2017, april, blog, classpass, fitness, may, myblog, review

ClassPass

I wanted to start exercising this spring. When I was researching gyms to possibly join in Columbus, I stumbled upon ClassPass. I’d seen their Facebook Ads and wanted to learn more about them. The trial offer was a good deal and I was excited about the idea of trying new studios to consider joining. 
From April 17- May 17 I did ten various fitness classes in Columbus. At first I thought ten classes a month wouldn’t be enough but I later found it tough to squeeze in all ten classes into my busy schedule.
I enjoyed ClassPass and would recommend it to those who like variety, new adventures and can afford it. 
There were times in classes when I just had to take a deep breath and laugh at myself. There’s always going to be people in a class who have done that routine or those moves for years and are way better than you. That’s okay. I liked trying new classes that I otherwise wouldn’t have booked. I also met some other nice girls, some of them also “ClassPass” like me. 

Here’s the fitness classes in Columbus I did and how I reviewed them: 

Fit Jump

Tue, 05/16
6:00 – 7:00 pm
1645 Gateway Cir, Grove City, OH, 43123

Did not like this class. It was boring and repetitive.  The instructor was a high school freshmen who kept looking at a printed out sheet of notes. She never corrected anyone’s form or said anything motivational. I could hardly hear her. We’d bounce for a minute, do push ups for a minute, then repeat. I found myself zoning out and counting down the minutes til the class was over. The instructor seemed to be doing the same. At one point, we did exercises on the ground and I could’ve done those at home myself. I wanted to do exercises on the trampolines or in the ball pit. This class was disappointing.  

Intro to Aerial Silks

Mon, 05/15
6:00 – 7:30 pm
1411 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH, 43212

I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this class but I actually did. It was easier than pole dancing but still required upper body strength. I was challenged and the instructor was willing to help. She was so patient and kind. That made all the difference. I was amazed at what I was able to do. I wouldn’t mind taking this class again. I was a bit sore the next day. 

Barre in the Village

Mon, 5/8
6:00 – 7:00 pm
503 City Park Ave, Columbus, OH, 43215
This wasn’t my favorite class. I felt very cramped and close to my neighbor. I couldn’t extend my legs or arms all the way without hitting her. Throughout class, I wasn’t sure if I was doing any of the moves right. The instructor was loud and friendly. She introduced herself by asking me if I had any injuries. Um, no. If I did, I’d let you know. My arms felt sore the next day so I guess it was a good workout.

SpinFlex60

Sun, 5/7
5:15 – 6:15 pm
6367 Sawmill Rd, Dublin, OH, 43017
This was a great workout and I liked the variety and loved the instructor. She was really down-to-earth, motivational and offered modifications and corrections. It’s a very nice studio, right by Trader Joes. I would go back and definitely take classes from Sarah again. She was fantastic.

Barre7

Thu, 5/4
6:00 – 7:00 pm
275 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH, 43215
Julie is the best instructor I’ve ever had. It was a great workout. I wish I could give it six stars! She’s so inspirational and filled with knowledge. It was a challenging yet achievable workout. Highly recommend this class to everyone.

Fit Jump

Mon, 5/1
7:00 – 8:00 pm
3967 Presidential Pkwy, Powell, OH, 43065
It was a tough but fun workout. I couldn’t help but smile when we were bouncing on the trampoline but then that smile faded when we started doing suicides, frog legs, push ups, etc. I worked up quite a sweat. The instructor is tough but fair. I wish she had explained how exactly to do some of the more tricky moves. The class was small with just me and 5 “regulars”

Zumba

Fri, 4/28
6:30 – 7:15 pm
640 Lakeview Plaza Blvd, Suite A, Columbus, OH, 43085
Not super intense, but a great way to blow off some steam. Had a good time 

Beginner Pole

Wed, 4/26
7:45 – 8:45 pm
3408 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH, 43214
I left class feeling frustrated. The class was labeled Beginner but the majority of the class had been dancing for years/ had their own pole in their basement/ could do spinning pole dancing. Everyone else in the class got the hang of it instantly. The instructor, Devon, gave up on me after awkwardly trying to help me twice. It wasn’t much of a workout and the pole was crazy slippery. Only take this class if you can do a few pull ups and have great upper body strength. And wear shorts. You can’t do the class in yoga capri pants. You have to wear shorts. Even though their website says you can wear yoga pants. Don’t.

