Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Last night I was talking about Fabio, as we all do a few times a week, and I asked my friend Skylar,

Eli: How old do you think Fabio is?

Skylar: Gosh. This feels like one of those "guess how many marbles are in the jar and win a prize" questions.

And I'm telling you, this felt like a very accurate statement. Because is Fabio 85 or 30? Or 50? Or did he live in another era entirely and have absolutely no overlap at all with my life?


I really wish I knew how to Internet and find out. This is important.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
Why didn't anyone tell me I looked like a Methodist preacher at The Porch!?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Porch, Fear

Excuse me. But I guess I'M A TECHNOLOGY GENIUS! Because I just basically technologied all over the entire Internet to bring you today's post.

A while back the three most recent Youtube videos of my stories on The Porch were tragically deleted from the Internets. I went to Facebook to ask whether any Strangers out there happened to download these videos (if that was even possible). Stranger David, who shall rule the land with Alanna for all eternity, then emailed me with the audio files of those videos. He and his friends had downloaded the audio to listen in their car on a road trip.

I didn't know what I was supposed to do with this information, so I just kept it in my inbox for several weeks, hoping for effortless enlightenment.

Then, last weekend, I finally became fed up with my own incompetency, so I read the entire Internet and learned everything possible and I'm basically Lucy from that awful movie wherein Scarlet Johansson is able to use 100% of her brain capacity which obviously means she is an all-knowing immortal being who is everywhere and nowhere at the same time JUST like Catholic God.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

[Please come to The Porch this Saturday night in SLC. Jolyn promises to give a 25-second hug to anyone who wants one. Find info here.]

I think I am the most tired any person could be. This long week is finally coming to the end for me after a few very intense and long meetings and one significant court appearance this afternoon for the sweet client who passed away earlier this year. There is a 92% chance I will fall asleep tonight and stay in bed until November 21st. I'm going to pass out a sign-up sheet for you each to take turns stopping by to feed me and switch out my bed pan. I'm handing it to The Suzzzzzzzzzzzz first and expect she'll proceed to pass it through all of the Strangers in order of height and age.

It is the very least you people could do. Don't make me have to lecture and guilt trip you. I have a very large picture of Jesus ready to show you if needs be.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions:
The crew at Arches, with Delicate Arch in the background.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


[Quick Announcement: We will be back at The Porch in SLC this coming Saturday. It's a late show (10:00 PM OH MY GOSH HOW WILL WE STAY AWAKE). Please come and bring your friends and grandmas. It's a new location, in case you've been before. Info is here.]

You're not supposed to put glass in the blue recycling bins provided by the city. I have no idea what happens if you do put glass in them but the lid of the can given to me has very explicit instructions about this in the form of large pictures showing glass bottles with an X through them.

Recycling is a mystery to me, generally. I don't believe in it. I mean, I do it. I believe we should do it. I want to believe it is a real thing. But conceptually, it doesn't make any sense to me and somewhere deep down I don't actually believe that anything productive is happening with anything I'm recycling.

Also, I feel like they aren't very clear about how much you are supposed to clean the items you recycle. Like, what if there are still remnants of food in the container? Does that render the donation worthless? Does the food compromise the entire system? CAN I GO TO PRISON OVER THIS?!

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Last week was John Michael's birthday so we decided to throw him a Halloween-themed birthday party at my house because I refuse to treat any of my 30-something-year-old friends like they are any older than 9.

I decided it would need to be a small intimate gathering and quickly invited Matt and Wade. John Michael moved to Salt Lake City earlier this year from some place in the south where they give everyone two first names and legally require you to call them by BOTH names even though the rest of us get by just fine with only one. Because he's newish in town, he's still assimilating and getting to know people.

I know that he's made various friends while living in SLC, but I don't really know any of them.  Matt and Wade were really the only two people I knew John Michael knew and so they were the only two people I knew to invite to his birthday party.

I was having some birthday party planning anxiety leading up to the big day because who has ever heard of a good birthday party with only four people. But I didn't want to invite people John Michael didn't know because that seemed inappropriate too.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Happy weekend, one and all. I'm lying on the floor. Eating candy.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions:
The dining room in my old house is ever coming together.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Let Them Eat Cake

On Friday night I went to Matt's house. I like going there because WHAT IF MR. OLLIE PANTS, but also because, as a southern gentleman, Matt always inexplicably has a fresh batch of gumbo to offer.

