Another Awkward Week [1.24.14]

Good morning, snowflakes! How is everyone? If anyone is looking for a bland and unsatisfying snack, might I recommend a semi-stale, untoasted, whole grain english muffin spread with some almond butter? It'll quench your hunger, yes, but also leave you feeling deeply depressed and remorseful that you just wasted your time and snacking energy on such a boring, dumb morsel. GRR! I'll be starting my spin-off food blog annnny day now.

Anyway, what is up?! I know I'm stating the obvious here but it is flipping FREEZING. I've been wearing tights under my pants all week and I'm not going to lie to you guys...I LOVE it. It's so cozy and everything feels all snug and secure. I'm might just do this forever. I want invisible full body spanx that just keeps everything feeling all nice and tight.

I realize this effect can be achieved naturally via something called "exercise" but wouldn't it be so much better if you could just BUY it?!

If anyone's looking for me, I'll be in my science lab, working on this invention.

JK, if anyone's looking for me I'll be right here, like always, talkin' about myself.

So without further ado, why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this [polar vortexy] week.

These Jammies:


A college roommate of mine (Hi Alli!) turned us all on to this crazy superstition of wearing your jams inside-out the night before a snowstorm to bring on a snow day the next day. It snowed this week  so I gave it a try ... and it totally failed. Whomp. Not like I would ever get a snow day, publishing stops for no man or winter storm!, but Brian was really jonesing for school closure and I'm the nicest fiance ever so I bossily made him put on his pajamas the wrong way but alas: we were foiled.

Bill DiBlasio! I would take back my vote...if only I'd actually voted instead of being such a worthless citizen!

PS. the mismatched socks have no superstitious value, that's just how I roll.

This Nail Polish:


So this was part of a themed gift from my brother and I love my brother and the gift and the polish IN the bottle, but once it was on my nails it was just TOO much. Too bright or purple or both. No bueno. I hated it so much I couldn't concentrate. Seriously. I would just sit here all day distracted by the site of my garish fingers moving on the keyboard.

There is this wacky lady at our office who rumor has it took too much LSD at Studio 54 back in the day and now just toddles around the office wearing fur vests and cut-off jort overalls with stockings underneath and hats indoors (a peeve of mine, if anyone's curious) (as always, no one was) singing in French and disturbing everyone she passes.

She's a real treat.

Anyway, I found myself standing in the kitchen at the same time she was there (every morning at 11 AM she peels and eats an orange standing over the shared trash can and I KNOW I should avoid the area at that time, but I wanted tea!) and just in case I wasn't already self conscious enough about my gaudy nails, Crazy Town McGee stops mid peel and squawks: "WOOOOW now THAT is some great nail polish!"

As you can guess, a compliment from this gal = you're doing something very, very wrong.

I ran away from her, quickly, thinking I must immediately remove my nail polish, but first, I must take some photos for blogging purposes. You always see those photos on pinterest or wherever of a person's nails with them holding something...I tried to recreate with my own hand and it was straight up impossible. I had to bend my arm in at this totally unnatural and claw-like angle to get my nails in the camera.


WHAT IS THE TRICK? How do they do it? Am I missing something? This seems like a skill that is ESSENTIAL to master if I want to be a successful human.

Here are the photos I managed to snap:

[gallery ids="2583,2584,2585,2586"]

L-R: homage to Twilight, amazing crass mug from my assistant, some vitamins because I saw how rapidly this was spinning out of control, so why not make it extra weird, aaannnnd displaying my engagement ring with my hand pressed firmly against the wall.

I can have this made into a collage & framed if anyone's interested?

Also YES I did this during work hours am I still employed?

These Meatballs:


Lately our grocery store has been having amazing sales on 3-lb packages of ground turkey so I've been stocking up and freezing it to have around.

Fuuuuck me I sound like such a grown-up. "Gotta run down to the deli, Bonnie, they're having some serious sales in the deli section!"


