Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I lack in ambition I make up for in ability

My performance review was at work yesterday. It was very interesting. We spent only a few minutes talking about the actual goals of the evaluation and most of the time doing good ol' fashioned mentoring. We talked about career planning, finding what you want to do, doing it sooner than later, etc.

I was (kindly) scolded for not living up to my potential, not using all my talents. I go in and do my job well, but that's really all I do. I have no interest in becoming a leader, being groomed to be promoted or one day be a manager. I have zero ambition at this job. I know it, and it's pretty clear that my boss knows it.

She suggested considering what I love to do. What am I passionate about, and how can I turn that into a job? I love books. Really, really, love them. Reading them, talking about them, pretending that I'm capable of writing them....everything. And I interviewed today for a job doing admin stuff at a used bookstore--where you can use your free time at work to do other stuff in the store.And get a discount. On books! AND the store is right by my house! But there's one not-so-tiny problem: it would be a 30% pay cut, and we just can't afford that. sadface. sad panda. sad panda face.

So, goodbye to that specific version of the dream. And is there anything else I'm passionate about? I like to bake, but I don't think I love it enough to get up at 4 in the morning to bake for my own bakery. I like babies, but I'm not very good at producing them. Anyway, that doesn't really pay well.

Really, the thing I love best is books. I spent like, 20 minutes yesterday talking about the Hunger Games, and then another few minutes talking about it during my review. I want a job with books! And since I don't seem to have the ideas/self-discipline to become a moderately successful young-adult fiction novelist, I guess I'll just have to find a job that pays decent, isn't too soul-sucking, and leaves plenty of time for recreational reading.

Also, I need to get a (nother) library card. I'm so glad you can get Kindle books from the library...between that and Safeway grocery delivery, I never need leave the house again.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

May the odds be ever in your favor

Who is excited for the Hunger Games movie coming out next month?! I mean, who else is excited? Obviously I am. Sure, the anticipation is so great that we're almost certain to be disappointed, but still. Can't wait. I just bought the books for my Kindle so I can read them one last time before the actors become the characters in my mind. Am I the only one that happens to? I never really imagine specific faces (or see them in dreams, actually...I wonder what that means?) so seeing the movie always cements the actors as what I  "see." Which is maybe too bad, since I think Jennifer Lawrence looks a little to...sturdy to play a character that's just a bad day away from starving.

And of course I'll be terribly disappointed with the changes they make, because the book will be fresh in my mind. This is the price you pay with the final re-read. And yes, the book is always better. Almost always...I've heard that the Princess Bride is better as a movie? I wouldn't know firsthand, and I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but there are always exceptions. Still, I find it hard to believe that I'll like the movie better than the book.

I was reading a blog the other day that asked why We like the book, inasmuch as it's just an awkward love triangle and a whole lot of brutal violence. I didn't respond, but it got me to thinking. Why do we like the book?

Well, for that matter, why do we like any dystopian literature? I joke that if you've read two, you've read them all. I would say there are very few dystopian novels that don't fall under "government control." A lot of them also feature issues of reproductive rights, but really, that's still just a form of government control. Do we read it as a warning of what life could be like? Or to feel better that at least things aren't that bad? It's not like they're ever particularly cheerful.

The thing that I've been thinking about, though, is the indictment of popular entertainment. It's shocking and terrible that people of the Capitol would force children to fight to the death for their entertainment, but we're not much better. They've brought back Fear Factor, have you heard? I can't watch that show, particularly the food parts. This is our idea of entertainment? Or America's Funniest Home Videos, which I have no need for now that I can find funny cat videos on the internet, since I don't find footballs to the groin particularly amusing. But the violence in a novel doesn't bother me. For one thing, it's only as bad as I imagine it (as a storyteller once said, they haven't figured out how to put ratings on books yet!), and for another, I find more meaning in it. Maybe it's just the English major in me?

So who else has read the Hunger Games? Like or dislike?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Overheard in the elevator

Two older me were in mid-conversation when the doors opened, apparently talking about a mutual acquaintance.

"She looks like she's gained weight," said the first. "But you can't ask a woman that."

"You just have to ask the right question," said the second. "'Pam, you look great! Have you lost weight?'" He switched to a falsetto. "Are you kidding, I've gained ten pounds!" They both laughed.

I laughed all the way to the car. That man knows women.