Sunday, September 23, 2018

Romy and Skylar's High School Reunion

Skylar had his 10-year high school reunion last night so we spent the evening with people who have no memory of the original Jurassic Park movie being in theaters.

I was mostly excited to go because of the Facebook drama that preceded the event. Skylar kept me updated for the three months that it all lasted. I'm probably not allowed to talk about it here but Skylar only spot checks this site so there's at least a 40% chance he won't see this anyway.

It all started when the organizer announced that tickets to this event were going to be $40. That would apparently cover the cost of the venue and food. I wasn't surprised when I heard this. Some friends of mine have attended high school reunions for more. Mine cost $20 because I live in Cheap Lake City.

But the ticket price started a conversation on the high school reunion Facebook page. And that conversation got ugly.

There was an irate post by someone who was very upset that this was going to cost anything at all.

There were responses to this post that devolved into general name-calling.

At one point a horse girl tried to helpfully explain to the original poster that if she just saved one dollar a day for 40 days, she would have $40, like this was a Sarah McLachlan animal abuse situation.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Halee From High School

We borrowed a stage for Strangerville Live after Meg didn't "want to be murdered" by my attempt to build one.

Under no circumstances was she willing to stand on something I created. I don't know whether this is because she deems me incompetent or malicious, and honestly I don't know which is more offensive. Or true.

Once it was determined that building the stage was not a viable option, we went back to the drawing board, hoping to figure out where the hell we could get one. A stage. Not a drawing board. Although now that I think about it, I'm in the market for one of those, too. That, and a Heart of the Ocean.

I couldn't think of where else to find a stage, and that's when I took to what the kids' moms are calling "The Facebooks."

It seemed like a shot in the dark, but I posted there, asking if anyone had a stage that could fit in the back of a Subaru Outback and had very little history of killing Meg's unborn children.

My friend Emily responded by sending me somewhere around 600 text messages with DIY ideas, unaware that Meg had already vetoed even the continued suggestion that I would be allowed around more tools.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tara

Late last year I messaged my friend Tara on Facebook because she asked people for crock pot recipes and discussing food is the last vestige of that platform in my life.

Tara and I met in college. We were both history majors and she was the smartest person I knew so I latched myself onto her in multiple classes and made her study with me. In our last year we worked on a journal together. She was the editor-in-chief and I was something very not editor-in-chief. These were good memories. And then we graduated.

After college we stayed sort-of-in-touch through social media, chatting very occasionally. She went on, as expected, to travel the world and earn advanced degrees at places like freaking Cambridge. I saw her post pictures of the cool things she was up to from time to time and every time she did I nodded at my computer screen in polite pride that someone I knew and liked was doing snobby things without seeming to become snobby.

We hadn't chatted on social media for a few years when I sent her the crock pot recipe, and I couldn't remember seeing much posting from her in recent months and so I didn't know what she was up to these days.

She responded and thanked me for sending it. We Facebook chatted for a little while, catching up. She told me she was still living in England. I told her I was a big fat homo now and how Skylar keeps breaking my stuff but I have to accept it because I already peaked and he's settling for me so this is my best shot at a happy life.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Mormon Mothers

Skylar told me last night that he thinks "scolding" is a super power of Mormon mothers.

I had never heard this opinion from him, or anyone, but I implicitly agreed with him before taking a moment to blurt out, "wait; why?"

Skylar isn't from Utah. His exposure to mass Mormonism is a relatively recent aspect of his 28-year life. In fact, his first real visit (read: not an airport layover) was in late 2015. He was living in Wisconsin at the time. He started visiting Salt Lake City with some regularity that year because I'm very attractive and he couldn't help himself.

Uncovering Utah's uniqueness for him since then has been a surprisingly delightful experience for me. Most of this is because he has approached everything in our great state with nothing more than a polite and respectful curiosity.

Believe me when I say this is rare around these parts. Most people I know in Utah have very strong opinions, in one direction or another, about Mormonism and, specifically, Mormons. This is true of people who move here as well. They decide how they feel about the place before they get here and then they find whatever evidence they can to support their belief.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Locked Car

A homeless woman got my attention as I was walking to my car. She was blonde and looked a little rough around the edges, but simultaneously kind. She pointed at the car parked in the middle of the street--something very fancy-shmancy, silver, and sleek--and she asked me if it was mine.

I told her it wasn't, but I was curious why she was asking because I was raised by Cathie Whittle McCann who taught me that you should always become involved in everything ever, especially if it is happening inside a grocery store.

This wasn't happening inside of a grocery store. It was happening just outside of Church & State, where our show will take place this Friday. (P.S. get tickets here.)

