Thursday, June 30, 2016

PusherPix 06/30/16

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Throwback Thursday:  06/30/13 at DCI Western Corps Connection

Sher and Roo

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

PusherPix 06/29/16

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

D'Saints Selfie while waiting for the drum corps show to begin

PusherPix 06/28/16

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I think he's trying to trick me.

Something Special Special Special

SCV Family Day
Monday, June 27, 2016
Santa Clara High School
Santa Clara, CA

It's Family Day!  After checking out of the hotel, Bro and I hung out in the hotel lobby so that I could use the wi-fi to buy Rockapella tickets that had gone on sale at noon.  We then made our way to Bro's old stomping grounds and ate a delicious lunch at Thai Basil.  This chain is the reason that I have a standard Thai dish that I order upon going to any Thai place for the first time: chicken with basil. good!

Pad See Ew

Chicken Basil

Happy Bro

We walked around a little bit and found nothing to buy, and then drove around to look for something to do.  We checked out the sale in Sports Authority, but whatever we wanted was still not at great prices.  No wonder this store is going out of business.  V had an errand for us to run, so we went to the Party City in Cupertino; you know, where Apple is based.  While we were in Party City, Bro tried to send pictures to V, but couldn't get a signal.  On his iPhone.  In the city where Apple is based.  Lame, right?  He eventually just ended up calling her when he got near the doorway, and it still took a while to decide on the product.  Tiara with veil in hand, we drove to Santa Clara High School for some more drum corps goodness.

When we picked up our wristbands, one of the ladies at the table told Bro that he must be an alumnus because she recognizes his name.  No, he's just an uberfan, that's all.  Our wristbands were really cool: they have a picture of the SCV shield.  It's a day later and I'm still wearing mine.  Bro is going to try to wear his until Finals week.  Whoa.  That's a long time.
Best Wristband Ever!

The seating was General Admission, so Bro found us seats on the top row near the center, on the right side of the field.  We didn't have shade, but it was a good viewing position as we could stand up whenever we wanted to do so.  We had arrived during SCV's rehearsal, so we sat and watched that for a while.  I like how the corps director talks to them in such a positive, inspiring way.  Like "You have to finish this moment...perform to the last breath."  Between runs, he said, "Find something to make better."  Not any condescending talk when he was being specific to certain people, just very respectful.  I like him.  Thank you for your leadership, Charles Frost, or whomever it was that was speaking! 
SCV Leaf Formation 

We were then treated to run-throughs by all 3 corps present:  SCV Cadets, Madison Scouts, and SCV.  The horn lines of all of the corps also rehearsed the encore together.  We giggled at how much they had to rearrange their arcs because there were so many of them.  I texted Jen to ask if her daughter's friend was still in SCVC, and she said yes, Brandon is now the Baritone Section Leader!  Great!  Another friend, Tracer, is also in the corps, but I do not recall meeting this person.  I thought I found Brandon, but when I sent a picture to Jen, she wasn't sure.  So Brandon, if this is you and/or Tracer, hi!

The corps took a break to take showers and to have dinner together, and the audience was left to fend for ourselves.  There was a Whole Foods truck there to promote the opening of their new store in Santa Clara, but I wasn't hungry enough to stand in line and I wasn't really interested in what they offered.  Instead, I bought souvenirs.  I bought a brown Madison Scouts shirt with a big fleur de lis on it, and writing inside the design.  The guy that sold it to me said that it was designed by a corps member, and asked my advice for next year's shirt if it was offered again.  I asked for a shirt that flared out a little bit more at the bottom.  Thank you for asking!  I also bought a pink/gray shirt that I'd been wanting at the SCV trailer.  I got a free Scheherazade shirt with it!  I have the teal one, and now I have the purple one so that I can match Miss O until she grows out of her dress.
Thanks, SCV!

Bro refused to buy a shirt when I told him to go get one so he could get a free shirt, too.'s 2 for 1!  He's so not like me sometimes.  That's probably a good thing.  

