Nat’s Early 18th

Hurray for Nat, who held her 18th about a week or so early because she’s heading overseas really soon. Unlike Yitian’s party, this was a formal, well-structured party. It felt really formal, which got me a bit nervous, up until I remembered that I’m older then most of the guests here haha! Anyway, Nat’s house is very ideal for a party, the backyard was easily large enough to cater for all her guests. There was that small amphitheatre area for food and music. I guess my heart ached for the night because there was no Jap or Korean music but that’s something I need to learn to live with haha!

 

Uncle Francis was out at the front of the house checking the guest list. Yep, that makes the party pretty formal; although I would suspect more than not that it was just part of presentation. Food was prepared by Aunty Alice and Aunty Betty; there was quite a lot of food I noticed. But that should be expected of an important 18th birthday party.

 

But before I go on, let’s flash back to some drama relating to the obtaining of Nat’s present; and you’ll see how busy my week was, such that everything had to tie in together. Nat, I’m sure by now you’ve opened all your presents, so there’s no harm in mentioning them here.

 

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Anyway, the hard thing about all of this was that Donna and Erica only came and talked to me about the present thing just last Sunday. Whereas I had been wondering for the past month, about who was going; because it was getting confusing with Sharon and Quentin. I never got round to asking anyone and with only a week to go, it was only down to me, Donna and Erica. Sharon opted to chip in as well but she wasn’t going to come. So anti-social.

 

I had spent a couple of months thinking of what we could get Nat, the present kept changing in my mind several times. And as a spoiler, previously part of the present was going to be this large hippo plushie, which I originally got for Grace, but didn’t seem to fit with the rest of our gifts, budget range, etc. But my dad refunded it before I could get a confirmation about whether I was going or not.

 

Eventually I had part of the present in mind, but the rest of it was going to be up to the girls. We planned to meet up on Friday at Hornsby Westfield after school (for them) to search for a present. Meanwhile on Thursday, right after Yitian’s party (oh I forgot to mention the day it was held, Yit’s party), Andy drove us back to his house and I walked my way to Epping station. It was too long a walk for me, especially when it was nearing 6pm. But I had vowed to go out to Koorong that day, and didn’t want to go back the next day. So I pushed on and got to Koorong, allowing myself only 10 minutes to buy stuff.

 

But I had already done my research, so I knew what I was getting. In and out, grabbed Casting Crown’s new album (Brandon kept telling me about it and it was only after CommQuip that I thought “Hey this could be a good present”) so I nabbed that. Had time to spare so I looked at the cards they had. Most of them were plain, but then there was this really pretty one with a piano on the front. Didn’t hesitate, nabbed that as well, paid for them and rushed back to the station. Phase 1 was complete.

 

Jump to Friday the next day and I met up with Donna first in Borders. She obviously has watched too much Shoujo because she greeted me in a quiet place like Borders with a huge wave o.0” We tried looking for something else to buy; obviously something girly, otherwise I wouldn’t have asked them to come out. Erica would be a while, coming from CTHS so me and Donna went searching on our own. It was fairly unproductive, we didn’t really have much of an idea what to get. Went to David Jones, my intention was to see if Jess was working that day. Turns out she was, coincidentally. I didn’t see her because I didn’t expect her to get transferred into women’s fashion. So she called us over and we had a short chat.

 

Erica came some time after 4pm, we took her to see Jess and then we started our search again. Long story short we ended up getting her a bunch of bracelets that we thought would be adequate for her style. Nothing too bulgy, and nothing that was overly flashy. I won’t say any more. But yeah that’s what we ended up getting her. That’ll be enough for the flashback.

 

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Anyway throughout the night the 3 of us sort of just mingled on our own. It’s not that we didn’t want to meet Nat’s school friends and such; just that we weren’t too keen in just barging into circles and going “Hey, my name is…how are you?” I think I’ve done way too much of that within CBS, I personally wasn’t fired up to meet anymore new people; I already have enough trouble remembering the names of the people I already have met >.<”

 

And to be honest, Donna and Erica were quite keen on mingling “around the food”, for obvious Asian reasons. Everyone else was taking their places in the garden and just chatting in small clumps of 5-6 people. We chatted with Vic and Ed when they did come over. Other than that, I met this Wenny guy at the door and had a short chat with him; but found out a fair bit. The kid’s going to do Actuarial Studies next year at UNSW; excellent choice. I kind of wished I had signed up for peer mentoring, maybe applications are still open? But oh well, I’ll probably see him next year then.

 

Uncle Daniel and his family came, and so I had a chat with all of them, with Rachel and Grace, whom I haven’t seen for perhaps 6-7 years. I can barely remember them. I’m pretty sure Rachel is…3 ears older than me? That’s makes her a fourth year. Grace, well, I never really had a clue as to her age haha!

 

Nat’s sister, Danielle, kept coming around and taking pictures of us. Or Nat if you had checked there should be an ample stock of Erica-only photos haha. Eventually she just blocked the camera; we kept trying to tell her to take pictures of the other guests but she stuck around us the most.

