Tuesday, 29 September 2009

WOW 2009 (29th September - 4th October 2009)

It is WOW season again in Wellington and I'm SO happy to be volunteering as a programme seller again this year on the 2nd week of the show! Similar to last year, I had to work 2 hours prior to each show for 6 days selling programmes and in exchange, get a free ticket to the show.

Day 1 was a bit of a rush to get to TSB Arena after a busy day at work but just had to stop to take a photo of the City Gallery that is now covered with coloured dots (some exhibition must be on):

Looks quite bizarre! Must check out what’s happening at City Gallery later tonight…

Ooo, this year we got nicer shiny hats to wear and even a bag with goodies - a WOW crew t-shirt and volunteer pass which we had to wear when volunteering, a small bottle of water, a WOW badge and programme. Best of all, our names were printed in the programme this year! Yay!! It may not mean much for some but it's a sense of appreciation and recognition of the volunteers' time put in for the show. So awesome!

I was a roamer programme seller the whole week, walking around the foyer in the midst of the excited and cheerful crowd. Sold my 150 programmes every day from 6-8pm and still helped volunteers Tam and Kerry who were stationed at the foyer booth sell their lot. I love being a roamer, getting to mingle with the crowd and in between took photos of and with the pre-show entertainers who were out and about entertaining the streams of people flooding TSB Arena. There were a lot more pre-show entertainers this year - dancers dressed up a tui birds, Cupids, housewives, furry monsters, mime performers etc. So much fun watching them interact with the crowd and they never fail to make me laugh and smile. Despite having to work here after a long day at work, I feel uplifted and energised. Photos taken while working: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622539432712/detail/

I would meet at least 1 person I knew each day - yes, I do know a lot of Wellingtonians hehe...On Friday, I saw Frank Mount, a man of notable rank in Telecom and walked up to him to introduce myself. The poor man had no idea who I was (his face was blank) and I had to tell him how I tree up to him in the Telecom hierachy - you could see the sudden relief in his face. Friends Karen, Daemon, Scott and Hannah were also seen passing through during the week.

I also attended James' birthday drinks at Southern Cross on Friday and had a fun time dancing swing with the birthday boy as well as swing dance friends Daemon and Dan to band Wellington Heads. I'm still not very confident with my swing moves but the boys were nice and made my dancing experience a good one :)

Oh yeah, we volunteers at WOW get to attend the after-show crew party this year and the theme is Space. Sioned, the Merchandising Co-ordinator (all volunteer programme sellers report to her and I've worked with her too last year), insisted that us programme sellers attend the not-to-be-missed party. Sounds like a plan but when would I wear? Hmm...

Was up early on Saturday for a swim and caught up with Jonathan for brunch a Baobab Cafe in Newtown at 11am - cool little cafe which I've not been too. Nice food and a very relaxed atmosphere. We took the outside table and were entertained by a busker playing the guitar nearby as we enjoyed our meals, coffees and chit-chat. I enjoy my catch-ups with Jonathan and was disappointed to find out that he will be moving to Canada at the end of the year. I’ve only started to get to know you better and you’re leaving?! Hmm, we’ll have to catch up more often before you go!

Headed back into town to meet Scott after brunch to swap photos from our trip at 1pm and was telling him about my make-up dilemma for the space costume party I'm attending on Sunday - I have an idea in my head of the futuristic look to suit my silver dress and white boots I rented from Costume Cave for the party (the costume is kind of a blend between a 60’s go-go dancer and Barbarella) but wasn't sure how I was going to get it done. Scott was nice enough to offer his face paints and even did a few test runs on me, making me look more like a panda than a futuristic bombshell haha!

Tam and I went to see the show tonight at 8pm after our volunteer work and I must say, it wasn't as impressive as the one last year, kind of didn't end with a big bang. This year's show was hosted by the Topp Twins, NZ's folk singing sister comedy duo playing their various characters on stage. There were lots more dancing this time and they had a Man Unleashed section which as the name implies, showcased men with to-die-for bodies in all sorts of artsy costumes. And they were quite a tease too, doing the whole cowboy hip wiggle dance at the crowd along the aisles! The organisers at WOW must have heard about the man drought in Wellington and brought so many together in one show :P

The winner of the Supreme Award this year was an entry from Alaska. I wonder how did he ship the dress made of wood in one piece to NZ...The costume entries are always impressive and creative. Mum should totally submit an entry - these sort of creative arts is so her thing! The show is 2 hours long with no interval so make sure you head to the WC before you get to your seat for you do not want to miss a single bit of the spectacular show! I'm glad tomorrow is the last day of WOW – it has been an insane week and though I've had fun, I do want to get back to routine and catch up with sleep.

