Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lion in Winter

Should I get this for my birthday si o no?

Coolest kid ever or biggest freak on campus?

Find it here

Forget alcohol, THIS is the best 21st birthday gift ever. Haha!

Spending my youth worrying about numbers and letters

I am so stressed out. I am a champion procrastinator. Finals are so stressful. I can't concentrate. I can't be happy about anything until next Friday when this is all over. I am going home this weekend to recharge and focus on my studies. I just want at least one A or A- this semester, but who knows if that's going to happen. So close, but so far away. Everything is about the number, the percentage, the letter, the GPA, stuff that doesn't even matter in real life.

Concentrate forty-eight.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sofia Coppola can do no wrong

There is something about the artistic aesthetic of Sofia Coppola that makes me want to melt into her dreamworld of pastel-sugary goodness. Who doesn't want to live in a world of colorful macarons, wind blown hair, and pretty dresses?

This is a commerical that Sofia directed for Christian Dior's Miss Cherie fragrance.

I do love this commercial, however, I couldn't help thinking of this when I was watching it.

It actually snowed a little bit in Boston today and it made me excited, but after seeing this I long for a pretty summer day in France! Or, actually what am I talking about - I long for a sun-kissed winter vacation Hawaii.....14 days!!

(Sofia Coppola deserves a much larger post than this, but as per usual I am procrastinating studying).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Unattainable Perfect Hair...

...whether it's on indie rock stars or cartoon characters.

Two images found online in two days:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dress Up

I am currently at home for Thanksgiving, and I have a really big craving to go thrift shopping. Forget the mall on Black Friday, Goodwill is where it's at! However, there are two things keeping me from going out shopping. 1) I don't really have time 2) I am trying to save all my money for winter break when I go on vacation to visit Natalie in Hawaii and then we go San Francisco. Our B&B is on Haight Street for goodness' sake! I need to save my money!

Also, I really don't need more clothes. As a general rule for myself, I am trying to wear the clothes that I already own more instead of buying new ones. Even with Newberry Street 300 miles away, I still should not break that rule.

Then, I remembered that I have a closet filled with vintage/thrifted clothes from high school that I don't wear for various reasons: they are too outrageous, I just I didn't wear them when I had them with me when I was at school, etc., etc. To appease my want to go shopping, I decided to scrounge through my cloest and play dress up with the clothes I already have. Here are the results:

First, I found this dress:

I got it from an estate sale that my parents went to. Nice floral pattern.

Wait! Let's let my hair down, and add some leggings.

Then, let's add an over-sized cardigan and some throwback attitude, and voila! An outfit! I am bringing this dress back to Boston with me to wear.

This is one of my mom's old peasant tops. Alas, it has a stain down the middle. It is also a little too short.

Look at the cute detail on the back:

This is a bag that I found in Philadelphia near South Street. I love it so much that I don't want to ruin it, so I don't use it, so in my room it stays.

It also makes a good hat.

Hey, I remember this coat! This was actually my winter coat in high school. I got it at a church rummage sale on the main street of my town. Why did I stop wearing this? Oh yeah, I stopped fitting into it...but it fits again! woo hoo!

Maybe I should bring it back to Boston? It's not really that warm enough for the harsh Boston winters...

I love this sweater! I call it my "Pretty in Pink Sweater." It may be hard to tell by the pictures but the pink and purple are so dated. It hurts your eyes when you look at it and pairing it with an appropriate bottom is hard. It doesn't even semi-match with anything I own. Oh, maybe because it's not 1983.

This is me trying to look sultry.

This is me trying to look innocent.

I know what you're thinking.
Ruthanne, this post is missing sequins. Well, don't worry! Here they are:

Once I saw this in the thrift store, and I couldn't leave it there.

How could you?

Or this?

This is also another dress from the estate sale.

No outfit is complete without Madeline.

She's not as into it as I am.

Oh, appendix.

Another dress also from the estate sale. I don't think I could get away with wearing this around.

Maybe with some sassy attitude? No, probably not.

Last but not least, this is one of my favorite skirts:

I got this in high school when I sometimes wore funky stuff like this, but it didn't really fit in with my style at college. I tried it on but again, but something is still off... I love the sailboat pattern though.

Wait, what if we pull it up a little? And add leggings?

And add a belt!

And a cardigan! We definitely have something here.

Yay! Another thing to bring back to Boston!

