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    Thursday, May 31, 2007
    I Just Asked Myself For Money
    I loved college.

    Ok, we all did. The freedom from parents, the lack of real responsibilities, the underaged drinking without thinking about the ramifications, wandering into an early morning class in your pajamas. Oh yeah, and the carte blanche to study basically anything you can imagine. What's not to love?

    But I REALLY loved Emerson College. I could go into a long list of why, but you'd all just end up getting bored. Let's just say I was that student. The one that by the end of her senior year was teaching a leadership course, running the school literary magazine, working for Student Life, serving as the class treasurer and a member of basically every committee the school had.

    What I didn't realize was that when you build up that kind of reputation at a school, it sticks with you even years after you've graduated. So when I got a call from Emerson's Alumni Department about a year ago asking if I'd be willing to serve on my reunion planning committee I felt almost like I couldn't say no. Especially since one of the reasons given for asking me was BECAUSE I was so involved while enrolled.

    And that's how I ended up asking myself for money. I just received a letter in the mail that began "Dear Finy" and ended "Sincerely, Finy". With my position on the committee, and my experience writing direct mail campaigns, I became the one to write our "class giving" letter. I didn't think about what that would mean when I received the letter. And I laughed out loud when I saw it.

    And then I promptly gave myself $50.

    The small side note to this is that I leave tomorrow for Boston to attend the reunion. If I don't get a chance to blog before then, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

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    posted by FINY @ Thursday, May 31, 2007   4 comments
    Wednesday, May 30, 2007
    Am I the Kiss of Death or What?

    My boss' boss resigned today. She'll be gone by the end of June. And as soon as she's gone the deathwatch will begin on MY boss. Most of us don't give her long once her boss is gone. It's a long story, but it leads me to one question ... am I like the black cat walking across an organization's path? My last nonprofit basically went under. Now the shake-ups here not even three months after my arrival ... one has to wonder.

    Most of my coworkers are thinking I am safe from any "cleaning house" type moves that could be made under new supervision. With some relatively high ranking executives on my side, I know I’ve got enough people in my corner to lobby for me. But after losing my job TWICE last year, I can’t help but worry.


    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, May 30, 2007   4 comments
    Saturday, May 19, 2007
    Maybe Sometimes It's Better Not To Know
    Uncle Al's beep booming baritone would always turn my name into four syllables, instead of it's typical three. It had almost a sing-song sound to it every time he wrapped me up in those kinds of hugs that completely envelope you.

    It's been a long time since I've had one of those hugs. Even longer since I've heard him say my name. Uncle Al has Alzheimer's.

    I think the first time I noticed something was wrong was at my college graduation party. He was talking to The Ex about the time he spent in WWII - something he hardly ever mentioned, let alone told stories about. He was having trouble remembering specifics, and I remember thinking it was odd he was talking about it at all, but just assumed the muddled memories had something to do with it being so long ago.

    Perhaps his decline was slow, but to me it seemed as if he just suddenly fell off a cliff. Living so far away, and only seeing him at the holidays, the descent into the disease appeared more pronounced to me, not seeing the day to day battle. Two Easter's ago, he knew enough to know that he should remember who I was. This Easter, I think I only heard him speak two words. He no longer has the lucidity to know that he should know me.

    And perhaps that's best. I can't imagine the frustration, the confusion, that comes along with suffering from Alzheimer's. To be conscious of the fact that you're slowly losing the memories you held so dear. Maybe it's better not to know. But then again, there's no way for us to tell. By the time an Alzheimer's patient reaches that level, how are we to know what's going on in their thoughts?

    I was struck by this again today, as I was volunteering at an assisted living facility on the upper west side. Most of the residents on the Alzheimer's floor are in the middle to later stages. Still cognizant enough to socialize, but who will most likely forget I was there this afternoon by the time they are sitting down to dinner.

    But then there was Dess. Odessa is a recent arrival at the facility and one I had not met before today. Dess used to be a scientist with Kraft (though it wasn't called that when she worked there), and it was in those labs that she met her husband with whom she had three children - all girls. The oldest of the girls died a while back at the young age of 42. Dess holds tightly to the two that remain and the five grandchildren they've given her, though she's desperate for one of them to get married so she can meet her great grand babies.

