Lunch for one.

My sentence at the car dealer’s yesterday ran through lunchtime, but without wheels the options were a) vending machines; or b) walk two dealerships down to Fuddrucker’s. I chose B. One thing I’ll say about Grosse Pointe — it’s generally free of these sorts of places, the chain food-stravaganza. We’ve got bagel joints, Panera and a number of utterly mediocre locally owned restaurants, but hardly anything with a drive-through window and even fewer of these big-box grease pits.

The idea of Fuddrucker’s — and yes, every time I see it, I think of “Idiocracy,” in which one of the visual jokes is the evolution of the name into its logical obscenity — is to build your own burger. Giant burgers, all the condiments you could think of. I chose a 1/3-pound burger, the “small” size. Remember when McDonald’s introduced the quarter-pounder? My God, man, now that’s a hungry man’s meal! A quarter-pound burger? That’ll fill a tummy, ain’a?

That was a long time ago.

OK, so a 1/3-pound burger. What the hell, I’ll get what I usually put on it at home — grilled onions and crumbled blue cheese.

“We don’t have that kind of blue cheese.”

That kind? What kind do you have?

“Blue cheese dressing.”

Oh. OK, then. Grilled onions, blue cheese dressing on the side, and let’s try to get out of here at under a million calories. Fries? Sure. Something from the fountain to drink. Nine bucks and change.

The burger came piled high with grilled onions. Now there’s a menu phrase — “piled high.” When you’re cooking at home, how often do you pile anything high? I could have stuck my finger into this onion pile down to the second knuckle. Onions are a low-cost item, so it pays to stack ’em deep. It gives the customer the sense of getting a bargain for his food dollar. Judging from the other customers in the place, these are folks who drive a hard bargain. Only in the Midwest, witty Jim Harrison once wrote, is overeating seen as heroic.

I picked off seven-eights of the onions and added an experimental dab of blue-cheese dressing, wondering if it would sub for my beloved crumbled Stilton. It did not. The fries were thick-cut slabs of potatoes, no doubt sliced, seasoned and prepped at a processing factory far, far away. They were speckled with a seasoning blend that is probably “secret.” Fries like this frequently disappoint me, and so did these. I ate a few, left the rest.

I once asked a short-order cook why I couldn’t make a hamburger as good as his. “Because you wouldn’t fucking believe how much salt I put in it,” he said. (He’d been drinking.) “Almost a tablespoon. And then I add butter to the grill.”

I can’t speak for the butter, but they surely didn’t skimp on the salt in my lunch. If salt was the bass note, it was blasting out the windows of the car. I sat and did the L.A. Times crossword — too easy — waiting for the clamor in my mouth to subside. It didn’t. I grabbed a cookie on my way out for the relief of sugar. Mission accomplished, Fuddrucker’s! Customer carpet-bombed with sodium chloride and grease, upsold dessert upon exit. Well-done.

Maybe this is a good sign. There was a time in my life when I would have happily cleaned my plate, but lately I’m working toward, what’s the word? Mindfulness. Nothing prohibited, just carefully considered. Maybe I should have fallen happily into the Fuddrucker embrace and gone whole-hog with the cheese, which would have been the yang to the yin of salt. Or maybe I should have had another glass of water and some yogic breathing, and just put off lunch another 90 minutes.

Lately I’ve been reading about David Kessler’s new book, “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite,” in which the former FDA chief takes a look at so-called food engineering, in which chemists seek to find just the right layers of salt, fat and sugar to find the “bliss point” that gets us cleaning our plates and ordering more:

Foods rich in sugar and fat are relatively recent arrivals on the food landscape, Dr. Kessler noted. But today, foods are more than just a combination of ingredients. They are highly complex creations, loaded up with layer upon layer of stimulating tastes that result in a multisensory experience for the brain. Food companies “design food for irresistibility,” Dr. Kessler noted. “It’s been part of their business plans.”

