Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dear City of Minneapolis,

Dear City of Minneapolis,

I appreciate that you have a 3 day tiered plowing system. That's fine. Day one, 8pm to 8am. Fine. No snow emergency routes. Got it. Dug out the car mid-snow storm, drove dangerously around Uptown, reparked. However, you have zero time between the snow emergency route plowing and the even side of the street plowing. Not easy. SO, I went out again, in the continuing storm, to move my car. 90 minutes, 2 people, 1 shovel, lots of cursing.... no luck. We got it 10 ft down the road where we couldn't even turn around to park on the other side. So... you may tow me in the morning at 8am, after you've plowed me in, and after the temps have dropped to a -25 windchill... but I wish you luck in that endeavor. It's a hot mess here. Good luck.

Love your frustrated snow bunny resident,


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dear Business School Mandated Lenovo Laptop,

Dear Business School Mandated Lenovo Laptop,

We argue a lot. I dislike all your terrible battery life, your inability to communicate with wireless printers without a fight, and your love of the blue screen. And, well, sometimes you overheat and get mad and make weird beeps at me too. Generally we just agree to disagree. However, I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your irrationality. If I just restart you about 6 times in a row you usually let bygones be bygones and start up as if nothing had ever happened. That's a great trait. Thanks. Glad we've worked out a grumbly, only slightly bitter old couple-esque working relationship.



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dear those in Leadership

Dear those in Leadership,

So, you took that president/chair person position for that organization, huh? Bet you felt really great about that for about 3 days after elections. And then shit got kind of hard and busy and everyone wanted you to do stuff. Ya. Kind of how it goes. But might I make a suggestion?

There is a WIDE spectrum between being a fascist authoritative leader who bosses people on the board around and the leader who needs imput for EVERY decision. And both extremes are VERY irritating. So let me encourage you to just make some decisions and spare us all. Do we need to have a meeting? Have enough forsight to pick a time more than a week in advance (ideally 2) and people will work it out most of the time. Have a deadline to make decisions by about relatively simple/non-offensive matters? Just do it. Seriously. You're making me crazy and I'm tired of making sure everyone is on the same page over a 2 week debate about meeting times. I'm just going to start not showing up to meetings out of spite. Get it together executives - it's literally your job.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dear Winter Drivers

Dear Winter Drivers,

Hey there fellow neighbor! Did you know it's winter now? Oh, you noticed because of the cold, right? Ya. So... when it's cold, and there's precipitation, sometimes it creates ice, or snow, or both. No big deal. Just what the weather does.

However, if you park outside, this may cause a little bit of an inconvenience to you. Your car might be covered in snow and/or ice in the morning or when you leave work, or anytime after such a precipitous event. Now, my suggestion would be to clean the window surfaces of your car before driving - you know, the windshield, the windows and mirrors you like to use for changing lanes, and the read window you used to use to see if anyone is behind you before you throw it into reverse. I know it's tempting just to hop in, crank the heat (which will not do anything at 18 degrees really), and go while tilting your head down to see through that tiny defrosted portion in front of you. I know. I'm tempted to do that too. However, it kind of limits your ability to a) see where you are going. b) see if other cars are in those spots you plan on driving into c) see if pedestrians are in those areas either. So... from those of us that spend the 10 minutes in the morning so that we don't kill ourselves and others, please be equally polite to not kill us with your ridiculous laziness.

Much appreciated,

Lia & all other drivers

PS: here are some instructions in case your laziness has just been a desperate cry for help.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dear Spyhouse Coffee

Dear Spyhouse Coffee:

You really are a fickle friend. Though you are only 3 blocks from my house, you've nearly made me into an enemy. You burn my bagels (twice now... really? who wants to eat a rock solid bagel? No one. Gross), and you are ALWAYS full of hipsters. So many of all varieties, but not so many it's interesting.

However, I can forgive you. You know why? Convenience. You prove your worth by having a plethora of plugs for laptops, pots of green tea, and free wifi. And for now, the hipsters are being nice and sharing their tables, so we can hug and make up. A
nd I'll stop trying to eat your bagels.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dear Man on Dupont Ave,

Dear Man on Dupont Ave,

You are standing, presumably, directly outside my window. I cannot see you, but you must be right below my kitchen. Of course, this is fine, because it's a nice corner to stand on, I suppose. But my real question is why are you yelling a story about your brother's ex bf wanting to have an all dude three way with you? Who are you telling this tale to in such an animated and boisterous fashion? You sound either alarmed or thrilled or both. Perhaps both is most accurate. Far be it from me to judge, but why are you sharing this with me while I read about corporate social responsibility? Why are you so gossipy about this proposal? I am ever so curious now, which is distracting me from the tasks at hand. Do finish your story now that you've started please. Seriously --- Don't walk away! No!!!!!



