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

Miso awkward

I went to dinner with Mela today, and we were at this Japanese restaurant in Chinatown. We sat down sort of next to these two guys, but they were the eat eat eat eat leave type, so Mela and I could have a relatively low-voiced conversation and hear each other.

But then these two girls sat down beside us after the guys left, and for some reason they felt the need to loudly describe exactly what they want in their bento, and what they don’t want. Then they proceeded to go through the menu of bentos, saying which ones are closest to what they want, but not quite, and pondering if the waiter could change it for them.

And then when the waiter tried to explain that he couldn’t change it, they sort of did the guilt-trip “oh-oh” kind of thing. In the end they conceded anyway.

And, finally, and here’s the clincher; the waiter first brought their bento to their table, then went back into the kitchen to bring them their miso soup. As the waiter was about to set down the miso soup, one of the girls started praying rapidly. And I’m not meaning like “Dear God, thank you for this food which we are about to enjoy…”, I mean she, I don’t know, in one breathe I think she thanked every person in the Bible for the teriyaki chicken, sushi, and rice. I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but she was saying them.

And the poor waiter just sort of hovered above them with one miso in each hand, unsure whether to set them down and interrupt their prayer, or just stand there waiting for them to finish what seemed to be a marathon session.

And Mela and I just sat there, trying so hard not to laugh.

I mean, I’m all for saying grace before you eat, and if you’re so in tune with God that you feel comfortable praying like that in public, I don’t know, most people just say something short. It was just so ridiculously long and rapid.

Alex.

What happens in Sale…

Apparently doesn’t stay there. The following are excerpts from the email I wrote to Carmaine about it, because like hell I’m writing it all again:

‘I woke up at 5:50 so I can be in time for the 6:54…

Got to Flinders, was last to get there even though I was actually 10 minutes early… and we got the Vline tickets, and went onto Plat 10 (you know where Sandringham used to leave from) and waited for the Bairnsdale train. Vline trains are pretty comfy (depends on which you get tho’. Some have comfy seat material, some have material that dig into you. Some have aircon…that doesn’t break. Anyway that’s for later). and have six seaters or four seaters. We sat in the six seater and Vania took the only other window seat. The train ride, for 3 hours, wasn’t too bad. It was lengthy, and we passed a couple of cool stations like Garfield. (On the way back, Julia made the joke – you know the Bega ad that goes, “Curtain isn’t famous for curtains” – Julia said, “Garfield isn’t famous…for Garfield…”) and of course we passed Moe, Moh-ee.

We arrived at Sale at past 10. Went to Bel’s house in Sale and put all our stuff down so we could go have lunch without all our bags. Sale is so quiet! But it’s not like Woop Woop or anything. I’d say it’s like a quiet suburb kind of place, because they have the houses and there’s a town center where you have the shopping, and there’s a lake, and an art gallery, and I’m sure a few things I’ve missed. Except Bel was really excited ‘cos they recently got a new Aldi and she’s not been in yet.

We had Maccas for lunch because Julia was craving Cheeseburgers, and been doing so for probably 2 or 3 days prior. Except when we finally got our cheeseburgers, while trying to put fries into the burger, Julia dropped half of her top bun. We went back to a couple of picnic benches in front of Bel’s family’s restaurant (they own about 3 in Sale) and Charlie, Bel’s 3 year old brother, joined us. Because Jen and Julia bought Happy Meals, they had 2 Madagascar toys, and kept on playing with them and they were really really annoying. Jen played guitar for a bit, and Bel fed Charlie, and it was pretty nice sitting under the shade and just relaxing, storing energy for later that day.

After lunch, we walked Charlie to a nearby lake and we sat on the bank while Jen kept on playing guitar (she’s really dedicated). But when Jen got a mozzie bite through her jeans (amongst many other mozzie bites) we decided to up and leave the place, and went to this Art Gallery where Bel’s family also runs a restaurant. After the gallery, it was getting quite warm and sunny (I got burnt a bit), we went back to Bel’s place, picked up our stuff, and were driven to her Uncle’s place where we spent the rest of our time. Because there were 5 of us, plus Charlie making 6, and of course Bel’s mom was driving, There were 5 of us in the back, and we passed a police car, and since I was in the middle I had to more or less sink onto the floor. It was NOT comfortable.

