Bourdain Cremated, Coming Home

June 13, 2018

By Karen

According to People, Anthony Bourdain’s remains were cremated today in France and his ashes will be flown to New York on Friday. There’s no word on whether anyone close to him is in France right now. Eric Ripert was there through the weekend, but he posted a tweet early yesterday morning indicating he was back in New York.

I still haven’t seen any results of the toxicology report. And it would appear that no other testing will be done for underlying illness or cause since the body is now gone.

There’s been no memorial service announced, but I can’t imagine that some celebration of his life won’t happen. Arrangements are in Ottavia’s hands.

Asia Argento and her “spokeswoman” Rose McGowan seem to have gone blessedly silent online about what a victim this has made of Asia, and here’s hoping they remain so.

I’ll share some extras that I or Cats Working readers have found. If you haven’t been following developments in the comments on my posts, these may interest you…

Bourdain’s father Pierre died at age 57 of a heart attack when Tony was 20, and his remains were also cremated and given to someone (presumably to scatter). I would expect Tony to wish the same for himself. Here’s Pierre’s obituary with his photo. See any resemblance?

Zamir Gotta, Tony’s zany Russian friend who accompanied him on a number of adventures over the years, posted a link to a “must read” interview Men’s Journal from the October 2011 print edition. It contains a lot of Bourdain’s philosophy of life, and makes you wonder what changed his attitude about perseverance.

Zamir also wrote his own tribute to Tony for the Hollywood Reporter.

Finally, here’s an almost exhaustive article about his life from the New Yorker. It’s the only one where I’ve ever seen first wife Nancy discuss their marriage (or anything, for that matter). Near the end, it also details how Tony emailed Nancy immediately after he had an earlier health scare while he was traveling alone in France around 2013.

Unless there are new developments, such as a surprise in the toxicology report or some writing Tony left behind that has any bearing, it feels as if we’re finally approaching closure and can be thankful for what little we knew of him, rather than grieve over the loss of what we’ll never know.

The one consolation is that he left behind such a huge body of writing and film to be enjoyed for years to come. Oh, and Netflix decided NOT to remove Parts Unknown from streaming this month as scheduled.

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Piecing Together Bourdain’s Last Days, Aftermath

June 10, 2018

By Karen

Although the toxicology report isn’t back yet, the New York Times reports that French authorities have concluded no foul play involved in Anthony Bourdain’s death, and they’re releasing his body so his family can bring him home.

Exactly when Tony killed himself seems unknown. He failed to show up on Thursday night (June 7) for dinner with Eric Ripert as they had been doing all week, but apparently no one checked on him.

When Tony didn’t come down to breakfast Friday morning and didn’t answer his phone, Eric had someone from the hotel let him into Tony’s room, and that’s when he discovered Tony dead. The Times story (link above) says…

“When Mr. Bourdain’s body was found, the hotel staff immediately called the local gendarmerie, which arrived within less than half an hour and sealed off Mr. Bourdain’s hotel room for the day. His belongings were put into a safe, and his body was taken out the backdoor to Colmar, the nearest city, where the local prosecutor opened an investigation.”

Tony is in the Colmar morgue until he can be flown home, and the investigation has apparently been closed.

Page Six reported on how the Parts Unknown crew was busy setting up one of Bourdain’s classic market strolls nearby while Eric was back at the hotel as tragedy unfolded. This story also has a bit more on Tony’s mother Gladys’ reaction.

Four days before his death, Tony and Eric dined in Colmar at Wistub La Petite Venise, where Tony had braised pork knuckle, sauerkraut and sausage, which was the last photo he posted on Instagram. The restaurant has since become a tourist destination, with people wanting to see and sit at the same table.

Citing an unknown source close to Bourdain, Page Six reported that Tony was exhausted in his final months, working like a maniac. This was clearly borne out by his haggard appearance. I wonder if it was just fatigue, or if Tony knew something else was going on with his health, although he seemed to give no indication of that if he did.

And now here’s where it gets really weird. Tony’s girlfriend, Asia Argento, according to People, was apparently Instagramming a lot on Thursday with various stuff. Then about three hours before news broke of Tony’s death, she posted a photo of herself wearing a T-shirt that said “FUCK EVERYONE” and captioned it, “You know who you are.”

That post has since been taken down.

I believe Eric Ripert has remained in France, probably to escort his friend’s body home. I base this on a poignant tweet I saw yesterday from his wife asking him to come home and telling him that he is loved. I feel so sorry for Ripert. He can never unsee what he found in that bathroom. Perhaps once he processes everything, he’ll be willing and able to provide a bit more context.

I haven’t heard from nor seen any statement from Ottavia. I’m sure her hands are more than full with questions and helping daughter Ariane understand and try to get through this. My heart goes out to both of them.

