Bourdain is Moving On

February 22, 2017

By Karen

Finally catching up on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, I watched the Rome episode the other night. Must admit I preferred his highly stylized black-and-white visit on No Reservations, but that’s not to say Parts Unknown is lacking. There has been something in every episode that grabs me in some way.

But what I didn’t catch in Rome was any vibe between Tony and the woman he spent a lot of air time with, Asia Argento. In hindsight, the scene of Tony in a grocery store with Asia and her two kids should have tipped me off. You have to be totally ga-ga about someone to tag along on that chore — with kids.

Anyway, Page Six and People just made it official. They’re an item. “Bourgento”? Asia is 41, Italian, divorced, tatted, and her Wikipedia entry lists her as an “actress, director, singer, model, DJ, writer.” A real Renaissance woman.

bourdain-argento-pagesix-gettyimages

Page Six – Getty Images

Did I mention she bears some resemblance to pre-MMA Ottavia?

If Tony’s happy, I’m happy, although I was hoping for someone age-appropriate. But we did see him bounce around after his first marriage with a few unlikely chicks before he fell for Ottavia, so I’ll still hold out hope for Nigella Lawson.

And now that I know he had something going on in Rome, that scene in the London episode of Nigella cooking Tony breakfast takes on new significance. I didn’t rewind to double-check, but was he wearing the same clothes from the night before, or was it my wishful thinking?

On the other hand, knowing how scenes get juxtaposed in the final cut, I’ll give Tony the benefit of the doubt that he and Nigella are still “just good friends.”

Bourdain recently gave an extensive interview to the New Yorker, for which author Patrick Radden Keefe deserves kudos for exhaustive research. (Note: This is the same piece I linked to as a must-read in the comments on an earlier post.)

Keefe gathered input from Nigella, Tony’s buddy Eric Ripert, brother Chris, and a host of others, including Ottavia. But the biggest coup was comments from first wife Nancy, who has been silent and elusive since the Bourdains divorced in 2005. Keefe reveals that Tony wrote to Nancy after he had a health scare while vacationing alone in France.

As always, Bourdain is pursuing myriad projects, including plans for Bourdain Market at Pier 57 in New York City, and popping up everywhere. Also, Bourdain and Ripert teamed with Williams-Sonoma to sell the limited-edition Good & Evil chocolate bar again. I think the price dropped from $18 to $12.95.

We original Cats Working Bourdainiacs have watched Tony achieve a level of fame where he makes the AOL homepage whenever he disses Donald Trump. I’m sharing just a few tidbits that have been highlights for me.

BONUS: Here’s an interesting in-depth analysis by Maria Bustillos for Eater of Bourdain’s three early novels and how they may have reflected the real Bourdain back in the days before his TV fame.


Trump Has Already Made Russia Our Greatest Ally

February 21, 2017

By Karen

Just not in the way Trump thinks.

While Trump keeps minions scurrying to mitigate the damage he inflicts daily on himself, Vladmir Putin watches, waits, and compiles a psychological dossier on Trump. When the two men meet face-to-face, we’ll hear Trump being played with such finesse, symphony conductors will melt in puddles of drool.

When Michael Flynn assured Russia’s ambassador that Trump might relax Obama’s sanctions, he actually sabotaged that possibility. If there’s one thing that terrifies congressional Republicans (besides Trump), it’s being perceived as Putin’s puppets.

After firing Flynn, Trump declared Flynn’s call a good idea, and that Trump “would have” ordered it himself (kind of reminds me of OJ Simpson’s book, If I Did It). Trump’s subtext was…

“Never fear, Vladmir, my future BFF. One of your boys had to go because he got caught, but I’ll make this up to you bigly. Trust me.”

Trump then dispatched Mike Pence to Europe, toting the baggage of being misled by Flynn and kept unaware of it by Trump, with orders to spread more lies like manure around the EU to hide Trump’s true intent to screw Western Europe.

Secretly, Pence just keeps smiling, reapplying his lipstick, and waiting in the wings for Mr. DeMille to tell him it’s time for his close-up, as Trump continues hacking an ever-widening path to his impeachment.

