With Every Broken Bone

[I Lived – OneRepublic]

A break from the academic stuff! Except now I’m having a gripe at social pressures again.

Without opening the floodgates of “what the hell is wrong with me?”, I have been thinking about the way that I regard other people around me.

I haven’t been making many efforts to be a ‘good friend’, as such, firstly because I keep telling myself that my 6-7 contact hours a week at uni is so draining, but also because I just want to be home. Many times, when I’m sitting with a group of people with whom I’ve had minimal prior interactions, and there is a lull in the conversation, I wish that I was in front of my computer, doing any old anti-social thing. Whenever I have to make awkward and forced conversation, especially about a future to which I don’t yet know all the prospects, I find myself drifting home.

But, when I’m home, I’m restless. When I am sitting there with my gaming console wondering which mission or enemy I should kill next, I look outside and wonder at the lifestyle of those more active than I. Could I be a person who takes a walk for an hour and comes back with 100+ photos on their camera, a tan line on their arm, and an idea that inspires them? Could I be a person who somehow sticks to a schedule that they set, and actually chase the lifestyle that they envision? Could I put down my comic, and go and write one?

I’m not daunted by the empty page – I avoid it. When I have an idea, I don’t see an empty page for long at all, but when I don’t, I will do anything to not have to look at one.

I have on my weekly planner here that tomorrow I’m supposed to go for a small walk around the area with my new camera, and take some photos for my class. They don’t have to be good photos. They don’t even really need to be of things far away from my house. I could feasibly just go into my backyard and do it; but I shouldn’t.

I’ll try my best to come here tomorrow and attach at least one photo that I took, even if it’s of a frontyard three houses down.

Anyway, what was supposed to be a post about other people turned into my own ineptitude, so back on topic.

Making and acting social cues is hard. When I’m doing it, I do it. But when I have to think about it, I get so tired and irritated. At what point did I start ticking off a list of people with whom I should keep in touch? At what point does someone even make it onto a social to-do list? And what point does someone drop off of one? I want to have those people around, I do, because being around them makes me feel happiness. Except I’m actually having to make a list and prepare to enable that happiness, instead of it naturally being there for me to access. Then there’s that decision to drop someone off the list – except I never realize their name hadn’t shown up until ages later.

Is it okay to do that? Is it okay to slowly just give up on trying to make efforts with someone because there’s no need to?

Enough of that for this time.

I went to some Coldstream vineyards with my parents the other week, mostly so that my dad can buy a few bottles of wine and taste a dozen more. I’m pretty proud of this photo:

 

Tokar Estate Winery

Don’t worry, I’m not trying to turn into a photographer. My current assignment for class is based on photography, so it’s the flavor of the fortnight. The new camera is for sharing between my dad and me, because he wants to take photos of food, too.

Alex

Advertisements

He Takes Off Her Dress Now

[Mr Brightside – The Killers]

I really miss my old high school group. Not the ones who I still see often, as mentioned by a previous post, but the ones who I used to see everyday, take the train with everyday, and now I hardly even connect with. I’m talking about the names which older readers of mine came across as often as I used to say them: Bianca, Carmaine, Eunice… I remember when we had an acronym for the four of us!

I bring this up because today while I was cleaning a table at work, Bianca (who works two stores down) walked past me and gave me a bit of a friendly bump. I was having a bit of a moody day, because I’d expected a quieter day at work it being a weekday, but it was actually as busy as a weekend. Then, with just 5 seconds of Bianca and I exchanging a quick “hey!”, I instantly felt better. Maybe it’s mostly her face, but I really think it’s also because I had a reminder of a simpler and casual-er time when we would meet up after school and catch a train together (but not before stopping for a crepe or something first).

In other news, Amelia got her driver’s license today, so I’m prepping myself to finally be able to have her be my bitch and drive me around. Actually, that probably won’t happen, because you know, she has a life. But it’s still exciting to think we can actually go to different places for dinner, or go home later when I visit. MORE TIME TO SPEND WITH MEG!

MEG2MORE MEG IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING!

Alex

 

I Still Feel Your Breath On Me

[Haunting – Anberlin]

Today I went to an all-you-can-eat chicken wing dinner with Serena, Amelia and Linda at Crazy Wings Glen Waverley. If you do not want to read about how I gorged myself on grilled chicken, then you are welcome to exercise Ctrl+W.

We we originally supposed to go two Mondays ago (or was it last Monday? I’ve lost track of time) but Serena forgot to book. It was probably for the best, because today is one of the days during their mid-sem break, so we could eat and stay out late and it wouldn’t matter.

