by Jake McMillan

Wedding photos are normally very beautiful, with many shots of the handsome couple standing with their smartly dressed family and friends in a grand and picturesque setting.

Not all wedding photos are like this, some are quite funny. Here is a collection of amusing and interesting wedding photos I have collected from across the webosphere:

by Risa Koh

Today is my 35th birthday.  In honor of this occasion, I’ve decided to do a list of “35 Things I’ve Learned In 35 Years,” inspired by other similar articles in the blogosphere.  Age 35 isn’t quite old, but it’s also an age that isn’t quite young anymore either.  I think I’ve gained some insight I can share, in no particular order.  Hope you enjoy this!

1.  Everything happens for a reason.  This is the most important lesson I’ve learned, especially when the chips are down.  It helps me to realize that something better will come out of this mess.

2.  You can’t control others.  You’re wasting your energy if you think you can change people.  It’s best to start with changing yourself.

3.  Don’t waste time on others who don’t love you back.  Love should come easily and naturally.  If you have to force someone to see how special you are, that person isn’t the right match for you.  You’ll never be happy in a relationship where you had to change someone’s mind.

4.  Live life the way you want, not by the way others want.  Whose life is this anyway?  They have theirs, you have yours.

5.  Party safely.  Don’t drink and drive.  Don’t take drugs or drinks from strangers.  Always surround yourself with people you trust.

6.  Work first, play later.  I’ve learned that playing is infinitely more satisfying when I don’t have to think about the ten loads of laundry to be done or the piles of dishes to wash.  That said, don’t work so much that you forget to play.  You can never get ALL your work done at one go. It helps to take a break in between the bigger tasks for a bit of a reward.

7.  Live a life of no regrets.  I hate looking back on my life thinking, “What if…”

8.  Cherish today for tomorrow may never come.  This really struck home when my old boss passed away suddenly.  I’m glad I was able to tell him I loved him before he passed.  Don’t let death make you regret you didn’t make time for your loved ones.

9.  Just because they’re not related by blood doesn’t mean they’re not family.  I don’t have much family, so I can safely say that I’ve often felt more encouraged and loved by my friends.  Sometimes they mean more to me than my own family members.

10.  Feel your best by looking your best.  I find that I’m not as productive when I’m in my pajamas and wearing a ponytail.  However, getting dressed up with my hair brushed out and makeup done, I feels loads more confident and assured at tackling the world.

11.  Never stop improving yourself.  Admit it, you’re not perfect.  No one is.  There’s always room for improvement.

12.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  You want people to love you?  Love them first.  You want people to remember you?  Remember them first.

13.  Everyone has guilty pleasures.  Don’t judge them for them.

14.  Put yourself in others’ shoes.  Remember when you’ve had a bad day and someone wasn’t nice to you about it?  Now, put yourself in their position and remember what it was like when you had a bad day.

15.  Everyone is superior to you in some way.  Learning this has humbled me a lot.

16.  Relationships don’t work if you’re not on the same page about the fundamentals.  If you want kids and they don’t.  If you like to spend money and they don’t.  If you love to travel and they don’t.  These are the fundamentals.

17.  Remember the past, plan for the future, but live in the present.  Don’t get so caught up in the past or future that you’re forgetting about your time in the here and now.

18.  The best teachers are the best students.  Keep learning and sharing your knowledge.

19.  Don’t apologize for taking time for yourself.  If you need it, take it.  You’ll come back a better person from it.

20.  Let things go.  Holding onto grudges or things that you can’t alter in the past will never do you any good.  Let them go and move on.

21.  There is no “can’t.”  I like to replace this negative word with “how do I do this?”  Then act all smug when I get it done.  Ha!

22.  Always act professionally.  You never know when this one act of unprofessionalism might come to bite you in the butt later.  Always stay classy.

23.  Everyone deserves respect.  From the restaurant server to the bus driver… treat everyone with respect and kindness.  Trust me, they’ll make your life easier when you do.

24.  Best friendships can spring up from the most unlikely of places.  I used to think that friendships had to be deep rooted with history in order to be the best.  My year abroad has taught me differently.  Don’t base your best friendships on time or place; base them on morals and values and shared interests.  You’d be surprised how many soul mates are found from a five minute conversation.

25.  Don’t burn any bridges.  There’s been many times when I’ve wanted to tell someone I knew to shut their pie hole and go to hell, but have I ever?  No.  Because what if that someone became the next Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey?  Then I wouldn’t feel so good about myself, would I?

26.  Observe and learn from others’ mistakes.  There’s not enough time in the world to make your own mistakes AND to learn from them.  Why not just cut things short and learn from others’ so you can spend more time reaping the rewards of not having done the same sh*tty thing they’ve done?

27.  If you don’t generalize, people respect your opinions more.  Simply by changing your wording from “ALL guys are like that,” to “MOST guys are like that” will start less world wars.  Mind blowing, isn’t it?  You’re welcome.

28.  Lead by example.  Want people to trust you more?  Don’t spill their secrets.  Want your kids to eat healthy?  Then you must eat healthy.

29.  Organization is the key to life.  The more my desk is cleaned up and in order, the easier it will be to find my keys.

30.  Don’t get attached to material things. You came in this world with nothing, you’ll leave with nothing.

31.  If you’re always honest, you’ll never have to worry about which lies you’ve told.  Even when you’re drunk at a bar, make sure you know the story of your alias very well.  You never know when you’re going to run into that stranger again who will remember everything about your “other” self.

32.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  If you fall, laugh at yourself.  If you said something stupid, laugh at yourself.  Others will find you much easier to be around.

33.  Get on the same page about your finances early on in your relationship.  Money is the number one reason for divorces because no one likes to talk about their finances.  If you two are polar opposites in spending habits, you need to know.  Stop jacking up the divorce rate because you were too embarrassed to spill your addiction to shoes.

34.  Don’t lead someone on if you don’t know what you want.  Nothing worse than waiting around for ten years thinking all this time will pay off only to realize that the guy never knew if he really wanted to marry you.  People, you can’t have your cake and eat it too!

35.  I am only human.  You’re not perfect.  You can only do so much.  Be the best person you can be and love yourself for who you are.

by Jake McMillan

The Relationship Evaluation Sketch, is classic and popular post from 2011 and is a short comedy sketch about a couple who use monthly quantitative analysis to evaluate their relationship.

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As we have entered into the ‘wedding season’, including Risa’s own wedding, Jake and Risa discuss the palavar involved with wedding etiquette.

Risa: Have you been at weddings all weekend?

Jake: No, just Saturday …, went to the wrong church!

Risa: I read about that! (on Facebook)

Jake: Got to the right one just in time.  Two churches with the same name near each other.

Risa: How annoying.  How was the wedding?

Jake: It was actually alright.  I’m not a massive fan of weddings as I’ve said before, but this was okay and the one wedding I wasn’t sure about for this year as I knew the least amount of people, but I had a good time and was up until about 3am with the bride, groom and other guests.  Had some good random chats and banter.

Risa: Wow that’s late!  Were you in London?

Jake: We were in Marlow, which is about an hour out of London.  I loved one comment that the Priest said when he was talking about marriage and that sacrificial love included making sandwiches for your partner. Sounded quite silly, but it’s those little practical things that make the difference.

Risa: Interesting.  In the book “Scarlett”, they say that the servants left a plate of sandwiches outside your door (in the late 1800’s in Ireland) and if you ate any of the sandwiches, it meant that you had “relations” behind your bedroom door.

Jake: haha. I wish someone would leave sandwiches outside my door.  I also wish I was having relations! Haha

Risa: haha.  I’ll make sure to leave sandwiches outside your door in Provence.

Jake: Thanks!

Risa: Now… you’ll be sharing a room with another guy so if you eat any of those sandwiches….

Jake: haha.  Depends how hungry I am 😉

Risa: Oh Jake.

Jake: My issue with wedding invitations is the etiquette around them … i.e. when to send it … people who send out ‘Save the dates’ when they could just send the invite.  I’ve received invites through the post with petals in it?!  Maybe I’m just a bloke, but someone could just send me an email with the info on it. I’m really not bothered with the actual invite. For the couple who sent me the invite with the petals in it, I sent the RSVP back and aged the paper and put it in a juffy bag with lots of dead leaves in it as a joke, but they loved it!

