Sunday, January 31, 2016

Visiting Sam

I'm visiting Sam in Boulder this weekend. Well, that's a lie. He lives in a place called "Broomfield." I don't know why I put quotation marks around that word. It looks like I don't trust that that's what it's really called. Which, maybe I shouldn't trust that that's what it's really called because I haven't seen any signs so I really am just putting my life in Sam's hands. And I don't know how much I can trust him.

He swears this never happened but when we were ten years old I was at his house after school playing some game we made up in his basement, which game is one of many we will take to our graves to ensure we are able to have friends during our lives. Well I noticed it was 5:00 and Bob and Cathie had said I needed to be home by then for dinner because I guess we were old people in Florida. And if there's one thing I knew about Bob and Cathie it was that there was a decent chance that if you were late to something they would have replaced you with another child and changed the locks by the time you got home. Not that any of us were allowed keys to the house.

We really left our entire fates in Bob and Cathie's hands.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distraction

So you may have noticed that the banner on the top of Stranger has changed. And if you haven't noticed, you should probably get some sleep. Because it's very different. And we're worried about you.

Before you start screaming at me about change and how that's not what Strangers are good at, let me be clear: I am not responsible for this. If you want to yell at someone, you can yell at Matt. Go ahead and try it. Look into those seductive, hypnotizing, mysterious, smizing, dreamy green eyes and try to tell him you disagree with what he has done.

How did that go? Not so well? Now you can understand why I have been manipulated into going to Home Depot with him exactly five times a week, every week, for two years despite HATING going to Home Depot.

And now that you forgot what you were initially mad about, your Pictures & Distractions:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Because Sleeping.

Last night I got an email just as I was about to get ready for bed from someone at the office asking me to do some relatively time-consuming work by 9:30 AM the next morning. This meant that I basically had 12 hours to write a bunch of stuff that needed to be filed in court today.

I didn't know how long the proposed tasks would take me but if being raised by Bob and Cathie for three decades taught me one thing it's that when something new comes up on your to-do list, you immediately stress yourself out into oblivion, drop everything else you are doing, and ruin your life to get that thing done no matter how small the task and no matter how fungible the deadline.

Did I use that word correctly? Fungible? Fungible. Fun-gible. I put the "fun" in fungible. That word is starting to not sound like a word anymore. Did I make it up? Maybe I made it up. But the red squiggly lines aren't running underneath it, which means either I didn't make it up or I said it so confidently that the Internet believes it's a real word. And if I can fool the Internet into believing the word is real, surely I can fool it into thinking that I used it correctly.

I mean, come on, y'all. You're looking at the guy who got someone to add "twice up the barrel, once down the side" onto Urban Dictionary and another confused person to ask about it on Yahoo! Answers, wherein the person who answered the Yahoo! question amazingly referred to Urban Dictionary for the answer, WHICH PROVES that Strangers are now the rulers of the entire Internet. We have dethroned cats.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Adam's Bare Hands

Recently my friend Adam, who is the most talented human being who has ever lived in the history of all living AND I'M INCLUDING EVEN THE BAND HANSON IN THIS showed up to my house with the surprise of all surprises. And I'm not referring to Mr. Teddy Scraps, who belongs to Adam and who literally made me start crying when he came to my house for the first time last week.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I mentioned on FB last week that, realizing I was going to be in Madison Wisconsin, I simply had to try to stalk Dean Strang. So obviously I emailed him requesting a meeting. Then, obviously, Skylar on his own accord called Dean Strang's office as my "personal assistant" to "see if we can possibly arrange their busy schedules to meet while Eli is in town." Then obviously Dean Strang's office called me and were incredibly nice and requested to know when I was available and whether this meeting was "business or personal." Obviously I answered all of the questions as vaguely as possible and also pretended like I was almost too busy to even be considering a meeting. Obviously after they told me that they couldn't arrange anything for that particular weekend because Dean Strang would be too busy being interviewed by Oprah/the queen of England/NASA I pretended like I also just realized I couldn't possibly make time for a meeting either, what with the conference I was attending (cheese) that weekend in Madison. Obviously they asked me to check back next time I'm in town to see if we can arrange something. Obviously I said I would try to remember to do that, if I had the time. Obviously they told me Mr. Strang asked them to pass on a thank you for the "very kind email" I sent him. Obviously I asked them to return a thank you for his very kind response. Obviously I forgot as I was saying this that he didn't actually respond. Obviously then I over-laughed at myself, to the confusion of the person on the other end of the call. Obviously then, flustered, I abruptly hung up and hid for the remainder of the day.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
It was negative two hundred million degrees when I took this picture in Madison.

Monday, January 18, 2016


This weekend I went to Madison Wisconsin because cheese.

