An Example of How to Write An Effective Letter

Start with something positive.

Dear WXRT,

First of all, KUDOS to your marketing department for following up on my email saying they "might want to pull that ad for Andriana Furs." I'd written to suggest that the ad be pulled not because I particularly find it offensive (I find nearly all ads offensive, but a necessary evil for running a successful radio station), but because the owner of Adriana Furs pled guilty to money laundering last Friday and I didn't want XRT to look stupid, not ever, but especially not during Lin Brehmer's shift. The marketing manager assured me that XRT does not advertise for any furriers, but told he he'd check it out. Within a half hour I received a thank you email. The ad, which had been bundled with several others advertising a mega-sale that involved several stores, did exist, and had slipped under the radar. Within half an hour of my initial email, it had been tagged and pulled from all future spots.


(Not wanting Lin Brehmer associated with bad things brings me to the not-so-positive point of my letter):

Please. For the love of God. Change the picture on your DJ page:

Its been there forever, so it's not like I've only seen it once while trying to navigate my way to the Lin's Bin page. I *heart* Lin Brehmer, and I *LOOOOOOOOOATHE* Billy Corgan, so every time I see this pic I have this conflicted response for which Pepto Bismol is the only antidote. Maybe it's because I score directly down the middle on all personality tests, but I can't just get mad or just let things go, I have to do both. And usually simultaneously.

"AH!!! BILLY CORGAN!! FAH!!!" *loooooaaattthhhhe!!!*

"But Lin obviously likes him and he looks very happy."

"But...it's BILLY CORGAN!! I HATE him!!!"

"Now now. "Hate" is a very strong word."

"I don't care! Seeing his stupid face brings on a visceral response equal to the one I which I can most easily define as "hate." It's the same response I have to Sarah Palin and eggplant and, and people who put chairs in parking spaces!"

"But see! Terry Hemmert looks happy, too. Not everybody hates Billy Corgan, Jo."

"But...But I do!! And that picture has been there for at least as long as I've been listening to Lin's Bin. I think I've been tortured long enough and deserve a picture of someone, anyone else with Lin Brehmer! Can't they find a pic of Lin with David Bowie or Lyle Lovett, hell, even Amy Winehouse would be a serious improvement. Okayokayokay, it's CHICAGO's finest rock. Maybe that cool guitarist from Cheap Trick, the one with the superloud (but yummy!) pizza restaurant in Wicker Park...Rick Nielson!"

"Cheap Trick is from Rockford."

"Cliff Johnson?"

"Oak Park."

"Ummm...Neko Case!"


"CRAP! Technicalities! Billy Corgan is from Elk Grove Village. You're just being petty! Petty! Tom Petty!?? No, no, no, he's from Florida.... AHA! Ray Manczarek! He's from Chicago!"

"I'll get the camera, you arrange for Ray to come in from Cali when it's 7 degrees here."

"He'll understand how important this is."



Emotional Whiplash, Part Deux

So just FIVE DAYS AGO I posted about how I think that trailers for movies that I am really excited about seeing should use music by artists that I love in their trailers, and movies that will suck or that are about things that hold no interest for me WHATSOEVER should use music by Billy Corgan or Smashing Pumpkins:? I QUOTE MYSELF:

"All's I'm saying is, if they'd used...well, any song, really, by, say, Billy Corgan, for example, or Celine Dion, or Smashing Pumkins, or Barbra Streisand, or Brittany Spears or, I don't know, maybe, Zwan - I would have IMMEDIATELY hit "next" on my remote, thus sparing me the horrorshockanger of having one of my favorite running songs, "Heaven," tainted (albeit briefly! It's too good a song to hold a taint for long! And yes, Roland Burris, "taint" IS a word) by being associated with what promises to be a crappy film."

So, to prove once again that some force in the universe finds it hilarious to screw with me (I am NOT just paranoid! I'm NOT!), Shannon played me the trailer for the movie Watchmen, which may be the ONLY MOVIE I'm interested in seeing right now.

And the music....

I know this band.

And I whisper....



It couldn't be.

Do I really need to tell you?

The theme song?

It's the Smashing Pumpkins.

And you know what's worse? YOU KNOW WHAT'S WORSE???

I actually kind of don't hate it!

I think I just lost my mind. Bye bye! *giggle!*

If you need me, I'll be locked in the back bedroom of our apartment, smashing my head in a drawer repeatedly.


Transformers (TM) Clothing?

