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

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

That can’t be healthy.

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

LIFE IS SO HARD!

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

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

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

HAHA JUST KIDDING I will get there or die trying.

First step: painting our kitchen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wish us luck? Come over and help us?

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

20141003_070835 20141010_080658 20141010_080710

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

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

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

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

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

Happy weekend, kittens!!!

xoxo Woodrow Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hobag Looks at 30*

 * bonus points to any weirdos who get this reference!

Two weeks ago another grain of sand dropped through the hour glass of the days of my life and I hurtled into a new decade:

I welcome my 30's at the stroke of midnight on September 14, 2014 from the creaky bed of an old motel in rural New Hampshire, where I was celebrating a friend's wedding. My brand new husband was in bed beside me. At midnight he gave me a beautiful jewelry box and some pirate themed temporary tattoos. I took a selfie (fully clothed, despite how scando this looks) and we promptly fell asleep.

20140914_000058

I was a little drunk. And a lot happy. It was perfect.

I'm now two weeks into the other side still just as happy, though thankfully slightly less drunk. For the present moment, anyway. I may be old but I still know how to get down. In fact, from all I've heard, the 30's are quite the cause celebre.  Allegedly, women in their 30's are generally more financially secure, gain more respect in their careers, have more self confidence and have better sex. And I've learned that the older you get, the easier it is to avoid fads and fashions, a lesson that helped me skate through all of Summer 2K14 without even being tempted to wear a crop top. Victory! So if this means I'm looking at a decade of self-confidence, great sex and fully covered midriffs, well I am ALL IN. 

If you'll recall, in prep for the big 3-0 I made a big 'ol to-do list, as I am wont to do, with 30 goals or items to achieve between September 14, 2013 and September 14, 2014. How'd I do? Let's check the list!

1. Run half marathon HAYLLL YES! COMPLETED 4/26/14

2. Pay off one credit card…put a dent in the other. YES! COMPLETED 10/4/13

3. Get a bikini wax NOPE.

4. Take photoshop or other online design course NOPE.

5. Submit something for publication. YAAAAASSSS. COMPLETED 5/30/14

6. Visit each of the 5 boroughs of NYC (I’m coming for you, Staten Island!) NOPE.

7. Do a pull-up (yes, just one. Aim high.) NOPE.

8. Find a regular volunteer program NOPE.

9. See a play on Broadway NOPE.

10. Watch The Sopranos 1.5 SEASONS. (Unpopular Opinion Alert: That show is a snooze.) 

11. Learn to shuffle cards NOPE.

12. Stop biting my nails UGH NOPE.

13. Take a trip with my mom NOPE.

14. Read outside of my comfort zone (i.e. biography, poetry, graphic novel) NOPE. WHOOPS. 

15. Visit Storm King OBVZZZZ. COMPLETED 10/6/13

16. Get Acupuncture NOPE.

17. Roast a chicken NOPE.

18. Grow a vegetable to a point where it is edible i.e. don’t kill it NOPE.

19. Zumba NOPE.

20. Host a classy, adult dinner party NOPE.

21. Add at least one more state to my list YES! Unblerghed but B&I took a trip to Maine 9/12/14. Trust me, it happened. 

22. Solve my stomach issues GROSS BUT NOPE.

23. Trapeze class NOPE. (What even was this one?!) 

24. Reconnect with an old friend (I already have one picked out! Lucky person!) HALFSIES? I've been emailing with my very first childhood friend Becky but we've yet to reconnect in person. I'm giving myself a .5 for this one. 

25. Decorate our apartment NOPE.

26. See the cherry blossoms in DC NOPE.

27. Take out my navel ring (GREAT ONE, Liz!) NOPE.

28. Make an IRL blogger connection COMPLETED sometime in December, blogged about 3/17/14

29. Hike 5 new peaks NOPE.

30. Skinnydip. ANDDDD NOPE.

 Officially, without loopholes or fudging the rules, I completed 6.5 out of 30. That's slightly over 20 %, if my math is correct...which it usually isn't...but I used a calculator so I'm feeling pretty confident. By the standards of the Common Core and most other methods of grading and judgement, 6.5 out of 30 is an epic failure.

But eff that noise. I'm chalking 29 up as a roaring success.

29 was the year I got engaged and married. The year I ran a (fast!) half marathon. The year I ate a lot of hard boiled eggs, attempted to wear red lipstick and went to a nude beach. The year I first shacked up with my boyfriend (then fiance, then husband!) and moved to Park Slope. 29 was the year I got paid to write an article - for Vogue (...ok, dot com, but whatever)! 29 was the year I saw friends get married, change jobs, move cities and get unscandalously knocked up. At 29 I drank too much wine and spent too much money on organic food and always kept my fingernails painted bright colors and totally pulled off ankle booties and almost always wore the same chambray button-down and learned - and then forgot - the difference between brie and Camembert cheeses and got 2nd place in Fantasy Football and finally found a pair of sunglasses that fit my lanky face and tried Pilates and instagrammed my food and spent time with my best girlfriends, laughing til our stomachs hurt.

29 was great. It was SPECTACULAR! I may have technically failed at most things I set out to attempt, but I'm still giving myself an A+.

So what is on my list for the next year? I have but One Before Thirty-One: Stop Making Lists.

If I've learned one thing about myself in the last 29 years, it is that I need to be a little kinder to myself. No more creating arbitrary to-do lists and then beating myself up when I don't check off every box. No more panicking over things left unfinished, milestones yet reached. No more worrying about where I should be, more focusing on where I am.

No mas!

At 29, I did only 6.5 items on my list...but then 6.5 bajillion more, without even trying. Imagine what great things I can do at 30 without all that time wasted worrying over things not done?

There are things I'd like to achieve, sure. I won't just be sitting about waiting for the world to present me with adventures. I'd still like to hike more, to move up in my job, to quit biting my nails, to run more races. I'd also like to keep writing - perhaps not more but better. Which may mean a little less of the usual business here. Blogging is fun and exciting and I love the attention, sure, but at the end of the day it's really just a hobby. And one that's maybe not as fun as it used to be. I can't tell you the number of Thursday nights into Friday morning's I've sat stressing and scrambling for "funny" content for fear of letting someone, anyone (probably just myself) down. As much as the world loves and SURELY NEEDS yet another weekly roundup of me covered in random food stains, I'd like to think I can do a little better than that. I'm not abandoning the awkwardness of it all, but just going to see what I might be able to do if I spent just half of the time I put into photographing avocado blobs into writing or reading smart content.

I hope you'll still come along with me.

But, BUT! If none of these things happen, if I don't write a word or hike a peak, if I never ever roast a chicken as long as I live- that's OK. I can trust that my time will be spent elsewhere, doing other meaningful things I haven't even though up yet.

I do think we can all agree, though, that though no one ever sees it, what with the no-crop-tops rule and all, it's really, really, REALLY time to get rid of that belly button ring.

So here's to being 30. And chill (ish). And THRIVING. 

xoxo Liz Ho

 

 

 

Another Awkward Week [8.1.14]; or, The Hotts' Big Move

Hola, chiclets! How ARE you? Did everyone have a delightful week? I hope so! My week was basically as hectic as you'd imagine a week to be when you're getting married in T-15 Days and counting. But no more about the wedding...for now. I'm going to take just a small slice of this one day to not talk about our impending Big Day and instead talk about our move.

How tremendously excited you all must be!

So yes, spoiler alert: we moved! Boom. It was a total smash success and we are now comfortably nestled into our new neighborhood, Park Slope which is, honestly, such a cliche. For those of you not up on your Brooklyn neighborhood stereotypes, Park Slope is basically just all upper middle class married white people with puppies and/or babies. Like, OF course we turn 30, get hitched and move here. It's inevitable. Puppies and/or babies, though, can stay on hold for a while. We're livin' that yuppie life. Or, I guess the cool new term for our tax bracket is is DINK: Dual Income, No Kids. But we're more like DINKBLIMECIAOWPSSPDP: Dual Income, No Kids, But Living In the Most Expensive City in America and One Works in Publishing So Still Pretty Dang Poor.

Great use of time coming up with that acronym, Liz.

How #Brooklyn is our new neighborhood? Well everything, and I mean, everything is quote-unquote artisinal: wines. furniture. coffee. Even podiatry:

20140726_155836

 

Artisinal Podiatry, guys. right next door! Livin' the dream.

ANYWAY, successful as it was, the move was not without its more absurd moments. Por ejemplo, we did our best to be minimalists and throw out/donate stuff we no longer need or use but still ended up with so. much. STUFF. Like this pile of totebags...only 1/6 of my vast collection.

20140725_183416

You know you work in publishing when...

Y'all know how it goes. At first you're so organized, packing everything snug and perfect, labeling each box and taping perfectly and then an hour later you're just throwing all your random shit into whatever box you can find, slapping a strip of tape somewhere on the box and calling it a day. I took to just labeling boxes "Liz's crap." "More of Liz's crap." "EVEN MORE LIZ CRAP!!!"

Except this box, the super VIP and rando contents of which were too funny not to list out:

20140726_103652

 

  • Iron? Check!
  • Foam roller? Cheeeeck!
  • Christmas wreath? Check plus.
  • Football?! Check and check.

All the essentials!

I didn't even know we had a football, that's how little we use it and yet we moved it from A to B. Why oh why.

Oh and while we're on the subject of packing, here's a masterpiece I'm particularly proud of:

20140726_195454

That'd be a tupperware container filled with packing peanuts and shot glasses. I didn't want them to break! GENIUS idea!

Also, much like the football, do we ever use those shot glasses? Of course not, this ain't the club. And yet, we moved them. Why oh why oh why?!

Oh riiight, THIS is why:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNtTEibFvlQ[/embed]

Everybodddaaayy!

Some things, such as curtain rods and the coat rack required us to use tools, so we reached for our brand new toolbox:

20140726_121041

This is a generous gift from my cousin and perhaps what follows is karma for trying to use your wedding gifts pre-wedding? Without having written a thank you note yet, to boot. Ugh I'm so tacky. Like Weird Al!

Anywhoo, this toolbox is, I assume, awesome and this is not to be negative towards the gift-giver, if anyone is to blame it's us, we registered for it. Well, no, really the person to blame is Stanley Tools himself because that there toolbox is screwed shut.

As in, you need a screwdriver to open it.

As in, one of the three screwdrivers that comes INSIDE the toolbox...which is screwed shut...requiring a screwdriver...to open.

What the actual fuck, Stanley?! If we had a screwdriver we wouldn't have needed this box in the first place! What kind of mind games are you playing? Is this a gift of the magi situation? Someone out there has a screwdriver and no screws to screw with and we're meant to meet so we can screw together (nonsexually!)???

How many times can she say screw?

SCREW!

Srsly, though, screw you Stanley, this shit cray. Also does anyone have a screwdriver and want to come over to my new house and open my toolbox for me? THAAAANKS!

It should come as no surprise, considering the chaos that we had to go back to the old apartment not once but TWICE after we "officially" moved out. We rented a zipcar the following morning for a planned trip to finish cleaning and pick up some things we weren't able to fit in the truck the day before and then realized, once we'd dropped off the car and returned to the new place "for the final time" that we'd forgotten to pack an entire kitchen cabinet. So three days later we jogged back across the park to pick up what we'd forgotten. We fully intended to carry our leftover belongings home by foot but thank JC we were able to get a taxi because we forgot like, a lot of stuff.

Behold:

20140731_201127

That'd be two cookie sheets, a slowcooker, the "lil' dipper" slow-cooker, rice cooker, mini food processor, and a strainer. These, no joke, are our necessities and yet THESE are what we left at the old apartment. Not the Xmas wreath or 9 shot glasses but all the kitchen stuff we actually legit use.

OY.

But now our move is d-o-n-e DONE and we can focus on getting settled into our new home - organizing furniture, decorating and, oh yes, setting up appliances such as this cable box:

20140731_201346

Which is, of course, a saga. I do hope you're sitting down. Do you need a water break? You might need to hydrate.

Let's GO!

SO. As I mentioned last week, I'd totally spaced on calling to set up an internet installation appointment for the new place and then proceeded to play phone tag with Time Warner for six straight days. When I finally reached them on Monday, I was delighted that they could schedule an appointment for Wednesday afternoon, between 4 and 5 PM. An appointment just two days later with a one-hour window? That's basically a Sasquatch Loch Ness unicorn. Usually they only have appointments available 97 days later, somewhere in the window of 2 AM to 7:15 PM.

