Thursday, April 19, 2018

Faceoff Tech Support

Two Sundays ago Gmac called to tell me that her "Faceoff is broken," which translates to "I can't log in to Facebook."

I was wondering why I hadn't seen any all caps comments on my posts, detailing personal and somewhat inaccurate information about myself, in a while.

Gmac is in her late 80s now, and having never been one to embrace the latest technologies with ease, we have all been pretty impressed with her shaky attempts to engage in social media over the years.

I mentioned to you recently that Gmac has a very bad habit of using Bob McCann as her personal tech support, a situation which I have referred to as "the blind leading the dead." I was told that she went to Bob as her first line of defense against the broken Faceoff, and after several hours of "help," the two were in no better a position.

So Gmac reached out to me. And really, she wasn't looking for my help. She was fully aware that I would then loop in Skylar and he, and he alone, would be responsible for this mess.

I invited Gmac over for dinner and then braced Skylar for a very frustrating evening.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Peggy the Therapist

For a while I've been wanting to write a post about my former therapist, Peggy, but I haven't gotten around to it because TV and Eating and Lazy. But then these people from BetterHelp reached out to me. So, here's a sponsored post about therapy.

It all started when a few years ago Brianne barged into my office and said "I made an appointment for you to see a therapist named Peggy." Then she left before I could ask any of the obvious questions.

This was offensive. Not because I think therapy is a shameful thing. But because it's always going to be a little jarring when someone out of the blue facilitates the provision of mental health services for you.

But I'm 85% afraid of Brianne, so the next Wednesday at 4:30 PM I got into my car and drove across town to see this Peggy person.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Salt Lake Ghost Tour

Please enjoy The Suzzzz's Strangerville Live story above, and today's ghost story below.

Skylar's mom visited Salt Lake City this weekend. Skylar was trying to find things to do to entertain her and at some point he made the interesting choice to ask and rely on me and Jolyn for advice, to which Jolyn responded before he even finished the question "TAKE HER ON A GHOST TOUR OR DON'T BOTHER COMING HOME."

There's a company that does these ghost tours of the city and for years Jolyn and I have wanted to go, but we've just never gotten around to it. As we understood it, you buy a ticket and then someone takes you around town on a bus and tells you ghost stories about all of the old creepy buildings and at the end you belong to Satan.

Skylar immediately found a groupon for 4 people and signed us all up.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Last week Brianne was lecturing me about love languages because she said that I need to be better at understanding how to work with people and she suggested that if I knew people's "love languages" I would have some success in this. This seemed like a strange lecture because I thought I was working just fine with people. Then I realized that the whole reason for the lecture was so she could say, "for example, your love language is telling people what to do and just getting your way all the time."

No matter how many times I try to remind Brianne that the nature of our professional relationship is one where I am supposed to ask her to do things and she is supposed to do those things, she refuses to not criticize me for "being bossy."

Please enjoy some Pictures & Distractions:
Mr. Pants lookin for cats.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

This is Strange

I wandered the city of 3 or 4 million people for a couple of hours, stopping in at an internet cafe for a moment to let my friends and family at home know that I had made it.

It was Kyiv Ukraine in 2010, before I had a smartphone and before wifi was ubiquitous. My plane had landed an hour or two before this. From the airport I had boarded an old marshrutka van that had a sign on the front, telling me that it was destined for the train station, which was in the city center.

The marshrutka ride lasted twice as long as it should have because Kyiv traffic is typical for a city of its size. The van was full. Several people had to stand in the aisle, holding onto the straps connected to the sides of the van. It was a hot day and there was no working air conditioner, and the two or three elderly ladies on board wouldn't allow the rest of us to open any of the windows.

There's an old Ukrainian belief that an open window on a moving vehicle will cause passengers to get sick. Having tried many times during the two years that I lived in Ukraine from 2003 to 2005 to talk elderly women out of this belief, I have learned that this isn't an argument worth having.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Mr. Pham

Please enjoy this week's Strangerville Live, and today's story:

My neighbor Lynne's landscaping could be in a magazine. Every flower and bush is perfectly manicured. I want to be buried in her backyard one day. Especially if I'm dead.

I was amazed that she had achieved everything she has by herself, especially considering that she's a flight attendant and is often gone for many days at a time. Then one day she told me about Mr. Pham.

I don't know Mr. Pham's first name and I'm not sure Lynne does either. He may not have one. She found him a few years ago and hired him to do some landscaping work on her property.

Mr. Pham is probably a genius. He is an exceptionally talented landscape artist. Lynne liked him instantly because of how proud he was of his work. He takes pictures of yards he's worked on and prints them out to put into a binder, and he likes to pull it out, a huge grin on his face, and show people that he meets. Lynne told me that only people who are really good at what they do care that much about it, so she trusted him and had him start helping her with her yard.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Grass Seed and Drug Cartels

My street is on a hill, which is a problem for three reasons:

1. Sliding past my driveway on icy days and having to circle the block multiple times to give it another try;

2. Losing balls that Duncan suddenly decides to set down on the ground mid-walk for reasons he refuses to explain to me;

3. The thing that happened on Saturday.

About three years ago I decided to base 100% of my self-esteem on my yard maintenance. This was a dangerous decision because a weed can send me to therapy now.

On the plus side, I can accidentally steal someone's car and get chased down by multiple employees of a car dealership and still think I'm a perfect human as long as my lawn is looking healthy that day.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Stranger Things

We got to the venue for Strangerville Live on Friday a couple of hours before the show started. Jolyn and a woman who works for Church & State started lifting and moving heavy furniture to get things set up while I pretended to be busy playing with the audio equipment.

As is always the case, time flew and suddenly people were coming through the doors, including Bob and Cathie who were already habitually telling me that my story was their favorite even though the show hadn't started yet.

Bob and Cathie's unwavering support for their offspring is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is comforting to have a constant cheerleader section that will reassure you, until their voices are hoarse, that whatever thing you did was the best anyone has ever done that thing. On the other hand, three decades of this have not made facing this cruel world an easy transition.

Suddenly, the show began. Jolyn took the stage and welcomed everyone. The venue looked beautiful. People were smiling. Everything was going just great. Jolyn announced that Rachel Miller would be our first storyteller of the night. Rachel began her story and the audience seemed to love it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The people of My Life

You guys. We are in the last days. I don't mean that religiously. Unless you consider Strangerville Live a religious experience, which some do. (I'm referring, probably, to the ones who have shown up at our shows wearing June Snapple shirts or Snuggies).

After every show Bob and Cathie tell me that I was the very best one no matter what else happens. They would tell me this even if I vomited onstage and electrocuted the audience. So if you want to come and see if they are right, do us a solid and get your tickets today at this link.

We are so excited to see y'all there this Friday at Church & State in Salt Lake City. Not that I say y'all, obvie.

And now:

Ring Ring

Eli: Hello?


Eli: Is this more or less serious than when you were dying because you forgot to put on sunscreen and went outside for 20 minutes two weeks ago.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Neck Flits

You should know that THIS FREAKING WEEK we have our next Strangerville Live show. This is the most excited I've been for one of our events, mostly because we are in an amazing new venue, Meg has promised to tell us a story, AND THE FREAKING SUZZZZZZZZ IS COMING. I know that you are used to me speaking in hyperbole, but know ye this, the Suzzzzzzzz's story is one of my favorite stories I've ever heard. And I'm telling a story as well--one that I've never told anyone before, and one that I've been waiting for the right moment to share.

We have some limited seating for this show and so we strongly encourage you to get your tickets at this link if you haven't already. We are so excited to spend a fun Salt Lake evening with you this Friday, if you can make it.

And while you're at it, and before you jump into today's written story, please enjoy one of the most interesting Strangerville stories we've had in a long time:


Last weekend my dad called me and said that Gmac was having major technological problems that he couldn't resolve.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


The water moved in and out. Slowly. Methodically. Miles of coral reef prevented it from forming enough critical mass to make waves. The sun was dropping down, settling into an oceanic horizon. A tiny island with one palm tree appeared only as silhouette courtesy of the sun's back-lighting.

Suddenly something grabbed my wrist, pulling hard. I didn't look down at it because I thought I wasn't supposed to stop looking at the island's silhouette.

It was a dream. But I didn't know it.

I was back in Palau on a familiar beach.

One that was always somehow simultaneously calming and lonely.

The water moved in and out.

I resisted the pull from whatever had caught hold of my wrist, continuing to stare at the island's silhouette, watching the one palm tree lean and move a little. There was something else on the island and that's why I was watching it. If I looked away, even for a moment, that something would get washed away by the water.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Chocolate Cake: Another Attempt

Please check out today's episode of Strangerville, above (and at the bottom of this post, because we're persistent like that), featuring a story about what happens when pen pals don't end up murdering each other.

Also, don't forget that our Strangerville Live show is NEXT WEEK (March 30). Please get tickets at this link if you haven't already.


You may recall that a little while ago TV lied to me and made me think that it was sufficient education for baking. I spent basically two full days trying to make a mirror-glaze cake from a British recipe that may as well have been written in another language.

Whatever I ended up with was definitely not mirror-glaze and it probably wasn't even technically a cake, and after that experience I decided that I would never bake anything ever again.

Then last week happened.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Skylar Has The Best Words

Skylar is struggling with words lately, as was evidenced in a conversation I had with him a few days ago in which he actually said this:

"Do you have any . . . oh . . . what's that word? What's the word I'm trying to say? Help me here. I'm thinking of that thing that's wool but it's like a noodle and you have it but like noodles but it's like one LONG noodle."


He couldn't think of the word for yarn.

You know. That wool noodle.

I once walked into a room and he was talking to a customer service representative on the phone and I heard him say:

"My name is Skylar. That's S as in Cyberbully, K as in Cat, Y as in . . . the letter Y."

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Bike Computer

 Please enjoy this week's Strangerville episode above, and today's written story below.


Training for the upcoming Half Ironman has been difficult the last few months, as it always is for this May race, because I am unwilling to go outside unless it is exactly 71 degrees and people are cheering for me.

I feel some guilt when I'm driving to or from work and I see cyclists out on the road with their fancy bikes and winter gear, sliding across the snowy roads, undeterred by the misery that is biking outside in the wintertime.

But the guilt isn't enough to get me to join them.

I, Eli Washingtonittle McCann, simply refuse to bike outside during the winter. Whatever the promised payoff, it is not worth it to me.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

In case you missed it, we announced our next Strangerville Live show, which will happen March 30 in Salt Lake City. You should get your tickets before they sell out at this link. And then tell Matt how great he did at designing the image for the thing so that he gets so overwhelmed with compliments that he explodes.

BTW, I asked The Suzzzz to send me a picture we could use to advertise. She sent me two. The one we didn't use is one of the most glorious images I've ever seen in my life, but I wanted to save it for a truly special occasion. If you're good, maybe I'll share it with you soon.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
A new painting I picked up in Moab.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

We're Baaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaack

After being poisoned by essential oils in our last Strangerville Live show, we decided that it was probably time to find a new venue.

I'm learning that Meg is one of those people that somehow knows everyone in the entire world. And everyone in the entire world is at least a little afraid of Meg.

Let's just say I'm probably not the only person who reads Meg's texts in a scary dragon voice.

Meg set up a meeting with some folks at such a cool place that you have to name 25 bands no one has ever heard of just to get in the front door, and we're glad she did, because we are very excited to announce that Strangerville Live is going to partner with Church and State to bring you our next live show on March 30 at 8:00 PM.

Church and State is located just a few blocks away from our old venue, at 370 S 300 E in Salt Lake City. We think you're going to love this move.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Delicate Arch

Check out our latest Strangerville episode above (or at the bottom of this post)!

I've been working a million hours the last couple of months and it has been stressful. I can tell when I'm reaching a breaking point because the day-to-day work I do starts to affect me emotionally. Two Sundays ago I was dealing with a bunch of really depressing child abuse situations all day. I was tired. And then I got a pretty run-of-the-mill phone call that sent me over the edge and suddenly I was eating ice cream out of a container with a fork, choking back tears, and searching the internet for poodle mixes.

So I decided I needed a break.

The problem is, this is a really hard time of year for me to take a vacation because for some reason everyone laws all of their laws from January through March, so working a million hours is sort of the norm for me during these months.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hunger Strike

Herminda has started this new thing where she bribes Duncan with treats she carries around in her pockets all day so now Duncan thinks all humans have treats in their pockets and he insists on sniffing the pockets of anyone who comes in the door.

This morning Herminda showed up around 8:00 and did the typical treat routine just as I was trying to feed Duncan his breakfast. I was calling him over to his food, but he wasn't listening to a word I was saying.

BACK IN MY DAY dogs ate all of their food the moment you poured it into a bowl.

Duncan hunger strikes for two days at a time. He will not eat the food. I try to get him interested in it, but his kibble consumption has to be on his own terms.

He hunger strikes when I'm not in the house. He has never, not once, ever, taken a bite of his food when I haven't been home.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Many Hands Make Light Work

Last week I wrote a post complaining about how cooking blogs make you scroll through 5,000 words of nonsense just to get to the one thing you were looking for in the first place. Then Meg told me that I basically do the same thing with Strangerville because people who listen to the podcast but don't read the blog have to sift through Stranger word vomit to get to the episode. And I was only incredibly offended.

So that's why I put the episode at the top. I'm not losing my mind. You were worried. You shouldn't be worried. About that, I mean. You should be worried about a lot of other things. Like e. coli, and how to spell e. coli.

In other news, I was graceful in front of my neighbors on Friday.

It all happened because it finally started snowing in Salt Lake City.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Every Single Recipe Blog Post Ever

Hi there!

For years I have loved mac and cheese. When I was growing up it was a total staple in my household! Whenever I smell mac and cheese I am

 TrAnSpOrTeD back into my childhood!

For years I have wanted to make the best possible recipe for mac and cheese and I have searched and searched and it has been so difficult to find the PERFECT recipe for mac and cheese but I finally found it!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Polar Plunge

A few weeks ago when I was in San Francisco I got to hang out with Disney Prince Hair Brandt for three days because he loves Full House so much that he lives there now. I told Brandt that I was training for the same Half Ironman race that he and I did together in 2014 HOW HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG ALL OF YOU HAVE GRAY HAIR NOW.

Four years ago when Brandt and I were training every single day for this race, I learned very quickly to dread being in the pool with him for two big reason:

1. I am the slowest swimmer since the Titanic and Brandt is basically Michael Phelps if Michael Phelps only applied himself like 80% and had the hair of a Greek God, so swimming laps next to him was a completely demoralizing experience.

I mean, look at those locks. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Thing That Doesn't Matter BUT IT KIND OF DOES

I'm going to spend the next however many minutes complaining about something that doesn't matter.

I need to complain about this. This thing that doesn't matter. It is an incredibly stupid thing to feel anger over. I already know this. I don't need you to tell me that there are actual problems in this world and that the thing that I'm choosing to spend however many minutes complaining about is not even remotely close to being one of those problems.

I know that.

I know that this thing doesn't matter and that it probably says some sad things about me that I'm about to spend however many minutes talking about it.

People who have much more satisfying lives probably never even think about stuff like this. They are probably way too busy living in a state of perpetual productivity to ever even be able to give the energy to something this incredibly dumb.

