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.

Advertisements

Graffiti decorations under a sky of dust

[Runaway – Linkin Park]

Not the best song for the situation but that’s shuffle for ya.

Overdue post: Monday just past saw the 3 month anniversary of Mela and me!

We met up at Glen station with warm and happy hugs, excited (but not surprised) that we made it to now, and without issue too! Took the train up into the city so that we could go see Mai at her store for Mela to give her what Mai ordered from UO. I ended up putting on the Beats by Dr Dre headphones they had on display, plug it into my own phone for better music, and playing Fruit Ninja on their display iPad while Mela and Mai talked. At least, they talked for a while about Malaysia (the former being from, the latter going to), but after a while, when they realized I can’t hear them, they just called me names.

After saying bye to Mai to let her work, we took the train down to Windsor station where Dani has taken me a couple of times to let Mela op-shop. We strolled along Chapel St walking into any store that caught Mela’s fancy, but at the end of the day (spoiler alert) she didn’t find anything that suited to her likes. We walked up and down Chapel St, reaching Jam Factory and then back a few times without realizing it. It was no surprise, then, that I was extremely tired.

We had lunch at Lucky Coq because I’d been wondering about their $4 pizzas – and they lived up to expectations! Gourmet and crunchy, but full of flavor, and come on they’re 4 bucks! Washed it down with some Dapple Cider, and took a few photos with Mela (or, well, we took photos of each other).

We then we to Topshop which was the original intent of going to Chapel St, along with the op-shops. It was crowded in there with many many late-teens, early twenties girls walking around, and quite a few of them attached to their boyfriends. Mela and I tried on two things each, but the price-tag (in proportion to how much the clothes wow’d us) coaxed us to meekly pass the clothes back to the exhausted looking sales assistants.

After Topshop, we strolled back down Chapel (yes, I know…) after a misunderstanding about where I’d wanted to go to get some iced-coffee/milkshake (I wanted Soda Rock which was just a stop past Jam Factory, and Mela thought I meant back down near Prahran station or something), so by the time the confusion was cleared, we ended up getting an ice coffee at this place which boasts that theirs is the best in town, but really they just had really sweet whip. We trammed back up to South Yarra Station, thus completing our lap of Chapel for the 4th or 5th time, and attempted to take the Cranbourne train home, except the signs were off and we stood on the wrong platform for about 15 minutes.

I took a new bus home, and realized that it took at least 10 minutes off my trip. It led Mela and I to agree that in the future when we wanted to go to the city together, we should just meet up at Oakleigh station, which is easier on the both of us.

So, my feet were throbbing and sore after two long shifts over the weekend and the big day of walking, but no, I had to pluck up the strength to go out once again for Tuesday…the dreaded and long-ago-promised viewing of Breaking Dawn Part 1.

Long story very short, I started live-tweeting and being sarcastic about the movie at the start, but when Mela got upset at me (don’t get me wrong, she’s not a Twilight fan, but I think she disliked having to sit next to someone who was constantly complaining) I stopped. The movie was…yeah anyway then we had some food and got our ears pierced together (one ear each) before I kissed her goodbye for her work.

And, today, once again, went out to her place so we could buy Cathy’s presents (and she got me a 3DS, but refuses to let me even see it before Christmas…don’t worry, I’m getting her a Wii, so it’s all not-awkward or anything) and hang out. She ended up being called into work last minute, and accepted, so we went off at around 3.

Tomorrow I work a rather long shift in the evening, and on Friday is Cathy’s get together, so I don’t really get time to just sit down and take a break until Saturday…an entire week since these hectic days started!

Oh, and Mela’s friend Andrew helped me get Skyrim running, so I’ll be trying to play it in the coming days, but I’m not so confident yet. It’ll just take some time! I got used to FFS X2…right?

Alex.

I’ve been here before

[Makes Me Wonder – Maroon 5]

Day 15: Write about the best gift you’ve ever received.

This is really awkward, I don’t know if I can commit to just one present.

I like presents cos I know they took the time to think about me when getting it.

But I really don’t mind if I just spend time with them. It’s like getting their time as well.