It was almost too good to be true!

No, it was literally too good to be true.

Wednesday morning at 9:30 AM I got a text saying, and this is a direct quote: "Time Warner Cable  will call you shortly from a 718 number to confirm your appointment. You must answer to keep your appointment."

MUST ANSWER!

I turned my ringer up as loud as it could go and carried my phone everywhere with me - meetings, coffee machine, even the bathroom. Not to be crude but I was prepared to take this phone call while changing my tampon. GROSS, I know, but I just need to demonstrate how dedicated I was to holding up MY end of this appointment. By 12:00 they'd not yet called and I had to go to a lunch meeting, where I wouldn't be able to sit by my phone, so I called Time Warner and unleashed THE most insane slash quintessentially "LizHo" monologue upon the customer service rep, basically "HELLO, It's me, Liz!!! I got the text but they've not yet called and I have a meeting and then might be on the subway and there's no service in the subway so I won't be able to answer their call but I promise I'll be home at 4 PM this appointment is so important I can not lose it we need internet I have to plan my wedding and I need the internet OMG OMG OMG HELP ME!!!" all in one frantic breath. She assured me all would be peachy keen and not to fret.

WELL sure enough I missed their call around 1:30, whilst in my lunch meeting, a meeting from which I then RACED home, missing a full four hours of work, so I could be awaiting my cable appointment.

Did they show up? HELL NO they did not.

I tried to remain calm. I worked out. I read. I checked work email on my phone. I made Brian's lunch for the next day because I am seriously the best (almost) wife ever and y'all should be jealous you're not marrying me, I'm amazing. Finally at 5:40, with no cable guy in sight, I could no longer pretend to keep my cool, so I dialed up Time Warner, ready for some drama.

I called, no joke, nineteen times, and each time, I would be greeted by an automated message from NFL superstar Victor Cruz, telling me that Time Warner would help me make my dreams come true, then go through the automated voice system to be connected to a customer service rep and then...the phone would disconnect.

Nineteen. Times.

Dear Victor Cruz: I have but one dream and that is to speak to a Time Warner Customer Service representative and guess who is NOT making my dreams come true? That's right, Time Warner Cable. Or you. I'm sure Victor Cruz is a lovely human being and an ace football star but if I ever see him, I am going to punch him right in the face.

Long story extra long, I finally, FINALLY managed to get through to a real human customer service rep who informed me that, as we already had a modem and router, we could actually just set the internet up on our own, no rep needed! She walked me through a series of steps and, though I did everything she told me, I still couldn't get the internet to work. She told me it might take 24 hours, she'd call me back at 7:30 PM the next day.

I hung up, exhausted and dejected. Brian came over to help and, cliche of all cliches: the modem wasn't plugged in to the wall.

Great work, Liz! Great work.

We plugged it in and now the internet works so well I'm here type type typing away from my very own home. A whole lotta drama for one mediocre blog post. A win for everyone!

Also, did that lady call at 7:30 PM the next day? OF COURSE NOT. Time Warner Cable - so far, NIET ZO GOED! Which is Dutch for Not So Good. Did you guys know I speak limited Dutch? FUN FACT!

Ok this post is longer than longer than LONG and I only have 7 days left at the office before #hottwedding so I should probably do some of that thing people call "work." What is my job anymore, anyway? Hopefully looking at the Ikea website and frantically making wedding related to-do lists because that's baaaaasically all I've been doing.

Happiest of weekends, hotties! Hope it is splendid from start to finish!

xoxoxo Liz Ho

 

 

 

 

This Cable Box

Another Awkward Week [7.3.14]

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

The way, way back burner.

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

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

This Travel Mug:

20140624_184327

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

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

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

Yum!

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

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

This Noodle:

IMG_20140629_020023

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

20140627_140644

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

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

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

JK there was no stripper.

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

A mystery for the ages!

This Nectarine:

20140701_102245 (1)

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

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

RIP, that nectarine. I'll miss you.

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

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

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

This Traffic Cone:

20140630_080610

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

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

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

So...that happened.

This Leftover Snack:

20140621_173116

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

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

Couldn't be classier if I tried.

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

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

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

Baby you're a firework,

Liz Ho

A Rant, A List, A Brand New Week

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

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

"Hello Alizabatham HoHENadell, your flight is cancelled."

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. WHAT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Unsolicited Running Advice from a Self-Appointed "Expert"

As I mentioned yesterday in my deeply empowering half marathon recap, I am all in on this running lifestyle. I have drunk (drank?) the kool-aid! Well, Gatorade, if we're being precise. I might go so far as to call myself a runner. Last week a friend of mine asked me how I got myself into running, saying that learning to love the sport is a goal of hers. I adore talking about myself and pretending to be an expert so I figured I'd share my tips for the whole WORLD to enjoy. For the record this is a real person, named Katie. I'm not just making this up so I can continue to brag about my physical fitness.

So! Just a few verbose (as always!) thought below, may they inspire you to love running as much as I have. And I knowwww this is getting boring, I swearity-swear this is my last running post for at least a week.

HOW TO BECOME A RUNNER:

ADVICE FROM SOMEONE WHO JUST RAN THEIR FIRST HALF MARATHON AND NOW THINKS SHE'S A TOTAL EXPERT 

1a) Sign up for a race. 

Having a goal to work towards gives you a light at the end of the tunnel, a reason to get up from the couch and pound the pavement. There are plenty of races for every level from beginner to pro. Pro races are also known as The Olympics and if you're qualified for those you probably don't need to be reading this blog.

1b) Then tell EVERYONE. 

This step is possibly the most vital step of all. The more people you tell about your race plans, the dopier you'll look if you drop out.  Registering for a race is a big step, but does it even count if no one knows? If a tree falls in a forest, etc? I suppose you could just rely on your own self for motivation but personally I am most moved by the admiration and acceptance of other people, so I made sure to tell literally the entire internet the moment I signed up for my half marathon and then when I trained, I visualized myself crossing the finish line to applause and then instantly uploading photos to multiple social media forums where my loved ones would heap praise upon me.

I am a) barely exaggerating and b) not ashamed and can't stress highly enough how important step 1b is to your success.

2) Dress the part.

Until very recently, I was completely unconvinced as to the necessity of quote-unquote workout clothes. Why would I spend my hard earned money on UnderArmor leggings and tank tops when I could wear a free t-shirt from some kind of college volunteer day and a pair of enormous Nike soccer shorts that I have had since literally 2008 when I purchased because they were part of the official uniform of the US Women's World Cup Team? Girls who wear cute workout clothes can't possibly be taking it seriously. They're just trying to look adorable, unlike me over here in my grungy apparel, holding my shorts up with a safety pin. A true athlete!

My attitude was entirely changed this Christmas, when Brian's parents sweetly gifted me with some warm weather running gear - a pair of black tights with jazzy hot pink pattern zipping up the calves and a matching hot pink zip-up jacket. It was unlike anything I would ever purchase for myself, but it instantly became my favorite outfit and somewhat of a motivational costume. Putting it on I transformed from casual jogger to Hot Running Girl! Fit and fashionable.

I've since purchased a few "running" outfits and they help keep me motivated. Putting on my sweat-wicking tank top and compression capris tells my brain: "NOW WE ARE RUNNING!" Silly? Maybe! But it works for me.

If you're in the market, Marshall's & TJ Maxx always have tons of name brands on supersale and Old Navy, my #1 favorite clothing retailer has a great line of workout attire at spectacular prices!

All this said, don't go too overboard, this is still a workout, not a fashion show. And NO ONE likes the girl who matches  her bellybutton ring to her neon crop-top. A little subtly goes a long way.

3) Make a Plan...and Keep Visual Track of your Progress 

The internet is chock FULL of free training plans for all sorts of races. I've heard rave reviews about the Couch to 5K program for beginners and Runners World has a series of training plans for every level.

I worked with a plan by some guy called Hal Higdon, with a few tweaks by my personal trainer, Brian. I loved this training plan - simple, adaptable and knowing exactly what was expected of me each week helped me to stay motivated and energized.

I made a series of calendars for myself for the duration of my training process, indicating what was on the lineup for each day and also leaving a space for me to write what I actually achieved that day. Most training plans are very general, just Week 1, Week 2, etc and for me, seeing the physical calendar dates was helpful.

For the first month I was diligent about updating with my actual mileage and though I sort of fell off that wagon by month 2, I still consulted the calendar regularly to remind myself what was upcoming. Seeing the long run distance inch up by one mile per week made me feel like such a badass.

4) Reward Yourself

Cheese burgers after long runs? DON'T MIND IF I DO.

5) Have a Buddy

I ran this race by myself, but had lots of buddies helping me prep for it. I had Brian running beside me on all of my long runs, encouraging me every day and standing on the sidelines cheering for me while I raced. My cousin Dani ran her first half marathon a few weeks before I did and we emailed back and forth about how much we loved it and another cousin, Kelly who took up running around the same time and has been slaying it in races all spring, shares inspirational quotes and photos on Facebook, encouraging me to keep it up too . And my friend Mary also ran her first half earlier this spring, so we'd compare training notes, run along the river together after work and bond over our new-found obsession with running. Weirdly enough, Mary and I got basically the exact same times on our first half marathons! How cool is that.

There are lots of local running clubs in my area, but I've been hesitant to join one, the huge group mentality kind of stresses me out and I wasn't quite ready to make that commitment. But maybe it'll work for you! Or find one pal to train with or just see who else in your group of friends/office is a runner and bond with them.  It is fun to have someone to comiserate with and, like my crazy mentality that if you tell everyone you'll be less likely to quit, it helps me to feel like I'm  not alone...I'm running for Brian and Mary and Kelly and Dani and everyone!

In the whole world!!!!!

Grandiose, much?!

7) Rock the Tunes

I never listened to music while running until very recently. I'd either run with Brian and talk to him or run on the treadmill and watch old episodes of How I Met Your Mother. I also didn't know how to play music on my phone because I am the worlds smartest modern human. Luckily, this spring I discovered both Songza and Google Play Music and with their help was able to put together a pretttty baller running playlist.

Running to Songza (or Pandora, I guess) is super fun because you don't know what song is coming next, so it's a fun surprise every time! This helped me to discover some awesome throwbacks from college (ain't no Hollaback Girl!) and then spend most of my run just reminiscing about listening to those songs on repeat with my pals. I then figured out how to create my own playlists, but still like to play on shuffle so I'm always on my toes. This is really boring...why don't I just stop talking and share what I'm jamming to lately: 

  • Lorde, Royals 
  • Pitbull & Ke$ha, Timber (I could basically listen to this song on repeat all day and night both while running and just while going about my day.) 
  • Rihanna, Don't Stop the Music 
  • Danity Kane, Damaged (cue memories of 2008 girls vacation to Miami!) 
  • Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together (LIKE I wasn't going to have some Swizz on here)
  • One Direction, Best Song Ever (I'm an adult!)
  • Katy Perry, Roar 
  • Katy Perry, Teenage Dream
  • Katy Perry, T.G.I.F (I just really like Katy Perry)
  • Nicki Minaj, Starships
  • Kanye West et. al, Monster (I always go extra hard during Nicki's verse. You can be the king now watch the queen conquer!) 
  • Icona Pop, I Don't Care 
  • Austin Mahone, Mmm Hmm Yeah (I have no idea who this person is and I'm pretty sure he might be 12 but it came on my songza one day and features Pitbull and I can't say no to Pitbull and now I love this song.) 
  • Anything Taio Cruz has ever done: Dynamaite, Break Your Heart and my personal favorite song Hangover, which introduces the genius term "shitfaceded" 
  • Flo Rida, Wild Ones
  • Nelly, Country Grammar 
  • Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
  • Sara Bareilles, Brave 
  • Destiny's Child, Bootylicious
  • Jackson Five, ABC 
  • Little Mix, Wings (again, I have no idea who these people are but this song is a jimmity jam)
  • Avicii, Wake Me Up (I don't really approve of Electronic Dance Music or "EDM" as the kids/cools are calling it but I do like this song!)
  • Bastille, Pompeii (heyyydey oh, hey-dey) 
  • Cobra Starship, Good Girls Gone Bad
  • Beyonce, Crazy in Love (obviously always and forever) 

6) Don't Be Afraid to look Dumb

I was talking to someone recently who didn't want to run in public because they were worried they'd look dumb. And as much as I want to pretend to be above that, I totally get it. Fear of looking stupid is one of the main reasons I quit trying yoga so I need to learn to practice what I preach. So for both me and all of you to keep in mind: who cares! Who cares if you stop and walk or run slow or think you swing your arms weird or if you air drum while running and dance at stoplights. Everybody looks weird doing everything and no one is paying attention to you, they're all busy worrying about what they look like.

