Monday, September 17, 2018

Chomp On This

Last weekend, I made sure to see "The Meg" before it left theaters. (I love the tagline on the official site:  "Pleased to Eat You".)  I mean, how can I possibly watch a movie about a giant shark if I wasn't going to see it in BIG?  I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to see it in IMAX, though.  But, you know, drum corps priorities.

  • I've decided that the Meg is Filipino, because the first scene takes place in the Philippine Trench.  
  • How is it possible for Jason Statham to have that many muscles?  Like, muscles on TOP of his muscles?  How do those muscles even fit in those little vehicles?  Can you tell that I was distracted a bit by his physique?
  • Loved all of the homages to "JAWS".  At least, I'm going to call them homages, because "rip-off" sounds so negative, and I think the references were on purpose.
  • I love the tagline on the official site:  "Pleased to Eat You".
  • I kinda wanted the guy in the big inflatable ball to get eaten, because he was rudely running over the other people in the water.
  • "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."
  • "Eight year olds hear everything."  
  • I was worried that she was hiding in the rescue vehicle that Jason Statham was using.  I guess she was smarter than that.
  • I saw that the boat's name was "Charlotte", like in "National Treasure", and wondered if there was a connection.  Yes, Sherry, the director, Jon Turteltaub, also directed NT.  Thank you, IMDB!
  • Haha.  "Fin."
That was fun.  I look forward to the inevitable viewing during Shark Week next year.  


My Sunday movie during Labor Day weekend was "Searching", which I had been mildly interested in seeing when I read about it, but I saw the trailer and really looked forward to seeing the film.

  • First 5 minutes into the movie, and I was already crying.  It was like watching the first 5 minutes of "Up" again. But then the tension started, and...yikes.
  • Loved all of the twists and turns of the plot.
  • I became suspicious of almost everyone in the movie.  Everyone.  I am also now suspicious of everyone in my life.
  • "She was my best friend."  WHAT?!?!?
  • John Cho did a superb job.  I felt really sorry for him when people on social media were commenting that he killed her.  
  • "Bieber concert.  Confirmed."
  • Ummm...people in Northern California do not use "the" when naming freeways.  So Cal writer/actor fail.  Or maybe Vick was from So Cal?
  • In this Information Age, it seems like we know less about people than we did before all of this technology.  Or maybe we just never knew anyone at all.
This entire movie is made of spoilers, so this entry needs to be short.  Go see the movie!  I loved it.  If it's still showing in theaters and I have time, I'm going to watch it again and look for the Easter Egg clues.

DLR LotD 09/01/18

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Saturday, September 1, 2018

"I miss you already!" -- Heimlich, at Heimlich's Chew-Chew Train

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Maestro, Indeed

John Williams: Maestro of the Movies
40th Anniversary Celebration!
Friday, August 31, 2018
Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood, CA

A couple of months ago, Rudy said that he was going to get tickets to this show and asked if I'd like to join in on the fun.  I said yes, but wasn't sure if we actually had tickets because I didn't hear from him after that.  Luckily for me, he did get the tickets, and told me earlier that week.  I put on the Superman shirt I got at this year's WonderCon, and got on the shuttle in Arcadia.  Why Superman?  Well, I couldn't decide on which of the twenty or so Star Wars shirts to wear, and then I realized I had a Superman shirt and decided to wear that instead, because "Superman: The Movie" is my favorite film score EVER, and guess who composed it?  JW himself. (Ooh, I just did a Google search, and that film is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and there will be limited screenings of it.  I hope I can go!).
Marquee Shot

Rudy and Brian were waiting for me when I got off of the bus, and I wanted to go to the Bowl store first so I could buy a shirt.  I also bought light sabers for the 3 of us because I couldn't bring my light saber umbrella.  Brian was in a wheelchair, so I learned the elevator route.  Our seats were supposed to be in the top tier, but the wheelchair wouldn't go up there.  We were asked if we'd like to be re-seated, and they found us seats which were closer and didn't require Brian to get out of his chair to use his crutches.  Well, that's nice!  We were seated next to a lady whom was very friendly and I now know that I can transport wine in a lighter container than a big old bottle.

David Newman conducted the first half of the show.  I love how he's unapologetically rumply.

The LA Phil played the Star-Spangled Banner.  Flags were still at half staff to honor the passing of US Senator John McCain.

Olympic Fanfare and Theme by John Williams
The US Army Herald Trumpets took the stage and I got all excited.  What a perfect song for them to perform!  Clips of various Olympic moments played on the screen, mostly highlights of recent years, of Olympians from different nations.
Torch Lighting

With Fireworks

The Magnificent Seven

"The Cave Sequence"  from Raiders of the Lost Ark by John Williams (with film)
I love this!

"A New Beginning" from Minority Report by John Williams
I recognized this music, but didn't realize it was from this movie until I read the program just now.

"Flight to Neverland" from Hook by John Williams
Clips from all kinds of flight were shown.  Was I the only one that cheered when they finally showed Robin Williams flying as Peter Pan?  Because that's THIS MUSIC, people!  Some people turned on their light sabers during the very brief Star Wars clips.

Celebrating the Bernstein Centennial - To Lenny by John Williams
Lots of different cues from Bernstein's work.  Nice.

Overture from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein
Rudy asked me if JW wrote the score for WSS.  I later found out that he was the studio pianist for the film.  I love WSS, so I was really happy to see the clips from the film.

Suite from On the Waterfront by Leonard Bernstein
Ah, OK, now that I've read the program, this makes sense.  I wasn't sure what this piece was, although I was familiar with the music.  


The Maestro himself took the stage, and said that he had been trying to convince his guest to come to this show for 40 years, and he finally succeeded.  He called Steven Spielberg to the stage.  
John Williams

Spielberg and Williams have been working together for 44 years!  Spielberg sat in a chair on the stage after introducing the next piece.

"With Malice Toward None'  from Lincoln by John Williams
Thomas Hooten, trumpet soloist

Rudy said that he has never seen "Lincoln", but wants to after hearing the music.  Yeah, that was a great film.  Beautiful job by Hooten. What are the odds that a trumpet players name would have the word "hoot" in it?  Hmmm...had it been "Tooten", I would have lost it.

Techniques of Film Scoring
Spielberg talked about his movies being nothing without Williams' scores.  To illustrate, we watched "The Circus Train Chase" scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade without the score.  (This was the start of the film, with River Phoenix playing the young Indiana Jones.)  So quiet!  Just "oofs" and sound effects of a train engine and fighting.  Spielberg made little comments while we watched, like "That's when Indiana got his whip" and "That's where Harrison has a real scar".  We then watched it again, this time with the orchestra playing the score, and it was just genius.  

OK, so you know what's cool?  When this was recorded in the sound studio, Brian was there (he was a PA for Spielberg back then).  We told him to wave at Steven.

"The Duel" from The Adventures of Tintin by John Williams
A montage of swordplay was shown, and I was happy every time they showed clips from "Princess Bride".  Yes, they showed lightsabers in this montage, too.  I was disappointed, though, that I didn't see anything from "The Goonies", although I guess there wasn't any sword fighting, just Sloth acting like a pirate on the ship.  Never mind.

Theme from Schindler's List By John Williams
Bing Wang, Violin Soloist

Gorgeous.  I'm pretty sure I saw tears on Spielberg's face from way up at my seat.

Spielberg: "I can direct bicycles to fly, but John's music truly makes them airborne."

Finale from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial by John Williams
We watched that whole thing, which starts with Elliott going to the van where E.T. is in the box, all the way to the end.  Because I hadn't cried enough during the evening, I guess.  If this music does nothing to your soul, you are dead inside.


"The Rebellion is Reborn" from "Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi" by John Williams
Theme from "Star Wars" by John Williams
"Imperial March" by John Williams  

They brought the herald trumpeters back, because you can't play that march without a bunch of trumpets.

Light saber time!  Lots and lots of light sabers. 

Light sabers behind us

Light sabers in front of us (including ours)

I pointed out one of the french horn players to Rudy because he looked like Barry of Rockapella.  Barry is from LA and played the french horn, you know.  It's possible that was him.  Not probable, but possible.

I said my goodbyes to Rudy, Brian, because I needed to hurry up and get on the shuttle.  Ooh, coach bus, nice and comfy.

That was a great evening. Thank you, Rudy, for getting the tickets!

Thank you, Steven Spielberg, for spending your time with all of us at the Bowl.

