Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Eli: What are you doing tomorrow morning?

Skylar: I have a meeting that I'm leading.

Eli: That sounds like a rap lyric.

Skylar: Huh?

Eli: You have a meeting that you're leading while the people are bleeding from their grieving, overcome by the deceiving retreating

Skylar: This isn't even making sense

Eli: interspersed with their retreating conceiving, outspoken in the seething pleading

Skylar: Are you the new Eminem?

Eli: No. Vanilla Ice.

Skylar: That fits.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

How To Get Through Winter

As you know, this is The Year of Creativity for me. You can tell because of all of my artistic face tattoos.

It's been a really good focus for me for 2017. I've immersed myself in more writing and Strangervilling and that has been incredibly therapeutic. Strangerville Live, which we launched at the beginning of the year as a part of my Year of Creativity has been one of the most fun projects I've ever had. And all of it so far has led up to my niece telling me that my hair is "a little out of hand."

Seriously. If you haven't listened yet, you need to check out The World of Babysitting. These stories are giving me life right now.



The last few weeks of work have been like a roller coaster for me. A really long, unfortunately-bumpy roller coaster that often happens until about 2:00 in the morning. But without the fun parts.

So I decided that I needed to take on a new creative hobby because my life philosophy is why be exceptional at a few things when you can be pretty bad at a lot of things?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The World of Babysitting

I have a special treat for you today for a lot of reasons.

So a few months ago I wrote that thing about how I was watching Ollie and Duncan and they both ran into the dorms at the college by my house and the door locked behind them. Then you guys were all like "I'VE HAD THE WORST EXPERIENCES BABYSITTING CHILDREN" so I decided we needed to have a Strangerville episode about it.

This episode includes contributions from Amy Rose AND The Suzzzzzzzzzz. My niece, Emrie, also showed up for what might be the funniest conversation I have ever witnessed in my life.

You guys. I'm not kidding. I actually thought I was going to hurt myself during this interview. Even Meg, who never ever laughs no matter what ever, was leaning against a wall, with tears of joy coming out of her eyes.

You need to listen to this.

Meg's daughter, Ivy, makes an amazing appearance.

We also had my sister Krishelle and local storyteller Rachel Miller. I didn't mean to "the Professor and Mary Ann" their contributions. (Did that joke make sense? I'm leaving it.)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I have a work thing out of town tomorrow so I dropped Duncan off at Matt's house this afternoon. Ollie was taking his 9-hour nap on Matt's bed so he didn't bother to come to the door to greet us. Duncan searched the house for about 20 seconds before finding him, taking a flying leap onto the bed, and landing right on Ollie's head.

You guys. I think Ollie Pants may be the Zodiac Killer based on the psychotic response that I saw come from him.

I have learned to never wake the Pantses up from naps.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
My niece, Emrie, in the studio for Strangerville. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When Your Brain Turns Off

As you are aware, Skylar is a smart person. Like, I think he might actually be a genius

Sometimes I think that maybe his brain is functioning at such a high level that when it has to do day-to-day insignificant computing it's like "BASIC THOUGHT IS FOR POOR PEOPLE I CAN'T BE BOTHERED WITH THIS!"

And so he dies trying to make toast in the bathtub right after winning Jeopardy.

A few weeks ago Adam had a pumpkin-carving party at his house and I knew Skylar was going to be at the grocery store that day at some point and so, hoping to save myself a trip, I asked him to pick up two pumpkins for the party.

For a second I was like, "Ok, Eli. Maybe you should call him and micromanage this." But I stopped myself because Skylar haaaaaaaaates being micromanaged by me just because of these like 15 to 30 times when he was cooking and I was hovering over him constantly saying things like "stir it this way" and "you're doing that wrong" and "here, let me just take over. Go outside and play."

So I didn't. I didn't micromanage him. I decided to choose my micromanaging battles and save my contributions for times when the instruction truly leaves a lot of room for discretion.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Eleven Eleven

We know Duncan was born sometime around the beginning of November, but we don't know the exact date. I explained to him recently that his biological mother didn't keep detailed records (she was a big ol' mess and I don't think she actually knows who the father is). Duncan took it surprisingly well, probably mostly because I told him on Halloween right before trick-or-treating started so he was distracted at the moment.

I adopted my baby at the end of January and at the time a lady who smelled like dog poop and who handed him over to me said that they thought he was about 12 weeks old based on his teeth or his eyes or the number of rings around his core or something. Then she took all of my money and forgot to tell me that I wasn't going to get a full night of sleep for the next four months.

