Amber's (scaifea) Thread #17

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Amber's (scaifea) Thread #17

1scaifea
Giu 12, 12:16pm



Hey, everybody!

I'm Amber, a one-time Classics professor, turned stay-at-home parent/lady of leisure, turned part-time library assistant, turned once again Classics professor. I spend my free time sewing, writing, knitting, baking, and, of course, reading.

My reading life is happily governed by lists, which means that I read a healthy variety of things across various genres.

I'm 45 going on 12 and live in Ohio with my husband, Tomm; our son, Charlie, and Mario the Golden Retriever.

Here I am in all my New Haircut glory, I suppose:



Favorite Books from 2020
The Lumberjanes collected comic volumes
Call Down the Hawk
New Kid
The Wise Man's Fear
The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Pride and Prejudice
Silver in the Wood
A Tale of Two Cities

2scaifea
Modificato: Giu 21, 2:28pm



What I'm Reading Now:
-Uncle Silas (books by year - 1864)
-A Girl Named Disaster (Newbery Honor Book)
-The Duke and I (romance list)
-Do You Dream of Terra-Two? (audiobook)
-The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas (family bedtime read-aloud)
-Three Men in a Boat (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob)
-Driftless (challenge read)

Books on Deck:
-(an unread book from my shelves)
-(a book from my Read Soon! shelves)
-The Experience of Insight (Buddhist reading list)
-(cozy mysteries)
-Henry VI Part 1 (Shakespeare re-read)
-Rabbit Run (Banned Books)
-Lud-in-the-Mist (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy list)
-Wheels within Wheels (Prometheus Award)
-More Fool Me (Fry bibliography)

3scaifea
Giu 12, 12:16pm

The five-ish or so books I have going at once and the On Deck books nearly all come from the following categories and lists:

1. A book from the 100 Banned Books book (at least currently. As soon as I finish this list, I'll replace it with another, and oh, I've got tons of lists).

2. A children's book, for Charlie's library. I'm trying to collect books from various award lists, and I like reading them before reading them to Charlie or deciding to add them to Charlie's shelves. For this category, I’m currently working through three lists:
a. 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Die
b. The Newbery Honor books
c. Cooperative Children's Book Center list

3. A book from the Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List, in chronological order.

4. A list I'm working through together with my best friend, Rob: The Hugo/Nebula/WFA/Bram Stoker (and other) lists (combined, in chronological order)

5. For this category, I cycle through 9 different stacks:
a. Agatha Christie's bibliography (in chronological order)
b. Stephen Fry's bibliography (in chronological order)
c. John Boyne bibliography (in chronological order, sort of)
d. Neil Gaiman's bibliography (in some order other than chronological (don't
ask)).
e. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
f. Maggie Stiefvater's bibliography (in chronological order)
g. The NEH Timeless Classics list
h. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
i. The Pulitzer list (in alpha order by author)

6. An unread book from my shelves.

7. A book from my Read Soon! shelves.

8. A book on Buddhism or from the Dalai Lama's bibliography.

9. Book-a-year challenge: Three years ago, along with a few others in this group (*cough* Paul *cough*), I made a year-by-year list to see how far I could go back with consecutive reads. I've since been trying to fill in the gap years.

10. A book from the couple of series that I'm reading together with my mom.

11. A full-on re-read through Shakespeare's stuff.

12. A read-aloud-to-Charlie-at-bedtime book (or two).

13. An audio book, which I listen to as I knit/sew/otherwise craft/drive.

14. A romance novel, using as a guideline an excellent list of authors and works curated by lycomaflower (I know virtually nothing about this genre, but I now work in a library where many, many lovely people come through to check out books of this genre, and I want to know something about it).

15. This slot is reserved for books that just grab me and shout that they need to be read Right Now.

4scaifea
Modificato: Giu 21, 2:29pm

Books Read

JANUARY
1. Spinning Silver (Alex Award) - 10/10 = A+
2. Swamp Thing: Twin Branches (Stiefvater bibliography) - 8/10 = B
3. Manchild in the Promised Land (Banned Books list, AlphaKIT: M) - 9/10 = A-
4. The Wish Giver (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
5. Silas Marner (audiobook) - 8/10 = B-
6. The Story of Tracy Beaker (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B-
7. Thick as Thieves (series reread) - 10/10 = A+
8. Lumberjanes #16: Mind over Mettle (series read) - 10/10 = A+
9. Pilgrimage (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 7/10 = C
10. Each Tiny Spark (Schneider Honor Book) - 7/10 = C
11. The House on the Borderland (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy list) - 6/10 = D
12. Beyond Religion (books on Buddhism) - 9/10 = A
13. Outlander (romance list) - 6/10 = D
14. Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C
15. Far Away Across the Sea (1001 Children's Books) - 10/10 = A+
16. The Daylight Gate (Read Soon! Shelves) - 8/10 = B-
17. The Queen of Attolia (family bedtime read-aloud) - 10/10 = A+
18. Works and Days & Theogony (Myth course readings) - 9/10 = A-
19. The Book Thief (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob) - 10/10 = A+
20. Return of the Thief (series read) - 10/10 = A+

FEBRUARY
21. The Bacchants (myth course reading) - 9/10 = A
22. Camp (romance) - 8/10 = B+
23. Song of a Whale (Schneider Award) - 8/10 = B-
24. Gardens of the Moon (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy list) - 4/10 = F
25. Oedipus Rex (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
26. Antigone (Myth course readings) = 10/10 = A+
27. Agamemnon (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
27. Upon the Head of a Goat (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
27. Volcano (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C
30. A Promised Land (audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
31. The Stone Book Quartet (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C+
32. The Libation Bearers (Myth course readings) - 9/10 = A
33. Eumenides (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
34. Electra (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
35. The King of Elfland's Daughter (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 7/10 = C
36. The Goalkeeper's Revenge (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C
37. Conrad: The Factory-Made Boy (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
38. Medea (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
39. The Frogs (Myth course readings) - 9/10 = A
40. Metamorphoses (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
41. Iliad (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
42. Odyssey (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
43. Aeneid (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
44. The Histories (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
45. Till We Have Faces (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 8/10 = B-

MARCH
46. My Sweet Orange Tree (1001 Children's Books) - 9/10 = A
47. Lord Foul's Bane (BSFA) - 2/10 = F
48. Manolito Four Eyes (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C
49. The Early History of Rome, Book 1 (Myth course readings) - 9/10 = A
50. Farmer Boy (family bedtime read-aloud) - 9/10 = A-
51. The Henna Wars (romance list) - 8/10 = B+
52. Cursed (Schneider Award) - 9/10 = A
53. Heroides (Myth course readings) - 9/10 = A
54. The Apocolocyntosis (Myth course readings) - 9/10 = A
55. Sandman: The Kindly Ones (Myth course readings) - 10/10 = A+
56. Tales of the Rue Broca (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C
57. Far Away Across the Sea (family bedtime read-aloud) - 10/10 = A+
58. After the Rain (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
59. Ready Player Two (from my Read Soon! shelves) - 9/10 = A
60. The Moonstone (audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
61. Memoirs of a Geisha (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob) - 8/10 = B

APRIL
62. The Club Dumas (unread book from my shelves) - 9/10 = A
63. Good Night, Mr. Tom (1001 Children's Books) - 9/10 = A
64. The Liverpool Cats (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
65. The Ugly American (100 Banned Books) - 9/10 = A
66. The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
67. The Haunting (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
68. The Whistle, the Grave, and the Ghost (family bedtime read-aloud) - 9/10 = A
69. Sense and Sensibility (unread book from my shelves) - 8/10 = B+
70. Middlemarch (audiobook) - 2/10 = F
71. Ordinary Hazards (audiobook) - 8/10 = B-
72. Chaotic Good (Read Soon! Shelves) - 9/10 = A

MAY
73. The Beast Player (Printz Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
74. Another Country (100 Banned Books) - 8/10 = B-
75. Lumberjanes Vol. 17: Smitten in the Stars (series read) - 10/10 = A+
76. The Worm Ouroboros (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books list) - 4/10 = F
77. Where the World Ends (audiobook) - 9/10 = A
78. In the Beginning: Creation Stories from around the World (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C+
79. Max and Sally and the Phenomenal Phone (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B-
80. BUtterfield 8 (unread books from my shelves) - 9/10 = A
81. Nine Princes in Amber (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy list) - 4/10 = F
82. Stories: All-New Tales (books from my Read Soon! shelves) - 8/10 = B-
83. Visitors from London (recommendation from Julia) - 9/10 = A
84. Storm (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C
85. Dig (Printz Award, audiobook) - 9/10 = A
86. The Crossover (reread with Charlie) - 9/10 = A
87. The Rose and the Ring (1001 Children's Books) - 6/10 = D
88. Guard of Honor (Pulitzer list) - 8/10 = B-
89. The Girl on the Train (Read Soon! shelves) - 9/10 = A-
90. Sunday's Child (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C
91. Mrs. Dalloway (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob) - 7/10 = C
92. Captive Prince (romance) - 8/10 = B+
93. High School (audiobook, Alex Award) - 9/10 = A
94. Scorpions (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
95. Children of the Alley (Banned Books) - 8/10 = B-
96. On the Banks of Plum Creek (family bedtime read-aloud) - 9/10 = A-
97. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (Printz Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
98. The Swallows (Alex Award) - 9/10 = A

JUNE
99. Steeple (impulse read) - 9/10 = A
100. Journey to Jo'burg (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C
101. Dao de Jing (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob) - 9/10 = A
102. My Friend the Painter (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C
103. Drowned Country (from my Read Soon! shelves) - 9/10 = A
104. The Ruins of Gorlan (audiobook) - 9/10 = A
105. Captain Fracasse (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B-
106. The Dark-Thirty (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
107. Cards on the Table (Christie bibliography/audiobook) - 9/10 = A-
108. A Likely Story (cozy mystery series read) - 8/10 = B+
109. Gates of Fire (unread book from my shelves) - 7/10 = C-
110. What Katy Did (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C-
111. Red, White, and Royal Blue (romance) - 9/10 = A
112. Gargling with Jelly (1001 Children's Books) - 4/10 = F
113. Mister Impossible (Stiefvater bibliography) - 10/10 = A+
114. Somewhere in the Darkness (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
115. Crazy Lady! (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+

5scaifea
Giu 12, 12:16pm

The Kiddo at Work:



The Mario and her Magical Rainbow Snoot:

6scaifea
Giu 12, 12:17pm

Next one is yours!

7rosalita
Giu 12, 12:26pm

I will never get tired of Super Mario's Magical Rainbow Snoot.

8London_StJ
Giu 12, 12:28pm

Good morning! Er, afternoon.

9foggidawn
Giu 12, 12:33pm

Happy new thread!

10scaifea
Giu 12, 12:36pm

>7 rosalita: *snork!* I'm glad, because me neither!

11scaifea
Giu 12, 12:36pm

>8 London_StJ: Good afternoon, London!

12scaifea
Giu 12, 12:36pm

>9 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi!

13scaifea
Giu 12, 12:58pm



105. Captain Fracasse by Théophile Gautier (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B-
A bit of fluff about a destitute young Baron who leaves his in-ruins estate to travel to Paris with an acting troupe and falls in love with a pretty young member of the group. Aaaand that's about it. Not a lot of substance here, but it's a fun little story anyway.

14drneutron
Giu 12, 1:02pm

Happy new one!

15scaifea
Giu 12, 1:05pm

>14 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

16PaulCranswick
Giu 12, 1:07pm

Happy new one, Amber.

17weird_O
Giu 12, 1:09pm

Number seventeen. Whaaaa? Or maybe, Woot!

18scaifea
Giu 12, 1:13pm

>16 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul.

19scaifea
Giu 12, 1:13pm

>17 weird_O: Ha! Thanks, Bill.

20katiekrug
Giu 12, 1:16pm

Happy new thread, Amber!

21MickyFine
Giu 12, 1:45pm

Happy new thread, Amber! Hope you're having fun rocking out with the Airpods in your sewing space this afternoon.

22curioussquared
Giu 12, 2:01pm

Happy new thread, Amber!!

23msf59
Giu 12, 2:40pm

Happy Saturday, Amber! Happy New Thread. Hot and humid here. Glad I am not working anymore...grins.

24scaifea
Giu 12, 2:47pm

>20 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

25scaifea
Giu 12, 2:48pm

>21 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky! Sewing time is done for the day, but the airpods are great.

26scaifea
Giu 12, 2:48pm

>22 curioussquared: Thanks, Natalie!

27scaifea
Giu 12, 2:48pm

>23 msf59: Happy Saturday, Mark! Oh yeah, I bet it feels pretty good to stay indoors and enjoy not working on a muggy day like this.

28karenmarie
Giu 12, 3:24pm

Happy new thread, Amber!

29quondame
Giu 12, 4:53pm

Happy new thread!

31RebaRelishesReading
Modificato: Giu 12, 7:52pm

Happy new one, Amber. Just caught up with the end of #16 -- glad Charlie's second shot went well and that he's OK with the blood draws. Hope the meds help a lot. Also glad your new glasses are working out so well. It is nice to be able to see clearly, isn't it?

32scaifea
Giu 12, 8:35pm

>31 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba!

And yes! I'm so glad that I can read easily again! And thanks for the Charlie well-wishes. Everyone I've talked to says that this medicine really works, so here's hoping. He's such a trooper about the blood draws, too.

33Berly
Giu 12, 8:37pm

Happy new thread and congrats on the new glasses and a birthday!!!

34SandyAMcPherson
Modificato: Giu 12, 9:22pm

Hi Amber, so 'inquiring minds' and all that... how come you didn't give us a piccy of your new spectacles in >1 scaifea:?? I'm envious that you got them and can see to stitch.

I refused to have the technician in my face and handling my frames when I know *nothing* about how well they've sanitized their hands. So I'm struggling with the old prescription until my dose #2 is fully 4 weeks old in my system.

You sure have read up a storm in the meantime. I'm cruising your lists for ideas.

35FAMeulstee
Giu 13, 3:26am

Happy new thread, Amber!

New glasses can make such a difference :-)

36SirThomas
Giu 13, 5:10am

Happy new thread, Amber!

37LovingLit
Giu 13, 6:39am

>6 scaifea: ooh, I love those fonts (all three of them!)

Also, Charlie had shots and blood draws? (I will have to refer back to the previous thread). Hope all ok and mostly Covid vaccination related! My similarly aged son had blood drawn once by a...let's just say 'not ideal'.... phlebotomist, who instilled in him a great fear of needles.
*le sigh* Still, I did take him on his 12th birthday (many months ago now) for his '12th birthday shots', and we all survived that, so that was good.

38scaifea
Giu 13, 8:48am

>33 Berly: Thanks, Kim! Birthday isn't until August, so the airpods are a *very* early present - I just didn't want to wait!

39scaifea
Giu 13, 8:51am

>34 SandyAMcPherson: Hi, Sandy. No photo of the new glasses because they look nearly identical to the old pair: almost the same shape and these are also a dark blue. I wanted to find black frames, but they didn't have any that I liked the shape of. *shrug*

The eye doc was the second place I went after being fully vaccinated (haircut was the first), and I wasn't too nervous about it. This office still insists on masks for all and for everyone to stop at the sink station just inside the door to wash hands. So I feel like they're being pretty careful. Plus, I say the technician sanitize her hands just before handling my glasses.

40scaifea
Giu 13, 8:52am

>35 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! I'm still getting used to how these glasses sit on my face (I don't like them touching my cheeks, but with bifocals/progressives, you have to have wider/taller glasses than I really care for), but otherwise I'm so happy to have them. They do much such a difference.

41scaifea
Giu 13, 8:52am

>36 SirThomas: Thanks, Thomas!

42scaifea
Giu 13, 8:57am

>37 LovingLit: I kind of love that photo with the sign, too, both for the fonts and for the blue door.

I took Charlie to the dermatologist because his acne is pretty severe (and the doc did confirm that he has the most sever kind). He's starting a medication for it that requires blood draws once a month for the duration. So nothing serious, thank goodness!

I'm sorry that you son has the needle fear now - I was worried that this first experience would be bad and have the same effect, but the tech found a vein right away and it was easy peasy. Whew!

43scaifea
Giu 13, 9:00am

Today's Agenda:
We've had our breakfast of banana chocolate chip muffins - delicious - and now I'm sipping my coffee and LT puttering for a bit before I really get started with the day. House cleaning (blech), some sewing, some reading today. Spanish rice and steamed broccoli for dinner tonight, I think.

On the reading front:
I read through The Dark-Thirty and started What Katy Did yesterday, plus listened to some of Cards on the Table while sewing.

What We're Watching:
It was Tomm's pick last night and we watched a few episodes of Spin City. MJF is so dang charming.

44msf59
Giu 13, 9:54am

Happy Sunday, Amber! Happy Thingaversary! 14 years? That is impressive.

45scaifea
Giu 13, 10:14am

>44 msf59: Ha! Thanks, Mark! One of the happiest decisions I've made, joining LT and this group.

46scaifea
Giu 13, 10:27am



106. The Dark-Thirty by Patricia McKissack (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
A collection of spooky, supernatural stories from the oral traditions of African Americans in the South, retold for a middle grade audience. The stories are great, as folklore always is, but the writing is weak in spots: there are some bits of awkward phrasing, and some of the stories are placed in narratives that are unnecessary and clunky. But if you're into folklore, the tales themselves are worth enduring the faults here.

47London_StJ
Giu 13, 10:37am

>42 scaifea: Poor Charlie. Once upon a time I also had to take acne medication that required monthly blood draws, and I'll say that it worked *wonderfully.* I had clear skin until pregnancy, and really only get the occasional "you're touching your face too much" intrusion. I hope it works equally well for him.

48scaifea
Giu 13, 10:56am

>47 London_StJ: I suspect it's the same medicine, since there seems to be pretty much only one kind that will take care of this kind of acne. I'm so glad it worked for you! That's what I've heard from everyone who's told me they took it, and so I'm hopeful for Charlie. It's nice that this is happening while he's home and not in school, and hopefully by the time school starts up in the fall he'll be fairly clear-faced. For his sake, I really don't want him to have to start 7th grade with this acne. It's a rough time already!

49scaifea
Giu 13, 1:32pm



107. Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie (Christie bibliography/audiobook) - 9/10 = A-
Mr. Shaitana invites M. Poirot - along with Inspector Battle and Mrs. Oliver (a murder mystery writer) - to a most unconventional dinner party, with the intention of showing off to them his most prized collection: the other four guests are murderers who have all gotten away with their crimes. Of course, by the end of the evening there's a dead body and four suspects. Poirot, Battle and Oliver get to work solving the crime, and of course Hercule wins out in the end.

Although it started out a little slow, by midway through I was 100% caught up in the story and, as always, completely fooled right up to the end. There are way more than just the one murder here to solve, since part of the investigation involves sussing out the crimes each of the suspects had previously committed, and of course there are other murders along the way. Absolutely tons of red herrings, of course. I do so love it when Agatha tricks me like this, bless her.

50rosalita
Giu 13, 2:33pm

>49 scaifea: I liked that one as well, Amber. One of the things I remember about it — other than Christie spoofing herself with Ariadne Oliver — was how funny it was at times. And of course I didn't figure out whodunit— I seldom do with any mystery but especially with plotter extraordinaire Dame Agatha.

51Berly
Giu 13, 2:37pm

>38 scaifea: Ha!! I think that you should forget that the AirPods were intended as a birthday present and then get another new thing in August!! I mean it's months away. Who can remember? ; )

52scaifea
Giu 13, 2:57pm

>50 rosalita: Yes! The Oliver spoofing was such a nice touch, wasn't it? And yeah, I don't think I've ever managed to solve the mystery before the reveal with Christie's work.

53scaifea
Giu 13, 2:58pm

>51 Berly: Ha! Well, Tomm did look at me a little funny and then smile when I asked for them as an early birthday present. I suspect he's not actually counting them as such, which is just fine by me.

54scaifea
Giu 14, 8:00am

Today's Agenda:
Hanging out with The Charld, a bit of tidying, some writing, a quick trip to the library to pick up holds, definitely some reading. Charlie is in charge of dinner tonight, so I'll be putting my sous chef hat on later (he's making Tuscan Soup).

I used my new airpods for the first time on the treadmill this morning. It's a little weird with the noise-cancelling feature. I mean, weird but amazing.

On the reading front:
I made progress yesterday with both Mister Impossible and What Katy Did, plus I started listening to Do You Dream of Terra-Two?.

What We're Watching:
I was my pick last night, so we watched The Princess Bride. A favorite all around, of course.

55karenmarie
Giu 14, 8:07am

'Morning, Amber! Glad the airpods are a hit and thanks for the reminder about The Princess Bride. It's just about time to watch it again.

56scaifea
Giu 14, 8:11am

>55 karenmarie: Morning, Karen! We hadn't watched it in a few years, so it was definitely time.

57rosalita
Giu 14, 10:52am

Good morning, Amber! Sound like you have a good day lined up for a Monday. The noise-cancelling feature is weird, isn't it? I really appreciated it this winter because my furnace is in a closet in my living room and it is so loud that sometimes people on the other end of work phone calls would say, "What's that noise? I can hardly hear you."

