Archive for the ‘fun’ Category

hello december

I love the first day of a new month because I love to see the new page on all my calendars.   DORK, I know.  I’m a dorkus malorkus.  I’m fully aware of this.

But can you believe it’s already December?  WHERE did this year go?  Chris and I have been dating for six months already.   I feel like we were watching the NCAA Finals together at Red Bones last week!  It’s good, it’s all very, very good, but time is flying.  Guess that means I’m happy, huhn.  :)

weird things I like

I realized something when I watched the NBA Playoffs at Red Bones - I love gum with my wine.  Specifically I love Orbit’s maui mango mint gum or Trident’s sweet mint gum with most red wine.

Chris and I were on our first real “date.”  We’d just eaten (delicious!!! OMG) hotdogs at Spike’s and as we walked over to Red Bones we each popped a piece of the maui mango mint.  Once inside I ordered a red wine and a water, as is my wont, and I remember thinking, oh hell, I just put gum in my mouth.  Well, let’s see how it goes, I mean, it’s not super minty.  Whaddaya know?  I liked it.

Then I thought, this is probably slightly abnormal.  Most people would probably find the tastes I was savoring to be disgusting.  Yes, I’m a bona fide candy addict; I love sweets beyond what most people can take, but I began to wonder what other things I liked that others might consider weird.   Since I love lists, here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

  • drinking my morning coffee immediately after I’ve brushed my teeth
  • eggs (scrambled or an omelet) with Miracle Whip (mix it right in before cooking)
  • Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts + cheap beer = crazy delicious
  • the eye massage feel of someone else putting eyeshadow on me - so nice
  • watermelon (I’ve come across many, many watermelon haters.  I’m a southern girl who could eat two whole watermelons in one sitting with no trouble t’all, I love love love it.)
  • using my bedside rug to scratch the heel of my foot when it itches
  • cloudy days (over cloudless sunny days)
  • the smell of scotch tape and fedex labels
  • french fries with mayonnaise and burgers w/a mix of mayo and ketchup
  • flossing

I can’t think of anything else right now.  Maybe next time I’ll try a list of things of little things that really drive me bananas.  Then again, I don’t want to give my readers any ideas of ways to annoy me.

super powers

It seems to me that if you choose invisibility as your super power you’re probably a paranoid person. Or perhaps you just want to play the voyeur. Maybe you’re antisocial and would prefer no one see you. No matter what, I can’t help but think something’s wrong with you.

There are so many interesting super powers to choose from. Your power could be one you made up, like the ability to have a grilled cheese sandwich appear out of thin air at will. To travel in time. To be able re-seed an acre of deforestation with the sweep of a hand. To snap your fingers and have your entire house clean and tidy. To be able to skillfully play any instrument in existence.

If I had to choose a super power it’d be flight. No question.

What would you choose?

happy birthday to me at 14,000 feet - part 2

When they opened the door at the back of the plane, I put on my goggles and Scuba reminded me of our sequence.  Hands on chest straps, head back against his shoulder, jump, push the bush and kick back, shoulder tap then open arms.  I was ready.  I turned and looked at Tony whose face was lit up like a 10 year old opening the birthday present he’d hoped for so badly and he said, “We are going to jump out of a fucking airplane!!!”

The cabin quickly emptied out and I hardly noticed others leaving.  Suddenly I was being pushed along to the end of the bench for my turn.  Terri went right before me and I got the privilege of seeing her go.  The look of absolute horror on her face was astounding.  It said, “This can’t be right, this isn’t what I meant to do.  What could I possibly have been thinking?!”  But there was no turning back.  And I knew my face would tell a very different story because I was pumped!!

We stepped to the doorway, Scuba pushed my forehead back and we jumped.  Surprisingly I remembered everything I was supposed to do and suddenly we were in our free fall.  There wasn’t what I’d call a disconnect happening in my brain, but this was so far from anything I’d ever experienced that I don’t think I was able to fully process it.   I was there, body and mind, but it was rather surreal.  The only complaint I had was I wished he’d told me I wouldn’t be able to breathe.  Since the free fall is only one minute in duration, I told myself it was a minor inconvenience.  Clearly it was breathtaking and definitely exhilarating.

