New Work, New Car

Been about four months now since I left US News, but it hasn’t been all unemployment; I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Tac and Keith on Survos, plus a few other small projects on the side to help make ends meet through the job search.

Quote from Whitman's "The Wound Dresser," Dupont Circle Metro

This week, however, I return to fulltime work with Valador, Inc., doing front end web design for federal government agencies, mostly NASA. I’m passionate about both web design and space, so the professional mix is a dream come true. Also, the office has a classic Doctor Who pinball machine.

Office Doctor Who pinball machine

The big lifestyle change for me here is that I need to drive everyday, as my new workplace is not Metro-accessible. Over the last few years, WMATA service has decayed to the point that I finally gave up on Metro and expanded my job search past the scope of transit accessibility, resigning myself to the fact that I’d need to get a car.

Looking east from edge of Dunn Loring Station

Back during the NASA Social Antares launch event I drove a rented Fiat 500 (a blue one in Sport trim) and enjoyed the driving experience so much that I decided if I ever needed a car, that was what I would get. And so we bought a 2013 Fiat 500, Pop trim, in “Verde Azzuro,” purchased from Safford Fiat of Tyson’s Corner with price via Truecar.

Fiat 500 Sport Azzuro (Rental Car) Fiat 500 Pop Verde Azzuro
At the Fiat 500 dealer

Becoming a two-car household feels like even more of a betrayal of principle than when we bought our first car. I’m becoming the kind of person who drives on toll roads and needs parking passes and oil changes, and the best I can do to ease the potential for automotive ennui is offset the car’s carbon output and occasionally press the Sport Button.

Fiat 500 Pop Verde Azzuro
Fiat 500 Pop dashboard Fiat 500 Pop dashboard

It is a fun car to drive — something I never thought I’d hear myself say. But more importantly, I have work again, things are looking up, and the Lord has been good.