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dear Bugs in My Apartment

Dear Bugs in My Apartment,

Whether you are an ant, or a fruit fly, or a box elder bug, or a moth... you were not invited into my apartment. I've been extremely patient with you, I think. But honestly, get out of my house. There is plenty of room outside for you, and nothing for you to eat in here anyway.

Since I have not signed any peace treaties I'm under no obligation to treat your prisoners of war humanely. I will not be merciful to your armies anymore. I will not capture and release you. I will not bother to dissuade you from entering the kill zone. This is my territory, and you are not permitted to stay here alive. This means you will be faced with flip flop swats and squishings, toilet drownings, and when necessary you will be vacuumed alive and left to die. I'm very serious. Cut the shit and leave me be. I'm enough of a spaz without having to deal with your antics too. I am your worst enemy.

With disdain, loathing, and ruthless cruelty,


Friday, September 24, 2010

Dear Kitchen Gadgets

Dear Kitchen Gadgets,

Why, no matter how many of you I collect, are there always more of you I seem to need in my kitchen? I have a grater, but suddenly, I also need a microplane. I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer, but today could have used an extra bowl... or two. I have two round cake pans, and a 9x13, but I really could use a square set as well. And don't get me started on roasting pans, garlic presses, basters and candy thermometers. How are there so many useful items just for food??? *sigh* I need more drawer space and a 'save Lia from ever trying to leave Bed Bath and Beyond without spending $100' registry. I just love you kitchen gadgets... I really do.

With lust and affection,


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear Justin Bieber superfans,

Dear Justin Bieber superfans,

Thank you for being SO ridiculous. (not all responses on this one are safe for work)
I could go on. But seriously, I nearly cried just laughing at these. Who cares if there's world hunger or global warming or human rights violations? With Bieber anything is possible. Without Bieber, apparently, everything is pointless.

Goodnight teenie bobbers - thanks for the giggles,


Dear politically interested citizens, media and politicians

Dear politically interested citizens, media and politicians,

Did you know that not everything is like pro-sports? For example, in sports, if you are rooting FOR one team, you are automatically AGAINST another. Simple. Us versus Them. We become passionate not only for our team, but against the other, and even more so in many cases against the other team's fans. Something in us is outraged that they can cheer for our enemies. However, not all of life works like this, nor should it.
If you are pro-choice, you are not anti-life. Many people are pro-choice and yet would like to prevent every single abortion from happening. If you are fiscally conservative, it does not necessarily mean you are anti-government. It means you are pro-effective and efficient spending. If you are you pro-government programs, it doesn't mean you're pro-wasteful spending, but instead that you believe that government has a role and responsibility to the individual well being of the people. If you are socially liberal it doesn't mean you're an atheist or an elitist and if you're socially conservative, it doesn't mean you're a right wing evangelical racist.
Not one person, no matter how polarized they seem to be, is this simple to know. Not one person's views are completely aligned with the stereotypes. When we see each other in this way we demean what it is to be a thinking, reasoning, changing, growing human. We demean the humanity in our fellow citizens and we easily can forget why we are proud to live in a nation that values personal liberty and freedoms for ALL. You may disagree with others, but this is not Us Versus Them, if anything it's become Us versus Us, and we all lose in that one.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dear Administration,

Dear Administration,

Alumni are more likely stay active, donate and recruit from their school, if they have a good experience while they are students.


Ellie Rogers

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dear Couples Getting Married

Dear Couples Getting Married,

Thanks for knowing who the sarcastic hecklers are going to be (you know, those of us giggling at our own commentary about boring toasts and instead telling less appropriate tales about you, or scoffing at wedding traditions in general) and sitting us in the back so we can all enjoy the evening. Much appreciated.

May your good strategic choices stay with you throughout your marriage,

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dear New Kids at Orientation

Dear New Kids at Orientation,

Remember what your mom said when she put you on the bus the first day of school? Ok, ok... not 'don't pee your pants' nor 'don't pick your nose.' No... the other one. The 'Just be yourself and the kids will like you' thing. You know you got it. Or you got it later when you went on your first date. At some point, though, this was a trusted mentor's advice to you.

And it's still true.

It's really hard to see if you're a tool if you
just clam up and never talk about anything
interesting or with passion. I'd actually
much prefer you rant fervently about
your neo-nazi conservatism or obsession
with rail transit. Honestly. I may not find
it appealing or interesting topically, but
a passionate person is an attractive person.
I need to know you have a spark.
My heart hurts from meeting so few
people who show that inner flash of
inspiring brilliance... I know some of you must
have it. Quit hiding it under polite small talk
and clichéd apparel (from hippie skirts to
business casual) please.

Thanks. It'd be much appreciated.



