Another Awkward Week [8.1.14]; or, The Hotts' Big Move

Hola, chiclets! How ARE you? Did everyone have a delightful week? I hope so! My week was basically as hectic as you'd imagine a week to be when you're getting married in T-15 Days and counting. But no more about the wedding...for now. I'm going to take just a small slice of this one day to not talk about our impending Big Day and instead talk about our move.

How tremendously excited you all must be!

So yes, spoiler alert: we moved! Boom. It was a total smash success and we are now comfortably nestled into our new neighborhood, Park Slope which is, honestly, such a cliche. For those of you not up on your Brooklyn neighborhood stereotypes, Park Slope is basically just all upper middle class married white people with puppies and/or babies. Like, OF course we turn 30, get hitched and move here. It's inevitable. Puppies and/or babies, though, can stay on hold for a while. We're livin' that yuppie life. Or, I guess the cool new term for our tax bracket is is DINK: Dual Income, No Kids. But we're more like DINKBLIMECIAOWPSSPDP: Dual Income, No Kids, But Living In the Most Expensive City in America and One Works in Publishing So Still Pretty Dang Poor.

Great use of time coming up with that acronym, Liz.

How #Brooklyn is our new neighborhood? Well everything, and I mean, everything is quote-unquote artisinal: wines. furniture. coffee. Even podiatry:

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Artisinal Podiatry, guys. right next door! Livin' the dream.

ANYWAY, successful as it was, the move was not without its more absurd moments. Por ejemplo, we did our best to be minimalists and throw out/donate stuff we no longer need or use but still ended up with so. much. STUFF. Like this pile of totebags...only 1/6 of my vast collection.

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You know you work in publishing when...

Y'all know how it goes. At first you're so organized, packing everything snug and perfect, labeling each box and taping perfectly and then an hour later you're just throwing all your random shit into whatever box you can find, slapping a strip of tape somewhere on the box and calling it a day. I took to just labeling boxes "Liz's crap." "More of Liz's crap." "EVEN MORE LIZ CRAP!!!"

Except this box, the super VIP and rando contents of which were too funny not to list out:

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  • Iron? Check!
  • Foam roller? Cheeeeck!
  • Christmas wreath? Check plus.
  • Football?! Check and check.

All the essentials!

I didn't even know we had a football, that's how little we use it and yet we moved it from A to B. Why oh why.

Oh and while we're on the subject of packing, here's a masterpiece I'm particularly proud of:

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That'd be a tupperware container filled with packing peanuts and shot glasses. I didn't want them to break! GENIUS idea!

Also, much like the football, do we ever use those shot glasses? Of course not, this ain't the club. And yet, we moved them. Why oh why oh why?!

Oh riiight, THIS is why:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNtTEibFvlQ[/embed]

Everybodddaaayy!

Some things, such as curtain rods and the coat rack required us to use tools, so we reached for our brand new toolbox:

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This is a generous gift from my cousin and perhaps what follows is karma for trying to use your wedding gifts pre-wedding? Without having written a thank you note yet, to boot. Ugh I'm so tacky. Like Weird Al!

Anywhoo, this toolbox is, I assume, awesome and this is not to be negative towards the gift-giver, if anyone is to blame it's us, we registered for it. Well, no, really the person to blame is Stanley Tools himself because that there toolbox is screwed shut.

As in, you need a screwdriver to open it.

As in, one of the three screwdrivers that comes INSIDE the toolbox...which is screwed shut...requiring a screwdriver...to open.

What the actual fuck, Stanley?! If we had a screwdriver we wouldn't have needed this box in the first place! What kind of mind games are you playing? Is this a gift of the magi situation? Someone out there has a screwdriver and no screws to screw with and we're meant to meet so we can screw together (nonsexually!)???

How many times can she say screw?

SCREW!

Srsly, though, screw you Stanley, this shit cray. Also does anyone have a screwdriver and want to come over to my new house and open my toolbox for me? THAAAANKS!

