Ella and the Daylight Savings Time Grumbles

On my list of things I dislike, you will find Daylight Savings Time sandwiched in between lima beans and vacuuming. It’s not enough of a time change forward to make it easy for me to adjust (for whatever reason, I handle jet lag in Europe incredibly well), and I don’t care enough for having an extra hour of light in the evening to get excited about the change. Instead, I just wander around in a bit of a tired daze for half a week trying adjust and getting confused by clocks I’ve forgotten to change. (When you insist upon having clocks set at a varying number of minutes fast in nearly every room of the house, it can be difficult to keep up with power outages and Daylight Savings)

For anyone else feeling grumbly and tired or who is just plain interested in how Daylight Savings Time came about and opperates, I highly recommend watching this video:

Ella and Christmas Music

I’ve been feeling the Christmas cheer today. The advent wreath with its three tall purple and one pink candle, the lights and evergreen swag on the houses, and the little red Scandinavian wooden carvings we have set up in the dining room are making me especially happy. Christmas/winter holiday time is wonderful.

Now, when it comes to Christmas music, I tend to dislike pretty much anything that isn’t a hymn or a very traditional song. It’s not that I am overly religious, it’s just that the commercialization of Christmas gives me the creeps, and I generally don’t like the music style of songs like “Santa Baby.” (Getting me to go to the mall after Thanksgiving would involve a very large bribe or a present emergency.) Instead, I prefer to listen to CDs of the Vienna Boys Choir over and over again for the entire month of December.

But I digress. Today, I discovered something wonderful in my youtube subscription box! Rhett and Link made a “caption fail” video of Christmas carols.

To explain: youtube has this service that will put captions on videos uploaded to the site. However, the technology that does this is pretty poor, leading to some hilarious interpretations of what’s being said.

What Rhett and Link do is take the youtube interpreted captions and turn that into the script for the video.

For those of you who would like to laugh and be merry, I highly suggest that you watch this video.

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

In Which Ella Gets New Shoes and Entertains Maxwell Perkins the Cat

Sometimes when I get really depressed, I write a lot. Clearly, this is not one of those times.

To save everyone from a melodramatic life sucks spiel, I offer you two good, happy stories.

One: This evening, I discovered that Maxwell Perkins the Cat L-O-V-E loves watching cat videos on youtube. We watched Surprised Kitty close to ten times and then a plethora of Maru videos. Max kept sniffing the computer and walking around behind it, trying to figure out where the image was coming from.

Two: I got new shoes.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s a happier place than the blog right now, so it might be good to check it out to cleanse your mind of this suck.

Rain, the Bluish Tinge of Aquariums, Dancing With Scarves, And Wonderful Feelings

It’s raining.

And there’s something thumping against the side of the house.

But I am inside, separate from the deluge of water, caught in what seems to be one of the common situations ever written about: being inside and watching the rain fall.

And yet, even though it is so common, I rather like it. I like the safety of my second floor bedroom as the rain comes streaming down. I like the sound of the rushing water on the roof. I like watching the rain run in rivers down the side of the street, nestled against the curb, towards the storm drain at the end of the block.

It doesn’t have the same ferocious beauty of a thunderstorm or the brilliant calm of snow, my two favorite types of inclement weather, but it’ll do with its dull, somewhat depressing gloom.

When I look out the window, I’m reminded of the color settings on my camera, and how when you go to change the picture to black and white, there’s also an option for blue, which casts the image in that same sort of tinge you see inside of an aquarium, where the passages between the giant tanks of sharks and tropical fish–though never in the same tank together– are mostly lit by the light shining into the tanks, so that the animals are brighter than you.

The red shirt I was wearing when I ran by the stingrays at the age of ten appeared almost purple, exactly like the way the car across the street looks right now, and my green sandals were even more deeply saturated than usual, not unlike the front lawn and the shrubs along the front walk.

If it weren’t so late and if it weren’t so chilly, I would run outside without an umbrella or coat, not caring that my shirt is mostly white and that my jeans will take forever to dry. I’d go barefoot, because dancing in the rain  should be done in wild abandon, without any sorts of constraints. I’d let pieces of grass stick to my feet and dirt cover my toes, and I’d spin in circles and run leaping through the yard.

It would be like the movement classes I took at school until I was twelve. The classes where we would be handed grey gauzy scarves and told to portray jealousy while the teacher played classical music on the harpsichord. Sometimes, she would pass out balloons and tell us to throw them in the air and very carefully watch how they fell, the way they seemed to be caught and cushioned by the air as they drifted down into our reaching hands.

And so I would watch the rain and how it fell. I would hold out my arms and pretend I had scarves and just move in some sort of fashion that meant everything to me and looked a little loony to everyone else.

And it would be perfect.

But I’m inside, and I won’t be leaving tonight. I’m lying on my bed, propped against pillows, reading about Nicholas Tesla, watching videos online of beautiful things, like the Game of Life, people’s travels and thoughts, landscapes, and portraits made out of corkscrews, and looking at pictures of rooms so impeccable, they seem utopian.

Click on the picture for more house yum.

I imagine Tesla’s lightening and his infatuation for pigeons, the way that all brilliance is sprinkled with something mad. I think about the power of words and pictures and all things impossibly lovely and how they cast such a wonderful feeling over me. The sort of blissful feeling that makes me want to cry a little bit and smile all at the same time and just stay still breathing for as long as I can. I like to think of it as my love for the universe. And when I have that feeling draped over me, I just enjoy it. Because in those moments, nothing hurts.

Finally, when I feel as though I’ve soaked it in as much as I can, I put fingers to keys and write. Because, sometimes, I think that writing and loving things, people, and animals is what I do best. Also, it’s what I love most to do.

And so I am here, watching the rain pour down and drench the black, asphalt of the road, the granite curbstones, and the slate sidewalk. It makes the merciless grey concrete of the front walk shiny and the potted plants overflow as water pours over their terra cotta rims. And the grass and the plant bed soak in the wet, like a sponge, until they can’t anymore, and the water pools in indents in the earth. It creates droplets on the cars, and if I weren’t so far away, I could race the raindrops as they zigzagged their way downwards.

But I’m inside.

So here it is, my cliché and for once I love it.

In the spirit of trying new, creative things, I have made a youtube video of me reading today’s post.

(Yes, I know I stumbled over saying Tesla the first time, no need to point it out.)

I’d like to know what you think: Should I do this again for some other posts or is having me read it annoying or uninteresting?

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

Oh, Pop Music, You Amuse Me

For Foreign Language Night, my French teacher has been teaching us to sing this ridiculous French pop song:

Doc hates it so much that on Friday he was begging that we do more verb exercises than sing it. I just find its awfulness amusing and enjoy watching my classmates sing along, but hearing it three times a day everyday of the week is getting to me. Playing it that often would be somewhat acceptable if our performance was within a week, but Foreign Language Night isn’t until the thirtieth. This is classic Madame. I just wish that I was in the same class as Cecelia.

While I was running errands for over three hours with Pippa and Dad, I kept thinking about pop music. Of course, as soon as I got home, I had to look this video up again:


Laughing at it made the dark rainy afternoon disappear for a few minutes.