Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Cappella In A Cupcake

Beckman Auditorium at CalTech
Saturday, April 21, 2018

My friends and I saw m-pact at DCA last year, and said they'd be willing to see them in a full show someday.  I had seen them previously, but not this current iteration.  As soon as I saw them post on twitter that they'd be in Pasadena, I rounded up the posse.  Well, a couple of them couldn't make it, so the Posse Personnel changed a bit, but all was good as everyone in attendance is already an a cappella fan.  I'm glad the tickets weren't going to be wasted.

With the 2 Substitutes

Linda, Bro, and I arrived early and got good parking (thanks, Varez family!), and wandered around a little bit before going inside to see the show.  

Pool between Beckman Auditorium
and Beckman Institute

Wisteria is so much prettier than ivy!

The Polyhedron of 432 Symmetry Fountain

A hawk landed on a tree nearby and
perched for a short time before
flying away in dramatic fashion

We went inside, and Bro's ticket indicated that he should go through another door because he was on the other half of our row, but he was feeling rebellious and went through our door anyway.  Our seats were in row D, Seats 201-209, house left of center.  The house never did fill up completely, but I would say it was about half full.  That's a shame, because this is a quite talented group, and people are missing out!  

I did not take notes during the performance, so here's what I could remember.

  • Nice opening with the Beatles' "Come Together"!  They won a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Artist (CARA) award for it this year for Best R&B Song.  Well deserved, guys!
  • Jeff welcomed us to being inside a giant cupcake.
The Ceiling

  • "Whoo!!!" is acceptable as meaning, "I'm having a great time tonight and I'm ready for more." (or something like that).
  • I'm not a big Miles Davis fan (I think he's way talented, just not my thang), but their rendition of "All Blues" was awesome, especially Aaron's trumpet. I mean, WHAT?!  Amazing.
  • Hmmm...they took The Flintstones out of their TV medley.  This one included theme songs from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, I Love Lucy, The Muppet Show, The Jetsons, and The Jeffersons.
  • "My Funny Valentine" was gorgeous, as always.
  • Love the "stinnnnng" during "My Favorite Things."  Also, those chords! 
  • Wow, Drew sings high.  So different from his stuff at Disneyland as a Dapper Dan, and his "Human Nature" was my favorite of many songs he beautifully sang during the evening.
  • Absolutely loved "Just The Two of Us", sung by Jamond and Tracy.  It started off with Tracy singing a bit, and Jamond approving, and Bro and I wondering what the heck they were going to sing...then us recognizing the chords but still not knowing what the song was going to be...then total realization, and aahhhhhh!  Our side of the house rocked the audience participation of singing the bass line.    Halfway through the song, I thought, "and it's being sung by only TWO of them!  Perfect!"
  • I love Tracy's mellow bass sound.
  • The gal sitting next to Bro was way excited, and I wondered if that's what I look like during Rockapella shows.  But I'm usually surrounded by my friends so I don't stick out TOO much, but maybe I'm obnoxious.  Sorry, people, I can't help loving my boys!  Oh, right, this is about m-pact.
  • I've never heard that "Guillotine" song before, but I like it!
  • I was happy every time they sang a Stevie Wonder song.  Oh, "I Just Called to Say I Love You"!  Memories of my teenage years camping with my family abound.
  • I almost couldn't look at Andy sometimes because he reminds me of my ex-boyfriend, and I would imagine that guy singing instead, and then I remembered that he doesn't sing as well as Andy.  Then I'd snap back into reality and there was Andy, singing beautifully!
  • That drum solo was long, awesome, and deserving of the standing ovation my friends gave him.  I wanted to get up but was afraid my skirt would fly up with me and I'd flash the folks seated behind me.
  • I liked the ways they played with the microphones to make different effects with their sound.
  • The group's sound is wonderfully tight, and I love the way they glissando to the higher notes with no issues.
  • Their last song was done off-mic, but Aaron and Jamond were seated in the back and not singing.  Why?  I want to hear them, too!  Bro and I agreed that we liked Drew off mic better.  His voice is just so pure. 

    I'm looking forward to their new CD, which should be released later this year.  

    We did not stay to say hi to the guys.  Maybe next time.  Thanks for a great show, m-pact!

    Saturday, April 14, 2018

    DLR LotD 04/13/18

    Disneyland Resort
    Line of the Day

    Friday, April 13, 2018

    "It's family friendly.  I can feed a family with these!" -- Sherry, pretending to be someone wearing a certain Minnie shirt, at Disney Clothiers

    First to the Key, First to the Egg

    You know when people say "the book was better than the movie"?  This was the mild anxiety I had when it was announced that Robert Cline's "Ready Player One"  would be a film (ooh, the icon on the official site is a key!) .  I had read the book twice before this was announced: the first time because it looked interesting, and the second time was to prepare for MouseAdventure: Ready Player One.  Then the announcement came that Steven Spielberg would direct the movie.  Well, that made perfect sense.  His movies are referenced throughout the book, and he would have the perfect viewpoint.  I love Spielberg's work.  But still, the anxiety...would the combination of Spielberg and Cline result in a great work of art, or not?  I read the book a third time.

    This Rubik's cube appeared in the lobby of the AMC several weeks before the movie opened.  They can be moved horizontally, but they matched up at the time because nobody had messed with them yet.




    I saw the first trailer before "Bladerunner 2049", and while the visuals were impressive, I didn't like the way the story wasn't really presented.  Uh oh.  Then the second trailer was released, and I was relieved, and excited for opening day.  I attended the panel at WonderCon and got even more excited!  I decided to go to the Thursday night showing because I was unavailable for Wednesday night.  Cindy and Mox decided to join me and we watched it via the Dolby Experience.  I wore my shirt from MouseAdventure.  So did V, when she saw it with Bro!

    I don't know why I have my napkin in the picture.

    • Wow.  Those visuals.  At first, I was a little bit dizzy because it was so jarring, and the screen was huge, but I got used to it after a few minutes.
    • The Stacks were pretty much how I pictured them.  The Oasis...I couldn't imagine that, no way.  It was incredible.  I was so very happy that they were able to get what seemed to be Cline's vision of that virtual world.  
    • The quests were not the same as in the book.  During the panel, screenwriter Zak Penn alluded to one of the quests that was not included in order to keep the action going, and I did miss Joust and Pac-Man.  They did throw in a couple of things in the background that alluded to them, though, including one of the IOI employees mentioning Joust. I really would have liked to see that part, though.
    • Whoa, the scene in The Overlook.  Perfect.  I loved that dancing zombies element and now I want to play the game.  Cindy couldn't really watch it because that's her nightmare movie, but it really was well done.
    • I smiled as I saw Parzival strutting like John Travolta, because of Tye Sheridan's story about working with Spielberg.
    • Doritos were on the table at Wade's trailer in the Stacks.
    • That's a big egg, yo.  I don't know how Halliday couldn't find that thing at first when it was all glowy and big.
    • I liked how everyone was portrayed, especially Mark Rylance's Halliday as the awkwardly social genius behind it all.
    • "She wanted to go dancing, so we watched a movie."
    • "If you all want to reach under your seats, there's nothing there."
    • TJ Miller is hilarious as usual as I-R0k.  So menacing, yet he thinks he has carpal tunnel of the neck.
    • Ben Mendelsohn's Sorrento wasn't just a villain, he was a rude villain.  I mean, he never said "please", not with the orb, not with the gun, nothing.  Jerk.  I mean, even his monogrammed tie is obnoxious, and reminds me of a certain POTUS.
    • I do love, though, that Sorrento mentioned the Millennium Falcon.
    • "Ninjas don't hug."
    • That's a lot of thank yous for all of the pop culture references used!  I'm glad that they were all on board with this flick, especially since the director was such an unknown (wink!).
    • I love that one of the power ups is the Zemeckis Cube.
    • I liked that both the young and old versions of Halliday were wearing Space Invaders shirts.
    • So, was Parzival's hair supposed to look like the lead singer from A-ha?
    • My favorite Easter Eggs, at least those which I've seen:  Speed Racer's Mach 5, the Batmobile, the RUSH poster, and the Mayor Goldie Wilson poster. 
    • "It's fu*&ing Chucky!"
    • I wonder if there were any "War Games" Easter Eggs in this film, since it featured prominently in the novel.  I don't remember seeing any.

