A Cohabitation Proclamation

Summer is upon us, friends. Do you have any big travel plans? I’ve got a few weddings in the works (always) always and the possibility of a late August camping trip of some kind (sure to be ripe for blog material), but the majority of my summer will be consumed – physically, emotionally and especially financially – by moving. My lease on my beloved apartment in Brooklyn is up July 31 and I’m moving out of one of the best NYC apartments I’ve encountered yet. And why? So I can shack up with a handsome new roommate.

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That’s right. We’re taking the plunge. Well, not the big one, but the small modern, sinful step of pre-marital cohabitation. So maybe we’re not at the plunge (yet!), but we’re definitely climbing up the diving board ladder.

I’m excited! Neither of us has ever lived in sin with a significant other before, so it’s a serious step, for both of us. And not one I’m taking lightly. I don’t judge anyone’s decisions to live how or where or with whom they please, but I know for a lot of people, cohabitation is a matter of convenience or a test to see if they’ll work it out for the long term but for me, and for the B-Man (I never call him that. Why did I just call him that?) is more just the next step in our big adventure together. It is important to me that the man I move in with … I can’t just move out from. We know that anything can happen but barring any unknowns, starting August 1, we’ll be eternal roomies.

A prospect both terrifying and exhilarating. Mostly exhilarating.

When I studied abroad in Belgium, which, have I even discussed that here? I should. Most of our stories are NSFB (Not Safe For Blogging), let’s just say we were never ever on our best behavior, but there are probably a few tales I could tell. Anyway, while abroad, we had to take a year long Dutch language class, a language which has come in handy exactly zero point zero times since, maybe until now. In Belgium and a lot of European countries, it’s not unusual for couples to live together for years before getting married, if ever getting married, even having children together. The Dutch have a special verb for this “wonen samen”, which translates into a phrase we don’t necessarily have words for in the English language: an unmarried couple living together.

I love that Dutch term and wish we had one similar. This morning while filling out paperwork with a realtor I had to list how many people would be in the apartment, two, and our relationship. “Boyfriend and Girlfriend” sounds trivial. “Partners” makes me think of those very intensely non traditional, liberal, artistic couples who wear a lot of scarves and live together for years but never marry and more power to ‘em, but calling Brian my partner, though he is, just doesn’t sound right for us. Special Roommates? Bed Buddies?

A problem, I know, that would be solved were we doing this the old fashioned “right” way by marrying first, then moving in, which, again, is a totally legitimate decision, if you choose to make it…but not the one that feels right for us. Or for for nearly half of the American population, so I do think we need some new vocab for the situation.

Any suggestions? As seen above, mine are pretty terrible!

Despite this huge number of pre-marital roomateships, many people still frown heavily upon it and we’re lucky that neither of our parents fall into that camp. I think they’d all wish the rings we’re about to share were for fingers, rather than house keys, but are supportive of our decisions, giving the oh-so-parental responses of “wellll, you’re adults and I guess that’s just how things are done these days.”

Indeed!

And so, here we are, gearing up to make this big step together. Before we can actually cohabitate, we’ll need, you know, a habitat.  How’s it going, so far? Not great. We rushed out Sunday morning to make it to an open house…only to learn the landlord thought it was for a different day, and wasn’t able to show. We then rearranged the remainder of our day to meet a broker at 3 PM for a few showings…and he blew us off.

So, yeah, things are off to a bang up start over here. But I remain optimistic. My anxiety is on hyperdrive and my fingernails are chewed to nil, already, but I’m optimistic.

And how could I not be? In just over a month, I’m going to get to wake up next to this face every day.

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Barf times one million, but I can’t help myself! I’m pumped. There are practical things that excite me about living together – no more lugging overnight bags to each others’ apartments, no more having to pack multiple lunches for days I won’t be at home to cook or having to split up Saturday mornings to run home and grab that one thing I need before meeting back up again for the day, more cooking for two. So mostly food and fashion related. What else would I care about?

But on the non-practical, overwhelmingly emotional side, I’m just very happy at the thought of sharing and building a home together. Waking up next to each other every morning and then going to sleep together at night. Coming home late nights to each other, cooking together, making decisions as a team.

Barf times one million and two.

Despite a cynical streak a mile wide, it turns out, I’m really kind of a hopeless romantic.

