Wednesday, May 9, 2012

No Reservations

9 May 2012

On Monday night I watched one of my favorite TV shows, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations”. I’ve watched it for several years now and I think he is in his eighth season this year. His show is different and that is one of the attractions I have for the guy and his show. He is off the beaten path. His is a slick production. His choices of travel locations and show themes have always been interesting and very informative. I enjoy his humor too! He’s a cigarette smoking, trash talking, booze swillin’, drug ingestin’ brash, sarcastic and edgy travel show host whose episodes almost always hit the “G” spot on my entertainment button. At least he was in some of the earlier seasons.

I fear the ages are catching up with the illustrious Mr. Bourdain. He seems to have slowed. Gone are the smokes. He no longer puffs on the cigarettes! There have been some comments from him about Doctors telling him to watch his diet. Some references made to cholesterol intake as it relates to the massive amounts of fatty fattiness he consumes. He has always had a hedonistic approach to all things meaty. In particular the cuts often deemed undesirable, the parts others part with! If its meat of some kind and it comes in tubular form, all the better!!! I believe the man now takes statins!!!! Oh he still enjoys the good stuff that’s bad for you, it just seems to be a reserved enjoyment.

Gone are the drug induced stupors! Gone are the episodes where mass quantities of alcohol are consumed, at least on-air. Even Zamir Gotta, his Russian partner in crime, seems a bit tamer than before. Alcohol is still present in the show but it is not a focus anymore. And that’s good to an extent.  With age, all things exist and are enjoyed but in moderation and thus appreciated better. I can certainly relate to that!

It’s a show about food. It’s a show about traveling to a place, sampling their culture, their food and drink, and sometimes the way a particular culture parties. Even in its apparent “Lite” style now, “No Reservations” is still the premier travel show. He goes into a locale and looks into the culture itself and its food. He meets the people creating the food and gets their insights into their work, their vision. Bourdain examines how a people work, how they play and how and what, they eat. At the end of the show, you come away knowing a lot more about the places he visits and if you ever do get the chance to go there, certainly, you would have a better understanding than most.

Let’s talk about the food. A good portion of the food he samples is fine dining, gourmet food. Elegantly prepared in some of the finer restaurants and eateries in the world. Most of which very few of us would ever get the chance to try. Bourdain loves everyday food and especially street food as well. Nothing beats a late night stop at some greasy spoon diner on the way home after a night’s decadence and debauchery! Many of Tony’s stops are just that and he is just at home eating diner fare as he is gourmand grub.

I share some of his adventuristic food tendencies. I don’t mind eating a good bowl of “guts”. I will eat just about anything you put in front of me. I’ve had tripe, true barbacoa, mountain oysters, livers, kidneys, hearts, brains, whatever. I do draw the line at the private parts. This last Monday night, Tony and friends sampled fish sperm. They showed it sitting on the plate, sitting atop of what I think were vegetables and it looked like sperm. No. There is no way in hell I would ever eat the sperm of any fish or any other animal. I do not see how that can be appealing, appetizing or fulfilling in any way. I would not eat excrement either or drink urine. Also, I would not eat any animal penis. I know that sounds gross but it’s true. Anthony Bourdain has eaten penis, enjoys penis and has ate sperm as well. I definitely draw the line there at my food adventurism. You know times are hard when the only thing left of an animal to eat is his penis and sperm. I’ll go hungry, Thank you.

But that’s what Anthony Bourdain does, and still does to this day. He shows us the world we exist in today and sheds a new light on it. Shows us a better way to see places and peoples. He continually demonstrates that the best way to learn about a place, its people and their culture is through trying the food they eat. He shows us things we have missed or otherwise passed over on our way to the Eiffel Tower or Disney World. No matter what he does, no matter what he eats and whether he raises a lot of hell or merely eludes to the presence of hell, I’ll continue watching his shows. It’s one of the very few pieces of real entertainment on television anymore. It certainly beats Samantha Brown, when she’s not wearing a bikini.

Have a Blessed Day Ya’ll!

Todays “Did Ya Know?” It is “National Lost Sock Memorial” Day!!! Do you do laundry? Ever wash your socks? Well, unless you just go buy new clothes every time they get dirty, you have invariably lost a sock or two in your life. Now we have a day where we can remember our lost socks. Today we can even erect a memorial to those socks, or we can just remember. I remember every sock I have ever lost. There was one pair I had when I was young. They were bright purple. I remember the first time I slipped them on. So soft and yet firm. My toes felt clean and pampered by the soft cotton of those socks and when people saw them, they would say “Man those are some purple socks!” I would say “Yes!” “They are some purple socks!” I remember the feeling of loss I had when one day, one went missing. Never to be found. That’s the day I had my first beer and it’s been downhill ever since. It wasn’t even good beer.

Related Links:

Anthony Bourdain’s Official Website:

Anthony Bourdain’s Travel Channel Blog:

Official Website for the Bureau of Missing Socks:

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