Friday, February 29, 2008

E Friday - favorites

In following the tradition of Clare we return again to E Friday, where I post three photos of my darling granddaughter E, because VG really likes to look at these pics. Well, I like to look at them also.

I was looking at some pictures I’ve got scattered around, and even though I do have new ones I thought I would re-post some of my favorite shots. Of course, we have to have the 'smile for the camera' spaghetti smile:

And again, I have no idea what was going on here, but it is amusing:

Here is another of her ‘smile for the camera’ smiles, like daddy taught her:

But I think she looks best when she is just her (with the cheeks):

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More on the fashion shows

A few weeks ago we had several clothing and related shows in our facility. For those of you unable to make it out here I thought I’d put up some pictures, so you can imagine yourselves walking the aisles.

Setup started with the arrival of carpets for the downstairs hall. There were several flatbed trucks filles with racks of blue carpet for down here.

Upstairs in the ‘hip’ show it was bare concrete and clear plastic booths.

There was a DJ overhead, and for the first day the volume level was almost painful. You could hear the deep base beats in the hall downstairs, even with two feet of concrete floor between the halls.

Upstairs the food was pretty good, especially if you got there right when they opened, otherwise it was over an hour wait. There were multiple stations making custom Chinese or Italian dishes. You went past something like a salad bar and picked out what veggies you wanted, on the Chinese side you also could pick chicken, beef or pork chunks, on the Italian side it was chicken, meatballs or sausage with the veggies. These were then put into a wok type frypan and cooked up. Chinese style could pick rice or noodles that looked a lot like spaghetti, and either sweet and sour or teriyaki sauce. Italian style was spaghetti or smaller pasta, with either tomato or cream sauce. I did Chinese, and had a nice vegetable assortment that came out pretty good.

One area upstairs had pink carpet down the center aisle, and sparkly things hanging from the ceiling.

I’ve previously related my interaction with the swimsuit models.

Next door was a show with fancier cloths paired with jewelry and purses and stuff. The atmosphere was a little quieter and classier.

I liked these purses, they had paintings and pictures on them, carried through in sets from large purse to small to coin to eyeglass case. I can see Deana with some of these.

There were also some really dedicated theme booths.

Tip for those of you attending these shows: go on the first day and walk around quickly, look at as much as you can and grab the free goodies. Then take a day off, and go back on the last day to do all of your more detailed investigations, knowing where to stop from your first pass. The pace is slower, and if you are a buyer then the people in the booths will be able to take more time with you. If the show hasn't been too good for them then you might be able to get some pretty good deals. What I see in these three or four day shows are very large crowds the first day, then the attendance drops off dramatically. I figure that people coming to the show go there on the first day, then start partying at night and sleeping in the next morning, then wandering the strip. Of course, their expense reports don’t exactly say what they did in Vegas for three or four days, and they do go home with literature, or with contracts and contacts.

These shows were the same, packed aisles on day one and almost empty on day three. The exhibitors know this, so have all their models and fancy stuff on the first day. The painted swimsuits were only there on the first day, three girls along with four in real swimsuits. On the second day there were no painted ladies, and five wearing real swimsuits. On day three there were no models at all. The volume of the music also decreased significantly, down to a comfortable level on the last day.

Over in the fancier area I didn’t see any buyers at all on the last day, the people manning the booths were wandering around looking at each other’s wares. There were some fancy gowns, and here there were models that worked the entire show. They were more than happy to show off what they were wearing and just have someone to talk to, as it got pretty boring as the day wore on. I spend some time with the lady with those picture bags above, B almost got some, but she doesn't really like that stuff. Sorry D, I figured Toonces would not appreciate my getting you any.

The lady in yellow above (sorry; buttercup; get the colors right Joe) was with a smaller manufacturer, and she was the only model in the booth. The models did not get to walk around like the booth owners, so they really got bored. If you look in the back ground you can see how crowded the aisles were, this was around 1 in the afternoon on the last day of the show. You can also see the models in the booth across the aisle; this was a much larger booth, with three or four models. At least they could talk to each other. Most of the time they were sitting at a small table watching movies on some laptop computers, here they were just talking.

And since it's the last day, many of the booths over here were willing to give some pretty good deals on their display models, better than having to pack it all up. Downstairs in the less expensive stuff people were selling whole booths of clothes for just a few hundred dollars.

Oh – just noticed – yesterday was my fourth anniversary. I started this blog back when I was enjoying some time off, this is my 731st posting. (happy birthday to me . . .)

