Kid Keeps Getting Sarah Palin’s Goat

October 30, 2009

By Adele

Still think Sarah Palin looks presidential, bickering endlessly with her teenage daughter’s baby-daddy, Levi Johnston? Me, either.

Palin’s relentless idiocy is finally paying off. CNN’s latest poll revealed only 29% now think she’s qualified to be president.

Levi’s revelations have the unmistakable ring of truth. But you can’t really blame Palin. Levi knew her as a rural housewife working in the relatively rinky-dink Alaskan political machine who killed large animals for fun. When she called Trig her “retarded baby,” she had no idea John McCain would become her fairy godfather, clean her up, and send her to the ball.

It was Palin who took her sweet time seeking help after her water broke with Trig, flying from Texas to Alaska. Calling him retarded after she tried to kill him seems mild.

And let’s back up on her complaints about Levi’s current notoriety. Palin’s whining that he’s just “selling his body for attention,” apparently referring to his upcoming Playgirl spread.

Sarah, who put him out there in the first place? Would anybody know Levi if you hadn’t trotted out him and pregnant Bristol during your failed VP campaign? You built this Frankenstein yourself, girl.

Levi has proudly proclaimed himself a “f**king redneck.” He had few prospects in Alaska, so he’s unapologetically seizing opportunities that come along now — exactly as Palin is doing.

Levi says he’s withholding truly damaging information on Palin, but I’m guessing if she keeps sniping, or tries to trash him in her upcoming book, Going Rogue, he’ll unload on her with both barrels. Her presidential dreams will be as dead as that bear pelt on her sofa.

Junk from Bourdain’s Alternate Universe

October 27, 2009

By Karen

Wendy of Room 214 has done her job well; reaction to Robo Chef is popping up on the blogosphere, most noticeably on what is apparently Bourdain’s new favorite blog, Grub Street.

Grub Street reported on Alternate Universe yesterday — a full 9 hours after Cats Working — and I’m wondering if it’s a coincidence that they happened to use the exact same title as my post (“Anthony Bourdain Gets Animated”).

Then Bourdain himself was right there with the very first comment, and then the third.

I’m feeling miffed.

And reading other bloggers’ reaction to the show is making me wonder if we all saw the same video. Eat Me Daily mentioned seeing Andrew Zimmern in a straitjacket. I didn’t. Anybody else? But I could see Tony having that fantasy.

Creative Loafing says Bourdain eats people’s brains, but it never happened, at least in Robo Chef. I think even Tony would balk at chowing down on Sandra Lee’s gray matter, even though it could be an amuse-bouche at best.

Blogger Veronica Belmont is the only one I’ve seen so far who obviously “gets” it.

Bourdain’s Alternate Universe: More Scoop

October 27, 2009

By Karen

After yesterday’s post, I received from Room 214 an e-mail about Anthony Bourdain’s Alternate Universe, his new animated Web series. (BTW, our friend Ingrid has apparently moved on because Wendy is my new contact there.)

Wendy provided me an “exclusive” peek at the first episode, Robo Chef. Well, exclusive to me and how ever many thousands of bloggers she’s penpals with. She made us swear an oath of secrecy (yeah, let’s see how long that holds), so I can’t let you view the episode, but I wouldn’t be giving away the farm to share a few impressions.

Bourdain plays a slightly-crazed Dr. Frankenstein type, working for the Cooking Channel. He’s a bit risqué and drops lots of names, delivering jabs equally to friends and foes. He must have had fun doing the voiceover.

The episode ends on a cliffhanger with Bourdain’s hair on fire.

My reaction overall? Meh. But I thought the animation was well-done (considering no one even attempts the fluidity of Loony Tunes anymore), and the humor has potential. It will only get better if they let Bourdain’s alter-ego totally off the leash.

Robo Chef premiers Monday, November 2, on the Travel Channel’s Web site, with 5 more episodes coming monthly.

Going cartoon is a weird turn for Tony’s career to take, but maybe it’s the Ariane influence. Here’s the teaser again, in case you missed it yesterday. It hints at “plots” to come that go far beyond Robo Cop and look like fun. I’ll be watching.

