Jul 21, 2011

Everyone likes... BUTTS?

I know, right?

But look! I have the views to prove it:

Disregarding the time I tagged semi-famous people in Facebook photos and linked them to my blog, "Butts" is my most popular post ever. This is obviously a subtle hint at the big break that will one day make me internet-famous! *sarcasm hand* I need to use more shocking, mildly disturbing post titles.

Suggestions, anyone?

Bonus points if you can create a sensational title or headline using one of the following words/phrases!
  • Pineapple
  • Skadoosh
  • Skittles (who doesn't love skittles?)
  • Funkydiscombooblegum
  • Thumb wars
  • "How to destroy the perfect _____________"
  • O.C.S.A.Y.D.
  • Sleepophone
  • Pocket Lint
  • Angry potatoes

In other news...

Am I really that dull?
My blog stats have told me something. (I'm a stat-whisperer; it's like speaking Parseltongue but with more binary.) People frolic happily across my blog only to leave when they find my repulsively boring "About" page. I've got to do something about that — what do you guys want to know about me? (Nothing too stalkerish, kay? Kay.)

About those crazy things I draw:
FAQ has a NEW entry! (Where "NEW" is defined as "more recent than my last fossil of a post.") I'd like to introduce you all to the FAQmonster. He smells of ignorance and curiosity and has a body the texture of cornstarch mixed with pancake syrup. Please feed him, preferably before he eats any of my more questionable (see what I did there?) post drafts.

This is eerily appropriate...
The winning post idea on my reader's poll was "A History of Procrastination." Meanwhile, I disappeared for over three weeks. Haven't blogged; haven't read blogs; haven't commented on blogs. Mostly this was because I felt guilty about not posting on mine and it snowballed and now Google Reader has 579 647 678 unread items. But wait — I have excuses!
  1. I started work. (My summer job involves getting exercise, presents and a major sock tan. JEALOUS, right?)
  2. I became hopelessly addicted to Google+.
  3. I got my driver's license! STAY OFF THE ROADS! Just kidding; I don't have a car! My parents went out of town and left me one for the week? WHAT? Ohmygosh. I can go anywhere! Run errands! Drive to work even though biking is faster! What should I do? o.O [Car remains parked in street, doing nothing.]
  4. I'm a chronic procrastinator; deal with it.
I'm going to spend the next couple days reading blogs, keeping up with comments and stalking my readers and fellow bloggers on Google+. Then I'll get started on that historical procrastination anecdote. I can't promise it will be the next thing I post, but I will be working on it.

Don't forget to send me post titles! The crazier the better — I might write a whole post as an excuse to use it!

Jun 25, 2011

Of HTML and Blogger: Here Be Dragons.

The legendary dragon Bloggogg (Blogger) and his minions Facebook, Twitter and AddThis
The legendary Bloggogg and his devil-spawn

My experience with HTML is extremely limited. I like to figure things out, but this is my blog and it's mine and it's wonderful (to me) and I'M TERRIFIED OF MESSING IT UP REALLY BAD. I swear I've backed up my blog template a platypillion times.

Also, getting something to almost work drives me up a spider-covered volcano of incapacitating OCD-like frustration. I will work on it for days instead of writing new posts... (hem hem) and then I get behind and don't post anything for a week. Sorry. D=

But such was the process of trying to add sharing and Facebook "like" buttons to my blog.

Before I started this blog, my only knowledge of HTML was from grade 7 computers class when we created our own webpages and published them on the school's intranet. Mine looked like this... only worse, because instead of a cartoon the picture was a grainy scan of my student ID card.

Home     About Me     Links     Here I wrote something about myself. It doesn't really matter what, because it was almost wholly illegible. It had random bold and italics in order to prove I knew how to do them and the text was centered because our teacher said it looked better that way.

Our teacher was wrong. Large paragraphs of centered text ooze of visual barf and eye-seizures. They're slightly worse than using two spaces after periods, but not quite as bad as publishing in a monospaced font like Courier New.

But I digress.

I discovered AddThis last week and wanted to add its fancy buttons to all my posts... so people could like them and share them and stalk them. *cough* But AddThis didn't want to co-operate and Blogger made things difficult.

Working with HTML was as bad as trying to edit an essay written in another language... but without the help of using Google translate.

I finally got everything to work. I may or may not have stayed up until 4 am.

There are two things I'm getting at here...


If you have a Blogger blog, want to do something like what I did (or anything seen on this blog actually) and happen to think I could be helpful for whatever crazy reason...

Go ahead and ask! I like helping! Also, emails make me happy.

Knight in Shining Armour fighting the fire-breathing Blogger dragon, Bloggogg the Legendary.
I did this so you don't have to. I'm a hero!


See those ohh-so-shiny Facebook/Twitter/SiteThingy buttons? The colourful ones that sit tantalizingly at the top and bottom of every post? The ones that I spent HOURS and HOURS fiddling with to make sure they worked perfectly? Yeah.

A lot of keyboard sweat and eyestrain tears went into those and it would suck bagels if they all just sat there.

Click them. Please?

Jun 14, 2011

This is my brain on FAILURE.

The following events happened on Friday May 13th, but I have no need of bad luck. Nope... everything here can be properly accredited to my own stupidity.

One sunny Friday last month I decided to install new fenders on my bike. All I had to do was unscrew the broken parts and put on new ones. What could go wrong? I found a wrench and screwdriver and set to work.

Four bolts, two screws, three washers and four nuts later, the last screw remained completely blocked by the back wheel.

A glass of lemonade, two nuts, three washers and a kickstand later, the back wheel was still trapped inside the brakes.

After wrestling the back wheel out from the chain I took the front wheel off too. This made sense at the time, I'm sure....

As I stopped to look around me I realized that my plan to keep track of parts as I took them off had FALLEN TO PIECES (hurr hurr). Pieces of bicycle were strewn all about the lawn. Washers and nuts were scattered throughout a forest of grass blades. The chain had snotted grit-filled grease all over my hands and to top it all off, somehow the last of my lemonade had tipped over.

I no longer knew which parts went where and I began to panic. My brain went into overdrive to try and sort through the kaleidoscope of pieces. Bike? What bike?

This is practically a genuine scientific drawing. Of my brain. Yep.

Dejected, I plopped myself down on the grass to collect myself and contemplate my failure.

Becky, the wife and mother of two who lives upstairs from my apartment, passed through the backyard and saw me sitting in the grass amidst my frustrating dismantled heap of a bike.

"Ellen, you're so handy!" she said.

I died a little inside.

I'm sure Becky thought my small mountain of dismembered-bicycle chaos was somehow impeccably organized inside my brain. I knew otherwise, and the cosmic void separating her perception and my reality was depressing.

I wish.

After a long break I finally got down to business to defeat the huns put my bike back together. I still had a whole pile of leftover hardware, but somehow I managed to reattach all the important parts into something resembling a bicycle.

Boy, was I proud of myself! I felt capable, even self-congratulatory.

This was a mistake. [Obligatory hat-tip to Hyperbole and a Half]

Now feeling like the self-appointed master of all things cycling, I decided that just putting the bike together wasn't enough. No, I had to fine-tune this beast into a [Tow Mater voice:] precision instrument of speed and aromatics!

The first thing to do was to loosen up my seized brakes. What could I use to lubricate them? I ransacked the garage and found a can of WD-40. Yay! That stuff is supposed to work on everything from evil zippers to spastic lawnmowers, right?

After squeezing some WD-40 around the joints I tested out the brake arms. I didn't notice much improvement... that was weird. So I added more, but the brakes acted like they were trapped in a slow-motion freeze-ray. When I finally couldn't move them at all, pebbles of doubt began to ripple through my mind.

I was the sorcerer of all things cyclic and surely my bike was the problem... but I decided to look it up anyway.


The following is a list of things that did not happen:

  • I didn't die
  • I didn't damage my bike... permanently
  • I didn't try to ride my WD-40-soiled bike and get pitched off of a cliff
  • I didn't take the can of WD-40 and actually... no. Just no.

