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Joe's Book Cafe 1 2019

This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe 2.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Jan 3, 9:21am Top

Art by Keturah A. Bobo (Keturah Ariel)

Happy 2019! Welcome back to the cafe!

Edited: Yesterday, 9:36am Top

Here are my Top 5 books of 2018:

The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson (beautiful translation, and now my favorite)

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (what a book!)

The Overstory by Richard Powers (book of the year for me)

Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami (he takes on the act of creating in this one)

Citizen Illegal by Jose Olivarez (poetry book of the year for me)

Honorable mention: One Goal by Amy Bass (uplifting true story of Somali refugees on a Lewiston, Maine soccer team)

Biggest surprise of the year: All Systems Red and the rest of the Murderbot books. What fun!

Edited: Yesterday, 9:41am Top

The Flannel Family at Christmas

Edited: Jan 3, 9:26am Top

Adriana, Joe, and sister Angela

Edited: Jan 3, 12:12pm Top

More by Keturah Ariel

Edited: Yesterday, 9:53am Top

Top Books of 2018 by Genre


Winner: A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf


One Goal: A Coach, A Team by Amy Bass (a "Best Book of 2018" for Library Journal)

Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman

Young Adult

Winner: Vincent and Theo by Deborah Helligman


Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh

We Are Okay by Nina Lacour

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Winner: The Power by Naomi Alderman


Binti The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

All Systems Red by Martha Wells


Winner: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith


Murder in Thrall by Anne Cleeland

The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths

Illustrated Books

Winner: Brazen Ladies by Penelope Baglieu


Alpha Abidjan to Paris by Bessora

Strong Female Protagonist (and its sequel) by Brennan Lee Mulligan


Winner: The Overstory by Richard Powers


The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson

Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami


Winner: Citizen Illegal by Jose Olivarez


The Carrying by Ada Limon

Priest Turned Therapist by Tony Hoagland

Edited: Yesterday, 9:39am Top

Books Read in 2019


1. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (re-read on audio)
2. Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker
3. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
4. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
5. One Hundred Poems from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth

Illustrated Books

1. Jane Austen's Emma by Nancy Butler
2. Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Edited: Jan 3, 9:35am Top

Happy reading in 2019. Great topper.

Jan 3, 9:37am Top

Welcome back, Joe! It is good to see you.

>1 jnwelch: Excellent toppers! They resemble my daughter. Lovely.

Jan 3, 9:41am Top

Happy 2019, Joe! Love the family pics!

Jan 3, 9:46am Top

Good morning! We’ve got to grocery shop, but I’ll be back and finish up.

Jan 3, 10:07am Top

>3 jnwelch: Aww look at all of you in matching PJ's -adorable. Happy New Year!

Jan 3, 11:42am Top

Love the artwork!

Jan 3, 11:50am Top

Hi, Joe! I absolutely love the toppers.

Jan 3, 11:52am Top

>8 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara. I'm glad you like the topper.

>9 brodiew2: Good to hear, Brodie, thanks. Sounds like you have a very cute daughter!

>10 ChelleBearss: Happy 2019, Chelle! Thanks - that was a swell holiday visit. We already miss Jesse, Adri and Rafa. While there, we started each day by scooping up Rafa (letting his parents sleep), and playing with him for an hour in our bed. Then we took him down to the living room so he could roam and play with toys before having his breakfast ("compote").

Jan 3, 11:56am Top

>12 figsfromthistle: Thanks, figs! I'm glad you found the new cafe.

>13 originalslicey: Thanks, original!

>14 scaifea: Hi, Amber! Glad to hear it - she's talented, isn't she. One of the books she's illustrated is called I Am Enough, and it looks like a good one.

Jan 3, 12:26pm Top

Plumping my cushion Joe. Love the art in here. And the flannel, both kinds :-)

Jan 3, 12:27pm Top

>17 Caroline_McElwee: Happy New Year, Caroline! Good to see you here with a properly plumped cushion. I'm glad you're loving the art and both kinds of flannel. :-)

Jan 3, 12:30pm Top

Happy New Year! Love all the family photos!!

Jan 3, 1:27pm Top

Happy New year ...... Loving the art

Jan 3, 2:48pm Top

Happy New Year, Joe! Love the toppers - you're off to a great start.

Jan 3, 2:59pm Top

Cheers to your 2019 thread, Joe! Here's to a year of good books and great conversation. Nice looking toppers to begin the year and the flannel family is beyond words.

Jan 3, 3:06pm Top

Excellent! Joe's here! And with great artwork as usual.

Jan 3, 3:14pm Top

Dropping off my star, Joe!

Your illustrations remind me of this book I always had in my "biblio" library in my office at the elementary school:

They are gorgeous. And so are your family pictures. All that FLANNEL!

Jan 3, 3:28pm Top

Wonderful artwork, Joe, as always. Happy to be in the cafe again.

I have a cold, yuck, had to shop today (specials change tomorrow, needed the current ones), YUCK, and about passed out on the way back from the store because cold met juniper pollen, YUCK!! The wind changed from onshore to offshore, so all the pollen from the northern parts of the county (the state, and Canada, the way I feel now!) came roaring over the city.

Please indulge me with coffee and Italian cream cake?

Jan 3, 3:53pm Top

Just popping in to say hello and happy new year. I hope i can keep up with your thread this year!

Edited: Jan 3, 5:51pm Top

Happy New Year, Joe! I absolutely adore the thread toppers, and the artwork by Keturah Ariel. I'll be on the lookout for I Am Enough, as it would be a perfect gift for the daughter of my partner who I share an office space with.

Jan 3, 4:27pm Top

>19 SuziQoregon: Happy New Year, Juli! Thanks! Those family photos carry some sweet memories from the holidays.

>20 roundballnz: Thanks, Alex. I'm glad you're loving the art. Have you read the new Murakami yet? I think I liked it more some other LTers did.

>21 Crazymamie: Hiya, Mamie! Great to have you back with us. I'm glad you like the art - she's a new artist for me. I really like what she does. I want to give I Am Enough, a book she illustrated, a peruse.

Jan 3, 4:31pm Top

>22 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. I'm glad you're enjoying the art and that silly Flannel Family. That was our DIL's idea, and she even found flannel jammies for Madame MBH and me.

Here's to a year of good books and great conversation. Yes!

>23 drneutron: Ha! I was a bit of a slowpoke, Jim, but I finally got the trajectory right and landed the book cafe in the new year. Wonderful to hear your and others' reaction to the artwork - I really like her stuff.

Jan 3, 4:36pm Top

>24 ronincats: Happy New Year, Roni!

I'm glad you enjoyed the artwork, and Happy to Be Nappy looks like a fun one. That in turn reminded of this one that came out in December, which I want to track down:

Isn't the Flannel Family a hoot? Kudos to our DIL for making it happen.

Jan 3, 4:43pm Top

>25 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. Yay for the artwork, and the cafe is happy to have you in attendance.

Sorry the cold yucks grabbed you, buddy. Don't forget to pack in several hot toddies. Coffee and Italian cream cake? Si, certo!

Jan 3, 4:47pm Top

>26 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. Happy New Year! Thanks for popping in. I, too, hope I can keep up with my thread this year! :-)

>27 kidzdoc: Happy New Year, Darryl!

Oh, I'm glad you love the Keturah Ariel artwork that much; me, too. It's gotten a great response from the cafe crowd. I WL'd I Am Enough; it looks really good, doesn't it.

Jan 3, 5:08pm Top

Happy New Thread, Joe. Love the Ariel toppers! I was not familiar with her work. I also love the Rafa photos, especially the top one. That is precious.

Welcome back, my friend. Good best of lists. Nice to see some crossover. Did you ever start your ER story collection? I also have that one at hand.

I am loving the Michelle Obama memoir. I hope this is on your TBR list.

Jan 3, 5:10pm Top

>31 jnwelch: Grazie mille, gentile signor. Salve per ora.

Jan 3, 5:29pm Top

Happy New Year & New Thread

Jan 3, 5:35pm Top

Happy reading in 2019, Joe!
As always you found beautiful toppers, the flannel was woth to be shown again.

Jan 3, 5:47pm Top

>33 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Aren't those Ariel toppers cool? I've got another fun Rafa photo from the holidays that I'll post soon.

I have started Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea about three times now! And I'm still at the beginning. The holidays have been distracting. I need to get my act together with that one.

Becoming is definitely in my near-future. I'm glad you're loving it, and it seems to be getting positive reactions all over the place.

>34 richardderus: Prego, Ricardo. Non immergere il tuo maiale nelle caramelle di Halloween (do not dip your pig in the Halloween candy).

Jan 3, 5:49pm Top

>35 SandDune: Thank you, Rhian. Happy New Year.

>36 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! You probably saw the Flannel Family on Facebook. Definitely worth a re-post here, you're right. We miss those three already.

Jan 3, 5:55pm Top

Hi Joe and Happy New Year. Stunning art work once again. I see The Overstory is your book of the year. I’m reading it now and loving it too.

Edited: Jan 3, 6:01pm Top

>38 jnwelch: Saw them also on FB, and you had them on your last thread of 2018.
Can imagine you miss them, must be great to wear flannel spend time with your grandson and his parents ;-)

Jan 3, 6:04pm Top

>39 brenzi: Hi Bonnie. Happy New Year!

Ah, great to hear re the artwork. I loved The Overstory, as you can tell, and Madame MBH did, too. He's a smart author, and it's an amazing piece of work. I read his Goldbug Variations years ago, and was struck by how talented a writer he is, but this is the first book I know of since then where it all came together in a compelling way.

>38 jnwelch: Ah, I forgot, Anita, that all the way back in last year I posted the Flannel photos. That had to be . . . days ago. No wonder I couldn't remember.

It was fun to wear flannel. Our DIL did us a favor by getting ours for us, as neither one of us had flannel jammies. It's going to come in handy as the winter chill sets in here.

I wish the three of them lived in Chicago, but they love Pittsburgh, and it's the right place for them to be.

Jan 3, 7:26pm Top

I am stealing your list of 'best' books from 2018 and adding it to everyone else's, Joe. I am compiling everything I missed last year.

Happy New Year!

Jan 3, 8:26pm Top

>2 jnwelch:
Welcome back!
I have heard so many good things about the Emily Wilson translation that oddly I read her "The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca" and liked it very much. I need to borrow some of your courage with a dose of stamina and settle down to her acclaimed Odyssey.

I read and very much enjoyed Murakami's "Absolutely on Music" book last year. It basically is an extended conversation with Seiji Ozawa that you might enjoy if you are into music.

I made it (sort of) through the Audible version of "To The Lighthouse" but I should have read "A Room of One's Own" instead.

It looks that you have added three books that I need to get to for 2019 and that is just this early in the year!! If you keep on reporting your favorites, my To Be Read stack will keep growing. However, that is what it is all about.

Have a great year of reading.

Edited: Jan 4, 12:26am Top

>31 jnwelch: Thank goodness the cafe is open again! Now I can have my latte in the morning. Love the artwork, as usual.

Jan 4, 12:30am Top

Good to see you made it back from your holiday trip, Joe. Love the artwork and the flannel family photo.

Jan 4, 12:58am Top

>37 jnwelch: Il mio maiale shall remain unsweetened. Until his day comes to be sweetened and soured in the wok.

Jan 4, 4:25am Top

Happy New Year Joe! And happy new thread!

Wishing you and your family the best for 2019.

>1 jnwelch: So cute!

Jan 4, 8:05am Top

>42 alcottacre: Stasia's in the house! I mean, cafe. Hooray!

Good to have you back with us. I hope your arm continues to improve post-surgery.

Yes, please steal that list. Sounds like it will have most excellent company.

Happy New Year!

Jan 4, 8:22am Top

>43 Forthwith: Hiya, Michael. Happy New Year!

Emily Wilson's translation of The Odyssey is definitely worth your time and stamina. Actually, if you're like me, you'll get caught up in the narrative and stamina won't be an issue. What a gift she's given us. I haven't read The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca; you're inspiring me on that front. She's working on a translation of The Iliad, so we have that to look forward to.

I also very much enjoyed Absolutely on Music; good for you for giving that one a go. I thought Murakamii's "layman knowledge" of classical music was impressive. (I'm a Murakami completist, so I've read them all, including the nonfiction; his usual weirdness suits me well),

Arrgh. I had a hard time with To the Lighthouse. They never even get to the lighthouse! As I mentioned in my review at the time, I kept longing to hear that "a shot rang out"! Anything to relieve the tedium. But you'll like A Room of One's Own, methinks. It's up there with Mrs. Dalloway as my top two VW books so far.

I know what you mean about hearing about good books and adding them to the TBR stack. I've been on LT many years now, and the quality of my reading has improved dramatically, largely due to that happening. Our fellow 75ers (and others) sing the praises of a book you've never heard of, or don't know much about, or wondered about, and it's irresistible, like being in a candy store.

Here's to a great year of reading! I look forward to hearing more about your reading adventures.

Jan 4, 8:30am Top

>44 Berly: Hiya, Kim! My envy of your proximity to Powell's is unceasing. :-)

Happy New Year, and Happy New Books! I'm glad the artwork hits the spot. Latte? Here you go:

>45 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. We were lucky this year with the driving weather. It's a long drive, but it was a smooth one.

I'm glad you're loving the artwork and those flannel folks.

>46 richardderus: Ha! I don't know why that phrase came to mind, Richard, but it sure sounded good in Italian. I'm not a meateater, so I'll think of the little fella as finally getting a chance to frolic among the candy corn.

Jan 4, 8:32am Top

>47 humouress: Happy New Year, Nina! Thanks!

That's a lovely photo.

Our best to you and yours for 2019. Aren't those cute up there in >1 jnwelch:?

Jan 4, 8:34am Top

Made it!

Jan 4, 9:06am Top

Happy New Year and happy new thread! It's good to be back in the cafe!

Jan 4, 9:15am Top

Does that Italian cream cake come in a diet friendly variety? (LOL)

Jan 4, 9:33am Top

Hi Joe! Happy new year, happy new thread.

