Bourdain Does the Philippines: Redux

By Karen

Since Bourdain’s visit to the Philippines got thoroughly documented once the No Reservations producers realized the foolishness and futility of trying to muzzle the blogosphere, I’m returning to my original post on it. The episode airs February 16.

Last week I was contacted by a woman from Room214 in Colorado, a company that helps the Travel Channel foster word-of-mouth buzz for some of its programs. She confessed to being a long-time Cats Working lurker and offered me, as an “influential blogger” (her words, not mine), some “inside scoop” on upcoming episodes.

My first dose of scoop was on the Philippines, and I’ll confess feeling underwhelmed. To repeat it would make me a PR flack for Bourdain and he’d lose all respect for me. However, if you want to read it, So Much More Than a Mom posted it verbatim.

Since Cats Working readers have come to expect original content, I resurrected my original October 24, 2008, observations on this episode, which were fresh at the time. It’s the post I pulled because Claude Tayag’s nephew asked me to when he told me that the NR producers were concerned about leaks. If you compare it to what Room214’s putting out there in advance buzz, it’s inconsequential. Here it is:

Bourdain’s Smoking in the Philippines

Anthony Bourdain checked in with fans on his blog and graciously endured a ritual flogging over the dismal results of his recent special, At the Table With Anthony Bourdain, while en route to shooting a long-awaited episode of No Reservations in the Philippines.

Filipino bloggers have been tracking him. Our Awesome Planet reported (in the post he was asked to delete, but I read it first) that Tony was in Pampanga at Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung on October 23, with plans to do an “Ultimate Pampanga Tour” on the 25th, which includes eating “juicy kwentos from Tito Claude.”

Tony with Mr. and Mrs. Claude Tayag (Photo - Jumbo Tayag)

Tony with Mr. and Mrs. Claude Tayag (Photo – Jumbo Tayag)

This blog also reports that Tony drained the place of an apparently nasty beer called San Mig Light that earned a “D+ avoid” rating with the Beer Advocate. I assume Tony’s holding one in the photo.

Awesome Planet went on to say Tony was the first (and last) person allowed to smoke in Bale Dutung. Now I’m wondering if Tony isn’t holding a cigarette in the right hand he’s coyly concealing, in case the photo ever falls into Ottavia’s hands?

The blog post ended saying that a trip to Aling Lucing’s Sisig was canceled because “lasheng na si Bourdain. hahahahaha.”

I couldn’t find a translation for this phrase, so maybe someone who speaks the language can help me out. I suspect it has something to do with “raging hangover.”

(UPDATE: Before I yanked this post, several readers commented that the remark had to do with drunkenness, and I was unable to find a translation because the spelling was slurred for effect.)

Perhaps that nightmare of a posh meal “At the Table” was a wake-up call. The old Bourdain seems to be back.

Now, back to the present…

As a tie-in to his visit, Tony gave Filipino magazine, Rogue, an interview. A Whiff of Lemongrass captured one page of it. The interviewer seemed to be using the list of questions Bourdain has answered a million times, but Tony does get in a good dig at food bloggers.

Anthropologist reported a few more of Bourdain’s comments.

And if Tony needed any more evidence that he’s sorely missed on Top Chef — and new guest judge Toby Young is suffering mightily in comparison — Blogging Top Chef posted results of yet another poll. Their first names may differ by only one letter, but in style and wit, Tony and Toby are light years apart.

And I just came across this first-hand account (with photos) from Profumo Profondo, who dined at Les Halles that memorable night Bourdain returned to work a double shift and invited Eric Ripert to man the grill station.

Meanwhile, I’m beginning prep for my own live encounter with Bourdain in Durham, NC, on February 19.


51 Responses to Bourdain Does the Philippines: Redux

  1. I don’t mind being a “PR Flack” since I don’t have any illusions about AB knowing anything at all about me or my blog so there’s no chance I’ll lose any respect from him. Additionally, if he doesn’t have respect for fans who plug his show, no matter how unoriginal the content, then I have to admit that would cause me to lose respect for him.

  2. catsworking says:

    Mom, I was in no way implying that you are a PR flack. You’ve chosen your approach to writing about Bourdain, relatively recently, I think, and I fell into my groove over a year ago. And I do know for a fact that he’s aware of Cats Working. If after all the posts I’ve done about him from my own point of view, I started spouting something a PR firm sends me, it would ring phony and disappoint my readers. I’ve always tried to go at least one layer below the hype.

