Another Awkward Week: Still Waters Run Deep

OH HI! Does your brain hurt from all the Beyonce/Adele Grammys think pieces you devoured today ...despite not actually watching the Grammys last night?

No?? Um, me either, I worked very hard all day!!

But just in case you do need a bit of a brain break, here is a quick story for your Monday night.

Anyone who spends time with me IRL quickly becomes aware that they are a lucky bitch because I am amazing. 

Ha, just kidding, that's not what I was going to saaay.

Anyone who spends time with me IRL quickly becomes aware that I am obsessed with hydration, to a level bordering on unhinged. I have three glasses of water before I leave the house and usually 8-10 more 16oz bottles by EOD. Every time I pee I check out the scene to monitor the situation and if my urine is not crystal clear by noon I get stressed and slam a few cups of H20 to speed up the process. Once, a year or two ago, I had a UTI, because being a human woman is an EVIL TRAP, and I went to the clinic and peed in the lil cup and the doctor came back and pulled up the test results on the computer and said "I can tell by looking at your results that you are very hydrated," and I blushed and beamed and replied "thank you so much for noticing!" As if she was commenting on my liquid eyeliner application or clean baseboards. 

When I said "bordering on unhinged" I may have meant like, very far beyond unhinged... 

So it should be an obvious no duh by this point that I literally never leave the house without a water bottle. Ever. This means I always have to lug some kind of big bag with me, even if I'm going to like, a club (lol as if) or trendy restaurant (slightly more likely). I would so rather risk a fashion don't than be caught out there dehydrated whilst daintily holding my evening clutch.

A true nightmare scenario.

Why am I telling you all of this TMI about my inner neurosis / urine color? Stay with me. This is alllll helpful background information to have in mind as we *finally* find ourselves at the beginning of my tale.

'Twas a week ago today, around eleven in the AM and I was returning to my office from a doctor's appointment. I was carrying the large leather tote pictured below:

bag of water humor blog I am so bad at naming photos

(Urban Outfitters, under eye circles + empty boxes sold separately).

In said bag, I had packed 3/4 full Nalgene style water bottle branded with my imprint's logo (always be selling!), a hardcover copy of The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, and my bullet journal + pack of colored markers (just in case I needed to make an urgent to-do list in the waiting room? IDK guys),  along with some assorted nonsense which shall be discussed later. 

I swiped my card through the turnstile, moseyed (obviously sprinted) to a suitable spot on the platform and stood patiently waiting for my train. I was a little thirsty from all the moseying (sprinting), not to mention that I consider any amount of downtime to be a primo opportunity to re-up on the hydraysh, so I reached into my purse and pulled out my water bottle only to discover it was now...empty. 

I plunged my hand back into my purse and like a kid digging a hole to China via the Jersey Shore, I hit water. I must not have screwed on the lit tightly last time I took a public chug! In a panic I began to pull out my important belongings. My wallet...soaked. My book...soaked. My #bujo...miraculously only a tiny bit damp, praise be to you Beyonce, who so should have won Best Album, everyone knows Lemonade was the greatest album of the year / decade, even people who forgot to watch the Grammys! 

And then, my train came.

I had two options. Option one was to pull out all of my stuff, dump the water onto the tracks, cry about my misfortune, and cause a big ol' scene right there in the 23rd Street 1 Train Station. Or I could choose option two, which was to board the train, hold my sopping books in my arms, and ride the four stops back to my office with two inches of water sloshing around my handbag. And then, you know, pull out all my stuff, dump the water into the sink, cry about my misfortune...and cause a big ol' scene right there in the middle of my office.

I chose option two.

Y'all I boarded the train and I carried the water all the way home.

(That  kind of sounds like a gospel song! Carry the water, children. I carry the water, Oh Lord.)

(Pretty sure those are just the lyrics to Wade in the Water but with a lil remix.)

(Enough parenthetical asides, Liz.)

When I got back to the office I carried my water over to the communal kitchen sink, tipped the bag over, and out poured half a liter of water, as though from a lovely pitcher. I assessed the damage. In addition to the above mentioned book and journal, I pulled out 3 half-full travel sized packs of tissues (all obviously ruined), several handfuls of change (unscathed!), one running sock that had been in there since who even knows when (soaked but salvageable), miscellaneous receipts (destroyed),and the real kicker: two very important referral papers handed to me by the doctor I'd visited just before my ill-fated subway purse drowning situation. One of these papers contains notes from my doctor to a physical therapist who I am to see next Monday for the first time. I need to present this piece of paper to the physical therapist so she knows what my issues are. 