They’d said it’d be cold up there and they were right - it was frigid.  Falling at a speed of 120mph  didn’t help, either.  We fell through some clouds, which I loved, and they were just like long cold mists.  I must have been able to breathe at some point because I remember screaming and screaming “WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!  OH MY GOD!!!  WOOOOOOO!!!!  WOOOOOOOO!!!”

Soon enough it was time to open the parachute and just like in the movies the resistance from the chute yanked us back up a couple yards.   I couldn’t stop yelling, “That was AWESOME!!! That was AWESOME!!!“  as we floated.  At this pace I was able to take in the scenery and appreciate the earth from above.  It reminded me a bit of the hot air balloon ride I went on a few years ago except no basket.  Then we did some spinning first clockwise then counterclockwise and fastfastfast.  Who knew something could be so serene yet so exciting?

Scuba did more tricks and fun stuff in the 6-7 minutes we had in the air and then we prepared for landing.  I lifted up my knees and put my legs out in front of me as we neared the ground.  Our landing was smooth and easy - no real bumps and jerks, just a soft glide down, a little bounce on the butt and we were back on earth in one piece.  Each.

We all found each other at the hangar where they keep the gear and parachutes and Tony and I had full-on perma-grin.  It was like the best amusement park ride ever.  I knew right away I wanted to do it again.   Tony and I decided then and there that eventually we’d take the class to get certified so we can jump on our own.  Sadly, Terri really was frightened and didn’t have the same thrilling experience we did.  But she is glad she did it.  I was feeling badly about it until I realized none of us knew quite what to expect, so how could I be responsible?  It was my idea, yes, but beyond that, it was out of my hands.  It’s strange how naturally and easily guilt comes upon me.  And I’m not even Catholic.  I’m not religious at all.

After we each phoned our sweeties we drove back to Boston.  We picked up Leslie and Sean and went to dbar for dinner and drinks.  Chris couldn’t come because he was playing on the Vineyard, as usual.  The food was superb (I had a delicious dish of scallops on risotto and, of course, wine) and the company delightful.  Terri and Leslie gave me a ride home.  It was a gorgeous evening and I wanted dessert (duh) so we got ice cream at JP Licks and strolled through Davis.  A glorious ending to an utterly insanely awesomely fantastic day.

Mel and I always used to quote the old commercial for the ice cream Frusen Gladje, saying “Honey, I ate all the Frusen Gladje.  …. And I’d do it again.”  Now I say “Honey, I jumped out of an airplane.  And I’d do it again.”  And as Scuba likes to say, “drive fast and take chances!”

roo and scuba flyin roo and scuba

happy birthday to me at 14,000 feet - part 1

The original idea was to go skydiving on August 9th, the day before my birthday.  Things don’t always go according to plan.  Yesterday I finally jumped.

I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now.  After I finished chemotherapy at the end of August last year, I realized I’d better get on it.  But I was scared.  I put it off.   And I put it off.  I found any number of reasons to postpone and then in May or so realized if I was going to do it, I had to make a firm plan with a deadline.  Why not jump on or around my birthday?

Originally I invited a large number of friends to go and caravan up to Maine because I thought we’d get a group discount.  Asking people “Would you be interested in skydiving?” made for an interesting peek into their personality.  I was very often surprised by the answers I got.  People I thought would be into it weren’t and vice versa.   And both camps were forceful in their replies either way.

For a while there I had eight people coming with me, but scheduling was a hassle and money was a problem for some.  My skydiving group wound up just three: me, Tony and Terri.

We met at my place at 10am and headed for Sound Bites for breakfast, but the lines both there and at the Neighborhood forced us back to Johnny D’s.  This wasted 30 minutes of our precious time - I blame only myself.   That and the mile of traffic at the New Hampshire tolls almost made us miss our 1′o’clock “class.”  But we phoned to say we were running late and Terri sped gaily forth and got us there in the nick.

