Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The final five

Today is the first of the final five days of my vacation. Naturally, nothing is going as planned for the festivities' end. I've managed to come down with a miserable head cold, and the weather has finally turned July-horrid, hot and muggy, and ah well fill in various other kvetches here as you will.

One I'll repeat from my last entry: Rogue's Gallery is not living up to the hype. The last two chapters I read, which focused on John D. Rockefeller II and Robert Moses, make both out to be for the most part admirable fellows. One of the reviews I'd read said the book exposes how Junior turned to art philanthropy in a panicky effort to rehabilitate his reputation after the Ludlow Massacre. In fact, the sequence of events is not presented that way at all. The Rockefellers, pere et fils, are, in a quick sentence or two, absolved of any responsibility for the mass murder of the Colorado miners and their families; Junior is in fact portrayed as deeply pained by it and won over to sympathy for labor unions and a desire to help and support that cause (!). And then his art dealings over the subsequent decades are presented in an altogether favorable light. And Moses? He stood for the masses, as far as Gross's book shows. Oh lordy.

Plus the writing is kinda boring. Nevertheless, I'm not giving up yet. I have instead devised a strategy for moving forward with reading this book. I read a chapter or two, then I take a break and read a novel or, since it looks like I'm not going to make it to the beach after all this week, a light beach read. I've read one more novel since the Lessing, and I'm now on to a celebrity bio -- that's right, my one summer trash book, allowable since I'm under the weather, but it would be too embarrassing to report the title, so I'm keeping it my secret.

Battlestar Galactica fans know the other meaning of The Final Five. Having made our way through every episode up to the final season, Teresa and I have been waiting for the last four DVDs to become available, chomping at the bit to find out who the fifth is. The wait is over. The discs should arrive by the end of the week. She returns from Texas Saturday night. We just might spend Sunday, the final hours of our reprieve from work and obligation, on the couch with Adama, Starbuck, Roslin and crew, on the final leg of a ride we have immensely enjoyed.