Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hamlet 2: The Jesus Boogaloo

I saw "Hamlet 2" last night with several friends. We had all been looking forward to seeing this movie since the trailers first started to pop up this Spring, and were fortunate enough to be able to see it together.

If you don't already know, my sense of humor can be quite demented at times, so pardon me if you're already offended by the fact that I *wanted* to see this movie ... but then, if you couldn't figure all of that out by my other movie mentions, then I don't know how else to help you any further. ;)

On with the comments:
  • I'm glad Steve Coogan's character wasn't blown to smithereens at any time during the movie, at least not literally. Emotionally, maybe, but that's what made him all the more hilariously pitiful.
  • Loved the fact that the drama class was such an unimportant subject in the school's curriculum that they had to share the space with the snack bar in the Snackitorium.
  • Couldn't he at least wear boxers underneath that caftan?
  • Was the critic kid the son of the critic from the New York Times that showed up at the end? Because they looked like each other a little bit with the sunken eyes.
  • Hmmm... that critic kid actually reminded me of Goob from "Meet the Robinsons," come to think of it.
  • One of these days, I'm going to go see a gay men's chorus perform live. I'd been meaning to do it since a long time ago, but this movie has made me remember that goal.
  • If you can't roller skate, then why don't you just walk to work everyday? Or get a bike or something? Maybe he should have made a deal that he be paid in bicycle money, and not gas money. And what made him think that he could skate while inebriated when he can't even skate when sober?
  • Why didn't Elizabeth Shue ever have any other clothes when she was in Tucson? Was there no money in the wardrobe budget?
  • "That's the crane!"
  • Prickly Pear. Heh.
  • At the cat: "What the f*** is your PROBLEM?!"
  • Nice dot matrix printer with the perforated paper. What is this? The 1940's?
  • That's the biggest frickin' margarita glass that I've ever seen.
  • David Arquette got 3rd billing for THAT?!
  • Poor Yolanda.
  • "I'll show you what I want, Vato."
  • "Do whatever you want to me. I'm married to a Jew, so I've got NOTHING to lose!"
  • ROCK ME, SEXY JESUS!!! I want the soundtrack. Yes, I do. So I can sing along with the sheet music in the link. YAY!
  • I'm going to go hell for enjoying this movie.

Thanks, everyone, for the great time, even though our waitress afterward wasn't that good. Special shout-out to Cindy for my new Gloomy Bear, House Painter Hippo, and Donna Summer Hippo! I needed the cheering up, and you came through with flying colors!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Brain is 20 Years Old

I got this email yesterday, and thought I'd share with you the fact that my brain is half as old as the rest of me.

The better your score, the lower the number. Once again, age discrimination.

You can get better with practice -- or obsession.

This test will tell you if your brain is as old as your body.
The site doesn't know your age, but it will tell you the age of your brain power.

Once you get to the website, you probably won't be able to read the Japanese instructions, so follow these instructions

1. Touch 'start'
2. The numbers 3 then 2 then 1 will pop up on the screen. Immediately following
the number 1, several numbers will flash on the screen for barely one second.
3. Memorize the numbers' position on the screen, then click the circles from the SMALLEST NUMBER TO THE BIGGEST NUMBER.
4. At the end of game, the computer will tell you in years, how old your brain is.

Sounds complicated but it's really easy. Think fast.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Closest I'll Get to Being a Trekkie

Back in Ogden, one of the groups to sing was a Barbershop quartet named "Hi-Fidelity." They were Harmony Sweepstakes winners, and I can understand why after hearing them this weekend.

They sang their entire set wearing the uniforms of those in the original Star Trek series, and sang a few songs to go along with the theme. These songs are available on their CD "Reach for the Stars."

Here are a couple of youtube clips from other shows, with the ST stuff. Although I'm not a Trekkie, I pretty much understood everything that was going on, and it was very funny.

They also did an AMAZING rendition of "Bye, Bye, Blackbird," during which they changed keys at almost every bar of the song. It must have been REALLY difficult to sing, much less arrange or read! I probably would have awarded them the highest marks on that song alone. Well, provided that they weren't up against Rockapella. :) That's on a different CD, though, so I guess I'm getting 2 of them!

Live Long, Prosper, and Sing Well!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Ogden Ten

Karla and I went to Ogden, UT this Saturday, August 23, 2008 for Acappellastock, which included a performance by XRP -- former members of my Pella.

Top 10 Memorable Moments:

10) Spying on Sound Check

9) Cracker Barrel x 2: hello, with the best pancakes I've ever had. EVER.

8) We are "Acapellatonianites," according to Hi-Fidelity's Enterprise officers.

7) Tonic Sol-Fa being relentless with audience member Les, the electrician.

6) Barry: "This time, I brought friends."

5) Seeing "Flat Tire," "Hound Dog," "Working in a Coal Mine" and "Just You, Just Me" performed live, and seeing "Zombie Jamboree" performed with Steve, just like in "Do It Acapella," with crutches and a stool.

4) Sean told KP he'd email her, and Barry's mom told KP to call her.

3) Hearing Barry's "Zombie" spiel again.

2) Talking to El and Bear at our hotel after breakfast about Brownstones, current gigs, and solar panels, which made me late to pick up KP.

1) El sang "Don't Do It" to me, just like old times! Then he winked at me while I was in the MnG line. Aw, I've missed him.

Thanks, Karla, for a great time. May we have CB pancakes together on another trip soon!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Reliving the Day

So I bet you thought that all my gushing about DCI Finals was over.

Not quite yet.

Today, I received my DCI online newletter, which contained a link to their podcast that included what it sounded like to be on the field when the scores were announced for both Open and World Class Finals. So I got to live it all over again.

And tears came to my eyes.

That really was an incredible day for a drum corps fan. The drama! The crazily close scores! The emotions of the people involved with the corps! The podcast included short interviews with different people from Phregiment and SCVC. I loved that he was able to talk to "Spartacus," and that a corps member talked about how difficult it was to stand at attention when all the excitement was happening over the scores. Dan Potter also mentioned that tears were streaming down the faces of everyone in the corps. How wonderful it must be to feel on top of the world when you're 22 years old (or younger)! I miss those days. ;)

Mr. Potter talked about how this year's Phregiment show has probably changed the face of drumcorps, because they made the audience care about the characters of everyone on the field. That pretty much says it all.

I need to order this year's DVDs sooner than usual, and I hope that they include the announcement of the scores this time, because it really was an amazing night, and, like Mr. Potter said, was probably the loudest reaction ever heard at a drum corps event.

Done gushing. For now.

But I just thought I'd leave you with this image:

Oh, and Happy Phantom Regiment Week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sunset Chase

Yay! More new lyrics on Scott Leonard's site, this time for a song called "Sunset Chase."

The new lyrics referred to in my other post seem to have already been sung by Rockapella during their Germany tour, so perhaps they'll be singing "U Be Thee 1" AND "Sunset Chase" this fall? Perhaps we'll be seeing that new CD at that time, too? Hmmm? That would be great!

That reminds me...I need to figure out what to wear this Saturday!

Omnivore Offerings

One of the food blogs that I read had a list of The Omnivore's Hundred, so I thought that I would share it here, too. I tend to try a variety of foods, yet there are some with which I can barely eat at the same table. But apparently, if you're a truly good omnivore, you will have tried it all. The original blogger is from the UK, where I don't think they have the greatest food anyway, but it seems that he's tried lots of different stuff.

Vegetarians, just turn away now. Meat and potatoes types, good luck! Feel free to share your own results here or on your blog.

Items that I've tried are in BOLD. Items that I really enjoy have ***, and items that I will be staying away from, probably forever, are marked in italics.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho***
13. PB&J sandwich***
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream***
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava***
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas***
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel***
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut***
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal***
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (can't figure out what this is, except for clay, or an ingredient in Kaopectate)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (really want to, though, aside from its powerful odor)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake***
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain***
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette (I've had this Filipino style)
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail***
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam***
92. Soft shell crab***
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox***
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Yes, I had to look up a lot of those on Wikipedia or Google.

