Saturday, July 28, 2012

Above Mars

DCI posted this video on Facebook today.  Not only am I happy that it shows the VERY cool formations from Vanguard, but I'm also happy that the music playing is Vanguard's "Mars".  AWESOME.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

DLR LotD 07/22/12

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"I know that your actual name is not 'The Romper Room Lady'." -- Sherry, to Miss Mary Ann, at 1901

I see Sherry, and Mary Ann, and Linda

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rise! Rise! Rise!

The news of the tragic shooting at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" worried me on Friday morning, because I turned on the TV in the middle of the story, and it took a long time for the reporter to say that it happened in Aurora, CO.  I was worried because I had friends seeing the midnight screening here in town.  Thank goodness they were safe, but my heart goes out to the families of those that suffered in Aurora.  

This event did not deter me and Linda from going to see the film on opening night, though.  We went to Chili's for dinner, and we did a quick recap of what happened in the first two films of the trilogy. I wore my new hair clip, which is made of wood and shaped like a bat.  I like bats.  Not up close, but I like them. My current avatar on the side bar should tell you that much.   While we were parking, we saw a guy wearing a Batman logo shirt, holding the hand of a girl with a Robin top and cape. Cute!  I got REALLY cute shoes at DSW, which I had wanted when we went to see Spidey, but they didn't have my size.  They had them here, and they matched my purse.  I was very happy.  There were police officers keeping watch outside the Arclight, but I didn't see them searching any bags.

I finally saw the trailer for the Superman reboot, "Man of Steel".  I got very excited, and 2013 is way far away.  He's my fave.  Batman's my 2nd fave.  Spidey is my 3rd.  Wonder Woman is in a class all by herself in my book.  When is that going to happen?  OK, I'll just enjoy my summer of 2 of my favorite superheroes right now.  Plus, that Avengers movie was awesome.  Anyway...

  • Anne Hathaway can kick butt as Catwoman.  She also kicked butt as 99 in "Get Smart", so I shouldn't have been surprised.  Love those lips.
  • So, yeah, the first hour of the film with all of the shooting was a bit unnerving, considering the events of the day.
  • "Yes, it also comes in black".
  • "This isn't a car."
  • "So that's what that feels like."  (My favorite line, BTW).
  • He mentions to someone that the mask is to protect his loved ones, and I think "Robin!!!"  Wonder if he would use that name, or "Nightwing", though.
  • Nice appearance by Scarecrow!  The crowd loved it.
  • So Bane reminded me of Darth Vader with that mask.  And then He Who Played Qui-Gon  did a cameo.  Whoa.
  • Linda and I had forgotten who played the love interest in "The Dark Knight".  When Bruce looked at her picture, we turned to each other and whispered, "Maggie!"
  • Christian Bale is awesome as always.  I also like when he's shirtless, especially in "American Psycho".  Oh, wait.  This is when he's a good guy.  
  • So Christopher Nolan continues to work with Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Not bad company at all!  I especially liked JGL's performance.  He kicks ass now.  Remember when he was still a kid?  I'm so old.
  • I think that Commissioner Gordon is my favorite Gary Oldman role, because I love Commissioner Gordon.
  • I'm glad that they didn't keep using the 8 bars of score music over and over again, like they did in the trailers, though it was a bit repetitive at imes.
  • Rise! Rise! Rise!  
I really liked this movie, and it was a nice ending to the Dark Knight trilogy.  I cried at the end, yes.  Of course I did.  I think I might need to see it in IMAX, so I can cry even bigger tears.

The Responsible Hero

When I was visiting with the family a couple of weeks ago, V and I saw "The Amazing Spider-Man" in 2D.  I liked it a lot, and wanted to see some of the web-slinging in 3D, so I went to see the movie again, this time with Linda, and this time in 3D.  

