April 26th, 2011

Beastie Boys: intercontinental french to

(no subject)

Shannon and I biked down to the (sorta) new Berkeley Bowl this evening, primarily because (1) I wanted to check out the store's "British food" section and (2) Shannon wanted to have a look at the nearby bike trails, which have been recently under construction. Despite the morning's drizzling rain, this evening it was lovely, sunny weather for a bike ride, though the wind was a bit chill.

The new BB is very conveniently located for bicyclists, as it's right on 9th, a very nice bike route. The store is much nicer (and bigger) than the one near Ashby BART, with wider aisles (resulting in fewer close encounters with maniacal, self-absorbed, aggressively cart-wielding organic food aficianados) and even more selection (with even *more* produce, including lots of funky stuff like this weird cactus-type thing I saw, which was vaguely spherical, green, and covered in long, thin, sharp, whitish spines -- I can't remember what it was called, though).

The British foods section was not huge, but they did have a number of products I remember fondly from my year in Scotland: Bounty candy bars, Flake candy bars, various "biscuits" (though I usually bought Tesco biscuits when I was living there ... if I could get those here, I would totally buy them! They were perfect for having with tea: not too sweet, not too rich, and yet very tasty.), PG Tips (though I always bought Tetley tea bags), Ribena (which I never particularly liked, but which my English friend Sharon drank often), Aero chocolate bars (though they only carried a mint flavor, which made me sad because I like the normal ones), Crunchie candy bars (too sweet for me!), custard powder, Heinz baked beans, tinned spaghetti (perfect for serving on toast, in the British style), Marmite, beetroot, various products with the word "pickle" in the name, mushy peas (yes, in a tin, already mushed up for you!), etc. Not a lot of "crisps," to my surprise, as the Brits tend to make them in so many wacky flavors. Like "meat" flavored potato chips. Mmm ... meat! Or "ketchup" flavored chips. Or "prawn cocktail." Or "lamb and mint." Or "onion bhaji and duck." I'm not much of a potato chip gal, at any rate, but I always enjoyed looking at the strange flavors represented on the shelves.

Berkeley Bowl also had a lot of surprisingly American-seeming foods in this section, such as Kit Kat candy bars, Rolos, etc. I guess the British versions must be significantly different or something.

Sadly, no Boost candy bars. *sniff* I know I can buy them online, but shipping is pretty ridiculous ... and I really just want a couple of them. I was also looking for these chocolate bars I bought sometimes from the university store in Stirling: they were made of chocolate sorta similar to Flake, but with two solid chocolate cylinders/tubes twined around each other, and they were yummy, primarily because of the texture. But I don't even remember what they were called! Internet searches tell me that there is a chocolate bar called "Twirl," but the photos don't look quite like what I remember, even though the name sounds right. Maybe the design of the product has changed over time. It's been about 20 years since I bought one, after all!

I seriously considered buying a jar of clotted cream, but the label said that once the jar had been opened, the contents should be consumed within 5 days. Now, I *really* like clotted cream ... but I don't think I could consume that whole jar within 5 days without some vomiting being involved. And that just doesn't sound worth it. I'll just have to go out to tea once in a while somewhere that will serve me a *small* amount of clotted cream with my scone, lemon curd, etc.

I did buy a can of sticky toffee pudding, though Shannon was scandalized by the price ($4.50). I don't mind spending that much on a tasty dessert, so I didn't hesitate a moment. It will be a tremendous treat someday soon!
me blue hair

(no subject)

Wow. Apparently today is the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl. Things keep happening to make me realize how old I am. 25 years since Chernobyl? Really?

Went to the dentist (Rockridge Dental) today for a cleaning ... and they told me it had been almost 4 years since they'd last seen me. Whuh? I guess I lost track of time! I grew up always going to the dentist for a cleaning twice a year, but I haven't been as vigilant about my dental health since moving to the Bay Area. Today's results: still no cavities (huzzah!), but the hygienist couldn't finish the cleaning in only one session, because apparently tartar is a real fan of my teeth (and I don't even like tartar sauce!), so we had to schedule another appointment in a couple weeks. Fun fun fun.

The über-cool hygienist (Elizabeth, the same hygienist I've been seeing for about a decade) is around my age, and we got to talking about music from the 80's, and then Depeche Mode specifically. We were being total DM geeks, talking about their different albums, their different songs, their different tours, etc. Then we found ourselves stumped, trying to remember the name of one of DM's biggest albums, but all we could come up with were various *songs* from that album: "People Are People," "Master and Servant," "Blasphemous Rumours," etc. (Hey! I just noticed that all of those song titles are composed of 5 syllables! Coincidence?) I found myself just randomly listing DM albums I'd once owned on vinyl: "Construction Time Again? No, that's not it. Speak and Spell? Definitely not, too early. Violator was that one in the early '90's. Black Celebration? No. Grrr!" I hate it when I can't remember something like that! A little while after we abandoned the topic, though, the album title jumped into my head: Some Great Reward. It was a fabulous album. I think it's second only to Violator on my fave DM albums list.

I told Elizabeth that the only thing that really bothered me about the cleaning was that we couldn't continue talking while it happened. :)

I'm going to try to do the dentist thing more regularly, so that the situation doesn't get so out of hand in the future. Once a year should do it, I would think.

On my way home from the dentist's office, I picked up a pizza at Zachary's, because they have brought back my favorite seasonal pie: The Super Veggie! Zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, white corn, broccoli, etc. It's fab.

I'll just make sure to brush and floss after my pizza splurge.