Wednesday, February 6, 2008

i have a crush on anthony bourdain

As the tedious and seemingly never ending writers strike drags on, I have been forced to leave the comfy confines of scripted network prime time and venture out into the non-scripted cable wilderness, looking for any kind of TV sustenance. This may be the winter of our entertainment discontent, but I for one have found tiny bright spots on the otherwise bleak landscape. My latest: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. I had heard of the show before, and had maybe seen seconds of it as I flipped through channels, but I had never watched a whole episode before, despite my love for the Travel Channel. I just recently found out that Anthony Bourdain was the basis for the short lived Fox show Kitchen Confidential which I loved during its very brief lifespan (come on, it had Bradley Cooper annd Sam from Freaks and Geeks, what's not to love?) So if I loved the fictional Anthony Bourdain, it was only a matter of time before I discovered and loved the real thing. And I think he's great. He seems arrogant as hell, cranky and weathered, full of cynicism. But there's a rough-hewn poetry and joy in the way he seems to approach food and life and experience. An appreciation for what is genuine and good and real. I love foreign and different food and I love travel, but both of these things represent challenges to a comfortable and familiar way of living. It's so easy to get stuck letting life happen to you, going to the same restaurants, staying in one place. But I've realized more and more you have to make life happen, literally seize the day as the saying goes. And maybe I love No Reservations because it represents one giant squeeze on life, with all the good juices pouring out. In the episodes I've watched Anthony Bourdain is not doing anything particularly extraordinary rather than the secretly extraordinary act of living and living well. I may have to live vicariously through Anthony Bourdain for now, but as far as vicarious living goes, it's hard to beat.

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