Hatsuka

When it comes to counting age in Japanese, the only weird number is the one for 20 years old: “hatsuka” although in kanji it is still written the same way in Chinese. Nevertheless, this post will be one to reflect upon the day that was my 20th birthday party and on my thoughts and feelings of the things that led up and happened on the day.

 

I’ve never been one to care much about my birthday, let alone my birthday. It’s not really a day where I care about how I’ve turned a year older or about what type of presents I would be receiving that year, if I was receiving any. As such I guess I prefer letting my birthday just pass by silently, without anyone noticing and making any sort of fuss over it. I really do still wonder how it is that I eventually organised a birthday party for myself, and how so many people were invited and actually came. I suppose at the end of the day I should care about my birthday because it was a day where people showed that they cared about me.

 

LAN

In the morning I had organised LAN although I never forced any RSVP on it; and that was because there was no need to book for LAN, nor to find out exactly how many people were coming. After all, you can game with as many or as few people. However, at 11am I would never have expected no-one to come. Apart from Jacky who accompanied me to the city, there was only Andrew and William who was there. Jacky ran off with Brandon to organise my present while I camped in City Hunter for three hours playing games with the other two. I think it was a pretty fun 3 hours; I mean, these were two people I haven’t gamed with much and so it was good to spend some time with them. We played Left For Dead 2 for a while and then Team Fortress 2; yeah that took up 3 hours. I wanted to play Black Ops or Modern Warfare 2, but our cheap $2.50/hr computers didn’t have them haha!

 

After LAN the three of us went to Subway off George St because I was still suffering from a stomach virus, which I now don’t believe was food poisoning but in fact an illness I caught off my brother. It caused a very dismal Christmas for me. Soon after lunch, people started arriving for karaoke. But throughout the morning, I was already being spammed with a lot of text messages about where people were, and whether they were still coming or not. Honestly, it was very hard to keep track of where people were.

 

Karaoke

Many people were either late to karaoke, coming for dinner only, or weren’t able to make it at all. I guess that was a bit of a disappointment having people say they were going to come but in the end changing their minds and such. Nonetheless, there were still a fair number of people who came. The bad thing today was that there was a surcharge (stupid Christmas being on Saturday) of $2. But funnily enough, the 15% birthday discount reduced the price back down to $12 ($11.9166666) to be exact. Because people weren’t here at 3:30pm, they let us sing for half an hour and then coming back out to pay at 4pm. By then we had about enough people to fill our one whole room and maximise the discount. But at that time as well, many late people had also come and it was difficult for me to count the number of people who were now here. It was also hard for the staff to keep track of this number as well; and so when it came to paying I believe not everyone was charged. What none of you saw was that after I gathered $12 from everyone and paid, I actually had $16 left over. It was as if I didn’t pay my share AND made a $4 profit haha! Worry not, I kept that in mind for the rest of the evening.

 

The two karaoke rooms were split into high school friends in one, church in another, and CBS people constantly mixing around in both as we always do. Both rooms doubled up on songs, and I had to keep jumping back and forth between rooms to catch up with everyone that had come. Mandy at the last moment had decided to come to karaoke and of course I was especially fearful of what would probably happen at karaoke; dinner was a separate issue as well. Nevertheless, I think I took enough preventative measures to delay the inevitable, and I was glad the room she seized was the one with fewer people, and the one where nearly everyone knew what was going on. There were a still a couple of confused and worried faces but everyone did their best to provide support.

 

Presents had also begun to stream in and so I kind of just dumped them all over the place since I was more engaged with talking to people than securing my presents into a single pile. My voice was somewhat more dead than usual that day; it died before the three hours was up. Everyone made me sing Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” by myself, with my cracked voice. I do wonder whether people were laughing at me or with me the entire time. But yes, everyone sang happy birthday towards the end of the three hours, and I mustered the courage to stand and face my friends at that moment. I already said before I didn’t like making a fuss over my own birthday and I really do have difficulty accepting any sort of “special treatment” for that day. By this time most people had arrived; there were several late comers who were just early for dinner.

 

Again, I want to make clear that I refused to give a speech on that day for the reason that I had no words prepared and in order to give a proper speech regarding all my friends, I really do have to sit down and take time to think things through thoroughly.

 

Dinner

Everyone went ahead after karaoke to go to dinner. The reason I trailed behind was to help Mandy, who struggled to walk. I would definitely have been a bad host and friend if I had just gone ahead and not waited for everyone; it’s definitely not my style to neglect even one person. The funny thing was that I had to keep relaying orders to the forward group to tell them to eat, even though by the time we got there (which was 15 mins later) my table was still the first one to order T.T”

 

We went to Kobow which isn’t too bad a place as a Korean restaurant, but there were many that were better, but perhaps not cheaper. Again because of my stomach virus, there was a restriction on what I could and could not eat. Rather there wasn’t anything I could eat, but I had hot pot anyway, it was probably the safest option. Halfway through dinner, people made me go around to each table to have them toast their drinks to me; this is definitely something I would never do by myself. The bad thing about the whole ordeal was that I had a shot glass with Korean shots poured into them at each table. I stopped at what I believed was the second shot, but everyone else said it was my third; definite signs of getting drunk there. So thank you guys for trying to get me drunk. There were many things I did which even I was aware was due to the influence of alcohol. I had about a third or more of a bottle of soju (funny, I played some guy on StarCraft with that name) which apparently approximated 3 standard drinks; that’s probably more than what I would have safely tried for my first time drinking (properly).

 

I went around talking with as many people as I could again and despite Mandy getting into trouble with the people around us, there was still a pretty good vibe amongst everyone. I was glad to have been able to catch up people I haven’t really had a chance to speak with for a long time, as well people I haven’t seen for ages as well. It turned into a pretty good night and we stayed for quite a while even after we had all finished eating.

 

Dessert

Again my stomach was not in the mood for any sort of dessert; but luckily neither was anyone else. So instead, I took everyone to George St McDonald’s near Town Hall and I used the surplus I had obtained from karaoke, to buy a bunch of soft serve cones for everyone. And with the help of Leslie’s employee’s card, I saved 20% off for 22 soft serve cones. The staff were kind of puzzled at our order and it took them a while to churn out all 22 cones. Some people *ahem* Sharon were a bit impatient in waiting for their free soft serve cone but eventually everyone was satisfied. To be fair, even after buying everyone ice cream I still had a bit of a surplus; oh well.

 

We lingered outside McDonald’s for a while afterwards again, nearly blocking pedestrians as we normally do. Eventually people started going home, and I thanked everyone for coming.

 

All in all, I really enjoyed my birthday party that day, even though my self esteem kept from feeling up for it. I guess I’m still touched, though not emotionally as much as I should be, by everyone for their company and their kind thoughts. But this point will be further reflected in my proper reflection post  coming soon. In the mean time, thank you to everyone who did come, or who tried to come. Though I haven’t pondered much on the presents I received, I am still very thankful for even the smallest of gifts. To close things off on a decent note, here is a picture of all your birthday cards to me sitting above my desk:

 

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Commerce Mid-sem Break Social

Rather than jump into a summary of things that happened over this semester, what better to kick off the mid-sem break than with a post describing the events of the first day: one big social gathering with Commerce people.

