The Gradual Appeal of Crocodile Batali

Shorts and orange Crocs will never grace the pages of GQ.  Enough said.

I never cared for Mario Batali much on Iron Chef, but mainly because Bobby Flay outshone him.  Mario was too pastey white.  I feared a drop of sweat might fall into a pasta dish, or a piece of two-foot strawberry blonde hair.  He’s husky and does not look at all like what Americans think Italians are supposed to look like, which is Guidos or disco dancers from Saturday Night Fever.  Most folks would quickly label him Irish, though it’s probably the French Canadian that we’re seeing.  Only Bobby is Irish.

So when The Chew started airing on ABC, I was more excited about seeing my boy Clinton than Batali, freak-flag-flyin’ Carla, holier-than-thou, kale-chip-eatin’ Daphne, or Michael of the obnoxious laugh.  Seriously, nothing is THAT funny.  But they grew on me, and seemed to have a certain chemistry.  Nonetheless, Mario’s style remained horrendous and frozen in time, and even Clinton hasn’t yet been able to remedy that.  Check them out at Halloween, with Batali looking oddly svelte.

foodnetworkhumor.com

foodnetworkhumor.com

Then last May, he and his family ate a week of meals on a food stamp budget of $124, and he purposely did not taste the dishes on the show to keep it real.  People were swayed to him, where before they had found him a bit uppity.  Eating rice and beans each day for lunch can do that.

That same month, he made a recipe for Cannoli Di Ricotta with Jennifer Grey.  To be clear, it was Jennifer who started writhing as she sensually began what appeared to be punishing the dough.  When Mario, replete with ardor, in his black vest and ginger ponytail, came up behind her and started rolling the dough, Jennifer said, “This is reminding me of Fifty Shades of Grey.”  It reminded me more of the Swayze-Moore pottery scene in Ghost.  A minute later, she turned around, and he eagerly joined her as they prepared to stuff her cannoli.  I wondered, “Why is she doing this?  Does he have something I don’t know about?”

Sometimes he will do gentlemanly things like pull a chair out for a woman, or describe a regional cuisine in terms that can make you melt.  And just listen to how he says “ricotta,” like he and ricotta have been friends since birth, like they share an intimacy you will never know.

And what about Molto Mario quotes?  He said, “I can teach a chimp how to make linguini and clams.  I can’t teach a chimp to dream about it and think about how great it is.”  Sigh.  Then you see how passionate he is.  When asked what his last meal would be, he answered, “My last meal?  The food would be much less significant than the company.”  And then you want to beat your head with a frying pan for ever being so shallow.

But apparently it didn’t take The Chew to win the hearts of other ladies.  Elizabeth Bastos wrote a shameless love letter to him way back in 2009.  If you want to hear more questions like “Do you want simply to crack your farm-fresh pullet egg into my mound of fresh semolina on the table and make homemade pasta?”, then you should check out her letter at: http://foodnetworkhumor.com/2009/11/a-love-letter-to-mario-batali/.

One woman responding to the post said she’d like to “sop him up with an Italian loaf dripping with EVOO.”  Wow.

Well, I won’t go that far–not even close–but I will admit I can see why someone did agree to marry him and bear him sons in great pain.  He’s got the skills, the knowledge, the experience, and the passion.

Salute e prosperita, Mario!

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Now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!

rateyourmusic.com

rateyourmusic.com

Well, it’s day two of creepy album covers, and, oh, the things one discovers when perusing cover art!  Today’s artist is a hammerhead shark/Andy Warhol named Heino.  Again, musical ignorance has prevented me from being familiar with his extensive collection, which includes his 1980 hit, “Bier, Bier, Bier” (not to be confused with “Beers, Steers, and Queers”).

The best translations I could find for the title, Liebe mutter ein blumenstrauß der nie verwelkt, were, “Love mother a flower that never fades consuming,” and “Dear mother of one bouquet never.”  I don’t get it.  Is it Mother’s Day in Berlin?

And no, he’s not an albino, and no, he’s not Corey Hart.  Heino suffers from exophthalmos due to Grave’s disease.  But the Lord blessed him with a rich baritone, capable of belting out beer barrel polkas, so it all balanced out.

Once you really dig into the essence of Heino, you sense a cynophilic trend.  He rather fancies poodles.

heino poodles

I mean, REALLY fancies them.

more poodles

And German Shepherds (because he IS German, after all…)

heino hits 6

Now that I look at it–this looks more like seeing-eye dogs leading him up the stairway to heaven.  Clearly, he does not discriminate each time he visits the Humane Society.

rateyourmusic.com

rateyourmusic.com

And what is that badge in the hound’s mouth?  A license to ill?  The point is, the blonde Roy Orbison loves dogs.  Even corn dogs!

images.45cat.com

images.45cat.com

Sorry–that’s not a corn dog; it’s a microphone.

After his stylist gave him a saucy Steve McQueen ‘do, he took it down to the farm and chilled with the animals.  I believe this LP was later titled, “WARHORSE!!”

eil.com

eil.com

Months passed by, and when his mane grew into more of a Jean Seberg ‘do, he revisited his periwinkle farm friends.

As music and trends evolved, so did he.  Here he is frisky and fresh from the leather bar, doing his Tae Bo jabs.

In case you’re wondering, tanless Heino is still going strong at 74, married to his third wife, with no trace of male pattern baldness in sight.  And don’t even try to get your hands on that album; “das verbotene” means “the forbidden,” and Germans mean business.

In the words of Mike Myers’ Dieter himself, I say, “You have disturbed me almost to the point of insanity…There. I am insane now.”

Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina Coral. Your Eyeliner Will Run.

Just take a moment to really take in all that is Argentina Coral.  That’s it.  Deep breath.  Before noon today, I had never heard of her, nor seen her.  But now I have.  Now we both have.

I hope she had an endorsement deal with Nike, because she painted Nike swooshes across her eyebrows and beyond the natural borders of a human eyelid.  Just do it, Argentina!  And while you’re at it, smear some Avon coral lipstick beyond the borders of your natural lipline.  You cannot be contained.  You cannot be “corraled.”

The name of this LP is Cante Gitano, which means Gypsy Singing.  A looser translation might mean “emitting a fetid smell,” because her facial expression reveals something putrid this way comes, and it’s not just flamenco music.

Now I consider myself fairly musically-savvy, and I have seen enough of Stevie Nicks singing “Gypsy” to know that it entails white lace and prairie skirts, along with dizzy spinning in front of a mirror to catch one’s reflection, perhaps reassess one’s perm.  But just to be sure, I rewatched the video.  I was correct, but had failed to remember the ring-around-the-rosie scenes in a nymph-filled forest while it rained sequins and Tinkerbell dust.  Nonetheless, this is not what Cante Gitano offers.  Far from it.

Translated as only Google can, one of the songs says:

In this bar I first saw you, and without thinking I gave you my whole life. This offer bar with beer, amid sadness and pain. This bar opened our souls, and delicious phrases said. In this bar so many things happened, so I always come to this corner. Pour me a glass of rum and drink your beer with my heart, you are the steward of my love .. 

(And if you don’t pour me a glass of rum, I will park my smoking hot body on the hood of your car like some exotic Tawny Kitaen and glare at you through your windshield as though I am Cher’s evil twin.)  Case in point:

images.45cimages.45cat.com

images.45cimages.45cat.com

Hell hath no fury like Argentina scorned.  But time passed, and it softened her.  She traded her swoosh eyebrows for thin arcs, her turquoise blouse for a raincoat adorned with upside-down birds.

1.bp.blogspot.com

1.bp.blogspot.com

Alas, we all grow old.

Now fly like your inverted flamingos and go to that corner of your favorite bar and drink rum with the steward of your love and say delicious phrases.  Sing “Amor Hablame Dulcemente,” and he will sing sweetly to you and your mole.  And maybe, just maybe, he will buy you another cubic zirconia pinky ring for the other hand to deflect bullets like you are some sort of Latina Wonder Woman.  Adios, Argentina.  Adios.

I Want To Wear You Like An Animal

I pulled this ad out of my Vanity Fair magazine and set it on the coffee table for further inspection, as it seemed curious to me on several levels.  My son walked by and asked why a scorned Taylor Swift was lying near the remote and tub of coconut oil, and I explained that Miss Swift, fickle as she may be, is nothing if not ladylike–nay, princesslike–and would not be caught dead in a bedazzed jungle cat motif.

This honor goes to Karlie Kloss, the Juicy Couture model for the Fall 2012 campaign.  Now when I hear Juicy Couture, for some reason, the Brit’s voice pops into my head singing in her stilted robotic voice: I’m Mrs. Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous (You want a  piece of me?) I’m Mrs. Oh-My-God, That Britney’s Shameless (You want a piece of me?).  No, thank you, we do not (and apparently, neither does Jason Trawick).  The point is, Juicy Couture brings to mind velour tracksuits.

So there we have a JC designer wedged between JLo and The (Green) Material Girl.  Are these the best examples of juicy derrieres?  One of them has an ample booty, and one of them has a boney booty, but neither of them can claim “juicy” anymore. Perhaps Madonna could suggest that her designer daughter, Lola, start a line of clothing for post-menopausal women, with a more accurate label.  Something like “Wither Couture.”

with-er

  1. To dry up or shrivel from or as if from loss of moisture.
  2. To lose freshness; droop.

But back to Miss Kloss, the anti-withered.  In fact, she’s not even legal to imbibe yet, at least not in the States.  I’m no Anna Wintour, so I can’t tell you what they WANT this ad to say to the consumer.  But I can tell you what a common woman between the age of Britney and Madonna sees when she looks at this ad.

  1. Either her teeth are clenched as part of her snarly little sneer, or she better hop on over to the orthodontist tout de suite regarding that underbite.
  2. Why is she wearing a dog collar?  Those genuine diamelles look heavy and will smack her in the face the next time she bends down to adjust her stiletto.
  3. Is this bedhead or a mousse commercial or are we supposed to think she just had sex at the seaside pavilion in the background with a former pro-surfer-turned-hobo?
  4. That upturned eyebrow is laden with disdain.  Don’t you peer at me through those nerdy girl glasses (do they even have lenses?). I think if we panned out of this shot, she’d have an empty gin bottle in her hand (minor in possession!), ready to smack us.  This is all very Louisville-slugger-to-both-headlights, if you get my drift.
  5. Why is she wearing a presumably faux fur jacket at the beach?  Is she cold from detox chills?
  6. What is up with the leopard/cheetah with palm trees sprouting out of his head?  Animal cruelty alert!  Just try to look into his clear blue eyes without turning away.  That ferocious cat seems to understand the mysteries of the world.  Or maybe he’s slowly choking to death in the deathgrip of that Charming Charlie’s choke collar.  Either way, this is all reminding me of the feng shui woman yesterday who told me the best way to cure my insomnia was to rid the bedroom of animal prints, including animal print sheets (who has THOSE?) because they are too “energizing.”  If Karlie did, in fact, pass out drunk on her jacket in that pavilion, the animal print seems to have done more enervating than energizing.

Animals, animals, animals!  Where is Hal Linden when I need him?

And just in case you missed the animal references, here she is ON ALL FOURS in a leopard-print jumpsuit hoodie monstrosity, cavorting on the sand after she had her Gatorade to rehydrate.  Who’s a happy girl now?  Who’s a happy girl?

More than anything, this reminded me of my college roommate’s cat, Misery, when she was in heat, rump raised and ready to rumble.  I think I’ll take my couture pulp-free this year, perhaps altogether juice-free.  Lola, have you got any etchings done yet??

Gaping Sinkhole of Conviction

Yep, another vapid self-indulgent 80s post.

I had MLK, Jr Day off and (in no way wanting to watch the inauguration) did what many of you did, which was pull out the The Definitive Air Supply Collection.  I listened to their litany of lovesongs, which include “love” in the title, just so there’s no mistaking:

  • Lost In Love
  • All Out Of Love
  • Making Love Out Of Nothing At All
  • The One That You Love
  • Young Love

So I’m listening to the angelic harmonies of the Australian duo, lost in love with Hitchcock’s smooth, buttery voice.  Aside from the random, space-agey swirly Steve Miller-esque noises, it’s a soothing mix.  Until I get to the mandatory Air Supply key change at the end, where he sings:

“Was I THINKING ALOUD?  FELL out of TOUCH.  Now I’m BACK ON MY FEET!!  Eager to be what you wanted.”

