Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012

How did we already get to the 2012 wrap-up post? What a year. For several years now I have measured my life by the mantra that if I'm doing things right, the best year of my life at any given time should always be the last one I've lived.  So many people talk about certain times as their best. Times past. Times when they were young enough to do this or that. Times when they weren't bogged down by the mortgage, and the kids, and the job, and life. Times when they weren't going through the crap they're currently going through.

But strangers, I think 2012 has taught me more than anything else that the make-up of a greatest year is not actually exotic locales and impressive promotions. It's less about what you do and more about what you learn. It's not so much about where you've been but more about whom you've met. And whom you've helped. By that standard, each of our lives have room for greatness. Because each of our lives have people and challenges in them. Whether we live in the Palaun Pacific or the Salt Lake City suburbs, we have the puzzle pieces available to make ourselves into something we can be proud of. And whether we're going to be able to say by the end of 2013 that we just lived our best year depends entirely on what we decide to do be during it.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Last Friday's Pictures and Distractions post was supposed to be the last one ever, what with the world ending and all. I'm happy to report that the world did not end, however. I know you were all waiting on pins and needles to hear it officially from me.

This was a good week. Except that, this was supposed to be the week that I started getting up at 6:00 AM to go running. Instead, the following conversation happened every single morning when Daniel came into my bedroom to wake me up:

Daniel: Hey, it's time t--

Eli: NOOOOOOO!!!!!! GET OUT!!!!!!!!! GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!

Well. There's always next week.

Opening a Christmas gift from Anna on Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

FAQs

Good morning, dear strangers. A while back I decided it was time to stick an FAQs section on Stranger. So I'm finally doing that. You can find the tab above. I know. It's like I'm trying to set a world record on having the most tabs possible. I have also included the FAQs in this post, for the truly lazy. I receive quite a few emails and comments on blog posts (which I love reading) and many of them ask a lot of the same questions. Since I don't want you to spend all your time asking these kinds of things and not have enough time to write about your Queen of Colors sighting, I post the answers conveniently for you here.

Q: What the crap did I just read?

A: I started this blog in 2007 on a whim. I gave the title no thought, and probably would pick a different one if I could go back. Before I started blogging, I was writing about the strange experiences I was having and emailing them to members of my family almost daily. Then I heard about blogging (I'm always about 10 years behind on all things) and it seemed like a more practical way to share stories and archive them than through the hotmail account I had created when I was 16. So one Saturday morning I up and created this blog and it has largely remained what it was in the very beginning: an exaggerated account of my daily life. The good, the bad, and the Queen of Colors. Only, hopefully, now the spelling and grammar is a little better.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I Don't Hate Christmas

Christmas came and went. And guys, I have a huge announcement to make.

I think I like Christmas.

I know. How could somebody not like Christmas. It's like saying you hate Paul Simon or happiness. Which is different than saying you hate Glee, by the way. Glee is a terrible television program. They named it Glee because they thought we wouldn't be brave enough to say that we hate "Glee." I'm all about lower-case glee. But upper-case "Glee?" Most horrific awful thing to plague the Earth. Besides snakes.

So, back to Christmas.

For the past 10 years or so, I've basically been living the first three-quarters of the movies Home Alone and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Also A Christmas Carol. But with fewer ghosts.

Year after year, I told myself repeatedly that I didn't like Christmas. This, Cathie has taken personally every year. (She sincerely believes that she invented Christmas. She even dressed up as Santa Clause this year to cause her grandchildren to question everything they've ever learned about life spread Christmas cheer to the children).

This picture was sent to me this morning by my sister Krishelle. All the email said was, "oh dear. She says this is going to be a new family tradition." I'm just happy my mother is showing my nieces that they can be whatever they want when they grow up. Even a man with a beard. If that's their thing.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Happy Friday, dear strangers. I hope you survive the ending of the world. Merry Christmas from Palau.


Tree discovered on a Saturday drive.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yahoo! Answers VI

You seemed bored, so I thought I would post some more Yahoo! Answers questions for you. But before I get to that, I thought I would share a couple of pictures from a Ragnar team who ran recently with some custom made zebra print Snuggies, embroidered with a classy "3+3=furrrever" (there were apparently 6 of them total). Thanks Kelly, Megan, and others.


 
 
 
 
Question 1: Are cat feces REALLY good for your skin? I've always been told all of those stories about how good cat feces are for your skin but I've been applying them twice a day for 2 months and have seen no difference. I'm starting to wonder why I even got these cats in the first place. Am I doing this wrong? PLEASE don't tell me I have to ingest them again like I did for that detox treatment.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lost in the Jungle

A whole bunch of things happened yesterday that probably all involved witchcraft and as a result, eventually Stranger was moved to what the kids call "its own domain." So they tell me now that you can access it by just going to itjustgetsstranger.com. And also, apparently, you can keep accessing it the same way you were accessing it by going to blogspot. It's all of the devil if you ask me.

My good friend Brian put me in touch with his good friend Ben who understands the Internets and who walked me through the process to make this transition possible. Every time I got a new email from him with words in it like "Cname" and "DNS manager" I immediately screamed, pepper sprayed my computer screen, and said 60 Hail Marys.

But I'm told being on my own domain is a good thing. So after I sold my soul to the devil, I spent part of my evening clicking on things and then screaming every time a change was saved, sure that I had just deleted Stranger and started a panic on Wall Street. I'm told that I don't have that much power. But in a world where I can type something into a computer in Palau that you can immediately read in North Dakota (sorry about living in North Dakota, by the way), I will not accept that I have no power to accidentally blow up a country.

In any event, it all seemed to work out. Thanks Ben, wherever you are. You're the wind beneath my wings. As a thank you, I had Bette Midler perform this song for you in the '80s.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Grandma Georgia Emails

Today's edition of the Jolyn files is a very dramatic email chain she started under the Alias "Grandma Georgia" last December. I had received a number of very odd emails already (mostly from Jolyn) to the Stranger email account and was having a hard time knowing how to handle them. Jolyn didn't confess that she was Grandma Georgia all along until right before I moved to Palau in October. For about 9 months I felt anxiety over how this all turned out.

There are a few different people emailing back and forth in this chain, since I repeatedly asked Jolyn and Jen for advice on how to respond to Grandma Georgia. So pay attention to the "From" and "To" on the email headers.