    At 85 years old, you wouldn't peg Dess as an Alzheimer's patient right away. But she occasionally forgets that she's no longer in Florida with her husband. And each time she remembers, it must be like realizing that he's died all over again.

    I didn't ask Dess how recently her husband had passed away, but I am assuming it was not that long ago. Her youngest daughter is in Florida now trying to sell the house. She made it very clear that she wasn't happy being at the facility. With so many around her in the later stages - she's lonely. And she clearly knows what's in store for her.

    I can't help but wonder if maybe Uncle Al doesn't have it just a little bit better right now. Maybe sometimes, it's better not to know.


    posted by FINY @ Saturday, May 19, 2007   2 comments
    You Know What I Hate?
    When, for the first time in weeks, you actually have the opportunity to sleep in - but instead are wide awake by 7am and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

    At least there's a Sox double header to look forward to today.


    posted by FINY @ Saturday, May 19, 2007   1 comments
    Wednesday, May 16, 2007
    Blinded By Nostalgia
    "Was there an age limit on this show?" Ryan asked as we entered Hammerstein Ballroom last night.
    "I have no idea," I answered. "Why?"
    "There are a lot of children here."

    As I looked around while we snaked our way towards the front of the stage, I noticed he was right, but didn't really think anything of it. So there were a lot of teenagers. They didn't look any stranger to me than I must have looked when I went to see Belly when I was 15. Ryan, on the other hand, felt old. And then said something that took me by surprise.

    "It may not be the best idea to be this close to the stage"

    Excuse me? When is being close to the stage, especially in a venue as large as Hammerstein, a bad idea?

    "We're going to get caught in the mosh pit."

    Ok, now I felt old. It hadn’t even occurred to me that the Arctic Monkeys might be moshing music. But looking back to my mosh pit experiences in the past, I figured, eh, I could handle myself.

    But as the music got going, and the shoving commenced I realized my error. I found myself thinking about the camera, phone, and cd player in my bag. Clutching my purse in front of me I fought to find the room to dance (I absolutely can not stay still at live concerts) but not be pulled into the fray.

    In the end, we avoided the pit, standing only on the outskirts our view occasionally obstructed by a passing crowd surfer (I honestly thought that stuff ended a while ago - have I been that naive?). It was a great show; high energy, a mix of old and new songs, and a crowd that was - clearly - very excited to be there.

    But as we walked down the street towards the subway Ryan pondered the question: What's the age cut off for moshing? I remember quite vividly being thrown around like a rag doll at the Smashing Pumpkins concert when I was sixteen and loving every minute of it. Ditto for when I went to see Bush that same year. Sometime around my 18th birthday I crowd surfed for the first time though mainly because two of my guy friends bet me I wouldn't.

    So what had changed? Why was I suddenly looking at these kids thinking: um, don't you want to SEE the show? You paid $40 for your ticket, and they weren't easy to get, so you clearly really like their music. Don't you want to, you know, listen to it?

    Is it that I am now earning my own money and paying my own way so it has more value to me? The idea of potentially losing my camera, keys, etc. is suddenly more meaningful when mommy and daddy won't replace it later? Or is this just a normal part of "growing up"? Cause I have to tell you, until last night, I was pretty firmly in the I'm-still-a-big-kid camp.

    But apparently I’m past the moshing age. Whatever that is.


    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, May 16, 2007   5 comments
    Monday, May 14, 2007
    On Top
    Since it's never going to happen again, I clearly needed to take a screen shot:

    Yeah, that's right. That's my team, The Pink Hat Haters, sitting up at Number 1. I rule.


    posted by FINY @ Monday, May 14, 2007   6 comments
    Thursday, May 10, 2007
    The Lessons Not Learned
    I think I missed a day in health class back in middle school. Perhaps it was when I was almost hospitalized with the chicken pox? Or maybe it was even younger than that, maybe they taught this lesson when I missed a few days in elementary school when that mean boy from down the street chased me on my bike and I flipped over the handlebars and landed on my face.

