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    Sunday, July 06, 2008
    New Start - New Location
    Well, it's time to start over. I've been away for so long, I figured I might as well make a fresh start at it. So from here on out, you can find me at:

    www.milesfromfenway.wordpress.com
    posted by FINY @ Sunday, July 06, 2008   45 comments
    Friday, March 07, 2008
    Starting the Day with a Smile
    I'll be honest, I haven't been in the best of moods lately. I've been working almost constantly with no end in sight, I haven't been sleeping well, I've just been sort of ... I don't know ... blah. It's not to say that I haven't had some great nights out the last few weeks, or that I haven't had any stories to tell around here, I just quite simply haven't been up to it.

    But this morning - for no particular reason other than I was fast asleep by 9:45 last night - I woke up with a smile on my face. It was a smile that persisted through my commute. As I stood on the 4 train, with Gomez flowing through my ear buds, I kept smiling at random moments. I'd be subtly mouthing the words to the songs and not realize it. Well, I didn't realize it until a man sitting in front of me caught my eye and smiled. I was a little embarrassed then, but that didn't stop it from happening again just a few minutes later.

    As the guy got up to get off the train a few stops later and I moved in to take his seat, he looked me straight in the eye and said " It was so nice to see someone in a good mood on the train. Thanks for starting my day off with a smile - have a good one."

    I rocked out a little bit harder to the music after that.

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    posted by FINY @ Friday, March 07, 2008   3 comments
    Thursday, February 07, 2008
    Worse and Then Better
    For a little while today, I got to concentrate on baseball. Not for great reasons, mind you, but at least I was reminded that the season was close. I've already got three sets of tickets to Fenway (thank you six hours of virtual waiting room hell a few weeks ago), and yesterday I received an email letting me know that I had won the lottery for the opportunity to buy Opening Day or Yankees tickets at Fenway as well (what can I say, I'm just a lucky SOB).

    And then this evening, as I am heading out of the office, I see this. A window on the Lexington Side of Bloomingdales. It's like I ALMOST get past it, and then it just gets rubbed in my face all over again.

    But I will say that stopping to take this photo led to an entertaining story. A guy walked up to me and smiled and said, "Giants fan?". I explained that no actually, I was just trying to prove to people how hard it was to be a Patriots fans in NYC with stuff like this window around all the time.

    "Next you're going to tell me you're a Red Sox fan too!" he laughed.

    "Well, yeah, actually I am."

    He starts laughing that oh-get-a-load-of-this-girl laugh, and says "Ok, well, uh, Buckner!"

    "2007"

    "Boone!"

    "2004"

    "Yeah well," he trailed off. "Maybe the Giants will have reversed the New York curse."

    And that, that right there, was enough to send me heading down the subway steps with a smile on my face.

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    posted by FINY @ Thursday, February 07, 2008   6 comments
    Wednesday, February 06, 2008
    In Any Other City In The World
    In any other city in the world I would have been over it by now. Sure, I would have been devastated. But I would have had time to properly mourn. I would have been able to hang my head, drown my sorrows in my beer, and wonder over and over again ... what went wrong? I would have been able to avoid certain websites, not listen to certain radio stations, and completely avoided whole channel blocks on my television until the mere mention of the event stopped sending daggers into my heart.

    The Giants are the Super Bowl Champions.

    I want to be the bigger person. To give the Giants their due. I mean, they won! It wasn't some cheaply won, bad call kind of game, they out played the team I root for. But the minute the game was over it started. The taunting. The jeering. The chants in the street of "18 AND 1!" "18 AND 1". When you live in enemy territory, well, it's just what you get.

    The next morning I tried to avoid any mention of the game. I got ready in silence, choosing to awaken to my alarm instead of my typical Mike and Mike in the morning. My massive hangover from drowning my sorrows as the last of the seconds ticked away the night before dulling the dread of what I knew awaited me outside the safety of my apartment. The joy.

    It surrounded me on the subway. Even with my nose shoved firmly into the spine of my book I could see images Eli Manning hoisting the trophy above his head all around me. On the backs of papers. On the fronts of papers. His goofy I'm-only-twelve-years-old face mocked me everywhere I went. When I got into my office my coworkers had plastered him to my door. So what that I was nice to them when their Mets COLLAPSED at the end of the season? The Giants won the Super Bowl!

