In Which Ella Does a Little Filing

Alright folks, get out your filing cabinets. We’ve got some documents to put away.

To be filed under Not Helping Anorexia:

  • Looking at Fashion Show Photographs
  • Looking at Vogue
  • Skipping Dinner and Lunch and Not Exactly Eating Breakfast

To be filed under Disappointments That Probably Don’t Warrant Crying:

  • Burnt Chocolate Croissants
  • Missing a John Green Live Show
  • The London Calling Record Skipping Three Times
And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if you’re into that kind of thing.

In Which Ella Talks to Herself

Hey, Ella?

Yeah?

Remember that time you were going to post a very long last post about a book launch party?

Yes.

And then you didn’t?

Yes.

Because you spent all day cleaning the bathrooms and trying to read a dystopian novel for work?

Yes.

And then when you were going to edit it you instead spent the time crying because your parents went to bed early and you were all alone?

This is getting embarrassing.

And then you reread everything you wrote and felt horrible about yourself?

Yes. What’s your point?

You should probably apologize to everyone for drawing out a story they really want to hear.

Yes. I feel really bad about it. I am very sorry. I didn’t do it intentionally.

What about that time you spent looking up youtube videos of cats? Or the time you spent reading poetry? Couldn’t you have been productive then?

Yes.

And now you’re going to go off and feel pathetic and stupid while hiding under the covers possibly–but probably–crying?

Yes.

I should stop asking myself rhetorical questions and go to sleep.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if you’re into that kind of thing.

In Which Ella Stupidly Ignores Officer Buckle and His Dog, Gloria

When I was in second grade, we read a book called Officer Buckle and Gloria about a policeman and his dog who make presentations at school to kids about safety.

The only thing I remember from this book is to not sit on tacks or stand on swivel chairs. It’s something I think about a lot, mainly because I have a huge fear of impaling my foot on sharp objects,* and there a lot of tacks stuck into bulletin board in my room. But apparently I didn’t take the not standing on swivel chairs rule to heart.

This afternoon a new poster I had ordered arrived, and in my excitement to carefully pin it above my dresser, I decided to forgo a step ladder and just drag my swivel chair across the room. And as I would with any other chair, I put one foot on the seat and stepped up. But because swivel chairs are made to swivel, and I was not holding the chair steady, I began to spin with one foot on the chair and one leg suspended in the air while my arms spun in circles, trying to regain my balance.

And as I wobbled and the chair travelled its first 360 degrees, I couldn’t help but think, “Picture books are often more on point than you give them credit for.”

I quickly regained my balance and positioned the chair so that it wouldn’t spin anymore and put up the poster. I’m very pleased with the result. All of the furniture in my room is white, and I think that the poster “pops” quite nicely. I don’t have a picture of it hanging on the wall, but I do have picture of the poster**.

Awesome, isn’t it?

*I was once playing in a construction site in flip flops and had a nail go all the way through my shoe and into my foot. My mother had me wear the punctured and blood stained flip flop for the rest of the summer as a reminder to not play in construction sites. I just put on sneakers and snuck back there three days later. But this is an amusing story for another day.

**”ftl” stands for “French the Llama,” which is a Vlogbrothers’ joke. Check out their made of awesome youtube videos here.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if you’re into that kind of thing.

On Ella’s Poor Sleeping Decisions

Sometimes, I decide to stay up until four thirty in the morning writing, and then wake up less than five hours later.

It always seems like a really great idea at the time–I’m on a roll, and the exhaustion fades after I hit my second wind at around two–but then I wake up in the morning, feeling a little loopy with my eyelids burning. And then I use way too many filler words. The amount of times I can say “stuff,” “like,” and “things” in a conversation about teaching monkeys to use money* can be pretty embarrassing. I’m also prone to forgetting about Carter’s pardons when playing Trivial Pursuit later on.

I think that getting a little more sleep tonight just might be the right move**. I’m going to seriously mess up my Sporcle scores if I don’t get my act together.

In other news, yesterday, my parents celebrated their twenty-fourth wedding anniversary and over twenty-six years together. Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!

