Quick Play (Updated)

Just as the mid-sem break started, a couple of event came up without me realizing that they were there; and so the Easter weekend that just passed was filled with a lot of tiring activities that have set this week to one of recovery rather than study.

 

Ronnie’s R (something…)

Ah forget it, I couldn’t think of another R word to make some alliteration haha! Anyway Ronnie was free Easter Saturday and for some reason or another wanted to come up to the Hills area, where most of us CBS people lived. So he called up Nat asking is he could crash her house and form some sort of impromptu social; that was Friday night. I tried to help organize it, we were trying to work out what to do for dinner – whether we should cook or not. The idea of cooking as a group sounded like fun only the problem was that we couldn’t decide on what to cook; not to mention that we had to buy the stuff just prior to the night.

 

An e-mail was sent like on Saturday morning and I tried my best to rally some forced through Twitter at work, since Facebook got blocked >.<” Things didn’t get far and so the cooking idea was a no go. A number of us showed up at Nat’s place around 5-6pm where we tried to figure where to go for dinner; again that was a kind of fail discussion because nobody had ideas or preferences. Jumping onto my end of the story, I was talking to Athena in the afternoon and she offered the idea to eat at the pizza place she was working at that night. And looking back now, that was probably a better idea than no idea.

 

Nonetheless we ended up going to Castle Towers to see what would happen, walked around for a while, not wanting to go into any expensive restaurant – Athena’s pizza place was clearly a good idea at the time had we not already parked there. Eventually we listened to Matthew’s idea to go eat at Nando’s T.T” and so we all had like the family feast meal deal or whatever it was, spicy chicken, lemon chicken, random sides and a big plate of chips. Didn’t fill us up all too well, but hey, fail dinner is fail dinner haha!

 

We all drove back to Nat’s place again afterwards and this is probably a good time to introduce our multimedia item for this post:

 

 

Just to add more to the story than what’s on YouTube, Nat was trying to park as close as she could to the left wall of her garage but she was afraid of scraping the side and so she continually ended up slightly away from the wall. I just thought it was funny that she just kept going rather than just give up and leave it as is; in the end she didn’t manage to fix it up (on her own). There is Cantonese dialogue, which I’ll add annotations for later, for the non-Chinese speakers.

 

Played “Articulate” and just chatted, watched some YouTube videos and had ice cream. It was a nice chill time for all of us. Nat’s sister later complained about Ronnie’s loud voice, which projected very well within Nat’s house – he had it coming, he always does. We left at around 11pm, before Nat’s parents came home from their weekly mahjong-ing with family friends.

 

 

Cherie’s Baptism

The very next morning, we all had to wake up early to get ourselves up to Thornleigh CABC (Chinese Australian Baptist Church) for Cherie’s baptism – same group of CBS people, hence why we had to leave by 11pm, but then we had the daylight savings extra hour of sleep. I haven’t been back to that church since I left it in year 4; so many years ago. I hardly remember the people there anymore, a lot of new people came after I left so I don’t really know the church anymore.

 

Anyway Jacky was paranoid of not getting a parking spot, which was fairly likely to happen because their carpark was heaps small. So we drove there early, carpooled Sarah and Bec at the same time to save driving space. We were like the first ones there funnily enough, though we were only like 15 minutes early. We sat down in those nostalgic pews (to me) while the music team practised. I now realise that they also had those huge baptism pools as well that few churches have (I think). The only other one I’ve seen was at Matt’s church.

 

Anyway the rest of out group arrived soon; we had two closely-connected groups, one was for Cherie the other was for Michelle, whom I met at next gen like last year. Anyway the baptism video is on my Facebook, in all it’s awesome HD glory now haha thanks to my new camera (finally). And just randomly, seeing Fairen Tam today reminded me of how she bullied me when we were kids, I don’t remember the scene too well but I remember it happening a lot T.T” She gave me a small wave, and I’m pretty sure she remembers it too haha!

 

After their service some of our group decided to come crash our church since our service had yet to start; and so we all drove back and today our church had lots of new visitors…from CBS haha!

 

After our service we went out for lunch in Eastwood at the Shanghai place, because everywhere else was full and stuff. Paul Chan helped us scout for restaurants that weren’t full and in the end only 6 of us went out for lunch, oh well. That was Easter Sunday.

