My Newest Addiction: The BlackBerry Storm!

Today I thought I would take a few minutes to introduce you to my latest addiction: my BlackBerry Storm from Verizon Wireless! Oh my goodness, this phone can do just about ANYTHING!

blackberry-storm

Here’s a list of just a few of the things I use this incredible device for:

  • Making and Receiving Phone Calls: Okay, so you may think that one is obvious…but I rarely, if ever, have dropped calls anymore, and the phone with its touch screen is just so dang EASY to use! (I highly recommend downloading the FREE TalkLock application though, which will keep you from accidentally hanging up or muting someone with your face while on an important call…it works great).
  • My Address Book: I have over 1200 contacts in my phone…home and work addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, notes about the person or business…and I can access all that information in just a matter of seconds.
  • My Calendar: My memory is SOOO not what it used to be…and now I don’t have to worry.  I never miss an appointment now.  Plus, since Ron also has a BlackBerry, we can sync our calendars together so I always know his schedule as well.
  • Taking Photos: Anyone who knows me, knows I am a picture FREAK!  Now I don’t always have to carry my camera with me…sporting a 3.2 mega-pixel FLASH camera, my BlackBerry Storm has become a super-easy way to document my life and capture those memories!
  • Wireless Email: I no longer have to sit by my computer if I am expecting an important email…the email now comes directly to me, wherever I am!  I can respond to emails in a matter of seconds just by typing on the screen!
  • Browsing the Internet: We live in such an “information age” now…when I have a question about something, I can find an answer within a matter of seconds.  How cool is that?
  • Recording Audio: Now I can use my phone to record and play back vocal parts at rehearsals…it automatically saves the files for future use, or I can choose to upload them to my iPod.
  • Recording Video: Seriously…it even has an AWESOME video camera on it for capturing those moments when a “regular” camera just won’t do!
  • Built-In Media Player (audio AND video): Okay, I love my iPod just as much as the next guy, but sometimes I forget to take it with me (or I forget to charge the battery…or it just dies, which has happened right before a performance before!).  Now I have access to all my favorite music, my rehearsal tracks and even my performance background tracks, right on my phone! I just hook it up to the sound system with a simple adapter, and VOILA…instant background music for our show!  No musicians required (just kidding guys :)).  I also have my Video Demo Mix loaded onto my phone in case I ever need it at a moment’s notice (you never know when you’ll run into Quincy Jones or Simon Cowell, right?).
  • Built-In GPS: I have paired the built-in GPS with the FREE Google Maps application and the FREE Poynt application, and I have instant access to locating any business or address anywhere (they will even show me a SATELLITE or STREET view of it if I want)…did I mention it’s FREE!  Poynt also has a “movie” feature where I can look up movies near me, read reviews, see what time and where they are playing, watch Trailers, and even purchase tickets!  SOOOO cool!  Again, did I mention it’s FREE!!!!
  • Memos and Word Documents: Just like on your home computer, you can access and save any document on your phone for future use and reference.  I can instantly access and email my photo, resume, bio and song list to anyone who needs it…whenever they need it (there are PDF, Power Point, and Excel viewers on my phone as well).  No need to head back home to my computer when I need to get a promo packet to a client or agent anymore…I can do it right from my phone.  I keep my weekly shopping list, favorite recipes, favorite inspirational quotes (for when I need a quick pick-me-up), my list of solo keys and lyrics (for impromptu guest spots at Piero’s or Bootlegger), list of Gluten-Free restaurants in the Las Vegas area, and much more on my phone now.
  • Keeping Track of My To-Do List: As I do things, I can check them off, or mark them “in progress.”  I can set due dates and reminders, and even email or text myself a reminder.
  • Viigo: This is an awesome FREE application which keeps you up-to-date on everything happening around the world.  And the best part…YOU get to choose which content you receive! The Viigo application automatically updates you with the latest News (national or international…or if that’s too depressing, you can just subscribe to pithy entertainment news, like I do!), weather, stocks, your favorite BLOGS (I have about 20 blogs I read regularly, and this application makes it SOO much easier to keep track of them all) and much more!
  • Built-In Facebook Application: Yes, I can even update my Facebook status, check on friends, respond to and send messages, accept friend requests, and upload photos to my Facebook profile, all from one quick and easy application on my phone. Gotta love that!
  • Listen to FREE Internet Radio: Thanks to the FREE Slacker.com application, I can listen to over 100 of my favorite music stations anytime, anywhere!
  • AND SO MUCH MORE: Built-in Bluetooth Technology, Calculator, Built-In Flickr Photo Application, Voice Dialing, Visual Voice Mail, Password Keeper, Games, Alarm Clock and Stop-Watch, Instant Messaging, Texting, etc…

All that for $199!  Seriously…can you believe it?  AND GUESS WHAT?  I just saw on their website that if you get a 2-year contract through Verizon Wireless you can get a 2nd BlackBerry Storm for FREE!!!

I know finances are tough for everyone right now, so I am definitely not telling you to go out and spend money that you don’t have.  BUT, if your old phone is on it’s last leg (or completely crashes, like my old one did), and you are thinking about getting a new phone anyway, I’d REALLY recommend this one.  It’s awesome!!!!