    I think there’s a place for what you’re doing and I’m sure the folks at No Res appreciate your support. Keep it up and I’ll just keeping linking to your blog. There’s no need for both of us to repeat the same material, and I share this blog with some cats who would scratch my eyes out if I started posting commercials here.

    Are we friends again?

  3. annonymous says:

    I think Room214 is trying to personalize the message too much, that when you see the same text in like 4 separate blogs (which is easy enough to google); it loses that “inside scoop” effect that they are trying to achieve.
    Reading the bits of information since the October shoot, it sounded like the Claude Tayag shoot was delayed for a few hours (I read that equipment broke even before they started the trip to Pampanga). The actual shoot ended well into the night, and Claude Tayag even mentioned when he served the NR crew their dinner after the shoot that 2 of the crew members had not had a bite to eat for 12 hours. So whether Tony was drunk or not, it seemed that everyone was spent and going to another location that late in the evening was probably not a good option. I understand Claude took them to the location (Aling Lucing’s sisig) the next day.

  4. We do have very different approaches. I wrote one post discussing the show and why I like it. I was then asked to post weekly PR blogs and agreed. That’s about as far as I’m ever going to go. I don’t get into the behind the scenes stuff or his personal life. I just like the show.

    We were never not friends.

  5. catsworking says:

    annon, when Bourdain was in the Philippines, before the blog clamp-down, there was a lot of info out there about the shoot, just about all of it I’ve forgotten. I do remember Claude Tayag wrote a lengthy account of his scenes in the episode, and I may have linked to them here somewhere months ago.

    I don’t think any location Bourdain has visited generated as much buzz as the Philippines. They were thrilled to have him, and I’m sure it will come through in the final cut.

  6. catsworking says:

    Mom, it sounds like you got the Travel Channel’s attention (openly) LONG before I did. I suspect they were on the fence about me until I suggested the Food Porn episode might be Emmy-worthy because I’ve always covered Bourdain warts and all.

    My blog stats reveal that many readers find Cats Working by searching on Bourdain’s family, past and present. After reading 4 or 5 of his books, I was curious myself and did some idle Googling one day to see what I could find out and posted some of it here. The rest is history.

    But as annonymous said, there is potential for unintended consequences if too many bloggers start posting identical hype in advance of each episode. They will cancel each other out and could hurt their own credibility. When it becomes apparent that the Travel Channel is actively trying to manipulate the buzz, the game is up.

    Something like this has happened before to bloggers who agreed to become spokespeople for various companies or products for money, but not reveal to their readers that they were giving paid endorsements. When the truth came out, they were toast.

    I don’t post anything here that anyone else couldn’t readily find with a bit of digging, although I do usually add my own opinion, and I try to present all sides, so I don’t feel any twinges of conscience in going behind the scenes to contribute another layer of understanding.

    My approach is definitely more labor-intensive, but as a professional writer, I feel it’s my obligation to add original ideas to the mix to promote my own work.

    I’m not trying to take anything away from you, Mom. I guess it just boils down to what we each want to accomplish through blogging.

  7. I only wish they were paying me for the weekly PR posts, although the autographed pic was fantastic!

  8. Ingrid says:

    Hi Karen,

    I’m sorry that I was not able to give more revealing details about the episode. We are only able to provide a brief synopsis which does indeed go to various bloggers.

    Our outreach is designed to engage people who have demonstrated an interest in Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. However bloggers would like to embrace the information I send is entirely up to them.

    It is not our intention to manipulate the buzz. We do not pay any of the bloggers who receive the inside scoop, and they are under no contractual obligation to write about the show. Our goal is to interact with fans in hopes that we are adding to the online conversation.

    As a devoted Bourdain fan and blogger, you are obviously influential and we appreciate your perspective. I hope that I was able to clarify our intentions.


  9. catsworking says:

    Mom, I really did admire that autographed picture you received. Suitable for framing!

    But I can’t complain, because I got his whole family’s autographs (well, sort of, he wrote for the two who couldn’t) on that Christmas card. I’m still looking for the perfect frame for it.

  10. catsworking says:

    Hi, Ingrid, Thanks so much for checking in!

