A Hobag Looks at 30*

 * bonus points to any weirdos who get this reference!

Two weeks ago another grain of sand dropped through the hour glass of the days of my life and I hurtled into a new decade:

I welcome my 30's at the stroke of midnight on September 14, 2014 from the creaky bed of an old motel in rural New Hampshire, where I was celebrating a friend's wedding. My brand new husband was in bed beside me. At midnight he gave me a beautiful jewelry box and some pirate themed temporary tattoos. I took a selfie (fully clothed, despite how scando this looks) and we promptly fell asleep.

20140914_000058

I was a little drunk. And a lot happy. It was perfect.

I'm now two weeks into the other side still just as happy, though thankfully slightly less drunk. For the present moment, anyway. I may be old but I still know how to get down. In fact, from all I've heard, the 30's are quite the cause celebre.  Allegedly, women in their 30's are generally more financially secure, gain more respect in their careers, have more self confidence and have better sex. And I've learned that the older you get, the easier it is to avoid fads and fashions, a lesson that helped me skate through all of Summer 2K14 without even being tempted to wear a crop top. Victory! So if this means I'm looking at a decade of self-confidence, great sex and fully covered midriffs, well I am ALL IN. 

If you'll recall, in prep for the big 3-0 I made a big 'ol to-do list, as I am wont to do, with 30 goals or items to achieve between September 14, 2013 and September 14, 2014. How'd I do? Let's check the list!

1. Run half marathon HAYLLL YES! COMPLETED 4/26/14

2. Pay off one credit card…put a dent in the other. YES! COMPLETED 10/4/13

3. Get a bikini wax NOPE.

4. Take photoshop or other online design course NOPE.

5. Submit something for publication. YAAAAASSSS. COMPLETED 5/30/14

6. Visit each of the 5 boroughs of NYC (I’m coming for you, Staten Island!) NOPE.

7. Do a pull-up (yes, just one. Aim high.) NOPE.

8. Find a regular volunteer program NOPE.

9. See a play on Broadway NOPE.

10. Watch The Sopranos 1.5 SEASONS. (Unpopular Opinion Alert: That show is a snooze.) 

11. Learn to shuffle cards NOPE.

12. Stop biting my nails UGH NOPE.

13. Take a trip with my mom NOPE.

14. Read outside of my comfort zone (i.e. biography, poetry, graphic novel) NOPE. WHOOPS. 

15. Visit Storm King OBVZZZZ. COMPLETED 10/6/13

16. Get Acupuncture NOPE.

17. Roast a chicken NOPE.

18. Grow a vegetable to a point where it is edible i.e. don’t kill it NOPE.

19. Zumba NOPE.

20. Host a classy, adult dinner party NOPE.

21. Add at least one more state to my list YES! Unblerghed but B&I took a trip to Maine 9/12/14. Trust me, it happened. 

22. Solve my stomach issues GROSS BUT NOPE.

23. Trapeze class NOPE. (What even was this one?!) 

24. Reconnect with an old friend (I already have one picked out! Lucky person!) HALFSIES? I've been emailing with my very first childhood friend Becky but we've yet to reconnect in person. I'm giving myself a .5 for this one. 

25. Decorate our apartment NOPE.

26. See the cherry blossoms in DC NOPE.

27. Take out my navel ring (GREAT ONE, Liz!) NOPE.

28. Make an IRL blogger connection COMPLETED sometime in December, blogged about 3/17/14

29. Hike 5 new peaks NOPE.

30. Skinnydip. ANDDDD NOPE.

 Officially, without loopholes or fudging the rules, I completed 6.5 out of 30. That's slightly over 20 %, if my math is correct...which it usually isn't...but I used a calculator so I'm feeling pretty confident. By the standards of the Common Core and most other methods of grading and judgement, 6.5 out of 30 is an epic failure.

But eff that noise. I'm chalking 29 up as a roaring success.

29 was the year I got engaged and married. The year I ran a (fast!) half marathon. The year I ate a lot of hard boiled eggs, attempted to wear red lipstick and went to a nude beach. The year I first shacked up with my boyfriend (then fiance, then husband!) and moved to Park Slope. 29 was the year I got paid to write an article - for Vogue (...ok, dot com, but whatever)! 29 was the year I saw friends get married, change jobs, move cities and get unscandalously knocked up. At 29 I drank too much wine and spent too much money on organic food and always kept my fingernails painted bright colors and totally pulled off ankle booties and almost always wore the same chambray button-down and learned - and then forgot - the difference between brie and Camembert cheeses and got 2nd place in Fantasy Football and finally found a pair of sunglasses that fit my lanky face and tried Pilates and instagrammed my food and spent time with my best girlfriends, laughing til our stomachs hurt.

29 was great. It was SPECTACULAR! I may have technically failed at most things I set out to attempt, but I'm still giving myself an A+.

So what is on my list for the next year? I have but One Before Thirty-One: Stop Making Lists.

If I've learned one thing about myself in the last 29 years, it is that I need to be a little kinder to myself. No more creating arbitrary to-do lists and then beating myself up when I don't check off every box. No more panicking over things left unfinished, milestones yet reached. No more worrying about where I should be, more focusing on where I am.

No mas!

At 29, I did only 6.5 items on my list...but then 6.5 bajillion more, without even trying. Imagine what great things I can do at 30 without all that time wasted worrying over things not done?

There are things I'd like to achieve, sure. I won't just be sitting about waiting for the world to present me with adventures. I'd still like to hike more, to move up in my job, to quit biting my nails, to run more races. I'd also like to keep writing - perhaps not more but better. Which may mean a little less of the usual business here. Blogging is fun and exciting and I love the attention, sure, but at the end of the day it's really just a hobby. And one that's maybe not as fun as it used to be. I can't tell you the number of Thursday nights into Friday morning's I've sat stressing and scrambling for "funny" content for fear of letting someone, anyone (probably just myself) down. As much as the world loves and SURELY NEEDS yet another weekly roundup of me covered in random food stains, I'd like to think I can do a little better than that. I'm not abandoning the awkwardness of it all, but just going to see what I might be able to do if I spent just half of the time I put into photographing avocado blobs into writing or reading smart content.

I hope you'll still come along with me.

But, BUT! If none of these things happen, if I don't write a word or hike a peak, if I never ever roast a chicken as long as I live- that's OK. I can trust that my time will be spent elsewhere, doing other meaningful things I haven't even though up yet.

I do think we can all agree, though, that though no one ever sees it, what with the no-crop-tops rule and all, it's really, really, REALLY time to get rid of that belly button ring.

So here's to being 30. And chill (ish). And THRIVING. 

xoxo Liz 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

One (Specific) Awkward Year: 30 Before 30!

Friends! Thanks to all for the sweet birthday wishes, you are some nice people. I'm already feeling older and wiser and maybe just a scoonch wrinklier, too. In the spirit of making the most of my fleeting 20's, I've decided to become a lifestyle blogging cliche and create a 30 Before 30 List - 30 things to try or accomplish before I hit the big, you guessed it 3-0. Corny, indeed, but I do love a good list and am always up for a challenge or thirty. Plus: think of all the writing material!

Also, I know what you're thinking: Liz, why don't you focus on your day-to-day lists and do things like clean your house or mail that wedding gift to your cousin who got married back in July or I don't know your job, and I hear you loud and clear on that one, and I'll definitely consider getting to those things eventually, but eh: boring. I need to reach for the stars, here before my AARP membership kicks in. (KIDDING).

I looked to a lot of other blogs for 30 Before 30 inspiration and stole a few good ones, but tried to focus on things that are actually possibly possible in the next 360 days (already losing time! OH GOD!) Much as I'd like to ride nude on the back of a great white shark off the coast of Bali, I just don't know that it is quite doable on my dwindling time frame.

Some are silly, like getting a bikini wax (why is this even a thing that people do?), some are more intangible like solving my stomach issues and some miiiight be impossible, see "run half marathon" and "pay off credit card debt." But ALL of them are happening. They are! Before September 14, 2014 the list below will be donezo and the whole world will know my name! Or I'll still be entirely unfamous but with less debt and a smoother bikini line. Nowhere to go but up, friends!

Now quickly for the wild card: Number 30. I was realllly stretching for material as we got into the high 20's here and decided it might be fun to take a little audience poll. What do YOU think I should do in this next year? I'm taking suggestions for something that is legal, not weird or perverted, not expensive (unless you're paying, in which case, I'm all ears) and maybe a bit ridiculous to add to my list. Let's hear your suggestions - the best one wins!!