Overall thoughts:

  • Andrew Garfield has a great butt.  Nice shot of it as he's laying face down on the street.  Also, nice suit.  When he was on The Ellen Degeneres Show, he said that the wasn't wearing anything underneath it.   
  • Yeah, I have a geek crush on him now.  He did a great job in this movie, as he was the geeky high school kid who couldn't say a complete sentence when asking the pretty girl to go out on a date.
  • So did they ever actually go out on a date?  It seems that they had dinner with her family at her house after he climbed into the window of her room, but I don't recall them ever going out anywhere together.
  • Emma Stone looks really young as Gwen Stacey.  Must be the bangs.  Or those wacky long socks.  What was up with her footwear, anyway?
  • I giggled at Denis Leary a little bit, because I remembered his interview on The Daily Show.  He said that people confuse him with Willem Dafoe and they used to tell him that they loved him in Spider-man.  Now that he's actually in a Spider-man movie, he won't know if they're talking about him or Dafoe.
  • Lizards, lizards, everywhere!  Who knew that there were that many of them in NYC?  And colorful ones at that!
  • How does nobody notice the green scaly skin on Dr. Connors' neck?  Or were they all just being polite and not mentioning it?
  • Are Martin Sheen's teeth always like that, or is that a makeup thing?
  • Wait.  That was C. Thomas Howell?  V said that she noticed when she saw him, but I'm a ditz and didn't notice.  Ponyboy is all grown up and playing dads with gray in their hair.  
  • Aw, Sally Field.  I hope she's in the sequels, too.  I hope there are sequels.
  • That web-slinging through the city was awesome.  Glad I went back to see that.
  • So, so glad that they had Peter design his own web shooters.  The Tobey Maguire version irritated me in that sense.  Webs don't come out of spider's wrists.  Do they have wrists?  Let's not talk about the location of the actual spiderweb creation.
  • I also liked that this Spidey is a bit of a smart-ass, like I'm used to.When the radioactive spiders all came down on Peter, I was glad that we weren't watching in 4D.
  • OK, I totally cried when he brought the eggs home.
  • That voice at the end sounded like Dafoe to me.
  • Loved the Stan Lee cameo. 
Although I was puzzled as to why a Spidey reboot was done so soon, I'm glad that it happened. This version is lighter than the Sam Raimi films, and I like it that way.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Puddles of Goo

Western Corps Connection
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Riverside Community College - Wheelock Stadium

Our day started with yummy sourdough french toast a la Sherry, and then Bro, V and I went to Jenn's place to celebrate her birthday.  Afterward, we returned to my house to relax for a bit before making the trek out to Riverside.  Rudy and Jeff were running late, so I left their tickets for them at will call, and took my seat.  Bro and V were worried that I'd be unhappy with some of the shows that I was about to see, but I wanted to see them all at least once.

The Star-spangled Banner was played by the trumpet line of the Yamato Youth Band.

Tonight's judges were using Sony Digital recorders, which are the official recorders of DCI.  I had never heard that announcement before, so here's a plug for Sony, too.  My friend Mike called to ask if I had any extra tickets because his friends didn't pre-order their tickets, and the event was sold out.  I advised that I saw that tickets were still being sold, which were for the area in front of the stands (on the track) and for the seats in the backfield.  They really need to update the seating for this stadium...or find another venue.  The event is just too big for its britches now.

Repertoire: "To Boldly Go" -- Enterprising Young Men by M. Giacchino, Generations by D. McCarthy, Captain Kirk/Spock Fight Music by G. Fried, First Contact by J. Goldsmith, Theme from "The Inner Light" by J. Chattaway, Battle in the Mutara Nebula by J. Horner

The gals behind me had never been to an actual drum corps show before, but they do march in their high school band.  When SCD took the field, one of the gals saw how few members were there and said, "How are they even a corps?"  Girl, it's not the number of members.  It's the style of their performance.  Then she saw that they weren't all wearing the same colors and commented on that, so I showed them my program to let them know that they were probably dressed as characters in Star Trek.  Then they understood.  They were also concerned about the flimsy platform upon which the drum major was standing.  It was a windy day on the field, which did not help the color guard manipulate their flags.  The second drum major almost fell on his face when he jumped off the platform.  I don't know if anyone else noticed that, because I may have been the only one that gasped.  I like the blue/aqua/purple flag.  Nice euphonium solo.  They had a cool effect of rubbing their mallets against the drum skin instead of hitting it.  The drum major did a Vulcan salute at the end.

