Another Awkward Week [12.13.12]

Good morning, turtledoves! 3 posts in 3 days? A Christmas miracle! Speaking of Christmas, it is in 12 days. What?! Mind boggling, y'all. Have you finished your shopping? I have...not. Even close. Still plenty of time for me to run around the office stealing free books to hand out. It'll be fine!

Do you guys like Christmas music? OF COURSE YOU DO! What are you, monsters? My friend Kathleen recently turned me on to this internet radio website called Songza, which is like Pandora but better. You go to the site and they offer you a variety of stations based on your mood.

"Good morning" it greets you. "It's Friday morning. What do you feel like hearing?"

It then lists a wide variety of genres you could pick from - holiday, pop, classical, instrumental, et cetera- and then narrows those down even further. Do you feel "Too Cool for Yule"? If yes, would you like Indie Holidays or Christmas Schmaltz, which is holiday songs written by Jewish musicians? (Answer: both!) Do you want pop? If yes, you can choose "All I Want for Chrismas is POP!" (emphasis theirs) or Teen Pop Christmas, whose description reads:

"Embrace your inner teenybopper with these teen idol holiday hits. Whether you grew up in the Golden Age of Boy Bands or with the current crop of Disney stars, these songs will have you singing along."

I obviously listened to that one, unironically, for HOURS UPON END and loved every second.

I'm still not sure what an Ariana Grande is...but I like it.

So that's what's going on round there parts. Just a Helpful Holiday Tip from my home to yours.

Ho ho ho!

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

This Whole Thing:

20131209_140152

We had our company holiday party on Monday night, once again leaving me to risk ruining a day-to-night outfit by spilling my lunch upon it. Took the bib route one further by creating a full-body shield, consisting of a scarf wrapped around my lower half and my "desk sweater"  buttoned way way up to cover the top. My desk sweater is, of course, the cardigan that I leave at my office to wear on days when it gets nippy inside...I think it's been here for like 4 years and has never been washed. Haha GROSS LIZ.

Anyway, this was all a pretty smooth move to cover up, as it took me less than 12 seconds to cover my lap in salad.

20131209_130903

Not pictured: the chick pea that bounced off my knee and rolled under my desk. Don't worry, I found it and threw it away!

So this holiday party. As I may have mentioned before, my company merged with another big publishing company earlier this year (fascinating stuff), so this was our first holiday celebrating together. My company has never had a big formal Christmas party - instead we celebrate Halloween with our big, drunken in-office costume party.

The other company, however, does a whole big formal thang and this year everyone from both groups was invited to come party down in a hotel ballroom in midtown Manhattan. It was very swanky and fancy and very, very, VERY crowded. So I did what I always do in situations where I feel socially anxious and overwhelmed, which is zero in on the food table, load up a plate, find a corner to hide in and stuff. my. face.

I managed to drop a piece of fancy deli meat on the floor at one point and must have also dropped part of a pulled pork slider, because when I got home that night I realized that one of my  party heels was covered in barbecued pulled pork.

Smooth.

After gorging ourselves on too much salty Asian food (the buffet situation in this place was off the hook!), my colleague and I decided it was time to throw in the towel and headed off in search of large bottles of water (we were literally puffing up right then and there from all the sodium & wine) and trains home to bed.

Before we headed home we took a pit stop in the bathroom. We saw the sign for the men's room in one corner and couldn't find the ladies' anywhere.

A large man neither of us had ever seen before (he's probably like our new CFO or something, please no one fire me) was standing near us and noticed our predicament.

"Go in the men's room," he said. "It's for ladies'."

"No...mens' rooms are for...men?" We replied.

"Not tonight."

We couldn't decide if we were being tricked or if he was some kind of creep luring women into the men's room (again, potential new CFO, please forgive our misunderstanding! I'm sure you're a great guy!) so we tentatively walked over to the bano and sure enough, found this:

20131209_200745

SUPER CLEAR MESSAGING, guys. Men's room...Women Only.

I guess that the actual ladies' room was further away from the ballroom and since publishing is about 97.3% female, they figured they'd do the gals a favor and switch up the rooms for the night but it seemed a little unnecessarily complicated for my taste.

I sound SO ungrateful right now and I don't mean to! It was a really nice party and I appreciate that my company put it together for us ... I just thought this was funny. I also dislike large parties full of strangers and small talk and need to work on my social skills like STAT.