That said, I’m still a little nervous. Er, a lot nervous. I know we’ll have new things to fight about and challenges we never even could have imagined. If anyone out there has any tips on successful cohabitation, I’d LOVE to hear them. Specifically in regards to taking on joint finances when one of you is a responsible, practical math nerd and the other is a fiscal trainwreck with mountains of debt and a penchant for blowing all of their earnings on nail polish and organic nutbutters.

$10 (worth of nail polish) to the first person to correctly guess which one of us is which.

It’s going to be an adventure, without a doubt, but I think it will be a great one.

Now we just need a home to shack up in. Ack!

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A Series of Awkward Auditions

Ok are we sick of post-Oscars coverage yet? Usually I could spend weeeeeks just devouring party pictures and detailed articles about handbag sequin application but this year I’m already feeling exhausted. Somehow, deserved or not, Sunday’s ceremony has spawned endless, lengthy diatribes about misogyny and racism and whether or not it breaks comedy rules to apologize for a joke, even if that “joke” involved calling a 9-year-old (the world’s most awesome 9-year-old) a see-you-next-Tuesday. And while yes, we probably do need to be having these conversations, sometimes, internet, maybe we could NOT have conversations and just look at pictures of pretty poofy party princess people?

I’ve resorted to alliteration to attempt to express just how over it I truly am. I might need to stop reading Jezebel.

Well! Now that I’ve gone on an angry rant about angry rants, allow me to turn the conversation to the joys of the Academy Awards, way back in the days of yore when I was but a sweet young thang, dreaming about the future. In my youth, whenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I always answered that I wanted to be an Academy Award-Winning Actress. Not just actress. Academy Award-Winning Actress. Those first three words were most important. This was my dream career until I was about … 16. I didn’t do any plays or musicals or acting of any kind, because that was clearly unnecessary. I did, however, read an unhealthy amount of People Magazine. My goal never really had much to do with acting. It was all about fame.

Ohhhh how much I’ve changed!

I did, however, make a few pathetic attempts to get my foot in the door of that whole acting game. I knew that winning an Oscar was going to take some work. I ain’t stupid. In 9th Grade I tried out for our high school’s Spring Musical: Oliver! The ! is part of the name, just like that stupid band Fun. that I love/hate. But in this instance I was really excited to tell you about Oliver! so the ! is relevant. (Wasn’t that sentence impossible to read? Oh Fun.! I love your catchy medleys but why must you punctuate?) I actually don’t remember very much about this audition except that I was too tall to be one of the urchins, too terrible at singing to even be in the chorus and had a hard time keeping up with any of the dance steps.

Needless to say: I did not make the cast.

A pal of mine also did not make the list, so we came up with the genius idea to write our own musical that we could star in. It was a story about…wait for it…two awesome girls who try out for a musical and don’t make it so they write their own musical…and star in it. Art drawn from life is always the most meaningful, no? We were in this photography class and we used our dark room time to compose our big musical number, which went like this:

We’re writing our very own musical,

we hope you enjoy the show.

So sit back, relax, and take off your hats,

Cuz you’re gonna like it we know!

At the third line we’d do this super cool move where we sort of dipped, like we were sitting down in a chair, and then took off our imaginary hats with a flourish.

Aaaaand that was it. The entire musical. AMAZING. Geniuses. We gave up after four lines, despite our obvious talent. A loss for the world of culture, to be sure.

But, after failing in 9th Grade, did I quit? Well, yes, I did just admit I abandoned my original musical project, so I guess I was a quitter in certain areas of life, but I did not quit auditioning. Yet. The following year our school did a production of The Wizard of Oz, everyone’s favorite musical production starring midgets. I knew I lacked the talent to be Dorothy, or the Tin Man or either of the Witches or really any character whatsoever BUT I saw a way for me to get up on that stage. I would be a flying monkey! I could achieve stardom and attain the power to fly at the same time, killing the two proverbial birds with one star-making stone.

I imagined myself wearing a cute, fluffy outfit with one of those little fez caps, whizzing through the air on invisible strings, like Mary Martin in Peter Pan. Oh, how the audience would LOVE me! Unfortunately our musical theater suffered from a small budget and, perhaps a too large amount of creative vision, so our director decided that instead of flying from harnesses, our monkeys would skate around on rollerblades and convey flight via death-defying sk8r stunts.

