Monday, September 26, 2011

The Sing-Off Season 3: Premiere Part II

Tonight, we get to meet the other 8 teams in the competition.

Group Number: "Sing" by My Chemical Romance
Sonos from Los Angeles, CA
Pentatonix from Arlington, TX
Soul'd Out from Wilsonville High School
North Shore from Boston, MA
Deltones from University of Delaware
Messiah's Men from Minneapolis, MN
Dartmouth Aires from Dartmouth College
The Collective from Nashville, TN

I like that they keep having college and high school groups here, because it reminds me of the BOCA competitions, which I haven't been to in a while.

Nick is a already a fan of all of these groups, which is probably why he's not a judge on this show. Ben, though, talked about the potential of some groups vs. groups who might not grow during the show.  So it's not really who's the best right now, but maybe who's going to be the best later on?  I guess this is why they don't have guest stars from the professional a cappella world, but I think that they should show them what the groups should be striving for in the first place.  But that's just me wanting to see Rockapella and The House Jacks and the like on my TV, I suppose.

The Dartmouth Aires show us around the campus of Dartmouth College.  Whoa, that guy's hair is funky!  Wow, that's an old jacket.  

Dartmouth Aires: "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder
If Liz is watching this right now, she's mad at CSL4 for not arranging a SW song yet.  Wow, that's a lot of guys on stage, but I like that lead singer, as well as the fact that they all get into the song.  My eyes are burning with all of that orange, with the outfits and the lights in the background.

Now we get to learn about Pentatonix.  They found Kevin through a youtube video.  Why are they wearing those stupid glow necklaces?  

Pentatonix: "E.T." by Katy Perry
I don't know this song, but I'm sure I like it more than KP's version.  I usually like most people's versions more than hers, but this, especially because it's a cappella, is well done.  There goes Shawn, talking about the real bass in his group.  Hi, Michael!

I didn't know there was a large Liberian community in Minneapolis.  How did that happen?  

Messiah's Men: "People Get Ready" by Curtis Mayfield
I love to hear African harmonies.  I could hear some flat notes in there from the lead, though.  Why is it that Ben talks about "a traditional beat box" groove?  It drives me nuts.  Maybe it's because my favorite vocal percussionist sounds like actual drums, and not a beat box.  

I know that I've heard of this group before, but I don't know where, because their faces don't look familiar.  Oh, look,, they showed them at the dreaded Mint!  Stop with the drama and the devastation of the future.

Sonos: "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak
I like the VP effect, and I like this arrangement.  I thought that was really great, especially because they only needed the 5 of them to get their sound and style across, despite what Shawn says about the thin harmony.  Ugh, Ben F, please stop talking about beatboxing.  To me, it just sounds ignorant when they don't call this style what it actually is: vocal percussion.  "Beatboxing", to me, is someone trying to sound like a dance beat or a record scratching.  

Moving on the next round: Dartmouth Aires, Pentatonix, and Sonos

Messiah's Men's Swan Song: "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot".  Very appropriate, and I like the beat underneath.  

Welcome back to last year's winners, Committed!  I think I need to get their new CD.

Now we go to Nashville for a group of solo artists put together whom have not done a cappella before.  So, this is supposed to be like Kinfolk 9?  Does this mean that they'll get through, too?

The Collective: "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele
Ooh, her voice is sexy.  OK, with all of the voices, I'm expecting more lush harmonies than this, but they sound pretty good for the amount of experience they have as a group.  They were brought together, btw, by Street Corner Symphony's (runner-up last year) Jeremy Lister, and it includes his bro.

In Wilsonville, OR, we are supposed to believe that they are the real-life version of "Glee".  So they have a huge budget for a little group of underdog choir geeks?  Just kidding.  I love "Glee".

Soul'd Out: "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In" from Hair
Nice sound!  Oregon sure does have some quality a/c going on in their high schools, because I saw some on my birthday this year, too.  Ben likes to do arithmetic, I guess.  So I guess you guys are better than idiots, which is what Ben was in high school.

Yay!  Doo-wop time!  Why does their group name sound like they should be from Hawai'i?  I want to go to the Doo-Wop Diner.

North Shore: "Runaround Sue" by Dion
Nice!  I'm glad that the judges liked them so much, because I was afraid they'd be short-sighted about the style like they were about another group last week. 