The first time this happened, I did the extra super grownup Real Simple Magazine move of separating the meat into appropriate sized portions and freezing so we didn't have to deal with thawing and eating 3Lbs of turkey meat in one sitting but for whatever reason, this time I just shoved it right in the freezer whole hog.

Er, whole bird?

It turns out that a solid three pound hunk of turkey meat is NOT that easy to cut into. Just FYI. Brian is an Eagle Scout (!) and if you'll allow me to get a little schmaltzy for just un segundo, one thing I just love about this guy is that he has a super cute butt. And another thing I love about him is that he always likes to try to tinker around and MacGuyver things until he can fix them. It doesn't always work, but he always tries and it's always so adorable and I just want to squeeze him and smooch his face.

Gross, sorry.

Anyway, his solution to the ground turkey sitch? The ol' chisel trick:


Like Michelangelo turned a slab of stone into David, that sexy hunk of marble man meat, Brian turned our turkey log into two sexy hunks of meat meat, which we then grilled and ate, burger style.


We still had a full 2 lbs left in the freezer, so I decided to thaw it out and make a big batch of  meatballs, about 14 of which we ate with spaghetti in one sitting (it was snowing! don't judge) and the rest of which I planned to freeze for later consumption.

Like a grown-up!

I put the hot meatballs in a container on the counter and left them there to cool before putting in the freezer because one time, on Thanksgiving, I got into a big snit with my mom because she told me you should let your food cool before putting the leftovers away and I was all "Mooommm! Don't tell me what to do!" (teenagers, am I right!) (JK, I was 28) and everyone knows you should always listen to your mother.

Except then I totally forgot about them and left them out all night long.


The ever helpful Yahoo! Answers assured me that eating poultry left out overnight would surely kill me and so, into el garbagio they went.

SO MUCH EFFORT went into using up this godforsaken lump of turkey meat only to throw half of it in the trash. That's the last time I ever try to responsibly bargain shop at the grocery store. Or just grocery shop at all.

From here on out we're just going to Taco Bell every night.

(I'll def need those invisible spanx then!)

This Appetizer:


Chips & Guac! There is this restaurant in my neighborhood that has amazing guacamole which they serve with either fried tortillas or soft tortillas. I went the other night & I guess I forgot the word "fried" and also the word "tortilla" because when I tried to order, it went a little something like this:

Waiter: "Hello, may I take your order?"

Liz: "Yes please. We would like some guacamole and the hard ones. Those hard things. Not the soft ones, the ones that are hard?"

Waiter: "Chips. You mean you would like chips?"

Liz: [red face shame] "Yes please."

CHIPS guys! A new invention I apparently just learned about. They're GREAT with guacamole!

This Coffee:


Purchased to keep me warm and energized during a 45-minute wait at the Post Office yesterday afternoon. Except I realized I forgot to put milk in the cup and I haaaate black coffee. I considered going back to Starbucks and just sort of serruptitiously putting in some milk but I had already gotten to the Post Office and there were literally 4576 people ahead of me in line and it was so cold out, so I just stood there and held this stupid, piping hot cup of coffee until it started to burn my hand, at which point I put on one of my mittens (indoors!) but then I felt weird and also I managed to get coffee allll over my white mitten so I took it back off and the coffee had cooled enough to hold and then just 27 minutes later, after the woman in front of me finished arguing with the teller about the availability of rare tiger face stamps, I finally made it to the front of the line,  bought my stamps, came back to work and poured some milk into my now lukewarm, half-spilled cup of coffee.

Best $2.77 I ever spent.

Speaking of money, stamps are increasing by 3 cents starting this Monday, so if you have, say, a pile of save the dates laying on your bedroom floor begging to be sent out, go stock up on those stamps immediately!! I got stamps for STD's (nope, can't abbreviate that) and response cards (even though I just want to use internet RSVP's but my mom thinks it's tacky...more on that at a later date) and saved a whopping $7.50 by getting them this week before the prices went  up.

How many doves do you think I can buy with 7 dollars and 50 cents? Like a hundred? Two hundred?

