Tuesday, February 28, 2006
In the course of history there have been many legendary fill-ins. Edith Wilson for her husband Woodrow. Randy Newman for Bruce Springsteen as told by Randy Newman, and now Monz will be filling in for the editors while they are on assignment in Los Angeles.
With LaLaLand on our minds, we decided to give Monz a quiz, unknown to him, about The Film Snob's Dictionary. Monz scored a 5 out of 7, though he was bored-to-contemptuous of most of the entries we presented. The one that elicited repeated exclamations of "kickass! brilliant! genius!" were the Maysles Brothers. Monz proceded to tell us his sweet chilli chicken sandwich from the CSC was yummier than usual. And again speaking of L.A., when informed that the band that headlined the first Monz/Music Editor concert outing has lent it's signature tune to the Papa John's Pizza chain, Monz guesed the lyrical tweak in one try!
Monday, February 27, 2006
Friday night circa 6:30 PM the EIC was leaving the myl offices, when a suited man exited the elevator ahead of him. As they made their way to the security desk to check out, the suited man shouted "Can I make it?!" and threw his half-filled water bottle across the security guard's desk, trying to "make a basket" into the trash can next to her. The guard startled, the EIC startled, and the bottle hit the wall and bouced-off. In a rare moment of wit and bravado which tends to make the EIC's mother nervous, the EIC said "Guess not." The suited man didn't look happy.
But Monz hits the target with a footlong turkey on Hearty Italian with peppers and cheese from "the place."
Friday, February 24, 2006
Last week the literary editor was in the same distraught mood as the rest of the MYL staff. In fact, he was so lost in his thoughts that he left a cloth shopping bag on the bus! The bag held two library books (on library science) and a copy of the book the LE has given more often than any other book, though it's not his favorite book (but check out the spacily coincidental name!) On a wing and a prayer, the LE called the Chicago Transit Authority, who referred him to the North Park Garage, who advised him to call back the next day.
"Yeah, we got it" said the lost-n-found dude after the LE gave a detailed description of the contents. "Item 65, it'll be here for 30 days." That Saturday, the LE drove to the North Park Garage. Half the cars in the immense parking lot were beaters. Nobody checked him at the door of the main building. Upon entering the main room, the LE was flooded by Pine Sol. He saw several drivers sitting at a very long table. The perimeter of the room had an assortment of vending machines. One wall had a couple of service windows, and the LE approached one. The woman behind the counter asked him to again describe the contents, which he did. She disappeared for a moment and came back with the bag. However, upon examining its contents the LE found that only the two library books, and the book store bag that contained the gift-intended book, remained - the book was gone!
This would be like Monz losing his Chicken Egg Foo Yung special from China Garden (2 patties on pork fried rice, with the brown sauce kept separate for ultimate control), somebody returning it but taking out the fortune cookies and two soy sauce packs!
Thursday, February 23, 2006
The Literary Editor greeted today's news that after this year the Brandeis used book sale would be no more. As the name implies, this is a "charity" used book sale meant to raise funds for Bradeis Univeristy's library. On one hand, the LE has fond memories of visiting the giant tent set up in the Old Orchard Shopping Center parking lot, surprise encounters with old acquaintances who had volunteered for the project, gawking at the used book bottom feeding sellers (this predates the ebay/amazon era) who would stroll up and down the crowded aisles literally filling shopping carts with used books, and joining with the Monz in mocking the endless and bottomless selection of Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint," all hardback with bright yellow covers. On the other hand, the LE resented the amount of effort that went into this sale -- it was the only charitable undertaking for some of these volunteers -- given that the cause was so pathetic: more books for a very well endowed, small school?! Not exactly UNICEF. No, the LE would rather the money had been applied to world hunger, so that everyone could partake in a meal like today's Monz' dittolunch.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
On the way up to Milwaukee, the editors stopped in Racine. They resisted temptation to load-up on kringles (though in retropsect this was a mistake), but did stop by their favorite coffehouse to buy Monz some of his favorite coffee. [And use the facilities - truth ed.] But in a gigantic "DOH!" moment, the editors forgot that the Monz has switched to decaf!!! Now what? What can we do to make Monz' decaf coffee cuppas taste better?!?!
Thick mugs, that's what! In fact the EIC just acquired a couple of these for himself off of ebay -- real Victors too and in prime shape. The mugs are big but because they are so thick they only hold 7 7/8 ounces, but the joy of drinking from a real coffee mug, with the nostagic coffeeshop heft, can't be overstated. But there's a problem. Monz don't do used china. We recall Monz reaction when the EIC told Monz how pipe smokers (aka, "the brotherhood of the briar," though there are women pipe smoking clubs out there too) on a budget managed to acquire legendary pipes like an original Dunhill: Estate Pipes! No matter how much the EIC told the Monz about the sanitizing process -- hot clensing boils, alcohol, sometimes even a new stem, Monz would not budge from the "ew!" factor. So the search was on for a Monz-worthy coffemug. And while Monz may not share drinkware with his fans, he always shares knowledge!
