Dec 262016

The rotating location for the Martini / Palikowski extended family Christmas dinner this year is the home of my brother Rob Roy, his wife Katje and son Jason in Falls Church, Virginia. When this is the case, technically speaking, Katje is responsible for preparation of the food. But as frequent readers of this Web log know, Katje is a militant vegan. Therefore, practically speaking, on years when she is in charge of Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner it has been customary for my sister Rose and her sister-in-law, Shannon, to bring the ingredients for, and subsequently cook, the traditional dishes at Katje’s house. Now, as regular readers of this Web log also know, it has been several years since Shannon […]

Dec 102016

As I write this, president-elect Trump has designated the CEO of a fast-food enterprise to be the Secretary of Labor, a doctor to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the CEO of Exxon-Mobil to become Secretary of State, the head of American professional wrestling as the chief of the Small Business Administration, a Hollywood producer as Secretary of the Treasury and a person who believes climate change is a Chinese hoax to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. He has announced that he will keep his job as the executive producer of the NBC television show “Celebrity Apprentice” while he serves as president of the United States. His tweets attacking a union leader have caused his followers to issue […]

Nov 252016

“A Botanist Singapore Sling with Cointreau for Cerise,” Rose recited with a dulcet tone as she handed out drinks in the living room of the family home in Fairfax, “a coconut almond milk vanilla Stoli White Russian with Galliano Ristretto for Katje, a Rémy Martin XO and Grand Marnier Sidecar for Arthur, a double Talisker 18 on the rocks for Tom, Red Bull and Jagermeister for Jason, and an Auchentoshan Triple Wood and Carpano Antica Rob Roy for… Rob Roy! And last but not least,” she proclaimed as she held it aloft, “a Patron Añejo Tequila Sunrise for me! Muchas gracias to Tom for supplying all the top shelf ingredients – and the organic free-range turkey, his own secret-recipe walnut, […]

Nov 122016

Veterans’ Day is one of those half-baked holidays – the stock market is open but the banks are closed; here in Washington, federal employees have the day off but federal contractors don’t, unless they work in a federal building that’s closed on Veterans’ Day, and so on and so forth. So normally, I would have expected a somewhat lighter schedule, but given the events of last Tuesday, that was far from the case. All my phones have been ringing like the bells of a nine alarm fire since shortly after 12:15 AM Wednesday, and I was booked solid from before sunrise until well after sunset, although it is, admittedly, November and the daylight here does grow increasingly limited this time […]

Oct 312016

Another six day week had left me feeling entitled to a quiet Sunday, and it certainly started off that way yesterday morning. In the early afternoon, however, as my cat Twinkle and I lounged on the couch in the living room, my land line rang. Caller ID couldn’t tell me who it was, so I pondered through the first three rings whether I should answer or let it roll over to voice mail. Having just finished a seven thousand word article on alt-right trolls in the latest issue of the New Yorker, though, I concluded that I had had enough reading for the moment and wouldn’t mind talking to somebody. So on the fourth ring, I answered. Tom: Hello, who […]