The Oligarchs Wish You A Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas All!


As usual, Scott and I are dropping you this missive inside our impeccable Christmas Cards. We know full well you haven’t been able to keep up with the Jones’ activities and your own humdrum little lives at the same time (a camp reference to Singing in the Rain, by the way). This brief note should catch you up with all our goings-on, and we expect to receive similar photocopy letters from you too! Our secretaries will summarize them for us.


On the music and drama scene, I received a remarkable honor – Stockard Channing actually sent her last Tony Award to me and a note to the committee that chastised them for “not recognizing my distinctive contribution to the musical theatre this last decade.” I think that was very decent of Stockard, to see so clearly what I’ve done for New York. As far as my band goes, Dave Matthews dropped by to visit, and while here, he traded some pointers for his version of All Along the Watchtower / Stairway to Heaven for a raw recording of Moment in Time (on his iPhone, how cute is that?). You can expect the Dave Matthews Band to pull out our little number (composers Archer and Randall) on their next tour. Dave wanted me on board as a djembe player, but I told him my first loyalty belonged to Blake Lake, so I couldn’t join the DMB. Expect Dave at Open Mike this fall at the Big Moose, keeping up his ongoing relationship here.


Well, you know how Scott has been volunteering for everything since he shed Corporate World’s monied hallways. He was instrumental in establishing rehabilitation retreats for the Wall Streeters who were crushed, simply crushed, and never recovered from the Lehman Brothers moment. We’ve hosted a few away days for the senior staff of Bank of America / Merrill Lynch (what an appropriate name) here at the Resort, and just last week, Scott talked to Warren Buffett about how to retire gracefully. I knew when Scott joined the board of International Adopt a Rescue Pet that we would end up with a new animal around the mansion, but I never dreamt it would be a Bison. You know, a Rescue Buffalo. We call him Woolly Bully and he’s just the sweetest thing. Of course, Woolly presents some disadvantages. The conservatory floor where he sleeps sags a bit since he literally weighs a ton and the whole back of the estate smells like wet carpet. Also, Woolly loves limousine leather car seats, but that will teach our old Governor to drive out here and ask for our support anyway. For those of you who have been clamoring for more videos of Woolly Bully on the website, my webmaster has put one up that shows Bully running with the elk up here and one where the sweetie threatens a bear.


As far as the new career – writing – Scott’s memoir of the Company meltdown has now outsold all the books about Enron and the BP oil spill combined. I think the gratuitous sex and the stories about the drug cartel really put the book over the top – all true of course. As far as his literary efforts, most of you know Scott was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and rumors flew about for the Nobel Prize in Literature, but once again some persons with degrees from Oxford and Cambridge and home addresses in Khartoum and Kuala Lumpur beat him out. I say, good for them, to show that the rest of the world has some talent. Scott did receive a very nice letter though from Howard Bahr who runs the Faulkner Foundation and writes a bit himself. Howard told Scott not to mind too much, because either prize would kill him in the market for the airport thriller books. Cashing the big checks every year outweighs silly literary honors, don’t you think? Besides, Scott wants to try biography – one on his hero, Harold Wilson, OBE, who was gay it turns out, much to our chagrin.


We’ve travelled less this year. Outside of the month in Provence at Mimi’s, where I laid out a new formal garden for the Countess in a style I call Dutch Druzy Topiary, we journeyed out to Pamplona. I’ve always wanted to run the bulls and Scott has always wanted to shoot the bull (sorry, a little middle-class sophomoric humor). Alas, neither was fated to be – we arrived late because the driver drove the rented Bentley into a ravine outside of Madrid. Just a day late but what a difference! A pokey old town full of cow dung. We also made the summit of Everest this year, which fulfills a lifelong dream. The two miniscule Sherpas who carried each of us up (four all together, plus forty-five for the luggage and food) were just the nicest things. We’ve promised to get their children into Stanford and Radcliffe. Next year, Bert Rutan has promised me he’ll fly moi into space in his private orbiter. None of that irritating waiting-in-line for the commercial flight. He has been out to the estate any number of times and occasionally hang-glides off our cliff with Scott.


On the family front, my illegitimate love child by Picasso (I was so so young) was appointed an assistant director at the Louvre, the youngest ever. I understand Pablo Jr. has made some great scores on Mesopotamian and Persian antiquities, which are coming on the market from who knows where? Scott’s favorite cousins, the twins, will be released from the Federal Corrections system early next year without anyone ever having discovered where the one hundred million dollars went – fancy that! Scott says the annualized take nets out at ten mill each, not counting investment growth, and they had zero expenses the last five years. We’ve been down to Costa Rica to buy a house for them and hire staff. A small thing really, only 10,000 square feet and a team of four. Of course, the twins always preferred to cater or dine out so merely four servants shouldn’t be a hardship. As far as family business, the Trust has reported that, due to its backing of Czech arms sales into Iran, Somalia, and Congo (and they used to be such charming places), the family assets beat the market by 20%. We think tobacco, domestic beer, asbestos, and coal are the next contrarian investments to examine (take notes on this one!). Botox and handguns provided stellar profits, but the market is about to collapse from saturation, so rebalance your portfolio.


Well, that’s about it for this year. We have to wing our way out to San Diego this evening to check out a classic birdcage Maserati Scott is considering, so we have to close for now.


Ta ever so,


Sandy and Scott