Today I wished a happy Rosh Hashana to a friend then attended a Catholic rosary for the passing of another. I congratulated two wonderful human beings on 15 years of loving togetherness – despite the fact they are not allowed to marry because they are both of the same sex – and assisted an atheist friend who dedicates her life to comforting those grieving the loss of their animal companions. Then I called my own family and wished them Eid Mubarak while I sat down to a family barbecue dinner with my Methodist in-laws.
Tomorrow I mourn my fellow human beings of every race, lifestyle, nationality and religion who died in the 9-11 attacks on America – an act perpetrated by a handful of unbalanced, hate-filled individuals – and I will do so the in the same way I try to live every day, with empathy and compassion.
This is how you “send a message”. And it’s the only one worth sending.
I have a guilty pleasure. I love taking these silly online quizzes. You know the ones I mean. “Which XYZ character are you?” “What color are you?” “Who is your Star Wars Twin?”
I used to post them to my blog: (The originals are from 2002 and most of the quiz links no longer work so I’m not including them here.)
How British are you?
Jolly good, wot! Anyone for tennis? That’ll be ten ponies, guv. You’re the epitome
of everything that is English. Yey :) Hoist that Union Jack!
Find your inner PIE
Take the Enterprise Quiz!
You’re T’Pol. You are very analytical and logical, as any good Vulcan is, but this makes you stick out like a sore thumb. You’re cold and calculated, but there’s a softer side to you that you tend to keep under wraps.
Star Wars Twin
The test you just took has been broken down into five different categories. For each category, your score has been matched against a database of personality profiles for characters in Star Wars. For example, your openness to new experiences is similar to the openness to new experiences of Wicket.
[ Agreeableness = I'm Darth Vader.]
Where Do You Belong?
You Belong In Hell!! You are bad. No. you are EVIL! You like violence and death. Little children are annoying little shits who need to be struck by lightning, in your eyes.
[Hah! I know it was the "you'd be gluing pennies to the ground at the mall and seeing how many people try to pick them up" answer. Between this and Darth Vader is it apparent I shouldn't be taking these things while under the influence of PMS.]
What Fantasy Race Are You?
[Yeah. The the wood elf FROM HELL.] Check out which fruit you are
[Well isn't that just peachy. C'mon, You knew I was going to say it.]
Take the non-offensive quiz Mewing cat-in-a-basket.
[Hrm. Lessee, I guess at this point this makes me a peachy British cat from Vulcan snuggled up in a soft fluffy basket. IN HELL. God I love these tests.] Which finger are you?
You are the good ol’ thumb! You are the family one, the one who not necessarily everyone loves but the one who everyone can’t live without. Always willing to lend a hand or comfort a friend when they need it.
[Hrmph. Darth Vader is not pleased.]
Which Furry Woodland Creature Are You?
[Great, I'm roadki..., er, a chipmunk. ]
I don’t post these to my blog anymore, even though I still enjoy taking the blasted things. I’m making an exception today, simply because the images on this quiz were so darn pretty. And because I seem to have strayed from my earlier Darth-Vader-Kitty-In-Hell persona:
Your result for The Elemental Test…
Earth, The Protector
Your nature is Earth. You are protective and nurturing to those close to you and appreciate nature for it’s own sake. Though violence and morbidity may disturb you, you have become accustomed to them being a part of everyday life and are perfectly ready to protect yourself from being included in these events.
Several years ago, I had a frozen ice cream dessert that I simply can’t forget. It was a lovely layering of super-thin chocolate and soft vanilla ice cream, luscious and decadent. Surprisingly, I didn’t encounter this memorable dessert at a fancy restaurant; it was readily available at my local grocery store.
Then all of a sudden and without warning, it vanished. My local grocery store no longer carried it and neither I nor my husband could find it at any other store. We tried. Man, we tried. The problem was (or so I thought) that I simply couldn’t remember the name of the dessert. Without that bit of information, it was exceedingly difficult to explain what I was looking for to anyone else. After a year or so I gave up. But every so often, and for the next several years, I would check the frozen section hoping to spot something that looked like what I remembered.
Then I happened to mention it in conversation with my folks around the dinner table on New Year’s Eve. My mom instantly knew what I was talking about. She’d loved the dessert too and had also noticed it’s sudden disappearance. She thought about it carefully and then said, “It was a Vienna-something”. That was enough for my husband to do a Google search and discover the name that had eluded us for years:
Heaven on earth.
Once I’d had my memory jogged, it was a cinch to find more information online. I still remember this commercial for Vienetta:
At least the production video is still available on YouTube. It makes me wonder how difficult it would be to create something like this at home.
Ah, Vienetta. How I miss thee.
Update (April 20, 2010):
This has been, hands-down, one of the most popular blog posts I’ve ever written (and that includes thousands of entries on previous blogs over the last decade). Obviously I’m in good company – there’s a LOT of you out there that miss this lovely dessert.
What could be more maddening than remembering this, craving it and discovering it had been discontinued? Finding out that it was brought back, for a limited time and that I missed it.
Apparently Unilever brought out a “Viennetta” branded dessert for the 2008/2009 winter holidays in the United States. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the product was back off the shelves in February of 2009, which explains why my searches for it have been fruitless (ice creamless?) since people started reporting seeing it in January of 2009.
Why fortunately? It wasn’t exactly the same product we remember. The original was made with Breyer’s ice cream and this temporary holiday fix wasn’t even made with real ice cream. Ingredients were: “nonfat milk, sugars, whey, cocoa, propylene glycol monoesters, cellulose gels, mono and diglycerides, locust bean gum, polysorbate 80, guar gum, natural flavor and carrageenan.”
Oh why do they vex us so? *sigh* At least we’ve got the memories. Right?
You know what? I’m going to try to create something like this at home. I’ll report back on the success or failure of the attempt. Wish me luck!
Update (March 15, 2012):
Thank you all for your comments! For those of you who haven’t read through them all, here’s some useful information:
Thank you to “Patrick” who apparently lives in Europe where the dessert is still available:
I just read this post and I’m sorry to see you guys have to miss out on this wonderful desert.
If it is at all helpful, i have some contact information with the company itself, you could try and see if you can get some pamphlets or information to bring to your local supermarkets?
Visitingadres: Weena 455 – 3013 AL Rotterdam The Netherlands
Postadres: Postbus 760 – 3000 DK Rotterdam The Netherlands
Tel.: +3110 – 217 40 00
Fax: +3110 – 217 47 98
Also a big thank you to “Desdemona” who points out:
Please, there’s a petition to bring it back! Sign it and tell everyone you know to sign it, too.
It’s a Vienetta knock off that isn’t exactly the same, but contains the same elements. The crispy chocolate layers are fewer and thicker (most likely because Dadu decided to add peanuts) and the Violeta cake is just not as pretty as a Vienetta…But I’m sure the differences are all about circumventing copyrights.
Best of all, I found this at my local Whole Foods. If your local Whole Foods doesn’t carry Violeta, you can always ask since Dadu is already part of their supply chain.
Correction: The crispy layers on the Violeta has hazelnut pieces…Not peanuts.
And yes, Violeta is delicious and has SOME of the same textural creamy/crispy mouth-feel as Vienetta…But Vienetta was much more subtle with the thinner crispy chocolate layers.
I must admit that I might not have seen the appeal of these before I had your typical gray-cubicle tech job at a telecommunications company. I remember the first time I got one of those motivational posters. It was a variation on “Teamwork” for my part in a marathon blitz (three 16 hour days) of semi-live web development. (This was before weblogs.) Gee, thanks.
I was only at that job for about ten months, but in that short time I came to understand the dark appeal of demotivators as well as the zen-like truth of Dilbert cartoons. Subsequent jobs in information technology only served to reinforce the feeling.
‘Course now I find the humorous (as opposed to the sarcastic) more appealing. I suppose that says something about how I like what I do now.