Rose parade

Happy New year folks! Getting back into it…

I feel I always greet a new year with optimism, hope, fresh resolve.  Now I think, Why bother? Maybe it’s better to adjust my expectations.  Then life could look more rosy at benchmark’s along the byways of 2014.

Speaking of Rosey…my family and I went to the Rose Parade this year.rose parade float It’s that one time of the year where dear old Pasadena, California for one day becomes the center of the country with petals glued to a hulking object over wheels and some dudes from the mid west knock heads ( or Northeast and West this year).   People camp out for days to get the primes spots on Colorado Blvd, the main drag of the Rose parade.  Why anyone would camp out on concrete over night, save for a political demonstration perhaps, I don’t get.  But, I want to witness it. The night before the parade I slowly drove my Cheerio wagon down Colorado with my kids.

“Look, you guys, look at all the people camping out on the sidewalk.”  They gapped in wonder at the throngs in their parka’s.  Folding chairs, blow up beds, many had wood fires in portable pits.  Some sat and drank, some looked bored and then…INCOMING.  Whap! Our car was hit with whipped cream.

Rex: “Mommy, what was that?”

“Whipped cream, I think it’s a thing.”  wide-eyed and amused we saw a grown man hurl a tortilla at our windshield.  It slowly slipped down, left a goo mark as it was coated with honey.

A few more tried to pelt us. There was some silly string.  I never felt in danger, yet felt, hmm, this could turn into anarchy pretty darn fast.  I moved into  the left turn lane as we approached the street I needed to turn onto.  Provident, as the car that was left in the right lane was bombarded by three woman with white gooey stuff… some whipped cream type thing.  I thought, “Where are they going to the bathroom?”  I’m sure they added some porta potties, but I thought, “Where are they brushing their teeth?”  It was all too grisly to consider.

The last time, and only other time, I spent New Years eve in Pasadena I was single and I was with one of my best friends Whitney.  We use to travel to exotic locales for NYE, but work schedules prevented us from doing so that year ( I was hosting a show for Discovery at the time), so if you can’t go tropical, of course you go Pasadena. We had drinks where an old improv friend was bartending.  A pathetic bar that had been a funeral home at one time.  Now, that same friend Josh Temple is a successful host for DIY and was wandering the streets of Pasadena for HGTV for their Rose Parade coverage and I’m Not hosting a show for Discover ( ironically, all of those channels are owned by Scripps).  I got a text from a friend when I was on my way to dinner, “Josh is interviewing people by floats.” Performing improvisationally is a much better fit for him.  Oh, what time will do.

After spending a challenging night on a slowly deflating air mattress with Rex’s foot in my back, neck, face we woke to meet the parade.  My sister made a fantastic coffee cake and then we walked a mere 8 blocks and we were right at the barricade of the parade.

Vivien and Rex gaze must have brought Michigan State good luck.

Vivien and Rex gaze must have brought Michigan State good luck.

No compromising our hygiene for this spot.   I thought I would most like to see the floats.  There were some pretty ones.  Though Trader Joe’s was so lame, “Relish the dream’ with bunches of olives and such.  Yeah, we get the message, “We sell condiments!”  Come on corporate America, try to look like you care about the greater good. Especially considering all the money I shell out at TJ’s they could have stepped it up.  We saw the Rose Queen, KC and the Sunshine band.  Clearly since he gave up coke it’s harder for him to keep up his figure.

KC is the big guy up top, in the front

KC is the big guy up top, in the front

But, what I really enjoyed was the marching bands.  This bands are 10 times bigger than most high schools.  Some are forced to wear the most god awful outfits, but they perform very well.  Thick nylon ish jumpsuits. rose parade marching band There must always be a struggle between “are we performing in cold or heat?”  With girls mid sections being the loser.   There are some though, that don’t finish on their feet.  Maybe they partied a bit too much the night before, or the thick nylon plus heat did them in.  For them there are vans, “loser bus” my Pasadena friends called them.  I once saw an over heated tuba player prostrate next to his instrument gasping in the van as the crowd jeered.

Everyone claps for the people following the horses.  Ah, show biz!rose parade pooper scoopers

It was pretty warm and I wish I had dressed in cooler clothes.rose parade spectatorsno mistaking me for the belly daners.belly dancers at rose parade

But, didn’t matter what I wore.  After an hour Rex was DONE.

Get up Rex, who know show slept there last night

Get up Rex, who knows who slept there last night

He had stayed up to 11 the night before.. trying for midnight.  The kids were hot so we walked back before it was done.  It is very worth seeing up close.  Not, sleep on public street worth it, but couch surfing worth it. It’s a nice moment in a string of various moments.  Like a year.  Like a life. It’s all about expectations.