    Readers, this is the woman from Room214 who contacted me. I didn’t name her in case she wanted to stay under the radar.

    Ingrid, as you’ve seen, your “inside scoop” has generated some discussion. I hope you will keep me on your mailing list even if I don’t always (OK, maybe never) publish what you send. It’s useful to me because you may mention something that connects to something else I’ve turned up and enable me to create some new content for the ongoing dialog, which is basically how I’ve always operated.

    I think Mom does a great job of presenting what you provide and, since I can’t improve on that, there’s no need for me to duplicate it, and linking to her blog helps us both.

    I tend to review No Res episodes after they air unless I find some blogger providing authentic inside scoop on the shooting I can reference. Because Travel Channel tends to rerun each episode into the ground, I hope my day-after approach is helpful in maintaining the buzz.

    And thanks for saying I’m “influential.” I don’t know about that so much, but my numbers are starting to look healthy!

  11. Jen says:

    Interesting, it seems like you have some kind of resentment for the travel channel or something????

  12. catsworking says:

    Jen, what??? Who said anything about resenting the Travel Channel? They’re not even involved in this. Room214 is a 3rd-party company hired by the Travel Channel to increase social media and online buzz about their shows. I linked to the press release about that. I’ve got no problem with it at all, since we’re talking about TV shows. And damn good shows, at that.

    But how would you like it if some company with crappy products and/or customer service was recruiting bloggers to sing its praises (usually for money) but not reveal to their readers the real source of the hype? Would you trust that blogger after that? I wrote about this practice once for a magazine article. It HAS happened, and probably still does.

    That said, I’m not implying that Room214 is doing anything wrong. Ingrid has provided full transparency in her comment right here and I really respect her for that. Besides, the information she’s providing on No Res is very harmless and will be in the public domain as soon as the show airs.

    This morning I found 3 other blogs, including the one I linked to, providing the same exact writeup on the Philippines episode. That’s fine for them, but Cats Working has always furnished original content, no matter what the topic. That’s my only point.

    Besides, I don’t think anyone would expect a blog called CATS Working to be one of the pack. Cats don’t work that way. 😉

  13. Jen says:

    I was just refering to the “better than all of that” kind of attitude in your post. This is why I am a dog person. 😉

  14. MorganLF says:

    First of all Jen, the specific appeal of this blog is that we seek more intimate knowledge of our favorite public persona: Bourdain. Therefore, we speculate and through the contributions of various posters and sources it is often times rewarding to see that our intuitions are valid. I post here regularly and this is in NO way a food blog or a No Reservations blog. Tony has his blog on the Travel Channel website…ever try to wade through it? I read his posts but the comments are so egg headed and obtuse I rarely bother to wade through them.

    This is a fun place where we dish on his hotness, and smart assedness. Some of us knew him when, and some of us grew up right near him. All of our observations and reminiscences from a past era make for amusing reading.

    There are occasional links to other blogs as we all ferret out nuggets but the content is all original point of view. I would hate this site if all Karen did was write about the show and a bunch of pontificating douche bags argued about where to find the best bowl of pho. This here is a hard core fan site, the show is ancillary. The content is fresh and diverse and Karen keeps it fair. I personally can’t wait for her take on their meeting, that is if she does not go into a dead faint!

  15. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I was waiting for some of my regular peeps to jump into this discussion. I knew you’d see my point. Thank you!

    In Jen’s defense, I think she may be new to the blog (why would a dog person be reading Cats Working anyway?), and it seems she just walked in on the tail end of this without getting a good feel for the rest of it.

    The cats are sitting here laughing at the corner I painted myself into by mentioning that we only post original content. Apparently, that makes us elitists to some people.

    I may be mistaken, but I thought Cats Working was on So Much More Than a Mom’s blogroll, but it’s not there now, so it would seem I did offend her. (Mom, if you’re still reading, the reason I haven’t put you on this blogroll is that it’s pretty cat-centric, and our content, except for the Bourdain stuff, doesn’t seem to overlap much. Nothing personal.)

    Personally, I don’t see the purpose of anyone Googling “Anthony Bourdain Philippines” and getting a list of blogs all posting identical content. That gets old fast and just makes the search for fresh material so much harder.