Let’s back things up a bit, though. First, I had work today, and afterwards I took the bus to Amelia’s house. Meg, who hadn’t seen me for almost 2 months, got really excited and farted on my lap. By the way, Meg is Amelia’s Maltese-Shitzu. Here’s a photo of her:

(Note: I’m not a photoblogger, so the photos are neither well composed, well cropped, nor would my blog theme complement it.)

MEG1She’s rather dumb but pliable, and as long as she loves you, she’ll let you do anything.

ANYWAY, I saw Meg again for the first time in two months, and she farted on my lap. I had to actually check my lap because it felt so warm and smelled so ripe, just in case it was actually poo and not a fart. It was a fart, but I wasn’t any happier.

After being in her house for a total for 20 minutes of a long overdue cuddle (and nothing more), we had to head out again to make our reservation at Crazy Wing, which was where I had come from in the first place not one hour earlier. We picked up Serena along the way, and took a bus back, and the entire trip had us sit in starving silence. Linda joined us outside the restaurant, and after some debate, we went in to start eating.

Long story short, the four of us wolfed down between us perhaps 60 chicken wings, which placed us as having eaten the amount that we paid and then some. Here is a photo of the first round which we ate, before and after.

Afterwards, we went for some ice cream, and sat inside the cinemas while eating it. Serena refused, absolutely refused, to let me have the bottom end of her cone.

After that, I went home, where I ate some fruit salad out of guilt. Currently I’m sitting in front of my computer with a stomach ready for hibernation. My mouth feels tacky and dry from all the grease and the beer which came as part of the all-you-can-eat deal, but if I drank any water I think I might slosh away down the heating vents.

Alex.

P.S. Comment below if you want to see/read more about Meg. I absolutely adore her and I love to talk about her, and both Amelia and I obsessively take photos of her, so I have plenty to share.

 

 

Montage Every Memory

[Black Cat – Mayday Parade]

Sometimes I think about what it is that sparked a friendship between a friend and me. For the most part, the answer is simple: time spent together; close proximity; similar interests and/or personalities; completely different interests and personalities that somehow mesh together, etc. But then there are the weird ones.

For example, I would consider quite a few of my workmates friends, but that’s because I spend up to 20 hours with them on some weeks. The moment that one of them or I leave the workplace, I dare say there’d be little to no reason for us to maintain communication. But, it’s still nice to have them on my Facebook contact list to serve as a memory of times when you faced a shop full of hungry customers and no strawberries or ice-cream whatsoever.

Then, there are friends who would remain friends despite not having seen them for a long time. High school friends can fall either into this or the previous category. Perhaps I had a close-knit group in high school, but to this day, nearly four years after graduation, whenever there’s an event to celebrate, we still immediately count the same group in first, before anyone else. I suppose it helped that after graduation, three of that group ended up studying the same university undergrad for three more years. I can still name a few friends with whom I speak to once or twice a year at best, but I feel that I still am somehow connected to them during those times.

Also, you’d have friends who like the same things you do, and in all honesty you could possibly maintain an entire conversation based solely on those topics, and nothing else. I think Annie falls into all the previous three categories, having spent nearly 7 years together with me, enjoy the same TV shows I do and, now, after graduating university, we talk once or twice a month and those times only about TV shows. I’m not quite sure if she still lives at home or if she’s still at the telemarketing job, but boy do I know that she’s excited for the return of season premiers!

Finally, you have friends who you neither see often, nor not at all. Friends with whom you share some, but only few interests. Friends who, in all honesty, you’ve only made because they’re a friend of a friend’s. Then, as time went on, you realize you talk to them more and more, and even though you have almost no shared interests or experiences, you can still maintain some sort of continuous mundane conversation. I think that’s who Serena is (there, a second mention). I honestly and thoroughly enjoy my time with her, even when she’s completely disregarding every warning and advice I give her. Hell, I actually enjoy just watching her put on makeup in front of the computer.

That’s the kind of friendship that truly encapsulates the strangeness of human nature, where against all logic, a bond is still created.

I may have known Serena for almost longer than most of the people I talk to now (and not realized it), and I may spend most of my conversations with her telling her she stinks, but I do love her.

Alex.

But When You’re With Me, I’ll Make You Believe

[Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 ft Christina Aguilera]

Strange to be coming back to a habit which I used to have everyday. I read somewhere that 21 days make a habit, so here’s to 21 days of a new habit.

My comeback’s comeback’s comeback (did I count that right?) comes on the heels of a different direction that I’m taking in my life. Namely, that I’m going back onto the same direction that I was (hoping to be) heading towards this time last year.

