Another Awkward Week [12.6.13]

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

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

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

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Welcome to the family, champ.

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

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

#MATH

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

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

TWENTY-FOUR

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

 

SEVEN

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

EIGHT

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

 

SIX

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

 

EVERY SINGLE ONE

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

 

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

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

 Annie lA

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

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

 Karen

 

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

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

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

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

 Sam

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

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

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

Xoxo Liz 


Another Awkward Week - Thanksgiving Edition [11.27.15]

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

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

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

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

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

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

First and Foremost: Cheesy Clipart 

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

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

Hulu Plus

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

Instagram

Sandwiches

My Covered Wagon Lamp

Taylor Swift

The Color Green 

Decorative Gourds

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

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

These Groceries:

20131123_133032

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20131123_131107

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

This Plastic Bag:

20131124_185521

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

Imagine THAT!

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

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

This Umbrella:

20131126_233458

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

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

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

What are YOU thankful for this year?!!! 

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

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

xoxoxo Liz Ho

One Awkward Thanksgiving Revelation

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

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

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

We might be a little nuts.

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

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

Not all traditions are charming and quaint!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xoxo

Liz Ho Ho Ho

One Thankful List

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

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

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

xo Liz

 

Another Awkward Week [11.16.12]

It's Friday! I'm in a bad mood. Why? I can't say, my friends, I just can't say. Sometimes you feel like a nut... sometimes you feel like a cranky witch who just wants to go back to bed. Let's try to turn this frown upside down with some jokes! Here’s what was keeping it awkward this week:

This Drivers License:

Because it's the same expired! license I travelled all the way to Pennsylvania to renew last weekend! Did you know that in Pennsylvania the DMV is open until 8 PM Monday through Friday but there is a separate office where you have to go get your photo taken, because THAT makes sense. The office is next door to the DMV and closes at 4:30 PM. I got into PA a little after 5, rushed to the DMV, looked like a fool and left. I can't even begin to go into the millions of things that are whack with this system. I may be a disorganized mess but even I could run the DMV better than those fools are doing it. Pennsylvania, get your shit together! Soooo now my license is expired, the temporary license they sent me is expired, my passport is also expired for unrelated reasons and I'm basically an undocumented citizen. WHOOPS my bad!

That's kind of a cute picture, though right? God, I'm good looking.

This Notebook: 

Because it's a lot more graphic than the cutesy title might suggest. I have what you might call a sensitive stomach and a family history of gross gastrointestinal diseases so have finally decided to take control of my health and figure out what's wrong with me. First step: documenting everything that goes into my body ...and everything that comes out. You do NOT want to know what happened at 11:45 this morning, you guys. Trust me. I hope if I ever die a young, tragic death that this is published and becomes a world wide bestselling phenomenon. Like Anne Frank but with less Nazis and more chronic gas.

This Facebook Profile: 

Because it's so sad and lonely. I've realized that, in the sporadic instances when I do actually write here, the best way to get traffic and share my blog is via my facebook page. Since I'm at least pretending to take this whole blogging thing more seriously I decided to create a blog specific page so I can further spread the good news about how great I am and also not bog down my personal facebook timeline with blog updates. But there's a flaw in the system and I can't for the life of me link this blog to that facebook. Who knows what's going on. I'll fix it! For now, do feel free to "like" me on facebook, I promise I'll figure it out soon! Clearly I'm super tech savvy - as you can see I had to google "how to take a screenshot" to even make this possible. Baby steps, you guys. Baby Steps.

Speaking of babies...

This Photo: 

Because I have no idea who that child is, but I've been carrying her photo in my purse for over a month. WEIRD. It fell out of a used book I bought at The Strand (A Family History by Dani Shapiro HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!) and I put it in my purse for safekeeping and I guess I never took it out. Is that creepy? It feels a little creepy. But I feel bad throwing it out. What if this is some kind of Face on the Milk Carton situation and I was destined to find that photo and now I have to go rescue this girl from some kidnappers or something? That's definitely a likely scenario so for now I'll just hang onto this...

And there you have it, folks! A few anecdotes and images from my week. How was yours? Gearing up for Thanksgiving? I can't wait to EAT! I feel like this holiday is going to give me a lot of great fodder for my food and poop journal, coming soon to a bookstore near you!

EW!

xoxo Liz