Saturday, July 20, 2019

Yahoo! Answers XIV

I've been saving this for a while. Please cast your vote for your favorite answer. There are some WINNERS here.



Question 1: If the Titanic sinking really happened, why didn't the people who died ever say anything about it? I just think it's suspicious that not a single one of them ever talked about their experience.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Yard-Life Crisis

Skylar and I had a midlife crisis about our yard and in the last two weeks we have used all of your college funds to toil and labor our Earth.

I'm sorry. I know you wanted to be astronauts. But you're just going to have to settle to be asstronauts instead, which is a job waiting tables at a gay-themed restaurant over by the airport.

I don't remember exactly how it started, but I think it was something Skylar said. We've had an ongoing fight about our landscaping because we have completely competing visions and tastes for this sort of thing. I want it to look like if Walt Disney designed a garden for Joseph Stalin, with straight lines, perfect symmetry, not a thing out of place, and ongoing mysterious disappearances of my political enemies.

But if you ask Skylar what he wants, he's like "IT MUST LOOK LIKE NO HUMAN HAS EVER EXISTED." Skylar wants an organized mess. He wants the equivalent of sexy bed head for the yard.

Because we have a total inability to see eye-to-eye or compromise MARRIAGE IS GOING TO BE SO GREAT we have been at a stand-still all year, vetoing one another's ideas, and getting nothing done in the process.

Until two weeks ago. I had finally had it with this, and so had Skylar. So we had a conversation wherein we discovered that we both really just wished our yard looked like our neighbor Lynne's yard. Lynne has somehow captured both of our conflicting tastes at once. Her yard is like if Disney gave Stalin bed head. And then murdered his political acquaintances.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Zebra Down

Strangerville Live last Friday was amazing ifwedosaysoourselves. A million thank yous for helping us pack the house and have really one of the most fun evenings of my life. Also, Meg is a top five funniest person in the world. (The other 4 are my mother, the cashier at the grocery store down the street from me, Skylar, Jan Terri, and Catherine O'Hara).

Today, please enjoy Meg's story from our show as a part of this episode of Strangerville (written version of her story also below).


This time in Strangerville, Meg and Eli talk about how the pioneers definitely had it worse. And Meg takes the Strangerville Live stage to tell us about her zebra-print sports bra.
Story
Zebra Down, by Meg Walter
Production by Eli McCann & Meg Walter

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

It's about 24 hours before our show. I told Meg and Jolyn I don't know what to wear so they've been having me text them pictures of possible outfits I could wear. Meg finally chose something. So if you don't like what I'm wearing tomorrow, please @ Meg, which is a thing the kids do when they're mad.

And also, come to our show. Get tickets here. It's going to be fun. I half promise.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:

He had a stressful morning so we went and got a puppichino.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Jaws!

The other night I watched Jaws and I decided to live Tweet my experience and I'm feeling lazy and some of you still refuse to follow me on Twitter BECAUSE YOU DON'T MIND COMMITTING HATE CRIMES and I'm frantically trying to prepare for our AMAZING SHOW in SLC this Friday (get tickets here, please. Meg keeps yelling at me because I'm not popular enough to sell out Madison Square Garden.).

So, here's my experience watching Jaws for the very first time. Also, what "old" movie do I need to see next?

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Alexa

(I know. I KNOW. I'm a broken record. But this is the last week. Strangerville Live is THIS FRIDAY. Please come. Meg is telling an embarrassing story. And I'm telling a story I've been meaning to tell on the stage for four years but I couldn't quite figure out how to do it until recently. Plus there will be balloons and candy (if you bring them). Get your tickets at THIS LINK. Seriously. Go do it right now. We'll wait for you to come back before we start gossiping about The Suzzzzzz and her new face tattoo.)

When Skylar talks to "The Alexa," as she is known in our home, he enunciates and speaks in a formality usually only reserved for an audience with the queen.

Skylar finds talking to The Alexa very overwhelming. If he pauses for too long while initiating a command, she gives up and starts asking him questions, which makes him lose his concentration and start yelling, which makes The Alexa more confused, which makes him yell even more. Basically I'm saying Skylar and Alexa need couple's counseling.

I can't really blame him for the frustrations. We currently have a set of lights in the house called "Christmas" on The Alexa because we had them set up last December and we used their associated devices for the Christmas tree and other Christmas lights. We've been too lazy to change the name of these things (and I frankly don't even know how to do it) so now when we want to turn on the lamps that are plugged into these devices or use these bulbs we have to ask The Alexa to "turn on Christmas." This would work fine if she didn't get confused nearly 50% of the time and start playing Christmas music on volume 10.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

8 Seconds of Heaven


My sister Krisanda called me last week and left a voicemail to invite me to a school function for my niece, Kate. It was an assembly, with music. Kate is in the fourth grade. I assume this was the Utah celebratory history assembly—the same one I participated in when I was in fourth grade in nineteen hundred and mumble mumble.

Side note, my new thing is to say twentieth century years as “nineteen hundred” such and such because it always makes people look just a little puzzled, but then they never ask me about it.

Anyway, since I’m uncle of the year, I totally forgot to respond to my sister or to put the assembly in my calendar so I just didn’t go.

Look. I have somewhere between 8 and 20 nieces and nephews. I love them all, but I just can’t keep track of the stuff and things anymore. How did that lady who lived in a shoe do it. It must be different when they’re your own kids. And when you live in a shoe. You probably don’t even have to have a job to afford to live in a shoe. You can just spend all of your time learning your kids names and going to their state propaganda assemblies.

The point is, I’m a suckface who forgot his family.

I'm not sure how it has already been 25 years since I participated in the Utah assembly. We practiced the hell out of our recorders in preparation. The class was ecstatic the day recorder rehearsal arrived because it was something different and because what ten-year-old wouldn't love the chance to own something that makes a very loud and obnoxious noise when you blow into it?

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Life is Always Sunny in Palau

For Strangerville this week I decided to share a story about Palau. The written version of the story may be found below. Please enjoy. And also, don't forget to grab your tickets to Strangerville Live, July 12. Meg has decided to tell a story. Please come sit on the front row and clap really enthusiastically. Grab tickets here.


This time in Strangerville, Meg and Eli talk their weird phobias, Eli shares a story about what moving to “paradise” really looks like, and then there’s an unexpected therapy session for which we don’t apologize.
Story
Life is Always Sunny in Palau, by Eli McCann (including the cruddy music)
Production by Eli McCann & Meg Walter
Audio Playe


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

And That's OK

We're out on the patio. Skylar is studying. He decided to pursue a masters degree in the summers because apparently he's not sufficiently exhausted by medical school. This seems insane to me, but he's young so he can probably handle it.

