Saturday, October 27, 2007


Dear Lucky Magazine: Who can drop $642 on ONE BLOUSE and consider it a "lucky" find? What is your target demographic? Just curious. I guess, if I could do that, I WOULD be lucky.

Dear Mattel: You are on my list. We'll talk more about this later, you lying, deceiving, crap-monger.

Dear Migraine-Inducing Barometric Pressure: Get lost, already. Lighten up. Everything's nice and soaked, you can move along now.

Dear Concerned Friends: Please stop forwarding me the email about boycotting the upcoming film version of "The Golden Compass" because it is "anti-God." Seriously--I've received this email eleventy-million times in the last three days, and not one of those missives has come from someone who has seen this movie or even read any of the "His Dark Materials" series. Why should we be afraid of things that are "anti-God," anyway? Christianity is all about free will. It's a personal choice we make to accept Christ or not. If we could remove every influence in the world that was not Godly, well, then it wouldn't be much of a "choice," would it? It would seem to me that this film or the book it's based on might provide a prime opportunity to discuss important theological issues with our children, particularly the difference between faith and religion...but that's just me. Anyway, I know you mean well, but I've read the email, and the linked report now more than once. I'm good.

Dear Arkansas Immigration Alarmists: For your own mental health, accept the inevitable. We have a larger and larger influx of hispanics to this state every day, and I haven't seen anything you've proposed that's going to slow it down much, much less stop it. Take a breath, and start learning Spanish. We are.

Dear Internet: I think we're growing apart. It's not you, it's me. OK, it's mostly you. Give me things I NEED, or I'm going to have to start looking elsewhere.

Dear Real Life: Thank you for getting better. I couldn't have taken yet another sucky year.

Dear Family: I love you guys.

Dear Husband and Daughter: I am checking out of the Volume Race around here. You two are LOUD. You are, quite honestly, the two loudest people I have ever met in my whole, entire life. Isabella, I never dreamed that I would ever meet anyone as loud as your father...and then YOU came along. You were such a quiet baby. Can't we get back to that? I'm interested in everything the both of you have to say to me, but here's the thing: I'M RIGHT HERE. I can HEAR you. Just talk, in a normal human conversational tone, for the love of my eardrums. I'm not going to compete to be heard any more. If you want to hear what I have to say, you're going to have to hush up and listen, because I'm not gonna holler any more.

Dear Wal-Mart grocery department: You disappoint me. I occasionally shop with you when I just need a few things for one dinner, and also have to buy, say, a bucket or a belt-sander at the same time. Why does the biggest store in the universe have such a limited selection? It's weird. Congratulations on carrying Pocky, though.

Dear Kroger in Jacksonville: I love you. You have everything I need, and you double my coupons--even when I have half a dozen for the same item. You're clean and well-organized and not overwhelming, and you offer a varied selection of ethnic grocery items. Please treat your employees better so they don't always look so sour (see next item).

Dear Kroger in Cabot: You are new and shiny and clean and bright. You have super-wide aisles and the happiest staff I've ever seen at a grocery store in my life. When I dropped a jar of pizza-sauce and it smashed on the spotless floor, not only was there someone cleaning it up almost before the sound of the impact reached my ears, but he was HAPPY about it, smiling from ear to ear and cracking jokes about how at least I didn't drop the pricey stuff. You need to talk to the Jacksonville branch about how to keep your workers happy. BUT, Kroger in Cabot, when I have a choice, I don't choose you, even with your big comfy aisles and your happy employees. I choose Kroger in Jacksonville. Because, Kroger in Cabot, the layout of your store is INSANE. Like items belong together. I know it's probably some strategy to increase shopper exposure to as many items as possible, thereby increasing impulse purchases, but you know what? When I have to double back and re-trace my steps, it just annoys me. I wind up leaving without things I wanted to buy, just because I can't find them easily, and that is losing you money.

Dear local trees: I know it was 80 degrees until last week, but let's go with the foliage changing already.

Dear red pickup truck: I am SO tired of making payments on you. The next seven months can not go by quickly enough, as far as you're concerned.

Dear white Tahoe: Thank you for not breaking down, even though you're all paid for. Please last several more years, or at least until I can trade you in for something more reasonable. It's not you, it's just that I now have a husband, who has his own truck, so I no longer need your big engine or towing ability. When you're gone, I will miss you, though.

Dear house and 5 acres: You are on borrowed time. If the real estate market weren't so depressed right now, you would SO be up on the block. We're allergic to all your multitude of trees, and your weird, weird floor-plan is not cute any more. I am trying to like you better, so work with me, OK? This is your time to shine, in some way.

Dear poodles: It would be great if you guys could learn to bathe yourselves. You're smart enough--I really think you could do it. Give it some thought, OK? I'll keep the good food coming. Stay out of the trash.

Dear Invader Zim: Come back.

Dear Mario Van Peebles: I don't know where you've been for the last several years, but "Damages" was truly awesome. I noticed that you put yourself into the final episodes, and I'm hoping that doesn't change anything next season.