And I’m just visualizing him in his Conway Twitty tight-permed, lowbuttoned Hawaiian shirted, earpierced glory singing those words with conviction.  Like he MEANS it.  Like as he’s singing each line, he’s making the “reverse uppercut move”–the downward pulling fist, to emphasize the lyric.  This is no longer soft and easy; this is serious.  This man is BACK ON HIS FEET.

And I start thinking about the conviction that so many other songs of 80s yore possessed.  You better believe the last known survivor stalked his prey in the night.  There was absolutely no sleeping until Brooklyn.  When Pat belted “WE ARE YOUNG!”, I felt like I was being recruited into the battlefield of love.  And as sure as Kilamanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti, there is no doubt that Toto blessed African rains (whatever on earth that means).

When the highwaisted Sasson jeans-wearing Journey frontman launched into the “Separate Ways” chorus, every single stilted word was in ALL CAPS.

“IF HE!  EV-ER HURTS YOU!  TRUE LOVE!  WON’T DE-SERT YOU!”  Steve’s not playing.  Check out those eight minute abs.

Current music doesn’t share the same passion, the same believability.  I mean, when you see LMFAO sing “I’m Sexy And I Know It,” do you agree?  Or do you think they’re sorely deluded?

Carly Rae Jepson sings on her Olympic-sized hit, “Before you came into my life, I missed you so bad, and you should know that, I missed you so so bad.”  Ummm, does no one else see a discrepancy there?  How does one MISS someone that one has never met?  How do you feel a lack for something you’ve never experienced?  And even the title says “maybe.”  Maybe?  Say it with authority!  Blondie didn’t sing, “Call me on the line, if you get around to it.”  It was simply “Call Me!”  And that’s an order.

It’s like when Randy Jackson tells “American Idol” hopefuls that they just didn’t connect with the song.  You’ve got to connect.  You’ve got to seep it out of your pores.  Adele may be rolling in the deep, but the rest of them?  Barely wading.

Exciting and New

Did you ever see “Comedy Central Presents Dane Cook” at the turn of the century? The one where he wishes he could be a snake, so he could unhinge his jaw and eat a whole turkey?

dane-cook-3

“Every time I see snakes on TV, I’m like, ‘Ahhhhh, why not me?'”  He pounds his chest for emphasis.   “They have the venom….. That’s what I want; I want the venom.  I see them on TV, I’m like, ‘I want venom.'”

Boys and girls are different.  I never saw a snake I didn’t want dead, and I never wanted the venom.  Of all the things to aspire to on the television, snakes were never on the list.  Ever since I watched that snake hypnotize Mowgli in “Jungle Book,” I knew they were bad news.  Didn’t Dane read Genesis?  Snakes led to the downfall of civilization.  Snakes are evil incarnate!

But evil is all around.  Many a young girl in the late 1970s struggled with sin and temptation.  Who can count how many pre-adolescent Catholic girls streamed out of confessionals after admitting to breaking the tenth commandment?  No, they weren’t coveting their neighbor’s donkeys.  They were coveting the position of cruise director. They wanted to be Julie McCoy.

Peppy clipboard-carrying Lauren Tewes stood out as the lone female among “The Love Boat’s” male ensemble.  She had that flatchested ballerina body that we all desired, before silicone boobs were en vogue (although, in retrospect, that may have been due more to cocaine than diet and exercise).  She was my snake; I saw her and pointed, “Ahhhhh, why not me?”

Why not me sailing the high seas, chatting it up with Isaac and Gopher?  Why not me welcoming Charo and Barbie Benton aboard the Pacific Princess?  Why not me with Dorothy Hamill hair, being cut in half by Arnold Horshack in a magic show?  Why not me on my high horse, condescendingly asking Meredith Baxter Birney why in heaven she would pose nude as a centerfold?  Me wearing a pirate patch with Buddy, my former flame, gazing deeply into my good eye with wanton abandonment?

Snakes don’t go globetrotting to Acapulco.  Snakes don’t sunbathe on the Lido Deck. Snakes don’t dance in sequined tops under a disco ball.  But Julie McCoy does.  Venom schmenom.