By the way, you've been warned. You don't get to be mad at me that you spent however many minutes reading this post only to find out that it's actually a post about something that's not even a thing worth complaining about. Because I already told you that this post is a waste of your time. So if you read this, that's on you.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


For about the last six months I have been telling people that "I'm like totally doing the St. George half Ironman next May." I thought that if I said it to enough humans with memories and judgment skills, I would shame myself into actually making it happen.

Since I got chubbier in 2017 and none of my pants were fitting anymore and I literally popped the button off of nearly every single pair, I knew it would probably be good for me to actually set some kind of goal and work toward something.

I'm not kidding you about the pants. It got so bad that I could no longer fit into a single suit I owned. But I wasn't about to go out and spend eleventy hundred million dollars on a new suit because that felt like giving up and although my metabolism is officially not 21 anymore, I kept convincing myself that I was "like totally doing the St George half Ironman next May" and therefore I would get skinny again.

So, without a suit that could fit my expanding bod, I took to wearing blazers and slacks that I could squeeze myself into whenever I had to go to court.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Earlier this week Paul Simon posted on Instagram that he was retiring, which was a huge shock because he didn't even attempt to consult with me about this huge decision that affects both of us equally. After screaming so loudly that you could see it from space, I googled everything on the entire internet and found out that Paul is going on a "farewell tour" this year.

Then I spent eleventy hundred billion dollars buying super good tickets to see him in a city "near" me. And by "near" I mean "very not near" because for some reason Paul decided not to include Salt Lake City on his farewell tour and I can only assume this is because he knew it would be too hard to say goodbye. So now none of us are going to be able to think of anything else until I go to this concert three months from now.

Sorry about your jobs.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

TruGreen, The Mob

I'm pretty sure I got a call from the mob today. Like, The Mob.

A few years ago I called TruGreen, the lawn care company, and asked them if I could pay one million dollars every five weeks to have them come and sprinkle fairy dust on my property. They said these terms were acceptable and then immediately started taking money from my bank account at random for the next three summers.

The plan, as I understood it, was that TruGreen would show up about every four weeks and fertilize my lawn. I thought I was being a responsible homeowner by asking them to do this because I have no idea how to keep grass alive apart from pouring water on it and prayin' to Jesus.

TruGreen has a robot woman call and scream into my ear that someone is coming to do the treatment a day or two before the scheduled visit. Robot woman reminds me to make sure the TruGreen person will be able to access all parts of the property. Then she says something about how my pets are going to die if I let them anywhere outside for the next few days.

There's really no way for me to know for sure that the treatment was done because they always come to do it when I'm at work. So for a couple of years I just hoped that I wasn't being scammed whenever I saw one million dollars get taken from my bank account.

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Last week was Duncan's adoption day (how has it been a year already omg you people are getting so old). I totally forgot about it because I was in the process of working eleventy million hours so it was really bad timing for a milestone.

Then Matt texted me and was like "if you loved Duncan you would invite me and Ollie over for dinner tonight and throw a huge party and feed us" and I would have been annoyed with Matt's attempts to manipulate me if I wasn't already in the middle of drafting a text to him that said "what time did you say you were coming over tonight to install all of the baseboards in my basement" despite the fact that he definitely never agreed to do that.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell Part III

A reminder, if you haven't done so already, to check out the story we produced this week about Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick and her two double-lung transplants. It's one of the most amazing stories I've ever heard. You can find Strangerville on any podcast app, or just listen to the episode by clicking the play button below.

You might remember that sometime ago I complained at you that Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell and that Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell Part II.

Well, I'm worried that you might have forgotten so today I wanted to inform you that Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell Part III.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Encore

A little while ago someone from Utah Symphony Utah Opera reached out to me and Meg and said that they wanted to sponsor Strangerville. Meg was immediately like "HURRY AND TAKE THEIR MONEY BEFORE THEY FIND OUT WE'RE TRASH."

She was, of course, referring to the number of times we have discussed poop on Strangerville and the lack of any discussion whatsoever about such topics as classical music.

