Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I just read the 2012 wrap-up post. I read about how it was my best year. About how our past can be an asset or a liability depending on how we use it. About how if we are living the right way, the best year of our life should always be the last one that we lived.

Here I sit in a cozy coffee shop in Salt Lake City at the end of 2013. Thousands of miles away from where I was when I wrote those words last year. Thousands of emotions away from where I was when I wrote those words last year. Thousands of heartbreaks, laughs, tears, and growing pains away from where I was when I wrote those words last year.

2013 was the most difficult year of my life. And because of that, in some ways, 2013 sort of feels like the first year I ever really experienced life. The good and the bad. The beautiful and the sentimental. And the strange.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Christmas Gift

I've never been much of a Christmas person. There are a lot of reasons for this. But one of the big ones is that I really struggle with the gift-giving aspect. I'm a terrible gift giver. I have a really difficult time communicating my feelings for another person through objects. It's not my "love language." And I don't think I sufficiently appreciate gifts that are given to me, either. To me, gifts are typically as valuable as they are useful. And because Christmas revolves so much around gift-giving, I have a difficult time connecting with the holiday. And instead, I tend to feel anxious for it to end.

If Christmas was all about writing love letters to one another, it would be totally different. And every year I think that if instead of finding an item to gift, I could just write or tell a person how I feel through words, it would probably be my favorite holiday.

But have you ever tried to just give words of affirmation instead of wrapped items? And then everyone is like, thanks. BUT WHAT ABOUT STUFF?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Corey Came to Town

This feels like a fake post. I don't really have a story for you. I'm just going to be blathering for a minute. You should probably go read something else. Or go back to bed and finish your Christmas-sugar-high coma. Or actually, instead of reading this post, you should spend your time leaving comments on it that sound like they're responding to something I said but that have absolutely nothing to do with anything I've ever written. This will mislead the people who come to Stranger and just read the comments. And shame on them for just reading the comments. I HAVE IMPORTANT THINGS TO SAY TOO.

Last weekend my friend Corey and her husband Michael came into town. Corey is my very best friend in the entire world. BESIDES YOU GUYS, OF COURSE.

Corey and I met at the very beginning of law school and became what the kids refer to as "frienemies" pretty quickly. We are both pretty opinionated and vocal and competitive. Two months after meeting her we experienced what our friends now refer to as the "finger pointing incident," which is still a sensitive topic between the two of us. This was where we got into a VERY heated argument in a study room at the law school and Corey (who denies this) pointed her finger at my face and I was said to have yelled, "AND GET YOUR FINGER OUT OF MY FACE!"

Sunday, December 22, 2013


This post was written on Friday, in the heat of the moment.

Oh my gosh. You guys. The most embarrassing thing EVER happened to me just now.

I want to die. I want to die. I have to move. I can't be seen in Salt Lake City ever ever ever again.

I know I've set a pretty high bar for doing something that could be considered the most embarrassing thing that I've ever done in a locker room. See this, for a recent example. But fortunately my prior experiences were in other countries where I didn't ever have to see any of those people again.

None of those experiences were in the gym THAT I CURRENTLY GO TO EVERY SINGLE DAY. The gym that is RIGHT NEXT TO MY HOUSE. The one that ALL OF MY COWORKERS GO TO. The one that EVERY ONE OF MY NEIGHBORS ALSO VISIT.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Merry Christmas, all. It's been snowing here. There is great misery in all the land.

My best friend Corey is coming into town today for a wedding. I haven't seen her in two years. She and her husband Michael will be staying with me tonight. I had to stay up late cleaning last night because somehow my apartment has not cleaned itself for the last three months.


And now, your pictures and distractions.
The inversion in Salt Lake City is going to kill me. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Still Here

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I want to share some thoughts with you. And forgive me that these thoughts are coming from the deepest part of my soul and might sound awkward and are sort of uncomfortable for me to share. But I feel like I need to. So I will.