8) Just. Keep. Running. 

This is a little hippie dippy and hard to quantify but at a certain point your brain is going to want to stop running and you're going to have to tell it to shut the eff up. One of the simultaneously most exciting and challenges for me while training was when I realized that my body could  keep running. That when I felt tired or bored or ready to quit it wasn't my body giving out but my brain giving up. I had to figure out how to shut off the part of me that wanted to quit, walk and go home and just. keep. running.

I don't know what to tell you to do this in your life. For me, it was turning up my music, staring right ahead and literally saying, out-loud (see what I said about looking weird?!): "you've got this, Liz. Keep going." And then I'd keep going.

In the time it took you to think about quitting, your legs probably went two, three, four more steps. You CAN do it.

9) Go Ahead and Brag! 

Proud of your training or your race time? Pat yourself on the back! Go ahead and upload that finish line photo to multiple social media feeds and watch the likes roll in.

10) Always End Lists with Even Numbers! 

And those are my tips!

I am obviously super clearly not an expert but people (one person) were begging for my advice (politely asking about my training routine) and I have to give the world what it wants! I hope this inspires at least one person to get out and start running both because it's super fun and also because I'm DYING to be considered a positive role model.

Now, let me ask you: How do YOU get motivated - to run or otherwise? Runners, anything you think I'm missing? Any workout songs you'd suggest?! 

Thanks for reading this! I have no idea how to end this post. OK BYE!  Smooches!

 

30 Before 30: Run a Half Marathon!

America, guess what?! I did it! First (and hopefully not last) half marathon is in the books and I can check one more thing off my 30 Before 30 List. Just 26 items & 5 months to go. Yiiiiikes. Not the point! The point is I did it and it went way better than I imagined it would! The morning got off to a rocky start, with chilly, damp weather and a potentially dramatic incident involving a lost shipment of porta potties but by the time the starting gun went off at 8:30 AM it was bright, breezy and perfect weather for running. Which was a relief both athletically AND sartorially as it initially looked like I might have to do 13.1 sporting this HOT get-up.

20140426_073819 (1)

Thankfully that fashion faux-pas was averted and after some hemming and hawing about what sort of layering/sleeve situation I was going to go for, I made a game time decision to rock just a tank top (and bottoms, obviously) so I looked like a sexy sporty gal instead of an adult Morton Salt Girl slash homeless fisherwoman.

IMG_9825

Ok maybe “gangly and weirdly chipper sporty gal” would be a better descriptor but today is about CONFIDENCE not self-deprecation so let’s go with sexy. (In case you’re curious, this tank top was a gift from my BFF Maureen. In the card she said it would help me combat my STS aka “Sweaty Torso Syndrome” and she was right! What a great top. And an even better friend, one who also sent me tulips to celebrate finishing my race. She’s basically my guardian angel.)

ALSO in case you’re wondering if I yelled mid-run “Hey! Brian! Take my picture!!! While I’m running!” the answer is obviously. Do you even have to ask?

The race itself went totally superbly great. The course was perfectly flat and scenic, taking us under the Verrazano Bridge. The course sort of just looped around on itself so you ran the same path up and back, up and back, which could seem dull but worked for me – I was able to pass Brian 4 times, which helped keep me motivated and gave me something to look forward to and the flat, blank landscape of the course allowed me to completely zone out and just RUN.

At mile 4 I wanted to quit, by mile 7 I was ready to start training for a full marathon and by mile 12 I was just ready to get it over with.

So how’d I do? Awesome! My initial goal was to finish in 2 hours and I smashed that, crossing the finish line at 1:53:04. I placed 110th overall, out of 264 and 19th out of 67 finishers in my bracket of women aged 20-29. This was much better than I could have hoped for and I’m so proud of my accomplishment. I didn’t feel too bad after the race either, minus a horrific stomach ache (TMI as always, but any other runners out there deal with major gassy cramps during/post long runs?! I was dying!) and sore hips and hamstrings. We met some friends for celebratory beers & BBQ and then I passed out by 8:45 PM. It was delightful.

I’d DEFINITELY do another half marathon and would love to try to improve my time and work on pacing myself to run more smoothly and consistently. As for a full marathon? No. Not yet. Mostly I don’t want to put in that much time training and, despite the speed, pride, etc, I struggled through that 13th mile, I don’t think I’m ready to double that.

I’m mostly just surprised by how much I enjoyed this whole process. I don’t know why I decided I should run a half marathon, I just kind of got the idea in my head and decided it would be a good thing to do before I turned 30, and somewhere along the way I came to love running.  I’ve dabbled in jogging in the past, first just as a tool to stay svelte and then as something to do with Brian. He ran competitively in college and running is as much a part of his life as breathing or eating cheese or quoting Liz Lemon is to mine. When we started dating, I’d run with him because I wanted to share that with him and I wanted him to think I was a cool sporty person and sometimes I enjoyed it but other times I just got frustrated that I couldn’t keep up with him and worried I was holding him back and would get weird and dramatic – “just leave me here! This isn’t Saving Private Ryan! I know I’m slow and holding you back and I’m sorry. I never should have come with you today. I’m ruining everything!" – and that was just no fun for anybody.

When I started training for my race, I was in so-so shape. Essentially I could run the 3.4 mile loop in Prospect Park without stopping, occasionally adding on an extra mile here or there, if I was feeling particularly fit. I trained for three months, doing short runs throughout the week and one long run on weekends, adding on a mile per week. Every single week I had a one mile indicator of how much stronger I was getting. It felt awesome. I realized this morning that I could now run the 3.4 mile loop in Prospect Park 3.85 times without stopping. Boom.

Two of my cousins got into running right around the same time I did and we’ve been chatting together about how empowering it is physically pushing yourself to new levels. I usually shy away from that sort of self help-Oprah Winfrey-feelgood nonsense but I can’t help myself. I’m an empowered lady. Hear me roar! Or something.

I also realized that, in addition to empowering me (how many times will she say empowering?!), running calms me.  As you all know, I have some issues with anxiety and a, shall we say, overactive brain. Somehow when I’m in a good running rhythm, my brain just stops racing. I was telling this to a friend recently and she asked me what I think about when I run and I had to tell her I don’t know! I daydream. I sing along to songs on my phone, imagine dancing to them at my wedding or let them pull me back into nostalgic reminiscences. I mentally draft essays I never get around to writing. I focus on my breath, my feet, one step after the other.

I was in kind of a low place earlier this year, emotionally, and I’m feeling worlds away from that dark space. Yes, the weather and general passing of time have a lot to do with that, but I truly think the running did too. I know running isn’t for everyone, I wouldn’t push it on anyone, but I can not more wholeheartedly get behind anything than the importance of physical activity – whether it’s sprinting or Zumba or yogilates or powerwalking. It’s basically free Xanax! Y’all know I love TV as much as the next guy but I think all of us can and should spare a few hours of Hulu Plus per week in favor of getting those endorphins.

Ok now I’m getting a little self-righteous where I just meant to be celebratory! I think this is as good a place as any to cut the rambles. I’ll be back tomorrow with a few more words on running – a friend asked me for my advice on learning to love running, so I thought I’d share some more practical tips, now that I am super totally an expert on all things track and field.

HA!

Thank you all for your sweet encouragement and support while I trained for this little shindig and for not being too harsh on mo while I ramble about running. I know there is nothing more boring than listening to someone talk about their exercise routine (looking RIGHT AT YOU Crossfitters) so I truly appreciate you tuning in. You're all gems. Gems, I say!

 

Xo! Liz

Another Awkward Week [4.25.14]

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

20140422_103445

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

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

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

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

You go, self!

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

This Iron:

20140421_101409

Totally unplugged!

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

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

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

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

This Faucet:

20140422_065419

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

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

I, however, do not.

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

20140422_065458

Like, soaking.

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

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

A perfect, sensual angel!!!!

This Bus Seat:

20140419_125440

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

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

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

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

He thanked me and moved to another spot.

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

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

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

Being a good Samaritan is exhausting, guys.

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

This Liquor Store:

20140419_164902

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

I'm getting stressed now just thinking about it!

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

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

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

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

"Wine!" we replied in unison.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First of all: GROSS, DUDE, GROSS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [3.28.14]

Hey you guys! What's up? How was everyone's week. Mine was very weddingy which is now a real word, in the OED, look it up, fools. Seriously, though, this week was a veritable nuptial extravaganza. Tuesday I went bridesmaid dress shopping and  Wednesday Brian & I went suit shopping (more on both of those below!) and last night I went to a Wedding Expo which was...definitely something! It was a real thing.

Quick backstory, I'm working on this fantastic book coming out in May called Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest by Jen Dollwhich is amazing. I very rarely actually talk about my books here because I don't want the authors to get like, a google alert and read this and realize what a freak their publicist is BUT I already know that both the author (hi, Jen!) and editor (hi, Ali!) a) read this blog and b) know I'm a total freak so it's all good. Also good? The book, so you should probably just go ahead and pre-order it riiiiiight now.

Jen was invited to attend the New York Magazine Wedding Expo and thought: "who could I invite to join me who is engaged and will do anything for a story and some free wine?" The answer was crystal clear. And thus, Jen & I found ourselves in a chic event space in Chelsea at 4:45 PM on a Thursday sipping white wine and stuffing our tote bags with swag.

 

IMG_20140327_211116

The expo was super nice but also suuuuper overwhelming. There were tons of people all about, including one woman whose job it was to walk around in a slinky wedding gown carrying a sign advertising the designer and DJ's playing loud party music and hoardes of women roaming in packs - many of whom brought their baby strollers which, like, I don't judge the carriage before the marriage, you do you, but why did you bring your baby here? I know it's tough to get a sitter but like, is this really the establishment where you want to be carting around a toddler? Possibly no.

Like any trade show there were just booths and booths and booths of vendors and everyone had some kind of treat (macrons! mini cakes! LOBSTER ROLLS!) to lure you to stop and peruse their wares and most also had some kind of opportunity to register for a giveaway, which we did with wild abandon. I can't remember everything I signed up to win but the list included:

  • false eyelashes
  • lingerie
  • cake pops
  • skin treatment
  • a full set of bridesmaid dresses (!)
  • earrings
  • engagement photos
  • dance lessons (!!)

I have yet to receive any calls or emails so I'm assuming I won nothing but I am really holding out hope on those dance lessons.

Just kidding. NIGHTMARE.

Finally we reached that point where we were so overwhelmed with people and stimuli and people that we just sort of crashed and had to run for the door.

I also experience this emotion when visiting art museums or shopping at Forever 21.

I'm really glad we went and do think I saw some valuable stuff, but can't possibly imagine actually going to one of those as an outlet for getting wedding ideas like, right at the beginning. The sheer volume of options and images made my head spin.

Just like Brian and I will spin on the dance floor when we win those tango lessons. Come on, phone, ring, damn it, RING!

Ok, enough. This is already a novel and I've barely even scratched the surface. Let us take a look at what (else!) was keeping it awkward this week:

This Microwave:

20140325_221913

First of all please ignore that pile of cardboard recycling in the corner, I know we need to dispose of that!

Second of all, do take note of the smashed glass on the floor below said microwave. That is the glass tray that came with the microwave, smashed into a zillion little pieces after I knocked it out while removing my microwaveable heating pad because I am 86 years old.

Easy solution: register for a new microwave!

Except: This belongs with the apartment, WHOOPS.

So now I have to track down and purchase a very specific microwave tray lest we lose our security deposit over this.

Luckily I am already pretty skilled in purchasing wholesale kitchen appliance parts thanks to the time I broke a glass shelf in the refrigerator of my first apartment in Brooklyn by dropping a heavy container of leftover Thanksgiving food on it.

Liz Ho: destroying one rental kitchen at a time!

These Dresses:

20140325_190745

Front runners for the bridesmaids! I will give you a WHOLE long and detailed story about the endless search for bridesmaid dresses, made extra endless by my deep passion for over-thinking and making everything 80 billion times more complicated than necessary but for now, a tiny tale.

