Sunday, November 30, 2014

Halloween, 1995

I should be 100% way too embarrassed to share this photo with you. But I just can't help it. It is too horrifically glorious to keep it all to myself. It should be against the law for me not to share it with you.

This weekend, my childhood best friend, Sam, came into town to be with his family. (He may kill me for posting this--I'll have to deal with the consequences later).

I met Sam when I was about eight years old. He and I were the same age, our birthdays only twenty days apart. Almost instantly we became inseparable and remained that way for many years to come. To this day, he is the one person on God's green Earth who knows me best. In fact, I think he may be the only person in my life who knows every one of my secrets.

He is the wisest and most loyal friend anyone could ever have. Besides Bob and Cathie, he's also probably the most responsible person I know. He's never been anything but a wonderful friend to me, and I love him as much as I think I could love anyone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Buying a House = Complicated

I don't know where this month is going. I expected it to be a pretty quiet one and foolishly thought that my job was going to be peaceful and simple.

It was not.

It was a jealous mistress. NOT THAT I KNOW WHAT THAT IS, CATHIE.

And what's more, as it turns out, buying a house is the most complicated transaction in which one can engage. Having never done this before, I have been surprised to discover that exactly eleventy trillion things can go wrong with a house.

You guys. I'm not kidding. I had an inspection company come through and look at every piece of dust in the entire property and give me disconcerting assessments about exactly how many seconds I probably have before any given thing explodes and takes out half the neighborhood.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November Regrets

We're in that really weird time of year right now where the days are short and the dark nights feel disorientingly long. I never can quite get used to the time at which it gets dark in Salt Lake City. Night after night, as the darkness sets in, I think it's much later than it is.

I believe it's 10:00, although it's only 6:30. I'm ready to climb into bed on a weekend night even though the same time on a week night would see me just leaving the office.

There's something so strange about winter night time. The darkness. The cold. It makes the world stay inside. The streets are quiet. Peaceful, yet lonely. And it's always odd for me to think that those same streets at another time of year but the same time of day are bustling and hustling and alive with excitement of a much different season.

Now, in November, my city streets are contemplative. Dead. Simple. And as the year starts dying down, I always become more reflective. Sort of like, probably, the elderly person at the end of a very long and active life.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

You might have heard that there's a puppy named Ollie that is an exception to my be-afraid-of-all-animals rule. You might have also heard that Ollie lived with me for a week and then was STOLEN from me.

Well, as you might have expected, today's Pictures and Distractions are quite Ollie-focused. YOU'RE WELCOME!

Please enjoy. (And please follow me on the Instagrams because I also post pictures there of a dog that doesn't belong to me. Because I'm healthy like that.)
Ollie in his new clothes I bought for him!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Five Little Pumpkins

Ollie just left me and I'm not pleased. Matt showed up like a thief in the night to take him away. Rebecca and I knew our time with Ollie was winding down, and so we snuggled with him and said our goodbyes. It felt like he was about to be put down.

Then Matt showed up AND RUINED OUR LIVES.

Ollie freaked the Hell out when Matt walked into the apartment. He was already riled up because we have spent the last several days not letting him have sex with everything in sight. Though he tried. He tried with the furniture, with the floor, even with every single one of our guests.


We felt a little bad not just letting him have a few nights o' fun because he has a scheduled neutering tomorrow. (Please send me as many emails as possible concerning animal cruelty).

Monday, November 17, 2014

How To Win Cats and Influence Felines

If you are reading this it’s because you’ve seen the light. You know that the destiny for you is one full of fur-balls, felines, and Fancy Feast. You’ve asked yourself, “how do I get started? How to I transition into this new and exotic world of mass cat care?”  WELL GOOD NEWS. Because this pamphlet is for you!   

The first thing you should know is that people will try to stop you. They’ll try to stop you from performing a very important function that the rest of society needs you to perform. A noble function. A function for which your malfeasance would cause chaos in the streets.

The haters will tell you that as soon as you adopt those first dozen cats, you have kissed your social life goodbye. They’ll tell you that what little chance you had of getting married and having “real” children has gone out the window.

Don’t listen to these people.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


I had it on my calendar for a couple of weeks. If I wasn't so lazy, I would have made a paper chain to count down the days.

A Couple of Weeks Ago

Eli: Hello?

Matt: Hey, it's Matt. Do you think you could watch Ollie on--

[Screeching car brakes sound]

Matt: Oh, hi. How did you get here so fast?


