Monday, August 22, 2016

PusherPix 08/22/16

PusherPix
Monday, August 22, 2016

Cleaning out the former boss' desk so I can move in.  Found these.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

PusherPix 08/21/16

PusherPix
Sunday, August 21, 2016

On the Laguna Beach trolley

DLR LotD 08/21/16

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"Because nothing says Christmas like Kylo Ren hanging from your tree." -- Cindy, at China Closet

PusherPix 08/20/16

PusherPix
Saturday, August 20, 2016

The cutest Rockapella fan from the 08/20/16 shows, with her Tita


Rockapella Meets Miss O

Rockapella in Laguna
Show #2
Saturday, August 20, 2016 -- 2:00 
Laguna Playhouse
Laguna, CA

When I arrived in Laguna, Bro and family were at the beach and had already eaten lunch, so I went to Whole Foods and bought a Tuna Avocado sushi roll with brown rice, and walked to the Playhouse to eat my lunch in their courtyard.  KP and Nicole were there, getting tickets.  I ate my lunch while they did whatever, and waited for Bro and family.  We were all in blue!  Except Bro.  He didn't get the memo and wore brown.

Our seats were in the first row, center section, A106-110.  The usher at the door told me that I should go to the other side of the theater so that I wouldn't have to walk in front of ten people.  I told her that I knew all of them, so It was OK.  Besides, it wasn't 10 people.  It was 4, all members of my family.  The nephew was in the aisle seat, Bro next to him, then the niece, then V, whom was seated next to me.  Bro asked to see last night's set list.  I don't know what he was preparing himself for, but I obliged, wishing him luck on reading my messy writing.

Sun Brothers

L-O-V-E
Scott shook hands with KP, Nicole, me, V, and the niece.  I had told him the day before that the niece would be at her first show, so it looks like he remembered.  Thank you, oh Mighty Blond one!  Calvin played his trumpet directly at the niece.  

Scott, when introducing themselves as the Sun Brothers:  We like to keep things mellow, keep the expectations low.

Across the Alley from the Alamo

V:  Scott has the best pants.
Nicole:  I agree.  Shiniest pants!

We are Scott's Shiny Pants fans.

Rockapella

Rock Around the Clock
Mitchell's facial expressions during the "Deedly Deedly Dee" portion were hilarious.

Jailhouse Rock
Why is JT no longer in jail (behind the mic stands) at the end of this song?  Now he escapes or something, but doesn't ever act like he's in jail.   

Scott described the area as "Lovely Laguna Beach":  I guess you knew that already.

Today  when they did the roll up of voice parts, Scott said that JT puts the "Lagoon" in "Laguna".  His throat mics really stood out for me this time, I don't know why it was more than the other times I've seen them.  Maybe I was actually paying attention?  

Dancing in the Streets
Mitchell pointed at the nephew, happy that he was clapping along.  My family's got rhythm, you know.

Just My Imagination / Imagine
Scott was humming to himself while doing his steps before Bryant's intro.  Does he do that all the time?  Nice riff, Calvin!

Scott talked about acquiring Calvin for Rockapella, and said, "One of the guys" instead of Steve's name for credit in finding him.  Sigh.  I miss that one of the guys.  

Satisfaction/ Cupid
Mitchell elaborated a little bit on "paaaaid", and I liked it.  During the audience participation, he asked the nephew, "Why aren't you singing?  Don't you know the song?  Oh."  

Scott said that Mitchell likes to take credit for Cleveland ending its losing streak and is here to throw the Cavaliers championship in the face of all of the Warriors fans in California.  Ooh, he's lucky he's not in Northern California.  We're still aching over Kobe retiring.

Moon River
Ohhh....here are the lyrics that Calvin sings at the end:
"It's the most wonderful moon of the year....it's the hap, happiest river of all."

Scott:  Jeff has been with Rockapella for over 20 years.  He started when he was five.

Paper Doll
JT was moving his butt sideways on his stool during the rhythm section feature, and I about lost my mind.