While we waited for the corps to perform, we were treated to a performance by the Santa Clara Big Band, which is sponsored by SCV.  Its members include corps director Frost as well as other alumni and a couple of local high school kids.  I liked the more upbeat songs because I was sleepy and needed a pick-me-up.  Then the corps took turns performing their shows in uniform.
That's corps director Charles Foster pointing 

I noticed while they were setting up that the pit members had a tattoo sleeve on their left arms.  Bro said they were real tattoos.  No.  Then I noticed that everyone had tattoo sleeves.  It matches the design on the drum major uniforms.  Brandt Crocker was present and attempted to announce the names of the drum majors, but had a major fail with one of them.  He kept trying and just cracked himself up, as well as all of us.  He then just used their first names.  Then while still giggling, said, "Seriously, is your corps ready?"  He needs his own blooper reel.  The corps performed beautifully anyway, like the pros that they are.

SCVC Drum Major

During the company front, they held their note longer than I remember them doing so before.  I hope this is now part of the show.  The low brass are hanging on the scaffolding at the end.  We noticed that the brass players do a lot of poses as if they were on a cross, so we've decided that they are portraying Christ.  The show gets more and more interesting as it develops.  Oh, wow!  As I was writing this, I found out that "Jesus Christ Superstar" will be shown on TCM this Thursday night!  RECORD.

Vanguard yell!  They did it 2 or 3 times, so I'm choosing to do the yell during "Winter".  I hope I remember by the time I see them again.

Mr. Crocker then told us to stick around because "we have something special...special...special."  It was cute and totally true.  We let the lady in front of us stand next to us so that she could take photos/video of her son, a baritone in the Madison Scouts.

The hornlines of all 3 corps played a joint encore of both corps songs:
  • Madison Scout's "You'll Never Walk Alone"
  • Santa Clara Vanguard's "Send In The Clowns"
    Drum Majors arm in arm as they listen to "You'll Never Walk Alone"
It was awesome.  I got all teary.

We got in the car and drove to Gilroy, and had a late dinner at Chevy's.  Margaritas!  The server could not resist photobombing my picture of Bro.

We checked in to our hotel and agreed to wake up early because Bro needed to get home in the early afternoon.  In the morning, we had hotel breakfast, but since we were next to a Black Bear Diner, I needed pictures of bears.

Bear butt
Fishing Bear

I slept for much of the way home, sorry about that Bro.  I hadn't slept well during the night.  We had a great trip and Bro's already going through drum corps withdrawal despite the fact that we're going to another show tomorrow night.

I am having SCV withdrawal, though.  We won't see them until August, at least in person.  Thank goodness for the internet!

Next up:  Oxnard

Monday, June 27, 2016

PusherPix 06/27/16

Monday, June 27, 2016

SCV Cadets, Madison Scouts, and SCV Drum Majors at Vanguard Family Day

Snow Day Sunday

DCI West
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Stanford Stadium
Palo Alto, CA

On our way from Sacramento to Dublin, Bro's fuel indicator lit up, so we stopped in Livermore for gas.  Aw, I saw the hotel where I had previously stayed and immediately missed Wendy and Rockapella.  We decided to eat while we were there, and ended up at Denica's Real Food Kitchen.  Well, this is a popular place!  People were lined up to order their food (at least 10 people in front of us).  I would have ordered a big breakfast because that's my favorite meal of the day and they had plenty of choices, but we had dessert plans and I wanted to save room for that.  I had a lot of trouble choosing so I changed my mind at least 8 times before we got to the front of the line.  Even then, I didn't know what to get and finally blurted out "Breakfast Sammie".  Bro ordered a Turkey Avocado sandwich, which came with a side salad.  The free water available had fruit slices in the dispenser, and I chose the one with strawberries and lemons.  It was very nice and refreshing.  They also had bowls of tortilla chips and salsa to eat while you waited for your food.  This was perfect for Bro, whom wanted an appetizer before his meal, but there weren't any on the menu.  We chose to eat at a table outside, and enjoyed our food when it arrived.  I'll definitely be recommending this place to Pella and the posse the next time we're in town.

Then we made our way to Dublin, CA, home of Snowflake.   Mmmmm....shaved snow!  Bro ordered the Tropic Mango, which is what I was going to order.  So again I needed to just decide on the spot and ordered the Guava.  The tables were full, so we opted to take our goodies to go, and ate in the car.  Both flavors were yummy, though I preferred the mango, naturally, as that is my favorite fruit.  Bro finished his first and started to drive while I kept eating and feeling the inside of my cheeks get numb.  
Guava Snow with Strawberries,
Mango Popping Boba and Composite Jelly

We checked into our hotel and relaxed for a little while before taking off for Stanford University.  We weren't early enough to park on the pavement, so we parked in the Eucalyptus Lot.  I don't know why they don't just pave this area.  It's not like anything else happens there except cars parking in a disorganized fashion.  I guess they're trying to save the trees from being uprooted, I don't know.

They love their Trees here

Anyway, we briefly looked at the souvenir stands and I think I might be getting some BD rehearsal leggings at some point this month.  We went to the ticket gate, and I got rid of my bottle of water because they wouldn't allow them in with liquid.  I was all confused and threw mine into the bin, and the lady said that I could take it in.  So I took it back.  Then she said I'd need to empty it first.  So I threw it back in there.  Then Bro said I could have watered the plants and then fill it from the drinking fountain.  Oh.  Forget it.  I needed to use the restroom and clearly wasn't paying attention to anything else, so I met up with Bro at our seats.

Our seats were awesome!  We were on the left 40, top row, and Bro's seat was at the top of the steps, so he had nobody in front of him.  I had maybe half a seat in front of me.  We were by the railing, but I could get most of the field in my pictures if I stood up.  Section 124, Row DD, Seats 1-2.  Thanks for the great seats, Bro!

Hey, even the DCI Logo is yellow this year.  It's a yellow year!
Big Board

Alisal Union School District Drumline

Freelancers Alumni

The Star-Spangled Banner was performed by Blue Devils Alumnus Marcel on the trumpet.  I'm loving all of the live renditions of our National Anthem.

Nice percussion feature.  I don't think that this show is done, and I'm still trying to figure out why it's called "Music Matters".  I mean, that statement is a given to musicians like me, but I'm trying to figure out the "story" of the show.  Or at least the theme of the show.  

Golden Empire

Dude came up the stairs and sat down in the row in front of us, and called over the refreshments guy, whom blocked my view of the field.  Dude was wearing an SCV cap.  Couldn't he have waited until after the next corps, then?!  Annoying.  I wanted to throw something at him (not the refreshment guy), because this is the one day that I can get pictures from a high point in the stadium.  

Great job today!  Much better entrance after the solo.  Very nice trumpet solo after that, too.  Beautiful sound during the piece when they are kneeling.


Then the dude got up to go to his actual seat and commented to us that we got the best seats in the house and asked how we got them.  I let Bro talk to him because I was still annoyed.

People like that bass drum action at the beginning of the show.  The duet was gorgeous.  Why doesn't it end with the USA flag being planted on the moon?  Is it because Apollo 13 didn't get there?  Or will this happen during Finals week?

Blue Devils B

All of the other corps marched in from the right side.  BD-C walked in from the right side tunnel, all the way to the left side, and then marched onto the field from the left.  I guess that's the only way they can do it so far.  Who cares?  They're too cute.  Uh oh.  Steps!  Use the same foot as the others!  I guess they need to learn how to double step to catch up, or whatever they do in drum corps.

Smooth Criminals Busted


Beautiful "Unchained Melody" solo.  OH!  "Ghost"!!!  That's the other reason they're playing this song.  I get it.  Bro told me later that there is a ghost formation.  I'll have to look for that.  I think I may have seen it but didn't think about it.  Heart beats with the big bass drum and the corps moving with each beat.  Very cool. Unlike the movie, there are no butterflies at the end of this show.
Time is eternal for those who love

They do a reprise of "I've Been Working On the Railroad" at the end of the show.  I hadn't heard that on previous nights.  The last pose by the color guard is the same one as the famous poster of Rosie the Riveter.  Two people lost their plumes.  The audience was not very receptive of this show today.

The siren is portrayed by two different people.  Good color guard work!  Someone dropped their stick.  It's good that they have extras.  