It should come as no surprise, considering the chaos that we had to go back to the old apartment not once but TWICE after we "officially" moved out. We rented a zipcar the following morning for a planned trip to finish cleaning and pick up some things we weren't able to fit in the truck the day before and then realized, once we'd dropped off the car and returned to the new place "for the final time" that we'd forgotten to pack an entire kitchen cabinet. So three days later we jogged back across the park to pick up what we'd forgotten. We fully intended to carry our leftover belongings home by foot but thank JC we were able to get a taxi because we forgot like, a lot of stuff.

Behold:

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That'd be two cookie sheets, a slowcooker, the "lil' dipper" slow-cooker, rice cooker, mini food processor, and a strainer. These, no joke, are our necessities and yet THESE are what we left at the old apartment. Not the Xmas wreath or 9 shot glasses but all the kitchen stuff we actually legit use.

OY.

But now our move is d-o-n-e DONE and we can focus on getting settled into our new home - organizing furniture, decorating and, oh yes, setting up appliances such as this cable box:

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Which is, of course, a saga. I do hope you're sitting down. Do you need a water break? You might need to hydrate.

Let's GO!

SO. As I mentioned last week, I'd totally spaced on calling to set up an internet installation appointment for the new place and then proceeded to play phone tag with Time Warner for six straight days. When I finally reached them on Monday, I was delighted that they could schedule an appointment for Wednesday afternoon, between 4 and 5 PM. An appointment just two days later with a one-hour window? That's basically a Sasquatch Loch Ness unicorn. Usually they only have appointments available 97 days later, somewhere in the window of 2 AM to 7:15 PM.

It was almost too good to be true!

No, it was literally too good to be true.

Wednesday morning at 9:30 AM I got a text saying, and this is a direct quote: "Time Warner Cable  will call you shortly from a 718 number to confirm your appointment. You must answer to keep your appointment."

MUST ANSWER!

I turned my ringer up as loud as it could go and carried my phone everywhere with me - meetings, coffee machine, even the bathroom. Not to be crude but I was prepared to take this phone call while changing my tampon. GROSS, I know, but I just need to demonstrate how dedicated I was to holding up MY end of this appointment. By 12:00 they'd not yet called and I had to go to a lunch meeting, where I wouldn't be able to sit by my phone, so I called Time Warner and unleashed THE most insane slash quintessentially "LizHo" monologue upon the customer service rep, basically "HELLO, It's me, Liz!!! I got the text but they've not yet called and I have a meeting and then might be on the subway and there's no service in the subway so I won't be able to answer their call but I promise I'll be home at 4 PM this appointment is so important I can not lose it we need internet I have to plan my wedding and I need the internet OMG OMG OMG HELP ME!!!" all in one frantic breath. She assured me all would be peachy keen and not to fret.

WELL sure enough I missed their call around 1:30, whilst in my lunch meeting, a meeting from which I then RACED home, missing a full four hours of work, so I could be awaiting my cable appointment.

Did they show up? HELL NO they did not.

I tried to remain calm. I worked out. I read. I checked work email on my phone. I made Brian's lunch for the next day because I am seriously the best (almost) wife ever and y'all should be jealous you're not marrying me, I'm amazing. Finally at 5:40, with no cable guy in sight, I could no longer pretend to keep my cool, so I dialed up Time Warner, ready for some drama.

I called, no joke, nineteen times, and each time, I would be greeted by an automated message from NFL superstar Victor Cruz, telling me that Time Warner would help me make my dreams come true, then go through the automated voice system to be connected to a customer service rep and then...the phone would disconnect.

Nineteen. Times.

Dear Victor Cruz: I have but one dream and that is to speak to a Time Warner Customer Service representative and guess who is NOT making my dreams come true? That's right, Time Warner Cable. Or you. I'm sure Victor Cruz is a lovely human being and an ace football star but if I ever see him, I am going to punch him right in the face.

Long story extra long, I finally, FINALLY managed to get through to a real human customer service rep who informed me that, as we already had a modem and router, we could actually just set the internet up on our own, no rep needed! She walked me through a series of steps and, though I did everything she told me, I still couldn't get the internet to work. She told me it might take 24 hours, she'd call me back at 7:30 PM the next day.

I hung up, exhausted and dejected. Brian came over to help and, cliche of all cliches: the modem wasn't plugged in to the wall.