Let's look at another Christmassy moment...

This Coat:

20131207_142711

This is a terrible photo. ANYWAY, as you can see my puffer is covered in goop. That'd be tree sap, my friends.

Brian and I got a Christmas tree over the weekend from a vendor about a mile walk away and carried it the whole way home (#humblebrag) upon which point we were positively covered in sticky pine sap.

Both my coat and good leather gloves were complete disasters. I took to the internet to come up with a solution and they recommended peanut butter for leather (ok) and hand sanitizer for other fabrics. Doable!

I have scrubbed my coat three separate times now and it's still not all out...at least it's super germ free and sanitized? and the PB DID get the sap out of my gloves, but now they're covered in nut butter so...yeah. Upgrade?

And while I'm allowing snippets of sentimentalism this week (gross!) here is a photo of a very cute ornament that our friends Caitlin & Brian sent us. Our first ornament for our first Christmas tree together!!

20131207_160947

BARF.

And finally,

This Game:

Have you guys heard of Ellen DeGeneres? She's a famous television personality and super smooth dancer. She's also now the creator of this app / game thing called Heads Up and if you've not yet downloaded it, I recommend you do it IMMEDIATELY.

It's basically a digital edition of like, celebrity meets charades meets taboo meets other fun party games... just trust me, it's awesome.

One member of the group holds the phone to their forehead and presses play. The app will then display a word and the rest of the group will have to try to make them guess what it is using clues, be they verbal or physical or even humming. You can pick from songs or celebrities or news or a whole bunch of categories and it is SUPA FUN andddd doesn't require anything more than a cell phone which you probably already had out on the table anyway because your'e rude and addicted to snap chat so you can play it anywhere, anytime, with anyone!

My pals and I were out at a pretty quiet bar on Saturday night (where, side note, I tried whiskey again and NOPE STILL DISGUSTING!) and decided to play a rousing 750 rounds of this game. There were a few other patrons in the bar, most of whom seemed more delighted than annoyed by our antics...that is, until we got to the charades round, where I LITERALLY drove a couple from the bar while trying to mimic the word "hurdle."

I mean, sure you're on a date night, cozied up on a couch, enjoying some intimate cocktails,  but I don't see how a grown woman galumphing into your space, leaping and flailing her arms and screeching really ruins your night, party poopers.

Live a little!

Bonus fun thing for this game is that the app also tapes what the group is doing - so while the guesser is holding it up to their head, it's recording all the funny yelling and flailing and acting that the rest of the crew is doing. You can then send these videos right to Ellen and if they're good, she might play them on her show! It was too dark for us to capture clear videos but thought I'd share that fun fact in case you're trying to become the new Sophia Grace or whatever.

Woo woo!

And there you have it. The week that 'twas! Have yourselves a merry little weekend and if you're shopping for me, I'd like a unicorn, please!

xoxo

Liz Ho Ho Ho

Another Awkward Week [9.27.13]

Holla! It's Friday! How was everyone's week? Mine was longggg. I woke up Thursday AM and swore. Like sah-wore, would stake Jon Hamm's life on it, that it was Friday. NORP. Only Thursday. RIP, Jon, my bad. Anyone else barely make it through the week? I feel ya, pals. I feel you.

I'm extra glad it finally is Friday, because my Schmoopster and sister Maggie are visiting for the weekend. Yay! Marge came up last night and we went to a concert together to see this band Okkervil River. Heard of 'em? Probably not, they're pretty cool hipster shit, you know that's how I roll. Just kidding, that's how my sister rolls...y'all know the kind of tuneage I jam out to.

The concert was quite fun but also a very palpable reminder of just how old and grouchy I am. Their opening act was some guy called Black Joe Lewis who played very loud rock and roll music with lots of electric guitar solos and all the songs sounded the same (I'm sure they were great! I admit: I have no taste) and all I could think about was how loud it was and how much I wanted to sit down. Okkervil River, the main act, is energetic but still sort of mellow, gentle music. Nearly everyone was being cool and normal and bopping to the tunes except for four kids in the audience who were WAY INTO IT and jumping up and down, literally jumping and flailing their arms and clapping and singing all the lyrics at the top of their lungs. Guess what unfortunate soul had to stand right next to these clowns? ME. You know how dogs can smell fear? I swear that these annoying rowdy types can sense who's a crotchety no-fun and just get alll up in their business.

