Sunday, 28 June 2009

Another busy weekend (26th - 27th June 2009)

Had a full day conference at Westpac Stadium on Friday. A good change from the usual office day and was quite informative - the conference was focused on introducing the key heads of departments under our bigger umbrella and what the new restructure looks like. It was a full day of talks with meals provided in between, including a team building event in the afternoon followed on by a few more talks and after work drinks.

We were very fortunate to have guest speaker, Mark Inglis, come by to talk about his struggles and how he overcame climbing up Mt Everest despite being a double amputee. Very impressive stories of his past and I admire his attitude of not easily giving in to pain and the challenges he had to face in his life. He is a man of many successes, not just the first double amputee to climb to the summit of Everest, but also a researcher, winemaker, former Paralympic cyclist and now motivational speaker. There were some controversy in the news back in 2006 of his Everest climb - he was criticised for leaving distressed British climber, David Sharp, to perish while he pushed on to climb to the summit. Frankly, I think he made the best decision he could at that time given the circumstances - at that high altitude, it was each man to his own. I'm looking forward to read his book Legs On Everest - everyone at the conference received a signed copy of the book :)

The team building event this time was one where we had to paint a picture on a panel and when all the panels are put together, it'll create a bigger, meaningful picture. We were divided into 3 large teams (Red, Yellow and Blue) and further split into 8 smaller teams - each team had a picture given to them which they had to draw up on canvas and colour it. The team that has alignment of the drawings and colours that matched the closest when all the panels are put together will be deemed the winning team. There were lots of talks and discussions about what colours to use and the distance of this and that - all fun and games and we only had 1.5 hours to complete our task. Photos taken of our painting:

Ashvin, me, Sridhar, Camila and Jeremy from Team Red


This is what the outcome looks like - all the panels from Team Red put
together to create a meaningful picture


Thought Team Red didn't win, I think we did an AWESOME job :)

Didn't stick around for after work drinks as tonight was also Dvita's farewell drinks so rushed home to shower, change, have dinner and out again to the Malthouse to meet up with everyone. The day has finally arrived and our princess is heading back home to India. Sobs...will miss her lots...will have to keep in touch, my dear! We spent the night doing a pub crawl to Dvita's favourite pubs in town - had several drinks at the Malthouse with friends (I too flitted around catching up with people), then moved on to Mighty Mighty for a bit. Photos taken at the Malthouse: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157620665979358/detail/

James and I were being mischevious spreading rumours of our own and left the others at the Malthouse, went back to the office to collect some things and only met up with the gang some 30 minutes later. Folks like Dvita and Scott were texting me, asking where we were and naughty James said to text back that we went back to his place and got somewhat distracted. I later had Scott come up to me asking if there was something going on between me and James - hahaha! Hi-5 James, someone fell for the trap!! Had my last drink of the night here at Mighty Mighty. Cost me $25 for a vodka and coke, and a Mojito for James and I - bloody expensive!

By the time we were in Mighty Mighty, I was already feeling tired and ready to head home. Several people were wasted (you can tell from their slurred speech and inability to stand properly) but they were still on the roll and continued on to Watusi on Edward St for more drinks. I was there very briefly and left for home about 12am - couldn't keep my eyes open any further.

Was up at 8.30am on Saturday to bake mum's orange carrot cake for Jane's potluck dinner tonight. It was Jane's birthday and she had gathered the gang to have dinner at her place. I had better bring along the cake this time or else I'll hear no end from Erwin - it's his favourite cake and I've not made it for the last couple of potluck dinners :P

Went out for another Zouk workshop (cost $25) with Futa at 11am at Te Whaea - as usual, there was a serious lack of male leads so the girls had to share them during the 2-hour workshop. I'm not going to name names but seriously, boys and girls, when you want to learn a dance that dances this close, please make sure you shower and use deodorant/cologne/perfume. It is an important dance etiquette to adhere to. Can you imagine how suffering it is to put up with someone with a body odour and having to dance chest-to-chest for 2 minutes long? It feels like an eternity of stink! I can still smell it up my nostrils now that I'm blogging about it!! Sheesh...Photos taken at the workshop:
Left at 1pm to put out more flyers. Yes, I gave in and agreed to put out another set of flyers for Dan. Hmm, the sky looks rather dark - hopefully I can put most of them out today...There are actually some quite nice houses hidden in Mt Victoria though I've also seen others that makes me wonder if a witch lives in it (so shabby).

F*&K!! What a rotten day - must have accidentally stepped on some dog poo while putting out the flyers and my car stinks! Already having a super busy day and now I've to wash my car. ARGH!!