 

 

Steph’s Party

Oh wow it just goes on. The very next day again, Easter Monday, we went down to Bicentennial Park for Steph’s barbeque party, which was organized by Eva. Me and Jacky met Adrian again on the train at Epping, and we were like the first ones there. Olympic Park was packed with people by 11am, and it was very hard to find a spot. One of Steph’s friends, Janice, managed to guard a barbeque with her parents but we didn’t have a table. Luckily the Asian couple just next to us were happy to let us use one of the tables, and even gave us a mat to cover it (at least I think that’s what happened).

 

Anyway we waited for Eva to come by with the food, though no-one else was here. But that made sense because of traffic and how difficult it must’ve been to park there today. Eventually Eva came with the food and we began to cook. The party was more Abbotsleigh Girls than CBS but hence I overlooked the fact that someone had to cook for the barbeque. I volunteered myself in other words. I don’t mind cooking, I’ve cooked at like the last few barbeques we’ve had so yeah.

 

Today’s special restriction for the barbeque was…using only two tongs. That’s right, two tongs ONLY! Eva admitted she doesn’t barbeque much and so she only brought two tongs. I thought “okay, challenge accepted” although in hindsight  whether I accepted or not didn’t change the fact that we only had two tongs to use. I’ve barbequed enough (with mistakes) to think that the following materials are needed at a barbeque (minus obvious ones):

  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • Oil

Give me those three things and a barbeque can go alright. Having only the tongs was indeed challenging; but there were ways to get around not having the other two things. Oil was of course the hardest thing to compensate for, but that’s what sausages are for. Although I forgot to do so at the beginning, I should’ve cooked the sausages first, let all the grease come out and use that as oil for the other meats. A tip for next time I guess. We cooked anyway and did our best without any oil and such. The spatula is there for the cleaning process rather than cooking. Last time we demonstrated that coke is an excellent cleaning agent to get all that burnt carcinogenic crap off the barbeque, you just need a spatula to help uproot it all.

 

Hope nobody is eating and reading this because your appetite is now about to be ruined. We turned on the barbeque right next to us, so we were using two, and about 10 minutes afterwards, little cockroaches began to spawn like from a crack next to the second barbeque. They were just crawling around on the brick parts. I suspect they came out because of the barbeque getting hot and forcing them to spawn. The really bad thing was that some cockroaches panicked a bit too much and ended up running onto the barbeque. Yes, that’s right. Fortunately they didn’t run onto any of the food as it was cooking but they did run onto the barbeque and I watched them suffer a very painful death. Extracting the corpses proved to be rather…disgusting and disturbing for onlookers at the same time. Eventually there was another group who wanted to use the barbeque after us. so we just gave them the infested one and halved our production.

 

Halfway through cooking we had to clean the barbeque slate, and without a spatula to scrap all the burnt meat off, it was going to prove exceedingly difficult. Thankfully, the people we gave our other barbeque to were kind enough to let us borrow theirs, in exchange for letting them use our knives, and so we mutually shared some utensils for the rest of the afternoon; it was nice of them. Everyone stood around and chatted, I think. I was too engaged to worry about what else was happening. Food eventually was served and we finally had a party going.

 

Brandon and Jacky helped with the cooking, I took a break after about the 3 hour mark and left them to do the rest of the cooking. You have to admit, it’s hard to cook for a long period of time without taking a break. I ate a bit while I was cooking but yeah it is tiring haha. Everyone just chatted into the afternoon until we had the cake and then proceeded to clean up.

 

 

Mandy’s Déjà vu

This post will be left off with this hanging: tomorrow is Mandy’s party, exact same format, exact same place. So tomorrow will be exactly like Steph’s party, and perhaps the same people once again haha! I’m still deciding whether I should go or not. Saw her today at Eastwood with Elon buying the food for tomorrow. Hmm…

 

UPDATE

 

Okay so I ended up going to the party. Nat came and gave me a lift there, though she was exceptionally late; she was meant to pick me up at 12:30pm but ended up picking me up closer to 12:50pm T.T” And then she still had to pick up…Cassian? One of her law buddies. So by then it was already 1pm so we were clearly late. Nat kept freaking out on the way because she didn’t know the directions too well. I had the map in front of me but it was slightly hard to follow Brandon’s instructions; probably because Nat copied bits down wrong or something.