I'm not kidding about this. It doesn't make any sense to me. I've never actually seen him cook it, but every time I'm there, at some point he'll jump up and ask, in a Southern accent that is about 14 notches more pronounced than he usually speaks, "how 'bout sum guuuuuumbo!" And every one of those words is somehow stretched out to be 17 syllables each. And then he feeds the gumbo to me and talks about how the "south shall rise agaaaaaiiiin."

Matt is constantly engaged in exactly 200,000 home improvement projects. Every single one of them gives me an excessive amount of anxiety, mostly because I don't understand them. I've mentioned before that he has this confusing ability to do any project around the house that needs doing. Yes, he makes a ridiculously large mess in the process, but Matt is an insanely talented artist and graphic designer so with an eye for this sort of thing, whatever he touches always ends up looking like something out of a magazine by the end.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Y'all. Lee emailed me about the relative finder thing to tell me he finally figured out how to use it because apparently he didn't really know how to Internet. And I was like, "genealogy was soooooooooooooooooooooo last week, Lee." And he was like, "talk to the hand." And I was like "stop trying to make 'fetch' happen."

Anyway. Apparently Lee figured out how to Internet and as it turns out he is related to some of us so you might want to go back and check. Apparently he and I are 12th cousins once removed and he is now calling me "Cousin." You guys. I can't carry this burden alone. (Burden AND Privilege, Lee. In case you're still reading. Love you! See you at the family reunion!)

And now, your Pictures and Distractions:
When you're at a dinner party and everyone starts talking about a current event you've never heard of.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Selfie Generation

I recognize that I'm about to sound the like the oldest man on the planet. And I also recognize that everything I'm about to say has probably already been said by someone who has conducted scientific studies and has actually researched these issues.

It will probably be easiest to absorb this post's information if you imagine me sitting on my front porch holding a rifle on my lap and intermittently yelling at children to get off my lawn.

I've had a lot of conversations over the past couple of years, usually with my crankier friends, about the changes we've seen in the last decade that seem either to be caused by or demonstrated through social media. There appears to be a new level of narcissism and attention-seeking that is magnificently displayed on the Facebooks and the Instagrams and the Snapchats and an array of other social media outlets I know so little about that when they are referenced I usually think people are talking about food.

I've heard the generation one or two steps below my own sometimes referred to as the "selfie" generation. It's often thought of as a group that is obsessed with attracting social media followers and obtaining as many "likes" as possible on every post shared. They thumb through their own Instagram feed, implicitly double-tapping on every photo without really looking at it, aware that liking each post is expected by the followed and a requirement for guaranteed mutual liking.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Facetime with Rebecca

Eli: Becky, I need your help.


Eli: I know. That's why I called you. What the hell are you eating right now? It looks like Elmer's Glue. 

Rebecca: [Takes a large bite] it's a special kind of yogurt. It's VERY healthy.

Eli: When was the last time you ate something that tasted like food?

Rebecca: August 21, 2004.

Eli: I'm impressed with your specificity but I also feel the need to point out to you that you accepted the premise of my question.

Rebecca: It's easier than arguing with you.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

This has been one of the strangest weeks in Stranger history. And I'm including (you know what's coming) the time that all of the angry moms on the Internet screamed at me in one unified terrifying voice FOR JUST TRYING TO HELP.

As you know, I made a joke about how we are probably all related because hashtag my big fat Mormon family. Then swingwise made that group on and over the next day or so hundreds of you joined the group and obsessively started engaging in family history work. (Is "hundreds" an exaggeration? Swingwise? Do we know how many people are in the group? Lee gets mad when I exaggerate and sometimes it's scary. Because I think he's a dad.) Anyway, I never imagined that Stranger would become a family history blog. But I guess I also never imagined that I would be able to assault tens of thousands of people with pictures of my toe's photoshopped hair. Hashtag blessed.

Also, Jolyn was just at my house and she answered my phone when a telemarketer was calling and I overheard her tell the person that "no, Ellie McCain is not available right now but he will be at exactly 6:00 AM tomorrow." So that was nice.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions:
Sonita and I danced the night away until way past our bedtimes (11:00).