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    Friday, April 29, 2005
    Employment
    Well, if I can't actually work I might as well write about something vaguely related to the word.

    Just bought the Kaiser Chiefs' album, Employment. I had seen these guys at Maxwell's in Hoboken last month and completely fell in love with them. They were simply amazing live, and though the cd seems to lack a bit of the on stage energy they've got it was still SO worth it to buy the disc.
    posted by FINY @ Friday, April 29, 2005   3 comments
    Thursday, April 28, 2005
    To All The FBI Men ...
    ... who have been assigned to read what I write here, you can find me on the second floor andd our buzzer doesn't work so you can just come up and knock ...

    Seriously, why do I even watch the President speak anymore. His complete misuse of the English language makes me want to throw my television out the window, and that smirk makes me want to slap him. But it's like a train wreck. I couldn't look away!!

    I need a cigarette ... that was too much to take. Personal accounts, No Child Left Behind is apparently a success?

    How hard is it to move to Canada again?

    Oh and let's not forget ... we're only on day 100 of this second term.

    Yeah cigarette definitely needed.

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    posted by FINY @ Thursday, April 28, 2005   2 comments
    Sick Day
    It's amazing how much slower a day goes by when you are just sitting on the couch coughing up a lung. I can't believe it's only 11am!

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    posted by FINY @ Thursday, April 28, 2005   2 comments
    Wednesday, April 27, 2005
    Stupid Meeting
    I go in to my all day meeting at 11 this morning, and everything seems ok. I get out, and Schilling is on the DL with a bone bruise? WTF?! I know I said before that he got a "pass" because he's still rehabbing, but going on the DL was NOT what I meant by that!

    On a completely unrelated note ... black tights and brown heels is never ok. Ever. Just had to sit in that room for like 5 hours with a woman who woke up and thought it'd be a good idea. Ick.

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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, April 27, 2005   2 comments
    Those Foulking O's
    The Sox game last night warrants a bit of space today. Because I am starting to get worried.

    I don't care what the Sports Guy says about fans of championship winning teams taking a five year break from complaining about their teams after said championship is won. I expect more out of this team than what we're seeing right now.

    Actually, I guess that's not true. I was worried about our pitching before the season even started, and all of my fears have come to fruition in this first month of play. So perhaps I should say I was hoping for more.

    Our offense isn't really the problem, as is evident from the score of last night's game. The O's came from behind to beat the Sox 11 - 8. And I don't want to take anything away from Baltimore, they're looking like a real contender right now, though at points last season they did as well. What I'm worried about is our rotation and our bullpen.

    I have never been a David Wells fan. When the Sox signed him in the off-season I felt much like Curt Schilling must have when he said "Well, I guess I hate the Yankees now" at his first press conference. I guessed I liked Wells. But he needed to show me something to really win my love. He hasn't And not only has he not, but he's now on the DL and could miss as much as a month of action.

    Then there's Clement, who's 2 wins and 0 losses are a testament to how ridiculous the win-loss stat is. Clement pitched in the Tampa Bay game I saw up in Boston a few weeks ago, and while his numbers from that game were actually pretty good, Tampa Bay was getting too many solid shots off him to make me feel comfortable. Especially considering the Tampa Bay lineup.

    Curt Schilling gets a bit of a pass at the moment. Coming off ankle surgery this winter, he shouldn't be expected to carry this team. That leaves us with Arroyo and Wake. Arroyo I have an insane amount of faith in. Give him another year or two and I think he's going to be hot shit. Wake, as it is well known is my favorite Sox player, and at the moment has the best ERA on the team at 1.75. The problem here is, these are our 4 and 5 guys. Arroyo should be a number 3 at best, and since Wake is a knuckleballer he is inevitably streaky. One night when that pitch isn't dancing and his ERA could jump to the 4s. The two of them have been great at stopping the bleeding, but we need the first half of our rotation to step up.

    That, or Wade Miller needs to come back from rehab and absolutely shut the opposition down. Not something I'm expecting after this long an absence.

    And poor Alan Embree. The man's been called into 12 games already. But what really scares me about the bullpen is Keith Foulke. Last year Keith was our go to guy. For the first time in a LONG time, the Sox finally had a closer that I felt content bringing into a one run game in the ninth. Not so anymore. Suddenly we're back where we were in 2003 - using a closer by committee approach.

    I know I know. It's early. Yes, I remember how poorly we did at points last year and somehow still managed to win the World Series. But I'm a Sox fan, did you really think I'd be able to make it through that "Five year grace period"? Not a chance in hell.

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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, April 27, 2005   1 comments
    Have a Halls
    I was scaring people away from me on the subway this morning. Literally.