    I really enjoyed the movie, and was happy that I enjoyed it.  Does that make sense?  Rudy started reading the book upon my recommendation, and he was stunned at how spot on I was when I said that he would like it.  Since I was willing to see the film again, but in IMAX 3D, I met up with him the other night to watch it before the IMAX theaters change over to "Rampage", which opens this weekend.  This time, I wore my DeLorean shirt from the Awesome 80s race.

    • Rudy said the spell used for the Orb of Osuvox was from something.  Later, I let him know that it was the spell from the film "Excalibur".
    • Seeing the film in this format was a great decision!  This film was made for IMAX as it was immersive and gorgeously done.  The Overlook and the maze segment scared me, though.
    • Rudy and I kept pointing at stuff.  I don't think anyone could hear him because the volume was so high, but we were both excited throughout the film.

    So Spielberg and I can still be friends.  OK, I wish I was his friend!  Thank you, Steven, for the great flick! 

    DLR LotD 04/07/18

    Disneyland Resort
    Line of the Day

    Saturday, April 7, 2018

    "It's so delicious" -- Chef Daniella Malfitano, several times, during Chef Bret Thompson's culinary demonstration at Disney California Adventure's Food and Wine Festival

    Chef from Pez Cantina; Chef Bret; Chef Daniella

    Chicken with trumpet mushrooms and morel mushrooms
    with English peas, asparagus, baby zucchini,
    marigold petals, and chimichurri sauce

    Tuesday, April 10, 2018

    Silence is Survival

    I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a sneak screening of "A Quiet Place" when I went to WonderCon.  

    Now that it's out in theaters, I can share my thoughts with you, my millions of followers.  OK, tens of followers.  OK, a handful of you.

    • Tears.  Tears already about a child at the beginning of the movie.  So mean.
    • Corn stalks are creepy, especially when children are involved.
    • Aw, the poor noisy critter.
    • Hey, I know that kid!  Noah Jupe was great in "Wonder", and in this film, too.
    • I've heard of women giving birth under stressful conditions, but then she had to be quiet?  I love that they had the rocket sound planned for that occasion.
    • She did that bathtub scene in one take?  You are AMAZING, Emily Blunt!  I would love to know who was originally up for the female lead before she insisted that her husband cast her in the part.
    • This whole cast was amazing as they portrayed their emotions without words.  Their facial expressions said it all.
    • So, the earpiece thing on the daughter.  That was his experiment, right?  She didn't actually need it for anything else?  Or does it help her because she's deaf?  She's deaf in real life, but is her character deaf as well?  I'm all confused now that I found that out on imdb. Oh, it's a cochlear implant.  So they all knew how to sign anyway because the Reagan was deaf, I guess.
    • Bravo, John Krasinski!  You managed to put your wife in danger on screen and lots of people loved it, including me.  Also including Stephen King, who tweeted "A QUIET PLACE is an extraordinary piece of work. Terrific acting, but the main thing is the SILENCE, and how it makes the camera's eye open wide in a way few movies manage." Wow.
    • That last shot: BRILLIANT.
    I really enjoyed this movie.  I wish I could see it again with folks who haven't seen it. I'm like that with scary movies.  :)

    Sunday, April 8, 2018

    WCon 2018

    WonderCon 2018
    Anaheim Convention Center
    March 23-25, 2018

    Friday, March 23: Day 1

    I left work early to drive down to Anaheim to attend the first day.  Now that I have a few cons under my belt, I strategize for each day based on whatever special events or panels are planned during the weekend.  Fridays for me are the art shopping days: days when I visit the booths of the artists I follow on Instagram to obtain whatever I've had my eye on, or exclusives offered just for the weekend.  I also like to tell them that I appreciate their work, and sometimes have a question for them, although I don't know much about the art except that I really like it so I don't have much to say other than "I love your work".

