Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Harmonic Journal 01/26/15

Harmonic Journal
Monday, January 26, 2015

"Freedom! '90" by George Michael


Monday, January 26, 2015

The Pink Place

Pella weekend is over, so now I can concentrate on watching the Oscar-nominated movies this year.  Yikes.  I hadn't watched any of the Best Picture nominees yet, so I wonder if I'll be able to watch all 8 by February 22.

I had already recorded The Grand Budapest Hotel, and finally had a chance to watch it this week.


  • Lots of cameos, all good ones.  What a great cast!
  • I want a pastry from that bakery.
  • I love Ralph Fiennes' character, although not the way that all of his older blonde patrons love him.
  • I need a lobby boy.  
  • Was that Harvey Keitel's actual body?  Looking good!  I couldn't stop looking at his flexing muscles.
  • It took me forever to figure out that Zero was F Murray Abraham, probably because of the beard.
  • I like the color scheme in this movie.  It must have been really pretty on the big screen.
  • Why, Dafoe?  Why must you scare me in almost every movie that I see you?
  • "I don't know what sort of cream they put on you at the morgue, but I want some."
  • "Get your hands off my lobby boy!"
Funny movie, great writing.  I look forward to seeing this again.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Harmonic Journal 01/25/15

Harmonic Journal
Sunday, January 25, 2015

"Kiss the Girl" from The Little Mermaid

Very short bit heard during the score in tonight's episode of Galavant

Harmonic Journal 01/24/15

Harmonic Journal
Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Cool Rider" as sung by Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2

Guilty pleasure.  Before The Fabulous Baker Boys, I loved Michelle Pfeiffer because of this song, and anytime this movie is playing, I don't want to stop watching until they play this song.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Birthday Blessings

Rockapella in Reno
Day 4
January 19, 2015
Travel Day
Happy Birthday from Google!

Well, he stayed until midnight.  Scott Leonard stayed up until 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time, his time, just to be with the PellaPosse and say Happy Birthday to me on my birthday.  ME!  OMG, what a wonderful way to start my birthday, with a hug from my favorite singer!  Thank you, CSL4!!!

Sigh.

We cleaned up our table, and walked to the East Tower (The tower! Rapunzel!) and I was beaming.  We passed the poster near the steakhouse, and I still pointed at it even though the man on the poster was walking with us.  Then when we got to the elevator, I told the Posse that there were 5 of us, and we needed to take a picture posing as Rockapella.  Scott gladly took our picture.  Then, I asked Scott to pose like himself.

That's the guy on the poster!


As we got off of the elevator on the 12th floor, a very strong waft of someone's very spicy weed floated over to us.  Whoa.  We told Scott, he stuck his head out of the elevator, and took one whiff, smiled, and told us, "Sleep well."  Bye, Scott!  Thank you!

Dodie needed to get away from the floor because the smoke was too strong, and she went out to play the slots a little bit more.  We each had a Birthday Cake flavored Oreo.  If I knew which room had the party people in it, I would have knocked on their door to offer the rest to them, because I'm sure they would have appreciated it.  I was still up when Dodie came back.  The events of the evening were still kind of far from hitting me.  I just knew that I was happy.

Sweet

After I woke up and took a shower, I noticed that there was a text message from Karla.  She and Jenn rode the hotel shuttle early in the morning, and who was on that shuttle but Jeff!  He said that the guys had been waiting for us last night (Scott's text did not go through because we were subterranean when he sent it).   I sent a message to Steve to apologize, and he eventually let me know that it was all good.  I don't know that the other guys would have stayed up to wait with the Posse like Scott did, especially because JT had an early flight, but who knows?  I think we made the right decision, because I didn't want to crash anyone's post-show bonding time.  Jenn was mortified, of course, because she was very tired when they saw Jeff and she's pretty sure that she was snoring on the shuttle.  Aw, that's OK, Jenn.  It's just part of your sleepy charm.

Wendy, Dodie and I went to Starbucks inside the hotel, but there was no Pella sighting.  Not that I would have been prepared for that, with the no-make-up and the traveling clothes I was wearing.  I played for a few minutes at the slots since my mom would tell me that I should have good luck on my birthday.  Not lucky on the slots for me, though.  Instead, I've got Pella Luck.  We got our stuff, checked out of the hotel, and said goodbye to the poster in the elevator.  It was Dodie's turn to drive, which is good because I don't think that they could have relied on my actually concentrating on the road for 2 hours.

