Another Awkward (slash Awesome!) Week [5.30.14]

Good morning, pals! I am all thrown off with this short week - I almost forgot it's Friday. But oh, it is. T to the G-I-F, dudes. This week the coolest thing ever in the whole wide WORLD happened: I wrote something that was published on a national website. VOGUE.COM. AAAAHHH!!! This is a double-brag if you're my friend on Facebook so forgive me - I'm just a scoonch excited. If you've not yet read it and would like to, I'd be honored! You can click-click-click away riiiight HERE.

Long story short, I was semi-tipsily chatting with an editor I know at a work party a little while back and we got to chatting about Facebook and relationships and how and why and when we use social media to share and define said relationships. As we parted for the evening, she asked if I'd write something for her on the subject, for Vogue.com. Outwardly I said "sure!" and inwardly I said "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and she put me in touch with her editor, we talked details, I tried to pretend I knew what I was talking about and like, did this all the time and Vogue.com? Not even a big deal, has anyone even heard of Vogue?, and she gave me a deadline of ONE WEEK and then I frantically drafted and worried and thought and wrote and flopped around a lot like "this is a disaster! My one shot in life and I'm about to blow it and be a failure forever!!!!"

Dramatic much?

I finally came up with a draft I liked (thanks to Claire, Brian & Maggie, my reader/editors) and oh-so-casually cooly submitted it. They liked it! Sent over some edits! Annnnd: posted to the web.

The piece mildly complains about how we share everythinggg on the Facebook, so naturally I immediately shared it on the Facebook. HAH! I was prepared for some thumbs-ups from my mom and besties but Oh. Em. Gee I was not prepared for how freaking nice everyone else would be! Friends were sharing, commenting, liking, emailing, all with praise and encouragement. I got some super sweet notes from friends I haven't talked to in years. My brother tweeted it.

And at work! I am shy to share any writing at work because I don't know why. I guess because I always write about myself and I don't want them to know what a psycho I am? Well apparently they all totally know and love me anyway. Our marketing manager tweeted the link via the department official twitter, work friends shared from theirs and sweetest ever some of my beautiful, genius designer friends put together THE cutest and funniest email, which they then sent department wide in the same style we send our publicity emails:

LIZ

File me away with Junot Diaz and Anne Lamott! It's all happening!

I was genuinely, no joke, bowled away with a combination of emotions that is difficult to put into words and is really best summed up by this: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I felt like Sally Field at The Oscars + like, Brandy Chastain at the 1999 World Cup + Marie Curie when she discovered radium + every nerd in a high school movie who then gets elected prom queen. I've been published! And everyone LIKED it!

What. A. Day.

This also lights a little fire under my bottom. I love writing (obviously) and would like to try for more opportunities like this. I've now eradicated fears that no editors would like my style or that readers will hate it, effectively just leaving laziness as my final hurdle. A hurdle I need to smush to smithereens ASAP.

So SERIOUS thanks dudes, I promise I'll remember you all when I am famous!!!!!

And lest you worry I'm already changing, don't you fear: I'm still keeping it WAY too real on the daily. So why don't we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week.

 

This Face/Hair:

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Sunday, while I was home  in Pennsylvania, I arranged a hair and makeup trial for the wedding. Now, hair/makeup trial, you ask? I know. The part of me who thinks weddings are ridiculous is like "come on, ladies, do you really need a test run, it's just one day" but then the other (louder) part of me who is vain and girlie and wants to look beautiful on that one day is like "DUH."  I'm tryyyyying to do it on the slightly cheap, so was put in touch with a former student of my cousin who is a cosmetologist and I am very glad we set up this little trail because she, unfortunately, was not the right match for me.

I'm not going to throw a ton of shade on this girl - she's young and incredibly sweet and learning as she goes along.

