Sunday, September 24, 2017

Yearbooks

Last week I posted about Stranger's tenth birthday (OMG Eli no way how is that possible you look so young yolo i no stop u guys srlsly) and I told you I would give one of you a Snuggie as a little celebration gift and if you wanted to be eligible you just needed to leave a comment. Then eleventy of you left comments and half of you were all like "I never comment I just lurk but I've been watching you for several years and never said anything and I have a dozen lockets of your hair and I used to have two dozen but I sold a bunch of them on the black market and I like that shirt you're wearing right now."

First of all, thank you. I like that shirt you're wearing right now. 

Second, thanks for finally saying hi. This reminds me of this one time I sat next to the same woman in four different classes over three full semesters in college and we never once said a word to each other or knew one another's names and then finally on the very last day of class and just a couple of weeks before graduation she turned to me, held out her hand, and said "Hi. I'm Amanda."

We're still friends.

Or this other time when I was in law school and I used to take the 6:00 AM bus three times a week to Salt Lake City because I was working at the AG's office and one morning I sat down next to a blonde woman but didn't really take a good look at her until an hour and ten minutes later when I stood up to get off of the bus and I saw that it was Heather, one of my favorite cousins.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Decade Later

I had been writing emails to my family members, telling them exaggerated stories about what I was up to. They were supposed to be funny. They weren't funny.

My family members would occasionally respond to those emails. Their responses called me a "weirdo" and other names that communicated that they had read the stories and appreciated them in some way.

One of them was about seeing someone riding a unicycle. The entire email was about whether or not this was actually an efficient mode of transportation (it's not).

Another email was about how many college students I had seen that week on campus wearing capes (a lot).

I wrote most of them while I was at work. I was a teller at a bank and there would be slow stretches. So I would take that time to write. That's what I've always done during slow stretches. When I was a child my report cards repeatedly contained teacher's notes criticizing me for being "distracted" or "in his own world" because instead of listening to class lectures I furiously wrote away in my notebook--stories about a fictional world I had created which was almost identical to the one I actually lived in. Except the fictional world was just a little stranger.

I walked into the house I was living in at 761 N University Ave in Provo Utah after a shift at the bank where I had written another email to my family. I had nearly a dozen roommates at the time. This was as near to being a frat house as anyone could find in Provo Utah.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Shoe Molding

I finished putting the new laminate floors into my office and bedroom a few weeks ago and subsequently vowed to never do a day of work again in my life.

Well, the problem with this plan was that I wasn't really done with the project. There was still something called "the shoe molding" that had to be put in. 

I knew about this mostly because on one of my trips out to the saw on the driveway while installing the floors I ran into Mr. Perfect and lamented (or lamintated HA! I'm pretty sure I stole that joke from one of your comments in the last post on this topic. But I probably had better hair when I said it so it really landed) the fact that the edges of the floor where it meets the walls didn't look very good because of the little gaps and Mr. Perfect was like "you're an idiot. That's what shoe molding is for." Except he said it much less patronizingly than Matt, who confirmed that this was true when I walked back into the house and he gave me a lecture about how I've owned a home for three years and still somehow don't know what the hell shoe molding is.

For all other idiots out there, shoe molding is the little piece that runs along the bottom of the baseboard. I always assumed that it was actually a part of the baseboard and not a wholly separate piece. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Strangerville Live III

All y'all. I told you, nay whined at you, about how essential oils are ruining my life. Today you get some evidence of it.

We have for you our third Strangerville Live show for your listening pleasure. The audio recording is rough in some places and you can unfortunately hear the screams of about 200 hundred witch doctors upstairs. But the stories are awesome and we don't like that not all of you can come to the shows and hear them so we're going to make you listen to them in your underwear. (Hopefully you are at home).

Also, Meg told me we have to get money or else her children will starve. We basically lived that scene from Sister Act II where Lauren Hill's mom is like "singin' does not put food on the table! GET YOUR MIND IN THOSE BOOKS!"

I made Skylar watch 200 youtube clips of Sister Act II recently when I found out he had never seen it and now his favorite thing to say to me whenever I talk about my hopes and dreams is "there are a lotta people on the streets singin' their shoulda woulda could-ofs!"

I digress.

The point is, Strangerville is getting more and more expensive and our future plans for Strangerville will continue to cost more and more money and I've had a couple of people ask me over the last year if there was some way to donate to Strangerville and I just held out my hand but they refused to put money in it. And two weeks ago we had a very drunk man called "Ben" repeatedly ask us if he could make a monthly donation to Strangerville.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Breaking & Entering

Look. I know. I should have been paying more attention. That's what a responsible person does. He pays attention to the dogs in his care. Because dogs can be unpredictable.

When I told Brianne about this I started the story with "you know how important it is to keep an eye on your child because you're also a parent" and then she wouldn't let me finish because she was screaming over the top of me "STOP COMPARING RAISING MY SON BY MYSELF TO HAVING A DOG."

Brianne doesn't understand that moms are supposed to stick together and not attack one another.

The point is, I knew better than to look away from Mr. Pants and Mr. Doodle when I had them off leash on a college campus yesterday.

Mr. Pants is staying with us this week which means that for the last three days this has been constantly happening:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Essential Oils Strike Back

Last week I told you about my essential oils nightmare.

All seventeen hundred ladies were scheduled to stay in my place until Saturday. They asked multiple times if they could extend their stay and I politely told them they could not each of those multiple times.

Last week was a stressful week for many reasons. Some of them work related. Some of them essential oils related. And toward the end of the week, many of them were Strangerville Live motivated.

Our show was on Friday evening, and we were frantically trying to get everything ready to go.

Look. I have control issues. I know this about myself. It's ok if things ultimately don't go exactly how I want them to go, but I plan and prepare for every possible contingency and I stress myself into oblivion in the process. So much so that on Thursday night I'm pretty sure Meg started slipping chill pills into my drink.

To give you an idea of just how obsessively controlling I get with these shows, I legit prepared and memorized two fifteen-minute stories just in case one or two of our storytellers had an appendectomy the night of the show. I stopped by the venue twice during the day on Friday to make sure the place hadn't flooded or burned to the ground or been taken over by zombies.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Essential Oils Are Killing Me

The other day I tweeted this:
Look. I don't actually know anything about essential oils except that they are oils and they are ESSENTIAL.

I don't know what they are. I don't know what they do. I don't know if they save or kill the dolphins. I. Just. Don't. Know.

Everything you read in this post might offend the rosy grandma scent right out of your house. And I invite you to tell me so.

But not until next week. Put it on your calendar. In one week you can send me an angry email about how I blasphemed a sacred multi-level marketing order.

This week, I want to just complain at you about essential oils without an ounce of opposition from you. IT'S MY RIGHT AS A TECHNICALLY-MILLENNIAL.

So you can fully understand the angst in the above tweet I must give you some background.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Romeo & Juliet

When I was in the sixth grade we had to put on a Shakespeare play. Our class was assigned to do Romeo and Juliet and I wanted to be Romeo so badly but the part went to my best friend to this day, Sam, who was a foot taller than all the rest of the kids.

Sam didn't really want to be Romeo because he was embarrassed about having to say love cliches to Juliet in front of his three older brothers who would most definitely make fun of him into oblivion after the show. He was so embarrassed, in fact, that he changed his final line in the play without telling anyone he was going to do it.

In the final scene of the 12-year-old version of the script we were provided, Romeo comes upon Juliet and thinks she's dead so he decides to kill himself (or maybe she really is dead at this point? I don't remember. I played the part of Tybalt, which meant that during this scene I was backstage practicing cartwheels with Melanie Jones. That's not a euphemism.).

Upon finding a dead Juliet, Romeo kills himself and in our script he was supposed to say, "with a kiss, I die." (Cue academy-award-winning death scene).

But Sam absolutely did not want to say "kiss" in front of his brothers. So he made an executive decision. And when the time came, he yelled out in the way 12-year-olds putting on a Shakespeare play do, "and with a breath, I die."

THE SCANDAL.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Binder of Documents

I poured over a binder of documents that if presented carefully should have helped someone in court. It was late, and I was tired. But it didn't matter.

The contention of litigation didn't care that I was tired.

Fighting.

That's what people do.

They spend their time just fighting each other. Sometimes over petty things. Sometimes over significant things.

And I get involved because they ask me to.

I went to law school in 2008 with this eternal optimism that if I worked myself to exhaustion, I could be good at this, and one day I could actually help people stop fighting and find peace.

Was that naive?

Part of me wants to insist it wasn't. Because if it was naive, that might mean that the calloused lawyers who make people hate lawyers are winning. But part of me wants to admit that it was naive. Because letting go of that optimism feels a little like relief.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The F Word

I was playing throw the ball with Duncan on campus at the liberal arts college next to my house when two female students approached and asked if they could pet him.

Eli: Sure! If you can get him to come to you.

Student 1: So do you live here on campus?

Eli: No. But thank you for thinking I'm young enough to be able to!

Student 1: Obviously I didn't think you were a student. I thought maybe you were a groundskeeper or something.

Eli: Like Hagrid?

Student 2: Anyway, we don't have age restrictions here. This is an inclusive safe space.

Eli: Sounds like my dating life!