Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Each year when I sit down to write the New Year wrap-up post, I begin the process by reviewing what I wrote the year before. It gets me in the mood to reflect. And it's always fascinating to me to review the emotions I expressed the prior year.

One of the best things about writing this blog, and writing so regularly, is that it's a really effective way for me to preserve my states of being and to track the evolution that comes with growing up. As I sat and read the 2013 post, the flood of 2013's emotions came back to me.

That was a hard year. In many ways, my very hardest. And when I reached its conclusion, I remember thinking that it was a miracle that I survived it. I know those words sound dramatic. But for me, at that time, they didn't even begin to capture how torn apart my soul felt after everything I had experienced in Palau and its aftermath.

I knew that 2014 was going to be a different story. It had to be. Because I felt like I began it at rock bottom. And true rock bottom is a firm boundary, comforting in its limits that at least appear to mean that things can't get worse.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Driveway

I think my house was initially built with horse and buggy in mind. At least, that's the only way I can explain the driveway. It's exceedingly narrow, and I don't really know why because there is definitely room on one side to expand a few feet and cut into the front yard.

The driveway is lined on either side with a cement wall that juts up from the ground about two feet. It serves as a retaining wall for the yard area that sits on the other side of it. The driveway is also very long, extending back beyond the house and to the garage that's in the backyard. 

Every single time I have to pull into or out of this driveway I feel like I'm flying that spaceship on Star Wars when they have to shoot perfectly into that one hole on the Death Star while flying down the ship's narrow canyon.

On a side note, I know that that last paragraph made me sound knowledgeable concerning Star Wars. I assure you that this is not true. Please do not contact me for a date simply because you like to dress up as Princess Leia. (Unless you also have lots of money and/or personally know Paul Simon, in which case, obviously do contact me for a date ASAP.) I'm still trying to stop the text messages from last April Fools' Day when Jolyn posted that ad on my behalf.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Top Ten Most Viewed Stranger Posts, 2014

Every time I get on Facebook right now there are a thousand posts that are like "check out Amy's year!" and then you can click on it and scroll through a thousand pictures to see what Amy ate in 2014. And I'm always like, WHY? And then I click on it and scroll through every picture.

Then I thought, why not do the same thing with Stranger?

I've been meaning to start this thing every year where I give you a list of the ten most viewed Stranger posts of the year. But I've just never gotten around to it in the craziness of the end-of-year holidays. And I don't even know if this will be a post anyone cares about. But at Stranger, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

It's been a wonderful year at Stranger. I'll have the full year recap post up next week. But let me just say now, as I've said before, thank you so much for your kindness, your humor, your friendship, and all of the strange parts of you. I appreciate you more than you'll ever know.

And now, without further ado, the 2014 Top Ten Most Viewed Stranger Posts:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Half a Carload

My friend Burke is possibly the greatest human being of our generation. A couple of weeks ago we were talking about how I needed to move for the eleventy millionth time in the last ten years and how much I was dreading the task.

Because you guys. Moving is the absolute worst thing in the history of all worst things lists in the history of the world. It is worse than camping and Glee and when you open the car door and snow from the roof falls down your shirt.


Well, as I was complaining to Burke and pondering how it is that I have conducted my life in such a way that has caused me to have to move between 1 and 4 times a year, every year, for an entire decade, Burke offered his help.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Eli's House

So it's getting late and I just finished the three-hour AMAZING Survivor finale. Did anyone watch it? I know it's not 1998 anymore, but some of us still follow the show. If you did watch it, can we please talk about what happened? Because ev'ybody be screamin' in my house tonight.

Anyway, because it's late, I thought I would just share pictures with you of my house and call it a night. And look. I know. I already posted most (all?) of these on the Instagrams. But not everybody has the Instagrams. Which is a huge mistake because Matt texted me today:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

10 Things I Learn from "It's a Wonderful Life"

1. Flirting should be funny.

One of my favorite lines from the movie is when ol' what's-her-name (the blonde bombshell) is walking down the sidewalk and George compliments her dress. With attitude, she retorts, "this old thing? Well I only wear it when I don't care how I look." Her confidence in that moment makes me want to make her my very best friend.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rebecca's Near Murder

Rebecca was babysitting Ollie at her house on Friday, so I texted her to see how things were going.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I'm in my mostly vacant house, having spent the afternoon and much of the evening here taking care of installations and bids for various projects. It's all kinds of responsibility and it's all kinds of exciting. Although scary. Because GROWNUP.