Meanwhile, Putin’s been pushing Trump’s buttons one by one — conducting cruise missile tests, buzzing U.S. naval vessels, trolling off our East Coast with his spy ship. He’s exploring what it will take for Trump’s ego to blurt-tweet that his dick is bigger than Vlad’s. So far, Trump has resisted the bait.

Trump naively believes Putin considers him an equally shrewd operator, playboy, and despot. But after a month of watching Trump boast, bully, and bumble, Putin knows the lying orange man-baby will never be a reliable ally, and he’s waiting for America’s disgust to build to a crescendo of cries for Congress to “DO SOMETHING!” about Trump.

But Congress will do nothing. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will wring their hands and make excuses, while John McCain and Lindsey Graham whimper in a corner…

…Until Putin unleashes the damning-beyond-a-doubt dirt he collected on Trump in 2013 when Trump visited Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.

Russia will force Congress to end Trump’s reign of terror.

You know, after Trump blabbered for years about being president and building Trump Tower Moscow, there’s no way Putin squandered his “golden opportunity” to spy on Trump on Russian soil and gain the upper hand, in case he ever needed it.

Our part in this is to continue mocking and resisting Trump’s idiocy until Putin knows that revealing his hand will bring lasting results.

Don’t cry for Trump. His own behavior makes his downfall inevitable. To have Putin confirm Trump’s probable financial corruption and possible perversity will be the coup de grâce.

The ultimate irony will be when Donald Trump forces Putin to deliver America from evil and, by default, become the most powerful leader on earth.


Let’s Make Laughter Trump’s Downfall

February 14, 2017

By Karen

I’ve been working on a Trump post for over a week, but the never-ending craziness eclipses what I write one minute with something worse the next.

Good news today is that national security advisor Michael Flynn threw himself on history’s trash heap as the Russian tool he’s always been. One down.

Sadly, Kellyanne Conway only got “counseled,” in lieu of the long suspension without pay she deserved, for giving Ivanka Trump a “free commercial” on Fox after Nordstrom abandoned her brand. T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Neiman-Marcus, Sears, and Kmart are doing likewise. Conflict of interest’s loss.

We’ve got a 70-year-old baby rampaging through the White House in a loaded diaper, screaming for attention however he can get it, and nary an adult in sight with the guts to, literally, change him.

Steve Bannon keeps Trump occupied while Bannon foments World War III by sitting Donald at his desk, shoving a big felt tip in his stubby fist, and providing stacks of important-looking papers to scribble on while fawning toadies watch. Trump holds up his handiwork and everybody admires  his cleverness.

“Look, Donald just made a BIG boom-boom. What a gooooood boy!”

“Look, Donald just made a BIG boom-boom. What a gooooood boy!”

trump-execorder-1

Signing his name illegibly is the only job skill Trump has mastered so far.

Getting himself up to speed on North Korea’s ballistic missile test at Mar-a-Lago last weekend in front of country club diners was just Trump seeing a new opportunity to drop a big, fat presidential boom-boom for all to admire, including Japan’s prime minister.

But it wasn’t quite received that way.

As Trump displays daily his ignorance, arrogance, and disregard for facts, Congress rubber stamps the parade of unqualified ass-clowns Trump calls a cabinet. And Bannon churns out executive orders for Trump to sign without reading so Trump can take the fall when Bannon’s overreach and rookie mistakes go public.

What can concerned citizens do? I say we give Trump the Saturday Night Live treatment.

Laugh at Trump and every scumbag who enables him. Mock them mercilessly. Let Trump and his cronies be greeted everywhere with jeers and boos.

Trump’s a thin-skinned bully who can dish it out but can’t take it. Let’s make him take it from all sides, every minute, every day. The incompetent heads who lose face will start rolling out of the White House after Michael Flynn’s. To slowly, relentlessly waterboard Trump with derisive laughter will erode his sanity like nothing else can.

Watch how Trump made his mark on Scotland. They’ll be dancing in the streets the day we’re rid of him…

Every time we’re forced to listen to an ill-informed flunky spew nonsense, let’s respond with this…

Let’s dissect and reject the tactics of his dedicated lie-spewing machine…

I hope TV networks decide Kellyanne Conway adds nothing to meaningful discourse and stop booking her. Trump may threat-tweet, “See you in court!” but nobody’s First Amendment right to free speech guarantees air time. Let her start a blog.