I was surprised that Ryan T was also doing the announcing for tonight's show, since he doesn't usually do both in one weekend.  Bro and I had to convince V that this announcer would be better than the one that doesn't know anything.  It's really the airgrams that are annoying.  My favorite of the night was this one: "To the announcer from the anonymous photographer ... because I know how you love to read airgrams all night long."  We saw the photographer laughing and pointing up at the booth.

Repertoire: "Moving Forward" -- Short Ride in a Fast Machine by J. Adams, Road to Chicago by T. Newman, 1000 Airplanes on the Roof by P. Glass

VK Walk Sign
The corps is wearing a more traditional uniform now, except for the hats.  The CG wears a very BRIGHT yellow.  The walking man on the street lamp has red shoes and a red hat, just like the corps.  The bells from a nearby church chimed exactly at the beginning, making a perfect intro to Short Ride.  SCV did this show in 2001, so we know this piece quite well.  Their speakers had static at the beginning, which further annoyed those of us whom are not that thrilled with amps anyway.  They use a synthesizer to make the sound of footsteps.  Can someone please tell me why they couldn't use a drum to do that?  I don't think the show was done yet, because it ended quite abruptly.

Repertoire: "Overture" -- American Overture by J. W. Jenkins, Cuban Overture by G. Gershwin, 1712 Overture by PDQ Bach

Ah, so this is why it's not the 1812 overture!!!  It's a parody by PDQ!  Got it.  This CG has mismatched legs, like the Mandarins.  The DM wears a tux with tails to match the theme of the show.  Oh, those are corsets, like from the classical era.  The synthesizer played the part of the organ before the final push at the end.  I get the gimmick (Bach), but whatevs.  The corps couldn't play that?  Nice drum feature, and good sound from the horns.

Repertoire: "Different" -- Different by S. Director (Gold's brass designer)

The entire corps strips down to white shirts, which makes V think that she's looking at longjohns.  Why do you need a piano?  You have marimbas already.  Why did the first soloist need a microphone, but the second one didn't?  Was it the same person?  I'm confused.  They have a nice sound. 

Repertoire: "Sounds of Miami" -- music not listed

Instead of a mini-skirt this year, the DM wears a sequined red dress and long white gloves.  What is it with their drum majors' uniforms?  By this time, Jeff and Rudy had joined us.  Jeff said, "You can still be a drag queen and be a drum major."  OMG, please, please, please work on your INTONATION!!!  The low brass ensemble was OK, but the rest really needs rehearsal time.  Their flags have holes in them, but that's on purpose.  Also, they are not in rhythm.  This is a Miami show, people.  The rhythm is gonna get you.  I'm just saying.  You're right, Bro and V.  I can't unlisten to or unsee that now.  What a letdown to lead into intermission.  


Well, V and I were trying to remember who had the flags with the A on them.  We thought that maybe it was the Mandarins.  APPARENTLY not.  The corps needs to be more in synch with the dance moves after the chant, while the battery is playing.

Mandarins Chant Corps

Love the dynamics!  Beautiful music, and the soloist was spot on!  The CG also did a great job.  Rudy is already crying.  Can't wait to see what happens with Phregiment.


They have a different ending.  Now the drummers surround the field at the end.  I love all of the hand drum snaps.  They got a big reaction from the crowd during the bass drum trick (it's actually the tenors who take off their own drums, and put on more bass drums).  I love their purple cravats.
Now, spin!