I'm not writing this post to dis Jeanne Tripplehorn, in fact, I haven't seen anything she's been in (Even if we had HBO I doubt you'd ever catch me watching Big Love), but the dress she was wearing at a recent red carpet event made me wonder....

It made me wonder what was under that curtain! Like you pull a string hidden under her armpit and.....



Emotional Whiplash

My biggest pet peeve of the winter is when people put their CRAP in the street to save "their" spots. I LOATHE these people.


Shannon feels the same way (well, not exactly, he doesn't loathe the people, he just hates it when they put stuff out on the street. SO UNNEIGHBORLY!!!!)

This looks a LOT like the next block down from us, where I counted 6 spots saved with crap like this. Only two of those spots had actually been shovelled out.

This is one of the thousands of reasons our marriage works so well. It's, like, reason #2 between neither of us being a right-wing Republican and our shared love of walking up to 6 miles each way just for a really good cupcake. That's not to say we won't travel further for a really good cupcake, but if the a trip over 12 miles round trip, a second form of transport will be required to make up the difference. Like a train, or a bus, or (very rarely) a cab; or maybe in this weather, a sled pulled by Maine Coons dressed as reindeer!

Since moving in to our current abode, we have never had a problem on our block with people putting their garbage on the street to save themselves a spot. Why? Because Shannon shovels most of the block, both sides of the street (we live on a one-way). He's been out there 5 days so far this week, shoveling for up to 2&1/2 hours at a time. So when I pulled up yesterday to see a freaking CHAIR in a spot DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF OUR BUILDING,

it was all I could do not to fling it through the front window of the neighbor I thought it belonged to. I. Was. LIVID. I mean, there were PLENTY of places for me to park in, don't get me wrong. It's not like I was being put out or anything. Besides, I have a shovel in my trunk so if it happened that all the shoveled spots had been taken, I'da shoveled myself a new one.

It was the principle. Shannon shoveled that spot and about 20 others. I helped briefly, and 3 or 4 others shoveled themselves out, but the majority of our block - including that spot the chair was so smugly squatting in - had been shoveled out by Shannon.

Which brings me to the chair. Some ABSOLUTE TOTAL SELFISH JERKASS BASTARD put a chair in one of the spots he'd shoveled out!

OMG! The NERVE! Then: the RAGE. I was shaking with it, I kid you not. I parked and forced myself to walk around the chair, thinking that if I moved it and someone else parked there, that jerk might just key their car or worse.

There has been quite a bit of vandalism and violence over street parking spaces in the winter in Chicago, even the rare shooting or shovel-to-the-head bashing. I did NOT want to be the reason some innocent commuter had their tires slashed. So I left the chair and stormed upstairs, GLARING at the door of the neighbor who I knew, I JUST KNEW, put that chair there.

(I was sore tempted to confront him, but what good would it do? "Hi, my name's Jo and I live upstairs? Maybe you've seen my husband shovelling for the better part of 5 days? Yeah, that's him! Oh, no! Your Guitar Hero playing isn't too loud...No I didn't even know you HAD a dog! Hey, cool boots! Aren't Keen's the BEST?? Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I think you're a total asshole for putting that chair out there, and I hope you die a horrible death. Bye-eeee!")

I went into our apartment, kicked off my boots, and realized that Shannon was outside shoveling. I could hear the scrape of the shovel on the street way down the block, which I'd missed because of my RAGE!!! (Hell, David Bowie could have come up to me and asked for directions to my apartment, explaining he was going there to perform a private concert for me and ButterNugget who was on her way over because we're such loyal fans, and I probably would have snapped the directions at him distractedly ("Yes, YES that one! The one I'm POINTING at! Now if you'll EXCUSE me...!") then slammed the door in his face as I walked up ahead of him.)


Shannon's probably working off his own anger, I thought. I decided to go find him, see if he needed anything, then maybe bake him some cookies or something. Something without milk as an ingredient. My mood would have curdled milk.

As I walked out the door I made a little jog to the right to kick over the damned chair.

I'd show that guy how angry I was! Before I got close, however, I ran into my upstairs neighbor who was walking away from the chair. A little more sharply than I'd intended, I asked if she was the one who put it there. I wouldn't want to bury the wrong person's car in all of the snow Shannon had shovelled after all.

Had to be sure. "HELL no." she said. "I HATE it when people do that! I actually took it and THREW it onto the grass, then I put it back because I thought maybe if someone else parked there, whoever put the chair there in the first place might do something to that person's car."

I immediately decided she was going to get some of those cookies. Hmmmm...maybe chocolate chip? I then wondered if my mood would affect milk chocolate...?

She asked if I thought I knew who did it. I told her, we both glared our neighbor's darkened front window before going our separate ways.

I tracked down Shannon and asked him if he needed anything, and he asked for a bottle of water so I started storming back to get it for him. On my way back I encountered our neighbor's daughter from across the hall. She was wearing a short-sleeved dress and ballet slippers - not very appropriate attire for a subzero evening! She had a message for me that couldn't wait for her to throw on a coat:

"That lady threw the chair we put out for you! I thought she was going to take your spot! We saved that spot for YOU!" Meanwhile, her grandmother threw open the window and called for me to "MOVE YOUR CAR BEFORE SHE COMES BACK! That's YOUR space!"

Apparently, this family had saved the spot for us, because Shannon had shovelled them out during the heaviest part of the snow. Their dog was sick and they were worried about him, so they wanted to be ready to go if they had to book it to the vet, and they were really grateful. I didn't move my car, but I did move the chair.

Guess who ELSE is getting cookies?

I think I owe some to the neighbor I'd blamed for the chair, too. He won't have any idea why, but that's a good thing.

Current Status: Happily Eating Humble Pie. With a big glass of fresh milk.


WAIT a Minute! YOU'RE Supposed to be "The Tool"

From the NY Times:

"Citigroup, which is receiving more than $300 billion in bailout assistance, says that it is open to measures that would help homeowners.

“Citi shares this legislation’s goal to help distressed borrowers stay in their homes, and believes it will serve as an additional tool to the extensive home retention programs currently in place to help at-risk borrowers,” Vikram S. Pandit, the chief executive of Citigroup, wrote in a letter released Thursday night."

EXCUSE me? You get 300 BILLION dollars and you're "OPEN TO MEASURES?" What the HELL are you morons DOING??! You're supposed to be USING THE $300,000,000,000.00 - (Holy God! That's ELEVEN ZEROS following that three! I didn't know numbers went up that high! And that's not even THE HALF OF IT!) that you needed to help homeowners, to HELP HOMEOWNERS. What have you been doing with that money???

I think maybe a hell of a lot more accountability checks should have been implemented in this bailout. All's I'm saying. Makes me sick to think about all that blown money and ZERO (that's one zero or eleven. Adds up just the same) accountability.

Inspired By Butternugget

I think that movies that I'll have no interest in, or, more pointedly, that I think will suck should use music that I hate in trailers. Conversely, movies that I will love should use music that I love. Butternugget noted that she experienced conflicting feelings whenever she saw the trailer for the movie Notorious. On the one hand, it was a movie she had no interest in seeing, but then, on the other hand, every time she saw the trailer, she got strangely excited about the movie. She finally realized her excitement had nothing to do with the movie and everything to do with the song they were playing in the trailer, "Notorious" by Duran Duran. Which I have posted here so she can listen to it free of The Notorious B.I.G.

I recently saw a trailer that used "Heaven" by Lamb as the catch music. Caught me! I thought, "LAMB! Awesome! Now I KNOW I'm going to LOVE THIS!" I sat back in giddy anticipation and was rewarded with a trailer for....now I don't remember the name of it, but from the trailer it looked like it may prove to be, like, the stupidest movie ever.

Okay, the stupidest movie ever - after Christopher Lambert's Beowulf, where many of the characters wear full head helmets. Brilliant in concept,

but not so brilliant in excecution. Evidenced in the fact that 99.9% of the cast is slaughtered by Grendel because THEY CAN'T SEE HIM.

If I'd seen the trailer for Beowulf BEFORE excitedly snatching the movie off the "New Releases" wall at the Park Ridge Blockbuster Video in 1999, I'm pretty sure I would have skipped it. And even if I had seen the trailer I may have been immune because why? NO LAMB IN THE TRAILER. Or Danny Elfman. I am a sucker for Danny Elfman. Hey, I saw The Flash and Darkman III only because he did the music. Which, as it turns out, was not really a good enough reason to waste those 4 hours of my life, but I was too scared of him to tell him so.

Okay, I just looked up the trailer on YouTube and I think if I had the tellie on "mute" I still would have been pretty clued in to the fact that Beowulf was to be. A Truly. Horrible. Movie.

But I digress. Back to the trailer for the movie I (blissfully) can't remember anything about.

All's I'm saying is, if they'd used...well, any song, really, by, say, Billy Corgan, for example, or Celine Dion, or Smashing Pumkins, or Barbra Streisand, or Brittany Spears or, I don't know, maybe, Zwan - I would have IMMEDIATELY hit "next" on my remote, thus sparing me the horrorshockanger of having one of my favorite running songs, "Heaven," tainted (albeit briefly! It's too good a song to hold a taint for long! And yes, Roland Burris, "taint" IS a word) by being associated with what promises to be a crappy film.

