You have been warned. There are spoilers in this post. Like huge, plot-revealing spoilers. Okay, maybe not this one, per se, but certainly in one of the other posts I’m planning to write. There is a lot to discuss in JK Rowling’s The Cursed Child.
So shall we begin?
Really, click away if you haven’t read it. This is your last warning…
Okay, coast is clear.
First and foremost, I mostly liked The Cursed Child. It was a little rough, sort of in the same way that the Sorcerer’s Stone was a bit rough. Rowling grew as a writer during the series, and I have full faith that if she churned out six more plays, she would become a great playwright, too.
Infertility and childlessness reared their head just as often as parenthood, which was interesting to see — especially in terms of which characters were fertile and which were not. So shall we begin with Astoria?
The big rumour is that Astoria and Draco were unable to conceive, implying that it was male factor infertility. Astoria, wanting a child (as well as Draco and Lucius wanting a powerful heir), went back in time using a secret Time-Turner and procreated with Voldemort. So third party reproduction using donor sperm from the Dark Lord.
Interesting twist but…
Why go back in time for donor gametes? If all they want were “superior” genes (in the non-Mudblood, Death Eater sense), why not go for donor sperm from one of the Sacred 28 families? I mean, a Time-Turner seems like a lot of work when there are LeStranges around.
Next, are we really to believe that Voldemort would take time out of his killing schedule to procreate with Astoria at least once, but more likely several times? I know I’m seeing the world through an infertility lens, but even the most fertile people need more than one bonking to get and stay pregnant. When did he take a break to have sex with her? When he was hanging out at Malfoy Manor before the Battle of Hogwarts?
And lastly, I can’t believe that time travel wouldn’t affect an unborn fetus. I know very little about human cells and even less about the logistics of time travel, but I can’t see moving through time conducive to a healthy pregnancy. So, again, donor gametes from a nearby wizard seem superior to ones from the past.
And do we really believe Astoria would bypass a cautious route for a dangerous one when we’re talking about a hard-won pregnancy after infertility? I don’t know about you, but I was pretty reluctant to do anything that could possibly negatively affect the pregnancy (even to a superstitious degree), which I think is a pretty common way of behaving when something has taken so long to achieve. So… the lack of care seemed a little unbelievable.
Voldemort babies is a plot twist that will bubble up again, so let’s save anything involving the Augurey et al for another discussion.
I guess, for me, the most interesting part was trying to decipher the reaction of the other wizards to this rumour. Was the issue donor gametes or was the issue that the donor gametes came from Voldemort? Because the other students tease Scorpius about it — which would point to an issue with the donor gametes themselves — vs. live in fear of him — which would point to an issue with the Voldemort connection. The other students take it too lightly for the problem to be with the gamete donor.
Which makes me wonder: Why are the students at Hogwarts such dicks about family building?
So discuss: Astoria Malfoy, donor gametes, and the reaction of the other students.
August 16, 2016 3 Comments
Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.
By the time the next Microblog Monday rolls around, the Olympics will be over. Sniff. There are still the Paralympic Games to look forward to in September, but then they’ll be over and we’ll have to wait 2 years again.
Remember when we used to need to wait 4 years?
We’ve been mostly watching anything gymnastics or swimming. Though if they ever brought back pankration, I would be all over that. I am smitten over the idea of zero rules, and all the kicking, sticking, fighting and biting one can muster in the ring. Oh, wait, just re-read the two rules and they’re no biting or gouging out the opponent’s eyes. So, all the kicking sticking, and fighting one can muster in the ring.
What are your favourite (still-existing) Olympic events?
Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored posts.
August 15, 2016 21 Comments
We just went on vacation with Truman, by which I mean, in one fell swoop we became one of those “weirdest guests ever” stories that the hotel staff will tell for years to come. Would we have gone on holiday with our paralyzed guinea pig if there was another option? Of course not. But that’s the thing: No one wanted to give our guinea pig his 4 twice-daily medications or two nutritional supplements much less hold his hips in place and rock his weight from foot to foot as part of his physical therapy. So I begged Josh to call the hotel.
It had to be him. It couldn’t be me. First and foremost, half the time I’m not even capable of calling the local pizza place and ordering a large plain. Second of all, if I called them, I would start bawling, and the phone call would take several hours.
They were hesitant, but they said yes. So we packed up the pig, his hay and medications, the kids, their boogie boards, and a copy of The Cursed Child and headed for the beach.
Truman was a perfect hotel mate. He was quiet during sleeping hours (which is not always the case), and waited until he saw me sit up in bed before he started wheeking. He even waited one morning, staring into my eyes, without making a peep until I finished hitting the snooze button and rose. He liked watching the Olympics. He was very happy to get extra treats. And he turned up the charm when one of the hotel staff came in to meet him. (Her: “That is one large hamster!” Me: “That’s because he’s a guinea pig.”) They even let us have a later checkout since Truman couldn’t go on the actual beach and we wanted to go for a few hours in the morning.
All in all, a successful trip. And I could relax because I wasn’t worrying about him. We promised this would never happen again. Probably.
We finished The Cursed Child on the sand. We actually read most of the book on the beach. This embarrassed the Wolvog a bit because while he likes the voices I do when we’re alone in the house, he doesn’t enjoy my Umbridge or Moaning Myrtle in public. Josh reassured him that he couldn’t hear me from his chair a few feet away, therefore the rest of the beach was not going to be able to hear my high-pitched throat clearing for the professor.
But mostly the trip was nice because it was a chance to shut off my brain. It’s rare to really pull back and close off the noise of life for hours at a time. And I got to do that, with my guinea pig in tow.
August 14, 2016 13 Comments
The twins and I have started reading The Cursed Child. It took us a few days because we had other stuff on the to-do list that had to get done. But now we’re chugging through it.
We had a few read-aloud methods we considered beforehand since we wanted it to be a one-woman show. At first I thought I would place pieces of paper on the floor with each character’s name, and then stand on the correct piece of paper when I was speaking for that character.
But in the end, either due to laziness because moving from paper to paper started to sound less and less appealing or because it was going to take too long to shuffle through the papers and lay out each scene’s papers, I decided to read the character’s name aloud before saying their line. So name (said in a normal voice) + lines (said with feeling).
I bawled reading the opening scene. I know it’s just a repeat of what is already in the seventh book, but it’s a reunion. I’ve missed these characters so much.
But I’ve got some strong feelings about some of the passages. I’m going to write it up in a post and put a spoiler message at the top. Skip it next week if you haven’t yet read the book. Or bookmark it for the future. But… yeah… there is no way to talk about some of it without mentioning spoilers. Sorry.
Stop procrastinating. Go make your backups. Don’t have regrets.
Seriously. Stop what you’re doing for a moment. It will take you fifteen minutes, tops. But you will have peace of mind for days and days. It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.
As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.
And now the blogs…
But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week. In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:
- “Things I Can Do and Things That I Can’t” (Torthúil)
- “Be Fair to Yourself” (No Kidding in NZ)
- “Tribes” (The Empress and the Fool)
Okay, now my choices this week.
Mom PharmD looks at the bright side of nearing the end of family building attempts: no more vitamins. As she goes toward a final attempt to add a third child to their family, she also sets a loose end date to the process. It is, as she says, the only way to ensure that she doesn’t remain in infertility limbo. It’s a tiny post about being okay with the end, whatever that ending may be.
In Quest of a Binky Moongee has a post about another facet of infertility: the age gaps that exist between people. She writes about her 18-year-old niece, about the joy of being her aunt and watching her age. But in that aging is another fact: “She is only a couple of hours away for college but it seems almost impossible for her to get to know my future child(ren) like the way she knows her little cousins because of all the time they have spent together. My child(ren) will not know their oldest cousin the way I would want them to if they had been born a few years earlier and growing up in the same town together.” It is just food for thought; one more thing infertility takes.
Lastly, for anyone who has followed the enormous love I have for Truman, it’s no wonder that Searching for Our Silver Lining’s post about quantifying love hit home. She writes, “We encourage all types of love, make no mistake. But when one half of that relationship is suddenly gone, either through death or the relationship ending, grief is immediately quantified based on the type of love.” She admits that while we can rationally say that the type of love we have for various people or animals is different, that one type of love does not trump another. Love is love is love.
The roundup to the Roundup: How to read The Cursed Child aloud. Your weekly backup nudge. And lots of great posts to read. So what did you find this week? Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between August 5th and 12th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week? Read the original open thread post here.
August 12, 2016 8 Comments
I used to be a pick-up-a-book-and-read-it sort of person. I could read a description of the book on someone’s blog or in a magazine, glance at the first page, and generally get through the whole thing, happily. I rarely stopped reading a book in the middle, and because I only started books that piqued my interest in the first place, I almost always had a four-or-five star experience. I considered myself an excellent judge of a good-for-me book.
[I like to qualify that as good-for-me, because there are plenty of books that other people enjoy that I find unbearable. And plenty of books that I love that you may find a yawn-fest. The only person I can accurately recommend books to is myself.]
Recently, I started two books and abandoned them each after a chapter, completely disappointed with the story and characters and writing styles. These were books that were on the best-selling list on iBooks and Amazon, so clearly other people thought they were readable. They had received a lot of media attention.
They should have been good-for-me. But they weren’t.
So was it me? Or was it them? Maybe I’m in a reading slump. Have you ever had one of those nights where you’re hungry, but nothing sounds good when you’re trying to figure out what to eat? Maybe that’s where I am right now with fiction.
Josh came home with a few books and told me he was auditioning them for the beach trip. Were they beach-worthy? Because… you know… you’re on the sand, you’re stuck reading what you’ve brought with you to read. And while I had never had to audition books before, I decided this was probably a sound idea because I have been a crap judge of books this month.
I grabbed from my to-read list and then scoured the library, building an enormous stack of books. And now I’m going through them, one-by-one, auditioning them. Making sure they’re right for a role on my beach trip.
So far, six have made the short list. One will be given the lead role and two will be brought along as supporting cast. I’ll file the headshots of the last three books and hold them for the next reading production. It’s good to have books waiting in the wings.
Do you ever audition a stack of books? Which books made leading roles in your world this summer?
August 10, 2016 15 Comments