby, Please Come Home

[Baby, Please Come Home – Anberlin cover]

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope so far your day has been enjoyable, and I hope that you’ll remember it later on…

Anyway, I finally convinced my dad to take me driving today – he’s the guy who can’t drive but has a full license, so really all his license is good for is to take me driving – and despite him being paranoid I’ll hit every car parked on the kerb, it was actually pretty decent. MAYBE, for perhaps the 5th time I’ve said this, I CAN FINALLY GET ON A ROLL AND GET MY LICENSE BEFORE I’M 20 HAHA who am I kidding… at least I’m close to 17 hours now…

As I was driving, my phone started buzzing in my pocket – I think I should change one of my profile settings to Driving or something, and take off the vibrations (Silent has vibrations on so that if there is an emergency text/call at night, the vibrations can wake me up but not my parents – and dammit I do totally get emergency texts sometimes, but most of the time I just get woken up by Village Cinemas emailing me something at 3 am). I was wondering who would call me – twice – and I found the answer when I got home. Mom immediately told me that Dani had called – I guess this time around she remembered to identify herself before launching into a tirade like she did last time.

Turns out Dani – who FINALLY made it back to Melbourne – is asking me if I was interested in going to the Great Ocean Road with her some time this week (this isn’t for sure yet but I had to write about something). Considering that the last time I went to the Great Ocean Road, I was in Grade 4 and still had a massive carsickness problem, I said yes (hopefully my carsickness is better now. I do plan to be empty stomach’d most of the time though ha). Also I felt really warm and important that Dani asked me first. Being the favored “son” has its advantages.

Also, Lyshana. Dani put her on the phone (I doubt she still remembers me even though I was the cool 1-2-3-4-HEADBANG big sister), and Lysh was screaming “HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO” and then I heard Beep-beep-beep. Dani came back a second later and said “She put you on hold.” We agreed she’d make one hell of a receptionist one day. HELLO-HELLO-HELLO-hold.

I timed my driving very carefully – I had to be home on time to watch Eloise at Christmastime which will be on soon – that movie MAY have been the tipping point for me to want to spend Christmas in New York. Home Alone 2 was the movie that started the dream.

Anyway, quite a few interesting Christmas movies on today/tonight (The Grinch is on now, actually, but Eloise takes precedence) so I think I can even give Smallville a rest. Last week, Josh started a conversation with me on MSN asking me what my plans were for that day. I replied, “I’m going through Tumblr now, and after I’m done I’m going to watch Smallville.”

A few days later, as a matter of course, he asked me the same question. I started writing, “Tumblr now and then after that…” and realized that the feeling of deja vu was actually the ugly face of uneventful routine.

And now I feel like ice-cream. Triple choc ahoy!

Merry Christmas, again! I may not be religious but I still think this is a time of the year to be happy, generous, and try to see the good in everything.

Alex.

If I Close My Eyes, It’s All The Same

[All The Same – Sick Puppies]

Christmas Eve! I’m in better spirits than I was for the previous two years, which is a refreshing change.

So, for the past two years I have been watching Lovely Complex (an anime) at around this time of the year, and I decided to continue what is now becoming a tradition.

I’d like to have more Christmastime/New Years traditions, though. And, like the extrovert that I am, most of those traditions include spending time with another. They may or may not be significant.

I don’t exactly know what the traditions may be – I’m not an overly Christmassy person – but I wouldn’t mind doing some Christmassy things, like going shopping in the hectic last minute sales, spending Christmas morning just chilling and drinking something. Hopefully I can do this in New York (haha, still a dream but I aim to make it reality somehow), so it’s hot coffee.

And Christmas movies! Call me a sap, but I love Christmas movies. Love Actually, Home Alone, Eloise at Christmastime…

It’s weird, I’m not a Christmas person but I like doing all the Christmas things – does it make me a Christmas person? I’m just proud of myself for wanting to do relaxing and sweet activities instead of going out and getting shitfaced.

Alex.

But The Orchestra Plays On

[Dismantle.Repair – Anberlin]

Today, after a few days, I will do G, H and I.

Georgia Fair – I think that Picture Frames is the perfect song for summer, and it may or may not be because during the previous summer, they played this song with the Big M ads.

Glee Cast – Oh man, I can list so many! A lot of people don’t like their covers of their beloved songs, but I have to say they still make a pretty ace effort to capture the original intent. The show itself is starting to go a bit iffy, in my opinion, but that’s irrelevant to this post.