    Coworkers stopped by to gloat. Especially one who had called, back in July, that the Pats only loss was going to be to the Giants. Of course, he was thinking week 17, but his prediction came true none-the-less. On Tuesday it was just as bad. Giants jerseys were everywhere as the city celebrated their heroes with a parade.

    Most days I love this city. This week? I think I'd rather be anywhere but.

    Bring on pitchers and catchers.

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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, February 06, 2008   3 comments
    Monday, January 14, 2008
    2007 World Series Trophy
    This past Friday night, Professor Thom's welcomed a very special guest:


    That's right, the Red Sox 2007 World Series trophy made an appearance at my favorite bar. The good people at Bombo Sports (the guys who brought you Still, We Believe) have been shooting a new documentary at Thom's all season, featuring some of my good friends and fellow regulars. So the Red Sox were kind enough to send the trophy down to the bar for all of us to enjoy.

    And enjoy it we did. It was an absolutely amazing night. I had the good fortune to have my photo taken with the 2004 World Series Trophy as well, but it was at a fundraiser that I didn't really know anyone at. Friday? I was surrounded by the people I spent all season watching the Red Sox every move with. The people who have become more than just fellow regulars at the bar, but friends you look forward to seeing. So the two trophy sightings were drastically different, but both equally amazing.

    Some photos from Friday:

    Chris carries the trophy through the adoring crowd:


    So pretty:


    Yeah, that's right, I kissed it:


    AND hugged it:


    Other moments included us all rubbing our happiness in the nose of the owner of the Yankee bar next door (photos from that are all sorts of entertaining), lots of dancing to Shipping Up to Boston (which I really hope the documentary crew didn't get on tape), and just general euphoria. More photos here.
    posted by FINY @ Monday, January 14, 2008   5 comments
    Wednesday, January 09, 2008
    Office Space
    The days immediately following the Red Sox World Series victory are still a bit of a blur. Too much alcohol, too little sleep, and a whirlwind trip to Boston for the victory parade all contributed to a no-longer-knowing-what-day-it-was Finy. So when I met MBB (the name will make more sense later) I was completely shocked that he asked for my number, never mind that he actually used it.

    But after meeting me at my absolute worst (read: on no sleep, fresh off the sox parade, slightly buzzed and looking like hell on an Amtrak train) he did, in fact, call. While on the train I had found out that he was 32, lived in midtown, and was a former marine. He was now the part-owner of his own company and had a pair of eyes that could seriously melt a girl. When he planned our first date as dinner and drinks at a sports bar before sitting in tenth row seats to a Knicks game I was pretty much sold.

    Ok, so there were a few red flags. I wasn't a fan of the fact that he'd never gone to college. I was worried the marine thing would put him staunchly on the right hand side of the political line. And who lives in midtown? But you know what? I was having a damn good time with this guy, and all of those things I had been worried about turned out to be totally unfounded.

    And then he dropped the bomb. The "I'm divorced and have two kids" bomb. This came on about our 5th or 6th date. We had had dozens of long conversations on the phone. I was really starting to like this guy. But an ex-wife? TWO KIDS? But again, after a long conversation about it I decided, you know what? I'm having a damn good time with this guy. So we continue dating.

    Flash forward: MBB and I have now been dating for about a month and a half. And we haven't hooked up once. Oh, sure, we've made out like bandits on random street corners, but that's as far as it's gotten. I realize that I'm the first girl he's really dated since his ex-wife, but damn! So one night we meet up. We get outrageously drunk. I decide that this is absolutely the night that I am getting laid.

    It is now 5:30 in the morning and we have just exited what feels like the tenth bar of the night. He looks at me and says "Do you want to stay in midtown tonight." After telling him that it is no longer "tonight" I say yes. What I really want to say is "Do you honestly think that wasn't my intention? We've been molesting each other in public for hours now". I restrain myself. Barely.

    As we walk into his building the following conversation ensues:
    MBB: You are finally going to see where I live.
    FINY: Yeah I am excited.
    MBB: Me too.
    FINY: It kind of looks like an office building.
    MBB: Well, it kinda is.

    This should have been my first clue that this was not going to go the way I had hoped.

