Another Awkward Week [2.14.14]

Me again? What! I'm having such a prolific week. I pinky swear I won't so much as say the words "wedding dress" one time. I mean, except there, where I had to say it to tell you I wouldn't say it. But no more. No more, I promise! Hey, Happy Valentines Day, you guys!!! What are you guys doing to celebrate? I'm wearing my red pants (though suspiciously no new Valentines Day socks this year, mom?!?!) and will be hosting my Second Annual  Romantic Valentine's Day Chip & Dip Party this afternoon. This year I'm taking it to the next level, conference room style. I'm even serving champagne! I will make V-Day fun for all, so help me Anna Howard Shaw.

If any of you are feeling grinchy and anti-Valentine this morning, allow me to redirect you to my manifesto on why it's actually not that bad and say to you: cheer up, you grouch! I love you!

Speaking of love, I'd like to sincerely thank you all for your sweet comments & notes of support for my family during this last week. You're a beautiful bunch, you know that?! Seriously. Thank you!

And now, without further ado, why don't we take a look back at what was keeping it awkward this week.

This Snowbank:

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There's literally nothing more boring than talking about the weather all the time, we get it, it's cold out, but sometimes, it can not be helped. For example: this week. ENOUGH with the snow and ice and thundersnow and freezing rain and wintry mixes, Mother Nature. You've had your fun, let's cut right to spring. I'm not joking around...I will hunt you down, Mother Nature, and I will hurt you.

Thanks to the horrors of this winter, the curbs and sidewalks of Brooklyn are now just buried in piles of ice and snow at all times. The other night I had a party after work, so came home pretty late. I'd worn my snow boots there and then changed into heels for the party, I'm such a classy bitch, and didn't bother putting the boots back on to come home. I took a taxi home and was counting on door-to-door service, but forgot that the path to my door is paved in sheer ice. The taxi dropped me at the corner next to my building, I paid, exited, took one step towards my front door and yup...

bit it.

Booty on ice, legs in the air, arms flailing: bit it.

Enough, winter, enough.

I am now done complaining. Possibly.

This Cheese:

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NOM.

This week's adventures in large-scale grocery purchases. I guess I didn't learn my lesson with that oatmeal.

If you'll recall, last weekend I had some hawt plans to gorge myself on veggie lasagna (this recipe! so good!) and gorge myself I did. I hit up the grocery store Sunday AM and had ricotta on my list, but didn't know how much I'd need for the 'zan (attempting to abbreviate "lasagna." NO, Liz, no). To be safe, I decided to just buy the largest tub I could possibly find. Turns out the recipe called for just 1/6 of this puppy.

Which leaves me with a large quantity of ricotta cheese just sitting in the fridge, tempting me, calling me, begging me to just grab a large spoon and stand in front of the fridge with the door wide open, shoveling ricotta right out of the container and into my face.

And OH have I been giving into that temptation. If you guys have never experienced the joy that is ricotta cheese straight up, I urge you to run, not walk, to your neighborhood grocery store and purchase the largest container you can possibly find. You can thank me later.

And on the subject of our hawt weekend...

This Bumping Nightclub:

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Oh wait, no, that's actually the laundromat, where Brian and I spent our Saturday night. We filled in the rest of the weekend doing our taxes, reorganizing the kitchen drawers and marathoning the epic Ken Burns masterpiece "The West."

Um, yeah, we know how to party. This is how boring we are and we're not even married yet! I'm so nervous (slash EXCITED!) for our future, where we just stay in every weekend and watch television and eat  noodles!!!!

And quickly on the topic of Ken Burns, basically his entire oeuvre is now available on Netflix, so if you, too, are a huge loser with many hours to fill ingesting thoroughly researched historical documentary miniseries...hop to.

This Ensemble:

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Something that I love is the concept of  attractive "lounge wear." Stores like Gap and Victoria Secret have whole lines of clothing dedicated to looking nice even while relaxing and TV and movies always show women somehow managing to look chic and cute while lazing around the home (especially Olivia Pope and her gorgeous cream colored satin wine clothes!)

I adore these outfits and aspire to some day look great even while getting my Ken Burns on but in reality...I am just not that gal.

The outfit above is a classic example of the sorts of get-ups I rock around the home. Plaids on plaids on stripes on stripes on neon and the reason my pants are so short is because I think it's really comfy to hike my PJ bottoms all the way up so they're basically sitting right below my boob line. It is an INSANELY sexy look. (Also what is that face?!)

And in case you're curious what sort of spicy lingerie I'll be changing into the second I get home this Valentines Evening...ding ding. You're looking at it. Brian is a lucky man.

The End! What a week. Here's wishing you a day full of hugs and smooches and candy hearts and photos of red roses captioned "Best boyfriend ever I'm such a lucky girl <3 <3 xoxo luv u hunny happy vday!" cluttering your facebook feed and all the chips and dips your heart could desire.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZocWZYJx6Ic]

luv u hunnies happy vday!

Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [12.6.13]

Hola, amigos! How was everyone's Thanksgiving?! Or have we completel moved on past el dia del pavo and on to le mele Kalikimaka?

It's my blog and I will misuse as many languages in one sentence as I see fit!

Mine was kind of hectic, travelling up and down Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, but ultimately fun. The crown jewel of course, was the reemergence of the Turkey Hats. This year Brian got in on the fun. Clearly he's thrilled.

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Welcome to the family, champ.

The other crown jewel, since the best crowns have multiple jewels, according to my close, personal BFF Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton (or as I call her, Skip) (it's an inside joke, you wouldn't understand), was my 10 Year High School Reunion. It was truly a night to remember...though some parts are fuzzier than others. Open bar FTW. I'm in the midst of writing a comprehensive, insightful and obviously hilarious recap of that whole thang but that's not quite ready for public consumption so for the probably one person eager to read that (Hi Ben!!!), 'tis coming, I swear.

I actually had high intentions to blog errryday in December (William's calling it Blogmas!) but so far I'm 0 for 6. Wait, no, this counts, hah, so I'm 1 for 6! 

#MATH

I'm also completely unprepared with stories & photos for this week, so while we're talking numerically, why don't we just briefly take a look back at the facts & figures of the week that was. Some might call this a cop-out and I might call them correct. 

What Was Keeping It Awkward This Week: By The Numbers!

TWENTY-FOUR

The Number of blocks I walked after work last night to get my engagement ring resized, only to discover the jewelry store had up and moved locations.

 

SEVEN

Number of stops I then rode on the subway before I realized I was headed in the wrong direction.

 

SEVEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY
Number of words I have written up about my high school reunion so far. WHOA.

 

JUST ONE
Number of strange European men who approached me in the subway this week, announced "What is the word! It's the word! It's a thing I learned in English, What's the word!" and then ran away.

 

ELEVENTY ZILLION
Number of times consecutively that I have listened to Kelly Clarkson's new Christmas JAM, Underneath the Tree.

 

EIGHT

Number of decorative Santas currently on display in my home. Plus 6 snowmen, 3 scented candles, a large felt banner spelling Merry Christmas and 2 stockings. And we're getting a tree this weekend! It's a Mother-Elfing Winter Wonderland up in this piece!

 

SIX

Number of times in a row I have now worn my one decent pair of black tights without washing them. Mom, please put some tights in my stocking this year, things are getting pretty disgusting.  

 

EVERY SINGLE ONE

Number of outfits I wore this week that now bear salad dressing stains.

 

THREE
Number of times I've taken this Which Love Actually Character Are You Quiz, hoping to learn some Real Truths about myself.

So far, I've learned I am like Annie, the Prime Minister's head of house, you know, this bitch who calls Natalie "the chubby one"

 Annie lA

According to these results, I like being in charge and am good at making people happy. (At least one of those is verrry true.)

Quiz Two told me I am Karen aka the heroine of the saddest and possibly best (JK they're all the best!) storyline in the film:

 Karen

 

This reveals that I'm "the type of person who loves to stay in on a snowy night with a glass of wine and an old record. You have a great sense of humor and would do anything for your family."

That is actually true! Go me, I sound great. Except will this mean I end up crying while listening to Joni Mitchell, wondering if I should wait around to find out if it's just a necklace, or if it's sex and a necklace, or if, worst of all, it's a necklace and love? Would I stay, knowing life would always be a little bit worse? Or would I cut and run?

(Is the fact that I can quote that entire scene from memory admirable or pathetic? Please don't tell me.)

And the final time gave me the best possible answer: SAM!

 Sam

Apparently I am "creative, wise beyond my years, and very determined. I would break any and all laws to be with the one I love."

Hell yeah! Now let's go get the shit kicked out of us by love!

And that, my beautiful, unique snowflakes was my week. How was yours? What Love Actually character are YOU?!?!?!? Let’s just talk about Love Actually all day and forever and always and do nothing productive. Who’s with me?

Xoxo Liz 


Another Awkward Week - Thanksgiving Edition [11.27.15]

Gobble, Gobble, Turkeys! Who's excited for Thanksgiving? I'm pumped UP! Get at me, stuffing.

To be honest, I've actually been a little anxious about the impending holiday (LOL, who me? Anxious? Well I nevah!). We're squeezing a lot into a few short days: first in NJ with Brian's parents,then down to Philly to stay at my sister's & do a second turkey dinner and thennnn go up to my hometown in PA to attend my 10 Year High School reunion, for which I have been very actively involved in the planning committee because I have sucker printed big & bold on my forehead, apparently, and then back up to NYC on Sunday to return to the real world.

