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."

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