Alex

You’ll Never Know I’m After You

[Hold My Hand – New Found Glory]

Screw it, I’m starting song titles 5 days early. In case you’re a new reader/stalker of mine: I put portions of song lyrics in my title, so it really doesn’t have a thing to do with the rest of the blog. I was going to do it for summer, starting December, but I decided to start early.

So, today marked the last exam, and thus the end of the my first year at university. It was a really silly and anticlimactic end: my 9 am exam meant that I had to wake up at quarter past 6, and after getting my adrenaline going so I am awake and walking to uni to be healthy and all that crap, the exam turned out to be more of a test or quiz than anything. When the lecturer/examiner first told us that the first exit-time is 15 minutes past the start, we all giggled at the thought of walking out of an exam 15 minutes in.

15 minutes later, at the first exit-time, half the lecture theater where we did our exams stood up. 30 multiple choice questions, and quite a few of them were really easy. I won’t say that I did them all right, but it was pretty easy.

Pris and I left the exam disbelieving that we woke up early for this. We each called our respective friends to tell them we were done – and were both greeted with half-asleep “uhhhh-huhhhh”  because it was quarter to 10 in the morning, and everyone was still in holiday-sleeping time schedule.

I walked around Melbourne Central for about an hour looking for a present for Lily but…well I failed to find a good present (within my budget). So pretty much I’m a fail friend.

After sitting through the freaking clock singing AGAIN, Steven met up with me and we went and trawled Borders for another hour looking for a present for his friend. There were some pretty funny books – we looked in the self-help section – especially the “Statistics Taught in Manga” and they have this little TB manga girl being taught stats.

Anyway, now I’m home and ready to embrace the holidays. Anyone want to help with my social life? Anyone? Friends? No?

Alex.

She’s A Runner, Rebel And A Stunner

[Dani California – Red Hot Chilli Peppers]

Today was my bowling party of sorts at Strike. It was originally going to be paintball, but that fell through like an elephant in a paper building, so instead it got changed to bowling.

Took the train up to the city with Swang, April, Annie, Whitty, YL and Jac. On the train, I got my presents from YL and Whitty (I specifically told everyone not to get me anything, but pretty much no one listened. So now I feel guilty) which turned out to be, firstly, a bogus present which was this book of Justin Bieber photos, facts, and poster (Swang loved it, being an avid Bieber-fan), but then came the real cool present, which was this UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO GLEE! I haven’t read it yet (I got home at around 10:30) but I do plan to, along with HP7.

(Oh, note, for now there is no pictures of everything because I haven’t had the time, but when I do I will come back and put pictures in for all the wonderful stuff people gave me, and so this note will disappear. But for now.)

Then I got to Melb Central, where we waited a bit. Sam came along first, and then Jen and Ash. Jen and Ash got me a picture book, titled “Tales From Outer Suburbia” by Shaun Tan, which I have yet to flick through (I want to look at the pictures really closely so I will do it when I have at least 30 minutes to spare). Then Joshanna came along, and I gave each of them a huge big hug, because I hadn’t seen them in over a month, which I wasn’t used to.

We went to Strike, and started the games. I was a shoe size 4, FYI. There, Joshanna showed me the present they got me – a freaking Tiffany’s sterling silver ring. I’m shocked that 1) they got me such a high-brow gift and it was my first Tiffany’s ever and 2) they found my ring size. Swang refused to let me see what she got me, and it turned out that it was a card from both her and Steven, and Steven was late.

He was so late in fact, that we skipped him in his game, and in the end he had to play 7 rounds by himself to catch up with everyone else.

Mandy and Dot came in halfway through – I love you Dot, and I am so so sorry for you-know-why. They both got me a wonderfully soft and comfy hoodie, because I’d commented that I liked Mandy’s hoodie. I love it when people remember stuff I forgot I’d said. They stayed long enough to watch Swang embarrass herself in bowling, but then sadly had to go. I was so proud to introduce Dot to my other friends, because Dot had been my friend since Gr 3. That’s special, dude.

I also got a present from Jenny through Swang. It is a lovely and sexy-as looking jacket.

Ash owned everyone hands down in bowling, and Sam came in at a close 2nd. I wasn’t…bad, got myself a few spares and a strike! Jac made me laugh hard, because she would just drop the ball to the side of the lane, let the gutter guards throw it around, and hopefully hit something. Swang made me laugh harder, because she picked up a heavy bowling ball and as she was walking up the lane nearly fell to the ground from its weight.

Josh had to leave early to work, and Ash followed him soon after. We played a bit of pool (Swang, once again, provided much mirth in her attempts to be coordinated) and then headed off to lunch. We had lunch at Dessert House near Don Dons, and I accidentally fed Jac some chilli without her realizing it. She wasn’t too pleased with me. Anna, having just met Whitty and not even knowing his name, dared him to eat a whole spoonful of the very potent chilli oil. He was not too pleased with her.

After lunch, Jen had to leave, but the rest of us went up to Melb Uni so to let Annie and Swang sort out their time tables. After that was done, and the light was starting to wane a little, we went to Josh’s work at Southern Cross Starbuck’s.  We sat around for ages just chatting and laughing, and I got picked up a fair bit for my shortness – despite the fact that YL is shorter.

Suddenly, it was 5. Everyone began the ritual of leaving, and Brendan warned there will be a storm incoming. He wasn’t wrong. As Jac and I took the tram down to Elizabeth to meet up with Dani, Andrew, Dani’s roommate Theresa and Leanne, it started pouring in earnest. At around 5:40 when we were heading up to Crown for dinner, it was pouring cats, dogs, meese and some pretty pissed off livestock.

Theresa, by the way, is from Norway, and shares my birthday.

We went to a restaurant near Kitchenworks (the buffet from last time with Mandy) where they had a $15 steak meal with complementary wine. I was rather pleased, because I like steak, and also because it’s the first time Jac is drinking outside of her house. Andrew ended up cutting up my steak for me due to my lack of culinary skills, and Jac ate more than what I thought was possible. It was fantastic to see Dani again, because it seems everytime we see each other, no matter how much time passed, we just get along just like that again.

It’s a pity she’s going back to Canberra tomorrow.

Well, I have to cut a long and fantastic day short, because it’s nearly past midnight (according to WordPress, it is past midnight I should probably change the daylight savings setting…), and I have yet to shower for tomorrow. Another day out tomorrow!

Thank you, EVERYONE!

Alex.

P.S. I forgot to mention the fact that Annie pinned a “Birthday BOY” badge on my hoodie for the day.

Who’d Have Believed You’d Come Along?

[Sweet Caroline – Glee Cast Version]

I won’t lie and say I have the original version.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! I know I’m a few hours shy, but I simply felt the need to write it now. Not that I have much going on tomorrow.

I hope everyone is having fun eating dinner with their families, wrapping presents, getting ready to watch the Victoria’s Secret fashion parade.

I know I am.

The parade.

Anyway.

Stay safe, stay reasonably sober, and most importantly, stay merry!

Alex.

Happy birthday Hamwu!

Got a fair amount to write about today. So here goes:

Before I get to Andrew’s surprise dinner, I just want to say that today I finally pinpointed why Jack (the tutor)’s laugh is so strange.

IT SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE DR. HIBBERT FROM THE SIMPSONS!

Alright, so after I finished at my 12:30 session at Jack’s, during which I sat next to 2 strangers and I had Biro, Zhu- and Mon- 2 rows behind me (Jack kept on calling Zhu- “Zohan”) I went to take a train from Springvale up into the city. Springvale, let me say now, is dodgy. I was there on a Sunday afternoon, no EASTER Sunday afternoon, and I felt its dodginess. Imagine a Thursday night. Brr.

Organized to meet April under the Clock (from now on I will refer to “under the clock at Melb Central” as “UCMC”) at around 3:30. So I got there and started playing my DS, and I get a text from her saying that she’d had some ticket inspectors get on the tram and she didn’t have any coins (nor a ticket, obviously). She told me later that when she saw them get on, she kind of said loudly into her phone, “Oh oh okay, I’ll get off right now, see you later!” And walked from Flinders to Melb Central. All that happened was I got an extra 15 minutes of game time.

We went in search for places that are open – toilets first. Had a joke along the way that the only things that are open are ones run by Asians. Not much had proven otherwise as we went up to the bathroom near Nandos on the upper level of Melb Central. One stall was out of toilet paper and the other blocked. Went down to the one near Bubble Cup near the turnstiles. On the way down, we went down an escalator that had stopped. I said to April, “See, this escalator is run by white people. And the one next to us which is still on is run by Asians. Equal job opportunities, but we just work harder.”

Went down Swanston to Starbucks on Lonsdale (I’m getting used to the street names…finally) and sat outside on a bench because the seats were taken (the Starbucks had to be run by Asians). Then a couple in a SmartCar pulled up and parked right beside us. We started laughing at the car because it looked like a normal car with its arse chopped off. The guy went into the cafe to get a drink, and his girlfriend appeared to be trying to sleep in the car. I wondered why she didn’t just recline back when I realized that if she’d reclined her seat she would break through the back of the car.

Sophie came later, and we went up to UCMC, where some people were already waiting. Then, Soph’s boyfriend whose name is rather distinct so I won’t write it here, he came with a Scream mask – as he was going to a costume party later. When Andrew and Dani came – AND IT WAS A SURPRISE! Andrew kept saying how sneaky Dani was – there was about a 5 minute gap between them coming and us leaving, during which SBF (Soph’s boyfriend) went around ghosting people (ghosting, like Hamish and Andy ghosting) in the mask. He followed 2 Asian guys who noticeably walked faster and faster to get away from him. And all we did was stand in a group and giggle. Actually, we walked down Swanston to Red Silks with him in the mask, and an Asian guy took a picture with him and got a hug (we all laughed) and 4 TB Asian girls went past him and started giggling hysterically. Soph is a lucky girl.

Winston gave Andrew 2 huge stuffed animals, a bear and a monkey. I don’t know what he ended up naming them. So the 2 large (when I say large, I mean they’re about the size of my upper body head inclusive) animals went with us into China Town.

I think at this point I should mention the presence of Doug and Kat (or Cat…sorry I didn’t ask), and that Dani gave Andrew a new manly watch. During dinner, the group was split into two. To be blunt, one table were the Asian TBs and gangsters, and the other one was the couples table, except for April, another dude whose name I forgot, and myself. I sat opposite Doug. So Andrew was trying to figure out how to set the time on the watch, and must’ve said something like “wow it has so many functions!” because when I went into the conversation, I heard Doug joking about a watch that had an irony meter – so you don’t look stupid saying something is ironic when it isn’t. Then Dani said that it could also have a Gay-Dar. Doug pretended to go “bip bip bip BEEP BEEP BEEP” when it “pointed” at Dani, and I added, “Dani would probably say, ‘baby, there’s something I need to tell you.’ ‘I ALREADY KNOW!'” And Doug finished with, “At this point the irony meter would probably go off.”

So from that point on all through the night everytime I said irony we would pretend the “irony meter” went off.

Kat, Doug’s girlfriend, is good at singing. And Red Silks decided to play a collection of the sappiest love songs, to which Kat knew most of the lyrics. She would burst into song, which also meant she couldn’t eat. I made the remark that if she sings to every song she knew, she’d never finish her meal. Later on came a song she hated, and she said, “Oh good I get a chance to eat now!”

And, a final mini story. SBF ordered the Kiao Teow, which Red Silks does a bit spicy. SBF was sweating as he was eating it, remarking how much he loves it, and Soph decided to try a bit. Soph does NOT do well with chilli, and started gulping down water. So April handed Soph her water, and I handed Soph mine, and then I took Kat’s to give to Soph. She sat there for 4 minutes afterwards just trying to get the feeling away. In the meantime, Kat and I had a sound argument over whether milk or water is better when dealing with chilli.

So, that was the end of the night. Everyone went to Dani’s place but I had to go home, so I don’t know what happened afterwards. But it was a great night, and SBF in the mask is unforgettable. (Like when he tried to do the Spiderman kiss with the mask half off and it wouldn’t come off.)

Alex.