Anyone that knows me knows that I love nachos and salsa. I could live on it. Every year, I grow a garden mainly to grow fresh ingredients for homemade salsa. I harvest my tomatoes, peppers and cilantro and make a so-so concoction along with some store-bought garlic, onions and lime juice. I’ve tried adding spices to make it better, but it’s good enough.
Last weekend, Oldest Son’s California-born girl friend stayed with us. She volunteered to make us some authentic Mexican salsa. She came home from the store with mangoes, avocados, a hot pepper and a huge bunch of cilantro (mine has started going to seed). I didn’t even know what a mango looked like, and I had no idea what to do with an avocado. I usually omit the hot peppers because they scare me. However, she whipped up the tastiest batch of chunky salsa I ever ate in my life. I used it with chips, I made a salad with it, and I served it with my leftover chicken. I ate far too much of it, but it made me feel good.
Certain foods affect my moods. Back at college, there was a place called Brook’s Other Place. Brook was a hippie-type Sociology professor at the school. His first restaurant, Brook’s Place, served typical college food like hoagies. His other place specialized in more obscure vegetarian and health foods. When we went to Brook’s Other Place, I would always get a sprout salad (with alfalfa sprouts) and a large tomato juice. For some reason, this meal not only tasted great, it always managed to lift my mood. It had the most calming effect on me, even if a paper was due the next day. It was great mood food.
Yesterday was a gray day, quite unlike the beautiful late summer day exactly eight years ago. Each September 11th, I distinctly remember how beautiful and blue the sky was that morning in 2001 as I walked into work. It’s weird, but I remember thinking that morning that even though it was early and I had to work that day, I felt so happy to be alive. It was just that gorgeous of a day, which made the tragedy that unfolded a couple hours later so much more hideous. Even though I didn’t personally know anyone that died that day, I always feel somber and sad for the innocent moms and dads, brothers and sisters and heroic rescue workers that lost their lives. It could have been me or anyone else I know and love in those buildings or on those planes that day.
Feeling blue already, my breath was taken away when I read someone’s Facebook status yesterday. I knew her politics were liberal, but I thought she loved this country that has provided her with so many opportunities. In fact, she claims to be a liberal because she cares so much about people. I’m sure this wasn’t her intention, but I had the wind knocked out of me when I saw her comments concerning 9-11, to f**k 9-11 and that she didn’t even care. When no one could even respond to this, she went on to explain how these 3000 lives were no more important than all the other lives we? they? are responsible for bombing.
I’ve heard this “justification” for 9-11 before. I’m sure that every one of those almost 3000 people were secretly cheering on and plotting new ways to kill other people in far away countries. Yeah, right. I know there is no way to change the thinking of these kind of people, but it still saddens me that someone can actually think this way. I couldn’t talk to anyone about this yesterday. I couldn’t even let it out until now. I just felt sad and blue and sick to my stomach. And I went out to the store and bought a mango. And some avocados.
I still feel in a funk today. The chunky salsa I made last night tastes good, but I sure could use a sprout salad and a tall glass of tomato juice.