    Yes, I bought more than this.

    Pictured, counter-clockwise from the tippy top:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer full TV series score + film score from the motion picture, from La-La Land Records; Black Panther "On the Prowl" by Maurice Abril; Buffy / Hamilton "Slay" by Karen Hallion; The Evolution of Luke Skywalker by Jeff Victor; Coco 25 cent wonder by Patrick Ballesteros; "The Little Wonderful Woman" Golden Book by Joey Spiotto; Rice Cooker pin by Genevieve Santos; Captain EO by Jeff Pina.

    I saw on Twitter that tickets would be distributed for a sneak screening of "A Quiet Place" at three times: 3:30, 4:30, and 5:30.  I didn't know how this would work, but made sure to get in line at about 2:30 when I saw there was already a long one forming.  We were moved to the regular queue area, and people around me were receiving different information from different sources, so I decided to just wait to see what they would tell us at 3:30.  The only thing I found out that was definite was that the movie would be shown at the AMC Theater in Downtown Disney.  When the line started to move, I think they distributed 75 tickets, including a limit of 2 per each person in line.  This might have been fine if the people telling people they couldn't sit down were watching people cutting the line instead.  The not-sitting-down policy was ridiculous because we weren't in an aisle where anything else was going on, and we were all waiting for at least an hour, and there was plenty of space for our entire line to sit down.  Also, they didn't enforce it for everyone the entire time).  I was about 20 people from the front for the second wave at 4:30.  Luckily for me, I had chatted with the gal next to me and she agreed to save my place in line while I used the facilities.  Thank you!   I even made sure the guy in back of me would also vouch for me just so I had my bases covered.  At the 4:30 distribution, I got my wristband, and I happily went on my way to finish my last purchases of the day.  One of the last purchases?  Cupcakes from my favorite cupcake truck:  My Delight!

    Clockwise from top:
    Carrot cake; peanut butter;
    snickerdoodle; breakfast (my fave!)

    Happiness in hand, I walked back to my car to drop off my goodies, eat one of the cupcakes, and take the shuttle to the resort.  I'm glad I did that, because bag check would have been a pain.

    When I got to the theater at about 6:00, there were already several people in line.  I was told that they over-distributed in case some people just picked up 2 wristbands for the heck of it and didn't actually show up.  So if everyone got in line, the last 30 people in line would not be able to see the movie.  I arrived early enough to get in, and we were given vouchers for free popcorn and a drink.  Nice!  I sat in front of some reserved seating for Paramount folks, but I didn't recognize any of them, and they didn't do anything special but take up seats that other people at the Con could have sat.  We were instructed not to film and that they had infrared technology to catch folks filming and whomever was caught filming would be kicked out.  The usher guard people stood watching the audience for the whole movie.  At least, they stood there.  I was too engrossed in the movie to see if they were watching us.  My thoughts about the movie will be in a separate post.

    Afterward, I walked back to the shuttle pickup area, trying to walk as quickly as possible so I could miss the post-fireworks crowd.  Success!  I had a good sleep when I finally got home.  My legs were worn out after the day of standing and walking.

    Saturday, May 24: Day 2

    I arrived prior to opening time on Saturday, and when I got in line, I realized I was behind someone cosplaying as Sadness from "Inside Out".  I told her that she was my favorite character, but she didn't seem very chatty (she IS Sadness, after all), so I didn't have the nerve to ask to get a picture with her.  She looked perfect, though!  

    Saturday is my day to attend panels and check out stuff that I missed on Friday.  I only had one panel that was a must on my list, so I mostly walked around the different booths.  Joey, one of the artists I talked to the previous day, tweeted that a figurine of his work was on sale at the Loot Crate booth, so I walked over there and purchased it.  The gal who sold it to me said that the artist would sign it.  She was right!

    Joey Spiotti and the figurine of his Buffy piece
    Love Spike with the blanket!