Seven Brides for Only One Brother

We’re about to get Biblical up in here.

The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, by Sir Edward John Poynter

The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, by Sir Edward John Poynter

Let’s get this straight.  King Solomon starts out on the right track.  He builds a temple, he moves the ark of the convenant to it, he dedicates it.  Good, good, good.  Then he starts accumulating riches and signing treaties right and left, and each time he puts his John Hancock down, a lesser king gives his daughter in marriage.  Badda-bing, badda-boom, Solomon’s got a piping hot, fresh, new wife.  Nevermind that Moses’ law said in plain Hebrew that a king shall not “multiply wives to himself.”  Solomon was multiplying wives like nobody’s business.

God already told him that his wives would lead him astray and turn his heart to false gods, and son of a gun, if the Lord wasn’t right.  So how is this man wise?  1 Kings 10 tells us that “the whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.”  Yet one chapter later, it states that Solomon loved many foreign women.  Hold up.  First off, nobody “loves many women,” foreign or not.  At least not at the same time.  That is not love.  Even Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias could tell you that.

Just dealing with two lovers is hard enough.  Ask Mary McGregor; she was torn between two lovers, feelin’ like a fool.  Even she had the decency to know that “lovin’ you both is breakin’ all the rules.”  You hear that, Solomon?

You either love Pharoah’s daughter or you don’t.  If I were her, I would be all, “Don’t come in here, telling me you just married some Ammonite skank.  I’m not trying to hear that.  And don’t be defiling our kingdom with those nasty Edomites and Sidonians.  If you so much as lay a hand on a Hittite, you’re never touching me again.  I don’t care if you are a king.  Israelite, please.”  I would have told him to put everything he owns in a box to the left.

diylol.com

diylol.com

And then he’d be all, “Don’t hate the player; hate the game.”  But the player tallied up 700 hundred wives and 300 hundred concubines.  And really, what’s the difference?  Wives get gold nameplates on their desks?  Actually, concubines have lower social rank, which prevents them from marrying.  So Pharoah’s daughter was right; it WAS slumming.  But I’m sure all one thousand of them got along hunky dory.  Just watch one episode of TLC’s “Sister Wives” and see how that plays out.  Everyone wins with fundamentalist Mormons and polygamy!

wheatandtares.org

wheatandtares.org

Look how happy Ken and Barbie–I mean Kody and Meri–were back in the day.  She had no idea what was coming.  Although, to be honest, I can’t say that I could have resisted his Pepsodent smile myself.  Three wives and seventeen children later, it hit him!  “Oh, snap!  This didn’t work out well for Solomon, and he was the wisest dude ever.”

throughthevintagegarden.blogspot.com

throughthevintagegarden.blogspot.com

God schooled Solomon in 1 Kings 11: “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son.”  And he did.

So the lesson here is one man, one woman.  Ideally, ’til death do you part.  But WWMRD?  I’ll tell you what Mickey Rooney would do. He would marry and divorce and marry and divorce until he racked up eight wives total (so far).  Talk about a player!  I realize everyone loved Andy Hardy, but this man is ONE INCH SHORTER than Dudley Moore.  He must seriously have it going on.  Five foot two!!  And at 92, he’s bound to have shrunk.  Discs degenerate, people.

Mickey Rooney & Jayne Mansfield

Mickey Rooney & Jayne Mansfield

God bless you, Mickey.  Now let’s just do a quick run-through of the ladies you managed to get to say “yes” when you bent your knee, from most recent back to WWII (in which you served).  Jan Chamberlin (m. 1978), Carolyn Hockett (m. 1969–1975), Marge Lane (m. 1966–1967), Carolyn Mitchell (m. 1958–1966), Elaine Devry (m. 1952–1958), Martha Vickers (m. 1949–1951), B. J. Baker (m. 1944–1949), Ava Gardner (m. 1942–1943).  Well, at least he finally figured it out.  He’s been with his current wife longer than the other seven wives combined.  An old dog CAN learn new tricks.

He explained, “When I say I do,’ the Justice of the Peace replies, ‘I know, I know.’ I’m the only man in the world whose marriage license reads, ‘To Whom it May Concern.’ But to have been married eight times is not normal. That’s only halfway intelligent.”  My point exactly.