But this book is less an exposé about the food industry and more an exploration of us. “My real goal is, How do you explain to people what’s going on with them?” Dr. Kessler said. “Nobody has ever explained to people how their brains have been captured.”

My brain has been captured. Lately, I’ve been trying to take it back.

You know what I had for lunch the other day? A kale smoothie. I’m not kidding. Alan has this pasta dish he likes, with Italian sausage and peppers and kale, and it always leaves me with a lot of leftover kale. I found this recipe online: Put two cups of chopped kale in a blender with a frozen ripe banana, half a cup of orange juice and a quarter-cup of skim milk. Blend and serve. It looks like grass clippings, but it’s actually quite tasty. Those of you who make smoothies a lot know the ingredients are utterly malleable — one person said to try it with pineapple juice instead, and I’ll probably substitute a dollop of vanilla yogurt for the skim milk next time. And when you’ve drained your glass, you’ve eaten kale instead of chocolate ice cream, and you’re not so very deprived at all.

Maybe I’ll open a kale smoothie shack in retirement. Call it Buttpuckers. “So good, it’ll make you clench your cheeks.”

OK, maybe not.

Some bloggage:

Life is strange in Oklahoma. A state legislator blames the economic crisis on divorce, abortion and homosexuality. Well, that’s one way to look at it.

One thing I did yesterday while I waited on $600 worth of repairs on a car that was running fine: Read the Sarah Palin piece in Vanity Fair. Nothing really new, except the obligatory Olbermann dog-whistle item about writing in the voice of God, but it was nice to see it all in one place.

I swore I’d have nothing more to say on it, and I really don’t, but here’s something that bugs me about the blacks-take-pride-in-Michael-Jackson stories popping up here and there: How much racial pride can you project upon a man who, when he had the choice, chose to have WHITE CHILDREN?

I ask you. And now I head to the shower, and another day too full of obligation, but hey — work’s work.

Posted at 10:10 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

46 responses to “Lunch for one.”

  1. Peter said on July 1, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Heard about the Vanity Fair article on Slate – one person commented “10,000 words – my time is precious, but adding to my disgust of her is priceless!”

  2. coozledad said on July 1, 2009 at 10:40 am

    We’ve been eating roasted potatoes that have been coated with a little olive oil and a little coarse salt. They actually seem to taste better than the deep-fried variety.
    The closest restaurant to us that serves food is in Durham, which has a couple of bistros, a classical French restaurant that seems to specialize in offal, two very fine Mediterranean restaurants at least partly owned by the Mafia, and an illegal substance-fueled Irish theme pub, among other drinking and eating places. If you’re careful to avoid the cud chewers of its northern exurbs, Durham is nice dirty little town whose crime rate pales in significance to the creepy head-up-it’s-assedness of Raleigh.

  3. LAMary said on July 1, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Coozledad, try a little rosemary or smoked paprika on those potatoes. Another trick we do at the house is parboil them first, then a little olive oil coating an in the oven to brown them. They get all puffy inside that way, especially if you use russets.
    I’ve recently become a fan of Trader Joes frozen plain non fat yogurt. It’s tart and fresh tasting and doesn’t make me feel like crap like real ice cream does for so many reasons. Trader joes has greate mango sorbet as well, and a little scoop of that and a little scoop of the plain frozen yogurt is to die for.

  4. jeff borden said on July 1, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Just as interesting as the Sarah Palin story in Vanity Fair has been the sniping between Republican operatives William “The Next Time I’m Correct Will Be the First Time” Kristol and Steve Schmidt, the hard-nosed campaign manager for McCain-Palin.

    Kristol was an early and vocal advocate for Palin, who he met when one of those rightwing cruises docked in Juneau a few years ago and Palin hosted him and other neocon honchos for a lunch. He advocated for her from the pages of the NYT, Weekly Standard and his bully pulpit on Fox. Schmidt, on the other hand, actually had to run a tough campaign while dealing with a national political novice whose personality put professional divas to shame. Today, they’re throwing darts at each other and its pretty damned funny.