Listen, I don't want to tell you how to enjoy live music but maybe enjoy it quietly and politely from within your own personal space bubble and keep  your elbows and sweaty long hair and terrible voice out of my zone.

In other words: get off my lawn!

Anywaaay, that what's up with me! 29 going on 90. Why don't we stop complaining about the youths and take a look at what else was keeping it awkward this week:

This Lineup:

dirty jeans

Getting dressed Sunday afternoon it took me three tries to find a pair of pantalones not covered in food stains.

Maybe time to pack up my poisonous laundry candy & do some wash?

PS - I don't care if skinny jeans go out of style, I'm wearing them forever and an eternity. I want to be buried in my jeggings.

And while we're talking fashion...

These Shirts:

chambray

As I  mentioned, Brian and I had a joint birthday party on Saturday cuz we're cute like that, and apparently the dress code was chambray. It would be so like me to demand that everyone dress like me on my birthday but I swear this was unintentional.

How long am I going to drag out this 'pay attention to me it is/was my birthday' shtick? Infinitely.

So let's keep going!

This Card:

card

From my seester. If you can't read it's a photo of two old ladies, one examining the other's cardigan, saying "It's a little early in the day to wear your 'do me' sweater, don't you think?"

Hilarious, I know! Extra hilarious: I saw this card in CVS a few weeks back and laughed and laughed and purchased it and sent on to Maggie, just as a no reason hello, because, like me, Old Marge understands the sex appeal of a good cardigan.

Turns out that she had just bought the exact same card to give to ME for my birthday. Great minds. The HoBag ladies know the value of a sassy sweater.

And also...

These Gifts:

gift

My faves. A homemade BLT (on white toast with mayo, only way to do it) from my friend Kamran and poo-pourri from Maureen. Sandwiches and bowl movement accessories...my pals know me so well!

This Outfit:

blah

Do you ever have those days where you're just like pwoooompppp. You just feel like a blob? Like a human version of the mucinex guy?

That was me in this get-up on Monday.  My pants were too tight, my shoes rubbed my feet in every possible location - I now have eight blisters and the shoes are in the garbage can - I had food on my sweater, was in the midst of a week-long streak of bad hair days and had to remove that belt I'm holding midday after gorging on too much food at lunch. Granted it was vegan food, but still: apparently an 8 pound burrito is an 8 pound burrito whether it contains animal products or not. Lesson learned!

I felt like such a slobby lump I found it hard to get anything done all day, I just wanted to go home and shower and make myself presentable...or just curl up in a ball and go back to bed.

 I know it sounds like I want everyone to chime in and be like "Omg, what! Liz, you are beautiful!" and yes, I know, thank you, I am amazing, but this isn't a call for compliments.  I mostly just wanted to look for a little camaraderie from my internet peepz. Sometimes you feel like a blob, right? Right? Anyone? Bueller?

And now...

A Tale of Three Bathrooms by Charles "HoBag" Dickens 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I've never actually read A Tale of Two Cities, but tell me, how much of the novel involves making a scene in a public restroom? Oh, none of them? Boring. I've got that beat x3.

Bathroom One:

BR!

A charming wine bar in Manhattan's East Village. Brian and I spent last Friday night wining and dining our way around Lower Manhattan in celebration of his birthday and one of our stops was for a glass of vino on the patio of this adorable joint. At the end of the evening I popped inside to visit the facilities and discovered it was one of those tiny, quaint places with only one unisex bathroom for everyone to share. So after waiting what seemed like an eternity for the lady in front of me to do her thang (women, amirite?!), my turn arrived. Yadda yadda, you know how human biology works, I went to flush and realized that the toilet water seemed precariously high.

"This can't be right," I thought to myself. I knew it was dangerous, and yet I couldn't walk out and face the line of folks waiting to pee after me knowing I hadn't flushed.

I went for it.

Water began to pour from EVERYWHERE. The bowl, the tank, everywhere. It was like the boiler room in the Titanic, just a solid wall of water flooding towards me.

I yelped, hoisted myself up onto the bathroom trash can, swung to safety, quickly opened the door and slammed it behind me.