 

LAN

In the morning, Andy Wong had a last minute idea to go play some LAN at Central’s City Hunter before the official social started. Spent 2 hours playing Left 4 Dead 2. Funny, it was my first time every playing this game, guess I’m just really out of it in terms of gaming. I suppose I can sort of see where the elements of addiction come from; it’s a fairly decent game, nice graphics and all. Jacky kept noobing things up because he was being too trigger happy with a rocket launcher, ah well, first person shooters are probably not his type.

 

The other funny thing that happened while we were playing were these “Wogs” (forgive the racial slang) who were playing DotA like in the area right next to us. You could not believe the amount of noise that came from those people, the amount of commotion over a somewhat slow game such as DotA. Phrases like “Omfg, get the f*** away from the tower” and “Why the f*** is the tower hitting me? Where are the f***ing creeps?!” were iterated multiple times throughout the two hours. From a normal bystander’s view, they were simply loud and annoying. From a gamer’s perspective, they were also very noob at the game. As a DotA player, I find it personally funny that you can get so “into” the game and yet be so bad at it. They were yelling out things that a person who’s played a lot would no longer be frustrated over. I occasionally shot a glance over at their game, most of the time they were yelling because their heroes died, from a lack of teamwork, and from the mere fact that they were bad at the game; and that caused a huge uproar amongst them every single time. There was one particular moment where they finally get a kill. All of them literally jumped up out of their seats and they all cheered and clapped and yelled, the kind of level of excitement you would expect from a patriot during the World Cup when their team scores. All that commotion over a game…

 

Picnic

Promptly after gaming, we joined the rest of our faculty by Town Hall and moved off to Hyde Park for our picnic. The trouble in all of this is the large number of Christians in Commerce; with over 80 people who were going to attend throughout the day, the task of arranging food, activities, and just simply moving people around the city seemed a daunting task. Luckily for the picnic there were only about 40 people who came. We played a number of games that our organisers Ben, Steph, Ellen and Chris had carefully arranged for us. Activities included Chinese whisper-charades, and another one where each team chooses two people at a time to hold a balloon between each other, back to back, move down to a line and then toss a tennis ball into a bucket placed at a fair distance from the line. The games were quite creative.

 

After playing through all the set games we sat down for a short period of time to eat some snacks, have some drinks, and play…Magic cards?! Yeah, somehow the game is making a comeback within our group, probably because of that one-off free cards giveaway that our uni had for a week; the damn promotion just got a lot of people into wanting to play the game again. I guess I am no exception. Then again, I do hope that we all realise that we just want to play with the cards that we already have, and that there is no need to pursue those new cards, and create that perfect deck with cards that we don’t have but would like to obtain through abusing our wallets and such. The game just somewhat changed for our high school group, when instead of treating Magic like a “trading card game”, it became “look at a list of cards, pick the ones you need and buy them game”.

 

Karaoke

After a quick game of Magic, many of us moved off to go karaoke. Others stayed back to hang around the park and others went off to Norita’s. Karaoke was heaps of fun with over 30 people, yeah most of us went karaoke since it is a speciality of our Commerce faculty. We were given 3 rooms between our group, which was a good thing; it allowed us to designate one room as what I call the “fob” room and the other two rooms as English rooms. And for once in karaoke, I did not sing a single English song, I stayed in the fob room for the whole time.

 

Part of the reason that today’s karaoke session was particularly good was that there were a few more people who had similar tastes in music (to me) – subjectively saying that today’s karaoke was good (for me). I managed to catch up on a lot of Jap songs that I haven’t been able to sing due the lack of interest in Jap music from other people that I normally go K with. I was very pleased some new music from K-ON!, Angel Beats and new Korean stuff.

 

The fob room was very unpopular at the beginning of our session but over time, people from the English rooms came in to find out what songs we were singing (not that they would know anyway). Towards the end of our 2.5 hours (we were leaving 30 mins early), more and more people crowded into our room and it become apparent that any common taste our faculty had in non-English music could be found in Korean culture. There was a huge “dance-off” once we hit the SNSD/Kara block. There are a couple of wild videos of us on Facebook (or soon there will be some) where we show our true passion for “those sorts of songs” through epic singing and epic dancing.

 

Have no idea what happened in the other rooms, since I never left my one, but it sounded as if other rooms had just as much fun; perhaps because most of the people were there anyway at the beginning. Sitting through a lot of Chinese music wasn’t too bad, still not my style of music but still is okay to handle once a while haha!

 

Dinner

After Karaoke, we moved off to dinner – some Korean restaurant along Liverpool St. The rest of our group (who didn’t go karaoke) were already there waiting for us. More people came just for dinner so our initial group of 40 expanded. I was surprised the restaurant had a seating capacity that could hold all 60+ of us AND still have a fair amount of space for regular customers.

 

Our table ordered hotpot; we were clearly ripped off by the lack of meat that we got but apart from that, the vegetables did fill us up good. Other tables ordered BBQ stuff and in general everyone had spicy stuff, although they didn’t really order it. It seemed like the cooks just made everything spicy even though the menu didn’t really mention anything about the food being spicy. They also forbid us from having seafood since they decided that it would take forever to serve us all if they had to prepare seafood for everyone; stingy Koreans.

 

We didn’t stay too long for dinner, chatted and played some card games afterwards. Wonder how Monopoly Deal became such a popular game? After dinner we went a short distance to take some group photos and then had ice cream. Not everyone wanted some so we managed to gather 11 of us to share in the biggest thing that the French Riviera had. It was a fairly tall mountain of ice cream for $51, and we probably didn’t need 11 people to finish it but it was quite enjoyable, and difficult to eat considering how it threatened to just tip over at the beginning.

 

Funnily enough, most of the rest of the group just remained outside the entire time we were inside eating dinner. Goes to show how idle our group can be if no-one decides on a concrete thing to do. Some people went home but the rest of them just loitered outside. In fact we continued to loiter outside after finishing our ice cream and it was only after another half hour did we decide to go home. Our bus ride home reminded Nat of a similar bus ride home at night on the same bus but with our youth group kids from RICE a couple of weeks back; there was sort of the same mood of having good conversation with one another on public transport. Yeah I guess those times can also be productive for conversation as well.

 

So all in all it was a long day. How did I ever manage to come up with the energy to blog this all up? And this is merely day 1 of our mid-sem break.

Holidays Are Over

In a sense, my holidays are over, before they even began. But I suppose I speak too rashly since only one week of three is down. However, my holidays are definitely “booked out” now; it was booked out since before they started haha. Let’s re-cap over the last 7 days.

 

Friday

After trying to relax from all that immense studying for that one final statistics exam that kept me from my holidays, I spent the whole of the following day preparing for my youth group seminar on Apologetics. It was quite a stressful day; it’s on the same level as doing an assignment from scratch that’s due on Sunday. It was pretty bad timing, because I was mentally exhausted from uni at all; a lot of my thoughts weren’t flowing well so it was additionally harder for me to get that seminar done. To make things worse, I really only had one day to get it done since I was going to be out all day on Saturday.