Monday, August 30, 2010

Dear Generation Flake

Dear Generation Flake,

Please keep in mind when making commitments to those of us born before 1980, we take your word at face value. So, if you say you are going to do something, we take it literally. For us, plans are not automatically tentative unless otherwise stated. Agreements aren't hypothetical.

I realize with advancements in technology, you like to keep options open as something better might come along at any moment.

Yet, we were raised in the time of landlines. Back in our day, if you said you were going to meet someone at 7:00 on Thursday for 2 for 1 Margaritas at Chi Chis, it was absolutely vital you came through on your commitment. The consequence of failing to show up was the loss of the friendship and an automatic reputation for being an asshole. We didn't have texting to make last second adjustments to our plans. Plans were set in stone as soon you put the phone back on the hook. Because after we hung up, we entered a communication-free zone out in the big bad wild world. Therefore, we take commitments seriously. No one wants to be alone, belly up at a chain Mexican restaurant.

Thanks for your thoughtful consideration when making plans with me.



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dear Glenn Beck

Dear Glenn Beck,

That's really all I have for you.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Dear Mary Bale

Dear Mary Bale,

What's got you so worked up? Your behavior indicates you are progressing towards serial killer.

I would venture to guess you are mad at God for having an unfortunate look about you. While I agree, you are very ugly, that doesn't mean you can't make some simple changes and get you back on a track towards emotional stability. Your 45 not 85. Lose 15 lbs, dye your hair, wax your eye brows, get some contact lenses and you'll see instant improvement. See if that doesn't help you mind the wheelie bin.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear Moms to Be

Dear Moms to Be,

First, you are gorgeous and saintly. Pregnant women really are amazing. It cannot be comfortable or fun to gain tons of weight, be nauseous and still feel pressured to 'glow' and coo all the time. Seriously - I respect the entire deal. Also, I think babies are adorable, so thanks for making them. I hope to join your ranks one day.

But can we have a little chat about pictures?

Let's think about the women in our lives that we consider classic. Our grandmas, or even moms, for the most part, right? Women of grace and poise and, most likely, a little mystery. Though some of us had hippie parents who did some wild stuff and freely documented this on film (for those who are very young, film is the stuff that we took pictures on before we all had digital cameras - google it), many parents photos of themselves are pretty sparse. We have a wedding photo, and a few cute couples photos of our parents, and then we skip right to the day the oldest sibling was born. Mom is holding us,
Dad is smiling - it's lovely and sweet. But in the last 10 years or so, with the expanding use of digital cameras and camera phones and Facebook picture posting... we've gone a bit overboard. Now we have digital files of our ultrasounds with baby body parts labeled (I still cannot tell that's an elbow, I think it's an ear), and we do photo shoots of naked moms to be and post them on the internet for pregno-philes to peruse... it's quite weird.
If it doesn't bother you to share photos of the inside of your uterus, nor of you laying exposed on some black velvet cape with swollen breasts and watermelon tummy... think of the children you are currently nurturing in your body.

One day, they are going to be online, or going through your records, and find this. You may think this is adorable now to share with everyone you went to church camp in 3rd grade with and their friends of friends, but in
15 years, your womb pics are going to scar your children. And the barely covered preggo breasts with dad kissing your belly will NOT bode well with the middle school bully OR the girl they'd like to ask to 8th grade formal. You think the minivan will be embarrassing? Ha!

It's really not about my dislike of these pictures (though they do not add ambiance to my Facebook perusing experience, I'll say at least that much), it's about the kids. For the love of God, think of the kids! Keep those ultrasound pics for the fridge and those nudey 'glowing mom' pics for your baby daddy. You're beautiful - we agree - but let's keep the really intimate beautiful parts to ourselves, ok? Your child's future eyesight and mental stability is in your hands. Honor that.

With love and good wishes for your family,


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dear Everyone

Dear Everyone,

If you can read this, then you are old enough to know the truth: You are not big enough to control very much. Don't get so worked up about that, but instead control what you can and try to at least pretend (for everyone around you's sake really) like you enjoy your life.



Dear Craigslist Scavengers

Dear Craigslist Scavengers,
When searching for items, please note what section they are listed under. If items are posted in the 'free' section, then asking me how much they will cost alerts me that you are an idiot and I probably don't want to have to meet you even to give you free boxes.

Though I have considered just telling you the 'free' boxes are now $1000.

Good luck paying for your boxes,


Friday, August 13, 2010

Dear Cable TV,

Dear Cable TV,
Thank you for showing documentaries about people who are crack addicts, hoarders, pregnant at 16, parents of 18 children, bounty hunters, celebrities in rehab, rich old ladies fighting each other, celebrity families sabotaging each other... etc. ... seriously. Such a great reminder that I'm not THAT crazy. You may be a complete waste of time but I really appreciate the sanity check.

