Beat Mixing!

Hey guys!

So this week is going to be a crazy one, and I am so pumped. It’s only Wednesday and already it’s been nutty. This week I had my second DJ-ing session/class, whatever you want to call it. To give you a little bit of background on the program, it’s called Rhythm and it is run by REACHability, which is an organization primarily for helping people with disabilities obtain skills and jobs and helps them become involved in the community. The great thing about them is that they have programs available to everyone, like the Rhythm program, which I think is great, because it brings all different people from different walks of life together. Anyways, check out their site linked above if you are interested in what they do.

The first week was mainly an overview with our two DJ instructors, DJ Atmosphere and DJ Trixxx, where we met them and were introduced to all the wicked high tech gear that we were going to be learning to use in the coming weeks. I have a teeny bit of experience from several years back at camp, where i learned to do basic beat mixing on older turn tables, but this equipment is pretty far ahead of that. It uses cds and mp3s and  probably other things that I am not slick enough to remember. Regardless, it is high end nice stuff that I am so pumped to know how to use.

Anyways, so after our brief intro to the equipment last week, we got right into beat mixing this week, which turned out to be really great. We took two separate songs and mixed them together, working with pitch, bpms, and cue points. I sound like I legitimately know what I am talking about, and I sort of do, but  I’m still learning.

The class is two hours long and there are only four of us, so we really get to participate and try things. It’s very hands on and the instructors are really awesome, not to mention the program coordinator, Sandy, who is really sweet and is always keeping everyone in check and taking care of everyone. The environment is really cool, and there’s no pressure. It’s a good place to be.

I have this image of myself as looking somewhat cool standing behind a set of turntables or mixers (Whatever the cool industry term is), but then I think about how I think I look cool when I’m dancing, but then catch myself in a mirror and see that I actually look like a three legged cat wearing pants doing the chacha. What.

Now I’m being the preverbial dork, listening to all my music and counting out the beats and whatnot. I can’t wait for next week when we might get into a little baby scratching. This class is totally wicked and a real hidden gem. It’s one of those things that so few know exists.

Also, if you are interested in the DJs that are teaching, I found a couple of links to stuff they are involved in. DJ Trixxx can be found spinning at The Palace on Thursdays and the middle deck or the Beer Market, on Sunday nights, where it was apparently packed to the brim last week. I’m planning on hitting up the deck this Sunday to see what its all about. Care to join me!?

And Now some links:

http://www.lowerdeck.ca/beermarket/default.html

http://halifaxdjs.com/blog/

Stay tuned for a post all about Uganda Dance… it’s gonna be great.

Spec

Advertisements

The Hula Hoop Experience

So yesterday my day started off pretty normally with work at 9:45, where there were very little people roaming the streets and coming in. So I spent the morning chatting up the odd customer and redisplaying things and tidying. Fortunately the day went pretty fast and three o’clock came soon enough. I popped home and changed and then biked over to In essence Studio for my first Hula Hooping class.

Things I learned yesterday:

  • Your ability to hula Hoop has nothing to do with you really but rather with the size and weight of your hoop
  • Adults have giant hula hoops
  • Once you have a big hula hoop, keeping it up is easy… I am being totally serious and honest about this! It really works!

The class had just under ten people in it and most of us borrowed big hula hoops as we didn’t have our own yet. We had to spread out across the room but also maneuver around the stripping poles, which is another class that I am not sure I am brave enough to take, due to my spaghetti noodle arms and ungraceful ways.

Anyways, so once we are all over the room the instructor put on some music and showed us what to do, which included where your feet go and where to put your arms. I never thought that would be an issue until I got the hoop going and found myself with my hands tucked in T-REX style at the side of my chest.  We tried walking with the hoop or rather dancing, and twirling around all while keeping the hoop turning.

Next we twirled them on our arms, switching from arm to arm, and due to the push of gravity, it actually tires your arms very quickly and you can feel yourself working out. The hour went by so fast and I am so excited for next week. The instructor makes custom hoops which I didn’t order but I think I will call and order one because I want to practice all week. 

For those who are skeptical about whether this is a legitimate form of exercise, we were told that it burns around 400 calories an hour and is probably the best ab workout you can get. I woke up today and was not sore but can definitely feel my abs forming already. The work out is different that doing a million crunches and makes you feel energized. I didn’t feel like I was working out in the sense that I wasn’t bored or wishing for the time to pass, but  I was sweating and feeling my body working.

So there you have it! The answer to the call for exercise that is fun and actually works your body! This may be my new favourite things to do, although I do start Uganda dance this week, so we shall see!

Last night I also went to my good friend Andrew’s house and we made Borscht and Heros sandwiches for dinner, which were incredible.  I will post the recipe for the sandwiches once I get it, because they were incredible and totally worth making. We sat and watched this old French movie called The Visistors (Les Visiteurs) which is one that I used to watch in French school as a kid. You should all check it out as it is silly beyond belief but has those charming 90’s effects and scenery.

 

Alright my dears, I am headed to work once again and then to my second DJ class tonight. I’ll give you the scoop on that later!

