Sunday, January 10, 2016

Hostage

Bob and Cathie sounded relatively threatening when they demanded that I consume Netflix's Making a Murderer, like all the rest of America has obsessively done in the last month. I'll note now, in case you're worried, this post isn't really about Making a Murderer and it doesn't contain spoilers. It could contain spoilers. Because after Cathie gave me a look of disappointment when I told her I had not watched TEN HOURS of television in preparation for having dinner with them on Wednesday, I abruptly went home and watched TEN HOURS of television over the next 72 hours.

I didn't have time for this. I really didn't have time for this. And I sort of thought I could skim through the first episode or two, gain a working knowledge of the general story for purposes of keeping up in 94.6% of all of the conversations happening around me right now, and then just read a few quick Wikipedia summaries.

But y'all. I think I might have an actual chemical addiction. Because WTF HOW DID I WATCH TEN HOURS OF TELEVISION IN 72 HOURS.

In case you've been hiding under a rock, I'll give you a super quick spoiler-free description of what this thing is: basically it's a documentary-style series that follows a man and his family when the man was exonerated after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. The story follows this family, his defense attorneys, the sheriff's office that is out to get him, and a skeezy prosecutor with no moral compass. The defense attorneys attempt to uncover an unbelievably frustrating and shocking conspiracy.


And y'all. It is CRAZY. AND I DON'T EVEN SAY Y'ALL.

I had emotions binge-watching these things that I didn't know the human mind was even capable of processing. I yelled so loudly at the TV at various points that it broke all 244 laws of physics.

You guys. NONE OF THE LAWS OF PHYSICS EVEN WORK ANYMORE.

Then I wandered to everyone in my life, just like Bob and Cathie had done, demanding that they talk about it with me.

I've never gotten into any of the zombie or vampire movies, but I think this is how those things work, right? Once you get bitten you become a zombie and/or vampire? Then Kristen Stewart falls in love with you without showing any emotion using the muscles in her face.

I was obsessed with everything about this show, but mostly I was obsessed with one of the defense attorneys who I think might actually be a perfect human being. We can all stop reproducing. We have finally achieved the end result. And that end result goes by the name Dean Strang. I even tweeted about it y'all. AND I DON'T EVEN TWEET.



I have a secret theory that Dean Strang might be Paul Simon. Have you ever seen Paul Simon and Dean Strang in the same room at the same time? PROOF.

I asked my friend Corey if she thought Dean Strang would send me a lock of his hair if I wrote to him. She told me that he absolutely would and that I should send him a lock of my hair so he would know how much to send back. So that's what I'm working on today.

When I finished the series at 2:00 AM on Saturday morning I was generally confused and angry and concerned and exhausted. And overwhelmingly, I was super mad at the police. And I kind of felt like a rebel because I'm not normally the type of guy who sees himself pitted against the police.

What's next?! Face tattoos and DRUGS?!?!

NOT THAT WE KNOW WHAT TATTOOS ARE CATHIE OUR BODIES ARE TEMPLES!

So that general anger is how I was feeling when I got up on Saturday morning and headed downtown.

I do some stuff at the homeless shelter on Saturday mornings. The homeless shelter is in Salt Lake City's version of a "rough neighborhood" so every time I go there I sort of have in the back of my mind that something crazy could happen.

I think that's why it wasn't really a huge surprise when I saw out of the corner of my eye that someone was running right at me as I was walking down the sidewalk back toward my car to go home. By the time I turned to catch a full view of him, he was only a few feet from me. A cop was twenty or thirty feet behind, chasing the man and calling for backup.

Before I could fully process the situation, the man reached me, grabbed my arm with his one free hand (his other hand was under his jacket), and forcefully pulled me toward a wall that was a couple of feet off of the sidewalk on which I was walking.

The man had his back against the wall and he was holding me in front of him, against his body, and between him and the cop who was a couple of seconds away from us now.

I have no idea what one is supposed to do in this situation. Absolutely no cognitive thought went into what happened next. This may have been stupidest thing I could have done. Please feel free to send me angry emails about it. It won't change the fact that I did it, nor will it stop me from doing it again in the future. IT WAS JUST A REFLEX OK?!?

I grabbed the man's free wrist, which was at my chest, and pulled it as hard as I could. This, I think, caught him totally off guard and flipped his body almost all the way around so that the front of his body was now nearly flat with the wall.

It was only about a second later that the cop got there, grabbed both of the guy's arms, and apprehended him. I was already walking away.

