Thursday, March 8, 2007

Drs. J. Robin Warren and Barry Marshall

Here are two men whom you may not recognize and may not ever hear about again, but to whom you may one day want to say thank you.

They were awarded together the 2005 Nobel Prize for medicine because they established that stomach ulcers are caused by a bacteria and not stress. It means you can be cured. You do not have to spend the rest of your life eating babyfood and staying sober. Hurrah for them!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Riccardo Scamarcio

This is a photo of a beautiful boy. He's considered the latest Italian sex symbol, although this photo doesn't promote that image so well.

A little Google time for images, however, reveals that he's the man of a hundred faces and appears to be an entirely different person depending on the image you choose.
Sure, he's an actor and should be capable of some of that, but the differences in Scamorcio are remarkable. You sometimes can hardly recognize him.

He is in Hollywood right now, making a break for the international big time. How will they deal with that name? "skah MORE cho" There, you are maybe the first on your block who knows how to say it.

He's just barely legal, not yet even thirty, but watch him, because he could live up to his Italian hype as the Italian Marlon Brando.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


Another real guy, and accessible to the United States readers.

Rowan is another Brit, like Reid, and is also sitting on top of the world. What is it about that position and British men?

He cooks, ladies, and makes wine and beer. He's in a highly technical job and likes the relaxation of the kitchen and the stillroom. I know him from the cookery pastime. Polite and funny and there you go. What else could a gal ask for?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Tony Bourdain

Let's get at the chefs again. There's just something so nice about a man who can really cook.

Tony recently made news again when he took over Michael Ruhlman's blog to talk about Food TV Network. Within days that post had over 500 comments, including some from Bourdain in Patagonia. Presumably Patagonia was for his travel show.

He's a famous and accomplished chef who also write about cooking and mystery novels. That's a lot of talent in one man. It makes me wonder why he crosses his arms over his chest all the time. Are you hiding something? Or hiding from us? Talk, Tony.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Raoul Bova

Time for some straight up male beauty taken neat.

Bova was a swimming champion who turned on a dime to acting and for once it worked. Born in 1971 at Rome, that makes him just about old enough to watch without wincing. And watch we will, because there probably isn't any male in movies today who is more beautiful than Bova. It also seems he might be a decent guy, a family man and good to work with.

He looks good in clothes, too, even rumpled clothes.

Mums, talk to your boys about swimming lessons. It seems to do a body good.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

David Lebowitz

This might be the nicest man in Paris.

If you feel like hanging out in cafes and bistros, you may very well do better with "Monsieur Chocolat" than "Monsieur MovesinonyouatCrazyHorse." Witty, kind and a great cook who can amuse you with a tale of finding the right cake container for moving oeuvres d'art in the Paris Metro. He knows where to eat, he knows what to drink. I've not yet met a foodie or wannabe who doesn't subscribe to his blog for what's cooking in Paris.

David was once a pastry chef at Alice Waters' Chez Panisse restaurant. Now he writes cookbooks and leads tours and even takes tours into the guts of manufacturer's of kitchen equipment of the prime kind.

I like him. My kid likes him. We both say, "David said..." and then laugh. A man for all seasons and many reasons.

Marlon Brando

From the beginning to the end of his career, his private life was as striking as his acting.

I wasn't alert to the beginnings; on Broadway, where only those who went to New York plays would have known about him, nor yet his first films, "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "On the Waterfront." I don't remember even hearing about them from the older women in my life. They may have been just a bit too gritty for ladies of New England. It was easy to catch up later when his fame was so broadly drawn that everybody knew who he was and had an opinion. The image would not have been attractive to me, a girl who was scared to death of bad boys. It would have attracted attention, however. His image both on and off screen always attracted attention.

He could look beautiful.

He could look dangerous.

He could even look like the boy next door to someone,

but certainly not me. None of the boys next door to me were ever that fascinating and none of them ever had the possibilities you could smell radiating from Brando.

In the end, he looked like this. He was 77 years old when this was taken.

He was one of America's best actors, and sort of a poster boy for the American bad boy. Unlike James Dean, he lived on to show us just how bad bad could be without ever getting to evil.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Roberto Bolle

Bolle is Italy's primo ballerino, which simply means first male dancer.