    There was a droid-building club, because, of course!

    Chopper between R2s

    Shiny R2
    I'm calling him Boba Fett R2

    They're everywhere!

    WALL-E rolled up to me and said "EVE"
    I told him I wasn't Eve, I'm Sherry.

    I had a little bit of time before lining up for the panel, and got in the line to meet the cover artist of this year's program, Dan Jurgens.  I love his drawing of Superman, which he had in print form to purchase, but since he was already signing my program, I figured I would get a different piece.  He graciously agreed to pose for a picture.

    Mr. Jurgens with the print I bought

    I wasn't able to get the signatures of the inker and colorist of the program because they all had to go to a panel, and I wasn't going to that one.

    Instead, I queued up for the Warner Bros panel for "Ready Player One".  We didn't see much more than a trailer and very little behind the scenes statements from Spielberg and others.  They really didn't want to give much away, but the visuals looked outstanding!

    The panel was author of the book Ernest Cline, screenwriter Zak Penn, and cast members Ben Mendelsohn (Sorrento), Tye Sheridan (Parzival), Olivia Cooke (Art3mis), Lena Waithe (Aech), Philip Zhao (Sho), and Win Morisaki (Daito).  

    Full panel

     Ernest Cline

    Zhao and Morisaki

    Waithe and Mendelsohn

    Sheridan, Cooke and Waithe

    Cline and Penn

    • Question: What is your favorite video game?
      • OC: I don't play video games.  Does Tamagotchi count?
    • Q: What was your first direction by Steven Spielberg?
      • TS: He wanted me to walk like John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever".  When he asked me to walk, he turned on "Stayin' Alive" (TS bops his head back and forth), struts over to me with the phone, and says, "Like that."
    • Q: I heard that a lot of celebrity visitors came to the set.
      • ZP told a story about George Lucas coming to the set with his daughter and showing her all of the digital cameras.  GL said to Steven, "I thought you were never going to film anything in digital?"  Steven:  "George, that ended a long time ago, and you still keep asking that question!"
      • OC talked about Tom Cruise visiting the set the day she had was dressed in the bodysuit with the ping pong balls for the CGI, and she wanted to hide from Tom because of what she was wearing, and she was sweating because they had just done a take. But Steven said, "Olivia, come on over and meet Tom Cruise!"  
    • OC talked about the fact that LW's character is very tall, and she and TS kept forgetting not to look in her eyes, but to look up at the ball hanging above her.  LW:  "I was telling them, you're staring at my chest!"
    • Ben Mendelsohn is hilarious and said that he agreed to be a villain again because they pay him extra money to do so.
    • WM had an interpreter with him, and when the moderator was asking the video game question, he asked him to answer, too.  Win speaks English well, though.
    • This was Philip Zhao's first film.
    • EC said that he was starstruck for the first several times he spoke to Spielberg about the film, and geeked out about everything he said.
    • Q:  I need to know: with this movie using different elements of Spielberg's other films, did he ever say, "Well, when we were doing 'JAWS', this happened?"
      • ALL:  YES!!!
    I'm sure I"m forgetting a bunch of stuff, but that was a fun panel.  I do remember that they were all asked about their favorite Spielberg movie, but I can't remember the answers.  Oh, yeah, OC likes "Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom".  Another person said, "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade".  I know there were other movies mentioned that had nothing to do with Indy.

    I wanted to get a couple of con-exclusive comic books, so I did that before meeting up with Dodie and her friends.  We walked around and they talked to people they knew at the different booths.  One of them used to work with an artist whose work is up above, and the other is friends with the guys from La-La Land Records, so that's cool.   This walk-around time gave me more time to look at the cosplay around us.   

    Two Doctors!

    As we were leaving, I saw this, and pointed it out to my companions.  We tried to catch up and guessed who it was:  Lego Wicked Witch?  Lego Gandalf?  Lego Tin Man? 

    All we knew for sure was LEGO.
    Then LEGO cosplayer caught up with his friend, and we got our answer.

