Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Dear Dominos Pizza,

You've gone a little far in your attempt to personalize your marketing message to my family. Back in the day when you were keeping us hopped up on free chocolate lava crunch cakes, I was all about it.  An occasional free coupon for bread sticks keeps MrG feeling happy. We love that.

What we don't love is receiving emails like this:

I realize it's cool right now to personalize marketing efforts to your prospects. Heck, I do it all day myself.

But I resent like hell that you assume, based on my last name, and perhaps my zip code, that you should be marketing to me in Spanish. Isn't anyone out there paying attention, for the love of Pedro?  Check out the photo at the right.  You darn near can't get any more non-Hispanic than I am.

How are you deciding which customers get which version of the email? Do you have some brain trust in a little room having conversations like this? "Oh, his name is Dominelli - send him the Italian one."  "And her name is Silja - she should get the Indian one." "And his name is Kalniņš - send him the Latvian one."

I don't know how the decisions are made, but I sure recommend someone pay attention to what's being sent out, and think about the effect your message is having on the people receiving it. I don't want pizza now. Instead, a big plate of steaming enchiladas seems more in order. Don't you think?

While researching this piece, I found that Garcia is actually the 15th most popular last name in France. If you're going to send me marketing pieces I can't read, can I at least get them in French? I love the little squiggly things over the letters.

Hasta la vista,

p.s. My next door neighbor to the west whose last name is Flores doesn't speak a lick of Spanish either.  But the guy named Brown on the east side does. So can you be sure they get the correct email? That ought to send the brain trust into a tizzy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A day "home" with LittleG

LittleG has strep throat. Or, rather, she's recovering from it. As I have missed some time from work lately and am already planning to take Friday off, I felt it in the best interest of my illustrious career that I not be the parent to stay at home today. In other words, MrG drew the short stick.

I called them around 11:00 this morning to check in on them, and here's how the conversation went:

MrG: Hello?
Me: Hi. What are you guys doing?
MrG: We are out shopping. (use your suspicious voice when you read this to yourself.)
Me: How is my baby?
MrG: She is feeling much better.
Me: Can I talk to her?
LittleG: Hi, Mommy. (use your sad pathetic voice here)
Me: Hi, Baby! How are you feeling?
LittleG: My throat hurts.
Me: Where are you?
LittleG: At Best Buy.
MrG: (in the background) Don't tell her we're at Best Buy! Tell her we're at Petsmart.
LittleG: Mom, if Dad tells you we're at Petsmart, he's a LIAR!

Ha. Short stick indeed. I left him at home with her so I didn't have to call the $10 per hour sitter-in-a-box. And my Dearly Beloved is at Best Buy spending the family fortune.

Praise the Lord and pass the Augmentin! And the checkbook......
Lady Steele

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Happy 70th Birthday, Dad

Dear Dad,

You would have been 70 years old today, if cancer hadn't taken you from us. Instead, we took you on that sunny beautiful day to the Veterans Cemetary, where men and women in full uniform saluted as we brought you in for our final goodbye. It seems almost fitting that I will be sitting today with another family who has lost someone they love.

Things are going pretty well for us. MrG and I still like each other more often than not, and after eleven years of marriage, I think we've finally got the swing of things. We're one payment away from paying off the van. I know you were so proud when we brought over the first car I ever bought without your help.

Your precocious little granddaughter continues to grow and amaze pretty much everyone around her. She stands physically head and shoulders above most of her classmates, and seemingly has the self confidence to pull it off with grace and finesse. We have had her in soccer the past two seasons, and it has been so good for her, both physically and socially. She has emerged as a real team leader and it has been so good for her self confidence. It's too bad her playing skills aren't quite as refined as her leadership skills, because she would certainly be a force to be reckoned with if that were the case.