Last group of the night, and we get to go to the University of Delaware.  I like the history of how the Deltones formed: the 5 original members were all rejected by the other a/c groups on campus, so their whole theme is of acceptance.  "Friends first, singers second."

Deltones: "Feels Like Home" by Randy Newman
I like how they smile at each other, because you can feel the joy they share when they sing together.  I liked the opening of the song, but was hoping that we'd hear more from the background than just oohing.  

Moving on to the next round: North Shore, The Collective and Deltones.

Aw, no high school group going to the 2nd round.

Soul'd Out's Swan Song: "Mama, I'm Comin' Home" by Ozzy Osbourne

Next week, we get to hear the 1st week's bracket battle it out with 2 songs each.  Until then, have a good night!

DOR LotD 09/25/11

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"How do you get off this?!" -- Little Boy on Tom Sawyer's Island

Thank you for a great day in the MouseAdventure Zone, Prince Charming and the CinderPellas!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

DLR LotD 09/22/11

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Friday, September 22, 2011

"Thank you! Thirty-four." -- Diane at Rancho del Zocalo, responding to my birthday greeting

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Sing-Off Season 3: Season Premiere Pt. 1

"The Sing-Off" is back, and now it's on for a full season!  Oh, boy, I'm going to be busy on Monday nights!  I'll be blogging as I watch, and will only post on a different day than it airs if I'm not home to watch the show live.

Let's meet the groups, shall we?  

Group Number: "Less Than Perfect" by Pink
Kinfolk 9 from Los Angeles, CA
Urban Method from Denver, CO
Delilah from Los Angeles, CA
Vocal Point from Brigham Young University
Cat's Pajamas from Branson, MO
Afro-Blue from Howard University
Fannin Family from Hortonville, MI
Yellowjackets from University of Rochester

OK, I'm excited now.  Pella's JT is rooting for Cat's Pajamas.  I am not rooting for anyone yet, but I like the Yellowjackets' bright yellowness.  I'm really interested in hearing the Fannin Family's blend, because I like hearing families do harmony.

Host Nick Lachey is back, and introducing the judges:
Ben Folds is back.  Nicole is not (yay!).  Shawn Stockman is also back, the one guy on the panel that can actually sing a cappella.  Oh, yeah, and 3rd judge Sara Bareilles actually sang at UCLA in an a cappella group, so there's that (I'm not crazy about her voice, though).

The Yellowjackets showed us the University of Rochester.  The group is all-male, and their name is due to their school mascot.  

Yellowjackets: "Wavin' Flag" by K'Naan
This song was played at the World Cup, and is inspiring to the 'jackets, whom went to Kenya and met people there.  Cute handkerchiefs, guys.  Hummmm.  I love African music.  They did a great job with this song, beautiful harmony.  Shawn loved it, too.  Yyyyyyy JAY!

The Fannin Family shows off their cuteness in their rural town.  They even name their family names together!

Fannin Family: "Who Says" by Selena Gomez
There just isn't a more pure blend than the vocal blend of a family.  Just ask the Osmonds and the Jacksons and the Jets.  Yeah, I wrote "The Jets".  Anyway, that was nice, but their sound is a bit weaker than the Yellowjackets, mostly because Yellowjackets is all-male and they're more power-house like.  

Afro-Blue is the premiere jazz choir at Howard University.  Ooh, jazz.  I'm looking forward to this!

Afro-Blue: "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae
That girl's shorts are really short.  You can tell she's the glamour girl of the group.  Nice, jazzy sound, really laid-back.  What is going on with Sara's commentary?  She's making me smile, though, because the way she reads her notes reminds me of some of my incoherent trip reports.  "Warm butter on grits": if I had ever eaten grits, I'd know what this means. we're having an all-star girl group from previous seasons: Delilah.  I like all-female a cappella, as long as it doesn't get shrill.  Let's see how this goes.

Delilah: "Grenade" by Bruno Mars
Lead's facial expressions are kind of inconsistent, but her voice is great!  That rocked!  I guess they're trying to sex up their clothes this season?  "Rubbing seconds" are really cool when they're done well, Mr. Lachey.  It's an interval thang.

Moving on to the next round: Delilah, Afro-Blue and Yellowjackets

Fannin Family's Swan Song: "Tomorrow" from "Annie".  Aw, the non-sexed-up people left.

