Another Awkward Week [10.4.13]

Hello, pumpkins. It's October! It's also 85 degrees in New York City right now.  Ridiculous! Is there anything more exciting than talking about the weather?!  No siree. Except maybe this announcement: I have completed the first of my 30 Before 30 challenges, holla! As of this morning, I am only in debt on one credit card! And also in student loans. And most certainly to my mother. But still: baby steps.

I started my foray into credit card debt  while studying abroad my junior year. I know I'm amazingly irresponsible but I still maintain that travel is a worthy cause of debt. Live a little! See the world! I would, however, recommend putting the card away when you return and not breaking it out at the first pair of riding boots that catch your eye. The "I swear I'll pay it off the second the bill comes" trap is far to easy to fall into, trust me, I'm an expert. I would also recommend not opening a second credit card - especially if it is a specialty store credit card - for me, The Gap - no matter how much of a discount they offer you just for opening. Sure you saved 40% on that chambray tunic but suddenly it's three years later and thanks to copious 'members only sales' and promises of points and bonuses for non-clothing purchases you're a thousand bucks in the hole with little more than some flimsy cardigans to show for it.

I'd also recommend not moving to New York City or working in publishing but far wiser people than I have done it quite successfully with little to no financial hardship so maybe just don't listen to me at all when I'm dishing out money advice and/or life?

Long story extra long: I dipped into my savings account (which up until last January was at a standard balance of like $32, but that's another story for another day) to pay off my Gap credit card. It was scary to write such a huge check, from money I'd worked so hard to save, but it feels like the right move. The interest rates were staggeringly high, and every minimum payment I made felt like a sad drop in the bucket. I still have a long way to go on my other debts but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction. I am pretty flim-flamming proud of myself, I'm not gonna lie about it.

Whoop! One (major!) challenge down, 29 to go...

Is this what responsibility feels like? It's refreshing! And terrifying. Mostly terrifying. Someone give me back my credit card. I see some pants I need...

No! Let me distract myself with story telling! Why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week:

This Feast:

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Did everyone watch the Breaking Bad finale on Sunday?! OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! No spoilers but I will tell you this much: my friend Kamran and I pulled out all the stops on our epic finale party. Or wait, the opposite. Across the interwebs we saw blue cocktails with home made rock candy and Heisenburgers...my own brother even made a blue cake decorated with blue "meth" sugar candy (well, it was more green than blue, such a Todd that guy!).

Kam and I managed to put down some blue (meth!) berry ice cream, three dozen "Pollos Hermanos" wings, a few slices of pizza and half a bottle each of scotch and Pinot Grigio.

Classy and festive. Or lazy and gluttonous. Little of both?

And if you don't know what any of these things mean, WELL, it sounds like you've been wasting your time doing dumb stuff instead of catching up on Breaking Bad so, sorry I'm not sorry. Get your life together, man.

These Gifts:

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Let's see...the largest of the bunch is a housewarming gift for my friend and her husband who bought their home in oh, May. The smaller in gold and silver is a wedding gift for my cousin who was married on the 5th of July... the colorful package below that one is another wedding gift for my friend Maureen, who was married on the 6th of July, wrapped in birthday paper because I ran out of the fancy wedding stuff. 4 months late and inappropriately wrapped. Regular old Emily Post right over here.  (Also, both gifts are the same, involving the couple's initials and wedding dates. Both couples are M+M and married within one day of the other so the probability that I mixed them up is about 80 to 1. Just cross your fingers this all worked out.)

The stack of birthday wrapped packages are gifts for my godson and his twin brother on their 3rd birthday, which was just Wednesday so I'm only like 3 days late on that one.

I actually bought all of these on time, but let them linger in my office for months because I'm just the laziest. Or, OR, hear me out guys: it's strategic and thoughtful. I understand that there must be a sense of sadness after a wedding ends or several months post-birthday or house closing - all of your planning and saving and celebrating has come to a close and you go back to your sad, dumb, boring life with no presents, or parties or cake. UNTIL! Six months later, suddenly, you open your mailbox and, what's this?!?! A gift?! For me?! The celebration lives on! Once again your bask in the glow of your newly wedded/habitated/born bliss and feel special and loved again.

THAT is why I'm always late. It's not that I can't get it together...it's alllll  a part of my master plan.

You're welcome, everyone.

Wondering what's in those packages? Not telling...except this one peek.

These Books:

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Best book EVAH! Got one for my godson....annnnd a copy for me. I haven't read it in years! What a classic.