So really, it could have been worse. And I DID fix my bike... eventually.

Shoosh yeah!!!

All Songs Light and Musical

The change in background today is in honor of Owl City's new and long-awaited album, All Things Bright And Beautiful.

I have been waiting for this for MONTHS. And the release date got bumped back like a kajillimillion times and I was like ARGHWHYWHYWHY but then I was patient and now it's finally here!


I'm not normally like this about music releases, honest. But then I'm not usually inclined to celebrity crushes either. UM.

Exceptions, exceptions...

Sorry for the crazy, guys — I'll make it up to you and post a real entry soon about bicycles and failure. It has like SIX pictures! (Maybe ten, it depends how you count.) Yay!

Jun 9, 2011

Taking Photos of Butts is Probably Illegal or Something

Especially a stranger's butt. I'm fairly sure that even considering it certifies me as a Grade A Creeper. (Do I get a badge for that?)

Tuesday evening I was minding my own business and heading home on city transit. We stopped at a station like any other, the doors opened, the doors closed, nothing was out of the ordinary.

Nothing, that is, until I became the unwilling bench-mate of this wardrobe-malfunctioning peacock.

Due to technical difficulty this image is an artist's rendition only.

I hold all pant owners who decline to cover their underwear in the highest disregard, but this degree of failure is a rare breed. Firstly, all his other clothing was neutrally-coloured. If the one splash of colour had been anything but underwear, I would have admired his sense of style. What ran through my mind instead was this:

Mister, did you PLAN on looking like a baboon when you dressed yourself this morning?

It was bad. I've tried to match the colour as accurately as possible, but something my drawing can't convey is how tight they were. I learned, in a glance, more than I ever wished to know about the thickness of the cloth. The very prominent seams were dangerously strained.

It's the new corset for buttocks! Can your butt even BREATHE?

Naturally, I chose to do what any writer would do after such an experience.

I am so going to blog about this.

Then it occurred to me that rants about the "style" of wearing one's trousers hung halfway to Hades were already way overdone. Hence:

I should take a PICTURE of his butt and blog about it!!!

Oh no.

I'm not sure how human decency allowed that thought into my conscious mind, but the idea stuck. I was determined to somehow get a picture of this butt without the guy noticing.

  • iPod? No good; it only does video and this picture needs to be high-quality.
  • Cell phone? Nope... It plays a recorded duck sound when taking pictures and I can't turn that off.
  • Camera! I still have it in my backpack from earlier today. YES.

I began forming a strategy. While I could probably get away with just holding a camera, taking one out only to point it at someone's butt would surely arouse suspicion. This was my plan:

  1. Inconspicuously obtain camera.
  2. Turn off flash and sound under the guise of looking through previous pictures.
  3. Take pictures of moderately disinteresting things through the train window.
  4. Lower camera and pretend to check settings while aiming at the offending butt.
  5. Hit that shutter button like a ninja!
  6. Check results; repeat if necessary.

With my scheming complete I rummaged through the contents of my backpack, shifting papers as quietly as possible. With each rustle and clatter of pencils I was sure I could feel Mr. Baboon's laser-eyes watching me, prepared to decapitate me with a glance. At last I located my camera. Carefully and casually I slid it up onto my lap.

Mr. Baboon looked directly at me.

I aimed the camera down, avoided all eye contact and deliberately gazed out the window. I held back a powerful urge to whistle.

Mr. Baboon turned away.

I slowly turned back to the camera to adjust its settings. Holding my breath, I discreetly slid the power switch to the "ON" position. Nothing.


Even worse! The train began to slow down for the next stop and Mr. Baboon shifted his weight as if preparing to stand up.

He's going to LEAVE? Noooooo!

Shoving my good pal Secrecy off of the proverbial cliff, I dove for my notebook and threw it open to the first mostly-empty page. My pencil tore over the paper in a mad frenzy as I dashed to finish the obscene doodle as a reference for my future, erm...

"Work of art."

Hey look, it's a moustache!