Gorgeous!  Rudy is a puddle of goo.  Tears were still streaming down his face after the standing ovation.   I missed the beheading again.  I really need to just watch the backfield for the entire first act, so that I don't miss it.  
Phregiment Drum Major Salute

YEAH!!!  I got the Vanguard yell down.  Before the show started, members of the CG pointed at the sky.   Rifles did a great job.  I can see the Fiedler influence in the drill during Mars.  
SCV Cymbals & Snares

Heaven help me, but this show is actually growing on me.  Do you think that Lady Gaga based her image on Dada?  Because she does artsy things that don't make sense to me.  They even have a crazy instrument which they hit to make some type of metal-thumping noise.  What's with the hands on a tray?  I still don't like all of the talking, though.  It needs to stop.  We found the "A" flags!  They're here, with each of the flags saying "Dada".

BD Contraption


Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again -- got my eyes all watery.
Excerpt from the 2012 show
Pit solo
Send In The Clowns -- Before starting, Justin the DM touched his fist to his chest, and my eyes got all watery again.  We all knew what was coming.  He felt every single note of that song and we felt them along with him.  He conducted with a great deal of emotion, and it drove me to tears.  Sniff!  Thank you, Justin.  Bro liked it even more than Michael's conducting at Finals in 1999, when they won.  Rudy was concentrating on the technical stuff and didn't feel what we felt.  But to me, it was the artistry and the emotion with which it was done.  I am really looking forward to reunion night at Finals.

SCV Big Horns and Little Horns


55.25 So Cal Dream

Open Class
4) 51.05 City Sound
3) 55.05 VK
2) 60.45 Impulse
1) 67.75 Gold

World Class
6) 62.6 Mandarins
5) 65.1 PC
4) 66.2 Academy
3) 75.3 SCV
2) 77.4 Phregiment
1) 80.25 BD

I bought a Starry Night t-shirt afterward and a set of mini-buttons, and we got 2 cotton candies for a total of 87 cents, since that was all the change I had available, and the kid needed to get rid of it. Yay for us!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Strip It! Strip It Good!

Corps at the Crest
June 30, 2012
Mount San Antonio College -- Walnut, CA

As usual, I arrived late to the show because I had a Mass, so I ended up finding parking in an employee lot, near a place where part of Pacific Crest was rehearsing.  I didn't stop to listen, though, because I just wanted to get to my seat.  Luckily for me, I got there right before intermission, so I was one of the first people in the restroom, then found Bro and V at our seats.  V kindly offered me waffle fries because I was already hungry, and needed to wait until after the show to eat something substantial.  I was not about to get into the very long line for concessions.  This was my first show of the season, and I needed to get my drum corps on ASAP.

Repertoire: "Prophecy" -- Ancient Prophecy, The Guardian, Sacrifice, Doomsday/New Dawn -- original compositions by K. Poulan

The color guard's legs don't match: their right leg is one pattern, and the left one is something else.  Why are their big bass drums teal?  They are not PC.  I'm not used to seeing a non-Asian drum major for this corps.  Oh, it's the Mayan prophecy!  The Mayan calendar flags are cool.  I like the effect of the solar eclipse flags .  They need to work on their synchronization, though.  Chant corps!  (They chanted for a while during the sacrifice).  It reminded me of the fish in the aquarium chanting in "Finding Nemo".  I enjoyed that particular movement.  That girl punched that chief guy.  Overall, they had a good strong sound, although it was a little muddy.

Repertoire: "Left of Spring" -- Rite of Spring by I. Stravinsky, The Song of Purple Summer (from "Spring Awakening") by D. Sheik

The CG is very pink, and they strip later on to white.  Even the drums are pink/black.  But they don't strip to white.  There are pink poles, too.  Bro says that Miss O would love this show because of the colors.  At one point, the tenors couldn't get through the opening they were supposed to have in the horn line. They have a beautifully clear sound, except for the brass ensemble solo, which needs a little cleaning.  Ooh, the bass drummers lay down on their drums, with their feet on the other person's drum!  Nice!  I like the bright-colored flags.  I see those Phantom-esque flexing of the foot moves during Rite of Spring.  More chant corps, as the drummers chant at the end.  I'm loving the Rite of Spring.  It's very well done melodically ad dynamically.

