Saturday, January 22, 2011

DLR LotD 01/21/11

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day
Friday, January 21, 2011

"Do you see why I want to have Moxley?" -- Suki, at Catal

Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful birthday dinner!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Napa Tastes and Treats

Wendy and I got up and enjoyed the hotel breakfast downstairs.  We both had some oatmeal with stuff from what Wendy called the Oatmeal Wheel, because all of the toppings were on a round tray.  They offered to make us waffles, but we figured we'd eat enough during the day and declined.

Our first thought was to go to the furthest place and then backtrack to Napa, but for some reason, I forgot about a place that I wanted to go to which was farther than the others.  Perhaps the fogginess of the morning also fogged my brain.  Or, perhaps, I was still nutso after the previous night of Pellaness.

Our first stop was in St. Helena.  Annabelle wanted us to turn to early, so we turned her off and went the way that Wendy remembered to go.  No, we did not get lost.  The places that we wanted to go to weren't open yet, so we went into a stationery store, where the lady there (and Wendy) almost convinced me to buy a charm necklace or bracelet, to commemorate my birthday.  I somehow escaped the peer pressure...for now.  I really like the ones that we saw there, so I brought home a brochure.  Perhaps I'd treat myself to something else later.

We had spent enough time talking to the gal at the stationery store, so Woodhouse Chocolate was finally open for us to drool inside.  Wendy and I have both been there before, and we try to go whenever we're in Napa.  I bought a Brown Butter Ganache (not only does it sound yummy, but it's in the shape of a fleur-de-lis), as well as a Gianduja, which is made with hazelnut.  I love me the hazelnut.  I still haven't eaten them because they are meant to be appreciated and savored, and I've been eating a bunch of stuff that's sweet already.

Next door to Woodhouse is the St. Helena Olive Oil Company, where we had also planned to go.  Oh, my goodness.  I had never done Olive Oil testing before, and now all that stuff in the regular grocery store is going to be so boring to me!  You can taste it either by little tasting spoons, like for ice cream, or by dipping some bread into the oil.  I tried it both ways.  My favorite olive oil was infused with basil. I need to buy some of that.  I also tried different vinegars, my favorite of which is the 1985 Cask Red Wine Vinegar.  It was delicious!  It's pricey because it was aged in oak barrels for a long time just like wine, and I need to buy some of that, too.  They had different types of salt, too, like fleur de sel and Pink Himalayan Salt.  Both of those were good, but my favorite of all was the Truffle Sea Salt.  That's right.  TRUFFLES.  I'm so totally going to buy that when I get home.  I told Wendy that I could just eat a pinch of that every day when I get home (like I could place it by the door as if I was blessing myself with Holy Water), and I'd be a happy camper.  They also had White Truffle Oil, which was very yummy, but it's more expensive than the salt, and I would use it on the same stuff.  Well, the salt, I'd use just on air, it's that good.  In the hallway to the back room, they had some lavender in jars and some aromatherapy drops.  They also had some different flavors of honey, which I enjoyed.  Then in the back room was the bath stuff, mostly made with lavender.  I fell in love with the lavender sugar scrub, and bought some so that I could pamper myself on the birthday.  

Afterward, we shopped in a couple of consignment shops for a little project that we were working on, but didn't find anything promising.  We were hungry by this time, so we decided to go to Cafe Citti, where I had been wanting to return to since the Napa Trip with my friends a couple of years ago.  We asked Annabelle how to get there, using the shortest route.  She wanted us to go south.  I thought we needed to go north.  But my GPS agreed with Annabelle, so we followed.  Oh, boy.  Annabelle must have been pissed off at our turning her off earlier that she passive-aggressively took us through Oakville Grade, which is a winding road over the mountain for miles and miles.  When we finally got to flat land, we rejoiced.  Yes, the view was lovely from the mountain (although only one of us could enjoy it because the other one was driving and there were no turnouts), and yes, the fog lifted by the time we got to the top so that the downhill road wasn't treacherous, but really, Annabelle, that was crazy!  

Cafe Citti was quite full, but we still got a table fairly quickly.  I enjoyed the Very Garlicky Caesar Salad and Linguine with White Clam Sauce.  Mmmmm....I was happy.  So was Wendy, with her yummy sandwich.  I ordered almond biscotti to go (freshly made every day), and we asked the guy at the register how best to get back to Napa without the winding road.  He led us to the path of least resistance, and we happily drove back to our hotel.

Since our tummies were full, and we had leftovers from Cafe Citti, we didn't plan on eating dinner at any restaurant.  Instead, we walked to downtown Napa to get some exercise and to do some shopping for our project.  We also went back to the cupcake place that we had seen the day before.  You see, we watched "Cupcake Wars" when we got home from the concert, and the winner that night was Sift in Napa, right next to the Opera House!  So we went to Sift and I ordered the winning cupcake, the Battle Royale.  It is an almond cake with blueberry tequila filling and blackberry cream frosting.  Wendy bought the Pink Champagne cupcake, because they had run out of the one she wanted, the Limonatta.

We walked back to our hotel room and relaxed.  Eventually, the hotel put out cookies for us to enjoy, but Wendy didn't want hers once she realized that there was coconut in it.  She ate her cupcake instead, which was very sweet.  I ate my own cupcake later and it was perfectly delectable, not too sweet, a wonderful flavor, and I would totally have it again.  