These are all wonderful things and will be great fun, but I've been worried, I have! This is the first year that Brian & I are doing holidays together - my first Thanksgiving away from my immediate family. I know this is just life and adulthood and I need to nut up and get over it, but it feels strange. I'm at once excited and a little bit sad, mourning the end of The Way Things Always Are, instead of eagerly looking ahead to building a new family unit with Brian. I don't want either of our families to feel left out or given the short end of the deal.Then, this reunion, which can't be a failure because everyone from high school will hate me! Which...why do I care? I shouldn't, but I do. I don't want to let anyone down. Anywhere. Ever!

I just want everyone to be happy and for everything to be perfect all the time forever and an eternity, amen. Is that too much to ask?!

Probably. Mayhaps (an excellent, underused word!) I should be using my brainspace to focus on the good, rather than dramatically worry? MAYHAPS!

And so, in no particular order and certainly not complete, a few things I am thankful for this year:

First and Foremost: Cheesy Clipart 

The 3 F's: My Family, Friends and Fiance (!)

A few more F's: French Fries, Fresh Flowers, Farmers Markets, Fleece, Feminism, Forks and Frosties (of the latter, I haven't had one in years, but I'm just thankful to know they exist.) 

Hulu Plus

Hiking Trails (& strong legs for those mountain climbs!)

Instagram

Sandwiches

My Covered Wagon Lamp

Taylor Swift

The Color Green 

Decorative Gourds

And, of course: all you weirdos who let me rant and rave and tell strange stories on the internet and somehow find that entertaining. Y'all complete me, you really, really do. 

So for you, for YOU I say, why don't we stop being so damn earnest and get funky fresh. A quick look at what was keeping it awkward this short, carbo-laden week.

These Groceries:

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Over the weekend, I stopped by the market to pick up some fresh healthy business because it is a known scientific FACT that if you eat at least one piece of fruit every day for the week before Thanksgiving, you can then have allll the pie and potatoes and wine and you will actually lose weight! Total true fact, gang.

I was walking out of the store when an onion fell down in front of me and I sort of kicked it with my foot, across the street.

I assumed it had just fallen out of the top of the bag. I laughed, picked it up and kept walking.

NOOOOOPE. Turns out the bottom of the bag had ripped open and suddenly all of my groceries went cascading onto the sidewalk. Apparently I had only purchased round foods, so they then went rolling in all directions. I scrambled around on my hands and knees on the dirty sidewalk, chasing after apples and lemons and onions, oh my!

A man actually walked past me and said "you a mess, girl."

OH AM I? No duh, neighbor. Charmed, I'm sure.

It probably didn't help that I was sporting this get-up, in public:

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Oh yes. That'd be moccassins (with a hole in one toe), Valentine's Day socks pulled up OVER leggings, a neon blue t-shirt and severely greasy hair all topped off by that food-stained, grotesque zip-up hoodie which should never be allowed out of the house. I actually acquired that beautiful specimen on a first date many a years back.  The guy was polite enough to give me his jacket when I was cold...but not so polite as to ever call me again, so I got to keep the sweatshirt. Booyah. I should don't know if I should feel like, insulted that I never heard from this guy,  but c'mon, dude wore a poop-colored sweatshirt on a first date...nothing to waste too many tears on. 

This Plastic Bag:

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Remember that guy from American Beauty who was all obsessed with the beauty of plastic bags blowing in the wind? Well, imagine how many more Oscars that film would have won if one of the plastic bags had blown up and hit a beautiful young (ish) lady right in the face as she was walking to dinner.

Imagine THAT!

Just look at that bastard, hanging out in a tree, taunting me. I'll get you back, bag. Never rest. When you least expect it: oh, I'll be there.

Other inanimate objects getting all up in my business this week...

This Umbrella:

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I came home from the movies late last night (Catching Fire! One Million Stars! Movie of the Year!) and it was a torrential downpour outside. I closed my umbrella when I came in the building and went to leave it outside of my apartment door, to dry. I guess I dropped it way hard and it landed riiiight on the top which somehow caused a chain reaction, forcing the umbrella to POP open, smacking into my shins and causing me to trip into my front door.

I almost died. Right there in my own doorway. I'd NEVER make it in the Hunger Games.

And that's my week! Short and sloppy. Just like I like my turkeys.

What are YOU thankful for this year?!!! 

Wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving, to all near and far. Strangers or friends. Or foes! Even foes! Have you ever called someone a foe in real life? Like "oh, that guy over there, he's my foe." That's another word we need to bring back into day to day conversation.

And a Happy  Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish peeps out there. Shalom! Mazel Tov! Other Jewish Words!

xoxoxo Liz Ho

One Lazy Halloween

Boo! Halloween is right around the corner, folks. Are you ready? I am...NOT. After so many years of dominating the scene in my nude suit, I just haven't been able to muster up a lot of enthusiasm for old Fright Night. I might end up staying in, eating candy and watching television, like I do most every other night, but if I do end up Trick or Treating I'm going to have to scramble, and fast, to come up with a sweet 'stume.

I figured I can't be the only last minute lazy bones out there, so wanted to offer up a few creative ideas for costumes that you can throw together at a moment's notice, with very little energy expended. Or if you're still looking for a way to get sexy without being dull, do consult last year's list of creatively slutty costume suggestions!

Feel free to borrow any of these fantastic ideas... or share your own! And if you're considering black face, might I suggest consulting this website first:  http://shouldidressinblackfacethishalloween.com/.

Let's do this!

LIZ HO'S GUIDE TO HALLOWEEN FOR LAZY PEOPLE

Skeleton:

(via Pinterest) 

This is a classic from the Maggie HoBags playbook. Black pants, black t-shirt, "skeleton" made of masking tape. Boom.

Yankee Candle:

(image via)

Wear a colored t-shirt, print out an image label via Google Images or just rip the sticker right off your favorite candle. Attach a pipe cleaner or piece of string to your head. People miiiight try to light you on fire, but that's a risk you'll need to be willing to take.

Junk Mail:

(via the wikipedia page for "junk mail" which is a fascinating read!)

Just tape all of your junk mail to your body. Easier than opening a New Pre-Approved VIP Credit Card!

Similarly, yet slightly more creatively....

Pinterest:

(image via)

Just print out pictures of stuff you love, intricate first birthday cakes, workout inspiration and other nonsense and stick to your bod. Extra points if you include the Pinterest logo.

Dogwalker:

(image via)

Pretty self explanatory: Kidnap a bunch of puppies and walk them on leashes. Return all but the very cutest one at the end of the night!

Miley Cyrus in Wrecking Ball:

(image via)

All sorts of idiots are apparently paying actual American dollars for this hideous monstrosity...take it one step further, for cheaper, by just stepping out in your underbusiness while carrying construction tools.  Easy AND "sexy." Good job!

Your Garbage Can:

(image via)

Cover your body in double sided tape, dump your garbage can over your head and see what sticks. Pee-yew.

Leftovers:

(image via)

Wrap yourself in tin foil. THE END.

Yard Sale:

(image via)

Take all of your unwanted belongings to a bar/party, set them on display with a sign reading Yard Sale. Then sell them to other party goers for money and/or candy.  Have a festive evening and make money while unloading unwanted items? Win and win.

Taylor Swift:

t swizz

I will sell you this wig and HAND MADE glittery pink guitar for $4 plus overnight shipping.

Office Tooth Brusher:

(image via)

The SCARIEST costume ever. Wear business casual and carry your tooth brush and toothpaste. I'm shuddering already just thinking about it!

Streaker:

(image via)

Literally streak around your neighborhood during trick-or-treat time. There is a 150 million percent chance you will get arrested but isn't Halloween the time for a new adventure?

Kim Kardashian's Engagement Ring:

(image via)

This one does take some time: darken the lights in your room, put on your sexiest white thong body suit and highest Louboutins, light one million candles and spritz the room with a liberal does of Glam, the Kim Kardashian eau de cologne. Then meditate on fame for three solid hours, taking breaks every 15 minutes to splash your face with Dom Perignon. If you do it right, you will then magically calcify into a 15-karat diamond. True fact!

It should wear off after about 24 hours but you might consider setting your affairs in order beforehand, just in case.

Liz Ho:

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Who doesn't want to dress as their favorite blogger for Halloween? Oh, everyone? Fair enough! If you change your mind, just toss on some jeggings, a cardigan and a v-neck shirt. Drink all the wine you see and spill 42% of it on yourself. Done and done.

Bonus: make it a couple's costume by having your partner dress in a JCrew checked button down and dress as Liz and Brian AKA the Will & Kate of Brooklyn.

Hahaha NO.