That whole thing seriously probably happened within like five seconds. I know it seems like it took longer because it took a minute to read all of that. Or five minutes, if you're a slow reader. And it's ok if you are. WE DON'T JUDGE WE JUST HELP.

And I think because it happened so fast and because I was in a neighborhood where I sort of expect crazy things to happen, it didn't shake me up AT ALL.

I'm not kidding. Almost immediately upon walking away I was already thinking about something Dean Strang had said.

A few minutes later my friend Jared texted me to ask how my morning had gone out there and as I started crafting a response it suddenly occurred to me what had just happened.


It suddenly hit me that I think for about two seconds, I was actually A FREAKING HOSTAGE. You guys. a HOSTAGE.

I kept forgetting about it throughout the day and then it would hit me again.

And I also kept thinking about how the police man showed up and risked his own life to protect mine. And I was so confused! Because my new-found rebelliousness had told me that the cops were the enemy! But now the cops became the heroes again!

WHO IS THE ENEMY NOW!? I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHO THE ENEMY IS ANYMORE!

Is it Oprah?!

~It Just Gets Stranger

48 comments:

  1. And then you WALKED AWAY, like the baddest-donkey-hero/vigilante-walking-away-from-an-explosion EVAH??? What the FACE, Eli! Don't you ever scare me like that again!

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  2. This must be a pretty serious obsession you have with Dean Strang if you are willing to cut some of your luscious locks to send to him. But I'm totally with you, he is amazing!

    Also, I'm super glad you're OK after the hostage situation.

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  3. I'm glad you're okay and it's not stupid to fight. UNLESS it's with Cathie. She is a MOTHER and therefore always right. Always.

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    1. I like that! I'll be mentioning a few things to Eli right away! XO

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  4. just remember "the enemy's gate is down"

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    1. Eli. Your hair is still perfect, and I love your blog, and we'll always be eighth cousins, but I'm sad that you did not recognize "the enemy's gate is down." But maybe you don't read amazing books? That would get in the way of adulting, TV bingeing, and food, I suppose. But Mr. Pants could cuddle with you while you read just as easily as while you watch TV . . .

      AND your hostage situation is amazing.

      AND don't forget that a police officer chose to believe your "trying to save a dog story" and saved you a bajillion dollars by not writing you a ticket for parking in handicap, so they can't ALL be bad.

      I have not watching "Making a Murderer," but now I'm wondering if Dean Strang is as awesome as Atticus Finch. Also, Dean STRANG's name is SO close to being STRANGER. It's almost like he's one of us.

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    2. I recognize the reference, but I'm not sure how it applies here. Also, I do think that Dean Strang is Atticus Finch. Which makes me very nervous. I hope and 50 years we don't find out that he's a racist.

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    3. I think you're supposed to use deductive reasoning to determine who the enemy is. If the enemy's gate is down, you just look for the down gate, figure out who it belongs to, and that person is your enemy. When you live on a hill and work in a tall building it admittedly leads to making a lot of enemies, but that's what happens when you have fabulous hair and stand up to hostage-taking bullies. Hashtag face tattoos for temples

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    4. Well then none of you should read Go Set A Watchman because it will ruin all your Atticus related hopes and dreams.

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    5. To my understanding, "the enemy's gate is down" is something you are reminded of whenever a threatening situation occurs. You stop worrying about the process of how to defeat the enemy and start acting on your first reactions/impulses.

      So obviously, you used your secret training as a black belt ju-jitsu/kung fu/etc during your brief role as hostage in order to overcome the poor soul who thought he could use you as a human shield.

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    6. Wait, Eli are you suggesting that Atticus Finch is a racist? Because if you are then one of us seriously misunderstood the entire novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" and not that I couldn't be wrong, but I'm not wrong.

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    7. Anonymous, I'm referencing Go Set A Watchman, which reimagined the character as a racist. I'm assuming you haven't read it. If you haven't, stay away from it! It's very upsetting if you love To Kill a Mockingbird, like I do.

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  5. Dean Strang. YES! I'm slightly obsessed with him too. I hadn't thought of sending him a lock off hair, can we share an envelope? Split the postage?

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  6. I don't have time for this particular series. I'm stuck in the middle of picking Best Performance(s) by a Male/Female Actor/Ensemble Cast in a Leading/Supporting/Ensemble Cast Role for the SAG Awards, for which I have to vote by the end of the month, so that those awards can be telecast on or about, what? A week later, in February? I don't even know anymore, I have so many screeners I have to be devoting time to.