But things are pretty good, because Ollie is here with me. We're having a sleepover tonight. Unfortunately we have to trek back to my downtown apartment that feels more like a hoarder house every day as I continue my chaotic attempts at packing. I have, probably unrealistic, hopes that Ollie is going to finish the job for me while I sleep tonight.

And now, please enjoy some Pictures and Distractions. (And please feel free to follow me on the Instagrams and the Facebooks).
Living room in my new house. More pictures to come next week.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Six Chairs

Eli: Hi. I would like to buy this table and six of these chairs.

Lady: Great! Let me make sure we have enough in stock.

Eli: No problem.

Lady: Let's see . . . hmmmm . . . well we only have four of those chairs.

Eli: Ok. Do you know when you'll have more?

Lady: No.

Eli: Can we order some? Is that a possibility.

Lady: Nope.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How to Become a Grownup

Megan texted me and told me to show up at some address on Monday at 4:00. I didn't really know what would be happening but that was more or less par for the course in this process. Buying a home is as confusing as insurance, as stressful as talking someone off a ledge, as unsettling as getting lost at the grocery store as a child, and as intimidating as starting a new job. ALL AT ONCE.

I arrived at 4:00. Some people sat around a small table with me while a man handed me one paper at a time and told me to sign and initial in a thousand places. It felt like an assembly line. Except instead of making trinkets, we were signing my life away and becoming significantly poorer.

I'm told I'm supposed to stop saying that. That I'm not becoming "poorer." I'm just transferring my assets and "investing." I put "investing" in quotes because I'm not convinced that's a real word. I don't think I've lived long enough to believe in it yet.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The First Doctor's Appointment

Remember how eleventy years ago I told you that I had set up an appointment to see a REAL doctor because my friend at work told me that you aren't a grownup until you start having regular checkups with the same physician? And then when I called the doctor's office to make an appointment they were like, "our next available time is in 97 years on a Tuesday at 1:00 AM." And I was all like, "I'LL TAKE IT!"

Well my phone freaked out the other day with a notification that said, "GO TO THE DOCTOR AND KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON!" And that's when I remembered that I had made an appointment for that very day.

On a side note, I have started adding the reminder "AND KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON" to most of my calendared appointments, just to be safe. It's done wonders to help me keep my "stop unnecessarily taking my clothes off in 2014" goal.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Happy Friday, one and all. Tonight I saw Rebecca and her sister hauling her bed out of my home. Now it's quiet.

TOO quiet.

I have a feeling I'm going to come home to find a severed head in the refrigerator tomorrow. A simple message from Jolyn Metro that I haven't been forgotten. But until then, we wait in silence and suspense.

And we enjoy your Pictures and Distractions. (Please feel free to follow me on the Instagrams or the Facebooks, if your heart so desires).

I think I want to use this as our engagement photo.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rebecca's Shopping Cart

Tonight I came home from work to find a shopping cart in my apartment. Not the most ridiculous thing I've come home to. Not by a long shot. But still, I didn't really have time to deal with complication today.

Eli: No.

Rebecca: What?

Eli: Why is there a shopping cart in my home?

Rebecca: Because I'm using it to move out!

Eli: You're moving out right now?

Rebecca: Yes. INTO MY NEW HOUSE!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Food Assignments

It's not a secret that in my family I am not trusted with bringing even remotely complicated food assignments to family functions. It's also no secret that I'm very sensitive about this.

Usually, Cathie will send out some email about a big family gathering. She'll inappropriately use an excessive number of emoticons. The font and color of text will change mid-sentence multiple times. She'll tell us how much she loves us all. And then she'll include some assignments for my sisters and me to bring things. It often looks like this:

Krishelle: Creme brulee and the heart of a unicorn baked inside of a hand-crafted pygmy sculpture.

Krisanda: Home-aged cheese and nine-layer wedding cake in the shape of a dove.

Micalyne: Gold-laced duck and forty handmade sushi rolls.

Eli: Chips.