Thank you, John Williams, for the beautiful gift of music you've written and shared with the world.  You are truly the Maestro.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Puppet Noir

I went to Universal Studios Hollywood during the day so I could go on Jurassic Park: The Ride one more time before it changes into whatever Jurassic World otherness.  I got soaked, but dried off in time to have dinner with my friends, then see "The Happytime Murders".

  • This is not your kids' muppet movie. Oh my goodness, it is NOT.
  • That opening scene, for instance, with the cow, and the milking.  Yikes!
  • If you have a puppet liver, you, too, can get hopped up on purple sugar crystals by using red vines as your snorting straw.  
  • Cousins should not breed with each other.  The kids screaming at themselves in the mirror gave me the giggle fits.  I'm giggling now as I type this.
  • Why do the dogs hate the puppets so much?!?  Oh, no, wait, it's because they think they're chew toys, right?
  • Don't call a puppet "sock".  It is derogatory and pisses them off.  Also, please don't call me a "meat sack".
  • Melissa McCarthy is hilarious as always.
  • Phil's brother trying to look more human, with the nose.  How is it that I didn't notice that?
  • Loved the credits: they show how the puppeteers worked the scenes.
I had fun watching this, and I laughed a lot.  I would see it again once it is shown on TV, but not with any kids in the room.  So, so, so NOT.

They're So Fluffy!

In keeping with the Asian movie theme of the weekend, I decided to see the documentary short "Pandas" on IMAX 3D.  Linda decided to see it with me.

  • I felt like a kid reaching out for the Fuzzball at Captain EO when I saw how fluffy the baby pandas were.  I want to pet one!
  • Interesting that they were observing the baby pandas and kind of "auditioning" them to see how well they might do in the wild.
  • Pandas eat 50 pounds of bamboo a day.  I don't think I should have one as a pet.
  • I'm wondering what it smells like in that guy's house, with 3 bear cubs living inside.  From what I hear about the bears local to my neighborhood, they don't smell great.
  • Jujitsu training helps you get out of a panda's grasp if playtime gets rough.  The more you know!
That was cute.  I hope the Giant Pandas can once again thrive in the wild.

Bawk Bawk

After a frustrating day at MouseAdventure: That's From Disneyland, Mox and I went to Burbank to see "Crazy Rich Asians".  The theater was packed!  

  • "Damn, Girl, he's like the Asian Bachelor!"
  • "Tonight you need to not look like Sebastian from 'The Little Mermaid'."
  • I loved every time Awkwafina was on screen.
  • "You both went to the same school.  Yet someone comes back with a degree that's useful, and the other one came back as Asian Ellen."
  • "You have a cocktail dress in your trunk?"  "I'm not an animal, Rachel."
  • I think I'd just hang out on that beach all day.  The scenery was gorgeous.
  • People shouldn't talk about babies while making bao anymore, because then I think of the Pixar short and people eating their young.
  • You're telling me that those stuck-up women actually touched that dead fish and spread blood around like that?  Mean women are mean.
  • Now that a sequel has been announced, I hope we get to see more of Astrid.  Her character interests me.
  • "It was never my job to make you feel like a man.  I can't make you into something you're not."
  • Michelle Yeoh.  That is all.
I hope I get a chance to see this movie in the theater again, but if not, I'll probably watch it lots of times on TV.  Fun!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Family Matters

Rockapella and the Company Men
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Bankhead Theatre
Livermore, CA

I arrived in San Jose after the awesome week of drum corps, yet I still had lots of energy despite the restless sleep I had on the plane.  I bought a breakfast sandwich and a chai latte at one of the airport restaurants, and sat down and relaxed for a little bit after retrieving my luggage.  I ordered a Lyft to take me to my hotel in Livermore, and my driver was very friendly.  I'm always amazed at what people will tell total strangers when nobody else in their life is there to hear them.  No, I wasn't the one talking.  The hotel had a room available for early check-in, so I had a chance to change and get pretty for the show.