Best wishes to all the crazies and those who document them,


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dear Readers

Dear Readers,

If you:
a) don't think we're funny
b) think this is just an angry chick thing (though if we were men you wouldn't have noted the writers' gender but would have chuckled instead)
c) generally have no sense of humor
d) smell like rotting cheese (hey... you never know)
Then: Don't whine, just stop reading.



Dear Somali Women

Dear Somali Women,

First, I would like to tell you the many reasons that are not why I have a beef with you. It is not because you are black, as I have aspired to be a fat black gospel singing woman for many years. It is not because you are Muslim, as I think any diversity that can be brought to white, Norwegian, Lutheran Minnesota should be embraced and cultivated. And it's not even because you agree to wear head to toe black billowing layers of clothing even in 95 degree heat - I'd much rather see you walking about like that than half the barely dressed whales laying out at Calhoun beach (note: if you can't buy shorts in the normal section for your gender, please don't
take that as a sign to just wear a string bikini). No no, all these things are entirely wonderful aspects of who you are as a Somali woman. However, the moment you climb into your teal 1997 Ford
Winstar, you lose all credibility to me.

I've tried to figure out why you do what you do. Why do you refuse to use turn signals? Or why, when driving down a narrow two lane street, do you direct your vehicle straight down the middle without regard for other drivers, and why do you triple park outside the Mogadishu Mall blocking all lanes of traffic where there are spaces to parallel park in 9 feet from you (though you're right... parallel parking is really difficult in a van so better not try)? Is it because your peripheral vision is obstructed by your head scarf? Is it because you didn't grow up driving and therefore do not know or acknowledge common driving standards? Is it because you hate that the federal government destined you to live in the tundra instead of somewhere at all similar to your homeland and so you rebel however you can in slightly passive aggressive ways such as rogue driving? Whatever the reason... please resolve it. I hate to honk at you or yell, but I will continue to do so if you continue to try to side swipe my baby, Tyrone, or block all lanes of traffic on my narrow city streets. Seriously, don't push me... I'm a mass-hole driver at heart. I can have the attitude of a drunk Southie Irishman when driving... don't make me use it.

Please just surrender your license... I'll buy you all bikes.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear OKCupid,

Dear OKCupid,

Please help me find a boyfriend (toy) that is suitable for dating (bating around, biting or snuggling with) when I am lonely (bored).



Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dear Wake Attendee,

There are few things all of us would rather be doing. We are all here to offer condolences and then be on our merry way. After all, tomorrow, there's a funeral and burial and I still need to go make dinner and put the kid to bed.

While I realize most people live with absolutely no self-awareness, do you think you could try to muster a little something up? A little awareness of what's going on around you for the wake would be greatly appreciate.

What I am referring to specifically is when you cut in a line of 15 people who were patiently waiting to hug the brand new widow and then proceeded to carry on a 10 minute conversation with no regard to anyone else.

I realize you want to tell her how sorry you are, but so do those of us waiting in a long line behind you. There's a process here and we are all trying to follow it. First, you look at the poster board of photos of the deceased. Second, you look at all the flowers and read the cards saying, "Aren't they beautiful?" Third, you get in line to hug the grieving widow and tell her you are "so sorry for your loss. He was such a great man." It's okay to make it quick - - she won't remember, she's still in shock. That's why she has a guest book, to remind her who came, for the obligatory thank you notes.

I digress. Just look around you lady. A line of 15 people standing behind a widow isn't hard to see. Just because there's no cash register or check-out counter, doesn't mean you shouldn't get in it.



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dear Squirrel playing Chicken,

How wonderful your life must be.

You frolic along the banks of the Minnehaha, enjoying the soothing sound of the moving water, the gentle summer breeze, the shade of the park benches, and the freshly mowed grass.

Hundreds of passersby dropping delicious human food for your endless consumption, so that you can fatten up for the winter. Rarely to you worry about a predator or motorized vehicle ending your little blessed life in your acres of protected park wonderland.

So, why do you insist on playing Chicken on the bike path? Are you bored? Are you sadistic? Is there a pile of acorns at stake in some bet you made with Mr. Chipmunk? Why must you run directly into the middle of the bike path and stop cold staring blankly into my eyes, only to scatter a moment before the pending crash?

My heart skips a beat, my hands squeeze the brakes . . . I see my life pass before me, all to save your life.

I screech to a halt -- 20 MPH to zero MPH in two seconds; you scatter off. Then, it occurs to me . . . you are nothing but a rat-like rodent with a cute bushy tail and you nearly ended my life in a monstrous bike crash in some rat vs. bike game of Chicken.

I only attempted to save you because of those big brown eyes. I'm such a sucker for brown eyes.

In any case, I have news for you squirrel, it's hard to get by just on smile. It's a wild world.