We had a few hours to wait before our flights from Sacramento were scheduled to leave, so I worked on the blog and we had some lunch before saying goodbye to Dodie.  Wendy and I looked at the pictures on my camera while we were on our flight.  I have proof that it happened!
Beautiful sunset that matches the Southwest colors
 Cindy had organized a birthday dinner for me at Gyu-Kaku, a Japanese-style BBQ restaurant at Victoria Gardens where you pretty much cook your own food. (Thanks, Cindy!) I don't know why we pay other people so that we can cook our own food, but it was my idea and we had fun talking about the trip while trying not to burn ourselves.  Their macaron ice cream sandwiches were YUM.  I would probably go there in the future just to pick up one of those things when we're there for a Rockapella show or whatever else I see at the Lewis Family Playhouse.


Green tea ice cream macaron with Bananaman

So my actual birthday started with a Rockapella member, and ended with my posse.  Thank you, everyone, for making me feel so special.  This is a weekend that I hope I never forget, and it is all thanks to 5 beautiful and talented guys, an awesome sound man, and my wonderfully supportive and crazy-as-me PellaPosse.  I love you!

Thank you!

Harmonic Journal 01/23/15

Harmonic Journal
Friday, January 23, 2015

"It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" -- Mr. Rogers' theme song




I want to see this!

http://wesa.fm/post/mister-rogers-neighborhood-set-public-display-first-time

Show of the Century

Rockapella in Reno
Day 3
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Sammy's Showroom at Harrah's
Reno, NV

I actually got some sleep due to being so tired from the previous day.  As we were getting ready to go to breakfast, our hotel room phone rang.  I figured that it was Karla because our room was already adjoined with Wendy's, and she could just walk through the unlocked door.  Dodie answered the phone, and this is what I heard her say.
Dodie:  Hello?  Yes...what?  Fred wants to know if we want to go to breakfast?
Sherry: SAY YES!!!  Wherever he wants, just say YES!
Dodie:  I think you should talk to Sherry.

So I took the phone and talked to a very excited Karla, telling her to just say yes, we're ready, and we'll be downstairs in 2 minutes.  It turns out that Fred called Karla and told her he was her wake-up call, and asked what we were doing for breakfast.  Wow!  I made sure that he had wanted all of us to go and not just her, but APPARENTLY he welcomed the company of 3 women because he's a man.  :)  So we met Fred outside the elevators on the first floor, and he asked where we should eat.  One of the two places was already on a list that we were contemplating, and we said that we thought it might be too far to walk.  He derided us for being Californians who don't walk.  We realized that it was less than a mile away, so we decided to walk.  I don't know why we thought it was so far away.  Perhaps we read "6 mi" as 6 miles instead of 6 minutes.  Whatevs.  We were having breakfast with Fred at Peg's Glorified Ham n Eggs.  

Breakfast was yummy.  I had Joe's Special, which was like the Almost Joe's Scramble that I get at Hobee's.  Mmmm....Hobee's.  Karla started to hit my knee because she wanted to express her excitement, and I muttered under my breath that my knee was going to be bruised by noon.  We had a lot of fun talking to Fred, hearing him talk about meeting his wife and proposing to her.  At one point, he talked about "Ladysmith", and I told Dodie about Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  Fred asked me to say their name again, I thought because I accidentally inserted an extra "m", but it might have been because he wanted someone to say it because he can't say the whole name correctly.  He will be overseeing the venue's sound technician tonight because he won't be working the rest of the run for budgetary reasons.  

Fred asked what we were going to do during the day, and Wendy and I said that we were going to do our nails.  We invited Fred, but he didn't think he wanted to do that.  He had thought of going to the lake, but we had done that the day before.  I'm trying to imagine all of us on a road trip with Fred, and it makes me laugh.  Had I not wanted to rest and do my nails and stuff, I might have been game for going to the north side of the lake, but I didn't want to be pressed for time later on.  He said that he might go on Monday since he wasn't going to leave until Tuesday.  We suggested that he get his nails done, get a tattoo, and some piercings.  I don't know why he didn't take us up on that...that we know.  Karla and I giggled at random stuff because we're crazy and we were excited.  

After breakfast, we began to walk back to the hotel and Fred asked if we wanted to walk along the river.  It was like we were on a collective date with him, it was soooo cute.  He showed us where he had walked yesterday, including an amphitheater, and he asked if I was going to sing.  I said that he could sing.  He said no.  Karla convinced him to let us steal his soul and take a picture with me because it's my 100th show day and the next day is my birthday.  Then she asked if she could take one with him, and he said that wasn't part of the deal.  But then he relented and said yes.  At different times during our walk, different people noticed the same movie theater.  I don't know why nobody heard me when I mentioned it as we walked to breakfast, but perhaps we were just all preoccupied with Fred being there, and he was preoccupied with dealing with us gals.  We walked back to the hotel, and Fred said that he was going to get a pastry at a cafe at El Dorado casino, because dessert is the whole point of the meal.  We like Fred even more now because of that.  He told us to let him know if we think of anything exciting to do, and he'd join us.  We again asked him if he wanted to get his nails done, and he made a gesture at us that had us roaring with laughter.  
Sher and Bananaman at the Truckee River


Fred took this picture of us!

With Fred on a bridge

After a few minutes, the 4 of us went on a walk around the area.  Karla wanted to see the minor league baseball stadium for the Reno Aces, and it was only 2 blocks away, so we checked that out.  The Aces are the AAA team for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Karla babbled to the person at the gift store register about having breakfast with Fred, and I tried to get her out of there quickly before the lady called security.  We then walked back to Harrah's to get pictures of the marquees.
Wendy showing us a happy Karla, talking about breakfast


Old School Marquee

Fancy Sexy Marquee (view from Cal Neva)

Dodie and I split from Karla and Wendy at the hotel, and we went to the Cal Neva casino.  We were on the hunt for Star Wars Droid slot machines because Bro had told us they were listed as being there, but they were not.  We played for a little while before I went back to Harrah's and Dodie made her way to El Dorado.  I played at my Enchanted Unicorn machine for a little bit before going upstairs.  Little did I know that I might have been playing about 100 feet from where Steve and Ryan were watching football.  Wendy told me that she and Karla saw them sitting there when they got back from checking out the pastries at El Dorado, and they waved at the guys, so Steve waved at them to chat with them for a bit.  He's so nice!  The gals didn't want to intrude on their game, though, so they left shortly afterward.  I'm sorry I missed that, especially because we didn't find the machines we wanted.  

We rested for a bit, then Jenn arrived.  We were all still full from breakfast, but Jenn was hungry, so we made sure to get her some food to avoid Hungry Jenn.  We had lunch at Hash Hash a go go.  Jenn ordered the Salmon Benedict, and it was monstrous.  Too bad the rest of us weren't very hungry and shared 2 dishes between the 4 of us, one of which was a huge house salad.  Jenn was then in a food coma, so we went back to our rooms to rest, and I worked on Saturday's blog post, while Dodie returned to the slots.

We all got ready for the big night.  I prayed while I was alone and thanked God for this day, the Pellaposse, and Rockapella, and told everyone that it was time to go.  We got to the Diamond Line again (all lines were again empty), and Vic noticed that there were 5 of us this time.  I guess he didn't write that part down.  But that's OK.  He took the table that would have been in front of us, and elongated our table.  He took a couple of pictures of us at our table, and wished us a good show, saying that he would probably watch it this time.  
The Cool Table


Draggin' the Line
I wonder if they'll still do this song when they change the opening to "Rock Around the Clock".

Scott is Phyllis Diller.  (Forgot to write on the post for Saturday's show that he did do an impression of her laughing when we were talking to him.  He was pretty good!)

Use Ta Be My Girl

Scott introduced Ryan, saying that the girls like the bass.  
Ryan, in his deep voice: "Yeah, they do."
Great bass intro!
Steve winked at Karla.

Pretty Much You
Got a smile from Steve.  :)

Got To Get You Into My life
I love when Steve poses just like in their poster.

Just My Imagination / Imagine
John paused for a while before setting down his mic stand.  Scott pretended to almost trip.  At least I hope he was pretending.  Scott heard us giggling.  They must hear us giggle a lot.  Nice high notes, John!  Our table did the whole "2...4...20!" with the guys.

Hard Time
Scott's very loud stomping at the top of the stairs startled me.

Scott asked Ryan how he was doing with this new gig.
Ryan:  It's going well, definitely better than the Chippendale's act that I came from.
Scott:  We're waiting for you to take your shirt off.
Ryan:  It's coming.  I'm going to tear this and the buttons will pop off.
We forgot to hold up our dollar bills!  Not that they would have seen them.

Cupid

Scott said that they call their record "Motown and More" "because there's a little Motown on it, and there's a little bit more."

My Cherie Amour
Scott to John:  I didn't know you could play the trumpet.
Scott regarding Ryan being engaged:  It's your last shot in there. Whatever happens in Reno...will never happen again.  (He told us later that he made up that last sentence all by himself).

Scott announced that they'd be singing their version of The Mills Brothers' greatest hit.
Sherry:  <swoony sigh>
Posse:  <giggles>

Paper Doll
I got a wink from Steve, which got me giggling.  Because, you know, he NEVER looks at me during this song.  ;)

Blame It On The Boogie
Crazy dancing!  At one point, Scott looked down to make sure that his shirt was tucked in..or that his pants were still up.  Whatevs, we giggled.  Ryan added some riffs to his bass solo.  Looks like he's getting more comfortable with each show.

Jingle Medley
Jeff also waves one of his hands during the first Mounds commercial.  Right before the 3rd Mounds commercial, he holds up 3 fingers.  When Ryan wiggles his butt, Jeff points at it.  I love the little details that they add.