 

And that was sort of how the night went for us. You’d kind of wished that there had been set activities for everyone, I don’t know, like games or something; but then again let it be a mature “do-whatever-you-want” party I suppose. Nat came around occasionally throughout the night, and we chatted with her and took photos with her, that was nice =)

 

Later during the night, we had a formal…presentation of Nat’s life through a slideshow (no background music?) followed by a speech from her mum and then her good friend Satomi (so that’s who she is). And then finally a speech from Nat herself. I, for one, was not satisfied with the length of the speech; was expecting more than a Logie speech, would’ve liked something more dramatic for such an important moment in life haha!

 

And the rest of the night went on from there, more music, dessert, more insects crawling and flying around everywhere. The night was sort of plagued by those pests; it was quite annoying and sort of disgusting. I would never have imagined that there would be this many of them in one place. And after checking today, I found that I have not been bitten by anything, yes! A great party all in all; makes me want to start thinking about mine…

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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!

Jono’s Belated Birthday Dinner

Jonothan Wang’s official birthday is recorded at 30th March (right?) and yet sadly, our group has been kind of disorganized for these past few weeks that we haven’t had time to sync our times too well. And yet within a few days of planning over e-mail, we managed to set up a dinner for Jono AND get him a present, all in the span of four days haha! Now that is efficiency.

 

Anyway I’m sure Jono has seen his present at this point so it’s safe to say. We got him a foosball table; or more precise, Charlie got him a foosball table and we all chipped him, although I do suspect that Charlie is paying more than the rest of us for it; won’t reveal the price here. The events of today took a while to finalise because there were a few conditions that needed to met. But to be concise, we had Charlie drive the foosball table to Jono’s place in the afternoon and we all agreed to meet down at Eastwood at about 6pm…but the time dragged on 6:30pm for some reason; ie no-one was punctual, not even me. A bit more on that later :P:

 

Ah whatever. Here’s some backstage stuff that everyone missed out on haha; I always seem to get myself into silly adventures when no-one is around. Today’s random objective was to run to Beecroft train station in 10 minutes. Well technically it should be 15 minutes because I walked over to Jacky’s place first, to use as a starting point. He claims that walking to Beecroft station is faster than to Pennant Hills station, so I wanted to test his theory out. Looking at the directory, I don’t believe him but I still wanted to test his theory.

 

The train would be at Beecroft at 5:30pm; I left the house at 5:15pm, stupid decision really. I was planning to leave at 5pm and take a leisurely walk to Beecroft but I guess I was too caught up playing Fire Emblem haha! Anyway I figured that normally getting to Pennant Hills station in 10 minutes isn’t too much of a problem, but I did wonder if I could make it to Beecroft in time.

 

I began jogging towards the station; and I started running faster, realizing that 10 minutes would be too little time unless I really gave some sort of effort. Fist off I jay-walked Pennant Hills Road, and I would like to emphasise that this is a big “no-no” since it was peak hour as well and cars didn’t pile out at all; don’t do it, unless you really know what you’re doing. Up along Beecroft Road I estimated that my time was running out fast; in fact just past the observatory park I had like 4 minutes to get to the station; I should’ve jay-walked somewhere when the traffic piled up because once I ran past it, I couldn’t find a way to cross the road, until I got to the lights. I pelted across luckily as the lights turned red, full pelt down that slope, down the stairs, through the corridor and up the stairs. Actually I saw the train and I got near the station; and there were only precious seconds left. And as I emerged onto the platform…the train pulled away.

 

I missed the train by a mere 10 seconds,time I could’ve saved had I put in more effort; but then I really didn’t want to push myself, it wouldn’t be nice to my body duh! But I did prove that I can get to Beecroft station in about 10-15 minutes so I do kind of feel proud. Even though I missed the train I felt like I achieved something, even if only immaturely tangible. Still it was fun; my body cooled down really badly as I sat there for 20 minutes waiting for the next train, cooling sweat is not good, nearly gave me a cold T.T”

 

Anyway back to the dinner; here is where, Kelvin, there is stuff posted directly for you. We had problems choosing a place to eat. Firstly Tim proposed three options to Jono: Chinese, Korean and Japanese, the types of food we could have. Having picked Chinese (because Nick didn’t want the “fumes” from Korean BBQ, if there even are any) we went around a bit looking for a place to eat. I would say I knew Eastwood the best out of all who went tonight – me, Jono, Charlie, Nick, Yitian and Tim.

 

Where could we eat? There aren’t many places to choose from. The Peking restaurant was too expensive. There aren’t many other competitors we could choose from because they all had similar expensive prices; The Golden Jade restaurant is even more expensive. So ultimately we went to Cafe de Macau. I know, Kelvin, I know. It’s a crap place, but we didn’t have a choice. And besides, for a person who says “好朋友茶餐廳的食物是美味” I’m not quite sure how to accept your advice haha!

 

Ultimately we all ordered separately; we we’re half planning on just ordering dished of food and sharing but clearly it’s not something we’ve tried, yet we should, One major I realized at the time was that we had very limited Cantonese users amongst the group. And shamefully the one with the best Chinese of any sort was me T.T” I swear I tried really hard, I could easily order what I wanted: 海南雞飯 plus lemon honey tea.