Kathleen and I went to Bella Bridesmaid in Midtown on Tuesday night to check out some options (it was a really nice boutique with a pretty great selection and good customer service, just FYI if this applies to you) and while we were looking through the racks with our assigned stylist, we suddenly heard the sound of crying coming from one of the dressing rooms.

And by crying I mean like weeping. Like heaving sobs. Like me watching Les Mis hysterics.

I mean...bridesmaid dress shopping is stressful but...? YIKES pull yourself together, man!

It turns out it may have actually been a staff member crying over some kind of personal life drama which makes me feel a little bad for judging but whatever the reason behind the tears, it does not erase how painfully awkward it was for the three of us to resume rifling through brightly colored chiffon, acting like nothing was amiss, to the soundtrack of violent sobbing.

AAAAH.

Also did I make a final decision on bridesmaid dresses yet? Probably! Or not. Just ... don't ask.

This Corner:

20140326_134242

I worked out over lunch the other day and when I came back, managed to spill my entire (full!) water bottle on my office floor, right next to a stack of book boxes. I saw the water encroaching on the box of delicate paper books and panicked, looking around the room for some sort of towel with which I might mop up the spill before it ruined our product.

I got the brilliant idea to use my gym clothes BUT I had my fancy stuff that day and they're all made out of some kind of fancy like, sweat repelling material so they weren't really absorbing the giant lake I created (thanks for nothing, Under Armor) BUT the dirty underwear I had just worn to workout were, in fact, cotton, so I mopped up the spill with a pair of underwear.

It made complete sense at the time, for some reason, but then I though about it later and remembered that in our office we have both a kitchen AND a bathroom, both of which are resplendent with paper towels, products which are designed for the sole purpose of absorbing liquids.

And instead I used my underpants.

WHAT is wrong with me? So very very VERY many things.

I must have been a clutz-o-rama that day because later that evening, I met Brian at ...

This Suit Shop:

20140326_184115

My groom and I went out on an expedition to find a suit for him for our wedding and a co-worker recommended this classy place in SoHo called Suit Supply. She assured us they were known for slim cut suits for slim cut fellows and at a good price point.

And she was right! Despite the semi douche vibe of their website (just...ignore those photos) the place was straight up classy and the customer service was outstanding. They helped Brian find a really REALLY good looking suit  and suggested some matching options for his groomsmen, recommended shoe stores, tie colors, etc.

Meanwhile I just followed Brian around making lascivious comments about his butt. It was weird. I felt like someone's creepy sugardaddy (except let's be real, I'm not paying for this). Like, you always hear stories about rich men taking hot women shopping and then just creepily watching them try on sexy clothes and suddenly I understand the appeal. By the time I half-jokingly but mostly seriously asked Brian to "take off his jacket and sling it over his shoulder like he was in a catalog" I realized I miiiiight be out of control.

But seriously, wedding guests, you're in for a treat with this suit. That booty is A+!

Oh, and also while I was there they offered me a glass of water and OBVIOUSLY I spilled the entire thing on the floor and almost used my scarf to mop it up before anyone saw but luckily someone stopped me before I ruined yet another piece of clothing doing what a paper towel could do so much better.

Then later, I pulled my wallet out of my pocket to put in the stylist's business card and dropped a panty liner on the floor right in front of him. Smooth.

Those were the actual points of this story, but then I got sidetracked being creepy about butts.

You know me!

Shut it down, Liz. Shut it down.

And that's that! What are you guys up to this weekend? I was supposed to go hiking but now it's going to rain all weekend (don't even get me started on you, Mother Nature!) so now we're searching for an indoor urban adventure instead. Any suggestions?

Have the funnest weekend, whatever you do, and if you enter any weird raffles, I sure hope you win!

xoxoxo Liz

30 Before 30: Oh, we're halfway there!

Last Friday, March 14 was both Pi Day and my half birthday (equally momentous holidays!), meaning I have but 6 months left until I hit the big 3-0. I thought this would be an opportune time to check back in on my epic 30 Before 30 list to see how I’m doing.

(via)

If you’d noticed I hadn’t discussed this in months and suspected it was a ridiculous thing that I started for the attention and then forgot about and surely won’t finish, well, you’re mostly right. I am still working to check off these noble goals but, for better or for worse (pun!), this whole getting married situation seems to be taking up the majority of my time and resources, both emotional and (OH MY GOD WHY IS THIS WEDDING SO EFFING EXPENSIVE?!?!?!?) financial sooo certain things have taken the back burner and probably won’t be finished by 9/14/14. Does this make me feel guilty and lame and like a failure? Obviously! I mean, what doesn't?  But that is a problemo for me and for my therapist. Who I just broke up with because he kept bringing up weird stories about the holocaust (literally) when I tried to talk about my problems, so now I’m at square one and need a new therapist BUT that is a whole different story for a whole different day, why did I even go onto that tangent?

"Why Did I Even Go Onto That Tangent?" will the the name of my one woman show. Get your tickets now!

Also, quickly, I can’t even lie to you guys: I know this is so pointless and silly and age is but a number and 30 isn't even old and Sex and the City something something BUT the fact that I’m managing to squeeze into marriage just a few days before my 30th birthday (28, to be exact!) (and 5 months from yesterday holy cats, there’s so much to do!) does make me feel kind of relieved. So ridiculous I KNOW but I never pretended to be anyting but exxxxxtra ridic so there you have it. The truth is out!

Ok with out firther ado, I've ado'ed enough already, let us check in on my 30 Before 30 progress, shall we?

LIZ HO'S 30 BEFORE 30! 

1. Run half marathon

This is the biggie and I’m excited to share, I’ll be doing this one! I am running the Henry’s Hope Verrazano Half Marathon on Saturday, April 26! I’ve been training like a beast - ran 9 miles yesterday, boom - and have been enjoying it so much.  I've come to really enjoy running. I can feel myself getting stronger, faster, healthier and better every day and running helps me to calm my brain when my thoughts start a-racin’. No jokes here, I’m very proud of myself and can’t wait to run 13.1 in a few weeks!

2. Pay off one credit card…put a dent in the other. COMPLETED 10/4/13

And then acquire new credit card debt after buying way, way into the Wedding Industrial Culture? Yikes...probably!

3. Get a bikini wax

This has not yet happened. I might save it for the honeymoon...GROSS but probably true.

4. Take photoshop or other online design course

Nopers.

5. Submit something for publication

Sort of? I made a friend who works for a website and he asked me to write something for him (his idea! cool!) and I have sort of started but not really so yeah...slaying it.

6. Visit each of the 5 boroughs of NYC (I’m coming for you, Staten Island!)

I went to Queens last week! I’ve been there before but still, let’s get excited. Brooklyn & Manhattan I check off on the daily and I’ve been to the Bronx before but should probably do it again now that I’m making a whole thang of it. As for Staten Island...yeah. Who wants to come with me? We can get meatballs and spray tans!

That's what happens on Staten Island, right?

7. Do a pull-up (yes, just one. Aim high.)

I’ve done like...¾ of a pull-up. I’m working on it.

8. Find a regular volunteer program

Oh god, I haven’t even thought about this. I’m a horrible person.

9. See a play on Broadway

I almost did this! My friend Nick sent this EXTREMELY confusing email about getting tickets to see this play All the Way, starring Bryan “Heisenberg” Cranston and I figured it was a great opportunity to check this item off my listicle AND become besties with Walter White but just 6 hours before showtime I realized that what I read as Nick buying us all tickets meant he just bought himself a ticket and the rest of us were on our own sooooooooooo long story long, I did not attend said play.

Back to the drawing board!

10. Watch The Sopranos

UGH. I’m halfway through season two and just...can’t. I think it’s kind of boring! I feel like I should love it, it’s so widely regarded as THE prestige TV show that started this era of prestige TV shows and I LOVE prestige TV shows and also saying the word “prestige” a lot, apparently, but I just can’t seem to get on board with this one.

So now I must decide if I power through for the sake of the list OR if I just quit and chalk it up to a loss.

So much TV, so little time. What’s a gal to do?!

11. Learn to shuffle cards

I’m working on this! I think there’s a video somewhere? I’ll find it, stay tuned.

You wait with baited breath, I’m sure.

12. Stop biting my nails

Chomping on my phalanges as we speak so...no.

13. Take a trip with my mom

What I meant by this was a like, a vacation-style trip somewhere new but again, with this wedding scenario bleeding us both dry, we’ll probably not make that happen.

BUT we have gone on several shopping trips so technically that counts, right?

It’s my list, I’m saying it counts.

Maybe we’ll trip on acid!

JUST kidding.

14. Read outside of my comfort zone

Ok help me! I continue to read the same sorts of books I usually do which would be categorized as “Upmarket Women’s Fiction” or “Ridiculous Postapocalyptic Teen Romances” so I still need some help here.

Would y’all be so kind as to recommend some books in the following genres:

poetry biography a “classic” graphic novel

Thanks in advance, nerds!

15. Visit Storm King COMPLETED 10/6/13

OBVIOUSLY this happened. Did you guys know I’m engaged?!!

16. Get Acupuncture

Not yet but I do have the name of a doctor to call stored in my inbox somewhere so...baby steps.

17. Roast a chicken

Again, not yet but I have been making quite a lot of crock pot chicken dishes so … sort of?

18. Grow a vegetable to a point where it is edible i.e. don’t kill it

Have not even tried.

19. Zumba

See: response to No. 18.

20. Host a classy, adult dinner party

No. But I have hosted a several unsophisticated boozy potlucks SO I’m calling it a win.

21. Add at least one more state to my list

Not yet but Brian promises he’s taking me to Maine in September! He better.

22. Solve my stomach issues

You do not even want to know what is going on down there.

23. Trapeze class

Of course I have not done this. How did I even come UP with this idea?!

24. Reconnect with an old friend (I already have one picked out! Lucky person!)

Not quiiiite yet. But I often compose my email to said friend while drying my hair or running or otherwise distracted so...the suspense builds.

25. Decorate our apartment

Nopers! But now we’re moving August 1 so there's no point in starting now. I'll decorate the new place, I will, I will!

26. See the cherry blossoms in DC

Oh god, no. And I think they sprout (sprout?) like next week so this one ain’t happening. Next year!

27. Take out my navel ring

Not yet! Hanging onto the trashy just a little bit longer. It’ll look great when I’m wearing a crop top in Staten Island!

28. Make an IRL blogger connection

I DID do this!! A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Caitlyn while she was in NYC on business.

image

Caitlyn is adorable - she’s one of the first bloggers I became bloggy pals with and she reminds me a lot of my sister...Maggie is younger than me and once lived in Colorado where she worked for Habitat for Humanity and Caitlyn is also younger than me and currently lives in Colorado and sometimes volunteers for Habitat. The similarities kind of stop there and yet I still think of them as kindred spirits so basically if you are an altruistic young woman living in the western US I’ll probably confuse you for my sister. Just go with it.

ANYWAY, Caitlyn and I became blog friends and then facebook friends (huge step) and then she let me know she was comin’ to town for work, did I want to hang out?

Um...yes please!

We met at this super cute tea shop near my office and I was sort of nervous on my way there, I felt like I was going on a blind date. What if she didn’t like me? What if we had nothing to talk about? Did I look weird?

Luckily none of my fears came true and we hit it off and talked about life and boys and blogging and enjoyed yummy tea and macaroons, brought to us by THE slowest waiter in all of the New York City Regional Area and it was just so much fun.

If you don’t yet read Caitlyn’s blog...hop to!

29. Hike 5 new peaks

Spring has barely sprung...I’ll hike when it’s warm!

And if all else fails, I’ll just climb every tiny hill in Prospect Park and call it a win.

30. Blog Challenge!

I actually decided, upon recommendation from a friend that I go streaking, that #30 is Go Skinnydipping! I will share ZERO photographs so y’all pervs don’t even bother asking, but I realized that no one should make it to 30 without dipping in the nude so as soon as it’s warm: it’s on.

So! Not too bad? I’ve officially done 4 things and adding in loopholes and technicalities I've done at least 5 more and have plans semi-in the works for a few others so it’s looking like maybe I’ll get to half. I feel like I read somewhere that 15 is the new 30 so if I make it there, I’ll call this a rousing success.

Now if you’ll all excuse me, I have some hiking and waxing and chicken roasting to do. Probably not all at the same time but, we’ll see!

Smooches!

Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [3.14.14]

Happy Pi Day, nerds! We at the Scottenadel household celebrated in style: 20140314_080626

Of course we have a Pi Day mug. Marrying a math teacher has its perks!

(PS look at that face! Such a studmuffin, I can't even handle it.) (PSS: sorry! Can't help myself!)

How was everyone's week? Mine was fine! I feel like it was fast? I can barely remember what happened! A blur of wildly vacillating temperatures and Buzzfeed Quizzes. I just took this one: Which Queen of Comedy Are You and got Julia Louis Dreyfus! I feel pretty OK about that.

Who are you?!

Let's move it right on along, Comedy Queens, and take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

This Bathroom:

20140314_091232

The ladies' room in our office is a complete hellscape - the toilets never seem to be flushed and there's always mysterious water all over the ground and the lighting in the mirror area makes everyone look like extras from The Walking Dead. The worst.

Also, the locks on the stall doors never seem quite secure, like, for example, this week when I was doing my thang and the stall door next to me slammed a little bit, the momentum of which slipped my door right out of the locked position and started swinging it open.

NIGHTMARE OF NIGHTMARES.

I managed to stop it & slam it back shut before anyone saw anything too graphic but YIKES. There is no safe space in this world! I would consider  taking a pay cut (jk never) if it meant budget to fix this bathroom, it is truly a palace of horrors. 

This Snack:

20140311_120943

We had a pizza lunch at work the other day and a noon I was staaaarving, so I confirmed with my assistant what time we were eating. If it was 1 PM, I'd eat my healthy apple. If it was 12:30, I'd hold out.

12:30 it was! I'd hold out.

Until I went into my office & spotted the bag of Doritos leftover from our Valentines' Day Chip & Dip Extravanga hidden in a corner where I'd stashed them February 15 to avoid shoving them all in my face in a fit of madness. But oh no: the fit of madness had snuck in anyway! I took one handful, re-hid the bag and got to work.

Then snuck back for one more handful! And then just...one...more...and then I shut my office door and hid at my desk hoovering Doritos until Margaret knocked and walked in to announce the pizza had arrived and caught me red-handed.

Err...orange handed. Literally.

And then later that night, this happened...

This Photo:

20140312_202055

That horrible moment when you turn on your camera and realize it's still switched to selfie mode and you see what your real face look like in repose.

ALL the yikes in the world can't even begin to describe this.

This Laundry:

20140308_100707

Remember how proud I was last week of my Mental Health Day on Monday (Otherwise known as "take-a-break-before-you-shiv-somebody" day per Ross or "lay in bed with your fiance like the grandparents from Willie Wonka" according to my friend Danny) and how I did all that laundry? WELL said laundry hung to dry in our living room for a cool 6 days later until someone (me) finally put it away.

I guess I just need to take another mental health day ... one to do the laundry...and then one to fold it. One to put it away. One to iron the fancy stuff. One to rest after all that work. Oh look, I'm retired! Goodbye, corporate world, you've been real.

This Sink:

20140307_214358

Last week I went to not one but two different Asian restaurants and both of them had really fancy sinks. I'm not trying to racially generalize here, I'm just sayin' that was some rad sinnkage.

The first place was a terrible and I mean TERRIBLE estalishment in Chinatown that served undercooked pork dumplings and probably poisoned us all. Their sink was bright blue and shiny, it looked like it was made with ferrari material, and you turned on the water using a joystick. A literal joystick, like you'd use for videogames. It was awesome.

The second place was a delish Sushi spot in Park Slope that I love to visit except whenever I get sushi I eat wahaaaay too much because it seems like it won't fill you up and then wham it totally does and  then Brian's like "hey it's Friday, let's get busy" and I have to be like "no to the way, Jose." There is nothing less of an aphrodisiac than a stomach full of sushi. Is it just me? Is this 15,000% too much information? ALWAYS.

Anyway, their sink is the art deco delight pictured above. It had a regular handle that you flipped up to turn the water on and then moved side to side to change the temperature. How you turn it off is a total mystery to me. I stood in the bathroom for several minutes turning the knob left, right, up down, front to back side to side and the water just kept on running, so I left it run, went back to the table, got my phone, took this photo, moved it around some more and finally, miracle of miracles, the water stopped.

It wasn't just me, I'm happy to report. My friend went in after me and she TOO had issues working the sink so we're blaming it allll on the mechanics of the sink. We're perfect.

Semi related, I'm now majorly jonesing for some eel avocado. Is 9:15 AM too soon? What do Japanese people eat for breakfast?

Life is full of questions!

Aaaand I'm done before I start sharing more weird information about my intimate life and / or inappropriate breakfast cravings. What's new with you chickies? Any big weekend plans? ST PATRICK'S DAY! Get that green beer y'all.

Luck o' the Awkward,

Liz Ho

One Awkward Wedding: Lemme, Lemme Update You The Sequel: 2 Awkward 2 Updated

Goood  morning, friends. I fear I may have blogged myself right into a corner here with this whole cliffhanger situation. It seems that I implied that I had something interesting to say rather than the truth, which was that I just you know, stopped writing and went to bed. Spoiler alert: this whole story is actually super boring. Oh well, onward!

Previously on Lost:

Lost

Jack was smug, Hurley ate a large jar of ranch dressing, Sawyer called someone by a cute nickname and Liz continued to freak out about her impending wedding.

In early November, Brian and I took a quick jaunt down to Pennsylvania to check out some venues. How did we find these venues, you ask? A little thing called the internet. Look it up! On...the internet.

Before Brian and I were even engaged, I created a secret Google doc titled "Shameful" where I listed wedding venues in New York and PA, with hyperlinks to their websites.

Is this insane? OBVIOUSLY.

But I was primed and ready the moment we got engaged and didn't have to waste any of my precious time so you can just judge on all you want, Judge Reinhold.

A bit of actually helpful advice I can offer to anyone who might someday plan a wedding is to have an idea of your basic framework - how and when and where do you envision your wedding? The ultimate #firstworldproblem is that there are SO VERY MANY options available, so to be able to narrow your choices down without wasting all of your free time is immensely helpful. For us, this meant, of course, REGULAR CLASSY. Any venue that was over our budget or not available in our preferred time frame, we didn't even bother visiting. Why get attached?

This means we passed up on the most amazing barn where my friend is getting married this May - it is part of a Pennsylvania German history museum and you can ride around in an antique carriage and have actual historical re-enactors at your reception! But alas, they were booked for all of 2014. 

It is pointless to dwell on what might have been but...would any of you be interested in dressing in maybe Colonial garb and passing out hors d'oeuvres for a few hours on the evening of August 16? Just, you know, hypothetically.

Another bit of actual advice (I should write a self-help book!) is to seek help of your personal network. In addition to the best wedding planner ever, Bebe Ho, President and CEO of the famed event management firm Schmoopster, Bernie and Beans, Inc, who was all too eager to scout out locations on behalf of her long distance clients, we also sought the wisdom of local friends and family (special shout-out to cousins Angie & Lisa, Aunt Lena & pal Jamie!) who gave us lots and lots of advice and ideas and to those people we are (sincerely!) grateful.

Isn't it amazing how long and long and LONG I can make a story?!

We packed a whole lotta visits into two days in Pennsylvania - we looked at venues spanning the map. Ballrooms, barns, a private room in a restaurant that also had a weird gift shop selling soap and homemade beef jerky, a winery, an art gallery/music space/recording studio/cafe (turned out this place had a bit of an identity problem), a music school, you name it, we probably looked at it.

I put wayyy to much mental energy into agonizing over what to wear while venue hunting. I needed a perfect outfit that conveyed that I was there for business (the love business!) and that I was a serious, sophisticated lady but not SO sophisticated as to appear wealthy and risk them quoting me the fancy person price instead of what I'm more in the market for, which is bargain basement deals. But a sophisticated bargain basement...like Nordstrom Rack!

I went with the shocking and unexpected combo of  jeans, boots and...wait for it...yep, a cardigan. I am nothing if not a creature of habit. Surprise twist, though, they were some on-trend ankle boots so I think I pulled off the Nordstrom Rack look pretty, pretttty well.

My priorities? Oh, they're in order.

Standout moments from our hunt included:

  • The vendor sporting the supple leather vest who spent his entire pitch talking about ways we could make our event "cheaper." Bro, let me give you an unsolicited tip: there are ways to convey that you offer a sound financial value without actually saying "cheap" eleventy five times.
  •  The caterer who nearly sent me onto a long rant about gender stereotypes when he made mention of bringing lager to the groom and pinot grigio to the bride. Bro, let me give YOU and unsolicited tip: don't assume that ladies only drink white wine, OK mon frere? I mean, I DO drink white wine but I don't appreciate being pigenholed.

Good gravy I am annoying.

  • The relatively smug Irish dude (proprietor of said art gallery/music space/recording studio/cafe )who was way too into name-dropping bands he's seen and puffing his "hip" image...and his lithe young assistant who was CAHLEARLY digging his schtick. And possibly getting up on his something that rhymes with schtick ... IF you know what I mean. (What I mean is, I'm pretty sure they were hitting it. Doing it. Knowing one another in a biblical manner. Scandale!)
  •  The chicken ceasar salad I had during our lunch break. This has little to do with the story but I just really, really love ceasar salad.

If loving cesar is wrong...I don't wanna be right.

  •  And ... getting sincere again here...the pleasant and exciting surprise of falling in love with the venue we thought we'd like the least!

Enter: The Hamilton Club!

Does this joint scream REGULAR CLASSY or what?!

The Hamilton Club is a private social club right in downtown Lancaster that, on paper, was everything we said we didn't want. We imagined ourselves somewhere industrial or rustic or otherwise "nontraditional." The phrase "we're so not ballroom people" was thrown around no less than 78 times. The Hamilton Club seemed stuffy and old and boring. But it was surprisingly affordable for the relative formality of the space and Wedding Planner Schmoopaloop totally loved it so we begrudgingly agreed to give it a looksee.

We soon ate our "no ballrooms ever!" hats. Or we ate crow. What do people eat when they say something and then are proven wrong? Their words? Whatever it is, we ate it ALL. The space had everything we didn't know we wanted - it feels like being inside someone's cool old mansion with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. They have more than enough room to accommodate an on-site ceremony, a separate upstairs area for a cocktail hour, an organized and efficient on-site coordinator, private rooms for getting ready, a highly regarded caterer and all (mostly!) within our budget. Plus, it's right downtown so guests can walk from the nearby hotel, saving us from having to sort out any sort of shuttle situation. Cha chingity ching ching!

The coordinator initially struck us as a little too formal and traditional, but the more we told her about the low-key, festive event we envisioned, she instantly got what we were throwing down. She understood that we are working on a shoestring and has been flexible in finding ways to stretch our money a long long way. They had our preferred date available and after a few weeks of back and forth emailing on menus and a few other financial details (see previous entry for emotional state of Liz Ho during this time period) we locked 'er in.

Whoop whoop!

And that is the whole tale. I told you it was a pretty boring story!

Boring or no, there are at least a dozen morals here  including Don't Wear Leather Vests, Be Less Obvious About The Fact That You're Boning Your Boss, Start Wedding Planning Years Before You are Engaged, Turn To Friends and Family for Help, You Can Never Go Wrong With a Cardigan, Listen to Your Mom's Great Ideas, Stop Freaking Out About Everything All The Time Life Always Works Out You Crazy Maniac and, most importantly: Be Open Minded. We ended up doing the total opposite of what we always imagined and we could not be more excited. You may have an idea of what you want (I'll use wedding planning as an example but this moral applies to all of LIFE) in your head, only to see it in person and find it is too small or smells weird or is haunted by the ghost of an old hobo clown.

'Tis possible that what you thought you'd hate, you'd love. And visa versa.

And, in that vein, also think about your priorities. If, for you, the ambiance and feel of the venue is the most important then maybe it's not the place to compromise, to go from industrial to ballroom without looking back. For us, what is most important is bringing our peeps together. There were plenty of funkier, hipper venues out there but they were so beyond our budget, we would have had to cut our guest list more than we already have (a topic which causes me such daily anxiety, I'm almost always on the verge of barfing) and what's the point of having a sexy, trendy, brick-walled, wood-beamed room if you can't fill it with all the people you love?

LIFE! Full of lessons and surprises. What a world, what a world.

So that's the latest on the old wedding sitcheroo. GOOD TIMES!

Thanks, as always, for reading this nonsense. I promise I'll return to our regularly scheduled programming of food spills and uncomfortable social interactions lickety split.

See ya later!

xoxoxo Liz Ho

One Awkward Wedding: Lemme, Lemme Update You

photo

Hot damn we're good looking.

Ok stop reading literally right now if you don't care about wedding nonsense.

Otherwise, buckle up because I have SO MUCH to tell you!

 It is official:  On August 16, 2014 I will become Ms. Has Yet To Decide If She's Changing Her Last Name (more on that later) aka a married lady! Whoop whoop! And we're planning to pull a full Kardashian and sell rights to our photos to the highest bidder so start making your offers now.

Yay! I'm making weird, dumb jokes, because you know I can't handle genuine emotional conversations, so I'll just go ahead and get it out right here at the top: I'm so excited! In 247 days (but who's counting?), I'm getting hitched! To Brian! My favorite guy. He makes me so happy every single day and I honestly can't contain myself from grinning ear to ear like a damn fool at even the slightest thought of calling him my husband. Squee!

Ok, we're done with that.

So. As is customary in all engagements, the moment that Brian popped the question, the world began to pop the other question which was: when? And also the other, other question, which was: where? And thankfully, no one has yet asked the other, other, other question of "why?" so I think pretty much everyone's on board with our impending union.

Phew.

We quickly stepped to planning because we knew a long engagement just wasn't for us. I know it works for some people, but it's just not our style. Because Brian is a teacher,  he has less flexibility in taking time off from work so we pretty immediately zoned in on August 2014 (between his summer teaching gig and the start of the regular school year) or March 2015, during his long Spring break. I was fine with either but ol' Briguy said he didn't want to wait all the way until 2015 to lock this down.

(One more quick interlude to mention how much I like this dude.)

And thus, we had our sights pretty well set on August 2014.

And the rest, they say, is history!

Just kidding, the rest, they say, is many weeks of researching,venue visiting, budgeting, list making and extreme emotional roller coastering.

I know it is gauche to talk about money but it's also gauche to talk about poop and I've never let that stop me, so a quick note on el dinero. I'll go into budgeting in detail another time (who's excited?!) (no one!) but will say here, just in case anyone didn't realize, weddings are motherflipping expensive. Like, SO EXPENSIVE. I always knew they were pretty pricey but now that I'm actually looking into planning one in great detail do I realize the incredible cost that goes into pulling off a wedding.

And I do understand (deeply) that none of these costs are necessary, but we've decided that it is important to us to celebrate our wedding in the so called "traditional" manner and therefore will incur the costs associated with such an event. Just to give you a sense of what we're working with here I've dubbed the term "Regular Classy" which is to say a mid-sized gathering of friends and family for a non denominational ceremony followed by a meal (with adult beverages) and boogieing down in a festively decorated room. She wears white, he wears a suit, toasts are given, tears are shed, badda bing, badda boom: married.

Despite the many hours I've spent reading wedding blogs and attending actual weddings, I honestly didn't have much of a concept of what it cost to pull this sort of spectacle off and let me just tell you, the results are staggering. Hence the emotional rollercoastering. Every time we find something we like we get super excited (UP!!) and then we see the price tag (DOWN!!) and then we become despondent (WAY DOWN!) and decide we're calling the whole thing off and getting married in city hall (SO FAR DOWN!!) and then we have a heart-to-heart and decide no! We love each other! We want to throw a bomb-ass wedding, we'll figure out the money and make it work! And then we're UP UP UP again, repeat, repeat, repeat.

And we're not talking like, releasing humanely raised turtledoves off a yacht in the south of France while Bruno Mars croons live in the background, oh no. Just REGULAR CLASSY in the middle of Pennsylvania and still we're looking at thousands (yes, like 3 zeros) more greenbacks that I ever dreamed of spending.

Blergh!

So gauche as it may be, I can honestly say that money was a very large factor for us when picking where to do this thing. We toyed with the idea of marrying here in our beloved Brooklyn (Go Nets!) but quickly learned that pulling off a wedding in the New York Regional Area is pretty much impossible if you are on our budget range. One venue I reached out to charges $19,000 just to reserve the space. That does not include chairs, tables, decorations, music, food, liquor or doves of ANY kind. The coordinator did say it might include cocktail tables which, for that kind of moolah, better be made out of solid gold or like, human bones.

NINETEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! For a room! I will never get over that fact for as long as I shall live. And that's probably not even that expensive in the grand scheme of things! What is this world we live in, you guys? What is this world.

(And HERE is where I put the note that if you personally spent that kind of money on your own wedding totally good for you, do your thang. Also: how are you so rich and can I get in on that? Let me make a blanket statement that henceforth, every snarky thing I say about weddings or the WIC is but crazy broke judgmental lady's opinion, don't let me stop you from getting your nuptial onnn in however you see fit.)

And thus, we zeroed our sights on my ancestral homeland of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Armed with a date range and the knowledge that we needed to find a venue that fell somewhere within the tricky Venn Diagram of LOW COST and REGULAR CLASSY, we prepared a list of targets, set up appointments and made the arduous journey back to Good Old Pee-Aye.

And that, my friends, is where I will stop my story today. Return tomorrow to get the skinny on exactly what went diggity down on said wedding venue hunt, because this is already basically an epic novel and I'm just vain enough to think that my wedding planning journeys warrant a cliffhanger.

Until then!

Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [11.22.13]

Good. Morning. Dudes. How's everyone doing? I'm not gonna lie to y'all: I'm a scoonch on the cranky side. I just can't seem to accept the fact that it is not yet the weekend. That we still have 8+ more hours of working and wearing pants and generally being not on the couch. I can't get behind that. I call a foul on the whole earth. Everyone, it's time to go back to bed! Ok to save me from launching into a full on melodramatic tirade about the cruelties of the modern world, why don't we just try to put on our happy pantsand take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

This "Poncho":

20131122_094823

One possible factor in this morning's mood: it is grey and rainy here in the NYC. Also, I couldn't find a single one of the dozens of umbrellas I suh-wear we own, so I fashioned a poncho/rain bonnet out of a garbage bag.

Genius or pathetic? I'ma go with genius. Watch yo' back, MacGyver. Two can play this game.

Wish I could say this was the first time I wrapped myself in plastic this week but wait, nope...

This Bib:

20131120_123407

I got to go to a super swankadoo work event on Wednesday night (The National Book Awards! One of our authors won!) so I was looking extra good at the office all day. A blazer over a cocktail dress can instantly take it from day to night! Did you know that? I should write for Vogue!

ANYWAY. We all know how good I am at eating food and I was worried about getting my lunch all over my dry-clean-only, snazzy day/evening wear so I hooked a grocery bag to the lapels of my blazer et voila: a bib!

Pure sophistication right there.

Speaking of pure sophistication...

This Makeover:

Whiskey-Night-Liz-8

If you recall, one of my New Years' Resolutions for 2013 was to figure out how to wear red lipstick and drink whiskey. Lofty goals, I know. On Friday evening I hosted some of my lady friends for an evening of trying whiskey and lipsticks. We called it Classy Broads Night. To give you an idea of just what kind of broads we're dealing with here, one gal announced that she'd arrived via car service (classy!) ... but also wasn't wearing a bra (less so!). It was one of the best nights I've had in quite some time.

One friend, Kathleen, has become a fermented grain mash aficionado, so she led us in a guided taste test of  four different types of whiskey, each one more disgusting than the last. She was very official about the whole thing. First she poured us each a small portion (possibly called "a finger")  and then instructed us to "spend the next five minutes smelling it." Fun activity! While we sat and sniffed, she gave a dramatic reading from the back of the bottle, explaining the whiskey's history, flavor palate (i.e. "mint, leather, papaya, wood and Sweden" - yum!) and other general information. All of these were hilarious. If you are a struggling creative writer looking for a place to get out all of your best metaphors, flourishing adjectives and overblown narrative, might I suggest applying to be a whiskey company copy writer? These jabronies take themselves wa-haaaay too seriously. From the website of one of them:

WE DIDN’T SET OUT TO EMBODY THE SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE AND SELF-RELIANCE OF THE HUDSON VALLEY, IT JUST TURNED OUT THAT WAY.

Did you, though, really, guys? It's whiskey. I love my booze as much as the next Irish Catholic lush but let's all just calm it down a notch or 73.

Moving on. After we sat around and sniffed, Kathleen then allowed us to begin sipping.

"Like a shot?" someone asked (see what I mean about sophistication?)

The thing about whiskey is - it is terrible! Every sip burned. Kathleen told us it's supposed to hurt, just power through the pain. When one pal exclaimed that her esophogus was on fire, Kathleen assured her "that's good!"

WHAT! No. "Pain is good for you?" That's what they tell people in like, the NFL. Or concentration camps. Why are we consuming something that smells like nail polish remover, burns our esophoguses (esophagi?) and requires time and effort to enjoy.

I'm still not on board. I tried. I really tried! I know that whiskey is sexy and rugged and sophisticated and girls who sidle up to a bar and order bourbon, neat, are totally smokin' hot babes and I really want to be all of those things...whelp, I am not.

I'm an extra large glass of bargain brand Sauvignon Blanc. And I'm just going to have to live with that.

In the midst of our tasting, our other friend Nicole, who is a makeup artist gave each one of us a brand new, beautiful lipstick and showed us how to apply, complete with lip liner. Ooh la lah. Everyone looked stunning and amazing and then, since none of us know how to wear lipstick, we spent the next several hours alternating between staring at ourselves in the mirror (Kathleen!) to sitting very still, trying not to move our lips when speaking, for fear of smudging. We all need so much help.

My color was called Russian Red and as you can see above, it looked pretty good! I was feeling seductive and badass until...this happened:

Whiskey-Night-Liz-4

How. HOW HOW HOW did lipstick end up on the bridge of my nose? I guess I touched my mouth and then wiped my face? I was probably biting my nails (gross, I know!) but why was I then rubbing all over my nose? There are no answers to these questions.

So there you have it. New Years Resolution 2013 ... complete? I drank whiskey and wore red lipstick and pretty much failed at both of them but I'm just going to go ahead and call it a wild success.

Whiskey-Night-Liz-1

Cheers!

And I guess I'll just take this whole classy drunk theme to the end with a story for which I don't have a picture because, as you'll see below, I wasn't quite in the photographing state.

As I mentioned, Wednesday night I was out at this fancy party for the National Book Awards. The party started at 10 PM (on a school night! Are you kidding me?!), so to kill time between work and the party, some friends and I got a few glasses of vino before hitting up the high endopen bar for several more hours. A whole WORLD of good decision making right there. I am not joking when I say that I am still hungover. I can't hang like I used to, guys, I just can't. How does anyone a) stay up past 10 PM on weeknights, just in general and b) drink heavily while doing so and then c) leave the house the next day? My entire body is in pain. All day yesterday I was just wishing the grim reaper to come upon me with his cape and his scythe and just put me out of my misery.

Anyway, I think that I had the idea to include something in my blog about wearing a blazer and then putting a coat over it and how weird that feels. Double the coats! Does anyone else ever experience this? Men? Do any men (aside from Ross, hi Ross!), even read this blog? Do you ever get used to wearing a coat over another coat? What a strange strange world we live in!

So I guess that was in the back of my mind and then I had a semi-awkward incident again involving my jacket at this NBA party - I'd left my coat & tote (rhyme!) in the coat check but of course couldn't find my check ticket when I was getting ready to leave, so I had to walk around the cloak room with the attendant til I found my stuff. She then wouldn't just give it to me, I could be a common thieving robber, so I had to give her more explanation.

"What is the brand of this coat?" she asked. "It's from H&M, I got it on sale, and it still has an old dry cleaning tag stuck to it from when I took it to the cleaners several winters ago."

Nailed it.

"What's in this bag?" she asked.

"Dirty Tupperware!" I declared, triumphantly.

Nailed it again.

I should not be allowed in fancy places.

I guess I thought this was hilarious and amazing and wanted to be sure that I remembered to blog about it, so on the taxi home I sent myself a drunken email that reads as follows:

Coat clog: coat over blazer, coat check lost ticket.bag full of tullerware . 

Also.dont forget apple

So there you have it. My coat clog! And what do I mean about the apple? No freaking clue.

Famous last words: I am seriously never drinking again.

And that was my week! God willing this hangover will subside any minute now. Otherwise I might just end up in the fetal position under my desk listening to the Dream Girls soundtrack and quietly weeping. I don't know if I could blame that on booze, though, that actually sounds like a nice little Friday afternoon right there.

