Sunday, June 29, 2008
Mt. San Antonio College Hilmer Lodge Stadium
This was my first viewing of a drum corps competition this season. As with all other DCI reviews, I will only give the program information for each corps upon first viewing.
I wasn't able to get to the stadium for the entire show due to another obligation, but arrived during Velvet Knights' performance after almost running over one of the jaywalking corps members dressed all in black. From what I could see and hear from the sidelines, they have an enjoyable show, and sound good. I entered the stadium itself at intermission, and Tim was going the other way, so I wasn't able to say hi to him. Bro didn't see me when I tried to sibling-mild-meld him to look at me, but at least we touched base via cell phone.
My seat was 12 rows higher than those of Tim's and Bro's, as I was in the PC donor block. I was in the 25th row, about the 40 yard line. I guess the box office didn't sell my extra ticket, so V was able to sit with me the whole time. That was good, because I was still a little hyper from the strong coffee I had in the morning, and I don't know what I would have done with myself without someone to talk to the whole time.
All corps that performed after the intermission were in the newly-entitled "World Class" category.
Mandarins: "The River" Repertoire: Wind River (I Am) by J. Curiale, Cajun Folk Songs by F. Ticheli, Sunrise (from Grand Canyon Suite) by F. Grofe, Inferno by R.W. Smith
Bro really liked the Drum Major's (DM) name: Santiago Sabado. Their duet needs work on the intonation. Color Guard (CG) solos were good, but they had no unison when they tried to do anything simultaneously. I like the last piece -- they sounded good and loud. I like the blue/gold/white flags, which remind me of a river, and now I'm thinking that those might still be practice flags because I feel like I've seen them before. Whatever. They were nice. BTW, why is "Wind River" the only title up there that actually has anything to do with an actual river, the name of the show? No Taiko drums this year. Bummer.
The guys behind us then started talking about my alma mater. I think they were commenting on the tremendous number of people in the AHS marching band.
The Academy: "Vienna Nights" Repertoire: 1. Freud's Dream, Mozart's Theme, Variation -- Quasi Presto, 2. Cafe life, Gallop, 3. Notturno, Finale Alla Turka by P. Wilby
They already started waltzing before the competition started. At one point, the cymbal players dance with the CG -- nice! Awesome accelerando in the first piece. CG needs work on their unison. Actually, all of the visual needs work, but this corps' mission is to educate the music first and foremost, so that's understandable. I do like that maneuver that looks like a reverse Z Pull, though, and the cymbal players do a modified Viper at the end of the show. You can tell that their music is important to them, because, as usual, it is AMAZING, especially those sixteenth-note runs. Or are those thirty-second-notes? Goodness gracious! I do like the dissonance of the pieces: it reminds me, in a good way, of Charles Ives, and ends up providing a nice relief of the tonal chords toward the end of the show. V enjoyed the hint of darkness from the basses as the trumpets had their ensemble solo. You can hear the Phregiment influence there. Their marimbas absolutely ROCK! Rudy is going to freak out when he sees/hears this show.
Pacific Crest "Primality: The Rituals of Passion" Repertoire: Crossing the Bridge, Village Attack and Fall of Freetown (from Blood Diamond) by J.N. Howard, I Remember and Raisuli Attacks (from The Wind and The Lion) by J. Goldsmith
WHAT are they wearing?!
I like the opening rhythm, and they have a very nice sound. I was distracted by the purple hair thing that a CG dropped on the field. (I kept worrying that someone would trip on it). I like the singing and sitting from the corps during the duet, which was very nice itself. I thought at one point that the cymbal line was going to run into the CG gal, but phew! Nice bass drum ensemble solo. I thought that the gal playing the small bass drum was the same gal that called me for my donation earlier this year, so I cheered for her without a name. It turns out that I was supposed to be rooting for Maria, the mellophone player. Well, the bass drum gal rocked, anyway. Bro said, and I agree, that the music in this program is a bit too simplistic, and needs to be kicked up a notch. They do sound great with what they've done so far,though.
Santa Clara Vanguard: "3hree Mind - Body - Soul" Repertoire: The Chairman Dances by J. Adams, The Man in the Bath by P. Glass, Eclipse by T. Singh, Cloudburst by E. Whitacre
I pointed out a male CG dude's skinniness to V, and she likened him to a Stick Man, and half-expected him to do the Chaplin walk. Before the competition began, one of the CG gals was all pumped up and excited, and the dude in back of me said, "She's gonna use up all of her energy before the show starts." Apparently, this was just a hint of what was to come in the frenzied show. The entire CG started to shake, leading me to believe that they all had the jitters from my coffee today. I mean, they were, like, spastic. The maneuvers of the corps were amazingly done, some of them reminiscent of 1999's Canyon. Hey! That's the Vanguard Shield! Very cool CG. They had a few drops, but the solos at the beginning were awesome when done simultaneously with the muted trumpet blasts. I did like the muted trumpet ensemble itself, too. Nice Kodak moment of the lone SCV member in front as the corps did another formation. Cool moment of the bass dancing with the CG member. Those drums are really yellow-goldish. Bright! Awesome drum feature, BTW. Great sound, although I wonder what happened with the amps during the marimba solo. The show is not finished (we didn't see a Viper, nor did they play "Cloudburst" -- which leads me to believe that it'll end calmly), but from what they've shown so far, this show is going to put them in the top 5 this year, if not make them champions. Yeah, I'm a huge SCV fan, so I always hope for the top, but I can't help but love this show. We were on the edge of our seats for the entire thing. It is tighter than tight.
Blue Devils: "Constantly Risking Absurdity" Repertoire: Line Fifteen: and other high theatrics Serenada Schizophrana and Pianos by D. Elfman, Line Twenty-Five: where Beauty stands and waits I Will Wait For You by M. Legrand, Line Thirty-Two: spreadeagled in the empty air of existence The Untouchables and The City of Prague by E. Morricone
I tell ya, the CG looks like a bunch of Big Stick Popsicles. And you can see the male CG's belly buttons. So they're Big Sticks with Belly Buttons. The corps itself has changed their plumes to what look like white feather dusters. I now understand that they're supposed to look like a circus ringmaster's outfit, because their coats have half of ringmaster's coattails. I love that visual, BTW, especially when they're moving around or the wind blows or whatever, because the lining is white, and their coats are black. Nice effect. The CG brought in a bunch of white poles, which at first were used as balance poles in a tightrope walk prior to the start of competition. What are those little drums that they used before the CG carried the multi-tenors for them? Wow -- they're RUNNING! How do those poles (now on the ground) not get kicked around more with all of the maneuvering around them? That's tricky! At one point, they used the poles (and a circle) to form a Stick Man. This had me laughing hysterically when they all started to do the Chaplin walk (see above in SCV). I mean, EVERYBODY did the Chaplin walk. Even the snare drummers during their ensemble solo. It was AWESOME. Awesome sound, very nice visuals, beautiful solos (especially the ballad). They do Elfman well. Bro didn't like the slow-mo at the end, though, because he thought it happened too soon after Crown's performance last year. Apparently, Tim's friend Mike thought that the CG looked like Big Sticks, too. You see? I'm NOT alone in this! It takes 4 people to take that circle off the field. That must be a pain. Great show, BD. I LOVE those coats!!!
Horn players from Pacific Crest, Blue Devils B and Velvet Knights formed an arc around the drum corps leaders for the awards ceremony.
68.875 -- Dream
53.2 -- Incognito (they even wear masks for awards)
55.2 -- Mystikal
59.5 -- Impulse
60.4 -- Gold
65.4 -- Velvet Knights (nice "Thriller" moves for the salute!)
65.6 -- Yamato
73.7 -- Blue Devils B
69.0 -- Mandarins
69.6 -- Academy (69 of that must have been for music)
71.7 -- Pacific Crest
79.5 -- Santa Clara Vanguard
81.9 -- Blue Devils
The combined horn line was conducted by Pacific Crest's Drum Major, Zach Headon. They played some new arrangement of "America the Beautiful," which started with "Auld Lang Syne" and contained bits of other patriotic songs. I want to say that it's going to get better with more experienced corps playing together, but Bro has no such high hopes. It seems DCI is still struggling to find a suitable replacement for "America/O Canada" from years ago.
Pacific Crest had an encore performance. They played something that will probably be done on Friday for Independence Day: a patriotic medley that began with "Strike Up the Band." They then played their show at stand still, and I really like their sound. The show ended with the corps' anthem "Ave Maria."
That was a really cool show, which contained NO NARRATION from the World Class Corps, and I'm quite happy about that. I can't wait until later today!
Oh, the tenors in my life, I love you anyway. :)
Saturday, June 28, 2008
- The opening scrim prior to the previews is new, complete with broadway-type lights and a nighttime Hollywood backdrop.
- Dog movie I don't want to see: "Beverly Hills Chihuahua"
- Dog movie I'm looking forward to seeing: "Bolt"
- The dancers dressed all in white reminded me of a Color Guard. Perhaps I have drumcorps on the brain, but they really did remind me of the Glassmen, because of their matching hair. I liked all of their props.
- Nobody freaked me out with bad singing, as the music was all from the original scores.
- Stitch's head is small in real life.
- There wasn't enough clapping for the classics, except for Jiminy Cricket. He got more applause than Mickey, even. Since the movie was Pixar, there was much more applause for those clips, although The Lion King did get quite a rousing ovation.
- "That's your dog!" -- Sherry, to Bro and V
- Feed the Rabbit
- I wish they had a plush of that bunny inside either one of the hats, with a carrot in his mouth.
- I caught a couple of Pixar references, like the Toy Story alien cup by the cockroach's snack.
- The message of this movie hit like a ton of bricks: we'd best stop the trash-making, or our home will become a place where robots are in charge and we're consuming nothing but soda and cupcakes and becoming fatter and lazier.
- Loved the "2001: A Space Odyssey" references.
- John Ratzenberger got to use his own name for his character.
- Eve has a temper. Do not mess with her, or she'll shoot you.
- WALL-E wants to hold hands at inappropriate times.
- Without that fire extinguisher, the Earth would still be a desolate place, and the cockroach would still be by himself.
- I realized that I've never actually seen "Hello, Dolly" and need to do so.
- Rubik's Cube, a VHS tape and Pong? What YEAR is this?
I really enjoyed this movie, and will probably be buying one of those little WALL-E robots, although I didn't last night. I did add to my collection of El Capitan marquee pins, though.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
OK, it's just New Kids day, I guess.
This video was actually referred to by Donnie on the New Kids blog. I LOVE that he posted about it, and if you're a NKOTB fan, or at least remember the Right Stuff video, you'll love this.
WHOO HOOOO!!!! New Kids are going to be in L.A. at the Staples Center for 2 dates, and I'll be going with my friend (and fellow Pella fan) Aura.
She never had the chance to see The Kids wayback in the wayback machine, and I've missed my first male quintet obsession, so we're going to go CRAZY.
I already went nutso watching this video the other day, so this will be way fun.
I just ordered our tickets today, and I'm keeping my theory that Ticketmaster is The Devil.
Looking forward to blogging about the whole experience.
AAAHHHHHH!!!! N E W K I D S!!!!!!
OK, gonna go breathe now. I have a 5 month wait. Maybe I'll take Angela up on that offer and go to Dallas in October. ;)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Last night, my friends Rudy and Jeff came over to play "Rock Band" for their first time. I had purchased some Bacardi Mango Mojitos for us, since you can't really have a true rock band without some kind of drink. Well, you could, but not the kind of bands that you'd be emulating for this game. After some snacking and catching up, we got to work on the game.
First, we had to choose a band name, and we naturally chose "Mojito." Unfortunately, there was another band with this name online, but we didn't plan on registering anyway. We also chose our own names. We decided to make Jeff (the guitarist) "c.k." as we had deemed him a type of superhero this weekend for reasons outside this post. If you can't figure out c.k., then I don't want to help you, because then you'll find out someone's secret identity. ;) Rudy (on drums) decided that he wanted to be a female, and named himself "Tiger Pansy." I don't think I'll ever forget this name, since he yelled it about 55 times during the evening. If we had the time, we probably would have just changed our band name to Tiger Pansy, but we had too much stuff to do, and not enough time to do it. I stuck with my Spyral avatar from my other band, and decided that I had been stolen by Mojito for some gigs while my regular band was on vacation. Well, they WERE taking time off, and I needed money for clothes!
We had some trouble getting started, since I had two people to train, and hadn't played enough myself to remember all of the components at once. Heck, I had enough trouble trying to hook up everything and remember to turn on the instruments. Jeff didn't think that he was quite getting the hang of the guitar, and Rudy was having WAY too much fun with the drums, so I became c.k. and Jeff was Spyral for the rest of the evening. We ended up doing quite well that way (we were on the Easy setting for quite awhile), and made enough money to purchase some better clothing for our avatars.
I gotta tell ya, it's a lot of fun fake shopping with a couple of gay guys, especially for rock outfits! We also ended up making up a band logo, and a quote, shown in the title above. Rudy did end up finally yelling out "Mojito!" instead of just his own name. We got so involved in all of the rockin' that our arms ached at the end of the evening, and Rudy, especially, sweated up a storm. I laughed every time I took a look at him and his increasingly wet shirt. Perhaps I'll practice on the drums tomorrow as a workout session.
Thanks, Tiger Pansy and c.k., for your company this evening, and for all the fun. May Mojito rock on fashionably forever!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I returned from my last Leadership Academy week on Friday night, and went to their place for dinner. When I arrived, V had not yet come home with our Vietnamese food (mmm...pho), but Bro and Brady were still home. As the dogs did their standard greeting of barking and jumping on me, and Bro did his standard greeting of "Cadence! Presto! Back UP!," I said hi, and Brady looked at me, smiled, and said, "Tita!" Aw, it warms the heart. He walked over to me as I was trying to calm down the dogs, and somehow handed me something. When the dogs finally left me alone, and I could look at it in the light, I realized that it was a miniature Pez with a blue animal on it. I asked, "What is this? Is this a crocodile? What is this, Brady?" He said, "Hippo." OK, so now the boy has said my name AND the word "hippo" in one night. I was way pleased. Bro was surprised. Apparently, Brady had not only remembered that V had told him to give me the hippo the next time he saw me, but this was also the first time that Bro had heard him say "hippo." Our food was yummy, and afterward, Bro found out that he could download some Jimmy Buffett songs on Rock Band. He sight read the expert level of a couple of songs, and his performance was QUITE impressive. Those songs were not easy, I can tell you that. Gotta get him to download more RUSH, if it's available.
On Saturday, I met up with them and my parents at Huntington Beach, where a friend of the family was celebrating their son's graduation from high school. It was a beautiful day to be at the beach, and Brady spent much of the afternoon laying down on his tummy, directly on the sand. I asked him if he was going to swim right there, and he proceeded to move his arms around as if he was doing the breast stroke. Yes, in the sand. Crazy boy. Whenever I'm at the beach, I miss my college days, when my roommates and I lived on Balboa Island and could just walk to the ferry and hang out on the beach. I only wish that I'd still look good in a bikini. Then maybe I could swim in the sand with Brady, and be covered in sand. At least on my front.
For Father's Day, we all met up at Bro's house, and Dad was happy with the Kobe Bryant MVP shirt that he received. We had lunch at Johnny Carino's Italian Restaurant. They serve their bread with oil in roasted garlic chips. OMG, that's yummy! My pecan-crusted salmon salad was tasty, although it had a little bit too much lemon in the vinaigrette. Afterward, we went to Sports Chalet and Brady tried out the little putting green with a golf club that was just his size. As with all sports involving balls, he loved it, and Bro and V decided to buy the golf club and a practice green. Brady had a meltdown, though, because they told him that they weren't going to buy the golf ball. They have plenty of home, since Bro and V play golf themselves, but apparently he wanted the exact one that he had used in the store. The crying didn't really stop until we were able to leave, but at least they didn't give in and buy yet more golf balls. I didn't stay to see the happy ending, but he doesn't usually cry for very long.
I hope that everyone had as nice a FD weekend as we did.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
You Don't Mess With the Zohan
I went to see this after a long day of class, and my friend and I needed some mindless entertainment. It was just a lot of silliness, but we had a good time. I heard that some theaters weren't letting anyone under 15 into the theater due to a lot of sexual ... um ... motions. So why didn't they just make it rated "R"? I guess it didn't have quite enough actual sexual activity, and a lot of it was obstructed due to the camera angles. Whatever. It was silly and fun, but not something I suggest for everyone.
The Incredible Hulk
I really liked this movie a lot. I didn't see the movie that was in theaters a few years ago because the sloppy CGI in the trailers turned me off. This movie, though, had great sound and visual effects. I also enjoyed the storyline of the tortured soul of David Banner. That was always the reason that I liked the TV series, although I don't remember specific episodes. I wish they'd put these on the air so that I could watch them again. I also loved the references to the TV series in the score, the cameo, and in the television set. I think that Bill Bixby would have been proud of the way Edward Norton played this version of their mutual alter egos. I liked Liv Tyler, also, but in every movie I see her (except the Lord of the Rings trilogy, where she's supposed to be ethereal anyway), I keep wanting her to speak up or make the tone of her voice deeper.
Due to the makeup and facial hair, I didn't recognize William Hurt until he actually spoke. This is an especially funny fact if you've read one of my earlier posts. No, I never thought that he was Jeff Bridges/Daniels, or Bill Pullman: I just couldn't think of who the actor was, and it bugged me until I heard his voice. I also loved RDJ's cameo, and I look forward to watching more movies that will introduce The Avengers. Oh, I also liked the opening credits, which referred to Stark Industries and S.H.I.E.L.D. Stan Lee makes an appearance in this movie, of course, and now I wonder what's to become of that old man that drank the soda. Hmmm....
If I were to choose only one of the above, I'd choose the Big Green Guy. He's just awesome, and he's got what Cindy likes to call "Magic Pants." How can you go wrong with Magic Pants?! Especially when his voice is Lou Ferrigno's?! I mean, Zohan's huge crotch can't possibly compare to those pants.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
In the cabana next to me was some woman that I couldn't see from my vantage point. She was with her two little girls, whom were adorably dressed as if they had just gone to church, or maybe they were going to a party, because when the woman stood up, her attire did not look at all like something you would wear in a place of worship. My goodness. A gorgeous man came into the salon to talk to her, and my manicurist mentioned that they are a beautiful couple. All I could see was that he looked like he was probably a model. Well, then the woman was done, and she got up to go (in 5-inch high heels, nonetheless, if not more than that), and Jennifer noted that the woman was, indeed, a celebrity. I don't remember her name even though Jennifer told me 3 times, but apparently she was a Playboy Bunny, and used to be married to Lorenzo Llamas. I wanted to shove a few of those cookies in her mouth. She was too skinny, but we felt very much L.A. at the moment.
After our nails were dry, we went to lunch at Barefoot on 3rd Street. They were serving brunch, which made me happy since I love breakfast. Apparently an incident occurred between a family and one of my friends while I was in the restroom, and my friend advised me that the woman was using her child's stroller as a battering ram. The host asked if we'd like to sit in the patio near that baby, or on the other patio, and I jokingly said, "Well, since the mother tried to kill my friend with her stroller, we'd prefer to sit on the other side." One of the servers nodded at me told me it was a good choice. I guess that the father either overheard us, or the server advised him about my comment, because he walked over to us to check if everything was OK. So I had embarrassed my friends again. Ah, the joys of being in my presence! :) We noted to each other that only in L.A. are the waiters gorgeous enough to be models. I mean, DAMN.