I'm exhausted enough for the both of us. I've been working nights and weekends for much of the year. I'm supposed to be up for partner at my firm later this summer. How did I get that old? Wasn't I just sitting on a bed in my shared room in college creating a blog on my 15-pound laptop so I could tell my family what I was up to?

A few weeks ago I started crying in my office for absolutely no reason. It was 11:00 PM and I just started crying. And then I started laughing because I wasn't sure why I was crying. Then I packed up my stuff and drove home.

Skylar was studying when I got there. He was sitting on the couch, Duncan curled up next to him. It was strange how guilty I felt to just be getting home. I never used to feel that way when there was nothing waiting for me at home. I had gotten really used to nothing waiting for me at home.

We went to bed, and slept hard, waking up the next morning to do it all again.

I wondered that day if I was wasting my life doing things that made me feel exhausted. I thought about the same quandary I've considered a hundred times before. What am I actually accomplishing? Am I failing? Am I helping people? Am I helping my family? Am I helping myself?

Am I just wasting my life doing things that made me feel exhausted to no end?

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Britney Spears, Crossroads

(Hola. Strangerville Live is on July 12. I had a dream last night that I fell asleep during the show and when I woke up everyone had already left and Meg said I slept through my own story and so we had to give everyone their money back. I'm just glad we have a good return policy in my dreams. Get your tickets at THIS LINK.)

It suddenly occurred to me that I had never seen Britney Spears's 2002 cinematic masterpiece Crossroads so this morning I pulled up what the kids are calling the Youtubes and I watched.



Not the whole thing, for that is probably illegal, and stuff. But I found clips, and let me tell you something about Britney Spears's 2002 cinematic masterpiece Crossroads: this is not a great film.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Hola. This is a reminder that we've got a Strangerville Live show coming up on July 12. Get your tickets at this link. It's going to be magical. Especially if you bring your magic sets and do some tricks for us.

Also, I think I have shingles again! Merry Christmas.

Please enjoy some Pictures & Distractions:
He likes to go outside so he can just stand at the window looking in at us.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

How picking up the phone has saved me.

I have a new thing: I call people when they send me angry emails at work instead of replying to the email. Truly, for me, the most exhausting part of being a lawyer is the constant contention, which, by the way, is totally unnecessary.

The best lawyers I know are not jerks. Period. They don't yell. They aren't rude to opposing counsel. They don't snap at people. They don't send long aggressive threatening emails.

They don't have to do those things because they are smart and effective without turning into the worst versions of themselves. Whenever I hear people brag that they hired an "aggressive attorney who scares people" I immediately think, "yeah, and he probably sucks and over-bills you." (Yes, it's always a he.)

I'm letting you in on this little secret because I like you guys. I've seen a lot of lawsuits in the last decade. Most of them go on much longer than they should because the attorneys are jerks to each other. They are jerks to each other who fight tooth and nail over everything. So their clients end up paying thousands of dollars just so two complete jackasses with monster egos can file long angry motions and responses over some meaningless thing they should have just compromised on, like a short deadline extension or providing some document that is clearly relevant to the case.

The clients don't benefit. They sit there, smugly, happy that their attorney is yelling at someone on their behalf, totally unaware that they are paying an astronomically-unnecessary amount of money for this service that is most definitely delaying a resolution of their case.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Like getting bought by Google

Last month Meg called me and said The Beehive wanted to take over Strangerville Live and I was like HOW COULD YOU THIS IS OUR BABY and Meg was like "they've offered to handle the logistics so we only have to worry about developing the stories and not hauling stages and chairs across the state" so then I immediately signed over all of my Constitutional rights and emailed them my social security number. They said that was all unnecessary but I'd do it again if they also offered to take over my laundry.

The point is, Strangerville Live is now a production of The Beehive, and we could not be more thrilled about it. This feels exactly like when you develop an app and then google buys it for 12 billion dollars. I've already replaced all of Duncan's teeth with pure gold.

And, we have a show coming up! Join us on July 12 at 8:00 PM at Church & State in Salt Lake City for our next Strangerville Live, featuring such hotties as Mara Lefler, Clint Betts, Alisa Van Langeveld, and Eli Whistlebottom McCann.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Return of the Strangerhood of the Traveling Snuggie

Three things:

First, look how organized I am making lists and stuff I'M AMAZING SHOWER ME WITH COMPLIMENTS AND GOLD.

Second, my friend Andrea listened to the Strangerville episodes on the refugee crisis a while back (you can find them here and here) and because she's an amazing person who will be running the cafeteria in heaven (heaven's most coveted job, 3 trillion years in a row), she decided to do something about it. Andrea has organized a little charity event to raise some money for an organization that sends people and resources to the border to aide traumatized women and children.

Andrea gathered some local people who will be performing music. She asked Meg and me if we would sing and I was like YES MEG AND I WOULD LOVE TO PERFORM I GOT YOU BABE TOGETHER but then Meg was like I DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ELI AND I ARE CONNECTED and I was like THEN YOU ARE MAKING A LOT OF VERY CONFUSING CHOICES IN YOUR LIFE.

Anyway, Meg is going to host the show and I'm going to tell a story and you guys should all come. It's in Riverton, Utah on June 22. It will be a very relaxed evening. I think there may be a silent auction as well. All proceeds from tickets and any other donations will go to the charity. So come! It will be fun! You can find more info through the Facebook event page HERE and the Eventbrite ticket page HERE.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Connie Crochet

I was about 7 when I spent my first ever one-on-one quality time with grandma on my mom's side. At least, that's the first time I remember having quality one-on-one time with her. My family was visiting her in her small farm town on the Mexican border in southern California in the house where my mom finished high school.

Grandma ("Nonna") was only 60 at the time. I can't believe that's true. I just had to use a calculator to verify because that seemed so impossible to me. In my mind, she was always this little old lady, and 60 is not old to me anymore.

Anyway, we had been at a family party one night in the small farm town when my grandpa showed up. My grandparents were divorced long ago and my grandpa had done some bad things over the years and he wasn't a particularly pleasant person to be around. I was a small child so I was relatively unaware of what was happening, but looking back I can fill in some blanks and see that it was decided by my grandma and the other adults that she would head home pretty shortly after he arrived.