Matt: I didn't mean right now. I was wondering if you could watch Ollie in a couple of weeks when I go out of town. I'll be gone for--

Eli: EVER?!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I looked out my office window today and saw the thing I dread most: a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.

And so it begins.

Someone please give me a reason to live.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions. (Please follow me on Instagram even though I take terrible pictures.)
Good to know that I may not be too old to have Cathie push me around in the cart. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Why do so many weird things happen in this house?"

The night before Halloween I decided to try on my two costumes that I have rotated every single year since I was about 15. One of these is a hippie costume, complete with bell-bottoms and a flower child shirt. The other is Bob's Navy uniform, circa 1972.

The only time I ever feel really fat is when I try on Bob's Navy uniform every year on Halloween.

It was late and Halloween night was less than 24 hours away so I pulled the costume out. I quickly realized that I was stuck in it and needed some serious help. So I frantically ran to the front room and found Rebecca, who was on a work-related phone call with some clients in India.

Eli: HELP ME!!!

Rebecca: [Whispering] Why is there a very tight shirt on your head?

Eli: No time to explain! Just help me get it off!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Next Big Move

Is everyone sitting down? No? A few of you are standing? Can you get into the sitting position? I'll wait.

. . . [I put my hands up, they're playin' my song and the butterflies fly away . . .]

Sitting now? No? Some of you are being really difficult right now. Fine. I'll just tell you, but if you faint and break bones because you were standing rather than sitting, DON'T COME CRYING TO ME.

You guys. I, Eli W. McCann, am in the market for buying a house. I know. Pick your jaw up off the floor. This is such a grown up thing to do and in most ways I am not really such a grown up.

I didn't think anyone would take me seriously when I mentioned that I wanted to buy a house because I think you have to have gone through puberty before the government will let this happen. Also, I haven't been doing really well with my plant, O2, this year and he's sort of always been the "well if you can take care of this first, we'll see" tester for whatever responsible thing I hope to accomplish one day.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


You guys. I found something that is worse than CAMPING. It's worse than surprise camping. Even worse than camping for more than one day.


It is called Ragnar. It is an unholy abomination in apocalyptic proportions. The people who came up with this idea should be imprisoned. Everyone who has talked another person into doing the race should be tried for crimes against humanity. They should change the name of the place where Satan dwells from "Hell" to "Ragnar."


The race was in Vegas, a solid six-hour drive from Salt Lake City. We drove south on Thursday evening, the six of us on our team.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Eli McCann: World's Leading Environmentalist

You guys. I done be savin' the world up in here!

Because yesterday I finally put my foot down for the environment. And America. And righteousness. Hashtag 'merica.

There's this place at the food court in the building in which I work that has great food. I frequent this place because it's convenient and relatively healthy. But every time I go there, I feel a stabbing pain in the center of my tree-hugging soul. This is because they hand you your order in a completely and totally unnecessary plastic bag.

It drives me crazy. They wrap my tiny sandwich in paper and then place it in this ridiculous plastic bag so I can carry it for 20 seconds and discard it. So I always tell them I don't actually need the bag. They give me a confused look, pull the sandwich out of it, and then sometimes throw the bag away anyway.

I feel like I'm living a version of that Dr. Seuss book where they chop down all the trees to make an elevator button. Or however that story went. (I'm too lazy to verify on the googles). 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Peer Pressure

A long long time ago

When the proposed date still felt so far away

A conversation happened

James: I know we don't know each other well but you run, so would you like to do a relay race with me in a few months?

Eli: [Distracted because there was some cheesecake at home he was trying to get to] Huh? Yeah, whatever.

James: Really? Don't you want details?

Eli: Fine. It's all fine.

James: Ok, but it's in another state.

Eli: I really need to get going.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hospital Bokhdan

Happy Monday one and all. We had a great time at The Porch this weekend. It was great to see some of you there. A huge thanks to Kyle for recording and uploading it for us.

Some of you have heard parts of my Ukrainian appendectomy story. I decided this weekend to tell that story in full, with an update that I hadn't yet shared on Stranger. The update had to do with my return to Hospital Bokhdan in May of this year, ten years after I had my operation. I've been meaning to share the details of that experience from this year but hadn't gotten around to it. I thought that The Porch would be a good forum for it.

And now, below, is the full video of the story from The Porch.