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    Friday, June 29, 2007
    The Definition of Professional
    pro-fes-sion-al- adj. - Engaging in a given activity as a source of livelihood or as a career
    writ-er- n. - a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., esp. as an occupation or profession

    When I was in college, all I wanted in the world was to be able to call myself a writer. It was, I figured, a pursuit that likely would never come to fruition. Writing doesn't pay well, you see, and unfortunately I was not all that keen on living with my parents. So instead of devoting myself to a craft I loved so much, instead of taking the risk, going to graduate school and immersing myself in literary endeavors, I did what so many of my fellow word-loving-geeks do: I got a job fixing other people's writing. I went into publishing.

    There has not been a day since when I have not participated in some sort of writing activity. Who knew college professors don't actually know how to write their own textbooks!

    My word quota has upped significantly in the past couple of years as I've moved into the nonprofit sector. Turns out "Publications Manager" and "Online Content Manager" are just fancy ways to say: you're going to write until your fingers get all puffy. Articles, announcements, newsletters, direct mail campaigns, websites, brochures, you name it, I've probably written it.

    But through all this, I never thought of myself as a writer. A writer was someone who writes books or poems or articles. Who doesn't go into an office every day. And yet yesterday, someone I highly respect introduced me via email to someone as a "Professional Writer". I almost laughed. Who did he think he was kidding? I'm not a professional writer! I'm a professional ...


    Hold on a second ...

    Holy crap!

    A professional is someone who gets paid to do something right? Ok, so I get paid to sit here and write copy all day ...

    Damn. Turns out I'm a writer after all.

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    posted by FINY @ Friday, June 29, 2007   4 comments
    Thursday, June 21, 2007
    Baseball Brain Dump
    Since the hangover I am currently suffering through is inhibiting my ability to write a coherent blog post I instead present you with a baseball brain dump.

    * So I'm currently reading Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits by David Ortiz (with Tony Massarotti) and there are a few things to note. A) I have NEVER gotten as many looks on the subway as I have when I've read this book on the way to and from work. They range from amusement, confusion, disgust, and mutual affection. It's kind of fun to watch. B) Massarotti alternates between writing in his own voice and "ghost writing" in Papi's. Massarotti's chapters are fantastic. And I like hearing Papi's stories, but ... I think they went a little far in capturing Ortiz's "voice". Because the word "bro" can appear upwards of 8 times on a page. It's completely over the top and is incredibly distracting. There is a reason people don't write the way they speak.

    * Last night's game was just a whole lot of fun to watch. While a girlfriend and I were at the bar watching, we started talking about those seasons. You know those seasons where it just feels right. This is one of those seasons for us. I knew I had hit a turning point as a fan when I got word of the Schilling DL stint and I thought "Ok, that sucks but no big deal". I had (and have) complete faith in the rest of our rotation to hold it together. This happens five years ago and even with a ten game lead in the AL East and I'm packing it in for the season expecting the worst. I like this way better.

    * By now my love for all things Tim Wakefield has been well documented. But I also happen to have an affinity for the pitch he throws most often as well. And because of that I have been intermittently following the career of Sox prospect Charlie Zink. Zink's had an up and down career over the past couple years, but this week he threw a complete game for the Portland Sea Dogs with a 6H, 1R, 2BB, 4K line. He started out with Sarasota in 2002, is 27, and has bounced around every level of the Sox farm system, but he seems to have started getting some consistency. With my little brother heading back to the Portland area for school this August, I may try to get up there to catch a game either late in the season or early next spring. I'd love to see this kid pitch (ha, I just called him a kid - the guy's my age!).

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    posted by FINY @ Thursday, June 21, 2007   4 comments
    Tuesday, June 19, 2007
    You Take The Good With The Bad
    I once had a friend accuse me of caring more about 25 men I had never met more than I cared about my real-life friends.

    It was October of 2004, the Red Sox had just won the ALCS in dramatic fashion and were about to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals to win their first World Series in 86 years.

    But I didn't know that yet. What I knew was that we were scheduled to host a Halloween party in my apartment that, if the series made it that far, would fall on the same night as Game 7. And under no circumstances was I planning on being at the party if that proved true.

    In the end we all know it didn't get that far, and I was able to both watch my team celebrate in St. Louis AND attend my own party, but that comment from my friend stuck with me.

    Do non-sports fans simply not understand? In a way, it does feel like you know these guys. You read all the articles, you watch the games, by the end of the season you probably know more about them than you do about that girl who you called your best friend in third grade simply because she wore the same scrunchy you did.

    And not only that, but it bonds you to other people that you actually do get to meet in real life as well. Take last night. That game sucked. It just sucked. Schilling got knocked around and even two home runs from Coco, who had only hit one home run in the entire season leading up to the game, couldn't save the Sox.

