Review of “Chocolat”

Review of “Chocolat”

I know I mentioned it before, but I saw that flick called Chocolat. Not to be confused with Like Water For Chocolate. This one is just plain chocolat. No other words. Not even an E at the end. Because otherwise, it would just be called “Chocolate.” And that’s kind of a stupid title. Anyway, this is one of the movies like Traffic and Sitting Monkey Farting Squirrel that came out in New York for a day and a half before the end of the year just so it could make it into this year’s pool of Oscar nominees that will lose to Gladiator. I sat in a theater with one other couple during this ugly storm I told you about last time. I think I ruined an otherwise perfectly romantic evening for them. Sorry. So anyway, this was like Pleasantville, except instead of sex, it was about Chocolate, and instead of coming through a TV set from the future, it came from the North wind, which is more poetic. It’s a good movie about how this chocolate gypsy corrupts an entire town and wins the hearts of these chocolate pirates. It’s a good date flick, or so the couple in front of me mentioned. It’s a pretty good get the hell out of the hellish winter storm flick too. But those are the only circumstances under which I think I’d ever watch I Might Have Forgotten What I Did Last Summer ever again. So this rating might be tainted, but I’ll give it a solid 8 bugs out of ten. 2 bugs were taken away because I’m never sure how to pronounce it when I say it out loud.

Mike was describing the movie to me and telling me I should go see it sometime. When asked what it was about, he explained…

Quote Of the Day 2/23/01

“Well, you know those commercials, ‘Behold the power of cheese?’ Well, they made a whole movie out of chocolate.”

-Mikey “Chaka” Khanover

I keep waiting for them to make a movie about the Nike Boing commercials.

Beholding the power of a nap,


Still Standing Right Here…

Worst Commute Ever

Worst Commute Ever

That was probably the least fun I’ve ever had driving a vehicle before, and in this case, “fun” is not being meant as the kind of “fun” one might derive from being forced to steer one’s own roller coaster car. For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of driving to MD from PA in rush hour traffic on 95, let me describe it to you. Well, first of all, for those on the west coast or those who slept through the entire day, we had somewhat of a storm here. And it wasn’t like the last “storm” we had where everybody panicked and ran out to get milk and canned beans the day before and then Mother Nature just passed gas on us. No. This was shit. And I had to brave the shit.

First off, I left a good hour early, thinking that traffic might be a little backed up. Well, as soon as I hit 76, I didn’t see even 2nd gear for the first hour. I left Angelo’s pizza at 2:30 and didn’t get to 95 until 5:00. Less than 16 miles away. I was supposed to be at work in half an hour. I saw a girl talking on a car phone and had an idea. I crumbled up a $10 bill and a note telling her to call Gary and tell him I wouldn’t be there until about 4 in the afternoon on Saturday if I kept this pace. But by the time I got done with the note, I had hit 95 and had to shift into second gear. This was not a step up. This was actually very scary. There was a span of about an hour in which I never actually had control of my car. I just went through a series of overcompensations that kept me from hitting anybody else.

There are a few natural social wonders that occur when such a storm hits like it did today. First of all, people drive like they should normally and let other people in. It’s not worth the risk. Nobody’s tailing anybody to try to keep a spot. We’re all in this together and we just want to survive. Also, there are no lanes. There are paths of less resistance. 95 South turned into two such paths by accident (whereas it’s normally 3 lanes). I had no idea where the actual lanes were supposed to be. Which reminds me of a time about 3 years ago when Evil Joe and I were on 695 and the three lanes had shifted over so much, there was an actual empty lane on the right which no one was using. So Joe and I blazed the trail. He was worried about getting pulled over, but I assured him that we were actually in an actual lane. In fact, we were the only ones.

Anyway, at the very worst times there was only one lane, though it was moving at a decent pace. If somebody did try to pass you, it was a task. Halfway through some passes, I stop to wonder if it was really worth the risk. The only people that passed confidently were the damn 18-wheelers. They aren’t affected by such weather conditions. And I think they’re out to get revenge. I was passed by more of those scary fuckers than I think I’ve ever been in my entire life total. Here I am muddling along at about 5 mph with every muscle in my body tensed up like I’m about to get hit with a wrecking ball (sure, why not) just trying to keep the car going the same way my tires are pointing, and Mr 2-ton asshole flies by me at like, 40 or something insane like that. Just wait til it’s dry again, buddy.

At 6:15, I had reached Delaware’s Service Station, about 1/4 to UMBC. I called in to work and they told me not to worry about it, like they were supposed to. So with no deadline, I decided to eat and watch Chocolat and wait for the damn storm to subside and the salt trucks to come to the rescue. So I left home at 2:30 and got back to Baltimore at about 12:45. Like I said, not too much actual “fun.”

Good Joe is lucky enough to be in Turkey right now, where ritual killings are much more common than snow. But before he was there, he and I had a chance to hang out for a few weeks. When this happens and neither of us have to worry about work or any obligations at all, sleep schedules tend to get whacked up and sometimes even reverse polarity. This was the case in the week after Christmas. We were trying to describe to Mike something we had done sometime in the recent past, but couldn’t figure out what the word “yesterday” meant to us or Mike as it pertained to the event in question. So when we tried to describe something that had happened “yesterday” when in reality as far as the sun is concerned, happened 3 days ago…

Quote Of the Day 2/22/01

Mike: “What the hell kind of day are you talking about?”
Me: “His body’s naturally attuned to a 36-hour day.”
Joe: “It’s actually a metric day.”

He was already preparing for his trip to Turkey. Hard core.

Swerving and out of washer fluid,

Nervous Cricket.

Still Standing Right Here…

Achilles Healed

Achilles Healed

Well, I’m up and running again finally. I decided to take the “sick of waiting for doctor’s clearance” method of approach. I was getting bored of just going to get my little ultrasound thing and standing on my toes for 2 hours a day, so I decided to stop that entirely. Realizing that wasn’t the way to go, I made a command decision to forgo the advice of the doctor. The facts that I could start to see a gut form and I put on ten pounds since this happened were large contributors. So I decided to say the hell with the doc and I’m just gonna see what happens. Apparently, this is a fairly common approach. Especially among people with health insurance to fall back on. And the real bad news is that I was fine running the 2 mile loop around campus. I started to feel good. Which means I’m going to get overly excited and start to try other stupid things. Which in turn means I’m going to inevitably rerupture my Achilles tendon. It sucks, but there’s really no way around it now. I expect more sympathy cards this time.

Well, Good Joe (who is working in Turkey building the new Ford Box until July) wrote me to tell me he was sorry about losing my ratchet set. Especially because it was his ratchet set. Anyway, he was telling me a little bit about how the system works. He told me that the little windows can often cost more than the big windows. They do that because they make more money that way. They have corporate meetings about this kind of stuff. And he also told me that every once in a while, when it’s slow in the office, they go around breaking windows and stealing tools to help increase revenue. He had this revelation in his ramblings…

Quote Of the Day 2/16/01

“Wait, I think I just figured out why we have deer on the payroll.”

-Good Turkey Joe

It’s a shitty job, but I guess when you’re a deer, you don’t get too many offers.

Never underestimated,

Achilles Heal.

Still Standing Right Here…

Deer John

Deer John

Well I know I spoke of the Valentines Day curse that I have and tried to convince myself that I actually wasn’t experiencing it this year. Well, somebody must have heard me. Sometime last night, my driver side rear window imploded. As if that wasn’t enough, my ratchet set and about $2.45 in change managed to escape through the broken window. So Happy V-Day to me. Actually, whoever did it was comparatively decent about it. On one hand, sure they broke my window and took my stuff, but on the other hand, they only broke the small triangular window that doesn’t roll down anyway, and they didn’t take my jumper cables or audio cassette of Paul Reiser’s Babyhood. Maybe the guy just needed a ratchet set. He (or she, don’t want to be sexist here) didn’t bother to break into my other car and take all my tennis rackets and volleyballs and stuff. Oh well. I get to see my good buddies at Safelite again. And at least I didn’t hit a deer. 😉

Tony hit a deer last Thursday. More appropriately, the deer hit him. He said it came running out of the woods like a cornerback going for a tackle. And the deer managed to run or limp off afterwards. But until Tony’s appointment to get the thing fixed, he’s driving around with a crushed bumper and fur sticking out of his headlight. Not to mention the hoof print on his hood. In fact, the deer might be the jerk who broke into my car. A deer with a vengeance. So if anybody sees a deer limping around the woods with a ratchet set, tell him he owes me $2.45.

This quote came in response to me telling Teresa, the subject of last night’s quote, that I was hesitant to send the e-mail because he didn’t want her to take it the wrong way and ditch my good buddy…

Quote Of the Day 2/15/01

“Don’t worry about me and Mike..we’ll screw things up ourselves before you ever have a chance to ruin it with quotes or…reason and such”

-Mrs. Little Boy Hair Girl Freelander

He’s a guy. He’s got to screw it up eventually anyway. Even without my help.

Always gotta be the window,

Mr. Glass.

Still Standing Right Here…

Floating Valentine’s Day

Floating Valentine’s Day

I know yesterday I referred to being alone on Valentine’s Day as “the Valentine’s Day curse.” Well, I’d like to retract that statement. It’s easy to be depressed and say it sucks when you spend V-Day alone, but I think I’ve been looking at things all wrong. I’m the lucky one. This holiday doesn’t suck for me, it sucks for them. Those poor unfortunate boyfriends/husbands that are required to make some sort of attempt to not screw up the V-Day. And I’m sure that’s precisely what they’re thinking. I’m a guy. We probably fuck up 80% of the times we try anyway, and with all the expectations and pressure of trying to make this the most romantic day of her year, we’re bound to bungle it up. Romance should be spontaneous, not one planned day every year. Take it from a guy who hasn’t been in a serious relationship in 4 years, I should know. Here’s what you do whenever you start dating somebody. You say, “OK, we’re going to have a Valentine’s Day, but it’s not going to be on February 14th. And I’m not going to tell you when it’s going to be.” That not only adds to the spontaneity, and thus the romance, but it buys you another 10 1/2 months to figure something out. I’m brilliant! I’m going to try to apply this to other areas of my life too. Like Christmas. And filing my taxes. I’ve already started doing it with laundry day. So anyway, when you start to feel lonely tonight, just think of all the poor schmucks who are presently letting their girlfriends/wives down. I’m glad I got cut. Actually, her agent told me she wants to continue talks about a possible short term contract if I haven’t already signed with another team or retired. I think this metaphor has gone on too long. Anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day all! I hope you all at least broke even. I’m going to go watch Temptation Island with Russ and Tony now.

This quote came from a conversation I had with Evil Lance McFreelander as he was in the process of signing his contract a few weeks ago with Little Boy Hair Girl (I need to start renicknaming my friends again). Anyway, he was trying to describe to me the state of being his relationship with Teresa was in…

Quote Of the Day 2/14/01

Me: “So are you guys exclusive now?”
Mike: “Well… kinda.”
Me: “Well, if she goes out with somebody else, would you get pissed?”
Mike: “Yeah.”
Me: “And if you go out with somebody else, would she get pissed?”
Mike: “Gosh, I hope not.”

Where do I sign?

Cupid’s arch nemesis,


Still Standing Right Here…