The year is winding down and I guess I've been a little more reflective in the last few weeks than I have been all year. And I've been more reflective throughout 2013 than I have been in prior years.

I'm basically like a huge mirror now. Except one that drinks a whole carton of eggnog last night at 11:30, right before climbing into bed.

I was at church on Sunday morning. In Mormon churches we have what you might call "interactive sermons" for the majority of our Sunday worship. Church meetings proceed for three hours. Two of those hours are made up of classes that consist of group discussions where the class will entertain such topics as overcoming adversity and the benefits of meaningful service and developing oneself spiritually. And making doilies.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Other Idiots on the Road

On Saturday we had our annual family adult Christmas outing. Wait. That sounds wrong. That sounds like my family once a year engages in x-rated Christmas festivities.

You know what I mean. The adults get together and have an evening in December where nobody is having to scream, "STOP BITING YOUR SISTER" the entire time. Well, they have to scream it less anyway. Guys, I'm only 29. You can't expect me to be completely well-behaved.

As you can imagine, adult Christmas outing is a wonderful thing.

There are eight adults in my family, which is the exact number of seats in my sister Krisanda's gigantic Mormon assault vehicle that she and my brother-in-law use to drive around their four adorable children. So we all rode together.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Daniel Discovers Stranger

Daniel called me the other day. We hadn't talked for a little while. The following conversation happened.

Daniel: Eli. I canNOT believe you shared that video with people.

Eli: What video? What people? I WAS YOUNG! I NEEDED THE MONEY!

Daniel: Huh? I'm talking about the Amazing Race video.

Eli: Oh. That. You think I shouldn't have shared it?

Daniel: Eli. It was SO embarrassing.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Swine Flu Christmas

It's a world record. The video from last Thursday's show at The Porch is up on Youtube and available for your viewing pleasure. Or displeasure. Or to your great frustration. It depends on how you feel about it. The point is, it's available and you can watch it if you want.

A big thanks, again, to Ms. Jolyn Metro, for filming this thing.

Many of you have wondered exactly where Lohan came from and I don't know whether I've ever really explained it on this blog. So this video may answer some of those questions. It will probably also answer some questions about me that you never wanted to know.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Just rolled back into Salt Lake City after a very fun night at The Porch. I should have the videos up for you over the weekend. A huge thanks to those of you who came out tonight. As always, it was so fun to meet you and laugh together and try on one another's clothes. And a special thanks, as always, to Ms. Jolyn Metro, who filmed it. Jo Metro, I don't know what I would do without you. I mean, I would be able to live with a lot less fear, but what's the fun in that?

And now, your pictures and distractions.

Lights turning on across the street from my office.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thank You

I actually wasn't going to post anything today because I had a late and VERY strange night last night having dinner with Mexican celebrities. I didn't really realize what I had gotten myself into until I was in the middle of it. I'll have to tell you that whole story sometime. As it turns out, I REALLY don't understand Spanish.

So because of that I woke up late and I'm slammed at work and trying to get ready to see you all at The Porch tonight for The Porch's Christmas show (tickets are here). And I decided I wouldn't post anything today and would instead suffer the wrath.

But I just looked at the date and realized that today is a special day. December 12th is a holiday of sorts in Strangerville because it's the date that many of you found Stranger, or, at least, the date that I posted something that directly or indirectly eventually brought all of you here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Amazing Race

I feel like a broken record announcing this for the third day in a row. But you've come to expect that around here. I really only have about three different jokes that I just use over and over again, interspersed with references to the Queen of Colors and Leotrix, and some have you have been reading for two years. I'll be telling a story about my worst Christmas ever tomorrow night (Thursday) at The Porch in Provo, starting at 8:30. If you plan to go, please get your tickets now as the show sometimes fills up. You can get those tickets here.

And now, for today's post. This is for all of you who have been missing Daniel lately and want to see his happy face.

