The Sunburn Anecdote

 

I’ve been a bit of a mess lately. I’ve been in good spirits, actually, but I think my brain has decided vacation has arrived (no vacation in sight) and is really enjoying kicking back. The other morning I woke up with only one earring in. I looked everywhere, scoured the office, called shops I’d been in, the whole shebang, and I was forced to come to terms with the fact that it was just gone.

But then I found it! Very early yesterday morning I decided to check the shower again, and as I pushed in the door I peeked around it and lo and behold there was my earring, a frighteningly small distance from the drain. Needless to say I was overjoyed and went about getting ready with a spring in my step.

I needed to leave the house quite early to meet up with a coworker at a golf club. Now erase that image of me as an old white guy, and replace it with this: the nonprofit I volunteer with is organizing a golf tournament fundraiser with this club, and we need to take it in shifts to be present and recruit players to sign up. I happily told my coworker that I found my earring (hallelujah) and we set up our stand in the sun because we were cold.

Then the wind happened. I had a cup of orange juice on our table, and the wind knocked down our poster, which knocked down my juice and spilled it all over our materials. Oops. Also the cup broke.

Now I have a tale to tell about a man named Richard (so fitting for the setting it’s actually ridiculous). Richard is a bit creepy. Is creepy the right word? Maybe we’ll call him pervy. The first time we met on the course he called me pretty, which is fine (ish) unto itself except then he made a joke about how my grandmother is probably too young for him and how funny is it that he still falls in love with girls like me? I’m barely 19. Yeah. So that’s Richard. We talked about atheism and his grandchildren (no relation between the two subjects).

I saw Richard again yesterday and while my coworker was busy being amused by our conversation Richard told me I have to take better care of my skin. I ignored this comment as another “old man talking to young girl about preserving good looks” comment, but when I left the club I discovered he deserves more credit than I gave him…

I kind of burnt off my neck. It’s kind of a highlighter pink hue, it’s extremely pissed off and it is going to express it’s rage for the forseeable future. Sorry, Richard. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you.

Now the thing about sunburns isn’t just how painful they are. Whenever I see the red skin in the mirror I get angry. I mainly get angry at myself for not taking better care of myself, but I also get angry at the sun and at random people around me. It turns me into a bit of a witch. Bye-bye, good mood.

On my way to the office I stopped to gas up the car and pulled into my regular lane. The guy working there (we’ll call him Gus cause I’m lazy and Gus seems like a good name for him) smiled a cocky smile and motioned for to me to move to the lane over. I was like, “Sorry buddy, but the cap is on this side. I know what I’m doing.” But Gus kept smiling and kept motioning, so finally I pulled into the other lane and lowered my window. “The station there is out of order,” says our chummy little Gus. “Turn around and come to this one in the opposite direction.”

Okay, maybe his words don’t sound condescending here, but it was the way he delivered them. So I turn around and pull up, tell him what the car needs and he just stands there smiling. What, Gus? What do you want from me? He just keeps standing there. Eventually he says, “You need to open it for me.”

I felt like squishing his face. I’d had enough of misogynistic men for the day and he was just looking at me like, “Look at the silly little girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing”.

Let me tell you something, Gus: I’m doing more with my life right now than you will ever do with yours, so get off your high horse and treat me with the respect I deserve.

So I got to the office, completed my entire to-do list (!!!) and grabbed something we needed to exchange at the mall. Where I encountered an idiot. The day was really just not going well. The trainee at this store, who refused to call her superior, had a lot of difficulty figuring out what to do with my receipt. Twenty minutes later (I’m not exaggerating, I timed it) she told me I needed to pay the difference between the two products, which came out to 176 (local currency). Now listen, honey, I don’t know if you have any sort of education, but the difference was 30. 30! Not 176. Another ten minutes later (half an hour out the window) the superior finally shows up and go figure, the difference, when calculated correctly, is 30. Thank you very much, good bye.

My level of frustration with humanity was pretty high at this point. This entire time I was feeling extremely self-conscious of my angry red skin and suffering immensely from the pain. I could fry an egg on the back of my neck. Lovely times.

Later that night I also broke my sister’s very expensive glass bottle of skin care something-or-other because I was trying to get my top on without touching my skin. She was mad. Sorry.