From: Georgia
To: Eli (Stranger Account)
Subject: Granddaughter Alice

Hi Eli,

I'm writing on behalf of my lovely granddaughter, Alice. She has been on your fan band wagon for a few weeks and follows your blog and the comments religiously. She has been wanting to email and start a conversation with you but she's just too shy and usually only talks to me or her cat. But I say there's no time like the present! So I decided to go ahead and do it for her!
 
She's a sweet girl. She's 18, studying English at UCLA, loves literature and writing poetry. She has quite a good eye for good writing (take that as a compliment!). She's quiet, but definitely opinionated. And is a fantastic bowler! I know she would love to go out with you, maybe a friendly bowl and some ice cream. If you're interested you can call her at 801-372-0711. I'll tell her I sent you her number so she should be expecting your call!

Kindest Regards,

Georgia


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gang Fight

Happy Monday, dear strangers. I hope you all had a magical weekend in unicorn proportions, and yet still had a chance to feel heart-broken over some of the terrible things that happened during it. Feeling heart-broken is good, sometimes. It means you're alive and still have the ability to care.

Ok, so the elephant in the room. I know I've written about loneliness a couple of times now. And those posts basically seemed like a cry for help. And I know exactly what you all pictured when you read them.

Eli McCann, sitting in a dark room, his 47-53 cats walking all around him, meowing, while he listens to the Wilson Phillips' hit single "Hold On," crying.

Totally inaccurate though. I don't even have a copy of "Hold On." I don't need it. It's written on my heart (picture me dancing right now).

A whole bunch of you left comments and sent emails to let me know that you all totally have my back. But probably not in the gang way. Like, you support me and love me, but if I got attacked by another gang, you would probably all just run away. And that's cool. I would do the same if you got attacked by a gang. And, for all I know, I might even divert all the attention onto you by pointing in your direction and saying "this guy has been calling you guys fat ALL DAY!" just to make sure I'm not targeted.

I don't know. I've never been in a gang fight so it's hard to say how I might respond. I'm just assuming I would be a team player right up until there was any chance of getting shanked. Then I would immediately align myself with the majority and act like I had been there all along.

Unless you guys were just thinking that you would have my back even in a gang fight, in which case, yeah, totally. Me too.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Another week has come to an end. Thanks for helping make it great. Happy weekend strangers. Try to enjoy it. Pull your pants on, get out there, and have a good one.

This week's pictures from my phone come from a recent trip to an incredible waterfall, just a few miles from where I live. In Palau, everything is just a few miles from where I live.

As for the distraction links of the week, you'll notice one of them is an article that has to do with a fox. I was trying to explain the story of the article to Daniel earlier today.

So there was this fox that was killed! And you won't believe how it happened! The wolf got into this . . .

Wait. A fox was killed or a wolf.

That's what I said!

No. Which is it? Was it a fox or a wolf?

They're the same thing, Daniel. [Said as though Daniel is an idiot]

Do you seriously not know the difference between a fox and a wolf?

Um . . . of course I do . . . one has fox parts and the other . . . looks like a fox, too.

How do you not know the difference?! You are a grown man!

YOU KNOW I HATE ANIMALS! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE?!

Old mining tracks in the jungle. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cat Birthday

I mentioned yesterday in the Snuggie Texts anniversary post that Jolyn, my friend who helps me with the blog, has frequently targeted me in some terribly mean pranks. Me. Innocent, little old me. Naturally, several of you demanded that I post the results of some of those pranks. Ok, you twisted my arm. I'll start with the most recent one.

Living in Palau, I am in a very different time zone than the vast majority of you. What this means is that by the time I get up in the morning, it's already the afternoon for most of you. Seizing this opportunity, one day last week Jolyn waited until it was late enough in Palau that I was probably in bed, signed into the Facebook "It Just Gets Stranger" account, and posted this on the Stranger page (as me):

Happy Birthday to me today! 87 years old--still feeling young. For presents, please send me pictures of your cats (in costumes preferably) or your feet to itjustgetsstranger@gmail.com. You, dear strangers, are the best.

By the time I got into work, I already had over 50 emails with pictures of cats and feet. I was so confused. And then I saw the post. I tried quickly to right the wrong by posting again on the Facebook wall that it was NOT my birthday. But the cat photos kept rolling in.

I have been working on returning them to you guys, since it wasn't really my birthday. And it's just unfair for me to accept gifts from you when it isn't even my birthday.

Enjoy some of my favorites from the birthday week. Sorry if I didn't post yours. It's not because I didn't like it. It's just because I'm super lazy and the Internet is very slow down here in coconut land.

Anna

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Snuggie Texts, One Year Later

One year ago today I posted Snuggie Texts.

I cannot believe it has already been a year. You people are getting old.

Over the past year, many of you have asked a lot of questions about that experience. How it happened. Who Jane is. What happened to her after Snuggie Texts. Etc.

I have answered so few of your questions and, frankly, never thought I would answer them. This was partly because of laziness but also, I was worried that if I talked too much about it, it might ruin the humor for some of you. Some friends who knew more about the story than I shared here were sure this wouldn't happen and encouraged me to appease the strangers of the world by discussing the experience a little more.

And what better way to do that than on the anniversary of Snuggie Texts? So, here it is.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Relationship Advice Emails

One stranger, Lauren, suggested that I email a relationship expert and seek some advice. I found one young guy with a blog in which he states that he is an expert on relationships. He provided his email for anyone who wanted to email him questions. I thought I would test the outer limits of his expertise. I'm sure I'll get what's coming to me one of these days. But until then, enjoy:


From: Peter Hansen
To: Jack
Subject: HELP!?! Relationship!?

I'm in a very unique relationship with someone who doesn't speak English (only understands it) and spends most of the day sleeping. Also, I don't think children will be possible for us and this bothers me. Could use some help if you would email me.


From: Jack
To: Peter Hansen
Subject: HELP!?! Relationship!?

Very interesting situation you have there. I am sure I can help. Can you give me some more information to aide in my advice?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I am an Island

You read this blog. Some of you, faithfully. And that's an incredibly fun and strange thing for me. And from time to time some of you have mentioned that you feel like you know me personally, just from reading all the nonsense I post. And I feel like I know you personally as well.

Well, not you you. But the collective "you."

You probably just read that part where I said that I know you personally in a creepy voice. So you got freaked out for a second, thinking that maybe I was stalking you. So I put in that part about the "collective you" to ease your concerns. And now you're back to thinking that I'm not stalking you. Which is putting you into a false sense of security, because I am stalking you.

