The Importance of Being Kennedy

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm sure you'll all be relieved to know that the DVD remote has been located - and so now you won't have to hear about it anymore. I've called off the candlelight vigil and informed the TV crew that they can go home now. The remote wasn't the only thing I found while cleaning, I also found the paper that has the chapter and page count that I didn't post last week, books I didn't even know I had, and the remnants of a lost civilization which scientists are now calling Angiepeii.

Last weeks chapter and page count:

For the week:


PAGES - 2,069

For the year:

CHAPTERS - 4,628

PAGES - 58,305

And this week's count for the year:

CHAPTERS - 4,747

PAGES - 60,232

Today's book, "British author Graham takes on America’s royal family, as seen through the eyes of Nora Brennan, an Irish immigrant who becomes the Kennedy's’ nanny in 1917. Joe is a toddler and Jack is on the way when Nora arrives. By means of her chatty and insightful memoirs, Graham portrays this proud and prolific family until Kathleen Kennedy’s funeral in England in 1948. The reader is privy to the birth of each child, Mr. K’s philandering, Rose Kennedy’s frequent absences, and the lavish gifts she receives for ignoring his dalliances, including cars with drivers and Greenbrier vacations. Graham blends accurate historical detail with Nora’s outspoken and gossipy vernacular in this highly entertaining read."

Shallow thoughts:

  • I spent most of the day thinking Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, how am I going to write about this book? Today's book was quite a challenge. Who would of thought that a family as dysfunctional as the Kennedy's would be hard to write about?

  • I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it, but only because I spent the whole book picturing the nanny as Hazel (the sassy, sarcastic maid from the show of the same title.) I love that show. Every time I watch it, I want to put on an apron, make a sarcastic remark to someone, and go clean something. But I'm lazy, so I generally restrict my Hazel-esque activities to making sarcastic remarks (which is obviously a huge stretch for me.) Picturing the nanny as Hazel hit a bit of a snag when I came to this line, "She had a face that would turn fresh milk." While I do enjoy that expression, and plan to use it the first chance I get, I just don't recall Hazel every saying anything quite like that. Hazel is sassy and sarcastic but, unlike me, she is never mean. And when the Hazel-image fell apart, the book started to get kind of boring. And then later in the book, when Nora stopped working for the Kennedy's, the book got really boring and I spent the rest of the day counting down the pages until it was over.

  • My overactive imagination managed to briefly rescue the book at one point - because whenever the 1940s are mentioned I start to hear Glen Miller music playing in my head and the book instantly becomes more glamorous. But then that started to fall apart as well because I started thinking about the movie The Glenn Miller Story - which has June Allyson in it, and so naturally I started thinking about those awful Depends ads she was in which led to me thinking about the tackiest SNL skit I've ever watched. I attempted to recapture that earlier moment by listening to some Glen Miller, which I just happen to have on my Ipod (because I'm a dork), but the moment was lost - my mind had slid so far down into the gutter that there was no coming back from it and I spent the rest of the day having really tacky thoughts. It happens.

  • Well, I guess I did have one brief moment of wholesomeness when I read this passage, ". . . our boy babies could be brought up Protestant and our girl babies can be Catholic, or something like that." And I started to think of that episode of Little House on the Prairie where Nellie and Percival have twins and decide to raise one Jewish and one as a Chrisitan (good episode, by the way), although it always annoyed me that they named one of those babies Jennifer. I remember watching that episode for the first time and thinking Jennifer? Really? What a totally appropriate prairie name. That name makes perfect sense for a show that's set in the 1880s - I bet there were tons ot Jennifers, Tiffanys and Ashleys out on the prairie. As you can see, I was a sarcastic child as well - or as my Mother used to put it, "She's a little difficult."