Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Neck Pillow

I don't travel well. Truly.

I'm talking about the actual act of traveling. Not being in a different place. I like that part, mostly. Depending on the place. And how old I feel. And how much I'm liking my own bed at the moment.

But the act of getting myself from one place to the next = not a thing I do well.

Whenever we have to fly somewhere Skylar bribes me with treats and compliments in a usually fruitless effort to keep me from becoming, as he calls it, "Mr. Cranky Pants" by the time we land at our destination.

Flying just takes a lot out of me. The hauling of bags. The being eyed suspiciously by people who are paid to weed out terrorists. The airport energy, which can only be described as "fatigued panic." The waiting. The climbing into a confined space that can fly for a reason that literally no one in the world understands and science can't explain. The arm-to-arm contact with a stranger who is transmitting a personal dose of fatigued panic. The sitting for sometimes many hours. The recycled air. The looming fear that at any given moment we could all be dead and there's literally nothing any of us can do about it. The waiting on a hot plane for the fatigued panicky masses to unload.

AND THEN YOU AREN'T EVEN AT YOUR DESTINATION because you still have to navigate another airport and whatever chaos surrounds your airport transportation.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

To Be Seen

I kept myself busy throughout my life as a coping mechanism. If I was too busy to stop and think, I would be too busy to be afraid. If I was too busy to stop and think, I would be too busy to suffocate from my cognitive dissonance. If I was too busy to stop and think, I would be too busy to have to grapple with being gay.

So I absorbed myself in dozens of hobbies and I signed up for everything. In high school I ran cross country and track & field, I sang (badly) in the school choir, I went to every school activity, and I packed my life with social events--as many as I could find.

In college I took a full class load and worked sometimes as many as three jobs at once. "I like being busy," I would tell people when they asked me how I had the energy to do everything I was doing.

The truth was I didn't like being that busy. I didn't like having a plate so full of tasks, many I didn't really enjoy doing, that I constantly felt overwhelmed. I didn't like not sleeping. It was stressful. But I was terrified of the alternative.

I would watch my friends guard their free time and I would feel jealous of them. Then I'd watch them get married and slip away. So I would make myself even busier, busy enough that I wouldn't have time to think about what my future looked like.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

REAMS

There's a grocery store chain in Utah called REAMS, and this place is a trip.

First of all, this is what it looks like on the outside:


No, that picture is not from the early 80s. That is what REAMS and the cars currently parked in front of it look like today.

At REAMS, it is always Utah in 1983.

There was a REAMS down the street from my house when I was growing up. It was our go-to store. Why wouldn't it be? In one single stop you could buy cantaloupe, one of those giant rainbow jawbreakers, and jeans.

Monday, August 12, 2019

A Night of Rage

Clint Betts runs The Beehive so he's basically our big scary boss. We made him tell a story at Strangerville Live, and this might be the funniest thing to ever come out of Spanish Fork Utah. Please enjoy.

This episode also includes some only slightly depressing discussion from me and Meg, prompted partly by a beautiful thing she wrote last week. Take a look, if you haven't already.



This time in Strangerville, a conversation about how to deal with depressing news. Also, a man takes the Strangerville Live stage to talk about a night his small Utah town will never forget.
Story:
A Night of Rage, by Clint Betts
Production by Eli McCann & Meg Walter


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Engagement Photos

My very talented soon-to-be brother-in-law, Brady, visited us last month. Skylar's sisters and their children came as well. For a full week, somewhere around 84 people were staying in my house. The fact that we didn't all contract meningitis was a true Pioneer Day miracle.

Brady is a photographer, and since he heard that Utah didn't have any of those, he decided to bring his camera on the trip so he could find out in person how completely unphotogenic I am.

I'm not kidding about this. It's a true curse. I should be compensated for it somehow. They should let me board planes first and skip the line at Disneyland.

It doesn't matter how I'm looking or how well-rested I am or how many times I've had the stomach flu in the last month, the moment a camera gets pointed at me I transform into Sloth from The Goonies.

Basically I'm trying to tell all of you who have never seen me in real life that I'm incredibly hot. You would totally faint if you saw me. Srsly.