My godson Michael is one of a set of twins - they each have separate godparents. It doesn't feel right to get just Michael a birthday gift, but I felt like I needed to do something special for the guy, since I am his spiritual mentor and all. I realize that I'm not exactly a pillar of Christian morality (whoops) but do think I could teach the kid a thing or two about something that I believe is truly valuable: lit-rah-chaaa. Every year for his birthday I'll help to build his library, supplying him with my favorite books I read as a young person. Last year I got him The Phantom Tollbooth and this year, the Mixed Up Files. He just turned three, so he likely won't be diving into these for a few years, but when he's ready I want him to be prepared with a fully stocked, totally badass library.

I'll make this kid a bookworm if it's the last thing I do!

I guess that's not really awkward, unless you count me reading books for 3rd graders on the subway. I just wanted to show off that, though I send them way late, I DO give solid presents.

Now, time to overshare. You ready for this?

I don't know if you are.

This Toilet:

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Some BOLD color choices up in this apartment.

Last week when I wrote about my multiple public restroom disasters, my friend commented thanking me for keeping the toilet humor classy and I was so honored. I don't want to reach too high for the stars, but that's kind of my goal. To be the classiest inappropriate person on earth. Can it be done? Well, this next story might push the limits but I think it's important to share.

So. Wednesday evening I was going to a friend's house in the neighborhood for a ladies' grilled cheese evening and stopped off at my apartment between work and her place to drop off my things and rinse off, as I'd gone for a run near my office and was smelling like a real peach.

The house I grew up in was pretty old, with a plumbing system to match - flushing a toilet anywhere in the house would set the hot water totally haywire, so you had to be really careful before taking a shower. Any flush action within like, 20 minutes pre-shower could have you shivering in ice water the whole time. Consequently, I never, ever flush if I you knowww before hopping in the shower, even if it's a number twosie, which is totally never is because girls don't poop. Except when they do, which is sometimes before they get in the shower. Or so I've heard.

I just close the toilet lid, scrub up and flush when I get out.

WELL. Wednesday evening I was rushing around to get to Abbe's house, my brain a million places at once. Brian was working late, so I came and went before he made it home. I was halfway to Abbe's house when I got that horrible, sinking anxiety feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'd forgotten something. You know how you can convince yourself that you didn't unplug the iron or turn off the stove? Well I was suddenly just horribly, devastatingly positive that I'd forgotten to flush the toilet, leaving a delightful surprise waiting for poor Brian.

Now, we're pretty open (some might say too open) (some would probably be correct) with discussing our bodily functions, but there are some lines that can't be crossed, you know? Not yet, anyway. We've lived together for TWO MONTHS, we gotta save something for the future! If we start seeing each other's doo-doo two months in, what's left at two years? Twenty-two? I literally can not imagine...nor do I want to.

I contemplated turning back around but it was too far for just a hunch and plus: what if Brian beat me there? So I did what any weirdo would do and texted him:

"Listen. If you get home ant he toilet seat is down...flush it before opening. Don't ask any questions."

Charming.

Guys: this is real life. No one prepares you for this stuff! When you make the decision to move in with a romantic partner, whether it's pre-marital or post, no one clues you in to the actual HARD TRUTHS of cohabitation. Sure you hear all about splitting finances and chores and making sure you get alone time but NO ONE prepares you for the very real and probably inevitable possibility of seeing the other person's poop.

Well, now you've been warned. Tread lightly. Double check that you've flushed.

Luckily it turns out that I had, in fact, remembered, so this whole situation was just an act of unnecessary oversharing, anxiety and weirdness (my three best qualities) but I still think it the creep-o text was better than the alternative. And Brian still seems to be attracted to me (what a freak!) so I think we're in the clear.

FOR NOW.

You can count on me to always report the most vital of information from the front lines of living in sin...whether anyone actually wants to hear it or not.

Annnnnddddd I think that's as good a point as any to shut this mother DOWN. It's Friday y'all. We made it. What's everyone up to this weekend?

I trust you'll keep it an appropriate mix of classy and shameful, whatever you do.

xoxo Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [12.28.12]

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza or Winter Solstice or Non Denominational December Vacation Day or whatever it is you might celebrate. I spent the last week at home in Pennsylvania and it has been lovely. I did all of my favorite things: watched Muppet Christmas Carol multiple times, went to the movies, hung out with my family, wept in the bathtub while drinking wine and reading a sad book (every year I save up my saddest entertainment for when I go home, last year it was the FNL finale, so that I can get in a good bubble bath cry. That's normal, right?), ate myself into oblivion and generally had a blast. Plus, we had a White Christmas! 20121224_174206

So pretty!

Despite all the fun, I couldn't help feeling like this Christmas went by too quickly. I know it is a cliche to say that every year goes quicker than the last, but 2012 really seemed to zip by. I'm going to make a concerted effort in the New Year to try to focus on the moment and slow things down.

