Rick's List - Chip & Joanna Have a New Magazine Edition

Two days ago, I got a letter from Waco, Texas. If you're me, you hate to see anything from Waco because I went to school there, at Baylor, and didn't particularly enjoy the experience. What I did like about Waco was the barbecue, but unless someone's found a way to compress a brisket sandwich from Vitek's into a number 10 envelope ...

In fact, the letter is a pitch to subscribe to a new magazine called The Magnolia Journal. The publishers are a husband/wife team named "Chip & Joanna," and apparently I'm supposed to not need a last name to know who they are.

Wait! They have a television show called "Fixer Upper" wherein, ah, Chip & Joanna — I think they prefer the ampersand — restore decrepit old Waco houses so they end up looking as though Waco is actually a place you might want to live. I blame myself for not knowing anything about "Fixer Upper" or Chip & Joanna, so maybe I should subscribe and see what I'm missing. Some thoughts as I look through the promo material:

1. For many excellent reasons, the Texas National Guard and the Center for Disease Control have long since demolished the house I lived in at 508 Wood Street on the edge of the Baylor campus. It's a shame, though, because I'd give ANYTHING to watch Chip & Jo try to "fixer-upper" THAT portal to hell.

a. There was a hole in the kitchen floor you had to step around to put the cheap beer in the refrigerator. If you looked down, you could see earth. And bugs previously unknown to science.

b. My Mom literally refused enter the house.

c. "Not until you call Chip & Joanna," Mom said. Not really.

2. The Journal promises personal monthly letters from Jo and also Chip. The first sentence of Jo's sample reads, "I like to keep a clean house." Provocative stuff. Chip wryly observes that "Four a.m. comes earlier on some days than others." Handy with a tool box AND capable of skewing the space-time continuum!

3. If I subscribe NOW, I get free decorative note cards festooned with Joanna's "favorite bulbs" and inspirational quotes. Based on a tiny sample, one aphorism seems to be from the Satanist Aleister Crowley.

4. Most of the promo stuff is Joanna-centric. Guess Chip's too busy constructing an outhouse behind the magazine's offices.

5. A glossy pic shows a svelte hand (Joanna's?) sprinkling (helpfully identified) paprika onto popcorn. The caption: "zero cooking + minimal prep = MORE TIME FOR FUN!" I'm thinking that should be my next tattoo.

6. A final Chip & Jo-ism to ponder: "TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Frame your favorite things to add personality to a room."

7. Must hire Chip to frame Aleister Crowley's skull. I bought it on eBay. It's one of my favorite things.

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