Sunday was the last day of the show and I volunteered from 3-5pm then rushed home to dress up for party. Had to get Priscilla to help tie a high ponytail for me with the aid of Andy’s hair gel to prop it up. Shall be good fun when washing the thick layer of hair gel off my hair later tonight…Walked over to the party at Temperance Bar at 8pm – the whole venue was booked out for the private function! 3 floors all to ourselves!! The place was decorated to suit the space theme with an inflatable tunnel set up from the entrance to the bar and the venue ‘smoked up’. Even the bouncers at the front doors were donned in Star Wars costumes haha! The party itself was awesome with the majority of the crew dressed up in costumes – Star Trek characters, aliens, space cadets etc. One of the dancers wore a costume that had small canvas blocks hanging on his top – the blank ones are for you to write down your number so he could call. How very creative (and cheeky)! I almost couldn’t recognise Carrie who was a blue Smurf-like space cadet. Great job, Carrie!

Tiara Hymen (a pre-show entertainer now dressed in drag) was the MC for the party, whizzing around in her (or his??) roller skates, pouting her lips and posing for cameras. Finger food was served throughout the evening and each person is entitled for 2 free drinks at the bar. The party kicked off with thank you speeches from the organisers, a best-costume competition, followed by dance performances by the WOW dancers (damn, the boys danced more femininely and sexily than the girls!) and singing. We then had a DJ playing lots of cool dance tunes – my new friends and I had a ball jumping up and down on the dance floor, laughing at some of our silly antics and photos.

“Are you gay?” asked hottest-looking male dancer I’ve seen tonight. What??! Not sure if I should feel offended by the comment or it was a joke but that was not an ideal opening line when trying to get to know someone…he just dropped several levels on my hotness scale…

Left the party at 11.30pm for home. God, these boots are not made for walking let alone dancing – my feet are killing me! It was a pity that I had to work tomorrow for I would have loved to party a little longer. Photos taken at the WOW party: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622539643724/detail/

Looking forward to the next WOW!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Tulip Sunday & World Press Photo 09 (27th September 2009)

Was up at 9.30am to do my washing, had breakfast, then caught up with Chris around 11am at his place before heading to the Botanical Gardens for Tulip Sunday. Today was also the start of daylight savings where we put our clocks an hour forward - a sign that warmer weather is coming!

Tulip Sunday is an annual Dutch-themed event held at the Botanical Gardens where the whole family can enjoy a day of fun activities, food, performances and walk the gardens filled with thousands of glorious tulips in an assortment of colours. It has been a few years since I last went to the event (I think the last time I was at Tulip Sunday was back in 2004 when I was still living in Kelburn) but it was pretty much the same as I remembered - took plenty of photos of the gorgeous tulips and also locals of Dutch heritage wearing their traditional costumes :)

Though the sun was out, it was still a bit chilly with the occasional spring drizzle but that didn't deter the many Wellingtonians who came out today for the event. Families were having picnics all around the gardens and we joined the crowd at the Soundshell to watch the performances lined up for the day. We were entertained by the Young Tulip Dancers, Dutch kids who performed several dances to music that sounded like children nursery rhymes, all clad in their traditional costume. This was followed by jazz band, The Pitts (oh, James would have loved to be here to dance!) - the drummer's drum set was an assemble of trash cans and frying pans, and he cracked me up when he used an eggbeater on the trash can to create music!

Hmm...hungry...left Chris at the Soundshell and went to queue to buy a Rookworst, a type of Dutch sausage, that was sold at one of the stalls in the gardens today. Cost me $2.50 and some 15-minute wait because the line was SO long. Tasted alright, but still hungry :/

Stayed on for a bit to listen to another jazz band, 5 O'clock Shadow, and left about 2pm for coffee at Mojo on Kumutoto Plaza near Queens Wharf. Photos taken today at Tulip Sunday: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622414314099/detail/

I was enjoying my coffee and cake while Chris was taking a photo of the cafe only to get told off by the manager! She didn't want him taking any photos of the place, which we thought was bizarre. Hmm, perhaps she was afraid we would copy the design? Anyway, this was the photo that got Chris in trouble:
Scott came over to join us shortly and us 3 headed over to Shed 11 to see the World Press Photo 09 exhibition that was currently on from the 11th of September till 4th October. And Happy Birthday again, Scott! Yes, it was his birthday today even though we've celebrated it so many times over the past week hehe...

