Ellen’s B’day Bash

Having only known Ellen for less than a year, I was indifferent to her idea of having a triple party, with two of her friends who shared the same birthday as her. In total there would be about 40 guests packed into the Belgian Beer Cafe. But anyway let’s backtrack to events prior to the party.

 

Caught the train down to Town Hall; City Rail is once again slow as always; so many delays which tempts you to rage at them; and it would work if only they weren’t a monopoly for rail transport. Either that or I’m just bad with buses. Anyway met up with Nat after work. She spent the day buying the present and card for Ellen. Don’t you just love leaving gift-buying to the very last moment? Anyway she got Ellen some girly things so I won’t make much of a comment – I’ve never heard of a make up bag which is called the “Pencil Case”, in fact I had mistaken it for a pencil case at first haha. Anyway I brought my collection of Papermate pens in case we needed them to sign the card. I actually had a revelation this morning which persuaded me to bring the pens. I thought that Nat wouldn’t have pens on her seeing as she had work. And so she would rely on me to bring pens. But then I thought she wouldn’t call me to tell me to bring pens in hope that I would just bring them without her telling me to. And funnily enough she told me exactly that. Talk about synergy! The card was a bit weird because apart from a traditional “Happy Birthday” at the front, it was a card for pregnancy. I can’t believe she and Adrian jointly decided to get that card.

 

Okay back to the restaurant. We all loafed around for a long time at the back, just chatting and stuff. 6pm is a bit early to eat anyway. So we talked until about 7pm and then all sat down to order. In case you’re wondering,the menu is on the website, go take a look and come back. I found it a bit heart-aching that the entrees started at about $18 while the mains were priced from $25. I didn’t even look at dessert as a result. We all decided to get one main each and then share in 1 Kg of mussels, for $26 (that wasn’t too bad). Despite the price, the quality of the food almost matched the price:

 

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The top left one is mine. We all shared our food, just to get a taste of what each one was like. They were all pretty good. The mussels were good too; one whole pot between perhaps 5-6 people, easily filling. A  lot of people got drinks, particularly Belgian beer (duh!). Of course not all of us were keen to drink (or buy drinks for that fact) so we shared the drinks as well, just a couple of sips for tasting. Phil was full on about how the Belgian beer was really good for the entire night, even after the bottle was empty. Kevin was simply a guy who didn’t like the taste of alcohol.

 

Andy raised a good point tonight in regards to photos. The aim of taking photos for the night was not to catch people in poses, but rather to capture them for what they’re actually doing if they weren’t disturbed. Which makes sense because posing and turning to the camera doesn’t really reflect what actually happened at the event. Therefore it is better to take “natural” photos. I don’t know, you compare:

 

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Of course the third photo truly reflects some of the things that happened at the party; Steph engaged in texting people.

 

We ate for a long time, a couple of people showed signs that they were drunk, just from their cheeks; there wasn’t any bizarre behaviour thank God. And the moment of truth came; that is, the time to pay the bill. I hadn’t thought about how it would happen, but if everything was this expensive, then this photo should be no surprise:

 

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Yes, between the 40 or so people there, the bill came to a figure I have never seen before at a restaurant. Ronnie begged indifference at the bill, saying that he once reached over $2K at a Chinese Restaurant (because of lobster, etc). Anyway it was a real pain collecting the money. And once again, this is what your future actuary and mathematician is here for. Phil helped me mark off the dishes as people paid for it. It was my job to keep track of the money and all. Of course Adrian was also a banker so he helped me double check the money. It’s certainly hard to keep track of a wad of bills that is meant to come to a total over over $1000.

 

We fell a bit short which caused us to shout aloud and round up the rest of the money. Eventually we had it all, but in exchange we missed out on the birthday cake. In the end I only managed to grab this photo:

 

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Yeah I couldn’t get the cake in it as well, Michelle’s mud cake, nice! Nobody had room for cake anymore, and chocolate mud cake for that fact. I tried to finish it as best as I could but the final verdict was to just leave it behind. My Asian side perked up and I ended up taking the cake home. I will not let food go to waste like that, just leaving it behind, what foolishness. Kudos to Adrian for his generosity in giving money for the cake and slipping $50 to cover his main dish and the mussels.

My Belated 19th

Wow the last few weeks have been pretty packed; I haven’t even had time to sit down and reflect over what has actually happened over those weeks. One step at a time. I decided to set my party a fair time after my actual birthday for a number of reasons. The first was that I didn’t actually want to have a party, until people actually asked me what I was planning to do for it. I pretty much couldn’t decide between having a party and not having one. I don’t know, I guess I wasn’t in the hype to hold one this year. But I eventually dragged myself into the decision, so I had to push the date back to allow for more time to plan. The second reason was that I had my driving test very soon after my birthday, pushed back because of NTE Mission, so hence I had to push my birthday back accordingly as well.

