Welcome to The Dorkyard, Bitch

In this week’s ‘Holy Shit, I’m Getting Old’ news, apparently the television masterpiece The O.C. premiered ten long years ago, making it a full decade since we first heard the phrase: “Welcome to the O.C, bitch!”

This fact kind of blows my mind. Where does the time go?!

We already know I had a deep, abiding love for all things Newport Beach (fake engagement to Adam Brody, anyone?) and it turns out I’m not alone. The internet is abuzz with tributes to the show, from The Daily Beast to Grantland to HuffPoVulture is even running a full week of O.C. themed coverage. I try not to get too wrapped up in nostalgia, but I can’t help getting caught up in the enthusiasm this time.

You see, this show actually holds a deep and special place in my memories. When The O.C. premiered in the summer of 2003 I was in their prime target audience: I’d just graduated from high school and had nothing but time on my hands and a deep interest in all things teen melodrama. The show aired just enough episodes before school started back up to get viewers hooked and upon arrival at college, it quickly became a sort of ice breaker with the girls on my dorm floor.

“Do you watch The O.C.?” someone shyly asked over getting-to-know-you games in the building lobby.

“Oh I do!” I chimed. “Me too!” said another pal. One of the gals invited us all into her room later that night to watch and et voila: a lifelong friendship was born.

We watched every episode together that year, crowding together on the tiny dorm beds or the floor with the neon pillows and blankets that were de rigeur of collegiate interior decor of the day.  I still maintain that the first half of the first season of The. O.C.  is one of the greatest pieces of art ever created. The rest of Season One and some of Season Two are still top notch, before shit really got cray (RIP Marissa!!) but oh, the beginning of that first season, before Oliver came onto the scene, and life was all bagels and Chrismukkah and Captain Oats and Ryan/Marissa sexual tension, damn, you guys, that was some great TV. And not even ‘guilty pleasure’ watching, either. Just solid, humorous, dramatic, just soapy enough, good TV. 

And whether it was trash or gold, it was a cornerstone of my friendship with my very first college girlfriends, a group which collectively came to be known as “The Dorkyard.” Because, you guessed it, we were dorks. And prouddd of it. We were a group of A+ goodie two shoes who all voluntarily lived in the substance free dorms freshman year. We spent most of our weekend nights watching corny TV movies, eating junk food, going to the movies or Barnes & Noble together and loved every second of it. Time has passed and a lot of us have grown up, changed and moved on but I still hold these women in a special place in my heart and consider our years together in The Dorkyard to be some of the most formative and important in my life.

And The O.C. was there through it all.

Allow me to visually illustrate my story here.

After Freshman Year we all parted ways for the summer and came back the following September equally excited to see one another…and the new Season of The. O.C. To celebrate the premier of Season 2 we had a themed viewing party…complete with costumes and virgin cocktails because, well, we’re the weirdest.


Here we are in all of our glory. Clockwise from top left we have Summer Roberts, Kirsten Cohen (me in my blonde days! woof!), Marissa Cooper, Julie Cooper and Anna Stern. You’ll note that we’re missing some very key characters, namely Seth and Sandy Cohen and Ryan Atwood but, well, it’s just not that easy to convince boys to dress up like O.C. characters. Or so I’ll have to assume. I’m sure it doesn’t take a detective to realize that we didn’t really hang out with a lot of boys at this period in our lives.

Who need’s ’em! Let’s look at more pictures!


Here we have frenemies Kirsten Cohen and deliciously evil Julie Cooper snarking it up. That drink in my hand is a foreshadowing of Kirsten’s upcoming alcoholic spiral, one of the show’s low points. Kirsten Cohen will forever be my role model and life hero. I love that women. That said, huge soft spot for old Julie Coops, too. Bad girls are so much more fun.

I just had a memory! I went to an LGBT support meeting in college one time and we all had to go around the room and say our favorite quote from a book or movie or TV and ALL I could think of was a recent episode of The O.C. when Julie seduced Marissa’s ex boyfriend Luke and she shows up at his door and says, really dramatically: “Luke, this is a booty call.” And so I said that as my favorite quote. WHY! I don’t even remember why I thought that was funny AT ALL, I just did. And everyone looked at me like, why are you the weirdest person ON EARTH and proceeded to rattle off inspirational nonsense from like, Shakespeare and Toni Morrison and Shawshank Redemption and all I can come up with is some weird quote about booty calls from a teenage soap opera. Whyyyyyyy!

