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September 11, 2008

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I've always wanted to go to the Stratford Festival.

Thanks for this appreciation of Monette.

I wonder who does the nearest Shakespeare festival to here. There was one in Northampton when I lived in West Springfield (MA). I auditioned for it once, but never saw a show. When we were in Virginia, we were in easy distance of the annual Shakespeare festival at William & Mary, and watched some of those. We actually walked out of Antony and Cleopatra -- went out for intermission and decided not to go back in. I remember enjoying their Beggar's Opera, though.

The best Shakespeare production I've been to (out of very few live ones, all told) was CNU's Midsummer Night's Dream. They had a gorgeous set, designed by George Hillow, and had a strong Puck (Bryan Wakefield) and deployed Fred Arsenault to shore up the usually stiff Oberon. The funniest moment of the show was when Greg Lloyd, as Bottom, emerged from his dream, clad only in a towel. "Me thought I was... me thought I had..." He pauses a moment, then turns and peeps discreetly under the towel. "A man is a painted ass if he say what I had." (Quotes approximate) The most beautiful moment was when Titania, wearing a long purple dress, sits in a swing that glides across the set.

But I ramble, and things demand my attention.

He sounds like a marvelous man. I wonder how common Monette is. My mother's maiden name is Monette, but her folks came directly from France.

Kip, Michael -- the Stratford Festival is probably the best classical repertory theater in North America. You should make an effort to get there sometime. I can tell you all the tricks for getting cheap tickets. :)

I can't possibly count all the live Shakespeare I've seen; I believe at this point I'm only missing one of the canon (plus Cardenio, which is dubiously canon), and I've seen all the others except Henry VIII more than once. Yes, that includes Two Noble Kinsmen! Most of the more popular ones I've seen half a dozen times or more. I've been very lax about putting thoughts about this year's Festival up here on Rixo; I need to get the rest of the posts polished up and posted. All I've managed to do so far is the Romeo and Juliet one, which was longer than average since the production really excited me. My thoughts on that and the Patrick Stewart Macbeth, which I saw twice earlier this year, are indexed in Rixo's Theater section.

Kip, by the way, have you seen the Adrian Noble production of A Midsummer Night's Dream with all the umbrellas? Your mention of Titania on a swing made me think of it. Let's just say Bottom finds himself with donkey-like endowments in that one as well.

Marilee... The name 'Monette' isn't that unusual, in Qu├ębec anyway. Heck, it's more common than my own family name.

Michael A Burstein... Would you happen to be the writer of the two alternate-History short stories about what if the SuperConducting SuperCollider had been completed?

I don't know if Michael follows the comments here, but his (extensive) bibliography is here.

Serge, yep, that's me. There's actually four stories in that series, with the fourth one brand new and making its first appearance in my upcoming collection.

Michael... An upcoming collection? I'm looking forward to it.

Serge:

The book is titled I Remember the Future and it's being published on November 1 from Apex Publications. Right now, http://www.bursteinbooks.com links to the catalog page about the book, but there's also a flyer at http://www.bursteinbooks.com/IRTF_Flyer.pdf.

And we're having a publication party in Brookline, MA on November 2; see my Livejournal at http://mabfan.livejournal.com for details.

This has been an unpaid commercial announcement. :-)

Michael:
I'm so sorry I can't attend -- I have a standing teaching gig on first Sundays in New York City.

Of course it's going to be a standing gig if it's about dancing.
Whoa.
That frying pan almost hit me.

This has been an unpaid commercial announcement.
But wait! There is more!

Heheheh.
I'm looking forward to the book's release.

Susan,

I honestly don't expect too many people from out of town to make it to the party. But everyone's invited, just in case someone finds themselves in the area.

Serge,

Thank you. I'm hoping people like the book.

Hmm. We could drive three to four hours and get to Stratford. I'd sure enjoy to see some really good Shakespeare. We lived in western Massachusetts until this year, but now I think most of the state is farther from me than Stratford.

Still, I want to explore, now that we're here. I figure on seeing Toronto some, and who knows what else. For years, I've thought about taking the Zephyr across Canada, because I rode the Zephyr from California to Colorado when I was almost three, and I still remember some of it.

Kip, where are you now, if you don't mind saying? I thought you were in western Massachusetts still, but obviously I missed a move.

I once took a group of fannish costumers to Stratford, one of only three times when I've been there with other people. It was enough fun that I might be game to organize another trip.

We moved to Pittsford around the beginning of June, because winter in Massachusetts just wasn't long enough, and there wasn't enough snow. We're close to Rochester, and the Erie Canal goes all through this area. There are some photos from here on my flickr page that you might find interesting -- the disembodied decorated door, in particular.

If you drive from MA to Stratford, you'd just about have to come through here. Just saying. I90 goes right past here.

Brrr! You must really like the white stuff. Or was it a job transfer?

I don't generally drive to Stratford from MA, since I live in southern CT. I cut an uneven diagonal across NY from Newburgh via Rt. 17 and only pick up 90 where 390 runs into it south of Rochester. Pittsford is not terribly out of the way, though, so if you stay put through next summer I might well be able to drop by on my way!

Kip W... Your daughter sure has grown since the time of that photo I posted on my blog.

As for snow... Bleh. I grew up with it, which didn't stop me from bonking my minivan against a street lamp on Valentine's Day in 2007 because of a very thin layer on the street's surface. One of my oldest dog's great joys of winter is when I toss snowballs at her. Then again she is deranged.

Sarah loves the snow. To me, it mostly represents work. We don't have a sidewalk to shovel in our new place, but there's more driveway. I wouldn't be surprised if we get a snow blower, although shoveling is probably good exercise, and I need that. I just tell people there wasn't enough snow in MA -- it's a jape.

We moved for Cathy's job. She promoted herself from Westfield State to Nazareth College. The plan is to stay put until Sarah's out of school, though I expect Cathy to stay aware of any openings in Colorado.

Kip W...

When I was living with my parents, they had their own snowblower. Not huge, not small. It may not have provided me with as much exercise as a shovel, but had we had only shovels, I'd still be clearing out the snow from the great snowstorm of 1970. Besides, when one has a few feet of the stuff all over the yard, it's amazing how much exercise one gets from pushing/guiding the blower around.

My favorite part of that chore was being done, everything cleared up... then the city's street cleaners would shove a nice barrier of hard-packed snow into the yard with their plow.

Oh, yes. I cursed the snowplow jockeys on our street fervently in MA. It was never an issue in VA -- I think there they lived their own lives and didn't come down to the end of the cul-de-sac we were on. Some days I would undo the snowplow's work repeatedly. After a while, I didn't care any more and tossed the stuff back into the street. There was even one neighbor with a little plow attachment to his whatchamacallit (almost a yard tractor, but meant for off-road cavorting?) and he'd add to my burden as well.

Then we had a neighbor across the street who would sometimes come out with his snowblower and finish up the shoveling I'd started. Blessings upon him and his tribe.

He had an ATV with a plow? I wouldn't have guessed those things had any use other than to spoil the environment and kill people.

When I first moved to the Northeast at thirteen after spending pretty much all of my childhood in Texas, I was thrilled by the first big snowstorm and by the sight of snowplows (Dallas didn't have any). I went out and made snow angels and snowmen and threw snowballs -- all those things I'd only read about in books. That lasted for about one snowstorm, after which the shoveling and the drifts and the slush and the bitter, wet cold and the whole walking to school (or even the bus - up and down steep and slippery hills) in the snow thing got very old.

Our (indoor-outdoor) cat was completely astonished by the snow. She bounded out the door and leaped into the yard, obviously expecting the snow to support her weight, and of course sank like a stone, vanishing completely. She exploded back out in snow-covered terror (black cat, white snow, very amusing) and fled back indoors.

Nowadays I shovel fairly willingly; it's good exercise. And we haven't gotten nearly as much snow the last ten years or so. But I made sure to buy a house with a driveway that was completely flat.

The ATV's primary purpose was making noise like a motorcycle, but sometimes he would put a doodad on the front and use it to push up a pile of snow in front of our place between visits from the big plow.

I viewed shoveling as exercise, just as I do lawn mowing. We might pay for plowing this winter. I don't know. If I end up shoveling the driveway, at least I have the consolation that there's actually a place to put the snow. Our old house was set up so that there was only a four-foot square of lawn near the driveway on my side in which to put all the driveway snow and some of the sidewalk snow. I couldn't toss it into the neighbor's driveway. On my wife's driveway, things were slightly better, but after a couple of snows and no melting between, the piles got pretty high. Now I have space on both sides of the driveway to toss the stuff.

I am "blessed" with a double-wide driveway which I have to keep shoveled because I have a tenant. Happily, I have a lawn on one side and a strip of greenery on the other that is wide enough to pile snow on. But shoveling the whole driveway is a major undertaking. It's been a few years since we've had a really horrendous snowstorm, though.

I have an electric mower which I like a great deal, but I am working on removing all my grass in favor of ground-covering plants which do not need mowing.

My parents's driveway had a slight slope and was quite wide, but we had lawn on either side to blow the snow out of the way. The really nerve-wracking thing though was the driving out of the yard into what was the main road of our part of town. The snow drift on our lawn was about 10 feet high from the clearing of the yard, and also because the tree there that was a rallying point for all the snow being blown across the fields behind our house. We had to inch our way out and hope that nobody was coming our way too fast.

I never shoveled our snow -- we never lived where there was any until we got stationed at the Pentagon and our house here didn't have a driveway -- but when I was adult and well, I used to shovel my driveway (if I had one) and the gimpy neighbors' driveways. I must say, it's clearly time for the well adults to at least shovel my curbcut and striped area! The folks the condo hires are supposed to do that, but they never do, and they get paid anyway.

Marilee... The folks the condo hires are supposed to do that, but they never do

Ask them if they ever saw the woodchipper scene in the Coen Brothers's Fargo.

LOL I don't know if I'm allowed to threaten the help, but I can try!

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