Saturday, June 16, 2007

He had me at "I have a fake nut and I'm ready to cook."

Yes, season 3 of Top Chef started with a bang this week. CJ wasn't the focus of the episode, but he certainly got my attention with his nutty little comment. At 31, he's a testicular cancer survivor and now only has one ball left to cook off. I hope he can hang.

I felt sorry for the goofy-but-lovable Southerner who removed all doubt and got booted from the show. Clay seemed like a good guy, and I hoped he'd do well, just because he seemed so fundamentally sweet.

I watched Hell's Kitchen the past two weeks to see that 48 year old doughy guy cry and drip sweat over people's food. Yeuch. Disturbing. I can't believe they didn't send him home.

For a couple months now, I've been too busy to keep regular tabs on any tv show. I've occupied myself with other things, and I've tried to keep from getting sucked in to yet another time-thief tv program. But those cooking shows are nigh irresistible.

Believe it or not, I'm still finishing up Comanche Moon by Larry McMurtry. About a month back, I started getting all grim and upset that I'm at the end of the 4th(final) book of the series, and I hate for it to end. I stopped reading, and today I started back up again, and I could feel myself choking up. Isn't that corny? I mean, while I am an excitable sort, I don't get sad over the end of movies, and I don't cry easily, so why does this series have a tendency to turn me into a simpering mess?

People have talked about the Ego and the Id and the brilliance of McMurtry's writing, but I think the answer is much simpler than all that over-thinking kind of baloney. I think Gus and Woodrow are really two sides of a coin and together they make a whole man. One has an over-developed (if myopic) sense of duty, and the other is perhaps too given to pursuing good times. Early on I related almost wholly to Gus, but toward the middle of this book, I realized I very much related to Call. This has been a most interesting evolution of character.

Well, I'll say it again - if you haven't read Lonesome Dove and the books in this series, you are cheating yourself. It's not often you read a work of fiction and feel you come away with a better understanding of yourself. Or maybe that's just me. But I think not - I think this series resonates similarly with everyone who reads it. It's sad to end it, but it's bittersweet. Must read them all again soon.


Anonymous said...

I picked up the final (fourth) book in the Thalia trilogy a couple of months ago. SWMBO grew up 'there' and
his mother was a neighbor around the corner.

To my surprise, Duane has become one of my favorite characters, even more so with this last book.


none said...

I love hells kitchen, Not sure why but Ramsey entertains the hell out of me.

phlegmfatale said...

rabbit - Wow, thanks - I'll have to check them out - he's a superb writer.

hammer - Yeah, Ramsey often says what I'm thinking, and he sure has a mean way of going about it!

Anonymous said...

I love Duane too. Just started Lonesome Dove and am loving it! A

Zelda said...

I am rereading Lonesome Dove again. To my complete surprise, Clara is the character I relate to most - to such an extent, that I'm actually wondering if she didn't affect my subconscious when I read it as a teenager.

FHB said...

You're busted up because you love the world he created, and the people, and thy're kinda going away for ever. Perfectly understandable. Coming to the end of a wonderful journey, wishing it could go on and on, but wanting to get home at the same time.