This Music Video:


 Actually this is only awkward if you're the kind of person who hates joy and pleasure because this movie is the jimmity JAM, y'all. I'm actually not that big into Disney films. In truth, I kind of find adults who are still super into Disney to be a little stunted and off-putting and as a feminist, I have a lot of problems with the whole Princess genre but as a human being with two ears, two eyes and one sentimental heart: I effing love them.

So the only awkward thing about this video is if A: you're an adult who is super into Disney in which case I just offended your kind, SORRY! and B: the amount of times I have watched it this week which would be approx 673. And counting.

I urge you all to RACE out to the theaters this moment and watch this film. You won't regret it! Unless you hate musicals or sisters or animation or FUN in which case you definitely will but you sound lame, so forget you.

And that's that! What did we learn this week? Frozen is amazing, tiger stamps are hard to come by, fried tortillas are called "chips," inside out jammbos do NOT guarantee snow days, purple nail polish is horrible and NEVER EVER listen to your mom when it comes to leftovers.

Good stuff!

Stay warm this weekend, kids.

xoxo Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [5.24.13]

Hola, lovers! How was everyone's week? Mine was equal parts amaze-sauce and bananagrams (both real adjectives). I'm going to just start with my very best foot forward right up front and beg forgiveness if I'm a little crazier than usual this next week or two. I'm going from vacation back to a short week into another long weekend into a nutters work week which includes this big (true), fancy (completely false), fun (debatable) publishing conference...I kind of already have no idea what day it is or where I am or really anything. All I know is that I'm currently eating chicken sausage and I really wanted to dip it in mustard, but my mustard bottle is basically empty - there's mustard up in there, but not enough to squirt (that's what she said?) (unnecessary, Liz) so I'm just taking little pieces of sausage and sticking them inside the bottle and scooping up whatever remains I can and surprise, surprise, this plan has backfired greatly and now I have sausage stuck in my mustard bottle. mustard

My new book HoBag, Party of One: Etiquette and Manners for the Solo Diner hits stores next month. Preorder a copy today.

Toldja - losing it!

How about we just stop here and take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

This Tote Bag:

tote dryer

One of seventy zillion in my possession and also my carry-on for my flight home from Chi-town this weekend. Just casually blow-drying it. Because it was wet. Because I needed to wash out the coffee I spilled inside of it mere minutes before we left for the airport.

My book of travel tips is still seeking a publisher. Any takers?

This Other Tote Bag:


Full of produce. My company (hint hint as to what it is in the first photo) participates in this amazing CSA, an acronym which either stands for Community Supported Agriculture (my sister's guess) or Crop Share Association (mine) and I don't want to look it up because I'm pretty sure she's right, she always is, and I don't need to be reminded yet again that she's smarter than me. My brother thinks it stands for Confederate States of America which yes, but also, no.

Oh hey, rambling diversion, good to see you here.

Anyway, whatever CSA stands for, what it does is deliver bags of fresh, locally grown produce to my office for participating members to bring home and cook up and enjoy. I'm pretty into it.

Of course they deliver veggies on Wednesdays and this particular Wednesday I had a semi-fancy event after work, so what did I do? Rolled in with a ginorm bag with leeks and spinach and chives poking out the top.

No regrets.

This Ring Finger:


Ok so it's kind of hard to see in comparison to the rest of my bony alien fingers, but my left ring finger is decidedly crooked, thanks to a broken knuckle sustained on the soccer field in high school.

I mean, yes, I broke it but just running into a teammate. During practice. But still: sports injury!

I had to wear a ridiculous splint halfway  up my arm and it was a whole scene and the doctor helpfully pointed out that my finger would be permanently crooked and might make it hard to put on an engagement ring IF I ever got one.

Want to send a 16-year-old into a tailspin? See above.

Anywhoo, since the break, my knuckle is severely sensitive to weather patterns and I can always tell when it's going to thunderstorm thanks to a dull, steady ache radiating out from the center of my finger.

I am having serious trouble typing this here post thanks to today's weather fronts. If my magic finger is telling me anything, we're in for a surious storm. Hurry up, storm. I've gotsta blog!