 

Saturday

Had a RICE meeting today out in Croydon. Sam Mak gave his thoughts on how as serving Christians, we might lose the focus on our ministries and simply call them “ministry” rather than it actually being “service”. Christian ministry is about service after all but amidst people’s busy schedules (such as mine), we might start having a different attitude towards wherever we serve; be it church, youth group, ISCF groups, or one-to-one ministries. There’s always that tendency to become overloaded and suddenly start getting tired from it all, and letting it become routine, without putting the heart into it. It was a good reminder for me to rethink my motives in wanting to serve at church, at uni, and for RICE.

The rest of the day was spent in the actual planning of a number of things, as well as to run through team procedures with all the extra leaders that signed up over the last few weeks. We have a large team of leaders again this year, maybe not as many as last year. But it never ceases to amaze me how a bunch of uni students and workers can get together and put together such a huge event that causes change in so many high schoolers. I look forward to the actual days of the events.

Had to give up work today, and for two weeks later at the next meeting; but money wasn’t the issue. In terms of what I really needed at the time, I really needed this day to work on my seminar for tomorrow. Managed to get enough of it done once I got back home. Though I was exhausted from the day, I pressed on till 11pm and called it quits, hoping that what I had done was enough.

Sunday

This was my 10th talk or so, and of sorts, in front of a Christian audience but this one just seemed really unprepared. But like every other time, it seemed as if I knew what I was actually talking about and I was able to pick out the right wording more often than I had expected. Apologetics is my area of “expertise” so to say; I’ve spent a lot of time reading about it, and pretty much the other Christian articles on my blog are the fruits of my knowledge in Apologetics. Having said that, it’s clear I’ve had a mental block in that field for a while now, but that’s probably bound to happen at some point anyway.

I’m glad the seminar went well, but of course I can only guess at how the youth felt about it, whether it’ll actually help them or not. The main goal is to stimulate thought, that in itself should be more than enough of a push for them to think harder about what they believe in.

After church I had the option of going back to high school to attend a reunion of sorts. But pretty much none of my friends were going so I didn’t end up going back. Guess I’ll have to pay my teachers a visit another time. Instead went up to Hornsby to have ramen. Spent $135 on a 1 TB external hard drive and went home to tutor.

Monday

Started working on a church camp video, I’m slowly making progress when I can, or when I’m in the mood. The rest of today was spent either gaming or catching up on anime. In less than a week I finally managed to watch all of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Yeah, that meant going through more than 10 episodes a day, amongst doing other things but it was definitely worth it. The 64 episode series had much more depth than its original counterpart and was animated much better; much more gory as well. I’m slightly shocked at how they’re planning on showing this to American kids after translating it and all. Given the level of animated violence in the anime, it should easily be given an M rating, possible M15+. *Sigh* at the Americans who keep (poorly) translating anime.

Tuesday

Went out to go shopping with parents and pretty much did what I did on Monday again. Hmm…I could’ve sworn the week was much more busier than how it appears for Monday and Tuesday. Oh right, it makes sense because of all the business with having to oraganise upcoming events in the following days. It becomes more stressful when a lot of things don’t get sorted out properly until the last minute.

Wednesday

Met up with my pastor in the morning to have a chat and stuff before heading over to Jie’s place for Mahjong. Five of us were there: Jie, Jacky, Nathaniel and Sharon. I had actually wanted Nat to come, so she could bring her small dog to play with Jie’s 4 big monstrous canines. His dogs were huge, two black, two white, the black ones were very aggressive. If Jie had a third black dog, I swear you could put those three together and you’d get something that resembles Cerberus. Wonder what Nat’s dog + Cerberus equals?

Haven’t mahjonged in a while and haven’t mahjonged with those people for a while too, since maybe some time last year. It was good to repeat old times, with the table trash talk and all. Me and Sharon came up with the biggest hands in the game, at 10 fan. Jacky also sought out this opportunity to try out Jie’s new flat screen TV, clocking at 52 inches. He made me bring my Wii and we mucked around with a couple of games. Didn’t feel that special, but that’s maybe because both Kelvin and Yit have equally as large TVs, the experience is already common.

Later that night we went back to church for a young adults social type thing. As I parked my car, some of the youth were also there for some meeting for a holiday crafts program or something for primary school kids. Sadly, they were “lost” because nobody else was there for the meeting. So I dragged them over to our young adults thing where they could sort of find shelter from the cold night to call their parents to pick them up. So after all that, spent a half hour on the phone with Kelvin (and then gamed for another hour or so) before finally calling it a day…the longest day this week.

Thursday

Our group’s meet up today turned into Eric’s birthday dinner. I suspected this was the case when Eric first offered to have a social thing on today but it wasn’t until maybe the week before that I recalled it was Eric’s birthday just on Tuesday. Which also means that we didn’t have much time to get presents and sort other things out.

 

I went down to the city a bit early in hope of looking for a present but I didn’t have much luck. Instead I spent the rest of the time with Charlie looking for a suitable birthday cake. I couldn’t find the Michelle’s under Myer in that food court for some strange reason and so after a long search I managed to get a Vanilla-Strawberry sponge cake from a place called “Dough!” I think

 

Eric took us to a Korean restaurant named “大長今” funny name haha! We managed to take the top level of the restaurant and had dinner there. There was a fair variety of cheap and expensive food there, but there was no BBQ buffet which was a shame. Me, Kelvin and Erica had BBQ while some of the other people who weren’t willing to spend much chose from the cheaper end of the menu. The food wasn’t too bad, neither was the price. Eventually we got down to the cake. Me and Charlie had also decided to get candles at the time; we bought a “1” and a “9” candle, two dollars each, what a rip!

 

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After dinner we went karaoke for an hour at Big Echo. Some new songs as usual, need to learn them again.

 

Sunday

Friday and Saturday were spent recuperating from everything that happened throughout the week. But Sunday again proved to be a long day. After church Nat had decided to go watch Toy Story 3 with a bunch of people from our youth group. At the same time, I was trying to arrange to watch a movie the following day in the morning, since it’s $8 movie tickets on Monday, But no-one was free on the Monday so I opted to just tag along and watch a movie with them. This day would be the first occasion ever that Nat beats me to any location by driving. I had major bad luck finding a parking spot in one of the Castle Towers car parks that I have never parked at haha. Anyway to my disappointment (in some sense), the movie was very popular and normal screening sessions were booked out, leaving us the only option of watching it in 3D (at the $17 price). My resolve to watch a movie there and then was stronger than my urge to save money so I went through with it. Won’t comment on the movie, other than that Toy Story 3 was a pretty awesome movie.

 

Watching a movie was not part of my plan at all for the day, and was about to severely impact the rest of the afternoon/night. After the movie I immediately rushed home to get changed for Josef’s 21st. The major issue at hand was that I had to work out the route to get there. This was the first time I’ve ever driven as far as Seven Hills on my own since getting my P’s last year. I took about 10 minutes to memorise the route on Google Earth, got changed and immediately sped off to the party. I was so glad I got there successfully and on time a s well. I was really pushed for time, seeing as I didn’t know how long it would take to get there.

 

Josef invited like more than 150 people that night and managed to book out a whole seminar room in the RSL club. His parents were also willing to shout all the guests dinner, seeing as it is his 21st. There was a structured program to the party and so we weren’t able to eat the entire night. But I think I had more than my fair share for the night. There were a number of speeches and some trivia games, a slideshow and a speech from the birthday man himself. After the party everyone moved off to the bar to chill; designated drivers obviously weren’t allowed any alcohol.

 

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I went off by about 10:30pm to get back home. But on the way I decided to swing by Ken’s place where our church was having hotpot; I obviously opted a free buffet over hotpot haha. I watched them play “the hat game” and then we left.

 

So that was a full week of action, nearly. But clearly it was enough all-day action to keep me exhausted at the end of the week. Apologies for the lateness of the post. But the second week of the holidays was also just as tiring. And it all starts with Monday, the day right after all that happened on the above Sunday.

SMAC Camp 2010

I’ll try to keep this post relative to the length of our camp, which somehow seems to be getting shorter every year, or so it seems. Anyway I was at least glad this year I had a camera to take photos with; much better than last year with my pathetic phone camera, which did it’s job relatively well. Our theme for this year’s camp was “The True King of Israel” – though this was not the actual camp title, this one sounds better. We looked at the book of 1 Samuel and our speaker this year was one Benjamin Ho who graduated from Trinity Grammar and previously went to St Paul’s Anglican along with Kenny and Billy.

 

Friday

My personal Friday began with lunch when Jie came and picked up Jacky and me for camp. We went down to Carlingford Village and ate at Hong Kong de Cafe (as per usual). I lose of track of who owes me money now, we always have a problem when it comes to paying the bill; and then in light of the mid-sem break last week I have completely forgotten who owes me money; I’m more certain that I am owed money rather than the other way round.

 

Anyway after lunch we walked around Carlingford Court, bought a bar of dark chocolate from Coles (which we didn’t end up eating by the end of camp which kind of sucks) and then we went to pick up Jess and Marcus because we were asked to take them at the very last second – how troublesome! Anyway their company was much appreciated; we pumped a variety of music while Jie drove, guided by his GPS, music from Backstreet Boys to Girls’ Generation. Jess was partially annoyed at the way we’d sing some English songs with an Asian accent.

 

The car trip took about an hour and a bit. As we got to the camp site, there was a gate blocking our way. We drove up to it. It didn’t open. We tried to give Jess (the co-ordinator) a call but she didn’t pick up – inconvenient. So we drove back to a McDonald’s we saw a couple of minutes back. We took a quick toilet break but didn’t buy anything to eat. Then we finally found out that the gate was automatic, although for some reason it didn’t open when we drove up to it. Regardless, we drove back and saw Ken’s car go past us; everyone was catching up. We got back to the gate and after driving a little closer to it, it actually opened T.T” Bad luck. Ken still mysteriously showed up 10 minutes after us.

 

We mucked around for a while until the sun set.

 

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Skip the food (it wasn’t anything special, but it was prepared by like 2 people which is fairly amazing), we began our night session around 8:15pm, about 45 minutes late. Some of the tech equipment wasn’t set up entirely well stage-wise but that would have to be fixed the next morning. We had our intro and then our first talk. Our speaker, Ben, decided to give the Old Testament Bible readings by depicting them in a video with some actors. He picked UNSW as the stage haha! The New Testament Bible readings were done by Athena, as usual.

 

Oh I missed a bit, we played a game (that we’ve played too much now) which involved getting into groups of people and having a specified number of certain body parts touching the floor; some number of arms, feet, head, etc. I took the chance to grab more photos:

 

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After the night session we finally settled down in our rooms. Luckily there was wireless here so we YouTube-ed a bit until around 12:30am and then we slept.

 

 

The Campsite

Okay now we can move onto the camp site itself. It was disappointingly smaller than our normal camp venue, Point Wolstoncroft; I forget why we’re here this year. The cabins were quite small and cramped which wasn’t all too pleasant. They were cramped in that there was little floor space to put stuff down and actually walk around the room on.

 

Toilets were quite appalling although I will say that they were better than the KCC ones, the showers at least had hot hot water and were fairly large, and weren’t like bug-infested overnight. But this was not the only “controversy”. I am of course talking about the gender inequality in how the cabins were distributed. At the back of the camp there was a block which was obviously newer, it had air conditioning and the toilets were located inside the building. The girls were offered their “luxurious palace” while we were given the tight-spaced cabins with a toilet block that we had to walk out to. The girl’s rooms were significantly more spacious; significantly. Well of course I’m not pleased, it’s quite unfair that half the campers had better treatment than others. It would be awkward to put everyone inside that nicer block, yes, but everyone could have been fit into our cramped cabins; there was easily enough rooms and beds, the guys didn’t even fill up half the camp site. And it would not be awkward to put guys and girls into the same block, because there were four sets of rooms (A to D) which then led to 3-4 more rooms; clearly our dodgy block was sectioned off in a well manner such that there shouldn’t be any guy-girl tension. I’d argue the same way if the situation had been reversed and we had gotten the better dorms. I’m happy to have a less comfortable room if it creates equality. Besides, these physical barriers I’ve suggested are exactly the case with our pervious camp venue.

 

Other than the the camp site was quite small, nobody else was there so we sort of had the entire area to ourselves. There was like children’s play equipment which we all mucked around on (see the swings in the photo above) but that may be because it was more of a venue for primary school camps, rather than teen-adult camps T.T” There was a main hall where we had our talks and games and such, fitted with a table tennis table, and a pool table, which was quite a nice addition to things we could do for fun. Naturally everyone made good use of these facilities.

 

 

Saturday

To be continued…

Kelvin’s B’day Party ‘09

Without hesitation, Kevin set his party this year to be karaoke; nearly no surprises there. And he added a big guest list to top things off. Venue of choice: Big Echo. The only small twist he initiated was to K for an over-the-top duration of 6 hours, cut down initially from…8 hours was it? It wasn’t an idea that most of us supported but I guess it’s hard for us to say “no” at the same time.

 

Some of us met earlier on Thursday to have lunch at a “seedy” place that “only Eric and Diana” knew. Turns out this place was simply Ramen-Kan, lolx? It’s far from seedy, it’s a good place; obviously because I’ve eaten there on several occasions already. We had 45 minutes to eat, that’s probably enough time to properly savour the ramen and such. It must be savoured haha, otherwise you aren’t going to appreciate the wonders of ramen haha!

 

Kelvin power-walked us to Big Echo in time to meet up with more people. And the initial 20 or so of us went in. Kelvin was trying to secure for us a $12 for 6 hours deal; though he did explicitly say in the beginning that this might not be possible. I’m not sure how confident he was at the beginning of securing this deal but eventually as the date neared, he was less and less confident. And ultimately we came to the worst case scenario (there were only two really) and were left to pay $12 for the normal 3 hours.

 

41 guests were invited in total; I didn’t count to see how many came. Most of them were from high school, others from uni. And since we were all Asians (nearly), we all pretty much knew each other. Not much to describe in K; it’s probably just the regulars like all other times. Brandon picked all our songs; no-one really had any preference for certain songs but funnily enough everyone was against certain songs. We had to skip a huge bunch of songs which Brandon queued up; some of them were okay but a majority of people weren’t so fond of them.

 

As for me, I was just looking for new songs; they finally have “again” by YUI, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood opening. It’s not that great a song but since it is relatively new, and popular, it is worth singing; not that I got a chance to; stupid non-fobs T.T” And then of course there was “Gee’”; keep my mouth shut on that for now. No Big Bang songs, rather disappointed; don’t really know the lyrics anyway so there wasn’t really any point. A few people were reluctant to sing…why would you when you paid money to come in? Jess, Viv, Sophia and Joseph. Well Joseph I guess we know by now; but at least it is possible to force him to sing. Had to be more gentle with the other gusts (obviously) but we weren’t able to pressure them enough to sing.

 

Kelvin had a competition later on in the afternoon, after the first 3 hours, just to spice the occasion up; but I didn’t stay long enough for that, sorry man. I opted to catch the train to our CBS social at the same time that Charlie, Mandy, Jess and Jono were leaving. Only Brandon would then be left. Other reason was that I would be forced to pay another $12 which I was reluctant from doing, since I would’ve already spent $11.80 for lunch (which I still owe Kelvin at the moment), $15 for his present, $12 for the first 3 hours of karaoke, and then later $15 for BBQ at Steph Chung’s place. That’s already a lot of money gone, without having spent another $12 for another 3 hours of karaoke. Wasn’t even sure that I’d stay the full duration anyway.

 

We took time out to give Kelvin his presents. There were rather amazing gifts, but to no great surprise from the amount of funds we actually had for it haha! But yep, I’m he’ll be heaps happier with those gifts. May he continue good memories of all his friends in the years to come. Happy belated birthday Kelvin!

Five Day Weekend

Well, thanks to Labour Day, this week has provided me and many other people a five day weekend, which is pretty cool; it’s almost like another mid-sem break. No uni from Friday all the way to Wednesday. I took this as an opportunity to have some fun and obviously catch up with other people DESPITE the fact that the smarter thing to do would’ve been to catch up on work that I’ve left behind because of all those exams in the past three weeks. Oh well; that’s what happens when you’d rather have fun now.

 

Friday

On Friday I went out with my high school group; most of us came, only a few decided not to turn up; half our group was free that day while the other half was free after lunch time. At first it was me, Matt, Tim, Chris and Jono who met up and headed off to North Sydney in the morning to Ryo’s Noodles, which has the best ramen in Sydney, or so Tim and Chris say. So we went to verify that fact; took a train to St Leonard’s and walked the rest of the way; it did talk a while to walk but obviously not long enough for Matt to finish chewing his long bread roll he got at Woolworths prior to lunch.

 

The restaurant (soon to be reviewed by Chris – I’ll add to my blogroll) was a tad small and had limited seating capacity, it also didn’t look very fancy but then that’s fair if you consider such a place to have good food; it should not be easy or quick to replicate. The prices went a bit higher than what we originally anticipated but the food definitely was good. It does come at the top for the best ramen but not by that much. The restaurant was out of the way and the quantity per serving wasn’t all that exciting. What made the ramen good was the soup and the noodles. The soup was nice and rich with flavour and rather thick, like proper soup, not like water. And then the noodles seemed to have been made more delicately, and didn’t seem to have come from a packet or something, like other restaurants haha!

 

After lunch we went back to the city and met up with the rest of our group and we all went to net cafe; we haven’t gamed together in a long time and we’ve all turned to different types of gaming yeah. We played DotA and I would still say that I still stand second to none in my group. Regardless of what they may all say, to identify the exact skill of a player cannot be done solely by seeing the teamwork. Being an all-round player for any game is being able to play every role as well as each other. We played UT and also CoD4, CoD is pretty fun I wish I could practice more at first person shooters but at the moment my laptop can’t handle the newer games and I’m still waiting on a new desktop once Windows 7 comes out.

 

We gamed for a good 3 hours, played a lot of games; it was okay although we were all seated in different places. It was 5pm then and we couldn’t decide what to do then. It was too early for dinner and yet it didn’t seem right to go for 3 hours of karaoke, 1 hour seemed too little as well. But fate helped us decide when we found that Big Echo was full at the time so we went for dinner. Went to the Japanese restaurant across the street, where we were joined by Diana and Arthur o.0” First time we actually went out for dinner together as a group haha.

 

Afterwards we weren’t satisfied for the day so we added another hour of karaoke with that; Big Echo was full again even after dinner so we went back all the way to K-Squared. Too much karaoke in the past 4 weeks T.T” And it’s all too repetitive as well: Love Story, Viva La Vida, and a bunch of Linkin Park voice-wrecker songs. It was still fun but for one hour we really had to be time efficient between 8 people. The night ended with a huge storm just as we got on the train; somewhat glad we left the city before the storm got worse at night. It was quite a fun day; very long, very expensive T.T” but fun.

 

 

Saturday & Sunday

The weekend was just as long; stuff day in and day out. On Saturday we had our church meeting at Kenny’s house. Met the entire day and afternoon to reflect, go over plans and such. Quite a lot to organise, lots of things to fix up and stuff but generally our meetings are a waste of time in that we achieve so little in so much time; very inefficient T.T” But I guess sometimes that’s bound to happen, we just have to put up with it.

 

Later that night we had our Mid-Autumn festival. I didn’t actually stay for all of it; just for dinner and then had Quentin drive me back home. Feel utterly pathetic still not having my Ps while he’s had them for more than half a year now T.T” How pathetic indeed *sigh*

 

On Sunday we still had youth group and had to come up with a game the night before; so that was last night out. We had a Trivia activity with all these bogus questions from Jess; they were all fairly random like “Name the four Wiggles” and “Which two words have no other rhyming words?” and even “Who was the first person to go out into space?” It’s those sort of o.0” questions which you would consider quite random. “But I know the answer to the,” says Jess. Weird.

 

Had to plan a few things in the afternoon for Monday and I guess somehow the night just wasted away and once again I got no work done.

 

 

Monday

Today I went out with Sharon and Erica to watch “Up”. I think Sharon was the one who raised the idea; but then I had to drag the nearest guy, Ken, into this because it’s kind of suss having just the three of us wandering around Towers yes? Not to stranger, no, who cares what they think. It was just in case people I knew saw us. Of course Ken was sort of out of place in terms of age but then if you consider us as a church group then it’s okay haha!

