Sunday, July 8, 2018

World's Greatest Grandma

My friends and I spent the day at the mall yesterday, starting with a viewing of "Ant-Man and The Wasp".  After we watched the trailers, the IMAX countdown started, and then...the alarm in the theater was set off and we had to evacuate.  There we were, outside the AMC, thankfully still in air conditioning, with all of the other people that were evacuated from the 12 theaters.  Eventually, we were allowed to go inside, and they started the projector again from the IMAX countdown.  Luckily for us, we had not missed a moment of the film, nor was it interrupted, plus we got vouchers to return for another movie!  Thanks, AMC.


  • Love the opening adventure of Scott and his daughter.  It reminded me of "The Goonies".
  • Two years is a long time to be under house arrest.  He must order stuff from Amazon.
  • Love all of the action with stuff shrinking or getting big and the effect on whatever is around said stuff, like when they turn the van from toy size to regular size while underneath the car chasing them, and that car being thrown into the air.
  • The Wasp kicks ass.
  • The Ghost is creepy.  I didn't much like her character.
  • <whispering> "Baba Yaga"
  • Laurence Fishburne starts talking about Quantum Physics, and I start wondering if he's going to tell us that we're in the Matrix.
  • One of my friends was very happy to see her alma mater in the film. Go, Cal!
  • I love Luis' stories, and the ensuing reenactments.  They remind me of "Drunk History", currently one of my favorite shows on TV.
  • "Do you just put the word 'quantum' in front of everything?"
  • "You want a juice box and some string cheese?"  "Do you really have that?"
  • I liked Paul Rudd's delivery as Michelle Pfeiffer's character acting through Scott's body.
  • I want that whole case of little cars that can turn big.  I would also like to just carry my house around with me in a little box.
  • "You can do it. You can do anything.  You're the World's Greatest Grandma."
  • "Do you want to go to dinner?"
  • That mid-credits scene!  Aaaaahhhhh! Oh, no!
That was fun, although I think I liked the first one more than I liked this one.  I'm looking forward to seeing how Scott gets out of his predicament.


Friday, July 6, 2018

DLR LotD 07/04/18

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

"I want to be THAT kind of VIP." -- Stranger, in line at Peter Pan's Flight

Happy Birthday, USA!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

West End Wonders

Western Corps Connection
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Wheelock Stadium - Riverside Community College
Riverside, CA

Somehow, I still had a voice this morning after last night's excitement, so I was able to sing in church choir.  On the way to church, I saw the Blue Knight's buses parked outside my alma mater's stadium, so I drove back that way after church in case I could witness some rehearsal action.  Unfortunately, they were still having breakfast (or were on some kind of break), because all I could see around the field were people's water jugs.  That's probably all for the best, because I hadn't had breakfast yet and I had some blogging to do.

Bro and Dodie picked me up and we made our way to RCC.  I had parking $ all set for Bro, but when he went to the machine to pay, there was a sign that said that the drum corps attendees shouldn't.  So he didn't.  I tried to get a Blue Knights long sleeve shirt for V, but they didn't have her size.  I did get the SCV shirt she wanted, and I got myself the Babylon slouch shirt that I had spied the other day.  Bro put our stuff in the car, and also got my phone for me because I had left it charging in there.  Oops.  Thanks, Bro!  The marketplace this year was around the West end of the track, and when I talked to the SCV folks about being the last ones in the line of souvie trailers, they said they didn't mind because it was easier for them.  I mentioned that I noticed they made a killing last night, talking about the very long line at their trailer after the show.  They said that they kept thinking the crowd would die down, then the next thing, they looked up, and there would be a huge crowd again.  I'm glad the show is getting such an awesome response!  

Our seats were in section 4, row O, seats 17-23.  Yay, we got our desks behind us!  Dodie said she was glad we had a shelf and I said I did that mostly for me and all of my materials, but she was still glad to have the by-product.  

The Star-Spangled banner was sung a cappella by Kim Lovett again.  So, in all these 3 days, they couldn't get one brass player to perform the national anthem?  What?!

VESSEL
Those ramps are dangerous.  Bro said that a tuba player fell down because of one of them on Friday, and the same one fell today.  This time, a bass drummer fell onto his/her back after tripping on the ramp.  I hope they're OK.
Pre Bloom

Cymbals on Flower Petals


GOLDEN EMPIRE
"Hear our voice! Hear our voice!"  It doesn't seem as strong as yesterday.  Were they mic'd yesterday?
Lean


INCOGNITO
I jinxed my favorite color guard when I pointed her out to Dodie, because she dropped twice after that.  She did redeem herself afterward, though.  Oh, she's limping; no wonder she sits out a huge chunk of the show.  They had 7 color guard today, including my fave, so when she sat down, the numbers were even when they crossed weapons.

