Category Archives: Working Girl

Good news & long runs.

I have two bits of good news today! First, I’m already way over my total miles from last week! In fact, my run yesterday almost totaled last week in miles run.

4thrun

splits

I made the mistake of trying to run around the park and completely forgot about 4th of July celebrations. I was dodging people left and right! So I made my way down to the trail I usually take for longer runs. I had no idea how long this run was going to be when I started out but once I hit the trail, I was already 2 miles in and I figured, why not just keep going? I ran about a mile and half on the trail, and it started to rain, so I turned around and started back, eventually totaling just over a 10k.

runningtrail2

I love this trail–long and quiet–it’s really peaceful. But it really freaks me out when the cyclists blow past me without warning.

runningtrail3

And it follows a river!

By the time I finished, it was raining pretty hard and my phone was so wet that I couldn’t get the touch screen to work in order to end my run! Maybe I shouldn’t take my phone with me next time it looks overcast… It was a great run though – my longest in a while. It felt good to hit a stride again and not feel like I was dying the whole time. I still had to take a few breaks because my knee was starting to hurt — the post ACL surgery one — bleh. But there is definitely a difference for me between morning runs and afternoon runs, and I think I might just have to accept that.

My second bit of good news is that I just got a new part-time freelance gig! I’ll be starting soon with the Arundel Voice newspaper picking up a few stories on the side. I’m really excited about this opportunity. I haven’t worked in journalism for just about two years and I was starting to miss it.

arundel voice

The best part about the Arundel Voice is that they don’t cover “hard” news, things like political scandals or crime reports. They focus mainly on positive stories in the community — something I’m really pleased about because positive news is really fun to write about.

There were times when I was covering stories during my very first reporting internship when it was hard to sit through interviews because the stories were just so sad or uncomfortable. My very first assignment was covering jury selection for a murder trial for a 16-year-old. That was not so fun…

So my time with the Arundel Voice should be much more positive! Seriously, I am SO excited.

Do you run in the rain?
What are you excited about this week?

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Training in Chicago.

Last week I took my first big-girl work trip to Chicago for an Advanced Digital Organizing training put on by the New Organizing Institute. This was my second trip to Chicago, but the first time flying into Midway and having to navigate myself around via public transportation on my own. I was fairly certain I would be able to handle it, but minutes after getting off the plane I started to have doubts.

I purchased my ticket for the “L”, put $20 on it, and then put it in the machine….and it didn’t work! I went to ask the woman working and her response was:

“It’s waaay too hot to be dealing with this.”

And then she let me through. I was able to resolve this issue, but not after having to buy another $10 card the next morning. Good thing I am getting funding reimbursement…but the Chicago Transit Authority totally owes me $20.

Mass Transit

I was lucky enough to stay at the amazing home of a good friend of mine from college. It was in Old Town and just off the Red Line so it was super convenient for me to travel to my training.

I went to be pretty early that night after watching The Mummy and eating a Chipotle burrito for dinner. I guess I missed an exciting night because there was a huge hockey game that went into triple overtime and a crazy storm that caused a few tornadoes in the northern part of the state. The storm ended up delaying a bunch of people on their way to the training. Thank goodness I arrived when I did!

The next morning was pretty easy, aside from having to purchase another metro ticket. I was actually a half-hour early to the training and almost signed in for the wrong event since I couldn’t remember the name of my training (it was 8am and I hadn’t had any coffee yet!) Oops!

But after I was all checked in for the *correct* training event, it was absolutely fantastic.

chicagobreakfast

Here’s my breakfast again!

I got to hear from a number of amazing speakers, including most of the digital organizing team from President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. This is particularly exciting because of how it was these few people who completely changed the way campaigns (political and not) are run and organized on the internet.

We also played some awesome ice breakers including listing “our people ” (mine were Runners, Writers, and British Television Watcher) and playing Ninja Rock-Paper-Scissors (which I totally won). It was beyond amazing.

I met a ton of fantastic people. We bonded over drinks at our happy hour and I learned of all the new and exciting opportunities that lay before me in this business. I’m still not sure if I want to continue working for nonprofits or if I want to explore the private sector a bit more, but seeing the passion these people have for their issues was really inspiring.

Chicago Happy Hour Beer

The bartender didn’t have any Great Lakes Elliot Ness on hand so he offered me an interesting alternative, a Double Bock which I found quite tasty.

One great addition to my trip was getting to be in town for a good friend of mine’s birthday dinner. It is always nice to get to share moments like this with friends instead of having to wish them well from far away.

Birthday Dinner

My flight out was super late, leaving at 9:50pm, and since I was headed back to the eastern time zone I lost an hour and wasn’t home until well after midnight. It was worth it though, and I had the whole weekend to recover. I learned a ton and gained some fabulous life experience in the process! Feels good man, feels good.

