Earn Your Sleep Image by Jason Vandenberg

The Business of Careers

Earn Your Sleep by Jason Vandenberg

Do you remember where you were in your career just five years ago? If you’re among my generation/cohort, it wasn’t such a good place. You were probably someone’s assistant, or an intern, or maybe just starting to figure out that very few people have careers that are as decidedly defined as the ones we imagined when we were kids.

But you know what? You’ve come a long way. And if you haven’t, well, it’s time to do something about then, isn’t it?

Work has been on my brain a lot lately. I’m lucky to be in a job that I’m absolutely mad about, but the recession walloped a good many of us. A whole generation of baby boomers are retiring and that is going to mean a lot of things for us in the working class. And what about the next generation? I had a chance to meet with a few lovely women on the cusp of beginning their careers and I gave them the only advice I could, the only advice I truly wish someone had told me: You’re smart and capable. Be bold in sharing your ideas. Stay humbled by the intelligence peers, colleagues and mentors. Do the thing that scares the shit out of you. 

You’re smart and capable. Be bold in sharing your ideas. Stay humbled by the intelligence peers, colleagues and mentors. Do the thing that scares the shit out of you. 

I said that. At my university. In front of teachers. They may not invite me back, ya’ll.



What You Missed

Look, I know you’re coming to the office, same as me. Slightly resentful to have left the comfort of you bed and just clinging to your cuppa joe as tightly as if they were prayer beads. Your day is only going to get more complicated my friend, so start things off right with a few reads that are well worth the trouble.

“One of the most obscene things I learned as a barista was how eager people are to be liked.”

I’ve been sitting on this article from The Awl for a few weeks. The truth is, the way I wanted to be a cashier at McDonald’s so I could press the buttons is the same way I feel about being a barista so I can be in a coffee shop all day. But Molly Osberg’s article on the Barista Class has made me think differently about the people behind the counter.

NPR has been on their game lately. I was already a huge fan of their public personas–Michelle Norris, Audie Cornish, Linda Holmes–but Melody Kramer has cracked wide open the NPR social media space. Her approach to a transparency in public media reminds me quite a bit of the work done by Wendy Harman at the American Red Cross.

I’m also digging their series on women and finances, “She Works.” Good advice from women who mean business.

Hurrah for ladies in digital, double hurrah for ladies breaking barriers.

And finally, I’m all for anyone who can use the phase “turgid philosophers” in a graduation speech. Especially if that person happens to be Bill Watterson.



18th and Columbia, the Epicenter

“Adams Morgan? Oh, Jumbo Slice, right?”

Ouch. Is that all Washingtonians know about Adams Morgan? For the record, I’ve still never eaten a slice of pizza that is the size of my head, especially when there are so many other options in our neighborhood. After living in Adams Morgan for five years, I realize we haven’t explained very well that our part of this city is growing and thriving beyond its bar-district reputation. We’ve got a farmer’s market. We do outdoor movies and summer concert series too. And our street festival kicks ass. In fact, I’ve got a few other reasons you should rethink a visit to Adams Morgan.

5 Reasons You Should Revisit Adams Morgan

  1. We got really good at food. 
    The standards, like Cashion’s Eat Place, So’s Your Mom, Julia’s Empanadas, have always been good. There are hidden gems you probably don’t even know about like Jyoti, Casa Oaxaca, Napoleon. Lately, a few new chefs have made Adams Morgan their home and we’re seeing fresh perspectives from the likes of Mintwood Place, DonburiSakuramen, Roofers Union and The Cake Room. We’re getting serious about our drinks thanks to Jack Rose. Adams Morgan is still home to the only 24-hour diner in the District, and you can never go wrong with a cup of coffee from Tryst.
  2. We dig green space.
    Adams Morgan is home to an abnormal amount of green space: Kalorama Park, Walter Pierce Park and a short walk away to Meridian Hill Park.
  3. We take fitness seriously.
    How many other neighborhoods do you know with five fitness options in a 2 block radius? Get your swim on at the Marie Reed Rec Center or hit Solid Core, Mint, Stroga, The Studio.
  4. We’re in the middle of everything.
    Bikeshare? Please, we’ve got 6 stations. Buses? Jump on the Circulator, the 42, 43, L1, L2, 90 or 96. Metro? We’re equidistant between Woodley Park and Columbia Heights. We’re a short walk to Dupont Circle, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights, U Street and Woodley Park.
  5. Our boutiques, shops and jewelry stores are better than yours.
    Your first stop (after eating, of course) is Idle Time Books. The owners live on the third floor of this used book store, but they don’t mind if you settle in and make yourself at home among the shelves of books. The book smell. It’s glorious. If you’re into vintage clothes, you have to stop by MeepsMercedes Bien or Via Gypset. If you’re into vintage records, it’s Smash and Red Onion. Save yourself a trip to Eastern Market and pick up your costume jewelry from Turquoise instead. The coolest store you’ve never visited? The Brass Knob.
  6. Bonus: We’re no longer a destination for undergrads or summer interns. And it’s as glorious as you imagined.

See you soon.



How We Got Here

This post first appeared on Metro(poetry)lis.

I’ve been blogging for 12 years. It started with a little link to a Livejournal in my AIM Instant Messenger profile. It lived on Blogger for a bit, and then found a home at WordPress. I wrote about life, about food and frequently I professed my love for the District. Somewhere along the way, I started feeling like I wasn’t writing for myself anymore. So, I took a break–a two year break.

Sometimes I missed writing, but mostly I didn’t. And then one morning I woke up and realized that what I missed about writing was having conversations with people that can only happen on the Internet. I missed owning my own little piece of the web.

I came back to Metropoetrylis, but my domain had been co-opted. It wouldn’t have mattered–the name, the history of the pages, they didn’t feel like me anymore.

So I thought about it for awhile and got pretty scared. I realized that this was now or never. I couldn’t call myself a writer if I wasn’t writing anymore. I looked for inspiration from people I admire. Meg from A Practical Wedding. Rachel from The REWMAnn Friedman and my friend Alejandra. I realized they were having important conversations about women, politics, food and all the unbelievably cool things that happen on the Internet. That was a conversation I finally wanted to join.

And I am. Just not at Metro(poetry)lis. It was a good place to grow up, but like home, it’s a place you can never really go again.

So, I’m starting a whole new adventure and it starts at the corner of 18th and Columbia. I’m excited and I hope you are too.

Let’s go.