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Joe's Book Cafe 9

This is a continuation of the topic Joe's Book Cafe 8.

This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe 10.

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 10:21am Top

Painting by Paul Gauguin

Welcome back to the cafe! Book discussions, persiflage, and fine food and drink for thems that want it, all available here.


1. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
2. Echo The Complete Edition by Terry Moore
3. Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum
4. The Siege by Helen Dunmore
5. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
6. Fault in Our Stars by John Green
7. A Zoo in Winter by Jiro Taniguchi
8. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
9. Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill
10. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson


1. Running the Rift by Naomi Benoaron

Mar 28, 2012, 6:01pm Top

I've started Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron, which is promising so far. My mystery is Anarchy and Old Dogs by our pal Colin Cotterill. So far it's the funniest of the bunch, which is saying something. My gn is Finder Library Volume 1 by Carla Speed McNeil, which is roughly drawn at times and jumpy in plot, but inventive and always interesting.

Edited: Mar 28, 2012, 6:07pm Top

Number 9! Number 9! Just had a White Album flashback! Like the new thread, Joe! Love the Gauguin!
Back to RD's American beer tirade! Of course he's right about all those inferior domestics and he missed a bunch too but the quality beer we have started to craft around the country, over the past decade or so, is truly astonishing. And I think, it has reached a level where it's equal to everywhere else. Of course, IMHO!

Mar 28, 2012, 6:14pm Top

Thanks, Mark! You're first, so your pick of American beers on the house. Some time try playing this thread backward. :-)

I'm with you on the beers. Including some of our hometown ones. We'll keep sampling at the cafe and maybe we'll convince Richard. Right now he's tippling hard cider, so maybe he'll be more open-minded.

I can hear my train calling, so please everyone carry on and chat up the chef if you need anything.

Mar 28, 2012, 6:22pm Top

Hi Joe, I'm not much of a beer drinker and our kids make fun of my hubby and me because we split a beer every summer but an ice cold apple martini would hit the spot right about now.

Got to get to that Colin Cotterill.

Mar 28, 2012, 7:05pm Top

Hi Joe, just checking in to your new location. I could go for an ice cold apple martini as well, and, unlike James Bond, I prefer stirred over shaken. I'll be interested in hearing your opinion of Running the Rift, as it was recently added to my wishlist.

Mar 28, 2012, 7:11pm Top

Murrikin beeeeer *blows razzberry*

more ssssssssider bark bar barkeeper

Mar 28, 2012, 7:17pm Top

I'll have a large glass of persiflage please, with ice and lemon.

Mar 28, 2012, 7:18pm Top

"Persiflage"! Oh my, I'm not sure my husband will like me hanging out here. *off to check google dictionary"

"Light or frivolous manner of discussing a subject" *blushes*
Yes, of course, persiflage! I persiflage all the time......and I didn't even realize it.

Edited: Mar 28, 2012, 7:19pm Top

*Googles persiflage*

ETA: Along with everybody else.

Mar 28, 2012, 7:22pm Top

Well, Joe did put it on the menu...

Mar 28, 2012, 7:40pm Top

ah, yes, The White Album... Did I ever tell you the story of getting oh, so drunk on a Christmas Eve that I threw up over the side of the bed, into the White Album? yes, I did.

Well, Joe, are you still impressed at the breadth and width of my experiences..... hehehe

It did clean up, and I played those long play record for many a happy year. Number 9, number 9, number 9....

And I love the MTA song, too. No he never did return... poor guy. I'm glad we don't have underground in Seattle.

OK, I'll go to my corner now. Probably be finishing the book on hoarders and collectors tonight and right after I'll have to do some purging of somethings... or maybe I'll just sleep.

Mar 28, 2012, 8:08pm Top

One of my favorite U.S. beers:

Mar 28, 2012, 9:11pm Top

#9! Wow you are a popular fellow!

Mar 28, 2012, 9:18pm Top

#13 Oh that really looks good.

Edited: Mar 28, 2012, 9:53pm Top

Hi Joe, I've missed much, but glad to make an appearance on your new shiny new thread. I'll be sure to pop over to the "old" thread to catch up on those reviews I've missed. Will have to don my bullet-proof vest first! :-)

By the way, I've been listening to Walter Mosley's Devil in a Blue Dress since yesterday (probably finish it tonight or early tomorrow) and really been enjoying it. Having read Chester Himes recently, I can see that Mosley was probably inspired by his predecessor, though he is somewhat lighter in comparison. Himes did Hardboiled very well cooked indeed!

eta: thanks for your visits on my thread today!

Mar 28, 2012, 10:05pm Top

Hi Joe, I finished your favorite O. Henry story yesterday. I really liked 'The Ransom of Red Chief" as well. I'm going to miss these stories when I run out in a day or two. I'm off to bed early tonight so I won't place an order. I just wanted to check out the ambience. I kind of feel like the guy passed out in the background of the Gauguin painting. I'll be back when I can stay longer and socialize.

Mar 28, 2012, 11:43pm Top

Oh, life's been busy. Nice to pop back in here after an absence (which probably felt longer to me than it did to you!) and catch up.

I'm a fan of beer, so long as it's good. (Belgian, English, Australian, American, Canadian, Chinese... so long as it's good.) We have a lot of those big conglomerate companies making ordinary beer, and a largeish handful of people making good beer now too. Always search out the boutique beers when I can. (And, for the record, no one drinks Fosters here. It's revolting.)

But, right now, it's still work. Can I please have some banana and vanilla yoghurt, with some passionfruit pulp on top. That should get me through this afternoon....

I'm hanging out to get back to my book, Natasha by Suzanne Finstad, a biography of Natalie Wood. My oh my, she had one *expletive deleted* up life. It's one of my oldest news memories, hearing about her death, and understanding it was strange for some reason but not knowing the details. About time I filled in that gap in my knowledge.

Mar 29, 2012, 2:40am Top

"If I'm having English chips it has to be with plenty of malt vinegar - and usually a large piece of battered cod or haddock, also heavily doused in malt vinegar..."

Couldn't agree more ........

Mar 29, 2012, 3:51am Top

how funny you using 'persiflage,' Joe. a favorite word i learned years ago from Rex Stout's Over my dead body (first published in 1939) with detectives Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.

oh the hours i've spent with Nero (genius, orchid grower, agoraphobic, gourmet, bibliophile and, when financial necessity demands it, detective) and Archie (self-described amanuensis and cocklebur for Wolfe). i still reread them. many of the lines from those books worked their way into our family culture when i was growing up. how we used to laugh! how i still do laugh.

Nero Wolfe is an avid, discriminating and most particular beer drinker. since Joe's Place opened up and the talk has turned to beer, i've often wondered what beer Mr. Wolfe would drink. i don't believe we were ever told. i know he eats imported wild thyme honey on the griddlecakes Fritz Brenner (Wolfe's chef) cooks every morning. i know that in Wolfe's house "contact" is not a verb. i know he owns a "Heron" automobile (a fictitious car thought to have been a Cadillac since the hood ornament for the Cadillac LaSalle used to be a heron) though he does not drive and that Archie drives a roadster. it irks me that i don't know what kind of beer he drinks.

any other Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin fans on board here?

Mar 29, 2012, 7:25am Top

De-lurking to say that the only kind of beer I can stand is the root variety, but I do love a bit of mayo for my fries...

Mar 29, 2012, 8:29am Top

Thanks for the fries+mayo support, Amber - I was feeling rather lonely in that. But do tell me, what exactly is root beer?

Mar 29, 2012, 9:02am Top

Good morning. Having a celebratory cuppa this morning as I finished reading Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things. Now, I can get back to cleaning up my house, right after I eat a nice morning breakfast. What's the special this morning, Joe?

See comments about Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/129805#t

Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 10:26am Top

>5 brenzi: Hah! Fair enough, Bonnie. Here's your ice cold apple martini:

>6 DeltaQueen50: Good to see you, Judy! One of the above coming your way. So far, Running the Rift is quite good, albeit angering.

>7 richardderus: Gotcha, RD. We'll keep working on persuading you. Argus Hard Cider coming up. The couch in the back is ready when you are.

>8 gennyt: Hah! Love it, Genny. This is as close as we can get:

   pur-suh-flahzh, noun

1. light, bantering talk or writing.

2. a frivolous or flippant style of treating a subject.

>9 Carmenere: There, see, Lynda, it's not so bad! It's actually a good thing to do with your husband. :-)

>10 Morphidae: Bound to be useful to know, Morphy. Next party?

>11 gennyt: Ah, I can tell we're going to have to come up with a Persiflage Special, Genny. I'll discuss it with the chef. Something light, bantering, frivolous and flippant.

>12 maggie1944: No, I don't believe you did tell me the one about your throwing up on the White Album, Karen. It surprises me a bit, as I always thought that one was pretty good. :-)

I do remember my best bud, at our crowded rehearsal dinner, standing up for a toast and instead apologizing to my mom for being the one who threw up on her embroidered pillow. The result of some beverages in our basement that I had left an unsolved mystery. My wife still gets on him about it.

>13 EBT1002: Now we're talking, Ellen! Black Butte Porter. Mmm, looks good. It's new to me; I'll add it to the tbd list.

>14 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! I believe it's the fine cuisine and the persiflage.

>15 cindysprocket: It sure does, Cindy. We're committed to stocking it, so have one when time permits.

>16 Smiler69: Hi, Ilana! Glad you could stop by. The reviews are waiting back there; no need to don a vest!

I'm so glad you're enjoying Devil in a Blue Dress! (Can't seem to get the touchstone working). As you can tell, I'm a big Mosley fan.

I'm sure he was influenced by Chester Himes. My parents read CH; I never have. The only connection I have is the movie Cotton Comes to Harlem, which was very funny and was based on his book.

Mar 29, 2012, 10:01am Top

>17 Donna828: I'm glad you enjoyed "The Ransom of Red Chief", Donna. Makes me laugh to think of it.

We've got plenty of places to pass out here if you need them. That's Richard over there. *points toward couch*

>18 wookiebender: Hi, Tania! You were missed!

for the record, no one drinks Fosters here. It's revolting. Good to know, and my faith in humanity is restored. We're putting together a pretty good cache of beers from around the world. At some point I need to travel back through the threads and make a list.

Lots of people are still wondering about Natalie Wood's strange death. I can believe she had an effed up life, although I'm as amazed as anyone that this happens to people who are given so much. Always reminds me of that old Richard Cory poem.

>19 roundballnz: Thanks, Alex. "If I'm having English chips it has to be with plenty of malt vinegar - and usually a large piece of battered cod or haddock, also heavily doused in malt vinegar..."

Couldn't agree more ........

I'm getting that craving again . . .

>20 mirrordrum: You know, Ellie, I picked up "persiflage" in a recent read, but I can't remember which one. Colin Cotterill, maybe?

You've whet my appetite for giving Rex Stout another try, Ellie. I probably was too young to appreciate him way back when. I look forward to someone else chiming in on him. I believe seasonsoflove (who has excellent taste, as you pointed out) is a fan.

Nice hood ornament, btw.

>21 scaifea: Hi, Amber! Why do I always think of Romulans when I hear "de-lurking"? We've got some excellent root beer, and we'll even serve mayo with those fries as a tip of the hat to our global clientele. Just don't ask me to steal any.

>22 gennyt: I'll let Amber explain what root beer is, Genny. But you're welcome to try some:

Mar 29, 2012, 10:22am Top

>23 maggie1944: Good morning, Karen! We've got a full English breakfast, a healthy Hawaiian breakfast, Vegemite for the Aussies, and a bunch of other possibilities. Let us know.

Cafe au lait coming up. Congrats on finishing Stuff; good comments on your thread. I'm going to mention it to Walklover.

Mar 29, 2012, 2:16pm Top

Staking out my corner and saying hello :)

Mar 29, 2012, 3:21pm Top

I like my root beer with vanilla ice cream added, please. YUM.

Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 3:38pm Top

it's a warmish day and i'm thinkin' i'd like some Dakos (greek salad w/ feta, kalamata olives, sliced red onions, 'maters, toasted bread and stuff) and iced tea with mint. please.

finished Night Soldiers by Alan Furst. i was finishing that as i was starting The siege which was an interesting combo. NS was uneven. it had some 4 star bits, some 2 star bits and a lot of it was 3 or 3.5 star, i.e. a good read i'd recommend but not really a favorite. it would make a good travel book. an early Nero Wolfe would be even better. ;)

seasonsoflove continues to rise in my estimation.

ETA oh, Ellen. a root beer float! used to be one of my favorite things. i'm about to drool on the keyboard. has to be really good root beer, though. i used to love A&W.

ETA2 great Gaugin, JNW.

Mar 29, 2012, 3:46pm Top

Genny: Root beer is a soda, not an alcoholic drink. And it's deeeelicious.

Ellen & Ellie: I made Charlie is first ever root beet float yesterday. Needless to say, he *loved* it!

Mar 29, 2012, 3:46pm Top

Seconding praise for the choice of Gaugins, Joe, if belatedly.

Having issues. Issues, issues, issues.

I Hate Issues.

Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 3:54pm Top

>31 richardderus: Thanks re the Gauguin, Richard.

Sorry to hear you're having issues. Maybe just cancel the subscription?

*ducks as plate of chili fries whistles past his ear*

>27 mckait: Good to see you, Kath! Glad to see you in your corner - it brings balance to the cafe universe.

>28 EBT1002: Yes, a root beer float! That's the ticket, Ellen! We're making it A&W in Ellie's honor:

Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 4:01pm Top

#30 - But what is the root in root beer, is what I want to know? I've now googled it, and am not much the wiser, because although I have heard of sassafras I have no idea what it is or what it tastes of. The list of ingredients and spices that go into root beer is very long and complex - but I spotted dandelion and burdock among them which is something I recognise (Dandelion and burdock is an old-fashioned soft drink that has been around for centuries in the UK though not very common these days - I think I've only sampled it once from a small producer, Fentimans, that specialises in reviving some of these older drinks).

