Another Awkward Week [10.101.4] - On Adulthood and Ugly Kitchens

Friday. Finally! It is Friday, right? This week has felt endless – it has essentially been a series of increasingly frustrating exercises in futility, all in pursuit of “getting my life together.” Being a functioning adult is exhausting. And time consuming. How does anyone get anything done? I spent so much time this week just dealing with…stuff. Hours on the phone punching through automated answering service after automated answering service dealing with issues with our electricity bill, the cable company and my student loans. A visit to the dentist. Running all over lower Manhattan exploring new phone plans – after dropping my cellpiece on the sidewalk and shattering it. It looks like it’s decorated with spiderwebs – just in time for Halloween! – and every time I swipe, little glass pieces come off and get stuck to my  finger.

That can’t be healthy.

ALSO: my laptop chose this week to fully stop functioning. Like, it won’t even turn on anymore, cool beans! And we need a new mattress, which…I don’t know how to buy a mattress! What am I looking for? Why is everything so expensive?!

LIFE IS SO HARD!

I just genuinely don’t know how anybody gets anything done, ever. And! We don’t even have kids. Thinking about how stressful I found this week trying to just keep me and Brian organized and afloat, I truly don’t know how parents get anything done, ever.

And it fully cemented for me that whatever monster came up with the idea of “having it all” was smoking crack. No one can have it all! You’re crazy.

I know I can’t have it all and will probably never be a functioning adult human and that’s fine.

HAHA JUST KIDDING I will get there or die trying.

First step: painting our kitchen.

We lucked out when apartment hunting this year, finding a spacious one bedroom with lots of light and big closets (two closets! Basically a New York City unicorn) and a fancy modern shower that has various settings so you can take a regular shower or use the hand-held nozzle, OR turn on powerful jets that shoot into your neck and lower back, giving dreamy and free massages after a long day.

The one downside to our apartment is the paint. OY the paint. The apartment has three rooms – a kitchen which opens into the living room and then the bedroom. Each is a painted a different bright and vibrant color. The bedroom is blue, the living room green and the kitchen is some kind of orangey yellow, which makes me want to die inside but I’ll get to that in a moment.

My friend Mary, who grew up in Miami, came over recently and commented that the colors made her feel like home.  YES. This small apartment is painted the gaudy colors of a kitcschy Florida shopping mall. You know, the kind of outdoor tourist emporiums you’d find in Fort Meyers or Coral Gables, decked to look like some kind of vibrant island paradise where vendors hock tacky shell art and ankle bracelets and $15 ice cream cones.

Key words above not applying to our apartment would be outdoor, Florida, tropical.

The living room, I can live with. PUN! The green is fine. Whatever. The bedroom I find too bright and would prefer something a little more neutral and soothing but I don’t outright hate it and Brian loves it and apparently marriage is about compromise - even though I think the world would be a much better place if everybody just did everything I want all the time! - so we’re sticking it out.

But OH THIS KITCHEN. I hate the kitchen so, so, SO much. The orange tones blend in with the light wood cabinets and when the evening sun comes in the kitchen window the whole place glows in one horrible orange blob. The only thing brighter than these walls is the fire of hate that burns deep inside me every time I look at them.

I am a woman obsessed. Every day since we’ve moved in – all 76 of them (yes, I counted) – my hate for this ugly yellowy-orange kitchen has grown and grown and grown until it is poisoning me inside. It is all I can think about. Good days have been ruined the second I walk in the front door and find myself smacked in the face with these hideous walls. I can see into the kitchen from the couch and instead of watching TV I just sit on that couch, stare at the walls and stew.

I know, I know, I KNOW: I’m out of my mind.

These ugly walls have become almost a physical representation of all of the things I find negative or stressful in my life. They represent my inability to be assertive - they wouldn’t be orange anymore if I’d just asked the landlord to paint before we moved in…but I didn’t want to be “difficult.”  And our out-of-control busy weekends – we haven’t had TIME to paint in 76 whole days! Where does the time go? What am I achieving in this life? And they are the reason our house is a MESS – the kitchen could be organized if only we hung shelves and racks on the walls but we can’t hang anything until we paint, lo the counters are scattered with pots and pans and spices and the mess spills into the living room which spills into the bedroom and it’s all the kitchen’s fault, not mine!

Add to that the stress of marriage. Marriage is great but, as I said above, it’s a compromise. Being a partner with someone means you have to practice, you know, partnership. It’s not just YOU all the time, there’s someone else involved and you have to consider their thoughts, needs and opinions. Let's just say I'm not the best at that.  Brian doesn’t seem to care as much about the walls as I do and I find myself getting angry with him that he doesn’t share my zealous fervor. Which isn’t fair at all. He’s been perfectly supportive of this plan and NO ONE could care as much about these walls as I do. I’m a maniac. No one has had this much single minded passion about something since Napoleon decided he needed to conquer France or wherever.

What was Napoleon’s deal again? Prussia? I should go back to high school.

I have become convinced that it is just these fugly walls standing between me and the picture-perfect adult life I know is unattainable but continue to strive for. As soon as these walls are painted our house will become a home! Constantly tidy and organized. I’ll discover a talent for interior décor that’s been hiding latent inside of me for the last 30 years. As soon as we paint this kitchen we’ll be one step close to having it all!

I know it isn’t wise to put all of your eggs in one basket – or, in this case, all of your brushes in one bucket of Valspar Candlelit Dinner (or should we go with December Starlight??) –and recognize, of course, that after we paint the kitchen we’ll still live in a frequently messy, adequately decorated, small apartment – now with light walls! – but I’ve gone too far down this path of insanity …there’s no turning back.

I'm nuts. I do know this, but this weekend, it ends. I am taking control!  (PS: remember just last week when I decreed this was the year I learn to chill out? LOLOLOL I’ll chill out just as soon as we paint this godforsaken kitchen!!!)

I’ve decided it must happen this weekend.  I refuse to get up Monday morning without the kitchen being painted. I have a plan. It involves going to Lowes twice in one day…on foot, uphill both ways, in the snow! Just kidding…it’s only uphill on the way back, at which point we’ll be carrying heavy buckets of paint. And I doubt it will snow BUT the weather does call for a 100% chance of rain so this should be a TREAT. Brian may divorce me and I’ll certainly cry at least fourteen times but none of that will matter when I’m sipping coffee in the comfort of my fresh, neutral, not orange kitchen, HAVING. IT. ALL.

Wish us luck? Come over and help us?

Here are some photos of our kitchen as it currently stands, just to illustrate this tale of madness. I’m not wild about that light fixture either but…one issue at a time, Hobag.

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I still haven’t decided exactly what color we want to do but definitely something pretty neutral, to offset the Tropicana Café feeling of the rest of this joint. The problem is, there are so many different shades of white. In my next life I want to be the person who comes up with names for paint colors. They’re so hilariously evocative. Apricot Haze! Snowy Dusk! Sweet Slumber!

Valspar weirdly has a whole line of paints named after Woodrow Wilson. Woodrow Wilson Presidential White…Woodrow Wilson Putty. Now there’s a sexy paint name. Why Woodrow Wilson?! Was he known for his interest in tastefully neutral interior décor? Did he start out as a house painter?

Obviously I don’t know a thing about Woodrow Wilson…I don’t even remember where Napoleon lived.

ANYWAY that’s what I’ll be up to this weekend, just in case anyone was curious which, surely they were not.

What are your plans? Coming to my house and painting??? Buying me a new laptop? Balancing our family budget? Basically I’m just trying to convince someone to be my free Personal Adulthood Assistant. I will pay you in JOKES!

Happy weekend, kittens!!!

xoxo Woodrow Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Awkward Week [10.3.14]

Well, well, welll! What do we have here? Bet you didn't expect to see me 'round these parts after Monday's big manifesto. But just goes to show how surprising life can be. Sometimes you don't feel like blogging and then life throws a dildo at your feet and suddenly you're full of inspiration. Oh, that's not a gross metaphor. Just a true anecdote from the disgusting metropolis I call home.

WARNING!

NSFLife!

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I spotted this um, big boy, on my commute home the other night, just laying on the dirty grate outside of my subway stop, directly next to the artisinal pickle stand.

That's also not a metaphor, they really sell real pickles.

I spotted it out of the corner of my eye and kept walking past and then the second my brain registered "that's what you think it is!!!" I screeched to a halt and whipped out my camera faster than you could yell "stray weiner!" and the pickle sales guy saw me and was like "oh hey did you drop something" and I was like "oh yeah!" and he may have been vaguely sexually harassing me but the whole thing was just too surreal for me to get my #yesallwomen hat out so I just laughed and ran away.

WHAT A WEIRD GROSS DIRTY CITY THIS IS!!

Also so sad for whoever dropped this :(

This is the second best piece of sexual paraphernalia I found on the streets of this town, the first being an unmarked DVD case, inside of which was a disc labeled "Grandpa and the Shemales" which my friends and I found late late laaate one night leaving a bar back when we were young and cool and stayed out until 4 AM. We took this dirty porno out of the gutter (whyyy?) and went home and popped the disc into the DVD player (kids, this is what people used before Netflix was invented) and made it about three point eight seconds before turning it off in horror. Even in a fuzzy stupor of a million Miller Lights or whatever it was we consumed back in our youth, this video was TOO MUCH. Just too much. Basically a greatest hists compilation of all the most perverse perversities you can think of. Actually if you can think of the things that we saw on this DVD I don't even want to know you because you are DIRTAY. Normally I'd be like "whatever floats your boat!" but even my alleged open-mindedness has it's limits and maybe sometimes DON'T FLOAT YOUR BOAT, you boat should sink,  you freaky DEAK.

Obviously I still own this DVD and, though I find it utterly grotesque and dirty on literally every level from the physical -it did come from the gutter, after all - to the psychological, it is my most treasured possession and I have now moved it with me to three separate apartments.

Perhaps I am the freaky deak?

PERHAPS!

I did, however, leave the errant dildo laying on the street, don't worry.

I really hope my mom's reading this now. She must be SO PROUD.

To cleanse your palate, here is a story totally free of dildos. At least to my knowledge - you never know what weird stuff people are up to.

Star of the story: This Cup

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I am obsessed with hydration to a level bordering on insane. I always drink at least the recommended 64-oz of H2O per day if not much more. I never leave home without a water bottle and at work, am constantly filling and chugging and re-filling this big sippy cup. I remember in high school the field hockey coach was kind of scary - I didn't play field hockey, I lack the hand-eye skills - but there was this rumor (or real story? Who remembers these things!) going around that she wanted the girls on the team to stay hydrated so she would check the color of their pee at the end of the day and if it wasn't totally clear, she'd yell at them.

Did I make this up? What a weird thing to make up, but even weirder, I guess if it is true. Anyway that was the first time I learned about visible signs of dehydration and have been totally obsessed with the color of my urine ever since and get way stressed if my pee isn't clear.

Why on EARTH do I feel like this is an appropriate fact to unleash on the world the world? I need help. I am clearly subscribing to the Lena Dunham school of over-sharing.

I am the voice and clear pee of my generation!

Good lord, Liz.

ANYWAY, the other day I went to fill up my water for probably the eighty-fifth time. The office water cooler is right inside the entry to our little kitchenette,  so usually there's a bit of a jam up to get to the microwave or the fridge or whatever. As I was filling my water, a young gentleman colleague I'd never seen before was reheating something in the mikey. I filled my cup, set it down on top of the water cooler, idly screwed on the lid and made the major rookie mistake of picking it up by said lid.

Big mistake. HUGE.

I must not have screwed it on tightly enough because suddenly all I had in my hand was the lid, the cup flew to the floor and water was EVERYWHERE.

I am not joking. It remains the greatest mystery of science to me how liquid can seem so small when in a cup but when spilled, appears to grow by a billion gallons. I had water on my pants, on my shoes, it was all over the water cooler, the floor...the rando young man heating up his leftover Chinese food.

Instead of being mad, he seemed deeply concerned for my safety, probably because instead of just calmly reacting like a normal human, I loudly gawped and yelped and flung my gangly arms all over the place and generally made a scene.

Oy yoy YOY.

I then went into the bathroom to dry off and ran into two colleagues at the sinks. I recounted the story and the first response outta both of them was "THAT'S going on the blog" because I am a cliche of myself at this point.

WOW this whole post just makes me sound like a raving madwoman. Owning it. Thirty and Flirty and Oversharing About Pee and Dildos. All Day. Errryday.

Have a GREAT weekend, you guys!! What are you up to? We're going to an Indian engagement party out in NJ to visit Brian's parents (ugh, the inlaws. Am I right, folks?! Whackawhacka) and also attend an Indian engagement ceremony which means I get to wear my sari again! Holla!

Peace, Love and Hydration,

Liz Ho

 

Another Awkward Week [9.19.14]

Oh mylanta. Is Friday finally here?! This was my first full five day week since Memorial Day - we get half day Fridays during the summer (I know, I know, I'll never complain about my job again), then it was Labor Day, then we did some travelling and I don't know what it is about this oneee extra day of work but I am struggling. Woof.

Case in point: I just wrote a whole blog post about my week but only one of the stories was even remotely funny so I deleted the rest. Excellent use of my work time, methinks.

What's the winning story that was keeping it awkward this week?

These Shoes:

20140918_141351

I've mentioned before that I have a bad habit of sitting pretzel style at my desk. This causes the foot under my behind to fall asleep, so when I get up to go to the printer - or, more likely, the vending machine - I have a hard time walking and occasionally stumble.

Wa-hellll. This week I was rocking these sassy tall wedges like a boss bitch and also eating canned lentil soup like a cheap lazy person and also sitting full pretzel like a Liz Hobag. I finished my soup (meh) and got up to bring my dishes to the kitchen and my left foot was in full REM sleep. I walked out of my office, turned towards the kitchen, attempted to put weight on my left leg but the combo of sleep tingles + 4 inch wedges was too lethal and I bit it.

Like...fully fell down, to the ground, sprawled on the floor,lunch dishes scattering...including a paring knife which nearly impaled me...bit it.

One colleague ran out of his office to see if I was OK.

Another, who knows me better just laughed at my plight.

"Did you actually just fall down?" she asked, as I lay on the floor.

SHO DID.

It was quite the scene, guys.

I have also apparently learned zero lessons as I currently sit here typing with one wedge encased foot pretzelled up under my buns of steel.

Bets on how long I go before I faceplant on the carpet again? I'm hoping I can make it a full week but that might be too bold a goal.

