Brain Cloud, Saturday, 5 May: Beard Papa, World Market, Second-Hand Smoke, Kentucky Derby

This afternoon, self and hubby are at home. Considered watching Vacancy, but hubby said it was too nice a day to be in a dark theatre. Instead, walked around (downtown Redwood City) after humongous breakfast (Corned Beef Hash and “Country-fried” potatoes for hubby, Huevos Rancheros for self) at Breakers Café on Woodside Road. This place is usually packed on weekends, but today we were seated immediately (Surprise!)

Afterwards, drove across the street to Michael’s, bought frame for letter to son from Cal Poly Dean, congratulating him for making it to Dean’s List, am sure self will be forgiven for basking in fond maternal pride.

Then, hubby wanted to check out Beard Papa, which self informed him was part of a Japanese chain specializing in cream puffs. Went inside, place smelled heavenly, but cream puffs were huge and we’d just had breakfast. Saw their special of the day was a tiramisu cream puff (yumm, yumm!) for $1.95.

Here’s the listing for Beard Papa in Wikipedia. Self is highlighting Redwood City, as it is too, too thrilling to discover that hometown is only one of 15 places outside of Japan where Beard Papa has chosen to open a store:

Beard Papa is a Japanese company founded in 1999. They have over 250 stores in Japan. They recently expanded their stores to the United States and currently have 15 stores including New York, Boston, San Francisco, Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Redwood City. Their next location is set to open in Corona, California in early March, 2007. Other recent grand openings include the Arcadia store (Los Angeles suburb). They have also expanded to China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Then, walked around the corner to World Market, where hubby bought a wine stand and some bottles of wine to put in it. Self refrained from making any purchases (still waiting on a couple of honorarium checks!). Went home, back to grading papers in front of TV. Hubby found Dirty Dancing, and self told him to watch for the line, “No one puts Baby in a corner,” which came, of course. Enjoyed last dance number immensely, think this would have made a great Broadway musical.

Dirty Dancing followed by Judge Dredd, which is a lousy movie packed with good actors like Diane Lane and Max von Sydow and Jurgen Prochnow (Das Boot). Star is Sylvester Stallone. His hands are huge! I mean, they’re like meat cleavers!

In the middle of Judge Dredd, hubby switched to the Kentucky Derby, started smoking (Yuuuch!) A few days ago, self read an article on the Stanford website — which self made sure to share with hubby, of course — that publicized recent Medical School finding on second-hand smoke : a nonsmoker sitting near a smoker could inhale a breath with 50 times more toxic material than in the surrounding unpolluted air. Which means self will probably die of lung cancer, as have been inhaling hubby’s second-hand smoke for decades. Is there no justice in the world?

But self could not move, was absolutely impaled with excitement, at sight of horses going flat out down track, and who would have supposed a horse like “Street Sense”, no. 19 out of 20 with 3/4 of a mile to go, would WIN??? So, enwreathed in cigarette smoke, one eye fixed wildly on flat screen HDTV (the other on laptop, on which self was typing like mad), saw that horse, I mean Horse # 7, come sneaking up along the rail, sneaking up smooth as silk, and go flat out like the wind on the last half mile, overtaking the horse that had led for most of the way, Hard Spun.

Afterwards, asked hubby, “How long was that?” “About two minutes,” the man said. Aaargh, two minutes of inhaling second-hand smoke! Bringing self closer to her grave!

Also, have today’s SF Chronicle open on my lap, and aside from very long article on compost, which self is reading with great interest, as compost is the one thing we have in abundance, since making it seems to interest hubby exceedingly (Chemistry classes at Ateneo, Stanford finally being put to good use — ha ha ha ha ha!), there is also a short article about how the brother of Sacha Baron Cohen, Erran Baron Cohen (“Baron Cohen” is a real name??? Imagine that, dear blog reader!) received a call from West Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra (had no idea there even existed such a thing), commissioning him to compose a piece for its London performance, which he very sweetly agreed to do (See, all that gossip about how Kazakhstan is really really mad at Borat for dissing them in his movie turns out to be completely false, dear blog reader!). The resulting piece, “Zere,” which, according to Chronicle, is 16 minutes long, was performed in London last Friday.

As for article on compost, here is a sample passage:

Adding composted organic materials to soil improves soil fertility and structure, thereby lessening dependence on synthetic nitrogen and counterbalancing the heavy drawdown of nutrients and the successive degradation of soils that result from continuous farming and gardening.

Hmmm . . . Think self will skip a few paragraphs. A little further on, read:

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service “cautions that the rate of hormone degradation will be affected by how well the compost is aerated, and by the moisture level, porosity and particle size of the compost.”

Hmm . . . Perhaps will skip the rest of the article. Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

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