I recently moved to Silicon Valley to work at Facebook which has been an incredible experience. One of the perks of my job is that I’ll get to travel all over the world on user research trips. I also support a team located at Facebook’s Seattle office, which I visited two weeks ago.
My face when I’m judging bearded douchebaggery on Instagram. Credit: Jennifer Hanson
Seattle has been on my travel bucket list ever since I first obsessively listened to Nirvana’s “Nevermind” in my room as a kid. I should also mention that I’ve been dressing like this for the better part of ten years, so it really did feel like, as one bartender put it, “Welcome home.”
(To make it even more meta, I’m wearing a Nostalgist shirt, which is an amazing Seattle-based noir shoegaze band).
In a nutshell, the trip was dope. I got to reconnect with an old roller derby teammate and met a bunch of cool people while I was out and about. According to several sources, making friends in Seattle is not a terribly easy thing to do; the struggle is so common it’s been dubbed the “Seattle Freeze.” My only explanation for this is that over the past few years, I’ve discovered that I’m at my best when I travel alone. I’m more interesting, I’m funnier and apparently better looking. There’s also a little bit of magic in knowing that you may never see the people you meet again. Who cares? Continue reading →
Yesterday I had plans to meet a friend for drinks at a German joint called Der Biergarten in downtown Atlanta. Not wanting to deal with downtown parking or driving after a few steinfuls, I booked an Uber to pick me up from my house in Cabbagetown. Immediately after hitting “Request UberX” the driver calls me.
“Hi! This is Jared, your Uber driver. How are you?”
“I’m good, and you?”
“I’m great. So how are you?”
Pause. “I’m fine,” I say hesitantly, having not the slightest clue what is happening.
“I wanted to ask if it’s OK if I have a friend riding with me.” No explanation as to why.
“Yeah that’s fine,” I reply. My first thought was that he’s simply giving his friend a ride somewhere and is doing double duty. My other thought was that it’s probably just two dudes riding around like we used to do when we were in high school and the only things to do were drive around, or hang out in the Walmart parking lot or in the woods. I found out immediately that it was the latter. Continue reading →
Dear Woman Sitting Behind Me in 12A on This Flight to Vegas,
For the last two and a half hours I’ve been suppressing a distinct and snowballing hatred for you. You insist on squawking at full volume on and on about all the mundane things that come to your mind. Dismal proof of your repressed suburban life. Mindless chatter that sets those subjected to it back decades of intellectual years when heard at normal volume, but at your chosen decibel level, it’s simply unbearable.
And of course, you have a Southern accent which makes your inane yammering sound, if at all possible, more vapid.
As if that was not enough, after one and a half Shock Tops you’ve taken to laughing at everything you say. Your favorite topic has been how ridiculously hot it is on this plane. When the flight attended asked you if you wanted anything you requested air conditioning and then threatened to “strip down to your skivvies.” I got a good look at you when you went to use the lavatory, and seeing you in your skivvies would be an event so unholy, I would sell my own mother into white slavery to keep your clothes on. Continue reading →
Spring is my favorite season in Atlanta. Just when you start to forget what leaves look like and you’re about to lose all hope, the dogwoods begin to bloom. You can put on chapstick and rest assured that after walking three feet, your lips will be yellow and gritty with pollen. The best part about spring, however, is that on April 1 the PTO days at work reset.
After a whirlwind trip home to Florida for a wedding and setting a new personal binge drinking record, I came back to ATL for the week only to head to Knoxville the next weekend. When I think “vacation” the state of Tennessee doesn’t usually pop into my head, but a good friend of mine who’s a UT alum wanted to show us around her old stomping grounds. I’d never been, so I figured what the hell?
After working all day and then driving three and a half hours through torrential downpour and multiple tornado warnings, we arrived in Knoxville. Our destination for the night was Cumberland Ave, “The Strip” of college bars located within walking distance of student housing. After stopping into Half Barrel for a Mickey’s and a shot, we walked over to the oasis of Docksiders, filth and regret known as Tin Roof. Continue reading →
Last week I took a trip out to Baltimore to see some family for Christmas. I flew out Christmas morning and had the pleasure of enjoying the soothing sounds of a screaming baby for the first 30 minutes. And we all know how much I love children.
A Little History
I was born in Baltimore at St. Agnes hospital. It was around the time of Independence Day and my mom told me that she could see fireworks over the Inner Harbor from her hospital window.
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
My parents moved us down to Florida when I was three months old, but I would fly up to visit my grandparents in Baltimore every summer starting at age nine. Continue reading →
It’s that time of the year, folks: Moving Season. I have a question, why the fuck does everyone wait until it is 106 degrees outside with humidity to rival the Amazon to move? Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that in Atlanta.
I recently finished reading a great book called “The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift In the Equatorial Pacific” by J. Maarten Troost.
This book, which is sort of a travelogue-meets-memoir about a guy who travels to “the end of the world” with his girlfriend and lives there for two years, had me laughing out loud every time I picked it up. Continue reading →
Taking some much-needed time off from work to head down to Florida for a grown-up spring break has proven to be pretty rewarding so far. A few hours after rolling into town on Friday, it was time to jump back in the car and head over to Tampa for the Unknown Hinson show for which I’d been recruited.
Feeling pretty guilty about not posting anything since August. However, when I write 10-12 of these suckers (blog posts) a day at work it’s kind of hard to muster up the energy to get back on the computer when I get home. Most days I come home and send hateful thoughts and glances to my computer sitting innocently unused on my desk. When you work in social media, you tend to become resentful of the things that used to bring you enjoyment.