 

Eventually we got there, after much childish panicking and people questioned our lateness. Nevertheless I got straight to picking up the cooking with Elon and Brandon and also dug into some food. Mandy provided more vegetable alternatives to meat (or simply alternatives I guess) and Ronnie pulled in later with more meat because we had pretty much run out.

 

Throughout the afternoon we chatted much, Mandy brought some board games for us to play, Jacky came in much later but brought a ball so the guys had something to do. The icky thing was that Cassian kind of slipped on the ball and nearly twisted his elbow, I’m not sure what was going on, but it was bleeding, not severely. Oh I almost forgot, Mandy’s theme for the party was to dress up as Cartoon characters from when we were young. Few people bothered to; and it was wet also so it wasn’t entirely desirable. Funny though because it was pouring around 8am but Mandy still decided to hold the barbeque.

 

We played cards as the sun went down and cooked the rest of the chicken drumsticks which took ages to cook. We then packed up and were going to head back to Mandy’s place before dinner, which was moved from the city to Parramatta now. Dinner was at 6:30pm but it was already 5:30pm so getting back to Mandy’s place seemed inefficient. Nevertheless we moved off. I stayed with Nat because after dropping Cassian off at Concord West, she’d be the only one left; I mainly doubted her ability to get back to Mandy’s house given the way she panicked on the journey here.

 

And as I expected she panicked once again because there was quite some traffic from the Easter Show and we soon lost sight of our convoy, so we were on our own. I didn’t know the way either so it kind of was a fail plan. I vaguely remember Olympic Park well but we drove past the Aquatic Centre and ended up back on Parramatta Road, I was at least comfortable with that area. I directed her back onto Silverwater Road and she knew the rest of the way which was good.

 

The ironic thing from all of that was that we were the first ones there at Mandy’s house, not even Mandy herself was back yet, which was mightily strange. But I just thought given Nat’s driving (from the above video too) that we were naturally be the last ones to get there. But we were first by more than 15 minutes which was a huge surprise. The reason was that everyone took the M4 but that was uberly flooded because of the Easter Show and so everyone else was stuck in traffic except us. Nat was very pleased at herself.

 

Mandy’s parents let us in and I finally got to meet her huge dog, who was like 50 times as big and as active as Nat’s entree (we were going to eat him that Saturday night after Nando’s haha!) Eventually everyone else turned up and Mandy pushed her restaurant booking back half an hour. We sat in a circle in the living and played some simple games, Mandy opened her presents in our midst. Eventually we had to go, some of us weren’t going for dinner (like me) because of the need to study. And when you think about it that’s fair considering how much I’ve been out this mid-sem break. And now it’s Friday as I wrap things up and I have camp later on today. There goes the mid-sem break >.<”

SMAC End of Year BBQ

I am well aware of the fact that it’s not quite the end of the year yet, but every year our church has their barbeque at about this time. Close enough I suppose, being at the start of December. With our new move to Cherrybrook, and our inability to use Aunty Betty’s house; we chose to use Edward Bennett Park, which was sort of behind the school. Thumbs down at everyone because they all left right after church to go to the BBQ site, while I was stuck packing all the tech equipment; far out. I can see how hard Quentin’s job is and how much I do commend his efforts over the year; oh well.

 

I didn’t help with the cooking, but instead took the initiative to plan a game; which was just my excuse for a water balloon fight. So I spent all the time before lunch filling up water balloons; it’s annoying doing them on my own, especially when there’s two bucketfuls needed. And then there was only one tap, which was in the toilets. Would’ve helped heaps if there was another one like in the middle of the park, the other one was in the girl’s toilets obviously.

 

Some of the younger girls already started up trouble after lunch. They brought large balloons and proceeded to fill those up and started splashing other people. And within minutes there was an all-out war, guys against girls. And the guys kept coming into the toilets to refill their cups and bottles, disturbing my “investment”. And it was an investment, because their naive “splashing” was very short-lived; but my large collection of water balloons would call for a very long over-killing siege haha!