    As the elevator doors open we are deposited into a reception area. The logo of MBB's company is hanging on the wall above the front desk. MBB takes my hand and gives me a quick tour. As we wander through the cubicles it still hasn't hit me yet. I'm wasted, I just don't get it.

    Then we reach an office in the back corner. Like my office, the wall that faces the hallway is floor to ceiling glass. Unlike my office, this glass is blacked out somehow.

    MBB takes out his keys and unlocks the door. I am now just flat out confused. What are we doing here? MBB steps inside the office. The door is only half open. And then I see why.

    There is a Murphy Bed unfolded from the wall blocking the door.

    That's when it hits me.

    This is where Murphy Bed Boy (MBB) lives!

    Inside the room there is just the Murphy Bed, a dresser with a TV, cable box, tivo, and playstation, and an odd compartmentalized closet type thing. This should bother me more than it does. But the minute his lips touch mine I forget where I am. The copiuos amounts of liquor probably had something to do with it too.

    Then, suddenly, it's morning. Or, more accurately, later in the morning than it was when we fell asleep. Now hundreds of questions are running through my head. The most important of which are the immediate ones. Where in the world is the women's room, and IS THERE GOING TO BE SOMEONE WORKING IN THE CUBICLE OUTSIDE THE DOOR!

    I wake MBB to ask these questions and realize that the reason I am freezing is that they turn the heat off in office buildings on weekends. After a thousand assurances that no one will be outside, i quickly dress and head towards the women's room. Two things happen here. 1. I find mens shaving gel next to the sink. 2. I hear someone moving around outside and almost die of a heart attack. I imagine exiting the bathroom and running into one of MBBs coworkers. What would I say? "Uh, hi, I'm Kim. I'm just visiting MBB ... at 10am on a Sunday morning. With bed head. And his shirt on. Nice meeting you!"

    I basically run back to MBBs, I don't even know what you call it, his room? and find it empty meaning that whatever I heard before was him. I breathe a sign of relief. It's a quick one because I then find my own shirt and have my coat on before he returns.

    He tries to convince me to stay and watch football. Not once has he made any mention of the fact that we are in the middle of his office. He's acting like this is totally normal!

    Me? I bolt as fast as my aching, heeled, walk of shame feet can carry me.

    Only in New York, folks. Only in New York.

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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, January 09, 2008   12 comments
    Welcome Back
    I've got no excuses to make, no explanations to give, but I do sort of wish I could see the looks on some of your faces as you read this, because that's right - I'm back. So much has happened! The Red Sox have won the World Series (I've got pictures from the parade to prove it), The Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season (got photos from that one too), I've travelled up and down the East Coast for all sorts of reasons. Hell it's an entirely new year! To those of you who have been giving me a hard time (yes I am looking at you) you can quit it now. To those who have been checking in - thanks for not giving up on me (and there really are a surprising number of you. I checked my sitemeter for the first time today since August, and I have to say I was a little amazed). And to those of you who have commented, emailed, etc. I sincerely apologize. Especially to Mattysox - sorry I missed your trip to NYC.

    So let's just jump right back into it, shall we?

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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, January 09, 2008   5 comments
    Friday, August 31, 2007
    Self-Respect
    Because I REALLY don't feel like talking about the sweep

    I think it's been pretty well established around these parts that I'm not exactly a tom-boy, not really a girly-girl. But one of my more girly habits is pedicures. There's just something about well kept piggies that makes me smile.

    Today, as I'm sitting in the chair desperately trying not to giggle and move my feet (I'm extremely ticklish), a pair of women sit down in the chairs next to me. They immediately engage in a rather personal conversation about one of their love lives - something not at all uncommon in that setting. But as the conversation continued, I wanted to look over and just say, "Oh, sweetie, COME ON."

    The story began innocently enough. One of the women was dating a man that didn't want to get married. They discussed how hard that kind of thing is because it's not exactly something you discuss on a first date, and by the time you figure it out you're already far enough into the relationship that you may not want to bounce.

    So the woman in question starts talking about how much she loves him, how they never fight, how great he makes her feel. And then there was this:

    Friend: But what about that time out in Nappa?
    Woman: Which one?
    Friend: The one where he circled your cellulite.
    Me: (jaw hitting the floor while pretending to continue reading my book)
    Woman: He didn't circle it, he just pointed to it with a pen.
    Friend: Yeah but he wasn't exactly happy with it.