Okay, time to go play…I mean, do some “productive work” on my BlackBerry now!  Hee hee… :)

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Sunday Night with “Zowie Bowie” at Green Valley Ranch Casino

entertainment2A couple of Sundays ago, Ron and I headed out to Green Valley Ranch Casino, in Henderson, to catch Chris Phillips and Marley Taylor, also known as “Zowie Bowie,” perform their Vintage Vegas Big Band show in the “Ovation Showroom.”  Very fun!  Several of our good friends were in attendance as well: Carmine Mandia (of “Shades of Sinatra”), Ed Mathews (Desert Productions and producer of “Hit Parade” at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino), Justin Olsen (President of “Swing Beat Entertainment”), Mark Giovi (AMAZING tenor and Lead Singer in the late-night Vegas show, “Bite” at The Stratosphere Hotel), and Ned Mills (musical director of “Shades of Sinatra” and creator of “Lionardo: Piano Follies”).  Upon arrival, Ron and I were immediately recognized and greeted by Buddy who treated us like absolute royalty, showing us to the “reserved” tables and making sure we (along with my mom and dad) were well taken care of all evening long.  It was quite something.  Talk about “old Las Vegas style”…I loved it!  Thanks Buddy…you’re the BEST!

Hangin' with Buddy, Chris (Zowie Bowie) and Mark after the show!

Ron and I hangin' with Buddy, Chris (Zowie Bowie) and Mark after the show!

As for the show, it was incredibly entertaining.  Featuring a 12-piece big band, and some of the greatest music of all time (Sinatra, Steve and Eydie, Sammy Davis Jr, Bobby Darin, etc…), Zowie Bowie’s Vintage Vegas show was a total hit with the crowd (plus, if you haven’t noticed from the photo above, Chris and Marley aren’t exactly tough to look at!  Talk about GORGEOUS…SOOOO not fair!!) :) AND not only are they talented and gorgeous, they also happen to be two of the nicest, most genuine people I know…very sweet and VERY fun!

Unfortunately, this looks like it may have been one of that last times that you (or I) will be able to catch their Big Band Show at Green Valley Ranch.  But fortunately, it’s for a very good reason.  Chris and Marley are headed to the PALMS Hotel & Casino!! Yes, that’s right!  Beginning March 6th, 2009, you’ll be able to catch “Zowie Bowie” every Friday and Saturday night in “The Lounge” at the Palms Hotel & Casino.  And although it will most likely be their Top 40 Show, rather than the Big Band show (my personal favorite), you can be assured it will be an FABULOUS evening!  CONGRATS on your move to the PALMS, Chris and Marley….you two deserve it!  We had a great time at the show, and we look forward to seeing you again soon…

To find out more about Zowie Bowie, check out their official website at www.zowiebowie.com.

Lunch at Nora’s “Wine Bar & Osteria” in Summerlin

Our Lunch at Nora's in Summerlin!

Our Lunch at Nora's in Summerlin!

A couple of weeks ago, Ron and I headed out to Summerlin with the Michaels family for an amazing lunch at Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria.  Talk about an experience!  This wonderful little bistro features over 350 bottles of wine and 60 different wines by the glass, plus an incredible (and very reasonably priced) Italian menu (they even offer Gluten-Free pasta for those like me!).  In fact, each day from 11am-6pm they have “happy hour” where you can get lunch items for as little as $7.00 a piece.  How can they afford to do that?  Because they know that once you come in and sample some of their great wines (they sell 3 or 6 ounce samples of most of their wines for you to taste), you’ll end up spending more on wine than you do on the food! :)

That’s what we did anyway!!  But it was totally worth it….great friends, great food, great wine, great conversation…great time!

To find out more about Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria, visit their website at www.NorasWineBar.com.

Fun Night Out at Piero’s…

im-sorryFirst of all, let me begin with a BIG apology for being SOOO behind on my blog posts!  Things have been a little crazy and somehow I got caught up on the idea that I had to do all the entries in order…so if I missed one, I couldn’t move on until I did it.  I know, dumb.  Not necessary.  So, from now on my posts will come in whatever order they will.  Please forgive me…I promise to do better from now on.  “Scout’s Honor!”  (Okay, so technically I was never a boyscout, but my brother was and I used to go to all the meetings…really!)

Dinner at Maggiano's

Dinner at Maggiano's

So moving on.  A few weeks ago we had a great night out with my parents and our friends Karen and Jim Murphy.  First we went to Maggiano’s for dinner (got my favorite gluten-free Chicken Parmesan and g/f pasta with meat sauce…mmmmm, good!) then went over to Piero’s (near the convention center) to hear Carmine Mandia (of “Shades of Sinatra”) sing and celebrate the birthdays of our friend Catherine Cobeaga and my daddy.

Very fun!  Carmine is always able to draw a nice crowd into Piero’s…he’s there every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the place is always packed.  If you’ve never been there, I really recommend checking it out.  Great atmosphere, terrific Italian menu, fantastic wine list, and live music!

Ron Singing "After the Lovin" to Catherine

Ron Singing "After the Lovin" to Catherine

Carmine got me up a few times to sing with him and the band…I sang “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Embraceable You,” and “Summertime” (done kinda blues/funk style), and then Carmine and I did a little Blues medley together consisting of “Route 66,” “Kansas City,” “Muddy Water” and “Stormy Monday.”

And guess what? Ron even got up to sing a few songs with the band!  Can you believe it?  One of the songs that he sang was “After the Lovin,” which he dedicated and sang directly to Catherine for her birthday.  She said it TOTALLY made her night!  He also sang “Old Man River”…truly spectacular!  But then, I may be just a little bit biased.

We had a fantastic time!  Carmine Mandia is such a great entertainer and a great host.  He always makes everyone feel so special and welcome when they come down to Piero’s.  As I said, if you haven’t been there before, or if it’s been a while since you’ve last been to Piero’s, you should go!  “Carmine and Friends” are there every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, 7:00-10:30pm.  I guarantee you’ll have a great time!

Visit the restaurant’s website at www.PierosCuisine.com to check out more about them!

You can read more about Carmine Mandia, and even watch video of him performing at www.CarmineMandiaLV.com.

Janet Rogers (mom), Me, Karen Murphy

Janet Rogers (mom), Me, Karen Murphy at Piero's in January