I like this color scheme

During the show, the guy in front of me felt a spider on his arm.  This may have been the same spider that I felt on my arm, and shooed away to Bro's seat.  The guy got all freaked out, brushed it off of him, and immediately squashed it with his foot.  Poor spider.  The guy was scratching himself for the rest of the show, probably from the heebie jeebies.  

I haven't mentioned the seagulls.  There were seagulls on the other side of the stadium, and sometimes a lot of them were flying around and kind of freaking me out because I've watched "The Birds" too many times.  After the Mandarins show, one of them had a huge piece of bread and dropped it on the field, prompting all of the other seagulls to fly down to "help" him eat it.  The lady next to me said that the gulls wanted to provide us with entertainment between shows.

Bro said that he hadn't noticed before that the backside of the mirrors were red.  I informed him that the red is the reflection of the seats in the stadium.  They were not red yesterday.  Oh.  I really like the crescendo while the brass is in a rectangular-ish shape on the lower right corner of the field.  The CG woman at center field was looking at the mirror and reacting to the different impact sounds.  The show is still not finished.  I'm hoping that we'll see more when they get to So Cal.  

Judas yells now.  I saw a skull formation.  Bro did not.  He asked if I saw the star.  There's a star?  APPARENTLY, it's very quick, before the last fleur de lis.  I'm not sure if you can see the fleur de lis in this picture, but it's there.  I like their formations, but I wish they'd stay in each specific formation (their trademark ones) a little bit longer.

Fleur de Lis

The white is very pretty from up here.  Beautiful music!  I missed getting a shot of the SCV star formation, but I did get the shield.

Oh, it's a snowflake!

I just noticed "Stormy Weather" in the opening of the show and throughout.  Where have I been? I can't belive that I'm writing this, but they need to clean the brass runs at the beginning of the show.  Not that everyone else is cleaner than them, but I noticed it and I usually don't for this corps.
Pinwheel / Whirlpool


Open Class:
4) 38.90 BD - C
3) 46.15 Golden Empire
2) 51.15 SCV Cadets
1) 51.80 BD - B

World Class:
7) 56.35 Mandarins
6) 56.55 Pac Crest
5) 60.45 Academy
4) 63.25 BK
3) 65.30 Madison
2) 69.25 SCV
1) 71.40 BD

  • California Dreamin' - Awww, because they're here!  I don't know why they need to have a trombone solo, but OK.
  • Selection from "Judas" 
  • You'll Never Walk Alone - this is their corps song, and a few alumni were in the stands watching while arm in arm.  The arrangement is different from what we're used to hearing from the Scouts, but I was still glad to hear it
  • Madison performing "Judas"
We did not go out to eat anything afterward because we both had half of our sandwiches from lunch, so we ate those for dinner with some of our snacks as our side dishes.  Did I mention that I brought way too many snacks?  I did.

Next up:  

SCV Family Day

PusherPix 06/26/16

Sunday, June 26, 2016

SCV Shield

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Atanos Thgilnoom at the Cissalc Thgilnoom

Moonlight Classic
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Sacramento City College - Hughes Stadium
Sacramento, CA

After breakfast at the hotel and my attempt to blog about the previous night's drum corps competition, Bro and I got our stuff together to make our way to Sacramento.  As we packed up the car, Bro saw the BATTKRU vehicle!  They were in our hotel!  Someday, folks.  Someday we'll meet each other outside of our cars.

I had previously scoped out places for us to eat during my business trips to Sacramento in the last several months, so we were on a mission for tacos.  On the way, we saw a truck that had what looked like a cotton candy machine on top of it.  We had no idea what that was.  We also saw people falling from the sky.  Yes, they had parachutes, but they landed really close to the freeway and it was kind of nerve-wracking.  
Cotton Candy?  Soup?  What is this for?

Lunch was at Chando's Tacos. Chando's is a taco stand so you order through a window in the little building, pick up from another window, and eat outside.  It was a hot Sacramento day, so waiting to take our order seemed like it took a long time because we were in the sun for part of the time.  Thankfully, they had an umbrella on the sidewalk to provide some relief.  Bro and I ordered our tacos and sat down in the covered patio behind the building.  I pointed out that they had a bag of water hanging from the ceiling.  These APPARENTLY keep flies away, especially if you put pennies in the bag.  I know this is a myth to some people, but I didn't see any flies there.  Maybe all of the flies were too hot.  Or they were all hanging out on the mirror at Bravo Farms.  Anyway, our food was yummy.  I had an asada taco and a carnitas taco, both with just cilantro because I can't have acidic food.  Bro had asada taco, carnitas taco and chicken taco, all with everything on top.  YAY!  He liked it!  I've never eaten radish slices with my tacos before.  I guess they're to offset spiciness.  I liked them even though I didn't eat anything spicy.


