Let’s blog a parade! (2013)

Pumpkin muffin: check. Chocolate chip cookie from Harrison’s bakery: check. Caffeine: CHECK. Let’s do this thing. I’ll be updating as we go, so just keep refreshing.

Gads, how am I always one minute late? The opening number is a marching band doing Macklemore. Not a good sign.

Well, they say there are balloons today. I hope they’re right. I miss Joel Goddard doing the announcing though.

Oooh, we’re opening with robots. Awesome. Jimmy Fallon’s here today! Awesome. Goo Goo Dolls: Not so awesome. And hmm, lots and lots of country groups. Our hometown Miss America will be in the parade too. Again they’re promising balloons, so I guess the wind is okay.

Our first musical number is from Motown: The Musical. Eh. Motown is fine music, but it’s never resonated with me. At least it’s music you can throw into a big medley number like this and get good results out. I am whelmed.

Oh good gads, I thought they had retired the Allstate commercial with the girl narrating about how bad things happen but blah blah blah. Couldn’t they just have the Mayhem guy? Oh, well. At least it was a short version.

Hello, Kitty!

Now we have Matilda: The Musical. I only ever saw bits of the movie adaptation, because it looked kinda terrible. This musical number with the kids is decent though. I can only understand about half of the lyrics; I can’t tell if that’s because of the British accents or what. Wait, who is this blonde? Is she supposed to be Matilda? And a kid? I’m confused. If that’s the case, this is less believable than Cathy Rigby playing a boy.

Free Birds is still in theaters? It was ever in theaters? Good gads. This thing was losing altitude before they released it.

Next musical is Kinky Boots. So not another rehash of Annie, but… oh man, this is weird. It’s like half drag show and half… uh… I can’t tell. Why is that woman wearing an outfit with the Union Jack all over it? Why is the guy in the suit wearing no pants and also wearing thigh-high high-heeled boots? Yes I know the musical’s name, I just can’t make sense of it. And why is a Larry the Cable Guy wannabe soloing? Multiple, so many aneurysms.

I have to hand it to Sprint: I love these ads with James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell dramatizing Facebook posts. I could watch those all day. So there’s an ad for Carrie Underwood performing The Sound of Music live next week. Interesting concept. She’s no Julie Andrews and I’m allergic to country, but mad respect.

And now a song from the musical Pippin. The guy singing it looks like he didn’t quite make it into a boy band and he’s melancholy about it. And wearing leather pants, it looks like. I don’t know what this musical is supposed to be about, but it looks like a circus and the music sounds like it’s from the accursed decade of my birth. A quick trip to Wikipedia confirms the latter, at least. Sorry, but to me Pippin is always going to be a hobbit.

Gads, they’re hashtagging again: #WhyImThankful. I don’t do Twitter. I’m thankful it’s snowing and sunny right now. Beautiful view out of my window.

We’ve reached the filler portion of the festivities, between musical numbers, where the Today Show bunch are interviewing NBC stars. They’re talking to Carrie Underwood right now, segueing into a number from The Sound of Music. They’re singing the classic “Hey baby, your idiot boyfriend’s in the Hitler Youth.” It goes by a different title.

Well, it appears Tom Hanks will be playing Walt Disney in a movie. And Ritz commercials are still weird. NBC is showing us previews of the live musical they’re airing. I can’t quite figure out how that’s supposed to work, you know, on a quantum physics level.

Here come the Rockettes. Liking the red and green. They must be freezing their butts off, though. Literally.

Heh. The commercials with the kids in the focus group always crack me up. You definitely don’t want to bring your pet turkey to Thanksgiving dinner. You definitely also don’t want to bring Jewel to your TV Christmas special. Good gads NBC, did you not know she sucks at Christmas music?

The parade officially starts now! The NYPD’s motorcycle brigade is leading them off, hopefully minus the idiots who were riding with that group recently that attacked a guy (yes, some of the group were NYPD). Tom Turkey is bearing Sandra Lee, continuing the Food Network tradition. And the first marching band of the parade proper is performing a song from, you guessed it, The Sound of Music. Contrary to popular belief, “My Favorite Things” is not a Christmas song, but I can give it a pass in a Thanksgiving parade put on by a department store.

Snoopy! I’m so glad to see Snoopy back in the air again. Makes me feel 11 years old again, hearing him cackle his signature laugh overhead. I’m happy I got to experience that.

Gaven DeGraw is performing on the Ocean Spray float with a bunch of furries in training. The kids look like they’re having fun.