Denver has an urban element?  I mean, I know it's a city and all that, but it was just so clean when we were there this summer that it's like, too nice to have the "urban" quality, but OK.  Be the rapper for your city, dude.

Urban Method: "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem & Rihanna
Ooh, he's a good rapper.  More beatbox than vocal percussion-style, but it's perfect for their musical style.  "Rapapella" -- oh, Nick.  Don't try to be me.  I agree with Shawn: I really liked how more than one of them was doing the percussion.  I like that Sara talks about arrangements.  

Show biz pros The Cat's Pajamas used to work on cruise ships, and now sing in Branson.  I need to go there and just watch shows for a few days.  OK, they bring a "Pretty Woman" on stage!  I like them already.  ;)

The Cat's Pajamas: "Some Kind of Wonderful" by Grand Funk Railroad
You can tell that they're professional because they match, and their suits are tailor-made.  They also have choreography.  Very well done, guys!  You remind me of someone I adore. Ben wants them to write an original song immediately.  Sara thinks about pants.  So anyway, I think that the judges need to give them a chance to sing more than one song before criticizing on "versatility".  Really, people?  That's your critique?  Then let them sing again!

First-timers now, formed in L.A., Kinfolk 9 should be interesting.  What, they couldn't find any more groups that have actually been together for a while?  There are just so many people that have been struggling in the genre already that it kinda annoys me that they're trying to get the sympathy vote for their non-a/c selves.  OK, OK, I'll give it a chance.

Kinfolk 9: "Secrets" by One Republic
Where is the bass?  They have a lot of strong voices, but they are seriously lacking the low sound.  No, I'm not just being bitchy.  I need a bass in my a cappella.  APPARENTLY, Sara heard him, but I couldn't hear it, at least not in the second half when I noticed.  I agree with Ben about needing more time to blend.  

Time to go to Provo, to see the Osmonds!  Or, no.  BYU's Vocal Point are more cuteness embodied.  

Vocal Point: "Jump, Jive and Wail" by Brian Setzer Orchestra
Ooh, they match, too!  Their energy and showmanship make me smile, and they chose a great song for their debut.  I really enjoyed that.  I agree with Ben about that wicked bass line.  

Going on to the next round are Vocal Point, Urban Method and Kinfolk 9.


The Cat's Pajamas' Swan Song: "Bye, Bye, Love"
Oh, TCP, I'm going to seriously hate K9 even more now that you're gone.  If the fans vote K9 as the winner this season, I'm OUT of this show.

I was wondering how they were going to make this a full season if they were eliminating 2 groups already, but now my question has been answered:  8 more groups next week.  YAY!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It Still Hurts

September 11, 2011

10 years ago today, I turned on my TV to the morning news as always, to hear the traffic and weather for the day as I got ready for work.  But that was no ordinary day, and I forgot about traffic as soon as I saw what was airing:  smoke was billowing out of the World Trade Center.  Troubled, I still went to work, where everyone was talking about the events of the morning in NYC and DC.  One of my co-workers was frantic because her son was working at the Pentagon that day, and she couldn't reach him.  The rest of us just listened to her and empathized.  Thank goodness, her son turned out to be all right.  But not everyone was that lucky.  The governor closed down all of the state offices for the day, and we went home, frightened and worried about what was to come.  

Ten years later, the world mourns those that America lost that day.  I will not be attending any ceremonies today, but I am watching the ceremony as it airs live in New York City, and I cry.  This weekend, our pastor had asked the music ministers to play "Let There Be Peace On Earth" at the end of each Mass.  I had thought of doing so when I was choosing songs last week, but it wasn't on the suggested list.  I did choose "Eternal Father, Strong to Save," which is the Naval Hymn and one of of my favorites.  But I was happy to add Father Michael's request to the list.

Last night at Mass, we opened with Eternal Father, and Fr. Michael gave us enough time that we were able to sing all of the verses, so that we could pay tribute to all of the armed forces.  Prior to the homily, he lit a candle, which was on a pedestal in front of a book of remembrance, with a small American flag draped over it, and there were beautiful yellow roses at the bottom of the pedestal.  He also shared with us his reaction to the events of 9/11.  Ever since that day, Fr. Michael has added an extra Our Father and Hail Mary at the end of every Mass, in order to pray for peace.  We sang the requested song at the end.  

