Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Funniest Thanksgiving

This might be the new laziest post of all time. I'M TIRED. It's been sort of a rough week around here, to tell you the truth.

You know how on TV when the writers get lazy so they just do an episode that is made up of flashbacks of other episodes. THAT.

Except this is not nearly as good as TV. Because on TV you don't have to read. On the other hand, when you pull up Stranger there is no chance that you'll accidentally see an episode of Glee and watch the entire thing. And then spend the rest of the evening watching a marathon of The Glee Project, which is a reality show where they find the worst people who have ever been born on planet Earth and get them to compete against each other for a chance to win a guest spot on an episode of Glee. And then you won't be tempted to spend a good amount of time reading online forums about the contestants, and actually leave comments and engage in the debate about the worst reality show that is based on the worst show that has ever existed.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Parking Attendant

Last night I freaked out at a parking garage attendant.

Actually, that might be an exaggeration, depending on how you interpret "freaked out." I should clarify. Typically my version of freaking out means that I stop saying "please" and start saying things like, "you are not being very helpful," and "I hear what you're saying but I'm trying to communicate to you that what you're saying is absurd."

I don't really cause scenes. They happen to me unintentionally and embarrassingly enough that I don't need to go out of my way and bring them upon myself. So I'm not really a yeller. I can't think of the last time I actually yelled at someone. But friends have told me that when I get frustrated I use a tone that is a lot more cutting than yelling would be. Last night I used that tone. A LOT of it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Late last night I got home from some shenanigans with friends and realized that I didn't take any pictures with my phone this week. This caused me a great amount of stress because Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions Eve had already arrived. So instead of skipping this week, I just took five awkward selfies of me in a Snuggie at midnight.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Crack of Dawn

Yesterday morning I awoke to the sounds of a screamed obscenity.

It wasn't me, although it could have been and has been on many prior occasions.

Kurt and I are early risers. This is a new thing for me. In Palau Daniel usually peeled me from my bed about five seconds before it was time to leave for work (assuming he hadn't already woken me up by meowing and clawing at the window after his early morning run). Then I spent the hours of 8:00 to noon playing "I wonder if I could fall asleep on that" in my mind.

Moving back to the United States of God Bless America seems to have completely rebooted my sleep schedule because now I seriously cannot get up early enough in the morning. I LOVE it.

It was like my body was trying to find one more way to make me an 80 year old man. And it was all, "hmmm . . . let's see. He already yells at children. He already watches Matlock. I got it! Let's have him wake up at 5:00 AM for no reason at all!"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Palau Ruined Me

I left Palau just two and a half months ago.

Really? Is that all? Does it seem like it's been a lot longer than that to you guys? Someone get out a calendar and help me learn how to read it. Right now I'm just going off of feelings.

I actually think I might have a disability that keeps me from being able to read calendars and follow directions correctly. Even when that lady on my phone tells me how to get somewhere, I always end up somewhere else (typically inside Cafe Rio, eating a burrito the size of my arm). And then usually I find myself screaming obscenities into the open air until someone takes my hand and guides me the rest of the way. Which is probably how I ended up getting Axel the ringworm. And throat chlamydia.

I've had a lot of gross diseases lately.

And before you roll your eyes and tell me that there is no such thing as a disability that specifically targets the ability to read calendars and follow directions, I have to say that if there really is such a thing as "color blindness" then my disability is real too.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Throat Chlamydia

Ring Ring

Val: Hello?


Val: . . . Eli?

Eli: I feel so gross right now! You have to help me! What are we going to do?!

Val: So . . . wait. What?

Eli: Throat chlamydia, Val. I was just at the doctor and she told me about it.

Val: Um . . . Eli, what did you do in Mexico last week?

Eli: NOTHING. I just slept on the beach and visited my grandma. That's why it's so unfair if I got throat chlamydia down there.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I'm back in town and things have slowed down again. FYI, I've had a sore throat for about two weeks so I expect to be dead any day now. Will someone please make sure O2 gets enough water after I pass? And keep Kurt and Anna Swayne away from him. Also, all of those VHS tapes of recorded Full House episodes in my closet aren't mine. Same with the slap bracelets that appear to have been recently purchased.

And now, your pictures and distractions.

Beach in San Felipe, Mexico.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Grandma & Lizards

Over the past several days I've been in southern California and northern Mexico, visiting family and attempting to find the seemingly ever elusive hand-made flour tortillas.