We had both eaten just enough to leave room for dessert, because I was NOT going to leave Sacramento without bringing Bro to Vampire Penguin.  We were not located close to the VP where I went before, so we tried to go to the one in Downtown Sac.  We couldn't find parking right away, so we went to the one in Natomas instead, since the parking would be free, and we had plenty of time before checking in to the hotel.  This VP is nice and roomy with pretty decor.  Frank Sinatra music was playing.  Such nice ambience!  Bro saw "mango" and ordered a Mexican Candy off of the Not-So-Secret menu.  I ordered a Halo Halo because he didn't and I wanted him to try it.  Mmmmmm....they were both yummy and refreshing!  I love this place too much.

Halo halo 

We went to the hotel, which is a place we previously stayed, which was good for us because Waze told us we had arrived when we weren't quite there yet.  We had some time to relax and I finished my blog post before going to the show.  It's good that we were relying on Waze at this point because I would have taken us to the wrong college.  I thought that we were going to Sacarmento State, but it was Sacramento City College. Uh oh.  I had told someone that we would be at the other place.  I hope that if they bought a ticket for themselves, they figured it out.  We parked in the structure but couldn't find our freeway friends' car.  

Whoo, it was HOT!  We went into the stadium and bought some water and a mix of kettlecorn and caramel corn, shopped the souvenir stands, and went to our seats.  Thankfully, our seats were in the shade, on the left 45 (row 24, seats 16-17).  We were in the top row, right up against the wall, so we didn't have any room in back of us.  I mean, NONE.  We were also concerned that the people in front of us would have our knees right next to their backs because we didn't have very much leg room.  Bro decided to get seats a few rows forward from now on.  

Ryan Turner told us to stand for "America the Beautiful" and "The Star-Spangled Banner", played by the Freelancers Alumni Corps.  I don't know why we were asked to stand for the first song.  

The rose design on the flags is faint, so I had a little trouble making sure that's what it was.  Good trumpet ensemble feature.  The sound balance was much better today.

Shiny Tympani

Oh!  There are the black/white drums!  I thought that Bro meant that some tenors had black drums, and some had white ones, but they each have two of each, arranged to look like a police car when you're looking at it head-on.  The littlest trumpeters are too cute.  At the end of the show, the DM presented the corps quickly and in a lackluster way.  I think it was just too hot up there for him to be excited.

Cop Car Snares

It's weird for me to see BD Corps back-to-back.  Yet here we are.

Much better entrance by the brass after the duet today.  The brass all-around sounded great today.  That last flag looks to be a film strip with a silhouette of a man.  Bro thinks it's leftover from BD's Fellini show.  Is it supposed to be Jim Lovell from "Apollo 13"?

Adagio / Apollo 13 duet

As they took the field, Bro realized what this show was.  I stared at him.  He said something about some girl in a movie until his brain finally worked and told me that it was the Hunger Games.  He had been watching videos before the season started, but I guess he forgot yesterday when we watched their show, and it only clicked when he heard someone do the mockingjay whistle, or at least something that sounded like it.  Well, there it is!  All of a sudden, I noticed a lot of movement from everyone on the field that was like someone using a bow and arrow.  That airplane that I thought I saw yesterday?  Yup.  A BOW.  Ohhhhhh......  We giggled every time we saw that imagery.  The electronics were still too loud, even though I do like the Taiko.  There is also still some hesitation after the solo.
Rifle Toss and lots of yellow accents

Bro saw someone tweet about the show not including Neo from "The Matrix".  See?

