Truth is stranger than fiction

I’m hitching my car to the  lovely Lilu’s TMI Thursday train for the first time after being a long time fan and lurker of all the other TMI posts.

This is Too Much Information because:

A) I don’t want to be Dooced so I haven’t been mentioning my job

and B) Working in Human Resources people share TMI’s with me all the time, whether it is in interviews (I was a business major bc my dad told me to, but I hated it) or with their health benefits (I’m getting divorced because my wife cheated on me)

As much as I ADORE my genre fiction, and the made-up plot lines and dialogue from various authors’ imaginations still seem fresh and entertaining to me, there is NOTHING that can compete with real life. As a recruiter for a large financial services company I review hundreds of resumes a week, and during “busy” times I might conduct 5-15 interviews a week. Without further ado here are a few gems I came across this past month…These are all 100% TRUE.

Cover Letters:

Career Goals: 1. Be able to eat dinner with my wife and children every night

Dear Recruiter, You’re gonna love me.

I went over to my girlfriends of 2+ year’s house to discover her in an intimate encounter with one of my best friends. An altercation occurred upon my discovery resulting in a felony charge.

Judging by the enthusiasm with which you’ve announced this position, I can only conclude that you seek an equally enthusiastic applicant, and I am certainly that! I match your first qualification as I’ve been answering phones since I was quite young (probably five or six years of age), so I have nineteen or twenty years experience!

Resumes:

Job Title: Lactation Specialist, Responsibilities: Assisted with breast feeding process

Hobbies: cycling, running in minimalist footwear, skiing, chess

Designed, conducted, and analyzed an experiment to test squirrel foraging behaviors on University of Maryland’s campus.

Pleeeease take 15 seconds to make up a new email address for your resume:

69bestmommie@xxxmail.com

pfunkmastaflex@xxxmail.com

Interviews:

She asked what she should wear to the interview, I said business professional, like a formal outfit. She showed up the next day in a cocktail dress. [Not THAT kind of formal!!!]

Me: Tell me about your decision making process to attend Lafayette College.

Him: I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question. [This is my VERY FIRST softball question of any interview. So I still had another 30 minutes I had to spend with him after that disaster]

He said he took school seriously and “didn’t smoke as much weed or get drunk as often as his friends.” [This is a direct quote, he completely inferred he got drunk and high]

Me: Tell me about a time you received criticism.

Him: My boss really took the veil off the engine for me [I still have NO idea what he meant by this. He later quoted Confucius.]

He said his proudest accomplishment was that he was going to actually use his degree and have a real career, unlike his sister who just got married and had babies after college.

Phone conversation last week:

Me: We really enjoyed meeting with you last week and would like to offer you the position.

Her: Are you kidding?

Me: I beg your pardon?!

Her: I thought I totally screwed up the interview.

Upcoming release: Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

May 5th, May 5th, May 5th, May 5th…

I have been chanting that since I finished the 8th book in Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series this winter. Dead and Gone comes out next week, yayyyy!!! Can’t wait to read about the were community coming out into the open and Sookie’s cousin’s secret baby who is also a telepath!!!

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In preparation I am reading a few of my favorite Sookie books, especially Dead to the World where Sookie gets it on with Eric. No surprise there as I’ve mentioned this before, but he is my fave love interest of hers. AND this will all help me get ready for the Season Two premiere of True Blood, HBO’s version of Sookies world, it starts up again in June!

Marley and Me by John Grogan

marley-and-meI read Marley and Me over the Christmas holidays (glad I started keeping track of what I read otherwise I would never remember!) And YES I read it when the movie came out, how pop culture of me, I can’t claim to be avant garde in this instance. I had heard about the book for years but never picked it up, and seeing the movie trailer was the final impetus to actually read it. I NEVER see a movie without reading the book first. My personal rule.

I really liked the book, it read sort of like one of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, and I thought Grogan did a great job tying together all the little anecdotes and vignettes into a smooth story line. Including so much about his family’s struggles and developments made it more poignant and interesting to me, above and beyond a “funny dog book.” Although sometimes I got the same feeling I got when I read Nanny Diaries or The Devil Wears Prada: just quit already! Some of the stories about Marley was sooo horrible it seemed masochistic to keep him! But as a dog lover myself I know those puppy eyes trump everything. “B grade” overall for me, I would definitely read it again.

Why I am posting about this now when I read the book months ago? Well because we netflixed the movie this weekend and almost every scene was a MAJOR WTF moment for me, and I ranted and raved at the screen.

Hubby started televiserphonernetting (why did Comcast stop with those commercials, they were genius) and paid almost no attention to the movie or to me as he had no point of reference for my diatribe having not read the book or chosen to rent the movie…it was my turn to pick. I think he actually fell asleep cuddling his MacBook and Blackberry halfway through.

I was pissed off at how many times the movie deviated from what actually happened. Look, I know the movie is NEVER the same as the book, like the Harry Potter movies have changed SO MANY things from the plots in the books, but that’s exactly what they were for HP – PLOTS! As in FICTION!

But Marley and Me is NOT FICTION, so HOW CAN YOU CHANGE THE STORY IF IT IS TRUE? Ok deep breaths, step away from the caps lock key.

Everything from how they picked Marley out the litter, why he is a crazy dog, where Grogan worked, his wife’s pregnancies, to how Marley died were all different in the movie. This was absolutely retarded to me, and reinforces that Hollywood is full of idiots who can’t think of original story lines and just ruin it when they adapt other people’s ideas anyways.

At a party this weekend I mentioned I had seen the movie to someone and they asked how I liked it, they got a face-full of the rant above. Their response? “Wait, Marley and Me is a true story?” **insert WTF face again**

What is this world coming to??? I mean I know I read A LOT and that I pay more attention to new book releases and reviews that the average person, but am I a total book snob to think this person is a crazy troglodyte not to have known it is a true story?!?!?

Again, this is exactly why I started this blog earlier this year. Plus now hubby is much happier that he doesn’t have to hear quite as much about my reading adventures as I now have the interwebs as an audience.

The DTR Talk

I had dinner this week with my old roommate at the popular Northern Virginia watering hole Cafe Asia in Rosslyn. She shared that she is seeing someone new and they just had the conversation about whether they were boyfriend/girlfriend.

I said, “Oh you had the DTR talk!” Blank look…I thought everyone used that phrase for “Defining the Relationship talk.” Even my college newspaper wrote columns about it! This is a pinnacle moment in all romantic relationships, when you’ve been hanging out with a guy for a while all my friends would always ask, “So have you had the DTR talk with him yet???”

I got to thinking about the DTRs in my romance novels (I feel like I sound like Carrie Bradshaw here) and realized they RARELY have them, well at least not in the traditional sense.

I think of DTRs as in: you chat with a guy on IM every day, study in the library together, go to his fraternity date function, hook up, then have the DTR where he says he’s really focusing on school and then doesn’t IM you anymore.

Not that that ever happened to me.

Or in current times, you meet a guy at a bar, go out to dinner, text regularly, go out to dinner more, then are going to meet his friends and have the DTR where you agree he will introduce you as his girlfriend and that neither of you will see anyone else.

Or the reeeally old DTR in high school where he calls you at home and your little sister keeps getting on the phone but you know this is THE NIGHT where he is going to ask you to “go out with him” because your friend heard from his friend’s sister that he was going to ask you out aka to be his girlfriend. Squeee!

I think romance novels skip this phase. It seems to me the Hero and Heroine relationship are either:

  • Engaging in witty banter with sexual tension, but have no relationship
  • Are lovers with no commitments or long term plans
  • Are in a forced marriage due to plot devices too numerous to mention (hellloooo historical romance)
  • Go from lovers to confessions of undying love followed by immediate marriage and babies and happily ever after
  • Go from forced-cold-marriage-in-name-only to confessions of undying love, apologies/groveling for misunderstandings, (sometimes even a renewal of vows bc this time they are luuurrve) then have babies and live happily ever after etc. etc.

There are many courtship rituals that romance novels explore, across all times of history, and some futuristic ones too depending on the sub genre! But rarely will a romance novel have the characters be boyfriend/girlfriend.

My poor tired little brain (yay it’s Friday!) thinks this might because it’s NOT AS INTERESTING and I squeal/cry/smile when I read romance novels because of the drama, because of the unique romantic situations and resolutions.

Whereas plent of chick lit novels have the DTR and the characters actually “date” (Shopaholic, Bridget Jones, etc) and also YA novels, I just don’t think I see it that much in the traditional romance novel.

Am I really that burnt out that I am missing examples of this? I can tell you that I am happy I had MY last DTR when hubby proposed. I wouldn’t want to go through defining relationship talks EVER again.

The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

timetravelerswife2This past weekend I finished The Time Traveler’s Wife in two days. The saga definitely needs a quiet few days to get through the almost 600 pages. I know I connected with the characters and their romance because I SOBBED through the last 30 pages, so much so that after I finished the last page I sought solace in hubby’s arms as I continued to bawl thinking about it.

Which is weird because I thought I didn’t even LIKE the main characters Clare and Henry. After my tears dried I reflected…and stalled on writing this blog post…and ultimately decided I DID NOT like Clare and Henry, and would not read this book again. The ending may have evoked a strong emotional response from me, but analytically there were more “cons” than “pros” in the story for me.

Number 1 worst possible thing that turned me off by page 57 (its so near the beginning of the book that this is NOT a spoiler I promise):

Henry time travels against his will, like epilepsy, with no control as to where or when he goes. Most of the time he travels to the past and will occasionally run into his past self. When he was a teenagerand time traveled only a few months and hung out with his teenaged self they hooked up.

You read that right, he had sex with himself. SICK! Niffenegger wrote it like it was natural, like they had nothing else to do, were horny teenagers and didn’t have a girlfriend. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read that scene, so obvi I had to read it out loud for hubby to make sure I wasn’t misunderstanding. Hubby’s response? “That’s why you shouldn’t read romance novels.” And I was all, “Dude this isn’t even a romance novel! This would NEVER happen in one of my happily ever after books!”

So from then on I was sooo squicked out by Henry. Which continued when he time traveled and met his wife  Clare when she was 6 years old. He time traveled back to Clare’s house numerous time throughout her childhood and while it started out platonic eventually when she was a teenager and he was a 40 year old time traveling man it became romantic. Even though he knew he was married to her in the future it still felt skeevy to me.

Another “con” for me. Lots of people know Henry time travels, well like 10, but that seems like a lot! His dad, his neighbor, a few close friends, his doctor and his work colleagues! And NO ONE said anything to the media. He was NEVER OUTED. No special attention. That was so unrealistic to me. Even when people didn’t believe him, or when he was picked up multiple times by the cops, he never got in trouble.

Last complaint: Henry and Clare were too hipster cool for me, quoting literature, going to indie/punk concerts, being all proletariat-artsy-fartsy, it seemed fake…and if it wasn’t fake then they were tools.

Ok for the good stuff: This is the 4th time travel books I read in 2 weeks and the way and reason Henry time travels is awesome, the best out of all 4. So creative, unique and just…cool. Well sort of a curse for him, but so well done. He has a “rare genetic disorder, Chronic Displacement” and the scenes describing how he time travels, what it feels like, what he can and can’t do, and ultimately how doctors/scientists diagnose it were my favorite ones.

How very sci-fi of me, which is surprising. 

I loved how Clare and Henry’s relationship and marriage developed once they met in the “present” time and they were both in their twenties. That’s when I connected the most with their romance, their struggles, and how they created their home and family. Their love seemed tangible to me, and especially with Henry’s special circumstances, it seemed even more powerful, like true soul mates and all that.

So is this a good book? Yes. Did I love it? No, C+ for me. Should you read it? Your call, there are millions of squeeing reviews bowing in adoration out there, so go for it.

For anyone who has read it I have a question slash opinion that is a massive spoiler, check it out after the jump… Continue reading

Mailbox Monday (April 20)

Thank you to Marcia at The Printed Page for hosting Mailbox Monday! What new books arrived in your mailbox this week?

This is my first time joining in with this meme as most of my books come from the library, but when I received TWO SHIPMENTS of reading treasures in one day last week I knew I needed to join in!!!

Pulling these out of the boxes and making them into a pile made me soo happee:

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 The first three come from the Better than Chocolate Book Co. When hubby brought in the mail with the two boxes he gave me the evil eye as we are trying the be thrifty and he knows me buying books is a steep, slippery slope. BUT I got THREE books from Better than Chocolate for TWELVE (12) dollars. I was very mature and stuck my tongue out at him, bragging that my books cost as much as his lunch from Cosi.

They are a great, online, used book store that I would highly recommend. I bought:

  • Born in Ice, by Nora Roberts: I am going through a rereading phase and this was one of the first romance novels that I ever read. And sobbed along with. Why did I EVER donate it back in the day?
  • Night Magic,by Karen Robards: Same thing, I borrowed it from the library wayyy back in high school and remembered really liking it. Plus I was craving a spy, action, romance, story that still has the all important happily-ever-after.
  • Son of Morning, by Linda Howard: OK this one is entirely new to me. I’ve posted about this before but I keep fantasizing about time travel, but my own imagination is a little lonely and short-sighted on this one. When I asked for recommendations this was THE MOST recommended time travel romance. I will definitely be reading it this week!

These books came from Amazon. The first two were recommended to me by other bloggers, but if I got one more book my shipping would be free, so I threw in the third that was recommended by Amazon. I’m a little iffy on that one:

  • The Mirror, Marlys Millhiser: This one sounded a bit moire “fantastical” than my typical preference but the reviews were soooo good. Here is the blurb: A 20-year-old Boulder girl stares into her grandmother’s Chinese mirror on her wedding day in 1978, faints and comes to in her grandmother’s body–in 1900–about to be married to a miner. As she moves through life, even giving birth to her own mother, she becomes known as a fairly decent seer. Had she paid more attention in school, she would have been a great one.
  • Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake, by Laurie Brown: My favorite romance novel plot line is rakes of the Ton reformed by clever heroines, so add that plus time travel? Sign me up!
  • Into Thin Air, by Cindy Miles: So this was the “free shipping” book. My expectations are that it is true fluff. But I always need that to read on the metro. Here is the blurb: After centuries of protecting lost souls, modern-day earthbound angel Gawan of Conwyk is a month shy of retirement (into blessed mortality) when a new case drops in his lap—or, more specifically, onto the road to his ancient, spirit-inhabited castle. When he finds Ellie stumbling in the rain, she doesn’t know who she is or how she got to the north of England; as it turns out, she’s more dead than alive, a corporeal projection fluttering about betwint the living and the unliving. To help her, Gawan’s got to track down her real body and solve the mystery of her near death, but he knows that once he saves her life, she’ll forget him—a matter complicated by Gawan’s discovery that she’s his one-and-only soul mate.

Friday Finds (April 17)

ff2_md1What great books did you hear about or discover this week? Share with us at Friday Finds! Hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading!

I had a pretty good week of discoveries, and have already ordered quite a few from my previous Friday finds, hopefully they are winging their way (or trundling over pavement) toward me as I type! Check ’em out…ok wordpress is giving me a hard time so the formatting/spacing may be off, sorry :(

palace-circlePalace Circle, by Rebecca Dean – This comes from our Friday Finds host, Miz B herself! I saw it on her finds last week. It sounds like a little bit of a saga story, I think over multiple generations? Which I don’t always like to invest in. But I love historical fiction and haven’t read anything set around WWII in a while, shame on me.

37641052Thanks for Coming, by Mara Altman – I heard about and entered to win a copy of this at That’s What Je Said. A non-fiction book with the tag line: One Woman’s Quest for an Orgasm? Sign me up!

secret-society-girl-lg1Secret Society Girl, by Diana Peterfreund – Fellow DC blogger Zipcode recommended this author to me personally this week, AND I saw a great review on one of my romance book blogs The Book Smuggles this week. I am not one to avoid such serendipity. Can’t wait to read about the Rose & Grave secret society!

Now I am running out the door with my surprisingly ginormous copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife as hubby and I head on vacation to celebrate our 6 month anniversary! We’re off to the Eastern Shore in Maryland at a cute little B&B, so I hope to get lots of reading in. Nothing could beat our honeymoon though:

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