Monday, July 18, 2011

It’s Not Because I Hate Gwyneth Paltrow

Okay, maybe it is. Just a little.

Anyway, back in the dark days of no blogging (i.e., the past two months), I was extremely saddened to arrive home from a lovely weekend in Santa Barbara to find the following in my mailbox:

I knew this was coming, but actually having it delivered affected me more than I thought it would. I am a long-time subscriber to Bon Appétit, courtesy of a long ago Christmas gift from my sister that she generously continues to renew. I always felt Bon Appétit was more relevant for the home cook than other food magazines, with recipes that were fairly basic and thoroughly tested. However, some recent trends in the magazine’s coverage had me concerned that it was becoming less about food and more about style and celebrity. This confirmed it. Really, Bon Appétit, you never put people on your cover and you start with Gwyneth Paltrow?!?

And then I did it. I cancelled my subscription. With a grand, dramatic note that may have involved third-rate actresses* and lame women’s magazines.

And, either Bon Appétit really doesn’t care about their customers, or they were overwhelmed with people doing the exact same thing, because I received no response. Zero. To the point where I went back to the subscription site to make sure it had been done. It had. Although, apparently, they have chosen to deliver issues until my subscription runs out in January. So the magazine keeps showing up in my mailbox, effectively neutralizing my grand, dramatic gesture.

This is doubly frustrating because I really wanted to cut back on a few subscriptions and this was a good excuse to start. Especially since I really can’t think what else to cut out—aside from National Geographic, which I subscribed to accidently when I thought I was renewing my subscription to National Geographic Traveler (not that it’s not a good magazine too, it’s just less relevant for me). Even in the digital age, I really like getting all of these, even if, for my purposes, I would prefer Entertainment Weekly to be monthly.

Do you still buy magazines? If so, which ones do you feel are worth subscribing to? Do you read each issue right away, or only when they pile up? (Except for Entertainment Weekly, I have a tendency to read mine only when the next one arrives and I need to make room for it on the coffee table. And then I clip and file recipes and articles for future reference.)

Speaking of making room and overflowing mailboxes, please sign the email charter now and be part of the solution. Only you can prevent the virtual forest fires that I want to set when I see a clogged inbox.

*Even though she totally deserves her Emmy nomination for her role as Holly Holliday on Glee.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

While none of these is my new job title, please accept my sincere apologies for not being particularly active here in the last few months. When not visiting missions, most of my spare time has been spent in pursuit of that elusive quarry, a new job, leaving little or no time for blogging. I’m thrilled to report that my search has ended happily and, with an ongoing reading challenge, a new subscription to the Lamplighters, and the upcoming season of the San Francisco Opera, regular posting will begin anon.

In the meantime, how awesome does the latest version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy look? I love Alec Guinness as much as the next person, but that is one fine cast.

And thanks to those loyal readers who wrote to ask where and how I was. It is always nice to be missed.