February 2010

How to Cook Cat the Beppe Bigazzi Way

I love Italy. Of all the countries of the world, it's my absolute favorite. Granted, I adore French cuisine, British humor and (most) American cinema, but there's something special about that boot-shaped gem of the Mediterranean. It's not just Italy's incredibly agreeable weather, nor is it the country's gorgeous and varied landscapes. Sure, there's plenty to love about the old, ornate cities, the amazing Renaissance art and the unparalleled classical music tradition of Italy. And who could ignore the historical importance of the Roman Empire? Just looking at the ruins of the grand Colosseum sends shivers down the spine of anyone who appreciates the way that culture shaped the world. Ah, but today my love for Italy isn't about any of those things, great as they are. Today I extend my affection to one of its citizens, an elderly TV chef named Beppe Bigazzi.

Ticking Tuesday News- Fake Doctors and Rehab

Charlie Sheen Ready To Be Boring Again

Ne'er-do-well actor Charlie Sheen has checked into a substance abuse rehabilitation center for what his lawyer has asked all media personal to refer to as "the umpteenth time" for an unspecified issue. Sheen's wife, Brooke Mueller, is also currently enjoying a stay at her own, separate clinic, though she recently relocated from a different facility after an unfortunate incident involving the privacy of her room, person and/or drugs. The famous couple has had a rough winter, including a Christmas Day domestic dispute that critics of the format have been calling an instant classic. Charlie Sheen is best known today for his work as the co-star of Two and a Half Men, a sitcom that has been scientifically proven to be the least offensive TV show ostensibly about sex within the realm of possibility. Sheen's drug dealer, who asked to remain anonymous, prescribed a cornucopia of mind-altering substances to keep Sheen from being too lame as a result of the show. Now that the actor has decided to get clean, his publicist has started a campaign to assure fans of Two and a Half Men that its star will be even more bland and middle-brow once he returns from rehab.

Thetan Levels in Haiti Through the Roof

After months of struggle and pain, the people of Haiti can finally breathe a sigh of relief now that the Church of Scientology has arrived on its shores. Since late in January those hilariously idiotic children of science fiction failure L. Ron Hubbard have been delivering their particular brand of useless, potentially lethal medical care to the sick and injured of Port au Prince. For some reason, probably the utter chaos of the city post-earthquake, these fools haven't been summarily ejected from the country yet. No, while actual doctors cobble together the best reality-based medical care they can manage for the countless needy in Haiti there are tents full of Scientologists in yellow t-shirts playing make-believe with the lives of homeless men, women and children. Ain't the world a grand and wonderful place?

Mixed Sympathies for Kevin Smith

On the day Kevin Smith got his definitively fat ass booted from his flight on a Southwest Airlines plane, I happened to be in the air as well, though with a different company. My immediate reaction to the situation was indifference. I don't care enough about Smith, the state of health and fitness in America, or the increasingly uncomfortable experience of air travel to really get in a tizzy about any of the many things involved with Smith's story. But then the whole thing snowballed. What should have been a minor and instantly forgettable development turned into some kind of miniature media frenzy. Sure, the various news outlets of our nation should have been spending a little more time on the giant, war-defining battle that took place in the hills of Afghanistan, but instead they decided to spend half the day prattling on about a fat geek and his Twitter account. So, here I am at the back of the bandwagon.

Pop Culture News and Chemically Induced Apathy

Generic cold medicine is a wonderful, terrifying thing. Because winter is a period of pointless tortures like awful weather, extended darkness and ubiquitous disease, I'm currently battling my second head cold in so many months. Helping me in my crusade to reclaim my body from this ridiculous, suicidal virus are the usual suspects- plenty of fluids, chicken soup, hot showers and vitamin C. But they brought a friend along in the form of a viscous, green substance that predicates its entire sales pitch on a comparison to what Nyquil used to be. Over the counter medicine enthusiasts might recall that Nyquil, the old bastion of knock-me-the-hell-out cold medicine, got effectively nerfed a few years back, rendering it a useless concoction of food coloring and bitter flavoring agents. That's what happens when you're concerned about public image: you end up destroying your product just because a few idiots decided to drive after a heavy shot of the 'quil. Well, the generic brands don't care about PR, so they're still chock full of whatever it was that made Nyquil a groggy sleep drug. As an unexpected side effect, my currently hazy self doesn't give a toss about any of the following pop culture bombshells.