So, I’m finally back with more blog time bloggery. Sorry for the long absence, but I decided to take the month of February off for Black History Month. It’s just how I roll.
Okay, you caught me, I wasn’t celebrating Black History Month. I mean, I wasn’t actively not celebrating it. I’m not a jerk. I acknowledged it and supported it. But I certainly had time to write, and I just didn’t.
I did manage to squeeze in some adventures while I was busy not writing though. One of which, attending the Chinese New Year parade, I will chronicle here in the first of my three part series, “February: Parades, Roasts, and Standing Up for Myself”.
PART ONE: THE PARADE
To get to the heart of Los Angeles for the new year festivities, I decided to take the subway instead of driving because, 1) It seemed more “adventurey” and 2) I didn’t want to write a blog about spending an hour and a half trying to find parking.
The subway ride was pretty uneventful, but I did find it interesting that, just like every public transit ride I’ve ever taken, it was filled with the same cast of characters as always, just played by different actors. There was the business guy with a newspaper, the hipster with a bicycle, the incredibly old lady who was either a sweet grandmother or a gypsy waiting to curse someone, the guy who kept dozing off because he was off to his third job, and the two teen agers who were furiously making out because this is the only time they can be “alone”, just to name a few. Incidentally, I averted my eyes from the horny teenagers, because I didn’t want to be cast as the “Creepy Bald Pervert”.
When I arrived, the curbs were already crowded with thousands of people (already not my cup of tea), but I was able to work my way to a decent vantage point. Now, I’m aware I can get a bit complainy in my blog, so to take the edge off and try something different, I’ll describe the parade in the form of a hastily written poem.
NOTE: I have never written a poem in my life, so I apologize in advance for the following.
ODE TO A PARADE
Strange bodies, pressed together
Sweat pours from the pores of a large man
I strain to see
Is that a dragon approaching?
Hard to say
Blocked by a large sign
Shoving bible verses down my throat
No, not a dragon
It is a local politician on an old timey fire engine
Moving slowly, slowly…
Were it on its way to an actual fire,
My condolences to the victims
They will be missed
More politicians in classic cars
Waving at me with their greased palms
Still no people legged dragons in sight
Oh, if only this procession could move
Half the speed
Of the jabberings of the tweaked out meth head
To the left of me
But alas, it continues its dead-on impression
Of a snail on Quaaludes
After kicklines of karate kids
And bo-staff wielding middle aged men
The dragons come
But by then,
My aching back and blistered feet
Were crying out in pain,
And dragon me away
Wow, that got weird, fast. I apologize one more time, just to bookend that atrocious poem.
Okay, so the parade was not all it was cracked up to be. Actually, it was exactly what a parade is cracked up to be. Boring. Slow. Crowded. Pointless. And yet, with all this negativity I’m spewing forth, I really didn’t have a bad time. Aside from the main event I had quite a good day.
I met up with a good friend. Ate delicious food truck food. Saw some Chinese acrobats contort their bodies in very unnatural ways. Also, during the parade, I got to overhear a very funny thing that was said by some bystanders. Something I would not have been privy to if I wasn’t on location.
At one point, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (previously Tony Villar until he “Latinoed up” his name to court the Mexican-American vote, I suspect) was waving at the crowd during his 3 MPH drive-by. He was wearing some traditional Chinese apparel and saying “Happy New Year” in Mandarin. That’s when I heard the Asian couple next to me say to one another, “Good Lord, he’s butchering it again, just like last year.”
For some reason, it made me happy to witness this. I guess it was a funny reminder to me that nothing is exactly what it seems. Just depends on your perspective. It also reminded me of something that happened to me about 7 years ago.
I was standing on a soundstage for the TV show “World Cup Comedy”. A TV show that had teams of improvisers compete to see who was “the best”. Kelsey Grammer was about to announce the winner of the World Cup Comedy Cup, and it was between my team and one other.
When Mr. Grammer announced my team was the winner, this is what the viewing audience saw:
Me and my team, with shocked looks on our faces, jumping up and down, celebrating while confetti flew everywhere and TV’s Frasier, handing us a giant trophy, and congratulating us on our victory.
What the audience didn’t see (or hear rather), was Kelsey Grammer muttering under his breath, through a TV friendly smile, “Is this thing over yet? I gotta get out of here.”
Again, nothing is as it seems. But that’s not such a horrible thing. Because, if that is true for the good times, it is also true for the bad times. So when things seem there absolute worst, I can rest assured knowing it can’t be all that bad, and that something good will come of it.
I’d now like to end this sucker on a super positive note:
1) I will not be doing any more poetry in my blog. I’ll be saving that for my private journal that I don’t write.
2) When my team won the World Cup of Comedy, no one threw a parade for us.