My score: 47

Monday, August 18, 2008

"I don't read the script. The script reads me."

... "What does that even mean?!"

I joined a group of my friends this weekend to watch "Tropic Thunder," the new Ben Stiller comedy that opened this weekend.

My thoughts (with spoilers):
  • The trailers were hilarious, especially that of "Satan's Alley." I love that Tobey Maguire agreed to do this, and loved that he was hailed as "MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss winner."
  • Just eeww with all the blood and guts, but then, this is a fake war movie.
  • Steve Coogan's whole bit about Jesus distracted me into singing "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" in my head.
  • OMG, the guy BLEW UP and Tugg played with the dude's decapitated head. OMG.
  • Tom Cruise was magnificent. I don't think I've ever heard him use the "F" word that often in one sentence before.
  • It's no wonder that they got so much flack from those advocating for people with Downs Syndrome. I'm sorry, but ... it was funny, and it was in context, so it made sense to me.
  • RDJ's eyes were way too blue when the contacts came off, but I guess they're supposed to be that way.
  • Ben Stiller's unknowing attack on the panda made me wonder if Jack Black was hurting at that moment.
  • Speaking of JB, his facial expressions as he was talking about fighting his drug problem were just hilarious.
  • Loved the geek guy Kevin ... except for when they showed all of the stuff from his stomach.
  • Who knew that Alpa Chino had a thing for Boy Band types?
  • That little leader kid sure can kick some serious ass.
  • Great to see the toddler poking Tugg with his Stick Oscar. (OK, I know that sounds wrong, but that's what happened).
  • Loved that the first thing that the Pyro Effects guy had to say upon being discovered as a hostage was "He has hands!"
  • Was Nick Nolte arrested while he was filming this movie? Because he looked like that in his booking picture, right?
  • Tom Cruise's dance moves sure have changed since "Risky Business".

Thanks for a great time at the movie, y'all. I look forward to the next one. Really, really looking forward to it, actually!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Way Home

Day 5: Travels
Sunday, August 10, 2008

We made sure to be all packed and ready to go before falling asleep last night, so we were able to leave the hotel on time.

I forgot to write about the parking card at the hotel. Parking at the Embassy Suites is $18.00/day, with in and out priveledges. If you are a guest at the hotel, they can add all the days onto your bill, and give you a key card to get in and out. For a couple of days, I had to swipe the card 3 times before actually getting it to work, which was done with my right hand instead of the more convenient left one. Bro said that it was probably the angle of the swipe. Anyway, we would cheer whenever I'd get through on the first try. We're easily amused.

Oh! I also forgot to give a big shout-out to Angela, for sending me a copy of Rockapella's rendition of "Indiana" so that we could listen to it in the car. One of the reasons for us to go to Best Buy was to get a CD-R for me to copy it. (Contrary to what the rental car lady said, our Matrix was NOT equipped with satellite radio, so luckily, I brought my CDs as a back up for the daily drive time). When I was in the aisle looking at recordable CDs, I saw that the smallest package held 25 of them. I only wanted one, and said it aloud. The woman next to me laughed and said, "Me, too!" We should have pooled our money together and split a pack of CD-Rs, but she didn't say anything about it, and I was already overwhelmed by the various types, so I got to add a bunch of CD-Rs to my luggage. I'm glad we had more than one, because we had to try it a few times before Bro actually got it to work.

When we arrived at the airport, we saw that a bus had broken down and was blocking traffic. There you go, guys: The Santa Clara Vanguard bus! Well, Bro said that it's time they got a new bus anyway. This ended up being a problem, because the shuttle bus for the rental agency could not get to us. So one of the employees took a SUV from the rental pack and drove a group of people to the terminal. I was frightened because he seemed to drive like a maniac, and I didn't want to be a passenger in his vehicle. Bro almost did get into the 2nd group to ride because of his flight time, but thankfully, the actual bus got there, and we had a calmer experience.

I said my byes to Bro, and sat in the Southwest terminal for a really long time. Since I had a layover in Phoenix, there were a whole bunch of people from the Academy waiting for the same flight. There were also a couple of people from SCV, a guy from BD, and someone from the Colts. I just love the airport on the day after DCI finals, with all of the tired and/or excited kids. At one of the gates, a guy was drumming on his practice pad. You know those drummers just can't keep their hands still.

Thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law, who checked me in while I was watching drum corps, I made it into the A-boarding group, so that I could get a seat by the window to sleep during the flight. A couple with a 4-month old baby sat next to me on the plane. He seemed happy at first, but he did cry a bit during the trip. I tried to sleep through it, and did get some z's merely due to my exhaustion. An age-out from the Academy was telling his neighbor all about drum corps, so I enjoyed hearing his viewpoint.

When I arrived in Phoenix, I had another hour or so to wait, and during my wait, they changed gates, so I got to our new gate, and they had cool seats in a block which had an outlet in the armrests. I didn't feel like taking out my laptop so I didn't sit there, but I was still irritated that some people sat there that didn't have anything to plug in, even though there were plenty of empty regular seats. The flight to Ontario was pretty much uneventful, and peaceful.

I was REALLY tired when we arrived in Ontario, so I got some food to eat on the way home, then went to bed right away and took a long nap, instead of going to a party to which I had been invited. I only got up in order to watch the Olympics for a few hours before going back to bed.

I had a great time on this trip. It's nice that Bro and I get along so well that we can travel together (although there will be no Santos Siblings on the Amazing Race anytime soon, because, like, he'd kill me). I'm going to miss being able to just drive half an hour to see him, but at least the flight is only an hour long.

Thanks, Bro, for all of the laughs, and for loving Sweet Tea as much as me! You're the best Bro EVER. Love ya! I look forward to next year, at (the hopefully completed) Lucas Oil Stadium.

SUTA! SPLOOIE! RUFIO! VANGUARD!! and all of that fun stuff until Drum Corps season 2009.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Frisbees, Not-So-Superfans, and Elsa

Day 4(b)
DCI Finals -- World Class
Saturday, August 9, 2008

We had a couple of hours to kill before the gates would reopen for the World Class competition, and walked the Marketplace about 5 times before sitting in the shade behind the SCV souvie trailer. I think we were offered frisbees from the Aerobed guy about 8 times. No, we had not changed our appearance any one of those times. It was kinda like Groundhog Day, but we never really changed the outcome. We were too tired to walk to McDonald's for lunch, and didn't want to lose our primo parking space, so there we sat. The line to the gate just grew and grew until it approached our area, so we decided to stand in the line when it finally reached us. Thankfully, we didn't have to stand for very long before they let us into the stadium. We thought that maybe TODAY would be the day that they would award us for wearing a SuperFan button, since we had been wearing them every day with no reward. They used to throw free stuff at the SuperFans, and we hadn't seen any kind of activity like that. Unless you count the Aerobed frisbee guy.

Bro and I headed for the ramp, and on to the Chik-fil-A stand for chicken sandwiches and sweet tea. (Did you have any doubt about our drinks?). Our seats were at about the 20-yard line, about 5 rows higher than our semifinals seats. I was sitting by the aisle, which kinda made me dizzy when I looked at all of the stairs, because, remember, I was still tired. I was worried that I'd doze off and fall, and Bro would just stare at me like, "How dare you embarrass me at finals?!" instead of helping me to my feet. A guy finally sat in front of me to block my view of the stairs, though, and I was fine again.

The program opened with a performance by the United States Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps -- "The Commandant's Own."

Repertoire included: 1801, Happy Feet, Malaguena, Symphony #5, and Jersey Boys, and ended with Stars and Stripes Forever. I just plain love that march. They then played the Star-Spangled Banner before leaving the field while playing their anthem.

The Volunteers of the Year were announced: award winners were volunteeers for the Blue Knights, Carolina Crown and Pioneer.

The Leadership Award was presented to the director of the Crossmen,

We were then treated to an exhibition performance by today's Open Class champion: Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets. YAY! So they got their encore performance after all! I would have loved to hear "Send in the Clowns," but maybe that's an A-corps thing.