Also no word yet on a funeral or memorial service. If anyone has more facts to add to any of these points, please comment.

AND: Here’s an interview Tony gave People published May 16 where he talked about never retiring and “dying in the saddle.” I thought it was a particularly good piece, and again, it gave no indication that anything sinister was going on with him.


NYT Offers a Bit More Detail on Bourdain’s Death

June 9, 2018

By Karen

I’ve been keeping an eye out, and the New York Times just published an updated obituary with a quote from Anthony Bourdain’s mother, Gladys, who is as much in disbelief as the rest of us that her son was capable of killing himself.

The 10th paragraph is most telling. Gladys mentions that Eric Ripert told her Tony had been in “dark mood” the “past couple of days,” which would coincide with when the Daily Mail published pictures of Asia Argento tooling around Rome looking very chummy with what appeared to be an age-appropriate (to her) French reporter.

Tony was staying at the luxury Le Chambard hotel in Kayserberg, France, when he died.

French authorities are saying they are treating it as a suicide “at this stage.” I don’t know what other stages there could be. He’s gone and we’re all left asking why.

EXTRA: Just found this interview from January with The Guardian. The last paragraph adds a new layer of bizarre to this sad ending.


In Shock: Anthony Bourdain Dead

June 8, 2018

By Karen

I JUST heard this two minutes ago on Morning Joe, words I never expected to write: Anthony Bourdain has apparently committed suicide.

According to CNN, he was in France filming an episode of Parts Unknown with his best friend, Eric Ripert. It was Ripert who found Bourdain in his hotel room, unresponsive.

No other details seem available right now, but they will surely come out.

The question all of us who have followed Tony over the years, even back when he personally monitored every mention of himself on the ‘net and discovered Cats Working, are asking is:

WHY? WHY? WHY?

I’m posting this immediately so any Bourdainiacs who are still reading this blog may have a place to comment and discuss this tragic turn of events.

As for myself, I sit here sweating, with chills, on the verge of tears, thinking of Ariane and Ottavia, and trying to wrap my head around the fact that the world suddenly has this big, premature Bourdain-shaped hole in it.

I don’t have the words. I’ve continued to follow him and have some thoughts about things I’ve seen or read recently, but they can wait. This is a day to grieve.


Has Melania Had Enough?

May 31, 2018

By Karen

My fingers are crossed that Melania’s packed and waiting for Barron’s school year to end so they can both return permanently to New York before the indictments start rolling in on Trump and his underlings.

Yeah, I’ve heard Giuliani say, “You can’t indict a sitting president.” Bullshit. He’s a president, not the emperor. If he’s committed crimes (undoubtedly he has), he needs to be accountable like anybody else.

We haven’t seen Melania in public since Thursday, May 10, when Trump dragged her out at 3 a.m. to welcome home the three newly released North Korean hostages.

The following Monday morning, May 14, she underwent a kidney embolization procedure that’s usually outpatient, but remained hospitalized until Saturday morning, May 19, the day Prince Harry married Meghan Markle.

I suspected she and Trump fudged her incapacitation in case the Obamas were at the wedding. The Trumps weren’t invited and he’d have felt supremely snubbed. With Melania in the hospital, he could lie that they WERE invited, but couldn’t possibly attend.

Wouldn’t you know… as soon as live TV coverage confirmed no Obamas at Windsor, Melania, like a stripper from a cake, popped out of the hospital “in high spirits.” Mission accomplished.

After nearly a week of lying in bed to read and watch TV, if anyone in the family realizes how reviled and ridiculous Donald Trump is to all but the Fox-watching brain-dead, it’s Melania.

She hasn’t been seen since. When asked about her, Trump gestures vaguely upstairs and claims she’s there.

But Melania has been keeping tabs online, addressing questions about her whereabouts just yesterday…

White House staff claim she’s in meetings, planning all sorts of events. But why remain hidden?

Could she have had a little breakdown? It must feel like a mud bath she can never crawl out of, dealing with Trump’s ever-unfolding infidelities and lies about them, and his sabotage of every cause she tries to support, like children’s welfare and cyberbullying.

As a first lady, Melania’s most useful as arm candy. Otherwise, she’s wasting a ton of money on shallow White House decorating and separate travel arrangements so she can avoid her husband.

If Melania really wants to be a role model as first lady, she’ll announce, “Enough’s enough,” and escape this unsalvageable train wreck Trump calls a presidency. She and Barron will find it much easier to watch Trump and his cronies do the perp walk on TV than be forced to walk beside them.


A Cat’s Picks for the 2018 Kentucky Derby

May 4, 2018

By Adele

It’s time for another Run for the Roses at the Kentucky Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs.

You can watch it on NBC from 2:30-7:30 p.m. ET. It’s all yak, hats, and juleps until the “most exciting 2 minutes in sports” happens at 6:50.