    Whenever it was, I seem to have missed a lot of the "How to Be a Girl" lessons. Sure I got the "How to Wear Your Emotions On Your Sleeve", the "101 Ways to Increase Melodrama". I especially enjoyed the "The Art of the Chick Flick" class. I even took some cross over courses. "The Art of the Infield Fly Rule" was a good one. As was "Across the Line: The Evolution of Icing in the Game of Hockey".

    But as I sat around my office today, chatting with fellow coworkers about the sample sale going on 14 floors below and comparing purchases, I felt like the kid who skipped a grade because he did well on one test only to realize he should probably be in remedial reading. I'd been so proud lately that I'd finally been wearing heels on a consistent basis. That the occasional eye shadow would grace my lids. Hell, I even felt downright sexy in the dress I wore to the gala last week!

    Then the comments started coming – in the friendliest fashion possible of course.
    "You do have the right brushes to apply that eye shadow, right? And that you should probably wear eyeliner with it?"
    "You should wear more belts they'd give you much more of a waist."
    "That lipstick probably isn't the best color for your skin tone."

    Now, who knows, they're probably right, but here's my question: Where the HELL are you people learning this stuff? I have no idea what kind of skin tone I have or which eye shadow will accent my blue eyes well. I've figured out that black is slimming, but damn, how much black can one person wear? (Ok, I live in New York, so actually, quite a bit).

    So is there some sort of summer school I can go to to catch up on this shit? I'm a pretty hard studier, I am sure I can make up for the lost time. Or maybe a cheat sheet I could get? Is there a Cliff's Notes out there somewhere?

    I never did like feeling behind at school. Now I just feel behind at life.

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    posted by FINY @ Thursday, May 10, 2007   5 comments
    Wednesday, May 09, 2007
    Cursing Ryan Howard
    Technically, I am not a fantasy sports virgin. I've played fantasy baseball twice, fantasy football a handful of times. But every time I've participated in a league I've wound up losing interest. Or not having the time. Suddenly it's been a week since I've checked on my roster and I'm hovering around the bottom of the standings.

    This year, I vowed it would be different. Playing in a sixteen, mixed league field, winning was and is clearly going to take a lot more than a casual interaction. With so many teams, depth is key. And not something I've typically been great at. I'm taking it as a challenge. I'm also partially motivated that I'm the only female in the league that's half-filled with some of my best guy friends. If I tank, I'll be hearing about this for a while. I'm still hearing about my football team months later.

    There was a problem though. I missed the draft. I was left with a team that could be called mediocre at best. With the computer picking for me, I had to live with what I was given. My new goal became not finishing last. Howard was my one pick up I was genuinely excited about.

    But then something funny happened. I won the first week. Tied the second. Won the third. And Fourth. Suddenly, I'm checking my team multiple times a day. Reading up on my players. Who'll be sitting out that night. What my pitching match-ups are. I've become one of those people.

    It didn't really hit me until today when, after seeing a report that Ryan Howard was going to be benched until at least Friday due to an injury, I benched him. What happens? He goes 1 for 2, with 1R, 1H, 1HR, and 4RBIs. And I had him on the bench. As I sat here and cursed towards my computer, I realized, just maybe, I have a problem.

    One I'm going to embrace until I wipe the table with these guys. Ryan Howard be damned.


    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, May 09, 2007   3 comments
    Tuesday, May 08, 2007
    Post Break-Up Code of Conduct
    We all know those unwritten rules of how to conduct yourself a break up. We each have our own, and of course they're all taken from personal experiences, but nevertheless, they're there. One of my unwritten break up rules was broken by The Twin a few weekends ago, which begged the question; what IS the code of conduct after you end a relationship? This is my attempt at answering that question.

    Rule Number 1: The Division of Friends All friends will revert back to their original relationships. No calls or emails will be made to the former-significant-other's friends. This rule can be weakened if the ending of the relationship is amicable.
    Personal Example The first time The Twin and I broke up, he and the Welshman remained on speaking terms, at least when they ran into each other at the bar. The second time? He has tried to start conversations with him multiple times, to no avail. 'Cause one of my best friends is really going to want to talk to a guy who broke his friend's heart not once, but twice. Yeah, that makes sense. But when Barnard Boy and I split, and have since remained friends, the mutual ties remained unaffected.

