Another Awkward Week [7.3.14]

Hey GUYS! Remember me? No? Didn’t think so. It’s been what, like, years? Decades? Oh, a week and a half? Well it feels like decades. The stress of trying to plan a wedding + find an apartment + move into said apartment + at least appear productive at work + pop zyrtec like it's candy because my sinuses are not on board this summer + finish the first 4 seasons of Game of Thrones (3 down!) (RIP so very many people) + watch ALL the soccer + take so many cold showers after watching ALL the soccer because HOT DIGGITY DAYUMN all these men in shorts + play with my new blender + eat, drink, sleep and, you know, stay alive has really caught up with me and, much as I love you all (and the attention you give me, letz be honest here), writing has fallen onto the back burner.

The way, way back burner.

Which bums me out but c’est le vie, my friends. C’est le motherflipping vie.

Are you curious what else has been going on in my life, besides the above? No? Whelp, we all know I’ll probably tell you anyway. Let us all join hands and take a look what was keeping it awkward this past decade week and a half.

This Travel Mug:

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My BFF Mo generously gifted us with a Ninja blender for my bridal shower, complete with two travel mugs and this cool attachment function that lets you make your smoothies right there IN YOUR MUG. It's miraculous. My old blender could barely chop. If I wanted to make a smoothie with frozen fruit, which I do, every single day, I would have to defrost the fruit in the microwave first and even then the blender would only get half of it, leaving me with warm smoothies with chunks of thawed, mushy fruit floating around. No bueno.

So to say this new toy is life changing is an understatement. My smoothie game has been revolutionized!

There is one downside which is sort of an upside in disguise, which is that the travel mugs twist on SO tight. And stay on SO tight. How tight? Neither I nor three of my colleagues could twist off the other day when I wanted to rinse it out. I tried to clean it with the lid still on by pouring in some warm water through the drink hole and swishing it around and pouring it back out again but that did NOT work and then all day I was left with this mess which, let's be honest, looks like a travel mug full of diarrhea.

Yum!

Did I ruin your appetite? I kind of ruined mine...

PS: Is it considered bad form to use your wedding shower presents before your wedding? If yes our form is bad to the bone, because we have been going nuts with all of our new kitchen gadgets. Whoops?

This Noodle:

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This past weekend was my bachelorette party - I demanded a whole weekend long party, I am such a 'zilla. My gals rented a lake house in the Poconos and it was just the best. THE BEST. THE BEST!!!!! I have never felt so loved and special and also just so relaxed and so very, very full of food. Essentially we partied like it was 1999 (aka 8th grade) but this time with booze. And an inflatable penis. Disney singalong? Check. Cotton Eye Joe? Check.  Getting weepy while talking about Dawson's Creek? Check. 5 gallon tub of cheese balls? Check aaaaannnnd check.

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We also swam in a pool, fended off a raccoon attack (mild exaggeration), played with sparklers, played "Pin the Hose on the Firefighter," invented some kind of group Wawa chant, played dozens of rounds of Heads Up, created a new sex move inspired by "Free Willy" (yes, this Free Willy) called the "Whale Tail," (we'll tell you all about when you're older), polished off copious amounts of Firefly vodka, Bud Lights and champagne (including one really fancypants bottle gifted by a friend who couldn't be there (hi Ash!) which I drank through a straw because I'm classy like dat) and each of us ate a full years worth of calories in one night in the form of chips, dips, buffalo wings, cheese, cheese balls, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, macaroni salad, potato salad, hot dogs roasted over an open flame while completely hammered at 3 AM (an ill advised idea if I've ever heard one) and late night Kraft macaroni and cheese.

When I went up to bed I took of my pants and found a mac-n-cheese noodle in my underpants.

HA! How did it even get there? I was wearing leggings! Maybe the stripper put it there?!?! With his teeth!

JK there was no stripper.

Suffice it to say, it was the best weekend of my whole life. But how the H-E-Double Macaroni Noodles did that thing get in my pants?

A mystery for the ages!

This Nectarine:

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Somehow we did not eat all of the food we brought that weekend, despite our very best efforts, so all of us brought snax and things home with us. I got dropped off on the Upper East Side and then took the subway back to Brooklyn carrying my suitcase, my ever-present tote bag, a basket of gifts and goodies from one of my girlfriends (Hi, Leah!!! I love you!!) and a big shopping bag full of leftover chips, one avocado and two nectarines. Quite the mix.

