Opening Line: Bates


shakespeareI’ve bugged you through other outlets to join the Big Library Read and download “Shakespeare Saved My Life”, by Lara Bates. The download is free and immediately, from the website by March 31st.
Here I am, harassing you again.
You must read this book.
Opening line: “Oh, man, this is my favorite freakin’ quote!”
While I love to read — love to read — I have not dallied with Shakespeare. Too flowery, too pregnant with bluster, too…something…I thought I’d be better off using my time on the hundreds of other books stacked three piles deep throughout the house.
Along came the Big Read, and I joined the crowd, because I wanted to be able to converse with the masses at month’s end. I don’t like to not know what’s up.
The book started with dialogue immediately, which I loved. Not description, not back story, but boom, I’m immersed in a conversation, an interesting one, and I was hooked.
Then Bates quotes Dave Matthews and my heart swelled with love for this lady author I had not heard of before. Plus, she quoted from my favorite song, #41, so I knew she was my kind of people and doggone it, whatever she had to say, I wanted to read it.
Then I was captivated by Mr. Newton.
Read. This. Book.
It will start conversations, about prison, about education, about prisoners, about humanity, and too, about Shakespeare, but mostly all the other stuff.
And Mr. Newton makes me want to read Shakespeare. I loved his inimitable summaries, his smiley faces, his brilliant mind.
Please. Read this book.
Think about what you read, talk about it, and not just at the end of the month when other readers are discussing it. Talk to everyone, anyone.
Mull it over.
Really. Mull.
It’s long lasting and wonderful.
You’ll want to read Shakespeare, too.

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Crawl Spot #5 & 6: Compass, then Evoke


We drove from north OKC to Edmond for Crawl Stop Five, Compass Coffeehouse.
They offered three hot coffees, three! Score!
And my uneducated palate could tell no difference between the three, except that I really liked the middle one after I added half and half.
But what doesn’t taste wonderful with half and half?
Oh, and I loved the baked goods. A lemon poppyseed bread and a blueberry muffin, supposed to be paired with the appropriate coffee, but shoved in together and slogged downward with creamy coffee deux equals delish.
Compass is a relatively new locale. It’s long and slim, sparse décor, but full of enthusiasm and a consciousness of local growers, local bakers, local community.
And twenty minutes again went swiftly.
I’m not sure I was crawling as much as jogging from place to place…

Spot Six was another Edmond spot called Evoke. It was loud. I saw little of it except for a few feet inside the door, where furnishings were modern, clean lines, lots of silver, chrome, spotlights.
Sadly I did not enjoy the fizzy, iced goodness called a virgin white Russian.
The cup had chocolate, coffee, vanilla coke, and a cherry, frothed over ice.
I did not enjoy it.

The Crawl was a lot of fun. I saw lots of shops I did not know, and I met several really nice folks, enhancing the communal feel of the day, the whole point of the venture, and I look forward to next year’s event.

Notes to future Self:
1. Drink coffee before I go. A big cup. A big, hot, full cup of coffee. Or two. And mugging the poor coffee buyers as they walk by your group holding their gorgeous, steaming, huge  to-go cups of hot joe is not acceptable.
2. Don’t forget the snacks I left in the car. Thrown in at the last minute in my rush to hit the streets and crawl around, my snack bag sat ignored for the duration. I really wish I had remembered it. It might have saved my pride, leaping toward all dessert plates in my vicinity for the duration of the crawl among strangers.
3. Water. Take the water bottle that I filled, chilled, left near my keys for the morning drive, then promptly ignored and ran out the door. Water is important.
4. Re-evaluate the intake/outage ratio. I thought if I drank a water at each stop, with a coffee mug in the other, then I would be balancing out the dehydrative effects of the caffeine. With such tiny quantities of coffee, I overweighed the water, and thus needed facilities, but time restraints cancelled out the restroom visits in order to make schedule.

Also: sip the water; one-to-one drinks of water to caffeine; don’t be afraid to try the coffee without the cream — good coffee makes all the difference; always take the desserts, and if no one is looking, grab an extra for the car dash between stops.

Hopefully I’ll see some of you Crawling next year.

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Crawl Stop #4 is all about t


Twenty minutes goes quickly when that’s the allotted time for a coffee break.
After stop number three, fuelled by cookies and optimism that the lead car knew where stop four would be, I hopped in the car and followed.
Seems the fourth café was a bit further than I had anticipated and we were a tad late again, lagging in behind the others.
No matter, because the next stop was a place called “t”, all about tea, run by a lady who spoke like she preferred coffee.
She, too, talked of community, of supporting local businesses, of global community. Enthusiasm! Passion! An overwhelming number of syllables on one breath!
She was a coffee spirit in a tea infused body. She knew everything about ceremonial ingestion of all things leafy and brewed and I loved her energy.
We warmed tea leaves in our bare hands, aromatically enjoying the pre-brewed basic element of what we soon sipped with gusto, a hot cup of a forgotten blend, but did I mention it was hot? I loved it.
She asked us what we tasted, and that as soon as we shouted it out, we would all taste whatever aroma another sipper suggested. “Honey!” “Earth!” “Cigar!”
And sure enough, the hint of each of those hit my taste buds.
And suddenly the time was up and it was time to move on.
What?! Didn’t we just get here?
I’ll be back soon!
And whaddya know, off we go…

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