Then John said that it was trivia time.  Jenn wanted to answer the question, but didn't.  Someone in the audience had the correct answer, and he congratulated them, but didn't do his usual bit of stealing someone's wife/girlfriend.  Instead, he walked back up the steps to the stage, and said, "This is a very special night.  Someone in our audience is celebrating her 100th show watching Rockapella.  Sherry, come on up here."  

(Well, I thought, I guess we're doing this now.  I honestly wasn't sure that they'd be able to single me out during the show because Scott had mentioned that they were limited to 75 minutes of show and I didn't think they'd have time.  I know that they usually do something special, and I know that they all knew about my milestone, but I didn't want to *expect* it, you know?  But here I was, and it was happening, and it took me about 3 days for this all to hit me fully).  Back to the scene...

After smiling at my PellaPosse, I walked up the stairs to the stool, with John's help.  Scott walked over, looked at me, and said, "You look lovely!"  Thank you!  He stood next to me, put his arm around me, and talked to me.  The following exchange may not be word for word, because I couldn't exactly write it down at that moment.  

I sat down on the stool and mouthed to the posse:  "I can't see you!"

Scott:  100 shows.  Congratulations.
Sherry:  Thank you!
Scott:  Where are you from?
Sherry:  Southern California.
Scott:  Where do you live?
Sherry:  You want my address?  I don't think I should be telling *everybody*.
Scott:  Later.  Just your town for now.
Sherry:  Monrovia, CA.
Scott:  And what do you do in Monrovia?
Sherry:  Watch Rockapella videos?
Scott:  Oh, good!
Sherry:  No, I work for the State of California.
Scott: Great.  What has been the most memorable Rockapella show for you?
Sherry:  There are so many, but probably the most memorable would be the time that I was up here with you guys, singing.
Scott:  You sang?  What song did you sing?
Sherry:  "Stand By Me"
Scott:  Let's do it again.
Sherry:  OK.  :)

Stand By Me
I sang that the moon was dark.  What?  Oh, "land".  Scott said "Whoa" when I took the microphone.  Well, he handed it to me, was I supposed to give it back? That was NOT going to happen.  When I first sang "Stand By Me", I looked at him so that he would stand next to me, and he took my cue.  I kept forgetting lyrics, but at least I remembered much more words than my first time up there when I ran to the back and sang Kevin's part with him. Scott was all emphatic during "Darling, Darling!"  I was nervous, and I haven't sung solo in about a year, so blech.  But at least I sang my heart out and I was with my favorite band, and I was happy.  Happy as a PellaPusher could possibly be.  Scott ended the song with "Stand by She".
Stand By Me


I stood up and Steve took my hand, saying, "Let's take your 100th Show bow."  
Steve:  Give it up for Sherry from California, everybody!  Sherry and some of her friends come see us often, and we love having you guys here with us at the show, and after the shows we all have a good time together.  Thank you for coming to see us so much as you all do, thank you, Sherry.  One more time, Sherry.

We got to the steps, and I thought to myself, "Oh, I didn't get to hug the guys to thank them."  Then he turned around quickly to start the next song.

Ain't Too Proud to Beg
Seriously, I thought we were done.  Because, you know, I haven't been to 100 shows and I don't know what comes next!  Clearly, I had lost my mind up somewhere up there.  So I skipped back to my seat and sat down, ready for more fun.  There was Steve, singing just a few tiny inches from my face.  Then he was on his knee and I tried to breathe.  I tried not to fall off of my chair.  Then John.  John!  Putting his head in my lap!  How could I not touch his beautiful shiny head?  Of course I did!  "Baby, baby, I'm the one you want..." There were the guys dancing.  There was Ryan - er, the R-Man, with his deep voice losing his mind.  Then Scott got me to stand up and go dance with him.  I made sure not to bump him so hard that he would fall off of the stage (my hip has been known to pitch people across a room), and John was doing...something...in back of me.  Then Steve came over to drag me over to the other side of the stage.  More dancing.  More veryclose singing. He's lucky I didn't just lean forward and kiss him, he was that close.  Or maybe he's unlucky. Then Scott dragged me away and I did the Watusi or whatever with him and John was wiggling his butt.  Then Steve got me back, and "Don't you go".  Then the song was done, and I hugged each one of them and thanked them. 

OK, beg!


Enjoying John's attention

I mean, come on!


Steve:  One more time for Sherry, 100 shows, we hope we see you for 100 more.

Steve helped me down the stairs "for real this time", and I sat down and finished swooning as the Posse clapped for me.  "I can't breathe," I told them, because I was out of breath and excited.    <B R E A T H E ! ! !>

Thrift Shop / Celebration
I don't know what happened.  I was busy breathing.

After our table yelled "Do It Rockapella!", Scott said to us, "I knew you would know what it is."  They sang this song every day for 54 years.  

Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego
Scott forgot who was coming back to the stage (it was John).  I thought he had forgotten where John came from.  But no, he forgot who was next.  Perhaps Scott lost his mind up there, too.  Breathe, Scott!