Annnnd I think that's enough ideas for now. I trust y'all can come up with more great ones on your own. Happy Halloween, friends! Send me all your Kit Kats!

xooxo Liz

 

Another Awkward Week [7.12.13]

You guys?! Did you know that 'Namaste" means "hello" in Hindi? I did not! Guess I need to spend some more time at yoga. Why am I bringing this up, you ask? WELL I'm headed to South Carolina today for a big Indian wedding and was going to start this post by wishing everyone hello in Hindi but then realized that I'm not actually 100% sure if the bride & groom are Hindi, I just sort of guessed that because I am what you might call 'culturally insensitive.' See also: complete asshole. So anyway, Namaste y'all. I'm so excited for this wedding, I bought a sari! There will be multiple nights of dancing and possibly a white horse but definitely not elephants which of course is the first question I asked upon receiving the wedding invitation because, well, see above.

And how are YOU guys? What cultures will you be learning about slash deeply offending this weekend? If you're going to be in Colombia, South Carolina around 10 AM on Saturday and know how to drape a sari...wellllllll call me.

And that's what's up! Let's take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week:

This Basil Plant:

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Purchased at Trader Joe's (where else) a few weeks ago, he has been brought to the brink of death and back no less than 80 times since coming home with me. He has fallen to the ground, been parched dry, over watered, and ignored and yet every time it looks like he's on his way to meet his poinsettia cousin in houseplant heaven: he revives!

Who speaks limited French, has two thumbs and both of them are green?

This moi!

This Towel/Cape:

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Last weekend Brian and I went to a wedding on Long Island (was nottttt joking when I said it's all weddings, all the damn time round these parts) and it was too close to merit a hotel, so we decided to just rent a zip car and zipped on over. We got sandwiches for the ride up and Brian, ever resourceful, was worried about getting food on his suit so he tossed a towel in the back seat.

He ended up being too focused to drive to get any time to eat and even worry about this problem, but true to form, his ever worthless co-pilot had nothing but time and mayonnaise on her hands, so I spent the hour drive wrapped up in a towel a la so.

Cute right?

Brian may or may not have eaten his bagel in the vestibule of the Catholic Church, sorry  JM&J (Jesus, Mary and Joseph, obviously), but it was all worth it, as we managed to both dine on the go and keep our clothes in immaculate form. Here is a gratuitous, nauseatingly adorable photo to prove it:

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Sexy and we know it!

This Mess:

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That, friends, is NOT dirt, but a pile of cinnamon on my kitchen counter. Why, you ask? Good question! We have a minor ant problemo in la cocina and, ever the naturalist, I've been trying to get rid of them sans chemicals. Apparently ants are very averse to a number of herbs including but not limited to: cinnamon, cloves, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, black pepper and garlic. Cinnamon smells the yummiest of these spices, so I poured it all over the problem areas in the kitchen and voila! Problem solved!

No ants, no harmful chemicals buttt in we do have giant piles of cinnamon all over the place so I don't know how great of a trade-off this is...

This Bathroom:

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This is the door to the men's room at a VERY divey dive bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called The Turkey's Nest. They are right next to the park in that neighborhood and have some deal with the devil/city that they are able to sell booze in GIANT styrofoam to-go cups that patrons can carry into the park and get good and outdoor crunk. Their specialty is margaritas... hellooooo disaster!

Anyway, we hang in this park every 4th of July before catching the fireworks from a pal's roof nearby and always make frequent stops into the T-Nest to refresh our margs and use their facilities. WELL, on this particular day, the ladies' room (labeled "Turkettes," really guys?) was backed up so I decided to declare my independence from waiting for women to take their sweet time going to the bathroom and use the empty Turkey's room.

The room is pretty run-down - just a solo toilet and a sink and a bunch of rolls of toilet paper all strewn about and the lock on the door was rickety, at best, but I felt confident that it had locked solidly behind me.

You know how this ends.

I'm mid-stream when the door swings open - I scream, throw one hand to close the door and the other to cover my Va-J-Lo and the befuddled gentleman backs his way out the door.

I run out to tell my friends the hilarious story and learn they've already heard it: the unsuspecting intruder was no other than my friend Peter.

Sorry Petey!

Now for a confession: My embarrassment was NOT about being barged in on bottomless, no. Rather,I was mortified I'd been caught texting on the john.

And don't even TRY to tell me you've never done it because hi, your pants are on FIRE.

Speaking of bathrooms...

This Sink:

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I went to happy hour the other night and before we left I met my co-worker/friend (no, friend first, then co-worker!) on the floor below mine and I decided to use the unfamiliar third floor bathrooms on my way out the door. Afterwards, I went to the sink to wash up and was at the middle basin between two other women. I turned on the warm and a little bit of the cold, washed my hands and...could not turn off the water.

I turned the spouts left, right, side-to side. I turned them in unison and one at a time. I could not, for the life of me, get the water to turn off. I tried to play it cool, but the caught the eyes of the gal to my left, who I know very casually from working on some projects together and she was doing her best not to crack up. I looked to my right and sho nuf, the girl there was holding in her laughter.

It ended up kind of cute, we all giggled about it and eventually one of them manged to help me  shut down the faucet but OH! there was that one, painful moment before the laughter broke when I thought: this is it. You've done it, Liz. You've broken the office bathroom sink and EVERYONE saw it was you and now you have to quit. Just grab your purse, head for the door and never return.

Mildly dramatic, I know, but that's the way I do it!

And that was that! My week! How was yours?

Now I'm off to get my Tikka Masala ONNNNNNNNNNNNNN. Sorry in advance, Jay & Ami!

Goodbye in Hindi,

Liz Ho(rrible American)

One Awesome Mom

mothers day

Just a friendly reminder that Mothers’ Day is this coming Sunday – have you shopped yet? Hurry, hurry! Bonus #240 of working in publishing: free books make perfect gifts for all occasions. (Spoiler alert, Mom!).  I was hoping you might indulge me a few minutes in honor of this impending holiday to say a few words about my own special lady.

The thing about my mama is, she’s a pretty great gal. Her name is Bernadette but her pals call her Bebe. Her kids call her Bernie, Bernard, Bern-dawg, Beans, Bernice or Schmoopy, a bizzaro nickname we invented somewhere around mile seven of a fifteen hour family car trip. She is undoubtedly the backbone of our family and a source of warmth and strength for all around her.  Everyone who knows her loves her. It’s impossible not to love The Schmoopster, it just is. She’s smart and funny and snarky and warm and wise and giving and would jump in front of a stampeding herd of wildabeasts to protect her loved ones. So basically she’s Simba’s dad from The Lion King. Except still alive. And not a lion. Or a king. Or voiced by James Earl Jones. What I’m trying to say is: she’s the best. I’m lucky she’s mine.

I’ve been blessed, we’ve always been close. I know there were times where it wasn’t perfect and I was a bit of a snotty brat or she was being like, SO NOT fairrrr, Moommmmmm, but for the most part, we’ve always had a strong and open relationship. I know that can be a rare thing, so I don’t take it for granted.

A few weekends ago, she came up to New York for a visit and we had the most wonderful time. Long walks and museums and lots and lots and lots of wine. The best parts of the weekend for me were between the wandering and wining and dining. Saturday evening after dinner we sat up talking - in my kitchen with ice cream and then on my bed like a slumber party, and then again Sunday morning over mugs of coffee on the living room couch with the windows wide open to the sun. We talked about family history and future goals and worries and hopes and memories and her life and my life and I felt like we connected and communicated in a way we never had before. It is a strange thing to enter into adulthood and suddenly see your parents on a similar plain. She’s still my mommy and I’m still her little girl, but things are different now. I’m an adult and have my own life and am flying further and further away from the nest. I know this will continue to change as I check off additional life boxes like marriage and babies and things. That weekend, staying up late, talking, I felt like we clicked, like we hit the right groove on this new phase, as two adults. I felt as though I got to see and hear new sides of my mom and she opened up to me in a new way. And on the other side, I sensed myself as a grownup, in a good way. It’s hard to explain, as I sit here to type, but I feel I already know that our hours chatting here in my little Brooklyn apartment will be something I cherish forever. Can you know that after just a week? I’ll say you can. I was genuinely sad to see our weekend come to an end.

 I feel myself becoming more and more like my mom every day - in good ways and in ways that make me cringe: "I’m becoming my mother!" Sometimes when I’m exhibiting certain traits that drove us nuts growing up - say slight bossiness (we just know best!) or worrying (it’s a crazy world!), my siblings will call me Bernie Junior. They’re being jerks, but I take it as a compliment.

 I can't think of anyone I’d rather grow up to be.

So happy (early) Mothers’ Day, Schmoopaloop, and thank you for all you have taught me and shared with me and passed on to me. I think you’re just the best.

 

One Awkward Holi

I was wondering if you might indulge me for a few moments while I share some photos from my weekend. I mean, honestly, you kind of have to indulge me, this is my party and I’ll take weird colorful bathroom selfies if I want to!

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The thing is, when blogging, I tend to worry alot about what category of the ol’ blogosphere I fall into, what that I don’t cook or craft or parent or do anything of value in any way, and therefore I’m not sure what sorts of content to share. Just funny stories? Lists? Normal day-to-day stuff with a hilarious tone? Nothing at all - um, lately hat does seem the case, whoopsies! So does a somewhat straightforward weekend recap fall into whatever niche I’ve carved out for myself? Not funny enough? Too standard? AH!

I always think the best blogs are where people write 750 word essays about their identity struggles. Ha, jokes. The best blogs, to me, are where writers share a glimpse into their life, whether that life involve baking, child rearing, outfit putting togethering or just stupid story telling with warmth, humor and a great sense of authenticity. So that’s what I’ll do.

Ol’ Ho Bags, reaching new levels of self involvement and neurosis every damn minute.

But you know what? I just really want to tell everyone about this party I went to, because it was the coolest! As I mentioned on Friday, a high school friend of Brian’s, who is Indian (India Indian, not like, Pocahontas Indian) (first vaguely racist comment in the bag, cha-ching!) invited us to join his family for a party in honor of this holiday called Holi which is a Hindu celebration of spring and color.If you want to know more about the historical and cultural significance of this holiday, you can read this Wikipedia page. If you want to know more about ME and how I celebrated this holiday, and why wouldn't you, juuuust keep scrolling down.

Brian’s mom dropped us off at his friend Saurabh's parents' house, like a couplea middle schoolers, and it turned out we were totally early, which was semi-awkward BUT meant we got the freshest color. We took our shoes off at the door and were greeted by our friend Saurabh’s mother, a woman I had never met, rubbing our cheeks with colored powder. They had pushed back their furniture and covered all of the surfaces with plastic, like they were in the midst of a home renovation and in the back yard set up a tent and big tables covered in catered Indian food and tons of booze. Needless to say, I did not stick to my cleanse and I know you don’t want to know but beer + Indian food were maaaaybe not the best things to be pouring down my gullet. IF you know what I mean.

This powder I’m talking about, I still don’t quite know what it was, it was just a beautifully dyed pigment that came in bags simply labeled “Holi Powder.” We were assured it wasn’t poisonous. It tasted icky, like dirt, but not repulsive. They had out huge trays, like this:

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Ignore my socked feet in this professionally staged photograph.

You would just dip your hands and fingers in the powder and rub it all over your pals. Within 5 minutes of arrival, we were looking like this:

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Also, you can't see it, but we were wearing 100 % matching outfits: white t's and greyish jeans that were the very exact same shade. This marks like the 4th time in about 2 weeks that we've left the house in basically identical ensembles because everyone loves a couple that dresses alike.

Barf.

Other guests started arriving and it became quickly apparent that in addition to being way early, we were also the only non-Indians in attendance and ALSO the only asshats who arrived empty handed. I could die. I asked Saurabh what we should bring his parents and he assured 'nothing, nothing, just yourself!" and like a fool, I listened, and then stood there, mortified, my pale white skin noticeably reddening as guests poured into the house bearing bottles of wine, wrapped gifts, plates of food and other beautiful hostess gifts. AS THEY SHOULD. This is the second time in under a week I caught myself in this situation. I hope my mom's not reading this, she'll be SO ashamed. The weekend prior we had gone to Easter brunch with Brian's parents and I kept saying I needed to get his mother flowers and Brian kept reassuring me not to worry about it, so I arrived empty handed. His sister's boyfriend joined us, and he also appeared to arrive giftless, so I thought all was well, but then, a TWIST in the story, as we're said goodbye after the meal, he dashed to his car and returned with a gigantic fucking PLANT for their mom. Well played, young man, well played.

I could not have this college boy showing me up, so this week I snagged his mom a copy of a book she'd mentioned wanting to read. Point for Liz.

Point quickly lost when I arrived at the Holi party completely empty handed. Let these mistakes be lessons to you all: always bring a hostess gift and never ever listen to boys about gift giving etiquette because they are stupid. Fact.

Another important lesson: never assume that I won't go off onto one million dumb tangents in the middle of every story because you will be burned.

Where was I?

Oh yes, at the very beginning of the party. How long will this post be?! Let's fast forward. Blah blah people arrived, food was served, it was delicious, and with each arriving guest, we greeted each other with hellos and swipes of colored powder. For a while, everyone just kind of stood around, catching up, chowing down, like any old family picnic, except they were covered head-to toe in neon powder.

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I found this so endlessly hilarious. Just chatting it up. "How's the family?" "Catching Mad Men this weekend?" "How bout them Mets?" And they have stuff all over their faces! AAAAH. Ok so it's hard to fully articulate the humor in this here situation but trust me, it was a side splitter.

As the mood got livelier, the colors started flowing faster and faster, with people just smearing all over each other, sneak attacking from behind, pouring piles of powder on others heads or backs or shoving it in each other's faces. Important Lesson: when face powdering, go in a downward motion, not upward or you WILL shove purple powder up your friend's nose and nearly kill him. Just FYI.

Here are a few snaps:

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Me and my twin after a color fight.

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A sneak attack!

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Some gentlemen

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Playing drinking games

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Our host, Saurabh, looking purpley.

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Our writer, looking cheesy.

PS recognize my holey red sweater?

Now it is my HOLI red sweater!! Just thought of that. God I'm good.

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My guy, looking like an extra from Hook.

Also, you can sort of see it in this photo - the colors looked super vibrant on darker skin, but on Brian's and my pale, milky skin, it sort of dried into a blackish-grey, that mostly made us look like chimney sweeps. A good look.

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An Orange Attack.

20130406_141352A closeup of my crotch because sure, why not.

As you can see, when the color mixed it turned into this sort of poop brown color which is maybe not the cutest. There was this hilarious young girl at the party, maybe 6 years old, and she kept grabbing all of the colors in her hand and mushing them up together to make a "rainbow" which actually looked more like vomit. She'd throw "rainbows" at everyone she met, which was especially and since she was barely waist high, everyone's midsection was covered in brownish smudges. At one point she grabbed a handful of solid turquoise, reached her arm up and fully went to second base on my left boob, just cupping that color alllll over my ta-ta.

It was both adorable and highly inappropriate.

We played drinking games - I set personal records in both flip cup AND beer pong, a game which I despise for many reasons including the fact that it is gross, boring, shuts down a party because not everyone can play, GROSS, stupid, childish, gross, lame and also: I'm terrible. But not this weekend. I sunk three shots in a row, like a complete pro before bowing out, lest I ruin anything. I need to go back to college, where everyone made fun of me for throwing underhand (float it, Rowengartner) and show them how far I've come. I still stand by my flawless opinion that beer pong is the absolute worst, but at least I can now definitively say it is because the game sucks, not me. Because I'm AWESOME.

A stereo system was set up playing traditional Indian music (and several rounds of Gagnam Style, of course!) and everyone danced on the patio, some women in incredibly gorgeous saris, everyone covered in colored powder before the end of the first song. We ate SO much incredible food, at one point I tried to get a fifth helping of paneer and I literally could not fit anything more down my throat: there was no room. Then they brought out a cake, to celebrate Saurabh's acceptance into grad school, and in the Holi spirit, the cake ended up all  over his already paint streaked face.

20130406_172252That Uncle was the sneakiest. He'd seek out innocent victims when they least expected it and empty bags of Holi color all over their heads. His shirt was white when he arrived.

Juuust kidding.

But mine was and now it is in the garbagio. After the party, Brian's mom came back and picked us up, and has us wrap in old bath towels before we got in the car. Everyone at the party warned us NOT to wet the powder - water would only make it seep into our skin ("especially your pale skin," they kept saying), and suggested we use cream or makeup remover. We covered ourselves in cold cream, not before taking one last photo:

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And destroyed half a dozen washcloths wiping ourselves down. All of our clothes were covered in powder, even my bra was streaked purple, pink and blue - Brian's mom offered to wash throw our things in the laundry and I was like "here's my bra!" and thaaaat was weird - but for the most part, the colors came right out. These colors do run! My white t shirt was unsalvageable, the bra is still semi-colored (it was one of these, so it really couldn't get worse) and I accidentally put my holey Holi 100% wool sweater in the dryer so that puppy is officially dead, but otherwise everything was fine! Which means my pants and socks. So actually only 20% of my outfit was fine, the rest was destroyed. But it was worth it!

The bottoms of my feet are black with streaks of pink and blue, from walking around in powder covered socks, and I can NOT for the life of me get the pigment out from under my finger nails. It's the hot manicure look for spring.

And that, my friends, was my very first Holi. It was amazing. I'm already inviting myself back next year, I hope these people are ready. I"ll bring a gift this time!!

What I would suggest to all of you readers, is to find an Indian person and become their friend. If they don't like you at first, just wear them down relentlessly until they give in, and be sure they invite you to their Holi party. I don't normally advocate for racially profiling but in this case, I think it is totally OK to seek out people based entirely on their ethnicity just for the parties. And I am a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize,* so you can trust me.

The end! Thanks for reading this long and rambling post and I hope you learned something about Hinduism and if you did, can you tell me what it is? Because mostly all I took away from this party is that I love pani puri, look good with pink hair and rule at flip cup. AKA: even when experiencing other cultures it really is all about me. Whoops!

Happy Holi & Happy Monday, loves.

xx Liz Ho(li) (Liz Holi!) (!!!!)

* this is a lie. 

Another Awkward Week [2.15.13]

Good morning, my beloveds! Did everyone have a nice Valentines Day? I wore red pants to work (the second time this week I wore those pants, shhhh) and invented a new VDay tradition that I am pretty excited about. I wanted to do something cute for my co-workers, since I am now the face and voice and body of Valentines Day Positivity, so I was trying to think of fun ideas. Everyone does candy and cupcakes and sweets and I don't have enough money to buy diamonds or roses for all of my work buds, so I thought, what do I love most of all in this world? Easy. Chips and dip!

