January 3, 2006
Happy (rainy) New Year
As promised, here are photos from the New Year’s weekend. AEJ and I were really excited that Jonathan & Melissa came to visit us in LA for the holiday. When they arrived, we made cocktails…
The next day, it was so warm that we cooked out on the desk. Dinner: burgers & fries.
On New Year’s Eve, we went to a great party at Eric Whitacre’s place. After a few drinks, I decided to change my career to oil tycoon. (Seriously, I think this is my favorite picture of me ever. I want to wear cowboy hats with nice suits all the time.)
For dinner the next night, we went to Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles. Holy tasty. (You may recall my earlier blog entry about my first visit there back in April — the dinner that convinced me to move to LA.) Here’s before…
And here’s after. I have slain the waffles.
Back home, Newman relaxes by the window with Loki as the rain comes down outside.
The next morning, we all got up at 4am. Yeah, 4am. I’ve gone to bed at 4am before, but I don’t recall ever getting up so early. 4am should not exist. Why were we up so early? To drive to Pasadena for the Parade of Roses! They start closing the streets at 6am, so we had to be parked well before then, so to be safe, we left at 4:30am — and arrived right around 5am. After paying $1 to use the bathroom at a gas station near the parade route (does the opportunity to make a buck know no ends at all?!), we trudged through the very light rain to our seats. Through Chris (the guy who took me for a joyride in his Bentley, detailed in a recent blog entry), I got hooked up with “TV Circle” seats for the parade — sitting directly in front of the NBC television cameras. Prime, prime seats, purchased through the Pasadena Elks.
Here are AEJ, Melissa, and Newman, waiting (during an actual break from any rain) for the parade to start. We were pretty excited.
It started raining about 5 minutes before the parade started. It was coming down pretty good — but nothing like it would by the end. This guy, sitting a few rows in front of us, was given a plastic bag to cover his head. He had it on for a few minutes before he realized he should probably poke an air hole in it.
And they’re off! Several marching bands went by before we got to see this school — supposedly the inspiration behind the movie “Drumline.” Aren’t those girls freezing?!
Here’s the Magical Music Machine! I think all conductors should dress like that guy. And the first person who writes a piece called “The Magical Music Machine” — and writes a piece that doesn’t suck — wins my instant admiration and kudos. And then I’ll probably steal your title.
This float is messed up. As far as I can tell, these gnomes are about to sacrifice those baby elves and feed them to those crazy birds.
Hey, are those pirates on that float?! I love pirates!
This float was called something like “The Magic of Good Health,” but really, I never thought of rabbit as being a particular healthy meat. It’s not like it’s pork — the Other White Meat. (Have you clicked that link? The title of the page is actually — I kid you not — “The Daily Pork.” Wow.)
This is the Allen High School Marching Band, the biggest band in the parade (if not in the country) with over 600 members. They go on longer than the eye can see.
Here’s just their trombone section. Now that’s what I’m talking about. You can’t have too many trombones, I always say.
Look, kids! It’s Toni Braxton! Wow! How on earth did they book Toni Braxton?!! Talk about star power! I hope she sings “Unbreak My Heart,” ’cause that song never gets old.
Yes, Generations of Good, Clean Fun: The Ivory Soap float. But where’s her other hand? And why are her eyes closed?
And more trombones! SWEET!!!
Oh no! Disaster! This T-rex is attacking… with… a giant wooden spoon?
It’s impossible to see her through the rain, but inside that car is the parade’s Grand Marshal — Sandra Day O’Connor.
And on this float, from my old home town, is Jungle Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo!
Disney had — of course — the biggest float of them all. I liked all of the costumed characters walking next to the float, but can you imagine how heavy those costumes must have been, completely saturated with rain water?
This was my favorite float — and not just because it celebrates the glory of High Definition. But it didn’t hurt.
Too… many… jokes…
This all-girl band traveled all the way from Japan. They sounded quite good, especially considering their instruments were all waterlogged by this time.
This carriage went by, and the guy sitting in front of me said, “see what the rain did? When the parade started, those were all Clydesdales.”
This float, from the city of Glendale (where AEJ and I often go for In-N-Out Burger) was very cheery.
The storm was really going by this time — torrential downpour.
And then everybody’s favorite “float” — the one that causes audible declarations from most of the crowd of “it’s time to go” — the big closer, the Zealots. Way to finish on an up note! Hey kids, who wants to go to hell?
These pictures, taken on the walk back to the car, show how much rain really came down that morning. (Approximately 5 inches, we were told.)
A chair, abandoned like a tangled umbrella.
How many people can fit under a standard umbrella? I count five. What you can’t see from this picture is how quickly the water was rushing down the street…
… which this person learned the hard way.
So, that’s it. Holy bandwidth, that’s a lot of pictures. The rain actually made it a lot of fun. As one person said, this is the Rose Parade that people will remember, not all of the others when it was 74 degrees and sunny. High winds and downpours, though, that’s something unusual for LA. It really was a blast — especially for me and AEJ being there with Jonathan & Melissa — and we can’t wait to go back next year. Next year, though, I vote for sun and 74 degrees. One memorable parade is enough.