Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Mom discovers Karaoke

Last night at dinner I sat next to an elegant older black couple from Northern California. She wants to get an iPod, and we were talking about music media and how it has evolved. I mentioned how valuable record album covers are, giving as an example the R. Crumb cover for Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company. Turns out the couple had been neighbors of R. Crumb and his wife Aileen for several years and her R. Crumb collection includes a portrait he did of her daughter.

Last night after dinner we stopped by one of the nightclubs, which was having the first round of a Karaoke contest. My mother had never seen--or heard of--Karaoke. One of the men from The Nation group was singing Sinatra's "My Way," and then did "If I Was a Rich Man," from Fiddler on the Roof. He was truly excellent, so my mom was not prepared for some of the painful performances that followed his. Eventually the club switched to dance music (contemporary, as in diva and hip hop) and my mom left and I went dancing until 1 a.m. There isn't that much of a nightlife on Holland America, but the upside is you don't have inebriated people crashing around the decks at night. At least, not yet.

Last night was the first "formal night" and some of the woman really dressed up. Emphasis was more on gowns than on expensive jewelry, so it was festive rather than elitist. Ironically, the ship also did a Monday night football (with hot dogs, etc.) in the theater, so quite a few husbands were absent from the dining rooms.

This morning I went to a digital photography seminar given by one of the ship's phalanx of photographers, a young Indian man with an Italian surname. I learned quite a bit--including how to use some features on my Digital Elph that had eluded me, and that there are some great features the Elph doesn't have.

The powerpoint presentation was done on a 14-inch iMac. Yes!

I'll try out some of the camera tricks when we go ashore tomorrow at St. Maarten.

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