Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Shaping Sound proves they can dance!

photo courtesy Shaping Sound

Photo courtesy Shaping Sound

We had the pleasure of being invited to review the Shaping Sound show at the Flint Center last weekend. And seriously, what a show it was!! Along with a fully packed Flint Center and such a positive, excited energy from the entire crowd.

Shaping Sound, under the artistic direction of Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson, is an evocative collaboration by diverse artists who describe themselves as ‘visual musicians’, i.e. their dance gives shape and form to sound. If the names sound familiar it’s because the launch of their dance company was followed during the Oxygen show “All the Right Moves.” And the dancers and directors have been all over your television: “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dancing With the Stars,”, “Glee,” “American Idol,” “The Voice” and “The 2013 Prime Time Emmy Awards.”  Besides choreographer Travis Wall, and SYTYCD Season One winner Nick Lazzarini, you will likely also remember dancers Ricky Ubeda, Kathryn McCormick and Jaimie Goodwin from SYTYCD. Unfortunately Goodwin had been injured and was not able to dance on Sunday, so most of the dances focused around the beautiful McCormick.

The first act was a lively set of dances, many arranged in a speakeasy type setting, set to music such as Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. No music list was provided so I’m going off my memory and what this writer recognized. The first dance, called “Broken in Chaos,” used full company but there was one standout right away: Mountain View’s native son Nick Lazzarini.  Let me clarify, I never saw SYTYCD Season One, I have no idea who Lazzarini is. But my eyes couldn’t leave him in that first set, and then my guest turned and told me it was Nick. So I was legitimately impressed. The final set of the first act, “Rouge Lounge”, was a really high energy dance with the entire group that had the audience screaming for more.

But after intermission is when things got REAL good.

The first set in Act Two is set to Bohemian Rhapsody, and it was FANTASTIC.

The men of Bohemian Rhapsody dance "Escape from Reality"

The men of Bohemian Rhapsody dance “Escape from Reality”

All the men stood under spotlights and I wish I had dance language to tell you what was going on, but the loud music along with the fantastic lighting effects, and the dancers themselves had the crowd going WILD.  I LOVED it.  I wish I had a video of that dance, I’d play it over and over and over again. No one in the audience will forget that number. And Act Two just kept on with the entertainment and we were really impressed that most of the crew were dancing the entire time. Those dancers have a LOT of energy.

But my second favorite dance was almost at the end, “The Light”, and it was a duet with Ricky Ubeda and Travis Wall. Excuse me if duet is not the correct word, I really don’t know the dance language. It was a beautiful contemporary dance showing so much love and affection and tenderness, it brought a big smile to my face even up to the very last movement. Thank you for that one, Ricky & Travis.

I’m so sorry that there was only the one show in the Bay Area, so you will have to wait until the next tour to see it. But if you are a fan of SYTYCD, or of dance itself, or you just look forward to a couple hours of great entertainment, I recommend watching out for their next tour and then getting tickets early – the entire Flint Center was sold out!

Good luck to all the dancers on the rest of their tour, and get well soon to Jaimie Goodwin!

Tour Schedule
Nick Lazzarini on Instagram
Shaping Sound on Instagram
Shaping Sound on Facebook

Northern California Botball Tournament 2015

2015 Northern California Tournament this Saturday, April 18, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm at NASA Ames Research Center. FREE to watch.

The robot compete by performing various tasks which are judged for speed and accuracy: however, during the head-to-head competition, the robots can be programed to sabotage their competitors.

Event Schedule:
8:00 AM – Registration / Open Practice

10:00 AM – Seeding Rounds Begin

1:00 PM – Lunch Break

2:00 PM – Double Elimination Rounds Begin

5:30 PM – Awards Presentation Begins

NASA Ames Research Center, N152 Conference Building, Room 171
Moffett Field, CA 94035

April 18, 2015
from 10:00 am
FREE to watch

Event Directions:
Go on US 101 freeway to the Moffett Field exit, then:
Show your drivers license to the guard at the gate, and say you are attending the Botball Tournament in the NASA Conference Center, N152. Drive straight, down Clark Road to just before the Shuttle model, turn right on Wescoat Road, then in a couple blocks, turn right on McCord Ave, and in one block, stay right at the ‘Y’ (note sign to N152) to Dailey Road for another block and you’ll see N152 on the right. The parking is on the left, across the street.