Also know that Monz had a homemade corned beef sandwich with unground mesquite mustard. He paired this with carrots and hummous, which, to the best of our research, is a lunch combo novel to mankind.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
In 1994 the editors undertook a quest to experience the famous, but oh-so ellusive, feast of beast known as the butterburger. What is a butterburger? As a member of the seminal Wisconsin postpunk band Killdozer described it: "A butterburger is a thin hamburger fried in butter...mmmmm!" This same individual indicated that these could be purchased at Culver's locations in the greater Madison area. Within a week the editors, never ones to hesitate about such things, made the 3-hour drive (which took 4.5 hours because they took the backroad scenic roads). But to their horror they discovered that Culver's no longer made the butterburger in the traditional style. Now they just put a bit of melted butter on the rim of the bun. WTF?!?! Then, to their horror they discovered upon driving home (this time taking the interstate back to Chicago) that Culver's had expanded all the way to Kenosha, a far south suburb of Milwaukee. (During that drive home the editors also heard on the radio for the first time a song called "You Oughta Know".) To add insult to injury, Culver's owns a trademark for the term "butterburgers" though they don't seem to enforce it much.
Six years later the editors drove to Milwaukee and hunted down Kopp's Custard (all these butterburger places also serve frozen custard). This establishment places an entire pat of butter on the grill before plopping the hamburger patty on top. Better. But the editors still thought they were missing the true butterburger experience. Six more years pass and now, in 2006, they have succeeded. The burger at Solly's Grill is so drenched in butter, after a few minutes the bun is too soaked to pick up (they give you a fork). Damn tasty, and the fries were fresh cut to boot. (The photo, btw, is through the telepathic courtesy of George Matz, author of Hamburger America.)
Meanwhile, Monz decides he likes his heart and orders up a honey mustard ham sandwich from the CSC. And if you know the Monz you know where he can be found tonight!
Monday, February 20, 2006
Made a loser out of lunch -- unless Monz comes to the rescue! The editors are off today and are sojourning to the great frozen tundra that neighbors us to the north. Happy Presidents Day to all.
I first learned of my duty to blog my own lunch when I checked the blog this morning. I was taken aback, momentarily stunned, in fact. How could such a thing be? I asked myself. When I eventually came to terms with it, it was far too late to have anything really good for lunch, so I had a Ft-long Turkey on Hearty Italian with WAY TOO MANY hot peppers. My nose is still running. There was a religious nut on the corner yelling at the top of his lungs and pacing like a neurotic water buffalo. Made me nostalgic for Cook County!
Friday, February 17, 2006
Where's a hero like Reggie Vanderock when we need him? Anyway, you are looking at a map of Illinois Fourth Congressional District, located in Chicago. The north and south parts of this district are connected by a road along the West. The district was drawn this way to ensure that a Latino candidate gets elected (both regions are heavily Latino, while the area that the district surrounds in a pincer-movement is African-American). Welcome to our gerrymandered non-democracy.
So how does the Political Editor get away with rants like this, on a weekend-kickoff no less? By answering the phone at the myl offices! "Nostalgic yummy lunch at the [old company's] new location. We're going to Portillo's."
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Background: in college, the Music Editor worked as a dj on his campus radio station. This station split its airtime between rock and jazz, with the rock playlist leaning on the indie and British side. The only explicit rule, however, was that at least 50% of the songs played had to be from the new bin (released in the last two months). For years this provided Monz with gleeful mockery, that he would share some new music discovery with the ME except that it was more than 2 months old, and thus verbotten.
Recently the ME was reading about the "next big thing" out of England, the Arctic Monkeys. How's this for hype (from the NY Times no less!):
>>He is Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, a scrappy and brilliant group from Yorkshire that is currently awash in hyperbolic praise. The debut Arctic Monkeys album, ''Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'' (Domino), has been instantly -- and accurately -- hailed as a modern classic, even though it was only released a week ago. The British music magazine NME ranked it at No. 5 on a recent list of the greatest British albums ever. It sold over 360,000 copies in the last week, making it the fastest-selling debut album in British history....Domino Records eventually signed the band and released a single, ''I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,'' which topped the British charts. If only the music weren't so thrilling, there would probably be a serious backlash afoot. The Arctic Monkeys specialize in tidy but anthemic little postpunk songs, propelled by bursts of guitar chords and constant zigzags. In ''I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,'' the band hurtles through three different riffs -- all utterly infectious -- in the 30 seconds before Mr. Turner lets loose his thin voice and thick accent. Then he does, and the song gets even better. Mr. Turner's lyrics are worth waiting for and often worth memorizing, too. He delivers pithy, unpretentious descriptions of a teenage world defined by daydreams and nightlife. And he has an uncanny way of evoking Northern English youth culture while neither romanticizing it nor sneering at it."
