Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Feeling better and getting back on track (24th November 2009)

I'm SO glad that I'm feeling way better now after the nasty cough - tired of falling sick and just want to get back to my exercise, social activities etc!

Caught up Hew yesterday for lunch at Joe's Garage on Tory St. Joe's Garage has now become a new regular place for me to have lunch (James and I somehow end up going there for lunch almost every Wednesday). Was lovely to catch up with my long time girlfriend - it has been some time since I last saw her and the poor girl had injured herself at work trying to lift something heavy and is now wearing a brightly coloured cast on her left wrist. Hello? You are way smaller framed than me and shouldn't be lifting heavy items! Hmm...hope she gets well soon because it's rather inconvenient having a cast on the wrist...

I've also gone back to Bikram yoga classes (I've been so slack, haven't been back since I went on holiday in Tonga) and boy does it feel awesome sweating it out in the 90-minute class :)

Came home Monday evening and was going through my mail and guess what I found? Another photo taken during my travels printed in one of the 2010 Intrepid Travel brochures! This one was a photo taken in Chicago of their famous sculpture, the Cloud Gate, and is featured in the 2010 USA-Alaska-Canada brochure. Check it out:

And speaking of travels, I'll be heading to Sri Lanka and India end of December with Jonathan - it would be a great adventure, both with a new travel partner AND travelling in countries we've not been to before. Looking forward to it! I LOVE travelling - yippee!!

Went along to help out at Jessica's forro class tonight. This would be the last class for me as I won't be able to make it to the final class of the term following Tuesday. I thought it was a real pity that there won't be a new term next year but just weekend workshops. Well, I suppose with Jessica going back to school, it makes fitting the lessons into her schedule more challenging. Had a fun time helping out the boys tonight and had a few fun dances with Charles too :)

Boys Liviu and Chris have been growing their moustaches (their 'mo') the month of November and I took the opportunity to take a photo of the two Mexican-looking boys on my mobile phone before they take off their moustaches on 1st Dec:

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Brazealand band last gig of the year & Hundy In Your Undies party (20th November 2009)

...cough, cough...hmm, feeling better but still have the cough especially during the night...I just want to get well so I can get on with life!

Tonight was Brazealand's last gig for the year held at Southern Cross Bar and by the time Scott, Hannah and I got there around 9.30pm, the place was already packed, music playing, people dancing and as usual, lots of people to catch up and say 'hi' to. It's almost 2 years that Brazealand had been playing in Wellington and tonight's gig had 11 special guests joining them on stage, Brazilian and Kiwi musicians, including friends Adilson, Charles and Elaine. There was definitely something in the air at Southern Cross tonight - the dancefloor was packed with happy dancing people and I had a fabulous time dancing with friends :) Ron and I tried to dance some gafieira with much difficulty on the packed dancefloor, did awesome forro dances with Paul and Charles, and boogied with new salsa dancers Pooria and Liviu too. James arrived just as the first set ended and we had a fun quick swing dance to a song played by the DJ during the break. Jono turned up as the second set started but we left after the 2nd song to another party we were invited to in Mt Cook.

Jono and I left Southern Cross Bar around 11.30pm to a house party in Mt Cook - it was a birthday party of 4 people whose ages added together equalled 100 thus the theme Hundy In Your Undies; Hundy as it's short for hundred and undies, well, it just rhymes. Guests were encouraged to wear just their undies to the party though it is not compulsary. I wasn't told about the party until this morning so had to run around town to look for a pair of ruffled knickers for the themed party after work. Well, I could go wearing my own undies but I think they may be a tad too revealing for the occassion and I'm not sure if the crowd whom I'm meeting for the first time would appreciate getting a heart attack :P This is the first of such kind of party I'm going to - should be a good laugh and plenty of photo opportunity!