 

It was good to see everyone shout and laugh and “playfully” “attack” each other. Nobody got hurt which was good, and hopefully there was no intention of such. After witnessing how wild it can get from that social at Steph’s house a few weeks back, I was afraid our youth group kids would be just as wild as us. Other people took on a quieter activity and just sat and talked, just the older girls. The older guys were playing rugby, or whatever.

 

I guess the game was a bit fail because it was really hard to get everyone’s attention, especially since they were all going so wild as it was. A few people were completely soaked already. Maybe I need to become more assertive to stop them going overboard? Anyway I didn’t have much of a game, made them play a relay race where you have to hold a water balloon under your chin and walk to some predetermined point, and then pass the water balloon onto the next person, but without using your hands. That was quite a funny challenge; there was a lot of teamwork going on, which was the main goal, and everyone just had a lot of laughs. Mission accomplished. Only Phoebe had the accident of squishing the water balloon under her chin, resulting in…yeah, that’s the whole point. But she was already drenched so it probably doesn’t matter.

 

After the game, the rest of my water balloons disappeared within 5 minutes as the kids just all grabbed a handful and bombarded each other as kids do. Fast forward a bit and I eventually got dunked, twice even, because I let my guard down and Calvin took the initiative to go against his leader. Whatever. As much as I wanted to retaliate, I can see now that there was no point and that me getting dunked was for their amusement; that’s fair, if they have fun then I’ve served my purpose haha!

 

Everyone was exhausted after that so there wasn’t much commotion afterwards, ever since the water balloon stock ran out and we were like down to 2 or 3 of them. We started playing on the swings, obviously we were all too old for them, but even at our weight we still couldn’t break it. I know that I can go high enough such that I’d actually free fall for a bit. Think about it, if you swing up real high, then the horizontal distance of the swing from the bar above becomes less, after you pass the 90-degree point. At which you will actually fall down because of gravity. That’s how high I would dare to go. Andre was behind pushing me and I swear several times he threatened to push me off; I hadn’t planned a safety fall at the time and am glad that I didn’t fall off.

 

The barbeque was fun; too wild but fun nonetheless. And this being my fourth post for today, in order to catch up, will therefore end abruptly without reason except that I am getting tired from spam blogging so much today. As for me now, I have to research on a camera to buy with my “hard-earned” receptionist money, in time for NTE and my birthday!

Commerce CBS Social

On Thursday, Mike organised a CBS social for commerce students out in Bicentennial Park; but before I get to that let’s recount to this morning.

 

Took a nice 1.5 hour walk/jog in the morning because mum was complaining that I wasn’t doing enough exercise. So I woke up at 8am and took off for a jog. Interesting, I’ve never myself as one of those early morning jogger people; and funnily enough I actually met a few people who were also having morning jogs. I was glad the sun was out but not too hot, I hate having to run under a hot sun; but then again it shouldn’t really be hot early in the morning. Not sure if I’ll continue such a routine; still should find some physical activity to keep myself fit. I’ve got the option of Brickpit but then there’s a lot of stuff I could do there, and with different groups of people; I’ll wait. In the meantime I made myself over to Mandy’s house. It’s kind of pointless jogging without a destination. Although truthfully, I never made it to her house because I couldn’t find her street; I forgot where it was on the map. That was why my jog took 1.5 hours, that extra half hour was spent searching for her street.  I eventually gave up and swang by Sharon’s house instead…had to go to somebody’s house after all. I saw Sharon…nah just kidding hehe.

 

Anyway took the train down to Concord West to walk to Bicentennial Park, the usual RICE/Supanova route. When I got off the train I noticed that Jono, my Bible study group leader, was on my train (or rather he noticed me). He said that Charlie was coming so we also waited for him. Smart move of Charlie to catch the train up here, even if it is farther, in order to avoid those Easter Show goers. We made our way to the BBQ area, and just for the record, it was where we had our year 12 picnic; the source of all that water gun fighting and stuff haha!