High Rifle Toss


WATCHMEN
I totally have this show figured out.  It's like "Logan" or another mutant movie, where the kid mutants were being abused, and they slowly start to become stronger, and shed off their straitjackets to become uninhibited.  Then they gang up on the scientist (the backfield drum major), and put him in the straitjacket to suffer.  Great job, rifles!

Gene Flags

Attacking the Scientist

GOLD
The narration is unnecessary.  If it's "too bright", then why aren't they all wearing sunglasses?  Is the "shut your eyes" a response to the "too bright"?  If you leave these phrases out, I'm still good with this show.  I think of "Spy vs. Spy" whenever I see the drum majors on the stands, one in black, one in white.  (Look it up, kids).  Sounding great, Gold!

What is that writing on the drums?

Is it supposed to spell a word?


IMPULSE
Bro, before the show, leaning back against the wall:  "I'm gonna fall asleep.  If only there was some type of alarm to wake me..."
Great job, tubas!  I know you didn't have an ensemble solo, but I noticed your talent.  Good intonation!  I like the gesture of the color guard looking at their (imaginary) watches.  Somebody needs to make them some fake watch bands so they're not just looking at their wrists, wondering what a "watch" is.  

Post Salute


<Intermission>

PACIFIC CREST
Today the drum major was wearing black.  He wore white yesterday.  Maybe he saw Rudy earlier and had to change after he something got spilled on him.  Better, but still needs more volume, and tonight we were closer to the field than last night.  Oh, there IS a crest formation!  Bro had to point it out to me.  I missed the Esther Williams segment, though.  Go, bass drums!  Nice solos.  

PC Horns

Quartet.  Look at those shiny drums!

What's over there?


TROOPERS
I didn't see more than one arrow turn, but I DID see it actually turn!  Beautiful solo in the ballad.  Great job, color guard!  I don't know if this is the same drum major as last year, but he is also very entertaining to watch.  That gal ran all the way out beyond the fence this time.  Either she needs to go to the bathroom, or she wants to get some souvenirs.  Thank you for coming out to California, Troop!

Troop DM

Such Pretty Flags for the Sunburst

Love the blue of these drums


ACADEMY
Rudy:  "Ryan, did they have those on Friday?"
<pause>
Rudy:  "Academy wasn't there on Friday."
One day they're going to pull a tuba out of those tables.  I like the way they hold their lapels with one hand and play their horns with the other.  Are they supposed to be mouthing "O Captain, My Captain"?   Because some do and some don't and I don't feel commitment from the ones that don't.

That is not how the correct spelling of "seize"

"I think, therefore I am"

Help, the boards are attacking!


MANDARINS
The cheesy glowy cube did not glow today.  Dodie thinks they found a magic ice cube in hell.  I really like that brass arrangement.  I also like how one of the color guard members drags the other one out from under the turntable during the trombone slide.

Setting the Tone

Fire Flags

Stare Down


BLUE KNIGHTS
Beautiful trombone solo in ballad leading to the gorgeous ensemble solo.  Lots of right angles adding to the visual effect.
DM Salute

Double Flags


SANTA CLARA VANGUARD
I tried to see if the color guard guy also does something acrobatic during the other guy's back flip, but he doesn't.  That's OK. This show is still amazeballs.

Lift

Back to Back

My Body's In A Cage

Love this part of the dance


BLUE DEVILS
I had to leave after SCV, and didn't make it in time to get to my seat, so my vantage point was from the stairs to the left of the stadium, and I couldn't see the 50-yard line without getting on my tiptoes.  So I watched whatever came over to the 10-20 yard lines.  This did allow me to get a closer look at the flags and uniforms, though.  The first flag has a typewriter.  The one during "Natural Woman" has wording on it, and I could make out "Hedy Lamarr".  The yellow flag: is that a snowman?  Maybe not.  I don't know if the other flags have different names.  I'm trying to figure out the graphic on the color guard guys' right pant leg.  Is it a map?  A painting?  I don't know.  I don't really like the corps' spangly uniform, or the weird pink square bib on the color guard women.  My interpretation of the ballad is "You make me feel so natural that I'm going to rip off my smock and throw it at you."  Nailed it!

No encore today.