    And Jen, if you’re still reading, I apologize if I came off sounding “better than all of that” to you. What I meant was, “I work hard at writing this blog myself to make it lively and entertaining than all of that.” To each his (or her) own.

  16. Nickole says:

    To put my two cents in too… I know I don’t want to read a PR paragraph. We all watch the show. We all like it. I don’t really need some propaganda added to the mix.

    Karen, keep up the good work.

  17. catsworking says:

    Thank you, Nickole.

    I was just sitting here chuckling at the idea that I’m catching heat for being original. Go figure. It may be considered taking the “high road” to simply reproduce PR copy, but many, many people have apparently found this blog by Googling terms pertaining to the other side of Bourdain. There’s a lot of curiosity out there. I think the phrase MOST searched that leads people here is “Anthony Bourdain wife.”

    Well, it comes in a close second to the word “tiger,” which brings them to the Tatiana posts. I wonder if “tiger” has some kind of porn connection, because I also still get quite a few hits from searches on “Laura Bush’s breasts.” Imagine what sickos those must be!

    (For the record, I NEVER wrote about Laura Bush’s breasts. Adele wrote about her getting excited about breast cancer in the United Arab Emirates when it’s a much more widespread problem here at home. The U.A.E. population is about 2/3 male.)

  18. Bob says:

    Jeeeze I go away for a weekend with my Valentine and this is how all you Kitty’s Carry on….

    How do you manage to stir up such a hornets nest??

    But I must agree with you, Well said Morgan…
    This is indeed not an Anthony Bourdain Blog.. Yes we do ferret out the little bits. In my case it’s not about his “HOTNESS” EWWW.. To each their own.. I like his anti-establishment attitude and the really cool food he gets to try.

    Karen, although I am glad that you did not post the comments from room 214, but in the same breath thank you Ingid for passing them along just the same.

    In that regard we do share a common interest, and as Karen has said any post can tip any one of us on to something new that is buried out there.

    Later and Play Nice..

    OHHH Only a few more sleeps…TEE HEEE
    Remember Fresh Batteries for your Camera.

    Glad I had a good Weekend!!!

  19. catsworking says:

    Bob, for the record, you’ve never given any indication here that you have the hots for Bourdain, so you’re good.

    As for my ability to generate controversy, the cats are saying, “Gee, we turn over the keyboard and let her do one of THOSE posts, and she steps right into the dirty kitty litter!”

    Years ago, I worked for a guy who told me I could make him madder faster than anybody else in his life.

    Seems I haven’t lost my touch! But that’s what blogging is all about or it would have died of boredom before now.

    I have no beef whatsoever with what Room214 sent me; I just didn’t find any of it noteworthy enough to post here, especially when I saw that So Much More Than a Mom had beat me to it. (And this morning I found that several other blogs had as well.) I also don’t post links to interviews where Bourdain answers the last meal and worst meal questions yet AGAIN, unless there’s also something fresh included that I think might interest you guys.

    And I have no problem providing links to Ingrid’s inside scoop as it appears on other blogs if I decide not to use it myself.

    My own interest in Bourdain is by far as a writer. I love his style and his insights. His travel comes in second, since I will probably never get to many of the places I’d like to see. The food is third. Half the time I have no idea what he’s eating, but watching him do it has raised my awareness and my curiosity quite a bit.

    I was reading the camera manual over the weekend to make sure I know what all those little icons mean so I don’t screw up any pictures I may get a chance to take in Durham. I’m terrible with icons. And I will put in new batteries just in case.

    And I’ve packed my Neo (a simple keyboard with a tiny display — used by writers and small children) so I can return to my motel and quickly pound out everything that I see/hear while it’s fresh.

    Now that the week has finally arrived, I am feeling kind of edgy.

  20. adele says:

    Sorry to be so late checking in; I’ve had a busy few days. Wow! The last time I checked, I thought Karen and Mom had made up and all was well. I think it’s safe to say that many of us stumbled on to the blog because of interest in Bourdain, but I’ve stayed for the cats’ posts and the humor and the good writing.

    I’ve never found this to be an elitist blog, and even when we start out talking about TB, other stuff creeps in, and it’s fun — whether it’s the sauce-gravy debate or reminscences of childhood in different parts of the country. It’s a nice little group, and I, for one, appreciate all the tidbits, you’ve gleaned, and they’re not the kind of thing one would get from a PR release — not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s just not the approach of this blog. It’s a big blogosphere, and everyone should be able to find a spot.

