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DC Metro observations from a newbie

September 23, 2014

So I am at the 3.5 month mark of moving up to the Northern Virginia area (aka the DC metro area) and each day I learn and observe things about my new home. One of the best things about moving away from your hometown is seeing the ways in which it is similar and different from where you grew up. I have lived in the northern part of Florida (Tallahassee) and grew up in the Central part of the state and even then I noticed many differences in just the same state.  The joke is that Florida is the only state where you have to go north to be south, and it is true. When I moved to Massachusetts in 2007 the differences between Florida and New England were hard to ignore. To say it was an eye-opening experience would be an understatement. Here are some of my observations so far of the DC metro area.

"What do you do?" is the most frequently asked question up here. This area has the highest concentration of high performing/ high achievers in the nation and trust me they won't let you forget it.  I struggle with this since I don't have a fancy government job title that would impress anyone. I just recently started working for a healthcare non-profit in a position that I am sure would impress no one. Back in Orlando I felt impressed with having a masters degree but here they are a dime a dozen and not as dinky as mine in school counseling which I'm not fully using.

Fall is here and I'm embracing every minute of it. Florida has no seasons, unless you consider humid hot and not as hot as actual seasons, so when I experienced my first fall in Massachusetts seven years ago I was instantly hooked. I found myself a cute pair of black boots this weekend and can't wait to wear them out.

Moving from a lower cost of living area to one of the most expensive areas in the country has been shocking and a somber experience. It was one thing to complain about money back in Orlando , but here we pay more for a one bedroom apartment than most people pay for a mortgage back home. Everything here is more expensive, I guess that is the price to pay for an area with actual things to do.

An open letter to the NFL from a female fan

September 09, 2014

I am one of the 45% of your fan base that is a woman. One of the many women that watches your games every season, plays fantasy football, and cheers for our favorite teams loudly on football Sunday.

Your organization has never really understood its female fan base. Most of the time it is little things like talking down to us with the obnoxious pink jerseys that you assume we all want to wear.  But sometimes it is bigger like in the case of Ray Rice and other players who are arrested for domestic violence and they receive lesser suspensions than players who violated the drug policy.   How is it that using drugs is worse than hitting a woman? Do you realize what kind of message that sends?

Domestic violence is real. Statistics show that one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. How many of these women do you think buy your jerseys and tickets to the games? What I think you fail to see is that by giving Rice a slap on the wrist of a 2 game suspension is that you just said that almost half of your fan base doesn't matter. It is saying that hitting your wife or girlfriend is no big deal. You are minimizing the real problems of domestic violence and abusive relationships.  Sorry I don't believe that your organization had never viewed the complete video before coming to a decision on the case. I'm not naive enough for that. You chose profit and winning records over doing what was right.

We are a country that still shames women in many ways. Rape victims are told that maybe if they hadn't drank so much or worn a revealing top, that maybe they wouldn't have been victimized. We ask what a women might have done to provoke such anger in her partner to be attacked. I'm not placing the blame on victim shaming on your organization, it is a societal issue that extends far deeper than just football. But you can take the first steps to show that relationship abuse of any kind will not be tolerated in your players. There should be zero tolerance for any players that are found guilty of domestic violence.

Birthday weekend

September 02, 2014

Today marked my return to reality (as known as the working world) with my orientation for my new job this morning. My parents came into town on Thursday to celebrate my birthday which was this past Saturday. I can't say I feel any different now that I'm 33, for all the freaking out I did about turning 30 I have to say that my 30's have not been half bad. I hadn't seen my parents since we moved up here 3 months ago, so it was nice to spend time with them on a long weekend. We went to Newseum in Washington DC and it is definitely worth a visit if you come to the area.  One of my favorite exhibits was the Anchorman exhibit complete with a replica of the Channel 4 News desk of Ron Burgundy. The top floor of the Newseum also has one of the best views of the city. I loved showing my parents around the city and how quickly I have learned to navigate the Metro.

The last time my parents came to DC for my dad's work conference they discovered an upscale Puerto Rican restaurant that they wanted to take me for my birthday dinner.  Mio's had some of the best Rican food I've ever had outside of the island. We devoured roasted pig, yucca, rice, and of course flan. We walked off dinner by doing a night tour of the Lincoln Memorial. It is so different to see the monuments at night than during the day, I definitely recommend seeing them in both night and day. It was comforting having a piece of Florida up here for a few days.

Ameliorer la Vie