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I Did a Webinar!

OEC LogoToday I did my very first webinar! It was about using social media for non-profits. It was clunky and awkward, and probably not as helpful as the people who signed up for it thought it would be…but it was mine.

You can check it out here.

Also, it’s really weird to have an hour-long conversation with your computer.

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On Monday, I Start My Job.

Something I have always been very excited about is the idea that working will bring a set schedule to my life.

I would get up at the same time every day, suck down some breakfast, rush to work, drink my coffee, work for 8-9 hours, and then return home exhausted and hungry–just like everyone else. But it seems that the universe has a different daily plan in mind for me. It seems I will not have the helping hand of a job to schedule my life. No, that will be up to me, because now I’m working a contract job where I can be either in the office or at home, and the hours are mine to set.

I am both thrilled and terrified of what this may lead to. Seriously, fear of freedom is a real thing.

I won’t have much problem setting my own hours, and probably be pretty good at sticking to a set start time each day. But can I force myself to quit at the end of the day when there is still more work to be done? Will I be able to push it to the next morning? And will each day really feel like a work day? Or will this always feel sort of like a “pretend” job?

The plus side, of course, is that, again, I can set my own hours and work from home. This means that if I can find the self-discipline, adding personal reading and writing time into my schedule will be just like scheduling work. At the end of my day, I can bang out a few thousand words and then tell myself it’s quitting time.

Basically, this whole job will be an exercise in self-control. I suppose it’s time…I will be the master of my domain…and the couch, which is where I will be doing most of my work, it seems.

Another thing I was looking forward to about a job was the inaccessibility of food and the inevitable weightless that comes along with that, but with the refrigerator only a few steps away all day now…that was a pipe dream after all. Guess I’ll have to make and effort to work in some running to this whole shebang now. But other chores will be a breeze to get done! Heck, I can be on a phone call meeting and sorting laundry. How awesome is that?

My god, if I ever transition to a real, in-office position, I won’t know what to do with myself.

Oh, and how did I find this job? Happenstance and luck. My personal agent (read: boyfriend) sent an email to an awesome Marketing and Communications Director with a literary history. We had coffee, hit it off, talked books and writing, and suddenly I began a glorious two week internship…which ends today…and becomes a real position as of Monday.

So yes, after a whirlwind ‘romance,’ I have made a commitment to a very handsome job opportunity  and am thus employed. I work as a Marketing and Communications Associate, and my contract starts Monday. Wish me luck!

(I also applied to Barnes and Nobles, which I am hoping to hear back from soon because I wouldn’t mind a part-time supplemental job…and also books.)

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Summer Coffee: The Cold Brew

So Ohio seems to have decided that it’s summer and that means it’s time to make the summer-time coffee switch. In the warm weather months, I tend to turn away from hot coffee because the weather is sweltering already and I have no desire to up my body temperature with a drink. But I still crave my coffee fix to get anything done, including writing, reading and any kind of housework that requires me to concentrate.

So the solution is obviously iced coffee. But for me, hot brewing coffee and pouring it over ice waters it down and just doesn’t perk me up quite as much.

The solution: The Cold Brew!

It takes a little more time then heating up some water and pouring it over your grounds, or turning on the coffee pot while you get ready in the morning, but it’s worth it. You just have to set everything up the night before. Try it out with the recipe below.

Time: 5 minutes, plus 12 hours’ resting
Yield: Two drinks.

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best)
Milk (optional).

1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours. (I just used a red solo cup because I’m in college and don’t have access to any fancy shmancy jars.)
2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk and flavors. (I only sent it through the coffee filter once and then the ice cubs alone watered the concentrate down enough for me.)

NOTE: To make hot coffee, dilute concentrate one-to-one with water and heat in the microwave.

The recipe is courtesy of the New York Times and the picture to the left is from Apartment Therapy.

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On Coffee, again

It’s no secret that I love coffee and every so often, I feel this blog needs a big of a caffeine jolt with a post related to my favorite morning beverage. So to address your coffee needs, I have for you some fun little coffee-related tidbits and toys.

The first thing I found is basic, but wonderful in it’s simplicity. Coffee comes three ways, and there is a way to drink each one.

How to Drink Coffee: “Sip it while it’s hot, enjoy it when it’s warm, down it when it’s cold.”

I also recently discovered an app that tells you when you need more caffeine you can avoid that horrible coffee crash. I don’t have an iphone so I can’t actually try the Caffeine Zone app out, but I would absolutely use it if I could. You can find it here: http://frankritter.com/caffeinezone/

And finally, this is a great image that’s been around online for quite a while but is still very, very useful. Enjoy!

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