Something came over me at the moment that I announced the song, and I felt the Holy Spirit working through me and allowing me to sing the song better than I'd ever sang it before.  It was like I was listening to someone else sing.  Mind you, I've been singing this song since I learned to play it on the piano as a 7-year old, and I know that the notes are in the meat of my range, so I think that I do the song very well most of the time.  But last night, it meant more to me.  Somehow, I was able to control my tears and sang my heart out.

I drove to my parents' house last night, and listened to the CBS news on the radio, where they were remembering the reaction 10 years ago.  The quote that moved me the most was that of someone from Europe (sorry, I can't remember), who said, "We are all Americans today."  I had forgotten that the whole world had mourned with us, especially Europe.  America had been there for them when war had hit their soil, and now they were there for us.  Oh, now, I'm crying again.  Yeah, it was kind of hard to drive at those moments last night.

I know that there will be a tribute today at Disneyland, which had closed on 9/11/01.  Part of me wishes that I could be there, but the other part of me needs to be with my family, so here I am.

A decade later, it still hurts.  I didn't personally know anyone that died that day, but as an American, I mourn with everyone else today.  I wish that our country was as unified every day as it is today, even though our foundation is that of being free to be different.  I pray, though, that we do find peace.

"Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.
With every breath I take, let this be my solemn vow:
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."

Mary, Queen of Peace: Pray for Us.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back ta Sacta

I probably woke up early enough to see the guys' planes take off from the Medford Airport in the morning, but I didn't actually get up and look out the window or anything.  I waited for the rest of the Posse to wake up, and we checked out of the hotel, in search of a real Starbuck's so that Wendy could use her gift card.  We did find one, and Jenn discovered the wonders of a Salted Caramel Mocha.  I was fine with my water and my ginormous bear claw.  I ate a toe, and invited everyone else to partake in their own toes.  OK, maybe not their *own* toes, but a toe from the bear claw/paw.  Jenn contributed to the conversation, saying that she "really enjoyed toe jam".  Eeewww.

We returned to the I-5, but didn't get to stop at Basshole for a picture, because we couldn't find it.  Nor was there a pretty rest stop either.  We did, however, stop for S&P at a rest area with vending machines.  I got a CapriSun for Jenn because she had been craving one on the way up.  She was really happy, and ended up piercing the straw all the way through the package in her excitement.  KP took a picture, but I don't have it yet to post it.

Ohmigosh!  I forgot to write the other day that I got way excited while Scott's CD was playing in the car, because his name showed up on the dashboard.  See?

We stopped for lunch at Berrypatch Restaurant in Orland, where Jenn and I had ribs.  I also had a baked sweet potato, which was yummy, and I may be baking my sweet potatoes like that once in a while.  While waiting to use the restroom, I shopped in their little general store, which was really just a few shelves of jams and stuff.  Or so I thought.  For there it was:  Loganberry Vinaigrette!  (It's a Bro/V/Sher/Chun at Drum Corps thang, this craziness).  So I gasped loudly and bought it immediately.  Lucky for me, I bought a wine bottle carrier the day before, so I had a way of transporting it safely in my luggage!  

We finally arrived in Sacramento, and we dropped off Jenn at the airport, since her flight was the first one scheduled to leave, and KP and Wendy still had a couple of hours before their flight.  So they came with me to check in at my 4th hotel in a week: my favorite hotel to stay in when I'm in Sacto:  the Residence Inn in Natomas.  We watched Harrison Ford be a kick-ass POTUS in "Air Force One" as we imbibed on snacks and played Hippo Hunt.  
Chillaxing at the RI
It came time to take the gals to the airport, so I dropped them off at their respective terminals, then got some dinner at Togo's for myself to eat after having a visit with my friend Arielle.  We enjoyed our Jamba Juice and I showed her my beloved scrapbook.

The next morning, I drove to Martinez to visit my cousin Marie and her husband David, along with their new baby, Annabelle Rose.  Such a Southern name for such a non-Southern baby!  
Sher and Belle Rose

David and Marie know what it's like to be obsessed with a band.  Theirs is The Mother Hips, and they can be seen in one of the pictures of a souvenir book.  So they totally understand my Pella obsession, and I love them all the more for it.  David had to go to a wedding, so he left us womenfolk to gab and catch up on tons of stuff.  It was really good to see Marie, because she's my only cousin on my mom's side, and she and I are a lot closer than I am to the scores of cousins that I have on my dad's side, mostly because they always had each other.  Bro and I only had Marie.