 

Finally took advantage of the Monday Student deal offer, $7 tickets wow! They are awesome I’m glad I watched a movie today because of the value haha. One problem we had today was that Ken didn’t have his car, and me and Erica can’t drive. Which meant that the only driver available was Sharon; thanks Shaz you make a good chauffeur haha! So she had to come round and pick each of us up and then drive us to Towers; we had plenty of time but the cinemas were pretty packed today considering it was a public holiday.

 

Felt a bit sad that everyone who walked into the movie was a kid; whereas you have us grownups, oldies, whatever, walking in and watching it haha. I think we laughed just as much as the kids too. It was a pretty good movie; it wasn’t all laughter at every point; it had a few grown up elements in it too, like all Pixar films, which was good. We had lunch afterwards. I chose not to conform to having burritos but I guess I’ll probably try one next time T.T”

 

We walked around afterwards and went clothes shopping; guys follow girls >.<” Does it always come to that? It was alright I guess, except for that bit when Erica was trying to make me try on high heel shoes. I reluctantly gave in, just to not be a spoil sport, had trouble fitting my fat male feet into them so I did eventually give up. I guess that’s why they have a girl and guy section in most shoe stores because there’s a difference in the shape of the feet? I don’t know. We walked around for a good hour as Erica went hunting a for a good dress to the formal; visited a lot of stores. It was an interesting afternoon, just to cut it there without saying anything more. Sharon drove us home before that huge storm came which blew the power for a while.

 

And there you have my long weekend, well there is one more day tomorrow but I swear I really have to use it for work otherwise I am going to have wasted it (for a good cause – the word is “spent” then), but I have no regrets having fun with my friends; just really need to get back to work T.T”

Mid-Sem Break (or lack thereof)

Well it was the mid-sem break again last week; thought it would be the same deal as last semester you know? Relax, go out and have fun, have a chill from uni work for the week. But I guess this time round it was different. From doing all those extra things this semester I’ve finally begun to fall behind on quite a lot of work, and hence my mid-sem break was devoted to trying to catch up on work, and trying to go ahead like I did last semester. It was a bit of a dismal failure because after the week I was and still am behind in work; and well I guess I’ll just have to somehow pull through from this point on. Nevertheless I did have fun on several occasions – probably should’ve traded a few of those in so that I could’ve gotten more of my work done.

 

Wednesday – Soccer

On Wednesday Jacky finally managed to organise a practice session for our indoor team along with some of his other NSB friends. We met up at Eastwood at like 10am?!?! Quite early if you ask me; in fact not many people did come that early so the four of us who were there were just mucking around really. Eventually as the day dragged on, more people showed up and we finally had a small game going on and stuff. Shame half the field was being reconstructed, so we didn’t have the full field, nor the two goals.

 

Several times throughout the day, there was this small dog – have no idea who it belongs to – but anyway it kind of jumped into the middle of our warm-ups, penalty shootouts and stuff. It was quite annoying, because it was barking in very excited way and chasing the ball ferociously. It would race for the all, jump all over it, slobber all over it, etc. I felt a bit sorry for Jacky because it was his ball, and new at that fact. But we did use the dog in our practice; just keeping the ball away from it. It was quite funny playing piggy in the middle with the dog, although at times we didn’t pay much care in the dog and kicked the ball at it a few times – didn’t discourage the dog from chasing the ball I don’t know why. A couple of times we were afraid that we might kick the dog instead because it was always so close to the ball, and hence gave rise to the risk of kicking the ball into the dog. It was still funny though.

 

Other than that, the guys who were doing construction near us had to cover the field with fertiliser so we had to clear off for a couple of minutes. We didn’t want to walk away too far, so we took our spots just outside of the field; but unfortunately not all of us were far away enough and unfortunately were swept in a mist of airborne fertiliser – smelt bad obviously, but to be catch in a mist of it is just horrible.

 

It was interesting playing with these people. They were competitive and downgrading in their language, but in an encouraging way; I guess that’s hard to describe, it’s a guy thing. But the atmosphere was good, everyone had some good laughs and soccer went generally well; we played until perhaps 1-2pm, where we all went to Cafe de Macau to have lunch. I tried to convince them not to go, but they weren’t comfortable with eating anywhere else…sigh.

 

Thursday – CBS Social

Charlie helped us organise another CBS Commerce social the next day; it was a really packed day as well and perhaps my main worry for the day was money. But then I didn’t stay for the entire social, had stupid tutoring to get back to at night so yeah. The morning started off with us meeting at Central Station, which already proved to be troublesome as some people slept in, missed the train and thus held everyone up haha. Charlie made heaps of phone calls to find out where the missing people were.

 

Eventually when it hit some time after 11am we all moved off to go to the fish markets. My first time going there ever; and I haven’t caught the tram in ages. I guess we were all really lively and social at the time so when we boarded the tram we were all very talkative and stuff; the typical social environment you’d expect. Some of the other passengers weren’t very appreciative of our noise levels, started yelling at us to be quiet and to show respect for other people. I wonder why people like them tick me off. Yeah I guess we were being noisy, but in the stead of what? Silence? And honestly, we weren’t bothering the person complaining, nor disturbing them in anyway that involved noise; unless we disrupted her thoughts – although if one cannot tolerate the noise of youth then one’s thoughts aren’t really that important.

 

The fish markets was swarmed by both people and sea gulls. I love the smell of fish, and yes I know there was a lot of seafood everywhere. We were to have lunch here; I guess that was Charlie’s plans. Me, Ronnie, Andy, Angelina, Charlie and Justin ordered a seafood platter for 4 – Ronnie said it was so massive that 4 people couldn’t possibly finish it; he was right. But for $69.90 it was quite massive and had everything: battered fish, prawns, octopus, oysters, chips, etc. We ordered extra raw oysters as well; those are pretty nice with lemon juice! Nat’s table (or just Nat really) was complaining about the seagulls attacking them and their food – those cheeky birds. There were watching all of us very carefully; but then our table never got attacked once. They only tried to get Andy once as he was bringing the food back to the table.

 

After lunch we walked all the way back to Big Echo to go karaoke. Ellen joined us at that point because she slept in, and Lin-Lee ditched us to go elsewhere. We had a huge group for karaoke, around the mid twenties, so we got two huge rooms. Interesting to see how many other people were Asian enough to sing Chinese songs. Me, Ellen and someone else did a few Jap songs, out of the dismal number they have in their database. And finally, no-one could do Korean haha! Although this video sort of says otherwise:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=279692120787

Halfway through karaoke, some people started playing Crabbs(?) because there was a lot of dice lying in one of our rooms; so a few people decided to start gambling on it, using jugs of ice haha! Not that bad of a challenge yeah. At the end of our 3-hour session Andy had a ploy to put a jug of ice down Ronnie’s back side. This was the result:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=130508882361

I had to leave right after that due to work; but afterwards everyone went off to dinner at Pepper Lunch (dinner?) and then later to Steph’s house. But nonetheless it was already a long day, and an expensive one at the point haha!

 

So that brings about a close to my mid-sem break. I know it was only two days but yeah that’s probably more than enough to create more procrastination in me for the other days.