Weff arrived at the hotel, and I met up with them when we were all ready to go to the theatre.  After parking on the second floor of the parking structure, we walked down the stairs and somebody recognized my voice: my cousin, Marie!  She was about to go to her first Rockapella show, and I was excited about that, as well as excited that I was seeing her, because we rarely get to see each other.  I still needed to wait for Jen to arrive, and Auntie Milda was stuck in horrid traffic, so I left her ticket at will call.  Since we were allowed to bring beverages into the theater, Jen and I bought wine that came in cups with coffee cup lids so that our drinks were covered.  The only problem with those lids is that they were a little awkward and little drops dribbled, so I needed to be extra careful not to spill anywhere.

Our seats were in the front row, house right, Row A, seats 2-8.  We had wondered how this show would work, and I guess Calvin told Weff on Friday night that he wasn't sure.  Like, would they each sing a whole set?  Why is Rockapella on stage first?  Shouldn't they be headlining?  Was Auntie Milda going to make it to her seat before the show started?  Why, YES! There she is!  YAY!

The introductory film graphics were like a comic book, as the theme from "Avengers" played.  The graphics included a superpower for each of them, none of which I understand from my scribbly notes.  Whoa.  I'm out of practice writing in the dark.  I just hope that by the end of the concert, all of them would still be there, and not little piles of dust.

Rock Around the Clock
Hmmm. Moments of sound issues.
After the song, Scott asked the audience, "How you doing?", then asked, "What's up with the sound?!?" He did not wait for an answer.  They immediately went into the next song.

Jailhouse Rock
Scott pointed at us when he sang "Do you no good."  Then we saw Pella Butts.  OK!  I think those did me *some* good.

Scott: "I love Livermore, it's 60 degrees at night and 105 degrees in the daytime."
"I see some of our friends in the front row." Awww....that's us, Posse! 

Jeff laid down the beats, which led to Dancin' in the Moonlight.
Love that choreography.

Don't Mess With Jim
"RRRUFFFF!"  I'm pretty sure Scott barked at me.

Scott introduced us to "Bad, Bad Calvin Jones".
Scott: "I love liver.  Pate is my favorite."  

L-O-V-E / What Lovers Do
Ooh, I haven't seen this as performed by Rockapella, only Sun Brothers (L-O-V-E).  I've seen the video, but not live.  They added something like "wishing for some of that Califronia wine", and "How about a little avocado?"  So clever!

The Middle Medley
This was the song on their most recently released video. Cute that Mitch was stuck between Scott and Cal at the end of the piece.

Scott forced Mitch to talk because he's a Cavs fan, and they were in Warriors country.  
Scott:  "I've always been a Steph Curry fan.  I keep telling you that."
<talking about JT> "Jeff started as a toddler, he was so cute."  
Scott "used to listen to Andy Williams every year, from Labor Day on."

Moon River

Bryant told us about Rockapella Jams Vol. 2 - Whoo!  Wait.  When is that being released?! Did I even hear that right?

Bryant first saw Rockapella live at 8 years old.  Jeff:  "I was 10."  
Bryant wanted to be a..."what do you call it?"  JT:  "Moisturizer.  Pro Spitter."  Bryant:  "I always wanted to be a pro-spitter.

So they did some vocal percussion together and it was awesome!  Then JT did a drum solo, and Bryant came in with his bass.

Rock The Boat

Rapper's Delight / Uptown Funk
Scott danced like Bruno Mars.  Mitch pointed at Wendy when he sang, "She likes it", and Wendy nodded.

Scott:  We sang this song every day for 75 years:
Carmen SanDiego / Shape of You

For some reason, I wrote down "Calvin does not want to sweat."  Neither my friends nor I can remember why I wrote that.  Did someone say it?  Did Calvin say it about himself?  Why was Calvin talking in the third person?  Why am I just making up stuff?  (This is a rhetorical question, BTW.)

KP left because she had a train to catch.  Sorry I didn't say bye, KP!  We were catching up on family stuff.

Then The Company Men took the stage.

I got ready to write notes, but realized that I didn't really want to do so.  The Company Men is a 4-man group.  They sing in harmony with instrumental tracks (and, we found out later, some vocal tracks, too).  Well, at least they did tonight.  I see videos on the 'net with live instruments.  Their songs were medleys of lots of different songs, like one of the medleys (or, they called them mash-ups and tried to sound like this was an original thing when we had just heard Rockapella) was a bunch of Motown songs.  This made me thankful that Rockapella is singing stuff from JAMS Volume 1 and not their Motown & More CD, or I would have gone out for more wine.  They all had good voices, and did some Temptations-like dancing.  It was fun, but you know me: I missed Rockapella halfway through the first song.

