Sunday, April 24, 2011

Boy, am I glad I waited.

More about hearing aids.

I have been criticized for waiting so long before getting my hearing aid; I kept putting it off, for all kinds of reasons.

I am glad I waited; finally they are tiny and neat, not like the old ones.

Imagine trying to get around wearing one of these…my kids would have been happy, they would at least know I was wearing it.

I think I have joked around enough about hearing aids. Mine was not absolutely necessary, I could sort of function, but it has helped in a number of ways. I do not get as agitated when different things are going on around me, which in our life seems to be quite often.

It has been just enough extra hearing to make this difference. I never realized that this seemingly little bit of correction would help so much.

If you need one…do it, before they get even smaller, God knows how or where you'll wear it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The best-dressed kids in Coney Island…maybe all of Brooklyn.

Looking at these photos I realized that my Mom was amazing, being a seamstress in Paris before she married Pop, she had talent, skill and incredible energy.

My sisters had great clothes and lots of them; I even had some pretty great outfits.

Mom was the busiest person I have ever met, she worked in the store, cooked and sewed and probably did a million other things I did not know about. We were well-dressed kids, Mom and Pop were sharp as well.

Every outfit we had, Mom made. I remember, I was about 12 or 13 and pegged pants were big, she made me a pair and even added pistol pockets (flaps on the back pockets shaped like pistols) very cool at the time, would probably be pretty cool now. I am sure my love of clothes comes from Mom.

These photos are all taken in the early and mid thirties, there is no doubt in my mind, we were the best-dressed kids around.

Maybe my attraction to country and western music comes from my Greek cowboy outfit Mom made for me…love that shirt.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

" Honest Boss, it is important to go to Cannes, for the work!”

The first time I went to Cannes for the ad festival was in 1966 or ’67.

A good friend, Lew, a photographer living in London, came over one evening and asked Jeannine, “ Can Greg come out and play,” Jeannine said of course and then he asked, “ For six days?”

You have to understand how insane the request was, since we had our son who was only about 18 months old.

Jeannine was amazing and said yes when she found out it was for the Cannes festival. Most people think it is good professionally.

This is the time of year most ad guys are trying to convince their boss that going to Cannes is essential for the work. OK, to some extent it is, you meet people, see lots of ads…and some of them are even good, not many, but some are great.

We drove down in an MGB, two big guys in a tiny car with a spanakopita Jeannine made for us for the trip.
She continued being amazing, even though she would be alone for a week with our baby…she is an Albanian Saint and a great cook.

The trip was long, cramped and boring, big Citroens were passing us when we were doing 90 as if we were parked. These huge French cars seemed to be full of people looking very comfortable smoking cigars…or at least that is how I remembered it. I started to plot how I could avoid going back in that mini car. I could fly out of Nice, anything to avoid that tiny car and the disgrace of being passed by everything, even French tractors.

We get to Cannes, amazing place…on the sea, just like Coney Island and there the similarity ends. The south of France, amazing villages with great restaurants, wonderful hotels, the views are incredible.

God makes these incredible places and for some reason populates them with creeps.

We went to Saint-Paul de Vence for lunch one day at this incredible restaurant Colombe d’ Or, owned by Yves Montand and his wife Simone Signoret…and they were there, I am a kid from Brooklyn and Lew ain’t much better…unbelievable. I could not imagine that such places existed.

Monte Carlo casino was the same night…we gambled and Lew actually won, about 250 bucks. He cashes in his chips and asks for a bodyguard to walk us to his car, no wonder the folks there are such creeps, they have to deal with the likes of us. We get to the MGB, stashed behind every fantastic car in the world and we crawl out of Monte Carlo, having trouble going up the steep hill to get out of town.

During all these experiences vast amounts of wine was drunk and we were probably a bit drunk ourselves, most of the time.

The next morning we see some locals playing bowls, patonk, I think it is called there. We start a game ourselves when the locals leave, there are four of us, all loud mouthed Americans, we must look local since we are wearing French sailor shirts and wearing espadrilles.

A guide with some tourists pulls up and begins to describe this very local game to them,
at this stage Lew says in a loud voice, with a NY accent, to me,
” Come on shithead it is your turn.” Naturally the guide and the tourists take off.

You may be curious about the ads we saw…I do not remember any ads I saw that time in Cannes, but Cannes was great and so was the South of France. If the festival was in Finland or someplace like that I probably would have seen all the work.

I have been to Cannes other times and have seen the work, and actually learned something. It was never like the first time, with a good friend in a remarkable place doing and seeing remarkable things.

Next time I will tell you about the lesbian bar in Haute-de-Cagnes.

If we had only done it in a comfortable car it would have been even better.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

SSSHHH, don't yell, I can hear you.

Something I can now say easily, before I had to train everybody to speak louder, not anymore.

This is now a brief continuation of my previous blog that got such a response.

There is supposed to be 10% of the population that is hard of hearing…but a lot less wear hearing aids.
The comments on my blog showed that a hell of a lot more than 10% of my friends have a hearing problem.

I also got comments from hearing aid blogs through out the states…who knew that they existed?

I write these blogs for the education of my family and the entertainment of friends and acquaintances…now it seems this last one was a help to many readers. It was not the objective but I am glad it helped.

I think I should negotiate a commission for all the hearing aids that might be sold through my blog, or at least a big discount on my second one, which will probably be purple.

I had a problem with my hearing aid and went to the distributer in Greece, since I do not have an audiologist here.

Great service, showed me stuff I did not know, cleaning and adjustments etc. Knowledgeable guy…good to know there is somebody so close to help me out when I need it.

I just want to underline that this thing in my ear has been a tremendous help, not just physically but emotionally as well; I think that I am calmer and less grumpy.

A hearing aid is like a tranquilizer in my ear, it also calms everybody around me as well…better than Valium for everybody.