The Spirit of America Dance Team is out. They’re dressed like DayGlo clowns. And they’re doing yet another number inspired by Lady GaGa. This is no less weird than last year. I don’t get these gals. And by don’t get I mean don’t like.

Sonic the Hedgehog comes along now. I miss when Sonic games were good. People who don’t remember that are old enough to drink now.

The Sprout float is back, with the squeaky chicken thing. Gads, that sound is hard to take. Squeaky toys are a few notes off from the most annoying sound in the world. At least it’s followed by a marching band, which is much easier to take.

Here’s the Aflac float. No longer voiced by Gilbert Gottfried. Kelly Pickler is behind it on a hockey float. I’d rather watch her dance than hear her sing. Oh gads, there goes the fiddle twang. No bubblegum pop yet. What’s up with that?

The Sesame Street float is back, with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots. They say he’ll take over The Tonight Show soon. Yeah, good luck with that, Jimmy. Watch out they don’t stab you in the back. Wait, who’s rapping? That’s annoying; stop that.

Okay, now we can officially welcome Hello Kitty. Matt Lauer says she promises to fly high for a very long time, but they’re keeping the altitude low on the balloon.

Now there’s a group called Fifth Harmony. I think this is supposed to be our first bubblegum pop group, though it has that too-much-R&B sound going on. I’m disappointed. Then again they’re from the X-Factor.

Holy crap, the Winter Olympics are back this winter. I forgot. I really wish NBC wasn’t showing them though. NBC Sports has a certain extra level of incompetence that makes most governments look good.

A male clogging group called All That! is tearing up the street in front of Macy’s. Not bad, guys. The Hess truck follows it up, keeping things manly. And now British singer Cher Lloyd. Okay, manliness over. This is more almost bubblegum pop. It doesn’t quite fit the bill but it’s still not country, so I’m thankful. I’m still not using the hashtag to say it.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon follows that up, and then the Gibson float. With… Florida Georgia Line, singing their song “Cruise”. Look at the snow. Look at the beautiful fluffy lake effect snow out the window and try to think non-ragey thoughts. Crap, it’s not working.

Richard Simmons is on a turtle float, right ahead of a new hippo balloon. For a minute I thought Richard’s legs were fake.

There’s a disturbing lack of Christmas commercials going on here. I’m not even seeing a lot of ads for sales tomorrow. What gives?

Here’s the Oneida Nation float, our local guys. Followed by Julius the monkey, who I still haven’t really heard of. But then he’s a Nick Jr. character, and I don’t have kids, so I guess I wouldn’t be expected to know him. The Seaworld float is coming along. Glad I haven’t seen any idiot protestors along the route; I know Seaworld has a bad reputation but I’m just glad not to see any demonstrations ruining the parade for the kids. Leave the politics off the parade route.

The Union High School marching band from Tulsa has one of the more colorful numbers of the day. Good on them for an interesting show. And behind them, the Kool-Aid Man. Oh yeah! They’re introducing “new” flavors again, Sharkleberry Finn and Green Apple. Sharkleberry Finn isn’t new, dudes.

Wow, they gave the Duck Dynasty guys short shrift. Mr. Peanut gets more attention. That doesn’t seem quite right.

Here’s our Miss America, from right here in Syracuse. I can’t believe all the goofy controversy about the fact that she has Indian heritage. She’s a native-born American. How is that not American enough to be Miss America?

On the Mount Rushmore float, more bubblegum pop that isn’t up to snuff, from a group called the Summer Set who won some kind of listener’s choice thing from I Heart Radio. It’s boy-bandy with a lot of Auto-Tune. Screw that. The real Teddy Roosevelt would flick them off the float with his mustache.

There’s Ronald McDonald, the clown and the balloon. I’m not sure how Ronald stays non-creepy. Maybe it’s some kind of conditioning. I do love a good cheeseburger. Can’t say I love it enough to offset the news that the Goo Goo Dolls are coming up.

A group called J.U.M.P. is jumping rope and doing tricks. That always impresses me, because I’m completely incapable of it. They’re doing it to an Ellie Goulding song, though, so points will be deducted.

On a float for some cartoon hamsters I’ve never heard of, Disney star Debby Ryan is singing. Again this is more R&B than bubblegum, like some kind of unholy fusion. Am I just being grumpy this year or is this all we get for cheesy pop now?

Here comes Spongebob Squarepants, in a Santa hat, with another marching band behind him. I’m not quite sure what their costumes are going for: medieval, American Revolution, World War II, or Raggedy Ann? I’m confused.

Royal Caribbean has a float with Kristin Chenoweth singing New York, New York. Just watch out the engine doesn’t break down, or she’ll be stuck there for months. (Just kidding. I know that was Carnival. It always seems to be Carnival, doesn’t it?)