I returned to SMF for the 6th time in a week, and my flight only had about 30 or so people on it, so we all had rows to ourselves.  That was nice, and the flight attendant was quite attentive, but not overly so.  Thanks for a nice flight, Southwest!

That was a great trip, full of all kinds of smiles.  Thanks to the Pella Posse, Rockapella, Arielle, and Marie for being such great company!

Awesome, You're the MAN!

Rockapella at the Britt Festival
Friday, September 1, 2011
Britt Pavilion
Jacksonville, OR

KP and Wendy knocked on the door, and we went downstairs for our free hotel breakfast.  Jenn had a cool corn-dog looking thing, which was actually sausage wrapped in a pancake on a stick.  We then checked out of the hotel, and started our road trip up the I-5 to Oregon.  Thank heavens for my friends, who are always entertaining, and are great company to have on a long trip, because that road was boring!  We had a few S&P breaks, which I named because we would stop to "Stretch and Pee".  The most scenic one was at a rest area along Lake Shasta.  I asked a man to stand up on a bench and take a picture of us so that the picture would include the lake, and he looked at me like he didn't understand English.  He finally understood, though, and here's the result.  Don't we look cute?  Well, Geo thinks so, because he said so on FB.  :)

Geo says we're Cuuuuuute!
After taking our beautiful picture, we decided that we should eat some lunch, so we tried to get info from Jenn's GPS.  The place that we saw, however, didn't really look like something we'd enjoy, although we did love the name of a nearby establishment called "Basshole Lodge".  As we tried to look for a place in a more populated area, I took tons of pictures of the beautiful Mount Shasta.  Here's one of them.
Purple Mountain's Majesty
We finally found Black Bear Diner, which is a chain up in Northern California.  They serve breakfast all day, which makes me happy.  Jenn forced us to share the bread pudding that we ordered, but there were raisins in it, which none of us cared for, so there were raisins all around the dessert bowl when we were done.  I bought a huge bear claw to eat later on.

Bread Pudding, before the de-raisining

We finally made it to Medford, and checked into the Courtyard Marriott, which was within eyesight of the Medford airport control tower.  Geo had posted something on his wall that he meant to post as a reply to one of his friends.  Since we like to mess with our boys, we decided to make signs to show him from our seats at the show.  Of course, Wendy had the idea to make signs long before our trip even started, but I totally forgot about that because I'm lame.  So Jenn made the signs on her laptop to print downstairs at the business center.  We had a couple of hours before needing to leave, and we had adjoining rooms, so Jenn opened up her beauty salon and straightened KP's and Wendy's hair.  We then went downstairs to print up the signs, and the printer jammed.  Oh, geez.  Since I deal with a lot of this at work, I figured out how to fix the jam and we got our prints and went on our way.  

The Britt Pavilion has its patrons park down the hill from the venue, and we were to take a free trolley up to the pavilion.  We had no idea where the trolley was supposed to stop, so when it came by, we asked the trolley driver, whom stopped for us.  It seemed that he was being intentionally vague as we asked about the location of the actual stop, but he let us on to the trolley.  It turns out that he just stops whenever he sees people.  Oh.  
Straight-Haired Gals on the Trolley

When we arrived, we were greeted by very friendly people, and made our way to Blanket #5.  Yes, it's the magic number again!  I had requested it on purpose because of our whole cruise adventure and I was happy that my request was granted.  We were in the front, house left, not the most left blanket of all of them, but the second to farthest.  So we were in front of speakers, but I'm OK with that.  Jenn, KP and I walked up the grassy hill to find dinner.  KP gave up when she didn't look far enough to see the food court, and Jenn and I bought souvenirs.  I bought a wine carrier with the Britt logo, and Jenn bought a Britt shirt.  We were told that if we had flown Allegiant Air out of LAX, we could have found a cheap fare to Medford instead of dealing with the drive.  OK, next time!  She and I then bought dinner.  I ordered a chicken gyro, which ended up tasting bland and tuna-like.  Jenn bought a box that came with crackers and stuff, which I enjoyed more than my own food.  I was going to start eating the ginormous bear claw, but ended up just taking a picture of it instead.  Wendy is such a sport to pose for pictures as asked.  :)

You'll notice in the above picture that Wendy is wearing a glow bracelet in addition to her pink blanket-area-only wristband.  She and Jenn had both brought glow stuff for us to wear.  The ones that were not worn will be distributed at the Hollywood Bowl Sound of Music Sing-Along, which I'm sorry to say that I won't be attending.  KP saw Fred and was unhappy that he looked unhappy.  She later found out that he had messed up his knee on July 4th in Utah, and he would be having surgery to repair his torn meniscus.