The people next to us left.  Those were not their seats.  I saw that Ryan T was talking to someone on the track and asked Bro for confirmation: yes, that was Brandt Crocker.  I saw them taking video of themselves, but was too slow to get a picture of them doing so.  The actual ticketholders took their seats.  Then the friends of the people in front of us tried to squeeze into their seats and couldn't figure out why there wasn't enough room for all of them.  This maybe wouldn't have been so irritating if the show wasn't about to start again. The lady next to me sarcastically commented on it and it made me laugh.  She marched in a couple of corps back East, both now defunct.

Paparazzi shot

Seems like the siren had costume issues because the white covering started to come off of her too soon.  Ah, that's how Bro lost her yesterday: she was more stealthy in taking off the white part and joining the rest of the CG.  Good brass sound, especially during the low brass feature.  Go, Contras!  They sounded better tonight.

Bro and I discussed the movie earlier in the day because it had been a long time since I saw "Corpse Bride".  We saw that there were 2 weddings, but it wasn't the same as in the movie.  Bro forgot to look for butterflies, but we figured there weren't any because of the difference.  I'm going to listen for the cool crescendo/decrescendo that Bro is talking about, although I did hear the end of the decrescendo down to one snare drum.  There are wedding rings on the flags.  They move really fast to get to a kneeling position at one point.  I'm glad I get to see this show several more times.

Chest Xylophones

The tracks didn't move today.  I like the blue/silver/white striped flags.  I also like the yellow lining in their waist scarves/rally towels when they fly in the wind at the same time that the yellow flags are spinning.
Railroad Crossing

Judas sings (recording) about Thursday, which would have been The Last Supper.  BK's voice talks about Thursday.  What the?  Bro noticed the cup (chalice) formation today.  The flags have a motif of leather straps.  I liked the show much more today, especially the steps from the brass players during "Jesus Christ Superstar".

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here."  That line from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" is perfect for BD.  Yellow!  A lot of corps have accents of yellow this year, and we haven't even seen half of them yet.  Beautiful ballad up to the company front.  I think those short white ribbons look like sperm.  I really enjoy this show!  Except for those sperm things.

The Wave

I don't know how they're going to get that tree through the tunnels at Lucas Oil.  Go, Tenors!!!  Very cool dynamics during the segment when the guard is putting on their monarch butterfly skirts.  Oh, the flags on the branch poles are leaves!  The corps also does a leaf formation.  I watched the cymbals during the last piece so I don't know what else I've missed.  I heart the SCV Cymbal Line.
Napping by our tree

OK, it seems that they're done with more of the show, or at least it was more cohesive tonight.  One of the CG girls is thrown in the air behind the center mirror.  The woman's voice says that on Thursday night "I will play the 'Moonlight Sonata' backwards..." and then THEY DID!  We were amazed when we figured it out.  It sounds gorgeous, too.  As I type this, Bro is researching the idea of this show, and sees that is partly based on the fact that the Beatles' "Because" was written by John Lennon when Yoko asked if he could play the "Moonlight Sonata" backwards.  Last year's BK show?  "Because".  Whoa <in Keanu voice>.  I'm getting chills, and it's not just because it's cold in this here hotel room.  

Mirror Mirror Tell Me True
What to Expect from the Knights in Blue?

Ryan T then announced that we had a special treat: Blue Knights would play for the encore.

Blue Knights
  • Pit feature
  • Brass feature (I'm not sure if these two pieces are part of the show, as it is still unfinished).
Then they started playing and I hit Bro because he said that if they played this, the unfinished show would be forgiven.
  • Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You (with a capella singing) 
    • I love this.  Love, love, love it!  Thank you, BK!

The scores took a while to be announced because RT's microphone issues.  Then when he started talking, it was reverb-heavy.  


Open Class
4) 37.95 BD - C
3) 45.15 Golden Empire
2) 50.30 BD - B
1) 50.35 SCV Cadets

World Class
7) 54.05 Pac Crest
6) 54.70 Mandarins
5) 58.00 Academy
4) 62.05 Blue Knights
3) 63.55 Madison 
2) 67.15 SCV
1) 69.20 BD

We stopped at McD's on the way home because Bro wanted to try the build-a-burger thing.  That was not available.  I don't know if they don't have that up here, or it's because we were there during late-night menu time.  

Great food and drum corps day!

Next up: DCI West