Monday, February 25, 2008

E Friday

In following the tradition of Clare we return again to E Friday, where I post three photos of my darling granddaughter E, because VG really likes to look at these pics. Well, I like to look at them also. (OK, so it’s not Friday, let’s pretend for VG’s sake)

When grammie was up in Portland in January she found that kids up there do things a little differently in the winter than they do here. In Vegas winter is just a season where the temp is under 100f, usually around 60f each day, but since it’s cooler the kids can enjoy the playgrounds more – your skin doesn’t fry to the slides like it does in July. Other than that, it’s still playing outside as normal. But in Portland in the winter there are indoor activities for kids. E’s mom takes her each week to the community center, which is a big room full of larger toys that is usually quite filled with moms around the outside and a screaming batch of smaller ones on the inside. After watching a few kids, E thought she would try out the basketball hoop:

She also took a liking to this motorcycle. After standing around waiting for it to be vacated she then perched and refused to give it up for the rest of the play session:

You can see the traffic jams that are produced in random corners, I guess having a license isn’t a requirement. Well, looks like she did trade in the red one for a green one.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Monday music videos

When we were driving around France seven years ago (wow, doesn’t feel that long ago) we kept hearing this song, Sex Bomb, the voice was familiar but I just could not place the singer until we got back to Paris and watched French MTV, and got to see who it was. See if you can place the voice without looking:

We were surprised to find out it was the famous Welsh singer Sir Thomas Jones Woodward, someone that we hadn’t heard in years. For some reason a song titled Sex Bomb sung by a sixty year old was moving up the charts in France. Well, they always seem to go for older male singers. I do not remember ever hearing this one played on the radio or MTV here in the states. The one I remember him putting out was a long time ago:

The sound isn’t too good, but in 1965 he sure looked a lot younger (and he sure can snap his fingers). He still hits Vegas periodically, coming through just a few months ago. I don’t know if the girls still throw their panties on stage, as they used to do forty years ago.

There was another American singer that was getting a lot of airplay on French MTV – young enough to be Tom’s daughter. Let’s not start any rumours now.

There were also some French singers that I really liked, and was able to purchase their Cds before we left Paris. This one made it to my Ipod walking playlist, it has a good beat for walking:

OK, back to music history for you youngsters, I thought the beat and corus of Yannick’s sounded very familiar, but not knowing how to speak French I couldn't figure out the words, but after a while it came to me: it was a remake of Frankie Vallie’s 1963 hit Oh What a Night

Which itself sure sounds like an updated remake of the Dell’s recording from the early 50’s

OK, enough of music history for today.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

E Friday

In following the tradition of Clare we return again to E Friday, where I post three photos of my darling granddaughter E, because VG really likes to look at these pics. Well, I like to look at them also. (OK, so it’s not Friday, let’s pretend for VG’s sake)

I don’t know what was going on here, I think E and grammie were hiding some toys from each other.

When visiting Portland grammie and E played games together. This was one morning when they were getting dressed to go out. Can you look at this first picture and guess what game they were about to play? Looks like she has some of Lisa’s socks.

Why, it’s hide and seek of course. See if you can find E in this picture. She’s hiding; you have to look very closely:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fashion shows

This week our facility is filled with shows related to the apparel industry, and most of the other exhibition halls in Vegas are filled with similar shows. These roll around every six months. Up in the tower next door are two; one filled with shoes (yes, Jimmy Choo is showing off the summer styles) and the other specializing in swimwear and intimate apparel. These are both in the smaller rooms, we don’t usually get to wander around those (unfortunately). One of the smaller halls upstairs is dedicated to accessories: belts, handbags and jewelry. Downstairs is off-price merchandise and the remainder of upstairs is, quoting from the show catalog, ‘powerhouse advanced contemporary lifestyle event that is for today.’ The downstairs show has been open since Monday, upstairs opened just a few hours ago. There are significant differences between these two shows.

Downstairs are lots of small booths with high racks around the outside filled to overflowing with stuff you will find in W@lmart and small lower priced stores. Six months ago there were many Chinese companies, but I only saw one here this time. There are a great many booths watched over by middle aged men wearing black Yarmulkes, and in the food court one line is dedicated to kosher food. There are many hand lettered signs pinned up displaying show specials, such as one on a display of thong panties stating ‘show special – 10 cents each in case lots’, printed t-shirts ‘ 90 cents each case lots’, and some fairly nice leather jackets ‘$9.98 each, 10 per case, mixed sizes OK’. Not having an array of girlfriends that would appreciate the former I was more interested in the latter, as at that price these jackets (that probably sell for $129 retail) were not very high quality, but you could wear them for a year and then toss them away. (OK, supposed to be green and keep using them, yes, you could until the stitching came out then donate to charity).