Great work, Liz! Great work.

We plugged it in and now the internet works so well I'm here type type typing away from my very own home. A whole lotta drama for one mediocre blog post. A win for everyone!

Also, did that lady call at 7:30 PM the next day? OF COURSE NOT. Time Warner Cable - so far, NIET ZO GOED! Which is Dutch for Not So Good. Did you guys know I speak limited Dutch? FUN FACT!

Ok this post is longer than longer than LONG and I only have 7 days left at the office before #hottwedding so I should probably do some of that thing people call "work." What is my job anymore, anyway? Hopefully looking at the Ikea website and frantically making wedding related to-do lists because that's baaaaasically all I've been doing.

Happiest of weekends, hotties! Hope it is splendid from start to finish!

xoxoxo Liz Ho

 

 

 

 

This Cable Box

Another Awkward Week [11.15.13]

Hello, my beautiful butterflies.  How y'all doing? Is it just me, or did this week feel utterly interminable. TGIF to the highest power today, my friends. Here's a deep thought for your Friday, something I can't get out of my head: why is "Jack" a nickname for "John"? It doesn't make any sense! There are plenty of nicknames that don't phonetically seem that logical - like, Peg + Margaret or Dick + Richard (LOL she just said 'dick!'), but at least the nicknames are shorter than the originals. What is the point of Jack / John? It is the same amount of letters! It's just a totally different name! That's like, if your name was Ryan and you were like, oh everyone calls me Todd.

WHY GUYS WHY?!?!

One Awkward Year: Nothing but the hardest hitting issues. You're welcome!

Now, why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week:

 

This Instagram:

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Ok technically this is from last week but don't judge me. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Or something? I need more coffee.

Regardless: I snapped this so-so photo of the NYC Marathon the other Sunday and posted to Instagram because what was I not going to gram that shiz? Please, you all know me too well.  My phone is set to such that I get notifications whenever someone 'likes' an instagram photo...but it doesn't notify you if someone takes back that like. SO! I quickly got a notification that my friend Peter liked my insta...but when I went to check, he was not on the list of people who had liked the photo. BURN ouch. Rejected! PETER! What happened? Did you change your mind? Was this photo not good enough for you?

I'd like to say I didn't care about this but of course I did. I mostly just wanted to ask if this has ever happened to anyone else? Or worse, have you ever accidentally 'liked' a photo or post of someone you don't even know? Like, say, the cousin of a wife of a college friend who you somehow stumbled upon and now you can't stop looking at her artfully staged smoothie photos?

No? Just me? Ok, well, I'll be in jail if anyone is looking for me. You can find me on the restraining order wing...right next to Alec Baldwin's stalker.

This Bar:

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Wait...no, that's not actually a bar!

Here's the tale. Last night I was meeting a media colleague for a few drinks and she picked the location, a bar called Strong Place in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. I'd never been to this place before, but a quick GMaps search told me where I needed to go - Court Street between Butler and Douglass! - so I skipped on out with wine on the brain.  I came to the spot where the bar was said to be located and sho 'nuf, there in front of me were giant block letters reading STRONG PLACE. On either side of those words it read "Inglesia Bautista" and "Baptist Church," which I found semi-suspicious, but guys, this is Brooklyn, they would turn an old Hispanic Baptist church into a bar. That's about as BROOKLYN as it gets.

The two windows of the "bar" were covered by thick curtains and all of the doors were closed. There were no markings on how to enter.

"How cool!" I thought. "This must be some kind of hip speakeasy! What a trendsetter I am, going to this bar, that everyone thinks is really a church!"

I tried the door to the left, it was locked.

The door on the right: more of the same.

In the middle were two large metal doors with no handle. I tried them.

No dice.

I knocked: nothing.

I paced around, trying to appear casual,  hoping someone else would go in and I could follow. But all other pedestrians just walked on past, paying me no mind.

I didn't have a cell for my drinks date, plus I'd never actually met her before so I didn't want to reveal how utterly uncool I was, unable to gain access to this sexy, mysterious speakeasy, so I did the next best thing: I pulled out my phone and googled "How do I get into the Strong Place bar?"

