I will Literally FIGHT to Photograph the Empire Builders!

DSC00348_transparentI am so proud of my husby, Christopher.  As a member of the Oregon Army National Guard, he plays in the 234th Army Band throughout the year.  But for two weeks every summer, he leaves with the army band on tour, playing free concerts for the public all over Oregon.  He has been away for about ten days, but I was able to drive down to Salem to see the concert band (a.k.a. The Empire Builders) perform at the Historic Grand Theatre.  Chris said that this was the best concert the army band has put on since he has been in the National Guard, so I wanted to make sure that I got to see it!  Chris’ principle instrument is the oboe, but he’s just as good on saxophone, and he often plays percussion or other instruments (but he can play nearly any band instrument you throw at him).

The theme was “Heroes and Villains”, and they performed lots of popular songs, including pieces from Superman, Frozen, Les Miserables, and Godzilla (which featured a story-line slide show that played as the band told the story of how Godzilla attacked Las Vegas, which was ultimately saved by multiple Elvi armed with various types of weaponry).

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That was all great, but I was mostly excited about the show because this year, Chris has moved into a conducting position and I wanted to see him do what he does best!  He loves conducting, and I think it has been really exciting for him to move into another position and take on new challenges.

My favorite piece of the show was The Padstow Lifeboat March…I’m a big fan of marches in general.  This piece was unique to me, though, because I could really visualize the waves getting bigger and the wind picking up…the song really told a story, to me!  And, it was entertaining as well – every time the fog-horn sounded, Chris emphasized the horns by doing something exaggerated (like in the picture above).  The audience laughed a lot! Want to hear The Padstow Lifeboat March by Sir Malcolm Arnold?  Click HERE and hit “Play Song”!

NoPaparazziWell, you probably want to hear about this FIGHT that almost went down, huh?  I was sitting in the balcony with a couple of friends, and I had my camera so that I could take some pictures of Chris as he conducted.  About the third song in, I get this insistent tap on my shoulder and I turn around, and there’s this old lady who rudely commanded to me “DON’T DO THAT”.  What???  It’s a free concert!  There was absolutely no ban on photography!  Further, my husband, who had been gone from his family for 10 days, did so in order to play free concerts for the public, for her!!!  I gave her a death stare, and took a couple more pictures.   I didn’t know exactly what was bothering her (I wasn’t using a flash), but I thought maybe it was the screen on my camera…but there were other people around me taking pictures with their iPhones, which also had screens.  I tried taking some pictures without the screen on, just using the view-finder, but that didn’t work well, so I got up and took more pictures from the side of the balcony.  The whole rest of the show I was stewing, thinking about all the things I was going to say to that lady if she pestered me again!  Seriously, I really try to be kind and considerate to people, but it seems like there is always someone yelling at me and telling me what I can and can’t do.  No wonder I don’t like being around crowds of strangers!  Sheesh…well, she got up and left immediately after the show ended and didn’t say anything else to me.  But I tell you what…things were about to get REAL in up in that balcony!  If my roller derby experience has taught me anything, it’s taught me how to hit a bitch, so look out, and don’t tell ME not to take pictures!

I mean, seriously, if I didn’t take pictures, this post would be much less entertaining, right?  😉

Blog Signature

Slight Hiatus

Well, hello there!  It’s been a while, huh?  I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging (duh), but that doesn’t mean I’ve just been lazing about with my thumb up my butt.  No sir-eeee.  I’ve actually been catching up with my digital scrapbooking, which is something that I *really* fell behind in (and you thought I was bad at keeping up with this blog!).  So I’ll tell you what I’ve accomplished:

– Entire scrapbook of our honeymoon cruise in the Caribbean – DONE!
– Entire scrapbook of our cruise up to Alaksa – DONE!
– 2006 Year in Review scrapbook – DONE!!! (finally)
– 2012 Year in Review – I’m working backwards, and have 6 out of 10 pages DONE!
– 2011 Year in Review – I’ve got 9 out of 41 pages DONE, and am motivated to keep going!

Here are a few examples of my work so far, just so you can see what these pages look like (from 2011 and 2012).  Each one is quite a bit of work, considering that I have to choose photos, do any artistic photoshop alterations, pick a color theme and related art, and figure out a layout that will work. They’re 12″ x 12″; some of them are single pages, and others are doubles:

 Chris and I went to see Bela Fleck in Reno for our one-year anniversary.  I love my camera – it takes really great pictures in low-light situations and the zoom is awesome!

 You can’t have five cats and not make fun of them with a scrapbook page.

This is the first page of a two-page spread about the Halloween Party we hosted last year.  This is one of my favorites; the second page is good too because I got pictures of everyone in their costumes!
Anywhooo…that’s all for now.  I’ve got to keep chugging along on 2011.  When I get a chance, I’ve been reading The Walking Dead graphic novels – did you know that The Walking Dead TV show is actually based on a graphic novel saga?  Yes, it’s true.  There are like 30 books or something, and the show has only covered the first two.  I’m on book 5, and so far it has held my interest.  Oh – I’m also reading “Before I go to Sleep”, which is the book I chose for our book club to read this month.  I was hoping it would be more of a thriller (it’s about a woman who wakes up every morning not remembering the day before, like in the movie “Memento”), but so far it has been a snooze.  Oh well!  At least it makes me go to sleep quickly in the evenings!

Koski Reunion at Lake Tahoe

A couple of weeks ago I took a few days off from work and flew to Lake Tahoe to meet up with most of the Koski clan. It was the first time I got to use my new camera (woo hoo!) and I’m sad to report that it appears that I, too, have been inflicted with a genetic disposition to take vast quantities of photos. This sickness has been further enabled by the fact that my new camera has a 2 GB storage card – you can only imagine how easy it was to snap off a few hundred pictures. At any rate, click here or on the picture below to see the top 50 photographs from this mini-holiday; just remember, there are plenty more where these came from, and if you don’t see a photo you were expecting to see, there may be good reason (i.e., future blackmail material, so stay on my good side, please). Enjoy!


I recently purchased Photoshop Elements 5.0 so that I could start digitally scrapbooking. I’m kind of behind in my scrapbooking and part of the problem is that I’m so perfectionistic and making pages using paper and adhesives and cutting stuff out and all that takes so long to do – I haven’t started any pages recently because it’s just too much of an undertaking. So I decided to go digital and have my pages professionally printed – it’s actually quite cost effective, and is fast and easy to do. Plus, since I’ve been using my digital camera exclusively, I don’t have to print photos out and cut them up – one more step I can skip.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to write about. I purchased Elements and have been trying to learn how to use it. And the best pictures to start practicing on, I’ve found, have been pet pictures! So here are pictures of Zoe, Jesse, and Teddy – I’ve lightened and warmed them up, increased the contrast, and used a glow filter. Cute, huh?