Somm Thoughts on Napa


I first visited wine country in October of 2005. My family and I had moved to Southern California a year earlier and going to Napa seemed like a very West Coast thing to do. This was a short trip that my husband and I took with another couple. The four of us spent time enjoying our digs at Auberge du Soleil, touring wineries via bicycle and dining at restaurants such as Thomas Keller’s Bouchon.

I think we spent two nights in Napa, but to be honest I don’t remember much of the details. Wine country has a way of erasing details. The highlight of that visit, beside bonding with another couple from our new hometown, was the bike tour. But that was because: drinking wine — while riding a bike — in a group of people! The tour guide wasn’t particularly knowledgeable about wine, or if he was, I don’t remember him sharing that knowledge. And the wineries we visited were for the most part not memorable. In a nutshell, my inaugural Napa vista was mostly about drinking wine and having fun. I left loving Stag’s Leap Winery cabernets, but knowing nothing about the reason why.

It took 10 years, but this past December I finally returned to Napa. And this time the visit, which I shared with my immediate family, in addition to being about drinking wine and having fun — was all about education.


Here’s a bit of what we learned while touring wineries:

  • When it comes to certain wine-related topics (the virtue of viscosity comes to mind), opinions vary.
  • When it comes to using descriptive language to illustrate the smell, taste or finish of a wine — anything goes. Is the finish like sandpaper? Do you like wines that “rip your face off”? Do you smell grass? Say it!

Which brings me to:

  • According to the wine experts we met, what you smell, what you taste, what you like — it is all just fine. They say that there is no right answer (I feel like there probably is) and that there are no stupid questions.


  • You can swirl your wine glass too much.
  • You can kill the smell of your wine, if you swirl your wine glass before smelling it.
  • You shouldn’t say that you don’t like a specific varietal. According to the folks we spoke with, that would be like saying you don’t like pizza, when it reality, you don’t like Pizza Hut pizza. You might LOVE New York pizza or pizza that was prepared to your tastes, if given the opportunity to taste it. (If you don’t like pizza, I am okay with that. I am also okay if you don’t like specific varietals.) (I am just the messenger.)
  • Take a sip (or six) of wine before you take a bite of your food. Wine-coated tastebuds neutralize the sugar in your saliva, which makes the taste of the food come through.


  • The soil in which the grape is grown is the secret sauce. And the consistency and composition of Napa soil can vary greatly. That’s why some Napa wines will rip your face off while others are shy. (I am going to be sure to describe a wine as being “shy” the next time I go.)  Somehow, I missed this lesson completely the first time we visited the region. But I left this time understanding that I am more of a Rutherford gal than anything else.

I also learned:

  • Visiting Napa in the winter, in the slow season, is great! We were the only guests in our Winemaker for a Day program and we were able to get reservations at some very good restaurants . Additionally, when taking vineyard tours/going on tastings, the groups in late December were small. This was especially nice because it meant we were able to ask a lot of questions.
  • While touring a vineyard (if you have paid for a tasting), you can usually order wine at the wine club price without actually joining the club. And if you do join the club, you can drop out before any additional wine is sent.
  • Staying in Yountville, during the off-season, is smart. It is probably also smart to stay there during the peak season. But you will pay more.

Three full days of wine tasting and vineyard touring was about my limit, but I am glad that I live a short plane ride away. I’ll be back, Napa. And in the meantime, I’ll slowly work my way through the bottles of wonderful wine that we bought while there.



*Punk Rock Girl

I’ve written here before about my love of documentary films. And if you are at all familiar with this blog, you also know that I am very fond of music and that I have a special affinity for the bands that populated college radio in the 1980s. In fact, one of my boards on Pinterest is primarily dedicated to artists from that time. So, I am sure you can understand the high level of giddiness I felt recently when I had the opportunity to marry these two passions.

First, I viewed the documentary Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. I had the pleasure of seeing Fishbone in concert during their heyday. The energy of the band and charisma of lead singer, Angelo Moore, was unlike anything I’d witnessed before or since. And did I mention that Fishbone has a horn section? I am an absolute sucker for a horn section.

As much as I love Fishbone’s music, that wasn’t what made this documentary for me. It was the story of the band’s origin, struggles, and determination to keep on keeping on that had me hooked. I came away feeling a bit sad, but was also inspired. And after watching the film, I couldn’t help but think that Norwood Fisher, Fishbone’s bass player and co-founder, would be a very interesting person to interview. I’d like to do that one day.

