Another Awkward Week [8.16.13]

Good morning, buttercups! How's everyone doing on this fine Friday? I am gr8. I just need to power through a few quick hours at la oficina and then I'm on vacation for a full week! It is going to be glorious. Brian & I are headed down to PA for some time with my family and then taking a quick jaunt down to Virginia to hike in the Shenandoah National Forest. Oh and camp, too. In a tent. Something I haven't done since my girl scout days.

Brian & I knew our plan was some mountain hiking time and looked into staying in a few different lodges but decided to keep it thriftay and tent up in a campground. It's only three nights, how hard can it be? I just literally like three days ago realized that this could go horribly awry. It never occurred to me that it might like...rain. Every time I've pictured it in my head it is just sunny and beautiful and then just chilly enough at night to throw on a flannel for a campsite chic look butttt it may very well storm and drench all of our things and I don't know how far the bathroom is from our campsite and I'm fine with peeing outdoors but y'all know (farrrrr too well) how my stomach can sometimes rebel and I don't think I can do that outside.

So yeah, trip could be fantastic OR an epic, soggy, outdoor pooping disaster. Wish us luck!

Now without further ado, why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week:

This Devastating Mess:

sad soda

I managed to check off a number of my August Bucket List items in the past week, booyah! One such item was a long ass bike ride throughout NYC. For a few weeks in August, there is a program called Summer Streets, where what is essentially 4th Avenue in Manhattan is blocked off to car traffic from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way up to 72nd Street on the East Side. There are various vendors lining the sides plus lots of fun outdoorsy adventure opportunities - giant climbing wall in Soho, boot camp classes in Astor Place. It gets a little crowded but is a cool way to see the city via bike or foot. I think tomorrow is the last day so if you're in the NYC and looking for some fun, don't miss this!

We rode our bikes from our place, across the Manhattan Bridge (there was one moment ascending the bridge when I was certain that I was d-e-a-d donefor but I made it!), up the blocked off Summer Streets, across 72nd to the West Side Highway bike paths, down town, across the Brooklyn Bridge (do not attempt this, it is a death trap of human bodies) and back for a total journey of 21 miles. Pretty proud of myself if I can just quickly toot my own horn.

We stopped for a picnic lunch in Central Park in the middle of our journey and ALL I wanted, all I had been fantasizing about during all of this epic physical activity was a big ass Diet Coke. Preferably from a fountain. When I spotted a Subway Sandwich Emporium it was like the gates of heaven had been opened before me. I filled my cup to the brim with ice cubes and delicious, fizzy, soul nourishing DC, took one sip, walked out the door and dropped my soda on the ground.

Whomp WHOMP.

I know they say it's no use crying over spilled milk but spilled Diet Coke? Totally acceptable.

These Sunglasses:

sunnies

 Also on the summer list: a visit to the beach. Sunday was the most gorgeous day, so Brian & I made the trip out to The Rockaways for a little surf, sun and sand. And seaweed. It's a great beach, free, with fantastic boardwalk dining options and easily accessible, clean public restrooms and they're doing a ton to restore post Sandy damage so I don't want to give them a bad rap but on this particular Sunday afternoon the sea was so weedy the ocean was probably more greenery than water. It was gross. It was like swimming through a bowl of miso soup. Minus the tofu. Gross.

But still: Great beach, accessible via public transit so highly recommended to all my NYC peeps. I'm a regular NYC tour guide this week!

Anyway, I'd somehow managed to lose my sunglasses sometime the previous week so in a pinch ran to the dollar store on my street for a cheap, quick fit. All sunglasses look ridiculous on me because I have a toddler sized head, so I figured I'd just embrace it and go full absurd with the cheesiest sunnies they had for sale.

And there they are. Looking pretttttty fly, if I do say so myself.

This Sunburn:

wrist

And, as always, nailed it in the sunscreen department.