Blame It On The Boogie
Uh-oh, those opening chords during "Sunshine! Moonlight!" didn't sound right.  Mitchell and Calvin were really close to each other when the tenors were upstage doing their choreography and their mic packs crashed against each other.  When they repeated that part in the song, they were really far from each other.  I laughed and they were smiling.  But then they almost crashed again at the end.   

<Intermission>
I overheard ladies talking to each other in the restroom.  No, ma'am, Keith Urban is not just "Nicole Kidman's husband".  He has his own thriving career.  He was mentioned because they thought Scott looked like him.  I told Scott about it later, and he said that he gets that a lot.  I told him that I think Keith looks like Scott, not the other way around.  He appreciated that.  I know who's more important!

Used Ta Be My Girl
I think I distracted Calvin because when he smiled at me, he forgot his steps.  Sorry!  Then he sang to the niece!  She was so cute because she seemed to like it and was embarrassed at the same time.  Then when Bryant sang to her and pushed Calvin away, it was just cute overload.  Awesome.

Commercials
Scott almost spun prematurely during the first Almond Joy jingle.  Bro's favorite part was the second AJ jingle "chewy chewy".  I think that Bryant loves this part of the show because his facial expressions are priceless.

Scott got coffee vibes from Christine, an Internal Medicine doctor from Long Beach.
Scott:  Calvin's been having some issues. It's that apple cider vinegar.
Cal nodded his head in agreement.

Stand By Me
Christine sang very very softly.  Thank you for the effort!

Ain't Too Proud to Beg
As Mitchell pulled Christine back to center stage, Bryant pointed at the stool for her to sit down.  Mitchell had his back to Bryant and straight up ran into the stool, causing everyone to gasp.  The stool was OK, though.  Afterward, he said to Christine while handing her the CD, "This if for putting up with all our foolishness because it's a lot up here today."  Pretty sure he was mostly talking about himself. He's hilarious.

Macklemore
There IS a thrift shop down the road!  Bryant even points in the direction of the shop.  I wonder if he actually knows that.

DO IT ROCKAPELLA!!!!
Our front row is awesome.  Scott:  "That's what I'm talking about!"

Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego
Jeff's solo was spot on.  Not that I ever really think that it's not, but I told you that I was paying attention today.  We were amazed at how fast he drums.  We love you, JT!

We don't start the standing ovations normally, because we like to see how the rest of the audience responds first.  They stood at this show, and I told the others, so we stood up, too.  Heck, we'd stand up every time, you know.

Encore

Up On The Roof / Wonderful World (off mic)
I smiled at V when they started the song and whispered to her, "It's your song!"  This song is what Bro chose for their first dance at their wedding, and I always picture the two of them on that day when I hear it, especially this one picture that I have where Bro has this look of pure contentment on his face.  Yeah, I'm crying now.  Shut up.  So anyway, it means even more to me when I hear it live and the two of them are there with me.  I smiled and smiled, then started the standing ovation.  

Meet and Greet

While waiting for Rockapella to get to the lobby, we took pictures of each other.
Nicole & KP

KP with Bro

My Loves


I told Scott that "Wonderful World" was Bro and V's first dance, which is why I was smiling so much.  Bro thanked him for singing it.  V told him that the nephew has hair like him, and he smiled.  

Jeff had not remembered meeting Bro before, and I told him that he first met Bro and V back when I called her "my brothers' girlfriend, Veronica".  Jeff:  "Glad that worked out!"  I said that they met at Great American Music Hall.  He was amazed because it was so long ago, and said that the venue folks did not like the fact that the fans didn't drink enough.  They wanted us to be more raucous.  Bro said that had he known that, he would have drank more.  Jeff: "Well, one person wouldn't have been enough, but thanks."  

Calvin told the niece that she was pretty and when he saw her, he said to himself, "I have to go sing to her!"  She's so cute.  

