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Now in our tenth calendar year!

PCR #498 (Vol. 10, No. 41). This edition is for the week of October 5--11, 2009.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! As you read this I'm winging my way to the Big Apple! Shall we begin?

MOVIE REVIEW
"Couples Retreat" by Mike Smith
RETRORAMA
Retroween: A Collection of Characters by ED Tucker
THE ASIAN APERTURE
Memoirs of an Otaku Part 2: Life in Japan by Jason Fetters
STATE OF THE NATION
Kill The Dollar .... Taxing The Benefits .... Running To Stand Still .... Harry Makes Me Uncomforable Too .... Ftc: Fine The Bloggers .... Internet Filtering? .... .... by Brandon Jones
SPORTS TALK
Braylon Edwards A Jet .... Rush Limbaugh Wants To Buy The Rams .... 0-4. Walk The Plank .... D-nabb Good To Go .... Kickoff! .... .... .... by Chris Munger
MIKE'S RANT
My Trip Up North .... Don't Say I Didn't Warn You .... Told You It Wasn't About Drugs .... Big Apple Bound .... Catching Up .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2... by Mike Smith
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MY TRIP UP NORTH
As readers know, last month my wife, son and I journeyed to Minnesota to help celebrate the marriage of my niece, Cassandra. Not only was it a great opportunity to get away but I always consider it a plus when I get to spend some quality time with my family. A quick refresher for newer readers: I was adopted as a baby and in March 2006 discovered my birth family, adding a whopping 10 brothers and sisters to my Christmas card list. Cassandra is the oldest daughter of my brother, Jim. The wedding was held outside on a lake that borders Jim's house. The weather was beautiful, as was the ceremony. I was pleased to learn that the maiden of honor hailed from Tampa (Carrolwood to be exact) and was even happier that she knew Plant High School.

It's funny what catches our attention. I have always wished that I was born in the 30s so that I could wear a hat wherever I went, like Bing Crosby did. I bring this up because the first thing I spotted when I greeted my brother, Joe, was the sharp looking fedora he was sporting. As the weekend wore on I kept complimenting him on it, how cool it made him look. At the reception he finally took the hint and handed it over, his one demand being that I mention the hat in the Rant. Done and done!

Sadly, I could not reduce the photo I took of me in the hat but I promise to put one in next week's rant.



My son, Phillip, and I.

From left to right (top) My brothers Dino, Joe and I. Bottom, brother Rocco and sisters Debbie, Terri and Kelli.

Hard to believe that all these people are my relatives. Three years ago it would have just been Juanita, Phillip and I.

DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU
Remember last month when I told you that tickets would be available early for the Michael Jackson film, "This Is It?" Well I hope you got yours because Sony Pictures has announced that several showings of the two week only presentation are already sold out. And it does appear that Sony will hold to their "two week only" promise, which of course means you know what DVD the MJ fan in the family will be getting come Christmas time.

TOLD YOU IT WASN'T ABOUT DRUGS
Sad to report that Lucy Vodden, elementary schoolmate of Julian Lennon and the subject of the Beatles' song "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds," has passed away at the age of 46 after a long battle with lupus. One day young Julian brought home a drawing he had done at school and when his father asked him what it was he replied, "it's Lucy in the sky with diamonds." Though the two had lost touch after Julian left school after his parent's divorce, he learned of her illness several years ago and had assisted with her medical bills.

BIG APPLE BOUND
This Saturday night I will be attending the NYC premiere of "The Shark Is Still Working" at the United Film Festival. It will be my first chance to see it on the big screen and, if I haven't been edited out (the film has undergone some trimming since I last saw it) I'm hoping SOMEONE recognizes me and asks for an autograph. I plan to spend Friday night stalking Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig at their Broadway performance of "A Steady Rain." Or perhaps bump into Jude Law on his way to a performance of "Hamlet." And yes, I ALWAYS have a Sharpie with me!

CATCHING UP
As a group, the Beatles won 7 Grammy Awards. Now guess who's in the running? If you said the band's original drummer, Pete Best, give yourself a pat on the back. Grammy ballots went out this week and The Pete Best band is eligible in the following categories (reprinted from the official ballot):

Category 7 Best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals.
The Pete Best Band Step Outside
Award goes to the Artist The Pete Best Band
Ballot Entry # 009



Category 9 Best pop instrumental performance.
The Pete Best Band Beat Street
Award goes to the artist The Pete Best Band
Ballot Entry #005



Category 11 Best Pop Vocal Album
The Pete Best Band Haymans Green
Award goes to the artist The Pete Best Band
Ballot Entry # 016

Good luck, mate!




MY FAVORITE FILMS, PART II. THE YEAR WAS 91/67...

JFK / In Cold Blood
Starring: Kevin Costner / Scott Wilson, Robert Blake
Directed by: Oliver Stone / Richard Brooks

As I have to leave for the airport before 5:00 am (and truly need my beauty sleep) I will save "JFK" for next week, when it makes a great double feature with "In Cold Blood."

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!



"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.