We had confirmed for her to come to my mom's house at noon. By 12:15 she wasn't there and I just KNEW she forgot. I knew it. I'd emailed her to confirm and she didn't respond and I just instantly got the sense that she forgot and I could tell right then that she wasn't going to be the right person. I just sensed it. Deep in my hair follicles. Bones predict other stuff but when it comes to sensing beauty disasters: the hair knows.

I should have just put a stop to it right then and there and told her not to come, but I wanted to give her a chance, the benefit of the doubt, so texted her to remind her and she arrived an hour later. Right from the start we were not communicating well and I could tell she just didn't grasp what I wanted her to do. My mom, sister and friend (wife!) Maureen sat watching as we made small talk and I internally freaked out.

NOT because my hair looked bad, I'll figure out a plan B, but because now I had a person in my house with whom I as going to have to have an awwkward conversation. Thsi sweet girl seemed to think things were going OK and I didn't know how to tell her, to her little face, that she was super not getting hired on our wedding day. I just wanted her to leave! But I didn't know what to say! I am SO BAD at these kinds of conversations. I just want to be nice and funny all the time, forever, and avoid all confrontation.

After she did my hair, she was set to do my make-up and again, I should have told her right then and there that we were done for the day/life, kthxbye, but I didn't have the heart and maybe she was really great at make-up! But first I went and hid in my mom's room, right off the living room where we were doing the trial, to ask Schmoopster for advice. I didn't want her to know I was talking about her so I pretended I had to go to the bathroom - I even flushed the toilet for emphasis. I then, of course, actually had to go to the bathroom but couldn't because I already lied to her and told her I just did that and I didn't want this hair-stylist girl to think I had some kind of like, raging bladder infection, so I just sat there, clenching my legs, rushing through a make-up trial and praying for the day to end.

It did, I awkwardly told her I'd be in touch and did, eventually, let her down over email.

I don't know if I did the right thing - should I have told her to her face? Cancelled on her when she was late?! AAAAH I hate interacting with human beings sometimes. I need an assistant to do all my dirty work for me. Except then I might sometimes have to yell at the assistant and I wouldn't be able to do that so I'd have to hire another assistant do to that and then on and on until I just had one million assistants yelling at each other while I hid in my mom's room pretending to go to the bathroom.

Oy.

This Cheese:

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On the train home to NYC later that night I realized I was STARVING and didn't pack a snack. I did, however, have some blocks of cheese that my mom sent up with me so OH YES I grabbed me a hunk o' swiss and straight up gnawed on it like a mother flipping rat.

Pro-tip for getting your own seat on public transportation: see above!

This Ticket:

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The cheese was not cutting it, sadly, so I practically lept with glee when I realized we had a brief stop-over in Philaelphia, enough time to run upstairs to the train station and grab some real food before we continued no our trip. I asked a nice young man sitting across the aisle from me to watch my suitcase (direct quote: "you're wearing a suit and look trustworthy, would you watch my bag , I'm starving?") (His internal monologue was probably like "DEAR GOD why is the cheese lady speaking to me?!") and sprinted to the Au Bon Pan, where I quickly grabbed a pre-made Ceasar Salad, which is weirdly my go-to snack in stressful travel situations (why?!) and a Kind Bar which is one of those horrible monster snacks taht pretends to be healthy but is really like 450% chocolate.

I realized I'd have to re-show my ticket before boarding the train again and a horror washed over me: I had used my ticket as a recepticle for old chewing gum earlier in the trip. I pulled out the ticket an sure enough, there was a blob of gum RIGHT over the barcode they'd need to scan for reentry.

Kill. Me. Now.

I took my usual approach when faced with a tricky situation which is to over-explain in a wildly flustered manner until whoever I am dealing with just tells me to go away.

To the woman checking tickets: "Hi! Oh my gosh, OK I was on the train, coming from Elizabethtown and I got off to get a snack? The conductor said it was OK? I was starving! And I am SO embarrassed but I spit gum into my ticket...here...OH MY GOD I know so gross, I'm so sorry, can I just get back on I swear I'm coming from Elizabethtown."