I never went to another meeting of that club again. I could have made such huge inroads in gay rights by now but I was too embarrassed by how weird I’d been and quit the club. Whomp.

Never not losing the point of the story, am I?

Moving along…


Romantic rivals Summer and Anna. Who will Seth Cohen pick? The comic book cutie or the unattainable girl of his dreams?!


And ONCE AGAIN, Marissa Cooper is passed out drunk on the lawn. Will Ryan come to her rescue? Will she finally get her act together and lay off the sauce? Or will she continue on a path of bad decisions (both chemical and romantic), shoot her boyfriend’s ex-con brother and eventually die in a fiery car crash, hunky Ryan sobbing over her dead body, while ‘Hallelujah’ plays in the background?

Ummmmm spoiler alert:

Oh what a show.

Yes, it ran wildly off the rails and do not get me started on the whole final season where Summer is like, a trustafarian wierdo at Brown and Ryan’s in a coma and hallucinating  and what have you, but those first few years, dang they were something special. As were the nights with my college pals -whether we were snuggled up in bed or prancing around dressed as our favorite characters. Memories of the two are linked in my mind as some of the best days of my life.

Did you nerds watch The O.C.? Or do you have any shows/movies/books/albums/etc that are inexorably linked with a particular time and place in your life? I’m always so fascinated by that sort of multi-pronged sensory memory, how for me, hearing a certain Joseph Arthur song (oh those hip soundtracks) or or the word Tijuana (“It’s ‘tia-huannnnna,’ mom, god you are so white”) can ship me right back to the early days of college, to the Dorkyard. I’d love to hear what works that way for you!

Aaaand thus concludes my contribution to The O.C.: Ten Years Later archives and, unsurprisingly, it turned out to be a lot less about the show than it was about ME. Shows may come and go but some things never change.

California, here we come!

Another Awkward Week [3.22.13]

Helllooooo my friends and Happy Spring! I mean, yes it snowed yesterday and is was sub-freezing when I woke up this morning and I still maintain that March is the ficklest of all bitches, but you know what: it’s Friday, the sun is shining, I’m sipping a delicious glass of Emergen-C and life is pretty good. I’ll take it.

But good of course does not mean smooth and normal so why don’t we take a look at what was keeping it awkward this week:

This Shopping Basket:

shopping basket

See how you can see the sidewalk and the great outdoors in the background? Yeaaaah. Over lunch one day this week I went to the drug store by my office to stock up on some goodz, paid, walked out of the store, back to my office, got into the elevator, spotted my reflection in the mirrored doors, thought One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other and realized I’d carried the shopping basket right out of the store.


Is what I said outloud and a stranger riding up with me replied “yeah, I was wondering what was up with that.”

Uh, thanks buddy!

So then I had to get off at my floor, stand in the elevator bank with my shopping basket and wait for a down elevator so I could ca-reeep back to the store and return the basket.


This Manicure:


Notice anything?

Tuesday night I decided to paint my nails – I did my left hand just fine but then decided I was tired and hungry and I needed my right hand to eat food, so I’d just do the other hand in the morning. Of course I overslept and showed up for work the next day with half a manicure.

It’s the hot new look for spring, you saw it here first!

(I’m wearing Charismatic by Revlon, just in case anyone is curious about my personal style and wants to run right out and buy it. Or Revlon wants to give me some sort of endorsement deal. )

This Whole Thing:

salad dryer

Basically, guys, I’m a genius.

We have either a very smoldery oven or a very sensitive fire alarm or a little of both. Every time we cook or bake anything the alarm goes off, so we have to set up this elaborate system of fans and open windows unless we want the alarm to go off for the entire time we’re cooking. One night this week I was baking some dairy free, sugar free, whole wheat zucchini muffins because I am a holistic domestic goddess, and while they were in the oven I was prepping a salad for dinner. I washed the lettuce and then came up with the brilliant idea to use the fan to dry the leaves, since I broke my salad spinner months ago.

Isn’t this the smartest thing you’ve ever seen?

Don’t worry, there are plates under there, I didn’t just throw my food down on the ground.

Though, the fan was probably blowing all sorts of kitchen dirt all over my fresh, clean lettuce but whatever. I stand by it.


This Shirt:


I went to a St. Patrick’s Day party last weekend and it was basically as classy as you’d imagine. I’ve been really, really good about sticking to my healthy eating plans, while I’m trying to diagnose my gross bowel issues (the latest = no soy, dairy or alcohol, my life is the saddest), but if there is one thing in this world that I am powerless to resist, aside from French onion dip…and peanut M&M’s…and brie cheese…and Diet Coke…and cheese fries…and ok, leave me alone, I know I have gross eating habits and no willpower…but aside from all of those things and many more, the one thing that I MOST can’t resist is buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing. Sweet Mother Mary I LOVE BUFFALO WINGS. It is Pavlovian. Just the smell sets my mouth watering until I’m overcome with a desire to feast upon greasy, spicy wings covered in creamy blue cheese dressing.

Just typing this I’m starting to sweat with desire!

So of course when I walked into the bar on St. Patrick’s Day and a friend ordered a few plates of wings, I had to completely abandon any sort of clean eating plan I was on and dive in headfirst. Was it worth it? HELLZ YEAH.

The thing is, wings are a messy, messy food. I already have a complete inability to eat anything without having it somehow all over my face and body so hand me a buffalo wing and suddenly I am literally covered in sauce. Covered.  My friends find great joy in eating wings with me and then taking photos of the results. Above: a mess all over my shirt. Below, a classic photo from someone’s graduation party:


Have you ever been more turned on in your entire life?

Aaand on that note, I’m out!

What is everyone up to this weekend? It’s a pretty quiet one for me. I have to go to a work event tonight (#ugh) and might meet some girlfriends for breakfast tomorrow but otherwise I’m hoping to be sort of productive and who knows what. I mean, I can’t have wine OR cheese so like, what else is there to do on a weekend?

And don’t say like, ‘go to a museum!” “do a craft!” “write letters to loved ones” because I KNOWWWWW there are things in life that are “fun” but don’t involve booze and dairy products but are they “fun,” really? Really? REALLY?

So basically, I’m asking you all for a favor: please spend the weekend heavily imbibing on delicious adult beverages and grilled cheese. Maybe dip your grilled cheese into your wine instead of tomato soup?

Think about it! Could be good!

Just try it, for me?

Happy weekend!

xoxo Liz Ho


You’re Welcome, America!

Hi! Are you watching the Oscars? I won’t post this until Monday morning so technically The Oscars were already last night and so by “are you watching” I mean “did you watch” but whatever, this isn’t English class. Because I’m typing this Live! and In The Moment! I don’t know how this ish goes down. I don’t know who wins, who loses, who cries, who gives a long and overwrought acceptance speech, though my ca$h monie$ are on Anne Hathaway for that one, ugh. I don’t know who gets snubbed, which presenters have the most embarrassing scripted banter and which flub their lines.

All I know is this: In the opening awkward-bad-joke-cringefest monologue, American Treasure Channing Matthew Tatum took to the stage to dance and did not show even a whisper of torso. A flash of bum. A single inch of his beautifully chiseled, extraordinarily limber bod. You wouldn’t ask a bird not to fly, would you? Or a fish not to swim? Why, then, why would you put Magic Mike on a stage and NOT ask him to hump the floor?

Give the people what they came for, Oscar.

Don’t worry, America. I’ve got you covered:

And the Oscar for Best Blog goes to: me!

This is just a short little Monday Funsie, so come back Wednesday when I’ll be sharing a few special memories of my own attempts to become a famous, award-winning actress. Spoiler alert: the story involves original musical numbers, monkeys and roller blades. Not to be missed. I’m sorry I’m such a tease, but just look at Channing again, doesn’t that just make your week?

I’m also VERY sorry I said “Monday Funsie” and promise never to say that ever again. WHAT is wrong with me?

xoxo  Liz

PS. Stayed awake long enough to see the supporting actress awards and I should have put actual ca$h on my insufferable speech predix. I know I’m a real hater but shut up, Ann.