Upstairs it was about the same as when this show was here last year; white carpets, plastic booths, bare concrete, loud (very loud) techno music and lots of skinny young people. I noticed that I don’t have enough tattoos, my jeans aren’t tight enough (well, not in the right places), I don’t have pierced eyebrows, and my hair not spiky enough to fit in with that group. I previously compared the difference between attendees of the electronics show and the adult entertainment show that were here at the same time last month. This month I can see even bigger differences between middle aged men in black suits and yarmulkes and skinny (really skinny) people in almost painted on jeans, yellow sneakers with glitter (if you don’t have these, looks like it’s the coming style), tattoos, piercings and funky hair.

I had lunch with my fellow programmer, eating at the Chinese stir fry counter, which is much improved over last show. He wanted to wander a while, I was having problems hearing and my ears hurt from the loud base beat blasting down. We walked in a smaller curtained off area at the back towards some different music and some type of fashion show going on, but the aisles were very crowded. It all jammed up about twenty feet from the show area, and I looked to my left to see what type of clothing was being exhibited. I found myself nose to . well, not another nose.

I was very surprised to see that this was a swimwear booth, and there were two models on a platform right next to me. I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe this, so let’s see if I can say it in a round about way. I don’t know why, but to show off their swimsuit line a decision was made to have the suits painted on these models rather than just have them wear the clothes. I was pushed right up against this low platform, to find the top of my head a few inches below the navel of a very shapely young woman with a painted on swimsuit. My eyes were even lower, and my nose was just a few inches away from an area it is not usually that close to. Unfortunately these outfits were not the full painted suits that Sports Illustrated or Playboy has; to preserve modesty (what, modesty in Vegas?) these young ladies were wearing a little triangular patch of cloth in a strategic location. Let me emphasize the word little, as this triangle could not be much smaller and still be visible. As it was, the models couldn’t walk around much without this patch of cloth, shall we say, disappearing. The young lady I was right in front of was painted with a very nice multi-colored tiny suit, with the little triangle painted as well so it almost disappeared (but close examination showed it was there, and with my nose just an inch or two away it was challenging not to closely examine it) (come on, I’m a guy, it needed examining). The fine art of Brazilian waxing was also evident. I looked up to find that other portions of this young woman were right above me. It was a marvelous example of the art of silicone cantilevered over my head. Again, a colorful top was painted on and here two small circular band aids were applied over strategic areas and painted over as well. I guess that I don’t spend enough time in the adult oriented clubs here in Vegas (never having been to one at all), as I was most impressed, both with the outfits and with my being so close (without having to lay down some cash).

After a few long minutes the crowd unfortunately moved and I was able to move a few steps forward, pausing in front of the booth next door. This booth was advertising a canned energy drink (one I had never heard of) and it was being ignored. Most of the crowd was trying to see around the side curtains to the fashion show; I never got that far, and have no idea what fashions were being shown. I paused to talk to the two guys in this booth, and turn around and examine the young ladies from five feet away instead of an inch and a half. They were equally impressive from this distance, probably more so because I could get an overall view instead of seeing isolated segments.

Unlike the SI girls that were airbrushed these suits were painted on with small brushes. There was a young woman touching up areas and another applying glitter to selected areas of the swimsuits, just a few flakes at a time. Being guys we spent a few minutes discussing paint and glitter application techniques, and wondering if they would let a few volunteers do that part of the work for them. This part of the crowd was now pushed back from the platform and a large number of people were taking photographs. It was a surprise to me to see that most of the people with cameras were women.

Sorry ladies, this booth only had women’s swimwear. I don’t know if there was a men’s suit booth on the other aisle that would also be modeling similar ‘clothing’. But there are several larger booths in the main hall dedicated to male underwear; last time there were several handsome young men walking around booths modeling these clothing articles. Strangely enough there were more men at these booths examining the models than women. But I guess in the clothing industry there are all types of interests.

