what'll it be?

It’s been a long search, but I think I’ve found my drink.

It started with easy glasses of merlots in college or shots of vodka stinging with notes of jet fuel and ice.

I evolved into an affected post-grad sophistication of cosmos and the occasional apple martini. I’m still a little ashamed, though I find some redemption in that I’ve never done a keg stand or a body shot, and that I’ve never even considered a red bull and anything.

And then came the era of ampersands. Gin & tonic. Vodka & Cranberry. 7&7. And when I was feeling dirty, jack & coke. Made even better with a side of tater tots, mini corndogs and camel lights. Just once a year. Maybe twice.

But after years of uncertainty at the bar, I’ve found my drink: A dirty martini. Very dirty. With Hendricks.

It’s strong, but classy. That briny salt offsets a bone-chilling cold gin in a something of an elegant balance. Well, elegance with just a hint of an edge. A dash of punk rock. An eyebrow raised. Little ice crystals floating on top, cloudy and a bit bruised, a little rough around the edges, yet still smacking clean. Clear. Oh, and to order it The fact that it’s one of the sexiest damn drinks to order doesn’t hurt much either. Very dirty indeed.



My good friend, formerly known as noneifbysea has tagged me to divulge five things about myself you might not know. Here goes:

1. I have a bad, bad television habit.
I can't quit it, and I go through great lengths to justify my behavior, especially when it comes to a certain reality television show that rhymes with America's Next Top Model. It saddens me.

2. I have a weakness for quiz shows.
Wait, wait don't tell me and jeopardy make me very, very happy. I live for that smug feeling I get when I get the final jeopardy answer right and none of the contestants do. Ah, satisfying.

3. fruit hang-ups
I don't like fruit cut up by other people. Fruit salad, samples at the farmer's market, breakfast garnish. You name it. It creeps me out. As do red grapes. They seem dirty.

4. my favorite word
is murmur

5. I sing. All the time.
Jazz standards, mostly. As of late, it's "would you like to swing on a star," though "misty," "night and day," and "my reverie" are probably often overheard by my neighbors and neighboring cars too.


coffee pride

I'm sitting at Ritual, as is my Sunday ritual. I have a half pound of Guatemala el injertal freshly ground and waiting for me. The guy behing the counter asked what I got this week, and I told him. "You always make good choices," he said. I didn't even know he was keeping track, or that he remembered me, as, to be honest, I didn't remember him.

"You liked the Rwana," he said.
"Yeah. I did. I tried the, what was it, the chamberi last week, and I don't know, it put me a little on edge, more jittery."
"It's a light roast, so there's more caffiene in it, "He explained."

It's not a bad time here. Not bad at all.

food in flight

There’s nothing new to discover on a plane. It’s the same upholstery, the same signage, the same smile-frozen flight attendants. The beverage service offers a nice break from the awkward shuffle from book to ipod to computer to magazine. Though I drink it nowhere else, I’m compelled to get a ginger ale on the plane. Seems to make sense. Like root beer with pizza.

And all I’m expecting to go with my soda is one hermetically sealed snack mix. But, it seems United is tentatively stepping up to confront the no-food-on-the-plane criticism by offering an assortment of snack boxes for $5 a apiece, the contents of which are located on page 197 of the in-flight magazine.

With a per diem to burn, I reached unabashedly into the seat pocket in front of me and swiftly flipped the magazine to page 197. I studied the contents of each box carefully, weighing one option against the other. Yes, I am in the mood for lavosh crackers, but that mini-toblerone does sound really good. What’s the trade-off, a latte candy? What is that? Ok, this one I’m writing off, just because it seems too junk foody- aloutte cheese spread, crackers, milano cookies. No, if I was feeling indulgent, I’d go there. This one, way too 7-11. Meaty steak bites? Tortilla chips, salsa, trail mix. Wait a minute. If I could just ignore the steak bites, I think I could get behind this. They are so compiled without rhyme or reason that I look to the titles to guide me in their thinking;

Beef bites, baked chedder cheese snacks, stoned classics all-natural blue tortilla chips, salsa, honey coated trail mix, mrs field’s milk chocolate chip cookie.
For this one the people who put this together got their nephew really stoned, armed him with $10 and pushed him inside a 7-11 and whatever he got, went into the quick-pick.

Rite Bite
One can lemon pepper tuna, organic crackers, pita chips, Wild Garden Hummus, gouda cheese slice, newman’s own organic raisins, mini-toblerone.
Big organic thanks you for the nod, United. It’s bad you’ve been driving your knees into my back for the last three hours. But now I have to smell you eating tuna for the next one? Have the united people ever been in an office before?

lavosh crackers, white chedder, sunspread (whatever that is), peach applesauce, latte candy. I can’t for the life of me figure out what the organizing principle of the jumpstart might be. Maybe this is the high carb/ intense protein combination? Or maybe it’s in reference to the coffee candy? Either way, why do you want to get all jumpstarted when you’re just going to sit in a tube for another few hours.

Hormel hard salami bites, rondel cheese spread, venus stoned wheat crackers, applesauce (noted as unsweetened, for no logical reason) chips, milano cookies

This I though of as the junk food one, what with the Hormel and the milano cookies. But then the whole unsweetened applesauce is thrown in and I’m not sure what to make of it. I certainly don’t think it’s a meal. Mini or otherwise.

Outbound, I choose the Quick Pick. On the way back, the Rite Bite. I guess I’m drawn to the rhyme scheme. With both, I pick and choose the most edible pieces, looking wistfully at the stranger’s selection next to me, wondering if it would be too bold to ask to trade my Newman’s Own Organic Raisins for his stoned classics all natural tortilla chips. I stare too long. He hurriedly packs up his food and dons an eye mask to feign sleep while I wonder if I should have chosen the Mini-Meal instead.