PSS. Who was your best dressed?!? I’m still combing through the pics but so far I’m digging Jessica Chastain, Naomi Watts & oddly enough, Clooney’s gf Stacy Kiebler. Did anyone else think the fashion was a bit snoozy this year?

Lemon Out!

I come to you with heavy heart today, my friends. Tomorrow night marks the end of an era. At exactly 8 PM Eastern Standard Time tomorrow, January 31st, 30 Rock will light up our television screens for the very last time after six glorious seasons of laughter and joy and friendship and ham.

Here’s how I’m coping:


I’ve had “30 Rock Finale” followed by three frowny faces written on my calendar for months and am celemourning (which is a new word I just made up when you celebrate something sad. Copyright!) by hosting a Liz Lemon Party, and you know what they say:

I’ll be in costume as my fave gal (pictures on Friday, I promise!) and I’ve tried to convince others to come decked out as well. We’ll dine upon Night Cheese, Sabor de Soledad and sandwiches. Someone will shotgun a pizza. White wine will be served for the Lemons among us, whiskey for the Donaghy’s. It is going to be epic…ally nerdy. Just like La Lemon herself.

Much has been written about Liz Lemon as a character – is she a realistic portrayal of a modern woman? Is she a feminist? Is she hot? – but I won’t get into that. For me, Liz Lemon, and by extension her creator Tina Fey, was just great. Plain and simple. Bananas as she was, from the moment Jack Donaghy correctly identified her “type” in the pilot episode, I knew this was my kinda gal:

I had big plans to put together my own lengthy retrospective on 30 Rock and what it means to me and how it has shaped the landscape of the future and women and can we have it all and blergh! But no one cares about that. We just want to laugh!

And so, in lieu of my own tribute, I thought I’d share some of my fave links from around the web that other more industrious writers and editors put together to honor the departure of The Greatest Show Of Our Time. Enjoy!

Vulture’s 30 Rock Glossary 

Vulture’s Illustrated History of Jenna Maroney & Mickey Rourke’s Sex Life 


Shit Liz Lemon Says video at NBC.com (image via)

Salon’s List of The Best 30 Rock Episodes

(Do you agree???)

Liz Lemon’s Top 15 Tips for Better Eating via Endless Simmer 

The Best of Jack Donaghy via YouTube

Annnd that should be enough to keep us all busy for the next two days. So, let’s talk! There’s no need for any of us to face this impending loss alone. What are your favorite 30 Rock episodes/moments? Do you think you’ll cry tomorrow? Are you happy Liz is finally adopting? Favorite characters? Do you prefer sandwiches or pizza? CAN WE HAVE IT ALL???

Lemon Out!

New Year, Same Everything

2013 is 16 days old and I suppose big changes are ahead but, for now, this new year’s lookin’ a lot like the old one. Here are  6 key facts that don’t seem to have changed since we flipped our calendars.

alarm clock

 1. It is important to remember to set your alarm if you don’t want to oversleep for work, like I did this morning, whoopsicle!


2. Bagels & Cream Cheese > Oatmeal, no matter how many g-dang “fun” toppings you put on it


3. Caffeine sho ain’t easy to quit.

4. Tina Fey & Amy Poehler are American Treasures.

lady edith

5. It really sucks to be Lady Edith. (image via

Hurry & catch up on Downton Abbey at Netflix or PBS.com!


6. Wine makes everything at least 47% better. 

And, as always, I’d rather be just about anywhere other than my desk right now! Have a delightful Wednesday, my fine friends. Wake me when it’s time for Happy Hour!


xo Liz Ho

We Need To Talk About Les Mis Part II: I Heard The People Sing, And It Was Glorious!

Film critics have been mixed on Les Miserables, with some considering it overwrought or over cinematized or something else involving big technical words I don’t really know, and others appreciating it for all of its messy melodrama. But we’ve yet to read the one criticism that really matters: mine. Does this girl look like she gives a hoot about directorial choices or film stylings?


No, no she does not. (She also doesn’t look like she’s washed her hair or effectively removed last night’s eye makeup. What a babe.)