I put quotation marks around class because one could hardly call it a class in the traditional sense. They sat our group in a room whose quality was the equivalent of your uncle’s rec room complete with well-used, likely trash-salvaged couches with awful colors and worn woven patterns and a giant low-res TV.  A young pierced and slightly ratty punk-haired girl throws a DVD in the player and narrates along with footage of a woman’s first dive and gives pieces of advice here and there, like not to wear any jewelry and to empty your pockets because “that lucky penny isn’t so lucky when it flies out and hits someone in the face.”  During the next portion of the video, which was footage of experts and trick moves she had comments like, “Yeah, that move is so bad ass.”

Then we arrive at the liability portion of the class.  The over-copied barely legible legal papers they’ve given us to sign detail how we decided to jump out of a plane of our own free will, so this agreement absolves NESkydiving of all blame if we are injured or die as a result of our dive.

And that concludes our “class.”  We head out to the main gear store to pay our balance minus deposit.  Because there was a lot of cloud cover in the morning, the jump schedule is backed up.  They ask us to be patient and wait for our names to be called.

I knew there’d be waiting involved so I brought activities, but we were all so keyed up there was no way we could concentrate on a card game.  We watched as the skydivers landed and others planned out their in-air choreography.  Really cool stuff.

skydivers 1I took some shots of the sky, too.  How bizarre it was to look up at nothing but sky and clouds only to have it slowly fill up with 10 to 20 parachutes right before our eyes.

skydivers 2

So we waited and waited and waited.  When they called our names we all looked at each other with excitement.  Naturally I ran to the bathroom first.  Came out and met my Jump Master, Scuba.  He was as gregarious and I am so I was immediately very comfortable.  He got me all geared up/strapped in to my harness when it clouded up again.  We were put on an indefinite hold.  - You can’t jump unless the plane can see the ground and the ground can see the plane.

Since we had time I asked Scuba if he could show me exactly what we’d be doing using this wooden mock plane they had there.  We went through the motions of squatting and scootching up to the low-clearance doorway.  I would have my hands on my chest straps and he would push my head back along his shoulder so he could see as we jumped out.  As soon as we were out the door I was to thrust my pelvis forward (or “push the bush” as his Jamaican fellow divers call it) and kick my legs back behind me as though I were trying to kick his rear end.  Once he tapped my shoulder I could put my arms out.  After a minute of free-fall he’d open the chute and we’d glide down to earth.  I started to grasp what the hell I was about to do.

Tony and Terri opted to wear the offered flight suit, so in the pictures they look like official skydivers.  But the suits were warm and it was hot out, so they took them off till while we sat and waited for our group to get called up again.  Since I wasn’t wearing a suit I kept my harness on.  After about half an hour I got up and announced I would ask Scuba to help me out of my harness; surely once I was unfettered they’d call our names.

Which they did.  After some more waiting on the truck that would transport us to the plane, we were on our way.

roo & tony  tony & terri
roo & terri

trio i think we’re ready  Excitement by this time was so electric I didn’t have room in my body to be nervous.  I knew I wasn’t about to back out at this point.    They drove us over to the plane, loaded us in attached to our JMs and we scooted back straddling one of the two parallel benches.

Once the plane took off I stared out the window with an enormous grin on my face.  Scuba said, “Now there’s the look of someone who wants to skydive!”  :)  Yep.  Tony was sitting next to me in front of his JM Matt and Terri was with her JM, Chad, right in front of me.

Once we hit 10,000 feet Scuba started tightening all my straps and double checking we were hooked onto each other as we should be.

beach days

Though I can be brusque, I don’t mean to seem harsh. I don’t hate the beach. And I don’t judge anyone for loving a vacation where they lie on the beach and read all day. That sounds groovy to me, dude, I’d just need to pepper that with some active activities. As I’ve said, I’m a creature of inertia and momentum. If I stop moving altogether it’s unlikely I’ll get up and move again and then I’ll be guilt-ridden about being lazy despite being on vacation.

