Category Archives: Humor

“50-inch screen, money-green leather sofa”: A middle class person could now live Biggie’s “Juicy” lifestyle

“Juicy” by the Notorious B.I.G. is perhaps my favorite rap song of all time. It’s a Puffy-produced, nostalgic ride through the early-to-mid 90s, the history of New York hip-hop and a brief autobiography of Big, how he goes from “a common thief to up close and personal with Robin Leach.”

It also came to my attention recently while listening to the song that the lavish lifestyle he brags about isn’t really all that lavish — certainly not anymore, given our advancements in technology. The life he live is more middle class to upper middle class than the Gilded Age boasted by Kanye and Jay-Z in “Watch The Throne.”

Because this is The Brewhouse and we tend to do awesome, pointless things I decided to see what it would actually cost to live like Big. Here’s a financial breakdown of the “Juicy” lifestyle. Continue reading


Subway or No Way

All Subway “sandwich artists” employ one of two very precise techniques for slathering mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip) on their god-awful sandwiches. Their choice is dependent on the utensils available at the respective restaurants. Some Subways carry the plastic spatula. The artists at these establishments dip this rectangular piece of plastic into a square-ish receptacle – also made of plastic – twirl the spatula until it is sufficiently coated in mayo and then splotch the mayo back and forth on the sandwich in a motion almost entirely unlike one used by Monet as he applied a final touch to his canvas, searching for a perfect measure of abstraction.

Other Subway restaurants store the mayonnaise in a canister similar to the type used for ketchup and mustard. These canisters are opaque, the better to prevent customers from seeing the yellow, solidified state the mayonnaise has reached while it has lingered away from refrigeration for several hours. The artists squeeze the mayonnaise out and in a fluid motion they zig-zag it over and over and over again atop the cold cuts. Though the strategies involve markedly different skill sets, each leads to the same frustrating, invariable conclusion, which is a mayonnaise-soaking so deep and thick that a small rodent could drown on that piece of nine-grain honey oat bread.

I imagine the sandwich artists are trained how to spread mayonnaise during orientation when they are newly hired. Some middle-manager on a video tutorial probably says, “Remember kid. You can never give someone enough mayonnaise.” After taking a few minutes to display a good mayonnaise-drenching, the middle-manager, I suspect, must also train the newbie employees to accept the look on the face they are bound to see from the customer whose sandwich has been dampened, which is, invariably, a look of resignation.

I haven’t been to Subway in a long time. Continue reading

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Scenes from Lawrence: Hipster vengeance on the bathroom wall … and a short rebuttal

Living in a college town means you see things like this on a daily basis. This one caught my eye on Saturday night at the Ringo Deathstarr show in Lawrence. Fight the power, hipster. Fight like you’ve never fought before.

Unsolicited Endorsements XXXVIII

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness

Music writing: Ann Powers on Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons released its second album this week, “Babel”, the follow-up to the out-of-nowhere buzz album, “Sigh No More”, and a perfectly fine and ordinary record that sounds more or less exactly like its predecessor.

The Mumford & Sons dichotomy has long fascinated me. Marcus Mumford and his friends make what is essentially bluegrass pop—big and layered songs that always seem to start slow and end with booming crescendos. It is music that is seemingly loved by a rather substantial chunk of folks between the ages of 16 and 35. Young professional urbanites. Frat boys. Suburban teenagers. Feminist careerists. (OK. That last one is a major assumption. Deal with it.)

But this is also a buzzband that is, by and large, loathed by critics and hipster tastemakers like Vice and Pitchfork—a band that treads in the same “bigger-than-thou” territory that U2 occupied in the late 80s; the same overly sentimental plot of land that Dave Matthews claimed in the mid to late 90s.

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On politics, peanut butter sandwiches and the cardinal sin of pickup basketball

It is now, without a doubt, election season, that ridiculous, messy, and chaotic daily churn of news, and polls, and soundbites, and punditry—sometimes honest, sometimes not.

