June 30, 2012

Carousel Cabaret June 2012

Carousel is back with a bang! Following a six month hiatus Carousel returned Friday night at their new home The San Francisco Bathhouse.

The place was packed. I'm not sure whether it was because people really missed Carousel or the excellent line up. Local burlesque personality Venus Starr, the shows producer, made her debut at Carousel. Also making appearances were the current Miss Burlesque NZ, Willow Noir; and first Miss Burlesque NZ, Miss la Belle; NZ's only burlesque troupe, The Alltogethers; and audience favourites Tinka Lovelocks; and The Magenta Diamond. The large number of people there meant the street was crowded (compounded by the narrow entrance) and inside it was difficult to see unless you had booked your tickets and therefore had a seat.

The San Francisco Bathhouse was certainly not big enough for the crowd.  If attendance stays at this level I hope Venus would consider a second show on the Saturday night; she did try it once before. However, towards the end of last year attendance was dwindling so this may be temporary spike. The huge space is not well laid out for a show. Everything was focused on the stage. The lounge area at the back could have been utilsed to give the ladies from Poleclass room to demonstrate (and not have a stream of people walking across their stage to access the bathrooms). The artist who was painting throughout the night may have had more chance to engage with the audience.

Everyone was excited to see Venus Starr perform. Her energy lit up the stage and her professionalism carried her though a wardrobe malfunction smoothly. I'm surprised these things don't happen more often, corsets are tricky things. I was not terribly impressed with The Alltogethers though they have improved since I saw them last; one smiled nervously through both acts which I kept focusing on. Their second act was better than the first but I would have preferred another performer twice. Miss la Belle impressed with highly detailed fans and a shiny wing/cape for a fan dance inspired by the movie Metroplis (thank you for pointing this out as I have never heard of it!). Willow Noir scandalised the audience with her title winning naughty nun act. The Magenta Diamond performed two strange acts with a creepy sweet little girl smile on her face. The messiest act of the night was a visual feast from Tinka Lovelocks the set up for which meant extra (dirty) jokes from the MC Pitor. Aesthetically this act was well placed but the logistics of the set up and clean up bored the audience, it may have been better placed at one side of a break.

Apart from getting a sore neck from straining to see, and sore feet from standing, it was a great night. And we even managed to raise money for charity. I'm already planning my outfit for next month. I'm so excited Carousel is back!

Venue: San Francisco Bathhouse
Date: Friday 29 June, 8pm
Price: $35

June 24, 2012

Dick Smith Electronics - Featherston Street

I went into Dick Smiths looking for a specific cord to match an item that had lost the cord for. I wandered around looking lost but was not approached by any staff members. I had to walk directly up to one sales assistant and catch their eye. I commented on my wait and was told there weren't many staff on the floor - even though I had walked past three idle people at the counter. The layout of the shop may be partly to blame as the checkout in the middle obscures staff views of customers, including the view of the entrance.

The staff member found me exactly what I wanted. I wouldn't have been able to find it for myself as it was tucked away in a back corner. I did however point out a cheaper product which tuned out to also be more appropriate as I didn't need to alter the voltage manually.

I smiled sunnily at the staff member who severed me at the counter (who had been there when I walked past earlier) but only got a tight smile in reply.

I wasn't impressed with the service overall but I did end up with a product that performed the function I required.

June 20, 2012

Weight loss: Before photo with Ian Tilley Photography

I’m thrilled to tell you (a little belatedly) that we have secured a photographer for the weight loss project.

Ian Tilley is based in Upper Hutt but happy to travel around Wellington for his work. Photography is his passion, not his full time job. About 10 years ago Ian documented his own weight loss which is why he is so excited to be part of mine.

He had the great idea of photographing me in silhouette. This way you can get an idea of my body shape and eventual weight loss but I can maintain my privacy. Well, let’s be honest, it’s not privacy I’m worried about, I’m just shy.

I am really happy to be working with Ian. He understands where I am coming from because he has been here. I felt comfortable throughout the process despite the fact that I was letting it all hang out.

So, this is my before photo. We have planned to take a photo each month to track my progress. Then you’ll know that I’m doing this and not just writing about it.