UnFoodie Tackles Zucchini Chips

January 31, 2017

By Karen

My weight has been creeping up, so I’m back on the Weight Watchers® Points Plus plan in earnest to get things back under control. The biggest hurdle is that all crunchy, carb-based snacks cost way too many points, so I continue seeking alternatives. I consider things like celery and hummus more of a punishment than a snack.

Remember my experiment with collard chips? Once the acrid taste of burnt weeds had faded from memory, I was ready to try again when I saw this easy recipe for Sea Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips (the link is a short video) in Cooking Light magazine. At only 57 calories per 24 chips, it was WW-friendly.

And the stars were in alignment. I had a zucchini that needed killing and the other ingredients, so what the hell?

The article said, “Light, crisp, and just as good as their junk-food counterparts, these veggie chips are a revelation.”

The recipe…

1 7 oz. zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 48)
1 tbsp. malt vinegar
½ tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. sea salt (which was laughably insufficient)

While preheating the oven to 200 degrees, I combined the sliced zucchini, vinegar, and oil in a bowl, tossed it, and let it sit for 10 minutes while I lined a baking sheet with parchment. I then laid out the zucchini and sprinkled it with sea salt. So far, so good…

zucchini-raw

After an hour…

Sure seemed like a lot more when I started. Time to flip them!

Sure seemed like a lot more when I started. Time to flip them!

Two hours…

Finally starting to brown, but still not crispy, and still shrinking.

Finally starting to brown, but still not crispy, and still shrinking.

After three hours…

The incredible shrinking snack.

The incredible shrinking snack.

Here’s what I ended up with. This bowl holds about a cup and I ate every chip myself without counting them — and then raided the cupboard for a real snack.

You won't be asking anybody to pass the dip.

You won’t be asking anybody to pass the dip.

To call them a “revelation” borders on Trumpian hyperbole. They were certainly not worth three hours of my life. My recommendation is to leave these wispy little time-sucks to the experts who sell them in bags.


Melania Trump, Second Fiddle First Lady

January 25, 2017

By Adele

After Donald Trump’s demeanor toward his trophy wife Melania on inauguration day, I get why she’s staying in New York with Barron. Maybe her absence will make Trump’s cold black heart grow fonder.

This video has been circulating, comparing how the Obamas and Trumps arrived at the White House on their big days. It’s telling…

NOTE 2/1/17: Aha, the video above is broken. Trump’s stifling of the First Amendment has begun. Fortunately, his boorish and dismissive behavior toward Melania during those moments is an irrefutable matter of public record…

Melania seems to know 10 paces behind Trump is the safest place to be.

And now watch both men and their wives at the inauguration ceremony…

Melania at 46 still looks like a model. Two days after the inauguration, January 22, was the Trump’s 12th wedding anniversary. I couldn’t find a word about Trump noting the occasion; most reports filled the void by mentioning a 25-carat diamond ring he gave her on their 10th.

Melania’s gift to Trump was to fly back to New York.

Melania’s blue Ralph Lauren ensemble for the inauguration was chic, if a bit matchy-matchy. Didn’t anyone tell her there was serious walking involved and she needed sensible heels? Her dogs must have been barking that night. Trump did throw her the bone of holding her hand as they strutted along the parade route.

Everyone expected the billionaire’s wife’s inaugural ball gown to mesmerize and eclipse anything in recent memory, including Michelle Obama’s first one, with wads of dryer sheets stuck all over it.

President Donald Trump, left, arrives with first lady Melania Trump at the Liberty Ball, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Donald Trump, left, arrives with first lady Melania Trump at the Liberty Ball, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Apparently, Melania helped Hervé Pierre, formerly of Carolina Herrera, design the gown. The result was a dress that dragged on the ground, a flounce that made her look wider from the side, and a slit almost up to her hoo-ha. And what was with that red string around her waist? A secret shout-out to Putin?

But after seeing how Trump treated her all day, I can imagine how she instructed Pierre…

“I must not have anything too showy. Make it as plain and simple as possible. No beads, no sparkle. Donald will be very upset with me if I upstage him. He must be the center of attention at all times or it will go very bad for me, if you know what I mean.”

