Tried My Best To Leave This All On Your Machine

[Such Great Heights – The Postal Service]

Slightly late but here’s the documentation of my first NYE in the city, and first night in a hotel room.

Walking out to the bus stop in the morning of the 31st was hard, because the weather had already gotten to around 35-36. But after getting on the bus, it was pretty smooth sailing bar the 40 seconds’ walk from bus to train (oh nu).

Anyway, met up with Annie at Melb Central, and decided that we should spend the 3 odd hours we had to waste sitting and eating. We went to Melb Central’s upstairs foodcourt and, after some considerable hesitation, got Maccas for the first time in months, and sat down to watch Nickelodeon which was playing on the TV screens.

Nick shows are…scarily bad. And predictable. There is a formula: You have the main guy who’s cute but not hot, with a mop-top haircut. You have the socially awkward girl who’s actually really pretty, but no one realizes it. You have the guy who’s actually hot, and he’s either the love interest, or the “best friend” with sexual tension. You also have a funny witty little sibling. Then the rest of the cast is ugly and 2D. Or 1D, seeing as the main cast is 2D already.

Met up with a bunch of younger MacRob girls because I had to give one of them a disk, but the rest just followed naturally. They sat with us for a moment or two before going off to have lunch at better places than a food court.

After we finished eating, Annie and I decided to find somewhere to hang out where we won’t be told off for hogging a table. We were in Borders when, out of complete coincidence, I turned around to find Dani standing behind me.

So Annie, Dani and I sat around for a while waiting for Joshanna to call us to tell us when they’ve checked in, but they never did. In the end, it turned out they’ve already checked in and were waiting for us to call.

Walking from Parliament station to Park Hyatt in the near 40 degree weather literally was hell. It made our suite just that much more amazing – because it had aircon.

Not wanting to go outside to Hell again, we stayed in the hotel room for a few hours playing Big 2 and talking. Now, I don’t say that I’m good at Big 2, but in all the 4 games we played, I won each and every one of them. I really don’t think I’m good at Big 2, so either my hand was fantastic, or the others just sucked something awful.

Big 2 was played with stakes – loser has to do a Truth or Dare from the winner. I suck at thinking up dares or even truths (well, mostly I can think up truths but I knew these people pretty well) so I had others think up things for me. Annie lost twice, and without going into too much detail, I found out things about her that I’d only known half of for over 4 years.

Anna lost once, and her dare was to go into the bathroom (or what we called the Cone of Silence from Get Smart) and shout out a dirty word (she’s the kind to never do that). After a few minutes of silence with her just standing in the bathroom without knowing what to say, Josh prompted, “What do I say when I’m having a bad day?” “OH!” exclaimed Anna. “I KNOW! FUCK MY LIFE!”

At around 6, we deemed it timely for us to go eat dinner, to beat any rush later on. It was the hottest of the day at 6, and we had to walk from Collins to Bourke for Red Silks. Josh was, for some reason, in a longsleeve black shirt, and he was starting to feel too hot. So he went into the Cotton On right by Red Silks and snagged a singlet. Being the manly man that he is, he decided to change right outside the store. So he pulled his shirt off and tried to change into the singlet really fast to act all cool, except in his bravado, he managed to get his head and arms into the wrong holes, and spent a good 20 seconds standing outside Cotton On with his arms haywire and his chin tucked into his chest. Now, why would the rest of us help him? We stood there and laughed.

Red Silks was not air-conditioned, much to our dismay, but it was too late and too hot to change our minds and go to Crown. We ordered up our iced drinks, and I had the less-than-ingenious insight to order wonton in noodle soup. Drinking hot soup definitely was too hot, but on the other hand, the sweating made me cooler. And smellier.

We ordered up a round of beers (not too much because Josh was feeling really sick and figured he shouldn’t drink), and in between using it as a cooling device, we each proposed our toasts to each other.

Having sufficiently sweated through dinner, we decided to split up. Josh was feeling too dizzy (and he was really pale) so him and Anna went back to the hotel, while Annie and I went to Crown to meet up with the Melb Uni lunch group. Crown was blissfully chilled, and the boys all decided to go to Galactic Circus and do what we did last time with the hour-long-pass.

Annie demanded that we play the zombie game I played last time with Lily, but remembering how much my arms ached afterwards, I passed the gun off to Elaine, who apparently stuck around long enough to die, and then left Annie to fend the zombies off herself.

