Then it said ‘mew’

On Friday night was Dani’s birthday dinner. On the train ride there, Mela pointed out that in my previous post, I’d gotten the sequence of events wrong, and Monday actually happened on Tuesday and vice versa.

We arrived at Melb Central late, and were worried that we’d held everyone up, but it turned out that everyone else were just really, really late, and we decided on having some hotpot for dinner, picked up Soph, and went to Little Lamb on Russell St.

Carmaine and her boyfriend dropped by for a few minutes but declined to dine with us, saying they were too poor. So, instead, Dani, Mela, Soph and I pigged out on the hotpot, aiming to eat more than the 25 dollar flat rate we paid, and we all chatted. April came along a bit of the way through and, despite not eating, stayed to talk. Mela and I realized that we were sitting on one side of the table while eating, and the other side of the table sat the three halfies, all of them good looking and none of them eating.

Saturday was Brendan’s party. Cindy and I went to Stud Park to shop for jello-shot ingredients with Mela, and then we went to Sam’s Warehouse to get shot glasses. It was cold and raining, and my hunger drove my caring girlfriend to begrudgingly buy me a sausage with bread.

We went to her house, and the other two made jello-shots while I went on Tumblr. Cindy accidentally spilled one shot while we were arranging them on this ceramic tray, and so not to waste, the three of us took turns slurping up the semi solid goo with a straw. Ah the dignity that we forfeited.

After that, we went to Brendan’s house early, having nothing to do at Mela’s (they watched Whip It for a while but I complained). We met the kitty ‘Doc’, and we played with the kitten for an hour or two until more people arrived. Brendan got this weird blowup guitar as a present, and the jokes of him blowing up something large and pink were numerous.

Now, this party was the one where I was meant to drink, but something went odd with my tolerance, and I ended up on that platform of one-shot-too-many, and my darling was put to the test by having to take care of me while I threw up for about an hour. But, hey, before that the party was great! Apparently I danced, we ate pizza and chips, played with the kitten some more when someone brought him back downstairs. Arthur and Valia (newly coupled and all that) were being super cute and made fairy bread. We sang along to karaoke.

In the end, Mela’s older brother drove us home. Having work the next day, I did my best to hydrate and sleep, and then went to visit Mela after she finished her shift the next day before Jen (from that other time with the surprise visiting at work and all that) who was going to have lunch with Mela drove me to work.

I always like Brendan’s parties. I will aim to like all of it without throwing up of course. I missed out on Truth or Dare too!

Alex.

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Hippo with a hernia

Today Mela and I went to see the Lion King 3D, and to our delight, we were the only ones in the theater.

Mela ran up to the front and danced around.

Then we watched the movie, and sang along loudly to every song – especially The Circle Of Life, the starting part. We also recited all the bits we knew, and hugged each other for comfort when (spoiler!) Mufasa died.

The 3D effects were good in the sense that mostly they were not intrusive, and if anything some of the majestic scenery were made even more breathtaking by its realness.

I’m really glad we were the only ones in the theater because it was great to be able to enjoy the movie at the top of our lungs. It felt like we were watching the movie at home, but with a huge screen.

Alex.

Death by hot chick

So today was my venture to go eat Crazy Wing and go to IKEA for funsies, with Clare, Charles and Mela.

I got to Melb Central a bit earlier, and Annie (who was going to eat lunch with us), Clare and Mela all realized they were going to be a bit late, and, knowing my hatred for waiting and tardiness, they all texted me more or less at the same time “will be around 10 minutes late SORRY!!!!”

We went to Big W where Clare wanted to look for this specific pair of flats, and I was no contribution, and it led to Mela just telling me to stop talking when I passed comment. Then we went to Crazy Wing, but it wasn’t open yet, so we sort of went to this Asian video store nearby, and went through the DVDs with Annie telling me which ones I should “actually see cos it’s actually amazing”. Then we came across the entire collection of Kindaichi and Slam Dunk, and Annie and I both respectively really wanted those, but Mela convinced us out of buying them, adding that being a member of an anime club, chances are she’ll know someone who has all of them. Well, I am relying on her to. But if she doesn’t, the series is only $65!

Then we went to Crazy Wing, and we ordered between us the Honey Spicy Chicken, the Garlic Spicy Chicken, Mela and I each had one Crazy Wing, some mushrooms, and a 2L bottle of Coke. The wing was VERY hot but enjoyably so – even though my lips got kind of inflamed. Surprisingly, Min-, Larry and their friends came into the store as well, and it was a bit of a “hey what are you doing here!” moment.

After Crazy Wing, we went to QV to have frozen yogurt at Tutti Frutti, and ran into Mai and Julia. Mela and I shared a chocolate one, topped with LOADS of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and crushed Oreos, and then argued over who would eat the strawberry pieces and who would eat the dollop of strawberry fro-yo that Mela put in there. We did the shouting over each other arguing, and everyone on the table were feeling pretty awkward until we started laughing at us arguing.