Dear whoever is responsible for the plot of the "Transformers" movie: Man, you stink at the plot-writing. Never write anything for public consumption ever, ever again. The way you wrote that whole storyline made it impossible to think anything throughout 2/3 of that movie except "why don't the Autobots and the Decepticons just have a bidding war on Ebay for the stupid glasses?" That would have been just about as interesting, too.

Dear Southern Living and Mental Floss magazines: I will never stop subscribing to either of you. The love, it is fierce.

Dear Real Simple magazine: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I picked up your November issue while in the checkout line at the grocery store, due to a personal character weakness of mine when it comes to magazines. After reading an article about cleaning, with practical tips like how to clean with non-toxic items like baking soda and vinegar, I came to the article about organizing a linen closet to optimize space. There, smack in the middle of $10 tap lights and storage chests, a $12 under-shelf basket, and a $13 mini-dresser, is this thing:
It's a small plastic wall-mount organizer, kind of like a hanging shelf with hard plastic "pockets" in which to store things. It costs $310. THREE HUNDRED AND TEN DOLLARS. For a place to put your spare paperclips. Real Simple, that is neither "real" nor "simple." Are you high? What kind of a kickback are you getting from the Uten.Silo people from this incongruous product placement?

Dear Everyone Who Reads And Comments: Wanna be on the blogroll? (I've just updated it, so check--you may already be there.) If you're not, and you should be (and if you come here often and comment, then you should be), please leave a comment with a link to your site so I can add you. Some of you come from dead-end Blogger profiles and I may not have your URL. Thanks!


  1. Why are you writing such a good post on a Saturday?!

    Hola from Los Angeles. (that's Spanish)

  2. Umm, I don't blog anymore. For lots of reasons. But we have a website for the dogs, does that count?

    Also, LOVED this post. That is all.

  3. Awesome post!

    Re: Lucky Magazine
    Seriously, the prices featured in magazines as good deals on clothing is insane.

    Re: Concerned Friends
    Oh I hope my sister-in-law doesn't catch wind of this. She's one of those morality message forwarders.

    Re: Transformers
    The ebay bidding war would have been far better. I just posted about this on my site too.

    Re: Real Simple
    Yep, thats a crazy product. And the price to organize paint chip samples and floppy diskettes is excessive.

  4. Thanks for the link-love, Belinda, much appreciated.

    I feel the same way about our house sometimes. I really want to *love* it but most days I'm just "meh" about it.

  5. Holy crap, I feel your pain. Real Simple is so hit & miss!
    Haha, I am complaining about Real Simple Magazine. Life must be pretty good. :)

  6. My website has longer typepad.

    Now it's

  7. Add me please, although I haven't been really good at keeping it current. Betty Boo Bopper is keeping me hopping.

  8. That was fabulous.

    Dear Poodles broke me.

  9. Having a craptastic day, are we?

    RE: Lucky magazine. What a waste of paper. Even though we get it free from a friend who loves it and uses those stickers to mark up the pages, I toss it into the recycling pile unread. Blech.

    RE: Poodles. Put out a big pool. Spill some bubble bath in it. Run them through it. They should be able to handle that, right?

    RE: House with trees you are allergic to. I'm so there with you. I'm so out of breath from allergies that I can't even manage to go out for more than 10 seconds without sneezing and choking. I hate trees. HATE THEM.

    RE: Barometric Pressure. I"m so there with you. I'm about to die from the freaking migraines I've had for weeks. Rained today. Tomorrow I'll be miserable again.

    Chin up, M'dear. Hope you're watching the Sox cream the Rox.

  10. Yes, I too always want to believe that Real Simple will actually be....never is for me either. Probably too late for comfort food recipes, but try the Cabernet braised short ribs on I braised them today and they're in the fridge now waiting for tomorrow. The nibble I tried was out of this world.

  11. Maybe all those little things come with the organizer? *Now* how much would you pay for it? Loved Damages, too!

  12. I too wish Spouse and daughter came with a volume control. Here are too people who never raise their voices when they are angry, rarely shout at sports events, but when they get to telling stories...Yeesh! Love today's notes.

  13. Oh my gosh, this entry had me laughing out loud in the middle of the night with sleeping family members who now hate me. My first instinct is to respond to every single item on this post, but I'm trying to refrain from cluttering other peoples' blogs with my giant, babbly comments. (Mission not accomplished, as you can tell.) Anyway, let me just agree 100% that Invader Zim needs to make a comeback. Along with Sheep in the Big City.

    (I'm so pleasantly surprised to be on your blogroll! What an honor! *curtseys in appreciation*)

  14. Too funny. I stopped subscribing to Real Simple right around the time that they became "Real Expensive." The volume of content to noise is just too low to bother.

    Love the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, despite being a minister's kid and a fairly practicing Quaker. It's all about choice, and that's one of God's gifts, whether you believe in him or now. Plus, um, armored bears! Must.see.armored.bears.

  15. Oy. I just re-subscribed to Real Simple and am Simply Angry. They obviously do not know the meaning or the words in the name of their magazine.
    I wish I had a clean grocery store with or without happy employees.