So the ME checks the tune out and while he didn't wear out his thumb pon de replay-ing, it twasn't bad: imagine a slightly punkier Franz Ferdinand on a good night. But upon re-reading the Times article, the ME saw this:
>>Back at the Carling Academy, the Arctic Monkeys stormed through their triumphant set, with fans singing along not just to the lyrics but to the guitar lines, too. After ''Fake Tales of San Francisco'' was finished, the crowd kept shouting the words, which take aim at the indie-rock industry. The acerbic chorus was reborn as an exuberant soccer chant: ''Get off the bandwagon/ And put down the handbook!/ Get off the bandwagon/And put down the handbook!'' <<
Monz, somebody has been stealing your notes for the next S.R.M.J.T. album! Let's hope that nobody steals the chicken pot pie at home that Monz hopes has his name on it.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
It's the struggle of our times: Monz versus the choadas of the world. We knew who would prevail, but we put it to a Googlefight. Like Ton Loc in "Funky Cold Medina," you know they picked a winner!
So what fuels such dominance? Sometimes a turkey & corned beef sandwich on whole grain bread (mustard unknown) with carrot and apple. Or a yummy breakfast like yesterday at Waukegan's famous GoJo's comprising a corned beef omelet, grits, rye toast. This meal would hearten the editors if they weren't so inconsoluble.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The editors had prepared an middling entry for today, when this arrived in an e-mail alert:
BRAND NEW FOOD
By Bart Fartwell
Lured by promises of No MSG and "We use 100% Vegetable Oil Only - We Special in Healthy Chinese Cuisine," Monz abandoned all routines today and ventured north on Gennessee Street to try a new restaurant in Waukegan! It is a "new" (to the Monz) Chinese place called "China Garden." Monz has yet to try the offerings, though the size of the package he left the store with was not promising -- it was very small and he ordered the lunch special number L1 -- Bean Curd Szechuan Style with Prok Fried Rice. Keep in mind that Monz already ate at Gojo's this morning and will dine at Peacock tonight. Right on Monz!
Monday, February 13, 2006
Monz, taking his rarely used but mighty psychic powers out for a spin, intuits that the editors are in the middle of some very trying and troubling times and cannot be their typical informative and witty selfs, relaying a brief lunch report of footlong turkey sandwich on Hearty Italian bread. We believe this is worth a look for both entertainment and inspriartional purposes. Oh yeah, dude, here's the deal about the mice.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Like the subject matter of a cute-named legal case, the editors are (creatively) bankrupt, so we'll just report that it was a fearless Monz who laughed in the face of Mercury Poisoning and ordered a dijon tuna sandwich from the CSC (it was an early report, so we don't know if it had dill in it).
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Monz demonstrates mastery of the "long con" by making us believe lunch news was forthcoming...when it wasn't! Hey, the test did say he most resembles Sawyer. Coincidentally, the editors were so busy today they only had a couple of diet nutrition bars and a tall decaf iced soy latte from Starbucks(tm) for lunch.
Monz had a yummy beastwich featuring two kinds of ham and some turkey, an apple, two clementines and some carrots.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
It's been a day of disappointments in MYL land. First, a bluesy blues-rocking Monz heads out to Gabe's for the Pro Jam backstage jamfest, only to find the stage blocked by choadas and to be forced to leave smelling of stale smokey stink. This sadness is reflected in today's lunch: footlong turkey from "the place" (Monz' mournful tone could not bring himself to say it), on hearty Italian bread with hot peppers.
Meanwhile, the Food Editor, having been inspired by one of his favorite bloggers, went to the store to find a good desert to bake. Hey, if it was yummy, he could send one to the Monz! After much time scanning the ailse, something called out to him. The package said everything he needed was included, though this seemed to be a lie because the package also said he would need three eggs and some water. But the purchase was made, the oven was preheated, the mixing bowl stood at the ready and...what's this?
Crushed but not defeated, the FE did some research to determine what kind of frosting would be best. Cream cheese frosting! So he returned to the store, but there was none to be found! The best he could manage was some whipped vanilla. However, the FE knew well that Monz would not surrender to that good cake so easily, so he will venture to a suburban grocery this weekend where hopefully the selection will be better.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Today Monz has the other corned beef (but same mustard), apple, carrots, two clementine oranges, a pretzl made by Mrs. Monz, and a yogurt for later. Big lunch, you say? Yes, but necessary -- he's been working out at the club!
