Ellen’s B’day Bash

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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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.

 

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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:

 

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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!

NTE Mission ‘09 – Sunday

Well it’s the last day, and we’ve just about run out of stuff to do. So today we just had the regular Sunday church preparations; some people to do music in the Chinese service, and pretty much the rest into Sunday School. I got scripted into this, though I knew it was going to be a rough experience; I’m surprised I held it together for Sunday School. I mean, I did pick youth ministry for a reason; children ministry is just *shudders*.

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next generation 2009 – Thursday

Okay Thursday and I guess I had a fair amount of sleep from last night. I tried to continue my timetable selection at breakfast but I didn’t get far because I was so confused at what courses I was meant to pick; there was no freaking list on the UNSW handbook telling us what we should be doing each semester. Can’t remember what breakfast was because I was too focused into my task at hand.

 

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next generation 2009 – Wednesday

Alright Wednesday morning, well you know how it went for me if you read the end of the Tuesday post; yeah rough night. And once again the Caucasians in our cabin snored but last night somehow I sort of got used to it and I actually went to sleep; racked up about 6 hours of sleep, ignoring those moments when I went out to do my business.

 

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