    To me, Sarah Palin represents so much about what is wrong with our politics. She’s gleefully ignorant, untraveled and unworldly; extravagantly impresssed with her own slender merits and accomplishments; bored and dismissive with actual policy issues; quick to jettison anyone or anything once she has squeezed some gain from it; quick to anger when challenged; loose with facts; theocratic in her worldview; etc.

    She is a train wreck, yet she is considered a rising (or even established) star in a what used to be a major political party.

  5. Connie said on July 1, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Our latest fave potato recipe: Scrub and boil potatoes with skins on. Place on greased cookie sheet. Smash. I use a potato masher but a coffee mug works great. Brush generously with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper and your fave herb such as rosemary, thyme or whatever. At my house this time of year it is always fresh chives. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Has a great mix of soft and crispy bits.

  6. Sue said on July 1, 2009 at 11:29 am

    An update on the West Bend, Wisconsin library controversy:
    The Christian Civil Liberties Union held a mini-protest on Tuesday during which they prayed for the soul of the mayor, handed out flyers to four passers-by and reiterated their intention to sue the Mayor, the Library Board and the Library Director for pain and suffering as a result of the library carrying a 106-page book (‘Baby Be-Bop’) that they have apparently only read parts of (the good parts, I assume). Part of their suit would include a demand to publicly burn the book.
    The writing in the news article is good:
    “Claiming he has filed multiple lawsuits over the years in his crusade to stamp out porn shops, abortion, violence, drug trafficking and prostitution, Braun admitted this is the first time he has challenged the right of a specific book to exist.”
    The West Bend Daily News included a picture of a man carrying a sign reading “Mayer Deiss ok’s hate crime”.
    Apparently the CCLU has to wait until late July or until the City responds to their notice of claim before they can file the actual federal lawsuit. The CCLU got into this after a parent formed an organization trying to get “porn” books moved from the children’s library into a marked section in the adult library.

  7. Connie said on July 1, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I had some anti gay activists show up at two library board meetings last year, seeking to remove all books relating to homosexuality from the library. The large notebook they handed out was full of icky stuff, all about how gays chose to be perverts and were the biggest community health problem in the country. They turned out to be from the next county over and the board said, 1, we serve all types of people and do not judge, and 2, you have no standing here.

    As a Library Director I have been dealing with these kind of people for many years. And it is not fun. Though once we threw all the pages out of those notebooks we were left with very nice and big 3 ring binders.

    One thing I have learned from all of this is that porn is in the eye of the beholder.

    Though, as I believe I noted before, in a previous job I dealt with a concerted Christian effort to get Rolling Stone banned from the library because it perverts our youth and will lead to rape in the parking lot. Since that city was the childhood home of a big rock star, I got quoted in a goofy little news blurb in Rolling Stone. So if you are wondering about my real last name you can look in the April 21, 1994 issue of Rolling Stone. Just under the headline that says “Kurt Cobain recovers from suicide attempt.

  8. Sue said on July 1, 2009 at 11:57 am

    My feeling is that anti-gay is the new anti-Harry Potter. Fear of gays has replaced fear of witchcraft. Which reminds me, I need to reread Half-Blood Prince, renounce my Creator and try to bring about the destruction of humanity before the movie comes out.

  9. brian stouder said on July 1, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Well, aside from the main point – mindful eating – let me just say that I HATE $7 hamburgers. McDonalds is crap and we all know it, but it is also priced accordingly. But, I will not willingly set foot in a place like Red Robin, and if pushed, I’d order water. A person could easily drop $30 on a lunch for two there, for hamburgers. (there would be an unarmed “Robbin'”, indeed!”

    Recently I had the best $1 chicken sandwich at McD’s ever; so good that it made me conciously wonder what made it so good. And my conclusion: the bun was super soft. If they could make all their buns the way that one was, they’d double their sales. I’ll probably never enjoy buns that soft again(!)

    BTW – not to sound like I have slipped ever deeper into the leftwing abyss – but I really do agree with the initiative to make all restaurants post the calories next to each menu choice. In the end, all it is – is an attempt to coax a bit of mindfulness amongst people. Maybe those apple dippers and juice boxes ARE the way to go, for the kiddos’ happy meals, eh?

  10. Dorothy said on July 1, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Oooh Connie I’m going to try that potato thing. How long do you boil them first?

  11. Connie said on July 1, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Dorothy, until they are cooked through and soft to a fork.

  12. Dexter said on July 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Very interesting, not surprising that the “food engineers” are researching “irresistibility”. At least some cravings we just out-grow. I now longer ever crave french fries, and rarely eat them. Finally, all the information on growth hormones and slaughterhouses has sunk in, and I have an aversion to beef now. I never eat hamburgers and haven’t had a steak in a year. The pig? I gave up bacon but I still eat sausage, with guilt. I gave up lamb meat long ago. Even chicken skeeves me out, but I still eat some. Fifteen years ago I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for two years, and it appears I am heading that way again.
    What are these labs,anyway? Cigarette engineers put chocolate into Camels decades ago and acquired a massive addicted following. Subsequent testing resulted in the infusion of many chemicals into cigarette product that when ignited yielded carcinogens by the carton.
    Trans-fats were created in a lab and the whole western world got hooked on them.
    Animals are abused by the thousands in these labs, too.

  13. coozledad said on July 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I vaguely remember reading about taste-testers, and the sorts of things they’re called upon to evaluate: cat food (wet and dry),toothpaste, dog biscuits, Dinty Moore products, etc.
    If someone can eat canned cat food, how in the hell can they tell if anything else isn’t rotten?
    There was an interesting book several years back (Eating Apes) about the ties between timber harvesting in West Africa and the spread of the HIV virus into human populations via the slaughter and consumption of bushmeat. They noted that taste tests had proved conclusively the #1 flavoring agent approved by Asiatic, African and Western tasters alike, is cane rat bouillon. It’s manufactured by both Knorr and Maggi, and accounts for a substantial amount of their sales.

  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Mmmm, rosemary . . . is there anything you cannot do?

    I will conservatively say that we DO have a family and marriage crisis in this country, and gee whiz, blaming them gay folk is a really handy way to not deal with the problem in your neck of the woods. It’s always one town or city or just one California over, and it’s a crisis, meaning we need to sweep up all the bread crumbs that might lead those problems to come nibble on our community, like library books and magazines and albums and 8-tracks that promote unwholesome values . . . and let’s not talk about our own grandson impregnating half the county and you paying for the abortions and buying the keg for him and his 17 year old buds “so they can party safely at home where i can keep an eye on them.”

    Ptthpppt.

  15. Danny said on July 1, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Nancy, your post today was sublime. We don’t deserve you.

    {genuflecting}

    I can’t quit you…

    Love, Danny

  16. judybusy said on July 1, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Dexter: if you still want to eat meat, a great book on how to find healthy meat is Catherine Friend’s _The Compassionate Carnivore_. She and her partner have a small farm where they raise lamb and this year, beef. It’s an accessible read with some detail about factory farming, but mostly focusing on how to humanely raise animals and dealing with the ethics of that. She gives explicit help on how to work with a farmer to get your own humanely raised meat. I can also highly recommend her memoir of their farm.

    To bring in our other topic of blaming queers for all ills: It does make me wonder about what the homophobes would have to say about this very stable, loving, lesbian couple who are such an asset to their community. (OK, Ms. Friend also writes children’s books and has published two historical fiction novels featuring adventurous lesbians. The latter does have some sex scenes, so I guess she’s a blasted pornographer after all!) Seriously, they’re just super nice people who are great stewards of the land.

  17. Danny said on July 1, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    In California, it’s the queer illegal aliens that are the problem. Trust me. Mary will back me up on this.

  18. Julie Robinson said on July 1, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    No Trader Joe’s in the Fort…sigh

  19. ROgirl said on July 1, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I eat very little meat any more, don’t eat fast food, and I really don’t miss them, but any food that is commercially grown, produced or made has the potential to be unsafe these days.

