Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What A Critic Is Saying

So I was working on a little post about balance this morning before work and something inspired me to check the email that is linked to this blog. Not sure what made me think of it, it’s not something that I do like hourly or anything but I had been receiving such nice emails there lately so maybe I was feeling needy or something. Popped over there and saw that I had one new unread email waiting for me, “Cool” I thought and opened it, so not the rush I was looking for but it did get my heart racing for sure.

The subject line was as they almost always are, “Your blog” nothing to fear from that, it’s the “See what you inspired” ones that tend to make me hesitate before opening, ewe dude. Anyway I opened the email to find a long letter, a long rather hateful letter. My second bit of hate mail. At first I will admit that I was stinging a little, no one likes to read nasty things about themselves, but as I continued reading I found myself laughing….out loud. Not so much about what was being said, that part still pretty much sucked but it just struck me as so odd that someone, someone that seems to loathe everything about me and this blog would take the time to tell me so….for what?! What could one possibly hope to accomplish by sending a letter full of bile and personal attacks? What, you think I will reformat, conform or scrap the whole thing because some nasty twit doesn’t like me….yeah, wrong chick.

I finished the letter and jotted down some of my favorite parts before doing what I did with my last hate mail, deleted it. I just know myself too well and having that letter there to revisit over and over again would drive me to respond…just could not give such a person that much of my personal time. I sat there shutting down my computer before heading to work, my unfinished silly little piece about balance and this really mean guys words of hatred. I have been so very lucky in that I receive so much praise and adoration here, so many kind words and support that it is rather startling to be slapped in the face, or shocked out of my little bubble of safety…awoken to the fact that there are people that simply do not like me or the things I have to say. As much as it sucked the word, “balance” kept spinning around in my head so I figured what the hell, why not post a little something for those that only read me to get their undies in a twist, to scoff or to look for errors that will point out what an idiot I am or whatever. I don’t understand it but it’s like my friends that listen to Rush Limbaugh and start frothing at the mouth, I would turn it off, (lie I would never tune in in the first place) but whatever creams your twinke, I’m not here to judge.

So okay Robert No Last Name, lets address some of your issues.

“Your problems with the English language with regards to tense, sentence structure and grammar coupled with your incessant use of periods to create pauses make your writing unbelievably difficult to read. I thought the content was bad but the delivery is far worse. The fact that anyone including yourself would consider you a writer is laughable. Your writing is like a what-not-to-do for remedial English classes”

My Response
Yup dude, cannot argue with you there. I’ve said it more than I should have to as it is pretty clear, I am not an educated woman. I never claimed to be, in fact I think I have been pretty honest about my shortcomings in that arena. I hated school, probably because I was really bad at it so I never went. I am a drop out and that is bound to show. Never claimed anything more so I’m not sure why you are so pinched about it. Dude, I implore you….if it’s that painful for you to read please stop….save yourself.

“Your demonization of California wine only proves how much you don’t know about wine. Your post about sweetness in the wines you claim to hate only serves to prove what a hack you really are. The fact that you cannot tell the difference between actual residual sugar and perceived sweetness shows how flawed your palate is. I feel sorry for your customers”

My Response
I’m going to have to call bullshit on you here pal. I do not demonize wines from California, I may not feature them often or drink them regularly but I do not make it a practice to single out any region and smack talk on them. That is not what wine is about for me, I write about my affection for…not my distaste for. If you feel that I am picking on California then for that I have to say, “I’m sorry that you read that into what I wrote”. Look dude, there are hundreds of other bloggers writing about and singing the praises of California wines…go read them.

“The way you name drop is distasteful and I personally feel you are making it all up. Sure Eric Asimov reads you Samantha and I have the Pope on speed dial”

My Response
Okay I might have to cop to this. I might be a name dropper but I was not aware that I was doing it or that it made me look douchey. This might be the one positive thing I will take away from your crappy letter, I don’t want to be “That person”. I will not cop to lying though, I am not sure how often the people whose names I dropped read, but they have and have contacted me about it. Bragging, I may have been bragging and that IS distasteful and I do in fact feel a little like a creep for it.