This Scene:

shakespeare

Another summer/life bucket list item crossed off: Shakespeare in the Park. People line up for hours every summer to get free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park but I was able to get in easy peasy thanks to my company. We were one of the sponsors of the program and were also testing out a cute new book mobile to sell books prior to the show. I volunteered as a bookseller and snagged a ticket to the show after. Sah-weet.

I obviously had to instagram the occasion for posterity, in this "pics or it didn't happen" world of ours, but was swiftly scolded by an usher the second I took out my phone: "No photos allowed!"

I tried to be rebellious and snap a shot when she had a her back turned but chickened out and did it all too fast and viola: here's my photographic evidence. I'd say this one is a framer.

And finally:

This Foot:

sleeping foot

It's mine. Shoes by target, nail polish Sally Hansen, skin & bones: God and/or science.

This is not a summer bucket list item, instead a recurring problemo. I always sit really pretzelly at my desk with one of my feet up under me or crossed over the other or in some other weird position which causes one of my feet to fall asleep and then when I stand up, I can't walk for several minutes. I'll get up and have to limp to the printer or hop on one foot to get my snack or sometimes just stand up and fall right over in front of my desk or the very worst: make it a few steps out of my office before stumbling in the hall, where everyone can see.

It is REALLY embarrassing and happens probably 3 x a week. I understand this might be a problem (I've obviously searched WebMD rigorously for "frequent foot sleeping + cancer = death?") but I can not seem to sit like a normal person.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Annnnd that's the week, kids. Short & simple. I'm now desperately craving fountain Diet Coke and it's 8:15 in the AM. Too soon?

Have a fantastic weekend and pray for sunshine over Virginia next week!

xo,

Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [8.9.13]

You guys. Is it just me or is this summer going like, really, really fast? I feel like I've blinked and missed it. I haven't been to the beach once, have barely picnicked in the park, haven't been on my bike in weeks. On the plus side, I've managed to avoid any more ridiculous sunburns but...I'd trade pattern-free skin for a few days of really feeling summer. I made a pact (with myself) to Make The Most of August but mostly it's left me feeling anxious for everything I want to accomplish...and every rainy Friday ruining my plans!

What have you been up to this summer? What do you have left to check off your list?

I'm planning:

  • beach day (at least one!)
  • swim in a pool (will be visiting my dad in a few weeks to check this off the list!)
  • camping & hiking in Virginia in a few weeks
  • long bike ride ... somewhere
  • visit Governor's Island
  • sunset picnic in Prospect Park
  • summer Friday happy hour at my favorite local outdoor bar (was to be this afternoon but, see above for weather complaints!)
  • 5K in Prospect Park (if I don't accomplish this one I won't be that sad)
  • Outdoor movie in one of the parks (there is quite the selection!)
  • Eat more heirloom tomatoes

What an ambitions list I KNOW. I'll let you know how it goes! Now, let's move from the future and back to the past with a little look at what was keeping it awkward this week:

These Pickles:

corchinons

As everyone knows, I love me a good pickled veg, especially if that veg was once a cucumber. I am VERY into these mini picks known as cornichons, which is french for YUM. I can not pronounce that word but I gobble these little guys up like they are candy. They're the perfect sized to shove in my face one by one by one bye one by two by five while I'm cooking dinner to hold me over until my food is ready.

Anyhoodle, I was pickle bingeing in the kitchen the other night when I choked just a little bit and then thought in my head "choking on the pickle" and how that could be a euphemism for you knowwwww dirty stuff, because I am twelve, and then I started laughing at the thought of me dying and them having to write

Cause of Death: choked on pickle (that's what she said!)

on my death certificate and I started laughing really hard and actually DID choke on a pickle but did not die the end.

TWSS!

