Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Lost Journal Series, Part X

It just seemed like it was time for another edition of The Lost Journal Series. Video and text below:

January 12, 1995 (10 years old):

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Source of Eli's Anxiety

Remember that scene from The Sixth Sense when the kid is sitting at the kitchen table and the mom walks away for a second and when she returns, all of the cupboards and drawers are inexplicably open?

Well if I knew how to create what the kids are calling "gif," I would stick those few seconds from that scene here, entitle the blog post "What It's Like To Live With Rebecca," and call it a day.

On a side note, I just spent 20 minutes googling "how to make a gif." Well, truthfully, I spent about one minute googling that thing and then 19 minutes watching this cat gif.

You guys. I swear to you. Yesterday I looked away for one second. Not even one second. Half a second. And when I looked back toward the kitchen, EVERY drawer and cupboard was open and Rebecca was sitting on the couch eating some unnecessarily-gluten-free pile of sawdust, staring at me like she hadn't moved all day.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Happy weekend, Strangers. I'm back in Salt Lake City, remembering what it's like to have responsibilities. AND I DO NOT LIKE IT.

Why do I have to be the only one who feeds my cats? Does Rebecca do nothing around here?

Please enjoy some pictures from this week's Ironman/Tahoe/Napa trip and some weekly distractions.

(Please feel free to follow me on Instagram so you can see all of these pictures TWICE).
Tahoe just after the race was cancelled. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

After Shocks

A few days have passed since Ironman Lake Tahoe. After they announced that the race had been cancelled, we were told to wander around to the various places where we had dropped off all of our gear the day before to gather it up. When I picked up my running clothes bag, they handed me a t-shirt and medal that said "finisher" on them.


Seriously guys. Sign up for an Ironman that gets cancelled last minute sometime. They give you all of the proof you need to show others that you did it, you don't have exercise AT ALL, and you can eat as much ice cream as you want in the next couple of days.

The smoke blew in and covered the whole area by early afternoon. It was clear that cancelling the race was the right decision, although disappointing for everyone. I think they just cancelled it mostly because they didn't want the smokers to have an advantage. Because what kind of message would that send to the children?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ironman Lake Tahoe, 2014

We made our trek west bright and early Friday morning for the Lake Tahoe Ironman. A couple of months ago I asked Nic if he would be willing to come along as my support staff for the race, and he graciously agreed. This stuff is interesting to him, an avid road biker and swimmer, although he thinks anyone who does Ironman races is crazy and he emphatically explains (to anyone who asks) that he has no interest in engaging in something so “stupid, thankyouverymuch.”

I met Nic through road biking earlier this year and it was through this sort of thing that we bonded so it was good to have someone come along to Tahoe with me who knew a little something about what I would be doing and could help me prepare for the race.

Bob and Cathie drove out to Tahoe as well, arriving a day after us. We had to get to Tahoe a little earlier to begin the logistics nightmare that is Ironman race preparation, including an intensive check-in process, the packing of half a dozen colored bags with supplies and clothes, dropping the bags and bike off at various locations, and then spending the rest of the day experiencing terrorizing realizations that something didn’t get packed or did get packed but into the wrong bag.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I am a few hours away from taking off for Ironman Tahoe. I sit in my apartment tonight with all of my belongings spread out all over the floor. My now four-hour effort to pack for the event I've been dreaming about for 15 years and training hard for for nearly 12 months has stressed my enlarged hear out. Rebecca sits across from me, chatting my ear off about things I'm not paying attention to because all I can hear inside my head is:


I'm told you can follow the race live this Sunday through an Ironman app or by typing my name in on the Ironman website. I'll post details on the Facebook Page as I have them.

Seriously, truly, thank you all so much for you kindness and support over the last year, and beyond, as I've worked toward this goal. I feel incredibly blessed to have felt so much love from you all as I've trained and written about this experience. I hope you all know how much it has meant to me.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions (please follow me on Instagram for more out of focus pictures):
Matt's My puppy, Ollie.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Day of Reckoning is Upon Us All


Second, you guys. I am leaving for Ironman on Friday morning.




Ironman is a logistics nightmare. I have to check in at the Tahoe race by 5:00 PM on Friday but because my job has recently turned into the neediest thing since me, I can't leave for the 9-hour drive until Friday morning. Which means that we are going to leave at like 4:30 AM just to be safe.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Mormon Crisis and the "Gay Question"

A few years ago the nation recognized a new phase for my community. They called it "the Mormon Moment." Suddenly, almost out of nowhere, a number of significant events took place that put Mormons in the spotlight, largely in a very positive way.

I think it began around the time of the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002. It built up over the course of that decade. Members of the church seemed to be in the spotlight everywhere. Music, politics on the highest level, movies, reality TV, business, etc.

And for us Mormons, this was incredibly exciting. The generation just below me is probably the first generation to not really remember a time before the "Mormon Moment." In their lifetimes, the church and the culture that trails it has always been relatively well-known in America. But I remember a time when it was almost shocking to hear the word "Mormon" on TV.