I'm going to put Lamb right here now, because I feel like it.

OMG. I just found an article on a so-called music Website listing the "50 Worst Artists In Music History" and they list Oingo Boingo as #16! Danny Elfman was the lead singer of Oingo Boingo. *fuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmme* In the words of Paul Thomas Anderson, (who based his screenplay on other words by Upton Sinclair...okay one other word by Upton Sinclair: Oil!): There Will Be Blood. Oh! Better yet, Oingo Boingo's "Imposter," a little ditty about music critics, was written for the likes of John Aizlewood, Clark Collis, J.D. Considine, John Harris, Howard Johnson, Rob Kemp, Daniel Krauss, Mat Snow and Jonah Weiner! To each and every one of you "You're head is firmly lodged way up your butt where it belongs."

View Out My Office Window

Hope you had a fabulous time in LA, Rev! Welcome back! We saved you some snow.


Kazahk PM Tells Evan to "Get Blogging!"

Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov Monday told his ministers to start personal blogs to get them closer to the people of the former Soviet state.

"I have opened a blog on the government Website," Masimov said. "I order all ministers... to start personal blogs where people will be able to ask you questions that you must answer."

Masimov commended ministers who'd already set up their own blogs, but encourages bloggers like Evan to blog more frequently, stating, "That Blago idiot is old news at this point and he was impeached 4 days ago. You last wrote on January 1st - almost 2 weeks ago! Most people have already forgotten what their resolutions were, my friend. Hell, I resolved to pay closer attention to what my left eye was doing, especially when I'm on camera.

"It's like, see how my right eye is open and friendly, encouraging discussion like, like..."good cop!" and my left eye is eying you narrowly, like, like the "bad cop!" See what I mean? Well, you can see, obviously, because that picture was taken yesterday. See? I've already gone right back to December 31, 2008 habits.

"Time for some more current information! You think you're day-to-day is boring? NOTHING is boring to people who actually read blogs their ministers! ESPECIALLY those who read them with the intent of asking their ministers questions! And judging from the picture below....let's just say you probably lead a more interesting life than most of my other ministers. BLOG! NOW!"

Picture used totally without permission.

Evan was born in this country, but has a Kazakh relation. He was ordained by the Powers of the Webbernet as a minister in May of 2008. I leave it to you to determine what he is the minister of, exactly....


Eddie Izzard Challenges Russel Brand For Title

of "Most Awesomely Kind-Hearted Comedian."

On Christmas Eve, Russell Brand gave £500 to a homeless man who was trying to make enough money to get home for Christmas.

Also over the holidays, Eddie Izzard performed for 90 minutes to a man who'd been seriously injured during the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November. The man's father had written to Izzard asking him to send a note to his son, Will Pike, to cheer him up; and the next thing he knew Izzard was there himself, performing an entire stand-up show for Pike.

Pike had had tickets to see Izzard's performance, but had to miss it, so Eddie brought the show to him.

2008's race for the title is close, but I think Izzard wins it. As for 2009....who know's which comedian will claim the title? *all eyes turn to Paula Poundstone*

Damn. Now I want to see Valkyrie. Until now I had NO interest in seeing it, but now that I know Izzard is in it....

62 Years Old

and you're still the total blam-blam.

Happy Birthday, David Bowie!


Katy Perry,

You may have kissed a girl, you may have liked it,

But I'm pretty sure that girl has been gargling with bleach ever since, trying to forget.

I gotta tell you, if I'd been ever "gotten so brave/drink in hand/curious," and I found YOU the one chick in the bar attractive enough to kiss, red warning flags would have gone up all over the place. Not only would I never drink again, I would swear off of cold medicine and oysters; I would destroy any canisters of whipped cream, Aqua Net, and WD-40 I had in my home, car or office; I'd substitute Crayola for all of my Sharpies; and I would immediately seek out professional help.

ESPECIALLY if I'd found you attractive with one of your Amazon millipede fake eyelashes missing.


Mu Blames Innocent Kittays for Earth's Evils

...and uses them as an excuse for his own lack of willpower.

"I did great on [my resolutions] through June when the kittens showed up. That blew up my schedule, and I have not seemed to recover that schedule since then."

Shame! SHAME!!! Blamin' them kittays!?!?! I've posted your address with the Cheezburger Cat Network.