Hoping everyone is in a significantly better state than I am at the moment! Any good plans for the weekend (I'll be sleeping) or stories from the week? Make me laugh, it's Friday!

xoxoxoxo Liz Ho

 

One Awkward Wedding: It Begins

Ok guys, get out your tulle and glue guns: it has begun.

(image via)

I’ve decided that I’ll write from time to time about wedding planning – to have a record of it, to mock it all, to keep myself sane. This is something I’d really, really like to do: I think it will be a unique and fun challenge for me to honestly and humorously portray the myriad of emotions and decisions that go into planning this special event , to look at “That One Perfect Day” © through the skewered lens of a real life Modern Bride.

Here’s the thing, though, much as I’d love to do this, I haven’t been able to start writing it out because I’m embarrassed. How ridiculous is that? I can’t help myself! Some horrible, mean voice inside me tells me that I’m being cheesy, that nobody cares, that "cool" girls shouldn’t allow themselves to get excited about things as antiquated and commercialized as weddings.

I know what you’re thinking: girrrrl, you cray.

And yet: here we are. I don’t know where it comes from, but I feel like there’s almost a dark flipside to the movements away from the Wedding Industrial Complex: in rebelling against the consumerism and conformity of all things wedding we’re being made cynical. That we’re not supposed to become giddy over flower arrangements and diamonds and card stock (OH the card stock!).  That we should be above it all.

There's a very distinct possibility that I'm just overthinking things (for the first time EVER!) but tell me, do you know what I mean?

I’m worried that everyone will find me insufferable, insipid and boring. (You know, since I'm usually so intellectual and deep!) Here she goes again with the wedding talk! That I’ll become a caricature of some kind of bad Rom Com character or worse, the dreaded BRIDEZILLA. I constantly feel the need to apologize for bringing up our wedding in conversation, even with the closest of friends, because I don’t want to appear to be making too big a deal of it all.

All of this is entirely unfounded.  None of my married friends has ever once gotten on my nerves by talking about their weddings. Like, ever. If anything, it’s usually me bringing up the subject, begging to see photos and talk details. All of my friends have been over the moon excited for us – for our marriage and yes, our wedding – and if anything, blog traffic actually spiked when I talked engagements and diamond rings and yet I let that naggy, judgy voice in my head keep me from being truly enthusiastic.

I need to tell that voice to shut it. Posthaste.

There is nothing cheesy about being excited about your wedding. Are weddings overblown, expensive, outdated rituals? PROBABLY! But so is the Superbowl. And Thanksgiving. And people still get pretty fucking excited about those things. It is entirely possible to recognize that there is a difference between One Special Day and one special day. Wanting a long white dress and centerpieces is not selling out.  It is not anti-feminist. It is not lame.

So I’m going to stop apologizing and start celebrating. And writing! Not always, but now and again, always under the label One Awkward Wedding. And the rest of the time, I’ll focus on more important stuff like poop. And hard boiled eggs. And wine! And if people think I'm being stupid and self absorbed and annoying, well, they can skip those posts. And honestly I probably am being pretty stupid and self absorbed and annoying like, all of the time (incredibly vain, obsessed with Taylor Swift, no personal boundaries...yeah, sounds unappealing) but I think I'm actually OK with that.

Enough navel gazing. Let's do this thing!

One Awkward/Awesome Day: Storm King Style

Hola amigos. First, I have to thank you all for the excitement and warm wishes re: Brian's & my big news. (If you haven't heard, we ended the government shutdown! JK we got engaged. Eleventy billion times more newsworthy.) We're supremo excited round these parts! Secondably, can we all just overlook the fact that I skipped my usual weekly recap last Friday? I have a few lame excuses that I'll bore you with this Friday, so you can just start holding onto your seat righttttttt....now.

Meanwhile, I wanted to share more cool nooz: have checked another item off my 30 Before 30 List, holla! 2 Down, 28 to Go.

Last weekend, Brian and I visited Storm King Art Center, this amazing, gorgeous outdoor sculpture gallery about an hour north of New York City. Oh, we also got engaged there, so full disclaimer: I'll start this as a 30 Before 30 / Travelogue post and then suuuper quickly veer into talking about how we came to be betrothed, so you've been warned. I really don't want to become that girl who's all like OMG I'M GETTING MARRRRRIED but also OMG I'M GETTING MARRRRRIED!  So I figured I could kind of sneak it in a bit? Also I'm aware that I have a short window of time where people still find this interesting before they're like shut the H up, we get it already, SO I'll just make the most of this before everyone gets sick of me.

Too late? No turning back now!

30 BEFORE 30: STORM KING; OR, HE LIKED IT & PUT A RING ON IT: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE: BASED ON THE REAL LIFE OF ELIZABETH HOBAGS

20131006_131826

I'm pretty sure I first learned about Storm King a few years ago while lightly stalking the facebook page of a very distant connection who has a cool life and decided it was a Must Visit Establishment if I'm ever going to embody the kind of cultured, hipster lifestyle I so dream of. If you would like to learn more about Storm King, visit their website and/or look at this sad batch of phone photos I managed to snap during the 11 minutes of our trip when my phone wasn't dead (more on that saga below).

[gallery ids="2347,2348,2349,2350,2351,2352,2353,2354,2355,2341,2340,2342,2337,2336"]

Basically blah blah it's 1.5 hours north of NYC, you can get a discount if you drive up in a zipcar or you can take a bus. Great scenery. Foliage. Art. Etcetera, etcetera. Highly recommended, the end.

Now let's get to the good stuff: ME!

We begin with a Lost style flashback to earlier this summer, as Brian and I are making the decision to wonen samen. I'm VERY into timelines, plans and attempting to control every aspect of my life - typically everything still totally falls down around me, but you can't stop me from trying, world! We'd both agreed that, for us, moving in was a step on the path towards officially locking it DOWN and didn't want to live together long before taking the next step. Basically, as I explained it to my mom, moving is a horrific nightmare and we wanted to get that whole scene over and done before making any other big decisions. We'd put "post Labor Day" as the basic timeline for when an engagement might occur, so true to form, the moment the clock struck midnight on Labor Day I was on HIGH ALERT.

We'd talked about engagement rings and though I knowwwww that engagement rings are ridiculous and paternalistic and basically just a marketing scheme by big diamond companies, and the path to our fingers is littered with the bodies of diamond miners... well, no DUH I still wanted one. (I seem to be like, equal parts angry modern feminist and deeply romantic traditionalist and have a feeling that the push-pull between these two dualling personas will be a recurring theme throughout this whole wedding planning process. That should be fun for everyone!) I do still maintain that it is absurd to spend a ton of money on an engagement ring (unpopular opinion alert!) but I mean, if Brian wants to buy me some nice jewelry and love me forever, well, I'm not going to say no to that. We didn't want to go shopping together for a ring, that felt anti-climactic to us, but he still wanted my input on style, so I took an exploratory trip to a few jewelers in late August with my friend Kathleen, who then reported the findings to ole BriGuy.

And then...I waited. Ever so patiently, constantly touching up my nail polish, just in case. 

This was sort of a weird time for me, like, emotionally. I like to be the one making plans, taking control and felt like we were on the brink of a Life Event and I just had to sit back and let it happen.  Surprise, surprise, I think the idea of an "engagement" is sort of backwards and old fashioned - I think it is important for couples to discuss their future as a unit, to make plans together but then when it comes time for the official asking, the man is in charge? Oh hell naw! Butttt then when it came down to it: hell yes!

Brian told me early on that it was very important for him to do this, to propose, to buy a ring, to be the man with the plan and I wanted to honor that - gender parity is important and deciding things together are important, yes, but I guessss that occasionally letting go of the need to be in charge and allowing your partner to do what feels right for them is important too. So I sat back.

And I'm glad I did - in the moment when he asked me to marry him, I could see how happy he was - how happy we both were and it was the right choice for us.

But I'm getting ahead of myself!

Ok that Lost style flashback got long and unnecessarily dramatic. Just a small glimpse into the internal life of Liz Ho. A fun place to be!

So, now it is Sunday, October 6, 2013, skies over Brooklyn are misty and grey but we decide to take our trip nonetheless. By this point I am 99.4% certain that IT IS HAPPENING TODAY! Clues include: it is our only free weekend all fall, Brian has been extra specially nice to me all week and, most convincingly, he had rented the zip car for the day (pickup time: 8 AM!) weeks in advance. Love this guy, but planning in advance is not usually his M.O. I was prepared. I put together a semi-decent outfit, despite the weather and had SPRINTED to the nail salon at 5:01 PM on Friday for a preemptive mani so you can trust my nail game was on point.

We bundled up and picked up our car and the whole while I was giving Brian the old up and down, wondering where he might be stashing a ring. There were no box-sized bulges in the pockets of his jeans or coat...he'd brought along his school bag so I'd assumed it was in there, but he was being super casual and blase about the whole thing. I mean, I was mildly suspicious when he packed a bag in the first place, but it all made sense- he threw in an extra sweatshirt and dry socks, just in case, and tossed in some deli sandwiches, too - and he never acted like he was hauling precious cargo - he let me shove in some clothes of my own and at one point even asked me to hold it for him. I began to attempt to regulate my expectations to a normal level in the event that this was just a regular day trip after all, no life moments to be had, but we all know how great I am at operating in a relaxed emotional state so let's just say I was buzzing like a bumble bee with a Zac Efron sized coke problem the entirety of our trip. (Too soon? Love you, Zac!)

Adding to my nervous state, my cell phone was once again breaking down. This was my second phone in two weeks, this time with a brand new battery, but I kept encountering the same issues I'd had in the past. Today was NOT the day for a phone break down. Not only is Storm King basically an Instagrammer's wet dream, there was a chance I'd have to make some SERIOUSLY important phone calls!

So we wandered the park, checking out the sculptures, goofing around but neither of our heads was 100% in the game. Brian was trying to think on his feet of when and where to pop the big Q and, as I just mentioned, I was... let's go ahead and say mildly preoccupied with both my phone and my naked ring finger. At one point we came upon my very favorite sculpture, this long, winding stone wall curving its way through the natural landscape to a gorgeous lake at the bottom of a wooded hill. We lingered and as we walked away, I mentioned to Brian how much I loved it. Also, at that moment, I managed to get my phone to re-start and pulled Brian back to the wall so I could snap some photos.

Brian was overjoyed with this plan, thinking it the perfect way to get me back to my favorite sculpture without arousing my suspicion but WAIT! We are foiled. Back at the wall we encounter a nice woman snapping a few photos. I strike up a convo and ask her to take our picture with my now functioning phone. She obliges:

20131006_125636

And informs us that she's on site for a photography class and will be hanging around that wall alllllll afternoon snapping photos.

Thanks for ruining our perfect engagement, woman. I hope you get a big fat F in photo class.

Justttt kidding.

We ambled onward (do you like how I'm making this into like, the longest novel ever written of all time? Forget Infinite Jest, just read my blog!) and found ourselves in a sort of remote, secluded area towards the back of the park, with a few funky sculptures and tons of trees. Brian knew this was his moment, but just needed to distract me long enough to catch me off guard.

Luckily for him, I made it easy just by being my usual attention hog of a self - I spotted a statue of a gigantic head, like Easter Island, and ran towards it, yelling "Brian! Take my picture with this head!" I handed him my phone and struck a pose. Brian took a few snaps and handed me back the phone, and then it went a little something like this:

Brian: "This picture is awesome."

Me, looking at the phone: "Yeah, it's pretty good."

Brian: "It's really big!"

Me: "Yeah, the Samsung Galaxy has a really large screen (followed by several seconds of idiot chatter about Samsung Galaxy phones)

Brian: "No, I mean it's awesome and big because it's exciting, we'll always remember this as the picture I took right before I asked you to marry me."

20131006_133951

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My memories after that are a little hazy - I cried, there was some one knee action, Brian said the nicest things a human has ever said to another human and I, of course, said yes.

The ring is perfect, a vintage Art Deco ring from 1939, gold and gorgeous and delicate. Brian said he'd had it for a month (!) and had been practicing opening the box so he could get it right.  All other fellas on the planet, good try, but ain't nobody cuter than this guy. It's a fact.

