Lady Gaga rocks Jozi

I have so much to tell you I don’t even know where to start. Lady Gaga came to South Africa last week and played her first show in Johannesburg on Friday 30 November, 2012. Let me just start by saying I was absolutely blown away. I wasn’t the biggest or the most passionate fan, but I was keen to see the spectacular that I’ve heard so much about – The Born This Way Ball.

Let me just tell you that the standing section is not for the faint hearted. If you’re short, small, young, or have any issues with people in your personal space, breathing on you, or resting their armpits on your shoulder, bare this all in mind when you rush for your spot. And rush we did. After arriving at Soccer City and grabbing the quickest beer of my life, we went to go and stand in the queue. This was at about 3.30, with the gates only being opened at 5pm. Off we went, through the first check point, to stand behind several hundred people who were already waiting at the gates. We then did the worst thing, which would have irritated me, and I felt terrible doing it, but we found a friend much nearer to the front and made our way through the heaving throng of irritated fans making comments like “no really, we weren’t here first, don’t you worry”, which, to be fair, is probably what I would have been saying had I not been dragged through the mass hand in hand with the more uber of the fans in our little group :|

From that point, as soon as the gates opened it was utter chaos. Hand in hand, we ran like mad things, sprinting from one check point to the next where were stopped by the fact that we had to get through a narrowing space, or scan our tickets at the gate. Once inside the actual stadium, no one would let us down onto the field to the standing area, re-directing us from one entry point to another, and back again. And I was running, let me tell you. The fear of potentially losing the people I was with to that crazy crowd was enough to keep my legs pumping and my chest open in spite of being sick, having no voice and having coughed at least one of lungs up in the past week.

Anyway, having finally arrived in the standing section, we found ourselves about 4 or 5 rows of people back from a ramp-type looking thing separating us general standers to the super uber fans who had been in the queue since god-knows-what time that morning, or the day before. Apparently 250 people were let into the “Monster Pit”, and those were the first 250 people in the queue, as far as I understand it. The rest of us, as I mentioned, ran for our spots. I never thought I’d run like that for a pozzie at a concert, let alone a  Lady Gaga concert, but let me tell you it was worth it. In spite of the mouth breathing, drugged up retards who seemed to be incapable of not invading my personal space.

For a bunch of people who were at a concert of a woman who basically preaches tolerance of everyone, in all shapes and forms, whatever their life choices or preferences may be, there was a hell of a lot of nastiness going on around us. A couple of girls just behind us almost got into fisticuffs with some pushing and shoving, followed by a few choice words out of one of them. The guy in front of me had a go at me for keeping my arm in front of me to protect my boobs, because it was digging into his back – yes that’s how close he was, A guy to our right full on shoved one of our friends out of his way and proceeded to stand with his sweaty armpit resting on my shoulder. The amount of times my toes got trodden on, and the amount of people who’s sweaty bodies rubbed up against me at one point or another, doesn’t bear reminiscing about.

And, in spite of all of that, this was by far the best concert I’ve been to. Sure it was expensive, but no more than Linkin Park golden Circle. And considering the show that we got out of it, the value for money was so much more with Gaga. The set alone was absolutely awesome, like a doll’s house that folded out in the form of a castle, let alone the 20 odd back up dancers, all the costume changes, additional props such as the ‘unicorn’ that she came out on, and the motorbike that she was practically a part of. The whole thing was a show, with a story behind it, narrated by a hologram on the right hand side of the stage. The choreography was pretty awesome – made me think how incredible it must be to be a back up dancer for someone of that stature, and all of the back up dancers also had several costume changes as well.

Anyway, enough of my waffling, check out the Edge of Glory – don’t worry about the picture, rather listen to the crowd taking over her voice.

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So Much of Cuteness

These little dudes are just too cute for words.

Nearly there

Grrrr

Shhhh…

They won’t see me

It’s so leedle

Upside down kitteh

Waassssuuuuuup

What is it?