Risa: Hahaha really?  That’s funny!  I’ve never heard of creative ways to respond before.  That should be a new thing – one that you start, Jake!

Jake: NOOOOOOOOO!!!!  🙂

Risa: DO IT!!! It’s bloody brilliant!  Weddings always need a new trend and that would definitely spice things up.

Jake: No, weddings are a lot of effort as it is without adding to it! 🙂  I’m just a bit bah humbug about weddings and the formality and the etiquette. I’m glad your wedding is going to be very different and personal.  Other weddings just seem very samey.

Risa: That’s what I hate about weddings!  Their “sameyness.”  All invitations look alike.  All decors look alike.  All flowers look alike.  All customs are the same.

Jake: Yep!

Risa: Boo!

Jake: The wedding I went to this weekend I didn’t actually get an invite sent to me, which was good.  My friend sent me an email with the details and said I could have a proper invite if I wanted one.  But then I did end up going to the wrong church so maybe a proper invite would have been useful?!

Risa: Well, that’s why we need it most of the time.  So we can get to the right place on the right date at the right time.  And believe it or not, there are still a lot of people who don’t have email.

Jake: Old people.

Risa: And if we’re inviting friends of family or family members we don’t know, we need to extend a formal invitation.  It would be awkward to send them invites through word of mouth – things can get very confusing.

Jake: Yep.

Risa: Yes, this usually does apply to old people.  My fiancé’s side has a lot of people I don’t know and people he doesn’t talk to ever, but we have to invite them because that is the “polite” thing to do.  It’s so frustrating.  I hate freaking doing things just because we “have” to.

Jake: I hate the politics of wedding invites.

Risa: Me too!  We wouldn’t be having this problem if my fiancé didn’t insist on having a party at home where he can be the center of attention.  I’m happy with just Provence.

Jake: haha.  I was thinking about that on Saturday and if I ever do get married I think I will be very uncomfortable at being the centre of attention all day long.  Oh yeah, what is the etiquette about the wedding list? You said it was bad form for the bride or groom to say where it is?

Risa: No.  It’s not polite to tell your guests outright where you’re registered, so we couldn’t put it on the invites.  Apparently, the MOH and BM are given that responsibility – if anyone asks.  Of course, if the guests ask us, then we can tell them, but it would be sort of impolite to say, “Please give us gifts and this is where to buy them.”

Jake: Really? Having a list is pretty standard in modern weddings so I don’t think it would be impolite to have that information sent out with the invite. I’m not saying you should do that specifically, just generally.

Risa: Yeah, I thought so too (how weird you call this a list… I got confused in the first mention of it), but that’s just what I’ve read!  And I don’t want to be the blunderous bride.  I’m already having enough problems holding my tongue in at my fiancé’s parents to not invite these damn people I don’t know, have never met, and will probably never see again.

Jake: So what do you call it?

Risa: We call it Gift Registry.

Jake: I see.  My friend, Stu from uni, and I have a competition.  If we’re going to the same wedding, we see who can buy the cheapest thing from the list!  We buy something else as well, of course.  Some people have quite boring things on their wedding list.  When my friends Cath and Tim got married they didn’t want pots or kettles or any of the usual rubbish. They asked for things like a £5 bet on red at the casino, or money for a bowler hat for when they were travelling in South America.

Risa: How fun!  How are these lists created?  Is it just a typed out list of things they want?

Jake: Yeah, it was … you went online and could pay for whichever one you wanted to give.

Risa: For ours… we typically go into a store of our preference that has a gift registry in place, and then we scan the items we see on the shelves and that goes into a computer and creates a list for us. I’ve never heard of couples making a customized gift list that doesn’t include registering at a store. There are new trends of “in lieu of gifts, please donate to XYZ charity.”

Jake: Yeah, I’ve seen that.

Risa: Or honeymoon or cash registries are becoming more popular.

Jake: Yeah, for the wedding of Andrew, a week before yours, they don’t have a list, but have a charity you can donate to.

Risa: I’m afraid our registries are a bit on the boring side… we need to replace so many of our kitchen items. My fiancé’s had them so long and most were bought cheap at Ikea or were hand-me-downs. And we never seem to have enough plates and bowls and glasses for company.

Jake: That’s cool … that is what the wedding list should be traditionally; a list of things the couple need to make a happy home together.

Risa: I added a few things like bike parts so I have a more functional bike for commuting and such, hehe.

Jake: haha

Risa: And of course, organizational items for a more efficient home.

Jake: Of course!

Risa: My fiancé only cared about the bar items: martini shakers, wine pourers, etc.

Jake: I can understand that.

Risa: I don’t know how much partying he thinks we’ll be doing when we get in our “family stage.”

Jake: More interesting and fun!  Is there etiquette for when you send out a wedding invite? Like you can’t do it more than x months before the day?

Risa: Well, I dunno about “can’t,” but the guideline is to send out about two months in advance and Save the Dates six months in advance, or sooner if you plan to have out of town guests. Like for me, I sent out Save The Dates a year in advance, which is so pointless sometimes because some people are gonna find excuses for not coming no matter how far in advance you give them.

Jake: Very true!

Risa: The one I hate most is, “I can’t afford it.” I know it’s most likely true in most cases.. and some travel are just too far to make anything affordable, but for the guests who live in two hours away by car? That would just be unacceptable. Or, “I can’t take time off.”

Jake: That would be unacceptable if they are that close.
Risa: Ummm… that’s why we’re doing it on a long holiday weekend! Ask for the damn time off in advance! It’s not that difficult. What bugs me most is why some people can’t be as foresighted as me. At our age, we should all be planning ahead.

Jake: Would you prefer them to say they can’t come because they’re not really that bothered about coming?

Risa: Sure. And then I know I don’t need to be friends with them anymore.

Jake: haha

Risa: Did I tell you that whore, the immigration officer in our group who has done nothing to help me with my residency papers, has already told my fiancé she can’t come to our wedding?  She’ll be in Europe at that time.

Jake: No?

Risa: I don’t like her and all, but this new development further fuels the fire.  She’s known a year in advance, if not more, that our wedding would be on this date and she plans a trip to Europe NOW for that date??  Clearly shows how little she thinks of us.  It’s not like she’s going off to Europe to get married or proposing to someone.

Jake: Yeah, her actions clearly say she does not think you guys are important.

Risa: She could’ve scheduled herself to leave the day after or the next week.  But nooo….  No wonder I hate that bitch.  Every time she comes out with us, I just shudder at the thought of her presence.

Jake: A good job she won’t be there then!

Risa: I’m so much more relaxed when she’s not around.  So now I have three reasons to hate her.  Ha!  I just wanna kick her in the face when I see her.

Jake: haha

Risa: But I’m not a citizen here so she’ll probably deport me if I do anything to her.  Slut.

Jake: haha.  Do you know where in Europe she will be? Maybe I can arrange for her to have an accident?

Risa: Unfortunately, no.  But I can find out probably.  I’ll get my fiancé to talk to her.  Alright, enough drama.

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by Risa Koh

Ah June….  What a lovely time to be thinking of Father’s Day and upcoming summer weddings, like Jake has recently done.  And like what I have been doing all month as I prepare to walk down the aisle in less than 4 short weeks.  In the midst of all this planning and excitement, I’m reminded that it is also a special time for graduates.  Commencement speeches are so motivating and inspiring, aren’t they?  Here are a couple of favorites… I wish I had been so lucky as to have any big name celebrities deliver my commencement address, but watching these ones will do.  There’s always relativity no matter which phase in life you are in.

Conan O’Brien at Dartmouth College, 2011

Steve Jobs at Stanford, 2005
Oh Steve Jobs… how I lamented upon hearing your passing… may you rest in peace.

And most recently, Sal Khan at MIT, 2012.  This was a long speech from MIT News, so I’ve only included the most poignant part in this post.  You can read the full speech here.

…So go forth with your careers, but leave space for your passions. Remember that you are much, much more than a title or a bank account. You are dancers and poets, inventors and athletes, musicians and innovators. If you give your passions room to breathe, you might find that is all they need to help you move the dial forward for everyone.

…So with all that said, let me leave you with a thought experiment I use to help keep my priorities in check.

Imagine yourself in 50 years. You’re in your early 70s, near the end of your career. You’re sitting on your couch, having just watched the State of the Union holographic address by President Kardashian.

