Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mock Depositions

I got to New York City a few days ago because my law firm decided that I should go to this training class.

I decided not to be offended by the suggestion, even though the class is really meant for people who are pretty recently out of law school. It's a deposition class where we spend several days taking mock depositions of fake witnesses while a panel of teachers snorts coffee and probably cocaine to try to stay awake long enough to give feedback because, as it turns out, there is something more boring than a deposition and that is a mock deposition.

It's not all bad. And the less cynical version of myself, the one that sometimes gets enough sleep and doesn't have shingles, would probably admit that the class is really helpful. This, despite the fact that a good portion of it is geared at explaining to the students what a deposition is in the first place, which might have been helpful to hear before I took eleventy depositions over the mumble-mumble years since I finished law school.

Obviously my main objective when walking into the class on the first day was to become as popular as possible because my popularity is an exact measure of my self-worth. And so I positioned myself to make all of the right jokes in all of the right places in front of all of the right people.

But because the class is really geared toward people who pretty recently finished law school, I'm a solid decade older than nearly everyone there, which is not a big deal if you're, like 75, but which is a surprisingly big deal if you're say 34.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

REST

I noticed this tender bump on the back of my head sometime last week so obviously that meant that I was dying.

Meg says she's a hypochondriac. She claims to have mastered this.

Meg Walter is an amateur.

I once saw a bug bite on my hip, convinced myself that I had bedbugs, and not just regular bedbugs, poisonous bedbugs, hyperventilated, fainted at 2:00 in the morning, and then had to spend the next two weeks hooked up to a portable heart monitor so the doctor could confirm that I didn't have heart disease.

I single-handedly crashed the American healthcare system that year.

By Sunday I was convinced that it was a tumor/leprosy/bedbug-heart-disease, and so that's when I went to urgent care.

Having been around the block a few times now, I'm much more competent when dealing with my hypochondria today than I was during the bug bite situation. That's the only way I was possibly able to wait all the way until Sunday before seeing a doctor. What with my body aches, extreme fatigue, nausea, and every other symptom listed on WebMD under "things a sick human can experience."

Sunday, November 4, 2018

A Murderer in our Midsts

I think Duncan might have serial killer tendencies.

He hasn't attempted to murder me or Skylar, to our knowledge. This is good, because I place my life in his paws every day. If Duncan suddenly wanted me dead, you all would be looking for a new place on the Internet to read subliminal messages about competitive PTA races by tomorrow morning. All he would have to do is put cyanide in my soup. And I know. I could decrease the likelihood of this happening by locking the cyanide closet in my house or taking him off of the cooking rotation, but I don't need to. Because Duncan doesn't seem interested in killing me.

He does seem interested in killing many other people, though. Mostly people on wheels.

We take Duncan for a walk every day to the college campus by my house. Duncan loves this activity more than any of you love your mothers. He loves it so much that if he hears us say the word "walk," he has to be sedated.

This is such a problem that we have developed a truly subconscious practice of spelling out the word if ever we have cause to say it. So subconscious, in fact, that two weeks ago I spelled it in a work meeting and then had to explain why I was spelling the word in a hushed voice like it was a swear.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

10 Movies I Could Never Get Sick of Watching

I'm not saying these are the best films of all-time. There are many movies that I think are much greater than these, but that I could only watch once.

This post pays tribute to the movies I could watch over and over. The kind of movie you might flip on to have in the background while cleaning the house. I present these, aggressively-unapologetically, in no particular order.

1. You've Got Mail



Look. I don't care what you say. It's a nearly perfect film. I watch it every Thanksgiving morning while I cook pies that my family definitely won't eat. I could quote the entire movie at you, word-for-word from the opening line all the way to the part where Meg Ryan says "I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly."

Sunday, October 28, 2018

There Will Be Some Kids

Halloween is a stressful day for me because I so want it to go well but it pretty much never goes well.