 

Guests for today’s party extended outside of my regular Baulko group for a number of reasons. A few of us were overseas and the rest of us are now sort of scattered here and there, so chances were that there wouldn’t be a large group for the party. And then I also wanted to try having a mixed group for a party; seeing what would actually happen. So my guest list was a mixture of high school, uni, CBS and church friends; quite a bizarre combination, but you’d hope that “Asian connections” would quickly drive away any unfamiliarity. All in all…16 came for the movie, 13 came for ice skating and 22 came for dinner; in a Venn diagram sort of format.

 

First thing we did was watch Avatar in 3D at Macquarie Centre. I wanted to use that venue for ice skating, but never did I initially think of watching a movie; it was going to be a long expensive day haha! A few people were persistent in wanting to watch Avatar, and unfortunately they only had Silver Seats for the non-3D sessions, which were all $20.50 without any Cinebuzz discount. I had hoped for Student Monday deals in case we did have to watch a movie but I guess that failed. By the time I got there, there was an unprecedented long queue which surely would’ve had anyone going: “Nah forget this!” I persisted as there wasn’t really any other choice, and against all odds I managed to bag 16 seats together; the only slight catch was that they were near the front, 4th row. But still, I managed to get seats and just in time too. Watching in 3D was definitely a worthwhile experience, and Avatar was quite a good movie. I won’t review such a grand movie, in case I get things wrong here and there, but for 3 hours it was definitely worth the $16 haha; plus a headache later on. Oh and that stupid blonde at the counter miscalculated the ticket prices and I ended up losing $20. I can’t believe I didn’t stop her in time. She said to me $173 for 9 tickets; which is so bull as you can tell 173 isn’t divisible by 9. And then 173 is a prime number, what the hell. So when I got $7 chance back the first time, I went back to her saying she gave me the wrong change; but she reassured me that it was right. And I don’t know why I couldn’t calculate it in my head that the actual price was $153, stupid “kenpatsu” >.<”

 

After the movie, a few people reparked their cars and we had lunch. More people then began to pour in for ice skating. Some people came late and had to pay the student price of $19, while we all paid the group discount price of…$18. Baulko Ice Arena snaps this place easily. The skates were really bad as well; I would never have expected it as my first time here haha! Ice skating was relatively fun, like I said, I haven’t been for more than a year, and we did have a large enough group to play tag on the ice; quite dangerous now seeing that there were so many little kids enjoying the holidays. It was sort of a packed session. That meant there was heaps of room for accidents, in fact there were. Heaps of people were stacking it everywhere; it was kind of hilarious. There were these two guys that stacked it ON TOP of each other; and they were both struggling to get off each other which looked really…ecchi haha! The two hours went by slowly, it was a good way to “relax” after the movie.

 

For dinner we had our first problem, which was leaving Ben back at Macquarie when we all drove off. Apparently it was Matthew’s job to notify me that Ben was running slow; and with the difficulty of keeping track of everyone present, I obviously forgot about him. So sorry. The people that didn’t ice skate went and got a cake for me, gave them money and stuff. We drove over to Carlingford Village to Jane’s Kitchen along Pennant Hills Road. It’s an expensive place but then other places were closed, and for one particular place…just not worth mentioning at all. The tables were divided into Baulko plus Aman, and then everyone else haha! Ben should’ve swapped with Brandon but Brandon wanted more food. That’s all nice but they eventually paid the bigger bill. I thought it fair that Kelvin and his $163 bill should be rewarded more than Jacky and Andy Wong and their $191 bill. Dinner was filled with trash talk on our table, as usual; sometimes getting a bit too graphical for our liking. Never knew Aman was vegetarian, so we had to cater for him, with dishes that he didn’t really touch and which we had to give to the other table later; I thought Matt and Yit would’ve gobbled all our food. The bill seemed really fair, because of the “rice money” as well as 10% surcharge for public holidays, forgot about that when I organised dinner, the surcharge.

 

After a bit of discussion, Nat opened her house for my party so we could have the cake there, Some people didn’t want to disturb the other guests, I was indifferent haha! Some people didn’t stay so we bid farewell to them, the rest of us drove over to Nat’s. We mucked around in her house for a while, played with Milo her dog, Taboo. Yeah. I remember Adrian was trying to through a Ball at Ben’s? head while he was on the treadmill, full missed him and knocked the flyscreen right off it’s hinges where the window was. Took a couple of minutes to repair that funny scene. Nat was there watching it. Nah, we weren’t going to trash her house like that haha! The guys ushered me into another room as they set up my cake and then we did the usual Happy Birthday sequence. Luckily I prepared well this year round, otherwise I would’ve burst into tears of joy, like last year nearly haha! Yes, I’m not the type where anything about me is ever celebrated so they don’t mix well with my emotions.