Oh – it appears that J was part of the group that stepped back, and was able to use his Iphone to obtain a few images. Here you go:

I walked back up later in the afternoon to see just what fashion show was being held around that corner. We had also heard that Snoop Dog was in the house – he has a scheduled show tomorrow at the Hard Rock, and supposedly came by to push his clothing line. He was also supposed to perform a bit. There was nothing going on then, either in that small exhibit area or on the rest of the floor. I did notice that the two women seen earlier were still up on the platform, and a third girl had joined them (of course I looked, come on). But what was funny was across the aisle. There were a number of guys lined up staring at the girls but seated at the sales tables across the aisle were several girls employed by that company to take orders. It was the look on the face of one very attractive blond, as she looked over at the swimsuit girls and the crowd they were attracting, that was pretty funny. It was a mixture of intense dislike, either for the girls or guys, couldn’t tell, and disgust about the display. Truthfully, she was much prettier than the swimsuit girls, but she did have quite a bit more clothing on.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Video Monday - Love Songs

OK, I was going to follow up on my France videos, but since it’s almost Valentine’s Day we might as well do some love songs. I was looking for old ones, but YouTube doesn’t seem to have any of the ones from too long ago. We can go back fifty years though. Problem is, there were so many to pick from I just couldn’t confine myself to three. Pick the ones that you want to listen to (or listen to them all, they are pretty).

One of the most romantic sounding, even if you don’t say you like him, is Elvis’ Love Me Tender (1956):

In keeping with the oldies, these guys had a nice slow love song way back when, not too long after Elvis (1964). Paul sounded lovely as always:

And the same period, for a woman singer, Moma Cass had one of the most loverly voices (1967)

Another woman's voice that I remember from the same period was that of Mary, singing along with Peter and Paul. Originally written and a big hit by John Denver, I liked the PP&M version a lot better, and Mary's voice is really mournful, I think this is one of the most beautiful voices recorded. Couldn't find a video of them singing it from the original release, you'll have to put up with Ross and Rachel, but ignore the video and listen to the song (1969).

Trying to get a little variety here, for those of you into big hair, back to Whitesnake’s (even if you didn’t want to dance on the hood of their car) This Must Be Love (1987):

OK, they didn’t have as much hair but Air Supply had a big hit with All Out of Love (1980):

OK, we can go back seventy years, to 1937. Known more as a dancer than a singer, I still like how Fred Astaire puts out a song. It doesn’t mention love, but it’s still nice; singing to Ginger Rogers without dancing:

One of my favorites is fairly recent, on my Ipod frequent play list, Madeline Peyroux Dance Me to the Song of Love:

Hope that leaves you with enough dreams of love. Do something nice on Valentine’s Day (if the kids let you).

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Small shows

This week there have been two small shows here at the convention facility where I work. Usually I write about the big shows, and put up lots of photos to show you what it looked like, but for some reason the smaller ones are ignored. Walking down the corridor this morning I realized that some of the most interesting bits come from the smaller shows.

One of the small shows is for people that run day spas. I assume that these are the little places located in outside shopping malls where women can go and spend a few hours getting a manicure and hairstyle and massage and sit around drinking tea and reading magazines. At least I get this impression from walking around the booths in the big hall. There are about a hundred booths, most of them rather small. Each booth is rented by a supplier trying to obtain more customers. There are booths with machines that electronically remove unwanted hair, booths with machines that play soothing music, booths full of soothing music on tape and Cd to be played by the machines in the other booths, tables full of small fountains to provide a soothing environment and perhaps drown out the music being played by the machines in the other booth. Down at one end was a large covered booth (boy, I sure can type booth a lot, but I don’t know what other word to use) filled with massage tables and chairs that you sit in while getting a neck rub. There are vendors with soothing lotions and oils, shampoos that either invigorate the scalp or calm the senses, vendors with incense and ones selling magazines to read while sitting waiting for your turn to be massaged or shampooed. Tables full of nail polish, and implements for polishing and trimming the nails. Tables full of shiny earrings on little display stands, to put next to the cash register so that the owner can get just a little more money out of customers.

There are also booths with massage tables and machines that vibrate and sooth. Some of these tables have women dressed in skin tight white outfits that are getting massaged and vibrated and soothed. This being Las Vegas I assumed that the young women being worked upon would be some of the ones we see in short (very short) skirts at other shows giving out literature, displaying their slim limbs and silicone enhanced wares at yet another venue. But these massagees were different, these women (yes, all women) were larger and softer and older, probably more like the women that would go to these day spas, totally unlike the young women that probably would like to get the money the more enhanced ones get at other facilities men go to. These white lumpy women were happily laying on the massage tables, while little groups stood around and watched them getting handled and vibrated while their handlers continually were talking about the benefits of the tables and machines and soothing oils and how the show attendees could make lots of money by purchasing their brand and making lots of their customers happy so that they would part with their money, to keep the whole chain moving along. The chain stretching from the women who drop those noisy kids off for the day and go enjoy a few quiet hours being pampered and massaged and oiled to the people that applied the oils to the owners of the spas to the truck drivers that deliver that stuff to the suppliers that ship it out to the people that put on shows like this to let people show off their stuff to facilities like ours that rent space to hold these shows down to people like me that work here to keep the place going.

This show uses some of our meeting rooms in addition to the large hall where the booths are located. These rooms are used to put on seminars, where spa owners can better learn about tax laws and audits, how to hire good massage therapists (this is a big thing here in Vegas, where many of our massage therapists provide extra special massages using body parts other than the hands and are being investigated by our good police department, where the investigators I assume spend many hours getting massages and trying to get ‘massages’), and how to ‘name brand’ your spa so that you can sell your customers your own brand of shampoo and crème which is packaged by the same company that puts the other spa’s name on very similar packages which probably buys them from the same place in China that puts on T@rget’s label to very similar packages. And yes, this is how I think, in long run on sentences filled with lots of ‘ands’ and ‘buts’ and distracting thoughts and ooh look at the pretty butterfly and oh, where was I? Yes, spas.

The other small show is for owners of places that rent storage lockers. I don’t know how popular these places are in other countries or in other parts of the US, but here in Vegas and other south western cities storage locker rental is big business. At least I hope it is big business in colder areas, as why else have a show about it in Vegas in February just for locals who live here and enjoy the sunshine when we could fly out people from two feet of snow and ten below so that they could enjoy it also. And spend their money here, thereby keeping people like me employed and places like the big hotel next door looking so pretty. Most storage locker facilities have a few larger ‘lockers’ that look like one or two car garages with big roll up metal doors where you can drive your car up to and just empty out the trunk. The rest of the place is usually corridors lined with doors leading into closets, ranging in size from a small hall closet to something bigger than your bedroom. These small spaces are used by people that have apartments or houses that are filled to capacity and so people rent these spaces in order to have a place to put their stuff that doesn’t fit in their house. I don’t rent one, but the few I have been into with friends just look like junk piles. I don’t know why people keep that stuff – just to know you have it and visit every few months when you add to the pile? My son was renting one, it was like $100 a month, and filled with stuff he just couldn’t throw away. When it was time to move it he ended up throwing over half of the pile into the dumpster wondering why he kept it. Broken table? As if it would ever get fixed and used. Old clothes? As if they would ever fit again or come back in style. That battered old tool? He replaced it years ago with a fancy new one. Big tires and rims? The truck they fit on was sold years ago.

But again I digress. I wandered through the hall yesterday while getting lunch. One of the benefits of working here is that we get tickets we exchange for a free meal every day there is a show here. For the small shows that just means a sandwich or a cold salad, for the larger shows it could be a full soup and salad bar or carved roast beef and turkey or a taco bar or something different. After being here a year we have gotten fairly used to the selections, but still anticipate FREE FOOD!!!! So I picked up a packaged chef salad, noticing that they have moved from slices of cheese to using the pre shredded cheese. Well, anything that saves a few pennies is good for the company. (have to keep our big owner at number six). The food is available at what we call the ‘block house’, one of two cinder block structures that are located in the center of the hall that hold the serving counter (one on each side), a small kitchen, and stairs down to the restrooms on a central level and more stairs from that down to the lower hall. I went up from my basement office into the light (well, more electric lights, there are no windows up there either) and traded in my ticket for the salad and a sugar free Red Bull, and then wandered the aisles a bit. This show also was limited to about half of an upper divided hall. The room upstairs is large – about 650,000 square feet. There are panels that slide along the ceiling and divide this up into four long rooms, and different configurations are used depending on how large the show is. For the shows this week the panels were all in place, cutting the space up, and each show was in one room, but only filling about half the room. That still means there were 100,000 square feet for each show to fill, so there is room for several hundred booths.

The displays here were much different, and more varied than I had anticipated. There were companies that put up buildings, out of steel or concrete or blocks, there were companies that sold the fences that went around the buildings, that sold the electric gates that closed off these fenced areas, that sold the computers and programs that kept track of who came and went and who owed rental. There were booths filled with different kinds of locks to sell so people could secure their little parts, booths with light bulbs to brighten up the spaces, booths with metal roll up doors to close off the closets, and cleaning equipment to get out the gunk when renters left. Booths with trash barrels to put unwanted stuff in, booths with key making machines so owners could sell extra keys, booths with snack machines to provide sustenance to locker renters while they filled their spaces, and even booths with nothing but big numbers to stick on the doors so renters could find their space. There is much variety up there.

