She's Cheer Captain and I'm on the Bleachers

Oh HELLO there. And how are you? I know I've been absent from this blog for quite some time but I return to you a new woman! During my time away, I experienced a transcendent spiritual awakening. I traveled a great distance to join thousands of fellow acolytes in worship of a great and powerful figure, one with the strength and conviction to compel the masses and lead us into a brighter future. Joined together in spirit we stood, enraptured, some crying tears of joy, others screaming in exaltation, yet others rendered unable to speak for the glory of it all, humbled by the presence of this blessed being, known to some as The Holy One and others as simply Taylor Swift.

Photo via USA Today

Photo via USA Today

What did you think I went to see the pope or something? Have we met? 

No, no I just packed up my cowboy boots and hot pants and, along with my BFF / FBW (Facebook wife, duh) Maureen, made the pilgrimage to Music City USA, Nashville, Tennessee to see our gal.  

If you ever get the opportunity to see Taylor in concert, I can not recommend it highly enough. Unless you don't like her in which case, yeah, no don't do that you'll hate it. The whole thing is just a complete love fest spectacle. Lasers! Photos of cats! Light up glow bracelets! Awkward stage sets that bring to mind the Rockette Christmas Show! AND MORE!!!!! In between sets, Taylor goes off on earnest, impassioned, long (maybe a little too long - love you girl but brevity is a virtue!) speeches about following your heart and love and haters and cynicism and friendship and the audience screams and screams and cries (no? just me?) and it's wild.

Lindsay Zoldaz wrote a great recap of one of Taylor's early shows in New Jersey that perfectly sums up the whole scene, deeming Taylor the Cheer Captain of the Universe

"Projecting a lifestyle that’s more aspirational than relatable, Swift has finally ascended to a level where she’s no longer believable as her fans’ imaginary best friend, even though she still wants the best for them. She’s transitioning into a role that’s something more like their fairy godmother, or — as she continues to shed the sparkly tulle of her adolescence and focus her shrewd eyes on dividing and conquering — maybe she’s on her way to becoming their Oprah."

Pretty much! 

At times it's really saccharine and kind of over the top but I'm all in. Even if you find Oprah to be pandering and schmaltzy you can't deny that she's helped a lot of fans find ways to empower themselves and the same for Taylor. Yes she's nuts but her particular brand of nuts has a lot of young women (and men!) (but mostly women!) to feel like it is OK to be earnest and enthusiastic and nice and just a little bit weird and those are all virtues I treasure dearly so if she's the Oprah of the next generation, I'm all in.

ALSO her music is amazing and she's really, really, REALLY pretty and I love her, guys. I love her. 

At the show, lots of fangirls wear elaborate costumes inspired by Taylor's songs or outfits - some even including LED lights so they glowed down at Taylor from the balcony. It was awesome! I had high intentions to put together something fuh-lawless but life got in the way and I never got my shit together. Oh well.  But OHH the winner of the night was dear Maureen, who wore the most A+ of ensembles, this spot on replica of one of Taylor's costumes from the show: 

FullSizeRender (5).jpg

Actual twinsies!!! People kept coming up to her all night gushing with compliments. 

(And yes, I look like a 14-year-old circa 2008 and I feel pretty great about it, thanks!)

So the show. The opening acts were Vance Joy (great!) and Haim (SUPER great!), which is either pronounced like "Hi, I'm" smushed together really fast or "hah-eem," depending on who you're asking. I'm still not sure! I am, however, very sure that they are RAD. Big fan!

And thennnnnnn and then. The hour of our lord was upon us!! The lights went down, the bass began to boom and the crowd lost their collective shit and THERE. SHE WAS. 

Photo via Billboard.com

Photo via Billboard.com

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 

Our goddess! 

Taylor primarily performed songs from 1989 (if I need to clarify what that 1989 is...we may not get along) with a few greatest hits thrown in there, including her oh-so-classics "Love Story" and "You Belong to Me." Her stage is set like a runway and she struts up and down, up and down and dances a little and flips around and I swear to you, DOES NOT BREAK A SWEAT. 

Not a single drop!

And her hair, that perfect choppy, swishy bob that I covet OH I COVET (even though I think curly hair is the best hair and would never want straight hair, how boring!) stayed pristine. The whole time!!

Yes we were prettttttty far away, but they had cameras projecting her at close range onto big screens and you could tell she wasn't even lightly perspiring. Not even a dewy glow, much less the greasy, sweaty mess any mortal would be after that amount of strutting and singing. 

Is she an alien? 

MAYBE!

Take me to your home planet, Taylor!! 