Bolle is generally said by the critics to be very elegant and extraordinarily supportive of the ballerinas with whom he dances. He doesn't usually get points for acting, but it may well be that properly supporting the ballerina who is praised for her acting is good acting. His unusual height allows him to partner taller females and allows shorter females to take wilder chances, knowing that there is this big fellow waiting to catch them and that he is up to the job. I have only seen film of Bolle dancing, and acting doesn't come through film all that well.

From the film I have seen, I like him best in modern ballets. He can be shocking in them. The stripped-down costuming in modern ballet reveal better this wonderful physique, the trained structure and musculature he has developed from six hours daily training. The less he wears, the more he differs from other dancers.

This photo shows him not dancing, but looking pretty darned handsome. At 31, he is making more non-dancing appearances, because although 31 is young, in ballet it is wake-up time that another career needs to be developed.

Both the above images come from danse-photos and if you like ballet at all, I recommend you go there to see more, more, more of Bolle dancing and partnering some of the leading ballerinas of our time. It is a stunning site and sight.

Listening to Bolle talk is interesting. He has a quite pronounced lisp, and I always wonder why he hasn't trained that out of his speech. Surely the next stage of his career would be better for it? As it is, you almost need to be fluent in Italian to understand him at times.

It is reported that he likes to go to discos for relaxation, and it is also expected that he will marry one day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cary Grant

My vote goes here for the single, all-around most attractive man ever.


Seems like everything about him was a part of it. The slight British accent that remained forever. His height and carriage. The face which had enough variations from the ordinary to photograph and film well in black and white. The humor that seemed to go where he went so that even in a serious role, it seemed there was more to the character than what was written.

I had a collection of his classic films in the US, but didn't move them because I didn't know you could transpose them into Pal format. Too bad. I miss them. And him.

The above photo is in youth, but look how he became old. Luck? Or a bit of help? Who cares?

Photo courtesy of, where there is also a biography.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Johnny Depp

I do think he is really fine.

Born in Kentucky, living in France. That seems a leap. I have actually seen and liked Depp in a couple of movies, but he usually makes movies I don't see. I did once think I'd like him to cut my hair.

I think it might be best to just look, because he doesn't take to being bothered.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Pierrick Fédrigo

I think the French are making a mistake. The don't portray their cyclists apart from their bikes and their gear.

After you've lived in a cycling mad culture for a while, you know that there are some exceptional athletes involved, but if you never see them off a bike, they tend to seem boyish. Not to say that being boyish is a bad thing, but it appeals to a quite narrow slice of womanhood. So when the career in cycling is over, what then?

This French cycling champion was born in Marmande, France in 1978. I have shoes older than Fédrigo. The town is in Southwest France, while I was expecting Brittany because of his coloring and Celtic appearance.

He is steadily rising in the ranks, and was French national champion in 2005. That is all the French think we need to know of him. He cycles. He's good. He's hardy and fast. I think they should take a leaf from the Italian book and show a broader portrait of their athletes, because good, hardy and fast is just not enough.

Back to Cipollini, now...

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Melvil Poupaud

Actor, musician, writer, director, this Frenchman at 33 seems to have done it all. He was a protagonist in Le Divorce, which had an international release and in Time to Leave, a more recent film which may come to you. There is a great nude poster of him for his film "Le Temps Qui Reste" if you've a mind to look at it. It's quite unusual.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Colin Firth

Who, I ask you, wouldn't want one of these?

Or this?

If you want to know all about Colin Firth, go to IMDB and read all about him. Or go to this exhaustive biography where you can become an expert.

For me, Mr. Darcy will do.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Paolo Bonolis

This mild-mannered, ordinary guy is one of the most successful television personalities in Italy.


I have found him quick-witted and easy on his guests. One never knows if it's a matter of good writers and a good memory or whether the person actually is witty, but anyone who has watched Italian television has at least seen him. He has over his 25 years in show business run the gamut of hosting jobs, and has also made at least one movie, "Commedia Sexi."

This photo is Bonolis at his glamorous best.


Pick one quality that would make him a star. But he is one. Last I heard he was making eight million euro a year. He was born in 1961, was married to a New York psychologist and has two children who live there. He is presently married to an Italian former-showgirl.

I find him pleasant, but fairly inexplicable. Why is he so successful? But then I ask that about Pippo Baudo, too, and Italians look at me like I have a hole in my head!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Keanu Reeves

How will you have your Keanu Reeves? Wearing what seems a very severe evening gown or a priest's cassock?


Or fresh-faced and youthful?


A booking photo following arrest for DUI?

Bad things happen to all of us. Ask Hugh Grant.

Reeves certainly does have a lot of facets. He's been acting since 1979, at fifteen years old. His interests mostly seem to be sports, and yet his roles always seem to reveal an underlying mysticism. It's probably for that reason that he has always been the subject of vague and negative gossip. I like to watch him, although I can't say why. Somehow he seems to have more potential interest than his roles.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Gérard Depardieu

I don't remember when Gérard Depardieu looked like this

Courtesy of

But I think it doesn't matter a whit. I don't think anybody loves him for his beauty. It is to me a combination of his talent and his presence. He's like a big, huggable bear that could accidentally hurt you. He doesn't have hands, but paws. His chin is a weapon. And yet all those mis-mated parts form a very beloved actor. And why not? He has performed in so many movies since 1971 that the titles won't fit on a nineteen inch monitor.

Courtesy of

He was born in 1948, like Baryshnikov. He's gotten even more shambly as time goes on, and still it doesn't matter. He loves wine, woman and food. Hey, he's French. I saw him on live television last year and he'd slimmed right down, then I saw a recent still shot and he'd returned to beardom.

One biographical site claims his work as: actor, director, singer, vintner, boat crewman, farm hand, beach attendant. I plan to spend my evening imagining M. Depardieu in those various roles. I have had more boring nights.

In the meantime, raise a glass of rouge to Gérard!

Courtesy of

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mikhail Baryshnikov

It would be nice to be young again, in some ways, but I can never regret having lived in a time when I could and did see Mikhail Baryshnikov dance.

He seemed not to be tethered to earth like us. For someone who likes men there were countless things to like about Baryshnikov, and I trust that there still are.

I always say if someone is dancing, I'm watching. It wasn't so easy to get to see Baryshnikov at the height of his fame. Someone had to be lucky and generous, and someone was. Watching him bend a foot was an experience. A walk, a turn, every movement was weighty, artful, something like seeing humankind as it could be.

Nowadays one can get film of Baryshnikov, and my wishlist is forming as I type, but there will never again be the chance to see him dance the Corsair.

He was born in 1948 in Riga, Latvia, and left to study in Leningrad. He danced with the Kirov until 1974, when he defected to join The American Ballet. He later danced with Balanchine's New York Ballet and then returned to ABT, where he worked many years, eventually as artistic director. He continues to work as an artist although the days are gone when he can perform the difficult parts he once did. That never stopped him dancing, and he has turned a foot to many dance forms since. He made films that were successful primarily because he was in them, although Geoffrey Hines certainly was in his own way as artful in "White Nights." People just couldn't see enough of this man, and he changed the place ballet had in our lives.

Here he is in 2006, courtesy of Not bad, eh?

He was sexy, soulful, selfish, generous, athletic, and a star like dance seldom sees. Thank you for being Baryshnikov, a dancer.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Yo-Yo Ma

If I were a silly woman who sat around making lists of dream lovers, Yo-Yo Ma would be in the top two.

I have never needed to know much more about him than how he plays a cello.

I have found some things out for the purposes of sharing him with you. He was born in Paris in 1955 to two musicians. He began studying cello when he was four and began performing in public at five. His first American appearance was at eight years old. He graduated from high school at fifteen and went on to Juilliard School of Music, Columbia University and finally Harvard. He questioned whether he would make a career in music, but then was inspired by Pablo Casals and the result is very fortunate for us, indeed.

Both his wife and sister are violinists and his brother in law is a guitarist. What life sounds like near them is beyond my comprehension. It must be paradisaical.

I know people who are not patient enough to listen to classical music, and it is a shame, because it is a long march from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, which is a lot of people's initial exposure, to the art of Ma. If you are interested, "The Silk Road Project" shows a wide variety of music played by a group assembled by Ma, and includes music unexpectedly apt from the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

Ma has won fifteen Grammy's and the Glenn Gould Prize. To me he is simply a music god.

Friday, January 26, 2007

George Clooney

You don't really need to see George here. He's everywhere.

But heck, he has to be represented, right? He does have a charming demeanor. He used to have a pig. He has a much-discussed home on the shores of Lake Como. where Pliny the Younger used to hang out some time back-- not with George, let me be clear.

I don't know much of his work. I saw a really crazy movie in which he played a chain gang prisoner and conman. I wrote him a letter once in hopes he would phone an Italian friend who loves him on her birthday. Predictably we didn't get a call or an answer. It pleased her, though.

OK, for me he is famous for being famous. He's stuck in my mind, so he gets stuck here. Basta.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sean Connery

I thought I'd better show off Sean before he starts to age.

Photo courtesy of dlynnwaldron.

This is an extraordinary man, possibly even amazing. He has been appealing to women for decades and decades. There are photos of him at every possible age and he never looks bad.

He was born in 1930. How many men can you name born anytime in the Thirties that anyone calls sexy? At 59 years old he was voted "The sexiest man alive." So what's different about him? The voice is intensely masculine it's true. He has not ever in about fifty years of career ever looked bad, fat, used up or any of the dreadful spells that topple idols. But the eyes, yes, the sardonic one brow raised knowing look. That's my choice.

As James Bond he was the bad boy playing on the good side. Connery has daubed himself with the bad boy paint a few times. He doesn't seem to care very deeply what we think of him. And maybe that's what we like too.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gianfranco Vissani

With his characteristic red shoes, this man, the top chef in Italy today, continues to dazzle the foodies of the world.

Powerful, yes he is. He is ubiquitous on television, commenting, creating and protesting the blurring of the ancient Italian tradition of respect for one's ingredients, however humble.

You can see something of his famous restaurant at its website. If you have to ask, then like me, you probably can't afford it. It's just down the road a piece from my Umbrian house, so if you are inviting? There's one special for €100, but unfortunately it's rabbit. On that site he also writes columns on Italian traditional foods.

People are forever arguing about whether it can be worth paying $350 and up for a single meal. I would say yes, if you have it to spend, and I would further say pay it to the man in the red shoes.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Francesco Totti

In Italy all the starlets and letter girls date and sometimes marry soccer players. This photo, courtesy of, shows the most famous current player at work.

He plays for Roma. He is so recognizable that when he participated in a reality show which had famous people (including a past President) doing ordinary jobs, he was recognized instantly while pumping gas.

He is 4 centimeters shorter than last year's Miss Italia, but tall isn't a requirement for Italian men. He's been a pro soccer player since 1993, which seems a long career to me. He wrote a jokebook a while back, and I got the impression he might be an Italian Yogi Berra, conversationally. The proceeds were dedicated to charity and Totti is a UNICEF ambassador.

He is married to showgirl Ilary Blasi and they have one and a half children. He was caught being unfaithful shortly after the marriage, which would be a dealbreaker for a lot of gals, but Ilary has hidden depths.

While I am a World Cup only sort of calcio fan, it is impossible to live in Italy and not know who Totti is or to not recognize his face. Soccer players are part of the lares and penates of modern Italy. Here is the top one of today.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I Fratelli Fiorello

Brothers, and different as night and day.

Beppe Fiorello, courtesy of TG mediaset, is a serious actor of generally respectable demeanor. I've seen him in many roles, and sometimes I have to think who it is, because he is capable of altering himself completely in a role. He is most believable as tragic heroes and he generally dies. Poor Beppe.

Big brother Rosario, but known as just Fiorello, is a singer and comedian and has a similar ability to alter himself on camera from his handsome self to a bizarre monster in thirty seconds. Fiorello can write his own contract for TV shows, has made it into American movies, but was equally capable of turning his back on the big time and making himself into a cult radio figure.

What was in that family that turned out two chameleons with big talent, even though they express it differently?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Massimiliano Rosolino

This photo had to happen eventually, given that I write from Italy.

The photo is courtesy of a Spanish fashion page.

Six foot four, bleached blond and he's currently between beauty queens. Napolitano, born in 1978 and one has to wonder what Laura Biagiotti had in mind bundling this boy into those trunks. Yes, he is an Olympic Gold Medal winning swimmer, but not in those enormous pants! He is currently modeling men's fashions, and recently finished a round on "Ballando con le Stelle" where he was partnered with Titova, who may be the best dancer Italy has ever seen, but her couple never wins. Maybe we have a hard time seeing the male of the couple? It's hard to miss Massimiliano, wherever he goes.

For Alyson, who wishes to see his eyes better, look here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Ammar is an anthro-archeologist. His wife finds in him so many special qualities that she has dedicated an entire website to him. What stands out for me is that he grows every year a field of wheat to share with the poor and hungry.

Luca Zingaretti

"Montalbano, sono."

So he introduces his popular television character, a Sicilian Commissario of police named Salvo Montalbano. Zingaretti is a fine actor with many roles behind him and ahead of him, but Montalbano, the creature of Italian writer Camillieri, is the one that is indivisible from his public persona. The Rai Italian series has been dubbed and published in DVD form in twelve languages and is sold worldwide. It is probably the single most successful thing Rai has ever produced.
Although the books by Camillieri are among the best mysteries I have ever read, and that mainly for creating this character whose depths are still being plumbed after years of editions, Zingaretti has created a new layer with his artful portrayal. You can read his mind when he is about to do something illegal in the interest of justice.
He is also simply one of the sexiest men ever to appear on any screen, large or small.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I know Reid because he is both a cook and a traveler. His various websites include his absolutely incredible photographs and endlessly interesting and useful information on walking and climbing in the UK and Spain. Start at fellwalk and wander on to his other sites and you can also try to imagine how he ever had time to live an entirely different life, and he did. There are also links to Italian photos and to me.

Mario Cipollini

Here is a temporary link to Mario.

Why Mario? Well, just look at him! He's a gorgeous champion of sport and then later learned to dance on "Ballando con le Stelle" where I found his tango very tempting. In looking up images of Cipollini, I discovered that he is one of those men who has improved with age.

I have never, darn it, been that close to Mario. These photos are courtesy of and You may follow through to the links if inspired.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Santa is a very special man. So is Dave, in disguise here.

Dave is married to a friend of mine. I will let her describe what is special about him.

"There are many things I like about Dave, but the thing that's great about him is his wit. He makes me laugh several times a day. I've told both our children, "Marry someone who makes you laugh. The face and the body will change over the years, but laughter just gets better."

I love this picture. He was Santa for the local, very small rural church. Things went as expected until he got this college girl on his lap. The first thing he did was turn and look at me and I know he was thinking, "Look what I got!!" "

His intentions might be read in his eyes. I see a gleam beyond that of charity there.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Claudio Amendola

Claudio Amendola has the aspect of a "bad boy" but not really bad. Whatever he does, good or bad, is in the Italian public eye and a lot of attention is paid to his long term relationship with Francesca Neri.
He has in the past played a lot of tough guys and romantic types, but comedy fits best, and in the past few years he has begun doing commercials for television in which he is a funny dad to teenagers. I think a lot of fellows might quail at aging their public image like that, but it doesn't seem to bother him, nor should it. This year he is making the same commercials with Paris Hilton, and I may be putting thoughts in his head, but he seems vaguely embarrassed in them. It's probably that I think he should be embarrassed.
He seems sort of like your naughty cousin with whom you did things when you were kids that you are never going to tell your parents, or even your siblings. Can you see your secrets in his smile? Don't ask, don't tell.
I don't know why he is my first man post of all. I think it is perhaps because Claudio is neither here nor there, but sort of possible for anything. Not gorgeous, certainly not ugly! He just seems like a man you could have X rated fun with and who would not make demands nor make you feel guilty. One of the many images available on the net shows him semi-nude with an enormous serpent tattoo, which for Ms Neri's sake I hope is makeup.
I own only one of his films and can understand little of it, because everybody in it mumbles. Sure, they were up to criminal activities, but I wasn't going to be a stoolie.
Claudio's father Feruccio Amendola was a well-known actor and a famous dubber, or doppiatore. IMdb has a short but interesting page on him.
IMdb shows Claudio's filmography on this page.
Amazon has these of his films for sale in the US. Caterina Va in Città and Queen Margot seem to get the most critical plaudits.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Just Men

Nice men, talented men, men that look good, men that look ordinary, men who work, men who play, fathers and sons, and any male who catches my interest for any reason.

I'm watching for you.
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