So Pierre did his best to gussy up a sackcloth. On the positive side, if Melania can fend off the Smithsonian and lose the belt, that gown will make a dandy bathing suit cover-up this summer.

BONUS: Here’s some backstory on their lavish wedding. Notice Melania’s scary eyes right after the ceremony.


Hillary, PLEASE Skip Trump’s Inauguration

January 18, 2017

By Karen

Dear Hillary,

What the hell are you and Bill thinking? After all the poor decisions during the campaign that caused you to blow it with the Electoral College, how can you add this boneheaded move to the pile? NOBODY wants to see you behind Trump as he gets sworn in to the job you should have gotten — except maybe Trump.

Forget the baloney about the “peaceful transfer of power.” That’s Obama’s hand-off to make, not yours, not Bill’s. Obama will have George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter watching his back. Three former presidents kowtowing to Trump will be stomach-churning enough.

Besides, Trump has no interest in peace. He never hesitates to verbally attack countries, world leaders (exception Putin), and even individual American citizens. And on Friday, this country hands him all our bombs and our military might. Do you really want to stand there and condone that?

You know Trump won’t resist gloating and smirking at you as he takes the job you worked so hard for. And when he does, the heads of the 2,864,974 more Americans who voted for you over Trump will explode. It will be the last straw after having the Electoral College spit on their votes.

Your presence in Washington will only stoke fury in hundreds of thousands of people who will be there on Saturday to protest Trump and every abomination he stands for. Do you really want to do that? Don’t you think Trump himself has already given people plenty to be incensed about without giving him the opportunity to diss you one more time?

Dozens of congress members won’t be there, nor will your successor, Secretary of State John Kerry. I’m begging you and Bill to follow their example and stay home.


Trump’s a Product of Poor Potty Training

January 10, 2017

By Karen

Donald Trump’s introduction to the toilet must have been so traumatic it’s influencing all his behavior today. My theory is that Trump’s nannies didn’t praise every boom-boom he made effusively enough to suit him so, as an adult, he wants to force the world to make it up to him.

It would be unseemly and messy for Trump to go around literally dropping deuces for all to admire, although I don’t rule it out in the future as his mind continues to unravel. Right now, his bathroom sessions mostly manifest as tweets.

Trump spends an inordinate time on Twitter. It’s like he’s trying to outdo himself by making every tweet stink more than the last, intended to dazzle and shock and elicit praise for his cleverness.

So far, we’ve seen Trump raise his leg on the established etiquette of quietly getting up to speed on his new job while the current president finishes his term undisturbed. Trump has pissed all over Obama’s recent decisions on Israel, Russia, and Gitmo. He’s sprayed diarrhea in the face of the media and our intelligence agencies. He tries to dominate every news cycle like a petulant brat who can’t stand NOT to be the adults’ center of attention.

He does all this while fomenting the Porta-Potty stench of nepotism, conflicts of interest, and even treason that will hang over Washington for the duration of his term like the rankest aftershave.

Trump obviously believes the more he reeks, the more attention he gets. And if it’s negative, that’s OK. It’s more fodder for his Twitter dumps.

We see Trump strut and preen, smirk and gloat like an evil toddler with a load in his pants, seeking to foul the shoes of the next grownup who crosses him. Just ask Meryl Streep, who decried at the Golden Globes everything Trump stands for…

His closest advisors (his son-in-law?) and billionaire cabinet members — unqualified, lacking appropriate experience, and some even opposed to the very existence of the entities they’ll oversee — are little more than a pile of steaming turds Trump’s shoveling at Congress with glee. We can only hope some get flushed during confirmation hearings.

At this point, it doesn’t matter who you voted for. No rational adult can be watching Trump’s boorish, fact-free, childishly destructive approach to running this country and not be filled with dread.

China already has Trump’s number, and it’s No. 2. To celebrate their upcoming Year of the Rooster, they erected in Taiyuan on Dec. 24 this giant sculpture with Trump’s hairstyle and hand gestures.

© STR/AFP/Getty Images

© STR/AFP/Getty Images


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