So I invited a few of my colleagues to join me for a mid-afternoon snack break in my office "resplendent with chips, dip and romance."

dip

We ate our faces off, watched Justin Timberlake videos and listened to the Bodyguard Soundtrack.

Now THAT is love, my friends.

Speaking of romantic, last night Brian and I did prettttty much what we do every night,  just with slightly more elaborate food and better underwear (sorry Mom). My gift to him was a home cooked chicken pot pie, something he'd been craving lately, and it was delicious. To really make things special I also wrote a romantic love poem about our meal:

pot pie

A regular John Keats over here!

I thought of this dumb rhyme like two weeks ago and have been just laughing about it ever since. I slay myself. Good God, I am hilarious.

And that was my Valentine's Day! Here's what else was keeping it awkward this week:

This Backpack:

laundry bag

This is my laundry bag, overflowing as always. I have to go to a laundry mat (laundromat? is that actually a word?) up the street from my apartment and always look REALLY cool strutting through the neighborhood with this pack on  my back. This weekend I took a haul of dirty clothes and on my way to the laundrymat (Laundroplace?) I decided to stop into a bodega to get some juice which of course ended with me slamming this gigantic backpack of filthy clothes into the shelves and knocking over a few boxes of food and then I just ran out of the store without buying any juice because there was really no way I could make this situation work for me.

I can never go back there again.

Related: I would seriously chop off a limb to have laundry in my building. Just in my building! I don't even need it inside my own apartment, just somewhere that does not require me to strap on this beast and walk around town.

New York, I love you, but you suck so hard sometimes.

This Coffee Shop:vagAm I crazy, or does that say "Vag"?

This Mug:

mug

I bought it at Marshall's earlier this week on my lunch break (Treat Yo Self) and think it is just the cutest.  I came back from my errands and filled a different cup with emergen-c, because I am an addict, and was sitting there, drinking my vitamins and catching up on my emails and thought "oh, while I'm sitting here, I'll peel the price sticker off of the bottom of my mug, so I can use it later," so I picked up my mug and turned it upside down, except WHOOPS I picked up the wrong cup, the one filled with emergen-c, and poured it all over my desk and pants.

spotted pants

Attractive.

And yes, I was wearing jeans to the office. I might be a lazy slob, but here's what happens when I try to look cute:

These Tights:

tights

Riddled with holes. I was beyond proud of myself on Monday, I wore a dress and HEELS to the office. Heels, you guys. High heels. Like a grown ass classy lady. Only I looked down partway through the day to realize that I had gigantic runs and holes creeping up my legs. I give up!

And that was my week! One fun thing about doing these weekly roundups, aside from the attention, obviously, is that I've started to notice some defining patterns in my life. I think if you had to sum up the three main themes in my One Awkward Life they would be Ripped Clothing, Pantyhose and Spilling Things On My Desk.

What would define YOUR life??

Everyone have a splendiforous weekend - a 3 day weekend for me, Holla George Washington!, and keep that VDay love alive!

xo Liz Ho

Love Awkwardly

valentine-romance Hugs and kisses, everyone! It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Oh what’s that you’re saying? You hate Valentine’s Day? Love is a sham? This holiday was just invented by Hallmark to sell greeting cards? I don’t need anyone telling me when to show my love, I do it just fine myself!

Well, well, weellll, aren’t you just a ray of sunshine.

Here’s the thing: I like Valentine’s Day! I think it is cute and I like candy and I like wearing red and I like love.

Is it an invented, overly commercialized holiday? Sure. But honestly: what’s not? I mean, Christmas was invented by the Christians to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, and then hijacked by department stores. St. Patrick’s Day was invented by Irish Americans so they had an excuse to barf in public at least once a year. And Halloween?I mean, WHAT is even going on there? All holidays are weird and made up. You can be a grouchasaurus or you can put on your big kid panties and have a good time.

I feel like every holiday I encounter at least one person who refuses to celebrate. “New Years Eve is such pressure, I’m staying home.” “Oh, I don’t do Halloween.” Lame!

I “do” everything. Why not?! I understand that there is a lot of external, cultural pressure to make holidays into a big ol’ thang – dinner reservations and money spent and gifts exchanged and general high expectations abounding – but the way I see it, holidays are, at their very base level, a chance to turn an ordinary ho-hum day into something slightly more entertaining, whether you go all out or just add some themed candy to your daily diet. And Valentine’s Day, despite its current reputation of being the dumbest, lamest, worstest holiday in all of the land is no exception.

Would I be singing a different tune, were I not in a committed relash? No, I would not. Yes, I now am lucky enough to spend my days with a fella who happens to have the best face and butt in the Greater New York City Region and that certainly adds to my enjoyment of V-Day 2013, but I have always had fun on Valentine’s Day, even in years when I did not have a special love buddy.

[A disclaimer: I truly hate when coupled up folks reminisce all, “Oh, well, back when I was single...”, I find it very smug and self satisfied and frankly insulting, like “look at me, my life is better than yours now,” and I certainly don’t want to come across in that manner. I only bring this up to acknowledge that yes, sure, I am in a state of romantic bliss at this time, but my enjoyment of El Dia de los Valentinos is not contingent on checking off that particular box on my Liz Stats profile. I’m also so uncomfortable talking about honest emotions in public that I just called my committed adult boyfriend my “special love buddy,” sooo yeah...]

For me, Valentine’s Day is a chance to take one day out of the gross, dismal month that is February to celebrate everything and everyone you love. Your mom, your cat, your friends, your kid, everyone! Most of my favorite VD memories and by VD I mean Valentine’s Day, not Venereal Disease, have nothing to do with romantic love. Like the year I came into the office to find that a sweet colleague had stuck homemade heart-shaped valentines to everyone’s computer monitor. I kept mine hung up for years, until I had to move offices. Or every year wearing a brand new pair heart patterned socks, a gift from my mama who makes sure to send the package a few days early, so I’ll have socks to wear on the day itself. (She sends us care packages for every single holiday even though we’re pushing 700 years old, because she is the cutest.) Or the year my best friend came to town on VDay weekend. We went ice skating in a snowy central park before meeting up with another pal and getting rip-roaringly drunk over pub cheeseburgers.

 

None of these things were particularly romantic, nor were they that much above and beyond what I might encounter on my day-to-day life, but just knowing that it was a holiday made socks and cards and pints (and pints and pints and pints) of beer seem all the more special.

Or how bout this: I remember one year in college, we must have been sophomores. I was living with seven other girls in a campus apartment and we were thick as thieves. And all of us as single as...single cell organisms. Or something else that starts with “S” and is traditionally found alone. But we weren’t alone! We had each other and Carrie Bradshaw as it sounds, that was more than enough. We all dressed in our finest reds and pinks and went to dinner at our favorite local spot (shout-out Paper Moon Diner, Baltimore, MD!) and shared fries and breakfast for dinner and probably also a few milkshakes and slices of cheese cake and it was a true delight. A delight, I say! It was a popular trend at the time, mostly on AOL Instant Messenger, our fave, to write out “143” as a sign of cutesy endearment for your boyfriend or your family or your best gurlz: I Love You.

I = one letter LOVE = four YOU = three

143.

That Valentine’s Night at Paper Moon our total dinner bill came to...you guessed it...one hundred and forty-three dollars. $143.

Coincidence? Almost certainly. Adorable story proving that Valentine’s Day is a lovers delight whether or not your lovers = a group of awkward Disney Channel fans chowing down on western omelets or, you know, bow-chicka-bow-wow lovers? Aaaaaabsolutely!

These are things that I love: Socks. My mom. Sweet friends. Booze. Breakfast for dinner. And, yes, my special love buddy. While I don’t need Hallmark or TV or whoever to remind me to celebrate them just once a year, celebrate them I will. This Thursday I’ll wear pink or red and my new socks and maybe even some spicy underpinnings and hand out candy…and eat candy…and wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day, whether you are married or single or polyamorous or a crabbapple who insists you just don't do Valentine's Day. Especially you! For try as you might to resist it, as the great Hugh Grant once reminded us, Love Actually IS All Around Us.

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Happy Valentines Day, Haters!

Another Awkward Week - Christmas Edition! [12.21.12]

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy Apocalypse to you all! Today is my last day, a half day!, in the office before a week-long holiday break. Just 4 hours to go before I meet up with my dear friend for one of my favorite new holiday traditions. We pack ourselves and our overstuffed bags into her tiny red VW beetle and road trip back to PA, blasting Christmas music and stopping just once, in New Jersey to load up on Wendy's burgers & frostees. This year we're adding her pet kitten to the mix. Should be a wild ride! It is also possibly all of our last day on earth, depending on how much trust you want to put in those wacky Mayans. I've survived enough End of Days scares (like this one!) to feel confident that this one is a hoax, but the weather out there sure is ominous. Torrential downpour is not really the greatest conditions in which to be lugging two gigantic suitcases + one grocery bag full of bags of potato chips, which seemed like a great idea at the time, what are road trips without chips, but is now seeming a tad superfluous. Also, somehow I managed to walk out the door this morning in this getup:

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I look like a bag of Skittles. Bring on the Appocalypse!

Now without further ado, here's what else was keeping it awkward this week...and this whole holiday season:

This Poinsettia:

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Because when I brought her home a few weeks ago she was the beautiful, lush creature you see on your left but after a few weeks at Casa del Hobags, she is the spindly, dead, leafless thing on the right. How was I supposed to know that poinsettias require water to live, just like all other plants on earth? I mean, come on.

Also, fun fact I just learned via Wordpress spellcheck - did you know there is no  "t" in the middle of poinsettia? No point, just some poin. WHO KNEW?!

These Cards:

cards

Because I really tried this year to be the kind of thoughtful, with-it gal who sends beautiful holiday cards to all of her loved ones but I just couldn't get it together. Half a dozen cards in I'd managed to write out three envelopes to incorrect addresses and spell one of my cousins' names wrong.* So I threw in the towel. If you don't get a card from me, it's not that I don't love you. I do! I'm just lazy. Consider this my Christmas card to the whole world. You're welcome!

*Don't worry cousin, I still sent it. You'll know who you are when you open it! 

These Skirts:

skirts

Because my colleague and I wore matching festive holiday get-ups to the office yesterday. We pretended it was a random coincidence but I am confessing now in front of millions of internet readers: we totally planned it, just for the attention.

(Also I might want to consider making "get longer skirts" a New Years Resolution, yikes.)

This Candy Cane:

candy cane

Because it is pickle flavored!! And it is DISGUSTING! I love pickles and I love candy canes, but just like two redheads shouldn't date, these are two things that just shouldn't mix.

I tricked my roommate into eating it by telling her it was sour apple flavored. MWAHAHAHA!

Just kidding, Santa! I've been good!

This Big Box:

presentBecause inside is Brian's Christmas present! I was so excited to surprise him with his dream gift, a skateboard, until last weekend when he told me he planned to go buy himself a skateboard the following day. What resulted was about 45 minutes of idiotic back and forth, Who's On First style confusion wherein I tried to dissuade him from doing so without admitting that I'd already purchased one and he became increasingly upset that I wasn't supporting his dream of learning to skateboard until I finally had to admit what was in the big box. Le sigh. Surprises are for dummies.

He's going to break his beautiful face and it will be all my fault!

This Song:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik_kznmI324]

Because Oh My God, have you heard this?? I just discovered it this year, it is even MORE ridiculous than Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.  It's a song about a Christmas Donkey that sounds like it's being sung by one of the Mario Brothers.

PS: huge ups to whoever made this music video.

And while we're on the subject...

This Music Video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2rG3qmKG8w]

Which was recommended for me after I viewed the Dominic song. An Italian rip-off of Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song, starring a mustachioed finger pupped.

No. Just....no.

This Commercial:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZnqBL6iYjA]

Because I've shared it before, but once is never enough. Nothing says Merry Christmas like incestuous sexual tension.

And I'll leave you here, with that sexy video and a few photos of my landlady's holiday decor, because I know you've been curious! She kind of scaled it back this year, but did add a few pieces of flair:

connie4

Front of the house...the dead Halloween pumpkins are a great addition.

connie7Front lights at night

connie5Table in the foyer, complete with faux snow, stuffed baby seals and pine scented air spray so she can make the whole place smell like a Christmas tree.

connie1In the foyer

connie2And up the stairs.

Wishing everyone a Very Merry and Very  Awkward Christmas.

xo Liz Ho Ho Ho

(only a few more days I can call myself that, I'ma ride it out as long as possible)

Another Awkward Week [11.30.12]

Good morning to you all and happy Friday! What a long week. It was strange how early Thanksgiving fell this year (the earliest statistically possible! #math), that a week has already passed and we're still in November. I dove headfirst into the Christmas spirit the moment Santa's sleigh pulled into Herald Square last week and have been listening to Holiday Tunez and decorating all week - I recently downloaded that website / app/ whatever called Spotify mostly so that I could listen to Taylor Swift for free (I know, I KNOW).  It links to your Facebook account so all of your friends can see what kind of music you're into. I've been getting ragged on all week for my Holiday endless stream of Christmas music,  which include copious amounts of James Taylor and the new John Travolta/Olivia Newton John album "This Christmas" (lol THIS COVER!). My pals are so rude! Olivia N-J is a living treasure, these people wouldn't know Holiday Spirit if it punched them in the face. Which it wouldn't. It's far to sweet for that!  

Moving on! Here's what else was keeping it awkward this week:

This Pen:

pen

And not just because this is the corniest picture I've ever taken. It's a wonderful pen with flowing purple ink. I always leave pens and markers uncapped on my desk and get ink all over my arms and shirt sleeves. Well, yesterday, I went to the ladies room and pulled down mis pantalones and saw I had purple ink on my LEG. On my upper thigh. Hence a photo of the pen, not the ink stained leg, this isn't that kind of blog. HOW did it get there?? The pants were black (one of the 3 pairs of skinny black pants I wear every day on rotation), so I couldn't see if there was purple smeared all over them. Did I black out and stick the pen down my pants? I don't think I'll ever solve this mystery!

These Nylons:

stockingsBecause I realized while doing laundry this weekend that I have over a dozen pairs of nude knee-high pantyhose. What woman under the age of 84 needs that many pair of flesh toned stockings? Me, apparently. <3 each and every pair. I also realized that it's not easy to take a photo of a pile of nude pantyhose, so I tried several angles and backdrops and then made this beautiful collage. DO feel free to print out and frame. It's the perfect holiday gift for all of your loved ones!

This Pillow: 

etsy

Because YES it is embroidered with a giant image of Martha Stewart's face. Creepy? Yet adorable. Etsy has a Holiday Pop Up Shop in SoHo in NYC for the next two weeks, I stopped by last night and spotted this beauty.  I actually totally love it and want it, please. If you're in NYC I'd recommend stopping by, it's a great place to look for gifts! They are not yet selling my beautiful knee-high pantyhose portrait series but do have lots of other cute stuff. I got THE most perfect lil gifties for my godson and his brother, I can't wait to share!

This CD: les mis

Because it arrived for me earlier this week and, when not rocking out to All I Want for Christmas is You, I've been listening to this bad boy and yes, I'm not afraid to admit, occasionally signing along. Oh, did I mention this has been happening in the workplace? My colleagues adore me. But I can't stop, I'm OBSESSED, just 26 more days til the movie comes outtttt, but who's counting. I'll have some deep thoughts on Les Mis for y'all next week. If you're not familiar with this epic musical, I'd suggest you spend the weekend catching up.

Also awkward: a friend reminded me this CD is available online, and for free and asked who still buys actual CD's anymore. Apparently the same people who own 67 pairs of nude pantyhose, that's who... It literally never even occurred to me to download this online. Hah! Welcome to the 21st Century, Liz.

This Hairball: 

wig

Because it's just a harmless wig, but it looks grotesque and scared me witless earlier this week. You may have noticed I never shared my Halloween costume here with y'all, because it wasn't as grand (or nearly as nude) as years past. In totally un-Liz Ho fashion, I put something half assed together at the last minute and went as Taylor Swift, with whom I am apparently now obsessed. It was actually pretty cute, even thought basically no one knew who I was supposed to be and one gal even called me Hanna Montanna. Sigh.

swifty

Anyway! The coupe de grace of the whole costume was that blonde wig, which I  tossed in the back of my closet after Halloween night. Earlier this week I was crouched down, digging through my closet for winter clothes and spotted that grotesque plastic bag of hair lingering in a dark corner. I thought it was an animal, screamed, and fell over backwards. Terrifying! I might need to do some home organization this weekend...

And there you have it, folks! How was your week? Did you do anything ridiculous? Do you love James Taylor? Did you buy me a Christmas present yet?

xoxo Liz

One Awkward Thanksgiving Revelation

Scenes from our Thanksgiving: Turkey Hats, lots o' wine, square pies & some creative magnet wordplay 

Ho Ho Ho, the holiday season is upon us! I adore this time of year, from Thanksgiving week through the New Year. It just feels so festive and cheerful and warm. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, I know I did.

As I mentioned last week, my family came to spend the weekend with me in Brooklyn. We’re big on traditions, we Hobags, especially when it comes to the holidays. Every Christmas we get matching pajama sets, and put the same decorations in the same spots. On Christmas Morning we each sit in our designated chair to open gifts and then we have an egg casserole. Years and years and years ago we had twice baked potatoes as part of our Christmas Eve dinner (a dinner we’ve shared with the same family friends for over 25+ years!) and somehow they became a most imperative part of the holiday. We eat Twice Bakeds with every Christmas Eve meal, whether they fit in on the menu or not. They’re nearly as important to Christmas as Santa Clause it.

We might be a little nuts.