    The conversation continued with the woman defending her "love" and I just had to zone out or I really was going to jump into the conversation. Because I'm sorry, a man I'm dating even MENTIONS my cellulite and it's war.

    Now, I'll stop here for a moment to defend myself against the comments that could be made by the people who know me well. Yes, I did once have an ex accuse me of not following through on all the talk I did about wanting to lose weight. And while he was partially right, what woman doesn't talk about wanting to lose weight? But besides that, to be perfectly honest, I sort of knew after that conversation that the relationship was on the rocks. Which turned out to be true, it ended three weeks later.

    But this woman saw absolutely nothing wrong with the fact that the self-proclaimed love of her life was literally pointing out her flaws. This just does not sit well with me. If my partner pulled shit like this - I, I don't even have words. I'd like to think I'd have a bit more self-respect than to defend the bastard. Hell, I knew it was fucked up that my ex made a comment about my weight, and he wasn't even so much talking about my weight as my reluctance to actually change something I complained about a lot.

    What I will say is that overhearing that conversation just made me even happier that I am no longer with a man that made me feel bad about myself, stronger in the knowledge that I can make myself happy and I don't need a man in my life to do it for me. I head to Boston for the long weekend relaxed, content, and excited to spend time with people who won't judge me. Expect perhaps to tell me how cute my toes look.
    posted by FINY @ Friday, August 31, 2007   16 comments
    Thursday, August 30, 2007
    A Sea of Pinstripes
    Ok, it's official. I'm starting to worry. I've been desperately holding on to the party line of "We've got the best record in baseball" but the Red Sox are starting to concern me.

    I know that even if we lose today, the Sox will still be five games up. But when the camera panned to a shot of Manny on the bench last night, during which he happened to sneeze, then grimace, then reach for his back? Let's just say you could actually hear everyone at Prof. Thom's thinking "Oh shit".

    I'm wondering if I am only so worried because of where I live. Is this easier to take in Boston? When not surrounded by Yankees fans trying to plant the seeds of doubt into your consciousness at every turn? Or are we all sort of looking over our shoulders and not sleeping well?

    Either way, I'm not enjoying this feeling.

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    posted by FINY @ Thursday, August 30, 2007   6 comments
    Monday, August 27, 2007
    I Miss The Innocence I've Known
    I'm a pack rat. There are no two ways about it, I save EVERYTHING. Ticket stubs, programs, cute pictures small children have drawn for me. Eventually they all end up in shoe boxes stored under beds, in closets, behind chairs. Occasionally as I'm cleaning or trying to find something I'll root through them, reminisce a little, and then promptly put them back to once again begin gathering dust.

    A few weekends ago, while I was at home in Rhode Island, I was given an ultimatum. There was an entire closet filled with evidence of my sentimental nature taking up space in my parents home. I was to go through it all, throw out what I no longer remembered the significance of, and indicate what deserved saving so it could be sent to its new home: the attic.

    Some of the oldest stuff dated back to middle school. All those self-important diaries in which my apparent hatred for my mother, and love for some kid I don't even remember, was splashed across the pages. I found a small Happy Meal toy a guy I liked freshman year of high school gave to me. I found prom photos, knick-nacks, a red sox themed soda can from 1995, all of my sheet music from All-State choir, a flower Steddy brought me my sophomore year of college from his sister's wedding.

    What amazed me was how vividly I remembered almost all of the items in these boxes. Each layer revealed something I had thought once long forgotten, when in fact it was actually just deeply buried - awaiting some visual cue to come crashing back to the forefront.

    One of the items that gave me the most pause was a stack of letters written to me by one of my best friends in high school. Matt had been a few years older than me and the only way to describe my feelings for him is to say that I loved him in a way that only a girl who's never had her heart broken can. Innocently, naively, and completely. The letters were filled with what we then thought were hugely important issues. We were yet to be jaded then, untouched by the real world.

    This trip back through childhood continued this weekend when I attended a Brooklyn Cyclones game out on Coney Island, which was immediately followed by hours of riding the Cyclone and various other vomit inducing rides and playing games to win a small stuffed gorilla that I probably could have bought at a toy store for a buck. Sure I didn't grow up in Brooklyn, but it reminded me an awful lot of Rocky Point. (To all of you Rhode Islanders out there - tell me you don't still remember the theme song ... "Come with your family, come with your friends, that's the Rocky Point tradition 'cause it's summer time again!").