I had been fighting with a cousin who was a few years older than me and I really didn't want to be at the family party anymore either. My mom must have noticed that because I was suddenly being sent out to my grandma's car, arm-in-arm, to head back to grandma's house. Two buddies who were breaking away from a party early to go have our own party.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

You guys--people are mad right now and I can't hold them off any longer. All of a sudden in the last couple of weeks I've had multiple Strangers out of the blue write concerned and angry messages about where the hell the Traveling Snuggie ended up. I was hoping y'all would forget about it if enough time passed because I was too scared to tell you that THE TRAVELING SNUGGIE GOT STOLEN BY TERRORISTS. I think. Or it just got lost. All we know after extensive investigation is that it is missing due to the fault of no one except for the terrorists somewhere near Iowa or Ohio or one of those states that decides all our elections.

I've been thinking for a while that we should just start a new Strangerhood of the Traveling Snuggie quest but I haven't done it yet because lazy and tv and eating. So, you need to tell me if I should make this happen again.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
With tons of help from our friend Emily, we finally fixed up my dad's 1968 bike.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Back to School

Months and months ago I was sitting at home one evening when suddenly I decided I should enroll in school.

To be honest, wine was involved. NotThatWeKnowWhatWineIs.

I googled "writing class" on my phone and found one through the University of Utah and without doing any further investigation, I texted Meg, "I think I want to take a writing course."

Meg replied, "are you inviting me or is just some weird flex."

I told Meg that I was obviously inviting her so she said she would take the class with me. The next thing I knew, I was typing my credit card numbers into the internet, one glass of Merlot sloshing in the other hand, shouting to Skylar in the other room "I'M GOING TO BE A WRITER" but I said "writer" in a weird accent that was probably not French or anything real.

The next day I saw Meg and asked her whether she signed up for the class yet because I was all excited to sit next to her in the back and copy her homework and say stuff like, "ugh, school is the worst!" and then high five her.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

This is why I'm so careful about responding to your comments.

I met Meg because we both told stories at The Porch back in 2014. She was funny and I immediately wanted to be friends with her. We ran into each other a time or two after that but I never recognized her because #facialblindness.

Then one day I wrote a less-than-supportive review of the cinematic masterpiece, Jurassic World, and Meg, who is like so obsessed with me, chimed in.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Farm House

I know this is the last thing I need in my life right now, but you guys.

On Sunday Bob and Cathie drove me and Skylar and my sister Krishelle to the great northern tundra that is southern Idaho to pay respects to deceased family members. My mom's parents both grew up around that area. I had never before been because we don't really have family up there anymore. At least none that we know.

My grandparents got married and moved out of the area, eventually settling down in a Southern California desert that is so hot you can see it from space. My grandma still has some cousins or nephews or friends she met at girls camp or what have you in the area, but my family is so huge that it's not really possible to keep track of anything beyond immediate family. I know I've told you people this before and you didn't believe me, but I have over 70 first cousins. FIRST cousins.

So, no. I don't know my second cousins or what they're up to or what Hogwarts house they belong to (Hufflepuff, all of them, I'm sure).

Nonetheneverthelesswithstanding, I've got ancestral homies buried all over that place and since I had never been my mom decided we ought to take a drive to lay flowers on their graves because we're respectful like that.

What I discovered as we entered what I am told was a town called "Mink Creek" is that this area--the area from which my grandparents availed and which they have kept from me for 35 years--is the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my life.

Monday, May 27, 2019

35th Birthday Surprise

Skylar told me he had a surprise for my 35th birthday and I was exceptionally concerned about this because look. I love that man. But, his surprises are sometimes terrifying. This one was no exception.

He stuffed me into his car last week and drove me basically to the North Pole, saying every few minutes "are you exciiiitteed????" I told him I was more nervous than excited.

Then suddenly he pulled into a parking lot that had a large sign that said "SKYDIVING" on it.

I had something of an out-of-body experience when I saw it. I just started yelling "NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO."

Skylar tried reasoning with me. "You can't just spring something like this on someone!" I yelled at him.

He said that he had to surprise me with this because if he had given me advance warning, I would have just been a walking anxiety attack for the days or weeks leading up to the event.

Fair.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

It's been raining in Salt Lake for eleventy days and #We'reThankfulForTheMoisture but the problem is I now have a mushroom garden in my entire lawn and it's stressing me out because I'm no farmer. So the other day I was out in the front yard scooping them up to throw them away and Skylar saw me doing it so he shouted at me "DON'T EAT THOSE THEY ARE POISON."

It was one of those moments where I suddenly got some unexpected insight on how little he thinks of my judgment and general knowledge.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
My momma made me a quilt for my birthday.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Mean Girls

Someone taught Matt how to use the internet so now he's employed one of them what-the-kids-are-calling "apps" to turn all of us into women.

Snapchat? I think it's the snapchats. Or maybe the instagrams. Or myspace. I don't know. What I do know is he can apparently take our pictures and have us re-imagined as a different gender.

And so, today, in the middle of a work day mind you, I got a text from him that just said "It's a very busy day today!"

Then about a minute later he followed it up with this:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Petitions

Ok look. Game of Thrones is ending tonight and I feel like I've been very patient with its existence because the HBO boobs bring y'all so much joy so I haven't complained about it hardly at all.

Every Sunday night when Skylar watches it I have to leave the house because the sounds of Game of Thrones stress me out to a point that I truly don't need when I'm already experiencing the Sunday Night Scaries.

I don't complain. You guys know I don't complain about anything. I am so supportive of Skylar and all of you rotting your brains through mindless violence.

But then yesterday Skylar told me the millenials have started a petition to get Game of Thrones to redo the last season because the dragons aren't fiery enough or Gandalf died too soon or they don't like how Jabba the Spock was portrayed driving the starprise galactica through Hogwarts and I'm putting my foot down here.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

I really can't go back to this gym again. For real this time.

You guys.

There's a gym right next to my office so most days I take some time in the afternoon to go workout and get all swole and gainzzz and stuff. A lot of the people I work with do the same so it's sort of like a sweaty office party every afternoon, but with lots of other offices as well.

So today I walked over to the gym at my usual time. It was full of everyone I know. I changed into my gym clothes. I was wearing bike shorts and a t-shirt that used to fit me back when I was young and cute and desirable.

The workout I did was one I do often. I bike a little and run a little and lift weights a little and not always in that order. I don't have any science or results to validate this as an effective routine. It's just a thing I do until I get tired because I don't care enough about exercise to actually look up a training program and follow it.