Don't believe me? Turn around.

Ok, so I wasn't actually standing behind you. But imagine if I was. Pretty impressive, right?

Anyway, through my communication with the collective you, I feel like I know you. And I think about you whenever I'm writing something here.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pictures From My Phone & Weekly Distractions

Another strange week has come and gone. I was thinking about how it has already been one year, to this month, that Snuggie Texts happened, the post through which most of you ended up finding Stranger. Many of you have asked a lot of questions over the last year and have hoped for more details about the circumstances surrounding Snuggie Texts as well as the aftermath. I decided a year ago that for many reasons I wouldn't entertain those conversations much, and so I haven't.

But after some push from several friends, I have decided that for the anniversary of Snuggie Texts, next week I will shed some light on the story. Why am I telling you this today? Two reasons: 1) So you'll get super excited and fail to accomplish anything this weekend, and 2) To ask you to please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments of this post about what, specifically, you would like me to address when talking about Snuggie Texts, including any questions you have about it, about the people it involved, etc.

Anyway, this week's edition of pictures from my phone is a special one. These shots were all taken in Guam where I basked in civilization for 4 days. I feel very self-centered posting several pictures of myself. But I guess that's what a single guy with a personal blog does.

Overjoyed to be standing in a Kmart. And that is a sentence I never thought I would write.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cooking With The Kids

Last week, before going to Guam, we hosted a cooking night at our place for the church kids.

20-something hormonal teenagers showed up. 20-something.

Strangers, have you ever had 20-something hormonal teenagers all come to your house at once? By the end of the night, I felt like I had just done meth for 3 straight hours. Not that I know what that is, mom. But really, 20-something hormonal teenagers, all crammed together and screaming for attention. The night was exactly like an episode of iCarly. Not that I know what that is, everyone else.

We were in charge of getting the boys to prepare some kind of elaborate dish in the kitchen while the girls stayed mostly in the front room putting together appetizers and desserts. Initially the leader over the girls offered to have them prepare the entire meal themselves, but the feminist in me protested this. And then vowed to teach the girls how to fix cars if I ever learned how myself. And then scolded me for assuming they don't already know how to fix cars just because they're girls. And then vowed to ask the girls to teach me to fix the cars.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Yahoo! Answers V

Guys, Yahoo! Answers is finally on to me. I have gotten several emails from them telling me that I have lost "points" for the questions I have asked. They have also started deleting some of them. Apparently someone has started reporting me. I'm sorry that I have some unique concerns about how to make my cats more comfortable at home. Geeze.

Anyway, here's today's batch. I may have to get a new yahoo! I.D. soon. Qofcolors@yahoo isn't going to hold up for much longer.


Question 1: How do you sew your cats together? I've always wanted Siamese cats but I've never had two that I thought would go well together until recently. I would like to attach them to each other but I don't know the first thing about how to do it. Can it be done at home? Is it expensive to have a vet do it?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Typhoon Aftermath

Hello, strangers. First of all, in case you missed the word, I have decided to try what the kids are calling "Twitter." This is something that happens on the Internets and apparently gives me yet another outlet to over-share about my life and tell you exactly what I'm doing at all times. I have already received 5 emails from a friend who insists that I'm doing it wrong. It's been a rough go so far. But if you feel so inclined, please join the crew over there. You are also welcome to like Stranger on Facebook as well, which is somehow different than Twitter. Or so I'm told.

Our plane landed on the big island in Palau last night a little after midnight. This was after a few other horrific customer service experiences with United Airlines, the details of which I won't bore you with you now. Rest assured, United Airlines is not interested in repeat customers in this part of the world.

To get home from the airport, we have to drive across a couple of different islands. Fortunately since the typhoon mostly missed Palau, the bridges and causeways connecting the islands were basically unharmed. Yet, incredibly heavy winds and rains still plowed through the country and left a mark.

Stuck in Guam


I’m stuck in the airport in Guam now because of the typhoon that was supposed to wipe Palau off the map today. Apparently Mr. Typhoon skipped on by and didn’t do much damage. Yet my flight was still delayed for 3 or 4 hours for reasons that still aren’t exactly clear to me. They probably aren’t clear because of the incredibly unhelpful United Airway representative that checked us in.

Hmm.  Looks like your flight is delayed 3 or 4 hours.

Oh shoot. Did it get delayed just now?

No. It was delayed earlier today.

That’s interesting because I have been trying to call you all day to find out whether my flight would be delayed and I just kept getting routed to an automated system that swore the flight was scheduled on-time.

Well it’s now leaving 4 hours late.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pictures From My Phone & Weekly Distractions

Alii, dear strangers. I'm taking off to Guam tonight for the weekend and don't know what my Internet access will be like. So I'm bringing you pictures from my phone and weekly distractions a day early this week.

Apparently a huge typhoon is supposed to hit Palau this weekend while I'm in Guam. Good timing? I'm not sure. This morning when I walked into the office, the librarian I pass every day made me a little concerned:

You're leaving tonight, right?

Yup! Can't wait!

And you come back Monday?

Yes mam!

Oh. You're not gonna make it. [turning back to her computer now like our conversation was over]

I'm not? You think the flight will be cancelled?

No. [then very matter-of-factly] You're gonna die on that flight.

So, strangers, if this is farewell, it's been real. I'll miss you all. Please, someone remember to feed my cats. They're in a storage unit somewhere. I don't know what they eat.

Sand Angel!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Grandma's Status Updates

Guys, I have the best grandmas. Sweet, giving, hysterical, interesting, etc.

One of my grandmas who is in her 80s, Grandma McCann (more commonly known by her gang name, "G-Mac"), was just not meant to live in an age with social media. But bless her heart for trying.

Other than the occasional accidental announcement on Facebook (or, "Face Off," as she commonly refers to it) of something that was supposed to be a secret, her mishaps are usually harmless. And absolutely hysterical.

The main problem is G-Mac's misuse of status updates, which she often mistakes for personal messages. She occasionally posts things that are clearly supposed to be a part of an email to someone or that are a response to a question that someone else may have asked her in an email or on her own Facebook wall. Or on the phone.

 
I love you, G-Mac. And thanks for always being a good sport amid our teasing.

So today I give you a sampling of some of my favorite G-Mac status updates over the years. Please share your own elderly family members' social media blunders in the comments below.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Drop Off

Good day, dear strangers.

Sometimes bad service doesn't stop me from frequenting a business. Like, when I'm too lazy to change cell phone providers. Or when, like, the food is really really good. I'm sure that I'm not alone in this.

I've been thinking about this topic for a few years--ever since my Uncle Will guided my sister and me to a place we now refer to as "Shigella's."

My mom and her siblings grew up in southern California, basically right on the border of Mexico in a farming town called Brawley. Brawley is in the middle of the hottest desert known to man. People who grew up there should automatically be awarded the Nobel Peace Price and an honorary doctorate from the school of their choice.

Because of its close proximity to the land of tortillas, a venture to Brawley is inevitably accompanied by a trip to Mexico.

On a side note, my sister Krisanda convinced me when I was a child that I was half Mexican. I believed this, and told others, until I was 15 years old.

Yes. 15.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Queen of Colors

I have had so many people ask questions over the last year about one special animal that has captured the hearts of many. And I don't mean that in the way that the Olsen twins captured our hearts in the '90s (gag). I mean it in the way that, like, Satan captures hearts.

The Queen of Colors.

I mentioned her for the first time a year ago in a post about a text exchange over Snuggies. I never thought anyone would read that post or really think it was all that funny. And I especially never thought anyone would pay any attention to my passing reference to the Queen of Colors in one of the text messages I sent to Jane.

But in the days that immediately followed, it became apparent that that was the thing that a lot of people seemed to pay the absolute most attention to.

Since then, many of you have sent me pictures of Queen of Colors look-a-likes and paraphernalia. I have received tons of emails referencing the Q of C and asking questions about her. For some of us in our little Stranger community, the Queen of Colors has become a household name. Something that represents evil hilarity.

But many of you have wondered where on Earth she came from. And I suppose it's because you aren't satisfied with the answer I have given time and time again: straight from Hell. Many of you have also wondered about the infamous "hair" story.

I'm here to answer your questions for you today, and tell you, once and for all, that the Queen of Colors is real and the story is absolutely, positively, true. Well, mostly.

So sit back and enjoy, finally, the story of the Queen of Colors.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pictures From My Phone & Weekly Distractions

I hope your Thanksgiving festivities were everything you hoped they would be and more. Mine were great. And I'm never eating again.

Until next week, strangers. Please enjoy some pictures and weekly distractions.

Standing in front of the results of one billion hours of Thanksgiving cooking. I seriously need to take smiling lessons. They do those, right?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tutoring With Underwear

Did the title draw you in? You think this is going to be a story about how someone tutored someone else through the use of underwear? Well it's not. But you clicked on this so you might as well read it anyway.

I mentioned before that I have an assignment with the mormon youth at church here in Palau. I like to refer to this in a southern accent as "my Christian duties." Mostly this entails me boring them to death 2 times a week. I'm in serious need of ideas for activities to do with a group of 5 to 10 teenage boys . . .

Last Sunday I found out that one of the boys, Scarly, is studying to take the GED this coming spring. This guy is busy working full time, taking care of his family, keeping on top of his studies, and is only 17 years old. He's busy, and, well, I'm not, so I thought I would offer some help.

Hey, do you need any help? I'm happy to do tutoring sessions with you.

No. That's ok.

Seriously, I am happy to help! Do you want to come over!?

No. Thanks though. I got it.

No really. Please. I have all the time in the world! COME OVER TO MY HOUSE! PLEASE?!?! PLEASE COME OVER?!?!?!?! PLEASE!!!??

[Awkward shifty eyes] Um . . . ok. I guess.

I am SO good and getting friends to come over to my house.

Ok, so maybe I was more desperate for company than he was for help. I'm still totally counting this as fulfilling my Christian Duties.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Turkey Emails

Daniel had an idea for a Thanksgiving email prank. I shot off a bunch of emails to different cooking blogs and had a couple respond. The following turned out to be the best exchange. This lady is awesome. You can tell she doesn't really believe this is serious, but she wants to keep responding just in case.


From: June Snapple
To: Cooking Blog
Subject: Did someone say TURKEY!?!? :)

Hey there!

The last 2 years I have tried to do a turkey for my family and it was a total NIGHTMARE! I tried it in the oven one year and tried to deep fry it last year. Both years made a huge mess and the kids were practically traumatized. Am I missing something? Is there some way to ease the struggle a bit?

Thanks!

June Snapple
PTA President

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Panic

Happy Thanksgiving week, strangers. I hope your Thanksgiving goes better than the time in Ukraine when I cooked a Thanksgiving dinner for three other Americans and gave them all food poisoning. It was the deviled eggs. I escaped unscathed because I didn't eat them.

They seemed iffy to me.

Things are trucking along just fine down here on the equator. But I have to let you know, I had my second "I'm living on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean" freak-out a few days ago.

I suppose I should tell you about the first one before I get to the most recent incident. The first one happened the night I got to Palau. It was already dark when we landed. And after going through customs and immigration, I found out that my bag with all of my clothes was lost. We were picked up by a couple of people from the court who drove us through a torrential rain-storm/hurricane/Armageddon and we were dropped off at my apartment, which had only half the boxes we shipped. And the boxes that made it were almost completely destroyed. And the apartment smelled like rotting bodies.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pictures From My Phone & Weekly Distractions

The end of another week is upon us. Today I bring you 5 new pictures from my phone and a few other links to distract you from more important things. Enjoy.

I found this picture in my parents' house right before I left for Palau. This was taken in 2001 when I was in high school. This was one of my better part-down-the-middle days. And, no, that is not a trophy I earned. It was a "team" trophy that I was assigned to take home for the night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Yahoo! Answers IV

I hope it's not too soon, but today I bring you Yahoo! Answers IV. I want to scoop all of these people up and take them home with me. I think my favorite part of this one is that people actually tried to give real answers for question 6. Also, I am officially awarding Ninjai from question 1 the "Tellin' It Like It Is" Award. Congratulations, Ninjai. Join the list of mind-speakers proudly.


Question 1: Am I too old to have children? My husband and I will both be celebrating our 90th birthdays next summer. We are thinking about adopting a baby because everyone needs a home. Is this crazy? My husband has a hard time remembering things, but I'm in pretty good shape and can usually drive a car and we both know how to play a mean game of canasta!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Joys of Cool Air

An update on the Stormtrooper/Vehicle of Despair air-flow problems: Only moments before I planned to get the president of every country in the world on a conference call all at once to demand that they each declare an international state of emergency, marshal law, and threaten to press their little red buttons to blow up other countries, things took a turn for the better. Good thing I didn't overreact. But it wasn't without some struggle. We (and by we, I mean Daniel) took the Stormtrooper to the local mechanic 461,000 times, give or take, before any progress was made.

