Archive for the ‘day to day’ Category

Boston Strong

I wanted to do something to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.  I was born and raised in Nashville, TN,  but I have lived in Boston for 25 years, so I grew up here.  I consider myself a southern Northerner and I feel a very strong attachment to both cities.

I worked with Cory at Hatch Show Print to design a poster to sell and raise money for the One Fund.

What is Hatch Show Print?  You might not recognize their name, but you may recognize their unique style.  Hatch is a legendary letterpress design studio in Nashville, TN.

Boston Strong

“If you follow music, art, and culture of the American South, sooner or later you’re bound to run into the letters, images, and unmistakable “look” of Hatch Show Print.  We’re one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America, and over the years our posters have featured a host of country music performers, ranging from Country Music Hall of Famers Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, and Johnny Cash to contemporary stars such as Garth Brooks and Wynonna, as well as posters for the Grand Ole Opry.

We’ve done it all without losing that irresistible appeal of turn-of-the-century Hatch posters, which were used to promote vaudeville, circus, and minstrel shows across the country.  There’s a reason why music lovers, Americana buffs, graphic arts collectors and designers, and commercial advertisers of all persuasions continue to turn to Hatch for inspiration.  We are, indeed, a tonic for the information age.”

Each print is an original artwork and was individually hand-printed and numbered 1-200.

Dimensions are 12″ wide x 20″ tall.

You can purchase them for $15 each and the net proceeds will go the One Fund.

Please use PayPal for payment -

If you are local we can work out logistics for getting the print to you.  If you aren’t local, I can ship it to you for another $7 - grand total $22.


I was going to say it’s been years since I wrote in here and treat it like hyperbole, but that would be wrong.  It has been years.  And years. Time to get back to writing.  I don’t know about you, but I need structure.  When left to my own devices I can waste time better than anybody.  Don’t argue with me on this.  Despite the fact I don’t play video games or solitaire, my ability to waste time is epic, baby.  Epic.

How?  In what ways am I capable of wasting time? Shall we start back in 1983 when I spent every waking moment thinking only of Duran Duran?  Sitting in my room and listening to their records while putting together giant scrapbooks of their pictures? Hours and hours and hours LOST. Hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars wasted on imported magazines and records and books…. I could have volunteered at an animal shelter, took Spanish lessons, practiced violin.  I could have learned a trade!  But no, I pissed the time away on bullshit.

Has anything really changed since then?  Sadly, not really.  I’m a chronic time waster.  What’s worse is that I endlessly kick myself about it.  Who is judging me on this besides me? Is it okay to waste time as long as you enjoy it?  An entire day can easily slip past me if I get on a cat video kick, which leads to other fun videos and other fun videos.  And I’ve been known to spend entire days reading and napping off and on getting up only to get a drink or go potty.  I shouldn’t be angry at myself about this.  Everyone deserves a day off that’s really a day off.

That said, I’d like to get off this uncharted desert of time on my hands.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be someone who actually HAS time to waste if I want.  I don’t have children and that’s one of the reasons.  But I’d like to get back some of my good habits.  Like writing.

It starts here.  I have many lists to write and diatribes to go off on and updates to make.    After all, it has been years. 

a bat!!!

I was in bed last night reading when Chris yelled out, “Rooooooth, there’s a BAT in the living room!!  A baaaaaat!!”

“WHAT!?!?!!  A bat?!?!”  I went running out to see Chris in the kitchen looking in the living room at a bat flying around in wide circles.  Suddenly it was headed towards us so we ran back into the bedroom and shut the door.

“What do we do?  What should we do?!?!” Chris was really freaked out.  He’d been relaxing after his exhausting weekend and long Monday of teaching just zoning out watching TV when the bat flew into his line of sight.  He first thought, wow, what a big moth, but soon realized what it was.

We went back to the living room to see it still flying in circles.  Chris had grabbed a towel thinking we could either throw it over the little dude or coax him down the door to the basement.  He managed a couple more flights down the hall towards me which freaked me right out, but he always returned to the living room.  I had a towel, too, but Chris was studying the bat’s moves and once he got a handle on the pattern he managed to thwap it through the doorway.  Then he ran over and shut the door.

We waited a few minutes, but I was too curious and had to look.  I opened the door to see if he’d flown down and saw his little figure on the third step down the first flight.  My first thought was to get the dustpan and brush to get him outside, but Chris needed to throw a balled up piece of paper at the fella first to make sure he wouldn’t move.  He didn’t, but Chris didn’t want me going near him.  Hmph.

Eventually I calm down from all the excitement and am able to get to sleep.  Four am and Chris crawls in bed and tells me “he’s not on the step!”  “What?  Who?”  “The bat.  He was playing possum, that little shit!”  Interesting.  And funny.  My guess is poor batty was knocked unconscious and once he came to did got moving.  But now he’s gotta be somewhere in the basement.  And I have to do my laundry!

Too bad I didn’t have the presence of mind to record batty flying around the room - would’ve been awesome.


I’ve had the same earring in my right ear since high school.  It’s the stud from when they pierced it, actually.  Why, you ask?  Because I haven’t been able to remove it.  No, it’s not stuck in my skin or anything; it spins around and all, but it’s just so tightly clamped that I can’t pull the ends apart.

Recently I thought hey, why don’t I go to one of the many piercing salons around town and have it cut off or something?  Today was the day.  My friend Anais’ daughter just turned 18 a few weeks ago and wanted her nose pierced.  Anais, true to her awesomely skewed sense of humor invited me and Melissa to come along to the “blessed event.”

I got there first so I asked Chris, the piercer (do they have titles?  Hole Maker?  Skin Breaker?),  what he’d charge me to cut my earring off.  He said he’d take care of it gratis.  Really?!  Coooool.  So we get to his table and after examining my ear and using a number of different tools to pull it apart he asks where I got it done because, evidently, it’s a beast.  Well,… frankly I’ve almost zero recollection of having my ears pierced initially.  I imagine it was at the Green Hills Mall in Nashville, but I don’t know for sure.  In any case, I told him, “it was approximately 22 years ago.”

Yeah, so apparently the stud in my ear was some medieval alloy for which no cutting tools he had were sufficient.  I had to completely lie down on his table with my head over the edge so he could get a handle on it.  Two minutes later he says “got it.”

I didn’t expect to be so overjoyed, but I was!  “Yay!!!!” I squealed like a teenager.  “You’ve changed my life!!”  In a way, it’s true.  To me, having that earring securely and stubbornly stuck in my ear these past twenty years has been akin to having a piece of shrapnel in there.  It was a foreign object in my body.  Every time I went to the hospital they’d ask me to remove it and I’d say, “Sorry, can’t.  But if you can, please do.”  When I got my latest passport picture taken the dude asked me to remove it and I had to tell him no-can-do. Annoying!!! Unnecessary!  And having to explain every time that no, it wasn’t adhered to my skin or anything supergross like that, it’s just locked in, blah blah blah.

I can finally put this story and that earring to bed.  Look at that beast!


yup, still allergic

Last night I went to 6:30pm Bosu Bootcamp (they’ve changed it to Bosu Challenge, but you know I prefer alliteration, so to me it’ll always be Bootcamp).  Afterward I crossed the street to Toad to hear Todd playing guitar with the band Qwill.  Had some chicken fingers and two PBRs for dinner and walked home in the middle of the second set.

It was only 9:30/10pm when I got home, but I was so exhausted I couldn’t do anything.  Tried to read, but knew no matter what page I got to I’d need to reread next time so I turned off the light.

Suddenly my eye was crazy itchy, so I rubbed the hell out of it.  (Yes, I wear contacts and yes, I always do that kind of thing.  Sometimes there is absolutely nothing more physically satisfying than literally scratching an itch.)  As I did this I remembered petting Lucy a little earlier and wondering if I should wash my hands.  Then I remembered deciding against it.  Besides when I’m doing heavy duty clean up or pet her and rub my face or my lips, I often forget that I’m allergic to cats.  I got Lucy as a kitten to immunize myself.  I knew it’d work because I grew up with cats.

But then…

I could immediately feel my left eye might be swelling.  Normally I’d get up, take out my contacts and take a chlortrymeton, but man, did I tell you I was tired?  Drugged tired.  So I lay there thinking “I’ll deal with it in the morning.  Maybe it’ll be fine by then.”  I guess I consider sleep at bit of a panacea.