You begin to ponder your life. The career successes, how you’ve been able to provide for your family. You’ll think of all the great moments with your family and friends. But then you start to think about all of the things you wished you had done just a little differently, your regrets. I can guess at what they might be.

Sitting in 2062, you wish that you had spent more time with your children. That you had told your spouse how much you loved them more frequently. That you could have even one more chance to hug your parents and tell them how much you appreciate them before they passed. That you could have smiled more, laughed more, danced more and created more. That you better used the gifts you were given to empower others and make the world better.

Just as you’re thinking this, a genie appears from nowhere and says, “I have been eavesdropping on your regrets. They are valid ones. I can tell you are a good person so I am willing to give you a second chance if you really want one.” You say “Sure” and the genie snaps his fingers.

All of a sudden you find yourself right where you are sitting today. It is June 8, 2012, at Killian Court. You are in your shockingly fit and pain-free 20-something body and begin to realize that it has really happened. You really do have the chance to do it over again. To have the same career successes and deep relationships. But, now you can optimize. You can laugh more, dance more and love more. Your parents are here again so it is your chance to love them like you wished you had done the first time. You can be the source of positivity that you wished you had been the first time around.

Congratulations to the graduates of 2012!  (And happy Father’s Day to you fathers too!)

by Jake McMillan

To hear that your friend is going to get married is always wonderful news. To know that they have found someone special to spend the rest of their life with brings joy to your heart. Being able to be part of their wedding to witness and celebrate their commitment to each other is an honour and a privilege. But it’s a bugger for your bank balance.

There has been a trend of the last 10-20 years that the cost of being part of your friend’s wedding is going up and up. For example, my friend Andrew is getting married this year and although it’s going to be amazing to be involved, it is going to cost me a lot of money. I was with Andrew when he met his fiancee so I in no way begrudge the cost, but it is interesting to analyse just how much money you have to set aside.

Firstly, there is the ‘UK Stag Do’. In days gone by the stag do was actually just a stag night, often the night before the actual wedding. So it would mean a lot of drinks somewhere fairly local to everyone. Nowadays, stag dos are far more elaborate and involve spending at least a weekend abroad or somewhere far away. However, as not everyone can do the whole weekend, grooms hold an additional stag night in their own country.

Then, there’s the wedding itself. The trend is not to have a wedding close by where they live, but to find somewhere quaint in the countryside, i.e. you have to spend the whole weekend away rather than just turn up on the day. Hotels and, in particular, hotel bars seriously cash in on this fact. I was at a wedding last Saturday where I ordered a drink from the bar and had to pay a 12.5% service charge! (In the UK you only have a service charge for table service – drinks are expensive enough already!)

So let’s do a quick sum of the cost of being apart of Andrew’s wedding:

  • UK Stag Do: £130
  • European Stag Do (Weekend in Barcelona): Minimum £500
  • Weekend in Hotel for Wedding: £200
  • Wedding Gift: £50
  • Travel to Wedding: £50
  • Drinks at Wedding: £50
  • Dry Cleaning Suit: £15

Total Cost: £995!

So, my friend getting married is about £1,000 which is the equivalent of two months’ rent here in London.

I have three weddings to go to this year! They are all within six weeks of each other, so you can see how a friend getting married properly dents your bank balance.

It really is fantastic to be part of your friend getting married, but the smart thing to do is to start saving the moment your friend announces their engagement!

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with Risa Koh and Jake McMillan

Risa and Jake discuss what life will be like when they get old:

Jake: I think life will be a lot wrinklier when we get older. 🙂

Risa: I wonder when I’ll start to get wrinkles…  I see one developing right between my eyes, but I’ve been applying vitamin E on it and it seems to have faded a bit.  Or maybe it’s just my wishful imagination.

Jake: Maybe!  I’m going grey…  you will notice this in a couple of months time!  I woke up at the weekend and shocked myself when I looked in the mirror.

Risa: Really?  Overnight?

Jake: It probably wasn’t overnight, but maybe the bathroom I was in (at a friend’s place) had lighting that accentuated it, but, yeah, it seemed like I had got a lot greyer overnight.

Risa: That seems to happen sometimes.  I remember when Bob Barker (a TV game show host) went gray overnight.  It was like one episode he was all brown and young, and the next day he was gray!

