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Monday, October 31, 2005

Friends, Romans, Countrymen!

There are few things Mark Monz enjoys more than hearing about the editors show-going adventures. Unfortunately for Monz, the editors are aging and it takes a lot to get them out to a club for a 2-opening band late night gig. Yet this is what happened on Saturday, as the music editor bravely ventured into the crrrraaaayyyzeee Halloween weekend, hopped on the bus, made the 30 minute ride (usually 10 but with all the clubs on Clark Street...) to the Metro to see his favorite band-of-the-moment,The Go! Team. As he stepped to the ticket window, a young woman approached him with a laconicly pleading tone: could he buy her extra ticket? Our music editor was torn between two impulses: the desire to help a struggling young-un out and the memory of a Bedouin trader who, after hounding the ME to purchase some of his wares, was somewhat reluctant to make change for the purchase. But this night the ME had exact change, so the ticket was purchased. What's this? The ME was carded? This show was sponsered by WLUW-FM, Loyola University's radio station -- and since his friends TTTina and beau were not in attendence this meant the ME was undoubtably the oldest person in the joint. Next came a decidedly mixed blessing: ME arrived about 30 seconds into the first song, which means he had avoided the opening bands, but didn't have time to get a beer. This annoyance was offset by the snagging of a good location in the surprisingly crowded main floor -- in the back but dead-center stage with clear sightlines. Even the handful of college boys dressed up as Romans took care not to stand right in front of the ME or blow their cigarette smoke into his face. Best of all was the show itself. Now we know that it is easier on the vocal chords to rap than to sing (Go!Team songs boast a 3:1 rap-to-singing ratio), but DJ Ninja is by far the most impressive vocalist the ME has seen in terms of sheer aerobic onstage activity without getting winded. Few artists even try to do this live -- the ME has witnessed Paula Abdul make a valliant stab at such efforts but couldn't make it through "Vibeology" and Bobby Brown was practically wheezing through "My Perrogative." When Ninja started pointing at various people in the crowd and shouting "Now I'm going to dance like that guy!" (proceeding to change dances) the ME almost started a "We're not worthy!" bow.

And then it was over. The ME walked out, realized it was too cold to wait for the bus, and decided to walk home (making strategic warm-up stops at Walgreens along the way). And when he got home, he was hungry. Maybe if there was a Turkeybuffchickand Horseradish sauce on mountain bread (a roll-up of sorts)in the fridge he would have satiated his appetite, but there wasn't, so he went to bed. And because the editors live in apartments, they won't be handing out trick or treat candy to kids like Monz (though they do put a bowl out for the newspaper delivery folks and stragglers at the elevator).

Friday, October 28, 2005

Five Finger Discount!

We're robbing you of a proper Monz lunch report in sympathy to our copy editor, whose bosses first stole his beloved World Series Edition Sun-Times (because there was a picture of a relative who flew down to Houston for game 4) and then cancelled his 1/2 day off so he couldn't go to the parade or do some planned charity logistics (same bosses did go to the parade), leaving the copy editor a quivering mess. But we will tell you that Monz returned to Poppy's and was rewarded with an adequate chicken fajita with side salad.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Raw Lunch!

In an effort to convey just how good Monz lunch was and how mediocre-to-poor transcribers the editors are, here is the raw Monz lunch report feed, unedited and as-typed as we furiously tried to get down as much of it as we could.

>>downtown -- court call -- had lunch, tell you rightnow point blank it was yummy. you might laugh at me but I think I'm man enough to handle it. I had lunch w/ my hon at the west egg at the daley center. i had what i believe is called the buffalo boosom. came with a really small salad and those pan fried cubed potatoes,w hatever you call those things (fritters?). this was a unique sandwich, a special sandwich, because it was a grilled chicken breast with spicccey buffalo sauce on it now you know at most restur when you order a buff special its breaded and fried, this was grilled which pleased me to no end. My hon had a turkey club just in case you were wondering. <<

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

You've Got to Fight for Your Right to Chex(tm) Mix!

It was almost a year ago to the day that this blog was touting Cereality, the breakfast cereal resturant which had just opened a location in downtown Chicago. However, because this blog represents the Monz, and the Monz represents Justice, we can no longer recommend this establishment to our readers.