I was feeling guilty that I hadn't visited you after you visited me, but looking at the date/time stamp, realize that I was only a day behind. I need to check Jim's threadbook every day for a while as people start the new year.

I still love the plaid/flannel theme, thanks for bringing it forward.

>4 jnwelch: My, my, what a strong family resemblance.

>6 jnwelch: Glad to see that Lethal White made it for your top mystery pick.

>7 jnwelch: The plan this year, in a combined effort with Madame MBH, is to focus on my tbr shelves, and either read or give away (or sell) what's on them. I wish you good luck. I want to cull more off my shelves this year than last year.

>52 jnwelch: Sweet pic of your guys.

Jan 4, 9:44am Top

>52 jnwelch: Oh look at that sweet smile! Climbing Mount Daddy :)

Jan 4, 11:43am Top

>52 jnwelch: That baby is gonna be the death of me. My papaw genes are heading into overdrive!

Jan 4, 12:54pm Top

>53 foggidawn: Hi, foggi! Happy New Year! It's great to have you back in the cafe. I'm looking forward to having lots of fun here, and learning a bunch, too.

>54 thornton37814: Ha! All I can say, Lori, is if you just have it in the cafe, the Italian cream cheese cake has zero calories. It's something we pride ourselves on.

Edited: Jan 4, 1:02pm Top

>55 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Thanks. Happy New Year!

Never feel guilty about not visiting - we've all got busy lives. I just appreciate it when you can stop by. I've got to go back to Jim's 75er thread page, too, to see if there are new ones I've missed.

Go Flannel! Boy, that's something I never thought I'd hear myself say. But it was fun - and warm.

Yes, you'd have no trouble figuring out that my sister and I are sibs. My other sister is blonde, but you'd have no trouble doing the same with her. Adriana thinks Rafa looks like me, so he may continue the family resemblance; we'll see. Under that beard, our son supposedly looks like me, too.

I loved Lethal White. Good to hear you did, too. Some folks thought it too long, but I could've gone on reading it for a lot longer. It's my favorite so far.

I know - everyone here is justifiably skeptical about our clear the tbr shelves project. We'll see. I'll need the good luck, so thanks.

Ha! I love that photo of Rafa and our son in >52 jnwelch:. Rafa is in a climbing stage, and this one cracked me up.

Jan 4, 1:07pm Top

>56 ChelleBearss: Ha! Exactly, Chelle. Rafa loves to climb Mount Daddy - and Mount Bubbe and Mount Tampa, too. It's such a fun stage with him.

I warned our son, who used to give us heart tremors with his antics, that he's going to be chasing Rafa around soon. We always say that our son started walking at 9 months - and running and jumping, too. Rafa's at 8 and 1/2 months.

>57 richardderus: Ha! He is a cute one, isn't he, Richard. We had such a good time with him over the holidays. We used to say it about our kids, too - I wish we could keep each day in a bottle for later re-experiencing (Jim Croce had a similar idea). What a wonder he is.

Jan 4, 1:17pm Top

>52 jnwelch: Absolutely adorable, Joe! Thanks so much for sharing.

Totally agree with you about Lethal White - I was sad when it ended.

Jan 4, 1:21pm Top

>61 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie. Right?! You're welcome - I was just remembering that a ways back I asked our cafe crowd whether they'd had enough of the Rafa photos, and the answer was a resounding no! So I'm happy to share them. He always makes me smile, that little guy.

Oh, thanks for letting me know about Lethal White. I was sad when it ended, too. It's good to have company.

Jan 4, 2:38pm Top

>52 jnwelch: >60 jnwelch: Do anything to get to the top of the pile, will he?

Jan 4, 2:59pm Top

Hi Joe, I've come by to wish you all the best for 2019 and to drop off a star to mark your thread. Unfortunately I got hit with the 'cold yucks' over the holidays as well. I think have a couple of pre-school great nephews introduced me to some new germs. I am looking forward to 2019 and all the great new book discoveries that will be coming my way!

Edited: Jan 4, 3:16pm Top

>63 humouress: Ha! Yes, Nina. Rafa wants to stand up, walk, and climb to the top of the pile now. He can do the first two with something to hold onto, and he loves to climb his family. In my case, he always tries to grab my glasses and, when I have it, my phone. We spent a fair amount of time moving things out of his reach, and that's only going to become a harder situation as he gets more mobile!

>64 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Thank you. Oh my, my sympathy. Illness is just striking down folks all over the place - Pittsburgh was ridiculous with the stomach flu everywhere, as I mentioned, and now back in Chicago we're seeing it spreading. Yeah, pre-schooler Rafa was "Patient Zero" for our crew, bringing it home from daycare. I imagine it was similar with your great nephews.

Like you, I'm looking forward to this year and lots of great new book discoveries. You know I get affected by our politics, and I'm feeling better with our House turning Democratic and diverse, with a flood of awesome women coming in to do battle with the white Republican male dinosaurs.

Jan 4, 4:27pm Top

Jan 4, 4:40pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe. Already not so new! Great toppers and fun family photos, too!

Jan 4, 5:14pm Top

Hi Joe, just dropped my star off at the Café, make mine a pot of tea and I will be along shortly.

Jan 4, 5:14pm Top

>66 quondame: Thanks, Susan!

>67 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! We're rolling in the new cafe, aren't we. Yay for the toppers and the family photos! I'm glad you like them.

Jan 4, 5:18pm Top

>68 johnsimpson: Hiya, John. Happy New Year, buddy. Pot of tea? We can do that. Although I suspect yours are better.

Jan 4, 5:32pm Top

Hello joe. I hope all is well with you.

The Rafa pictures are fantastic as always.

I have wrapped up Killing the SS and started on Denis Leary's book Why We Don't Suck. If you have ever been a fan of Denis Leary I think you will enjoy this. He takes humorous pleasure at roasting both sides of the political aisle while sharing his thoughts on how we can come together. Leary has already had me in stitches and I have only just begun.

Jan 4, 6:03pm Top

>70 jnwelch: ooh, can I take a cup of Rosie Lee too Joe, thanks. I'm a teapot rather than a coffee pot myself, though an occasional good coffee goes down well.

Jan 4, 7:09pm Top

>70 jnwelch: I will take a cuppa too. I love tea!

Happy New Year, Joe!

Jan 4, 7:52pm Top

Happy 2019
A year full of books
A year full of friends
A year full of all your wishes realised

I look forward to keeping up with you, Joe, this year.

Jan 4, 9:43pm Top

>70 jnwelch: That tea looks lovely!

Jan 5, 12:11am Top

Hi Joe! Lovely to see the cafe open for business! Happy New Year and best wishes for 2019!

Jan 5, 12:14am Top

>52 jnwelch: Love Rafa climbing Mt Daddy!! Watch out world.

Jan 5, 6:52am Top

Oh, that Rafa. So adorable! And ooof, I remember that walking/running stage (about 9 months for Charlie, too, if I'm remembering rightly) - it had this overprotective momma nearly on the nut wagon...

Jan 5, 11:59am Top

Thanks, everyone. We’re out and about, so I’ll check in later.

Jan 5, 12:41pm Top

Happy New Year, Joe. Feel free to spread my greeting to Madame as well.

All this coffee in the cafe reminds me that I've RUN OUT OF COFFEE. Ack. Well, I'll get some before arriving at my afternoon reading of the Iliad. My group is reading the Fagles, but I bring the Lombardo along for occasional comparisons. One of our group complained last time that there was too much blood and gore in the most recent section. My feeling was that we had the establishing long shots and the battle had to have close-ups. Homer the cinematographer.

Jan 5, 4:47pm Top

I'm beginning to make my way around all the new threads. Gracious, folks have been chatty, but I recall (well, I think I recall) that this period was the chattiest part of 2018.

Jan 5, 6:48pm Top

>52 jnwelch: Adorable!

Jan 5, 6:52pm Top

>52 jnwelch: I can certainly see the family resemblance.

Jan 5, 8:32pm Top

Happy New Year and Happy New Thread, Joe! I'm dropping off my star and looking forward to another year of shared reads, recommendations, laughs, consolations (you know, when life does what it sometimes does), and hopefully a meet-up.

The Overstory was one of my top reads in 2018, as well. And I love the art you posted at the top of this new thread.
And Flannel Family is a hoot (I'm a fan of flannel this time of year, as well). And Rafa is SO dang cute! I'm glad you get to see him as often as it seems you do; what fun to have him in your life. His smile in >52 jnwelch: is wonderful; clearly he is a child with the capacity to feel tremendous delight. That is a gift.

Jan 5, 8:47pm Top

>80 ffortsa: Out of coffee?! The world may be ending!

Jan 6, 1:22am Top

>81 weird_O: You remember the chatty start of 2018 right, Bill.

I missed out on the tea. I think we need another pot, Joe.

Jan 6, 12:06pm Top

>75 foggidawn: Glad to hear it, foggi. I have to admit, although we drink tea in our house sometimes, I'm not as familiar with it as I am with coffee.

>76 lkernagh: Hi, Lori! It's good to be started off on a new year's worth of adventures in the cafe, isn't it. Happy New Year!

>77 Berly: Ha! "Watch out world". You got it, Kim. That little guy wants to go everywhere and climb everything, and his parents will need to keep up. They're loving it.

Jan 6, 12:10pm Top

Happy Sunday, Joe. I hope you are having a good weekend. We are off to a surprise birthday party, which will take up a chunk of the afternoon. I hope I don't miss the first part of the game. Fingers crossed.

I am loving both Becoming and Asher Lev. I wish I had more time to spend with the latter. Not a lot of reading time, this long weekend. Had to take advantage of this amazing weather, right?

Go Bears!!

Edited: Jan 6, 1:03pm Top

>78 scaifea: We're smitten with the Rafa adorables, too, Amber. That little man is so full of joy.

Yeah - since the first goal has to be to get the kid to an advanced age (despite life's vicissitudes), it's going to be tough on the heart and mind when he starts careening around. It's getting near to baby gate time, and making it as safe as possible at his height in the house - electrical outlets and all that stuff. Our daughter was a lot easier than our son when it came to all that. At the same time, it's so exciting to see how fast they develop!

>80 ffortsa: Hiya, Judy. Acckkk! Running out of coffee would make me a glum gus. Luckily, as you probably remember from your visit, we're situated near cafes here. Not to mention grocery stores. But I'd much rather have it on hand when I want it.

I'm glad you've got the Lombardo translation of The Iliad on hand to go along with the Fagles version you're all reading. I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on the comparison. I actually enjoyed the Fagles version, but for me it got one-upped by the subsequent Lombardo version, which in turn was one-upped by the subsequent Emily Wilson one. The pace and modernity of the Lombardo version has a special place in my heart (his The Odyssey, too). It takes a bold and clever thinker to pull off what he did.

Now I'm dying to read The Iliad from Emily Wilson, but that's going to require patience, as we're years away (according to her) from seeing it.

Edited: Jan 6, 1:01pm Top

>88 msf59: Happy Sunday, Mark. We're having a great weekend, thanks. We had a fun Bulls game Friday night, and since then we've been taking it easy. I watched some of the playoff football yesterday and got through some of my magazine backlog. Today will be similar, although I am getting some reading in of Sooner or Later Everything Falls and An Unkindness of Ghosts. I'm now more confident you'll like the former when you get to it - the stories get better as the volume goes on, IMO. Right now I'm reading the story in it "The Wind Will Rove", and it's a very interesting exploration of former Earthdwellers trying to retain folklore and music and history through oral tradition (after a database disaster) on a multigenerational space trip to another planet.

Asher Lev was a powerful read for me. I hope to start his The Promise soon.

Go Bears!

Jan 6, 12:29pm Top

>81 weird_O: From my experience, you are correct, Sir Bill. Every New Year on LT, it starts out with a whole lot of posting, and then settles down. I'm still trying to catch up myself. Happy New Year to you and yours, buddy.

>82 SuziQoregon: Ha! Thanks, Juli. Succinctly said!

>83 Caroline_McElwee: Right, Caroline? I'd love it if you got to meet Angela some day. She's a sweetheart.

Jan 6, 12:40pm Top

>84 EBT1002: Happy New Year, Ellen! Thanks! looking forward to another year of shared reads, recommendations, laughs, consolations (you know, when life does what it sometimes does), and hopefully a meet-up. Ditto, my friend. Recommendations: Have you read A Room of One's Own yet? If not, i think you'd really appreciate it.

Yay for The Overstory! And good to hear re the art up top. She was a fun find.

The Flannel Family credit goes to our DIL, who thought it up and got the jim-jams for Debbi and me. That Rafa! We do try to see him on a regular basis, but we of course wish they lived right down the street. That's what I had growing up - my beloved grandmother lived a short walk away, so we got to see her all the time.

Rafa's joy and delight in the world is such a gift. He brings the same to all the people in his life. As we did and do with our kids, we feel lucky to know him. He has his rough times, but they always have a reason - hunger, tiredness, a diaper needing changing, a tooth coming in, a fever, etc.

Edited: Jan 6, 12:43pm Top

>85 drneutron: Right, Jim? No coffee? It's inconceivable! as Wallace Shawn would say.

Let's remedy that.

Grab one while they're hot!

Jan 6, 12:47pm Top

>92 jnwelch:

As much as you enjoy Chicago, the drives, and train trips, any chance of Flannel Folks moving closer...?

Edited: Jan 6, 12:48pm Top

>86 Familyhistorian: Hiya, Meg. Yup, chatty at the start of the LT year - I think that goes way back. I remember being overwhelmed by it a few years ago, and then I remembered it was all for fun. I just caught up as best I could at a pace I could manage. As a book nerd and enjoyer of our fellow 75ers, I want to be everywhere all at once, but that's beyond my skill set.

We just brought out more coffee - more tea you say? Can do. That Rosie Lee seems to have gone over well. Let's see what we have in the kitchen.

Jan 6, 12:49pm Top

>93 jnwelch: Oh! I see I got here just in time, Joe! Don't mind if I do.

>92 jnwelch: Ellen, I would second that recommendation of A Room of One's Own - it got the full five stars from me when I read it last year.