We sat at our table and were given a little bread basket with tasty loaf-type bread slices inside. I ordered Healthy Joe's Scramble, comprised of egg whites, ground turkey, spinach, mushrooms and onions, and it came with O'Brien potatoes and toast. It was delicious, and I now want this for breakfast EVERY Sunday. Of course, that's not actually going to be possible, given the fact that I'd need to drive to L.A. for that, but perhaps I can make my own recipe. One of the Jens asked what "O'Brien potatoes" are, and the other Jen just told her they were Irish. We're very helpful gals.
Christine also opted for breakfast, and had the cheese omelet with goat cheese and...mushrooms? I can't remember what else was in there. The Jens each ordered salad, because their favorite types were on the menu. Jennifer ordered the chopped cobb, and Jen ordered the chinese chicken salad, stating that the cashews made it very tasty. We all enjoyed our meals very much, and were quite glad that we had chosen that particular patio because the baby was not in the happiest of moods. When we retrieved our car from the valet, the family was also getting in their car and further annoyed us by taking way too much time and blocking our way out.
After a few wrong turns due to my directions being in the other car, we went to MILK. Although a gracious friend had brought over some of their delicious desserts for me just last week from being there for the restaurant's special event, I really wanted to share the place with these gals. They weren't as nutso as I was about everything there, but that's OK. I had the Banana Dulce De Leche ice cream, which was splendid. I also ordered a couple of pastries to go, and was amazed that the ice cream they gave me survived all the way back to my house, thanks to the ice pack in the bag.
We had another wonderful day, even though I ruined the polish on my nails before brunch ended. Thanks for the decadent day, ladies!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
BASIL is a small restaurant, located in a building that houses several other businesses/restaurants. I've seen the place when I was actually going to one of the other restaurants that use the same parking lot. As we walked inside, we could pretty much see the entire restaurant, including all of the seating and the kitchen. The walls are steel-colored with maple-colored wood designs. The seating is also of wood, and along with small tables, they also have bar-type seating, which isn't actually up against a bar, but you would sit by your companions side-by-side instead of facing them directly. The bar is also in kind of a curve instead of straight across. I wasn't able to have time to read the entire article that was posted on the wall, but it seems that the restaurant's decor was featured in some kind of architectural magazine.
The server was very friendly, and there weren't many people eating there at the time we went, which was a weeknight, so I'm hoping that they get more business on the weekends.
V and I tend to order the same dish whenever we try out new Thai restaurants, which is something that has basil in it. She ordered the Pad Kra Prow with tofu, which was sauteed with fresh green chili, garlic and fresh basil leaves. I also had a similar dish, but with chicken. The server asked if we wanted our dishes served over rice, and we said "YES!" Both of our dishes were spicy, which we both enjoyed. There was a good amount of chicken/tofu in our dishes, and the onions/vegetables were in a good ratio with the meat. V also ordered the Tom Yum soup with chicken, and she was so happy with it that she finished her entire individual-sized bowl. She was worried that she ate so much that she wouldn't be able to finish her main dish, and she was right. That didn't stop me, however, from ordering us dessert: Fried Banana.
If you know me and my desserts, you know how much I LOVE banana in them. This banana was fried in some breading that had a hint of coconut, and the banana was just the right consistency that I love, as it about melted in my mouth. Mmmmm....
I went back there last week to obtain a copy of their takeout menu, and while I was there, I just HAD to order dinner and dessert for myself. The server had remembered me from the week before, and now she probably expects to see me every week. ;) This time I had V's dish with chicken instead, and also ordered more bananas. I saved half of my meal for another day, and am happy to say that the fried banana still had the right consistency after I heated it up in the oven. Oh, and when I brought the banana home, I put some vanilla bean ice cream on the side, and it was way yummy.
The menu has 74 items, including appetizers, soup, salad, entrees, vegetable dishes, noodle dishes, rice dishes, and dessert. Entree prices start at $7.25. The restaurant does not have a website. If you enjoy Thai food, and you're in the Arcadia area, check it out!
BASIL Thai Cooking
411 East Huntington Dr Suite 103
Arcadia, Ca 91006
Monday, June 2, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
This is just a quick post to give a belated greeting to my man:
Happy Birthday, Joseph!!!
One of my favorite lines in the movie, en Francais:
Je ne sais pas. C'est un mystere!