It is Taylor's custom now to bring out surprise ("surprise") guests during every show (this video parody is a MUST WATCH) and we spent most of the last weeks speculating who she might have join her in Nashville. We assumed she'd go back to her country roots (and by "country roots" I mean "she's from Allentown fricking Pennsylvania" but her pretending to be southern is one of those things I find annoying about her so I have to ignore it to preserve our relationship) (and by "relationship" I mean "she has no idea who I am.")  (And by "could you use any more parenthesis?" I mean) (watch me go.) We had high hopes for the following: Faith Hill and-slash-or Tim McGraw,  Connie Britton, Lennon and Maisie or any of the cast of Nashville EXCEPT Hayden Pannetierre (no offense HP!), Ryan Adams (whose 1989 cover I adore, but do find troublesome in its reception, this is such a great criticism!), Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood or our dream of dreams, either Dolly Parton or Reba Mcentire. 

Any Reba fans out there?! Just us? Fancy

In the end she delighted us with a truly random smattering of treats. First, some up and coming CMT star named Kelsea Ballerini who seems like she's basically the Hayden P character from Nashville, total country pop nonsense.

AKA I love it.

And THEN, after a long introduction about his many awards and millions of albums sold and various hall of fame inductions she brings out a one Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame. Sure why not!! He played "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" which was PERFECT for his audience of current and former teenyboppers who likely couldn't name any other Aerosmith songs (guilty as charged!) (No wait! "Dream On!") but DO have fond, fond memories of the hit film Armageddon in which this jam was featured. Fun fact: I saw that movie in the drive in for my 14th birthday party. 

Maureen and I basically clutched one another the entire time, scream-sang the lyrics and wept for the memories of poor Bruce Willis. He just wanted to make his daughter proud!!!!

Finally she welcomed to the stage actual bluegrass legend Alison Krauss and they did a truly gorgeous duet of "When You Say Nothing At All" with Alison on the fiddle and Taylor on the piano and it was (insert two thumbs-up emojis riiiiight here.)

The following morning, Taylor instagrammed a photo of herself and Alison on stage and I commented, saying "Taylor you and Alison were amazing together I love you!!!!" or something equally dorky and within moments someone replied to my comment, and I quote: "please do not compare Alison Krauss and Taylor Swift. Alison Krauss has an amazing voice with an incredible range. Taylor Swift is mediocre at best."

Mediocre at best!!!

Cool!

This is representative of a phenomenon I find utterly fascinating, well, two worlds: social media fandom and comment trolling. You see it all the time, people making really mean comments to celebrities (or reggos!) on their social media feeds, or getting into fights with one another in the comments sections of posts. I SORT OF get the concept of getting into heated internet discussions about politics or current events (I said sort of, do these ever result in minds changed?) but if you hate Taylor Swift so much, why are you creeping around in her instagram at 8 AM on a Saturday making insults and getting defensive with random other commenters? Do you really have nothing better to do with your life? It makes me laugh and also  makes me kind of scared for the future of the world. Get it together, world.

The following night, Taylor first "Welcomed to the Stage" Leona Lewis of "Bleeding Love" fame (what's she been up to since that song?) and then brought down the house with none other than Mick Jagger.

MICK JAGGER! What! What are you doing there?! 

Photo via USA Today

Photo via USA Today

He's definitely a cooler person than anyone we got to see but I'm not that sad about it because those 4 minutes of belting the Armageddon theme song are 4 minutes I'll treasure forever.

Also if Mick Jagger had played the first night, this amazing grandma wouldn't have gotten a chance to see him and that would be the saddest! 

This story is SO LONG I have completely lost track of what I'm even talking about. Basically Taylor is amazing and this was the best night ever. After the concert, there were literal fireworks over Nashville, our collective post concert glow bursting in midair.

Sparks fly, you might even say!

Photo via ME!&nbsp;

Photo via ME! 

And that was THAT. Again I say, if you get the chance to see Ms. Swift, I can't recommend it highly enough.

And also if you get the chance to go to Nashville, you should probably do that too. It's kind of a ridiculous place but in a very good way!

Nashville is full of acclaimed restaurants and interesting shops and quaint neighborhoods which is my usual go-to travel scene but wahoooops, we didn't really do any of that. We DID go to Hattie B's for famous Nashville Hot Chicken with my sweet friend Nikiand her sweet pup Mary Todd Lincoln (full name), who has her own instagram if you're into that kind of thing. Trust me, you are. Even if you are like me who is, at best, agnostic towards pets (like, they're there I guess, I just don't see the point of it all) you will be SMITTEN within seconds. 

And we dined at this sort of trendy restaurant and poked our heads into this park to see a large replica of the Parthenon (sure, Nashville, makes sense) but otherwise we mostly just wandered around the super touristy Broadway strip and drank and drank and drankkkkk. 

And it was really fun!!!

very blurry photo via drunk strangers, thanks guys!!!!!

very blurry photo via drunk strangers, thanks guys!!!!!

You might not know this about me (LOL you totally do) but I'm kind of a huge snob sometimes and I'll admit when we first arrived I turned my nose way down on the Honkey Tonk scene, thinking it basic at best, trashy at worst. But THEN!!! Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn in and within a few minutes of sipping cheap beer and bopping my head to live country music I was HOOKED and now I'm all in. Maybe there's a little bit of a trashy basic B in all of us and we'd do well to stop being so uptight and embrace it, girl.

Pep talk to mah-self! 

Next time I go to Nashville I'll hit up the classy joints...mainly because I don't think my old body could withstand another night of Brodway Honkey Tonk hopping. I swear to Taylor, you guys, I'm STILL hungover ... 72+ hours later.

A world of woof! 

Soooo yeah, I guess I come back to you as mainly the same person, albeit one who is now even more obsessed with TSwizz than she was last week (a feat in and of itself!) and also, if the pattern of the last three days is to persist, one who now has a permanent hangover. Which is to say, a way worse version of myself!

Probz should have just stayed here and hung out with the pope.

NAH. 

roses are rad, etc

THE END. Roses ore rad, guys. And so ore YOU!!! 

xo Liz Hott 

 

 

Another Awkward Week [5.22.15]

Guyssss Happy Friday! It's MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND! Summer is nigh. Have any big plans for the weekend? Brian's bestie (or "brostie," as Ross suggested for male bffs!) is getting married and Briguy is the best man! I'm pumped for a long weekend of friends and booze and getting my dance on. Not as much dance as Brian'll be getting on, though. This is a traditional Indian wedding with many various celebrations, one of which is sort of a big friends and family talent show. And the sure-to-be highlight of the evening is a choreographed traditional Indian dance performed by the groomsmen. 

OH HAYLLLL YES. I have never been more excited for anything in my entire life. Including that Taylor Swift video which...kind of a letdown? Amazing? But shoulda been longer? I digress.

I'm planning to clear my phone of all photos, apps, contacts, etc to allow full throttle memory and storage space for videotaping this performance and watching it on repeat whenever I'm feeling blue. I anticipate hilarious greatness.

I'm such a nice wife!! 

So that's what I'll be up to. I hope you'll be doing something equally amazing or, at the very least, stuffing yourself with hot dogs and lazily wasting away the long weekend. It's the American way! 

On that note, today's a half day for moi (I'm spoiled rotten sometimes) so ain't no time to waste this morning! Let's take a quick look at what was keeping it awkward this week (ish). 

These Coins:

coins party fun pants

I do not know why I was being such a brat about the Brooklyn Half Marathon, it ended up being insanely fun and despite my self defeatist attitude, I actually smashed my PR and ran superduper fast (1:49 finish time, 8:22 average split pace!) and I am very proud of my accomplishment. It has recently come to my attention that I tend to approach every single situation assuming I have failed, or will fail and perhaps I need to address this. 

I'm on it. 

I will say it is a good thing I'm so talented at running, it turns out I'm kind of a moron when it comes to other forms of transportation and simply sprinting everywhere might save me a lot of embarrassment. Somehow 13.1 miles turned out to be the easiest part of my Saturday... 

The race kicked off in front of the Brooklyn Museum, about ten feet from my old apartment and 1.7 miles from my new one, with Prospect Park forming a big, green, transit-less barrier in the middle. Basically the only way to get from A to B is to string together a complex mesh of bus lines or just walk. In pretty standard Liz fashion fashion, (and Brian! We're both terrible) we stressed out a LOT about what to eat and wear and how to get home from the race but failed to really put forth a plan of action for getting TO the starting line. 

Like, I looked up the official event hashtag before I looked up how to get there.

Priorities?

The race started at the crack of dawn, I got myself up and ready and anxiously shoved half a bagel with almond butter in my mouth and started to panic about getting to the starting line too late. I had planned to take a bus line I know very well, but last minute decided I'd take a different one because I thought (erroneously) (spoiler alert) that it would be quicker. ALSO I didn't want to bring my metro card with me, lest I lose it, so I grabbed a handful of dollar bills and four quarters and booked it to catch the B61.

