Fan mail from some Flounder got me hooked on Randy Lilleston

I’ve been helping a friend with a project and wanted to check in to see how things were going. You don’t ask Emmy Award-winner Nicolas DeGrazia, Creative Director and co-owner of Bitter Jester Creative, Inc. with fellow Emmy award-winner Daniel Kullman, “Hey, how’s the project going?” You want to come up with something witty, or pithy, or some other word that ends with a “y.”

A witty AND pithy idea suddenly hit me in the head like a can of tuna. I would text Nic, “So, any fan mail from some flounder?”

But, it occurred to me that I didn’t know what that really meant. I knew it was from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, but couldn’t remember the context in which it was used.

Would it make sense to send Nic a text asking if he had, indeed, received any fan mail from some flounder? And, while I was at it, I thought, “How do flounder write fan mail anyway?”

Did it have deeper meaning? Was it un-P.C? This inquiring mind needed to know.

It was 11:00 AM, and all I had done was lounge around with the dogs. At least I looked super-cute in my completely mismatched flannel pajama pants and fabulous mustard-colored Free People sweater.  I was just sitting around, as I often do, waiting to become noticed by someone who wanted to offer me a book deal.

So, instead of snazzing up my LinkedIn profile, or actually working on the book I’m writing I Married him Anyway, I opened an investigative file about fan-mail-sending flounder. I had a feeling I was on to something, “this big.”

In Tybee Island near Savannah,  Georgia, visiting The Raskin Family!
In Tybee Island near Savannah,
Georgia, visiting The Raskin Family!

I set out to reveal the mysterious answer to a question those of us raised in the 1960’s and 70’s probably never even thought about or paid attention to. That’s good journalism!

I began by Googling, or as my mother and sister, Beth, say, guggling, “fan mail from some flounder.” I didn’t want to end up sending Nic a questionable text that might encourage him to re-think our friendship.

While researching flounder that sent fan mail, I stumbled* upon a blog with the intriguing name, “Randy Lilleston: Editor/blogger/sometimes a musician” which Google found instantly because the title of one of the blog posts he wrote was “Fan mail from some flounder,” written on April 28th, 2011.

2011? I was not the only person seeking knowledge about fish that send fan mail! I felt just a little bit better about myself.

Randy, if you’re reading this, (I can dream, can’t I?) I guess I’ve been living under a rock, or at least several layers of blankets because it’s been so cold in Chicago, until today, but I had no idea who you were. There. I’ve confessed. And, I don’t feel better.

For the few of you who have never heard of Randy Lilleston either, first, let me say, “Shame on us.” Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me tell you, with deep embarrassment, that his blog post didn’t just happen to pop up at the top of my Google search willy-nilly. This guy is a big deal!

From his LinkedIn bio, I gleaned the following:

“Randy Lilleston is the Editor-in-Chief of Industry Dive, in Washington, DC the Senior-level editor and manager with extensive experience on digital and print platforms. Producer of award-winning journalism for some of the nation’s largest and most respected news organizations. Skilled at building teams, increasing audience size and devising/executing strategy.”

Don’t worry. I didn’t understand that either.

But, I did understand with whom I was dealing when I read the rest of his LinkedIn bio.

“After graduating from the University of Central Missouri with a B.S. in Journalism, Randy was a Washington bureau chief/White House reporter for four years, before becoming the Managing Editor of online ventures and senior editor of CQ Daily Monitor.”

I’m not finished. I just needed to take a breath.

He then became,

“The Senior Editor of politics for, moving on to become the Managing Editor at AOL news, and the News editor of USA From there, Randy became the Supervising Editor of digital news for, before becoming the Editor-in-Chief of Industry Dive.”

Randy, if you’re reading this, I assure you I am not a stalker. I’m just doing due diligence, and, as a Jewish mother, kvelling.

After filling out the form to become the next president of the Randy Lilleston fan club, I put my crayon down and thought to myself, “Why would a guy with such an impressive oeuvre (guggle it) write a blog post about fan mail from some flounder?

Photo courtesy of: Randy Lilleston
Photo courtesy of: Randy Lilleston

Well, I’ll tell you. The first lines of his post are, “I just found out today that the complete Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends has been issued in one DVD boxed set for the first time. Amazon is asking 68 bucks for it. I want it.

Now I have to rehearse the conversation I will have with my wife, explaining why I really really really need to spend 70 bucks to obtain (to crib the language on “91 trips in the WABAC time machine, 38 attempts to catch Snidely Whiplash, 91 tales fractured and 50 bits of wisdom from Mr. Know-it-All.”

I feel much better about myself. Thanks, Randy! You’re a regular guy just like the rest of us. And, after reading more of your blog posts, I love your taste in music (The Drive-By Truckers? Awe-some!) but I’ll have to save that for another post.

To read Randy Lilleston’s complete blog, “Fan mail from some flounder,” please click the following link:

So, Nic,  by the way “Any fan mail from some flounder?”


BitterHester Emmy BitterJester


* Anyone who knows me knows I’m a klutz, and stumbling is a part of everyday transportation for me.

Note: Nic, Dan, and Randy,  sorry for the amount of commas,,,,and probably other punishable uses of punctuation, but to me, it’s all about the fan mail. Who am I kidding? It’s all about the flounder, too.

Woman who dislikes shopping suffers retail injury!


Throughout history, the females in my family have had a genetic predisposition for shopping. They were also blessed with strong constitutions allowing them to stand for hours examining their reflections, looking for perfection. And then they’d go out to lunch.

The love of shopping and going out to lunch skipped a generation. With few exceptions, I don’t enjoy either. But my daughter Veronica does, so, don’t worry Mom! There’s hope.


My method of shopping is launching and flinging items I need, (and some things just because they’re shiny) into my cart, whipping out my Target REDcard, going home and taking a much-needed nap.

Eventually I return what doesn’t look good, keep what does, and, almost always keep the shiny objects.

Last Saturday Richard asked me to accompany him to Macy’s because he needed a few man-things. Here’s where I make an exception: if it means spending time together, I’ll do it. Am I great, or what?

As soon as we walked into the store, I came to an immediate stop in my super-cute, glow-in-the-dark Asics. My eyes glazed over and I felt “that hippy vibe” I sometimes get. Richard knows that look. He’s seen it many times, and knew it meant one of three things: a Free People sale, an Eileen Fisher sale, or an immediate need to find the closest ladies’ room.




The vibe was strong that day, my friends. I knew I was in the vicinity of a Free People sale because I became a combination of a truffle-sniffing pig and a drooling, German Short-haired Pointer closing in on a pheasant. It’s a gift. It’s not pretty, but it’s a gift.

Yes, I know I went with Richard to spend time with him, but as he saw the drool begin its slow descent from my mouth to the floor, he said he’d be fine on his own and would come find me when he was finished. 

Being the gentleman he is, he handed me a tissue doused in Purell so I could wipe away the drool and look presentable as I ascended the escalator.

As the escalator arrived at the second floor, I almost squealed with joy. There they were: racks and racks of flouncy, feminine, ”Leslie-style” Free People clothing….all on sale!

I didn’t waste time. I went from rack to rack shoving items into the crook of my right elbow for an hour straight. After a while the items became heavy and my arm was stuck in a permanent bicep-curl, but I wasn’t going to let a little pain deter me from my mission.

Without dropping a single item, I even army-crawled my way beneath racks of Calvin Klein plus-sized jeans in search of “misfiled” Free People merchandise. Hey, I’m a professional.This wasn’t my first time. I know what people do.

I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but honey, if you think you can hide a garment from me so you can come back tomorrow with the coupon you left on the kitchen counter this morning, you obviously have no idea with whom you are dealing. 

Not a single salesperson was roaming the floor to stop me from bringing more than six items into the dressing room. Score!


After lugging 100 pounds of clothes into the fitting room, nearly tearing my right tricep muscle, I only fell in love with two tops. I hung everything else up on a rack in the fitting room area  because, as my mother always told me, “Clean up after yourself when you go shopping because one of the salespeople might be one of my friends.”

If the mood strikes, and I can use my right arm again soon, I might go back to look around again. 

Or, I’ll just go to Target and launch and fling things into my cart using my left arm, which I can do because I’m semi-ambidextrous, a nice perk while my right arm heals.

I never really had a good reason to explain why I don’t like shopping, but now I do: it can be dangerous.

Thankfully, I’m mostly a lefty!

My sister, Beth, keeps telling me I have to add her to my posts, so here you go, Beth:

Beth is the prettier one. Beth is the prettier one…