No such luck, McGruck.  Here’s what I saw in the mirror when I got up.

full face  close-up eye

Nice.  At least I wasn’t about to get married!  Phew.

ahead of the curve

I love “discovering” things.  I’m one of those annoying people who like to be the first to try something, buy something, whatever-it-is before it gets big.  In high school and college it was mostly about music and being on the cutting edge.  I was the first person I knew to get into The Sundays in college.  And I may still be one of a very few Americans who love the band Japan.  I love knowing about shows early on and watching from the beginning; I remember reading about Family Ties in TV Guide (my parents had a subscription and I read it cover to cover) and asking if we could end dinner a little early so I could watch the pilot episode.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, dork.  And TV addict.

Here are a few other things I feel I was really ahead on:

  • Netflix - I was down with Netflix in the early days.  This was in 1999 before they perfected the system as a subscription movie rental thing.  Yes, really, that far back.  Todd and I had just moved in together and I distinctly remember running outside to pop the movie in the postbox on Comm. Ave. before the mail pickup.  They’ve come a long, long way, baby.  I heart Netflix.
  • Kate Spade - I bought my first Kate Spade bag at Jasmine Sola in Harvard Square believing I’d finally found the perfect black bag - not unlike the perfect little black dress.  my first kate spade bagThe year of this purchase had become hazy in my mind; all I knew was it was a while ago now.  Enter Johanna, my friend and stylist.  She remembered when JS got Kate Spade because she knows the buyer and it was the first store outside fashion-forward New York City to sell Kate Spade bags.  The year was 1998 - that’s right, a full twelve years ago.    Here’s a website shot of the Claire, my first KS bag.  I still have it, I still use it. Classy doesn’t go out of style.
  • Target - luck of geography, really.  I’ve had “Tar-szhay’” in my life since 1982.  Mom would drive me there to get my new Trapper Keepers, pencil holders,  and other back-to-school supplies for 7th grade.  It was in Lion’s Head in Nashville/Belle Meade and actually, it still is.  I think it’s great how cool Target has become after a seeming slump of about 10 years.  My problem is that I can easily (EASILY) spend two hours just wandering around and then spend spend spend all my money.  My friend Greenwald has a certain amount she says she always ends up spending without fail.
  • Jo Malone perfumes - I love perfume.  You know this.  So when I read an article about Jo Malone’s linfrench lime blossome of fragrances coming to the US and sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue I ran over there immediately.  And I sniffed.  And I fell in love.  JM’s line of perfumes are made to be mixed together to create unique (somewhat) fragrances and she puts out approximately two new scents each year.  It’s fun to mix them and I’ve discovered many concoctions I wear for different seasons and occasions, but the first one I fell in love with, French Lime Blossom, is still my go-to perfume and has been for 10 years now. And the packaging is so classy!
  • The last thing I know I was ahead of the curve on is my photobooth addiction.  I’ve been lurking around those for 22 years and still love them, especially the Japanese ones where they put you in different Sanrio-type scenes and print out as stickers.  Mac designed their Photo Booth program with me in mind, I swear, because they even have that Warhol effect.  The movie Amelie spoke to me in ways many may not have heard.  I’m desperately jealous of the weddings where I hear the couple rented a photobooth.  I wish I had one in my apartment - the Mac thing isn’t quite enough.  But it’s nice to have, I will say that.  Case in point.

editor editing editsMoi editing blog entry.

Well, ok, I guess this will have to do.

who’s the hammy ham ham?


So far this week I’ve stayed late at work every night.   Only by an hour, but time is … time.  More valuable than money to some/sum.  ha ha

Tonight I very leisurely made my way to the red line at South Station via the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.  It’s a public “green space” -slash- park that exists where the old giant ugly green highway overpass once hulked over the city.  It encircles downtown by the harbor and breathes new life into that area, thanks to the Big Dig.  (This really is my city now; I’ve lived here for 22 years!!!)

