Afternoon InquisitionRandom Asides

AI: How Dry I Am

It’s true that lately my brain cramps every time I try to think of a good question for the Afternoon Inquisition. And today is no exception. So if you guys post some good ideas in the comments, I promise we’ll turn those into a feature called The New and Improved Ass Kicking Thursday Afternoon Inquisition, or something like that. Feed me.

In the meantime, keeping with the “AI writer’s block theme”, it occurred to me that we we use the term “dry” in many situations. When we’re out of ideas, money, etc., our well has run dry. When we’re thirsty, we’re dry. When scabs get sucked out of the holes where our wisdom teeth once were, our sockets are dry. Some of our humor is dry. Our wine can be dry. When we’re not damp, we’re dry.

So, in the spirit of any connotation you prefer . . . 

What do you do when you’re dry?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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34 Comments

  1. I have several ideas for AIs:

    1) What’s an invention or discovery that we take for granted but is actually really awesome? (Some of my answers would be toilet paper and condoms.)

    2) Is there an intersting/funny story behind your name, either first or last?

    3) What logical fallacy do you encounter the most often or which one annoys you the most?

    4) Which retro futuristic shows/books/movies seem the most outdated now? (For example, some hairstyles in ST:TNG are hilarious.)

    5) Which current technology makes you most glad to live in this time period?

    6) Journey: best band ever or bestest band ever?

    I usually think of them all the time but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. I’ll add more as I remember them.

  2. @Rebecca Watson:

    Well, I was at the bottom of my barrel, and there you were . . . Wait . . . I mean, I’ll take any left over piece I can get my hands on . . . Wait . . . I mean, I’d rather use your ideas than the best ideas in the world . . . Wait . . . I mean . . . Ah, fuck it.

    I couldn’t think of anything else.

  3. What idiot thought of the idea that a “dry” martini should have the least amount of vermouth as possible without actually getting to the point of the unopened bottle sitting next to your nicely chilled glass of gin? What is this, the homeopathy of mixed drinks?

    Listen, vermouth tastes good. Put it in the damn drink already. In some recipes, the original martini had as much as 50% vermouth… and it’s good that way! So, if you’re idea of dry is less, then you’re missing out on wonderful complex flavours meant to be together. Dry is boring! Get wet!

  4. Possible AI topics:

    How does your skepticism affect your relationship with your family, spouse, cat,…

    What is the least likely thing you have taken a skeptical approach to? (In my case: my lawn.)

    Do skeptics make good politicians? Would you like to see a skeptic run your country? Is there any chance of this happening?

    Which country is the most skeptical? Why?

    What is your favorite mumblecore film? Describe using as many flowery adjectives as possible why mumblecore are the best films out there.

  5. I get one of the old martini glasses I found in a junk shop and fill it with ice. I then fill the cocktail shaker with ice add two shots of gin and 1/8 shot of dry vermouth, stir until the shaker is too cold to hold in my bare hand. Dump the ice out of the glass, strain the martini into the glass and add a single olive, usually stuffed with bleu cheese.

    Then admire the way the light filters through the drink.

    Then I take the first small sip.

    Repeat until I’m not dry.

  6. Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee!

    Change in environment can also bust a plateau of non-productivity as well.. ie: if you usually write at your desk in your bedroom, try writing outside.. or at the pub, or at starbucks or something..

  7. When the ideas run low or are sputtering, music does the trick. Helps me get unfocused for a bit.

    As for being literally dry, well, that’s about to end, as I have to walk home soon and the FSM has been threatening to dump gravy all over the lands. It’s going to happen between now and when I get home, which is why I will duck into the supermarket halfway.

  8. @bgclo: THIS.
    It is one of my peeves. In order to get the drink you want, you have to give a wordy and snobby sounding order. If you order a “dry” martini, you might not get any vermouth. If you order a “wet” martini, you may get sweet vermouth. I usually specify: “A gin martini, don’t be afraid of the vermouth” Or sometimes, ” A classic gin martini” or some such thing. Or I just go home and make it the way I like it. What is even worse is ordering a martini and since anything served in a cocktail glass is now considered a “martini” you get an impatient look and then asked: “Do you want an appletini? a blueberry martini? a pomegranite martini? etc.
    I want 3 oz. of gin, 1 oz. of dry vermouth, stirred or shaken doesn’t matter and all bartenders seem to shake everything anyway, and an olive. or two. I don’t care, just don’t give me vodka and don’t cheat me out of my vermouth. Damnit.

  9. Not being terribly fond of gin, my martinis tend to be a dessert drink.

    Put 2 ice cubes in shaker
    add 1 shot vodka
    add 1 shot cocoa liquor
    add 2 shots godiva liquor
    shake
    squeeze chocolate syrup in a spiral in the glass
    plop a dollop of icecream in glass
    shake the martini again & strain into glass.

    This really has nothing to do with the topic, but I thought I’d share.

  10. @junco & @James Fox

    Exactly! (and meaning no disrespect to @Gabrielbrawley either) .

    If I’m “dry” at a bar/pub I usually have to start with “Write this down…” (if being served at a table) and ultimately find it’s not quite what I hoped.

    In the US two other things are common problems: 1) mixed drinks are now usually 8oz. — a ridiculously large glass that leaves you with a warm drink before you’re half way done, and 2) where are the bitters?! How hard is it to add bitters to the cocktail mixer? It’s not like they’re expensive or anything…

    In the end, I go home and make this:
    2 to 2.5 oz. good gin
    1 oz. dry vermouth
    0.5 to 1 oz. sweet vermouth
    a twist or olives depending on the mood

  11. @bgclo: Don’t get me started on bitters. How many times have I ordered a manhattan and wound up with Jack Daniels and a little sweet vermouth? Who makes a manhattan without bitters? Half the bartenders in America, that’s who. Another thing that bugs me is a bartender who doesn’t know drinks and has no interest in learning. I may order a cocktail when ordering dinner and they will ask, “What’s in that?” Presuming, I guess, that I have an encyclopedic knowledge and a perfect memory. When I ‘m at home I will look up a cocktail recipe in a book to refresh my memory. Why can’t a bartender do that? Take a break from mixing Jack and Cokes and actually show a little interest in your trade, for fucks sake.
    On the subject of bitters again, a dash of orange bitters in a martini adds a nice subtle citrus note.

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