My physical issues, that is. No one needs a paper note to see my mental issues, which will be fully apparent when I hand her a crumpled script that is ripped at one corner and bears the texture of an elementary school homemade paper making project gone awry, having once been soaked and then left to dry on the back of my desk chair. I should just call the original doctor and tell them I need a replacement prescription but I don't want them to think I'm irresponsible. For some reason that seems more embarrassing to me than waltzing into the physical therapists office with a ruined piece of garbage.

Where did I say I was on the unhinged scale again? Maybe we should double it.

Anyway, all's well that ends well, I suppose. My most beloved of possessions, the journal, snuck through generally unscathed with just a few bits of runny ink towards the top of some pages, and after a few days to dry out, my copy of The Warmth of Other Suns now looks rather chic. My assistant saw it sitting on my desk all yellowed, sans dustcover (a tragic casualty, RIP dustcover, I hope you had a great life), and exclaimed "wow, what a cool antique book!" I didn't have the heart to tell her it is not, in fact, an antique, but a relatively new book I ruined. She'll find out I'm a hot mess soon enough, but until that day I'll let her - and the world! - think I'm some kind of intellectual savant whose handbag is overflowing with antique literary works, instead of spilled water, wet socks, and garbage.

The joke is definitely on them! 

And by them, I mean me.

Have a grand week, m'dears. Don't forget to hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE and also always check your water bottle lids. 

Peace, Love, and Clear Pee -

Liz Hott 

Beers, Bras, Bucket Lists: A Coney Island Travelogue

Summer is upon us and with that comes the Summer Bucket List. The Summer Bucket List is like a real Bucket List except that instead of being a list of things to do before you die, inspired by a Morgan Freeman movie, it is a list of things to do before Autumn comes, to make you feel really stressed and anxious about each passing day and convince yourself that sweating your teats off waiting on a nine hour line for Shakespeare in the Park tickets is a rational idea because, SUMMER!

On my SBL: oyster happy hour, outdoor movie in the park, acquire a tan. On my bff Kathleen's list: an evening in the seaside haven of Coney Island, Brooklyn.

Coney Island is one of the strangest microcosms on earth, at once quintissentially summer and quintissentially New York. You've got a beach, a boardwalk, an amusement park, the subway, housing projects, a convergence of overpriced foodtrucks known as Smorgasburg ("The single greatest thing I've ever seen gastronimically in New York City" - Mario Batali) , a franchise of the Wahlburger chain of restaurants owned by the Hollywood Walburgs, ladies wearing fur coats in mid-July, the works. It's crowded, diverse, incongruous and so. much. fun. 

I will admit - ok I'll admit!! - that when Kathleen floated out this idea I was not fully convinced as to the wonders of Coney Island but I went along with it because I like her and I like friends and I heard they sold funnel cakes. I was in for a great surprise, then, because Coney Island is the funnest! 

I hearwith recommend that ALL New Yorkers add it immediately to their summer bucket lists and all non New Yorkers add it as a sub-category under the Visit NYC bullet on their list. And yes OBVI I assume all non New Yorkers have "Visit NYC" like, top spot on their bucket lists. It's the greatest fuckin' place on earth. And no we're so not snobs about it..who said that?! 

Anyway, to entice and delight you, I've put together a little list of tips to help you make the most of your trip to America's Boardwalk Paradise. 

That's not what anyone calls it but now I do so...let's go! 

DO: Bring your camera. This joint is an instagrammer's paradise.

Coney Island Hott Sauce Beach Fun Boardwalk
coney island is cute!
buddies at Coney Island yay!

DON'T: stare. No matter how weird someone looks because trust me, there's someone even freakydeakier like 3 feet behind them. Women in pleather bikinis cracking whips? Check. Men carrying live 80 foot (approx) boa constrictors? Cha-heckkkkk. DOZENS of people in minion costumes, one of whom appears to be touching himself inappropriately? Check, checkty dozens of checks. Coney Island is like the county fair meets Times Square meets the Jersey Shore boardwalk with a dash of the G train at 3 AM. Delightfully repulsive. Charmingly horrific. 

DO: However, soak up all the good diversity of this mishmash of humanity. Unlike the county fairs where I grew up, where I actually literally was once handed a pamphlet on being kind to Jewish people, Coney Island (like the city that calls it home) is full of people of every caste, color and creed. The night we were there was the start of Eid and the place was teeming with Muslim families all celebrating the end of Ramadan, women draped in gorgeous colorful, festive hijab. I kept thinking how lucky I am to be surrounded by this variety of cultures on a daily basis. 