I also come bearing gifts: I naturally thought of you when I read this article in The Atlantic this weekend:
Princeton Dumbs Down Classics. And that might be the right way to save classics from oblivion — It's a provocative title but really the gist is that Princeton no longer requires classics students to study Greek or Latin. I'm curious if you have any thoughts about this approach? I know there has been a big kerfuffle lately about universities completely eliminating their Classics departments, like Howard University, and I wonder if this is a way to avoid that fate.

58scaifea
Modificato: Giu 14, 11:01am

>57 rosalita: Oh, Julia. SUCH a can of worms right now, this Princeton thing. I'm agin' it. Why do we need to dumb anything down?! JFC. And honestly, most uni Classics departments offer various majors, one of which tends to be a non-language one already. Regardless, it won't "save" Classics in a way that would make Howard rethink their decision, because *that* was based on the inherent racism within the field, and the racism is there in the scholarship and the Old White Men Ivory Tower thinking whether you read the languages or not. In fact, I'd say getting rid of the language requirement is just another step toward getting rid of the department for most unis. English departments all over the place already for a long time have been stealing our texts and trying to teach them, so if we're now not even offering language skills, what are we needed for?

/rant. It's a...sensitive subject for me.

PS: Did you see that I added some suggestions to your Book Request thread?

59drneutron
Giu 14, 11:26am

So did I mention my Princess Bride moment last weekend? mrsdrneutron planned the bike outing with one of my friends and The Son. She told me early that morning that it wouldn't be what I expected. and asked me who I thought would be there. It went something like

- "I'm not expecting anyone besides The Son, but you said it wouldn't be what I expect, so clearly someone else will be there."

- "But if I expect someone to be there, and it's not what I expect, clearly no one else will be there."

- *Repeat 3 or 4 times more until she smacks me.*

- "Never make a bet with a physicist when biking is on the line!"

- *Receive another smack*

60rosalita
Modificato: Giu 14, 11:36am

>58 scaifea: Thanks for your thoughts about the Classics kerfuffle. I have to admit my knee-jerk reaction to the article was "Then what's the point of having a Classics department?" And the article kinda sorta answered that, but I didn't necessarily find it convincing, although I don't know nearly enough about the Classics tradition to really be entitled to an opinion. Which is why I came to my favorite Classics expert!

I have not been back to visit my Recommendation Requests thread, but I will go check it out now! I'm sure your suggestions are excellent.

61MickyFine
Giu 14, 11:58am

Oh The Princess Bride. I semi-regularly tell Mr. Fine to have fun storming the castle when he heads into his nerdery for his weekly virtual D&D game. :P

Have a great Monday with Charlie! Anything you're really excited for in the library holds stack?

62scaifea
Giu 14, 12:10pm

>59 drneutron: Hahaha omg, Jim, that's hilarious! I love it.

63scaifea
Giu 14, 12:11pm

>60 rosalita: Yeah, Classics seems to be all kerfuffle all the time right now. Makes me glad I'm Just an Adjunct (tm)...

64rosalita
Modificato: Giu 14, 12:13pm

>63 scaifea: Great, now you've planted the earworm for "I'm Just a Bill" from Schoolhouse Rocks in my brain! I guess it could be worse ...

In fact, I just thought of something worse, as "I'm Just a Gigolo" has started on repeat in my head. Send help!

65scaifea
Giu 14, 12:15pm

>61 MickyFine: When Charlie was tiny I started saying "Have fun storming the castle!" every time he and Tomm left the house to go somewhere without me. I never explained the reference and when Charlie would say, "What?!" every time (once he started talking) I'd just say, "You heard me" and move on. Then when we finally watched the movie for the first time a few years ago, he went, "OOOOOH" when we got to that part. So fun.

Ohmygosh, *all* the holds came in today, so I have a huge stack. Mostly Newbery Honor Books - I'm going to finish that list this year, I think, which is very cool since it will be just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Newbery awards. I'm thinking of writing up an article about the experience.

66scaifea
Giu 14, 12:15pm

>64 rosalita: *SNORK!* I'll take earworm number one, please.

67scaifea
Modificato: Giu 14, 12:18pm

So my Wisconsin librarian friend, Lydia, recently got a picture book published and an interview in BookPage magazine:

https://bookpage.com/interviews/26350-lydia-m-sigwarth-childrens

And if you're a fan of This American Life, you may have heard her interview on that program, too. I'm pretty happy for her - she's a sweetheart.

68vivians
Giu 14, 1:40pm

Thanks for the Steeple recommendation Amber! My library had a copy and it looks good.
All of my kids are Princess Bridge aficionados, and "have fun storming the castle" was my daughter's high school yearbook quote. So many quotable lines! The Cary Elwes book called As You Wish was a lot of fun on audio.

69scaifea
Giu 14, 1:42pm

>68 vivians: You're welcome! I got the recommendation myself from Laura (lycomayflower).

I read the Elwes book a couple of years ago and loved it, too.

70scaifea
Giu 14, 2:51pm



108. A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay (cozy mystery series read) - 8/10 = B+
Librarian Lindsay is at it again, running the library by day and helping the local sheriff solve a murder by...well, also by day (she seems to miss a lot of work). This time a local hoarder/recluse pair of brothers becomes the focus when one of them is found dead of a gunshot wound and the other turns up missing. All the regulars are in attendance in this volume of the series, and Lindsay is still wavering between ferry-boating hunk Sully and the famous British actor who slightly stretches the limits of believability with his barely-likely residence in this small town.

Despite its weaknesses (uneven writing, marginally absurd plot devices,...), I still love this cozy series. I generally don't guess the culprit too early in the story, and I genuinely like all the characters. I want to live in Lindsay's town and frequent her library and be friends with her friends - and her - which makes these books perfect escape reading.

71MickyFine
Giu 14, 3:40pm

>65 scaifea: Amazing that you'll finish the Newbery list this year. Way to go, friend!

>70 scaifea: Glad to hear that the series continues to hit the spot. I'm a few books behind you and I'm thinking it might be time to pick up one soon.

72johnsimpson
Giu 14, 5:00pm

Hi Amber my dear, a belated happy new thread dear friend.

73scaifea
Giu 14, 5:02pm

>71 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky. I've been wondering just how many people have read *all* the Newberys, medals and honor books, before. It's...and undertaking.

74scaifea
Giu 14, 5:02pm

>72 johnsimpson: Thanks, John!

75scaifea
Giu 15, 7:56am

Today's Agenda:
Not much going on here, and I'm okay with that. Charlie and Mario and I will take our morning walk in a bit, then we'll do our daily math exercises via Aleks (minus Mario, likely), and then Charlie will practice his saxophone while I do some tidying. I'll try to squeeze some writing in before lunch, then we'll have our reading time and MarioKarting. Charlie will probably hang out online with his friends this afternoon while I I think I'll read some Latin and then retire to my rocking chair for some non-Latin reading. Leftovers for dinner - the fridge is pretty full. A family walk after dinner, then we'll watch somethingorother and I'll probably knit during viewing time.

On the reading front:
I'm really enjoying Uncle Silas - very gothic and mysterious. I also made progress yesterday with both Do You Dream of Terra-Two? and What Katy Did. Slightly panicked at the amount of holds that were waiting for me at the library; I may have overcommitted slightly...

What We're Watching:
OUAT for Charlie and me while Tomm worked late. We're both agreed that the Pan narrative is getting tired. Enough already, let's move on please.

76rosalita
Modificato: Giu 15, 9:24am

>75 scaifea: I refuse to believe a rainbow-snooted dog isn't perfectly capable of doing math if she chooses!

77scaifea
Giu 15, 8:31am

>76 rosalita: "If she chooses" being the key phrase, I think. Not that Charlie's too keen on it, either, but Tomm is fairly adamant about him keeping up with his math skills over the summer. I do it alongside him because my agony over some of the problems makes him laugh and generally seems to make the process less painful for him.

78rosalita
Giu 15, 9:25am

>77 scaifea: I would have hated having to practice math skills during summer vacation, but given my general innumeracy these days it probably would have been a good thing!

79scaifea
Giu 15, 10:07am

I never did any review work over summer breaks when I was a kid and I managed okay, but I'll let Tomm have this one, plus it can't hurt anything, obviously, and there are all sorts of studies that say keeping a few brain cells engaged in this kind of thing over vacation really helps the backward slide. Charlie's a smart kiddo and probably wouldn't have trouble anyway, but, well, *shrug.* It's not that much time out of the day.

80rosalita
Giu 15, 10:52am

>79 scaifea: Very sensible!

81MickyFine
Giu 15, 11:33am

Sounds like an excellent summer vacation day, Amber.

Hang in there with OUAT. You're getting close to the mid-season finale, which should give you all the feels (although for different reasons than I had all the feels).

82scaifea
Giu 15, 11:51am

>81 MickyFine: Ha! Thanks, Micky.

83scaifea
Giu 15, 12:22pm



109. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield (unread book from my shelves) - 7/10 = C-
A novelization of the Battle of Thermopylae, with an extensive fictional background for the main character.
Yeah. So. I read about half and skimmed the rest. Not my jam. My two big issues with it: 1) It's way too graphic and violent for me, which, admittedly, is very much an "it's not you, it's me" thing, because of course a novel about Spartan soldiers and the battle in which nearly every single Greek soldier was killed is going to be violent if it's going to be accurate. But, again, that's not my jam. And 2) Pressfield clearly did his research and good for him, but he seems intent on his readers being constantly aware that he did his research. There is *way* too much detailed explanation of how the Spartans trained their army and the mechanics of the army itself, which is of course fascinating, but belongs in a history text and not a novel. Do the research, yes, and definitely use that research to help you write an accurate and believable story, but please don't regurgitate all that research onto the page. Possibly it was more annoying for me as a Classicist who already knows all the historic details? But I suspect that others would get pulled out of the story by the sheer volume of the stuff, too. The big take-away here: Pressfield is no Madeline Miller (and now I *need* Miller to write a novel about Leonidas).

84scaifea
Giu 16, 8:01am

Today's Agenda:
Essentially the same as yesterday, really, with the exception that it's Wednesday, which means it's Baking Day. Charlie's going to try his hand at apple cupcakes.

On the reading front:
I'm nearly finished with Red, White, and Royal Blue, and I did finish What Katy Did last night (review to come). I'm enjoying Do You Dream of Terra-Two? on audio still, too.

What We're Watching:
Charlie wants to take a bit of a break from OUAT (*sob*), so instead I introduced him to The Fresh Prince. He's hooked.

85scaifea
Giu 16, 9:51am



110. What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C-
Katy is the oldest of four or five (honestly I couldn't be bothered to keep track) siblings with a loving-but-largely-absent doctor for a father and just a memory of her mother. She's rambunctious and naive for her age but tries hard to be good, and when a sudden accident tests her resolve towards goodness, her chronically-ill cousin helps her to be strong.