I will not fall, I will not fall

Just me an’ ma beddy tear

Hawo

Cuddles

Plug socket ‘do

Where’s the other leg?

Look at ma feets

Mama tiger/baby ape?

Hi there

Mmmmwwaaaaaa

Stoked

nomnomnom

Will you take me in your suitcase?

Just bringin you ma leaf

Look how little

Snuggly ele

Droopy

Where’d they go?

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

Left behind

Double fluff

Just lickin the floor

Stick em up

Itty bitty swing

heh heh

Hmmm

Roadside kitteh

Huddle, and zzzz…

Going on a summer holiday?

Oh, I seeeee

Nooooooooo

Thanks Mel

A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Friday morning last week saw a lucky bunch of ladies dressed to the nines in the “Creatively Stylish” theme as specified by Intel, arriving in droves at the beautiful Shepstone Gardens. This absolute gem of a venue is tucked away in the most unsuspecting place, just off Louis Botha. Having not known it existed I was amazed at the stunning setting – a perfect place to create the magic of a Wonderland.

Secret Garden

Each lady chose a tiny hat on the way in, in order to add the hats to the mad (speaking for myself of course) in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Mad Hatter's Hat

The beauty of the setting was complemented by the decor which was simply Alice.

A Jozi Wonderland

Gorgeous tables

The Little Things

Drink Me

We were lucky enough to have Dion Chang of Flux Trends speak to us on the title “Does my Bum Look Big in Cyberspace”, discussing fashion trends in the online space.

"Does My Bum Look Big in Cyberspace"

Spotted: Beautiful shoes

I was lucky enough to win myself a silver HD video FlipCam by Cisco in the lucky draw. It’s a 4GB camera with a flip USB to both charge and transfer.

Apart from all the delicious goodies, we each came away with all sorts of lovely things courtesy of both Intel and Dell, including a New York Times Best Seller – Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey, cupcakes, Lindt deliciousness, lip-gloss, Revlon goodies and lovely Roll-On Pumps (pewter) which fold into a handbag and come encased in a fold up bag that opens up to make space for the heels you swap out.

The weather on the day was beautiful and I have so many other lovely photos, but here’s the last one

Sun-gilded

Huge thanks to Intel for a spectacular day :)

x

Girl Guides In-depth Review – Sony Cybershot

Sony Cybershot TX100V in depth review

This little camera has a lot of functionality and despite this it is light, slim and easy to use. There are so many different things you can do with this little beauty that it’s actually hard to believe.

Quick Look:

  • 16.2 megapixel Exmor R Cmos censor
  • 4x optical zoom
  • 25mm wide angle lens (35mm format)
  • 3.5 inch wide touch screen display
  • Full HD movie
  • GPS compass to geo-locate your images

I’m not much of a manual reader. When I get new toys I like to be able to switch them on and play from the word go. This means that gadgets need to be intuitive so that i don’t need to put it down and pick up a booklet to figure out how to make something do what I want it to. This Cybershot was just right for me. I switched it on, played with the zoom, located the settings, and changed some of them, switched the sounds off and had the basics figured out fairly quickly.

The great thing about this camera though is that there is so much functionality that you can keep figuring things out for days. There are various different settings such as superior auto, intelligent auto, background de-focus and so on, and within each of these settings is another set of settings, which vary from one to the next. So on one setting you will have 4 or 5 options, and when you change that setting your options change to suit the setting. For example, with the background de-focus setting on, you can also choose the soft skin option which smoothes out your skin to a massive degree – who needs anti-wrinkle creams anyway? Whereas, your smile shutter option may only be available with certain other settings.

I was rather impressed with the 4x optical zoom within the 35mm format as this means that even at full zoom, you don’t have a lens popping out of the front of the camera, enabling it to retain it’s sleek appearance while giving you the most advantage.

the sunset from my window - no zoom

Same sunset, from same room, zoom engaged

With the 16.2 megapixels that this cyber-shot offers, you can blow those embarrassing photos up to epic proportions for a 21st gift, thrill granny with great big portraits of her grand-kids, or turn those stunning landscape or sunset photos into real works of art.

“Sony is one of the first camera manufacturers in the industry to provide a 16.2MP CMOS sensor, which is a great benefit for consumers,” said Kelly Davis, director of the digital imaging group at Sony Electronics. “They are getting the best image quality as well as all of the benefits of the “Exmor R” CMOS sensor technology in very compact, stylish cameras.”

The incorporated wide angle lens means that even when objects are very very close to you as you shoot them, you’ll get that little bit extra into the picture.

I love the landscape panoramic option. Although I’m really not sure how much use one would get out of it, it’s definitely a fun extra to have and I’m sure the quirkyness of it will captivate many a new user, for a little while at least.

180 degrees of the garden

I’ve also just discovered that there is a high resolution portrait panoramic option that produces a 42megabyte file. If you set the Panorama image size to High Resolution, a 43 megapxel-size panoramic image can be shot. (10480×4096)

I think my favorite feature of this camera is the background de-focus option. Being able to focus on the foreground and have a blurry background is something I’ve always wanted a fancy SLR camera for. Now that I can do it with this point and shoot digital there’s no need!

background defocus option

My second favourite feature is the soft-skin function. As mentioned earlier, this is only available within certain settings, one of which is the background de-focus. It does exactly what it sounds like it does – softens the look of your skin. It glosses over small blemishes and wrinkles and basically makes you look like you’ve just had a studio shoot (well, maybe not quite that good, but it is very impressive). 10 years younger? Who needs L’Oreal anyway?

Softskin option - who needs anti-wrinkle creams?

The video recording is of very good quality and it records club-loud sound perfectly adequately. I recorded an electric violinist playing to a club beat background in Movida the other night and on playback the sound is very clear and not distorted at all. The box does specify, in case anyone was wondering about the HD video option, that “an optional HDMI cable and a TV supporting HDMI input are required for viewing HD still images and movies”. Another cool function within the video recoding is that you can capture stills while continuing to record.

Impressive capture in low light situations

The camera takes the picture as soon as you press the button so there’s much less chance of missing that perfect shot as you wait for the shutter to close which I have found with other point and shoot cameras. It has pretty decent low light recognition and options, and the HD video recording is also a great extra.

The camera comes with a lithium ion battery pack and can be charged either by connecting it to your computer via USB, or connecting it to the battery charger pack which plugs into the wall. Both of these options can be done without removing the battery pack from the camera. The battery seems to last quite a while – I had it for two weeks and only had to charge it right at the end. It takes around 2 and a half hours to charge fully so if you don’t plan ahead you could end up stuck with no battery at that all important moment.

There are so many things you can do with this camera that I reckon it will keep any new users entertained for weeks on end. There are quite a few available which I haven’t even mentioned here, such as the smile shutter, 3D shoot functionality which includes 3D still image, 3D sweep panorama and 3D sweep multi angle. I imagine a 3D TV would be required in order to get any benefit from this function. Another thing I haven’t mentioned is the GPS location so that you can geo-tag images. I imagine this would be a great function for all you adventurers out there, not only as proof that you’ve actually “been there, done that” but also got the photo, and the imprinted GPS evidence!

For all the technical details on the camera, go and check out the Sony website.

Turn-ons

  • Packed with fantastic features
  • Easy to get started with but still plenty to discover
  • Slim and stylish (love the red)
  • Shoots quickly and at great quality
  • Waterproof, freeze-proof, shock-proof, dust-proof

Turn-offs

  • Touch screen means finger prints all over the camera screen (yuck)
  • Video didn’t import automatically
  • Quite pricey

Price: R3800

For the original post and other great reviews, visit GirlGuides.co.za

To warm the heart and add a smile

One of the many things that makes Joburg so great is the beauty of the sunsets here. Some might say that their spectacularity (totally a word) is as a result of the pollution in the air. Well if we have to deal with the pollution anyway, we may as well enjoy the view.

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