I saw Rose on December 9th at the last Wednesday matinee at the Clurman Theater. Kathleen Chalfant was commanding as the stern matriarch of the Kennedys. In this one-woman show written by Kennedy biographer Laurence Leamer, the most moving sections dealt with the daughters. Rose understands their problems but mostly thinks they should suck it up. No one saved her from her problems and she feels others should accept, as she has, that women have less autonomy in the family and in society. While there’s no denying the suffering of a woman who lost several children to untimely violent deaths, the brave stoicism of Rose makes for a rather static play.
The play’s heartbreaking turn is Rose’s quietly gruesome and pathetic narration of her daughter Rosemary’s lobotomy. It was really a privilege to see Chalfant working in such an intimate theater with such emotional material. She is a powerful actress and the main reason I saw this.
It took me forever to get through this because I kept picking it up and putting it down. (It was an ebook so mostly read it on my phone on the subway.Also, I have no focus lately.)
That said, I enjoyed it every time I picked it up, and I remembered the complicated plot and cast of characters even when weeks went by between reading sessions. The story is vivid and interesting and compelling. A specially adapted soldier carries out a self-assigned mission that questions one of the founding principles of an empire very dependent on artificial intelligence. I loved that everyone has female pronouns. I loved the elaboration of the empire’s protocol/etiquette rituals. I want to read the rest of the trilogy. Docked one star for not ever making me drop everything and just finish it.
Recommendation: If you like space adventure and you like the Borg episodes of Star Trek, you will probably like this book
I have been blogging since Blogger was its own separate company, before Google bought it. I had a LiveJournal and a Journalfen, multiple Blogger blogs and WordPress blogs, and some blogs in systems whose names I’ve forgotten. Fifteen years of blogging.
I did a lot of fandom blogging under fandom names. (I am a science fiction fan.) Lately I’ve been blogging on Tumblr because it is easy and there’s an app for my tablet and phone. I feel philosophically more aligned with Dreamwidth, but fandom has moved to Tumblr and you have to blog where the people are.
I have also blogged as an academic. (I am a community college English professor.) I’ve had course blogs and academic ranting blogs and even a blog on MLA Commons. None have felt particularly comfortable or easy to maintain. I was always worried that my writing wasn’t translating well to non-academics, or that I had crossed the line from critiquing to complaining.
My most successful blogging was as a family history/genealogy hobbyist. That blog got the most hits and comments, and I met some cousins through it. I also got lots of comments telling me my well-documented claims were wrong, or asking for help with research unrelated to my family, or complaining that I wasn’t covering their ancestors. It started to feel like work instead of a fun hobby. (My surname list and Ahnentafel is linked in the column on the right if you wish to check our relatedness.)
Last week in a work meeting, people discussed qualifications for teaching online writing, and one qualification that people agreed on was evidence that the instructor has been writing online for at least six months. Now, I’ve been writing online for fifteen years, but I didn’t have a single place I could point people to see all that work, not professional colleagues anyway. So I’ve decided to revamp this site as that permanent blog space.
This blog is my main online home, where I post my work and thoughts to my own domain. It’s a link I can share publicly. It is a kind of a diary, though I’ll post academics and genealogy as they come up. I maintain a couple of tumblr blogs where I can quickly post links for academic and genealogical purposes. I also have Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. All those links are in the column on the right. Follow or ignore as you please.