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Memories of Wilton Hills Hotel of Black and White Russians and Brandy Sasha - Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 ounces cognac
- 1 ounce dark creme de cacao
- 1 ounce cream
- Garnish: grated nutmeg
- Add cognac, dark creme de cacao and cream into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or a coupe glass.
- Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
“Brandy Alexander” is a fun song by Feist (and songwriter Ron Sexsmith). It also (somewhat on the sly) references a famous 1974 incident where John Lennon, drunk on the cocktail with Harry Nilsson, got thrown out of the Troubadour during Lennon’s “lost weekend” in Los Angeles. You don’t have to like any of the music to like the drink, or vice versa.
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When I was in grade school, during the summer, I used to visit Eden Hall, the convent where the nuns who taught us lived, to visit my sixth grade teacher, Mother Elizabeth Holmes. One day when I visited her, I told her I was having doubts about the faith. She said to me, “Do you think that none of us in this convent has doubts? Doubt accompanies faith.” Then she gave me a suggestion, which she admitted might sound silly, since, after all, I had these doubts. She suggested that I pray, that either there was someone listening or there was not. I have been praying ever since. Eden Hall us gone now, its grounds a park. But many years after that conversation, I reviewed a book about it. Mother Holmes was mentioned in it. I got in touch with the author and she sent me Mother Holmes’s email address. And so, near the end of her life, we reconnected. I have always considered that a great. She was one of the most important persons in my life.
(Not) judging a literary prize
In the Sydney Morning Herald David Free writes on Judge a literary prize ? No thanks, they're all a giant waste of time.
They pose as trusty gauges of literary merit, but they’re thoroughly random and subjective. You get a sudden appreciation of that when a stranger rings you up one day and asks you to judge one yourself.
He also suggests:
Not that I advocate the abolition of all literary awards. But if I had the funds to establish my own prize, I’d introduce some major tweaks. For instance, I’d lose the judging panel. I’d have one judge only – a different person each year, chosen strictly on the strength of his or her literary expertise.