Cost us $2 each for entry to the photo exhibition and the press photography were very well taken. The exhibition features 200 photos and is regarded the most pretigious international contest in professional press photography. I could feel the pain and agony from some of the photos taken in war-torn or post-disaster countries - dead bodies, bloodshed, tears, loss. Some were nanosecond shots in the most dangerous of places, which made us wonder how on earth the photographer managed to get out alive and not get shot. My favourite photo was the one that had Michelle Obama taking a nap on the husband's shoulder - just shows that with responsibility and commitment, sacrifices need to be made to achieve their goals. Photos taken at the exhibition:
Outside Shed 11 where the photo exhibition was held

In the queue to get into Shed 11

Photo taken by Chris of Wellingtonians admiring the photos

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Good Night - The End (26th September 2009)

Spent most of the afternoon catching up with sleep and went to meet Liviu and friends at Downstage Theatre around 7.30pm to see the play Good Night - The End that was showing from 11th Sept - 3rd Oct. Liviu and I had organised to see the play tonight because I won't be available in the evenings the week ahead as I'm volunteering at WOW again this year. Tired as I am from the trip home, I'm going to drag myself to the play!

Cost us $45 each for the 2-hour play with an interval in between. Good Night - The End is a play that looks into the daily lives of 3 Grim Reapers trying to kill time in a kitchen when not at work, counting down the days to Christmas and the random Italian-speaking playboy boss (he wasn't really speaking Italian but a mix of Latin languages jumbled up) popping into view out of the blue yet cracks me up everytime.

The show started off with the Italian sitting behind a screen, learning to speak English by listening to the language tape, followed by total darkness and the Grim Reapers emerging on different sides of the stage, speaking in Darth Vader-like voices, neon lights and smoke surrounding them. The rest of the show pretty much didn't make a whole lot of sense but it was comical to watch how these Grim Reapers interact with each other like young hostel students. Harvester of Sorrow was always making Milo and trying to deal with cancer (aren't Grim Reapers dead??), Unavoidable Destiny just doesn't stop eating and poor Transitional Friend gets bullied by the other 2 Grim Reapers all the time (he's so pitiful and near in tears, makes me want to mother him and tell him it's all ok). And L'amministrazione, the boss, would appear randomly to talk to them about the Christmas party in his made-up Italian. His appearances were funny - one had him slowly removing part of a picture hanging on the wall and emerging, 'blending' his head into the painting. I laughed when I saw that and the others were still glued to the reapers not realising what had happened. Another occasion, the Italian came out from the floor, supposedly being cased by dogs from hell and he was checking himself to make sure his nuts were still intact and thanked god. Those tight lycra pants of his imprinted everything, and I do mean everything...

The play ended with an illuminated dance performance by the 4 actors in skeleton suits which was awesome. Would I recommend the play? Well, I suppose so. It was very creative despite not having a logical progression in its story. Perhaps this is the new-age type of play? I don't know but it sure got quite some laughs out of me and kept me entertained.

Around 10pm, Liviu, Jonathan and his sis, Michelle, and I all walked over to Havana Bar to check out Carlos' gig with Son Clave. Probably wasn't such a wise idea to be there and I was trying my hardest to social with friends, most of whom were keen to hear stories of my Tonga trip. Danced a bit, even tried teaching Jonathan some salsa and cha-cha which was fun. Left before midnight and walked home - couldn't stand it anymore. I was just so exhausted.

Walking home on my own, it hit me that I was back in Wellington, back to the reality of life and no more on holiday. Strange feeling of sadness to be back...weird...

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Scott & my joint birthday dinner (18th September 2009)

Scott and I decided to have another joint birthday party this year, this time a dinner at Nicolini's Italian Cafe Bar and Bistro on Courtenay Place, instead of booking out a whole bar like we did previous year. We have so many friends in common and it is just easier to have everyone attend the same event. It's become a tradition for me and Scott but I'm not sure how long this tradition will last given Scott's leaving in December :( You've got to come back in September next year and have another joint party in Wellington, Scott! And we are flying to Tonga tomorrow - yippee!! It's a real pity that none of our other friends could make it on the trip as many are returning to their home countries at the end of the year and couldn't afford another trip between now and then. Oh well, we'll have a blast anyway and make them jealous with our photos...muah-ha-ha...

