Friday, March 27, 2009

Not to suffer the lures and pangs of passion

Not to suffer the lures and pangs of passion or to be moved by its fervor and attraction, is not to have lived fully; without passion, life would be lacking something poignant.

- Paul Kurtz  Affirmations: Joyful and Creative Exuberance

“Hi my name is Devin…”

I heard a little voice say to me as I was leaving the Albertson’s near my house last night.  I looked down to see the cutest little boy with big brown eyes and dimples staring up at me.

“I’m selling discount cards would you like to buy one?  The money goes to help my school Lutheran Elementary.” 

Oops, Devin you had me until you said Lutheran Elementary.

“What is Lutheran Elementary?”  I asked.  “It’s where I go to school.”  he replied.  “And what do you learn there?”  I asked.  “We learn about God and Jesus and math, things like that.” 

Before I could ask the question what had  he been taught about god he was quickly whisked away by what I can only assume was his parent.  “Do you want to buy a card or not?” the man asked quite abruptly.

Of course my reply was Not.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I listen to a lot of books on tape, in addition to reading paper versions.  Most of them are about philosophy, atheism, secularism, science and history but every once and a while I like a good biography and Kitchen Confidential is fantastic.

I’m not what I would call a “foodie”.  I know who Gordon Ramsay and Padma are, the difference between a leek and an onion and what a sous-chef is but that is the extent of my culinary repartee.  I thought most of this book would be lost on me but after listening to it, some chapters more than once, I think Anthony and I would have quite a good time together, should we ever meet.

I had no idea he had such a colorful past, read into this he was a very bad boy and isn’t shy about discussing it.  He had a slew of horrid jobs with failing restaurants, some of which he helped to tank, battling alcohol and drugs and banging lots of women along the way.  

Anthony has led a very colorful and sometimes dangerous, life that he shares in great detail with amazing wit.

The audio book is read by the author and he does a wonderful job (unlike Stephen King who should never be allowed to read his own books out loud, or any book for that matter!)  I found myself even forgoing my hour nap on the train ride to LA every morning so that I could listen to it, it’s just that good.

I will NEVER EVER eat eggs Benedict at a restaurant again, or order fish on a Monday, or a lot of other things.  This book was a real joy to listen to and made me laugh a lot.  If you’re looking for something to listen to between the Portable Atheist and your favorite secular podcast I highly recommend this book.

Anthony Bourdain’s Personal Website

Anthony Bourdain Wikipedia

Authors@Google: Anthony Bourdain

Travel Channel Blog