I'm still confused about why we had to take it in 461,000 times. Daniel swears it's because the woman at the front desk hates him.

The woman at the front desk HATES me.

Why would she hate you, Daniel?

I have NO idea. I didn't do ANYTHING to her.

Well, what makes you think she "hates" you, then? [And I used finger quotes for "hates" to be clear that I was mocking him].

[And he said this next part like we were little girls in middle school and this woman stole his boyfriend] Every time I go in she's always just like, "blah blah blah" and she's rude and stuff.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Seat Belts & Rotting Bodies

Alii, dear strangers. First, an update on the Stormtrooper/Vehicle of Despair. That thing that I mentioned might happen--the thing that would undoubtedly lead to my death--well it happened. The fourth window stopped working. You know that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail when King Arthur finds that knight and chops each of his limbs off one by one until he's just a torso and head? Well that's basically exactly what happened with the Stormtrooper. Except instead of arms and legs getting chopped off, it was automatic windows that stopped working, one by one. Also, less blood.

Guys, I don't even know how to explain to you what that moment was like when we realized that the fourth window had finally given up the ghost. We casually walked to the car, talking about some important thing, like whether it would even be possible to, without the person's knowledge, perform a surgery on them where you loop the large intestine back up to the throat. We climbed into the Stormtrooper. It was exactly 195 degrees inside that vehicle. We gasped for air as Daniel started the engine. I reached over to push the automatic-window button on the passenger's door, the only window that could still roll down. And, nothing happened.

Our pleasant conversation then turned to this:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hair Salon Emails

One stranger, Emma, referred me to a website of a pretentious hair salon in a big city. The website had a contact email for questions and explained that it would charge extra for any special accommodations. It also made a big deal about being "high-end" and not allowing children into the salon "for any reason." I'll give them props though for having a pretty good, and surprising, sense of humor in the end.


From: Jane
To: Passions Salon
Subject: Special Circumstances

Hi!!! I'm looking for a haircut from a high end salon but I have some special circumstances so I need to find someone who can accommodate them. Willing to pay four times your high end salon rate and refer my friends. Can you help?!


From: Passions Salon
To: Jane
Subject: Special Circumstances

Hi Jane

We would love to serve you! What kind of accommodations do you need?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ice Cream Excessive Portion-aholic

No political rants here today, though I'm definitely feeling a bit reflective this week for all kinds of reasons. Maybe I'll share some thoughts later after I've worked them out. For now, I want to tell you about one problem I've recently admitted to myself. And hopefully, like always, no matter where you are on the emotion-spectrum this week, we can all bond over a few laughs.

A number of months ago I had a very unfortunate experience involving a body fat testing machine, the Bod Pod, through which I discovered that I can probably never be an underwear model. Unless it's for some little-known company that can't afford to pay above minimum wage and sells underwear that focuses on comfort and utility. To blind people.

After that experience I decided that body-image issues are SO last year and that I was just going to be happy being "me." This sounded fine and dandy at first, and tasted really good, too, because of all the Ben & Jerry's. But unfortunately "being me" involves a lot of behavior that is terrible for the pancreas. Not to mention, sometimes irritating to strangers online that I happen to email.

I justified this ice cream mastication in bulk for months on end, sure that I was staying active enough to cancel out any damage I might have been doing to myself and the world around me. Not only was the regularity with which I was eating ice cream increasing, but the portion sizes were big enough to feed The First Eye for the entire month of April (his feeding month).

But it wasn't until Monday that I realized how skewed my idea of the appropriate amount of ice cream had become.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Stormtrooper

Before I got to Palau I bought a pretty inexpensive yet supposedly durable vehicle from a person who was leaving the island. It seemed risky at the time to make a big purchase over the Internet from someone I had never met for a vehicle I had never seen in a country I had never visited. But so did moving to that country without even being able to point it out on the map, so "risk" evidently wasn't much of a deterrent during those times.

The vehicle I purchased, lovingly known as "The Stormtrooper," is a 1997 Suzuki that I'm pretty sure somehow fought in World War II. Note, I did not say it was used in WWII. I mean, it actually fought in the war. This thing is tough. And each of its coconut-inflicted battle wounds looks like it has a story to tell.

I know it doesn't make sense that a 1997 vehicle could fight in a war from the 1940s, but since when do you come here to read about things that make sense?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Massage Emails

A few months ago a stranger, Jared, sent me an ad posted online by a guy we'll call "Paul" looking for an "intimate" massage swap. I emailed him as June and very sadly discovered that I wasn't exactly what he was looking for. Oh well. I'll just have to keep searching.

Ad: Looking for a younger girl to do a massage swap with me. must be attractive. Dont email if your ugly. Im a very attractive man. 35 years old. successful and wealthy. I like to explore intimate massages with people. you massage me, I massage you. You must be available during day.


From: June
To: Paul
Subject: Did you say MaSsAgE?!?

Hi Paul! Saw your ad about a massage swap. I'm very interested and also available during the day! Let me know if you are still interested!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tennis

First item of business, welcome new strangers! Over the past few weeks we've seen an influx of new traffic to Stranger, which I understand is primarily due to what the kids are calling "Pinterest." As I understand it, one spends the entire day putting pictures and links onto the Internet that represent things they hope one day to do in real life, which ironically takes all of their time and keeps them from actually doing those things. Sounds like other people's version my equivalent activity: laying on the floor after work eating candy until bedtime. In any event, thanks all for sharing Stranger on Pinterest, Facebook, Pinfacespacetwitgoogle+, or whatever else is out there that I'm not hip enough to be a part of. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate you stopping by now and again. You people are my homies (in the non-gang way). As always, I welcome you to like Stranger on Facebook if you've failed to join the family over there.

I'm getting more and more settled into my new home. Work is keeping me relatively busy, as is all of the beach time. Last week both Daniel and I were given assignments in the small Mormon congregation we attend to work with the youth. Each Wednesday night we will meet with them and have various activities. I feel like I've just adopted a dozen Palaun teenagers. I've already planned to explain to others when they ask whether I want to go do something on Wednesday evenings, "I would love to . . . but I've got the kids tonight." Having the kids on Wednesdays is already proving to be a fun way to get to know some great Palaun families.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Yahoo! Answers III

I bring you now the third edition of Messing with People in Yahoo! Answers. What good is a Halloween week if nobody has asked the Internet about what to do about their various cat-related problems? I'm not sure whether I like the sarcastic or serious answers to my questions better. In any event, Rosemary wins the award this time for being the most upset about my ignorance of feline needs.

Question 1: How can I keep my cats in the stroller? I used to take one cat for a walk at a time by holding her in my arms but I started to feel guilty about leaving the others at home. I bought a baby stroller that can fit 8 or 9 at a time so I can at least take them in groups now. But I cannot for the life of me get them to stay in the stroller! Does anyone know of any seat belts or nets I could get to keep them in?

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Eli McCann School of Diving

Alii, strangers. To kick off your weekend in the states, I bring you three short videos from Palau. My friends and I down here run off to a great beach near my apartment most days right after work to snorkel, read, watch the sunset, contemplate the things of life, etc. until dark. One of the more productive activities at this spot has been Daniel's participation in the Eli McCann School of Diving.

I discovered shortly after arriving that Daniel is about as good at diving as the the Queen of Colors is at loving others (which is not good, in case you're new). We swim out to a floating dock and hang out there frequently. One evening I told Daniel I thought we should practice diving off of said dock. Daniel then ran to the edge to dive and that's when I discovered that he had a problem. And the really shocking part was, he didn't know he had a problem.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Scuba

Alii from the south Pacific. "Alii" is a greeting in Palaun. I used that word so you would think I'm super cultured and practically a native Palaun now. (He says while sipping his can of Diet Coke and applying Aloe Vera to his burned skin inside his AC cooled office).

Life is dandy in the tropics this week. The jury returned a guilty verdict on the murder trial, I found Ben & Jerry's ice cream at one of the grocery stores (covered in 2 inches of freezer burn), and the very personal presidential elections are entering the final weeks. I say "very personal" because when there is a presidential election on an island of 7 people, practically everyone has been in a coconut fight with at least one of the candidates. So, as part of the "get out the vote" efforts, the entire population of the country stands along the sides of the main street on the busiest island every evening holding up signs for their candidate of choice, screaming at the 3 or 4 white people who are not out campaigning (because they can't even vote here) to honk at the sight of their sign. But since the people holding signs of opposing candidates are all standing interspersed, it's really hard to tell which horn honks belong to which candidate. But it's exciting to see the democracy in action nonetheless. And fun to see people get so excited about their political process, be it in the U.S. or somewhere else.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Club Emails

One stranger, Margret M., sent me an email a few months ago about a book club with very strict bylaws and suggested that I email the group. After doing a little research, I found another book club group online that also seemed unreasonably strict. I sent an email to them and the following transpired.

To: Anna
From: June Hansen
Subject: BOOK CU-LUB!!!

Hi ANNA!

My name is June Hansen. I found your email online as the person to contact for a GREAT book club. I'm new in the area and had SUCH a wonderful book club in my last town and would just love to get started with a new one. I don't even know whether you are taking newbies! ;-P But I thought it would be worth checking. My last book club was very organized and efficient and yours seems to be the same way.

PLEASE let me know!!!

TTYL

June

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pictures from My Phone: European Edition

A little late coming, but here at last, I give you Pictures from My Phone: The European Edition. I know, I know. I'm in Palau now. I should be posting pictures of myself on the beach doing this (picture me doing something that people on the beach usually do, but that also makes me look super hot). Life has been a bit crazy for me for the last 2 months, but things are finally settling down. Or, rather, my days are turning into a more consistent and manageable level of strange.

You know the drill. I'm no photographer, and I'm not really trying to be one. Each of the images below are shots I've captured on my phone during the course of a normal day. Except these images were all taken during my recent Eastern European backpacking trip with Daniel and Krishelle.



I don't really understand this phenomenon. But it seems that no matter where I go anymore, I see signs of the Queen of Colors. I always view these signs as threats. And reminders that the Q of C is truly capable of unspeakable evil. This shot glass was spotted in Krakow, Poland.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Piranhas. Everywhere.

Mere moments after I informed you of my China Air lost bag naked wanderer catastrophe of last week, I received a phone call informing me that my bag was found and would totally be on a flight the next day to Palau.

Actually, that's a very cleaned up summary of the actual phone conversation that I had, which went something like this:

Hello!!! Ellie McCain??? Hello!??

Yes . . . this is Eli . . . McCann.

Hello!?!?!?!

Yes? I'm right here. Can I h--

HELLO!?!?!

Yes! What?!

Ellie McCain??!?!?!

YES. I HEAR YOU. WHAT DO YOU WANT!?

Oh. Yes. Ok. Bag you have. China Air. Tomorrow is coming.

You have my bag?!

Bag is China Air.

Right. My bag was lost by China Air. So you found it?

Bag tomorrow is coming. HELLO!?

Yes. I'm still here! So my bag will arrive tomorrow?

Yes. Tomorrow. 6:00. Bag is China Air coming.

Great! Thank you so much! I'm so --

HELLO!?!?!?


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Greetings from Palau

Hey strangers. The haggard and terrified Eli of one week ago reports to you now from the edge of the world, buried deep in the Pacific, one small breeze away from devastating hurricane.

We arrived on Tuesday night in Palau, exactly 745 hours after leaving Salt Lake City, and were greeted by a couple of people from the court. They drove us through the dark islands connected by long bridges, through the jungle and to our apartment. The entire way I tried desperately to enjoy my first view of Palau while crying silently to myself because of a sad experience at the bag carousel at the airport only moments before.

I checked three bags. Only two came around.

That means I was missing one, for those who were searching for your calculators.

Remarkably, the soft-cased guitar survived the journey with not a scratch. But the giant bag with LITERALLY all my clothes except for the ones I was wearing at the time was never to be seen. I watched the same four bags that nobody seemed to want go around and around and around, hoping that they would somehow turn into mine.

Monday, October 1, 2012

All At Once

I'm sitting in an airport in Taipei now with Daniel. This is our second layover of two. Our first was in San Francisco where my dear friend Elsa picked us up and drove us across the Golden Gate bridge for some dinner and one last chance at gelato.

One long week turned into one long travel day and, well, now I'm sitting in an airport in Taipei, smelling like a person should never smell, feeling like a person should never feel, and dozing off like a person should never doze off.