The sponsors were then recognized before Voice of DCI dude announced the order for the competition, which had been done already by Mr. Potter when he was vamping earlier, but that's OK.

Madison Scouts
I like dancing to their music. I can't believe that my camera's batteries were dying during this corps again! The lady behind us called those things "Beehive Boxes." Perhaps if bees would actually fly out of them, I'd actually hear something while they were drumming on them. This DM used a baton. Did he come from Phregiment or something? What was up with that?

I told Bro that I think those chests were actually holding the dead bodies of the other Phregiment Drum Majors. This time I saw the multi-tenor player hit the horn player on the head with his mallet. Violence has started again. Kinda like the violence against the invisible animals during this show. Does PETA get upset when the violence is just implied?

Boston Crusaders
What is up with the red headdresses? I don't think the CG was wearing those yesterday. What do they have to do with "Neocosmos"? I like the way that the company front made a pathway for the CG couple. The crowd really liked the space sounds. They did "Conquest" twice: once slowly, and the other time as they traditionally play it. I didn't hear people doing the Conquest "huh"s, though.

Blue Knights
The crowd liked the contra low notes at the beginning of the show. I like their handpainted flags, as usual.

Blue Stars
One of the DM's names is Terryl Banta. You see? BANTA! W?! Anyway, a dude on the other side yelled out "LIVE STRONG!" Was Lance Armstrong here or something? I thought that the cyclist was going to run into the corps because he seemed to be riding too slow at first. He made it, though, thank goodness.

Bro told me earlier today that his favorite part of all of the shows was Bloo's horn echo diminuendo. I had never noticed it before. He said that the crowd "oohs" at it. I honestly didn't remember it. Then I heard it (because he tapped me) during the show, and I like it, too! I also love that horn block during "The Boxer," as they play beautifully and loudly, then sing the rest of the verse. Very nice effect. When the narrator said to the contendor, "You have a choice..." one of the guys behind us said, "Boxing or Color Guard!" Ha ha. The other boxer had a horn at one point and played it from his boxing ring while the contender was dancing around. Where is the drum boxer?!

Santa Clara Vanguard
YAY! Great job, Vanguard! Good CG work, except for that one drop that really stood out. I enjoyed their show this year, and only wish they'd have placed ahead of that OTHER corps, but at least the B corps is there to keep us all proud. Hopefully, they'll stay with the Vanguard way and not defect to one of those blue guys. ;)

In my pursuit of happiness, I did not watch this show. Instead, I went to the restroom, checked my home voice mail, and enjoyed the view of Bloomington from behind the stands.

Carolina Crown
I hear some different notes/chords tonight. I don't know what that's about. Was it because of where we were sitting, or did someone not remember their music? Nice show, and congratulations on a great season.

Hmmm.... saw a couple of errors in the drill...thankfully not during all of the jumping over the people portion. I love the crowd reaction to the blood streamers. and the way the CG flags run past one of the samurai as if they were wind. Great show.

Gorgeous music, especially the dynamic contrast. The color guard was ON. Most gorgeous solo of the entire day: that mellophone solo during the ballad. Bro wondered if this soloist was part of last year's Lakme duet.'s possible. Awesome, awesome, awesome show!

Blue Devils
Sopranos seemed to be having a little trouble, at least to me. Otherwise, very well done show.

There were a couple of times during the night when prizes were given to some of the fans whom had signed up as Super Fans at the DCI booth. But they never went around and threw free shirts at us or anything! What is up with that?! What's the use of wearing these buttons and poking holes in our shirts if they don't even look for them?! LAME.

The USMC played a bunch of marches ("A World of Cheeses...") as all of the finalist corps marched onto the field. The audience did the wave a LOT of times, and blue Aerobed frisbees were flying all over the place. SCV, as usual, took its time to get their corps looking just perfect, and finished barely a minute before the scores were announced. Bro said that Crown looked like the Jedi Training Academy with their neon lightsaber-looking things. I don't even remember those from their show, but whatever.

Spirit of Disney Award: Phantom Regiment

We couldn't believe it. We thought that with all of the violence, Disney wouldn't possibly award this corps, even though it was the most entertaining show to me. Perhaps if Mickey was here, they might have awarded this to someone who didn't hit anyone or kill people. I was stunned, but happy for the corps. Hmmm...maybe it should be called the Spirit of Touchstone Award instead.


12) 85.225 Madison Scouts

11) 87.2 Glassmen

10) 87.275 Boston Crusaders (wow! .075 spread?!)

9) 88.250 Blue Knights

8) 90.425 Blue Stars

7) 93.025 Santa Clara Vanguard (aw, they got jumped -- SCV and Bloo had been duking it out all season, so this isn't a surprise, but still, sadness)

6) 93.175 Bluecoats

5) 94.75 Cadets

4) 96.8 Carolina Crown (big applause, as this was their highest placement -- and score -- ooin corps history)

There was then a big pause, as the crowd took a collective breath.

3) 97.325 Cavaliers

Big applause, then a big HUSH, as BD reached out to each other and held hands for the next score. Now, had they been told that BDB did the same thing and did not win earlier today, maybe they wouldn't have done this.

2) 98.1 (way big dramatic pause)

................Blue Devils

The crowd went IN-SANE. *I* went IN-SANE. I think I lost my voice for a few minutes due to all of my cheering. I think a few people lost their voices. Phregiment stood still, like a good drum corps does.

1) And with a score of 98. 1 - 2- 5 (collective gasp), PHANTOM REGIMENT!!!!!!!

Even more applause and cheering and throwing of frisbees. I don't think I've seen this much excitement at DCI since 1999. Phregiment had finally won a title all by itself, and by the smallest margin possible. I wondered if they had tied, but had a tiebreaker to give them the extra 0.025, but the recaps proved otherwise. Take a look at these caption awards.

Caption awards are based on an average of Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals. If there is a tie, then the award goes to the highest score at Finals.

General Effect: Phregiment (ooh, presented by Mrs. World)

Visual: Blue Devils

Color Guard: Blue Devils

Brass: Blue Devils

Percussion: Phregiment (Why are they awarded with a little drum? If you've won the *percussion* award, doesn't that mean that you already HAVE a drum?) W.

Drum Major/Leadership: Megan Huber of the Crossmen (I guess for not getting herself killed)

A video was shown which was a lot of images of Finals Week, then all of the corps, led by the resurrected Phregiment DM, played that weird rendition of "America The Beautiful." I didn't mention in my report from earlier in the day that when the Open Class corps played this, Beatrix did not play. But Dutch Boy (from Canada) did? Well, I guess they have a couple of bars from "O Canada" in there. I like it better now that it's loud, but it's still not great.

Afteward, the corps all went nuts (except the always military and always leaving the field right away Cadets). The SCV DMs hugged Phregiment's DM, then told him to stand where he was, so they could do their traditional salute thing. They stepped back 10 yards, started to march forward, but then stopped and had to start over again because somebody had messed them up. They did get it right, though, and saluted him properly. I just LOVE SCV, and always look forward to that part, although I prefer to see them being the winners. ;)

Finally, the announcer told Phregiment, "The field is yours!" and they went to get their guard equipment and warm up. You'd think that if anyone is in the top 3, they would keep their CG equipment a little bit closer, but OK. At least they weren't cocky about it.

Loved hearing, "SUTA!!!!!!!!!"

They warmed up with Ave Maris Stella from behind the end zone stands. I'm sure they would have normally done this on the field, but they needed to be back there for all of the drama with the DM and the slaves and such. They performed their whole show, killing and all, and the mellophone solo was still spectacular. They then finished with their theme song, Elsa. Gorgeous.

And so I leave y'all with the final image of the DCI Trip Blog:
Phantom Regiment, in their Victory Concert, playing their anthem.