If you follow my program, you can look like *this*, too! [sucks in stomach and feels bad about self]

So there I was, minding my business, listening to a podcast about TV because it is no longer enough for me to just watch TV, I now have to spend time listening to people talk about watching TV. I biked a little. I ran on the treadmill a little. I lifted weights a little. Not necessarily in that order.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Zion Face

The other day I wrote that thing about hiking in God's Costco with Skylar last weekend. I shared some pictures and of course expected you, my adoring fans, to gush over how talented a photographer I am (even though Skylar took the pictures).

But then Kina in the very first comment was like "WTF IS THAT FACE IN THE ROCK OF THE THIRD PICTURE DOWN."

Look. I'm already scared enough of the mountains of southern Utah. I did not need this crap. I grew up in a family that convinced me there was a creature called The First Eye that was just a giant eyeball with one-thousand toes all the way around it and it lived in the red rock caves of Utah's deserts.

I know it's irrational. I know The First Eye isn't real. I haven't believed in it in like a decade. But every time I drive through southern Utah and see holes and caves in the mountains next to the road I get slightly freaked out.

When the above comment was posted, I scanned the photo for several minutes trying to figure out what Kina was talking about. When I finally saw it, I actually screamed and then woke up Skylar even though he told me to never wake him up BUT THIS WAS IMPORTANT to make him look at the photo.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

ZionSSSS

I had a work conference in St. George Utah this weekend, which should have been a hate crime since I was there one week ago for the half Ironman. You want to know what's worse than driving through Filmore Utah in one week?

Doing it twice.

No offense to Fillmore. But if you live there, you know it's not a tourist destination.

By the way, years ago Fillmore had this giant billboard along the freeway that said "YOU HAVE FRIENDS IN FILLMORE." This started a very long habit of my sister Krishelle, who is one of the top three funniest sisters of all time, telling members of my family, "no matter how bad it gets, you always have your friends in Fillmore" whenever anyone was having a hard day.

Skylar and I decided to go to Zion National Park, or as it's known in Utah, "ZIONS," on Saturday morning for some hiking.

I forced him to get up at eleventy o'clock because the last time I went to ZionS, it was so crowded on the main hikes that I got gonorrhea just from the shuttle ride into the park.

That year it was so bad that we couldn't finish a couple of the hikes we had started because we were wall-to-wall with The People of the World who had come to visit our beautiful national park.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I'm in St. George for the second time in seven days because apparently I really love driving now. I have a lawyer conference here this weekend wherein I will be spending 48 hours trying very hard not to accidentally call any federal judges "dad."

Thoughts and prayers.

And now, please enjoy some Pictures & Distractions:

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Intruder

On Monday night at about 3:00 AM Skylar suddenly sat up in bed and screamed. It was HORRIFYING.

It obviously woke me up.

"What's wrong?!" I asked him.

"Eli! There's someone . . . in the house." he whispered.

Let me tell you, in case you haven't been in this situation before, this is the worst thing in the world to wake up to.

I honestly thought we were about to die.

"What are you talking about?!" I whispered back to him. "What did you hear?"

"Sliiiiiding" he whispered back. "I heard something sliding across a surface."

Monday, May 6, 2019

Half Ironman, 2019

The worst part of doing a half or full Ironman, besides the swimming, biking, and running, is the whole week leading up to the race. You're supposed to go to bed early and eat boring food, but not overeat, and say your prayers and stuff, and exercising that much self control for several consecutive days is torture.

By the time the race comes, I just want it to be over. I just want it to be over so I can go back to my usual lard-face slothful life.

I got to St. George for the half Ironman powered by your podcast recommendations, which you gave me on the Facebooks. Skylar couldn't ride down with me because he apparently loves his school and his future more than making me happy by keeping me company in the car for four hours.

He rode down with Bob and Cathie later that night. I'm told they sang 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, but they started with 12,000 because the trip was so long. They even stopped on the way and got matching tattoos of Celine Dion. Bob and Cathie now plan to sit on Skylar's side of the aisle at our wedding.

Joke's on them though: my side will have Celine Dion.

Then Saturday morning arrived. I got up at the ungodly hour of eleventy o' clock because for some reason they make everyone get to the lake TWO HOURS before the event starts.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Hole in my Front Yard

I told you a little while ago that my concrete steps leading up to the house look like Chernobyl. They have been crumbling apart for years. They are as old as the Titanic. I can still smell the paint.

So I called a concrete contractor who showed up and was like "I can fix those for you and it only costs twelve million dollars and half your virtue" and I was like "MY VIRTUE IS PROBABLY PRICELESS."

Speaking of virtue, Meg recently taught me a new phrase:



The point is, stuff be going on at Meg's Twitter and I don't always know how to feel about it.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Voicemail Surprise

It was 2007 and my roommate, Quinn, had a birthday coming up so I decided that I should throw him a little birthday party. I was going to make a cake and everything.

I found a time that would work, put together a guest list, and then started calling people to let them know. I was responsible. I was organized. I was just a damn good friend.

Quinn had recently started dating Pam. The two were high school sweethearts that had spent a couple of years apart because of a Mormon mission, but now they were getting back together. I think I had met Pam once by this point. I'm not totally sure. I may not have met her quite yet. This detail is foggy.

The point is, I absolutely did not know Pam well and she hardly knew me at all.

Pam was on the invite list, but since I didn't really know her, I had to find a sneaky way to get her number. This was before Facebook was nearly as ubiquitous as it has since become so I'm not sure trying to find and contact her there even seemed like an option to me. In fact, although I had set up a Facebook account in 2005, I don't think I actually started using it until about 2008.

So I stole Quinn's phone while he was in the shower and pulled Pam's number from it. This was pre-smartphones so his phone wasn't password protected. It just struck me as so odd that we used to be able to flip open any person's phone and access its content without ever being asked for a password.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I came home and found that my rhubarb plant, which I'm convinced could survive a nuclear blast on Venus during Coachella, has basically filled my backyard. So I chopped up a bunch of it and boiled it in some carrot juice (#juicing #newyearnewme), sugar, and cinnamon for many moons and now I think it's jam? I don't know. It's still a little soupy, but the internet says it will thicken as it cools. I think. It's delicious, and that's what matters.

The point is, Skylar just informed me that he's going to write on my tombstone "I didn't really follow a recipe" because I say the phrase so often and because he thinks it perfectly sums up my life. I can't tell if that's sweet or insulting. But also, it's adorable that he thinks he's going to outlive me.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
We always just take the nicest pictures together. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Restaurant By Our House

There's this restaurant we like to go to near our house because the food is fine and it's always empty and this face wasn't meant for crowds.

I don't know when that happened, exactly, by the way. The crowd thing. One minute I was 22 and all like THIS LOOKS FUN


and then the next thing I knew I was 34 and refusing to go inside sandwich shops if there was even one person waiting in a line.

You guys. I would rather starve than wait for one minute in any line anywhere on this planet.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Movie Scenes You Skip


As you know, I've been working on this four-part series on very uncomfortable Mormon films for Strangerville. Today we're releasing part three, which includes a review of some films about dating. Because I've been watching a shocking amount of really obscure content from eras now gone, Youtube has decided I'm a kind of person I'm truly not. It's been recommending all sorts of things I never knew, or wanted to know, exists.

I have gone to some very dark places in recent weeks.

The other night I came across a BYU propaganda film from 1969.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

We're babysitting Mr. Ollie Pants this week because Matt is in "Miss'ippi." What this means is I've got a very judgmental dog following me around all day every day looking up at me like he's disappointed and I know this makes me sound a little crazy but I've been cleaning more than usual because of it.

IT HAS HUMAN EYES, YOU GUYS.

See below in this week's Pictures & Distractions:

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Game of Thrones

Skylar: Do you want to watch Game of Thrones with me?

Eli: I'd rather be eaten by warlocks.

Skylar: Joke's on you because there aren't warlocks in the show.

Eli: Well what does Game of Thrones have?

Skylar: Zombies.

Eli: That has to be a lie.

Skylar: Well, technically they aren't zombies, they're whi--

Eli: Stop. I know the fact that I've now given you upwards of 10 seconds of my time for this conversation probably makes you think I care, but I truly don't.

Skylar: Just come watch it with me while I file the divorce papers. I'll even let you ask me which one is Dumbledore.

Eli: You can't divorce me because we aren't married yet and I've passed my prime so I can't find anyone else.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

A Text Gone Wrong

Hola--Before we get to today's story, please enjoy Part 2 of our series on cringeworthy classic Mormon movies. This week we look at films about family. Isn't it about . . . time.

 

*****

Like anyone who is paying attention, school shootings stress me out and make me sad. There's nothing funny about them. The fact that we have to worry about them and that they regularly happen is insane.

But.

You guys.

My friend Nancy texted me the other day about a thing she accidentally did and I canNOT stop laughing.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Mormon Coffee Rumor

Meg is mad at me about coffee. I didn't actually do anything wrong, but homegirl is taking all of her anger out on me anyway.

It started a couple of weeks ago when she tweeted.


Skylar "I don't even use Twitter and that's why I never like your tweets don't take it personally" Westerdahl immediately showed it to me and asked whether I knew what Meg was talking about.

Quick side note, yesterday morning I somehow ended up in a very confusing journey through Skylar's twitter. I got deeeeeep. And eventually found the moment he became gay.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Mormon Films, Part I: Gender Roles

For a little while I've been wanting to do a series on the cringiest and most memorable Mormon films from my childhood. There were a whole bunch of these that I grew up watching over and over at church functions.

These films hold a weird special place in my heart. There's a certain special horror and nostalgia I feel watching them as an adult. Nostaliga, because they remind me of being a kid in the early 90s when times were simple, but horror because most of these films have not aged well.

This week for Strangerville we released the first of what will be a four-part series reviewing and analyzing these religious movies. Today's offering includes some films that explore gender roles and the treatment of women in the 70s and 80s.

Please enjoy.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Next week Meg and I are doing another event for this whole Provo bachelor business (I know. Don't even start with me.). It's this "women tell all" or something where we ask the teenagers who the man teenager didn't choose to date for the rest of the semester why they're mad. The point is, I really need like 1,000 Strangers to come to this thing because the last event was filled with BYU students who were legitimate fans of the show and I'm pretty sure they booed me and I'm not sure I can handle that kind of adversity again.

The event is free. Register at this link. And please come. It's next Thursday.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Half Ironmans are a Mistake

The St. George half Ironman is somehow only one month away, which means that you people are about to commit your annual felony of failing to stop me from doing this stupid thing.

The only reason I can think of for why I sign up for this every year is that I'm a creature of habit with debilitating FOMO so I refuse to give up on something that causes me a massive amount of pain on an annual basis. So I sign up for the half Ironman and keep watching Fuller House and repeatedly befriend people who use essential oils.

I convince myself in the midst of a post-Christmas sugar coma every December 26 that doing that May race in the harsh desert climate for the better part of a full Saturday is an exceptionally good idea that will give me not insignificant opportunities for humble bragging for months to come.

Then January hits and I'm like "OH HEY-O NO" because getting into a swimming pool is voluntary self-waterboarding and no one should do it. But I always seem to forget that. For real. I forget that no one has ever enjoyed swimming in any kind of liquid since the beginning of life in the universe.

I took science in high school. I know our history. First we were water snakes. Then we turned into dinosaur alligators. Then we climbed out of the water to be swamp people. Then there were tons of wars and diseases. And now we follow Chloe Kardashian on Instagram so she can be a billionaire.

The point is, we spent millions of years in a lake trying to figure out how to evolve so we wouldn't have to be in a lake anymore. It's basically a hate crime against our lizard ancestors when we disrespect them by voluntarily spending our time in swimming pools when we could instead be wearing cashmere and sipping wine in a penthouse.

#genealogy

Sunday, March 31, 2019

From Tinder to Temple

Today, please enjoy my long-promised story about my first date with Skylar, which I told onstage at Strangerville Live last month. Written version also below.



*****
From Tinder to Temple
By Eli McCann

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I do this plug from time to time because I'm needy and I like attention and compliments: apparently the internet gods treat you differently when you receive positive podcast reviews. I don't know what happens exactly, for the internet is Satan's realm and we are a righteous people, but I'm supposed to periodically beg you like a man without pride to go to wherever you listen to your podcasts (iTunes? Is that a thing?) and leave Strangerville a review. If all y'all could do the same for The Beehive, and reference Hive Mind specifically, Meg will have another baby this year and name it after all of you.

The SuzzzzzmyRoseomesauslee has a nice ring to it.

So, yeah. Go do that, por favor. Then please enjoy some Pictures & Distractions:
I just found this old picture of Duncan and now I want to go give him so much kisses.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Provo's Most Eligible

My best friend from law school, Corey, moved to New York City a bunch of years ago. I'm eternally indebted to her ever since she saved my life during our first semester of law school in 2008.

Her husband has been deployed overseas for several months, #thankyouforyourservice, so I decided to go visit her last weekend to make sure she's eating all her vegetables and saying her prayers and paying her taxes and stuff.

