Re: the last Unspeakable Oaf cartoon…the “Holy Grail” one.

The monster features was a Grell, an old D&D creature that’s not so popular these days, apparently.

Can you say “Fiend Folio”?

Anyway, it was a darn fine drawing of a Grell, if I do say so myself.

But I decided to put up the editorial cartoon from the Daily Reporter today also, anyway.

Ahem.

****

I’m starting to understand Tivo.

Really, I am.

A week or two ago, I was bored, and just typed “Anthony Bourdain” into the “Season Pass” section.

Pow! Suddenly, four episodes of the startlingly inspired “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” are sitting there, waiting for me.

The first one I went for was “Why the French Don’t Suck,” in its full, Absinthe-soaked glory. Hot damn, I miss Paris.

I find I’m watching Food Network less and less. Save for Alton Brown and the occasional Iron Chef, there are fewer and fewer shows that interest me. And I watch Alton for the Mad Science education more than the Haute Cuisine, anyway (this is no slam: his show’s more about the basics, which he does with geek aplomb – man, his Fried Chicken recipe rocks on toast – All Praise Be to the Alton! The Alton Loves Us!)

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out which show is worse: “…Unwrapped” or “The Secret Life Of…” In much the same way someone might wonder, say, which pain in greater: hitting your left hand with a hammer, or hitting your left hand with a brick.

Those who know me know that I generally subscribe to the “If You Can’t Say Something Nice About Someone…” philosophy, but good LORD, the smarm factor in these two shows are of Elder God-like proportions. And if I hear one more forced alliteration on either (“…these tasty treats…” “…these nutritious nuggets…” “these succulent sweeties…” “…these marshmallowy morsels…”), I’m gonna harshly hurl.

Do you ever find yourself watching something just because it infuriates you? Just totally makes you go cross-eyed with anger? Something like Bill O’Reilly, or an Al-Quaida tape, say? “…Unwraped” and “The Secret Life Of…” do it for me.

On the other hand, at least they’re not shown 24/7. Indeed, every other time I flip past the Food Network, it’s either Emeril or Rachael, who seem to be cooking for someone else. Someone who’s not me, anyway. Someone who enjoys the zaniness of adding, say, a touch more pepper to an uninteresting dish, believing that to be radical, and believing such moves (or, at least, the word “bam!”) deserve to be greeted with wild applause.

And I wanna like Rachael Ray – I really, really do. But I just don’t. I tried. Really.

I fully admit to being an irredeemable foodie. Give me a good garlic press, or give me death! Using pasteurized milk gets me artisinal cheesed off. I was in Heaven in Tuscany, and I’ll be first in line to take up residence at Borough Market, should accommodation ever become available. I’m no snob, though – I’m sitting here, listening to ELO, for pity’s sake. I can go downmarket with the best of ‘em.

So you’d think I’d be part of the Food Network’s prime target audience.

Alas, though, the channel’s turning me off. It needs shows with more teeth. Something with, ironically, bite. So it’s a shame for them that you have to turn to the Travel Channel to catch Bourdain’s bitter, brilliant pill.

IMHO, YMMV, etc., etc., of course. But as soon I finish up “Killing Bono,” I really do need to pick “Kitchen Confidential.”

Thank you, Tivo, for reminding me food TV can be grand, mad and stupid relevant again.

Now to track down some Absinthe.

All Praise Be to Tivo! The Tivo Loves Us!

****

I’d repost my Alton and Emeril cartoons at this point, but I don’t have time to look ‘em up on the archive. Instead, here’s one of those “Signs of the Apocalypse” images I thought was a joke, at first…

I don’t care if you studdied at the Culinary Instiitute of America, Le Cordon Bleu or bloody Kitchen Stadium. Lesson one at any cooking school: keep your BUTT off the COUNTER and your FEET out of the DISHWATER!

****

HUGE plug to Scott Bateman for his ‘toon two days ago.

Scott’s a third of the way into his Bateman 365 experiment – a new animation every day, for a year.

This was classic:

Zombies and Successories: Animated, even!

See it. Now.

****

My gaming group is now playing the Serenity Roleplaying Game.

It’s hard to imagine I’m gaming again, after Essen, Lucca and Siberia. But there I was last night, rollin’ dem bones, so yup. I’m back in the saddle.

Enjoyed Serenity The RPG very much, but I imagine I’ll get into it even more once I’m done with the Firefly DVDs. Jamie Chambers actually gave me a copy at Lucca. Hanging with the folks from Margaret Weis Productions was one of the many great things about that con.

But back to Serenity: I’m playing a veteran wise-cracking ex-army field surgeon who has a problem with authority and an affinity for the booze. Pierce Hawkseye. “Hawk,” for short.

Oh, yeah. He also hero-worships a 20th Century Earth-That-Was comedian named “Groucho.”

So its also time to plough through the Marx Brothers box set again.

It’s research, y’know.

Oh, how I suffer for my gaming…

John

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