Monday, September 14, 2009

Duly Noted...

This is the first year I haven't been in the States on September 11. While September 11 is not insignificant to our European neighbors, it also isn't memorialized with wall-to-wall coverage in the days leading up to and on the date itself like it is in the States.

While I haven't forgotten the significance of this date or its impact on the lives of thousands of individuals and families, I also didn't miss the coverage and the replay of planes crashing into towers, people jumping from unfathomable stories, or montages of memorial benches outside the Pentagon. My mind this past weekend was focused on how I can get out of my own little world of self-focus and self-absorption and give back to the community and how I can do something positive to counteract one of America's most horrific days.

I'm still working on that, but in the meantime, someone on Facebook mentioned this site built by a young woman who was born on September 11 and was 10 years old on that day in 2001. I love her idea and the belief that the good that was born on that day can counteract the bad that was done.


Switching gears for a bit, my friends Gilahi and L.A. Cochran crack me up and are two of my favorite people. Recently, Gilahi reported on a conversation regarding the origin and chemistry of soap that absolutely cracked me up. Here is In a Land Called Honalee.

I've been catching up a bit on my blog reading, having fallen pathetically behind. There are two things I want for Christmas this year: this ice cube tray and, thanks to my friend NG who brought this must-have to my attention, a Boo Boo Bunny. Don't you think that would be perfect during a migraine? I'm thinking, "Yeah."


Comestibles that make me love living in Europe:

Darbo Jams from Austria

Almdudler, the national soft drink of Austria

Teekanne FixMinze Tea from Germany

President Butter (with large grains of sea salt) from France*

Croissants from Sébastien Brocard in St-Genis, France

Raclette, fondue, and rösti from Switzerland


There you have it. Not sure this restores my blog mojo, but it's a start.

* Before all you foodies and Francophiles go busting my chops about how President Butter is so not good butter, please note this: I know there are better French butters. The best French butters come from family-owned dairies and can be found in the farmers' markets throughout the country. For a commercial brand, though, President Butter with large grains of sea salt is quite good. So is Payson-Breton butter. Let me put it another way: even the suckiest, most commercial French butter is better than almost all other butters. I've heard Swedish butter surpasses them all, but I haven't had Swedish butter yet, so I wouldn't know definitively.


lacochran said...

Hey there! You'll be happy to know that your postcard was on the fridge during the party and, so, you, at least in spirit, were surrounded by bloggers--because they all hung out in the kitchen. Thanks for the shout out. We miss you and hope you are enjoying your adventures!

lacochran said...

Also, the denture shaped ice cubes are hilarious in a disgusting sort of way. :)

ME said...

Ice dentures--almost as funny as your toilet-shaped soup bowls. :)

Anonymous said...

Nice idea that girl had for her Sept. 11 birthday. She is somebody who can't ignore that date, and she decided to take charge of her feelings about it in a positive way.

I am one who tries not to think of that day. Not only was it the beginning of a horrible, unsettling awareness of the tenuous nature of peace, but it reminds me that Americans elected a complete idiot for their president -- twice!! And that idiot turned an opportunity to work with sympathetic nations for a solution into an excuse to drop bombs onto people that had nothing to do with flying airplanes into New York sky scrapers.

Argh. See? I get so angry when I think of that day. Will I die with this anger? Or will I start a Web site that will change people's hearts?

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

LACochran: Hi! Glad to hear the postcard has a place of prominence in your home. Perhaps you could frame it and hang it next to that beautiful painting in your living room that I love so much. (Or not.) I thought of your guys on Sept. 12 and longed to be at your party and conversing with eclectic, intelligent people. (Not that there aren't those here, but that's another story.) Miss you and Gilahi muchly!

LACochran, too: Aren't they fabulous! There's a whole story about why I adore dentures. Perhaps I'll blog about one day. (Nothing kinky, for the record. Sentimental, though.)

ME: The toilet-shaped soup bowls are definitely way more hilarious! Although, how funny would it be to serve punch out of the aforementioned toilets with ice dentures floating in the punch? Bwahahahahaha! *snicker* *snort*

Anon: I think many thinking, Americans feel similarly. We know Bush & Cartel blatantly lied to us and squandered 40 years of good relations and diplomacy with our allies. What could have been an opportunity for dialogue and positive efforts toward understanding Islam and Muslims and creating stronger, real alliances with nations in the Middle East was callously bombed and tortured away. The aftermath of Iraq has given us not one Osama bin Laden, but thousands upon thousands. Makes me angry, too!

Gilahi said...

Hey, thanks for the shout-out. I know you're enjoying yourself over there and have a great job and all that, but I selfishly want you to come back home. Even the American northwest is closer to here than where you are now.

And if we're going to have denture-shaped ice cubes, why not go the whole nine yards and have walker, hearing-aid, and bifocal-shaped cubes as well?

Maya said...

Yes, that is a yummy list you have at the end there...

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Gilahi: Thank you! I miss you guys, too. Europe is lots of fun, but I can't get people to laugh at my corny jokes over here. They're totally unappreciated and lost in translation. Silly French!

As for ice cubes, I'm not sure I'd want to see someone's hearing aid, bifocals, or walker floating in my Dr Pepper. That's just gross!

Maya: Have I felt anything important off?

Maya said...

Have you "felt" anything important off? I'd say not! ;-)

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Felt. Left. Ugh.

Have I LEFT anything off?

I think it's time for someone to go to bed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the empathetic reply, Tewkes. (sigh) BTW, that was me, Phoebe (forgot to sign it)

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Pheebs: I figured that was you, but didn't want to say so in case you were looking to fly under the radar on that one. Different day, same opinion: Bush & Co. = unmitigated disaster!

Adriana Velez said...

Mmmm, rosti.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Adriana: Have you had Mr. Swizzie's rosti? The ones with bacon and cheese and an egg on top? Oh mama! Yum.