An announcer got on stage and said that he talked to Scott Leonard before the show.  I "whoo-hooed".  He asked if there were Scott Leonard groupies in the house, and we screamed some more.  People stared at us.  I didn't care.

The show finally started with opening act The Coats.  They opened for Rockapella the night of Barry Carl's last show, back in 2002.  They played many of the songs that I had played on their CD during the road trip, so the gals were familiar with the music.  The highlight of their show for us, though, was when they said they would sing 80s girl group music.  They kidded with some Britney Spears, then sang "The Tide is High".  I didn't know that Blondie was a girl group, but I loved their rendition of the song.  Then they sang "Walk Like an Egyptian", which was also a lot of fun.  

There was an intermission, during which I eavesdropped on the conversations of women in line for the bathroom as they raved about The Coats.  Jenn did the same thing and advised her neighbors that they would surely love Rockapella.  Jenn's becoming a Pusher, too.  I'm so proud.

I guess Tim didn't make it out to the venue, because there was no video or special lighting.  Steve winked at me!  Scott smiled at us with recognition, and I became a major dork and was all, like, "HI!!!", waving my glowing arm around like an idiot. He said that they just barely got there, and introduced himself as...wait for it...Scott.  I guess he couldn't think of any famous athletes in the area, or he was just too tired to think of one.

I really liked the break from the microphones when they sang the Gunpowder verse.  Scott said, "What a beautiful place that I didn't know about.  We only have Jacksonville, Florida, but this is better."  Then some woman yelled, "GEORGETOWN 2005!!!", and Scott had to decipher that she saw them in Georgetown 6 years ago.  Ya gotta love when the wine is flowing at the outdoor venues.

Nuthin But (Zip)
John winked at me.  :)  I forgot to wink back, not that he would have noticed.  

Got to Get You Into My Life
I think I just smiled through this whole song.  OK, I smiled through this whole show.  I don't know what happened during this song, because I didn't write anything.

Just My Imagination/Imagine
More smiling.  I so, so love this arrangement that it needs to be on a CD soon.  Yeah, I'm demanding.

Tell Me What You Want
As Scott said he'd "be your little cabin boy", he patted an imaginary child on the head, and I turned around so that Wendy and I could say "Cabana Number 5!" to each other without any sound.

Scott talked about the new CD, saying that they "haven't had an original CD since I was a toddler."  He then said that Steve was having his Oregon debut tonight.  NO!  Y'all were in Portland on my birthday, in 2011.  But I didn't want to sound like the drunk lady, so I didn't say anything.  

Steve introduced us all to Mary, who showed us how to wave our arms.  

Hard Time
Scott is the only one that dances during this song.  I've now memorized his choreography, because it's quite simple.  No, I won't dance it for you.

California Sad-Eyed Girl
Scott said that they always have to do this song when they're on the West Coast.  We Whooed.  He noted that there were people from California there, and then someone not on our blanket got his attention with her whoo, and he told her she looked like she was from California, because she looked like Christie Brinkley.  APPARENTLY, we are now chopped liver.  They then sang our song, courtesy of "The Massachusetts-bred throat of Steve Dorian".  

Scott mentioned that JT's dad is from Eugene.  JT said, "We were up there yesterday, hanging out."  The crowd hung for a funny story, but then he said, "That's all I've got."  Oh, JT, our man of many words.

Paper Doll
Scott said that this was "Rockapella Old School".  Steve smiled at me!  You know why, right?  Because he has Flirty Flirty Eyes!!!

Rock the Boat
Steve walked over to us and said, "Hi guys!  How are you?"  We're GREAT, thank you!  We laughed at the lameness of the right side of the house when they didn't "Do The Hustle" on cue. Geo looked over at us during his solo, and Jenn asked if we should put up our signs, but I was too nervous.  Scott responded to our screaming by giving us our own dance show.  Jenn almost gave him a dollar.  Thanks, Scott!  

