Thursday, August 9, 2007

Fitness Challenge Begins at Sexy

I’m bored with Vancouver. I’m bored with the places, bored with some faces and I’m sick of my disinterest. To cure this I have proscribed myself a challenge; I will find cool things to do in this city, so help me, or I’m moving to Toronto.

Being summer and all, the first step in this adventure is to get moving before the gloom of the rainy season sets in. Vancouver prides itself on being a highly active community, but I’ve done the yoga thing, done the biking around the seawall thing, I’ve hiked the Grind (and I love it!). I’m looking for some heart rate rising activities that aren’t offered at a Fitness Underworld.

First up: Tantra Fitness
Class: Lap Dance

I’ve always wanted to learn how to lap dance but I never had the opportunity until now. As taught by Tammy Morris, owner of Tantra and a exotic dancer extraordinaire, there are basically three rules to lap dancing 1- go slow 2- keep your hands on your body at all times 3- um... I forgot the third. I was too busy slowly touching myself.

The class I took on a sultry Thursday night was comfortably full of women aged 20s-50s, half of us for the first time. Luckily Tammy is a supportive and encouraging teacher who coaxes out the tigress in the shyest of participants. Don’t worry there are no laps provided. That’s for your imagination to provide, all Tantra gives you is a chair to partner with.

I’d recommend this class for fun and for core strength, as for a cardio workout you should try out their Cardio Striptease, Booty Camp or what Tantra specializes in pole dancing. The major downside of Tantra is that classes are expensive, with the cheapest monthly payment plan at $75/ month, which is triple my boring gym plan. I did learn a lot from this class now if only I had someone to practice on.... That’s right boys, I’m single.

It looks like Vancouver may not be so boring after all. There’s much more to discover. If you have ideas for fun fitness around town post them below and they may be next on my list.

Tantra Fitness
Address : 105-1715 Cook St. (behind Bizarre Novelties off West 2nd)
Vancouver, BC., V6J 1H3 Canada
Telephone : 1-604-738-POLE (7653)
First Class for Cardio is free

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

When Life is Harsh, Watch Al 'D' TV

The following is an interview I did on Beyond Robson

I first met Al Di through Myspace, as was the cool thing to do a year ago. I'd left a comment on a friend's photo that he was in - something about karaoke- and Al began messaging me, obsessively. He pleaded with me to come to karaoke. I eventually did. That's when I began to understand the magic that is Al Di.

Born in China, 25 year old, Al Di moved to Vancouver a few years ago and began a career as a music journalist with China's Rolling Stone. Since then he has charmed musicians like Sam Roberts, Papa Roach, and Rob Zombie with his passionate, hysterical and enthusiastic interviewing in broken English. See, Al Di, LOVES music more than you can imagine. Al Di cares deeply about musicians and wants to understand how it is that they create such beauty. The result is the cutest and most random interviewing you've ever seen.

Al Di began filming his interviews for a program he calls "Al 'D' TV." Recently Al 'D' TV interviewedFall Out Boy and it made quite the buzz on YouTube.

The following is a Q and A with Al Di. He wanted me to clean up his English but I've kept most of it as it poured from his heart, because that's what makes Al Di, Al Di.

BR- Can you describe Al D TV for us?
Al Di- Personally, ALDTV is the baby of Colin Askey (my friend, producer of ALDTV ) and me. Our goal is to provide a genuine and intimate peak into the lives of the artists who create the music that their fans adore with respectful humor.

BR- How did Al D TV start?
Al Di- Colin was helping me take pictures during an interview with Panic! At the Disco. After the interview one day, he got the idea that we should start a Web-tv show. Since he is one of a few people in this world who I am admire I follow his intention. Because I trust in him.

BR- Has it been difficult to get bands like, Hot Hot Heat, Stars and Fall Out Boy on the show?
Al Di- I am a music journalist, but even though I've already have connections with those record labels, management and PR companies. It is still the first step that costs troublesome. Anyway, I just feel like after I conquer all the problems, now when I look back to those difficult problems, I don't really feel difficult at all, you know what I mean?

BR- Recently your interview with Fall Out Boy was one of the most viewed videos on YouTube, how does that feel? Did you do anything to celebrate this?
Al Di- I just talked with Colin about this thing. We are laughed a lot. We are happy the fact that we steal lots of fans from Fall Out Boy. Yeah. It's also happy to know there are tons of people appreciate our work. Which give us much more confidence to do AL D TV. We didn't celebrate this, because there are so many things we haven't achieve yet. No time to celebrate that.

BR- When not interviewing musicians, what is your favorite thing to do?
Al Di- I am inventing time machine at home now. Hopefully I will fly back to January 2007 to save my love affair. And I am on diet lately, so I spend lots of time to do exercise at home as well.

BR- What's your all time favorite karaoke song?
Al Di- You're The Inspiration by Chicago and Never Gonna Let You Go by Sergio Mendes.

BR- What are your dreams for Al D TV?
Al Di- ALDTV played on TV, so I and Colin can have decent income to enjoy the life, hahaha. We hope our pure innocent heart and mind will clarify and purify this corrupted music industry and get rid of lots of junks in the garbage can.

BR- Is there anything else we should know about you and Al D TV?
Al Di- AL D TV is all about love, peace and happiness. No bullshits!

Thanks to Al Di for taking the time to answer my questions. You can catch more Al Di at

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Eye- Wows

The first time I had it done it hurt so much I cried. Over time I've toughened up and now I think threading is THE best way to deal with eyebrows. For those of you that don't know: threading is a hair removal technique that uses a cotton thread that is twisted and rolled along the skin entwining the hairs in the thread, which are then lifted out from the follicle. The esthetician uses her hands to hold the thread and her (or maybe his) mouth to control the hair removal. The method originated in India and the Middle East and it's offered it in beauty salons all over Vancouver.

The best place for threading hands down is certainly beyond Robson, but it's worth the trip....

Silky Touch is an esthetics salon at the corner of 41 Ave and Fraser. They focus on nails, waxing, and massage but threading is their most popular service and at $5 a pop (for just eyebrows), you can't go wrong. I've been visiting them since 2001 when I lived in the Langara getto and even though I visit sporadically ( once a month or so), Seema, the owner, still remembers my name. I've been to other threaders in town but no one can match the precision and symmetry that I get with Seema.

I'm currently on a 6-week tour/trip out of town and I just don't know what I'm going to do without Silky Touch. So, please ride your bike up past Mountain View Cemetery and say hi to the ladies for me. Sorry guys, Silky Touch is a "women only" zone.

Silky Touch Esthetics, 5686 Fraser Street, (604) 676-1888, Walk-ins welcome.

Vancouver International Improv Fest

I remember in the 90s Improv was all the rage. At least I thought so, it seemed like "Whose Line is It Anyway?" was always on TV. But then what happened? Improv didn't disappear; I just stopped caring about it.

However Improv is on my mind again as I've become aware of the Vancouver International Improv Festival that's going on now and some of it actually sounds pretty cool. For instance there's going to be an improvised cartoon. Produced by Instant Theatre, this festival showcases a wide variety of improvisational styles from all over the world. In addition to showcasing some Improv's top dogs the VIIF also has it's own Festival ensemble, made up of top improvisers from all over, who work with top instructors in the day and then perform in the showcase at night. There are many shows to catch but only three days left. So get off your butts, turn off the computer and go out and see real people thinking on their feet.

Thursday June 7 shows at 7:30, 9:15 and 10
Friday June 8 shows at 7:30, 10 and 11:30
Saturday June 9 shows at 7:30, 10 and 11:45

The Festival pass is $40 and individual tickets are available.

Note: shows are at The Waterfront Theatre and the Revue Theatre on Granville Island check the website for full information.

WARNING- the website is very annoying to navigate. I hate Flash.

Dates: June 05, 2007 - June 09, 2007
Tickets at Tickets Tonight or try your luck at the door.