Mitchell and Calvin talked about being out of control while dancing on stage.  Bro asked if it was on purpose.  No.  Mitchell said that he will make sure that Calvin calms down for the next show.  I said to him, "Mirror?  Look in one?"  He laughed.  I enjoy it, though.  It reminds Liz, KP and me of the old days when Kevin and Elliott would crack each other up with whatever they said to each other off mic, unbeknownst to the rest of the guys on stage. Liz and KP had mentioned it to Scott, and he hadn't know about Kev's and El's antics. Aw, I miss them.

Bryant asked the nephew if he sings.  He said that he does a little in school.  Bryant's advice to him: "Keep doing it as long as you like it."  Bryant's parents were there, but we didn't talk to them.

The family was hungry, so we looked for a place to eat, and decided on Hapi Sushi, where we were told before we sat down, "We don't have chicken or beef."  I think the guy wanted to make sure the kids were OK with not having standard kid meal fare.  Yeah, they're good.  
Sign above the sushi bar

I asked them about their favorites of today's show.  

Bro's favorite was Wonderful World, as was V's.  No surprise.  Bro thought that the most well done portion, though, was the commercials in Almond Joy II.  He said that they sound much better when they stand closer to each other and can hear better.  This is the difference when Fred is not there.  Fred can play with the levels and he knows when someone needs to be toned down more or brought up for the balance.  They're also dancing around, so they can't concentrate as much on the tuning. Not that they're horribly out of tune, but it's also the case of not blending as tightly as when it's the regular group, whom have worked together for a long time and made the harmonies gel into seamless chords.

The kids' favorite was Carmen SanDiego.

As far as the guys go, everyone's favorite was Calvin, save one person; the niece's favorite was Scott.  
Somehow herded all the cats for the family photo (Hi, KP!)

I walked them to their car and we said our goodbyes, then I was ready for the evening portion of Rockapella Day.

Next up:  Jennifer's first show

Saturday, August 20, 2016

By the Beach with the Boys

Rockapella in Laguna
Show #1
Friday, August 19, 2016
Laguna Playhouse
Laguna Beach, CA

Rockapella has been at the Laguna Playhouse since last week, but due to Drum Corps Finals, I was unable to attend their shows.  Luckily for me, their run in So Cal lasts 3 weeks, so I bought tickets to see them on the Saturdays and Sundays, and told myself to go during the other days if my other friends decided to go on those days.  I didn't get much response, though, because APPARENTLY my friends do not know a good thing when it's in their own backyard.  On Sunday when I was coming home from my drum corps trip, I was sad that I wouldn't be able to make it in time to see their Sunday show, especially because it would be my only chance to see Steve during this run.  Oh well, sorry I missed you, Steve.  As I was texting Liz about her experience at Saturday's show, my hunger pangs for my Pella grew deeper, and I asked her if she'd like to go to a weekday show.  After I checked my work schedule, we decided to go on Friday.  Stupid work.  I should have kept all 3 weeks of my planned vacation.  But I did need to be there, so whatevs.  We met up with Karla at her house and carpooled to Laguna.  Thank you to Joe for the use of your transponder so that we could take the toll road!  There was a bit of traffic after we exited the toll road because it's summer in Laguna, and it is the time for Pageant of the Masters.  We thought we could park in the arts school parking lot, but couldn't find any signs to pay or catch the trolley, so we ended up in Lot 17 and parked on gravel.  I don't particularly like to park and walk on gravel, but I'm also cheap so we decided not to look for any other parking, and took the trolley to the Playhouse.  The trip was just a few minutes long, and honestly, we could have walked there had a sidewalk existed.  
Sculpture at Trolley Stop 17

We went to the box office and picked up our tickets, and I also asked the ticket guy if he could have someone bring my box of treats to the band.  I was in the area of Porto's Bakery the day before, so I picked up some of their wonderful Guava Refugio pastries and the Cream Cheese rolls.  I hope they like them!  
Who are these guys?