I had a hard time picking a favorite until I learned that Bolt d’Oro is a half-brother of Rachel Alexandra on his father’s (Medaglia d’Oro) side.

If you’ll remember, I was a Rachel groupie back in the day. Among her 13 career wins, in 2009, she crashed the Preakness and beat all the boys. These days Rachel devotes herself to pedicures and motherhood.

Bolt d’Oro pulled post position 11 and his odds are 8-1. He’s having a jockey switch to Victor Espinoza, and I’ve got paws crossed it doesn’t rattle him and he doesn’t notice his most recent jockey, Javier Castellano, sitting on Audible (pp 5, 8-1).

Bolt has unfinished business to settle with the Derby’s current favorite, Justify (pp 7, 3-1, jockey Mike Smith).

On April 7, Bolt and Justify both ran in the Santa Anita Derby. Justify pulled off a 3-length win and a 114 BRIS for speed.

(BRIS is a point scoring system for Kentucky Derby eligibility that Brisnet.com started six years ago. 114 is the highest score ever.)

Bolt came in second with a BRIS of 110, which also broke the record of 107 set by Audible just few weeks earlier.

So, this Derby is Bolt d’Oro’s big chance to make Justify find out what loser dust tastes like.

Bolt will come out of the gate right beside his half-brother, Enticed (pp 12, 30-1).

But Justify has the job of outrunning THREE half-brothers. Their father was Scat Daddy, who suffered a career-ending tendon injury in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, and sadly died at age 11 in 2015.

Justify’s bros are: Flameaway (pp 4, 30-1), Mendelssohn (pp 14, 5-1), and Combatant (pp 20, 50-1).

The horses I bet my fish flakes on to place and show are any of the half-brothers and offspring of Curlin, 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year. They are: Good Magic (pp 6, 12-1), Solomini (pp 17, 30-1), and Vino Rosso (pp 18, 12-1).

Solomini has been known to bump others (specifically, Instilled Regard, pp 15, 50-1) and got himself kicked back from first to third place in that race, so he may have to watch himself.

Vino Rosso may have the edge because his jockey, John Velazquez, won the 2017 Derby on Always Dreaming.

As always, may the best horses win and may they all cross the finish line safely.


Michelle Wolf Deserves Thanks, Not Dissing

April 30, 2018

By Karen

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and comedian Michelle Wolf’s serving of it at the White House Correspondents Dinner was as frosty and satisfying as her joke about Fox “News” defector Megyn Kelly…

“Megyn Kelly got paid $23 million by NBC, then NBC didn’t let Megyn go to the Winter Olympics. Why not? She’s so white, cold and expensive, she might as well BE the Winter Olympics.”

Republicans are crying “Foul!” They claim they were verbally punched in the face while refusing to admit Dear Leader Trump’s bullying and insulting tweets and lie-laced rants on Fox and at rallies have made it open season on mean.

Like all passive-aggressive bullies, Trump himself was too gutless to be there and face journalists he insults, threatens, lies about, calls the “enemy of the people,” and says he’d like to jail. Instead, he had Sarah Huckabee Sanders take his place on the dais.

Sanders has been shoveling shit down our throats since her first day in the White House press briefing room. Wolf logically homed in on Sanders’ incessant lying, and I thought her take-down about how Sanders creates her signature “smoky eye” look from the burnt ashes of facts was pretty mild, considering.

If Wolf had stooped to Trump’s level, she’d have gone after the lank, style-free hair, the dumpy figure that makes a dandy Trump repellant, the lifeless, monotone delivery that makes Mike Pence seem like a court jester, and the pearls inspired by Marge Simpson.

Instead, Wolf went high. She let Sanders know what decent women think of her as Trump’s mouthpiece…

“And I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders. You know, is it Sarah Sanders? Is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Is it Cousin Huckabee? Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh, I know: Aunt Coulter.”

And now even the dinner’s sponsor, the White House Correspondents Association, has turned on Wolf, saying her speech wasn’t in “the spirit” of their mission.

Really?

Then why were they all there, to pay homage to the bloviating buffoon who keeps them scrabbling after tweets like street urchins chasing pennies tossed by a passing “noble” who otherwise kicks, taunts, and spits on them for having the gall to exist?

“Thank you, sir, may we have some more?”

If there’s ANYWHERE those representing the media should get up in Trump’s face and tell him…

“Enough’s enough. You may fool Fox and your brainless base, but we know bullshit when we see it. We’re going to call it out and continue to uncover the facts about your ignorance, bigotry, misogyny, corruption, and crime.”

…the WHCD is it.

Michelle Wolf spoke truth to the idiot squatter in the White House and did their job for them. Their thanks is to feign the vapors over her crudeness and throw her under the bus.

That’s gratitude, Trump-style.


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