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Friday, September 29, 2006

Monza Yummy Lunch!

Monz here -- just briefly as I am blogging from the hotel lobby. We passed through Monza again on our way to Stresa on Lake Maggiore, where we took a boat to Isolo Bella which had a castle on it. We toured the castle, exited, and had a yummy lunch at Ristorante Elvezia. We each ordered the three fresh pasta special, which contained tagliatelle, lasagna and ravioli each with it's own sauce. The food here has been amazing, in spite of a couple unyummy lunches! The beer, however, was MUCH better in Switzerland! More when I am back in the USA!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Monz Monza Mangia!

Monz makes like Speed Racer to the famous town of Monza for a lunch of risotto con saffroni at the "Zucca in Galleria" (Monz shelled out the sheckles, or lira or whatever coins they use there, to phone in this report but this may have been lost in translation). The off to Milan, just like Rochelle! Rochelle! (ok, not just like, since Monz isn't heading to Minsk, though the EIC would like to go to Minsk given his strong Belarussian roots).

The editors are heading back to Champaign-Urbanan tomorrow for a refresher course. Will the Monz blog from a foreign land? Will the Monz do CFF in Italy (hey, didn't Marco Polo bring pasta to China or vice-versa or something like that?). We'll all find out together!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It's the Great Pumpkin Mark Monz!

Sometimes dinner has to come to lunch's rescue and that was the case with today with the Monz. "Really bad" lunch at Monti's in Como City, a "horrible dirty pit" filled with wretched swindlers and pickpockets. A "pizza" that needs to be put in quotes in Italy should shame the entire nation. Mrs. Monz stuck to ok ice cream. But dinner in Veranna was exceptional, featuring pumpkin ravioli and pork medallions. The Literarry Editor (LE) remembers having pumpkin ravioli at the Uncommon Ground coffehouse before a reading group meeting. It was served in Shallot-Sage butter, with bleu cheese and toasted hazelnuts.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mama Mia, Papa Pia, Calimari Ese Dia!

(yeah, we know it's questo giorno...)

En route to Italy our fearless couple had an "amazing" lunch at Grand Cafe Al Porto. Monz dined on Sicilian cous-cous (which included calimari, mussels and a hot pepper) while Mrs. Monz had an even tastier lunch of venison with poached pears, brussel sprouts and polenta. They don't eat this good on Amazing Race, lemmetellya.

We've been told by people who have traveled to Italy that once you have the fresh mozzerella cheese there, you can never go back to domestic. This could have a dramatic effect on Monz' lunch!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Rainy Days and Mondays Never Get Lunch Down!

Monz spends a rainy day in Swiss Alps (which obscured the view), but lunch at some Swiss place was continentally yummy. "[C]heese sandwich with butter and pickles" with a particular shout-out to the bread. Swiss cheese, we hope!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dutch Treat!

Take a trip to yesterday's comments for a special "flight layover" lunch report! That's Monz, finding yummy lunches even inside an airport.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Don Lapre Exposed, Part Deux!

Shortly after our mindblowing expose of Don Lapre, the infomercial in question mysteriously went off the air. However, soon after that a mysterious new infomercial appeared. It didn't say who the company was behind it or what exactly it was pitching, only a series of testimonials that a certain marketing program brought-in big bucks with little work. A woman hosting the infomercial reported that her company had made revisions to a previous marketing program, and that as a result of these revisions the program was now "50 times better!" Throughout the program viewers were invited to call and have it all explained to them.

Well, our crack investigators discovered the woman hosting the infomercial was one of the two women hosting the earlier Lapre infomercial. She's even wearing the same subliminally sinister dress!. See that tv monitor in the background? Digital analysis of the image shows that this is the smiling couple from the last infomercial! So we called the number from a secure phone and guess who answered the phone? Don Lapre!!! Or at least a recorded message from him. The program has been changed in two ways. In addition to selling "the world's greatest vitamin"(tm), there are four new products. We weren't told what they were, just that they exist. Far more time was spent on the bonus money paid when sellers like us get someone else "excited" and have them enter the program (and a percentage of their sales).

We have even more big news: Monz (with Mrs. Monz) are taking a well deserved vacation overseas. He has valiantly purchased an international calling card and will keep us informed. As he has today: Egg salad sandwich from Starbucks at home, hours before the flight. And if that's not bravery, what is? "Yummy, especially the bread." Bon voyage Mark Monz!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Don't Blame Blogger, Don't Blame Me, The One to Blame Is Don Lapre!

The evil genius is at it again! Having failed to deceive our crack investigators, Don brings down blogger and sabatoges Monz' lunch (manipulating Hussey's to serve up a gross chicken hoagie). But you know what Don doesn't: you can't defeat Monz or his munificience that easily. We're telling all the secrets tomorrow on CFF!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

You Like-a the Sauce? Sauce Ees Gooood!

While the Editors are out on an architectural tour of the city, I (Monz) am stepping in for a day of guest-blogging. Today I ran over to the CSC in an attempt to run into my step-child, who started working at the S.A.'s office today. I was successful, and we dined in my office on luscious offering from the CSC -- I had vegetable pizza (The vegetables make it healthy and non-fattening!), a caffeine free Diet Coke, baked Lays (especially for Ale!) and a cookie. All pretty good. I am working hard to get things cleaned up for next week's vacation. Back to work, you!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Syncopated Rhythm with the Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat-Tat-Tat on the Drums!

The Music Editor (ME) had high hopes that Songtapper, a site that lets you tap out a "tune" on your spacebar and determines what song it is from the rhythm, would turn some beats around! But either 1) their music editors are unqualified hacks who don't know the work of the Smiling Rock Monz Jazz Trio (or Monz' solo efforts) or 2) lots of folks have been plagarizing the Monz, as these songs all post-date Monz' originals. For example, when we tapped out the classic "Call Me Love" we got back Promiscuous by Nelly Futardo (ft. Timberland) and "Peacock Skeleton With Crooked Feathers" by the Blood Brothers. When we rocked the keyboard to "Redeem Me" we were rewarded with "La Reine " by Les Cowboys Fringants and "Where Are the Flowers" by Scorefor. Only when we banged our heads with "Heads Will Roll" did we get a semblence of plausibility ("Rock Is My Life " by Bachman Turner Overdrive and "When "You're" Around" by Motion City Soundtrack). If this was a wrestling match, songtapper would have tapped out!

Three chicken tamales from Whole Foods, a banana and a couple of jello thingies -- all cuisine we suspect will not be on the menus where he's going.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Lunch on Loan from Sloan!

Monz' favorite Canadian rockers Sloan offer up some lunch suggestions, which we are sure Monz will soon check-out. This reminds us of when we took the Monz on a road trip to see the boys in their natural habitatt at The Kee to Bala. Monz couldn't believe the scenic spleandor of the lake-ensconsed woods surrounding Bala (which you can check out on their webcam! Hmm, a little cloudy today...), the crisp air, the delicious eateries, the beer store and the unexplainable good vibes that washed over him as Sloan rocked allmighty hades out of the joint. When did this happen? When will it happen? Is it happening? Meditate transcedently to find out!

While you, dear reader, will find bliss if you take this trip, it might be easier to get three pork tamales from Whole Foods and add a banana. Be sure the chipotle sauce is included!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Thrill the Nation with your T-Formation!

Monz here for a brief weekend update: went to the Bears game today at legendary Soldier Field, where the Bears whomped the Lions, and had a yummy hot dog and a MGD. It wasn't as good as it should have been, and they did an excellent job of hiding the condiments (we ate these dogs BARE!) Now, back to you, editors!

Friday, September 15, 2006

An Ending and a Beginning!

Louies for Lazangna. But what about Chinese Food Friday? "I'm tired of the Chinese places around here -- they suck!"