Bar the stroke of depressing inspiration from the post prior, my life had taken a creative standstill. After graduation, I attempted to continue writing, but the lure of an obligation-free lifestyle took me in too far, and I found myself sitting at the tail end of May with nothing to show for it but working two 3-hour shifts a week, and taking benefits from the government (which isn’t something I’m complaining about). And while every day I told myself that I’d get right on it – ‘it’ being the first step towards a proper ‘life’, i.e. applying for writing/media jobs more seriously (more seriously than occasionally contacting some small publishing company about internships), or at least have a plan sketched out – it was simply more relaxing to watch old episodes of BuffyΒ and gorge myself on Daredevil comics. I started and semi-abandoned two different writing projects, as well as a movie review blog idea which I’ve also heaped into a folder on my USB titled “Microsoft Docs”, the polite sign at the gate that is the graveyard of my creativity spurs.

So when June came whizzing around, I accepted a job at a local cafe, which offered me up to 20+ hours a week of working – and hard working, too. My paychecks started holding much bigger numbers, and I told myself that this was obviously my next step, since it was Β next to impossible to find a job in the media these days (especially if I didn’t try), and at least I’m earning some seed money for when I take a step away from the ledge and start doing work for no money – an inevitable step.

Then, the other week, I reconnected with an old friend. She’s the kind of person who would ask about you out of the kindness of her heart, but not take a wishy-washy answer as fact and move on. She pressed why I didn’t have a proper plan, and even went so far as to contact an acquaintance of her own who works in the media, just to ask for how I can get started.

So I dug up my old internet bookmarks where I’d stashed away a few post-grad courses I’d been looking at in my final year of undergrad studying. I semi-made up my mind that I should return to study, if not only for the practical experience that those courses will provide for to fatten my port-folio. I sounded my ideas off of Amelia, who immediately seized on the fact that for the past half a year I’d done naught to further my own career, and guilt-tripped me into doing something about it. Granted, she told me to just go and properly look for a job, but I reviewed my own state of mind, and felt that perhaps I wasn’t ready to look for the job, but instead should study for it. If this would be a vain exercise to put off shouldering responsibilities…well, time will tell.

In any case, I’d applied for and am in the process of being accepted for a Masters in Media. I’d like to think I’d be one of the gap-year-taking older students (although, considering this is a post-grad degree, I just may be one of the youngest anyway) who studies above and beyond the requirement and partake in all class discussions.

600 words in: excellent. I should have weeded out the people who didn’t really care about my ramblings, and am left with Serena. Hi Serena, are you still reading this?

Much like the gag on Family Guy, I’m a writer who needs people to know I’m writing. I haven’t gone as far as to go into a cafe and bring my laptop, although if I am to work and study at the same time next year, it just may happen out of necessity.

So, Serena, please continue reading.

Yesterday was the annual Social Night, an event held by the SAMA club, or the anime club of Monash Uni. Amelia is a committee member this year, and she worked hard for the event. I’m not one for photo-blogging, but here is a glimpse of what the table settings that she designed looked like (if you click on the link).

The event was smaller than last year, but it was still extremely entertaining. Maybe it was because I know how hard Amelia worked for the event, but I felt it was more intimate.

Serena snuck a bottle of vodka into the party, and became the producer/enabler for most of the drunken behavior last night.

The night was capped by a rousing Happy Birthday for Amelia, who turned 21 at midnight after the event. I look at her, and sometimes I’m astonished to realize I’ve been with her for 2 years, which simultaneously feel like no time at all, and yet I can’t remember what I used to do without her in my life (no, I will not read through my old blog posts to refresh my memory).

I’ll find more interesting things to blog about apart from myself for the next 20 days. Unfortunately tomorrow is an entire day of work, so maybe I’ll find a funny customer anecdote to share.

Thanks for reading, Serena (and any of you other beautiful folks who I know have subscribed to and stuck with me despite the hiccups).

Alex.

The Life and Laughs: Revenge of the Laugh

Oh, subscribers, are you still there? Are you surprised to see me again?

As of this moment, I have finished all the assessment tasks for my university degree. There is the small matter of handing it in and, oh, passing, but I have confidence that I will receive a high enough score to get me the certificate.

So, where I left you last.

I was about to start my two-week internship, which turned out really interesting. I found out lots about myself in those two weeks – how quickly I can really write, how to self-edit, how to take criticism (although, the sub-editor who sat me down and went through my work was very nice about correcting my mistakes, much nicer than my actual class teacher), how to make phone-interviews.

I also learned how much I hate journalism. Well, not all aspects of journalism – but I wasn’t a fan of slow moving, methodical get-the-interview-and-write-it journalism. I’m not knocking it, I just guess it wasn’t for me!