Congratulations to Spartacus and the rest of the cast of Phregiment! SUTACUS!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Day 4: Open Class Finals
Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bro and I got up early enough for breakfast this time. We noticed that they had opened up the other eating area, which had the same food, so we partook from there, and wondered why the other people didn't all go there, too. I felt like telling them that they were missing something. ;) We wanted to make sure that we didn't have too much to do when we got home tonight, since Bro had an early flight, so we packed our bags as much as possible before leaving for Bloomington.
I was determined to park really close to the Marketplace today, and the parking attendant did not disappoint me. So already, I was having a good day.

Our other two days were only spent on World Class competitions, but we decided that we wanted to see Open Class at least once, so there we were to see their Finals event. Unfortunately, we missed seeing Yamato and Memphis Sound. Bro wanted to be able to hear what the judges were saying into their tapes, so we made our way up to the middle of the stands, and sat behind them. They were spread out on about 5 rows of stands, so that they wouldn't disturb each others' talking into their tapes. We were sitting behind one of the Visual judges and a Percussion judge. I didn't hear much, but Bro was able to listen a little bit.

Show: "The City"
This corps is from the Netherlands, and I haven't seen them in quite awhile. They had a nice, full sound. I like that one-handed sabre catch, but there were still a few drops. Oh, and I also like their cadence.

Dutch Boy
Show: "Boxed"
Repertoire: Nannou/Forward Though & Multi-Dimensional (A. Twin/N.Klawitter), Another Life (P. Matheny), Synthesis (N. Klawitter)

Lots of stuff done in boxes, like the CG forming boxes from a few of their bodies, stuff like that.

Their skeleton rifles were white with a pink outline. I like the way the drummers caught the skeleton rifle, then spun them back to the CG. They threw their flags over the drumline, so it's like a whole drumline/CG relationship, I guess.

Show: "Deep Blue"
Repertoire: To the Flemish Caps (J. Horner), O Magnum Mysterium, (M. Lauridsen), Storm (M. Hamilton & C. Bell)

Good CG work, and they had good dynamic contrast.

Show: ""
Repertoire: The Gravel Road (J. N. Howard), Wild Nights (from "Harmonium") (J. Adams), First Contact (J. Goldsmith), Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists & Orchestra (P. Glass)

That's a nice star formation at the end. I like the appearance of the CG jumping through the horn line. I also like seeing the drummers playing while standing on one foot and leaning. Nice balance!


I needed to wake up, because I was almost ready to fall over a couple of times in my seat. So I walked around to see if they were selling any concessions on the higher level this morning. Nope. Bummer, because I was getting dehydrated, and was way too tired to go downstairs for water. At one point, I thought of just asking one of the volunteers to give me water from the DCI judges' cooler, but I was too tired to be bold and desperate.

Spokane Thunder

Show: "Antithesis"
I like how the show starts with black flags and ends with white ones. Lots of triangles in this show.

Show: "The Razor's Edge"
Repertoire: Sweeney Todd (S. Sondheim)

The killing started early today, with the male CG playing Sweeney Todd. GREAT CG work, especially with the weapons. Very nice sabre solo. I like their musical rendition, too. At the end of the show, all of the pit members posed as dead bodies, some laying on their instruments. Very cool. I absolutely loved this show.

From behind the end zone stands, we could hear the chanting of "Rufio! Rufio! RU. FI. OOOOO!" However, the next corps did music that really had nothing to do with the movie "Hook."

Teal Sound
Show: "Voices of the Seasons -- the Music of Rajaton"
Repertoire: Pakkanen, Tasangot, Joulun neiet, Nouse lauluni, Butterfly (Rajaton)

Big corps, big sound. This must be part 2 of last year's show, because they did Rajaton's music last year, too. Or maybe they just have a really good deal with somebody in Rajaton. Their opening formation is of a tree, and they have a wind machine that was used between sections of the show. I like that very full sound with the company front. The drum judge had to pick up somebody's stick.

Oregon Crusaders
Show: "Inner Connections"
Repertoire: Concerto for Piano and Wind Ensemble & Danza de los Duendes (N. Galbraith), Original Arrangements (T. Zimbelman)

They brought a bunch of big red poles onto the field, which really only seemed to be there as a challenging obstacle course for the corps and the judges. The drum judge had to pick up one of the black elastic bands that fell. I like the big red flags that they used. This corps is much smaller than Teal Sound, but the music is very nice.

Jersey Surf
Show: "The Jersey Surf: So Far"
Repertoire: How Far We've Come (D. Cook, P Doucette, R. Thomas, B. Yale), In Your Eyes (P. Gabriel), One Day I'll Fly Away (W. Jennings, J. Sample), Thnks fr th Mmrs (A. Hurley, P. Stumph, J. Trohman, P. Wentz)

I actually expected a bigger sound out of them, but OK. CG did a good job, as always with this corps.

Vanguard Cadets
Show: "Perspectives"
Repertoire: Perspectives (J. Peterson, R. Elfman)

I hadn't seen this show before today, which is unusual for me, since this IS Santa Clara. I did know when the yell was coming, though, because I could tell from the build-up, so I yelled along. Their age-out feathers are red, since their plumes are green and black. The red feather from the snare player's aussie fell, which distracted me a little bit because of its contrast with the green field. I liked hearing some shades of the A-corps music over the years. Ooh, the CG gal did a cartwheel over the cymbal player's back. Cool. Great drum feature, and I love heariing that bass drum cadence as they leave the field.

Blue Devils B

I don't remember the gal with the airport flashlights before...or the talking. "BDB Flight 2008, you are cleared for take-off." Really. Was any of that talking necessary? I don't really like the flag colors. The bass drummer seemed more out of control than the other drummers. Perhaps he needs to be told about "unison craziness."


The SCV Cadets Bass Drum Ensemble played the cadence as all of the finalists entered the field. During their set up of their corps on the field, the SCVC snare drummers placed their drums down two at a time, unlike the A corps, whom does it one at a time. Bro thought it was lack of respect. I thought that maybe they just have less time to get situated.


Most Improved Corps: Spokane Thunder

Outstanding Director: Rick Odello of Blue Devils B/C

Leadership Award: Drum Major Blair Bescano of Velvet Knights

Spirit of Disney: Blue Devils B


International Champion: Beatrix

12) 84.200 Yamato

11) 84.400 Memphis Sound

Best Brass: Vanguard Cadets

10) 84.975 Dutch Boy

9) 86.250 Raiders

Best General Effect: Blue Devils B

8) 88.650 Revolution

7) 91.025 Spokane Thunder

Best Visual: Vanguard Cadets

6) 92.450 Citations (to which Sweeney Todd slit all of the throats of the CG on the field)

5) 92.775 Teal Sound

Best Percussion: Vanguard Cadets

4) 93.025 Oregon Crusaders

3) 96.050 Jersey Surf

Best Color Guard: Citation

2) 96.775 Blue Devils B

1) 96.825 VANGUARD CADETS!!!!!!!
Finally, SCVC beats BDB in a match-up this year, and at FINALS, by 0.050. OMG!!!! I was happy. For the rest of the afternoon, all I could think of was how this could be setting up this evening's competition for another upset. I love how the caption awards were spread out, so it was difficult to calculate whom would be named the winner. I was really happy to see the Citations color guard win, because I concur that they were the best ones out there.

We watched the corps' celebrations, hoping that SCVC would do an encore, but no. Teal Sound absolutely cracked me up with their cheer: "Rufio! Rufio! RU. FI. OOOOOOO!!!! ... BANGARANG!!!!!!!!!!!"

Bangarang, indeed. Congratulations, SCVC! Maybe I should only watch my fave corps once a year everytime, so that they'll win. Just kidding. That would be torture. Oh, and I'm really glad that the corps that had the highest scores in brass and percussion took the gold. Awesome.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Banta Fodder

Day 3: Semifinals -- 8/8/08
Bro and I were so exhausted from the traveling and from yesterday's event that we both turned off our alarms and went back to sleep, completely missing breakfast. When we finally woke up, it was time for lunch, so we walked across the the cool walkway from the hotel to the mall, and decided to eat at Champps, since PF Chang's was too crowded. We decided to order dishes to go as well as eat in, so that we could keep food in the refrigerator for when we got home after the show. It turns out that we didn't really need to do so, since our lunch plates were quite large anyway. I had a tuna melt, which was tasty, and Bro had ... I don't remember, but it came with chips and onion straw things were on it. We ordered salmon and a quesadilla for dinner later on. We also did a little bit of shopping around to get something for the nephew, but Bro didn't like what he found, so never mind.