If you need me I'll be at home, waiting for the Blog Police to show up and permanently revoke my maturity license.

Jun 8, 2011

Secrets of Invisibility

Why hello there everyone!

If you were looking for me, I'm not here... and I'm only here now to tell you to look for me elsewhere. Today I wrote a guest post for Dan Hough, a downright marv'lous Brit who 'as a blog of 'is own, wot!

Er, please excuse the failure of my British blogccent. Back on topic.

For REAL ninjas, invisibility comes naturally.
For everyone else, there's this guide. READ IT OR BE NINJA-ED.

Do you have unusual obsessions? Stick out in a crowd? Wear T-shirts with obscure references? Are you... a geek? You're in luck! I have compiled a comprehensive guide on social camouflage for geeks of all kinds. Read all about the secrets of invisibility on Dan's blog: How to Blend In: A Guide for Geeks!*

I'll be back with a normal post tomorrow... or at least, something as normal as they ever are. =D

*May contain sarcasm, generally useless advice and an appearance by Mr. Bean.

Jun 5, 2011

Marshmallow Insanity

Rice Krispies are the sad pandas of the cereal world. This horribly bland breakfast needs 2% milk and triple portions of sugar just to be palatable.

In Australia and New Zealand they're called Rice Bubbles, which is a much better name. "Rice Bubbles" sounds sad and wimpy, making it far more appropriate. Bubbles are awesome. Rice bubbles are not.

The addition of melted marshmallow decreases mediocrity by about 22 per cent, but I've never been overly fond of them even then. You just can't make a great marshmallow treat without using great ingredients!

I was babysitting for my parents this week, and one afternoon I decided I would make a fancy snack for my younger siblings. My family doesn't make Rice Krispies Squares very often. Instead, we make marshmallow things with Corn Flakes called "Crispy Crunchies." But I wasn't in the mood for Corn Flakes.

Then it came to me: the inspiration to create Marshmallow Insanity:

  • S'mores are awesome.
  • Marshmallow goop is awesome.
  • Shreddies are awesome! (Graham crackers are possibly more awesome, but this was not foremost in my mind.)
  • [UPDATE: So my American friends might not know what Shreddies are; I hear they're like Chex, only better. =P]

There was no freaking way this combination could be not-awesome. So without further ado, I give you:

Marshmallow Insanity in 5.5 epic (if not easy) steps.

Step 1: Acquire Marshmallows.
If you don't have any you'll need to go out and hunt them in the wild. The Western Canadian Marshmallow shares its habitat with gummy bears and skittles. If you live outside of Western Canada, you may need to consult a wildlife guidebook to identify native marshmallow species in your area.

Step 2: Liquefy.
Trap your marshmallows in a large bucket and microwave them until the bucket melts or the microwave explodes, whichever happens first. Make sure to scoop all marshmallow innards off of the microwave and counter-tops/ceiling/floor before proceeding.

Step 2.5: Contaminate
So apparently making marshmallow-type treats is easier if you stir a bunch of melted butter into the marshmallow goo. Who knew? So, uh, you might want to do that. (I didn't.)

Step 3: Hybridize
Stir a bunch of Shreddies cereal and chocolate chips into the molten marshmallow. This is the most dangerous step, so be sure to arm yourself with multiple stirring weapons — erm, utensils. You may want to grease your hands for extra protection against marshmallow goop attacks.

Step 4: Dissect
Grease a muffin pan with butter or oil. Don a surgical mask and gloves to separate the experiment into snowball-sized chunks, squish these into separate compartments in the pan and eat any goobs that refuse to be squished. That last part is totally mandatory. (Remove the surgical mask first.)

Step 5: Escape!
If you're anything like me you will end up looking like the unfortunate victim of a marshmallow suicide pact; free yourself quickly — or they will suck out your brains and you will become... *cue freaky music*



And here's a picture of the Marshmallow Insanity Snacks! They're like S'mores wrapped up in a portable lump of rainbow and awesome.

Jun 2, 2011

Kites Part 1.5: Accidental Awesomeness

I can't believe I COMPLETELY forgot about sharing this until today.