Net Cafe and Karaoke

Well today  marks the beginning of another clump of action in my life, which I guess I am glad for. Today our group went out to the city for gaming at a net cafe and also karaoke,: 3 hours and 2 hours respectively. Though it does seem we did little, it took a lot of time to do.

 

Okay without much delay let’s jump into behind-the-scenes on the train in the morning. Can’t believe Kelvin wanted to drag us all to the city at 10am, which means I have to wake up early, but I guess I have no regrets for net cafe, it was fun today. Anyway one thing nobody saw on the train was this incident: I was on the train and there was this Asian chick perhaps in her early 20’s sitting in front of me (the important thing was that I could see where she was sitting really). Anyway a few stations later 4 Curries got on, 3 men and 1 woman. One guy sat next to the afore mentioned Asian chick, another sat in the same row on the other side, another in front of the first guy and  another not too far. Anyway the Asian chick decided to take a nap on the train and the Curry’s saw this as an opportunity for some major perversion. Particularly for the Curry guy sitting next to the Asian chick, they all kept looking at here once a while, just looking up and down her in that sick way that made me feel like shouting “F*** off you f***ing Curry perverts!” which they clearly were. Seriously, you hate to stick to stereotypes but an educated guess can conclude that a number of Currys are sick f***s who can’t be trusted, which is a shame in this world that there iss o much distrust. The Currys got off at Redfern while the Asian chick stayed on. Was my guess about them wrong?

 

Now for some gaming commentary. I have headings this time so please feel free to skip if you don’t want to read about it.

 

DotA

First of before I start, we decided to go back to that stupid City Hunter place because there arguably do have the better computers in the vicinity. But this time I decided to up my resolve and make sure we didn’t go over time. And luckily today we didn’t encounter any such problem. We only played one match of Dota, and then many other things.

 

Mode: All Pick/Easy Mode

 

Sentinel

Me (captain): Invoker
Charlie: Viper
Chris: Clockwerk Goblin

 

Scourge

Kelvin (captain): Admiral
Nick: Ursa Warrior
Joseph: Shadow Feind

 

To begin, let me introduce my “captain” thing. I suppose for DotA or any sort of team game, all players end up looking up towards their strongest player, one with more experience and who should play better on the whole. It would therefore be the captain’s responsibility to look after their teammates and make decisions that involve a team effort. In the case of DotA this would include team ganking and team pushing as well as lane management and scouting.

 

Okay, well let’s no worry too much about team line up at the moment. I was farming against Joseph in middle lane. Now I’m only a novice Invoker player at the moment so I used this opportunity to practice; still need a bit more work though. I failed to kill Joseph at any point in the early game but Joseph also managed to hold his own ground most of the time. His Shadow Raze was fairly accurate, not that I was afraid because he only kept it at lvl 1, a mere 75 damage which I can recover in a few seconds. But due to Joseph’s novice play he failed to farm well and obviously he let me work up my income and exp.

 

Meanwhile over in top lane was Chris against Nick. Now let me stress that when you have equally skilled players playing against each other, “Ursa > Clockwerk”. In fact most of the time “Ursa > a lot of things” so it was particularly surprising to find that Chris as Clockwerk scores First Blood against Nick as Ursa. In fact not only then but Chris scored maybe two more kills on Nick after that. I never had a chance to see how it happened though, although I do suspect that Nick only died because of a failed attempt to kill.

 

And finally in bottom lane Charlie took on Kelvin and I actually found it impressive that Charlie didn’t die early against Kelvin. But thisis fair. Although Admiral is a fiesty hero, Viper has such annoying dps (damage per second) that it should also annoy a lot of heroes. But I suppose neither player actually plays offensively so it’s fair to understand that neither of them died till a bit later, after Chris’ 2-3 kills haha!

 

Anyway I wasn’t much of the lead player for a long part of the game because let’s face it, Invoker isn’t one of those “kill on their own” heroes. If it ever came down to a 3v3 showdown then of course my help would net some of the kills. But until then I stayed passive and just moved around farming and harassing whenever I got the chance.

 

Chris and Charlie started working together without me saying and the two of them kept exchanging blows with Kelvin, Joseph and Nick. Chris started dying occasionally, Charlie got up to killing spree while everyone else had their share of deaths. I guess I could’ve prevented Chris from dying if I had been there rather than on the other side of the map happily jungling. Charlie lived because of several unsuccessful attempts by Kelvin to kill him. In my eyes in was kind of funny; both players deserved to fail: Charlie in his escaping and Kelvin in his chasing. First off Charlie was clearly farming in dangerous territory. As a general hint, crossing the river in the middle without knowing where your opponents are is extremely dangerous and asking to get ganked. So as expected along comes Kelvin to deliver the kill. Unfortunately he fails to finish Charlie off on account of being unable to chase him down, which can happen but shouldn’t be likely. One factor of this may have been because Charlie was going for Sange & Yasha, which as a rule is off limits to any hero that has an orb skill, it’s just stupid. But somehow it served to help Charlie from dying out of misjudgement several times, wow.

 

As the game progressed on further I actually died once because I was roaming too freely and tried to kill at the wrong time; bad judgement on my behalf about Invoker’s strength. Although actually I could’ve killed Kelvin, I was running away for like 10 seconds while my two lava spawns were hitting him. I just missed out after I died and Kelvin got away on a sliver of health; he would’ve died ages ago had I made the resolve to get a kill and die, rather than simply run for it. This happened several times more where Kelvin got away on a sliver of health. I always kept playing to stay alive, rather than try for a kill really, it’s my conservative play I guess which I use for heroes that I’m not too confident with.

 

But on Invoker’s play style, I find that he’s rather versatile if you’re willing to put in the finger work. For example: Quas offers 0.75 hp regeneration per level per instance. So early on if you were farming and were on middle health, you could toggle all three instances to Quas for health regeneration. Wex is 1% IMS (increased move speed) and 2% IAS (increased attack speed) per level per instance. What I’m interested here is the move speed bonus. A number of times when I was running away after seeing that I’m losing a fight, I’d quickly toggle my three instances to Wex and start running and you find the bonus is rather helpful, I escaped easily many times just by bothering to toggle to “escape mode”. Finally Exort is 3 damage per level per instance and is the primary setting most players have, more damage is better on the offensive play. But of course to fully utilize Invoker you should be willing to toggle between the other two skills whenever you deem necessary. And that’s a general overview of how to use Invoker and how I’m learning to play him as.

 

Eventually my hard farming paid off in the form of massive items, again though just testing item builds and seeing which items would suit Invoker. Eventually I started picking up the pace and ended up having the largest score at 9-1, a fair score considering I’m not the “carrier” hero in the team. But now we go onto line up. Invoker is a great support hero so that’s why I realized I couldn’t kill anyone with say 4-5 hits, it’d take a bit more. But Kelvin’s heor is a carrier, Nick’s Ursa is considered a tank more-so but sometimes a carrier if the item build is right. And of Joseph’s Shadow Fiend is a deadly hero as well. Team-wise, they had the advantage. But whatever, without much detail needed we eventually won and that was the match.

