Why I dreamed my boss poisoned me

Work is good, it has been great, it has been stressful, it has made me mad, but always good. Recruiting is my calling and I love my HR team. But last night I dreamed my boss poisoned me. I know exactly why I dreamed that:

I put in my notice 15 minutes ago. I just quit my job.

Ahhhhh adrenaline is still coursing through my body, I can’t believe I did that, I hope I made the right decision! I’ve never left a job I liked before so I was super stressed about putting in my notice, even though my boss is a lovely woman.

I’ve always always known my previous positions weren’t right for me, but this is really hard and just has to be a completely selfish move. I got an offer for what has been my dream job for the past 5 years. Still in recruiting, still in DC, but just…well, better overall. Bigger HR team, more sophisticated on campus recruiting programs, and one of the most respected finance firms in the world.

So yeah, things are pretty crazy around here.

We also just got back from our FOURTH wedding of the summer (in beautiful Newport, RI, never been before, but can’t wait to go back) and still have another THREE weddings to go in the next THREE WEEKS.

As much as I miss blogging and do NOT want to stop, I’m on too much of a wild ride in my real life to hang around the interwebs.

For now! I’ll be back someday!

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Library loot: self service on holds

Hello blogosphere! Boy have I missed you on my month-long hiatus. I’m trying to get back in the groove of blogging, blog commenting, twittering…and worst of all….trying to get back into reading!

Yes you heard that right, I’m in the biggest slump of my reading life. And it seems all the more awful because it’s my first. I’ve never had this happen to me before.

Dear blog readers, everything is boring me. Just call me Gaston from Gigi because 90% of the books I’ve picked up recently, I put back down claiming, “It’s a bore!”

If I do return to blogging full time you can be sure I will explore my ennui in greater detail, but today is Wednesday, thus it is library loot day!

I got all my loot off the NEW self-service holds shelves, does your library let you pick yours out yourself? We used to have them kept SAFELY behind the desk and had to wait in line for a librarian to fetch them. Now it makes me a little nervous they they are out in the open, what if someone steals my Charlaine Harris I’ve been waiting 8 weeks for?!

I would never ever take someone else’s book from the on hold shelf, but I DEFINITELY peek at what the other folks around my last name are reading. A certain F. Powell is tearing through the later hard covers J.D. Robb’s In Death series right now, hope they’re enjoying them!

Hopefully this week’s library loot will help rip me out of my reading slump, as they are all books I’ve had on hold, some of which I’ve been anticipating and waiting for over a month! Here are my books after I pulled them from the on hold shelf:

  • A Bad Day For Sorry by Sophie Littlefield: I know I didn’t learn about this one from blogs (since I haven’t been on any recently), so maybe a newspaper or magazine book section? The premise is pretty unusual, Stella is a middle-aged widow, and survivor of domestic abuse. She starts trying to help other abused women in her small Missouri town, but ends up fighting far more serious crimes and mysteries.
  • The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell: I’ve never read anything by Ms. Bushnell before but was a super-fan-girl of SATC. I just started reading this YA book about Carrie’s senior year in high school and bad news…I’m bored by it. This is most likely due to my horrible frame of mind in my slump, but Carries voice just doesn’t seem right. I can’t match her up to the adult Carrie I knew and loved in the show.
  • A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas: I usually don’t read novellas, but Ms. Kleypas’ Wallflowers series is probably my favorite romance series, and I’ve recently reread, or tried to reread, all of them to get me out of my slump. So I thought I’d give this one a try, set several years after all the Wallflowers’ marriages, Lillian and Daisy’s oldest brother travels to England seeking their father’s approval, but instead finds a lady of whom he very much approves. Too bad she dislikes him on sight! There is also the promise of plenty of scenes featuring the original Wallflowers themselves ,which I’m greatly looking forward to.
  • Girl in Translation, Jean Kwok: I featured this one on my New Release Alert back in MAY and have had it on hold ever since! Phew that was a long wait. I’m super excited to start this one about a mother and daughter emigrating from Hong Kong to Brooklyn, working in a Chinatown sweatshop together, surviving in a hovel, unable to fit in with their American peers, but the daughter is smart enough to try to go to an Ivy League school…if one of a million obstacles doesn’t get in her way first.

Library Loot is a weekly meme hosted by Marg and Claire

All I Ever Wanted, by Kristin Higgins

  • Title: All I Ever Wanted 
  • Author: Kristin Higgins
  • Published: July 2010
  • Pages: 384 pages (mass market paperback)
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Standalone or series: Standalone
  • Why I read it & source: I read my first, and only, Kristin Higgins book  in April and really liked it so when FSB Associates contacted me with a review copy I jumped at the chance!
  • Callie Grey starts out in a tough spot, trying to stay positive long after her parents divorce and dealing with two siblings full of issues, pining for her boss who dumped her on her birthday for another woman, and dealing with the new dating life of her roommate, who also happens to be her crotchety grandfather. With the upheaval in her family, in her career, AND in her personal life Callie has got quite a journey ahead of her and it was awful fun to go along for the ride!

    I really enjoyed how Ms. Higgins explored family issues in a previous book of hers and that theme definitely continued here. There is quite a bit of a character study here into Callie’s intrinsic nature to look on the positive side of things, what she calls her “Betty Boop” side. Even at 8 years old, when her parents divorced, it was important to her to not let her dad see her cry as he drove away, and her stoic facade continued to present day.