Anthony Bourdain Gets Animated

October 26, 2009

By Karen

Hard-core Bourdainiacs have a treat coming in 2010. The Travel Channel has announced a new 6-part animated Web series called Anthony Bourdain’s Alternate Universe. From the promo, I don’t think Tony will be letting Ariane watch cartoon Dad. Besides Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee’s pickled brains, was that Zamir taking a stake through the heart?

(Travel Channel)

(Travel Channel)

If you’ve ever wondered about Anthony Bourdain’s watch, it’s been identified as an Ernst Benz ChronoFlite World Timer, and he’s a lot smarter than I am if he’s figured out how to use it.

There’s been fallout from Bourdain’s October 13 Larry King Live appearance, where he defended meat-eaters. Fellow guest and Eating Animals author-turned-vegetarian, Jonathan Safran Foer, took exception to Bourdain’s comments, which Bourdain took exception to.

Grub Street also reported Foer’s comments. Bourdain retorts in the 7th comment down.

If you didn’t sit through the video last week, Hanna Wallace of The Faster Times quotes Bourdain’s pithiest comments to King.

Tony’s “I Call Bullshit” session at the New York City Wine and Food Festival with David Chang also reverberated, although not for anything Tony said. Chang dissed San Francisco cuisine, so the Asia Society there canceled a signing of Chang’s new cookbook, Momofuku. Bourdain took Chang’s side, and was quick to comment (3rd one down).

LA Eater has a bit more on Momofuku, with a photo of Tony and Chang dining on something snarly.

I went “Eek!” when I opened this page at Jaunted and saw Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern together. It’s official: they’re shills for Chase Sapphire. Whatever happened to Samantha Brown?

No surprise that Sardinia is now on Tony’s short list of favorite vacation spots. Somehow, I can totally see Zimmern loving DisneyWorld.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports, with photo, that Tony lunched on a catfish taco at Mexicali Blue while filming his Hudson Valley installment of No Reservations.

The LA Times has the latest on the pending sale of the Travel Channel, and No Reservations is still the crown jewel.

Where’s Michelle Obama’s Magical Belt?

October 23, 2009

By Adele

The first Obama family portrait, taken in September by Annie Liebovitz, has just been released, and THE BELT must have been sulking. It’s not in the picture, even though it would have complemented Michelle’s black dress better than most of the other outfits she wears it with.


Perhaps the president put his foot down while they were getting dressed and refused for once to compromise. Let’s pretend I’m the kitty under the bed during their conversation…

Michelle: (Emerging from walk-in closet.) Barack, honey, could you please buckle me up?

Barack: Sure… No, wait a minute! You’re going to wear that thing in our family portrait?

M: What’s the problem? I wore a belt almost just like it all over Europe and you never complained. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy even said it’s trés chic.

B: But the girls weren’t with us on that trip. You know how much THE BELT scares them. How are we going to get them to relax and smile for Annie Leibovitz if they think you’re going to light into them with THE BELT if they don’t?

M: That’s silly. You know I’d never lay a hand on them with an expensive fashion accessory like this.

B: And what about me? The leader of the free world isn’t holding up his pants with studded leather 4 inches thick. You’re making me look like a cream puff. Fox and Limbaugh will never let me hear the end of it.

M: (Pouting as she shuffles back to the closet.) OK, OK. I won’t wear it this time, but you’ve got to promise me a big shindig on the South Lawn where THE BELT gets center stage. Deal?

B: Deal. And lose the cardigan while you’re at it. This is supposed to be a formal portrait.

Michelle Obama and Her Magical Belt

October 22, 2009

By Adele

This had to be an historical first: our First Lady doing the hula on the South Lawn. Michelle Obama kept her hoop going for an impressive 142 rotations during the Healthy Kids Fair, but I couldn’t stop staring at — THE BELT.


This is not the same belt she wore overseas. That forgettable little accessory had only 2 measly rows of studs. She has upped the ante to 3 rows to ensure that nobody fails to notice — THE BELT.



I think the whole kids fair was just a front to stage a photo op for — THE BELT.


Wide black leather worn backward so the buckle digs into her spine whenever she sits, cinched tightly over a cardigan and an untucked blouse to accentuate her caboose and make her look really bottom-heavy.

The latest belt is so wide, if she adds one more row of studs, she’ll be wearing a leather corset.

I imagine all Michelle has to do is put her hand behind her back (as if reaching to unbuckle said belt) to strike fear in the hearts of everyone in the White House, including the president. The kids begin to whimper and Bo the dog runs yelping under the bed. They all know that one wallop from THE BELT will take them down for the count.

THE BELT turns the most feminine outfit into a power suit. Michelle just has to slip into black stiletto heels to instantly become “Dominatrix of the World.”

It’s a shame President Obama didn’t make THE BELT the mainstay of his wardrobe. If he instead of Michelle had been wearing leather and studs every day since the inauguration, Congress wouldn’t have dared to let healthcare reform go totally off the rails.

Flu Vaccine Shortage: Real or Fake?

October 21, 2009

By Yul

Another flu season — media hyper-hype for everyone to get vaccinated — and another vaccine shortage.

I’m sitting on Karen’s bed on a heating pad with a space heater and a humidifier blowing in my face, toughing out a very nasty cold with nary a drug, and tiny cat nostrils make a stuffy nose particularly miserable. Between catnaps, I’m catching up on the CDC’s excuses. First they tried to incite a pandemic panic. But after their BFF, Big Pharma, failed to deliver enough of the antidote, they’re now saying, “Just keep washing your hands, H1N1 isn’t even as bad as regular flu!” Newspapers across the country are reporting vaccine shortages.

Why? Drug companies say the vaccine is taking longer to make, the virus isn’t multiplying in eggs as much as it needs to, and, “Well, golly gee, we have to make 2 vaccines instead of one!”

Yada, yada, yada.

Big Pharma knows flu comes as surely as death and taxes. The media has gone into overdrive, implying it’s certain death to skip the vaccine by running heart-rending stories about the one in a million who succumbs. Then the drug companies drop the ball and people can’t get vaccinated.

Since their business is making drugs, why are they so inept at vaccines? Every year, it’s like they never made one before.

I think it’s all about profit. When they first said people needed three shots this year (2 for H1N1, one for regular flu) and clinics weren’t stormed with takers, they started singing, “Oh, wait. Never mind. You only need 2 shots.”

Economics 101: If you can’t bilk suckers for triple the price, go for double.

When that also failed to start a stampede, there’s suddenly a vaccine shortage. Last-ditch effort to drive up desirability and price.

Once poo-pooed as too cheap and infrequent, drug companies now smell big bucks in vaccines and are belatedly scrambling to ramp up production — particularly since the media is nurturing a permanent mindset that immortality is yours if you get every inoculation that comes down the pike.

How much you want to bet there will never be another flu season where one shot is enough?

Bourdain Bits Few & Far Between

October 19, 2009

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain is almost more intriguing when he temporarily drops off the Web’s radar, appearing only in inconsequential blog references that add nothing to our store of knowledge. One wonders what he’s doing at times like these. Working on his next book? Filming No Reservations in some far-flung place? Holing up in his apartment to watch kiddie TV and have tea parties with his daughter?

Nobody knows but Tony, and that’s OK. The guy’s certainly got a right to his privacy.

But he did talk recently to Larry King on CNN, sort of coming off as a layman among nutrition geeks. The topic was, “Does a healthy diet include meat?” and Tony was consulted about halfway through the show.

We all know where Tony stands on meat. In the face of the experts’ opinions that we should all stick to grass and acorns, Bourdain staunchly defended carnivores’ right to eat things slower and stupider than themselves and, as a consumer, excoriated American meat safety practices.

If you don’t want to sit through the video, Nikolas Kozloff quotes Bourdain’s comments more extensively, although he thinks Tony’s overall coolness is “rapidly wearing thin,” and that Bourdain would do better to rail against “corporate cattle ranching and agribusiness as opposed to vegetarians and vegans.”

