Saturday, August 30, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/30/14

Simple Gifts
Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spending time with some members of my Pella Posse, even when we don't have a Rockapella show to watch that day

Friday, August 29, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/29/14

Simple Gifts
Friday, August 29, 2014

Da Man and his sexy voice

Happy Birthday, Geo!

In Lancaster

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/28/14

Simple Gifts
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bougainvillea hanging down a wall on the Gold Line commute

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/27/14

Simple Gifts
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jesse Tyler Ferguson judging "So You Think You Can Dance", and all of the great performance finale routines

Hoping for a Valerie and Ricky win!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/26/14

Simple Gifts
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Motivation to get to the 10K goal on the fitbit despite being really tired all day

Simple Gifts 08/25/14

Simple Gifts
Monday, August 25, 2014

Spending a glamorous day with my friend, who also enjoys a freestyle rap about our gowns.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/24/14

Simple Gifts
Sunday, August 24, 2014


This is the conclusion that came from the (so totally accurate as all of them are) quiz that I took today entitled "What career were you meant for?"

The explanation: "You have an unmatched skill for creating vast worlds both through facts and pure imagination. Your mind is full of creativity, artistry, and expression. Your heart gracefully guides your hands as you work to bring what is truly your spirit to life. You were truly meant to guide the world with your words."

My friend and her friends got the answer "Therapist".  There was a time when this was my career goal, so I took the quiz.  I realized that some of my answers would have been different way back when I was in school.  I thought it was really interesting how much I've changed.  I do write more than I did then (aside from those 10-page term papers that I could eventually turn out overnight), at work, in email, and on this blog.  I do like the catharsis of writing and sharing my trip reports.  Whether or not anyone reads them ... eh, whatevs.  :)

So I took the test again as I would have answered them 20 years ago, and guess what?  I got Therapist.  

That description:  "You are a caring and selfless individual. Your compassion, warmth, and sensitivity can heal others in the most authentic way possible. You help and inspire others, and can really touch people's lives. You truly understand others and can make them happy by just being yourself."

If you take that test above, I recommend that you ask yourself, "Would my answers have been different 10 or 20 years ago?"

I think I'm going to need therapy just to deal with this one quiz and how much this difference truly fascinates me.  Or I'll just talk to myself and analyze it until I fall asleep.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/23/14

Simple Gifts
Saturday, August 23, 2014

The return of Doctor Who.  Welcome, Peter Capaldi!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/22/14

Simple Gifts
Friday, August 22, 2014

Checking out the set up for Monday, and knowing that I get to be a part of it

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/21/14

Simple Gifts
Thursday, August 21, 2014

Getting a seat on a crowded light rail train

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/20/14

Simple Gifts
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fitting into a pretty dress

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/19/14

Simple Gifts
Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Monday, August 18, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/18/14

Simple Gifts
Monday, August 18, 2014

A boy and his mom quizzing each other on musical key signatures on the Gold Line

Simple Gifts 08/17/14

Simple Gifts
Sunday, August 17, 2014

A restful Sunday

Sunday, August 17, 2014

DLR LotD 08/16/14

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"That wasn't me!  That was totally Shakanarnar Sheridan!" -- Crush, clearly the one getting the bubbles, at Turtle Talk

The 1000 Post ... and The One That Started It All

Wow.  Post #1000.

Here is the text from  the 1st Rockapella Trip Report from my original website,, 14 years ago., my 7th show.  Just like the members of Rockapella, my posts have changed quite a bit since this first one.  Enjoy.

Sherry's Rockapella Trip Report

Tuesday, May 2, 2000--Ontario Mills Virgin Megastore

After not really knowing the exact streets, Angela and I finally made it over to Ontario Mills, and parked at Entrance 8. (This entrance number may not interest our readers, but we need to remember this for next time, so there you go). We still had about half an hour before the show, so I went to the restroom. When I found the correct way out of the long corridor, I went to Virgin and heard Rockapella--oh, no! They started early! Apparently, only the store posters had the new time. All the other ads had the later time of 7:00 p.m.

I frantically looked for my friend, Rudy, whom I told to meet me at 7:00 p.m. I didn't want him to miss the whole thing, since it had been a long time since he had seen Rockapella. Rudy finally came in, at the same time that Elliott was looking at me and recognizing me. Angela showed her "cookie bombs" to Rudy; this caught Elliott's eye and he smiled. Barry's mom let Angela stand in front of her, so that Angela could get some good camera angles. Thanks, Mom! Scott informed the audience that the idea for the song, "Blah, Blah, Blah" came from his niece. Cute story. Jeff was really tired, so he didn't do his drum solo. Jeff now has very blond hair, and is sporting a goatee.