Jono made me laugh so much when he started taking his pants off in the car before heading into the house. He had only his hat, a singlet, boxer shorts and his shiny black shoes with socks. Reminds me of the characters in the movie The Full Monty hehe...I joined in taking my pants off to reveal my cute black ruffled knickers (and I think looked pretty sexy too :P). Most of the guests at the party wore their undies on top of their normal clothes but most of the guys were stripped down to only their briefs, dancing their hearts away to the pumping music in the lounge. It was funny taking photos of people at the party, some pretty indecent positions too haha! Had a bit of a boogie along with the crowd (yes, all of us in our variety of undies, girls and boys alike), caught up with friends Rissa and Ben (Rissa still looked hot despite parading in granny pants and Ben, oh, dear, Ben, he was just posing in all indecent positions and cracked me up!) and stayed on till about 12am when the party officially died down. Photos taken at the party:

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Death and the Dreamlife of Elephants (12th November 2009)

...cough, cough...cough, cough, cough...oh my god, when will I be done with this cold? From a stuffed up nose to nose bleeding when I sneeze and now coughing through the night. I've not had proper sleep in 2 days! Die bugs, DIE!!

Caught up with Liviu, Polly, Ana (Liviu's friend who's also a Romanian), Rosel and her work colleague around 8pm to watch the play Death and the Dreamlife of Elephants currently showing from the 10th - 21st of November at BATS Theatre. Cost us $13 each for the 2-hour show with a 15-minute interval in between. The theatre's foyer was decorated with lots of origami elephants on hanging mobiles and apparently bits and pieces of information about the play have been found located in various places in town - a random photo here, some origami there, even a website that's interactive which was how curious me got Liviu to round up a group of friends to watch the play together. Photos taken at BATS theatre on my mobile phone:

Paper origami elephants on hanging mobiles

At the foyer waiting for the show to start

Random photos of the characters in the play

Death and the Dreamlife of Elephants is a dream-like story that explores the questions we face on a daily basis - death, spiritual beliefs, family, growing older, the natural violence of the world and searching for our purpose in life. Upon entering the theatre (we were lucky to have front row seats), we saw many sliding screens built for the purpose of the play and I'm sure were all wondering what it was for. Hmm...

The play focuses on the life surrounding Julian Gallo (played by Vaughan Slinn), a recently divorced man who's unemployed and mourning the loss of his dead mother, searching aimlessly for a purpose in life. He starts off walking through the busy streets of Wellington (the cast were all walking in different directions creating an image as if the audience were actually sitting somewhere at Cuba Mall watching people walk by) in search of this building where his job interview was at, then searches through room after room to find the office (the cast would move around and get into the different roles/positions as Julian walks by, as if we were watching him walking past the HR office, conference room, training room, helpdesk etc). The use of the sliding screens were fantastic - it was a door, a closet, a window, a lift - creating a magnified imaginary space as it changes setting with the plot.

In his aimless search, Julian meets Kerryn Bell (played by Hannah Banks), a university student at the waterfront one evening and they soon became good friends. How did I know it was the waterfront? Well, they had performer Paul Waggott pose like Solace of the Wind and it got the audience all laughing. And the intelligent use of a large roll of plastic that when moved gave the feeling of soft waves clapping. Who would have thought a roll of plastic could have such an effect? Julian also met The Collector (played by Paul Waggott), this weird man who wants Julian to find his mother's elephant ornament and speaks with a squeak in his voice (he was sucking air gradually out of a balloon to create the voice). Unsure where to find this ornament, Julian went in search through family members including Dennis (played by Aaron Cortesi - the same guy who played the Italian-speaking boss in play Good Night - The End which I saw back in September), his cousin who hides at home counting people walking into the cafe across the street from his window and a bit creepy in my books. With little luck, he engaged in the help of detective Joseph Grieves (also played by Aaron) and his dog Floyd (played by Paul). Paul did an amazing job playing the dog, sticking his tongue out, licking others and himself (the audience laughed!), growling and playing with his owner. Way too close to a real dog!

Then there's Yvonne Quinn (played by Sara Allen), a highly stressed waitress that often visits her sick grandmother, Sheila Quinn (played by Harriette Cowan) at the local Hospice. Harriette was so good in her role as an old lady, talking to herself constantly as if in dementia, walking in small careful steps and with a walking stick - I could actually feel the pain/fear of growing old in her. Yvonne, on the other hand, had a mind that runs a million miles per second (other performers were chanting numbers when Yvonne is thinking). Her days are a routine, getting up, taking a shower (the roll of plastic now became the shower curtain and towel), checking in on nana, going to work, praying, taking a smoke and back to bed. She meets Julian by chance when her nana disappeared from the Hospice and was found in Julian's apartment. Interestingly Julian took fancy of her but didn't have the chance to ask her out and she ended up in his dreams - the audience was enthralled with Julian's dream of Yvonne dancing sexily, seducing him (what the audience saw was just the shadow of Sara dancing but it was enough to bring all sorts of thought into our heads) but like all dreams, other thoughts crept in, including images of his mother when she was much younger.

