Today, I have a huge presentation.
I am not one that gets particularly squirmish about public speaking, but I typically go in a little more prepared than this. I had intentions of creating note cards with speaking points and perfectly polished Keynote presentation…
But I’m not sure where my weekend went. It was Friday night, and then it was Sunday night, and in between I lost a lot of hours. I got a little more sleep than I planned, spent a little more time with my husband than I planned… Finally read Hunger Games. Went shopping. Ran errands. Did some things that genuinely had to happen. But these things weren’t on my very detailed schedule for this weekend. They were on my schedule for when hell freezes over and I actually have time to do the things that keep people sane.
I woke up this morning feeling rested. I don’t remember when I last didn’t have to pry my eyes open after my fourth alarm, and then coax my body to stay awake with large amounts of caffeine.
But the trade off… I’m not even close to being ready for my week.
So last night, after dinner, when I realized I had about four hours of productivity left, and about 50 hours of things to fill that time, I focused on what was important.
Look, it’s a 30 minute presentation about the article I’m writing on tax policy. These spring cupcakes have a far better chance of winning me points with my classmates than anything I say during this presentation. I wouldn’t want to listen to me talk about tax policy for that long. And the happier they feel, the less they are likely to bombard me with criticism after. Making me look more convincing. A win-win.
Wish me luck!
I walked into Barnes and Noble this afternoon, and went right up to the counter. ”I need to return these,” I said, putting the second and third books in the Hunger Games series on the counter.
“Let me guess, you already have them?” The lady behind the counter asked, laughing to herself as she scanned the receipt.
“No. I just finished the first one and I didn’t like it.”
The look that followed was a mix of shock and horror, as if i was part alien, part evil villain. ”I’m sorry you… didn’t like it…” she said in this odd voice. She refused to make eye contact with me. The other person behind the count actually gawked, open mouthed and everything.
I understand that this may be an unpopular view, but I cannot possibly be the first person to finish that book and think “Really? This is what everyone’s so crazed about?”
It wasn’t horrible. But I was disappointed.
I like a heroin I can get behind. Someone I can feel for, if not relate to, and who I’m sad to see go when I get to the last page. Katniss totally missed the mark for me. I was incredibly ready to be done with her. I liked her for a little in the very beginning… I have a little sister, and I appreciated what she was willing to sacrifice for hers. But that was about it for us. I was waiting for her redeeming moment. I felt like I never got it.
And there were places in this book where I knew I should feel something more. One in particular (though I won’t ruin it for any hold outs who might still give in) left me feeling like I should have cried, but the writing never pulled me in enough to get me there. And I cry at sappy commercials. I’m really not a hard one to crack.
Apparently, this was one of those times when I should have followed my instincts. I was hoping I’d be pleasantly surprised… But sometimes my inclinations are right. This one just wasn’t for me.
I said I wouldn’t do it.
I haven’t read them. Months ago, when the first person said “You NEED to read these books” I said, “No. I don’t think so.” I picked it up, I read the little blurb. It didn’t catch me. And as the phenomenon grew, I stuck to my original answer. I was going to sit this craze out.
But, as always, here I am. Giving in.
I’m not sure why, but for some reason when non-readers tell me that I need to read something, I get this superior skepticism that grows and festers until I’m sure that whatever they’re raving about is not nearly as good as they think it is. I’m ridiculous like that. And I’m usually right. But every once in a while I’m not, because that’s how I felt that way when the first Harry Potter came out. It couldn’t POSSIBLY be that good.
Except it was. J.K. Rowling is a literary marvel. I took the day off work when each of the last two came out, just so I could read them before anyone could ruin the ending for me. I get abnormally annoyed that “The next Harry Potter” gets thrown around anytime a book series becomes well known enough to be referenced outside of a library or book club.
I liked my weekend chick-lit affair with werewolves and vampires as much as the next girl, but if you try to tell me Stephanie Meyer is a literary genius we are never going to be friends.
But I digress… Anyway, I just got back from the bookstore. I picked up all three right away, because lets be realistic, I’m going to read them all. Probably this weekend. It’s just how I am.
Because here’s the honest truth… I just need to know now. I can’t handle everyone talking about them, and me just not knowing. If it was a movie I’d see it. If it was an album, I’d listen. I can’t let my book-snobbery keep me from giving it a fair chance, right? It’s not as if I’m not a pop-culture junkie in the rest of my life… You’ll find People.com and TMZ in my computer history more than you’ll find any real news. (The real news is there too… I have some idea of what’s really going on in the world. Promise.)
Here goes nothing. I’ll report back.