Yes, the dates listed above are correct.
Next Monday, Dec. 17, will the first weekday since April that there won't be an MPR, as we're taking our first and only extended vacation of the year. That's why, in what's become an annual ritual at this time, for fun we're listing our favorite movies, books and musical experiences of the year.
As an inveterate moviegoer, it's actually a lot easier to compile a list since there's generally only one or two new selections of note to consider most weekends. Actually Hollywood has been decreasing the number of major releases in recent years, and as has sadly always been the case in the Tampa Bay area, the dearth of indie and/or foreign releases is always a source of frustration. Yes, there's Netflix, but there are still some of us who really like the theatrical experience.
Choosing one's favorite books and records/CDs/MP3's is a much harder experience, since there is so much out there, and when it comes to books, only so much time.
Anyway, we hope we don't miss anything too significant on the local front in the next few weeks, though undoubtedly we probably will. Nationally? Let's put it this way. Cable news is essentially unwatchable these days, since there is so little new information to report on the status of the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations.
That's why the cables and the Sunday morning shows are no doubt excited they can talk about U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice's exit from being considered President Obama's next Secretary of State. The GOP, who doesn't have much else to cheer about these days, I suppose can stomp up and down that they took they scored a hit against Obama.
Meanwhile, do those critics about what happened in Benghazi prepared to hold Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's feet to the fire when she testifies on Capitol Hill next week? No matter how you slice it, if any agency was "responsible" for the tragedy that occurred on 9/11 in Libya, it was on the State Department's watch.
Speaking of the fiscal cliff, it really is a passive experience for most of the nation, isn't it? Some third party groups are trying to have a say, like the group Save the Debt. Yesterday former Florida U.S. Republican Senator Mel Martinez, now aligned with the Florida chapter of the group, spoke to reporters about how both sides need to come together for the sake of the American people.
Charlie Crist made a lot of news yesterday when he officially became a Democrat in St. Pete. The former governor did have to spend some time backtracking on one of no doubt many statements he made in the past that may haunt him in the future - this one on his previous opposition to same-sex marriage. Then again, a lot of politicians have changed their status on that fast moving subject over the past years.
We know that Pinellas County is moving towards putting a referendum on the ballot in 2014 asking voters to support a tax to begin constructing a light-rail system. Is anything going on in the Tampa/Hillsborough area? CL asked Mayor Bob Buckhorn about that the other day.
And check out our story in the current CL this week - on the latest involving the political saga of the Pier and the Lens in St. Petersburg.