Sunday, October 30, 2016


One quick word: Halloween is the last day we can all vote for Jolyn to get the grant for her kindergarten class. Apparently she is on the cusp of winning this thing. Please take a second and go to this link, search for "Metro," and vote for Jolyn.

Several years ago I lived briefly with my Uncle Will. This was during one of my law school summers. Will had an old house very similar to mine and only a block from where I live now. Much of my life today feels like a constant deja vu because of this. Really the only difference is that I might go through puberty this time.

Back then, Will had a very close Colombian friend named Herminda who was like 65 or 70 years old (I never was sure), and who spoke exactly zero English words. Will hired Herminda to clean his home every couple of weeks because she needed some work and because he wanted to live like the upstairs people in Downton Abbey.

I was the unwitting beneficiary of this arrangement, and although Herminda and I were completely unable to communicate with one another, I found that Herminda Day was easily my favorite day of the week.

That summer I was coauthoring a series of articles on digital contracts with one of my law school professors, Cheryl. These articles were so boring that we are probably on several terrorist watch lists now.

Cheryl lived in another town about 20 minutes away from Salt Lake City. I would drive to her house a few times each week to work with her at her home.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Today is Jolyn's birthday. And by today, I mean Thursday. Because that's when I post Pictures & Distractions. Most of you don't see this until Friday. Which means that most of you missed Jolyn's birthday. And I'm not saying Jolyn is the kind of person who notices that sort of thing, but I am saying that Jolyn once gave my phone number out to the entire Internet and invited literally hundreds of people to text and call me to talk about Star Wars. So I'm not sure you want to get on this person's bad side.

Happy birthday, sister. I love you and I fear you. And I love that I fear you.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
Mr. Pants.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I Sat Down To Write Something

I am burned out tonight.

I sat down to write something. I thought this creative outlet might be a helpful break from preparing for a court hearing I have in the morning. Work has been a special kind of overwhelming lately. Not an exciting kind. The kind that makes it hard to sleep or enjoy things that aren't work.

So I sat down to write something. I thought it would be easy. And I thought it would be helpful. Because sometimes when I feel inadequate at something, it calms me to do something in which I believe I'm competent. It's not a big thing, but I usually feel competent jotting down some story or jokes or thoughts that will bore some troll enough to hate what I have to say but weirdly not enough to stop reading Stranger.

But I sat down to write something, and nothing really came out. I stared at the blank white space in the middle of the screen, a blinking cursor inviting me to say something every three-quarters of a second.

I stared at it for a while. I typed a couple of things and then deleted those things. Because they weren't funny. Or helpful.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Lost Journal Series: Part XII

It's been a full year since we heard from young Eli. And so today I give you the next edition of The Lost Journal Series.

February 23, 1995 (10 years old):

The goverment has a lot of responsibilty and it is importent to suport our leaders becaus if we dont there can be KORUPTION. You cant vote until you are an adult becaus it takes a lot of years to study the issues so you are ready to vote becaus if I voted right now I would probly just vote for someone named bob or someone else that I dont even know who it is BECAUS I HAVENT STUDIED THE ISSUES YET. We have student goverment and thats alot better becaus at least I know those people haylee runs evry year and shes probly good and everything but I cant be friends with her becaus my mom already met her one time and she said haylee was my girl friend and now my sisters make fun of me becaus they dont even have class!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Skylar: Why did you just pour half a bag of grated cheese into that?

Eli: Because it's mac & cheese. Duh.

Skylar: You do realize that the box comes with the "cheese," which you already added into that pan, right?


And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
Mr. Pants took care of me while I was sick. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How Do You Overcome Anxiety?

Oh, to be Mr. Pants.
The other day I told you about my anxiety attack in the middle of the night last week that came about because of a story we did this month on Strangerville. What I didn't tell you is that these are a semi-regular occurrence for me and have been for some time.

I have no idea when I started getting them. Bob and Cathie tell me I was a very nervous child. I didn't notice because I was too busy hoarding candy with my best friend Mandy Williams when we were six years old because Bob told me one night when I wouldn't eat my dinner that there were people in the world who didn't have food and "would be happy to have that" and so I became obsessed with preparing for famine and this seemed like the best way.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Episode 9: The World of Fear

You guuuuu-uuuuuys. (I hope you read that the way I said it when I typed it. And yes, I do read everything I write out loud as I'm typing it. And I do a sassy head shake when I'm making a joke. I basically perform a one-man show for myself every time I write something on Stranger.)

We have our special Halloween Strangerville episode ready for you. We're calling Episode 9 "The World of Fear." A few notes about this episode:

1. Jolyn took her first crack at recording and editing a segment completely by herself (Segment 1). And it's amazing. And now I'm worried about my job security. So please go listen to that and tell her how pretty she is because she's a kindergarten teacher and if you don't do this it means you are against teachers and your political rivals will use this against you when you run for PTA president.