We took a bit of a different route to get to SR 37, which went through more of a residential area. Bro noticed that there were several graveyards. It doesn't even look like the number of houses matched the multitude of headstones in the area. Whatever, it was still a nice drive. We saw 3 signs for "Banta." Yesterday, I wondered if the big creatures from "Star Wars" were called Banta, then realized that they are "Bantha." So we guessed that those were probably not what the sign was pointing to. Can you imagine just all of a sudden seeing a bunch of those big creatures in the middle of Indiana? What was strange was that on the same route, we saw 3 different signs for Banta, all pointing East. We wondered about the place every time we passed one of the signs. So, if you're doing your math, that's 6 times a day, over 3 days: 18 times we wondered what the heck Banta was all about. One of the signs did say "Banta Rd" or something, but still, we wondered. Now that I'm home and can do research, it turns out that Banta is just some historical township in Indiana. Nothing that exciting. Bummer. I was thinking of exploring over there next year.

When we arrived at Indiana University, the parking dude directed me to park on the gravel lot...which would be fine if I was in a 4X4 and didn't have any closer place to park. No, there were plenty of spaces on paved road up ahead. Whatever.

Bro still didn't buy anything at the marketplace, but I did purchase a Hoosier martini glass for my IU souvenir. We saw a guy wearing a shirt stating "Drum Cors needs amps like Lindsay Lohan needs another drink." We laughed, and thought that it was too bad it didn't come in long sleeve shirts, because Bro could then get one, as he decided that it might get cold up in the higher seats. Our seats this time were more accessible via the second level, so we walked up the ramps to get up there. Lo and behold, there was a concessions stand selling Chick-fil-A! We weren't hungry due to our large lunches, but when I saw that Sweet Tea was on the menu, I had to point it out to an incredulous Bro, and we ordered a couple of them for ourselves. It's not Mickey D's, but it's still Sweet Tea!

Our seats were at about the 35 yard line, to the left of the 50. We had a VERY nice view, as we were about 25 rows up from the vomitories. Yes, you read that right. That's what they call the openings from the tunnels. Oh, and there's apparently a "Pass Out" area, according to Bro. I guess these midwesterners really like their college drunkenness. We were also at the top of our section, with no people behind us, unless you count those in the media-special-people booth, whom were in an enclosed, sheltered, froo froo place. I loved the fact that we could stand up and not have to worry about blocking anyone's view.

Today's top 12 corps advance to Finals, and are marked with a *.

Pacific Crest -- 79.65

Aww, their last performance. Great year, you guys! It's nice to see you from way up here, and at Semis! I also like being able to hear you from all the way up here, without everyone being individually mic'ed. Oh, and thanks for not talking/narrating!

Troopers -- 81.1

Oh, they're using their yellow handkerchiefs! (It's part of the Troopers traditional uniform). Likethe music bit of "I've Been Workin' On the Railroad" at the end.

It was not until I was humming later on that I realized they had played "Ghost Riders In The Sky," which made me miss my Country Bears. I wish that I could see this show again live. I really do like all that train stuff.

Spirit -- 83.175

They do lots of stuff in fours, just like SCV does lots of 3s. I like the blue shade of the drum shells. At one point, the cymbal players appear to be slicing off the heads of the bass drummers. You see? Violence.

One of the sponsors of Semis was WTHR13, and their meterologist told us that there was a very slight chance of showers tomorrow, but it probably wouldn't reach us in Bloomington.

Colts -- 85.175

I like the "Kiss Today Goodbye" bit at the beginning of the show. It's only about 4 notes, but it's really nice. Not as nice as that beautiful ballad, though! It must be nice to receive a standing ovation at the end of your ballad, especially when you still have plenty of your show left! It was just beautimus. I like the way the 2 circles traveling along the straight line down the field. I'm sad that I won't see this show tomorrow, because that ballad is just....gorgissimo. I then had to think if there were any other ballads that would be played tonight that I'd like as much as this one. Then I remembered BD and Phregiment and shut up.

Crossmen -- 85.95

Bones is here! Yay! I like the transition between "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" into "What A Wonderful World."

So now it's time for me to tell y'all about the food here. Yesterday, I bought a bag of Cracker Jack, and didn't get a single peanut though I ate about 3/4 of its contents. Finally, today, when I got to almost the bottom of the bag, there they were! My peanuts! I was much happier about my purchase today. Yesterday, also, I thought that the gal in front of us had a corn dog, and wondered where she obtained it, since I didn't see them for sale anywhere. I saw somebody else's today, and realized that it was actually a pickle...on a stick. (This needs to be said a la the Jalapeno On A Stick in Jeff Dunham's act, but he isn't here right now). We also marveled at the fact that they serve ribs a paper cup. Yeah, the kind you can drink out of. So ... here they drink their ribs, and they poke their pickles. Oh, wait. That doesn't sound right.

Madison Scouts -- 86.375*

I love all of the danceable music. My camera batteries ran out at this most inopportune moment, so I'm glad they're coming back tomorrow. I didn't notice the CG guy being thrown up in the air yesterday, and today I was, like, "Whoa!" I like all of the little detailed moves that they do.

Glassmen -- 88.125*
Oh, look! They formed the shape of a balloon and its string! Cool! I think that I was so focused on whatever was in those chests yesterday that I didn't really think about the fact that at one point the CG portrays lion/leopard/tiger trainers. I don't know what I thought those whips (which looked like cat tails) were for.
Boston Crusaders -- 88.975*

CG did a great job. Nice horn action with those space sounds.

Blue Stars -- 90.575*

I really like this show. It has General Effect all over the place, especially with the formation of the cyclist, which moves, as it transforms into the arrow that the actual cyclist goes through. I also like the way the color guard moves during the percussion feature. The corps has new uniforms this year, which I didn't notice until today. Duh.


Dan Potter had a little intermission activity, called the "Zildjian Dash for the Crash." Two guys have a rifle each, pointed to the ground, with their foreheads on the handle, or whatever that part of the gun is called. They then run around the rifle three times to make themselves dizzy, do whatever they can to obtain a mallet that is 10 yards away, then run to the gong to make the crash and win the prize. It was funny to see how dizzy they were, and how one of them really fought to get the mallet out of the other guy's hand. Our side of the stadium was directed to cheer for one of the guys, whom happened to be the winner (and stealer). Silliness, but fun.

Blue Knights -- 89.7*

The Contras get to just blow their lowest note possible at the beginning, which is fun. I love that crescendo push! Lots of balletic moves in the color guard -- lots and lots of plies. I like that.

Bluecoats -- 92.8*

I like when the boxer punches at the drum block and, as an ensemble, they duck his moves. Drummers now hit punching bag poles, I guess. Hey -- that one boxer has a horn! At least these main characters actually do something with the rest of the corps, unlike a couple of other main characters we'll see later on. Now the dude playing the ref talks from the very beginning. Annoying addition to an otherwise very entertaining show.

SCV -- 93.625*

Cool! They formed three 3's! Neither one of us had ever seen that, since we had never seen their show from this high level. People were snapping and clapping like they were supposed to, and we yelled, "VANGUARD!" They are now placed squarely in 6th, so unless they REALLY clean up things, that's where they'll stay tomorrow.

As SCV was gathering up their equipment, the Cadets brought the eyesore of a stage onto the field. It seemed like there would be a standoff between the bass drums, which were playing their great cadence, and the behemoth of a prop. Man, I hate that thing. I would have loved to see them march right onto it, but SCV is far too classy for that.