This dress up session was very fun and successful. I was able to remince and add some things to my wardrobe. Also, most importantly, I still have more money for swimming with sea lions and shopping on Haight Street!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Satan or the lack thereof

This post is based on a conversation I had once with Ruthanne during the period when I was sleeping on her floor like a bum. I had just returned from Ghana and, having nowhere to lay my little head, showed up with wide, moist eyes at Ruthanne's lovely new Burstein dorm. Freshly misted by the early summertime Boston air, hands red from carting luggage over continents and oceans, and clothes suspiciously pungent from a month in the third world, I was impossible to turn away. Like a puppy, or someone else's toddler, or that second (and sometimes third!) serving of double chocolate mousse, she looked me in the eye and attempted to do the prudent thing (slam the door in my face), but ultimately - conquered by purity of heart - forced a smile and stepped aside.

I settled in for a delightful week of leeching, enjoying the feeling of getting up late, going out to eat with Mal and Rue, and prancing around campus during the days without any particular need to be anywhere. Also fascinating was the possibility of viewing Rueallery in their natural habitat - something I've always found delightfully fascinating. I love seeing if a person I thought I knew so well leaves a pile of dirty clothes perpetually humped in a corner, or goes through the trouble and money to actually purchaes a toothbrush holder. Do they rely on the great brown-box-scrounge each semester when it's time to clean out their dorm room, or is everything always neatly packed away in plastic Bed, Bath, and Beyond crates that have been with them since freshman year? What do they do right before they go to bed? Are there jokes made during dinner? Is life more like How I Met Your Mother or Flight of the Conchords? There are always delightful things to learn.

One night I was, inexplicably, drifting off to sleep before Ruthanne. I say inexplicably, because there was really no reason for me to be feeling sleepy at all, considering my idle life. She, on the other had, had work full-time that she went to, hours before I even managed to drag myself up from her comfy air bed, and rustle around her kitchen, making myself elaborate, hour-long breakfasts. Groggily awakening, seeing only the timid little light coming from her computer, I determined that she was a watching a movie too riveting to abandon for slumber. Being to obsessive, borderline mentally-unhealthy movie-watcher that I am, I shoved the quilts over my ears, refusing to see even of a glimpse of a movie that I was tuning in to half-way through. I hummed maniacally in my head like a child with a history of abuse, or a dolphin trying to communicate underwater.

The next morning, again awakening to dreamy crisp New England-aired solitude, I was alarmed to see that the video case atop Rue's computer was Rosemary's Baby. Ruthanne, I was pretty sure, had at one point told me to turn down the commercials for the lates Saw installment, because scary movie previews frighten her. I started to panic for her own fragile mental well-being. I myself had never seen Rosemary's Baby but I remember traumatic accounts of my mother explaining the entire plot to preteen-me. It sounded much worse than the Excorcist, and there were scenes in the Excorcist (namely, bloody crucifix-masturbation scene) that I felt fairly certain would traumatize Ruthanne into a lifelong muteness.

Ruthanne finally returned home to find me in a writhing wreck, half out of concern for her, and half with my own wild, torturous imaginings of what it must have been like to watch Rosemary's Baby at midnight in a completely dark room when everyone else is asleep. She seemed very confused with my concern and I began to think that there were TWO Rosemary's Baby's - one about devil-rape, and another about, like, a happy little baby elf or something. No, she said. There was devil rape. I demanded she tell me the plot, and the reiteration of a story that frightened me so much just by hearing it, said in such a matter-of-fact tone confused me. Was she already traumatized? Repressed? Am I just going insane?

We eventually discovered that Rue - being Jewish - doesn't really accept the concept of the devil. So stories about the devil coming and wreaking his anti-christ havoc don't ring close to home with her at all! It was fascinating. I mean, I never considered myself very religious, and certainly wouldn't have thought that how I react to scary movies was shaped by my spiritual upbringing. I would have considered that any role catholocism played in that perception came from the culture i was brought up in as a whole, a culture that had, as a whole, indirectly absorbed aspects of Catholocism.

The devil to me is the quintessential evil, evil concentrated, evil incarnate. The greatest scourge on all existence and goodness. To Rue, it's just another made-up boogeyman story. See what you learn about people when you sleep on their floor?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Grass is Always Greener

I have a bad case of the Wintertime Blues.

"Winter times blues?" you say, "Why Ruthanne, it's only November!"

What can I say? Winter has come early for me this year. When sun starts setting at 3 PM, my whole mentality changes. In my head I become I creature of the night, craving a ray of sunshine. The nights are so long. I start listening to more Cat Power and Bright Eyes, rather than Mates of State and Stars (summer music). Perhaps I could twist the idea of long nights into something mysterious, cool, and adventurous but I'm just not in the mood to. My days are spent in class and working, my nights spent studying or procastinating studying and then worrying that I'm not studying enough. No time to be creative or go for walks. I should start going to bed and waking up earlier.