This Bathroom Door:

bathroom door

So I got a much, much needed hair cut this week, my first since I chopped it all off last winter. My usual pattern for hair maintenance is to get it cut and then let it just grow out for a while and it usually looks good, fine, GREAT, fine, good and then suddenly: TERRIBLE. Like one morning I'll just wake up, look at myself in the mirror and think holy shit, get this monster off my head immediately.

That happened to me earlier this summer but I was being cheap and lazy and thought I could eek out a few months of ponytails but finally Monday morning the feeling of my hair touching my neck gave me such shudders I panicked and set up an appointment.

I tried a new salon near my office which made me nervous and also filled me with great guilt about abandoning the gal who has cut my hair for the last few years. She's great but her salon is so far away! It's not worth the time! Or is it? She lives in my neighborhood and I have great anxiety that I might run into her on the street and she'll know I've gone elsewhere and cry.

I need to get a life.

Where were we?

Oh! This bathroom door! So, the salon I tried out was actually pretty great - just swank and hip enough without being too over the top. When I got there I needed to use the ladies' so I asked the desk attendant if she could show me where it was. The ladies' room had a sliding door and appeared to be open just a crack, so I tried to pull. It opened a little bit more...then stopped...I thought it was jammed, so pulled harder. It turns out that the chain on the door lock is a little bit too long, so that the door is able to open a sizable crack, even when it is locked.

I call shenanigans.

I realized what was happening and moved away from the door and the gal who had walked me there gave me this super pitying look and said in this kind of condescending, almost childish voice

"oh nooo! someone is in there! looks like you'll have to wait just a little second!"

I know how to use a bathroom lady! I wasn't like, ripping down the door because I can't control my urges - your lock sucks!

It was weird. Then I had to stare at the wall for a little bit to avoid making eye contact with the woman in the ladies room as she walked out of the door.

Awk to the ward.

then...

This Robe:

haircut robe

After I peed they brought me into the "changing room" to get a "robe" which just confused me because any salon I've ever been to just wraps you up in one of those apron doodads and goes about their business.

Not this place.

They had a full changing room, like you'd find in a gym or mall, and a room full of black robes and a woman working back there handing robes and taking people's bags and handing back check tickets like a coat check at a fancy club or somewhere. I was not experienced in this kind of class! I did not know what to do!

Was I to put the robe on over my clothes? Was I to take off everything and just put on the robe? I didn't know. I was wearing a skirt and a top so I took of my top and put the robe on over my brassiere and skirt. If this was the appropriate way to do it, I have no idea. I tried to snoop around at my fellow salon patrons but couldn't get a glimpse. I spent the next hour terrified that my robe would fall open and I'd flash the whole establishment.

Like most of my fears, this did not happen.

I did however make a mild scene trying to pay. I realized I had no cash to leave a tip and had to use the salon's ATM and it was late evening so I was kind of the only customer with about 5 stylists and cashiers watching my every move, including my own stylist, and I'm super awk about tipping - I never know how much to leave and don't want to look stingy but also don't want to break the bank just to look good - and I had to break a 20 and everyone was just staaaring at me (they probably weren't, but it felt like it!) and gah! Get me out of here.

How much do YOU tip your stylist? I'm genuinely interested! I never know the etiquette!

This Nectarine:

nectarine

I stopped at a fruit stand to buy some cherries and the vendor convinced me to grab a nectarine as well, telling me they were very sweet and soft this time of year. I do love a good necta so I said, sure, why not. He selected the fruit, washed it and handed it to me with an expectant look on his face.

"Eat it," he said, staring at me lasciviously. "Bite it. 'Eat it. Bite it. Bite it"

Um. Yikes. I threw the fruit in my bag and ran far far away.

Ladies of NYC if you have a fetish where a stranger is lustily watching you get covered in fruit juice, um...I've found your man!

And finally, if we could all take a moment of silence for

My Basil Plant:

dead basil

June 2013 - August 2013.

We had a good run. RIP bud, RIP.

And that's the week! I'm off to conquer August! What are you kids up to?

xoxo Liz Ho