My life is spread across the Earth now. More than it ever has been. In a week and a half I have crossed almost every time zone and right now my body isn't sure if it's 5:00 AM on a Monday, or noon on my 42nd birthday.

And now I'm just waiting for my final flight before the next adventure really begins. I'm tired. And wondering whether my guitar, which China Air forced me to check in San Francisco despite being in a soft case, is still in one piece. I'm feeling bad that I was a little rude to the people who made me check it. I'm feeling achy and so full of so many different emotions from saying goodbye to so many different people all at once. So many different emotions all at once, in fact, that I'm stuck with a feeling that I've never really had before and one that I don't really know how to describe.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cats

Let's talk about it. I think it's time.

Cats.

I bet if you did one of those analysis things to find out the most frequent topics discussed at Stranger, the list would look something like this:

1. The Queen of Colors and her unspeakable evil

2. Poop (other people's, obviously)

3. All of my cats

A person who only occasionally wanders through here (and then probably spends the rest of the day confused) might feel that my discussion of the subject is a bit schizophrenic. And the question everyone would like to know the answer to, how many cats does Eli have, is one that perhaps not even I can answer.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Plane Crash

I wrote this on the last few pages of a book I was reading while on the plane from Istanbul to New York yesterday. Spoiler alert: I made it home without dying.

So we hopped onto a plane to head home and that's when we all practically died.

Now I know what you're all thinking.  "Eli, do you mean to tell me that you spent 5 days in Istanbul and all you have to say about it is that a naked fat man ripped your skin off of you for pay? Also, your muscles on your arms seriously look huge!"

First of all, thank you for noticing. I haven't even been working out; just eating a lot.

And second, maybe you didn't hear the part where I said that we all practically died on the plane!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Turkish Hamam

I am soakıng wet from a raın storm and trying to write an update for you to the sounds of a very loud call to prayer outside, the loud ramblings of a smoking computer attendant, and a totally strange keyboard with letters in other places than I am used to. Plus it has a lot of keys that I've never seen before. Like this ç and ü.

What this means, fırst of all, is that we have escaped Bulgaria.

We got out of Plovdiv on perhaps the dirtiest train that has ever roamed the planet. At one point Krishelle asked us whether we would rather drink a shot of someone's vomit or drınk a shot of juıce squeezed out of the seats on that train. Without hesitation I chose the former.

But we made it to Plovdiv Bulgarıa, whıch we had been promısed would be the land of dreams compared to Sofıa. And I guess, compared to Sofıa, ıt was. But admıttedly every place you've ever been ın your entıre lıfe ıs the land of dreams compared to Sofıa.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Food Massacre in Krakow

Dear Strangers,

There's a pigeon feather on my foot right now. I just noticed it. It's from the squawking pigeon we just saw get squashed by a car driving past us. That squashed pigeon is sort of like a metaphor for our experience in Bulgaria so far.

But first, since I last left you, we finished out our time in L'viv. After another great day there, we gathered our excessive amount of travel belongings and hiked the entire length of the now dark and probably exceedingly dangerous midieval town. Nothing too terrifying happened along the way but during the expedition down the non-lit streets, the warnings of Bob and Cathie screamed inside my head. Bob and Cathie are non-to-keen about any of their children traveling anywhere more dangerous than Jackson Hole Wyoming (unless there's a bear problem there--then pick some other safe place and replace it for purposes of this example). And in fact, Bob sent me an email this morning, mostly in all caps, warning us about the terrorists that I would have thought were probably in my hotel room after reading the message if I didn't know any better.

But seriously B and C, thank you for worrying about me. I feel totally safe over here and we are all keeping our eyes open. Love you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Not Sleeping in Ukraine

Hi Strangers,

It's been an exhausting few days in the land of bobushkas. I have not slept in days. I currently look like an old man. But I'm pretty happy.

I tried to get a head start on what I knew would be a questionable sleeping schedule by drugging myself on a long international flight last Tuesday, taking a pair of Ambien. I don't remember much after that except that when I finally came to several hours later, all passengers within 14 rows of me were staring in my direction like someone had just tried to do the limbo naked while yelling "bomb" on the plane. Also, my shirt was on backwards. But that may have been the case before I took the Ambien. I really don't remember.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wrapping Up SLC

Well strangers, I'm out of my apartment for good. Sorry if you were trying to stalk me and you just found out where I was living. I promise to give you enough information in future blog posts to piece together my whereabouts again so you can come and murder me with an ax. Honestly though, I would prefer if you did it in a less gruesome way. Also, if you're going to take Paul Cyclemon, he'll need a new chain soon. And I swear Larry smelled that way when I bought him.

Daniel, Krishelle, and I will embark on a couchsurfing survival quest through parts of eastern Europe tomorrow as a final adventure before the next great one in Palau. Stay tuned for some dramatic and strange stories over the next few weeks. And if you could all call 911 on about Thursday and let them know I'm in lots of trouble and need an ambulance and a fire truck, there's a pretty good chance it will be true and I'll be happy you cared enough to send help.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Imagine No Possessions


My apartment looks like a war zone. It's so horrific. Like, if they brought a camera in and filmed it, the news would have to edit the footage before airing it on television.

It has been said that every person who has walked into my apartment this week has had to start taking Prozac to continue functioning.

Strangers, I'm in a battle with my things. So far, everyone is a casualty.

I got a stack of boxes, placed them in the center of the front room, and started carefully sifting through each of my items. During the course of this organizing and packing process, I went through all of the stages of grief in a never-ending loop.

I hate moving.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

More Pictures from My Phone

This weekend I bring you more pictures from my phone. It's fun for me to glance through these and look at the captured bits of life I run into, mostly here in Salt Lake City. (Wow, I'm so poetic). Some of these pictures I may have posted on the Facebook page. Sorry if seeing them a second time ruins your life. And by the way, please like stranger on Facebook if you haven't already. It's just not the same over there without you (he says impersonally to everyone at once).

Bob and Cathie at their best

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Moving & Prostitution

Moving is truly the worst thing ever. I'm revising my list.

5. Animals
4. Grocery Shopping
3. A bunch of other stuff that's also miserable
2. Glee
1. Moving

I know. Moving is listed as worse than Glee. I'm sure that will change again once the new season starts. But for now, moving is seriously the worst thing ever.

And it feels especially horrible right now because, guess what, I'm moving to another country. One that I have never been to before. One that I probably still can't point out on a map because I've been too lazy to look it up. (I crossed out that last part because I'm too embarrassed for you to see it).