When I look at this photo the word that comes to mind is grotesque. This is not how I look in my head, or even in the mirror. I don’t think that I could leave the house everyday if this was what I looked like in my head.

I had hoped by this point to have started my weight loss. But, we are still talking with weight loss companies so haven’t come to an official decision. Unofficially I know who I want to go with; they have good structure which I need. At the end of this week I should know and then be able to tell you all. There are whispers that other reviewers also want to do this.

I’m looking forward to starting. I have been noticing the problems that my weight causes; I feel unattractive, I get breathless easily and my stomach gets in my way. My stomach is larger than a friend's who is six months pregnant and I weigh more than a full term pregnant woman. How much do I actually weigh? You'll have to wait to find out when I do my official first weigh in.

Come back next week to find out which weight loss program I will be following.

Special thanks to: Ian Tilley Photography and Jenny Craig

June 12, 2012

2012 Wellington Home Exhibition (Homeex)

We are in the midst of renovating our bathroom but really we only went to this show because we got free tickets. Unless you are wanting to do something major, spend big money, there isn't any point in attending.

The TSB arena is a good venue; well heated in comparison to the outside. The set out was easy to follow and they have good toilets too (a necessary evil when you have kids). The stallholders overall were firendly but not pushy about buying. There were quite a few competitions but again, no one was pushing you to enter them. Because of this there was a lovely atmosphere. There was good variety of stalls and it was great that they had little seminars at different times during the day. Experts were available which you could book a time to speak with which I think is an excellent idea. It is unfortunate that we are too far into the process to be able to take advantage of this.

One of the best things was that the third stall from the entrance served coffee. The vibration training staff were helpful and knowledgeable; putting people on free demonstrations and talking them through, answering all the questions patiently. I was grateful that the two photography places catered to children because you have to take your kids to these things, it's hard to get a babysitter for the day. Photographing families is also their market. One photo place was giving free fridge magnets (created from photos of the kids). They say there is no such thing as a free lunch but actually there was a free fridge magnet. Several of the other places had lollies for the kids, having these diversions becomes important when you want to have detailed conversations without kids pulling on you and breaking your concentration.

I didn't see a lot of advertising beforehand; it was only because we were given free tickets that we knew this was on. It would have been helpful if more stalls had business cards with the website listed. It is impossible to take everything in, I would want to go home and research. Big pamphlets can be bulky, wasteful and expensive for the business to print. Having a a laptop with their website up would have been useful too, they can point out where to look when you go home.

When: 8-10 June
Where: TSB Arena
Price: $8
You can find out more on the exhibition webpage

June 6, 2012

Weight loss intro

Have you ever mentioned something in passing and the person you mentioned it to not only remembered but took it seriously? Well, that happened to me. Which is how I've ended up here.

Here is intending to share my personal weight loss journey with who ever chooses to read about it.

Why am I doing this? (Apart from my boss telling me to) I have three reasons:
1. I'm 30 (ahhh!) and I am aware that it gets harder to lose weight the older you get.
2. I want to have kids. Being overweight lowers your fertility. I'd also like to be healthy during my pregnancy (and lose the weight more easily afterwards).
3. When I have the aforementioned kids I would like to be a good example.

I don't know how this is going to work. My boss is still figuring that out. There have been talks about me working with a personal trainer, taking photos every week (ek!), or simply having every review that contains anything physical thrown at me. It is dependent on who wants to work with me on this, you will get to read all about them in my posts. If your business would be interested in participating or you have a recommendation then message Wellington Reviews and let me know.

I don't know if this is going to work either. I've tried losing weight before and I quit. I like food. I don't like exercise. I do not intend to put my health at risk by doing one of those diets where you eat next to nothing and take drops or drink shakes. In my mind the perfect balance comes down to diet, exercise and some sort of support or counselling.

Very tentatively I say I am going to do this. I can't guarantee that I'll stick to it or get the results I want but I am going to try.

Let me know in the comments here or on Facebook if you have any questions or suggestions.

Special thanks to: Ian Tilley Photography and Jenny Craig