Encore

A*Punk

Scott:  Would you like another song?  Good, we have one.

Up On The Roof / Wonderful World
As they started to sing the song, they walked down the stairs and sang from there.  I was thinking, "Are they going to sing to our table?  What is happening?"  No, they didn't sing to our table, more like their backs were to us.
Sherry:  This is the one time I'm allowed to look at their butts.
Scott to Wendy:  I'm a bass.  
Scott sings bass when Ryan sings lead.  Wendy had just been thinking, "I don't think I've ever heard Scott sing that low."  I thought that this effect worked rather well, and we got to hear Jeff's singing voice up close!  Scott later told us that the venue had asked them if they could come out and meet people after the show, so they worked it out this way.  I like to think that our posse's request prompted the venue's request.  So, YOU'RE WELCOME, Pella Fans!

A guy named Adam (Andy?) talked to me and congratulated me after the show.  This was his 8th.  He has a long way to go, but it's possible.  Goonies never say die.  


JT photobombing Ryan and me
 Jeff told Karla that we should be at all of the shows because we bring the energy.  Can I just live in Reno on the weekends through March?  
NOW it's your turn, JT!  Oh, now, Adam is photobombing.

Scott!
It was really cool that the guys were meeting and greeting in their stage attire, and they made sure that I got a picture with all of them.  We also got a good Posse picture. 
Pella and the Posse
When Karla went to stand between Steve and Ryan, Ryan said to her, "Come stand before your two favorites."  He must not know about Fred.  I got a closer look at Scott's tie, and the accent was silver with a fleur-de-lis!  So I took a picture of his chest.  Karla took a picture of me doing this because it was funny.  I showed the tile wall to Scott, and he checked that out for awhile.


This might be my next tattoo



Scott asked Karla what we were doing after the show, if we were partying to celebrate or what.  I didn't know where to go, so I asked Steve.  Steve and some of the guys were going to dinner at a restaurant in the El Dorado to chill, and said that we were welcome to come along, but Scott was still changing and I wanted to see what he'd say, since he was the one that asked us what we were going to do.  Scott didn't really want to leave the hotel, so we decided to hang out with him, and asked him to text Steve to let him know.  We tried to get a table at Hash Hash A Go Go again, but they had just closed the kitchen.  While we were deciding what to do, John arrived and told us that he had ordered food ahead of time.  He's so smart.  We ended up going back downstairs to Joy Luck Noodle Bar.  Scott didn't eat, but I got him a Diet Pepsi that was made of just syrup.  Thankfully, I had noticed that it had come out like a spray, and asked him to taste it before gulping it down.  He was too polite to let me change it, and kept trying to taste the hummingbird food-like drink, but the ice didn't dilute it much.  I finally took the cup without asking for it later on, and dumped out the syrup, replacing it with ice water.  He was very grateful that I changed it.  He's so funny.  (If you ever get into a conversation with Wendy about hummingbirds, I recommend that you ask her for her impression.  She's darn good at it).

Scott is totally comfortable with Bananaman


We had a great time talking about prom dates, his proposal to Lisa, recording song ideas on his phone and lots of other stuff.  We talked about memories from different shows as well as the cruise.  He said, "You have a lot of memories of the shows."  We've had a lot of good times that we like to remember.  :)  I mentioned always mouthing Elliott's part with him during "Moments of You": Scott said, "That's a good song.  I like that song."  Again, Scott -- you wrote it!  

Scott said that he doesn't check Facebook often, but he really liked the picture that I posted of my being in the band for the Rose Parade.  So it's going to be quite a while before I change that profile picture.  :)  He also told me about my time on stage: "Good singing tonight."  Aw, thank you for being so kind, Mighty Blond One!  Karla told him that we were staying up until midnight because she wanted to wish me a Happy Birthday and didn't want to have to wake me up early before she left on the shuttle in the morning.  He looked at his phone and said, "I don't think I'm going to make it.  I'm still on Eastern time."  We didn't care how long he'd stay.  We were just happy that we got to spend this time with him.

What a spectacularly awesome day this was.  I'll never forget it.

Next up:  Birthday!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Harmonic Journal 01/22/15

Harmonic Journal
Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Through the Years" by Kenny Rogers

I went to my Uncle Lito's funeral today. Other than crying while viewing him in his casket, I held it together until this song was played.  I remember Uncle Lito asking me to sing this song for him.  

Uncle Lito was a lawyer and specialized in Immigration Law, because he had such a hard time getting a visa to live his dream and be an American citizen.  A patriot (he got his citizenship and education from being in the US Army) and a practicing Catholic, Uncle Lito helped a lot of people in his work and believed that with faith in God, nothing was impossible.  My family was especially affected by him.  I've known him since my toddler days when he was courting my mom's cousin, Evelyn.  My heart is with her and her sons as they deal with this great loss in their lives.  RIP, Joe Manahan.  Thank you for being there when I needed you.