Breaking news. Remember our explosive expose on the evil Don Lapre and his sexbliminal advertising? You'd think after we "busted" their plot that vitamin consumers could rest easy. Not so fast -- they've gone underground, but they can't escape our crack investigating staff. Be sure to check in next week, same Monz time, same Monz blogchannel!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Don't Believe the Hype!

Hungry for a burrito since his favorite local burrito place shut down, Monz heads off to the College of Lake County for a promissing multicultural festival to delight all the senses. He found one crummy food table swarmed by lanceritos. CLC, meet CSC, where Monz salvaged lunch with a Grecian Chicken sandwich, baked Lays, caffeine free diet coke and a home-brought apple. Which remind us, this new-in-Chicago national chain comes highly recommended. We plan to check it out and comapre it to the Paradise Pup, which Monz, to the best of our knowledge, still hasn't visited.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Taste Test!

Because Monz has visited LavAzza the editors lamely use this as an excuse to taste test their new solidified/edible espresso. On the plus side, it's surprisingly good -- no weird "this isn't coffee" twang, not overly sweet, great texture, love the sprayed-on "authenticating top" and it seemed to provide a little buzz. And it really didn't spill when we turned it upside down! On the minus side, our barista must have been a dropout from the Starbucks Management school. Uh, yeah, we want that to go. Uh, no, handing us a lid-less cup and an unwrapped spoon to walk through downtown Chicago ain't gonna cut it.

Two shrimp spring rolls from Whole Foods, an organic (natch) Fuji apple, two string cheeses, and two sugar free jello thingies. (Will you have it again? "Probably, but not right away.")

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Be the Tree!

In Pamela Anderson's old detective-action drama tv show "VIP," there was a scene that still provides strength to those who remember it. It involved the one member of Pam's detective agency who wasn't ultra-glamorous. In fact, she was somewhat of a technogeek. In this particular episode the girls were up against "The Double-D Gang," a ruthless gang of wayward females out to reek havoc on Southern California (with Ice-T doing a guest spot as a ruse). Technogeek finds herself in a fistfight with her Double-D counterpart. She's kinda freaking out and is about to get her butt kicked when she speaks a calming mantra: "Be the Tree." Bam, pow, kick -- Technogeek is victorious!

We are reminded of this because today Monz is at his dentist, Dr. Lallapalooza, DDS. But he still had time to go to Subway(tm). Solid.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Yummy Lunches "THEY" Don't Want You to Know About!

True story: last night the EIC had a nightmare. He dreamed (keep in mind that memories of dreams tend to be hazy, unless you've gone to the Omega Institute and taken a class on lucid dreaming) that the Monz had died long ago. Furthermore, the EIC's best friend was a fictionalized Kevin Trudeau. In this fictional universe, everything Trudeau says in his informercial is true. There really are natural cures for serious diseases! The Government and "Big Pharma" really are out to supress the truth. He really is a noble crusader putting himself at risk! In our dream, the EIC was saying a tearful goodbye to Kevin, who was about to go underground to avoid government persecution. And the EIC was a little frightened for himself, figuring the government would discover their link. And then he woke up.

Thank goodness Monz is alive and well, dining on a Southwestern Wrap from the CSC, a cup of fruit and some baked lays. "Reasonably yummy, and thorough."

Friday, September 08, 2006

In Scrute!

Monz challenges and confuses today. First, in a discussion with the editors, Monz remarks that he wish that in his last CLE visit to the big city he had chosen a certain establishment made famous by a sketch based comedy show rather than Salad Spinners, but that he made the right choice. How could such a thing be? Health reasons? No. Lackingness of Salad Spinners? No. Alas, we could not understand the riddles offered to asuage our curiosity.

However, we are not cowered. Readers sometimes accuse the editors of not asking Monz the hard questions. Ha! Here's one: what happened to Chinese Food Friday? It's after Labor Day, presumably the street faire has fled, yet Monz had an existential lunch at Hussyes (a BLT with more B than L/T subjected to Monz's prefference for less B).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We've Got Their Numbers -- Right Here!