I was in New York for three nights and we decided to make the most of it by seeing three shows. We saw Mean Girls, very fun, Dear Evan Hansen, very emotional, and then Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, which, I know, seems like a risky choice, but you guys. It was one of the most fun things I've ever done.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Nest of Hairs

Hola! Please enjoy a very disgusting story from Jolyn this week, which she told on stage at our last Strangerville Live. I've included the text below for those who want to read along and say it aloud with her while you listen so you feel like you are one with Jolyn the same way she feels she is one with you.


*****

Nest of Hairs
by Jolyn Metro


It’s no secret in my family that I was the unplanned baby. My mom is always quick to add that I may not have been planned, but I was a “welcome surprise” anyway. But she says it with the same tone you use when you’re talking about getting socks for Christmas. I was born 16 months after my older brother Sam, and according to my mom I came out fists waving and independent as hell. She jokes that my independent personality didn’t make me hard to raise, it’s just that it made me very hard to raise. And while that probably is true, my independence is largely something that I am very proud of and that comes with a lot of benefits. I’m happy going to the movies alone, I’m comfortable putting together Ikea furniture myself, and generally am capable of handling the problems in my life--the little to the big--by myself. But sometimes that can get in the way when there are problems so big you literally can’t do it alone.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Prison Steps

The steps leading up to my house are what we in the business call "a mess." I'm not sure what business we have or why we have it, but the point is: mess.

Look

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Carrots

There was a man at the Harmon's grocery store down the street from me who LOST HIS MIND over carrots last Sunday.

I was at the store to buy an entire shopping cart full of vegetables so I could feed them into a juicer because I'm juicing now. I started in January. My friend Corey sent me a juicer for Christmas. Now I buy jumbo bags of carrots and then drink them and have regular diarrhea and stuff so I feel great.

I actually have lost about 15 pounds since the beginning of the year. I assume that some of it is the juicing. The other part is that I've been running a lot more because there are eleventy million murder podcasts available currently and I want to listen to them and for some reason I can only get myself to listen to podcasts when I'm running.

The point is, I was buying carrots last Sunday because apparently I don't even care about the Bible anymore, and that's when I saw a man LOSE HIS MIND.

Harmon's is one of the nicer grocery stores in my neighborhood. Historically, I avoided the place because it feels elitist since their produce is slightly more expensive and substantially less rotting than the other grocery store I had been patronizing for several years. When Skylar moved to Salt Lake City, he would only shop at Harmon's or Whole Foods because he's a hippie socialist snob who gets pregnant sometimes just so he can get an abortion.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

We have Photoshop so now we're ALL going to college.

Because I STILL cannot stop reading and talking about the college admissions scam stuff, I tweeted the other day 


That's only partly a joke. I really do want in on Cathie's sewing group. So do several of my friends. A few years ago I told Cathie that Brianne and Matt had both asked how they can get in and she just laughed dismissively and said something about how they couldn't even get into her C group. Then I found out from my sister Krishelle that there really are several sewing groups and Krishelle has tried to infiltrate the top one but you basically have to be part of the Illuminati to get in at this point.

Anyway, only 21 minutes later someone named Shane responded:




which is EXACTLY why I'm on Twitter.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The College Scam Details Are AMAZING.

You guys. There are parts of this whole celebrity/CEO/world emperor college cheating scandal that are AMAZING. I have spent the last eleventy hours reading every document I can find on the entire internet and I want there to be ten thousand more documents. AND INTERNETS.

In case you live under a rock or you don't seek out news to find pleasure in others' misfortunes, today news broke that all these rich people are being indicted (and publicly shamed) for engaging in incredibly entertaining fraud for purposes of getting their children into Yale and Stanford and etc. Apparently all of these people hired this guy and paid him literally millions of dollars to totally fabricate application materials and bribe people at the schools to get their mediocre kids accepted.

And I know. If we're like being sups woke we're probably not supposed to find any of this funny and instead focus all of our energy on how rich people milk the system and hard-working kids didn't get into these schools because someone else's parents have money and what would Jesus say and stuff. But y'all can go to Oprah for that stuff right now. Because I'm only going to be entertained by this tonight.

So they fabricated exam scores, in some cases paying this 36-year-old man to go take tests for students, and apparently he could get perfect scores, which, WHAT IS THAT MAN DOING WITH HIS LIFE.

But the absolute best thing about this is that these people were legit paying this man to photoshop their children's faces onto pictures of athletes in the middle of sportsball in an effort to lie to these schools about their kid's athleticism.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

What's Your Emergency?

This week we've got our first of four stories from our recent Strangerville Live show. This one comes from the very funny Janilee Johnson. You can find the recording on this week's Strangerville, which also includes very important conversations between me and Meg about such topics as Harry Potter and Meg's parenting. Feel free to check out a written version of Janilee's story below as well.

Enjoy!



*****

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Conversion Therapy

My state has been debating a bill that would try to ban conversion therapy. As you could guess, this is a topic about which I have some thoughts.

I've never engaged in any form of conversion therapy. I'm lucky. That's luck. My inexposure to the torture is not something I chose. I never told anyone I was gay while I was a child, so no one ever thought to force me to go to camps and beat an effigy of my parents or blame my dad for not loving me or undergo shock therapy or pray the gay away and take personal responsibility for my lack of faith when it didn't work.

I was fortunate.

For some reason, I escaped even the private internal torture that a lot of young gay kids and adults experience in believing their sexual orientation could be changed and that they should be ashamed of themselves if their efforts to do so didn't work.

I don't know why, but it just didn't occur to me when I was 12 that liking boys was somehow my fault and that I could like girls if I sought help.  Even as a child, when straight people at church told me that being gay is a choice, I remember thinking "No it's not, because I didn't choose this."

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

"I Do Love Him"

Skylar worked in Santa Barbara as a consultant for a hospital for over a year and when we were in town last week Mr. No One Will Even Remember Me So We Probably Shouldn't Stop By was finally coerced by a doctor with whom he has stayed in contact to go to the hospital and say hello to people.

It was absolutely no surprise to me when the entire place basically gave him a standing ovation and then carried him around like Jesus with the donkeys and the parade into Jerusalem and elephants and stuff.

I may have combined the Bible with Aladdin. Don't @ me. I haven't been to church since Jasmine escaped the palace and turned water into sauvignon blanc.

Skylar has this way of making everyone he meets feel like they are the most important person in his life, which is usually really lovely but sometimes it causes problems because the person he rode a bus with once can't believe she isn't invited to his wedding.

He's totally sincere about it, too. While we were chatting with his adoring fans/former coworkers I remembered this one time a year or two ago when he was on a call with some man with whom he worked. When they finished discussing their business I heard Skylar say, "Ok, Brad. Thanks for chatting with me. Talk to you later. I love you. Bye."

When he hung up I laughed and yelled "OMG ARE YOU SO EMBARRASSED?" Skylar didn't know what I was talking about so I said, "you accidentally ended that call by saying 'I love you' to that guy!"

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Mud

There I was, standing on the side of a street, in front of what looked like an abandoned construction site, barefoot, my legs covered in mud, last Thursday night. We were in Santa Barbara. After a minute or two a woman with dark brown hair and a yellow jumpsuit turned the corner, looked at me, and said, "honey, you look like you're having a night."

She was right. I had been having a night.

It started a couple of hours before when I told Skylar that I was going to go for a run on the beach. He went surfing in another part of town. We had planned to meet back up for dinner after our activities.

The run was getting along just fine, until I got lost. The tide was coming in and it was getting dark and I couldn't remember how to get back to my car. I also came across about nine different dogs that I had to stop and give so much belly rubs.

By the time I escaped all of the unintentional detours I had run over 12 miles.

The point is, I was starving, and tired, and sufficiently cranky.

Skylar had arranged for us to meet some of his friends at an Indian restaurant, and we were already running late.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Hey look! Another Pictures & Distractions! Someone give me a baby because I am RESPONSIBLE.

We are in Santa Barbara. Skylar has spring break. Did I think my vacation schedule would revolve around spring break in my mid-thirties? No, I did not.

For about the first year of dating Skylar, the poor thing was working in Santa Barbara. He would come to Salt Lake City on the weekends and then stay in Santa Barbara during the week. He couldn't even keep a straight face every Monday morning when he looked me in the eyes and said, "I really wish I didn't have to go." He didn't think I was watching him from the front window literally skip to the Uber that took him to the airport. He had to order an Uber because I refused to give him a ride. I was not interested in enabling his lifestyle.

He wanted to come to Santa Barbara for spring break, I guess to visit all of his old lovers. Or, as he calls them, "bakeries." Seriously. I'ma be 600 pounds by the end of this week.

We found the most wonderful Airbnb on the edge of town. Pictures below. I may have uploaded some twice. And I didn't bother cleaning up before taking them. It's been a long day.

Please enjoy this week's Pictures & Distractions:

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Cabin Fever

On Saturday morning Skylar, Duncan, and I went up into the mountains with our friends Andrea and Shane to stay at a cabin and go snow-shoeing, which is a fancy way of saying "wear comically-large shoes and walk in the cold."

Andrea and I went to high school together. To prove it, she brought to the cabin a video of the two of us performing a song and dance on stage about kissing under the mistletoe in 2001. She showed this to Skylar, which is an actual hate crime.

Andrea and I were in the same choir together in high school, which is proof that the talent range at our school was wide since Andrea had an incredible voice and I mostly just mouthed the words so I wouldn't ruin things for the group.

We brought our dogs to the cabin, mostly so we could force Duncan to wear doggy shoes made for the snow.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Ebola

I basically didn't see Skylar for about two weeks because he had some big test on Friday that he had to study 34 hours a day for. And I know that there aren't 34 hours in a day. Don't look at me. I tried to explain that to him and when I did he was like "WHY ARE YOU WASTING MY TIME WITH THIS CONVERSATION I NEED ALL 34 HOURS TODAY TO STUDY."

His brain has been totally fried. Last weekend we were driving home from somewhere and I was trying to coordinate schedules with him. We had this whole five-minute conversation where he gave me his input and answered my questions. We finished the conversation just as we were pulling into the driveway.

When we walked inside he immediately asked me a question that was fully answered by the conversation we just had and in which he had participated so I reminded him of this. He just stared blankly and said "we talked about this already?"

It's one thing to not remember a detail of a conversation from two days ago, but we had literally just talked about this thing and as I recounted the entire conversation, including the parts that he said, he had no memory of any of it.

It was really impressive, actually, the way he has figured out how to put his brain on auto-pilot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Give me drugs

Skylar has some big test this Friday and I've got Strangerville Live on Friday and both of us have been wandering through our lives like zombies for about two weeks.

Sky has been spending an unreasonable amount of time studying in the cafe area of Barnes & Noble, or as he still calls it, "Barnes & Nobles."

I'm serious. I can't get him to stop doing this. He refuses to acknowledge the pain he is causing me. This is basically a hate crime at this point. If I could change only one thing about him, it would be this. Well, actually it would be the toothpaste spit he doesn't wash down the drain in the bathroom sink like a civilized human should do. Or I would change the fact that he's only at the beginning of grad school and instead make him a billionaire so I could retire and work on my garden. Or, rather, have my people work on my garden.

I'm not doing labor if I have a billionaire sugar daddy.

I've been lecturing him on a regular basis about "priorities" whenever I think he should be studying and he isn't. Skylar doesn't need the lectures. He's a responsible grownup, even if he does say Barnes & Nobles. But if I'm not bossing someone around, who even am I?

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Matt's Stairwell

[Strangerville Live is THIS FRIDAY. Please get your tickets, if you haven't already!]

I think I may be the victim of the world's most elaborate prank. When Matt bought his house a few years ago I swear he promised me that we were just going to do a little remodeling. Since then, we have gutted so much of the house that I'm not actually sure there is a single original brick or piece of wood left.

The problem with being the silent brooding artistic genius that he is is that he's never satisfied with the way things are. "JUST LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE" I want to scream at him every time he lets me know that he's torn down another wall or ripped out another light fixture or demolished his entire yard.

He knows what he's doing, so he's able to do most of the projects himself, which is good because he is satisfied with no contractor ever. I want to call and issue a warning to anyone he hires to help him.

"You can't get away with woefully sub-par work at his house like you can at mine," I would like to tell these people. "Matt's not the pushover you're talking to right now."

It's true. I've hired contractors before. They could literally burn my house to the ground and accidentally bring in a colony of rats and I would be like "THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE HERE'S 12 MILLION DOLLARS."

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Pictures & Distractions

I haven't done Pictures & Distractions in a while and I don't know if any of you care but I miss it and I'm feeling 1% less lazy right now so here you go.

Also, speaking of not being lazy, please don't be lazy yourselves and get your tickets to Strangerville Live. The show is next Friday all y'all. And you know I literally never say that. Jolyn and I both promise nudity if you come. Meg promises modesty. Our promises cancel each other out.

In other news, it's Valentine's Day and Mr. We-Don't-Celebrate-Valentines-Day-In-THIS-House-So-Don't-Get-Me-Anything woke up early to make breakfast and give me a sentimental card. After I read it and told him I thought he said we weren't celebrating he yelled "THAT WAS A TRICK SO I COULD PROVE THAT I'M BETTER THAN YOU!"

