Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wherein I Rant About Life and Perhaps Even Talk About a Book

It's been a long week. I'm wishing I could get a new job again, but I don't know where or if that's even a possibility given the economy of late. I just finished subbing in full time for a girl who just had a baby in a different part of my department. Nobody really thought she would come back to work - I don't think she even thought she would come back, but come back she did, so now I'm really out of a job that I legitimately liked and sent back to a job that, for the most part, is just something to get through to get my paycheck. Not only that, but after I'd done my best work, better than most even, my boss saw fit to remind me that I'm only "part time" (except for when, on a whim, he feels like he needs me to be full time) and take 20 hours per pay period out of my schedule. It was pretty much like being demoted when you've been doing better than good work, better work than many full-timers around you who don't seem to appreciate their good fortune in having a full-time job. It doesn't really give one much of an incentive to be a very good employee. Is it a total oxymoron to say that someday I'll find a job where my boss actually appreciates what I do? Or is that one of my naive, youthful beliefs that I'd do better to be disabused of as soon as possible? Either way, it's been pretty much a bummer of a week, and I haven't felt like doing much of anything (which may also explain why I punked out on that Weekly Geeks first line list - thanks to those of you who helped me - but I just kind of got bored and wandered off to look at shiny things). Well, the good news (if you choose to take it as such...) is that you may well be seeing more of me around here which could lead to more blog posts, more book reviews, more comments, and more responding to comments (which I have been sadly lacking in lately). The bad news is, well, I'll probably be resenting the extra time instead of embracing it for awhile because of my natural propensity to spend undue amounts of time obsessing over stupid crap that I'm pretty much powerless to change.

Luckily, I went out for dinner and a movie with some friends last night and it kind of shook me loose from my funk. So now, I'm semi-enjoying a stormy, crummy day by vegging out in front of the computer and with some books. I was out of town visiting with my old college roommates last weekend, so yet again, I missed the Read-a-thon. One of these times I'm really going to be able to get it into my schedule....I hope. But, I'll at least get back some of that reading time today because it seems the perfect day to engage in the doing of nothing productive whatsoever.

I've also been diligently attempting to switch from Bloglines to Google Reader. Yes, I'm finally taking the plunge. I finally got just fed up enough with Bloglines' perpetual malfunctioning when I realized I was missing posts from some of my favorite bloggers because it up and decided to just stop collecting them for no apparent reason and with no indication of its failure to do so until I thought, "hey, I haven't heard from so-and-so lately" who had actually, it turns out, been posting with some regularity. As with everything I do, I had to make it into a project and make sure I only brought along the blogs that I really think that I'm going to read on a regular basis, as opposed to bringing along all the blogs that I let their posts pile up and then mark them all as read without ever taking the time to look at them. Alas, only a few have failed to make the cut so I'm sure Google Reader is going to fill up with unread posts just as quickly as Bloglines did.

Sooo, now that you've been apprised of all the mild misfortune of my daily life, maybe I'd better actually talk about a book (because I do that sometimes...really). Being down and unmotivated all week, actually made it a great week for me to do something I don't usually do - read a novel that is absolute, total brain candy.

Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn by Sarah Miller (not to be confused with the uh...other Sarah Miller) is the story of Gideon's first year at prestigious and pretentious Connecticut prep school Midvale Academy as told by a female student there who has somehow managed to enter into Gideon's thoughts. The identity of the narrator is kept under wraps until the very end providing just the tiniest bit of suspense as we follow Gideon through his first year. It just so happens that in his first year at Midvale, the hapless Gideon ends up rooming with two big men on campus, good-looking, womanizing, pot-smoking Cullen McKay and quirky, vegetarian, also good-looking Nicholas Westerbeck. The two, upon finding that Gideon's virginity, despite one near miss, is very much intact make a bet as to whether Gideon will be able to get Molly McGarry, a girl within his "range," to go to bed with him by Halloween. Unfortunately, Gideon is distracted from his pursuit of Molly by the stunningly beautiful and far outside his reach Pilar Benitez-Jones who seems to be more into him than he could have ever expected. Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn is a fun romp as the more or less innocent Gideon gets sucked into Midvale's bizarre prep school culture where he learns its ins and outs and what makes its shallow students tick all while trying to bed preternaturally beautiful girls in part to win the friendship and respect of his slightly twisted roommates. It's not going to broaden your mind or increase your understanding, unless you happen to be wondering what sort of environment spawned those twisted bunch of frat boys at your private college which served as a haven for those who went to New England private school but couldn't hack the Ivy League. You know, the ones who would don their khakis and pastel shirts and golf across campus while in varying states of intoxication. Oh, what? That's just me? Anyhow, the book was fun. Read it for its escapism factor.

That's all I've got for today, but stay tuned for more on my stay in the book blogger leper compound where all the book bloggers who fail to be impressed by the books that the rest of book bloggers loved must lurk, wondering what it is they missed about that book that made everyone else love it so much.


  1. The job situation certainly sucks. I don't understand how people think sometimes. Why limit a good employee? I know, I know - budget but really.

    The book sounds interesting but I'm afraid I might find the characters too irritating. If I can find it, I might still give it a look.

    The book blogger leper colony, huh? I think I've been there a few times... Overall, I don't mind the trip.

    It'll be good to have you around a bit more, btw.


  2. CJ - They say that they don't have the money, but they always seem to have the budget for all sorts of other wacky and ultimately unnecessary expenditures. But what do I know? I just work there. ;-) As for the book, the characters aren't all so irritating. I actually had a decent amount of love for Gideon and Molly despite their indiscretions. But yeah, some of the other ones you'd definitely want to poke with a stick. And I'm sure I'll be glad to be around a bit more - once I get used to it again. =)

  3. I'm sorry the job situation turned out the way it has. Hopefully something better will come along soon. In the meantime, I have no doubt it's quite frustrating!

    How are you finding Google Reader? I've been using it for awhile now and sometimes I do miss Bloglines. I switched over, in part, because of the problems that kept coming up, but there are features with Bloglines that I enjoyed that Google Reader just doesn't have.

    I hope this week is a better one for you!

  4. I understand your frustrations with your job situation. But although it sounds cynical, good work does not often equal appreciation or respect. A very rare boss may be able to encourage good employees but most are better at demotivation.

    Anyhow. I do love your blogging, and can't wait to hear about your stay in the book blogger leper colony. ;) I think I've seen the shores of that place a few times.

  5. That job stuff stinks - I'm sorry you have to go through it. And as for the leper colony, well, I think I might be a charter member (no, I did not like The Time Traveler's Wife, thank you very much!) so welcome to the group!

  6. I just wanted to pop in to say hi and that I find your rants interesting and thus have spotlighted you on my most recent Weekly Geek post!

    Enjoy your stay at the book blogger leper colony! :)

  7. LF - the jury's still out on Google Reader. So far I haven't had a reason to not like it, except for maybe it's a little slower when working on my dad's archaic computer. ;-)

    Melanie - I definitely see your point about bosses and not just with my current one, although he is just about the perfect example. Glad I'm not the only who has taken a trip to the bb leper colony!

    Elizabeth - I thought The Time Traveller's Wife was good but definitely not as good as everyone else seemed to think it was. This leper colony is hardly the lonely place I thought it was!

    Suey - thanks for stopping by and for the link love. Glad you enjoy my rants - I sure enjoy writing them! They always makes me feel better. Ranting - it's good for the soul! =D

  8. I don't really know you as I have just recently found your blog and even though I am in Denmark, I can totally relate you what you describe about your job! I was recently in the same funk, actually I felt bad for most of the first half of 2008, but I have just decided to go back to university and finish an MA. Of course, one needs money, so I have gotten myself a part time job, and it is actually one that I like, while I finish my thesis. Like I said, I don't know you at all, so this is not meant as advice or anything, just felt like popping in and say a few words meant in a friendly way.