Jan 6, 12:57pm Top

>94 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. The Flannel Folks are unlikely to move closer to Rafa, unfortunately. We do love Chicago, and have our daughter here. Both our DIL and our son of course have ties to Chicago, so I hold out some hope that life might bring them back here. But they are feeling quite well-settled in Pittsburgh (a surprisingly lovely city), so that's probably unlikely.

The one move we thought we might make way back when was if both our kids settled in New England. We sent them to school there, and we both love that part of the country - Debbi grew up in western Mass, and my father grew up in the Boston area, so we drove across to see relatives and Cape Cod every summer. I went to college there, too. But as things stand, it looks like we'll be here in Chicago for the duration - Debbi loves our house, and says she'll only leave it on a gurney with pennies on her eyes (!)

Jan 6, 12:58pm Top

>93 jnwelch: Ha! Me, too, Mamie. Good timing!

Yeah, I read A Room of One's Own for the first time last year, too (I'm not sure why it took me that long!), and it also got the full five stars from me. What a great book.

Jan 6, 1:09pm Top

Whoops. Missed a few in the catch-up.

>71 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie. All is well here, and I hope it is with you, too.

The Denis Leary book sounds intriguing. The books by our smart comedians have been surprisingly good. My favorite so far is Tina Fey's Bossypants.

>72 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. We got so more Rosie Lee tea out in >95 jnwelch: for you. I know, I think generally Brits lean more toward tea and Ammies toward coffee, but there's a lot of mix and match that goes on. Our John Simpson likes to drink tea at home and coffee in cafes.

Jan 6, 1:12pm Top

>73 alcottacre: Happy New Year, Stasia!

We've got a number of tea fanciers in the cafe now, so I'm sure you'll be seeing more of it this year. Help yourself to the Rosie Lee in >95 jnwelch:.

>74 PaulCranswick: Happy 2019, Paul. Thank you for the good wishes. I suspect that I won't get all my wishes realised this year, but it's hard to complain. I'll keep working toward them. I hope you have an easier and satisfying year, buddy.

Edited: Jan 6, 1:26pm Top

>100 jnwelch:

While Good STRONG HOT and ICED Coffee are my first choices, my daughter and I also drink tea in the morning and at night.

She's found a lovely new one: "love" in the "pukka" brand, "a heart-warming touch of organic rose, chamomile, & lavender."

We also like Harney's and ALVITA's Organic Ginger and, lately, have mixed Ginger and Peppermint.

Peppermint and Chamomile sometimes grow wild in the yard (and driveway! along with a ton of deep rooted Chicory) - Lavender has been a challenge.
Advice welcome.

Jan 6, 1:36pm Top

Thanks for the cuppa Joe. In fact, going to make a real one now. Glad you have had a good weekend.

Yup, you are going to have to coax the whole family over to London some day.

Jan 6, 2:13pm Top

Once Rafa is trundling around things will definitely get a bit more complicated Joe. If he’s anything like my 18 month old grandson, nothing is safe. The Christmas tree was quite a challenge this year. Never had one with so many ornaments concentrated at the top lol.

Jan 6, 3:42pm Top

That coffee looks good, Joe but the tea got me first. I’ll take a nice steaming hot cuppa, please (I’ve got a cold that doesn’t know if it’s coming or going and I’d rather it went).

I’m glad Debbi loves her house. I love mine, too. A few more tweaks - a couple more rooms filled with bookshelves - and it’ll be perfect.

Jan 6, 3:57pm Top

Hi Joe! What a wonderful flannel family! I understand the joys of being with family, and the sorrow felt when they leave for their home at another state. I spent a week in Beavercreek, Ohio where my daughter, son in law and three grand children live. When the children were little, they would cry and cry when my daughter took me to the airport to go back home. Now that they are older, they still show signs of wishing I would stay, but they

Jan 6, 5:15pm Top

Joe, all this coffee reminded me ...

I sing in a women's choir here in Philadelphia. Most of our repertoire is about social justice issues, but for some comic relief in our fall concert, we sang "Caffeine Overload Polka." Our performance wasn't recorded, but here's a clip that will do nicely. Enjoy ... ☕️ 😀

Jan 6, 8:13pm Top

Hey Joe,
Love the new cafe ;)
I just had a fantastic cafe experience, a NZ$2.50 long macchiato, which was extremely delicious (helped that I was reading while drinking).

Happy new year!!!

Jan 6, 9:31pm Top

>89 jnwelch: I've been reading the Lombardo in spots, although once yesterday I started in on my turn to read only to be stopped by the leader, exclaiming 'WHAT are you READING?" Ooops. Back to Fagles.

Fagles is often wordier, but I find him more muscular and visual. So far he wins my favor. But sometimes the set-out similes in the Lombardo are quite wonderful.

I bought the Emily Wilson translation when i was in a bookstore in Saratoga Springs, since they had it on display up front. And I'm glad to hear she is working on the Iliad, although I think another woman has either done that recently or is about to publish.

No coffee in house yet except the decaf kind. I'll get some tomorrow. I was rescued this weekend by the ready-made kind in the coffee shops. But I'm not sure what I'll buy. I've been relying on Amazon deliveries of Folger French Vanilla (I know, I'm a peasant), but Dunkin's home brew is quite good and easily available, and of course there are a thousand other brands. One I won't try again is Starbucks - a single cup of coffee last week had me shaking for hours. How do they get that much caffeine in that cup???

Jan 6, 9:55pm Top

Belated New Year greetings, Joe. As much as I love the artwork here, the Rafa pictures are my favorites. Aren’t grandchildren delightful? It’s hard to believe he’s almost 9 months old now. I like the “time in a bottle idea”. I spend lots of time looking at the photos on my phone when I’m missing the grands.

Jan 6, 10:01pm Top

Good gracious! We're almost 10 days into 2019 and there's been not post one about beets! *tsk* You should've said something.

I know you've been pining away.

Jan 7, 12:14am Top

Ah Richard. You've saved us all ;0)

Jan 7, 9:16am Top

>101 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I'm with you on the coffee. I still remember having trouble getting iced coffee when I first came to Chicago lo those many years ago - it was a novel concept here back in the 70s.

Those teas sound quite exotic. I've had peppermint tea from a friend's garden and loved that. Hmm. Something to think about at our place.

>102 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. You're welcome. I like the idea of coaxing the whole family over to London! We've talked about doing that if we win the lottery - funding the whole group.

Edited: Jan 7, 9:21am Top

>103 brenzi: Ha! I love the thought of the Christmas tree with all the ornaments high up out of reach, Bonnie. Your guy sounds like our Rafa all right. It's going to be a challenge until he's old enough . . . to not endanger himself. Some time after college?

>104 humouress: Hi, Nina. We'll get you that tea and put something medicinal in it.

We've been tweaking the house for a good while now, so there are bookshelves everywhere!

Jan 7, 9:21am Top

Got to go - I'll catch up with you all later.

Jan 7, 10:06am Top

‘Morning Joe, and happy four-days-before-Friday!

>113 jnwelch: We've been tweaking the house for a good while now, so there are bookshelves everywhere! My lovely other, in addition to sacrificing a bedroom for a library for me when we built this house, added two bookshelves to the Sunroom/Karen’s Home Office. I keep some of my unread books there. We put toy/book shelves in Jenna’s rec room when we built the house, which I co-opted when I retired and call my Retreat; there are now 1604 books there. It’s where I put the books I’ve read and want to keep, but there are also all of the unread slipcase books and some of my audiobooks. Next to co-opt are my husband’s shelves in the not-being-used Media Room…..

Jan 7, 10:14am Top

>115 karenmarie: You've hit upon the joy of the empty nest. Repurposing rooms for book storage is a total, unmitigated pleasure.

Edited: Jan 7, 12:21pm Top

>105 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. I believe you got distracted before you got to finish your post!

It was a wonderful holiday with the kids and Rafa. I hope the little guy feels about us they way your grandkids felt and feel about you. I asked our son whether Rafa wondered where we were, but apparently they still haven't learned how to speak his pterodactyl language. We sure miss him.

>106 lauralkeet: Hiya, Laura. Good for you for singing in a women's choir in Philadelphia. We love listening to choirs. I'll have to circle back, but I can't wait to hear "Caffeine Overload Polka." Although I right now I can't imagine what the words "Caffeine Overload" mean. :-)

>107 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Thanks. Happy New Year!

Nothing better than a fantastic cafe experience, as far as I'm concerned. Long macchiato - I'd take one right now!

Jan 7, 12:30pm Top

>108 ffortsa: Ha! I love that "oops", Judy. Lombardo instead of Fagles, how great. "What are you reading?!" LOL!

Fagles is often wordier, but I find him more muscular and visual. Great way to explain it. His is really good. The leanness and pace of Lombardo's made for an exciting read for me.

Yes, Caroline Alexander has done a well-regarded translation of The Iliad. I have it, but I haven't read it yet. Since this is intended to be a tbr-clearing year at Casa Welch, I hope to in '19.

Strong coffee is fine by me (I probably should somehow ingest caffeine-infused dynamite in the morning - my sleep is dream-filled undersea life, and it takes me a while to surface). I'm not as big a fan of Dunkin Donuts coffee as so many are; I'd take the Starbucks, given the choice. Decaf, for me, is for night-time, when I feel like having coffee, because otherwise (caffeinated) I'd be up all night. Some people can drink caffeinated at night and sleep just fine; I'm not one of them!

Edited: Jan 7, 3:13pm Top

>106 lauralkeet: Ha sung by some coffee aficionados there I think Laura.

Jan 7, 1:44pm Top

>109 Donna828:. Happy New Year, Donna! Ha! You and Madame MBH should get together and share pics of the grands. She looks at them all the time (including playing phone videos of Rafa over and over, and she has now shown them to most of the millions of people in Chicago (or so it seems to me).

I’ve seen photos of your grands and they are so cute!

Edited: Jan 7, 1:52pm Top

>110 richardderus:. I believe I did say something, Richard. It was along the lines of, “For the love of the goddess and all that is good and decent, PLEASE don’t post anything about beets!”

But I’m belatedly realizing I should have said it out loud.

>111 humouress:. We’ll, that’s one way to look at it, Nina. Another way is that Richard once again has left the proprietor weeping in the corner over a consolatory piece of carrot cake.

>119 Caroline_McElwee:. Soon I will hear this Pythonesque (I’m assuming) creation, Caroline. I’m at the doctor’s office (routine), so I’ll have to wait.

I’ll get to remaining posts soonish!

Jan 7, 2:46pm Top

>112 jnwelch: It's almost the frozen middle of winter up here, yet, at my last trip to Starbucks, both the guy ahead of me and I ordered Iced Coffee, light on the ice.

A hard habit to break!

Jan 7, 2:49pm Top

Hello Joe! Both the tea and coffee look delicious. I hope your day is going well.

Edited: Jan 7, 3:04pm Top

>115 karenmarie: Ha! Happy four-days-before-Friday, Karen! You and I think alike - that glass is way more than half full!

I like the way you're gradually conquering your domain with bookshelves, and that you have an understanding hubby. Madame MBH and I are both heavy readers (we met working in a bookstore), so a meeting of the minds was easy. Our basement (made very comfortable) holds the most. I think Madame MBH may be happiest about the shelves in the attic, as that's where my graphic novel addiction shows up.

>116 richardderus: Ha! Our kids noticed how their rooms quickly disappeared once the kids were permanently out of the house, Richard. As much as we love them, we appreciated empty-nesting from the get-go.

>123 brodiew2: Hello Brodie! We've got the hot drinks going pretty well right now, don't we. All is well on my end. I got a routine doctor visit out of the way, with one more tomorrow, and then I'm done for a while. One of the (tolerable) downsides of getting older is I'm seeing doctors way more than I used to, as they try to keep this old jalopy tuned up.

Jan 7, 3:06pm Top

>122 m.belljackson: Were you each wearing shorts while you were getting iced coffee, Marianne? That would be typical here in Chicago, as bizarre as it seems to me. We're in the 30s F, so naturally there was a guy in shorts at the cafe this morning. I don't know what he ordered, but some frozen creation wouldn't surprise me.

Jan 7, 3:10pm Top

>124 jnwelch: Basement! I can create a basement for my books. I’ll just have to do some digging ...

>121 jnwelch: Gosh Joe. I didn’t realise your aversion was that strong. My apologies. *’beets’ a hasty retreat*

Jan 7, 3:18pm Top

>125 jnwelch:

He had only a light jacket while I, not checking that it was nearly 50 degrees, was in my winter finest.

STARBUCKS is offering 125 free Bonus Points starting today for buying both AN ICED LATTE! and a bagel or bread...plan to add to route!

Jan 7, 3:25pm Top

>106 lauralkeet: That was exhilarating, Laura! I will say, I don't think I could handle that chipperness if I hadn't already had coffee. But it's a lovely tribute to the wonders of caffeine.

Jan 7, 3:30pm Top

>126 humouress: Ha! You've inspired me, Nina. The hobbits had a second breakfast; we could dig a second basement! Maybe our filled tbr shelves aren't such a big problem after all!

Ha! Yes, I have a strong aversion to, ahem, whatever we were talking about. *be still my beeting heart*

>127 m.belljackson: A light jacket when it's nearly 50 degrees?! That's swimsuit weather!

Ha! Starbucks know its customers. An ICED LATTE promotion in January - not something I'd predict for the northern climes.

Jan 7, 4:18pm Top

This was posted over on Katie's thread by HelenLiz, and I loved it. What kind of girl do you want, guys? I want a girl who reads: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmEbF2uhsZk

Jan 7, 4:33pm Top

>130 jnwelch: Like a man who likes a girl who reads...

Jan 7, 5:29pm Top

>131 Caroline_McElwee: Ha! Right, Caroline?

Jan 7, 6:17pm Top

>118 jnwelch: Here in Los Angeles I've forgone Starbucks for Peet's (borrowed from Berkeley), which certainly tastes stronger. Should West LA be in your path I invite you for a cuppa.

Jan 7, 6:21pm Top

>128 jnwelch: it's a lovely tribute to the wonders of caffeine.
Indeed it is, Joe. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was really fun to learn and perform too.