 

Everyone else ordered in English, most of which I could almost translate into what is written exactly on the menu, nearly. But yeah I let them speak; I spoke in Cantonese the entire time to waiters so at least they knew there was one “fob” there; surely they would’ve ripped us off if we all proved we couldn’t read or speak Chinese haha.

 

Will finish this post later.

Primary School Reunion (January)

Once again Grace managed to organise up a reunion for people from our primary school, particularly our year 6 class. And as usual we didn’t get the entire class. In fact our numbers have been small these last few times (probably because Tony keeps trying to drag everyone out to the middle of nowhere…). This time we decided to just go out to the city and do random stuff. Can’t remember who came or how many, didn’t bother counting but there were a few people I haven’t seen for the 6 years and I barely managed to recognise them.

 

Me and Matt travelled together on the train. I  don’t get why his return ticket from Epping was only a mere $2.80 and yet my single was already $2.50. Stupid CityRail. Matthew opted to get off at Central (though I don’t understand why he only wanted to travel that far. Town hall would’ve been a better stop because we were going to Hyde Park. So we made the long walk from Central to Hyde Park and got to that fountain at the northern end of the park at the time we were meant to meet at; 11am.

 

Not many people were there; of course there was the new-couple, Mark and Holstein; good for them. After a while more people showed up and we went down to the grass to play…Uno. A bit too passive maybe? Oh well. Eventually we decided to up the ante and add variations. Eventually it got to the point where we were playing Mao style and were also adding our own rules. Matt and Holstein both had random rules set in place. Of course, not intending to play Uno all day, I managed to finish and immediately added the silent rule which quickly sent everyone away in frustration. And that’s game. Also surprised that Steph arrived without that desire to brutally kill me in some way.

 

By then we had enough people. Oh by the way, as usual Tony arrived late; kept calling my mobile the entire morning giving updates and asking questions about what we were doing. Geez, why does he even have my number. But the thing that troubled me a bit was the fact that he had two piercings on the same eye and then an additional clip-on on the same ear; eww much?

 

One of Grace’s ideas was to play this weird exchanging presents game. Basically everyone was meant to bring a cheap random present (kudos to me, Matt and a few others that didn’t >.<”) Grace covered our gifts at the cost of a few $$$. Didn’t quite understand why each present had to be wrapped because first thing was that we revealed what each present contained. They were all random though so not much point going into detail about it. After that each person was able to shift a pair of presents around between people keeping in mind that presents can only move a maximum of  three times. So the watchful person would wait till a present they liked was moved twice and then they’d swap it with them self and then done. Slightly flawed but I was happy being able to cause chaos and making Tony end up with a book, which actually probably had the most value out of everything. I ended up with Steph’s home-made biscuits, some chocolates and some post-it notes. Ended up giving her cookies back because she got hungry in the afternoon.

 

We went off for lunch after all that; went off to umm…Central Westfield, grabbed some food and headed back to the park to eat. I guess food isn’t too expensive but surely I can’t keep spending it like this every single time I go out, if indeed I go out much these days. When we got back there were so many people at the park now and there became fewer spots with shade. But we still found a good spot and had lunch; a good long discussion which later became fruitless because then we were just sitting around unable to decide on what to do next.

 

But after much idling we started moving off to that weird art museum at Darling Harbour; huh, what?! But yes the museum was a somewhat odd place to go to and we were basically the only “kids” there. Funnily enough for me, there were a few pieces which I thought were nice and interesting; of course I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate and understand the thoughts behind each piece of art so there’s no point for me trying to delve deep into

 

Don’t know what happened to Tony but he disappeared and then called me up while we were on the 4th floor. We were all a bit tired so we all sat down, and I pranked Tony by making him play hide and seek with us. He gave up 10 minutes later and started getting angry haha. I was determined to keep the game running because everyone thought it was funny but I guess some amusing things have to come to an end.

 

We left and it was still just as hot; and to cut things short, our group began to disband as we moved towards Central. But the time we had gotten to Capitol Plaza and decided to go take sticker photos, our group was reduced to 6. Now, the really lame part of the day was that it was everyone’s first time taking sticker photos, shameful yes I know. Steph always kept the irony that you never do end up looking like a Jap person in sticker photos despite what the sample photos look like on the machines. I personally have no idea how much time should be allocated to having everything done but I do know that taking the photo in the first place was hard enough as it was. Cramming 6 people in a booth is no laughing matter and on a hot day as today, it certainly is not fun. But after that Matt was running short of time so we tried to decorate the sticker photos as quickly as we could. Didn’t spend much time on it and so most of our photos weren’t really over-dramatized, which may have been the right thing to do. But yeah, you live and learn and it was fun.

 

Forgot how we disbanded as we went home after that but it ended up being just me and Steph on the train, although Matthew and Tony were also meant to be. But it was good catching up with her I mean after all, last time I saw her was on a hockey field and she was poised to unleash a psychotic swing from her hockey stick, scary days. But yeah when she’s in the right mood she’s not as scary as she used to be all those years back. I still believe she’s still slightly agro, just lucky not to see it today.

 

Future reunion next week due to lack of people coming? Maybe.