The guys were wearing black shirts and white pants, which they proclaimed were NOT sponsored by Banana Republic. Angela finally heard Elliott sing "Kingdom of Shy" live! Rockapella took requests, but wouldn't sing the song "Flat Tire:" Scott joked that Kevin has never heard it. Rudy kept requesting "Let's Get Away," but Elliott had already sung that before Rudy arrived. Yes, I kept telling him that he was too late for that, but Rudy didn't care. Elliott didn't sing it again, by the way.
Angela, thinking that the meet and greet line would go on forever, went on a quest for a silver pen, while Rudy bought his "Rockapella 2" CD. We saw fellow fans Laura, her parents, & her boyfriend Ricky. We all stated that we'd see each other at the Troubador & up at the Nor Cal shows. Then I panicked, as Rudy & I kept letting people get in front of them in the line, and it was moving quickly. I kept saying, "Rudy, WHERE IS SHE?!!!" We were finally last, so Rudy & I went up to the table. I explained to Scott, very worriedly ("Verklempt," as Rudy put it) about Angela's disappearance. Scott sweetly said, "That's ok. We'll wait for her." Rudy announced, "Cookie bomb!" as he passed out the cookies. Barry ended up with 3 bombs, hoping they were all his. He loved his bear wrapping, which was done especially for his (belated) birthday. Jeff signed my "Rockapella" CD for the second time. Elliott put a "2" next to it. Jeff thanked us for the cookies, saying he that he loves them. Elliott asked if we'd be at the Troubadour, where they'd sing the same songs all over again. I said, "Oh, I want you to sing 'Don't Do It!'" He said, "Ok." Kevin thanked us for the cookies, & I again told of Angela's disappearance. I then realized that I had forgotten to get a poster signed, so Kevin grabbed one and had the others sign it. Barry asked me, "How are you?" How nice is that?! I then gave cookie bombs to Fred and Phil, and they were very thankful.

As I was handing something to Rudy, I realized that I was in possession of Angela's copy of Scott's "Flying Faders" CD. I asked Scott to sign it, and he asked for my name. I told him, and advised that the CD should be made out "To Angela." He thanked me for the cookies, and I asked if he liked that kind. "I love all cookies" was his response.

Angela finally came in and I motioned for her to hurry up and get in line, which confused her, because she didn't think it would take such a short time. She did, though, manage to get a signed poster. I then saw the Virgin employees taking a pic with Rockapella, & realized that we needed to take a pic, too. Fred took a pic of the 3 of us with Rockapella. I then announced to the band that we would finally leave them alone.

Rudy decided that I was way "verklempt" and needed food, so we all ate at Panda Express, & had 3 conversations going at once, as we all talked to ourselves. Meanwhile, Scott, Elliott & Kevin walked by. We later saw Scott buying Pokemon cards at a cart, with new suitcase in tow.

Angela and I then said goodbye to Rudy, since he was not parked at Entrance 8. Ang and I went into the Virgin Megastore, & there was Scott with his new suitcase, setting off the store alarm. He said to us, "Hi, girls," & we said "hi" & walked away, marveling at the fact that he greeted us first.
As we got into the car, I realized that I had again forgotten to ask when Rockapella would be on KLOS' Mark & Brian show. So we went back into the store & found Scott waiting for the others. I asked Scott my question, and he said they wouldn't be on the show at all this week. Meanwhile, Kevin & Elliott walked up, said hi, and the 3 guys examined the cool features of Scott's brand new suitcase. I said, "We're going to let you be MEN now," and with that, we finally left.

Simple Gifts 08/16/14

Simple Gifts
Saturday, August 16, 2014

The little details at Disneyland

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ciao, Indy!

DCI Finals Week 2014
Departure Day
Sunday, August 10, 2014

I had breakfast courtesy of room service, which was pricey, but whatever.  I wanted to take my time before checkout, and didn't want to leave the room to eat.  There was a lot of food on my tray, so I ended up taking a croissant and mini muffin with me to snack on later.
Good morning!

I went to the business center to try to print my FlyAway reservation, because the printer thing didn't work the night before.  It also didn't work in the morning, so the gal let me use the computer without paying for the time.  The gal asked me to bring our CA weather when I come back next time.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that it was humid in CA when I left.  
Bye, JW!

I was early for my shuttle reservation, but figured that I should just get in line anyway, in case they had room for me.  The first shuttle that stopped had no room for anyone (I was 10th or so in line), and the driver told us that there was a shuttle coming up "right behind" him.  When this statement is told to us while waiting for the Gold Line, a shuttle would come pretty much 2 minutes later, instead of the regular 6 minutes later.  This is not the same definition that this guy used.  The shuttle "right behind" him came about 30 minutes later, for the regular pickup time, which was actually a few minutes late. All I could think of during that 30 minutes was "I don't think that means what you think it means."  I wasn't even sure that I'd get on because rude people had cut in line, but when I got up the steps, there were 2 seats left: one in the very front, and one toward the back.  I decided to be polite and go to the back.  Well, that decision sure paid off for me!