Then Rockapella joined The Company Men!  I told my seatmates, "I've missed them SO much!"  Jen told me they were on stage earlier that day.  I told her it was still agonizing this entire time.  I'm never dramatic.

This Time
Ooh, I like this song, which is by John Legend.  The Company Men has this in their regular repertoire, and it's very pretty.  It's even better with my guys.  

One of The Company Men guys talked about performing with the USO, and how proud he was to sing for the troops.  That other guy took Mitch's stool, so Mitch had to sit on Thacher Island.  Rude.

Battle Hymn of the Republic / America the Beautiful
I love hearing a male choir sing Battle Hymn.  I love singing it, too, but I always want to sing it in their range because I like the low voices for it.  I tried not to cry.  It did not work.

Up On The Roof / Wonderful World (off mic)
Wait a minute.  That guy that took Mitch's stool?  He ALSO sang Mitch's part on "Roof"!!!  If anyone had sung the lead to Wonderful World other than Scott, I would have been pissed.  Lucky for them, they kept their heads about them.

Also luckily for them: none of them turned into piles of dust.

Meet and Greet
Marie and Auntie Milda bought CDs from both groups, and I introduced them to the guys I knew, and told Rockapella that it was Marie's first show.  They also took a picture with them.

I whispered to Scott that I preferred when they were the ones on stage.  I don't know if anyone else heard me.  Then I realized that I didn't have one of JeffEvs' Altoids, and Scott could probably smell my Breath of Red Wine.  Sorry, Scott!  ACK, I'm so embarrassed now, so of course I need to confess it to the world in this blog.

After taking pictures with folks, Calvin came over to talk to us.  He and I discussed how he's not happy with LeBron going to the Lakers, and neither am I, so he should just come to a game with me and we can commiserate.

Mitch came to talk to us, and I noticed that he was wearing a new Rockapella shirt.  He said he was trying to market it by wearing it to the meet and greet, and that they have a bunch of them for sale on the website.  He said he hoped people would like it, and I told him I like it.  Then he told me, "You don't count."

So I walked back to the table where the other guys were, and told them that Mitch said that I didn't count.  They looked at me like I was insane.  Or maybe that's the way they always look at me.  Bryant walked over to see what was up with that remark.  Mitch said, "No, Sherry, you don't count because you're one of us! You're FAMILY!"  Then I calmed down.  Mitch said I'm family.  Mitch is forgiven.

We took this picture before I thought he was insulting me.

Then we focused on Bryant and the fact that next time they saw him, he'd be a married man.  I congratulated him and asked him where he and his lovely bride would be going on their honeymoon.  Jen said I was nosy.  Jen, don't you know?  I'm FAMILY.  Also, I want to make sure not to go where they go lest I be accused of stalking anyone.  

Bryant takes our selfie

Bryant starts to lose control

Bryant realizes he's stalking himself

I realize that my phone no longer
belongs to me.

I can't stop giggling.

Fred came over to talk to us, too, and we asked what happened to the sound during the show.  I don't remember the answer, but he said it wasn't his fault.  Well, of course not!

We were the last group to leave, as usual, and ate dinner close by at Sauced.  Mmmm...barbecue!  I decided I didn't need to drink anymore because I was going on almost no sleep and was still a little tipsy from the wine.  

We thought of going to see a famous light bulb in a firehouse, but decided it was too far of a walk, so we just said our goodbyes and Weff and I returned to the hotel.  I had a good sleep and was nice and refreshed for the trip home.  My Lyft driver welcomed a friendly chat, and we talked about the wedding he'd be attending in a couple of weeks.  I did not ask about the couple's honeymoon.

It was an awesome vacation:  DCI Finals with an SCV/SCVC win, and then I saw my Rockapella posse and family!  I'm a happy girl.   So how else to celebrate the great week?  Get cupcakes at My Delight, of course.  And then order a couple of Rockapella shirts.

GF Peach Cobbler; Banana Split;
Unicorn; Caramel Cheesecake

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Vanguard Victorious

DCI Finals
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, IN

It's Finals Day!  This morning, Vanguard posted this quote on their white board, from their late founding Executive Director Gail Royer: "I want them to look forward and not look backward.  I want them to say, 'OK, it's we move on to another plateau...another step up...moving forward.'"  Inspiring.

