I swear I had planned to have the next Letter out before Thanksgiving. I swear to you. I even had a great Thanksgiving-ish recipe that I was going to include with it (courtesy of Vincent Price, of all people). But now I’ll have to include that recipe in the Christmas letter. Luckily most Thanksgiving dishes can be switched over to Christmas without anyone knowing (though the opposite isn’t always true – if you show up at someone’s house on Thanksgiving with cookies in the shape of Santa Claus people might say “Aren’t you a little early?”).

So what happened? Laziness I just got too busy and time got away from me. It will be out the second week of December.

On a related note – related because we’re talking about letters and this song title has the word “reply” in it – I recently discovered to my horror that I’ve been singing one of my favorite songs wrong for the past 30+ years. Nothing makes sense anymore.

It’s not “all the excess here,” it’s “all the exits sealed.”

Have a great Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for patient subscribers.

Completely Random

1. The irritating thing about being fired from a writing job is that I have to update my bio page again.

2. The problem with going back in time to kill baby Hitler – the problem with all time-travel scenarios including Back to the Future and Star Trek – is that if you go back in time and change history, then that thing didn’t happen, and if it didn’t happen, how did you know to go back in time to do it in the first place? Here’s my favorite take on the subject:

I know, I know, blah blah parallel timelines, blah blah multiverses. If that’s your argument, well, that’s what the comment section is for.

3. The other day someone on the street asked me for 29 cents. Not a quarter, not 30 cents, exactly 29. My first thought was maybe they wanted to buy something and they were exactly 29 cents short and didn’t want to be greedy. But now I’m thinking he knew people wouldn’t have 29 cents and would just give him a couple of quarters or a buck. Street psychology.

4. Does anyone else love this time of year, when it gets dark early? I seem to be in the minority but I love it when it gets dark at 4:30. The sun going down at 9 just makes me depressed for some reason, and I’m well aware that’s the opposite of how most people feel.

5. Reminder: I have a new piece in the print edition of The Saturday Evening Post.

Do you hear what I hear?

satevepostnovdec15I have a new piece in the print Saturday Evening Post. That’s right, the print edition. Which means you actually have to go to a bookstore or newsstand and buy it (or subscribe!). It’s my defense of Christmas music. Yes, I love Christmas music. You want to make something of it?

It’s the November/December issue. I love that cover. It’s called “Dog and Cat Wait For Santa,” by Paul Bransom, and it was originally published on the cover of The Country Gentleman in 1916.

Right here, right now

A MacBook. A full cup of hot tea. A Westclox travel alarm clock I use as my regular desk clock. A coffee table because I don’t have a desk. Four remote controls. A doctor’s bill. A discount offer from The New Yorker. A Filofax open to today. A Uni-Ball 307 gel pen. TV on mute. A loud truck roaring past my front window. Self-stick stamps. Two Mad Men soundtrack CDs I need to add to iTunes. Books by Nora Ephron, Raymond Chandler, and Peggy Noonan. Narrowing down the ideas I want to pitch to my editors. A lamp across the room I need to turn on. Thoughts on what to have for dinner tonight, and a crisp October wind coming in through an open door.


First: I have another new piece up at The AV Club, about one of my favorite shows, Magnum, P.I. And of course there’s my column at The Saturday Evening Post. This week I talk about Peanuts, tattoos, the Apple Watch, and candy bars that insult you.

I’ve read two different pieces this week from people who hate fall. And one of them actually used that word too, “hate” (the other said it’s “the worst season,” which is just another phrase meaning the same thing). While everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they’re free to think what they want to think, these people are what I like to call “wrong.”

I mean, how can you not like fall (unless you’re young and have to go back to school – if you don’t like school, that is)? Is it the reasonable, comfortable temperatures? Is it the lack of suffocating humidity? Is it the new TV shows? The better movies? The great holidays? The apples? The increase in clothing options? The switch from laziness to ambition? Were you once attacked by a large pumpkin spiced latte and now the very thought of an October in Starbucks gives you horrifying flashbacks?

One of these people actually said that one of the reasons they hate fall is because it leads to a cold, snowy winter. So I guess they don’t like summer either, because it leads to fall, which they hate. If I’m following the logic correctly.

Have a great weekend! Next Letter is coming October 5. It’s the first one of the fall, you know.