Headed over to Newlands to Jane's place about 6pm for dinner. Wow, our birthday girl sure can cook - she made so many yummy Malaysian dishes for us. Hmm, maybe I should consider finding myself a nice Kuching girl instead hehe...Erwin's very lucky to have a partner like her :) Oh, and they have these gorgeous ragdoll cats, so fluffy and nice to cuddle, and well-trained too - I've never in my life seen cats do tricks when told to do so. They would sit, stand, roll and even come when called to by their owners. Impressive! How very fascinating to be able to train a cat!

As we always do, we ate and drank so much and laugh lots. Uncle David and family came to join us much later as they've just returned from a day trip up the mountains. Erwin was really funny - he needed to get another wine glass for Uncle David and the glass was stored high up the cupboard. I happened to be in the kitchen drying the dishes and saw him looking left and right for a chair, then stopped and looked at me (I could see the imaginary glowing lightblulb by his head). Next thing I knew, he picked me up so I could grab the glass for him! Erwin!!!

Left for Wellington City about 12am. Another late night for me...yawn...have to start packing my stuff for my trip home next week later today...

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The Blackening @ BATS Theatre (23rd June 2009)

Went to join Liviu and friends to a play at BATS Theatre tonight called The Blackening by NZ playwriter Paul Rothwell. Cost $20 for the 1-hour long play that started at 7pm. This was the first play I've seen that had an all-male cast - very dramatic, full of emotions and rather Kiwi (slang and part NZ farm culture). Interesting and not quite like what I had imagined the play to be.

The story was about the return of older brother, Mal, to see his younger brothers, Dan and Brody, in the apple orchard they all grew up in. Dan was filled with hatred and resent with Mal, while Brody couldn't really remember his older brother after his accident (fell from an apple tree). The guy who played Brody did a very good job playing this 19-year-old kid who was not quite there in the head (he wasn't exactly that dumb given his quirky comebacks) - his expression and behaviour was very believable and I couldn't help but feel my motherly side coming out, wanting to just hug him and tell him everything is ok. It was rather humourous yet icky that they used a fox/possum skin with head, legs and tail intact as their dog, and was curling the 'thing' around their necks as part of the play. Eww...made me cringed...I take my hat off the guy who played Mal - he was amazing in his act which included smashing an apple on his head AND getting belted on his leg/butt, at every show. Good on ya mate!

I've been to several plays at the BATS and they usually require some form of thinking i.e. you would have the same person play more than one character and needed to get them right so the whole story made sense. I couldn't quite figure out this character May (Dan's wife and former love of Mal) - parts of the play had the guys playing Brody and Mal put on a dressing gown, as if playing the character of May, yet it didn't quite make any sense and one wonders if there was a gay character in the play. Hmm...

Thanks Liviu for organising this - looking forward to attend more cultured events together (he's my new culture-enthusiastic friend)! :) Oh, and you can pick up a free apple near the ticketing counter as you leave, all part of promoting the play haha!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

More catch-ups with friends (20th - 21st June 2009)

Hmm, another yucky Saturday but I MUST get out of the house and go for a swim! Did my 1km swim and felt so good after that :)

I had all intentions to bake a cake for the potluck dinner tonight at the Tay's (I've not done any baking since I moved to my flat in Mt Vic) but Damien rang me up about 12.30ish asking if I could pop over to his place earlier as he needed help with his packing. Oh dear, the poor fella must be all frantic right now having only today to sort out all his stuff. Fine, I'm such an amazing friend so I'll come over to help :P Did a stop at Caffe Lafarre to grab us both takeaway coffees as promised and a quick stop at Miss Wong to pick up a farewell gift for him - bought him a T-shirt with his suburb, Newtown, printed on. Hope it fits ;) Miss Wong is a little boutique located on College St and known to stock this particular brand of T-shirts called In Ya Neighbourhood - you can buy a T-shirt of most suburbs in Wellington from ths shop. I'll have to come back to get one myself!

Oh my god...Damien's place was a mess! He had stuff covering his whole living room floor and there's still SO much to sort out!! Why did you leave everything till the last minute??? Tsk, tsk! Alright, chop, chop, where do you want me to start? For the next 3 hours, I helped the man sort out his packing and took pleasure giving him grief for being so disorganised. Having done a major move like this 3 times in 8 years, I'm now a 'professional' when it comes to packing. I took no excuses or nonsense from Damien when he started to give me reasons why an item should be kept - I went through all his clothes, holding them up one by one, giving him 10 seconds to decide to keep or donate them. "But I got that from blah-blah...," he would start. "No buts. Keep or not," I cut him off. When you pack last minute, you have to be heartless with your possessions and only take/keep what is really necessary. Damien probably hasn't seen this 'heartless' side of me but Helbert has when I helped him pack up for Brazil in February. Hmm, I should consider being a professional packer to these last minute packers as a part-time job...Time ticked by and more friends came over to help Damien pack. He's really fortunate to have such great friends working together to help him out. I had to leave them around 4.30pm as for the dinner. Oh, I'm going to miss you SO much! Take care my dear friend, best wishes and promise me you'll keep in touch!! Couldn't help but felt sad that Damien's leaving us. Sigh...

Back home to shower and out again by 6pm to grab a few items from the supermarket then headed off to Uncle David's place in Brooklyn for dinner get-together with the regular gang. Everyone was here tonight, catching up over another feast of delicious food and drinks. Congratulations to Jane and Urwin who got engaged! So happy for you too!! Always eating and drinking too much, laughing and having a great time with the company :) Left for home around 11pm as I've to be up early Sunday to put out flyers in my suburb.

What flyers, you ask? Well, you know me, always up for new things/experiences and thought it would be interesting to put out flyers for a bit of pocket money. I read in the local papers of an article of this man who 'hung himself up' for 5 hours as a publicity stunt to promote his website Perkjobs - he definitely got the word out there, since he was featured on the front page of the Dominion Post AND got me looking up the website! The website was a free site for people to post or find odd jobs all around NZ. Yes, that was how I found the flyer distributor job - I emailed the person who posted it and it turned out to be the man himself! So I agreed to distribute 500 flyers promoting the website for Dan (the owner) for $35. It wasn't much money but it was ok - got me out of the house walking up and down the hilly roads in Mt Victoria for 2 hours putting out the flyers which was a great alternative to my normal exercise routine plus I got to explore my suburb a bit. Never knew most of the roads led up to walks to the viewing point of Mt Victoria. See? Learnt something new everyday :) Though I have to admit, distributing flyers ain't an easy job in hilly Wellington (and thank god I wasn't cased by dogs). Not too sure I would pick up a job like this again, perhaps try out something else.

Oh, and did I mention to you that Dan was quite cute? I've never really thought Kiwi guys were hot but when Dan turned up at my front door on Wednesday evening to pass me the flyers, I thought "Where the HELL have you been hiding all this while?!". Honestly, I had expected Dan to be an older version of Bob the Builder, not a young man with the right height, good looks, bright eyes, amazing smile, soothing voice and just a great personality. I had given up hope in finding a guy like this in this town - hahaha, I was secretly checking him out while he stood at my front door, telling me all about his website and possible next publicity stunt (I told him to consider hanging himself on the bus). I mean, what were the chances of me randomly meeting a guy like that? James told me ask Dan out when I told him of my bizarre, out-of-this-world incident. James, you little devil, you :P Besides, guys like him would have been already taken! Well, least that put a smile to my week's hecticity (still drooling haha...).

Caught up with Mareike for coffee at Cubita at 2pm. I met her when I was travelling in Chicago in 2007 and now she's here exploring NZ. Was so lovely to catch up and boy did she make me feel like taking off travelling again! The rest of the day was spent chilling out at home, doing some reading, having me-time. Really needed that before another hectic week ahead.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

What a hectic week...(15th-19th June 2009)

All I want now is a break and just do NOTHING! I can't believe how hectic my week has been!! Work has been SO busy with me writing up this business report for the whole freaking week (and getting rather frustrated with it for the fact there's nothing wrong with the business process but the person carrying out the process). How am I supposed to propose a business solution when the problem is the person who asked me to analyse the business process itself???! Urgh...nevermind that, here goes my social calendar filling up with catch-ups with friends for coffees, lunches and dinners everyday of the week! Not that I mind - I do enjoy catching up with my dear friends but life is just so hectic at the moment AND I'm leaving for Malaysia in 2 weeks - still haven't sorted out stuff for my trip yet! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

After a long day at work on Monday, I headed off for a swim. Damn, haven't been exercising as much given the cold winter days and me having a cold. Just felt so grotty not getting enough exercise. Yuck. Anyway, did my 40-minute swim, had dinner and ran off over to James' to watch Transformers (cool flick actually). Was nice to chill out, snuggle-snuggle and have jet planes (I only like the white and purple ones) and ice-cream. Bliss!

