Another Awkward Week [3.15.13]

Good morning! I know I begged off earlier this week while I got myself into a better headspace, but I couldn't possibly end a week without an awkward recap, now could I? Luckily for me, it was one for the books. I feel like the universe really heard me when I complained I was feeling down and uninspired and said "Liz, you want inspiration? Well here ya go, girl!" And there they did go. I might be the only person who considers a ridiculously embarrassing week a blessing but to each his own, right?

So, let's take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week:

This Mug:


Because apparently tea does not steep when you put in COLD water and then dump it out, get another tea bag, and re-fill it ...again with cold water! I do this like once a month. Never learn. Ever ever learn.

(PS Trader Joe's Pomegranate White Tea is a delight, if you're into that sort of thing. Also: pomegranate, much like poinsettia is a surprisingly difficult word to spell. There's no 'n' in there - it's not a pomENgranate...just pom. Learning new things every single day!)

These Socks:


On Tuesday it rained a bit during the day. After work I was walking to the subway with a friend and a big leftover rain droplet plopped from an overhead awning and landed right on my face. So I reached into my coat pocket and took out what I thought was my cotton glove to wipe my face, but instead I pulled out a sock. An inside out sock that I can only imagine to be dirty. Of course I didn't realize it was a sock until AFTER I'd rubbed it all over my face.

Luckily it was definitely my sock but a lot of questions remain including what, why, how and when did this sock end up in my pocket? His pair was in the other pocket! Was I wearing socks as gloves? Did I think they were gloves and put them in my pockets mistakenly? Was I somehow wearing my coat as pants?

Update the list of America's Greatest Unsolved Mysteries!

This Cup of Water:


Or, the shape made down at the bottom where there are no water bubbles. Don't you think it looks like Africa? It totally doesn't but the amount of time I spent staring at this water shape is horrifying. I lost like 45 minutes of my life staring into this cup, trying to decide if I saw Africa or not.


PS I swear I don't do hallucinogenic drugs.

This Mess:


Making microwave oatmeal is a HARD task, y'all. There is a careful balance of water to oats and if you leave them attended for too long, they'll bubble over and make a giant mess. Like this. Sorry, colleagues in line to use the microwave.

The double layer of awkward is, of course, me getting caught by a random colleague standing in front of the microwave with my phone camera out.

Nothing to see here, just documenting my breakfast mess, like we all do, move along!

These Shoes:


Why those shoes, you ask? They're adorable! I KNOW! Also, $19.99 from the Banana Republic outlet, booyah.

On Tuesday it was semi-warm out and I got a little carried away with the whole spring thing, busting out flats and bare ankles instead of my usual 300 layers of socks and boots and things. I also wore jeans to the office because I'm a lazy slob. Anyhoodle, I'd forgotten that this particular pair of flats is a little slippery on the bottom. On my way into work, I slipped on a cigarette butt and nearly fell down the subway stairs, but caught myself. At the time I blamed the smoker instead of my shoe.

I still do blame him/her, for the extent that they were implicit in nearly causing me harm. I'll spare y'all the lecture on smoking, you know all the reasons why you should quit, if you want to kill yourself, go to town, but SO HELP ME BEYONCE, I will not stand idly by while you throw your gross cigarette garbage, because that's what it is, garbage, on the ground. I can not EVEN with this. I chew gum, which is gross, but I don't spit my gum on the floor. I don't throw old bits of sandwich wrapper on the ground. I don't just throw trash everywhere all over the ground upon which innocent people have to walk because that is disgusting and against the law and just plain mean and gross and offensive, so whyyyywywywywywhy is it OK for smokers to throw their butts on the ground? WHY?! If you do this, how do you get up every morning and look at your (probably grey, yellowed & wrinkly from nicotine!)  face in the mirror?!

Throw your garbage in a garbage can.

Ummm end rant, whoops, that got intense. What can I say, sometimes I have serious feelings about things, you know?

So where was I? Ok, so Wednesday morning I slipped and fell on the remains of some cigarette bandit garbage criminal but caught myself and placed the blame elsewhere. Wednesday evening was a different story. I met a work acquaintance for a glass of wine (always winin' and dinin' over here) and then walked down to Brian's apartment. It was a little brisker than I anticipated when choosing to go sockless, so I was walking even quicker than I normally do, and I am an extremely fast walker. Not to brag or anything, but I'm like the Usain Bolt of regular street walking. Move it or lose it, everyone else on the sidewalk: here I come. I can go four city blocks in under 30 seconds. This isn't really something to be all that proud about but listen, it's the little things, you know? So, I'm power walking down a sort of busy street when all of a sudden:


I BIT it.

I don't know what happened or how I got there but all of a sudden I was on the ground on my hands and knees feeling like I'd just dropped down from Mars.


People stopped to make sure I was OK and offer to help me up, but I was so disoriented and shocked I just waved them away. Mortifying. I looked around: there were no loose sidewalk tiles, no bumps in the ground or sticks or stones or errant CIGARETTE BUTTS to hinder my stride, just the wide open, smooth sidewalk and me, laying on the ground. I tripped over nothing. One minute I was walking down the street and the next minute I was not. How does someone trip over nothing??? Maybe I'm NOT as good at walking as I thought I was!

Making matters even worse, I ripped a hole in my jeggings! Whomp. I guess it's a blessing I dressed like a slob that day, so I didn't tear a pair of good work pants. But still, RIP those jeans, I loved you a LOT.

I limped myself the rest of the way to Brian's house and immediately started taking photos of myself shouting "I have to blog about this!"


I then stripped off my now dead pants only to realize I was covered in blood.



Also: how gross do disembodied knees look?

Alsoer: I keep typing knees as "kneese," just FYI.

Two days have passed, and now I have the bruised, skinned, scraped knees of an eight-year-old. COOL BEANS, GREAT LOOK!

And how was YOUR week?

Related: A huge thanks to all who offered up 'likes' or sweet comments during my woe-is-me moment earlier this week. It's funny, I woke up the next morning feeling more focused and positive already. Maybe sometimes you just need to get those grey, blah moments out there, off of your mind and into the world where other people can remind you that it's OK and you're OK and you're not the only one.

And catching a sunrise like this one sure don't hurt, either.


So! Here's wishing everyone a good weekend. I hope whatever you do: wear green & get hammered, stay home and watch Hulu, eat good food or bad food or a mix, craft, sleep, fall on the street, mope around feeling blue, write a novel, etcetera and so forth, you find yourself on Monday morning feeling restored and ready to take on the world. I have a feeling I'll be right back there with ya!

Luck O' The Awkward,

Liz Ho

One Awkward Thanksgiving Revelation

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

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

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

We might be a little nuts.

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

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

Not all traditions are charming and quaint!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Liz Ho Ho Ho