Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shaken.....Not Stirred

"Vodka Martini. Shaken. Not Stirred" - James Bond

Back when I was a drinking gal, my absolute favorite libation was a Grey Goose Dirty Martini. For those of you who don't know,  it is simply chilled vodka combined with some salty brine from a jar of olives. There is certain technique to preparing this drink and if it's not done perfectly, it can taste pretty awful.

Over the years I have ordered this drink in many places- glamorous night clubs, fancy restaurants, and friendly little neighborhood bars. Most of the time this drink was served to me stirred, not shaken.

A real martini (gin and vermouth) is usually stirred. A vodka martini should be shaken.  The vodka is mixed with ice in a shaker to chill it completely.  A stirred vodka martini tastes like lighter fluid.  A dirty vodka martini absolutely must be shaken.  If not, all that olive juice simply settles to the bottom of the glass, so now you have lighter fluid with a hint of salt. It might take a bit more time and effort, but when a dirty vodka martini is shaken, not stirred, it's perfect. Eventually I learned to just insist it be made the way I wanted it.

This is not going to be a blog about drinking. I have not had a dirty martini in a few years. I love the drink but the drink does not love me.  I am a much better person without it.  I have decided to abstain because one dirty martini leads to two, two leads to three and so on.  Then I do stupid things.  It's a personal choice, but it took a bit of shaking to get me to that point.

I've been reflecting on the phrase "shaken, not stirred" all week--not in relation to drinking but how applies to life. My life. Your life.

Lately my life has been pretty tumultuous. I have experienced one disappointment after the next and sadly, some real tragedies. I have shared some things with you-- others things I choose to keep private.

 Let's just say, "there's been a whole lotta shakin' goin' on"!

For the past ten years, my life has been pretty peaceful. I have experienced ordinary ups and downs mixed with some occasional drama- usually caused by yours truly.  But the last year or two, I feel as if I am living in a snow globe.  Some giant pair of hands is constantly shaking it, just for fun.  Everything is in disarray, everything is coming unglued. Even the things I thought were firmly bolted down and secure are being tossed about. I am simply hanging on for dear life.

There is something to be said for this shaking. There are things I need to pay attention to, things I have been avoiding or sweeping under the carpet for the longest time. I have been coasting through life for awhile now, with nothing more than a sporadic stirring or two.  Stirring temporarily mixes things up, but eventually it all settles down again. Then you have to keep stirring and stirring but you never quite get it exactly the way you want it.

That's when you gotta start shakin' it a bit..........

When you want to wake someone from a deep sleep you can whisper and gently stir them all you want. Their eyes might open for a moment or two but then they will fall right back to sleep. You have to shake them awake: once, twice, sometimes three times. What happens when you do this to a sleeping person? At first, they are angry or  nasty. They resist and fight. But you got what you wanted. They are now awake and paying attention.

Shaking gets your attention.  It wakes you up and you have to do something.  You have no choice. 

Shaking is terrifying.  The solid ground you once stood upon is now sinking sand.  You are forced to move and move quickly.

Shaking makes every piece of you come apart.

Shaking forces you to change because everything around you is changing......

I have finally come to point where I no longer fear the shaking- I just hold on and let it happen. Stirring made me complacent and tasteless. It allowed me to remain in a twilight state, with my eyes half-opened. Like an unchilled drink with just a hint of salt, I was less than satisfying.  I was not satisfied.  I needed to be shaken, not stirred.

Don't fear the shaking. Just hold on. Someone or something is trying to get your attention. When the shaking is finally over, you will be a perfectly blended,  glorious combination of something wonderful.

And this is my Daily Cyn.......


  1. I have never told you how much I love your blog..You r a blessing to me..I love you Cindy..

  2. PS This is Ginger not Marty =)