Monday, March 21, 2011

The Purchasing of Watches, and Other Assorted Bits of Fluff

First of all, thank you so much, everyone, for your kind words on last week's post. This job truly is a dream come true, and I'm so glad my journey resounded with all of you. I still can't believe it's real! I might believe it once I start my training this week, but who knows? The mind is a varied and fickle beast. For all I know, it was just a really awesome dream. One I still haven't woken up from.

At said new job, cell phones in public are strictly forboden (is that really a word? Does anyone know?) That's a little sad because I just got the World's Most Awesome Cell Phone last week (it was a REALLY awesome week for me), but it's a completely understandable (and agreeable) policy. However, even educator/ animal caretakers need to know what time it is, so I have done something I haven't done for a very, very long time: I bought a watch.

Not just any watch, though-- a Timex Expedition. (How bad-ass is that name? Aside from sounding like an SUV, which it kind of looks like, I just like it. Very fitting of the whole zoo-keeper theme). I'd show you a picture, but my patience has run out after ten minutes of google searching. There are apparently about two-hundred-thousand different models of this watch line.

Anyway-- moving on. The watch is pretty, and it took several minutes of careful deliberation for me to select among its varied and numerous brethren. It was down to a choice between two. One had a simple rotating dial alarm, and the other had a much more complicated one. An alarm would come in handy (having a reminder to finish up your work before the gates open is sometimes mandatory), and since cell phones are not allowed, I thought a watch with that feature would be nice. However, not having worn a watch in YEARS, I decided the simpler one would be better and bought it.

After I got it home, I spent another ten minutes rotating the little wand dealy to get it set to the right time, day, and date. Then I tried to use the rotating alarm (okay, okay, "chronograph"), and ... it wouldn't turn. To be fair, I only tested the complicated one in the store. The other one looked like it worked, so why shouldn't it?

The chronograph is a FAKE. Ugh. I feel so cheated. All that deliberation, and now I have to panic about whether or not the other, more complicated watch will still be there by the time I can get over to the store and exchange it.

So that is my overdramatic and tiringly boring watch sage. You're welcome!

Okay, no, but really, I have a point. Ever go into a bookstore and pick up a particular book because it has a kick-ass cover and great blurbs and awesome back copy? Yeah, me too. Ever get that book home and read it and be.... disappointed? Feel cheated?

Yeah. Me too. Recently, there was a book that I was VERY excited about. I asked for, and received it, for Christmas. And I read it right away. It was a long, somewhat slow book. But I held out. Because surely with all the tension building, the ending would be AWESOME, right?

Wrong. I was shattered. Well, as shattered as I'm likely to get over a book. But still. I couldn't go to sleep for hours after that because I was so mad at the author. They went through all this buildup, and then didn't even bother to finish it. The story ended about where it felt like it should have begun, which, if it was the first in a series, I really would have had no problem with. But this was a standalone, and therefore very, very disappointing.

Unlike the watch, I can't take it back for something better. And I don't really have any advice for aspiring writers to avoid this, or pleas for the author in question, because, hey, you have to write the story you're writing, and what's done is done. But when I think about it now, even three months later, it still makes me mad. And chances are that I unfortunately won't be picking up anything else by that author in the future, which makes me sad, but it's not worth my time investment to read their work, you know?

What disappoints you in a book?


Unknown said...

No timeless world for an animal keeper/educator? lol

A disapointing book is always more . . . well disapointing than a straight out bad one. I can see the potential in there but it just didn't reach it and I want to scream and throw things at the walls. Or at least stare at said walls until I imagine my own and obviously better ending. I think the main thing that frustrates me is when the character(s) doesn't seem to have gotten anywhere from where they started. I want to see some shift in their psyche more than their material situation that makes me say "ah, that's why this story was worth telling". Not that it has to be any great moral or anything. Just a subtle shift in the way they see the world.

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

First of all, hooray again for job training this week! I love your random tweets about having a cheetah walk by and petting an alligator. Awesome.

I know exactly what you mean about being so excited to read a book and then be disappointed. I started reading "Wicked" because everyone said how great the play is, and I figured the book would be awesome too. Wrong. I hated the book. I couldn't get past the first couple of chapters it was so bad. Maybe it just wasn't my kind of book, but still I wasted my hard-earned money on it and I definitely felt cheated. And another book recently had a fun cover and the synopsis sounded promising. Then I started reading and it was so boring! And super predictable and cliche. Ugh. It seemed like the author was just lazy because it was part of a long book series; she probably has a long contract and doesn't have to work so hard to make a good story. Maybe the first book in the series was better, but now I don't care enough to find out.

Gary Corby said...

So since I'm a nerd, to answer your very first question...the German word for forbidden is verboten. Which is obviously where the English comes from. Forboten and other variants emulate the original German sound.

It's surprising the degree to which English remains a Germanic language, especially in its grammar!

Please tell me you hug the capybaras every day. My girls keep their soft toy capybaras by their beds.

dolorah said...

I really hate it when a book gets a lot of hype in a genre and it turns out not to be.

I don't think I'd be comfortable with a watch anymore. I've used my cell phone so long I'd probably forget its attached to me.


K. Marie Criddle said...

I guess something that disappoints me is when I really don't like a book (doesn't often happen, but it does) and then for weeks, months, years afterward, people rave about it like it's as awesome as string cheese. I'll keep going back to the book and wondering, "What didn't I see that everyone else did?"
Well, I guess that's not so much a disappointment in the book, but a disappointment in myself for not being able to understand and share in the hype. Or just having different tastes than the general public. I'm not sure.
Either way, another day, another book, another chance to feel the hype, I guess. :)