All this complete with some wild gesticulating and a positively insane smile  on my face.

Cha-ching, she let me through.

LADIES: it might not be considered Leaning In but I fully support the power of occasionally playing dumb.

This Bike Tire:

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Flatter than your mother's chest, Trebek.

Unfortunately I didn't realize that until I had hauled this 567 pound beast down the stairs and ridden it a full mile to the park, the hardest bike ride of my life. You guys know I've had plenty of shenanigans with this bike but this one took the cake. It was so slow, hard to pedal and making loud clanging noises, but I just assumed it was my old bike being old. I was mortified: here I am running half marathons, in the best shape of my life, and I can't ride my bike half a block without getting winded?

I pushed and pushed and pushed and finally I made it to the park where a kindly (ish) stranger yelled out "YOU HAVE A FLAT!" in a hard to distinguish Eastern European accent and I yelled back "WHO ME?!" and almost crashed my bike and then looked down and yes, sir, I did have a flat and probably caused a huge scene all the way up to the park and OY YOY YOY.

And that, beautiful butterflies, was my week! WHAT A WEEK!!! I'm still riding so high on the Vogue thang, both pride for myself and flat out amazement and joy over all the enthusiasm and encouragement from my peeps. I am metaphorically doing that move where you jump up in the air and gleefully click your heels together.

YAY!

Have the BEST weekend, y'all!

xoxoxoxo Liz Ho

One (Specific) Awkward Year: 30 Before 30!

Friends! Thanks to all for the sweet birthday wishes, you are some nice people. I'm already feeling older and wiser and maybe just a scoonch wrinklier, too. In the spirit of making the most of my fleeting 20's, I've decided to become a lifestyle blogging cliche and create a 30 Before 30 List - 30 things to try or accomplish before I hit the big, you guessed it 3-0. Corny, indeed, but I do love a good list and am always up for a challenge or thirty. Plus: think of all the writing material!

Also, I know what you're thinking: Liz, why don't you focus on your day-to-day lists and do things like clean your house or mail that wedding gift to your cousin who got married back in July or I don't know your job, and I hear you loud and clear on that one, and I'll definitely consider getting to those things eventually, but eh: boring. I need to reach for the stars, here before my AARP membership kicks in. (KIDDING).

I looked to a lot of other blogs for 30 Before 30 inspiration and stole a few good ones, but tried to focus on things that are actually possibly possible in the next 360 days (already losing time! OH GOD!) Much as I'd like to ride nude on the back of a great white shark off the coast of Bali, I just don't know that it is quite doable on my dwindling time frame.

Some are silly, like getting a bikini wax (why is this even a thing that people do?), some are more intangible like solving my stomach issues and some miiiight be impossible, see "run half marathon" and "pay off credit card debt." But ALL of them are happening. They are! Before September 14, 2014 the list below will be donezo and the whole world will know my name! Or I'll still be entirely unfamous but with less debt and a smoother bikini line. Nowhere to go but up, friends!

Now quickly for the wild card: Number 30. I was realllly stretching for material as we got into the high 20's here and decided it might be fun to take a little audience poll. What do YOU think I should do in this next year? I'm taking suggestions for something that is legal, not weird or perverted, not expensive (unless you're paying, in which case, I'm all ears) and maybe a bit ridiculous to add to my list. Let's hear your suggestions - the best one wins!!

And we're off. I'll do my best to document what is sure to be a THRILLING year, I sure hope you'll follow along.