So I reiterate, I’m a mess. But at least you got a lengthy rant like the good old times! It’s been a while since I’ve had to write something like this. Good thing or bad thing? By the way, this blog just turned 3 years old! I still have a little notebook where I recorded the first like! And the first follow! And the first reblog! I tried to keep track of when I hit milestones, like 10 followers, 100… Little did I know I would go on to celebrate 1,000 and 2,500 and now we’re at 3,600! Craziness. Thank you for all the love.

~~~

Ella

Song Quote:

It’s a wonder at all that I survived. –This Is War, Ingrid Michaelson

The Faux First Day Anecdote

 

I like first days because of how much I dislike them. I feel so nervous that my whole body feels shaky, my heart pounds so quickly and I pee about ten times a minute. I spend so much time thinking over every situation I could possibly encounter and yet I’m always taken by surprise. I love it because I love things that make me feel alive, and first days do that.

 

Exposition.

 

Today I woke up early (from nerves) and put on the outfit I bought specifically for this momentous event (because it’s important to feel confident and cool). I scrambled and I rushed but took the time to make sure I felt ready for this course I’ve been waiting to start for months. I had to park further than I intended, so I ended up power walking, taking the quickest detour possible to use the bathroom (duh).

 

Finally I walked up to the big glass doors (that I vaguely remembered are usually open…) and pushed. And they didn’t budge. So I peered inside. And it was empty. So I looked around myself. And there was no one else there.

 

Plot complication.

 

A guy approached me and asked if I was also there for the course, and as it would turn out we were the only two who had shown up. As we eventually found out, the course doesn’t start for another few days, and we were given the wrong date.

 

Anticlimax.

 

If life were a rom-com the two of us would go grab a cup of coffee, flirt in sepia lighting and fall in love, and oh-isn’t-fate-funny?! But in actuality I said the first thing on my mind: “Just so you know I’m going to be wearing this outfit again next time.” I think he nodded, but I’m not really sure, it’s all a bit fuzzy now.

 

Chapter 2?

 

~~~

 

Ella

 

Song Quote:

 

If we’re strong enough to let it in we’re strong enough to let it go. –Let It All Go, Rhodes and Birdy

 

February 20th update:

Funnily enough, I did end up liking this guy. He was very sweet and friendly, but he smoked and that’s a deal breaker for me. I simply noted from afar whenever he did something thoughtful and made my peace with it, until I found out he doesn’t smoke after all! He simply loved being in the sun during our breaks and went out with the group that smoked. I promptly got my hopes up. Two seconds after I found out he doesn’t smoke, I also found out he’s engaged. So that’s that.

A Cry Guide: For Your Pleasure

So you need a cry party?

A true crier needs no audience. Ladies, remember, cry for yourself and nobody else. If you don’t cry for yourself, who will?

Find the perfect time when you can be alone. Purposely leave your tissues far away to add the lovely element of dragging your limp, heaving body to them.

Pretty tissues are advised

Pretty tissues are advised

As you feel the tears start, encourage them to keep coming. The more the merrier. When the moment feels right, begin keening sounds. With every breath hike the volume until reaching desired level. The aim is to achieve a point where you’re screaming out your pain and the tears are nothing but a sidekick.

All done? If you left tears behind, tidy them up with a tissue. Discretion is advised. No one can take away the special moments if they don’t know about them.

Did that cry make you feel better? I know I feel better.

Until we cry again,

Ella

Song Quote:

It’s all right to cry, even my dad does sometimes. So don’t wipe your eyes, tears remind you you’re alive. –Even My Dad Does Sometimes, Ed Sheeran

We Need Therapy

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A conversation between my mind and my stomach, for your amusement. Henceforth, my mind will be called M, and my stomach will be called S.

M: Hey, did you hear that?! We can eat gluten again!

S: Yippee!!! I’m hungry, let’s do this thing.

M: Oh look, there are cookies. Heads up, here they come!

S: Is it just me, or are these cookies strange?

M: What do you mean “strange”? They’re cookies.

S: Yeah, but M, I’m not so sure about this…

M: Oh my god, freshly baked rolls, S!!!

S: I’m not so sure that’s a good idea…

M: Too late, get ready.

S: Ooh…. You know M, I think we need to go to therapy. You really haven’t been listening to me lately. I try to talk to you and tell you how I feel, but it’s like talking to a wall.

M: Oh please, don’t be so melodramatic. Digest your gluten already, the cake’s going to be out of the oven soon.

S: I am not being melodramatic, M. My feelings are real.

M: Okay, yeah, sure.

S: You don’t believe me?!

M: No. I don’t. What are ya gonna do about it, huh?

S: Oh, I’ll show you what I’m going to do about it. I am sick and tired of this, M. A stomach’s gotta feel like it’s appreciated. I’m out.

M: Where, exactly, do you think you’re going to go? Out where?

S: Out of order.

Uh oh….

Yours Truly,

Ella

Song Quote:

Sometimes I wish we could be strangers, so I didn’t have to know your pain. –No Angel, Birdy

The Humorous Side

For quite a while now, I’ve been trying to find something humorous in every situation I’m in. It comes pretty naturally to me, in most situations at least. For example, I always laugh when doctors want to listen to me breathe, or feel my stomach. Something about those two requests that they utter makes me laugh, and I try to contain it, because it’s a little weird, but now I’m embracing it.