Here’s the trailer:

The second doc I watched was: The Other F Word, a film that explores fatherhood through the sometimes bleary eyes of aging punk rockers. I have to stop here and say that I don’t think all the musicians featured in this documentary fit that bill. Who issued Blink-182 a punk rock card? Because I would like to check that person’s credentials. I realized, however, after posting about this on Facebook, that my idea of what is punk might be different from those who came of age in the 1990s and later. I guess I can accept that. But no way I will ever see Mark Hoppus and John Lydon in the same light.

Despite my above quibble, I thought The Other F Word was entertaining and quite touching. I will admit to even shedding a few tears at one point. And I found it interesting, though not surprising, that most of the men in the film had strained or non-existent relationships with their own father.

Here’s the trailer:

If you only have time to watch one of these movies, I’d recommend going with Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. Raised on the East Coast, I didn’t really have more than a passing understanding of what life was like in L.A. during the effort to desegregate public schools. I enjoyed and appreciated the way that Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler, the filmmakers behind Everyday Sunshine, wove that information and other historical context into Fishbone’s story.

Now for my burning question: Which bands do you think best exemplify the spirit of punk rock?

And while you are thinking about your answer, here’s a photo for you to ponder. I feel almost certain that this guy, who I spotted recently in NYC, doesn’t listen to “pop-punk.”

*Disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever been, anything close to what would be considered punk rock. Though, one Halloween when I was still in college, I combed my spiral perm over my eyes, donned a black leather jacket, black t-shirt and black skinny jeans and went out dressed as Jenny Ramone. That was fun. 

Valentine’s Day Playlist

I am not really a fan of Valentine’s Day.  Call me old-fashioned, but I believe you should show affection and caring throughout the year, and not just because Hallmark needs to go into the black.  Having said that, I will admit to being a bit of a sap when it comes to songs about love, especially unrequited love.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Who can’t relate to the line: “…And this is for the tears that won’t dry. And this is for a bright blue sky…”

This isn’t the best version of Within Your Reach, but it’s practically impossible to celebrate Valentine’s Day without the Replacements, so this video will have to do.

I don’t care who is performing this song, Dire Straits, or the Killers, I bet you can’t listen without getting a lump in your throat.

*Updated* I can’t believe I hit publish without including a song by the ever so romantic–Morrissey.  I am ashamed.

And finally, ’cause it is kind of depressing around here now, how about some funk?

What’s on your turntable for Valentine’s Day? Do you enjoy the holiday, or like me, are you a Valentine’s Day Scrooge?

Honoring the Spirit of Dr. Doolittle

There are many things that happen in life that I don’t understand, and can’t wrap my brain around. Near the top of the list, is how, and why, people do bad things to animals. In recent weeks, the local news has been filled with story after story of horrible abuse. I am not going to provide links to these articles, they make me sick to my stomach, as I am sure they would make you as well. Instead, I thought I’d focus on organizations that do a lot of good for animals.

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog, follow me on Twitter, or are friends with me on Facebook, know that I am madly in love with our Pug, Henry.

Look at that face!  How in the world did someone let that face out of their sight?  Who in their right mind could do bad things to him?!  I will never know the answer to either question.  What I do know is that the rest of Henry’s life will be filled with happiness and love.  And that is in no small part because of the wonderful staff and caring volunteers from Pug Rescue San Diego. These are people who work tirelessly to save dogs who have been mistreated, neglected and abandoned.  Many of the Pugs on the site have special needs.  Yet, due to the dedication of the folks from Pug Rescue San Diego, they often find a forever family too.

Some of you are aware that our other, equally adored, dog, Annie, has cancer.

Since October Annie has been undergoing chemotherapy. Her treatment, which requires a lot of time spent in the vet’s office and a bag full of medications, is very expensive.  We are fortunate that we are able to pay for it. Not all pet lovers are as fortunate. This is where the Humane Society steps in. According to its website, The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization—backed by 11 million Americans, or one in every 28…

The Humane Society not only offers tips on how to find affordable care for sick or injured pets, but also provides a list of veterinarians and organizations from around the country who will offer assistance.

Since they were very young, my children have wanted to help animals in need.  Most local organizations require kids to be 14 years of age before they can volunteer.  Both of my kids are now old enough to do that, but when they weren’t we found other ways for them to be involved.

When my son was eight, he had his birthday party at the San Diego Humane Society.  In lieu of presents he asked his guests to bring something from the SDHS wish list.  The kids had a great time!  They toured the very impressive facilities, visited with, and learned about, a service dog, played games, and petted rabbits (the animal my son requested make a special appearance).  Most importantly, my son left feeling like he had done something to make a difference in the life of a needy animal.

Another local organization that both of my kids have volunteered for is S.N.A.P. S.N.A.P., which stands for Spay Neuter Action Project, allows children younger than 14 to be involved.  My daughter worked at S.N.A.P.’s bunny petting zoo one Easter, and also showcased adoptable dogs by taking them for walks during a small dog adoption event. My son has also volunteered at the small dog adoption event. I love this organization, and think the service they provide, spaying and neutering services for low-income families, is crucial if we want to end the cycle of abuse against animals.

It takes a village to raise children–we all know that.  It also takes a village (albeit a smaller, animal-friendly one) to keep pets happy and healthy.

The following are beloved members of Annie and Henry’s village:

Dr. Seals and the staff from La Jolla Veterinary Hospital.  I cannot say enough about how well these dedicated and caring professionals care for our pups.  If you are in San Diego and are looking for a vet, I highly recommend this practice.

Angeli Lamb from Dog Care.  Not only does Angeli do a wonderful job keeping Annie and Henry smelling and looking good, she is also one of the kindest people I have ever met.  Last time I checked for a friend, Angeli was not accepting new clients.  She is that wonderful.  If you are looking for a mobile groomer, do yourself a favor and get on her waiting list.

Dr. Phillips and the oncology staff from Veterinary Specialty Hospital.  Annie’s cancer is currently in remission.  We’ve been told it will return.  I am grateful we have the compassionate and quite capable staff from VSH to help us through this difficult time.  They love Annie, we can tell.

And finally, I offer a tip of the hat to the folks from Muttropolis.  They are responsible for this:

Believe it or not, he really did not mind wearing this.  I swear.

Is there an animal related cause or organization that you love?  Feel free to give them a shout out below.

*I’ve Got Your Picture

I love photographs and love photography as an art form. This is probably a good thing since I have worked, and may again, as a professional photographer. When I was very young, my parents owned a photography studio. As a result, I have boxes full of wonderful black and white photos of me and my family. I consider myself very fortunate to have these visual reminders of my youth. And, I enjoy knowing, and think it is kind of cool, that a much younger version of my mother, or father, not only took the photo, but also developed the film and made the print by hand. That knowledge makes the images just a bit more special. I, in turn, have taken hundreds of photos of my own children. Hopefully, they will cherish those, as much as I cherish mine.

This image is slightly distorted because, due to the size of the room, it had to be taken with fisheye lens. The grouping, though it doesn’t appear to be, is indeed symmetrical.

I once read that the key to successful interior design is to surround yourself with stuff you love. As noted above, I love photographs. More importantly, I love everyone in these particular photographs. That makes for a decorating win-win!

Today, I thought I’d share some tips on how to display photography in your home.

1. Dedicate an entire wall, be it along a staircase, in a hallway, or  in an often used room, for the display of favorite photos. If the images are of family members, try to mix generations and styles of photography.

Even our dear, departed pooch Sid has a spot here. If they are special to you, they belong on your wall.

2. Display photos that offer variety in terms of size and shape, but keep the process (black and white/sepia, or color/hand-tinted) consistent.

3. With large groupings, you don’t have to use a mat for every photo, but if you do, keep the mat color the same throughout display. The same holds true for the color of the frames. Feel free to mix textures and styles of frames, though, as doing so helps to create added interest.

4. When hanging art, photography or otherwise, the general rule of thumb is to stick to an odd numbers of pieces. A photo collage, such as the one below, is an example of how to do that in one contained space.

Collages, are not only affordable (due to smaller size of prints that are used), but they offer a great way to capture, and feature, the precious, itty bitty body parts that before you know it, will not be either precious, or iitty bitty.

5. If you walked around a corner in my house, you might just run straight into this:

A photo of Annie, our beloved English Bulldog. She was a cute baby, wasn’t she?

I took this shot using 35 mm film and then a digital lab created the larger than life print. Matted and framed, it measures over 5 feet wide and over 4 feet tall. In our prior home, this Annie’s photo hung over a red sofa. And let me tell you, it was quite the conversation piece.

When it comes to displaying photographs, my  best advice is to not be afraid to think–and go–big!

*Sung to the tune of Turning Japanese (By The Vapors).

Favorite Things-Brow Control

Brooke Shields was very popular when I was a tween/teen. She was featured in Calvin Klein’s ad campaigns, was the star of multiple hit movies, and she regularly graced the cover of Seventeen Magazine. Her image was everywhere and her “look” was coveted. Back then, it thrilled me to no end that Brooke Shields and I had a few things in common. We were both born under the sign Gemini (when you are 12 stuff like this matters), we both had long brown hair, and we both had bushy eyebrows. The fact that we shared this last trait was huge for me. I hated my eyebrows and complained about them to my mother often. My mom, who has naturally beautiful, Audrey Hepburn-esque brows, would always respond: “You have Brooke Shields’ eyebrows.” This reminder, along with the fact that the plucking and shaping of eyebrows was not in fashion in the 1980s, was enough to keep me from touching them.

Young Brooke Shields (source)

Me, circa 1988. Brooke and I look just alike–don’t you think?

Sometime in late 1990s my philosophy changed. Much to my mother’s chagrin, I stopped drinking the you’ve-got-Brooke Shields’-eyebrows Kool-Aid. It dawned on me that rather than Brooke Shields’ eyebrows, my eyebrows were closer to those of another TV star. Someone whom I did not want to emulate.

Oscar and I are eyebrow twins! (source)

At this point, I had gone at least 30 years without using tweezers and was not comfortable with the idea of training the untamed beast myself. So I did what other women (and some men) had been doing for years–I had my brows professionally waxed. I loved the result. I found someone who did a great job shaping my brows. She somehow managed to leave them full, while also keeping them from looking overgrown and out of control.

The woman on the left is my mother–see how beautiful her brows are?! That’s me on the right, after having been waxed and tweezed.

Sadly, I had to find a new brow artiste when I moved from Atlanta to San Diego. I tried three or four people before finally settling on a salon in La Jolla. And then disaster struck! Twice I suffered an allergic reaction to the wax that was being used to rip the hair from face. On both occasions, my eyes swelled to the point that I almost couldn’t open them. So I made the switch to tweezers-only brow removal. Initially, this was fine. I found tweezing to be less painful than waxing. There were a couple of downsides to this fix, though. First, tweezing did not last as long as waxing did. And second, I was being charged $45 for the service! What was a wax-allergic, price-conscious woman with well-endowed brows to do?!

Threading! I switched to eyebrow threading. I had read about this ancient process back in 2002 and wanted to try it, but didn’t know where to go until a friend of mine posted a rave review of a local establishment on her blog. The next time I saw this friend, I asked her if the threading was really as great as it sounded? She confirmed that it was, and told me which technician (brow artist?) she liked the best. So off I went to Beauty By Dolly .

I found the threading process to be nothing short of fascinating. Watch this video and see if you don’t feel the same way.

I took my 17-year-old daughter to have her brows threaded as well. She found it to be uncomfortable the first time, but was fine on a return trip. I have to day that I don’t find the process to be painful at all. And with the exception of the time it takes me to drive to the salon, it takes no time. I am usually in and out of the chair in about 10 minutes. Threading is also very affordable. I pay $12 plus tip, which is a far cry from the $45 plus tip I was being asked to shell out for tweezing. The results seem to last about as long as waxing did for me, which means that I usually need to get my brows done every three-four weeks.

As an aside, I am happy to report that it appears that Brooke Shields is still rocking her Brooke Shields’ eyebrows. And just now it occurred to me that Brooke Shields’ Eyebrows would make a terrific name for a band. Punk rock, of course.


What type of brow control/enhancement do you prefer? And do you think men should tweeze/shape/wax their brows?

*I was not asked to write this post, nor was I compensated by the salon I reference in it. Just sharing one of my favorite things.

What’s That Coming Down the Track…

I’ve written before about how odd it is to live in one place and root for sports teams from another place. Especially when that place is nearly 3,000 miles away and in a different time zone. No matter how much I enjoy living in San Diego, and I enjoy it quite a bit, I will never not be a fan of the Braves, Falcons, Hawks and of course, Bulldogs. Today, I got to do something I’ve been doing for the past six years, something that makes me feel more connected to the team I love the most.

University of Georgia flag, flying outside Pacific Beach Bar & Grill

This morning my husband and I watched University of Georgia football with fellow Georgia alumni and supporters. So much fun. I love being with this group of people on Saturdays in the fall. We don’t usually see each other after the first week of December or before the first week in September, but in between, we are family. And we bark. And most of us have Southern accents. And we love UGA. And the majority of us also love the Falcons, and the Braves. All of which is nice when you live nearly 3,000 miles away from those teams–and are a passionate sports fan.

All of these people know the words to Glory, Glory. Well, not sure about the guy on the far right, he’s from Oklahoma, but everyone else, yes.

I have no idea what libation was in this glass, but for the purpose of this post, I am saying it’s Long Island Ice Tea.

Young, we start them young. Of course my kids will probably wind up at USC (west) but that doesn’t mean this girl will.

Yes, fall is finally here. And even though the weather in beautiful San Diego rarely acknowledges seasonal changes, I still do. And today I got to hunker down with people who know what that means. Life is good.

Go Dawgs!

10 Things That Make Me Happy

My friend, Mama Mary, tagged me in a meme. Mary is a new friend and getting to know her (and her delightful daughters) has made me happy, so in return, I am honoring her request that I answer the following:

10 Things That Make Me Happy:

1. Chatting with my teenage daughter and son. And I mean that. I am really enjoying watching them develop into adults. They are interesting people, my kids. And, they inspire me in many, many ways.

2. My Pug. I am seriously in love with this dog. He is so damn sweet. And, (this is the best part), he has picked me to be his person. He follows me everywhere and has made it clear to everyone else in the house that he ADORES me. It feels good to be adored. Please don’t tell my Bulldog.

3. My car. Yes, I am being shallow, but I have to admit that I really like my car. It is a convertible and nothing, (well, almost nothing) is as enjoyable to me as riding with the top to my car down. I have owned convertibles for some time but this one, the one I bought when the economy (read: car industry) was at an all time low, (read: desperate to make sales)—is my favorite.

4. Being a Georgia Bulldog. Yes, as corny, or lame, as this might sound, I love being a graduate of the University of Georgia. Not surprisingly, it makes me very happy when sports teams from Georgia (and that includes the state and not just the university) do well. I am proud to be associated (even loosely) with UGA.

5. Playing tennis. I did not view myself as having athletic ability until I was in my mid-twenties. I did not start playing tennis until six years ago (hint: I was not in my mid-twenties). Needless to say, I wish I had started sooner–I love tennis!

6. Listening to the music that was played on college radio and on MTV in the 1980s. I like music from before that time period, and after, but–late 1970s-late 1980s–classic alternative, punk, new wave, ska, early rap— definitely my favorite.

7. Hanging out with my husband, just the two of us. Doesn’t happen a ton, but when it does—whether we are watching appointment TV, or taking a walk, or out to dinner—hanging alone with my homeboy makes me happy.

8. Catching up with my friends from Atlanta. I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like, but it makes me very happy to hear the voices of my girls from the ATL.. You know who you are—and yes, I owe all of you a phone call.

9. Documentaries. I enjoy the heck out of a good documentary. Can be on just about any subject too. If the story is well told, I like it!

10. Watching sporting events—live or on TV. If you haven’t clued in on this yet (via Twitter, this blog or just knowing me) I love me some sports. I even watch (willingly) the NFL Draft and Combine. Just how I roll. Makes me happy and (when it comes to the teams I follow) a bit crazy.

I am going to tag the following people even though several of them write their blogs on one specific topic (you know who you are) and might not participate. It’s all good if you choose not to.

Bernie from Bernies Dawg Blawg

Deb from Suburb Sanity

Mike from DawgsBui 2.0

Rebekah from Shmy Way or the Highway

Tommy from What Did You Say?

Shan from The Nonsensical Ravings of a Lunatic Mind

Noel from Bird Rock Fabrications

Suzette from Mamarazzi Knows Best

I Furminate, do You?

The FURminator has changed my life. Really, it has. So much so that I feel compelled to write about it. And no, the FURminator folks are not compensating me for doing so. Pretty sure they don’t know I exist.

I introduced you to our dog, Annie, in the post Favorite Things-My Life Made Easier. If you recall, I mentioned that Annie makes lots of messes. Eye boogers and thick drool are just the tip of her mess-making repertoire. She is also a first class shedder.

I have never owned a short-haired dog before. All of the dogs I grew up with were of the curly or long hair variety. Buck, my first dog, was a Cockapoo–he didn’t shed. Dusty, who came after Buck, was a Lhasa Apso, again not a shedder. Sid, the dog my husband and I got when we were first married, was a Lhasa-Bee (part Lhasa, part Beagle) and again, not prone to losing his hair. Annie, is an English bulldog, and she sheds like it is her duty to do so.

I noted in that earlier post that we bought the Dyson Animal Vacuum (Dyson’s not giving me anything either) to help us do battle with Annie’s leftovers. And it helps. I just got really tired of vacuuming every day (I am anal like that). So, when I read that a pug owner was having success eliminating dander and stray hair with the FURminator, I was on it!

We’ve (well, me, because I am the only one I will allow to have the pleasure of furminating the dog) been raking Annie with the FURminator for close to a month now and the difference is huge! Not only do I not have to vacuum every day, I don’t have to vacuum every three or four days! And Annie can now sit in my lap (she weighs 72 lbs. so this is not an easy feat on her part) without leaving a puppy’s worth of hair behind when she gets up.

One final bonus, it is really fun to use the word FURminator. I have even made it into a verb. I find myself looking for reasons to tell people about the joys of furminating. At the hairdresser the other day, I brought it up out of the blue! And much to my delight someone else in the salon chimed right in, she knew the power of the FURminator as well. Now you do too.

Do you use the FURminator? Anything else you can recommend to combat shedding?

Favorite Things-Movies from Childhood

I loved the tribute to John Hughes on last night’s Academy Awards broadcast.  As is the case with most people my age, I grew up watching Brat Pack movies. 16 Candles was my favorite, though the Breakfast Club was a close second.  I have shared 16 Candles with my daughter and son and to my delight, they both loved it!

Here are a few more movies I enjoyed so much as a child or teen that I wanted my kids to see them too:

My Bodyguard (1980) Starring Chris Makepeace, Adam Baldwin and Matt Dillon. Classic story of nerdy new kid being harassed by school bully.  Twist, nerdy new kid is smart and hires a personal bodyguard. There is a great moral to this story, something about not judging a book by its cover, I won’t go into all of that here, but suffice it to say, plenty of opportunity for discussion after viewing My Bodyguard. Watched this a few years ago with both kids and even though initially there was some  resistance, in the end, they both really liked it.

Little Darlings (1980) Starring Kristi McNicol, Tatum O’Neal and Matt Dillon (detecting a pattern here?).   Story of two teenage girls, one from the wrong side of the tracks, the other from presumably the right side, who make a bet to see who will lose their virginity first while attending summer camp.  Tatum O’Neal’s character targets a very sexy and much older character played by Armand Assante, while Kristi McNicol’s goes after Randy, the bad boy from the camp across the lake, who is portrayed by Matt Dillon.   Have to be honest, haven’t shared this one yet.  I am sure I could (my daughter is 16) but something about the Tatum O’Neal character going after a grown man bothers me. Still it made my list–go figure.  *I did not post or edit this video–so I cannot take credit for the comments at the end.  And as you know, I’d never sign anything “Jenny.”*

Heaven Can Wait (1978) Starring Warren Beatty, Buck Henry, Julie Christie and James Mason.  Warren Beatty plays a NFL quarterback whose life is snuffed out accidentally by an over-anxious angel.  Beatty’s character was not supposed to die, so he is given a do-over in the body of a millionaire who just was just murdered by his wife and his accountant.  The wife is played by a very funny Dyan Cannon and the accountant by an equally amusing, Charles Grodin.   I still enjoy this movie, though not as much as it did when I was 11.  My kids gave it two (four) thumbs down.

Ghostbusters (1984) Starring Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Sigorney Weaver.  No recap needed here–right?

I loved Ghostbusters so much that for years after first watching it, I would look for a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow man to appear at the first sign of significant storm.  I have almost managed to forget that they tried to ruin the memory of the original movie by doing a sequel.  Word is that there will soon be a  Ghostbusters 3.  Pretty sure I won’t see it.  Not surprisingly, my kids loved Ghostbusters.

And finally,  a drama.  And Justice for All (1979) Starring Al Pacino, Jack Warden and John Forsythe. Al Pacino plays a Baltimore defense attorney who is tired of the corruption ridden judicial system. His character is tested even more when he is forced to defend a judge he despises (played by John Forsythe) who has been charged with rape.   The only levity is provided by Jack Warden’s character, also a judge, who has a death wish that he tries to carry out in a variety of humorous ways throughout the movie.  I remember really loving this movie.  Particularly the, “This whole court is out of order” scene.   Bought it on DVD because I was sure my son would love it.  He thought it was okay.  Surprisingly, after watching it again I found it to be a bit dated.  Bummer.

Honorable mentions:  Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)–loved by everyone in my house.  Love at First Bite (1979)–daughter and friend watched this instead of scary movies during Halloween party, they loved it! Grease (1978)–Son has not seen this, daughter has watched it repeatedly.  Weird Science (1985)–My son really enjoyed this.

Which movies have you already, or will you in the future, share with your kids?