It being the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the work schedule for Gretchen and myself was somewhat lighter than a typical Monday. This was good, because not only did it mean there was time for me to meet with my brother-in-law, Hank Palikowski, and his sister-in-law, Shannon, it also meant there were fewer regular clients in the reception area for them to give the willies to. Dressed in their usual survivalist outfits, the pair of them regularly prompt the security desk in the lobby to call and alert Gretchen of their impending arrival and inquire if DC Police backup might be required. “We have to talk,” Shannon declared as they strode into my office. “Back there,” Hank whispered as […]

 

Despite the impending holidays, I still manged to get overbooked this week, which lead to Gretchen and me having to work nine and one half hours on a Saturday. The increasing urgency of various matters around the planet have made it nearly impossible for me to work a decent five day week anymore, but in an economy where millions of overqualified professionals are still settling for jobs at WalMart, complaints would be unseemly, I know, and I certainly am not about to kvetch about the gold nuggets in my mill stream. Yesterday, for example, I made enough money that your typical PhD environmental scientist could pay the tuition covering vocational rehabilitation training as a Microsoft certified .NET developer with it. […]

 

This week it was once again time for what has become a family tradition – lunch every month or two with my sister Rose, wherein she and I catch up on the news of our personal lives. It’s always her choice, and today she selected Muze, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Maryland Avenue Southwest, over by the Jefferson Memorial and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. For her cocktail, Rose ordered a Thai coconut martini, a not-so-subtle allusion to our family name and our dear father, an engineer turned bartender, who re-invented the martini at a luxury hotel in New York City not unlike the Mandarin, although much more venerable. Her appetizer was complementary in the culinary sense – […]

 

My very last consultation last Friday was with Rabbi Mordechi Dovid Slivovitz of Silver Spring, Maryland, recently elected President of the Modern Orthodox Rabbinical Organization National and International Council. Frankly, I’ve never seen him so upset. “Oy vey ist mir,” he wailed as he plunked his ample, ovoid frame down on the couch with an air of complete anxiety and consternation, “the worst crisis since the Doheny glatt kosher scandal has erupted, right here in Washington DC – and in Georgetown, no less!” “You are referring,” I presumed, “to the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel, of Congregation Kesher Israel, the most prestigious upscale Orthodox Jewish synagogue in the entire National Capital area?” “What else?” Slivovitz shrugged. “The entire Jewish community […]

 

Rose and Katje both called me this week to chat and drop hints about bringing their families over to my place in Great Falls, Virginia for Sunday dinner.  Their motives were different, of course.  Katje’s husband, my dear younger brother Rob Roy, wants to hang out at my place this weekend and next so he and their son Jason can watch the NCAA tournament on the truly bodacious oversized HDTV in the game room downstairs while availing themselves of the collection of twenty different brands of designer beers I happen to keep stored there in a jumbo glass door bar cooler.  Rose, on the other hand, stuck out there in the wilds of Fairfax with her brother-in-law Arthur and both […]

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