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.

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Tracing letters along my back

Today Annie and I went to the uni library again to do research for our final essay. We thought it would be straightforward like it was for Asian PR, which we did a week prior.

It wasn’t.

We didn’t realize it when picking the topic, but the ambiguity of our research question drove us to near madness. We shuffled through the pages of our books hoping that something would jump out at us, or the jumble of quotes that we were slowly compiling would fall into some sort of essay structure.

Thank my stars Mela came just in time. She sat with me and calmed me down when I had my – and I never have these – attack of pure hopelessness. And it was a good thing she was there to do so, because otherwise I think I would have taken it out on Annie to the point where we would have had a massive fight.

While I was buried in my book and trying to make sense of the confusing language, Mela was watching a movie – tactfully turned away from me – and tracing abstract shapes and letters on my back. I don’t know if in her past this had worked, but I sure never told her that this was something my grandma used to do to lull me to sleep when I was very young. It calmed me down a lot and made me feel a bit better about my situation.

Sure, if I think about how much time I have left compared to the workload, I get scared again. But I’ve seen my ability to write even the most confusing and unresearched essay in a short period of time before. I’ve done the maths – I know that I just need to pass these essays to pass those classes, and even though that’s not the kind of mark that would make my parents happy, these are difficult and dry classes, and I doubt anyone would be having a good time in them.

I took a long hot shower when I got home. My skin reacted slightly to Mela’s sunscreen, so I let it soak a bit in the warm water. It feels better now, but it’s still a bit flaky.

I am going to go take some more notes before going to bed for a good solid sleep before doing as much as I can tomorrow.

And I love Mela, so very much. Not just because she came into the city today just to sit with Annie and me while we freaked out. Not just because she let me squeeze her hand whenever I felt overwhelmed. Not just because, even though she felt a bit ill, she still agreed to stay out a bit late. Mostly because she did these things willingly even when I didn’t realize the inconvenience it placed onto her, and never voiced my guilt when I did realize. Mostly because she looked into my eyes when I was going to just give up on the essay, and told me that I’ll be fine.

Alex.

Your hair is everywhere

[Screaming Infidelities – Dashboard Confessionals]

Day 04: Write about someone you love.

I’m doing pretty badly at this daily deal ha.

I find, though, for these kind of topics, unless you’re dating someone, or you have a best friend who everyone knows you’re best friends with, if you commit to writing about someone, you’re committing yourself to them.

Or maybe I have commitment issues I never realized or thought I would have.

For example, just a few days ago Jen was talking to me about possibly moving in together as room-mates in the soon-but-yet-unseen future, and weirdly enough I actually started freaking out just at her words – we could figure out who does the cooking, and we could take turns doing the icky jobs – and I was surprised I was genuinely freaked out.

It’s not that I dislike being around Jen – far from it, I don’t think we’ve ever had a boring time when we hung out – or that I think she’d judge me (much) when she sees what a slob I am – mostly because I’m slobby in public – but it’s more just living – LIVING – with someone else who hasn’t been part of my conscious day-to-day life since I was born (I am generalizing, because for me, my parents aren’t actually the ones who I consciously remember growing up with, but I did start living with them a good decade ago so the weight of the memories are enough) actually freaked me out. It wasn’t the thought of all the responsibilities I’d have, because I’m sure as much as I’d fail at it at the beginning, I’d soon pick up the rhythm and take care of myself, but it was just…SEEING Jen ALL the TIME.

There is no nice way of saying this.

But, back on track. Writing about a specific someone not only elevates them to a status of “First Who Came To Alex’s Mind”, but also “Now Expected To Always Come First To Alex’s Mind”, because why else would I mention them? I have a stockpile of who I can write about: Jen, obviously; Annie who I see all the time and who has been there during all the bad times; Dani, because Dani; Clare, because she gives great hugs; Bianca, for making me see the world differently; I could pick people who I don’t talk to all the time, whose support I sometimes let melt into the background, such as Katherine, who put up with a LOT of weird stuff from me; Catherine (yes…) who talks to me like we’ve never had any time apart even though we rarely do talk anymore; Julia, because haha I won’t revisit the random historical crap there but kudos to her; Steven who as a guy, manages to put up with all my weird ass mood swings, and over MSN too; Dom and Andrew who, at the same time but through different means, were probably my first proper guy friends in the era I call After Annoying-Adolescence.

But are any of them deserving of the ONE SINGLE mention? What qualifies them above the others?

Maybe I’ll revisit this question when I’ve gotten a significant other, and I can shamelessly put them above the others because it’s okay, no hard feelings, and no cold feet freak outs.

Alex.

Then He Swears He Loves You

[Face Down] – The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

So as I mentioned in my previous post that I’ve made a new friend. This post is about making friends…and keeping them.

Not to go on some emo tirade or anything, but I have noticed in 2010 that I went through quite a lot of friends. Mind, I kept the same group from the start of the year, but the separate individuals were worked through really quickly. It got to the point where Jen called me a friend-whore.

If you’ve been reading all my posts this year, you might have noticed that a few names had come and gone. That’s the thing that I want to talk about today: the fact that the names are so noticeably there, then so noticeably missing.

When I first make a friend, I’m on it 24/7. I’m fun, I talk lots, I discuss all sorts of topics, I talk about them all the time. Then, after what I suppose is the “honeymoon period” for friends, it just dies out.

I think, though, it’s more to do with how I made friends with them in the first place that really dictates if the friendship “goes the distance” or if it’s a “one-week-stand” sort of deal.

Take for example, the friends I made at the start of the year at uni who I’m still friends with now – Josh and Anna, and by some abstract extension, Annie and Jen, seeing as Arts sort of made us a renewed group; the Melbourne Uni lunch group (Mandy etc) – were made as a matter of course. Josh and Anna were doing my course and because Anna knew me and Josh knew Annie, naturally we became a sort of group. Mandy etc I met through Dot, who I’ve known since I came to Australia, so when I saw Dot at uni of course I went to say hi, and thus met the rest of the huge-ass PLC and MHS collection I now have.

The new friend that I made, I made through a friend who I made through another friend who I made through a friend who I made through being suspended. (I loved writing that sentence, I really did.) I can’t reveal the first two friends’ names seeing as they’re not online and I can’t ask for their permission, so I’ll hide their names to Es- and Jan. The last two friends as you probably can guess are Lily and Meghan.

The thing about Es- is that we only became friends through coincidence. I was talking to Jan on Skype and she just happened to receive a call from Es-, and so Es- went on Skype as well and we hit it off teasing Jan, and so we became friends. It became very apparent recently that Es- and I have close to nothing in common with each other – if anything, our tastes in music, film, TV and celebrities are polar opposites. But we still manage to get along.

Jan and I have almost everything in common (save height and other physical attributes…oh and music taste but that’s my next point). I guess it’s too early to say because I’d really only started talking to her 2 weeks ago but so far our friendship has been coasting on the fact that whenever there’s a dull moment, we start discussing FRIENDS, the catalyst of our friendship.

What I’m trying to sketch here is that, perhaps, at least for me, opposite really do attract, and similarities, while fun at the start, ends up being not enough.

Okay, another example: Dani and I are pretty close. We have a lot of similarities…NOW. But when we first met we were very different to each other, and it was through being friends for 4-5 years that we developed a similar music taste and social belonging.

Jen and I, Annie and I, we’re STILL immensely different people, even after 4-5 years of being around each other and getting to know each others’ likes and dislikes. Catherine and I – apart from her awesome music taste – are almost two sides of two completely different coins, but when we hang out it’s just nice and easy. Josh and I had some similarities but I think it was because of our similar views on issues that we got along.

Music, though, I think music is a huge sticking point for two people to get along. For example, Es- and I have completely different taste in music but so far we’re just avoiding the topic. At some point, I’m pretty sure, the fact that she hates some of my favorite songs will come up in a very ugly way that we can’t laugh over. I can’t be sure of it, seeing as she’s practically the queen of Meh, but you know, it’s a huge deal. Lily had said, upon giving me a CD full of RnB, that it’s almost a “make or break” for our friendship whether I like those songs, even though we’d already established a firm friendship based on her love for Maroon 5.

It sounds sucky, but so far it seems that the friends I make out of them being there, instead of the ones I actively sought out, are the ones I manage to keep around the longest (I COULD view it as a comment on my skills as a friend finder but that’s just depressing). They don’t necessarily have the most in common with me, or agree with me on a lot of points, but they’re the ones whose friendship didn’t burn out super fast and die.

It’s a problem, because I do envision my ideal partner as someone who has a lot in common with me and they like all the things I like and we finish each other’s sentences…but maybe I can still get that, they just might not start out that way.

Personal growth wow.

Alex.

I Realize It’s Hard To Take Courage

[True Colors – Glee Cast cover, original by Cindy Lauper]

Day 13 — Someone you wish could forgive you

I wrote a piece so long ago, when I first started writing here frequently, so back in August 2008. It still stands; I still wish that you would forgive me for what I did to you back then, and we can be great friends. But I suppose, then again, if in 4 years’ of being in the same class and group hasn’t really made us any closer, then we’ve gotten as close as we’re gonna get.

I am grateful for your end of year message, and I am grateful for the amount of friendship you do give me, so I suppose when I say I wish you would forgive me, it’s more for a selfish relief than anything else.

I hope you are happy now, because I never see you anymore.

Love,

Alex.

Ode to Katherine

What? Did that look like a repeat? No, before it was Ode to Catherine and now it’s Ode to Katherine. Different girl.

I guess with this one it won’t be as deep as the one to Catherine because I have yet still a lot more to find out about this Katherine, but I guess for my readers I will explain who this new Katherine is.

Back in Yr 7 when I was still a Brentwood kid, I went to the inter-school table tennis competition and there I met this awesomely crazy little Asian girl. We had a blast that day. We promised that we’d do table tennis the following year as well, to meet again.

Well, we did, except I got on the B team instead and she on A. We still hung out heaps and the impression that I had from that day was we had even more fun. It was like we weren’t just seeing each other once a year it was like we’ve been friends for ages.

Anyway, after that I went to MacRob so I never got the chance to see her again. I stopped talking to her on MSN. I only had her home phone and not her mobile (seriously, I don’t know how either) so I never texted her. She was on MSN, I just never…spoke to her.

It wasn’t until I was talking to Jade on Facebook one day during the holidays when I noticed in her friends list was someone who I’d met along with Katherine. Her name jogged my memory, and I added Katherine as well.

We started talking on Facebook, and lo and behold I finally noticed that she’s been on MSN with me for the past 4 years, nearly every night. I said hi. She said hi back. Then she threw at me about 10 different emoticons, and some lame puns.

And I suddenly remembered why we clicked so well. It was her carefree attitude, her readiness for some humor in life, her way of making me smile with just a small *poke*. And I suddenly missed it. I missed the 4 years we could’ve continued to be friends, to be better friends. I regretted not taking the initiative to keep in contact, and I decided to make sure that this time we stay in touch.

Do you want an example of her humor? Here:

Darn adorable and hilarious, don’t you think?

Well, Katherine, here’s to a renewed and continued friendship. [cue happy emoticon where I’m the pink one who trips over]

She said what?! Figure out her navigation for yourself, I had to.

Alex.

/edit Oh well, since she mentioned me along with 5 other friends on her blog, I think I can squeeze this in.

Had the Methods 1 exam today, and the last question was a worded one which went “Give and explanation why the approximate value is greater than the exact value?” Knowing I wouldn’t get the mark anyway, I decided to MLIA the shit:

“Because it is an approximate, it would either be greater or less than the exact value. Given only these two choices, and that the question alluded to the fact that it is greater, the process of elimination and logic would provide that it is greater than the exact value.”

Or something like that.

Somebody To Lean On

Ah, thus my 3rd installment of one of the most awesomest weeks of my life.

Now, as you may remember I went to sleep at 1 am on the Wednesday night (Thursday morning, whatever) and I had a 5 am wake up on Thursday morning in order to catch a 6:25 train so we could be at school by 7:30. Saw Eunice at Glen Waverley which I didn’t expect because she’d previously said she wouldn’t. But meh.

She was in brown overalls and later bandaged up her head, because as Jack from Jack and Jill, she fell down and broke her crown.

More MacRob people arrived, and then some MHS guys in UNIFORM as well. Annie came on at Mount Waverley with a huge spoon. I thought it was a dirty metaphor until she said that Jen T is a fork, and they’re the famous (if not stuffed up) “dish and spoon” (you can see the stuff up because Jen T was a fork).

I was in this huge cape as Phantom Of The Opera (Yeah, I gave up on Mojo Jojo or the whole Powerpuff Girls thing, for that matter). The mask stuck out weirdly so I didn’t wear it. People thought I was Dracula. I was okay with that.

Eunice, Fel and I got off at Melb Central to go to Coles, and I thought it would be a good idea to buy a small box of tissues. Met up with Carmaine who was the train after us, and we took the tram up to school, getting off at Bowen (I’m just using these terms because I won’t really use them  much after this….sad) and going over the overpass. There were no bras on there, much to Eunice’s disappointment (there was a prank or something planned where we all tied a bra to the overpass…I don’t know). We went around to the Lakeside Courtyard where we were celebrating, and there were teachers standing around making sure we didn’t have fun.

Had some pancakes and fairy floss for breakfast, and then went on to start camwhoring. THERE WAS A JUMPING CASTLE! Went onto it 2 times, once with Sonam who landed butt first on my face, and the 2nd time with Julia and co., with the former deciding to test the side safety nets by pushing me repeatedly onto it.