But talking about the passage of time is a surfire snooze inducer, so let's change the subject! Here's what was keeping it awkward this festive holiday week:

This Photo ID:

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Because it is FINALLY legal! I know you've all been a part of this license saga from the beginning, so I'm pleased to share that I have finally renewed my drivers license and am once again a functioning member of society. Or at least just a semi-functioning person who is now allowed to drive a car. I'd suggest you all get off the road now.

This picture is horrible. My DMV clerk was about 60, a woman with long grey hair in two pigtails done Native American style with multiple bands at intervals down the plait and had tons of turquoise jewelery adorning her periwinkle fleece vest. She spoke in a very condescending, strange way "ok now you use this nice pen to sign your beautiful signature...there you go! good job!" and kind of creeped me out. I tried to smile in a serene, mature way because, I don't know why, I'm insane, and the photo is clearly hideous. But after old pigtails asked me why I "hid my pretty teeth" I couldn't decide if she was being insulting or encouraging so just choked and told her to hit print.

WOOF!

These Sweaters:

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Just kidding, they are amazing. My favorite holiday tradition is Christmas Eve. We've spent the past 26 years celebrating with our very dear family friends and every year is better than the last. This year we were gifted some seriously sassy holiday sweaters. Damn we look good.

This Trivial Pursuit Card:

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Which came up during family game night on my turn to read. Specifically the yellow question which asks: "Which Greek philosopher's last words before dying of hemlock poisoning, were: "I owe a cock to Asclephius; will you repay him"?

The answer is Socrates. And also, no, Liz is NOT mature enough to read a question about someone owing someone else a cock during family game night...

This Blob:

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This is a horrible photo but trust me when I say it depicts a giant red wine stain on my mom's living room carpet, courtesy of yours truly. Merry Christmas, Mom! Oh, and your birthday is December 25? Great! Stained rugs are the gift that keep on giving.

This Television:

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My Christmas gift from my amazing, generous mama but we forgot to consider an exit strategy. Today I'll attempt to lug this thing from Pennsylvania to Brooklyn via public transport. Should be totally smooth.

This Christmas Ornament:

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One of my favorites on the tree! I made this in AP English in HS (I swear the curriculum was more vigorous than this craft would suggest) and every year it gets funnier and funnier. I'm not sure what's the best part of that acrostic. Is it using "available" as an adjective (so desperate) or "BOOTYLICIOUS!" in all caps (so delusional) or the fact that I spelled "intelligent" incorrectly (so...dumb!). Intellegent. Oh I slay myself.

Good thing I've really matured and changed since then...

And finally, the gem to end all gems that ever were gems:

This Advertisement:

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Yes, read closely, that is an ad for Central PA's finest rural sex club The Hedo Farm Resort. They're having a New Years' Eve Party that includes a champagne toast, DJ Dance Party and "Country-Style Breakfast" at 1 AM. I don't know about you, but to me, nothing says "hot sex club" quite like a late night buffet of creamed chipped beef and toast. Do you think they provide bibs so you don't spill on your harness or exposed breasts?

I went to the website (www.thefarmtravelclub.com SO WORTH whatever spam this will send me) and this place is BEYOND. I realized that the only examples I've seen of sex clubs are from like, Castle, when Castle & Beckett had to go investigate an S&M murder and they had witty banter and crackling tension or something, if that hasn't happened, I'm sure it will, but I've always assumed they'd be a little, you know, sexy. This place is potentially the least sexy sex club you could imagine. It is set on 40 acres of beautiful land, the party palace is an old farmhouse, which was hopefully formerly owned by someone Amish. They have two hottubs, a pool with a sun deck (clothing optional!) a beach volleyball pit (clothing suggested...by me...you don't want to be a diving dig with you cooch exposed, ouch), 25 "themed party rooms" and are BYOB. They have a very strict business casual dress code which emphasizes slacks as appropriate attire for both men and women.

"Everyone grab your chinos, we're going swinging!'

They also offer RV hookups, places where you can pitch a tent...both in your pants and in the woods (ba dum, ping!)...and are obsessed with food. Every night there is a buffet and every morning they offer a continental breakfast that prominently features danish. DANISH!

"So great to watch you screw my wife last night. Could you pass me another danish?"

Also, the owner's names are HERBY AND JUDY and their logo is a cartoon horse with the slogan "helping you horse around."

Basically this ad is the best Christmas gift I've ever received and I will see you all at the Hedo Farm Resort on New Years Eve. Get there early, the prime rib and stuffed haddock buffet starts at 6!

And there you have it. The last awkward week of 2012 - how wild is that? How did you spend your holiday?

xo Liz Ho Ho Ho (last time this year, I swear!)