I made it to the lantern festival tonight. I saw two of my fellow mind control cult attendees. One was doing some kung fu, the other was there as a spectator. And I saw Andy, who yelled out “Robyn Gallagher”. This is my favourite way of having my attention grabbed. Most people just say “hey” or “Robyn” or “hey, Robyn”. But when someone says “Robyn Gallagher,” that is very cool.

I had a spring roll, and it was very cabbagey and greasey. Then I had some candy floss (!) and a beverage called a lychee slush. One or more of those made me feel a bit sick, so I had some really good laksa to counter it.

But it wasn’t just about the food. There was lanterns. When I arrived it was still sunny, but the sun soon went down and the lanterns glowed. There were some sheep lanterns. I like it when New Zealanders embrace the tacky sheep identity of this country. The fountain had some really pretty floating flower shaped lanterns.

There were also people. I wrote this down as I was having a break on a grassy bank:

drag queens & the family with a white father, an Indian mother and two lovely girls & the guy with the shirt with “Renaldo” on the back & the little kid trying to get a pushchair and two chairs down a grassy bank & the goth guy wearing a Chinese straw hat & the two Polynesian guys enthusiastically working their way through a plate of mussels & the really good looking Asian couple & the pregnant mother looking styley in black and grey & the elderly couple walking along each holding a spring roll & the laughing women & the young man giving his friends a cynical commentary during the Akido demonstration & the little boy crawling up the grass band & everyone

Dylan, James, Morgan, Claire and Daniel (and I could link to their respective web pages, but I can’t be bothered) were there, so I watched the big fireworks extravaganza with them. The fireworks were so close that ash and grit rained down upon us. Now that’s an extreme extravaganza.

I was giving Dylz a ride back to the Shore. Two lanes of the harbour bridge were closed, so there was a minor traffic jam. It was at that point that DJ Sir Vere, on his Mai FM show, was giving a brief history of 50 Cent. At the end he played a couple of skits where 50 Cent makes fun of Ja Rule. They were fake ads for a recording called “Ja Rule Duets”. So there’d be some popular song with a Ja Rule impersonator rapping stuff like “Uh, yeah. Ja Rule. Get the party started” over the top. I laughed and I laughed and I laughed. I laughed so hard that it hurt. I laughed so hard that I actually wanted to pull over and regain my composure, but I was in the middle of the Harbour Bridge in really slow traffic. It was hard, but I managed to calm down and take the Stafford Road exit. And that is why I listen to Mai FM, baby.