Spectacular use of lights and shadows, very creative and cleverly put together. All in all an amazing play that will make you laugh yet enchant you. I HIGHLY recommend that you watch this play - you wouldn't want to miss this one!

The show ended around 10pm and coming out towards The Pitt Bar (bar in BATS theatre), we found a couple dressed up in 40-50's style clothing and playing music on a suitcase gramophone - Liviu and Ana were both so excited because the songs they were playing were very similar to the Romanian folk music. It was really cool to see how the gramophone work :)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Noodle Canteen & Stacey's dare (10th November 2009)

Caught up with James for lunch today and we went to check out this newly opened shop called Noodle Canteen on Courtenay Place. Neither of us had been there before and it was an interesting noodle shop concept - fast food take-away that serves noodles presented in a box, the typical American way. The meal is cooked as you order and there are over 30 noodle varieties for you to choose from. I had their Seafood Mee Goreng which was egg noodles with prawn, calamari, fish cake, crab meat, tofu and fresh vegetables in an Indian style sauce for $11.80. We took our take-away boxes with us and had our lunch by the waterfront. Wow, it's a lot of noodles - the meal was enough to feed two. I had to take-away my take-away! Tasted pretty good and great value for money. Will have to go back and try some other varieties. Photos taken of our Noodle Canteen lunch experience on my mobile phone:

Watching our lunch being prepared

Over 30 varieties of noodles to choose from, cooked and packed before your eyes

My Seafood Mee Goreng lunch

Sigh, I don't even dare blow my nose right now. Think I may have burst a small capillary in my right nostril and everytime I blow my nose (I have a cold), it bleeds. Just over the weekend, I got up in the middle of the night because I could feel blood literally flowing down through my throat and had to stick some tissue up my right nostril before getting back in bed! Really, perhaps it's better to just stick a tampon up my right nostril to stop the bleeding, and naughty me put it up as my Facebook status only to get friends posting all sorts of suggestions to fix the bleeding and 1 dare from Stacey to actually do it. Yes, she dared me to stick a tampon up my nose. Really?? Well, this is going to be one hell of an experience and experiment...

Went to buy a box of tampons on my way home from work. Hmm, let's go for this one that says 'silky, smooth' on the box...should work fine...bloody hell, tampons don't come cheap! Was trying to multitask getting dressed and the photos done and posted to Stacey before meeting Jonathan for a movie but he popped over early instead and insisted on photographing the whole process! We got into histerical fits of laughter as he watched me trying to put the tampon into my right nostril :P Silky, smooth my arse - sticking up the tampon wasn't that smooth. In fact, I might have enlarged the size of my right nostril trying to it in! Oh well, at least I can now say, been there and done that. Not the smartest way to fix a nose bleed if you have small nostrils. Photos taken of me taking on Stacey's dare to stick a tampon up my nose:

Alright, let's see, how do I open this thing...

Jonathan, quit making me laugh - I can't fit it in!

Stacey, this is for you :P

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Guy Fawkes 2009 (5th November 2009)

It's Guy Fawkes celebrations again today! Yes, another year of fireworks display at Wellington waterfront and this year, it'll be for a full 20 minutes (normally just 15 minutes). But first, I need to satisfy this steak craving I'm having and rounded up boys Scott, James and Geoff out for steak and beer dinner tonight before the fireworks. James suggested we have beers and dinner at JJ Murphy's - seriously, Irish pub for steak??

My, my, do not ever underestimate the steak at an Irish pub - I had their Murphys Peppered Steak, peppered Porterhouse steak grilled and served with Murphy’s gravy (cost $21.50) and it was YUM! I was in heaven....ahh...I can't believe none of the boys had steak with me - James had a chicken main meal while boys Geoff had dinner before joining us and Scott was catching up with Alicia for dinner. Sheesh! Oh well, I'm in a happy place right now after polishing off my whole piece of steak...mmm...