Cirque Du Soleil has a float in the parade, doing Cirque Du Soleil type things. It’s really impressive to watch, but the music they’re doing it to is weird. It can’t decide if it’s Celtic strings, Yello, Kool & the Gang, or crappy sitar garbage.

Toothless! Oh gads, that’s my new favorite balloon! Yes, even over Snoopy.

The Lindt float with the marionettes is kind of creepy. Also it carries the Goo Goo Dolls, who are unfortunately still the Goo Goo Dolls but also apparently trying to be the frelling Lumineers. Not helping.

The Ooltewah High School marching band is doing a Wizard of Oz bit. They win for most colorful costumes of the day, hands down. The balloon head characters are a little freaky.

A group called Varsity Spirit Cheerleaders just did a bit to the song “Hero”. Joan Jett is right behind them. And Spider-Man is right behind her. I heard the musical is shutting down—probably because you can only rack up so many millions of dollars in hospital bills.

Yay! A commercial for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug! I’m in! I am so in! And a new series about a paranormal girl from J. J. Abrams, which will have no endgame and probably involve a big red ball for some reason. I’m out! I am so out!

The Power Rangers are dancing. Eh. The UMass Minuteman Marching Band behind them are pretty awesome, though. And then there’s the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Fall Out Boy are sharing the float with them. Okay, faith in humanity restored.

Pikachu is making his way down the street. I’ve kind of made my peace with Pikachu. Can’t say the same about Pokémon in general, or all of anime.

The South Shore Drill Team is really fun to watch. I love the energy these guys have.

Gru and his minions have arrived. Gotta love the minions. I didn’t see the second movie yet though. Behind them the Pillsbury Doughboy balloon looks really excited to be here. He mainly reminds me to be excited my sister made cherry pie.

The Build-A-Bear float is hosting Austin Mahone, who I never heard of before this summer. Lots of synchronized dancing, lots more Auto-Tune. Ulgh. Hopefully I’ll be done hearing of him after this summer. If those microphone headsets are really hooked up I’m a giraffe.

Finn and Jake from Adventure Time are here, in a balloon of their very own. I’ve seen one episode of the show and it was really, really weird, but enjoyable enough I might look into it again sometime. I’m okay with weird.

Here comes Buzz Lightyear! He’s flying with his wings retracted. That’s kind of weird. On the Domino Sugar float behind him they have a country singer, Brett Eldredge. Quick, Buzz, tow this guy out to infinity and beyond.

Another marching band performs Sleigh Ride, one of my favorite instrumentals. And following them, the Cherokee National Youth Choir. They’re singing a song called Hallelujah, but not the one everyone’s heard of. It sounds oddly Hawaiian. Also, these are the whitest Indians I’ve ever seen. Seriously, one of those girls was a redhead.

Ariana Grande is performing on the Dora float, giving us a Christmas song in that not-quite-bubblegum style. Her lip-syncing is comically way off. Dora’s way less annoying when she’s just a character bobbing her head to the music, not saying anything.

The Virginia balloon from that weird cartoon I still haven’t seen is next. And then the Delta Airlines float, which is the one with the bridge over the skating pond. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t always a Delta float. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings are performing here, doing a soul Christmas song. It’s pretty good. The Elf on the Shelf flies along behind them, in a perpetual cannonball position.

I haven’t figured out yet why all these Windows tablet/phone commercials are set to Sara Bareilles’ song “Brave”. It does suggest some really obvious jokes though. I doubt anyone’s gonna write Windows 8 a love song.

Hey hey, it’s the Smurfs, and the Papa Smurf balloon. I haven’t seen either of the movies yet. I’m not sure “yet” is even an appropriate word here. But I did enjoy the heck out of the cartoon when I was a kid.

On a duck float behind them they have Megan Hilty from Sean Saves the World, one of NBC’s newer sitcoms that mysteriously hasn’t been canceled yet. I have nothing against her role on the show, but I saw two episodes of it and it was just awful.

I hear electronica! It’s Mannheim Steamroller! Huzzah! They’re performing Good King Wenceslas aboard a float shaped like a train.

Macy’s Great American Marching Band is back, playing a Christmas fanfare. Holy crap, it’s almost noon! Where did the time go? That means that coming up right behind them are the classic elf balloons. And behind them, Santa Claus: the real guy, at Macy’s.

Hard to believe another year has gone by. It’s been a crusher of a year, but I have a lot to be thankful for. Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

About Lummox JR

Aspiring to be a beloved supervillain
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