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Carrie and the girls indulge in the good life like never before in the new movie. Are they still relevant?

By Karen Datko May 27, 2010 1:33PM

With all the focus on fashion and excess that seems to be the hallmark of "Sex and the City 2," will we still have a soft spot in our heart for the girls? Will we like this film? (Not to mention that the insufferably self-righteous Aidan returns.)


Fashion writer Nadine Jolie summed up our thoughts beautifully:

What with multimillion-dollar apartments and Vogue spreads and now couture in the desert, Carrie is no longer one of us. It's a beautiful fantasy, to be sure, but no longer has even the slightest footing in reality. . . .   

In case you've missed the news, "Sex in the City 2" has opened in theaters across the nation. Our "girls," now in their 40-plus years, leave the recession-bitten U.S. for a free trip to luxurious Abu Dhabi, where their hugely expensive stilettos challenge desert sands.

The reviews haven't been great. Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "The experience of listening to the girls complain about their fairy-tale lives from the comfort of an all-expenses-paid luxury vacation in the Arabian desert may leave a viewer feeling by turns nostalgic, disoriented and impatient."


A lot of us are frugal now. But we also wonder: Were they ever really one of us?


Forget road rage. Nearly 1 in 3 drivers reports a little hanky-panky.

By MSN Money_Edit May 27, 2010 11:33AM

This post comes from Des Toups of MSN Money.


Imagine what they could do with their hands free.

A survey by headset maker Jabra of 1,800 drivers in six countries found that 29% had kissed others while behind the wheel. And 15% had . . . done more than that. Only about half of respondents reported that they use a hands-free device for cell phones, Jabra laments.

Kinda makes the Big Mac and fries you juggled between shifting gears last night seem downright responsible.

Here's what else drivers owned up to:


Free admission to museums and amusement parks, plus discounts on cruises, are among the offerings.

By Teresa Mears May 27, 2010 11:09AM

With Memorial Day weekend approaching, it's time to remember the reason for the holiday: to honor those who gave their lives in defense of our country.


In honor of all U.S military members, both past and present, some businesses and attractions are offering special deals this weekend. Some deals are only for active-duty personnel, and others include retired and former military members.

Some businesses always give a military discount, and it never hurts to ask. The Army Times maintains a long list of year-round military discounts.


Among the tips: Don't be afraid to be on hold -- and use it to your advantage.

By Karen Datko May 27, 2010 9:16AM

This post comes from Tremt Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.


The New York Times recently published an article of reader-collected techniques for prevailing in customer-service disputes. Here's a sampling of a few of my favorites from the article:

Use your camera. Suzanne Barchers of Stanford, Calif., always photographs any unpleasant surprises in hotel rooms, using her handy digital camera. Of a recent trip to Las Vegas hotel she writes, "When asked upon checkout how my stay was, I simply said, 'Let me show you.'" The images included some dingy towels, broken shelves and a view that was less than promised and paid for. "My bill was cut in half without any prompting."

A new website provides an outlet for AT&T wireless users who are fed up with the network's ability -- or lack thereof -- to carry calls.

By Karen Datko May 26, 2010 3:23PM

This post comes from Jon Hood at partner site


A new website is setting the stage for a class-action lawsuit regarding the Apple iPhone's apparent propensity to drop calls.


The site lets iPhone users upload their internal phone data, including the number of calls that their respective phones have dropped. The site administrators plan to aggregate the data and file a lawsuit on behalf of everyone who has used the site.

The website calls the iPhone "the best portable computer ever made, while at the same time being the worst phone ever because it drops calls all the time," and urges users to "run Apple and AT&T through the ringer."


Bookstores' summer reading programs offer rewards, and public libraries offer free kids' activities.

By Teresa Mears May 26, 2010 12:42PM

Bookstores want your children to read this summer, and they are offering free books as an enticement.


Of course, your public libraries always have free books available, as long as you're willing to bring them back on time. Most public libraries organize free children's programs in the summers, some with prizes. Our public library will offer teens henna tattoos in addition to organizing more traditional programs around books, film and music.

Libraries lend more than books, too. You can check out DVDs, videos, music and audio books.


Local independent bookstores organize free children's events and some also have summer reading programs. Many bookstores offer free regular story hours, too.


With the resort industry reeling from the recession, golfers can find bargains.

By Karen Datko May 26, 2010 11:39AM

This Deal of the Day comes from Sarah Morgan at partner site SmartMoney.


Golf course owners are still searching for the green -- and that could be good news for vacationing golfers.


After ticking down 1.8% in 2008, the number of rounds of golf played in 2009 inched south another 0.6%, according to the National Golf Foundation. Some states saw steeper declines: South Carolina, with well-known golfing destinations in Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, saw 4.3% fewer rounds of golf played last year than in 2008, and golf rounds fell 12.8% in Hawaii.


The drop-off in business could add up to some good last-minute deals for consumers, says Bob Bruns, associate director of the PGA Golf Management program at Methodist University.


Before you spend a lot of money, investigate free or low-cost options.

By Karen Datko May 26, 2010 8:59AM

This post comes from Julie Rains at partner blog Wise Bread.


Scams aren't just for the unsophisticated. Even a reasonable job seeker with an ounce of urgency might be convinced by polished, persistent schemers who are pros at overselling the value of job-search services.


To be semantically precise, these setups are more scheme-like than pure scams. Service providers don't take your money and disappear; instead, they deliver a service that may be worthless or have value that is a fraction of its fee.

As such, these schemes persist, especially when hawked by aggressive salespeople disguised as career-services experts. They prey on the sense of urgency and latent fears of high-achieving people who happen to be unemployed or underemployed at the moment. They exploit the idea that exclusive, high-priced services are better than readily available, free or lower-priced alternatives.



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