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2003-01-05 | 10:59 p.m.

corduroy licorice knew that flattery would get him nowhere. that's why whenever he flagged a cab and saw flattery in the driver's seat, he'd wave him on and wait for another taxi.


after seeing the stinkerooni of a romantic comedy called two weeks notice, i realized that i should've put about a boy on the honorable mention list of my "top ten movies of 2002" entry. hugh grant was so terrific in that cleverly written, charming film.

two weeks notice is a clueless insult to my favorite film genre. any filmmaker who thinks that sandra bullock barely containing an explosive bowel movement is adorable and hi-larious should be sent back to film school.

in other romantic comedy news, maid in manhattan wasn't half as bad as i expected. at least j-lo had the good sense to only clean toilets rather than soil them in her movie.

just so you don't think i've gone hollywood in my recent cinematic forays, i also checked out spike lee's intense new movie 25th Hour. it stars ed norton as a drug dealer on his last night before prison. barry "hubba hubba" peppar steals his scenes as a wall street hot shot. i've heard the term "riveting" thrown about regarding this film and it fits. the underlying tension builds slowly, but relentlessy. one of the most remarkable things about the film is how it seamlessly weaves in aspects of 9/11. that spike knows how to tell a compelling story.

also completely absorbing is roman polanski's the pianist--the devastating tale of one man's amazing survival of the holocaust. it sucked me in and drained my tear ducts with the pain it portrayed. it's horrifying to think that humankind ever experienced such a slaughter. and even more horrifying to think that it's happening in smaller ways still every day.


i approached the record store counter warily since i had just heard the cashier telling what sounded like a break-up story to a blonde with low-riding jeans on the other side of the cash register.

i handed him my selection, an older built to spill album. he glanced down at the cellophaned square then back up at me.

"is this for you?" he queried from beneath his salt-in-pepper ponytail and from behind his scruffy goatee.

now i always hope when i approach any music store counter that my purchase will cause a positive reaction in the check-out person. once, and only once, a female cashier who i think--ok, hope*--was hitting on me looked at the CDs i'd chosen and said "you have really good taste in music." yes!

like i said, it happened once and it was not to happen again on this night in question.

"yes, it's for me," i answered in greedy anticipation of a forthcoming compliment.

"well, i gotta say," he eyed me, unsure if i was ready for the mindblow he was about to unleash, "that these guys are good. i mean, maybe you like them, but modest mouse...have you heard of modest mouse?"

"yeah, i've heard a couple of their songs."**

"ok," he continued, "well, i mean, these guys, when they get going, are really into it, but with modest mouse. well, with modest mouse it's more about art. it's more about them. you know, kinda selfish. i like that. with these guys it's more about us. you know?"

realizing he was failing to dissaude me from my CD of choice, he rang me up and reached past the security goal posts to hand me my album and receipt.

the more i think about it, i'd prefer it if all music was more about "me" then "them." for instance, if all music was about "me," the electronica section of the world would consist of one dusty shelf. but all music isn't about "me." "i" get that. "i" can hang.

*i've always wanted a lesbian to hit on me because i think that's the best compliment--to have a person who really knows women see something attractive in me.

**thanks to tv zero being a walking musical clearinghouse, i was able to answer in the affirmative about my modest mouse exposure.

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