    LEGO Gimli and LEGO Gandalf

    Dodie and friends had dinner reservations at Tortilla Jo's and invited me to join them, so I drove us all  to Downtown Disney.  We walked around afterward and somehow I refrained from buying more art at Wonderground.  Dodie's friend loves Disneyland popcorn, but doesn't have a pass, so Dodie and I went into the Park to get her a souvenir tub and popcorn. 

     I love being able to just go in for 10 minutes
     for necessities!

    I said goodbye to my companions and went home.  Here is some of what I bought on Saturday.

    Not a big art day, but still some.

    Pictured, clockwise from top right:  Buffy figurine by Joey Spiotti froom Loot Crate; Gloomy Bear plush; WonderCon program; Superman #150 by Dan Jurgens; Unicorn heart pin and Mermaid art by Faheema from Unicorn Crafts; Supergirl #19 variant; Ariel and Eric wedding Funko Pop.

    I didn't attend the Sunday of the Con because I needed to be elsewhere.  I'm glad my heart wasn't set on the panels I had planned, but I was still sorry to miss the last day.

    Next up on the Con Agenda:  Whedon Con

    Saturday, March 31, 2018

    Sightseeing with Bob

    A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I went on the Waltland Bus Tour.  I heard about the tour from tour guide Bob Gurr, whose panel discussion I attended at LA Comic Con last year.  Bob Gurr is a Disney Legend and Imagineer whom designed the vehicles at Disneyland for Haunted Mansion, Autopia, and Monorail.  Having worked alongside Walt Disney, he has plenty of stories about his time with the company and willingly shares them.

    The meeting area for the bus tour is in the parking lot in Griffith Park adjacent to the LA Zoo.  We checked in and bought souvenir pins, and Bob was there already, signing whatever we bought.  He happily agreed to take a picture with us and asked a guy to use my phone instead of us doing it selfie style.  Thanks, guy!

    Posing with Mr. Gurr

    Our bus arrived, and we ended up standing in line in back of the guy who took our picture, as we had arrived right after his group, and we boarded the bus by time of arrival.  Some folks had reserved seats, for which they paid extra and received VIP status.  We also sat in back of that guy's group.  No, we were not stalking them.  

    Selfie Time!

    Our first stop was to see Walt's and Roy's first homes in California, built out of kits in the Los Feliz area.  They lived next door to each other.

    Walt's house is on the right, Roy's on the left

    Bob didn't want to pass up the chance on showing us the nearby John Marshall High School, as it has been used as backdrops in various productions, most notably to me:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    They were recording Bob for this tour

    They are continually refurbishing the school.
    Seen in the left bottom corner is a sheltered entrance
    covered in a scenic wrap.

    Another view as we drove by

    We then stopped at the site of the original Hyperion studios, where "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" was produced.  It is now a Gelson's.  

    Bob telling us about the area, and the
    animator who quit while drunk in a saloon
    that used to be across the street.
    Walt wouldn't let him leave the company.

    We then traveled back to Griffith Park after making a quick drive-by to the original Hyperion Studios bungalows.  What a cute little community!

    At Griffith Park, we stopped at the Merry-Go-Round.  Yup, the very one where Walt used to take his daughters, and first had the concept of Disneyland, where people could bring their kids and the parents could have fun, too.

    Bob said that he gets to ride as much as he wants for free.  We rode for a nominal fee, and it goes pretty fast!   The proprietor ask riders over a certain weight not to ride the horses and either sit on a bench or stand.  It is still being refurbished, and there is an area paying tribute to Walt.  The ride also takes a while, and I think we went through three songs from "Mary Poppins" on our one ride.  That made me happy, especially when they played "Jolly Holiday".  Practically perfect in every way!  

    A marching band was practicing in the parking lot.
    You know I'm not going to resist taking a picture of them.

    The Merry-Go-Round

    Bob riding the Merry-Go-Round

    For the littler ones.
    I like the old ticket booth.
    Tickets are available at concessions.

    See?  Nominal.