Hydro Power Jam

Mon, 4/24
7:00 – 8:00 pm
3111 Hayden Rd, Columbus, OH, 43235
Laura is a really nice instructor. The workout wasn’t the most intense. I wanted it to be more challenging. There were a lot of older women in the group and some of them seem more focused on gossiping than doing the moves. Sawmill has a nice pool, locker room, hot tub and sauna.

Dance Mixx

Fri, 4/21
6:00 – 7:00 pm
1145 Kenny Centre Mall, Columbus, OH, 43220
The staff is really friendly and welcoming. The instructor came over and introduced herself and explained how the class would go. I liked the music and the dance moves. The instructor was so upbeat and motivating. It was a good workout.

And that’s all I have to say about my experience with a one-month trial of ClassPass in Columbus. 
2017, blog, columbus, january, myblog, review, yelp

Cuts Off High review

Picture from Yelp


I went to Cuts Off High for the first time in January and it was a great but very unique experience. 

I needed a hair cut so I searched on Yelp for the best hair cuts in Columbus. This place was one of the top picks. Out of 41 reviews, he has almost 5 stars. Wow! 

To schedule an appointment, I called, left a voicemail, Ray texted me back with an available time, that same day and that was that. I’ve never been texted by a hair stylist before in a non-automated way so it was a refreshingly human change. 

Ray, the barber, is very friendly and listens to what you have to say. He is interesting to talk with and has a lot of opinions he will happily share with you. He takes great pride in his work and in educating his customers. I liked that he showed me how to care for and style my hair. My favorite part was that he didn’t try and sell me a bunch of hair products or things I didn’t want. I’d gone to a lot of other salons over the year and always felt pressured into buying their shampoo or hair products. 

Don’t expect any frills in this salon. With the $22 women’s haircut, there wasn’t a shampoo, he just misted my hair with water, and then blow dried it. The salon isn’t anything fancy, there’s no receptionist to get you coffee, etc.  I did read from other reviews that he has free beverages and fruit in the lobby. I was there at 6pm and didn’t see anything.

The service was good, the price was right and a month later, I’m still enjoying the layers in my hair cut, so I would go back here or recommend him to a friend.


Originally shared on Yelp

from Yelp

2016, blog, debbie, debbiegillum, february, myblog, review, songs

Currently Listening To

My top 5 songs right now:

  • 7 Years by Lukas Graham
    • This is one of those songs where I listened to it on repeat probably 5 times in my car. I heard it at the bowling alley, of all places. It caught my attention because of how soulful it sounded and because I thought it was Andy Grammar singing. Whoops. The lyrics are so sincere and it reminds me of that song “100 Years” by Five for Fighting. I’m  a big fan. I like songs where the artist is brave enough to write down how they are actually feeling, whether that’s frustrated by the music industry or insecure about their own art. I admire their honesty.
  • My House by Flo Rida
    • Aziz Ansari described Flo Rida the best: “When you hear a Flo Rida song at first you’re like, ‘What is this, Flo Rida? It’s the same thing you’ve always done. I’m not listening to this song.’ And then you keep hearing it and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, Flo Rida. You’ve done it again! This is a hit, baby!’ And that’s what people are like. People are like a Flo Rida song. You need to hear them a couple of times before you really get what they’re about.”
    • That’s exactly how I felt about this song. At fist I thought “Ugh, not again” but pretty soon I was like “Yeah, this is my house!” It’s too darn catchy and silly. I saw this music video on MTV and asked myself “Is this really where we are in 2016?” This is the progress we made?” Then I shook my head. 
  • 3 AM by Mads Langer
    • I loved Mads Langer when I was abroad in Denmark and I still like him. He’s a Danish pop singer but he sings in English. I’m not saying I like this song more than his song “Elephant” because I don’t think I could like any song by him more than “Elephant” (The one lyric is “I feel like I’m an elephant in a porcelain shop.”) but this is a fun disco pop song. I like to jam out to it in my car. 
    • It’s the type of song that you could jam out to at a bar or club on a Friday or Saturday night. Just a fun upbeat song.  Don’t listen to it for the lyrics, just listen to the sound. 
  • Mississippi by The Griswolds
    • I first heard of The Griswolds when they opened up for a concert I went to. They might have opened up for New Politics or Smallpools. I usually have low expectations for opening bands but man, they blew me away. They have a chill sound and up temp beats. 
    • Plus, isn’t “The Griswolds” a kinda cool band name. I’m assuming they love the “Vacation” movies.
    • In this song, the lead singer sings occasionally in this neat high pitched voice and it sounds so melodic.  I’ve only seen the Mississippi river in Memphis but this song from how great it sounds, makes me want to drive down south.
  • Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart) by The Vamps 
    • Simon and Garfunkle will always own the best version of “Cecilia.” However, The Vamps did a pretty cool remake of the song. Bonus: Shawn Mendes is in the song too. Love him! I heard this on Spotify Radio and at first thought it was another cover of Cecilia but then in the middle, I realized they had combined two songs and added some different parts in the middle. This song opened my eyes to how cool the band The Vamps is. I like their boy band pop sound because I have the musical tastes of a tweenager. I mean, look how cool those guys look. 
2015, blog, blurryface, june, music, myblog, review

Thougths on BlurryFace

I wrote about my experience with twenty one pilot’s album “Vessel” when I first heard it and now I want to share my thoughts on their new album “BlurryFace.”

All throughout April, I was excited about the songs that were being slowly released. 
First, it was “Fairly Local” which I liked and thought was pretty different than anything on “Vessel.” 
Then, it was “Tear in my Heart” which at first I was annoyed at how “pop”-y it sounded and how the lyrics felt less than meaningful. But now it’s grown on me. It was stuck in my head over vacation and I learned to appreciate the catchy chorus and fun bridge. He sings about cursing the government for filling potholes with cement and all I could think was how potholes are actually filled with coldpatch. Haha. 

The next single released was “Stressed Out” which is an amazing music video and I think the song nicely sums up who the band is. The music video seems like it was filmed at their actual houses in Columbus and follows them as they meet up to jam out. I love the handshake they do. This was the first song that mentioned Blurryface, who is speculated to be the band’s alter ego that represents insecurity.
 Beyonce = Sasha Fierce and twenty one pilots = Blurryface  
Josh and Tyler

I was struck by how their new album sounds more “pop”-y versus their previous more alternative sounding album. I’m not complaining because I love the catchy beats and lyrics. However, I miss the depth that “Vessel” offered. That’s why I got so hooked on them originally. Vessel’s main theme seemed to be about suicide (“What kids are doing are killing themselves/They feel they have no control of their prisoner’s cell”- Fake you out)
 Whereas this new album’s theme is more about relationships (But it takes someone to come around/ To show you how/ She’s the tear in my heart”- Tear in my Heart) and self consciousness (“My name’s Blurryface and I care what you think.”- Stressed Out) I suppose these two themes are more relatable and appeal to a broader audience but they aren’t as complex. 

I’m fascinated when Tyler sings such blunt lyrics like “I wish I had a better voice that sang some better words” and “”Honest, there’s a few songs on this record that feel common.” I love artists who bear their soul like that and aren’t afraid to admit that they have human insecurities too. 

The Billboard and Alt Press review of the album noted the reggae feel of the album and that’s honestly something I didn’t immediately pick up on. It didn’t feel overpowering or noticeable to me. Although now when I listen to “Ride” or “Message Man” I think Oh, it does sound reggae.  

My least favorite song is “Doubt” because it sounds annoying and repetitive. Another reviewer said it’s one step away from a bad Chris Brown song, and I agree with that. It’s the kind of song that you skip because it hurts your ears to listen to. 