Guys. I don't require much in this life. Just really nice things, constant praise, 5 hours of direct eye contact every day with Paul Simon while we read one another the vows we have tattooed onto our chests and torsos, and an infinite supply of fresh hand-made flour tortillas from Mexico.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Tinder

This week on “things the kids are doing” I bring you something called “the Tinder.”

When I got back from Palau I came quickly to find that every single person in the greater Salt Lake area was in a serious relationship with every single person in the greater Salt Lake area. I was feeling left out because the only successful relationship I was in was with my plant O2, which Anna Swayne attempted to kill with neglect and guile. I guess I also have the Vietnamese tailor next door who has told me more than one time in the last two months, “if you come back I KILL you.”

Note: I do consider the Vietnamese relationship to be a successful one because there was a period in which she had some of my clothes in her possession and the last time I was in her shop I was touched more than I have been since that time a cat jumped onto my lap and tried to get under my shirt during a red-eye flight to New York in 2010.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wait. Is Today Friday?

Look. I know. I KNOW. Today you're dying to see half a dozen out-of-focus pictures taken of the streets of Salt Lake City, my friends, and the occasional gratuitous selfie. And also, you've come to rely on a small list of links, mostly cat-related, to keep you from having to tend to your annoying responsibilities today, like finishing that report and watching your children.

I know that today is supposed to be a Pictures and Distractions day. I know the rules. Guys. I invented the schedule. I know what day it is.

But it just isn't going to happen today. Even though I have amazing links for you, such as this one, which shows what Disney Princesses would look like with beards.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Travel Texts from Cathie

Bob and Cathie went out of town on Sunday for a week-long trip. They called each of their children before they left to let us all know that they were going to take Cathie's cell phone just in case we needed to talk to them while they're gone.

Note: Bob and Cathie are not in Afghanistan, on an African safari, or anywhere else where one might reasonably assume they would not have cell phone access or would even debate about whether or not to bring their cell phones with them. They are in Branson Missouri.

And thank the heavens they did bring a cell phone, because:

Texts I have received this week from Cathie

Eli, this is your mother. We landed. Barely. It was a miracle from above.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Snapchats


Woman on the News: Up next, we're going to talk about text bombing and how it might be hurting your child.

Eli: What on Earth is "text bombing?"

Kurt: I don't know. A thing the kids are doing.

Eli: The kids are doing a lot of things lately.

Kurt: You need to research this.

Eli: Why me?

Kurt: Because, that's your thing. You research the things the kids are doing.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I woke up this morning at 5:00. Started singing at the top of my lungs. Dance-walked to the shower. Sang at the top of my lungs there, too. The usual morning routine.

What's that? What was I singing? NEVER YOU MIND what I was singing. It doesn't matter for the story.

Ugh. Fine. I can tell you won't be able to focus on anything else until I tell you. It was "Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got! I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the bl--"

No. You know what. I'm going back to my initial position. It doesn't matter. Guys. I still know where I came from.

Kurt was screaming for the insanity to stop by about 5:15.


Monday, November 4, 2013


On Sunday I attended a giant Mormon congregation in Salt Lake City. Sitting in the middle of it all was interesting because I immediately found myself thinking about the contrast between this and my Palauan church-going experience that ended just two short but significant months ago.

Every Sunday morning I sat in a small room with 30 or 40 Palauans. One or two or, if we were lucky, all of the overhead fans would be running. And still, sweat would bead on my forehead and roll down my face. I wore flip-flops as a part of my regular church attire. I would slip my feet out of them and plant them flat on the floor, the coolest surface in the room. Sometimes a tropical storm would rage on outside. Sometimes the sun would shine through the windows. All of the time it was hot. ALL OF THE TIME ALWAYS.

I just received a text from Mr. Daniel. "Officially missing Palau's weather today," he tells me, as he visits Salt Lake City this weekend and watches the first snowfall of the season with horror, as I'm doing, too. I'm wearing a thick sweater and my feet, no longer in flip-flops, but rather thick socks, are already numb from the cold. And I'm wishing more than just a little bit that I could be hanging out on my favorite floating dock with Daniel, playing "Harry Potter," "Battle," and a number of other senselessly violent games we made up under the equatorial sun for one year.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Happy Friday. I hope we're all on sugar highs from stealing children's Halloween candy. If anyone gets judgmental, tell them you're doing it to fight children's diabetes.

I had a weird night. I'll tell you about it next week if I haven't blocked the whole thing.

And now, your pictures and distractions.
After several days of [whining] "I'm too old for Halloween! I'm not dressing up!" Kurt spent an inordinate amount of time making this happen.