Took photos for the first 20 minutes until woe woe woe my batteries ran out. I relied on other people for photos. And, of course, I became the camera mule, taking pictures for other people.

There were many amazing costumed groups, some of the memorable ones were:

The Powerpuff Girls (of course) and the Rowdy Rough Boys

The Soft Drinks Cans (they made these huge cans that they wore, and Huey especially wobbled in them)

The 2 Rubiks Cubes (I tried solving them. The girls inside asked what I was doing. I said solving them. They laughed.)

Bridezillas (it was freaking scary)

Snow White and the 7 Dwarves (Nug was a dwarf. I got to laugh) and of course the entourage of Evil Witches and whatnots

Bumblebee arm on Optimus Prime from Transformers (here’s looking at Bel)

Madeline and the French Nun Woman Whose Name I Forgot! Someone remind me.

Firemen.

The French Revolution people (I have no idea who they were meant to be, but they had good facial hair)

And of course, the Oompa Loompas and Willy Wonka, which scared the crap out of me. I meant the orange people though.

There were many others unnamed, and all of them were good and you could tell everyone put a lot of effort into it.

After much excitement and photos, it was time to go to the hall for the assembly. We yelled, we cheered, and of course we…but back up…background first.

For the previous week, it has been known that the clocks have been disappearing from every single classroom in school. While most of the year level knew that was happening, we didn’t actually know WHY. This wasn’t revealed until at assembly, Saf stood up there onstage and said, “Okay girls, on the count of 3 sing with me.” No one knew what song, and Saf said, “Just go with it ladies.”

“1…2…3…”

“I want one moment in…time!” And at that exact moment every clock that we had (which was every clock the school had) were raised to face the rest of the school behind us, and we all joined in a heartfelt, off-key, screeched out and by all means AWESOME rendition of One Moment In Time (the high-high-highlight being “when I’m racing with destiny” when everyone forgot EB’s advice to let the note envelope us and instead tried to shoot it from the top of our heads…it was nasty).

Then, the first act came on, and it was a lovely little dance number. I can’t recall all of the songs, but I just remember 2 scenes. 1, the first scene, when Mishie and Rach Tan (the former being a MacRob girl the latter being an “ENTER score” sought each other out through the crowd to Swift’s Love Story (“we were both young when I first saw you”). And then the 2nd scene was when Mishie was left by herself when ENTER abandoned her, and she sobbed out “ALL BY MYSELF!”

Then it was time for the video! Except there was a technical difficulty, so Amee went ahead with her piano improvisation. It brought tears for many of the girls, and started the mood for the video off.

The video was great, even if I do say so myself (and on behalf of my fellow committee-ers). It brought laughter where it was wanted, gasps where it was planned, and tears where it should be. Mr Rus- as Superman was amazing (and it was the first time I saw that skit, so I laughed so hard I teared), and all the other videos were of top-notch standard. People said afterwards that not a single video in it was boring, every one of them was great. That was the best compliment we could have gotten.

After the video, the tissues I bought came in handy, as those around me started bawling (I got the aloe vera kind, so it was good on their noses).

Then Pru- and Mari- went onstage and sang “Lean On Me”, during which Pru- cracked up which cause most of everyone else to cry (I still didn’t cry…which was weird).

Later on, when the rest of the school had left (we all did a standing ovation for the Yr 11s and others who were with us. I NEARLY felt like tearing at the thought of leaving Catherine, Fa and Julia L)  we started on the awards of “Most Likely”. And, true enough, Bel and Julia got “Most likely to be each others bridesmaids”. Mari- got “Friend Whore” because she was the most frequently mentioned person in the 3 categories “Most Compatible Pair” “Most Unlikely Pair” and something else.

After everything, after farewells to everyone, we headed out to leave. The Yr 9s gave us a human tunnel for us to leave by, each of them saying “we’ll miss you! Good luck!” and we all agreed, perhaps this bunch has some hope left yet.

Had a final Form get together at the picnic tables, where Jen and Nay handed out these little envelopes and in it they’ve described each person as an element. I was Sodium. It was a salty (not sweet) description, and it was lovely.

Left with BRuCE, Fel, Dani and Zara to Dani’s place for an impromptu BBQ. I felt sleepy by that point. Called Julia L to wish her a happy birthday and turned out she cried!! What a darl.

And thus ended my career as a high school student. In less than 1 month I will be free. Free from exams. Yet at the same time free of the protective and familiar environment that I’ve grown accustomed to over the last 4 years, and free of the faces that I’ve come taken for granted to see. And I don’t feel like it’s a good thing at all.

Alex.