Friday, December 29, 2006

More Tallula...

I really loved this restaurant. Just posting what my companion and I ate was enough for one post so I decided to cut it short and continue my professions of love another day. Today is another day. I want to talk about the food. I've also been eating like I never heard of Weight Watchers so now seems like a good time for that.

As the king told Alice in Lewis Carroll's tale, "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." I shall do so.

Baby Burger
This was delightful. I'm not foodie enough to give the proper descriptions of flavor, mouthfeel, etc. but I know what I like and what I don't. This bite of beef was exquisite. It was moist and flavorful and I would love a full-size version one day.

Risotto Fritter
Mmmmm. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.... MMMMMMmmmm!!! It was crispy-ish on the outside and wonderfully creamy on the inside. The reddish-orange sauce was perfectly spiced.

Mahi-Mahi Ceviche
I really, really liked this. I'm so glad my companion ordered it because I'm still not sure I'm pronouncing "ceviche" correctly. I know I live in Redneckville. I just don't want to proclaim it with improper pronunciations. I wonder if I can point at it on menus and pretend I'm having a coughing fit or something.

Duck Spring Roll
I've never met a duck I didn't like. This was no exception. I was curious about the gastrique. The first time I'd heard the term was on Top Chef and it was used by a very pretentious contestant. I loved the gastrique. It was the perfect match to the tender duck in the crispy wrapper.

Steak Tartare
This was my absolute favorite of the Amuses. Beef? Cheese? Capers? Mustard? Completely drool-worthy and I want more. Now.

Liptaur on Crostini
While nothing was bad at Tallula, this was my least favorite Amuse item. The crunch was nice. The taste was nice. Goat cheese is always good. Quark? I don't know quark. I suppose I shall Google it at some point. It was okay. If I have the good fortune to find myself at Tallula again, I will pass on the Liptaur and get more Steak Tartare.

I raved about the salad (especially the cheese) with my last blog post so I'll just skip re-reviewing that and continue the dreaming of it.

Tuna Tartare
The mix of flavors in this was unexpected and completely delicious. The pineapple puree was the best little bit of sweetness for the creaminess of the avocado and the cool firmness of the cucumber. Icing on the cake? Sweet potato chips. I loved every single bite I took.

Goat Cheese Ravioli
I just had a bite of this. I thought grabbing the plate from my delightful dining companion and inhaling her food would be just a little bit impolite. I managed, barely, to restrain myself. Fortunately, I had something delicious waiting for me on my own plate.

Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras
I'd never had foie gras before that night. I wasn't sure I'd like it. So, with all the lovely choices before me, one might ask why I chose the foie. Stupid government interference, that's why. Now, I'm not going to turn my second "I love Tallula" post into a rant about intrusive government but I will say that Chicago's ban of foie gras is what influenced my decision to order it. I thought I'd better try it before other cities jumped on the BANdwagon.

I loved it. It was creamy and hearty and delicious and I want to eat it again. I'll probably eat a few more trans fats before it's all said and done, too.

As for the desserts, I love desserts. While I'm usually a Creme Brulee purist, I enjoyed the Pear Brulee. The sorbets were not in flavors I would normally think of for sorbets but I thoroughly enjoyed them. Cookies are my weakness. I love cookies. Both desserts had cookies. By the time we got to the dessert portion of our meal, I was way outside of my Comfort Zone (thanks, Weight Watchers) but I. DID. NOT. CARE. There were cookies! And creamy brulee and sorbet! And Tawny Port!

Excuse me. I'm going to go think about exercise for a while. It IS the thought that counts, right?

(Thank you, Chef Nathan, thank you!)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Dinner at Tallula!

A few weeks ago, I dined at Tallula Restaurant with a dear friend who lives in the area. Nathan Anda is the chef and my dining companion is well known to him. Chef Nathan and the general manager sent us a bottle of wine they thought we’d like (Tittarelli Bonarda – completely new to me and thoroughly enjoyed). My companion and I decided not to get entrées but, instead, chose from the Amuse Your Mouth menu to start, followed by a salad, and then two appetizers each (in place of the entrée) and dessert.