So here's the thing. I have to be out of my apartment by the end of next week. But I'm not going to Palau until the end of next month. That's a one month forced head-start on the move to the other side of the planet. Also, let's hear it for homelessness!

I am SO going to cramp Bob and Cathie's style when all their friends come over to play Canasta.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sleep Talking

Summerfest happened. And I served food. And got a lot of it on me.

I lived the dream.

The festival went on for exactly 12 million hours. And we were there through all of it. Well, not me. I have this thing called a job right now, with an ever-approaching final day and an infinite amount of work to get done. But I was there in the evenings, and then all day Saturday. And that still felt like 12 million hours.

It was great to meet so many of you there. Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello. I'll just assume the rest of you were too ashamed of me for failing the Ironman to show up. I understand. Or you were caught in a tornado. Or the Queen of Colors attacked you!

Ok, now I'm getting worried.

I just called 911. They wouldn't let me file a missing person's report for thousands of people I don't actually know. Now I have to come looking for you myself. Please wear orange for the next little while so it will be easier to spot you. Also, if you have cheese cake waiting, that would be awesome.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summerfest

Last night I helped some of my closest friends peel 2 billion mangoes. I now firmly believe that mangoes are the most satanic fruit of all the fruits. What was the fruit God told Adam and Eve not to eat? Mangoes. Fat, juicy, sticky, awful, horrible, mangoes. Mangoes are the snakes of the food world. If they could move on their own, they would probably slither. And then scare the hell out of you when you are trying to run down City Creek Road in Salt Lake City. And cause you to jump 10 feet into the air and scream like an 12-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert. And abandon the innocent young lady you're running with to fend for herself in the now dark canyon.

Sorry, Hannah. I hope they find you soon. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bike Crash

A couple of weeks ago Paul Cyclemon, two friends and I hit the open road for a biking extravaganza o' fun. 2 hours later my left arm looked like it had been through a meat grinder. And not in the good way.

I have fallen on my bike before. A couple of times. But somehow I was able to make those falls look like a rehearsed stunt in one of the Batman movies.

As an aside, I saw the latest Batman movie this week. I went into the theater on Monday night at 7:15 and the movie ended 24 minutes ago. And guys, I really really tried to follow what was going on this time. After sitting through the last one, I was mocked for asking, "So was that movie just a remake of Stephen King's It?"

I have serious issues with going to movies. I avoid them at all costs, but sometimes peer pressure gets the best of me and I find myself sitting in a dark theater with a group of friends, bouncing up and down the entire time, and attempting to have conversations wholly unrelated to the film with everyone around me. It is for this reason that the 6 people I saw this Batman movie with argued about who had to sit next to me. But I am a grown up. And surely I can behave myself in films and follow the plots just like all the other grown ups. So I really tried this time.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Storage Unit Emails

Because of the upcoming big move to Palau, I have been in the market for a storage unit for all of my precious things. On Sunday, my hysterical sister Krishelle suggested that when contacting a storage unit company, I request a unit with certain special accommodations. The following email exchange resulted yesterday. Enjoy, and please Like us on Facebook.

___________________________________

From: Jane Driggles
To: Storage Salt Lake
Date: July 30
Subject: Need Answer Right Away!!!

I am looking for a storage unit for one year but I need to know how often you check on the spaces. I'm worried about leaving them unattended for too long a period.

___________________________________


From: Storage Salt Lake
To: Jane Driggles
Date: July 30
Subject: Need Answer Right Away!!!

Checks on our units are done at least once a day, What size of unit are you looking for?

___________________________________


From: Jane Driggles
To: Storage Salt Lake
Date: July 30
Subject: Need Answer Right Away!!!

Great. What size? It sort of depends. Do any of them come with pet doors? If so, I really don't need a unit that is very large. There aren't that many of them and their furniture won't take up much room. If there isn't a pet door, that's a little trickier. I would probably want something bigger so they would have some room to move around a bit. I would probably also need one with interior lights, if available and not too expensive. What sizes do you have available?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pioneer Day Marathoning

How often are you supposed to clean your reusable water bottle?

I'm sitting here at work, early in the morning, getting ready to get started for the day. I just looked at my water bottle and realized I have not washed it since November.

No. Vem. Ber.

What are my chances of survival? I use this bottle every day. It has now just occurred to me, 8 months later, that I should probably have it on some kind of cleaning rotation.

I just felt the inside of it. It feels like my face after all the sweat dries from a long run. It's supposed to have a smooth plastic feel. I also just noticed that there are currently somewhere in the vicinity of 270,000 fingerprints around the outside.

With hygiene habits like this, it's no wonder I've had my foot disease for 7 years.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Emails With Amy

A few months ago a friend was trying to sell his housing contract on Craigslist. He got an email from a woman named Amy who had 10 questions for him. I responded. And never heard from Amy again.

It's so hard to make friends on Craigslist.

For background, in a couple of questions, Amy asks about my friend's "ward." A "ward" in this context is a Mormon church congregation.

I’m looking for a place with older female roommates (24-35) that are active in the LDS church and like to have people over and go out. If this matches what you are looking for, would you tell me a little more?

1) Are there boys and girls that live in your home?

Nope! Just one man, Hector. And I know what you're thinking, "a man?! So he probably doesn't pay the rent on time!" Boy are you wrong, though! His social security check comes in on the same day every month, and because of his creditor problem, the landlord predictably shows up first thing in the morning on that day, hand outstretched and foot tapping.

2) Do you allow drinking or smoking in your home?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

High School Reunion


Next week is my 10 year high school reunion. I know. How the crap is Eli old enough to have a 10 year high school reunion?

I'll tell you how: I graduated in 2002. It's currently 2012. Take the square root, multiply, carry the one, BAM, 10 years.

What my former classmates have accomplished in 10 years: 26 babies each, a mortgage, a 401k (whatever that is!), and a seat on their respective city councils.

What I have accomplished in 10 years: watched all 5 seasons of Friday Night Lights, went to school for 6 trillion days, started puberty (I really think this it is this time!), and learned how to swim.

Other than the Friday Night Lights thing, I guess I don't have a lot to bring to the table next week.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pictures From My Phone

Over the past few months I have collected a number of pictures on my phone of various things I've spotted around. I thought I would share them with you all. Some of these are pictures I have posted on our Facebook page. Please feel free to like that page if you haven't already (so I can FB stalk you).

Woman watering the sidewalk in SLC . . .