Bay Area Pet Expo 2015

The 5th Annual Bay Area Pet Expo at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds is Saturday January 17, 2015. Admission is free (Parking $8.00) and pets are welcome — all pets must be on a fixed lead or in a carrier with proof of appropriate vaccinations.
You will be required to sign a pet waiver at the entrance or you may fill your pet waiver form out in advance here (pdf).

Don’t have a pet? Well, pets are available for adoption (Rescue Groups and a Mega-Adoption Event).

The Expo features pet-friendly exhibitors, pet care tips, grooming, pet behavior & training, along with free nail trims, discounted vaccinations, microchipping, Heartworm and flea preventatives.

Bay Area Pet Expo

Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
344 Tully Road, San Jose 95111
Saturday January 17, 2015

10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Admission: Free
Parking: $8.00

Holiday Train 2014

HolidayTrainThis weekend (December 6 & 7) the Caltrain Holiday Train, a special non-passenger train decorated with more than 70,000 lights, will be making stops at eight different Peninsula Caltrain stations; four on Saturday four other stations on Sunday, and begins at the San Francisco station on both days. The public is not permitted to board or ride on the train. However, people can come out and see the train at the stations where it stops and enjoy the show put on by holiday characters.

Visitors are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy or book to drop into toy barrels at the stations for the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program and the Salvation Army’s holiday toy drive.

Always stand well back from the train and behind the yellow line on the platform. Hold onto children’s hands while waiting on the platform.

Saturday, December 6

San Francisco 4:00 p.m.
Burlingame 5:15 p.m.
Redwood City 6:15 p.m.
Mountain View 6:55 p.m.
Santa Clara 8:10 p.m.

Sunday, December 7

San Francisco 4:00 p.m.
Millbrae 5:15 p.m.
San Mateo 6:20 p.m.
Menlo Park 7:45 p.m.
Sunnyvale 8:40 p.m.

Chalk Art Festival in Luna Park

lunapark-chalk-art-festivalOn Saturday, September 20 Backesto Park comes alive with the 7th annual Luna Park Chalk Art Festival.  The festival is an all-volunteer run event created to provide a family-friendly, accessible venue to showcase the talents of local artists and students, foster awareness of the critical need for arts in schools and organizations serving youth, and to raise funds for providing grants and scholarships to meet that need.

No longer a tiny neighborhood event, the festival has grown, bringing in talented performers and musicians, vendors and food trucks, including some of my favorites, Hill Country BBQ and Waffle Amore! The dancers from  Movimiento Cosmico Indigenous Dance will be there too with their stunning ceremonial dances.

Check out the Flickr feed for the Luna Park Chalk Art Festival for more photos and follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter too.

If you’d like to participate as an artist or support the festival as a volunteer or sponsor , registration for all artists, artist/vendors, schools, and nonprofits is located here.

Did Somebody Say #Bacon Festival AND Fireworks?

Bacon Festival

What’s not to love about a bacon festival with fireworks too? July 4th and 5th is the second annual Movable Feast Bacon Festival on the Plaza de Cesar Chavez. They’ve expanded to two full days of food, entertainment, music and SJStreet Mart vendors with everything from henna tattoos and organic indigo to jewelry, clothing and more.

The food
Throughout the day there will be a load of food trucks including the famous Bacon Bacon and Baconbot trucks. Even if bacon isn’t your favorite thing there are plenty of other options from Grilled Cheese bandits, Madd Mex Cantina, Tastee Bytes, Chromatic Coffee, Treatbot and Fairycakes. Here’s the list of food vendors.

Kick up your heels to Yeshua and the Hi-Tones, Anya and the Getdown, The People and The Honey Wilders and watch the Pro Wrestling Revolution at several times both days. Silly Ricky the stilt juggler will be there as well as Brian the Bubble guy to entertain the kids. This is definitely a family friendly event.

Fireworks will start at 9:30 on July 4th courtesy of the San Jose Rotary Club

Here’s the full schedule and be sure to get tickets in advance at a discounted price. (Kids tickets are free online)

Kristi Yamaguchi’s Reading Adventures

Kristi Yamaguchi’s second annual Reading Adventures at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo on Saturday May 17, 2014.

