A few changes...

So it's been a month since my last post, and let me tell you, within the span of a month, the changes are a-plenty ! I now bathe and brush my teeth irregularly and with no enthusiasm. I have also taken to plastic as the staples of my wardrobe. 

Be gone with ye, Cotton! Be gone with ye, Chiffon!

So no, not really. But I did attend Hannah's ingenious hobo-chic themed 21st. Beer was served in little brown baggies, the ladies donned stellar d.i.y. dresses and the idyllic suburban dwelling was transformed into a shanty-palace-extraordinaire. Hannah was, as expected, stunning in her frilly blue plastic-bag ensemble. 

The beautiful celebrant and I:

I recited my speech with as much flair as a goat in labour. I was meant to start out in a cheesy deadpan and a glazed look in my eyes with the slurred words, "Hi everybody. My name is Nikki. I've been a Hannah-holic for three years now..."

Good thing I realised in time how atrociously unfunny above line was, so I omitted it and saved myself the chagrin of looking more idiotic than necessary.

Speech went as follows:

So I met Hannah three years ago on that fateful first day of Journalism class at uni. Everyone was told to get into pairs and introduce their partner to the class. Instantly we found out who was into what sport, who was from out of town, and who didn't want to be there. When it got to our turn, Hannah decided to tell the class that I had lifelong ambitions of being a microwave.I consequently fell in love on the spot, and after that, I knew that my odd sense of humour was finally not alone in this world. For the next three years, we clicked.

Hannah is hilarious, ridiculously good-looking and naturally charming. Those were my first impressions of her. Up to now they still hold true, but with the addition of loyal, thoughtful and generous. 

Just a few weeks ago, we were supposed to go out for a friend's birthday, but Hannah was rostered on to work. Despite not being able to go, she offered to come pick me up from the city at 3am after her work to take me home. (I didn't take her up on that, by the way. I like to take advantage of my friends in other ways...Ba-dum-ching!) But Hannah's just the kind of person who offers to do selfless things just because she wants to. It doesn't go unnoticed, and it certainly doesn't go unappreciated.

But I think I can safely say that Hannah's generosity is equally matched by her ability to attract misadventures. By that I mean, she's a spastic. I get phonecalls that go something like, "Damnit, I ran after a bus that didn't stop, and my yoghurt spilled all over my bag," or "I just stacked it on George st in front of a camera crew." 

Or how about that time we made the trek down to the Hawkesbury to film stuff for our uni assignment, only to realise that Hannah forgot the tape at home...

But Hannah is Hannah because of all of these hilarious little quirks. And during these incidents where she may have... lapses of grace... she still retains retains a smile and takes it all in her stride. Hannah's a great sport; she can laugh at herself. Like I said, she's naturally charming.. it's no wonder everyone falls for her, including 40 year old bondi ink tattoo artists who will remain unnamed...

I know I haven't spoken about a lot of 'our' things, including our love of eating, our love of body pump class, our love of eating some more, making friends with various cave-dwellers, and the fact that you're the best partner to have in television journalism. Just know that I absolutely admire what you stand for, what you do, and the person you are. Mr and Mrs Meagher, you've done exceptionally well.

As my dad says, "You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friends' nose."

Well Dad, I think Hannah might be the exception to that rule. She's the kind of amazing person everyone wants to know and wants a piece of - down to even her boogers. 

So Hannah,
Thank you for being a wonderful friend and fantastic human being, and even transcending those things. Thank you for being a significant part of the last three years of my life, and making my uni experience so much more enjoyable as a result. I'm really glad and deeply honoured that you choose to associate with me, and that I can call myself your friend. I don't need to tell you to stay awesome because I know you always will. So Happy 21st to one of the best people I will ever meet in the course of this lifetime. Thank you...

And that, my dears, is why the sappy Hallmark channel is unnecessary when I'm around. Anyhow, I'm off to a jazz gig tonight. Should be fun! A retrospective entry about my recent time in Manila is in order - It was stellar, just in case you were wondering. But that's for next time.

And I know you don't expect me to sign off without - yep, you guessed it - the trademark picture dump. And in this case, 'dump' is completely apt. ('Cause you know... dump, as in dumpsters, as in bums, as in hobos in bins... ah, never mind.)



I don't mean the Britney joke in this post. Really, I don't.

I started writing up some (ambitiously) meaningful post about Friday the 13th and the unexpected kindness of people, but suffice to say I got a little sidetracked. Sidetracked by things that include but are not limited to: packing suitcases, getting surprised with Tori Amos tickets from my Mama and ultimately watching her at the Opera House, Tetris on Facebook, plane rides where I contentedly drank Baileys on the rocks, more Tetris, and getting re-acquainted with Tropical heat and mosquito bites.