I managed to make it all the way to my stop without incident but then when trying to stand up and disembark my grocery bag tumbled over and started to spill all over the place. There was NO TIME to waste so I just grabbed what I could and ran off the train. I saw a nectarine rolling down the car and a woman yelled after me "ma'am! your groceries!"  But there was no turning back. This is not Saving Private Ryan.

RIP, that nectarine. I'll miss you.

I thought both nectarines were goners until Tuesday when I unpacked the chips for a little World Cup party at the office and found a smashed nectarine in the bottom of my bag, just rotting away.

So he may have survived the subway but his life was no better. Sorry, nectarines. I tried.

Sorry also, USMT. Tough loss out there. You did GREAT and I would still do filthy things (like the Whale Tail!) with each and every one of you, so thanks for inspiring our country and the libidos of millions of weird women. Or at least just this one. LOVE YOU TIM HOWARD.

This Traffic Cone:

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I was walking to work the other morning wearing this pretty maxi dress (last seen covered in coffee at Brian's sister's graduation) (from Old Navy, OBVZ). The dress is sort of faux-wrap style in that it doesn't tie, but the skirt is fully slit up the middle so when the wind blows it blows right on open, giving all of NYC a real show.

I came up with a trick of positioning my cross-body bag right in front of my goodies when I'm walking and wearing this so that it blows open but only up to a certain point and all the necessary stuff is still covered up.

I did not come up for a trick for when you're walking by a turned over traffic cone sitting on the sidewalk and the bottom of your long skirt gets caught on it and you get stuck and a fellow commuter has to help you untangle yourself because you're holding up morning rush-hour traffic.

So...that happened.

This Leftover Snack:

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Y'all know I love buffalo wings and blue cheese. So much, in fact, that sometimes I like to spill blue cheese dressing directly into my pocket.

You know, so I can save a little treat for later.

Couldn't be classier if I tried.

And, that, beautiful people, is what's been up! How have YOU been? Any big plans for the holiday weekend, Americans? The weather is supposed to be a butthead and rain all day in NY so I don't know what I'll get up to. Maybe write our wedding ceremony or get our wedding bands? You know, those minor yet crucial details that we should probbbably get on top of? Or we could clean and pack our apartment? Sell our old stuff? Stop spending so much money?!?!

Ohhh boy. Welcome back, stress. It was a nice 10 minutes not thinking about you. The next 6 weeks are going to be cray to the cray but I'm excited. Bring it on, life.

Happy weekend to you all and Happy Birthday, America!!! I love you. Thank you for being the home of the free and land of the brave and I just realized I mixed those two up but I ain't going back to fix it.

Baby you're a firework,

Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [8.30.13]

Guys, hi! How are you! It's been awhile, what's new? I'm sitting here eating pickles and drinking wine and trying to come up with my usual witty ("witty") Friday recap of the past week but coming up blankety blank sooo I'm just going to ramble on for a while about my vacation. How about that? Could get long. Could turn into a stream-of-consciousness word vomit but hey, it's the Friday before Labor Day, were you really going to do any work anyway? Didn't think so.  I figure, you could either read about Miley, Syria or whatever it is I've got going on so...your choice!

And letz begin.

So two weeks ago I took a  most magical All American Vacation with my boo (haha gross! What if I really called him that?). We visited my family in Pennsylvania, and took a quick road trip to the Shenandoah National Forest in Virginia for a few days of hiking and sleeping in a tent.  Here's a few highlights from le trip:

1. In Lancaster County, even the pool clubs are barns:

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(I don't mean to sound snide, I only tease ya cuz I love ya, Lancaster. Photo snapped during a fab afternoon  visiting my dad.)

2. Shenandoah National Forest is G to the Orge to the U to the S...that didn't really work, did it? 

Anyway, as I was saying:

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G to the O to the...let it go, Liz. Let it go.

3. I'm not so great at taking self-timer photos:

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That's a framer.

4. But AM pretty great at hiking. 

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One of the best days of our trip was spent climbing Old Rag Mountain in Virginia, a rocky peak which sounds like it was named after a used feminine hygiene product (sorry, but true) and which Tina Fey once climbed to impress a boy, a story she recounts in Bossypants aka My Bible.

At any rate, Mount Tampon is known for its stony face over which hikers must "scramble" to get to the summit. When I read about this in guide books I craved fluffy eggs...and then pictured goats kind of running around a rocky field. It couldn't be that hard, I thought. Tina Fey did it. At night! I was somewhat wrong. The trail started as a sloping, gentle forest climb but quickly turned difficult. Blue painted arrows marked which way we should go and often they had us scaling down into tiny crevasses between giant boulders...or heaving ourselves over slippery rocks with no place for a solid foothold.

We made it to the summit and y'all, It felt BAD ASS. I'm sure it's not even a three on a 1 - 10 scale of difficult hikes but for me, it was a pretty big one. Despite being thin and in decent shape, I tend to suffer from some poor self-image issues (thanks, Hollywood!) and fixate on flaws instead of actually appreciating my bod for all that it can do, but climbing Old Raggedy Andy made me put some things into perspective. There were moments when ahead of me lay bare rock and I had to somehow find a way to get my body up and over with nowhere easy to put my feet. I had to use my arms, my back, my legs and my brain and make them all work at once and I did it. I did it!  Often I lead the way in our twosome. I may not look like Giselle or Heidi Klum or Queen B but dang, I felt bold and I felt strong and it was really, really cool. I am hoping to maybe tackle a few even more difficult hikes in the future. Look out Everest!

Juuust kidding.

Also...

5. I'm Sweaty.

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So remember that terrible self image we were discussing? Let's dig into that. I have always suffered from what shall henceforth be known as Sweaty Torso Syndrome or STS. When I am active, my stomach sweats. This is probably totally normal but because I am a crazy girl, I have always felt ashamed of this. My abs also tend to be my least flattering feature and I tend to fixate, to an unhealthy degree, on my tummular pooch (I was a vulnerable tween in the prime of the Britney years, how could I NOT be obsessed with flat bellies) and for that dumb reason I have always been extra insecure about sweating in my midsection. I have memories of summer soccer camps in high school in 100+ weather, and me slathering Secret Antiperspirant on my stomach because I'd rather smell like a rotten baby powder factory than be seen with a sweaty middle.

You guys, it is NOT GREAT being a teenage girl. Not great.

So flash forward 10 years older and zero wiser and here's me and Brian, after a seriously strenuous hike and I should feel nothing but pride about this photo but I can't stop fixating on my drenched tank.

I made this my profile pic on Facebook and had a cleverr poem written for the caption, read to the tune of On Top of Spaghetti:

On Top of Old Rag

All Covered in Sweat

Don't Look at My Torso

It is Soaking Wet

But then I thought to myself: stop being self deprecating. You were hiking. You got sweaty. OWN IT. I deleted the caption and hit print.

Four minutes later my (well intentioned, I sincerely believe) cousin (hi Jamie!) (no hard feelings!) posted a comment asking if we were in a "mountain top wet t-shirt contest."

No, dude, we just suffer from STS, big time and you know what? 16 year old Liz Ho would have probably hurled herself right OFF of Old Rag had anyone drawn such public attention to her sopping stomach but 28-for-two-more-weeks Liz Ho has decided to flaunt it.

On Top of Old Rag

My Torso is ... Damp.

I Climbed a Fucking Mountain

Cuz I am a CHAMP!

6. Sleeping in the great outdoors? Over rated.

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This was our homesite for a few nights. See that clothesline? Made it myself using nothing but rope and trees. Pretty proud, guys. Prettty pretty proud. Anyway, we camped in Shenandoah for two nights (Big Meadow Campground, highly recommended, despite what I'm about to say) and I'd say we slept a collective 6 hours of sleep during those two evenings.

The first night we enjoyed a delightful dinner of cheeseburgers and macaroni salad and retired to our humble canvas abode when no sooner than we had zipped the tent closed did it start raining, and hard. I was convinced the tent was going to collapse upon us and drown us both and Brian was just trying to figure out logistically if he could unzip the tent enough to pee out the front window without letting in rain water and we both just laid there, awake, willing sleep, morning or death to come.

Spoiler alert: we lived.

The second night we were strategic: we were getting CRUNK. A light buzz would lull us into a delightful slumber and we'd wake up the next morning refreshed and revived.