And we're off. I'll do my best to document what is sure to be a THRILLING year, I sure hope you'll follow along.

30 before 30

30 Before 30

1. Run half marathon

2. Pay off one credit card...put a dent in the other. (yes I have 2 credit cards. Proud American.)

3. Get a bikini wax

4. Take photoshop or other online design course

5. Submit something for publication

6. Visit each of the 5 boroughs of NYC (I'm coming for you, Staten Island!)

7. Do a pull-up (yes, just one. Aim high.)

8. Find a regular volunteer program

9. See a play on Broadway

10. Watch The Sopranos

11. Learn to shuffle cards

12. Stop biting my nails

13. Take a trip with my mom

14. Read outside of my comfort zone (looking for suggestions, literary pals!)

15. Visit Storm King

16. Get Acupuncture

17. Roast a chicken

18. Grow a vegetable to a point where it is edible i.e. don’t kill it

19. Zumba

20. Host a classy, adult dinner party

21. Add at least one more state to my list

22. Solve my stomach issues

23. Trapeze class

24. Reconnect with an old friend (I already have one picked out! Lucky person!)

25. Decorate our apartment

26. See the cherry blossoms in DC

27. Take out my navel ring (GREAT ONE, Liz!)

28. Make an IRL blogger connection

29. Hike 5 new peaks

30. Blog Challenge!

Boom. Let's do this thing. Thanks for following along and now if you'll quickly excuse me, I have a LOT to accomplish. First stop: Trapezing! Or maybe I should just get back to work.

xoxo Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [9.13.13]

Friends, hello! It's been a while, I know. I've missed you. Between vacation and Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah, I've just lost track of time - days have blended into one. Do I observe Rosh Hashanah? Well, no, but I'll use just about anything as an excuse for not writing. But oh, never fear I'm back. And I know exactly what day today is: Friday the 13th. Spoooky! Look out for Jason. Or was it Freddy Krueger? I've never been able to keep them straight. Those movies? Not for me.  I'm far to impressionable and anxious for that sort of thing.

And if today's the 13th, that makes tomorrow the 14th...of September. My birthday! I'll be 29 years young. Which makes me just over 4 in dog years. Or would I be 203? Eh, I've never been one for math. Or dogs. Tomorrow is also the 199th anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner and the 8th birthday of Sean Preston Federline (aka Britney Spears' eldest son) so yeah, pretty important date in history right there.

Usually I make quite the 'do over my birthday (remember how deep and introspective I was last year? Oh young Liz, how wise you were) but this year I'm just sort of meh about the whole situation. It's kind of weird. Is it possible I'm becoming less self-absorbed in my old age? Have I been cured?!

Highly doubtful.

Let's work on keeping the All Liz All the Time mentality alive by looking back at what was keeping it awkward these past few weeks.

This Pimple:

zit

An early birthday gift from my pores. Reminding me that you're never too old for problem skin.

Or terrible selfies.

Or errant bra straps.

I am KILLING IT today.

This Laundry Pod:

pod

Have you guys heard about these things? They're little plastic pods filled with laundry detergent and apparently sometimes children mistake them for candy and eat them and then they die. Which is just GREAT! Now I can add "death by laundry' to the list of accidental household tragedies that might befall my future children, right in between dry drowning and falling on a sharpened pencil, eye first.

The real tragedy of these pods, well, after the child death thing, is that they are very delicate, causing them to burst inside your purse and ruin all of your belongings.

Why did I have laundry pods in my purse? Solid question.

Sunday morning I woke up bright and early with a long to-do list already forming in my head and decided I'd try to beat the laundry crowd by rushing to the laundromat at 8 in the morning. I threw on pants, stuffed my dirty clothes into my sexy backpack, tossed a few pods on the top of my purse and ran out the door. It turns out the early bird does not necessarily get the washing machine, as even at 8 AM the joint was packed. I'm not much of a religious gal, but I know this much is true: hell is a crowded laundromat on a hot summer morning.

I snagged the one open machine, shoved my clothes inside, reached into my purse to grab a detergent pod and discovered that my purse was now covered in wet, blue laundry detergent. It turns out that one of the pods had popped and created quite the mess - blue goo coated my wallet, my phone, my book, my keys, the five tea bags that I inexplicably have been carrying around for the last six weeks, several tampons of varying absorbancies, the lid to a sharpie marker, a pair of nail clippers, a tape measure...well, you get it...all the important and sophisticated lady stuff that I lug around was smothered in detergent.