    While I am not sniffling, sneezing, I-have-the-flu type sick, I have some how come down with a hacking cough that just refuses to go away. I blame this completely on MM who has sounded this way for a week or so. Clearly I caught it from her. Really I am just looking for someone to blame.

    This morning on the R train my cough medicine had yet to kick in, and I had left my cough drops at the office. Trying to hold the coughing in was KILLING my chest and abs, but every time I coughed someone would get up and walk away. I felt like a leper. My eyes were tearing, my face was turning bright red. I was NOT a pretty sight.

    I had been wearing my headphones so I wouldn't realize exactly how loud I was being in the relatively quiet rush hour train, when suddenly in front of me appears an open palm offering me a Halls. I may have been embarrassed, but that little old lady made me smile this morning.

    New Yorkers simply aren't as cold as our reputation implies.

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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, April 27, 2005   0 comments
    Tuesday, April 26, 2005
    Site Meter
    Is anyone else as obsessed with their site meters as I am? I check the damn thing all the time, and yet have no idea why I do so. None. It's an obsession. Hell I hardly even know what half the things it tells me mean! I know I see my own IP address on there like a gazillion times, but that's about it. And yet I keep going back.

    I have a problem.

    Here's to hoping it's just the DayQuil/NyQuil induced haze I am wandering around in at the moment.

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    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, April 26, 2005   2 comments
    Monday, April 25, 2005
    Toto, We're Not in Manhattan Anymore
    The last time I went to Philadelphia I was 14. It was an end of the school year trip for the 8th graders at Barrington Middle School, a celebration that we'd made it through prepubescent and were headed to the big show. High School loomed ahead of us, but for the moment we were kings of the world. We took great joy in lining up for the buses on a warm spring morning while the 6th and 7th graders looked on in envy.

    I remember thinking how BIG Philly was. The tall buildings, the Liberty Bell, did I mention the tall buildings? Hell, we even saw someone get arrested, how cool is that?! For a couple hundred kids from suburban Rhode Island, this was the trip of a lifetime.

    Since that time I've endured a horrendous high school experience (who hasn't) a glorious four years in Boston, and am now verging on three years in New York City. I've come to one conclusion: New York has ruined me for all other cities.

    MM and I headed down to Philly on Saturday afternoon for the fist time since 8th grade ready to meet up with our elementary school through present friend JH and his fiance KW before surprising our high school friend DW. DW's girlfriend was throwing a surprise party for Dave's 25th birthday.

    We arrived already pissed off. We had missed our bus because the kiosks at Greyhound were broken and getting through the ticket line took us so long that we almost missed the bus AFTER the one we intended on catching.

    Once we get to Philly, check into the hotel, and head over to DW's hotel we are ready for a night of debauchery. Because who travels to another city, for a friends 25th birthday, if they're not planning on doing the night up right?

    The look on Dave's face when he opened the door was enough to make the night worth it. There's nothing like genuinely surprising someone.

    For two hours we sat in the hotel room drinking lukewarm beers and Parrot Bay and cokes. I felt like I was back in high school prepartying before the prom. I wanted to play along, I did. And for a while, it worked. But as the clock ticked towards 10:30, I kept thinking to myself - this isn't New York, the bars don't close at 4am, they close at 2!!!

    When we finally leave and take a cab ride to the bar there is a line. I'm thinking, ok, maybe this might be cool. Looks like this place is hopping.

    First of all, there was a cover. Now granted it was only $3, but I don't pay covers in Manhattan, why the HELL am I paying one in Philly? Secondly, inside the bar it was a lot less crowded than the line suggested. Loud mid-nineties music blared over the speakers. However, it WAS cheap, and DW was so excited to have us there that it was all clearly worth it. Plus I did get an authentic Philly cheesesteak, and blessedly they still allow smoking in bars in PA (a fact my lungs are still yelling at me about). But all I kept thinking, all weekend was, I want to go back to New York. It may get on my nerves at times, it may run me over like a bus on a daily basis, but it's also become home. Every other city now feels like it's trying to be "cool" trying to live up to a city that can never have an equal.

    Perhaps it's official. Perhaps this line of thinking only cements the fact that I have become a New Yorker. I don't think so though. Boston never feels to me like it's trying to be something it's not. It's content with it's laid back atmosphere, it's historical heritage, it's young population. Philly felt like the younger sibling desperately trying to prove itself.

    Maybe I'm jaded. Maybe I only love New York the way I do because I live here. But what I know for sure? I'm damn glad to be back.