We slept in for a while, me less so than Bro and V, because I had some blogging to do.  We were going to eat at Patachou but the line was really long, so we ended up going to Le Peep.  When we walked to our table, the family we were seated next to suddenly got very quiet.  We heard the dad say something about talking smack, but I don't know why they would do that when the girl was wearing an SCV shirt, and we were wearing SCV apparel, too.  Whatevs.  I guess dad didn't know what was going on anyway, but it was weird.  SCV Folk do not talk smack about each other, dad.  I ordered the short stack of Kingcake combo.  The Kingcake is their specialty, and it's basically a very thin pancake, but too doughy to call a crepe.  It was yummy, and Bro and V enjoyed their meals, too.  We went to CVS to get Band-Aids for V, which ended up being free because she had a coupon, so bonus!  Then we went back to the hotel to rest up for a little while before walking back to Lucas Oil for the last time this season.

We tried to say hi to Benji at the Oregon Crusaders booth, but they were still setting up, so we couldn't get near his crate.  I think they were all sold out of the Benji shirts, though.  The line at the SCV booth was so long that they had put up stanchions so fans could queue up Disneyland-style.  Wow.  Bro remembered that the Bluecoats booth was the same way last year.  So SCV wins the Most People In Line Award this year.  Yes, I'm pretty sure that's a demand thing, and not a staffing issue, because they have always been efficient with my purchases this year.

I've been taking pictures of the huge recap board this week because Vanguard has been on top every day.  Also, because it's huge.

The Stanbury booth not only had SCV and SCVC uniforms on display, but you could also take a picture with you face in last year's Ouroboros outfit.  Bro did not want to have his picture taken in it, but we're pretty sure that's Stone's body.

Bro wanted to buy water, and because the guy saw V standing with him, he figured that the two of them could handle 3 water bottles, so he took off the caps.  We arrived at our seats while SCVC was setting up for their show.  Our seats were on the right  15-yard line, Section 237, Row 7, Seats 15-17.  When V and I saw the number of our section, we gasped, but Bro reminded us that we would not be seeing The Shining show by Oregon Crusaders today, so we stopped freaking out.  Dan Potter was the MC for the pre-competition portion of the program, and gave us the lineup for the day.

SCVC played this show every day but Wednesday this week.  Today's performance was their exhibition as Open Class Champions.  Congratulations again, Vanguard Cadets!!!!!

Beginning of group dance

Smiles of Champions

Strike a Pose

After Cymbal Viper

V and I went to concessions to get food for the 3 of us.  V ended up going to 6 booths because 1) she was being indecisive; and 2) not all booths had everything she wanted to get. While she was in line, I heard a lady order 2 bottles of water WITH caps.  They obliged.  I think I'm going to tally how many people I see walking away from concessions with water bottle caps next year.  Because I know y'all want to know about that.  ;)  When we returned to our seats, Bro pointed up at the row behind us.  Ray's here!  Hi, Ray!  We met Ray at the SCV 50th Anniversary Gala last year; he was sitting at our table.  We talked about how excited we were about SCV doing so well this year, as well as other stuff.

IN-Pact performed a couple of songs, the second one, "Uptown Funk" with Al Chez.  Hey, we saw him the other day!

The sponsors were recognized.  Thank you for the support of these wonderful kids and their love for the activity!

Repertoire: "Furia"
I like this piece.  It represents the sacrifice of those who served in the USMC.  They even covered one of the fallen in a black cloth.

Then they played "Stars and Stripes Forever", and I was happy.

The Star-Spangled Banner was performed by The Commandant's Own.

Brandt Crocker (Voice of DCI) then took over, announced the finalist corps again, and said, "Here we go!"

Great job with the brass run in the final piece.  Was the singer supposed to drop the lead color guard?  Bye, Bones.

I like that augmented "New World" tune that the pit plays during the opening piece.  So ... I never figured out the honeycombs.  

Today, I went to the corps website to look at the program notes:  "This study is done through the abstract lens of modern dance, and uses the hexagon symbolically throughout its design as a way to consider tessellation—the ability to combine simple shapes in an effort to create a more complex whole—making something new out of what already exists. This infinite possibility of pairings allows us to explore a variety of tunnels & passageways; to unlock an endless series of doors; to constantly find ourselves in new spaces... the idea that these interactions will leave both a person and a place forever changed."