Jan 7, 6:25pm Top

>95 jnwelch: I will take a cuppa! I do love my tea. Makes me wonder if I am English, Indian, or Chinese down under it all.

Jan 7, 7:02pm Top

Hi, Joe. I am all dried off, after my long, wet work day. Thankfully, I had Mrs. Obama to keep me company. I am also loving Asher Lev. I love his strong, no-nonsense writing style.

I am still reeling, like most of Chicago, on that Bears loss. Too bad it had to end on such a sour note. And how can you keep Parkey, after that?

Hey, did you get my text, about a potential Meet Up?

Jan 7, 7:07pm Top

Hey, Joe! I am SO glad you reposted that link from Katie's previous thread as I missed it the first time around. We all LOVED it! I did not even realize there was something to click on in Helen's post - I will have to be on my toes in the future, I see.

>136 msf59: Mark, that missed kick was ruled a block, if that helps. Treyvon Hester got a hand on it. Still stings, I know, but at least Parkey doesn't have to bear the full burden.

Jan 7, 10:48pm Top

I found you. Sometimes I hate all that changing at the beginning of the year, as I sometimes miss things in the shuffle. I missed you - but I got you back.

Jan 8, 7:28am Top

Happy New Year, Joe. Love the toppers and 2018 favs.

Jan 8, 7:35am Top

>52 jnwelch: Aweeeee what a big boy! Rafa's growing by leaps and bounds! He looks like such a happy little munchkin.

Jan 8, 7:56am Top

>133 quondame: Hi, Susan. I'm a Peet's guy, too. Our late LT pal Ellie Moses got me started on Peet's, and they've since spread to Chicago. Delish.

Is Burbank close to west LA? The niece we'll probably stay with just moved there.

>134 lauralkeet: I can imagine it was great fun to learn and perform the Caffeine Overload Polka, Laura. The choir in the video was having a blast with it.

Edited: Jan 8, 8:15am Top

>135 alcottacre: Ha! Maybe you're herbal, Stasia, down underneath it all? :-)

Here you go, my friend.

>136 msf59: Hey, buddy. That was a wet one! I'm glad you survived it okay. That's good book company! I'm glad you're loving Asher Lev. Such a good one.

I did finish Sooner or Later Everything Falls, and it was okay. It ended with a fun multiverse mystery full of Sarah Pinskers (the author).

What a shame with the Bears. Trubisky was great, and then to blow the kick. Arggh. They're now saying it was tipped by an Eagle, so maybe Parky will get off the hook.

P.S. Yes, I'll be responding to your text, sorry about that. We were figuring out logistics. Debbi has a get-together that day (same group you saw another time) that I help out with. A meetup should be fine!

Jan 8, 8:09am Top

>137 Crazymamie: Oh good, Mamie. I thought we might have a few folks here who hadn't seen that linked video in Helen's post. Isn't that great? I love a woman who reads, too - as I mentioned, Madame MBH and I met while both working in a bookstore.

Right - I've seen the same thing about Treyvon Hester's block of the kick. Parkey had similar misses during the year, so everyone assumed he'd done it again. I do hope this takes some heat off of him.

>138 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. It's good to be found, and it's good to have you back in the cafe!

Jan 8, 8:13am Top

>139 BLBera: Hiya, Beth. Thanks for stopping in. Happy New Year!

I'm glad you're loving the toppers and the favs list. Last year was a bit chaotic for me, but the reading remained great.

>140 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda! Isn't Mr. Rafa growing fast? He looks like such a happy little munchkin. He is! His most standout quality, for me anyway, is how joyful he is. He's loving life, that little guy.

Jan 8, 8:20am Top

'Morning, Joe!

>130 jnwelch: I missed it on Katie's thread, thanks for posting it here!

Jan 8, 8:26am Top

Morning, Karen!

Oh, it's good to hear that, thanks. The video Helen posted seemed well worth re-posting!

Jan 8, 9:17am Top

Morning, Joe! Hope it's a nice day in Chicagoland!

Jan 8, 9:49am Top

>147 ChelleBearss:. Thanks, Chelle! I’m at the doctor’s office getting a laser treatment (blue light) for my pale skin. I’m prone to skin cancer, largely from my clueless youthful days in the sun. Luckily, that’s one they can easily handle these days.

So, I’m looking forward to this being over, but otherwise it’s an a-ok day in the metropolis.

Jan 8, 11:16am Top

Mornin' Joe, I came in through the kitchen and they handed these to me so you could put them out:

Some coffee to go with, please?

I made these from a lady I follow on Pinterest's recipe. Rob ate 1/2 the pan as they were cooling. I had to threaten domestic violence to get a corner piece, the brat. It's so great that he has an oven.

Here's the recipe if anyone's interested:

Edited: Jan 8, 12:22pm Top

>149 richardderus: Oh man, gingerbread molasses chocolate chip bars! Thank you, Richard! Those look dellish.

That skin session at the doctor proved to be more painful than I expected. Yikes. This is just the ticket. Rob ate 1/2 the pan as they were cooling. I can see why! Is Rob the YGC?

Here's that java (I assume latte is okay?):

Jan 8, 1:48pm Top

>141 jnwelch: Alas, Burbank is far from West LA in that Downtown is in between so non peak daytime makes it 40min+. My husband has done Burbank to WLA as a commute and it was rough. There is a Peet's actually in the Burbank airport and another in Studio City about 20min away. I wouldn't hesitate to spend 40min to an hour for a local all day event or work party, but it's on the outside for coffee.

Jan 8, 2:01pm Top

Happy Tuesday, Joe!

Jan 8, 2:34pm Top

>151 quondame: Thanks, Susan. As you can tell, we're still learning LA. We'll see how it goes. Nothing is set yet.

>152 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia! Happy Tuesday! I still can't get used to your being back with us. This is really cool.

It turns out son Jesse is active on boardgamegeek.com, the site you mentioned, and loves it. His collection is under "Welchiii":https://boardgamegeek.com/user/Welchiii He and his wife play what I suspect you would call heavy games, that go on for months, as well as light ones for the likes of his parents.

Jan 8, 2:36pm Top

Flannel nap. Holidays can be exhausting, right?

Jan 8, 3:04pm Top

Hello, Joe!

>150 jnwelch: I am constantly on the lookout for the perfect Cafe Mocha. Of late the two best of I have experienced have been in Seaside, OR and Woodinville, WA. Delicious!

>154 jnwelch: You look amazingly comfortable. I need that kind of warm relaxation. too much tightness in the shoulders.

Jan 8, 3:24pm Top

>155 brodiew2:. Hello, Brodie! I’m a major fan of quests to find great coffee. I’m glad you’ve had some success - in what I assume are two small towns.

Questing for the best cafes is also a worthy pursuit. Madame MBH and I are doing that in the Chicago area.

I can tell you that dogs wearing flannel can help a lot with relaxation. Also, I’ve been practicing my goofing off skills for quite a while now.

Jan 8, 3:40pm Top

>150 jnwelch: Perfect! Latte with those scrummy brownie-like devils is perfect. Yes, Rob The YGC doesn't resent being called that, but is still slightly nervous about being outed so I am allowed to use his first name. (He resented his earlier nickname, "Naked Surfer Boy," but I pointed out that 1) I'd never met him so didn't know his name, and b) boys who strip naked while getting into wetsuits in public got no room to whinge.)

Jan 8, 4:13pm Top

>156 jnwelch: The few times I was able to be in Chicago I searched out mostly Greek food, though I had a lovely time at Joe's Seafood and Meli's Cafe and a Grill under the metra line with great skillet breakfast.

Jan 8, 5:50pm Top

I missed Helen's link on Katie's thread too, Joe. Her thread was a bit distracting. Thanks for the repost.

You look very comfy in the flannel nap pic.

Jan 8, 6:52pm Top

>157 richardderus: Ha! Naked Surfer Boy is pretty darn catchy, Richard, but I guess I can understand Rob resenting it. Sultry Unclothed Reader? Nah, he probably wouldn't like that one either. "Thank the Godesses He Has an Oven" probably is too materialistic, although thank goodness he does. I'm still wowed by those >152 alcottacre: gingerbread molasses chocolate chip bars.

>158 quondame: Greektown, Susan? There are some excellent Greek restaurants there. I've been to the Meli's west of the loop downtown - great breakfasts.

Give us (Mark and me) a holler whenever you're next in Chicago, if you've got some free time.

>159 Familyhistorian: Good deal, Meg. Yes, Katie's thread was kind of distracting - so much going on there early in our LT year. Isn't that linked video performance great? Smart man.

I was comfy taking that flannel nap. Little Maleta is a charming furry pal.

Jan 8, 7:13pm Top

>160 jnwelch: That's the Meli's I went to - first by accident and the second time very much by intent. I didn't find the Greektown restaurants distinguishable - pretty much the same offerings and not as good as I'd had in Greece or Los Angeles in the 80's (Corfu imported their bread from Chicago) My niece took us to a better place further north in a more suburban area. Alas my niece no longer works in Chicago and my daughter no longer goes to school in Peoria (actually I'm glad for the latter) so I haven't any excuse to route myself though the windy city.

Jan 8, 7:14pm Top

>154 jnwelch: Oh, the retired life. Must be nice...

Hi, Joe. I know we chatted earlier but I thought I would pop in, before Trump takes the stage, to inform us about this horrible crisis we have on our hands. Shudders...

Glad you are available, on the 20th and I always enjoy our visits and endless chatter. I sent a message to Linda and Nancy too.

Jan 8, 8:44pm Top

>161 quondame: Good for you - Meli's is worth journeying to. Your description of Greektown sounds more educated than mine. I've eaten there a couple of times without big expectations. Sorry to hear your Chicago connections are gone. It's similar to us with Seattle, where we used to go when our son lived there. We loved it, and likely will find a reason to get back there.

>162 msf59: Ha! >154 jnwelch: is more the holiday life, Mark, but I take your point. I sure couldn't flake out at the office like that.

Ah, the Trump talk tonight. How many lies will he tell? We know he has no shame. He'll want to pump up the nonexistent crisis so he can declare an emergency and get his wall. I think enough people are on to him, but we'll see. I sure ain't watching or listening to that con artist. I'm hoping he'll be gone, gone, gone soon.

Sounds great for the 20th!

Jan 8, 9:02pm Top

It looks like Linda might be joining us on the 20th. Yah!!

Edited: Jan 8, 9:08pm Top

>164 msf59: I join your Yah!! That'll be fun, won't it. I haven't seen Linda since the meetup at your place.

Jan 8, 9:22pm Top

I did listen to the Orange Gasbag. Now, I am worried about being bludgeoned and stabbed by an illegal alien, with a hammer and a machete. I think I hear something outside...maybe, it is just the blowing winds.

Jan 8, 9:41pm Top

>109 Donna828: Donna, I remember so well the photos of your grand daughters when they were little wee ones. Now, just like my oldest grand daughter, who will turn 16 in February, I wonder where the time went. I enjoy every experience and every year! I was so very close to my maternal grandmother. Now I know the love she felt, because I feel it too!!

>163 jnwelch: Usually, we would watch presidential speeches. Both Will and I opted out tonight and we are reading. As someone who taught communication, I go nuts listening to Trump repeat, repeat, repeat. I want to scream...once is enough!!!!!
Politics aside, he really is not a very articulate speaker.

Jan 9, 8:31am Top

>166 msf59: LOL! The danger is excruciating, isn't it. Those rattling shutters - illegal aliens?

I don't know how you listen to that bozo. Even though I'm a peaceful guy, when I hear his voice I want to punch the tv screen. He's doing Putin's best to ruin the country.

>167 Whisper1: Right, Linda? Up until Trump, I'd listen to the President, too. He's inarticulate, can't talk in complete sentences, ignores facts and the truth and, as you say, makes it worse by repeating himself. For a communications teacher like you, it must be excruciating.

Edited: Jan 9, 8:33am Top

Life with Rafa involves a lot of playing

Jan 9, 8:41am Top

>169 jnwelch: Right. I feel better already.

Morning, Joe! I didn't listen last night, either. Latte me up, please - I need a dose of caffeine before I turn on the news.

Jan 9, 9:27am Top

Jim and I listened on delay. He was reading the teleprompter, very subdued, lying as usual. The Dems weren't much better, alas.

Jan 9, 10:07am Top

coffeecoffeecoffee help

Reading Snapshot today. I really like Gary Disher's Hal Challis mysteries.

Jan 9, 1:50pm Top

>170 Crazymamie: Hiya, Mamie! Ha! I feel better, too, after a little Rafa time.

Latte coming up:

I hope the rest of the day treats you well.

Edited: Jan 9, 1:55pm Top

>171 ffortsa: Hi, Judy. Ehh, I'm sorry to hear the Dems weren't much better. It should've been like shooting fish in a barrel. He's lying, there's no crisis, in fact the numbers are lower than ever, that kind of thing.

>175 Hiya, Richard. Gary Disher's series is new to me. I'll check it out.

Coffee, coffee, coffee. Here you go:

Take as many as you want

Jan 9, 3:13pm Top

Perfect. I needed massive caffeine today. For some reason I can't get up a head of steam...it's windy, it's cloudy, it's just barfoleum out there and I can't shake the sensation that the Weather Goddess's beady eye is on us, taking aim for that surprise nor'easter.

Edited: Jan 9, 3:55pm Top

Hello Joe!

>169 jnwelch: Rafa!

>173 jnwelch: >174 jnwelch: There is nothing like the golden brown of steamed milk on a latte! Excellent pics!

I'm not sure if I should have known better, but Dennis Leary is testing my patience in certain parts of Why we don't Suck. I am nearly halfway through and his bipartisanism is eroding. I also think that his delivery style is harder edged than I'm used to. I knew this about Leary, but oh well. I'll stick out.

Jan 9, 4:38pm Top

>169 jnwelch: How sweet!

Edited: Jan 9, 5:16pm Top

>175 richardderus: Yeah, it feels that way here, too. The temp plummeted, and the wind got grim. I'm hoisting another latte meself over here in the heartland.