30 before 30

30 Before 30

1. Run half marathon

2. Pay off one credit card...put a dent in the other. (yes I have 2 credit cards. Proud American.)

3. Get a bikini wax

4. Take photoshop or other online design course

5. Submit something for publication

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

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

8. Find a regular volunteer program

9. See a play on Broadway

10. Watch The Sopranos

11. Learn to shuffle cards

12. Stop biting my nails

13. Take a trip with my mom

14. Read outside of my comfort zone (looking for suggestions, literary pals!)

15. Visit Storm King

16. Get Acupuncture

17. Roast a chicken

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

19. Zumba

20. Host a classy, adult dinner party

21. Add at least one more state to my list

22. Solve my stomach issues

23. Trapeze class

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

25. Decorate our apartment

26. See the cherry blossoms in DC

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

28. Make an IRL blogger connection

29. Hike 5 new peaks

30. Blog Challenge!

Boom. Let's do this thing. Thanks for following along and now if you'll quickly excuse me, I have a LOT to accomplish. First stop: Trapezing! Or maybe I should just get back to work.

xoxo Liz Ho

Some Awkward Housekeeping

Hello, hello! Notice a few changes? You never miss a beat, now do you?! Please bear with me as I take care of a few blog housekeeping (blog keeping?) / self promotional / organizational items:

Step One in my never ending Operation Good Blogger is to make the layout look a little more presentable so check aaaand check. I'm not 100% sold on this scene but until I can master the ways of web design, which at this rate will be like 2049 at which point we'll all be living on Mars and I won't be blogging anyway because I'll be a famous talk show host / princess / cheesemonger, well, this'll have to do.

New things to note: The incredible header image, About ME! & Say Hi! pages. (I overuse exclamation points, I am aware) & slightly cleaner layout. If something is in green font, it's a link, so click away!

Step Two: link this blog to a facebook page for easy self promotion. Donezo. It only took four months but I'm finally linked up. SO, if you would like to, and gee whiz, it sure would mean a lot to me, you can click the button to your right (the one that says "Like me, PLEASE!") (so subtle and not at all desperate) to 'like' One Awkward Year on facebook. The page will automatically update with every new post so you can always stay on top of Liz Ho.

FIGURATIVELY not literally, ya pervs.

Step Three: show off this painfully stunning photo of myself in my younger days, just straight killing it on the mean streets of Charleston, South Carolina.

young liz

I mean, if a more flattering pair of shorts have ever been made, I have yet to see them.

Step Four: Stop talking about all of this boring crap and write? I'm on it, I swear! You know what they say, Patience Is A Virtue!

(But, they also say "A bird in the hand is worth two in a bush" and "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" so you might not want to listen to them, whoever they are, they sound pretty weird and confusing.)

Ok, SO! That is the haps round these parts. Thank you for tuning in to the latest technological developments and, as I say every time I write a dumb placeholder post: stay tuned.

xo Liz Ho

PS: Please do like me on facebook, you know I'm desperate to be loved!

Even Awkward Girls Get the Blues

Hello, my fine friends. I must ask you to bear with me as I get a little self-indulgently dramatic. After distracting myself for days, I sat down to write tonight and instead just read recipes and sat on my bed and took pictures of myself.

Untitled drawing

Every six months or so I find myself sucked into a spiral of, well, I'm not sure what the spiral is made of, but it feels like a mix of lethargy and melodramatic contemplation. I'm there now and have been for the last week or two. I worry that I'm not in the right career field. I'm unsure of what to direction to take with my blog. I'm anxious about money and my future and I don't look great in a bathing suit right now and most everyone I know is wearing my last nerve. So I worry and I worry and I mope and I put off making decisions or being productive in favor of blobbish, cranky procrastination.

It's not a great look on me.

I'll snap out of it, I always do, but in the meantime, I might be a little quieter this next week or so while I get my ish back together. And when I do, it will be better than ever, I promise you that.

This isn't me like, asking anyone to feel bad for me, though it kiiiiind of sounds like I'm begging for attention. But when am I not, I mean, really? One of the goals I know I have for this here blog is to keep it real, always, so self-referential and un-funny as it might be, I thought I owed it to myself and to my zillions of fans to well, keep it real, yo. Plus I've kinda-sorta come to enjoy the whole blogging community thang, so who better to vent to than your peeps, no?