If I had never heard the song “House of Gold” then I wouldn’t be as obsessed with twenty one pilots. On their new album, “The Judge” is another good ukulele ballad similar to “House of Gold.” I don’t think it’s on the same high level as “House of Gold” but I was pleased to see the ukulele make a reappearance. 

At work recently, I’ve had “Not Today” stuck in my head and I find myself wanting to clap along and sing aloud to it. It’s just a great catchy song that’s fun for the whole family. Err… a non-traditional younger generation family. 

So, remember: twenty one pilots came out with a new album. It is different than the first one. It is also good. And I’m excited to see them when they come to CBus!! 
blog, concert, newpolitics, review

New Politics concert

Waiting outside 

On Friday, Emily and I went to the Newport to see the New Politics concert. I was really excited because I’d seen New Politics in February with Monica and they put on such a great show. I think of them more as entertainers than musicians.

The concert started with SomeKindaWonderful, which was a cool band from Cleveland. I had listened to their song Reverse before the concert and when I first heard that song, I thought I was listening to The Shin’s “Simple Song” (no, seriously. listen to both of their intros and tell me they don’t sound similar.) The songs Reverse was stuck in my head the rest of the day until the concert. I thought the lead singer (Jordy Towers) was a good performer because he was so energetic and passionate. He looked like he would be a good rapper with a lot of swagger. They played a few songs in different genres so that was refreshing to me. Playing songs from other genres made me think they were musically talented. I liked their guitar player (Matt Gibson) because he played pretty much every type of guitar and they had this cool girl (Sarah Dyer) play the tambourine and dance. 

Bad Suns


The next opener was Bad Suns. I would’ve gone to a show to see just them alone. I love their song “Cardiac Arrest” so much. I’d listen to it every day senior year walking back from the library. At first I was loving them but they did a really long set and in the middle all of their songs kind of blurred together so that was disappointing. The lead singer was really gorgeous and sounded great so I wasn’t too bummed. They ended their set with “Salt” and “Cardiac Arrest” so that was amazing to hear. Their guitar players had such long hair you couldn’t see their faces. They were off in their own worlds. The one guy was playing into the speaker which I thought was weird. And, their drummer reminded me of Animal from the Muppets and Quasimodo.

Standing on the speaker. Nbd. 

New Politics opened with “Tonight You’re Perfect” which was such a great high energy song to open with. Everyone was so pumped. 

New Politics

I brought my Danish flag and when we waved it, the lead singer pointed to us and said something to the crowd about how they are from Denmark and he said “That’s good” in Danish. Awesome.
At one point,  Søren Hansen, the guitarist hopped on the piano and sang a slowed down version of “Stuck on You.”
Just like in the last concert, David Boyd, the lead singer, break danced, climbed up on the speaker and took his shirt off. Let me repeat that: he took his shirt off. Omg.  He also crowdsurfed. But most importantly, he took his shirt off. I’m sure at least three girls somewhere in the crowd fainted.  


