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:

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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!!

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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 [4.19.13]

Hello, sweet friends. How is everyone doing today? I think we can all collectively agree this week was...not great. From Boston to Texas and back (not to mention the disappointing news out of the Senate) it has just been a chilling, sad, scary week and my whole heart goes out to anyone affected by any of this week's tragedies and to all of us feeling a little less safe, less sure about the future.

One small light that has emerged from this week is the reminder that, even in bad situations, good people prevail. This article this roundup and this moving facebook post have all brought a smidge of comfort to me in the last week, and of course, this funnyguy brings a bit of much needed laughter amid the tears.

Love to friends in Massachusetts, Texas and across the planet. And everyone reading this, wherever you may be, do me a favor today, will you? Hug someone you love. Or if they're not a hugger, perhaps an arm pat. Pinch their behind. Smack them upside the head with a rolled up newspaper, gently, then laugh about it. Bring them coffee in the afternoon or a cookie at lunch. Snuggle a few minutes longer than usual. In whatever language works for you, show a little extra love today and this weekend. Life is short and scary and unexpected and impossible to predict, but it's also full of a lot of wonderful, beautiful things. Like love. Embrace it.

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Aaaaand moving on to excessively more trivial matters, life is also full of humor and ridiculousness and vain people who like to talk about themselves on the internet all the time so let's insert a terrible segue from serious to silliness here (it absolutely destroys me that this is now the second time in under six months that I've had to make that joke) and take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

These Muffins:

muffins

My department made baked goodies to send to all of our sales reps this week, to thank them for their support and also to butter them up so they keep loving our books. Buttering up is probably what I should have done to these pans because my banana muffins (from a box) came out looking less than appetizing. I made it into the office with five semi-salvagable muffins. My teammates had beautiful boxes of cookies and brownies and homemade whoopie pies that looked professional and I had this hot mess. You're so welcome, sales staff. Keep up the great work, I know I will.

Want to know where I got the mix for such delectable muffins?  See below!

This Shopping Cart:

shopping cart

Last Friday night I met a girlfriend for happy hour and after a few glasses of wine, was walking to the subway when I realized, hey! I'm walking right past Trader Joe's. And they're still open! Why don't I drunkenly go on a shopping spree at 9:30 on a Friday night. And so I did.

This is my life now. Gone are the days of late-night shenanigans and inappropriate romantic decisions and pizza bingeing. Nowadays, my boozy impulse behavior is apparently just pillaging the hummus aisle and stocking up on dried fruits.

Party Animal.

This Balloon:

balloon

Over the weekend Brian & I were walking around Williamsburg (Brooklyn, not Colonial. I WISH!) on the way to a friend's birthday party when we encountered a group of people carrying huge bunches of turquoise balloons.

"Would you like a balloon?" one of the people asked, in a singsongy voice.

"YES!" I shrieked and ran to them, grasping at a balloon, ignoring the strange look on the person's face.

"I think she was talking to those small children," Brian said, pointing to the group of strollers and toddlers directly in front of us, which I had barreled through in pursuit of my shiny new toy.

Real, cute, Liz.

But, adults need balloons too! I call age discrimination.

I was going to give the balloon to my birthday friend, but when we showed up at the party we were super early and I felt weird and self conscious standing there holding a balloon, so I tied it to a post outside the bar. Sorry, friend.

This Laundry Bag:

laundry mixup

Because those are my clothes, but that is NOT my bag.

Here in the Big Apple (no one calls it that), drop off laundry service is incredibly popular for those of us without in-building washers and dryers.  It's relatively affordable and saves you from having to hang around the laundry mat, which is always just the best place in the world to spend your time. (<------------- lies.)

I usually don't do drop-off because it seems just too indulgent to me, even though it's not that exciting. I don't know why I put this much emphasis on it, but I feel like doing ones own laundry is kind of a grown-up thing to do and dropping off is just like, so excessively fancypants and snooty. Also I'm really particular about what clothes I tumble and what I line dry and I worry they won't do my wash in the right way, so I'd rather do it myself, even if it takes time. But, long story so, so, SO long, sometimes when I'm supremely desperate, I'll drop-off my tumble dry things (sheets, towels, gym clothes) before work, and then in the evening I'll pop in, wash just my hang-dry stuff, pick up my drop-off and bring it all back home, so I'm only wasting 25 minutes at the laundropalace instead of 2 hours.

Is anyone still reading this story? Good god, Liz, land the  plane.

ANYWAAAAAAAAAAAAAY this week was one of those desperate times and when I went to pick up my laundry, the clerk handed me my sexy backpack and luckily I looked inside for some reason, because it was filled with someone else's clothes! The fuck!

It turns out they'd mixed up my laundry with someone else's, putting the wrong things in the wrong bags. GAH. The clerk, who did not even pretend to apologize, took his sweet old time poking through the stacks of clean laundry bags, lazily checking to see if any of the tags matched my pickup receipt and after FIFTEEN MINUTES he finally located my clothes, then took fifteen more minutes switching the items into the correct bags, so I really saved myself no time whatsoever by dropping off and added a significant amount of stress to my life.

It took all the strength in my being not to lose my marbles on this man. I'm never ever a complainer, I'll eat burnt food and drink stale coffee and just want everyone to love me but sometimes, dudes, I can't. I managed to keep my cool - I figured this guy probably makes like $3 and hour and has to touch other people's crusty underpants all day long - but not without serious effort. He wasn't even PRETENDING TO TRY to look hard! He never once apologized for their friggin mixup and was beyond rude to me. MLKMAKDJYLUMKS.! That was me belatedly taking out my frustration on my work keyboard.

Felt good!

But, it turns out I can't really blame him for ruining my laundry life because...

These Camisoles:

camisoles

Used to be white but are now...that color. They were in the small batch of clothes I'd washed myself to hang dry. I must have let in something that ran because now all of my whites are greyish.

Just slaying it in the clothes washing department this week.

And then, less than 24 hours later...

These Pants:

avocado pants

From which I had literally just washed out last week's lotion stains and by 10:30 the morning after laundry night, were stained with permanent sharpie marker AND gloopy green avocado.

I am a mess. I'm going to give up on clothes all together. Laundry professionals can't handle them, I certainly can't seem to be trusted to wash them myself and I can't go more than 12 minutes without staining them, so I'm just going to start wrapping myself in plastic sheeting, like a mummy, and at the end of the day I'll just spray myself down with a hose.

Perfect.

And that is what's up 'round these parts. Anyone have anything exciting planned for the weekend? Tonight I'll be celebrating this gal's birthday and tomorrow my mama's coming to visit! We're going to go to the Guggenheim, walk around Dumbo and probably consume several gallons of pinot grigio.

Look out, New York!!

Happy weekend to all of you beautiful flowers and big love from me to you.

xoxo Liz Ho