THE END.

Cool story, bro. I know! I'll do better next week, I swickety swear. Now I must go hide in my office and speed-read 100 pages of our office book club book before our meeting at noon today. Wish me luck!

And how was YOUR week? Long? Short? Sexy? Delightful? Perplexed? Obtuse? Any other cool adjectives I can't think of at the moment? Do tell!

xoxo Liz Ho

PS - on a more serious and personal note, an uncle of mine passed away last weekend and his services are being held this morning. I wasn't able to make the trip to be there, but my mind is in PA. If you wouldn't mind turning your thoughts there as well for a brief moment to send a little love & care to my aunt and family, I'd surely appreciate it.

 

Another Awkward Week [9.12.14]

Hiii guys! What's up?! Guess where I am?! MAINE! Pretty cool stuff, huh? I posted this from my cellular phone because I am a hip millennial. I know what's up. JK I don't have a clue. But it's OK because I'm turning 30 in TWO DAYS so I don't need to worry anymore about technology and apps and twerking and any of that young people stuff. I'm officially and oldster and THANK GOD. I've been patiently awaiting the day when I could start unironically wearing holiday themed sweater sets and listening to Joni Mitchell all day and my time is almost here. BOOM. But enough about my impending old age for the moment...I have some deeper thoughts to share on that next week.

Do try not to die of anticipation in the meantime.

Ok enough jibberbabber, these lobster rolls aren't going to eat themselves. Let us all gather round, join hands and take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

 

This Chocolate Fountain:

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HOLY YUM.

We went to a wedding last weekend (and are attending another tomorrow!) and they had so much amazing food, I honestly think I gained 14 lbs before the day was through. hashtag worth it. hashtag bigtime.

One of the highlights of the evening was the chocolate fountain and then another highlight was watching me try to scrub chocolate out of my dress.

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Oh did I mention the dress was borrowed?! 

Sorry, Mary! I love you!

Don't worry, I took it to get dry-cleaned.

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The cleaner was super impressed with my spillage skillz. In addition to the obvious chocolate stain, there was another lighter blob running down the front of the skirt.

"What's this?" He asked. "Water stain?"

"WATER?!" I chortled. "OH that, good sir, is wine."

You literally can not take me anywhere.

#literally

This Cup:

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Guys, I went to get an iced coffee yesterday morning and when I tried to put my straw in the lid it had no straw hole!! WHAT! So I went to the counter to ask for another lid and she exasperatedly told me those were the only lids they had.

Like I was the obnoxious moron asking for a lid with a straw hole.

Am I living in an alternate reality? Are we no longer doing straw holes? Out of trend for Fall 2014?

Help me.

This Finger:

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Good news is the knife set we received as a wedding gift is S-H-A-R-P!

Bad news is I'm a spaz and now missing a large chunk out of the top of my finger.

Oucherson.

I was rushing around to get dinner on the table because despite my protestations to the contrary last week, I do NOT know how to go with the flow and was having a light about how it was Sunday night and I needed to eat a healthy dinner and it was already 8 PM and I need to go to bed at 9 PM and there's so much to DOOO and slice: right into my fingie. It hurt so much! And bled all over the place.

Lesson learned: CHILL OUT.

JK but I'm working on it.

Also thank GAWD this happened after the wedding, seeing as how it's my ring finger. Would have looked real cute.

Some women like to draw further attention to their engagement/wedding ring fingers by adding a little gems or designs to that finger nail (I like to judge these women because come on, girls, you already have a ring...we get it) but I'm taking it a fun, sassy step further by accessorizing with a gaping wound and huge bandage.

Now THAT is what's Hot for Fall 2014.

This Shirt:

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Photo taken on a different day...same week...as the photo above. I think I need to spice up my wardrobe.

This shirt unbuttons really easily around the booble region. It's not a huge deal, it is barely noticeable and usually I catch it but apparently not always. The other  morning I came up out of the subway lugging my big bag, walked a few feet and caught the eye of a woman and thought she was smiling at me so I smiled back and then I realized she was actually silently mouthing something at me.

I focused.

"Youuurrrrr braaaaa" her mouth said, soundlessly.

I looked down and sure enough, my entire left boob was hanging out.  And I mean all of it. OUT.

The shirt had not only unbuttoned but fallen fully open and the whole thing was out there for the world to see.

Luckily the actual boob itself was still covered...but by THE most sensible nude bra imaginable so...maybe worse?

Oy yoy yoy! Happy Morning, New York.

This Hot Look:

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OH YES the laundry backpack still lives! I decided to multitask the other night by getting happy hour beers with a pal whilst simultaneously doing laundry at the laundromat across the street, which resulted in this SEXXXXYYYY look of me sipping IPA's with my laundry backpack strapped high and proud.

2 KEWL!

And that was my week! If you would like to read more about awkwardness, someone wrote a hella long, boring, overly introspective article about it for the New Yorker this week. Apparently people enjoy awkward humor because we live in a post 9-11 world and something about our parents never teaching us about sex? Or something? I don't know. I couldn't get through it. A little too intellectual for my taste but maybe you'll enjoy it?

You snob!

Just kidding. Have a fabbo weekend, my chicklets. Any fun plans?!

xoxoox 29 YEAR OLD LIZ LIVE FROM MAINE!!!

Another Awkward Week [9.5.14]

Hi guys!!! TGIF! Except I forgot it was F because of the FDW! (Four Day Week)

But now it is the weekend and we can part-ay! H!

(Hooray!)

Acronyms don't always work, do they?

Actually I kind of forgot it was Friday because I seem to have lost complete track of what day it is, where I am, what is going on. After travelling for the wedding (I just got married! NEVER FORGET!), Fire Island and Labor Day I am having a hard time getting back onto a normal routine. And life will continue to be nutty for the next few weeks. Tomorrow we're going to New Jersey for a wedding for someone else, which people tell me means I'm not the one walking down the aisle? I don't really understand what that means...I'm not the bride and center of attention? WHAT?!

I may need to be restrained.

J to the K - congratulations Kathryn & Mike! Can't wait to celebrate!

And then next weekend we're going to Maine for one day and then New Hampshire for another wedding (bitches be really committed to stealing my thunder) and thennn it is my 30th Birthday! Old lady alert. And then it is Brian's 30th Birthday the weekend after! (I'm a cougar.) So basically my life will continue to be kind of crazy for the next few weeks and I have decided I am ok with this. Normally this would stress me out, because I like clear cut routines and schedules but I am "going with the flow." That's a thing right? I am just going to be "casual" and "fun" and keep drinking too much and eating crap and not worry about the gym and do my best at work and not have a heart attack if I don't get my meal plan written out by Sunday night and (gasp!) don't know what I'm eating every meal every day and maybe even stay up past 10 PM on weeknights (!!!) and just go with the flow.

It's happening!

As a result of this, I'm not super organized for my usual recap but here are a few things that defined my week:

Marriage:

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We've been married for a mere 21 days (traditional 21 Day Anniversary gift is over sharing about your personal life on the internet) and are already fulfilling so many Married Couple cliches. Por ejemplo:

  • Last weekend we went bowling with another couple Saturday night and then Sunday...we went to Lowes.
  • Foregoing intercourse because "it's just too hot out to try."
  • Calling it "intercourse."
  • JK I always call it that, it's hilarious.
  • The other night when Brian was in one room doing his Fantasy Football draft and I was in the other room vacuuming and looking at Pinterest.
  • "Babe, I appreciate that you did the dishes and hate to be a nag, but how many times do I have to tell you, if you just stack the bowls like that they won't dry!"

We are basically the living version of Everybody Loves Raymond. HELP!

Fantasy Football: 

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Speaking of Fantasy Football! In addition to the league he was drafting for while I was wifeing it up in the other room, Brian does a league with his high school friends, which I have played in for the past few years. It's too hard to get everyone together to draft so we do an Auto Draft, which is where the computer just picks teams for you. It's not ideal but I usually finish in the top 3 so I'm all aboard.

UNTIL this year! After the draft, I went to Yahoo to check my team and saw they had a "Draft Report Card" and I'd gotten a B.

A B??? But, I'm a straight A student! What is this, 11th Grade Math? (Actually, if it was 11th Grade Math, I actually would have gotten a C minus and my teacher would have humiliated me in front of the entire classroom by telling me that maybe my younger and smarter brother should have tutored me...but that is a different story for a different day. CLEARLY not over it.)

But seriously...a B? The pain got worse. The Report Card includes notes on your draft. Mine begins: "Susan B. Anfernee was handed a solid draft position and apparently they saw that as an opportunity to blow it."

WHAT!!! Screw you, Yahoo!! I didn't blow it! YOU blew it! I didn't even draft...the computer drafted for me and now the computer is telling me that I BLEW IT?! HELL NAW.

Offensive.

I do realize that I'm yelling at a computer about a fake football team and that's a little insane but no one has been that mean to me since my 11th Grade Math Teacher!!

I might need to get over it...

Also yes my team is called Susan B. Anfernee. Because of Feminism. And Mean Girls. Duh!

Coffee:

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I really need to give up coffee because A) I'm addicted and B) it gives me a tummy ache and C) I keep spilling it all over the place.

Also do you like how I artfully styled that photo with the roses and the mess? The juxtoposition of beauty with disaster is a reflection of the mysogonistic humanitarian struggle affecting the earth and also it is about death. And sex. And my mom.

JK it's just a stupid picture.

I don't really care for art.

Annnd that's it. THAT IS IT! What are you beauties up to this weekend?

I am going to go do some work and then go to happy hour and then go to this wedding and then who even knows what, I sure don't because I'm going with the flow! I'm just a laid back cool cat taking life one day at a time, who even cares what happens and OH MY GOD where is my day planner and what's for lunch and I haven't checked weather.com in 4 minutes AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Smoochies!

Another Awkward Week [8.29.14]: I'm Baaaaack Edition

 weddinggggWell! So yeah, that happened!

#Hottwedding has come and gone and I don't even know where to begin! It was just the best day. The best! The whole weekend was dreamy and perfect. Which is not to say it was fairy-tale flawless, but fun, memorable, exhausting, hilarious, delicious...perfectly perfect and perfectly us. I loved it!

When can we do it again?

I'm in the midst of getting my brain re-combobulated (that's a word?) on all of the weddingy goodness I want to share, but I just wanted to pop back here and say hi!

HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!

Also, to reassure you that, though with a new ring and a new last name (I mean, technically...I've not even begun to think about considering the paperwork but we're in the midst of going full-on Liz Scott over here) (more on THAT to come!) (omg!) things here should continue to roll on at their normal bizarre clip.

Case in point: This Vinegar

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After the wedding we spent a few days on Fire Island (muuuuch more on THAT to come, too!) where basically every inch of my flesh was devoured by mosquitoes.

Don't worry, Ebola is not spread via mosquito...I checked.

We got back late Thursday night and didn't have any cortisone cream in the house, so I took to the web in search of home remedies, as I am wont to do, and learned that regular old white vinegar can be a good cure for itchy bug bites. Whaddya know, we have a large bottle right on our pantry shelf!

I went to bed early and put the bottle beside me, in case I needed to reapply during the night. I don't know. It made sense at the time.

The following morning I woke up at the crack of dawn, because my body hates me and hates sleeping past 7 AM, picked up my glass of water and my bottle o'vinegar and stumbled out of the bedroom. First stop: bathroom! I set the water glass on the sink and promptly knocked it over, shattering it all over the floor in the one room in which we are legit always barefoot.

Le sigh.

Thank god we registered for so much glassware - I didn't made it 2 days without breaking anything.

I blearily made my way to the kitchen, got the broom and pan, swept up my disaster and staggered to the kitchen, already exhausted. All that work had made me thirsty, so I picked up the nearest water bottle resting on the counter, unscrewed the top and took a huge swig.

Except...you know where this is going...that bottle was SO not water. It was the big, giant bottle of white vinegar.

Yum.

If you're looking for a surefire way to wake yourself up in the mornings, might I suggest the vinegar chugging method?

On second thought...never mind.

So there you have it. Married? Yes. Together? Certainly not.

Thank you in advance for listening to me talk alllll about the wedding for the next foreseeable future. I know I have but a small window where it is acceptable to obsess over our recent nuptials and I plan on milking every goddamn second of it.

HOORAH!

(PS: photo credit Kylene Lynn Photography, Kylene is the bomb. More about THATTTTTTT, you guessed it, to come.)

xoxoxo Liz Ho...Sco?

One Awkward Wedding: The Final Countown

Oh My

Sweet

Lord

Depending on whether you count today as Day Zero or Day One, the count is either T-8/9 days until #hottwedding. Irregardless of your counting style, August 16 is pretty darn soon. Single digits soon. Deposits due soon. 10 Day Forecast soon.

We have reached THE FINAL COUNTDOWN:

 

My current emotional state is just...weird. Impossible to describe.  Distracted. Impatient. Buzzy. Mildly panicked but much less panicked that one would imagine, considering my natural inclination to panic. I never leave home without my trusty notebook, a gift from a sweet cousin that has been a saving grace over the last month and losing it now would = losing my mind. But as I get closer, there is less and less for me to write in the notebook. Now is the hardest time for me because basically everything is done. Planned, paid for, coordinated, organized, done. All things that I can control are lined up like perfect little mallard ducks and now it's just up to fate to take care of the rest and I'm not great at not running the show.

Por ejemplo, the weather. Despite multiple attempts, I can not (yet!) control the weather. I think if I had a superpower that would be it.

As should surprise zero percent of y'all, I am obsessed with checking the weather. The last thing I do before I go to sleep every night is check the next day's hourly forecast, so I can be prepared. I then check again first thing when I wake up to see if anything has changed. It is insane. Due to this obsession I know oh so well that anything can change at the blink of an eye and sometimes weather.com is just straight up wrong and lying right to your face. There have been multiple occasions where I've been out walking and felt rain drops on my head and my weather app told me "dry conditions would continue." Which... nope! It's raining!!! Are you drunk, weather.com? Are you going to finish that sentence by saying "Dry conditions will continue to not happen because it is now raining?" Otherwise you're just lying to me and I don't like liars.

Basically I think weather.com is just an evil torture tool created by some kind of monster, designed to give neurotic people a sense of control and then constantly toy with their emotions.

Since August 16 showed up on the 10 day yesterday morning - where I checked it at 6:41 AM, the moment my eyes opened - the forecast has said 81 with rain and thunder, 85 and partly cloudy, 83 and sunny (stay that way!!) and 82 with scattered thunderstorms. I know it will change 890978618694 more times between now and then and I know that no matter what it'll be a Tony the Tiger style GRRRRREAT day but I will continue to check every hour on the hour until I'm walking down the aisle.

Other things bringing me mild stress:

  • This zit on my forehead.  Is he going to just hang out there until next Saturday, or is he on his way out? Go away, dude!
  • This weird pain in my inner thigh which is probably just from all the excessive exercise I've been doing in an attempt to channel my anxiety into Madonna arms or is it some kind of glandular malfunction?
  • What I'm going to have for lunch today. This is unrelated to the wedding, I just think about food 24/7
  • Potential family awkwardness/drama/situations at the wedding and remembering to love&accept things for what they are, not what you wish they would be.
  • WHAT IF I FART WHILE I'M WALKING DOWN THE AISLE?! Will the music drown it out?!

But really, I swear on my first edition hardcover of Bossypants, I'm not that stressed! I mean, I'm always stressed anyway, it's kind of my jam, so I imagined that by now I'd be in full scale meltdown mode but really I'm just buzzing right along at my normal level of neurotic. It is surprising and awesome. And if I can plan a wedding with little to no panic, anyone can! I should probably write a book all about stress free wedding planning, now that I'm an expert and it'll become an instant bestseller and I'll be a billionaire and I can move to Tahiti with my husband (!!!) and everyone there will love me so much they'll make me the queen.

That's how life works, right?

I will now make a confession: I will miss wedding planning when it is over and primarily because I will miss the attention. I'm not exaggerating for comedic effect and any bride (or groom!) who denies they, too felt this way, is straight up lying. Planning a wedding gets you 8,000% more attention than usual and it is awesome. Everyone wants to ask you how things are going and hear about it and there's always something to talk about and think about and do and be excited about and I love it. When else am I going to get this much attention? I GUESS if I ever pull off that Queen of Tahiti scenario, which frankly sounds unlikely and then maybe if ever I get pregnant...but that publicity stunt results in me having to care for and keep alive a human child who will then get all the attention that was previously directed at me so I'm not racing into that one. ALSO I read this New York Magazine article that revealed that science has proved that 29 is the most popular year of your life and I'm turning 30 a few weeks post-wedding so basically this is it for me! The end is nigh. I need to just embrace my inner Jenna Maroney and embrace every second of my fleeting wedding planning/age 29 popularity.

 

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Preach it sister.

I should probably be ashamed to admit my true nature but there is clearly no shame in my game around here.

Now I must dash off to refresh weather.com (still saying 83 and sunny! Come on, god, work with me here!) and then wander around the office until I can find someone to ask me about my wedding so I can really just maximize the last 8/9 of my Glory Days.

Ok bye!!!

xoxooxoxoxoxo Liz Ho

 

Another Awkward Week [7.25.14]

OMG hi! I know, I so did not blog last week. I'm sure EVERYONE noticed and barely survived. Forgive me?

I actually started to write my usual weekly thang but it just did not happen. Typically I at least draft them (believe it or not, the drivel I post here is actually edited. Scary, right?) on Thursady nights and then just clean up a scoonch and post on Fridays but last Thursday my friend was like "want to get drinks" and I was like "duh" and then when I got home it was 10:04 aka my bedtime and I had a big day ahead travelling to Pennsylvania so I set my alarm a whole 12 minutes early for the next morning to allow myself to get about a million things done before I caught my 9:05 AM train. I did manage to pack (see below),  eat half an avocado (normal), wander around the apartment for a while and attempted to squeeze in a quick Pilates sesh which was basically just me laying on the floor flopping around until Brian came in and inquired what, exactly, I was doing down there, and I gave up. I then sat down to blog, realized I had about 12 minutes left with which to shower and get to said train soooooo I ditched the blog.

Win some, lose some. Am I right? I'm right.

We then spent the weekend in Lancaster for THE weddingiest planniest of wedding planning extravaganzas: met with the florist (aka my awesome cuz Angie), hair trial, makeup trial, met with rehearsal dinner space, toured hotel where we're all staying, met the photographer, walked through venue, menu tasting and met with our officiant (aka my mom's BFF). It was long and kind of crazy but also awesome and I'm feeling so ready for la dia grande. Emotionally, anyway. Logistically, well, we'll just have to see about that one. It's so soon! I (understandably) couldn't sleep that Saturday night, my mom came out of her bedroom at 6:30 AM and found me wide awake, wild-eyed after having already drunk a full pot of coffee, furiously typing out to-do lists.

I have a feeling I'm going to be a real treat to hang out with these next 22 (but who's counting?!?!) days.

COOL STORIES, LIZ. Let's cut to the chase and take a look at what was keeping it awkward these last two weeks.

This Suitcase:

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From last weekend pre-trip to PA. Chock-o-block full of dirty laundry because somehow it is easier/better to haul dirty clothes 300 miles to a totally different state on multiple forms of transportation than it is to go down the street to the laundromat.

This is marginally better than the time I had Brian's mom wash my undergarments...but not by much.

This Get-Up:

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I worked out over lunch the other day and then came back and found out our office was hosting some kind of bake sale so I immediately undid all my hard work in le gym with a fat pile of cake. Worth it.

Anyhoodle, while at said bake sale a colleague asked me "if I meant to tuck my shirt up into my belt like that??" which, of course not! I just don't know how to dress myself.

Additionally, upon further inspection that top shows way too much back for the workplace, gah. I need to get it together on the business cash front. Whoops.

This Bouquet:

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It was my sweet colleague's birthday over the other weekend, so I brought her a bouquet of flowers Monday morning so she'd have someting pretty to look at and celebrate all week.

I S to G they were alive when I brought them in but by Monday afternoon they were deader than Marley's Ghost.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATIE. I bought you a dead plant.

She said she extra appreciated them because dead plants was very "me" and she knew it would mean she get a blog shout-out.

So, you're welcome, Katie! Happy Birthday from me and my cool blog!

(Side note: does anyone else find "bouquet" a difficult word to remember how to spell? No? Just me?)

This Plate:

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Speaking of Katie (so many shout outs!), she hosted a fun, classy birthday party at a local restaurant to celebrate. There was free flowing hibiscus champagne and delicious food and the only thing more yummy than hibiscus champagne and delicious food is to spill your beverage all over your plate and mix 'em together. Saves time! You're getting your booze and your dinner in one tasty little package.

I was also, obviously, wearing white jeans to said dinner party and they're now in need of a serious bleaching.

That's what my mom's house is for!

Also, who do I think I am wearing white jeans? I can not handle that sort of pristine responsibility.

This Other Plate:

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Well, that food was on a plate but oh, look, it's on the floor. I was home alone the other night and made myself the yummiest dinner of baked sweet potato fries with chipotle aioli (yeah, I make my own aiolis, what of it?) and a salmon burger with avocado and then was furiously shoving it in my face and shoveled so hard that I knocked it all on the floor.

PWOMP.

Luckily I'd made 3 full potatoes worth of fries, so I could sacrifice a few and, I'll be honest, I just picked up the burger, dusted it off, and dug back in.

Gross?

Gross.

Also funny, while this happened I was reading some kind of mom blog and she remarked about cleaning up after her kids spilling food all over the place and I realized my toddlers are going to write a blog about cleaning up after me.

They're all doomed.

This Tote:

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Another day, another tote.

We took the Amtrak back to NYC last weekend and there's always a stressful moment as it pulls into the city, everyone gets up out of their seats and lines up by the exits, ready to pour out into the hellhole that is Penn Station. As we filed out my tote bag handle got stuck on the handle of the bathroom door. It was a sliding door, so as I walked forward, I pulled the door alllllll the way open behind me. I then had to hold up this whole long line of humans frantic to disembark while I untangled myself from said door.

LUCKILY there was no one inside but still, you guys. BUT STILL.

And that was my week. Weeks, plural. What is everyone up to this weekend? We're moving! Just casually moving and wedding planning and it's all going to be GREAT and omg I need a nap. I'm super stoked about our sweet new pad (I'm a skater tween from the 90's now, did I tell you that?) and I know it'll be pretty easy and not that big of a deal but whoo boy, will I be glad when this move is behind us. Just get me to Sunday, Dear Lord Beyonce. I believe in you.

Happy Weekend, beautiful swans. I will do my best to write next week but someone forgot to call Time Warner about setting up internet in the new apartment so I can't make any promises. Lest you think we're not even married yet and I'm already throwing huffy wife shade, don't worry, that someone is totes, obvi, no duh me.

WEEKEND!

xoxo Liz Ho

One Awkward Wedding: One Month to Go!

Our wedding is in ONE MONTH! Un mes! Un mois! Xahar! Though that last one sounds like Dothraki, it’s actually Maltese. Which is apparently a real language! Who knew! Mhux lili, that’s for dang sure! Mhux lili! (That means “not me”in Maltese...obvi!) Whatever language you say it in, one month from today I’ll be hitchin’ my star to the Brian wagon. And I can’t wait!

One thing that has sort of surprised me about this whole wedding planning process is how utterly goopy it’s made me. I’ve gone all soft and romantical. It’s hard to put into words, but over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed myself being sort of hyper aware of my, well, love for Brian. Vomtastic, I know, but I can not be stopped. I get giddy just thinking about him and can’t look at his face without wanting to smooch it. I find everything he does utterly endearing. The other weekend we spent basically 48 straight hours together, just the two of us, no pals or distractions and very little entertainment, save HBOGo, and on Sunday night I looked back with glee thinking how much fun we had together and how much fun we always have together and how profoundly happy that makes me.

Which is probably for the best because I think that’s kind of the point of this whole rigmarole, no? Well, that and the presents, of course.

I kid, I kid!

I was emailing this week with a sweet friend of mine who is a newlywed herself. She and her brand new husband were faced with some scary challenges just moments into their marriage. They’d been home from their honeymoon a week when her husband had some scary, unexpected health problems. He’s mended spectacularly and back up to fighting speed now but their scare brought into stark reminder that the wedding party will end, but what comes after is the real deal.

And even after all they’ve already been through, she gushingly told me “being married is awesome.”

AWESOME!

In an entirely uncharacteristic instance of making someone else’s traumas all about me (hah!), I’ve been thinking a lot about their experience as we lead up to our wedding - and thus, our marriage. Sickness, health, richer, poorer, happier, sadder, in times of trouble and anger and family drama and work crisis and children and bad hair days and stomach bugs that produce results you’d never want another person to be privy to - these are the things that you’re signing up for, what remains after the champagne has been drunk dry, the flowers have wilted and the dress is packed away. It’s important not to lose sight of that. To go through all that, and more, and still wake up every day - or at least most of the days - thinking “THIS IS AWESOME,” that is my hope for our marriage.

And I know that might not always be possible. There may be days or even weeks or months where we’re struggling  and having a hard time waking up feeling awesome and that's OK. But I still can't seem to help myself from melting into a complete and total mushball at the very thought of spending my life, the good, the bad and the hideous, with Brian.

He is the best!

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If sitcoms are anything like real life, it’s only a matter of moments until we’re grouchy and cynical, bickering over the TV remote and the trash can, having sex once a year. I want to remember what it felt like to be totally gushy and mushy and gloopy and romantical, so below are a few points on my main man to look back upon if I've ever begun to question why I've decided to lock it down forever with this particular person.

I hope you brought your own barf bag today, folks! It's about to get realllll nauseating up in here.

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First of all, he is dead sexy. Let me just state the obvious right up front: the man is a Grade A dreamboat and I derive great pleasure from gazing upon his face (and butt!) every day. Those baby blues? The grin? Mmm-mmm-mmm!

(That’s me trying to type out onomatopoeia for sexy / delicious. Nailed it?)

And he makes me laugh and laugh and LAUGH. Brian is so funny. Not in a “HEY EVERYBODY LOOK AT ME!” way, which is great because those people are obnoxious (trust me, I’m one of them) but he is sly and quick and clever and always knows just what to say or do to crack me up.

We love to eavesdrop on people on the street when we’re walking around and make snarky comments about what they’re talking about. It’s so mean but so fun.

He loves to gossip. He’s almost (almost!) as bad as me.

He is so good at his job. He loves math. Like loves it. Remember that teacher in high school who was like “algebraic equations are fun! This geometric formula is SO interesting” and you were like “UM no this is the worst”? Well that guy is Mr. Scott. And now he’s marrying a woman who barely eked her way out of pre-calculus with C’s.

I am still firmly in the “math sux” corner but he’s certainly doing his best to convince me otherwise!

He’s frugal and brilliant with budgets. And hilariously into low-cost alternatives for expensive things. Like, instead of buying new weights, he filled up an old duffel bag with text books and lifts that for strength training. Weirdo!  He wanted to fill the bag with sand but some killjoy didn’t want sand in her house.

He is playful and fun and adventurous. Why lay on the beach when you can toss a frisbee! Why paddle gently in the lake when you can instigate a six-hour jumping competition? Why eat at the same restaurant when you can try a new one or hang out in the same neighborhood when there are dozens of new places in our city to explore.

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He encourages everything I do, whether big or small, weird or serious. He listens to me complain about work, has been a shoulder to lean on during some difficult family times and always motivates me to do bigger and better things.  When I wrote my piece for Vogue, he was refreshing the internet hourly to see if it had posted yet. He trained with me for my half marathon, pushed me to go faster and better and woke up at the crack of dawn in the pouring rain to cheer me on from the sidelines.

He has this funny way of kind of flopping onto the couch when he’s getting comfy at home - legs akimbo, arms crossed on his chest, pillows propped just so that kills me every time. I can’t help myself from jumping on top of him to snuggle up.

He loves to snuggle. He might find that embarrassing that I just told the whole world, it seems a common misconception that men don’t like to cuddle but this guy can snoogle with the best of them.

I love it!

He cares for my family and for his family and for our family that we’re starting together. He has deep, enduring friendships from childhood. He knows the value of close friendships for both of us and works to nurture his and encourages me to do the same.

He is deeply, passionately curious. He’s always reading the news, listening to the radio, trying to learn everything he can about everything. Everything! I’m serious. Just say a word and I swear to G, he’ll start googling it within the second.

He gets extra curious after he’s been drinking, which is equal parts hilarious and (sweetly) annoying, Some people drink and get angry. Some get hungry. Some get sleepy. This guy just gets more inquisitive. Which is adorable unless you’re one of the sleepy ones, sitting next to him in a cab home from a long night as he rattles off his latest curiosities: “I wish I knew more about Ralph Waldo Emerson” or “what do you know about Kyrzkystan?” or “here are 17 fun facts about race relations in South America.”

What?! Stop reading Wikipedia and let me sleep!

But then, by the light of day, I always think it’s cute again. My clever guy!

I will always remember the first time we tentatively tiptoed into a serious future together, talking about raising eventual children...our children. We were eating at this Italian hole-in-the-wall on the Upper West Side after ice skating in Central Park and it was already the cutest date night. Brian told me that the number one thing he would want to pass on to his our children was a spirit of curiosity. And my uterus just exploded. Straight up, like a firework. Not only have I landed a man who is curious himself, but he recognizes it as an important value to pass to future generations?! JACKPOT! I had this vision of Brian and a little tow-headed kid playing with a telescope – I don’t know why it was a telescope, that just seemed like a natural toy for an inquisitive child and their nerd dad – and it was all I could do not to just fling myself across the table and beg me to impregnate me right then and there, atop the ravioli.

Just thinking about it right now, you guys! My ovaries are leaping around in my torso.

He'll make cute babies, too, based on this photo of him as a five year old that I carry around in my wallet like a complete psycho creep.

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LOOK AT THAT FACE!

Also we're talking like, many a year here for these hypothetical nerd children so don't get too excited. The world does not need another mom blog!

Brian loves Asian food, NPR, Larry David, Buzzfeed lists, America’s-Home-Video-style clips of people getting knocked over or otherwise accidentally injured, IPAs, sleeping in, running, The New Yorker, burritos and, best of all, ME!

He lets me know he cares for me and appreciates me in infinite ways every day, through touches, words and thoughtful gestures.

Brian often gets home from work earlier than I do and every night I bustle in the front door, yelling one of the million strange pet names I have for him (buddy, buns, beans, honeybunch, honeybuns, hot pants, cutels, cute magoot, etc) and he comes and meets me in the hall as I’m hanging up my coat and keys and gives me a big fat smooch and I can see it in his face that he’s genuinely excited to see me and to have me home.

It is my favorite part of every single day.

I hope I always remember these things about my BriGuy. And I am excited to learn more lovable things about him over the years ahead.

I can't wait for a lifetime of homecomings and adventures. Of burritos and This American Life and strange homemade contraptions and late night rambles and snuggles and bike rides and pinching that hot booty every chance I can get. I know it won't always be easy. I know we'll face some tough times. But I also know, more than I've ever known anything, especially math, of course, because I barely know any math, that we'll get through it together.

And there is not a single person I would want to go through life with than this studmuffin.

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warned you I'd gone soft! I'm just a grinning fool over here, counting down the days until our wedding and our marriage.

ONE MONTH! BIR AY!* IB LUB HLIS!** O LUNA!***

* Turkish

** Hmong, DUH

*** Romanian. Seriously do you guys not know any foreign languages like, at all?! Get with the program!


 

One Awkward Wedding: Liz Finally Loses Her Mind!

Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of my wedding planning. Did that make sense to you? No? Me either.

There is no time for sensemaking. NO TIME!!

Our wedding is in 39 days and counting and so much is happening. It’s starting to feel really real in a way that is at once exciting and a tad overwhelming.

And by a tad, I clearly mean a ton. A metric ton! Unless that’s less than a regular ton...I’ve never been one for math and science.

Someone recently commended me on my zen attitude towards wedding planning and I do (honestly!) think I have kept things pretty mellow which is kind of surprising, considering what  a stress monster I usually am. But I’m noticing that as the days slip by faster and faster even I, Zen Bride Extraordinaire, am beginning to lose my cool.

Last night I dreamt that we were in a chapel and they were performing back to back to back weddings and then, suddenly, it was our turn! But, wait! We weren’t ready! Some of the bridesmaids had their hair done. I did not. One bridesmaid had to leave to “go to another thing” and Brian’s parents were missing. I had spaghetti sauce on my wedding dress. There was no music.

Our #Hottwedding was a #Hottmess.

Now I know about as much about dream psychology as I do about metric tonnage (aka nothing) but if I were forced to dig deep and try to decode, I’d go right ahead and say it seems I’m just a pinch worried about getting everything done and not being ready.

For the wedding, at least. I’m totally ready to legally lock it down with Brian. I am going to marry the HELL out of that guy and I can’t wait. It’s going to be awesome! But the wedding is another story. Try as I might to avoid the pressure to make my One Special Day be perfect through and through, I’m turning into a little bit of a crazyperson!

Would anyone like to hear a very insane and long-winded example? No?

TOO BAD, BITCHES. KEEP READING.

Woo, forgive me. Got a little carried away there! But seriously sit back and allow me to regale you with a tale of madness, mayhem and paper products!

LIZ HO VS EMILY POST: ENVELOPES OF DOOM: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

So! Like I said, must to the surprise of all parties involved, I’ve been pretty cool & calm on all fronts including getting along with mi madre which, if Say Yes to the Dress says anything about real life, is basically a miracle. At this point in the game we should have had about 15 knock-down-drag-out fights renouncing one another as family, her threatening not to come, me screaming back “GOOD, YOU’RE DISINVITED!", both of us in hysterics, but so far, we’ve managed to avoid major arguments.

Weeeeellll except that little tiny one over the invitations.

Not the actual invitations, mind you. Those I’m pleased as punch over. My pal Jamie who is a stellar graphic designer (and available for hire!) (SRSLY email me if you’re looking!) designed our “invitation suite,” as I would call it, if I were the sort of person who used fancy terms like that. They are everything I could have wanted: classy, simple, whimsical, gorgeous.

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AMAZING, RIGHT???!!!!

Oh, and, did I mention cheap? They were so cheap!

Everyone has their priorities in weddings, as in life, on what they think is worth a lot of money and for me, paper products was at the bottom of the list. I like looking at pretty paper and I respect your right to blow the bank on whatever the H you feel like but, the way I see it, that embossed, lined, monogrammed envelope stuffed with 12 different letterpressed cards all tied up in a satin bow and hand addressed by a professional calligrapher are going one place and one place only: the garbage can.

Rough stuff but it is true. I barely remember what most of my friends wedding invites looked like (or birthday invites or baby showers or anything) except in the cases where they were really fancy pants and then I only remember how guilty and horrible I felt when I inevitably chucked them because as much as I love my friends (SO MUCH!) and value their right to fancy invitations, ain’t nobody got space for all that fancy paper.

And YES I know every single aspect of wedding planning is a waste of time and money, duh, but we all pick and choose how to waste our time and money and for  me, this was just not it. Friends and countrymen, feel free to toss these in the garbage can guilt free!

That said, I didn't want the invites to look like actual garbage. Luckily for me, two of my best friends, Jamie and the World Wide Web teamed up to create magic and bring us something that is hella fabulous for UNDER BUDGET. Boomshackalacka. In case you are curious, which you are surely not, but I’ve already started telling this story there’s NO STOPPING ME NOW, we used a Gilt Group coupon for the website Wedding Paper Divas to print our invites, hand designed as a generous gift by Jamie. I would probably never have used this website were it not for the coupon - I cringe at the word “diva,” as it is usually used in a derogatory manner towards women considered to be “difficult,” in a way that is very rarely flipped back on men (am I right, Nicki, or am I right?) BUT sometimes my frugality gets in the way of my morality (I know, I'm the worst) so I couldn't say no to this coupon. And I’m super glad I didn’t. Silly name aside, WPD was beyond professional. They send complimentary samples of their stationery, their customer service was quick and helpful and the quality was A+++.

And our designer was A+++, too! Y'all should hire her. The best way to get a good deal  is to become her friend, because then you get free graphic design and you get to hang out with her and she’s the bomb.com, so it’s kind of like you’re getting paid in the end, really, but if you can’t find a way to worm your way into her life/heart, you could certainly email me for an intro and I bet she’d offer you a fair deal. Just sayinnnn’!

Ok so now we have learned that a) I didn't care much for invites to begin with and b) loved the ones we ended up with so why did c) they lead to the d) most intense melt down of Liz Ho’s Wedding Planning Extravaganza Extraordinaire?

‘Twas not what was inside the envelopes (plain white, came free with the order!) that upset me, you see, ‘twas what was written outside of them.

As I’m sure you can surmise, I was not about to pay for someone to calligraphy (caligraph? is there a verb for this word?) these bad boys, I would have been happy printing them out on a laserjet printer like an uncouth monster but we did still want them to look nice, so my dearest Schmoopster offered to hand-write all 101 addresses. She was very cute about it, sending us samples with different pens and practicing a little bit each night and all was right with the world until we experienced what I am now calling a minor communication breakdown. Others might call it a major meltdown. I'll let you be the judge.

My one and only request with these invitations what that none sent to married couples be addressed in the so-called “traditional” manner, to Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Lastname because that makes my skin crawl. Like, what is that even about? It’s not enough for a woman to take a man’s last name? AND change from a Ms. to a Mrs. when he gets to keep Mr. all along? She also don’t even get her own first name anymore?

I know this is the “proper” way and how Emily Post would do it but I think it’s sexist and stupid, Emily. That bitch is like, 700 years old and not even invited to our wedding so who even cares what she thinks.

Apparently a whole lot of people!

Somewhere in this whole process this point was not made clear and it came to my attention after about ⅓ of the invitations were already addressed that they were, in fact, going out in this traditional manner. My mom and I had a huffy, mildly dramatic phone conversation but managed to end on a civil note, with me agreeing that the already written invites could go out as-is, and Schmoops agreeing that any going forward would at least mention the woman’s name on their somewhere, Emily Post be damned, and we hung up, end of story.

J to the K. One of us, I won’t mention any names (women don’t get names, remember?!) (calm down, Liz) could not … ok...would not… let it go. This person was me, obviously. I hung up and stormed around the apartment, fuming, getting more and more upset.I am a feminist! And now I’m sending these misogynistic envelopes all over America! HOW WOULD THAT LOOK?! What would people think?! Just as paper crushes rock, so will these paper envelopes crush my sterling, powerful reputation! This could not go on!

So I took the mature route, called my mom back and oh, the doody hit the fan. I started weeping - and I don’t mean like, gently crying or sniffling, I mean like, tears down my cheeks, hyperventilating, weeping -- about feminism and individuality and last names and choice and envelopes and women and identities and demanded that my mom re-do all of the invitations,even the ones she had already written.  I could NOT have my return address associated with a Mr. and Mrs. HisFirstname situation. At one point I actually shrieked “THIS IS MY BRIDEZILLA MOMENT! I AM THROWING DOWN MY BRIDEZILLA CARD AND YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME!”

Oy yoy yoy.

(Spoiler alert: I did start my period the next day so I blame my hysteria on the hormones. But I stand by the subject of my hysteria!)

My mom fired back that it was a silly thing to waste my bridezilla card on, some people like to be addressed in such a manner, that she likes cares about adhering to certain types of tradition, she is helping to fund this wedding so her reputation is on the line too and maaaayyybe, just maybe, I should think about other people’s values as much as I think about my own.

Game, set, match: Bernie.

Loathe as I am to admit it. And oh, I am so loathe. She's totally right, guys.

And lo, we managed to reach a conclusion. All envelopes already written would remain “proper” as well as those to anyone who might like to be addressed in such a manner, because some people do like tradition and that is ok (it is!), but all others would be a little more progressive.

My sweet  mom, trying so hard to prevent another meltdown took it to the furthest level, addressing married women as Ms. instead of Mrs. or in some cases, completely omitting gendered pronouns at all.

I loved it!

Of course, after all this, I will bet you all a haypenny and a half that not one single solitary person even noticed how they were addressed. And if they did and they were offended, oh well. Please trust that we were just two ladies doing the best we could under the pressures of tradition, the patriarchy, the Wedding Industrial Complex and the most stressful situation in all the land: mothers and daughters planning a wedding together.

We tried! We really, really tried.

I still maintain it was a worthy cause for throwing down my Bridezilla Card. Flowers, playlists, party favors - these things are silly details about one day which will eventually fade into memories in a photo album and therefore not worth truly stressing over. But my anxieties re: the traditional manner of addressing couples reflect something actually life-altering. I have gradually come around to the idea of possibly (probably) (ok, more than likely) taking Brian’s last name, a saga I’ll delve into another time, but I still can’t shake the fear that marriage means sacrificing my personal feminine identity. Elizabeth Scott is one thing. Ms. Scott? I’m still on board. Mrs. Scott, less so. Mrs. Brian Scott?

No way, Jose.

And by Jose, I could mean Jose OR his wife because married ladies don’t get their own first names!

Enough, Liz. ENOUGH!

Like my pal Elsa, I’m letting it go. I understand that women have different ideas of what feels right for them and it is important to honor their decisions and that you can still be married and be a badass individual feminist lady, and names are just names and all that other good stuff and perhaps I need not take everything so seriously all the damn time. And maybe stop reading Jezebel. But I still reserve my right to throw occasional temper tantrums on my road to self enlightenment.

I’ll be sure to send you my mailing address when I get there. Just don’t send any correspondence to Mrs. Brian Scott ;).

And that, my friends, is my tale. What a mess, right? I'm a nutjob.

But other than this, and the dreams, and the nail biting, and the various Google rabbit holes I keep falling into, I'm doing pretty a-ok. I might just survive the next 39 days with my sanity (and relationships!) in tact.

Wish me luck! JK wish my mom luck. And Brian. That poor guy is stuck with this nutjob for LIFE.

Sucks to be himmmm!

The end.

Liz

PS: I am very sorry, I realize this whole post this is probably insanely rude and awkward to talk about/show off wedding invitations because not everyone who reads this is invited.  Believe me, I would have liked to invite the whole wide world but that’s just not a possibility...a post for another time. I’m still too busy barfing with guilt over guest list cuts to discuss it.

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 [6.20.14]

Guyyys, hi! I did NOT make good on my promise for wedding updates this week, now did I? I hope no one actually died of anticipation.  I don’t know if I could handle the guilt. Now, I know you’re all just aching to hear about the fight I had with my mom about addressing the invitations (I’d make Emily Post turn over in her fancy little grave) and my bridal shower (spoiler alert: it was awesome!) and the long, overly poignant 700 paragraph essay I keep drafting about the complexities and anxieties related to composing the guest list. And I am aching to share these stories, too! What do I love more than talking about myself? NOTHING, that’s what. But sometimes you can’t do what you love and instead you have to work and go to physical therapy and clean your house and do laundry and sleep and be responsible and ugh, being a grown-up is the WORST!