You guys. Did you know that Wisconsin is known for cheese? This is the best possible thing to be known for. One of its slogans is "America's Dairyland."

There isn't a better slogan. Whatever your state slogan is, it is crap compared to Wisconsin's.

It's like a bunch of people sat around the table and were like "now let's see. What is the best possible thing in the entire world . . . OMG. CHEESE!" And then they based their lives around this.

I have never been this disappointed to belong to "The Beehive State."


So when my friend Skylar told me to come to Wisconsin and eat cheese at some festival I made as many arrangements as needed to be made and I got myself the Hell to Wisconsin. Even though I knew there was a 75% chance I would be framed for murder by the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department the moment I showed up.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

My office is a disaster right now. As a form of public shaming, Brianne will often take pictures of the mess when I've stepped out for a moment and start texting these pictures to my friends and family, asking "professional office or dorm room?"

It can be exhausting to deal with a hostile work environment.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
Thanks, Adam, for capturing this very important picture of Dean Strang giving me a piggyback ride in Madison.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I was glancing through some old Stranger posts when I came across the image above. I shared that one with you on January 11, 2013, just over three years ago now. I captioned that photo "My two pairs of shoes. I wear the flip-flops to and from work (and everywhere else). When I get to work I change into my 'business' sandals, pictured on the right. Truthfully, most of the day I walk around my office barefoot. Life is hard in Palau."

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Bob and Cathie sounded relatively threatening when they demanded that I consume Netflix's Making a Murderer, like all the rest of America has obsessively done in the last month. I'll note now, in case you're worried, this post isn't really about Making a Murderer and it doesn't contain spoilers. It could contain spoilers. Because after Cathie gave me a look of disappointment when I told her I had not watched TEN HOURS of television in preparation for having dinner with them on Wednesday, I abruptly went home and watched TEN HOURS of television over the next 72 hours.

I didn't have time for this. I really didn't have time for this. And I sort of thought I could skim through the first episode or two, gain a working knowledge of the general story for purposes of keeping up in 94.6% of all of the conversations happening around me right now, and then just read a few quick Wikipedia summaries.

But y'all. I think I might have an actual chemical addiction. Because WTF HOW DID I WATCH TEN HOURS OF TELEVISION IN 72 HOURS.

In case you've been hiding under a rock, I'll give you a super quick spoiler-free description of what this thing is: basically it's a documentary-style series that follows a man and his family when the man was exonerated after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. The story follows this family, his defense attorneys, the sheriff's office that is out to get him, and a skeezy prosecutor with no moral compass. The defense attorneys attempt to uncover an unbelievably frustrating and shocking conspiracy.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Last night Matt went night skiing, WHICH SHOULD BE ILLEGAL. I had Mr. Pants (aka rat dog hashtag grooming disasters hashtag pray for Ollie). Apparently it was a blizzard in the canyon because Matt called me in a panic as he was driving down through it, screaming obscenities I didn't even know existed.


Amid the screams, he started giving me all of the codes and passwords he knows and asking me to please give Ollie a good life (which I was already doing because at that exact moment I was feeding him cheese and peanut butter, believing that he would be sleeping at Matt's house that night). Then I realized that we still haven't finalized Matt's will, noting that in the event of his death Mr. Pants goes to me, which suddenly forced me out of my apathy for Matt's situation and into a very panicked and stern lecture that he better not die until we get this resolved. Because I do not want to have a battle with a bunch of Miss'ippians over Ollie's future.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

When Things Break

Ring ring.

Bob & Cathie: Hello?

Eli: How do you guys always answer the phone at exactly the same time?

Cathie: Years of practice.

Eli: I need help. Desperately.

Cathie: We know.

Bob: Sorry? Who is this?

Eli: You both went different directions but your humor is, respectively, on point.

Cathie: We know.

Bob: Sorry? Who is this?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Ineffective Superhero

It was rush hour at the time, which is what made the thing I saw so much more dramatic. I was driving home from work last week after a very long and stressful day. I had just spent the last hour or two in court wherein I re-vowed to never ever break the law.

You guys. I'm not kidding you about this. DON'T break the law. I'm even going to start squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom just to be safe.

The reason my being in court is relevant to this story is because I was wearing a suit at the time, which made the whole thing so much more ridiculous. I don't wear suits very often. Pretty much only when I have to be in court, which is rarely more than a few times in any given month. On all of the other days, I dress like a homeless person at the office.

The elevators at my office building serve three different large companies with hundreds of employees each. The company below my firm is an ad agency and the company above us is . . . an investment banking firm? I still don't actually know. Two and a half years later, I've still never bothered to do a three-second google search to verify this.