Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Y'all. Lee emailed me about the relative finder thing to tell me he finally figured out how to use it because apparently he didn't really know how to Internet. And I was like, "genealogy was soooooooooooooooooooooo last week, Lee." And he was like, "talk to the hand." And I was like "stop trying to make 'fetch' happen."

Anyway. Apparently Lee figured out how to Internet and as it turns out he is related to some of us so you might want to go back and check. Apparently he and I are 12th cousins once removed and he is now calling me "Cousin." You guys. I can't carry this burden alone. (Burden AND Privilege, Lee. In case you're still reading. Love you! See you at the family reunion!)

And now, your Pictures and Distractions:
When you're at a dinner party and everyone starts talking about a current event you've never heard of.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Selfie Generation

I recognize that I'm about to sound the like the oldest man on the planet. And I also recognize that everything I'm about to say has probably already been said by someone who has conducted scientific studies and has actually researched these issues.

It will probably be easiest to absorb this post's information if you imagine me sitting on my front porch holding a rifle on my lap and intermittently yelling at children to get off my lawn.

I've had a lot of conversations over the past couple of years, usually with my crankier friends, about the changes we've seen in the last decade that seem either to be caused by or demonstrated through social media. There appears to be a new level of narcissism and attention-seeking that is magnificently displayed on the Facebooks and the Instagrams and the Snapchats and an array of other social media outlets I know so little about that when they are referenced I usually think people are talking about food.

I've heard the generation one or two steps below my own sometimes referred to as the "selfie" generation. It's often thought of as a group that is obsessed with attracting social media followers and obtaining as many "likes" as possible on every post shared. They thumb through their own Instagram feed, implicitly double-tapping on every photo without really looking at it, aware that liking each post is expected by the followed and a requirement for guaranteed mutual liking.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Facetime with Rebecca

Eli: Becky, I need your help.


Eli: I know. That's why I called you. What the hell are you eating right now? It looks like Elmer's Glue. 

Rebecca: [Takes a large bite] it's a special kind of yogurt. It's VERY healthy.

Eli: When was the last time you ate something that tasted like food?

Rebecca: August 21, 2004.

Eli: I'm impressed with your specificity but I also feel the need to point out to you that you accepted the premise of my question.

Rebecca: It's easier than arguing with you.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

This has been one of the strangest weeks in Stranger history. And I'm including (you know what's coming) the time that all of the angry moms on the Internet screamed at me in one unified terrifying voice FOR JUST TRYING TO HELP.

As you know, I made a joke about how we are probably all related because hashtag my big fat Mormon family. Then swingwise made that group on and over the next day or so hundreds of you joined the group and obsessively started engaging in family history work. (Is "hundreds" an exaggeration? Swingwise? Do we know how many people are in the group? Lee gets mad when I exaggerate and sometimes it's scary. Because I think he's a dad.) Anyway, I never imagined that Stranger would become a family history blog. But I guess I also never imagined that I would be able to assault tens of thousands of people with pictures of my toe's photoshopped hair. Hashtag blessed.

Also, Jolyn was just at my house and she answered my phone when a telemarketer was calling and I overheard her tell the person that "no, Ellie McCain is not available right now but he will be at exactly 6:00 AM tomorrow." So that was nice.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions:
Sonita and I danced the night away until way past our bedtimes (11:00). 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


So the other day I posted that thing about my family reunion and how my grandma wanted to go clubbin' with me and I made a passing joke that my giant Utah Mormon family is so huge that I'm related to all of you and WHY WEREN'T YOU AT THE FAMILY REUNION. Well then people started suggesting that we all create a group on some genealogy website. And I immediately started twitching because I suddenly had eleventy flashbacks to that one time all of my smart ass cousins simultaneously shared this video on Facebooks, tagging all five million members of our family. And then I had that awful song stuck in my head for A MONTH.

Well. The Strangers then came through. Swingwise, specifically, bless his little heart.

I hesitated momentarily but then went to family search and created an account so I could join the group at And it was amazing. The page shows you everyone else in the group and ranks each group member according to how closely they are related to you.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Family Reunion

I have like 14 family reunions every summer because I come from several incredibly active gigantic Utah Mormon families. So, I belong to eleventy different groups that plan family reunions every year for all seven billion of the world's inhabitants who are descendants from every one of my pioneer ancestors that multiplied and replenished the Earth one-hundred and fifty years ago.

I'm not kidding about this. If you were born in Utah, there is a 150% chance we are first, second, and third cousins. Simultaneously.

My grandma's dad was married to and procreated with one woman for several years until she died. Then her sister stepped in and started helping with the children until eventually just marrying him and birthing several more children. I didn't really think hard about this until recently when I realized that some of my grandma's siblings are also her cousins. Then I tried to draw the family tree to see what it would look like and it basically just turned into the labryinth.

Every time anyone starts talking about my family history I can hear that song "I'm My Own Grandpa" playing in my head.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Rebecca texted me at some ungodly hour this morning to inform me that she can't leave to go back to Washington DC until she sees me. So I told her that I'm going to hide so that she has to stay here forever. But then she reminded me that if my goal is to keep her here so I can spend time with her, hiding so that she has to stay will undermine my objective. So I reminded her that she told me she can't leave until she sees me, but if I see her, that will have no effect on whether or not she leaves, WHICH MEANS (stay with me here): although I needed no more motivation for it, I have just discovered yet another benefit in my life to stalking.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions:
Eli and the Pantses at Survivor party. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Birthing a Mattress

I've basically been sleeping on one of those Flintstone beds for the past few years. Just a very uncomfortable slab of bumpy rock. Except, worse even. If I so much as contemplate rolling over in it, the mattress squeaks so loudly that it sets off car alarms in India.

If you've ever hear car alarms going off on the other end of your customer service calls late at night, it's probably because I blinked in bed in Salt Lake City.

Y'all. I'm an insomniac. I think this is one of those chicken/egg things because I'm not sure whether I'm an insomniac because my bed is from 1745 or if my bed feels like sleeping on top of a pile of rocks because I'm an insomniac and therefore unable to get comfortable anywhere.

Various friends have conducted aggressive interventions with me over the years, demanding that I upgrade to something called "a grownup bed." They do this as though I still sleep in a race car bed, which is kind of offensive but OH MY GOSH NOW THAT WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT DO THEY MAKE THOSE IN ADULT SIZE?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Kentucky Clerk

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you've probably heard more than you ever wanted to hear about a Kentucky county clerk named Kim Davis.

Lately, everywhere I go there seems to be conversation about her. People can't stop talking about her since she was arrested for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses. She was refusing to do this because, according to her, she was acting under God's authority, which apparently takes offense to the Supreme Court's recent ruling on marriage rights for same gender couples. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hippie School Emails

Recently I met someone who works at something called a "Montessori" school. He gave me a very long explanation for what this is but basically it's just a place for rich hippies to send their children. So naturally the Snapples had to start emailing a bunch of these schools about the education of their child.

Our victim here sent an email to the Stranger account after the end of this explaining that as the emails became more ridiculous, she googled "June Snapple" and found Stranger. I may have to start a new cover.

From: June Snapple
To: Private School
Subject: Connections

To whom it may concern,

I have recently moved into the area and my gifted child and I are exploring education options. My gifted child has very specific needs and demands the highest caliber of education. Your institution boasts of out-of-the-box new-age progressive approaches. I may be interested in encouraging my gifted child to choose your institution as well as making sizable donations. Can you please help me understand your institution's views on free love?

June Snapple