GRR.

Luckily this wasn't my only pod and the other one remained intact, so I tossed that one into the washing machine, pressed start and ran back to home to rinse off my goods, only to realize four feet from my apartment that I'd left my phone sitting on top of the washing machine. How'd it get there? Why I took it out of my purse to take this photo, of course. Priorities! i burst into the apartment, threw my purse into the sink, yelled to Brian "I'm having a bad morning!!" and ran back out the door, literally sprinting the four blocks back to the laundromat, praying that my phone had yet to be swiped.

Praise be to the laundry gods: it was still there.

I ran back home, rinsed off the contents of my purse, ran back, nearly murdered a man in race to claim the one open dryer, brought my hanging clothes back to the apartment, hung them, chugged a cup of coffee, ran BACK, retrieved my clothes from the dryer and finally returned home.

It was now 9:30 in the morning.

The first and very very VERY last time i attempt anything productive before at least noon.

This Coffee Truck:

sweetery

My favorite in the city! They park outside of our office nearly every morning and have a customer rewards card - ten coffees and the 11th is free! I'm a sucker for rewards cards, I will do just about anything for free stuff.

I've long maintained that the hardest thing to do pre-caffeine is acquire caffeine. (Also spell caffeine - did you know it's an I before E exception?!) Yesterday morning we had an early meeting and I had just enough time to grab an iced coffee before rushing upstairs. I whipped out my debit card only to realize I was trying to pay with my drivers' license.  Then his square app wasn't working and I didn't have time to wait around, so I asked if I could come back later and pay.

He looked at me like I had 9 heads when I asked what I should leave for collateral.

Upon rereading this might be one of those 'had to be there' stories but I've come this far, there's no deleting now!

This Red Black Carpet:

red carpet

Spread out by our building maintenance staff on rainy days, they prevent slippy floors but provide hazards of their own. See that crack where the two pieces meet? I nearly BIT IT on the way out the door yesterday afternoon but I thiiiink I managed to save it by turning my near-trip into a sort of jaunty, exuberant leap.

A whooole lot of people saw, but I'm hoping that instead of seeing me as a clutz, they think me a unique butterfly of a person, dancing through life.

Highly doubtful.

This Logic Puzzle:

logic

Brian and I may or may not have spent last Friday night doing logic puzzles late, LATE into the evening.

I know what you're thinking and no, it is not possible to be any cooler than we are, so you can just stop trying right now.

This Diet Coke:

dented coke

So like any good addict, I keep trying to drop my DC habit, only to get pulled right back in. I wish I knew how to quit you, Diet Coke. You are the Jake Gyllenhaal to my Heath Ledger. I just want to take you into my mountain tent and love you like you deserve. IS THAT SO WRONG, I ask? Is that so wrong?

One day last week I swore I wasn't going to hit the vending machines, but sure enough, 2 PM rolled around and I was basically going through high level withdrawal symptoms so I caved. I had no money so I scrounged up a bunch of dimes from the bottom of my purse and headed for the vending machine. I should have taken this as a sign that maaaybe I didn't need to be indulging - if you can't even pull out four quarters, do you really deserve a treat? Probably not.

 And yet, I persisted. I popped those ten dimes in one by one by one and pushed the button for Diet Coke. The machine rumbled and shook and the can tumbled out with a decidedly flat plonk. SOMETHING was amiss!

The can was perfectly sealed, and yet basically empty. The exterior was dented on every side. Gross? Gross. There was a 700% chance it was filled with poison and yet ANOTHER sign that Diet Coke might not love me as much as I love it, but I would not give up. After begging for quarters to buy another can I took the encouragement of some friends (hi MG!) and took it to the source.

First I took to the Twitters, delivering what I'm sure is a fatal blow to Coke's pristine public image:

@CocaCola Oh no - faulty can from the vending machine. Sealed...but EMPTY! pic.twitter.com/X6TgyEAmtQ

HARSH.

I then took it a step farther and sent the following email to Coke's Customer Service hotline:

To Whom It May Concern,

I am a loyal Diet Coke consumer. I drink one can every afternoon. It is the best part of my day. Today I visited the vending machine in my offices for my afternoon soda and the can I received was defective. It was entirely sealed, and yet was empty of liquid. The exterior was heavily dented. This was highly disconcerting, to say the least. I wanted to be sure to relay this tragic incident to your staff right away. I hope that Coke will find a way to remedy this upsetting and troubling situation.

Best regards,

Liz

Mildly dramatic? Maaaaaybe just a scoonch. But they need to see my plight! They need to feel my pain! And they need to send me a free can of Diet Coke, please and thank you!! It's been a week and I've had complete radio silence from the Coca-Cola team. RUDE! That is the last time I'll ever give them a cent...until mid-afternoon today when I start sweating and shaking, at which point I'll give them 75 of my cents because I have a problem. Big time.

Annnd that's it. Not my best but maybe not my worst? I've been extra hard on myself these past few weeks, I'm thinking that might need to change come 29. No point wasting time with negativity, now is there?

And what are you up to this weekend? Going to a surprise party for your favorite blogger?! SSSH! You're not supposed to tell!

Har har har. Seriously, though, what's the latest? I've missed you!

xo 28-year-old Liz

Three Or Four More Awkward Years!

Guys, I just realized something. One Awkward Year has a birthday to celebrate! I started this blog in January of 2010 to document one year of my life, in all of its absurdities, and here we still are in January of 2013. Three years later...or is it four? I'm having some math issues...We are three years old but celebrating our Fourth Awkward Year? 2010...2011...2012...2013? Whatever, math sux, I'm still here!   If I could go back in time and change the name of this blog I would probably do it, but that seems like it would be a real waste of time travel technology when I could be busy making money by prophesizing the future or having sex with JFK or finding out whether or not Felicity the American Girl was actually a real person. I kind of thought I'd already be the star of my own Julie & Julia by now, but that doesn't seem to have happened, hmm. But still. Happy birthday to me! I do hope you all brought presents.

Sad-Birthday-Cat

(This is the first image that came up when I Google Image searched "awkward birthday." I like it!)

Now. I’m going to ask you to indulge me very quickly with some housekeeping type business. This birthday is perfect timing as I find myself considering where I see myself going as a blogger slash writer. As I mentioned last week, I am attempting to become more serious about this whole scene but it's not as easy as it looks. Blogging well & blogging often takes time and it takes energy. It also takes a certain sense of voice and theme and, let’s be honest, self importance.  Any sort of personal writing be it a print column or a blog or a cave drawing (do you think that prehistoric people drew out witty anecdotes on the walls of their caves? I would die a million deaths if they discovered like, Carrie Bradshaw style stories drawn out in stone circa 300 BC) is inherently self absorbed. You are assuming that the world at large wants and needs to hear what it is you have to say. About yourself and your life. That’s a bold move, friend. If you’re going to make it, what you have to say better be worth it.

I want to make it worth it. I know that blogging is a super selfish endeavor, but I have gone too far down this road to stop, so I’m powering on.  I feel like a cornball saying this, but I have really and truly enjoyed writing here these last few years, especially this last year, where I began to connect with other bloggers, develop more of a voice and become confident in my writing and it means a lot to me that you would choose use part of that time at work where you’re pretending to work but are actually reading dumb shit on the internet to come here and read this dumb shit.

Seriously, thank you!

So, now that I've given you three or four years of great entertainment, depending on how you do math (f’real, though, am I the only one who finds this confusing?!), I am going to ask YOU to do something for me. Tell me:

  • What do you like about this blog?
  • What would you, you know, pass on if this were an all you can eat buffet?
  • What would you like to see more of? Silly stuff? Serious stuff? Personal stuff? Things about New York? TV?  Something I haven't even thought about? Please don't say nude photos. Please also don't say "ew! no nude photos, you are gross!" because that would really not be great for my self esteem. Just avoid discussing nude photos altogether.

I feel like a real douchebucket asking for you to pay even more attention to me, but you nerds seem to like reading this thing so I'm just going with it. If we’re going to endure four (three???) more years of this, I want it to be fun for everyone and I’d genuinely appreciate your feedback, even if it is negative. But preferably positive. But seriously, please be nice. If you would be so kind as to share some ideas with me in the comments or via email: oneawkwardyear@gmail.com or via facebook, if that’s how you came across this post, or by carrier pigeon or a snail mail letter or on a letter that you tape to the back of an actual snail and then pray it arrives to me somehow, I would be eternally grateful.