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Favorite Things

OK, so I dedicated a whole couple of pages to my favorite movies, but surely there is more to life than sitting in front of a movie screen, right?  Well, this page is dedicated to "everything else," in no particular order.

Author of Serious Fiction -- John Irving

Hands down, it's John Irving. "A Prayer for Owen Meaney" is excellent, and so is "Hotel New Hampshire," "Cider House Rules," and some of his latest -- "Son of the Circus," "Widow for One Year," and "The Fourth Hand." But the all-time champ, in my humble opinion, is "The World According to Garp."  This book has everything. It was also made into a movie starring Robin Williams as Garp, but the book was so much better (gee, I always bust my wife's chops for saying things like that).  But the book really is better.

Author of Humor -- Dave Barry                            

Dave Barry is the man!  Check out Dave's page at the Miami Herald, full of his wonderful columns (I'm not making this up). I had the lucky occasion to meet my comic idol once at a book signing (conveniently pictured at right is said picture).  He signed my book (what the hell else do you do at a book signing), and we exchanged some witty banter.  At least I thought so.  His response? "Next!"  (Just kidding -- he was very nice). Anyway, Dave has the unique ability to take very serious subjects, as well as some not-so-serious subjects, and reduce them to their most juvenile, crude, and funny selves. In other words, he's able to make it through life without taking himself too seriously, a trait that I greatly admire.

Musical Group -- (tie) R.E.M. and The Smiths

I hate to admit it, but I almost made it all the way through college without hearing these guys.  But once I did, I was hooked for life. Not exactly a surprise pick, because R.E.M. is liked by a great many people, but they really are that good.  And The Smiths, though they are no more, can still do it for me. Their unique sound, and Morrissey's tremendous voice and, for lack of a better word, phrasology, make them truly unique. I'm also including Morrissey's solo stuff in this assessment, as "Suedehead" is one of my all-time faves.

Baseball Team -- Boston Red Sox -- Check out my Sox diary

First of all, I admit that I have no geographical connection with Boston sports teams (although my mother is from the South Shore (pronounced Shaw)).  But my family went to Boston every April growing up, and pretty soon becoming a Red Sox fan was just a de facto thing in my household. And once you become a Sox fan, it sticks!  There have been plenty of great memories, but part of being a Sox fan is the heartache -- I still remember that day in 1978 when Bucky $#%^ing Dent used Willie Randolph's corked bat to beat the Sox in a playoff game, but that pales in comparison to the "Bill Buckner incident."  Please, you know what I'm talking about, and don't make me say it.  Suffice it to say that a grown man cried that night (well, many did, but I'm talking about this one).  But all of the above changed on a cold October evening in 2004 when the Sox -- fresh off the first-ever comeback from a 3-0 deficit against the Yankees in the ALCS -- swept the St. Louis Cardinals for their first title since 1918. The champagne -- and the tears -- flowed as the 'idiots' celebreated an amazing world championship.  It was a good year to be a member of Red Sox Nation.

Television Show

Seinfeld, hands down.  Oh, how I miss it, although if you're clever and your remote finger works, you can catch it about 7 times a day on re-runs (not that there's anything wrong with that). I love pretty much everything about this show, but I particularly love the story of how it took time getting going, but they stuck with it until it "found" its audience. By the time the show ended, it was the cornerstone of "Must See TV" and a regular discussion point for Friday's in the office. Yada yada yada, the Soup Nazi,Giddy-up!  This show had a million expressions that I've stolen over the years, and it stands alone as the all-time sit-com King.'

Boy Band

It's so hard to choose -- they're all just so ... dreamy.

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