So it has nothing to do with bees, as I silently wondered.  That's probably why there wasn't any "Flight of the Bumblebee", huh?  I learned a new word today!  "Tessellation".

Welcome to World Class Finals, Mandarins!  Nice of Brandt to acknowledge their first time here.  ACK!  Why drop, why?!  I love that last part with all the horns on the turntable.

The signal sounds from the radio tower were not working and I thought they might get a penalty for starting their show late, but they didn't.  Let's see that spiral one last time.  Love it! I didn't realize until today that the double flags at the end are their wings and they are fluttering them toward the tower.    


BK Knee Bend

It's a whole different show over here on the right side!  Instead of measuring tape, their props are leveling tools. They form a star with their wood props at the end.

Doesn't he need that drum to be in one piece?

I don't think anyone was singing that Holy Name hymn yesterday.  I like the drill during the drum feature: the hornline pretty much leaps to their spots in the diamond formation.

Cadets Logo on Flags


Old School Uniform


V and I agreed on Adult Rules to the restroom. When we exited, we had to get through a crowd of wall-to-wall people.  It was crazy!  I don't know why DCI doesn't make the Finals Night intermission longer when they know that more people are in attendance.  Don't they realize all of these people probably need to use the restroom and 17 minutes is not enough time for that?  

I sis nor see those xylophones on the field before. At the end of the show, when they turn the tarps to the rainbow colors, they're like Rainbow Rorschach tests.  I haven't seen enough of this show.  Love that Bolero!  

If that's not a real fire, why is there always smoke?  He did a cartwheel on her back when she laid down.  Rude.  If you wave around a pig's head long enough, stuff will come out of said pig's head.  People get speared, the audience cheers.  This is my evidence for the corps all drowning.  We love death.

Mid Drowning

Oops.  I didn't get the last "E" in the picture.

I like the music from the lower brass when the CG guys are rocking the big prop back and forth.  Brass killed it!

Beast Parts

Rock It!

During the set-up, the cameraman focused on the beatniks, and one of them twirled his mustache.  Meh, I've seen better.  The drum major was all into the music, singing "jackpot" along with the vocalist.  

Go, Trombone Soloist!  The lady next to me knows him really well.  She knows several kids in different corps because they are friends with her son.  I just watch the guys with the rifles during Natural Woman now because I'm bored of the hair dancing.

This is me being distracted by who is in the tunnel

Go, Dude, Go!

I saw them waiting in the tunnel entrance during BD's show and got all excited.  Go, George!  He is the backfield drum major, and my seat neighbor's son.  I don't remember hearing the recording of the different languages at the beginning of the show before.   ACK! Leo's mic!  Then the guy got hit by the prop.  Oh, geez.  VAAAANNNNNGUAAAAAARRRRRRD!!!!!   

Our section went bananas.  I think I stood up 3 times during the show.  I could barely contain myself from the moment they started.  AAAAHHHH, I LOVE THIS SHOW!  I would like to see that again tonight, please.  PLEASE!!!

Hi, Carl!

Presentation of drum majors of the medalists from the Open Class Finals competition:
Bronze: GOLD

Our section went crazy again.

You know what's cool about this picture?
All 3 medalist corps are from California!


The Commandant's Own US Marine Drum & Bugle Corps played as the finalist drum corps took the field.

Mandarins color guard carried their leader in with her cube.  Welcome to Finals Retreat, Mandarins!

The Cavaliers treated the yard line like a tightrope.

V pointed out to me that the Boston leaders were wearing leis, "which means they were rescued".  I still don't believe her.

OMG, Vanguard brought in one of the cages!

I always like seeing the video montage that they show at this point. 

Can you see Vanguard's check mark?

And now, the scores.  (Big exhale).  Caption awards are based on the best average from Prelims, Semifinals, and Finals nights.

World Class Corps Director of the Year:  Shaun Gallant of SCV!!!!!
YAY, SEAN!!!!!  He's awesome.