Repertoire: "The Spectrum" -- Butterfly Yellow by L.J. Buckley; Tarantella Red by L.J. Buckley; Yellow  by G. Berryman, J. Buckland, W. Champion, C. Martin; Blue Sapphire by R. Cichy, End Credits (from "The Green Lantern -- First Flight") by R.J. Kral; True Colors by B. Steinberg, T. Kelly

The CG starts with white uniforms to show off their flag colors, until the last piece, wherein their uniforms are the whole rainbow.  I like how they kept the PC teal on one of their arms.  Beautiful yellow double flags.  I like the blue sparkly umbrellas, but one got turned inside out.  Nice, big opening sound!  They really sound great.

A guy wearing SCV credentials sat next to Bro.  Turns out that Chuck is the driver of the staff van.  Bro told him that he wants to drive around a drum corps someday.  He told Bro to watch his kids grow up first.  I guess he doesn't realize that the kids would be there, too.  :)  

Repertoire: "Music of the Starry Night" -- Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine by E. Whitacre; Hymn to a Blue Hour by J. Mackey; Mars, the Bringer of War by G. Holst; Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity by G. Holst

How could I not love this show?!  I have been excited about this show ever since the day that SCV started announcing their repertoire, starting with the Whitacre piece.  It is no secret that I really enjoy Whitacre's music.  He's just a genius, and SCV plays the piece beautifully.  Mix that up with some Planets by Holst, and I'm in celestial heaven. The CG uniforms look like Van Gogh's art.  Beautiful shade of solid blue flag, beautiful starry night flags at the end.  I'm loving all of the chords, with Jupiter being played throughout the show.  I love the low brass ensemble solos during Mars.  The "Vanguard" yell is during Mars, for all of you that want to join in on the fun. Cool ending with Mars and Jupiter being played simultaneously.  They just need to straighten out their lines.  The lady sitting near us with the SCV tattoo shouted, "What the hell was that about, it was soooo good!"  I agree, Tattoo Lady!

Repertoire: "Turandot" -- Popolo Di Pekino!...Indietro, Cani; Gira La Cote!...Perche Tarda La Luna?; O Mondo, O Mondo...O Tigre, O Tigre!; Gravi, Enormi Ed Imponenti; Gloria, Gloria; Tre Enigmi M'Hai; Nessun Dorma! All Selections by G. Puccini

Oh, Mr. Turner, the last syllable is not pronounced "Daht".  The opera is not about the Animaniac sister.  Their beginning formation is the same as the symbol on the corps uniforms.  The beheading took many people by surprise.  Lots of helmets on sticks around the perimeter of the field.  They strip, too.  Both the pre-strip red chongsam and the last post-strip blue/white dress are quite beautiful.  Also, underneath their gold crowns is a lot of long hair.  I wonder how many of them needed to get hair extensions.  Their music is clean.  I like the gunmetal color of the drums.  I love hearing Phregiment play Nessun Dorma!  

Repertoire: "Cabaret Voltaire" -- Tristan Writes a Manifesto: Harmonielehre by J. Adams, Morrison Mania by J. Horner, The Children's Hour of Dream by C. Mingus, Symphonies: V by A. Souris; Marcel Paints a Moustache: Bird & Bella in B Flat by D. Sebesky; Hannah Makes a Collage: Gymnopedies by E. Satie; Man Ray Makes a Metronome: Ballet Mecanique by G. Antheil; Gertrude Writes a Play: Pappy and George (from "The Artist") by L. Bource, Dr. Bones by S. Perry, New Arrival by D. Elfman, Tevot by T. Ades, Rhapsody in Blue by G. Gershwin

Well, thank goodness I only do the repertoire thing once per corps per season, because I do NOT want to type that out again.  Damn BD and their penchant for using too many clips of different songs.  They left their jackets on racks with their shakos.  There is way too much French speaking. Actually, there is way too much speaking in general.  They are hella clean.  The sopranos killed, and so did the marimbas.  This show confuses me.  Is that on purpose because of Dada?  I like the different shades of blue in the uniforms before they put on their jackets.  So I guess they do a reverse strip.  I also like the hoops.  There was a moment of silence in which I had a strong urge to yell out "VANGUARD!"  Afterward, the lady with the SCV tattoo told us that she just had a 12-minute nap during this show.  I'm too confused to like this show right now.  What the heck?