We were hungry and decided to eat at Romeo Cucina, an Italian restaurant down the street from the Playhouse.  I asked for a recommendation on the wine, and took the server's advice, ordering a Nero D'Avola, Rapitala from Sicily, which was smooth and tasted nice (red wine).  I also ordered Scampi e Capesante, which was delicious.  For dessert, I ordered the Torta Nocciola, which, as KP described, tasted like a Ferrero Rocher in cake form.  



We walked across the street to the beach so that I could look at the water for a bit before going back to the Playhouse.  Our seats were in the front row, A 106-108.  Liz was frightened about how close we were to the stage.  I was in my happy place.  

The Sun Brothers started singing from the top of the stairs in the house.

L-O-V-E
They were wearing their orange sunglasses.  Calvin shook hands with Liz and me.  Hi!

Across the Alley from the Alamo
I really like this Mills Brothers song, and I like that they're singing it.

Rockapella

Rock Around the Clock
Scott is the shiniest, with the lightest colored suit which is shiny, and his belt is shiny, and he's wearing my favorite tie (purple with silver bar and fleur de lis).  

Jailhouse Rock
Scott and Jeff looked at Karla.  

Scott:  We spent the last six weeks in Brandon, MO, so we're glad to be here in Laguna Beach.  I mean, Branson is nice, but Laguna Beach, c'mon!

Dancing in the Streets
JT only thrusted his pelvis twice, and looked over at Calvin.  APPARENTLY, Calvin controls how crazy JT is allowed to get.  They dance like robots when singing about Motor City.

Just My Imagination
Bryant:  That's a move right there!
Mitch:  Yes, it is!  

Oh, wait.  FYI:  Bryant is singing bass, in Ryan's place.  Mitch is singing tenor, in Steve's place.  They're funny.

Scott:  Calvin is from East St. Louis
Some in the audience: <cheers>
Scott:  Oh, you made the trip.  nice to see you!

Satisfaction

Scott:  Mitch comes from Akron, OH. He is living the high life because Cleveland finally ended its drought of sports championships, and he's here to rub it in everybody's face.  

Scott:  I grew up in listening to Andy Williams and would start listening to the Christmas album in September.  I think he has the greatest pop voice of all time.  When we were singing in his theater (in Branson), we thought it would be nice to sing one of his tunes as a tribute.

Moon River
"It's the most wonderful moon of the year...it's the most wonderful river of all..."
Well, that was lovely!  Yay -- a new song!

Scott: Bryant is involved with other groups - Vocalosity, Voice People, but we were able to snag him for Laguna.  

Scott started to talk about Jeff, then someone in the back of the audience yelled, "We love our Jeff in Reno!"  Jeff shaded his eyes from the lights and yelled, "Who's THAT?!"  

When Calvin talked about Scott's "Spaghetti Legs", they all pointed to Scott's legs.  

Scott talked about records, then told Mitchell: "It's before your time, son."

People cheered when Scott mentioned the Mills Brothers.  
Scott:  I thought I saw that demographic here tonight.

Paper Doll
So weird not to have a particular someone make Flirty Flirty Eyes at me.   Is this how all of you others feel when nobody is being all cute with you during this song?  (Not the weird part, just the part where you're not giggling at the cute). Bryant did make big eyes at KP, though.   I still love the song, especially watching the rhythm section.  They were particularly bouncy tonight.   

Blame It On The Boogie
Mitchell was particularly not in charge of his own legs, and he was dancing around so energetically that his mic pack fell.  He looked up at all of the guys, thinking maybe it was one of theirs, but they all pointed to him.  He uses a lot of pelvic action in his dancing.  I'm just saying.

<Intermission>
Liz:  The young one is so enthusiastic!
She was talking about Mitchell.  I will now think of him with this nickname, and for the rest of the night, I giggled when I thought about it.

Robin's here!!!  Hi, Robin!  She and Liz thought Mitchell's energy reminded them of a puppy.