Screw you Squirrel playing Chicken. Next time, you're road kill.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dear Body

Dear Body,

Look, I know we've been together a long time, and I know that you're getting sick of my abuse, so I'm writing to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry we haven't been on a run in awhile because I hate when you get really hot and sweaty in the summer, and I'm sorry I sunburned you in Mexico, and I greatly apologize that my friends think that 7 shots in 90 minutes is an appropriate level of drinking for my birthday. I really should be more responsible with you. But, can you just stop punishing me now? How about a fresh start. Fruit and eggs for breakfast? A nice bike ride to work tomorrow? Call it all water under the bridge? Thanks.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dear IT Support Desk,

I came by to solicit your help. What I got was three underutilized, socially inept and very thin twenty-somethings with an attitude.

Please understand, that my computer is a lifeline. It's allows me to work and thus is a source of income. It's my vehicle for communication, my link to friends and family. So, if I ask you how long you will need it for, it's not to irritate you. Please console me with a fair estimate. Three days seems like a very long time to scan it. And please don't let that soulless Ginger girl touch it. I don't trust her.

I realize that you have 'special' knowledge about computers I may not have, but that doesn't mean you need to patronize me. I don't patronize you about sex or having a social life.

In retrospect, I realize I only came to you when I was desperate. I never reached out to you when everything was going OK. So, maybe that's why you treat me so badly. Maybe we can start over. Can we make a fresh start? Forgive and forget?



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dear Cliche',

We all do our best not to buy-in to stereotypes; to judge each human as an individual; to refrain from making judgments too quickly. But you, cliché, you seem to want to propagate the negative stereotypes assigned to your demographic group making it nearly impossible not to pigeonhole you.

You are Asian and gather and cook fish from anywhere in anything.
You are black and swagger through the street slowly, refraining from using the crosswalk or sidewalk and blocking traffic with attitude.
You are a Somali taxi driver and your wife nearly killed me as she cluelessly weaved downed the interstate at 35mph in a caravan.
You live in Linden Hills and come to yoga with your hair and make-up done.
You are an engineer and you can’t talk to girls.
You are a 40-something, recently divorced Cougar getting your drink on at Crave in The Shops at West End. “Go ahead. Feel them. They are new.”
You are Latino and have a “Rodriquez” decal in Gothic typeface in the back window of your white Ford Ranger with new spinners.
You are from North and you wear your pants on the ground.
You are a Minnesotan and you pronounce ‘especially’ ‘X-specially’ and call lunch "supper.:
You are a Jewish man with a gold Star of David necklace entangled in your bushy chest hair, which is peeking through your shirt.
You are a hipster and you wear the exact same 80s sunglasses, skinny jeans, and scarf as all 4,000 of your closest friends.
You work at the tech help desk, use a condescending tone and appear to be overstaffed and underutilized at all times.
You hail from the northern suburbs and brag about your aunt’s new double-wide.
You are a black mom and you name your daughter “LaMonQuiesha.”
You are a white mom and name your kids “Charles” (we call him Charlie) and “Emma.”
You are a hippie and you smell bad and make it worse with patchouli oil. People who smell nice to start with, never add patchouli.

And I’m sure the list can go on and on . . . and it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is, before you get dressed, before you get that tattoo, before the next comment comes out of your mouth, take a moment and ask yourself, how will the other people in my demographic group feel about this? What will people outside my group think about this? Am I making it easier or harder for people to stereotype me? Perhaps those additional considerations will make for less bias on the part of others.



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear BP

Dear BP,

While most people are cursing you for your systematic downfalls in safety, environmental protection and overall drilling practices, we feel the opposite. Your neglectful practices and the ensuing Gulf disaster have entirely taken over the public's need for a corporate whipping boy to temporarily boycott and hate as a national point of pride. This has saved us a ton of grief. In fact, we are going to stop running our ads thanking people for 'sticking with us' through our little bump in the road awhile back, mostly because it's now only serving as a reminder. Thanks for taking off the heat, we really appreciate it. We'll try to sell one or two less Priuses to thank you.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Dear Newlyweds

Dear Newlyweds,

You really are adorable. Despite my hesitation about the entire forever and ever thing, I think y'all are very sweet. To those who have only been dating for a little while and just decided to go for it to those who have been together for years and years and just thought it was time to make it official. You're all great. And the way you interact is nearly inspiring. But I have just one question. Do you REALLY think you married the one BEST man or woman in the entire world? Really?