    Just 3 more days til Tony time; I can’t wait to read that post and see the pictures. I’ll be in Tucson, but I’ll have access to a computer.

  21. I’m good, please leave me out of the drama.

  22. catsworking says:

    Mom, consider it done. Thanks.

  23. Bob says:

    So Has anyone seen the new episode???

    I am still a day behind


  24. Nancy (not THAT Nancy) says:

    Karen, add me to the voices saying you’re doing great. After reading your comments here, I have even more respect for you. Good job at keeping your blog independent, fair…and interesting. Keep it up.

  25. catsworking says:

    Bob, I’m with you. I’m in bed by 10, so I always tape the show on VHS on Monday night, then watch it on Tuesday while it transfers to DVD.

    I know, you ask, why the convoluted taping? Because the DVD kept cutting off the last few minutes if I set the timer just right, or added the previous show’s closing to the beginning. With my method, I can control exactly what goes to DVD.

    Kind of anal, I know, but when it comes to something as important as having a complete set of NR (albeit with commercials), I take no shortcuts.

  26. catsworking says:

    Nancy, thank you. You, and all my other supportive readers, have made my day.

    I’ll admit I was kind of miffed at the flack I got for saying I don’t want recycled fluff on Cats Working. Then when I realized I was defending my efforts to add original thought to the blogosphere, I told myself, “Get over it. You’re right!”

    As a working writer who faces rejection, editing, and rewriting of my “golden prose” nearly every day of my life, I’ve developed a fairly thick skin for criticism of my work, which is why I let most of the negative comments through here. It would be easier and more face-saving to simply click “Delete.”

    But it’s always nice to receive reinforcement from regular readers like you who get what this is all about. Cats Working has grown into a labor of love (certainly not one of money!), and your comments make me and the cats feel it’s worthwhile.

    And as for my ruffling anyone’s feathers, it’s something I used to do almost instinctively when I labored in Corporate America, and I’ve got several former bosses who would willingly testify to that.

    I’m from Massachusetts, and since John Adams, we have had a reputation for being independent, outspoken, and even radical. Thirty-six years in Virginia haven’t made me forget my roots. 🙂

  27. MorganLF says:

    Come on Bob yout think he’s hot you can’t fool us!

  28. Bob says:

    Ok Morgan … Just a little. 😉

  29. Did you watch it yet or still on DVR?

  30. Bob says:

    I am still waiting for it to pop up on the net so I can download it and watch it…GRRRRRRR

  31. Bob says:

    Karen are you leaving on your trip tomorrow???

    Have FUN… Remember Winnipeg ROCKS 🙂

  32. Nancy (not THAT Nancy) says:

    Karen, I also make my living as a freelance writer and I know that occasionally we can lose perspective. This happened to me recently when a (long-term high-profile client was pretty much putting me through the wringer for the umpteenth time, and finally I said, screw it. Damn the bad economy, there has to be better options than this. I decided that would be my last job for this client.

    Anyway, stick to your guns, you did the right thing. Corporate pukes are a dime a dozen.

  33. Nancy (not THAT Nancy) says:

    Oh yeah, the episode…you know, I just don’t find the Philippines on my list of top ten places I’d like to visit based on what I saw of the food. I’ve had delicious roasted goat in the past, so much that I just can’t see eating the brains and eyeballs for fun. The food generally looked pretty terrible, aside from the outdoor venue they had with the roasted pig. Otherwise, bland and nasty. It just wasn’t a particularly appealing place at all, not the location, not the people, not the food.

    Especially after watching the Spain rerun…that had me Googling travel packages while the episode was on.

  34. catsworking says:

    Nancy, one of the reasons I finally went freelance was that I was sick of getting laid off and fired by idiots who resented hearing the truth. For many years I rotted away in a cubicle, worried about performance reviews written by people who didn’t know how to do their own jobs, let alone anything about mine.

    If health insurance doesn’t eat me alive and leave me no choice, I hope never to return to Corporate America. Even from my position on the outside looking in, I often get disgusted. People of marginal competence constantly screwing up, covering up, accomplishing little of value, blowing their own deadlines, all while collecting nice, regular paychecks (particularly during December – NOBODY does any work).

