I don’t like chocolate

Lets say that you love a good apples. The sweet smell of fresh apples, or maybe fresh pie made from apples that grew just down the road from where you live. You grew up eating this tasty apples and suddenly you cannot have such apples anymore.

I love maraschino cherries. They are preserved and sweetened, but this is how I first tasted them. I love cherry artificial flavor, but real cherries from the grocery store or even cherry pie not so much.

Most people here think that there is only one type of mango, or one type of banana. In the tropics there are several variation of the fruit. For example mangoes vary in consistency from peach meaty to very stringy, and in flavor from very sour to super sweet. Bananas here are about medium size and actually not that sweet. The normal banana consumed in Colombia is about double the sweetness, but there are even some sweeter varieties.

Moving to another country brings a lot of issues when it comes to food. The freshness and availability of certain things just goes completely out the window. You adapt and adopt other likes. Now this brings me to chocolate.

Chocolate in Colombia tastes a lot different than here. Even more so sugar. Sugar that comes from sugar cane is a lot different than sugar that comes from corn. I am sure the molecular structure ends up being the same, but when things are actually made from high fructose corn syrup, they end up tasting was too sweet, almost sticky.

It is hard to taste the difference going from the overpowering corn to the sugar cane. What most people call chocolate here tastes nothing like the chocolate I ate in Colombia. Specially hot cocoa. Chocolate here to me tastes like pure sugar with a hint of the flavor I used to taste, so that is why I don’t like chocolate.

You guys have no idea the incredulous diatribes I hear every time I tell someone that I don’t like chocolate. I specially dislike things that are chocolate flavored because they taste nothing like real chocolate. I sometimes wonder if people would think that real chocolate is actually too bitter for them to like.

I don’t get it. Plenty of people hate liver and green beans, both foods I love, but I have never heard anyone freak out about people that say they don’t like them. I guess because chocolate is marketed here like the answer to everyone’s bad day. I don’t like the fake flavor of chocolate even though I can enjoy the cherry one… its not that weird people, its just a preference.

Weekend Fun

If you wanted exact details on the festivities, you should have been there. That is pretty much all I have to say. Overall, this was one of the best birthday weekend’s I’ve had in a long time. I want to thank everyone that participated in the various activities for participating. I also want to thank my wife for braving not only the “club” scene which is not her thing, but also the “eau du geek” scent in the air while doing the gaming yesterday.

After a wonderful actual birthday dinner with some friends at BWW which included actual singing of the birthday song, the festivities fast forward to Saturday. Since the people that actually live close to Raytown bailed and the people coming for sure where closer to the south, we changed the venue to Raoul’s Velvet Room. Actually the main reason was that our friend running for president said that, and I quote “the only thing stronger in the air at Funky Town than the smoke was the smell of desperation.”

Lets just say I danced so much that my right knee is paying for it, and for some strange reason my is back also. I think back when I was 21 I did not have the kegger I carry around now. However it was worth it. While the mix of music was more pop than I normally would have liked, the DJ was unreal. Maybe they have actually gotten better over the 5 year hiatus from the club scene or we just had the best one ever. Also I am glad to report that the smell of desperation was also present at Raoul’s, and the dudes that seem to show up by themselves and circle the dance floor like vultures were ready to strike.

On a side note, Why would 5 straight guys go to a dance club to just pretend to have a conversation? isn’t going to a sports bar cheaper? If they wanted to see skin, there are better establishments… I digress.

Not as a celebration of my birthday, but an added bonus Kanga put a Battlestar Galactica board game session together. Even though I was still recuperating from the festivities the night before, the wife decided to drag.. drive me to the geek fest. It was a good thing that our eight legged friend came to rescue her from the room where they “roll” with actual multi sided dice.

It was totally worth it even as tired as I was. The store that hosted the event has an awesome owner that is also a gamer, visit Pulp Fiction if you are ever in that are and have any kind of geeky tendencies, you will not be disappointing. It is hands down the best store of its type I have ever been to. The BSG game was amazingly complex, yet 5 people were able to understand it and have fun at it. Not to brag too much but I was a Cylon and guess what happened to the puny humans.

Maybe hitting 31 is the mark of half way to my midlife crisis and I am in the middle of delusion, but I am very happy to be this age. I have a great relationship with my wife, some amazingly cool friends and can still “club” and be a total nerd all in the same weekend.

Won’t You Take Me To?

XO seems to be the driver of my birthday Chiva. I woke up this morning to not just two, but three “bacon and egg cups” and two pancakes that were 100 times better than anything that Denny’s was serving for free. He also picked the venue for this Saturday’s celebrations, Funky Town.

I am not so sure I want to be standing this close to an atheist that has decided to dissect the bible in a place of decadence… who am I kidding, he is great friend if God decides to send the thunder bolt, I will get my wings and he will descend to whatever black hole atheists go to since they don’t believe in hell.

Maybe I can talk Chimpo into a eating contest earlier on Saturday and see if we can have a double heart attack while eating at our local Brazilian Rodizio… but I am looking forward to dancing that night. Sponge has already promised a new outfit. I am not tainted by the small town mentality that anywhere five miles from my house is far; so I expect all of you able to attend to go, it will be fun and you will miss out if you don’t go!

The Gift of Hearing

Most people would love to not be able to hear their Mother in Law talk, however I have one of the coolest people in the word for a Mother in Law so for me it was a horrible thing. Little by little my hearing was deteriorating and I could not ignore it anymore. Not being able to hear the wise advice from my Mother in Law was just what made it real, made it hit me on the face. We came back from our trip to Colombia and I went to see the audiologist who then sent me to the best surgeon in the area for this procedure. Long story short, I can now hear! a lot better than I probably have in years.

My doctor probably has made many people hear so my excitement was not new to him. He is truly giving people a gift back and I am grateful. Besides being able to hear music and just the obvious this week I truly felt blessed. Driving to a friend’s house for dinner, the wife and I were listening to music. My wife has a beautiful singing voice, and everyone should hear her sing in Spanish some time. We were both singing a song that is more about pain and heartbreak than a single song should be allowed. Hearing her voice articulate the words really made me feel special to have her by my side. Even right now as I am typing this she is behind me following another song with that melodic voice and working on her crafts. So thanks to the wonderful doctor for restoring the gift of being able to hear once again!