I have deemed the upstairs restroom "the Posse restroom" because we're the only ones that go up there.

Used Ta Be My Girl
Bryant pushed Calvin away so that he could sing to the My Girl in the audience.  Scott pouted.  It was hilarious.  In my head, I heard, "I like My Girl, too."

Commercials
OK, the peacock flourish bit was hilarious.  First, it was normal, but Bryant and JT did the flourish.  Then JT did a raspberry instead of the beautiful flourish.  Then they all did the flourish. 

Scott made a coffee connection with Debbie, a teacher of special education.  Thank you for helping out the kids, Debbie!  She said that it was her friend Karen's birthday, and that she should be up there.  Karen yelled out, "Can we take a picture?" 
Scott:  Maybe *after* the show.
Scott asked if they'd been celebrating, and Debbie said yes.
Scott: Are you all liquored up now?
Debbie did not sing along, and said that Karen really sings well.  
JT:  MORE DRINKS!!!

Stand By Me

Mitchell:  You smell nice!  

Ain't Too Proud to Beg

Debbie started to leave the stage on her own after the bow.
Mitchell (with CD in hand):  I guess I'll keep this.

He did end up giving her the CD and walking her back to her seat.

Macklemore
Instead of what the actual lyric is, Bryant sang, "This is REALLY awesome." in case he needed to sing over others singing the F word.  

Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego
A guy that had been very vocal in the audience during the show was a big fan of JT.  During JT's solo, he stopped, pointed to the guy, and said, "This guy."  His friends, whom were in different places in the audience, cheered.

Encore

Up On The Roof / Wonderful World (off mic)
After Mitch did his solo, he backed up...right in front of JT.  JT gently patted him to move over.
Audience dude:  Yeah, baby!

The audience asked for more, but Scott made a motion of stroking his throat, saying that they couldn't sing anymore.  

Meet and Greet
The meet and greet was scattered, so we waited until the guys talked to other folks before monopolizing their time.  I asked Liz to take a picture of Robin and me while we waited, and she was having trouble with my new camera.  I threatened Liz that if she didn't learn how to use the camera, I would make her be in the pictures.  She quickly learned that we just needed to use the flash.  



Scott saw me waiting, and his face lit up as he walked over to hug me. 
Sherry:  I heard that you missed me last week.
Scott:  Yes!  Very much.
Have I mentioned that I love him?  He said that he saw that I was in Indianapolis.
Sherry:  Yes, in YOUR land!
He asked how it went, and who won.  I told him about the Bluecoats half-pipe craziness and showed him a picture on my camera.  He asked if they were riding skateboards, and I told him that they were just sliding down them and running up.  He said that Jesse is now playing with the New York Knicks drumline!  He also does stuff with the Yankees and other sports events.  I asked if it was weird not to have Jesse at home anymore, and he said, "Not really weird, but sad."  Aw,, he misses his boy so much.  My heart hurts for him.  OK, I'm crying now, but I wasn't last night.  He said that Natalie is still singing, and she's a terrific dancer, and might follow Jesse to NYC. Liz had been asking about Scott's shoes, wondering about the brand, so I asked him.  Pharell designed shoes for Adidas Japan, and they were in a multitude of colors.  Scott picked these pretty blue ones, and you know I needed to take a picture of them with my blue toenails because I'm crazy that way.


An older gentleman came up to Scott to tell him that he was leaving for the evening.  Scott asked me if I had met Jeff's dad.  I said no, and he introduced us, saying that I am a longtime fan and now a friend of Rockapella.  Sweet!  All of a sudden, JT was behind me, and further introducing us, saying that KP is "a Fred groupie, in the modern sense".  I couldn't stop giggling and needed to turn around to giggle.  Jeff's dad said that Fred is a very nice man.  I see a strong resemblance in the two of them.  Jeff said that his dad never has any facial hair, but both of them have stubble right now. Jeff's dad will be leaving on Tuesday, although I don't know if he'll be at the other shows.  He seems like a kind man.  He was a teacher in engineering, I think, which is where we figured JT got his brains and also his respect for teachers.  We said good night to him, and JT thanked me for the pastries, saying that he's going to need to be careful with those.  I asked if he had ever had Porto's, and he didn't think so.  He said that that he took a tiny piece off of one of them, and is looking forward to having more of it.