Goo Goo Dolls – I really should listen to more of the songs apart from Iris, because his voice is rather decent.

Goodnight Nurse – I first heard about them when I realized they did a punk cover of Milkshake, but I like Death Goes To Disco as well.

Gotye – I don’t know where I first heard Heart’s A Mess, but I got it after it was on Gossip Girl. Oh, for shame.

Green Day – This is a social minefield, I think, for me to start picking out songs. They’re pretty much solid, I just haven’t heard all their songs.

Hawk Nelson – Dani loaned me their album Smile, It’s The End Of The World, and I loved it. Especially Zero, Fourteen, It’s Over, Everything You Ever Wanted,  and The Show.

Hawthorne Heights – Okay I don’t actually like them but every time I listen to Ohio Is For Lovers I start laughing.

Hellogoodbye – Aww this was all because of Dani. I don’t like them as much as she does/did, but I do keep on my favorites Here, In Your Arms, Baby It’s Fact, All Of Your Love and I Saw It On Your Keyboard.

The Hush Sound – I like most of Like Vines.

The Icarus Account – Another Dani recommendation: Little Things and So In Love – listen to these on a lazy sunny day when you’ve got someone on your mind.

Imogen Heap – I’m sure she has many other songs, but after SNL’s Dear Sister skit, I just had to get Hide and Seek.

And that’s it for now, folks! I wonder if I can hit the 15 quota? I should write more about my thoughts, I think.

Alex.

My Life And Love Might Still Go On

[Wherever You Will Go – The Calling]

I’ve been nabbing song I like from Smallville, and since I’m back at Season 1, the songs are old!

So this has been bothering me quite a bit much even more so this morning: parents being misled by unsubstantiated and badly researched “scientific facts”.

For years, since Mom discovered how to use the internet beyond emails, she’s been finding those websites in the Chinese community that has those articles of “interest” like how to activate pressure points to cure joint pains or whatever. Those sites are very much targeted towards middle-aged Chinese parents.

I don’t particularly have an opinion on articles about pressure points or how to make a dumpling that doesn’t collapse, but when they start writing stupid articles like “too much ice cream can give your child cancer” or “students who don’t study law and/or medicine are more likely to go into debt later in life”, it irks me.

Because you never see them publish articles like “let your children decide their own future” or “too much nagging can cause long-term psychological issues”. No, they never publish things that go against the readers’ preconceived ideals. What’s the point of reading things that reinforce what you already know and practice? Stories that make you go “oh wow I never thought about it that way” are the ones that are worth writing and reading.

I mean, how many times have you heard a cancer patient say, “I wish I never had ice cream when I was a child; I must warn everyone who would listen to not eat ice cream”? Yet how many times have you heard messed up adults complain to their therapists that their problem stemmed from childhood? How many people are stuck in miserable lives because they let their parents dictate their decisions, and those decisions had nothing to do with what they wanted?

But, God forbid those websites will publish stories warning parents against those.

Alex.

Looking For The Best But Expecting The Worst

[Forever Young – Youth Group]

Today features E and F

Eagle Eyed Cherry – Of COURSE Save Tonight is the best song to listen to on the way to a night out. I don’t know, it could be just me.

Elliot Yamin – Is Wait For You another slightly out of place song? Well, yeah it was in the playlist my friend gave me. It’s a very sweet song, though.

Enrique Iglesias – I admit, it may be “guilty pleasure” but when you hear the first few guitar notes of Hero or the first line of Escape, you know you kind of want to start singing to it.

Every Avenue – I hadn’t really gotten around to listening to all their songs properly, but I do like Tell Me I’m A Wreck (whose MV is really really good), Where Were You?, Between You And I and Think Of You Later (Empty Room).

Faber Drive – It’s on and off with these guys, some days I just shuffle past them, but then one day I stick to one of their songs and suddenly I love them again. The first song I heard by them is Tongue Tied, there’s also When I’m With You, Sleepless Nights (Never Let Her Go) and Killin’ Me.

Fall Out Boy – Ooh this is slightly tentative grounds to tread on, because the songs I like aren’t the songs that people tend to like – and the songs people tend to like I kind of…dislike. But they’re a respectable bunch of musicians.

Falling Up – Falling In Love and Hotel Aquarium. Good memories with them both.

Flumpool – The first non-English band for me to mention! I particularly liked Birds but as I went on I warmed up to 残像 (Zanzou) as well.

Forever The Sickest Kids – I think I’ve used Hey Brittany! as one of my blog post titles many times.

Alex.