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 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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