Joining Ms. Yamaguchi to read their favorite childhood books are celebrity authors and athletes including Bob Barner and Dave Keane.

Check out the zoo’s animal education exhibits and take part in the many literacy-themed stations.

Schedule —
11:00      Kristi Yamaguchi welcome & reading (book signing to follow)
12:00      Dave Keane illustration & reading presentation (book signing to follow)
12:45      Conservation Ambassadors Animal Show
1:30        San Francisco 49er’s Will Tukuafu
2:00        Bob Barner – Music and drawing presentation (book signing to follow)
3:00        entertainment – Disney Jr.’s Choo Choo Soul

Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
1300 Senter Road
San Jose 95112
(408) 794-6400

Saturday, May 17, 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

General Admission (ages 2 – 69) — $12.95
General Admission for 70 years+ — $9.95
General Admission (ages 0 – 1) — FREE

The Best Valentine of all time

Honey and Holly

So you’re looking for someone who will love you forever and ever, never withhold their affections, and ask for nothing in return?

Head over to the Humane Society Silicon Valley this weekend.  All bonded pairs are priced 2 for 1 through Sunday. 

Take Honey and Holly, above.  They love to play together and will occupy each other for hours, and they will love you forever if you can give them a good home.  But they aren’t the only pups looking for a forever Valentine!

Foster dog showcase tomorrow 12-2! Through February 16th all adoptions are 2-for-1 fee so you get twice the love!

Prefer online dates with purrr-fect profiles? Check out these available singles, ready to warm your lap immediately!

Humane Society Silicon Valley
901 Ames Ave, Milpitas, CA 95035
Phone:(408) 262-2133
Hours:  10:30 am – 8:00 pm

“Like” their Facebook page to get regular adoption updates and deals.


Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Free admission to the Santa Cruz Museum on the the first Friday of every month!

Museum exhibits focus on the natural history of the Santa Cruz region and the Monterey Bay.

Wildlife & Habitats — On display… Owls, Hawks, a Golden Eagle, Reptiles, Amphibians, Foxes, Coyotes, Bobcat, Mountain Lion, Jack Rabbits, Brush Rabbits, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret,
California Quail, Hummingbirds Song Birds, Nests, Calls, Squirrels, Raccoons, Skunks
Monarchs and Banana Slugs

The Garden Learning Center provides examples of sustainable garden techniques and was designed to promote water and soil conservation, increase ecological diversity, and keep harmful chemicals out of our watershed. Interpretive panels throughout the garden illustrate concepts in sustainable gardening, and introduce visitors to common native plants suitable for planting in our region.

Geology of Santa Cruz — The Museum features fossilized bones of whales, dolphins and an entire sea cow skeleton – related to several species of manatee and dugong gliding through different waters today.

Learn about Monterey Bay Marine Life in the touch pool, featuring live local intertidal plants and animals. Adjacent to the touch pool you’ll find examples of shells found on regional beaches. Examples of typical marine and shore birds are also displayed.

Parking is available on Pilkington Avenue or in surrounding streets. From April-September you must get a free parking permit from inside the Museum to park on the museum-side of Pilkington Ave. Public transit, Santa Cruz Metro.

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
1305 East Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Friday, February 7, 2014
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Free admission also on:  03/07, 04/04, 05/02, 06/06

Evergreen Tree Tour

Our City Forest’s guides lead you on a free tour to discover fascinating evergreen trees at the San Jose State University main campus. From familiar Bay Area trees to the rarest oddities.

Tours are Saturdays January 25, February 1 and 8 at 2:00 PM.

Meet at 9th Street Plaza, near the Art Building. RSVP by emailing or by calling 408-998-7337 x 108.

Dress appropriately for the weather, tours are rain or shine.
Limited free parking available on South 10th Street. VTA (bus routes 63, 64, 72, 73, and 81; light rail lines 901 and 902).

Our City Forest mission statement: The mission of Our City Forest is to cultivate a green and healthy San Jose metropolis by engaging community members in the appreciation, protection, growth and maintenance of our urban ecosystem, especially our urban forest.

Our City Forest is a 501(c)3 organization.

San Jose State University
January 25, 2014
February 1 and 8, 2014
2:00 PM
Admission: Free ($5.00 donations suggested)
Remember to RSVP 408-998-7337 x 108

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