The coldness has really hit me hard this fall, too. I am not ready to feel chilled to the bone yet! I have said this many times, but on behalf of the city of Boston, I would like to challenge Chicago as being the "Windy City." Brrrr.

When I start thinking how I'm not ready for winter, start becoming really nostalgic for this past summer, and I'm not really sure why. This past summer was one of the loneliest periods of my life. I was in a large city with all of friends thousands of miles away.

I think I miss the warmth of the sun that stayed out till 8PM. Or the flowers in the flower beds and leaves on the trees. Or that I had a HUGE bedroom all to myself (miss you Burstein 311, room B!!!!). Actually, most of the time I didn't have just a bedroom to myself, but a whole apartment too. My roommate worked long hours and was hardly at home. At the time, my apartment's vacancy depressed me. Now I crave for some quite in my apartment.

It may have sounded like I was having fun when I called you on the weekends when I was forming superficial party-friend relationships and making a utter fool out of myself, but it wasn't always fun (although I believe I had more than a few people laughing at me).

During the week, I spent a lot of time in my room, by myself. To keep myself busy, I would go to the gym, and go for walks around the Fens and the Charles River. I would write in my journal. It was nice to have that free time to myself, but I often wished I was walking with someone, or talking to someone instead of writing.

One thing that is very telling about how much free time I had in the summer was that I was totally on top of my laundry and my groceries. Every two weeks I would go grocery shopping. I knew exactly what items I needed and how much money I would spend. I did my laundry every week, and never ran out of clean clothes. Now, in the rush of fall, last week I survived off of cheese crackers and granola bars because I haven't gone grocery shopping in over a month and I hate spending so much money eating out. I have yet to resort to bathing suit bottoms as underwear, but the semester isn't over yet.

Is it hard to tell which time is better for me, summer or winter? It is for me. I had hoped to make a more definitive comparison, but I think my conclusions are very telling of how jumbled my mind is.

Please know that I really miss you and Krupa, if you didn't get that sentiment from me already. My trip to see you in HAWAII in December will be my reward to a stressful, bummer of a semester. I can't wait till everyone is back in Boston!

I have been procrastinating writing in this blog. I feel unmotivated and that I have nothing worthy to say. Every time I write an entry, I stop half way through because I feel what I write is complete crap. Should I put on a happy facade? Should I really complain about my privileged life as a college student? Boo-fucking-hoo.

I promise my next entry will be better.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Music, Growth

There are concrete reasons why I believe that I am mentally fixated. That I haven't bridged some important stage of development that most people bridge at, say, 11. That I am a victim of arrested development; that I am not fit for this world; that I am a child.

One is that I am horribly, incurably, egocentric.

I always thought this was only something that, like Veronica Lodge is (Archie comics? Anyone?) Except I'm Veronica without money and stunning beauty. It's like I got all the lame parts of the Riverdale females.

In psychology, however we learned that egocentrism is a term they use for the mindset of little kids. We put, for example, a little stuffed bear and stuff owl on opposite ends of a book, but so the kid could see both and asked if Bear and Owl could see each other (were their little stuffed bodies filled with anything other than cotton, they wouldn't have been able to see each other). They kid would reply 'Yes'. I mean, if I can see it, they reason, THEY must be able to. Me, me, me.

Anyway, that's how I think of the world developing. Like me. I mean, if I developed like this, THEY must have. Me, me, me.

I must have listened to music before fifth grade, but it musn't have really impacted me because I don't remember. Other than my sister's Troll Radio tape. Man, that was sweet. Those little diamond-navel-ed trolls running a radio show and doing troll-ized versions of hits like La Bamba??? Sweet, sweet, sweetness.

But in fifth grade, it was all about the Nsync. And the backstreet boys. 98 Degrees and I had a brief flirtation, but we parted pretty soon. Spice Girls rocked it for a while too. I think of it as the Age of Poppy Bands. I feel like they dominated the world! Because, I mean, they dominated mine.

When my hip sister got into things like Mxpx and Blink-182, my tastes shifted a bit. I didn't ever go the hip hop/r&b route. Interestingly enough, I find this a very logical step. Blink and Backstreet both are hook-y, catch-y. They're about boppin', you know. God, I'm sure I just pissed off a thousand people comparing those two.

In middle school, I also got into the mainstream radio alternative fare: stuff like Tonic, Nickelback, Third Eye Blind, Nine Days, Vertical Horizon. I remember thinking they were edgier than the pop fare I was used to. Deeper. There were, like, emotions. And thoughts. They challenged the world!