I also did some tough interviews for a writing class, since the assessments needed us to go interview complete strangers. I interviewed two research professors, and a few of my friends. For one article, I chose to interview April and Bianca about their personal lives. They were toughies, I had to fight to keep tears back with Bianca.

Overall, I did pretty well in Semester 1. Of course, I knew Semester 2 was going to be a bitch and half. But before that…

I went on the SAMA camp. SAMA is the Monash Anime club, which Mela is a part of. It was in the middle of July, so it was cold and wet – and the place we went to seemed to be creating mud out of every crevice. As the club is a nerdy one, most nights were spent playing Mahjong, watching anime or horror movies. The last night, however, saw everyone wanting to get rid of all the alcohol that was brought. Much drunkeness and throwing-upness occurred. Cindy drank til she was a bit beyond tipsy (we thought she was outright drunk, but a few weeks later we saw a video of her being actually drunk and talking in an infectious British accent). And my girl? Well, she went much beyond drunk – bashed through hilarious drunk by hugging everyone and telling them she loves them, and then crashed into bad drunk and threw up what smelled like pure alcohol. The next day, suffice to say, she suffered.

There was also the SAMA Social Night, which happened in August. I was forced to go, and went through a horrible process of trying to find clothing for the formal event. In the end, I put together some dodgy looking pieces, fixed with the bowtie that Amelia gave me for my birthday (oh, did I mention? I turned 21! I got loads of presents, but Amelia’s was the best: the bowtie, a great scarf, and a crap-load of Nerds lollies). I ended up winning best-dressed male. Clare, who went, could not stop smiling at me when I was up on stage. If I could have melted with embarrassment, I would have.

Semester 2 was tougher. I had 3 subjects again, but all requiring research, and none were creative. One was a whipping 8000 word mini-thesis. Amusingly, the other two subjects overlapped each other almost completely in content, simply from different ends. And so the first six weeks saw me learn a whole load of new information, and the last six saw me revise it in the other class.

Annie and I worked very hard, for once…and the last time. We holed ourselves up in the library every day we were in (which was, granted, around twice a week), for a whole month, and worked our asses off while we were at home. We did up to 20,000 words of research for a 2,500 essay, and sure we laughed about it later, but at that time, it was horrible. I once wrote so hard that my arms cramped, something I haven’t really encountered since VCE exams.

I also got a new laptop! A Samsung Series 9, which is as light as an eyelash and about as thick. It’s a beautiful machine, and I want so much to keep it beautiful I haven’t taken off the plastic cover on the front and on the wrist-rest.

Amelia bought me tickets for and attended with me Maroon 5. It was a shocking concert – although there wasn’t a mosh, and we sat further back than we thought we would, they made up for it with their relentless energy. I did not stop dancing the whole time they were on stage, and neither did they! Jen and I shouted ourselves hoarse (we both wanted to go, and dragged our other halves with us).

Amelia turned 20, and I took her to the Conservatory at Crown. It was a bad start, because I got lost and was late to the restaurant, but Amelia ate a massive fill from the buffet, and I gorged myself on the chocolate fountain. The food was very good (considering how much it costs), but the thing that got me the most was the service. First-class waiters and waitresses were patient as hell, despite covering about two dozen people each.

We also celebrated our 1 year anniversary (yes, it HAS been that long!) but, unfortunately, on the day I had classes I had to attend. We delegated the celebrating to her birthday, since they’re both very close to each other. Amelia also held another birthday dinner at Paesano’s at Knox O-Zone, and so many people showed up that we had to get two massive tables and squeeze together.

Meg, Amelia’s dog, has gotten extremely cute – and much bigger! Although she is still quite small, she no longer fits just on one arm, and I need to carry her with both. She’s not gotten much smarter, but she’s very loyal, and the other week when I visited her after a long break, she was so excited, she peed! I love Meg very much, and I can’t stop talking about her when I’m with other people. I think it annoys them but if they were loved by Meg, they’d do the same.

And now, I’ve finished all the assessments for my university schooling. I’m not going back to class next year, nor have I a job lined up. I was hoping to take a year off and see what my options are. Perhaps I can pay Amelia more attention too, as I have neglected her a lot this past few months.

I’m about to go to China for a two week holiday, by myself. I’m utterly terrified, because I’m about as good a flyer as a rock, and I’ve never had to go by myself before. But, hey, I’m 21 now, I should learn how to hack it.

It also means that, despite this lengthy and vigorous attempt to revive this blog, I will not be blogging for the next 2-3 weeks, because WordPress is blocked in China. But I will strive to come back.

So, Revenge of the Laugh! The Life Returns. Etc.

Alex.