I turned to face the waiting masses and stammered "it's broken! Don't go in there. It's flooding. The toilet. It is flooding." I then scurried over to the bar, grabbed the nearest employee, yelped "Your toilet's broken!" annnnd ran out the door, never to return. Well, I still had to sit on the patio and finish my drink and wait for the check but hopefully it was dark enough that noone would recognize me as the bathroom flooding bandit.

Needless to say, this was THANK HEAVENS just a number 1 situation. If it had been the other option,  well, I would have just sprinted out of the bar and never looked back - not stopping for my coat or purse or maybe even Brian. He'd be sad for a while (I hope) but eventually would just move on and find someone normal and occasionally look back and think of me fondly. But it would be best for him. No one should have to be saddled with someone who flooded a restaurant with poo.

Then a few days later...

Bathroom Two:

BR2

I was at a community theater production of Les Mis, because of course I was, held in a high school way out in Bay Ridge, deep into Brooklyn. We stopped into the ladies quickly before the show and the school had these weird janky old bathrooms which flushed by pushing the most impossible button - see above. I don't know how young people are expected to maneuver these things. I'm an adult in relatively OK physical shape and had to put the weight of my entire body behind me just to flush, but I managed to get it to work.

Intermission rolled around and we needed to make another visit so we waited patiently in the endless line of other desperate audience members. I was next up but the woman in front of me could not, for the life of her, get the toilet to flush.

"Don't worry about it," I said "I know how to use these, I'll take care of it."

BRAVE. BOLD. No prissy business from Liz Ho.

Obviously and no duh, I got myself into the stall, pushed the button and: no dice. I pushed and pushed and pushed and paused for a photo and pushed and pushed and couldn't get it to flush. So I just sat, peed, tried once more...and then opened the stall, announced "nope! won't flush!" ....and ran out the bathroom door.

And then, the following night...

Bathroom Three:

BR3

On Monday I met some girlfriends to catch up over drinks and crostini at Gottino, which is one of my very favorite adorable bars in the West Village, if you're ever in NYC and looking for a charming spot to get your pinot greeg on. They have a lovely back yard (pictured above) and, like the previous wine bar mentioned, have just one bathroom, this time located down a set of steps next to their wine cellar.

I snuck down mid-way through the evening and found the lock on the bathroom door to be rather perplexing. It didn't actually seem to be holding the door shut, at all. I twisted it and turned it a few times but it didn't click anywhere.

"I'm sure it's fine!" I thought to myself.

I'd no sooner dropped trou and taken a seat on the throne when I learned the error of my judgement. It was not, in fact fine, it was completely unlocked, allowing for a man to swing open the door and walk in on me.

He stammered "oh god I'm so sorry!" and backed away, covering his eyes, while I half heartedly covered my biz and sighed: again? How had my life come to this?

Turns out I hadn't actually shut the door the whole way, so the lock was not catching as it should. Whoopsidoodles.

I finished what I came for and then, once again, found myself sprinting away from a toilet.

7 Days. 3 Public Bathroom Disasters. A new record, even for me.

I'm nervous to see what the future holds!

And there you have it. My week. Tell me 'bout yours! And what's everyone up to this weekend? I'm taking a 1/2 day today to party with the Margepants - Bernie rolls in early tomorrow and we're taking a trip to Ikea. Whoop whoop!

Wishing everyone a fantastical weekend and just be sure to double check all bathroom locks and take it from me: if it looks like it might overflow...it probably will.

xoxo Liz Ho

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:

20130707_114447

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:

20130706_093845

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:

IMG_20130706_141252

Sexy and we know it!

This Mess:

20130710_072639

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:

20130704_171335

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:

20130710_182406

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)

The Social Jungle: Clever Commodes

This weekend I was in Houston, Texas (gun show recap to come, I promise!) and found myself at a local watering hole directly following a several hour open bar rehearsal dinner, so you might say I was mildly to extremely in the sauce. While there I stumbled upon one of my greatest real-world peeves - I didn't want to forget to blog about it, so I tried to make a note for myself  in my new phone but I don't know how to use it yet, so I just emailed myself the following message, while on the john: Complain a.out bar bathroom names, or squatters and standers

Made a LOT of sense in the light of day.

So here we are - Social Jungle Week 2, brought to you by the letter P, which is what I was doing when I came up with the idea: Clever Commodes.