I know that I should be 100% too embarrassed about this to share it with you. But, what can I say? I'm losing my standards in my old age.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shallow Tinder

Good morning, all. It's freaking cold. But I have exciting news. I'm going to be telling a story on The Porch this Thursday evening at Muse in Provo. The show starts at 8:30 and I believe I'll be opening it this time. I just found out about this yesterday. It's not like I was keeping it from you because I was mad. I hope to see every single one of you there. And then I hope all of you who can't get in because there isn't enough room have a huge gang fight in the street. But if you want to make sure you are not a part of that gang fight, you can get your tickets now here.

Recently I hung out with my friends, Jess and Marie. And our other good friend, Tinder.

I gave you a very accurate and detailed explanation and report of Tinder not long ago. Since then I have experimented with it and tested its limits.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

10 Ideas for Getting Your Friend to Stop Watching Glee

Quick announcement: We'll be at The Porch in Provo this Thursday at 8:30 PM for a fun Christmas-themed show. I'll get you more details tomorrow but wanted to let you know now since I just found out about it.

I already know this is going to be one of those posts that makes people angry. Remember when I offered to slap your children across their faces in the grocery store and ALL of the angry moms on the Internet hung me in effigy and tried to get the government to revoke my citizenship? I'm prepared for that again. And I'm ok with it. Because this is for a good cause.

The eradication of Glee.

I have been known from time to time to complain about the vile and horrid television program known IRONICALLY as "Glee." I hate this program with every fiber of my being. When previews for it flash across the TV I shake my fists into the air. And scream. And question all truth.

And then I go onto iTunes and download the latest Glee album and listen to it every day for the rest of my life.

I'm only human guys.You do the same thing with blood diamonds.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Happy weekend, Strangers. Glad to see you've survived it. I walked to work this morning and it was 12 degrees. TWELVE. TWELVE, GUYS. TWELVE DEGREES.


Do you know what temperature it was in Palau exactly one year ago? One hundred million thousand eleventy degrees with 645% humidity.

I really need to find some middle ground here.

And now, your pictures and distractions:

The Mormons know how to make it feel like Christmas. I can't believe this is right next to my house.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Phone is Vulgar

I have a new "what the kids are doing" to tell you about. There's this thing that some phones can do that I'm pretty sure is powered by the devil himself. I don't even know if it has a name. But basically the way it works is you push this button on your phone and then talk and the phone types what you said. It's lazy texting. But I think every time you use it you sell a piece of your soul.

I have sold a lot of my soul because I use it a LOT. And it's surprisingly usually pretty accurate. I can speak quickly, quietly, slowly, with a slur, in an accent, meow, etc. and it almost always types out exactly what I've said.

Once you finish speaking you have to hit the button again to let it know you're done. Then it thinks for a few seconds and then presents all the text. Sometimes it thinks for a while before doing anything. This doesn't bother me because I just think I probably caught it at a bad time. Like, maybe it was in the middle of something really important like T.V.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Horrifying Announcement

I have a really big and terrifying announcement.


See? Now it's funny because I make the joke so often. Pretty soon you guys are going to be begging me to tell you that I'm pregnant because you just need a good laugh.

Actually, though, my real announcement is a serious one. And one that I will need your undivided attention for for the next ten months. There will be lots of drama in the near future. Lots of complaining. Lots of me acting like this was all thrust upon me at no choice of my own.

I've signed up for another Ironman race.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Oh, The Places You'll Go. Maybe.

You know the famous Dr. Seuss book "Oh, The Places You'll Go?" Every time you have ever completed a phase of life, someone surely read this to you or quoted parts of it or kicked you out of the house and told you to get a job.

And it's supposed to be this really inspirational and motivational explanation about how wonderful your life is going to be. At least, that's how I remember it.

"You're off to great places! You're off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose!"

I remember the book going on and on and on about all of the amazing opportunities and experiences that await you in life and how fulfilling and wonderful it will all be.

Then, on Thanksgiving, my five-year-old niece Kate walked over to me, book in hand, and commanded me to read it to her.