But just stay tuned, ok? I’ll get around to it. I must!

Meanwhile, was my week all work, no play and no weird moments? Of course not! Let’s take a look at what was keeping it awkward this busy week:

This Beverage:

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On Tuesday night I went to a work event and they had a few bottles of wine and a few bottles of seltzer (and cheese!!) for guests to imbibe upon so I decided to get my Real Housewife on and make a little white wine spritzer.

Turns out the seltzer was the flavored kind.

And turns out you can ruin pinot grigo by adding a few splashes of lemon-lime seltzer water.

I mean…I drank it but still, woof.

And while we're on the topic of vino (am I ever not on the topic of vino?)...

This Bottle of Wine:

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Last night I went running for the first time in weeks, after taking some time off to nurse my broken butt cheek and it was SO great. I missed running and breaking a sweat. Pitbull has a new (ish?) song out called Wild Love and as with all things Pitbull it is equal parts ridiculous and amazing and I listened to it four times in a row. HAH. Pitbull is my spirit guide.

ANYWAY, I brought along some cash and my ID in this little runners' fanny pack of Brian's so I could stop at the wine store on my way home and grab a bottle for the weekend. My mom is in town, so I figured we'd need the double bottle, or as I like to call it "family sized."

The wine store in my neighborhood is this tiny little yuppie place that sells all kinds of fancy stuff but I always buy right off their "discount table" because, duh.

On this particular evening, they were hosting a tasting at the front of the store, so a group was gathered around a tiny table sipping and talking about tannins and soil and whatever the fuck else fancy wine people talk about and I barged in DRENCHED in sweat and made a beeline right for the bargain table, grabbed the family sized bottle of sauvignon blanc and plonked it down on the counter. As the snooty cashier run it up, I began digging crumpled dollar bills out of my fanny pack. The total came to $19 which is like, $12 more than I prefer to spend on wine, but they're the only game in town, so you gotta do what you gotta do. Unfortunately I realized I only had $17 on me so I got all frazzled, as I do, and blurted out "I don't have enough cash! I need another one. A different wine. Cancel the order. Cancel the order!" I grabbed the big bottle, raced back to the dicsount table, picked up my go-to regular sized, screw-top sauvy b (still priced at a cool $12...come on, store, would it kill you to stock some Barefoot brand?) and sprinted back up to the register.

At this point I caught myself in the mirror behind the check out. I was straight up glistening with sweat, wearing a fanny pack and waving around a handful of crumpled one-dollar bills.

Did I mention I only had ones on me? I don't know why I had such a big stack of Washingtons.

This guy must have thought I was some kind of frantic, crazed, wino stripper or something. Sprinting in and out of the store, grabbing bottles, throwing around one dollar bills.

I'd say I can never show my face in there again but let's all be real, I'll be back within the week. Ok, weekend.

This Wound:

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Technically this happened last week but who’s counting? No one. Great. My friend reminded me of this story THIS week so it still counts. Hi Ami! Thanks for the reminder!

ANYWAY recently I was at a 30th Birthday Party (June is 30th Bday Party Month round these parts – we have one every weekend!) at Brian’s friend’s gorgeous apartment in midtown. This guy lives in like, a TV apartment – it has a BALCONY. A private balcony! What the actual what.

(To all y’all who don’t live in horrible cities are like, I have 17 wrap-around porches, why are you so excited about a balcony? I know. Just…don’t go there.)

The door from the living room to the balcony was super heavy and hard to open. It felt like when you’re trying to push a door against a heavy gale of wind, but the night was perfectly still. It was VERY difficult!

I was NOT the only person to have trouble opening the door but WAS the only person to somehow get their finger caught in said door and end up gushing blood all over the place.

You 4 real can not take me anywhere.

This Flyer:

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The corner around my office is like a wind tunnel, always blustery and blowy and ten degrees colder than the rest of the city. It is weird and the WORST.

The other morning I was walking the one block from the subway to the office and a gust of wind blew this flyer up and it got stuck on my leg and the wind just kept it there for the whole block!

HAHA this is a horrible story but oh my god, guys, I can’t even tell you how much this made me laugh. I was like peeing myself laughing, walking along the street with this paper stuck to my leg, sporadically stopping to take photos for my blergh.

Even the local homeless man who stands on the corner every day and asks for money so he can take a taxi back to his costume shop on Broadway (aww, it’s sad I know) thought I was a loony tune.

This Drawer:

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Oh, and this one too:

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I’ve now shown you the grotesque hoarder nightmare zones under my desk and inside my purse. Today I bring you: my desk drawers.

If you read any Real Simple magazines, and I read them all, one tip they’re constantly sharing on organization is to avoid drawers. Drawers are the worst. You can just toss all your crap in there, slam ‘em shut and never think about it again.

I am SO guilty of doing this, to the point that yesterday I wanted to put some paperwork in a drawer, thought “oh there’s too much garbage in there” and then THREW the paperwork out instead of trying to file it.

I then realized maybe I could clean out my garbage drawers so I would have room for actually important things. And so I did.

Here are just a few of the tippy top highlights of what I discovered:

  • A Christmas card for my friend and her husband, dated Christmas 2012 (Merry Christmas 2012, Liz and Bobby!)
  • A cutout from Marie Claire Magazine entitled Sex in a Blanket, tips for having sex while wearing a snuggie. I kept this.
  • And a cutout from Glamour with tips about how do do a workout while laying on your couch. I kept this too. Apparently I am the laziest mf-er known to man.  
  • About five dozen photos of myself from various points in my youth. What do you think it says if a person keeps drawers full of photographs of themselves? Don’t tell me. (PS. see below for an especially choice image of a young Liz Ho.)
  • Two Christmas tree ornaments
  • Program to Brian’s school’s 2012 production of Clue
  • A Tiffany pen, my gift upon reaching five years of employment. Per the internet, this pen is valued at $125 or more. It has never been used. It is also the only item I own from Tiffany and Co. WHAT THE HELL, BRIAN! BUY ME SOME DIAMONDS.
  • Two vials of store brand bug bite cream
  • One button
  • One box of sparklers, a gift from the resident office crazy to thank me for giving her a book
  • Saline spray
  • A blonde wig worn for Halloween when I went as, that’s right, Taylor Swift. I’m the worst.
  • One box of old conversation hearts
  • One Half eaten box of Girl Scout cookies. I can’t believe I never ate these! I don’t even remember when I put them in there?! Disgusting? YES.
  • One package of bamboo skewers… you know, for all the grilling I do in the office.
  • One pair of hideous sensible black wedges I bought my first winter on the job (that’d be winter of 2007) in an attempt to dress more mature and professional. I think I wore them twice?  
  • The folder from the first campaign I ever did solo. No paperwork inside, just a manila folder with the author’s name written on the outside. AWWW! I guess I was feeling sentimental? 

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, pals. I filled up my office trash can lickety split and had to go get an empty cardboard box out of the supply room, fill THAT up with garbage and bring it down to the big communal trash can in the copy room, where I then covered all of my discarded belongings with a layer of paper because I didn’t want everyone to know how grotesque I am.

I did not pitch everything, so if anyone would like a blonde wig or an expensive silver pen or a box of sparklers, just let me know, I’m sure we can work out a fair deal.

And that, my friends, was my week. How was yours?! What’s everyone up to this weekend?! As I mentioned above, my Schmoopster is comin’ to town! We are going to shop for a dress for her to wear for my wedding. I am so excited. I want her to feel like the beautiful special goddess she is! Love that lady.

On that note, I will leave you here to stare at this beautiful photo found in my desk drawer, of Liz Ho at her 5th Grade Field Day. It's hard to pick a favorite thing about this photo. My height? The Seattle Mariners cap hooked to the belt loop of my Bermuda length mom jorts? The pose? The Jon Lennon sunglasses?!?!

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It always shocks me I never had a career as a child model.

Happy weekend, buddies. And Happy First Day of Summer - it's finally here!!

xoox Liz

Another Awkward (slash Awesome!) Week [5.30.14]

Good morning, pals! I am all thrown off with this short week - I almost forgot it's Friday. But oh, it is. T to the G-I-F, dudes. This week the coolest thing ever in the whole wide WORLD happened: I wrote something that was published on a national website. VOGUE.COM. AAAAHHH!!! This is a double-brag if you're my friend on Facebook so forgive me - I'm just a scoonch excited. If you've not yet read it and would like to, I'd be honored! You can click-click-click away riiiight HERE.

Long story short, I was semi-tipsily chatting with an editor I know at a work party a little while back and we got to chatting about Facebook and relationships and how and why and when we use social media to share and define said relationships. As we parted for the evening, she asked if I'd write something for her on the subject, for Vogue.com. Outwardly I said "sure!" and inwardly I said "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and she put me in touch with her editor, we talked details, I tried to pretend I knew what I was talking about and like, did this all the time and Vogue.com? Not even a big deal, has anyone even heard of Vogue?, and she gave me a deadline of ONE WEEK and then I frantically drafted and worried and thought and wrote and flopped around a lot like "this is a disaster! My one shot in life and I'm about to blow it and be a failure forever!!!!"

Dramatic much?

I finally came up with a draft I liked (thanks to Claire, Brian & Maggie, my reader/editors) and oh-so-casually cooly submitted it. They liked it! Sent over some edits! Annnnd: posted to the web.

The piece mildly complains about how we share everythinggg on the Facebook, so naturally I immediately shared it on the Facebook. HAH! I was prepared for some thumbs-ups from my mom and besties but Oh. Em. Gee I was not prepared for how freaking nice everyone else would be! Friends were sharing, commenting, liking, emailing, all with praise and encouragement. I got some super sweet notes from friends I haven't talked to in years. My brother tweeted it.

And at work! I am shy to share any writing at work because I don't know why. I guess because I always write about myself and I don't want them to know what a psycho I am? Well apparently they all totally know and love me anyway. Our marketing manager tweeted the link via the department official twitter, work friends shared from theirs and sweetest ever some of my beautiful, genius designer friends put together THE cutest and funniest email, which they then sent department wide in the same style we send our publicity emails:

LIZ

File me away with Junot Diaz and Anne Lamott! It's all happening!

I was genuinely, no joke, bowled away with a combination of emotions that is difficult to put into words and is really best summed up by this: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I felt like Sally Field at The Oscars + like, Brandy Chastain at the 1999 World Cup + Marie Curie when she discovered radium + every nerd in a high school movie who then gets elected prom queen. I've been published! And everyone LIKED it!

What. A. Day.

This also lights a little fire under my bottom. I love writing (obviously) and would like to try for more opportunities like this. I've now eradicated fears that no editors would like my style or that readers will hate it, effectively just leaving laziness as my final hurdle. A hurdle I need to smush to smithereens ASAP.

So SERIOUS thanks dudes, I promise I'll remember you all when I am famous!!!!!

And lest you worry I'm already changing, don't you fear: I'm still keeping it WAY too real on the daily. So why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

 

This Face/Hair:

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Sunday, while I was home  in Pennsylvania, I arranged a hair and makeup trial for the wedding. Now, hair/makeup trial, you ask? I know. The part of me who thinks weddings are ridiculous is like "come on, ladies, do you really need a test run, it's just one day" but then the other (louder) part of me who is vain and girlie and wants to look beautiful on that one day is like "DUH."  I'm tryyyyying to do it on the slightly cheap, so was put in touch with a former student of my cousin who is a cosmetologist and I am very glad we set up this little trail because she, unfortunately, was not the right match for me.

I'm not going to throw a ton of shade on this girl - she's young and incredibly sweet and learning as she goes along.

We had confirmed for her to come to my mom's house at noon. By 12:15 she wasn't there and I just KNEW she forgot. I knew it. I'd emailed her to confirm and she didn't respond and I just instantly got the sense that she forgot and I could tell right then that she wasn't going to be the right person. I just sensed it. Deep in my hair follicles. Bones predict other stuff but when it comes to sensing beauty disasters: the hair knows.

I should have just put a stop to it right then and there and told her not to come, but I wanted to give her a chance, the benefit of the doubt, so texted her to remind her and she arrived an hour later. Right from the start we were not communicating well and I could tell she just didn't grasp what I wanted her to do. My mom, sister and friend (wife!) Maureen sat watching as we made small talk and I internally freaked out.

NOT because my hair looked bad, I'll figure out a plan B, but because now I had a person in my house with whom I as going to have to have an awwkward conversation. Thsi sweet girl seemed to think things were going OK and I didn't know how to tell her, to her little face, that she was super not getting hired on our wedding day. I just wanted her to leave! But I didn't know what to say! I am SO BAD at these kinds of conversations. I just want to be nice and funny all the time, forever, and avoid all confrontation.

After she did my hair, she was set to do my make-up and again, I should have told her right then and there that we were done for the day/life, kthxbye, but I didn't have the heart and maybe she was really great at make-up! But first I went and hid in my mom's room, right off the living room where we were doing the trial, to ask Schmoopster for advice. I didn't want her to know I was talking about her so I pretended I had to go to the bathroom - I even flushed the toilet for emphasis. I then, of course, actually had to go to the bathroom but couldn't because I already lied to her and told her I just did that and I didn't want this hair-stylist girl to think I had some kind of like, raging bladder infection, so I just sat there, clenching my legs, rushing through a make-up trial and praying for the day to end.

It did, I awkwardly told her I'd be in touch and did, eventually, let her down over email.

I don't know if I did the right thing - should I have told her to her face? Cancelled on her when she was late?! AAAAH I hate interacting with human beings sometimes. I need an assistant to do all my dirty work for me. Except then I might sometimes have to yell at the assistant and I wouldn't be able to do that so I'd have to hire another assistant do to that and then on and on until I just had one million assistants yelling at each other while I hid in my mom's room pretending to go to the bathroom.

Oy.

This Cheese:

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On the train home to NYC later that night I realized I was STARVING and didn't pack a snack. I did, however, have some blocks of cheese that my mom sent up with me so OH YES I grabbed me a hunk o' swiss and straight up gnawed on it like a mother flipping rat.

Pro-tip for getting your own seat on public transportation: see above!

This Ticket:

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The cheese was not cutting it, sadly, so I practically lept with glee when I realized we had a brief stop-over in Philaelphia, enough time to run upstairs to the train station and grab some real food before we continued no our trip. I asked a nice young man sitting across the aisle from me to watch my suitcase (direct quote: "you're wearing a suit and look trustworthy, would you watch my bag , I'm starving?") (His internal monologue was probably like "DEAR GOD why is the cheese lady speaking to me?!") and sprinted to the Au Bon Pan, where I quickly grabbed a pre-made Ceasar Salad, which is weirdly my go-to snack in stressful travel situations (why?!) and a Kind Bar which is one of those horrible monster snacks taht pretends to be healthy but is really like 450% chocolate.

I realized I'd have to re-show my ticket before boarding the train again and a horror washed over me: I had used my ticket as a recepticle for old chewing gum earlier in the trip. I pulled out the ticket an sure enough, there was a blob of gum RIGHT over the barcode they'd need to scan for reentry.

Kill. Me. Now.

I took my usual approach when faced with a tricky situation which is to over-explain in a wildly flustered manner until whoever I am dealing with just tells me to go away.

To the woman checking tickets: "Hi! Oh my gosh, OK I was on the train, coming from Elizabethtown and I got off to get a snack? The conductor said it was OK? I was starving! And I am SO embarrassed but I spit gum into my ticket...here...OH MY GOD I know so gross, I'm so sorry, can I just get back on I swear I'm coming from Elizabethtown."

All this complete with some wild gesticulating and a positively insane smile  on my face.

Cha-ching, she let me through.

LADIES: it might not be considered Leaning In but I fully support the power of occasionally playing dumb.

This Bike Tire:

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Flatter than your mother's chest, Trebek.

Unfortunately I didn't realize that until I had hauled this 567 pound beast down the stairs and ridden it a full mile to the park, the hardest bike ride of my life. You guys know I've had plenty of shenanigans with this bike but this one took the cake. It was so slow, hard to pedal and making loud clanging noises, but I just assumed it was my old bike being old. I was mortified: here I am running half marathons, in the best shape of my life, and I can't ride my bike half a block without getting winded?

I pushed and pushed and pushed and finally I made it to the park where a kindly (ish) stranger yelled out "YOU HAVE A FLAT!" in a hard to distinguish Eastern European accent and I yelled back "WHO ME?!" and almost crashed my bike and then looked down and yes, sir, I did have a flat and probably caused a huge scene all the way up to the park and OY YOY YOY.

And that, beautiful butterflies, was my week! WHAT A WEEK!!! I'm still riding so high on the Vogue thang, both pride for myself and flat out amazement and joy over all the enthusiasm and encouragement from my peeps. I am metaphorically doing that move where you jump up in the air and gleefully click your heels together.

YAY!

Have the BEST weekend, y'all!

xoxoxoxo Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [5.23.14]

Hey buddies! What's up? It's a long weekend, whoop whoop! Well, in America, anyway. Sorry foreigners. Sucks to be you! I'm heading down to Pennsylvania for the weekend,  tomorrow I'm having a bridal shower (for ME!), hosted by my sweet Aunt Lena & cousin Lisa.  I'm so excited! And I'm excited that I'm excited which sounds nuts, but well, that's me. For a while I was being kind of a weirdo about the whole thing - I thought everyone would think I was being really demanding and obnoxious, asking them to drive all the way to PA, when they already have to travel for the wedding, and would I look like I was just trying to get more presents. For someone who purports to LOVE being the center of attention, I'm sort of freaking out now that my moment in the spotlight has finally arrived!

Luckily I have some smart friends and family who reminded me that I am a lunatic and I might need to calm down. That it is OK and not annoying  to be excited about my wedding. That people are travelling not because I'm making them, but because they want to, because they love me, and love Brian and are happy to celebrate our impending union. It's going to be such a lovely day with the most special ladies in my life and I'm already feeling very honored and loved.

And EXCITED. So excited that I've already said that word seventy-five times in just these four paragraphs! Get a thesaurus, Liz.

Fun fact: I have a really hard time saying that word, thesaurus. I always say suh-tharus, instead of the-saur-us. Ha! A few years ago I worked on a book about Roget, the guy who invented the thesaurus and the word was right in the title and every time I had to say it out loud I would get really nervous about messing up and inevitably mess up even worse and it was just horrifying. HORRIFYING! I totally forgot about that until just this moment and now I'm reflexively cringing, so embarrassed for my past self. GAH young Liz. It does NOT get better.

Ok enough rambling about bridal showers and thesarusues (thesauri?) and insanity. Let's take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

 

This Dress:

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Worn to Brian's sister's graduation on Sunday and COVERED in coffee.

We drove from NJ to PA early on Sunday morning and packed bagels and to-go coffees with sturdy, closeable lids for the ride.Brian's mom realized just moments after we pulled from the driveway that she had forgotten the roll of paper towels she meant to toss in, just in case anyone spilled.

"No worries!" chirped the grownup adult woman from her perch in the backseat. "We'll be fine!"

I was pretty good for most of the way until just a few miles from the campus, when I precariously propped my coffee mug in my lap without fully closing the lid.

Suddenly, Brian called out from beside me: "Liz! Your mug is tipping!" So I did what any rational person would do when a hot cup of liquid is spilling over on their thighs which is to flail my legs even more causing the spill to go from a minor drip to a full on drenching.

REALLY coulda gone for those paper towels right then.

Saving graces: 'twas a dark dress and I found a stray shout wipe in  my purse! That baby did the trick and more, by the time we made it to graduation the only remaining trace of the incident was a lingering smell of coffee.

Eau de floor of a Starbucks after a long summer's day.

Whilst at said graduation I acquired...

This Sunburn:

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First of the year! Complete with a weird little white stripe across the middle where my necklace was resting.

Happens every season!

I have to be careful this year...I have to somehow make it all summer without kooky tan lines, so I'm not covered in splotches and white patches in all of our wedding photos. I keep meaning to try my bikini top on under my wedding dress to see if I can wear it or need to get a new one. HA! Sounds insane butttt I think it is necessary. Maybe I'll just have someone sew me a dress in the pattern of my wedding gown and wear that all day every day so I have absolutely perfect lines come August 16?

THAT would be insane.

(orrrr would it?!)

This Skirt:

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That is a thick layer of dust...apparently the French Connection in SoHo cleans their dressing rooms about as often as I clean my house. Aka: never.

I visited this store not once but twice in the past week, along with probably every single store in the greater NYC metropolitan area, on an epic quest for the perfect dress for this weekend's festivities. I bought and returned and bought and returned several different options and ordered a few things online - one of which is lost in the mail and one of which is being held at a FedEx facility on 108th Street in Brooklyn. I didn't even know there was a 108th Street in Brooklyn but apparently they is and they are holding hostage a sundress from Piperlime. Can't wait to go pick THAT up.

After all of these shenanigans, I finally caved yesterday and splurged and spent basically all of my discretionary income on a dream dress from Kate Spade that I'd been lusting after for weeks. I've already justified the exorbitant expense,  by promising myself I will wear it at least three times a week until I die so basically this dress has pretty much already paid for itself. In fact, they paid ME! I hope everyone likes it as much as I do cuz y'all are going to be seeing a lot of it.

In other fashion news, check out the shoes I rocked all week...

These Moccasins:

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Yes, friends, that IS my big toe.

You may recall I shared these about a year ago when dat derre rip was juuuusssst beginning and here we are, a full year later and much much rippier (it's a word) and I've yet to throw them out.

I'd get a new pair but I just spent all my money on that dress so...open toed moccasins: the hot trend for spring! You heard it here first!

This Band-aid:

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I'm finally getting serious about my nail/finger biting problem, I can NOT allow myself to have bloody, ragged fingers at our wedding, I just can't.

My thumbies are my weakness, they're just so easy to attack, so all week I've been wrapping my thumbs in band-aids in an attempt to save myself from myself.

Unbeknownst to me I purchased a box of "designer strips" which means these are no ordinary bandages, OH NO, but beautifully ("beautifully") patterned fashion band-aids. So far this week I've rocked bandages that look like they're bedecked in sequins, in black lace, in some kind of modern abstract art, and this one, my favorite, which had teeny tiny photos of models walking the catwalk.

WHO EVEN CAME UP WITH THIS? Why would someone want to wear bandaids with tiny little fashion models on them? They're so small you can't even see what they're wearing! WHYYY is this even a thing that exists in the world and why do I own it.

Kids get Sponge Bob and Dora and grownups get mini little ladies shaking their little tushes on the catwalk. On the catwalk, yeah.

I'm to sexy for my bandaid, to sexy for my bandaid...

IF ONLY there was a designer band-aid for my brain that would make me into less of a weirdo. THE END of this madness, I am outta here. Have a spectacular Memorial Day weekend and if you think I'm not going to be back with a full report from my big weekend, you're drunk. My mom told me it is traditional for the mother of the bride to buy her daughter sexy lingerie soooo that blog post can pretty much write itself.

Smooches!

Liz Ho

 

A Rant, A List, A Brand New Week

Hey everybody! How was your weekend?! Mine, although lovely, was not exactly what I had planned. Remember the Pittsburgh wedding I was oh-so-excited to attend? Well, that didn't happen. I mean...it happened, they are now happily married, yay, but I was not there so, you know. Trees falling in forests and all that. Just kidding! I know that life goes on even when I am not there, I'm not thaaaat vain. (Or am I?!!) Friday was a drab and rainy day all up and down the east coast, but it was by no means Hurricane Sandy Reincarnate so I was mildly frustrated but not super surprised when I received an email Friday afternoon telling me that my 8 PM flight had been pushed to 9:30. I then received a voice mail informing me it had been pushed back yet again, this time to 10:30, but don't you worry, we're still doing everything we can to get back on schedule! In one bit of actual levity for the evening, the voice mail was one of those automated services and I guess they had some confusion over the way my name was written on my ID. The message combined my first name (Elizabeth) and middle initial (M), announcing "Hello. This is a message for Alizabatham HoHENadell." HA!

I remained calm and unflustered, used the newfound free time to take public transportation to the airport instead of blowing $50 on a taxi, went through security, found my gate, bought a $400 Cesar salad, found a plug to charge my cell phone, which was at a precarious 8% battery life, and cracked open my book, when the phone rang once again.

"Hello Alizabatham HoHENadell, your flight is cancelled."

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. WHAT.

I frantically ran around the airport to find the US Airways help desk, while dialing their customer support on my cell phone, now elevated to just 11% battery life. This flight was one of just many cancellations throughout LaGuardia, so the customer service line was, no joke, 75+ people deep. I managed to get an actually super nice and helpful customer service rep on the phone while I stood in line, who told me that the good news was they'd refund my full fare, the bad news being, of course, that they had no other available flights on my route that night or the following morning.  I got out of the US Airways line and went looking for Delta, only to find them also backed up by the dozens.

I found a spot on the floor next to an outlet, plugged in my cell phone, called my mom, cried, stress ate my Caesar salad (worth every penny!) (false), yelled the F word far too loud for a public setting, looked up alternate routes to PGH and finally came to the realization that it was not happening. I would not make it to Pittsburgh. I would not see Brigette get married. I felt mad and sad and guilty and disappointed and basically every emotion you might find on the negative end of a feelings chart. I took a sad taxi home to Crown Heights, the rain pouring nearly as hard as my tears.

HAHA just kidding for dramatic emphasis. I mean, yes I cried, but that's a tad heavy handed. Trying to spice up my writing with overuse of metaphor! What if I actually talked like that? Yikes!

Enn. Eee. Way. My mom & Margie sent me loads of photos from the wedding and it looked like a truly beautiful day. I'm so happy for the newlyweds! And I was able to see Brian's sister graduate, so the weekend still  managed to be special and full of family. And also sun. Wait until you get a load of the sunburn I acquired yesterday. It's one for the record books!

HOWEVER it has come to my attention that God or Mother Nature or SOMEONE is reading my blog and deliberately trying to sabotage me.While I do appreciate the attention, I am not amused. I mean, I had expressly stated on Friday morning just how VERY EXCITED I was to fly to Pittsburgh and my flight up and cancels on me? COME ON, dude. Do you think this is because I couldn't remember the timeline of Christ's resurrection? Am I being punished for supporting gay marriage???? Whatever the reason, it is pretttty clear that someone is out to get me, so below is a list of things I am super not excited for. If my logic is correct, which it totally always is, since I'm not excited for these things, that means these days will be bright and sunny and warm and perfect and amazing...right?! RIGHT.

  • My Own Wedding. August is hurricane season, right? Let's get a storm a brewin'!
  • Similarly: My Bridal Shower this coming weekend and my Bachelorette in June. Two separate weekends being feted by my most special ladies? HARD PASS. 
  • My Cousin Angie's visit to NYC. Angie is the WORST! 
  • The string of 30th Birthday parties we have this June. Rooftops and pool parties and Brooklyn day drinking? These are a few of my (least!) favorite things. (PS: read that to the tune of the song, please, I tried really hard to make it fit.) 
  • Summer Fridays. 12 PM closing? No thanks, I'll work til 6! 

And while we're at it, something I am so totally very super excited about is next week's big publishing annual conference, BEA. Schlepping to the far west side of Manhattan in what always manages to be the hottest weather of all time for long days of standing around and small talking...I can. not. wait. I will be SO VERY SAD if a lighting bolt just strikes right down into the middle of the Javits Center and burns it right down to the ground. Please oh please don't let that happen, I long for this week all year!

There. That should about cover it. Everything's looking up for old Alizabatham HoHENadell!!!

(Arbitrary image b/c photos make blogs better, according to other blogs.)

Here's to the start of a NEW week for all of us - hope it's nothing short of spectacular. xoxo

Another Awkward Week [5.16.14]

Oh my god, you guys. What is even happening? This week simultaneously flew and crawled by. If it were an animal, this week would be some kind of monster breed of like, a snake and a bald eagle...a creature which surely exists in the world of George R. R. Martin...who you can blame when this post is THE worst because I've fiiiinally started watching GOT and am, of course, obsessed. I'm not very good at casually consuming pop culture. When I decide to get into something I go ALL IN. Watching GOT is this weird experience for me because I love to read about pop culture, especially television (I mean books! I always read books and articles about books!) (#employeeoftheyear) and have this weird habit of following recaps and news about shows I've never watched. Like, I have never watched one second of that show Sons of Anarchy and yet I read the Vulture recap every week and know basically every plot point. Same for Homeland! And then I'm like "why am I so busy and stressed?" when really I'm just wasting my time watching TV or reading about the TV I don't watch.

ANYWAY, I don't read the GOT recaps but I do keep up with the news and headlines, it's kind of hard to miss when you spend as much time at Vulture as I do, so I sort of know what happens...but sort of don't. I know the names of a lot of the characters and some major plot points (Red Wedding!) but didn't actually know what all of these people looked like or how they related to one another or when these major plot points actually happened, so every episode I'm like "Oh! Khaleesi!" "The Lannisters!" "Which brother and sister are having an inappropriate sexual relationship?" (Spoiler alert: more than you'd think.)

Do you guys watch this show? It's so good! A smorgasbord of deception and manipulation and war and boobs and murder and boobs and boobs and butts and boobs! All my favorite things. We're about halfway through Season 2 and shit is going OFF. I love it.

Ok I will now stop talking about Game of Thrones...but basically if you're curious what I've been up to all week and why this blog is short, boring and poorly written: blame G.R.R.M! Winter is coming!

Let's take a look at what (else) was keeping it awkward this week.

 

These Permanent Markers:

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With which I was doodling while on a call and oh look they bled through my paper and now I have permanent ink stains on my desk.

This kind of behavior would get you held back from recess in kindergarten.

This Tupperware: 

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It's become sort of a joke with my assistant that she always walks into my office while I'm eating...because I'm always eating.

Funny stuff, I know.

WELL we took the scenario one step further, maybe too far this week when she walked in as I was licking hummus off the lid of my tupperware snack container.

I WISH I could say that was the first and last time I've ever done that but I can not lie to you, my friends. I've done it before and I'll surely do it again.

I should not be allowed out in public.

(Also: my thumb is so disgusting...let this be motivation for me to stop picking at my fingers.  GAH-ROSS, Liz. Gross.)

This Computer Screen:

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Isn't it giant? I KNOW.

So I've been trying to engage myself better in our corporate culture and take advantage of some of the classes and learning opportunities provided by my company. This week I signed up to sit in on a marketing strategy course via Web Ex, which is lingo they did not define in our class...I think it means like, via the internet? I don't even know. Basically, I signed into some program that allowed me to see the deck being presented in the class as well as hear the teachers and other participants speaking. I was also apparently supposed to hook up my phone or some other sort of microphone so I, too, could participate but OBVZ I a) don't know how and b) didn't realize that my computer doesn't just have some kind of built in microphone device.

The class started and the teacher asked everyone to go around and introduce themselves. I waited for my colleague to go before me and then started to chime in "Hello! This is Liz"...and they just kept on breezing to the next person. I waited until the next person spoke and tried again, this time a little louder: "Hello! It's Liz!!!" They didn't hear me. I leaned into the speakers, where the noise was coming OUT and tried to make the noise go IN: "HELLO IT IS LIZ CAN YOU HEAR ME????"

Surprisingly this did not work.

It was basically a parody of a geriatric woman who has just seen her first iPad. 29 going on 90.

PS: do you guys watch Inside Amy Shumer? She is DIVINE and I recommend diving deep into her archives but this particular video is especially appropriate for illustrating this tale. I'm the clueless mom character, of course.

(PS: If you look closely enough you can see all the important tabs I have open: numerous searches for "at home bikini body workouts" (I hate myself), some kind of feminist article (to counterbalance my buying into the idea of a "bikini body") and one tab where I was apparently googling myself. WORKING HARD!)

This Turnstile:

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So last weekend we were in Philadelphia for a wedding, wedding-going is our #1 hobby and pastime these days (after watching Game of Thrones, that is!!!) and while we were there, I got stuck in a subway turnstile.

I, Liz Hohenadel, who rides the subway at least two times per day, sometimes more on weekends, found herself entangled in the metal bars of the turnstile, like some kind of martian who first landed in the deep midwest and then went blind and then visited the Big City for their very first time.

I can't even explain what happened. I put my token in (Philly still uses actual tokens! It's so quaint!) (That sounds demeaning but I mean it in a positive way.) and I walked forward and then the bar got stuck and I stepped back and then I stepped forward again and then I pulled the bar backwards for some reason and then it wouldn't go forwards again so I kept pulling it further back...maybe hoping it would like, do a full 360 and flip me over like a pig on a spit right onto the subway platform? I don't even know.

The woman working at the token booth had to get involved and believe you me...girl was NOT amused. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that working the token booth in the Philadelphia subway system is not exactly full of sunshine and daisies and butterflies, unless those are the names of the homeless men peeing in the corner (it's really not nice to make jokes about homelessness, I know) but this lady DID NOT CARE if I got myself through the turnstile or not and had no plans to help me through.

You know who else had no plans to help me through? OH that's right, BRIAN. You know, my life partner and love of my life who stood there watching me and laughing. Just cracking up, busting a gut laughing while the future mother of his children, woman who irons his shirts for him (not because of gender roles...I'm just better at it) and who is going to walk down the aisle and marry him in exactly 3 months from today (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) got trapped behind bars. I could have died there! And he just laughed! And then, when I finally got through and we made it to my sister's house, announced: "Sorry we're late, Liz got stuck and caused a scene in the subway."

RUDE.

Long story long, somehow I freed myself, the wedding was lovely and I've now ridden multiple subways all week without incident so...good times.

And that, my dear pals, was my week! What have YOU been up to?? Any weekend plans? I'm going to Pittsburgh for...wait for it...wait for it...any guesses... a wedding!! I am SO excited for this one. I mean, I'm always excited for all weddings but this one will be very dear to me. The bride Brigette is Maggie's BFF, they've known each other since they were about four years old, and have been besties ever since and in that time, Brigette has become like a member of our family, coming on vacations, being part of inside jokes, she was even there when we first started calling our mom The Schmoopster. Tomorrow she's marrying this great, great guy and it's just going to be so neat seeing her start this new adventure in her life and I'm so honored to be there. Also starting new adventures: Brian's sister is graduating from college on Sunday! So Brian and I are splitting up this weekend - me to a wedding, him to the graduation, which of course makes me feel weird and guilty and like I'm personally perpetuating the idea that marriage is a more important achievement in a woman's life than an education but I MIGHT need to stop taking myself so seriously and calm it down. Maybe?

BASICALLY it is an exciting weekend for many people who I love so hooray! Let's party. Everybody dance now!

I'm losing it. Have a great weekend, buddies!

xoxo Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [5.9.14]

Guuuys, I’m BACK! Just a few hours after writing last week’s sad post, bemoaning my lack of awkward moments, I went out for fries (my second plate of fries for the day but who’s counting?!), misjudged the size of the opening on the ketchup bottle, and poured about 6 gallons of the stuff all over the dish. 20140502_181226

Holla!

Immediately upon spilling, as my friends rushed to help clean it up like normal people, I yelled “YES! I’M BACK!” and whipped out my camera to document it for posterity.

BOOM. It was touch and go there for a while but I it is safe to say the awkward train has left the station. Choo choo!

Why would anyone say that? No one talks like that.

I am a hot mess this morning. I had long-planned dinner with my girlfriends last night that started weird when I called it "sensual"  instead of "sophisticated" on the google calendar invite and ended weird when one of the girls, who works for Peanut Butter & Company, busted out half a dozen jars of fancy peanut butters and we all just sat there in the middle of a restaurant drinking beers and eating peanut butter right out of the jar. It was both sophisticated and sensual, for sure. I feel less than amazing this morning...can you get a peanut butter hangover? Is that a thing? OY! Enough rambling, let’s take a look back at what was keeping it awkward this week.

 

These Tulips:

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Fresh, alive and BEAUTIFUL. I left them for at least 3 more days after snapping this photo.

See also: our garbage covered dining room table. My house is such a hovel. SIGH.

These Cake Stands:

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I got to go with one of my authors to the Martha Stewart headquarters located waaayyyy on the West Side of Manhattan. It was really neat. They have this HUGE prop library just chock full of kitchen gadgets and bowls and plates and vases and, of course, cake stands...just imagine like, the biggest West Elm + the biggest Pottery Barn + Macy's Herald Square + Martha Stewart Living Magazine + all of your wildest dreams come true and that's pretty much what this place was like.

Jen and I both arrived late due to train troubles, and she had to be on live radio, so the moment we arrived they whisked us right up the back staircase and into their radio studio. WHO should we see, as we're sprinting down the hall? Why Martha herself!!! Walking out of the ladies room! Like a regular person!

It was awesome.

It turns out that had we not been late, we would have actually gotten to meet her and have a conversation with her which would have, obviously, been amazing. Buuuut I'm kind of glad it happened this way. It's a slightly better story and now I get to tell the whole wide world that Martha Stewart pees in a shared bathroom just like a commoner!

ha!

This Fancy Cocktail:

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I realized I was going to be home alone the other night and decided to enjoy the evening with a crisp glass of white wine on ice, like the WASPy desperate housewife I apparently aspire to be.

But then I remembered that we had no wine in the house and I'm not letting myself spend money on anything that's not wedding or move related so I gave up on my dreamo of vino. But THEN I remembered that I had a few plastic mini bottle of the upscale Sutter Home Vintage floating around my office, left over from a work project so I secretly stuck a bottle in my purse, carted it home, broke out the ice cubes and had the classiest little party for one you ever did see.

On the upside, at least I used a glass! I would have just stuck in a bendy straw…but we were all out.

This project, by the way, was a complete disaster in and of itself. My colleague and I came up with this adorable summer reads package, and we were so proud of ourselves. We stuffed a tote bag with some of our hottest summer titles + a mini bottle of wine (of the classiest variety, clearly. Publishing money!) and cookies and we mailed them to all these editors and it turns out we didn't wrap the cookies very well because they all smashed so instead of these adorable tote bags, everyone's packages were just covered top to bottom in crushed chocolate and cookie crumbs and people had to throw them out. Whoops!   A+++ work right there.

These Jeans:

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I wore these pantaloons to work yesterday and for some reason, something on the inside seam of my right leg kept poking me. I don’t know what it was – these are not new, so it wasn't a tag or anything. I did just get them back from the laundry, so perhaps there were some shards of glass floating around in the dryer and one of them got stuck inside my jeans seam and then started waging war on my inner thigh?

That sounds like a super normal and likely scenario.

ANYWAY, I was walking to gym over lunch and the poking got SO painful I could barely walk. I told myself to keep going, I just had to make it one more block to the gym and I could take the pants off in the locker room and inspect them. I made it five more steps, but the pain was unbearable, so I stopped and adjusted the jeans from the outside, hoping that would do the trick.

No dice.

I made it five more steps and was in such excruciating pain, I realized I couldn’t wait to the locker room to go deep…I had to get inside my pants.

Now, I was walking on a crowded sidewalk, so I tried to be as inconspicuous as I could. I turned away from the street and as quickly as possible, jammed my hand down the inside of my jeans and sort of rubbed around the inner-mid-thigh area, hoping to dislodge the sharp object.

As I quickly withdrew my hands from down in my pants, I looked up and realized that I had turned away from the street, oh yes, and instead was DIRECTLY FACING a middle school.

A MIDDLE SCHOOL. I was standing on the street, with my hand shoved down my pants in front of a middle school.

I belong in jail.

And on a similar note...

This Photo:

 

I probably can’t show the actual photo for legal reasons.

One of the fun things about commuting on the train is the people you see every day – it’s sort of comforting and weirdly I start to think I know them, when I really don’t. Do any of you guys do this?*

One of my VERY favorite subway buddies is this little boy who is maaaybe three years old and I see him some mornings, riding the uptown 1 train with his mom. This kid is SO flipping cute – he has little glasses and you KNOW how much I love toddlers with glasses (I hope our future children inherit their dad’s near blindness instead of my, ahem, better than perfect , vision.) and I can just tell he’s charmingly nerdy, he’s always reading books or playing like, math games with his mom and I LOVE him.

Yesterday morning it was drizzly and my BCFWIACS (Best Child Friend Who Is Actually a Complete Stranger) was wearing a mini rain slicker, galoshes and…wait for it…a knit sweater with the superman logo on it. Not a sweatshirt, but an actual like, wool sweater with the iconic logo on the front. It was soooooooo cute that I took a photo because I wanted to show all my pals how cute my BCFWIACS was looking that morning. Did I bust this picture out over our peanut butter feast last night? Maybe I did. Maybe I didn't.

Basically what I’m saying is please forward all my mail to the New York State Home for Deranged Criminal Women because that is where I’m headed.

Annnnd on that note, I think it’s best if I shut this whole thing down before I actually get condemned. How was everyone else’s week?! Big weekend plans? I’m going to Philly for a wedding of one of my study abroad buddies that should be one heck of a party. I’m excited! I wonder what my BCFWIACS will do all weekend??!!!! 

Xoxoxo

* We're going to be publishing a book allll about this phenomenon next winter (I think?) called Girl on a Train (probably!) and it's AMAZING and creepy and awesome and I assume you'll all rush right out and buy it when we do!

Another Awkward Week [5.2.14]

Mark this in the history books. The week of April 26 - May 1: Nothing Funny Happened. A miracle / tragedy, depending on how you look at it. It was straight up the dullest week since like, the Paleolithic Era and I have not one solitary tale so share. YIKES. And yes, One Awkward Weeks run Friday - Thursday...don't ask questions.

I feared this was bound to happen sometime and certainly hope it is a fluke, not a trend. Could I be turning (gasp!) normal?! I shudder at the thought. Please pray to whatever deities you worship that this upcoming week is a doozy of hilarity and embarrassment.

In case you're wondering what deity I'll be praying to, it is whichever one created this perfect child.

 

GET IT GURL!!

Ok Happy May and happy weekend, buddies. I'm off in search of awkward moments. Wish me luck!

Another Awkward Week [4.25.14]

Hi guys!! How was everybody's week? Mine was extremely eventful. As you'll see below! I only wish it had been a scoonch warmer, you know? It's so hard to get dressed this time of year. It's freezing in the mornings, warm during the day and chilly again at night. It's not warm enough for bare legs, and yet I hate the idea of wearing tights into April. I guess an answer would be to wear tights to the office and then take them off...just maybe not in a public place, like this person did:

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Yes those ARE a pair of ladies' stockings sitting on top of our communal office microwave. Gross? UM YEAH. What the WHAT?! I don't even want to know how this happened. I swear these aren't mine, guys. You know I'd tell you. And even I'm not THAT weird.

What's up for everybody's weekend?  My half marathon is tomorrow morning. AAAAAH! I'm so excited. Slash nervous. But mostly excited. But mostly nervous. Just kidding, I"m excited!' Right now the weather channel is calling for rain during just the exact hours while I'll be running. Adorable, Mother Nature, truly charming. But I won't let it get me stressed. I will race in the rain! If Garth Stein can do it, so can I.

