Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Police are Back, On Tour and On a New CD

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months (and a soundproof one, at that), you're probably aware that groundbreaking rockers The Police are reuniting for a tour this year to mark their 30th anniversary.

Of course, if you're a regular reader of this blog you knew about this tour back in January, because I've written about it several times since then, before it was even announced. Yes, as you can guess, I'm pretty dang excited about The Police tour, which kicked off yesterday with a show in Vancouver.

This is one tour that people will be talking about for years. Besides playing a number of the standard concert venues, The Police are performing at some venues that don't normally host concerts, including Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field, and even Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby!

So far I've been shut out of getting my hands on tickets for this Police tour, but I'm going to keep trying. Fortunately it's much easier to get one's hands on the new Police CD, which I’d also be thrilled to have. It's a two-disc set that features 28 of the band's best-known tracks, plus some lesser-known tunes that I was definitely glad to see included.

The record company was smart in making this a two-CD set, so more songs could be included. The Police just have too many great tunes to be crammed onto one of those single-disc anthologies.

If you’re going to see The Police tour, this set is the perfect thing to get you psyched for the concert. If you’re not going to see them live, this Police CD will give you a reminder of the great music they produced during their entire career.

Here’s what’s on the the set:

The Police
Track Listings
Disc: 1
1. Fallout
2. Can't Stand Losing You
3. Next to You
4. Roxanne
5. Truth Hits Everybody
6. Hole in My Life
7. So Lonely
8. Message in a Bottle
9. Reggatta de Blanc
10. Bring on the Night
11. Walking on the Moon
12. Don't Stand So Close to Me
13. Driven to Tears
14. Canary in a Coalmine

Disc: 2
1. Do Do Do de da da Da
2. Voices Inside My Head
3. Invisible Sun
4. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
5. Spirits in the Material World
6. Demolition Man
7. Every Breath You Take
8. Synchronicity I
9. Wrapped Around Your Finger
10. Walking in Your Footsteps
11. Synchronicity II
12. King of Pain
13. Murder by Numbers
14. Tea in the Sahara

The Police are back on tour, and they're jazzed to be out playing for their fans. And us fans are thrilled, too. Get yourself a copy of the definitive new Police CD and get ready for one of the most exciting rock tours in recent memory.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lindsay Lohan Arrested After Being Attacked by Curb

Looks like Lindsay Lohan may need some re-rehab after she was booked on suspicion of DUI following her latest run-in with the law. Actually it was her convertible that had a run-in, and it was with a curb. Eyewitnesses say that the incident was actually the curb's fault, and that the cantankerous strip of concrete just popped out of nowhere and hit Lindsay's car.

In any case, Lohan was driving her Mercedes at 5:30 a.m. when she the boo-boo on Sunset Boulevard occurred. A police spokesman said it appeared the car was speeding... perhaps because its occupants were trying to get somewhere fast to avoid being caught with cocaine in the car. Yes, the officers at the scene found a drug tentatively identified as cocaine in the vehicle. Police said that Lohan was not carrying the drug.

Lohan was driven in another car to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries. It appears that second car had no problems with unruly curbs.

The case will be presented to a DA, at which time Lohan could face other charges (including felonies). Her arraignment is set for August 24, and if she's smart she'll keep herself out of trouble until then. I'd advise staying away from curbs.

Lohan's father, a felon who recently was released from jail, has suggested that Lindsay needs to find God. Perhaps, but maybe an AA sponsor would be a good substitute in the short term.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Anne Heche & Hubby: Odd and Odder

Anne Heche's long, strange trip on Planet Earth seems to be getting stranger still. After the breakup of her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres years ago, she had a much publicized mental breakdown, which she wrote about in her book "Call Me Crazy." Her father apparently abused her and her siblings, and perhaps because of this Heche starting believing she was a daughter of God. At one point she was found wandering near a dirt road in Fresno waiting for a space ship to take her to heaven (even though everyone knows that spaceships didn't have regular service to Fresno until just recently).

Things seemed to be on the upswing when she got married and had a child, but now things are unraveling and getting, well, weird... and nasty. First off, her husband's name is Coley Laffoon (a celebrity should never marry someone who's name elicits laughs all by itself).

Second, he's a videographer who earned $6,000 last year (he's been staying home to be Mr. Mom to their son).

Third, their son's name is... Homer. (Another lesson: don't give your child the name of a laughably boorish cartoon TV character.)

Well, now Laffoon is criticizing Heche's skills as a mom, claiming that her "bizarre and delusional behavior" could be a problem is she wins custody of Homer (who is now five). He also claims she often swears in front of the child.

Heche has now hit back. When Homer stays in L.A. with Laffoon, "he sends the boy to preschool or leaves him with nannies and baby sitters while he “plays ping-pong, backgammon and poker and views pornography online,” Heche has stated.

“He holds a poker game at his home every Thursday night and allows Homer to participate,” Heche contended.

Laffoon is seeking joint custody and is asking for more than $30,000 a month in spousal support. Maybe he could earn a few bucks beating his five-year-old at poker?

Monday, May 21, 2007

They Live in Your Blood and Feed on Your Brain, in "Bug"

Forget those summer blockbuster movies about the green ogres and the pirates. For me, the ultimate summertime popcorn movie is a good creepy horror flick. And I've long been a fan of the science fiction/killer virus/psycho-killer bloodborne pathogen variety of scary movie, so I'm intrigued about that creepy new bug movie called, appropriately enough, "Bug."

The movie has quite a good pedigree in terms of the people behind it. It's directed by William Friedkin, who scared the bejesus out of many young-uns (and adults) with "The Exorcist," undoubtedly one of the most terrifying movies of all time. Star Ashley Judd has become kind of a specialist in thrillers and creepy flicks.

And screenwriter Tracy Letts, a member of Chicago's world-class Steppenwolf Theatre Company, wrote the script from his own play. It's not every day that you hear about a scary flick penned by someone who's got some real chops in writing drama.

Check out the trailer and see if it doesn't make your skin crawl. "They live in your blood, and they feed on your brain" ... now that's a tag line for the kind of summer movie I like to see. (It also sounds like some women I've dated, but that's another story.) In the trailer Ashley meets a guy in a bar and they end up in a cheap motel, and find bugs crawling around. Yes, that's not exactly uncommon for a low-rent, out-of-the-way motel, but these are not your ordinary bugs.

Are these bug movie bugs just a genetic accident, or have they been engineered as a terror weapon? The trailer doesn't tip its hand, but I like the fact that it doesn't tell you. Better to go see the movie and feel that chill coming up your spine (and no, it's not because of the air conditioning!)

The studio is apparently using two different posters to promote the movie. I like the one above one because it actually shows the bug. It's a pretty creepy looking one with lots of legs and tentacles and other pointy things -- the better to bite you with, no doubt. I saw this poster when I walked onto the platform of a New York City subway station this past Monday, and that's one place where a picture of a three-foot-high bug really gets your attention.

The other poster (below) shows Ashley Judd's face, and a partial side view of what seems to be a man's face. It vaguely hints at something creepy, but to me it doesn't really convey the horror of what the movie's about. If a movie is about murderous bugs, and it's called "Bug," I think you'd better show the bug right up front.

The trailer quotes the Chicago Tribune calling this "One of the most disturbing horror movies imaginable." Now that's the kind of recommendation that'll get me into the theater!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Yo, Adrian! Don't Let 'Em Take My Steroids!, Says Sly Stallone

Maybe he didn't know the syringe was loaded? 60-year-old actor Sylvester Stallone was convicted Monday of importing restricted muscle-building hormones into Australia.

The "Rocky" movie star said the incident was a "misunderstanding," but Australian officials seemed to diagree. Sly's group was detained at the Sydney airport for a few hours on Feb 16 while their bags were searched.

Sly was ordered to pay over $10,000 in fines and court costs. The magistrate said that he failed to show that he had valid prescriptions for the dozens of vials of human growth hormone that were found in his luggage.

What in the world does a 60-year-old man need with human growth hormone and steroids? Sly explained that he needed it to stay buff for his upcoming Rambo movie, being shot in Burma. "As you get older, the pituitary gland slows and you feel older, your bones narrow. This stuff gives your body a boost and you feel and look good," court documents quoted him as saying. "Doing 'Rambo' is hard work ... Where do you think I am going to get this stuff in Burma?"

Wanting to look good, feel better, and avoid getting caught short in Burma... those all sound like good reasons. Maybe I should stock up on the stuff in case I ever take a flight and it gets re-routed to Burma?

But I don't want to hazard a guess at what's going on in Sly's pituitary gland, or the rest of his brain, for that matter.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Make Money Blogging at PayPerPost

Lot of people are hoping to make money blogging so they can quit their jobs and work at home in their pajamas. Well, earning money from your blog ain't that easy, especially if your blog doesn't get a lot of traffic.

That's why I dig PayPerPost, which pays bloggers to write reviews, commentaries, and other blog entries about companies and services. PPP has plenty of opportunities to write about, and while you can make more money if you have a very popular blog, even blogs that don't get a lot of traffic can choose from a number of paid posting opportunities.

The best thing I like about PPP is that I get to choose the opportunities I want to take. I'm never forced to write a sponsored post for a company I'm not interested in or feel is incompatible with or inappropriate for my blog. The money I earn goes right into my PayPal account, so I can either transfer it to my bank, or leave it in PayPal for when I want to make a purchase from there (like my random, at-a-whim purchases of cool things I see on eBay!)

As a freelancer who's always looking for new ways to earn money, I appreciate that PPP gives me cash for writing about things that I want to write about.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tracy Morgan Drinkin' & Gropin' in the A.M. -- Life Imitating Art?

Late last week Tracy Morgan of "30 Rock" was accused of groping a radio host at a station in Florida, where he was to be a guest on the host's show. The host claimed that Morgan smelled of alchol and in her police complaint said that he "inappropriately groped" her (now can someone explain to me what "appropriate" groping would be?)

Is this a case of life imitating art? I mean, Morgan's "30 Rock" character is an out-of-control entertainer who seems saddled with substance abuse problems and a tendency for bizarre behavior and outbursts. And just as the TV character has a team of handlers/bodyguards to keep him from going too far over the edge, Morgan apparently had a couple of staff members with him at the radio station to do damage control.

With all the odd goings-on with female celebrities--Britney, Paris, Lindsay, etc.--it almost seems like a relief to see the guys taking a turn at public self-humiliation.

Plan Your Entire Trip Online and Save Money

The Internet has made a lot of things easier, including travel. You can research destinations, reserve airline tickets, book a hotel, plan a resort vacation, and more--unfortunately, you might have to go to a different site for each ot these steps.

I love travel, but not planning travel. I recently heard about a site that offers hotel reservations and a lot more. Like other travel sites, you can rank hotels by price, quality, best value, and more. You can get maps and information on the amenities each property offers. And the site’s prices are competitive with other online travel sites. (In fact, the site says you can get discounts of up to 70% by booking online, and even get special Internet rate reservations over the phone.)

Despite its name, HotelReservations.com goes beyond just hotels. On this one site you can look for flights, get a hotel or motel, book an entire vacation package, and even find a vacation rental. You’ll find bed and breakfasts and condo rentals, too.

Another thing that makes this site different is that it can help you plan your business trip or dream vacation not just in the U.S. and Canada but in the Caribbean, Europe, Central and South America, Asia, or Australia. Even better, travelers from outside North America can set up the site for their specific country and currency.

Not sure where you want to go? Check out the site’s city guides to get the lowdown on leading spots around the world. Or if you’ve got certain types of recreation in mind and want to learn where you can enjoy them, head straight for the site’s Destinations & Interests guide. There you’ll find details on beach vacations, quaint B&B getaways, family fun, trips to gambling destinations, golf vacations, classic road trips, and spa getaways. In each category you’ll find a list of HotelReservations.com picks.

When it comes to vacations, I like to take it easy--and that includes planning the trip as well as taking it. Handling all my travel needs on one Web site sounds like a great idea to me.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Curiosities from the Job Hunting File

When I entered the job market more than 25 years ago, looking for a job meant mostly perusing the classifieds in the Sunday paper and cold-calling companies whose numbers I'd looked up in the phone book.

Today, of course, there's Monster.com and other job boards, job listings on company Web sites, and my current favorite, Craigslist. Because the Craigslist job ads are cheap or free, the jobs there range from the high-end positions you'd find in the New York Times to the low-brow listings that appear in your local weekly rag.

I've cast a wide net in my job search, so regularly check the ads in the New Yrok City Craigslist "ETC" section, which are jobs that don't fit into any other category. Here are some of the oddities I've found in that section this last week, in no particular order:

  • Expert bra fitter/lingerie specialist
  • Adult phone operator
  • Sales for nonprofit cemetery
  • Drivers needed for escort service
  • Escorts needed--incall, outcall, travel-- very busy-- $1000+ a night
  • Tree pruning
  • Make $130/hr at fetish roleplay studios
  • Yoga instructor for summer day camp

There was also a listing for a "Eurobungy operator." At first I thought this was a mispelling, that it must be for Eurobuggy, which must be some kind of pedicab or something. But it turns out that "bungy" is the appropriate spelling, and that this is some kind of adventure/exercise equipment to demonstrate to potential customers. You really do learn something every day (whether that something is totally useless or not is another matter).

Friday, May 04, 2007

Angelina Jolie Adopts Entire Nation of Vietnam

Serial child adopter Angelina Jolie has decided to streamline her child acquisition efforts by adopting the entire nation of Vietnam. Jolie has had to undergo a lengthy process in adopting her children, with the massive paperwork involved for each adoption and the endless scrutiny of the paparazzi at every turn.

So Jolie realized that she would need a new strategy for adoption if she had any hopes of catching up to Mia Farrow. Farrow, the former companion of filmmaking legend Woody Allen, has adopted at least a dozen children from different countries.

Adoption experts and relief officials were puzzled and skeptical about Jolie's mass adoption. They questioned why Jolie would seek legal custody of an entire country's population, most of which are adults, and wondered what she knew about being a "parent" to adults.

When asked about this the dazzling, puffy-lipped superstar snapped, "Hey, I was married to Billy Bob Thornton for three years, and he was, like, 20 years older than me. I know plenty about adopting adults."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New CRM Software Simplifies Sales Management

Software for customer relationship management (CRM) can help businesses in managing leads and sales... but like many powerful software programs, it can be complicated and have a steep learning curve. A CRM program I recently heard about called AIMpromote seeks to change all by making the software quick and easy to implement.

The people who created AIMpromote know that many of the features of typical CRM software don't get used, so they've enabled you to use only the features of AIMpromote that you really want. AIMpromote takes the best elements of CRM software and presents them into one seamless application that lets your sales force concentrate on making sales, not on learning applications.

AIMpromote can help you streamline the sales process, as well as improve follow-up with sales force automation and sales management features.