>176 brodiew2: Hello Brodie!

I join you in saying Rafa!

Yeah, it warms me up just to see those golden brown lattes. I'm glad you like the pics! I've started to collect some (Pinterest), so it makes it easier when someone is in dire need like Mamie or Richard.

Hmm. Intriguing re Dennis Leary. I do think of him as a harsh comedian - hard-edged, as you say. Not a sweet and cuddly guy, that's for sure. Good for you for sticking it out; I'll be interested to hear what you make of it as a whole.

BTW, we're greatly enjoying the American Gods tv adaptation of Neil Gaiman's book They, for me, have somewhat overemphasized the blood and violence aspects, so I wouldn't watch it with chilluns. But it's fun to see it all come to visual life - Ian McShane plays Wednesday, and that was an excellent choice. I happen to like the way the new-to-me actor plays Shadow - it's true to the book. But I wonder whether he's too subtle for some viewers. He plays him very low key, but that's the way Shadow is.

>177 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! We miss having that little gooneybird start our day. It's impossible to be unenthusiastic about the world we live in with that guy around. I pride myself on my grumpiness, but I can't stick with it when he's near.

Jan 9, 6:07pm Top

Hi Joe -I'm a long time missing in action on your thread from last year. Love your family photos, such a beautiful baby.
And the group coffee in #93 way up there is gratefully received too. Richard's beets in #110 not so much, I just roasted three and have to decide what I'm going to make with them.

>172 richardderus: >174 jnwelch: I'm a fan of Garry Disher's books, both the Hal Challis and Wyatt series. He's also written some well received YA in the past and serious fiction too. I decided to read him when he popped up in the family tree, my grandmother was a Disher. The stand alone crime novel, Bitter Wash Road is a good place to start.

Jan 9, 6:17pm Top

Hi, Kerry. Good to see you!

Beets not so much - ha! I join you in that, except I wouldn't even roast some. Thanks re the family photos and our son's beautiful baby.

Thanks also for the tip on Garry Disher's books. I'll take a close look, including Bitter Wash Road.

Jan 9, 6:26pm Top

>169 jnwelch: What an adorable little guy he is. I imagine he brings joy wherever he goes. He radiates charm.

Jan 9, 6:44pm Top

>181 Whisper1: Thanks, Linda. He does bring joy wherever he goes, that Rafa. His mom has been saying she may have to put him in a class where he's told he's not good-looking and not all that great, just to balance out all the enthusiasm he encounters. :-) One of my favorite things is his love of water - his dad takes him to a swimming class, and he loves kicking and paddling around there (yes, we get phone videos). Ditto in the bathtub.

I think he knows he picked really good parents. Debbi and I wish we'd thought to get our kids in swimming class that early. We tried it later in their lives, and they're okay in the water, but not in love with it like this little guy. He's also getting two languages, Spanish and English, and I would've loved to do that with our kids if we could've figured out a way.

Ours took Latin when young, and I just tagged them both for a funny Onion article that explains that studies show that people who studied Latin are better at raising demons than those that haven't.

Jan 9, 7:18pm Top

>169 jnwelch: Awww, what a sweet pic! I'm impressed that they're teaching him both Spanish and English. Is he starting to say words in both? My nephew seems happy enough to take it all in (he doesn't care if he's Matthew or Teo) though I haven't heard him say a lot of different words yet. Mia, on the other hand, is super stubborn. Her Abuela and Tio call her "Elizabeth" (her middle name) which she refuses to answer to, and if she's in the right mood she'll repeat *some* Spanish words, but she'll just as regularly get in arguments: "Mia, what's this?" "It's a horsey." "It's not a horsey, es caballo." "No es caballo. It's a horsey."

Edited: Jan 9, 7:29pm Top

>183 bell7: Hi, Mary. No, as our family jokes, right now Rafa speaks pterodactyl - prehistoric flying lizard screeches. It's very funny; he definitely has a lot to say, but none of us has taken pterodactyl. His mother is Columbian-Mexican-American, and his dad is becoming more fluent in Spanish, so they both use both with Rafa. "Abre tu boca" - open your mouth, so we can feed you.

I think he's going to walk soon, and likely speak non-pterodactyl later. I'm not aware of a baby doing both around 9 months, but maybe it happens.

Oh, that's funny about Mia. Yeah, they have to assert their individuality in various ways, don't they. Rafa may balk, too, although I'm betting he'll be fine with it. He's got an abuelita and abuelito, and a Bubbe, and a Tampa. So it's going to be a bit of United Nations anyway. :-)

P.S. They've found a temple they like, and he'll be raised Jewish. Like Madame MBH and I did with ours (our kids went to Temple Sinai here), they want Rafa to have a structured religion. Both our kids have stuck with it. I'm the oddball Buddhist in the family or, as my wife likes to say, her Presbybuddhatarian.

Jan 9, 7:29pm Top

>169 jnwelch: Love it! This kid is so photogenic!

Hey, Joe. I finished Becoming and just like I predicted, it was a 5 star read. Asher Lev is shaping up to go in that direction too. I started a promising GN too- Hey, Kiddo. Have you heard of this graphic memoir?

Jan 9, 7:46pm Top

>184 jnwelch: Ha! Thanks, Mark. As you'd guess, I sure agree. Too bad he changes so fast; he'll have to wait for his modeling career until he settles into one look. :-)

I don't know Hey Kiddo. I'll have to check that out. I'm reading one called Girl Town, which so far I'm liking a lot.

Debbi's getting Becoming, and will take first crack at it, so I'll probably read it late this month or next month. I'm happy to hear that you've started the year with such great reads!

Jan 9, 9:10pm Top

My wife Judi got Becoming for Christmas. She's finished it, so it's on my imminent TBR. I got Educated; that too is on the ITBR. Lethal White was snatched from under me by Daughter Dear, who has finished it. Next time I'm in Boston...

Speaking of Cody Parkey, he's likely to be with the Bears next year and even the year after. The Bears signed him to a four-year contract for $15 million, including $9 million guaranteed. Be a big expense for the team to can him. And incidentally, Parkey was the Eagles placekicker in 2016. In 2017, he was the Dolphin's kicker and had a stellar season.

Edited: Jan 9, 9:16pm Top

>154 jnwelch: Dogs wear flannel too? Very legal-looking pose from the proprietor.

>169 jnwelch: Very cute and happy-making.

>183 bell7: >184 jnwelch: They say that bilingual kids (or kids brought up speaking more than one language - I once knew a little girl with Japanese and Dutch parents and, of course, they speak English too) take longer to learn to talk but once they do, there’s no stopping them. And, of course, they’re fluent in both/ all languages. I intended to do something like that with my kids; the hiccough being that I’m only fluent in English.

Edited: Jan 9, 9:48pm Top

>187 weird_O: You need to handcuff those books to your wrist, Bill, although I'm not exactly sure how one does that. I loved Lethal White, and the other two are in my soonish-future.

Cody Parkey had a terrible year for the Bears; second worst in the league. There's a lot of pressure for the Bears to put him behind them. It's too bad - his many failures this year sure wouldn't have been predicted. You're right they'd be eating a lot of money if they let him go, but it wouldn't be the first time.

>188 humouress: Hi, Nina. Both dogs (Bolita and Maleta) had snazzy flannel outfits to match the rest of us. Maleta (the one on me) particularly doesn't mind - she wears dog dresses, too, and readily accepts it. Bolita, on the other hand, is not happy when they dress her up. :-)

Yay for cute and happy-making Rafa!

Our niece's boy who's turning a year old is going to grow up speaking English and Dutch (Dutch father); Japanese and Dutch and English (like the little girl you knew) seems like a wild and wonderful combination! I'll keep you posted; I think Rafa's dad didn't talk until some time after being a year old. I will say that Rafa seems eager to join the conversation, and he also seems to understand a conversation exchange in which we imitate the sounds he's making.

I'm excited about his eventually having command of Spanish, as we have so many Latin-Americans here. I think it will be useful (including in other countries) and he'll have a lot of fun with it. Madame MBH and I are trying to develop decent Spanish skills.

Jan 9, 11:00pm Top

I'm glad to see that Convenience Store Woman is one of the New Yorker's Best Books of 2018. Very different and good, that one.

Jan 9, 11:28pm Top

>182 jnwelch: Wait ... raising demons? You intrigue me strangely; apprehensively, even. I'm reading Small Gods and I couldn't tell you how Sir Terry's Latin is holding up - better than mine, anyway.

>189 jnwelch: The problem with you speaking pterodactyl is ... do you understand what you're saying? Could be dangerous ....

I see that your Spanish (>184 jnwelch:) is coming along well.

Jan 10, 5:54am Top

>190 jnwelch: I hovered over this one yesterday Joe. Remembered someone had raved about it, now I know who...

Jan 10, 9:25am Top

Hey Kiddo is one that I got for Christmas and was one of the shortlist for the National Book Award for YA. I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Jan 10, 10:12am Top

>191 humouress: Ha! Our kids loved that article Onion on Latin and raising demons, Nina. I'll bet Sir Terry's Latin holds up very well - he seems to have had a lot of success with demons.

It has occurred to us to look carefully around when Rafa starts speaking pterodactyl - perhaps he is calling a meeting? We stay on the alert.

My high school Spanish is coming back to me somewhat. But there are so many words I don't know! I'll keep plugging away.

>192 Caroline_McElwee: Ha! Yes, I was one who raved about An Inconvenient Woman, Caroline, although I noticed one other of our 75ers (can't remember who) read it and liked it, too. Well worth the read, IMO.

>193 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel. I did see that when I researched Hey Kiddo (National Book Award finalist). That's a positive sign, isn't it. I put it on the WL.

Jan 10, 10:14am Top

Woo, it has turned chilly here in the heartland. 6 degrees F wind chill. I've got my flannel-lined jeans on, and we're heading to a neighborhood cafe for hot drinks and sustenance.

Jan 10, 10:25am Top

>195 jnwelch: Pretty photo! So grateful to see it, would prefer death to being in its setting.

It's windy, therefore cold, here; presently wind chill of about 18° or -10C.

I've posted my review of Snapshot, a series mystery in an increasingly involving Australian series. Lots of reasons to be happy I don't have to go outside include having more of them to read! Although today's an eat-your-spinach read of It's Even Worse Than It Looks.

Jan 10, 11:02am Top

>178 jnwelch: I am very much looking forward to season 2 of American Gods starting. I am a big fan of the small scenes that start out "Somewhere in America." The slave ship with Anansi was great.

Jan 10, 11:52am Top

The perils of planning your reading. And of January. I'm in that slump just now, wherein I can't get into any book I sample. January 2018 I stumbled around in reading, getting only 4 books read. Granted one I did finish was Nicholas Nickleby. I'll find something real soon; I have a lot to sample. Ha ha.

Jan 10, 12:22pm Top

I finished reading Straight On Till Morning: The Biography of Beryl Markham by Mary S. Lovell. After Bill and I read West With the Night - Markham's autobiography I wanted to learn more about this woman. I had this book on the shelves so pulled it off and started it. It did the trick and filled in the holes. An interesting life lead to an interesting biography.

Bill ended up really really liking West With the Night, and I thought it was very good. (So did Papa Hemingway), so if you haven't read it - I recommend it.

Edited: Jan 10, 2:09pm Top

>196 richardderus: Ha! I was just thinking back to when I lived in southern California, Richard, and I missed the seasons so much I came back east. On days like this I wonder what I was thinking.

Yes, It's Even Worse Than It Looks does look a bit like a homework assignment, although it's certainly timely. You've got me looking at Garry Disher's books. I read Europe in Autumn (starting a series you liked), and thought it was well done, but it unfortunately didn't grab me by the lapels and shove me into a wall - or maybe I should say fortunately. But I like the idea of an Australian series. I've enjoyed the Phryne Fisher mysteries set in Melbourne.

>197 Oberon: Hi, Jeff. That small scene in American Gods with Anansi was amazing, wasn't it. We've liked those, too - our second favorite so far of the small scenes was the woman making soup in her kitchen who ends up being escorted to the door in Egypt. The Viking one, not so much.

I'm happy to have a fellow fan of the series. I'll have to check on when Season 2 comes out - I'm hoping that our timing in finishing season one will be pretty good.

Jan 10, 2:04pm Top

>195 jnwelch: checking out the competition eh Joe?

Jan 10, 2:09pm Top

Good luck to your son and DIL on the early walking! Nate’s cousin’s son is the same age as Elissa and he was walking at 9 months. Ellie beat him at talking though as he is shy and quiet and Ellie talks all day long now. Oh, my poor ears! *grins*

Jan 10, 2:13pm Top

>198 weird_O: I was just in that frustrating state of starting a bunch of books and finishing none, Bill. I used some of my limited willpower to get them done, and I'm more in the flow now. I've got to write reviews for Sooner or Later Everything Falls (not terrible) and The Poet X (excellent - I can understand the acclaim). Now I'm reading Happiness by Aminatta Forna (very good 1/3 of the way in) and Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan (just starting). I'm also going to be reading some more Tony Hoagland poetry.

I liked Nicholas Nickleby, but then again I've liked almost all of his that I've read. The one I wasn't so fond of was that high school reading staple A Tale of Two Cities. His coincidences are often preposterous, but the two look-alikes was just too much for me.

>199 benitastrnad: Good for you, Benita. That sounds like mighty fine reading. I'll keep West with the Night in mind. We're trying to focus on getting books off our tbr shelves, so my adventures beyond that will be more limited this year.

Edited: Jan 10, 2:21pm Top

>201 Caroline_McElwee: Ha! I never know when I might pick up a good cafe idea, Caroline! Actually, both Debbi and I find we get a lot more work done when we're in a cafe versus the distractions at home. I take folders filled with almost-done poems, and Debbi takes almost-done stories. Plus we confer on to-dos and travel plans.

>202 ChelleBearss: Ha! Ellie sounds like our Becca, Chelle. Becca started talking at 9 months and, as we say in our family, never stopped. I have to admit that there are some humorous feelings of "payback" toward his father with Rafa seeming likely to walk soon. We chased Rafa's father hither and yon once he got going at that age, doing our darndest to keep him safe.

Jan 10, 2:49pm Top

>154 jnwelch: That flannel nap - What a great photo!

And I'm giggling over Rafa speaking Pterodactyl ;-)

Jan 10, 4:13pm Top

>182 jnwelch: a lot of demon raising is in German - Latin is for exorcism

Jan 10, 4:54pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Joe. Another chilly one, but it is Chicago in January, so DUH! I am on the homestretch of Asher Lev. What an amazing book. This is one of the many reasons I LOVE LT.

Jan 10, 5:01pm Top

Dare I point out that Robbie Gould had a stellar season kicking for the 49ers? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Edited: Jan 10, 6:13pm Top

Hello Joe. I just want to let you know that Dennis Leary had me in as many stitches as I've been in a long time during this morning's drive. Just when I think hes about the nose dive into the ground, he pulls up. :-p

Jan 10, 7:19pm Top

>194 jnwelch:

Next time you and Rafa are conversing (Skype?), point to an eye and say "Ojo" quite loudly, then hold up an egg, point, and say "Huevo!"

He will think you are a genius and may translate both into Dino-talk for you.

Jan 10, 9:01pm Top

Ha...managed to get a seat in the cafe before it moved into new quarters! Love the Rafa talk about ...well, Rafa-talk.
Anybody know how little brains sort out two languages at once? Marvelous.

>183 bell7: "No es caballo. It's a horsey." Love it.

Jan 10, 10:39pm Top

>200 jnwelch: I liked the scenes with Anubis. Sadly, it looks like that actor is not back for season 2 which is a real shame.

Jan 11, 12:52am Top

>195 jnwelch: Ooh, that looks pretty but cold, Joe. Nice to look at from afar - very very afar.

Jan 11, 2:54am Top

Love the coffee Joe! Please keep it flowing! Rafa is so charming, beautiful pics.

>211 laytonwoman3rd: A friend's little one learned three between the home/ nursery, and she was advised that speaking six months behind a monolingual kid (for each language) was to be expected. Like a lot of bi/multilingual kids, several years on they are now ahead of expected markers - several studies show just how well kids with extra languages tend to do in school.

I was always fascinated by my uncle's story: he grew up speaking English and siSwazi as a kid, but left southern Africa when young, and always insisted he couldn't remember any of his second language. But I wondered if he was back amongst the community, listening and absorbing, would a bit of the brain be unlocked? I like to think so.

Jan 11, 8:03am Top

>205 SuziQoregon: Ha! Thanks, Juli. Maleta is a boon flannel companion. I wish you could hear Rafa speak Pterodactyl - he's very enthusiastic. :-)

>206 magicians_nephew: Thanks, Jim. Demon-summoning is some inspiration for studying German, but not enough for me.

>207 msf59: Sweet Thursday and Toothsome Friday, Mark. Isn't Asher Lev great? I know, we pick up such good tips on LT. It's not quite on that level, but I'm enjoying Aminatta Forna's Happiness based on LT tips.

>208 weird_O: You might be surprised how aware folks here are aware that Robbie Gould had another good season for the 49ers, Bill. Big mistake letting him go, and there are many calls to bring him back. Of course, if the Bears let Cody Parkey go, he'll probably go on to do well elsewhere. Somebody's law?

Jan 11, 8:10am Top

>209 brodiew2: Glad to hear it, Brodie. Some good laughs from Leary have to improve the commute.

>210 m.belljackson: Ha! I like your ideas, Marianne. Ojo and huevo. I just wish I could say them in Dino-talk. Then he'd really think I'm a genius. :-)

>211 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. Yeah, we'll probably need to find new digs soon. (Hmm, that phrase fits well with the Rafa-talk/Dino-talk).

You know, all I've heard is that little brains handle taking on two languages really well. I've never heard (or read) why. I suspect it has to do with the brain having not locked into ways of processing info yet, but it's an intriguing question. Maybe someone quaffing a latte here knows?

I love that horsey line from Mary, too.

Edited: Jan 11, 8:21am Top

>212 Oberon: That is too bad, Erik. I liked the Anubis actor. We just finished the one where his wife appears at the episode's end on Shadow's hotel room bed.

>213 Familyhistorian: Right, Meg? While bundled up by a fire with a hot beverage at hand. And a good book, of course.

>214 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. If Rafa had a hat on, he'd tip it, I'm sure. With that grin of his. We'll definitely keep the coffee flowing.

Hmm, that's intriguing info about duo versus monolingual. It seems like such a benefit, to me, to be fluent in two. I bet you're right about your uncle - some time among those speaking siSwazi would bring it back.

Edited: Yesterday, 9:44am Top

Playing hard can be exhausting

Jan 11, 8:48am Top

>216 jnwelch: - I have heard that when people grow up with more than one language - even just hearing more than one, not necessarily speaking it - the part of the brain that processes language develops differently and becomes wired differently while it is still in its early stages of growing. And that is the reason that learning more languages as an adult is much easier for those whose brains already know how to process languages. I don't know the actual science behind it but it has always fascinated me.

>218 jnwelch: - Sweet!

Edited: Jan 11, 8:53am Top

This short story collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea is by a Nebula award winner, and certainly has its fans. I got it as an ER book. For me, it was okay but not great. It does have some offbeat and intriguing premises. In the first one, a farmer loses his arm in a threshing accident, and the prosthetic replacement thinks its a road in Colorado, bringing odd visions to his life. The last story involves a convention of "Sarah Pinsker"s (the author) drawn from many alternate universes. Their lives have taken different turns, and one leads to murder. "Wind Will Rove" has many lovely moments as a multigenerational space crew tries to preserve Earth music and stories via oral history (the database was damaged) as the ship makes its long trip to a new home. The book features a lot of diversity in its characters, and has some nice surprises. I just didn't get Ray Bradbury-esque liftoff from it. At the same time, I won't be surprised if it garners some awards.

Jan 11, 8:58am Top

>219 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Isn't that a sweet photo?

That makes sense re language acquisition. It's so much more common in Europe to be fluent in more than one, which makes sense to me - we travel to other states here in the U.S., and everyone speaks English. In Europe, the same distance puts you in a different country, with a different language.

Jan 11, 9:13am Top

>218 jnwelch: So sweet! My girls love to play with their Papas but love to snuggle with their Grammas!

Jan 11, 9:15am Top

>222 ChelleBearss: Right, Chelle? Rafa seems to like us both for the snuggle time. His falling asleep on me during the holidays was one of the best experiences I've had. So peaceful. Our kids used to do that, but it's been a long time.

Jan 11, 10:37am Top

>218 jnwelch: great photo Joe.

Jan 11, 11:01am Top

Morning, Joe! Love the photo - how very clever of Rafa to get Debbi to pretend to take a nap with him. He must have known it would only take a few moments for her to be out like a light, getting some much needed rest.

Edited: Jan 11, 11:09am Top

>218 jnwelch: LOVE IT!

Morning, Joe. Happy Friday. Definitely better out today, although I would like to see more peeks of sunshine.

Good review of the story collection. I also have an ER copy, so I will try to get to it this month.

Jan 11, 11:36am Top

Jan 11, 11:44am Top

>218 jnwelch: In our house we’d call that one definitely “frame worthy”.

Jan 11, 1:14pm Top

Joe, I know (vaguely) about kids raised bilingual, but as I recall, one parent or caregiver spoke in one language and one in another, and that gave a distinction to the languages. I don't know if that is necessary, of course. But it's very good to be bilingual at at early age, when language acquisition seems to be most effective.

Jan 11, 1:21pm Top

>224 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. You know that sleeping woman!

>225 Crazymamie: Ha! You're right, Mamie. Both them needed the rest, that's for sure. Rafa plays hard, and Debbi often took the laboring oar in taking care of him, to give his parents a break.

>226 msf59: Happy Friday, buddy. Oh good, I was just over on your thread to let you know I'd reviewed Sooner or Later Everything Falls. Right, I remember you also had an ER copy. My next ER is a Bryant and May mystery.

Debbi says they're predicting snow for tomorrow. I guess we've lucked out so far, although I wouldn't mind keeping the luck going.

Jan 11, 1:27pm Top

>227 laytonwoman3rd: Right, Linda? So sweet.

>228 NarratorLady: Oh good, you found us, Anne. I'm glad Caroline was able to point you to the new year's cafe.

I agree; >218 jnwelch: seems frame worthy to me, too. We do have that one of Rafa smiling in his bear costume framed. This would be a good addition.

>229 ffortsa: Hi, Judy. Yes, that works in this situation. Adriana was raised speaking Spanish, but also is fluent in English, and Jesse of course was raised with English, but he's learning Spanish. So it should work well for young Rafa. He's gotten both languages from day one, and Debbi and I speak a little Spanish to him now, too.

Jan 11, 4:11pm Top

>220 jnwelch: I know I've read the -arm that thought it was a road- story, but not in this collection. There is something haunting about it.

All the talk of polyglot tots reminds me of my utter failure to get my daughter to learn Spanish in spite of choosing a private school that features Spanish from kindergarten through high school (all the other local choices featured computer science for elementary grades). Her accent is quite good, her ability to speak and understand not so much.

Jan 11, 4:48pm Top

>220 jnwelch: I gave Wind Will Rove 4.5* all by itself as I was Hugo-reading. A beautiful tale well told.

Today sorta stank, so I'm gonna go sit in a corner and sulk.

Jan 11, 4:56pm Top

>232 quondame:. Hi, Susan. There is something haunting about that arm and road story, isn’t there. When it gets “fixed”, there’s a surprising sense of loss.

Yes, they expect to be putting Rafa in a public school that emphasizes Spanish. We’ll see how it goes, but it should help that it’s spoken at home. Sorry it didn’t go better with your daughter. I’m now wishing I’d paid better attention in high school, and had used it after that.

Jan 11, 5:00pm Top

>233 richardderus:. Sorry to hear about the sorta stanky day, Richard. I’m away from my pc, but later on I’m sure we can find some cake that will improve your outlook

Yeah, that “Wind Will Rove” story was great, and there were some other highlights in Sooner or Later Everything.

Jan 11, 5:01pm Top

For those who haven’t read Binti yet, it’s available on Kindle today for $1.99, along with the second one for the same price.

Jan 11, 5:26pm Top

>235 jnwelch: *grumble* Okay.

>236 jnwelch: All three are $1.99!!!

Edited: Jan 11, 8:45pm Top

>237 richardderus:. 👍🎉🎈🎊🎉🍺🍷🥂🍡🌟😮😲🎉🎈​

All three Binti books at $1.99 each! I hope we have folks who take advantage.

Edited: Jan 11, 8:44pm Top

>237 richardderus: Here you go, buddy. Hummingbird cake. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Jan 11, 9:46pm Top

>182 jnwelch: Joe. I smile at the fact that your grand son will know English and Spanish. I also admit that I tried to pass Spanish three times in college. I even took a non-credit course as an adult. Alas, I know a few, but not many words.

Now, one of our little friends (Andres) in the neighborhood who is four is teaching me Spanish, and I am helping him with English. I know his parents are very fluent in both languages.

He asks me how to say humorous words, especially when we are reading illustrated books. He is incredible smart, funny and loveable. He guesses what is going to happen next by watching the progression of the illustrations. We love him so!!

And, we are so very fortunate to be the surrogate grandparents to so many neighborhood children. Our block includes a loving, very special 88 and 89 year old couple, whom we visit often. Daily, Tom calls to give Will insights into various PB S programs.

Two girls aged 7 and 10, who love to play games with Will; both were born with hearing impairments...The other day, one of them told Will "Mr. Will, we know you have trouble hearing. If we can wear hearing aids since we were very little, you can wear them now that you are old." Good God, we laughed so hard that it continued for a good 3-5 minutes.

Andres was a special surprise present to his 45 year old parents. He is tremendously loved and more than a tad spoiled (in a good way.) A few nights ago, he wanted to make Christmas cookies. He was ill during the holiday, and missed our baking parties. He made lots of gingerbread cookies and put a tremendous amount of raisins both on the cookie and in his mouth. As raisins were popping out of his mouth he was signing jingle bells.

Then, our neighbor/friend next door has two grand daughters who visit often. I play American dolls with them. I love their creativity and intelligence.

I am sure Rafe will provide many loving, wonderful memories to you and your wife.

Jan 12, 5:47am Top

>239 jnwelch: hmmm, not even crumbs left. >233 richardderus: I hope you have a better day today Richard.

>240 Whisper1: sounds like you live in a great community Linda.

Edited: Jan 12, 10:20am Top

>240 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. Thank you for your lively post. There's no doubt that some folks are naturals at picking up new languages and some . . . aren't. :-)

I figure most of the time, a native just appreciates your trying to speak their language. I realized this after my first trip to Paris in my early 20s, when I found people there rude. Well, if someone came up to me on the street in Chicago and spoke to me in French as if expecting me to understand (in that lovely way we entitled Americans have), I'd find it annoying. After that, I started taking a phrase book on any trip and at least giving it a go. Big difference. The next time in Paris, a clerk in a store smiled and said in very good English, French is a difficult language, isn't it. Ha! Trying to speak it made all the difference.

It sounds like you're surrounded by wonderful young 'uns. Good for you and your hubby for being so friendly and loving with them.

My father was hearing-impaired. We used to joke that he just turned off the hearing aids when he was tired of hearing us.

I love that image of Andres making raisin-gingerbread cookies for his parents, with raisins spilling out of his mouth as he sang jingle bells!

American Girl dolls: One of our favorite memories is seeing our daughter, when young, sleeping among her friends on our living room floor, each girl with an American Girl doll crooked in her arm.

Jan 12, 10:17am Top

>241 Caroline_McElwee: As we say here, Richard hoovers any cake plate, Caroline. Doesn't that sound like a great community that Linda's in?

Edited: Jan 12, 10:19am Top

Good time of year to enjoy the great indoors

Jan 12, 10:28am Top

Hi Joe!

>154 jnwelch: and >218 jnwelch: Very sweet pics. Thanks for sharing.

>239 jnwelch: Have never heard of Hummingbird Cake until now – and I’m absolutely charmed that it’s also called Doctor Bird Cake.

Yup – Mark reported that it’s snowing in Chicagoland. It’s cold here – well, at least cold for us – and we might get some wintery mix starting tonight.

Edited: Jan 12, 12:14pm Top

>245 karenmarie: Hi Karen!

Ha! Some sleeping beauties there. You're welcome.

I didn't know Doctor Bird Cake is another name for Hummingbird Cake - I like that.

So far, we're only getting flurries in the city. We're seeing a lot of salt on sidewalks and stairs, as everyone is expecting more. We'll see.

Jan 12, 3:08pm Top

>246 jnwelch: excuse me, taking a slice of that before it disappears. Thank you very much, kind proprietor.

Jan 12, 3:25pm Top

>242 jnwelch: Good for you Joe, Parisians get to deal with lots of tourists of course.

I lived near the Rijksmuseum here in Amsterdam for a couple of years, and always tried to be polite, and help people. But what I found the hardest to deal with was people asking you the way somewhere and then not giving you the time to answer. And it did take time, Amsterdam doesn't have a straightforward layout, and I'd have to translate my directions. So, and then they'd get impatient:-(

Had to get that one off my chest, sorry Joe:-)

Jan 12, 4:26pm Top

Gotta move quick when there's cake around...especially the Holy Trinity: Carrot cake, hummingbird/Doctor Bird cake, and Italian cream cake. Y'all got the chocolates to y'all's self.

Cold outside when I went to the library and met the YGC for a make-up coffee. He felt bad about snarking at me, I felt bad about raising my voice, we agreed not to be perfect or require perfection.

Jan 12, 7:40pm Top

I remember the first time I ever heard of or tried Hummingbird cake. It was during the days around my sister-in-law's funeral in early 1975. It apparently was quite popular in Virginia, but it was new to those of us from Mississippi in attendance. We picked up the recipe from someone up there, but I don't remember Mom ever making it. We did make several of the other things brought around to the house though. I remember liking it.

Jan 12, 7:51pm Top

Hummingbird cake? I have never heard of it, but I also love that it's also called Doctor Bird Cake. I just googled it. I grew up in the south and the description of the cake is very familiar. So, I'm pretty sure I have had hummingbird cake but somehow the name didn't stick. I'm sure my mother never made it.

Anyway, hi Joe! Has anyone yet suggested you consider acquiring a copy of Well-Read Black Girl? If not, consider it done.

Jan 12, 9:11pm Top

>251 EBT1002: You are a TBR-bloating meanie, Ellen. Shame! That ONE book will result in a minimum of 20 more leaping onto the reader's TBRs and you know it!

Jan 12, 9:23pm Top

Ohh, lots of wonderful pictures of Rafa and the family! And all of the cake, which I must keep away from. But the pictures are great. I had never heard of a Hummingbird Cake.

As for learning more than one language, it's such a great idea. My granddaughter is learning English and Cantonese at the same time. One of my brother's is married to a woman who hails from both Tunisia and Germany and as a result , their two now teen kids speak English, French and German. I think my niece prefers German , while my nephew prefers French. Who knows why?

I'm afraid I speak only English, despite my 5 years of high-school French. If you don't use it, you quickly lose it.

Jan 13, 1:47am Top

>218 jnwelch: Great photo, Joe.

I never heard of Hummingbird or Doctor Bird Cake either. Googled them and realized that they have bananas in them - bananas to me are like beets to you.

Jan 13, 5:58am Top

Happy New Year, Joe before you fly on to the next thread in Joe's Flying Cafe.

Love all the art, the Rafa and his pterodactyl and all the good wishes.

I have not heard of hummingbird cake - I gave it a google and it sounds delightful.

Jan 13, 6:12am Top

Fortunately for me I have conversations in Spanish with Latino families on a regular basis at work, usually at least once per day and often more, as only a few of us are conversant or fluent in that language. I do notice that if I'm off service for more than two weeks and not on vacation in Spain, which I've done each of the past five years, it takes me a day or two for my Spanish brain to kick into gear.

I had planned to take a four week Intensive Portuguese course in Lisbon in June, in preparation for my desired retirement in Portugal within the next eight years, but I may put that off for a year or two, depending on how my parents are doing.

Edited: Jan 13, 9:22am Top

>247 Caroline_McElwee: Very smart, Caroline. The fast fork gets the cake, isn't that how the saying goes?

>248 EllaTim: Ha! I get it, Ella. If you're good enough to respond when someone asks for directions, they should at least wait for you to tell them! Yeah, Amsterdam's streets sure seemed complicated to me. Here, I have to remember to slow down what I'm saying when a non-native speaker asks me in English for directions.

>249 richardderus: That is an elite trio of cakes, Richard. I suspect we'll see more cake today. I'm glad things got straightened out with the YGC. Good idea not to require perfection; in our house we try not to keep score.

>250 thornton37814: I hadn't heard of Hummingbird Cake before Librarything, Lori. One of many useful things I've learned here!

Jan 13, 9:35am Top

>251 EBT1002: I knew nada about Hummingbird Cake before opening the cafe, Ellen. I've yet to have any in real life. I need to fix that!

I've added Well-Read Black Girl to the WL. Thanks for the tip, my friend.

>252 richardderus: Ha! "A TBR-bloating meanie" - can that possibly be our lovely Ellen, Richard? Oh, I see what you mean. We've been talking about adding more bookshelves . . .

>253 vancouverdeb: Hiya, Deb! I think Hummingbird Cake has been a revelation for many here, including me. Must find some!

Our kids tried to learn Mandarin along with English, but Chinese is so hard! All the tonal stuff. It seemed like a good idea, with the increasing importance of China in the world, but what a tough language.

English, French and German is a great combo. That'll work one way or another in a wide variety of places, won't it.

Yeah, my Spanish got very rusty from non-use, but it's come back more than I expected. We keep things back in the mind's warehouse that sometimes can be brought forward, dusted off, and put back to use. I wouldn't be surprised if your French came back a bit if you gave it a go.

Jan 13, 9:47am Top

Morning, Joe. Happy Sunday. Looking forward to a very lazy day with the books. I have been reading Unsheltered. Your not a Kingsolver fan are you?

Do you think Keith has read Asher Lev? I think it may be the best book I have ever read, on art and he might appreciate it for that. I am so glad I read it.

Jan 13, 9:47am Top

>254 Familyhistorian: Oh my, bananas are like beets for you, Meg? What a shame. Bananas seem like nature's perfect fruit to me - they come in their own easily removed container, and taste so good. That's something I eat all the time. Okay, I'll alert the staff - no Bananas Flambe for Meg.

Isn't >218 jnwelch: a sweet photo? It's a wonderful memory for Madame MBH, too.

>255 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. Yeah, we're going to need to start a new cafe, aren't we? I'd better do it soon, as we have a bunch of guests coming over today for a Latke Party (kind of a Hanukkah party that we've held in January for many years now).

I'm glad you've been enjoying the Book Cafe's Flying Circus, starring Rafa the Wonderboy. We probably all should put together a Hummingbird Cake LT meetup. Wouldn't that be great?

>256 kidzdoc: Hi, Darryl. I think your Spanish fluency is mighty cool, my friend. I know it has to help so much at the hospital, with the Latin patients and families you get. Interesting that it takes a day or two to kick back in when you've not been using it. I can't imagine taking a four week course of intensive Portuguese, but planning to retire there would be a huge motivator, for sure. I hope things come around for your parents. We had several more good years with my dad than we expected after my mom went, and they were up into some big numbers.

Jan 13, 9:52am Top

>259 msf59: Happy Sunday, Mark. I liked The Bean Trees, but never got farther with Kingsolver. If I remember correctly, Ellen is a big fan?

No lazy day reading for moi, as we're throwing a party soon (annual kinda sorta belated Hanukkah party - we had to move it to January one year, and everyone liked that).

Great idea re Keith and Asher Lev. It does seem like a natural for him - his wife and kids are Jewish, on top of the art connection. Let's mention it to him. I'm glad you loved it so much - me, too!

Jan 13, 9:55am Top

Have a wonderful Hanukkah party. Joe. My only party, is going to be a solo reading fest in the Man-Cave. I can bring along my copy of Asher Lev next Sunday and you can pass it along to him. Sound good?

Edited: Jan 13, 10:39am Top

>260 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I wouldn't describe myself as fluent in Spanish, only conversant; I have a ways to go before I can claim fluency in that beautiful language. The nurses and physicians I work with describe me as fluent, but I know better.

When I'm at work and using Spanish regularly I can speak it without having to translate from English to Spanish in my head beforehand for the most part, except when I'm searching for a word I don't know how to say in Spanish, or am trying to think of how I should explain a complicated concept, which has less to do with the Spanish language than my attempt to explain a medical diagnosis in layman's terms. I polled several Latino families I cared for in the hospital, and based on my lack of an American accent when I speak Spanish and my skin color most of them assumed that I was Dominican, others Cuban, and none of them thought that I was not Latino! It helped that I grew up hearing dominicanos and puertorriqueños speak Spanish in Jersey City and in nearby NYC, especially the Bronx, where my maternal grandparents and mother's youngest sister lived.

There is a lot of similarity between Spanish and Portuguese, so it will be far easier for me to become at least conversant in that language than someone who doesn't know Spanish, and a heck of a lot easier than learning Dutch or German.

I had no ear for the Portuguese spoken in Portugal when I spent three weeks in that lovely country in June, as it sounded very different from the Portuguese spoken by the Brasilian families I encounter in the hospital three of four times per year. I made an effort to learn some basic Portuguese phrases while I was there, which seemingly was appreciated by the people I met in Lisbon and Porto. I must have picked up something while I was there, as I was able to recognize that a not insignificant number of people in the Notting Hill section of London, the neighborhood I stayed in when we were there this past September, spoke Portuguese, although I could understand only a little of what they were saying.

One of my work partners who travels more widely abroad than I do and has heard me speak Spanish is surprised at my claim that I'm not fluent in that language; she also thinks that people like me can pick up languages more readily than others can. That may be true, but I suspect that people like me who grew up in cities like Jersey City, the second most diverse one in the US, with a large population of first and second generation immigrants who routinely speak languages other than English, and are exposed to these different peoples at a young age, as I was, are more likely to have an ear for languages other than their own. That theory is not mine; it comes from my 9th grade Spanish teacher, who called me aside after the first day of my Spanish I class after we moved from Jersey City to a nearly all white suburb of Philadelphia. (At least half of my closest friends as a child were white, so it wasn't as huge of a culture shock as it could have been.) She told me that I was in the wrong class, as I obviously had had Spanish before and knew how to pronounce words properly. When I insisted that I had never taken a Spanish class in my elementary school in Jersey City, which only offered French despite being a Lutheran school that originally served the city's German community, but had several close friends who emigrated from PR and the DR and spoke English as a second language she surmised that I "learned" Spanish informally from them.

Having said that, do Becca and Jesse, who I assume grew up in Chicago, speak any languages other than English?

Thanks for your kind thoughts about my parents. My father (84) is in a much better mental and physical state than my mother (83) is at the present time, although he is running himself ragged in taking care of her, and if he doesn't take care of himself, as we've been constantly urging him to do, he may break down soon.

Good news: I'll start making a pot of Roasted Red Beet Soup soon, using the beetroot I have left over from my New Year's Day +1 meal of black eyed peas, ham hocks and beet greens that I prepared. I'll let you & Debbi know when it's ready.

Jan 13, 10:52am Top

Back when I was in my early twenties I spent a year as an au pair in Italy. My friend (also an au pair) looked after a boy of French extraction who was maybe 8 or 9. He spoke English, fluently but with a slight accent, he went to an Italian school so clearly spoke Italian well, he spoke French to his mother, and spoke a bit of Spanish as they had lived in Spain at one time. His older brother spoke English without any discernible accent at all, and was also fluent in Spanish as he’d been older when they left Spain.

Jan 13, 11:40am Top

>262 msf59: Keith won't be joining us, Mark, as you probably remember, but bring it and I can give it to him Super Bowl Sunday, if not sooner.

Enjoy the Man Cave day. That sounds most excellent.

>263 kidzdoc: Conversant - I like that word for it, Darryl. Very cool that you're conversant in Spanish. I'm stumblant, mainly.

So many doctors seem to have trouble expressing medical situations in English, much less Spanish. I remember you're saying patients and families commonly figured you're Dominican. I can't wait to hear what you think of Adriana's accent. If I got it right, she said a lot of Latinos can't place her accent, that hers is like a newscaster would be here.

Portuguese has always seemed like a tough one to me; I'm glad you're already able to pick up on it to some extent. Debbi and I still haven't been to the Notting Hill area.

Ann Arbor growing up was a mix of white and people of color, but few Latins. Certainly English was the only language I encountered. I bet you're right; it would've helped to hear it around me, and inspired me more to get better at Spanish. At the time it just seemed like another class I was required to take.

Both Becca and Jesse are surprisingly inept at other languages. A rare weakness for both of them. Unless you count computer code for Jesse. You can ask them why some time. I sure don't know. It's a challenge Jesse's taken up for Adri and Rafa's sake, and he's doing pretty well. As he says, his grammar is awful, but otherwise he's getting decent at it.

I've put my hands over my ears and I'm saying nah, nah, nah repeatedly, so if you're talking about beets, don't bother!

>264 SandDune: How great to spend a year in Italy, Rhian. Yeah, that's the kind of European multi-linguism I'm talking about. If we had to speak a different language in Wisconsin or California or Pennsylvania, etc., I suspect there'd be way more of that in the USA. Did you pick up any Italian while you were there?

Jan 13, 11:40am Top

'Morning, Joe!

>258 jnwelch: We keep things back in the mind's warehouse that sometimes can be brought forward, dusted off, and put back to use. I studied Spanish from grades 6 to 12 and got quite good at reading it. Speaking it was and is another matter entirely. *smile* You're lucky that you have a chance to dust it off and put it back to use.

Jan 13, 4:36pm Top

Hi Joe! Thanks for all the Rafa pictures.

Jan 13, 4:41pm Top

>153 jnwelch: I took a look at your son's collection and noticed that most of his games fall on the lighter side. Not that that is a bad thing!

>169 jnwelch: Who can resist that face? ;)

Jan 13, 4:44pm Top

Just wanted to add that 2nd language acquisition as an adult is not impossible - I did it! - and that motivation can be a powerful kick-start to success, as Jesse has. :-)

Jan 13, 5:00pm Top

Merry Sunday! I'm making the YGC a spice cake iced with brown sugar cream cheese icing as a bribe to come visit me. It's All Your Fault with the humming/Doctorbird cake and carrot cake and *drool* Italian cream cake talk.

Beets. *nyah*

Jan 13, 8:33pm Top

>219 jessibud2: Oh my! That is a darling picture of the two loves of your life!

Edited: Jan 13, 9:24pm Top

>263 kidzdoc: I can speak it without having to translate from English to Spanish in my head beforehand sounds fluent to me, Darryl.

Better hurry up with that beet soup; Joe sounds hungry!

Jan 13, 9:45pm Top

>271 Donna828: - I know you meant >218 jnwelch:...;-)

Jan 14, 6:28am Top

Morning, Joe! I'm loving the language talk; I'm proficient only in the dead ones, I'm afraid.

Jan 14, 8:17am Top

>266 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. It is fun to give Spanish a go again after all this time. I know, reading is easier than speaking it for me, too. Although there are so many words I don't know! Our refresher course was conversational, so that was good, but I still feel I'm on the inept side of it. Maybe we'll have Rafa teach us?

>267 banjo123: Hi Rhonda! You're welcome! Always a pleasure.

>268 alcottacre: Ha! Thanks re that face, Stasia. Oh, good, I thought you'd probably enjoy checking out our son's board game collection. I feel lucky raising a kid who enjoys that so much, rather than some of the more worrisome things that kids encounter along the way.

Edited: Jan 14, 8:26am Top

>269 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley! Tell us more - what language, and what motivation? You've piqued my curiosity.

>270 richardderus: Merry Day After Sunday, Richard. Did you say spice cake with cream cheese frosting? We need to have some of that here, don't you think?

Jan 14, 8:30am Top

'Morning Joe!

>276 jnwelch: I'm glad I don't have cream cheese in the house, otherwise I'd make a spice cake w/cream cheese frosting. No willpower at all. I made a lemon pound cake a while back simply because there was a picture on somebody's thread and I had two lemons and cream cheese in the house.

Jan 14, 8:36am Top

>271 Donna828: Right, Donna? What a photo of those two sweet ones together.

>272 humouress: *hands over ears* Nah, nah, nah, can't hear that beet talk, Nina.

That does sound like fluency, doesn't it. But I do like the word "conversant" for Darryl's Spanish skills. I just wish I was as conversant as he is. :-)

>273 jessibud2: Right - me, too, Shelley.

>274 scaifea: I know; our kids were really good at Latin, Amber. I still think that has advantages, beyond demon-summoning, don't you?

Jan 14, 8:37am Top

>277 karenmarie: Ha! I know, that looks so good, doesn't it, Karen. Ha! I love the lemon pound cake story. I always say our baked goods here have zero calories, but if you carry over to real life, that's a different story. :-)

Jan 14, 12:23pm Top

>276 jnwelch: Oooohhhhhh yes please with coffee please.

Rob ate himself silly and I sent the last morsels of cake home with him. My waist doesn't need *actual* cake and his never expands no matter how much he eats of what. I hate him.

Jan 14, 12:27pm Top

I've been listening to the Pimsler language lessons for Spanish, trying to revive my old school skills. It's pretty good, half an hour a day. And I find many words not in the lessons coming back from the recesses of my brain, so I'm encouraged. My motivation? Someone I met last year was paying another visit from her home in Chile, and she wrote to me asking if we could meet. Unfortunately, she ended up not having time, but I still have my head-start in recovering Spanish. And in this town, there is no excuse for not practicing.

Edited: Jan 14, 1:20pm Top

Hi Joe, all this cake talk has my mouth watering! I have never had a Hummingbird Cake but my southern sister-in-law (South Carolina) makes a cake she calls "Pig Pickin Cake" that has oranges and pineapples in it and it's delicious. Those Southerners have the most colorful names for things.

ETA: I took advantage of the great Kindle prices for the Binti trilogy - thanks for posting about that. :)

Jan 14, 2:58pm Top

>278 jnwelch: Preaching to the choir, Joe. I definitely think learning Latin has tons of advantages, of course. Demon summoning is just icing on the cake.

Jan 14, 3:14pm Top

The YA book, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, is on sale on Kindle for $1.99. I liked it a lot, I'm pretty Amber did, and so did a number of other 75ers.

Edited: Jan 14, 3:18pm Top

>280 richardderus: Hey, RD. Oh, Rob has one of those metabolisms we all envy. That might be a worthwhile wish if a genie showed up - you can eat all (the cake) you want without gaining any weight.

With coffee, you say? This should keep you caffeinated for a while:

Jan 14, 3:22pm Top

>281 ffortsa: Good for you, Judy. A half an hour a day seems doable, doesn't it. It may not end up making you (or me) fluent or conversant, but we'll undoubtedly be better at it.

>282 DeltaQueen50: Pig Pickin' Cake? That is a colorful name, Judy. Reminds of the old hillbilly comedian who always used to say, "Just a pea-pickin' minute!" The cake sure looks tasty!

Edited: Jan 14, 3:58pm Top

Hello Joe! I hope you had a great weekend.

I wonder if you have seen the Netflix show Travelers? I many have mentioned it last year but I dropped off near the end of season one. I was encouraged by Richard's mention of the show to finish the first season. I am glad I did. If you haven't seen, I recommend it.

>282 DeltaQueen50: With DeltaQueen50's mention of the Pig Pic'n Cake, I am could only see the name of one my favorite breakfast spots in Seaside, OR.

It is a delicious greasy spoon type diner/gift shop. Mmm...mmm...good!

>285 jnwelch: A lovely looking latte!

Jan 14, 5:04pm Top

>285 jnwelch: Metabolism...probably, but it's also being 24, an athlete, and active!

Jan 14, 5:25pm Top

>284 jnwelch: pretty Amber


And yes, I LOVED The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

Jan 14, 5:28pm Top

>283 scaifea: Demon summoning is just icing on the cake Ha! Love that, Amber. Your BFF probably would agree, but I wish you could connect you up with her brother, who's skeptical about the value of the Latin he learned.

>287 brodiew2: Hmm. I don't remember the Netflix show Travelers, Brodie, but I'll check it out. I need one - I finished Shetland, which I liked a lot, and it turns out they want to charge me extra for Vera (which was suggested), so that turned me off on that one. Netflix had suggested the BBC series "Hinterlands", set in Wales, but it bored me half to death.

Pig N' Pancake in Seaside, OR sounds like a good 'un. I don't know whether we'll ever get out that way, but it's a memorable name.

Isn't that a lovely looking latte? It also looks generous in quantity, which I know will suit our Richard, who sometimes asks for oceans of the stuff.

>288 richardderus: Oh yeah, that'll do it, Richard. I could eat a lot at that age without it showing up. My best years for that were my early teens, when I was so skinny I had a coach tell me I had to eat toast and a milkshake with every meal, in hopes of putting some poundage on me.

Jan 14, 5:31pm Top

>289 scaifea: LOL! A fortunate slip, Amber. Pretty Amber indeed!

Yup, pretty Amber that you loved The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Good to have it confirmed. So folks who haven't read it should jump on that $1.99 special!

Jan 14, 6:14pm Top

Joe, as far as languages go, I'd agree that learning Cantonese or Mandarin is very difficult. However, my DIL immigrated from Hong Kong to Canada when she was about 6 years old, so her first language is Cantonese. Her dad still has trouble with English, though her mom is quite proficient in English. So in the case in my granddaughter, I suspect that she will pick up Cantonese from her mom and maternal grandparents. I am very surprised that my son can understand most spoken Cantonese , though he has more trouble speaking it. Richmond, the city I live in is about 72% Chinese background , so Cantonese and Mandarin ( I can't tell the difference ) are spoken here all over the place. It is an interesting culture that we have in the Vancouver area. Unlike a lot of Canada, French is really not spoken much in my province.

Oh for the metabolism I had in my twenties and thirties. What happened?

Jan 14, 6:27pm Top

>290 jnwelch: It's hard to recall that far back, but I've always been stocky. I'm built big, for one thing, and am also possessed of what is colloquially called "a greedy maw."

I told Rob today, "I just hope I'm still alive when middle-aged spread hits you so I can point and laugh."

Strangely, he failed to see the humor in that. Kids these days.

Jan 14, 6:45pm Top

Hi, Joe. I am having a fine day off and tried to knuckle down with the books this afternoon, so I stayed clear of the laptop. As I mentioned to you earlier, The Poet X is off to a very good start. You and Nancy were spot-on with that one. I am also enjoying Unsheltered but I don't think it would be your cuppa. I hope to get back to Hey, Kiddo, my current GN this evening too.

Edited: Jan 14, 7:13pm Top

>276 jnwelch: - Well, the Reader's Digest version, Joe, is this: Hebrew. I grew up in Montreal, where I had French in school all my life and never felt proficient enough to open my mouth without first translating in my head, because of the way it was taught (they taught us to conjugate verbs before I knew what *conjugate* meant in English). I took a year off before going to university (McGill held my acceptance for a year) and spent 6 months in an immersion language program on a kibbutz in Israel and was stunned to find that, without having a word of Hebrew before going, I was actually understanding and beginning to speak after 6 months. I decided to stay. Six and a half years later, I was still there. I only came back because I needed to go to university to become a teacher (I taught English there for a year, unofficially). I was fluent (well, *conversant*) enough to get along but nowhere near university level, as I discovered after almost a year at U of Tel Aviv.

Even though it's been a long time since I was last there, I am pleased that I can still speak and understand and pleasantly surprised at how little I have to rely on subtitles when I see Israeli films. I must add, though, that I was never proficient enough to read a book or even a newspaper.

PS - I never made it to McGill. Gave that up and entered first year university at age 27 at York University here in Toronto. No one ever accused me of following the crowd.... ;-)

Yesterday, 7:05am Top

>290 jnwelch: I was going to use the Latin for "cake" there, but then it would be "icing on the placenta" and, well, ew.

I'd love to chat with BFF's brother about the merits of Latin, especially if I could be holding BFF's brother's adorable baby on my lap whilst doing so...

Edited: Yesterday, 7:48am Top

I need my first cuppa of the day, Joe. Can you oblige?

>275 jnwelch: I feel lucky raising a kid who enjoys that so much, rather than some of the more worrisome things that kids encounter along the way. I feel the same way. I have 2 daughters who are both gamers.

Have a good one!

Yesterday, 9:12am Top

>292 vancouverdeb: Ha! I know, we get older and wisdom grows, metabolism slows, Deb. I guess on balance I'll take it.

When we were in Vancouver when the kids were young we noticed that interesting mix of people, and the large presence of Asians. I can see how there's a good chance your granddaughter will pick up Cantonese from her maternal grandparents and your DIL. That would be handy, wouldn't it? Particularly since it's prevalent in your community. As a father, I have to admit I was thinking "employment" when our kids were learning Chinese (that's a useful skill these days!), but neither of them really took to it.

>293 richardderus: Ha! Why wouldn't Rob get a kick out of your tweaking him for his eventual middle-age spread, Richard? Hard to figure. Man, I couldn't even imagine having middle-age spread when I was his age.

Yesterday, 9:21am Top

>294 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Sounds like a good day off to me, including quality time with the books. I saw you got in a walk in Morton Arboretum, too.

I'm glad Poet X is working for you. It was nice to see Nancy's endorsement.

I'm enjoying Livestock, the new Hannah Berry GN, which centers around human cloning. There's a whole lot of spoofing of our celebrity-fascinated and pr-dominated world going on.

>295 jessibud2: Ha! Good for you, Shelley. No, that's not the road commonly traveled! :-) My wife would get a kick out of talking to you. She spent time in Israel, including a kibbutz, after the Six Day War. Conversant in Hebrew - very cool. She is pretty good with it, but has gotten rusty. Our DIL would like Rafa to learn Hebrew as well. I don't know if that's going to be too much, with the English and Spanish, but we'll see.

Yesterday, 9:29am Top

>296 scaifea: Ha! I didn't know the Latin placenta means "cake", Amber. That's kinda cool, in its own way, but I agree "icing on the placenta" is ew.

Hee-hee! That sounds like a good tradeoff - some Rafa time for you, some explanation of the benefits of learning Latin for Jesse. I suspect he'd go for it - they're generous with the personable little Rafa. On Sunday a friend was talking about how clingy her kids were when Rafa's age - very different!

>297 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia. Right? I can imagine you're very happy with your two daughters being gamers - plus I'm sure that's made for some great family time. Madame MBH and I don't play them here in Chicago, but we enjoy doing it with our son and DIL when we visit - they always find fun ones that make for a lot of laughs.

I hope it's a good one for you, too, today. I'm heading into work soon, but it'll be A-OK. I'll have some good reading time on the train.

Yesterday, 11:43am Top

>300 jnwelch: Charlie was super shy even as a wee one, and once while in line at the bank an older gentleman tried to talk with him and pat his hand (Charlie was about a year old, I think); Charlie whipped off the hat he (Charlie) was wearing and whapped the guy with it! Honestly, I didn't do much in the way of apologizing to the man, because I had warned him first that Charlie didn't really cotton to strangers in his face (not in so many words) and he didn't heed it, and I'm a huge believer in children having the right to personal space and body control...

Yesterday, 1:27pm Top

>301 scaifea: Right, agreed, Amber. Each kid is different, for sure. Rafa probably would have scoped the older gentleman out and spoken Pterodactyl to him. We had to get an older gentleman (friend of Madame MBH's mother) to stay away from Becca when she was wee; he scared her and she wanted nothing to do with him. He was not happy, but we had the same view you do - she's entitled to her personal space.

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