She is blowing it out of the water at school. You're probably rolling over in your grave at the thought of her learning Spanish, but she's doing it, and she's doing it well. She placed in the Gifted & Talented program at school in all four subjects, and her work is so good that they will be using it as examples for the teachers in a G&T workshop this summer. She is so sassy and has the vocabulary of a fourth grader. This is not always a good combination, as you might imagine!

Your other daughter and her husband have continued to collect very expensive toys, as is their right for their station in life. They brought home the most beautiful boat last month, which would both delight and terrify you, I think. She has had a very trying two years, and I know you would tell her, if you could, that it's the challenges that make us stronger. She has certainly had the chance to become stronger, and I know she misses having you here to help her.

Your son, believe it or not, has finally gotten a real job. After 20 something years of doing his own thing pretty successfully, he's decided that being his own boss is not all it's cracked up to be. He's doing the 9 to 5 thing, day in, day out, just like the rest of the world. He now spends his evenings and weekends with his son playing baseball or riding motorbikes and with that lovely daughter of his just radiating in her pure beauty. She is so much like you at times that it's heartbreaking. She was born on Mom's birthday six months after you died, and there is not a one among us who doubts that she brought parts of you back to us.

Mom is as busy as ever. Church and bunco and bridge and who knows what else all keep her social calendar booked. She went home last weekend for a class reunion and when I fussed at her for not checking in with me after a 200 mile trip on her own, she reminded me tersely that she is a grownup and she has a job. Not much has changed in that regard. She is going this summer to Mongolia, and this holiday season to Bethlehem to sing with the choir. Although you found your faith late in life, I know that her commitment to the Lord would bring you a sense of pride and contentment.

As for me, I am still doing the sales gig. It's been a decade now, and I truly love what I do. I work with nice people. I make decent money. And what I do makes me happy. That's a lot more than a lot of people can say. Jimz is still my very best friend in the world, and we see each other as often as we can. I am on the PTA board at LittleG's school, and at least three times a week, I turn into a total soccer mom.

We miss you here, Dad, and we hope you are happy where you are. I'll try to write again soon.

Lots of love,

Monday, May 03, 2010

Everyone deserves a lifetime

Pretend, if you will, that I'm your local Public Radio affiliate and that it's pledge time again. I'm going to ask you, every so often, if you can help me reach my goal. As soon as I get there, I'll quit asking. In the meantime, I need your financial support. If you come here and are entertained, please take a moment and donate what you can. And tell your friends. And ask them to tell their friends!

I am walking in the Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure in Dallas in November, and I would like to ask for your help. I have to raise a minimum of $2,300 for the privilege of sleeping in a tent and walking 60 miles in just three days.

Why in the world would anyone want to lace up her tennis shoes and subject herself to that? I’ll tell you why….

I’m walking for the 40,000 women who will die this year alone from breast cancer, and for the 200,00 women who will be diagnosed with the disease in the next twelve months. I’m walking for the 400 men who will die this year, and for the 1,500 who will be diagnosed.

I’m walking because my grandmother died from breast cancer, and because my mom and I both had it and beat it. I’m walking because I don’t want my six-year old daughter to have to fight this disease someday, or to ever feel the terror that comes with a breast cancer diagnosis.

I’m walking for my grandmother, and my mother, and myself, and my daughter, and my sister, and my aunts, and my nieces and my friends. And I’m walking for yours.

Can you make a donation to help me reach my goal?

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is the largest source of nonprofit funds in the world dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. Money raised by Susan G. Komen programs funds research, screening, and treatment for breast cancer. Virtually every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 27 years has been impacted by a Susan G. Komen grant.

Please click the fancy widget on the right hand of the page, and donate if you can. Easy payment plans are available if you pay by credit card, or you can print a donation form if you prefer to pay by check.

If you or someone you love has had breast cancer, it would be my honor to walk in your loved one’s honor or memory. Please email me the name, and I will walk every one of those sixty miles for you or the one you love.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. Help me help the women and men who will come after me, because everyone deserves a lifetime!

Lady Steele