I pulled out my calculator and did very complicated math to determine that Mr. Doodle entered the world in early November. Sometime after that I decided we would just celebrate his birthday on 11/11 because it's memorable and it will look cool if we ever decide to tattoo it onto his clavicle.

We texted Adam the other day to make sure Teddy and Renley had it in their calendars. Adam responded that he saw them putting it into their phones.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Two Adults Came To My Door

So the other day I posted that thing about how I ain't much for book learnin' and I told you how I'm trying to read now so I don't get executed for failing to know how many characters in Of Mice and Men are mice. And then you guys left eleventy million comments about all of the books I should be ashamed of myself for having not read. And this level of response really surprised me. Because I had previously assumed 97% of you were illiterate.

Anyway, the comments section of Stranger turned into a full-blown cyber attack on the public education system, which was new for me because it's usually an attack on how tight my clothes are or how I'm not supposed to offer to slap your children at the grocery store.

I haven't referenced that in a while. Were any of you around when that happened? I made a joke about how I'm totally willing to help slap people's children in the grocery store if they're acting like brats and then every single mom on the entire internet emailed me and was like "I'M REPORTING YOU TO THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU" and then I had to respond to every single one of them with badly-photoshopped pictures of me petting kittens so the internet moms would know I was actually gentle and nominate me for employee of the week at Shakey's instead.

I got side-tracked.

Monday, October 30, 2017

It's A Classic!

When I was in high school I read nearly zero books and I've been feeling guilty about this for mumble mumble cough years. So guilty that if I knew where my diploma was I would probably send it back with an apology note and some homemade pumpkin bread because Cathie didn't raise me in the wild.

My ability to fake preparedness has been both one of my greatest assets and one of my biggest hindrances. What this meant was that when Mrs. Voorhees was like "what did The Scarlet Letter teach you about humanity" I could be all like "in a way, isn't the fact that the literary letter was scarlet so symbolic of every inadequacy felt by man in a literal sense?" and Mrs. Voorhees would be all like "A! PLUS!" but then when I got into the real world and someone was like "name one character from The Scarlet Letter or you'll die" I just had to die.

So it's not good that I didn't read books.

There were some exceptions to this. I read To Kill A Mockingbird, and have since reread it a number of times because I believe that if I love it enough, Atticus Finch will have to appear in my life and grant me three wishes. The nearly-perfect Atticus Finch. Not the racist one. And if you don't know what I'm talking about DO NOT FREAKING READ GO SET A WATCHMAN.

You have been warned.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I have a work thing this week in Chicago, or as Bob and Cathie like to call it "DON'T GET MURDERED." I'm staying with my childhood best friend Sam. He's an orthodontist and apparently they get up at negative elventy o' clock in the morning for work because he was long gone by the time I rolled out of bed.

I realized that I had totally forgotten to pack my computer charger and underwear when I got out of the shower and tried to get dressed and quickly finish drafting something that needed to be filed in court today. And so, totally unfamiliar with the city and desperately wanting not to get murdered because then Bob and Cathie would be all like "SEE WE TOLD YOU" and that would be super annoying, I ventured out onto the streets.

Thirty minutes later I found a store that sold both a universal charger AND underwear.

Checkout Woman: 9:00 AM and you out buyin' underwear and chargers.

Eli: And I found both in the same store! It's a Halloween miracle!

Checkout Woman: We have fresh-baked goods, too, if you're looking for breakfast.

Eli: Shut up. You had me at hello.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
Chicago

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Personal Assistant: Apply Now

One of the reasons you shouldn't be friends with me is I will turn you into my personal assistant.

Look. It's not like the job doesn't pay. It pays exceptionally well.

Not money. No. It doesn't pay money. But what it pays is much more valuable than money.

Take, for instance, yesterday when Matt texted me 17 pictures of a bleeding mole on his back and asked me if I thought it might be "stage 7" cancer.

A normal person would have ignored these texts. Or at least educated him on how many stages there are. And then blocked his number before he sends more close-up shots of his least appealing body parts.

Not me. Matt is on my staff and so he is entitled to his salary.

So I texted him back and fed his fears. Because that's what he wants. Not someone to talk him off the ledge. But someone to ask him when his appointment is with the dermatologist and then tell him that next Monday is probably too late. Then I forwarded all of the pictures to Skylar without any context.