2. Segment 2, Trapped in Thailand, is one of the most stressful stories I have ever heard in my life and after spending a couple of weeks developing and editing this story, I literally woke up in the middle of the night having a panic attack because it started triggering memories of my own similar traumatic experience you recently heard about on Strangerville. I'll let you listen and see if you can guess what I'm talking about.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

This Might Be My Last Post

This might be my last post because I am so so sick. Like, exorcist girl during the the swine flu year at a daycare sick.

I don't even know what happened. I woke up at 4:00 AM and vomited the sins of all mankind mostly into a previously-clean toilet bowl. Apply, rinse, repeat. For several hours.

Then, like an idiot, I drove to my office for a meeting. And the whole time I was saying in a crying voice that I hear my nieces and nephews use when they want candy, "I'm too good of a person to deserve this." Just over and over again.

Then I got into the office and Brianne said, "you look like a Chucky doll that replaced sleep with drug addiction." Which was hurtful. And she knows I'm sensitive about my secret gingerhood.

Then I went to my meeting and I stared at a person across a table like I was a zombie and I was trying to convince him that I wasn't so he would let me get closer. Then I walked back to my office, which took 12 minutes when it should have only taken 2 because I had to stop and sit on the ground a few times on the way.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lost Millennials

So the other day I posted that thing about how Skylar orders food the wrong way and needs to be severely reprimanded by the internet. Then he responded by creating his own blog so people could "fact check" my stories.

And after he did it, I was like, "you're seriously going to spend time out of your busy life to regularly post on the internet about how I lied about something?" And he said something about how he didn't believe that he had enough follow-through to post more than one time on this blog of his. So I started making some comment about how millennials don't follow through on things and then we ended up in the huge fight that we have once a week about millennials and how he claims that I actually am one and that I should be proud of that because something about innovation and snapchat and twitter and blah blah blah.

Usually when a millennial is talking all my mind hears is the sound of a grown man eating cereal in his parents' basement at 2:00 in the afternoon.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

How to Order Thai Food

Ring ring

Woman: Thai restaurant, can I help you?

Skylar: Yes, you can, thank you.

Woman: Ok . . . how can I help you?

Skylar: Well, my friend and I would like to have some Thai food tonight and we were wondering if that was possible, by chance.

Eli: [whispering] Why wouldn't that be possible?! Why are you wasting time with this question?!

Skylar: Shhhhhhhhh! I'm being polite!

Woman: I think that's possible. We are open until 10:00.

Skylar: Well, we are both very tired and so I don't think we are interested in dining in and so we wondered if it would be possible to order some food that we could pick up and then take home with us. IF IT'S NOT TOO MUCH TROUBLE.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

So I'm on a layover in the Phoenix airport right now and I have a bag of Swedish Fish, because candy. And there's this guy/kid who I think is either 16 or 18 or 21 and he's one of those for sure I just don't know which and he was staring at me for a full ten minutes and it was starting to really creep me out. Actually, I just realized that I can take a secret picture of him so you can weigh in on the 16/18/21 question:

Anyway, finally he walked over to me and I thought he was going to kill me, because that's what you do after you stare at someone for ten straight minutes, but he said "excuse me. Can I have a Swedish Fish?"

So I gave him a few because I can respect any man/child who just wants candy. But now I'm realizing that this was actually very bold of him and I'm wondering when we started teaching the kids to ask for things they want because BACK IN MY DAY you didn't ask a grownup for a lifesaver if you were drowning in the ocean. AND you apologized for the inconvenience of dying in front of adults. And now I can't decide if it's good or bad that the kids are so bold these days. Assuming he's a kid. He might be 30. I can't tell how old people are anymore.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
It was Mr. Teddy Scraps's birthday this week! He turned 1!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Jolyn is a Kindergarten Teacher

Jolyn is a kindergarten teacher, which means she is responsible for our children. 

This is not a drill, people. Jolyn Metro is responsible for America's children. Can you imagine what April Fool's Day is going to look like twenty years from now?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Halloween Costumes

I love Halloween like a fat kid loves cake. And when I was a child I was actually pretty creative when it came to Halloween costumes. I got this gene from Cathie, who I swear to you made Crayola Crayon Halloween costumes for me and each of my three sisters in 1989 and had us march up and down the street together like a box of crayons.

I was blue. My sisters were purple, pink, and orange. Cathie had the foresight not to make a "white" crayon costume and then have all of the neighbors wonder why one of the McCann kids was allowed to dress as a Klansman for Halloween.