But we can adapt, too. One of my favorite new-ish traditions is our quiet, nomadic Thanksgiving meal. Despite our insanity over keeping things the same for Christmas, we’ve never really had a set Thanksgiving plan. When I was very young we used to travel to visit my mom’s extended family in a gorgeous, sprawling old farmhouse in upstate New York. After my parents divorced when I was in high school, my siblings and I did a few years of Thanksgivings at our Dad’s house, other years we ate at home or with local family in Pennsylvania. Then the first year I lived in Brooklyn, five years ago, my tiny immediate family – my mom, brother and sister – came up to me. We cooked in my little kitchen and walked around New York City. We attempted to see the Macy’s Parade balloons but couldn’t stand the crowd, so we ditched the madness and got a drink somewhere warm. The next year we repeated, this time in my brother’s new Brooklyn apartment, just ten blocks from mine. The year after, Boulder, Colorado, where my sister was doing a year of Americorps, then to Chicago where my brother had just moved for LawSchool, a year back home in PA and then this year, in my newest Brooklyn pad. Though the location changes we still do have our rituals: eggs & bacon & cinnamon buns for breakfast, Macy’s Parade on TV and a long afternoon walk. Maggie always mashes the potatoes, Michael starts singing in a Russian accent (don’t ask), Mom makes a pumpkin pie, I make apple. A few years back we added our Turkey Hats to the mix. Wine is consumed, pants are unbuttoned, board games are played. I love it so.

It’s not all perfect, though. As with all families, we have snits and spats and one of us, I won’t mention any names, could be anyone, but it’s definitely me, always snaps. This year, despite the jolly happiness and pleasantry, I was a bit on edge. Whenever my mom comes to visit I get a little anxious – I love having her and we get along great (mostly!) but I become overwhelmed by a weird feeling of being in between. As I get older (and older, and older, and oh, my hip!) I have this desperate want to be an “adult,” whatever that means and to “have it all together,” again, whatever that means.  But it is hard to be a totally-together adult when your mama buys the turkey and stuffs it and generally runs the show. My mom (love her!) has a bit of a control-freak streak in her and she blessedly passed it on to her first born, me. So there inevitably ends up being some tension over who’s in charge. Instead of relaxing and going with the flow, two things I have never done and don’t see happening anytime soon, I become overwhelmed with anxiety to make things perfect and prove to my mom that I’m all grown up. Instead of seeing her as awesome and helpful, I see her as overbearing and bossy. Her innocuous attempts to help make things easier (“use wax paper to roll out the pie dough!” “chill the bowl for the whipped cream before whipping!”) become cruel criticisms about my ability to do things right and attacks on  my personality. I simmer and seethe and then at about 3 PM, have a mild hysterical meltdown and start barking at people.

Not all traditions are charming and quaint!

It’s weird though, navigating this time in our lives. As you all recall, I wrote extensively on the strange feeling of being late-twenties, of straddling childhood and adulthood, not sure which way to go. Having my mom around always exacerbates this feeling in me and sends me into a complete frenzy. Don’t worry, I ain’t mad at her – I realize I’m totally bonkers.

One thing I’m realizing though, despite my purported devil-may-care attitude towards turning (gulp!) twenty-eight, I’m actually a little obsessed with trying to grow up and mature and stop being such a goofball. I recently heard from someone that I’d been criticized behind my back for being too flaky. My first thought, hearing that, was no fucking kidding, that’s kiiiind of my shtick.  But the more I ruminated on it the more I let it bug me. I AM flaky! And while I clearly get a kick out of being a hot mess, I still sometimes year to not be so…me. I tried so hard to make my house a home for my family to visit – I bought fresh flowers and scented candles and stocked up on toilet paper, what foresight! – but when we went to make pies, we realized I had no pie pans. We made square pies in casserole dishes (ok, adorable) and when I made my classic apple pie I screwed up the crust so bad I had to pitch a batch and made such a mess with the flour and dough that I had to vacuum the dining room.  These are such tiny little things but are so classically, well, me. I’d love to be the kind of person who makes perfect pies or always has a clean house or knows what kinds of dishes to have on hand for all sorts of occasions. I’d love to pay my bills on time, to have just ONE pair of tights without a run in them, and matching Tupperware sets. I’d love to be the kind of person who remembers to send birthday cards and knows how to act at parties but guess what, world, I ain’t.

And I’m thankful for that! How dull that must be. How stressful it must be to keep it up. And how totally boring this blog would be. The internet is crammed to the gills with what I call Bullshit Blogs (here’s one gleaming example), blogs by girls who portray themselves as "real" girls who just happen to have perfect, fashionable, non-flaky lives full of circular pie pans and beautiful homes and fishtail braid hairdos and DIY glitter centerpiece craft projects and to these girls I call bullshit! You may have a stocked closet and a deft hand with the glue gun but do you have fun? Do you laugh at yourself? Do you go anywhere without posing for photos with your Canon DSLRMNOP Top of the Line Digital Camera? Probably not. Your life may look perfect, but mine is a flaky, ridiculous mess and I love it. So there.

No one remembers perfect holidays and I don’t think anyone looks back at age 89 and remembers what a delightful Grown Up Thanksgiving they once had. Messy holidays are the best ones.

So adding to last week’s silly list: I’m thankful for square pies, for a patient, amazing mom who gives me love and guidance and treats me like an adult, even while I’m throwing an eight-grade-style hissy fit. I’m thankful for a brother who sacrificed his usual fast, eight-mile runs for slow short jogs with me this weekend, where we could catch up on life. I’m thankful for a sister who mashes a mean potato and watches just as much Hulu as I do and knows just how much icing to put on each individual Pillsbury cinnamon bun. I’m very thankful for Pillsbury as a corporation. Is there a better sound than the POP! of the biscuit tin? I’m thankful for Trivial Pursuit, even though I always lose (what I lack in brains, I make up for in looks, obviously) and for vacuums that allow for easy flour clean-up and for expandable waistbands and for crazy, obsessive adherence to tradition. And I’m thankful for Bullshit Blogs and for overhearing the occasional personality critique because they remind me to take a step back and take it all in – to appreciate my life for what it is and stop trying so hard to get it all together.

I think I’ve just made a New Year’s Resolution a few weeks early!

So from my disaster of a house to yours, whatever state it might be in: Happy Holidays!

Xoxo

Liz Ho Ho Ho

One Thankful List

Gobble Gobble! Happy Turkey Day, everyone! Just kidding, I hate when people call it Turkey Day. I think it's racist towards other equally special Thanksgiving foods. Here is but a partial list of things I DO love and feel thankful for all year, but especially this week:

  • My beautiful family, currently en-route to Brooklyn (with turkey hats!) to spend the holidays here in the hometown of Jay-Z
  • Jay-Z and his beautiful family
  • My boyfriend and his cute face and the adventures we have together
  • My friends near and far
  • The Facebook for allowing me to keep up with friends far, and also with people from high school I'm unnecessarily interested in, random college acquaintances and other creepy stuff
  • Coffee, even though it makes my tummy upset
  • People who don't judge me for being 28 and using the word "tummy"
  • Trader Joe and his fine food emporiums
  • Scented Candles
  • Sallie Hansen and her divine line of nail polishes - affordable, long lasting and an easy to apply brush!
  • My sinus allergies for giving me a terrible cough this week, which encouraged my coworker to insist that I stay home today
  • My job for being flexible and allowing me to stay home from time to time. And, oh yeah, fulfilling me creatively, respecting my talents, yada yada yada. But mostly the flexible time off scene.
  • Jeanne and Donald Fey, who brought Tina into this world
  • Cup of Jo
  • Fresh flowers in the dining room
  • Connie Britton's hair
  • Instagram
  • Little boys!!!!
  • The scientists who made the recipe for Diet Coke
  • Terry Gross
  • The deli by my apartment that makes the best $3 ham sandwiches in town
  • Hulu.com
  • The cleaning lady at my office, even though I have severe class guilt and always awkwardly try to make small talk and she doesn't really speak English I truly appreciate the difficult and unsavory job she has cleaning up our messes.
  • Basically all people who would be Downstairs if the world were Downton Abbey (which it is): maids, maintenance staff, taxi drivers, et al. Often overlooked under appreciated folks whose work is indispensable.
  • Oh, duh, Downton Abbey!
  • Clorox cleaning wipes - so efficient! Probably wasteful. Don't worry about it.
  • My crazy land lady
  • Wine, obviously
  • The boys in my fantasy football  league for letting me play and also for being so gracious about getting destroyed by a girl! I don't think I've mentioned this here yet, I decided not to do my old league this year mostly because I always lost and didn't want to just fork over money again, but Brian & his pals needed an extra player, no fee!, so I joined up and I am straight CRUSHING these bros. I'm in first place ahead of a bunch of boyzzz. Girls rule, boys drool. Last week I beat someone by .14 points, hah! My team name: Susan B. Anfernee. (Losing at fantasy football makes me almost as mad as the fact that my sister named her son Anfernee.)
  • Lindsay Lohan. I just want her to know that I love her and believe in her and I'm here for her. Stay strong, girl.
  • The drugstore next to my office for always having exactly what I need, even when it's something obscure like sandpaper or iron on t-shirt decals
  • Ben Wyatt. He's real, guys, he's real.
  • The way that the air smells when winter's almost here
  • Summer Fridays
  • Clean sheets
  • Jeggings
  • All of the people who read and love this lil blog.  Be they friends, family or strangers from the internet, I love making you laugh and am so thankful you find this slice of the web to be an entertaining spot. You are like stale bread shoved up inside a dead bird: delicious, delightful and the best part of any holiday.

