It Starts: Bad News About My Stranded Car

They ran the car all day. It ran flawlessly! And then tonight it died. That’s the good news! How screwed up is this story?

If you follow this blog with any regularity you know my little sportscar stopped running in the middle of First Avenue in Manhattan Saturday night. It spent the weekend boarding in Midtown. I’m not sure I can afford that for me, but for the car–sure.

This morning my friend/mechanic Steve spoke with a service tech in New York. They turned the key and the car started–no problem.

Oh crap! That’s the worst answer.

There’s no way I’m driving that car the 100 miles home just because it started today. There’s something in the car that brought it to a halt. I need that repaired before I get back in.

That message was delivered by Steve. The voice on the other end of the phone agreed.

They ran the car all day. It ran flawlessly! Then tonight it died.

That’s the good news! How screwed up is this story?

I got a call from another tech tonight. It looks like the theft deterrent system kicked in and killed my engine. He said something about the key, but his accent was thick and you only get so many chances to ask for a ‘repeat’ before conversations end.

Tomorrow morning I have to call AAA and arrange for the car to be towed the few blocks to Mercedes Benz of Manhattan. They will attempt to fix the car. Sometime later this week I’ll drive it home.

Anyone have any extra Adult Depends for that trip?

It looks like this story will have a happy, though costly, ending.

Six More Years Of Driving

For $2 extra you can do an end around and avoid waiting at DMV and you don’t have to be a AAA member (though I was asked once by the woman who took care of me and once on a sign-in sheet).

I’m legal to drive for another six years. The expiration notice for my driver license (Yeah, it’s driver license, not drivers license. I discovered it last time I renewed mine.) came in the mail a few days ago. Today I headed to AAA on my way into work.

This is one of the little hidden gems of Connecticut life. For $2 extra you can do an end around and avoid waiting at DMV and you don’t have to be a AAA member (though I was asked once by the woman who took care of me and once on a sign-in sheet).

Start to finish I was out in under ten minutes. The only thing that would make it better would be if I could use Photoshop on the picture.

Hitch – The Movie

I took Helaine on a date this afternoon. The idea was a romantic movie… I know, 3:30 PM, how romantic could it be?

We headed down to North Haven to see “Hitch,” the new movie with Will Smith and Kevin James. More on that in a minute.

I wanted coffee, but I felt it would be uncool to bring a container of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (my favorite) into the theater – plus, I had seen coffee there before.

Bzzzz. Wrong! No coffee.

Instead, I ended up paying $4 for a large Diet Pepsi. $4! A 2-liter bottle costs 99&#162.

I admit it. I am the fool here. I’m the one who paid the $4… and didn’t get my coffee to boot.

On the other hand, though movie tickets now cost $9.50, we got ours for $6. This is one of those strange, hidden benefits of being a AAA member. Yes, you have to buy them in advance, but they don’t go bad (or if they do, they do it slowly enough that it’s never been a problem).

The newspaper said the movie was scheduled to start at 3:30. Not quite. Between a few commercials, promos and coming attractions, it didn’t get starting until sometime after 3:45 PM.

Hitch is the story of Will Smith, a relationship counselor. He takes hapless schlemiels, like I was when I was single, and gives them the advice necessary to meet the woman of their dreams.

His clients are sweet and earnest, though not classic catches. He is principled – the unexpected attribute for someone in that line of work, and the pivotal element creating the emotional tension that carries the movie.

Ask me what Will Smith does for a living? He is charming for a living. Sure, he acts… but he’s always acting as Will Smith being charming. There is a very good living doing that – obviously. And, quite honestly, it is a role I enjoy seeing.

His main pupil through the film is Kevin James, an accountant in love with a beautiful heiress who is a client of his firm. He lives a life where they are physically near each other, but she never see him.

In this movie, Kevin James was my surprise. I know he’s a comedian, has a successful sitcom (which I’ve never watched), and does a pretty good Jackie Gleason. He was very good.

Kevin James strongest point, was he never overwhelmed the character he played. It was never over the top. This was a nice guy, a good guy, not a beautiful guy.

His restrained physical comedy combined with his timing and interplay with Will Smith are what made the movie for me.

Smith and James love interests, Eva Mendes and Amber Valletta, are pretty and appropriate, but it’s the two guys and New York City that carry the weight here. New York is an integral part of the story and I am glad to see it playing itself instead of seeing Toronto or Vancouver as some wimpy New York wannabe.

The city was portrayed with the same kind of loving charm that Woody Allen brought to Annie Hall and Manhattan.

Even at 4:30 in the afternoon, this was a great date movie. We both loved it. It will be huge at the box office.

Blogger’s note – This is entry 1,000 in my blog. It is a milestone I never thought about… never expected. Thanks again for stopping by to read my words and thoughts.