I’ve had an interesting couple of days. If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know that last week was interesting too, and it seems to be becoming a theme. I’m embracing that too. Sort of.

I hate math. That said, I take it super seriously in school. My teacher has this schtick where he’s convinced that we won’t be able to finish all the material we need for the exam at the end of the year on time. Therefore, he wants us to come in on our day off school to study for four hours (that’s 240 minutes) in a row, so that we can be ready for the exam. Now obviously this is very complicated and upsetting for us because we have a day off for a reason and we don’t want to spend it doing math. We’ll get back to this later.

I was doing my homework the other day, and there was this question that I couldn’t get, so I went to my sister and asked for help (she’s studying computer engineering). She (and her friend, who happened to be there) figured it out, then taught me a certain technique we haven’t learnt yet, but that the question seemed to require. After that, I called my teacher and told him about it, but he was adamant that it could work the way he had taught us.

Okay.

In our next class, it turns out that every single student couldn’t answer that question, so he starts doing it on the board. Then he stops… falters…. “I’ll get back to you on that one.”

Okay.

In class today, he “got back to it”. He said that it’s a very complicated question, we don’t need to know how to answer it, and that it is really only meant to be done with a certain technique. The very specific technique that my sister taught me. I was right. Just saying. (Correction: my sister was right. Credit where it’s due).

Then, he led the conversation to his favorite topic (this is the aforementioned ‘later’)- when is the next time we’re going to come in for our dose of torture by complete boredom? I had said all I had to say on the matter, which is that I don’t think we need these extra lessons and I don’t like them, but I’m keeping my schedule free so I can come whenever it works out for everyone to show up. Being completely sure that everyone knows where I stand, I just kept working on the question that was on the board and trying to tune everyone out. Like that ever works. Want a play by play of everything that was said? Okay.

Actually no, it would probably be very tedious to read. If I nickname my teacher Ree, I’ll just give you a general overview (and yes, I’ve now nicknamed the math teachers Ree and Ran):

-Ree told us that usually, in every school, in our entire country, in the entire world (his words), students have to come in over spring break to study math for the exams, but because we tend to travel he can’t rely on that, therefore we really need to figure out dates for when we can come in on our day off. He wants at least twice a month.

-Ree thinks we’re being childish, and need to “show some maturity” and figure it out already. By next lesson he wants a sheet with all of the dates.

-Ree: “You’re going to have to pass up on social events and family gatherings. This is important, guys. Again, show some maturity. Next time your parents offer to take you travelling somewhere in the world, you’re just going to say no because this is important.”

-Ree is fed up with us. He declares that if we can’t tell him right away that we’re willing to give up our lives for math (he’s so dramatic), he can no longer teach us. He can’t work this way. He’s going to go to the principal, and the other math teacher Ran, because it just won’t work this way.

I don’t have much to add; this sums itself up. Now comes the part where I tie in what I talked about in my opening paragraph. Humor: there is a humorous side of this. I am sure of it. I’ll let you know if I find it.

No, I’m kidding. I found it humorous while it was happening. How can you not when a grown man is being so overly dramatic about something you know is dumb? My friend mentioned later that she volunteers on her day off, and I agree with what she said: points in heaven are way more important than points on a math test. At least us students have our priorities straight.

After Ree made it very clear to us that we are the ones that have to come up with a solution, I started trying to say this and a few others chimed in: okay, we will, now can you please teach us some math? Now remember I had solved the question while everyone was arguing, so when Ree turned to the board and said “somebody do these calculations”, I said “It comes out to two and a half.” Ree snaps around, looks at me, I try not to laugh, and repeat, “the calculations. The answer is  two and a half”. Ree just kind of nods, writes it down, and I can’t even remember what happened later.

I have one thing to say to you Ree: get over yourself.

Wow, that felt good.

I have more to tell you all. I went to acupuncture for the first time yesterday, and I had an amazing experience while there. I think I’ll write about it separately though. Be sure to check back for it soon, it will be called “The First Time”*.

For now, I just have another few things to tell you. The first one is, I finished my drawing! We framed it, I took a picture of it, and it’s down below, after the song quote (as usual). Second, I have now officially been on a yeast free diet for 22.3 hours. Yeah. Third, test season is starting soon, so my plan is to write a bunch of pieces and store them for when I’m super stressed and don’t have time to think whimsically. I’m letting you know because… well, I actually don’t have a reason. Just so you know, I guess.

Be humorous!!!

Love,

Ella

Song Quote:

Someday we’ll laugh about it. –All About You, Birdy

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All done!!! The angle here is really random, but it’s the only way I could manage to show the whole drawing without showing my reflection…

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This picture was taken before I put the finishing touches on, but it shows the whole drawing much better than the picture I tried to take after it was framed… (I showed this picture in my previous post)

This drawing goes incredibly well with the theme of this post… I’m impressed with myself for not having planned it. The original photo was from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/artetetra/2401088691/in/set-72157600061371063

Pictures of earlier stages are shown in:

To Create, It’s Called Perseverance, Game

*EDIT: 10.23.13 – I never ended up writing “The First Time” (it’s not what you’re thinking, trust me), so I’m just going to kind of, maybe, sorta leave you all hanging… deepest apologies, everyone. I had another acupuncture session that unfortunately clouded over the glow of the first one, and since I just can’t seem to get back into that initial buoyancy. Again, apologies from me to you.

Supermarket Kind Of Feeling

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I love the possibilities that supermarkets represent. You walk in through the sliding doors (I call them “vooshing doors”), smell the smell of groceries (there is such a thing), and you just have so many options. You can turn right, left, or continue straight. You can walk down the aisles, or skip, or run, or crawl. You can go by a grocery list, or you can trust your instincts. You can pick things up, then put them back, then hug them, and apologize for making them feel unwanted. You can buy whatever you want, be it milk, meat, bread, soap, flowers, towels, or a shopping cart. Well, not the latter, but you get the point.

There is something about supermarkets that makes me really happy. Today, I went into one with my mom, and it was a sight to be seen. We were standing by the cheese circle (or stand, but circle sounds cooler), and my mother turned to me, and asked me to get the milk.

So I happily skipped off, and picked up three drink yogurts, the milk, and a box of cereal. As you can imagine, though my arms are long, it was kind of hard to keep a hold on all of these. But hey, they were on the way. I was walking back to The Circle, and trying to navigate my way in between people. People who thought I was a maniac, because I was walking with my arms full of food, dodging shopping carts, with a maniac-like smile on my face. So I kind of get them. My hair was also full of chlorine, not that that has anything to do with anything. I just thought I would put it out there.

You see, when I think a situation is awkward, or weird, or funny, I find it amusing. It’s the part of me that sees the bigger picture, that views the scene as a spectator would, and simply finds it funny. There I am, looking loco, and power walking to my mom. She looks up, smiles, and says, “I think we’re going to need a cart”. The carts are stationed outside of the supermarket, so I tried to pass her my items, and we ended up piling them against the edge of The Circle. I found this amusing as well. Which made me almost topple our beloved pile over. As I passed my mother, heading to the entrance/exit, she said very quietly and humor-fully, “don’t embarrass me”. I found this very funny too, so my smile simply seized more ground on my face.

Now, I’m walking, walking, walking, and I just think this is really fun, and humorous. People are looking at me kind of oddly, or to be exact, like I’m odd, so I try to tone it down a bit. Once I get to the carts, and turn one around to head back in, I think to myself, what the heck? So I smile. Really widely. The guard, at the entrance to the supermarket, started looking at me kind of weirdly. If you haven’t gotten the gist yet, that made me smile even more. I stood up tall, gripped the pushy-bar really tight, and walked through the vooshing doors giggling. That turned into full-out laughing, and by the time I got to my mom, I was practically crying from joy.

We just put everything into the cart, and off I flew. I was really just laughing at this point. Laughing here, laughing there, laughing up the aisle, down the aisle, laughing by the cereal (yes, I bought two boxes), laughing by the hair accessories, by the cute guy buying junk food, by the old lady who moved her cart so I could pass without having to stop laughing. I swear I must have been high on the chlorine or something, because I just found all of it so darn merry. Or maybe I was just happy. Maybe I’m in love with supermarkets.

When we eventually made it to check out, I was striding tall, laughing openly. Everything I saw was uplifting. When the cashier asked if we have a membership card, and my mother pulled hers out, I said, “We’re so cool, we’re members”. That made my mom and the cashier laugh, which made me crack up again.

But really, everyone, to top all of that off, was the look the guard gave me as were leaving. He clearly recognized me as the wacko who pushed her cart like it was a brand-new baby or something, and he was giving me those wary eyes that people give you when they’re not quite sure what to make of you. Guess what I did? No really, guess.

I laughed. I looked him in the eyes, beamed, and laughed. I felt like I was on top of the world, because I had a mom, a shopping cart, and breakfast food. And I am, I am on the top of the world. It feels good, let me tell you that.

So try it some time, go to a supermarket, and grin every time you see something you like. You’ll get some weird looks, and that will make you laugh. Once you’re laughing, and people are staring, you’ll feel like you’ve got the power. You are now on top of the world.

It’s a supermarket kind of feeling.

Yours truly,

Ella

Song quote:

Been dreaming of this since a child, I’m on top of the world. -On Top Of The World, Imagine Dragons

(I got the power….)

(I got a feeling that I never, never, never had before….)