Friday, January 22, 2010

Bye, Kev

Rockapella in Tampa
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Tampa Theatre -- Tampa, FL

When Kevin announced that he would be leaving Rockapella, I knew that I wanted to see his last show.  Luckily, I was able to get a day off of work, but only one day.  So, a whirlwind trip it would be!  I was originally supposed to fly out of LAX on a red-eye with Jenn, but an unexpected business trip came up, so she flew out from Houston and was able to rest a little bit before picking me up from the airport on Tuesday morning.  

It was a bit chilly for Tampa, especially in the morning, as I waited for Jenn to pick me up.  She brought me back to the hotel suite, which was an upgrade from her regular room, because she's fancy like that. :)  The place was huge!  She even had her own private sitting room, and the suite living room had it's own 1/4 bath, so I claimed that as my restroom except for when I needed to take a shower.  I ordered room service, and also snacked on some of the cheese and wine that Jenn had received upon check-in.  Jenn and I took quick naps before picking up Wendy from the airport.

Suite Living Room

View from Suite

Wendy & Jenn at entrance to Jenn's room

Before we left, we saw a Facebook post from John about one of the members of Rockapella being injured: oh no, Scott!  Naturally, we freaked out.  Friends were sending me messages from CA, and I contacted my best source.  It turns out that Scott was hanging Christmas lights on his roof, and fell down, cracking ribs, his wrist, and getting a concussion.  As the day wore on, we were informed that, due to his head injury, Scott needed to be kept in the hospital for observation.  So no Scott for Kevin's last show.  Major bummer.  We could see a hospital across the river from the hotel, and Wendy and I waved to it, imagining that maybe Scott was there, and could see us wishing for a speedy recovery.  My head was spinning from the lack of sleep and being upset about Scott, but we needed to focus on the fact that this would be the last time we'd see Kevin in Rockapella mode.  We wondered  how crazy the guys must have been feeling, trying to get their show together without one of the leads.  We wondered if they'd just have different people singing Scott's leads, or what the heck they would all do.  Most of all, though, I felt bad for Kevin, having to deal with all of this on what was probably already an emotional day.

Jenn and I needed to bring some normalcy into the situation, so we decided to get mani/pedis.  Jenn asked the concierge about a salon, and they provided weird directions, so we asked the valet guys downstairs, who had no idea what we were talking about, and told us to go a different way.  When we thought we were on our way to the correct place, we called them to make sure that they had spaces available for us in their schedule.  They said to come right on in.  So when we arrived at the wrong place, I was surprised when they told me that they didn't have anyone available at that time, and hadn't received a call.  That's when we realized that we had walked in the wrong direction, and needed to go back almost to where we had started.  I asked for directions from a guy who was walking his dog, figuring he knew the neighborhood.  At first, he didn't know about the place, then realized that it was right next to the pet store that he frequents.  We walked into Signature Spa Salon & Boutique, wherein they had been expecting us, and they offered us wine as we had our hands and feet pampered.  LeAnne was very nice, along with everyone there.  Unlike our experience in Reno, Jenn and I didn't mind the price since we had been given wine and it had been awhile since both of us had had our nails done.  Pampered and tipsy, we found our way home by going through a building (this was the weird direction that we didn't know how to follow earlier), and returned to the hotel to finish getting pretty for the show.  

Pretty Sunset View from Jenn's Room

Pretty Feet in Pretty Shoes

We ventured toward the Tampa Theatre and parked the car, then walked over to Spain, a restaurant that served tapas.  I happily ordered a red wine Sangria (my favorite drink on my trip to Madrid), and we ordered different dishes to try.  We looked at another table that ordered their own dishes instead of sharing their food, and felt all hoity-toity because we actually knew what we were doing.  The food was wonderful, but the drink needed more fruit.  I mean, hello--it's SANGRIA!  I didn't complain, though, because I was too busy admiring the face of our server, Juan Carlos.  Items we ordered included Paella, Champinones Extravaganza, Empanadillas de Carne, Filete de Res, and Pollo Villaroy, and we ordered Chocolate con Churros for dessert.  Yes, that would be churros with chocolate dipping sauce.  Everything was delicious.  Thanks for treating us to the lovely dinner, Jenn!   

We walked back to the Tampa Theatre and saw Ross in the lobby, who said that Scott didn't even know where he was when he woke up.  Poor Scott.  He said that Rockapella was figuring out ways to deal with the show all day, needing to think of things to help stretch out the show, since they wouldn't be able to do so many of their songs.  We took our seats among the buzzing crowd, and were told that there was no water pressure in the building, and that the situation was being remedied as soon as possible.  

Rockapella, minus Scott, walked onto the stage, and Kevin announced that Scott had an accident.  He said that this is his last show, and I started to cry.  Kevin said that Rockapella is here for us, and asked us to keep Scott in his prayers.  They left the stage so that the opening acts could perform.

The first act was All Night Yahtzee, an a cappella group from Florida State University.  They sang a lot of different Christmas songs, probably more than they had originally planned due to the need to stretch the show.  They did a good job, and I especially liked the male lead on "Lay Your Head Down".  They also did "Somebody to Love", and I really liked the chord right before they start the chant.

Kevin then announced that there was now water pressure in the building.  He also introduced the Xtreme Team from  The Wright Step School of Dance (his wife Amy's dance studio).  He asked the stage hand his name as he arranged the set. (His name is Rick).  The dancers did a routine dressed as Hillbilly girls, then one dressed as Motorcycle Riders, with their ponytails all up in their helmets for the 1st part, then taking off their helmets and flipping their hair around.  Cute!

Kevin, APPARENTLY, was the M.C. of the evening.  He then introduced the Plant High School Drumline, which included snare drummer Jesse Leonard, himself.  Yay, Scott's son!  I was in heaven:  Rockapella and a drumline in the same building?  Oh, YEAH!!!  It was way loud, as they drummed up the aisles and kept playing in the aisles, then went up to the stage.  Jesse is so unmistakably Scott's son:  very thin, very flexible, hair waving around like The Blond One's himself, and he was even wearing stripes!  I mean, he was Scott through and through, except for, maybe, his nose.  He had the smile and the stage presence and everything.  And the drumline was pretty darn good, too.  I laughed as Ross ran around assisting with stuff.  For the Bro, some stats:  they use Vic Firth Sticks, Evans Bass drums, Zildjian cymbals, and Yamaha Snares & Tenors.  The line itself had 3 snares, 2 quads, 4 basses, and 3 cymbal players.  

Kevin appeared back on stage after the drumline was done, and said, "I saw them coming down the aisle, and the look on some of your faces was priceless.  That was loud!  WOW!"  Kevin was really excited, and I thought for a moment that he had lost his mind.  We had an intermission at that point.  Donna ran away sometime during the 1st half, so I left my seat and sat with Wendy & Karla.  She did come back later, sometime during Pella's encores, though.  Somehow we got into a conversation about fondue, and decided that we need to go to The Melting Pot in Rancho Cucamonga. 

Finally, Rockapella sans Scott took the stage, starting with I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.  I immediately missed Scott's voice.  Kevin now had to do all of the talking and introductions.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
John  tried Scott's whistle, but you know it just wasn't the same.  Thanks for trying it, though, JKB.

John said, "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa.  I don't know anymore."

They rolled up their individual voice parts, and John called Jeff's throat mics the stuff that gives him "the boom boom sound."  He then said about Geo: "what our brother Scotty likes to call 'Smoothness Personified'....then we're the Cheetah Girls."

John asked if anyone in the audience was celebrating Kwanzaa.  "Hey!  One in the back.  Finally."

The Dreidel Song
I like watching Kevin imitate Geo. 

Kevin was holding notes for the Afrikana terms used at Kwanzaa.  

Happy Kwanzaa
I soooo love Geo's entrance for that song.  Wendy likes to say, "How bout-y Scotty, what's the news?"  There was a LOT of George in that one, and I liked it.

Glow Worm
Kevin realized that he needed to sing out of the side of his mouth during the old school intro.  No counterpoint from Scott during John's dance made me sad.  There was only an "ooh" during Scott's "illuminating".  That made me sad, too.

Kevin had to get a little water, so he told us so in a Cockney accent. "Just a little water, sir."  I think that he was Oliver at that point.  He said, "Every year is different because traveling during the holiday is...special...flight patterns, turbulence that would curl your hair....I have a lot of stories stuck in my head...I didn't know what the holidays were about until I had children.  It makes me feel like an old person, really."  He told us that his wife is expecting a baby.  "This is really...something.  My other kids are 9 and 11."  (laughter)  "You get it!  I'm leaving Rockapella after 13 years, with my wife having another addition.  I will really miss seeing people because they are like friends and family."  He talked about his days living in New York.  "Some years, I would jump in my little Fiero.  I would be parked in Manhattan, and if the window wasn't broken, I'd feel lucky.  I'd drive for 24 hours to get home."

Love and the Lights
I was crying during this song, thinking that this was probably the last time we'd hear it sung live, since Kevin wrote it.  I was especially crying during what should have been "turning from white to green", which is what Scott sings, mostly because it would be the last time, partly because Scott was missing.  Karla and I sang it together anyway, because it's our favorite part of he song.  

Kevin said, "John likes to brag that he's done shopping before Hallowe'en."  Jeff said, "Dollar Store."  John then told the story about lady at Wal-Mart.  Kevin said, "That's a mean joke, because you had me at 'hello'."  John said that his director told him that story, a fact which he had told me at the Malibu Meet and Greet.  He then dedicated the next song to his wife, whom was present in the audience.

Merry Christmas, Darling
I was missing the high tenor during this song.  John was jamming there at the end, which was cool.  He then threw a kiss at his wife.

Christmas, Don't Be Late
John was the one to do the roll call, and said about the last person, "He does this every night.  KEVIN!!!!"  John just couldn't bring himself to ask for an Olsen twin.  He tried, but couldn't finish the request.  Jeff said during a pause in his drum solo: "I see red camera lights that match the lights on my jacket.  I challenge any fan to get a good picture of this jacket."  The challenge was taken by many a photographer in the audience.  Wendy said that Jeff looks like a rabbi with the jacket.  When the guys came back, John was able to make a request from Santa:  "Lady Gaga on DVD", and shook his hips.

Jeff in his Rabbi Light Jacket

Santa Claus is Comin' To Town
Kevin asked energetic people to raise their hand.  Thacher raised his.  Kevin said to some kid, "Do you want to go up on stage with me?  No?"  Finally, Kevin chose a kid named Jackson, a 6 year-old from Tampa, who was in the 1st grade.  Kevin said, "It's kind of surreal, you're on stage."  He introduced him to the guys, and got to George.  "That's Big G Man.  He's OK, he's OK."  Jackson wants a bike for Christmas.  Kevin asked, "What kind of bike?"  Jackson said, "I don't know."  Kevin:  "One with 2 wheels?  Anything with 2 wheels.  Do you want anything smaller?  Like, say, a CD with maybe 5 -- or 4 - guys tonight -- singing?"  This kid knew the song.  Kev picked a winner for his last show.  Jeff said that he heard Jackson's mom shout, "SING!"

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
I miss the echo of "troubles will be out of sight."  Scott's lead vocal was missing for his line as the other guys just "ooh"ed.  HIs spirit was here, though.  And there was Sherry, crying again.

George said, "When we go around the country, we meet a lot of really, really great people."  I said, "Thank you!"  George asked the audience to sing a song with him.  "Let's see...the last show, we sang Handel's 'Messiah'."  (laughter)  "Let's sing 'Silent Night'.  Once again, I will be singing the part of Whitney Houston."  George sang soprano, but then sang in his very low bass register "Sleep in heavenly peace."  He said afterward, "Some of us have good reason for different moments in their performance, and yes I am one of them.  A voice teacher once told me, 'George, when you sing high you need to squeeze your butt cheeks together.'  So I am sure you know when I released."

George said, "Please put some extra sugar in my milk.  They say I'm not nice.  I think I'm very, very cool."  
The dancers from The Wright Step performed during the song, dressed as little Cindy Lou Whos.  Way cute.

John said to Kevin, "It's been a pleasure, we learned so much, and appreciate you so much."
Kevin:  "This is not a time for tears.  I want to express my gratitude for each of you.  I wish Rockapella nothing but success, and hope that it goes on forever and ever.  I wish Scott would have been a part of it tonight.
Jeff:  "He is, inside."
...and Sherry is bawling again.


Zombie Jamboree
George did his spiel, then said, "Wait.  George needs to blow the key."  (giggle)..."MANHATTAN!"  It was weird to see that without Scott, because nobody was at Kevin's back.  During the break, John asked Kevin what was wrong.  Kevin said, "I....I need some turkey."  Was Kevin hungry?

Zombie Kev -- one last time

Love Potion No. 9
Wow.  All right, with the old school!!!!

Kevin's daughters presented flowers and a frame to him.  Adorable.

A Change in My Life
I was absolutely crying during this entire song, as I held hands with Karla and Wendy.  Kevin's signature song, and we were hearing him sing it for the last time.  Although Sean Altman wrote this one and he was the original lead, I will always think of Kevin when I hear this song.  His angelic voice is just a wonder to behold.  I cried so much that I couldn't see through my tears...and, yes, I'm tearing up as I type this.

Encore 2:
 Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego?
I like that little Billie Jean interlude.

Then it was over.  I tried to gather my thoughts and finish wiping the tears off of my face.  After Rockapella took pictures with The Wright Step gals, the meet and greet was scattered about.  I couldn't get over to Jesse to congratulate him on his performance and wish his dad well.

Kev and his girls

I asked John if I could meet his son, Devon, and people kept stopping him on his way to me.  He was really sweet, though, and still tried to get over to us anyway.  Devon is 4 years old now (wow, how time passes!), and doesn't know what he wants for Christmas.  Jeff was done at his table for awhile before anyone came to see him, because they were all mobbing Kevin.

Kevin signed my the mat for my photo frame, as well as my copy of the book that I had given him at the Malibu show.  I told him that I was bawling during Change and that we were holding hands with each other.  He said that he was really trying not to think about it because he knew that he would lose it and not be able to sing.  I told him that I was glad that it wasn't him that fell off of the roof.  He said, "I know, it would have been a DISASTER!"   Karla gave Kevin the miniature that she made for him.  He said, "I get one of these?!" and was very appreciative.  

Karla and Kev with Miniature

I met Kevin's wife, Amy.  Their baby is due on June 7th.  Kevin told us to watch his website for stuff upcoming with instruments.  "I hope that's OK with you's acoustic, so it'll be OK."  I asked if it would contain him playing the guitar, and he said yes.  I told him that if he comes out to California, he should visit with us, and Wendy said that I throw great parties with good food.  Thanks, Wendy! He said that he would and that we'd stay in touch.

We got pictures of Geo in his white & red suit.  When asked how Scott was doing, Geo said, "He's OK, he knows that Obama is President now," citing a typical test of current events when someone has had a head injury.  He was going to introduce us to his daughter, but she had already left before we were able to talk to him.

Sher, Geo, Wendy & Jenn

I saw Steve, the newest Rockapella member, but wasn't introduced to him, and I wasn't ready to go meet him myself.  Jeff asked if I had met him, but I told him that I felt weird going up to meet him.  Jeff was, like, "WHAT?!"  Later on, he asked if he had hugged me goodbye, and when I said "no", he said that I should have told him because he almost left without giving me one.  He did that to someone else, too.

Karla talked to Fred about iPod apps.  I told Fred that he was done for the year, and he said that he just wanted to get home and rest from all of the traveling.

Wendy and I dropped Jenn off at the hotel, as she was feeling an illness coming down.  I went into the restroom to brush my teeth, and saw that I had streaks of mascara on my cheeks from all of the crying.  So I cleaned that up, and Wendy and I went to a lovely private party, where we happened to sit at the best table.  :)   We found out that, when Wendy and I were waving at the hospital, we were actually waving at the hospital where Scott was staying.  I hope he felt our get well wishes while he was there.

Sher and Wendy

We went back to the hotel, and I didn't have much time before  Karla and Stacey were going to pick me up for our early morning flight, but I was able to take a nap for about an hour.  I kind of slept for most of the flight, which was full.  I waited for the seatbelt sign to turn off before going to the restroom, but then I got up, and the flight attendant asked us to remain in our seats for the second drink service.  That irritated me.  It had been a bit of a turbulent flight, so we rarely had a chance to get up, and those drink carts have GOT to go.  If Southwest can do it, why can't the other airlines?  Those things are ridiculous.

When I arrived back at LAX, I went straight to work and worked for a few hours before going home to collapse and was late to my rehearsal for Midnight Mass because I didn't know the correct time to be there.  I don't know how I still had the energy to go to dinner before going back home, but it must have been the adrenaline from all of the excitement.

I'll miss you, Kevin.  We are on to a new era of Rockapella, and I'll probably be excited by the time I see Steve in April.  For now, though, I'm still a bit sad.  Kevin is a really fun story teller, and his voice is gorgeous.  I remember when he first joined, and I had to make my ears adjust quite a bit to get used to him being not-Sean.  He made the part his own, though, and many of their songs won't seem right without him singing them.  I wish we could have had a CD with him singing lead on California Sad-Eyed Girl.  I also wish we could have had a CD with both him and John for every song.  They really missed the mark for me on that one, so I guess I'll just have to rely on non-sanctioned downloads.  Sorry, guys.  I wish Kevin the best for his future with his family (Kevin has just announced that the new baby is a boy!), and I look forward to whatever else is in store from Mr. Wright, as well as from the new incarnation of Rockapella.

Keep On Smilin', Kevin.  Love ya!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pushing the Pella Button

Anyone that reads this blog knows how much I love the Pella.  I mean, hello -- it's in the title.  I also love to find my boys in pop culture situations.  

Today, I was way excited to see that Entertainment Weekly  tweeted a link to a website with my guys singing.  

Here's the text from the original tweet, which contains the link to the site itself: 
"And then there are days where just just hit the "Do it, Rockapella!" button over and over:"

Here is the original blog post.

Yay!  That's my Pella!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Can I Put George Clooney in my Backpack?

Linda and I saw "Up In The Air" the other day after brunch at Mimi's and a little shopping to pass the time.

  • I think that there needs to be a live action George Clooney film in IMAX.  Hummina.
  • I loved the way that the film began and ended with the silence during a flight, especially the way that the score ended and all you can hear is, like, air.
  • Linda and I were digging on the "This Land Is Your Land", however, I said to her, "That is *not* how the song goes!"
  • OK, I was really liking Vera Farmiga's character until that scene in Chicago.  "You are a parentheses."  Ooh, harsh, much?
  • I love those shots of Clooney standing at the airports in front of the window and the big board, and the gorgeous aerial view of the different cities.
  • How interesting that someone who minored in psychology would think that firing people through video conferencing would actually work well.  Not that she had better success doing such while face-to-in-person-face.
  • The scene where he's telling Anna Kendrick's character how to pack luggage was hilarious.  As a semi-frequent traveler, I sometimes want to throw other travelers' stuff into the trash can like that.  I know that it's difficult to pack lightly sometimes, but forget the pillows, people!
  • Really interesting conversation between the women about what they look for in a guy at different ages.  The hopeless romantic in me says, "You should never settle.  I don't care how old you get.  Regret can happen at any age."
  • I think that Jason Bateman and J.K. Simmons must be Jason Reitman's go-to cast members / lucky charms.
  • American Airlines: KA-CHING!  I only wish that I actually liked that airline.
  • It wasn't until the final song that I actually got the double meaning of the movie's title.  Duh, Sherry.
This was an excellent movie, and well-deserving of its many accolades.  It makes me want to spend more time with people to make sure that I don't go into eternal isolation-in-cyberspace.  I hope it does the same for you.  To quote "Seinfeld"'s George Costanza: "We're living in a society here!"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

DLR LotD 01/15/10

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Friday, January 15, 2010

"That does things in your mouth, that Funky Monkey." -- Suki, at Catal

Thanks, everyone, for kicking off the birthday festivities with Bananaman and me!  

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tribute to B Dattilo/ Lumi will never be over...

This tribute to the Days of Our Lives couple of Sami and Lucas is great, and it brought me to tears. I'll miss Bryan Dattilo on this show, and I'll miss the dynamic between him and Sami. I've been a "Lumi" fan ever since they conceived Will.

Great, great memories in this tribute. To my fellow Days fans, enjoy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

California Loves Kevin

Rockapella in Malibu

Smothers Theatre -- Pepperdine University

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A few nights before the show, I was in a baking frenzy and made goodies for Da Boyz. I also had a Tea and Sympathy at my place with my PellaPusher Posse, so that we could commiserate and do a couple of projects before the show. Had I not finished my baking before then, it would have been like last year's craziness where they would watch me from the safety of the dining room as I hurriedly mixed and baked and cooled and stuff. Thank goodness for Furlough Friday and my getting stuff done before that, so that I could actually enjoy my friends' company. Thanks to everyone for coming and bringing food (yummy!), and I'm sorry to those of you that couldn't be there.

With projects and goodie bags ready to go, I waited for Wendy & Jeff to arrive so that we could try to get to the venue early. After cruising around for parking, I ended up parking illegally so that I could just drop off the goodie bags so they'd be ready for the guys before the show. Thank you to Wendy & Jeff and the box office personnel for helping me out! We went to dinner at Coogie's, and I enjoyed my strawberry & spinach salad. Their bread had currants in it...or cranberries... something kinda fruit-ish, but anyway, it was yummy. (Have I told you that I'm typing this under the influence of an adult drink?)

When we returned to the venue, we were able to score one of the last parking spaces in the regular lot, and somehow found the Posse. Those that weren't able to make it to the Tea had the opportunity to sign my project for Kevin, then we went to our seats. Luckily enough for Aura, her family friends were able to take her tickets, PLUS she was able to actually make it to see the full show, gratis. :) Nice! Karla and I had taken the last 2 seats that were together in the last-minute-offered Pit section, and I abandoned my friends, but at least we were able to give our initial tickets to Jenn and Nicole. This pit section ordeal was a pain for all in the front row, but at least we were able to take advantage of it. Thanks, Hank, for letting me know, and sorry at the same time. I saw Gordon and said hello, and also Hank & Sharyn. I love seeing my fellow Cali fans.

Rockapella started their show late as usual. My theory for the night was that Kevin was so sad about this being the last California show that he just couldn't bear to start singing. Finally, the lights dimmed, and we were ready to go.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

The moment I heard Kevin's voice, I started to tear up, but then realized that I still had this show plus another show to hear him. Kevin had on a nice black corduroy jacket and gray vest with a black shirt. Scott, claiming to be Malibu Barbie, looks slimmer in black than anyone in the world, including the aforementioned doll. George and John looked like candy canes with their red & white, and Jeff wore a gray suit over his black shirt. Gosh, I love those red shoes that Geo wears.

Hope We Hold

Quite different from the set of inflatable stuff of last year, this year's stage was decorated with pretty tealights all over the floor in the front and back (not in the dancing area). Scott said that So Cal is "a planet all unto yourselves." He said, "I see Cali is in the Christmas spirit. When does that big lake ice over? And where is this Malibu Barbie, my mentor?" Darnitall, if I knew that he'd be talking about MB and if I could find mine, I would have brought it to the show. Like I didn't have enough to think about.

They did the intro for Zip, in order to show off the voice parts.

Scott asked if anyone was celebrating Hanukkah, and was impressed that there were several people responding in the audience. He said, "We were in Dallas yesterday, and not a one."


Winter Wonderland
The guys were walking like an old man during the last "walking in a Winter Wonderland", because Scott did so. I love the ad libbing.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
Scott had a little guitar solo that I don't remember from before. Kevin apparently crippled hiimself during his Moonwalk. I'm loving that Scott whistle. I think that it's my favorite part of that song, aside from the choreography that Karla and I have memorized.

Scott said that they started out in NYC, and somebody clapped. He asked them, "You live here now?" and they said, "Yeah!" Kevin interjected, "She's like, 'What's it to you?!'" Scott responded , "You brought it up."

Glow Worm
Otherwise known as what Pella sounded like back in the 30s. John did the sound of a needle coming off of a record at the end.

Little Mary Snowflake

Kevin asked, "Is everyone ready for the holidays? You're all set, everything to go, gifts bought?" Everyone: "NO."

Kevin said, "We were in Texas last night in Dallas, and we were watching a Texas football game, and I think that we can always go back to Texas now because they won and they think we're their lucky charm...which is weird because it was snowing when we got there."

"So it's cold, and you have to get everything out of the closet, along with Meredith Baxter Birney. I can't believe it took her so long to figure it out. That was my favorite show as a kid."

"We got some news...We're having another kid. And you're like, 'Gosh, how old is that guy?!' It was kind of a surprise." YAY! (I knew because Angela had texted me after the Dallas show, but I didn't want to spoil it for the CA folks).

"It is quite different when we go to different cities for the holidays. We're excited to go to California because whenever we come to California, they're just ready to go! Be careful in Texas on the ice, though, because people are running into fire hydrants, trees and nine irons."

Kevin is Mr. Topical.

Love and the Lights
I love sitting with Karla for this song, so that we can sing our favorite line together.

Scott said, "Usually I miss this because we're on the road, but Rudolph showed up early enough so I was able to enjoy it. Back when I was a kid, there were no DVDs or DVRs, so you just watch the credits roll and the tears start streaming down my face." He talked about, and JT made the sound of Yukon Cornelius' axe being thrown into the air. Scott said, "He is great to have on a long van ride." He then went on about YC licking his axe, "What, does gold taste like something? First of all, why are you putting your tongue on a cold axe?" (Yukon was actually looking for peppermint, but that was cut out of the show).

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
JT pointed his mic at us for the "Yahtzee" yell. Scott noticed the two of us at this point and pointed to us.

John talked about going "to my favorite store, Wal-Mart. I needed to get some toothaste and a toothbrush, and a lady was staring at me. I'm like, 'Is she checking me out?'" She was in another aisle, and staring at him, and told John that he reminded her of her son, Joe, in Afghanistan. She asked him that, when she left, could John please say "Goodbye, Mom" to her, so that she could say, "Goodbye, Joe." So they did just that. John got up to the cashier with his toothbrush & toothpaste, and was charged $152.00. When asked why it was so much, the cashier said, "Your mom said you'd pay." John "ran outwide and the woman was holding things and fell on something, pulled herself up, and I pulled her on leg...just like I'm pulling your leg right now." Oh, had me in tears about that lady!

Scott took off his suit jacket, and he had polka dots on his shirt underneath, in a stylish way.

John gave a shout-out to the military, noting that according to the new plan in Washington, they would be home in 15 months. He dedicated the next song to them.

Merry Christmas, Darling

Scott talked about finding Jeff when he joined the group. They found him in a hotel on a rainy night in L.A. JT said, "Everyone went out and I was singing in a hotel room with Sean."

Scott talked about finding Kevin, and I sighed. Scott said, "and there's a sad ending to the story." Kevin said, "We're friends with a lot of the fans here." I thought, "Hey! That's us!" He and Kevin and Scott, together, told Scott's favorite California story. They were driving back from a venue, and were stuck in traffic ("sitting in traffic in California -- imagine that!"), and witnessed a car accident in front of them. A car hit another car, which hit another car, and then another, a total of 4 cars. 3 guys jumped out of the car that had hit the other car, and ran off of the exit. Kevin said, "That's so wrong. We've got to get 'em. Let's go catch 'em!" They were illegal immigrants in a stolen car. Kevin was driving, and followed them, driving around. The cops came and said "You guys can go." They called Kevin back to identify them. Scott said, "Kevin is Erik Estrada," which prompted Kevin to talk about his love for the CHiPs theme. Kevin said, "I loved the music from CHiPs so much that I taped the song from my TV, and I would walk around with my recorder singing the song." I can totally picture Kevin on his bike, riding around and singing the tune. I am really going to miss Kevin's stories.

Scott said that the first original Christmas songs by Rockapella were New York-tinged, because they were based out there for a long time.

This Christmas Day
Scott slapped his butt during "ring on my cell". When he sang "snuggle up and make new friends," Kevin moved his stool away.

Christmas, Don't Be Late
When Kevin ran out after being yelled for, he said in a chipmunk voice, "Okay!" During Jeff's solo, he doubled over, a la James Brown. Kevin and John brought out a jacket from backstage, that lit up with Christmas lights. It was REALLY bright. Karla noted, "He has a cord." Scott asked for a Jonas Bros DVD. At the end of the song, JT said, "Unplug me, Kevin. I've had enough." Scott said, "Nice suit there, Joseph." (OK, that's what I wrote down. Perhaps he said "Jeff", and I was thinking of Mr. Fiennes at the time. I don't know). JT responded, "It worked out."

Please Come Home for Christmas
Scott was so sexy with that mic stand, until the point that he hit the speaker. Oops. I love the "This is MY song!" when Geo serenaded the gal in the front row.

Happy Kwanzaa

Santa Claus is Comin' To Town
Shelby was chosen from the audience. Karla informed me that the little girl had been sneezing all over the lobby before the show. So everytime one of them touched her, I cringed. Then everytime that person touched his face for the rest of the night, I cringed. ACK! Don't get sick! Shelby was wearing nail polish. Kevin said, "That is very cool. They're tiger-y kinda, pink iwth black lines." As there was not much of a response, Kevin asked Shelby, "Are you OK?" No! Get her germs off stage! Hank texted me to tell me that Shelby was going to do a Linda Blair and puke. Finally, Kevin got the information out of Shelby that she is 10 years old and in the 5th grade, and her favorite subject is Science. Kevin said, "I liked science, too. That and zoology and P.E." He then asked, "Is there some sort of present you would like?" Shelby said, "" Kevin said, "Wow, Congratulations, Mom and Dad! Do you want to come to Florida?" Shelby: "I've been there." During the song, John said, "Yo, what's up, Santa?", and Kevin kept cracking a invisible whip. I just wanted to give Purell to all of them. Sorry, Shelby.

Christmas Without You

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

George said, "I was listening to that last song, and I thought, 'I want to sing like a woman.'"

We all sang Silent Night.

You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Angels We Have Heard on High


Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego?
Ooh, a Pella drumline, just for Sherry. :) It morphed into some Billie Jean, but then they lost whatever key they were supposed to be in. Oops.

Jingle Bell Rock

Karla and I yelled for California Sad-Eyed Girl, but they didn't hear us.

I saw Wendy passing down the signs that we made the night before, and their row spelled out "We love you Kevin". The guys were all, "Awwww...." Cute.

Hold Out for Christmas (off mic)

Meet and Greet
The MnG was scattered, so it was mostly look-for-whomever-you-want-to-talk-to, which can be more relaxing and more crazy at the same time. Kevin was the first Pella member that I saw, but Aura was still signing my book, and I so wasn't ready for him yet, so I asked him not to leave without my seeing him.

Aura and I talked to 2 members from a cappella band M-pact, one of which had given some insight about the a cappella world to the producer of the upcoming a cappella competition, "The Sing-Off." Nice guys. Thanks for introducing me, Achau!

I talked to Fred for awhile, who asked if the goodie bags were from me, and we talked about goodie ingredients. He said that they had 2 shows in the same venue scheduled for the next morning, which were for kids from 2 schools. Oh, how I envied those children all of a sudden!

John said that his college professor told him the story about the lady in the supermarket, and he was crying like me when he heard it.

The PellaPusher & The Leg-Puller
George and I talked about the pretty cross pendant that was on his necklace. He's had it for awhile, but had it out in the open tonight. I guess that I was concentrating on crosses a lot, because I had mentioned John's to him, too.  We also talked about his "dad", Joe.

Sher & Geo

Jeff E and I talked to Scott about "The Sing-Off". Scott had been asked to be a judge, but the shows were during the next two upcoming weeks, and Rockapella is booked solid during this time. He didn't know how he could be a judge, either, because he figured that they'd all be good. He's so humble. He was, like, "I mean, who am I?" I was thinking, "You're Scott Frickin' Leonard, that's who!" but didn't say it out loud. I said that it would have been nice to at least have them perform one night, but again, their schedule as too difficult to accomodate that. I then berated Scott for not singing California Sad-Eyed Girl as I had requested, but that had been 2 months before, so OK.

Scott & Sher

While waiting to talk to Kevin, I went outside to where Jeff was, in order to get his signature on my program. He said, "I was wondering where you were!" and gave me a big hug. I don't know what's making JT so happy to see me lately, but I like it. :)

Sher & Kev

Sigh, Kevin. The PellaPusher Posse and I gathered around as I presented him with the Photobook that I made for him, and that most of us signed. He started to read a few pages, and even schooled me on where the cover picture (of the Rockapella members when he first joined) was taken. After he went through a few pages, he said, "Oh, this is too touching. I can't read this right now." It was such a sweet reaction that I'm crying as I type this.

Kevin reading his book

Somebody said that we needed a picture of Kevin with the California Sad-Eyed Girls, and while we stood there and smiled, somebody (I think it was Kevin) started to sing the chorus of the song. We could have probably sung the whole thing with him, had I not freaked out when I looked at Kevin and realized out loud, "OhmyGodwe'resingingwithKevin!!!!" It was a beautiful moment that I ruined. Sorry, gals. I will cherish that moment forever, though, and will always think of it when I hear that song. I mean, there we were, and I couldn't believe that Kevin had an arm around me and was singing OUR song, and I was singing with him. If I ever get senile, I hope that one of the things that I babble about will be that moment. Heck, I do that already. Thank you for the moment, Kevin.

I don't know why I didn't hand my video camera over to one of the Posse to record the entire thing, but here's as much as I have.

An a cappella group performed a Jason Mraz song for whomever was still around, and then we said our goodbyes to Kevin again. I hope that y'all that saw him for the last time that night had enough time to talk to him.

I hugged my posse good night and Merry Christmas, and drove home with Wendy & Jeff, all of us just raving all the way home about the fantastic evening. Thanks for carpooling with me, W&J!

Thank you to Pepperdine and Rockapella for having Kevin's last show at my alma mater. I may not have studied at the campus, but I graduated there, and I can't think of anything else that would make that campus a sweeter place for me than to have my favorite guys sing there.

Kevin and his California Sad-Eyed Girls

Monday, January 4, 2010

Exes and Ohs

Linda and I saw “It’s Complicated” on New Year’s Day.

  • I want to live in that house, with the beautiful kitchen and patio and garden, with my bedroom having a view of the ocean. Wow.

  • Totally craved a chocolate croissant afterward. Totally got one for myself, thanks to the Blue Ribbon Bakery, and the guy warmed it up for me. NICE.

  • Linda and I both wanted guys like Steve Martin. Not the man himself, because he’s already got some young gal, but somebody like him.

  • Alec Baldwin is really hairy. REALLY.

  • I loved the whole bit about Jane holding up her eyebrow because it was sagging.

  • I love John Krasinski from his role in “The Office”, and love him even more now because of his role here. His freak-out at the hotel was hysterical. Emily Blunt is a lucky lady.

  • Great casting of the kids. They really did look like siblings.

  • I liked the premise of the movie, and mostly the part where Jane is telling her girlfriends about it, and they’re all trying to analyze the underlying reason for it.

  • The marijuana scene, although funny, wasn’t necessary. I mean, I guess you can say that she could only handle the situation by being high, but it didn’t sit well with me for some reason.

  • Is it really good luck for a construction project to start in the rain? Where did they think that one up? Seattle? How are you even supposed to start a foundation with rain pouring down on you? Oh, wait. Perhaps it’s a metaphor.

Fun romantic comedy. If you need to get away from the Avatar and Alvin crowds, this is a good one to see.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

DLR LotD 01/01/10

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Friday, January 1, 2010

"I can't get out!" -- Sherry, multiple times, in multiple places

Friday, January 1, 2010

Smurfs Rule!

I saw "Avatar" in 3D IMAX last week. I had previously seen the special trailers that were releaseed a few months ago, which got me really excited to see the full movie, but didn't have time to see it opening weekend.
  • Visually incredibly stunning. The 3D effects are amazing, complete with little floating things around the forest.
  • The not-so-veiled statement about destroying a world's resources hits hard, but even if you don't like tree-huggers, you can root for the Earthlings. You know what will eventually happen, though, right? ;)
  • I was most amazed by the imagination of the filmmakers, creating this entire world with incredible creatures. I'm always amazed by people's creativity, and their ability to express it. This alone amazes me.
  • I especially liked the phosphorescent qualities of the plants. I would have been just like Sam Worthington's character, JakeSully, touching all of the plants to see how they'd react.
  • I think that the only avatar I wasn't completely thrilled about was Sigourney Weaver's. I liked her character, but I didn't really like her blue self.
  • I kinda wish I would be around 145 years from now, just to be able to see people turn into avatars.
  • On Pandora, Smurfs are very tall, and there is more than one female.
  • The way that the Na'vi communicate with the animals through their tendrils kinda creeped me out at first. I mean, the tendrils moving around like that made me a little squeamish.
  • I would like a tree filled with my ancestors' memories. Heck, I'd like a tree filled with mine, so I can access it during my moments of forgetfulness.
  • It's hard to see 3D effects while crying.

Gorgeous movie. Go see it while it's in theaters, and go see it in 3D. It is well worth wearing those glasses for almost 3 hours. I didn't even mind the big dent on my already-flat nose. Although I probably would have minded if the effect had been permanent.

DLR LotD 12/31/09

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day
New Year's Eve Edition

Thursday, December 31, 2009

"I have something for you to try." -- Suki, at Catal


Friday, January 1, 2010

"Have a taste." -- Albert, at Catal

Majide, Magicale!