The search provided ZERO answers to my specific plight, but did pull up the bar's address, 270 Court Street, an even number. I was standing in front of 271 Court, on the other side of the road.

I slowly turned and there, behind me, on the other side of the street, was a completely and utterly normal bar, with lights on and an open door, a tasteful wooden sign displaying the name Strong Place.

I take ZERO blame for this misunderstanding. You can't just name your bar the same thing as something that ALREADY EXISTS! And is right across the mother flipping STREET! Confusing.  I call shenanigans. I bet the owner is named John but calls himself Jack.

The whole world makes no sense!

After a few drinks, I predictably ended up where I always do when I've got a nice buzz on:

This Hot Spot:

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Trader Joe's.

Obvi! I really need to stop drunk grocery shopping.

Though, I was 100% sober earlier in the week when I stopped by the Key Foods in my neighborhood to pick up a few essentials. I had a basket full of  canned beans and ground turkey (3 pound family pack on sale! We'll be eating turkey burgers for the next 73 weeks!) and spotted an open check-out register, so I sidled up to the conveyor belt and began to unload my goods. I then realized that there was actually an organized system, with a line forming behind me and I had not just stumbled upon the good fortune of an empty register: I had butted in line.

Instead of just casually accepting that I am an asshole and powering on ahead, I became SUPER flustered, turned around, apologized to everyone in line and frantically began putting my food back in my basket, screeching "Oh god! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to but in line! Someone else go! You're next! You go! I'm so sorry!"

Everyone in line was normal and polite and waved me off "no, no! It's fine, you carry on, you insane spaz" but I insisted. I grabbed my food in my arms and ran away from the register to the back of the line...

...only to realize that the line had now disbanded - everyone was already being helped at different registers so through all that, I had really not made one iota of difference in the timeliness in which my fellow customers paid for their groceries. We all would have ended up in the same place. I just caused a huge and weird scene for essentially nada.

Par for the course.

(We did this for dinner that night, in case you're curious, with spicy seasoned ground turkey and it was A++. New easy go-to meal for the winter!)

And let's just round out the morning with...

These Animal Droppings:

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On the sidewalk outside of my office. Did I step in them?

And that was my week. Let's just power right on through this Friday, team. We can do it! Anyone have any good weekend plans? I'm having some lady pals over tonight for a Classy Broads evening of whiskey tasting and makeovers (true story!) and tomorrow having dinner with my bffs from college. It should be a pretty girly, boozy, cheese-filled couple of days and I can. not. wait!

Hoping your weekends are all equally delightful and look out for sidewalk poop!

xoxo Dave (that's my new nickname. Because apparently, anything goes!)

 

Another Awkward Week [7.12.13]

You guys?! Did you know that 'Namaste" means "hello" in Hindi? I did not! Guess I need to spend some more time at yoga. Why am I bringing this up, you ask? WELL I'm headed to South Carolina today for a big Indian wedding and was going to start this post by wishing everyone hello in Hindi but then realized that I'm not actually 100% sure if the bride & groom are Hindi, I just sort of guessed that because I am what you might call 'culturally insensitive.' See also: complete asshole. So anyway, Namaste y'all. I'm so excited for this wedding, I bought a sari! There will be multiple nights of dancing and possibly a white horse but definitely not elephants which of course is the first question I asked upon receiving the wedding invitation because, well, see above.

And how are YOU guys? What cultures will you be learning about slash deeply offending this weekend? If you're going to be in Colombia, South Carolina around 10 AM on Saturday and know how to drape a sari...wellllllll call me.

And that's what's up! Let's take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week:

This Basil Plant:

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Purchased at Trader Joe's (where else) a few weeks ago, he has been brought to the brink of death and back no less than 80 times since coming home with me. He has fallen to the ground, been parched dry, over watered, and ignored and yet every time it looks like he's on his way to meet his poinsettia cousin in houseplant heaven: he revives!

Who speaks limited French, has two thumbs and both of them are green?

This moi!

This Towel/Cape:

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Last weekend Brian and I went to a wedding on Long Island (was nottttt joking when I said it's all weddings, all the damn time round these parts) and it was too close to merit a hotel, so we decided to just rent a zip car and zipped on over. We got sandwiches for the ride up and Brian, ever resourceful, was worried about getting food on his suit so he tossed a towel in the back seat.

