Looking Back, Part VIII – Nothing keeps the doctor away


I walked into the Doo Dah After-Party scanning the crowd, hoping to see my longtime friend Russ, who had caught my attention on the parade route. He wasn’t there. Almost an hour later I was sitting at a table feeling a little blue about missing him and to my surprise in walked Russ and his friend Mark.


I grabbed Russ in a big hug and jumped up and down with excitement (not very regal, but who cares? I’m the Queen, I make the rules). A long Sunday night drive back to San Jose wasn’t going to stand in the way of his chance to hang out with me!


We chatted and I introduced Russ and Mark to Louise and Valerie of my Official Entourage. Louise (in her long


black dress) wasted no time dragging Russ out to the dance floor and Valerie (in pink)  mugged with him for the camera.


Left behind, my friend Roc and I looked at each other. Well? What the heck, we decided to dance too. 


Horses on Astroturf took the stage– not changing over Snotty Scotty and the Hankies’ banner for theirs. But no one cared. We were there to party and the music was good.


Finally I got my turn to cut the rug with Russ. I remember that he wasn’t much into dances during our high school years, but he always was a lot of fun. Today, he knows how to move fairly well on the floor and we made up for a few lost years…


During the party, Russ told me that he was fan of Rev. Billy and quite enjoyed the Reverend’s film, “What Would Jesus Buy.” I imagine, no, I know that Russ delighted in seeing my “saving episode” with the larger-than-life Rev. Billy. You may recall Russ’ e-mail to me: “But the last pic in the set is worth having!” Yeah, Russ, I’ll bet you’ll enlarge that photo and hang it on your office wall.. not!



Russ likes anything a little off-kilter. He and I spent way too many Friday and Saturday nights at the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” We drove to some out of the way mortuary to see its “Last Supper in Wax” (which was kinda creepy). I’ve even assisted Russ when he had to do surgery on his bunny during a visit- I was the one fretting, “I think he’s waking up!” So Doo Dah was a perfect match for my buddy, still, I wondered how his friend, Mark, was faring.


“That was one of the best parades I’ve ever been to,” Mark beamed. “Actually, I think it was the best ever.”


Mark’s OK by me. And I’ll bet he and Russ had a lot to talk about on the long drive back to San Jose.


As for me, more adventures were already on the horizon!





Looking Back, Part VII – Is there a doctor in the house?


Just a few days after Doo Dah I received this e-mail:

Hey Michelle!
Okay, here’s a zip file with all the pics I took of the Doo Dah Parade and afterparty.  At the beginning are a few pics of me at the cool Polynesian style apartment building across the street from where I stayed- you can ignore those!   Sorry that the ones of you in the parade didn’t come out too well- I tried to get a couple of shots of you as you passed (appropos!) Mills Ave., but the sun was at a lousy angle.  You’ll have a hard time seeing yourself in the pics.  But the last pic in the set is worth having!
Hope you’ve recovered well from the burning spotlight!
love ya’ always,
Russ is one of my best friends. We met in geometry class in high school. Today he is a veterinarian in San Jose, so I always tease him that I love him for his “culture and sensitivity.” OK, that’s just bad laboratory humor…. still, I do love him lots.
Russ and his friend, Mark, drove down from San Jose on the Saturday before the Doo Dah Parade. They


stayed at the kitchy Kalua apartments (that’s Russ by the lava rocks) and then staked out a spot in front of Victoria’s Secret on Colorado Boulevard the next morning (note Mark standing by the underwear-clad manniquin).

Their photographic vantage point frankly stunk, but you can make out the bagpipers, the coming and going of my Official Entourage in Lafayette’s convertible and the coming and going of me in Tom and Carin’s car (I’m the one waving, coming, and going, you barely make out the long train of my dress draped over the car’s trunk). There’s also the Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin and the giant cat-float contraption that had everyone talking.

On the route, I spotted Russ in the throng. He was jumping up and down, waving and yelling, “Michelle!”  (Mark was more subdued and merely waved without wavering from his place on the sidewalk.) 

Seeing Russ, knowing the time and miles involved, was a big thrill for me. I tried to yell, “Meet me at the park” and gesture in the general direction, but I wasn’t sure if he understood. It just didn’t seem right that we might not be able to meet up for a good chat!
Did Russ receive my e-mail with information on the Doo Dah After-Party?
Would he and his friend Mark be able to find the American Legion?

Did Russ have time to go to the party? After all, I’m sure he had many furry, feathered and finned patients waiting to see him on Monday morning.

Read my next entry to find out….



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Looking Back, Part VI – Rev. Billy ‘saves’ the day


A tad more than half-way through the Doo Dah After-Party, the bands had already changed over a few times. Snotty Scotty and the Hankies were leaving the stage for Horses on Astroturf to take another turn and Tom Costen of the Light Bringer Project took the moment to introduce one of the guests of honor, Grand Marshal Rev. Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping. With a knowing grin, he handed the microphone to Rev. Billy asking for a few words.


A few words turned into a very creative sermon on “Stick Around.” Rev. Billy intoned us to examine the true meanings of the words stick around and verbally explored the virtues of all that is sticky and most of what is round, while motivating anyone peeking at the clock to stay for the next band.


People came from throughout the venue to form a semi-circle on the dance floor around the animated Reverend. He fired us up and had us yelling “Doojalujah,” “Sticky” and “Round” with gusto. His sermon was as good as any fire and brimstone I’ve ever heard… and in many ways, better. This man knows how to move and inspire people. He is not just a good speaker– he is pure charisma!


At the end of his speech, Rev. Billy sank to his knees, then face down, crawling on the floor toward me. Before I knew what was happening, he had slipped his head under my skirt and flipped over on his back in a rightfully exhausted heap. I was ripe with emotions, feeling giddy, slightly shocked and strangely honored all at one time.


I handed my drink to Tom Costen, who was by my side, he passed it on to someone else and from there it


disappeared into the crowd. But no matter, I was Rev. Billy chosen one for this moment. I knelt down and gently unwound my tulle slip and satin skirt from his body and cradled his head. Slowly, Rev. Billy sat up and I gave him a big hug, letting him rest on me. He had given it his all, the sweat on his brow proved it. Another party-goer came over and we helped the Reverend to his feet and he trudged off to find a seat to properly recover.


Later, I had an opportunity to dance with the refreshed Rev. Billy. Man, can he cut a rug! Looks, talent, intelligence– what a renaissance man!  Plus, when he learned I made my dress, he was quick to compliment me (remember, he is anti-consumerism), so I couldn’t help but be a little star-gazed.


Photos by Ebb Eskew. For more, visit  www.flickr.com/photos/ebbeskew 


Learn more about Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping at www.revbilly.com


Tomorrow, read and see Doo Dah from another point of view…




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Looking Back, Part V – It’s my party…


After leaving the parade route, Tom drove the car back to the park. It was fun going through the city streets with all the decorations. Attticus and I still sat up high because I was unable to move from my spot without help. Carin and Tom were dressed in matching Grocho garb complete with cigars and Nikki, the cockatoo, was perched on the seat top in between them. We waved at everyone as we passed and grinned and laughed while waiting at stop lights. It was a hoot! The best part were the looks on people’s faces who were obviously clueless about the parade- they didn’t quite know what to make of us.


The police wouldn’t let us re-enter the parade staging area to drop off until the last of the entries moved along the street, so Tom parked the convertible and we proceeded to wait. Gee whiz, there sure is a lot of waiting with parades…. hmmmm…. Carin decided to get out and go find her father, who was somewhere in the crowd. She wanted to also catch the last of the parade.


There we were- Tom, Nikkie, me and Atti sitting patiently. Tom is an amazingly patient man, who just relaxed and took in the scenery. Nikki, not so patient and definitely more nosey, worked her way around the car ending up next to me. Now I had Atti on one side and Nikki on the other, both leaning on me for a comforting cuddle as we waited.


Finally we were let through and, after dodging the streetsweeper several times, we parked safely near our original


starting point. My Official Entourage found me and helped me out of the car. We also took the decorations off. Here, some of us parted ways. Carin, Tom, Nikki, Linda and a few others were heading home. Valerie, Cindy, Louise, Prince Andrew Duke of Doo Dah, Sir Rich of Music (from the Fret House in Covina) and others were going to meet me at the party.


Despite the complications of parking, let alone finding the place, we all ended up at the American Legion in East Pasadena for the Post-Doo Dah Party. Snotty Scotty and the Hankies were playing when I came in. They finished the song and then Scotty announced me and dedicated their next tune, “Little Queenie” (Rolling Stones), to me. I pinned one of my Doo Dah favors on him and joined him on stage for a little dancing. Scotty may not ever make it on “Dancing With the Stars,” but he moves pretty well!



Next I worked my way through the room, thanking people who had helped me, greeting people who I hadn’t seen earlier and talking with everyone. I also got out on the floor dancing with anyone and everyone. The Hankies traded the stage with Horses on Astroturf and the music continued. In between the bands I nibbled on nachos with chili and cheese and sipped a martini. But unbeknownest to me, my biggest surprises were yet to come….








Looking Back Part IV – Hitting the Doo Dah road

The Doo Dah Parade helper signaled to Lafayette Hight, who was driving the Official Entourage car and he manuevered it into parade position. Tom Webb started up my convertible and Atticus sat up. We were finally rollilng – slowly, but we were moving!


There are no words to explain the mix of feelings that hit you when you take that first long look down the parade route. It’s a blend of excitement, happiness and fear. There were so many people lining the streets and they were cheering and waving. It was surreal.


As we made our way down the road, I was able to pick out some people that I know- my mother, waving just like she did to see my school bus off each morning, the well-known society columnist Patt Dirrol standing fittingly in front of Tiffany’s, my dear friend from high school, Russ Kriegel and his friend Mark, standing in front of Victoria’s Secret (woo hoo), one of my most favorite co-workers Grace Reaza, plus another colleague cutie Todd Ruiz and so many others! 


Also along the way were many of my readers. How would I know that? you ask. Well, they were holding up the newspaper with my photo in it and waving it at me! Wow! Now that’s an honor befitting of a Queen!


As we passed a balcony full of people, they cheered and tossed mardi gras beads down toward me. “These are for the Queen!” they yelled. And my faithful followers picked up the beads and passed them to me. It would be too involved to remove my crown, so I wound the beads around Atti’s neck. He beamed, happy to be in the middle of everything.


Then the tortillas and marshmallows came flying past and at us. Atticus was a pro. He sat serenly by my side watching the incoming edibles without flinching. More intriguing was Nikki the cockatoo, who was also in the car. She was extremely calm and looked at all the things in the air as if to say, “That’s your best aim?”


Time to time I would throw a marshmallow or tortilla back at the crowd with a big grin. I wanted to let them know that I was in on the fun. I managed to catch one tortilla and its thrower asked me to send it back. I planted a big red lipstick kiss on it and handed it to Deb, one of my ladies-in-waiting, to return to its rightful owner.


I waved and blew kisses and smiled until everything hurt.. and continued waving, blowing kisses and smiling. All the way down the route.


Then I saw the end nearing. “It’s almost over,” I sighed.


Sir Ben of the Arts took my hand. “My Lady, it’s not over, it’s merely the beginning of another chapter of your life,” he said. 


I had to agree.


At the end of the route the cars had to go one way, with the walkers going another. We hoped to meet up at Memorial Park or the after-party.  To find out who showed up and to see some of the fun, come back tomorrow….

Looking Back Part III – Doo Dah step-off


 We were told that it was time to get in the cars and make any last minute preparations for our trek down the Doo Dah Parade route. I looked at Carin and Tom’s classic Ford almost entombed with garlands and decorations and at my pouffy dress with its long train and wondered just how the heck was I going to get in the car?!?!


Problem solved. My Knights and their Pages served me well, helping me step up across the convertible’s door, over the decorations and find my place. They handed me my scepter, sword and the guitar pinata Lady Louise of my Official Entourage gave me and I set them on either side of me. The Pages smoothed my dress across the trunk of the car and eased its train so it flowed all the way down the back. Then they handed up Atticus.


Atticus quickly made himself comfortable, sitting sweetly by my side. And so, we waited. It was warm. We waited. It looked like the parade was starting. Never mind. We waited.



Sir Ben, Knight of Art, suggested that Atticus might like a little walk in the park and asked for a plastic bag. He took Atti to sniff the trees and wiggle his toes in the grass. They returned a few minutes later. Sir Ben handed me back the plastic bag saying (almost sadly), “He didn’t make any presents.” I laughed and took Atticus in my arms for a big hug.  “Did you have a nice walk?” I asked. Atti wagged his tail. And we waited.


Atticus layed down next to me and stretched his legs to better catch the sun’s warmth. Soon he was dreaming. How patient! And how smart!


And we waited….


Please enjoy more photos from Ebb Eskew, as well as few from a very cool Flicker photo sharing site.





Looking Back, Part II – Doo Dah Day


The sun was out and warming the world as we began the long wait to parade step-off. I spent most of the morning shaking hands, giving hugs, chatting and posing for photographs. Atticus couldn’t have been more perfect- he wagged his tail at everyone and lapped up the attention with grace.


My brother Jason and several of my friends managed to find me in all the madness too, and took even more photos!