As I waited at the stop, I saw other runners heading towards the park and I swear they all gave me a look like, "you sure about this plan, girl?" But I held fast and boarded the bus when it arrived. The only other passenger was a 90+ woman sitting in the front seat.

The bus driver gave me a once over, looked at my race bib and said:

"You know where you're going?"

"The museum!" I squawked, holding out my soggy pile of George Washingtons. 

"This bus doesn't go to the museum," he replied, "and we don't accept dollar bills. Are you new here?" 

No, sir, eight years and counting. I'm just kind of a moron. 

He turned out to be super duper nice and let me ride a few minutes with him for free, before letting me out about five blocks from my house. Saved me five blocks of walking, anyway! 

EXCEPT: I still had this handful of quarters. I didn't know what to do with them!! I shoved the dollar bills up into my iPhone arm band and tried to put the quarters in there but they kept falling out so I just held them in my hand like an idiot the whole way through the security line and into the starting corrals and then I just left them in a little pile on the side of the road. 

It was really weird. I should have just put them in the bus fare bin (buses DO take quarters. And metro cards. Just no dolla billz. Now you know!) or like, thrown them down a drain or something but it was a whole dollar and I didn't want to be wasteful. I actually yearned for once to walk past some kind of busker and briefly entertained the thought of throwing them into a fountain even though I know for a fact there are no fountains on my route.

I don't know guys. It was really early! 

The dollar bills didn't serve a much easier fate. Every time I took my iPhone out of my arm band they would fall out and a nice person would call after me and I'd scurry back and rescue my sad sweaty three bucks. This happened literally FIVE TIMES and it never occurred to me to put them somewhere safer. Le sigh. 

Meanwhile, my sweet sister, who had come all the way up for Philadelphia to cheer us on (in the pouring rain!) was stuck for nearly an hour waiting for the subway in a valiant attempt to get to the finish line, way out in Coney Island. She ended up making it about three stops before turning around and heading home. She didn't make it to the finish line but did get a nice scenic tour of Central Brooklyn so...chalk it up to a win!

Basically Hobags + public transit = not a happy marriage.

Meanwhile-while as I was making it rain all over town and Margie was underground, Mr. Hott was FLASHING through the borough quicker than the speed of light! My hubslice ran his first half marathon in one hour and nineteen minutes, an average pace of just over six minutes per mile. THAT IS BANANAS. I knew he was fast, but didn't know he was THIS fast! He ended up placing 136 out of 27,000 people. That's the top 1%!! AND he didn't even need to use a calculator to figure out that percentage, he did it in his brain!! Smart and sporty. I hit the jackpot with this one. I'm so proud of him!! 

trottin hots

Ok barffffff it up, I know I know. Moving along!

This Snack:

hummus party for one

The other day was International Hummus Day and OBVZ I celebrated hard.  I eat so much hummus, guys, I think my bloodstream is like 47% pureed chickpeas. I treated mahself to my favorite falafel for lunch and ended up with some leftover tahini sauce, which I then used to take my afternoon snack game to the next level. 

What you're looking at here, folks, is a multigrain rice cake with smashed avocado, salt, pepper and bangin' tahini sauce. After I whipped up this masterpiece I just sat there and stared at it, so effing proud of my achievements in fine desk dining, basically composing my soon to be bestselling cookbook in my head. I picked up my snack, brought it to my mouth andddddddddddd somehow missed my mouth entirely, instead dropping the thing upsidedown on my forearm, effectively covering myself in my beloved tahini.

HOW did that even happen?

Also yes, duh, I did lick it off my arm. If I let all the food I spilled on myself go to waste, I'd be broke and starving in seconds. 

(PS: YES that is a photo of Pacey Witter behind me. He's my office boyfriend. Love you forever Pacey!!!!!!

These Keys:

Keys!

Now HERE we have a delightful example of priorities seriously out of whack. 

The other morning I was scrambling to get out the door to work and couldn't find my keys. I searched high and low before finding them in most idiotic place of all: still hanging in the lock to the apartment door. Safety first!!! 

Obviously my very first thought was to snap a photo for le blog not, you know, take out the keys and move along with my life. 

Flash forward 34 minutes later when I arrived at work to find my office door locked, despite the gigantic Please Do Not Lock sign pasted directly above the knob. I reached into my purse to grab my keychain and ... was it there?

Offffffffffff course not! 

Apparently after snapping the photo you see above I just turned around and walked right off into the day, leaving the keys STILL hanging in the lock.

Get. It. Together. Liz.

On top of it all, I actually had an early meeting I had to attend, hence my haste, AND I'd forgotten to put on deodorant! i didn't let this fact panic me on the subway ride to work, knowing I had an emergency tube in my desk drawer. 