Harmonic Journal 01/21/15

Harmonic Journal
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Lisa, I Love You" by Rockapella


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Harmonic Journal 01/20/15

Harmonic Journal
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder

The events of the past weekend finally, truly hit me, and I spent much of my day crying happy tears.  WOW.  This song is a romantic love song, but I couldn't think of a more perfect word to describe this feeling.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Harmonic Journal 01/19/15

Harmonic Journal
Monday, January 19, 2015

"Paper Doll" by the Mills Brothers, as sung by Rockapella

The first of many songs that were in my head today as I thought of yesterday's events.

Today, two videos:

Hear Scott speak in German, and listen to the Kevin/John/Scott/George/Jeff line-up:




Another video with Steve singing lead, because I can't post this song without him here.  :)




The original Mills Brothers version can be found at this link.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaMeSrynug0

Posterized

Rockapella in Reno
Day Two
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Sammy's Showroom at Harrah's
Reno, NV

I got 3 hours of sleep because I was blogging until 1:00, and I didn't sleep very well because I was in a new bed.  But I was ready for a fun day!  Wendy, Dodie and I walked to Circus Circus for breakfast at the Americana Cafe.  I had stuff from the buffet while they ordered from the menu.  We were given some free play credits at the register, so Dodie and I played a little bit.  I didn't know what I was doing and cashed out too soon.  Next time, I'm going to play the whole free play amount at the maximum until it's gone, so that I have more than $0.02 on my voucher.  Dummy.

While we had been finishing up breakfast, Karla let us know that she was at the hotel, so we walked back through the casinos that were adjoined to Circus Circus.  That was a warmer and more entertaining way to get back to Harrah's.  Harrah's isn't adjoined to any of the casinos, though.  Dodie went to the slots to play for a bit while I finished yesterday's blog post and Wendy, Karla and I chatted about the previous day's events.  

We wanted to do something other than sit around, so after the blog was posted, we made our way to Lake Tahoe.  Dodie had obtained directions to Harrah's Lake Tahoe from the concierge, because they couldn't tell us how to get there any other way.  That was lame.  You'd think that if you're in Reno, you would be able to get to Lake Tahoe without needing to print out directions to the other casino.  Also, the directions were ancient and we would have had to take old roads to get there instead of taking the freeway.  So we ended up turning around a few times before getting back on track by using the Garmin that Danial had included in our rental car package.  Thanks again, Danial!  I saw that we needed gas, and when we got to Carson City (Capitol!), we started looking.  Karla observed that there were a lot of car-related places, like auto parts stores and car dealerships and tire stores, but there weren't any gas stations.  Then when we finally got to Arco ($1.99 a gallon, wow!), they didn't have any actual gas.  LAME.  Luckily for us, there was a Chevron station close by, where I stopped to use the facilities and asked Dodie, "Mom, can you please buy me a snack?" because I hadn't taken my money from the car. I got Doritos Munchies.  Those are my favorite Doritos these days.  Well, my favorite ones to eat.  I was telling them that at the first spotting of the lake, we would turn around because it had seemed like such a long drive, but of course I didn't.  We parked at Harrah's Lake Tahoe to use the restroom, and Dodie asked the concierge how to get to the lake, which was about a 10-minute walk down hill.

I guess I was so tired that I forgot to take my camera AND my phone.  So here's a picture from Dodie.  Thanks, Dodie!  
Posse at the Lake

It was a beautiful day, and Wendy and I listened to the lapping of the waves against the shore, which gives a nice, calming effect.

I suddenly got really tired and asked Dodie to drive us back home, which took a lot less time due to the fact that we weren't getting lost.  We stopped at In-N-Out for some yummy eats before going back to the hotel to get ready.  

When we arrived at Sammy's Showroom, we went to the Diamond Line as Vic had instructed, even though there wasn't anyone in any of the lines.  Our seats were at the foot of the steps leading to the stage, and our table was reserved.  Ooh, special!  I ordered a "My Girl" cocktail, which consisted of Skyy Vodka, Amaretto and Fruit Punch.  It wasn't very strong, but that's OK.  

Other cocktails available:
"Just My Imagination": Sauza Tequila, Triple Sec, Lime, Splash of Blue Curacao
"Brick House": Angry Orchard, Fireball
"Dancing Machine": Cruzan Rum, Pina Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri
"Papa Was A Rolling Stone": Cruzan Rum, Creme de Almond, Sweet and Sour, Pineapple Juice

Vic told us that when we come back for another weekend, we should ask for Table AA1 Back.  Vic loves us.  He said that he talked to Jeff about the lack of meet and greet, and about my 100th show coming up.  Jeff had told him that they have a lot of fans that have reached 100 shows, and some are at 200.  I don't know if Jeff was trying to downplay the fact that I was about to reach this milestone, or if he just wanted to make Vic aware that they have very loyal fans.  It's probably the latter, right?  Right?