The birthday celebrations began with pre-dinner drinks at Betty's on Blair Street, a new bar in town that I've not been to yet. It was a pretty last minute decision so only very few people turned up to meet me there - James and I were the first there around 7.30pm (James was kind enough to escort me to Betty's from my place). Betty's is an interesting bar, smallish place with a projector screening digital art shots on the walls, changing every few minutes. And they have a pretty good cocktail list too. I bought us a round of Belle Fluer cocktails that had a lychee base - cost $17 each which was a bit steep but it turned out really good. Photos taken at Betty's: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622538920186/detail/

Boys Liviu and Jonathan popped in to join us and bless Jonathan, he brought me a bottle of wine as a birthday gift. No need for gifts people - your presence is all I ask of! Thanks for the wine, Jonathan! Scott and Hannah dropped in around 8pm. Ah, finally got to meet this mysterious Hannah that my dear friend Scott has been dating and telling me all about - I'm surprised we have not crossed paths given we are both salsa and samba dancers. Well, I suppose we tend to know the boys than girls on the dance floor. Hmm...she reminds me somewhat of Megan Fox at a glance...nice work Scott, very nice...:P

Around 8.15pm, all 6 of us made our way over to Nicolini's for the 8.30pm dinner party. I was slightly irritated by the fact Scott and I specifically requested for our group of 28 to be seated in the back courtyard but instead were placed out in the front across 2 long tables. Nevermind that, half of my guests had to stand around because our second table still had diners finishing their dinners. What the hell?? I was already not happy when we had to get everyone to pay Scott for their dinner in advance (we were on the $39 per head pre-set menu which included garlic bread, choice of 1 entree, main and dessert from the list provided and complimentary coffee) because Scott was told that if we had no-shows, we had to fork out the cost, and now this? I wasn't impressed at all and I don't think those diners like us standing around willing them to move quickly too. I'm not sure I would host another large group dinner here next time...

Dribs and drabs everyone piled in. Lots of chatter over wine and food, introductions of friends from different social networks and Scott and I leaving our seats time and again to chat with our friends up and down the tables. More birthday presents - got a cute birthday card from Chris that made me laugh (had a picture of a hamster dancing) and a gift from Stacey as well. And we also had lovely Antje at our party, who was probably feeling jetlag as she has just flown in from Germany today (she's visiting for a few weeks). Thanks, you guys! Photos taken at dinner: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622540308528/detail/

Oh my god, I'm SO full! After having garlic bread and my entree, I could hardly fit in the main let alone the dessert - the servings were huge! Thankfully no more dramas with Nicolini's the rest of the evening and everyone had a good time. We said our goodbyes to friends around midnight and split into small groups - some went salsa dancing, a few of us went off for drinks and the rest headed home.

I was left with boys Colm, Liviu, James and Chris and 5 of us headed over to another new bar in town I've been hunting for ages called The Library. I read a review the the papers not long ago that it was the hottest new bar in town located on Courtenay Place but I work in the area and just couldn't find the entrance to the place! Turned out to be through the door next to Burger King where the Natural Health Centre is located (pass through the door and head towards the back and upstairs). The Library is a boutique high-end cocktail and late-night dessert bar, beautifully decorated to suit the library theme, books and books everywhere with little nooks and sofas to chill out on. Quite similar to Hooch, Hawthorn Lounge and Motel Bar, it has a romantic atmosphere with subtle glowing candles here and there. There was even a jazz band playing tonight - fabulous! Colm was sweet to buy me a birthday drink - I had a Rossini, a strawberry bubbly, nice and light to the taste. James and Colm left after one drink and the remaining 3 of us left around 1am. Photos taken at The Library: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622538956064/detail/

Thanks everyone for coming to the birthday party - I had a great time in awesome company :)

Friday, 18 September 2009

Days leading up to Tonga trip (14th - 17th September 2009)

Another extremely busy week for me at work and in my social calendar. I SO need a break...

