Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.

Coffee - check. Nosh - check - cranberry English muffins, 6 pack averaging 50 cents each muffin, cost of butter additional. Muffins, like last year, start out large and full of cranberries but by Thanksgiving are small with one cranberry each - Thomas' should be ashamed of itself. Fond memories of visiting the family at Thanksgiving emerge, if only because my father and stepmother could afford bacon with breakfast. I give Thanks that I once had a job where I made enough to afford bacon and can remember how much I liked it. Naturally, I have my own happy Thanksgiving breakfast, which includes Irish steel cut oatmeal. I still have a can, a couple of years old now. I no longer make it, not because it takes about 45 minutes, but because I like it with maple syrup drizzled over it, and maple syrup has been too expensive for a few years now. Even grade B. The first boil of maple sap produces that clear light brown color. That's for tourists. Real folks know to go for Grade B, it has all the flavor.



I just spent a few minutes sipping coffee and re-reading last year's Thanksgiving posts. I'd forgotten all about having the collection of Victorian Thanksgiving cards. And the memories of the holiday season kickoff. And having a family that actually spoke to each other and spent time together. Even if Aunt Lorraine wanted me to call her "Mommy". What did I care? My own mother had left (or was thrown out) before I was even six months old. Even still, I just couldn't do it. So what if that meant another beating?


And then there was Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmother's. My grandfather had died of a massive heart attack two years before I was born. Almost to the day. I suppose that might have had something to do with my father's attitude about me. She had remarried and now lived in the next town down the road. Her second husband had a couple of grandkids, too. There would be a special table just for us kids. The special china and silverware would be brought out, the extra leaf would be put into the dining room table. The extra mat would be put in, the big good tablecloth would be spread over it, and enough food to feed all the starving children in Europe (and then some) would appear. Turkey. Stuffing. Gravy. Cranberry sauce (this was before people served chunky cranberry sauce - it just wasn't available). Mashed potatoes. Peas. Succotash. Candied yams. Green beans. Glasses of water (it was still drinkable then). Glasses of iced tea. Who found the wishbone???

Around that table you'd find my great grand parents Wilbur and Laura, my Grandmother Helen and her second husband Mahlon, her three children - all boys. Uncle Bob and Aunt Lorraine. Dad. Uncle Harold and his meet the family date who would become Aunt Mary. Mahlon's son Jan and his wife Sue. Around the kid's table my brother Lewis, Jan's kids Ricky and Bonnie and the youngest, still a baby, whose name escapes me at the moment. Sorry kid. My cousins, Uncle Harold's children Patricia and Harold Michael hadn't come along yet. I just tried to type "Uncle Harold's kids" but couldn't. Mary had raised holy hell because I once called them 'kids'. Her children were not goats, thank you. She told my father I sassed her, even though I hadn't. I got beat. Fond memories.



Macy's parade has started. Kickoff has a horrible attempt at a musical number. No one seems to be able to write special material anymore. "Time for celebratin', Santa Claus' is waitin'". (I shudder quite involuntarily.) Chorus kids dressed to look like little nerd boys and girls, as though they were popular and not outcasts. Something which passes for choreography that involves jumping up and down, arms akimbo. The first balloon goes by, but Al Roker is too busy talking to notice. It's low to the ground and it's Sonic the Hedgehog, who or what ever that is. Now we're getting a preview of a new Disney show based on their 20 year old movie "Newsies". Someone should tell the casting director and costume designer that what are supposed to be pre teen newsboys aren't supposed to be ripped with muscles rivaling weightlifter competitions.

Another musical number - the cast of "Sister Act", another show based on a movie. Wait, didn't it used to work the other way around? The woman in the Whoppi Goldberg part dances on in the most robotic performance I've seen since Hal refused to open the pod bay doors.



There's a big balloon they are saying is Mickey. As in Mouse, maybe? Al Roker runs (not something you want to see) to talk to one of the handlers. The cameraman forgets to pan up so we can see the balloon. We do see the bottom of it, all yellow. A color not used for Mickey Mouse.

Now there's a musical number from "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying". Harry Potter, minus his glasses, seems to be growing into the role since the bit they showed last June on the Tony Awards show. Except he still looks terrified that he's going to forget the next step. It's the "Brotherhood of Man" number. The female solo has so much vibrato I can barely understand a word she sings.

Now it's a musical number from "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", based on another movie. Using songs from the Disco era. They're singing "I will survive" while two of the drag queens show off while dressed as turkeys.


Al Roker (why is this guy popular?) is interviewing two tv show actors who just happen to be sitting together on a nearby bleacher. What are they doing for Thanksgiving? One is going to his wife's family out in Far Rockaway Queens. The other merely smiles and says "Lower East Side for me". After all these years he still isn't allowed to say "My boyfriend's place".

More Al Roker interviews. Two other people I've barely heard of have replaced the two actors on the bench full of people.

Now it's a musical number from Spiderman, Turn Off the Dark. Based on a comic book. And a movie. Wait, isn't the stunt dancer Spiderman supposed to be the same size as the guy who turns into Spidey? The Green Goblin sings, "I'm the new Coney Island and all the rides are free." Now there's eight spidermen, but their synchronized routine isn't. Don't they have a PSM calling this?

Now there's a commerical for an insurance company and it's using the "Everybody knows your name" song from Cheers.

I don't know if I can last long enough to see the parade. At least, I think there's a parade there.


Jeez. Even the Rockettes' visual lines are sloppy. And in closeup they look more like drag queens than the cast of Priscilla. 31 supposed genetic females in New York City. Two are black. One appears Hispanic.

The parade finally starts after an hour of other things. As Matt Lauer says "The first of our marchers arriving on 34th Street...." we see cops on motorcycles. There's a turkey float which stops to let Avril Levine (sp?) sing something that is supposed to be a song. Yah, yah, yah, wish I had you here, here, here, near, near, near.

Wow. There's a band marching/playing so fast they look like they're running bomb squad members. Maybe they have the right idea.

Now there an "Ocean Spray" float (which has nothing to do with their product) with some country singer I've never heard of "makes me want to take the back road, park the truck where it gets hot". Huh? The camera catches a young black woman on the float trying to figure out how to dance to this crap. She tries a chorus girl move from a 1930's movie. It is oddly enderaing.

There's a Sesame Street float with performance of a song so bad everyone on the float is having to jump up and down and clap their hands trying to sell it. There is only one Sesame Street character visible. I suddenly recognize one of the guys trying to pretend to be "up" and "happy", and he looks soooo old. He's also at least 20 years younger than I am. I sink far down into my chair, then shift my position so I can't see any reflective surfaces.

Now there is a float from Hamburger Helper. I'm not making this up.

I think I've had enough. I try to tear myself away, but it's like the proverbial train wreck. Which I think is the next float, right after the rapping AFLAC balloon.

But first, a "balloon-icle" pitcher of koolaid. It looks suspiciously like grape. I reach out my hand to pour some. Seems like a good idea.

 



Happy Thanksgiving Day, folks.

November 24 is the 328th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.
There are 394 days remaining until the end of time.

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