I've also gotsta touch up my manicure, yiiiikes. And, yes, that is the toilet you see in the background. Our bathroom gets the best light! So sue me.

We already did have one storm today. How do I know, aside from me finger?

This Puddle:


It's a little hard to tell in this professional grade photo but I'm standing in several inches of rainwater which DELIGHTFULLY decided to pool themselves all over the landing on the subway staircase, basically forcing passengers to swim to their trains.

I've mentioned my love/hate relationship with New York and I have to say, the needle has fully swung in the direction of the big, fat H this week.

At least I had the foresight to change out of...

These Shoes:


That slice of orange (technically Coral Reef by Sally Hansen, you know you were curious) on the top right is my toe popping out the front of my most beloved pair of Minnetonkas. Oh, how I will mourn them.

Have you heard of Minnetonkas? They're theeeee most amazing moccasins, essentially slippers that you can wear in public. They are the greatest and I am literally heartbroken that this pair has ripped. LITERALLY not figuratively, grammar Nazis,  my heart, like my shoes, is in tatters.

My favy fave outfit to wear is thus: these shoes, my softest black jeggings, a t-shirt and this jersey blazer that I bought from H&M that is a blazer, yes, BUT is also made out of sweatshirt material. Between the moccs and the jeggs and the blaze I have crafted an ensemble that is as close to pajamas as one can get while still wearing all public appropriate apparel. Cha-ching.

But now my shoes AND favorite pajama jeans have both gone the way of the dodo so I don't know WHAT I'm gonna do. Dress like a grownup professional?

No annnnd NO.

Oh, what did I wear this week?

These Getups:

blue week

Initially this week's sartorial theme was to be "patriotic" due to the impending Memorial Day weekend.  I dedicate these outfits to all of those who have sacrificed yourselves for our country. You are SO welcome. I did manage to sneak in red, white and/or blue each day, buttt my outfits mostly turned out apathetic and weather inappropriate. When it was cold, I wore one of my many way-too-short-for-work skirts with bare legs; when it was hot, I wore black jeans and what appears to be a painters smock and some attractive rain boots (still not unpacked suitcase comes bonus with that ensemble) but today I think I knocked it out of the park with this nautical inspired top which a friend once told me looks like part of a children's pajama outfit.

 All pajamas, all the time over here.

Fashion. Plate.

Speaking of pajamas, I just realized that the actual pajamas I slept in all week  are actually red, white and blue! Technically those are Christmas bottoms but we can make them Memorial Day for now?


Also that's what I look like when I wake up in the mornings. Stars, they're just like us.

And on that note, THE END. Happy Memorial Day, my American friends and lest anyone take my ridiculousness for insensitivity, thank you truly to all who serve in the armed forces and to those families staying strong at home. And to my foreign pals, Happy Whatever Holiday Comes Next On Your Cultural Calendar. Live it up!

Peace, Love & Pajama Jeans,

Liz Ho

Another Awkward Week [3.8.13]

Good morning! How is everyone this fine Friday? It is snowing in NYC, what?! I generally try to be a pretty positive person, and an alliterative one at that, but I am 100% Negative Nancy about the month of March. I think it is a real tease. Spring starts in March and Daylight Savings and you really get to thinking: this is it. Winter is behind us. February is over and there's nothing ahead but blue skies and tulips and young mens' fancies lightly turning to thoughts of love. But NO. March gives and takes it right back - a sunny day followed by six days of cold, damp, freezing rain. Freak snowstorms. 31 long days with no federal holidays for 3 day weekends. One of my friends just described the month as "a fickle bitch." I think she's got it.  March is the gol-dang worst and I stand by that.