When we got the email from Utah Symphony Utah Opera, I had only ever been to one opera in my life. It was when I was in college back in two thousand mumble mumble and I took my friend Erin with me to see one that they were putting on in Salt Lake because my friends Andrea and Shane were in it and it has always been a dream of mine to sit in the back of an ostentatious theater and use those little binoculars while saying things like "superb" and "grey poupon."

As we walked out of the show

Erin: That was really cool.

Eli: It was really cool.

Erin: I bet it would be interesting to go to an opera in English sometime.

Eli: Uh . . . Erin . . . that was in English.

Erin: . . . ok, I'm not good enough of a person to go to operas.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

What's that? You guys didn't think I would get a Pictures & Distractions post out this week? You thought I was too busy and drowning in my own stress tears?

Well, so did I. But then I decided to prove to myself that I CAN have it all.

So, now, your Pictures & Distractions:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A New Dentist

I had a cavity filled this morning because I guess I'm not very good at brushing my teeth and they set the appointment for 7:00 AM when it should be illegal to have appointments.

Every time I see the dentist at the end they try to set my next appointment and they're all "what are you doing twelve-hundred days from now and I'm always like "lady, I don't even know how to brush my teeth well so do you think I have my life that planned out?"

And then she always picks some weekday off in the distance and then asks if I want to do an early appointment on that day so it doesn't interfere with work and I always say yes because this seems like the responsible and lawyerly thing to do and the appointment is so far off in the distance that I just decide that it will probably be totally fine to have to get up before it should be illegal to be awake to go to the dentist's office, which might easily be the most boring place on planet earth by the way.

Then the night before the appointment I look at my calendar for the next day and see that I have to be all the way across town by 7:00 and I know some of you are like "I wake up at 4:00 every day and eat an entire field of spinach while doing yoga as I drive my 16 kids to early-morning violin lessons" and that's awesome for you but I don't do those things and being in the most boring place on Earth on the other end of town at 7:00 is hard for me and I don't care who knows it.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


A while ago Matt asked me and Skylar if we wanted to go to a place called Lava Hot Springs with him because his friends have a cabin there and they had invited him to go for a weekend and had told him to invite a couple of friends.

Lava Hot Springs is a few hours north of Salt Lake City and it's this very strange town nestled in some mountains. Only like 500 people live there so they report sneezes in the town newspaper. And its claim to fame is that it has a bunch of natural hot pools that stay warm during the wretchedly cold winter as a sort of warning about the supervolcano that is going to destroy us all.

We took off on Friday afternoon in Skylar's car. I drove it because it had started snowing and you're welcome everyone between Salt Lake City and Lava Hot Springs for taking the wheel.

By the time we rolled into town it was dark. Matt's friends were about ten minutes behind us so we pulled up to the cabin and jumped out of the car to give Ollie and Duncan a chance to go potty while we stretched out from the drive.

The cabin sits up on a huge hill that descends down into the town in a sort of Grinch-Who-Stole-Christmas kind of way.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

SkyWest: A Story of Malicious Identity Theft

Not to get all Oprah on you, but my favorite thing in the entire world is that people think Skylar is SkyWest (the airline) on Instagram because his handle is @skywest.

Let's all take one quick moment of silence for the airline, who couldn't get their crap together enough to secure a handle from someone who had exactly 387 followers at the time of this writing.

Because people think Skylar is the airline, pretty regularly he gets tagged in posts from people complaining about flight delays, poor customer service, or just including pictures of airplanes and thanking SkyWest for making their upcoming trip possible.

He feels it his sacred duty to respond to at least some of these, lamenting on occasion that "not once" has the airline paid him for his services.

I don't know the fair market value of these "services," considering that the majority of his responses to people's inquiries just look like this:

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pressure on the Barrel and Fullest House

Several of us from various parts of the country descended upon San Francisco at various times on Thursday.  We had planned to spend a weekend hanging out in the city and heading up north to Napa Valley.

