When I was a kid, everywhere we went, I always wanted my father to put the bumper sticker on our car – “Frontiertown!,” “I Saw Santa at the North Pole,” “Catskill Game Farm.” I knew when we got back to Red Bank that all my friends would see the stickers and wish they had been to all those great places. Really, I didn’t even care if I knew the other kids who saw our bumper sticker, I was proud to have been there and everyone else should know, and regret, perhaps, that they had not. Fortunately, my father never caved into my little girl ego.
So now I am seeing all these bumper stickers – “Support Our Troops!,” ” Proud to Be an American,” etc. Are these people just like I was when I was a little girl? They are proud to show these stickers but there is, perhaps, the desire to proclaim that one is a better American or more patriotic. True patriotism doesn’t come from a bumper sticker. I think it comes from supporting the ideals of our country as written in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. How many bumper-stickered patriots have even read those documents?
BTW, I checked on the internet and most of the places that sell these stickers are in the “for-profit” arena.
WORD FOR THE DAY
Perhaps all this display of patriotism is a case of jingoism.
jingoism – Extreme nationalism characterized especially by a belligerent foreign policy; chauvinistic patriotism.(dictionary.com)
The derivation of jingoism is from 1878 and is the refrain of a music hall song written by G.W. Hunt supporting aggressive British policy toward Russia at a time of international tension. (“We don’t want to fight, But by Jingo! if we do, We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, We’ve got the money too.”) (etymonline.com)
This is going to sound really stupid but this idea (which I made up myself) has helped me in a lot of restaurant situations.
I am a starch and salt eater. I can pass up dessert easily. Chocolate, yuk. But put a basket of bread on the table and I am all over it. It’s the first thing that arrives in a restaurant at a time when you are the most hungry. What to do? Well, I devised kind of a good hand, bad hand scenario. I am right-handed. My right hand does most of the dirty work when it comes to eating. It dives into the bread basket, it opens the refrigerator, and it reaches into the bag of chips. My left hand is, at worst, an unwitting accomplice. So when I am at a restaurant, I put my hands in my lap and my good left hand holds my hedonistic right hand – usually around the wrist. It doesn’t always work because my right hand is stronger but it works often enough. Sounds dumb, but try it.
On the news today, two people died who were part of my generation’s collective past – Johnny Carson and Rose Mary Woods. Johnny Carson took over from Jack Paar on the Tonight Show when I was still too young to stay up and watch the program and gave it up when I was married with children. Rose Mary Woods was part of the Nixon White House. What happened in those minutes which were deleted from the tape? Mostly, it is sobering when people who were household names pass away. It’s a little like part of your own history passing by.
WORD FOR THE DAY
Crossword puzzlers know that there is a whole vocabulary of “crossword puzzle words.” You never hear these words in conversation. Here’s a word that was in a recent puzzle that could have been substituted by “ana,” “olio,” or “melange.” They all have slightly different meanings but basically mean a collection of things.
gallimaufry – A jumble or hodgepodge.
If you feel hungry in the late afternoon or after dinner, try having something hot. This could be a cup of tea or coffee or maybe a “Cup O’ Soup.” You will find that something warm is much more filling than a cold drink.
RESTAURANT REVIEWS – KEY WEST
ROOF TOP CAFE
After enduring the boat ride from Marco Island to Key West, we stopped for lunch at the Roof Top Cafe. There is both indoor and outdoor dining. We were able to watch the boarding of the Key West Conch Train from our vantage point and listen to its shrill whistle, which is something you might keep in mind when choosing a table. As in so many restaurants here, there was the inevitable grouper sandwich served fried, blackened or grilled. I had it grilled. The fish was cooked perfectly. Not overdone. But once again it was served on an uninspired squishy bun. The coleslaw that it came with was gingery and light. It was made without mayonnaise. Jim felt it tasted a little like kimchee. John had picadillo that was was served with black beans and yellow rice. He gave it high marks. We also had a tasty Lolonis fume blanc. John had a Pilsner Urquell.
Pluses – pleasant outdoor dining (although a little noisy), friendly but not overbearing waitstaff, tasty wine, well-cooked fish and piquant picadillo.
Minuses – Noisy Conch Train, small portions and uninspired rolls.
Grades – John, B; Mary, B; Eileen, B-; Jim, B
CAFE DES ARTISTES -Key West, FL
I haven’t eaten at this restuarant in years, but after 20 years it is still in business. The one thing I remember the most is really excellent vegetables. It serves a Continental/Caribbean cuisine. Both times we ate here it was excellent.
Mary and John both give this restaurant A!
This is actual more like a musing. Many years ago, our good friend Barry wanted us to meet a friend of his. The last name of this guy was Golini. Now, since we liked Barry, we were inclined to like his friend. But we did not. Assuming that this must be some shortcoming of our own, we gave him a second try, wiping the slate clean. We still didn’t like him. We tried again. Same result. To this day, when someone in our family tries a second or third time to like something that they didn’t the first time, it is called “doing a Golini.” It might go like this – I had roasted beets in a salad the other day and really didn’t like them, but I see them on the menu and I guess I’ll do a Golini on them.”
What this has to do with anything is this. I am a good sport but not a good sailor. But I thought, okay, I’ve tried being on a boat before and it hasn’t worked out well but I’ll do a Golini on it. Today I sailed from Marco Island to Key West. At the end of the leg there, I had done the Golini and wanted to rent a car and drive back. After the first 30 minutes there was nothing to see but sky and water, I got burnt on the way there and froze on the way back. My stomach was upset and it was a noisy and jolting ride. People love to do this, what am I missing?
WORD FOR THE DAY
avast – a nautical interjection -Used as a command to stop or desist.
This is interesting, I think. This word is from Dutch; hou- hold, and vast meaning fast. To hold fast. It’s interesting to me because the Dutch were a great maritime power. I looked up “ahoy” figuring it would also have a Dutch root but I found no derivation listed.
Since today’s theme is the sea, today’s tip is, eat fish. Most fish are low in calories and those that are not, such as salmon, are high in omega-3 oil which is good for you. Even lower in calories than fish are shellfish. And shellfish are so yummy. As long as you are not dipping your shellfish in butter, what could be better than shrimp, scallops, mussels and lobster? This is one case where you can have your cake ,or rather your lobster, and eat it too.