The things that give our lives meaning

iTunes is playing: Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Redeemer – Charlotte Church – Charlotte Church

Trying to take full advantage of Mooching Month, I called LMD and asked if she was free for drinks this evening, but she wasn’t. So I met up with some uni mates I hadn’t seen for awhile, thinking they might be organising some surprise birthday drinks thing in my honour.

Turns out they didn’t know it was my birthday, so I ordered a cup of tea. Just as well, because I am sick and really shouldn’t have been drinking anyway.

Turns out they had organised this get together because a uni mate of ours is getting married in October, and they want to organize a Hen’s Night thing for her.

One of the well-meaning uni mates takes out pen and paper and starts to write down what we have to do for Hen’s Night. They are truly excited at putting this list together.

Oh, hahaha, we must get a stripper. You know any?

So, anyway, a good hour after cracking their brains, they come up with:

1. Male stripper. One of them offers a contact for a former stripper who can play the harp, so we dress him up as an angel. So fun.
2. Alcohol. Let’s get her drunk before the stripper comes.
3. Alcohol. Let’s have champagne before dinner.
4. Costumes. Let’s all dress like devils, so we can counter the angel stripper. So fun.
5. Special T-shirt for the bride-to-be with caption: My name is XXXXXX. This is my last night out as a single woman. Please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX (Fiance’s number). (This one was my contribution).
6. Penis-shaped cake. So fun. Because at another Hen’s Night they had this, and it was so fun.

Oh, the headache of logistics, one of my uni mates says. Lucky she has had some experience recently organising an event, she also says. OK, she says, do you know how much a stripper charges? Any difference between full and half monty, she asks. OK, she says, how about the penis cake? How much? Was the last one nice to eat, she asks.

Dunno, dunno, dunno. Let’s meet again and discuss this further. So fun.

Penis shaped cake? Tee hee hee. So fun!

More presents

iTunes is playing: Body And Soul – Benny Goodman – Clarinet a’ la king

This must really be some milestone. I received more birthday wishes and gifts than in the last five years put together. Then again, it’s probably because I announced it to the world instead of trying to ignore my birthday, hoping it’d go away.

Perfect fit. Thank you wifey.

Now we have matching phone covers on matching phones. Thank you wifey again!

I also received a birthday card from a junior college form teacher of mine. She never forgets my birthday. About five years ago, she came and visited me in Sydney and stayed with me for a week. It was quite surreal. I couldn’t stop addressing her as Miss Toh, even though she was conversing with me in Mandarin and Hokkien. She taught me GP and History, so it just sounded so wrong for her to speak in anything other than English.

Miss Toh is a lovely, lovely woman who tolerated me when she shouldn’t have, but she did kick me in the backside at crucial moments. So it was quite a humbling moment when I realised she had come to Sydney to get away from mad things back home, and to ask me for guidance. Please lah, Miss Toh, that is so wrong! You used to kick me out of class, and now you want me to advise you?

I hope she’s keeping well. I’m gonna call her tomorrow. She’s gonna wanna know what’s up with me, whether I’m nicely settled down yet. I’m gonna tell her about my wifey, my angels, and all the good stuff they’ve done for me.

Oh yah. And I’m gonna tell her she’s an angel too.

When thirty five candles means you’ll eat more wax than cake

iTunes is playing: Half a Boy and Half a Man – Sleepy LaBeef – Labour Of Love – The Music of Nick Lowe

This wife of mine loves cats. And it was no surprise today when at the prata place on River Valley Road that she started telling me about how the cat that hangs out there’s been stuck in the paint shop next to the prata place. As she’s telling me about the plight of the cat, there’s the sound of mewing from the paint shop, and Prata Cat sticks his head out the grille on top of the door. Wifey does what? She takes a chair, raises it up and coaxes the cat to jump onto it. It works. Another successful animal rescue.

What I didn’t expect was a very, very sweet gesture from her. After I had told her I would meet her at the prata place, she went to a cake shop, bought a cake and candle and once I sat down and before I ordered a tea, whipped out both and sang happy birthday as if she’d been doing this every day.

Photos by Mrs Miyagi. Tiramisu from Sweet Secrets. Shirt by Adidas. Tea from Spize River Valley Road. Hair by the bastard barber of Holland Village.

We then went and watched Taegukgi, raved about it for the next hour after, had tea again, bought some groceries from the seven eleven, and then went home. It apparently will get better than this, cos the wifey sez she’s got a prezzie for me to be delivered in the morrow. Can’t wait.

The push and pull of coming and going

iTunes is playing: I Miss You – Randy Newman – Bad Love

I was thinking about how people come and go, but I couldn’t write anything better than this. I like it when non-English speakers express themselves in unique turns of phrases. It’s not Chinglish. It’s not bad English. It’s just English used in a different way. It is refreshing. I’m a big fan of Hailey’s, and I recommend her blog to y’all.

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying birthday presents I’ve been getting. Get Fuzzy’s a great read and a thoughtful gift. Thank you.

Even better when it's about rugby

I’ve also received just now, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, a magnetic poetry set (shakespeare edition), and a lovely birthday card that almost moved me to tears while I was reading it at a traffic junction (I didn’t cry only cos the lights turned green). I am such an emotional wreck. And I am very, very humbled. Thank you.

Without even opening it, I can make out “I / have / nothing / through / melancholy” from the little magnets in the transparent box. OK lor.

I can’t blog about it

iTunes is playing: Everytime We Say Goodbye – John Coltrane – On Stage 1962 [UK]

There was a moment some time this weekend when I felt a familiar kick in the hollow guts. And it wasn’t when the All Blacks pipped the Wallabies in Wellington (I’m getting used to the Wobblies).

I can’t talk about how much I will miss her even though she’ll still be around. I will miss her brave chirpiness. I will miss her slight smile. I will miss her mistimed laughter that catches me off guard. I will miss her glancing away after her first sentence. I will miss her colourful slippers.

I will miss her while I nurse my hollow, sore guts. But I can’t talk about it yet. There are some things I still can’t talk about.

…Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me…

Ae Fond Kiss – Robert Burns