“What I see when I read your overly sexually charged posts is a woman that can’t get anyone to sleep with her. I’ve seen your picture (if that is your picture) and I can see why. Maybe if you spent more time working on yourself and not pretending to be a writer someone might consider touching you and you could leave wine out of your pathetic lack of a sex life”

My Response
Ah yes, the cheap shot….a personal favorite. It’s rather amazing how you can see right through me Robert. My appearance means everything to me and my one and only desire and drive in life is to try and get people to bone me, what else is there? I mean seriously, why else would I get into a business full of buzzy men if it were not in the hopes that one of them may be drunk enough to fondle me. You’re good. This whole chunk of your letter had me in stitches. If I were to put a fake picture up you really think I would pick that one?! Retarded dude, that was simply retarded. Besides I am married so I have someone that is legally bound to me and is forced to undertake the revolting chore of dealing with my naughty bits so I’m set pal…not looking for more I assure you. I write…oh, should I make that, “Write” about wine the way I feel about it, (feelings are those things that some of us, you know the ones without frozen rods crammed up our pompous asses have that connect us to one another, places, smells and tastes) it inspires many feelings in me and yes….some of those happen to be sensual. If this bothers you or in some way wounds your fragile nature I implore you…STOP READING. Go back to Dr. Vino or whatever.

I do not speak to you and that has been made very clear. I get it and I guess I understand it in that different stokes (oh is strokes too dirty?) kind of way. Go away Robert, find peace in one of those other wine blogs that speak your language….just leave me here to toil away with my friends, my lust for wine and my untaught voice. I did not, nor would I have…ever come looking for you. My voice and style are nails on your chalkboard…just go away. I have read your words, ingested them and taken them for what they are worth….trust me on that.
Be well and I sincerely wish you luck in finding someone that does reach you. Talks wine in a way that inspires you because no matter what idea you may have about my motives…I just want people to explore, drink and fall in love with wine.

To my regular readers I apologize for this little rant or intrusion in Our flow...had an issue I felt I had to deal with and felt sacked up enough to put it out here. I don't lend more weight to faceless, commentless bile spewers than I do to all of you but I was not....could not just let some of that go. Thank you as always for indulging me and I promise to get back to my regular posting soon....I so adore all of you and find such warmth in the fact that I can come here and be naked...really fucking naked and feel all of your warm hearts and arms around me. Yeah, that's right Robert we are getting into group stuff now. You don't belong here dude.


Sip with Me! said...

Yes Robert, go away, we love Samantha and all her lustiness!!!! Live on Woman, don't let a foolish man's words bring you down. I know they won't, they only serve to motivate, inspire and bring out more of you. So, I guess, in a really weird way, cheers to Robert (but most of all, cheers to you Samantha!).

Samantha Dugan said...

Sip with Me,
Thank you lovely girl. Was a revolting email that I confess made me feel wretched but the more I thought about it; the reason for it, the intent behind it....I just got pissed. It so screamed of some wound up turd with a bug up his ass about what wine should be, the same kind of idea that has kept real people from feeling comfortable around wine for far too long. I keep picturing some cork sniffing, leg commenting, soulless prick that thinks the only way to show you know about wine is to make others feel like they don't. Crusty and a part of this that I want NO part of. I will talk about stroking, fondling, self pleasuring....that is me and as it turns out, some of you feel the same way!

Sara Louise said...

The hate emails are something I just don't understand. If you don't like a blog, don't read it. Done. Dusted. Over.
Like all my periods there??? Oops now I've gone and used to many question marks. Because it's a blog, not the freaking Washington Post.
Cosmic naked hugs being sent your way!

Samantha Dugan said...

Naked with two girls, Robert's head must be imploding...but then who could tell?
Thank you ladies
I am over it and moving on...

Joe said...

This is not constructive criticism, and it's decidedly pathetic to make poorly-founded jabs at a blog. The government? Sure. But a wine blog? This cat's got issues.

If I wasn't so confident that this dude is alone in life (I don't think anyone who's felt loved spits venom like this), I imagine he knocks his kids' finger paintings too.

These are the folks that worry me in life. I hope they find something that gives them comfort. Miserable and bitter's no way to go through life.

You seem tough enough to not need reassurance, but I really dig your writing. I'm "educated" (whatever the hell that means), and I think it's 50 times better than mine. Grammar can be taught; soulful expression is inherent.

Samantha Dugan said...

I was hesitant to write this as I didn't want it to turn into a "Lets all tell Sam she's a good writer" thing. So you are correct, the reassurance is not why I wrote this...just needed to get it off my chest, address some of his comments and this blog is my place to do that. I just don't get spending your time reading something that you find so upsetting, weird behavior to say the very least. It's a blog dude, a wine blog at that, so not worth your time or the energy you are spending getting worked up...just quit reading!