I’m not a film critic or a film buff by any stretch of the imagination, my two favorite films are Mean Girls and A Muppets Christmas Carol, so I don’t judge by any critical standards, but always by how a movie makes me feel when it is over. And Les Mis made me feel like this:


Which is to say: I loved it. I started crying about 12 minutes in, during “Valjean’s Soliloquy” (“He told me that I had a soul. How did he know?”) and pretty much didn’t stop until the film was over. The big group numbers were visually and musically stunning, especially “Look Down” and “Do You Hear the People Sing,” which weave all over Paris, and the real stunner songs, “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “On My Own” straight delivered. Even my enemy Anne melted my icy heart. Homegirl can sing. Someone who did not melt my icy heart was Russell Crowe. He’s getting some nice reviews from critics about his performance but I thought his singing voice lacked the gravitas I expect from my beloved Javert and he just didn’t bring the nuance of that character. But I’m a tough judge. The movie is filmed as a series of set pieces, I would imagine as an homage to the stage version, if I were the type of person to use the word “homage,” so it never really looked like real France – the Bishop’s hilltop monastery looked a lot like Middle Earth and I am pretty sure they filmed all of the barricade/Paris revolution scenes on the Diagon Alley set from the Harry Potter films, but I was really too busy paying attention to the singing and the acting and the EMOTING and the drama and the sexy, sexy schoolboys in their vests to really give much thought to what was going on around them.

SO! Now if you haven’t seen the film, rush off to your local movie theater immediately! I really don’t understand what you’re waiting for. Then come back here and dish with me – I’d truly love to hear what everyone else thinks!

If you HAVE already seen the film, please stick around, I have a few detailed, spoilery notes below.

Ok, first things first, how hot was Enjolras? My love for that character is well documented, but I was unfamiliar with the actor playing him. Apparently he’s a big theater heartthrob. One of my crazy cousins is a huge Broadway fan and told me at family Christmas she’d “like to be a cougar for Aaron Tveit” so I was well prepared to be throwing my undies at the movie screen and hoo boy, he did not disappoint. So passionate, so principled, such hair!


Wouldn’t our children just have the wildest curly mops?

All of the revolutionaries in this film were just too good looking.I love them all. I also love the slight homoerotic undercurrent that runs through all of the revolutionary scenes. The meaningful glances exchanged! Rawr. Gay or straight, I’m in the throes of developing a serious vest fetish.

normal_LESMISSTILL-008Oh yum.

And speaking of yum, Buzzfeed ran this great article last week wherein they praised Russell Crowe’s Val Jean as a truly hot JVJ, a VILF: a ValJean I’d LIke to Fuck. They were right.Hugh is almost almost distractingly good looking. I actually feel like this was a whole movie of fellas I’d like to F, with the exception of dumb Javert, which is so disappointing, considering my usual strange obsession with him. Though I can’t imagine Javert would be a very talented lover. He’d probably be very gruff and quick and then cry afterwards. Actually, if you really consider it, I’d bet all of the fellas in this film are a little too much up in their own business to be very good in bed. Like, hot as he is, you just know Enjolras would yell “Viva le France!” as he finished.

The amount of time I’ve spent thinking about this is slightly disconcerting.

Before we wrap up our talk of Hot Guyz, let’s really quickly discuss Eddie Redmayne. He was SO GOOD! I usually think Marius is such a wimpy doofus, but Ol Freckleface played him so well and he was actually pretty bad ass in the end when he punched Thernardier at the wedding. I can see why Cosette was so smitten with him at first sight. That said, doesn’t he have sort of a funny shaped head?  I think he looks a bit like a thumb puppet. Like, his head is kind of the same size as his neck? He’s a really hot thumb puppet but still:

Untitled presentation

Do you see it? Just a bit! Ohhhhhhhhhh but those big fat tears running down that thumb face while he sang Empty Chairs had me losing my shit. “Oh my friends, my friends!” Weeping.

Well, by that point in the film I’d been crying for about 2.5 hours – I think I reached the peak of my weeping during the fall of the barricade. I GASPED out loud when they shot Gavroche – I knew it was coming but it was so graphic (and he was so cute!!) and then when Javert pinned his war medal on dead Gavroche’s blood stained shirt I emitted such a loud, heaving sob that my mom told me to quiet down. Um, sorry Penn Cinemas, Lancaster, PA. I can’t control myself.