    Very cool (and very loud) organ

    There were three new benches by the merry-go-round which had been recently dedicated.  One is dedicated to Bob!  This one is my favorite.  I think it is directly opposite of where the original bench was located.

    Linda and I stood on the very spot where the bench
    was located when Walt first dreamed up Disneyland.
    Cue me almost crying at the thought of this.

    After a good amount of time there, it was time for lunch.  The VIPs were offered champagne and soda.  Those that wanted to purchase drinks could do so as well.  We had lunch at the plaza of the Gene Autry museum, and had pre-ordered sandwiches and water.  The sandwiches were big, so I mostly ate the filling.  

    We sat next to the Apache!

    We then went to Walt's Barn.  Bob suggested we get in line for the barn before walking around in case it took a long time.  This was a wise suggestion because there were also folks there to talk to Americana enthusiast Charles Phoenix and get his new book signed.  We got in line, and the gentleman who got in line after us wondered aloud if it was always this crowded at the barn.  I told him that the last time I was here, it was crowded, probably because it's only open once a month.  He told us that he was the architect that brought the barn here from its original location in Holmby Hills, CA.  Wow!  What are the odds of that?!  He was there to show Charles Phoenix that his hometown grocery store was pictured in Phoenix's other book, and to tell him that one of his clients now owns the property.  Neato.

    Miguel Fernandez and Walt's Barn

    The wait in line takes a lot of time, which was good for us this time around, because Miguel kindly indulged us and told us a LOT of background about the barn.  The barn was in Walt's backyard, and when they brought it over from the house, some refurbishing needed to be done.  The roof is new, but the parapet at the top is original.  The toilet and other random things from the original barn are now owned by various people whom worked on the project.  The outside of the barn was made to look weathered by set designers.  

    When we got to the inside of the barn, Miguel continued to tell us stuff and I asked if his name was on the certificate inside.  He pointed it out to us.  So cool!  He thanked us for listening to him, and we were amazed that HE thanked US.  It was well worth our trip that day to have him there and I'm still in awe of our serendipitous moment of the day.  Thank you, Miguel!!!

    Not the original celing

    Ward Kimball's Firehouse 5 Plus 2 hat that
    he wore in the Rose Parade

    Originally the bathroom, this part of
    the structure now has the control board.

    Control board

    We spent a little bit of time looking at the rest of the area, including the Retlaw1, one of the original cars of the Disneyland Railroad.

    Interior of Retlaw1


    Bob Gurr has his own tile at Ollie's station

    We were among the last people to return to the bus because we didn't realize that everyone had already left.  We were too busy looking at the cute ghost town.

    Ghost Town

    There are zombies in the cemetery

    Our bus driver then took us to Burbank, and we stood outside the Walt Disney Imagineering building.  Bob told us that they tested a bunch of ride vehicles there, including the monorail.
    Even the buildings have name tags!
    Bob's office was about two windows to
    the right of this one.

    The complex was across the street from an old airport terminal.  Bob said this was the place of the original LAX as it was the site where the commercial airlines landed before the LAX Terminal was built up in Westchester.  The street used to be the airport runway, and the sidewalk has big letters spelling "TERMINAL". Bob said that he grew up in the area and still remembers riding his bike around the airport, and then he ends up working across the street.

    Bob actually lived just a couple of blocks away from Walt in Los Feliz, but never met him until he started working for the company.  On the day he met him, Walt came up to him while he was working on one of the vehicles (Autopia?) and Walt talked to him for a bit. After the conversation ended, he walked away, and someone said, "Bye, Walt", and that's when Bob Gurr realized that he had been talking to Walt Disney that entire time.  He said that Walt did that a lot.

    We then drove by more of the Imagineering complex, before stopping at Disney Studios.  We didn't go onto the campus, though.  On the way there, we saw a couple of other studios.

    Dreamworks entrance


    WD Studios Entrance

    I see Walt!

    We had a great time on this tour.  Thank you, Bob, for being so personable and for being such a character.  Thank you to our driver and Bob's assistant, too!  Special thanks to Linda and Jeff for accompanying me!

    One more pic from the merry-go-round