The next day, we again had the hotel breakfast, but this time, we shared a waffle.  We hung out in the room until checkout, and had lunch at Gott's Roadside, which used to be called Taylor's Automatic Refresher.  When we walked in, a guy said, "Hello! We've been waiting for you!"  A lady introduced herself to us.  I was, like, "Wow, they're friendly here."  We placed our orders and the guy said that we were all taken care of.  Wendy tried to pay him and he said no, we were taken care of by the people that greeted us at the door, since we were part of the business meeting.  Um, no.  Wendy said to me later, "Do we *look* like restaurant owners?"  I decided that we look like we know where to eat.  I ordered the turkey burger, which came with lettuce and apple onion chutney and grilled onions, with cheddar cheese. Mmm, that was YUMMY!  Wendy had the Miss Kentucky chicken sandwich, and we shared sweet potato fries.  Ooh, our tummies and taste buds were very happy with our last meal in Napa.  

We drove back to Sacramento and hung out together until it was time for me to board my flight to Portland.

Thanks for a great time, Wendy!  I thoroughly enjoyed our Napa time together.

Rockapella and good food?  What more could anyone ask for?  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Golden Corn Sauvignon

Rockapella in Napa
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Napa Valley Opera House
Napa, CA

I arrived at the Ontario airport, and the line at security started to go out the door while I was standing in it.  I don't know why SWA didn't open up the switchbacks, because they really could have saved people from being confused if they had actually tended to the line a little bit.  I was tempted to fix it myself, but I didn't want to get hauled off by airport security.  The 2 gals in front of me were asked to do the full body scan, but I didn't need to, which prompted one of them to wonder why she was being picked on.  I kiddingly told her that it was because she placed her shoes in the same bin as her laptop (they made her go back and take it out).

Wendy was already at the gate, and I said hello.  The woman next to her moved over so that I could sit down.  It turns out that the woman's nephew had asked Wendy if she could help his aunt get onto the plane and also get off in Sacramento, because she didn't speak any English.  Wendy, being the good Christian lady that she is, kindly agreed to do so, and told me the plan.  I was able to save seats for the 3 of us.  The woman gave us Chinese Dried Plum candy, as well as dried kumquats.  How nice!   How yummy!  Wendy joked that we would be kept regular with our new treats.  I vowed to only eat one a day so as not to make myself sick.  But they were yummy.

When we arrived in Sacramento, our new friend pretty much knew where she was going, so we just kind of said hello to her family and walked to baggage claim.  We soon found that we had walked too far and were standing at a carousel for the wrong flight.  Oops.  So we went back to our carousel, finally picked up our bags, and took the shuttle to the car rental facility.  Our car was a white Toyota Camry, and I asked for GPS so that Wendy wouldn't have to deal with my phone.  We ended up naming the GPS "Annabelle".  She makes a "ding" sound when she wants you to turn, and seemed very polite, so I decided that she was a Southern Belle.  Clearly, she was NOT Helen.

We were hungry, and I wanted to take Wendy to a cafe that I liked, but when I looked it up on the internet, I found out that it was no longer in business.  Bummer.  So we decided to just stop somewhere along the way.  We found a Cindy's Restaurant.  As we got closer, we saw that there wre 2 names for this restaurant: "Cindy's" and "Kow Thai" in the town of Davis.  APPARENTLY, the restaurant is Cindy's by day, and Kow Thai by night, and sometimes by afternoon.  It was kind of confusing.  Since it was daytime, and everyone was told to sit next to the windows, Wendy decided that the perimeter of the restaurant was Cindy's, and the inner tables was Kow Thai.  The inner tables were being set differently than the ones at the window, so I agreed with her theory.  I had breakfast (surprise!  Not.)  and Wendy had lunch.  My breakfast was OK, but bland (mushroom scramble that needed more than just mushrooms and eggs, but there had been no description of it).  I wish we could have tasted the Thai food, but we were too early for that and did not have time to wait in this dual personality place.  Pella awaits!

We drove to Napa and found our hotel, the Best Western Elm House Inn.  It was a quaint place, and it reminded me of a boarding house, what with its open interior and the rooms along the perimeter of the building.  I told Wendy that it made me think of "The Facts of Life".  Then she got mad at me because the theme song from the TV show would get into her head.  I tried to sing "We Are Santa's Elves" to her, but it didn't work.  We got into the elevator, and it smelled like crayons.  I don't know what that was about.  Our room was really pretty, with rose-colored bedding.  We didn't have much time to relax, so we got ready for the show.

The venue wasn't that far away, we found out, as we approached the theater.  Both of us thought that the theater had gold filligree on it for some reason, but there wasn't any on it that day.  I also thought that it was a stand-along building, but it wasn't.  I felt like we had never been there before, when, in reality, I've been there about 3 times.  Whatevs.  We passed by a cupcake place and walked quicker so as not to get tempted by their wares, and entered the Opera House.  

Nick entered shortly afterward and introduced us to his girlfriend, Mikayla.  This would be her first Rockapella show, and actually the first concert where she could sit down, so she was excited.  We also saw Robin and said hello to her and her friend Mary, whom was also at her first Rockapella show.  I downed my 2007 Brick Lane Sauvignon Blanc, and got kinda dizzy.  Not too dizzy to go up the stairs to our seats in the front row, though!  We also saw Jeremy and April, whom were also sitting in front.  Yay!  It's their unborn child's first Rockapella show, too!  Wendy had given up her seat so that she could sit in the front row with me.  So she told the couple in the seats next to her empty one that they could move over if they wanted, since her seat was on the aisle.  She's so nice.

The opening act was the Napa High School Vocal Music Workshop. They sang KT Tunstall's "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree", Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby", Coldplay's "Fix You", the House Jacks' "Gone", and a Michael Jackson medley.  They had strong soloists, and were musically very good.  What they lacked, for my taste, was soul.  They didn't seem to be letting loose and having fun until one girl shimmied her shoulders during the MJ medley.  Perhaps they were nervous.  I don't know, but I really liked one of the girl's shoes.  They were red and had, like, a scallop kind of design.

Then it was video time!  Scott's voice sounded gravelly during his "la la la"s.  "Beat is gonna be so sweet!"

The guys entered the stage wearing their dark gray suits.  I thought it was cute that Scott and Jeff were back to back at one point.

Scott announced that he is Jim Harbaugh (the new SF 49ers head coach -- he had to inform me of this later).

For U For Now For Life
When we were getting ready for the show, I told Wendy that I listen to this very loudly in my car because I love it so much.  I like that rhythm section thing after the first break.  At one point, I turned to Wendy and said, "Pella Butts".  Want to guess what my view was at the moment?  ;)

Scott said, "What a nice Sunday afternoon...evening."  He couldn't figure out what time of day it was, because his body was still on East Coast time.  It's good that we have an early show today!  Scott said that their flight from Iowa was delayed and delayed and delayed...we got here about 10 minutes ago."  Well, thanks for arriving, Scott!  He continued, "It's not so cold here.  In Iowa, it's negative 1."  Eek!

Nuthin But (ZIP)
I like the pause after the last big "Nuthin".

Got to Get You Into My Life
Steven looked at me.  OK, I'll get into your life!  ;)

I thought that they were in formation for "Stand By Me", but I was wrong.
Just My Imagination/Imagine
Cute intro by George.  I like how the others kneel for his solo during Just My Imagination.

I like Scott's tie.  It's a thin one (like him!), solid silvery/dark gray, with hash marks/checks toward the end of it.  

Tell Me What U Want
I like how it starts with just Scott on the first phrase.  I think that's new.  When he sang, "I'll be your little cabin boy", he patted an imaginary child on the head.  I touched Wendy's knee to let her know that he would be the cabin boy in her cabana on the cruise.

Scott said that they discovered Steven while he was performing  "The Lion King" at WDW.  Some people in the audience laughed.  He said, "it's incongruent to be a baseball star, but then standing next to Pumbaa.  I know he'd kick Pumbaa's butt."

Steven picked a gal named Starla to be in the spotlight.  He said, "I'm kinda new around here, would you help me out?"  Sherry whispers:  "Oh my God.  *I* would help him!"

Hard Time
Yay!  It's my first time to hear this live.  I like it done better this way.  Wendy likes the slower version on it, like on the CD.  He sang to the lady singing next to me, probably because he noticed that she wasn't getting into the show yet.  I love when he sings "I'm so in love with you." 
Scott regarding the song:  "We've just done it a couple of times, if you can't tell."  Well, the diehards can tell, because there isn't any choreography for it yet.  Unless they don't plan on doing choreography.  

Scott:  "When we come to California we have to sing one song."
John:  "Just one."
Scott:  "Well, at least one, especially this one."

California Sad-Eyed Girl

John likes to say that Scott "has the Hair of Golden Corn" and also calls him "Crazy Legs Malone".

Paper Doll
Scott kept pointing over to someone on the other side of the theater while introducing this song.  I don't know what that's about, but perhaps he dedicated it to someone over there.  I effing LOVE that bass line!

It was time to "Do it!  Do the hustle!"
From my chair:  "Do the hustle! Owwww."  (My ribs ache from being sick, and yelling does not help).

Rock the Boat
Geo looked at us when he did the heart beat thing.  :)  Scott was too funny when he did whatever that gesture was that he did at George after his solo.  No, it was not lewd.  He kinda had his hands up to his chest and was pushing them out.  At this point, the lady next to me was finally clapping along to the beat with the rest of the audience.  I guess Scott finally reeled her in.  :)  Wendy said that they need to do this song on the cruise.  Agreed.

I want to sit in those box seats on stage.  They have curtains and everything.

Rockapella returned to the stage without their jackets, except for George.  The stage was dark as the video started up and Scott sang solo the theme from "Thunderball".  (I later told Scott that I really like that intro.  We then went into a conversation about our mutual love for Tom Jones).

"Shut your mouth!"  (silence).  I like that.  

Scott asked if we were having a good time, and then informed us in a strained high voice that he was exhausted.  Poor guys having to do all of that fast dancing while singing in key.  They're too awesome for words.

Jingle Medley
Scott:  "We've had this otherwise child-friendly PBS career..."

John asked us to say stuff if we were having a good time.  Then he told us to bark like a dog, and said "Good night!"

My Girl
So then where does John go to get the girl from the audience?  That's right:  Wendy's real seat.  Wendy whispered loudly, "SONOFABITCH!!!"  We laughed and laughed, knowing that we didn't want it to happen anyway without hubby Jeff there.  Anyway, the girl's name is Melina, which, she informed us, is a Greek name, but she's not Greek.  Her boyfriend's name is Albert.  Scott tried to get her to sing "Stand By Me" and at first she denied singing, then she got all into it, and she did very well!  She doesn't sing anywhere currently, but she used to sing for Napa High.  

Ain't Too Proud To Beg

George asked us if we remembered the movie "The Bodyguard", then said, "Yeah, I went for that audition."  I'll Always Love You  Then he said, "There are so many fine-looking women out there that it's time a real man sang to them."  OKAY!

He didn't sing to Wendy as I had predicted.  Bummer.  Maybe that's because his girlfriend was in the audience.  (She was).