So I’m walking slowly along the paths because it’s beautiful out and I’m in no hurry as I’ve got no plans.   There’s a lot of green in the Greenway, shocker, and I’m looking at all the grass when I remember a story I heard on NPR a week or so ago about a physicist who has a knack for finding four-leaf clovers.   For whatever reason, she finds them incredibly easily.  Finds them so often she gives them away as gifts, slips them into library books for people to discover, she’s filthy with four-leafs!!

Her story warmed my little heart and I realized I’ve never found one.  Believe me, I’ve searched.  I love clover anyway, and as a child I spent inordinate amounts of time sitting in the grass in my backyard or Vandy campus scanning the clover for a lucky to no avail.  How is it this woman finds them all the time?

Turns out the Greenway has approximately a billion clover patches, so I stopped and hovered and looked.  Three patches.  Full five minutes.  No luck.  But I tried and I’ll keep searching.  At least our physicist shares her finds and pays it forward.

lucy on the loose

Lately Lucycat has been expressing more and more interest in the door I go through when I do laundry.  So one day recently I decided not to shut the door behind me.  I got to the basement and was sorting through what could be dried in the dryer and what I needed to hang in the bathroom when I saw her tentative paws and giant eyes at the top of the last set of steps.  Since I didn’t want to frighten her any more than she already was, I let it play out and waited for her to reach the bottom.

Soon as she did I turned around and asked her what was up, as I am wont to do.  She started heading for the real basement and I made an attempt to grab her, but she took off into the depths of the mounds of storage my landlords have stacked down there.   “Eh, fuck it,” I said. “You’re an old gal and if this will make you happy, so be it.  I’ll leave the door upstairs open for you.”

lucy asleep on ottoman

Ten minutes later she was back in the apartment and a little dirty, which was understandable.  I was excited for her that she got to have an adventure.  Within five minutes she was mrowling loudly at the basement door clearly wanting more.  So I let her down again and she was gone for 15-20 minutes.  “Wow!” I said as I cleaned her cobweb-strewn whiskers when she finally returned.  “Who’d ever believe you’re a 15 year-old kitty?”

Right?!  In two months she’ll be 16.  Sweet Sixteen!!!  I want to have a party for her and she’s totally getting that bitchin’ Camaro.  She’s been asking for years….

Now it’s part of our routine; I let her down whenever she gets itchy for it and she always comes back.  She’s my girl.


It’s taking me a long time to deal with losing my dad.  In the midst of editing a post about the memorial service we had for dad last month I remembered an email I wrote to  John Ryan, one of dad’s ex-students and a close friend.  John and I always had a good rapport and I consider him a friend, too.  He was with dad at a sociology conference in Boston and came to see me and my band over that visit.

First, John’s email to me:

Dear Ruth,

I am so at a loss for words.  Where would I have ended up without Pete?  I am so sorry for your loss.



I wrote this reply sitting at dad’s computer in his office at home.


It is so nice to hear from you.

More than likely we all would have ended up “in a van, down by the river!” without dad.  I, too, am beyond sad, but feeling incredibly grateful for the few days with him at the hospital in late January to say goodbye.

Frankly, it’s all still a little surreal right now.  Things, literally his things, are sort of frozen in time.  It feels as though he merely got up from his desk to feed Nino and maybe take a nap, but he’ll be back at the keyboard any minute to continue whatever he was working on.  The many things he was working on.  The many things that, I believe, kept him going.  There was always a project in the works and another on the horizon.  His work ethic, his unbelievable intellectual curiosity, and his concerns and worries about his family members’ futures pushed his heart to continue beating.

As you know, he felt a constant thrum of pain somewhere in his body at pretty much every minute of the day for the past, oh, at least 5 years.  He was quite the trouper and didn’t complain much outside the family, but I feel comforted knowing he no longer feels pain.

I love him dearly, am more like him than I sometimes care to admit, and I will miss him forever.

me at dad’s desk

for now

I’m using this theme for now.  It’s a default wordpress theme that exists in my system.  Soon I’ll get some hand-held help and change to the theme I really want.  This should work for the time being - I was interested in something simple and clean.

And while I’m here I’ll say how funny it is to me that every June 8 I think of Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran because it’s his birthday.  Sheesh, some facts just won’t leave one’s head once they’re there, eh?