The Wall Street Journal reported a bit more on Bourdain’s recent appearance with David Chang at the New York Wine and Food Festival. What got my attention was that they discussed blogs. WSJ wrote, “Having alluded to New York magazine’s Grub Street twice in the course of the evening, Bourdain seemed to look at food bloggers positively, or at least seemed to be receptive to their influence.”

Hmmm… so he likes food bloggers. I have no idea if Bourdain still checks in at Cats Working but, if he does, I can assure him of this: He’ll never find food porn here, nor catch me telling anybody where or what to eat. And I hope I get points for never referring to him as the “bad-boy chef.”

Insurers Now Out to Sink Healthcare Reform

October 13, 2009

By Karen

“Hatchet job” was Senator Max Baucus’ (D-Mont.) assessment of the report just released by lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Makes you wonder why he’s killing himself trying to protect their profits at our expense.

AHIP claims Max’s plan would raise rates — by $1,700 for families and $600 for individuals — by 2013.

So what’s their point? Without reform, rates routinely increase more than $600 every year.

Obama should feel the knife sticking out of his back while AHIP’s head cheerleader, Karen Ignagni, smugly hints that TV attack ads may be coming. The sheer gall of this complete 180 would be mind-blowing if we weren’t talking about the most useless, greedy, wasteful industry ever conceived.

But perhaps insurers just did us a favor. Cornered, maybe Congress will finally consider the only means guaranteed to reduce costs — HR3200 or HR676 — single-payer plans that make insurance obsolete.

Who could possibly care about the future of an industry that just denied a policy to a 4-month-old baby for the “pre-existing condition” of being fat?

Nobody wins with insurers. When rising premiums forced me to become underinsured this year, I got my prescriptions filled by Target instead of Anthem’s mail-order pharmacy — and guess what? Anthem had been overcharging me, selling a 90-day supply of my meds for $36 that Target sells for $20.

Target initially submitted its charge to Anthem, which Anthem immediately denied, but they said I could only have a 30-day supply.

I basically told Target, “F**k Anthem. Give me 90 days and don’t tell them.”

That means my prescriptions don’t go toward my $2,250 annual deductible and Anthem wins in the end. But I’ll be damned if they’ll dictate terms while not paying a penny.

Insurers planned to sink reform all along. With a clear conscience, Obama and Congress should respond to this duplicity by establishing universal, single-payer healthcare.

Bourdain’s Big Apple Weekend

October 12, 2009

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain was just at the New York Wine and Food Festival, teaming with David Chang. Martha Stewart’s Living Radio Blog has a brief audio clip of Bourdain talking about Chang before their event.

It sold out to a crowd that wrapped around 4 blocks and was called, I Call Bullsh—! Here’s the New York Post review.

Metromix and Grub Street revealed more of what they said.

Tony was also interviewed by restaurant reviewer Frank Bruni, author of Born Round: The Secrets of a Full-Time Eater, and The Feed, Slashfood, and the New York Post reported.

And here are some photos of Bourdain and Bruni signing books at the event.

Steve Barnes, Table Hopping for the Times Union, has written a bunch of blog posts about Bourdain, and looks forward to Tony coming to town (Schenectady, NY) on November 15.

Tony’s was widely quoted on the demise of Gourmet magazine, and credits it for giving him his first big break as a writer. I guess this means his appearance with Eric Ripert at Gourmet’s 7th annual Gourmet Institute on October 23-25 is a no-go.

This Stop Willoughby enjoys playing a game with her son where they replace some character in a TV show with Bourdain. I could see Tony as Larry David in a traveling version of Curb Your Enthusiasm, doing a show within a show as Vic Chanko during unvarnished moments of filming No Res.

FNH (Food Network Humor) wrote a scathing — and hilarious — rebuttal to last week’s Wall Street Journal article about “rock star chefs” and personal appearances, calling it “one of the most ridiculous foodie articles in the history of the Internet.”

Also from the NY Wine and Food Fest, Jezebel posted a photo from one of Tony’s “nightmares.” Bonus: Scroll down to video of Sandra Lee making the Kwanzaa cake Bourdain can’t stop ranting about. This was the first time I’ve seen it, and must agree it’s a culinary train wreck. The finished product looks like what someone would do in a spoof of cooking shows.

%d bloggers like this: