Tag Archives: Graeme Read

Lucille Ball Is Enjoyable As “Mame”

Lucille Ball Mame As MameLast week when I was introduced to Rosalind Russell’s “Auntie Mame” film from 1958, one of the hosts of the screening referred to the Lucille Ball lead musical version simply called “Mame” from 1974 as an abomination. Naturally, I felt obligated to see for myself how allegedly terrible this version is. And I didn’t find it horrible at all, in fact I quite enjoyed it.

To preface seeing both films, I should admit, I was actually introduced to the Original Broadway Cast recording by my Australian friend, Graeme Read, who is a big fan of the song “Open A New Window” and as a result of his introducing me to the song, I’ve actually had the cast album for a number of years now. I knew of Angela Landsbury through the “Murder She Wrote” series and Bea Arthur through both “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.” Also my grandmother looked a lot like Bea Arthur, I’ve always felt like anything Bea did was a larger than life version of my grandma. So anytime I see Bea Arthur on “The Golden Girls” or play a song from “Mame” I am always reminded of my grandma.

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Rifftrax – Mystery Science Theater 3000 With Modern Movies

I was never much a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K as it’s known by its fans), because I just didn’t want to suffer through really old movies. However, I loved the concept behind the idea, where basically an additional added commentary or making up some added dialogue to scenes in movies could make for a fun evening. However, for a relatively low budget comedy show that relies on movies to make the effect work, the only way it could be achieved was through licensing very cheap movies, hence the reliance on older than dirt, long forgotten movies no one could give a rats ass about.

The comedy writing team behind Mystery Science Theatre 3000 consisting of Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, have reformed and now thanks to the Internet, are now no longer limited to shitty old movies with dirt cheap licensing fees. They can now put their attention on big budget Hollywood epics that recently got released on DVD, or really, the types of movies you’re more likely to want to watch anyway.

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Wow, $1.32 For A One Hour Call From The USA To Australia


With the closure of ABBAMAIL, I decided to give former ABBAMAIL list and site owner, Graeme Read, a call. In the past when I’ve called him, I’ve used pre-paid calling cards to get phone rates as low as 11 cents a minute, which isn’t too bad from the United States to Australia. This time I decided to give Skype a shot, which was promising a rate of 2.1 cents per minute to Australian land line numbers for routing the call over the Internet. And the slightly more than an hour that I spoke with Graeme, only cost $1.32.

As technology advances, it gets to be quite amazing how things change. Had I have used a pre-paid calling card, at the previously great rate of 11 cents a minute, the call would have cost approximately, $7 between the connection fee and the time of the call. This was literally a savings of approximately 80%. Had I made the call directly on my cell phone without using Skype, the call would have cost $70 at 69 cents per minute, bring the Skype call a savings of 98%.

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ABBAMAIL Closes Down After Nearly 12 Years

It was a bit of bittersweet sad news today when Graeme Read and Grant Whittingham decided to shut down both ABBAMAIL.com and the ABBAMAIL mailing list which has been a big part of my life for almost 12 years now. The closing was just under three months shy of ABBAMAIL’s 12th birthday.

ABBAMAIL wasn’t so much just a bunch of ABBA fans as it was a living, breathing community. While in the late 1990’s, a lot of online fan communities consisted of lists, fairly impersonal message boards, and fairly simple webpages, I personally was a member of a quite a number of them for various hobbies and interests. And it seemed without fail that as soon as the subjects of the list seemed to disappear off the pop culture radar, so did the people in these communities and many of them fade out and disappeared. ABBAMAIL was different.

Unlike any other forum I had been a part of from the same era, ABBAMAIL was quite a unique beast. A lot of that is due to the community’s founders, Graeme Read and Grant Whittingham, who fostered a true sense of community, simply being an ABBA fan was something all of us on the list had in common, but for Graeme and Grant that simply wasn’t enough. Members of the list were expected to introduce themselves and share that person behind behind the letters that make up our names.

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