Yay!  Another new song!  I really like it a lot.  I look forward to seeing what they do with the choreography.  Ay ay ay ay!

During the drum break, JT said, "I need some Merlot.  I'm sorry, Cabernet or whatever.  I don't drink.  Don't drink and drive, kids."  He's so wacky.  Then Geo came back with a short-sleeved shirt.  Hello, muscles!

Papa Was A Rolling Stone
Big applause after the vocal percussion section.

Up On The Roof/Wonderful World


After the show, we went over to Fred and talked to him for a bit.  I asked where his orange juice was, and he said that he gets that when he goes backstage.  We talked about their travel out to the west, and he said that they were all very tired because it was an exhausting travel day due to delays.  He was looking forward to the day off before going to Portland, so that he could sleep.

Tim recognized me and gave me a huge hug, saying that he forgets that Rockapella has fans out here, and that it was good to see a familiar face.  He's earning his Holiday Goodies.  :)

By the time we got to the merchandise table (which was next to the signing table), JT was already ready to do the books.  Um, hello, get your ass back to the table!  No, I didn't say that to him.  The guys dispersed before we got to the table, so I got nothing signed.  But I did get to talk to all of them.  I realized that I had left my camera battery at home like an idiot, but luckily for me, Wendy had her camera with her and offered to take pictures of me with Bananaman and The Guys.

Yup, they met Bananaman!

Well, John didn't, because he said hello and rushed out.  To where, I don't know.  He wasn't going home.  Maybe he was hungry.   Before he left, though, he said that he would see us on the cruise, and that he was bringing his wife.   Jeff also didn't, because he was too busy ignoring us and doing the books.   I kid.  He wasn't ignoring us.  He was just too busy to notice.

Scott was drinking wine, which surprised me, because I thought that he didn't drink.  He said, "I drink like a fish when I don't have to work the next day."  Oh!  I asked him what he was drinking.  "Some Chardonnay."  I told him that he should try a Sauvignon Blanc, which is what I like, because it's fruitier and lighter.  He said he would.  Scott asked if I'd been to a Tampa show.  I told him that I had, but he fell off of a roof that day, and I waved to him at Tampa General from my hotel room.  He showed us the scar on his wrist.  Scott was wearing a big coat and I asked him if he was cold (it was 70 degrees outside that day).  He said that he didn't know what he was anymore, because he came from 5-degree weather.

I told the story of Bananaman to Scott.  I said, "Look, isn't he lewd?!"  He said yes.  He said, "Sherry gets a little lonely sometimes."  I said to him, "I'm never lonely as long as I have Bananaman."  Gooood night, everybody!  I told Scott that I thought that Wendy and I were going to go for some tapas.  He interrupted and said, "You're going topless?  Because if you're going topless, you should be sure about it first."  Clearly, the hoarseness of my voice was failing me, but it was hilarious.  He kindly took two pictures with me and Bananaman because I was closing my eyes and dreaming during the first one.  I LOVE this picture!

Scott, Sher and Bananaman

George told Wendy that they saw the two of us walking to the Opera House when they arrived.  Wow, they WERE late!  George saw Bananaman and said, "What is this?!" and "Ay  Ay Ay Ay!" all A-Punk-like.  I told him about Bananaman, and he took a picture with me and my craziness.

Sher, Geo and Bananaman
Steven hugged Wendy for the first time, which made her happy.  He met Bananaman and agreed to take a picture with us, but when he started to pose for the picture while holding my yellow guy, he said, "Maybe I shouldn't hold him, though."  LOL.  

Sher, Steven and Bananaman
Tim and Fred arrived at the Meet and Greet area, and they both took a picture with me and Bananaman.
Tim, Sher, Fred and Bananaman

Thank you, Wendy, for taking the pictures!

Wendy and I decided to go get some tapas at Zuzu, but the restaurant was very crowded, and we ended up at Downtown Joe's Brewery, which is right next to the Opera House.  She had a margherita pizza.  I had a yummy spinach and basil salad with grilled prawns.  Mmmm....dinner.  :)

When we got home, we talked for hours because of all of the excitement from the evening.  I'm so glad that the guys met Bananaman.  I hope to make the pictures a complete set at the Portland show tonight.

Tonight!  My birthday!  YAY!!!!

Challenge Accepted

I woke up to say goodbye to Karla, and made sure to remind her that she held Fred's orange juice last night.  Not that she needed reminding.  Nor did she need to remind me that George kissed me 6 times.  Then I turned on my Pandora radio station, and the first song was Rockapella's "This Christmas Day".  Happy Sigh.

So there I was, minding my own business on Facebook, and George posted about the previous night's show.  So I commented and thanked him for a wonderfully swoonworthy evening, and wrote him another "Mwah!"  He replied that I was funny (yay!) and that he just had to give me some sugar in return for all of the sugar that I gave to them that weekend.  LOVE!!!!!  So, like, now I giggle when people say "sugar".  ;)

Wendy and Jeff arrived, and we walked around a bit to search for a place to eat.  We decided to have lunch at Ruffled Feathers, which is across the street from the hotel.  We went in there because the desserts looked particularly yummy (pumpkin bread pudding), but we were so full from our lunch that we didn't get any.  I had the Asian Chicken Salad, and it had great taste, with the perfect amount of crunch.  I also had some hot cranberry cider, which was quite delicious.  As we were eating lunch, I said that I had something to tell them.  For some reason, at that moment, Wendy thought that I was going to say "I'm having George's baby and that's why he kissed my hand last night."  Um, no, but thanks for the thought, Wendy!  :)  I told them that, actually, I was having shirts made as a surprise gift to my Pella Posse.  What a letdown, huh?

