Sunday, January 3, 2010

Rose Bowl Float Viewing

This was one of three floats I liked
(Kaiser Permanente's "Magnificent Tales of Health").

This weekend my husband and I went to see the Rose Bowl Floats. The best thing is that after you go once you actually never have to go again because you can say - "I already went once." The bad things include you have to go on a shuttle to the "viewing" and shuttles never forebode a good time - unless it is the LA Open, it's hot like the devil with no shade, and there are a million people - a lot of them in strollers, and lastly without the context of the parade, the floats are generally disappointing results of design by committee. It starts with the basic concept being weak and the sculpts making it worser. I don't like to use the word worser often but it is really appropriate here. Not to say there weren't some good floats - and quite a few decent ones - but there are some ones that make you wonder how there was any possible way to ever get consensus on something so awfully conceived. Well, I guess if you think about the DMV it's really not so hard to believe.

What's neat though, is when you get up close - you can see the amount of work that goes into making the floats although there is always irony is using flowers to create a larger, fake looking flower.

You can only see the floats for two days and as you can see
by the poor wilted roses here, there's a reason for that.

You do have to take your hat off to the level of detail
on the floats and the personal sacrifice people made
to achieve it. Who ever glued all these seeds down will
probably never be able to look at bean soup
the same way ever again.

This float (not one of my favorites but a nice float
photographed nicely) won an award.

One of my objections I would raise if I were the Queen Witch of the Rose Parade is to only give meritorious floats awards. At the viewing, it seemed that almost every float except the very most heinous ones won an award - except one heinous one did win an award. Plus it also seemed like a float could only get ONE award. I think this is because otherwise there are not enough awards to go around. But this just doesn't seem right to me. It's clearly not in the spirit of Capitalism and just so un-American.

Here is a detail of the Cal Poly float that depicted a lot of jungle animals getting their hair done in a salon that was run by monkeys. It was cleverly named "Jungle Cuts." It won the Bob Hope Humor Award. We thought it was really funny - we laughed and laughed and laughed. Honestly, we thought we would never stop laughing, because it was so humorous.

On a more serious note, all the monkey's looked curiously like Curious George. I am not sure if the Curious George people know about this and whether this resemblance was "by accident" or "by accident - on purpose." Perhaps the Curious George People and the Cal Poly Float People need to have a little talk.

Do we really need another float with a man with balls?

This was my favorite float by the Downey Rose Float Association called "Jewels of the Pacific". It was featured in the LA Times and is what made me want to see the floats. I thought this float was really creative. I especially liked the jellyfish - but I am always partial to jellyfish. I am even known to eat jelly fish when it is sliced thinly with some sesame oil but that is another post. The effect of this float was somewhat diminished as I overheard a gay couple getting a snapshot say afterwards - "Well we had to, they were BLOW fish after all."

This was my husband's favorite float by China Airlines called
"Taiwans Gardian - the Third Prince" (spelling courtesy of
the Chinese). He liked it because of the use of scale and movement
to create drama and majesty.

He also liked how leaves were used to create the
scales of the dragon and how they created depth.

I personally liked the wisdom in putting bicycle shorts
underneath the warrior although was somewhat disappointed
that the warrior was not anatomically correct.

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