Edited to add Root beer float?? Is that cream or ice cream on top? I can't say I like the look of that very much! And how on earth do you go about drinking it?

Mar 29, 2012, 4:03pm Top

>29 mirrordrum: Hmm, the chef is sending you some Dakos, Ellie, that is, greek salad with feta, kalamata olives, sliced red onions, tomaters, toasted bread and cool chef stuff. I'll bring over your iced tea with mint. You may want to save room for a root beer float - looks good, doesn't it?

Rex Stout for traveling. Intriguing. Onto the tbrwt (to be read while traveling) list.

Seasonsoflove couldn't rise higher in my esteem, but then, I've known her since she first showed up on this planet. Reminds me I need to let her try some Peet's coffee. I suspect she'll agree with you on that one, too.

Thanks re the Gauguin. It was a new one to me, and fits well here, doesn't it?

>30 scaifea: Too bad we can't mail Genny a root beer, Amber. They should have it available somewhere near Newcastle upon Tyne, shouldn't they? Or use a recipe? It really is one of life's treats.

Mar 29, 2012, 4:04pm Top

Damn. I need a new keyboard after drooling over the A&W root beer floats.

Does the chef know how to make a vanilla egg cream? I'll settle for a vanilla malted if he can't.

Mar 29, 2012, 4:06pm Top

>33 gennyt: Oops, you slipped in while I was typing in the back, Genny. I'll let wiser root beer drinkers than me answer you. (It's ice cream on top. A straw and a spoon are part of the experience).

Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 4:10pm Top

>35 kidzdoc: I know, I'm ready for one, too, Darryl.

The chef surprised me and said yes, he can make the vanilla egg cream, although I think it's also malted:

Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 4:16pm Top

>37 jnwelch: Perfect! There was an old fashioned candy store in Jersey City that was there well before my father was a kid, which sold freshly made egg creams (unmalted, I think) from an ancient soda counter. Back in the day, you could buy an egg cream for less than a dollar, and a bag of assorted candy for 25 cents. Sigh...

Mar 29, 2012, 4:18pm Top

Since I'm on the nostalgia kick, a freshly made loaf of pepperoni bread (preferably with chunks of pepperoni, peppers and onions) would also hit the spot.

Mar 29, 2012, 4:46pm Top

um, Joe, i don't like to complain, but i think Diddums fell asleep in my Greek salad. do you think i might have another? and please wipe the olive oil off her coat before tucking her into a more suitable place.

NB: the image is a hyperlink to a marvelous site called Purr-n-Furr. i asked Patrick, the site owner, if i might use pics from one of his galleries and, bless him, he said i might.

he asked if i'd let him know if i used an image and would i send him the link so i am. Patrick, if you drop in, the Welcome mat is always out at Joe's!

my favorite pages are, remarkably, those of Library Cats and especially the page for the Arkansas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired. please pay Patrick a visit. :)

Mar 29, 2012, 4:53pm Top

Oh this is making me crazy. Must. Have. Root. Beer. Float.
Or at least a kitten salad!

I have fond memories of buying a 2-liter bottle of A&W Root Beer and a half-gallon of ice cream to make "a root beer float." I'd fill a pint glass with ice cream and pour rot beer over it until it was up to the top. Problem was: I'd add a bit of ice cream when the ratio got out of whack, then in a few minutes I'd have to add some more root beer when the ratio got out of whack. Then, in a few minutes, I'd add a bit more ice cream when the ratio got out of whack. Then,......

You get the idea.....

(I will assert, however, that I never actually consumed the entire 2 liters or the entire half-gallon in one sitting!). :-D

Mar 29, 2012, 5:01pm Top

>>38 kidzdoc:, 39 Glad that worked for you, Darryl. I can remember going to a "penny candy" store as a kid while vacationing with the family on Cape Cod, and being able to get a bag of great stuff for a quarter. I join you in your sigh.

Pepperoni bread is new to me, but the chef has risen to the occasion again, and may even have gotten a little overenthusiastic:

>40 mirrordrum: Oops! We'll take care of it right away, Ellie! This goes way beyond "there's a fly in my soup". We'll find a suitable spot for diddums in the back room, maybe on Richard's couch if he's not using it. Uh-oh, I just remembered, RD has a feline phobia, or at least can't stand them. Maybe he won't read all this.

Patrick's site looks like a fun one. Becca's first word was "cat" - her brother's first word was "Becca". (My speech pathologist wife says all that "da-da" stuff doesn't count - there's some kind of fancy word for it that means "no such luck, pops").

Mar 29, 2012, 5:02pm Top

>41 EBT1002: Hah! But I'll bet you came close, Ellen! Yeah, I'm moving beyond my fish and chips craving to a root beer float craving. Not sure that's really progress.

Mar 29, 2012, 5:14pm Top

oh! Root beer floats, warm summer evenings, sitting on the front porch under huge horse chestnut trees, reading Hawaii by James Mitchner. One excellent memory.

Mar 29, 2012, 5:20pm Top

*chuckles at Ellens kitten salad *

Mar 29, 2012, 5:51pm Top

>39 kidzdoc: Ooo, yes, a loaf for me too, please! And a stick of real butter to slather all over it! *drools*

Mar 29, 2012, 6:02pm Top

#33 Genny, you don't exactly drink a rootbeer float. you, ahem, "come into relationship with it," embrace, absorb, and if you're a kid of any sort, play around with it a lot. you stick the straw into the ice cream and lick it off. you blow bubbles in the rootbeer/ice cream melty part. you take judicious bites of the ice cream with the rootbeer flavoring it and suck up the foam. you poke the ice cream down into the rootbeer to see what happens. what happens is it bobs back up and slops onto the table. it's a pretty absorbing experience all the way round. there's the sweetness of the ice cream, the carbonation fizz of the rootbeer with its earthy undertones and aroma, the creamy white mixing with the dark brown. there are oh so many, many sensory parts that . . . well, they can lead an old broad like i am to rhapsodize. sorry 'bout that. (not really) oh, and at some point you do a lot of slurping.

Mar 29, 2012, 6:04pm Top

>44 maggie1944: Sounds great, Karen! That's a Michener I never read. I remember I liked Chesapeake.

>45 mckait: Fast asleep kitten salad, too.

>46 richardderus: There's plenty, Richard. See >42 jnwelch:.

OK, off to Chicago Shakespeare for A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Gary Griffin. Should be good! The chef has plenty of pepperoni bread and root beer floats and more, so have fun.

Mar 29, 2012, 6:08pm Top

I was trying to control myself, but Ellie's description of how one enjoys a Rootbeer Float has sent me over the edge. Gotta have one!

Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 6:39pm Top

Hi Joe- The Cafe is one hopping place! The line is out the door. Hey, an American beer on the house? Yah! Make it a Bell's Oberon, my good man! Michigan's own!

Maggie- LOL. Thanks for the best laugh of the day, on throwing up on your White Album. Priceless. At least the vinyl survived.

Mar 29, 2012, 7:31pm Top

yes, the vinyl survived, and actually the album cover did, too. I woke up enough to do a little house cleaning... I was, after all, visiting at a friend's house, too.

Mar 29, 2012, 7:44pm Top

Ellie, thank you for that wonderful description of how you "come to a relationship with" a root beer float!

Mar 29, 2012, 10:41pm Top

Mar 29, 2012, 11:27pm Top

Root beer is peculiarly American. It tastes like medicine, but delicious, sweet medicine. But I think if you're not brought up on it, you're not going to like it. Still, if you're going to have a "float", call it a spider and make mine a ginger beer spider. (Lime spiders are popular, but ginger beer is my favourite.)

Kitten salad. Next thing you know, you'll be playing kitten poker.

Joe, Miss Boo's first word was "cat" too! Well, she said "dog" (dog!dog!dog!dog!), but she was looking at the cat (we don't have any dogs). Mr Bear looked at her and said "that's not a dog, it's a cat" which made me realise that she was actually talking, not just babbling. (Mr Bear's first word was "juice".)

Mar 30, 2012, 3:21am Top

Catching up from half way anyway....hey, Im trying :)

Looks like you've been serving up some great nosh! Is root beer like sarsparilla (sp?)?

>47 mirrordrum: sounds like an experience one needs to have before their time has come! *trying not to laugh so hard that tears fall down my leg!*

Mar 30, 2012, 4:04am Top

RD and Megan--sorry about the tears on the leg problem. chortle

i had no idea A&W root beer originated in Lodi (pronounced LOAD eye) CA. i first visited Lodi about 55 years ago on a trip w/ my best friend and his folks. i wonder if we had any A&W root beer.

off to bed singin' 'oh lord, i'm stuck in Lodi again.' no wonder i like that song so much. it's so very California.

later on, folks.

Mar 30, 2012, 7:48am Top

Don't tell anyone, but I am not a fan of Root Beer. It is similar to Sarsaparilla, imo.
Dan is a huge fan of root beer floats though, or at least he used to be.

Morning.. and friday.. and that is good~
A new week and a new month coming up..

*starts new pot of coffee*

Mar 30, 2012, 9:45am Top

>47 mirrordrum: Great description, Ellie! I know for me my nose always got involved with the ice cream in the root beer float, no matter how careful I tried to be. (Maybe a sign of tequila noses to come?) As you say, sooner or later there was always a lot of slurping.

Our friends from other parts of the world point out it's an acquired taste. Funny how oblivious we can be of that kind of thing. I can't imagine it being other than rhapsodizical. Rhapsodizatrous? Rhapsodizalicious?

>49 DeltaQueen50: Ellie got me with that one, too, Judy. A trip to the root beer float store is in my future.

>50 msf59: Yum, that Bell's Oberon looks delicious, Mark. As a Michigander in origin, that one I've tried, and liked. I'm ready to sit wherever they're serving that one, too.

>51 maggie1944: Ah, the dangers of visiting at friend's houses. After your technicolor yawn, that White Album had to be renamed?

>52 gennyt: Hah! I love that way of putting it, Genny. But you have to be ready to make the commitment. :-)

>53 richardderus: This means that the person laughing was sitting in a really unusual position, right, Richard? I'm still trying to figure out how this one works. I'm sure yoga is involved somehow.

>54 wookiebender: Always interesting to get a different perspective, Tania. Having grown up with it, root beer doesn't make me think of medicine at all. Summer and hanging out with friends are probably the first things that come to mind. But I suspect marmite and vegemite are going to take me aback a bit when the time comes.

I think we figured out your ginger beer spider:

But let us know if we missed the web.

We figured our kids were naming the most interesting things close to their size and eye level - cat and Becca. Boo and Bear might fit into that with dog/cat and juice.

>55 Ireadthereforeiam: I've always heard that root beer is like sarsaparilla (weird spelling). If a guy ordered it (sarsaparilla) in an oldtime Western movie, he was showing he wasn't very rough and tough.

I'm twisting and turning here trying to figure out how I'd get tears on my leg. This is all very mystifying.

>56 mirrordrum: Et tu, Ellie? OK, tears on the leg is funny, I admit it.

Creedence Clearwater Revival, right, with John Fogerty finding himself stuck in Lodi again? I never did visit there. I did get stuck forever (well, nearly) hitchhiking outside San Bernadino one time. My understanding of Purgatory. Never again, please.

>57 mckait: I'm with Dan on this one, Kath. Root beer floats are the cat's pajamas, or the kitten's salad, or something like that.

Thanks for starting the first pot! It always brings a smile as I come scrambling in, throwing my hat on the hat rack and slipping off my jacket.

Mar 30, 2012, 11:10am Top

Ohhh this thread has me craving an A&W root beer float and a teen burger!! Yum!!

Mar 30, 2012, 11:38am Top

Hah! A teen burger. Forgot all about that. Good one, Chelle! Time to head to the drive-in:

Mar 30, 2012, 12:36pm Top

No root beer for me, thanks. I never acquired the taste, although my father was very fond of A&W. And it always did taste like medicine to me - but maybe that says more about medicine flavors than soda flavors.

Think you could put together some clam chowder for me, Joe? The Manhattan (tomato-based) kind, please, not that white New England stuff.

Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 1:13pm Top

Anyone remember this? (To be honest, I don't.)


ETA: I think the teenburger should have been twice the size of the papaburger.

Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 2:31pm Top

20: Add me to the list of Nero Wolfe fans - I have most of my favorites on the good ol' Kindle for "comfort Food" Reading.

love me some good Root Beer (not Dad's or Hires or other sickley sweet froth). Barg's if you can get it. Stewart's in a pinch. Or just good old fashioned sassafras tea served cold with a cinnamon stick.

Not a grits lover here as Herself pointed out way back. Worked in Raleigh NC for a while years ago - could never get the waitress at the hotel to NOT ladle a scoop of grits (we ARE talking corn meal mush here, right?) on top of my perfectly good waffles.

I eventually got her to stop bringing me coffee (I don't drink coffee) but could never break her or the kitchen staff of the grits obsession.

Ever try to scrape grits off of a waffle? Not a pretty picture. You Never get it all. Nasty.

Currently reading for a book group Zola's The Belly of Paris. It's food porn - describing fresh vegetables and carrots and such like with the passion others reserve for the undraped female form divine. But so far so good.

Mar 30, 2012, 2:27pm Top

Oh golly, I still have a miniature A&W root beer mug around here somewhere. I think it was a freebie with a kid's meal back in the day...

We had a Chinese visitor staying at our house two years ago. He was "into" discovering American cuisine so I offered him a root beer. Pretty sure he was expecting a real beer and almost spewed it out but very politely said "Oh, it's sweeeet." I have a hunch if we visit him, he'll want to get even. No way am I eating an eyeball!!!

Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 2:52pm Top

>61 ffortsa: Not everyone likes root beer, Judy, that's for sure. You probably have plenty of company. Apple pie, bananas, vanilla pudding (I'm trying to think of simple foods) are all going to have their non-fans, too, I'm sure.

Manhattan clam chowder coming your way! It may be my New England roots, but I'm a pushover for the white version.

>62 kidzdoc: Hah! Great commercial, Darryl. I don't remember it, but they sure seem happy to be at A & W, don't they? That baby mug of root beer cracked me up.

I agree with you about teen burger v. papa burger. Back then mine could have been triple the size and I'd still be going back for more.

>63 magicians_nephew: Nero Wolfe is getting a lot of love, James. I'll check with seasonsoflove and give him another try, lo these many years later.

Sassafras tea served cold with a stick of cinnamon sounds intriguing - we'll bring it over and I'll try some, too.

You'd think "hold the grits" would be easy enough, but I guess it's a different mindset.

Zola, must read me some Zola. The Belly of Paris sounds like food porn-y fun. Please keep us posted.

>64 Donna828: That miniature A & W mug is probably worth a million trillion dollars now, Donna. You just have to find the right collector. I saw Jeff Bezos wants to recover the lost Apollo rocket engines. He probably has a million trillion dollars to spare.

Yeah, I know what you mean about these cultural food disjunctions. I took some Japanese visitors out to a "hot" sushi place here and was willing to be pretty adventurous. Part of the fun for them was my reactions to the various dishes. I should have taken them out for root beer afterwards.

Mar 30, 2012, 4:55pm Top

You and Jim, Joe, can have all the NE clam chowder in the world. I'm sticking to my guns.

Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 5:37pm Top

Hah! Okay, Judy. I'd be happy to start with a big bowl of it, and then work up to the whole world. I wouldn't mind a bowl of each, actually.

Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 5:44pm Top

mmmmmm a nice big bowl of NE Clam Chowder please :)

Mar 30, 2012, 6:09pm Top

>You got it, Kath! The chef will bring it out.

Off to my train, and then another Bulls game tonight. Midsummer Night's Dream was excellent, btw. They really brought out the humor.

Mar 30, 2012, 6:30pm Top

Having been educated about root beer (thanks, I think?!) I have now finally got round to looking up what 'grits' is/are. Somehow never knew it was more or less the same thing as polenta.

Mar 30, 2012, 6:47pm Top

Not a fan of root beer Joe. It may trace back to my childhood when my Mom often bought birch beer (anybody ever have that?) and that dislike seemed to carry over to root beer. So when hubby craves a root beer float I'm satisfied with a Coke float. Mmmmm.

Mar 30, 2012, 7:07pm Top

Yes. I like Birch Beer, too. And N.E. clam chowder. It would be fun to find some "real" sassyfrass and I'd be willing to try it with cinnamon sticks? what is it? an herb? a grass? a root?

OK, ok, I'll go to Goggle.

Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 7:53pm Top

I've got to stop coming to this cafe right at the end of my work day, just as I'm ready to head home....
it makes me so hungry

Edited: Mar 31, 2012, 7:30am Top

I keep thinking that Joe's Cafe is just where I would love to work!
I could take the morning shift and see all of my LT friends who pass through..
*mixes up batch of scones while waiting for coffee to finish brewing*

Mar 31, 2012, 8:05am Top

>63 magicians_nephew: I'm with you, Jim. A&W is the best, followed by Stewart's. I can't remember if I like Dr. Brown's root beer or not; I like the celery and cream sodas, though.

Grits on waffles is an abomination, along with the addition of syrup, sugar or anything sweet to them. I've never heard of that combination before; my stomach is doing flip flops just thinking about it.

>67 jnwelch: Ooh, New England clam chowder for me too, please. Judy can have all the Manhattan clam chowder she wants.

>71 brenzi:, 72 Big thumbs up for birch beer! I haven't had it in years.

I have another request for the chef: Gilroy garlic fries. I first tried them at a San Francisco Giants baseball game several years ago, and absolutely loved them.

Not for breakfast, though. I'll have coffee and one of Kath's scones, please. Oh, and grits, of course, made the way we eat it at my parents' house: mix in one sunnyside up egg, and add freshly ground pepper on top.

Mar 31, 2012, 8:24am Top

ok, now that I've checked your site, I am hungry and thirsty. Thanks for the opening print by Gauguin. What a cad he was--What an incredible artist he was!

Mar 31, 2012, 9:36am Top

I'm loving the discussion on this thread, but I'm absolutely flabbergasted that anyone wouldn't know what root beer is!!! Genny (and other UK dwellers), do they not sell root beer across the pond?

Mar 31, 2012, 9:40am Top

Ah, I think I am awake now so perhaps I can start in on a cafe au lait, and I'll think about breakfast. Don't know what I'd like to eat as I had a very satisfying dinner last night and am not all that hungry. Busy day in front of me... housecleaning with help from two able bodied younger people (thank god for them!).

Mar 31, 2012, 9:44am Top

> 74 It would be great to open up a bricks and mortar cafe like this for LTers, wouldn't it, Kath. We'd either need to get the time jiggery element working offline, or maybe open ones in various parts of the world so you'd have one in your area if you lived there, or to visit when you visit there. Hmmm . .

Thanks for putting on the coffee. What scones are you baking today?

>70 gennyt: Maybe you'll get to try some grits some time, Genny, so you can compare them to polenta. To me there's quite a difference.

>71 brenzi: I never have tried birch beer, Bonnie. Sounds like maybe that's a good thing I haven't? Sorry you got spoiled for root beer floats. Ellie's description up above (>47 mirrordrum:) kinda sums it up for me.

>72 maggie1944: All right, now I'm reconsidering on the birch beer, Karen. Can't wait to get your sassafras investigation report. I'm with you on NE clam chowdah.

>73 EBT1002: I know, Ellen, ain't it the truth? All these good suggestions, I end up wanting to have some asap.

>75 kidzdoc: More NE clam chowdah coming up, Darryl. And another vote for birch beer noted. I haven't had Dr. Brown's for years. I've never been to a Giants game (I've got to work on my SF friend to get me to one on a visit). Those Gilroy garlic fries look good. The chef will research and we'll them available on your next stop-by.

You want us to pack the clam chowder so you can take it home? We've got Peet's Garuda coffee this morning, and one of Kath's scones. Not sure what she whipped up this morning. And grits a la kidzdoc, with one sunnyside up egg mixed in. There's freshly ground pepper next to you there to put on top.

>76 Whisper1: We're up and running thanks to Kath, Linda, if you want to order anything.

Yeah, incredible cad and what an artist. I should read a bio some time, although it would probably make me want to reach in and shake him.

Here he is:

I think he knew he was a cad, don't you?

Mar 31, 2012, 9:46am Top

yes. He looks all together too self-satisfied, doesn't he? And superior. Of course, it might be hard to not feel superior when you are... superior.

Mar 31, 2012, 9:49am Top

>77 dk_phoenix: I know, Faith, the cafe is a great place for getting new perspectives, isn't it? And based on the comments, I suspect we'd get a few grimaces from those trying it for the first time.

>78 maggie1944: Cafe au lait on its way, Karen! I've got to buckle down now, too, darn it. Wish I had a couple of young 'uns to help, but mine involves some old, experienced guy thinking. I'd better have some of that Peet's Garuda and get to it.

Edited: Mar 31, 2012, 10:28am Top

Maybe just open one in Diagon Alley, near the wand store? That should cover all the time zones
and everyone's whims. We could also open a new and used book store nearby? And of course
there would be wifi in both.


It should be safe again, by now...

Mar 31, 2012, 10:48am Top

Hah! It should be safe again, by now... Love it! Great ideas, Kath. I'm all for doing this.

Mar 31, 2012, 11:01am Top

I love the pictures, especially Kath's! :) As for root beer - UGH! I can think of many other foods/ beverages that many might dislike . Tapioca pudding, anyone? My mom used to make it. Ugh!Sarsaparilla - what is that...Grits -never had them. Maybe up here in Canada.....things are different. Red River Cereal anyone?

Mar 31, 2012, 11:04am Top

Birch beer *slobber*

We have a lot of sassafras growing in our little wooded area. I've often thought of making filé powder out of their leaves.

Milk grits, please, with extra-sharp cheese and a sunny-side up egg. Where's the pepper grinder? No more coffee, I've already had a pot. A double V8 with a sprinkle of celery salt, instead.

Edited: Mar 31, 2012, 11:39am Top

>84 vancouverdeb: Canada - poutine comes to mind, Deb. :-)

I've never tried Red River Cereal, but I'm one who might likes it. I enjoy a whole lot of different cereals. Honey Gone Nuts granola from Whole Foods is my favorite, but I have to go easy on it or I'll be a float in somebody's parade.

>85 richardderus: Oh, that file powder sounds good, Richard (have to learn how to do the accent mark). If it were me, I'd be worried it was lethal sassafras, or lethal something or other disguised as sassafras, because I'm not very knowledgeable on what's growing in the woods - much as I love wandering them. But if you're confident enough, you should do it. Sounds great.

OK, the chef has put together some milk grits for you with extra-sharp cheddar and a sunny-side up egg. The pepper grinder is hiding behind the flower tube vase. A double V8 with a sprinkle of celery salt coming your way in a sec. Hope your weekend is starting off well!

Edited: Mar 31, 2012, 1:11pm Top

I'm still working on Running the Rift, which is quite good, and chuckling my way through Anarchy and Old Dogs. Lots of non-reading fun this week, with more to come (another play tomorrow). Can't complain, but I miss the reading!

Our Bulls won again last night in workmanlike fashion; what a year they're having! The production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by the stellar Gary Griffin of Sondheim fame, was terrific. Ron Orbach as Nick Bottom was a standout. They really brought out the humor in the play, and had several great moments of pure visual humor, including going round and round the thrust stage* as Hermia tries to tear into what she thinks is treacherous Helena, while Helena-loving Lysander and Demetrius try to protect Helena by getting in between them and Helena is perplexed by all of it.

Here's a good quotation from it for Spring, courtesy of Oberon:

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk roses and with eglantine."

*Chicago has many stages that "thrust" out into the audience, so that the players are surrounded by audience members. I love it! It makes something like a Sondheim or a Shakespeare a different, and for me superior, experience.

Mar 31, 2012, 5:55pm Top

Hi Joe- I am on a Bells kick, so I'll go with a Bell's Pale Ale. I think my favorite from this brewery is The Two-Hearted Ale. Have you tried that one?
Thanks for sharing the lovely quote and Go Bulls!

Mar 31, 2012, 6:28pm Top

Root beer & Grits are the commonly referred foods on here I have never seen - something the USA has not successfully exported to the rest of the world ......

A strong pot of English breakfast tea & scones will do me well so I can sit back & read Sunday away .....

Mar 31, 2012, 9:52pm Top

*making note to go to Whole Foods upon return to Seattle to find Honey Gone Nuts granola*

In the airport, i took a quick, unpaid-for glance at an article in "Consumer Reports" and they gave WF a full black circle (this is bad) for price. In my neighborhood, we call it "Whole Paycheck," but I still love shopping there on occasion.

Mar 31, 2012, 10:12pm Top

I frequently visit the Whole Foods store which is across the street from my health care clinic. I go in there just to bathe in the beauty of the extravagant produce displays; and then, I wander around and look at the display of all the different kinds of pepper! Different colors of pepper! And then, if I am feeling fine, I might buy a cup of coffee and go home.

Mar 31, 2012, 11:18pm Top

91> LOL! If you get out of there only buying a cup of coffee, I'm impressed!
The variety of small tarts at the bakery section are almost irresistible.

Apr 1, 2012, 12:52am Top

Just finished Embassytown - if you have not read it yet - Go read it now ......

Brilliant book

Apr 1, 2012, 1:07am Top

Hey, Joe, set me up something to celebrate! Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

Apr 1, 2012, 1:57am Top

oh happy day, Roni! talk about a nail biter. wheeeee doggies! enjoy.

Apr 1, 2012, 6:16am Top

Ellen's cakes look spiffing Joe.

By the way tried a local brew here yesterday (three varieties in truth) and enjoyed Speights 5 Malt Dark Ale. Get some in mate for next time I can drop by.

Apr 1, 2012, 7:55am Top

I adore grits (served with salt and butter, thank you very much) and can't imagine any reason to put them on waffles? Weird.

Speaking of...

I'll take two scrambled eggs (firm), bacon, a side of grits and some cantaloupe for breakfast, please.

Apr 1, 2012, 7:58am Top

*stirring grits and watching bacon...*

Apr 1, 2012, 9:03am Top

>98 mckait: Thanks, Kath, for getting things started! We're about to go out for coffee, so we'll see how far I can catch up!

>88 msf59: We'll time-jigger and get you that Bell's Pale Ale, Mark. I've never tried (or seen) the Two-Hearted Ale, so I'll look for that one. Enjoy the weekend! The Bulls play the other top team today, the Thunder, but still no Derrick or Rip, darn it. Can't wait to see the whole team healthy.

>89 roundballnz: Hi, Alex! I actually like it that there are regional foods that aren't well-known elsewhere. Grits aren't universally available in the U.S. (although I think they're known everywhere here), so that doesn't surprise me so much, but root beer did.

A strong pot of English breakfast tea and some of Kath's scones coming up for you.

>90 EBT1002: Yes, we used to shop at Whole Foods much more often, Ellen. It is expensive. Now we shop strategically there every couple of months or so. I'm out of that honey gone nuts granola, darn it, so there will be a trip soon.

>91 maggie1944: It is a beautifully laid out store, and the people working there know what they're talking about, Karen. Kind of a high end Trader Joe's. Do you get out of Target without spending much? Your will power is impressive.

>92 EBT1002: Great-looking baked goods, Ellen! Yum!