And Oh! Speaking of gasping! How loud did you shriek when you spotted Colm Wilkinson!?! You know you’re a true LM nerd when you immediately recognize the bishop as the legendary CW, the original ValJean. My siblings and I have spent the last week singing all of his songs in our best Colm Wilkonsony, Slightly Scottishy accents,so we mostly end up sounding like Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery on Saturday Night Live. “Your Motha ish 24601, Trebek!”

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, Colm. I nearly died right there in my seat when Colm as the Bishop started singing, imagining him handing the torch over to Hugh Jackman and was a full on blubbering mess by the end, when ValJean walked off to heaven to the tune of Do You Hear the People Sing and there was Colm in the doorway, lit up by the light of a thousand candles, looking like Christ himself. Was it heavy handed and melodramatic and ridiculous? DUH. But isn’t that why we love Les Mis so much?

Another thing I loved at the finale was how they just had Fantine come sing to ValJean on his deathbed, well, death rocking chair, instead of having Eponine tag along. I never understood why she was there. She didn’t even know Jean. I was so thrilled to see her at the end, atop the barricade surrounded by all of the students who were now literally dead sexy.

Ba dum bum!

Ok, quickly let’s talk favorite/least favorites: I thought Hugh was an amazing ValJean. He couldn’t quite hit the notes on some of the bigger songs,“Bring Him Home” in particular had me cringing just a bit, but he acted the shit out of that part and perfectly portrayed the conflicted soul that is Val Jean. He has such soulful eyes, that one. VILF! And “Dreamed a Dream,” I can’t fight it, was incredible. A hat tip to you, bald Anne. And Samantha Barks was goooooood as Eponine, which was expected, having played the part before, though everyone knows that Joey Potter sings the ultimate “On My Own.” Also, while I’m thinking of it, she has kind of a weird body shape. I shouldn’t say that about another woman. I’ll rephrase – she has a teensy, tinsy waist, like, Disney heroine tiny, and really lovely shoulders, but however they had her costumed made her look really out of proportion with her waist the size of her arms. She’s gorgeous and I’ve seen her in non urchin apparel, so I know she has a rocking bod, but whatever they were doing with the costuming was weirddddd. But “Little Fall of Rain!” Swoon/weep/swoon. Oh, Ponine, HJNTITY: He’s Just Not That Into You.

Ah, I keep getting distracted and just writing down every song from the film. So here goes, a quick Best Worst:

Best Actor: Anne Hathaway as Fantine. YES I SAID IT.

Worst Actor: Do I even have to spell this out? Russell Crowe. Blech.

Best Song -Solo: “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.” I loved this version!

Worst Song – Solo: Again, obvi, “Stars.” My favorite song from the musical as growled by a lackluster Russell Crowe standing in front of a cheesy Paris landscape. Just jump already, you’re harshing my mellow!

Best Song – Group: “Do You Hear the People Sing” Big booming vocals + hot studs waving French flags = slam dunk.

Worst Song – Group: Just because I have to pick one, I’ll go with “Master of the House.” Just eh. But still good! I’m only picking because I have to. I make the blog rules, I must stick by them.

Best Face: Amanda Seyfried. And a good voice, too! Cosette is boring, but she sure is pretty.

Best Hair: Duh! Enjolras!

Best Dressed: Madame Thenardier. Love me some HBC!

Worst Hair: Fantine’s Prostitute Colleagues. I know times are tough, but get some hair brushes, gals. Even Fantine’s disaster of a crop is better than some of these ladies do’s.

Most Glorious Death: Enjolras, upside down out the window, clutching the red flag. Viva le France – get in my pants!

Least Glorious Death: Javert. And not just because his Suicide song was lackluster – because the horrific “thud” as his body hit the river was one of the more sickening sounds I’ve heard this year.

Best Overall: The whole movie, minus Javert.

Worst Overall: JAVERT! My heart is stone and did NOT tremble for your performance. Woof.

What did you think? Did you love it? Hate it? What had you in tears? Which schoolboy had the best vest? Tell me EVERYTHING!

xo Liz