Jake: I have one grey nostril hair that isn’t very noticeable, but that’s all I see when I look in the mirror.  I also have a couple of grey hairs in my beard.

Risa: hahaha..  Gross.  I’m starting to get gray hairs too.  They’ve been more noticeable in the past couple of months.  Mostly they’re hidden under the top layers of hair so they stand out more when I wear my hair up.

Jake: So if they become more prevalent will you dye your hair?

Risa: I don’t think so.  Are you?

Jake: Well, I don’t want to dye my hair, but then I don’t like it looking very grey (at the moment), but I may get used to it.  Also, I can’t be arsed to get it dyed.  I don’t to pay a fortune to a hairdresser and I don’t want to faff at home as I will probably do a rubbish job.

Risa: Yeah, dying hair is a huge inconvenience.  When I was younger, I dyed my hair more frequently, but I never kept up with the redying every 6 -8 weeks.  I’d just dye it or highlight it and then let it grow out.  Besides, I think I rather like the idea of aging gracefully.

Jake: It also is a concern for me with regards to dating as I sometimes can look younger than my years, but with the grey hair it is much harder to do and so I will be bound to be putting off some of the younger ladies?

Risa: How young you thinking? We already discussed that you can’t date any younger than… what was it, 19?

Jake: A 19 year old is not going to want to date a greying man in his 30s?  But a man who is young looking in his 30s might be possible.

Risa: So you ARE thinking as young as 19?  Sounds old man creepy, dude.  Gray hair or not.

Jake: No, I’m not actively thinking of dating a 19 year old, I’m open to meet someone generally and the conclusion was that, after speaking to various people, the youngest I could date was 19. However, if I am greying then really dating a 19 year old is even more unlikely.

Risa: Possibly.

Jake: The point I’m making is that my age bracket closes due to the grey hair.  I think when you reach your 30s you realise that your body is starting the long road of falling apart and eventually death.  So when we’re much older our life will be more dominated by health issues.

Risa: For sure.  That’s why I’m trying to take care of my body and skin now so I don’t come into any major problems when I get older.  I just saw a woman on TV who is 60 years old, but swear to God, she only looked 40!

Jake: OK

Risa: I’d love to look like that when I’m 60.  I’d also love to be one of those older people who is still active and happy and healthy.

Jake: Yes, definitely.

Risa:I’m not particularly interested in retiring to some death place like Florida.

Jake: Sounds bad.

Risa: Eating dinner at 4PM, going to sleep at 8…

Jake: Yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever be like that… I’m a night person, always have been.

Risa: Not me… my sleeping schedules adjust with my current lifestyle.

Jake: What time do you and your fiancé go to bed?

Risa: I usually climb into bed around 11:30 and depending on my energy level, I’ll either fall asleep right away or read a book until midnight and then go to sleep then.  Not sure when my fiancé usually climbs into bed as he stays up later than me.

Jake: OK

Risa: You know what?

Jake: No.

Risa: When I was in my 20’s, my coworker said to me, “I wonder when our parents started to act really old? Like, has my father always liked jazz music or is that something that happened when he got older?” Hahaha

Jake: haha….  My mum said she never really grew up until she became a parent.

Risa: Interesting.  I wonder if my fiancé will grow up when he becomes a dad.

Jake: He will have to and I am sure he will.  He will always be a boy as all men are, but having a kid makes every parent become more responsible as you are forced to put someone else 100% first.

Risa: I hope so!  My friend had a baby with her boyfriend.  He’s an outdoor enthusiast – sort of a surfer/snowboarder type guy – and I haven’t seen any signs of him growing up.  He still prefers to ride his dirt bike and go camping over watching his son.

Jake: Oh dear.

Risa: My friend has to put their son in daycare because he “can’t” take care of him while she’s at work
and he’s unemployed, although a student, last I heard.

Jake: Wow.  I’ve had a couple of friends who have not been very responsible, but since having a baby they seem to be stepping up to the plate.

Risa: That’s great!

Jake: Will you want to live near your kids when you’re old?

Risa: Not necessarily.  Ideally, I’d like to retire in Europe.  Not sure if it’s affordable in the future, but if that’s my dream, then I guess being near my kids is not a priority.  Haha

Jake: haha… Maybe your kids will want you to go away to Europe! 😉

Risa: Yup!  Because if they’re my kids, they’ll want the excuse to travel to Europe…  haha

Jake: They may already be living there!  Seeing their uncle Jake!