An hour later, and all the girls had grown tired of watching the guys drive and shoot (gender roles, yes, but to be fair we did try to encourage the non-active girls to get into it). Swang was bitter after being defeated by me in a game of table-hockey where the table never registered her goals but registered mine. Fi decided that it was the perfect time to get Slurpees, so we all trekked down Clarendon (Annie was regretting wearing heels at this point) to go to a 7/11.

There was still a good 2 hours until midnight at that point, so it became a matter of where people wanted to spend that time. We couldn’t go to Hungy’s apartment because there were 18 of us, however for some reason it was okay for us to hang out in the lobby of the building. We spent an hour there playing Mafia (wherein I stuffed up the role of the narrator and revealed the Mafia’s gender), and got so many death glares from people going in and out of the building.

At 10:45, according to Asian time, it was time to go to Southbank and start waiting for midnight. Luckily we left early, because in the end we walked up so far up Southbank that by the time we found a spot that we agreed on (which wasn’t Alexandria Gardens, I don’t know why anyone thought that the Gardens would have space at that time), it was well past 11.

Then came the harder-than-it-should-have-been process of finding Mandy and her CGS friends. Communication problems aside, I was pretty sure she just didn’t know how to receive instructions. If I said to you (assuming you know Southbank) “walk on the side of Flinders Station towards Crown, we’re on the bridge that right opposite the big red steps”, you’d probably at least understand the general direction to walk, if you don’t know what I mean by the big red steps. (P.S. these are the big red steps, LEARN IT.) Yeah, no, Mandy just kept saying “we’re on a bridge” and there are 5 bridges along the Yarra in that area.

Finally agreeing to meet them under the “big angel with the swirly square head“, and talking to two other guys who were with her, we met up with Mandy and her friends, with 15 minutes to spare until midnight.

At 5 minutes to midnight (cue song), I couldn’t find Josh and Anna, who said they’d come back out to meet up (by the way, the weather had cooled down significantly and was actually really pleasant). For some reason, Josh’s number was hidden, and I couldn’t call him back, so I couldn’t find him anywhere. While I was walking around at the end of a bridge, I felt someone tackle me from behind.

Lo and behold, second time that day, Dani managed to find me under the biggest of coincidences. Granted, I’d texted her whereabouts we were (she knows what the big red steps are, WHY DON’T YOU), but still, crowd, NYE, 11:55 pm, she found me.

Brought Dani back to where we all were, and while we were sitting on the pier/dock waiting for the countdown to happen, the fireworks began. Midnight and passed and we’d all been just sitting there talking. So instead of getting a massive countdown, we all just went around hugging everyone and watching the fireworks (which weren’t ASTOUNDING but they were pretty damn good looking). We kept on yelling “refund refund!” whenever the fireworks seemed to have ended. I guess it wasn’t a bad effort considering they were just coming out of the Eureka Tower, and plus it was a total fire ban that day.

At around 12:15, 12:20, Annie and I decided we’d go back to the hotel. We went to look for Joshanna but since we couldn’t call them, we couldn’t find them. It was a long and painful walk/trudge back to Flinders St Station (trust me, it hurt me heaps, so it would have killed Annie’s feet), whereupon we bid goodnight to Dani who was taking the tram back, and we started walking towards Flinders Station trying to get our way back to Parliament.

The road to the station was, unsurprisingly, packed. As in, I had time to shoot off a few text messages while walking without danger, packed. Some guy in front of us threw up beer, and Annie and I had to walk around him since she was barefoot. Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream started playing over the loudspeakers (over some signs that read “NO STOPPING ON BRIDGE”) and I suppose the smallest consolation to throbbing feet and exhausted eyes was that a girl behind me did a sort of impromptu duet  of the song with me.

Finally breaking free of the station crowd stranglehold, Annie and I gritted our teeth and hurried our way up to Collins St for the tram. Miraculously, Josh and Anna were right behind us and we held the door for them to get on the tram with us (they’d fallen behind us to go to 7/11 for instant noodles and lollies. Man 7/11 is a lifesaver sometimes).

We made the final painful journey back up to our room, and collapsed onto the bed and chairs, caring not that we hadn’t showered, or that it was nearing 1 am. Josh cooked up the instant noodles which were PRETTY DAMN spicy, and since the noodles didn’t come with plastic forks, Josh and I ate ours with coffee spoons, and Anna and Annie shared one using two coffee stirrers as chopsticks.

After consuming a fiery midnight snack that had Josh swearing metaphors I really shouldn’t repeat here, Annie and I took (turns taking) a shower and changed into our PJs.

Anna was, for some reason, uber energetic. She demanded that we play I Never Never. We cut some Red Bull with vodka – but only allowed Anna Red Bull, considering it the lesser of two evils – and started the game. It wasn’t as energetic as Anna probably wanted it to be, but, once again, I found out things about my friends that I sort of didn’t want to know. Let’s just say that from now when I call a friend who’s not single, and they say they’re busy, I will be a lot more suss.

Finally at 3, when Josh and Anna were getting a bit too cuddly in the bed, we decided to call it a night. Annie was adamant to stay in the bed, because it was a King and there was really no where else for her to sleep, me having called the couch (I can’t really sleep in beds with other people save Jen, apparently, and it was too hot anyway). So, an hour after we turned off the lights and I was in the next room on the couch with a little jacket as a blanket (which probably contributed to me getting sick after sharing Josh’s drink by accident), their giggling in the bed finally died down.

I couldn’t completely sleep for most of the time, because one shoulder was sort of hitched sideways and the couch was, amazingly, too small even for me. I was more than aware of the fact that Annie started wheezing-snoring halfway through the night, and then either Annie or Anna started phonetically sneezing “atchu atchu”.

At 9, I decided it was too bright and I was too cold to sleep, so I got up, put on my jacket blanket, and put on Josh’s really awesome Dr Dre headphones to play Monster Dash with. Man those headphones were something. The Pacifier had the most satisfying WHOMP.

At 10, I saw in my peripherals Anna crawling around in her morning ritual to wake up. The others got up, which made it okay for me to be a bit noisy and brush my teeth and pack my bags. While Anna and Annie were loafing around, Josh and I watched some TV (I’m well aware I keep lumping myself with the guys), and That 70s Show came on. Collectively, we all got ready in 2 episodes’ time, and at 11 am on the dot, we left the hotel room for check-out.

The weather was a LOT colder on the 1st compared to the previous day. We went to Melbourne Central to meet up with Julia for brunch. At first we were all mmm-ing over the prospect of pancakes, but the moment Josh uttered the words “congee”, our Chinese heritage came crashing back, and we managed to persuade Anna and Julia to go to congee instead. There was a momentary lapse in decision when we were given coupons to Pancake Parlor, but a flip of the coin saw us sitting down to some Century Egg and Salty Pork Congee.

Since I’m coming in at 2400 words now, I will cut my story short and just say that we stuffed our faces full, then I went home. Got home at around 1 pm and hopped onto the computer, because I missed internet so much.

Now I’m sick, and I’ve been sick for a few days. It had to happen, though, because I haven’t been proper sick for almost 10 months.

Alex.

P.S. I actually started writing this post on the 2nd but I went to shower, saved the draft, and promptly forgot about it til now. OOPS!

P.P.S. I also made a new friend in the last few days. Oh my god 2500 words okay I’m stopping.

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Body Like An Hourglass

Last night was the MacRob Yr 12 Formal 2009.

I didn’t go.

What I’m going to write about is what happened BEFORE the formal, seeing as that’s all I attended.

Well, it was expected that no one would really be paying any attention in class, so Period 2 Methods didn’t even happen. There were many many Year 12s in the Common Room that period talking about the formal and hair and makeup and nail polish and strapless bras. I sat there and looked mortified. No one noticed. Phew.

Period 3 and 4 told me that I wasn’t actually on Common Room duty and therefore I played Tetris all through the first period (even beat my own personal score) and most of the second period. Jen and I went off with the bag  we later referred to as “Carmaine’s Baby” and then “The Fat Baby” at the end of Period 4.

We were at the lights outside of school, swinging Carmaine’s Fat Baby when the mother appeared. A rowdy custody battle ensued, with the aftermath being that I had to lug the CFB around the CBD.

Bid adieu to the mother at Flinders, where she was off to make herself look like a woman and we were off to do our own stuff.

Went to Coles where Jen, having lost the custody battle with me, continued arguing with me over which bread was tastier, and which Coles cake was more thoughtful. I’d personally thought the cake with Smarties on it would naturally be more pensive. We decided on that one.

Trammed to Collins/Spencer St, where Bel now resides. No one was home so we snuck in when someone came out. Sat in foyer while Jen touched her hair a lot. An- arrived to take us up. Grabbed 2 Cruiser (sp?) four-packs. I had to carry them seeing as if Jen carries them it’s illegal.

Went up Williams to Radisson, where the rest of BRuCE was going to spend the night. Gave CFB to Eunice, and headed off to Jen’s abode.