The guy sitting next to me was wearing a Vanguard jacket.  He looked at the shirt I was wearing, which was my "Do You Hear The People Sing" shirt from SCV's Les Miz show last year, and asked if I was a Vanguard parent or knew someone in the corps or marched in the corps.  I told him that I am just a huge drum corps fan, but Vanguard is my favorite.  I told him that I did know someone who knew someone in the corps that I screamed for, but I didn't actually know the guy.  I asked if he marched in the corps, and he said that he is on SCV Staff and does the props for the show.  AAAAAHHHH!!!  The Pillows!!!!  So we engaged in some Pillow Talk, by which I mean that we talked about the pillows.  He was glad that we took pictures on them, and said that they had started offering that opportunity at their Denver show.  He said that at one show, the pillows from the souvie booth were all banged up and he wondered what the heck the fans were doing to them.  It turns out that one of the metal shirt displays fell on the pillows due to a strong wind.  See?  Wind again!  Glad I wasn't there for that.    The pillows had a light coat of plastic on them, and were very easy to carry.  

We also talked about the change in lamps.  When we first saw the show in So Cal, the lamp was metal.  Chris (that's his name) said that the judges told them that the lamp was too small.  So while he was away, they made a bigger one, which wasn't the right shape and was too crafty-looking.  This was the lamp with the "A" that I had seen during a Fan Network broadcast and hated.  They finally made one that he liked, which was cut out of one block of compressed styrofoam, like the pillows.  I approved of the final rendition.  

He said that the big cloth at the very end (that covered the corps) was made of the same material as flag silks.  The design on it was silkscreened, and the cloth itself was in strips and put together.  I told him that everything was just gorgeous, especially the colors, the uniforms, everything.  He was glad that the fans liked it.  I said that we kept wondering with every broadcast if we had seen the final rendition of the ending.   He said that when  he saw Jean (Zade) rise up through the final silk for the first time, he thought, "That's how it should end." It really was perfect.   

Chris first saw drum corps in 2004, when SCV performed "Scheherazade".  He talked about how the big blast at the end just blew him away, and from then on, he wanted to be in drum corps.  He marched mellophone with Glassmen  and then became drum major, aging out with Glassmen's last year in 2012 with their "Glassworks" show.  We talked about the sad state of the Glassmen's demise.  But what's really cool is that here he was, 10 years after seeing SCV, and he gets to be on staff for "Scheherazade: Words 2 Live By".  That's just way cool.  I told him how we got into the activity, and about Bro's shoes and license plate. 

As for this year's Finals night, I told him that I was screaming so much that I became lightheaded when SCV won best percussion.  He said that it was their goal all year, and it was a little bit scary toward the end of the season because of the surge by BD and Bloo.  They did so well at Prelims and Semis, though, that they could pretty much sail through Finals for the drum trophy, but they didn't.    

We talked about SCV's style and how much he hopes that the beauty of this show and its kin will receive more accolades as the activity progresses, and that the corps continues on this path.  We were certainly on the same page with that.  He talked about last year's audience reaction to "Les Miz" and how that show was just perfect with the way it resonated with fans, and was understandable.  I told him how much we cried from Day 1, the moment we saw the corps enter the field, seeing that show at Stanford, and it just kept getting more beautiful as the season progressed, culminating in me being in a mess of tears on Finals night.  I told him to pass on to the rest of the staff how much we love these shows, as if they didn't already know.  He said that he doesn't know what SCV has in store for 2015, but hoped to see me at Stanford next year.  He even let me take a picture with him to prove to Bro that I didn't make up this whole thing. I showed him how crazy I am by indicating to him that my smartphone wallpaper is of the Vanguard shield.  He, of course, thought it was cool.  Well, it IS cool!  Thanks for talking to this loyal fan, Chris!

At IND, I ended up in the SWA line behind a tuba player from Pacific Crest.  He's thinking of auditioning for Bloo next year.  Well, I like them, too, but it's sad that he's thinking of leaving PC.  As Bro said a few weeks ago, corps like PC and Academy have a lot of promise, but as soon as the kids improve, they go for one of the top 10 corps, so that it's difficult for these other corps to improve much in placement year after year.  

The first leg of my flight felt crowded because the lady next to me took up the entire armrest and then some between us, and the guy on my other side was wearing shorts and body heat isn't fun when it's from a stranger.  My interim stop was at MCI (Kansas City).  That's a small airport!  I considered volunteering to take another flight, but then I'd be sitting there for another 3-4 hours, and there just wasn't much to do there, and I didn't want to risk missing the last FlyAway shuttle.  There was a gal in a BD jacket on the flight to LAX, but she sat elsewhere.  Our FlyAway driver was pretty cool, looking like a limo driver in his shades, and informing us of safety measures before we left LAX.  I would definitely take the FlyAway again.  They even have an outlet at each seat so that you can charge your stuff!

That was a great trip.  Thanks to Bro and V for the always awesome company, to DCI for putting on such a great show, and especially to the Santa Clara Vanguard for my favorite drum corps moments again this year! 
I"ll miss this view

Friday, August 15, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/1514

Simple Gifts
Friday, August 15, 2014

Reruns of "Joan of Arcadia"

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/14/14

Simple Gifts
Thursday, August 14, 2014


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/13/14

Simple Gifts
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Go Pro Cameras

That drummer who lost his snare drum at Finals was wearing a Go Pro camera.   Here's the drop and the help from the judge, who says, "You and me, baby.  We got this."