We walked around the (kind of creepy) Christmas in the Park display outside the hotel, then went to the Tech Museum and looked around the gift shop, where, of course, I found something to buy.  Then we watched "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I" at the IMAX Dome.  Yes, this would count as the 3rd time I watched HP VII.  It was an interesting experience.  We sat up at one of the highest rows because one of the employees advised us that we would be less dizzy up there.  I was still a little nervous when we sat down, because my seat was at the top of the stairs, so no seats were in front of me to break my fall in case I lost my mind and needed to get up.  So I moved over to be more protected.

We then checked out the pastries at Bijan Bakery & Cafe, across the way from the hotel.  We didn't buy anything, but I made plans for the next day's breakfast while I was there.  We looked around the lobby, which had a cool Christmas village that was made of chocolate and gingerbread.  So, of course, I needed to let Scotcherbreadman check it out.  :)

We then hung out in my beautiful hotel room for awhile, and I showed them the room service menu.  Mind you, this was a swanky place, and there was all types of cuisine listed.  Including room service for DOGS.  It was awesome.  I even wanted the Banana Biscotti, but I don't think that I should eat dog food.  I also showed them the beautiful view from the room, which was 15 stories up.  You can see the ice skating rink in the park, as well as the Christmas in the Park display.  Nice.

We had talked about seeing a light display that Wendy & Jeff had seen a few years ago.  It took us forever to get there, not because it was far away, but because we couldn't figure out how to get into the place.  The display was called the "Fantasy of Lights", and took place at Vasona Lake Park.  You stay in your car and drive around the park, with the radio turned on to a local radio station, so that you can hear Christmas music as you drive around.  It was really nice!  I learned a new song "Donde Esta Santa Claus".  OK, so it's not a new song, but it was new to me.  Wendy and Jeff really got into it, so I did, too.  Fun stuff.

We then went back to the Baker's Square that turned into Hobee's, in Los Gatos.  I have made new Hobee's converts!  I had a wonderful Almost Joe's Scramble with their awesome blueberry coffeecake.  I was also happy to have cinnamon tea, no matter what time of day it was, because I LOVE that tea.  I bought some tea to bring home, too, since that's my tradition whenever I'm at Hobee's.  It should be of no surprise to my friends that my favorite place to eat in Silicon Valley has breakfast available all day.  Wendy was excited to see all-you-can-eat soup, and advised us, "Challenge Accepted!"  Her pea soup wasn't very hot, but the manager was quite obliging and fixed the burner.  I don't think that Wendy had more than one bowl of soup, though.  Or maybe she did try another one.  I don't remember.  All I know is that it wasn't tortilla soup.

We returned to my hotel, and said our goodbyes.

The next morning, I obtained a Spinach & Cheese Croissant and a Pumpkin-Spiced Soy Latte from Bijan Bakery for breakfast.  I relaxed for awhile and giggled some more about the weekend's events.  I was made especially happier when Liz informed me that I would not need to find a new roommate for the upcoming cruise.  YAY!

I had quite some time between checkout and my flight time, so I tried to go shopping, but couldn't find a space in the parking lot at World Market.  So I made my way to the airport and had some sushi as I waited for Wendy & Jeff to arrive.  Sadly, Santa was gone, so I couldn't take anymore pictures with him.  W&J arrived, and we all flew home together.  

I had a great time with you, Jeff and Wendy!  Merry Christmas!



Monday, January 17, 2011


Rockapella at Montalvo
Saratoga, CA
Carriage House Theatre
Sunday, December 12, 2010
7:00 p.m.

We, the George-proclaimed Sandwich Crew, walked to our cars to obtain our dinner.  Jeff was nice enough to share half of his sandwich with our new crew member, Nick.  While we were looking for a place with light, we found a picnic table next to the parking lot, so we decided to eat our dinner there while signing the Santa pictures for the guys.  I wrote "Ho!" above my picture because I giggle during "Jingle Bell Rock" when they sing "ho".  It's kind of a double-meaning thing that, for some reason, I had no problem conveying to the guys.  On George's, though, I made it special and also wrote "Mwah!"  

We walked back up the hill to the theater, and I had the same seat as the previous show.  The others had moved over a bit.  I wondered as I watched the people sit near me: "which lucky lady would Geo sing to for this show?"  There were 4 seats to my left, and 4 MEN sat down.  Then to my right, 2 females sat down, one of them cute and young.  So I figured that she'd be the lucky one.

I Heard the Bells
Someone yelled, "I love you, Scott!"  He said, "I love you, too...  I do *not* love you, sir."  

Hope We Hold
People that had front row seats were tardy.  When they arrived, Scott asked why they were so late.  He then asked who in the audience had seen Rockapella before.  The tardy folks did not raise their hands or clap.  He said to them, "That's why you're late.  You missed all of the good parts.  It's all already done."  But, of course, as we all know, there was much more awesomeness to come.

He then asked who had been at the 4:00 show.  Whoo HOOO!  He called us "Doublelicious".  Mmmm, yummy!


Silver Bells
There's the song that we didn't get last show.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

Glow Worm
Cool!  John did some different steps!  That's a performer for you, folks, never making every show the same.

Little Mary Snowflake

Scott said that the next song is new for them.  "Be kind to us and good luck to us!"
Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time
Oh, wow!  It's "Nutcracker"!!!  It only took me 3 shows to finally figure it out.  I totally get it, and that is a difficult piece, especially to sing.  Scott is ruthless and amazing.