Have a delightful day!

 

Spec

The List Narrows and The Schedule Widens

Hello,

Ok so the previous post was merely a summary of my basic life plan, and now I’m beginning to sound like an ultra-dork, but I promise you it will get better from here on in. So the beginning of September came and went and I found an apartment in the South end of the city with my friend Caitlin. We moved in on the first, and I was also fortunate enough to acquire a somewhat serious job at a delightful little candy store downtown, called Sweet Jane’s. I had always had secret or maybe not so secret dreams about working there when I was a student, so now I am living out those dreams.

With that taken care of, I could move on to my city exploration task. I think I should tell you all that I am not exceptionally great at many things, so am often finding that I need to learn and practice even the simplest things over and over. For example, I still have no clue how people do their shoe laces up with the one loop method, I only understand bunny ears.

While we traveled in Asia, I found myself in many clubs and bars and experiencing the nightlife. I realized very quickly that I have no idea how to dance, or at least don’t feel comfortable with myself dancing for fear or being ridiculed by those better than me. Solution? Learn to dance. 

Number one on my list became to search out dance classes in Halifax. I figured that it would be unfair to only take one, as there are so many different kinds of dance. So I chose two. For the last two weeks I have been attending a Latin dance class at Shake It Dance Studio on Cornwallis Street, up in the North End, which runs for ten weeks in total.  And this coming week, I begin eight weeks of Uganda dance at the Maritimes African Dance Centre.

Now that I have covered the dance portion of my life, I thought to myself, “I’m going to need more cardio physical activity!” so I followed that search up with a kijiji search for classes. I have found that Kijiji can be real inspiration to anyone who is bored and looking for something to do. Not only did I learn about a lot of fun stuff to do in the city, but I also learned that I could purchase a male llama for $1000 and get a free female one! (Too bad I don’t have a backyard, or $1000)

On Kijiji, I was once again provided with a brand new set of ideas. Boot camps. Now I am not one for discipline, but I can tell you this, I hate going to the gym, so I would much rather have someone boss me around for an hour while I exercise. In the Halifax area, there are several women’s workout boot camps that I could attend, but I have chosen to take the Core Essentials boot camp on Saturday mornings for first timers. Some of you may be wondering why I chose this one, and to be honest it was a combination of the time and the cost. The other boot camps require you to bring supplies like weights and yoga mats, which are things that I don’t have and they also give you a bunch of “free stuff,” like shirts and books and recipe calenders. I say “free” in quotes because the cost of these boot camps are almost $60 more than the Core Essentials, which is as I understand the same kind of workout. I am there for the workout, not the fluffy stuff.

Boot camp doesn’t start until next Saturday, October 2nd, and I am pretty excited

Just when you thought I had a full schedule, I signed up for more classes. Tomorrow, Sunday, September 27th, I start a Hula Hoop class at In Essence studio on Barrington Street. It is apparently one of the best workouts you can do for yourself, and also sounds like a blast. I’ll let you know how I do, because as of this moment, I can’t keep a hula hoop going for longer than 6.3 seconds.

I promise you that this is the last addition to my after work life for the next couple of weeks, but I was also fortunate enough to discover and get accepted into a DJ program with Reachability. I started the class last week and I will make a separate post to let you all know how it went, otherwise this is just going to get crazy! 

 

So there you have it, a mass overview of the fun things to do in Halifax. These are all activities that I know little or nothing at all about and am going to fill you in on all the details. 

Check back soon for updates on all the fun stuff I’m doing. Don’t worry I’ll be sure to include all the other fun stuff I do, like nights on the town, and random trips and of course bad photos of funny things.

Spec

The First

Hey Everyone!

So this is the first post, and hopefully one of many that will summarize the new and fun things that I will be doing in the cities that I am living in. As of August 25th, I moved back to Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am originally from Toronto as many of you know, but decided to go to school in Halifax three years ago. After studying like a mad woman, I returned to to Toronto after two years to attend the Ontario College of Art and Design. I lasted one year, before feeling like it was time to take off once more. I headed on a crazy three month adventure to Asia with my amazing friend Thibaut and while traveling, made the decision to move back to Halifax.

This time around, I am not just some kid from Toronto who is studying at Dal and living the student life. I have a degree,  responsibilities, and a brand new desire to try a lot of random things. After traveling through South East Asia, I have really come to understand how important it is to experience as much of a city as possible, especially if you live there, otherwise you will never know how cool it really is.

So, to make all of my plans a reality, I made a list when I first arrived, it looked a little like this (but with a little more scribbling and a few more side notes around it):

  1. Find an apartment
  2. Find a full time (legitimate) job
  3. Look up and Search out fun things to do in the city
  4. Have a lot of fun  – go out, dance a little, drink a little, frequent fair trade coffee shops and enjoy delicious coffee.
  5. Relax, be twenty years old, enjoy life.

So there you have it, a basic plan. A plan that I will no doubt carry over to many more cities in the coming year. 

Ready! Set! Go!

 

Spec