After frozen yogurt, during which all the sugar and chicken was getting to me and I was feeling quite hyper-active, we left Julia and Annie to their own devices, and Charles, Clare, Mela and I started going to IKEA in Victoria Gardens. Got distracted halfway when we went to EB Games on Swanston to play the Wii upstairs, and we did a mass Mario-Kart battle, except I am very inept at the game on Wii, so I came last in every race (that is, I never finished a race), while Mela went nuts trying to beat Charles.

Finally, we took the tram up to Victoria Gardens, and the tram was very crowded and warm. Mela and I tried to do the word scramble on the tram, but realized to do the big one we needed a pen. So I asked Charles if he had a pen, but this gentleman right next to me handed me his pen, and I was kind of pleased at how friendly he was.

IKEA was pretty good – it always is – but it was made better by the fact that the four of us were pretty much in there as a double-date. We went through the bedroom displays, looking at the different room designs. I think, though, the ones that really caught our interest were the children’s bedrooms, especially the one with the canopy bed and the crawl through cubby. Clare came across this little boy in the cubby, and started making her weird noises at him, and didn’t realize that all that time the kid’s parents were standing right behind her.

Mela saw this bunk bed which was pretty much a double bed up top, and a couch-area/relax/study area down the bottom, and more or less fell in love with it.

Then we went to have the Swedish meatballs and mash, and for $4.25, it was REALLY worth it. Except it smells quite strong. I can still smell it on my breath now. Woof. We sort of sat there for a bit talking, and then weaved through the rest of IKEA to make it to the $1 hotdogs. Again, I think Mela fell in love with the hotdogs, because they were rather tasty and filling for one freaking dollar. I think she wants to go to the newly opened Springvale one JUST to eat the hotdogs again.

Then we went to K-Mart to look for jewelry for Clare, because she needs a new necklace, but I suppose that was a silly place to go for that kind of stuff. We looked at the toys a bit, of course, and then left Victoria Gardens in a rush when we realized it was half past 5, and Mela needed to get home by 7. It wasn’t going to happen, but we could try.

On the train home, Mela and I looked through the many MANY photos she took throughout the day, laughing at the ones where the phone blurred the faces, and saying aww whenever there was a cute photo of Clare and Charles. Then we listened to her music a bit, and said bye at the bus-stop. I am getting very comfortable with this dating thing, yep.

It was a really long day; although we got home earlier than we usually would, we did more and went to more places. I asked Mela if she liked the kind of dates where we did a lot of things, or the ones where we had a meal and just sat around and talked. She said she liked a bit of both, but the fact that she’s gone to take a nap now kind of makes me think that the doing stuff dates are really tiring.

Alex.

Isn’t she lovely?

I brought Mela to meet April, Dani and D.P. today (and to re-meet Kud, who she went to school with but never talked to).

She met up with me after work – managed to find her own way to my store – and we ate before going to Mai’s shop to charge up her phone. Mai was over ecstatic to finally meet her, and wouldn’t stop clapping in glee every time Mela and I were holding hands. But overall I think they both left a good impression on the other, and Mela absolutely adores Mai now, which is great.

Dinner was pretty uneventful, but just nice. Everyone sort of just chatted about a few things, but it was a bit awkward for a bit when we were reminiscing, and Mela didn’t know, so she sat there quietly.

After dinner, when D.P. and Kud left, April, Dani, Mela and I sat around QV for a bit waiting for Dani’s friend to come meet her. We sort of just watched Youtube videos on Dani’s phone and had a friendly chat. Dani and April were pretending to act like how Mela and I allegedly act, and Dani was trying to be me by tossing her hair the way I do to move my fringe, and unfortunately for her I caught her in the act.

And after saying goodbye to those two, Mela and I sat by the Yarra for a bit near Southbank, then took the train home – which was delayed for so long we thought Mela was going to miss her bus. Listened to chill music on the way home, but not before rocking out to old school Linkin Park. I was impressed that she knew the words.

It was a really good day.

It’s going to be a really good week.

Alex.

 

You’re Gonna Listen To Me

[Faint – Linkin Park]

Preeetty sure I won’t hit 15 this month. I noticed I haven’t done a song post in ages so I might knock that over tonight as well.

So yesterday was Australia Day, and true to tradition (actually, it was my first recall-able time in the near 11 years since I’ve been here) I went to an Aussie Day BBQ.

I haven’t done a long and almost pointless documentation post in ages, so I might do it full on properly now.

Everything was going pretty peachy in the morning, despite being nearly late for my bus. But as I got on the train, with my hair sitting perfectly (pfft, who am I kidding), it started to drizzle. By the time I’d reached the 3rd station, it was a downright animal zoo out there.

Thankfully, Melbourne weather decided to mood swing towards niceness, and the skies let up the tears – albeit still rather dark and moody. I decided to be adventurous, and take a different tram to the one I would have normally taken.