Scott talked about how back in the old days, they would only play "Rudolph" on TV once a year, and he would savor every moment, every commercial with Santa in the Norelco shaver.  He got much applause from our generation.  He said that when it came on, "you had to watch it.  It was a joint/communal experience of all of America watching at the same time."  It's totally true.  When I watched it a couple of weeks ago, I thought of Scott watching it, too.  I heart that Scott loves Rudolph.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

John told everyone in the office to connect with someone, if not someone in the audience, then someone on the cell phone for the next song.  He gave us all time to turn on our phones.  I thought of calling Cindy, but (sorry, Cindy!), I was too busy taking notes at the time.

John told the guys to get their phones, too, and that he was serious about it.  So the guys all left the stage to get their phones.  Well, everyone but JT.  Why?

JT:  "I have AT&T."
George dialed a number, then said, "That's disconnected."
John's wife kept saying "Hello?"
Scott just kept looking at his phone.

Merry Christmas, Darling
Scott had, APPARENTLY, been looking at football scores.  He said, "We should do that *every* Sunday."

Scott talked about the old days.  He said that during one morning show in NYC, a lady from the building above where they were filming spilled coffee on them.  Steven:  "I hope that it was at least Folger's."

This Christmas Day

Don't Be Late

Jingle Bell Rock
When they sing "don't be a square", they make a shape of a square with their fingers.

Please Come Home for Christmas
OK, so did you read the second paragraph of this blog entry?  How I wondered who George would sing to, and figured it would be the young gal next to me?  NOPE.

George walked to the front of the stage, looking at ME.  He motioned to me to come forward.  I got up and walked to the stage.  He took my hand.  He kissed it.  I swooned.  He kissed it again.  I used my other hand to cover my mouth in disbelief.  He kissed it AGAIN!!!  I could not stop giggling.  Then Scott rudely interrupted our lovefest.  I gave him a short wave hello and went back to my seat.  Scott then flirted with me, so I flirted back by making kissing motions at him.  Darn right I played it up!  Two gorgeous men flirting with me from the stage?  Eat it up, Sher!!!  By this time, I had lost my ever-loving mind.  Swooonerama!!!

Happy Kwanzaa

Steven talked about the fact that the Montalvo used to be the California Governor's mansion.

He said that someone in the audience named Eliza was on Santa's list.  She is a 10 year-old from Los Gatos.  She wants a new leotard for Christmas, because she's a gymnast.  Steven said that Santa told him that Eliza was a singer, also.  Eliza shook her head.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Nice little scat, John!  George walked onto the stage dressed as Santa, and hid behind the huge peppermint stick.

George said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, yes, it's true.  When I put this costume on, it makes me want to a woman.  How about you guys join me in a song?"  A little kid in the audience yelled out, "No way!"  George kept going anyway, asking what style he should sing in:  Whitney Houston?  Aretha Franklin?  Cyndi Lauper?"  We all sang "Silent Night", with Geo singing the part of Whitney Houston.

Scott said, "He seemed very stoic, that Grinch."  Dude, y'all were verbally abusing him!  

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Angels We Have Heard on High
Feel the thunder in my heart!!!

A red strobe light flashed.  Then the music turned into Billie Jean, with George getting down on the Remix.

Hold Out for Christmas (off mic)
Aw, it's the last song of our Rockapella Holiday shows for the year.  Sadness.

I somehow got out of the theater unscathed by my friends, who probably wanted to scratch my eyes out even more than before.  I didn't want to wash my hand again, ever.

We got in the Meet and Greet line, and conversed with Robin for awhile.  We gave the guys our pictures with Santa.  

I asked Scott to help me with the lyrics of "We Are Santa's Elves" from Rudolph, because I couldn't remember the second line.  He sang:
"We are Santa's elves.
We are Santa's elves.
Do do do do, do dodododo, 
We are Santa's elves."

I laughed, and said to him, "That's how *I* sing it, that's not how *you're* supposed to sing it!"  (Seriously.  That's exactly how I was singing it earlier that day).  He couldn't remember how it went.  (Karla looked it up for me later on, just to shut me up).  

John asked where we had been after the first show.  George informed him that we had been eating sandwiches.  I love that. 

Sigh.  Geo.  I said to him very loudly, "I LOVE YOU!!!  Thank you!"  He said that he was looking around during the show and saw the 4 men sitting near me.  He decided at that moment, "I'm gonna freak her out."  Well, you did, sir!  He saw what I had written on the Santa picture, and wrote the same thing on my "Bang!" CD (except for the Ho! and the name he signed).  I said that we needed to take a picture together, and he said, "Definitely, we will."  I was still swooning.

I asked Steven if he wrote any of Simply Having... and he said that no, it was All Scott.  I told him, "He's amazing.  Amazing, and MEAN!"  He laughed.

Jeff said to me, "You are a STAR!"  He was clearly entertained by the whole exchange between George, Scott and me.  I said to him and Steven  that this was also the venue where I was selected to be "Pretty Woman".  He said, "Really?"  I said, "Yeah, the Montalvo is MAGICAL!" and my voice went into only-dogs-can-hear-me mode.  JT mocked me.  I would have hit him if he had been closer to me.

I said hi to Nick's dad, who had returned to pick up Nick.  I also said hi to Fred, who thanked me for the goodies.  Karla introduced me to Light Guy Tim, and Fred gave him a tip to tell me his favorite cookie so that I'd make it for him next Christmas.  Fred is now giving people instructions so that they can receive the PellaPusher love.  Nice!  