Bel’s uncle’s place is actually more of a gaming house, because they don’t really have food but they have a pool table, table tennis, air hockey, huge TV (that was kinda broken), and I didn’t even go upstairs to see what was there. Anyway, there were 3 groups of people there: Us, Bel’s two smaller cousins, and a bunch of people who I think are also Bel’s cousin and his friends, all of them in their early 20’s or VERY late teens. We took the downstairs, and so we played Singstar and Guitar Hero. Except for some reason, the TV cut off the bottom of the screen, so we didn’t have the bits to show us when to press the button for GH, and we didn’t have any lyrics for Singstar. So after playing GH for a while, we turned on SIngstar, and since Bel had a lot of them we played many different ones. But without lyrics is actually kind of hard. Anyway, we sang a lot and the highlight is actually when Julia and Bel performed Hit Me Baby One More Time, and Julia kept on thinking the song is over but it wasn’t. Anyway, so basically, there was the line (and we sang like this) “My loneliness…is killin’ me (Van, Jen and I are screeching in the background) AND I…I must confess, I still believe (STILL BELIEVE) When I’m with you I lose my mind, gimme a siiiiiiiign (we did crazy vocal acrobatics here, and then we all screamed) HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME!”

And then Julia saw MCR’s Helena (sorry, My Chemical Romance) and she screamed “Ohmygosh I LOVE THIS SONG! I WANNA SING IT!” Then she tried to sing the first word “Gone…(or something)” But it was a low note so she said, “I can’t go that low.” Pause. “Goooooone” and she tried grunting it again. Then for most of the song, since she didn’t remember the lyrics and there weren’t lyrics for us to see, she “hrrrnnn” the entire way through.

After that, we went to an early dinner at Bel’s restaurant. They were all, free food we’ll give you free food so eat eat and order order and we were so damned full. We all had Lemon Lime Bitter (lol you) and then we ordered honey chicken, sweet and sour pork, fried rice, satay chicken skewers, milkshake for Julia and Bel, veggies…gar it was so much (we didn’t order all. I mean we ate them, we only ordered about 2. They just kept on giving us food) and then after dinner we were all like, slumping in our chairs full belly and everything. Then Bel’s like, “what do you want for dessert?” and we were all groaning, but in the end since they were giving us free food and it was rude to reject, we decided banana fritters, and then they gave us fried ice cream as well (my first time having it). So the banana fritters came in scoops, and of course so were the ice cream, and Jen was saying how “I love food in the shape of balls” or something similar and of course I choked and laughed.

Then, Julia and I decided to have a competition to see who can finish off the rest of their drink faster. I won, but that was only because Julia laughed and choked it up her nose. We talked a lot at dinner, just about random stuff, and Martinie calls me up ‘cos she’s bored, and Andrew wasn’t there (I asked her, why don’t you go be bored with Andrew? And she kind of “har-har”ed) and at after 8 when Bel’s shift ended, cos she had to work as well as eat, we went back to her uncle’s place.

We wanted to watch Borat but the case wouldn’t open (it was stupid) and it took one of the older guys to get it open with a knife. We started watching a bit of it, while everyone were taking turns to shower. Because the people before us went to the beach, the bathroom had sand on the floor, and it was so icky to stand on it. We didn’t finish Borat (but we did get to the hotel scene where they were wrestling naked) and we started on Anchor Man. After Anchor Man (since we were pulling an all nighter we did a lot of movies) we watched Batman Begins so we knew the legend of his past. At that point it was just the 5 of us left, and we were all trying to keep each other awake. I never intended to stay up the entire time so
I copped a lot of “wake up calls” and Julia took a picture of me sleeping. Oh speaking of pictures, I didn’t take many photos, or as much as I’d’ve liked, because you weren’t there so there weren’t many times when people wanted to camwhore. In fact I don’t think they wanted to at all, just did it to be nice to me. We ate popcorn and Ferrero Rocher, amongst other stuff, such as the old stale chips the older guys left behind and wanted us to eat. They tasted like cardboard, and yet were so addictive.