The Stand-Off:

Cadets -- 95.45*

I thought I read somewhere that they form a happy face, which seems to wink at the audience. I didn't see it, though, and I was actually paying attention to the corps this time. There was a happy face on one of the flags. Is that it? Because that's lame. Like how the female CG jumped up while doing the splits and the CG guy caught her. You see? I DID watch. I just don't want to watch it anymore.

Carolina Crown -- 96.7*

Fun stuff at the point where the two CG gals are trying to upstage each other mid-field. I like the contra ensemble's mini-solo. Cool tympani solo, too. If you don't know this show, you wouldn't be able to tell when it ends, because it just KEEPS ON ending! Love it.

Phregiment -- 97.675*

The violence never stops. There wasn't any fanfare when they marched onto the field today, though. I don't know what happened. But no worries. There was still major awesomeness.

Cavaliers -- 97.55*

Jump again! That's just too much fun. The marimbas went all nuts! I don't remember that from last night, but wow. Oh, and YAY!!!! TAIKO!!!!!

Blue Devils -- 98.05*

Hey -- they form a star that matches the poles on the field, too! Not just the stick man. No wonder they're getting such good visual scores.

Before the last 3 scores were announced, Dan Potter introduced the DCI Hall of Fame winners of the year: Dan Acheson (current president of DCI), James Campbell (developer of Cavaliers' percussion program in the 90's), Rick O'Donnell (BD percussion director and arranger, whom currently heads BD-B & BD-C), and Greg Orwoll (Exec Director of the Colts).

I&E and Scholarship winners were also announced. Of course, the SCV cymbal line had shaved their heads in solidarity again this year.

Then came the Cavaliers Alumni Corps, celebrating the corps' 60th anniversary. They called themselves "Cavaliers Anniversary Corps 888." Their warm-up was the corps anthem, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Then they yelled, "SPLOOIEEEEEE!" and started their program.

Repertoire (I think): Fallen; Battle Hymn of the Republic; Sing! Sing! Sing!; some overture-medley thing -- wherein the color guard raised one of them over their shoulders from one side to the other, a la the "Machine" show, and then the corps formed the "S" curve from this year's show; Jupiter; Korean Folk Song Suite; Once Upon A Time; Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Somewhere Out There; Softly As I Leave You, and Mars.

It was cool to see their old uniforms, and to see the traditional Cavalier stance.

Then Mr. Potter announced the last 3 scores, just by stating the numbers at first. One by one, he told us which corps each score belonged to, and the Phreg fans were overjoyed that they had jumped the Cavaliers. It is my theory that Phregiment's show is just way too difficult to follow, due to all of the drama, and Phreg is pretty much killing its way to victory, one corps at a time. I hope, I hope, I hope!!!
They then had the Age-Out ceremony. I felt sorry for this year's age-outs, because they didn't get to see their names scrolled across the stadium, like the ones in Foxboro and Denver. Heck, even in Pasadena, they showed their names on the screen. Of course, they may have done that on the ONE big screen at Memorial Stadium, but Bro and I were tired and craving the food in our refrigerator, so we left before any of that happened. We did see that the 3 Velvet Knights Age-Outs brought their lawn chairs, synchronized the clapping them open & closed, then sat down and enjoyed the festivities.

We also celebrated the big anniversaries for the corps: Cavaliers' 60th, Troopers' 50th, Blue Knights' 50th, and Madison Scouts' 70th. We all sang Happy 80th Birthday to Don Warren of the Cavaliers. Dan also pointed out two of the dedicated corps members: the Bluecoats dude who pulled a muscle but still made it to the AO ceremony, and a dude from Phregiment, whom had been in the corps for 7 years, and this was his last one.

Our drive home seemed slower than last night, probably because I wasn't munching on french fries this time, and was looking forward to my dinner. It was pretty good, btw. Bro and I went to sleep, knowing that we'd really need to wake up for breakfast this time, since Saturday would be a very full drum corps day...somewhere in the same state as "Banta."


Friday, August 8, 2008

Perhaps We're Missing Something

Day 2: Quarterfinals -- August 7, 2008

After we woke up for breakfast, we went back to our hotel room and relaxed for awhile. We tried to take naps, but were unsuccessful, since we were already up. It was probably also due to the excitement of the day. Their breakfast here at the hotel (Embassy Suites) includes made-to-order omelettes, so I had one of those, and it was tasty because it had what I wanted -- spinach, onions, and mushrooms in all egg-whites. I'd be happier if they could throw in some ground turkey, but that wasn't on the menu, so that's OK. We're not at Barefoot, anyway. ;)

We decided to get our lunch on the way down to Bloomington, since it's 50 miles away, and we wanted to make sure to get there in time to see all the corps. I was being a dummy during the planning, and didn't reserve seats for us on the shuttle bus in time, so we had to rent a car and drive ourselves everywhere. To avoid being lost, we decided to follow one of the buses. It was in the right lane for the beginning of the trip, so I wondered if I should be there, too, as if I was missing something. The bus turned out to be going way too slow for my taste, so I passed it, and Bro thought that maybe the bus riders were now thinking that perhaps they were the ones missing something.

We ended up at a Steak 'n' Shake, which was Bro's first experience there. They have Side-By-Side shakes, which are shakes with 2 flavors next to each other in the same glass. I didn't have one, but they looked pretty cool.

The drive itself was OK. People rarely speed here. We figured that they probably weren't in that much of a hurry to see the next corn field. Indiana's a beautiful state, a little too flat for my taste, but at least the weather is very pleasant. There was some construction on the other side of the road, so we hoped that it would be gone by the time we'd be driving home, because the traffic looked terrible.

We arrived at Memorial Stadium at Indiana University, and had plenty of time to shop at the DCI Marketplace. Bro was looking for shorts, and I just wanted my 2007 recordings as well as the souvenir DCI yearbook. The price has gone up to $15, but they also provided coupons for $3 at each corps' booths. It's too bad I bought the program AFTER I bought a DVD from the Troopers. The IU trailer was also open for business, and I'll probably get a little something from there, too. We signed up to be Super Fans so that we could get our buttons and maybe some free stuff later.

Our seats were at about the 40-yard line, 55 rows up from the bottom. Our view was quite nice, and the seats were bench style (which would hurt our backs after 7 hours of no back rest). Today's competition was 20 drum corps, the top 17 of which would advance to Semifinals. Scores were announced between corps. All corps advancing to Semis in this report will be notated by a *.

The Star-Spangled Banner was sung by Lucy Yarborough. Very nice, although it was a bit slow, and the people in back of us hummed in harmony, which kind of irritated me because they tried to jump ahead of her, and would pick the wrong notes to harmonize. OK, so that reminds me. Bro and I kept checking around to see if CSL4 would be there, since this is his home state, and his son plays the drums, and is looking to join the Cavaliers one day. Bro just kept pointing out blonde people to me. None of them were Scott.

Pioneer -- 74.125
Show: Celtic Reflections
Repertoire: First Suite in E-flat for Military Band (G. Holst), Horkstow Grange (from "Lincolnshire Posy") (P. Grainger), Celtic Symphony (B. Warfield), Crown Imperial March (Sir W. Walton)

I like their use of the Celtic triangle, which was one of the formations, and was also imprinted on the tambourines. They had big triangles with mirrors all over the field. Their modified rifles (I call them skeleton rifles because they look like bone) were white with a green outline. Cool bit with the snares squatting lower and lower as they played at standstill. They also made a shamrock formation, naturally. I was disappointed that the CG didn't do a jig. If you're going to put down your equipment and dance, then do a jig, already! You're Irish! The CG was not spinning in unison. Nice solos and duet from the horn section.

Mandarins -- 77.925
The announcer really screwed up Santiago Sabado's name (drum major), which is Bro's favorite name right now, so he was irritated. The CG is now wearing blue and orange. So, of course, I want them to bring back their black rehearsal clothes. :) The people in the seats next to me came to their seats DURING this show (this is not good drum corps etiquette). Then they started talking, and not about the actual show. Grrrr.... Anyway, the Mandarins sound much better. Nice mello solo. They did a move that reminded me of my college choir rehearsal of "Paper Reeds," in which the corps members stood and swayed slightly back and forth to emulate reeds in a river. Nice. The river theme now makes sense to me since they are no longer using practice flags, and all of them have some blue in them. They have a new ending, wherein the CG runs to the bottom right corner of the field, with the corps as the banks of the river.