    As my friends and I were flung about like rag dolls on a ride called the Break Dance, I laughed with an abandon I hadn't in what felt like ages. I may only be able to vaguely remember the innocence that came along with the younger years, but it's nice to be reminded of a time when you absolutely believed in the good in the world, and your biggest concern was whether you were going to lose your lunch on the Music Express.

    side note, title of this post borrowed from the lyrics of Wilco's "Heavy Metal Drummer"

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    posted by FINY @ Monday, August 27, 2007   1 comments
    Wednesday, August 22, 2007
    Things That Are Fun
    ... When you get home from a night at the bar already knowing that the Sox won and turning on the YES network to see the Yankees losing to the Angels 18-5 while the announcers talk about how if so-and-so gets on in the 8th and has men in base he has the potential to break some sort of RBI record.

    I landed on YES too late to get the whole story, but it was still fun to hear. Cause after tonight it looks like we're going to be 6 games up and for some reason that feels a lot better than 5 games. Dunno why, but it does.

    This post brought to you by the wonderful bartender at Botanica, who makes a very stiff drink indeed. There really should be a breathalyzer on computers so you're not allowed to drunk-blog, email, etc.

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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, August 22, 2007   2 comments
    Monday, August 20, 2007
    He's Still My Little Brother

    I still remember where I was when I found out that I had become the big sister to a little brother named Buddy (ok, that's not his real name but it's what I call him). I was sitting in the side yard of my grandparents' house in Pawtucket, RI debating with the other kids on the block whether I wanted my mom to have a boy or a girl.

    I may have been just 4 days shy of my 6th birthday, but I was still adamant. I wanted a little brother. The reasoning for this escapes me now, more than two decades later, but then, I was sure, absolutely sure.

    And for the first couple of years it was great. He was like a living doll. I'd dress him up in my Cabbage Patch Kid Clothes and stick him in a playpen with all of my stuffed animals until all you could see was his chubby little face.

    But then he learned how to get around. And more importantly, how to get into my stuff. That's when I turned to my mother and asked him if it was time for him to go back yet. And around the time I left him out of a family portrait I had to draw for school.

    The years that followed involved a lot of me being a really big bitch. All this little kid wanted in the world was to play with his big sister. He'd wait at the screen door for me to come home from school holding my Barbies out for me to play with (since that was ALL I would allow him to participate in). And for his devotion he received all of the Ken's without heads and the Barbies I had given hair cuts to. Oh and did I mention they were also without clothes? Not to mention that they lived in the next neighborhood over, so they could NEVER speak to my Barbies. That was completely against the rules.

    As I moved into my teens and began fighting with my parents, Buddy had finally reached the stage where a healthy sibling rivalry had formed. Any time I was fresh to my mother he'd run up to her, wrap his arms around her, and say "Mommy, I'd NEVER say that to you!" At which point I would promptly kick his ass. Like I said, I was kind of a bitch. But he was asking for it!

    But once I moved away to college things began to change. Six years is a pretty large age difference when you're young, but as the years pile up it suddenly seems to lessen. These days, he and I couldn't be closer, and I couldn't love the kid any more than I do. He's grown into an amazing man; smart, funny, kind of a jerk but in an endearing way.

    For his 21st birthday I wanted to do something big for him. So I did something competely uncharacteristic for me - I planned ahead. On a dreary day in March I spent 4 hours online and bought two tickets to this past Saturday's Red Sox game at Fenway. Buddy hadn't been there in somewhere around 10 years.

    With him leaving to go back to college tomorrow, I had to make sure that I warned him well in advance of his birthday that I had the tickets. Which meant I lost out on the "Oh my God" moment when he opened the present, but the look on his face as we walked up the walkway? The half-joking "Hey, hey Finy, you see that guy right there? That's David Ortiz. Right there. Like, in person." The goofy smile on his face? Totally made up for it. Nevermind the reaction when Big Papi hit the grand slam to take the lead. My God.