Well, JK mostly I kept thinking how I hoped I wouldn't be trampled to death by hoardes of sugared up children and their exhausted parents but upon reflection, I'm lucky and happy I get to soak this all in. 

DON'T: Wear clothest that can't withstand breeze and movement.

IMG_4343.JPG

I scooped up this shirt, above, on one of my thrice weekly visits to my mothership, Old Gravy. This particular trip I was on a hunt for "fun tops" after realizing I basically only own grey and white v-neck t-shirts and like, professional work blouses. #thisis30. In case you can't tell, it's basically a regular crew neck in the front and then a glorified hospital gown in the back. Hot? When standing still it's totes adorbs and shows just the most amount of skin I feel OK flaunting. However, when you move or when anything more than the gentlest of breezes blows, it flaps wiiiide open. 

I decided Coney Island was the perfect occaision for this shirt's inaugural outing. Big mistake. Huge! It was reasonably breezy, windy, even, on the boardwalk and my shirt was flying open like curtains in a rainstorm, exposing my sensible nude bra to the world. I managed to solve that situation by tucking the tail ends of the open back into the butt pockets of my jeggings. 

Cute look. HOWEVER this makeshift fix was no match for such vigorous activities as Whack-a-Mole, which left me fully exposed. And I didn't even win! 

Not to mention for scratching my legs while walking, which sadly did was not captured on phtograph, as this multi-tasking led to me falling down on the sidewalk, the flaps of my tshirt falling wide open.

Per a friend who witnessed, I was "like, nakey."

LUCKILY as previously mentioned, there were so many freakydeaks strolling the premisis, my sensible nude bra was the least scandalous sight but still, guys. BUT STILL. 

DO: Eat fried clam strips even though you can't really be certain they're you know, fresh or fit for human consumption. You're on the boardwalk...YOLO. 

DON'T: Be so uptight! While we were downing our clam strips, a woman with came up to our table and said "hello! Do you have a moment I could speak to you about these oils I am selling" and we said "no thank you!" and she, boldly replied "don't just shut me down! Let me finish!" and prodeeded to randomly single in on our friend and lecture him, MUCH to our delight, on how he should stop being such a prude, investin in some of her sensual oils, and get way freakier in the bedroom. 

He did not take her up on the offer so, good luck with your boring sex life, friend. You know who you are! 

DO: Be alert for strollers passing on your right, lest you find yourself running head on into a father and child, losing a toenail and spilling your beer ON A BABY in the process. 

I repeat: Spilling your beer. ON A BABY. 

Hypothetically, of course.

DO: Ride the Cyclone, even if it seems rickety and terrifying.

cyclone!!!

It IS rickety and terrifying but it's an American icon! 

roller coaster of love

Can you spot us?! Wheee! 

DON'T: Allow FOMO to convince you to ride ANY other rides, such as this nightmare contraption:

NO THANKS!!!

Um. HARD PASS. It is perfectly acceptible to stand to the side, hold the bags and video tape like a suburban stage mom. Someone has to capture these memories! Might as well be you.

DO: Be wary of Dark Haired Strangers.

ZOLTAR!!!

My girl Jamie gave one whole American dollar to Zoltar the fortune teller and her fortune was SO TRUE! It said she loves art and people go to her with their problems and...lots of other good things that I now forget because they didn't directly involve me so who cares. But ALSO it said that a dark haired stranger was out to do her harm. 

Dun dun dun.

WELL! Jamie has this new-ish boyfriend and he SEEMS great but guess what: dark hair! So I'm not saying he's a serial killer but I'm also not saying he's NOT a serial killer, you know? 

Jamie, GURL, you know I love you and just want you to be happy and I am sorry to have to be the one to tell you this but, you're dating a serial killer.

DON'T: Listen to Zoltar. He's probably full of shit. 

DO: Stop at the original Nathans (now in its 99th year!) for some dawgs, fries and gigantic beers. And if anyone knows how many hotdogs Nathans sells per day...could ya let us know? We spent the whole night trying to find stats on the interwebs but couldn't find them anywhere!

DON'T: Miss the fireworks! Every Friday at 9:30 PM. I don't have any pictures but...you've seen fireworks, you get it. 

DO: Go with great friends. 

budz!

Friendships are the best ships! 

DON'T: Worry that's the last time I say something that cheesy everrrrrrr again. 

And now you are SET for your dream night in Coney Island. Enjoy!

YOHF-NDOSLSDGLLTTF!!!!! 

(You Only Have Forty-Nine Days Of Summer Left So Dear God Live Life To The Fullest!!!)

XOXO Liz Hott (Diggity Dawg!)