Tiring of the wait, I suggested that my Official Entourage, Knights and assorted Pages and Squires take a walk around the staging area so we could see the other parade entries. A bagpiper kindly offered his services to lead the way. Prince Andrew, the Duke of Doo Dah followed him to announce me. Then single-file came my Official Entourage- Cindy, Linda, Louise and Valerie. Sir Ben of the Arts gave me his arm and took Atticus’ leash and one of his ladies carried the train of my gown. More pages fell in after us, as did Sir Gustavo of Fun and Frivolity and his Page, Miss Havisham, and Sir Fred of Sports. We made quite the procession! 


We were met with cheers and applause along the way, plus lots of smiles. Soon it would be time to get into my “carriage” (a 1962 Ford Galaxy Sunliner convertible) and face my loyal subjects.


Please enjoy a nice photo showing my gown’s long train from Movie Lover at LAist.com, a photo of me waving from the convertible with Atticus by side from SignsonSanDiego.com and a collection of other parade scenes by Ebb Eskew. Just a tease to the next installment of my story…. 



Looking Back, Part I – Doo Dah Eve


Friday night I did the final fitting and accessorizing for my big day. I donned my dress and crown and searched through my jewelry boxes for the perfect necklace and earrings (I already had bracelets from two of my friends and another was bringing me gloves and a huge bling ring for the car ride). Finally pleased, I set everything out so Saturday night I could relax.


I worked on Saturday covering NAMM, the music industry trade show, in Anaheim, then ate a good dinner. I went to bed early and couldn’t sleep- my mind was filled with the sights and sounds of the day, as well as busy rechecking my list of the things I needed for Doo Dah. I finally decided to get up and have a cup of tea. Atticus, who was snoozing at my feet, came bouncing to the couch and pushed one of his toys into my hands. We played as I sipped. I sat up with only the light from the TV for about 45 minutes and then decided to try to sleep again. This time, Atticus curled up by my side as if to comfort me. It worked and I woke up just before the alarm rang.


I jumped in the shower and prepared as much as possible- selecting sweat pants to wear during my drive to Pasadena so my skirt wouldn’t get squashed. It was sooo early when I got to the park that nothing was open and I had to do a Girl Scouts’ change in the parking structure. For those of you who were not Girl Scouts, this is changing your clothes in your sleeping bag or by layering and peeling various items of clothing so you don’t surprise anyone passing by and keep your tushie warm if you’re camping. Of course, Atticus didn’t have to do this, but he stood nice and still as I tied on his cape.


We made our way to Memorial Park and met the news crew. During almost every break throughout KTTV’s newscast from 7-8 a.m., we were on camera. It was sooo cold in the park that, in between, I wrapped Atti in my coat to keep him warm. After the broadcast, most of our entry (my Official Entourage and Drivers) had arrived and we went en masse to the Senior Center to enjoy the pancake breakfast.


More on my adventures tomorrow, but if you’d like a sneak peek, visit


Doo Dah afterglow

                                                                               I’m extremely tire2726-zpark-thumb-300x200.jpgd after my big day yesterday. It began at 5 a.m. and didn’t end until almost midnight!! But as royalty, I must not complain- it was an opportunity for all my loyal subjects to pay homage at one time and enjoy a beautiful – and wacky – day. Thank you to everyone for their love and support. More of my Doo Dah thoughts and experiences throughout the week…


‘Til then, here’s a lovely photo taken by my new friend Marlyn of me with her sister, Joanne, and the Royal Dog Atticus at Memorial Park before the parade. Enjoy!


All hail the QUEEN!!


Have you been practicing your etiquette? Your curtsey or bow? I hope so because on Sunday I will be finally making my way down the streets of Pasadena for the 31st Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade and I expect – no – command you to be there.


It’s going to be the biggest party ever, plus there’s breakfast at the Pasadena Senior Center and all kinds of other eateries in the area. Later, if you don’t want to hit the pubs or the after-parties, stretch your legs and shop – window or otherwise. Pasadena is a wonderful city with many treasures waiting to be found.


Because I will not be available to blog tomorrow, I will now make a ROYAL PROCLAIMATION:


Here ye! Here ye! Her Royal Majesty, Queen Naughty Mickie, requests the presence of her loyal subjects for a day of frivolity and happiness. She asks that Her loyal subjects bathe in Her sunshine and sparkles as She and Her Royal Court make their way down the unofficial route. She also gives permission to said loyal subjects to approach her with any requests, honors and so forth. Her loyal subjects may also pet the Royal Dog, Atticus.


Carry on, as you were…


For more information, please scroll further down my blog or visit www.pasadenadoodahparade.info