Skylar doesn't understand my problem. You could snap a picture of him from a moving vehicle just after he passed out in a pool of his own vomit and it will somehow look like he's getting ready to walk the red carpet at the Oscars.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Science Fair

After a couple of weeks off, we are back with more Strangerville. And in happy news, the Strangerville Podcast is now a part of The Beehive. Pretty much all that means is we've sold our souls and Meg and I are now paid $1,000,000 per episode. That, and we have re-branded.

Please enjoy a truly exceptional story from our most recent Strangerville Live (written version below).



This time in Strangerville, simultaneously the best and worst karaoke to ever travel the seas. Also, a woman takes the Strangerville Live stage to talk about a science fair mishap.
Story:
Time Machine, by Alisa Van Langeveld
Production by Eli McCann, Meg Walter, & The Beehive



Thursday, August 1, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I'm getting yelled at right now because I just admitted to Skylar that the reason Duncan got up in the middle of the night last night and wanted to play was because I woke up first had to give him so much tickles. So I better go. But anyway, enjoy some Pictures & Distractions:
They took our photos for The Beehive. Sorry if my hair broke your computer.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Wedding Venue

Our wedding is in like two months which somehow simultaneously sounds stressfully close and impossibly far away.

Oh, in case you stopped reading Stranger for a few years and you just suddenly returned to this post, long story short, I got a puppy, chose to become gay, got engayged to a man, and then together we formed the Cult of the Metagalactic Witches of the Fourth Order. Everyone who reads this site direct deposits their entire paycheck every two weeks into a bank account we set up to cover the cost of living for our invisible immortal leader, Liza Spinnelli. And once a year we have a potluck retreat in Ohio where we wear matching t-shirts and play a nude game of steal the flag.

Look. Normally I'm the stress case. Normally I'm the one who is like WHAT IF WE DIE and Skylar is the one who is like WHO CARES THEY HAVE CANDY and then we get into the nice man's van because I'm older and more tired so I give in.

But we are having a total role reversal here because every two hours Skylar calls me and screams into the phone indecipherable nonsense in which I occasionally make out words like "flowers" and "cake" and "Liza Spinnelli."

Last month he nearly had a nervous breakdown because we hadn't yet decided exactly how many threads would be used to hand weave a napkin no one would ever see. So he called the venue and asked if we could come have a meeting to "just go over everything."

Sunday, July 28, 2019

It's Raining Men


I say that I’m not a cruise person. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have a good time last week with all 6,000 members of my family on a boat in Alaska. But the good time was had in spite of the boat, not because of it.

It’s probably because I’m a snob that I say this. Not generally. I don’t think I’m a general snob. I think I’m a travel snob.

I’ve got a friend who has a theory that everyone is a snob in at least one way. Even the most laid back person has at least one thing they are a snob about. Maybe you’re a food snob or a movie snob or something really specific, like a toothpaste snob or a Dr. Who snob. We all have at least one thing about which we are particular to the point that we almost subconsciously look down on others for having different (read, worse) taste.

Well, I’m a travel snob.

That doesn’t mean I stay in the Ritz and fly first class. Being a travel snob for me means seeing the world without being a “tourist,” whatever that means. It’s about going to places lazy people won’t deign to suffer. Places where you probably won’t get giardia from a hut in a town not found on maps.

I think the first time I ever even saw a cruise ship was in 2016. My friend Adam and I were in Helsinki and we needed to get to Estonia. We found out you could purchase one-way tickets across the water on a cruise ship that was making stops in both places. It was a three-hour or so ride. We, the temporary-ticket holders, were ushered to the buffet dining area of the ship to find a seat at some table. We sat with the cruisers, our noses slightly upturned, as they avoided us because we hadn't showered in a few days. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Yahoo! Answers XIV

I've been saving this for a while. Please cast your vote for your favorite answer. There are some WINNERS here.



Question 1: If the Titanic sinking really happened, why didn't the people who died ever say anything about it? I just think it's suspicious that not a single one of them ever talked about their experience.