Rudy asked us if we knew about SCV's tradition of playing "Send in the Clowns" at their truck for the Velarde family after every RCC show.  We knew about it, but have never seen it because we're usually listening for scores and tired and wanting to go home because I have to work the next day.  He thought of going there, and thought for a long time before trying to go, but the crowds and Brian's mobility difficulty were prohibitive.  Maybe on the 20th anniversary, next year.  Art's nephew currently plays cymbal for SCV, but I don't know his age.

Scores

Open Class:
6) 42.85 -- Incognito
5) 48.65 -- Impulse
4) 49.00 -- Watchmen
3) 50.40 -- Vessel
2) 53.55 -- Golden Empire
1) 57.75 -- Gold

World Class:
7) 64.30 -- Pacific Crest
6) 65.55 -- Troopers
5) 68.30 -- Academy
4) 70.75 -- Mandarins
3) 72.20 -- Blue Knights
2) 78.05 -- Blue Devils
1) 78.80 -- VANGUARD!!!

Two nights in a row over BD, and in a smaller stadium, no less.  YAY!

After saying our goodbyes, Bro bought a watermelon agua fresca for V, and we went to the parking structure, where we saw Marie waiting for Glenn to pick her up.  She had fallen earlier in the stands, poor thing.  I hope she'll be all right.  She says she felt OK even after falling down two rows.  Yikes.

Bro dropped me off at home, and I had trouble falling asleep.  Drum crops withdrawal starts NOW.  It's going to be a long wait until August.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Drum Corps in La La Land

Corps at the Crest - Pasadena
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Rose Bowl
Pasadena, CA

After some family time, Bro, V, and I went to my house and relaxed for a while before Dodie and Glenn arrived.  Since Bro had a big old grill in the back of his car, it was my turn to drive us all to the Rose Bowl.  On the way there, I challenged the folks in the car to try using all of the corps' names in one sentence, but they gave up after two attempts. Tim said he would be late, so after we parked, we walked to the ticket booth and I left his ticket there for him.  I don't know why their ticket booths need to be mirrored and awkward.  I couldn't even see if there was anyone behind the glass.  I also had an envelope all ready for them, but they wanted to use their envelope, which is OK, but now I've wasted an envelope.  There was a fence around much of the area where the corps were warming up, and we didn't want to walk all the way around to find an opening because it was hot.  So we stood in the sun most of the time while waiting for the gates to open.  I don't know why they open the gates only 30 minutes before the scheduled program.  People need to get through the entrance, get food, use the facilities, and buy souvenirs before getting to their seats in 30 minutes?  We were able to do so because we hustled, but that's crazy.  They also didn't check bags or turn away folks that didn't have the proper clear bags, so maybe that helped, but they were set up to do so. I guess they didn't have enough event staff at the time.

Our seats were in section 18H, row 50, seats 101-106.  We ended up among a bunch of Blue Devils alumni, which would be fine except when they said it was the BD section.  Um, not necessarily. 

Phenom was on the schedule to perform, but they didn't.  Instead, Pacific Crest corps director Stuart Pompel introduced a military veteran whom gave a speech about the significance of the number 21.  On the 21st day of every month, flags are to be flown at half staff to honor those whom protect our nation and communities.  The military color guard there was practicing before this speech, which V didn't like because she prefers not to see the behind-the-scenes stuff for the pageantry of the ceremonies.  I get that.



The Star-Spangled Banner was sung a cappella by Kim Lovett, the same woman as the previous day.  I still liked her performance.

INCOGNITO
Wait.  There already ARE 8 color guard members, but my favorite one, whom was on point again today, sat down for most of the second half of the show, so I don't know what that's about.  The show is done, but they still need to work on the intonation.

The Flags I Like

Is the 3rd one from the left supposed to be Pan?

Differently accented drums


WATCHMEN
Nice high rifle toss at the end of the battery future.  Are those final flags a picture of genes?  Is that what is altered?  Like their biological structure was altered by the radiation?  Is Hulk going to appear?  Because that would be cool.  The last person that the guard attacks is the backfield drum major.  He should really Hulk out.  Perhaps I watch too many superhero films.
Radioactive


Dancing with Straitjackets


GOLDEN EMPIRE
Nice response from the crowd for "We're Not Gonna Take It", probably due to the crescendo from the horns along with the recorded vocal.  Nice dynamics throughout.




IMPULSE
When the guard sways their rifles in a downward position in front of their foreheads, I think that's supposed to represent the pendulum of a grandfather clock.  They need to work on their intonation, because they sounded flat.


Clock Flags

GOLD
Nice brass runs in the opening number!  I also like the brass ripple up and down at the same time they ripple the purple/green flags that I like.  Beautiful trumpet solo in the ballad.