It is considered common courtesy in our modern world that most public venues will have separate bathrooms for men and for women, so that women don't have to smell men's gross poops and men don't have to stand in line for 45 minutes while their female counterparts take for-fucking-ever to pee. In and out, gals, in and out. Sometime over the last hundred years or so, I don't really research these pieces, just complain, some jerkwad decided it wasn't enough to just label these rooms Men and Women. Oh no. We had to get cute.

Lads & Lasses, Sheilas & Blokes,  Dames and Dukes,  Boys & Gulls, the particular bar that inspired this labeled their bathrooms Standers and Squatters (Um, ew) and some places just use pictures, for crying out loud!

Listen, we all know I love a pun as much or more as the next gal but there is a time and a place. A bar bathroom is not one of them. If I'm at a restaurant or pub and have been eating and drinking for a while, the last thing I want to spend my time doing is figuring out whether I'm a picture of a rooster or a hen before I can go potty. This is not clever - in fact, it is dangerous.

One time in college I was like, sporadically making out slash totally obsessed with this guy I worked with and we went to trivia night with a bunch of his friends who I didn't really know. It was an Irish bar so the bathrooms were labeled in Galeic - Fir, which means men and Mna, which means women but looks EXACTLY like the word men. I took an educated guess on which was which, and guessed wrong. And oh, I didn't just walk in on any old fir at the urinal, but opened the door to see my makeout buddy's best friend with his drawers unzipped taking a mighty piss. There are some thing you can't unsee, friends. And this was one of them.

So, my sweet Standers & Squatters, I ask you: if I made a petition to ban clever commodes, would you sign it? If not, tell me your very best clever bathroom label idea - if it's good enough, you might just change my mind.

Another Awkward Bathroom Break

Guys, this may be a short one. Only a few mins to write before I'm forced back out in the elements in search of a toilet I can use. You're probably wondering where I'm typing this, sans-commode. The subway? A greenhouse? A stagecoach? Nope, nope and psh, I wish! I'm actually in my apartment. Where I live and sleep but no longer have the freedom to shower or shave or shit. (JK, I never shit anywhere, I'm a girrrrl!) But seriously. We are in the midst of a minor renovation project to fix some leaky tiles on floor. The construction was started on November 20, 2010 at approximately 11:00 AM was supposed to take no more than 2 days. It is now December 8, 2010 at approximately 8:16 in the PM and it is STILL. NOT. DONE. Every day sun-up to sun-down, our apartment is overrun with construction workers.  At times, the toilet is in the kitchen, the hot water heater in the hallway. There is dirt and garbage covering the apartment and an old bathtub just laying in the stairwell. I've never remodeled a bathroom or built or fixed anything, at all (unless you count the Ikea armoire I once assembled - about once a week the sliding door would fall off and I'd have to leap away to avoid being crushed to death - it was a fun game!), so I'm not really what you'd call an "expert" on home construction but WHAT are they doing in there?! I am losing my mind.

We were actually only without official use of the toilet for a day or two, but even when it is up and running, the work men are in the bathroom hammering or sawing or caulking or whatever, so if we need to use the john we have to knock on the door and be all "hi, um, I need to, you know, use the, um, toilet" and then they file out of the bathroom and idle right outside the door, waiting for you to finish. And you can't even run the tap or anything because, whoops, the water's turned off! I'm not one to get pee shy (more on that later) but uggghhhhh. Go awaaaaaaay.

Also, not to be super racist or anything but the construction guys speak very, very limited English (to be fair, I speak very, very limited Spanish - see, not racist!) so basic communication becomes difficult. The answer to the question "so, are you coming back tomorrow" is apparently "you no inside nail." "Can we turn on the water?" "Saturday, Sunday, no lights."

Sure. Great.

I've taken to wandering the neighborhood looking for somewhere with a little more privacy and in the past few weeks have used bathrooms in: Barnes & Noble, a hotel, the laundromat, the tranny bar underneath my apartment, the gym (I guess this one is a positive), Subway sandwich shop, like 10 different Starbucks, the movie theater, a friend's house, Forever 21, Whole Foods and, Cleanse me Lord, a public restroom in Central Park. At the rate my standards are sinking, I'll be peeing in the stables with the carriage horses or wearing depends under my jeggings if they don't wrap this up by the end of the week.