Disney Prince Hair Brandt lives in San Francisco now despite my repeated efforts to talk him into moving back to Salt Lake City so I can finally have some competition around here [runs a greasy comb through hair].

Look. I've never really spent time in San Francisco. I don't know much about it. I have no business being there.

BUT, what I do know is that Danny Tanner raised Olsen Twins in one of those houses and so there was absolutely no way I was going to leave the city without finding it.

I told Skylar this. He and I both had some free time on Friday morning while everyone else was working, and so we ventured off together to find the Full House house.

Skylar could not have been less interested in this activity, and I'm 120% convinced that he was intentionally singing the wrong words to the wrong song all morning just to irritate me. (He was singing "Our house--in the middle of the street" but he wasn't even getting those words right and then he would break into the "everywhere you look!" part of the Full House song but instead he would sing "everywhere you go, everything you do" and this was wrong and it was unacceptable and I needed him to just stop AND WE SHOULD JUST TOTALLY STAB CAESAR.)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Four-Layered Caramel Cream Orange Zest Chocolate Mirror Glaze Cake

The Great British Baking Show is on Netflix and months ago Meg was like "you HAVE to watch it because it will change your life" and I ignored her for a while but finally one day in December Skylar, Matt, and I were sitting in front of the TV making a lot of our lives when suddenly Skylar pulled up the show and hit play.

I have never been interested in any kind of cooking show. Usually when someone starts cooking something on TV I immediately change the channel because there is nothing less interesting to me than watching someone on television prepare food.

BUT, the one quality I possess that is even stronger than my dislike for television shows having to do with food is laziness. So I didn't get up and leave.

And that's when I found out that, in fact, there is an exception to my typical rule.

For those unfamiliar, The Great British Baking Show is a program wherein a dozen adorable British people spend their weekends baking in a large and beautiful tent. Their bakes are judged by two judges, who I swear to you are named Mary Berry

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sliced Bras

If the title to this post is clickbate for you, then PERVERT.

But for real, today we are releasing our first Strangerville episode of 2018 and we are doing things a little differently around here this year. I guess you could say this is sort of like THE YEAR OF NEW.

Nailed it.

Check out the episode at the bottom of this post and let me know what you think of the new format. It was sort of Meg's brainchild. And she was using her scary dragon voice when she suggested it and I always just go along with what she suggests when she's using her scary dragon voice. Her scary dragon voice is 120% of the reason why I helped her write this recap last week. And then someone somewhere on the Internet shared that recap and said that Meg Walter has started collaborating with her "husband" to write these things and then Meg sent me a screen shot of that post and was like "WE NEED TO FIX THIS I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO THINK I'M MARRIED TO YOU" which was a lot more offensive than she predicted.

Where was I? My brain is a little fried today thanks to a total cake-tastrophy that happened all. afternoon. Story on that to come later this week. Teaser: my family now has reason to stop talking about my 2013 Robitussin pie.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

World War III

On New Year's day I went to Matt's house. Every year Matt invites some people over for a traditional southern New Year's Day "breakfast." I used quotes because, despite our best efforts, this never happens before 1:00 PM.

I'm not totally sure what Matt feeds us because every time I ask him to identify the food he responds in such a strong southern accent that parts of Salt Lake City are now considered the Bayou. But I do know it involves rice, some greens, black-eyed-peas, ham hocks, and a lot screaming at Ollie to stop jumping up onto the table.

As is usually the case when anything happens at Matt's house, there were more dogs than people.

Duncan is in heaven in these situations because Duncan has so much energy in his little body that he's actually radioactive so when he plays with any other dog, that dog gets sick of him real fast. When there are a gaggle of puppies around, however, Duncan can bounce around and wrestle with each dog until, one-by-one, they tap out for a rest.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Year Of

When I was sitting in my office in the hot tropics with ants literally crawling on my feet in February of 2013, I started having a panic attack. It wasn't my first within the four moldy walls that surrounded my tiny space that had about twice the amount of furniture crammed into it than it should have had.

Me, in my office.