    But as I stood in Professor Thom's watching the Sox implode, I began talking with a guy named Brian from the New York City Red Sox Meetup Group. As we were talking he sort of just stops for a second and says, "Finy?". Turns out Brian is an occasional commenter/regular reader (so he's one of the five of you!). Never would have met him if it wasn't for the Sox. Same holds true for quite a few of my good friends to be honest.

    Loving a sports team and loving your friends are not mutually exclusive. It just occasionally gets in the way of scheduling.

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    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, June 19, 2007   6 comments
    Friday, June 15, 2007
    Life Blood
    Coffee falls into the stomach ... ideas begin to move, things remembered arrive at full gallop ... the shafts of wit start up like sharp-shooters, similes arise, the paper is covered with ink...
    - Honore de Balzac

    I've spoken before about the important role NYC coffee carts occupy in my life. But really what makes them so great is finding those carts that if you go to them every day, you get to know the people working in them.

    The woman on the corner of 59th Street and Lexington Avenue is one of those women. No, I don't know her name, but every morning I am greeted with a huge smile and a steaming cup of hot coffee made just the way I like it (without so much as asking for my order). How can that not be a great way to start a day?

    But today I received devastating news. Today is her last day. Her mother is ill and she'll be taking an undetermined amount of time off to care for her. To be honest, I am going to miss her. If only because I've actually had three separate coffee cart guys ask me out on dates over the past five years, mistaking their knowledge of my coffee preferences as a knowledge of me as a person. This woman not only was a sweetheart, but I could also be fairly certain she was harboring no feelings towards me that would then create awkward interactions and then force me to find someplace new and start all over again training someone else on the intricacies of my coffee (you know ... three sugars with half and half).

    Maybe I'll go down for a second cup of coffee today. As a matter of fact, I'm going to go do just that.

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    posted by FINY @ Friday, June 15, 2007   3 comments
    Tuesday, June 12, 2007
    How Did I Miss This?
    Sam Presti was named the General Manager of the Supersonics.

    Now, I'm not a basketball fan (I will never understand watching the entire game when the last two minutes are all that really matter), but I actually went to college with Sam. And as a fellow Emerson College athlete when so few students play sports there (number one comment when I told fellow Emersonians I played softball: we have sports?) I'm super happy for him. Sure he probably wouldn't remember me by name, but it's still damn cool. And with so many fellow graduates making names for themselves in television, film, radio, etc. it's cool to see someone making a mark in the sporting world.

    The Emerson Mafia - taking over the world.

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    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, June 12, 2007   0 comments
    Monday, June 11, 2007
    I'm That Guy In Jaws Swimming Along Happily On Placid Waters Before Suddenly Being Swallowed By The Shark
    I knew that once it got warm again I was going to have a problem.

    I knew that a problem this big couldn't be beaten that easily.

    And yet I got lulled into complacency. Naively enjoying the chillier temperatures and their effects on my previously-vanquished-roommates.

    And then, today, with the Killers blasting joyously in my ears, my sundress swirling pleasantly around my knees, and a smile on my face, reality hit me upside the head. In the form of Tessie playing with a cockroach.

    Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to go don some rubber gloves, pick up the high powered poison, and subsequently pine-sol the SHIT out of my apartment.


    posted by FINY @ Monday, June 11, 2007   4 comments
    Saturday, June 09, 2007
    Oh, SNAP
    So recently, before Cope and I started whatever it is we've started here (we're not defining it at the moment) I had tentatively waded into the world. I wasn't really all that proactive about it, but I had traded emails with a couple different guys, all of whom I haven't talked to in over a week now.

    But today I receive the following message "from" a guy I had been talking with from Long Island:

    Just so you know he is a liar, cheater, and a scumbag. This is his girlfriend who was stupid enough to fall for his line of shit. We currently live and own a house on LI.

    Now, I know I shouldn't be laughing, cause this poor girl is probably going through some REALLY tough shit right now, but all I could do was laugh and think, "Oh, this dude is SO fucked".


    posted by FINY @ Saturday, June 09, 2007   8 comments
    Wednesday, June 06, 2007
    My Mom Is Never Going To Believe This
    So, I went for a run today.

    *pause so that anyone who knows me can get control of their laughter*

    See, there's something I haven't been talking about around these parts, and that was mainly because, well, it's a topic most girls - hell most anyone - don't usually like to display for the world.

    It's my weight.

    Now, most of the people who have come to know me since I've moved to New York are currently staring at their computer screens as if I am crazy. I don't look overweight. I look - well, regular. But the truth is, back at the beginning of the year I weighed in at a good 25lbs over any weight I'd ever been, and what was worse, I felt gross.

    And that, really, is the main issue. Weight has always been just a number to me. Hell, the times I weighed the most - when I was playing ball - was actually when I was healthiest. All my weight was muscle. But that was five years ago. Now? For a woman my height I am supposed to be weighing in at a max of 130. As of April 10 I was up to 152.