Ok, rant over (for now. MARCH! You fickle bitch.), let's take a look back at the days of yore, at what was keeping it awkward this week:

This Glove:

gloved hand

So I wanted to paint my toenails the other night - I loathe pedicures. They terrify me. I hate feet and people touching my feet. I'm shuddering just thinking about it  - but before I could paint them I had to remove the layers of gross, peeling, old polish still clinging to my nails since the last time I did them like 6 months ago. It's winter! Why bother? I had just painted my fingernails and didn't want to eff that up by using nailpolish remover on my toes, so I got the brilllliant idea to wear rubber gloves. But we only had one gigantic, left-handed kitchen glove, but I popped that bad boy on feeling like I'd just figured out the secrets to the feminine universe and promptly knocked over the bottle of nailpolish remover all over the sink. I then spent close to 15 minutes trying to get the polish off my toenails, not because they were THAT gross, but because it turns out that even the simplest of tasks are borderline impossible when attempting with your non-dominant hand in an oversized rubber glove.

OBVIOUSLY I still managed to screw up my fingernails .3 seconds later, making this entire fiasco completely pointless.

My toes are cute, though! TOO BAD IT'S SNOWING AND NO ONE CAN SEE THEM.

Rant still not over.

This Chest of Drawers:


This is my bedside table and also where I store my socks and underbusiness. It is part of a set of bedroom furniture from the Ikea Children's line circa 1989. This dresser can drink and serve in the armed forces. My sister and I had them in our bedroom when we were little and still use them today. Pro tip: childrens' furniture is the perfect size for tiny urban apartments!

Right, so, if you look closely at that dresser you'll notice that the bottom two drawers are missing handles (you'll also notice a hint of nude pantyhose sticking out one of the other drawers. Oh those hose. Always on the loose!). When I brought this dresser to NYC 6 years ago it had these really goofy red plastic handles, a side effect of using furniture for 3 year olds, so I went to Ikea and got new classy metal pulls. For a reason that now evades me, I think I might have run out of screws, I never ended up putting handles on those bottom two drawers. Ever. So every time I want to get a pair of socks or a pair of underpants, which is every single day, sometimes more than once, I have to open the second drawer by its handle juuust enough that I can stick my hand in underneath and grab the front panel and pull it open that way, and then close the top drawer and then get a pair of socks and then shut that drawer about halfway so I can stick my hand into the bottom drawer, grab the front panel, pull it open, get a pair of underwear, close all the drawers, realize I forgot my bra...and start all over again.

I have been doing this for over  half a decade now and can not get it together enough to just put on some goddamn handles. A regular Bob Vila over here.

Similarly, this is the artistic "gallery wall" hanging just as you enter my bedroom:


As you can see there is a set of keys hanging on a bare nail. A mirror. A haphazardly placed, constantly empty glass flower holder vial thing, a framed piece of art that a friend gave me and a random ornament that was the favor from a friend's wedding in 2008.

I am a home decor genius! If you would like to copy this style, and why wouldn't you, simple take all random items you don't know what to do with, "temporarily" hang them on a bare wall in no discernible pattern and then just never move them. Initially you might be inspired to do something else with them, but eventually they will become as much a part of the room as the floor or the ceiling and you can just lay on your bed and eat cheez-its and pin things to your "Design Ideas!" pinterest board because you'll totally get it together one of these days!

Butttt you probably won't.

This Pile of Clothes:

clothes pile

Tonight I am going to a potluck with  Brian's colleagues. I've never met them before and I want to make a good impression! Which for me, does not just mean showing up, being polite and getting along with everyone, it means that on Monday morning, an email chain will circulate throughout the entire school, starting with the math teachers, getting to the rest of the teachers, until it trickles down to the students and the cafeteria cooks and the night watchman, talking about how incredibly beautiful and self possessed and hilarious and perfect in every imaginable way Mr. Scott's girlfriend is.

I had a whole outfit picked out but then it was snowing (RANT NEVER ENDS!) so I had to dress warmer and there were shoes to consider and I had no idea what the other guests would be wearing, for some reason Brian was not into the idea of polling all of the lady teachers to get a sense of their wardrobe choices, and then my black belt broke and like 80% of my clothes have holes in them and what if the hosts run a shoe-off household and I show up in dumb socks and it was just a really stressful day. I ended up spending close to an hour - ONE HOUR - trying on different outfits before settling on something somewhat acceptable plus I packed a bag with some backup options.