In eighth grade, the advent of the internet and my own growing awareness of peer pressure 'the cool kids' nudged me into exploring things that weren't so 'lame and mainstream'. The first non-mainstream band I got into was The Detachment Kit. I still think they're awesome. They still hold a special place in my heart. When the iStore came out, I rebought all their songs from They Raging. Quiet Army. I lost CDs a lot. The next were Source Tags and Codes by And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead (I know, I know - but trust me, they're amazing), The Argument, by Fugazi, and The Glow Pt. 2 by the Microphones. Emergency and I by the Dismemberment Plan soon followed. I remember that flush of excitement - being in a new frontier, really opening myself up completely in a way I hadn't before that - hadn't really thought to, actually - and actually, hardly have since.

It was just so NEW. New things were being challenged, not just the content of the lyrics, but the whole structure of the song! The way the music was made! What even constituted music! It's similar to the way I felt when I discovered Stoppard and metafiction - these guys were, to me, metamusicians. And that made the music all the more memorable.

Sometimes I think that I've actually regressed in my exploration. I have definite niches I go into - the easy-listening band that are-or-were-once indie kinds of things. (and indie: phew what a dangerous word to use nowadays!). Nice acousticy Joshua Radin stuff on one end, big-time rockers like YYY on the other, fluffy sort-of-weirds like Say Hi. In general; easy stuff.

I miss that feeling of new, that feeling of free. When I didn't know about what indie or weird-rock or even emo was - when I didn't know about categories and so couldn't put myself into one. When I couldn't trace the similarities and influence between bands, when I didn't know backgrounds, similar artists, label names, or hometowns - when none of that affected me except the raw - sometimes abrasive, always exciting - music. When I was a blank slate.

One of these days, I'm going to empty myself all over again. I'll listen to Strangelight for the first time. I'll watch Napolean Dynamite without knowing any of the jokes. I'll read Lord of the Flies and not know what's to come.

To be born again would be a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Today Will Be Better, I Swear!

I know you're really busy right now with the Hawaii Film Festival, and I definitely feel overwhelmed with homework and preparing for my next co-op (ahhh!). In this time of stress, I advise you to take a 5 minute, 55 second break and wish you were in this music video.

Thank you so much for introducing me to Stars. They were definitely my go-to band of the summer.

Did you see the hanging planets in the background? WHAT NOW BOSTON UNIVERSITY?

And remember, do not let shampoo touch your hair ever and ALWAYS threaten to move to Berlin!

Miss you Natalie!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


For a long time, I have wanted bangs. I have begged and pleaded with my hair stylists:

Give me bangs," I would say, "I want bangs. I need them."
"No," they would reply, "Your forehead is too small. They won't look good. Let's try the next best thing....side-swept bangs!"

So, for many years I settled with the ho-hum side-swept bangs. Some girls can really rock the side-swept. They look so cool, so chic. Me on the other hand.... I don't work them so well. Whenever I have them, they are never that short, and not really recognizable as true bangs. This is mainly because as soon as they get long enough, I shove them behind my ears. What I realized I really wanted was five-year-old, straight-across-the-forehead bangs.

This need was recently reinforced on my last visit home, when I came across some old pictures of myself.

"Gee," I thought, "Look at me! High-waisted shorts with the shirt tucked in, skinny legs, and bangs...I was more hip in'94!"

Exhibit A:

(On a side note, my dentist used to take polaroid pictures of all the kids who would come get their teeth cleaned and then put it on a huge polaroid wall. I have a little collection of me 'roiding in a dentist chair. My dentist was basically too cool for school).

Seeing pictures of me like this made me realize that even though I may never have skinny legs again, I can at least have bangs. I can be one step closer to hipness! One step closer to emulating my indie rock idols with bangs:

Chan Marshall!

Jenny Lewis!

Tennessee Thomas!

So last week, when I went to my hair stylist and she asked me what I wanted, I said,
"Little kid bangs! Even though I've been told that they won't look good..."
"Don't worry sweet haht," she said, "We can make it work."
"Aren't they high-maintenance?" I worried.
"They ah, but you can handle them, sweet haht."
"I'll try, Cathy!"

Here is the result:

These first three pictures are still from when my hair was salon-fresh, still nice and smooth.

(By the way, this is me experimenting with an AA shirt, trying to see if it can be worn fashionably backwards.[Oohh! The V will be in the back!] Experiment results : It can't).

The only problem is, the actualy cut is a little shorter than I'd like. I feel like I have doll hair or something. I usually just wear it up in a pony tail. I love the bangs, but I can't wait for the rest of it to grow out. On the bright side, I can definitely wear cutesy bows in my hair now:

Or I'll decide not to look stupid, and just wear it like this.

What do you think?