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:

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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.

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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:

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  • 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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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

A Rant, A List, A Brand New Week

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

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

"Hello Alizabatham HoHENadell, your flight is cancelled."

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. WHAT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Awkward Week [4.25.14]

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

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

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

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

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

You go, self!

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

This Iron:

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Totally unplugged!

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

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

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

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

This Faucet:

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

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

I, however, do not.

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

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Like, soaking.

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

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

A perfect, sensual angel!!!!

This Bus Seat:

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

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

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

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

He thanked me and moved to another spot.

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

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

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

Being a good Samaritan is exhausting, guys.

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

This Liquor Store:

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

I'm getting stressed now just thinking about it!

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

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

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

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

"Wine!" we replied in unison.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First of all: GROSS, DUDE, GROSS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [11.15.13]

Hello, my beautiful butterflies.  How y'all doing? Is it just me, or did this week feel utterly interminable. TGIF to the highest power today, my friends. Here's a deep thought for your Friday, something I can't get out of my head: why is "Jack" a nickname for "John"? It doesn't make any sense! There are plenty of nicknames that don't phonetically seem that logical - like, Peg + Margaret or Dick + Richard (LOL she just said 'dick!'), but at least the nicknames are shorter than the originals. What is the point of Jack / John? It is the same amount of letters! It's just a totally different name! That's like, if your name was Ryan and you were like, oh everyone calls me Todd.

WHY GUYS WHY?!?!

One Awkward Year: Nothing but the hardest hitting issues. You're welcome!

Now, why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week:

 

This Instagram:

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Ok technically this is from last week but don't judge me. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Or something? I need more coffee.

Regardless: I snapped this so-so photo of the NYC Marathon the other Sunday and posted to Instagram because what was I not going to gram that shiz? Please, you all know me too well.  My phone is set to such that I get notifications whenever someone 'likes' an instagram photo...but it doesn't notify you if someone takes back that like. SO! I quickly got a notification that my friend Peter liked my insta...but when I went to check, he was not on the list of people who had liked the photo. BURN ouch. Rejected! PETER! What happened? Did you change your mind? Was this photo not good enough for you?

I'd like to say I didn't care about this but of course I did. I mostly just wanted to ask if this has ever happened to anyone else? Or worse, have you ever accidentally 'liked' a photo or post of someone you don't even know? Like, say, the cousin of a wife of a college friend who you somehow stumbled upon and now you can't stop looking at her artfully staged smoothie photos?

No? Just me? Ok, well, I'll be in jail if anyone is looking for me. You can find me on the restraining order wing...right next to Alec Baldwin's stalker.

This Bar:

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Wait...no, that's not actually a bar!

Here's the tale. Last night I was meeting a media colleague for a few drinks and she picked the location, a bar called Strong Place in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. I'd never been to this place before, but a quick GMaps search told me where I needed to go - Court Street between Butler and Douglass! - so I skipped on out with wine on the brain.  I came to the spot where the bar was said to be located and sho 'nuf, there in front of me were giant block letters reading STRONG PLACE. On either side of those words it read "Inglesia Bautista" and "Baptist Church," which I found semi-suspicious, but guys, this is Brooklyn, they would turn an old Hispanic Baptist church into a bar. That's about as BROOKLYN as it gets.

The two windows of the "bar" were covered by thick curtains and all of the doors were closed. There were no markings on how to enter.

"How cool!" I thought. "This must be some kind of hip speakeasy! What a trendsetter I am, going to this bar, that everyone thinks is really a church!"

I tried the door to the left, it was locked.

The door on the right: more of the same.

In the middle were two large metal doors with no handle. I tried them.

No dice.

I knocked: nothing.

I paced around, trying to appear casual,  hoping someone else would go in and I could follow. But all other pedestrians just walked on past, paying me no mind.

I didn't have a cell for my drinks date, plus I'd never actually met her before so I didn't want to reveal how utterly uncool I was, unable to gain access to this sexy, mysterious speakeasy, so I did the next best thing: I pulled out my phone and googled "How do I get into the Strong Place bar?"

The search provided ZERO answers to my specific plight, but did pull up the bar's address, 270 Court Street, an even number. I was standing in front of 271 Court, on the other side of the road.

I slowly turned and there, behind me, on the other side of the street, was a completely and utterly normal bar, with lights on and an open door, a tasteful wooden sign displaying the name Strong Place.

I take ZERO blame for this misunderstanding. You can't just name your bar the same thing as something that ALREADY EXISTS! And is right across the mother flipping STREET! Confusing.  I call shenanigans. I bet the owner is named John but calls himself Jack.

The whole world makes no sense!

After a few drinks, I predictably ended up where I always do when I've got a nice buzz on:

This Hot Spot:

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Trader Joe's.

Obvi! I really need to stop drunk grocery shopping.

Though, I was 100% sober earlier in the week when I stopped by the Key Foods in my neighborhood to pick up a few essentials. I had a basket full of  canned beans and ground turkey (3 pound family pack on sale! We'll be eating turkey burgers for the next 73 weeks!) and spotted an open check-out register, so I sidled up to the conveyor belt and began to unload my goods. I then realized that there was actually an organized system, with a line forming behind me and I had not just stumbled upon the good fortune of an empty register: I had butted in line.

Instead of just casually accepting that I am an asshole and powering on ahead, I became SUPER flustered, turned around, apologized to everyone in line and frantically began putting my food back in my basket, screeching "Oh god! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to but in line! Someone else go! You're next! You go! I'm so sorry!"

Everyone in line was normal and polite and waved me off "no, no! It's fine, you carry on, you insane spaz" but I insisted. I grabbed my food in my arms and ran away from the register to the back of the line...

...only to realize that the line had now disbanded - everyone was already being helped at different registers so through all that, I had really not made one iota of difference in the timeliness in which my fellow customers paid for their groceries. We all would have ended up in the same place. I just caused a huge and weird scene for essentially nada.

Par for the course.

(We did this for dinner that night, in case you're curious, with spicy seasoned ground turkey and it was A++. New easy go-to meal for the winter!)

And let's just round out the morning with...

These Animal Droppings:

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On the sidewalk outside of my office. Did I step in them?

And that was my week. Let's just power right on through this Friday, team. We can do it! Anyone have any good weekend plans? I'm having some lady pals over tonight for a Classy Broads evening of whiskey tasting and makeovers (true story!) and tomorrow having dinner with my bffs from college. It should be a pretty girly, boozy, cheese-filled couple of days and I can. not. wait!

Hoping your weekends are all equally delightful and look out for sidewalk poop!

xoxo Dave (that's my new nickname. Because apparently, anything goes!)