To spend one night at my boyfriend's house, which is down the street, and have a dinner with a bunch of math nerds (no offense math nerds) I brought an enormous suitcase with four extra shirts, two pairs of pants and five different pairs of shoes.

If anything, the high school will circulate an email chain that they need to keep an eye on Mr. Scott because his girlfriend is 100% unhinged.

Speaking of the high school...

This Stage:

into the woods

Last Saturday, Brian and I got up early, went to Target and then hit up the school musical. I have the social life of a soccer mom...but without the kids or the van or the sweater vests.

Aaaand I love it.

In case you're curious, the play was Into The Woods, the kids were cute but, like with most things in life, the whole thing would have been a lot better if Zac Efron had been involved.

And that was my week! I just re-read this and it was like 2% funny and 58% crabby and 40% boring, sorry! I need an attitude adjustment and fast.  But check out that mental math! I will fit in tonight!

Hoping everyone has a lovely weekend and if you feel the need to just complain and grouch about life, I'm with you, so do feel free to unburden yourself in the comments. #CrabbyFriday!

xoxo Liz



Reflections and Ramblings in the post Sandy City

What a long, strange week it’s been. Unless you live on Mars (in which case, OH MY GOD, HI! I have so many questions for you!), you’ve surely been following the tale of The Frankenstorm or, as I like to call her, Pecan Sandy.  It was just 7 days ago today my East Coast friends and I found ourselves lining up for canned goods, battening down the hatches, stockpiling wine. In those 7 days, thousands of people lost their homes, belongings, electricity and much more and others of just lost our minds out of sheer boredom. It is mind boggling, really, the amount of destruction this storm caused on some areas of the region, while leaving others practically untouched.

Coastal areas of Brooklyn, like Red Hook and Coney Island, each just a few miles from me, were practically flooded off the map. Same for Lower Manhattan, Staten Island, The Rockaways and the Jersey Shore. The worst damage I saw in my neighborhood was my favorite middle-of-the-parkway  porta potty had been knocked over by the wind.

Thankfully it has since been restored to its original glory.

We Shall Overcome.

SandyPants left me unable to get into my office, with little to do but wander around Brooklyn, drink too much, stress out about missing work and refresh my twitter feed. It was boring! I have a confession to make, and I know I’m going to risk sounding like a total loony bin, but I feel like this is a safe space, so here goes: I’m a little, teensy bit jealous of friends who had more traumatic storm experiences. I mean, I wouldn’t have wanted to lose my house or anything but would it have been too terrible to let me have no power for a few hours or something cool? I need a good story to tell! What am I going to do? 70 years from now I’ll huddle my grandchildren around my chaise lounge on the deck of my Costa  Rico beach mansion and tell them all about the time their Grandmother lived through a giant hurricane and...nothing happened? Oh look, the grandkids have already teleported away, before they passed out from boredom.

This is a serious problem I have. I am frequently jealous of other people’s misfortunes. Not like, huge misfortunes, I’m not completely insane, but really anything that might result in a good story. Public humiliation, minor mishaps, unplanned adventures. A friend of mine recently reminded me of the time that, during college, she ended up locked in the bathroom of our campus apartment for over two hours. None of the rest of us were home and this was before the days of checking instagram on your smartphone while on the john, so she had no way of communicating with the outside world. She banged the door & walls so hard she knocked dishes from the cabinets in our kitchen, which shared a wall with the bathroom. Eventually one of us came home and called the campus popo, who kicked the door down and came to her rescue. That story is amazing. I covet that story. When I came home to find her locked in the bathroom, instead of concern for her well being, my very first instinct was to wish it was me in there, so I could get all the attention...and then concern, I swear!

And that’s just one lil example. I do this all the time. I think I might have some deep, deep psychological issues surrounding my need for the spotlight. Or maybe this is normal? I can’t be the only one who thinks like this, can I?  And what would we call this anyway? I don’t think there’s a word for this bizarre disorder in current psychological journals. Sure there’s the German word Schadenfreude, which means pleasure derived from the misfortune of others, sympathy and empathy which basically mean caring and understanding the misfortune of others but there’s no word for feeling jealous about the misfortune of others.

