The Martin Family 2018

dan and nazy at mountains in Washington

The Martin Family in 2018: an endless supply of material for The Weekly Letter? Plots, settings and characters for epic poems? (Why does Dan think he’s got Odysseus genes?) Does anyone remember VHS? (And why didn’t Betamax prevail?) Who wanted NASA to paint the moon pink (or blue) as part of a spectacular gender reveal party? Where is Trickle Creek Boulevard? Would you work in a lab to get answers? (Answers about tango?)

Thimbles tumble into gurgling (high priced) watery chandeliers

Martin Family Christmas 1982 and 2018

How did Dan channel Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s Tomb? (In the garage?) Did he find a golden thimble? How many thimble-fulls of water did resident gophers redirect to The Martin Family hillside? What, besides medical care, costs more in Santa Barbara than it did in Zurich? Should you expect a chandelier to be bilingual? Can Azelle gurgle more cutely than a leaky irrigation system? Read More...

fireworks and clowns, circus and congress, boxes and helicopters

Nazy with the boys July 2018

Who turned off Santa Barbara’s natural and environmentally friendly air conditioner: the Pacific Ocean breeze? What is a ‘sundowner’? (Hint: It’s not cool.) Where did the circus find the loaner clowns? Who thinks that July 4th fireworks look like airplanes? Can The Martin Family use a helicopter to assist its move toward the ocean? What algorithm is used to put Dan on so many inappropriate postal mailing lists? (Hint: Dan is not interested in going to college.) How did Arrow and Tiger welcome Nazy’s return to Santa Barbara? Read More...

sun sets on rocky labyrinth as front loaded cookies crumble

naz and arrow in kitchen Dec 20176

Who dismantles the rocky labyrinth so skillfully constructed by Mitra and Tiger (with his dump truck, excavator and front loader)? Hint: Think sibling rivalry. What clue tipped Dan off about Tiger’s help in the kitchen? Will this year’s ‘rainy’ season actually coincide with any precipitation at all? What is magical about the number 20?


trojan horse invades soggy greek creek with tasty rice

with the cherry picker

Can Dan cope with the new political reality — his
orangeness? Is it possible for ‘stuff’ to displace an amount of ‘air’ sufficient to cause breathing problems in The Martin Family household? Is there any progress on the SRP (stuff removal project)? Who bought ‘THE” Trojan Horse — and left it Dan’s study? Can anyone to have so much checked baggage that it doesn’t fi inside Melika’s SUV? (Hint: Melika’s SUV has 18 wheels.) Why is this year’s rainy season so unusual? Read More...

Elvis, Yoda, test pilot and mime share sugar cookie photo op

Short family Dec 2016

Can holiday tradition (a double batch of sugar cookies) withstand challenge (a single batch)? Can sharing be taken a step too far? Will Melika’s costume closet, eh, room, eh, warehouse provide adequate inspiration for the annual Martin Family photo? Who gets to be Elvis? Will Tiger use The Force as Yoda or will force be needed to persuade Tiger to be Yoda? Can Nazy replicate a baby pose from the 70’s? Read More...

Amazon reigns on upside down graduation Christmas Tree light

Tiger at Swimming school graduation Dec 2016

Why didn’t the graduating Tiger wear a gown to go with his cap? Hint: He was also wearing a bathing suit at the time. Is it possible to string Christmas Tree lights the wrong way? Why is the obvious corrective move ‘illegal and dangerous’? (And why is explaining that to your wife equally dangerous?) Did Dan buy a Gulfstream 500 Jet on Amazon? Speaking of Amazon, what is two-step verification? Will Dan finish the annual Christmas Letter before Christmas. Read More...

Danceless Dan’s Diary Dangles Dandy Dusky Dutch Doodles

Arrow holding head Nov 2016

Can (11 year old) Melika do the impossible? (Hint: The ‘impossible’ is to find a dancer who is ‘worse than Dad’.) What kind parent dips a pacifier in honey? (And feeds a rotund newborn sugar water?) How did Nazy discover that there is no Dutch word for ‘refund’? What would you do when discovering that the ‘milk white bread’ you bought was ‘double baked’ and looked to be chocolate milk white? What other wonders were found in the Martin Family archives? Read More...

hilly formal dining motions to moon for new year portrait

dan and Nazy formal good

How did Atlanta’s hills facilitate Dan’s courtship of Nazy? What does the Pacific Ocean have in common with the South African Karoo? And, how is formal dining involved? Why didn’t the grand(est)son’s airplane to Miami have a stopover on the moon? Would you hire a cruise-based portrait photographer who suffers from seasickness? Why did the vernal equinox/Persian new year necessitate an emergency trip to Saks?

Jose Fettuccine tour guide overeats on Mexican porcelain

title slide

Where did they film ‘Night of the Iguana’? Can you see that setting without paying for a photo with a live iguana. (Hint: Does your tour guide have a brother with a pet iguana?] Will friends from Australia believe that the “only place to find opal” is Mexico? How does the “stick to the wall’ technique work for determining whether the pasta is ready? And how fast is a modern cruise ship? Read More...

white buckskin shoes polish multiple bistros on-board the Crown Princess

at san pedro port LA

How would you feel if your Mother ‘polished’ your favorite white suede shoes with liquid shoe polish designed for ‘Baby’s first shoe’? Would the pain impact your wardrobe decades later? Would your wife understand? And on the subject of white shoes, does everyone on a ship need to wear white? Is it possible to trick a headstrong 20 month old boy into riding in a stroller? What is as heavy as the Empire State Building and as long as the Holland Tunnel? Read More...

Butterfly migration delays plumbing tasks while Vancouver haircut genes dominate

mel in vancouver

Where can a thundering herd of migrating Monarch Butterflies close the US101 Highway? Hint: We live in California. Can Dan think of a way to use that natural event to shirk off a plumbing job? How will ‘genes’ and Vancouver history be applied to a ‘hair is in my eyes’ challenge? And why did Monster the Cat hide the gardening shears? Finally, reader advice is solicited about the identity of a giant insect discovered and ejected from The Martin Family residence. Read More...

sledding Hamsters in ugly sweaters text the NSA

nazy at manhattan beach

In the area of abrasiveness does sand trump snow? More to the point: would you try to sled down a sand dune? Should hamsters attend a Yankee Swap? Why is the NSA listening to Nazy’s shampoo? And how does Apple discourage iPhone replacement. (Hint: do not send a text message to Dan’s Lumina phone.) And, finally, where can you buy the ugliest Christmas sweater on the planet? Read More...

Rain slides Candle Inferno to rescheduled holiday trip

The Martin Family 1983 copy

How can a open air vent ruin a table cloth, clog a salt shaker and fill a wine glass with wax? More to the point - who forgot to close the vent? [Nothing would have gone awry if electric lights rather than candles had been used.] Darius booked flights well in advance. Darius booked a simple, direct itinerary. Could anything go wrong? [This is, of course, a rhetorical question.] Why is it dangerous to leave a washing machine running during a dinner party? And, did California really ‘store’ the water from the only storm of the season in the ocean? Read More...