Anthony Bourdain was the traveller that I dream of being

I mostly try to avoid calling a celebrity a hero of mine. Being someone whose work I enjoy does not a hero make, and especially in recent years I am wary of heaping too much praise on (particularly a male) celebrity when I don’t know what they could have been doing behind the scenes on set or in the recording studio. But I have no hesitation in saying that Anthony Bourdain, who was found dead today of apparent suicide, is one of my heroes.

My three favourite things are travel, food, and writing, and Bourdain was an inspiration to me in all three. I’ve read several of his books, seen all of his shows (most episodes of No Reservations more than once), and any time I am going somewhere new one of the first things I do is check if Bourdain had done a segment there and what he had to say about it. He travelled the way I want to travel, and he ate the way I want to eat—not because of the variety and amount that he got to experience, but because of the way he honoured each place he went and each meal he ate.

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“Real”ity TV: Why Catfish Didn’t Hook Me

Today was a good day at the gym, television-wise. There are four TVs in the fitness center of my apartment complex and generally when I arrive to exercise, unless it’s just as the gym is opening (annoyingly late on weekends—some people want to work out before noon, Ithaca College), I end up watching whatever’s already on. That tends to mean the Food Network or endless episodes of Say Yes to the Dress (there’s usually only girls at the gym, which probably explains this). Today was a good day because I was the only one in the room for a while and so I got put a football game on one screen and a hockey game on another*, but that’s not the point of this post.

Best workout tv ever.
Best workout tv watching ever.

*I’m in the market for a hockey team. I’ve just started watching the sport and I was watching the game today because one of my friends is a big Blackhawks fan and another is a die-hard Red Wings supporter. I still haven’t determined my allegiance yet but I figure I have to give the Flyers a chance, at least, even if it’ll destroy my “hates all Philadelphia sports except Union because their fans made that John Terry sign that one time” cred.

Point is, the other day some fellow college student had chosen MTV’s Catfish TV show as their workout soundtrack. Since it was on, and I was there, I watched half of two episodes (the second half of one and the first half of the other). Now, I remember hearing about the Catfish documentary when it first became famous, but I have never seen it and this was my first experience with the tv show, and the first episode I watched surprised me. In it, a girl who had been friends with a boy for ten years went to meet him in person for the first time. It turned out that the only reason he hadn’t wanted to meet was that he was embarrassed about his weight. They ended the episode as friends; it was very sweet.

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