Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I made it home with my family from Disneyland. THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON ALL THE EARTH AND DON'T YOU DARE DISAGREE.

I'm tired up in here. But so happy I got to spend the week with my family. Those nieces and nephews are growing up too fast. And I love the hell out of them.

So here are your travel Pictures and Distractions:
With my niece Kate on a long drive.

The Client, Part II

Yesterday I wrote about hearing the news that a pro bono client of mine had suddenly taken a bad turn and the doctors suggested he didn't have much time left. Two states away, I struggled throughout the day with the mostly-irrational guilt that I wasn't able to go out and visit him. I wondered whether anyone would be able to see him, and I felt heartsick that it was possible that he could die feeling very alone.

I wrote to you late last night about my feelings on the topic. This morning I began calling the nurse who had contacted me yesterday. I tried several times for a couple of hours, but was never able to get through to her. I was hoping he would somehow make it a few more days so I could have the opportunity to say goodbye.

Finally someone answered the phone. I told the person who I was and asked for the status update of this man.

He died yesterday just after 5:00 PM. He was already gone when I wrote to you about him.

It was strange to hear the words, and I wasn't sure what I was supposed to say in response. Thank you? Ok? I appreciate the information?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Client

I'm out of town with my family. I hoped to have a relatively work-free few days so I could be "tuned in." I thought that would happen. Then this morning I found myself wandering Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth, holding a phone up to my ear while my nieces and nephews tugged on my other three limbs.

I felt guilty, and before long, I put the phone in my pocket, reminding myself that I was definitely not important enough that the world would explode if I stopped working for a few a hours.

Not much time passed before I felt my phone buzz. I resisted the temptation to check it for a moment, but curiosity got the best of me so I pulled it out.

I had a voice message from an unknown number. This was surely work related. Against my better judgment I had my office phone set to forward all of my calls to my cell phone while I was gone.

I put the phone back into my pocket, reminding myself that I had already decided to just be with my family and I could check my messages and emails at the end of the day when everyone else had gone to bed.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Tonight I was in a restaurant with my entire family. My family never seems very big to me until we decide to gather in a public place. Then it feels like an entire nation of people. And also I think we usually look like a big polygamist group because the women outnumber the men and most of my nieces and nephews look to be about the same age.

If only I could convince my sisters into polygamy hair.

The kids were tired. A couple of them were falling asleep at the table. All of them looked like they were twenty minutes from a total meltdown. Some of the adults appeared that way, too. By the time we were leaving the restaurant, I think everyone was looking forward to just getting all of the children home, pumped full of Ambien, lights out, and in bed.

JUST KIDDING! We aren't that irresponsible! We use nightlights for the little ones.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I'm losing it. Attempting to be diligent since I have missed the last THREE weeks of trash pickup, I just hauled my garbage and recycling bins out the curb. I was really impressed with how responsible I was being, especially considering that I seemed to beat all of my neighbors to it. As I walked back up the driveway, my next door neighbor called out to me from his front lawn.

Neighbor: So . . . you getting special treatment?

Eli: Excuse me?

Neighbor: Garbage pick up on a Friday?

Eli: Wait. Today isn't Tuesday?

Neighbor: Uh . . . no.

*Walks back to the curb to retrieve the bins. Makes the "I meant to do that" face to the neighbor.*

Fortunately I've turned into a hippie lately where I'm trying to be a minimalist about waste so the bins are not actually overflowing yet. Hashtag save the planet.

And now, your Pictures and Distractions:
Remember this "before" picture of my kitchen just after I moved into the house?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SNL 40th

On Sunday night I watched all eleventy million hours of SNL's 40th anniversary celebration. I'm not an SNL fanatic. I probably catch about 5% of each season. I find most of the sketches two times longer than they should be and half as funny as could be.

But I watched all eleventy million hours of the 40th anniversary celebration because WHAT IF PAUL SIMON!?

And you guys. I know you've criticized me before because I do a lot of things only because WHAT IF PAUL SIMON. Like every time I go to the grocery store, or dress up for work, or refuse to make any weekend plans. And you guys are like, "Eli. You are making all of your life decisions on the very unlikely possibility that Paul Simon is going to suddenly show up. Also, ohmygosh that new haircut is totally growing on you. LITERALLY. Hashtag you woke up like this."

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Dog Park

Matt went out of town this weekend so before he even walked out the door, I was cradling Ollie in my arms like a baby, walking to my car, and promising the puppy we were going to have a long and full life together.