Went for a free 1/2 hour consultation with a life consultant at The Choice (same folks that hosted singles' events in town which I had previously attended) on Ghuznee St on Tuesday. Not that I think there's anything wrong with my life and lifestyle that I feel the need for someone to give me advice on but just plain curious what on earth does a life consultant do. It seemed to me a life consultant is like a personal trainer who uses fancy tools to help you keep track of your goals and/or desires and work with you along the journey to achieve them. It was quite interesting to chat with the consultant who in the brief session told me that my life is all fine and dandy but I'm not doing anything to find a life partner. She told me that though I have a very active social life, my goal/focus is about the event or catching up with friends rather than going out there to seek a man, which could be the reason why I've had not much luck in this area of my life. Right...I'm not 100% sure I agree with her insight about my love life though come to think of it, I do go to events with no expectation of meeting a man. Hmm...

I also got to meet my job seeker in person today - yes, I've finally been matched up with a job seeker for my volunteering role as a job mentor :) Rosette has recently moved to NZ from Philippines and though she is currently working, she's seeking for a permanent role that's more relevant to her qualifications and experience. My job is to assist and support her along this journey - first things first, I need to review your CV and cover letter!

Today was also the first Tuesday that I didn't have to teach samba gafieira so went out to Havana Bar to check out Elaine's Samba Funk Quartet gig. I've never been able to attend her Tuesday gigs because of dance practice but now that class has ended, I've got no excuse! The Taylors were there (where is Christian??) and so were many familiar faces - lots of catching up to do in between dances. Liviu always cracks me up with his own version of samba dancing :)

Wednesday was my final burlesque class for the term and Grace taught us as few routines of all the moves we have learnt in the last 5 weeks put together. We got to pretend to be characters today - cutesy Betty Boo or sexy vixen, quite opposite characters I say. Fantastic job, Grace, for her first burlesque term. I had heaps of run and I look forward to Level 2 class ;)

On Thursday, I caught up with Liz for dinner and we went to see the movie Young Victoria together (I had won 2 tickets to the movie) ,then home to pack up my bags for the trip until mignight. Feeling quite burnt-out and sleep deprived but I've got no choice for I won't have the time to pack tomorrow since that's when Scott and I are throwing our joint birthday dinner!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Christian's farewell & afternoon at the beach with friends (13th September 2009)

It was Christian's farewell brunch today and a group of us friends gathered together for yum char at Regal Restaurant on Courtenay Place around 11am. Only less than 2 weeks to go and Christian will be leaving us for Newcastle (UK) where he will be starting his new life as a PhD student. You will be SO dearly missed, Christian, and all the best! His departure also means the end of our weekly gafieira class - it's sad that the class has finally come to an end. Christian's done a great job keeping it going after Helbert left. Thanks so much!

My god can we eat! Dribs and drabs, more and more friends came and we ended up having to squash closely to fit into the round table - 16 was the final count. Poor Annie was eating from her lap! It was nice to see everyone, some of whom I've not caught up with for a long time. Photos taken at yum char:

Willy-John, Stephen, Kim and me

Christian, Robert, Stacey, Paul, Ethel and Robyn

An hour later and still going strong eating...

Making a face as Willy-John was snapping photos

Some 1.5 hours of chit-chat and yummy food later, you could see we couldn't take another bite as everyone was lying back against the chair. Tummy full!

Clever Ramnish suggested we all head to the beach for some salsa after lunch - great idea! It was a beautiful sunny day today, just perfect for the beach :) Some of us went along with Ramnish over to Dicksmith's to buy a mini speaker for his ipod and met up with the others who where headed for Oriental Bay beach to chill and boogie. I love our salsa on the beach Sundays - 1 ipod, a mini speaker and off the salsa crowd goes bare feet dancing on sand, at times causing a crowd to gather or stop to watch us having heaps of fun. Photos taken at the beach:

The Asian peace pose!

Boys Ramnish and Christian getting their vitamin D

And here's lovely Annie :)

Dancing gafieira with Ramnish on bare feet

Hmm, that speaker didn't last very long - needed to be fully charged before use but nevermind, we've had a few cool dances. More to come as the weather gets warmer!