We excitedly called our parents, or tried anyway. I couldn't get my mom on the phone - it turns out she was on a bike ride with her pals and out of service. I wanted to tell her before anyone else, so left about 73 frantic messages on her cell and at home and then my phone died, so I sent a few crazed texts from Brian's phone. I finally managed to get mine up and running again on the drive home and sent my sister a series of absolutely bananas texts: "WHERE'S MOM?!" "I NEED TO TALK TO MOM! ALSO SIT BY THE PHONE! YOU KNOW WHY!" until my mom called and we got to share the big news. My phone then proceeded to die on regular intervals for the remainder of our trip and despite a super romantic stop at the TMobile store, met its ultimate demise a few hours after we got home, but allowed me just enough time to chat with my siblings, dad and a few pals.

I started making corny remarks about every single thing we did all night as being the first _________ as an engaged couple - our first sandwiches, first drive over a bridge, first bottle of water, first trip to the TMobile store...first time going to the bathroom. God bless Brian, y'all, he's in for a long life.

And then we spent our first night AS AN ENGAGED COUPLE (!!!) sitting around our house in our underwear, eating Thai takeout and drinking fancy champagne. It was the perfect end to a perfect day - one that felt just right for us. There were no helicopters or flash mobs but just a little bit of adventure, a few mishaps, sandwiches, cheesy jokes, bathroom oversharing and pantslessness. All of my favorite things with my very, very favorite guy. I can't wait for a lifetime of days just like this.

*** The end! Thanks for reading all of this! I know I tend to shy away from the heartfelt stuff but I can't seem to help it thee days. #barf! I hope you might let me share, from time to time, our adventures on the marriage train. I promise this won't become some boring wedding blog, believe me, the world needs another wedding blog like it needs another Mormon mommy blog (zing!) (which is to say millions more, love you, Mormon moms!) but I have a feeling there will be some major shenanigans along the way (aren't there always?) and think it might be kind of fun to write through the process, especially working through those battling ideologies, as the Liz Ho who hates the Wedding Industrial Complex and the Liz Ho who has had Style Me Pretty bookmarked since her single days meet in the ring to duke it out. Let the next great adventure begin! ***

One AWESOME Announcement

Hello World! Please allow me to take a brief moment from our regularly scheduled programming for a small big huge amazing FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC Announcement:

Brian and I are engaged!

20131006_134347

Move over, Seth Cohen, there's a new man in town. And this time, he's real!

We're both pretty excited by the whole situation, in case you can't tell by the mega-watt grins.

Can't wait to have an eternity of adventures with this guy.

Many (many, many) more details to come (please, have we ever known me to be short-winded?) but first, just wanted to share the good news. Everyone knows that nothing's official in this world until you tell the whole internet.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must go lie down - I'm practically cross-eyed from staring at my left hand all day.

HOORAY!

Cohabitation Situation Information Updation

My dudes. Happy Friday! R. Kelly's deeply poetic mantra "It's the freakin' weekend, baby" is speaking to me like never before. Now is when I'd generally recap the week but I'm too excited to think about anything but the future because, you guys, tomorrow is moving day!

Que sorpresa, right? I won’t give you the whole long, boring story which mostly just involves a lot of instances of me panicking and creating dramatic worst case scenarios only to have everything work out just how I wanted, but my landlady in my current apartment (she of the epic holiday decor) either really loves us or didn’t want to have to be bothered to find a new tenant (I suspect the latter) agreed to lower the rent to a price point that Brian and I can afford so the two of us will be living in my beautiful THREE BEDROOM mansion of an apartment in Brooklyn. Which means I don’t have to move any further than the big bedroom down the hall, we don’t have to pay an exorbitant broker’s fee and we’ll have room to spare, and then some.

Basically, I’m a really lucky B and I should count my blessings a little more.

We’d had it in our heads that Brian would move in this coming weekend, but we’ve both been crazy busy and still haven’t, technically, signed the lease (it’s a long story, don’t ask) so it sort of popped up on us. We just confirmed with the landlady last night that this date is a go and so in approximately 24 hours we will be shacking right on up.

AAH!

I am ridiculously excited and yet, surprisingly blasé. I guess I assumed that somehow the momentous nature of our big move would be more palpable. The earth would shake or fireworks would explode or there would be a plane with skywriting reading “Liz! In 24 Hours Your Whole Life Will Change And You’ll Never Live On Your Own Again, Holy Shit!” but so far, none of that has happened and I’ve mostly just carried on as normal.  I just realized that last night was probably my last night ever sleeping in my own bed – tonight I’ll likely go over to Brian’s so I can help him move in the morning. (haha “help him move” aka stand around, be bossy and do no heavy lifting.)

I always thought my last night on my own would be momentous, portentous, dramatic. Instead it was relatively normal. I met a girlfriend for drinks in the neighborhood, came home, ate a tomato for dinner, took a cold shower and read a book in bed. The drinks were fantastic but the actual being at home alone part was, quite frankly, lonely and boring. So maybe it was portentous, then, in that way. By giving me a night as dull and pathetic as they come (you guys: I ate a tomato for dinner. A tomato! That’s it! On my bed, in front of a fan, alone.), my solo life was sending me off reassuring me that excitement lay ahead, that I wouldn’t really miss these drab, tomato nights.

I’m sure I’ll freak out tomorrow, or in a few days or even weeks…don’t you EVEN fret about that.  I’ve never navigated a life change without at least one melodramatic breakdown, I certainly don’t see this being an exception.

For now, I’m just curious about one thing. Help me out, fellow cohabitators. What do you do with your stuffed animals? HA! Ridiculous question, I know. You see, I have this friend named Winston. He’s a polar bear I bought at the Coca Cola factory on a trip to Atlanta to visit my cousin when I was in 5th grade. It’s funny, that was my first solo big-girl trip and I came home with toy, ha. Winston used to have a plastic  coke bottle in his hand, but it broke when he was stepped on during a dance party at a friend’s sleepover, making him all the snugglier, and since then he has travelled with me to college, to Belgium, to all of my NYC apartments and on nights when I’m sleeping alone, I sleep with him. I know I’m a grown ass lady but it’s comfortable! Tell me I’m not the only one?!

Brian and Winston totally get along (once we were setting up to watch a movie in bed and I went into the kitchen to get a water and when I came back, Brian had the laptop all set up and was sitting up with Winston sitting right beside him, like he, too was joining us for the movie and I died because Brian is so cute and weird and funny) and the poor bear has seen some things he can’t unsee if you know what I mean, unless he’s into watching, that dirty bear! But still, it’s just not normal to bring a stuffed animal into your wonen samen bed, is it? It’s not!

But I feel bad just abandoning him in the guest room (or the office! Check me out I have multiple rooms!) (ha I am the worst). I know that most people have long since weaned themselves off of their childhood talismans, leaving them catching dust in parents' attics or childhood bedrooms, but Winston has been with me for the long haul and putting him away somewhere seems so…final. Like, this is it, you’re a grown-up now. Get on the big girl bus, next stop: menopause.

And now see… I think I AM freaking out about the big move! I’m just projecting all of my anxieties onto sadness over my teddy bear, which, upon further reflection, is mildly insane. But what can you do? We all panic in our own special and unique ways.

So that's what's up, friends! Thank you for reading this 83 paragraph essay about my teddy bear, this started as something so much more profound and took a pretty weird turn. In addition to the big changes, I'm coming off the nutsoist week and basically haven't slept in 10 days. If I don't shut this down now, who KNOWS where it might go.

The end, for now. This big adventure is actually just beginning! I promise I'll do my best to make it slightly more interesting next time. Hoping you all have the most magical weekends. Don't forget to hydrate!

winston

PS here is a cute picture of Winston tucked into my bed. True Life: I Am 28 And Play With Stuffed Animals.

 

A Cohabitation Proclamation

Summer is upon us, friends. Do you have any big travel plans? I’ve got a few weddings in the works (always) always and the possibility of a late August camping trip of some kind (sure to be ripe for blog material), but the majority of my summer will be consumed - physically, emotionally and especially financially - by moving. My lease on my beloved apartment in Brooklyn is up July 31 and I’m moving out of one of the best NYC apartments I’ve encountered yet. And why? So I can shack up with a handsome new roommate.

IMG_20121201_195233

That’s right. We’re taking the plunge. Well, not the big one, but the small modern, sinful step of pre-marital cohabitation. So maybe we're not at the plunge (yet!), but we’re definitely climbing up the diving board ladder.

I’m excited! Neither of us has ever lived in sin with a significant other before, so it’s a serious step, for both of us. And not one I’m taking lightly. I don’t judge anyone’s decisions to live how or where or with whom they please, but I know for a lot of people, cohabitation is a matter of convenience or a test to see if they’ll work it out for the long term but for me, and for the B-Man (I never call him that. Why did I just call him that?) is more just the next step in our big adventure together. It is important to me that the man I move in with ... I can't just move out from. We know that anything can happen but barring any unknowns, starting August 1, we’ll be eternal roomies.

A prospect both terrifying and exhilarating. Mostly exhilarating.

When I studied abroad in Belgium, which, have I even discussed that here? I should. Most of our stories are NSFB (Not Safe For Blogging), let’s just say we were never ever on our best behavior, but there are probably a few tales I could tell. Anyway, while abroad, we had to take a year long Dutch language class, a language which has come in handy exactly zero point zero times since, maybe until now. In Belgium and a lot of European countries, it’s not unusual for couples to live together for years before getting married, if ever getting married, even having children together. The Dutch have a special verb for this “wonen samen”, which translates into a phrase we don’t necessarily have words for in the English language: an unmarried couple living together.

I love that Dutch term and wish we had one similar. This morning while filling out paperwork with a realtor I had to list how many people would be in the apartment, two, and our relationship. “Boyfriend and Girlfriend” sounds trivial. “Partners” makes me think of those very intensely non traditional, liberal, artistic couples who wear a lot of scarves and live together for years but never marry and more power to ‘em, but calling Brian my partner, though he is, just doesn’t sound right for us. Special Roommates? Bed Buddies?

A problem, I know, that would be solved were we doing this the old fashioned “right” way by marrying first, then moving in, which, again, is a totally legitimate decision, if you choose to make it...but not the one that feels right for us. Or for for nearly half of the American population, so I do think we need some new vocab for the situation.

Any suggestions? As seen above, mine are pretty terrible!

Despite this huge number of pre-marital roomateships, many people still frown heavily upon it and we’re lucky that neither of our parents fall into that camp. I think they’d all wish the rings we’re about to share were for fingers, rather than house keys, but are supportive of our decisions, giving the oh-so-parental responses of “wellll, you’re adults and I guess that’s just how things are done these days.”

Indeed!

And so, here we are, gearing up to make this big step together. Before we can actually cohabitate, we'll need, you know, a habitat.  How’s it going, so far? Not great. We rushed out Sunday morning to make it to an open house...only to learn the landlord thought it was for a different day, and wasn’t able to show. We then rearranged the remainder of our day to meet a broker at 3 PM for a few showings...and he blew us off.

So, yeah, things are off to a bang up start over here. But I remain optimistic. My anxiety is on hyperdrive and my fingernails are chewed to nil, already, but I’m optimistic.

And how could I not be? In just over a month, I’m going to get to wake up next to this face every day.

IMG_20130528_014828

Barf times one million, but I can’t help myself! I'm pumped. There are practical things that excite me about living together - no more lugging overnight bags to each others’ apartments, no more having to pack multiple lunches for days I won’t be at home to cook or having to split up Saturday mornings to run home and grab that one thing I need before meeting back up again for the day, more cooking for two. So mostly food and fashion related. What else would I care about?

But on the non-practical, overwhelmingly emotional side, I’m just very happy at the thought of sharing and building a home together. Waking up next to each other every morning and then going to sleep together at night. Coming home late nights to each other, cooking together, making decisions as a team.

Barf times one million and two.

Despite a cynical streak a mile wide, it turns out, I’m really kind of a hopeless romantic.

That said, I’m still a little nervous. Er, a lot nervous. I know we’ll have new things to fight about and challenges we never even could have imagined. If anyone out there has any tips on successful cohabitation, I’d LOVE to hear them. Specifically in regards to taking on joint finances when one of you is a responsible, practical math nerd and the other is a fiscal trainwreck with mountains of debt and a penchant for blowing all of their earnings on nail polish and organic nutbutters.

$10 (worth of nail polish) to the first person to correctly guess which one of us is which.

It’s going to be an adventure, without a doubt, but I think it will be a great one.

Now we just need a home to shack up in. Ack!