(Fist bump to any nerds who get that reference!)

I'll wait until after I finish to wax poetic about my new found love of running, and how empowered it's made me feel and how I've become the sort of person who can talk about say "empowered" in a totally serious way. But I will state right now, on the public record, that even if I don't finish the race (which I totally will!) (But just in case!) that I am so dang proud of myself for undertaking this challenge. Just in the training, I've pushed myself farther than I thought I could go and it feels so good. I'm shamelessly patting myself right on the back.

You go, self!

Ok enough of this mumbo jumbo. I have to start carbo loading immediately & I have MUCH to share, so let's cut right to the chase and take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

This Iron:

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Totally unplugged!

But I couldn't remember if I truly did unplug it after half-assedly ironing a shirt on Monday morning so instead of taking a gym/lunch break, I left my desk at 9:45 AM, took the subway all the way back to Brooklyn, reassured myself I was not burning down the apartment, and returned to the office.

Nuts? Maybe! Possibly yes.  know it seems a little crazy, but I couldn't shake the anxiety and I knew I'd get no work done if I didn't just quiiiickly check. I'm working hard to manage my emotions and not let my worries get the best of me, but usually my worries are totally abstract and insane, like, if Brian doesn't respond to an email for a little bit, I assume he's either dead, or cheating on me. Or BOTH: he's cheating and was just murdered by his mistress in a fit of lustful rage. Or if I have a weird throat tickle, I instantly assume it's, at best, a viral infection, at worst: fatal cancer.

Those sorts of mega-fears, I can quiet, convince myself are not true, but leaving the iron turned on, smoldering my apartment into a fiery blaze? TOTALLY within the realm of possibility.

I have no regrets! Except ironing in the first place. Next time something's wrinkly, I'm just throwing it in the garbage. Ain't nobody got time for this!

This Faucet:

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This faucet spray nozzle thing is an excellent tool, especially when rinsing out the sink or blasting especially hard to clean dishes, like the inside of the reusable plastic straw from your travel smoothie mug. To make it work, you turn on the regular faucet, pull out the spray nozzle and push a button and WHOOSH! Power blast. As soon as you release the button, the water once again runs just out of the regular faucet.

Why am I even going into this? Y'all know how to use sinks.

I, however, do not.

I always wash dishes first thing when I wake up, while Brian's in the shower and the coffee's going, it's all part of my slow wake-up routine. The other morning I must not have been awake enough, or like, at all, because I used the spray nozzle and then tried to put it back in its holder without removing my finger, effectively SOAKING myself.

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Like, soaking.

And once again, may I present a real-life counterpart to a fantasy. I like to sleep in Brian's old button-downs because they're really comfortable and also I imagine that they're super sexy. Like, you know that scene in basically every movie and TV show ever where the male hero sleeps with a new woman and then wakes up in the morning and there she is, wearing his oversized shirt and nothing else, leaning against the doorframe with a mug of coffee, bathed in the morning sunlight smiling like a perfect, sensual angel?

Andd then we have reality: oversized shirt, usually buttoned incorrectly so it hangs crookedly, atop a pair of 1 zillion year old pajama bottoms, messy grease-mop of hair, smeared mascara everywhere because NO MATTER HOW MANY HOURS I spend trying to take off my eye makeup, I always wake up with smudges under my eyes and water everywhere.

A perfect, sensual angel!!!!

This Bus Seat:

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This weekend Brian & I were in Philly visiting my sister for Easter and we took the city bus uptown to the Art Museum area to spend some time outside. When we got on, we found three empty seats together and promptly plopped our booties down. Point two seconds later, I felt a weird wetness seeping onto my thigh, and realized my seat had a wet spot right smack dab in the middle.

I leapt to my feet, touched the now wet spot on my running tights, smelled my hand to assure myself it wasn't pee (it wasn't! I swear. Maybe it was but I say it was just water and I'm sticking to that story) and the three of us moved up to the next row of seats all, mercifully, bone dry.

Our new seats were right above the ones we'd just abandoned and at the next stop a man got on and immediately went to sit in the wet seat.

"That seat is wet!" I squawked, not wanting to anyone to suffer my same fate.

He thanked me and moved to another spot.

At the next stop a young woman got on and where do you think she headed? You know!

I blurted out another warning: "That seat's wet!" and she nodded in thanks before even beginning to sit.

The next stop...repeat! And repeat and repeat and repeat for essentially every single stop on our 15 minute bus ride. I had somehow become the de-facto guardian of everyone's butts. Once I'd warned one passenger, and then a second, the pattern had been established. I couldn't just stop warning them...I knew the seat was wet AND everybody else on the bus knew I knew the seat was wet because I told them when they got on, so not only would I knowingly allow someone to soak their bottom, but everyone would know my deceit and oh, how they would judge.

Being a good Samaritan is exhausting, guys.

Also, just for my own sanity, could you all please reassure me that it was totally just water and not pee?!

This Liquor Store:

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So Pennsylvania has these ridiculously strict liquor laws about how and when and where and in what quantity alcohol can be purchased and consumed. One positive result of this is that the majority of restaurants in the Philadelphia area are BYOB and thus, fabulously affordable. However, a negative consequence of this is that it's nearly impossible to find a place to purchase  said B. In NYC, at least in the yuppie, gentrified neighborhoods I frequent, wine and liquor stores are as easy to come upon as Duane Reades and Chase ATM's and you can buy beer at bodegas, grocery stores, even CVS. But in Philly, there are like three state-run liquor stores, all spread across the city and they're only open from like noon to five on Saturday's and you have to buy beer at a special beer distributor and it's just a whole hot mess. I know this next sentence is going to make me sound like some kind of raging wino and I swear I'm not, but whenever I'm in town I get very stressed about where and how we're going to purchase wine. The pleasure of BYOB dinners are instantly negated when you have to add on a 4 mile trek to the nearest State Store just to get your $8 bottle of Rex Goliath Sauvignon Blanc.

I'm getting stressed now just thinking about it!

So anyway, blah blah, last Saturday we were in Philadelphia with Margerie, like I mentioned above. At about 3 PM we had just finished a 10-mile run (humblebrag) up by the Art Museum and were heading back to her home in South Philly, many miles away. We had 9:30 PM dinner reservations at a (BYOB) Italian place on her block and decided we'd spend the time between sitting on her patio, soaking up the sun and sipping homemade sangria. We just needed to pick up some wine! We figured it would be easier to grab while uptown than back in her 'hood, so we used our trusty smartphones to search for the nearest wine distributor.

"There's one just a few blocks away," Maggie told us, looking up from her Google Maps. "And right by a bus stop, too." And off we went, following the map to the address they'd listed: 1814 Kater St.

When we got to Kater Street, we were dubious. It appeared to be entirely residential, a small alley flanked by identical townhouses. 1820, 1818, 1816...finally we came upon 1814 and it was not a wine store or a store of any kind, but a private residence. The map told us we were standing in front of Vinocity Events but we were quite clearly not.

A man was outside of the house next door, playing with his adorable children. He saw us looking lost and asked us what we were looking for.

"Wine!" we replied in unison.

Totally normal. This man is just trying to enjoy a day with his kids while strange winos dressed in workout gear roam his pleasant residential street.

He gave us a few addresses and sent us on our way, but we decided to just take the bus back to Maggie's and try downtown.

Upon our return, we asked Maggie's roommate where the nearest wine store was located (Maggie doesn't know her nearest wine store? Are we even related?) and she gave us some convoluted directions to walk a few blocks to the Safeway, through the parking lot and "it's right near the Home Depot."

Sure? Marge seemed to understand what she was talking about so off we went! We trudged through Maggie's cute neighborhood, then a sort of shady area full of gas stations near the highway and then came upon the Safeway, nestled among a smattering of strip malls. We walked through the parking lot and scanned the storefronts - FedEx, Dress Barn, Krafty Korner...but no wine. We came to the end of the parking lot and saw the Home Depot in front of us, but still hadn't located the wine.

We were standing on the street corner next to a pop-up tent selling Easter flowers, looking lost, when suddenly we heard a voice.

"Hey ladies. You lost? Looking for the gym?"

We turned around. The flower seller must have spotted us from his tent and assumed from our running clothes that we were headed to work out.

"The opposite!" we replied. "We're looking for the liquor store."

"Liquor! Niiiiiiceeeee" he leered, looking us up and down. "What are you guys drinking? You partying tonight?"

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small child lingering in the flower tent, probably his own son. Real classy, dude. We tried to extricate ourselves from the conversation, and fast.

"Can you just tell us where the State Store is?" we asked, avoiding eye contact.

"Oh yeahhhhh...you just take a left, walk past the safe way and over to the Meinike and you'll find it. If you go under the highway, you've gone to far. You ladies have a great time partying tonight, drink up, yeahhhhh."

First of all: GROSS, DUDE, GROSS.

Second of all: WHAT THE FUCK, PHILADELPHIA!?! Why are you making it so hard to buy wine! Why do we have to wander around in car repair parking lots and under highways just to find the nearest liquor store?! I don't know if the state thinks that by limiting alcohol vendors they'll reduce consumption but this whole excursion is DRIVING ME TO DRINK.

Finally we found what we were looking for, hidden behind a Jiffy Lube. We grabbed a family sized jug of Barefoot and a smaller, more sophisticated Cupcake to bring to dinner and hightailed it out of there.

At this point we'd run 10 miles, walked about 1 more to get to the "Vinocity Events" aka some man's house, then walked at least two more to find this stupid godforsaken liquor store and we still had to get home. We had no water. My legs were cramping, I wanted to cry.

I suddenly understand why Frodo is such a whiny brat throughout Lord of the Rings.  Epic journeys are exhausting!

Next time I go to Philly, I"m B-ing my own B all the way from New York.

Annnnd the end. What a week, you guys. WHAT A WEEK! What's everyone up to this weekend? I hope you have plenty of wine, whatever it may be.

I'm off to eat 36 bagels, refresh Weather.com repeatedly and pretend to be calm. Wish me luck!

xoxo Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [4.18.14]

You guys! Happy Friday. It is finally, really, truly here. I was so thrown off all week. Do you ever have those days where you wake up and think it's the weekend, but it's only Wednesday or think it must be Friday when it's not? Well, every single day this week I woke up convinced, convinced, deep down in my bones that it was Thursday. Every day. But no, it was just Tuesday. Then Wednesday. Then, by the time it finally was Thursday I was so exhausted by all the confusion, I needed a nap. It was like Groundhog Day, minus all the groundhogs. Fun fact: I've never seen that movie.

Surprising, right? I know!

What's up for the weekend? Brian and I are going to Philly to spend some time with my sister and his family. I'm looking forward! Even though we're not exactly "religious," it doesn't feel right to spend Easter without family. How not religious are we, you might ask? Let's just say last night we wasted many an hour in an internet vortex trying to remember exactly how this whole crucifixion/resurrection scenario played out. Our Google Search History currently reads:  " Was Jesus crucified on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday?" "What is Good Friday?" "Crucifixion Timeline" (gruesome) and then "can your Confirmation Certificate be revoked like a drivers license?!"

Just kidding on the last one but mine probably should. I'm skating on thin theological ice over here. I hope they serve jelly beans in hell!

Ok that's about enough rambling about Easter + I  used up so many of my words yesterday on that epic ode to wedding registries, why don't we just cut right to the chase and take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

This Almond Butter:

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I got home from work last evening and did item #1 on every single Top 25 Things All Girls Secretly Totally Love Buzzfeed list, took off my brassiere and realized I had some kind of schmutz on my decolletage. "What could this be? " I thoght and then realized it was almond butter. Leftover from my 2 PM snack. I was eating with such intense vigor I dropped nutbutter all down my shirt and didn't realize it for hours.

I think "ladylike" might be the best word to describe me? A vision of grace?

This Subway Track:

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See that black blob on the rail there? I walked down into the station after work the other evening and saw something large and dark moving all about the tracks. I instantly assumed it was the most enormous, feral rat rearing up on its back legs, ready to leap up onto the platform and eat me alive, and I jumped up and back, away from the edge and screamed "OH MY GOD!" anddd then realized it was just a plastic bag, blowing in the breeze.

(un)luckily for me, the New York City Subway System is as full of crazy humans as it is enormous rodents so not a single person blinked an eye at my hysteria but I still felt a fool.

This Washing Machine:

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Went to the laundromat after work on Monday to find it crammed full at 6 PM on a weeknight, so I hauled my laundry backpack up on my shoulders and clomped back home . I returned a few hours later and found just two empty washing machines. In a complete frenzy I stuffed one full, slammed the door and then, like Ace of Base, I saw the sign. Out of Order.

Le sigh.

IF ONLY I'd been at this amazing establishment brought to my attention earlier this week by my friend Jen. A laundromat that doubles as a bar. Complete with cheese plates. I can't imagine anything greater in this whole wide world.  I mean, maybe having your own washer and dryer in your own home but that's too bold a thing to even consider.

God I hate New York sometimes.

Speaking of laundry...

This Shirt:

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Last weekend we had a wedding in New Jersey so we spent the weekend at Brian's parents house. I brought out a few items of dirty laundry to deal with while I was there because, well, see above. I totally meant to wash it myself but then Brian's mom mentioned she was putting in a load and did we want to toss anything in? I'd have been a fool to pass that up and so I, an adult woman, had my mother-in-law wash my underwear.

New lows every single day.

The following morning I put on my favorite white t-shirt, freshly laundered (and dried and folded! God we're spoiled) by Brian's mom and about four seconds later, picked up a coffee mug and inexplicably poured half of it on myself. I'm not even sure what happened. I may  have had a small stroke? All I know is my favorite white t-shirt is now stained with some lovely brownish spots and I have but two options: go back to the hellhole that is the liquor-free laundromat OR wait until next time we visit the Scotts and see if Brian's mom could just have a go at the stains, perhaps?

Adulthood!!

This Outfit:

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This is me and my coworker and we sit right next to each other at the office and are in the midst of a big campaign together annnnd earlier this week dressed like straight up twinsies. Obviously we had a photoshoot.

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Somewhere high above the Hollywood Hills or Harvard University or wherever she is these days, Tyra Banks is shuddering in horror.  We are NOT America's Next Top Models.

And, scene! Happy Good Friday, everyone! Or Sad Good Friday, because Jesus dies? AAAAH I DON'T KNOW. I'm going to go eat some peanut butter eggs and get this day started!

xoxo Liz