Why not? Because they're trying to patent mixing two breakfast cereals! On July 21 the owners of Cereality filed a patent application seeking to monopolize the following business practice:

>>[A] method for providing breakfast cereal in a quick-serve restaurant setting includes displaying multiple readily-recognizable, competitively-branded, breakfast cereal boxes in view of customers. The method further includes receiving a request from a customer for a first portion of a first one of the breakfast cereals and a second portion of a second one of the breakfast cereals. In response to receiving the request from the customer, the method additionally includes combining the first and second portions of the breakfast cereals together in a carry-out container and presenting the container to the customer in exchange for payment.<<

Ultraheinous! Somewhere out there is a kid who's dream of asking his mom for a 1/2 bowl of Count Chocula and a 1/2 bowl of Frankeberry is in danger of being crushed. However, with the spirit of the Monz as our guide, we will stop these Cereal Killers in their tracks. In the meantime, know that Monz had a wholegran breaded buffalo chicken tavern ham and turkey sandwich with Breakstones cottage cheese on the side apple and a small dannon yogurt, washed down with a Diet Rite pure zero cola (the editors are unsure whether this is a renaming of the Diet Rite cola or a new product, regardless, Monz found his lunch yummy!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Where Judy Miller Fears to Tread!

Monz rushes in with some crack reporting on the staff's favorite luncheture: Doug! "Hot Doug's is featured in the latest Mojo mag -- because he names dogs after musicians, but I forgot which musician made Doug be featured!" We're guessing it's the Steve Diggle, formerly the Howard Devoto, aka the veggie dog.

And what lunch deserves the title of "The Smiling Rock Monz Jazz Trio"? How about homemmade buffalo chicken (using a different type of chicken that holds up under slice-cutting) and tavern ham sandwich on nutty WG bread with horseradish sauce, a breakstone's cottage cheese w/ pineapple and an apple.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Ten Thousand Words!

"California" turkey sandwich from the County Cafe ("some sort of weird bread, lettuce, tomato -- I guess that makes it Californian). Caff-free Diet Coke.

Pics from the editors' visit to Waukegan can now be found here. (We suggest avoiding the slide-show and instead scrolling through the collection by clicking on the small "next>" which appears in the grey box to the right, else you won't get the super-helpful captions).

Friday, October 21, 2005

Go White Sox!

Monz is munching on scones at home ("no formal lunch") because he and his hon are off to beautiful and historic Galena for some big Illinois State Bar Association shindig.

After a week of literary immersion, we know some of you probably are yearning to join the Monz in the high literati, but are experiencing writer's block. Maybe this could help?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Beowulf It Down!

LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!
Oft dining on whole wheat bread
cooked buffalo taken from squadroned foes,
Since erst he lay, condimentless,
Nor fruits that so pose
till before him the folk, both far and near,
who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate,
gave him gifts: a good king he!
But yet to be paid for the Ebayed (tm) thing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

If You Can't Be with the Blog You Love, Love the Blog You're With!

No Monz report, so today we feature the literary editor's favorite author, Carson McCullers, and her amazing exegis on the nature of love. (The L.E. is just now getting over the unsettling experience of having Oprah pick his all-time favorite book as one of her book club selections and seeing the entire world reading it everywhere he turned). Astute readers will recognize that the following passage comes from McCullers' masterpiece "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe," a novella which provides this blog with a certain nom de Plum.

>>First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons- but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the people involved. There are the lover and the beloved but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which has lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that this love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world- a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring- this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.

Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else- but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravgant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.

It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being be loved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain. <<

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What a Day for a Daydream!

So there Monz is, sitting in the back of the CLE lecture hall, watching a videotape presentation about guardianship and probate. What's this? He's seen this seminar before! Lunchtime comes and Monz goes, because lunch ain't included in this cheap (by CLE standards) $130 seminar. Hop into the car, search near and far (well, near), and wind up at a Subway for a footlong roast beef on honey oat bread with spicy mustard.

Those who know Monz know that no Monz Book Festival could fail to include "Ern." Indeed, as a lad, Monz would give mad props to Papa Hemingway in stuttering fashion ("Ern!Ern!Ern!Ern!Ern!Ern!Ern!"). Monz appreciated the writing, the zest for life, and the mocking of enemies. For example, consider his legendary feud with Gertrude Stein. Hemingway would write obvious parodies like "All that in Paris. Ah, Paris! How far it was to Paris now. Paris in the morning. Paris in the evening. Paris at night. Paris in the morning again. Paris at noon, perhaps. Why not?" or (in "For Whom the Bell Tolls) "an onion is an onion is an onion." Hemingway wrote friend Ezra Pound that he was out to expose "all the fakes of Anderson, Gertrude, Lewis, Cather...and all the rest of the pretentious faking [sic] bastards...I don't see how Sherwood will ever be able to write again. Stuff like Gertrude isn't even worth the bother to show up. It's easier simply to quote from it." Ironically, outside of penning "a rose is a rose is a rose" and "I've been rich and I've been poor. It's better to be rich," Stein is best known by some for a response to Hemingway: waving a hankerchief in front of her dog and urging it to "Play Hemingway. Be fierce."

However, the editors' favorite description of Hemingway comes from another writer of the day, a writer near if not-overly-dear to Monz' heart: John Dos Passos. One day "Dos" was listening to Hemingway as he mocked Sherwood Anderson. Dos tried to talk him out of it. Hemingway ignored him. "He had a distracting way of suddenly beginning to hum while he was talking to you."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Monz Book Festival!

It's a rainy day in Chicago, but not for the Monz -- he's in Florida, getting ready for a big day of continuing legal education Tuesday by soaking up some rays, visiting the P's, and lunching at the Kabob Mediteranian Grill in Delray Beach. Chef's Pick Sampler, where you don't know what you're going to get but you know it will be yummy. Today it was hummus, baba ganoush, some eggplant/olive oil/other stuff salad and some ultrafresh, fluffy, grill-warmed pita bread, served with that yogurty stuff they pour on falafel sandwiches.

The editors, inspired by last week's Monz screenplay snippet and depressed over the giant thud that the Wisconsin Book Festival has become (going from the penultimate literati event in the world (let's be honest, nothing tops the New Yorker Festival, at least until now!) to a boring parade of local hacks sprinkled with a couple of somewhat recognizable guests), have decided to set things write [sic!] by announcing the first annual Monz Book Festival! Each day we will present a literature-related thingy that somehow relates to the Monz. Today we present a wonderful passage from John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath on a subject near to Monz' heart. Take it away John!

>>And always, if he had a little money, a man could get drunk. The hard edges gone, and the warmth. Then there was no loneliness, for a man could people his brain with friends, and he could find his enemies and destroy them. Sitting in a ditch, the earth grew soft under him. Failure dulled and the future was no threat. And hunger did not sulk about, but the world was soft and easy, and a man could reach the place he started for. The stars came down wonderfully close and the sky was soft. Death was a friend, and sleep was death's brother. The old times came back -- a girl with pretty feet, who danced one time at home -- a horse -- a long time ago. A horse and a saddle. And the leather was carved. When was that? Ought to find a girl to talk to. That's nice. Might lay with her, too. But warm here. And the stars down so close, and sadness and pleasure so close together, really the same thing. Like to stay drunk all the time. Who says it's bad? Who dares to say it's bad? Preachers -- but they got their own kind of drunkenness. Thin, barren women, but they're too miserable to know. Reformers -- but they don't bite deep enough into living to know. No -- the stars are close and dear and I have joined the brotherhood of the worlds. And everything's holy -- everything, even me.<<

Friday, October 14, 2005


The editors head north to Obie's ribs in Waukegan for the first lunch with the Monz since the launch of the blog. And the editors proceded to stuff themselves silly with Obie's rib tip lunch special (two sides [C&J potatoes, which are mashed potatoes with cheese and speshal seasonings, and yams, plus cornbread). Monz had the actual ribs along with yams and corn. We were particularly impressed with the thick, zesty sauce -- of all the crappy bbq places we've been to that sell their sauce at the counter, these folks don't! The friendly staff talked us into desert (peach cobbler/chocolate pecan cobbler).

We will post pics from lovely Waukegan soon, but in the interim, all this food has us thinking we need to lose weight. A diet? Atkins? South Beach? Ornish? Cruise (3 hour)? Bread (the diet de jour?) No - Monz! Monz has a weight loss plan that during the late 80's we heard incessently, like a mantra. It's composed of a simple two steps:

1) Pump and Jump.
2) Pumping Takes Precedence. (This doesn't mean pumping is better than jumping, it means that Monz won't talk to you until he's done pumping and/or jumping).

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Renovate Lunch!
The editors are off again and I am here again filling in. First, I want to address a couple of serious concerns which have been directed to me recently. I am a real person, I really eat these lunches, I am not part of the editorial staff and , yes, you need to know what I ate for lunch.

On with the show!

Today I wandered over to Poppy's to see what they offered in the way of salads but they were closed! the sign in the window said it was only for three days, so I relaxed a little. Places have been disappearing around here lately -- the little coffee joint around the corner that I went to in the morning closed just yesterday! I wandered down the street in a southerly direction to see if there were any previously unknown lunch joints hiding out, and there were none. So I wandered over to County Cafe for a Chef's Salad. It very good: sizeable with chunks of real meat in it. Stay tuned, the editors are back tomorrow!


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

'Tis I, Chops!

For well over a decade the editors, nay the world, has mourned the Monz' self-imposed exile from the world of creative writing. True, from time to time he has graced the world with glimpses of that abandoned world of the literati, screenerati, and rockerati (Monz has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fine arts, not to mention the extensive and impressive ouvre of the Smiling Rock Monz Jazz Trio), such as when he cast his creative writing pearls before the Wisconsin Book Festival board of judges swine, only to witness the kind of homerism that the White Sox could have used from the umps last night.

So we cannot help ourselves to rerun one of our all-time favorite Monz posts.But Monz does not rerun one of his favorite lunches! "Today's lunch is a homemade turkbuffchicktavhamonnutbread sandwich with lowfat cheese and horseradish sauce, + apple, last of the bananas and a Breakstones Cottage doubles with pineapple. Yum."

The editors will be hibernating tomorrow in atonement for the multitude of sins. Like this one: this morning as the health editor was heading into the office, he saw a sign in the window of a drug store which read "FLU SHOTS THIS MORNING." The health editor walked in and after a brief wait was informed that the shots were only for "high risk" individuals who met a certain criteria. As fate would have it, the health editor met one of these criteria, but only as a technicality (parent or legal guardian of someone on an aspirin regimine -- the health editor shares guardianship over such an individual). Torn, the health editor explains all of this to the intake person. "Oh, that's ok, you qualify, we're not going to run out today." But the health editor is still having qualms because if something like last year happens and some geezer dies as a result of not getting their flu shot then karma is going to klock him with at least a bad end-of-season-after-the-shot-has-wore-off bout of flu, followed by a visit by Inspector R------ A---, now with the FBI, asking why the health editor gave misleading testimony to a quasi-agent of the Center for Disease Control. The health editor turns, then turns again, hands over $25 and rolls up his sleeve.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oh Lord, Won't You Download Some Mercedes-Benz?!

Monz nurses his cold with some hot sour soup from Kong's. Which reminds us, Dude, the EIC's mom wanted to know if Kong's is in the basement or something like that (friends of the EIC know that she hails from nearby North Chicago and used to go to downtown 'Gan all the time). Back to lunch: small chicken fried rice and an ultrarare order of small chicken chop suey. Then back to designing the new firm invoices!

Meanwhile, recently the music editor delivered to the Monz a copy of their annual mixed CD (which was an annual mixed tape from 1983-1999). Coincidently or not, we've been asked how the editor makes his selections and "where does he find those songs?!" Welp, the M.E. doesn't want to spill all his secrets (Dude, no, that's not an oblique reference to "The Secret" -- readers, we'll explain later), but as a sample of what passes across his ears, lately a fellow music lover was ranting about a Mixed "Tape" which Mercedes-Benz makes available for downloading. No kidding, apparently they have hired someone or someones to listen to tons of submissions and off-the-radar stuff in a variety of genres. We are informed they are quite good and carry an as-of-this-moment hip cache, though we have not confirmed this for ourselves. Said hip cache can only be enhanced by the fact that they only keep them up for about two months before replacing them. In the munificent Monz spirit, we invite anyone interested to hear for themselves.

Monday, October 10, 2005

It's the End of the Blog as We Know It!

Maybe we were lucky. Maybe we were naive. But a couple of weeks ago this blog was hit with it's first "blogspam". When we first saw this comment ("Hi, I like your blog! I have a blog about used lance camper [sic]. Stop by and check it out sometime at [hotlink for used lance camper site]" we thought it was yet another internet surfer coming to know and admire the Monz. Then we realized it was an autogenerated piece of crap designed to increase some nimrod's Google page ranking. We deleted it, but more came, all with fake praise for the blog. Then we got one that didn't even include the fake praise: "Have you ever seen Asparagus this BIG? They grow up to 15in long and 2in wide. [link to an asparagus seed-selling blog]. We turned this one over to our New York legal editor, who ran a WHOIS search on Mr. Asparagus and found an Italian sounding name with a British e-mail address, to which he wrote:

To: [British Asparagus Dude with Italian Name] Because you or the company you hired to maximize your page rankings spammed my blog, be advised I will be doing the following:

1) Reporting to Google your site's abuse of their rules, which hopefully combined with other complaints will lead to you being dropped from their index.

2) I will be forwarding a copy of the spam and an explanation to the British consulate in New York for consideration if any laws have been broken.

We heared back:
And you are spamming my email box.
I have not authorized you to send me emails.
So I am reporting you to Google as well,
and remember that it is illegal to send non authorized emails.

Our man responded:

You did "authorize" me -- this is the address you supplied in your WHOIS record for receiving e-mail related to your domain. I direct you to re-read ICANN's rules. It appears that you violated both federal and state laws in spamming, as research indicates you autospam blogs. I imagine you violated British laws too, hence the report to the consulate. You might look around in the NY court database and see what you find. http://www.courts.state.ny.us/supctmanh/ Collection may be tough, but perhaps certain default judgments can be reported to BIA and might cause visa problems if you're thinking of visiting? Have a nice day.

We heard back. British Asparagus Dude is not pleased! But Monz is pleased with his lunch! Smoked turkey + tavern ham, nutty whole grain bread, apple and ripened banana. (Just to clear up some confusion from the other day, this banana was ordered from Harry and David(tm), the fruit guys.)

We were going to force all future comments to enter one of those word/number combos, but Monz wouldn't want to inconvenience his readers in the least! He'd rather inconvenience the editors, thus, the staff has begun the massive project of turning off comments for older posts.

Oh, and if all that wasn't enough,
no childhood (or other) memory is sacred anymore.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Rumbling Clouds of Gel!

It's a chilly, drizzly day in the Windy City. Up in Waukegan the Monz managed to enjoy a chicken caesar wrap from the County Cafe ("pretty good, but it could use a little sssspice." Monz tells us he wanted to go here, and indeed it looks so yummy that we're instructing the Monz not to go there until the editors come to visit in the near future (lest we insist on GoJos). Or maybe not so near future, because Monz feels a massive cold coming on and stubbornly refuses to take his Zicam (the editors have been prostletizing "zinc-as-a-cold-cure" since 1986!). And the editors just realized they forgot to register for the College of Lake County half-day seminar on simple car repairs which they were intending on attending. It's enough to make one stop blogging for the week.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Schoolastic and Baseballs and Lunch, Oh My!

Back in the elementary school day, the editors all had subscriptions to Dynamite!, a periodical published by Schoolastic. Every month we'd get to order books and magazines from the sanitized Schoolastic list. The editors wanted to share with you our favorite Dynamite! feature, the tear-out eyeglasses with open eyes painted where the lenses would be (so you could take a nap and fool the teacher into thinking you were awake). Alas we could not find them, so we offer this instead. The image on the cover does not go to infinity -- there's a different back issue of Dynamite! at the very center/end.

Ditto on the Monz lunch, except there's a mysterious new type of banana.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

"I Am a Happy Person Living Life to the Fullest!"

Years ago (15 to be exact), the legal editor was depressed. So depressed that he purchased a cassette tape titled "Happiness." The tape was said to contain subliminal messages that would make the listener happy. It started out with a woman saying cheerfully and forcefully "I am a happy person living life to the fullest!" Then there were some nature sounds followed by some music (imagine a cross between a Nick Jr. cartoon soundtrack and new age jazz). Unfortunately, his depression grew and grew as his new job became insidiously worse and worse. But who's to say the tape didn't work -- maybe it saved him from a horrible fate? We know the Monz would want you to decide for yourself!

Or you could make yourself happy with a Buffalo Chicken-Tavern Ham sandwich with horseradish sauce and apple.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

L'Shana Tova!

The editors are too drunk after celebrating the Jewish New Year, so me, Monz, is stepping in. This is something I've done a lot of lately, filling in in court this morning for another attorney, and having it turn into a hellride -- hopefully the blog will not have the same fate. Feeling exhausted after two brutal hearings this a.m., I went to the Atwood Cafe in the Hotel Burnham for some carry out. I ordered the veggie burger with a side of sweet potato fries. And I'll testify! Damn yummy! But really pricey! Hopefully the editors will be back to their collective old selves manana and you can have an interesting blog entry to read!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Mary Moon (She's a Vegetarian)!

No lunch report, but we're actually more excited about Saturday's lunch, when Monz got on his two-wheeler and headed out to Richmond, IL for some early fall scenery and lunch at the (apparently overrated) O'Brien's Pub: Reuben and BBQ wings.

Meanwhile, less manly readers will be interested in the latest seminar offered by our friends who brought us the gong and the mantras: Lunar Woman. Did you know a woman needs to meditate for 3 minutes every 3 hours to remain balanced. That a woman sees the world through the quality of each "moon center." Did you know that a covering all the "moon centers" is the key to sensual delights beyond description? That a woman moves to a different moon center every 2.50 days? If not (or if you want to read the Yogi Bhajan quote, and we know you do!) you better sign up!

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