    As for Sarah Palin, book banners, family-values crusaders, et al, here’s a chart that shows the states with the highest divorce rates, teenage birth rates and subscriptions to online porn.
    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/06/27/opinion/20090627blowchart.html

  20. Sue said on July 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    You have to subscribe to online porn? Isn’t it free like everything else on the internets?

  21. alex said on July 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    So, Nance, what’s the recipe for the kale and sausage and peppers? I wouldn’t do a kale smoothie, but the other thing sounded divoon.

  22. Danny said on July 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Alex, kale and other greens in smoothies are the bomb. You barely taste the greens and the smoothies are very satisfying and they’re great for you.

  23. LAMary said on July 1, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I like my kale to taste like kale. I’m just that way about things. No kale hiding.

  24. Dorothy said on July 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Sue you’re just too funny. Those two little sentences told us volumes about you, you know…

    I’m not keen on kale. Mike’s made it a few times and it’s just too earthy for my taste buds. On the other hand, we had fresh yellow squash out of our own garden for dinner on Saturday. I picked it at 5:50 pm and it was in my stomach by 7:30 pm. I’ve never had such fresh produce in my life before. It was too divoon for words.

  25. Jolene said on July 1, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    One more Michael Jackson video: Those of you who were taken, as I was, by Nancy’s lovely post earlier this`week re Michael Jackson as a dancer may want to check out a short post by the WaPo’s Joel Achenbach and the associated “dance mix” video. Pretty amazing.

  26. Jolene said on July 1, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    James Fallows saw Food, Inc.., the documentary film re industrial food production at the Aspen Ideas Festival and reports that it has the potential to move public opinion as Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed did twenty years ago. He links to a review of the film in The Atlantic by Corby Kummer. Doesn’t exactly sound like a fun way to spend a Saturday night, but he says we have to see it.

  27. alice said on July 1, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Not to mention all the money MJ spent trying to turn himself white! They were running the old post-baby dangling interview with him last night. Dear lord, his speaking voice! Can’t take that simpering little girl nonsense in women; in a man it makes me want to claw my ears off.

    I’m glad y’all are doing the right thing by your food consumption. I am not. As a 49 year old atheist fat woman who smokes I’m socially damned anyway. I’ll take my pleasures where I can. Pork ribs on the smoker this weekend baby!

  28. Rana said on July 1, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I’m always a bit bemused by the portion control aspect of eating out, as I’m one of those people who finds it nearly impossible to overeat. Eat too many calories, sure (ask me about fudge! or truffles), but not too much volume. It’s a combination of having a small stomach, tending to talk more than I eat, being easily distracted, and being one of the slowest eaters I’ve ever met. (My childhood is full of occasions when I was still at the table while the rest of my family was waiting to pay the check.)

    But it’s one of those things I can’t take any credit for, because I’ve certainly tried on other occasions to eat fast and large, and I literally cannot do it. (It’s especially bad when I’m on a trip with a bunch of always-hungry young adults who want to get on with the day’s activities – I often felt hungry and rushed in such groups, even when I was a young adult.) There’s no virtue in my eating habits, since there’s pretty much no willpower involved.

    On the plus side, it means that a jug of milk and an order of McDonald’s fries fills me up, and I almost always have leftovers when we eat out.

    (The one exception is a small local restaurant/chocolatier that decided to thread the needle of cheap meals and good food by serving smaller portions of really amazing food.)

  29. brian stouder said on July 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    it has the potential to move public opinion as Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed did twenty years ago.

    Hah!! Jolene, we’re gettin’ older, ain’t we!

    (I was thinking “Unsafe at any speed” was 40 years ago,since it attacked the Corvair, and a quick Google-go shows it as almost 44 years ago)

    Karl Malden, RIP. (I’d have guessed he was already dead)

  30. Dexter said on July 1, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    spreading (false?) rumor—I walked into the room where the satellite radio show was playing, and the show stars were talking about the Jacksons, who were going to charge 50 bucks to take a peek at Michael Jackson laid out in his coffin.
    Please somebody tell me this was just a radio bit!

