22 Years!

This month marks the 22nd year of this site. Every year at this time I like to give a quick rundown of what this site is all about for first-time visitors.

I’m a writer. I do a weekly column for The Saturday Evening Post and freelance for various other sites. I created the pop culture site Professor Barnhardt’s Journal and in 2003 I published Book, with Words and Pages, a collection of essays and short humor pieces.

I also publish The Letter, a quarterly, handwritten (sometimes typed) missive that I snail mail out to people who would like to get a letter (remember those?) again. Here’s how you can subscribe and what you’ll find in each letter. It’s only $8 a year!

I’ll take tea over coffee, dogs over cats, and cold weather over warm. My favorite TV shows are The Dick Van Dyke Show and Mad Men, I need to lose a few pounds, I’ve never sent a text, and when I was around 10 I accidentally punched a nun. (It’s a long story.)

Oh, did I mention I’m available for work? I’m available for work.

And now, a flashback to the mid-90’s: NBC News talking about this new thing called “the internet.” Katie Couric understood before anyone what was going to happen to us.

Tornado Warning

It’s raining…it’s pouring
my love life is boring
me to tears…

If you know that lyric then you’re old. I know it, and I’m old.

But yeah, it’s pouring right now. Tornado warning for my area. The helpful meteorologist on TV just said the possibly of a tornado is still low, but just in case, this is where you should hide. Go to the lowest point in your home! Stay away from windows and doors! I’m sitting in the lowest point of my home – my living room – so if a tornado hits I’m picturing a Wizard of Oz scenario. Flying monkeys and red shoes.

Lots of rain right now. Lots and lots and lots of rain. And a second ago a smash of thunder that could wake the dead.

Eight Bucks!

Subscribers to The Letter know that I took a break from writing them. But I’m working on the next one as we speak (or as I type and you read) and I wanted to take this opportunity to let readers of the site who might not know what The Letter is know what The Letter is. (Sorry for that cumbersome sentence.)

What is it? You can read all about it here. It’s a handwritten or typed letter, with essays and observations and doodles and even recipes, that I snail mail quarterly. With everything we do via screens these days, wouldn’t it be great to actually get letters in the mail again? You get a whole year of issues for only – are you ready? – eight bucks!

That’s less than two fancy coffee drinks at Starbucks! That’s less than the cost of one movie ticket! That’s probably less than your high blood pressure medication! OK, that last one is important. But still, The Letter is only eight bucks! For a whole year!

The next one is going out in two weeks, so if you click the Donate button on the right you can start your subscription right away. By the way, if you don’t want The Letter but still want to donate a buck or two to keep this site and Professor Barnhardt’s Journal going, that would be appreciated too. Every dollar helps.

Any questions, leave a comment below or send me an e-mail. And thanks!

August

These are the days of Flonase and Mucinex, to calm the annoying seasonal cough; of shorts and Popsicles to cool down the body; of Honeywell fans and open windows, to create a more comfortable environment because the days and nights are so stale and airless.

I walked downtown this morning to get some groceries. I tried to get out before the main heat started for the day but it was a waste of time. The sun was already blazing and the humidity was in full force at 9am. They were having the annual sidewalk bazaar on Main St. and when I passed the kettle corn booth I was hit with the heat from the machines and almost collapsed. I don’t know how those people in the booth are going to survive the day (but at least they have kettle corn).

I carried two bags of groceries back to my apartment – they weren’t light bags – and when I got to my front door it was like coming home from wandering the desert. The sweat was pouring off me like the condensation off the bottles of root beer and Sunkist orange I was carrying. I hate to change my shirt the second I got inside.

And yes, I know I just typed “I hate to change my shirt” when I meant “I had to.” I think I was in a hurry to use the word “hate,” as in, “boy, I really hate August.”