Archive for June, 2008

dude sternum

T’other day one of my favorite attorneys handed me a printout of this article, deep v-neck, proving that not only does he read my blog, but he gets it. And he agrees. If this doesn’t give you some idea of why I continue to work at a law firm lo these many years despite the fact that I am a singer/songwriter/goofball/living cartoon character/social loner and lover of highbrow and lowbrow media alike, then I don’t know what else will. At least not so succinctly. The lawyers I work with are funny and engaging and interesting people and they allow me to be my crazy self - most of the time. “Ruth, could you take it down the hall?! This is a LAW FIRM” has indeed passed the lips of one of the partners.  But look who still has their job and who doesn’t. Yeah? Suck that.

This article had me laughing out loud. I had no idea others felt as strongly as I do about this horrifying trend of showing your “dude sternum.” It’s also referred to as an “aggressive V,” a description I love because it personifies the T shirt as malevolent. Hilarious! You’re outside on the street, minding your business, sipping your chai latte and enjoying the breeze when your eyes fall upon a fellow with his chest all hanging out. It’s a visual assault! Call the police!! I’m still unclear as to why men can wander freely sans top and am not a fan, but now I’m not sure I’d rather see that than some “tease” of a chest in a long, thin pie shape cut-out. blech.

If you’ve not run into one of these monsters in person, this article explains the 5-year trickle down (or, maybe “trickle inward”) theory of fashion moving in from the coasts. (It likens it to a satellite signal broadcast into space and aliens not receiving the message for years. Which is beautiful as it translates to people who wear the deep v-neck as aliens… genius!) Boston being the uber-intellectual city it fancies itself does not figure as part of the fashion-forward coast, so I’m guessing we’ll see more male cleavage in the next three years, maybe sooner. My suggestion for preparation? Start practicing maintaining eye-contact with everyone you speak with beginning NOW.

The fact that my attorney turned me on to this website, is just icing on the cake. D-licious.

a little self-restraint

roo bootsTELL me these boots don’t rock. TELL ME. I saw these at DSW and had to try them on. This despite the fact that they didn’t go with what I was wearing. Who am I kidding, eh? They wouldn’t go with anything I own and I still want them. I wear those and my feet are always ready to dance, dance, dance at the disco, though my pose is more of a superhero stance.

I checked the price; if they were cheap enough I would buy them to wear for Halloween or just as a lark. They were in the sale section, so I crossed my fingers.

Originally $300, marked down to $260 and then another 15% off. So about $180 or so. Damn. Can’t justify a $200 lark. I sadly removed my gold boots. Placing them back on the shelf I was reminded of the wise words of Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel, “Back you go to wait for a woman o’ less discriminatin’ taste.”

Are you as curious about who this woman is as I am? Who is she? Would she see these on the shelf and believe they were the missing piece in her wardrobe? “WHERE have these been all my life!?” without irony? “I have pointy shoes,” she thinks to herself, “but none QUITE so pointy. Nor so gold.” She’d not think twice about paying full price. Perhaps she’d consider it a bargain. Maybe all of her clothes are gold lame, so this would fit right in.

gold bootsI want to meet the woman who feels that way about these boots. She’s got a strong personality, that’s for sure. My bet, we’d either hit it off immediately and become soul sisters or hate each other on sight and become arch enemies. Just the feeling I get.

awwww…. Just look at ‘em. Now imagine wearing them. Click your heels together and repeat after me. “There’s no place like outer space. There’s no place like outer space.”

[editor’s note: thank you to JoJo for putting up with my DSW antics and taking that shot of me wearing my boots….]


I saw the Sex and the City movie last Saturday afternoon and I LOVED it. Sneaked in my candy arsenal in my backpack to share with Greenwald, Tony and Sean. We demolished the Sugar Babies before the first reel. I’d forgotten how great they are and how addicting. Sugar sugar sugar…

We saw the 3:15PM show and it, like all the rest that day, was sold out. Being that our seat arrangement went Tony (aisle), Melissa, Sean then me, I made friends with the couple to my left. Greenwald was laughing, saying “Ruth makes friends wherever she goes. Must be the Southerner in her.” Kip, my new bud, and I noticed the overwhelmingly female audience and thought to count the males in our theater. I stood up, looked around, and took tally.


Twelve dudes in a theater that seats approximately 325 people (I’m underestimating the room’s capacity here). And two of them weren’t straight, so there were at most ten straight men at our show.

I just heard somewhere that most men would rather be shot than be made to watch Sex and the City. Come on, really?!! Is it that bad? Are the estrogen levels so alarmingly high you’re worried you might leave the theater knowing the difference between a stiletto and an espadrille? Or how to say Manolo Blahnik and Louis Vuitton? Is the humor so woman-centric as to marginalize men? I’m seriously befuddled by this. Some of my absolute favorite movies of all time are male-bonding movies. Diner, Stand By Me, Breaking Away, Dazed and Confused (sorta male-bonding), Bull Durham, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, The Big Lebowski, Fandango. The list goes on.

