Saturday, January 1, 2011

Jan 1st 2011

I'm reviewing my thoughts from last year at this time.  In some ways, our political situation hasn't changed but our personal responses to everyday life have. Consumer spending was curtailed, people
planted vegetable gardens, travel was reduced to shorter visits closer to home, big purchase items were put on hold, credit card spending was reduced.  These are good results.

On the other hand, Congress remained contentiously bi-partisan til just before Christmas.  The Afghan situation worsened.   The banks aren't lending so the housing market is still in the doldrums. Businesses aren't hiring and unemployment figures may increase in 2011.  The reduction of troops in the MidEast, moving out of Afghanistan, is slated for 2014, eleven years after we invaded Iraq.  Timely.

I'm watching the Rose Parade.    Why?  Because it was a long cherished tradition of my mother's.  New Year's Day meant, a lovely breakfast, lots of coffee and two uninterrupted hours in front of the tube.  We didn't have color tv for a long time.  In those days, Mother would pack us off to the home of a close friend, Gabel, where we'd have breaksfast and watch on their COLOR TV.   She must have been one hell of a good sport to invite us over every year. 

Mother didn't want to watch the parade on a B/W TV
New Year's afternoon, Mother had another friend who threw a large open house party with buffet.  It was elegant and the food was great.  My dad would beg off, preferring to watch the bowl games.  He never liked to do alot of socializing anyway.  Dad took us to the parade one year.  He had grandstand seats, good ones, right on Colorado Blvd.  We had to get up @ 4am to be in the seats by 7am for the 8am start.  It's probably an hour's drive but the crowds, traffic, and parking tripled the time.  I'm thinking the year we went, Leo Carillo was Grand Marshall.  He came from a famous legacy California family.  He was an established actor, best known as Pancho in the "Cisco Kid" series. 

Leo Carillo 1960 Rose Parade

What stands out in my mind?  Freezing my ass off in thirty degree weather which, in California, is alot colder than you might think.  When Dad finally broke down and bought a color tv, we were thrilled!  I bet we never went to Gabel's again.  I know we didn't go to the Rose Parade again.
Mother and I liked to pick our favorite float.  My favorite this year is the City of Burbank's entry because they used iconic familiar images: the Burbank Airport tower, Bob's Big Boy, Warner Bros studios, Looney Tunes.  Landmarks all. 

One thing I noticed, the floats seem very commercial.  A number of floats are about home ownership: the American dream.  One entry,  HGTV's first, is titled  "Dream Home 2011".   At least one float was sponsored by a large pharmaceutical company.  It was kinda creepy.  Paula Deen is Grand Marshall.  Paula Deen?  I remember Bob Hope as Grand Marshall one year.    They have a trophy named after him.  Will they name one after Paula Deen?  She's not a Californian.  She doesn't even live there.  It could have been worse.  They could have picked Sarah Palin. 

Ahhh, the "American dream".  It isn't dead.  It's on hold. 



DJan said...

You got that right. Our dream isn't dead, but it sure is on hold. I noticed when I was in Colorado last week that 15 degrees feels a LOT warmer with 12 percent humidity than it does here in Washington state with sixty percent humidity!

Susan said...

Are you kidding me? Obviously Sarah Palin wasn't available if all they could come up with was Paula Deen. I'm almost glad I didn't get to watch. I had all 5 grandkids here and things were a little too crazy to watch TV.

Do pharmaceutical companies really need to advertise more than they already do? I hope it wasn't Cialis.

All we had until I was a teenager was B&W TV. It was quite a revelation to me the first time I watched "The Wizard of Oz" in color....ohhh, so that's what it means when Dorothy says "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore". Haha.

You have very lovely memories made with your mother during the holidays.

California Girl said...

Djan: Talk about dry cold. This state gets alot of humdity. It gets so damn cold.

Susan: Pasadena is a very conservative, old money town. I do not know who decides these things but if it is the city fathers, I wouldn't put it past them to haul in somebody like her.

Mama Zen said...

I expect Palin to take overexposure to a whole other level this year.

Anonymous said...

Paula Deen. I saw her and has to ask who this gray-haired woman was.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

When I used to fantasize about what a great hostess I'd be, I imagined a festive New Year's Day brunch (I think Good Housekeeping and Woman's Day always had recipes and decorating hints for it) along withw atching the Rose Parade. Then I realized I am not much of a hostess. Seldom watch the parade, because I usually can't stand the commentary, but I guess I could just mute it!

Baino said...

Ah I remember seeing the parade televised years ago but we don't seem to get it on free to air any more and I have cable. You're right, defo better than Sarah Palin. Sorry I don't comment here too often but some of the topics are beyond my political knowledge of the US but I do come and look, honest!

injaynesworld said...

I never miss the Rose parade. I liked the Burbank float, too. I remember when I lived in L.A. we would go over to Pasadena in the days after the parade and look at the floats up close in the park there. Just mind-blowing the detail you can never see on TV. I went to the parade once, too, and it was so we're not hearing the TV commentators. It was just weirdly quiet except for the bands which always make my cry.

Yes, Paula Deen is an odd choice. Why not Paula Abdul? At least she lives here.

Happy New Year, my friend.


by Cole Scott