Draggin' the Line
They already sound better and rested.  Ryan was jamming while listening to the tenor trio.

Scott is Charo.

Use Ta Be My Girl

Scott:  We didn't know that it was a Sammy Davis, Jr. Place.  We're in Sammy's dressing room, Charo's down there.  (He asked who had seen Rockapella before and we cheered.  He shielded his eyes from the lights and pointed at us).  I know you!

Pretty Much You
Scott touched his butt during "liposuck", which made me laugh because I had just talked to Dodie about liposuction a couple of hours before.  He also made a motion to his teeth while singing about them.

Got To Get You Into My Life
Was Scott actually adjusting his belt like it was too loose? He's not losing weight, is he?  I love those dance moves.

Just My Imagination / Imagine
John paused during the intro.  Not sure why, but the audience giggled.  I love the background vocals "2...4....20".

Scott says that John is Sammy Davis, Jr. reincarnated.

Hard Time

Scott:  Do we have a high elevation in Reno?  I can't breathe.  I live in Tampa, elevation: 4. 

Ryan:  They picked me up from the Chippendales show.
Scott:  Take off your shirt!
Ryan:  Doing double duty, man!
Scott: Scott went to Lion King, man!  (He was forgetting his lines about finding Steve through auditions) Steve is going to do a medley of Sam Harris...(mumbles "Sam Harris")... Do you remember Sam Harris, from "Star Search"?  (imitates Sam Harris, singing "Somewhere..." with his back arched so he could belt out the notes).  
Hysterical.

Cupid
When he walked around the audience, Steve corrected Scott and said that it was a Sam *Cooke* medley.  Then he told a man in the front row, "Sir, you do not need your Bluetooth for this song."

Scott:  I grew up with Stevie Wonder.  Stevie Wonder's my man.  I mean I didn't grow up WITH him.

My Cherie Amour
Yes, John, this song was clearly arranged for you.

Scott:  Ladies, I'm sorry but he's engaged to be married in a couple of months.  But he will still be working for Chippendales.
Ryan:  I gotta pay for the ring.

When Scott was educating us about records, Ryan mimed tossing a frisbee.

Paper Doll
While Steve was singing "Flirty Flirty Eyes" and looking my way at one point, I was mouthing the words to him, too.  Have I told you guys how much I appreciate the stage love?  There are no words to describe how I feel during this song, I'm just so happy.

John:  Y'all ready for this?  (applause) Good, 'cause we're not.

Blame It On The Boogie
I have it on good authority now that this song was changed for the live version.  Those dance steps are hilariously out of control.  Ryan, that "Another One Bites the Dust" is too LOW!  How in the world are we supposed to sing that with you?

Jingle Medley
Jeff was pointing at Ryan for his "Budweiser" bit so that we would all pay attention.
Sherry to Dodie:  He is making me watch his butt.  It's not my fault!
Scott:  That's as bad as it got.  (applause) And they loved it!

John:  Who was here last night?  (cheers from our area)  You know I came right to this table.  (to us) You're not allowed to answer this.
As he walked through the audience with his trivia question, Jeff appeared to be coaching Ryan about something.  
John brought up a woman named Karen, whom had recently retired from a career in marketing.
Scott:  You do marketing?  Could you get us some help?

Stand By Me  / Ain't Too Proud to Beg
Karen was a trooper.  She even took the microphone from Scott when he handed it to her, although later she told me that she was nowhere near being a singer.  She was a real sport and danced along to everything.  Karla giggled at the fact that they call Ryan "R-Man".  I think that they should just sing "Bass Man", so that they don't really have to think about it.

Ryan said that Rockapella has been together 20 years.  Um, no, Ryan.  Your math isn't right.

Thrift Shop / Celebrate
Smiled and showed Steve my approval of the song by rockin' out when he looked over at me.  Later, I said to Scott, "The new song.  Thrift Shop."  He said, "Yessss?"  I said, "I LOVE it.  It's so cool!"  He was pleased.

Scott regarding Carmen SanDiego:  We did that every day for 43 years.
Scott's math is also fuzzy.

Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego?
Steve went all into The Matrix bullet-time mode.  Jeff's solo showed that he is still a demi-god.

Encore

A*Punk
Ay ay AAAAYYYYY!

Up On The Roof / Wonderful World
I love being able to clearly hear Jeff sing since we're up close.

