Thursday, December 31, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/30/15

Harmonic Journal
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Satisfaction / Cupid" by Mick Jagger / Keith Richards and Sam Cooke, mash-up arranged by Scott Leonard, as performed by Rockapella

Harmonic Journal 12/29/15

Harmonic Journal
Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"Riverside Hotel" by Yousui Inque, as sung by Rockapella

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Magic Hallway

Rockapella in Laughlin 
Day 2
Sunday, December 27, 2015
Harrah's Fiesta Showroom
Laughlin, NV

I had weird dreams last night about football players and losing Karla in the hotel.  Also, Rockapella.  It was fine, though, that Karla woke me up:  Fred was hungry, and wanted to go to breakfast.  OK, then!  I still needed to get up and take a shower, so we quickly got ready and met him downstairs by the elevator lobby.  We had breakfast at the 24-hour Beach Cafe, which was pretty decent.  Fred showed us pictures from when he was in a rock band and when he was in Washington, DC with Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  Fred's musical influence was The Beatles. 

After breakfast, we passed the hotel Starbucks, and KP and I talked about the gift cards she received from students, and that we were going to use them here.  Fred said that we need to talk to Ryan because he loves Starbucks.  Of course, we were in the Magic Lobby, so up walks Ryan...and Jeff is with him.  Hi, guys!  We chatted for awhile about Fred being in Apple Maps Denial and their plans for the day.  I don't know why they weren't as excited as we were about going to Target to buy me a coat.

KP and I went to Target without them, but first I wanted to check Kohl's, which didn't have exactly what I wanted.  At Target, I found a coat to purchase, and also found a cute Rudolph plush.  It was only $4.99!  So, of course, it's coming home with me.  We also bought other necessities and more snacks.  Because Star Wars Cheez Its, that's why.  We obtained lunch while we were there, and brought it back to the hotel and rested and watched some football.

How could we resist these?  We couldn't.

Jenn arrived with her mom, and we met up with them for dinner after I freaked out about the time.  My chromebook was an hour ahead of of actual time, so I thought I wouldn't have time for dinner and a shower, but I guess I did.  Our dinner was at Guy Fieri's El Burro Borracho.  I had a Frozen Horchata Colada, and Jenn had a Frozen Strawberry de la Cruz.  Both were tasty!  I enjoyed the Chili-Lime Dusted Chicharrone & House Salsa Molcajete.  Mmmm...chicharrone!

Sweet and Tasty


KP went up to the room ahead of me, and she ran into Ryan, whom was on the phone, but mouthed "Hi, Karla" to her.  She's happy that he knows her name.  Yay!  Jenn, Auntie Rose, and I then made our way to our rooms, talking about how Jenn is on the same floor as Steve.  I tell you, this lobby and hallway are magic:  who comes walking down the hallway but the handsome man himself!  He gave us all hugs.  I noticed that he was holding a Monster Energy Drink, and told him that I thought he didn't drink those before Rockapella shows.  He said, "Yeah, I need this today."  I asked if he was upset about the Patriots game, because I had watched it, thought of him, and said, "Oh, he's pissed."  I was right.  He explained to Jenn and her mom the controversy of the coin toss, and said that he was so mad that he took a walk and got the Monster.  He's still cute when he's mad.  We wished him a good show.  Jenn said that of COURSE we saw him, because she's tired and disheveled again.  I got back to the room and KP laughed when I said, "...and THEN we saw Steve Dorian in the hallway!" 

We got pretty for the show, then went to Jenn's room to get her.  Her mom took pictures of us, then we went downstairs and Jenn and I stopped off at the box office to deal with her ticket, because she couldn't access it on her phone to show the bar code.  They were able to take care of her, and we walked to the theater.  The guy remembered me from yesterday and scanned my phone.  They had just done it for the first time yesterday, so we were all pleased that it worked again.  Tim showed us our seats, and said that we'd probably be able to move once the show started, because there would be plenty of empty seats.  So we called KP over to hang out with us before going to better seats.  The ones we ended up in were about 5 rows back, and we didn't have people adjacent to us to annoy us with singing along with the show.  There were, maybe 40 people in the theater.  But Rockapella gave us their all, as usual.

Rock Around The Clock
They have no idea where we're sitting.

Jailhouse Rock
Sherry:  "Pella butt!!!!"
KP:  "What?"
Sherry:  <whispers> Pella butt!  (Pella wasn't loud at that moment, and can you imagine if I had yelled it at that point?

Scott called us a small but mighty crowd.  We yelled when he asked who'd seen Rockapella before.
Scott:  "Mom!  Our moms are here."

Dancin' in the Streets
Steve looked at Scott when he mentioned Motor City, and Scott reacted with a fist pump.  Yes!  The song was perfect today, no verse issues.  Must be that Monster drink.

Scott:  "This is the best week for Rockapella shows because you get the good songs from the rest of the year and the best songs from the holidays."

Glow Worm
How is it that Jeff's cheeks aren't bruised after that?
Scott acknowledged "Jeff Thacher's face".

Jeff shoots his Cupid arrow to KP.  Well, at least, that's what it looks like to me.  My version of Another Saturday Night:  "You know it's hard on a Pella..."

Scott has "If I'm wondering what was going on with Rudolph...are there any new developments..."

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
We yelled "YAHTZEE!!!"  Jeff's like, "Oh, there they are!"

Scott:  "They didn't fix this stool from last night.  It's actually a rocker."

My Cherie Amour

Scott:  "Steve is from Worcester, Massachusetts."  <crickets> "Nobody here from Worcester."
"Ryan is very happy from the Nebraska Cornhuskers' bowl victory yesterday."

Scott adjusted his butt on the stool by kinda wiggling it around.  I think I could watch Pella butts all day.  SHUT UP, all of you whom are raising your eyebrows at me!

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
"No Easter Bunny"
"Stay strong, Grandpa"

Scott:  "Are you ready for this?"  (little response)  "It's Sunday night in Laughlin.  ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?!"  (big response)  "WHEEEE!!!"

Blame It On The Boogie
That trance / me rhyme again.  What?  Is that how it goes?  OK, I just looked it up.  He sings it wrong.  KP likes to watch Jeff's hips move.  Go, Calvin, go!  He's looking more comfortable with the dancing today.

Scott gave the wrong pitch for Mounds.  "Nope."
Scott wasn't saying his line for the 3rd Mounds jingle.  Steve off mic:  "Then you must have it."
Scott (loudly):  "Then you must have it!"  Thanks for the cue, Steve!
I like Ryan's smile during Jeff's NBC peacock flourish.
Steve:  "Preparation" (long pause) "H" directly AT ME.  
Jeff mimicked slapping Ryan's butt and did his cymbal crash twice.
Scott:  "That's as bad as they got right there...'twas the nadir."
Jeff at the end of Dr. Pepper:  "PEPPAH!" <makes sound of soda fizzing>  He's awesome.

Scott:  "A sort of bolt was zapped to me you like coffee?"
Woman:  "No.  I hate it."  Scott tried to get her to go on stage with him.  She refused.  He threatened to sit on her lap.  I raised my hand a little bit.  She still refused.  He went to someone else, who can't drink coffee, because she's pregnant.  Summer eventually did get onto the stage with him, and told him that she was on the treadmill next to him earlier this afternoon in the gym.  
Scott:  "Oh, we've already had that the message ricocheted from her to you.  When is the baby coming?
Summer:  "In June."
Jeff:  "Or, tonight!"
Scott asked what she would be naming the baby, but she didn't know yet.  He tried to merge her name with Joe's.  (She's having a boy).
Scott:  "You should name him 'So'...or "Jummer".  

Stand By Me
Summer lip synched "Darling, darling", but then she did speak-sing "Stand By Me".

Ain't Too Proud To Beg
Jeff is dancing.  Does he always dance during this song?

Ryan:  "Welcome to the Rockapella Hits Holiday Hybrid Show."  He wanted us to help him out with the song they'd be singing from this era.

Thrift Shop
Sure, Ryan, point the microphones at the audience during the (original) lyric of "f*cking".  I know what you did there!

Scott's been singing this song for 58 years.  Yesterday was 4 years ago, I guess.

Where In The World Is Carmen SanDiego?
Loved Jeff's solo.

Then the clapping.  We tried to keep the audience going.  There was too long of a pause.  At one point, I was the only one clapping because KP's hands were hurting.  APPARENTLY, there was a discussion happening backstage as to whether or not there would even be an encore.  I yelled "ENCORE!!!!" really loudly.  Finally, we heard a pitch pipe.

All I Want For Christmas Is You
I really try not to point at certain people when I mouth the words to this song.  I want to point, but I do not.  It makes me smile widely when they sing this song.  I'm glad they did their encore.

Scott asked if we wanted another song.  He got a good response from whomever hadn't already left during the long pause.  Somebody got up to leave.  He pointed to them.
Scott:  "You do NOT get to hear another song!"

Up On The Roof / Wonderful World (off mic)
Sherry: "Oh, here they come!"  They didn't go that far into the audience, though.

Not that many people stayed afterward, so we talked to the guys about plans for the next day and such.  Calvin came up to me and said that he wanted to sing, "All I Want for Christmas is Sherry".  Well, I'm not stopping you, Cal!  At one point, someone opened a door to take out some trash, and the very cold air came in.  I wanted to snuggle up to Pella to keep warm, but somehow refrained from doing such.  We told Ryan that we needed new Rockapella shirts, and he thought that maybe we could include a hashtag #PellaPosse.  I'm not kidding.  He wasn't either.  Let's do it!  We lamented about not really having a place to go after the shows where we could get drinks that didn't have a Video Poker machine.    Unfortunately, Harrah's is separate from the other casinos, so we couldn't really explore without needing to drive somewhere or walk for about 40 minutes, and on a hill at that.  

Look how happy we all are!  Especially me.

Jenn and I wanted drinks, so we found some seats at the Range Bar.  Jenn had a pineapple juice and Malibu Rum, and I had an Old Fashioned.  As we were talking, Ryan and Steve spotted us and decided to join us.  Steve's drink is an Old Fashioned, too!  I need to tell Bro, because he makes good ones.  I may have said more than I would have if I had been sober.  Eh, whatevs.  They're comfortable with us and tell us stuff, too, so it's all good.  We solidified our plans for the next day.

After they left, Jenn and I decided to hit the arcade while KP went to the room.  Jenn beat me at Galaga.  This is not a new concept.  She's such a natural gamer. We would have played more stuff like Dance Dance Revolution, but we didn't have anymore small bills and nobody was at the redemption counter.

Get those alien ships!

KP came back down because new plans came up.   We said our goodbyes to Jenn and went to our room to try to sleep.  This was not easy because Monday's itinerary was way too exciting!

Next up:  Laughlin Day 3

Monday, December 28, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/28/15

Harmonic Journal
Monday, December 28, 2015

"Sherry" by Bob Gaudio, as sung by Steve Dorian to ME!

Harmonic Journal 12/27/15

Harmonic Journal
Sunday, December 27, 2015

"The Time Warp" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Toto, We're Not In Cali Anymore

Rockapella in Laughlin 
Day 1
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Harrah's Fiesta Showroom
Laughlin, NV

My day started with me running around my house to finish packing, do some laundry, wash dishes, and wrap gifts.  Way too much to do before KP arrived, but she was patient as I finished up the last bit of it.  We had an appointment to get mani/pedis at Peridot Nails, and we got pretty colors on our nails and got to relax for a little bit.  Thank you, KP!

Pretty Nails for Pretty Ladies

We went to a drive-thru for something to eat because I hadn't had eaten breakfast, and I had announced my hunger at least 5 times.  We drove to the Ontario airport to get the rental car.  As we were about to turn onto the road to the rental car building, a big tumbleweed attacked my car.  It was scary!  The wind was crazy.  I realized that I left my coat at home, and we decided that we already needed to go to Target.  The woman at the rental car kiosk didn't ask KP most of the questions that they usually ask, so that was weird to me.  Even though we didn't want an SUV because we didn't want to deal with wind, she still gave us a "small SUV", a Jeep Cherokee.  Um, OK, but it doesn't really seem all that small.  As we waited to exit the Budget lot, the engine seemed to stop.  Then it started again.  It was bizarre.  So was the key, which took some time for us to figure out.  We transferred our multitude of bags into the rental car, and then I went to the long-term parking lot.  The sign said that the lot was full, but one of the entrances was still open, so I went in anyway, and found a space pretty quickly.  I told KP that I was ready, but I forgot to tell her exactly where to go, so she ended up going into another lot and had to tell the guy that she never parked the car so that she wouldn't have to pay.  While I was waiting, I became an information booth and answered questions that people had as they stopped at the entrance to the lot.  I'm very helpful.  I'm just glad that nothing bonked me on the head as I waited in the crazy windy conditions.  Once KP found me, I got in the driver's seat and we were on our way to Laughlin.

Oy.  The traffic on the 15 was horrendous, because people were on their way to spend the weekend / New Year's week in Vegas.  It took us about 2 hours just to get to Route 40.  It was nice when we got to that freeway so that I could finally drive fast.  By then, KP had read the manual for the car and we found out that the car turns off its engine when it's idle, in order to conserve gas.  It turns back on when you press on the accelerator or take your foot off of the brake.  I didn't like this feature because it made me nervous about sitting in traffic and stalling.  KP found out how to turn off this feature so that I could feel like I was driving a real car and not a toy with a mystery kill switch.  By the time we exited the freeway, it was already dark, and there were some hills and lots of nothingness, which made us think that we were driving into walls. 

 We finally saw the lights of Harrah's after 5 hours of driving, which really should have been about 3.75 hours.  Sigh.  Then we braved the wind to get to Hotel Registration and checked in.  KP saw a McDonald's and said that we could probably find Fred there.  Lo and behold, who should walk toward us by the sound man himself!  He was on his way for a quick dinner at the buffet.  I was relieved that he was the one that we saw because I looked like hell, all windswept and exhausted.  We put some of our luggage in our room, and then went to the elevator to go get our remaining bags.   We got into the elevator, went down a couple of floors, and the elevator door opened....and there was Steve.  Mind you, I still looked like hell.  I gasped loudly and tried to hide behind KP, but alas, the elevator did not have much space for me to hide and he smiled and said hi and we hugged each other.  Another guy got on the elevator and somehow KP informed him that it was still the second day of Christmas.  I asked Steve if they were going to sing the Kwanzaa song because today was the start of Kwanzaa.  He said that it would be a half and half show.  Ooh, neat!  He was on his way to sound check.  We walked him a little bit of the way, then parted from him to go get our luggage.  What are the odds that we would see both of them in the span of 15 minutes?  It was crazy.

Then we got into an elevator to the parking structure and there were eucalyptus leaves all over the floor, so I decided that a koala had been there.  On the way back to our room, we waited for our elevator.  I heard KP say, "Don't look."  APPRENTLY, Scott was in the elevator that we were waiting for, but he walked right by us and didn't say hello.  I still looked like hell.  It was OK by me.

Our seats were on the extreme house left.  The center seats were all taken, but we weren't able to purchase them when we bought our tickets earlier this year.  I had separated from KP to go to the restroom, and I needed a drink, so I went to the bar.  They didn't have stuff to make an Old Fashioned, so I asked for a Jack and Coke.  She poured Pepsi.  Oh, well, beggars can't be choosers at this point.  I met up with KP at our seats, and she was talking to a couple of women about Rockapella and the number of shows she attended, etc.  I sat down and drank my Jack and Pepsi, and the show started.

Rock Around the Clock
Wow, we are way over here on the side.  Steve appeared to be looking for us, but couldn't find us.  

Scott introduced the band and some guy in the audience started making requests.
Scott: "This is not an interactive program, sir!"

Jailhouse Rock
JT breaks out of that jail very easily.

Scott:  "We spent the first 3 months of the year in Reno, which was nice, but they don't have this wind."
Some lady said that she and her party brought the wind.
Scott: "Thank you for breaking the wind for us."
Ryan: "Scott's golden hair looked great in the wind."
Scott: "It was blowing the wrong way, though."

Scott:  "Who has seen Rockapella before?"
The lady by KP:  "She's been to 132 shows!"
Scott walks over to our side, and says: "Oh, it's Karla!  We know Karla.  How many shows?"
KP:  "132".  
<oohs and aahs from the audience>
Scott: "Sherry!"
Me:  "Hi!"
Scott:  "We know Sherry, too.  They came from California to see us."

Scott:  "132 shows.  That's weird because we've only done 133 shows.  What's that about?"
Scott:  "Sherry, how many shows have you been to?"
Me:  "I lost track."
Scott:  "Sherry's been to more than 100 shows."
Well, thanks for the shout-out, Mighty Blond One!
(For the record, it was my 109th show).

Dancing In The Streets
Ummm...what happened?  I think we're too distracting for FFE, because now he knows where we're sitting, and he kept smiling at us, and he messed up the verses and threw them off for a tiny bit.  It's a good thing they're all quick on their feet.

Glow Worm / It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas
Jeff almost slapped Steve during his cheek solo.  Steve still smiled at us later, even though he knew that the guy that almost slapped him pointed at KP when it happened.

Satisfaction / Another Saturday Night / Cupid
I like that Jeff makes the sound of an arrow shooting through the air at the appropriate times.

Scott talked about Rudolph.  He talked about Yukon Cornelius.  Jeff made his axe falling into the snow sound.  KP was happy.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
Steve was ready for us as we yelled, "YAHTZEE!!!!"

Scott:  "I got a note on my stool here.  I get that a lot.  Notes on my stool."
The note said that it was Addison's birthday.

Happy Birthday to You
Scott asked what it was like to have a birthday the day after Christmas.  Addison said that it was cool because she gets double presents.

Scott:  "My birthday's the day after Columbus Day."
Ryan:  "What do you get?"
Scott:  "Squat."
Ryan:  "That's what you get on your stool.  Double squats."

Scott regarding his rickety stool:  "I gotta tell ya, the stools in Reno are better."

My Cherie Amour
The woman next to KP needs to stop singing along.  I covered my left ear so that I wouldn't be able to hear her so much.

Ryan made a lot of low sounds.
Scott:  "It feels good.  I don't know what you said, but it feels good."

Scott:  "I am from Indianapolis, but our family just had a tragedy at Christmas.  I'm not sure I could get through this tragedy.  So we're singing this in tribute."

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
Ryan's "Jingle bells, Batman SMELLS" is hilarious.
"Call Law and Order: SVU"...because Scott watches "Law & Order"!
"'Cept Grandpa's girlfriend, she's real big."

Scott:  "Thank you for snickering at our tragedy."

Blame It On The Boogie
Steve motioned to us to bring on our shout: "MOONLIGHT!!!"
The verse was off on this one, too, but this time it was Scott.  "Trance" does not rhyme with "me".
Perhaps Scott was just hungry, because he came back from the bass breakdown, chewing while singing, probably on a Power Bar.  Dude, I think you should know by now how long that breakdown takes to finish.

Ryan was still dancing at the last "milk chocolate" line, and seemed startled that he was the only one left singing.
Steve walked very tenderly back to his regular spot on the stage after singing about Preparation H.
Scott saluted during the Dr. Pepper song.  "I love that song...made us ZERO dollars."
After Folger's, Scott: "Our greatest hit, sadly enough."

Scott:  "This message of lightning shot right through my brain."
He chose Sharon to join them on stage, and invited her to sit down.  "This is the breakaway stool."  Sharon is from Burbank, CA.  
Jeff:  "I just came from there!"  JT was spending time with his family for the holidays.  Oddly enough, none of us ran into him during that whole time.  Sharon is retired from being a hairdresser.  Scott flipped his hair.
Scott:  "What do you think?"
Scott:  "She's thinking, 'You need a haircut!'"

Stand By Me
Sharon kept pushing the microphone away, but she did sing.  

Ain't Got Time To Beg
She didn't dance, though.

Ryan: "Welcome to the Rockapella Motown, Hits, Christmas Fun Show."

Thrift Shop

Scott sang the next song for 54 years.

Where In The World Is Carmen SanDiego?
Jeff walked right on over to our side during his solo and stared at KP.  He may have made eye contact with me, too.  Later, he included some swinging hip action.

After the song, the guys left the stage, and the audience stopped clapping, and the house lights came on, and the exit music played, and KP and I were confused.  Then people started shouting, "MORE!"  I yelled, "ENCORE!!!"

Then the smooth sounds of Calvin Jones wafted through the air.

All I Want For Christmas Is You
Seriously, I love that they do this song now.  They all sound great.

Up On The Roof / Wonderful World (off mic)
They did the same thing as in Reno and stepped off of the stage and sang from audience level during the song.  People, please stop clapping and singing along with the guys I paid to see and hear.

KP and I spoke with the women next to her for a little while.  One of them asked me if I was from Thailand.  I told her I was from the Philippines.  She told me that she liked lumpia.  Hey, I do, too!  I almost told her that Steve also likes lumpia, but didn't want to talk to her anymore..I had a meet and greet to attend.

We talked to Fred and discussed the confusing non-encore but then an encore thing.  KP asked if he knew about any good breakfast places, but he didn't.  His fellow tech crew guy, Kyle, said that there weren't any good breakfast places around.  He's lived there for 26 years and didn't know any in Laughlin.  If we find one, we'll let Kyle know.  KP tried to get Fred to remember our room number if he wanted to call us to go to breakfast or hang out with us because he didn't know what he was going to do this week.  I said, "Why don't you have his phone number already?"  So they exchanged phone numbers and now Fred sends text messages to KP and vice versa.  You're welcome!

The stragglers of the meet and greet were almost done talking to the guys, so KP and I rushed over to see them.  Once they finished taking pictures with other fans, they all walked over to us to say hi.  Yes, Pella now walks to us!  Calvin came up behind me, actually, to hug me, then he did the same to KP.  We talked about wanting to see Star Wars.  We told Scott that he walked right by us when he got out of the elevator.  He said, "I saw you.  I just didn't want to talk to you."  I made a shocked face.  He said, "I'm just kidding.  I didn't see you."  I love you, CSL4!   I told Steve that we need to take pictures together tonight and then 4 more times.  KP told Scott that it never gets old that he remembers her name.  "You're very memorable", he said to her.  Awwww...sweet!  We said our good nights to the guys and then Jeff came back to hug KP and me because he realized that he had been talking to other people.  

Ryan photo bombing KP and Calvin

Scott backed out of this picture, then came back when I called him over

I went to the Players Club desk to get my card and we talked to Josh about the seats in the theater.  He said that they were complimentary tickets for Players Club members using their points.  Oh.  Josh thought that our nails were pretty, and said that his feminine side appreciates women's nails because they make them nice.  We came to the consensus that the color of my nails is royal blue, and Karla's are dusty rose.

Sign at the Players Club desk

We shopped for a little while. I bought a Star Wars multi-color pen for somebody.  On our way back to the room, we saw Jeff in the hallway by another shop.  We think that he was going to pretend not to see us, then realized that we were unavoidable, and deflected our attention by pointing out some socks that were on display that had Star Wars characters on them.  "Look, 9 different...flavors" and walked away.
Sherry:  "Flavors?  You want me to lick socks?!"

KP and I decided that we wanted dessert and could eat the pie that I brought.  I bought some milk to drink with it.  We finished unpacking in order to earn our dessert.  We changed into our pajamas.  We got ready to eat...but the pie was not in our room.  It was in the car.  Neither one of us was willing to go to the car in our pajamas to get the pie.  Remember, Pella is here, and we keep running into them!  So we just hung out in our hotel room and I drank my milk.

We were exhausted.  We were excited.  We were elated.  And it's only Show Number One.

Next up:  Show #2

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/26/15

Harmonic Journal
Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" by Randy Brooks, arranged by Scott Leonard, as performed by Rockapella

Friday, December 25, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/25/15

Harmonic Journal
December 25, 2015

"Angels We Have Heard on High", arranged by Scott Leonard, as sung by Rockapella

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/24/15

Harmonic Journal
Thursday, December 24, 2015

"Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day" -- Traditional English Carol

Harmonic Journal 12/23/15

Harmonic Journal
Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"Little Drummer Boy" by Katherine Kennicott Davis, Harry Simeone and Henry Onorati, as performed in The Little Drummer Boy

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/22/15

Harmonic Journal 
Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"Come, Ye Sons of Art" by Henry Purcell, as performed at the UC Irvine Madrigal Dinners

Monday, December 21, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/21/15

Harmonic Journal
Monday, December 20, 2015

"Someday at Christmas" by Ron Miller and Bryan Wells as performed by Stevie Wonder 

The current Apple commercial, featuring Andra Day (and Stevie's grandson):

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/20/15

Harmonic Journal
Sunday, December 20, 2015

"But Who May Abide The Day Of His Coming" by George Frideric Handel, as performed by Patti Austin on A Soulful Messiah

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/19/15

Harmonic Journal
Saturday, December 19, 2015

"Olivia (I'm Listening)" by Sean Altman, as performed by Rockapella

Happy Birthday, Birthday Girl!

A Long Time We Waited, For That Galaxy Far, Far Away

Warning:  Spoilers Ahead.  Most of my movie posts contain spoilers, but I felt this needed extra warning. After all, I am one of the ones whom avoided a lot of stuff for months for fear of inadvertent (and blatant) spoilers.

My friends got tickets for some of us for the 1:35 a.m. showing of "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" on opening day 12/18/15.  Yup. A.M.  I happened to have an appointment the previous afternoon, so after that appointment and dinner, I took a 3-hour nap.  Then I got ready and Glenn picked me up to go to the El Capitan Theatre.

El Cap Marquee

There were long lines to get in, which was weird, because all of the seats were reserved, even those that were not VIP seats.  There was also a long line across the street at the Chinese Theater for the same movie.  Weird that both theaters were showing the same thing, as was the Cineramadome, but it's not surprising.  This is the most highly anticipated movie of the year, hands down.  We met up with Cindy and Katie, and I gave Katie a pair of Ewok earring that I bought for her at Dallas Comic-Con.  I was wearing rebel pilot/x-wing earrings with my Star Wars Celebration shirt.  Katie was ensconced in BB-8 wear, except for her earrings.  Cindy had her Tauntaun plush, Katie had her BB-8 plush (of course), and had my Santa Chewie itty bitty.  Mox met up with us, and we waited.  The message that the El Cap sent out earlier in the week was that the show would start on time, which didn't make any sense when Glenn did the math.  1:35 came around and went.  We finally got into the theater after 2:00.  The organist played his regular Disney music, then added some music from "Star Wars" and the crowd was happy and forgot all about the long wait, because we were finally going to see STAR WARS!!!  

First Order Curtain

We saw trailers for "The Jungle Book", "Zootopia", and "Captain America: Civil War".  Our group was most excited about the third one, but I think we're all looking forward to the other 2 as well.  Then we saw a lighsaber show that was pretty cool.

Then...WHOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!! that Lucasfilm logo was on the screen, and the crowd went wild and then quickly silent once the legendary crawl began.

  • I agree with Cindy:  I miss the Fox fanfare.
  • "Do I talk first, or you talk first? I talk first?"
  • BB-8 is adorable.  So was the meet cute between Finn and Rey.
  • "Stop holding my hand!"
  • "Are you all right?"'re the one that was just knocked out, dude.
  • BB-8 is Spider-man.
  • Phasma.  Now I know who is wearing the helmet that looks like the purse that I want.
  • "Is there a garbage chute?  Or trash compacter?"  <grin>
  • I cried every time Han and Leia were on screen together.  EVERY. TIME.
  • "You changed your hair."   "Same jacket."  "This is a different jacket!"
  • The reveal of Kylo Ren's heritage:  I KNEW IT!  There were many gasps in the theater, though, including mine.
  • I haven't hated a character in a long time.  Kylo Ren, you broke my streak.  EVIL.  Also, you have anger management issues.  Ask your stormtroopers.
  • I have guesses as to the lineage of the others in this story, but I guess I'll have to wait about 2 years to maybe find out.  
  • "You might not recognize me because of my red arm."
  • "TWELVE!!!"
  • Loved all of Chewie's reactions.
  • I liked that Force mind battle between Ren and Rey.
  • I guess the destruction of Alderaan didn't have enough emotional impact in "A New Hope", because this time, we saw the people watch their planet get destroyed.  Sadness ensued.  
  • "And I will drop my weapon."
  • "Women always find out the truth.  Always."
  • "That's not how the force works!"
  • Their son's name is "Ben".  Sigh.
  • Why is the Supreme Leader so BIG?
  • Dammit, people, why do you get into close proximity with anyone wielding anything sword-like?  DAMMIT.
  • The light saber duel in the snow.  YES!
  • So Mark Hamill gets second billing, and didn't have to say a damn thing.  What a cushy job!
  • I agree with Mox:  it would have been cool to see BB-8 as Bad Robot.
Stuff on display downstairs:
BB-8 and Finn's costume

Rey's costume and BB-8
Leia's costume
Han's costume
Stormtrooper uniform
Millenium Falcon


Bumpy BB-8

Rey, BB-8 and Kylo Ren

That's a lot of LEGOs

I loved this movie.  I want to see it a lot of times in the theater, in all kinds of formats.  Now I get to read all of the spoiler-y stuff that I avoided.  Yay!

May The Force Be With You.  Always.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/18/15

Harmonic Journal
Friday, December 18, 2015

"Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit" by Josefino Cenizal

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/17/15

Harmonic Journal
Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Funky, Funky Xmas" by Donnie Wahlberg and Maurice Starr, as performed by New Kids On The Block

26 years ago today, I saw NKOTB sing this song at the Great Western Forum.  

Ah, fandom.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/16/15

Harmonic Journal
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Ukranian Carol", arranged by Scott Leonard, as sung by Rockapella

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/15/15

Harmonic Journal
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"O Thou, That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion" from Messiah by Frederic Handel, as conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, performed by Catherine Robbin,  Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists

Monday, December 14, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/14/15

Harmonic Journal
Monday, December 14, 2015

"Silver Bells" by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, as sung by Rockapella

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/13/15

Harmonic Journal
Sunday, December 13, 2015

"Calypso Christmas: Day-O/Kingston Market/Jamaica Farewell/Mathilda" from Plaid Tidings 

Harmonic Journal 12/12/15

Harmonic Journal
Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Christmas Without You" by Scott Leonard, as performed by Rockapella

Friday, December 11, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/11/15

Harmonic Journal
Friday, December 11, 2015

"Glow Worm / It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" by Paul Lincke & Johnny Mercer, Lilla Cayley Robinson (additional lyrics by Mel Tormé) / Meredith Willson, arranged by Scott Leonard, as sung by Rockapella

Harmonic Journal 12/10/15

Harmonic Journal
Thursday, December 10, 2015

"To Be Free" from Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular, by Alan Menken, as sung by Cassandra  Murphy

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/09/15

Harmonic Journal
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

"This Christmas Day" by Scott Leonard, as performed by Rockapella

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/08/15

Harmonic Journal
December 8, 2015

"Servant Song" by Sr. Donna Marie McGargill

Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  This is one of my favorite songs to sing regarding Mary.  The lyrics bring tears to my eyes and make it hard to sing sometimes, but I love this song anyway.  

That tattoo?  Basically because of songs like this.


1. What do you want of me, Lord? Where do you want me to serve you? Where can I sing your praises. I am your song.

REFRAIN:  Jesus, Jesus, you are the Lord. Jesus, Jesus, you are the way. 2. Jesus, Jesus, you are my Lord. Jesus, Jesus, you are the way. 3. Jesus, Jesus, be warmth of my heart. Jesus, Jesus, you are the way. 4. Jesus, Jesus, you are my light. Jesus, Jesus, you are the way.

2. I hear you call my name, Lord, and I am moved within me. Your Spirit stirs my deepest self. Sing your songs in me. 

3. Above, below, and around me. Before, behind and all through me, your Spirit burns deep within me. Fire my life with your love. 

4. You are the light in my darkness. You are my strength when I'm weary. You give me sight when I'm blinded. Come see for me. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Harmonic Journal 12/07/15

Harmonic Journal
Monday, December 7, 2015

All I Want for Christmas is Rockapella

Rockapella in Vegas
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Artemus Ham Concert Hall -- University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada

I woke up on Saturday morning and packed my stuff for Vegas.  Yes, I usually pack much earlier than the day of travel, but I was baking during most of the previous day.  Then I took a break to go get my nails done.  Then I baked more.  I screwed up one of the batches of cookies, but I still had enough to give to the guys.  So I packed everything up and drove my car to the Ontario airport to pick up the rental car.  Weff came over so that I could park my car at their house while we were on our road trip.  For a little bit more money, I was upgraded to a new Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.  Wendy and I felt tall in our seats.  Well, I did.  Wendy couldn't see the hood of the car.  But it was fully loaded, and as soon as I could figure out the darn connection from my iPod to the sound system, I felt much better.  We got me some protein for breakfast and some caffeine (I'm still trying to figure out why McDonald's gave me a large iced coffee instead of the medium I ordered, even when their order slip showed a medium).  Then we were on our way.  VEGAS, BABY!

I wanted the landscape of our drive to be more exciting.  The only thing that I got excited about was the Doritos truck that was parked at some shopping center near the freeway.  At one point, Wendy thought she saw salt, then realized that if there was a lake, it would be fresh water, not saltwater.  I will now see that area as salt for a very long time.  The drive was pretty easy, not much traffic.  Plus, we had yummy Doritos Munchies to tide us over before we arrived at Jenn's parents' house in Henderson for lunch.   

Mmmm....lunch!  Angela had been there for several hours already as she had taken an early flight from Dallas.  I woke her up to greet her because I didn't think that she had eaten lunch yet.  Oops.  Jenn and family treated us to delicious pancit, lumpia, and her dad's wonderful recipe of adobo, 2 ways -- pork and chicken.  So. Very. Yum.  We thanked Jenn and family for the wonderful meal, and went to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for Angela before going to our hotel, the Best Western McCarren Inn.  We were situated almost underneath the wings of planes, it was that close to the airport.  In fact, each guest was given earplugs to help deal with the noise of the aircraft.  It was pretty loud, but didn't really annoy me that much.

I got my gifts ready for Pella and then took a shower.  I did NOT want to get my hair wet, but the shower head was really high and non-adjustable in that respect, so it got wet anyway.  Perhaps only tall people should have used that shower.  Anyway, Angela and I got pretty, met up with Weff, and we drove to UNLV.  Well, of course, I couldn't follow the directions according to Angela's version of Helen, because the streets were dark and there were a lot of non-DCI cones all over the place.  But we got there in plenty of time for Angela to get her will call tickets, for me and Jeff to find a way to get my gifts to Pella before the show (thanks for helping out, FFE!  This is why you got my share of the leftover lumpia), and for Angela to get tipsy from drinks at the lobby bar.  

While we waited for Angela to finish her drinks, I looked around at the lobby, remembering that this is where I met Liz.  This is where I met Karla.  This is where Stacey had her 100th show.  Lots of history in this place.

Our seats were in row B, 20-22.  The venue did not sell tickets to row A, due to the angle of the stage, as then they'd all be looking up at the stage.  Row B was looking up as well, but not as much as row A would.  A lady sat next to me and asked if I could switch seats with her friend, which would move me to seat 19.  Hey, that's my number!  So I agreed to switch and ended up between Wendy and an empty seat.  Angela was lonely in her seat, so she sat behind us in an empty seat.  There were a lot of empty seats, which made no sense because the seats weren't actually available for purchase according to the woman on the phone that morning when she called.

GingerGeorge and Scotcherbreadman in da house!
Sun Brothers of Tampa Bay

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
What?  Grandpa hooked up with Miss Manuel?  I think I heard that wrong.  I'm good as long as the reindeer aren't running over NKOTB.


I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
Angela:  "Shiny pants, shiny crotch."  She was kinda loud.  Remember how she was tipsy?  I had to shush her.

Scott said that they hadn't been to this venue since 2006.  He asked whom was here then.  We cheered.  He asked who'd seen Rockapella before.   
Scott:  "Same people that were here in 2006."

Scott mentioned that Hanukkah was coming up, and he got some cheers from the back of the house.
Scott: "We have some Jews here tonight?!  When we started Rockapella, we were 3/4 Jewish, now we're no Jewish."

I Have A Little Dreidel
Scotcherbreadman spun around, too.
After the song was done, a voice from the back: "THANK YOU!!!"

Walking In A Winter Wonderland
I love watching Scott do his Elvis moves, especially when he's in Vegas.  Nice to have Angela here to "WHOO" at him with me again!

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
Aw, Angela's favorite!  Not.  I wasn't paying attention during the first verse, because who should walk up to one of the seats in our row, but Nick!  Then I saw Robin at the other end of the row.  Hi, everybody!  It's just not a Pella Holiday show without Scott's whistle and Jeff's sleigh bells.

Glow Worm
Jeff really slapped his own cheeks hard during that solo.  Ow!

Scott said that this next song would be the second day they've performed it.  Wendy and I wondered if it was "Candyman".  

All I Want For Christmas Is You
I guess not.  Ooh, but I love this song, and Rockapella made me just love it even more.  Calvin is sooo good as the lead in this song!  Sing it, Cal!!!

Does Scott still not know that Steve has 2 EPs?  He keeps saying that the new one is Steve's first.

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time

I'm not sure whether or not the video backdrop was the same as last year, but it looked different to me.  I like the snow and the stars.

Scott was happy that he was home to see "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" on TV on Tuesday night.  When he was little, he would race home after school on this day to sit in front of the TV at 4:00 because he knew it would come on at 8:00.  His most recent question that got answered from the internet:  "How in the world does Rudolph's nose really light up?"  The answer:  Like a firefly, Rudolph's nose is filled with luciferin, which makes it glow green.  However, reindeer's noses are very dense with blood vessels in their nose, and the colder it gets, the redder the nose gets.  So that's why it glows red.  (According to this website, Rudolph's is especially bright because it was a rapid evolutionary adaptation).  Science is wonderful.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
I love the "We're in agreement" and Steve and Scott touching fingers.  So cute.  We got an acknowledgement from Jeff for remembering our "Yahtzee!" yell.

Merry Christmas Darling
Aw, Steve smiled at me when they sang "I wish you a Merry Christmas".  Sweet.  Nice to hear the tenor harmonies when Ryan drops out for a little bit, and I like that he smiles and listens to them.

Scott said that he calls Ryan "B.B."  Ryan asked if Scott was going to tell us why. APPARENTLY, Ryan is obsessed with breakfast burritos.  
Jeff:  "I'm so glad we told them that.  I thought it meant 'baked beans'." Then Jeff waved his hand up and down like he was smelling something bad.
Scott:  "Same thing."

Scott talked about Rockapella singing in New York.  Angela cheered and he pointed at her.  One of the folks in the back yelled, "YEAH!!!"  
Scott:  "You must be our Jewish friends from New York City."

One of Rockapella's New York Christmas songs:
This Christmas Day
Scott snuggled up to make new friends.  Steve made a face.  Angela snorted.  Sherry giggled.

Then a Christmas miracle happened.
Scott:  "Ready, Jeff?  Ready, Ryan? Ready, Steve?  Ready, Calvin?  Calvin?"

That's right, folks, he finally said the more appropriately-sounding name!  YAY!!!

Christmas, Don't Be Late (The Chipmunk Song)
"Want a plane that loops the loop" -- Hi, Steve!


We chatted with Nick and met his friend, Katie, and Robin came over to say hello, too.  Jenn and mom finally got to their real seats in row D  They came in a little bit late and weren't allowed to go to their seats, so they sat in the back, which was the furthest from the stage that Jenn ever sat.  Poor Jenn.  She felt badly because it was her mom's first Rockapella show, and they had gotten lost due to all of the road work.  At least they got to see the rest of the show from their real seats!  There were plenty of open seats in our row, so Angela moved, and Nick and Katie moved to the seats next to her.  Yay!  We're all together!  If only Karla was here.  She was sick and couldn't join us this weekend.  :(

Jingle Bell Rock
Scott smiled at Angela.  Little does he know that she won't stop mentioning his shiny pants.  Or maybe he DOES know.

Angela: "There was so much yummy goodness, I didn't know where to look."

Please Come Home For Christmas
Scott might have had some of Angela's Jack and Coke.  He seemed to be dizzy with all of the spinning.

Matunda Ya Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa is celebrated after Christmas.  I wonder if they'll sing this in Laughlin, too.  

Steve has been with Rockapella now for 6 years.  When he heard that they were near Santa's Workshop in Lapland, Finland, Steve wanted to go: "I want to see where my Millenium Falcon was made."  He got to meet Mrs. Claus and eat some really good cookies.  
There was a voiceover from Santa somewhere back stage:   "Rockapella!  Big fan!  Ho Ho Ho!"  Steve brought a message from Santa to Sara.

Steve brought his sister Sara up on stage.  She is an acupuncturist, and it was her birthday.  Rockapella sang Happy Birthday to her.  YAY!

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
Sara was a good sport and sang along in the correct places.  She even knew Scott's line, "He knows when you've been bad or bad..." and sang that with him.  She points like Steve!  What a cute sibling moment to see him hug her on stage.  Awwww....

Ryan: "Me and my doggie are coming to your town."

You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
Ooh, I like that Grinch graphic of his eyes!  Steve almost kicked Ryan in the face.
Ryan:  "I almost got a nose job for Christmas."

Auld Lang Syne
I like that solo, Ryan!

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Yay, Fred's picture!  Got a nice smile from Steve at "Faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more."  I mean, what a  sweetie pie!

Angels We Have Heard On High
I love this song.  I just wish it didn't mean that the show was coming to an end.  Sigh.  Thank you for all of the smiles after that, guys!

The guys left the stage.  Then after a few minutes, we heard this from backstage:
"There's one more thing we have to do, and you know what it is!"


Where In The World Is Carmen SanDiego? (Billie Jean remix)
I forgot that they do this during holiday time.  That "Monday through Friday at 5!" comes in at such a weird time.

Scott thanked everyone for coming, and asked if we'd like to hear another song.  Lots of people started yelling out song titles, including "Bang", which would have been fun!  

Scott:  "This is the interactive portion of the show."
He took none of these requests.

Hold Out For Christmas (off mic)
I made sure to listen carefully for Jeff's voice.  Scott made our Rockapella holiday show complete with his traditional "Merry Christmas, everybody" at the end.  Thank you!

Meet and Greet

I introduced myself to Sara and told her that Steve's house concert in California was at my house.  She told me that he was excited about that when he was getting ready for it.  I said that we've kind of made him part of our family, and she said, "You can have him after what he did to me tonight!"  I told her that she points like him.  She said that she was mocking him because they're always making fun of him.  Aw, I love sibling silliness!

Scott said thank you for the Star Wars pins that I gave to the guys with their goodie bags.  (I had badges made at Disneyland with their names in Aurebesh).  Ryan said, "Sith Lord.  That's what you think of me?"  Well, let's just say that I couldn't help it.  Ryan asked if I had my tickets to see the movie, and I told him that I'd be seeing it at 1:30 (or so).  He thought that was a good idea.  Then he realized that I meant 1:30 A.M. He said that he doesn't want to see any spoilers, and is trying to avoid all of the press about it.  Me, too!  Some of the guys might see it together after Christmas because of their schedules.  I told them that I'll probably see it again after Christmas, too. 

Angela showed Scott pictures of her daughter, Natalia, which is a name close to his own daughter's name (Natalie).

I asked if I could get one of the Rockapella posters signed, and Ryan was going to charge me $10.00.  See?  Dark Side!  

I think that I was talking to Ryan about Star Wars for so long that I didn't talk much to the other guys, since they were done signing stuff and all of a sudden, people were getting up and taking pictures.

Jeff and I talked to Fred for a little bit, and told him that Karla was too sick to join us, and that she sent her regards.  

I did tell Steve that I introduced myself to his sister "because you know how I am", and that she wants some of the lumpia I gave to him.  Also that she said I was welcome to have him as part of my family after what he did to her tonight.  He said, "Aw, she's giving me away?"  

People were kind of being slow about gathering to take pictures, so there is a progression of photos here, starting with Steve.

Sher and FFE

Calvin informed everyone that my hair smelled nice.
I'm being all awkward with my hands.

I never did get a picture with just me and all of the guys, but at least we have one here with the original PellaPushers.

Pella and the Pushers

I told the guys that we'd see them in Laughlin, and Jeff's response was, "I'm sure I'll see you in Laughlin.  5 shows.  That's Rockapella Bait."  He's so funny.  Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas until then, JT!

A bunch of went to Gordon Biersch Brewery afterward.  The server was waaaaayyyy slow, but we had a good time, even with the loud music from the DJ.  You know, if there's nobody actually dancing, you shouldn't make it that loud.  I'm just saying.

We dropped off Robin at her hotel, and went back to ours.  Angela and I talked into the wee hours of the morning, so I have no idea how much sleep I got, but I sure didn't hear any planes, probably due to being passed out from exhaustion.

The next morning, we met up for hotel breakfast downstairs.  I was excited to make heart-shaped waffles.  So pretty.


Then Jeff made his.  Ummm...not so pretty.

Simultaneously sad and hilarious

It wasn't the best hotel breakfast ever, but we were nourished.  We checked out, dropped off Angela at the terminal, and made our way back to So Cal after hunting for gas.  What is it with Chevron stations being right next to Jack in the Box?  We saw 2 of them like that.  Maybe 3.  At one point, I thought we were driving in circles.

Our trip home had a little more traffic than the previous day, but we still got home OK.  I took the rental car back to the airport, and waited for Jeff and Barney to pick me up to get my car back at their house.  Barney!  He was not paying attention to me, so I couldn't get a good selfie of us.  Doesn't matter.  He was still cute as ever.  I said my goodbyes to Weff, and drove the last leg home on my own.  Wow, I felt really low in my car after driving that SUV for a couple of days.  

Haiku posts from the day #PellaPoetry #roadtriphaiku

Road trip to Vegas
In a giant SUV
Rockapella bound

Lumpia for lunch
Food coma is starting now
Thanks, Jenny's parents!!!

Pella does Carey
Scott's arrangement, as always
Oh so much better

Post Pella Show Fun
It's really loud up in here
DJ, stop it now!

Beautiful waffle
Nice way to start the morning
Heart-shaped vibes all day

This one not so good.
Poor Jeffrey and his sadness.
Epic Waffle Fail.

This is The Good Life
Listening to Steve's CD
Cucamonga bound.

Home safe from Vegas
Thanks, Pella, and my Posse!
Y'all bring Christmas Joy. 

Thank you for a great weekend, Pella and the Posse!  My Christmas season is always a lot better when you're a part of it.