Value in Brevity

I’ve become a facebookaholic lately.  You can post thoughts and life events – as long as you keep it within a certain character limit.  At times this is frustrating.  But truthfully most people’s lives don’t need much more than what’s given and, besides, brevity is almost always better.

My best example of this is Hemingway’s “The End of Something”.  It’s a story that meant alot to me sometime around senior year of high school though the first year or two of college.  The meaning came from the stories theme, but also it is a great instruction on how to write short.  When english teachers give an assignment by page lenght, it seems impossible to fill up that space, but when writers write about something they care about they forget sometimes that their reader doesn’t give a flip about most of it.

You see Hemingway’s newspaper years in this story.  It delivers a punch that I don’t think his 100,000 word novels ever did.

Cliff’s notes here.

The Pure Investor

I got an email from my publisher that my book The Pure Investor was going to be de-listed from Amazon.  It’s still here.  The thing hasn’t sold well at all.  I remember getting my last residual check 3 years ago for something like $9.23 and realized it was probably from a batch I bought my own damned self for a workshop I was doing.  So I’ve decided to give it away, again.  The pdf is here.  Hope you enjoy.

Radio Appearance

I forgot to post a link to my latest radio appearance on 700 WLW.  It’s here.

It was noon on a 50,000 watt station.  Just before going to air Sloan told me not to worry, only 3 million people listen at that hour.

Do I sound nervous?  Or at least smart?

Enjoy

I’ve Lost My Ability to Read Fiction

I use to read bunches of fiction including one long holiday weekend freshman year of college when the campus was deserted and I blew through Madame Bovary, but for the last 15 years, I’ve read it less and less and now I just can’t make it through an average size novel.

It began after college when I started studying for the Chartered Financial Analyst exam.   That took 5 years of intensive study (I should have only taken 3 but I failed two exams twice).  Reading fiction seemed a bit pointless.  I couldn’t motivate myself to stick with it.  Now it seems all gone.  I’ve spoken with a couple older writers who said they went through the same thing and it came back to them at about 45 or 50 but I’m not sure.

Know your Latin, Don’t Use Your Latin

Modern English has brilliantly borrowed from multiple sources but some seem to be more equal that others.  For some reason, people perceive polysylabic Latinate words as “smarter”.  Not so.  Simple, monosylabic old English root words are just as good.

There’s an example of a sign someone hung at the Pentagon requesting people to “Extinguish All Illumination”.  Pres Eisenhower, who had no need to impress anyone (liberating Europe will give you some confidence), saw it suggested “Turn out the damn lights”.

Simple as that.  Know your Latin, just don’t try to use it when communicating telling people something.

Primal Scream Therapy of the Homeless

I passed a man walking down Cincinnati’s Race St. this morning at 7:11 am.  He was shouting obscenities at the top of his lungs and I thought “that looks like fun…and cathartic.”

Maybe I’ll just take a day to do that.

The Blood and Sand

The Blood and Sand

from Alicia & Howard McEwen, CFA

¾ oz Orange Juice

¾ oz Scotch

¾ oz Sweet Vermouth

¾ oz Cherry Heering Cherry Liqueur

Shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This was scheduled to be the February 08 cocktail.  However a good friend passed away the Saturday before the event so we canceled it.  However, this will be the one we serve in April.  My God is this a good drink.  Alicia declared at first sip that it bumped off the Pomegranate Manhattan as her favorite.

It does have a very sensual and sexy feel to it.  Very romantic.  Try it for anniversaries or night outs.

Scott Sargent who sold us our Kia sent me the following email that I think is the best testament to the Blood and Sand.

The Blood and Sand is the best drink that I have ever tried.  My wife and I had a date night on Saturday and went to GameWorks/ Jaxs down at Newport on the Levee for drinks and dinner.  With technology today I was able to find the recipe for Blood and Sand on my Blackberry and had the bartender make me one.  In result of this after dinner we had a little down time before our next engagement and we ran to the Party Source across the street and got everything I needed to make it at home.

The Vintage Sidecar

The Vintage Sidecar

from Alicia & Howard McEwen, CFA

1 ½ oz Brandy

1 oz Triple Sec/Orange liqueur (we used Patron’s Citronge)

½ lemon juice

Shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Flame an orange peel on the drink.

To flame an orange peel, cut a quarter size peel off the orange. Hold the orange skin side down over a lit match. Flex the orange peel. This will bend the orange peel releasing oils that are lit by the match. The droplets should fall into the drink.

This was served at the January 08 Cocktail Experience.  This is an old drink that not many people order.  My goal in starting these events was to teach myself and others about rarely ordered cocktails.  This was the first mostly unheard of one.  It went over well.  The theatrics of the flaming orange peel helped too.

French Martini

The Martini en francais

from Alicia McEwen, MS

1 oz vodka
1 oz raspberry liqueur
2 oz fresh pineapple juice

This was served at the December 08 Cocktail Experience.  A girly drink yes, but this went over well with some very manly men I drank it with.  It’s sooo 1990s, but who cares.  They’s good…especially in the summer time on a deck about 6:30 with a setting sun.

Vodka Martini

Vodka Martini

from Howard McEwen, CFA

2 oz Vodka

1 oz Dry (French) Vermouth

1 Olive

Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

We served this at the December 08 Cocktail Experience.  Trust be told – I can’t stand this.  Gin Martini even less.  There doesn’t seem to be much complexity.  I just love my brown liquors.  Our bottle of Vodka stays chilled and mostly full in our freezer.