Left boys James and Geoff to find Scott and Alicia and we headed to the boat sheds along Oriental Parade to secure a spot on the cement roof to watch the fireworks. It was the same spot Scott and I were at last year, by far the best spot to view the fireworks, I say. Hannah came to join us shortly and along with other Wellingtonians scattered all around the waterfront in jackets and windbreakers (it was a cold and windy night), watched the colourful fireworks that began at 9pm. To be honest, the fireworks looked pretty much the same year after year - it was more an event to get a group of friends out together than for the fireworks itself.

The gang decided to have a late night cuppa before calling it a night and we ended up at Enigma on Courtenay Place where we found other friends and boys Scott and Willy-John went into their photography frenzy as usual (rolling my eyes). Photos taken tonight:

Monday, 2 November 2009

Ladyhawke (1st November 2009)

After a super late night partying all around town for Halloween last night, I deserve to sleep in this morning…zzz…Finally got out of bed at noon and headed over to The Bach Café in Island Bay around 1pm with Jonathan to grab some lunch. A Kiwi big breakfast sounds SO good right now – I’m starving!

“Oh, the place looks pretty packed…hey, look, there’s Liviu and Pooria!” I exclaimed as we got out of the car. Sweet, we’ll just join their table and skip the line hehe…I’m sure the boys wouldn’t mind extra company :) Had my full breakfast of toast, bacon and eggs with a flat white out in the sun while catching up with the boys. Was laughing at Liviu’s photos taken last night of him in a vampire costume. With that Romanian accent of his, he really does a good impersonation of Count Dracula :P

Everyone left the café around 3pm and Jonathan and I headed over to Oriental Bay beach to catch up with his friends but they were no longer at the beach when we got there so we took a leisurely stroll along Oriental Parade - ah, bliss, just what a lazy Sunday should be like! Thanks for an awesome weekend, Jonathan – I had a lovely time :)

Headed home at 5pm to rest, shower, make dinner and got ready and dressed up punk-rock chic style (no, I didn’t dye my hair or have a Mohawk) for tonight’s Ladyhawke concert. Yep, our Kiwi own singer, Pip Brown aka Ladyhawke from Masterton is currently touring NZ and has her one night only gig at San Francisco Bathhouse tonight featuring songs from her self-titled album that won best album of the year in the recent NZ Music Awards. You would have heard her songs like “Paris Is Burning”, “My Delirium” and “Magic” playing on the local radio stations quite often these days – her album is quite a hit, even I bought a copy ;) James and Chris were also fans of Ladyhawke so we had a little groupie heading to the concert tonight – yay!

Chris came to pick me up at 8pm and we headed over to San Francisco Bathhouse (SFBH) which was still rather empty so decided to come back shortly. We walked over to the newly located Espressoholic on upper Cuba St for a coffee while waiting for James to turn up. Hmm, somehow this Espressoholic has a different vibe to the old one…perhaps still reminded me of the chocolate shop that was here previously…

Around 8.30pm, we headed back to SFBH and the place was beginning to pack up! James caught up with us shortly, squeezing through the crowd to get to us. Cost us $57 each for the concert tickets. The gig officially kicked off at 9pm with opening band Over The Atlantic, a Kiwi band playing songs from their album Dimensions for the first hour before Ladyhawke and her band members came on stage. Ladyhawke was amazing – she totally wowed the crowd and got us all jumping up and down to her tunes (you could feel the dance floor shaking!). Stage lights bright and blinding, and music blasting out loud, this was the best concert I’ve been to this year! Me and the boys were having such an awesome time despite sardined in the crowd, covered with sweat and probably going deaf from the loud music!! Woo-hoo!

There was a bag filled with balloons attached to the ceiling and James, Chris and I were standing exactly below it! When Ladyhawke sang partway through the song “Paris is Burning”, the balloons were let off and it ‘rained’ onto the dance floor. Awesome! …My heart is yearning, but Paris is burning…Paris is burning all night long…Fans were all singing and dancing to the songs – it was such a great vibe of energy at the concert! Photos taken tonight:

The gig ended at 11.30pm and though the crowd cheered and stomped their feet for another encore, Ladyhawke did not come back out to play for us :/ Oh well, I guess it was a Sunday too and most of us still need to work tomorrow. But first, a shower before I head off to bed!