 

Only Mike was there apparently, even though we were on time. He was already starting to BBQ the chickens so I immediately stepped up and did the sausages, all four trays of them haha. Meh, I’ve always been the cook for many events, I’m getting the hang of barbeques now because I try to find the balance between getting food cooked and keeping it from bring burnt. I hate barbeque food that’s burnt; it’s unhealthy and there isn’t a need to get the food burnt right? Actually I’m afraid that my sausages might have been a bit undercooked, I don’t know; the meat wasn’t super hard like burnt ones but I was sure that the meat had turned brown, and the skin was fairly brown already; it just tasted soft I don’t know. Hope no-one dies because of that.

 

More people came as I cooked over the hour, a few people encouraged me, saying I was like a sashimi chef or something; bleh, I cook heaps so it’s fine. I was kind of happy to have been able to serve them as a Christian brother, that was the whole reason why I volunteered to help with cooking, and I forgot to pay Mike for the food but surely my labour has paid off my debts.

 

We played frisbee for a while afterwards and then had an ultimate frisbee match once some more girls came, Sarah and her friends; they were really late but oh well. Scary, because one of the girls there (bah I forgot her name0, she was 3rd year I think and is apparently Kenny’s cousin, and Eddie Woo (who spoke at our church last week) is her brother-in-law o.0”…scary. Anyway the frisbee match lasted only 10 minutes with like 8 goals from both sides; that’s about a goal a minute haha

 

Afterwards we sort of broke into two groups, and I joined Mandy’s group to play “Yakka” or whatever/however you spell that game. Actually, Mandy, I always thought she was the Mandy from my old Chinese school; in fact I asked if she remembered me and she was like “Yes, from Chinese school”. But then we both found out that we went to different Chinese schools and so now we’re both confused at how we’re meant to know each other T.T” too weird…

 

Okay, Yakka I think is quite a fun game, it’s a bit of luck and a bit of gambling, I like it since it’s a change form poker.  Think of it as draw poker only more even and less on the betting. Everyone starts with five cards and the objective is to draw and discard cards until the sum of the cards in your hand is 10 or less. Aces count as 1, kings count as 13, jokers count as 0. When you discard a card, you have the option of drawing a new card from the deck or taking the card on top of the discard pile, just like in draw poker. The only catch is that you can discard doubles or triples of the same number in one go, and of course you cannot discard the card you draw (hence that is why you discard first). Once someone has a sum of 10 or less, then call out “Yakka” on their next turn. The person with the lowest sum is the winner (not necessarily the person who called “Yakka”) and the loser is the person with the highest sum.  You may then deal punishment as according to the boundaries set before the game. It’s pretty fun.

 

I won the first two rounds, my  very  first two rounds and then it became spread across other players. oh and this point I sort of realized that Sarah, Sharon’s bestie is a lot like her: they’re both quiet and somewhat hard to talk to because neither of them talk much T.T” so it was hard to talk to her. Actually, this was the third time I’ve seen her. The first was back in the first CBS social like in week 0, and the second time was in the School of Business. At the time I had sat down next to her because there were no seats left; I was waiting for the anime club to start and decided to write my Bible study then. I never realised Sarah sat next to me and she was really friendly with the “Hi Jason, good to see you…” and shamefully at the time I didn’t recognise who she was; so I awkwardly replied with a “Oh hey…” it felt kind of stupid not knowing who I was talking to, but now I know T.T” The set punishment for Yakka was sit ups for girls and push ups for guys. I had the opportunity to make Sarah do sit ups within my first two wins but she seemed somewhat reluctant to and she kept mouthing “no” to me, so I just made her drink water, the only other punishment I was accustomed with since next gen.

 

We played that game for a while longer before deciding to leave. Me, Charlie, Sarah and two other girls walked back to Concord West and then took our separate trains home. Funnily this other girl who goes to the same church as Sarah (and also walking back with us) catches the exact same train as me every morning for uni and also the exact same carriage nearly. I forgot her name (again) and it’s just strange that I’ve never noticed her for the past five weeks, odd indeed. Oh well, if I see her again I should better ask her name again, keep forgetting people’s names.

 

But all in all today was a really fun day, happy to have met up with a bunch of people; Jono Chow (my Bible study group leader) is part of the Core team for RICE; so I might be working under him, can’t wait till my first RICE coordinator’s meeting next Monday!