Saturday, September 29, 2007

Marc's 5 Favorite Movies

This is tough. Not as tough as the next blog I have to write (my 5 favorite albums of all time), but difficult nonetheless. So here they are, not necessarily in order.

Spinal Tap - "There's such a fine line between clever and stupid" - David St. Hubbins, Singer & rhythm guitar for the Tap. This movies absolutely straddles that line. But it's so damn funny! Have you ever purchased a DVD and played the movie with the commentary on? I have. It's so distracting. It has no redeeming qualities in 99.9% of all movies. Meet Mr. point one percent!!!! The movie is actually even BETTER with the commentary on during the ENTIRE FILM! Writing about it makes me want to watch it! This is definitely a guy film, though. My wife loves it, but she's in the minority. Most women don't understand it. It's mindless fun. Don't think too hard while you watch it and you'll be fine.

The Quiet Man - One of John Wayne's finest. It's a movie about a boxer from America who moves back to his native village in Ireland after killing an opponent in the ring. It's a story about redemption and new beginnings. It's about love. It's also about drinking and fighting. This movie has something for everyone! The scenery is beautiful. The acting is great! A movie full of micks! Can't get any better than that.

The Passion of the Christ - Saying anything about this movie will only detract from its immensity. If you've seen it, I cried, too. If you haven't, you must. There is only one way for me to describe the effect this movie had on me. I saw it in the theater. When it was released on DVD, I bought it almost immediately. I still have not been able to watch it. There is a director's cut version out now that I must get, to see the way Mel Gibson intended it to be seen. But I need to gather the strength to watch it again.

American Graffiti - This movie makes me wish I was 17 again. Not much else does. It always makes me smile. The movie is pure innocence on celluloid. Custom cars, cruisin', drag races, and the Goat Killer!!! This movie WAS my teenage years (except the Goat Killer part. Didn't do that). Oh how I miss car shows, Friday night cruises on Main St. in Somerville, driving a 1953 Ford F-100 to school everyday. I'm feeling some nostalgia coming on! Time to pop the DVD in. If you ever want to be reminded of your cock-sure teenage days, put on American Graffiti and a smile. This movie never disappoints.

Gladiator - A Ridley Scott epic. No more descprition should be necessary. The scope of this movie is amazing. What puts it over the top is the fact that it is not only visually mind-blowing, but there is a fantastic storyline. The opening scene, I believe it is called Hell Unleashed, sets the tone and the movie just continues to amaze as you watch. Joaquin Phoenix and Russell Crowe are perfectly cast in their respective roles. "Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained?"

These are my five. It was tough. I wanted to squeeze about 5 more picks in there but that would be 10, and that's not what I was asked for. I wanted so terribly to list Amadeus, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Patton, Old School, or Secondhand Lions (see, I squeezed ten into a top five list). But he wanted five so I gave five.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bev's Five Favorite Movies

Ed posed an interesting question to us so I will share my favorite movies with you and tell you why I enjoy them.

1. 12 Angry Men
I like this movie because the acting is absolutely superb. This is probably my favorite movie of all time. The movie is pretty simple. Almost all of the action takes place in a jury room. The character's biases and prejudices are exposed as each man tries to convince the lone hold-out to vote guilty. If you haven't seen this movie, it is most definitely worth your time. This is one movie that I watch no matter how many times I have seen it in the past.

2. A Christmas Story
This movie makes me feel all warm inside. This is a movie that MUST be played on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in our household. Once, Marc, the family, and I were driving and we had a flat tire. Luckily, a state trooper stopped to help us change the tire. The whole time, we were remembering and laughing about the tire-changing scene from A Christmas Story. "Oh fudggggge......." One of my favorite scenes was when Ralphie's mom called Schwartz's mom to tell her what Ralphie had said and to claim that her boy had heard it from Schwartz. The screams of "What, what" and the subsequent sounds of Schwartz being punished make me laugh every time! This movie feels like a part of me and I enjoy it every time I see it. My absolute favorite scene is when Ralphie's mom and dad sit together and watch the snow fall gently outside the window. This makes me want to sit next to Marc, sip a glass of wine, and rejoice in the beauty of having each other and the love of our family and friends.

3. Office Space
This movie is just silly. This movie pokes fun at so many things and it always makes me laugh. From pieces of flare, Michael Bolton, breast cancer awareness films, and corporate down-sizing, nothing is safe. "Na, na, not gonna work here anymore." "Why should I change my name? He's the one who sucks." I laugh just thinking about this movie.

4. Beauty and the Beast
I have loved this movie since I was a little girl. The story is sweet and funny. When everything in the mansion came alive to entertain Belle, I was enthralled. I enjoy this movie even more now that I can share it with our kids. I love the whimsy of this movie. It's a little piece of magic that makes me smile.

5. Man on Fire
The one word I think of when I think of this movie is WOW! Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning are fantastic in this movie. As a parent, this movie can be a little hard to watch but it is amazing.

To me, movies that make me feel something or think are the ones that really appeal to me. All five of these movies do that for different reasons.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Times have certainly changed.....Thanks Internet

I was reading a blog that I infrequently visit, the other day. One of the posting titles was "I Miss Mixed Tapes". I didn't read the blog, but it still got me thinking. When I was young(er), mix tapes were a popular passtime. My buddy, Ed, and I almost got competitive about it. We would see who could make the best mix. We tried to see who could make the tape flow the best. Then we went to the opposite extreme. Who could mix the most startling contrasts. We also tried to expose each other to new bands we may not have heard otherwise. So the mix tape was personal. I always had The Verve on mine. My quest was to convert the entire world to Verve-ism. It worked after a few albums. Then they went away, only to reappear earlier this year. But I digress. My point is that when I made a mixed tape, I put my favorite tracks on it. Or I put on songs that I knew the recipient of my hard work would enjoy. With the proliference of the internet and file sharing (legal or otherwise), mixed tapes have become a thing of the past. I spend way too much time hunting down little gems to put on CD. All of my mix CD's are discs of rarities, demo's, live, or otherwise unreleased songs by my favorite artists. Some of them are unreleased for a reason! So I never really make mixed CD's for myself. And when I make a CD for someone, it just doesn't feel as personal as it used to with a tape. I don't need to think what songs to put on when I can drop a band's entire recorded output on one disc in MP3 format. Drag and drop just doesn't satisfy me as much as pushing the little record button. Am I the only one? I don't think so, since another blog inspired this post. Who else feels this way?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I have confirmed that I am completely out of shape. A few months ago I bought a Nintendo Wii. I picked up a few games with it, but they didn't have a good baseball game at the time. So when The Bigs came along, I got it. Well, after "batting" and "running", I was beat. To bat,you actually have to swing the remote. The hard part is actually "running". There is a second remote connected by a cord to the initial remote. To run, you have to shake them up and down like friggin' maracas! After a few innings, my arms were sore!!!!! The next day at work, I was SO SORE! So I am a Wii-wimp. But after several weeks of intense Wii-workouts, I'm certain I can improve my level of Wii-health and Wii-Strength

Monday, September 17, 2007

Winds of Change?

There's something about college football that you just can't explain to someone who's not "into" it. There's an enormous sense of pride that goes along with your team associations. I became a RABID Alabama fan after my brother was accepted to the school many moons ago (he's still younger than me, though). I always enjoyed college football, but I never understood the absolute fanaticism until I moved to Alabama from New Jersey. Until recently, NJ's big school, Rutgers, wasn't much in the football department. When I moved to Alabama, I was informed, upon applying for my driver's license, that I had to "choose a side". I sided with my brother, of course. For the years he attended, and every year since, Alabama football has been like the proverbial bridesmaid. Almost there, just not quite where it should be; possibly past its prime. Between the seasons where the team just couldn't quite measure up and seasons of scandal with Mike DuBose and Mike Price, the defection of Dennis Franchione, and lackluster performance of Mike Shula (No more coaches named Mike, PLEASE!), Alabama had developed a culture of defeat. We expected to blow the game in the 4th. I found myself feeling that sense of dread this weekend. Alabama pulled out to what seemed like an insurmountable 21 point lead, early on. But, to make a long story short, Arkansas came back through a series of blunders by Bama and the officiating staff. The game came down to a field goal (that I didn't understand until the game was over) and a TD drive that left just 8 seconds for Arkansas to recover. Bama won! I know he'll never read this, but I want to thank Coach Saban for firing the first shot against the Alabama Culture of Defeat. I do not have delusions of grandeur this year. Maybe next year. But for the first time in a long time, I AM optimistic about the team and how they could finish the season. So here's a big ROOOOLLLL TIIIDE for Coach Saban. You deserve it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What I've Learned About Football

As a woman, I can tell you I don't understand everything about football. I can't give you a guy's stats, I can't tell you who won what bowl in what year, but I can follow the game pretty well. Marc and I found ourselves enjoying the Alabama-Arkansas game Saturday. WOW!! Luckily, we were cheering for the same team (I'm sure our neighbors enjoyed the screams of Roll Tide sprinkled throughout the evening air). Alabama scared us after being ahead in the first half. After losing faith in the team and muttering about stamina and conditioning, we were forced to eat our words when the team came back in the last few minutes of the game. It was a great game and I learned something new from it, as well. I learned not to high five Marc when Bama makes the winning touchdown with seconds to spare!!

Friday, September 14, 2007


A few months ago, I bought a small bottle of this cream liqueur called Voyant. Beverly loves cream liqueurs like Bailey's, O'Mara's, and O'Reilly's. There's just something about cream liqueurs and Irish names, isn't there? So we went to the liquor store to buy a bottle of Jameson's for a friend's birthday. This little, orange bottle just started begging me to buy it! After passing it over a few times, I succumbed to the little devil on my left shoulder that always tells me to try new food and drink. Maybe he's just an angel in disguise, because this little bottle was really good. If you like anything Chai, you'll enjoy Voyant. If you threw some Chai into a bottle of Bailey's, you'd have something similar to this drink. The website has a huge menu of drinks you can make using Voyant. I would definitely recommend it now that the weather is starting to turn a little cooler. Check out the website at

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Where Was I?

I recently had a question posed to me by my buddy, Ed. We've been great friends since middle school, but we really started hanging out in high school. At the tail end of high school and the beginning of college, our age bracket had it's musical revolution: GRUNGE. Oh, and I dove headfirst into it! A few days ago, Ed asked me if I could remember the first time I heard a grunge band. I had to think about it because those memories can be a bit hazy.
I remember two major events that shaped not only my musical tastes, but basic attitude for many years. I remember going to my friend Shawn Simon's house. He had a tape (NOT CD)by this band called Soundgarden. The tape was Louder Than Love, to this day, still my favorite Soundgarden album. I immediately bought the only copy I could find. I played that tape the entire summer. I believe it was 1990. Around that same time, I got a sampler tape from Concrete Music. It had a song by Mother Love Bone on it. The song was Stardog Champion. It sounded like nothing I had heard, but like everything I had been wanting to hear. It was punk and psychedelic all mixed up and thrown on a tape. I went out and bought the CD ASAP! So I'm pretty sure Soundgarden was first, then came MLB, because once I got a CD player, I never bought another tape.
Imagine my ecstacy when I found that some Soundgarden members had joined with some MLB members to do a tribute to Andrew Wood, lead singer for MLB. Thus was born my grunge obsession. I became a completist. If I liked a band, I bought anything and everything related to any member of that band. So my CD collection grew and grew. I'm not as insane as I used to be. I've gotten better as some of my favorite bands have gotten worse. My life is no longer centered around trips to the music store. It's funny how you can miss something and not miss it at the same time. I loved my trips to Princeton Record Exchange, Vintage Vinyl, and countless record shows. But my life has changed. I have higher priorities, more stressful days. But I'd not change it for all the CD's in Princeton! (that's for you ED!)All the angst of my grunge days has ended. I'm happy being happy, not angry. Most music aimed at kids is angry. I'm glad I can now listen to the music of my teens and early twenties with nostalgia. You heard it here first: Grunge Nostalgia!!! Man I'm feeling old again.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Losing the COOL...

You know you've lost any vestige of coolness when you find excitement from shredding paper. We bought a new paper shredder recently and found ourselves enthralled by tiny quarter inch shreds of paper. The whole family gathered around this small machine as if it were Christmas day and we had just finished decorating the tree. After shredding all our old bills and the numerous credit card offers we receive, we went hunting for more. We looked in every stack of paper for anything we could possibly send through the tiny teeth of doom. The kids loved it! We loved it! But, we are no longer cool (if we ever were)!!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Dream Bike

I'm not a real big motorcycle guy, but there are two or three that I REALLY like. Ducati & Ecosse top the list of bikes. There's also the Chrysler Tomahawk. But then there's the JRL Cycles Radial Bike! This bike is just as insane as the Tomahawk, but it's actually being built. While the Tomahawk uses a Viper V-10, the JRL Bike uses a radial engine from an airplane. Check out to find out more. They can describe it better than I can. Enjoy the photo's. That's the best I could get for the JRL Bike.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

What happened?

Bev and I have three kids. This week, the two oldest started preschool. How is that possible? It seems like last week that our oldest was born. I think the worst part was that they just took right to it! Their first day was Tuesday. When my wife dropped them off, they just went to their classrooms and started playing. Our oldest actually got ticked off when Bev came back later to pick them up! But no matter how old they get, I decide that that is the age I want them to stay. But the older they get, the more fun they are. They are definitely challenging. But I've always been told that the greatest challenges in life yield the greatest rewards. Whoever told me that damn well better be right!

Recommendation #2

If you enjoy stories with a twist, you will like Paranoia by Joseph Finder. The main character gets himself in more trouble than he could have ever imagined and has to figure a way out. The book is funny and suspenseful. I could not put it down and when I was finished, I went out and bought every title I could find by this author. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Recommendation #1

This is one I missed. I am a huge Verve and Oasis fan. This band is from California, but they NAIL the BritPop sound perfectly! If The Verve and Oasis had a lovechild, its name would be The Shore. The CD came out in 2004. They have a single and an EP with unreleased tracks. Some of the lyrics may sound a little bit contrived, but you overlook it after a listen or two. The album isn't too hard to find. You just have to know that it exists. The unreleased tracks can be found on iTunes for a buck a piece. If you like The Verve, Oasis, Cast, Blur, etc., etc... pick up The Shore. You can have their entire recorded output for under $10.00 and I guarantee you'll be listening to it for a long time.
"Let it flow, let the soft sound glow inside my mind, Things I'll never know"
Ben Ashley - The Shore

In the Beginning....

Howdy folks. I've created this blog for my enjoyment. All of us in the Shea Crew will end up posting things. We'll be commenting on music, movies, literature, TV, liquor, cars, and more!!! I can thank my buddy SINEDDIE for inspiring this blog. Up the Irons, Bud!!!