OK, we're off. I'll catch up some more in a bit.

Apr 1, 2012, 9:04am Top

I'll have what Morphy is having.

I have a confession: I signed up for additional cable TV channels yesterday so that I could watch Season 2 of the George R.R. Martin shows....

you know - winter is coming.....

Apr 1, 2012, 9:07am Top

Two more

>93 roundballnz: I agree, James, Embassytown was brilliant. I thought it was one of Mieville's cleverest and most challenging. I have a decent vocabulary, and he was stumping me for a while, particularly at the beginning. Fascinating look at language, among other things.

>94 ronincats: Congrats, Roni! We'll bring by some time-jiggered champagne for you. That was one heck of a game. There is no joy in Ohio today. What a comeback by the Jayhawks!

It does look like the two best teams will be playing for all the marbles. When it looked like Ohio State might win, I thought they'd get massacred by Kentucky. Kansas has the height to compete.

Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 11:27am Top

>95 mirrordrum: That was a good 'un, wasn't it, Ellie? Kansas-Kentucky should be a fun final, too.

>96 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul! We'll get some Speights in. I've heard of it but never had it. I like dark ale, too. Hope everything's going well in Chicago East.

>97 Morphidae: Yeah, I'd never heard of grits on waffles before either, Morphy. Not a combo I'd choose. I do like syrup on waffles, though.

We've got two scrambled eggs for you, firm not runny, with Applegate Farms organic Sunday bacon, a side of grits a la Darryl, and some Hale's Best cantaloupe. Have a good Sunday!

>100 maggie1944: Another Morphy order coming up, Karen!

I understand re cable. We got it when I pleaded with my wife that Michael Jordan wouldn't be playing forever. We've got Game of Thrones on Netflix and will give it a try. Lots of LTers love it, I know.

I just Skyped with my dad, who's over in Ann Arbor, MI. Amazing that we can chat while seeing each other - and for free! My sisters and I chipped in to get him a new computer, which solved the problem of the video freezing and the whole thing being jumpy. Smooth and good now. He's in touch the same way with his 93 year old brother over in Massachusetts. Technology can be a real blessing.

Apr 1, 2012, 12:07pm Top

Hi Joe and Company,

I would love a frozen smoothy.... still have a sore throat.

I cannot get into The Tiger's Wife. I may give up for now, and try again at a later date.

Apr 1, 2012, 12:26pm Top

The Tiger's Wife just made me mad, so I gave up on it. I could never forget I was reading, because the author was so hell-bent on Writing Pretty Sentences. I myownself would advise abandonment, Jennifer.

It's April Fool's Day, and I about had an aneurysm when I went onto Facebook this morning...a very very good joke totally suckered me: George W. Bush was "reported" as endorsing Barack Obama for President, complete with quotes from Romney's campaign and Santorum's campaign. It was so well done that I bought it...right up to the point where the Wall Street Journal was quoted as approving the development.

Once I twigged to it, I laughed myself silly and then played it on everyone in the house. Big fun. My niece Vayram said, in a small voice, "Maybe the world really IS ending this year."


Apr 1, 2012, 12:32pm Top

The Tiger's Wife ...disliked it .

:) at the joke on fb, rd..

Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 12:42pm Top

>103 JenniferMichelle: You got it, Jenn. I had a strawberry and banana smoothie at Julius Meinl's yesterday - delicious. Our cafe version is headed your way.

As you probably know, while I think Tea Obreht is a wonderful writer, for me The Tiger's Wife was in the end a disappointment.

>104 richardderus: Yeah, I know what you mean on The Tiger's Wife, Richard. And yet there's such a lot of talent there, and she's very young. I hope she pulls off a good one in her next outing.

Ah, I wish I had seen the Bush endorsement of Obama. Great one for April Fool's Day. Jeez, your the first non-Canadian I've known who has "twigged" to something.

>105 mckait: Interesting that we have so many cafe denizens who were not taken by The Tiger's Wife, Kath. I guess it's because we're such discerning readers. :-)

Apr 1, 2012, 1:00pm Top

NPR's Weekend Edition almost had me with a 10th Symphony by Beethoven, but the fake Germanic accent of the supposed researcher was so bad, even I wasn't taken in. After the piece, the MC casually reminded us it was April Fool's Day, and I was much relieved.

Jim and I heard some young folks from Music From Marlboro last night. the Hayden and Beethoven were standard fare, butthe Brahms Clarinet Trio put me in heaven. The piece is set up so that the clarinetist and cellist are so intimate with each other, I ended up feeling a little bad for the pianist, watching lovers dance in front of him! Lovely music. Cellist Peter Stumpf was particularly wonderful to listen to, and played in all three pieces. I must look him up.

Today (yeah, one of those weekends), Jim and I are going to see the Encores production of 'Pipe Dream', a Rogers and Hammerstein show based on Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday.
I can't take tomorrow off, but I'm taking Tuesday off to recover from this weekend and the preceding and continuing busyness. Thank goodness next weekend is calm for us.

Apr 1, 2012, 1:26pm Top

>107 ffortsa: That (especially the Brahms) sounds really good, Judy. I'd like to listen to the Clarinet Trio. He supposedly modeled it after Mozart, and I'm a big fan of Mozart, including his clarinet concerto.

Can't wait to hear what you think of "Pipe Dream". I loved Cannery Row, and will be reading Sweet Thursday later this year. I had no idea R & H had created something based on them.

We're off shortly to see an adaptation of Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle at City Lit theater. It's a small outfit, with the theater seating less than 100. They always do lit adaptations, and can be hit and miss at times. They've done many wonderful Wodehouse adaptations, and good Sherlock Holmes ones, among others. Fingers crossed on this one.

Apr 1, 2012, 1:47pm Top

Hi Joe! I am also using skype lately! Nate's parents use it to talk to Nate's brother who is going to school in New York, so thankfully they are already hooked up and can talk to us now. If only I could get my mom to download it! I think I may have to send my sister over to do it for her

Apr 1, 2012, 1:57pm Top

Hi, Chelle! Yes, we had the son of my dad's caregiver help him install it and learn to use it. Now my dad loves it.

This connection with his brother is just such a wonderful thing. They've been geographically separated and neither of them really up for traveling, and they're loving the connection. So are we! We're going to visit him in person next weekend, but having the visual connection at other times is great. Plus ours is on a laptop, so we can show him different parts of the house where we've made changes.

Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 2:15pm Top

thoughts going out to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. i worry. time to light a candle, i think, and engage in some dedicated metta practice. no, i don't think it helps her but it changes me for the better.

ffortsa, every time i see your handle, i think of La forza del destino, one of my favorite operas. haven't listened to it for ages. i think it's the only opera i own that wasn't sung by La Stupenda. time to hear it again. i used to listen to it over and over and over.

i'm reveling, reveling, reveling in Shaun Tan's The lost thing.

Dunmore's The siege is incroyable! thanks for putting out the word here at Joe's.

oh, for you bird lovers in the northeast US and in Canada, the white-throated sparrows are heading your way. several flocks have come through in the last couple of days. they're my favorite bird.

Apr 1, 2012, 2:22pm Top

Joe, while in Michigan, I thought I'd try a local brew. Just had a Sunday afternoon Two Hearted Ale (by Bell's Beers). It was quite refreshing.

Apr 1, 2012, 5:29pm Top

Joe, I'm afraid "Pipe Dream" was not a success. As anyone who has read Steinbeck's original stories knows, this is not high, passionate drama, and R&H just couldn't make it more than it was. No outstanding songs, no dramatic tension, nada. Jim told me that the only reason the original ran over 200 performances was that there wasn't much of anything else to see. The minute "My Fair Lady" opened, it closed. It's the first Encores revival I found a waste of time.

I looked up the Clarinet Trio, and it's been recorded a lot. I suspect you could download a recording, or request it to be played by whatever classical music station might still survive in your area. Truly lovely.

Was the adaptation of the Shirley Jackson successful? It felt so interior to me when I read it this year, I'm wondering how it would translate to the stage.

I'm envious of all the Skype users. My friend in the Peace Corps and I were going to use it, and we're all set up, but somehow we never do. My sister and I tend to communicate by Words With Friends. But it's great that your father and uncle can stay in touch this way, when travel would be difficult and email and phone so much less adequate.

Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 7:15pm Top

>111 mirrordrum: She reportedly won the Myanmar election today, Ellie, although I don't think it's official for a few days. You probably know a heck of a lot more about it than I do.

Glad you're enjoying a couple of my faves! The Siege is amazing, isn't it? And I loved The Lost Things. Shaun Tan is really talented.

In your honor:

>112 EBT1002: Mmm, that looks good, Ellen. Thanks for bringing it to the cafe. I'll be in Michigan in a little less than 3 weeks, and I'll see if I can find one. What were you doing there, anyway?

>113 ffortsa: Ah, too bad, Judy, about "Pipe Dream". Those characters are so charming in Cannery Row, and I imagine it's similar in Sweet Thursday. It's true there's no high, passionate drama, or much of a story, really. That makes for a tough adaptation.

The one we saw, We Always Lived in the Castle, was pretty good. There is creepy drama to that one, and the adaptation was well thought out. A young actress named Elise Walter, recently graduated from Northwestern, was surprisingly compelling. She effectively carried the interior nature of the story via monologue a good part of the time. I think we'll be hearing about her a lot more.

We do have a good classical music station here, WFMT, of which we're members, so that's a thought for the Clarinet Trio. I'll poke around online, too. I may be able to get Pandora to work.

You can tell I'm a Skype convert. We used it to call for free with my daughter when she went to school in London, without visuals, and liked it. With visuals, it's just amazing. We don't have flying cars or domed cities on other planets like they thought we would in the 50s, but when it comes to computers, the internet and communication, we're getting pretty science fiction-ish these days.

Apr 1, 2012, 7:16pm Top

We Always Lived in the Castle.. loved that book..

Skype... trying to form the habit... I like it...I don't think to use it.

Apr 1, 2012, 8:31pm Top

I convinced Walklover that she needs to read The Lottery. I didn't know it, but Shirley Jackson died at age 45 of a heart attack. Who knows what else she would have written.

Apr 1, 2012, 9:01pm Top

*sneaking in quietly with lap top, sitting at the table in the back, in the corner, in the dark*

*shhh.. whispers? Game of Thrones, Season 2 starts right now!....

Apr 1, 2012, 9:03pm Top

Game of Thrones ....... sigh oh dear another one lost .......

Apr 1, 2012, 9:06pm Top

Notre Dame 83, UConn 75 too bad, Geno. Baylor, FEAR THE TREE.

thanks for the white-throat pic. they've been singing all day today, especially during the storms. white throats seem to enjoy singing in the rain. dunno why.

Apr 2, 2012, 7:51am Top

Envious of you getting to see Game of Thrones season 2 already. I hope my dad will record it off cable for me as he did the first season...

Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 8:23am Top

As last year, my eyes were glued to the TV screen and then the next thing I knew the whole hour had whipped by. It is so nice to not be bothered by commercials. I am so tired of commercial TV. Actually, I am contemplating cutting the cable all together. (after Season 2 of course) And then there is this: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/04/entirety-of-game-of-thrones-season-2-leaked

Good morning, all! Cafe latte is yummy. And I postponing breakfast for a little while... not yet hungry.

Apr 2, 2012, 9:25am Top

>>117 maggie1944:, 118, 120 Karen, Alex, and Genny, there's a Game of Thrones crowd that meets in the back to watch. We're going to try Season 1 and see whether we join the Throne fandom.

>119 mirrordrum: Nice bird song! I got a handheld bird song identifier and will have to pull that out now that spring is here. I love the calls of cardinals and mourning doves, among others.

>121 maggie1944: Cafe latte coming your way, Karen.

Apr 2, 2012, 9:57am Top

I am trying an old fashioned "I've got the soup pot on" invitation and inviting folks over for a HBO watching party on Sunday evenings. I don't know how well it will work with folks who have not seen season 1. I liked the books, and enjoy revisiting the characters on the show.

Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 9:29am Top

Jean Patrick sprinted as hard as he could up the ridge. A reddish haze hung in the air and coated the brush. A blue turaco exploded into flight, its beak a flare of red and yellow. A bell tinkled in the clearing. It was Papa's inyambo steer, watching him with sleepy eyes, a clump of grass between his teeth. With a flash of understanding that took his breath, he saw that his father lived in all that surrounded him, and that every breath of wind contained his father's blessing.

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron, a novel set in Rwanda, is filled with moments of great beauty, quiet and not-so-quiet family moments, obstacle-transcending love, and sorely tested friendship. Central character Jean Patrick Nkuba is named after "Nkuba, Lord of Heaven, the Swift One", and early on shows a passion for running that leads to Olympic-qualifying times in the 800 meters. But he is growing up in the time of increasing hostility between the Tutsi and the Hutu tribes, which eventually will lead to the horrifying genocide of 1994, only the most recent massacre in a series spanning decades. He learns his grandparents and uncle were killed in the 1973 government overthrow in which "Hutu rose up to murder Tutsi."

An irony is not even Jean Patrick, a Tutsi, can tell the Tutsi and the Hutu apart. "Some Hutu had coffee-and-cream complexions, long, delicate fingers, and sculpted features, and some Tutsi were short and round-faced, with black-coffee skin." The two tribes had been "mixed up together for so many years" that sure identification was impossible. His own Tutsi brother could be said to have short, stocky Hutu features. Nonetheless, many Tutsi traditionally wear felt hats and tend cattle, while Hutu work the fields and farms. Identification cards are carried to identify which tribe one belongs to. When tall and lean Jean Patrick is adamantly told by a Hutu train passenger that Tutsi have horns, he points out that he does not have them. The passenger knowingly responds, "That is because you are Hutu."

Jean Patrick is smart enough to place first in his class and get a much-sought assignment to a good secondary school with a running coach who sees his potential. All he wants to do is learn and live and win races. But that may not be permitted in the Rwanda of his time. His coach, a Hutu, pulls strings to protect him, and provides him with topnotch equipment: "Jean Patrick's feet slipped into the shoes as if gliding through butter. . . . The soles were springy; he almost lifted from the ground with his toe-off." The President, a Hutu, embraces him as a young hero of his country as his running prowess becomes recognized. But in the meantime he is subjected to humiliation and physical attacks by Hutus, and is constantly worried about the state of his family. The "Hutu Ten Commandments" proclaim the inferiority of the Tutsi, and urge the Hutu male to "be united in solidarity against his common enemy, the Tutsi."

As enmity increases, just getting around Rwanda through soldier checkpoints begins to cost ill-affordable bribes which may or may not work. Rebel groups arise, and there are frequent clashes. Jean Patrick is torn by the disparity between his sometimes privileged status and goals and the treatment of other Tutsis, but realizes while others had chosen "to fight with bullets, he had chosen to fight with his legs. As Uncle told him, each time he won, he carried all Tutsi with him." He has Hutu friends who sympathize and resist the escalating oppression, and he befriends an American professor who tries to help. In the midst of the country's chaos, Jean Patrick and a Hutu girl fall in love. Can their love survive? Can they survive, period? The rest of the world is disinclined to help a country where there is no oil, no diamonds.

Saying more would begin to enter spoiler territory, but the events of 1994 and after are experienced by the novel's characters in an unforgettable way. This book won the Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and it deserves to be widely read. According to her bio, the author is an advocate for African refugees and has worked extensively with Rwanda genocide survivors. She brings this beautiful country and its people to vivid life. The people she depicts are constantly chased by demons of mistrust and misinformation, while so many are like any other citizens of the world, seeking only those things which many of us take for granted - enjoyment of life and nature, family moments, love, friendship - and safety.

Apr 2, 2012, 10:16am Top

Thumbs-upped that paean!

Apr 2, 2012, 10:21am Top

>124 jnwelch: Wow, you're fast! Thanks, Richard!

Apr 2, 2012, 10:24am Top

Oh! there is so much sadness in this world!

Edited: Apr 2, 2012, 2:55pm Top

You're right about that, Karen. We can only hope we're learning something and moving in the right direction. Many international groups now travel to Rwanda to learn and help. Here's a 2012 human rights report: http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-rwanda.

The book repeatedly brings home the transcendent moments amidst the sadness. The world is full of beauty, and warmth, as well, as the author reminds us.

Apr 2, 2012, 3:39pm Top

Thanks for the support. The Tiger's Wife has been abandoned.

Thanks for the smoothie, Joe.

I would love another.


Apr 2, 2012, 4:22pm Top

excellent review, TN.

glass of Sierra Nevada 50's h2o please. we have June temps and humidididity and i need refreshment. i'll be over in the audiobook readers' nook with The Franchise Affair. i thought i'd read all of Tey's books umpteen times but have no recall of this one. how lovely.

Apr 2, 2012, 4:32pm Top

>129 JenniferMichelle: You bet, Jenn! What book is grabbing your hand now?

Glad the strawberry/banana smoothie hit the spot. Another one is coming your way.

>130 mirrordrum: Thanks, Ellie! I love filling orders for Sierra Nevada 50's h2o. It's rare that you get a whole ambiance from an order like that.

I remember loving Josephine Tey as a kid, including The Franchise Affair, but whoa nellie, it's been a long time! I did re-read The Daughter of Time last year, but I should re-read some of her others, too. Please let us know what you think of The Franchise Affair.

Apr 2, 2012, 5:13pm Top

>124 jnwelch: nice review Joe, and I love the cover too :)

Please may I have a bag of Pumpkin Choc Muffins (to go), maybe 6 should get me through the day....2 for breakfast, 2 for lunch and 2 for dinner. My normal supplier is "red-zoned" and I miss these gorgeous muffins.

Apr 2, 2012, 5:45pm Top

>132 Ireadthereforeiam: Thanks, Megan!

Those muffins looks mighty good, and we'll try to do them one better. Six of our chef's finest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins, to go, coming up.

Apr 2, 2012, 6:25pm Top

you're a life saver!
That's dinner sorted then :) Now I can get some reading done, finally

Apr 2, 2012, 6:27pm Top

Joe- Excellent review of Running the Rift. Sounds incredible and on the WL it goes.
"there's a Game of Thrones crowd that meets in the back to watch." How did I not know this? Huh?

Apr 2, 2012, 6:34pm Top

>134 Ireadthereforeiam: Hah! Excellent, Megan. That's the idea. :-)

>135 msf59: I figured you were heading up the GOT get-together in back, Mark!

Thanks for liking the review. It is a terrific book.

All right, off to the train I go. The chef is on the alert, so please give a holler if you need anything.

Apr 2, 2012, 7:09pm Top

Superb review of Running the Rift, Joe. I've thumbed your review, and added the book to my wish list.

Apr 2, 2012, 7:24pm Top

What a great review, Joe! Had to add that to my obese wish list ...grrr....... but I've got a dark chocolate peanut butter malted shake on hand to soothe my angst at how large my WL has become.

Apr 2, 2012, 9:24pm Top

Another great review, Joe, and another book on my WL. *sigh* I may have to quit my Cafe pit stops if you keep recommending such good books.

Game time! I'd better get my root beer and grits to go....

Apr 2, 2012, 10:40pm Top

Running the Rift has been added to my wish list as well - looks a fantastic read - passing thru on my way out to get chocolate so can read the afternoon away......

Apr 3, 2012, 12:17am Top

Gonna have to drown my sorrows, chum--bartender's choice!

Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 12:34am Top

how about a Don Julio tequila blanco mojito, Roni?

Apr 3, 2012, 12:35am Top

No chance of catching up Joe so flew through the umpteen unread messages. Liked the look of Ellen's 2-hearted ale though.

Apr 3, 2012, 5:24am Top

And I like the look of that mojito!

Apr 3, 2012, 7:29am Top

It's the weirdest thing.. I have a devil of a time loading this thread.. the picture at the top comes VERY
slowly. This is the only thread that does it. A very reluctant bit of art, that!

Too busy to sit today.. have to run out to do errands..
everyone have fun without me !

Apr 3, 2012, 7:45am Top

After last week's high temperatures and bright sun, when I was sitting outside having lunch, this week it's grey and overcast, 10 degrees C colder, and raining, almost snowing. I could do with something warming and restorative to keep me going in a busy week - I'm missing the sun!

Apr 3, 2012, 8:31am Top

I'm off for points south of home, visit with a college buddy, dogs get to go, too!! Motel is dog friendly. What a concept.

But I'll start with a nice coffee, and a muffin before I pack up the car and drive on down the road. Taking both Kindle and Nook with me, love them e-readers. Will be continuing to read The Horse Boy which I am finding interesting, albeit a little bit of a stretch into High Woo Woo Land. Also, taking the camera.

It has been a while since I've had a little road trip so I am a happy camper this morning.

Apr 3, 2012, 8:33am Top

#142. Mmmmm. Mojitos are my favorite mixed drink, and it's starting to worm up here. So mojito night just might be in our future!

Apr 3, 2012, 9:09am Top

Running the Ridge sounds excellent! I'm here for a work meeting (can you say brain dead?) and it's wonderful. Yesterday was beautiful. Last night with dinner, I had an amber ale that I liked well enough:

Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 9:18am Top

>137 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl! I look forward to your reaction when you have a chance to get to it.

>138 cameling: Hah! I appreciate it, Caro. A dark chocolate peanut butter malted shake would soothe all sorts of troubles, I imagine. We shared an apple pie shake recently at my son's favorite diner and it was mighty good.

>139 Donna828: Thanks, Donna! I'd offer to review more crappy books, but there must be a better solution. Right now I'm reading David Copperfield and the newest Cotterill, so you're probably safe for a while.

Love the root beer and grits to-go order!

>140 roundballnz: Glad to hear it, Alex! Reading the afternoon away sounds really good . . . What are you reading these days?

>>141 ronincats:, 142 Hope you like the Don Julio tequila blanco mojito, Roni! Thanks for whipping that up, Ellie. I'm used to rum mojitos, but that looks really refreshing. I may have to join Roni.

Sorry about those Jayhawks, Roni! They fought hard, but that's just a loaded Kentucky team.

>143 PaulCranswick: I know the feeling, Paul! No worries. I'm glad you could stop by! Good to have you back in harbor.

>144 wookiebender: Ellie made enough for others besides Roni, Tania. I can't resist it either!

>145 mckait: Sorry about the slow load, Kath. That image does have a ton of kilobytes. Good luck with the errands!

>146 gennyt: Good to see you, Genny! Sorry about the nasty weather. How about some hot buttered rum:

Apr 3, 2012, 9:21am Top

I've never tried that - but it looks like just the thing! Thanks and cheers!

Apr 3, 2012, 9:25am Top

>147 maggie1944: Sounds like fun, Karen! I love road trips. We've got the Rwanda Lake Kiva coffee this morning in honor of Running the Rift, and our apple pie muffins.

The Horse Boy looks interesting. Apparently there was documentary?

Have a great trip!

>148 drneutron: I'm a pushover for mojitos, too, Jim! Ellie's tequila-based one is in my future.

>149 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen! The label of that Sundog beer sure is catchy. I almost expect it to be a video when I look at it. Another Michigan beer I've never tried. Time for a tasting tour!

Apr 3, 2012, 9:33am Top

>151 gennyt: Cheers, Genny!

Apr 3, 2012, 12:50pm Top

It's very very brightly springtimey here, so I need a springtimey beverage: Black cherry juice amended with club soda, vodka, and Campari. Called a Mother's Heart: Too sweet, too bitter, and ready to kick you in the ass without warning.

I will never again in all of life tell an author I will review one of his/her/its books. This bloody grim Bataan Death March through the swamps of who-gives-a-f**k that is A Real Basket Case will malarially sap my strength and miasmically rob me of the will to live.

Apr 3, 2012, 1:31pm Top

>154 richardderus: Hah! Despite your natural reticence, Richard, I can tell by reading between the lines when you are upset and feel strongly about something. My sympathy. He (if I remember correctly, this one is a he?) owes you big time.

Sounds like a sweet, bitter, ass-kicking Mother's Heart might help: black cherry juice with club soda, vodka, and Campari coming up.

Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 2:33pm Top

> 152: I saw the documentary of The Horse Boy, did not know there was a book too!

As the weather has turned colder here too, I would like to have a Hot Chocolate add a bit of Rum en whipped cream (this is called a Hot Lumumba). Genny's drink looks tempting, but I'll keep it at a drink I know ;-)

Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 4:45pm Top

Hello Joe,

I really enjoyed your review of Running the Rift. After a few weeks of very warm temperatures, it's been steadily snowing here the last two days. This photo (from FB) pretty much sums it up:

I'd love some of the hot buttered rum you offered Genny :)

Apr 3, 2012, 5:00pm Top

>156 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita! That Hot Lumumba looks good. I love the way our horizons get expanded here - that's a new one for me.

>157 AMQS: Welcome back, Anne! You were in Santa Fe, right?

I'm glad you enjoyed the review. I actually didn't expect it to be that long, but it ended up that way. Ah, those pictures - Chicago plays those tricks, too, although so far so good here. No snow in sight, at least.

Another hot buttered rum coming up! Today it's in the 70s here, but dropping to the 50s overnight, so I may join you for one of these tomorrow.

Edited: Apr 3, 2012, 5:35pm Top

it's the Don Julio blanco bottle that gets me. looks better on a dark background but i'm too lazy to shop it. i'm a sucker for (some) appearances. shallow, shallow, shallow. sigh

//eta no, RD, Don Julio does not pay me to shill for them.

Apr 3, 2012, 6:22pm Top

Oh, my, Ellie, I am, too. That sure looks good.

Off to my train!

Apr 3, 2012, 6:40pm Top

Beautiful bottle! But tequila is like vodka to me, who cares who makes it? All it is is pan-galactic gargle-blaster juice.

Apr 3, 2012, 8:13pm Top

>150 jnwelch: Currently reading The Prague Cemetery in between catching up with friends & having coffee/tea ....

enjoying the last of summer & a week off work - sun has reappeared today despite the rain/gales/tropical storm we have been promised all week

Apr 3, 2012, 8:31pm Top

Hi Joe- Another lovely day, huh? Getting cooler out there now. I'm also a fan of Don Julio. A customer bought me a bottle awhile back. It was the brown bottle not the glimmering blue. It might be just a notch better than Patron, which I like too!

Apr 3, 2012, 10:03pm Top

On The Road Again: Portland's great Powells Bookstore tomorrow!!!

FAMuelstee: (Frank and Anita), where/when/how did you see the documentary for The Horse Boy? I am sure I'd love to see it.

See you all later!

Apr 4, 2012, 12:46am Top

I believe tequila is another of those products that hasn't really made it outside of America/Mexico(/South America?). Sure, we can get it here, but only one particularly blah brand. Can't say I'm a fan at all. But that bottle is gorgeous!

I used to "only" drink Bombay Sapphire gin because of the beautiful bottle, and then saw "A Single Man" with Colin Firth and Julianne Moore's character says something about only drinking Tanqueray gin, and, yeah, I'm shallow, and next bottle of gin I bought was Tanqueray. Nice stuff too, and another pretty bottle.

Work's a bit frantic today. Big project went live last night and took far longer than it should have so half the team (who worked through til 5:30am this morning) aren't in, and the other half of the team (that would be me and one other person) are mopping up issues today.

Caffeine, please. Stat.

Apr 4, 2012, 1:29am Top

Tequila? Havent touched the stuff since university days when "Tequila Tuesday" was a regular occurrence. Tuesday? I know, what typical students. Yes, it was followed by Wine Wednesday, in case you were wondering!

