Apr. 14th, 2008

tania: (Cats: Techno!)
From Friday afternoon through to Sunday night I barely slowed down - but it was an AWESOME weekend. My birthday party at Joe's parents' farm was great, everyone's costumes were clever and/or funny and/or silly. Best interpretation of the 'Undead' theme belonged to Richard, who turned up as Jesus.

In attendance was: myself, Joe, Hammond, Kelly, Richard, Greg and Elizabeth, which gave it the small-gathering feel I was after. Also in attendance was a load of Joe's parents friends for a party they were having on the same night, which added to the festiveness but meant that all the Tim-Tams I bought for the party had been consumed by the time we arrived, and also meant that a drunken older married lady spent the whole night hitting on Joey, which was painfully hilarious.

Earlier in the day Joe and I had used an oxy-torch to cut a voodoo design into the side of the metal barrel for the bonfire. We also cut an angryface into the other side. Both looked really good with the fire burning behind them. Joe is happiest when making things, especially if fire and/or sharp impliments are involved. His mother and I made food and set the table and fondly mocked him from afar. Enjoying the whole cutting-things vibe, Joe went on to carve another angryface I drew into the side of a pumpkin, and then he filled it with tea-lights. Spiritually this was like a revamp of my Halloween party last year, which was good but also very sad as it marked mine and Joey's official breakup.

We were apart for four months and I was deeply depressed for roughly the first three. It feels like it happened in another lifetime now. On Saturday night I got a moment to myself in the kitchen while all the partygoers were out the back and, having finally cracked open the ten-year-old Moet champagne Susan gave me two years ago, I drank a little toast to myself, to life, and to the fact that after having that damn bottle sitting in my fridge for two years I finally felt like I had some undeniable reasons to celebrate. I celebrated my good friends, my great job, and my amazing "version 2.0" relationship.

Hammond proved himself the number one firebug in a group of firebugs, and tossed everything he could get his hands on in the fire, including plastic cups... Thanks in advance for the cancer, Hammy. There was talk of sacrificing a canetoad to the flames but I strenuously discouraged that idea. We all discovered the joy of roasted jube lollies after the marshmallows ran out. Hammond burned his newspaper skeleton prop as an effigy designed to represent something different to each of us.

Later the group of us went on a drunken midnight walk through the fog down dark country roads and, as is our habit, we closed the night on a less boistrous note with a game of Killer Bunnies, complete with a new expansion deck.

The next morning we got up to find my phone missing. Drunken lady (of 'hitting on Joe' fame) had drunkenly taken it home so we had to arrange to pick it up on the way back from Dreamworld that evening.

Richard went to the train station to head home; Joe, Hammond, Kelly and I continued down to Coomera and scooped up Adders and a couple of his friends along the way, and the Dreamworld day commenced! The crowds were barely-there and the waits for the rides were refreshingly short.

We started fairly slowly, mostly visiting the farm animals. Piglets ATE MY FINGERS, it was great! I also stroked an enormous python and felt its muscles moving against my hands, and scratched a baby kangaroo, who enjoyed it far more than the bored-looking adult kangaroo I hugged. Kelly warned us all of the dangers of Cassowarys.

We went on rollercoasters, giant drops, log rides, the Claw, the Wipeout - basically the bigger and scarier the ride, the more we went on it. At one point I was sitting between Hammond and Joe, holding both their hands, upside down like a hundred feet in the air on the Claw and it was AWESOME.

The second ride on the Claw ended badly for Joe, who'd been feeling seedy all day. After we all got off, he handed Hammond his bag, announced "Reverse peristalsis," and promptly threw up in the garden while I patted him on the back and thought, "So THAT'S what 'reverse peristalsis' means!" Then he expressed his exasperation that none of us had thought to take photos, because it "would have been hilarious." I hope to someday achieve that level of composure while vomiting.

We ended the day with a final go on the Log Ride, Joe sitting out and guarding the bags, which had previously been Kelly's function as she doesn't like fast rides. But the Log Ride is a classic and she was easily convinced to join us. We crammed four of us in the log - myself, then Adders (who decided that my boobs were the best place to hang on), then Hammond, then Kelly bringing up the rear. Let me tell you, that log sat looooow in the water. We helped matters by deliberately rocking it throughout the ride.

The log ride is pretty basic and I imagine there's a version of it in just about any theme part worth its salt. You and your friends sit inside a boat shaped like a log, it drifts down a little narrow river full of interesting tunnels, caves and (for some reason) dinosaurs, then gets lifted high up on a ridiculously steep conveyor belt, then plunges down a chute until it hits the water at the bottom in an almighty spray, which may or may not drench you depending on a variety of factors.

We subsequently proved once and for all the connection between 'heavy, overloaded log boat' and 'tidal wave of water at the bottom of the chute'. I am never again riding that ride with LESS than four people, because it was MADE of awesome.

This has been the word-post for the day. The photo-post will come courtesy of Joe and/or Hammond, who took pics the whole time and love doing this stuff. I are not good with computer, how did I get here?

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Tania Walker

August 2008

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