12) 86.75 -- CROSSMEN

Jim Jones Leadership Award: Claire Albrecht of THE CADETS

10) 88.15 -- MANDARINS

George Zingali Color Guard Caption Award:  BOSTON CRUSADERS

9) 88.925 -- BLUE KNIGHTS

John Brazale Best Visual Performance Award:  SANTA CLARA VANGUARD

8) 90.05 -- BLUE STARS

Jim Ott Best Brass Performance Award:  SANTA CLARA VANGUARD

7) 92.225 -- THE CADETS
6) 93.2125 -- THE CAVALIERS

Fred Sanford Best Percussion Performance Award: SANTA CLARA VANGUARD
(That's the 3rd year in a row for SCV.  YES!!!)

5) 94.3125 -- BOSTON CRUSADERS

Donald Angelica Best General Effect Award:  SANTA CLARA VANGUARD

3) 96.95 -- BLUECOATS
2) 97.35 -- BLUE DEVILS
1) 98.625 -- SANTA CLARA VANGUARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Congratulations to all the corps.  Santa Clara Vanguard, the field is yours."

OK, after a week of debriefing this in my head, I have tears in my eyes as I typed that last quote from Brandt Crocker.

The crowd went insane.  We were happy, happy, happy, and I almost lost my voice from the screaming every time Brandt announced SCV's name.  It's been 19 long years since their last title, and they shared it in a tie with BD.  It's an SCV Sweep, y'all.  Both SCVC and SCV won the gold!

The Blue Stars lengthened their measuring tapes in happiness.

When they were dismissed, the bass drummers from a few of the corps went into this crazy drumming frenzy together.  That's new.  

I went to the restroom because I knew it would take a while to clear the field.  I heard the announcement, "Ladies and gentlemen, we need to clear the field...the field belongs to Santa Clara Vanguard."  That's RIGHT, it does!!!!!

Well, would ya look at that?



  • 2018 production:  "Babylon"

I'm looking forward to seeing all of the Go Pro videos
from this encore performance!

After we all calmed down from watching that amazing victory performance one more time, Brandt said, "There's one more song that needs to be played."  ACK, I'm crying again.

I'm pretty sure Gail Royer was beaming with pride while watching this from his seat up in heaven.

We went to the lot to see if SCV was going to do anything special before letting everyone leave, but they must have said whatever they needed to say back in the stadium tunnel.  So we took pictures of each other before returning to the hotel.

Happy Vanguard Fans

Happy Sibs

From the other side of the cage

Our bodies are by a cage

Thank you, SCV, for this awesome season.  Congratulations on your seventh gold.

One of the article opening lines was, "It started with Stanford."  Indeed.  SCV had one loss since Stanford in June, and dominated all season, despite the thoughts of the East Coast fans that the West Coast scores were inflated.  People, we happen to have the best corps out West, so deal with it.  I am proud of this corps.  They had some hiccups during this year's tour, with their food truck getting in an accident (rendering it a total loss and having to rent a temporary one), their souvie trailer also having issues, and the rained-out Allentown show.  Yet through it all, they persevered, they worked hard, they kept up the classy and positive attitude for which they are famous, and they did it!  They won!  19 years ago, when they last won the title, Bro and I attended our first DCI Finals, and we've been hooked ever since.  This feeling of pride in our favorite corps has never wavered, even through the lower-ranked years.  It feels so awesome to see SCV win again, with such an amazing show that will be talked about with superlatives for years and years.  With the Vanguard Cadets winning, too, I am just thrilled for the organization.  There's No Place Like Santa Clara.  

At the hotel, Bro and V packed quickly and went to sleep for a few hours.  I stayed up all night because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep, and I also packed.  V called an Uber for our early morning flights, and I said goodbye to Bro and V before I got in the really long line of drum corps kids and fans for Southwest.  I'm glad I said bye to them so they could get through security, because they were able to catch an earlier flight home.  My flight to Vegas (en route to San Jose) had many drum corps passengers, and the flight attendant was kind of irritated that everyone was so sleepy.  At 7:00 a.m.  Lady, I'm pretty sure most of these folks haven't slept for more than 3 hours, if at all, so leave them alone.  At least you didn't have to serve drinks or talk to most of them because they were asleep for most of the flight.  I made it to San Jose with plenty of time for the next show.  The weekend isn't done yet!

Next up:  Rockapella in Livermore