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    posted by FINY @ Monday, April 25, 2005   4 comments
    Thursday, April 21, 2005
    Assassination Vacation
    I received a wonderful surprise in the mail yesterday ... Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation. This is the book i heard her read from a few months ago, the one I discussed here. And I've got to tell you, it's every bit as wonderful a read as it was a reading.

    I am so overjoyed at this book, which unlike her others is not a collection of essays, but a non-fiction novel, that I just have to share a turn of phrase she used that just lit me up (and how sad is it that a turn of phrase can light me up?).

    After talking about the Lincoln assassination and how Dr. Taft had described holding Lincoln's head up off the pillow in the hours before he died so as to make him more comfortable, Vowell writes this:

    Oh the agony of hours and hours of holding up the weight of Lincoln's head. The next day, surely Taft's arms were sore, so sore I'd imagine that every time he had to lift something, reach for the salt shaker, say, he would throb with the muscle memory of Lincoln's heavy head.

    "The muscle memory of Lincoln's heavy head" I love it, I just love it.

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    posted by FINY @ Thursday, April 21, 2005   2 comments
    Tuesday, April 19, 2005
    Number 49
    In an age of free agents, inflated salaries, and over-inflated egos, it is hard to find professional athletes who are more dedicated to their teams than they are to their paychecks. As a fan you come to think of player trades as part of the game. When Pedro Martinez signed with the Mets, I knew it was time for him to go. When Lowe went to the Dodgers we smiled and wished him well. The list could go on and on. If a player can get more money somewhere else, they usually do. Players rarely stay with a team for long these days.

    I can think of a few off the top of my head, I guess. Players who have been with their teams for so long it would be hard to imagine them in other uniforms: Jeter with the Yanks, Chipper Jones with the Braves, John Smoltz with the Braves, Jason Varitek with the Sox. And then there's my guy. My favorite baseball player. My favorite Red Sox. Tim Wakefield.

    Wakefield signed with the Sox in 1995. A knuckleball pitcher he has served as everything from a starter, to middle relief, to closer. He's become entrenched in the Boston community, giving both time and money to charitable organizations. And he's been there for his team when they needed him, giving up his start in the ALCS this past year to save the bullpen for a last ditch effort to beat the Yankees the next night. This season was the last on his contract.

    Until today.

    The Red Sox signed Wake to a contract that will, for all intents and purposes, keep him a member of the Sox until the day he decides to retire. And I literally could not be happier. I was 15 when he first came to the organization, and I wouldn't have been able to bear him leaving. This is a good deal for both sides. Though Wake is in his late 30s, as a knuckleball pitcher his body, specifically his elbow and shoulder, do not go through as much wear and tear as a fastball pitchers would, enabling many knucklers to pitch much longer than your typical starter. Wakefield also has the ability to eat up innings when necessary. And bringing in someone to relieve him can screw up an opponent as much as the knuckleball would. Once you've had two at-bats against a guy throwing a 60mph ball that dances like a butterfly, facing a guy who's throwing a 90mph fastball isn't going to do you any good. Oh and have I mentioned that the man is off to an amazing start this year?

    It's also a good deal for the Sox. I haven't seen the actual structure of the agreement, but you've got to think that if Wake went onto the free market he would have been able to get at least a little bit of an upgrade from his current salary.

    It's also good for the fans. Good for us to see that greed isn't all that play into it. That a player can genuinely care about who he's playing for. And that the management can care right back.

    Plus now I know that Wakefield jersey I've been saving up for won't be useless by next season :)

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    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, April 19, 2005   2 comments
    Monday, April 11, 2005


    Introducing Your 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox

    There aren't words for how badly I want to be in Boston today. I should have taken the day off. Been impulsive and just made my way up there. But no, I had to be responsible.

    This afternoon, at 2:15pm, the Boston Red Sox will be presented with their World Series rings. They will then hoist the World Series Banner. It's an event than the fans of my generation and the generations before me have never seen. I'm going to try to head over to the Boston (212) Cafe on Madison and 28th around 2 and just take a late lunch to try to watch as much of the ceremony as I can, but I'll miss most of the game due to work.

    For any people who are going to the game and ceremony today, I make one request: please, Please, PLEASE refrain from chanting Yankees Suck. Seriously. Today is a day for the Sox and their fans to revel in the beauty that was our playoff run last year. Yes, that run ran through the Bronx, but we cannot let this Championship be defined by the Yankees collapse. The Sox earned this, and to chant about another team, even if it is to put them down, gives them unnecessary importance in what should be our day.