As I was talking to Scott, I saw that Mitchell was going to leave.  I don't know why but I snapped my fingers at him, like "Garcon!"  Instead of that word, though, I said, "I need to meet you!"  He came over and I introduced myself and apologized for snapping at him.  I mentioned to him and Scott that I noticed that all of the guys were drenched in sweat by the end of the show, but I didn't see one bead of sweat on Scott.  Mitchell said that he had nothing on him to lose.  Scott said that underneath  his clothes, he is wrapped in terry cloth. 

Sherry Sandwich!


Calvin came up to say hi, and I told him that I know I promised to bake for his birthday, but I couldn't resist bringing Porto's.  I told him that he would get his birthday goodies next week.  Mitchell came over to say bye to Calvin, and I asked him what he likes in form of baked goods.  
Calvin:  She takes requests!  Tell her what you like, man!
So I've got at least two recipes for next week.  :)

Not a lot of people were left, but I had not yet met Bryant.  I asked KP and Scott if one of them could introduce me to him because I didn't want to interrupt him speaking with other folks by snapping my fingers and being rude again.  Scott offered to introduce us, and did so once there was a lull in Bryant's conversation with other folks. 
Scott:  This is our new man, Bryant.  This is Sherry.  She was the one that brought the pastries.
Bryant: Oh, thank you!  I'm trying to be good! (as he rubbed his belly)
Sherry: That's not possible when I'm here, sorry.
He was very attentive as KP talked about us being on a road trip and writing haiku.  He's really tall.  I was in heels, so I didn't feel as short as KP did.

Bassman Bryant and me


We said our goodbyes to them and Robin walked us over to the trolley stop before separating from us.

So if you're wondering what Scott meant when he introduced Bryant as "our new man", well, I'm wondering, too.  Last week, Steve mentioned to the posse that Bryant isn't sure what he is.  Interesting.  I do like Bryant's voice.  He has been a fan of Rockapella since he was 8 years old, so he is a Barry fan, and I see the influence in his performance.  Bryant has a great voice and personality, and I think he fits in quite well.  I would miss RyanC if he does leave, but I honestly don't know what's going on, so don't take this as any kind of welcome or goodbye.  I'm already distraught enough when one of them is missing and needs a sub, much less two of them.  I do like Mitchell, too, and hope that he continues to sub for Steve whenever he is unable to be there.  I know that Steve wants to stay with the group, so I hope that this is only for now.  I would rather have some of Rockapella there instead of no Pella at all, so I'm not going to complain.  At least not to them.  :)

I was thirsty and there wasn't anything available after the show, so we stopped at a gas station in Huntington Beach so that Liz and I could get something to drink for the way home.  Ah, the thirst has been quenched, thank you Gatorade.  KP gave us a tour as we drove through her neighborhood.  I dropped them off and made my way home, happy that I made the decision to go a day earlier than I had planned.

Next up:  Show #2 - Olivia's first Rockapella show

Friday, August 19, 2016

PusherPix 08/19/16

PusherPix
Friday, August 19, 2016

Laguna Beach Pre Pella

Thursday, August 18, 2016

PusherPix 08/18/16

PusherPix
Thursday, August 18, 2016

This is how my day started: in the Ralph's parking lot.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

PusherPix 08/17/16

PusherPix
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sometimes I'll allow people to see me being silly in my quest for prettiness.  This is one of those times.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

PusherPix 08/16/16

PusherPix
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Yup.  The Shepherd is potty trained.

PusherPix 08/15/16

PusherPix
Monday, August 15, 2016

My friends and me as Disney Emojis.