Liviu came to meet up with me around 2.30pm and we enjoyed the rest of the sunny day catching up over coffee. Haven't seen him in 2 weeks - much to chat about! It was an amazing Sunday spent in good company of friends in the sun :)

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Death By Chocolate (5th September 2009)

Scott came to pick me up about 6.45pm this evening to Dransfield House on Willis St where we were attending a live event + chocolate tasting + online experience called Death By Chocolate. Cost us $38 each for the event created by Vanessa B Baylen from WhoDunnIt Events. This is the first interactive event I'm attending where participants get to play detectives to try and solve a murder mystery - how exciting! Once you've signed up and paid the fee, you will be sent a confirmation email with links to sites where you can hone in your detective skills e.g. how to identify the different personality types, ways to ask smart questions or find clues in preparation for the 'live' event.

We arrived just on time at 7pm to this 1870s two-storey Italianate-style Dranfield House which operates as a function centre and a perfect place for a mystery murder - crystal chandeliers, original oil paintings, polished wooden floors and ornate mirrors contribute to the unique atmosphere of the venue. Upon entering the house, we were greeted by Detective Beverley Hylskop and his assistant (we later found out that the assistant was the creator Vanessa) who signed us in, gave us a detective pass, pen and notepad each. We (the participants) were final year students and this was our first real life case and final exam for our course at the School of Detectives.

Us student detectives were gathered in the briefing room where Detective Hylskop gave us details of the case: Victim Mr AJ Oak had died from eating a chocolate tainted with the poisonous sap of Deliciousa Toxica at the chocolate themed singles' night at Dranfield House earlier this evening. It is unknown whether Oak was the intended victim, and there were 8 suspects detained for us to interrogate. The personal possessions of the victim and suspects have been confiscated and placed in the Evidence room in yellow trays which we are to inspect. And a fresh new batch of chocolates have been provided by Bohemein Fresh Chocolates for us to sample (Bohemein's way of proving their product is guilt-free). We had 2 hours to conduct our live investigation - no time to waste!

Scott and I began our investigation going through the individual possessions in the Evidence room (and yes, we did sneak out to sample the yummy variety of chocolates in between). We found all sorts of things - bank cards, jigsaw puzzle, letter from a deceased mother, spoon, toothbrush, poison mould killer liquid, cafe docket etc. So many things! How are we going to jot them all down? We (the student detectives) were encouraged to share information found and write it up on the large whiteboard provided. Some were already interrogating the suspects! Scott was still slowly going through the bags - hurry up!!

I went to speak to my first suspect at the bar and my god, what a bitch! Tamara "Tam" Artow was one of the guests at the singles' night and was very curt with her answers to my questions, looked me up and down in disgust and snapped at me, telling me to do my homework before asking questions! What the f&^%??! I went to look for Scott and told him about my ridiculous interrogation to which he laughed and said that perhaps Tam would be friendlier to a male detective. True enough, when Scott went to interrogate her at the bar, she went, "My, my, you have such a lovely accent..." and continued to flirt with Scott. Argh! Fine, I'm sticking next to Scott now with the interrogations...

While Scott was busy with Tam, I was approached by another guest at the singles' night, suspect Jack Azz. "Hello, what is a beautiful thing like you doing, sitting on your own at the bar?" he said to me, all suave. You can tell from a million miles that this one was a player! He was nice enough to answer my questions - found out that he knew some of the suspects prior to attending the singles' night. Hmm...

Scott and I chatted with Alison "Allie" Gull, another guest at the singles' night who was on a wheelchair due to a horse riding accident and was here tonight with her carer, Justin Case, a bald man who was quite fidgety (he may jolly well jump out of his skin if I boo! at him). Justin was the boyfriend of the hostess of the singles' night, Ivana "Coco" Noe, an older woman dressed up in a Bohemian-Indie look and at some point being interrogated by another student detective, ran out of the bar in tears (I've no idea what happened). We also spoke to Cassandra "Kaz" Enova, a hippie girl who turned out to be the AIDS victim support person for Susan "Sue" Tuble, a former prostitute who recently found out she has AIDS. Sue looked rather depressive and unstable, and I was standing slightly further away as Scott was asking her questions in case she did something quite dramatic. Sue in real life is an actor and my salsa friend, Amalia, but she, like the other suspects were fully in their characters - very impressive I must say!

With little time left, we briefly talked to Coco and Pearl Harber (Pearl was the waitress for tonight's event and is another depressive one - we could hardly get anything out of her), and all the detectives were called back to the briefing room to deliberate, submit their findings whether this was a murder or accident, what evidences to prove so and who was the real murderer. Frankly, there was just too much information to digest (other student detectives managed to find out that Oak used to be a woman who went to school with Allie, Jack owes Tam money, Pearl is pregnant with Jack's child etc.) and I took a stab that it was a murder, that Sue wanted to kill Jack for giving her AIDS by insisting on unprotected sex and he was still going out sleeping with other women the same way, but by accident Oak took the bait instead.

