Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I'm so nervous. 24 hours from now the Niece Who Hates Me is coming to my house for a sleepover. I'm going to spend the entire day tomorrow writing down lists of jokes and things I can do with my hair so she'll like me.

Tonight I combed through your emails to bring you this week's Pictures and Distractions. I've been meaning to mention it for a while, and I've probably mentioned it before, but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all of the emails and messages. I have been terrible in the last year at responding to emails. There have gotten to be so many and it has become difficult to respond as much as I would like. But I promise you, I read every single one from beginning to end. Sometimes I even start writing a response but then I get distracted because eating and TV and WHAT IF PAUL SIMON.

So if you've got some email sitting in my inbox and you're super pissed because I haven't written back and told you how good your hair looks today, rest assured that it's not because I don't love you. And I do think your hair looks super good today.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions:
Mr. Ollie Pants taking a nap on my lap after licking my knee. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Garage

I keep finding this weird stuff in my house because it was built sometime right after cavemen developed the first tool. Ok, so it's not quite that old. I exaggerated. I'LL NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

The house was built in 1925. I'm positive that at least 70 people have died in it. I think this is generous because it presumes less than one in-house death per year. And by the way, if current trends continue, there will never be a death in this house again because I have owned it for almost two months now and not a single person has died yet.


I wish I could say the same for the "screams per month because I thought I saw a ghost" statistic.

This weekend I ventured to my garage to do some thorough exploring. I looked through the garage very briefly when I was considering buying the home but I didn't really look carefully. And since moving in, I haven't ventured out there.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Up On A Soapbox

This weekend I dragged Matt and Ollie across the great state of Utah to help me collect 100,000 new things for my home improvement projects. Matt has become my general contractor who I have do at least ten new projects in my house every day. I pay him in compliments and smiles.

Somehow Matt knows how to do everything. This does not make sense to me. I asked him where he learned all of the things he knows and he said, as though I was an idiot for asking, "I learned it FROM BEING ALIVE."

We ended up at Lowe's where I bought a new light fixture for my kitchen and a number of other little things I've never heard of but that Matt swears are necessary if I want my house not to explode. Then we sauntered out to the car.

Just as we were getting in, I heard a man who was a little ways away from us in the parking lot yell some words. I hoped that I had misheard him, but then he looked at me and said something incredibly offensive and I realized that I had not misheard.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

My five-year-old niece Emrie, formerly known as "the niece who hates me," called me tonight to ask if she can come sleep over at my house. Our relationship seems to be on the mend lately. Any communication she used to direct at me tended to be judgy and acerbic. Suddenly it's pleasant and cordial. The only thing that's changed between us? Emrie came to my house one time and saw that I have a laundry chute.


I'm thinking about trying to resolve all of my strained relationships with the same medicine. Someone get Oprah on Facetime so I can demonstrate how the chute works!

Fingers crossed that times are changing between me and Emrie. I'm going to need to be on her good side so she can take care of me when I'm old and wandering the neighborhood confused and naked. Right now, nobody is taking responsibility for it and I don't want that to be the case in another 40 years.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions.
That bone never had a chance with Mr. Ollie Pants. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Is Jon Really A Common Name?

I'm not totally sure whether what the kids are calling "the Tinder" is still a popular thing among the kids. I know it was a year ago, and I'm told that people are increasingly abandoning it for other dating apps. But I don't know what they are going to now because it takes 18 to 72 months for me to find out what the kids are doing and not enough time has passed yet.

In any event, messing with people on Tinder is still one of my favorite pastimes. What can I say. It keeps me young.

One of my hobbies (when I'm not too busy brushing my hair, looking into the mirror, and telling myself how pretty I am) is taking my friends' phones and Tindering on their behalf.

I wish there was some way I could make this task my full-time job. In fact, since there's no time like the present, I'm just going to go ahead and pitch my new business idea: come and drop your phone off at my house and let me Tinder for you. I take payment in hugs and compliments. And when that doesn't pay the bills I'm going to need you to give me money too. Or bail me out of jail when I turn to illegal acts. Like the Macarena.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Recently I went to prison.

I realize that it's a little bit misleading to not include the article "the" before prison. Because when you put the word "the" in there, it means that you were just visiting. Probably innocently. But without it, it sounds like I'm a hardened criminal whose life choices finally caught up to him.

But I'm not a hardened criminal. And my life choices have not caught up to me yet. Unless you consider the fact that I'm 30, unmarried, and have yet to give Bob and Cathie a dozen or so new grandchildren they relentlessly demand on a semi-weekly basis. In which case, I guess they have caught up to me.

But I haven't had to go to prison for the crimes of my youth because the exhaustive list of those crimes includes having a bowl cut for the better part of four years. And they just don't usually prosecute that sort of thing because resources.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Grateful it's Friday around here. It was a long and hard week for me. I almost entered the Witness Protection Program on Tuesday just to get out of my job.


But truly, I do love my job and am very grateful to have it. The vast majority of the time I love being a lawyer. Although it doesn't come without its stresses. And this week was a particularly stressful one. And a strange one. Tune in next week when I tell you about something that happened when I went to prison today, for example.

But until then, enjoy some Pictures and Distractions. (And please feel free to follow me on the Instagrams and the Facebooks and the Twitters. And Ollie's Instagram is here.)
A nap after a four-mile walk.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Homeowner Responsibility

One of the most difficult things about being a first-time homeowner is suddenly taking on a thousand new responsibilities that I've never had to deal with before or, in some cases, had even contemplated. A lot of these are simple, but not being in the habit of remembering to do them turns the task into a new source of anxiety, simple or not.

You guys. I don't have room for new anxieties right now. GLEE HAS STILL NOT BEEN CLEANSED FROM AMERICA.

My neighbors can probably testify about the anxiety thing as they've now seen me on four separate occasions running the garbage bin out to the street, barefoot and half naked, on a Wednesday morning as the garbage man watches with amusement from one house away.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Big Day for Hannah Rose

I met Hannah Rose three years ago. We both ran in the same 5k and took first and second place. (This was not a very competitive race, but we usually neglect sharing that fact when telling the story to others.)

I was impressed with how fast of a runner Hannah was. I was in good shape at the time, at the end of my training for the first Ironman I attempted, and have been a runner for many years. And yet, I had a difficult time staying ahead of Hannah in the race and only beat her by a small margin.

She did not seem pleased that she did not win. I later found out that she was an incredibly competitive person. A collegiate runner for BYU and a phenomenally good athlete, she entered the not-so-competitive race expecting to come in minutes before anyone else.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Neuter Clinic

The other day Matt asked me if I had any time this week to take Ollie back to the spay and neuter clinic to get him checked out. His unmentionable area looked weird and Ollie has been licking it like it's an Everlasting Gobstopper for the last month. We were getting sick of being those people with the pervie dog so we thought we ought to make sure something wasn't wrong.

The clinic could only see Ollie in the mornings when Matt isn't available and since my schedule is pretty flexible this week, I told him I would be happy to take care of it.

I had no idea that I was about to experience the emotional assault that was waiting for me inside that depressing death chamber.

It was like Ollie knew where we were right when we pulled up. His claws extended five inches and he clung to me as though I was a bobbing table in the Atlantic Ocean and he had just come from the Titanic. Also, he was wearing the Heart of the Ocean.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Rebecca Paints the Floor

Ring ring.

Eli: Respecta!

This is the stage name I have chosen for Rebecca.

Rebecca: Eli. I'm trying to get a hold of Matt to ask him some important home repair questions. But he isn't answering.

Eli: Well you can ask me those questions, too.

Rebecca: No offense, but you don't know anything.


Rebecca: Eli, let's skip this whole song and dance where you claim to be competent in an area where we both know neither of us is competent.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Fifth Grade Notebook

After her last visit to my home, at the end of which Cathie ominously announced to all within earshot that she would expect me to clear out all of my possessions from her house within 48 hours, Cathie returned with a fierce vengeance yesterday.

She's been threatening me to relieve her of the obligation to store my hoarding for many years. But until recently, I didn't have the space to take back what was rightfully mine.

I heard the screeching of her breaks in my driveway and I knew the woman was on a mission. She approached the door with the same indignant velocity that I had only previously seen her utilize on Sundays between the years 1989 and 1998 when my abhorrent Sabbath Day behavior forced her to almost ritually drag me out of the Mormon congregation by the ear on a weekly basis.

It is that repeated childhood experience that my sisters and I long ago concluded is the exclusive reason that I have no feeling in either of my ears to this day.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Happy New Year, one and all. Because the magic of the season made us lose track of reality, like it always does (see this and this for your January 2nd reality checks), we have been without Pictures and Distractions for a few weeks now. There's a serious backlog of crappy photos on my phone that just MUST be shared with you.

So without further ado, your Pictures and Distractions. (Please feel free to follow me on the Instagrams here. Or just follow Ollie, since he has his own account now. And find us on the Facebooks here. And my blog about sewing is here. Just kidding. That last link doesn't take you anywhere. I can't even keep up on my mommy blog. Fortify would murder me if I started up a blog about all of my sewing.)

Ollie and Matt at my house on New Year's Eve.