A couple weeks ago I was illustrating my post about a traumatic childhood experience with a kite and I created an accidental Frankenstein of hilarity. It is the funniest thing I have ever unintentionally created and WAY too good not to share. =)

But it didn't fit with the story I was writing at the time. =(

"Nooooooo Ellen!!!! Come Back!"

When I colour my fish-people drawings, I edit all of the pictures for a post in one mammoth image file. (This helps me stay organized and makes it easier to keep colours consistent.) There are several layers for each picture and I just turn them on and off as needed and export them separately when I'm done.

I was working on this set of drawings when I happened to see these two pictures superimposed on each other. The alignment was incredible! I honestly couldn't have drawn this better if I tried.

Plus I'm terrified of heights, so the expression on my face as I appear to be dragged away by the kite is just perfect.

I had to take a break from working because I was laughing so hard. Hopefully I'm not the only one who finds this so incredibly funny... It also reminds me of my all-time favourite Calvin and Hobbes comic, which is (unsurprisingly) also about kites. [UPDATE: The link is working now! Sorriez!]

Can you tell by now that I like kites? I love kites. I have at least two more childhood "Misadventures with Kites" to write about, and I'll post those as parts 2 and 3... eventually. =D

There will be plenty of random stuff in the meantime!

May 31, 2011

The Following People Are Awesome

The title of this post also applies to my shoes and the word defenestration even though they are not people. [Thinks: I should totally give my shoes names...]

ARTIST'S NOTE: The following drawings are each dedicated to the person pictured. And yes, I have combined my own drawing style of fish-people with the style each artist uses to draw themselves.

Allie Brosh
Hyperbole and a Half author

Allie? I made you a trophy! It's for being the funniest person on the interwebz. Can you put it on your fireplace, right next to your "Ability to be Responsible" trophy? Thanks!
P.S. Your blog makes me want to laugh out my spleen. I love you.

Allie Brosh is THE funniest person on the internet. She also proved that blogging stories with weird pictures is awesomesauce. The idea for this blog wouldn't exist without her.

If you have never read Hyperbole and a Half, why are you here wasting time on my blog when hers is 10000000000 times better?

No! Wait! Not like that! I didn't mean for you to... NOOOoooooo!!!! Come baaaaaaaaaacckkkk!!!!


Kat Rosenfield
AKA Auntie Sparknotes

Dear Auntie Sparknotes,
You are amazing at drawing arm-less, hairless, googly-eyed hilarious people. I salute you.
Thanks for answering my letter last year. It still helped me even though the situation catapulted irreversibly downhill.

Auntie Sparknotes is the awesome advice columnist on Sparklife. She is sympathetic, helpful and hilariously funny. She also draws a googly-eyed cartoon for each of her columns, giving about 5% of the inspiration for these blog posts.

Dan Bergstein
He wrote Blogging Twilight

Dan? Dan? Dan? Dan? Dan? I built you this jetpack myself. Do you like it? Please like it! You're not a werewolf in this picture, but I think the beard you used to have puts you halfway there.
I'm sorry. The next picture I draw of you will be more epic, I promise.

Circle one or more choices for each option:
If you [have/have not] read twilight and think it is [amazing/an offense to literature/perfect/great firewood/full of glitter], you should [most definitely/absolutely/certainly] read Dan Bergstein's Blogging Twilight and you will [not have to read the books/laugh uproariously at Dan's genius/die happy]. Then you should read Blogging Harry Potter! (Dan's on book 2 right now.)

And Dan draws epic pictures... Edward's medusa-hair is amazing.

Megan Prietzel
She is a totes awesome Jedi-Ninja

Most Honoured Jedi Master,
I've been reading your blog, stalking your formspring and splurking on your Sparklife posts for months.
Please accept my apologiez, this green lightsaber and my eternal admiration?