    Now, to a lot of women 152 is not a problem, and I am, under NO circumstances, trying to say that I was anything resembling fat. I've got a perfectly fine self body image thankyouverymuch. But what was really bothering me was that I was starting to feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I kept thinking back to the days when I was in shape. How great it felt not to ache after walking around the city all day, or a trip to the batting cages.

    So that's why I know what my EXACT weight was on April 10th. Seeing my weight creep above 150 was the final emotional straw. So on that day I decided to take some control. I joined weightwatchers online. Not being one for support-group style meetings, this seemed ideal. I mean, you're talking about a girl who used to eat McDonalds three times a week. I needed some SERIOUS food education.

    And I'm happy to say that it's worked. So far. Since April I've lost ten pounds simply by starting to eat better (note I didn't say right I still have a LONG way to go for that). But that's not going to do it all on it's own. So a few weeks ago when MM ran her first 5K and I was standing at the finish-line to congratulate her, she decided to run another 5k sometime this fall. Only this time I would be running with her.

    Problem is, I've always been a sprinter. It's why I loved softball more than soccer. Why cross-country was never really an option. Plus, I haven't exercised since, well, college. Oh, and I'm a smoker. Yeah this is going to go well. But with MM's encouragement and a little inspiration from reading Cope's newest book proposal, I started on this program.

    We'll see how it goes. It's time to take my body back.


    posted by FINY @ Wednesday, June 06, 2007   11 comments
    Tuesday, June 05, 2007
    Looking back, some of my favorite posts on this blog have either been about, or related to, my Papa. There was the one when I wrote about his house in Pawtucket. The time I wrote about the dance we shared at my cousin's wedding. I wrote twice about his time in WWII.

    And it's appropriate. Papa is an amazing guy. He's sturdy. He's solid.

    He's also sick.

    In the last few years, my parents, aunts and uncles, hell, even my brother and I, have tried to convince my mom's parents that it was time to move back from Florida. They've spent over a decade down there, but my grandmother's physical health has been diminishing for quite some time. She can no longer be left alone. She has to use a walker or scooter to get around. And while my Papa has been doing the best he can, when it comes down to it, he's still in his 80s. Loading a 100lb scooter into the car isn't getting any easier for him. And then there was always the constant fear of "What if something happens to him?" Flights can only get to FL so fast, and all of my family lives at least a four hour flight away. No one would be with grandma.

    This may not be the worst case scenario, but it's close. Papa has a tumor. Yesterday we were informed it was only 3cm long and the procedure would be minimally invasive. Today? Further testing shows it’s 5cm long and that his kidney will have to be removed. This is complicated for a number of reasons, all of them involving the fact that he’s not exactly a spring chicken anymore. And all requiring various family members to take weeks off at a time to be down there to care for my grandmother.

    From all reports, the likelihood of anything spreading, or of Papa not making it out of the surgery are minimal. But I’m scared none-the-less. Fully realizing that I am incredibly lucky to be almost 27 years old and still have 3 of my 4 grandparents doesn't make the thought of their mortality any easier to face.


    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, June 05, 2007   3 comments
    Monday, June 04, 2007
    A World I Just Can't Escape
    I've never thought of myself as an internet junkie. I mean, sure, I've got my blog. And my myspace page. A few mentions here and there on old job websites, Alzheimer's Association newsletters, etc. Oh and of course there's my account on my new favorite time waster:

    Then of course there's the three email addresses. The AIM screen name. The dozens of blogs I read and comment on. I pay my bills almost exclusively online. Hell, I even order my groceries over the internet!

    Is there an Internet Addicts Anonymous somewhere out there? Because I think I need to become a member.

    Then again, it's got its upsides. I mean, without the internet, it would have been impossible for the almost instantaneous sharing of photos from the reunion this weekend (one of which features me kissing a gay guy. I’m sure that one will make mom proud). And I never would have met some very good friends I've made through this site. I also probably wouldn't have ended up making a scene in the middle of one of my favorite Boston bars this weekend, but what would the fun in that be?

    That's right, Finy's got a story about being drunk and making out. Who's shocked? Yeah that's what I thought.

    I haven't thought up a moniker for him yet (which he's going to be VERY disappointed by), but Saturday night found a long-time online friend and fellow blogger and I kind of sheepishly admitting mutual internet crushes on each other. Not going to tell you which one, since he very rarely talks about his personal life on his blog, and far be it for me to out him. But with so many drinks that evening, said admission did lead to making out like horny high school kids in the middle of a very well-lit bar. I'm nothing if not classy.

    So while some people may not understand the internet addiction, I think I'll just ride mine out for a while. As if I ever really thought of escaping it in the first place.

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    posted by FINY @ Monday, June 04, 2007   2 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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