Yeah, that was a bad idea. I got utterly lost, missed my stop, and had to wait an extra 10 minutes to take the tram one stop back. Then came the confused tourist walk to find the group. There was an awkward moment when I started walking towards a bunch of people near a BBQ purposefully, only to realize I didn’t recognize anyone there. Finally, I spotted a familiar face – the only one who’d arrived.

James, Jen’s friend who joined Juggling with us but then he actually went, had brought a football (the American kind) and, I know how ironic it sounds, but we started throwing that around. He tried to teach me how to throw it properly, but I suppose my hand-eye-ear-brain coordination simply went into hibernation this summer, because I don’t think I have the knack of it, still.

After a while, the MacRob girls arrived, meaning I had actually found people to talk to who don’t insult my lack of sporting abilities. So passed a good hour of sitting around chatting and catching up, followed by what seems to be a time-honored tradition of playing Big-Two and having at least one person not understand the rules and/or tactics. I am ashamed to say, however, that I lost a game.

When Jen T noted that there was another MacRob group who was also at Albert Park Lake (probably forgot to mention where we were), a few of us decided to take the walk to their area to say hi. We started the trek with enthusiasm, having been promised friends “just behind those trees”. The mood soon turned sour as “just behind those trees” turned out to be “halfway across the lake”. Annie, Julia and I watched in high mirth as Tiff weaved her way through the carpark, completely sober, but drunk on being herself, and Annie laughed so hard that she choked on her 20 years of existence.

We met up with the other MacRob group, which was essentially the other Japanese class plus some of our own. Huey had come back from her year in England, tanned as a Jersey Shore kid (oh, did I just make that reference), which was illogical to start with because she spent a year in ENGLAND.

Having stolen one of their drinks and made some great conversation about where people had been in 2010, we decided it was around time we started heading back. We went back in time to realize that while we were gone, the ice at the party had broken and everyone was getting along. So, in true MacRob style, we all sat in a circle and consumed food. Jen went on to consume half a chicken. Not kidding. I wish I was.

Er at some point I drank beer on an empty stomach and got a bit blurry but obviously nothing bad happened, because I’m not like that. So people started putting ice cubes down other people’s backs, and it may or may not have been at my instigation.

Anyway, at one point people started leaving, and as I saw two girls leave, I shouted, “BYE! NICE MEETING YOU!” only to realize I hadn’t actually spoken a single word to her. To correct myself of this mistake, I decided to introduce myself to the next new face I saw. The next new face I saw happened to be a name that I’ve heard many, many times previously, and with whom I share many mutual friends – Linh. So, you can imagine how creepy I was when I said, “LINH! Oh I know you! I know who your friends are! I FINALLY MET YOU!”

Lesson, children, don’t do that. Ever. Play it cool. Thankfully, she’s heard of me before too, but that didn’t stop her from noting that the awkward scale just went from 4 (random introduction) to 10 (admission to online stalking).

Lily showed up at, I don’t know, 4, and I finally managed to give her a birthday present, 2 months late. It was a toothbrush that played music for 2 minutes, in attempts to cut down her nightly bathroom ritual time. Also, it freaking played music into her mouth, man.

A bit after that, the BBQ drew to an end, and everyone dispersed. A large group decided to go to Fitzroy for milkshakes, and even though Julia, Annie and Tiff all left me, I had Jen, Steven, Brendan and James, and my newly made friend Linh (she kept on noting how awkward I was. I had to have Julia vouch that I was tired and usually I was rather sociable. Julia sort of nodded slowly and sarcastically).

The Milkshake place, whose actual name I forgot, is actually a pool arcade, so we all got our delicious milkshakes, and played some pool. I think I met more people at pool than I did at the BBQ, purely from making fun of one guy, Victor, who missed shots that first-timers would have managed.

When the games have been played and lost, and the milkshakes drank, we all headed back to Parliament. For some reason, the guys thought it would be a show of dexterity if we walked instead of caught the tram, so we had a nice cool dusk stroll back to the station, and I took the train home with Linh and Donuts (his last name is Duncan, so Dunkin’ Donuts. Get it?).

When I was at Glenny station I got stopped by this tall white guy who wanted to talk to me. He asked why Asians seemed to “only want to assimilate with their own kind, and not talk to others.” At that moment, I heard my mom honk to let me know she’s waiting, so I said “sorry, my parents are waiting.” He scoffed, and said, “I knew there was a get-out clause”, and walked off like I offended him. I thought, “How about ‘there was a my-parents-are-holding-up-traffic-at-a-busy-carpark?”

Some people need to calm down. He’s reading racism where there aren’t even text written.

At any rate, I had a busy night on Facebook last night, what with all the new adds and hellos (I made friends with the girl I forgot to make friends with as she left, and it turned out we had a LOT of mutual friends. Small, small world). I also got sunburned in the duration of an overcast day.

Alex.

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 watchย 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 ย 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.

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.