Apr 4, 2012, 1:48am Top

All the food and drink! I'll take that lovely chocolate dessert way above! Yum!

Apr 4, 2012, 8:33am Top

I won a bottle of patron at a stag n' doe last summer and hadn't opened it until our moving company arrived an informed us that the bazillion bottles of alcohol we had could not be moved ... fire hazard!

So we knocked off that patron and a couple other bottles at my parents house with my sister a couple nights before our flight to NS. Margaritas were delish :)

Edited: Apr 4, 2012, 10:06am Top

>161 richardderus: One pan-galactic gargle-blaster coming up, Richard! I'm told by someone who knows Zaphod Beetlebrox that drinking it is like having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick?

>162 roundballnz: Good for you, Alex - the only Umberto Eco I've read is The Name of the Rose. Let us know what you think of it when you're done.

Ah, end of summer, and a week off. Nice combo. We're heading for the southeast coast of Australia in June, and we're hoping the weather is reasonably moderate.

>163 msf59: For me, Mark, it's all good tequila if you can light it on fire. :-) I haven't "sipped" tequila by itself in ages; mine always shows up in margaritas. I'm intrigued by Ellie's tequila mojito.

It is a pretty one out there today. What happened to the rain that was supposed to show up? That's all right by me - it will, sooner or later.

>164 maggie1944: Hi, Karen! Lucky you - I've never been to Portland, and I've heard good things about Powells Bookstore for ages. We have an unrelated Powells here in Chicago that's pretty good, but I hear the Portland one is a doozy.

>165 wookiebender: Tequila I probably could do without, Tania, much as I like it, but going without Mexican food would be tough. That sticks out for us when we travel elsewhere - seems like someone could clean up with a good Mexican restaurant in London, for example. They have a few, but no great shakes. Chef Rick Bayless is spreading the word, though.

Tanqueray gin is a fave of mine, too. Best gin and tonic has Tanqueray as far as I'm concerned.

Sounds challenging at work - some Peet's New Guinea Highlands coming up instanter!

>166 Ireadthereforeiam: Ah, those university days, Megan! All that drinking seemed fine when I was in school, and then years later my kids went off to college without my being there to watch over them. Scary! Luckily they both have their heads on straight and by all reports know their limits. Our son has ended up taking care of some of his friends who over-participated.

>167 vancouverdeb: Gotcha, Deb - Ellen brought some chocolate tarts from Whole Foods, and the chef was able to simulate them with a Book Cafe twist. I know, an awful lot of edible inspiration shows up here. Chocolate tart coming up!

>168 ChelleBearss: Sounds great, Chelle! I can see you all getting the tough news and then realizing, okay, all we can do is drink it. :-)

If Ellie pops her head in, I'd be interested on her take on the Baylor- Notre Dame women's b-ball championship. That Brittney Griner is out of this world.

Apr 4, 2012, 9:59am Top

Spoiler alert: Richard, please avert your eyes from the following, and continue on to the next post.

I'm loving David Copperfield! Just met up with Betsey Trotwood at her place; she took on Mr. Murdstone and his loathsome sister, and I'm reveling in all the sentimental fun. Only about 8 zillion pages to go, but I'm enjoying each and every one of them.

Apr 4, 2012, 12:58pm Top

Best gin and tonic has Tanqueray as far as I'm concerned

me too! love that beverage on a hot summer night :)

Apr 4, 2012, 12:58pm Top


Oh dear whatever can be wrong with me? The cafe's atmo is poisoned! How did this...oh. I see. Someone Dickensed in here.

Apr 4, 2012, 1:11pm Top

>171 mckait: Hi, Kath! I'm ready for hot summer nights and Tanqueray and tonics . . .

>172 richardderus: Hah! I won't ask how you knew if you didn't read >170 jnwelch:, Richard. I can imagine the response. :-)

Apr 4, 2012, 3:36pm Top

in honor of The siege, i should like some Peet's Russian caravan tea. i used to drink it all the time and had forgotten about it. i'd like a dish of sugar cubes with it, please, as i've never drunk tea through a sugar cube and i'm intrigued when Anna recalls watching her mother drink tea that way. i want to try it. glass tea cup, please.

now i think about it, i believe i'd like late lunch as well. may i have a hunk (not a slice, a hunk) of homemade dark rye bread, a cheese plate with Emmentaler, Havarti and some kind of bleu cheese, a butter lettuce and sliced red onion salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a small pot of cherry jam.

i'll be focusing on the comestibles so shan't be reading but would love to share food and/or chat. i'll be on the patio listening to the birds.

Apr 4, 2012, 4:19pm Top

You got it, Ellie:

A dish of sugar cubes coming up, and we'll serve the tea in a glass tea cup. I dated a girl way back when whose relatives drank tea through the sugar they held in their teeth; the only problem is the tooth erosion over time!

You certainly know your mind (and innards) when it comes to comestibles! We're bringing you a hunk of our homemade dark rye bread, an Emmentaler, Havarti and Berkshire bleu cheese (from the lovely part of the country whence my bride came), a butter lettuce and sliced red onion salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a small pot of cherry jam from the Cherry Republic, a fun spot in northern Michigan.

Beautiful day for bird listening. I may join you myself later.

BTW, we're psychic - I was just visiting over on your thread!

Brittany Griner - any comments?

Apr 4, 2012, 4:40pm Top

great handle, excellent passer, 88' wingspan and we ain't seen nothin' yet from this young woman. i expect she'll be the 12th woman on the US Olympic team and another 40-0 season from Baylor next year wouldn't really surprise me. i was rooting for ND but really thought Baylor deserved it after their season, so was happy for them. personally, i prefer to watch a game that isn't dominated by one big and i'd rather see great passing, rebounding and D than a dunk any day so i enjoyed the ND-UConn matchup a lot more.

Griner takes a terrible beating on the post and apparently on Twitter as well (what's that about?) and i'm impressed with how much she's matured over the last 3 years in handling it all. i think a trip to London is in her future and will make her, in combo with Odyssey, formidable next year!

Apr 4, 2012, 4:49pm Top

Morning all,

Hope you have a ready supply of Hot cross buns for the weekend - including chocolate ones like those from Pandorra (NZ) .......

Apr 4, 2012, 4:59pm Top

>176 mirrordrum: Woo, that all sounds right to me, Ellie. She's got all the physical tools. I see the beating she takes in the post; I know the feeling of her defenders when you're guarding someone who is just too darn big. They're trying to slow her down but it's got to be hard on her. Didn't know she was getting dissed on twitter - I'm twitless for the most part, or try to be. I can't imagine why she would be dissed. She seems grounded and straightforward as a person.

They'd be nuts not to put her on the Olympic team, even with all the good pros out there.

>177 roundballnz: Thanks for the heads-up reminder, Alex! We'll stock up.

It reminds me that, starting tomorrow morning, Walklover and I will be on the road this weekend visiting Son #1 at school, a last fun visit before he graduates. Please feel free to get what you need, use the ovens, etc. The chef is admirably open-minded and enjoys the company.

Apr 4, 2012, 5:29pm Top

you'll be missed but what fun for you to be visiting son #1. wishing you a trip full of delights.

Apr 4, 2012, 5:51pm Top

Thanks, Ellie!

I'll be around the cafe for a bit tomorrow a.m., and then off we go.

Apr 4, 2012, 6:06pm Top

Hi Joe- Modelo please! I'm a big fan of Tanqueray too, although I haven't bought a bottle in ages. I usually go to that drink at weddings. Cool & neat.
I'll have to have you try a little Patron at the Meet-up.
Btw- The Fault in Our Stars is wonderful. It will be a top read for me, even though I'm only halfway done. There are more comments on my thread.

Apr 4, 2012, 6:13pm Top

Hah! I just got back from your thread, Mark, as you'll see! I did that with Ellie, too.

Modelo coming up! There's one I haven't had in a while. I'm happy to try Patron at the meet-up, but "a little" sounds right! I start climbing trees and swinging from the limbs if I have too much.

The Fault in Our Stars is such a great book, isn't it? He just really gets it right, every bit of it.

All right, hang out and have fun, everyone, and I'll see you in the a.m.

Apr 4, 2012, 6:32pm Top

Joe - Is there a Chicago Meet Up being planned? Did I miss an announcement? There's an off-chance I may be in the Chicago area in the next 2 months so if you guys are planning one, it'd be so cool if I could pop in and join you. :-)

Apr 4, 2012, 6:40pm Top

Caro- The Chicago Meet-Up with be Saturday May 5th. A little Cinco de Mayo action. That would be great if you could join us. Par-tay!

Apr 4, 2012, 7:22pm Top

Hi Joe, I'm not even going to pretend to be caught up but I will say that I saw your excellent review of Running the Rift and immediately added it to my teetering tower.

Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 1:36am Top

ah, Tanqueray! had my very first tanqueray on the rocks with a twist at Nepenthe in Big Sur, CA. it was back in the 60s before Nepenthe was "discovered." my friend and i were the only 2 people there. they charged an outlandish $.50 per drink! it was chilly so we sat inside by the huge central fireplace but i was there many times after that and we sat outside and looked down the Big Sur coastline. then it got all popular and overrun with tourists and i stopped going.

the view from the deck to the south (left) is worth raising a glass:

that was where i had my first Tanqueray and i never looked back--when i could afford it.

Apr 5, 2012, 8:18am Top

*yawns* *Starts coffee and waits for someone to notice the open door.. *

Apr 5, 2012, 9:46am Top

>183 cameling: What Mark said (>184 msf59:), Caro. Starts at 2 pm. It would be great if you could make it!

>184 msf59: Looking forward to it, Mark!

>185 brenzi: Thanks, Bonnie. Good to see you! I'm glad you added it to the teeter-tower (didn't we play on those as kids?) I see you loved Sovereign by C.J. Sansom. I wasn't that taken by Dissolution, but maybe I shouldl give this one a try?

>186 mirrordrum: Woo, what a beautiful place, Ellie! I've never been there, but I did hitchhike Highway 1 through Big Sur country way back when, and it was extraordinary. One of life's lessons: my friend and I needed to get somewhere (who knows where) and the driver without saying anything to us pulled over on a hillside looking way down to the ocean, just gorgeous, so he (we) could watch the sunset. Of course, youngsters that we were, we were all annoyed that he was disrupting our journey without asking, and had trouble enjoying the sunset (although I will say, I remember it to this day). Relax, young men. Take it as it comes.

Yeah, I can remember when 50 cents a gallon of gas was outrageous. :-)

What a great first Tangueray memory for you! That makes a good gin even better.

>187 mckait: I got the door, Kath! Everybody's a little sleepy right now, I think. Thanks for starting the coffee.

Apr 5, 2012, 10:16am Top

I was a youthful fan of Tangueray also. I remember waiting for Spring so I could go buy some and start the Gin and Tonics! Loved sitting on my front porch in the sun, sippin'.

Ah, them were the daze.

Returned from Portland with a small pile of books: Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon is some local history, and The Question of Hu is a book highly praised elsewhere on LT, and maybe here in the cafe, too, I forget. Also, Seven Ages of Paris will feed my on going infatuation with reading about Paris and The Night the Mountain Fell will satisfy my curiosity about the first earthquake I ever felt (1959). Are All the Giants Dead? is a great little young person's book with illustrations by my favorite Brian Froud, and, finally, Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker - another biography.

Do you know about her pillow? "If you can't say something good about someone sit right here by me"!

Portland is a fun city, and the motel was very nice to my two miniature schnauzers! My college buddy and I started talking as if we had never been away from each other for long. We used to skip a Poli Sci class to go have coffee and it is just the same today!

So, now I'm home, in my corner. Will do a little house cleaning and a little reading.

Apr 5, 2012, 11:25am Top

>189 maggie1944: Tanqueray memories - another good one, Karen! We probably should have an LT Tanqueray party.

Sounds like you had a great trip to Portland and Powells. It's wonderful when you can get together with an old buddy and pick right up where you left off. That looks like a great book haul, too.

I had heard the "sit right here" saying before, but didn't know who originated it. Very witty.

We have your corner here ready when you need a break from the house.

Yours truly is off to the airport, so have a good time while I'm gone. I'll be able to check in a little bit, but the chef has gone through this before, and all should be fine.

Apr 5, 2012, 11:34am Top

Bon Voyage!

Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 2:55pm Top

hasta la vista, Joe! we'll be expecting traveler's tales. :)

Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 9:22am Top

Thanks, Karen and Ellie!

We arrived and had a good Chinese dinner with Mr. Jesse. (Mango shrimp - yum, Tsingtao beer - bland). He explained his "code review" that day by a bunch of brainiacs of his senior thesis computer coding project, involving ways to better sort test results and improve teaching. We nodded and made appropriate noises. Good thing he's patient. Today we pack up a bunch of his stuff for return to Chicago, ahead of his graduation in May. The weather's cool and clear, and we're staying at a nice B & B near Davis Square and Tufts.

Richard, please now skip this post now and go immediately to the next. I had lots of time to read David Copperfield on the plane and it continues to be a fun read. After having his life re-directed by Betsey Trotwood (and Mr. Dick), he's currently reunited with Steerforth and planning on visiting Peggotty in Yarmouth.

Walklover is enjoying a YA book called Ashfall, recommended by friends.

Hope all is going well in the cafe.

Apr 6, 2012, 9:24am Top

*sniff* Oh no! Yikes, what will Joe say?!? The sewers have backed up into the kitchen, shorted the food storage out, and caused a horrific stink! Quick, someone help me....

Oh wait...no...someone Dickensed in here again. Never mind, it goes away on its own. After a long, long, long, long, long, long time.

