Friday, November 30, 2007

Unusual views

Anderson is reporting live on The Situation Room
on scene from the site of the Clinton campaign HQ
in New Hampshire, where a man with a reported bomb
took hostages this morning.

Most of the news this week was about the debate, but I thought I would grab some of the more unusual views. Above, Anderson points to the screen during the YouTube debate Wednesday night.

And that's a mighty big screen! This is from the Tuesday warmup. Even with that big a picture, it must have seemed odd to be talking to his guests from the other side of the hall!

And from last night's show, Anderson checks his laptop as we go to commercial. Note the BlackBerry within easy reach... guess his addiction is still strong!

On American Morning today, John Roberts and Kiran Chetry previewed a story about vintage rock t-shirts that now sell for thousands of dollars. John broke out his Beatles accent (at least, I think that's what he was going for... ;) and also stumped Kiran with some classic rock trivia.

And although Ali Veshi isn't a 360 alum, this was too silly not to share... when your money guy starts shakin' his groove thang, you know the markets have been volatile for too long!

Finally, a rare interview with Michael Ware, done when he was in Paris last month but just hitting newsstands this week. From Monocle magazine, a feature called "Last Meal," wherein people discuss what and who they'd invite to... you know, asking a war correspondent to talk about his last meal just seems like kinda bad manners, doesn't it? I mean... Well, y'all saw his report last night. I'm going to have a few nightmares from that one... I'm just sayin'...

"Brisbane is my home but I live in Baghdad. For almost six years now I have only lived war. I leave Iraq twice a year and the first thing I do when I come out is go to a Thai restaurant; it's my first meal anywhere I go. I just arrived in Paris to cover the Rugby World Cup and I've already had two Thai meals. I love it and miss the taste. I miss the currency of the flavours, the richness of the food, the sparkle. I'm not a gourmet - I'm a man of very simple tastes - but, to me, Asian flavours are part of being a contemporary Australian, so I'd have Thai food for my last meal.

Today I'm having Tom Yum Goong. I haven't had a spring roll in months so I'm going to have some of those too. And then there's the eternal decision - stir fry or curry? I think I'll go with the prawns in curry sauce.

Before I left for Paris, I had just eaten in a restaurant in Iraq for the first time in two years. It was in the western Anbar province where the US Marines have a division. I went back to an important al-Qaeda village that Sunni insurgents had reclaimed from al-Qaeda only weeks before. They used to hang severed heads from butchers hooks on the main street.

Al-Qaeda had owned this particular restaurant for years and had closed it when they shut down the village and all communal life. Now that the tide has turned there and Iraqis have the upper hand again, reopening the restaurant was a big deal.

When I arrived in Iraq, after living in Kandahar, Afghanistan, for just over a year, it felt like a food revolution. For a while it seemed like the food had taste - we were eating kebabs, mutton, rice and chicken. Occasionally you'd see a salad and do cartwheels, particularly when you're eating the same lunch and dinner every day. I'm back to the same weight I was when I was 17.

Forget Atkins. Forget the fad diets. You want to go to fat camp? Then get yourself to Iraq. The food is unattractive and poorly prepared so there's no motivation to eat, and when you do it can have serious consequences! Sometimes you starve for days so you're constantly hungry and you end up dreaming and fantasising about food all the time.

At my last meal, I'd just have two members of my family. I don't like to talk about my personal life but the people I count as real friends wouldn't even fill this table. My world is actually very small. I come from a traditional Australian working-class background which I'm immensely proud of. My upbringing has helped to shape the man that I'm slowly evolving into.

My favourite memory as a child was being with my father and stopping at these roadside food vendors - roaming meat-pie salesmen - who would sell food from the back of their trucks. They would park by certain main thoroughfares and roads in the neighbourhoods where we grew up and my father and I would stop for pie'n'peas. It's an English thing - a saucy pie filled with ground beef. The pie man would slice the crust off the lid and peel it back to spread mashed peas across the top before resealing the lid.

To me as a child that was manna from heaven that came in a little white paper bag. Dad and I used to have a competition to see who could eat the thing without spilling it, because it was a very messy affair. I have very strong childhood memories of that.

The sad indictment on my current culinary life is that I will go into a US military embed just so I can get to the chow hall. I'm not kidding. I remember watching M*A*S*H when I was growing up, and you'd see the slop they dealt out to the soldiers in the army mess hall; but it's certainly not like that now.

They have salad bars as long as football fields, sandwich bars, ice cream parlours, and burger and corn dog stands. Then there's the main meal section, with fruit, veg and salad and an assortment of beverages that boggles the mind. I've been known to fake interest in military operations just to get to the food, and I think it's well known within the multinational force command that if they want to entice me out for an interview or a sit-down with a general, they offer a lunch and we'll do it in the chow hall. If they want to own me, they go via my stomach."

Have a great weekend! Looks like we will see Anderson tonight after all!


Delie said...

Thanks Cyn! As I read your post, I turn on CNN Int and we have Wolf and Anderson too!
I Love this article about Mick and I am having huge cravings for Thai food...

Anonymous said...

I love seeing Anderson in the field. Looks like he is coming down with another cold. It sure is a bonus to see him today. What is he doing in New Hempshire??? Is he covering a story up there or flew out for the story?

Wonderful article about MW. He sure kept his sense of humor through all those tough assisgnment.

Pati Mc said...

Thanks for the awesome post Cyn. Love the interview with Michael. What a great guy he is (and on so many levels :-) Just a plain and simple "good" guy, bless him.

It makes me smile that he is proving the old addage " the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" very apropos.

(Why am I picturing Cyn in her kitchen frantically trying out new recipes? - LOL).

And our Anderson?- my word! LA, FL, NYC & now New Hampshire? Sheesh! And he looks very cold, his nose is all red. Aw! I can just imagine the line of faithful queing up to take turns warming him. Not a bad way to spend a Friday night if you ask me.

Do I see a queue for the naughty bleachers as well? Hmmmm?????

snooks said...

Anderson is on 8PM eastern time

Unknown said...

360 will be on at 8pm est tonight!

MWmcFan said...

Thanks Cyn, loved the Mick article in Monocle. And the AM vids were so funny - that Ali really knows how to shake it! And thanks Purple Tie for the heads up on the 360 time change tonight.

cactuskid said...

Great post on Michael, Cyn! Bless his heart! Can only imagine the food he does have to eat over there! Who knew that he's alittle comedic?! So he'll interview anyone over there for a good meal.

Sapphire said...

Great post Cyn....things looks great from unusual views ;)

Great videos from AM....too funny