I had stopped by to meet with Blair, the director of the venue, so we could dig through an entire room full of audio equipment that is so intimidating that you all just became more inadequate for my mentioning it.

We did a few sound tests because, five shows later, I guess I have finally learned that it's not a bad idea to get these things worked out not five minutes before the show is supposed to start.

May my sweat-soaked suits rest in peace.

The sound-checking had gone well enough, and I was gleefully walking back to my car, parked on the side of the road, when the homeless woman got my attention.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Susan

First of all, Strangerville Live is THIS FRIDAY. Come, please. We even ordered in some extra chairs so more people can attend and so we'll look really popular. But seating is still limited, so if you can make it, get your tickets HERE or HERE or HERE or HERE (those all go to the same place. OR DO THEY?).

Two cranky ladies will be checking names at the door (hi Anna and Emily thanks for working for me for free all the time and not filing sexual harassment complaints against Jolyn).

Second of all, to get you excited for Strangerville Live, here's an episode of Strangerville!



Finally, last night Skylar and I walked two houses down to Lynne's place for a backyard party. Lynne's backyard is like something out of a hipster magazine. She has two gorgeous patios, one with a perfectly-manicured tree canopy completely covering it, the other with a wisteria tree growing over the top of a pergola surrounding it. Both patios are lit by flame and bistro lights. And you've probably never even heard of it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

When Canning Gets Real

Everything in my family is a passive-aggressive competition, so that's why I bought 10 pounds of tomatoes this weekend after my mother posted pictures on Instagram of her canning process this year.

Cathie's entire basement is perpetually filled to capacity with home-processed bottles of vegetables and fruits organically grown in her yard through processes about which NASA has subpoenaed her for information nearly a dozen times. Her efforts at food preservation have won her several Nobel Peace Prizes and there's a rumor that her bottled pickle recipe may have been the actual cause for the deescalation of the Cold War on multiple occasions.

Cathie pretends she has no ego in this, but I know better. She'll never admit it, but I'm certain that she is exceptionally satisfied with the fact that she is better at this than all of her children combined.

Her pride only reaches this level in one other task, quilting, which she spent so much time during my childhood doing that it is technically considered my third parent. Until age 8 whenever anyone asked me where I lived I gave them the address for the fabric store down the street. I still accept some mail there--mostly from credit unions I keep forgetting to inform that I've moved. Whether or not Cathie and I ever had squatters rights at this fabric store is something that is still being argued in state courts.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Dog Hike



Check out today's Strangerville (show notes at bottom), wherein Skylar shares the best coming out story I have ever heard.

*****

Skylar really wanted to go for a hike on Labor Day weekend. We found a good one that was dog friendly and decided that we would get up at negative 5:00 in the morning and drive to it so we could get started before sunrise.

We bullied Matt into just coming and staying at our house the night before. This way we didn't have to tell him what time we were waking up for the hike. We could just carry his body to the car. Had we told him in advance that we were leaving at 5:00 he would have never spoken to us again.

Adam, Teddy, and Renley showed up around 5:00, just as Matt and Ollie were stomping up the stairs from my basement guest room, yelling something about why was it still dark outside.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Everyone Else is an Idiot

Skylar and I have a term to describe someone who is behaving incompetently in the moment. We call them "mall people." But with a strong emphasis on the word "malllll."

When someone in front of us sits through a green turn signal,

"Mallll people."

When a person leaves their grocery cart in the middle of an aisle in such a way that no one can get through,

"Malllll people."

When we go hiking and an entire family has gone off trail despite the signs asking people to stay on the trail because going off trail in that particular spot is bad for the vegetation and animals who are trying to thrive in that area and that family is eating a family-sized bag of Cheetos and dropping half of them onto the ground and they're screaming to each other about how hot it is and one of the kids is throwing rocks at a landmark that took millions of years to form,

"Malllllllllllllllllllllllllllll people."

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Locked Out

Skylar called me just as I was leaving the office the other day to very suspiciously ask me when I was going to be home.

It was suspicious to me, anyway, because when I told him I was on my way but needed to run an errand he seemed disappointed but then refused to explain why.

Eventually I got it out of him. He had locked himself out of the house. I don't know how he did it, exactly. But I had several sudden flashbacks to living with Rebecca when he admitted it and it only seemed fair to give him the same mean-spirited and demoralizing lecture I used to give her on a weekly basis.

I am going to be such a good parent if any of you die and give me your kids.

By the time I made it home, a rainstorm had moved in and Skylar was hiding under the covered patio in the backyard.

He followed me to the door, looking ashamed, AS HE SHOULD, and that's when I discovered that I also did not have a key to get into the house.