Was I a talented roller blader? Um, no. In fact, I find roller blading terrifying. I don’t like that you have to lean backwards to break and can’t just put your foot down when you start going too fast. Yes, I am afraid of roller blading. I actually had that listed as one of my five personal facts on my OK Cupid profile. Another was that I don’t know how fax machines work. It’s really weird how that site never really worked out for me, huh? ANYWAY, I did not let this fear stop me. A friend and I foolishly assumed that no one else would really try out for this dumb role, surely the cool skater dudes were much too busy shopping for Vans and listening to Sublime and such to try out for a school musical. They’d be forced to cast us in these prime roles purely out of desperation!

We were mistaken. When we showed up to auditions that fateful afternoon the auditorium was filled, filled!, with skater boiz. Wall to wall, there they were, with their wallet chains and their wide leg pants and their regulation cool guy blades and there we were with our neon pink roller blades rescued from elementary school. Bonus to being an early developing, oversized child monster: shoes you fit into at age 9 still fit when you’re 16!

The audition was simple. Start at the top of the main auditorium aisle, skate down the slight incline and when you reach the bottom, do a trick! Some boys did flips. Some jumped all the way up on to the stage. NONE of them were wearing their wrist guards. Did their mothers not lecture the on the dangers of roller blading? My friend and I contemplated just running for the hills, but we’d come too far to quit. Our names were on the sign up sheet! We would try out for this musical, and we would look great doing it.

We decided to do the audition together. We lined up at the top of the auditorium, skated warily down the aisle, and when we reached the bottom of the incline we did not jump or flip or leap up on the stage. We just slowly turned and skated out of the auditorium, and out of the school and never looked back.

I know this is going to come as a surprise to you but we were not cast as flying monkeys in that or any other musical performance. Probably for the best. If my memory serves, one of the monkey skaters broke his leg on stage on opening night. Ouch. I did help with set design that year which, so at least I got in one solid season of being a Theater Kid.

And thus, my acting dreams ended. I still secretly want to win an Academy Award, but now instead of for acting, it is for the revolutionary and amazing romantic comedy I always pretend I’m going to write. If it is anything like my attempt at musical theater, they will probably have to just cancel the Oscars all together and come up with a whole new award ceremony just for me and my greatness.

I promise I’ll thank you all!

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Unfortch I do not have any photos from these special times, so here is a gratuitous stock photo of the Muppets Wizard of Oz which apparently starred the always great Ashanti in the role of Dorothy Gale. HOW have I never seen this production?!

One Awkward Award

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Because today’s post is a bunch of random nonsense about me, here is a gratuitous photo of Liz Ho: Age 11. 

Hiya! On a Tuesday, what whaaat! As I mentioned last night, I’ve been nominated for for the Liebster Blog Award – for bloggers by bloggers. How rad is that? I’m still not 100% sure of the rules or who this Liebster character is, but from what I gather, this is a way that bloggers can shout out to their fave bloggy friends and share them with their readers. I dig it.

I could make a lengthy acceptance speech but who am I, Jodie Foster?

Burn.

My nominee came through one of my very favorite bloggers, one of my first actual blog friends (!), a great fan of booze and Revenge: http://annmaridal.wordpress.com/. Check it. Love it.You’re welcome!

So here’s what’s up:
When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you. You pass the award onto 11 other blogs, tell them you nominated them, and ask them 11 questions. You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated you.

Makes sense? Makes sense! Let’s do this thang:

11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:
1) I always brush my teeth with a green toothbrush.
2) My first word was bird.
3) I don’t know why. I don’t really care for birds.
4) I hate the smell of original or “unscented” dishsoap.
5) All the technology in the world, and I’m still hung up on how fax machines work. You put a piece of paper into a …phone? And it prints out on the other side of the world? Bananas.
6) Never have I ever: gotten a massage, been in a hot air balloon, gotten a speeding ticket, gone surfing.
7) Two truths and a lie: I hate feet. I have two tattoos. I love tuna salad.
8) I have my belly button pierced. It is really dumb and not nearly as cute as it was when I was an 18-year-old slimster, but I don’t want to take it out. It’s become a part of me. Weird.
9) I have never seen Napoleon Dynamite.
10) I think Mary Kate is the more interesting Olsen, but at the end of the day, Ashley’s probably the one I would more enjoy hanging out with.
11) As dumb as these answers are, I secretly (not secretly) love filling out personality surveys. Unsurprising, I KNOW.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1) Who, of all people in this world, would be your ideal dinner date at Red Lobster on a rainy Wednesday evening?
Oh! Another fun fact: I have never been to Red Lobster! Crazy, right? But I’d still take Tina Fey on a dinner date there, rain OR shine.