I know you love them more than anyone else. I get that. Love is a crazy thing and makes us do and say crazy things. And heck, everything right now is rose petals and sunshine and cooing. We'll bare with that part. But let's have a little honesty. She is no Mother Theresa in Taylor Swift's body. And little wifey, he does not have super hero strength and a willingness to sacrifice his life for starving children. Sorry to break it to you. She just works at Target, and laughs at your jokes and cooks you dinner, and he just works at Best Buy and loves to be outside, and buys you nice things. I'm really not trying to downplay your love story, or how wonderful of a fit you are - you're great! Let's hang out. But let's be honest about who we all are... I'm just someone who speaks the truth even when it's a bit harsh, and you're probably just pretty average, kinda boring, pleasant and giddy newly married people. And that's okay.

Here's hoping you have endless years of delusional love,


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dear Socially Awkward Doctor

Dear Socially Awkward Doctor,

I came to see you to make sure my health was in check - - for one ailment or another. I understand the dynamic of our relationship fully. I describe my symptoms, offer my hypothesis and let you ask necessary questions, examine me, and make your diagnosis.

Sometimes we make pleasant conversation to make the transaction more tolerable, but that's the extent of our interaction. Unless, you are socially awkward.

In that case, you sheepishly look at my body, as though you aren't supposed to. No doctor, I need you to look, thoroughly. We both know I'm naked under this gown for a reason. Now look already. I don't care how it might make you feel.

You use words like "slice" and "punch" and "stitch" that indicate a great deal of pain is in my future. Some things, doctor, are better left unsaid. Consider substituting "slice" with "remove" or "extract." That's a little less graphic and scary.

You ask multiple times, if the patient wants to watch or see. I can forgive the first time, when I politely declined. However, if I wasn't comfortable watching 1 minute ago, it's unlikely my opinion changed. Stop trying to persuade me.

Same thing goes for, "Do you want to keep it?" If a patient seems squeamish about needles or knifes, they probably don't want anything in a jar for a souvenir.

Finally, when you say, "We will call you with the lab results in a week," please call. Doctor, if something needs to go to a lab and the results need to be communicated, please know that your patient is anxiously awaiting. It's not like a bad date, where "I'll call you" is just a polite way of saying, "I will never see you again." Lab results are part of the deal.

Well, doctor, I hope you find my suggestions helpful. Who knows? If you follow my advice, get a sense of humor and smile, you might even attract a med student to give you a good reason to feel awkward.



Monday, July 19, 2010

Dear Microsoft Customer Service

Dear Microsoft Customer Service,

We all know that IT Customer Service is notoriously the bane of modern existence, so I find no need to rub it in. But I would like to make some suggestions.

1. Please stop calling me ma'am. I'm not necessarily 50+ years old.

2. I know many customers call because they cannot figure out how to use your products, however, please don't assume that this is the case. Sometimes your products have legitimate issues. Don't act entirely shocked by this. Things DO malfunction from time to time.

3. If your phone system has an auto-route feature based on my answers to questions and somehow I ended up talking to you, please don't refer me back to the same number I called originally to get to you. Instead, perhaps you can give me to anyone who could actually help?

4. If all methods of troubleshooting fail, it is still your responsibility to make it right. Just because your product is based on codes and softwar eand you don't know how to fix it, doesn't mean you can't fix it by either by issuing new equipment or software, or even reimbursing me for my time. Yes, your company has a blatant monopoly on office software and we cannot avoid using it, but please treat paying customers as people, or we will revolt and stop buying Zunes... well... or... we'll find some way to rebel. Don't test us.

5. A good way to simply the whole process? Don't give 100 codes each with 25 digits to identify any products. It does make the entire exchange unbearable when I have to read 4000 digits out to multiple people over a 2 hour time period of phone transfer tennis, in which I'm the ball.

Every day I'm more in favor of open software development and use. Obama can just tax me for it later or something.

I'm sorry your job sucks, thanks for sharing the wealth,


Friday, July 16, 2010

Dear Oprah Winfrey,

Dear Oprah Winfrey,

Don't worry. This isn't a letter asking for money for charity. Nor is it a request to review a book for your book club. I'm not writing to enter your 'Have My Own Show on Oprah's Network' contest or tell you how that one show changed my life. I'm not even going to tell you I'm overweight and you inspire me.

On the other hand, I know you also receive hate mail from time to time. Don't worry, that's not my intent either. This isn't a letter from an angry cattle farmer. I'm not pissed off because I had to pay taxes on a car I won in your "Dreams Come True" giveaway. I'm not a disgruntled server that suffered from the Oprahession you created when you told America that tipping 10% during a tough economy is acceptable. And no, I don't think you are the anti-Christ. Many do, but not me.

But that doesn't mean my letter to you isn't a request for divine intervention. In Jesus name, will you please get over yourself? Can you find someone new to be the covergirl for O? If we made an animated flipbook using just the cover of O, we'd have something that resembles a balloon inflating and deflating several times - - but not much else.