The Academy -- 78.85
OK, now the people next to me LEFT during the show. Also not good etiquette. SIGH. The Academy's sound was VERY nice, and the music was really great. The CG was wearing actual uniforms, which weren't exactly what I thought they'd be, but OK. I really love the battle of the two schools of music in Vienna. The CG guy that had the last toss in the ensemble ripple caught his sabre, and was so happy that he tossed up another 7-count just for good measure. That was a surprise! I like the way that the corps did their diminuendo, and lingered for a couple of counts as two of the CG did a rifle toss. The drum judge got run into by a cymbal player. I've never seen a horn guy actually kick a CG's ass before like in this show. Cool. That was not going to be the only piece of violence today. Stay tuned. :)

Pacific Crest -- 79.35*
Hey, where did the tall feathers go? They're not part of the headpieces anymore. WHY are some of you having spacing problems?! This is QUARTERFINALS! During this corps, not only did the lady next to me say that the corps on the field was "Pacific COAST," but she also *stood up* during the show to wave at someone entering the stands (during the show) so they could see where she was sitting. I quietly asked her to sit down, but she couldn't hear me, and really, I wanted to see/hear the corps rather than get into an argument with some stupid person who can't behave at their first drum corps show. Anyway, what happened to the didgeridoo sound? I did hear some kind of buzzing sound during the show, so maybe that was it, and it was more subtle. I liked the Academy's show better today, and you know that it hurts me to say that, since PC is the corps that regularly receives my donations.

Troopers -- 81.5*
Show Title: "The Iron Horse Express"
Repertoire: Canyon of Heroes (S. O'Loughlin), Sasparilla (J. Mackey), Song of the Gandy Dancers (R. Saucedo), The Great Arrival (W. Gordon)

Nice opening drill & music before the salute, then the big blast afterward! I love all the train elements in this show: the movement of the wheels and wheel bars that connect them, the train whistle, and the steel against steel sound were just great. They had those saloon doors made just for the one solo?! The Troop is back, and it's good to see them doing so well, and getting into Semifinals!


So, I guess that lady left forever because she never came back after this. Thank you, God. I didn't want to be irritated for the rest of the evening. The talkative CG gals in back of Bro also left, so we were surrounded by pleasant folks from then on, making it a much more positive experience. Hmm....maybe we're missing something.

Spirit -- 83.35*
Show Title: "pe-ri-4-ry"
Repertoire: Piano Concerto I -- The Beach (from "The Piano") (M. Nyman), Equus (E. Whitacre), Corynorhinus & Myotis (from "Batman Begins")

Something fell onto the field. Is that a sock? What is that? A glove? A wandering hashmark? What? Anyway, a horn player fell down, but I wasn't sure if it was because they tripped on the thing that was on the field, although the person was close to it, so it's possible. The 4 CG gals in the corners reminds me of the Cavaliers' "Four Corners" show in 2001. The CG uniforms reminded me of the Seattle Cascades' during their Airplane show, and I was distracted because I couldn't remember what corps I was thinking about. Then I remembered that the Cascades didn't do a full tour this year, and I hope they can return next time.

Colts -- 84.45*
Show Title: "Night and Day"
Repertoire: Sunset in the City -- Night and Day (C. Porter), Times Square/Curtain Time -- Fancy Free, On the Town, West Side Story (L. Bernstein), Moonlight in Central Park -- Unexpected Song (A. Lloyd Weber), Dangerous Streets/Sunset -- Spellbound (M. Rozsa)

Their uniforms are REALLY bright red. It's the new, brighter Colts with Clorox bleach or something! We didn't remember them being quite that red last year, but I think that these are the same uniforms. I finally realized that the big board display includes the repertoire of the corps at the start of their show. Duh, Sherry. I saw that there was one male CG and the rest were female, which made me ask Bro, "Are they doing Phregiment's show?" (from 2005). The shadows on the field made for a natural night and day effect, even though it was unintentional. Or was it? Hmmm.... Anyway, to show the New York City theme, they did formations of the Statute of Liberty's crown and the Empire State Building (or if you're one of the dudes behind us, a Christmas Tree). I liked the transition from a snippet of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata into Unexpected Song, which especially warmed my heart, because that's what I sang at Bro & V's wedding. Awwww..... The piece was beautifully done, and Bro now prefers it over my rendition, so I told him that at least mine came at a cheaper price. This drum judge is just slow! He almost got run over by one of the CG members. The CG dude did a kickass job throwing up his baton. Wow!

Madison Scouts -- 85.075*
Show Title: "La Noche De La Iguana"
Repertoire: Inteligencia -- La Noche de los Mayas (S. Revueltas), Danza de los Duendes (N. Galbraith), Estancia Suite & Harp Concerto (A. Ginastera); Pasion -- Danzon No. 2 (A. Marquez); Progreso -- Concierto Candela for solo Percussion & Orchestra (G. Ortiz)

I don't like that shade of green on them. It's too much like the field. I like the corps' synchronized adjustment of their ties. I always love those little touches that Madison does. I also like the straight line on the 50, which slowly goes into a diagonal. Great bodywork throughout, especially the dancing during the horn trio. The guy next to me knew every yard line his kid was on at each moment, telling his video camera "40, 41..." This didn't annoy me, since he didn't talk the whole time, just at the beginning. I like the cymbals all going crazy backfield, like the rest of the corps. I didn't really hear much from those boxes they used as percussion instruments, though. Hey -- this drum major used a baton to conduct. I'm not used to that from this corps.

Crossmen -- 84.825*
Show Title: "Planet X"
Repertoire: The Planets (G. Holst), What A Wonderful World (B. Thiele & G. D. Weiss), Also Sprach Zarathustra (R. Strauss), Moonlight Sonata (L. von Beethoven)

Where is Bones? I thought that he was always here at Quarterfinals. The corps has new uniforms. I like when they spin those big orange Xs, and when the horns go down the scale as they squat lower and lower. Great flag work.

Glassmen -- 87.625*
Show Title: "Kar-ne-vel"
Repertoire: Act 1: Life -- Carnival is Over (L. Gerrard & B. Perry), The Breakfast Machine & Overture (D. Elfman); Act 2: Love -- Watermark (Enya); Act 3: Passion -- Beirut Taxi (A. Desplat), Carnival is Over (reprise)

I heard "Carnival" and wondered aloud if they would be doing the Blue Devils' show from this year. They wheeled in several big chests, which didn't actually have bodies inside, as I thought. I was hoping that someone would jump out of each of them, but then it took way too long for them to be opened, and I figured that the people would be dead by then. I mean, hello, it's summer, and I didn't see any air holes. Oh, they held balloons!!! They were the kind that don't scare me, so it was pleasant. There was way too much wheeling around of those chests, though. They have iridescent-colored drums, that made them look like different colors in different shades of light. I really like the flags with balloons on them. You see what happens when you take everyone else's balloons? They fly away, because you can't handle all of them at once. The CG had a lot of costume changes, and used the chests for that purpose, too. No, only one of them actually went into one of the chests and closed it on herself. She got out of there pretty quickly, though, so no worries about her oxygen.

