Young Ella and the Unfortunate Outfit

I recently discovered this picture of me from elementary school.

And I have to wonder, why on earth did I think that this was a good idea? My mother’s sneakers, my soccer socks and shorts, various bizarre necklaces, a vintage negligee*, pink feather boa, literal rose-tinted glasses, and blue bow clip. I have memories of actually wearing this to school and running around at recess trying not to trip over the toes of the too big shoes.

Though I must admit that as crazy as this outfit was, I’m very blessed to have parents who were okay with me wearing it out of the house. It was rare that I was ever constricted creatively, and it’s always fun to look back at the insane things I managed to get myself into.

*Thanks to my grandmother and great-grandmother, I have a lot of (very conservative–we’re talking ones that go down to your toes) negligees from the early twentieth century. They make excellent wall art or fit wonderfully in Pippa’s closet where I occasionally drag them out and wonder what to do with them. I have determined that whatever I did in that photograph is not a good look.

People Watching at Starbucks and Ella’s Failing Memory

I’ve taken to spending between four and six hours a day in Starbucks, writing. And I must admit that I spend about two percent of my time people watching.

Today’s highlight was a woman who was walking around on crutches with her ankle in a brace, but was still wearing stiletto heels. I’m no podiatrist, but it didn’t look like a good idea.

The runner up was a woman who started screaming at the baristas for no apparent reason, completely freaking them out and all of the other people in the store. Considering that the clientele is pretty much entirely people with laptops, women wearing designer sunglasses on top of their head and stylish outfits (who always place very complicated orders, sometimes specifying the exact ratio of soy milk to whole milk they want used), it was startling.

In other news, this blog post was supposed to be about how I cut my foot open while biking, and I had this great analogy and joke to go with it, but then I had to go take a shower and sort the laundry, and now I can’t remember any of it.

Also, biking while carrying a mega bottle of determent in your left hand is very difficult and inadvisable. And I totally didn’t learn this from experience or anything.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at, if you’re into that kind of thing.

In Which Ella Puts on Crazy Get-Ups and Dances Abysmally

My aunt, uncle, and cousins are visiting from California this week, and tonight their kids, Pippa, and I decided to play Just Dance 2 on Pippa’s Wii.

Now, I suck at dancing. Remember how in this post (To Be a Prima Ballerina Assoluta) I wrote about a girl that got kicked out of a ballet class? Well, I also got politely asked not to return to my dance class when I was fourteen. I’m all flailing limbs, and I’m perpetually a few beats behind, racing to catch back up. It’s unfortunate, but I’m too amused by my incompetence to be embarrassed.

So tonight when we decided to play the game, I knew that I would have to do something big to stand out. Naturally, I decided that the game needed costumes. Because, let’s face it, what in life doesn’t need costumes?

I dragged everyone upstairs, and we started putting on silly clothes. And by we, I mean me. I grabbed a pair of Pippa’s neon pink tights, furry pale pink leg warmers, pale blue shorts, and one of my mother’s racing swimsuits. You know, the type that has the intense and crazy swirls of color so you can look just that more impressive and athletic. I put all of it on, tie my hair up in high pigtails, and apply an obscene amount of lipstick and eyeshadow, all the while encouraging the others to get into something spectacularly insane.

Pippa followed my lead, albeit in a much more restrained fashion and minus the makeup, and I got one of my cousins to put on Pippa’s old soccer shorts and wear a fedora and his sweatshirt backwards and the other one to wear my running clothes, the leg warmers that I had ditched because they began to seem like too much,* and her hair in a high ponytail, secured with a scrunchie.

Then, we all proceeded to march downstairs much to the adults’** amusement and play Wii for over an hour. But before I could grab a controller and get started my dad pulled me aside to question me.

“Are you okay?” he said.

I gave him a funny look, because of course I was okay! I was organizing games that involve silly costumes, something I am not apt to do when I’m depressed, anxious, or manic.

And then he reminded me that my I-am-having-the-time-of-my-life expression is very similar to my everything-in-the-world-is-hilarious-let’s-make-six-thousand-trays-of-ice-cubes-reorganize-the-kitchen-and-play-with-bleach look. And when I’m acting nuts like that I do frequently wear weird things.

I know why he asked me what was going on–I do have a habit of going off the deep end–and I don’t begrudge him at all, it just would be nice to be able to act goofy without causing concern.

All that aside, I’m proud to announce that I did win a few rounds***.

*In retrospect, everything in my outfit was too much.

**It’s rather crazy to think that I can be considered one of the adults right now, because I certainly do not act like at times like that.

***Though it mostly was the result of the way I moved the controller and not the quality of my actual dancing, which was hilariously awful.