This was not the end of the mystery - we were not told who the murderer was but to find out more as the event continues on online till the end of the month via a secret website given to us. More clues, new findings/information and opportunity to ask the suspects more questions (they will reply to your post if they wish to) as the days goes on. Ooo, I SO want to know who the killer is but the answer will only be revealed 1st October. Argh - too long a wait! Photos taken at the event tonight: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622134853021/detail/

The live event ended around 9.30pm. Participants and all the actors mingled for a bit post-show. Amalia came to apologise to me for being so mean to us - don't worry about it, my dear! I know you were in character :) Though I find that the plot is too complex for the 2.5 hour live event, I do encourage you to check out the event if it comes to your town. Well worth the experience ;)

Left around 10pm and tagged along with Scott to Breaker Bay to attend his colleague Simo's birthday party. Lots of WETA crowd in the lot and the place was done up with balloons, flashing disco lights and smoke, plus a self-service bar at the deck. Chatted with some of Scott's colleagues over drinks and decided to call it a night around 12.30am. Photos taken at the birthday party: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622259614836/detail/

Ear candling (5th September 2009)

Got up early this morning and headed to The Natural Health Centre on Courtenay Place for my 10am ear candling appointment. Haha, I can see you giving me weird looks - ear candling??? Well, I've heard about this holistic way of ear wax removal but have personally never tried it. Was at the Women's Lifestyle Expo last week and found out that The Natural Health Centre nearby my workplace offers this service. Yes - another tick on my list of things to try out for the year!

The experience was interesting but not as relaxing as I had envisioned. I had to lie on my side while the therapist lights one end of a hollow candle placing the other end into my ear canal and holding it upright as it slowly burns downwards. I could hear a hissing sound of the burning candle and frankly, I was more worried I would get burned even though the therapist assured me I would be fine. Okay...*gulps*...Once half the candle was burned, the therapist removes the candle from my ear, cuts off the burnt end and empties the contents from the hollow piece into a small bowl of water. Those icky, dried up yellowish-black bits in the bowl were supposed to be my excess ear wax and/or residue from infection in my ear! Eew - looks disgusting!!

The whole procedure was repeated with the remaining half of the candle (of course, the therapist didn't burn the candle all the way but stopped when it was getting near my ear lobe) and with a brand new candle for the other ear. Cost me $50 for the 30-minute job and I left the place with a thin layer of sweet-smelling candle wax in my ear. Hmm, I'm not fully convinced that this is the best way of removing ear wax. Still quite puzzled how on earth my ears could hold so much dirt!

Hurried along to Christian's place after that for gafieira practice and he made us lunch - was nice to catch up. Sigh, can't believe he's leaving soon in just a few weeks :(

Friday, 4 September 2009

Another fully-packed week (31st August - 4th September 2009)

Oh...my...god...What a hectic week this has been! It has been both busy at work and in my social life!!

Attended the Network Night hosted by Rose Desmond from the Job Mentoring Service at the Multicultural Services Centre on Tuesday evening where job mentors and job seekers got together for an hour to discuss and swap ideas/experiences in finding and getting the a job. Tonight's topic was all about understanding a job description and how to mould your CV and cover letter to suit, a skill in the job-hunting process I'm still learning but also very familiar with so have lots of input towards the discussion. It was amazing to see the number of people who attended the session - 1/3 of the group of about 15 were job mentors from varies industries.

Before the session started, Rose had a brief chat with me with regards to the job seeker she intends to match me with. I read the name on the form and smiled - I already knew this job seeker! And before I could finish telling Rose how I met her, Paula walked in. Haha, my Brazilian girlfriend, Paula, was the potential job seeker! We ended up chatting most of the evening about the challenges she faced in her job hunt. It was as if I was re-living my previous experiences when I was in her situation. I gave her my contact details at the end of the evening - regardless whether or not I do end up as her job mentor, I'm more than happy to help her out where and when I can :)

Wednesday, yet another busy day in the office. Had a lovely lunch catch-up with Jonathan at Chow next door, went for a swim after work and burlesque class later in the evening. Learnt how to peel off gloves tonight with our teeth - very sexy :) My company had sent James off to Fiji for the week to work (damn!) so no catching up with him tonight after class. Despite being miles away, he's still contactable and already trying to talk me into showing him my new burlesque moves. Hmm, what do I get in return? :P

Worked in the office on Thursday - had too many meetings so pointless to work from home. Caught up with Chris for dinner at this new Korean restaurant on upper Dixon St called NewKor. Tried their spicy sizzling chicken and Bibimbap (a bowl of warm white rice topped with sauteed vegetables, chilli pepper paste 'gochujang', raw egg and mince meat) - not bad but I've had better Korean food in town. Cost $26.50 all up including a soft drink and 4 small complimentary side dishes. Headed over to Ernesto for a mochacinno (thanks Chris for shouting this one!), brief stop to see if Geoff was at JJ Murphy's (yes, Geoff's back in town after months working abroad) then went our own ways home.

Thought Friday would be a cruisy day at work? No way! Just so many issues at the office to deal with. Was glad I had made lunch plans with Rob so got out of the office around midday to meet up with him. Bumped into Stacey on the way to Thai House on Cuba Mall (another place I've not been before) and us three had a great time chit-chatting about our Asia travels over lunch. Poor Stacey's hurt her arm over the weekend and is now a 1-arm lady and going through physiotherapy :( No dancing for her - hope she gets well soon!

Come Friday evening, all I want to do is just get into my pajamas, eat junk in front of the TV and sleep early. That was what Priscilla and I ended up doing the last two Fridays - naughty but nice! After a week of talking me into getting a haircut (my hair is all poofy and according to my flatmate, badly needs a cut), Priscilla finally tracked down her hairdresser, Andres, to sort out my hair today.

Waited for Priscilla to come home from work (she wanted to tag along and see and give her 2 cents to the transformation) so made some peanut soup dessert while waiting for her to turn up. This dessert is a specialty at Fortuna Restaurant in my hometown, Batu Pahat, and always served with red bean Chinese pancakes. The peanut soup is easy to make - most of us already have the ingredients at home: peanut butter, sugar, cornflour, water and milk. Took me only 10 minutes to prepare it. Photos taken of my dessert: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622113411843/detail/

Around 6pm, we headed to Si Salon Ltd on Customhouse Quay where Andres is currently based (he's closing shop and going to work in another hair salon). A humourous, flirty and quite hot-looking middle-aged Mexican man (he's happily married) who's a joy to be with. And he plays Latin music too - I first for me being in a Latino salon. He was the only person in the salon tending to the last 3 customers (me included) so while he was with another client, Priscilla and I kept ourselves entertained with our girly chats. He's so funny - asked me what hairstyle I would like and I said something sexy, bouncy and one that men would want to grab for and he lifted me off the chair in his arms and said "There you go - easy!". Hahaha! I like the way he treats his clients, giving them plenty of compliments and attention. It's no wonder Priscilla recommends him to all her gfs!

He trimmed off quite a chunk of my hair, layering them and getting rid of the untidy ends. My head feels SO much lighter now! Cost me $96 for the cut which was the standard price one would expect in this town. He finished off the cut by styling my hair into curls with a hair straightener and the end result made me look as if I came from a different era - vintage-looking. Pity us girls weren't going out into town so no showing off this evening :/

Left cheeky Andres around 8pm for dinner at Majestic Cuisine on Courtenay Place on the way home. Us girls have been discussing all the yummy food from Malaysia and Priscilla was craving eggplant cooked with salted fish and pork mince so decided to check out Majestic Cuisine to see if they served the dish and they did! Oh, it was yum and we were so full trying to polish off our 2 dishes. Cost $45 total for a pot of tea, rice to share, the eggplant dish and beef with spring onion and ginger dish. Slightly on the high-end scale for Chinese restaurants but very good food.

Oh, here are some photos before and after my session with Andres:

Bye-bye long locks...

I look as if from a movie set of some other era, hair in curls

One more photo before I wash it off!

Hmm, not used to having so little hair...will take awhile for me to get used to the new cut...

It's 11pm on Friday night and I can't sleep because the stupid next door neighbours are having yet another party. They have their stereo turned up so loudly that my room vibrates with the bass music. ARGH!!! I'll give them till midnight and then I'm calling the noise control people to shut down their party...