Having said nary a word, Professor Plum was about to leave with Ms. Scarlet when Chef asked if he’d read the mail. “Who, me?” Professor Plum asked.

Of course he had. (More)

Professor Plum and Ms. Scarlet then left to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, to spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor was fretting over Chef’s final bet. He had opened the pot with a raise and called Chef’s reraise with a pair of black Tens. The Ace and Ten of Hearts fell with the Six of Spades on the flop, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor checked his three Tens. To his surprise, Chef checked as well. The Six of Diamonds on the turn gave him a full house, and again the he checked. Now Chef bet the pot, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor called. The King of Clubs on the river seemed innocuous and, hoping for a call, the Professor of Astrology bet a third of the pot. Instead, Chef offered the minimum raise.

Might she have a pair of Sixes for four of a kind? That seemed unlikely, given her reraise before the flop. Had she bluffed with a pair of Kings on the turn and made Kings full on the river? Had she slow-played three Aces on the flop and made Aces full on the turn? Or did she have only Ace-King for two pair, quasi-bluffing with what she hoped might be the best hand? The Professor of Astrology Janitor ruled out a reraise, knowing Chef would not call without at least Kings full. The more he replayed the hand in his mind, the smaller his Tens full looked. Finally he folded.

Chef smiled and mucked her cards without showing. “You had Ace-King, didn’t you?” the Professor of Astrology Janitor asked.

“Who, me?” Chef replied with an amazingly accurate impression of Professor Plum.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor began his plaintive mewling and Chef went to the kitchen to make Pollo y Pimentos Frittatas, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I can’t believe the media are blaming House Republicans for not voting on the Senate immigration reform bill. We don’t want a repeat of what’s going on now with Obamacare. That bill, constructed as it is by the Senate, last-minute ditch effort to get it across the finish line. I think that there is a lot that could be done a lot better in that bill. Let’s be mindful of what happens when you put together a bill, like Obamacare, and the real consequences to millions of Americans right now, scared that they’re not going to even have health care insurance that they have today by – come January 1. And there are plenty of reasons for that. The mishaps with the websites, the call centers, the stolen identities … some of which could be blamed on the process by which it was put together. We don’t want to make that mistake again.

Eric in VA

Dear Eric,

We commend your creativity in finding a way to blame the Affordable Care Act for House Republican obstructionism on immigration. We also note that creative blaming is not the same as creative problem-solving. Your caucus have had months to prepare an alternative immigration reform bill, and you have done nothing except vote to deport DREAMers, immigrants whose parents brought them to the U.S. as children and who know no other home. That may be politically savvy for the 142 House Republicans who represent overwhelmingly white districts with fewer than 10% Hispanic residents, but it does nothing to fix our broken system or bring millions of undocumented immigrants into legal status. Neither does deflecting blame for your inaction onto the ACA, unless your statement was crafted to reinforce the conspiracy theory that the ACA is a giveaway to undocumented immigrants. And we suspect that was exactly your intention.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Just to clarify my comment to Jake Tapper about Pope Francis, it was not my intention to be critical of Pope Francis. I was reminding viewers that we need to do our own homework on news subjects, and I hadn’t done mine yet on the Pope’s recent comments as reported by the media. Knowing full well how often the media mischaracterizes a person’s comments (especially a religious leader’s), I don’t trust them to get it right when it comes to reporting on the Vatican. I do, however, trust my many Catholic friends and family, including some excellent Catholic writers, who have since assured me that Pope Francis is as sincere and faithful a shepherd of his church as his two predecessors whom I admired. I apologize for not being clearer in my response, thus opening the door to critical media that does what it does best in ginning up controversy.

Sarah in AK

Dear Sarah,

Who, you? That is, were you not on a book tour, who would care what you have to say?


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Is Chef’s recipe for Pollo y Pimentos Frittatas in Spanish? If so, can I get an English translation?

No Habla Español in Blogistan

Dear No Habla Español,

Chef is happy to say that her recipe for Pollo y Pimentos or Chicken and Banana Pepper Frittatas is in English. To make it, first mix ½ teaspoon each of paprika, cocoa powder, and dried cilantro with ¼ teaspoon each of black pepper, red pepper, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Stir the spice blend into ¼ cup of water, then cook ½ cup of diced chicken in a skillet over medium heat until just done. Stir in the spice blend and simmer until the liquid is evaporated, then stir in two seeded and diced banana peppers, cooking until the peppers begin to soften. Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium low and beat two eggs in a bowl, then pour the eggs over the chicken and peppers and cook until the eggs just begin to set up. Sprinkle ½ cup of cheddar cheese over the top and put the skillet under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the eggs are firm. Bon appétit!



Eric in VA; vote to deport DREAMers; 142 House Republicans who represent overwhelmingly white districts; conspiracy theory that ACA is a giveaway to undocumented immigrants.

Sarah in AK.


Happy Sunday!