We tried to get a picture with as many of the guys as possible with our group.  JT was next to me and said to everyone, "OK, everyone put your arms around each other, hands down to their butts, and SQUEEZE!"  I giggled, then wondered to myself why he didn't follow his own advice.  I mean, hello, I wouldn't mind a squeeze from him, you know.  ;)  Like I hadn't received enough Pella Love that night.  ;)

George and I took our picture together, and as we were posing, he told me that he had to be kissing my hand in the picture.  Now, you know that I was hoping that this would happen, but I never asked him to do it.  Ergo, this was ALL his idea.  As Wendy was taking the picture and Geo was kissing my hand for the 5th time of the evening, JT walked right in front of my camera.  So, oh, DARN.  Geo just HAD to kiss my hand again.  

For those of you keeping track, that's SIX times.  SIX!   Sigh.  Here is that glorious moment.


At one point, none of the guys was available to talk to us, but the signing table was empty.  So we took this picture.

Scott talked to Karla some more, and as I talked to him, too, I babbled something about him not liking me any more.  He said, "Why wouldn't I like you anymore?"  So sweet.  I was still reliving the whole moment where I was flirting with George and ignoring him, which almost never happens.  I didn't tell him that, so I said, "I don't know."  Scott made a point of hugging Karla goodbye, and hugged me because I was standing there, too (I tell you, I was feeling like I had cheated on him that day -- because I'm insane -- and it felt weird, so this is what I felt at that moment, which is totally baseless, and now this is a really long parenthetical statement).

We wished them all a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Safe Travels as we said goodbye.  My very supportive friends did not kill me on the way to the car, which I probably wouldn't have blamed them for, what with all my happiness.  They're so good to me.

We were hungry again, so we looked for the Baker's Square that runs out of pie and soup.  Yes, we looked for it.  It was not there anymore, and has been replaced by a Hobee's.  I was fine with having Hobee's, since it was my goal to go to one sometime during the trip.  It had closed by the time we got there, though.  So Karla checked her phone and found us a Denny's.   Mmmmm.....Gingerbread French Toast.  We all had some kind of Slam breakfast, mostly so that we could have Gingerbread something or other, because they did not come as separate items.  The guys on the side of me at the other table tried to mock me through the glass, but I would have none of that.  I was in too good of a mood.

With our tummies satiated, we went back to our hotel, and Karla got ready for her early morning flight as I went to bed.

Good night, San Jose!  Mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah!!!!!!


Rockapella at Montalvo
Sunday, December 12, 2011
Saratoga, CA
Carriage House Theatre
4:00 p.m.

Karla had stayed at my house the previous night, after the show at CalTech.   We woke up and made our way to the Ontario Airport.  We saw that Southwest Airlines had their Santa Claus all set up for photos.  I had known that they were doing this for the holidays, and told my flight companions that I wanted us to take a picture when we got to San Jose.  It surprised me that SWA had one of the photo ops in Ontario, too.  We met up with Jeff and Wendy and decided to take our pictures while waiting for our flight.  We each received a copy of the picture, which was sponsored by Windows Live photo gallery.  Since we had 4 copies, we decided to give them to Rockapella and sign them.  The only problem was that we only had 4 of them.  But wait!  Maybe we could get more in San Jose!  Here are our pictures.  OK, so Santa looks different in each one.  But we're so cute!

I asked Ontario Santa if we were on the Naughty List or the Nice List.  He said that the last time he checked, we were on the Nice List, but they were in the middle of switching from Analog to Digital, so our names might have jumped over to the other one. Uh-oh.  I asked San Jose Santa if I could place Scotcherbreadman on his shoulder and he said, "As long as he doesn't poop on me!"  I said that the poop would smell like gingerbread anyway, so it would be OK, but Scotcherbread would NOT poop on Santa.  That's crazy talk!  You know, unlike the rest of my talk. ;)

We picked up our rental cars and drove downtown to get some lunch.  Our car (a Chevy HHR) had a very strong scent inside.  Not a bad scent, just colognial.  Not like from the 1700s.  Like cologne.  See what I did there?  Well, Karla and I thought that it was funny and laughed hysterically. We found a Johnny Rocket's, which happened to be right across the street from the hotel where Karla and I would be staying.  We were unable to avoid the large group of children, whom, we deduced, had just come from ice skating in the park outside the hotel.  

Karla and I checked into The Fairmont, and were overwhelmed by our beautiful hotel room.  I had received a great deal on Priceline when I made a bid, and I was extremely pleased with the results.  The room was beautiful: the view from 18 stories up was of the Christmas in the Park and downtown San Jose, there was a hallway (with a vanity table in it) to get to the closet and the bathroom, and the bathroom itself was huge with its separate tub and shower and a little room for the commode.  I was glad that I'd be staying an extra day so that I could enjoy the room after the show.  

We got all dolled up and made our way to the venue.  Wendy and Jeff were getting sandwiches for us on their way (they were labeled the Sandwich Crew by George when they told him about the plan to eat between shows), and we assigned ourselves to locate Sharpies for the photos.  We found a Walgreen's on the way, and got to the Montalvo in plenty of time before the show.  The Montalvo grounds landscaping was being worked on, but it was still a nice place to be.  Karla was happy to be in flat shoes because of the trek from the parking lot to the venue, and you know me:  I was wearing heels and somehow didn't mind the extra work my calves had to do to get up the hill.  Only Rockapella can make me feel that way.