Happy thanksgiving to all! What are you thankful for this year?!

xo Liz

 

One Cleverly Sexy Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner! Just a few short weeks to finalize that perfect costume. For many of my ladyfriends, Halloween means one thing, and one thing alone: Slut Time. As Tina Fey so elegantly put forth in "Mean Girls": “In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

Well, this girl has a few things to say about it. Each year as I witness parades of Slutty Cats and Slutty Police Women, Slutty Cinderellas, Flight Attendants, Taxi Drivers, Cookie Monsters, et al, my blood begins to boil. Seriously, gals? This is what we’re wearing? Great.

But WAIT! Before you get up in arms about a Woman’s Right to Skank It Up allow me to clarify: I agree!  I’ve worn little more than flesh-toned lycra and rhinestones the past two Halloweens, I am all aboard the Skank Train. It’s not the lack of clothes that bothers me, it’s the lack of creativity. Every year costume companies sell the same pre-packaged, uninspired, occasionally ridiculous costumes and we’ve reached a point where most of these sexy costumes are expected, unsurprising, boring and just lazy. As a Halloween Obsessive, I can not allow this to continue!

Halloween is the one time a year to bust out the big guns, to stand out, and the best you can come up with is a pre-packaged, pleather French Maid outfit?  I am sorry, no. First of all, snooze. Secondably, I have been to France (#humblebrag) and I’m quite positive that no maids dress like that and finally, I guarantee you’ll see at least 15 more ladies sporting the same get-up while out on the prowl for some tricks -n- treats. Would you be happy if you showed up at a party and 30% of the other guests were wearing the same outfit as you? Probably not. So why settle for same-ness on THIS of all nights?!

Now, I understand that the pressure to come up with a fab costume might cause some to panic and head right for the Hottie aisle at the nearest Ricky’s, so allow me, a self-proclaimed expert on creative skankery, to help you out. Here are a few simple yet out of the box ways you can show off your box this coming All Hallows Eve:

1. Sexy Sriracha Tiny red tank with the sriracha rooster logo, red booty shorts, red eff-me heels and pointy green cap. Spicy!

2. Sexy Hipster Wedding Wear a birdcage veil, an old-timey tweed vest with nothing underneath, ruffly little shorts, and cowboy boots. Carry a mustache on a stick & a mason jar and you’ll be looking at a Best Man/Maid of Honor style one night stand faster than you can say ‘I Do.”

3. Sexy Christmas Tree Green mini dress. Loads of tinsel. A star on top. You’ll look as easy as this one was to put together!

4. Sexy Lighthouse This one takes a little more work, but the payoff would be great. Either get a tinsy striped dress OR if you’re feeling bold, wrap yourself in nothing but ribbons. Make a little hat out of...something, I don’t make these, I just dream them up, and stick a flashlight or one of those little battery operated push lights inside. Voila! Land Ho indeed!

5. Sexy Double Rainbow A pairs costume! Grab a friend, two matching rainbow striped dresses, rainbow knee socks & make a cloud hat.  Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaah, it’s a double rainbowww!

6. Sexy Downton Abbey A fun group idea! If you simply can not part with that Dirty Maid outfit, round out your theme by gathering a group to defile Masterpiece Cinema’s Hottest Period Drama, Downton Abbey. Think big hats, clean white gloves, parasols ...and lingerie. Add some maids, a few men in shirtless tuxedos and you’re looking at the Crawleys Gone Wild.

7. Sexy Mona Lisa On top, a work of art. On the bottom, a total tart! (Sorry, sorry, I know!) Make like this clever gal and frame your face, either with a homemade frame or something cheap from the store. Drape your top half in something cloak like & maintain a serene expression, but below the frame: hot pants and fishnets!

8. Sexy Olympic Torch I’m imagining London 2012 will inspire many a costume this year, so why not skank up the Games’ official and literally hottest symbol: the torch. This year’s torch was gold, shiny (and hello! hand delivered by Becks) and is so beyond easy to recreate. Gold lame mini-dress, tissue paper flames and a gold medal for good measure. McKayla will be impressed.

Those are just a few ideas, there’s a whole world of creative partial nudity out there if you just put your mind to it. Before you walk into a Ricky’s or a Party City, take a look around and ask yourself “is there anything out there I can recreate using little more than a bikini, some construction paper, Elmer’s Glue and thigh-highs?” The answer will almost always be “Hell yes.” With my help and some inspired thinking, I promise this Halloween you can be slutty, oh, so, so slutty, but never ever boring.

Trick or Treat, everyone!

One Awkward Year: The Best & Worst of 2011

The end of the year is upon us which means that every major cultural outlet is unveiling their Best of the Year lists. I love these because I enjoy lists, culture and knowing what is superior to everything else.  Conversely, I hate these because they make me feel like both a dingbat and a hypocrite . I’m the kind of snob who only values the opinions of say, The New York Times, however never actually read or watch or eat or say or do anything that said New York Times would consider top-notch. I don’t know who Werner Herzog is (nor do I particularly care), the only art exhibit I’ve seen in the last year was a display of Amish quilts and to-date I have read exactly 2.35 of the NYT’s Top 100 Notable Books of the year, despite working in the publishing industry and loudly admonishing the literary choices of pretty much everyone around me.
So yeah, I was feeling pretty down on myself these last few weeks, having not read The Art of Fielding (I know!) or seen Tree of Life (snooze, No thank you!) or caught up on Breaking Bad (I blame my lack of DVR), when I remembered something very, very important. Everyone else’s opinions are stupid and all of mine are the best.Thus, it is without further ado that I present to you a year end list we can all enjoy and feel great about.

2011 According to Liz Ho:

The Best (and sometimes Worst) in Culture, Dining, Sex Appeal, Imaginary Best Friends and Overwhelming Self-Absorption

Best Films: 

Country Strong (if you're drunk and wearing a costume in the theater)

The Muppets (if you want to cry & sing along with your mom)

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part Deux (if you are ready to bid farewell to your childhood)

Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy (just best overall, really)

Best Art

This:

Words/Phrases That Need To Stay In 2011: #Winning Sunday Funday Loves It!

 

Words/Phrases That Ought To Make A Comeback in 2012:

Tubular

Fortnight

Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?

Best Colors of Nailpolish:

Blue Gray (fingers only) Orange Purple Hot Pink (toes only)

Best Wedding:

Morin & Wilkes!
Just kidding, those are two random strangers I found on the internet. I just thought it was too cliche to say Will & Kate.
(Actual best wedding, Will & Kate always and forever, no duh.)
(But Mazel Tov to you, Morin & Wilkes!)
Top 5 Cheeses:

1. Brie 2. Parmesean, shaved 3. Parmesean, grated 4. Pepperjack 5. Kraft Singles

10 Most Frequently Consumed Foods (non-cheese category)

1. Kale 2. Hummus 3. Ham & Cheese Sandwiches (round roll, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo and spicy mustard) 4. Whole wheat everything bagels with scallion cream cheese & tomato 5. Canned beans 6. Siracha sauce 7. Eggs (so tasty with #1 & #6!) 8. Trader Joe’s Masala Burgers (YUM!) 9. Wine 10. Pickles

(Possible New Year’s Resolution: protien!)

Five Men I Most Want To Go To Third Base With:

Jon Hamm, Ryan Gosling, Adam Scott, Tim Riggins, Idris Elba
(only partially because I didn’t want the internet to think I only liked white guys....)
(Honorary mention: Brian, better luck in 2012, champ.)
Five Ladies I Most Want To Go Drink Wine With, Or Maybe To The Mall, Or Get Manicures, or Like, Do A Girls Weekend At The Beach Or Something, I Don’t Know, Call Me:
Queen B, Queen T, Queen E...OK, I'll stop, Emma Stone, Amy Poehler, Michelle My Belle Obama
Greatest Technological Development:
How to make photo collages!
Most Overrated:
Zooey Deschanel
(YEAH I said it!)

 

Most Underrated:

Wendy Williams.

Woman is a GENIUS. 
Most Disappointing:
Michael Vick
After ALL we've been through together, Mikey?! 
Most Pathetic Balance in my Checking Account:
$10.21
(period ending 4/14/11. A banner month!)
Top 3 Pictures of Zucchini: 1.
2.
3.

 

 

Unsolved Mysteries:

Who killed Caylee Anthony? Why is Serena Gomez dating Justin Bieber - she’s so pretty!! The Relative Popularity of a one Whitney Cummings Who stole my brown dress shoes from the ladies locker room at New York Sports Club?!? Best Hair Day That Would Have Gone Unnoticed Had I Not Taken This Self Photo In My Friend's Guest Room The Other Day:

Sassy!

7 Random Things I Loved (Brought To You By the Letter H):

House Hunters, Hunger Games, Heidi Klum, [The] Hairpin, hot dogs,  Hermione Granger, hand cream

5 Things That Filled Me With Irrational Rage:

Guys who dressed as the Zach Galifianakis character from The Hangover, baby-related TMI on Facebook (i.e anything involving poopie updates, baby-bump photos, the word baby-bump), bland strapless wedding gowns, #overusedanduncreativehashtags, the removal of turkey from Subway's $5 footlong menu (a curse on you, Subway!)

2 Things I Still Can't Decide On:

Taylor Swift, Black Olives

The Very Worst:

Even you, Khloe. EVEN  YOU! 

The Very Best:

<3 

The Very, VERY Best:

Thanks for putting up with me! 

Best blog:

This one. Loves it!!!!!

What was your favorite everything of 2011? What did I miss?