Sunday, September 22, 2019

In 1968

This time in Strangerville, Salt Lake City will give you a giant flag to help you cross the street. And then a story about fixing up an old bicycle (written version below).
Story
In 1968, by Eli McCann
Production by Eli McCann & Meg Walter


*****
In 1968
by Eli McCann
Skylar just walked into the house. His face is red right now because he just climbed off of a bike. The bike was my dad’s a long time ago. He said he purchased it when he was younger than I am now, but that’s impossible because he has always been over 60.

My dad bought the bike as he was graduating high school in 1968. It cost him $400. I know those details, because he has made sure I’m clear about them the dozen times I’ve mentioned the bike to him in the last three years. He smiles when he says it, raising his eyebrows a little, and nodding. “$400,” he repeats, somehow emphasizing every syllable in perfect equality, “in 1968.”

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Silly to be Afraid

I'm getting married next week. That's really strange.

I started this blog in 2007. I did it to "house my thoughts, especially the strange ones."

I don't think I contemplated that this site would see me through what it's seen me through. Some college immaturity. Some law school immaturity. Some post law school immaturity.

I don't think I thought this site would acknowledge some of my fears. My loneliness. My confusion. My hope. My miracle.

I'm not sure I had any clue this site would know times when I thought I could never really be happy. Times when I thought no one could ever really understand me. Times when I thought there wasn't much hope.

I don't think when I created this site I had any idea I would one day have to grapple with whether or not to inform this site that I was different. That I would have to one day decide how to explain it. That I would have to hope the people who read this site wouldn't hate me for being whatever I was. Whatever I am.

But it happened. After years of terror, I did it. I told you that I was different, and that I decided that was ok. I told you that I found love. I told you I was happy. Many of you stayed and expressed your humanity. Many of you stayed and expressed your version of Christianity. That made a difference for me.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Homohood of the Traveling T-Shirt

I got in trouble tonight. We went to Matt's house to pick up Duncan because he and Ollie have been on a 7-day back-and-forth sleepover date.

We pass the dogs between our two houses because we've decided they are sad when they aren't together because they are probably distantly related. How we know about our canines' complex emotions and preferences is unclear, but the point is, they have them, we know what they are, and we are willing to grossly inconvenience ourselves to acknowledge them.

Going to pick up Duncan wasn't the mistake, though. The mistake was what I was wearing.

I'm living something of a Homohood of the Traveling T-Shirt with Matt, Adam, and Skylar right now. Our version is much more competitive and deceptive than the one from those novels.

You see, Adam had this t-shirt that Matt stole when he discovered it fit him perfectly. Adam saw Matt wearing it one day and asked for it back because, although not the exact same size as Matt, he said the same t-shirt fit him perfectly.

I took it from Matt's house one day after working in Matt's yard with him and wanting to change my clothes. That's how I discovered this magical shirt fit me perfectly.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

What a week.

Duncan is sitting here on the couch with me. We are watching tv. Sort of. He's more focused on a bone and I'm more focused on this. Skylar is still at school. It's 9:00 and he keeps facetiming me to tell me he's bored. We are getting married in two weeks, if he can find a few minutes to attend his own wedding amid his stress. I can't tell you how strange it is for me to be thinking in school terms again. I'm rambling.

Some Pictures & Distractions:
Planted my new pots.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Wedding Gifts

I can't tell if it's tacky to talk about this so obviously I'm going to err on the side of being tacky and talk about it because if I'm anything, it's obliviously tacky.

The wedding gift process is a very uncomfortable and confusing thing.

I long ago accepted that we've all just decided it's normal and I've tried very hard not to read too much into it, but every time I get a wedding announcement for my teenager cousins who are marrying BYU next week and it includes directions to their "registry," I always implicitly feel like this is a little weird. Then I judge them for where they chose to register. Then I think about how I'm going to show up to the wedding a little drunk, overturn the cake table, and scream "IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME." Then I go onto the registry and buy something because I'm a phenomenally good person who long ago accepted that we've all just decided this is normal.

And look. This is not a personal attack on any of you. I very much know that I'm the weird one here. This really should not be an uncomfortable and confusing thing. People get married. We give them gifts to congratulate them and thank them for inviting us to a very expensive party. They know we are going to give them gifts so they might as well tell us what gifts to get so they don't end up with 9 toasters. This is efficient.

I understand that.

You're not the problem.

I'm the problem.

But I just can't get over this.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Horses

On Saturday we decided to take Ollie and Duncan for a hike. We drove to the Uintas an hour and a half from Salt Lake City and found an 8-mile trail on which we would hike 8 miles and Duncan would hike somewhere around 20 because of the constant sprinting ahead and then back to us and then ahead and then back to us forever and ever until we got home and he went into the house and immediately got his ball and dropped it at my feet so he could play a never-ending high energy game of fetch SOMEONE FIGURE OUT HOW TO HARNESS THIS DOG'S ENERGY TO POWER THE PLANET.

Duncan is great off-leash, as long as he doesn't see a motorcycle, at which point he will chase and attempt to eat it. But since we were in the mountains and far from any motorcycles, we didn't have to worry about this.

The trail we hiked was not crowded. We came across more cows than people. For some reason there were dozens of cows just wandering the area. Standing in the middle the trail. Standing next to the trail. Staring us down like we had invaded the farm.

The dogs didn't seem interested in the cows, mostly refusing to even look at them. The cows similarly didn't seem interested either. Nonetheless, I would typically scoop Ollie and Duncan up and carry them whenever we encountered the farm wildlife, mostly because I wasn't sure they had ever seen cows before and I didn't know how they would react.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Cable

For a while I've been the last person in America paying for cable. This is fitting, since I was the last person in America to start paying for cable as well.

My parents were holdouts for nearly the entirety of the 90s. On occasion my dad would have to drive to southern Utah on business trips and if I wasn't in school I was allowed to go with him, which I did. 100% of the reason I went with him was to watch the Game Show channel on the tv at the Ramada in St. George.

My siblings and I were desperate for a fix. We had our cousin Cami stay at our house on a nearly monthly basis, primarily because she would record Nickelodeon onto a VHS tape and bring it over for us to watch. These weren't targeted Nickelodeon recordings, but something more general. She just hit the record button and let the tape roll until it ran out.

We consumed these tapes. We didn't even fast forward through commercials. Why would we? The cable commercials were different than the garbage peddled at us poor folks on regular tv. We soaked up the advertisements, the rolling credits, the previews for other shows referenced but not recorded because of the space limitations of the VHS tape. And when the tape reached the end, we rewound and started it over. We let it just play in the background while we did other things so we could imagine what it felt like to be cable people. Cable people who had MTV on in the background and took for granted how special that was.

Then, sometime around 1998, Bob and Cathie McCann caved.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Strangerhood of the Traveling Snuggie Part 1

Our Snuggie has been on an adventure. It would be rude for me to keep this to myself. Please enjoy some highlights.

Melissa, in Scituate Massachusetts. Melissa added the beautiful text to the front. She also started a travel log book for Strangers to fill out as they go.