    So far, my faves are Eddie Redmayne for Best Leading (Male) Actor, Saoirse Ronan for Best Leading (Female) Actor, and Spotlight for Best Ensemble Cast. No idea when I'll see some Best Supportings. But I am Oh, So, Tired of watching movies that are "based on true events". I need some fiction, STAT! Don't even waste a Single Breath trying to get me to watch that Murderer BS. Sorry. I'm busy.

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    1. Suddenly I want to know more about your life and what you do. Are you a film critic or something more? Do you get advanced screenings to movies because I am totally free when superhero/sci-fi movies come out if you need a geek point of view. :D

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    2. I'm receiving screeners from the folks who are running the SAG Awards (which air in February, I think) because I'm a SAG actor. I've been busy reviewing all of these films on my blog, so that others who share my tastes will know which movies to skip and which they shouldn't miss.

      I think if I did get Advance screenings to movies, we'd still have a geography problem for you to be my "date", Lee. I live in Los Angeles (well, "beautiful [not] downtown Burbank", to be precise) and you're way up in the frozen north. Plus, my husband likes to be my movie date. ;) Still haven't figured out if I'm related to any of you other Strangers.

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    3. Emelle I'm super jealous because I kid you not I had a dream last night about Philippe's turkey double dip and walking over to Olvera street for taquitos. *sigh* I called my friends who live in Korea town and told them I needed to come for a visit asap.

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    4. Ooo Burbank. That's where AMC and the Collider crew are located that do movie reviews (for those that don't know it's just a youtube channel mostly for geeks like me). Very cool.

      Yeah, I guess geography and significant others could be an issue...hmm...ah well. I'm definitely going to check out your blog though.

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    5. Suzzzzz, I never head over the hill for food (so I spend NO time in Koreatown, nor have I ever been to Philippe's). If you do make it out here for a visit, look me up, and I'll let you introduce me to the turkey double dip and/or Olvera Street taquitos.

      Lee, I saw that you found me. Yay!

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  7. Never watched a second of this show, but have heard the controversy surrounding clever editing by the creators who were allegedly quite sympathetic to the main 'character' and his plight.

    Currently binge-watching (and by 'binge' I mean an episode every day or so) Person of Interest with Jim Caveziel. Stellar cast, superb writing, interesting plots. Pretty sure not one second of it is "based on true events", too.

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    1. LOVE Person of Interest. Prepare to be heartbroken a few times, awesomesauciness. So many feels. And no, I think it's entirely based on somebody's imagination, so thanks for chiming in on that front. Unfortunately, it's not up for any SAG Awards, so I haven't gotten screeners. I DO, however, keep it in my queue for regular viewing.

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  8. Okay - I haven't seen the show ans wasn't sure if I wanted to. But I'm obsessed with the podcasts Serial and Undisclosed - have you listened to them? I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts!

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  9. Eli,
    Your phone only has 18% at 9:21 AM? What is this world coming to.

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    1. I noticed this as well ...

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  10. Don't talk about me in your blog please. I will be forced to take legal action if you continue to do so.

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    1. THAT WOULD BE A DREAM COME TRUE!!!

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    2. Whoever did this needs to take center stage and take a bow cause that was awesome.

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  11. Can someone work the photoshops and make one of Eli walking away from an explosion like "ain't no thang" because that is exactly what I invisioned in my head as he walked away from the hostage situation. Serious SLC street cred!

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  12. As far as I can tell, your only enemy is phone battery life. 4%, then 18%. Don't you at least charge it at night so that at 8:47 a.m. you would have a full or full-ish battery? C'mon Eli!

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    1. I live on the edge and I won't apologize for it.

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    2. But what happens if your battery is at 4% at 8:47 and then at 9:14 I desperately need to contact you about your hair? What then, Eli? WHAT THEN???

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    3. Geez Eli, you're so heartless. I mean, THINK OF KJAX'S FEELINGS ONCE IN A WHILE!

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  13. I live in the stone age. I don't have Netflix. I made my husband get DVR last year when we switched our cable provider...is FiOS still called cable? I don't even know. If you ever need to know about Bubble Guppies and the obvious flaws in that show, I can fill you in on all of it, though. For instance, how the heck does it rain UNDER THE OCEAN???? I am a Bubble Guppies expert thanks to the 1 year old.

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  14. Just now on episode 9! And no knew gets to comment until they watch it. Biased maybe but reasonable doubt? Yes!!! No wonder middle America hates the five 0.

