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What I’ve Been Reading

15 Jul

One of the perks of my new job is that I ride the Metro for about 25 minutes each way in the morning and afternoon. While many of you wouldn’t consider the Metro a PERK – as there are lots of terrible smells and generally odd people interactions – I’m pretty happy to bury my head in a book and enjoy 25 minutes of (mostly) uninterrupted reading!

I linked to each book on Amazon so you can click through and read the full description if you’d like. However, I always recommend trying your library first, because FREE BOOKS!

99 Percent Mine: A Novel by Sally Thorne

Find it here:

The book centers around Darcy Barrett, who has had a life-long crush on childhood friend Tom Valeska. To complicate things (of course), she has a boy twin, Jamie who “saw him first” and is his best friend. Now as an adult, she is thrown into a situation where they are both single at the same time and stuck in close quarters with each other. You now, as it goes.

I thought this book was fun and I liked the lighthearted banter. However, I didn’t really love Darcy. She describes herself as a dirtbag and honestly she’s pretty selfish and unlikeable for much of the book. I get that she loves Tom, but really… it seems like he can do so much better. Of course, everything is a happily after at the end which is my thing. So all in all I’m going to stick with this book was fun, but I won’t bother searching out the other book by the author.

Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper

Find it here:

This one is another childhood best friends fall in love book. I’m not sure why I ended up with two books in the same specific genre… but I did. And I don’t even HAVE any childhood male best friends in my life! I basically picked up this book because it had a yummy cake on the front of it. Anyways, this story is about Lucy Brewer, a young widow that returns to her childhood town. She reignites a friendship with her childhood BFF, which soon turns to loooooove. There are complications, of course, but this one is as sweet as can be. Everyone in the book is pretty darn likeable and this was the perfect ‘beach read’ or ‘metro read’ if you’re me.

Outside the Jukebox: How I Turned My Vintage Music Obsession Into My Dream Gig by Scott Bradlee

Find it here:

Like most people, I’ve come across Postmodern Jukebox performances on Facebook and YouTube and never really gave it much thought. I randomly picked up this book at the library and it was incredibly interesting to see how Scott built up this little idea of giving modern songs a vintage spin and turned it into a traveling “rotating supergroup” of performers. I found this book super interesting and highly recommend it if you are interested in how he made a little YouTube sensation into a full time gig.

Runnin’ With the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen by Noel E. Monk

Find it here:

I’m not a super Van Halen fan or anything, but I do enjoy my Classic Rock. So when I saw this book as I walked by I basically was like ‘hmmm… cool’ and threw it in my cart. This book was written by Van Halen’s manager who worked with the group their first 7 years. It was pretty darn interesting! To hear about the behind the scenes drama during the rise (and fall) of the David Lee Roth years. The band did Monk pretty darn dirty at the end of it and there is certainly some palatable bitterness, but WOW was it entertaining. If you like behind the music type stuff or have even enjoyed Van Halen a little bit, this book is a good one!

When you find out the world is against you: and other funny memories about awful moments by Kelly Oxford

Find it here: (this book is currently a free read on Kindle Unlimited)

I don’t know Kelly Oxford at all. I’m not sure if she’s a comedian or an author or writes for television. It’s pretty unclear. She certainly has a way with words and tells very cringy/embarrassing/funny stories throughout her book. It kind of threw me though when it went from being a silly little book about cringy stuff from her childhood and being a mom, to talking about sexual abuse. I get the importance of the chapters at the end, but it just felt like whiplash to get from point a to point b. All in all, it was a fine Metro reading book because about 20 minutes at a time was plenty to read it. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. It was okay.

Do you have a book recommendation for me?

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My Emotional Roller Coaster

27 Jun

Starting a new job is scary. And hard.

First, there’s the “HOLY CRAP I know nothing” feeling going into it. Sure, I know marketing and I’ve been working in the industry for 20 years… but I haven’t worked for a law firm. And I haven’t worked for THIS law firm. Everyone is different. Expectations are different.

Coming into a situation basically blind is daunting.

Then there’s the people. You (obviously) want people to like you. But there are also A LOT of new people. Day in and day out… people, people, people. Little conversations here and there and you hope you can remember the details later. Names. SO MANY NAMES.

Oh and it’s EXHAUSTING.

Learning new things is exhausting. Talking to new people every single day is exhausting. Frankly, working in an office five days a week is exhausting. I’ve been working from home 2 days a week for the last 6+ years… so just getting dressed and out of the house wears on you by the end of the week.

For the entire first week in my new job I was a tangle of nerves. I felt like I was in over my head. There were so many things to keep straight. In my gut I kept telling myself “I’ve got this”, but in my head I would add the caveat, “once I figure out what THIS is!”

Like my roller coaster analogy, the second week was ups and downs. I’d feel confident and on top of things for a minute. And then, I’d meet with someone else and feel like I was a kid playing at being an adult.

I’m in my third week now… and I’m okay. I don’t know it all and thankfully nobody expects me to know it all yet. But I’m starting to finally feel like I fit. I have something to bring to the party and the people I work with recognize that. I like my co-workers a lot. People are friendly and welcoming. I’m confident that I made the right choice by jumping out of my previous position into this new opportunity.

I keep telling myself that 6 months from now, it will be so much easier. I’ll know all those little things that I don’t know now. I’ll have a routine. I’ll be settled in and comfortable.

But at week three, it’s still a little scary. And that’s okay.

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I’m Super Excited for a New Opportunity

30 May

Earlier this year, my entire work life was upended when my department went through a reorganization. I didn’t talk about it much online, but the stress leaked out a bit on my blog and Instagram posts (here’s one). I swear, I wasn’t trying to vague-book or get attention… I was just trying to share what was going on in my life without putting it out on the internet that I was absolutely miserable.

Because sharing that you are miserable in a job that pays the bills is kind of a bad idea.

Anyways, I knew going into the reorganization that it was going to be a bit painful. I didn’t know that the scope and focus of my job (which I am damn good at) would change. I went from working with an absolutely amazing boss who supported me and made me laugh, to a something that made me hate going to work every day.

So, I dusted off the old resume, spruced up my LinkedIn profile, and reached out to a few friends and a recruiter. I was super picky about positions, so I only ended up applying for a few jobs that I knew I would really enjoy. I figured, even if it took 6 months or more I’d be patient and find something that I truly loved.

Then, I had one of those days at work that totally wrecks you. I didn’t think I could bear another minute of it and even took the next day off as a mental health day so I could re-calibrate.

That day, I applied for an interesting job and reached out to my recruiter to see if she knew anyone at the company. She didn’t, but reaching out to her sparked an idea that I might be a good fit for a position she was currently working to place.

I had an interview with that company the following week. It went so well, they called me back in for second interview with a larger group of decision makers the very next week and I had a job offer that afternoon.

I put in my notice at my current job that Monday and left for Hawaii two days later.

To say that I’m thrilled is an understatement. The stress immediately lifted off my shoulders and I am downright giddy about this new opportunity! Sure, there will be challenges in my new position. I’m sure there will even be difficult people to work with (there always are). But, this new position is EXACTLY what I was hoping for. I’m able to use my 20 years of marketing and communications experience, as well as my shiny new Master’s Degree.

My last day at my current job is on Monday and then I have off the rest of the week. I start my new job on Monday, June 10th and I am so excited and thrilled and happy and I can’t wait to dig in!

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Feedback Needed, Please

13 May

I’ve been writing here in this fun place I call Pocketful of Joules for over 8 years now. For much of that time, I’ve been publishing three posts each week. And I love it. And I love all of you guys who stop by!


I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately and I’m thinking about cutting down my posting schedule to two days a week. I’m planning to try it for the summer and see how it feels.

And here is where you come in…

My current publishing schedule is Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Thursdays. If I decide to just post two days a week, which would you like best: Monday’s and Wednesday’s or Tuesday’s and Thursday’s?

Leave me a note down in the comments with your preference! Also, if you think it’s an awful, terrible, no good idea to cut down my posting to two days a week, I want to hear about that too. Comment away!

And thank you!

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