It’s broad and sweeping—and sometimes hard to ignore. I’ve spent the last week on the road, the last four days on vacation from work, and this has given me some time to sort through some of the noise and focus on the utterly preposterous. The truly egregious. The most insanely incendiary thoughts I’ve heard during this presidential campaign.

So here they are. One: Mitt Romney says his “guity pleasure” is “peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate milk”. Two: Barack Obama reportedly takes charges in pickup basketball games. (Yep. These scandals run deep.)

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A Mile Away From Ordinary

I felt kinda scared when I arrived at the track that night, dressed suavely in the guise of darkness, a plain white t-shirt, and a scrummy pair of shorts Clorox can’t save. Because I have paranoia levels befitting a mother of suburban teenagers, I feared the cops could arrive, administer punishment via nightstick and then haul us to county jail. I feared I might faint or die.

OK, I really didn’t think that. That would be overdramatic. But I did anticipate excruciating pain, excruciating but voluntary pain for choosing to participate in an endurance test of sanity better known as the Beer Mile. Continue reading

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What We Talk About When We Talk About The Men Who Sell Pixie Stix By The Highway

OK. So there are these men in Kansas City. Well, usually they’re men. And, anyway, they’re always standing at this busy intersection, this one right by my house, just a few blocks away, right down by the highway.

Like literally, By. The. Highway. Like maybe a hundred yards or so. Let’s see. There’s a stoplight. And then an intersection. And then the highway.

And what are they doing? They’re selling Pixie Stix. Yep, fucking Pixie Stix. Those big, plastic ones. Giant fucking Pixie Stix. Now, this is actually not the first time I’ve seen these men in Kansas City. I used to see them down by this busy intersection near the Plaza, right around State Line and Shawnee Mission Parkway. That made no sense, either. There was no convenient place to stop. The intersection was all sorts of busy. And they just stood there, on the medians, hawking pixie sticks. Giant fucking pixie sticks.

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The Return of List Mania

Well, it’s been forever. The story goes that Mark and I used to sporadically update the Brew House with an edition of “List Mania” — an ode to former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski, who famously wrote lists until one day, many years ago, he wrote a column saying he would never list again…

For the past year or so, there’s been very little listing around these parts. And that changes today. The era of gimmicky lists and random thoughts is back. And the listing baton has been passed. So here goes…

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I Swear, I’m Not a Hoopster

The summery, lamb phase of the spring has arrived. Brunch will be served at outdoor tables. Someone will actually buy a Bartles and Jaymes beverage. Tops will come off convertibles and spray-tanned meatheads. And I will begin wearing jerseys, Champion replica NBA jerseys and Starter replica NCAA jerseys, mainly those of obscure players, like Kerry Kittles, and teams, like the Nets, who I care nothing about, because I dress like a hoopster.

Deadspin began cataloguing the emergence of this cultural fashion movement two years ago when it ran pictures under the tag “Look At This Fucking Hoopster.” After Lollapalooza, they featured a photo gallery of many a hipster rocking a jersey. The New York Times then ran one of their Style-section trend stories about hoopsters, which prompted Deadspin to announce that the trend was over. 

For me, it was never over and still isn’t. I may dress like one, but I’m not a hoopster. I’m original. I didn’t just wear the jerseys, I wore them with my yellow Guatemalan shorts or nylon warmup pants, sometimes with a head band, and I have the clear-cut, non-sepia-tinged random tight pic from a 2006 night out to prove it. And yes, that is a Clippers warm-up jersey atop the St. John’s jersey.

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Unsolicited Endorsements: XXI

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

Painting: “The Twist” — Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton’s roots are in Missouri. He was born in Neosho; once worked as a cartoonist at the Joplin American newspaper in Joplin, Mo., and finally settled in Kansas City, teaching at the Kansas City Art Institute (where he’d cross paths with a rebellious young student named Dennis Hopper).* Along the way, he would become famous for his depiction of life in the U.S. — often in the form of conflict (old traditions vs. industrialization, the settling of the old west, etc.)

Here’s “The Wreck of the Ole ’97

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