If Allie Brosh made me think blogging was awesome, Megan Prietzel made me think it was actually possible. She's funny, she's awesome, she draws pictures, she blogs and she writes for Sparklife (I wish I did). But when I realized she was my age and in school, I was like WOW I CAN TOTALLY DO THIS TOO!!! I will be the next Megan Brosh/Allie Prietzel! (Uh-huh. Riiiight.)

Is a wonderfully marvelous friend ^^

Dearest Dary,
Since I can talk to you In Real Life, why would I write a mini-letter to you here?
...because you were just as important in getting me to actually start this blog as anyone else I've mentioned. =)
♥ That's why.

You see, for a while I had been saying to Daria, "I should start a blog." But then one fateful day she says all casual-like, "You know what? Blog writing can be really fun. ^^" And I was all "Wait WHAT you write a blog?" Turns out she had been writing for a while, and I didn't even know! Now energized, my brain was all "MUST HAVE BLOG NAO" and I created it the next day.

We and some friends used to have blogs in Junior High, but they were blubbering hormonal things. The kind you would only bother reading if it was written by a close friend, the guy you were crushing on, or that other pretty girl who also liked the guy you were crushing on and sat by him in Science and Math. ;)


My Shoes
These ones specifically

Dear shoes,
You are the prettiest and most photogenic shoes I have ever owned! Please last forever.
Dear feet,
If you grow any more YOU WILL BE SORRY.

So one day Dary and I were eating a picnic outside. We also had a camera! (Highly entertaining indeed.) I thought it was a brilliant idea to put the camera on the grass and use the auto-timer to take pictures of my feet and, well, this was the result!

I love this picture, so it will most likely stick around on my blog (in some form) for a very very long time.

Most Awesome Word in the Universe

That's all I really have to say for this one.

If you happen to live in some alternate universe where defenestration is not the most awesome word, you should probably read this and get up to speed.

When I first created my blog it was called "Feet in the Air" because of the picture of my feet and because I couldn't think of anything better. But www.feetintheair.com was taken so I later thought of the Most Amazing Blog Name Ever! It uses my favourite word and it is perfect.

Don't you think so? =P

May 26, 2011

A Potential for Disaster

I want to do things correctly like a responsible, mature person. But sometimes I'm too independent for this.

When other people are working with me I err on the side of doing things right. I am the stickler who insists on double-checking everything. Who reads Monopoly rules front to back and upside-down before rolling the dice. I believe that "when in doubt, Google it" is a great motto to live by if you don't want to look stupid.

But taken too far, it can have some negative results:

Using this method, you can become an irritating know-it-all. Simply don't believe anything anyone tells you! Instead, take a lesson from academia and demand multiple sources to verify all instructions or so-called "facts!" Rejoice in your knowledge as it grows each time you snub your peers!

As an added bonus, when your hard work pays off and you find out someone else screwed up, you get to do this.

You're doing it wrong!!!

These tendencies vaporize if I work alone. This is not because I don't have other people to correct. Instead, it happens because no one else is around to potentially correct me. I am liberated! Uncontrolled! Uninhibited! I can mess up everything and no one would be the wiser!

Reveling in this potential for disaster, I like to show off to myself. I resolve to figure things out on my own WITHOUT help. "It can't be that hard," I say. For me it's a challenge — a mind game to rival a 6×6 Rubik's cube — to see how far I can get before reading instructions.

Sometimes things work out well. I just jump in and try to figure things out as I go. Occasionally the aftermath of screwing up even gives me a burst of genius. Best of all, when I do figure something out on my own I get an inflating feeling of self-satisfied grandeur! It's a wonderful accomplishment.

On the other hand, when things don't work out...

...I usually don't tell anyone.

May 20, 2011

Defenestration: A Beginner's Guide

When I was younger my favourite words were big words. The longer a word was the more I liked it! At eight, my favourite word was antidisestablishmentarianism.

I could even define it.

Later I ditched antidisestablishmentarianism in favour of the slightly longer floccinaucinihilipilification. I feel slightly pathetic now. I just looked it up and realized I've been pronouncing it wrong my whole life.

