Well, the fish tacos were grand. The best food is the simplest food. Also: The best food is peasant food. The French aristocracy may have invented bearnaise sauce — and big ups to the French aristocracy for that one, because what the world needs now is tarragon, sweet tarragon — but the rest of the great food in the world came from people who didn’t have enough, or didn’t have the best cuts of the animal, thinking, “What can I do with this?”
The rest of the evening was perhaps a bit too grand. Beer + wine + margaritas = not a good idea. But there was key lime cheesecake for breakfast Sunday. Always a good thing.
(You ask me, the genius of Nigella Lawson’s show is the end-credits shot of her raiding the refrigerator after her big meal. Leftovers are another great peasant-culture pleasure.)
But Sunday’s “Six Feet Under” — whoa. Also grand, but in an entirely different way, the way experiencing the sensation of plunging toward the ground at a high rate of speed on one of those Cedar Point rollercoasters is “thrilling,” as opposed to “bladder-emptying.” Next week’s the last episode, and I’m going to miss the Fishers and their soapy lives. And yeah, I’ll watch “Rome,” because HBO is batting about .900 with me (sorry, Mike Binder), but I wonder where it is written that all movies about Rome must feature actors with British accents. In fact, Brit cadences are the default “we have to say it in English, but we want you to imagine it’s in another language” accent for American entertainment. William Hurt used a British accent in “Gorky Park” to play a Russian police detective. I ask you.
I was knocking around Laura Lippman’s Memory Project sorta-blog when I came across her entry on “The Godfather,” the book. She wondered if the time is right for a Godfather mash-up, maybe a retelling of the story from one of the female characters’ perspective, and then wonders, and wouldn’t it be refreshing if Lucy was finally allowed to say: “My vagina’s not too big — your penis is just too small!”
(You only get that joke if you actually bothered to read the horrible book, but it’s a funny one. A woman with a too-large vagina — only in Mario Puzo, eh?)
Live in exurbia? Not for all the tea in China. Actually, the NYT had another story about suburbia last week, sort of tangentially, about the efforts of Waukesha, Wis., which is depleting its ground water, to draw surface water from nearby Lake Michigan. The community is considered outside the lake’s watershed, so the effort has so far been unsuccessful. But what struck me is the same thing that strikes me when I read about $3-a-gallon gasoline or other scarce and expensive resources: Only the fringe suggests the common-sense answer of using less in the first place:
For critics like Emily Green, who oversees Great Lakes issues for the Sierra Club, Mr. Duchniak’s arguments are a dodge. Her complaint, like that of Mr. Murphy, the Milwaukee alderman, is the absence of conservation as the growth spurt of the western exurbs, in towns like Oconomowoc, has accelerated.
“Yes, people need a place to live,” Ms. Green said. “But do they need McMansions on five-acre lots?”
I know Americans are like toddlers on these issues, the idea that maybe you need to make do with less, even temporarily, but this is ridiculous. We’re having a drought in the Midwest this year, so what is the sound you hear on every corner? Cicadas? No. Lawn sprinklers. And not just once-a-week emergency water, to keep the grass from getting entirely baked, but daily drenchings so that it stays lush and emerald-green and California-like in its perfection. No one even suggests it might be a good idea to just write the lawn off this year, in the interest of acknowledging reality. Noooo. Grosse Pointe Shores waters its damn median strips. Constantly, it seems like.
Don’t even get me started on the war and gasoline. I’ll sound like Claire on “Six Feet Under” last night.
What a way to start the week! Let’s have a good one, eh?