Archive for the 'poesy' Category

Before a bath

‍‍כ״ט שבט ה׳ תשע״ג - Friday, February 8th, 2013

What then is the value of a dialectic of intertextual reference?  Pretension, maybe, certainly true at times, but usually a charge from the illiterate egoist.  Validation, (either or both) establishing the credentials (of entry, consideration, engagement) of the author and a guarded gate in the name of esotericism – only the chapter headings, and not before anyone save the rare meritorious ear.  Perhaps it is the popular version of the latter; a method of revered scholars as emulated by followers, granted prestige as dialect, but stripped of its mysterious functionality, or at least lowered to code switching of a sort – putatively “Number 34″; “You didn’t tell it right” or conversely(!), a popular register – “at Tanagra” – that the cautious scholar imbued with new functionality to suit his exclusionary purpose.  In all of these, it could merely be the value of time vs. space, the efficacy of a cultural lookup table, or (perhaps as exactly here) where there is no common understanding as drawing upon diversity in basic references from often mutually exclusive groupings.  If then, if me(?), then a smattering of all, and Google and critical notes and if kind and of a popular mindset, href, remedies much.


‍‍כ״א חשון ה׳ תש״ע - Saturday, November 7th, 2009

There are distinct smells to seasons, and in New York, this is not limited to the floral dawn of spring.  Here, at least, the smells are decisive heralds, for once they come, they and their season do not leave until complete.

Winter’s is perhaps my favorite of these, and as of yesterday afternoon, it seems Fall has drawn to an early close.  You can never be sure what precisely produces it – it is the amalgam of all things grey: woolen clothing, the smoke of roasted nuts, the exhaust of overtaxed cars. Appropriately, it arrived a few hours after the victory parade for the Fall Classic.

Given these circumstances, and that relocating to the South is at its most uncertain today, necessity mothered me with:

Winter Tea

3.5 oz Rye
2 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Grenadine
Lemon Bitters

Bring Rye, Simple Syrup, and Grenadine to a boil, pour into mug, add vermouth cold, add bitters.

The drink can obviously be overly sugary, so add water and time to the boil according to taste.  In the alternative, a weaker but still enjoyable concoction can be had by mixing this with hot tea. I used green tea (shamefully from a bag) in a 3:2 tea to “Tea” ratio.  The trick is to boil the alcohol while waiting for the tea to steep.  Pour the hot alcohol, then the cold alcohol, then the tea.

Be careful with high proof drinks and fire.

15 minutos de fama : the odd consequences and burdens of educated speech.

‍‍י״ב תמוז ה׳ תשס״ט - Saturday, July 4th, 2009

It is a curious effect of copy and paste, of quote and translation.  Today, one can easily find fifteen minutes of fame, in the most literal of senses.  This is not news.

The oddity is that you can find that you were famous months after the fact.

Back in February, when Facebook was considering some controversial TOS changes, I was (apparently) early in joining one of the the Facebook protest groups.  Now admittedly, I did care about the TOS issue: I posted items and used my status message to try and raise awareness.  I made one or two wall posts in said protest group.  Mostly, I wanted to clarify that the TOS wasn’t seizing copyright ownership, but the distribution license had onerous consequences.  I then said that in response, I deleted my uploaded photographs, save a profile picture or two.

Now, mind you, I have no precise idea what I said : after Facebook abandoned the proposed terms, I quit the group.  With many such Facebook groups having been formed, and hundreds of thousands of users joining them, and in turn, generating thousands of posts and threads, my original is sufficiently misplaced.

None of this would be of any interest to me – or to any right thinking individual – but for the curious addendum.  A couple of weeks ago, I googled variants of my name to see where this site was showing up.  Lo and behold, by page three, nearly all the links were in Spanish.  This was of particular curiosity to me, as my Spanish aptitude never progressed beyond some Fs and Ds in high school classes.  (Immersion methods do not work well with me, unfortunately, it took me years to figure this out and learn what does.  Another story for another time.)  Apparently, some tech writer for the EFE news service needed a quote for his piece on the TOS changes – and the user response – and quoted me.  In turn, this article was reposted and quoted by aggregators and blogs across the Latinternet.  This happens, nothing special.  However, since the original quoting was translated into a language I don’t speak or read, I had no idea until May, despite the EFE being the fourth largest news agency in the world.

Now, I cannot be certain why the original author quoted me (and I should point out, that while I don’t recall the precise wording, the translation entirely correlates with  my recollection of what I wrote) but I suspect it is because:

  • I wrote with a reserved, educated tone.
  • I separated my understanding of the situation from my response.
  • I sounded like I knew what I was talking about.
  • I am from New York.

To invoke a bit of Cialdini, the first two strike me as social liking through identification.  The first point results in a tone similar to modern journalism, and not only garners the sympathy of a writer accustomed to the style, but in using a similar style, it fits smoothly into a newspaper piece.  Similarly, the second is akin to an editorial response or, more liberally, the conclusions of a reporter.

Coupled with the a writing style, (I’m glad the reporter kept the “permissive and perpetual” bit in Spanish – I liked it enough to remember) simply sounding like I had read the new TOS and was capable of calmly correcting others probably secured me a air of authority.  Finally simply being from New York (my primary Facebook network), which the reporter did specify in the quote attribution, is both identifiable and desirable from a global perspective.  This is certainly liking and authority at play – a well spoken, informed, urbane “expert” from an international city says… – but also maintains a smooth flow for the reader who already has some idea where New York is, as opposed to stopping to wonder what or where Buffalo is.

Still, this story is just a an anecdote, a curiosity of a google search, and the subsequent analysis somewhat facile and obvious.  The lesson is not:  if you choose to write with a certain style, you will “speak” louder than others in a written medium.  Make sure that you want those words repeated: if you write well-formed drivel or masterful and erroneous prose, you may find the echo much louder than expected and the ringing criticism deafening.

This is the burden of educated speech, whether educated in fact or in tone: if you write with care, have a care with what you write.

Very strong and very cold.

‍‍כ״ה אדר ב' ה׳ תשס״ט - Friday, March 20th, 2009

Is the right way to drink gin. To wit,  an (obvious) martini variant I made up the other week:

The Brandon

2 oz Gin
1 oz Cranberry Schnapps
4 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters

Pour the schnapps into a chilled cocktail glass, coat the insides
Pour out the cocktail glass into the mixing glass.
Add Gin, Bitters, stir, double strain.
Garnish with a large orange slice or cherry.

Nothing brilliant here – other than the taste – it just restores the bitters from the classic Martini recipe, replaces sweet vermouth with cranberry schnapps, and uses the Peychaud’s to add contrast in the finish. Some things to note – since quality kosher vermouth is hard to find (Stock, Cinzano, and Martini & Rossi only have hechshers in Israel, the US Kedem vermouth it not good enough to burn, let alone drink) – this allows a nice kosher alternative to the traditional Sweet Martini.

Since neither Peychaud nor Regan carry hechshers, they do need to be substituted.  I added the (considerable amount of) Peychaud’s to give the drink an anise flavor, so perhaps a teaspoon or less of such that flavor in a  red or clear liqour might stand in – arak or ouzo should work; Sambuca is probably too sweet.  As for the Regan’s,  one or two dashes of Angostura mixed with orange oil or zest could stand in.  If you grate rather than twisting the oil from the zest, double strain with a mesh strainer.  Hell, do that anyway.  Ice fragments ruin this drink.

Don’t use more than 3 oz Gin or the drink will lose its particular charm.  If the cocktail is poured to the lip of the glass, the in and out (coating) is pointless.

Finally, since it seems I’m posting odd news stories today:
Man shoots and wounds his daughter after she pours out his gin

I shot a man in Reno, cause he spilled my rye.

forgotten pleasures

‍‍י״א טבת ה׳ תשס״ט - Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

a list too long-
but I remember now to include mania

too soon will I remember its cost,
a forgotten malaise

and the her, unhad.

Can’t be fooled.

‍‍ו׳ טבת ה׳ תשס״ט - Thursday, January 1st, 2009

The children are right.  It is not an indictment; it is reconciliation.

The academics are right, albeit inadvertently so:  German is beautiful; the fault lies in those to whom its legacy is bestowed.

(D)er schreibt wenn es dunkelt nach Deustschland.