    Sox fans used to (and still do) complain about how annoying and arrogant Yankees fans are/were. Let's not stoop to their level. So while you're breaking out the Kleenex today and wiping the tears from your eyes as guys like Tek and Wake get the rings they've waited so long for, cheer for them. Not against the Yankees.

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    posted by FINY @ Monday, April 11, 2005   1 comments
    Friday, April 08, 2005
    Running Home in the Rain
    It started raining around 10 last night. I was standing on the top step outside of Grassroots on St. Marks smoking a cigarette while my friends huddled under the awning. With my face turned up towards the sky, and my arms outstretched, I felt like a kid again. It was the first true spring rain of the season. Warm, drenching, beautiful. People walking by on the streets, scurrying around under umbrella's looked at my like I was crazy. But for a minute there the rain felt so great.

    After all the concerts, the fights, the panic attack, the hurt feelings, the emotions I wasn't sure what to do with, the rain felt fantastic. By the time I left the bar it was no longer raining, it was pouring. And by the time I got to the Pacific Street stop in Brooklyn it was downright monsooning. Not having an umbrella I ran the four blocks to my apartment. Right at my corner I took a running leap and landed in the middle of a puddle, drenching what portions of me were not dripping already.

    Sometimes it takes some gritty New York City rain to wash off all the muck.

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    posted by FINY @ Friday, April 08, 2005   4 comments
    Wednesday, April 06, 2005
    The Man He'd Love To Be
    I saw my father tonight. Standing in the middle of a Dogs Die in Hot Cars concert. Arms crossed, a slight smile on his face, gently bouncing to the music while hundreds of twenty-somethings bopped around him. I could see the content look on his face, the way he gives himself over to whatever he's listening to, no longer conscious of what's around him. I saw him gently nod towards the stage at the end of songs instead of clapping.

    And then someone passed between us in the crowd and the spell was broken. My father was still in Rhode Island, sitting cross-legged on the floor of my childhood home's living room, listening to one of the thousands of vinyl albums in his collection. Still bouncing a bit, still nodding, but with less of a content look.

    The man, standing slightly to my right, was what my father could have been. What he'd love to be. The man standing near me was what my father gave up to be a husband and a father.

    A few nights ago on the phone my mother and I had the following conversation:

    MOM: Where were you last night I tried to call.

    ME: I saw the Kaiser Chiefs last night, actually be sure to tell Dad to check them out they were fantastic.

    MOM: I try not to tell Dad about all the shows you go to.

    ME: Why ... is he upset about all the money I spend, again?

    MOM: No, he's jealous.

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    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, April 06, 2005   1 comments
    Monday, April 04, 2005
    And Here We Go
    If you're going to continue to read this blog, I am going to give you a warning right now: the Boston Red Sox are going to play a major role in what is written here. And if you're a baseball fan, I'll give you this warning: much of the time I will be talking out of my ass.

    I am not a stats geek. I've never been a math person and while I get the basics of things like OBP, OPS, and the like, I tend to go with my gut. What this leads to is a lot of blind faith. I'll fall back on stats when it bolsters my argument, but basically this is going to be a place for me to talk about the way I watch the game. What I think of what's going on, and if I'm wrong I'm wrong, but whatever, no on reads this anyway (hi jack!! :) )

    So here are my thoughts on last night's opening game. First of all, I LOVE the lack of panic that is going on in Red Sox Nation right now. Had it been last year there would have been bridge jumpers everywhere. Blow the team up. We lost to the Yankees on Opening Day. We're doomed.

    There is none of that this year. Well, there's been some heavy criticism of Well's performance (which I'll admit was not stellar) but after winning the World Series, suddenly RSN really DOES believe anything is possible. Because we've seen it. It's happened. So who's to say it can't happen again?

    But I was a bit concerned by a few of the things I saw last night. The one thing that had worried me was our pitching. With Schilling and Miller on the DL we're stretched a bit thin. I wasn't expecting a win last night because we were sending a guy who shouldn't be more than a number three starter up against one of the best (if not THE best) pitcher in the game. What I did expect, especially from our new shortstop Renteria, was solid defense. Our bats weren't going to light up Johnson, we all knew that, but a bit of solid D behind Wells would have been nice. We escaped with only 1 error in the game (if I am remembering correctly) but I think it should have been more. Renteria's bobble of a grounder to his left, his overthrow of first, Johnny’s bobble in the outfield ... it didn't inspire confidence.

    The team will come together. That much I know. I have as much faith in this team as I have for the last couple decades. Hey, we lost our season opener last year and that turned out ok now didn't it?

    But then again, what kind of Sox fan would I be if I wasn't a LITTLE nervous :).
    posted by FINY @ Monday, April 04, 2005   4 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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