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Hate to admit it, but we really did enjoy our week off between Christmas and New Year.

The extra sleep was nice.

But the bonus was that HBO decided to rerun the entire fifth season of “The Sopranos,” much of which we’d missed for one reason or another. And, we’d been given TiVo for Christmas…which added up to 13 fabulous hours of mob-TV stored and watched.

The only downside: HBO won’t have new “Sopranos” episodes until 2006.

Not fair.

The good news: “24” is back on Sunday. That’ll keep us happy.

Also spent a lot of time at the movies over the holidays…

Liked “The Aviator” a lot. It’s wonderfully directed and acted, which is what you’d expect from a Martin Scorsese movie. The script doesn’t go as deeply as we would have liked into why Howard Hughes was such a loony tune…it shows us what happened, but not why. But we liked it nevertheless.

For some reason, we also liked the new Bill Murray movie, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.” Not sure why, since it is billed as a comedy and about 45 minutes into the movie we wondered if it was going to have any laughs. But it is so quirky, so unusual, that it appealed to our sensibility. But it’s not for everyone.

“Meet The Fockers” is just laugh-out-loud funny. Not as funny as “Meet The Parents,” but it has more than enough belly laughs for a couple of hours. As always, Dustin Hoffman steals the movie…and go figure, we even liked Barbra Streisand in it. (It brought back memories of the old days, when she’d make movies like “What’s Up, Doc?”)

We really, really disliked “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.” Not only does it have a typically annoying, self-referential performance by Jim Carrey (who we always think of as Robin Williams Lite), but it seems like it was made by a Tim Burton wannabe.

Finally, we enjoyed a number of wines over the holidays, including a wonderfully ripe Cuneo 2002 Del Rio Vineyard Syrah. Cuneo is a terrific Oregon winemaker that more people ought to be aware of – it makes some terrifically complex and unusual wines, and we’ve never been disappointed. Check them out at:

And tell them The Content Guy sent you.

And finally, at the risk of annoying the folks who hate it when we recommend a French wine, we liked a Shiraz from there that we thought was a little lighter than the average Shiraz, but spicy and robust enough to please the palate. And it’s cheap. The name: a 2002 Fat Bastard Shiraz.


Have a great weekend.
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