Tuesday – another hellish day, hacking away on my work computer to draft this business proposal document. Shoot me, shoot me now! It's just a waste of my time writing up something that is of no business benefit! I just want to tear my hair and scream!! Was already in my pajamas at home in the evening when Scott rang me up to ask if I wanted to walk to Havana Bar together for Bill's birthday drinks. Ok, I'll come along – had been contemplating earlier whether or not to go but since I won't be seeing Bill until after my trip back from Malaysia, I had better make it tonight. Brr, SO cold outside!! Was quite glad I went to Havana. It was only a small crowd but it was nice to catch up, listened to Carlos' gig and had a few salsa dances while I was there for an hour. Home at 11.20pm. So need to catch up with sleep...

Wednesday, I caught up for lunch with Colm at Bambalina's Espresso Bar & Cafe off Dixon St. I've never been here before and frankly, it's a lovely little private place, ideal if you are planning to bring your lunch date here and the food was pretty cheap too. Couldn't believe it's only 2 weeks till both of us headed over to Malaysia (me back home, him to meet up with Kalwant on a group trip to the east coast)! Back to work and out again in the evening to meet Colm, Flo and Rachel for dinner at Fratelli's, a new posh Italian place on Blair St - another first for me! Flo and I have been trying to go to this restaurant several occasions for lunch but it was always closed. Nice food but be careful with your choice - I didn't understand what the ingredients were (didn’t recall they were in English) so ordered their bow pasta dish served with toasted almonds and walnuts, only to find it had so much blue vein cheese in it (and we all know I'm not a huge fan of cheese, more so blue vein). Oh well, better luck next time. The others enjoyed their meals so I will have to come back another time to try the other dishes. Everyone was feeling somewhat tired tonight and both Colm and Rachel were still nursing their cold so we decided to call it a night after dinner. Was great to see the gang – we haven’t caught up for the foursome dinner since our first one at Nicolini’s few months ago.

Thursday was another busy day at work, went to see my chiropractor (regular check-up, this time focusing on my left feet as I've somehow twisted a muscle/tendon while dancing some weeks ago and it throbs whenever I wear heels for too long) and caught up with my Saudi Arabian friend, Eid, at Mojo on Kent Terrace for coffee during lunchtime. Eid used to be Helbert's flatmate and since he (Eid) moved out, I've hardly seen him except the odd occasion where we'll bump into each other in town. It was good to finally do this coffee session and brought each other up to speed with the events in our lives :)

Back to work then got a phone call from Damien around 4pm asking me for a favour to drive him across town to get some paperwork done as his car was at the garage getting serviced. Ah yes, our dear Damien is back in town for a few days before he shoots off to Ireland to start his new life in land of St Paddy’s. He has been so good at planning his vacation and left everything else to the last minute, and now finding himself having to run all over the place sorting things out (I just rolled my eyes at him). Not exactly the way I imagined our farewell catch up to be with me driving him all over town and us catching up as I drove. Popped over to Mediterranean Food Warehouse in Newtown for a quick hot chocolate (note to self to check out their food here next time), rushed home before 6pm so that I could meet up with the person collecting an item I sold on TradeMe, then out again by 7pm to Chris' house for dinner and DVD with him and Dvita. Dinner was awesome - Chris made us vegetarian Thai green curry served over lemon rice which was so yummy and we just chilled watching old reruns of Flight of the Conchords.

Thank god it's Friday and I've FINALLY finished that darn document (now just needed my work colleague to review it before getting it signed off)! Caught up with Kirsty for coffee – haven’t seen her since she left us. Left work early to Volunteer Wellington on Willis St for an interview. Decided that it was about time to get back to volunteering again as I’ve not done so for awhile plus adds skills and experience to my CV as well as an opportunity to meet new people. I used to help out at the Volunteer Wellington centre when I first graduated from university and in 2005, taught ESOL to a new migrant for a few months. I didn’t quite understand why I had to come in for an interview since I was already in the database – according to my interviewer (another volunteer), I will have to come in every time I see a volunteer job vacancy of interest posted on their website. Ok…anyway, left with 2 potential volunteer jobs which I’ve to get in touch with the organisations this week (I would only be starting the job after my return from Malaysia). Wish me luck!

Rush, rush, rush (seriously, I need more hours in a day!)!! Home to shower and change then out again to meet Sonja for dinner at Satay Kampung around 6.30pm. We haven’t had a proper catch up for awhile so it was great to finally make the time to catch up. Headed over to Southern Cross Bar for Fete de la Musique after dinner. Oh my god – this was the first time I’ve ever seen the place SO packed! I had thought it was the usual music gig but this was a music festival with 3 stages set up and different international bands playing and cultural performances in half hour slots at each stage. Damien was having his farewell drinks there as well tonight. Hmm, perhaps not the best suggestion to him given the amount of people here (makes it hard to hear anyone). Flitted around the venue and caught up with many familiar faces who were also there tonight. I was only there to see Samba Funk Quartet and Brazealand – had an awesome time dancing samba with Davi and friends, and later forro dances with Javier and Andrea (oh yeah, Andrea and I totally burned the dance floor, us two girls dancing forro together and she leads very well). Photos taken at Southern Cross tonight: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157620024701106/detail/

Left around 9.30ish for Salsadrome at Wellington Performing Arts with Chris and Dvita. Had a few dances but really wasn’t in the mood to dance (was just tired). I found it quite amusing when Ramnish asked me why haven’t Scott and I started dating when I was texting Scott to come over. Yeah, I know – Scott and I are both single, we are nice people, hang out a lot and get along well but we’ve had this conversation before – even if we were to date, it wouldn’t be an ideal relationship where we were attracted to each others and passionately in love but one that would work out because we were genuinely nice and respected one another. Besides, we’ve a great friendship going on so there is no good enough reason to change that – one thing I’ve learnt from my experience in relationships is that if you plan to date or have anything romantic with someone from within your current social group, make sure you are prepared for any consequences should things not work out because guess what? You two will still have to see each other in social gatherings and if things ended bitterly, it would be awkward for the two, even for their friends. Best still to date someone outside the group, I say.

Dvita took off shortly after we arrived leaving me and Chris behind so the 2 of us headed over to New Orleans Dinner Club to the Wellington Heads gig. I knew James was there with the swing crowd so got Chris to come along for him to see what swing was like. Had a cocktail while watching the crowd dance to the live band and had a fun dance with James to finish off my night. And James, a darling as usual, walked me home at midnight when the gig finished, arms linked together :)

5th night in a row I’ve been out…I so need a break…I SO NEED A BREAK!

Friday, 12 June 2009

The Clean House @ Circa Theatre (12th June 2009)

Caught up with Claus for dinner and to see a play at the Circa Theatre this evening. He mentioned about going to a play last night but I was busy getting dressed up for the XT Launch Party and just told him to 'surprise me'. Well, it indeed was a surprise since we had 2 other friends, Octavien and Jackie, join us for dinner and the play (I didn't mind the company - the more, the merrier). Plus, this was my first time to Circa Theatre. I know, I know - how could I have not been to this theatre when I'm into artsy stuff? There's always a first!

Me and the boys met up with Jackie for a quick dinner at Thai Express on Cuba Mall then headed over to Circa Theatre to see The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl. "This is what we're going to see tonight," said Claus as we walked over from his office to dinner, waving the promotional leaflet at me. As per the leaflet, The Clean House is an award-wining, romantic comedy about a surgeon who cannot convince her whimsical Brazilian maid to clean her house. I've read the review of the show earlier this week and it mentioned that one of the cast members spent some time with Wellington-based Brazilians to learn their English accent and flamboyant behaviours for her role as a Brazilian maid. That's just AWESOME!! SO looking forward to see the play :) It was a preview show i.e. pre-opening show and cost us $20 each for a general admission ticket. The theatre itself reminded me of BATS theatre - very intimate i.e. the audience sat right up to the stage but in a much bigger room than in BATS.

The play was 2 hours long including a 15 minute interval. I highly recommend that you see it if you haven't! None of us expected the play to be SO amazing - it was funny yet heart-warming, presented so cleverly in the small stage with many props, sliding doors, music, lighting and a projector screen. Erin Banks, who played the Brazilian maid, Matilde, was fabulous - she did an amazing job bringing out the Latina flair in her act, speaking in Portuguese at times and spoke English with an accent. I was amazed at her ability to remember the words and tell jokes in Portuguese, even though I doubt any of the crowd understood what it meant but just watching her wicked eyes and cheeky smile, it made the audience laugh. We asked Claus during the interval to translate the joke Matilde told us at the start of the play and we all laughed when he said he couldn't really understand the Portuguese either! Hahaha!!

The story was about 5 main characters: Matilde - a young Brazilian lady who hates to clean, often reminiscing her dead parents and dreaming up the perfect joke; Lane - Matilde's successful surgeon boss who just wants her house cleaned; Virginia - Lane's slightly depressed sister who just couldn't stop cleaning and even came up with a secret arrangement with Matilde to clean her sister's house; Charles - Lane's husband who falls so deeply in love with one of his patients; and Ana - a free-spirited and dying Argentinian woman who was Charles' new love. I couldn't quite figure out how Virginia did that T-shirt fold - she just nipped two ends of the T-shirt and vuala! All nicely folded, like what you see in display stores!! A very beautiful play that will make you laugh so much yet touch you deeply as you watch the passion between Alan Lovell and Jane Waddell who also played Matilde's very in love imaginary parents. Thanks Claus for this 'surprise'! I LOVED it ;)

Thursday, 11 June 2009

XT Launch Party & Samba Funk Quartet (11th June 2009)

I've been down with the cold again (damn it, damn it!) - was working from home Monday and Tuesday and still feeling all clogged up when I went back to the office on Wednesday. Frankly, I was not in the mood to party but what the hell? I needed to get out of the house and a pick me up from feeling so miserable and went along to the XT Launch Party hosted by my work on Thursday night at the Duxton Hotel. It was a party to celebrate the recent launch of our new mobile network and everyone who worked on the project was invited to the event. And yes, Telecom folks love costume parties and this one was no exception - we had to dress up as rock stars!

Headed back to Costume Cave to see what costumes they had left during lunchtime on Wednesday and walked out with a bag for items for the 80s cartoon character Jem from Jem and the Holograms. By now, I'm sure you would have guessed that I also wanted to be Jem (of the many possible characters I would like to be) which was how I ended up with the costume (coincidentally it fitted me) AND that I love to dress up. Oh yeah, I DO love dressing up...James and I laughed at the fact that my future boyfriend would be so lucky to have me hehe! Cost me $45 to rent the whole attire which included boots, tights, necklaces, a pink wig, pink top, belt and pink sunnies. Tried to look for a cheap microphone as a prop but ended up with a blown up guitar instead from the $2 shop. I had to make my own Jem red star earrings with cut out stars from red shimmer paper stuck together with blu-tack on an existing pair of earrings, and blu-tacked a few yellow stars to my black boots for a rocker look.

Left work a bit earlier so I can get dressed for the party. Urgh, it is so hard to fit the wig on when I've got so much hair! Hopefully the plaits would stay and the wig wouldn't fall off...hmm...The pink patch on my eye was drawn on with a peach-coloured lipstick so I would look like the cartoon character. Hmm, I kind of looked like a Barbie doll too...

Not many of my work colleagues were going to the party (some were not invited - the event was only open to those on the guest list) so had James accompany me to the party. Besides, I needed an escort what more with me and the pink wig. Didn't want to be heckled on my way to and fro the party. We headed over to Duxton Hotel around 5.30pm. I was getting a little worried as we didn't see anyone in costume on the way there. Oh no, I wouldn't want to be the only one in costume...We walked into the lifts in the hotel with a bunch of guys and one of them piped up saying "Thank god I didn't wear a costume" to which I retorted "It's ok - I love the attention" to the 5 other men stuck in the lift with us until the lift doors dinged open on the 6th floor. I could hear James snicker in the background :P

Woah, they were not kidding about the guest list - if you weren't on the list, you ain't going in! We got given an XT star keychain each on entry and like all Telecom parties, free flowing alcohol and food throughout the evening. Only 2 of my team mates were there and I hardly knew anyone except for the boys from James' team so hung out with them most of the night. Half the crowd seemed to be from Alcatel Lucent and everyone was in their little groups. Many people were dressed up so I didn't feel left out. Honestly, I'm not sure if people knew who I was and probably thought I was a Pink wannabe or an Asian rock star of sorts - didn't win a prize for my costume though :/ There were several awesome costumes - David Bowie, KISS, Freddie Mercury, The Beatles etc. Just shows how much us Wellingtonians are into dressing up!

