Jan 192020

My sister-in-law Katje invited herself over to my office Friday morning and camped out in the reception area chatting with Gretchen about the myriad evils of the Trump administration and regaling my paying clients about the ongoing impeachment of the President until I agreed to speak with her. As it happened, I was booked solid through six-thirty in the evening, so the deal we struck was that she would stop pestering everyone and leave; in return I would take her call at six-forty five. That allowed me about ten minutes to drink a large caramel macchiato with two extra espresso shots between the end of my final consultation of the day and having to talk to her. Not ideal, but […]

Dec 182019

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier. – Rudyard Kipling Despite the impression that numerous posts may have created, I don’t always conduct consultations in my office. I do, however, tack a considerable surcharge on my usual hourly rates to visit clients for appointments, and that usually acts as effective leverage to encourage them to come see me instead. And besides, as numerous other posts have also noted, my office is a pretty cool place to hang out for an hour or two anyway. But with some clients, cost is no […]

Nov 162019

A highly unseasonable cold snap hit the Washington DC area (and, indeed, most of the United States west of the Rocky Mountains) this weekend, so Saturday morning found me relaxing indoors sipping a cup of Kopi Luwak with a shot of Remy Martin XO in it and my cat Twinkle curled up on the couch beside me, purring softly as I perused the latest edition of the Atlantic. Later, I would have to bundle up and brave the cold in order to attend a chamber music recital at Dumbarton Oaks with Cerise, but at the moment, I was quite comfortable watching the stiff, freezing breezes play in the bright autumn sunlight through the trees in my front yard. Then my […]

Oct 152019

As regular readers of this Web log know, I’m an Italian-American – my full name is Tom Collins Martini, and my father, now long retired, was a bartender at a Manhattan society hotel. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, he invented a number of modern martini cocktails and named his children after the ones of which he was particularly proud. All of this explains why my brother, Rob Roy Martini, brought his wife and son over to my home in Great Falls, Virginia on Monday, October 14 for dinner – to celebrate Columbus Day, an American holiday celebrated by Italian-Americans since 1792 and made an official federal holiday in 1971. Now, I would be the first to admit that we Italian-Americans […]

Sep 222019

The biggest single problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw It was another working Saturday which found me at the Round Robin Bar after my final consultation ended at seven thirty in the evening. There, I saw Farquhar, a DC staffer for the Biden campaign and McLoon, who works at the Executive Office of the President. As might be expected, both of them were drinking scotch and engaged in a heated discussion. McLoon hailed me as I walked by with my Botanist and tonic. “Collins!” he brayed. “Come over here and talk some sense into this jackass!” “He’s a Democrat,” I reminded McLoon as I joined them at their table. “Being a […]