Thursday, November 26, 2009

Random Thanksgiving Day thoughts

[For more cohesive thoughts about Thanksgiving, see some former posts of mine here and here]

8:00am Turn on the television in preparation for my annual tradition of watching the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade.

[note: I think this may be the most consistent ritual that I can recall doing that extends from my childhood into my adulthood. At some point I always turn on the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade. I don't necessarily watch it all the way through or watch it without flipping to other channels. And I certainly think that some of the commentary (make that most of the commentary) is inane. But this is my thing--this is what I do--I watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on Thanksgiving morning, and I can't remember a time when I didn't do this]

You'd think that after all this time I'd know exactly what time it begins, but I'm told by Maria Shriver (the first lady of California) that it starts at 9am--so I switch to Bravo where they're re-running a West Wing Thanksgiving episode (the one where President Bartlett calls the Butterball hotline)

9:00am Switch over to NBC and the start of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. They have a woman who is 77 who has worked continuously at Macy's. Southern Man finds it incredibly sad that she has continued to work t Macy's--I tell him she probably can't afford not to. It's not really the most festive thought but it's probably realistic.

9:40am As much as I love the Macy's parade I'm not a huge fan of this thing they do in front of the store where they have different songs from various Broadway musicals performed. In both the "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Billy Elliot" numbers I notice that among the dozen young girls (almost all who look to be white) there is a single African American girl/dancer. Seriously? It's the 21st century. It's NYC. You could only find (more accurately you decided to only cast) a single non-white, African American young girl in your musical? Like there isn't a HUGE Asian population in Britain or the U.S. for that matter--and who the hell cares if it isn't "accurate" to the time period ("Bye Bye Birdie" is set in the late 1950s)--I thought that was the whole beauty of *quote-unquote* colorblind casting? Yes, even on Thanksgiving I don't turn off the critical eye.

*10:05am Parade has finally hit the Macy's store--the marching band who is at the head of the parade is composed of high school band members from every state and Washington DC. In addition to the musicians, there are the usual flag wavers (not sure what they're real name is--color guard?) and cheer-leader type dancers who are in pants but also in what looks like sleeveless tops--and all I can think is IT'S FREEZING--WHY DON'T THEY PUT THESE GIRLS IN COMFORTABLE/WARM CLOTHES! I mean seriously--doesn't anyone think about comfort nowadays?

*10:15 The Chinese American girl's club of Delaware is making their debut at the parade--there are all these young Asian American (assumably Chinese American) girls wearing Chinese looking costumes--girls in lion dancing outfits and these flowy dresses with colorful streamers dancing to Chinese themed classical music (you know what I'm talking about--that kind of bamboo flute/3-stringed music). I know they are supposed to be doing a "Cultural" dance but sometimes I just wish that Chinese American girls could actually be ... Chinese American and not just Chinese. I know, I know, I'm quibbling.

*10:35 Alan Cummings is singing a Sinatra standard "That's Life" and he seems to be on something--of course he's singing on a float with larger than life sized M&M candies--so perhaps the only way he could make it through the parade was stoned?

*10:40 There's all these kids jumping rope and they've apparently been doing it for 2.8 miles and it's apparently the world's largest jump roping brigade made up of kids from every state. I must have missed the whole jump rope craze when I was younger. Didn't know it was cool enough to get you on t.v. (or maybe not cool enough depending on how you feel about jumping rope)

*11:01 Ziggy Marley is on a pirate ship holding a young girl (his daughter?) and behind him is a pirate balloon. I'm actually quite fond of pirates--of course perhaps I mean the cartoon/caricatured ones not one's from real life/historic past.

*11:19 I don't know why but I find lines of people dancing in formation to be hypnotic--cheerleaders, Radio City Rockettes, dance troupes--it doesn't matter. Right now there are these high school girls dancing in these kind of "futuristic" 80s clothing. Maybe I should have been a cheerleader in high school...or maybe not.

*11:22 I've flipped to BRAVO where they are showing a repeat of a Top Chef episode of Season 1 vs. Season 2 finalists. I never did like Marcel in Season 2. I still don't like him. Flipped back to the parade--there's a guy from the Broadway revival of Finigan's Rainbow singing on top of a Big Apple float--and right behind him is the Dora the Explorer balloon. By the way, is it just me or is anyone else freaked out by Boots--that monkey side kick that hangs out with Dora? I recently watched an episode while baby sitting my friend's 2-year old and the whole time I'm watching the show I'm thinking, "That monkey is going to turn on Dora and pull out a knife!"

*11:30 Carly Simon is singing on a Care Bear float--maybe I should be taking a hit of whatever Alan Cummings was on. Really, they gave Carly Simon the Care Bear float?! I've always been freaked out by Care Bears too--is anyone else picking up on a theme?

*11:52 The Pillsbury dough boy is making his debut--about time--I mean, it's perfect, he's iconic and he's a corporate representative. And I think he's cute, especially when he does that belly-button thing (ha! I bet you thought I was going to say I was freaked out by him--I'm so unpredictable).

*11:56 Heeeeeeeeeee's Heeeeeeeeere! Yep, it's Santa Claus (although the guy just missed his lip synching with the broadcast so his words didn't match up to his lips, oh well). Guess I'll be tuning in a year from now. And for everyone who happens to celebrate this particular holiday...


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