Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Day of Joy and Sorrow

Maybe the title is a bit melodramatic; I'll leave that for you to decide!

My parents gave me some money for Christmas, so last week I decided to spend some of it on books (what else?). The order came yesterday while I was at work, and the result was both joyful and sorrowful.

First, the joy. For a while, I've been considering buying Liza Picard's Restoration London, a research resource with information about just about every facet of life during the late 17th-century London. I finally decided to go ahead and do it. After browsing through it last night, I'm glad I did! I saw information about dental health (people's teeth were apparently not as bad as I thought, thanks to fewer sugary foods leading to cavities), and about what women wore, and about the spread of the "pox" (syphilis) from the New World to Italy to France and beyond (the book muses that the "pox" was a fair exchange for the smallpox from the Old World that decimated the native populations of the Americas). Anyway, I'm really pleased to have this addition to my writer's resource bookshelf. I don't know that I will ever write any story based in that time period, but I just find it interesting to know how people lived.

Now for the sorrow. Some of the classes I teach are basic (definitely basic) introductions to some of the Adobe software, namely Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Several times students have requested that we add a class in Adobe Flash. I decided I would pick up the Flash volume of The Missing Manual series and see if I could teach myself enough to teach the basics to students. I debated on whether to buy it in paper or for Kindle; the Kindle version is cheaper, but it's pretty hard to flip around to different sections on the Kindle. I decided paper would be easier to learn with, so I ordered a copy.

When I pulled into the driveway yesterday afternoon, I saw a new pile of white and brown trash in the yard, and I knew at once what had happened. The mail carrier delivered the book, it was too big for the mailbox, he left it in the garage---and Dobby struck again. Yes, that @&%%#^ dog completely demolished my Flash textbook. He tore through the cardboard box and chewed the covers off. As if that's not bad enough, he had to drag it out into the yard on the day when we got three inches of rain. So not only is the book torn up, it is soaked. 700+ pages of tissue-thin paper glued together by rainwater and mud.

I'll admit, I lost it and yelled very unkind things at Dobby (and alarmed poor old Tracy) and wished him dead -- aloud. But in the end, none of that changes anything. I set the book over a vent in hopes it will dry out and I can gently pry those 700+ pages apart and still be able to teach myself some Flash. Or should I just admit defeat and buy it again (the Kindle version this time, which will not have to go through the garage, and thus will be safe from the Atomic Bomb of Dogs)? You don't know how that possibility hurts a cheapskate like me! Or maybe I'll just give up on learning Flash for the time being....

2 comments:

Ephemera said...

OH NO!!!!!! How terrible! And I feel awful, because I said you should keep Dobby!!! :((

Augustina Peach said...

I think he's decided to wage war on me and only me. The other day he pulled all the jeans off the line again, but the only pair he chewed on at all was my second-best pair. It now has no pocket for my keys. Grrrrr......