    There may now be a beard where dimples used to be. And he may be able to legally drink a beer now. He may even tower over me by at least 7 inches. But that day proved he still is, and always will be, my little brother.

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    posted by FINY @ Monday, August 20, 2007   6 comments
    Wednesday, August 15, 2007
    Promoting Health
    Ext.:Finy and a coworker stand outside smoking a cigarette. Behind them is a window promoting the new Botox Walk-In Clinic. The two are chatting.

    A door opens.

    Plastic Woman: Excuse me do you work at [Finy's place of employment]

    Coworker: Yes.

    Plastic Woman(with a holier-than-thou attitude) Ok, then would you mind not smoking in front of our store? We're trying to promote health here.

    Finy and Coworker wander away thinking that only in Manhattan would Botox injections be considered a health service.

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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, August 15, 2007   4 comments
    Emotional Reset
    Someone (TomO I think it was you) said at Eddypolusa this year that the annual event is sort of an emotional reset for him. As soon as the words left his mouth I thought: Yes! YES! That's exactly it.

    In years past that reset, that sense of calm has always stayed with me for months. Not so for 2007. Faced with a boss whom I've described at length before, I came back and was working weekends, was working on my days off, was driving myself insane. The anxiety I felt between the hours of 9 and 5 was following me home, constantly nipping at my heels.

    I was headed for a breakdown and I knew it.

    And then the weekend arrived. A weekend that promised the company of some of my guy friends, some baseball, and some beer. Saturday found us in the second row of dead center field at Camden Yards watching Beckett pitch a masterful game - the only one the Sox won in the series. Saturday night there was some Mexican food, many MANY beers, and a lot of entertaining conversation.

    After a hangover-curing greasy brunch, there was a surprise sailing trip. 4 guy friends, a cooler full of beer, and my first trip on a sail boat (yes I am the worst Rhode Islander ever). As we floated past the monuments, swam in the placid waters of the Potomac, and talked about absolutely nothing for hours on end, I felt further away from work than I had since my days on the St. Croix.

    But a 2am arrival time back in NYC and a morning that came far too fast brought Monday crashing down on my head. And then I did the smartest thing I've done in a long time.

    I called out sick.

    A lazy day of no work, sleep, some tv watching, and more sleep found me sitting in the office yesterday morning with a slight smile on my face as my boss called me insubordinate. For planning a happy hour. After hours. For a coworker who was leaving.

    I'd officially figured out how to emotionally reset myself. And damn did it feel good.





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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, August 15, 2007   2 comments
    Wednesday, August 01, 2007
    Just Walk Away
    I should be writing about how excited I am about the Gagne trade.

    Or how I leave this evening bound for Rhode Island and a tradition that has stood with my high school friends since somewhere in the mid - to - late nineties.

    I should be writing about loving the summer, that song "Naive" by the Kooks, and how listening to it while walking down my tree-lined Brooklyn street always puts a bounce in my step.

    But instead, my chest is so tight that it feels like I'm having a panic attack. Because I have a problem ... I work too hard.

    I am about to spend two of my "vacation" days working from home. So much went wrong at the office this week (of course - always on a week you're taking time off, right?) that I actually broke down into tears in the office today. None of it was my fault, and I think I handled it really well, but the problem with having a boss who doesn't understand what you do is that - she doesn't understand what you do. So when things go wrong, she has no idea how much time it takes to fix, and how that time is time you can't spend on other less-important projects. Hell, she doesn't even always understand what's important and what's not.

    So instead of heading to Rhode Island relaxed, happy, and excited to sit around getting wasted with people I've known for two decades, I'm leaving my apartment wishing there was some way I could add ten extra hours to my day. Or just stop time altogether so I can catch up.

    I need to learn how to walk away. This isn't healthy. It's just a job. But unfortunately, I'm proud of the work I do, and even knowing this wasn't my fault, I feel like I've let people down. Even if those people don't realize that they're asking unreasonable things. Even if they don't seem to appreciate my willingness to give up precious time with my family and friends in order to work on days I shouldn't be.

    I'm so not going to be able to sleep tonight.

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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, August 01, 2007   5 comments
    About Me

    Name: FINY
    Home: New York, New York, United States
    About Me: Just a New England girl trying to make it in NYC. Email me at: soxfaninnyc [at] gmail [dot] com
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