April 1, 2007

Living in a manbot’s manputer’s world

Filed under: Film and Video — tomemos @ 10:52 pm

Two sources of bemusement encountered during a recent trip to Iowa:

1. A Martini is a cocktail made with gin or vodka and, optionally, dry vermouth. The drink is made more or less dry by adjusting the proportion of vermouth to gin or vodka; Winston Churchill supposedly said that it was sufficient to pass the vermouth cork over the glass. I will pretend, for the moment, to be a forward-thinking guy and allow that the category has expanded to include a glass of vodka or gin and a substitute for vermouth (for instance, sake). But I would still not include drinks like the Cosmopolitan and the Lemon Drop, no matter the shape of the glass they’re served in; these are perfectly fine cocktails, but they aren’t martinis, any more than a Jack and Coke is a Manhattan or a Tequila Sunrise is a Margarita.

In an Iowa City bar and grill, the “Martini Menu” contained 14 drinks. Of these:

  • 3 were made with regular vodka.
  • 6 were made with flavored vodka.
  • 5 were made with flavored rum.
  • None were made with gin.
  • None were made with vermouth.

2. Julie and I have started watching the first season of Lost on DVD. It’s a fun show so far, one that features an entertaining premise, considerable suspense, and satisfying, well-executed surprises. It also features characters broad enough to land a plane on.

I know there are plenty of twists coming, and since I’m writing this from inside a DVD time capsule some of what I write here may have been made obsolete before I even turned on the computer; nevertheless, I’ll take that risk and congratulate the show’s writers for putting the following people on one plane:

  • a Mancunian rock star who’s also a drug addict,
  • a young, blonde, Southern Californian woman who’s shallow and self-absorbed,
  • an Iraqi who was previously a torturer in the Republican Guard, and
  • an Asian woman who comes from a mysterious gangster family, and also knows the secrets of herbal medicine. And her husband is a cook! Ooh, maybe one of them knows martial arts, too!


  1. Readers! In Iowa City’s defense, we happened to be at the single most tacky restaurant in a ten mile radius because they were serving free sushi. Don’t worry – you can still get alcohol with integrity in Iowa. Just go to the Sanctuary or 126 instead of Formosa.

    Comment by girldetective — April 2, 2007 @ 7:15 am

  2. Actually, this was at that place with the baked potatoes. GD has a point, though, which is that this is not an Iowa City phenomenon; in fact, it’s a universal problem, and the evidence is that Iowa City, a classy town with classy gin joints, has begun to succumb to it.

    Comment by tomemos — April 2, 2007 @ 9:09 am

  3. Just remember to keep vermouth in your hip flask whenever you go out, and you’ll be fine.

    Comment by AM — April 3, 2007 @ 5:49 am

  4. Err….although I agree with your observation about the contents of a proper martini, have you been living under a rock or something? Fake-tinis have been the rage all over the entire country for, like, 4 years, minimum (and by all over, I am including more or less cosmopolitan [sorry, couln’t help it] cities like NY, DC, and…um…Portland).

    Appletini? Actually an Applecar. Then there’s the choco-tini, razz-tini, lemontini, or vanilia-tini. I’m just getting started.

    Comment by Alexis — April 12, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

  5. Alexis: Oh, absolutely. But this was the first time I saw rum drinks listed as “martinis.” At that point, what isn’t a martini? A margarita, a piña colada, why the hell not?

    Comment by tomemos — April 13, 2007 @ 2:28 pm

  6. Goebbels? Is that because I want to limit the definition of a martini, or something else? I don’t get it.

    Comment by tomemos — May 8, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

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