I got to keep Ollie for four whole days. Four glorious ecstasy-filled days. NOT THAT I KNOW WHAT ECSTASY IS, CATHIE.

I decided to take him to the dog park eleventy million times mostly because Ollie seems to have nearly boundless energy these days and I hoped and believed that if he ran around with other animals for an hour or so it might wear him out enough to not think 6:00 AM is the perfect time to play "drop a sock on Eli's head and bark until he throws it and then repeat." On a side note, I've tried to get him to come up with a more concise name for this game but he never does what I ask.

I don't know how to own a dog. I don't know what the rules are. I don't know social ques. Cues? Queues? Queueueueues? I don't even know which version of that word is appropriate in this context. THAT'S HOW LITTLE I KNOW.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

You guys. Valentine's Day. It's not that I don't love that I'm Cathie's "NUMBER ONE VALENTINE XOXOXOXOXOXOXO" again. But this holiday just gets more and more annoying for me every year. And this one is particularly obnoxious. It is destroying a weekend!

I'm fine with Valentine's Day ruining a Monday. Tuesday or Wednesday? Fine. Thursday? Not ideal, but have at it. BUT WHY MUST IT DESTROY AN ENTIRE WEEKEND!?

Here. Have some Pictures and Distractions:
Burke was just sitting there and Ollie walked over and plopped down like this and I love him BECAUSE EVERYTHING THAT PUPPY DOES IS CUTE.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The 25 Unspoken Rules of Tinder

1. The amount of matches you have directly correlates with your value as a human being. For some people, matches shall serve no other purpose.

2. If a match is made, the less attractive person shall be responsible for commencing communication.

3. If you come across an exceptionally attractive person on Tinder, they are most definitely just traveling through town. There are no exceptions to this rule.


5. Everyone knows that a first Tinder date is supposed to last 45 to 60 minutes. If the person tries to end the date before 45 minutes have passed, you are not doing well.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bob & Cathie's Opinions

Bob: Son, why did you cut your hair like that?

Cathie: Are you acting out because of depression?

Eli: Why do you guys always assume I'm depressed?

Cathie: Because of your life.

Bob: And because you always seem to be acting out.

Eli: Guys, I'm not depressed. I'm happy.

Bob: You are? Why? Are you taking drugs?

Cathie: ARE YOU?!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I left the office tonight and realized that it was 60 degrees outside even though it's February and I'm supposed to be miserable because that's how winter was explained to me when I was a child by Bob and Cathie. I decided to take advantage of it so I sat on a bench in front of the bustling Salt Lake City downtown streets. It took exactly five minutes for a homeless man to touch my face.


And now, your Pictures and Distractions.
You guys. Somehow I got really brave and let a haircut happen to me THAT I SHOULD HAVE NEVER LET HAPPEN TO ME. And then I ran back to my office, shut the door, and had a full blown panic attack.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Wind Beneath My Wings

This thing keeps happening where Matt shows up and does all of this complicated and probably dangerous work in my house with minimal effort and only half his attention and it makes me think that I can also do all of this work. It seems so easy. Then he leaves his tools all over my place and so when he's gone I start picking them up and using them to break stuff that he then has to come back and fix.

I'm concerned that the price Matt pays for friendship with me is about one ounce of effort away from becoming too expensive so I've been trying extra hard lately to give him candy and tell him very nice things. Yesterday, for example, I sent him a text telling him that he is "the wind beneath my wings" after he told me he would be by at 6:00 to survey the damage from this weekend's solo attempts at home improvement.

I sometimes think Matt doesn't care about these pronouncements because he never responds to them. Matt has a generally cranky demeanor. He doesn't smile that much. And the majority of the time he is with either me or Rebecca, he scowls at us as we do or say whatever nonsensical thing we are doing or saying.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Conversations With Emrie

I mentioned last week that my niece Emrie was coming to my house for a sleepover. This is the niece who was formerly AKA "The Niece Who Hates Me," dubbed such because for reasons unknown and until very recently she openly despised me from the moment she emerged from the womb. 

To say our relationship has been rocky over the four years and three quarters that she has been alive would be like calling World War II "a little scuffle." Emrie somehow seemed to hate me before she even became self aware. As an infant, she would scream when I would enter a room. When she learned to speak, she used the new-found skill to demand that I leave whatever room she was in. On more than one occasion my request for a hug has been met with rejection.

It's like high school all over again.

So it was a total shock when she called me last week and this conversation happened: