Chad Pinther Heats Things Up
Just one more reason why Alexandra Burke deserves to win the X Factor competition in the UK. She's an all around performer with an amazing voice. Unfortunately, I'm afraid the teeny bopper crowd will crown one of her competitors. But that shouldn't stop Alexandra from making a name for herself in the music biz. Check out her performance of Beyonce's Listen below as well as her take on Britney's Toxic (as it was Ms. Spears week). The latter doesn't showcase Alexandra's vocals, but it proves she's a 19 year old who can own the stage.
Scott Simmons, VP and founding patner of Crist/Kolder Associates, an executive recruiting firm in Chicago, says, "Perception is a big deal when it comes to places," said Simmons, adding that it's important to have candidates visit the city before making a decision. "Everybody has preconceived notions.... Everybody thinks Chicago is Siberia when it comes to late fall and winter."
It was announced today that Kylie's Boombox, a remix album set for a January 5 release date, will include the following hits and dance versions:
So while many of you sat down with loved ones this holiday, Chris, our friend Dave and I enjoyed the company of a random stranger tonight at dinner. We ventured around the corner to a "chicken hut" restaurant we've never tried. And because the place was full, we were placed at a four top with where one old man was currently sitting. He spoke very little English so it's not as though much conversation was to be had. Essentially, we ignored him - but not in a bad way. We kept to ourselves while he finished his pork knuckle with potato.
Chris just booked my flight back home on December 19th. We depart Munich, bound for home, at 3:35 p.m., arriving Chicago at 6:30 p.m. From there, we'll head to Target to buy Dennis a new cat box for his stay at DPs, along with a stop at Chipotle for a burrito I've been craving for weeks.
One day before the holiday, it surely doesn't feel like Thanksgiving. That's no surprise as it's not a celebration in Germany. But to help us get in the mood for holidays 08', Chris has decided to cook a Thanksgiving feast this weekend. We've invited DP from Switzerland, Molly, David, Tilo (and guest as his girlfriend is away), Mark and Greg to join us for a late dinner on Saturday featuring turkey and all the dressings. From there, we'll wander downtown to the Christmas market for a little holiday cheer. So, it may not be your traditional Thanksgiving, but it will be one to remember as it will be our last (for now) in Europe (I always state "for now" as I'm superstitious).
My Club One posting from a few days ago was ripped down by Blogger. Even though I make note that I'm sharing information readily available on the internet, and that I don't upload any music, they still yanked the post. I'm obviously being watched now as it's the second time this has happened. I still don't see how the "sharing of information" is illegal. It would be like me making note of a coupon offer for a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Whatever Blogger. You can kiss my "arss." See their notice below:
A friend from high school just forwarded to me a few pictures from a reunion held this past week. My classmates gathered to celebrate the 20th year anniversary of them winning 3A state football in 1988. From what I saw, I'm now even more fortunate for inheriting the gay gene.
Kylie will be releasing a remix album in January. Boombox features 16 remixes of Kylie tracks produced between 2000 and 2008, including reworkings by Chemical Brothers, Mylo and Fischerspooner. Britney will be appearing on X Factor this week followed by a quick stop at G-A-Y in London.
We saw this issue of Tetu splashed all over Paris. What a lasting impression from our "Goodbye (for Now)" trip to Paris.
One of our faves in Paris is L'usine Club de Sport. So, today we're going to go workout before venturing to the Marais for falafel. Unfortunately, Chris forgot his gym shoes so now I'm forced to wear my Chucks in both the weight room and around Paris. Though, it's not like Munich where you can't wear your street shoes in the gym. Besides that, Converse shoes were originally for basketball so it's not as though I'm wearing slippers. So, mabye I'll be a trendsetter.
Yes, I'm still awake. Which, is a surprise as we had to get going this morning at 4 a.m. to catch our 6 a.m. flight to Paris. I suppose it helps that we've been walking around Paris ever since our arrival. So, for the past 8 hours, we've ventured into pastry shops, department stores, restaurants, and boutique stores - all of which are our favorites. Because this weekend is all about us enjoying everything from the smallest details to the grandest pleasures in Paris. It's our chance to say goodbye - for now.
Tomorrow morning, on a 6:30 a.m. flight, we leave for Paris. Yes, a 6:30 a.m. flight. We wanted to go say goodbye to those small but important elements of a city we called home for 2 years. Unfortunately, it's on a 6:30 a.m. flight. I told Chris I'm sure I'll need an afternoon nap. Dave Lutman isn't a morning person - especially at 6:30 in the morning.
I'm actually getting used to not having TV. I've decided to slowly adjust myself as by the end of the month, our satellite will go dead. So, no TV until 5. Then, it's even limited. Which means when we return to America, we'll have a huge appetite for our favorite shows and channels. Chris and I were joking last night that we'll never leave. Our friends will ask, "Where's Dave and Chris?" And someone will reply, "They're watching TLC."
Jody den Broeder just "released" this dirty club version of Christina's Keeps Gettin' Better. Its driving beat kicks all the other remixes to the curb. Check it out HERE.
Just in time for our trip to Paris tomorrow morning, an arctic cold front is sweeping across Western Europe. Sure, it will be about 10 degrees warmer in Paris than Munich, but shopping and dining in the City of Lights just isn't as much fun when it's 38 degrees and sleeting in the evening. Why couldn't the 50 degree weather hold on for just a few days? That says Paris to me in November. 50 degrees and cloudy. Oh well. I suppose we'll just have to eat our baguette quickly so it doesn't freeze.
Since thousands of you aren't on Facebook, or at least aren't connected to me on Facebook, I thought I'd start a "Status Update" for the blog. In short, it's a blip about what's up. Twitter tried to pull it off, and I tried to jump start it, but it never launched. So, why not duplicate it for the blog?
Because the trains were backed up today, I got to ride to the gym in a subway car filled to the brim with people. As a result, I was squished up next to someone who smelled like garlic. I tried not to look him in the eyes either. Instead, I gazed around looking at German ads. All of which made me want a car real bad.
Did U know that Hitler only had one ball? And it wasn't a bowling ball.
My friend Tom mentioned that "he likes my commentary on the financial state of affairs in the US." So, of course I'm obliged to outline additional thoughts on the auto makers bailout requests. Even though the big three are begging for money, they should absolutely NOT get any money to save their butts. Why? Because they made bad decisions - just like this one to fly private jets to ask for dough.
Not all Europop is good. Same Difference, a top 10 finalist in last year's X Factor, is a prime example of the bad influence High School Musical is having on new releases. Check out their video below (if you're really, really, really bored).
I don't know what it is about the Germans, but they like precise change. So if you try to give them any amount that's not close to what's owed, they stop and ask you to dig for coins to make things exact. Heavens forbid you force them to MAKE change.
I just received our first official Lakewood email. Apparently there are two block "reps" who send information to neighbors about five times a week - yes five emails a week. I guess there's much to tell about Lakewood Balmoral.
Boyzone, a boy band from the late 1990s and early 2000s, recently released a video for their single, Better. In it, Stephen Gately, one of the "band" members, is featured with his long time partner. Gately was quoted as saying, "I came out in 1999 and it was a big issue at the time and I don't think I could have done this video without having a guy in the video. I think it's important for me to be true to myself. The lads were saying, 'You've got to do this'. They were pushing saying, 'This would be fantastic'. It's the first of its kind. That's why I went for it." Oh how those who voted Yes on H8 would love this!
Unlike a few years ago when I made note of Leona Lewis and X Factor, now you know who she is. This past weekend, Leona returned to the X Factor stage to sing her latest power ballad Run (a former Snow Patrol track). The single is included on a re-release out this week in the UK. Check it out below. It'll give you goosebumps.
I'm watching the bailout hearings. I seriously think it's wrong for the American taxpayer to bailout the car companies. They made poor choices and we shouldn't be expected to pay for them. When the Japanese were investing in their infrastructure, building smaller and more fuel efficient cars, American car companies were intent on moving forward with the SUV. Besides that, where will the handouts stop? I say, let the chips fall where they may. And this is coming from someone who is looking for a job when he returns to Chicago. Will I get a bailout because the economy has struck the Europeans and, as a result, they can't afford the luxury of consultant creative services?
Having just heard Britney's latest release, Circus, I'm a bit disappointed. There are a few decent songs, but the CD is mostly filled with mediocre filler. The second single being pulled from Circus is its title track. I think they should go deeper and avoid the Piece of Me duplicate. Instead, select If U Seek Amy or Shattered Glass.
Yep, it still makes me laugh every time. And it makes Michelle in Wichita laugh too. So, she requested to see it again. And please, please ignore how girlie I sound (I'm not sure what came over me). Just call me "Jack McFarland."
I just stumbled across V The Final Battle on the Sci Fi channel. It's not part one or two (The Mini Series), but part three that aired in 1984 - one year after the first two installments. Part four and five air tomorrow night and Tuesday.
We're nearing the end of permit drawings with hopes to have them released next week to contractors (with bids expected to come back in three to four weeks with construction starting two or three weeks later). So, in the meantime, our architect and designer pulled together the color palette for the exterior. Based on our input for a more natural approach, with subtle tones of tan, green and maroon, the suggested finishes are exactly what we hoped to see.
Remember Sash? He's back with a mash-up of his Encore Une Fois with Stunt's Raindrops. It's rave crossed with techno - not a usual pick of mine. But, when you're wanting some hard hitting tunes at the gym, it's sure to keep you motivated. Watch the video below. And if you want to check out the extended mix, one that's unavailable for purchase, go HERE.
It's Sunday, and there's not much going on in Munich. The stores are closed. The weather is dreary. So, since Chris is gone, I've decided I'm going to make a day out of it by going to the museum. Now for all of you who know me well, you can't get up off of the floor now. And for those of you who don't, in short, I'm not a fan of the museum. I can go through the Louvre in 20 minutes. I just feel since we have only 5 weeks left in Munich, I should try to visit those places I've avoided thus far - whether I'll enjoy them or not! From there, I anticipate stopping by McDonald's for a salad. Now doesn't that sound fun?
As I was driving to the gym this morning, I wondered why the streets were lined with policemen (and policewomen of course). Turns out there was a Neo Nazi demonstration today. Based on the Germans' attitude towards Hitler and the Nazis, I was surprised to learn the government would allow such an activity to even take place.
Just a sampling of the doom and gloom economic stories being featured on multiple websites. Consider it my way of making you grateful for the job you have. My personal favorite is the first story noted as I'm looking for a job in Chicago. Good times!
My cousin Teresa, who's an active member of many social awareness groups in Kansas, wanted me to share this with everyone. If PTT can impact one individual to make a difference, then I've done my part. Check out 1100 Torches to learn more about Jana Mackey, her tragic death and the ultimate birth of an organization founded to help serve others.
It regrets me to note that NBC has cancelled Lipstick Jungle. Sadly, this was one of our favorite shows these past few months. Not only did the story and characters grow on us, but Robert Buckley and his shirtless scenes made us keep coming back for more, and more, and more. Now where will he go? Maybe to Munich on the United Flight 126 leaving LA at 2:30 p.m.?
The UK sure doesn't mind being graphic to get a message across. Check out an ad for buckling your seatbelt. When I first saw it, I thought, "What the..."
It seems as though the US government feels the need to bail out everybody. Where does their assistance stop? And if I'm a small business owner in Chicago who can't pay my bills, does that mean I can turn to the government for a bail out also? Again, I say go hunt down all those big bonuses that were handed out over the years to the CEOs and upper managers of these flailing organizations.
I'm trying to get up and around but unfortunately, it hasn't been easy. I don't know if it was the omelet I ate last night, or the turkey slices I munched on before bed (that had an expiration date of 11/7), but something didn't settle right. I woke-up in the middle of the night (which ISN'T a surprise) nauseous and with a headache. And, it lasted until about 11 a.m. this morning. I have that "hung over" feeling without any of the fun associated with it. But after having a bowl of oatmeal, I hope I return to my normal self. Not that I should rush outside. It's cold and rainy.
After spotting the Hair Made on a UK infomercial, I had to post. After all, Christmas is just around the corner! But as I was looking for the spot on Youtube, I stumbled across this 70s commercial featuring Farah and all her flips. Check it out. It's easy - and it's fast!
I didn't know this guy before watching the video so I have no preset opinions of Mr. Olbermann. But, I'll say his commentary on Prop 8 is beautifully stated. Sure, at times, it jumps the shark a bit in its pageantry, but the end result has a wonderful takeaway for anybody who watches the clip. Here's hoping those who voted YES stop and take a moment to absorb his thoughts
Is it me, or is everybody else getting frustrated by how it's now the US taxpayers responsibility to "bailout" company after company after company. I know these US employers feed the economy and provide jobs. But it amazes me that just because these companies were unable to adjust their business models to meet the ever-changing times, we now need to provide assistance. Especially when there are hundreds of upper managers and CEOs who I'm sure did quite well when bonuses were handed out around Christmas. Maybe we should ask for these checks back.
Ace of Base holds a special place in my heart as I listened to them constantly after graduating from college while living in Kansas City. All That She Wants and The Sign never stopped in my apartment. Then, a few years later, their Beautiful Life (and the hot Ulf Gunnar Ekberg) played in every gay bar in Dallas - just as I was stepping out of the closet and dating Chris. So, of course I'm excited Ace of Base is returning this month with a Greatest Hits package and a 2009 remix of Wheel of Fortune. Check out the club mix HERE. It's not really a dance remix, but rather an extension of the original edit. And to read a bit on the band, go to Wiki to learn how a good friend's new buddy imported them to the US. Fascinating! Or, watch the Beautiful Life video below with again, a brain haired Ulf sporting a goatee and black leather pants.
While many of you are freezing in the US, we're enjoying "Biergarten weather" in Munich.
Today I saw Quantum of Solace one week before its release stateside. In Europe, the second film in the reboot series starring Daniel Craig is making big bucks. This "Bond does Bourne" movie is high on action - especially one of the first sequences where Bond chases a "mole." But other than that, not only don't we see enough of Bond shirtless, the plot is at times challenging as it's too strongly connected to Casino Royale. This is to be the movie that wraps Bond's evolution. I suppose it did. But as the few last lines were being muttered, I had to stop and think, "Huh?" What?" On a scale of 5 trailers, with five being the best, Quantum of Solace wheels in three. Not bad. But not exceptional.
It was Mariah Carey this week on X Factor. In fact, it was too much Mariah. Not only did this over botoxed fembot perform two songs, the contestants muddled their way through Mariah singles. Alexandra Burke is the only one who managed to do something with the material. Check out "I can't move" Mariah below followed by Alexandra Burke.
I'm sure you can imagine why Big Green Tick, a new UK product, caught my eye while watching the X Factor Saturday night. I had to do a double take.