Like the Monz, the editors are big fans of the tv show LOST. Unlike the Monz, the editors are geeky enough to have flirted with "The Lost Experience," an online game which reveals supplemental information about the mysterious tv show. In fact, we were all, er, geeked-up to pass along information as it was disclosed, but hesitated because 1) Monz demands a certain purity in his viewing and has strong feelings about being unwillingly exposed to extraneous material and 2) when the "game" took the "the tv show is part of the reality" tact, we were turned off. That said, the following compendium of video snippets regarding the Dharma Foundation seems to us reasonably straightforward and contains important plot points, including the meaning of "the numbers". So, we provide it here with our recommendation, but not exhortation.

Nothing vague about Monz' networking adventure: an LCBA brownbag without the brown bag! Monz may mingle, but a dittolunch will be awaiting at the office when he returns!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

We Don't Think You're Ready for This Jelly!

The Beyonce Editor (BE) is very concerned about the diva's new release B-Day. Beyonce relates that the songs are inspired by her role in the soon-to-be released film "Dreamgirls." They are what she wished her character, a Diana Ross-like lead singer in a female vocal group, would have said to her man. Alas, the lyrics, as critics have noted, sound despearate, clingy, and more than a little bling-centric.

In other words, angst. Monz knows how to deal with angst. Under Monz' munificient guidance, he would gently detoxify B. of angst-causing stimulants in her diet, then expand her musical horizons to include songs and sounds which Destiny's Child only encountered in mashups. And he would feed the poor child yummy fare like 2 shrimp spring egg rolls with peanuty sauce, an apple, string cheese and sugar free jello-y things, followed with some joke (that went over our heads) about whales and blubber.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

You'll Finally See the Truth that a Hero Lies in You!

You never know when you'll come across something that seems mundane but is in-fact heroic. Take, for example, the above ad. This company became famous for the much-ridiculed elderly woman screeching "I've fallen, and I CAN'T GET UP!" (which the company has now trademarked). Young-uns who don't remember this ad can check it out on YouTube. Years later we discover that every 40 seconds this company and its blessed device saves a life! (see the add). Why hasn't anyone nominated them for a Presidential Medal, let alone a Nobel Prize?! Surely they wouldn't exagerate about something so momentous!

Monz lunch often works the same way. Like, it started out today at home, putting some liver sausage on an anonymous piece of honey wheat bread delivered by Peapod. The bread was so good that Monz was compelled to take out more and have some with organic peanut butter. He added some string cheese, fig newtons and lime sugar free jello-ey things. We were dubious but Monz enthusiasm for this lunch exceeds all in recent memory, no exageration! Strength to carry on, indeed.

Friday, September 01, 2006

"My Trauma, Oh My G_d!"

Traumatic times all around! Monz got in his car, all set to go to Hussey's. Outside he sees a judge crossing the street, a judge he knows, and he notices that all the parking is taken up! Inside it's packed and by all apearances it's a judge party! Off to Louie Louie Louie Louie's where he was satiated by spaghetti with meatballs. An additional purchase (not leftovers) will provide dinner! And the kicker? There was another judge party going on at Louie's. The moral of this story? When it comes to lunch, judge not!

Meanwhile, the Music Editor (ME) had a troubling life passage this week, as for the first time ever he did not recognize (and indeed had never seen) the Video of the Year winner, Panic at the Disco's "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." Thankfully he was able to quickly check it out with MTV's hand-dandy video on demand thing. OMG. This is awful! A bunch of pancaked-makeuped dudes crash a wedding and turn it into a carnival. Viewers are consistently distracted from the "story" by the band calling attention to the fact that the "G_d" part of "G_ddamn" is silenced out. More distracting is that this band doesn't rock very hard, definitely not hard enough to cause any panic at any disco. No Coho-lips here. Definitely not as good as the ME's favorite video of the year: Be Your Own Pet's "Bicycle Bicycle You Are My Bicycle."

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