After Batman Begins ended, we decided to watch the Dark Knight straight away. Remember, by that time we were closing in on 2 am, and Vania, in order to pull an all nighter, had to stay until 6 am (we were doing it for Vania because for her summer checklist one was to stay up all night). The Dark Knight involved a lot of Jen closing her eyes, me nudging her and her suddenly shouting “IM AWAKE IM AWAKE!” Julia started dozing at some point, or rather lying down so we thought she went to sleep, and so to wake her up I did something that…well you probably don’t want to know, and she wouldn’t want me to repeat. Julia kept on trying to steal Bel’s hairtie, and so Bel in the end gave up and just surrendered the hairtie. Then Julia whined, “It’s not fun if you just give it to me.” and I laughed and said “That’s what she said.”

When the Dark Knight finished we were all pretty quiet (not tired per se, but quiet). We decided, since it was around 4 am, to watch The Silence Of The Lambs, and that should propel us to 6. Except the movie wasn’t what I thought it would be like, and I couldn’t be bothered keeping up with the dialogue, so since Jen was already sleeping next to me, I decided to just nap too. It wasn’t easy because the movie was loud in some places, but yeah I managed to have some moments of sleep.

When Lambs ended, it was getting pretty bright outside and Bel wanted us to go out to see the sunrise. So I woke Jen up, and we went outside
with our PJs and Julia was freezing so she was wrapped up in a huge blanket, and we went outside to some benches that were on the side of an oval, just outside the house. We’d missed the actual sunrise by a few minutes, so the horizon was already dashed orange and pink. Jen went back before us, and we stayed a bit longer, and then went back in. Jen was already sleeping so we all lied down and napped. Bel and Julia went somewhere to get apples, and since I was half asleep when they came back I think Bel held up a bag and said, “I didn’t want to wash them individually so I just poured water into the bag and shook it.” At around 8:30 I got up, and Vania had changed, and Bel and Julia were back and dozing. I had a few whispers with Vania, and then she curled up a dozed in another couch, and I sat next to the sleeping Charlie (he’d somehow slept through half of Dark Knight and all of Lambs, and all the way after that) for a bit before being bored. I didn’t want to wake up anyone, and Jen was still pretty much knocked out so if I went back onto the mattress next to her I might wake her up, so I got dressed, grabbed my iPod, camera, jacket (because it was chilly, still) and I went outside for a walk. Went to a lake close by and took some pics, sat on a bench and warmed up, while listening to music and just thinking. Then I went back to where we watched the sunrise, and called Bee. I went back in at around 9:30, and everyone had woken up but no one came to get me (aww). Stuffed around a bit more, and then went to brunch at the restaurant in the art gallery. Jen brought her guitar so we listened as she tried to play Hey There Delilah, and I watched 3 hung-over looking Julia, Vania and Bel. We ate a big sausage breakfast and a big chicken and cashew salad, but a fly got onto the eggs so we had to get rid of a lot of the food in the breakfast plate. Then, since they were tired, they didn’t want to eat, and Jen was playing guitar, so I ended up eating most of the food, but that was alright since I was starving.

After brunch, we walked back to the house, and sat around a bit more, just playing with Charlie, before it was around 1 and we had to go. Packed bags, and were driven to the station. It was already pretty fucking hot by then, and so waited for the train, which then had something wrong with it and was delayed by 1/2 hour. Got on, said bye to Bel who had to stay behind to work, and away we went. 20 minutes into the ride we realized that our carriage had no aircon. And won’t for the rest of the trip. We saw Georgia and Hilary from our school there, which was a weird and random surprise. Julia and Vania dozed while Jen played guitar (she loved that thing) and I just sat there watching them. Vania woke, then Julia woke – I’m skimming over things. This was probably 90 minutes into the trip) and it got unbearably hot in our carriage. We moved into another carriage where next to us there were 2 boys and their mom, and one boy was named Orlando. We didn’t talk much, just fanned ourselves.

We got to Flinders at around half past 5, nearly an hour after we originally thought. I went to catch a train home but fucking Connex cancelled the 5:41 so I ended up on the 5:51.’

I can’t remember if I left out anything. But I did hit 2000 words. Vania, Jen, Julia, Bel, if I missed something funny that happened, remind me! Write it down in a comment or something.

Actually no I just remembered something. At dinner, Jen and I went to the toilet, and when we were in the cubicles, I said, referring to the night, “This is fun” and Jen kind of stuttered “Er, we’re in the toilets…”

De Fluffe, Out.