Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vegas 2012

Posted by Hippo Bean at 9:03 PM 0 comments
It ended with inviting the audience to stand up and dance with the tempo of Waterloo. I was wondering when they're going to do that song. I turned and spotted the old man on the next row shaking and swinging. The singers were just OK and the dancing was just fine. They sped up Fernando and took away the slow romantic theme. Shame. Then they did a few disco numbers that werent by Abba. But all in all, the Dancing Queen show wasnt too bad. And what do you know, even the Hippo got up and danced and made a fool of herself. The theater though was just a plain room with rows of not really comfortable chairs, all on the same level, a stage and a full service bar on the side. Someone of medium height sat in front of the Hippo, luckily only blocking a bit of the view. Will never go to another show in this theater again though. I wasnt feeling well, with a slight fever and tummy problems but M insisted I go and I actually was glad that I did. Just slept on the first day and lied in bed watching S&W tennis on TV. The Vdara room wasnt big but it had a kitchenette and the bathroom was nice with a separate shower and nice separate modern tub. They brought me some seabass rice porridge that cost $17 but it was delicious. The fever was gone on the next day and I ventured out all the way to the Venetian and had Minestrone at Canaletto. It was good, tho a bit on the salty side. M wanted to lunch at Bouchon but it was already closed for lunch. The best part this time around was the Aria was only a short walk away and we had $75 per room dinning credit, which we wasted at the Lemon Grass Thai place and at Sirio. Had wanted to try out Sage but stupid us didnt even remember to make a reservation and it was fully booked. Walking back at night, the Hippo looked up and realized what gorgeous architecture the whole City Center complex was. Brilliant glass buildings, both the Vdara and Aria, with white and blue lights on top and on the side of the building. The sharp angles that could only be admired from below and the curves of the structures were simply eye pleasing. Every year the Hippo discovers something new to admire in this city of sin.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sunday, August 05, 2012

haute couture

Posted by Hippo Bean at 9:21 PM 1 comments
From Madonna to the Fifth Element, his designs were overwhelming with detail upon detail. "There's nothing simple here", the Hippo exclaimed. And T said "No, you wont find it with him. But he's got just the right amount. Not one bit more." I couldnt agree. I think Gauthier must have had something lacking when growing up. I'm a firm believer that less is more. Although I did find some of his pieces indeed gorgeous, most of his collections were just lace upon lace, fabric over fabric. He just kept piling them. And many times he did over do it. By a wide margin IMHO. And that for me, was not beautiful. But the exhibit was excellently done. The video displayed on the mannequin faces were so real. And the mannequins catwalk at the end was an excellent way to showcase his clothes. Videos of movies where Gauthier was the costume designer, including the leopard piece worn by Chris Tucker, Madonna's bodice that she worn on her Blond Ambition tour, sketches of the designs and his very first pieces were all displayed artfully. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit. And thanks T for allowing the grumpy Hippo (she didnt bring her camera because she was told by the Legion of Honor rep that picture taking was not allowed in the special exhibits, but when we got there, the ticket guy said it was OK to take pictures) to take images with his iPod.

Next we did the permanent collection again and this time I ventured up to the second floor, and discovered paintings from the Hudson River School (didnt even know deYoung had them). We need to go back and explore the upstairs with more leisure and care.


This time we even took the elevator to the 9th floor observatory. The Hippo got a bit disoriented once up there with 360 degree view of the city by the bay. Although we could id most of the major landmarks, T whipped out his Android and pointed it at different directions to show the site names. Wonderful s/w.

The day started out misty, foggy and wet but not cold. By the time we're done with the museum, the sun peeked out, and T even lied down on the bench in front of the Spreckles Temple of Music to catch a bit of sun. Then we remembered the bisons but overshot the turn on Kennedy Dr and ended up back out on 19th Ave, so we've decided to leave it for the next time. Bisons could wait I suppose.

We took 280 back and the ride was gorgeous (280 is always gorgeous) with the pre-dusk rays turning the hills in gold. We dinned at the Cupertino Village, the Hippo's old stomping ground. The string beans and clams in black bean sauce were very tasty.

By 10PM PST (17 minutes after the hour to be exact), the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter gently deposited Curiosity on the surface. JPL went ecstatic. And T was TM'in me just about every few minutes, which started with the spacecraft approach, parachute deployment, heat shield separation, backshell separation, powered descend, sky crane and deposit of the rover. Soon images arrived and by tomorrow the world is going to be wild with images and telemetry.

Simultaneously on TV, McKayla of US lost her gold medal by failing to stick the vault landing, and hours earlier both the US men and women won the medley relays , which I missed, because I was watching the String Theory on PBS, world of string strength, membranes and parallel universes. Fascinating! And that's between running out to the balcony to try to catch the ISS flyby AND the bright triangle formed by Mars on the left and Jupiter on top.

Meanwhile, A was missing and we're about to call the police. So M drove to Davis but halfway up in Fairfield, A surfaced and all was well again.

Not a bad day it was!



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