    Freelancing gives me the freedom to walk away from abusive situations where once I was hostage. Also, I can run errands and take naps whenever I want without being judged by some nitwit who sits in his office playing solitaire all day trying to look busy.

  35. catsworking says:

    Nancy, I’m with you on the Philippines episode. I didn’t think it was particularly special, and certainly didn’t justify all the panic that ensued back in October when Filipino bloggers were writing about the shoot.

    I had to turn away a few times when Bourdain strayed into Zimmern territory, such as with that goat head. And I’m sure the roast pig was tasty, but I can’t stand seeing whole animals cooked like that. Not even fish with the head on. OK, call me a hypocritical pansy.

    I thought the crab dishes looked fantastic, though.

    And as Ingrid said, we did get a glimpse at Tony’s softer side, particularly when he was holding that little girl who may have been about Ariane’s age. And his amazing compassion toward Augusto, who essentially tried to get him to the Philippines on false pretenses. After all the warm, welcoming family scenes he’s shot elsewhere (like Korea), Tony couldn’t fail to notice the silence bordering on hostility of Augusto’s relatives at being forced to cook for and eat with a stranger at camera-point. It was very gracious of No Res to return the hospitality with the more casual pig roast.

    As time goes on, Bourdain definitely seems to be more in command in these situations and able to handle them with grace. Even if they don’t make for the most compelling TV, he’s definitely spreading goodwill that’s been in short supply for the past 8 years and showing us all how NOT to be ugly Americans.

  36. I’m laughing out loud, by myself…seriously. It’s SO true that if I don’t laugh I’ll cry. Even being unemployed and needing an income I SO don’t want to do THAT ever again! There are way too many nitwits playing solitaire in the corporate world, and they’re all in management! I worked for one company for 4 years, during which time each new regional manager that came in changed the dress code multiple times. It was the most ridiculous thing ever. They just needed to “make decisions” so they focused on the only thing they really understood…dress code….who really cares??!! BTW…the company went under even though we were dressed impeccably. 🙂

    The Phillipines episode was…boring, I thought. I agree that the only appealing thing about the show was the pig roast (and AB looking sexy in that black shirt earlier in the episode). What I want to know is…where’s the SNARK?? That’s what I love about him and it’s sadly missing this season. I don’t think he’s gone on a rant since the blowholes.

  37. catsworking says:

    Mom, I once had a boss who made the dress code her personal crusade. It was a downtown office, so women often changed into sneakers to walk the city streets at lunchtime — sneakers inside the building were banned. That meant people had to change shoes outside and carry their dress shoes in the streets. So a compromise was struck: If your toes were pointed TOWARD the door (going out), sneakers OK. And you could wear them straight FROM the door to your desk when you got back. Any detours, and you were in big trouble.

    This same boss also threatened to “rethink” my position in management because I was once one of the few people who showed up during a snowstorm and sat in my office all day without changing from jeans to a skirt and hose. I made the mistake of letting her see me for a split second while I dropped something off in her office.

    Talk about emphasis on form over substance! And this was just the tip of the iceburg of the craziness. Somehow, I lasted there 8 years, but I made my boss’s life a living hell whenever possible and she was probably thrilled when I finally asked to be laid off during yet another merger. Believe it or not, today we still exchange Christmas cards and are very cordial.

    She’d faint if she saw me working today — sweats and slippers!

    Bourdain’s snark on No Res has been noticeably absent since he became a father. I guess it’s hard to instantly switch gears from being a sarcastic bastard in public to a kind and loving parent in private, so he just toned it down for his own mental health. But the snark seems to be alive and well in much of his writing, and he occasionally pulls off zingers in interviews.

  38. catsworking says:

    Bob, I leave for Durham early Thursday afternoon and will be back by lunchtime Friday. The weather is forecast to be dry, but cool, so the roads should be fine. And I will chanting “Winnipeg ROCKS” so I don’t forget it.

  39. MorganLF says:

    I work for one of those a-holes! He really just got promoted has no managerial skills but has only ever worked here and he is the owner’s “boy”. I outrank him in years and skills.