Frankly, women don’t have many overtly bonding movies to claim. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, How To Make an American Quilt and Little Women come to mind, but they were all books first. Beauty Shop, maybe? Moonlight and Valentino? Satisfaction? ha ha Thelma and Louise. Ok, but they died. Heavenly Creatures. Ok, but they committed murder. Heathers. Ok, but they committed murder and they were (hilariously) all-out catty to each other. “Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?” Only at the VERY end is there saving grace.

My mind is blanking. There must be more female-bonding films in existence and I can’t think of them right now. This happens to me a lot. I can think of things only when I’m not trying to think of them. If you know of any, please let me know.

The series Sex and The City was fantastic. No, it wasn’t always top notch or perfect pitch, but what is? The writing was incredible, the characters interesting and well-defined, and, my god, the clothes! The shoes! The men! The handbags! All of it was delectable eye candy for us ladies. Inviting veneer. Dig a little deeper and substantively despite their break-ups and make-ups, their pregnancies and miscarriages, their career successes and failures, their public humiliations, their boyfriends, husbands, one-night stands and Samantha’s lesbian phase, those four main characters’ friendships remained intact and strong.

Their steadfast relationship with each other is something a lot of women have or want. We identify with them and see ourselves or some of our own characteristics embodied in one or a combination of Charlotte, Miranda, Carrie and Samantha. They’ve been there for each other through thick and thin and, unfortunately, you just don’t see a lot of that in the media.

Girls are so often portrayed at catty and conniving and selfish and mean that, to me, this movie is practically a revelation. Yes, I love all the eye candy, I mean, I am a girl. (As much as I never considered myself much of a girly-girl, my tastes have become more and more so over the years. And I have always been a sucker for the romantic comedy.) But the scene that brought me to tears in the movie of Sex and the City was a sweet, touching moment of true sisterhood and friendship; one that gives me goosebumps even as I recall it.

I wonder about the girls who see Sex and the City with their male significant other. Did the fellas want to go? If not, why didn’t she go with a girlfriend? Or see it alone? That’s what I’d do. I wanted to dress up, but didn’t have time between the gym and getting downtown. Turned out many women there were dressed to the hilt. And why not? It reminded me of Rocky Horror Picture Show -in a way- and I found it charming and fun. And maybe they were going out afterwards.

Men shouldn’t feel obligated to go see this flick, obviously. I just don’t understand why they’d choose a gunshot to sitting through it. Wah wah wah. Here’s an idea, why don’t you thank the people who made the movie for giving you four full hours of girlfriend-free-fun-time instead of bitching? Now go home, play with your Wii and shut the hell up.

the quest for emptiness

That’s a quote from my bff K8 taken out of context, but it seems to fit this post well.

A short while back I was checking my pantry for some nibbles, as I am wont to do. On this particular occasion I noticed I had a superabundant stash of food. Prolly could have fed a large family for a week with it.

‘This is alarming,’ I said to myself.

Why do I constantly and consistently shop for groceries when I have so very much to munch on here? Was I preparing for some kind of national (or even local) emergency? It seems I was hoarding in a way. And I recently learned that hoarding is a form of selfishness. Harrumph.

Selfish? That sucks. I like to think of myself as a generous person; a helpful and willing-to-share person. For the past month, or so, I’ve been doing what I’m calling a “Pantry Purge.” The freezer and fridge aren’t exempt from this, so technically it’s a pantry-freezer-fridge purge. (Come to think of it, I’m trying to use up a lot of my stuff: bath products, makeup, … I’ve got a gloss addiction I’m attempting to curb. I’m making some progress.)

Don’t misunderstand me, I live alone in an apartment in the city. There’s no need for me to have such ample supplies. If I need something I can go out and get it. And in good time, too. This is not an exercise (exorcise?) for everyone to attempt. I would never judge anyone on the contents of their pantry. Frankly, I am very strange, particular, and possibly bazonkers, when it comes to household stuff, so this is just about me sharing my exploits. We clear?

My rules aren’t strict, I’ve been making them up as I go along. Mostly it’s about eating most, if not all, of the food I have in the house. Saving money wasn’t the goal, though it has been an unforeseen benefit. My goal is to have an empty (relatively) pantry, fridge and freezer so I can start fresh. Nothing like a clean slate, eh? Sigh.

I permitted myself to purchase certain things to mix with what I had. For the many cans of tuna languishing silently in the back, I purchased rice cakes and carrots. To go with my copious amounts of rice, I bought black beans and vegetables. Even got some pasta (that Barilla Plus stuff rules) to eat with the sauce and the jar of pesto that were occupying too much space on a shelf. Fruits and vegetables were ok to get a few at a time since I’d eat them quickly. Raisins for snacking and for adding to my plain oatmeal. I may purchase some eggs soon so I can make bread or cookies. mmmmm….. Oh, and I also bought yogurt because I always eat yogurt and I love to mix it with pumpkin or apple butter.

No bread allowed. This isn’t a low-carb thing, that’s a crock. This is an I-love-bread-too-much thing. See, if there’s bread in the house I’ll eschew all else in favor of toast or sandwiches. [TOAST! Oh, man, there’s an excellent silly song by Paul Young called Toast and it’s my favoritest ever. I only have it on vinyl. It was written long before he did “Wherever I Lay My Hat” or “Every Time You Go Away.” He was the singer in a group called Streetband.]