/edit: Also, Brendan happened. He had to carry my drunk girlfriend since I couldn’t, and she kept on thinking she was flying, causing him to nearly drop her a lot. (This was at SAMA camp by the way.) Also a bunch of other stuff including him took place, like um. I don’t know. Also he got a new girlfriend.

I can’t wait to fall in love with you

[Summer Love – Justin Timberlake]

So I am aware that I haven’t written much for a while. Mostly, life has been pretty routine – I meet up with Mela, I go to work, I have some shifts that are terrible, some that are fun. Mela and I have had a few small arguments but nothing close to a fight. I’ve gotten her Christmas presents and she’s gotten me some as well.

As you can imagine, last night was NYE 2011. Putting aside the “oh my God it was only, like, yesterday that I went to the city for NYE 2010”, I was pretty excited because we’d gotten a hotel room together in the city. Awkwardly, the room was right next to my work, the very place where I can’t be seen because I was “home sick”, so I spent a lot of time cowering behind Mela when we passed my work in case the managers were about.

We met up at Glen, as usual, and took the train up. There was still time before check-in, so we had lunch at this Vietnamese place, except I felt like fried rice, so of course I ordered a Pad Thai Fried Rice at a Vietnamese Pho restaurant. After eating our fill, we took the tram down to our hotel room, checked in, got all excited at the prospect of a night together in a decent for how much we paid hotel room. But not 10 minutes into our honeymoon beyond the threshold mania did Brendan call for me to pick him up from downstairs. There was a bit of a whinge on Mela’s behalf who, understandably, seeing as we hadn’t seen each other properly in a few days, wanted some time alone first. But I got Brendan, and we hung out in the hotel room for a bit watching TV until we went to Coles at Melb Central to get some snacks because I remembered being hungry the year prior. Took almost an hour to decide what alcohol to buy and ending up buying a tiny bottle of butterscotch schnapps which I will say now, sucked. We passed by Dani and Ben eating crepes outside of Harajuku crepes, thus seeing a 2nd year of accidentally coming across Dani in the city on NYE. We went back to the room and watched Man Vs Wild until Brendan had to go see his friends. So then Mela finally had her time alone with me.

At around 7:50, 8, we headed off to go have dinner with Jen in Richmond, seeing as it was also her birthday that we were counting down to. We went to Pacific House on Victoria Street, and since we arrived late, they ordered already. It was fine, because the food was amazing. Once again, we ate our fill and with bulging stomachs hugged Jen goodbye to catch up with my uni group in the city.

Caught up with Jacky who was standing waving his arms in the middle of Swanston Street looking for us, and we went to Gin Palace (a small bar just off Lt Collins) for a bit. Jacky brought along an entourage of our lunch group, including Clare whom I haven’t seen in what felt like forever. We didn’t stay in the bar for long, seeing as it was already 30 minutes to midnight. We went back to Fed Square, and on the way, Mela, Little Sam and I lost the rest of the group. After a good quarter of an hour desperately pushing through crowds and trying to get calls to go through, I finally got through to Clare, who told us where they were. Running like mad people and hurting, I am sure, numerous merry-makers, we managed to run from Fed Square, through the crowd and down to Southbank opposite the Langham in around 5 minutes, arriving to where the group was a mere 2 minutes before midnight.

Missed the countdown, as we always do on Southbank because we don’t have speakers there, but we knew that we’d ushered in the new (and final?) year when the fireworks flew into the night sky. We watched in awe as this year’s (which was much better than last year’s) fireworks lit up the Melbourne skyline, and then we watched in amusement and some degree of horror as the top of the Art Building spire caught on fire, sending massive flaming debris down.

Mela and I trudged back to our hotel room, somehow managing to get there before 1am. We had our showers, then snuggled up in bed with the schnapps which were quickly abandoned. We ate some bread and ham that we bought, even though she was still full. We hugged a lot and told each other many sweet things before feeling fatigue pull its veil over our eyes by 2, and going to sleep.

Sleep was a bit difficult, for me at least, because it was quite warm, but it was nice to be able to cuddle the one you love at any given time during the night. We woke up and had some more cuddles and sleepy talking before her phone went off to let us know that we had to get ready for check-out. Quick packing up, a few moments of Ben 10 on TV, and we said goodbye to our first hotel room together.

The day was already heating up monstrously, and we ate congee at the same restaurant as I had last year with Annie, Anna, Josh and Julia. Then we took the Cranbourne back to Oakleigh, and said a long and sad goodbye as we took our respective buses. But the goodbye wasn’t for long, because I can feel that 2012 is going to be the year where I don’t (and really shouldn’t) feel like I am alone at any time.

Alex.