    His management style is to call you in several times a week close the door and prop his feet up on his desk. We had a blowout the other day now I ignore him. I have a lazy coworker who is stooping to abject blathering, sycophantic, flattery and grovelling …to keep his job (BUT DOES NO WORK) and this jerk laps it up. So who knows if he props his feet up in my face one more time..he’ll be wearing his ass for a hat….and I’ll be freelancing!

  40. Bob says:

    Karen .. Have a great time tomorrow… Remember to take lots of pictures.. And take time to laugh at the witty banter.

    are you bringing your Christmas Card??? Not to have it signed obviously but to see if He Sent it or if it was one of his peeps???

    Have a Great Time.
    With you in Spirit

    PS.. Plug Winnipeg 😛

  41. sh!tstarter says:

    Get a hug!

  42. catsworking says:

    Oh, Morgan, I have seen and worked for that type so many times. It’s deja vu all over again…

    In my last gig in Corporate America, I quit to freelance just days after I was told not to expect my boss to speak to me until he gave me my performance appraisal because he didn’t like talking to people who weren’t of his rank, even if they reported to him.

    This same jerk offered me the job and I accepted, only to have the offer rescinded after I had quit my previous job (to crawl back to it would have been too humiliating). His HR dept. said he didn’t follow the proper internal posting procedure. So I was unemployed for 7 weeks until they got no nibbles internally and re-offered the position to me. I should have told them to go to hell, but this was right after 9/11, jobs were hard to find, and I needed to work.

    I lasted exactly 3 months.

    You know if there’s ever a need to downsize at your company, the ass-kisser will stay and you will go. It doesn’t matter that the work will suffer greatly. That never seems to matter. You have become a mosquito and must be squashed.

  43. Nancy (not THAT Nancy) says:

    I love freelancing, but I know it does get a little hairy when we don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few months. I had a sweet contract for quite a few years and I miss those days. I’ve been on my own since 1995 and I don’t regret it one bit. I am just not cut out for office politics or a 9 to 5 routine.

  44. catsworking says:

    Nancy, we could be sisters. Now that I’ve been out on my own for 7 years, I would pity the next poor fool who gets me for an employee because I’m probably less suited than ever to cubicle life. I, too, had a very well-paying freelance newsletter gig that provided a modest base income and lasted for 4 years. It dried up in budget cuts 2 years ago and I’ve yet to find anything comparable to replace it, which has hurt enormously.

    Thanks for the good wishes, Mom!

    Just FYI to everyone. I am back. I met Bourdain. And I stayed up past midnight writing down everything I could remember him saying. It won’t all appear here because I won’t give away his whole schtick for free, but I’ll sift through it for some new tidbits to share. I got only a photo or 2 (they were sort of Nazi-ish about that). I’m exhausted right now and work came in while I was gone, so you may have to wait a bit for me to organize my scoop.

    Oh, and I’m here to tell about it, so at least you know he let me live. More detail on that to come as well. I will say that I may never wash the right shoulder of my red sweater again. 🙂

  45. First, let me say that I understand you’re exhausted AND need to work.

    Having said that, YOU’RE KILLING US!!!! 🙂

  46. catsworking says:

    I know, Mom, and I’m sorry about that. But that’s also why I want to make sure I do a good job telling the story. It’s one of the great climactic moments of Cats Working.

    After all the discussion last week about Room214’s “inside scoop,” I’m eager to see what Ingrid provides on the next episode, which must have been kind of low-budget because Tony stayed right in NYC. But that was a great break for him because he could go home every night.

  47. LOL – just messing with you!

    BTW…thought you might be interested in participating in this….

    Contribute to the Anthony Bourdain Wiki:

  48. catsworking says:

    Thanks for that link, Mom. It looks very thorough, although I think I read somewhere that his first job out of the CIA was at the Rainbow Room in NY. I’ve never contributed to anything like a Wiki because I feel like there are too few facts I feel 100% sure of. That’s why I keep company with a bunch of wise-ass cats who will blog about anything that comes into their fool heads. 🙂

  49. MorganLF says:


  50. Nancy (not THAT Nancy) says:

    I’m DYING HERE!!!!

    Seriously, take your time but WE ARE ON THE EDGES OF OUR SEATS.

    No pressure though. BUT WE ARE DYING!!!!! LITERALLY!!!

    But take your time. Really.

  51. MorganLF says:

    Gasp…can’t breathe ..holding breath…feeling weak…weaker…..

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