I think I’ll start a petition to name it Lizhosinschnoozle. That has a nice ring.

Now, for a serious moment. I write jokingly, self-centeredly about this debilitating Lizhosinschnoozle of mine because, well, that’s what I do here, write goofy stories all about myself. And because I’m a lucky gal. I get to sit here and riff about wishing I’d lost power, being jealous of my friends who roamed the city, nomad-like, for five nights, with no heat, electricity or hot water because I was blessed enough to make it through this particular misfortune unscathed. I do not know if I will be so lucky the next time and I do not take this for granted. I hope that anyone reading this who has suffered greater than I this week is getting back on their feet and will soon be in a warm, safe place, if they are not already.

And I encourage all those as lucky as I to count our blessings and turn them into good deeds. I’m sure many of you have already found ways to give back and get involved, but if you want to help and aren’t sure how, I’m linking to a number of online resources below who are rallying volunteers all across the tri-state area - and taking donations from far and wide.The storm may be over, but a lot of these communities are going to need our help for a long time. I spent the day today working with the Occupy Sandy team in Sunset Park, Brooklyn making millions of sandwiches to deliver to those in hardest hit communities. It wasn’t much and I’m legit not tooting my own horn, just sayin'. I haven’t felt as good all week as I did walking out of the volunteer center this afternoon, I’d highly encourage you try for that same good feeling. We can all get involved, even a little bit.

And maybe don’t stop the good deeds as soon as the East Coast is rebuilt.I realized this week how long it has been since I’ve actively volunteered. I used to spend hours a week working within my communities in high school and college, but since moving to New York over five years ago have barely lifted a finger for anyone other than myself. It took a disaster to get me up and moving again and I don’t like that feeling. I’m issuing a challenge to myself, and I hope you’ll join me as well. Let’s get back to giving back. Find something you care about - animals, old people, local government, environment, women’s rights, education, marijuana, I don’t know what you’re into! -- and get involved. I’m not sure yet where I’ll be lending my time and talents - are any organizations in need of someone to write corny puns? - but by one month from today will have a tangible update: who, what, when, where & how I’ll be giving back. I’d love for you to join me!

And, whoa. That shit just got real. I promise I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled ramblings in no time but until then, go do some good, why don’t you?

xoxo Liz

Sandy Recovers Resources:

Staten Island Recovers

Red Hook Initiative

Occupy Sandy

Volunteer Opp Map - NYC

United Way of NJ

Red Cross

New York Cares

And that’s just a few! If you know of any other great opportunities, let me know!


Some pics from yesterday's sandwich-a-thon. Yes, we already thought to call them Sandy-wiches.

How To Ride Out a Hurricane

Day 1:

  • Wake up hungover, contemplate dying
  • Eat bagel, revive
  • Wait too long to go to grocery store, get caught on hour long check-out line
  • Return home with supplies: fixin’s for chicken chili, 4 cans of chick peas, strawberries & wine
  • Rejoice over official notice that office is closed, crack open wine
  • Cook and feast upon chicken chili, guacamole & pumpkin bread
  • Raucous board game night with beloved roommates & gentleman friend, good moods abound
  • Bed, AFTER 11!

Day 2:

  • Awake to the sound of the wind, simultaneously excited about day off and anxious about work left undone
  • Make coffee, sit down to “work from home.”
  • Respond to 3 emails, drink coffee, refresh Facebook newsfeed
  • Drink more coffee, respond to 2 more emails, obsessively check Hurricane Updates
  • Make a quiche.
  • Shower & dress in non-pajama clothes (jeggings count!) because real clothes make you “feel more productive.”
  • Refresh Facebook newsfeed, storm updates, Twitter & instagram
  • Take off non-pajama clothes and get back into bed, watch TV, nap, etcetera (bow chicka bow wow, High Five!)
  • Reheat chili. Make a bloody mary.
  • Refresh Facebook newsfeed, storm updates, Twitter & instagram.
  • Write 92% of excellent blog post before losing internet & unsaved work. Become despondent. Flop on couch.
  • Read 2 pages of a novel.
  • Go to the front door and stare outside. Do not actually GO outside, you morons, death-defying instagram posts are so not worth it.
  • Look for food for dinner, realize you have already consumed all good food & 80% of booze. Begin to panic.
  • Eat old spaghetti.
  • Flop on the floor & do “stretches” in attempt to alleviate feeling of housebound blobishness.
  • Internet returns! Refresh Facebook newsfeed, storm updates, Twitter & instagram.
  • Receive official update that office is once again closed.
  • Sigh, carefully ration remainder of wine, think of what you have in the house that could be mixed with vodka leftover from lunchtime bloodies. Come up with: canned pumpkin mix, spaghetti sauce, squeezed juice from ¼ of a lemon.
  • Write dumb blog post.
  • Say something thoughtful about hoping everyone is safe, well, dry, alive, etc so as not to appear selfish to internet.
  • Resume couch flopping.
  • Refresh Facebook & Wordpress newsfeeds & marvel at outpouring of comments & likes for witty, wonderful hurricane blog post (hint hint, wink wink).

Day 3:

  • Lather, rinse, repeat.

One Awkward Tip: Beat the Heat, Freeze Yo Sheets!

A pet peeve of mine is when people endlessly talk about the weather. (Others include not clearing the microwave timer after you're done cooking, misuse of the term "OCD" and people who don't own TV's). This especially bothers me on Facebook, endless newsfeed updates displaying the 10 day forecast or giving minute-by-minute temperature updates. Buncha Al Rokers over here! We get it, it's the weather, MOVE ON. But every now and again, Mother Nature really steps up her game and just refuses to be ignored. A bitch after my own heart! This week was one of those times. Temps across the country have risen above 270 degrees and New York City has turned into a hazy, humid, rotting island full of garbage. My apartment has no air-conditioning and exposed brick walls. Charming detail, to be sure, but also not the best for keeping cool. I was always curious what life must be like for brick oven pizzas. Now I know how they feel.

Thanks to this scorching heat, I haven't slept in weeks. I have a great fan but with temps at 8 zillion it just blows hot air. Another thing I've always wondered is what it would be like to sleep with a dragon breathing over my bed, and now I know how that feels too.

Sorry to see me so uncomfortable, B, my wonderful  gentleman friend (barf, I know) suggested I try putting my bed sheets in the freezer before getting into bed. He heard this tip from a  strange man in line at a South Philadelphia UPS depot so you know it's gotta be legit. I was dubious but so, so desperate so I immediately ripped those bad boys right off the bed and shoved them up in there. (That's what she said?)

All the essentials!

B's lucky he's so cute (stilllll barfing!) because his lil tip was a total failure.  I think maybe you're supposed to put them in a bag or protective cover of some kind? I left them in for about 45 mins and when I pulled them out, most of the fabric just felt normal, except for small patches covered in a thin film of ice which promptly melted the second I laid my hot bod (literally hot, figuratively just sort of meh) down on them. My pillowcase had an actual ice cube attached to it, which was both delightful and a scary visual of how messy and disgusting our freezer is. Also, now my dirty bed sheets have rubbed against all of our foods ... freezing kills germs, yes? Yes, let's go with that.

Despite an initially unsuccessful run, I refuse to give up. Those guys on Appollo 13 refused to quit austronauting  until they made it back to Earth and I, Liz Ho, refuse to stop freezing my linens until I find a way to make it work.  Here's what I'm thinking.  I spritz them verrry lightly with cool water and then they will stay frozen and feel great when I lay on them and yes, they will surely melt, but it is so hot that  it will immediately evaporate and be dry again. This will definitely work. I was an A++ science student, obviously. I'm also thinking maybe I need to just leave them in longer, like all day while I'm at work? Or, maybe I should just put the sheets in the freezer, take that bottle of vodka out of the freezer, and chug it all and just see what happens?

I welcome any suggestions you might have but until them, I think I'll go with option C.