Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Our Next President

The silver-haired nearly-naked senior citizen on the podium instructed me to fold my body into such an unnatural position that I think she could be charged with attempted homicide. I paid for her to tell me to do this. It was part of a package of five individual yoga classes taught at the end of my street. I purchased five classes because the snap-pea-eating effervescent woman answering my questions at the front desk when I first visited place so convincingly sold the service that I was afraid that not buying the package would make me a bad American.

The room was 104 degrees during all 90 eternal minutes of this torture. The same panicked reconsideration I've had each of the handful of times I've done this flooded over me the moment the instructor signaled the start of our evening torture session.

The class always seems like a good idea, until, engulfed in heat, reality overcomes my naive self-help optimism, reminding me that I've just committed to another hour and a half of hating who I am and what it means to be alive.

The others in the class seem to love what they're doing. Most of them have resting-namaste face, which simultaneously makes me want to be them and destroy them.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Norwegian Ridgebacks

This weekend I was in Portland and I went hiking with Skylar and THE WORLD'S MOST WHINY DOG.

I'm not kidding you about this dog. I love her. But OMG.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I found out that the best way to get Matt to do something is to text him and act as though he already committed to that thing. So just a minute ago I texted him, "what are you doing tonight after you come and tile the hearth of my fireplace?" And he responded that he didn't have plans after that, that he found the tile he wants me to use, and that I should meet him at some store at 5:30. And I honestly don't know if he really thinks he had agreed to do this previously or if he's just humoring me. But I'm going to conduct the rest of my life this way because it's possible that this is working.

I'm starting today's Pictures & Distractions with a video of my awesome 13-year-old niece and me at music night this week, wherein I hope her mother doesn't realize that I'm making her sing songs with mildly suggestive lyrics.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Perfect Storm

Rebecca got married on Friday and Saturday. Notice I said Friday AND Saturday. I say this, because this person who told me she just wanted to elope had a TWO-DAY wedding. I'm going to spare you my rant about how this should be illegal and how it is most definitely offensive to the Constitution, the Magna Carta, AND most of Aristotle's books on botany.

Whether or not a two-day wedding should be illegal (it should), the important thing is that it was extremely inconvenient for me. And I'm what matters here.

I've been referring to this weekend for some time as "The Perfect Storm" because in addition to Rebecca's TWO-DAY wedding where I swear to you there was a tree-planting ceremony, East Indian dancing, a wedding picnic, Chinese origami, singing in Hebrew, a ukulele-led march to a meadow, and a freaking tepee, I also had a two-day law firm retreat in the mountains, AND a two-day law school 5-year reunion.


Unfortunately, the events geographically spanned about 1 hour, which made it really difficult to bounce back and forth between all three things, which I somehow managed to do. Looking back I think I may have been using one of those plot-destroying Hermione time-turners from Harry Potter III.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Episode 8: The World of Discovery

After Jolyn's many unsuccessful attempts at entering the witness protection program to get away from me, I found her and forced her to produce this month's episode of Strangerville.

Fewer than 50 animals were harmed in the making of this episode.

Also, can we take a moment to congratulate me and Jolyn on the fact that we have not quit this project and in fact have somehow made it to month EIGHT of Strangerville, wherein our hair has legit never looked better? We love our little Strangerville and all of you who wander into it to enjoy the real stories we've been able to share together.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Yesterday I came home from work and there was enough wedding picnic crap in my house to host all of the wedding picnics Rebecca will ever have in her entire life. Skylar and Matt apparently spent the better part of an afternoon shopping for and creating decorations to fill all of the parks of Utah for this thing. I surveyed the damage, shook my head, and wondered, for the 1,000th time this week alone, how I gathered the people I have gathered into my life.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
My baby.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Wedding Picnics

This weekend is Rebecca's wedding, which she purposefully planned at the exact times that I have eleventy other commitments. And because Rebecca insists on being a complication in my life:

Ring Ring

Eli: What.

Rebecca: I need you to do something for my wedding.

Eli: I'm already in charge of the clowns. What else could you possibly want me to do?

Rebecca: The wedding picnic. I need you to plan the wedding picnic.

Eli: That's not a thing.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I. Went. Camping.

A couple of weeks ago I got to thinking about how much I hate camping and how I don't trust anyone who claims to like it because it's not possible to like it and if my Mormon pioneer ancestors knew they were crossing the plains so we could all be homeless a few times every summer and poop into holes in the ground they probably would have just stayed in Ireland where they wouldn't get skin cancer or have to learn how to make doilies.

But then I saw an REI commercial and I was like, "I would look cute in those clothes." And I wasn't wrong.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The 19 Steps of Building IKEA Furniture

By Skylar Westerdahl

I secretly think there is a small masochistic part of everyone. A tiny desire to make our physical lives match the twisting turmoil that lies within. Or maybe we're all just born wide eyed and innocent, until the soul-crushing realities of life crash down upon us like the Red Sea.

Anyway, I went to IKEA.

Here are some tips from my experience.

Step 1: Reserve 45 minutes of your day to "bang this one out." It's incredibly important that you believe this is enough time. Ignore anyone who says otherwise. You've seen enough episodes of Fixer-Upper with Chip and Joanna to know what you're doing.

Look at that naive idiot.

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Colorado Wedding

My childhood best friend Sam asked me a few weeks ago to officiate his wedding in Colorado, a wedding that happened on Saturday. Obviously I immediately began preparing FOR MY SPECIAL DAY. This included my ordination as a reverend in the Church of the Holy Internet.

Ok, I don't actually remember what the thing was called. All I know is that Sam sent me a link to some page where it took me literally four minutes to fill out some basic information and receive a certificate that bestowed upon me enough power to legally bind people to one another for life.

It was almost disappointingly easy to obtain this power. It kind of makes me question all authority considering that the following things took more effort in my life to obtain than a certificate authorizing me to marry people to each other:

1. My food handler's permit when I was 15
2. Costco Membership
3. Ringworm
4. Respect from my mailman
5. "I Voted" stickers at any election
6. Etc.

As you can see by number 6, the list could go on and on.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions


Eli: What does it matter? They're just going to end up back on the floor tomorrow anyway.

Brianne: Don't you smart mouth me. There are bosses in China who would be happy to have what you have.

Eli: Remember when we had that rule for a while that we had to end every conversation with each other by saying "I love you?" I miss that rule.

Brianne: This is called "tough love," and if you don't start obeying me, I'm going to turn to "terror love."

Co-worker who walked by just then: You guys have an unhealthy relationship and it scares me.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:

Skylar and I went surfing all day on Saturday in Santa Barbara and we got super dehydrated so he insisted on bringing Pedialyte to the restaurant that night, "in case they don't serve it there." @soldomiresol on Instagram said that "Pedialyte tastes like the salty tears of sick babies."