But my all-time favourite word for years has been defenestration. I've had several people ask me what it means as the name of my blog so... Here! I'll provide you all with this wonderfully witty and rather unhelpful definition:


[dee-fen-uh-strey-shuhn] noun

1. the act of defenestrating a person or object.
2. the Most Awesome Word In The Universe.

If you need more help, the drawing gives a much better explanation. (A picture is worth a thousand words, right? If encyclopedias were full of just pictures they would be SO much shorter.)

Or, yunno... you can be lame and just Google it.

Hierarchy of Awesome Words:
1. Defenestration
6. Quasihemidemisemiquaver (also semihemidemisemiquaver)
9. Franglais (is actually a word!)

I still have a soft spot for hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia even though it's not a real word. Aibohphobia is cool too.

Do you have a contender for Most Awesome Word In The Universe? Bring it!

May 17, 2011

Misadventures With Kites: Part 1

My first experience with a kite shattered my trust in grown-ups.

Parents could solve any problem, clean any mess, and fix any mistake. It was a magical ability you grew into, just like height or wearing adult shoe sizes.

When I was three years old, our family went on a summer outing one day. My parents, baby brother, grandma, and two aunts were there with me, and we had a kite! I was SO excited.

I watched very impatiently as one of the adults helpfully got the kite in the air and began letting out string.

The adults wouldn't trust me with the kite at first. I had just graduated from toddler-hood, but they doubted my incredible kite-flying abilities. If they thought I would be content to watch the kite, they were wrong.

I begged and begged and begged. Finally I succeeded! As the kite handle was passed down to me I received some very firm, important instructions:

"You have to hold on to the kite, okay Ellen? Don't let go."

Gotcha. I was given the kite.

"Remember not to let go!"

I had this. I had the kite! I was a kite-flying wizard. But suddenly the jolting pulls on the kite handle became alarming. The wind was strong that day — what if the kite flew me away?

I expected the kite to fall. When you drop something it falls, right? That was obviously why the adults warned me not to drop the kite: it would fall to the ground and they'd have to get it working all over again.

I dropped it, and the kite did not fall down. It fell sideways.

I yelled for my parents as I watched the handle jerk across the field, hanging from my beloved kite. Relatives ran after it, trying to catch the string before it flew out of reach. As seconds ticked by and still no one had the kite, I became more and more panicked.

Gusting winds blew the kite higher and higher into the air.


I must give credit to my family for the heroic gravity-defying leaps they performed as they tried to retrieve the kite (and my composure). At the time, I could only stare up in horror as the kite rose out of sight.

My utter bewilderment at my parents' inability to retrieve the kite was mind-boggling. A sickening, foreign emotion called guilt emerged as I began to realize I had done something irreparable...

My tiny self cracked. Wholly thanks to me, our family outing was terminated immediately.

The ensuing trip home was miserable because I wanted to go back and get my kite and fly it. Thanks to my incoherent and very vocal distress, it was also miserable for everyone else.

It would be years before I ever flew a kite again.

May 16, 2011


I'm not the most organized person. I misplace things all the time — not just lose them mind you, but put them somewhere they have no business going. My friend/roommate always seemed to catch me doing this, thank goodness. She was also wonderful to have around when I would put something down and forget where it was within three seconds.

She moved out a month ago and I've since had to fend for myself. For the most part I've managed all right, but today I encountered a veritable catastrophe of my own making in the kitchen:

Dark, reddish-purple liquid had seeped everywhere. Having no idea what it was I opened the fridge door, fearing the worst. What had died in my fridge?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is why I should not be allowed to create midnight snacks while half-asleep. Last night, feeling peckish, I ate a huge bowl full of fruit and yogurt. As a funds-deficient student, I mostly keep frozen fruit on hand rather than fresh. This includes some tubs of raspberries, strawberries and

...a GIANT bag of frozen blueberries.

Or they were frozen, once. Now they sat completely thawed and pathetically compressed together in a bag that was leaking juice all over my vegetables, leftovers and a (mercifully sealed) bag of assorted bagels.