So that's what's up, peeps, and thanks for listening to me mope. I'll be back soon! Be sure to keep it awkward while I'm gone - I have faith in all of you!

xoxo Liz Ho

One Awkward Thank You; or, A Rambling Freewrite

Do you guys remember that quote “Never make someone your priority when all you are to them in an option?” Well fun fact: Maya Angelou said that. I did not know that! I just remember that was a very popular AIM away message for gals when I was in college. I really miss those oh so subtle, passive aggressive, “anonymous” shout-outs to guys who did you wrong, in the form of song lyrics or random poetry, written in size 14, baby blue, comic sans font. Good times.

Generally I’m not much of a sucker for nostalgia stuff, endless lists of “you know you were a child of the 90’s when...” snap bracelets! pogs! Clarissa! I’m sure they were charming at first, but there’s only so many times you can scroll through some Buzzfeed slideshow of the same old pre-millennial cultural touchstones until you’re like, enough, we get it. Tamagotchi. Lunchables. And no, I don’t remember Salute Your Shorts because my mom wouldn’t let us watch TV. GOD, MOM. But there is something about reminiscing about the internet of yore that melts my heart of stone and always makes me chuckle. I miss AIM. I guess now we have facebook and twitter and foursquare and tumblr and instagram as of today something called Vine and of course, Snapchat which I just learned about and I can not even deal with, KIDS, put your willies back in your pants, but AIM, man, that was golden. What we lacked in quantity back in the day we sure made up for in quality. AIM: The Reboot. Let’s make it happen.

Anyway, what is my point. I don’t think I came here to talk about 2003 social media... Oh yes! That Maya A. quote above, bastardized by heartbroken girls at overpriced liberal arts colleges nationwide, has been stuck in my head all day as I became increasingly guilt ridden over not blogging today. I set out at the start of 2013 to make writing and blogging my priority and instead, I am making it an option. I realize that is 147% not what the quote is saying but still, ‘twas ringing in my brain all day. I’ve been proud of my increased presence here, of the feedback I’ve been receiving and of the connections I’ve been building via wordpress, but I already feel myself slipping, missing a day here, a day there. Scrambling to get posts written at 9 PM in front of Downton Abbey or at my desk instead of doing work (“doing work,” more like, eating snacks & shitting around on the internet, interspersed with panic induced bursts of productivity after I realize how much time I’ve been wasting). I want to take time to be organized, to have things written in advance, to write things that feel smart and put together, to figure out why the OAY Facebook page is such a piece of poop, to continue building relationships with current bloggy friends and find even more new pals to hook up with...internetly, not like, sexually...but l allow other things to get in the way: sleep, TV, making out, reading other people’s blogs instead of writing my own. I am working to fix this.

Step one: make promises on the internet and have pushy friends who call you on your shit when you don’t keep them. Last week a pal reprimanded me for taking Monday off, scolding “you know Martin Luther King would have busted his ass on your birthday.” Touche, my friend. Touche.

I guess what I am trying to say amidst all this rambling is thank you! I know, kind of buried that lede there, didn’t I. I have a hard time getting over my fear of appearing overly self indulgent blogging and talking about myself but for whatever reason, ya’ll seem to really enjoy it. You crazy!! Last week two old friends reached out via facebook to encourage me to keep writing and today I got an email from someone I don’t even know (!) telling me she was a fan. What the what? Amazing. So blah be de blah...AOL...Maya Angelou... thank you guys for hanging out with me and encouraging me to keep up with this and be better and funnier and smarter.

You are all, collectively, the wind beneath my wings. As a gift, I’ll be back tomorrow for an EXTRA post this week, how’s that for a treat? SUCH A TREAT.

My gal over at Connecting the Dots nominated me for a blog award that seems to involve answering ridiculous questions and linking up with other bloggers. I’m still not 100% sure how it all works but I never say no to awards or attention so check back tomorrow for some of that goodness. Four posts in a week. Can she do it?

YES!

Now bring us home, Bette!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9ZMDPf9hZw]

 

Huggles and snuggles,

Liz Ho