*This sounds like a joke, but researchers actually have been working on experiments like this to explore economic concepts like game theory and the connections between the way animals and humans calculate risk.

**Update: So after I put in all of this effort to go to bed early, I ended up accidently punching the headboard really, really hard in my sleep while rolling over and then not being able to sleep for about an hour in the middle of the night because of it.

I’d really like to know what I was dreaming at the time. It may have been that reoccurring one where someone tries to rape Pippa and I while we’re walking around Boston at night. Usually, I end up trying to stab the rapist with a knife in an attempt to give Pippa enough time to run away, but my efforts always seem to fail. I might have been mid-stab when I rolled over.

Ella and the Slippery Mattress

My bed* at the beach does not have the world’s best mattress. It’s old enough that my dad can’t remember when it was new. Unlike most ancient mattresses, this one hasn’t become lumpy or springy. It’s just solidified into solid sedimentary rock. I’m going to do a very vigorous jig when it gets replaced.

But until that happy day, my mom and I have been coming up with methods of making it softer. Yesterday, when I moved into the room after two nights on the extremely comfortable** sofa on the porch, we decided to put two sleeping bags on it. It seemed like a great idea–sleeping bags have a cushy layer of down–but we forgot that the outside of them is made of slippery material. The bottom sheet won’t lay flat, and every time I roll over or shift, I slide with the sheet. It’s a very strange feeling, and it’s very hard to relax when it feels like you’re going to fall out of bed because the bottom sheet won’t stay still or even tucked under. The best way I can describe it is that it’s like trying to sleep on top of one of those sacks you use to slid down those garish inflatable slides at school carnivals on the platform right before the slide itself.

It’s too late tonight to really justify remaking the entire bed, and not having a cushion of any sort would probably be just as bad, but fixing this problem is at the top of my to-do list for tomorrow.

*Of course, every other room’s is perfectly comfortable.

**I’m not being sarcastic.

Ella and the Wrath of the State Capitals

One would think that being unable to remember the capital of Alabama (Montgomery) or Minnesota (Saint Paul) would not cause me enough anxiety to put a serious damper on my day, but it did.

I am normally very pleased with my ability to recall American and European geography–it’s one of the few things that makes me feel really good about myself. So when I can’t perform up to standards, I panic. My internal dialogue usually ends up going something like this:

“Capital of Minnesota. What is it? You know you know this. Why can I only spout facts about the state and its neighbors that have nothing to do with the capital right now?”

I start shaking my legs, my breathing begins to speed up, and I can hear the too-fast pounding of my heart.

“OH. MY. GOD. I am an idiot, a utter and complete idiot. How do I not know this? You couldn’t remember the location of Kosovo earlier, and you only pretend to understand economics. Your grammar stinks. You even stopped one page into the decision fatigue article in The New York Times, and you clicked on an article about anti-bacterial soap instead of reading about Libya. You don’t even care anymore. You’re one of those people who just pretends to be smart.”

And so it goes until I finally Google the answer and move onto the next state, only to repeat the process when I hit Alabama twenty states later. My freak-out over what country was between Lithuania and Poland was, in retrospect, entirely comical; and my reaction to discovering that it was, in fact, just part of Russia was even more so. I should have been able to figure out it easily, seeing how I know that it is the location of Kaliningrad, an obviously Russian city.

I feel that this is a very appropriate time for me to dramatically sigh and ironically complain about just how difficult my life is.

Saturday Night Realizations

I just realized that…

I just spent an entire week doing nothing but lying in bed and reading. I didn’t even go outside on Sunday or Friday. It’s kind of a problem and a complete reflection of how I feel about everyone leaving for college.

I overuse the word “thing.” Cue the beginning of yesterday’s post. It’s embarrassing.

I have now officially struggled to spell the word beginning properly for thirteen years of my life–I have my kindergarden book on tadpoles to prove it.

Not many people get excited about the list of documentaries available for instant streaming on Netflix as I do.

My family members don’t like the way that I look up movie plots before I watch the movie even if I don’t spill what’s going to happen.

Trying to get a cat to stand still on a bathroom scale is near impossible.

In Which Ella Becomes Unknowingly Sleep Deprived

When I woke up this morning, I thought that it was Monday. I got out my therapy binder,* did my Monday morning routine, and got ready to go to Clara’s. In the car, I said something about it being Monday, and my mom gently corrected me.

That’s strange, I thought, It really does feel like the beginning of the week. Why am I so puzzled?

The whole time I was at Clara’s, I found myself getting really bewildered about what time it was. It just felt a whole lot later than what the clocks were telling me, which was weird because the exact opposite always happens when I’m having fun.

Ever since I’ve gotten home from Clara’s my confusion has only increased, and I’ve also become rather exhausted. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why it was going on. I’m normally very good with dates, times, and putting together coherent thoughts, and I definetly wasn’t on any medication that would have messed with my cognitions.

And then I suddenly remembered that I had decided that it would be a really good idea to stay up until five thirty in the morning watching TED Talks, reading articles about how new social media is changing just about everything, and searching for the best news sources on the riots in London. This coupled with a similar decision involving two memoirs and Ze Frank the previous night, clearly was the root of my problem.

I think I read somewhere once that sleeping improves mental functioning, but it could be a lie. I mean, look at how well I’m doing with four hours of sleep a night! I can sleep when I’m dead–I’ve got so many fascinating things to do in the meantime!

I’m funny.

Ss much as I want to stay up until all hours reading the Guardian’s coverage of the London riots, I’m going to go to bed before eleven. It seems like the right choice.

*Filled with the ridiculous handouts I sometimes get given with acronyms like DEAR MAN GIVE FAST. Because apparently odd and annoying phrases work better than writing out the actual skills to improve interpersonal effectiveness. I’m just stuck with weird mental images of writing letters and passing off batons in races.

In Which Ella Tells Embarrassing Stories About Herself

I thought that I’d share an embarrassing stories today.

One:

Now, as you all know, I am incredibly fond of Harry Potter, and I have been for quite some time. I was fourteen and at summer camp when the seventh book came out, and I was in full on obsession mode. I wore my Hogwarts robe the day of the release and spent nearly all my free time reading and rereading the book.

A few days later, we were having a get-together with our brother cabin from the boys camp when I noticed that one of the boys was wear a shirt that said “I’m a keeper.”

“No way!” I thought, “That’s got to do with the Quidditch position. I should go ask about it!”

So I did, and he laughed at me, because apparently that phrase has nothing to with Harry Potter, and everything to do with being an attractive romantic partner.

And like any mature thirteen-year-old, I stomped off to sit on the back steps of the cabin to read my book and refused to come out and socialize for the rest of the night.

Two:

I once proudly wore this outfit to school:

In Which Ella’s Name Will Not Be Affixed to the Wall

The Senior Awards ceremony is tonight. You know, the one where the winners get their names stuck to the plaques outside the Main Office to forever live in glory (and have their names ridiculed by petty teenagers). Ever since freshman year, I have wanted one of those awards. I got the big academic award in middle school and was voted most scholarly (The picture in the yearbook is hilarious. I’m wearing a green shirt with a clashing green scarf, golden brown wire framed glasses and have the nerdiest expression on my face.), which was a huge deal to me at the time. Being smart was how I defined myself and how other people seemed to defined me. It felt good to be that person.

Tonight when I walk into the Auditorium to sit on the springy green fake-velvet seats and watch the proceedings, it will not be to receive one of those big fancy awards. I’ll get my gold pin for four years of community service, and that’ll be it. My friends and many of my classmates will win awards, and I’ll enthusiastically clap and take their picture, but it won’t be the same as walking up to the stage myself, shaking someone’s hand, and getting whatever they give you to commemorate it. I know that I’m being selfish. I know that all I should feel is happiness for others, but I can’t I really, really can’t. I am far too sad over my insufficiencies and how much my emotional problems have messed up how I wanted and want to live my life.