    The real Michael Jackson passed a couple years ago, he of “Beer Hunter” fame, the London journalist Michael Jackson.

  31. Dexter said on July 1, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Karl Malden, 97. Thanks for the tip, brianstouder. Malden was a great one for decades.

  32. LAMary said on July 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    The Michael Jackson who had misdirected mourners hanging around
    his star on Hollywood Boulevard is still alive. He was on the radio here for years with a talk show that was very civilized and well informed. Rush came along an sucked away all his ratings, and continued to do so at every station he moved to. It’s a shame that mainstream talk radio isn’t like that anymore.

  33. nancy said on July 1, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    The one nice thing I can say about Mitch Albom is about his radio persona. He really is far less objectionable in that medium. I think it’s his bland, offend-no-one style — he comes of as reasonable and Mr. Normal, rather than the screechy asshole that is far too typical on talk radio.

  34. moe99 said on July 1, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    The Jenny Sanford admiration society:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/30/AR2009063003046.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

  35. basset said on July 1, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I have to say that never before today have I been inspired to Google “cane rat bouillon.”

    just cut our first German Pink tomato of the new growing season. Sublime.

  36. coozledad said on July 1, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Basset: Apparently I’ve made the same comment before(re: cane rat bouillon) about the same topic. I just don’t read enough these days. But I’m still checking the Asian groceries for the stuff.

    Tonight’s menu:
    http://eatingasia.typepad.com/eatingasia/2009/07/about-that-eggs-tomato-dish.html

  37. Jolene said on July 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Just saw that the Post has launched a new blog about the politics of food. To appear twice a month, it’s called “Gut Check”. It’s written by Ezra Klein, one of those young, smarty-pants political bloggers so common in Washington, so it’s not likely to be a good place for recipes. Instead, he promises insights about who in agriculture, industry. and government is producing the problems in our food supply and what is being done to address them. An excerpt:

    The sense that something is wrong with our food quickly blurs into the suggestion that everything is wrong with our food. It has too much bacteria but also too many pesticides. It is too expensive, but we do not spend enough money on it. We need fewer corporations, or maybe more corporations run by the yogurt guy. With so much wrong, it is hard to know where to start. And sometimes, in fact, it seems that fixing one problem would create another: Making fruits and vegetables cheaper, for instance, is hard to do if you also want them to be organic.

    . . . And that’s where this column comes in. Twice a month, we’ll take a look at the evolving politics and policy of food: from farms to Congress, on land and in sea, within and without the District. Because it’s not that something is wrong with our food. It’s that particular things are wrong with our food. And knowing what those things are is the first step toward fixing them.

    He is a lively writer, so it’s likely to be worth following.

  38. nancy said on July 1, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I’m glad they’re doing this, and that graf you pulled out, Jolene, gets right to the heart of it. It’s useful to remember that for all the trendy carping about agribusiness and industrial food, no one wants to go back to the days when all lettuce was iceberg and the only vegetables to eat in winter were canned. It’s not all bad eating out there, despite what Michael Pollan says.

  39. Dexter said on July 1, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    A search yielded some info about salad-in-a-bag from HighBeam Industries from 1994. I was wondering how long we have been able to buy salad like this.
    I know there have been issues with these bags, salmonella and e coli , but my wife buys these bags all the time and I bought an Italian mix yesterday, too.
    A special at the store , and a large bag of Italian salad for a buck, fresh, not “marked down for quick sale.” With just two of us, it wouldn’t be practical to buy all the salad greens individually. Here’s the old story (excerpt):

    “Pre-cut veggies are sparking a quiet revolution centered in supermarket produce departments as branded salad mixes and packaged pre-cuts begin to meet the needs of more and more 90s shoppers.

    “I love the packaged salads. Lettuce on the head tends to go bad. Packaged stays edible longer and it’s convenient too.”

