The Week in Review: Rain, Photography, ‘Somebody Feed Phil’ and Tom Cruise

This week it was all rain, rain, rain and then a little more rain. I thought we would be building an ark soon and indeed some in our area did need to seek higher ground as the water raged around them. Luckily the flooding and damage was minimal and there were no major injuries and only moderate damage to some roads and property.

Thanks to the rain we spent a lot of our time inside watching Netflix and reading (gasp! I know!) books. I also spent the week feeling awful and looking for clues to all my weird health issues, finally deciding that maybe it’s just all that perimenopause stuff I wrote about a couple of weeks ago and to accept it for what it is. In between raindrops and twice in the midst of heavy downpours, I ran with the kids to events in town to take photos for the editor of the local paper (who I happen to be married to) because he and his reporters were covering so many events at one time.

The first night we were treated to a concert by a local band, held inside the library, instead of the planned outdoor venue. The guitar player is also a well-known photographer in our area who I imagine is one of those freaks who has about five different talents. He’s probably a talented photographer, guitar player and then goes home and cooks up amazing dishes and ends his day by painting a portrait of his wife, who is the singer in the band. After the concert,  however, he assured me I have seen his talents and there are only two. As my mom always says, ‘likely story.’

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The second night we ran through pouring rain to see a man whose talent is blowing bubbles (it’s as strange as it sounds, but also wonderful for the children) and the third night we ran through the rain to watch two children’s entertainers and musicians, a concert that had to be moved inside the local theater.

When it was Netflix time and I could wrestle the remote from my children, I turned on Somebody Feed Phil (*disclaimer this post is not sponsored by Netflix. Shoot. I could use that income.) If you haven’t seen this show and enjoy travel food shows, it’s worth a look. It features Phil Rosenthal, the writer and co-creator of Everybody Loves Raymond. Not only is he hilarious, but you can also tell he is genuinely fascinated with the food and the people of the country he is visiting. I won’t lie, I binged watch both seasons in the span of a few days and am going back to rewatch the moments I may have missed when I was making dinner or separating the children.

My favorite episodes are the one in Venice because I love the Chef Massimo Bottura, who I first saw in an episode of Chef’s Table (also on Netflix), Dublin (hilarious Irish twins…that’s all I have to say); and Tel Aviv, Israel. I love Phil’s personality and his obvious love for family. He has wild eyes and when he eats he opens his mouth full and wide almost like a toddler He ends each episode with a hilarious, sometimes awkward video call to his elderly parents back in New York City. During one call his mom answered a phone call and he had to wait until she was finished to talk. In another call his mom told him to feed the cameraman.

Netflix also features the original show “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having”, his first foray into this type of show, which ran on PBS. That series was co-produced by his brother Richard Rosenthal, also involved in Somebody Feed Phil.  The presence of Richard opened the door for some hilarious moments, including his parents interrupting a conversation to ask if they could see Richard, who was part of the crew and meant to remain off camera.

I’m hoping there will more seasons of this series, a happier, lighter version of Anthony Bourdain’s Part’s Unkown.

My week ended with this hilarious clip from The Late Late Show with James Corden. I seriously felt every ounce of anxiety and fear James felt as the segment worked up to him jumping 15,000 feet out of a plane with Tom Cruise. It’s something I know I will never, ever do because of my intense fear of heights and flying. The only thing I can compare it to is the overwhelming anxiety I felt when my son begged me to jump off the diving board, into the deep end, at the pool of some acquaintances.

His friends, my friends, and a bunch of people I didn’t know were cheering me on but all I could think was that I was going to sink down and not be able to push myself back up because the deep end was definitely over my head, thanks to my short stature. I did finally jump and I did get back to the surface, but I’m pretty sure I looked like a complete crazy person during the whole process.

 

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