Apr 6, 2012, 9:52am Top

*rolls eyes at rd, rolls up sleeves and sets things to rights... puts on coffee and
puts paska bread and cinnamon rolls into oven*

Apr 6, 2012, 11:15am Top

I'll have a hot cross bun and a cup of tea, please!

Apr 6, 2012, 11:59am Top

*picks up dish cloth and puts a final polish on the nice job mckait has done, grabs a cuppa and heads for the table in the corner, in the back, and begins to read*

Apr 6, 2012, 12:09pm Top

It's almost Bunny Day! A longstanding tradition (well, we did it about 9 times in 19 years, so I'm gonna go with it) among my nearest and dearest is to eat the rabbit on easter! Here is the best rabbit in mole sauce recipe ever!

Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 12:17pm Top

Hi all, I'm RSVP-ing for the LT Tanqueray party. Thanks :)

>198 richardderus: Richard, that looks delicious! My husband loves rabbit, but I rarely cook it, and by rarely, I mean never. I might if I could find it more readily, so perhaps I should look harder...

Apr 6, 2012, 12:37pm Top

Anne, I found that my chain grocery store would get it for me special order (and charge accordingly, I think $6.99/lb) given a week to find some. I count it worth it, and always always suggest asking the meat-counter guys.

*DO* make sure to specify DRESSED. I didn't one year. That was...educational.

Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 12:57pm Top

Karen and Kate, you set an embarrassingly good example!

Genny, here's your bun and a nice hot cuppa.

for them as likes it, the chef has prepared dressed rabbit mole a la RD and the NYT.

we're also offering mango shrimp ceviche in honor of Joe.

and for beast free eaters, avocado, tomato and mozzarella salad with a crusty baguette and butter if desired.

**toddles about picking up and trying to emulate Karen's swash and flourish with the dish cloth to keep all ship shape and Bristol fashion.

settling down in my fave corner with some Peet's French roast , a nenglish muffink, marmalade and Life Mask on the iPod.

waving to Joe as he labors on OneSon's behalf.

Apr 6, 2012, 1:20pm Top

>200 richardderus: LOL! Good to know, Richard -- I would never have thought of that. I've seen rabbit at Whole Foods looking, well, ready to go, so I would most likely go that route.

Apr 6, 2012, 4:32pm Top

It is easy for me to help with the housekeeping as I am not all that strong in coming up with fine menu options, and wonderful wine and beer and coffee and tea choices!

*wanders off with a nice cup of green tea, sits down to read*

Apr 6, 2012, 5:57pm Top

Did someone mention Dickens ???????

Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 6:45pm Top

hmmm.... now that's a tasty sounding salad, Ellie ... I have to try it one of these days.

Joe : Alas, May 5 won't find me in Chicago. I'm off to Melbourne on May 8, so will likely just stay home that weekend getting ready for my trip. Maybe next one? ;-)

Slurped down a delicious pear martini with little cranberries last night that was super tasty..... ok .. so I actually really had 4 of them... but they were sooooo good! And went so well with some philly cheesesteak springrolls.

Apr 7, 2012, 8:02am Top

Have a wonderful time and look forward to you coming back to the cafe. I have a hankering...

Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 9:30am Top

Hi. everyone! I'm not on my own computer, so please bear with me.

Thanks, Kath, Karen and Ellie for keeping the denizens happy and the place looking shipshape (I'm feeling a bit nautical with the David Copperfield reading). Glad you can make the LT Tanqueray party, Anne! Sorry we're going to miss you in Chicago, Caro! Fingers crossed for next time. Thanks, Morphy. We are indeed having a wonderful time, and I'll try to get back by the time you figure out what that hankering is . . .

Only you would think of rabbit feasting on Easter, Richard! I can imagine my kids looking at me with horror. On the other hand, it makes sense that you'd have a mouth-watering recipe for it.

I hope the chef is doing a good job of helping out, and the hot-crossed buns were good, Genny. Ellie, what a great spread you came up with! Can't wait to try the mango shrimp ceviche. Alex, we only whisper about Dickens when you know who is in the cafe. He gets upset.

We had a fun night with son numero uno and three of his gal pals, A.J., Kelli and Makita. Waited in a park in Davis Square for a table in a popular little burger joint to open up, and had a lot of laughs, and then squeezed in for a shared cornucopia of good fries (garlic parmesan was my favorite) and burgers (I had a veggie burger with avo, onion, cheddar and other goodie). A highlight was my son's recommendation of Shipyard Seasonal Ale out of Maine. It had flavor tints of cinnamon and apple, and was irresistibly good. Even Walklover, who doesn't drink beer, liked it and told me to give her one on a hot summer day when we get back.

We're off soon to take Jesse's advisor and favorite professor out to brunch. Ben Hescott (not sure about the spelling) is near and dear to my heart not only because he convinced Jesse to come to this school that has been so good for him, and has watched over him while he's been here, but also because he got tenure because of his teaching skills, rather than research and publishing. It has aggravated me since my own college days that terrific teaching hasn't been the criterion for reward and advancement in these schools. "Publish or perish". How wrong-headed is that? But this guy who teaches computer science courses won four teaching awards in one year, including an international one, and Tufts immediately (and wisely) granted him tenure. This will be my first time meeting him in person.

I'll have to check in with the David Copperfield group read when I get back. He's head over heels in love again, this romantic kid, but what's going to happen to poor Agnes? I know Dickens did these in installments. He probably had people all over England anxiously waiting for the next one to come out.

Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 3:29pm Top

how delightful of you to check in. :)

be sure to get the recipe for that veggie burger. sounds mouthwateringly scrumptious.

i'm agape that they gave Dr. Hescott tenure for his teaching. kudos to Tufts and to him! i hope they'll also consider promoting him in the fulness of time.

hope your brunch was enjoyable.

//eta in re: Dickens and his serials, i read somewhere or maybe heard on PBS that people did indeed wait anxiously for the next installment of each novel. read recently that Tolstoy's novels, or at least Anna Karenina, were also published as serials. who knew?

Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 3:51pm Top

Let's see if it happens this time. The above post is supposed to be by Joe, not Walklover. Identity crisis - what can I say? This one is by Joe, too.

Great brunch with Prof. Ben. Then off to Harvard Square, got Jesse a Slaughter-House Five t-shirt (he's a Vonnegut fan) and his dad some figurines from My Neighbor Totoro (his dad's a Miyazaki fan), Becca somethings for her birthday, her ma a Sweet Tooth graphic novel and a used dvd of The Usual Suspects, and his dad a gn Jesse recommended called 24 Hours (wrong touchstone) by Scott McCloud, and the new Catwoman and Jesse some bizarre Fat Cat figurine where you don't know what it is until you open the box. Now we're cleaning up his dorm room (big - three roommates, one disabled) while he and a roommate play a Super Smash videogame (isn't that the way it goes).

A bit of reading? Giving it a try.

Apr 7, 2012, 5:46pm Top

*standing up next to the little table in the back, in the corner, in the dark, and stretches*

Well! I finished reading The Horse Boy and I'm giving it 3.5 stars. I think much of the colorful and more interesting details of a trip to Mongolia with an autistic boy were edited out of the book, and I think (IMHO) that was a mistake. It could have been much more of an adventure story. Nonetheless, it was touching to see the family so committed to finding ways to treat their son's autism; and interesting to witness their interactions with the Mongolians, the horses, and the shamans.

*wanders off in search of the next book to read, and a cup of afternoon tea, with scones, with butter and jam*

Apr 7, 2012, 5:54pm Top

Joe/Debbie- Thanks for checking in. The Cafe is running fine but business is slow, people must be out of town or preoccupied with other RL issues.
Glad you are having a good time with Number One Son.
You are a little ahead of me on David Copperfield, but I am finally catching up. Davy has arrived at Betsey's home and is awaiting the "decision". It has been a lot of fun.

Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 6:07pm Top

Horse boy sounds interesting, Karen, and audible.com has it. gets 4+ stars. on wish list. speaking of Mongolia, have any of you seen The story of the weeping camel? incredible!

Karen, do you like your scones baked or cooked on a griddle? i always made mine on a griddle but the chef is flexible.

does this look alright?

looks good to me. think i'll join you and i believe i'd like some crumpets as well. drooooool.

i reckon David Copperfield will have to be my next Dickens. i've been waffling about which one but y'all are whetting my appetite.

we miss you, Joe.

Apr 7, 2012, 6:26pm Top

Perfect! Thank you, so much. You are too kind. I think I've found my next book: At Home in Mitford.

*settles in for a nice afternoon of reading*

Apr 7, 2012, 7:31pm Top

Happy Eastre's Day.

Terri Loeffler (TLo as I call her) introduced me to something divinely orgasmically sinfully del-flippin'-icious called "coconut toast." As the vile aroma of Dickens permeates this purlieu, I shall refrain from offering its recipe, but trust me...the dead can walk, the blind can see, the deaf can hear after eating this megacalorie megasugary scrumptiousness.

Apr 7, 2012, 8:04pm Top

Nice disguise Joe :)

Apr 7, 2012, 8:50pm Top

Joe, finally trying to get caught up and thought I'd see what you're up to. I've fallen behind a bit in reading David Copperfield (he's just now settling in with Betsey Trotwood and Mr. Dick) but I am definitely enjoying it. I find it a bit hard to read if there are distractions around, and my life is full of distractions right now. Cheers!

*heads off to have a Tanqueray martini*

Edited: Apr 8, 2012, 4:06am Top

putting on a Chemex pot each of Garuda and of French roast, water's ready for tea. at Joe's, the coffee never gets stale and the tea water never de-oxygenates. it's a puzzlement.

there are hot cross buns for the folks who'll be wanting them for breakfast or tea and some Aussie hot cross bun bread-and-butter pudding for those whose yesterday is my today. y'all hep yer selves. i'm for bed.

Apr 8, 2012, 4:50am Top

Have one eye on the TV watching the last night of the UCI - Track cycling world champs - while trying to finish my book - have filled the fridge for you full of Phoenix Cola's all the way from NZ.......

Apr 8, 2012, 11:13am Top

Hey, we missed this yesterday! Boo. Of course I still enjoyed a couple anyway! Whew!

Happy Easter, Joe! Hope you and your family have a great day!

Edited: Apr 8, 2012, 11:16am Top

Thought of you last night, Joe, when we tried a new ice cream:

I recommend it without reservation. HUGE chocolate chunks. Yum.

Apr 8, 2012, 11:50am Top

Happy you are having a great Easter weekend with your family :)

Apr 8, 2012, 3:47pm Top

black raspberry chocolate chip? oh lordy, Ellen!

Apr 8, 2012, 3:49pm Top


Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 8:48am Top

Nice to see that the patrons and chef keep things going here when need be :)
I never heard of scones on the griddle.. ? interesting !

Apr 9, 2012, 9:02am Top

*grabs a cuppa and toddles back to regular table*

Apr 9, 2012, 9:21am Top

Joe - can't really hope to catch up with you mate but here's wishing you a happy belated Easter and ask you to bring in some of the excellent New Zealand whites I sampled over there. Stoneleigh Pinot Gris is an excellent unpretentious wine and strongly suggested as wine of the week!

Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 10:06am Top

Hi, everybody! That delinquent proprietor has returned after a great weekend with son #1. He just sent me this link, for those who want to see the latest proposed magic glasses technology: https://plus.google.com/111626127367496192147/posts

>210 maggie1944: The Horse Boy sounds interesting, Karen. I've been reading about the increase in kids diagnosed here as autistic - 1 in 88 now. Is it more sophisticated diagnosing? Other factors? We know a couple of high-functioning people with Asberger's, and I'm not sure one of them would have been diagnosed as anything but a bit odd a few years ago.

>211 msf59: You bet, Mark. Yes, Doady/Trot/David's (!) adventures are fun to follow. Some threads of the story I remember, and others just kinda sorta. I had some time on the plane flights, so now he's in a bit of spoiler territory involving Dora and Betsey and Agnes and Traddles, among others. More than one person has told DC he's blind, and we know why.

>212 mirrordrum: Thanks, Ellie! I'd never heard of The Story of the Weeping Camel, and it looks like a good trip to an unfamiliar place. Nice scones! I can certainly recommend David Copperfield. It was Dickens' favorite, and it's a grand, well-written soap opera chock full of memorable characters. My current favorite is the slightly (or maybe more than slightly) spacey Mr. Dick, although Betsey Trotwood is right up there along with the angelic Agnes.

>213 maggie1944: Good for you, Karen. Debbi loved the Jan Karon Mitford series, although my sense was it trailed off a bit in the later books.

>214 richardderus: Oh, my Star Wars-loving son would be all over those Storm Trooper eggs, Richard!

Coconut toast sounds good. We scrounged around for a recipe and the chef whipped up this:

Apr 9, 2012, 9:55am Top

>215 mckait: Thanks, Kath! I definitely look better in my Walklover disguise, but it was unintentional. The perils of using somebody else's computer . . .

>216 EBT1002: Good to see you, Ellen! Yeah, I know you have more than a few distractions! CD sure knows how to tell a story. It ain't easy to make a doorstopper a pageturner. I'm not a martini guy, but a Tangueray martini might change my mind.

>217 mirrordrum: Thanks, Ellie! I've been missing a good cup of Garuda. That http://www.eatingmelbourneblog.com/ hot-crossed bun bread and butter pudding looks mighty good. I don't know how the chef keeps the coffee and tea so fresh either, but it may have to do with the special time jiggery aspect of the cafe.

>218 roundballnz: Mm, Phoenix Cola. Thanks, Alex! Just pulled one out of the fridge:

>219 msf59: Wow, how did we miss that, Mark? I did have a good brown ale with my son that day, from his dorm room fridge. I can't remember the name (distractions), but I'll ask him. That Shipyard ale was the beer highlight of the trip.

>220 EBT1002: Mmm, that looks good, Ellen! I see Graeter's ice cream just became available in Chicago. We'll gather the clan and chase it down.

>221 ChelleBearss: We had a great Easter weekend with the family, thanks, Chelle. Besides uniting with our favorite young man, we got to see his house-sitting sister when we returned. Walklover had cleverly hidden some Easter treats for her in a closet (she loves Peeps), so she was a happy girl. We had porch-sitting weather, too, so we got to have fun with neighbors and dogs and enjoy the Easter outfits.

Apr 9, 2012, 10:05am Top

>222 mirrordrum: I know, Ellie, that Graeter's black raspberry looks really good, doesn't it? It should be available in your part of the country I would think. I know they've got it in Ohio.

>223 -Cee-: Thanks, Cee! Love the chick with the flower!

>224 mckait: Yes, thank goodness we have self-sufficient patrons at the cafe, Kath! Your our Master of Sconology here, so we'll look forward to further development of the griddle-scones story. I'm ready for taste tests at any time.

>225 maggie1944: Karen's in her cafe corner and all is right with the world. It's good to be back.

>226 PaulCranswick: Good to see you, Paul! Yeah, I think we're all in the same boat. Didn't Neil Sedaka sing a song, "Catching Up is Hard to Do"? I'm just glad people can drop in once in a while.

Our wine of the week:

Yup, that's Stoneleigh Pinot Gris.

Did I get to everybody? If I missed you, please raise your hand.

Apr 9, 2012, 12:02pm Top

I have a serious crave on for mamacado eggs, Joe...sourdough toast on the side, and ask the chef to use the avocado about to be tossed out for being too ripe, okay?

I have demoted Colin Cotterill to "Lousy Louise Junior" status after Anarch and Old Dogs. When the steam ceases rising from my ears, I'll do up a review.

Apr 9, 2012, 12:12pm Top

>230 richardderus: Yikes! I've neglected Anarchy and Old Dogs in preference of he who shall not be named, Richard, but I was getting a lot of good chuckles out of the first half. Cotterill must have really taken his eye off the target in the second half. Sorry to hear it!

Mamacado eggs sound like just the ticket after a bad reading experience. On their way with sourdough toast, and I gave the chef the word to use the about to be tossed for being too ripe avocado. I'm told no problem. We've got Garuda today if you want a quaff to accompany.

Apr 9, 2012, 12:15pm Top

Hell no! I want a strawe and a 2-liter of that Stoneleigh Pinot Gris! I must Drown My Sorrows. And try to cover up that revolting stench of Dickens.

Apr 9, 2012, 12:23pm Top

A strawe and two liters coming up! That light lovely scent in the cafe is reminiscent of the Copperfield cottage in the Spring, isn't it?

Apr 9, 2012, 12:25pm Top

You mean the sulphrous vile miasma? Yes, it's very Copperfieldy. Wouldn't be a bit surprised if there's an outbreak of the cholera around the cafe from all that putridity.


Apr 9, 2012, 12:53pm Top

I wish you weren't so inconsistent and reserved in your views. But in sifting through I'm pretty sure you don't like CD or DC. We'll keep the Stoneleigh Pinot Gris coming and hope for the best.

Apr 9, 2012, 1:21pm Top

Yes, my violetness has always been of the shrinking variety.

Apr 9, 2012, 3:13pm Top

Joe, I'm interested in the rise in autism spectrum diagnosis. A good friend who is a pediatric occupational therapist says she sees a lot of kids who seem to be heading in that direction, but who really need sensory integration therapy, and also need to be carried more, play outside more, talked to face to face more and 'strolled' less. I've seen lots of kids on the subway totally ignored by their parents, who are more interested in their iPods than their children.

So, although I know nothin' 'bout raisin' babies, I think as a culture we might be doing some of this to ourselves. Just MO.

Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 3:31pm Top

Interesting thought, Judy. I just don't know. Some have pointed to environmental factors as potentially raising the occurrence rate. Anecdotally, the other high-functioning young man we know with Asperger's syndrome has loving (carrying, playing outside) parents and normal siblings, but he obviously is working with a different tool kit. Bright, talented (way up there in language and music, with amazing concentration), but in a different world socially. Our son used to walk in circles with him to get him to calm down.

From the Mayo clinic:

"Asperger's syndrome symptoms include:

- Engaging in one-sided, long-winded conversations, without noticing if the listener is listening or trying to change the subject
- Displaying unusual nonverbal communication, such as lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, or awkward body postures and gestures
- Showing an intense obsession with one or two specific, narrow subjects, such as baseball statistics, train schedules, weather or snakes
- Appearing not to understand, empathize with or be sensitive to others' feelings
- Having a hard time "reading" other people or understanding humor
- Speaking in a voice that is monotonous, rigid or unusually fast
- Moving clumsily, with poor coordination."

You can see where there may be overlap with "normal" people with quirks!

It is fascinating, especially, to me, the benefits of the condition. Elizabeth Moon in The Speed of Dark and Francisco X. Stork in Marcelo in the Real World explore that angle. But that's easy for me to say. It has to be hugely challenging to raise a kid with a condition on the autism spectrum. As always, I'm sure it has to start with love and compassion.

Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 4:25pm Top

welcome back, Joe. i'm jonesing for one of them Tufts veggie burgers you were touting with the avocado and all that. do you think alfalfa sprouts would go well as an addition? i'm thinking it would be good with Emmental unless you know an equally good domestic Swiss. i'd also like a glass bottle of Voss still and one of the Phoenix. i'm bearing a mighty thirst.

speaking of things Dickensian, i started watching Masterpiece Theatre's Great expectations last night and, except for the location shots, the first ep was a serious disappointment. maybe it wouldn't have been so if i hadn't listened to it so recently. i loved their Bleak House, read the novel after, and was delighted with both.

Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 4:56pm Top

>239 mirrordrum: Thanks, Ellie! I think the Tufts veggie burger would be great with alfalfa sprouts and Emmental, and the chef is whipping one up. We'll have the Voss still water and Alex's Phoenix Cola over to you in a sec.

Sorry to hear it about the Masterpiece Great Expectations adaptation. I was planning on picking that up later all in one piece. Like you, I loved the Bleak House adaptation, and the book, too.

It's more low brow, but has anyone been watching Awake, where the detective lives in two worlds, one (maybe) a dream, and he can't tell which is real and which isn't? We're hooked. The star is the guy who played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, although you'd never know it.

Apr 9, 2012, 5:25pm Top

Hmm, not happy to hear that the PBS production of Great Expectations is a disappointment. We've been recording it, and will still give it a try, but our hopes will be muted.

Not watching "Awake," though, Joe. Glad you're having fun with it!

Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 6:09pm Top

Ellen, it may just be because i read it so recently and because of the way the narrator voiced Joe and Miss Haversham especially. i had very clear images of the characters. they had to write out a lot of the relationship between Pip and Joe, which was one of my favorite parts and crucial, imo, to the story. Miss Haversham is more fey and less vengeful than i envisioned her. the location shots are really something!

i'll be interested to know what you think. :)

Apr 9, 2012, 6:18pm Top

We'll probably see it, too, at some point, Ellie, and I'll let you know what we think.

Off to the train.

Apr 9, 2012, 6:23pm Top

Joe- Welcome back! Good to see the Cafe hopping again. I have both episodes of Great Expectations recorded, I'll see for myself.

Apr 9, 2012, 6:27pm Top

Thanks, Mark! Look forward to hearing your reaction to GE once you see it.

OK, the proprietor better run or his much better half will wonder what's the matter with him.

Apr 9, 2012, 6:41pm Top

Joe- I wanted to mention too, I did finish The Tale of One Bad Rat. I liked it and thanks for the nudge. It was grittier than I expected. I also like Talbot's range.

Apr 9, 2012, 8:01pm Top

Stopping by to say! I'll get the broccoli casserole on my thread a little later , Joe. My better half ( don't tell him!) has the secret details that he incorporated into the recipe and I''ll have to get the details from him...

Apr 9, 2012, 11:09pm Top

Hi Joe, haven't visited in far too long and thought I should put in an appearance before you start your new thread! I know it's probably old news now, but I've thumbed your review of Running the Rift, which had me adding the book to my wishlist even though I've resisted reading or watching anything about Rwanda up till now. Just the word "genocide" usually has me running the other way and burying my head in the sand, I'm ashamed to say, but sounds like this book approaches the topic from an angle I could maybe stomach.

Apr 9, 2012, 11:23pm Top

I've finally written my infuriated, -14,975 star review of the fourth Dr. Siri Paiboun Investigation, Anarchy and Old Dogs, and posted it in my thread...post #285.

Hurt. I am Hurt. Colin Cotterill led me on, made me fall for...well, a main character, and now...!

Apr 9, 2012, 11:54pm Top

>238 jnwelch: Hi there Joe, I've had quite a bit of interaction with children with Asperger's syndrome and you are right in suggesting that it may sound a lot like plain old quirkiness. Of course, today we pretty much give everything a name and children get identified and labeled in school, seemingly to help them succeed, but sometimes that has the opposite effect. All of those examples you listed can certainly cross the line in both directions but with the true syndrome, those things manifest themselves by simply paralyzingly the child within its grasp. He/she can't talk about anything but trains, etc. until the other children back away in great fear. Most will then stay away because they're frightened by these characteristics and because they don't understand someone who won't look them in the eye. If you can identify a child who's willing to become a friend to the Asperger's child, that can be very helpful.

Apr 10, 2012, 12:21am Top

DON'T avoid the Dr. Siri series, but DO avoid the Claire Hanover series, which starts with A Real Basket Case, unless there is NOTHING else to read. I've set forth my reasons for irritation in my thread...post #170.

Edited: Apr 10, 2012, 4:19am Top

>227 jnwelch: coconut toast!!??#$!!
*pulls up a pew and waits patiently for a mega serving*

>249 richardderus: -14,975 star rating!
That must be the, like, the worst book ever :) *flicks hair*

Apr 10, 2012, 8:04am Top

Of course, today we pretty much give everything a name and children get identified and labeled in school, seemingly to help them succeed, but sometimes that has the opposite effect

I have to agree with you. I have read quite a few books on the topic.

There are plenty of people I know ( including myself) and family members..
who could be considered to be on the spectrum. I find it ... irritating.. but as you know, I am very jaded on that subject after my last place of employment. I try to stay out of discussions on the topic :P

Apr 10, 2012, 8:37am Top

The tragedy is, of course, that "labeling" may provide additional resources to institutions which are chronically underfunded.

Apr 10, 2012, 9:47am Top

>246 msf59: Glad you liked The Tale of One Bad Rat, Mark! It is gritty; I've read that it's been used to help victims work it through. His range is striking - I suspect you've read Alice in Sunderland, which is a one of a kind, and Grandville is completely different from either.

>247 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb! I'm a pushover for broccoli and cheese anything. I just had some good broccoli cheddar cheese soup yesterday at Pret a Manger.

>248 Smiler69: Good to see you, Ilana! Thanks for the thumb on Running the Rift. Yes, one of the attractions of it is it does give you hope, determination, compassion and even romance amid the squalor of human cruelty and the consequences of distrust and misinformation.

You might also be interested in Strength In What Remains by Tracy Kidder, an amazing true story of a man who escaped genocide in neighboring Burundi and lived on the streets in NYC before managing to go to medical school and return to Burundi to deliver health care with the help of Dr. Paul Farmer's group.

>249 richardderus: Oof! I'll have to travel through the black hole of negativity to the universe where your review resides, Richard. What could this dastardly author have done?

>250 brenzi: Thanks, Bonnie!

Yes, getting "paralyzed in its grasp" sounds just right. One we know really doesn't get paralyzed, in my opinion, although others disagree. To me, he socializes normally when he wants to and sometimes he just holds forth at length, assuming his audience will be as interested as he is. One we know does get paralyzed, and clearly is operating differently than others. Luckily, the latter went to progressive public schools here (in my son's class) and had friends who valued him. They'd be patient with him when he was in the grasp, and, as far as I could tell, helped him get back to connecting more normally. He couldn't look us in the eye, but he was a charming kid for all of that. One of my favorite memories is he and another friend playing harmonicas, dancing a jig, and singing an Irish ditty on St. Pat's Day (neither of them Irish, of course!)

Apr 10, 2012, 10:00am Top

>251 richardderus: Interesting that the disappointment hasn't turned you off to the whole Dr. Siri series, Richard. You've certainly got me curious.

>252 Ireadthereforeiam: We've got plenty of coconut toast, Megan! I know, I'm seeing that book just imploding with its own badness and sucking all books near it into the hole it makes.

>253 mckait: Gotcha, Kath. The labeling can be problematic, especially for those trying to get out from under the label. Early in life makes it harder, of course, because there is less understanding and fewer defenses. In junior high (or middle school, or whatever you may call it) and high school it no doubt can make for total misery, as the cruelty factor ratchets up at that age.

>254 maggie1944: Hmm, so there's an additional temptation there to label, Karen. Is it progress to start recognizing these conditions more and take steps to help those suffering from them? And to take steps to make them less mysterious and more accepted? Seems like it. Behavior that was "weird" and not understood when I was a kid now is recognized as a condition that a perfectly fine human being has to learn to productively live with. Incomprehension becomes comprehension and compassion. But the pendulum may have swung too far the other way now, with diagnoses and labeling that sometimes are harmful rather than helpful?

Apr 10, 2012, 10:02am Top

OK, on that thoughtful note, please pack up your belongings and journey to the universe next door where the cafe has been waiting for us. We'll carry any food and drink over for you.

Apr 11, 2012, 6:48am Top

Oh, I'm so glad you are back. I need some comfort food. How about macaroni and cheese?

Apr 11, 2012, 9:32am Top

>258 Morphidae: Thanks, Morphy! It's good to be back.

We've got some mac and cheese for you next door at the continuation cafe.

This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe 10.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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