Dave said...

Robert, if you're still lurking and not too busy molesting small animals, I'd like to channel some thoughts from Carnac the Great:

* May you get your first French kiss from a diseased camel.

* May a love-starved fruit-fly molest your sister's nectarines.

* May a diseased yak squat in your hot tub.

* May your prize bull hate cows.

* May a crazy holy man set fire to your nose hair.

* May your Perrier water be secretly bottled in Tijuana.

* May a nearsighted sand flea suck syrup off your short stack.

And since you edukated types require references:

Andrew Ross said...

No need to omit the last name, we all know it's Robert Parker you're sparring with. I'd score your rebuttal 96+ points and now you can name drop HIM as well! :)

Nancy Deprez said...

What a jerk. Way to tell him off, Sam.

Samantha Dugan said...


Oh yeah I'm sure I am on Parker's radar. Plus he's dead no?

Guy was a piece of work. Kind of sad when you think about it...

Marcia Macomber said...

You handled it well. Robert's writing shows far more about what a [bleep] he is than any effect his words could have on you. [Bleep for me - not you - I know I don't need to bleep out anything in the comments section.]

I recently had a "colleague" (not!) email me a trail of invective verbiage. Of course it said far more about the sender than about me.

The most annoying part of being on the receiving end of that stuff is your initial reaction. You just can't help the silly seesaw of emotions over the intrusion into your world (all the while thinking, "What an idiot/bleep this guy is!!!")'cuz you don't know it's even coming so you can brace up.

But as the minutes pass you get a grip and only get mad 'cuz your emotions got sucked into it for even the briefest of moments. And how dare this bleeper get even the remotest bit of emotional reaction out of you?! So you breathe a minute, and then you go on with your day....

Romes said...

What a jerk! Love you Sam, and another naked hug from a girl coming your way!

Anonymous said...

What a vile douche bag! Robert needs to refocus his attention on taking care of his own issues with feeling inadequate in every way and stop displacing it on those he envies. He's the equivalent of an adult cyber bully. How pathetic! He definitely got the rebuttal he deserved...nice work.

Samantha Dugan said...


It did upset me at first. Not sure I read this way but I am very sensitive, so reading hate thrown at me sucked but....the second he got into the fact that I demonize California and the shit about my looks I just started laughing. Full of shit, that guy is full of shit.


Well hello stranger! Another naked girl hug?! Dude, I am getting more action than Robert probably ever has! Thank you so much.

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Wouldn't it be more apropos for there to be a naked guy hug? Count me in. And I mean IN.

Perfect grammar and articulateness may be a sign of education, but they are surely not a sign of intelligence. His letter attests to that.

I, for one, wish you would ignore your hate mail, not write about it. You flatter him with the word "critic." Why not "What a Coward is Saying?" Anonymous hate mail sent to a private email address is indefensibly an act of cowardice. Giving the coward a moment in the sun is, in my opinion, not the way to handle it. Leave the insect under the rock, don't turn the rock over and give him the Light.

And you shouldn't concede anything to him. You are not a name-dropper any more than any other blogger. Shit, Steve Heimoff brags about being Steve Heimoff twice a week--he's his most ardent fan. And I count most of the "big" bloggers as devoted haters--Alder and Alice, in alphabetical order. That's a form of name-dropping. After all, the coward dropped his own last name.

It's a sad world when a man spends so much time reading a brilliant and talented woman's work and decides that the best way to deal with disagreeing with her is to berate and insult her. This kind of behavior makes me embarrassed to be a man. I cannot imagine a woman writing a letter like his. I cannot remember ever receiving a letter like this from a woman--and I've received dozens from men over the years. It's humiliating to admit I share a gender with cowards like him. Maybe that's why I wish you wouldn't dignify it with a response. It truly makes me ashamed to be a man.

OK, now write something sexy and beautiful so we can get back to wine.

I love you!

Much More Than Ever.

Your HoseMaster

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sam,

Finally found what I was actually looking for, to Robert and any future knuckle draggers that dare cross your path... my wish for you:

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the

crotch of the person who screws up your day

and may their arms be too short to scratch.

Anonymous said...

Well, as a professional English major who teaches grammar sometimes, let me say: anyone who thinks proper grammar is more important than speaking to another human being with normal tenderness, empathy, consideration, anyone who thinks extra periods in sentences matter more than attacking a person's physical appearance and character, this person is either 1) a disturbed individual with a personality disorder, or 2) the most cruel, immature, poor excuse for a gentleman I have ever encountered in the blogsphere. or both.

quoting Joe: soulful expression is inherent. I think when you get the hatemail Sam, what they hate is how real you are, and how much courage you show by being so transparent as a writer, woman, human being.


Charlie Olken said...

Ron, you have never received hate mail from women? I got hate mail from most of the women I dated in high school.

Sam, whether this is the dead Robert Parker coming back to haunt you because you are a friend of Ron's or some other dead Robert, this sad dude has real issues if he is threatened by a woman who can speak from the heart.

He's dead to the world and not worth the attention you have lavished on him. So, let's take basketball instead. Did you notice how my Celtics took apart Le Bron and the Cavs in Cleveland the other night? Could be the Celtics and the Lakers in the finals again. We will have to make a wager if that happens.

We can do it the painful way. I will drink Pastis if the Lakers win and you will drink that yukky CA wine if the Celtics win.

Or we just agree to drink a lot of bubbly no matter who wins. The loser to show up at the winner's chosen place with a bottle or six and appropriate accompaniments.

Love you, as we all do. And I would like to get in the line for one of those naked hugs.

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Charlie,

Oddly, I also got hate mail from women you dated in high school. Came Pony Express.

I do kind of hope it's a Lakers/Celtics Finals just to see you and Samantha go after it. After all, no way in Hell my Dodgers and your Red Sox are in the Series this year. Gonna be a long season.

And by the way, not only is Parker dead, but every other critic named Robert is dead too! Balzer, Finigan, Thompson and this bozo. Parker's ghost told me, the Ghost of Ratings Past.

k2 said...

Holy Shit! I would kill to get that kind of hate mail. I have to say I am jealous. Obviously, you struck a chord in the sack, one that I am sure will resonate in his pompous brain for near a millenia. The thing this guy fails to get is that people read you because you speak from your heart and soul and that is why people like Charlie Olken and Eric Asimov read you. Namedrop schmamedrop. Screw 'em. You have far too much class with this. I would have had the damn thing posted on my blog, my FB page, Twitter, Flickr, and any other social media outlet I could find. Just to show everyone what a jerkoff he be. Or is. Tell him to put his red pen away, drink a bottle of wine, and shutthefuckup. And I've seen your pic too Sam. He would be so lucky.

John M. Kelly said...

SO... With this unfortunate incident dealt with and well behind us...

Sam the other night I had the last sip of the Chinato you sent with a square of Vosges "Creole: New Orleans style chicory coffee + cocoa nibs + Sao Thome bittersweet chocolate, 70% cacao." OMFG to think I drank most of the bottle neat or in Negronis when I could have been having it with chocolate! God's. Freakin'. Gift.

Chris said...

HUGE HUGS from another female fan. Hang in there.

webb said...

If you can stand another naked female hug, I'm sending one, too. And spelled properly - I hope. Oops! Are dashes allowed?

Samantha Dugan said...

Wow, sounds like you know what the hell you are talking about there lady...what are ya a head shrinker?

Ron My Love,
I know I know, you would ignore it but that just isn't be babe. I find something healing about sharing even the stuff that makes me cringe. When I write about it it is as if I am releasing it and for that I am so very grateful to have this place. Otherwise I would be festering and seething, feeling worse about myself and likely getting pretty angry...now I am free of it, of him and feeling much better. No doubt the support I find here helps me feel like there is a tiny village at my back, keeping me strong, making me proud. You all warm my heart so. I'll work on that something sexy for you My Love....

You know your praise has always humbled me, I am so flattered and you are very right...that dude is pretty twisted. Big hugs to you...got a bunch of naked girls here, just sayin'

My Sweet Ass Charlie,
Yeah, let's just talk basketball baby...you know how to get my lit up. I did see your Celtics kick some ass the other night and I begrudgingly admit they looked really good. Cleveland is one hell of a team and I am torn about who I would like to see my Lakers face. I think Cleveland might choke again so part of me is hoping for them but to relive a Celtics Lakers series...with YOU, dude think that is where my heart is. We will simply have to make a wager sweetheart, (drinking Pastis right this very second by the way) and that Champagne and junk that goes with it sounds perfect. Cannot wait!

Oh kid be careful what you wish for. It is pretty awful to be picked apart like that with no way to argue or explain. Even if the person is a total cheese dick, makes no difference...still painful. I stopped giving a shit about how people think I look years ago and each and every time I am sucked back into trying to please people that way I end up feeling pretty hollow. It isn't me to lend much value to such things and seeing as looks are just as subjective as wine....i have to think there has to be something for everyone. That being said, thank you...that was beyond sweet. Big kisses to you.

Yup, let's ignore him and talk sexy as hell Barolo Chinato. Damn I am jealous you still had some, would give anything to be feeling that sultry, silky, sweet and bitter liquid slide down my throat right now...shit, the hairs on my arms just stood up. One of my reps, (and as it turns out...readers) Kate also got a bottle and she had been drinking a little bit with some wacky chocolates she brought back from Provence, you know the kind with thyme and what not in them. She told me she finished the box and the bottle on the same night and almost cried that they were both gone. So glad you enjoyed it and I am positively thrilled that I was the one that introduced it to you. Love you lots kid.

You are just the sweetest thing and I got the copy of your book today in the mail...lady it is simply beautiful and I cannot wait to snuggle into it. I'll take that hug and just how much girl action am I getting now...feeling saucy and stuff!

Always. I always have more room for one more naked hug. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Kelly said...


What a shitty and sad display of nastiness on this guy's part! It takes being brave to write honestly and passionately about wine, food, or whatever it may be one loves. It takes a coward, on the other hand, to hurl gratuitous insults from behind a cloak of anonymity.

The only mistake I can see in your blog is that you chose a picture of "The Critic" from Ratatouille because that guy ended up having a soul which this guy clearly does not.

Hopefully I've spelled everything correctly and punctuated my sentences properly so that he might find credence in my response.


Samantha Dugan said...

Screw the cretin's feelings I adored your response. Thank you so much for weighing in here...means a lot. Guy was a total douche and I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that he would feel so compelled to barf up his evil on me. Less worried about his observations thanks to all of sweet words of support, including yours...but just bothered that anyone would feel the need to lash out like that at someone that writes a lame ass blog that he has to choose to come too. What the hell up with that? Miserable, he is a miserable human and as the day comes to a close I find that I just feel sorry for him. Thanks for contributing and good point on the critic picture, just felt like the look fit!

Anonymous said...

Are you sure it's a dude? Either way, that person is a dick.

Samantha Dugan said...

I have to agree, male or female...still a dick.

Annie Browne said...

Holy crap! What a TOOL this Mr. Robert is. Sorry I lagged on getting in on all the naked female huggin...here you go: {{{nakedness}}}}
Oh yeah, and a big shout out and thanks to Robert for creating a huge, virtual, cyber-orgie. You got that goin for ya!!! Peace.

Alfonso Cevola said...

an oil slick letter. just keeps spreading it's goo. looks like you figured out a containment solution. Now would you please call BP and us.gov and help them with their little problem?

enjoyed the post, as always

Samantha Dugan said...


I am sure that I have now set some kind of record for naked female bloggers...well, outside those conventions anyway. so thank you girlie!

Ad it turns out I am heading to Florida on Thursday so I will see what I can do. Thanks for checking out my stuff dude.

Eric said...

Even when you're dealing with bullshit I enjoy reading your blog.

All the best,
Eric Asimov

Samantha Dugan said...


Sir you just made my day. Big ass grin on this mug right now I assure you. Thank you and I am sending you big hugs.

See Robert!

Eddie Fleming said...

If you can stand another naked female hug, I'm sending one, too. And spelled properly - I hope. Oops! Are dashes allowed?

Melissalngd said...

Well, as a professional English major who teaches grammar sometimes, let me say: anyone who thinks proper grammar is more important than speaking to another human being with normal tenderness, empathy, consideration, anyone who thinks extra periods in sentences matter more than attacking a person's physical appearance and character, this person is either 1) a disturbed individual with a personality disorder, or 2) the most cruel, immature, poor excuse for a gentleman I have ever encountered in the blogsphere. or both. quoting Joe: soulful expression is inherent. I think when you get the hatemail Sam, what they hate is how real you are, and how much courage you show by being so transparent as a writer, woman, human being. Troy