Oprah, variety is the spice of life. Let's mix it up a bit! After all, it's been TEN YEARS. Even if we stuck to a niche cover model category, like "Talk show hosts with weight issues," there are still many opportunities to add diversity. Rosie, Tyra, Sharon, Star, Ricki, Roseanne or Mo'Nique would all make excellent choices. But, whatever you do, please don't make me look at your face on the cover one more time. I am sick of looking at your face.



Dear Fake Homeless Guy,

Dear Fake Homeless Guy,

There you are, cardboard sign in hand. "Need help. God Bless." It's 92 degrees and humid; you clearly look uncomfortable standing on your chosen plot while sweat drips down your face.

We agree, you do need help. But, perhaps in the form of advice rather than coins and bills.

You see, just as the thought, "Should I give this guy some money?" begins to creep into the passerby's brain, other thoughts likely follow. "He's kinda cute. Nice haircut. Wow. That white t-shirt sure is crisp. No armpit stains. His face as smooth as a baby's butt. Nice shave. I wonder where he keeps his backpack?"

At various moments in this thought process, depending on the intellect of the passerby, a light bulb floats overhead and the following conclusion is inevitably reached:

"Wait a minute, he doesn't look homeless. I will not give him money."

So, here's our suggestion Fake Homeless Guy. When you wake up in your boyhood bedroom in Edina and your mom starts nagging you to get a job, but you decide you'd rather stand outside than work, consider the following: Grab a little dirt and some water from your 'water feature' and smear it around your body and clothes. This will make the idea that you've been outside for awhile more believable. No matter how much your mom nags you, do not get a haircut within a week of begging - same goes for shaving. We know she will get upset, but it definitely works against the homeless look. Leave the styling gel alone, a less groomed look is completely acceptable. Finally, you might want to get a little tan, as the homeless people tend to appear to be overexposed. There are a few great tanning spots around some of the wonderful lakes in your neighborhood.

If you follow our suggestions, you should have some more success.


Ellie and Lia

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dear Sales Tax

Dear Sales Tax,

Most times we meet, I don't even acknowledge you. You are just the extra $7.37 that's part of life when buying a text book, or the extra $2.43 when buying gas. Hardly noticeable in our exchanges. Apparently my cold shoulder to you has made you angry, though, and in true Minnesota fashion you struck unexpectedly with harsh passive agressivity. Today, I saw your force while writing a check for over $800 to the State of Minnesota in your honor just so they'll recognize I actually bought my car. I forgot about you, and so you slapped me across the face. That was not very nice of you, but probably justified. So, can we just make friends now? I'll remember you exist and you won't need to abuse me so abruptly from here on out. Deal?

With a woefully sad bank account, I bid you adieu,


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dear Summer Fruits,

Dear Summer Fruits,

Why are you so shy about being in season when you are so delicious? How is it that I can buy decent apples, oranges and bananas all year long, but peaches and raspberries are temperamental all summer, and then entirely absent from my life for the other 10 months?

Even if you are entirely too high-maintenanced, I really love you summer fruit. Please do not leave me again this year. Our summer fling excites me each time and then you dash my hopes of a long term relationship. It breaks my heart.

Longingly, and with sincere taste buds,


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dear Metro Transit Bus that Nearly Hit My New Car,

Dear Metro Transit Bus that Nearly Hit My New Car,

I have literally owned my 2007 Mazda3 for less than an hour. You can imagine that I am quite excited about it, since I have never had such a shiny new car all of my own before. You might also be able to imagine that I am a little protective of it, since it's like a newborn baby less than a day old (to me). Now, if you saw a woman cradling her new born while crossing the street... would you abruptly pull out and nearly miss her in a hurry to get around another bus, just to get to a stop literally 1 block away? Probably not. I would venture to say you would NEVER do this. And yet, when I turned left, on a my green arrow, you felt it was appropriate to cut left with your 10 ton metal death trap and attempt to crush me, and my baby, between your bus and the neighboring Yukon. I find this behavior both irresponsible and disrespectful. I spent a large sum of money today to purchase a large, lasting investment. I followed all rules properly, and yet had to honk 5 times, and then back up into an intersection for you to pay enough mind to not crush and kill me. This doesn't even mention the level of anxiety I have now experienced. I feel a lawsuit might be in order for my emotional distress.
Buses like you are why Americans hate public transportation and refuse to be nice to the environment by using it. You are singlehandedly causing global warning. You might as well just go club baby seals and call it a day.

In summary: I hate you.

I hope your license is revoked,


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear Weekday Shopaholic,

Dear Weekday Shopaholic,

We were all there checking out together . . . waiting in a slow line held up by a woman who was clearly dead set on getting a full discount for a shirt that happened to be misplaced on a clearance rack. She wanted it to be 30% off and she wasn't leaving until she got it. A heated argument ensued.