I wouldn’t REFUSE an offer to go to the beach, either. Not a big fan of traffic on the way. Not a big fan of crowds. Not a big fan of baking in the sun, either. You don’t set Roo in direct sunlight for any prolonged period of time. You just don’t. I have no idea what would happen and I don’t think you or I should attempt to find out. I imagine it’d be much like the Terry Gilliam film, Time Bandits, when the Supreme Being starts vaporizing the dwarves at the end. (That’s a great movie! I should watch it again.)

But I digress. Despite being from a land-locked state I’ve had my fair share of beach experience. Because my dad was a professor, when I was little we’d spend much of the summers driving all over the country and visiting states that had coasts. I like the beach, I do. It’s just I’m in the minority who do not prefer a cloudless day - hence my link to the cloud appreciation society. For vacation spots I’d choose, in no particular order, rollercoasters, big cities I can explore (not just the U.S.), or mountains and woods.

I started to write this when we had that awful heatwave about a month ago. Remember, we went from 60 degrees to 98 in one day. It was drastic and terrible. I’d already put my a/c units in the windows, so my apartment was an oasis of cool, dry goodness. Phew!

Now it seems we’re to get another heatwave. Since it’s hitting us during a weekend and it’s time for everyone to “go on ‘oliday” I imagine there’ll be much beach attendance. I sincerely want to wish everyone a great weekend, be it spent in the sun and the ocean or the pool or wherever you go or stay. I’m going to a friend’s cookout on Saturday, but otherwise will be cloistered in my cool, air-conditioned apartment or at the air-conditioned gym, or in an air-conditioned movie theater watching the new Will Smith feature, Hancock, or possibly I’ll be at air-conditioned Diesel Cafe playing pool with Christopher. No crowds, no traffic, no humidity nor overwhelmingly direct sunlight for me. It’ll be grand.

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, radar.com 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….]

demographics

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.

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.

i loathe a parade

There was a Memorial Day Parade in Somerville today. The parade route passes in front of my apartment. If I’d been home while it happened I’d have maybe watched some of it out of my window then gone to the other end of the house and tried to block it out somehow.

As it was my friend Terri was trying to drive us to my place from the gym so I could get a change of clothes and go kayaking with her. The parade wasn’t scheduled to start for another 2 hours, but driving the 6 blocks from Porter ended up taking 20 minutes thanks to all the closed roads. Closed for one mere block, why?

So here’s my question: What is the point of a parade? I do not get it. As a child I remember thinking, ‘what the hell is this?’ I think I’m coming out of the closet, as it were, to say I loathe a parade. Parades are booooring. It’s like they’re created for people who don’t like actually doing things. I enjoy watching interesting things, don’t get me wrong, but sitting and watching other people march whilst sort-of-doing-things does not hold my attention. Marching bands? Yawn. They can play and march and turn their heads in unison. Wonderful. Unless it’s some kind of new wavey hip-hop neat-o coolio marching band (what was that movie?…) I can do without it.

The way I figure it parades are made for same the kind of people whose ideal vacation is the one where they laze on the beach every day. Which is not my ideal vacation. If I were on a beach vacation (there’s always a first time!) I’d rather be taking part in activities, say snorkeling or attempting to surf or climbing something or hiking. Just don’t place me immobile in direct sunlight for any serious length of time. 10 minutes post-swimming in the pool (or however long it takes to dry) is about all I can take.

The word parade itself appeals to my ear and I like the way it looks aesthetically, but that’s as far as my appreciation goes.

Obviously there must be people who love parades or the song “I love a parade” wouldn’t exist. Ah, thank you Merrie Melodies. The first time I saw the floats in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC was interesting, but once is enough. Maybe revisit every few years, perhaps once every ten. Same with Gay Pride. Now THAT’S an impressive spectacle and is always bursting with energy and fun, but again, once every few years is enough. Otherwise even it gets stale.

Right. So anyway, I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekends. As I wrote above, I went kayaking for my first time and had a blast! Who knew it was so cheap and easy? $15 for an hour on the Charles and they give you a kayak, an oar and a safety vest. No fuss, no muss. Loved it and I plan to do it again. Sure beat sitting around watching a parade, but it wouldn’t take much to beat that for me.