I had bought tickets separate from Karla and Wendy & Jeff, and was seated in the front, on the Rhythm Section side.  This stage had 4 of those North Pole things, which Jeff E believed to be peppermint sticks.  Ohhhhh.  We said hi to Nick, whom we had met at SLO.  So Jeff finally met the guy that got to sit in his seat when he couldn't be there.  I took a gander at my surroundings.  Hey!  When I was "Pretty Woman" here, there were no steps up to the front of the stage.  Those would have been much easier to get up there, but then Kevin would have never carried me to get down, so I guess I don't care that I didn't get to use steps.  :)  This venue has good memories for me.

I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day
George smiled at me!  Hi!!!

Hope We Hold
When Scott sang "Down, down, down" during the bridge, he pointed down.  Does he always do that?

I like Geo's "Light the Candle!  Yyyyeaahhhh."  It makes me giggle.

Winter Wonderland
So pretty when Scott smoothly sings the word "Dream".  It's, like, dreamy.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
Scott really got into his guitar solo.  A red gel from one of the lights fell down, and Jeff tossed it aside.  Weird.

Glow Worm
John almost jumped off the stage to start off his solo.  Dude!  This is not as big of a stage as the one at the Beckman!  Be careful!  Dude in back of me said "I'm not hearing the bass."  Dude in back of me, please be quiet and maybe you'll hear the music on the stage.  Thank you.

Little Mary Snowflake
I love this song.  "Conquering kingdoms and hacking at dragon heads"  Have I told you how much I love Scott's lyrics?  I LOVE Scott's lyrics.  He has a gift with words and music.

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime
I got lots of Steven love: He smiled at me a LOT.  HI!!!  Scott admired Geo's part, saying, "That's hard stuff!  That's Tchaikovsky!"  Really?  I need to listen to that more.  He, of course, was talking about those cool notes that I mentioned in my review from the night before.  

I clapped when Scott asked if anyone had watched "Rudolph" last week.  Scott thanked me.  He talked about how he would wait all year for it to be shown, and would sit in front of the TV "well, maybe it was not that pathetic, but Mom said it was."  

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Ack.  There was a little bit of trouble when they modulated to the other key, but they recovered quickly.  It probably helped when Scott stood closer to John, so they could get it going again.

Merry Christmas, Darling
Stellar, John, STELLAR!  Wait.  JT sings during this song?  Wow.

After John talked up Scott's amazing skills, Scott said, "Thank you for the obligatory applause."

Don't Be Late
Geo looked at me when singing "Don't leave me lonely" and while asking for his gifts.   OK, honey, I won't.  ;)

Jingle Bell Rock/Ukrainian Carol
Scott made funny noises behind his megaphone.  Now I can hear a lot of sirens.

Please Come Home for Christmas
When George sang his solo, he stared at me, got on one knee on stage, and motioned "come here" with his finger.  I thought to myself, "OKAY!" and walked up to him.  He took my hand and kissed it!  Aaaaah!  Swwwwooooooon!!!  I could hear my friends (or someone as excited for me) screaming.  Then Scott said, "Hey, this is my song!" and made George leave me.  So I pouted and went back to my seat.  Then Scott did the motion "I've got my eyes on you" and I flipped my hair, smiled, and flirted with him, also doing the "I've got my eyes on you" motion back at him. I'm so fickle.  ;)  It was AWESOME!

Happy Kwanzaa
(I have no notes here.  I think that I was still beaming and couldn't concentrate on anything but George kissing my hand).

Steven talked about the beauty of the Montalvo grounds.  "We were driving up here and I was like, 'Guys, where are we goin'?'"  He said that 8 year-old Madison was on Santa's list.  She wants a cell phone for Christmas.  When Steven introduced JT to her, he said, "He speaks occasionally."  She's on the Nice List, by the way.  

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
She knew the song before it even started.  George was singing from backstage, and it was like a karaoke lead track.  He then walked onto the stage in a Santa suit.  Funny.  

Geo stayed in his Santa suit.  He said, "When I put this costume on, it made me want to sing like a woman.  Whitney Houston:  was she naughty or nice?  I'd like to sing a song with you, Handel's Messiah."  Someone in the audience responded with "Hallelujah".  Good one!  We sang "Silent Night" instead.  George/Santa said, "That was beautiful!  Ho ho ho ho!"

I can't see John's or Scott's eyes because their hats were pulled down so low on their heads.  They acted like gangsta rappers.  

After the song, George returned from backstage, and Scott asked him, "Where you been?"  George:  "Bathroom."  John had some lint or white Santa Hat stuff flying around, and Steven helped him with it.  Scott saw them and said, "Aren't you guys so pretty primping yourselves?"  George said something about the white stuff on a black person looking wrong and said, "it's like a zebra, backwards."   (pause) "You know how you don't think you're going to say something and then you say it anyway?"  Hilarious.

Christmas Without You

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Aw, no projections of baby Pellas.  I guess they don't have screens in this venue.

Angels We Have Heard on High

Steven waved bye to me as he left the stage.  Bye, Cutie!

Carmen/ Billie Jean/ Carmen

Scott said, "We've got another show tonight, so just stay in your seat."  OK!  

Scott said that in Japan, Christmas is not a religious time at all, it's like New Year's Eve here, it's more of a romantic holiday.

Hold Out for Christmas (off mic)

I then tried to hide from Wendy, so as not to incur her wrath over her man kissing my hand.  But she was gracious and allowed me to eat dinner with her anyway..  ;)

Next up:  the 7:00 show.