Our single-file line grew longer and longer as the minutes passed by and the conflict grew stronger. I was next in line, you were at least four annoyed patrons behind me. The frazzled cashier called for back-up. When he arrived, he asked for the next person in line to step forth. Then you, Weekday Shopaholic, darted over to the relief cashier before I even had a chance to blink.

What? How can this be? You were waiting in line with 4 people in front of you for at least 5 minutes. Did you not see them? Were you oblivious? Did it not occur to you that the one who has been waiting the longest is the same one who should be next to check out?

No, you were standing there, merchandise in hand, designer bag on your shoulder, pretending as though you didn't notice a line and anxious to jump in your Audi to head to greener pastures.

Screw you horrible human Weekday Shopaholic. It was my turn!



Dear Minnesotan Merging,

Dear Minnesotan Merging,

Why are you so angry today?

Here is an opportunity for one of the simplest forms of cooperation - - an opportunity for members of a community to share our roadway. But you seem determined to make our driving relationship contentious. Are you pretending not to see me as you stare intently ahead? Did you not notice my blinker or my polite wave?

When I speed up, you do as well, when I slow down, you follow suit. Are you intentionally hiding in my blind spot? It feels like a horrible mind-game. Why won't you just let me in?

Oh, I think I understand. Did you just have a bad day? Maybe you received a snarky email from a coworker that has put you in a foul mood or your boss broke a promise for your raise. Maybe if it were a different day, you'd let me in.

Or maybe, you feel as though I have some how budded in merging line and you are here to do justice for all drivers before you. Perhaps you feel as though I utilized the lane a little too long and didn't merge 1.5 miles earlier, in violation of an unspoken Minnesota merging rule.

Whatever your motivation, please, please just let me in. I promise I will merge sooner next time.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dear Single Men Worrying About Women

Dear Single Men Worrying About Women,

I know that women are very scary to you. We're pretty, and we have soft body parts you like, and our laughs bring unicorns back to life. I know. I also know we talk a lot and it's hard to know what we really mean. Summaries aren't really our thing. I get it. It's hard to know what we're getting at when you have to listen to all that chatter. I respect that. BUT... really. There is NO reason to be afraid of us. Do you think we're cute and perhaps even fun to be around? Yes? Ask us to hang out. If we're not interested, we won't go. And no one will die. Or if we do say yes, and four dates down the road you think... eh... she smells like wet dog, or she talks like Paris Hilton, or she's just going out with me because she thinks I'm rich and I'm not... well then, no harm no foul. Cut it off. No need to lie, just say 'Hey Random-Chick's-Name, I think we should be friends' or 'Hey Girl-I-Barely-Know-So-My-Rejection-Shouldn't-In-Any-Way-Hurt-Your-Feelings, I think we want different things.' Again, no one will die. Just calm down, try to enjoy your life. Don't make it all so very difficult please. Your stressed out attitude towards the entire thing is SO not attractive.

Love you all dearly, even though you're dysfunctional (and perhaps BECAUSE you're dysfunctional),


Monday, July 5, 2010

Dear Ikea

Dear Ikea,

We have to have a talk. First, I want to say I agree that homegoods should not cost 1000 dollars each, and should be easy to fit in unnecessarily small cars. As an owner of a very small car, I appreciate this. I can fit nearly everything you sell in my trunk with the seats down, except perhaps a couch. It's absurdly efficient. I also actually enjoy the satisfaction of fake building my own furniture. It's the guitar hero of carpentry really. Completely underrated.
However, I do have one issue. Why do you believe that everyone who does not have appropriate closet space and needs a wardrobe has 11 foot ceilings? If I could afford a loft with huge ceilings, I probably could buy a better wardrobe. Though, even with 11 ft ceilings, I couldn't reach 1/3 of the wardrobe you would like to sell me for it, so this seems absolutely pointless. Perhaps because you Swedes are all very tall you forget that the lowly American's are not all over 7 feet tall? Please explain. If you can offer a proper explanation, and send it certified to my home (ideally with a 6 pack of those magical cinnamon rolls), I suppose I will forgive you and humor the one wardrobe that you sell that will fit my apartment.

Best wishes you giant Swedes,


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Running Skirt

Dear Running Skirt Girl,

Did you get all gussied up before your run just for me?



Dear Universe

July 4, 2010

Dear Universe,

I have a tendency to address you, or subsets of you, quite often in letter form, even verbally. Perhaps in a past life I was a great lover of letter writing, or the Midwest is seeping into my soul and letters are the only passive aggressive outlet I find socially acceptable. Whatever the reason, it is how I communicate reality to you. So, should you find a letter on this site addressed to you, please read it, absorb it, process it, and receive the honest, albeit sometimes snarky, feedback on who you are and what you do. And in return, I will graciously receive such letters of honesty, adoration and sarcasm at