    Rule Number 2: Childish Acts of Anger Directly After the Breakup CAN Be Forgiven Depending on the severity of said break up, the dumper shall excuse the dumpee for a myriad of harmless acts that are founded on deeply hurt feelings.
    Personal Example When The Ex moved out, for about two months after any guy who asked for my number, I gave his cell phone to. Now I am sure that most of them didn't actually call (they never do) but it gave me a tiny little laugh that guys could be calling him and asking for me. Childish, yes, but after the extreme severity of the case? Well deserved, and in the end, completely harmless.

    Rule Number 3: Any Personal Possessions Left Behind By the Dumper Immediately Become Property of the Dumpee … and can be disposed of in any way the dumpee deems fit. This includes CDs, t-shirts, DVDs, etc. The dumpee should try to avoid at all costs, wallowing in his or her sorrow by wearing said t-shirts, listening to said cds, or watching said dvds.
    Personal Example When The Twin and I broke it off the first time, I didn't get rid of any of his stuff. Instead, I hid the Wakefield Warriors t-shirt I had taken to wearing to bed in a drawer, figuring one day it wasn't going to hurt so much. The second time? That t-shirt met with some scissors.

    Rule Number 4: All Requests Regarding Communication MUST Be Honored If either one of the two parties does not want to continue a friendly relationship, the other must adhere to the request. If broken by the dumper, they just look like an insensitive prick. If broken by the dumpee they just look pathetic.
    Personal Example The Ex and I were not able to speak until years after our break up, and even then, I had to let it taper off, I was still too mad. When The Twin and I broke it off the first time, I was ok with being friends. The second time I explicitly told him never to contact me again.

    Rule Number 5: The Division of Hang Outs Much like Rule Number 1, all bars that had distinct lines of "ownership" to either party revert back to said party as soon as the breakup occurs.
    Personal Experience We all have these. Those places that are just yours. For me, it's Professor Thom's. The owners have become more than just the guys that serve me beer, but friends. The regulars have as well. I'm there all the time, I love this place. Well, after a 6 month absence, The Twin decided it was ok to come back to watch the Sox. And not only that, but to bring his new girlfriend, whom he started dating suspiciously soon after we split, along with him. And while we didn't even make eye contact that night, I swear to God if I hadn't been so focused on making sure he didn't think I gave a shit, I could have punched him.

    In Conclusion: Just Be Considerate Break ups, especially the bad ones, always involve some level of hurt feelings. Be considerate of one another. Ostensibly, if you've been together for any real length of time, you should know your former flame well enough to know what is going to hurt them. And if you cared about them enough to date them in the first place, shouldn't you care about them enough to respect their feelings?

    All of this seems like common sense to me. But then again, I could be wrong. What are your break up rules?


    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, May 08, 2007   8 comments
    Monday, May 07, 2007
    An Exercise in Pictoral Excuses
    Yes, I have been absent over the last few weeks, months, etc. But really, I've got some pretty good excuses.

    First, I went to a Sox game at Yankee Stadium where I watched Dice-K pitch and the Sox win:

    And ate a lot of peanuts:

    After the game, I got way too wasted when the Twin showed up at Prof. Thom's after a 6 month absence. But he wasn't alone, he had the new-me with him. I held it together while at the bar, but the evening ended with me crying on the sidewalk in the Welshman's arms. Look for a post soon about the rules of post break-up behavior. I think The Twin needs a memo.

    So the next day I was hoping the Sox would cheer me up when I attended the second game in the series. That didn't happen, since they lost, but at least I got to watch Wakefield pitch.

    The third game in the series was watched at Thom's. Much beer was imbibed during the day. And into the night. 12 straight hours of drinking does not a good blogger make:

    After a few days break in which I recovered from said weekend, I went to a very swanky and very successful Alzheimer's Association Junior Committee gala:

    At which I was the PICTURE of decorum:

    Two days later I was at a Cinco De Mayo party in Boston:

    That didn't end until the sun was rising:

    Long story short? I'm such an ass that I am not even going to promise that I'll be blogging more now (even though I will, no really, I swear).

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    posted by FINY @ Monday, May 07, 2007   3 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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