The spa show closed yesterday, and today the hall is empty (I am impressed with how fast those spaces can be cleared, one night and it’s down to bare concrete floor) but the storage show continues today (yes, another day of free food). Downstairs was unused, but next week comes the semi annual big clothing shows. The big convention center is filled with most of the big show, but we have three of the upstairs halls filled with overflow, in addition to ‘off price’ merchandise downstairs, accessories in the remaining hall upstairs, and shoes in the big and small rooms next door. So for the past few days the downstairs hall is slowly being filled, today the carpet is almost all down and the curtains are up and vendors are starting to show up to take their stuff out of the shipping boxes and spread them around.

The fashion stuff upstairs is ‘edgy’ and ‘cutting edge’, the last one filled with lots of torn denim and sparkles. It’s mostly a younger crowd, with clothes I did not wear when I was younger, the hall is filled with loud music and spotlights and mirrors and people on cell phones. The carpet was white (at least the first day) and the dividers were plastic, decorations in black and white and silver, but clothes in bright colors as well as the ‘traditional’ black. Most of the booths are small, with stuff hand made, the owners trying to get a big contract so that they could ship production off to China and make loads of money. I guess all you need is a contract with The G@p or some trendy chain with a store in each mall across the country, and be rolling in the big bucks. All of the stuff gets packed up and taken back home.

Downstairs is mostly wholesalers, and distributors from China, with crates and boxes full of the stuff you find in W@lmart and T@rget and little off stores in those run down malls that every city seems to have. Most of this stuff is sold on the last day, as it’s usually cheaper to throw it away and make more than to pay the shipping costs. So the employees like this show, and spend time downstairs, working out deals on what to get and what is available. I picked up a neat bunny backpack for E last time. Stuff is sometimes sold at the accessories show, if you want purses and earrings and things. Vendors only bring the left shoes to the shoe show so nothing to buy at that one.

OK, that was a long rambling post when I know VG the only thing you came by for was a photo of E, so note to self: when you get home be sure to dig out a link to one of those E pics and insert it here in place of this comment to keep VG happy.

Here she is looking at dad, doing a video conference on the computer:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy New Year

Today is the Lunar New Year – starting the Year of the Rat. The big hotel and casino next door attracts a lot of overseas visitors this time of year, and so tries to decorate a little to keep the spirit going. When you walk in the front entry and down the arcade toward the casino there are a lot of banners:

Just at the casino entrance is an orange tree with more red banners. I don’t know the significance of the orange tree.

And over in the new atrium there are more red and gold things hung from the ceiling. Little red and gold packets are hanging from small orange trees placed around the atrium

To all of you, Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Video Monday

Well, it used to be Monday, but since I can’t post from work anymore this slides until I get home and have some time here to make these things up. I have always liked old black and white movies, being partial to the Busby Berekely grand musicals from the early 30’s and the William Powell/Myrna Loy Thin Man ones from the mid 30’s. But I also like foreign flicks too, especially if they are the background for later American movie lines.

One of the most famous French singers from the 30’s and 40’s was Edith Piaf, well known for her ballads and quavering voice. Born in 1915, she stayed in Paris during the German occupation, she performed for German officers but was reportedly also working for the French resistance. When she died in 1963 her Paris funeral was one of the largest in French history, supposedly bringing traffic in Paris to a standstill. One of the most famous songs is La Vie en Rose, from a 1946 movie clip:

The song was recorded by many famous American jazz artists, including Louis Armstrong and Celine Dion (well, she does live in Vegas). Here’s Louie’s version, with some of the lyrics in English:

Another of Edith’s famous songs is Milord. Sung here on the Ed Sullivan show in 1959 during one of her eight appearences:

The background tune should be recognizable, again recorded a great many times by many others, and the chorus was used by piano players as a symbolic French song for years.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

E Friday

In following the tradition of Clare we return again to E Friday, where I post three photos of my darling granddaughter E, because VG really likes to look at these pics. Well, I like to look at them also. (OK, so it’s not Friday, let’s pretend for VG’s sake)

Last time they visited I prepared one of E’s favorite foods, spaghetti. Sometimes fingers are used for aid but usually the fork is attempted.

Of course, on Sunday mornings it’s pancakes, and while waiting for their arrival the comics are a handy distraction, even if you can’t read. At least you can recognize Garfield.

And after the meal it’s on to an indoor pastime: Thomas and Friends