    Updated fruits and veggies are in step with today’s fast pace and casual lifestyles. They are easy to tote and easy to eat. They require no preparation work and generate next to no trash or garbage. They are easy and even fun to select and to reject … “

  40. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 1, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I must point out, as fellow native of Da Region, that Karl Malden, nee Mladen Sekulovich (i may have mangled the spelling of the Serbian original) was from Gary, Indiana, as was that other fellow from Gary who died last week.

    Karl only changed his name; his nose was the product of northwest Indiana basketball, which could never tell when it wasn’t football. I was lucky, my nose only got broken once.

  41. brian stouder said on July 1, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Mary – Years and years ago, I called into Michael Jackson’s talk radio show; couldn’t possibly tell you what I was disagreeing with, but I seem to recall the word “jingoism” was used, in his British accent. Presumeably it was back when President Reagan was in office and MJ had criticized some RR rhetoric about Libya/Khadafy/Line of Death, but who knows?

    Anyway, yes, Michael Jackson and Owen Spahn were OK; and there was another guy, more recently….maybe Tom Liekus (spelling is probably wrong)?

    I won’t say “those were the good ol’ days” -because they weren’t; but the accessible style of those national talkers is definitely gone. Possibly people like that are on local stations; here in Fort Wayne ol’ Pat White varies. Some days he’s nothing more than a shrill shill for whatever the wingnut talking point of the moment is (“Cap and Tax” seems to be the current End of the World as We Know It thing), but more often, a caller can get through and have a reasonable disagreement with him.

  42. Joe Kobiela said on July 1, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Just got back from watching Public Enemy. Pretty good flick. Thankfully they did not glamorize Dillinger to much,cause he was a killer. One thing the wife pointed out was his girlfriend was not glamorous, just normal, like some one from Moorsville Ind would like. The production looked pretty good also, things looked like it was the mid 30’s. Johnny Depp really gets into his character’s. The guy is probably the best actor going at this time. Overall I give the movie a solid b+ or A-
    Pilot Joe

  43. brian stouder said on July 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Joe – I’ve seen the previews, and my Lovely Wife is a huge Johnny Depp fan anyway – so we’re almost certain to see it at Full Price; thanks for the capsule review!

    Pam was telling me that she read that the movie makers wanted Real Live Indiana newspaper reporters for the scenes wherein Dillinger deals with the press; and an ink-stained wretch from somewhere around here answered the casting call and got a part!

    The story went on about repeated screen tests and rehearsals. They had a stand-in for Mr Depp, of course, but the reporters and others kept running through the scenes. Weeks and weeks went by, and the reporter got no more calls, and just when he thought he hadn’t made the cut, the phone rang and the movie makers flew him out to California.

    Then – he saw the spectacle of the same scenes being run through (for blocking?), and they had a stand-in for HIM, while Mr Depp did his part!!

    Now I’ll have to go Googling and find who this guy was…

  44. brian stouder said on July 1, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I dunno – the link might be the same guy Pam was talking about…

    http://visitshoremagazine.com/2/?p=5066

  45. Dave said on July 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    John Dillinger killed the sheriff breaking out of the jail in Lima, OH, something which was brought up in the newspaper at least a couple of times during the six years we lived there. He robbed banks and everything else all around this general area, including the police station up in Auburn, by some accounts. Glad that the movie doesn’t glamorize him, although it seems the ads would lead you to believe otherwise.

    When I think of Michael Jackson, the radio host, I think of the day the Challenger blew up, which we witnessed. As we finally made our way up the Florida east coast, he was the radio show we were listening to.

    No Trader Joe’s in the Fort, which we got introduced to last summer. No Costco, either.

  46. Dexter said on July 2, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Tom Leykis. I remember listening to the show that followed his, and the host said Leykis was a very animated broadcaster; he never sat down at all during the entire show and would not even go on-air if the studio was over 60 degrees F.
    He had to have it cold. I only listened to Leykis occasionally…can’t recall anything about him or his show…
    http://www.blowmeuptom.com/tom-leykis-show.tl