2014, blog, book, book review, review

Paper Towns Book Review

Book Review

Paper Towns by John Green

    Paper Towns is your typical John Green book with quirky characters such as a wild yet misunderstood girl and a lovable male protagonist. The book is so similar to Green’s other book Looking for Alaska in the sense that both focus on a boy trying to find the crazy girl that he loves. They both become mystery/ detective type novels in the second half. I thought that Quentin aka Q (the protagonist) and Margo (the next door neighbor girl)were pretty much the same as Pudge and Alaska. Only the names changed.
     I read Paper Towns because my best friend read it over winter break. She only read it because John Green is the “it” author in the world of young adult (YA) fiction right now. That’s the same reason why I read his book, Looking for Alaska over the summer. I wanted to know what people were talking about. I liked that book so then I read The Fault in Our Stars. I admit it definitely made me cry and I’m thankful no one spoiled the ending for me, despite the fact that I begged my friends to tell me what happens.
   The book is about Q and his relationship with Margo. She invites him on a wild adventure in the middle of the night where they embark on such teenage shenanigans as breaking into SeaWorld. Then, the next day Margo goes missing! She’s run away before and left clues before. So now it is up to Q and his friends to piece together the clues to find out where Margo is and if she’s even alive.
    What John Green does best is characters. That’s what any good storyteller should rock at. He makes memorable three dimensional characters that leap off the page.
    I read the book mostly in the Columbus airport and on the plane to Orlando. It was ironic that I was flying there since the book takes place in Orlando. The city is central to the story and a lot of Orlando landmarks are recognized.
    I found myself skimming a lot of parts because I was eager to find out what happened and because there was a lot of the protagonist’s internal thoughts that I didn’t find worthwhile. He’s sad, I get it. Moving on, now. That was my biggest complaint about the novel. Some parts went on too long and were drawn out too much. I think the novel could’ve been cut down by 50 or so pages and still have been just as good.
       I’d recommend Paper Towns for anyone looking to find out what John Green is all about as a writer and to read a solid YA novel. If you like road trips, black Santas, or maps then you’ll get a kick out of Paper Towns.

2014, debbiegillum, denison, review, theatre, writing

Little opera gets big crowd

The DenisonianFebruary 4, 2014Arts and Life
By Debbie Gillum, News Editor Emeritus
Opera singing pirates happily pillaged and plundered Denison’s theatre this weekend.
The Singer’s Theatre Workshop performed Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” on Jan. 31 and Feb 1. at 8 p.m. in Burke Recital Hal. It was an operetta which means “little opera.”
The operetta started with everyone and their cousin coming onstage as pirates. The humor began instantly when Ruth, Frederic’s nurse (Laura Wilson), admitted that she had meant for Frederic to be an apprentice to a pilot but there was a miscommunication so now he was a pirate. Wilson had a brilliant accent, melodic voice and a strong stage presence.
General Stanley’s daughters took the stage next and did a Mary Poppins-esque high pitched song and dance in uber feminine colorful dresses. Picture Fleur Delacour and her friends from Harry Potter and you’ll get an idea for what these lovely ladies were like.
Mabel (Mary Libertini) fell in love with Frederic (Steven Hix). Libertini’s powerful soprano voice made me feel like I was at a real opera. Her voice could’ve broken glass or given a Disney Princess a run for their money. Hix did a solid job with such a large role. He is a confident singer and embraced the part.
“I am the very model of a modern Major-General,” so sang Major-General Stanley (Ben Flox) in the most famous Gilbert and Sullivan song. I think Flox may have been born to play such a role. He was a crowd favorite.
Another stage-stealer was The Pirate King (Chris Morriss) who continued his tradition of excelling in Denison theatre productions. He was very commanding on stage, had an impressive voice and was always in character.
In Act II, the constabulary performed a cute Tweedle-Dee-and-Tweedle-Dum-esque song and dance. I found the childish bumbling actions to be really funny. The Sergeant of Police (Will Blount) was especially entertaining because of his subtle but hilarious facial expressions.
The audience also realized that because Frederic’s birthday is February 29, he is actually only five years old instead of 21. The humor never stops. Since Frederic’s apprenticeship to the pirates ends on his 21rst birthday, it is still his “duty” to be a pirate.
My only quarrel with the “Pirates” was that at times I found the musical hard to understand. I couldn’t make out what people were saying or singing and I didn’t know what was going on.  It was a very fast-moving play with a lot of people on stage at once.
Overall, the costumes, props, sets and pit orchestra were amazing. It all came together really nicely, earning a standing ovation.
I’m always amazed at how hard my classmates and fellow Denison students work to put on such a great musical, on top of their usual classwork. Their passion for theatre and music blossomed through in their performance.
Dylan Dyer, a senior cinema and Spanish double major from Athens, Ohio, went to see the play because she was familiar with the play.
“I think I will enjoy it. I haven’t seen it before but I know half the cast.” After the play, Dyer said she was impressed by the play and liked it.
Singers Theatre Workshop continues their tradition of wowing audiences by putting on such high-quality (and free) productions for Denison and Granville.

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