A Weekend with Brother-in-Law

Hubby’s younger brother is visiting from New Jersey. He arrived Friday night, and yesterday we took him around Redwood City, treating him to lunch at Pho Dong and, a few hours later, to early dinner at City Pub. Today we went to a dimsum place in Belmont, then to the Mountain View Farmers Market, then to Goldilocks on Rengstorff (where self bumped into Elizabeth N, a student she taught last spring, at xxxx community college), then to downtown Palo Alto (for gelato), then home. The rest of the afternoon, brother-in-law kept hubby company while he watched one football game after another. Self cooked chicken apritada; brother-in-law helped her peel and chop potatoes and washed up in the sink. After dinner, self graded papers. After a couple of hours, self took a break and joined the men in front of the TV, and brother-in-law asked self if she watched “Prime Suspect.” No, self said, but she knows what it is: a police drama starring a flawed heroine, played by the magnificent Helen Mirren.

“The American version is The Closer,” brother-in-law said, which came as a big surprise to self. Self then found herself doing a mental comparison of Helen Mirren and Kyra Sedgwick. Aside from the fact that they are both super actresses, and are both in the “mature” category, she can’t think of a lot these two women have in common. In any case, it turns out that brother-in-law is such a fan of “Prime Suspect” that he has all seven seasons on disk.

Self asks brother-in-law if he likes “Heroes,” which hubby’s suddenly developed a fondness for. Brother-in-law replies that he doesn’t watch regular channels any longer, only cable. It all started with 9/11, he continues. Before 9/11, his home in Newark, NJ got good reception from a signal beamed from the top of the World Trade Center. After the buildings were knocked down, he and everyone else in his neighborhood had such bad TV reception that they were forced to get cable, and now he watches nothing else.

The other thing brother-in-law tells self is that he has been to games in Boston’s Fenway Park three times. “What about Yankee Stadium?” self asks. Brother-in-law’s only been there once. He says, “The bathrooms stank.”

From brother-in-law, self also learns that there are no Goldilocks branches on the east coast, only Red Ribbons. So, now that brother-in-law is here, almost the first thing he wants to do is go to Goldilocks. And when we get there, he buys so much polvoron and brazo de mercedes and cassava cake that he spends nearly $100. Self figures he is going to hand-carry the brazo and the cassava and perhaps even the polvoron. She assumes he must be planning to feed a houseful of people (brother-in-law rents a room from a Filipino family).

He also has a GPS navigation system. Last night, he lent it to self so that she could find her way to Edwin L’s house in Diamond Heights. Amazing: self blithely followed all the instructions and she made it from Redwood City to Edwin’s house in just a little over half an hour. Sold!

Tomorrow, brother-in-law says he’ll take a train to the City and visit a couple of museums. Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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