Pacific Crest, the host corps, did the encore.

PC Encore

-- Show material: I like the soprano soloist during "True Colors"
--Ave Maria

"Drum majors, front and center!"


56.05 So Cal Dream

Open Class
4) 50.6 City Sound
3) 54.7 Velvet Knights
2) 59.4 Impulse
1) 67.4 Gold

World Class
6) 61.3 Mandarins
5) 63.55 Pacific Crest
4) 64.2 Academy
3) 74.25 SCV
2) 75.8 Phregiment
1) 77.6 BD

Afterward, the 3 of us went to Chiji's to take care of my hunger.  While waiting for our food, we looked up the story of Turandot, as well as the meaning of Dadaism.  Oh, I see:  it's supposed to be nonsense!  Well, there you go.  Now I can watch those shows and be more informed.  Then I can just love Vanguard without having to hurt my brain.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

DLR LotD 07/06/12

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Friday, July 6, 2012

"No wonder you come here so much!" -- Jenn, at Catal

DLR LotD 07/04/12

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"I think I get beaver on a regular basis." -- Cindy, at Toy Story Midway Mania

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Shadows and Light

Last week, I met up with Linda and her friend Sheridan at CPK at the Hollywood & Highland complex for dinner.  Sheridan had APPARENTLY heard a lot about me, and she said it was all good things, so I don't know what she could have heard.  :)  After dinner, we went to the Dolby Theatre to watch my first Cirque du Soleil show, "Iris", thanks to Goldstar.

  • I liked the gal with the zoetroepe for a skirt.  She was one of the performers that walked around the audience before the show.
  • This was a perfect topic for Linda's and my first Cirque show, because it was a tribute to film.
  • The music was composed by Danny Elfman, and it sure did sound like him singing the pre-show song about turning off our cell phones.  My purchase of the CD for the show was a no-brainer, and I bought it at intermission.  I wish that his pre-show song was on the CD,  though.
  • The male lead of the story reminded me of Armando,a magician who played the role of the Court Jester for us back at the Madrigal Dinners at UCI.
  • The women doing the contortionist/balance act made me think of Okapi.  I was told that they were "snake women".  I prefer to think of the Okapi.  Look, here's a baby one!  I mean, it was during a segment where they showed African masks and such, with a guy wearing a very long ponytail that he used as a whip.  Who whips snakes?  Besides Indiana Jones, that is.
  • The acrobats that somersaulted onto each other, dressed as bugs or martians or something with antennae had me all nervous that they would fall down.
  • I think that I only saw one error, during the trampoline segment, where the guy didn't actually land where it seemed like he was supposed to go.  But that segment was cool, as it looked like they would fall to their deaths, then miraculously bounce up and walk on the walls.  
  • I've decided that I could join this show as a spotter, because I can just break someone's fall instead of actually have to be daring and be graceful while balancing at an abnormal height.
  • I've decided that the "clowns" of this show are opposite of American circus clowns.  These clowns talk.  American ones do not.
  • The guy that they picked for the audience participation segment, "Ron", was brilliant.  He played along really well!
  • I was glad that we were sitting where we were underneath the balcony seats, so that we could have protection if somebody fell.  OK, maybe I wouldn't be such a good spotter.  The aerialists, especially the male duo at the beginning of the show, did some gorgeous work.  Linda and I recalled that their rendition of "North by Northwest" at this year's Oscars was one of our favorite parts of the telecast.
  • Loved the projections and the way they played with light!  I especially loved the NOIR segment, where they moved the panels around an apartment building so that you would see specific scenes.
I think that I might take my parents to see this show.  I hope to see other Cirque shows in the future, as well.  Wish they were all on Goldstar.