You'd think I'd have realized that refrigerating a questionably-permeable bag of frozen fruit was an unintelligent idea. What's sad is that I have no recollection of doing this. What's even more pathetic is that I do vaguely remember having these thoughts as I put away the other frozen fruit last night:

Conscious brain: That's funny, the freezer looks emptier than usual.
Semi-consious brain: I wonder where the blueberries are. Hmm.

Blueberries, I am dreadfully sorry for murdering you so thoughtlessly.

I have hope that my attempts at cryogenic resuscitation may yet prove successful. In the meantime, please try your best to avoid dripping blood on the frozen hot dogs.

May 15, 2011

When Life Throws Grapefruit

I'd like to begin this entry with a disclaimer: I have nothing against eating grapefruit. I actually rather enjoy it, as long as it's sweet or I have some sugar handy. But awkward to eat? Definitely.

Normally it's said that life throws lemons. I think of life's "lemons" as the small icky things that happen just to sour up your day. Maybe it was raining and you forgot your umbrella. Maybe you got a bad mark on an important test. Maybe you discovered you missed the deadline for switching your faculty and major and couldn't get into the program you wanted, and now course sign up next year will be a nightmare. (Yep that's me now, the "Sociology" student who wants to take Psychology courses.)

But lemons are nice and small. Like this one! It might be sour, but it wouldn't actually hurt much if someone tossed it at you. I think I would feel sorrier for the lemon.

Getting lemons in the mailbox of life can be annoying. They do kind of suck. But usually you can shrug them off or do something about them; there's a lot of advice out there for victims of lemon-lobbing:

When life gives you lemons...
...make lemonade!
...make a battery and harness electricity.
...make orange juice and let the world wonder how you did it.
...keep them, because hey! Free lemons!
...throw them back and see if life makes the same mistake twice.
...turn around and squirt juice in the eye of your nemesis!

If lemonade isn't your thing, you can try lemon cookies, lemon squares, lemon meringue pie, or lemon poppyseed loaf. Even lemon juice and water can be healthy and refreshing; it doesn't always need sugar. The point is, usually the lemons that we come across in life are relatively small and useful for something. Even if it's just to see the funny side of things.

I'm a flipping SOCIOLOGY student! BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Sometimes life throws you grapefruit. Grapefruit are much bigger, heavier and harder to ignore than lemons. They're also rather useless, with nowhere near as many recipes to use them in. So when life's grapefruit hit you, they hurt and often leave bruises.

Grapefruit are the ugly older cousins of life's lemons. When they first hit you you just stare at them, thinking "what am i supposed to do with THIS?" You can't really comprehend them. You can't think of any recipes to use them in and (thanks to all those lemons you got pelted with) you're out of sugar.

Once I convinced my roommate (who HATES grapefruit) that we should add some to our morning smoothie. I figured that the apple, pear, raspberries and orange juice would hide the grapefruit flavour enough for her to appreciate it. 

No such luck. That stupid grapefruit penetrated the entire smoothie and left a quirky grapefruit aftertaste behind each swallow. Even I wasn't fond of it and I like grapefruit.

I think most people can handle one or two grapefruit in their lives — big issues we don't know how to address or solve and just hope will go away. But lately I've been feeling a little more like this.

This image came to me and I HAD to create it. Sorry, Mr. Incredible.
What do you do when you are covered in so many grapefruit that lemons are bouncing off of them instead of you? One thing that happens is that each and every grapefruit that does disappear becomes a miracle. A miracle of relief... and suddenly your other grapefruit shrink, just a little bit. It's nice.

But you know, by comparison  with fewer, smaller grapefruit to worry about  lemons seem a lot more intimidating.

May 14, 2011

A Lame Entry

Wheeeeeee! My blog now looks the way I want it to. Everything except the actual writing itself, that is. Yay procastination!

Sigh. At least it's a step in the right direction. With any luck, seeing this pathetic post on my blog's front page will spur me on to greater authorial pursuits. Soon.

Until then (in a sad attempt at temporary appeasement), here is a picture I drew of a happy frog:

I've used it once before in a newspaper I edit
and I feel like a total cop-out for recycling this.
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