We polished off a bottle of wine and a plethora of PBR's (you can take the girl out of Brooklyn...) and checked off the" fall into a delightful slumber" part which worked until I woke up at about 1 AM with WICKED dry mouth and spent the rest of the night laying awake itching my 400 + mosquito bites and taking every sound to be a murderer while Brian lay wide awake beside me, having been up all night on a vigilant patrol for bears.

Next time, we're staying at the lodge.

Why was Brian scurred of bears?

7. They're Everywhere!

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That dark blob surrounded by professional graphic editing is a black bear, y'all. Live, up close and in the wild.

Pretty cool, huh?

Speaking of cool, did you know that

8. QUIZ on a triple letter score is a 66 point word.

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Just FYI. Here's a snap of Brian getting BURNT.

Annnd then I lost the next 2 games in our Best of 3 competish but still: Q-U-I-Z, dude. Never forget.

And then we went back to PA and ate..

9. CHICKEN WINGS

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I've said it once, I'll say it a thousand times. I love me some wings. So when my mom asked if we wanted to go catch a game of our local baseball team (obviously called the Barnstormers) on an all you can eat wings/ all you can drink Yuengling package, well, my chicken lovin' Pennsylvania heart just about up and stopped.  And then started again and then actually stopped because between my brother and I we polished off this graveyard of wing bones:

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Disgusted? You should be!

We kept the All American Fat Kid trend going into the next day with a stop at

10. The Elizabethtown Fair

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I know I seem supremely cosmopolitan but my heart, which is deep fried like an Oreo, belongs in a small town. Our town has a designated Fair Ground where every August the finest in agriculture and teen moms congregate together for an event known as the E-Town Fair. There are cows and goats and a talent show and rides and cotton candy and funnel cakes and alllllll the people watching your judgey heart could desire and tractors. Did I mention tractors?

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And OHHH the milkshakes. About 100 years ago there was this agricultural collective known as The Grange Movement where some stuff involving farmers' rights happened or something...I don't know. We learned about it in history class but all I took away is this: the Grange Movement is still alive and well and making the BEST GODDAMN milkshakes you have ever tasted. Don't try to contradict me, I don't care if you come from Milkshake City, Capital of Milkshakeland on the planet Milkshake, you ain't never had a shake til you've had a Grange shake, am I right, E-town readers, or am I right? (85% sure that none of my HS pals read this blergh so I'll go ahead and answer for myself: I'M RIGHT!)

The fair happens every year on the last week of summer and when we were in middle and high school it was THE thing to do. This was pre cell phones and snap chat and One Direction and whatever the youths are up to these days, so every night we'd meet at a pre-ordained time in front of the tractor display. We'd all wear our new clothes that we bought for back to school because the REAL debut happened at the Fair, not in the hallways, and we'd spend the next several hours just circling the grounds in packs, again and again and again.

I hadn't been in somewhere between six and 10 years but the second I stepped back on that midway I was rushed back to high school summers and we were so silly...but how fun was it?

I find I get especially nostalgic during summertime. Is it just me?

Brian was XXXXtra cute during the fair, his first, he was like a kid in a candy shop.

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If by candy you mean gigantic stalks of corn.

Also cute, this prayer station, where we picked up a pamphlet with advice on how to love Jewish people.

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Good old LanCo, getting more open minded by the century.

Whoa. I feel like it might be time to shut this down, I think I've done and gone wrote a novel! One thing I just realized din't make the narrative somehow was a fantastic BBQ with my extended family, most of whom were meeting Brian for the first time. I have to give a shout out to all my Aunts, who I know read this (hi guys!!!) and are hilarious and wacky and who I thought might do something crazy with Brian just for fun, like sing or pretend to interrogate him or ... who knows. But they were all totally cool and charming and normal and it went GREAT! Not like I would have blamed them if they had, you KNOW when my future nieces and nephews and children start bringing home dates I'ma embarrass the heck out of them and then probably write a blog about it, because I'm nice like that.

Don't worry, Aunts, we can make him sing at Family Christmas!

Annnd that's what's been going on round these parts. What have YOU been up to? Loving the Jews? Twerking? Overcoming STS? As always you know I'd love to hear about it. PS I just accidentally deleted literally this entire post - when I typed that capital "A" at the start of "As always, instead of hitting shift-A I h it control A and then delete for some reason and hoooooooly shit I thought we were a goner here but I saved it. I saved it!

Let's get this weekend started IMMEDIATELY. Hope yours is sweaty and delightful!

xoxo Liz Ho

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:

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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