He ended up being too focused to drive to get any time to eat and even worry about this problem, but true to form, his ever worthless co-pilot had nothing but time and mayonnaise on her hands, so I spent the hour drive wrapped up in a towel a la so.

Cute right?

Brian may or may not have eaten his bagel in the vestibule of the Catholic Church, sorry  JM&J (Jesus, Mary and Joseph, obviously), but it was all worth it, as we managed to both dine on the go and keep our clothes in immaculate form. Here is a gratuitous, nauseatingly adorable photo to prove it:

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Sexy and we know it!

This Mess:

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That, friends, is NOT dirt, but a pile of cinnamon on my kitchen counter. Why, you ask? Good question! We have a minor ant problemo in la cocina and, ever the naturalist, I've been trying to get rid of them sans chemicals. Apparently ants are very averse to a number of herbs including but not limited to: cinnamon, cloves, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, black pepper and garlic. Cinnamon smells the yummiest of these spices, so I poured it all over the problem areas in the kitchen and voila! Problem solved!

No ants, no harmful chemicals buttt in we do have giant piles of cinnamon all over the place so I don't know how great of a trade-off this is...

This Bathroom:

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This is the door to the men's room at a VERY divey dive bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called The Turkey's Nest. They are right next to the park in that neighborhood and have some deal with the devil/city that they are able to sell booze in GIANT styrofoam to-go cups that patrons can carry into the park and get good and outdoor crunk. Their specialty is margaritas... hellooooo disaster!

Anyway, we hang in this park every 4th of July before catching the fireworks from a pal's roof nearby and always make frequent stops into the T-Nest to refresh our margs and use their facilities. WELL, on this particular day, the ladies' room (labeled "Turkettes," really guys?) was backed up so I decided to declare my independence from waiting for women to take their sweet time going to the bathroom and use the empty Turkey's room.

The room is pretty run-down - just a solo toilet and a sink and a bunch of rolls of toilet paper all strewn about and the lock on the door was rickety, at best, but I felt confident that it had locked solidly behind me.

You know how this ends.

I'm mid-stream when the door swings open - I scream, throw one hand to close the door and the other to cover my Va-J-Lo and the befuddled gentleman backs his way out the door.

I run out to tell my friends the hilarious story and learn they've already heard it: the unsuspecting intruder was no other than my friend Peter.

Sorry Petey!

Now for a confession: My embarrassment was NOT about being barged in on bottomless, no. Rather,I was mortified I'd been caught texting on the john.

And don't even TRY to tell me you've never done it because hi, your pants are on FIRE.

Speaking of bathrooms...

This Sink:

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I went to happy hour the other night and before we left I met my co-worker/friend (no, friend first, then co-worker!) on the floor below mine and I decided to use the unfamiliar third floor bathrooms on my way out the door. Afterwards, I went to the sink to wash up and was at the middle basin between two other women. I turned on the warm and a little bit of the cold, washed my hands and...could not turn off the water.

I turned the spouts left, right, side-to side. I turned them in unison and one at a time. I could not, for the life of me, get the water to turn off. I tried to play it cool, but the caught the eyes of the gal to my left, who I know very casually from working on some projects together and she was doing her best not to crack up. I looked to my right and sho nuf, the girl there was holding in her laughter.

It ended up kind of cute, we all giggled about it and eventually one of them manged to help me  shut down the faucet but OH! there was that one, painful moment before the laughter broke when I thought: this is it. You've done it, Liz. You've broken the office bathroom sink and EVERYONE saw it was you and now you have to quit. Just grab your purse, head for the door and never return.

Mildly dramatic, I know, but that's the way I do it!

And that was that! My week! How was yours?

Now I'm off to get my Tikka Masala ONNNNNNNNNNNNNN. Sorry in advance, Jay & Ami!

