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I used this icon because it has green on it - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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I used this icon because it has green on it [Mar. 17th, 2010|12:09 pm]
Zoethe
When I drove into downtown this morning, the parade route was already set up. In the waiting room, the general consensus was that people wanted to get out ASAP and escape the coming chaos. By the time I got out of meetings, vendors bearing carts filled with sparkly, fuzzy, glittering, shiny, but consistently green merchandise were setting up along the route. Parade watchers wearing funny hats and goony grins were beginning to line up. Despite the fact that I had a prime parking place, I was happy to flee downtown in the face of the coming St. Patrick's Day storm.

On my way home, I called to confirm a business lunch date. "Can we change it to tomorrow?" they asked. "After all, it is St. Patrick's Day."

My thought was that they, too, wanted to avoid being even close to downtown today. But as it turns out, they were planning to close up the office before noon and head down to the parade.

And that's when I thought, "What the hell is wrong with me?"

When I was a kid, a trip to the Portland Rose Parade was an annual family event. We arrived very early so as to get space on the street. We spread a blanket on the macadam and waited, alternating freezing, frying, or dripping, depending on the vagaries of the weather each year. We waited for several hours until the parade, with all its bands and floats and horses, finally reached us. It was wonderful, and something we never even considered not attending because of crowds and parking.

Now, granted, the Rose Parade wends its way over several miles, and is not an occasion dedicated to being falling-down drunk by noon. But not everyone heading for downtown is determined to get drunk today. There were parents and kids enjoying the bright sunshine in the park. For a lot of Clevelanders, this is the only time of the year that they actually venture downtown. Yeah, there's beer, but there's also a sense of community. And while I'm not intending to venture back down there, I certainly don't begrudge them the fun. After all, we generally join the stampeding crowd that fills Public Square for the Fourth of July concert and fireworks show. It's pretty much the same, minus the beer.

So I'm glad I didn't piss in anyone's Wheaties. Good for all of them, enjoying this day. It's not my bowl of Wheaties, but not everything has to be.

After my 2pm meeting today, I intend to stop by the liquor store and pick up a bottle of Bailey's, then drink some while I do a little work in my yard - it's beautiful out, and I can be pretend Irish with the best of 'em.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2010-03-17 05:27 pm (UTC)
Erik and I didn't go to the San Francisco Pride Parade for years, and this year I'm actually working on it as a volunteer.

We just didn't want to deal with the crowds. There are well over a million viewers and over 300 floats/groups. At the end they all end up in the Civic Center area of the City and it's a madhouse.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-17 08:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, I imagine it is. We managed to end up in Brighton, England for Pride Parade in 2006, and it was crazy. But the wonderful thing about England is that we were able to take the bus there and walk back. Otherwise I might have been skittish.

(It was terrific!)
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[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2010-03-18 12:48 am (UTC)
Taking public transit into the City on Pride Weekend is the only sane way to get there.

Since I'm working Operations I'll likely be there the whole weekend, but they reserve some hotel rooms for us so we can get a little sleep in between the times of madness.
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2010-03-17 06:27 pm (UTC)
We're always happy to have others enjoy a taste of being Irish!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-17 08:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing!!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-17 10:43 pm (UTC)
I remember both the running into the street and the emergency evac in advance of the sweepers very well! We had blankets and chairs and picnic baskets and little sisters to gather and dive out of the way - those sweepers were not patient!

I miss Oregon.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-17 11:51 pm (UTC)
We actually like Cleveland - lots of good restaurants, many good friends. But it's not Oregon.
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[User Picture]From: anivair
2010-03-17 10:27 pm (UTC)
I really honestly don't get the appeal. I mean, I get liking drinking, of course, and I get having an excuse that has lots of green in it, but it seems off to me because St. Patrick's Day is actually pitched as a celebration of Irish heritage and even for people that HAVE Irish heritage, it really is not anything like that. I don't mind a holiday whose theme is "let's get drunk on green beer" but I get a little upset that people pretend that it's something it's not.
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