2) Apples or pears?
Apples. I find it’s tough to tell when pears are ripe. Is that just me?

3) What is your favorite book?
OMG you are talking to the wrong gal here, way too many to list. Off the top of my head: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, anything Ann Patchett, Random Family by Adrien Nicole LeBlanc, Bossypants (obvz), To Kill a Mockingbird, Harriet the Spy…I could go on for days.

4) What’s the thing you consider yourself a “number one fan” of?
Cheese.

5) How are your dancing skills?
Elaine.

6) Have you ever been to Canada? What did you like/dislike?
Yes! I went skiing in Mont Tremblant when I was young. I remember it being cold. We went to a movie theater in the little town one night to see Shakespeare in Love and I felt awkward watching the love scenes with my parents. We then went to Quebec City for Winter Carnival and I remember it being gorgeous and freezing with incredible architecture and ice sculptures. There was a dogsled race through the middle of town. Later in life my sis & I took the train to Montreal – 11 hours. We got very drunk at a karaoke bar where old men brought us roses and we tore down the house with our choreographed rendition of Proud Mary. I was thrown off by how the people looked so American but were speaking French. We got into a lot of sister spats but had an amazing time. Overall, I’d give Canada 4 out of 5 stars and would certainly go back again!

7) Who would you rather be in a movie with; Ryan Gosling, Jon Hamm, Clint Eastwood, Helen Hunt, Lena Dunham or Angelina Jolie? Why?
Jon Hamm. Sex scenes.

8) Is cloning a Neanderthal a good idea? Why/why not?
Um…no. We’ve just come a long way, developmentally, since then, and I feel like if we’re going to clone anyone, let’s clone someone modern. And hot.

9) What is the most awesome TV show ever?
30 Rock! No, Arrested Development. No! Alias. Friday Night Lights! No, Parks & Rec. Freaks & Geeks! Breaking Bad. THE WIRE. I don’t have a very active social life…

10) Would you rather a) ride a horse on the beach while singing “Puff the Magic Dragon” on live TV during the Superbowl halftime or b) drink a six-pack of Pabst in a horse carriage on stage at the Academy Awards?
Ohhhh man. Excellent question. I’d say PBR during the Oscars! I just always wanted to go to the Academy Awards, so if this is my one shot, I’ll take it.

11) What’s the perfect hostess gift?
Wine of course. OR a very nice candle. I know it seems impersonal, but I really enjoy candles. It seems extravagant to splurge on a fancy candle for yourself, but giving one to a friend is a lovely gift. At least for me. Come to my house and give me candles!

And that’s all about me! Fun. Someone seriously please buy me some really nice candles, it would mean a lot. Now onto step two: selecting some nominees of my own! Listed below, in no particular order, are 11 blogs/bloggers who I particularly enjoy and who I think might be up for participating in this silliness. This feels very much like a WordPress chain letter, no? Absolutely no pressure to the nominees to fill out the survey themselves, I mean, I’ll die alone feeling really rejected and unloved, but I’m sure my family will find a way to cope with the grief. Srsly, though, this was mostly just a fun way for me to talk about myself and share some of my faves with my plethora of fans so no hard feelings if you’d rather pass.

Ok, here we go!

NOMINEES, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
Drinking Tips for Teens
Susie Lindau
Home is Where the Warehouse Is
Can I Get Ur Number
Travels and Tea Leaves
Ribbons and Pearls
Leaving the Land of Cotton
Lemonade Jargon
Snotting Black
Brunch for Every Meal
Thoughts of a Lunatic

QUESTIONS FOR NOMINEES:
1. What is your favorite vegetable?
2. If you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?
3. Breasts or thighs? Of a CHICKEN, ya perv.
4. Would you rather have an extra nose in the middle of your forehead OR an ear dangling from the bottom of your chin?
5. Who was your hero when you were a child?
6. Floss: waxed or unwaxed? Mint or unflavored?
7. What is your favorite holiday and why?
8. What is your standard daily breakfast?
9. Who is your favorite political dictator and please give a 700 word, 5 paragraph essay detailing why.
10. What is your favorite boy band and who is your favorite member? (I’m judging this answer.)
11. If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?