From the Amuse Your Mouth portion of the menu:
(These are two-biters, designed to share. We split each of these.)
Baby Burger - black truffle butter, red onion marmalade
Risotto Fritter - roasted corn & scallion, romesco sauce
Mahi-Mahi Ceviche - citrus & green onion vinaigrette
Duck Spring Roll - confit leg, chipotle chili, orange gastrique
Steak Tartare - Dijon mustard, capers, Parmesan cheese tuile
Liptaur on Crostini - quark & goat cheese spread, micro salad

It was a hard call to determine which was my favorite but the steak tartare edged out the others for the win. For our beverage with this course, she had a glass of 2004 Santa Barbara Chardonnay and I had the 2003 Kunde Viognier.

Our salad was the Spicy Greens Salad - with pecorino vecchio, truffled acacia honey, pumpkin seed vinaigrette, aged balsamic. The salad was delightful but I fantasized about a plate piled high with the cheese and sauce. Chef Nathan then sent us a treat of a beef tenderloin served with duckfat-fried potatoes and sliced crimini (I think) mushroom with some kind of heavenly reduction.

For our entrée made of appetizers, we both had the tuna tartare. She also had the ravioli and I had the foie gras. The menu description follows.

Tuna Tartare - avocado, cucumber, crispy sweet potato chips, citrus vinaigrette, & spiced pineapple puree
Local Goat Cheese Ravioli - maitake mushrooms, sauteed broccoli rabe, lamb sugo
Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras - sweet & sour quince, buckwheat crepe, blackberry syrup

We might not have ordered dessert. The chef just sent it out. I think he knew we were weight watchers and probably wouldn’t order it. With this, we had the Taylor Fladgate 10-Year-Old Tawny Port.

Pear Brûlée - Poached Pears, Ginger Snaps
Sorbet Duo - Pomegranite and grapefruit, Shortbread Cookies

The atmosphere was lovely and I can't wait to go back once they finish the EatBar. The food was beyond exceptional. I've perused menus from my local establishments and they all are lacking. I live in a culinary wasteland.

I long for Tallula where there are 70 wines offered by the glass, where the food is decadent and delicious, where dining is an experience, and where the people who provide it love food and enjoy sharing that love with others.

Allow me to share one final appreciation for Tallula. How can you not love a place that categorizes the wines by the glass in such a creative way? (From their menu)

Tickling Your Nose
' think of the soil' (Earthy Reds)
'Exuberance After the Crush' (Fruity Reds)
'...but your color was seductive' (Medium-Bodied Reds)
'And With a Touch of Spice Turned the Red Face into a Shadow of Delight' (Spicy Reds)
'The Angelic Side of Hedonistic' (Full-Bodied Reds)
'Summer in a Bottle' (Lighter Style Whites & Rosés)
'Spring & Fall in a Glass' (Medium-Bodied Whites & Rosés)
'Wickedly Ponderous' (Full-Bodied Whites & Rosés)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Random Thought #2: Travel Notes

I'm on the road (or in the air) again. I've mentioned my affection for airport bars. That remains true. Tonight's blog is just a few random thoughts from my travels today.

* There's a spit of land on approach to the Detroit airport that looks just like a sperm.

* I love the Sky Box at the Detroit airport.

* Always get a sleeve for your hot Starbucks beverage.

* Religious dicussions in airport bars CAN be good.

* On the people movers - left is walk, right is stand.

* Some airport employees are not AT ALL familiar with their airport.

* You can do good deeds anywhere you go.

* It blows people's minds when you switch from reading Nietzsche to reading Harold Robbins.

* Not all babies will scream through the flight.

* Sometimes, the people sitting next to you will smell like pee.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Return Your Cart Here ~or~ People Irritate Me - Chapter 2

Why is it so hard for some people to return their shopping cart to the cart return?

This really pisses me off in a great, big way. First of all, it's lazy. Now, if someone's lazy, that's not really my business BUT if their laziness causes damage to my car, it becomes my business. Plus, in the general, be good to the world, be considerate of your fellow humans way, it's just rude.

A loose cart in a parking lot can roll into someone's car. Have you ever priced getting one of those dings in your door fixed? It's not cheap.

Let's look at another aspect of it. Do you think those store employees who retrieve the carts are making a lot of money? If you do, you're very much mistaken. Minimum wage is probably the norm. So, instead of these folks going to a cart return and gathering the carts and bringing them back into the store, they're forced to wander the parking lot retrieving the carts one at a time. Have you ever retrieved a line of carts from a parking lot? I have. Granted, it was many years ago but it's not an easy job. It's one cart to you. It's lots of carts, all day long, for these people.

I've heard arguments for leaving the cart. "It's their job to get them." "The cart return wasn't convenient." "I don't want to leave my kids in the car." Bullshit. The cart return is there for a reason. If you have a problem walking a few extra feet to return the cart, park next to one. Kids? You got them to the cart, didn't you? And what are you teaching them? Leave your stuff wherever you like with no regard to other people? Nice lesson.

Put the cart in the corral. Please? Even better, take it back to the store. It's a good deed and we could all use a little more exercise.

Oh, and don't leave your trash in the cart, either.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Here's a Tip for You

One of my favorite blogs is Slashfood. One of their recent topics was a review of a Michael Bauer blog entry. Bauer is the restaurant critic for the SF Chronicle and his blog entry was about service charges at restaurants.

The Slashfood article, "From Tipping to Service Charges" inspired some comments from U.S. diners as well as some from folks in other countries.

My comment on the article was:
I tip appropriately. If the service is good, I give 20%. If it's fantastic, I'll tip much more. Especially at restaurants or bars that I visit frequently, I get excellent service.

I also tip appropriately if the service is horrible. There's only been one instance where I tipped nothing.

Since I always pay with a credit or debit card, I also write an explanation or note of appreciation on the signature slip. Then, the server and the manager doing the receipts later have no doubt as to why the tip was less than stellar or over the top.

It would be wonderful if our servers were paid at least minimum wage. Since they're not and this is no secret to them, I'd think they'd work to make the service good and, hopefully, make up the difference in tips.

Bauer's Blog is here and the tipping article's permanent link is "Beyond the Tipping Point.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bank Fee Rant

My bank doesn't charge me any fees unless I happen to overdraw my account. That hasn't happened in a very long time. This is not a rant about my bank. This is just a general, that doesn't seem fair, kind of rant.

I was given a check the other day to reimburse me for some expenses I'd had in caring for someone. Since that person doesn't bank at my bank, I went to their bank to cash the check. I needed to have the cash immediately (long, boring story).

First of all, I had to go into the bank. Minor irritation because it was really cold but I can understand the reasons they have non-members come in to a teller.

When I got to the counter, I saw the sign that said I would have to pay a $3 fee to have the check cashed. The sign stated that checks over $100 would be assessed this fee. So, I could have had the check writer make out two checks (more work for her and the teller) and not pay the fee.

This is what irritates me: By cashing the check, they are performing a service for their customer. They are also making an impression on a potential new customer. This was not a good impression.

I could understand charging a fee for cashing a check from another bank. I could understand charging a fee if I was asking them to make out a cashier's check or a money order for me, a non-member. I wasn't. I brought a check from one of their members into their bank and wished to exchange it for cash.

So, I've wasted a lot of mental energy being irritated at a bank over three, measley dollars. The thing is, it's not just that three dollars. It's a combination of random taxes and surcharges and handling fees and delivery fees and activation fees and more all tacked on to the price of an item or service.

I don't like it. I don't like it one, little bit.

EDIT/ADD: I've decided to find a friend who banks at that bank. I will give them $100 and ask them to let me fill out 50 checks, each for $2.00. Then, I will go stand in line, wait, and hand the checks to the teller. I think I just found my vindictive bone.

Friday, December 01, 2006

People Irritate Me - Chapter One

I go to McDonald’s every Tuesday morning with my mother after we go to Weight Watchers. We get our Modified McMuffins* and our apple slices and our coffee. While we eat, we discuss how we did that week and what we’re going to do to have a good loss at the scale the following week.

Mom orders, I fill our water cups and get napkins, salt & pepper, and straws while she waits at the counter. I did my thing then sat down and indulged in one of my favorite pastimes: people watching.

I watched one man get up and leave his tray, piled with trash, on the table. He walked out of the restaurant, got in his car, and drove away. Another man sat down with his cranky, pouting child and proceeded to eat his breakfast while his son refused to eat. After he finished, he got up and left his tray, piled with trash, on the table. He and his son walked out of the restaurant, got in their car, and drove away.

Always better at excusing the actions of others than they are themselves, I tried to excuse why they did that. Maybe they realized they were late and just didn’t have time? No. Both men strolled out at a casual pace. Neither seemed to have any physical limitation that would hinder carrying the tray to the trash can. Both were fully able to carry a full tray from the counter to their table. Had I missed a sign stating they should leave their tray? No. The trash can and tray return were NOT inconveniently located. They were right by the exit door.

What is it with people?? Were they never taught to pick up after themselves? Do they leave their trash behind everywhere they go? Do they always expect that someone else will clean up their messes? I just don’t get it.

The whole thing started a random, rambling thought process in my head. It’s okay. That’s normal for me. I do that. I’ll go off on a tangent that seems completely unrelated to the current topic and, if you wait around long enough, I get back to the original topic. Usually, I end up tying the whole ramble together in a cohesive fashion. Sometimes, I don’t. See, that’s where the fun comes in – you never know. Back to my story…

I started thinking about how when my kids were at home they’d just leave their stuff all around the house. Glasses on the coffee table, toys and clothes on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink but rarely did anything end up where it belonged. They just assumed I’d pick it up or clean it up and it would be where they expected the next time they needed a glass/their toy/their clothes/a dish. Even now, when my son is home from college, I’ll walk out into the office and find a half-empty water glass on the desk.

I’ve failed to teach him that personal responsibility thing. Or, maybe, I’m just a doormat. He’s very considerate of other people and of public spaces. I hope he is when I’m not with him. I hope he’s not Mr. McTrayLeaver when he’s out with his friends.

I think I’m going to have to come back to this topic. My ramble has taken me off track and I’m out of ramble-time for the day.

*Regular Egg McMuffins made with no butter and a slice of tomato added. We then squeeze a packet of hot salsa on the muffin. Not bad. Not great but not bad, either.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Censorship? Not Quite.

There’s a new movie out in the theaters. It’s about the Dixie Chicks and something to do with the fallout from their comments at a concert. That’s all I know about it because I don’t keep up with the Chicks. I agree that the Dixie Chicks exercised their "right to free speech." I have a problem with when and where they expressed their opinion.

The people attending that concert or any other concert did not pay their hard-earned money to hear the political opinions of the trio. They paid to be entertained. The Dixie Chicks have gained the publicity they have because of their talent as singers and musicians. To use that fame as a means for political posturing is inappropriate.

The Chicks want to let the world know how they feel about our presence in Iraq or our President? That's just fine. Hold a press conference. Put a link to "Our Political Stand" on their website. Write a song about it and let the fans decide. Start an organization with other like-minded celebrities. Give it a catchy name that leaves no doubt that their mission is not connected to their creative and artistic talents but rather, is to state and support their political views.

Using a concert stage, the Grammys, the Emmys or any other venue where the public is attending because of their appreciation of an artist or artists to state a political viewpoint is inappropriate. Imagine a speaker at the Democratic or Republican National Conventions breaking into song in order to showcase their artistic talents -- equally inappropriate.

The radio station owners who discontinued playing Dixie Chicks music and the fans who have turned their backs on the Chicks are expressing their opinion -- not intimidating and punishing or censoring the Chicks. They are voting with their dollars and that's what seems to work better than almost anything in our society.

Since the government has not restricted the Chick's ability to say what they think, it IS NOT censorship or a violation of the right to free speech. Screaming censorship seems to be an attempt to cloud the issue and undo the damage done to their fan base.

The radio station and music store owners who pulled the Dixie Chicks from their line-ups were either business owners who were doing what they thought was best for their business or they were individuals expressing their opinion. If the radio stations or music stores were state or government owned and they decided to pull the Chicks, well, I guess I would consider that censorship. They weren’t. They were privately owned and reacted to the comments of their customers. There are plenty of online stores where fans could buy the CDs and play them if they wanted to support the Dixie Chicks.

While I don’t identify with any political party, that’s not to say that I don’t have strong political beliefs on a number of subjects. I just keep my politics and my entertainment separate. When I go to a concert or listen to the radio or play a CD, it’s a kind of therapy for me. Music helps me escape from the stress of my everyday life or deal with emotion. With entertainment awards shows on the rare occasion I watch them, I’m there for escape. It’s light. It’s fluffy. I don’t want to hear about politics from entertainers. I’ll read the news for that. I’ll discuss the issues with enlightened, intelligent people who are willing to accept that their viewpoint isn’t the only one. Don’t sucker me in by making me think I’m going to be entertained only to blindside me with some political bullshit that’s going to raise my blood pressure. I don’t care if you’re spouting something I agree with or not. I don’t want to think about politics while I’m escaping for a little fun.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Hospitals Are Making Me Sick

Hospitals have been on my mind lately. People who go to hospitals, people who work in hospitals, food served in hospitals, parking fees charged at hospitals, and the smell of hospitals top my list today.

Between the young (my 4 month-old granddaughter) and the old (my man’s 70 year-old mother), I’ve spent a good deal of time with family and kind-of-family in hospitals recently. My back is paying the price for sleeping in uncomfortable chairs as I kept watch. I feel safe whining about that now that the young and old are out of the woods and either home or on their way there.

I’ve seen excellent staff and mediocre staff and incompetent staff. I’ve learned that anyone in the hospital needs an advocate who can keep an eye on everything. Mistakes are made. I understand that we all have our “off days” but when your job is caring for sick people, you’d better make sure that your “off” moments are inflicted on inanimate objects or non-sick people. I’m generally an easy-going kind of gal but the lab folks were damned lucky I wasn’t there when they, unnecessarily, caused my granddaughter pain. There is much love in my heart for the nurses who fixed that problem.

You can see what I read (Look. Over there. Off to the right. See that list?). I like food. I’m not terribly picky. I thoroughly enjoy gourmet meals but Taco Bell can make me drool under the right circumstances. Because I love food and have a tendency to overeat, I belong to Weight Watchers (also on that list). Being forced to eat from a hospital cafeteria is not pleasing from either a drooling standpoint or a Weight Watcher-y one. You’d think a hospital would have healthy food options.

You’d be wrong.

Two dollars to park? This is doubled from six months ago. This is outrageous. I know what they’re charging for hospital stays and I know what they’re charging for craptacular food. It’s robbery, pure and simple.

I’ve been in the hospital recently, myself. It was just the emergency room but while I was waiting to be seen, I wrote the following:

Feh. Emergency rooms suck ass. Why am I here? Nearly passed out three times with chest pain. Not a good combo but most likely related to the cold I had for the past week and not being able to eat today. Still chest pain and nearly passing out means I’m sitting in this waiting room for going on three hours. Whatever. It sucks. The poor, the uninsured, the hypochondriacs and the truly ill or injured are here. I wonder what category is mine? Hopefully, I’ll find out before morning.

It turned out to be bronchitis and a sinus infection that were cleared up quickly with an antibiotic. I keep a little notebook with me at all times. If I’m bored or inspired or angry, I write. Lucky you, dear reader; you’ll get to read that drivel, too!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Random Thought #1: Anonymity in an Airport Bar

I have a fondness for airport bars. Somehow, they don’t have that air of desperation wafting through them like happy hour places. The patrons in airports are exciting; they’re going somewhere. They are merely killing time between one exciting flight and another and they all have an interesting story.

I’m different, too. When I’m in the airport bar, I don’t have laundry on the floor in stacks of whites, darks, and hand-washables. I don’t have a front flowerbed in dire need of weeding. No one knows that my fish tank looks like it’s filled with anti-freeze or that there’s something scary growing in that plastic container on the back of the third shelf in my refrigerator. The bartender has no idea that I have Eurekaphobia (fear of vacuums).

Yeah, it’s a nice little fantasy. I can’t wait for my next trip.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Almost Spoiled

I’m learning to spoil myself just a little bit.

Becoming a self-spoiled princess is my ultimate goal. That’s going to be a tough one. I’m what one friend calls the “I can do it myself gal.” I’m also speeding rapidly towards the age (am I already there?) where “princess” might be laughable. Do princesses build things? Work on cars? Hunt? Play pool?

Just recently, I’ve discovered the joy of pedicures. How could I have never experienced this?! The warm water, the foot and calf massage, the skilled nail gal? I’m sure there’s a proper term for her job. I don’t know what it is. Since I’ve never been what you’d call high maintenance or a girly-girl, I’m not familiar with the terminology. Her name is Faith and she’s an irreverent riot and I adore her.

This week my toes are reminiscent of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. This might be a bit much if it was sandal weather but since it’s autumn and my toes are appropriately and professionally covered most of the time, I’m okay with that.

I might fail at the princess thing but I think I’m getting the hang of letting myself be pampered* just a little bit. It’s about time.

*Disclaimer: In this instance, pampering does NOT apply to age-play. I mean, I’m okay with what you do with other consenting adults but it’s not my thing. Plus, that’s a topic for another day.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Silver Linings & Positive Thinking

A friend of mine once wrote about Silver Linings and it started a lovely conversation between a group of people. We were talking about how our difficulties in life can make us stronger, smarter, more sympathetic to others... in other words, look for the silver lining. My thoughts on the topic follow.

This topic reminds me of something I realized a while back but need to be reminded of on a regular basis: We don't know the pain our neighbor may have suffered. We look at people and see what they allow us to see. We may envy them and think they have it made or they've been lucky or admire their strength and success. We have NO IDEA the path they traveled to get to that point in life. We have no idea the heartache they suffered along the way.

I’m an optimist. I choose to be. I want to share my child-like joy in the beauty of everything with everyone in my life. I once called my mother and made her go out in her yard and look to the west because the sky was so absolutely the most beautiful shade of blue that I couldn't stand not sharing it (she questioned my sanity). Even when the dark clouds scare the shit out of me, I think they're beautiful. I think my rose-colored glasses are cemented to my head. Occasionally, they get muck on them and it's hard to see the beauty in life but I eventually find a way to wipe them off.

Of course, that's not to say that there haven't been times that were heartbreaking or so stressful I should have been in a rubber room (I was going to say straightjacket but those who know me know I'd enjoy that). There were times that were physically painful. There were times that were so emotionally devastating I thought my heart really would break. There were times when I thought I would snap but held it together because I didn't think I'd be able to find my way back. There were times I didn't care if I lived. Those were muck on the rose-colored glasses times.

I guess what I'm using too many words to say is that while I know there are tragedies and ugliness in the world, I have decided to focus my gaze on what's good and beautiful and awe-inspiring. I also know that even the muck, in retrospect, will have beauty or value later. I'll learn something about myself. I'll understand another person's pain and be able to comfort them. I'll understand that the deepest pain I may feel has a balance and that other side is a peak of joy that makes my spirit fly.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Not So Wordy, After All - or, Truth in the Midst of Bullshit

I am not living up to my name. Life sometimes interferes with my desire to write. The bullshit and drama of life sometimes interfere with my truth. If I can't live truth, I don't feel I can write it, either.

I'm struggling to find a way past this moment. I hope by forcing myself to blog something, anything, it will help me break free of this inertia.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Martinis. Martinis are made with gin or vodka and dry vermouth. In my opinion, a martini isn't a martini unless you use gin. Olives, onions or lemon twists are acceptable garnishes.

A Cosmopolitan is not a martini. An Appletini is not a martini. None of the cocktails currently being paraded as -tinis are martinis. If it has anything other than the ingredients in the above paragraph, it is NOT a martini. It is a cocktail.

If you put beer in a martini glass, it would not suddenly become a beertini. It would still be beer. Grape juice poured in a wine glass does not miraculously become wine. Tea poured in a coffee cup does not become coffee.

It's rather simple, my argument: The drink doesn't change because of the glass.

When I go to a bar and order a martini, the bartender should not begin rattling off all the whatever-tinis on the menu. He or she should ask, "Gin or vodka?" Or, perhaps, even better so as not to confuse those unfamiliar with a decent martini, "How would you like that prepared?" That's my favorite response. It's permission to be as picky as I like about my drink and I am picky (recipe to follow). I'm also a generous tipper. I may be a wordy bitch but I'm not a bitch. A half-way decent martini will gain my bartender 20% - more if it's perfect.

How I Like My Martini

Fill the martini glass with ice and a little water. While the glass is getting good and cold, pour the gin (Bombay Sapphire, is my favorite) over the ice in the shaker. Pour the ice and water out of the martini glass and pour in a tiny bit of dry vermouth. Swirl the vermouth around in the glass and then pour it all out. Swish the gin and ice around in the shaker just a bit then strain it into the glass over two olives. Blue cheese-stuffed olives are amazingly good in this. I’ve been able to sweet talk more than one bartender into making them for me. For this extra effort, the tip is substantial.

Despite my pickiness, I've only sent two martinis back. One because it was made with vodka and the other because it was "dirty." I can't drink a dirty martini. It reminds me of being knocked down by a wave at the beach and getting a mouthful of briny water. In fact, I'm feeling a bit queasy just thinking about it.

Friday, May 19, 2006

On Truth... and Change

Kahlil Gibran said:
Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'

I am very nearly a fanatic when it comes to the truth. There are many reasons for for my stance on truth and I'll probably put them down here over time. I won't do that today, though. Suffice to say, I've learned that Kahlil was right. There isn't one truth. We all have our own truths. I'm learning that the only way I can truly be happy in this life is to live my truth. I must live honestly within my own world or everything else is tainted. I've also learned over time that my truth will change.

Eric Hoffer said:
We can never really be prepared for that which is wholly new. We have to adjust ourselves, and every radical adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem: we undergo a test, we have to prove ourselves. It needs inordinate self-confidence to face drastic change without inner trembling.

Lobsang Lhalungpa said:
A person recognizes his spiritual potential when he looks at the problems of his existence ~ growth, old age, sickness, death ~ and sees that these are things he cannot change. But what he can change is his own attitude, his own way of looking at life.

Carl Rogers said:
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

Will Garcia said:
The first step toward change is acceptance. Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That’s all you have to do. Change is not something you do, it’s something you allow.

I accept change. Sometimes, I don't realize that's what I'm struggling against but when I do, I welcome it. It's a chance to grow, to learn, to evolve. As long as I remain true to whatever my truth may be or become, I am alive. When I refuse to change, to accept a new truth, that's when I die. As I said at the beginning of this post, truth is a big deal to me. I love what others have said about truth. It inspires me to remain true to myself.

Miguel de Unamuno said:
I shall be asked, "What is your religion?"
And I shall answer that my religion
Is to seek truth in life and life in truth,
Conscious that I shall not find them while I live;
My religion is to struggle tirelessly
And incessantly with the unknown.

If you decide to read my words, you'll find truth to be a common thread. You'll also find an overabundance of quotes. I'm a voracious reader and I love the inspiration I get from the words and truths of other people. As William Somerset Maugham said, "I quote others only in order to better express myself."

Welcome To My Blog

I'm opinionated.

I rant. I rave. I bitch. I moan.

I write.

Thanks for dropping in to read.