I’m sitting in a panel job interview, round two of three, so I’m about 1.5 hours into a nearly 3-hour session with a total of six interviewers. The two phone interviews prior to this one seemed to go well. The first two panel interviewers seemed impressed and genuinely excited by my responses to their questions and the walkthrough they had me perform, but these guys aren’t easy to read. I’m working to monitor my stress response–interviews always make me nervous–while I devote as much of my energy and focus as possible to answering their questions. I CAN do this! I KNOW I can do this!
I receive a question that requires some thought before I’m able to form a response. As I pause to collect my thoughts, I glance out the window between the interviewers and realize that in the skyscraper immediately adjacent to this one, on a floor just about even with the one we’re on, there’s a naked man. At first I see him with his back to the window, standing in front of what looks like a dresser or bar. My brain registers what I’ve seen and I look back to the interviewer to answer the question but then it clicks that what I just saw was A NAKED MAN. My gaze quickly snaps back to the open window to confirm. Yep, there’s a man. Yep, he’s naked. And this time he’s slowly strutting through the room, almost as if to say, “Here I am! Didn’t believe it the first time, huh? Well, get a good look now!”
It’s sometime in the darkest part of the early morning, and I’m in a vehicle with a stranger driving through the forest in a part of France that I don’t know. We don’t speak the same language. I’ve got a steak knife hidden in my hand in case he tries to pull anything funny, I’m exhausted, and I’m feeling just a little bit crazy.
I’ve heard this complaint from several of my girlfriends, so perhaps it’s a common issue among married couples our age. Regardless, it still drives me nuts that my husband insists on keeping and wearing his holey underwear well past the point where they’re functional and to the point where they’re really only suggestive of underwear. (Remnants of underwear? Fragments of underwear? The ghosts of underwear past?)
I suppose if I were one of those wives I could just creep in under the cover of darkness to throw out the holey underwear, but I just can’t bring myself to that type of behavior. He respects my space, my style or lack thereof, and my privacy, and I aim to do the same for him. I married him for who he is and vice versa (haha, sucker!), and we try not to change one another for our own benefit. Still, The Holeys resurface in our conversations from time to time, because, well, I just can’t. *eye twitch*
First off, I have to state for the record that instead of reading this book I listened to the audio version narrated by Wil Wheaton. And if you’re going to listen to this book, I’m convinced there’s really no other way to listen to it than to hear Wil Wheaton walk you through its pages, audibly seeming to geek out over the same things the story’s main character does. It’s like doubling down on the geekiness!
And speaking of doubling down on geekiness… On its own this book does just that, over, and over, and over again. It’s as though someone took a dictionary of all things gaming, sci-fi, and 80s pop culture oriented and dropped a storyline on top, with references crammed in in small seemingly random lists here, and there, and over there, and over there too.
I don’t give out 5-star ratings on this site, and I just did.
I could not put this book down. The story easily sucked me in, and as soon as it ended I wanted more. Throughout Mark Watney’s ordeal I imagined myself there, I felt the feelings I imagine he would have felt, and I grew anxious time after time as things went wrong for him. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, then I laughed at myself for the fact that BEING STRANDED ALONE ON MARS WITHOUT PLAUSIBLE HOPE OF RESCUE in the first place wasn’t enough for me to ignore that feeling. I wanted to meet these astronauts and NASA crew members, and when the story ended I felt as though I was saying goodbye to friends. It’s not often I get this sucked into a story.