I want to live in that neighborhood from the movies where all of the kids are out in traditional Halloween costumes, marching up leaf-fallen pathways to Victorian brick houses, adorned with intricate pumpkin carvings and emitting smells of hot cider. That's all I want. Not much to ask for.

But that's not how it goes on my street.

The houses are dark, almost comically so. Windows are practically boarded. My first Halloween in my home I had about 4 trick-or-treaters.

It's gotten slightly better since then, probably only because I have aggressively shouted children down as I've seen them passing my street to move on to friendlier territory, convincing them to come over.

I never planned to be a man in his thirties screaming at kids to come to his house for candy, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Last year, thanks largely to my Halloween advocacy, I had nearly 30 trick-or-treaters. At least two of those were full-fledged adults, out without any children, but they were wearing costumes so I rewarded their commitment to sugar.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

You Have Rats

"You have rats," The Perfects informed me, standing on my driveway as I fumbled with some grocery sacks from the back seat of my car.

The only one who was happy with this news was Duncan, who is brave only in the "hold me back" kind of way.

He turns into a vicious and rabid dog, while in the comfort of his own home, every time he sees a cat cross by the living room window. But when he saw one up close at Skylar's parents' house last Christmas, he quickly devolved into a nervous breakdown.

You wouldn't believe the therapy bills.

As soon as he discovered the rat or rats a day or two after The Perfects's's disclosure, he was in heaven, primarily because the rat had no interest in confrontation, so Duncan could look like a badass without ever having to fight the creature.

I knew that The Perfects didn't mean for the news to sound like an accusation, but I'm accustomed to translating everything that comes from their benevolent mouths into a certain tone and context.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Lice Check

Have I bragged about how good our last Strangerville live show was? I have? Well, one of the reasons it was so great was because of Whitney Call, who closed out the night with one of the most beautifully-written stories I have read in years. 

Check out the recording of her story on today's Strangerville; I would also strongly recommend that you read it below. This is a story worth experiencing both ways.


This time in Strangerville, Meg’s dog needs a therapist. And Whitney Call reminds us how hard it is to be 9 years old.

Story
Lice Check, by Whitney Call

Production by Eli McCann & Preg Walter

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Me When I Was Bad

This is my niece, Kate.


Adorable, right? Doesn't she just look like someone you would trust with your life? So sweet and sincere.

Be ye not fooled.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Skylar Has Opinions

Be sure to check out this beautiful story from Shireen if you haven't already!



*****

Skylar has opinions about things and sometimes this is the worst.

I don't mean that his opinions are the worst. Sometimes they are. But that's not what I meant by the first sentence.

What I meant by the first sentence is that it is sometimes the worst that he has opinions in the first place.

Last week we got our by-mail ballots for the midterm elections. We sat around the kitchen table filling these out, quite thoughtfully, I would like to add. Probably more than any election, we studied the issues thoroughly, like we were preparing to take a test.

But then we got to one proposed constitutional amendment on our ballots and Skylar was not familiar with it so he asked me if I knew what it was all about.

"Just vote yes," I told him, without further explanation.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Born To Run


A few months ago I was invited to a meet and greet for this woman named Shireen Ghorbani who is running for Congress in my district right now (Utah Second District). I went because I'm totes hashtag woke.

Truthfully, I mainly went because I had been feeling guilty for a while for not being informed enough about local politics, and I thought it wouldn't kill me to spend an hour to go and hear what someone who could end up being my representative thinks about cats and Snuggies.

I'm probably like most people in being very fatigued with politics and all of the anger. That's not to say that I ignore politics or that I sometimes don't feel anger about it. I do. Check out my Twitter. Hashtag woke.

But I am tired of it. And although I have received anger emails to the Stranger account accusing me of being "a conservative mindless sheep" and "a communist libtard," and on one occasion on the same day, it might surprise you to learn that I don't consider myself conservative or liberal.

I've registered at various times for both major parties, usually so I can vote in a primary election that I feel somewhat strongly about. But I've never felt loyal to either, and I refuse to buy into the notion that any political party has the market cornered on good or bad people and ideas.