Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday "My Town" shootout--Angels!

This week's FMTS theme is "Angels" chosen by Kim in Chicago.

Head here to see the other participants' fantastic shots!

My thought on the theme this week was that there are angels all around us, just not in the usual conventional ways; common, ordinary people around us, doing uncommon, extraordinary things. (makes me think of the Michael W. Smith song "Angels Unaware")

I only have one this week, but we all have angels like these in our lives:

Whenever we need them, rain or shine, day or night, they show up, ready to be angels to people really in need. When they're not saving lives, they're making our commuities better places.

Thank you, angels!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday "My Town" Shootout---Christmas!

This week's FMTS theme was suggested by the blogger team--Christmas Around Town! Head here to see a great write-up by Ginger.

And... head here to see the other participants great photos!

Being a musician, my holidays are dominated by musical performances. Earlier this week was the final dress rehearsal for a production of "The Nutcracker" I'm in, and I was lucky enough to actually be able to watch it, since my part was being covered in the pit!

A nutcracker sentinal stands guard at the end of the stage...

One of his infantrymen watches the action on stage...

A panorama shot of the opening... the scrim becomes transparent as the light onstage comes up...

The Nutcraker makes its first appearance. Herr Drosselmeyer demonstrates it for the anxious children...

The Nutcrakcer comes to life and prepares to battle the mice (with our two "Clara"s marking their spots!)...

The end of Act I... the Kingdom of Snowflakes...

The opening of Act II...

The SugarPlum Fairy looks a little distressed, since this is the last dress!

Ah, all better!

Finale of the Entrance to the Land of Sweets...

Clara and the handmaidens await the next dance...

...the Arabian Coffee dancers!

The Mirlitons (AKA Dance of the Reed Flutes)...

Chinese Tea...

...and the energetic Trepak! (this little guy in the middle is amazing!)

And the famous "Waltz of the Flowers"...

The Nutcracker Grand Pas de Deux...

Finale with all the dancers...

The Spanish Chocolate dancers...

And the company bow with the SugarPlum Fairy and her Cavalier front and center!

Lining up for the final exit...

And Herr Drosselmeyer makes a final appearance... was it a dream or not??

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday "My Town" Shootout--weather!

I'm back! It's the holiday season, and with all the wonderful holiday music, SOMEONE has to play the concerts! :P Being a music teacher as well as what I call an "amateur professional" musician, I have a Christmas concert tomorrow, as well as starting my annual run of playing Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker", and this is all on top of all the performances with my students. Woo! Just a FEW things going on here!

Head here to see a wonderful write up on the topic, which was chosen by Emma in Arizona.

It was kismet that weather was the topic this week... SNOW fell here in the San Francisco Bay Area!! It RARELY snows here, and it's EVEN MORE RARE that the snow actually sticks! As in it sticks about once every 30 years!

This first picture was taken with my camera phone outside my classroom... our poor environmental science classes' garden! Maybe they were growing SNOW peas. ;)

All the surrounding mountains had a blanket of snow... gorgeous! I only wish the clouds cleared more so I could get a good shot! (look off in the distance here)

Unfortunately, rain came in today, which will probably wash away all the snow that's left. :(

My favorite shot of the week:

And this has NOTHING to do with weather, but it was TOO FUNNY not to share! As seen on the message board of a local church:

Lastly, a "preview" of next week. Tonight was the final dress rehearsal for "Nutcracker", and my part was covered, so I took the opportunity to actually WATCH it! (a novel concept for a musician!) The famous Waltz of the Flowers:

Have a good week, shutterbugs!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm still here....

... but extremely busy! Being a musician, this is the busy season for me; I think that there are only 3 days this month where I don't have something on.

I promise I'll have something up for this coming Friday!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friday "My Town" Shootout--smiles!

Friday shootout.... on a Sunday night...

This week's FMTS theme was chosen by Sarah in Idaho--smiles!

With Thanksgiving being celebrated in the USA this week, time to get pictures was scarce, so I only have one to share... but it's a good one!

Local community music groups abound in the area, and I attended the Pleasanton Community Concert Band's annual Family Concert. The theme this year was CIRCUS!!

A number of kids participated in the event--just like these two girls! They were taking part in the preformance of the "Circus Polka" by Igor Stravinsky, which was originally written for 50 ballerinas and 50 elephants!

These two girls first danced across the stage as ballerinas, and then plopped on some pachyderm ears and trounced around some more!

Have a great week, shooters!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday "My Town" Shootout--my town's premier attraction!

This week's FMTS theme was chosen by Kent in Montana--he wants to see the premier attaction of our towns!

Click on the camera in the sidebar to see the other participants' fantastic photos!

So, what is Dublin's main attraction? Some could say it's the county jail (which has held the likes of Squeaky Fromm, Scott Peterson, and Barry Bonds' trainer Greg Anderson); some might say the Alameda County Sherriff's Bomb Disposal Range (seen in many a Mythbusters episode!!); but I was looking for a more, shall we say, pleasant option!

If you're passing through Dublin, you'll have to stop at Hacienda Crossings!

It's the local hub of entertainment and shopping... TONS of stores and restaurants, but the star of the complex?

The Regal Cinema, which has 21 screens! This weekend, THIS is the place to be, since the place will be jam-packed with the opening of the smash New Moon. All 4 midnight showings have been sold out for a LOOOONG time. :) (and... um... in the effort of full disclosure... yes, I'm going to see it on Saturday ;D )

It's designed and laid out very aesthetically. :) Restaurants are mixed in all over, with gorgeous palm trees towering over the patrons.

Here's what all the hub-bub's about.... (and for the record, the other movie, "Blind Side", looks FANTASTIC--it's a touching, true story. I feel sorry in the fact that it's opening against New Moon.)

And lastly... just another gorgoues California sunset.

Have a great weekend, shooters!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Friday "My Town" Shootout--places of worship!

It's Friday again, so it's time for the shootout! This week's theme was chosen by Rebecca in Ambler, Pennsylvania--places of worship!

Click on the camera icon in the sidebar to see the other participants' great photos!

Here in California, a lot of the older and unique buildings have either been torn down or remodeled--they didn't have to worry about earthquake-safe buildings in the past!!

One old church we DO have in the area is in neighboring Livermore. St. Michael's Catholic Church (and school) has been in the area for decades, and as you'll see, the cornerstone of the church was placed in 1918.

And this last one just for fun... how can we be scared when the Red Baron is overhead?? ;)