At Home

Saving baby birds and the Beast–all Before Midnight


Yesterday afternoon I went on my own to see Before Midnight, the third movie in the Jesse-Celine trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and directed by Richard Linklater.

It’s been a long time since I went to the movies and saw a film devoid of special effects, explosions and superheroes. Instead, Before Midnight was stocked with lingering scenes oozing with well written dialogue that sometimes surged into 40-minute-long fluid–and often charged–conversations between a couple sorting out exactly what their relationship was, is, and should be. It was wonderful.

When I got home the Beast was on the streetcar heading to our place from work. I texted him to see if he wanted to meet at the Sorauren farmers’ market. He texted back, “Sure”.

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Foodie: I’m just going to pick up a bag of mixed greens and some spring onions.

Beast: Can we go now?

Foodie: Well, just after I buy those things.

[Purchases secured.]

Beast: Okay. Let’s go.

Foodie: Do you think they’ll accept $2.85 plus a 20-cent euro coin for the $3 cherries? That’s all I have.

Beast: I don’t know. I think we should go.

Foodie: Let me just ask.

[They did.]

Foodie: Okay, let’s go home.

[Walking home.]

Foodie: Why do you hate farmers’ markets so much?

Beast: I just feel funny and depressed when I’m in one. I hate the smug sanctimoniousness of everyone who goes to them.

Foodie: But the produce is pretty good. And those vegan samosas looked tasty.

Beast: Please make sure you wash those cherries. [Pause] How was the movie?

Foodie: Oh I really enjoyed it. Why do you hate those movies so much?

Beast: I find Ethan Hawke to be insufferable.

Foodie: That’s too bad because it was really good. And he was really good. You know, I found myself siding more with his character in the film. And you know what else? Every review I’ve read on the film mentioned that there was this shocking scene where you see Julie Delpy partially nude and how “realistic” it was and just wow! You know? Like, you see what a “real” woman in her 40s looks like and it’s just so “shocking”. So I kept waiting for this big reveal. And when you finally do see her topless, I was just like, Her tits are perfect! They really are. Just beautiful. And I’m not being all “every woman is beautiful” here. They’re simply lovely tits. Just great. I think what was more revealing than seeing her beautiful tits was that every critic felt the need to prepare potential viewers that they were about to see a real visceral tit scene, like don’t forget to bring a barf bag. Anyway, when it comes out on DVD will you watch it with me?

Beast: Yes, I will. I would love to.

On our walk home, we found a little baby bird who’d fallen from its nest chirping away on the sidewalk.

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The mamma bird kept swooping down to try and pick up her baby with her beak and the little baby bird would just go mad with chirps and wing-flapping when she did. But then a car would drive by and the mamma bird would disappear. Eventually, the little baby bird started chasing his mom and he ended up in the middle of the road. So I dumped my cherries into my bag and used the green box they came in to try and pick up the baby bird and move it to safety. The Beast held back cars, who were all surprisingly patient. People on the street stood by, watching us. We put the baby bird onto a nearby lawn and crossed our fingers that the mamma bird would rescue it.

It was all very emotional. Especially because I am very afraid of birds.

At home, I made salmon in a bag and some potatoes in a bag and put them on the barbecue. The Beast had a headache, probably because he hadn’t eaten all day, and went to rest on the couch. When I came in with our bagged dinner, he perked up somewhat. Then he chose a movie on Netflix without consulting me.

He chose The Jane Austen Book Club.

Foodie: Is this a joke?

Beast: God, no!

Foodie: I’ve never been so excited! This is great!

Beast: Well, I’m reading Pride and Prejudice and after that, Sense and Sensibility is next.

Foodie: Would you be interested in watching the film adaptations of those books when you’re done reading them?

Beast: Yes. Oh wow! I forgot that there were so many beautiful women in this movie! Mario Bello, Emily Blunt…

Foodie: I can’t even remember this movie. Have you seen it before?

Beast: Are you kidding me? It was one of our first dates? After we saw Mona Lisa Smiles, which we’re watching after this.

Foodie: [Clapping hands]

Later in the movie:


Beast: Oh God, what I’d do to make love with–

Foodie: With Emily Blunt?

Beast: No, this 18-year-old guy she’s kissing.

Foodie: Oh yeah, right. Hey, what are you doing with that Christian Dior scarf you brought home for me?

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Beast: I’m wearing it.

Foodie: Oh.

Beast: Jimmy Smitts is enormous in real life, you know. I’d love to see him naked.


Foodie: Your mood sure seems to have improved.

Beast: Do you think it was the Dior?

Maybe. Or perhaps it was the Jane Austen. Or just that he got a little food in him so he could stop hating things for a moment. Like a little baby bird, traumatized by this cruel world dotted with farmers’ markets and art films starring former heartthrobs-turned-thespians/authors, whose mamma eats up a mouthful of sustenance and regurgitates it to her dearly beloved spawn, beak to beak, to soothe him.

6 replies »

  1. I already agreed with/loved everything in this post and then that line about being afraid of birds? Me too. I recently encountered a pigeon IN a movie theatre in France and I could barely pay attention I was so scared.

  2. I really have to watch that Jane Austen movie. Are Rachel Weisz and Vera Farmiga in it as well? Because I would probably never need to see another movie again.

    I read recently that you can pick up an unfledged baby bird and return it to the nest without the mother kicking it to the curb because it smells of human or farmer’s market. I have never tried it, though. It was nice of you to save it from getting run over.

  3. I can’t believe you rescued that bird foodie! I’m very proud of you for over coming your fear!

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