There were never any movies about Mormons. No characters in TV shows that shared our faith. And in fact, back then pretty much every Mormon could proudly list all of the "famous" Mormons in existence since the beginning of time. These included Donny Osmond and a slew of people who were not actually Mormons but who kind of seemed like Mormons and so someone started a rumor about them and the rest of the community just latched on. Because this was before the Internets when you could go somewhere to verify.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Oh. My. Gosh. Next week at this time I will be driving to Ironman Tahoe.

YOU GUYS!!! WHERE DID THE TIME GO?!? One minute I'm doing an interpretive dance in my Snuggie at a park and the next minute it's already almost time to swim, bike, and run for an entire day.

By the way, I've been wanting to say for a while that I have gotten really terrible at responding to your emails. This happened about one year ago when I got back from Palau. I used to respond to them all but I just can't keep up with them anymore. I want to let you know that I'm sorry and I still love you and I think about you all the time and imagine what you would look like in overalls. (Don't ask). Really, truly, thank you for all the emails you send. I read every single one of them and appreciate them all, even if I don't respond and tell you so.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions:

(Please join me on Instagram for more pictures.)
With my people at the Greek Festival. (HI TRACY!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Results for the Ol' Ticker

So I went to the cardiologist this morning and they ran 100,000 more tests. Then the doctor came in and went over the results of my holter monitor that held me prisoner for 48 hours last week.

Doctor: Your test results look pretty good.

Eli: Well I studied VERY hard.

Doctor: Your sleeping heart rate is averaging around 35 beats per minute.

Eli: Laaaaaaazy.

Doctor: Your resting heart rate is averaging around 45 beats per minute.

Eli: Go on.

Doctor: Then there are some spikes here and there where your heart rate jumped to about 169 for a while.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How to Survive 48 Hours Camping in Civilization

Last week I went to the hospital for one of my heart tests. I wanted the ambulance to come pick me up and take me there because, I'm sorry, but I thought that was their job. But apparently it was "too expensive" and "unnecessary" and "Eli, please stop calling this number. It's only for emergencies." So I just had to drive myself.

Which brings me to my next point: if they aren't using ambulances to take people with enlarged hearts to the hospital, WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY EVEN FOR.

Not to be dramatic, but can you say guv'ment conspiracy?!

I showed up bright and early to get something called a "holter monitor" strapped to my body. Homegirl be all like "go ahead and take your shirt off" and I was like "HOW DARE YOU!?" Because Cathie used to always say that if you just give it away without a little chase people stop wanting it. And I recognize that that might not apply in this situation but it's a universal rule I try to follow at all times just in case.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Return of the Rebecca

Living-in-sin Rebecca is now back from Paris. I know this because yesterday as I was leaving for a dinner party, she burst through my door and startled me so much that I nearly dropped the carrot-apple salad I was carrying.

Rebecca: GUESS WHAT!?!?!?!


Rebecca: Sorry. Is this a bad time?!


Rebecca: Hahaha. Anyway! So I JUST bought a new car!!!

Eli: Um. Welcome home from Paris. Close friend and former roommate whom I haven't seen in like four months.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Year Later

The date sort of crept up on me. It seems odd, but it's true, that I left Palau, the Land of Coconuts, one year ago.

Gosh I've thought a lot about that place in the last year. I can barely comprehend that I've been away from it for as long as I was there.

During this year away from the tropics, and the mole rats, and the isolation, and the church kids, my emotions and feelings on Palau and the experiences I had there have evolved so rapidly and dramatically. There are moments when I am jerked awake at night in a sweat after dreaming that I'm still there. In those moments, I lay in bed, breathing heavily, and remind myself that the pain and stress I experienced in the equatorial Pacific is long gone.

But then I have experiences, too, that draw my mind back to the simplicity of life. The beauty. The wonderful people. And in those moments, I miss it. And I almost wish I could have it back.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Eli Finds a "Regular" Doctor

Receptionist: Dr. So and So's office, how can I help you?

Eli: Yes. Good day. I am looking for a doctor.

Receptionist: Um . . . ok. Any doctor in particular?

Eli: Well, I'm not sure. You see, my coworker gave me this number and he said I could find his doctor here. Well actually he's not just a coworker. He's also my friend. I need to stop calling my friends by other titles because it can sometimes be offensive--

Receptionist: This is Dr. So and So's office. Is that who your friend referred you to?

Eli: I'm not really sure. I don't remember the name he said. And I'm really nervous because I didn't know that people had regular doctors until just recently and I'm not sure if this is like tryouts and I just really want you to like me.

Monday, September 1, 2014


First, in response to your general concern about Friday's post, in which I told you that apparently someone trained in the ways of medicine thinks I'm dying, I want to give you a slight update and a little more info.

I'll be going in this week for my first of two heart tests (the other one will be next week). Some of you have very kindly expressed your concern about my continuing to train for the Ironman, which is now less than three weeks away. #WHATTHEHELL! #howisthispossible #Squeenofcolors #whatarehashtags?

The doctor told me to continue to train like normal but to stop immediately if I felt funny at all during anything that I do. Unless the tests over the next two weeks tell me that I shouldn't, I'll move forward with the race.