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  15. Holy crap, Eli. This is one of the craziest situations you have ever shared. And the thing is, out of all the blogs I read and all the friends I have, I think YOU are the person most likely to have this happen to them. Don't take that the wrong way. Although, I'm not exactly sure which way is even the RIGHT way to take it...

    Also, there are two sides to every story. I'm not so convinced about Avery's innocence. The documentary presents a very biased case with a definite agenda.

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    1. I'm not sure about his innocence either. I don't think Brenden is guilty. And I definitely believe there were some very corrupt people in the sheriff's and prosecutor's offices.

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  16. You can take down a hostage taker, but you can't find a puppy dog? Seriously...what kind of super hero are you???

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  17. Several hours after reading this blog post and spurring from a completely unrelated string of internet inquiry, I came across this wikipedia article about James Strang (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Strang) a guy who apparently formed a splinter LDS sect in Michigan back in the 1800s. This has spurred 2 questions:
    1 - could Dean Strang be related to James Strang (honestly, how could he not?!)
    2 - should this community of blog followers start calling ourselves Strangites instead of Strangers?
    3 - (bonus Q) will you dress up as either Dean or James Strang for Halloween this year? Actually, that's far away... how about for Groundhog Day?

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  18. Eli!!! I've never commented before but feel compelled to do so. I have a huge presentation this week so why did you inspire me to watch this??? I'll be blaming you for all imminent procrastination due to this series. Ugh it's so addicting I can't even. (Sorry for slipping into teenage girl speak there but)

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  19. I have so much to say, I don't even know where to begin!

    I feel I haven't been given proper credit! I also urged you to watch Making A Murderer. You're giving all the credit to Bob and Cathie when I deserve at least 51%.

    Now let's examine your conclusion about cops.
    1. It's clear from your description that you freed yourself one second before the cops arrived.
    2. As you were already walking away when the cops apprehended the ALLEGED criminal, there is no way to know whether the cops were rightfully apprehending this ALLEGED criminal.

    There are simply no facts to support your conclusion that the police men risked their lives to protect yours. You protected your own self! YOU are the hero of the story and the cops remain the enemy!!!

    Your rebellion is restored.

    Ok, onto Oprah. Oprah is never the enemy. Never. This is the United States of God Bless America and Oprah is one of our Gods. She chose our current President!

    I have to agree with you about Dean Strang. This guy is quite possibly the only honest lawyer in America. And yes, I know you're a lawyer, but I think the hyperbole on this blog alone explains why I'm including you in the dishonest lawyers group. But back to Dean. His sincere belief that Steven Avery is innocent was almost more convincing than the evidence! And in the last episode when he said a big part of him wished Steven was guilty so that it wouldn't mean the legal system had failed so deeply, I was at once in awe of his pure heart and shocked that such a soul could survive the first day of Law School.

    Can we have a discussion about Brendan Dassey?! The phone call to his mother after the second "confession" where he tells her he was involved in the murder BOTHERS ME. The tone of his voice when his mother is shocked and asked him if he really did all of those thing to Theresa and he tearfully says, "some of them," I felt like he was telling the truth. I think that ultimately, he was involved.

    Now can we have a blog post discussing the various theories on who really killed Theresa Halbach?!

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    1. My money is on the ex-boyfriend and/or roommate. I got the sickest feeling about them the first time they were showed manning the search party. Dudes were all smiles for one. Two, the EX boyfriend is in charge of the search party? I don't talk to a single one of my exes, no matter how long or seriously we dated. The way he announced "if you find anything, DON'T TOUCH IT!" like a toddler protecting his toys? Or like a guilty dude not wanting to be found out? And HOW did Colburn know which license plate they were looking for... if they were still looking for it? Unless someone who knew what she drove, like, say, an ex or a roommate, told him?

      Hubby and I have lost hours of sleep picking the series apart.

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    2. What about the voicemails? Who deleted the voicemails? The only person who had access to her voicemail was her brother. Did he have something to do with it? Also didn't the roommate say that he guessed her password to her online cell phone bill? That seems weird to me. I am definitely not saying Avery didn't do it, but there sure are a lot of unanswered questions.

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  20. He wasn't trying to take you as a hostage, he just wanted a better look at your hair!

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  21. Yes. Oprah is the enemy.

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    1. Yes, this exactly. Finally, someone who agrees with me.

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  22. Ugh I know going back to Atticus Finch-- I re-read To Kill A Mockingbird almost every year because I feel as I get older I learn more from it each time. Go Set A Watchman just made me feel all sick and small inside. Why did it ever get released!? Don't ever read it if you haven't already :/

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