Here is a link to the DCI article.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/12/14

Simple Gifts
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

 "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline on Kindle. 

It is  also available in audio form, read by Wil Wheaton, which is hilarious because he is mentioned in the book.  I may need to listen to it after I'm done reading it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/11/14

Simple Gifts
Monday, August 11, 2014

Hearing my parents tell stories about their grandchildren

Simple Gifts 08/10/14

Simple Gifts
Sunday, August 10, 2014

Talking to Drum Corps people on our way back to reality

That's A Wrap

DCI Finals
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, IN

We woke up early to participate in the Street Beat 5K, which began across the street from out hotel.  Cool.  No walking 1K from the parking lot to get to the 5K!  I asked someone to take a picture of us, and then V saw someone that she knew from a club at Cal, also a drum corps fan.  Dave introduced us to his friend Samir, and we were on our way.  The route was along the canal route, and it was very pretty.  My companions were walking at a nice, quick pace, so I didn't get a lot of shots on the camera.  The important part is that we were not last, and we finished.  I jogged the last part so that I would be at 55:20 minutes.  Eh, I need to be faster, but that's OK.  The event was so quaint as compared to other events I've attended.  They had water and bananas for us at the end of the race.  I'm used to big sponsored events that have bagels and a bunch of people giving samples of their race goods.  I wonder if they'll continue doing this.  I was hoping that we'd have some drummers along the route, but perhaps that would have been too loud on a Saturday morning when we're passing by hotels and residences.  Besides, I'm pretty sure that the drummers were still asleep, or getting ready for Drumline Battle or Finals.  As I was trying to take a picture of the Start sign, the wind started to blow it away and it almost fell down.  I swear, I was just standing there.
Street Beat Race Shirt

After our post-race showers and my annual SCV-izing of my toes (Scheherazade-ish, naturally), we walked to Drumline Battle, which took place on Georgia Street and Pan Am Plaza.  Last year, the battle was only at a congested area on Georgia Street, and we didn't watch because it was too crowded.  This year, though, there was much more space for spectators.  We checked out the area, and I tried to take a picture of the Drumline Battle sign, and the wind blew it around a little bit.  We hadn't had any breakfast, and we were hungry, so we perused the food trucks.  We decided on Da Blue Lagoon, which served Jamaican food.  I ordered a vegetarian meal, which was vegetables cooked in butter and herbs, red beans and rice, and fried plantains.  Mmmm....plantains!  I enjoyed the red beans and rice, and the veggies were OK, but I would have preferred less cabbage and more broccoli.  While we were waiting for our food, one of their frames fell down, breaking the glass in it.  We were just standing there.  I didn't do anything!   Having an issue with 3 signs now, I was afraid to stand anywhere near another one for the rest of the day.  Then, at the end of lunch, I knocked over my water bottle and got V's pants wet.  Sorry!  I don't know what was wrong with me.
V adoring her little tree at lunch

Drumline Battle was fun.  We watched the International and World competitions:  Medellin Gran Banda vs. McMaster University; Patria vs. St. Mary's Drumline; Medellin vs. Patria; Jersey Surf vs. Oregon Crusaders; and The Academy vs. The Colts.  I wasn't too keen on Medellin because they had salsa dancers.  This isn't a dance competition.  Whatevs.  O Cru had their mascot, a bear named Little Mike, and it would say "Kill The Bear".  Yeah, it's a demented talking bear.  He must hang in the same circles as Gloomy.  Or they're in rival gangs.  The Academy had a big Knight chess piece as their mascot.  Jersey Surf wore beach wear and one guy had on a kids' inner tube around his waist.  Oregon Crusaders won the whole competition, which makes me happy, not just because of the bear, but also because their style was more traditional than the others.  Bro and I had thought that the competition was rigged because a lot of the judging had to do with audience applause, but I didn't always hear what they heard.   
Oregon Crusaders Drumline & Little Mike

I wanted to try a cupcake from The Flying Cupcake truck, because they were voted Indy's Best Cupcake.  V and I decided to split a Salted Chocolate Caramel cupcake.  V said that it would go good with coffee, so we went to Bee's and I ordered a Salted Caramel latte.  We realized after we got our drinks that we forgot to order decaf.  OK, so we would be hyper soon.  We may have needed a pick-me-up after getting up for the 5K.  The cupcake was tasty, and the icing was yummy.  The coffee was good, too.  (My Delight still wins, though).  Bro did some research and found out that Crossmen received a penalty last night for rehearsing in the wrong place.  They were so far ahead of the Colts that the one-point penalty did not hurt them.

We chillaxed in the hotel for a couple of hours before our last walk to Lucas Oil for the year.  It was much more crowded in the marketplace today due to people being in line in the main walkway as well as a recycling bin in the middle of the path.  We were still able to get our Zade pictures in at the SCV booth, though.

Thumb Up, Bro
V on Pillows
Do you notice that a picture is missing? Grrrrr....  Bro: you totally owe me a set of Scheherazade pillows to make up for not actually taking my picture.  I think they would look lovely in my living room.

Our seats were in Section 242, Row 6, Seats 8-10, which were on the left 25-yard line, 2 rows up from the glass.  We were centered in our row, and didn't have to get stressed out about the people trying to go up the stairs and blocking views during the shows because they weren't in front of us.  They were still in our field of vision, though.  We were sitting in the SCV block.

Oh, how I've missed them!  I'm so glad that they're back and doing their thing.
2014 Music in Motion:
  • You Can't Stop the Beat from "Hairspray"
  • Xylophonium based on music from "Ragtime" -- Kazoos!
  • Birth of a Drum Corps -- original music, includes "My Country 'Tis of Thee"
  • The Magnificent Seven -- including the horse's whinny
  • Rock this Town -- the cameraman was dancing a little
  • Stars and Stripes Forever
They then played the Star-spangled Banner and asked us to sing along.  I'm so glad that they're back!  The national march and anthem played by the USMC are 2 of my favorite traditions from Finals Night, and I've missed them.

IN-Pact played Europe's "The Final Countdown", and then Al Chez joined them to play Pharell's "Happy".  I didn't realize that he was no longer on Letterman's show.

The World Class Director of the Year was announced:  David Glasgow of Bluecoats.  Steve Rondinaro said to the crowd, "Come on, you can "Bloo" better than that!"

Open Class Champions Blue Devils B played in exhibition.  They're tired: lots of drops by the CG.

The sponsors were recognized.

Then Steve introduced "The voice of Finals: Brandt Crocker!"  Yeah, why wouldn't you let him announce your corps?  That's like telling Vin Scully that he doesn't need to announce for the Dodgers.  Dummies.

Let's go, drum corps finalists!

Wait.  Now they have 2 tents. I thought they only had one yesterday.  I feel like we grew up withe their show because we saw it at the beginning of the season.  So my theory is that if you tour out West, you do well.  Bro was thinking the same things (sibling mind meld), and said that it's because you have to compete with BD & SCV and it brings you up a level.  Very nice solos.  Go, XMen, GO!
XMen with Tents

Bro said that staff should just have reserved seats so as not to cause issues between corps shows with the fire hazard crowding.  But where do we put these seats?  V said in the front so that they know not to build a stage where the 1st few rows can't even see the field.

That note is high, man.  I like how the euphoniums are tipping their hats while moving their feet.
Madison Soloist at End

The DM stands have "All animals are equal" and "But some are more equal than others" written on them in the Chik-Fil-A "Eat More Chikin" font.  The DM had a container of baby powder on his stand, and he moved it over, with a big smile (and probably a wink) to the audience.  This was in reference to the penalty Bo Cru received last year for using baby powder in their pre-show.  I have come to really like this show a lot.  I didn't notice their "B A C" formation near the beginning of the show.  At least everyone caught their instruments today when they threw them up.  Someone dropped theirs at prelims.  The injured contrabass player did not play due to a torn ACL.  I'm bummed for him.  That was really sad yesterday.  But they did him proud!  Their FB page states that they used new flags in their closer, but I didn't notice.
One of Many Windmills

Great CG work.  Throw the saber, tumble onto the couch, catch the saber, and lay your head down on the gal's lap.  Nice.  Ohh...the tarps are the outline of the rooms!  
Paint Sample Flags

Everyone thinks it's intermission because a blue corps finished.  Including me.  Nope.

Ah, trickery.  The girl gets covered in black and hides behind the bass drum, while another girl dressed in white comes out from behind the screens.  Way to go, Phantomettes!  Their horn section needs stronger low brass, though.  I think that's what's missing for me. OK, those last 2 in white are in heaven and they're reunited there like in the original ballet.  So that's two deaths in their show this year.  So cheery.
Odette and Prince in Heavenly Ghost Form

I still don't like that she talks, but their music is beautiful.  I like the themes in the music, really pretty.  I don't remember some of those flags.  APPARENTLY, they were there at prelims.  Just checked the live blog from Finals night:  the narration is from "American Beauty", Kevin Spacey's soliloquy.
Blue Knights Pendulum

<Intermission - the real one>
Me to V:  "Go, go , GO!!!"  

Their show tonight was dedicated to honorary Cavalier and Hall of Famer, Len Piekarsky, their former visual instructor and designer,  "Now Somewhere Over the Rainbow".  And now we're tearing up.  I never noticed that they have the snares on their knees at the start of the ballad. They have a lot of fun during "Danse Macabre".  I like the way the hats look when they turn their heads from left to right.  Their last formation looks like an eyeball.
Rib Flags with Heart

V can't believe they call themselves a band.  (Last year, their hashtag was #purplepantsband, and this year, #spacepantsband).  Yeah, why not "#spacepantscorps"?  Words cannot express how completely disinterested I am in those trampolines, to the point that I didn't realize the trumpet soloists were there until today.  I like the weightlessness section: lifting CG members, tossing instruments, and the sounds that the horns make that are space-y.  (Not Kevin Spacey, though.  That's Blue Knights).  V likes their sad music.  APPARENTLY, one of the snare drummers dropped his drum, and the judge kindly picked it up for him.  I missed that, probably because it was on the other side of the field.

Did my job and screamed Justin's name a couple of times.  Bro wondered if Justin's parents were there, and asking themselves whom I was.  I wouldn't know.  I've never met him.  I'm just happy for my friend's daughter's ex-boyfriend's brother.  D.R.U.M.S.!!!!!!!  Extra grace note in the solo = Sher's tears begin.  Got to yell "...GUARD!!!"  Thank you, SCV, for this gorgeous show.  Sigh.
Kneel Before Zade

I think people think that they're actually playing that electronic part at that moment, so they stand, but they even hold the horns away from their mouths, so how do people miss that?  It is cool, but I wouldn't stand for electronics in a drum corps show.  What the hell is wrong with these people?  I do like their REAL music, though.  Soprano soloist almost didn't reach the high note and shook their head when he/she made it.  Phew!
Jumping at a Tilt

That brass ensemble opener:  WOW.  "That is what he said."  There is just way too much talking.  Uh-oh: a CG member dropped her flag.  V thought the speaker was also a CG member, but no, that was someone who looks like him.  She's disappointed that the speaker is only there to talk.

Oops.  That guy didn't catch the rifle during the high toss.  Very nice unison with the "The End" flags.  There's a lot of hair dancing in this show.  V really likes their ribbons.  She thinks there need to be more ribbons in drum corps.   Incredible job, BD.
Horns Taken Aback by Tambourine Girls

We were shown a video from the CBS Evening News (showing on Finals night) of 16-year old Brandon from Tucson, AZ, whom is the youngest snare drummer on the BD drumline.  He first played for ScoJo at age 11, and ScoJo was very impressed, but didn't think he could handle it yet, due to the athleticism that the sport demands.  This year, he beat out 100 other snare drummers for his spot, and is "Living his dream, one beat at a time."  Bro had told me about this kid when he was younger because he had watched YouTube videos of him.  Brandon has always wanted to march with the Blue Devils, and he is doing it well, even with his diagnosis of scolios.  He is amazing.


The medal winners from Open Class were recognized:
Bronze:  Genesis
Silver: Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets
Gold: Blue Devils B

The Commandant's Own played while the corps marched onto the field.
USMC Drum & Bugle Corps

  • Crossmen CG had their carpets, and the corps formed the Spirit of Atlanta delta.  (They are sister corps).
  • Boston Crusaders:  V saw the flag bearer and said, "I bet he never thought he'd do that--carrying an American flag, half naked, in a goat mask."  The CG was still wearing their masks and acted restless, not stopping their animal antics.  Guy behind me:  "Do they ever stop?"  APPARENTLY not.

  • Blue Stars brought their couch.
  • Phregiment formed their chevron.
  • SCV made their traditional Vs.
    SCV Guard

12) 86.225 -- CROSSMEN

Jim Jones Leadership Award:  David Warren of Phantom Regiment

11) 87.575 -- MADISON SCOUTS

10) 88.950 -- BOSTON CRUSADERS

Best Color Guard:  Blue Devils

9) 89.600 -- BLUE STARS

Best Visual Performance:  Blue Devils

8) 91.150 -- BLUE KNIGHTS (a gasp throughout the crowd with the realization that someone jumped over them in placement)

Best Brass Performance:  Blue Devils  (do you see a pattern here?)

7) 91.425 --  PHANTOM REGIMENT (the jumper)

6) 93.675 -- CAVALIERS

Best percussion:  Santa Clara Vanguard!!!!!!  Our section went completely insane.  I yelled so much that I got lightheaded and had to hold onto my armrest so as not to faint.

5) 95.675 -- CAROLINA CROWN


3) 96.875 -- THE CADETS (many cheers from the crowd with the realization that they were jumped in placement -- so we weren't the only ones that didn't like the talky talk)  Bro predicts that the Cadets will come back with a vengeance next year.
2) 97.175 -- BLUECOATS (the jumper)  The corps tilted during the drum major salute.  COOL.

The winner of tonight had all the odds on them for the win.  So Bloo's 2nd place finish was like getting the win because the actual winner had been way ahead of everyone for much of the season.  The only question left:  would they break the scoring record?

1) 99.650 -- BLUE DEVILS (The answer is YES.  Yes, they sure the heck did!)  The stadium erupted with cheering, the most I've ever heard for them, and I've seen them win several championships.  But this win, this score, this corps could not be denied.

So SCV was the only corps to win a caption award over BD this year.  The recaps show that BD received 16 out of 22 scores of 100 from the judges on Finals night.   Nobody else received a 100, although SCV got 3 out of 4 99s in drums.  SCV last won high drums in 2004.  The show?  "Scheherazade".  Wow.  Thank you, caption head Paul Rennick!

Congratulations, BD and SCV!  WEST IS BEST!!!!


Blue Devils did their "Fellini-esque" show again, without their shakos, so we could see all of their faces.  I was disappointed that they didn't do more than that, not even the F-tuning warm up.
First BD Trumpet Soloist

2nd Trumpet Soloist

Snare Drums (Brandon is 1st row, on the left)

Last Shot

When we returned to our hotel, Bro and V packed up to go to stay at their friend Mike's house, to visit with his family.  Bye, guys!  I made my breakfast order for the next morning.

We'll be remembering this Finals Night for quite awhile.  Wow.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Simple Gifts 08/09/14

Simple Gifts
Saturday, August 9, 2014

Santa Clara Vanguard's: "Scheherazade: Words 2 Live By"

Simple Gifts 08/08/14

Simple Gifts
Friday, August 8, 2014

Beautiful drum corps shows without narration

Simple Gifts 08/07/14

Simple Gifts
Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hearing "Simple Gifts" played by a drum corps, several times in a day

Zade's Story Continues

DCI Semifinals
Friday, August 8, 2014
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, IN

We hung out a little bit this morning because I needed to finish yesterday's post, so V and Bro kindly went to Starbucks and picked up something for me to tide me over until lunch.  Then we walked to Tastings for our annual visit.  We ordered the Goat Cheese and Fig Pizza, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes and Sesame Encrusted Tuna for lunch, then we had the Tiramusu for dessert.  It was all quite tasty.

Wines we tasted:  
  • 2012 Michael David "Earthquake" Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville (Napa area), CA* 
  • 2010 Pio Cesare Dolcetto D'Alba Pinot Noir from Peidmont, Italy
  • 2011 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Hands of Time" Red Blend* from Napa Valley, CA*
  • 2010 Lechuza Garnacha from Carinena, Spain
  • 2013 Ca' Donini Pinot Grigio from Ca Donini Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, Italy*
  • 2011 Joseph Drouhin Pinot Noir from Chorey-Les-Beaune, France
*Preferred by Taster

We went to TILT to check out the claw machines, but none of them were worth Bro's time, so we walked over to Lucas Oil Stadium.  Outside the entrance gate, we saw the package pick up and registration for Street Beat 5K, so we picked up our stuff and went inside.  We took our daily picture at the SCV booth and I bought a sports tank top.  They have more Scheherazade shirts!  I'm glad that I really like the one I have already, but who knows how crazy I'll get tomorrow. 
Sher & Baby Cone

V Reading Zade's Book

Bro and people that wouldn't move

The Star-spangled Banner was sung by a woman named Kristen.  She had a strong voice, and did a couple of embellishments to the melody.

Corps time!  Top 12 are marked with an * and move on to Finals.

7TH REGIMENT -- 71.425
That was nice!  They sing at the beginning and the end.  I really need to do research on this Nevsky guy.

SPARTANS -- 74.050
V said that the whispering from the gods sounds like Parseltongue.  Oh, there's the red trident.  Beautiful duet of "You Are So Beautiful".  I really like the fermata and the subsequent lift on the first "So...." The brass field judge stepped in front of them after their duet and must have said something very nice, because they nodded and said "thank you", then they hugged because this was their last show.  Then Sherry had tears in her eyes for the rest of the show.  Great music, Spartans!  
Spartans Duet

GENESIS -- 74.075
V said that the stretching of the sheets over the CG faces reminds her of the bulging doors in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.  Bro said that they bought triangles yesterday and used them today...or he didn't actually see them there yesterday.  The guy in the pit that plays the big bass drum was acting crazy really well.
Genesis Flags

JERSEY SURF -- 75.800
Points off for introducing yourselves.  I forgot to take a picture of the pairs of brass players during "Lean On Me".  Ah, the Simple Gift of having a plume on your shako.

MANDARINS -- 78.150
Uh-oh.  The synthesizer wasn't working.  The audience took Bro's survey and said "No amplification", I guess.  Poor guy, I did feel bad for him, and wondered if they'd get a timing penalty.  (Jill is the lady holding up the time cards this week, we learned from yesterday's Loud Excited Girl). He was able to get help and they still started on time, though.  "The human spirit is limitless."  Indeed.

SCVC -- 80.200
The CG chanted whatever as they entered the field.  Oh, the formation at the beginning is a question mark!   Well done, SCVC!  I love sitting in the SCV section.  We got to hear the Vanguard yell.  I quietly said, "...guard!"  I thought that the battery kicked butt, but it was the color guard that got them to jump PC and Oregon Crusaders tonight.
I'll Stand By You

Guys, it's semis.  Your feet need to be in step, your lines need to be straight, and you need to catch your sabers.  Fun show, though, still one of my favorites this year.  After the DM's strings got cut, he was happy and did the can-can!  You can do the can-can, too!

BD B -- 82.325
The narration was really loud today, so I didn't like it as much.  The judges liked them, though, and they jumped 3 spots!

I walked around, and saw a bit of the Old Guard Fife and Drums.  I found cotton candy for V, but it didn't look like Pioneer was selling their hand flags quite yet.

ORE CRU -- 80.100
I don't know what's on the other side of that eye.  V likes the theme that's used throughout, as well as the CG uniforms. I hope I never meet up with an Unkindness of Ravens with those creepy eyes.

I like the whole trend of the corps uniforms that have long coats.

THE ACADEMY -- 81.875
Speaking of trends, the trendsetters themselves!  This show makes me smile the whole time.  CG was on fire!  I like when some of the corps members go to center field and hold one of their coat tails out during the Beethoven.
Dragging the Guard

SPIRIT -- 81.550 
My interpretation of this show:  "We love our magnolia tree.  We love it very, very much."  They form a delta at the end, with the tip pointing to the tree.  Pretty magnolia flower flags.

TROOPERS -- 84.775
Beautiful show, they sounded great.  They received a standing ovation during the company front of "America The Beautiful".

Bro and V chose to make this time (Troop and Colts) their Hot Dog Corps time.  Bro brought dinner for me then left, so I was left there to watch the next corps.

COLTS -- 85.350
Before the show started, a woman that behind us said, "I hope his mic cuts out."  This woman knew at least one person on the staff of almost every corps, and she was educating her friend about drum corps.  If only she didn't talk during a performance, I would have appreciated her more.  As for the Colts, I heard more words, but still didn't understand.  I do like how they put in little touches of the music from the movie, and his choreography as he leaves the field as full Scarecrow.  

This row has plenty of traffic.  They're lucky that they're all SCV.

CROSSMEN -- 85.450*
Phew!  They made it to Finals!  They added some kind of subdivision to the trumpet line in the last piece, making it more difficult.  Cool!  They have a tent now.  It was there yesterday, but I forgot to mention it.  Great show!  

MADISON -- 87.650*
That one CG in the gray-ish camouflage costume looks like he's wearing pajamas.  At the end, the guy pushing the clock during most of the show gets on it, too.  When they're all leaving the field, a euphonium also plays at the same time as the screaming soprano.

BO CRU -- 89.050*
A tuba player got injured, and stayed on the back sideline until people came to help him.  This distracted a lot of us.  Dan Potter announced later that he's OK.  It's a recurring injury for him where his knee pops out.  When he was writhing in pain, it was also the part of the show that makes V sad, so she cried.  So all of those bright pink masks are pigs.  Whoa.  They had big banners with B A C at the end.  Well done, color guard!  "All drum corps are created equal.  But some drum corps are more equal than others."
Piggies with Flags

BLUE STARS -- 89.225*
Aw, someone dropped a saber.  One of the snare guys forgot to put on a shako.  I like this show a lot.  Dude behind me said that the rainbow flags are paint samples.  I thought they were just rainbow, like "There's No Place Like Home".  Perhaps I went deeper with this than I should have.
Blueprint Drums

Exhibition:  United States Army Old Guard Drum Line
US Army Old Guard Drum Line


PHREGIMENT -- 91.550*
I don't like the synthesized singing.  You're better than that, Phantom.  The show was beautifully done, though.  So, does she die and meet him in heaven?  I like the costume changes, as they add a very dramatic contrast between black and white.
Swan and Prince

BLUE KNIGHTS -- 91.825*
"Oh, this is a pendulum of a clock!  I've watched this show 6 times." Bro laughed at me.  Those clock hands need to be silver and frosty.  Now they're a garish orange.  That's a different guy than the one on the screen.  Or not.

CAVALIERS -- 93.275*
I like all of the deep red, signifying the blood, as well as the pulling out of the scarves from their bodies.  So, are they ALL immortal now?
Cavaliers Percussion

CROWN -- 95.300*
The brass during the UFO portion was crazy good.  Crown Crazy Good.  V did not cry this time.
Pretty Colors

SCV -- 95.650*
"JUSTIN!!!!"  I did my job a few times while they set up for the show.  The first book has "Aladdin" on it.  I've decided that the tumbling guy is the magic carpet.  Zade opens her book at the end, signifying that the story continues.  I mean, how can you not like that show?  They were on fire tonight.
The King

BLOO -- 96.550*
I like the music, but the orange blinds me.  

CADETS -- 96.700*
The people in the front have to watch the big screen because they can't see what's going on behind the big stage.  The corps only has to change the front of their cumberbunds, I noticed, since the back of the cumberbund is always the corps red.

BD -- 98.950*
Oops.  That dude dropped the spotlight.  Their trumpet line is just wow.  I feel like all of the CG women need to condition their hair because it looks frizzy from my vantage point.  BD got the highest scores in all captions but percussion.

Guess who got percussion?

S.C.Frickin' V., that's who!

Then came some awards.  I almost cried when they presented  posthumous award to the family of a volunteer for the Colts.  The Age-Outs and supporters all had Batman signs and waved them as they received the award.

The Age-Out ceremony was fun to watch, as always.  I wish we could have seen more of the slide show pictures that the Age-Outs submitted.
Age-Outs Class of 2014

We went back to the hotel and got our stuff ready for tomorrow's 5K.  

Next up:  Street Beat 5K, Drumline Battle, and FINALS!