Karla talked to Fred after the show, and we joined her, of course.  He has his own personal pit.  After we exited the showroom, we used the facilities and Karla showed me that The Mills Brothers were on the tiles showing the past acts that played at Sammy's Showroom.  
History


I wanted us to take a picture next to the Rockapella poster, and we decided to pose as if we were the guys.  I didn't have a pitch pipe, so Wendy took the tin of Altoids from her purse and handed them to me as a prop.  Just as we were about to take a picture, up walked Scott.  HELLO!  Um, we were just about to act like you.  Well, I was.  Steve also came over and took a picture of us mocking their picture.  We were going to get Scott to be himself, but he was busy talking to someone else.  Steve was surprised that Ryan said Rockapella had been together 20 years, saying that he shouldn't say a number.  

Rockaposse minus one


A gentleman came over to Scott and said, "Don't take this the wrong way.  It's not a criticism."  Tension in the posse.  Then he suggested that Rockapella do some older music, like Bill Haley and the Comets.  Scott said that they were going to be performing "Rock Around the Clock", probably next week.  Cool!




Steve said his goodbyes, and Scott was ready to talk to us again.  But then, a familiar face walked over to us, smiling.  It was Doug Wisness, the baritone from The Coats.  That's why he looked familiar!  I said that we saw them when they performed in Burbank for Barry's last show, and at other times, too.  He and Scott talked for awhile about booking gigs and such.  He and his wife had traveled to come see the show in Reno.  He liked Ryan as the new bass, saying that he sounds a little like Barry.

Then Scott talked with us for a long time.  He did his Phyllis Diller laugh, and said that he's using Sammy Davis Jr.'s old dressing room.  He tried to get us a tour, but the venue guy said no, due to all of the security.  It was very kind of Scott to offer to show it to us, though.  APPARENTLY, he's doing his own construction on his new house, and installed the drywall himself.  I told him that his hair is lighter, he said that it was because he's been outside again.  We also talked about his family, including his talented kids.  He's very proud of the performers that they've become, and he's very supportive of them.  

Someone in the posse said that we were all there this weekend to see me reach my 100th show.  I said that the day before was the 98th, today the 99th, and then the 100th.  He said, "You were here last night?" Yes, we were, and we talked to your bandmates.  I told him that he missed the private meet and greet that we had in the hotel lobby.  Then he marveled at 100 shows.  We reminded him how difficult it is for us West Coasters to achieve that goal, and he did seem impressed.  I told him that Liz and Cindy would have been here if they weren't running the Star Wars Half marathon tomorrow.  


We talked about seeing the posters all over the hotel.  I said, "Do you ever stand in front of your own poster to see if anyone notices that it's you?"  He said that when he's in Hong Kong, they have posters the size of a building.  Wendy asked if anyone notices him.  He said, "Well, blond hair in Hong Kong, you're going to get noticed."  Karla said that it's like his line, "Blond hair, you stare, I'll let you touch it for a dollar..."  Then we couldn't remember which song that was from.  Neither could Scott.  For goodness' sake, Scott, you WROTE the song!  The three of us racked our brains to figure it out, with me repeating the two lines that I remembered, and Scott making me sing them again and again.  I finally remembered that it was from a Christmas CD, and Karla asked if it was from Out Cold.  I said yes, as Scott searched on his phone for the lyrics that we knew.  Finally, we figured out that it was "First Night", and he found the tune on Grooveshark to hear it.  He let me listen as we bopped our heads to the music.  He said, "Yeah, that's a good song!"  I agree.  It's quite lively, and he just wails.  He clearly hadn't heard it in awhile.  We listened to the entire song as the posse took pictures of us enjoying his music.

We asked Scott what he'll be doing in Reno when he doesn't have shows.  Sunday will be football day, but the other days, he'll be working on music in his room.  He's got it all set up for his work right now.  He said that Sean has been sending old videos to him, and asked if we'd seen the video of them on stage with Frank Zappa during which Scott "dropped the F-bomb".  Yes, we have.  That was funny.  

We could sense that Scott was getting tired, so we started to walk toward our hotel rooms, which were in the same tower.  When we got into the elevator, two other guys got into the elevator with us.  As Wendy was saying good night to Scott, she tried to get the guys to notice that the man in the elevator was the same as the man on the poster, but they didn't get it because they were engrossed in their conversation.  Scott chuckled a little bit.  So cute.

We stopped in the hallway after the elevator left our floor, and silently screamed at each other.  Scott spent all that time with us!  We love him.  We were so excited that we had forgotten how hungry we were.  So we made our way to Joy Luck Noodle House.  We liked the steamed pork buns and the shrimp dumplings.  Wendy's soup was OK, but had too much starch with the wontons and the noodles.
Good to the Last Drop at the Noodle House


We didn't care.  We had just had a really nice time with the Blond one.  We went upstairs and said goodnight, and Dodie and I talked until about 2:00 a.m.

Sigh.  #99 in the books, and it's already a weekend to remember. 

Next:  The 100th Show