Karla and I were distracted by the static in Scott's hair.  So was a drunk man in the audience, as he loudly yelled to him, "OK, Cornhead!"  Well, John DID say that Scott had the hair of golden corn.  But it was just weird at that moment.

Lots of laughs from the crowd.  I love when Scott tries to be Tom Jones.

Scott:  "May I kiss you please?" as he looked over our way.
Sher and KP:  <emphatic nods>

Scott said, "This is not the interactive part of the show."  Then people started shouting out requests.  Scott:  "My first sentence was, 'This is not the interactive part of the show.'"  

Scott no longer looks like he's grabbing boobs while he sings "Mounds, Mounds."  I kinda miss that.  I like Steve's Elvis hip moves during "Preparation H".  After "Dr. Pepper", Scott said, "That's the best song ever written."

My Girl
John went into the audience and held up a baby, saying, "You're a star!"  He chose Gina.  He asked her what she does.  
Gina: I work.
Ooh, mysterious!  Scott said that he heard she wanted to sing with them.
Gina: I can't sing!
Scott:  Do you want to dance with us?  Maybe a Montague?  
(Seriously, that's what I heard.  Yeah, Romeo's last name.  Maybe I still have drum corps on the brain).  

Ain't Too Proud to Beg
Gina had a great time up there, and we had a great time watching her slap Scott's butt.  I don't know what she whispered to Steve, but she wouldn't slap his.

Geo said that he gets mad sometimes.  "The ladies ask me, 'You guys that sing so low, why do you always sing in the shower like Whitney Houston?'"  KP:  "Really? Girls ask him that?"

I Will Always Love You

Geo then demonstrated that guys from Philly walk around with a strut, showing off his smoothness.  He then made the next song a special dedication to The Temps.

Papa Was A Rolling Stone
PANTS.  That's all I could concentrate on.  When they finally left my direct line of eyesight, I said to the gals, "I can breathe now."  Jenn was thinking of putting up the signs again during this song, but it still didn't feel right.  I guess I didn't want to mess up his performance.

Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego?
During his solo, JT said, "Relax, lady."  Ah, the drunk woman.  Or, maybe, another drunk woman.  No, it was NOT me.

OK, that was in caps because I was very, very excited.  We had listened to the song on the way up, and I had tweeted that we were On the Road to Shambala, so it was just perfect!  We realized that it was possibly the first time that we'd ever heard Steve sing the song before, so it was even more exciting for us.  I mouthed the words along with the guys, and Steve smiled at me as we "sang" together.

Up On The Roof/What a Wonderful World
The guys all went up to the regular seats for this one, and sang off mic.  Their voices were very strong with these acoustics, even with their backs to us.  Hey, more Pella Butts!

I asked Jenn, "Is it my imagination, or did Steve sing to me all night long?"  Jenn said, "Yeah, I was like, 'Hey, we're over here, too!'"  Thank you, Jenn, for indulging me in my obsession.

So we never raised our signs during the show, but we asked an usher to take a picture of us.
From Geo's Adoring Fans

At the Meet and Greet, I showed the guys the scrapbook that I made of the Rockapella Cruise.  They were all impressed and liked it.  JT, especially, wanted to take time with it to "browse".  I was really happy that they liked it so much, and they happily signed it for me.  Everyone else in the Posse talked to the guys about how they're doing and such.

Scott told KP that Jesse started college, and is majoring in percussion at SFU, which is the best school for percussion in Florida, according to Scott's connection at the Boston Pops.  The house feels empty now, and Natalie has moved into Jesse's room, redecorating it in pink.  He thanked us for putting in the effort to see them.  The new CD will include "Little Drummer Boy", "O Little Town of Bethlehem", and their original songs.  YAY!

Fred has already had his surgery by the time I am writing this.  A speedy recovery to you, Fred!

I saw Geo running after Wendy, so that he could give a huge bear hug to "The Shy One".  I wish that I had video of that, it was major cuteness.  Geo talked about his wedding plans and the fact that his family totally loves Sandra.  How could they not?  She's wonderful!  

I just realized that we didn't get to talk much to John, because he was really tired.

