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Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #248. (Vol. 5, No. 52) This edition is for the week of December 20--26, 2004.
Matt's Rail

Will and Karen's Cabbage Key and Key West Kraziness, Part One
 by William Moriaty
"The Phantom of the Opera"
 by Mike Smith
"The Aviator"  by Drew Reiber
Life After The Fall...."Love Shack" Burns....Holidays Under Attack...."Mandatory Guidelines" for the Week
 by Andy Lalino
The Couch Potato, 2004 Year-End Issue
 by Vinnie Blesi
Concert Review: GUIDED BY VOICES
 by Terence Nuzum
'Tis The Season
 by Matt Drinnenberg
 by Mike Smith
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Unless you are an alien traveler who just landed on this planet void of any human study before your arrival, you know that we humans are in the heart of the Christmas season. No, those aren't feed stations we are gathering at en masse, but shopping centers and malls. Of course, those who lament the season's bastardization for the retailer, I guess they could be considered "feed stations" for greed, but that's another lament for another day.

As this season approached, I pondered long and hard on just what would make my Christmas the be all and end all of gift experiences. Normally, this can be accomplished by supplying me with a few DVDs on the list (what can I tell you, I'm easy). But this year.....this year I decided to go all out, wear the heart on the sleeve, lay it all on the line, prime the pavement with a primal pump, ....oh...sorry....and ask my momma Santa to be for that ever so elusive Famous Monsters No.3.

Clearly I am a maniacal mess when it comes to FM and classic Universal monsters. So much so that I've invested not hours, not days, not months, but years on end trying to acheive just the pecfect setup of my conglomeration of carnage in regard to ownership and web building. Those of you who have been nice enough to check out my site can attest to that. (and I thank you, by the way) So really, if you're going to ask for something under the tree, why not go for the gusto? It's not like when I was a kid, and begged Santa for a Batman Utility Belt that just never surfaced. This is a new day and a new dream to be hoped upon.

The anticipation is almost too much to bear pretty much every year at this time. Seeing things under the tree, wondering and hoping what lies beneath the Scooby Doo Christmas wrapping paper. Picking up gifts one by one, doing the seasonal shake down, and then having momma Santa tell you..

"I didn't get you anything on your list".

Cruel and unforgivable were the first words that came to mind, but seeing as this is the season of celebrating my Lord, I grudgingly forgave the comment. Guess the best I can hope for now is that she is using this time of year to the fullest for the one time that it's really kinda okay to lie. Pathetically the only thing I could muster in my defense was a very lame, "But I got you things on your list!". Oh, the shame.

I don't know. Maybe this whole gift-giving thing is really apples and oranges. Perhaps it should be the simple matter that I'm getting a gift or two, and that should easily suffice. How about being able to give a gift, and getting the gift that really trumps all others, the smiling gratitude of the recipient.

Or maybe it's that there is someone there for you to give a gift to, and likewise know that others care enough for you to do the same. Possibly the gift they give you isn't something bought in a store, but something much, much more that you just can't put a price on.

Like their love.

Put in its best perspective, I would have to say that love is the ultimate gift. It's what drove the Almighty to give us His Son to save us all, and it's what has me by the heart strings whenever I think of family and friends. Oh sure, Famous Monsters No. 3 would be beyond sweet, and my smile would be of the engraved kind, a real John Darling moment, but it's on my list, and as wifey said there are no gifts from my list. Well, from THIS year's list....

Maybe I'll finally get that Batman Utility Belt after all.

And one more thing....MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!

Till next time, take care and God bless you,

"Matt's Rail" is ©2004 by Matthew Drinnenberg. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.