Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment’

Happy Diwali

We had a Diwali get together with Arun, Jo and their girls this week along with all of the requisite fireworks.

It got quite smoky and loud with the firecrackers, smoke bomb and whistling fireworks.

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We went to Disneyland on Saturday.  We got there when the park opened and literally walked onto most of the rides.  We completed all the major roller coasters by lunch time (Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, Thunder Mountain.

In the afternoon, we went to California Adventure.  This was our first time there.  The rides were much more exciting.

Here are the kids at the Hollywood Hotel ride.  This is the same ride they have at Disney World in Orlando.  Way cool!  We rode it twice.


We also did the California Screamin ride twice.

By about 5 o’clock, we were all pooped and hungry!  Nikhil had a race out in Corona early the next morning so we decided to head back home and get some rest.

One last pose in front of the faux skyline.  Note the realistic clouds and shadows.

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On Thursday night, Anjali and I went to a concert at the Pacific Amphitheater. The opening band was the Psychedelic Furs. I remember listening to this group back in the early 80’s. Their claim top fame was “Pretty in Pink” which they saved until the very end. A couple of other songs they played that made the charts included “Ghost in You” and “Love My Way”. Their performance was mediocre at best. The lead singer must be in his late 50’s now and his voice was not quite what it used to be! He also doesn’t get around quite the way Mick Jagger does! Lucky for us, it was sunny, warm and quite relaxing as we watched some of the characters dancing all around us!

The headliner was a group called Yaz (or Yazoo at one point). Their lead singer is Allison Moyet and she is supported by her synthesizer player Vince Clarke (formerly of Depeche Mode and afterward at Erasure).

Here are Anjali and I enjoying the concert.

By the time Yaz started, the concert had filled up. This was their final stop of the tour, and probably the final stop of her career. Allison Moyet still sounded awesome. Unfortunately,  she has ballooned up over the 200 pound mark and doesn’t look like her former self! At one point she remarked that her rubber soled shoes don’t let her move around the carpet as well as she would like.

Anyway… enough commentary. Her singing redeemed the night as she banged her way thru all of her classic hits. These included “Nobody’s Diary”, “Good Times”, “Sweet Thing” and “Don’t Go” . She came back for a two song encore which included “Only You”.

Here is a clip from “Don’t Go”. By the way, his entire synthesizer mix was on his Apple laptop!

We had a great time at the concert.

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For the 4th of July festivities, we went to Tustin High School. In order to get parking and field level seating, we got there around 6:30.  We had Subway sandwiches for dinner along with crackers, hummus and white peach sangria.  Thanks to Bobby Flay for the sangria recipe!

About an hour before the fireworks started, the field filled up.

I took about 20 shots of the fireworks and only one came out pretty good!

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Last week Annika and her friends performed in the school talent show.

Here they are after getting their makeup and costumes done.

Here’s their performance. It is a song by Smash Mouth called All Star.

And here are the glamour girls after their fine performance.

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Terry and Kriss came down from Seattle this weekend and hosted a fun evening at the Wine Cellar in Irvine. It is actually a wine storage building that we used for our private party. The Bordeaux was flowing from about 5pm until closing. Following are a couple of pictures from the evening.

Here are the 3 birthday girls: Joy, Kriss and Kim.

And here are the Real Housewives!

Real Housewives from Orange County

It was a very fun evening albeit a bit chilly in the 57 degree temperature controlled wine locker but a wonderful relief from the 90 plus degree temperatures in SoCal this weekend.

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Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world, producing the most films with the largest audiences. It makes up to 800 films a year – twice as many as Hollywood and about 14 million Indian people go to the cinema each day!

Last Saturday night, we went to see Ayushee perform at the Bollywood dance contest sponsored by UCLA but with all the major colleges in the Pacific competing. This included USC, Berkeley, Stanford, UC Irvine, UCSD and USF to name a few.

All in all, I was impressed by the creativeness of the students in coming up with the story line, costumes, music and set design. A pretty complete presentation.

The winner was UC Berkeley with UCSD coming in a close second.

Here is a cut from Ayushee’s performance.

Note to Ayushee:  It was a tremendous effort and clearly a lot of hard work went into the preparation and practice. On the funny side, I thought the American Idol spoof at the beginning was pretty good.

As a novice observer, I have several recommendations for next year’s contest.

First, it was clear to me that the winning teams had some big time support for costume design, set design and construction and choreography. As a USC student, you should leverage the outstanding talents of the USC School of Cinematic Arts which is one of the leading (if not the top – behind UCLA) schools in the country for film. Seek out a prof and some film students to help you.

Second, your costumes need to “pop”. The winners all had brightly colored costumes with sequins and sparkle. Costumes cost money, so see if you can get some rich USC alums to help sponsor you. Let them know you lost to UCLA and you should have money flowing in!

Finally, get some more students to participate. The winners had big numbers and that helped make a grander impression on the large stage. Eighteen to twenty dancers seemed to be the magic number.  But get quality over quantity (no bellies hanging out – you know what I’m talking about)!

Congratulations on a job well done. Anjali and I had a great time watching all of the dance productions. We’re coming again next year!

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Last week, Anjali took the kids to the Natural History Museum on their day off.

Here are some pictures from the trip.

Here is Vikram at the rock exhibit learning about one of the excavation machines.


Here they are with their friends Ryan and Brandon.


Here are Nikhil, Annika and Brandon in front of the polar bear exhibit.


Here are Vikram and Annika in front of the dinosaur exhibit.


Here is the whole gang in order (Nikhil, Anjali, Annika, Vikram, Ryan, Brandon and Robin)


Here is Nikhil at the white polar bear exhibit. Check out the height of the bear!


And finally, at the end of a long and tiring day, the kids are ready to Relax!


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