But there I found myself, stranded, keyless, smelly, late for a meeting, my home likely being burglarized. Just your average Tuesday.

I'd like to say I learned some kind of lesson about like, keeping track of my belongings or prioritizing actually important things like say, home safety and getting to work on time over taking idiotic photos in the hopes people will laugh and give me attention but, yeah, I think it's fairly safe to say this is not even close to the last time I do something this ditzy. 

You know what they say, consistency is the spice of life!!!!

(No one says that.) 

And that's THAT. Time to get this Big Fat Indian Memorial Day Wedding Weekend started. Do you think anyone would notice if I made a bloody mary in my coffee mug???

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!! Or something like that!!!! 

xoxox Liz 

Another Awkward Week [5.15.15]

Happy Friday, I just thought I'd say hi! I'm having such a hard time getting into the rhythm of this whole blogging thing - also spelling the word "rhythm," so many y's & h's...r-h-y-t-h-y-m...I bet you'd get like a zillion scrabble points for that shit. 

Anywaaay, how was your week? Any big weekend plans? No one ever answers these question but I always ask, I like to maintain that this is some kind of two way conversation not just me talking about myself to myself. 

If someone actually answers, in the comments or on facebook, I'll send you a prize! For real. 

Here it's fun, I'll go first: my week was fine! I went to a mid-week wedding (more on that later!), hung out with some lady friends, ate almost an entire jar of Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams STRAIGHT out of the jar, with a spoon and watched with baited breath as Taylor Swift rolled out the increasingly stacked (and insane) cast of her new music video. Premiering on SUNDAY!!! It's the video for Bad Blood (my second least favorite song on 1989) (after Welcome to New York, of course) and is some kind of like, ninja movie and a million and a half celebrities are in it, ranging from Karlie Kloss to Lena Dunahm to that Wiz Khalifa guy to Ellen Pompeo aka Meredith Grey and Mariska Hargitay aka Olivia Benson...TV characters who are also the names of Taylor Swift's cats.

It's just TOO MUCH for me to handle, guys. I can't. I can not. Someone help me. 

come ON Taylor!

No, Taylor. NO. You know I love you to an irrational level, despite your obvious personality flaws but you're pushing your luck here, girl.

Pushing. Your. Luck. 

In non-Swifty news, tomorrow I'm running in the Brooklyn Half Marathon! And Brian is running too! It's my second half and his first. We won't be running together, technically, as he's just ever so slightly a million times faster than me. But it's still fun to be sharing this with each other. 

Maybe call us the Trottin' Scotts?

Please don't. 

I've been having a hard time getting as excited this year! I'm all stressy stressing about weather, keep beating myself up over bad workouts and and am putting a lot of pressure on myself to not "fail" aka run slower than last year. I know it doesn't matter. I know I'm actually really fast and should be really proud of that and that, in the big picture...even the small picture..it does not mater how fast or slow I run. I know all of these things!!! The only person I'm racing against is myself, I should start being kinder to the competition and yet, here we are.  Early on in my training process I realized I wouldn't have enough time to devote to running as I did before my first race and told my mom I would be "totally OK" with running way slower than I did on my first go-round. 

She looked me dead in the eye and replied "no you won't."

She knows me far too well! From that day forward I set out with the goal of tryiiiing to chill and give myself a break and at times I did manage to relax a little but other (most) times I was still pretty hard on myself. Whatever, I'm trying! I am, I am, I AM! 

All week I was a hot mess of emotion and weather.com has predicted rain allllllllllllllll day long. No matter how many times the forecasts have changed up for every other day of the week, Saturday has remained one giant rain cloud.

Gr8! 

Then last night I went to pick up my badge at a park down underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a gorgeous evening - green grass, blue skies, the sun burnt gold lowering down behind downtown Manhattan. Suddenly I remembered something: I am in charge of my own brain! I can NOT change the weather and I can NOT guarantee this will be my best race ever but I can decide how I'm going to face each day and a bad attitude only makes these things beyond my control so much worse. 

So I'm choosing to leave the bad 'tude in the past. I'm a beacon of positive energy today, guys! So look out, Brooklyn, I'm coming for you - rain or shine...but hopefully shine, let's be real here. 

Wish me luck? And good luck to everyone else I know running this weekend - in the BK half or elsewhere! Or just doing anything. Good luck to everyone doing anything at all this weekend!! I love you.

 (But extra luck to me, because I'm kind of selfish and to everyone involved in the creation of Taylor Swift's Bad Blood video because I think they might need it.)

xoxox Liz Ho