Blue Stars -- 88.10*
Show Title: "Le Tour...Every Second Counts"
Repertoire: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78 (C. Saint-Saens), Toccata (from Symphony for Organ No. 5, Op. 42) (C. Widor); Reverie, Pagodes (from Estampes), Suite Bergamasque, and Clair de Lune (C. Debussy); First Gymnopedie (E. Satie), Pavane in F-sharp Minor, Op. 50 (G. Faure), Le Tombeau de Couperin (M. Ravel), Le Tour: Stage 5, Stage 15, Stage 20 (F. Sullivan)

Ah, the Tour de France. THAT's why they're dressed like cyclists! The horns and CG start in the end zone, warming up in preparation for the race. There were some problems with the sound system -- blech. I like all of the French music. The bottoms of the flag poles had handlebars on them, and even held a sabre on each of them at one point. Very cool to watch an actual bicycle being ridden on the field, with the corps making the shape of an arrow, which pointed to the finish podium. The cyclist made it through the lane and a narrow opening in the middle of the corps without hitting anyone. Impressive. This show is very well-themed, and I really liked it. It woke me up from the drowsiness that I was feeling due to lack of sleep.

Boston Crusaders -- 87.925*
Show Title: "Neocosmos"
Repertoire: Also Sprach Zarathustra (R. Strauss), Kingfishers Catch Fire (J. Mackey), Moondance (V. Morrison), August's Rhapsody (from "August Rush") (M. Mancina), Burly Brawl (from "Matrix Reloaded") (D. Davis & B. Watkins)

Everybody's doing BD's space sound from a few years ago! It's pretty cool with the Strauss theme, though, also known as the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey." They do their "Conquest" theme at a slower pace toward the end. Cool formations during the transitions.


Blue Knights -- 88.425*
Show Title: "Knight Reign"
Repertoire: Cloudburst (E. Whitacre), Turbine (J. Mackey), Jeux d'Eau (M. Ravel), Amazing Grace (arr. by R. Newbury & J. Ausdemore)

Go, Chris! (I just wanted to join in with the people in front of us). I like that arrangement of "Amazing Grace." Interesting music and beautiful flags, especially all the different colors at the end. Bro asked later if BK actually played music, or if it was just a bunch of notes. I told him that I wrote "Interesting," and he left it at that. I'm much more esoteric than he is. What is with the 2nd DM having an extended 50-yard line to his podium? They have new uniforms, too.

Bluecoats -- 92.175*
Show Title: "The Knockout"
Repertoire: On The Waterfront (L. Bernstein), The Boxer (P. Simon & A. Garfunkel), Excerpts from "Rocky" (B. Conti, V. Dicola & Survivor)

I could do without all the talking in this show. I like all of the boxing moves matching the percussion hits, though. Rockin' drums, which makes me understand why they're getting such high marks in that category. Ooh, there's choir corps, too! I guess we're supposed to count to 10 along with the ref, because other people did. I think I heard some flat notes, though. Bro said that I was supposed to be rooting for the guy who lost at the beginning of the show. Why can't I just congratulate the winner anyway?

Santa Clara Vanguard -- 92.625*
I like their CG uniforms. I also like this ending much more than before, as it now ends big, instead of "Is it done?" The "Vanguard" yell is during "Cloudburst." I love those blue dresses with the white flags. A snare drum dropped onto the ground. W? At least he recovered in time for all of the craziness later on.

The Cadets -- 94.225*
Show Title: "...and the pursuit of happiness"
Repertoire: An American Elegy & Nitro (F. Tichell), Round 4 (F. Sullivan), Vesuvius (F.Tichell)

There are chairs and a window on a stage in the middle of the field. I'd already seen a picture of it before coming to Indy, but now they're actually there and I hate it in person, too. A guy and a girl are on the stage and are talking to each other as 2 people in an interview on a public radio station. They don't dance, they don't play any instruments, they don't spin anything, and they don't even sing. W times 10! All they did was talk in interludes between the corps playing stuff, while the corps did some really cool drill moves (at least they were cool according to Bro. I was too busy texting at the time because I was too upset to watch the whole thing). SHUT UP, ALREADY, and STOP TALKING AT ME! From what I did watch at the end, I loved all of the corps maneuvers. Just think of what they could have done had they not had a huge stage in the middle of the field! At one point, I thought that the drum judge was going to just sit on the stage to avoid getting run over by the corps. That would have made me smile. Oh, the corps itself sounded great, although it was too disjointed because of all of the talking, so there was no way for me to get emotionally involved with the show. Unless you call "hating" a show being "emotionally involved" with it. Yes, my friends, this will be my "hot dog corps." Sorry, Cadets. I look forward to next year, when you go back to your roots as "Holy Name" and play some West Side Story.

Phregiment -- 96.575*
As the DM entered the stadium being pushed on his podium by the slaves, and the trumpets played a fanfare to him, one dude near us said, "That's a heck of a whole lot better than a couple of easy chairs." Oh. My. Goodness. That was AWESOME!!!!! The show has changed a lot since Pasadena: At the end of the show, the other drum major ran up and killed the main DM, stepped on him, pulled out a baton from his own sash, and conducted the corps. The corps received a standing ovation for at least a minute before the show ended until the final note. Very, very, very cool. Violent, but cool. I'm Spartacus, too!

Carolina Crown -- 96.075*
Show Title: "Finis"
Repertoire: Candide (F. Lizst), Toccata & Fugue in D minor (J.S. Bach), Barber of Seville (G. Rossini), Symphony No. 9 (L. van Beethoven), Mid Summer Night's Dream #9 (F. Mendelssohn), Clair de Lune (C. Debussy), One Hand, One Heart & Somewhere (L. Bernstein), Hungarian Rhapsody (F. Liszt), Festive Overture (D. Shostakovich), 1812 Overture (P. I. Tchaikovsky), Appalachian Spring (A. Copland), Hallelujah Chorus (G. F. Handel)

I've been looking forward to this show ever since I saw the scores earlier in the season, when Crown beat the Cadets for the first time EVER. Then I heard about the show concept, which is the famous endings of classic pieces of music. That sounded really cool, and I was interested to see how it would turn out. It was AWESOME. I really liked the music, and the corps did a wonderful job of conveying the emotion of each piece. I'm sure that it was difficult for them to follow Phregiment, but I think we needed something more subdued to calm down the crowd after all of the killings. Phew!

The Cavaliers -- 97.00*
Show Title: "Samurai"
Repertoire: Bushido -- The Way of the Warrior, Ronin -- Masterless Samurai, Ken-jutsu -- The Art of the Sword, Fumeiyo yori shi wo -- Death Before Dishonor (all by R. Saucedo, J. Casella, and E. Johnson)

What's on that big drum? Is it like a huge practice pad, telling them where to hit the drum head? What is that? Anyway, this was classic Cavaliers, with their crazy drill. I mean, whoa! They're jumping over each other?! Nice slow motion, too. I liked the streamers being thrown up into the air as the one samurai kills the other, indicating blood spurting. Yup, folks, it's another violent show! More Battles! More Killing! Drum corps is apparently not for the faint-hearted. I liked when the horn guy brushed his shoulder after his solo, like, "Oh, yeah, I'm the coolest." They formed the Japanese character for "Samurai," which matches the tattoos that they were handing out at the Cavaliers booth today.

Blue Devils -- 97.375*
Dude can't pronounce "Absurdity." Their drum heads are now the same color as their shells. They made the poles glisten, so they show up nicely in the light. They made the poles curvy, too, which they hadn't done earlier in the season. That stick man that the corps forms at the end to match the one on the ground: did it always move, or did that used to be stationary? I didn't notice the figure until now, since Rudy had told me about it, so I have no idea. Neither does Bro. Roo, if you're out there reading this, let me know.

So it's still anyone's game. BD isn't far enough ahead to be comfortable, and the other corps are good enough to catch up with their very cool shows. I'm really looking forward to the next two nights!

We went to a McDonald's drive-thru for dinner on the way home, where we got, yes, more sweet tea. It's only a buck, man! We were lucky enough to get there a little bit before they closed at midnight, and the car behind us was the last one allowed to order. We did scope out other places to eat for the next two nights, since we knew that we'd be getting out at later times. Aside from the mile or so of one-lane, the traffic was fine, and we got home in an hour.

I'm writing this from home, but giving y'all the play-by-play as if I'm still there, BTW. I did start this report on Qfinals night, but this is a long one to finish in one session, and I was far too sleepy during our down time to give the updates more timely. Besides, I think that my brain is actually still there.

Next up: Semifinals