CBS Commerce Year-End Socials

Now that I realize it, I haven’t really blogged on the boxing day social, so I’ll take the chance to take care of both socials we’ve had in the last week haha!


Boxing Day Social

On boxing day we had decided to go out to the beach; but due to the weather we instead went to Steph’s house to have lunch and just chill around until the afternoon. This was a fallback plan, but Steph graciously made a Pass the Parcel…parcel; so we played with it. Talk about awesome luck, there were exactly the same number of layers and people in the game; go Steph! Each layer of the parcel had a slip of post-it note, and maybe a treat. Each person had to do whatever was written on the post-it note; things ranged from simply sharing minor personal things, all the way up to Brandon having to do the Macarina. All videos on Facebook.


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There was of course more mahjong-ing to be done. We stayed until about 4pm before we decided to head off down to the city to go karaoke, and then do other stuff at night. That was just great considering that in the morning to meet up, I had gone down to Town Hall to help back up the people coming from south of Sydney. Came all the way back up to where Steph’s house, and now back down again, and soon to be back up once more T.T”


Ellen had originally planned to go to Live, but due to a potential concern for Chinese and English music, we went back to Big Echo again, as always. So we stayed the 3 hours there doing the same thing as always. I don’t think there’s much I can blog about our karaoke sessions; it’s normally the same songs over again, even the Chinese ones haha! Love Story, Backstreet Boys. I got into the room first, checked the new songs list; they have Wedding Dress now! Got so excited I sang it before everyone had come in haha!


For dinner, we were all over the place; some of us had dinner at 5pm before karaoke, the rest of us went to a Hungry Jacks at 8pm for food. Afterwards we went down to Myer to go Boxing Day night shopping. It was still pretty packed at 9:30pm. Lots of stuff was gone but heaps more was still there. I’m surprised Paul could look at a $75 shirt and say that it was cheap *shudders* Regardless of the savings made off an uber expensive shirt, it’s final net price still causes the same amount of hesitation for me. We walked around for half an hour or so. Only Liz actually bought stuff for her parents, the rest of us walked home empty; well we drove home, yeah same thing. That was a really long boxing day!



New Year’s Eve Sleepover

And so soon after a social we had another set right at the edge of the new year. A lot of things came together to bring this social to form, mostly the notion of using Nat’s house for a social while her parents were gone. What better than a “sleepover” at her place. The reigns were in my hands, right after my own birthday as well. It’s been a really tiring week for me.


Anyway I had the original plan of booking out for dinner; trying to find a mutual place for dinner. Since everyone was coming up to Nat’s house anyway, it’d be reasonable to have dinner as close as possible to Nat’s place for the convenience of those who live in the immediate area. So Eastwood it was, and after like a bit of snooping on Tuesday (29th) I just chose the Peking restaurant. In my books it’s one of the better places to have dinner in Eastwood. People would train up to Eastwood if it’s far for them, and then other who live near Nat drive down to Eastwood and there’s our transport issue solved.


Organising dinner was a slight pain because it was hard to get exact numbers. Luckily on the actual day the numbers became stable and I managed to book the exact number of seats required. We all met up for dinner and we all ordered a lot of awesome food. Everyone just had to have some of that infamous Peking duck; fine alright, though it was…what? $40.80 for like those strips of skin plus one dish of noodles it was still ordered on the basis of the occasion? We had to order so many more dishes afterwards because we were all hungry men on the table. Ordered another 8 dishes and yet still the bill only came to like $13.45 per head which was awesome compared to my party T.T”


We all carpooled back; this was the second time I had the car out, and still just a bit more than a week on my Ps. It was of course relatively risky for me to drive and all; had to pull a few strings to get the car as well. Anyway me and Jacky detoured back to Ken’s house first where we said hi to the few from our church who were left at their own NYE social. It was small, and it was missing 5 people who were now attending our CBS one haha!


The night went on with my Wii, Jie’s Xbox, Mahjong, Taboo and Poker. Everyone was involved in something which was good. Heaps of noise as well; we found out only very recently that Nat’s dad was coming back from Hong Kong that day, so much for having the house all to ourselves. But I was glad he still let us use the house, despite there was a bit of drinking going on and such.



