The Graduate, disintegration and some sort of paella

The Beast has really been pulling his own when it comes to week-night dinners. He made a great Bolognese last week. This week, it was paella, or rather his interpretation of it. He started with a Paula Deen recipe for “Mexican Rice” and then added peas, sausage and shrimp. If that doesn’t all add up to paella then I’m   my name isn’t Paula Deen.

Add to this authenticity watching The Graduate, and it practically felt like we were in some tiny Valencian town eating our meal. The Beast had been eager to re-watch the film ever since Mike Nichols passed away. It was a night to remember.

In the kitchen:

Foodie: Is that Leonard Cohen playing?

Beast: Yes.

Foodie: It’s so lovely. You haven’t played it in a while.

Beast:I listen to him when I’m depressed.

Foodie: What was the name of that music you were playing this morning when we were getting ready for work?

Beast: I don’t remember.

Foodie: Sure you do: it was like all instrumental and you told me about how this guy found these old tapes and they were disintegrating but he liked the sound of it so he recorded it or something?

Beast: I forget.

Foodie: As if! You never forget this shit. You’re turning into me right now. I’m really concerned.

Beast: [pause] Did you ever consider that I was going to buy the CD for you for Christmas?

Foodie: Don’t buy me a CD! Get me an iTunes gift card.

Beast: Are you kidding me?

Foodie: What’s wrong with a gift card?

Beast: For starters, we’re not fucking cousins. [Pause] It’s called the Disintegration Loops by–wait. What are you doing?

Foodie: I’m writing down that cousins joke. That was really funny.

Beast: Don’t put that in your ‘blog.’

Foodie: Why not?

Beast: Because Sasha Frere-Jones wrote about the Disintegration Loops and people will think that’s where I heard about it.

Foodie: Did you know before you read about it in the New Yorker?

Beast: What do you think? OF COURSE I DID. This paella is ready. Could you please open up the wine?

Foodie: Already done.

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On the couch, post-paella, mid-movie:

Foodie: Did you notice in the opening shots at Dustin Hoffman’s parents’ place how the camera was so up-close, in everybody’s grill? Like it was mimicking his clostrophbia about being home?

Beast: I though I turned the director’s commentary off.

Foodie: And when Mrs. Robinson starts coming on to him that’s totally how I was with you! LOL.

Beast: No it wasn’t. You weren’t nearly old enough–she’s your age now and he’s my age then. That’s an extra 10 years.

Foodie: [Mrs. Robinson is taking off her dress] She’s not my age! Look at her!

Beast: Maybe she’s 10 years older.

Foodie: I’m a bad example of a typical 40-year-old because I’m 15 lb. overweight so my body looks so young. It really messes with your head how good I look. If Anne Bancroft was 20 lb. heavier, she’d look 20 years younger–guaranteed. Lainey talks about this on her blog all the time–the choice actresses have to make to be skinny or to look young and keep some extra padding on them. Toni Colette, for example. I think she got too skinny. She looked better and younger with a little meat on her bones.

Beast: Well, the only actress doing interesting work right now is Kathy Bates so think about that.

Foodie: Are you kidding me? That is the most absurd statement you’ve ever made.

Beast: You’re right. I’m probably just remembering her from About Schmidt and wanting to watch Misery again because it’s winter. But she’s still better than Meryl Streep. And please don’t say I don’t like Meryl Streep on your “blog.” I’d rather be portrayed as a racist than a Streep-hater.

Foodie: Well then don’t say bad shit about Meryl. You are so wrong. She is gracious and the best actress this age has ever know. Do you need you to watch Sophie’s Choice again?

Beast: Do I need you to watch The Iron Lady again? She can’t even act humble when she’s getting one of her obligatory Oscars that they hand out to her like candy when she shows up every year like a kid at Halloween with a pillow case waiting to be filled with accolades.

Foodie: Unbelievable. Anyway, I was looking in the mirror the other morning when I was getting dressed and I thought I saw my ribs protruding from my skin.

Beast: [Silence]

Foodie: And I was all like, I better not lose any weight because that doesn’t look healthy.

Beast: [Silence]

Foodie: And then I realized that it was actually cellulite. Under my ribs. Is that even possible?

Beast: [Silence]

Foodie: I actually can’t be certain what it was. Maybe it was the way the sunlight was cascading into the room because it’s not there now.

Beast: I support, honour and love you in any shape or form.

After we finished the movie, we turned on the National and despite the bleak and cheerless news that didn’t seem to dissipate as the week trudged along, we fell asleep on couch under a big wool blanket. Embers glowed in the fireplace, lights twinkled on the tree and we were safe and sound.

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2 responses to “The Graduate, disintegration and some sort of paella

  1. I love your blog!
    Merry Christmas Jess!!!

  2. Anne Bancroft takes her clothes off in The Graduate? Yowza! Did my parents make me watch some bootleg bowdlerized version from North Korea or something? I am really going to have to check out that movie again.

    Anyhoo, Sasha Frere-Jones’ egregious poptimism around super-crappy R&B has left him without a music-recommending leg to stand on. No one in their right mind would think an aesthete like the Beast would give his beloved a compact disk based on that naked emperor’s suggestion.

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