My sister is sprawled on the bed, watching Wipeout, and I am doing the only appropriate response - turning around every so often from the computer to make leering, pedophile-zombie faces at her, like so:

I'm sorry. That was a cheap blow.
At pedophiles.

Moving on...

Yesterday, I like to think I did quite well on fulfilling my humanitarian quota. By that I mean I contributed generously to the Philippine economy through some, uh, necessary shopping. While meandering the mall, Isabelle thought it hilarious to walk behind me and routinely fall at the disposal of giggles. Reason for giggling? She took it as a personal mission to count all the heads I apparently turned. And while I am cringing at writing this down, tooting my own horn, and generally floating face down in the pee-filled ocean of my self-indulgence, some of her anecdotes were, dare I say it, amusing.

Anecdote 1: We walked past a KFC. There were a group of guys sitting by the glass window. A guy takes a bite out of his chicken. We walk past KFC. The guy's jaw drops as does the chicken.

Anecote 2: Walked past a couple. The guy's head turns and continues to follow the direction in which we walk. The girl realises she has momentarily lost her boyfriend's attention and whacks him. This was immediately followed by the largest laugh of the day spilling from my sister's mouth.

I'll just clarify why I get ogled at here in this country. See, the average female height here might accurately be described as 3'11"(*Note: this is a guesstimate, slightly exaggerated for comedic effect). I am 5'7" - 5'8" depending on whether I decide to slouch. I AM A GARGANTUAN BEAST. You would stare too if you saw Sasquatch roaming around your mall, coming at you with an ample number of shopping bags. What a sight!

Today I made it to a beloved pump class at 8:30am. Pump is delicious here, on account of the class being relatively empty and thus I don't have to wrestle and shove for space. Pump and any subsequent cardio efforts were rapidly nulled by having lunch with Dad at Shakeys and conveniently forgetting the existence of the word will-power. Hello delicious thin crust pizza! Hello deep friend potato mojos! Hello chocolate shake!

This is now the part where I backtrack and attempt to write what I have been wanting to recount for the past few days. Here goes:

I'm at two minds about people. As individuals, I'm perpetually appreciative and so easily fascinated by characteristics like intelligence, talent, beauty, rising above strife, etc. So often I end up seeing so much of what I admire in a person, and consequently end up crushing on, wishing to be, and plotting to kidnap said person for my own personal enjoyment. But in considering humans as a race, as a people, I am pretty cynical. My default is to think that people are shit, attractive shop assistants will not give me the time of day, and people will cut me off in traffic. Basically, I don't have the best expectations about people when it comes to kindness.

I must say, however, that Friday the 13th seemed to test the above sentiment. That night was supposed to be Isabelle's 15th birthday party, and as such, I was entrusted with some last minute errands during the day. Sometime in the afternoon, I get a txt from my Mother saying that the cake I bought had no 'Happy Birthday' on it, and could I immediately replace it for one that did say 'Happy Birthday'. I should mention that when purchasing the cake, I did see the one that said 'Happy Birthday' on it, but for some reason, it just didn't occur to me to pick that one over the plain one. Is this a clear sign of mental difficulty? I think so. Anyhow, I returned to the store with dread in my heart, sweat in my 'pits - you know, that sort of thing. As expected, they couldn't trade the cake I bought for the one I required, seeing as Occupational Health and Safety standards mean that you cannot change food once it's been sold to the grubby customer. I asked if anyone in store could possibly just write the 'Happy Birthday' for me, but unfortunately none of them were trained pastry chefs. I found tubes of the icing for the lettering, and decided to just purchase one and try my luck at the shopping centre... only to find out that I had no cash in my wallet. Although the store had a credit card minimum of $30, in my distress, the really nice guy made an exception and let me charge the measly $4 tube of icing to the card.

Went to the local shopping centre and frantically tried to find a bakery with a resident pastry chef who could possibly write the happy birthday on for me. The only one who could happened to be my previous boss - whom I had not spoken to for a year since the time of my leaving, seeing as we didn't part with the best of terms. I'll say it - I was shit scared about asking for a favour. But then clarity sunk in and I realised I'm far more frightened of my Mother. (Haw haw haw - she's an exceptional homemaker - you just don't piss her off with sub-par domesticity.) I was not going home empty-handed, or in this case, I was not going home empty-caked.

I bit the bullet. He wasn't too friendly, but he agreed to write it for me. Awkward small talk pervaded the air. But he gave me a nicely written 'Happy Birthay', and all was well!