Thanks to my work colleague, Mehrdad, I had the opportunity to take a photo with our big boss, Paul Reynolds. Wow, he really is tall! I only came up to his chest!! Spent the rest of my evening flitting around the place with James, taking photos with random strangers and dancing to the live band. Partway through the night, Mark ran off with my camera, again! Oh well, at least I'll be in the photos instead of the person taking the photos :) Go crazy, Mark! Photos taken at the party: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157619615725361/detail/

Left with James for Havana Bar around 9ish to see Elaine's gig with Samba Funk Quartet. I was invited to her other gig on Tuesday but felt too ill to go so had to show up tonight - she has been giving me a hard time whenever I see her because I've not been to any of her recent gigs. Opsie...Didn't stick around for long as my feet were sore from all the dancing earlier. I was definitely an eye sore with my pink wig at Havana and surprised a few friends who were there including Claus who was back from his trip in Australia. "Wow, you look hot..." he whispered in my ear when I greeted him. "What did you say?" I asked and he whispered in my ear again exactly what he just said. I heard that the first time - I was just being cheeky getting him to say it again. Hahaha....Left with James around 10pm and he's such a gentleman walking me home. Photos taken at Havana: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157619616111687/detail/

Monday, 8 June 2009

Stacey's housewarming - Land of the Rising Sun (7th June 2009)

Caught up with Scott over breakfast at Caffe Lafarre this morning. We were both invited to Stacey's housewarming costume party tonight so had to find costumes for ourselves today. Stacey's housewarming was themed Land of the Rising Sun which meant we could go as anything Japanese. Honestly, I haven't given it much thought and went to Costume Cave with Scott with no idea what I wanted to dress up as (he was looking for a ninja costume, found one to suit and really looked the look!). Hmm, the geisha costume is too large...anime seems about right but they didn't have any specific Japanese cartoon character in full suit...hmm, what about a Japanese school girl outfit? Oh yeah, I've ALWAYS wanted to dress up like a Japanese school girl - cute and innocent yet so naughty hehe... :P Cost me $15 to rent a blue school tie, a short blue school skirt and knee-high white socks. All I needed was a white shirt and ta-da! Oh, and maybe figure out how to tie up my hair :) Pity no proper school shoes so have to make do with whatever I had.

Back home to grab my swim gear and headed off for a swim. Caught up with Rosel and Ron for coffee and a walk along Oriental Parade in the afternoon. Ron's going away abroad for 3 months so it was nice to catch up before he took off. Rosel came home with me to watch me cook dinner and kept me company till I had to get ready for the party. Will catch up again when you come back from Oz, hun!

Rush, rush, rush! Shower, put on the costume, f^%k - can't get this tie right, now need to fix up this eyeliner blotch -ARGHHHHHHHHH! Still need to plait my hair!! Breathe, baby, breathe...Got myself all done minus the tie which I just couldn't figure out how to get it right, then headed over to the Tasting Room on Courtenay Place to see James, only to find he wasn't there. James, where ARE you??! Urgh, nevermind. Instead of looking like an idiot waiting for James to 'appear' after 10 minutes, I headed over to Hummingbird around 7.45pm for a beer with my friend, Greg, who was up again from Christchurch. Greg was out with his Welly mates and it was nice to see him again. The last time I saw him was when he was here for the Sevens in February. Hehe, we were laughing at the fact that everytime he catches up with me, I'm always in a costume of some sort. I know! What a coincidence :) I had to ask the boys to help fix up my tie - all I needed was a loosen up tie and the boys did a good job helping me tie one. I wasn't going for the 'proper' look, if you know what I mean *wink* Oh, and I was getting the looks from people in the bar. Wondered what went through the minds of these older men and women who were there...Scott was too chicken to come out to meet me at the bar and said I could have all the attention to myself. Whatever :P

Popped my head to the local dairy to get 2 Chuppa Chups - yes, I needed the lolly as my prop for my Japanese school girl look ;) Turned out James was in the Malthouse and gave me the wrong location. Too bad, no time to hang out now. Around 8.30pm, Scott and I carpooled up to Vogeltown to where Stacey was living. Wow, she and her flatmates did a fabulous job decorating the whole house to suit the theme! Japanese signs with English meanings on the doors to the different places in the house, little Japanese (or Asian) decorations everywhere and she even made sushi for the guests! Oh, and they made this lovely apple-green tea and peach schnapps punch that tasted so refreshing. Yum...

It was still quiet when we got there and Scott had the pleasure of welcoming guests into the house in full ninja flare. Almost everyone who came to the party got dressed up and we took so many crazy photos. Scott's mask was actually a tied up black t-shirt (you can Google this for tying instructions) and he was being all silent like ninjas do while friends tried to guess endlessly who he was. He couldn't speak since we would all know it was Scott in his American accent :) Stacey's flatmate, Jayne, was also dressed up as a Japanese school girl but she was an evil one, the character Crazy 88, from the Kill Bill movie (yes, she does have a chain with a sickle at the end of it...scary!). Dan absolutely cracked us up when he walked in all donned up as a geisha - he walked and moved like one too, which made us laugh even harder! Oh dear me, the tears in my eyes!!

From the kitchen, we could hear some of the girls crooning away to songs on the SingStar in the karaoke room (I'm not a fan of karaoke). Some of the singing was, well, how do I put it, a bit off key. More drinks anyone? A few of us headed into the living room for some salsa dancing and I must say I was impressed at how Dan managed to dance a whole song with me in his Japanese clogs. Hahaha! Vanessa, another teacher from Full Swing, was also there tonight so we did a swing number together and watch her and partner, Murray, dance a full song. They looked awesome doing all the cool swing moves!

Left around 12.30am with Scott back into town. Thanks Stacey for having us here tonight - it was good fun :) Had Scott drop me off in town and went to find James who was in Madame Jojo's with his friends on a stag night out. What??! You didn't tell me your were in a STAG do!! I am SO going to kill you if I get anyone asking me which agency I came from. Me and my costume in a stag do just gives such a wrong idea...Argh, someone groped my butt! JAMES!!!! James had to play the protective boyfriend, taking my hand and dragging me past the crowd but that didn't stop random strangers trying their hands on my tush. Sheesh! I've got a cute tush, I know, but ask permission first! Grr...

Left James with his boys who were bar-hopping around town and went to catch up with Greg who was at Lagerfield. The two of us went to Boogie Wonderland for a margarita (hmm, don't like the salt rim with the drink) and had several fun dances to the cheesy 80s music which made me laugh heaps. Really Greg, I wouldn't believe you are a salsa dancer because you dance like a ceroc dancer! I could feel eyes watching us as we danced - has to be my costume AND our awesome dancing ;) Dancing at Boogie Wonderland is also a tradition for me and Greg when he comes down to Wellington (other than me in costume haha!). Bid Greg farewell around 2.30am and headed for home. Photos taken of my night out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157619268053903/detail/

Friday, 5 June 2009

Freeze! & jazz at New Orleans Dinner Club (5th June 2009)

I've on several occasions talked to friends about participating in flash mobs, a large group get-together in a public place to perform an action for a brief period of time, then disperse. When Alicia sent me a link via Facebook of Freeze NZ, I was all geared up for the event. This was exactly something like a flash mob, with the only difference that it had a purpose - for a united action on climate change. Why freeze? Well, as we are all aware, global warming is upon us but nobody wants to make a move to make the change. Just like freezing, freezing on your own is scary but when you do it in a group, it gets easy and this is how climate change should be.

At 1pm today, people across New Zealand 'froze' for 5 minutes. Anyone can take part and you can freeze in anyway you please: hugging, mid-stride, kissing, eating etc. Pretty much anything! I took Dvita along with me during our lunch break to Grey St where the 'freeze' was held and we stood there for 5 minutes in a mid hi-5. There was a lady on a trumpet and a man on a saxaphone who both blew into their instruments to start and end the 'freeze' period (and they had to freeze too!). People were scattered all around Grey St (Lambton Quay end) and several others across the traffic lights from where we stood. It was SO cool to be part of this event even though my arm was sore holding my right hand still for 5 minutes. From the corner of my eye, I could see pedestrians walking past, some unaware of what was happening (could see their puzzled looks), others taking photos and videos of the whole thing. Unfortunately I couldn't take any photos on my camera since I'm part of it :) Toooooooooooo! And everyone unfroze, hugged and shortly dispersed. AWESOME! Photos taken pre- and post-freeze: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157619348699652/detail/

Here's a video clip on YouTube of the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phpR3fvcN84&feature=player_embedded

Back to work and us girls caught up with Colm and Flo for drinks after work at General Practioner at 6pm. Ah, I needed a drink - it has been a long week and was nice to just chill out with good friends to end the work week. Dvita and Colm were up to their usual misfits and this was the result of it with Dvita's hairband:

I have no words to describe Colm's coconut tree hairstyle...and he had it on the whole time we were around for drinks! Absolutely no shame!! :P

Left the group around 8pm for home, whipped up something quick for dinner before James popped in to see me around 9pm to chill and waited for me to get ready to head out with him to see band Wellington Heads play at New Orleans Dinner Club tonight. I wasn't up for dancing but didn't mind enjoying the jazz band over a glass of wine. Most of the swing dance crowd were there tonight and surprisingly much friendlier to me than my last experience at Happy Feet. Hmm, I wondered if it had anything to do with the alcohol or just the location but I had a good time being in company of nice people and watched them dance to the wonderful music. Was feeling tired so left around 11ish for home. Photos taken at New Orleans Dinner Club: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157619265995325/detail/