Managed to squeeze in a dozen “are we there yet?” in the 20 minute tram ride.

Arrived at Jen’s, and the two of us started on the food. I made a fairy-bread sculpture, it possibly being the most feminine thing I’ve ever done. No one ended up eating it.

Jen cut up some carrots and cucumbers, and then proceeded to hide in the bathroom while she also began to make herself appear more womanly. Taylor Swift played on the radio. I sobbed.

SonJ arrived and in a flurry of “Hi how are you ohmygosh where’s Jen” she blew into the bathroom. I did not see her until 2 hours later.

Started to blow up balloons. Failed at tying them up. Jen’s dad had to teach me twice. Started on a Cruiser. After a few gulps I decided to hell with it and sacrificed considerable blood flow to my fingertips and made 13 balloons. I tasted Latex everytime I swallowed. No, shut up. That is NOT what she said.

People continued to arrive. Ray, for one. Then Luke. The two guys helped me put up streamers.

Sonam and Tiff and Annie and all the rest of them arrived, and Jen’s bedroom became a warzone of hairspray, straighteners and Hollywood tape.

Ray, Luke and I spelt out “Happy B’Day Bel” on the window.

Awful noises started to echo from the warzone. Cries of help and sounds of mascara-ing sent chills down my spine.

Played Heart and Soul on the piano until Jen told me to shut up…for the 10th time. I suppose I should’ve pointed out that I wasn’t talking.

At 5 Bel and Julia arrived. Note I didn’t say Julinda. We had to stall Bel for a bit, but it didn’t work. So when Bel pressed the doorBel, we all ran and hid behind couches. We thought, gosh we’re smart, she’ll never see this coming.

At the door, SonJ said, “Are you ready? 3. 2. 1.”

The element of surprise was thus counted down and disappeared.

Why did I use “Body Like An Hourglass”? Because Julia figure, to paraphrase Eve, “was like an hourglass”. Indeed everyone looked magnificent, and indeed Sonam and Tiff ended up looking similar, as they do all the other times.

Carmaine and Charlie continued to not being there.

The limo arrived. It was long. Well no shit. And Blue. Ah that one’s new. People started running around with a definite hint of headless chicken likeness. Well, I should specify the girls were doing that. The guys sat at the kitchen table in a more or less statue fashion.

I played “Somewhere Only We Know” on the guitar for a bit.

Then came the photos.

Oh the photos.

Oh the stress of said photos.

Everyone had a camera. Considering that “everyone” consisted of more than 2 people, and I have exactly 2 hands, I became a hanger for cameras as pictures were demanded.

20 minutes later pictures were actually taken. People had stayed in one spot long enough.

C+C finally became there, just in time for taller C to use the bathroom. People lined up and “THREE! TWO! ONE!” the flash went off, forever immortalizing the group of mature looking guys, and slightly hysterical looking but nonetheless BEAUTIFUL girls.

Everyone posed in front of the limo. More pictures were taken. I felt a bit pimpish having my photo taken with many different people. I felt a lot short next to the heeled Carmaine.

Took a ride with Carmaine’s parents home, saving me a cold public transportation journey. Arrived home in time to eat a quick dinner and watch ‘Til Death. Then watched The Big Bang Theory until bed time, which was around when the Formal was ending.

And so I end. I have decided to hell with fully structured sentences. They’re boring anyway.

Alex.

If only…

If it weren’t for the extra NON-COMPULSORY Chinese homework, I would have just finished ALL of my holidays homework, bar printing out and sticking on.

I realized that I do homework and study better when my parents are NOT around to supervise. When they are around, I’d do maybe 3 maths questions before giving up and setting it aside. But today, they both went out to the city to meet a friend and celebrate Chinese New Year, and I went and finished 3 exercises in Maths without taking a single break (even to pee. That was a small mistake. I’ll pee next time).

Anyway, I’m just wondering on how to break it to them.

“I’m sorry, it’s not you, it’s me. Well, I guess it is you. But I don’t know why! I’m just as confused as you are.”

“We just can’t be together when studying is involved. I think it’s better for the both of us.”

“Look, I’m gonna be home late. I got a lot of studying to do. Don’t wait up.”

“I’m studying with someone else.”

Happy CNY to all you Asians, and Aussie Day to all you Aussies. I don’t know, either the shit can really go down with the racist things, or we might have one of the best CNY/AD ever because everyone would just be partying.

新年快乐

Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi!

Yeah…

Keep Cool (and studying hard. All. Night. Long.)

D.F.