  16. Belinda, I love this lit. May I please rip for my own space this week?

  17. I <3 this post.

    I haven't had a single one of the Don't Watch The Golden Compass e-mails! Which is pretty hilarious since I guess it means everyone thinks I'm already going to hell for my quasi-pagan ways so they should just save their energy for self-flagellation. Incidentally, I think your argument is perfect. If you trust in your faith (and others') a movie/book isn't going to change that. Amen, sister.
    About the organizer? Glue some magnets to the back of some small tins (like the mints you get at starbucks or whatever): tada! Cheap like borscht and even better, movable.
    Also, I am terrified of the Christmas barrage of plasticy goodness, a lot of family (hm.. mostly my husbands side) have no concept of questioning the integrity or safety of manufacturers. I should just tell everyone that Theya is allergic to plastic.. hey, I might have something there...

  18. Dear Belinda,
    I loves you.
    Love Karen
    p.s. Website is a-comin' soon. 1-2 weeks.

  19. Dear Belinda,

    I think I love you. Jesus, JenB, eighties hair & so much more. Why you are not sitting in Laughing Moon with me drinking wine while I teach you to knit, I do not understand.



  20. Please add me, even though only 6 people actually read my blog. I've been reading yours for ages, and you are on my blogroll....and I let my subscrip to Simple Life expire for much the same reason; it's not for making your life simple, it's for Martha Stewart wanna-bes.

    Marilyn aka redhead

  21. Less than six people read me! I win!! (Just kidding Marilyn.)

    I too have noticed the downhill slide of Real Simple. It's sad because I was in the biz when this magazine came out and I loved it so, I recommended it to everyone.

  22. I mostly lurk but I do read.
    AND...I may have to steal this idea if it's ok (With appropriate linky love of course).

    GREAT post.

  23. Love, love this post. Especially the Poodle part ( but you knew that was comin').

  24. Awesome post, loved it. Am wishing now that I had thought of such a clever format, as my blog seems to be creatively stalled just now.

  25. Loved your post. I don't really understand the hatred of Hispanics thing either. I mean, for one thing, not all of us are illegal. For my family, we were all born here in the US back to my grandparents. Grandma's family moved her to Mexico when she was 8 years old. She moved back here when she was grown and married. She had all her kids in the US except for my dad. But he still had to get a green card. Really racist if you ask me. Plus, we're ordinary people, we're not hurting anyone, and even the illegals are just taking the jobs Americans don't want anyway. What's the big deal? We brought some delicious food with us when we came here. Doesn't that count for something? And who doesn't love pinatas? Anyone? Maybe it's just because I grew up in a city that's 60% Hispanic that I don't get it, but someone please explain to me what the big deal is. Why are we hated so much?

  26. I guess I am not the only one whose migraines are sensitive to barometric pressure. I love the rain, but almost every time it makes me hurt. Also, it's sort of hard to explain that to people who don't get headaches.

    Cannot agree with you more about Transformers. What a disappointment. We all agree it should have been called "Shia LaBeouf Wants to Get Laid."

  27. I'm a sometime commenter; not sure if I deserve blog-roll status. That's up to you!

    I don't know how many people read my blog (it's on the Prevention magazine website, so I don't think I can add or use a tracker or stat counter)--but it can't be many. If people would comment, I'd know they're out there. So hey (hint, hint), if you come, please comment (you don't even have to register--I don't think).

    I'm thinking of doing the NaBloPoMo challenge, even though I'll be out-of-town for two days (going to SantaFe with 3 girlfriends--Yay!), and don't think I can do delayed posts. Maybe more people will find me that way--and after going a whole month without posting, missing only two days out of a month would be a big improvement. :)

    Prevention only allows us a maximum of 10 on the blogroll. Boo-hiss! (Hope they don't see this ;) ). Actually they know how I feel about this, but it's their software's fault, and I have my own way around it (tagging). But hey, if you want to add me, I'll definitely add you! :D

    MargieK (a shortcut, because Prevention's urls are so ridiculously long)

  28. Margie, I can't get an RSS feed for your site, which is really good (your site, not the fact that I can't add it). :-(

    Write your posts ahead of time for the two days you'll be gone, and get someone to post them for you!

  29. I'm currently in a big fat fight with Lucky Magazine. First of all, I never win anythign from their stupid contests. And, second of all, they've stopped featuring the Shopping in Portland section. Now I only get Seattle, which, hello, is 3 hours away and they have sales tax there. So, NOT INTERESTED.

    And, also, because I'd rather pay my rent and car payment each month than get a new blouse or two :)

  30. Dear Ninja....please add me to the blogroll, please, please, please, please, please, please, please

  31. Belinda, I LOVE the Notes list, especially the Lucky and Real Simple comments. In addition to how expensive their featured items are and how inane a lot of the simple suggestions are, I have also noticed that Houston is NEVER in the section where they list where to get stuff... NY, LA, Atlanta, etc are ALWAYS in these lists. I am not a native Texan with an overblown Texas pride thing going on, but Houston is the 4th largest city in the US and it actually is pretty cosmopolitan.... Anyway, love your blogs and your way of thinkin'!

  32. OMG I love Dear Husband and Daughter. It is my life x3. Why are they so loud! I hope peace falls in your house soon.

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