Tangent over.

It’s so rewarding to realize I’m not wasting food. I had such a strange sense of accomplishment when I finished the last packet of Boil-in-the-Bag Minute Rice. And when I scraped out that last container of peanut butter. And when I heated up that last frozen salmon fillet. And when I ate that jar of pickled artichokes.

I still have a ways to go. Just found a big bag of Basmati Rice from Trader Joes that I’d completely overlooked. It’ll be more work than Minute Rice, but I’ll shoulder that burden. Gonna have to make a batch or two of Mel’s famous pumpkin soup in order to use up the cans of chicken broth and pumpkin. Maybe I should make a pie…. New frontiers, my friends, new frontiers await!

Now go look in your pantry and tell me whatchoo got.

[I knew what I was doing wasn’t going to be entirely unique, so as I finished writing this entry I did some googling and found this cute blog. It’s called The Perfect Pantry.]

cats know various things

I’ve devoted far too much time in here writing about Zachary, the sweet, fat, blue-eyed beauty at little Lucy-Boo’s expense. Frankly, I’ve given her short shrift. Zack just isn’t the kind of boy to sit back and let others be adored; he demands attention with his every sigh and each click of his paw. Given that the Z-man and I no longer co-habitate and I haven’t even seen him in almost eight months (!!!), it’s time Lucy got her due.

When Lucy came into my life I was dating John Crye and living in Brighton on Commonwealth Avenue. Whoa. … Boo was one of three kittens in an abandoned litter found by my friend Celine. Celine and Tony, who had four cats already, nursed the three little babies with droppers and took care of them until they were old enough to go to new homes. They were so feisty and cute, all three of them. They were named Enno, Ella and Elsa. I got Elsa, the black one.

Lucy is going to be 14 years old this August, but she looks and acts younger than her years, much like her mommy, haw haw. She’s amazingly spry, chatty as hell, and her coat is still incredibly soft. I think I’d started calling her Boo before Todd and I met, but now I can’t remember. Our reasoning for it is twofold. One, she is easily frightened away by loud noises and sudden movements. And two, often I’ll be sitting watching television or reading or whatever-it-is-I’m-doing and I look over and there’s this black cat sitting stock-still staring at me. She catches me completely unawares. It’s rather startling. Therefore, “Boo.”

She’s an amazing little girl and despite how I’ve treated her over the years (well….) and how much she’s been through with me, she love love loves me. We’ve been through a lot, too. This is her 6th apartment. She dealt with the fire at our apartment on Charlesbank Road in Newton back in 2000 (…long story). A few years ago she had surgery to remove what turned out to be an effing hairball she coughed up the morning of the surgery.

She also put up with over six years of Zack. They had a forced relationship. When Z-man arrived she was six already, too old to expect her to accommodate a kitten. Female cats are more particular and finicky than males, as well. Frinstanz, Zack pretty much wanted to eat and would try whatever I was eating. Even peaches!! He likes it all!! Which may account for some of his heft…

But Lucy? Oh no. The only human food she likes is spaghetti sauce licked off a finished plate, yogurt and pudding cups. She could be deep in dreamland, but the minute I open a yogurt she’s there.

lucy roo and zmanSo Z and Boo, those two never quite got along. They did put up with each other. There were many spats, but it wasn’t intolerable. There were times it was great.

It’s surprising to me not only that she still loves me, but how much she seems to love me.

Whenever I come home Lucy will be undoubtedly running down the hall toward me “mrow”ing with her little belly wagging side to side. If I hang out in the bedroom she wants to hang out there, too. When I get up and move to the living room or the study, she comes along. She prefers to be on my lap or leaning against me, but is able to restrain herself and curl up all civilized-like elsewhere in the room.

roolu2Lately she’s taken to climbing up on my back as I sit at the kitchen table with my laptop, as evidenced in these shots. Ah, the luck of the Irish - when she climbed up I saw my camera was on the table so I grabbed it and took some self-portraits, my specialty.


So at this point I will let you in on a little secret. I’m allergic to cats.

Yerp. Did I ever mention that before? Thing is, I grew up with cats. Then I left for college. When I came home for Christmas in the middle of my sophomore year I broke out in hives after hanging out with my friend Brandi’s cat, Sprout. I realized almost instantly what the red itchy dots on my face and arms were.

I came to my own conclusion about this, which is I was always allergic, but had developed some immunity thanks to acclimation. After a year or so of not being exposed to cats I got allergic reactions. Never one to just give in, my plan of attack was to reacclimate myself, starting with letting my roommate at the time get a kitten.

It worked like a frickin’ charm! Can’t pet Lucy and then rub my eyes or wipe my mouth because I’ll get all swollen and puffy. When I go on a big cleaning bender I might get an itchy throat from all the fur flying around. When these things happen I take a chlortrymeton and move on.

It’s not a big sacrifice and, as you can see, it’s totally worth it. My kitty cat makes me happy. She is a very good listener, most of the time, and seems to appreciate, or at least put up with, all the whimsical impromptu songs I write and sing for her, my little LuLuBelle.