Because Denmark kicks allmighty ass, inspired Hamlet, Monz is part-Danish, and the country is under economic siege, we encourage all readers to purchase the following Danish goods whenever possible.
Arla milk, cheese etc.
Danish crown (meat)
Galle & Jessen
Aalborg Aquavit (snaps)
Raadvad (knives etc.)
Royal Danish Porcelain
B & G Porcelain
B & O radioes/televisions etc.
Watco Danish Furniture Oil
Monday, February 06, 2006
The editors are very tired and were going to put-off writing about the great unheralded musical genius we mentioned Friday, but Monz would have none of it. "You must tell!" he commanded, as well as informing us of his homemade corn beef sandwich with homeade mustard, apples, and carrots. Thus without further ado, it's the one and only Michael Sembello!
That's right, The Flashdance "Maniac" himself. But that #1 smash hit only hinted at his capabilities. Today Michael makes more spiritual music, but to the Music Editor the pinacle of his craft was the follow-up single to "Maniac": "Automatic Man," which Michael graciously allows you to download here.
The song begins with the catchiest nonsense chanting since "Hooked on a Feeling's" "Oooga-chaka oooga-oooga Oooga-chaka ooooga-oooga." Against a killer 80's synthpop riff, Michael introduces us to the machine built for love and romance made real, predating works such as Kubrick/Spielberg's "AI" by decades. Michael then treats us to some Hendrix-like guitar pyrotechnics, and winds up with a twist to the parable that will have you working through the implications of it all for days. We're. Not. Worthy.
UPDATE: Monz played this tune in the background for 20 seconds, then said "eh, ok" and closed the media player!
Friday, February 03, 2006
Several months ago the Music Editor set off on a research quest (the best kind of quest!). His purpose: to right a grave wrong. No, not the lack of recognition of Monz' musical might (Monz needs to getting working on that MySpace page!) but another neglected musical genius. Consider Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bo Diddley. He is best remembered for the "Bo Diddley Beat" -- a shuffly-drum version of "shave and a haircut -- two bits!" -- which he incorporated in many of his songs. Yet what of the man who invented an even more complex, yet every bit the hitmaking, beat? One that reached Numero Uno on the pop charts? (Here's a hint: it went "De-de-duh De-de-duh Dut! (short pause) Crank Crank." Who had a visionary musical life philosophy? Who wrote poignant existential love songs that could set you a-humming and break your heart at the same time? The ME will answer this...Monday! We hate to make you wait, but we used up all our time looking up the lunch Monz' phoned-in: a Jimmy John's #2 with peppers and no mayo. A JJ2 is...roast beef!
Thursday, February 02, 2006
The Monz used to head your way
To buy an overstuffed sandwich lunch
He really liked them a bunch, that's what he'd munch
You said you remodeled, but no way!
Nothing here looks any dif-er-ent
Except a tiny decorative strip
And when Monz ordered
That I-tal-ian Be-ee-ef
The roll was big
But there was no me-ee-at
He said "this is pretty sad
this fat looks like a rubberband"
Throws in a pickle and a pack of Lays
But the fixins don't make the meal
You've done it now, you've lost Monz' zeal.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Music fans of the refined (i.e., snobbier) persuasion rejoiced yesterday upon the publishing of the Village Voice Pazz and Jop critics poll of the best music of 2005. We thought we'd get the Monz' thoughts on the top-10 CD's.
Kanye West: (hearty laughter) "I have a response so witty I can't formulate it in words. Man, it's your loss."
Sufjan Stevens: (laughter) -- "what an [effin'] maroon. [Music Editor: "As in Maroon Five?" Monz: "No, as in Bugs Bunny]
Sleater-Kinney: "Rawk! Woo!" (he likes)
Fiona Apple: "Hmm (positive tone), Ok!"
White Stripes: "Woo! Rawk!"
Antony and the Johnsons: (laughter -- "They named themselves after weiners!")
The Hold Steady: "Um. Sounds like a crappy indie band that some moron on pazz and jop would write down on a list to prove how hip he is. of course it's music the monz never hears, and my ears are toasting that with champagne."
New Pornographers: "Heard of them, good name, probably suck." [M.E.: "I've played them for you!" Monz: "Don't remember"]
My Morning Jacket: "Sometimes I like them, but I would never buytheir album."
and a bonus as we went down the list:
Bright Eyes: "OMG! He is the single worst artist I've haeard in the last five years. [detailed adjectives followed too fast to type]"
Monz then went back to his lunch of a chipolte ham and turkey sandwich w/ side salad from the CSC, with homebrought apple.