That night after meeting Isabelle's friends, finishing up with my share of the cooking and general cleaning, I ventured out via train to Neel's 21st shindig at Soho. I packed my purse in a haste that night, and forgot to pack my student ID. As my luck would have it, a transit officer was on the train, checking tickets and the necessary concession cards. I handed him my ticket and he asked to see my student card since I had purchased a student fare. I then rummaged through my purse and felt the sickening sensation of inevitable doom. Upon my failure to find my student card, he said, "That's a $200 fine."
I didn't even try to get out of it, knowing fully well that CityRail has recently had a major crackdown on fare evasion with on the spot fines. I just kicked myself for not having my student card that night since I am always so vigilant about having it with me.
So I just bowed my head in resignation and said, "I know."

Then he said, "Please be more careful next time. Have a great weekend." And he walked off.


And if you've been fine, or know someone who has been fined, I am sure you are absolutely livid with me at this point. I fully understand. It's not fair.

But Mr Transit Officer, whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you. My gratitude runs deeply.

So there, people pulled through for me that day. And I was stunned. But I was equally appreciative. I definitely subscribe to the idea of karma - that what you do comes back to you. And while I am so incredibly grateful for how the tides flowed in my favour, I don't know why they did. And I think I have to re-evaluate my stance on people. People can be kind and people can be generous, and I hope that despite people pissing me off on the road, or reading headlines about atrocities and tragedies, or how easy it is to be a critic these days of people's endeavors, I hope I don't forget that maybe kindness and compassion aren't myths. They're real guys. As real as body image woes!

So as customary of this blog, I will round up with a picture dump from Neel's 21st. Just in case you want to know, my preferred drink of choice is no longer Vodka Tonic. It's Southern Comfort. Just, you know, in case we ever cross paths and you need something to quell my social anxieties with...

Me with the birthday swine:

And moaaar:

Night folks!


It's ten forty pm on a Tuesday night, and there are only hours until I will be unable to include "university student" in any sort of personal description.

I will have my last class ever tomorrow. I don't know how I feel about this. Actually I do - relieved but immensely terrified - but for simplicity's sake, I'll just say throw concrete emotion to the wind and bask in some faux-indecision.

I've come back from the gym, where my favourite, very handsome receptionist greeted me with the smile I would sacrifice my meals for (HUGE CALL!), just to have said smile continuously thrown for my personal amusement. I swear, there are no such thing as lesbians, only girls who have not met handsome-receptionist-fiend.

He fired his obligatory, "Hey! How are you today?" doused in smile (cue swooning), and I responded quite fruitily with the pace of one who knows no such thing as pauses, "Ijustwokeupfromanap! ItwasAMAZING!"
He asked through chuckles, "How many hours was it?" and I responded with 4 glorious hours! He laughed and said, "That wasn't a nap."
"What was it then?" I asked. 
"That," with impeccable pace, he said, "was a sleep".
I threw around whatevers and rolling eyes, he humored me and threw around laughter. By the time I got to the treadmill, the face was grinning and the heart pumping!

This is ridiculous. I am twenty, soundly aware of my overall person, and still, I feel like an acne-riddled adolescent and get excited when attractive people show me the time of day. Hopeless!

But moving on, I really did come straight home from uni today and fall into a delicious slumber. The days leading up to the culmination of my academic servitude have been intense. Yesterday, I left the house at six thirty in the morning in order to get to Hannah's house and trudge off to film one final interview at eight. Made our way to uni, and aside from attending my last ever Magazine Publishing class, spent the day in the film lab, possibly in the fetal position, finishing off our project. We walked out of that lab at nine twenty that evening, and with exhaustion and offending sleepiness on my back, the one hour commute home was quite possibly the most excruciating train ride I have ever experienced.

Handed the finished film in today and felt vastly disappointed with the realisation that this was my last ever Television and Current Affairs class. So grateful to have had such a thrilling and inspiring lecturer in Mark Bannerman, who actually works at the ABC on Four Corners and the 7:30 report. WE LOVE YOU MARK! There is now a group on Facebook aptly titled "The Mark Bannerman Appreciation Society" for which I might possibly be an admin... Um.

And because it's virtually an impossibility for me to walk away from a blog entry without a picture dump, I leave with some stills from our copious amounts of footage - five and a bit hours worth of footage, to be precise. Naturally, I have an overwhelming amount of scenes to screenshot, but I only picked a handful to show:

So goodnight, I have my screenplay to refine for tomorrow, which ideally if I don't fail anything, will be the last assessment I ever have to hand in.

I leave you with three picture of me being an uninspired pirate wench from the weekend: