|How do you photograph a storm? There is a storm.|
Thursday night, I made salpicon, a giant salad of romaine, shredded brisket, shredded cheese, out-of-season tomatoes, avocado, and spicy dressing. From The Homesick Texan by Lisa Fain, of course. I loved it, but my husband thought the beef was stringy and that the dish was "very unattractive." He couldn't understand why you'd put brisket in a salad: "If you want to serve brisket, serve brisket and have salad on the side."
I suspect half of you will agree with him, half with me. Recipe is here.
Friday night, I made Fain's sopa de fideo, which was, as Isabel put it, like a bowl of spicy SpaghettiOs. I loved this and will make it again and the recipe is here.
The other day I took Isabel and two of her friends to the mall. They talked, I drove, the rain pelted down. Sometimes while chauffeuring I ask questions or make jokes, but I have to be in the mood to feel like a dork and I wasn't, so I remained silent. At the mall I killed time while they shopped by seeing This is 40. Are you familiar with this film? It's a Judd Apatow comedy about an attractive, frazzled couple played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, limping into middle age.
A short list of things I hated about This is 40:
Pap smear gags. Mammogram gags. Prostate test gags. Fart gags. Checking for hemorrhoid gags. Wife walks in on husband as he sits on the toilet gags (multiple). Viagra jokes. Megan Fox. Looking up Megan Fox's skirt jokes. Saggy breast jokes. Lena Dunham's pigtails. Lifestyle porn.
But what I hated most of all, was the ending.
SPOILER AHEAD SO STOP READING NOW IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO SEE THIS MOVIE DESPITE MY ADVICE NOT TO.
Ok, the ending. The Promethean punishment dressed up as a happy ending for this struggling, bickering middle-aged couple with two children, including a teenager they can barely handle is . . . an unplanned pregnancy.
Which is to say, a brand new baby.
Look, I'm a sap about babies, but another kid is the last thing the dispirited couple in this movie needs. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann aren't going to get to start an exciting new chapter as their beautiful chicks fly the nest, they're going to just do it all over again, right from the beginning, and we're supposed to feel happy for them. I felt terrible for them. Is it impossible for Hollywood to imagine fresh, non-baby adventures for a fortysomething couple as their kids grow up? I love my children more than life, but I can imagine a thousand things I'd rather be doing 16 years hence than sitting alone in a mall movie theatre on a rainy afternoon waiting for teenagers to shop.