<Intermission>
Rose Bowl has us exiting a different tunnel than those whom are entering the stadium, which is much more efficient and less crowded than in the past.  Good thinking!  I told Dodie which booth she would find something Bro and I thought she would like, and she was able to get the dragon tank top from the Mandarins.

MANDARINS

 Hey, they have their turntable!  We thought they weren't going to be able to have it on the real grass at the Rose Bowl, but I guess it's OK.  Oh, now I see when the 3rd person on stilts takes them off.  I still don't know why, though.  I love that change from the minor to major chords at the end of the show.  Guy in front of us: "I SMELL SATURDAY NIGHT!"  I explained to Dodie that he meant the guy is predicting the Mandarins will make it to Finals night.  Go, Rifles, GOOOOOOO!!!!  Great job tonight, Color Guard!
Turntable Assembly


Tossing rifles over the corps



Heart


THE ACADEMY
They are cleaner, but the show still doesn't really grab me. This may have been partly due to the fact that I needed to use the facilities and was just waiting for them to say, "O Captain, My Captain", so I could leave.




I missed seeing the Troopers because I needed my own personal intermission.  Sorry, Troop.  I did see when I returned that 3 of the compasses had turned yellow.  Someday, all of them. Someday.

PACIFIC CREST
I do love that mambo, during which they do the tap dancing.  Oh, there's an Esther Williams segment, too, with some of the corps members providing the legs as the color guard soloist rises out of the "water".  Cute.  Are those flags Lakers colors on purpose because it's Los Angeles?  If so, thank you, PC!  If not, don't tell me.  Pretty solos, especially the mellophone.  If this was louder, the show would have much more impact, especially in big stadiums like this.  I hate to say that they need amplification, though.  My no-amplification side is struggling with this a lot right now.  Some people were laughing during the show, and I didn't catch what happened.  Later, V told us that someone lost their plume, and another person placed it back on their shako at the precise moment of the *ding* of the xylophone.


Star

Tap Segment

Hollywood 


BLUE KNIGHTS
Glenn:  Why are they wearing Lakers colors?
I just really like their sound.  Pretty neon flags at the end of the show, and they are double flags, which increases their visual effect.  I like watching their drum major conduct.  He has also brought back the salute with the knee bend.  Yay!  Tim was happy that they did justice to Rite of Spring by playing more than just the part that everyone does in their shows, and working with it a little bit.  That's his all-time favorite piece, so I'm happy they didn't make it too weird like some corps do.


Rite of Spring

Dance

Final Flags


SANTA CLARA VANGUARD
I just cannot describe this show, except with superlatives, because GAAAAAAHHHHH!!!  Love the decrescendo in the first piece as the horns kneel and face the right side. Their dynamics are more prominent now.  My whole party went bananas when they saw this show, which made me very happy.  


Color Guard Tower

Oh, there's a V on those flags!

Heading toward reunion


BLUE DEVILS
I love watching those guys dance.  Flags were better during the vocal percussion section.  I know they'll clean this up by Finals night, if not by tomorrow:  tossing rifles toward the end of "Natural Woman" with each beat.  The ending pose doesn't look as great from up high because the framework of the diner gets in the way.  I prefer seeing that portion from near ground level.


Playing on Bar tops

Circles

Encore
Pacific Crest



  • Semper Fidelis
  • America The Beautiful
  • Portions of their show music
  • Ave Maria (corps anthem) by Biebl
Scores

Open Class:
5) 42.95 -- Incognito
4) 49.15 -- Watchmen
3) 49.60 -- Impulse
2) 53.95 -- Golden Empire
1) 57.00 -- Gold

World Class:
7) 63.05 -- Pacific Crest
6) 64.40 -- Troopers
5) 66.65 -- Academy
4) 69.70 -- Mandarins
3) 71.05 -- Blue Knights
2) 77.00 -- (very long pause) -- Blue Devils
MUCH SCREAMING
1) 77.75 -- SCV!!!

As predicted by Bro, SCV wins in the bigger stadium.  We are happy Vanguard fans!

Glenn bought a bunch of his type of shirts, and we all chatted for a while before saying goodbye to Tim so he could get into the really long SCV souvie booth line.  I decided not to get the Gold coloring book because it was more of an activity book, and it wasn't really their uniforms.  I did like the page where you could design your own uniform, though.  If I can think of one in time, I'll reconsider getting the book.

The consensus of those of us in the car:  favorites of the night were Mandarins and SCV.  Because my friends have excellent taste.

Next up:  Western Corps Connection