Friday December 27, 2013
Just been catching up with a bunch of my old schoolmates from Grammar. Good to see them and find out what they'd been doing for the past wee while, and also playing some good old fashioned Mafia for nostalgia. Boxing Day was otherwise pretty uneventful, but (excuse the geekout) I've managed to obtain yet more Pokemon for my Pokedex so that should keep me occupied for a bit while I try to catch them all.
Christmas was good too, a great feed at my sister's house and playing with my very excited and active nephew. I had a solid nap in the afternoon before heading out for some night badminton at the Massey courts. Not bad at all! I managed to hold my own against the hardouts! Quite impressed with myself on that one. It was exhilarating to get out on the court and push myself for a good couple of hours and sweat out all the delicious food I'd been stuffing my face with.
Not too many plans over the next few days, but am looking to go for a road trip over New Years. My Christmas has been great. Hope you've had a Merry Christmas too.
Tuesday December 24, 2013
I was mentally checked out from work probably a week before we actually finished. The final week we spent doing a Game Jam of sorts - management presented a series of questions they wanted answered and we were to spend a week trying to see if we could answer these questions. It was okay; I felt like last year's Game Jam was way more enjoyable. I was lucky I had a great team this year and though things were a bit rocky and indecisive at the start, we pulled together and made a pretty neat toy. We celebrated the end of the year with karaoke at New Kor.
I drove up to Auckland on the Saturday after work had finished with two colleagues. We made good time; we left Wellington around 9.30am and stopped in Waiouru for lunch, Taupo for ice cream, Huka Falls for some sightseeing and Tokoroa for a quick nap, and still made it to Auckland at 6.30pm-ish. As usual, the drive was straightforward and easy, though I was a bit miserable and tired at the end of it.
I got to see the new KCC building for the first time at the Sunday Christmas service. It's very spacious and looks great, and it was great to catch up with so many people. We spent the rest of the day playing games like Buzz, Dominion, 7 Wonders and Up and Down the River before heading home around 1am. Whee.
On Monday I did some last minute Christmas shopping at West City Westfield. Not as busy as I thought it would be, but I wasn't there for too long. I picked up some food supplies as well, and I caught up with my sister and her family. My nephew sure has grown! So cute. I played soccer with him for a bit. Adorable that he's so excited to see me. Will be looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow for Christmas lunch.
After a quick nap, I was off to Newmarket to catch up with the Wellington/ex-Wellington crew for our traditional Christmas dinner at Sun World. Sumptuous plates of Peking duck, prawn balls, lamb cutlets, fried tofu, fried squid and chicken filled the table. It was an excellent meal with excellent company.
And finally today, I caught up with Amy in Ponsonby at the Foxtrot Parlour, before heading to Reuben and Shereen's to catch up with the other guys from youth group for a Christmas potluck lunch. We did a last minute Secret Santa that worked out pretty well. Everyone was told to bring one dud gift and one nice gift. I scored myself a Gucci pocket air-freshener thing (the "dud" but not really!), as well as a microfibre cleaning cloth. We played some Time's Up, although looking at Board Game Geek's description of it, we played it horribly wrong. Still, we had a fun time and everyone was satisfied and tired by the time we parted ways.
It's been almost non-stop social events since arriving in Auckland. I'm always surprised by just how busy I am over this period despite making very vague plans prior to coming up. It's not really my style to do that, but apparently it works well and it's a lot of fun (sometimes very tiring!) seeing people and catching up.
Holidays are great.
Monday December 9, 2013
Man... it's almost the end of the year. Things have been so busy in the last few months that I've once again neglected my blog. Why do I blog anyway? I guess it's a kind of historical document that I can look at in 50 years time when I have Alzheimer's and think of all the great memories I had at the time. Even looking back at how I write and what I blog about makes me cringe!
So since my last piece about flights to Malaysia, I've managed to secure tickets back home but unfortunately not for Christmas or Chinese New Year due to full flights during this peak season. I spent a lot of time negotiating with Malaysia Airlines, but to no avail. It's understandable though, just a bit disappointing. It would have been nice to go back for my cousin's wedding and see everyone again, but no matter, I'll still have a good time when I go back in Easter next year.
The game I've been working on has finally been released - it's Flick Kick Football Legends for both iOS and Android. We're looking at churning out a few more updates so stay tuned for extra content and more amazing user interfaces. It's been a tough project but the team have worked extremely hard on it and I think that we should be proud of what we've achieved and how polished the product is.
I've been deep in the Pokemon as well. Pokemon X has been a great game - I've clocked over 150 hours on it already. I've caught almost all the Pokemon available without the Pokemon Bank service to transfer Pokemon from previous versions. I'm thinking of moving onto Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies soon - looking forward to more [OBJECTIONS]!
In short... I've found a replacement flatmate, we had the work Christmas party, went out to Makara by myself to watch the sunset and the stars, saw the fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day, tried to bread Smudge, had the degustation at the Whitehouse on Oriental Parade and had an amazing meal at the new Little Penang, which has expanded to the place next door! We have affectionately called it "Medium Penang", and the food is still as delicious as it ever has been.
Life in the past two months has had its ups and downs. Sometimes I've felt lonely or frustrated about life - one time it was so bad, I was awake at 3am in the morning having an existential crisis. Other times I've felt a lot more anti-social than normal, or distant from my friends, like I need solitude to clear my head. In those times, I usually retreat to church to play piano, and I've found music to be so calming and therapeutic. It's probably just a phase though, so don't worry about me. People come and go; so do friendships. They say the only constants in life are taxes and change... and I should learn to be more adaptable and flexible in life instead of dwelling in the past all the time.
Dear future Jeremy. Count your blessings and be thankful for them. Cherish the friendships you have and be good to the people around you. Don't worry so much and don't let life get you down all the time. Never forget who you are and maintain a strong sense of integrity.