At about 11pm we decided to have a formal thing, split off into small prayer groups so we could reflect on the year that has passed and the year that is to come. Came up with a bunch of thank points and prayer points, and then we just prayed till about 11:45pm. That was finally when things started to get hectic; we brought out the drinks; tried to use as little alcohol as possible because of the environment that we were in. There was heaps of sparkling juices and that was more than sufficient for the occasion I guess. The countdown came and we all gave a huge roar which I suspect would’ve made Nat’s go: “what the hell?!” (in a Chonny accent for added bonus)


The fireworks were really bland, I don’t see the point in watching them anymore; you can’t see the Harbour Bridge at all because of all the smoke, and I would expect that to be the case in the morning. And hence with all the smoke you can see the fireworks, fail. But afterwards we mucked around in the backyard with sparklers. We managed to get some really good photos here, especially this one, sorta:




Oh yeah we are set for next year CBS with this now!


After everything was okay, “play” resumed. Back to our normal activities. Some people started playing spin the bottle truth or dare. Me and Ronnie were just like: “Urgh guys don’t play that game…” They’ll learn next time. Everyone was still really lively throughout the night; the volume levels stayed constant, I really do wonder how much of our noise carried upstairs to where Nat’s dad was sleeping.


I guess you could probably skip everything that happened up until 4am where we started watching “A Walk to Remember”. Yes it quite a sad movie but no it wasn’t compelling enough to cry over. At 5am we left Nat’s house to try and catch the sunrise. We went out to Thompson’s corner where the Australian flag was; there was a small patch of grass which had a good view of the city. There were already traces of people being there last night to watch the fireworks. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to catch the sunrise because of the clouds. And I guess that was okay because no matter where we went (some wanted to beach) there wouldn’t have been a chance to see the sun anyway, with weather the way it was today.



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We went back to Nat’s house to have breakfast, served by Paul and Nat, who went to buy it earlier on NYE. There was pancakes, raisin toast, french toast and boiled sausages. By the time it hit 7am everyone started to die. And there were heaps of people just lying all over the place, clearly too tired to move. People slowly poured out of Nat’s house when it hit 8am, others who were still dead stayed on the sofa to try and sleep it off. The word “sleepover” is rather inaccurate to describe the event, because obviously we weren’t going to, and those that tried to sleep weren’t very successful.


I was pretty tired too, had to drive Bec and Jie back home, and it was raining. Luckily coffee kicked in and I was able to stay awake for this last bit of driving before I got home. I had to drive, with my minor skills because Jacky obviously looked more wrecked than me, playing NBA ‘07 all night long. Man, the last time we played video games (7 hours of Mario Kart 64!) we were really dead the next day.


But that was the new year. It was an epic night as they always are. But on a serious note, the actual reminiscing for me will have to come at a later time when everything settles down. Let’s make 2010 even brighter than it was last year!


MLM Buffet

On Sunday night we went out to Shangrila, or however you spell that hotel, to have a buffet dinner. I don’t think there was any special occasion to have a buffet; we probably just went for fun. So we all met up at Yvonne’s place beforehand, and then carpooled our way to the city.


In short, the food was rather nice; the only thing that was hard to stomach was the choking price of $35 per person, but that was only for the first 10 people; we had 15, so 5 had to pay the full price of $68?! Most definitely not worth the variety of food that they had. And I’m sure it would’ve been very difficult to eat up that value in food. It was hard enough doing that at Andy’s sushi buffet dinner party.


I’m still trying to work out a good strategy to maximise the amount of food one can eat throughout the night; to maximise the amount value to compensate the sunk cost of the buffet. Of course that’s just Asian thinking really; but you feel a lot of fail when you get full quickly and can’t eat enough to increase the value. I’ve worked out that, like a marathon, you can’t rush it all and hope to achieve the most from that; it won’t work. It’s got to be patient and slow eating, such that digestion helps generate more room in your stomach, and you also won’t “feel” full as much either.


But that’s just my two cents. There was some okay seafood: prawns, crabs and oysters. The prawns and crabs weren’t that great, the meat wasn’t very tasty; but the oysters were pretty good. There was sushi, potato salad. That was the cold food. Hot food included some weird Indian rice, vegetables, more crab, sirloin beef (which wasn’t that great either) and various other Asian-like meat dishes, and some curry. There wasn’t much variety unfortunately and it didn’t take long before managing to try every single dish being offered.


Dessert was heaps better; there was so much variety there; lots of chocolate, dark chocolate mousse, black forest cake, lemon-mango stuff, more chocolate, and fondue. Damn what type of stupid spelling is “fondue”, had spell check verify this for me. Guess I take back my scoff at Nat when she spelled it this way; I seriously would’ve thought just “du” rather than “due”. But anyway that was about the food there was. The chocolate fountain was pretty awesome, sort of.


Highlights of the night included camera battles between Jason Yap and Marrilyn, who each brought their professional cameras. Well I’m so sorry that I only intend to buy a cheap camera; I guess it won’t suit as a photographer for media and such, but oh well, I’ll just have to make do with it, once I actually buy the camera that is. Other than that, our main entertainment was supplied by Nat (as usual); who as expected was just *palm face* or *giggle* throughout the entire night. First with her enthusiasm and trouble at cracking the shell of the crabs, with just a fork, up until being a complete hog with the fondue; always going back for more strawberries. She had at least 10 strawberries, over 6 sticks, all covered in chocolate, etc. She just wouldn’t stop, and didn’t seem to have any intention of doing so. *palm face*


There was also fireworks at about 9pm, we had a pretty good view of them. They were probably for Australian Idol right? Doesn’t matter who wins; they’re both losers in the end, ever since the second season when they let Casey Donovan win because she shook…Bob Carr’s hand? That premier guy yeah? They were short and rather ordinary I guess. And just randomly adding, there was this Chinese guy on the table next to us who just spammed oysters, he grabbed like a dozen of them in one go; and he kept going back to grab that many. That was just uber greedy of him, uber Asian of him really. But people from our group eventually; not for themselves but to share with everyone else. I had 7 the entire night; grabbed 4 the first and second time, donated one to Nat.


After all the food, I was at my “regular” critical level again; but not as bad as last time, there wasn’t ice cream to end it all. But I was still rather sensitive to sudden movements and yeah it was a bit hard to walk and stuff. We all went back to Yvonne’s place where we watched Transformers, more shenanigans from Nat with her slightly immature and fake cheers for “Optimus Prime” and the “Decepticons” zzzz. We left at about midnight; didn’t finish the movie and just for the record, I still have not seen the entire movie in one sitting yet. No my money!!!

New Year’s Eve and Day

Well it’s that time of year again and for once I spent it better than in front of my computer playing Warcraft at night. The last 40 or so hours have been hectic as well as without rest, ie. I am dead tired at the moment so I’ll try to blog as best as I can.


Starting the morning at 5am; woke up because I was unable to sleep, which is not a good thing considering I only went to bed at 2am; giving me a mere 3-hour sleep in the last two days. Anyway I got up at 8am to have a light breakfast and left the house to get out to Parramatta. Charlie invited us all to his place to watch the fireworks and do a bunch of various things throughout the day.


I got there at 10am, the time appointed by Charlie; the day was beginning to grow hot at this point. Yitian came soon after followed by Tim, Joseph, Matthew and Fred. Eric dropped out at the last minute for some reason or another and so in the morning it was just us 7. We went off to a Net Cafe just for one hour at $3, although I do highly doubt much can be done in an hour. We spent 45 minutes playing DotA since it’s been a while since we’ve all played together. I’m no longer going to make commentaries on the match but I guess it was good to have everyone playing against each other again. We spent the last 10 minutes trying to start a game of Castle Fight but that didn’t go far so we let that go.


After that it was about 11:40am so we went up to Greater Union to pick up our tickets to see “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with Keanu Reeves, that Charlie has ordered online. I didn’t see the point of ordering online because I never thought that any movie is ever going to be sold out, especially when it’s not the first screening. A lesson to be learned next year, this year. I’ll write my review after this maybe but bottom line is: “Crap movie, don’t bother considering watching it, unless you really love Keanu Reeves”.


Jack Ding met up with us for the movie and Matthew decided to take Eric’s place to watch the movie. Charlie had booked too many tickets and Matt had already seen it with Kelvin in Hong Kong. He agreed to pay half the price of the ticket. Is it right to ask Eric for $7 because he cancelled at such late notice?


Went for lunch at about 2pm and here’s something that was very strange. I’m not sure whether to call it fortune or not. Anyway I ordered take away Udon at some Japanese noodle shop because they didn’t have any ramen =.=” and also a small bottle of Sprite. But when it came to paying I gave her $20 in two $10 notes. She handed me back one of the $10 notes and then also gave me $7.50 change. So essentially I had paid $2.50 only. Yet, isn’t that just the price of the Sprite? She had clearly forgotten to charge me the $9.20 for my Udon. In fact, I don’t think she even charged the other woman who she was serving; and I kind of saw a puzzled look on the customer’s face when she didn’t pay I think. So yeah, very strange moment then; wasn’t exactly guilt-free myself but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to say: “No, sorry you’ve made a mistake…”


After lunch Charlie tried to take us over to the local high school to use their basketball courts. They call this “trespassing” nowadays; which therefore means I can’t do the same with Penno High, oh well. Bad luck was that the gates to the school were locked so no trespassing. Instead Charlie’ back up plan was to take us to the primary school where they had smaller courts. That school had those kiddie fences which you can easily walk over so we just used those courts, only half because another group of people were already there.


We played for a while but because it was extremely hot by this time in the afternoon, it was just too tiring to so we decided to give it up like about 40 minutes later. Went back to Charlie’s apartment and set up the Cube to play Melee, ie. set up the Nintendo GameCube to play Super Smash Bros. Melee. Again no need to go into detail for any of this.


But later on some of us got bored so we started playing Mahjong. Bah I really need to buy a set T.T” We actually spent a lot of time playing Mahjong throughout the night. Kelvin showed up at about 5pm with his new highly acclaimed uber thick black-rimmed glasses *cough* fob *cough*, along with a few other accessories he bought in Hong Kong. Personally I shall be going to Hong Kong in February, not the best time to go but my mum wanted to go then and I guess I wanted to follow just for buying stuff yeah. Not exactly going to be a good two weeks because we don’t really any place to stay and the obvious fact that everyone is back from HK, so I’m just there to pick up the pieces.


I’m getting better at Mahjong, being self-taught is somewhat rewarding at times. I can usually make about 5 farn with decent hands, otherwise I don’t even bother finishing. But hey, there’s still a lot of experience that I need. Sharon! Mebbe this is where you can come in >.<” ah the heat is getting to me, typing deliriously.


Anyway, we had dinner around 6pm: fish fillets, crumbled chicken sticks, sushi and good salad. Charlie provided ample diner for all of us which was great of him. The sushi in particular belongs to the sushi shop like opposite his parents’ coffee shop in Westfield. Dinner was great albeit the weird topic of conversation which was me and my love story for this period of time. Had a pretty bad night because of all the pressure those sooks gave me but fair enough I deserved it.


But it did sort of make me realise that our group aren’t very “in-tune” with women (now that most of us are over 18, the term “women” seems more applicable than “girls”). It’s like everyone seems everyone has trouble relating to women in that they don’t have close friends who are chicks. I mean for example, thinking back to the time when I invited Grace to RICE Rally, first response from the group: “Oooh Jason, is she your girlfriend?” Totally absurd hypothesis to raise considering the lack of evidence to support it. It wasn’t sound judgement. Ah well I guess it’s their time to properly grow. I’m not looking down at them but the fact that they still make such ridiculous comments just makes them seem slightly immature; as if every girl you talk to automatically becomes your girlfriend.


As night began to come full circle, we started playing more of Melee as well as Soul Calibre II (or however it’s spelt). We played like team matches against each other and I remember my beautiful soloing of a 5-man team; managed to take down 5 fighters in a row, which was very scary and obviously my only moment to shine in the night. Everyone else had similar sprees. Some of us went back to Mahjong and others to poker. We wanted to actually do something fun and interesting. But when Tim suggested “dares” we know things can get a bit messy. And yet even when being nice, we ended up with rather lame ideas. We were playing penalty poker where you can use your chips to make someone else do push-ups. Would’ve liked to have increased the number of push-ups per chip, it was at 2 chips for 1 push-up, kid of lame and un-manly haha!


We ended up making Kelvin do most of the push-ups, also because he was hasty enough to lose all of his chips first, that’s gambling I guess. We were trying to find like some other interesting challenges to impose on losers but I guess we didn’t manage to come up with any strange ideas. But that’s okay, the objective was to have fun rather than humiliate someone else.


The night went on for a very long time. And at 12am we went up to the rooftop of Charlie’s apartment. We spent a fair 20 minutes up there, including a rather lame and loud countdown where we all just screamed off the top of a Parramatta apartment building to whoever was actually listening. Of course we were off, and sort of by like a minute but oh well. We could actually see the fireworks on the Harbour Bridge from so far away, but unfortunately I’d have to say that I was largely unimpressed by it; wasn’t anything special and frankly I would’ve rather watched it on TV than trying to in real person like 20 Km away. Actually if you think about it, if we could actually hear the fireworks from the Harbour Bridge then scientifically the explosions should take 60 seconds to reach us. Sound travels at 330 m/s so 3 seconds for 1 Km and we’re about 20 Km away. I think I heard faint rumbles in the background but meh, whatever. The show seemed to last a mere 15 minutes. I thought it was meant to be better this year, and frankly I didn’t even see much of it. Well, I guess fireworks wasn’t a strong start to the new year for me anyway.


We went back down once the fireworks died down and proceeded to more gaming and such. Fred, Joseph and Jack left soon after because they weren’t going to stay the night, leaving us with 6 people plus Charlie. Kind of hard to fit everyone within an apartment so that’s why some of us didn’t sleep. Nick passed off with a mere 5 minutes of sleep around 6:30am because “he was bored”. I gave in to 2 x 30 minute sleeping periods, which weren’t too comfortable but oh well. Everyone else slept at 5am till 9am, all over the floor, the couches, even Yitian decided to sleep under the table.


On that note about sleeping; last time we did a sleepover of the sort, it was me, Tim, Kelvin and Jono at Chris’ house and in fact none of slept at all, not a bit. Well Chris did but the four of us played Mario Kart 64 the whole night; that was good memories. Man we were so wasted the next morning. But  thinking back then I was fine. And yet come Friday morning and I was hit with a terrible fever which screwed me over the entire day. it’s Saturday now, and I’m glad I’m getting better, but like Friday was so horrible for me. I never thought I’d ever get sick but then I suppose if I abused my body in such as a way then I suppose any illness is imminent. Had a think about it and realized that I only had 3 hours of sleep over the last 3 days, that’s 1 hour a day; definitely not good. It was 2am – 5am on Wednesday morning; was gaming at night and sort of got excited for the day so I woke up early and couldn’t get any more sleep. Didn’t sleep the entire Wednesday night; those 2 x 30 minute periods don’t count as proper sleep. And then went to sleep on Thursday at midnight because it was so hot it was impossible to sleep.


Well that’s one lesson I’ve learned. 3 hours of sleep in 72 hours is asking for trouble. But I’m surprised that I managed to recover fairly quickly today, Saturday. I feel like the fever is only affecting me at about 10% whereas it was hitting me at 70%+ on Friday; just trying to judge how severe it was. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that getting better and maintaining health doesn’t require medication or crap. You can find all your “medical” needs from the food around you. Fruits and vegetables really are good for you. But my mum keeps stressing to me that the most valuable “healing” substance is in fact just plain water. What tends to happen is that as water passes through your system, it picks up all the toxins in your body; the crap that’s making you sick. And thinking of a cell in biology, the water tends to carry waste products out of your body, in the form of urine. Now this might get a bit gross but next time you go to the toilet do check the colour of your urine. The more yellow it is, the more toxins that have been carried out. Now that’s a good thing but this just simply means that your body had a lot of toxins to begin with, which means you need to drink more water. Please don’t get confused with yellow urine as a sign that you’re dehydrated; the technical interpretation is that you have not had enough water to wash out all the toxins in your body. So a healthy 8 glasses of water a day is recommended in order to keep your system clean from these toxins that make you sick. And frankly that’s all I did on Friday, just drank water and I’m feeling heaps better today. So yeah, just a simple note to everyone for future reference.


Breakfast was muffins from another shop in Westfield. Had a few myself even though I was still wasted from the night. We played more Mahjong and GameCube and I left at 11am to do a bit more travelling and potential shopping. But that was our New Year’s celebrations, rather interesting and nostalgic since the last time we all did something together. Ah, but on other notes none of this really matters, New Year’s is just another day; it seems foolish to get bogged down by a day the world calls to be special, a day is a day, it has no special significance. It may be a  symbol that points to something , such as Christmas to Jesus, but that’s all it really is. Let that be a reminder to everyone. I’m really tired at the moment. I’ll see if I can do another blog tonight.


As promised here are some random photos during the night/morning: