Saturday, January 30, 2016

PusherPix 01/30/16

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Google Photos now has a "Rediscover" feature and makes a collage out of photos that you might want to look at again.

This day (January 27, 2011) was one of my favorites from the Rockapella cruise.  Dolphins!

DLR LotD 01/29/16

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Friday, January 29, 2016

"I have a magic cherry." -- Cindy, at Catal

PusherPix 01/29/16


Friday, January 29, 2016

Bananaman strikes again at a rare Ryan B sighting.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

PusherPix 01/28/16


Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Dodgers had a meet and greet in Downtown L.A.  I didn't get free stuff, but I did get a pic with the non-mascot.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

PusherPix 01/27/16


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New phone means I can finally get the Star Wars app!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

PusherPix 01/26/16

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

BB-8 has a mini-me!  Thank you for sharing your talent, Dodie!

Monday, January 25, 2016

PusherPix 01/25/16

Monday, January 25, 2016

Look what arrived today!  As I post this, I'm already missing the slider keyboard on my old phone.  This is the last blog entry with my cool keys.  Sadness.  But I needed fancier stuff, so now I'll just visit my old phone whenever I see my dad use it.  Farewell, Droid 4!   Hello, Droid Turbo 2.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

PusherPix 01/24/16

Sunday, January 24, 2016

My favorite Bananaman picture of today's dinner at Salo-Salo

The WhoEvs

Saturday, January 23, 2016

PusherPix 01/23/16

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Ceiling in a hallway of the Biltmore Hotel

Friday, January 22, 2016

PusherPix 01/22/16

Friday, January 22,2 2016

I keep forgetting that I have this cool app.

Pop Art Bananaman

Thursday, January 21, 2016

PusherPix 01/21/16

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Approximately 5 years ago, in a swanky Portland hotel:

#Throwback Thursday

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

PusherPix 01/20/16

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bananaman is mad at me.  First, he didn't go get Thai food with me on Monday.  Then he didn't get to meet Katie and Tommy yesterday.  Then I didn't make him the picture of the day.  Don't let that smile fool you.  I'm in trouble.

Pitch Slapped 1.1

Pitch Slapped
Episode 1.1

Contemporary A Cappella producer/arranger/aca-everything Deke Sharon has a new show, y'all!  He has a LOT to do with the a cappella shows you've seen so far, whether it be as a consultant, producer, or arranger.  This series is about a cappella groups being professionally coached for competition, and of course, the PellaPusher needs to write about it!  I'm a little bit behind, though, so I'm playing catch up.

Deke visits Stay Tuned.  He wants to split the group in half.  Uh oh.

Performance coach Diana Priesler visits Highlands Voices.  Their next competition is in 4 days, against rivals Stay Tuned.  Diana wants them to win the summer invitational.   

Deke tells Stay Tuned that Highlands Voices is better than them in every way.  Harsh.  He wants them to sing from the heart for the first rehearsal.  

Diana wants Vanessa to feel emotion.  She's ready to take her off of the solo if she can't do better than Maddie.  Vanessa's performance is more subdued, which I like, though Maddie is strong.  Vanessa gets to keep her solo...but she needs to leave early for another rehearsal.  Diana goes ballistic because she refuses to lose to Deke.  Wait.  They're high school groups?  I guess I missed that earlier.

Deke wants Stay Tuned to be dressed in all black, with no choreography.  They worry.

Diana wants HV to do some exercising to condition themselves to dance while singing.  Good idea.  

Deke is unhappy that Stay Tuned has lost the emotion, and their competition is the next day.  Will they be lucky and have the "bad dress rehearsal = great performance" phenomenon?  Then they rehearse without him because they want to get it right. 

Highlands Voices:  "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit
Vanessa sounds good!  The whole ensemble sounds good, actually.  Their blend is nice.  Deke doesn't hear joy in their voices.

Stay Tuned: "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap
Chords sound good.  There sure are a lot of them.  No wonder Deke wanted to cut them in half.  No choreography at all, though.  Hmmm.  I guess their "visual" score will be based on the fact that they all wore black?

Stay Tuned wins Difficulty of Vocal Arrangement and Vocal Performance.
Highlands Voices creams them, though in Visual Performance.  Duh.

Let's see what happens in the next 7 episodes!  Stay Tuned can only go up in score with Visual, so this will be interesting.

Next Up:  War.  Diana goes nuts again. People are crying.  Why is Deke on a hospital bed?!

It's A Trap!

The Mousetrap
by Agatha Christie
January 16, 2016
Long Beach Playhouse

I saw that The Mousetrap was playing at the Long Beach Playhouse, and Linda and I decided that we needed to see it because we had seen my friend Scott's play during the Hollywood Fringe Festival, "Kill A Better Mousetrap", and we wanted to see the source material.  

We ate dinner at The Crooked Duck, which is just down the street from the playhouse.  The restaurant and bar looks to be a place that locals like to visit, which includes the students from nearby Cal State Long Beach.  The decor included a lot of ducks and water skis.  The menu explained the Legend of the Crooked Duck, which had to do with a boat hitting a duck and instead of killing it, the duck had a twisted neck and lived.  We sat at the bar, at which they also serve the full menu.  Linda had fish and chips, and I had the meatloaf with mashed potatoes.  Our food was quite tasty, and I would love to go back there for breakfast someday.  I also had Not Your Dad's Root Beer, and ooh, it was good.  I would like to have a case of that in my house, please.  It won't last long.  We received a discount on our dinner because we had tickets to the play.  Pretty cool!  We found out from a woman at the bar whom was kind of loud and made the guy next to me move down so that her friend could sit in his seat.

We later saw the lady at the playhouse and said hi.  The night we went was opening night, so we paid a little bit extra for the opening night gala.  Linda and I took pictures around the theatre, and a guy saw us and tried to hit on her by offering to help her get up, thinking that she had fallen down when she was kneeling to take this picture.  I love how we are the opposites of the masks that are in our pictures.



We had some complimentary coffee before the show.  So nice on a chilly evening!  We could have brought drinks into the theatre, but didn't purchase any for ourselves.
Wall of Players

Our seats were in Section C, in the second row up from the floor where the stage was located, on the aisle.  The theatre is quite intimate, and it seemed that there were no bad seats in the house.  The seating surrounds the stage, so you can actually see all of the audience.  
Part of the Mousetrap Set

  • The play takes place in a boardinghouse, in which all of the characters are stranded due to a snow storm.  There has been a murder in London, and none of them can trust each other.  Everyone is hiding something, including the proprietors.  All of them are suspects. 
  • The actors did a great job with this play.  I especially liked Andrea Pincus, whom plays Mrs. Ralston.  She was just like any new proprietor of a business would be like: nervous and hopeful, as well as a kind person to her patrons.
  • Lee Samuel Tanng also did a great job.  The only thing that jarred us, however, was that he looked like, acted like, and sounded like our friend Rudy.  It was as if he had studied Rudy for this part and just played him.  He even stole scenes like Rudy.  It was WEIRD.  I texted Rudy at intermission to ask if he knew Mr. Tanng, but he did not.  He looked him up on Google later and got all creeped out because of the similarity to him.  All the actor would need to do was grow a mustache, and he'd be Rudy's doppelganger.
  • Nice special effects, especially the wind blowing through the window when they opened it.
  • They used the aisles and all of the doors to exit/enter the stage, which pulled us into the play.
  • We kept giggling at Parvicini pocketing everything he could.  He was wearing a lot of makeup, and at first I wondered if the cast had told him that he shouldn't wear so much.  Or was he Pagliacci?  This was part of his story, though, and no, he was not an operatic clown.
  • Kathleen Pavry, who plays Mrs. Boyle, reminded me of Maggie Smith's character in Downton Abbey.
  • Oops.  He said "Potter" instead of "Trotter". Well, they rhyme.
  • "Three Blind Mice" is going to be creepy to me from now on.  Not that it didn't bother me before.  
  • No, I did not figure out whodunnit before it was revealed.  I pretty much thought that everyone was guilty at one time or another, except for the actual murderer.  I won't tell, though!
Afterward, we were treated to champagne (or sparkling cider), as well as Bangers & Mash, cheese, fruit, and little cupcakes.  How nice!  The lady from the restaurant cut in line to get to the dessert, and then she grabbed a whole bunch.  She reminds me of somebody's crazy aunt whom everyone tries not to admit that they're related.  I might be her someday, so maybe I shouldn't judge.

The little cakes were teeny tiny, though, and we wanted real dessert, so we went to Denny's, thinking they would have pie.  They did not.  They had a caramel apple pie crisp, though, so Linda ordered that.  I had the blackberry vanilla cake with ice cream on top.  I remarked to the server that Linda's dessert actually had apples, instead of looking like the picture, which had peaches.

I would have ordered a peach crisp if it was available.

I enjoyed the play, and now I want to see Scott's play again.  

"The Mousetrap" is playing through February 13 at the Long Beach Playhouse.  Support this community theater and go!  Don't forget to eat at The Crooked Duck!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

PusherPix 01/19/16

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

R2D2 army of cookies

Flirty Eyes for Only You

The Mills Brothers with the All-Star Big Band
Friday, January 15, 2016
Lewis Family Playhouse
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Last week, I met up with JeffEvs to see The Mills Brothers.  Wendy ushered that night, and we chatted for a while between assistance to patrons.  Rockapella covers three Mills Brothers songs, so I wanted to see the folks that influenced Scott to arrange their music.  My biggest hope was that we would hear 

Our seats were in the first row, house right.  These are JeffEvs' favorite seats.  We saw that the middle section had 6 seats in the second row that were empty.  If Rockapella hadn't been at a gig that night in NYC, they should have sat in those seats.  I'm sure that Scott would have loved to be there!

The original Mills Brothers are no longer with us, but John H Mills, II performed with his father Donald.  Elmer Hopper performed with the Platters prior to joining John to form this new version of The Mills Brothers.  Elmer said that he was happy to be singing Mills Brothers music because his voice can't do the Platters' stuff every night due to the notes being so high.  

JeffEvs has seen the All-Star Big Band before on this stage, so I guess they don't tour with the Mills Bros.  John was the maestro and we were close enough to hear him tell them what they would play next.  He kept talking about how wonderful it is to perform live music and have all of these folks come out to hear the music. 

I didn't write notes during the show, so here's what we remember them singing that night.

Opus One
This song is known by many as an instrumental piece, but the Mills Bros added lyrics.

Yellow Bird
I like the flute parts, with the bird whistles.

Cab Driver

Paper Doll
Happiness!!!  Elmer looked at me during the Flirty Flirty part!  It was almost like someone told him that it was mandatory when singing that song.  Thank you, Elmer!

Basin Street Blues

(a Duke Ellington song)

Only You (Platters)
Elmer was very excited that he reached the famous high note.  I went nuts when he did.  "oh oh..oh only you...."

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Platters)

Still There's You

You Only Hurt The One You Love

You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You

The Glow-Worm
John asked the audience to sing along.  I couldn't, because I only know the Christmas lyrics.

Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You)

Lazy River
YAY!!!!  That's 3 for 3 for songs that Rockapella covers!  I did sing along with this one.

Afterward, we talked to them at the Meet and Greet.  JeffEvs got John to sign his program for CSL4.  He told him about Rockapella, and John said that there's a lot of talent out there.  Dude, you're supposed to ask me more details about Rockapella! Oh well.  I tried!  We took pictures with him and thanked him for such a wonderful show.

With John Mills

I told Elmer that I was happy that he looked at me for the Flirty Flirty portion of "Paper Doll", and then that I was all excited during "Only You".  He signed my program "To Only You".  We took pictures with him and his granddaughter.  She closed her eyes in my picture, though.

With Elmer Hopper

WhoEvs and I went to Johnny Rockets for dinner.  They didn't have any Mills Bros on the playlist, so we didn't pay for the jukebox.  

That was a fun show, and I'm really glad that I went.  The crowd really appreciated them.  They are locally-based, so we need them to have another show here when Rockapella is in town for a few days so that they can watch.  We have decided.  Let's make it so!

Monday, January 18, 2016

PusherPix 01/18/16

Monday, January 18,  2016

Spinach-stuffed Wonton Soup at Chang Thai Bistro

2015: The PellaPusher Recap

2015 was the Year of Rockapella for me.  After a year of Rockapella scarcity, 2015 brought back the objects of my obsession with a vengeance.  From my 100th show celebration to several road trips and the onset of PellaPossePoetry, to Laughlin's Magic Hallway, I've had a wonderful time with Pella and the Posse throughout the year.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the most prolific llllabel in my yearly challenge, the Harmonic Journal, is that of "Rockapella".  I realize that I skipped one day of Harmonic Journal, August 6.  There must have been so much drum corps on that day that my head was spinning and I couldn't possibly think of just one song to post.  Looking back at that post, I will now choose the Flower Duet from "Lakme" by Leo Delibes, as performed by the 2007 Phantom Regiment.  

The stats

  • Rockapella: 98 posts
  • Movies: 45
  • Holidays: 36
  • Drum Corps: 35
  • TV: 34
  • 10-20 posts: Other A Cappella Groups, Theatre
  • 2-10 posts: NKOTB, Disneyland, Animals That Aren't Hippos, Star Wars, Edibles, House Concert, Sherryness, Alma Mater, Marching Band, Church, Mermaids, D'Saints, Games
  • Random (no label other than Harmonic Journal): 108
I think I only repeated a song once or twice.  

Favorites (non-Rockapella) of 2015

Event: Watching the second trailer of The Force Awakens at Star Wars Celebration

Live Action Movie: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Animated Movie: Inside Out

Book: Mort by Terry Pratchett

TV Show: The Flash

Disneyland Resort Line of the Day: "I like looking at him, not being under him."  -- Bro, at Silly Symphony Swings

Sports Highlight:  Kobe Bryant announces his retirement.

Travel Moment: Discovering We Olive

Drum Corps Moment: SCV lighting up the stadium with their LEDs

Dish: Brisket Enchiladas at Tio Carlos Mexican Grill

Drink:  Angry Orchard + Fireball (called "Brick House" at Harrah's Reno)

The Nephew Moment:  "Tita Sherry, I want to ride with you," at Toy Story Midway Mania

The Niece Moment: Listening to her read "Green Eggs and Ham".

D'Saints Moment: Swimming at V's parents' house

Rockapella Moments of 2015

Way too many that I want to include here, but let's make this the top 10:
  • Road Trip Haiku / Pella Posse Poetry tradition begins
  • Getting the elevator posters from Harrah's (Reno) for the posse and me
  • George's guest appearance in Reno
  • Breakfast with Fred at Peg's Glorified Ham & Eggs (Reno)
  • Scott staying up past midnight to wish me a Happy Birthday (Reno)
  • Calvin loving the Blueberry Boy Bait that I made for them (Napa)
  • Ryan wanting to hang out with us after every show (Laughlin)
  • Jeff discussing the cameos in The Force Awakens with us (Laughlin)
  • Steve's House Concert (Pella Posse Palladium)
  • Celebrating my 100th Show (Reno)
Favorite New Arrangement:  Macklemore

Thank you to everyone that contributed to making 2015 one of my favorite years EVER!  You know who you are, and I'll cry if I start naming you, so let's stop. 

Hope that 2016 bring us many happy feelings, too!

DLR LotD 01/17/16

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"If you consider a Manahattan an entree, then we can work something out."  -- Aaron, to Cindy, at the Lounge

Sunday, January 17, 2016

PusherPix 01/17/16


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Scene from inside dining area at Rancho del Zocalo

PusherPix 01/16/16

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Terpsichore at the Long Beach Playhouse

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Laughlin in Five Seven Five

Rockapella in Laughlin
Epic Haiku
December 26-31, 2015

Laughlin Trip Haiku
Pella Posse Poetry
Love this tradition!



Peridot Nail Spa
Manicure and pedicure
Pretty Pretty Nails!

Tumbleweed attack
Sherry almost crashed the car
Wind is scary, Dude.

The start/stop feature
Makes driver nervous, too weird
to restart to Go.

Tell Me What You Want
Open roads and less wind, please
Faster traffic, too.

Orange cone in stall:
It means the stall is in use.
Much needed Rest Stop.

That drive was way long
Finally at our hotel
After 5 hour trek.

*I figured that you
Wouldn't miss a chance to see
The greatest band EVER!*

Koala was here
Eucalyptus everywhere
Are we in Sydney?

*Koalas are cute
But mean and hungry creatures
So please be careful*

The blond man on stage
Asked how many shows I've seen 
Don't know. I've lost count.

I want dessert now.
But I'm in my pajamas.
Left pie in the car.



Sherry can't sleep in
Because Fred left a voicemail
We have breakfast plans

Mystery was solved:
Apple Maps was about Fred
He's in denial.

Target run, of course.
I forgot my coat at home.
Bought way more than that.

Yummy chicharron!
Dining at Guy Fieri's
Thank you Jenny D!

Two shows out of five. 
Hybrid holiday and hits
Hands hurt from clapping

Show number 2 done
People need to keep clapping
Want to hear encore!

Ryan C offered
Hashtag PellaPosse shirt

Jenny and Bass Man
Shared pictures of their puppies.
Look! Rommeltini!

Wendy, get ready.
Black Bear Diner on Tuesday!
Hope they serve oatmeal.



Up early today
Body is on work schedule
Guess it's time to blog.

Gotta get ready
Going to breakfast with Fred
Yes, that's right. AGAIN.

Sound man makes demands 
Eating out bring coat and keys
Hope no Apple maps. 

Breakfast with Sound Man
Bananas Foster French Toast
Get in my belly!

*Sherry writes haiku
Demonstrating ev'ry day.
Sherry please don't stop!*

Getting to the point
where I can only respond
with five seven five.

My dream has come true.
Steven sang "Sherry" to me!
Somebody pinch me.

Second time around
More emotional this time
Thanks for the fun, Boys!

Pella Show the 3rd
There'll be Dancing In The Streets
Watch out! Laughs ahead.



I figured it out.
I sleep like Disney Princess
Waiting for a kiss.

3rd breakfast with Fred
Don't forget to wipe your paws!
My stomach's growling.

I made this tree dance
At second breakfast today
Aim to entertain!

The car museum
A walk along the river
Bowling, anyone?

*Ooooh, I Love bowling! 
I'll take it easy on you. 
I may let you win.*

George III missing out!
We finally get to bowl.
Wishing you were here.

Vegetable du jour. 
There seems to be more than one. 
So which jour is it?

You choose your fortune. 
Because it is a buffet.
But some aren't fortunes.

Pella Show the 4th
Back to tenor side of stage
Is the stool fixed yet?

Fourth night in a row. 
A diehard fan's dream come true. 
Don't want it to end. 

*Wish I was there now! 
I'm so jealous of you guys! 
Darn this thing called WORK!*

100 plus shows
And it still makes me smile
When they say my name 



Last day in Laughlin
Hanging out across the way
Grateful for Pella.

Pella show the 5th
It's been a fantastic year.
Thanks, Rockapella!

"Full Moon Feelin" plays
But there's only half a moon. 
Is that still okay? 



Starry starry night 
Pella keeps us company
On our desert drive

San Bernardino 
That is where we meant to go
Maybe, maybe not

*Just to let you know
Someone else is awake too
I'm not driving though.*

Home safe at WitzEnd
Memories of 5 great days 
Dancing in my head

Home now, safe and sound.
Missing Pella already
Hope they travel safe.

Thanks to my posse
Rockapella adventures
Made '15 awesome

Cherish these moments
As we go forth together
Courtesy of Pella.

Happy New Year to you--
Steve, Scott. Ryan, Calvin, Jeff
And Sound Man Fred, too!

My love to you all,
Rockapella and Posse!
My heart is happy.

*people not on trip* -- Thank you to Ferdie, Arielle and Cindy!