 

Anyway we split the cake, we stayed a little longer and then we left. Such an epic long day, so many things went right and only a few went wrong. I was somewhat glad I had organised a party, it was cool. Aside from the presents, I was just glad to have been able to have fun with friends, from all sorts of locations and “backgrounds”. One thing I did learn from today is that having a lot of guests as a party really takes a toll on the host’s capabilities. It was hard keeping track of everyone, and hard to make sure I was talking to every person. I don’t know if I want to do this again next year; but maybe I’m just tired from organising too many things in the coming days haha! All photos of the day were taken by Andy Wong, I was a bit too busy to take my own photos bah.

 

A big Thank You to everyone who came, even if it wasn’t the entire day. It was great spending that time with all of you, I really appreciate you guys taking the time out and spending a day with me. Thanks again!

 

Oh that’s right I forgot, here is what I got from all of you ❤ ❤ ❤

 

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Eric’s Belated Birthday Party

Well just like our gRACE last week, we managed to organise a party for Eric within a week as well; funny how there was so much success from trying to get things sorted out within the span of a few days. Our event coordinator team, me and Kelvin, usually, managed to get the job done relatively quickly but of course our magic is in being able to compensate for last minute things.

 

We had trouble finding a location for the party; we couldn’t use Eric’s house so we tried Chris, who said no. And our last hope was really Charlie, who at first said no but eventually managed to find a way to fit Eric’s party into this schedule. And then after mass mailing and phone calling, we had a pretty good turn up, nearly everyone came; albeit two people, one who was having “marital issues” and the other who was too embarrassed by his puffer fish face.

 

We all met up rather early at Parramatta and at the last minute decided to get Eric a present; it wasn’t something me and Kelvin were trying to figure out beforehand but it didn’t take long to figure out what to get him: Sims 3 haha! One thing we forgot at this point was the amount of money we all had combined; we wanted to get a cake too, and also buy lunch. I guess we just had faith that everyone would’ve just brought enough money for al of this; I mean we’re old now so naturally we should be able to pool together a fair amount of money.

 

I brought my Mahjong set to Charlie’s house where we played for a while; man I actually dragged that thing such a far distance, it was really heavy, especially when I also had to walk around Parramatta Westfield dragging it along, Charlie didn’t want us to go to his apartment just yet as we looked for Eric’s present. Joseph was a bit gobsmacked again because he failed to heed our instructions; it’s not our fault if we try so hard to deliver updates and he just simply hears wrong. I phoned him up this morning to tell him to bring his PS2 console and Gamecube controllers; I knew he wouldn’t have read the e-mails from the night before. Of course I accidentally woke him up to tell him this but when he finally came, he actually brought his Gamecube console and PS2 controllers. *Sigh*

 

We played Smash Melee for a bit while everyone else was into Poker. I was glad not to be part of the brawl; I mean what do you make of something like this:

 

 

Yeah Sharon if you’re reading this, I need you for Mahjong for this very reason: Matthew won’t act like this and turn my house inside out as long as a girl is nearby haha! Frankly last time he was behaving rather well. There were many more times when Matthew acted in those weird “horny” way of his, such as ass spanking Kelvin, or hip thrusting the chair or whatever haha! Med people T.T”

 

Oh and in the background it was Tim and Kelvin having verbal wars, just ignore that. We went off for lunch afterwards and came back to have cake. Well I think the cake is my bad because of bad funding or whatever. Our budget was $20 for the cake, which is relatively hard you have to admit. The cheapest decent-sized cake was $20.90, and the choice was between a cheesecake or a small mudcake. So much chocolate! But then if everyone was willing to chip in $1 more, we’d have like $30 and then we could get a larger cake. But Kelvin decided that it’d be better not to have other people pay up and set the limit there. Maybe I should’ve gone with the chocolate mudcake because the cheesecake tasted rather…yeah, not used to it. Lots of people didn’t want their slice which was really funny, and Jono ended up eating like a quarter of the cake. I slammed down my slice but felt a bit queesy afterwards; yeah cheesecake was a bad idea, my bad haha!

 

We gamed a bit more afterwards until about 4:30pm where we all left, and that was our party for Eric, fairly successful, considering how much we actually achieved in the last minute, oh yeah!