Risa: Those are definitely my kids then!  The first year my fiancé and I were dating, I told him I didn’t feel much like going to clubs anymore and I’d rather have drinks with friends where we can chat and shoot the breeze… and he said, “I always wondered what age we all stop going to clubs and prefer to go to bars instead… I guess it’s this age.”  I must’ve been 31 or 32 then.

Jake: I’ve never been a big fan of clubs, even when I started going to them at 17.

Risa: Furthermore, he didn’t go to clubs much in his early 20’s so he still had the hankering.  Not me.  Carmela and I went clubbing even before we were of age.  There were a couple of underage clubs back home that we frequented every week.  And then I clubbed more with other friends when we turned 21, then I hit the gay clubs when I was 23 or 24.

Jake: When I was 17, my college Student Union used to organise coach rides to a club in my home town … they were horrendous – 17 year olds getting drunk on cheap cider and lager all too excitable and then on the way home, being very ill.  There was no loo on the bus, so every 30 seconds someone was shouting at the driver to stop so they could take a leak.  It took hours to get home.

Risa: lol – that sounds like a crazy time.

Jake: It was! I have vivid memories of people shouting, “Piss stop,” over and over until the bus driver stopped.  Not fun.

Risa: lol

Jake: So do you think you’ll still want to go to a bar/pub when you’re older?

Risa: Yeah, I quit clubbing around the time I turned 30.  I mean, I went now and then, but in all honesty, I didn’t enjoy it as much anymore.

Jake: I’m going to a club on Saturday as part of a stag do.

Risa: Yeah, I think I’ll still do the bar scene when I get older.

Jake: Me too.  My parents don’t really do it, neither does my sister (33), but I think I probably will.

Risa: I don’t drink much anymore unless on super special occasions, but I don’t mind the bar atmosphere, especially more casual atmospheres where it’s not a huge meat market.

Jake: I like bars/pubs where you can socialise and talk to people, which is what I thought their purpose was, but the music is too loud in some places.  God, I sound old!

Risa: I feel the same!  You know what I hate?  Twenty-somethings telling me that they’re getting old as another birthday passes.  Yeah man, save that for people your own age – you won’t get any sympathy here!

Jake: Yeah, you need to know your audience.  It’s called being diplomatic.

Risa: And people who are older than me downplaying the fact that I am getting older.  Sure, I may still be young in numbers, but my body is starting to ache and I’m starting to be more mellow – so I’m getting older too!

Jake: Why do older people do that? (not all) They must remember what it was like? So they should just try and be sympathetic.  Or maybe they’ve got so sick of younger people moaning that they just want to annoy them and make them know how bad things are going to get.

Risa: It’s not like I’m acting like a 20 year old who just says, “I’m getting so old,” for the sake of saying it, but I’m saying things like, “Man, I can’t party like I used to anymore” or “My body’s starting to fall apart… I’m getting old” and my older friends (they’re in their 50’s) will respond, “Psssshhh! You’re still a young pup! Don’t talk to us about being old!

Jake: Yeah, like somehow you don’t qualify to moan?!  So unfair.

Risa: Right!

Jake: Apparently you go to the toilet a lot more when older.  Am not looking forward to that.

Risa: We’ll have to start wearing adult diapers.

Jake: Sexy.

Risa: Definitely NOT looking forward to that.

Jake: Yeah, the body letting you down that way is not going to be fun … but the one I fear the most is the brain going.

Risa: Oh!  I would hate to get Alzheimer’s.  That’s what I fear most although there’s no history of it in my family.

Jake: Good! (fingers crossed!)  There isn’t in my family either as far I’m aware… my nan gets a little confused, but she is 90 and is still fairly on the ball.

Risa: Very hopeful!

Jake: What about in your fiancé’s family?

Risa: No, his grandma is still alive and kicking although very much aged.

Jake: OK

Risa: I dunno how old she is, but she’s got that old lady grandma look.

Jake: OK

Risa: And she has a tough time getting up and down.  My fiancé’s been encouraging me to work out my lower body so I don’t encounter similar problems when I get older.