Wendy and I had a really nice chat with Steve, whom has given me an assignment to push the next cruise.  We all need to show enough interest so that everyone involved, including management , agents and the like will get the boat out of the harbor.  We talked about how Tim really enjoyed the cruise, and that we all thought he would just stay on the boat.  I told Steve that this was not actually his Oregon debut, and he covered for Scott saying that it was the beginning of the year, so he was probably thinking that it was last year or whatever.  Nope.  You know that doesn't fly with the PellaPusher.  But that's OK, because he's dreamy and he sang to me all night.  :)  Steve told us that he is NOT young: he's 33.  OK, when you're my age, I'll ask you about that again.  No, I did not tell him my age.

We walked back to our car (the trolley does not operate after the shows), with me mostly walking barefoot because my heels were not conducive to the downhill thing.  Jenn and I were hungry, so we got some food at the drive-thru at Jack in the Box.  When we returned to the hotel, I saw that more prints of our signs were beside the printer in the business area.  There it was:  "MAN!"  People probably thought that the prints were done by insane people.  Yeah, they were right.  We stayed up a little more so that we could eat and giggle more, then we went to bed, so that we could drive back to Sacto in the morning.

Friday, September 2, 2011

On Point

My week started off with 3 days in Sacto for business.  I was back in the office on Thursday, and then happily left for the weekend and flew right back up to Sacramento.  No, I don't love Sacto all that much:  it's time for a Rockapella Road Trip!!!

The rest of the Pella Posse was already there, and Jenn had already picked up the rental car, so we were all set to go as soon as I grabbed my bag from the carousel.  We walked to the parking structure, and Jenn attempted to unlock a Lexus SUV.  We were, like, "Ooh, a Lexus!" then she realized that this was not the car she had actually rented.  It was a few rows away, where she had left it in "J" for "Jenny", but for some reason, we all forgot that mnemonic when we saw the Lexus.  Whatevs.  We got into the similar-looking Mazda CX-9  parked in a similiarly-parked space, and went on our way after we figured out how not to suffocate in the car and how to get it into the proper gear.  

Jenn had a GPS, and had also printed directions from GoogleMaps.  Since I was the navigator, and had been to our hotel before, I told her the directions and ignored the GPS.   Remember how I am with GPS?  Well, this time, Google was incorrect as we got on the I-5 North, which was in the WRONG direction.  We figured this out after a few exits of not seeing civilization, and finally exited at a place with a Target.  So, of course, off we went for some Target shopping.  But not until after Jenn hit a curb on the way to the parking space.

I wanted to get a birthday card for Geo and decided that, since we were here, I might as well buy ANOTHER comb because I forgot the 18,000th comb-bought-on-trips at home, and only had my little travel-sized one.  We also got some snacks for the road trip.  Wendy thought of buying energy bars for Geo, and then we realized that we didn't know what he'd like, and neither one of us know enough about energy bars to know what's really good.  Well, we tried!

Then I just HAD to take a picture of this, because it was at the entrance of the shopping center.

The Horse Wins
We were hungry, so we decided to eat at Red Robin for dinner, where Jenn had a bit of trouble parking our huge SUV within and parallel to the lines.  She claimed that it was because she is short and can't see everything.  We're all short, so this trip should be lots of fun with us driving a vehicle that none of us is accustomed to driving.

At dinner, KP attempted to put seasoning on her fries, and luckily for her, she looked at the canister after she unscrewed the lid, and saw that there was no strainer thing PRIOR to seasoning her fries, so she avoided a catastrophe.  When the server asked us if there was anything she could get for us, I wordlessly lifted the lid on the canister and showed her the absence of the strainer, and we all laughed.  She never did come back for a replacement, but KP had already decided that her fries were seasoned enough anyway.  She also realized later that her dinner was free because her rewards card thing still counted the day as part of her birthday month.  Yay!

We got back on the freeway, this time in the correct direction, and hit traffic because of road work.  Ugh.  At least our bellies were full and we were enjoying each other's company, and the delay was only 9 minutes long, according to the Garmin.  I was going to write that I will now follow whatever the Garmin says, but we almost went the wrong way again as the Garmin changed its mind from us going on the I-80 to Reno into the I-80 San Francisco.  Well, it's not a Rockapella Road Trip without us going in the wrong direction and also going to Target, so we're on point for a great time as usual.

Jenn and I stayed up late talking, but I still woke up early because my body is getting old and wants to live every moment it can, I guess.  We're now getting ready for breakfast before our 5-hour drive to Oregon.  Pray for us.  :)