Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Polnareff Republish -- Comments Enabled!

(Note: After receiving a great comment from an American who made the trip ALL THE WAY TO PARIS to see Polnareff play Bercy, I have decided to republish this post to enable comments directly.)

This is the story of a family uniting around an album, almost to the point of obsession. This is the story of doing something that seemed a little crazy, especially on a school night. This is the story of how snow can wreak havoc in Aveyron, even in late March.

This is the story of my family's trip to see Michel Polnareff at the Zénith concert hall in Clermont-Ferrand. Mind you, this was not just any geezer rock show. This was Polnareff's first concert in his home country since 1973, the year he left France (on the luxury liner of the same name) for the USA. He has lived in my home country since, and the announcement last year of his return to the French stage caused great excitement, with over 100,000 tickets to his ten Paris concerts selling in just a few days.

Our love affair with Polnareff started, at least for the girls and me, with getting to know the album "Live at the Roxy," recorded under rather mysterious conditions in 1995. My husband, who remembered the "Polnarevolution" of the 60s and used to listen to the singer's hits on the radio, bought a copy of the CD about ten years ago. And we listened, listened, and listened some more.

The updated versions of Polnareff's hits presented on that album are emotional and intriguing. Although the Polnashow of 2007 lacks the intimacy of the Roxy performance, it is a splendid spectacle. The singer-songwriter still has his amazing voice, as the French press has gleefully reported, and has brought an outstanding bunch of American musicians with him.

My daughters were a little surprised that much of the crowd was even older than their parents, but they had no cause for disappointment. Polnareff's show is decidedly a rock concert, even if my favorite moments were when he was alone with his piano.

It was worth the money, it was worth the drive, it was worth the creepy feeling of crossing the Aubrac mountains in the snow at one o'clock in the morning...and it was especially worth it to share this special moment with my entire family.

See our Flickr slideshow of the concert.

And/or check out my (and just about everybody else's) favorite Polnareff song. It was his "Lettre à France" but for me, it's a song for expats everywhere:

You Can Comment Now!

(PS: Since writing this post I have republished the Polnareff piece, but I'm keeping this one on here in case anyone has comments about my comment problem with Blogger!)
OK, I knew that not everybody would be as excited about my seeing Michel Polnareff in concert as I was. But to the point of having NO COMMENTS?

That surprised me a little. Then I realized that for some reason, Blogger had not enabled comments for the posts I wrote last weekend. It seems to be working now -- strange!

Oh yes, and as wcs put it:

Love me, please love me...

Je suis fou-ou-ou de vous...

All right, I know in my case it's "folle." Hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, March 19, 2007

I'll Be There!

Neither snow, nor sleet, nor dark of night

Will keep us from seeing Polnareff TONIGHT!

(Photo courtesy of rocknblues)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Groom Your Grammar with Grammar Girl

When I started writing my blogs and doing some freelancing, I realized my English grammar was a tad bit rusty. I can explain the difference between the present perfect and the simple past until the cows come home -- which I couldn't do before becoming an ESL teacher -- but that doesn't help much when writing professional English.

The first step I took to spruce up my writing skills was rereading the The Elements of Style cover to cover. I can't quite see myself doing the same with The Chicago Manual of Style, though.

So where can I go from here?

That's where Grammar Girl comes in. All right, the name isn't very PC. But we all know "Grammar Woman" just wouldn't have done the trick.

This approximately weekly blog and podcast site reviews English grammar rules, both basic and advanced. Take a look or a listen, especially if you fear you are using comma splices -- or, of course, if you can't quite remember what they are.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

And So....What?

This was supposed to be my "just for fun" blog. This was supposed to be where I just tossed out quick posts in ten minutes, perhaps even daily. This was supposed to be a place to share so many things I love, hate, find funny or ironic, or simply want to keep a record of.

So why is it so hard to just blog subjects up, out, over or whatever?

I have bookmarked at least fifty links that I thought would be worthy of writing about on "And So Forth." Your blog may be among them!

What if I just started dealing with them one by one?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Musical Memory Lane

Do you remember when you didn't have a record to your name and radio really was king?

Do you feel an overwhelming need to hear "Georgy Girl," maybe just one last time, even though you would never admit this to anyone?

Do you have a vague memory of a song called "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron"?

Have you at some time in your life been characterized as a music trivia geek?

If the answer is "yes" to any of the above questions, you need to check out Playa Cofi Jukebox post haste. Within seconds it will transport you to another musical era through its playlists of the top 100 songs from 1950-1984.

The site also features other playlists, and plans to expand its selection.

Thanks to Tinsie of Thoughts in a Nutshell for her reference to the site published this very day.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Can anybody write for Business Week?

I received a recent Business Week article through my Yahoo alerts last week. Here is the headline and lead-in:

"Poor Language Skills Hurting EU Firms

Brussels says the bloc's global competitiveness is at stake, as 11% of small businesses have lost out on revenue thanks to foreign language deficiencies "

Lost out on revenue thanks to foreign language deficiencies?

This phrase really sounds wrong to me. Isn't "thanks to" generally followed by something positive? Can we say "Thanks to the New Orleans flood, 80% of the city's residents were forced to leave their homes"?

I don't think so. Yet when I looked up the idiom in my own medium-sized American Heritage dictionary, doubt ensued : "thanks to: on account of, because of." This sounded very neutral. But closer research into the expression, from the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms , confirmed my suspicions:

"On account of, because of, as in Thanks to your help, we'll be done on time. This phrase alludes to gratitude being due to someone or something."

Thanks to Business Week for encouraging me to double-check my understanding of "thanks to!"