So things are going super well.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Good Year for the Reservoirs

When I was a kid my grandpa lived in southern California and he was obsessed with the Weather Channel. He always seem to be acutely aware of the likelihood of a storm on any given day in Salt Lake City, even though he lived a 12-hour drive away.

Grandpa was also the most paranoid human being I have ever encountered in my life. I have somewhat crippling anxiety, and I 100% inherited this through my mother's father. Grandpa was convinced that the life of every single person he knew was hanging by a thread at all times, and he regularly issued all of us both comically specific and ominously general warnings every time we saw him.

It became a family game to keep a list of these warnings and reference them from time to time.

One time my mom and I had lunch with grandpa while he was visiting Utah. I think I was about 15. As we each walked to our separate cars, grandpa to his and mom and I to ours, he called over to us, "it's a sunny day and you'll be driving into the sun, so you need to be careful."

It was so earnest and intense, the way he said it, that it took us a few minutes to realize how funny the request was. He literally warned us that the sun was out, and he did it in a tone like we were swimming in a pool with sharks and didn't know it. We laughed for the entire drive home and to this day, now twenty years later, my mother and I regularly remind each other to be careful about driving when it's sunny.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Confessions

(Woot. Strangerville Live is next week. Get your tickets if you haven't already. Support Jolyn. She supports you.)

When I was 14, my older sister Krisanda offered to drive me and my best friend Sam to our local movie theater. I don't recall what movie we were seeing. This would have been around 1998. I want to say it was Titanic, but I know that Cathie McCann would never have allowed me to go see that film without her and her hand over my eyes so I wouldn't be tempted by boobs. Sam had been issued a similar embargo.

I don't remember why, exactly, but neither of us ever seemed tempted to break the rule and sneak in to see Titanic without our parents.

In any event, Krisanda offered to drive us to see a movie that was definitely not Titanic and certainly contained zero to negative zero boobs.

We were on summer break and it was a rainy day. Krisanda was in high school and had regular access to the white family Astro van, which was something of a sexmobile in the 90s.

We were free, independent, and cruising the streets of South Jordan Utah, nary a parent or guardian in sight, when suddenly, for reasons I still don't know to this day, the van swerved off of the road and into the front yard of a little house.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Vomit

Skylar found vomit in our backyard.

Actually, Duncan found it first. We noticed that Duncan had taken an extreme interest in one corner next to a climbing rose bush. A big snowstorm had come through, dropping more than a foot of powder. Duncan spent a few days frantically digging through that snow at that spot for reasons that were unknown to us.

We kept wondering what was going on, assuming that maybe one of his toys was back there. Then I came home from work a few days ago to confrontation.

"Did you vomit in the backyard?"

He said it more like an accusation than a question. Like I was in trouble. And I immediately became defensive, so defensive in fact that I probably looked more guilty because of it.

Then I paused, reminding myself that if I vomited in the yard I wouldn't be ashamed of it, and I would have probably written about it on the internet by now, so to whatever extent Skylar was accusing me of something, the shame projection was misguided.

Skylar apologized, "but to be fair" he did remind me that I have a history of vomiting in the backyard. It happened last summer, in fact. Skylar had made lamb chops for dinner and I ate too much of them. I had taken Duncan outside to do his businesses when I suddenly started thinking about how barbaric it is that we rip meat off of bones with our teeth and the next thing I knew, I was projectile vomiting into our raspberry bush.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Auto Signature

I was in the middle of my third year of law school when a professor with whom I did some work noticed that her secretary had been sending emails out with an auto tag line after her name. I know that doing this is possible. I communicate with people professionally whose emails have some inspirational quote automatically inserted at the end in a font very inconsistent with the body of the message. I've just never quite figured out how to do it myself, which is how so many of you have received pathetic email responses from the Stranger account that don't even include any brainlessly life-changing catch phrases.

The professor was sitting at her computer, reviewing some message the secretary had sent to a large group of law professors across the United States when I suddenly heard her gasp and say "how long has this been going on!?"

She said it like there had been an affair of some sort, and this caught my attention and intrigue.

I asked about it. The professor told me to come over to her computer screen.

At the bottom of the secretary's email and in large bright pink font appeared the message:

THOSE WHO KNOW GOD DON'T NEED ANSWERS THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW GOD DON'T DESERVE THEM

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

I made cookies to prove to you that I'm not incompetent.

Look, I know you people think I'm incompetent. In the kitchen. Shame on all of you who started nodding your heads after the first sentence and before I could qualify it.

That reminds me--last night Skylar and I were talking about one of our past Strangerville Live shows and I said "oh that show was great. So-and-so's story was my favorite that night" and Skylar said, "totally. But yours was pretty good, too." And I was like "OBVIOUSLY I WASN'T INCLUDING MYSELF IN THE COMPETITION BUT I'M GLAD TO KNOW YOU WERE."

Skylar is up against some, frankly, very reasonable expectations that I have for him and he doesn't always do that well. These expectations are that he considers me the best at everything all the time no matter what and he puts his life on the line for this belief if required.

The expectations were formed from years and years of Bob and Cathie telling me after every single performance of any kind whatsoever that I was the "best one." This included a time when I was 14 and I ran a cross country race and took dead last, after all the boys and the girls. They had already taken down the finish line by the time I got to it and most people lingering in the area assumed I was just coming back around for a cool down run after the race because I was so far behind that nobody could have possibly fathomed that I was still competing.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Twenty-Two

(Yo. Strangerville Live is February 22. You should get your tickets. Meg and Jolyn are doing a circus routine. Something about a bearded lady and roller skates. I'm scared, too. Find tickets and info HERE.)

Skylar's medical school classmates are all 14 years old and this freaks me out because they are going to be giving every one of us prostate exams like tomorrow.

It's never really been my practice to date or surround myself with people much younger than me. For years, pretty much everyone I ever dated was my age or older. I've never understood the allure of dating someone half your age. I don't know why that's a thing.

Then Skylar came along. He's nearly six years my junior, and most of the time that's not noticeable, but it comes up every once in a while. Like the other day when I made a very clever joke about Linda Tripp and Skylar was like "who's that" and I explained it to him and then yelled something about why doesn't he follow current events and he was like "BECAUSE I WAS SIX."

Skylar is too young to really remember Princess Diana. He doesn't recall the OJ Simpson trial. Zero memory of Jurassic Park hitting the theaters. He was barely five when the Oklahoma City Bombing happened.