This one started out okay for me, but about 2/3 through, it took a sudden and horrifying turn for the saccharine and preachy. So that's a big NOPE for me. Think Pollyanna and Anne of Green Gables plus even more artificial sweetener. Ew.

86scaifea
Giu 16, 12:41pm



111. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (romance) - 9/10 = A
YA romance in which the president's son and the prince of England fall in love, despite their animosity-ridden beginnings and all the problems inherent in the US's first son and the UK's prince coming out - and coming out as together - would cause.

I loved it. The characters all ring true and are all completely lovable, complete with clever and often funny dialogue, and the plot is well-paced and believable. Definitely recommended.

87katiekrug
Giu 16, 12:53pm

>86 scaifea: - All right, all right. I'll read it. Geez.

88rosalita
Giu 16, 12:53pm

>86 scaifea: Glad you loved that one as much as I did. Such a well-executed concept and well-written book.

89scaifea
Giu 16, 12:57pm

>87 katiekrug: Ha! I hope you love it, Katie! I think you may. (My next romance read is The Duke and I...)

90scaifea
Giu 16, 12:58pm

>88 rosalita: Woot! I'm glad you loved it too, Julia! I've put her new on on hold at the library.

91katiekrug
Giu 16, 1:22pm

>89 scaifea: - Ooooh, Bridgerton. Be still my heart. But remember, it's not the best in the series!

92scaifea
Giu 16, 1:51pm

>91 katiekrug: I'll keep that in mind!

93ArlieS
Giu 16, 2:41pm

>57 rosalita: Yeesh! Classics without either of the relevant languages ?!?

I'm not a big fan of reading anything in translation when I have an alternative. But if some undergrad is taking "random liberal arts degree" on the way to law or business, I suppose a smattering of classics in translation is as good for them as any other option.

Of course I say this as a person who took 3 years of latin in high school - the very last 3 years you could do so. We only had 3 students in the 3rd year class - Spanish and German were the other options, and were apparently generally regarded as either easier or more relevant; most of the college-bound took one of them. (French was mandatory; this was in Canada.)

94scaifea
Giu 16, 2:46pm

>93 ArlieS: Right? Although I *am* okay with having an all-in-translation Classics minor as an option, I don't think it's okay say that *none* of the Classics degree options require knowledge of the language. That's just ridiculous.

I'm always so jealous of people who had the option to study Latin in high school. My options were French, German, and Spanish. I took French and enjoyed it, but I would have *loved* to have had Latin then.

95rosalita
Giu 16, 4:15pm

>94 scaifea: My high school only offered Spanish, and only for two years. It was a very small school, so I count myself lucky we got even that.

96scaifea
Giu 16, 4:16pm

>95 rosalita: Julia: Were you required to take it, then? We did have a language requirement, but it was only one year of one of the languages. I think I took three years of French.

97rosalita
Giu 16, 4:18pm

>96 scaifea: I don't think you had to take any foreign language at all, but if you were planning to go to college it was strongly suggested. I took both years because it sounded more interesting than Physics — don't tell Tomm!!

98quondame
Modificato: Giu 16, 4:42pm

>94 scaifea: We had 3 years of Latin - a 3-4th combination was available except when Mr Humphries was on sabbatical which he was for my Jr. year. The high school offered French, German, Spanish and Russian, the latter because my mother insisted and both the German and Latin teachers could also teach Russian. The German/Russian teacher who did Russian I had a thing against me so I avoided her and consequently the Russian my mom had lobbied for, but my brother was that teacher's darling so he was sucked in. Our Jr. high also had Spanish.

99scaifea
Giu 16, 5:04pm

>97 rosalita: Julia: *snork!* High school physics was by far my least favorite class. I loathed it. Tomm knows this and somehow still tolerates me, but I'll also keep your secret for you.

100scaifea
Giu 16, 5:05pm

>98 quondame: I'm glad you had so many options in school. Having a parent insist on Russian being offered sounds intense.

101SandDune
Giu 16, 5:31pm

>94 scaifea: We could do French, German, Latin or Welsh (which was compulsory until age 14) at secondary school. I did French to age 16, but gave up the Latin and Welsh at 14. Jacobs’s school offered French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin which is very unusual. It was compulsory to do 2 languages to age 16 and at least one post16.

102scaifea
Giu 16, 5:53pm

>101 SandDune: I love that some schools require more than one language!

103bell7
Giu 16, 8:10pm

>67 scaifea: OHHH that's so cool! I remember reading the interview, love that it's someone you know :D

Happy new(ish) thread, and congrats on getting so close to finishing up your Newbery Award/Honor project. I'm nowhere close of course lol, but you (and Linda/Whisper1) did inspire me to try.

>86 scaifea: Probably already on your radar, but her new book One Last Stop got a very good review from one of our summer reading participants.

104scaifea
Giu 16, 8:37pm

>103 bell7: Lydia is a lovely person, and is, incidentally, Charlie's favorite librarian. She runs a 7-11 age group book club and Charlie was a member when we lived there. I suspect he was one of her favorites; she even threw him a going-away party before we moved.

I already have One Last Stop requested from the library!

105SandyAMcPherson
Modificato: Giu 16, 10:32pm

>86 scaifea: Tempted to read this. Not my usual thing and I dislike royalty stories (despite being Canadian and all) but this one sounds worth a go, especially since your A ratings usually indicate "good" to me.

Love the Latin language conversation. Foolish, foolish departmental decision-making, eschewing Latin language courses. Boo hiss ignorance.

I was fortunate, as mentioned in earlier threads, to be taught Latin from Grade 7 on. I went into science majors in High School but added a Latin major for one of my humanity requirements. If nothing else, Latin teaches us the basis of grammar in the Indo-European language family. My grammar was highly improved by understanding Latin.

Me, square-peg-in-round-hole, I also promote cursive writing and promote the family tradition of the gift of high-end fountain pens upon graduation from elementary school. Get 'em while they're young!

Edited to change grade we started Latin, I thought it was Grade 5, but I think I was out by a couple years. My brother (at the boys' school) had Latin start in grade 5.
OK, totally trivial commentary... sorry about my meandering thought process.

106scaifea
Giu 17, 8:05am

>105 SandyAMcPherson: Well, it's not really a royal story at all, in that yes, he's a prince and it causes some problems, but the narrator is the First Son and so emphasis is on his side of the story. The actual royals don't play a huge part. So don't let that hinder you from picking it up!

Studying Latin is good for lots of things and original language grammar is definitely one of them. Helps hone the logics part of the brain, too. It's just good for you, in general. Not that I'm partial or anything.

107scaifea
Giu 17, 8:09am

Today's Agenda:
Menu planning and grocery ordering, morning walk with Charlie, math practice, some writing, our daily reading time after lunch, possibly some sewing and definitely more reading this afternoon. One more night of leftovers, I think, so no cooking necessary today.

On the reading front:
I nearly finished Mister Impossible yesterday and will probably polish it off today. I also read through Gargling with Jelly last night (very mini-review to follow).

What We're Watching:
Charlie and I watched more Fresh Prince while Tomm was in his evening class.

108karenmarie
Giu 17, 8:37am

Hi Amber!

I'm ashamed to admit that I'm not proficient in Spanish after taking it from grades 6 - 12 in school. I've toyed with the idea of taking it up again, but haven't gotten further than that. I got quite good at reading books in Spanish, with a dictionary close by, but never got good at speaking it.

Our high school offered Spanish, German, French, and Latin in the early 1970s.

109katiekrug
Giu 17, 9:06am

I'm trying to remember how foreign language worked in my schools. I know I started French in middle school - I had 2 years of it (7th and 8th grades) and then took 4 years of it in high school. And I only took the final year (AP French Language and Literature) because I had dropped Calculus like a hot potato after about a week and needed to pick something up :-P My AP score allowed me to skip foreign languages entirely in college, which I now sometimes regret doing.

My middle school offered French, Spanish, and Latin but my high school only offered the first two then (now they also have German and Mandarin).

Aren't you glad you didn't ask?

110SandyAMcPherson
Giu 17, 9:18am

>106 scaifea: Not that I'm partial or anything
*snort* (shouldn't read LT when I'm in the act of drinking coffee).

111scaifea
Giu 17, 9:27am

>108 karenmarie: Hi, Karen!

The beauty of studying a dead language is not needing to learn conversational skills! I never did get proficient enough in French to speak it well, but I can read it still, along with Italian, German (sort of - I can muddle through), Spanish (again, I can muddle though I've never had any formal studies of it), old Italian, Ancient Greek, Latin (of course), and Hittite (believe it or not). But I can't carry on a conversation in any of them. Sooo yeah. Useful.

Woot for Latin in high school!

112scaifea
Giu 17, 9:30am

>109 katiekrug: Katie: We didn't have languages offered until high school. Again, I'm jealous.

I *nearly* tested out of the language requirement for college - I had to take one semester of French. But I'm glad I did because my TA was a *snack*! My dorm floormates would find excuses to wait for me outside of my French classroom just to catch a glimpse of him. He didn't speak a word of English to us for, I think, three weeks? And then when he did, he had a thick southern accent! Shocking and yet so hot. It just added to the appeal. *sighs in French*

113scaifea
Giu 17, 9:30am

>110 SandyAMcPherson: Ha! Apologies, Sandy!

114SandyAMcPherson
Giu 17, 9:32am

>111 scaifea: Hittite???
How on earth did you come to even find an instructor? I'm intrigued as all get out. Tell us more, pretty please?

115scaifea
Giu 17, 9:36am

>114 SandyAMcPherson: At some point in grad school my boyfriend at the time (who was also a Classics grad student, plus he was working on a linguistics degree at the same time) wanted to learn Hittite and had convinced a professor in the linguistics department to teach it if he (boyfriend) could find at least three other people to take it with him. Wonderful girlfriend that I was, I agreed. It was a *very* cool class. (extra tidbit: We're still great friends and he is, in fact, my co-author on the Latin textbook.)

116drneutron
Giu 17, 10:45am

Sounds like something to add to my retirement list - learning Hittite, I mean!

117scaifea
Giu 17, 10:56am

>116 drneutron: Ha! Go for it!

118MickyFine
Giu 17, 11:02am

All this language learning discussion is fascinating stuff. Living in Canada, I had some type of French class from grade 4 through to grade 12. In high school there were a few other language options available but because I did IB, French was the only language offered for the program at my school. My speaking is pretty rusty but my listening and reading comprehension are much better. One of my penpals recently sent me a bunch of stickers she got from a virtual library conference that were all in French and I've retained enough that I understood them all. They're also super cute.

Have a great Thursday!

119scaifea
Giu 17, 11:05am

>118 MickyFine: Yay for French retention! It makes sense that we have more trouble speaking a language than understanding it or reading it. Composition is a step up, skills-wise, from understanding spoken or translating written language.

120lauralkeet
Giu 17, 11:49am

My high school offered languages in high school, not before (this was in the 1970s, I think it's more common in middle school now). We had a choice of German, French, Spanish, or Latin. I think the only person I knew who took Latin turned out to be our valedictorian, but I'm sure there must have been more students otherwise they wouldn't have been able to fill a class!

I took German because I lived in Germany as a tot (ages 4-6). I knew the language was buried somewhere in my brain and sure enough, it did come easily to me although learning to speak as a 5-year old is very different from learning grammar and vocabulary in your teens.

I learned French as an adult, at first because I thought I was going to need it for work. Even when it was apparent that I didn't need it, I was enjoying it so I kept going. I'm more comfortable with French than German at this point, but at a tourist level not a fluent, conversational level.

Fun conversation, Amber, thanks for tolerating the thread hijack!

121scaifea
Giu 17, 12:00pm

>120 lauralkeet: I'm not surprised that you found high school German classes different from learning it as a 5yo; my Latin students still have trouble with formal English grammar, even if they've spent their lives thus far speaking it. There's a big difference between being able to speak a language and actually understand the mechanics of it, which is one of the reasons I think languages are so stinking fascinating.

Not at all a hijack if I love the subject, right?

122curioussquared
Giu 17, 12:42pm

Chiming in on languages :) My family is Bolivian so I started with Spanish in elementary school, then went to a middle school where we were required to take Latin in 6th and 7th grade. I remember being really good at it and enjoying it, but after 7th grade they didn't offer it as an option. I think the idea was to give us that Latin base before starting us off on Spanish, French, or German in 8th grade through high school. In 8th grade I started French, I think mostly because most of my friends were doing it and I figured I already had a base of Spanish and could go chat with my Bolivian grandmother if I wanted to practice. It turned out to be a good choice and I ended up majoring in French (in addition to English) in college. I never intended to use the French degree, I just did it because I loved it, but my first, brief job out of college was actually at Nintendo working as a proofreader for the French translations of text in video games. I've never been the best conversationalist, definitely better at reading/writing/grammar, but give me a few days in France and I'm reasonably fluent again. But I'm definitely too far removed from my degree at this point to ever go back to the French proofreading gig, lol.

123scaifea
Giu 17, 12:45pm

>122 curioussquared: Oh, yeah, Latin is a fantastic way to prep for easy acquisition of romance languages, of course. Just one more reason it's a great idea...

at Nintendo working as a proofreader for the French translations of text in video games
Um, that's the coolest thing I've heard all week.

124curioussquared
Giu 17, 12:49pm

>123 scaifea: Unfortunately, it sounds really cool but was actually a pretty crappy gig (contract, low pay, extremely restrictive hours, zero room for growth or promotion). I got out of there after about 6 months. But I don't think I'll ever have a weirder job and it's definitely fun to talk about!

125scaifea
Giu 17, 12:55pm

>124 curioussquared: Aw, that stinks, then. But it does sound v. cool!

126scaifea
Giu 17, 1:16pm



112. Gargling with Jelly by Brian Patten (1001 Children's Books) - 4/10 = F
A collection of poems for children. It seems to be trying very hard to be Shel Silverstein, but falls hard and far from the mark. Silverstein knew how to walk the line between silly/funny and outright strange; Patten does not, and sometimes wanders into weirdly and borderline-inappropriately dark areas. Just...no.

127lauralkeet
Giu 17, 1:25pm

>121 scaifea: Well, I was thinking about two things actually. First, as a kid in a German-speaking preschool with German playmates, I learned through total immersion not instruction. You just kind of pick it up somehow. Later, even though my high school teacher conducted the class in German from Day 1, we were taught grammar (tenses, sentence structure, pronouns, prepositions, etc.) and there were certain things we had to memorize. Much of that came back in a way that I knew correct structure intuitively. But I enjoyed learning the mechanics of the language, and it helped me understand the English language better too.

128scaifea
Giu 17, 1:31pm

>127 lauralkeet: Yep, that's exactly it. Learning a language when your little in an immersive way is very different from learning it in an academic setting later.

129SandDune
Giu 17, 2:06pm

>128 scaifea: Jacob did immersive language learning as well. In years 9 and 10 (that’s age 13-14 and 14-15) they were taught either history or geography in German (or whatever language was their first foreign language), as well as having their actual language lessons. He’s going to be able to continue with German next year at Uni as well, which he is pleased about, as he was under the impression that he could only do that if he changed his degree to History & German joint honours.

130scaifea
Giu 17, 2:15pm

>129 SandDune: Good for Jacob!

Does he not have any choices for electives at uni? It sounds like maybe colleges are more restrictive in their requirements over there.

131drneutron
Giu 17, 2:19pm

>122 curioussquared:, >123 scaifea:, >124 curioussquared: The Son's first two college summers were spent at Bethesda Software doing game testing for Skyrim and a few other games. At first blush it sounds like a dream job playing video games, but he quickly learned that it was play the same scenario over and over for 8 hours and write up bug reports, which wasn't fun. Plus same as >124 curioussquared:, low pay, long lousy hours, no potential.

132scaifea
Giu 17, 2:29pm

>131 drneutron: So the moral here is that glamour job titles without actual glamour are not worth the fake coolness? Noted. Also, that stinks for Son. Also, I didn't know until now that I needed to feel guilty about the video games I play. It's like promoting a different kind of sweatshop ethic. *sigh*

133SandDune
Giu 17, 2:46pm

>130 scaifea: It sounds like maybe colleges are more restrictive in their requirements over there.

I believe it is much more specialised here. Jacob is doing a history degree so he is pretty much expected to do history. In his first year he could sign up for one non-history course (in his case German) and looks like he will be able to do the same thing in his second year. And that sort of arrangement is pretty normal. It’s pretty unheard of here to do a wide range of subjects at Uni. You apply to do a specific subject, and you do that subject. The choices that he is making for next year are on what specific aspects of history he wants to study.

134curioussquared
Giu 17, 2:57pm

>131 drneutron: >132 scaifea: I wouldn't say Nintendo was a sweatshop, they just know that there are enough people out there who want to test video games for a living that they don't need to pay well. Only some of the supervisors were full-time, actual Nintendo employees; the rest of us were all employed through agencies. Our hours were actually pretty normal -- we worked 35-40 hrs a week. Everyone was nice, it just wasn't really a long-term or career-type job. So at least in my experience, you don't need to feel guilty about the Nintendo games at least :)

The only thing I miss about that job is that everything was so secretive and locked down that we only worked on desktop computers and it was impossible to take any work home with me.

135quondame
Giu 17, 3:30pm

>108 karenmarie: My daughter has Spanish teaching from K-12 and made it her mayor educational adversary the whole time. Her accent is great, her fluency nil. This after one of the major deciders for which school to enroll her in was that it taught Spanish while all the others had changed to computer literacy. I figured the kids would do computer literacy in spite of any lame instruction those schools could put together. And she's did fine with computers, just not Spanish.

136foggidawn
Giu 17, 3:33pm

>126 scaifea: My respect for this "1001 Children's Book" list decreases with nearly every review you post. I think I could make a better one!

137scaifea
Giu 17, 3:41pm

>133 SandDune: Fascinating. So the concept of a liberal arts education isn't really a thing there? I should probably know these things, but clearly I don't!

138scaifea
Giu 17, 3:42pm

>134 curioussquared: Well, whew! I can love MarioKart guilt-free, then!

One of the things I loved about the library gig was that I never took work home, either actually or mentally. Teaching isn't like that, unfortunately; during the school year, it's constantly on my mind in one way or another.

139scaifea
Giu 17, 3:43pm

>135 quondame: Ooof, that's too bad.

140scaifea
Giu 17, 3:43pm

>136 foggidawn: *SNORK!!* Yeah, I think between the two of us we could do a lot better, likely. I've discovered a handful of wonderful books in there, but yeah, it seems that a larger portion are not great. I'm in too deep now to stop, though! Yoicks.

141scaifea
Modificato: Giu 17, 4:14pm



113. Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater (Stiefvater bibliography) - 10/10 = A+
I feel like I can't really attempt any kind of summary at all, because everything at this point would be a spoiler in some way or another. (This is #2 in the Dreamer Trilogy and #5 in the larger sequence of the Raven Boys & Dreamer Trilogies.) So I'll just stick to squealing about how flipping amazing these books are and how Maggie Stiefvater is one of the best writers out there right now. For me, she gives Gaiman a run for his money, and folks, you know that's saying something if I'm saying it. Just...holy DAMN, these books are good. The characters are so well drawn, the story is an absolute mastercraft showcase, and the writing itself in actual fact makes me hold my breath in places. In short, Stiefvater is The Business.

142SandDune
Giu 17, 4:15pm

>137 scaifea: Absolutely not! It’s pretty much unheard of. When you apply to University you have to specify which subject you want to do, and you are accepted (or not) for that subject alone. Different subjects will have different entry requirements. So as Jacob is studying History, he can only take courses specified as part of the history syllabus. Usually this will include some other elements in the first year, but as a minor part of the courses studied.

Generally, we specialise much earlier. A levels, which we do between 16-18, are in 3 subjects only, or at the most 4. And courses for medicine and dentistry and things like that are started at 18, rather than doing another degree first.

143scaifea
Giu 17, 4:23pm

>142 SandDune: That's so interesting - thanks for the explanation, Rhian! It sounds like so much pressure on the kiddos, though.

144katiekrug
Giu 17, 4:27pm

>142 SandDune: - I'm fascinated by the difference between the UK and US university systems. What if Jacob decides he'd rather study something else? Can he switch? In some ways, I would have loved the British system because by 16, I knew I hated math and science, so if I could have just focused on other things, I would have been happy as a clam for the rest of secondary school. But I also can't help feeling it's hard for a 16 year old to know what they want to do forever at that age. Most of my friends at college didn't declare their major until the end of their second year. I was the odd egg who started with a declared major (political science) and carried on with it for 4 years. But I still got to take lots of electives - some courses that ended up being absolute favorites like World Film, a survey of Irish literature, a Cold War history class, etc. I even ended up enjoying the two science courses I had to take.

145scaifea
Giu 17, 4:33pm

>144 katiekrug: Agreed, Katie. It feels so constricting. Maybe that's partly because it's not the system we're used to? But I'm also a huge believer in the idea that a liberal arts education for the sake of creating better people/citizens. Idealist, I know, but still.

146SandDune
Giu 17, 4:51pm

>144 katiekrug: People do switch. Quite often it’s possible to switch after the first year but only within limits. So Jacob could switch to do a History & German degree (or even possibly German alone) but it wouldn’t be guaranteed that it would be allowed. But if he wanted to do something like English or Politics he’d probably have to reapply and start again from scratch. I think our system suits the people who know what they want to study and are really interested in a particular area. And your system suits the people who would rather have a broader education. There are probably benefits to both. Personally I’d much rather do the specialist route!

147katiekrug
Giu 17, 5:07pm

>145 scaifea: - I'm sure it has a lot to do with context and being in the system one knows. And I agree about the liberal arts education.

>146 SandDune: - Interesting - thanks for the additional information, Rhian. I'm sure there are benefits to both, though I must say I think the US system seems a lot more flexible. If you know what you want to do early like I did, then you can pretty much just stick to that. But it does allow people who don't know what they want to do to explore a bit.

I wonder if some of the difference is why gap years are much more of a thing in the UK than here. It gives a kid more time to try to figure out what they want to do. Though the A levels thing in secondary school still seems to force them to limit their options a bit.

148scaifea
Giu 17, 5:25pm

>146 SandDune: Ooof. I'm stressed just thinking about it.

149scaifea
Giu 17, 5:25pm

>147 katiekrug: Oh, good point about the gap year, Katie. Still, it still seems so constraining.

150ArlieS
Giu 17, 5:56pm

>111 scaifea: Yes! I kind of speak 2 languages (French, German) other than English - but my accent is horrible, and most people I try to talk to switch to English as soon as they hear me butchering their perfectly nice sounds. so I get much more practice reading than speaking.

151bell7
Giu 17, 6:05pm

>138 scaifea: That's exactly why I decided on library science over teaching, so it's good to know my hunch as a college junior was correct!

Interesting discussion of degrees. I think I prefer the general approach, but I was definitely a student who needed it. I felt my way through what I wanted to do over the course of the five years it took me to get my bachelor's (and that's with a transfer, semester off between associate's and bachelor's). I think the only part that really tripped me up is that when I went from community college to a state school, the state school took my associate's as having filled all my general education requirements. However, American Sign Language didn't meet their foreign language requirement, so I ended up taking four semesters of French. Also, to be an English major, I first had to take (and pass) English 200 (a very general English course), before which I was a pre-English major. So I ended up taking courses that didn't really help towards the degree, but met the language requirement or the honors group I was a part of. It took me an extra semester and a few extra credits (I think I graduated with 129 in all out of a needed 120, so basically three extra classes) to get the bachelor's complete. If I'd started with a more specialized route, I'm not sure what I would have done, as I didn't really decide I wanted to be a librarian until junior/senior year.

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing haha. I'd forgotten how complicated it was until I started thinking it through again. Anyway, all that to say yay for no more homework! The most work I bring home is reading for my book club. Though I suspect if I ever went for library director, I'd have a little more brought home.

152scaifea
Giu 17, 6:18pm

>150 ArlieS: Ha! Too funny!

153scaifea
Giu 17, 6:19pm

>151 bell7: Well, it's really more a symptom of my anxiety more than of the job itself. I'm sure there are profs who don't think about such things all the time.

154jjmcgaffey
Giu 17, 6:25pm

I took two or three years of Spanish in high school, and at least another year, possibly two, in college. Which left me with an excellent accent, a limited vocabulary, and very little grasp of grammar. I can't speak it (conversationally) at all (though I have a good number of phrases I use regularly), and reading tends to leave me understanding all of a sentence except the subject, the object, and the verb. So, you know, not too useful. Both my sisters went to Spain for immersion trips (not a full semester, but a month or so each); I'm not sure how good they are, but they're better than I am.

I have regularly said something simple in Spanish and been replied to in full flow - which means I don't understand more than a word or two of what's replied. My accent is good enough to fool native speakers, as long as I don't actually try to construct a sentence beyond - well, essentially the stuff a phrasebook would give.

And then I went to visit my parents for a couple summers in Portugal - so now when I try to speak either language I'm using a mix of both. Ghahh.

155scaifea
Giu 17, 8:57pm

>154 jjmcgaffey: *snork!* I'm sorry you struggled so much with the grammar. But hey, a good accent is something!

156scaifea
Giu 18, 7:58am

Today's Agenda:
Weekly bill sorting, grocery pickup, and then probably an afternoon of reading. Today is our 17th anniversary and we're getting takeout and then watching a Marvel movie to celebrate.

Speaking of Marvel, we watched the second episode of Loki last night and folks, I have found my favorite tv moment of all time: Hiddleston has a whole little monologue at one point entirely in Latin and it's perfect. Grammar, pronunciation. All of it. Is. Perfect. I actually cried real happy tears. Of course I should have known he'd get it right - he did double Classics at Cambridge.

On the reading front:
After finishing Mister Impossible yesterday, I started Three Men in a Boat and I Am Susannah, plus I'm still making progress with Do You Dream of Terra-Two? on audio.

What We're Watching:
Besides Loki, we also watched an episode each of Coupling and Arrow.

157karenmarie
Giu 18, 9:39am

Happy anniversary, Amber!

158scaifea
Giu 18, 9:46am

>157 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen!

159SandDune
Giu 18, 9:47am

>156 scaifea: Happy Anniversary Amber! It’s our anniversary too! 33 years!

160SirThomas
Giu 18, 9:50am

Happy Anniversary Amber!
Have a wonderful day.

161bell7
Giu 18, 9:53am

Happy Anniversary, Amber! Sounds like a lovely day planned. And I love how much you love the moment in Loki where he speaks perfect Latin. Someday I will watch it, but no Disney+ for me so I'll have to see if it comes out on DVD.

162katiekrug
Giu 18, 10:05am

Happy Anniversary, Amber and Tomm!

164scaifea
Giu 18, 10:52am

>161 bell7: Thanks, Mary!

The Loki Latin was so wonderful, I can't even tell you. I've just become resigned to the fact that no one ever gets is right or bothers to check, so this just makes Hiddleston that much more wonderful.

I'm sure they'll put it out on dvd at some point.

165scaifea
Giu 18, 10:52am

>162 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

166MickyFine
Giu 18, 11:10am

Aww, I love that Loki's Latin made you so happy. I was just giggling like crazy over the subtitles. :D

Happy anniversary to you and Tomm!

And enjoy Three Men in a Boat. That one made me laugh really hard.

167scaifea
Giu 18, 11:25am

>166 MickyFine: Loki is, for me, the best Marvel thing yet, and that scene just clinched it for me.

Thanks for the anniversary wishes!

I've heard good things about Three Men in a Boat - I'm excited.

168scaifea
Giu 18, 11:36am

So I've noticed that while I'm driving, my glasses (the distance part of the progressives) don't feel right - things are fuzzier than they should be. So I tested them today against my old pair and yep, something's not right because I can see *better* at a distance with the old pair than the new. I called the doc's office and they scheduled me for the doc next Thursday. Yoicks. Seems ridiculous when it seems clear that they just need to check the Rx. Yoicks.

169RebaRelishesReading
Giu 18, 11:52am

Happy anniversary, Amber!

I've been following the discussion of education systems and languages with interest and can't resist chiming in. I went to American university straight out of high school and ended up changing majors twice (Math to PoliSci to Sociology) and am very glad I did that and that doing so didn't cost me time. After my BA I did course work for MA in Sociology but then had to move and didn't finish my thesis. A few years later I was living in the Netherlands and was admitted to university at "post candidates" level and finished up with a degree in City Planning. A crooked path but it did lead to my ultimate career and I'm very, very glad I didn't have to start completely over every time I changed.

As to languages. We were offered German, French or Spanish starting in 9th grade. I asked for French and got German. Two years later I had made little progress with that so decided to switch to Spanish for my two-year language requirement at university. Never really learned that either. Some years later I moved to the Netherlands and, within a year, was working translating business reports from Dutch to English, then became secretary to the manager before quitting to go back to university. I got to the point that I was thinking and dreaming in Dutch and even though I moved back to the U.S. in 1978 I'm still fluent. Emersion is the only way I can learn languages. (although I have done two Duolingo Spanish lessons every day for the last year and a half and I can now speak a little tourist Spanish -- but that's all).

Sorry I went on so long...

170drneutron
Giu 18, 1:57pm

Happy anniversary! Yeah, we saw the Pompeii scene and I immediately thought of you. Well, first we said "Hey, we've been there!", then I thought of you. 😀

171scaifea
Giu 18, 2:33pm

>169 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba!

I was a late bloomer in college, too, and didn't realize I wanted to be a Classicist until my junior year. I started out in Chemistry with an eye toward going to law school, then switched to English, then ended up with a double major in English and Classics before heading to grad school for Classics.

172scaifea
Giu 18, 2:34pm

>170 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! And I *love* that you thought of me!!

173quondame
Giu 18, 4:48pm

Happy anniversary! 17 is the most random random number and also prime. Not to mention the load it bears in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

174lauralkeet
Modificato: Giu 18, 4:56pm

>171 scaifea: OMG Amber, this sounds so much like my younger daughter's path: started out Neuroscience/Pre-med, quickly pivoted to just Neuro after seeing what Pre-med was all about, then Psychology, then added Women & Gender Studies and oh by the way took a lot of Spanish and studied abroad in Spain. By the start of her senior year she had constructed an elaborate Rubik's Cube which required several unlikely events to all miraculously fall in place to deliver a double major in two of those areas with a concentration in the third. We visited in the fall and found her stressed almost to the breaking point. Fortunately she was able to unload her feelings on us and we helped her come to a decision to choose just two of the three subjects, which turned out to be a double major in Women & Gender Studies and Spanish.

I would have pegged her for a career in human services. But now, three years later, she works at a digital marketing firm. Go figure.

ETA: OTOH, daughter #1 knew she wanted to be a writer from the age of 6. She majored in English and is now a writer.

175scaifea
Giu 18, 5:02pm

>173 quondame: Ha! Thanks.

176scaifea
Giu 18, 5:03pm

>174 lauralkeet: So Daughter #1 needed the US system, whereas Daughter #2 would have been just fine in the UK... Ha!

177lauralkeet
Giu 18, 5:03pm

Oops. I also meant to wish you and Tomm a happy anniversary, but I got derailed. I hope you have a wonderful evening together, Amber!

178lauralkeet
Modificato: Giu 18, 5:05pm

>176 scaifea: actually, it's the other way around, assuming you number the daughters by oldest/youngest. Kate (writer) is the oldest and would have done just fine in the UK system. Julia, not so much. But Julia's entire life has been a meandering path so it really shouldn't have come as a surprise.

179scaifea
Giu 18, 5:06pm

>177 lauralkeet: Thanks!

>178 lauralkeet: I was going by which one you mentioned first.

180lauralkeet
Modificato: Giu 18, 5:07pm

>179 scaifea:. Oh, right. I confused matters by referring to "daughter #1" at the end of my post, meaning the eldest daughter. Well, I think we've straightened it out now. 😀

181scaifea
Giu 18, 5:08pm

>179 scaifea: And I didn't even notice that! Yoicks. We should take our comedy act on the road, Laura.

182lauralkeet
Giu 18, 5:10pm

If only I could doctor this up with our photos ...

183scaifea
Giu 18, 5:21pm

184ArlieS
Giu 18, 11:02pm

>156 scaifea: Happy Aniversary Amber

185msf59
Modificato: Giu 19, 8:02am

Happy Anniversary, Amber. I hope you will have a nice celebratory weekend. Today is Bree's baby shower so we are pretty excited by that.

186scaifea
Giu 19, 8:23am

>184 ArlieS: Thanks! We had a lovely day.

187scaifea
Giu 19, 8:23am

>185 msf59: Thanks, Mark! Have a great time at the shower!

188msf59
Giu 19, 8:26am

I am not going and I am fine with that. I think this will be a mostly female affair, although my SIL will attend later on.

189scaifea
Giu 19, 8:29am

Today's Agenda:
I'm going to bake a cinnamon loaf for this week's breakfasts, then I'll probably split most of the day between the sewing room and the reading chair (besides getting up occasionally to do some laundry). Tomm's in charge of dinner tonight; chicken breasts, thyme, and lemons are involved, which sounds pretty good to me.

On the reading front:
I abandoned two books yesterday: I Am Susannah, because the main character was wholly unlikable and the plot wasn't good enough to make up for it, and A Walk in My World, because I can only do short story collections when the stories are *really* worth it, and these were not. So I settled on Somewhere in the Darkness, which is good so far. I also started Driftless, which is more than just good already.

What We're Watching:
We rewatched Thor last night as part of our Friday Night Marvel Rewatch Marathon. So fun. Hiddleston and Hemsworth are so young! Adorable.

190scaifea
Giu 19, 8:30am

>188 msf59: Ha! Fair enough, Mark.

191MickyFine
Giu 19, 9:51am

>189 scaifea: Sounds like an excellent day ahead for you, Amber. After Hemsworth and Hiddleston, I think my fave part of that movie is Darcy.

193weird_O
Giu 19, 12:56pm

I love how you plan your work, then work your plan. That is soo not me. From time to time yesterday, I looked in the freezer to see what I could make for supper. Then I went out and got Chinese, and that's what I'll be noshing for the next several days.

194scaifea
Giu 19, 1:51pm

>193 weird_O: Ha! And here I am wishing I had your Chinese food...

195ocgreg34
Giu 19, 10:27pm

>2 scaifea: I added "Three Men in a Boat" to my current reading list. I haven't started it yet but am curious what you think of it.

196scaifea
Giu 20, 8:15am

>195 ocgreg34: I'm only a few pages in so far, but I've been wanting to read this one for ages - I've heard so many good things about it. Fingers crossed we both love it!

197scaifea
Giu 20, 8:18am

Today's Agenda:
More of the same as yesterday, really, but with house cleaning added in (yuck). So, sewing and reading, mostly. Spaghetti Bundt (baked spaghetti, but in a bundt pan) for dinner tonight.

On the reading front:
I listened to a good chunk of Do You Dream of Terra-Two? yesterday, and I finished up Somewhere in the Darkness. Review to come.

What We're Watching:
It was Charlie's pick last night; we watched a few episodes of Gilmore Girls.

198lauralkeet
Giu 20, 9:06am

I have never heard of baked spaghetti in a bundt pan! You learn something new everyday around here.

199katiekrug
Giu 20, 9:10am

I've heard of baked spaghetti, but not in a bundt pan. Picture later?

200lauralkeet
Giu 20, 9:27am

>199 katiekrug: Ooh, yes please! And I have so many questions. Does it hold its shape? Do you slice it? Is it crispy on the outside? Do you serve it with additional sauce on top?

201scaifea
Modificato: Giu 20, 10:27am

>198 lauralkeet: >199 katiekrug: >200 lauralkeet: Ha! Wow, I didn't expect such a response! Yes, it holds its shape because it's just the pasta and cheese and binding agent (eggs). You serve it as 'cake' slices with the sauce poured over it. And yep, it gets a little crispy on the top (the bottom once you turn it out of the pan).
Here's what it looks like:



202SandDune
Giu 20, 10:35am

>201 scaifea: I’m not 100% sure ...

203scaifea
Giu 20, 10:44am

>202 SandDune: *takes Rhian off the guest list for dinner*

204scaifea
Giu 20, 10:47am



114. Somewhere in the Darkness by Walter Dean Myers (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
14yo Jimmy lives a fairly happy life in Harlem with Mama Jean, a family friend. His mother is dead and his father has been in and out of prison. When Crab - his father - shows up out of the blue one day to take Jimmy on a cross-country trip, Jimmy struggles with missing his home and Mama Jean, and trying to reconcile the man in the car with his ideas about what his father would and should be like. Crab has - and still does - make questionable life choices, but can Jimmy be strong enough to give him what he seeks - forgiveness?

This one feels a little dark for a Newbery Honor Book, but it's a good one, nonetheless. Myers does a nice job of making all the characters feel real - Jimmy reads just right for a 14yo, and I love that he's a PoC teen who faces hardships but isn't all-angst-all-the-time. Myers is also good at creating an atmosphere of unease and feeding it without letting it get overbearing.

205Ameise1
Giu 20, 11:41am

Happy Sunday, Amber. I wish you a fabulous day.

206scaifea
Giu 20, 12:16pm

>205 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara!

207lauralkeet
Giu 20, 12:45pm

>201 scaifea:, >202 SandDune: I think I might get banished into the corner with Rhian. So the sauce isn't mixed into the pasta before baking? And it's just a marinara, not a bolognese? Hmmm.

But hey if you like it, go for it!

208scaifea
Giu 20, 1:11pm

>207 lauralkeet: I don’t see a problem with any element of the recipe? And marinara is not cool anymore? I guess I just don’t have fancy tastes. I’m okay with that, though.

209katiekrug
Giu 20, 1:44pm

>201 scaifea: - I'd try it! I mean, it's pasta and cheese. What's not to like?

210lauralkeet
Giu 20, 1:59pm

>208 scaifea: It just wasn't what I pictured. I'm really sorry for being overly critical and snarky, Amber.

211LovingLit
Giu 20, 9:12pm

>42 scaifea: I have had blood drawn so many times, and only once did I have an issue with the way it was done. So I can confirm that it can be done very, very badly :0
Glad Charlie's skin issues are being gotten on top of. (I can't even fix that clumsy language, I'm just gonna call it cute.)

>95 rosalita: our high school offered French and Japanese - back when Japanese tourists were flocking here. Now I am sure Chinese (mandarin) would be offered in many high schools.

>200 lauralkeet: I love the inquisitiveness around here :)

I also love the spaghetti bundt dish! Who'd a thunk it!!??!?

212scaifea
Giu 21, 8:16am

>209 katiekrug: Katie: It's honestly just baked spaghetti, but you get to control how much sauce you want.

213scaifea
Giu 21, 8:16am

>210 lauralkeet: Thanks for that, Laura.

214scaifea
Giu 21, 8:19am

>211 LovingLit: Thanks, Megan! "are being gotten on top of" I kind of love it, honestly.

Japanese! Amazing. Chinese: one of my college boyfriends double majored in English and Chinese and I was always amazed watching him study for his Chinese classes. So much memorizing. It seemed impossible to me.

You should give the spaghetti bundt a go - I bet your boys would love it.

215lauralkeet
Giu 21, 8:31am

>213 scaifea: Of course, Amber. Online/written communication is so susceptible to faux pas like this, and I just hate it when I misstep. I'm glad we're still buds!

Also, back to the notorious spaghetti bundt slice. For whatever reason, for me spaghetti cries out for a meat sauce even though marinara is delicious. So I'll just whip up a batch of sauce (and by that I mean brown ground beef and pour a jar of Newman's Own over it), and then you can pass me one of those slightly-crispy oh-so-cheesy slices!

Hope you have a nice day ahead.

216scaifea
Giu 21, 8:32am

Today's Agenda:
Huge news: Charlie and I are going to the bookstore today!! We're both *so* excited for a bookstore outing after all this time! We'll also probably hit the game store and The Hot Topical, then have lunch at BiBiBop (Charlie's pick, but I'm very excited about it, too), and some Jeni's Ice Cream for dessert. I'll probably take the afternoon to rest, because I'm not used to outings anymore. Then I'll put my sous chef hat on this evening: Charlie's making Beef Lo Mein for dinner.

On the reading front:
I read through another Newbery Honor Book yesterday, Crazy Lady, and then started another one, A Girl Named Disaster. I also spent some time listening to Do You Dream of Terra-Two?.

What We're Watching:
Last night we watched Tom Brown's Schooldays. I checked it out of the library because I couldn't find the book to request anywhere and it's on the 1001 Children's Books list, so I thought I'd do the next best thing and watch the movie version with Stephen Fry in. It was good, but wow, it was pretty dark for a children's book.

217scaifea
Giu 21, 8:35am

>215 lauralkeet: You're so right, Laura, that online chatting walks a line, and the mood of the reader has a huge part, too. Of *course* we're still pals!!

And see? That's the beauty of this recipe! In fact, you could prep three or four different sauces - maybe a pesto-based one, too...

218karenmarie
Giu 21, 8:40am

Hi Amber!

>201 scaifea: That looks marvelous. I’ll have to save it for another week, though, as we have left over Pastitso from Bill’s request for Father’s Day dinner.

>216 scaifea: Enjoy your bookstore and game store jaunt.

219scaifea
Giu 21, 8:46am

>218 karenmarie: Morning, Karen!

It really hit the spot for dinner last night. Pastitso also sounds *amazing*!

And thanks - we've been talking about how we want this to be our first outing post-vaccines (Charlie's 2 weeks out as of today) for months.

220lauralkeet
Giu 21, 8:55am

Bookstore! Lunch! Ice cream! Happy fully-vaccinated Charlie day.

221scaifea
Giu 21, 8:59am

>220 lauralkeet: A near-perfect trilogy, right? And thanks!

222SirThomas
Giu 21, 9:12am

>216 scaifea: A trip to a bookstore - wonderful!
I wish you and your family a wonderful week, Amber.

223katiekrug
Giu 21, 9:13am

>216 scaifea: - Welp, that sounds like an absolutely perfect day. Enjoy!

224scaifea
Giu 21, 9:30am

>222 SirThomas: Thanks, Thomas!

225scaifea
Giu 21, 9:30am

>223 katiekrug: Right?! *sigh*

226MickyFine
Giu 21, 11:40am

Oh yay! I hope the outing is excellent and I look forward to hearing what ends up coming home with you from the bookstore. :)

227Ameise1
Giu 21, 11:48am

Oh what a wonderful day. Enjoy every single minute.

228curioussquared
Giu 21, 12:19pm

The bookstore was the first thing I did once fully vaccinated, too :) Enjoy!

229scaifea
Giu 21, 1:26pm

>226 MickyFine: We had a great time, Micky, although Jeni's was closed today for some reason so no ice cream. Sadness. But still, bookstore and game store and Hot Topical and the Lego Store and Bibibop (plus Target) were excellent!

230scaifea
Giu 21, 1:26pm

>227 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara! We did! Although I'm spent now. I really need to get used to outings again.

231scaifea
Giu 21, 1:27pm

>228 curioussquared: Ha! Not a shocking first stop for people here, I suspect.

232scaifea
Modificato: Giu 21, 1:38pm

So we're just back and we had an excellent first outing! It wasn't too crowded at all, and I'd say probably about 40% of folks had masks on, which was more than I expected. It was so fun just hanging out with Charlie, and we both picked up some cool things:

Bookstore: Charlie got a nice new hardcover sketchbook; I picked out a new academic planner for this coming year's teaching, plus A Darker Shade of Magic, which has been on my wishlist for yonks. I looked for Piranesi, but they didn't have it. I mean, what?

Game store: Charlie picked out a new game, for which I've already forgotten the name (he took it up to his room with him already and I can't be arsed to go check right now), but it's an escape room kind of thing, which he loves. Looks like it will be a hoot.

The Hot Topical: A Loki t-shirt for Charlie, which is so cool I almost bought myself one.

The Lego Store: Charlie was *so* excited to find this, so we had to have it:



Plus, we brought home for Tomm the Ducktales Brickheadz set (he's a fan):



So, all in all, a success!

233Ameise1
Giu 21, 1:45pm

👍 well done.

234katiekrug
Giu 21, 1:48pm

Quite a haul!

235scaifea
Giu 21, 1:54pm

>233 Ameise1: Ha! Thanks, Barbara!

236scaifea
Giu 21, 1:54pm

>234 katiekrug: Well, of course. We were celebrating!

237lauralkeet
Giu 21, 2:27pm

Wow. Time (and money!) well spent. Sounds like a lovely day out with your young man, too.

238scaifea
Giu 21, 2:28pm

>237 lauralkeet: I haven't spent that much money in a year and a half! Ha! (but it's true...)

239scaifea
Giu 21, 2:30pm



115. Crazy Lady! by Jane Leslie Conly (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
Vernon is a junior high student who spends his time hanging out with his friends on the street corner, stealing the occasional candy bar and making fun of the local crazy lady and her mentally disabled son when they walk by. He needs help to pass his English class, and his tutor - an old lady/retired English teacher who lives next door to the crazy lady - helps him to get to know Maxine (crazy lady) and her son, and soon he becomes close friends with Ronald (the son).

A good bully-turned-caring person story that stays clear of any saccharine flavoring and actually offers up a touching story with characters that ring true. Both Maxine and Vernon have complex layers, and the conflict of the story goes beyond the simple wicked-boy-turns-good. Overall, a solid middle school pick.

240quondame
Giu 21, 2:51pm

>232 scaifea: Now it's TBs - toy bullets!

241katiekrug
Giu 21, 2:52pm

>238 scaifea: - Reminds me of this Tweet I saw over the weekend... It rang so true :)

242scaifea
Giu 21, 2:53pm

>240 quondame: Ha! You're welcome!

243scaifea
Giu 21, 2:53pm

>241 katiekrug: *SNORK!* YUP. So very true.

244weird_O
Giu 21, 3:14pm

I had a fun Father's Day, I must say. Chauffeured into NYC, fed sandwiches, escorted to the...ah...legendary Strand Bookstore (and blessed with a substantial gift card), then trooped off to dinner and transported home. I think that, for me, NYC is one hell of a workout.

245scaifea
Giu 21, 3:16pm

>244 weird_O: Sounds like a good day, Bill.

246MickyFine
Giu 21, 4:03pm

>241 katiekrug: >243 scaifea: And now the Roaring Twenties make so much more sense...

>232 scaifea: Love Charlie's choice of Lego set. Very cool!

Also, cannot wait for you to read A Darker Shade of Magic. I've got a feeling you'll come out of it with at least one book boyfriend...

247foggidawn
Giu 21, 4:40pm

248scaifea
Giu 21, 4:56pm

>246 MickyFine: New book boyfriends? I like the sound of that...

And yes! I *love* that he loves that Lego set, and the fact that he said he thinks his friends will be jealous when they see it. He's keeping good company, it seems.

>247 foggidawn: Woot! I know this series has gotten a lot of love around here - I'm excited!

249rosalita
Giu 21, 5:34pm

>232 scaifea: First of all, both LEGO sets are great and I love what Charlie chose. However, I have to ask: Is that 18+ on the Everyone Is Awesome set an "appropriate for ages" number? Because that seems utterly ridiculous unless there are some naughty bits in the box that don't show in the photo.

250scaifea
Giu 21, 6:04pm

>249 rosalita: I hadn't even noticed, but yeah it does say 18+ and that's a little bit bullshit, because there are no naughty bits in the box and it's certainly not a difficult set to put together. Yeesh. Come on, Lego.

251quondame
Giu 21, 7:02pm

>249 rosalita: >250 scaifea: Hummphs. There are just naughty minds, not naughty bits. Still bent outta shape over the elaborations on double standards in The Swallows. I do wish we could blow away all the body bits are bad nonsense that we imperfectly embodied beings are forced to inhale with every breath.

252rosalita
Giu 21, 7:57pm

>250 scaifea: It really is ridiculous, and I'm delighted that you lean on common sense and knowing your own child instead of mindless blanket age advisories. I hate how brands have been browbeaten by screamy trolls into a defensive crouch on things that shouldn't be controversial at all.

253scaifea
Giu 21, 8:31pm

>251 quondame: Lutz sure did a great job unraveling the Boys Will Be Boys thing in that novel, didn't she?

254scaifea
Giu 21, 8:33pm

>252 rosalita: To be honest, I didn't even look for an age advisory. I kind of never do. We're pretty open about what he can do and read and watch, and we're also just lucky that he is really self-aware and knows what he's comfortable with and what he's not. I agree that the advisories can be pretty ridiculous.

255laytonwoman3rd
Giu 21, 8:52pm

SO MUCH going on here since I last dropped in. Love all the education and languages chat. I took 3 years of Latin in high school, 1 year of French and 2 of Spanish in College. I would dearly love to learn Slovak, so I could try to decipher some old correspondence from my Great-grandfather's brothers back in the Old Country from around the turn of the century (y'know the OTHER century).

I think the guys should have THIS Lego set:

256scaifea
Giu 22, 7:56am

>255 laytonwoman3rd: We did see that set in the store yesterday, Linda. It's very cool, but doesn't really look enough like Legos to me, to be honest. I stood in front of the Coliseum set for a good 10 minutes, though. $550 is a bit much, I'm afraid, and Tomm says we don't have anywhere to put it (but we have room for his entire Lego VILLAGE?! Yeesh.)

257scaifea
Giu 22, 8:00am

Today's Agenda:
I need to pop round to the library to pick up holds, but otherwise it'll be a normal day here. Morning and evening walks, some writing, maybe some tidying, definitely some reading. I also have a handful of calls to make - appointments that need to be made for Charlie now that he's vaccinated (dentist, eye doc, a follow-up xray on his spine (it's very slightly crooked and they just want to keep an eye on it)). Oh, and a call to the school to see what we need to do to get him re-registered here. Ugh. I am not a fan of calling people.

On the reading front:
I started The Duke and I yesterday and made progress on Do You Dream of Terra-Two? and A Girl Named Disaster.

What We're Watching:
It was Tomm's pick last night and so we watched a few episodes of Spin City.

258lauralkeet
Giu 22, 8:09am

>249 rosalita:, >250 scaifea: 18+ on that Lego set? that is indeed bullshit. I'm glad you didn't notice and even happier that you generally ignore/make your own calls regarding those types of warnings.

259scaifea
Giu 22, 8:16am

>258 lauralkeet: Right?! Even if I had noticed, I wouldn't have *taken* any notice. I mean, FFS.

260karenmarie
Giu 22, 8:19am

Hi Amber!

>229 scaifea: and >232 scaifea: Wow. When you finally go out you do it most thoroughly.

Jenna’s Legos are upstairs somewhere from 25 years ago. Nothing fancy, but she enjoyed them for a long time. One of Bill’s coworkers and her husband are Legos fanatics and spend most of their disposable income on them.

261scaifea
Giu 22, 8:23am

>260 karenmarie: Morning, Karen!

Ha! Yep, we don't mess around, apparently.

I always enjoyed just messing around and making random stuff with legos instead of having specific sets, but Tomm loves the sets. Charlie enjoys legos but isn't a massive fan. He does love his new set, though, for all sorts of reasons.

262foggidawn
Giu 22, 8:47am

I was always more interested in freeform messing around with Legos (I mostly built houses for the minifigs). My brother liked the sets, but also liked messing around. Mom still has two buckets of Legos for when my nephew is a little bit older.

263scaifea
Giu 22, 9:21am

>262 foggidawn: I still have all my old legos, too, and Charlie plays with them when we go to my parents' house.

264weird_O
Giu 22, 10:29am

That Coliseum! Granddaughter Helen is a Lego fiend, got the Coliseum for Christmas, and had it assembled by the end of semester break, roughly a month's time. :-)

265scaifea
Giu 22, 10:44am

>264 weird_O: Wow, that's some Christmas present!

266weird_O
Giu 22, 10:46am

Yes, Google treats her dad well.

267MickyFine
Giu 22, 10:50am

I was always a build from the book kid. My brother was perfectly happy doing free form though.

Good luck with all the phone calls, Amber. I also hate making them - although I'm usually fine answering them.

268scaifea
Giu 22, 12:17pm

>266 weird_O: *grins*

>267 MickyFine: Tomm is happy building the kits, displaying them for a bit, then tearing them down and building one of his other kits,... After the first time, I think I'd not be interested to repeat the process. But, he likes it, so.

I don't like answering calls, either. Ick.

269drneutron
Giu 22, 12:49pm

>268 scaifea: Tomm is happy building the kits, displaying them for a bit, then tearing them down and building one of his other kits,

It's an engineer thing... 😀

270scaifea
Giu 22, 1:10pm

>270 scaifea: *snork!!*

271scaifea
Giu 22, 1:33pm

272quondame
Giu 22, 10:43pm

>256 scaifea: I wish I purchased the Ghostbusters' Firehouses back when i was lusting after it....
Questa conversazione è stata continuata da Amber's (scaifea) Thread #18.