At Home

A beauty and the beast

There was a night last week when everything changed. I still don’t know if it’s for the better or worse.

Despite having been gifted an old router some time ago, the Beast and I have never set it up. So we have never had WiFi. We were also recently gifted an Apple TV thing from my brother. But we didn’t have WiFi so we couldn’t use it. And I recently got an iPad. But you need WiFi to run it. Also, my brother tries to Face Time with me so I can see my nephew. Again, that requires WiFi, so it never works.

So, the night everything changed, we plugged in the router and in 30 seconds, we had WiFi; a functioning iPad; Apple TV; a subscription to Netflix and I was Face-timing with my brother.

As we fumbled with the TV, my iPhone, the iPad–which all sort of magically connected–there was a feeling of information overload. The Beast and I sat transfixed in front of the television as we scrolled through all the Netflix options trying to settle on our first viewing.

Foodie: Ohmygod, Young Victoria!

Beast: We just watched that.

Foodie: Ohmygod, Jane Eyre! Dirty Dancing! Last of the Mohicans! Can you check for Mr. Mom on there?

Beast: You’re crazy! You keep choosing movies you’ve seen a hundred times and own on DVD. Look at all these documentaries, one on Hiroshima, on Auschwitz, on Mussolini, on World War II in colour…

Foodie: It’s called Netflix, not Snoozeflix. BORING! Everybody says how good Damages and House of Cards are. Maybe we could try an episode of one of those.

Beast: No.

Foodie: Why don’t you want to watch these TV shows that are critically acclaimed? It’s not junk. Smart people like them, you know.

Beast: Do you want to watch Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet tonight?

Foodie: We watched it last year and isn’t it over four hours long?

Beast: We better get started.

Foodie: No! Can’t we watch something a little lighter, just to get us warmed up a bit? How about Runaway Bride. Erinn loves that movie and I’ve never seen it.

Beast: Okay.

Foodie: Seriously? You’ll watch it?

Beast : I do love a good romantic comedy.

It happened to be taco night. And just to be clear, you go out for fancy tacos. At home, it’s gotta be Old El Paso. The Beast cooked the meat while I prepared our toppings: avocado, bright orange cheddar, and a little something called pico de lettuce from this recipe (I doubled every ingredient in the dressing.)

Screen shot 2013-02-09 at 9.59.21 AM

The classic Old El Paso kit, which contains 12 hard taco shells,  is supposed to feed a family of four. We have a routine, however, that accommodates the two of us quite nicely: For our first course, we each prepare three tacos the normal way whereby you fill the shells with the toppings. But for the second course, we break up our last three shells on our plates and top them with the remainder of our gourmet fixings and make giant taco salads.

taco night

Foodie: I didn’t know Richard Gere was a journalist in Runaway Bride! This is amazing! How have I never seen this movie before?

Beast: What a shitty detail…

Foodie: Huh?

Beast: Well, first of all, the Miles Davis recording from the album Workin’ that he keeps playing isn’t the original track from the album.  And second of all, when Julia Roberts gives Richard Gere the Kind of Blue record, he reacts like it’s some sort of rarity when it’s probably one of the biggest selling jazz records of all time. It’s like the Thriller of jazz records.

Foodie: I can’t wait to have Erinn over to watch some of these movies, although she owns them all on VHS.


He was just teasing, of course. Actually, the Beast and Erinn get along really well. Sometimes I think they have more in common with each other than I do with either of them individually.  For example, they are both very talented text messagers:



Both make eccentric fashion choices:



(For the Beast’s future fashion blog, “Don’t Sweater the Small Stuff”.)

And on a recent Saturday afternoon, Erinn popped over and on her way out, she asked the Beast if she could borrow the nine-and-a-half hour, four disc Holocaust documentary, Shoah. He said yes. And then she asked what he was currently reading and he said, Darkness Visible and then she said, “Oh yeah, William Styron. That’s the essential first person narrative of a person battling depression.”

I stood on the sideline as all of this played out, shaking my head in wonderment.  Shoah? Darkness Visible? Who the fuck are these people? And how is it that both of them, who’d watch Runaway Bride with me at the drop of a hat, play such enormous parts in my life?

I have no idea. But holy smokes, thank goodness they do.

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