Monday, January 2, 2012

Guess Where I Was Today?


In case you need another hint:

I was there because of this young lady:

She's one of the Rose Princesses.  She's also my friend's niece.  My friend's husband, in turn, works at one of the places on Colorado Boulevard.  Said place of employment sets out a few rows of seats in front of the operation, for its valued employees.  Because of the bit with the niece, they booked up nearly 20 seats there (for friends and family) and we all cheered for Megan up there (Cynthia, in the press releases).  They got really good seats, too.  I didn't entirely know what to expect -- perhaps some seats on the sidewalk with a few rows of people (who had camped out) in front of us.  This, in fact, is where I was sitting:

That's my foot, my tea (and that nice Lacoste bag someone gave me for my Bat Mitzvah that, yes, I am still using 30 years later).  The significant thing here is that blue line on which my bag and tea are sitting.  That's the "honor line."  It's painted on both sides of Colorado Blvd., a few feet into the street from the sidewalk, and you (and your belongings) are not allowed to cross it.  In other words, I was sitting in a nice folding chair in the front damn row, with nobody allowed to get any closer.  Awesome.  (I now feel much better about the thousand bucks I've spent on eyeglasses at this establishment over the years.)

Most of the photos are self-explanatory.  I was particularly moved by the Donate Life float:

OK, in this float:

there were some folks riding inside.  Most of them were smiling and waving.  The one in the blue, er, wasn't:

You can't quite see it, although you can certainly tell by her hand position.  Girlfriend was texting.  (Or tweeting, or live blogging the parade, or whatever.)  Some guy behind me shouted, "Stop texting and wave!" and she had the good sense to look embarrassed and give us a half-assed wave before going back to her blackberry.  Apparently, the City of Glendale (the float's sponsor) already took some hits for a design that included a Circus Elephant (the title is "Just Imagine the Music, Fun, and Freedom" -- apparently, the circus elephant is imagining what it would be like to not cart around a bunch of teenagers), and I think they need to reconsider their riders (or, at least, give them some instructions on proper float-riding etiquette), because this is not cool. 

Oh, and these guys?  

There are several groups of them walking the parade route (strategically placed after most equestrian units).  They tended to get really huge applause as they went by, and some of them -- if they didn't have any poop to scoop -- would raise their shovels over their heads triumphantly, to further cheers from the crowd.  (Yo, Glendale girl -- THAT is the way to behave when you're in the Rose Parade.)

In fact, they were not placed after all the equestrian units, which led to the question:  what happens when a marching band follows an equestrian unit.  The first such incident occurred with the US Marine Corps marching band (which followed the USMC mounted color guard).  There was a big pile of horse poop in the center of the street, and the marching band deftly went around it -- you couldn't see anyone break ranks, but, when they passed by, the poop was still intact.

A High School band later was not so skillful.  ("You're dancing in poop!")

I think all the rest of the pictures are just floats.  No, wait.  Does everybody know this guy?

That's Raul Rodriguez, float designer extraordinaire.  He is riding on the 500th float he has designed for the Rose Parade.  That's, like, eleven whole parades worth of floats.  He's clearly the go-to guy for your float designs and, this year, his floats won another stack of awards.

OK, now the rest of the pictures are just floats.  :)

You may wonder if I stayed to see the "Occupy" float.  Here's what you need to know about the Rose Parade.  It ends with the Parade of Tow Trucks -- half a dozen (or more) trucks, moving slowly and honking their horns.  The Parade of Tow Trucks is followed by the Parade of People Going Back to Their Cars.  During the slow passage of the tow trucks, everyone around me gathered up their stuff and started walking away.  Within minutes of the end of the parade, the seats were cleared (and already being folded up), and the street was mobbed by people going every which way.  Possible that the Occupy folks were behind the teeming masses, but, honestly, it was too much of a mad house for me to wait around for them.  Had they (and their police presence) come marching down immediately on the heels of the tow trucks, I could see us sticking around to see what they'd come up with.  As it was, though, I have no idea how the thousand or so Occupy folks managed against the 900,000 or so trying to get back to their cars.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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