Oct 182016

This morning, I received a visit from Dr. Byeong Shin Nom, Chief Macroeconomist for International Commerce at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea here in Washington DC. A sadder sight I have not seen in weeks, at least – the poor guy shambled into my office and practically collapsed on the couch in front of the picture window overlooking the White House. Physically, he was a total wreck – his eyes were sunken and puffy; I doubt he had slept in a week, and his face sagged in the most dismal fashion. He looked like Death warmed over, for sure. Finally managing to pull himself up to face me, he sat there for an inordinate time, simply staring, by […]

Sep 272016

My two-thirty PM consultation appointment on Friday was with Dr. Arbre Étreinte Birkenstock, Division Director, United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air and Radiation. Despite the autumn equinox on Thursday, the weather remained as warm and humid as summer here in Washington DC, and she arrived at my office wearing a sundress, sandals, and no makeup (she’s chemically sensitive to perfumes, rouge, lipstick and cosmetics in general), bearing a knapsack instead of a briefcase. Her mood was one of distinct, positive optimism and excitement, which became immediately evident as soon as she entered and seated herself at the chair located to the right of my desk. “Have you heard about what Jerry Brown did in California?” she burbled, leaning […]

Sep 082016

Anthony D. Weiner started calling my office Tuesday, asking for a consultation. Having taken off the entire month of July, I’ve been very busy lately, despite it being summer here in Washington DC, and Gretchen just couldn’t find an open spot anywhere in the schedule. So around six-thirty in the evening the next day, she popped her head into my office and told me Mr. Weiner was on the phone again, wondering what I could do for him, at which point I agreed to have him call my office number after eight-thirty. When I left at seven PM, I made sure to set up my office phone to forward all calls to the land line at my home in Great […]

Aug 212016

My eleven o’clock consultation on Friday morning was with Vice President Joe Biden. He’s a very busy fellow, of course, and it’s hardly practical for him to visit my office, what with the Secret Service detail and all of the security issues involved. So he called, naturally. Biden: Hello, Tom? Tom: Good morning, Mr. Vice President. Biden: Oh, come on, Tom, call me Joe. Tom: Okay. Hi, Joe. What’s up? Biden: Ah, the usual routine for a campaign, you know – fund raisers, that sort of thing. Lots of speeches, too. Reminding the voters what an unstable, dangerous [expletive] hole Donald Trump is, mostly. Plus all the rest of that vice-presidential stuff, like presiding over the Senate. That’s been kinda […]

Aug 022016

Late on Saturday, July 30, I got back to Washington after a four week vacation. Cerise and I had been planning it for quite some time, and she had been nagging me to take a vacation for even longer. One important thing I learned from the experience was that it’s actually a good thing to have a girlfriend who knows how to nag you into doing stuff like taking a four week vacation. Turns out I needed it. In fact, we both did. It cost me a lot of money, of course. Not for the summer house on the island off the coast of northern Maine – that was free, actually, a token of appreciation from one of Cerise’s many […]