 

 

Starcraft

After playing DotA we moved onto one match of StarCraft. More of us were novice at this game, compared to the numbers in DotA, but okay we’re still willing to play. I’m not sure how professionally we played because there seemed to be a lack of action for a long part of the game.All I can say is that I am nowhere near good enough at this game; still have time before StarCraft II comes out I guess.

 

The teams were me (Protoss), Charlie (Terran) and Joseph (Zerg). The other team was Nick (Zerg), Kelvin (Protoss), Chris (Terran). Wasn’t really watching Charlie, but I did notice that Joseph just massed zerglings, which I think is not recommended in a single 1v1 match but in a team game it’s kind of okay. I’ve watched a number of games so I thought I’d just go and rush Dark Templars. But I guess that’s not as effective against Nick, since he had so many overlords patrolling his base. Kelvin made a fool of himself when he built his pylons together in a clump. After I had reached Dark Templars the game fell apart for me and I forgot to continue teching to cruisers. Whatever, I don’t even know the tech tree and I was lucky to have guessed right for dark templars.

 

Nick made the first attack and ransacked Joseph’s base which had no defense against Nick’s mutalisks. Good job to Joseph for never considering an air assault. But after a while Charlie’s came in and cleaned up that messed and then we moved in to finish off Nick’s base which kind of spelt “good game” for their team. Something happened to Kelvin already and he in capacitated. So all was left was Chris. But yeah we didn’t bother to play that far, we knew it was over.

 

 

Unreal Tournament

With about 1 and a half hours left before we were due, we started playing Unreal Tournament (2004 edition). I think we found a balanced game for everyone to play because we were all roughly at the same skill level so the game was very even and kept us all at even lengths with each other. There were many hilarious kills during the game; I remember many times when I’d nuke Kelvin without him noticing and other times when he did the same. Of course most hilarious I remember was in the second game where I rounded a corner just as Kelvin came in the opposite direction. We both met at point blank and I fired my flak cannon into him…”what the?!” totally unpredictable haha!

 

I won the first game: 25 kills while 2ndplace was Nick at 20 kills. In the second game Nick won but I came oh so close at 24 kills. In fact I had 10 seconds to hunt my final kill but Nick got there faster. So damn close haha! Afterwards we played a few rounds of capture the flag, 3v3 is sort of good arrangements yeah? The first round it was like Me, Charlie and Nick versus Kelvin, Nick and Joseph. We won that one 3-1. But the game was hectic nonetheless. Chris was very accurate in sniping and kept us from pushing. And then you’d have Joseph somehow sneaking from the side and taking our flag; he’s a fairly good player I’ll have to admit. Kelvin took it in himself to defend the flag but that didn’t suit him well so he resumed an offensive stance.

 

Second game, Nick and Chris switched sides and we won that 2-1 with a timeout. The map was a cool Chinese versus Japanese landscape, with two large castles of the Chinese and the Japanese. There was one point in this match where both teams had each other’s flags. It was me and Joseph and both of us went into hiding and it was up to our teammates to find the flag bearer; that took a good 5 minutes nearly but eventually Joseph was found and our flag returned so I immediately scored for our team.

 

In the last match we didn’t play to the end because time was out but yeah roughly the same thing happened and the score was at 1-1. Net cafe was rather fun this time round and luckily thanks to my care, we didn’t go overtime and have that stupid , selfish jerk try to charge us for going overtime by like one minute.

 

 

Lunchtime

Humph, I’ll keep this short but I had some rather pathetic ramen in Market City; far out that place was a rip off. A small bowl of ramen was $8.50 and it didn’t taste anything special. Now the place back in Hornsby, Tokyo Ramen, they charge you like $2 extra at about $10.50 for a bowl of quality ramen with great soup and nearly twice the the size of what I had today. Perhaps there is no better place for ramen than Hornsby. There’s still one other place I’m meant to try but I can’t remember where but then again, chances are they’re still no match for Hornsby. Everyone else had Chinese food while Kelvin went for unhealthy fish and chips; unhealthy far out, I guess it’s okay to have them say once a month but unhealthy food stacks up if you eat a variety of them.

 

 

Karaoke

Went to K Squared for karaoke; I heard it was a good place through advice from uni friends at church. I guess they’re right if your aim is Chinese music. It kept everyone very happy for the two hours we spent there. And for the first time I was clueless at what they were singing and all, but that’s probably the same view they have when I sing Jap music. Speaking of which there was barely any Japanese music that I knew there. After much assessment I realized they were outdated by 8 years which is so not cool. I know some music from that many years back but nowadays I’m into what’s recent. I think I’m good for most music from 2006 onwards. So for this afternoon I didn’t get much of my share in songs, by that I had wanted more Jap songs to sing; only had 1 that I suppose I was sort of willing to sing, there were a few others I knew but they\re so old and overdone there’s no point in singing them anymore.

 

K Squared is an okay place I guess, $12 for 2 hours and a drink isn’t bad. Although I had kind of wished they had songbooks for us to look at, rather than a digital interface; which I have to admit is the smarter thing to do because it’s easy to update but then it’s harder to see all your choices on a computer screen than on a piece of paper I reckon; well actually my English tutor Carol taught me that. Besides, I had so much trouble reading the Japanese names of artists that I just gave up; probably too old anyway.

 

They had a poor karaoke system; wasn’t even like SingStar where you get scored. Basically, it was just them slapping together an instrumental track onto the video clip and then adding rather shotty lyrics on screen because they were timed so poorly. The video clips were very poor quality; wink wink I know where they get them from duh. There was no scoring, just sing along to the video clip for fun. Ha!I could do that too if I bothered to properly learn to add karaoke subtitles to a video clip, and if I had the time to make them. Oh well; it’s a shame.

 

I was confined to mostly English songs, just the ones my friends picked. Even chucked in a High School Musical song for the sake of it; just pretend they’re Disney music and it’s all fine. I picked “Breaking Free” and was surprised as we entered the room initially to find a Mandarin version of the song playing in the background. I downloaded that song now; it’s weird.

 

Just to name one other song I wanted to do, it was that “Piece of Me” song by Britney Spears, it’s strangely addicting in my opinion, most of her songs are. But in particular for this one, I got attached to it because comedian duo Hamish & Andy did their own versions of the song; they had to create like 30+ seconds of the song using only their mouths, so all the beats and the bass rhythm, everything, it was hilarious so that’s why I like the song now.

 

Tim was trying to cheat the place by playing a Wong Lee Hung medley at the very end of our 2 hours. It lasts 12 minutes long so in a  way we could actually get an additional 12 minutes in the room. But we sort of mistimed it and when we were 30 seconds into the song one of the staff came into tell us to go out. And we tried to say: “Umm…after this song…” He gave us a dirty look and Tim reckoned that he realized we were doing that 12-minute song. So out of guilt we left a minute later haha!

 

But yeah overall it was a long and fun-filled day; something to clear our boredom which was good. Tomorrow is next gen ‘09 and I’ll be away for 5 days. That just means a huge blog post to follow after camp haha! See you all later!