Goodbye in Hindi,

Liz Ho(rrible American)

One Awkward Race

Woo! Has everyone been watching the Olympics? I have...not. One of my roommates moved out and with her went our TV and therefore our Olympic watching capabilities. It is devastating. It is no secret that I love watching television, some even might say I live for it, and those people are correct. Life without a television is one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through and I would not wish this agony on anyone. I now know the meaning of that song “We Shall Overcome.” This is my cross to bear and I will bear it with pride. But oh, how I yearn for the Olympics! Second only to sports films, the Olympics are the best way to appreciate athletics. The ratio of human interest drama to actual sports is about 60 / 40, everyone is dead sexy (this guy is my current favorite, yowza!) and they’re over in just a few weeks, right when I start to get bored. Baseball, take note! This is how it is done. Cut down 95% of your games, fire all players with uninteresting personal histories, put a heartbreaking montage in between each inning and we will be in business. Sure I’ve caught up a bit on the internet, scrolled through hundreds of slideshows of Kate Middleton’s Olympic spirit (winner of the Gold Medal for Most Perfect Human) and caught TV at bars when I can, but it’s just not the same. Watching the London Games via GIF doesn’t quite do it justice.

Le sigh.

BUT! Maybe who needs the Olympics? “Who needs ‘em?” I ask!  For today, right here in Brooklyn, New York, a truly momentous athletic feat will be occurring. I, Elizabeth M. Hobags, representing the United States of America, will be running a 5 Kilometer road race.  That’s right. I’m pounding the pavement in the ol’ 5Kathalon. This should be interesting. The women have yet to run the 5K finals at London, but the current national record is 14 minutes and 11 seconds. I’m hoping to finish mine in under a half an hour. Or at the very least, just not die.

This is my first race in I think forever. I’ve been running more lately, half because I’m desperately insecure and want to look good in a bikini and half because Brian’s a big runner and he’s kind of gotten me into it. I’m certainly not advocating to change your hobbies because some may-un might layk it, but I do think it is nice to at least try to share in your partner’s interests, even if those interests involve breaking a sweat and watching middle-distance track races on the internet. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched a bunch of skinny dudes running 25 consecutive laps around a track. I don’t necessarily see it becoming my favorite pastime, but I do like challenging myself and feeling fit and I sure don’t mind watching my boyfriend jog around in his cute lil shorts.

So not to worry, everyone. I’m not going to turn into one of those work-out people, you know the type – shopping at Lululemon and tweeting about spin classes and putting up pictures of myself at the gym. We get it. You’re fit. Go home. Maybe (definitely) I am jealous, but I think there is a special place in Hell for girls who genuinely look good while running. I look like this:

And like Phoebe, I’m damn proud of it. So! If you’d like to se more of that, and who the hell wouldn’t, come on down to Prospect Park tonight and check me out. This race is part of the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series, a bi-weekly 5K race along the ProspectPark loop, named after a still living, completely adorable (if mildly gropey) 80-something-year-old man. They give actual medals to the top 3 overall for both men and for women, plus medals to the top 3 finishers in smaller age group brackets. Brian has run twice so far and has both a gold and a silver. So, basically I’m sleeping with the Michael Phelps of the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series. Jealous? Al G. himself goes to every race and he hands out the medals to the winners, making sure to kiss the female winners a little more than might be appropriate. You know I can’t resist a cute slash creepy old man with the hutzpah to get something named in his honor, while he’s still living. You are a hero among men, Al! I hope I win a medal!

Another bonus of tonight’s race, it only costs $5! That’s another thing I never understood about runners and races – they are so flipping expensive. Like, you have to pay THEM 25 or 40 or 50 of your hard-earned George Washingtons just so you can run around in a circle with hundreds of other people. Shouldn’t they be paying you to do that shit? Yes, I know many of these race funds go to charity but still. I am all for curing multiple sclerosis, or helping the homeless or whatever, but no. I will write checks from the comfort of my own couch or obviously go to any wine-centric fundraisers but, mark my words, no matter how into this running scene I get, I will pay anyone more than 5 bones to do so.

And that’s what I’m up to. Screw you, London Olympics! Just kidding, London Olympics, I’ll love you forever. If everyone could please think of me at 7 PM this evening and give a little cheer, I’d much appreciate it. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Once more, just because it is hilarious:

That’s not running, let’s goooo!

Oh Phebester. You slay me.