Tuesday, February 26, 2008

FEBRUARY 26, 2008

Elton John is returning to Rabobank Arena April 18. Tickets for the “Rocket Man,” who has 29 consecutive Top 40 hits to his name, will go on sale 10 AM Monday. The show is part of his 2008 tour, Rocket Man: Number Ones. Elton John played to sold-out crowds at the arena in 1999 and 2003, according to a Rabobank Arena news release. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show range from $49.50 to $89.50 and will be available though the box office or Ticketmaster at 322-2525, http://www.ticketmaster.com/or retail locations around town. Two dollars from each ticket will be donated to charity, said Shawn Brandon, the arena's director of marketing.

When it comes to tipping, I'm always a little lost. Not only do I not know HOW MUCH to tip, sometimes I don't even know WHO to tip. But if you want the best possible service, you can't go wrong by following these guidelines:

A 15% tip is standard for your waiter at most restaurants. But if it's an expensive restaurant, you'll want to up that to 20-22%.

A standard tip for a Maitre D' is $20-$100 . . . which seems like a lot, but if they're going out of their way to get you a table on a busy night, you have to pay up.

Wine stewards get a couple dollars per bottle.

$1 is a decent tip for the coat check guy.

Taxi drivers get 15% of the total fare.

Hair stylists get 10-15% of the cost.

At a hotel, you should tip the maid $5 per night. The room service waiter gets 15%, and the bellhop who carried your bags gets $10-$15.

Tip the valet guy at least $1... or $5 if they help you with your bags. A $10-$15 tip should make sure they don't take your car for a joyride.

At the casino, your blackjack dealer gets a $5 tip per session.

A 10% side bet is a great tip for your craps dealer.

Poker dealers get $5 per session... but if you win big, you should up that to $10.

Drink waitresses get $1 per drink.

According to a survey of 4,000 "Harry Potter" fans done by Dr. Jeffrey Rudski of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania (--about an hour north of Philadelphia), 1 in 10 fans are addicted to the "Potter" universe.

And since the seventh and final "Harry Potter" book was written, these fans are experiencing some of the same symptoms that a drug addict would experience if he went without drugs.

The addicted fans don't get out of the house because they spend at least four hours a day doing something "Harry Potter" related... like chatting on fan forums on the Internet... they don't sleep well... and they don't feel good about themselves anymore.

Another 20% of "Potter" fans are right on the threshold of being addicted. Dr. Rudski says we should be concerned about people who say things like, quote, "I want (author J.K.) ROWLING to know that I hate her... because I have nothing to live for now." (Gee, you think?)

But Dr. Rudski admits that being addicted to "Harry Potter" has at least one advantage over being addicted to drugs…

Quote, "An addiction to a drug is no different than an addiction to 'Harry Potter' or the Internet or pornography. Although it's not always a bad thing. There's a community that you get with 'Harry Potter' that you don't get with drugs."