    Callie’s pretty self aware about her nature, so even written in first person narrative we get a great sense for what makes her tick, why she’s such a romantic, and how she’s held on to her positively throughout the years, like in this quote:

    The truth is, I believed in Love. After my father moved out, I resolved that Life Would Still Be Happy. I was helpful with my baby brother, cheerful in the mornings to counterbalance Hester. I made sure I always skipped out to my dad’s car when he came to pick us up for his nights and pretended to love bowling because he loved bowling. Made Mom tea when she came in from work. Always kept my room neat. Smiled when I felt like crying, and when I did cry, made sure I went into me closet so no one would hear.

    Love would be my reward.

    Unfortunately her love for her boss, Mark, was to go unrequited. Boy was he a jerk! There were many times when I wanted to strip away Callie’s Betty Boop side and give him a big ol’ slap upside the head, swear never to talk to him again, and make a grand exit, but she has a really hard time shaking her feelings and hopes about him.

    Enter new love interest stage left – Ian MacFarland, new vet to the area whom Callie, and every other single woman in the small town, flock to meet with their pets in tow. Their first few meetings are a little rocky to say the least, and even as Callie warms up to Ian, he still remains fairly cool and aloof. We’re given tid-bits of insight into his past, and why he’s a tough nut to crack, so I had to admire Callie’s perseverance with him since he really didn’t give her much to go on.

    For every difficult situation Callie was put in, there was always a good dose of humor to balance it out. Pleeeeeeeease believe me when I say this book is Laugh Out Loud Funny. No really, I’m not just saying that (these expressions are becoming so trite) but even just thinking back on a scene will STILL ellicit a chuckle, even though a read it a few weeks ago!

    Part of this I think is because Ms. Higgins is a pretty humorous writer, but also Callie had such a funny inner monologue, even in not-so-fun circumstances, partly because she’s always making the best of things, but also because she’s just funny! Even when her hiking shorts won’t fit, when she’s buying embarrassing medicine, when she’s having some public digestive issues, when dealing with her grandfather’s prosthetic leg, when on a horrible internet date, or when she thinks she’s run over an animal.

    Speaking of which – THE TURKEY SCENE. Oh my lord I had to catch my breath for laughing so hard during that one. Seriously one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while. Just trust me, if you read this you better be somewhere you’re comfortable LOL-ing when you get to that part.

    Take this scene for instance, Callie’s just met the replacement in Mark’s affections, Muriel, who has also just been hired to work in their office:

    I stood up, my legs unsteady and walked to the door, hoping not to look as shaken as I felt.

    “Callie?” Muriel called, writing something on the pad.

    “Yes?”

    She didn’t look up. “Don’t forget your snack.”

    “They’re for everyone,” I said defensively. “I always bake on Mondays. Production meetings.” She didn’t answer, just shot me a dubious look, as if she knew I’d be galumphing across the hall with my scones and stuffing all twelve in my mouth.

    Taking care not to accidentally let the tray, oh, I don’t know…hit her in the face, I picked it up and left, closing the door quietly behind me.

    And as a lover of curvy heroines (*ahem* I’ve only mentioned this a time or two), and as I love my own curves, I absolutely adored seeing that side of Callie!

    …but I looked pretty smokin’, if I did say so myself. Curvalicious even…If I was the equivalent of, oh, let’s say a really good hamburger, juicy, comforting, and delicious, Muriel was a rawhide shoelace.

    I thought the writing had some really smart moments as well, which is why I can’t stop including quotes! Callie has a pretty good character arc of growth, even as self aware as she is, and seemingly happy with always looking on the positive side, this clever passage shows us how she’s changing:

    I closed my eyes and let my head fall back against the smooth maple [of my rocking chair]. Sometimes it seemed like my life was spent shoveling fog…trying so hard to be that adorable hedgehog everyone liked. Some days, optimism was an ill-fitting wool coat, heavy and uncomfortable.

    Some things that didn’t quite work for me though were that I felt like the book concentrated equally on Callie’s family drama, her issues with her ex, and her new love interest Ian – I would have preferred more of an emphasis on Ian. I get that he was an enigmatic type of guy and that there was a lot going on in Callie’s life, but I wanted to see more of him, in page time, and a look into his character.

    Also, while Callie referred to one side of her nature as Betty Boop, she always wished she were more practical and that part of her conscious tried to give her advice as if from Michelle Obama. I definitely see the analogies between the two characters rerferenced…but it jerked me out of the story a little bit because Mrs. Obama isn’t a fictional character, and frequently referencing what her advice would be threw me off a little.

    Lastly, there were no lusty scenes. Not one, all off page with a few nice kisses here and there. So while this is absolutely a romance novel in the sense there are a H/H and a happy ending, since it’s set in first person from the heroine’s point of view, covers her many different relationships (not just with the hero) and with no love scenes I would say it’s not your “typical” romance novel. Which is certainly not a bad thing, as I greatly enjoyed it and can recommend it to my chick-lit loving friends who claim to dislike romance novels *rolls eyes at them*

    So just a few minor little niggles. Like I said above, I would recommend this to a wide circle of readers looking for a good family drama, romance, laugh out loud fun, and a happy ending.

    Now I just have to get my hands on some more Kristin Higgins books!