Jake: Good advice.

Risa: I also am conscious of my calcium intake because Asians have a higher chance of osteoporosis.  I actually knew a man who had it (or has it?) and from what I heard he aged overnight.

Jake: Really?

Risa: He used to be tall and attractive and when I knew him, he was white haired and hunched over, walking with a cane.

Jake: Is it vitamin D in Calcium?

Risa: I dunno.  I didn’t ask him personally as I didn’t know him too well – I just heard from mutual friends.

Jake: I think they are separate, but are closely related and beneficial in similar ways: http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/bone_health/nutrition/#d

Risa: Yes, I did hear that you need vitamin D to aid in calcium absorption, which is why I’m forcing myself to get out in the sun more.

Jake: OK

Risa: I stay at home working on my projects too much.

Jake: I have been far less active since I broke my leg and I need to change that.

Risa: How’s your leg?  Is it fully healed and working properly?  I have a friend who broke his not long after you broke yours.  He’s had to undergo another operation because he still felt pain after a year.  He can’t run or put too much pressure on it.

Jake: My leg is healed, but it will never be a normal leg again.  I can do all the things I want to do, walk, dance badly, exercise, etc., but have niggles regularly and it’s not comfortable to kneel on that leg.  Occasionally, when I jog or run around it can cause pain.

Risa: That sucks.

Jake: It does, but that’s just the way it is.

Risa: Yeah.

Jake: So I’ve been less active for partly genuine reasons and partly because I really need to motivate myself more than I used to, but I do want to do more as I don’t want issues when I’m old.

Risa: That’s how I feel too.  I fear my fiancé will get diabetes with all the sugar he intakes and if I don’t say anything now, he might have problems later.  Yet I don’t want to be a nag or deprive him too much.

Jake: Does he have lots of sugar?  I have a fair amount.

Risa: He loves drinking pop and eats candy all the time.  He sneaks candy into our shopping carts when we still have a full supply in our cupboards, but he’s getting better.  I haven’t seen much misfit candies laying around and he only drinks one can of pop a day now.

Jake: That’s good progress.

Risa: He avoids ordering it at the restaurants if he has to pay for it… hahaha… but if it’s free with the meal or whatever, he’ll make sure to order a glass.

Jake: So, this getting old malarkey is just non-stop fun 😉

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by Risa Koh


Recently, a friend of mine filed for divorce, after years of dating before they got married.  I think that in our circle of friends, we all wondered how stable their relationship was if they separated only a year into their marriage.  This made me think that they might have only gotten married because that should have been the next step in their relationship.  Should it have been?  I wrote about this issue some time back and wanted to revisit the thoughts behind this topic.  What do you think?

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by Risa Koh
I read this comic recently highlighting some differences between the genders and found it quite humorous.  Thought I’d share it with you.  What are your thoughts about what this sketch says?

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by Jake McMillan

I know many relationships that suffer because one party is very accusatory of the other, always suspecting their partner is doing something wrong or bad in the relationship. Now, we all get jealous and insecure from time to time, and if we show it occasionally then our other half should be able to cope with it. However, if a lack of trust is more prevalent and a partner is often treated as guilty until proven innocent, this can be extremely damaging to the relationship.

Trust is essential; there is just no way around it. If you don’t trust your partner and/or they don’t trust you, then you will need to resolve this. Otherwise, the relationship is doomed. Continual accusations of cheating or betrayal can drive a wedge between a couple that will just get wider and wider until it is no longer possible to reunite.

Being on the receiving end of someone who is accusing you of doing things you are not doing is very hurtful and tiring to deal with. In some cases, persistent accusations and suspicions can become a self-fulfilling prophecy as the person becomes so resentful and hurt that they end up doing the thing they are being accused of and already being punished for. ‘If you’re already doing the time, you may as well do the crime’ syndrome.

Lack of trust cannot be swept under the carpet and you cannot hope it will just go away with time. It needs to be confronted and dealt with. There may not be an immediate resolution, but both parties need to address the situation and come up with and follow a plan to restore trust.

The causes of lack of trust are often complex and will vary from person to person, but it is important for a couple to recognise the problem exists and for both to agree to find a way to get to a situation of innocent until proven guilty.

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