Thursday, December 29, 2016


When 2016 began I decided I was going to be much more productive. I was going to be brave enough and work hard enough to get whatever it was I wanted for myself.

I close 2016 much more tired than I can remember being in a very long time. Not sad; not disappointed. Not regretful of how I spent the year. Just, pretty tired.

This was a busy year. I evolved significantly during it, and I'm glad for that. But as it closes, and I rest on the emotional and physical fatigue that I achieved along-side the benefits that came from seeking to evolve, I can see that moderation and balance aren't a treat--they are necessary sustenance.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Top Ten Most Viewed Stranger Posts of 2016

Just Because
We have somehow made it to Stranger's second to last post of 2016. I'll send you some final thoughts at the end of the week in my 2016 post. Today I give you The Top Ten Most Viewed Stranger Posts from this year.

This list never turns out how I think it's going to. And it has become one of my favorite December traditions to take a walk down memory lane and visit what you seemed to like (or hate) most.

I had a lot of good times with you in 2016. And I mostly just threatened you with Tami without actually assaulting you. So I think my favorability ratings are probably up from last year. (Shooting for 12%).

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Friendly Reminder to Make Some Spare Keys

We all get to agree that 2016 was a weird year. I say "was" even though it isn't actually over yet. I'm confident in the statement anyway. Nothing can happen in the next few days to make 2016 not a weird year.

So it shouldn't have been a surprise when this morning happened.

It started snowing on Christmas Eve in Salt Lake City. Apocalypse snowing. Snowing so much that there is currently an avalanche risk in Ecuador.

I know we're supposed to just be super happy about snow on Christmas because all of the songs have manipulated us into believing that it makes the season more magical. But I will not be duped.

Snow is a necessary evil in my neck of the woods. I appreciate it for hydrating the land and cleansing the air. But it is not magical.

It is cold, wet, and it always feels vindictive. Like, I don't know for sure if God is using it as a punishment, but every time I see the first snow flakes of the season start descending upon us I can't help but wonder if it's happening because of all the trashy television I watched throughout the year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I Called 911 Again

Matt had a Christmas party on Friday and I went even though I'm not very good at parties lately. See this and this.

But I figured that third time's a charm. Plus he needed help and Mr. Pants needed snuggling, so I showed up at 1:00 PM to do both.

We made some food. We decorated some tables. We (illegally) cut branches off of trees in a nearby public park to better adorn Broome Bungalow's chicest spaces.

Mr. Pants and Mr. Scraps didn't help at all. But they get away with it because they're usually doing this incredibly cute thing instead:

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Episode 11: The World of Guardians

We somehow made it through our first year of Strangerville. The learning curve has been steep, and will surely continue to be so. But somehow Jolyn and I have survived the year without

1. Killing each other

2. Falling (mutually) in love

3. Getting married for tax reasons

4. Getting divorced for tax reasons

5. Starting a band that specializes in Caribbean-themed bat mitzvahs

6. Destroying the entire internet except for the Spacejam website

7. Prison for more than one month

So as you can see, it has been a miraculous year.

When we started Strangerville at the beginning of the year we never dreamed that by the end of 2016 we would have obtained the reach that we have. And we have all of you to thank for that. Jolyn and I would have an illegal amount of fun putting Strangerville together even if our mothers were our only listeners (Cathie and Nancy? You are listening, right??? You've been awfully quiet lately. We know where you live.)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

This morning I woke up with zero puppies, which is exactly too many fewer puppies than one should have. So tonight I drove to Adam's house and made some excuse about why it would make sense for me to take Teddy with me and to my shock this actually worked. Then I drove to Matt's house with Teddy in tow and gave Matt a guilt trip about how lonely Mr. Pants was going to be if I didn't bring him with us and have a puppy slumber party, and to my shock, that worked.

So now I have two puppies. And they are hysterically barking at each other because there's only one bone at my house and they aren't good at sharing and this town is only big enough for one of them. So, yeah. I used my super powers of persuasion to achieve this result.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
Brianne and I took a work selfie and posted it on Instagram. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Popcorn Part II


You guys didn't think there was going to be an "and then." You thought that dumpster fire of a life I told you about over the weekend was the finish line in my 32-year journey to become the trashiest person in all the land.

You probably thought, "Eli isn't going to post anymore after this. There's really nothing else for him to say. He has completed this blog and it will now become yet another abandoned page in the blogosphere."

Well, you guys were wrong. Because there's more. There is more crap to tell you about. On Monday I gave you the ice cream, but I withheld the cherry on top. Because I was worried I was already going to cause your type II diabetes and I wanted to give your poor pancreas a 48-hour break before shoving a nearly-illegal amount of proverbial powdered donuts down your proverbial gullets.

I think I got lost in analogies somewhere back there.

The point is this.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


On Friday Skylar told me he was going to some party at some woman's house and he asked if I wanted to come along. I wasn't really in the mood and I was tired and lazy and TV and stuff so I started to decline but then he promised me that he was only going to stay for 15 minutes and then he wanted to go to a movie after.

That sounded fine to me because popcorn.

So I agreed under the terms. Skylar told me this was a "PJ party." This sounded odd to me because (A) we are grownups, (B) what the hell is a "PJ party," (C) we are grownups. But I decided not to question it because another human told me I was about to get into a car, drive to a place with food, then go to another place with popcorn, and I could do all of this in sweats. And I've learned in my life that if something sounds too good to be true, it definitely is so just ride the high of belief in an impossible thing for as long as you can and postpone the devastation until later.

We showed up at the party, in sweats.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

I'm going to choose this one time to say a word that I literally never say beause I feel like it's appropriate: y'all, I'm exhuasted.


What a week/month/year. As I sit in my office this Thursday evening, watching the flecks of snow drift down to the ant-like cars below, I'm full of nostalgia and just a little bit of longing for a time when life was slightly simpler, gratitude for the richness of the complexities that make it not so simple anymore, and optimistic that all is well, or at least will be, whatever that means.

Thanks for your amazing support lately--even the support you didn't really realize you were giving. You Strangers make my world go around. Sometimes that's weird, sometimes it's lovely, but always it's entertaining.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
Christmasing with Matthew and Skylar.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

You know I'm a hypochondriac. What you don't know is that I only tend to believe I have a disease when I don't actually have one. The moment there really is a serious medical concern, I'm like, "Nah. I'm immune to that. I'm fiiiiiiiiine."

For example, I was sure I had leukemia in 2009, and in fact read half of a book on it so I could best understand how to cope with the inevitable diagnosis. Two months later I was taken ill while everyone around me was incapacitated from Swine Flu. When my friends insisted that I also had Swine Flu, I repeatedly assured them that I was immune to this.

It wasn't until my friend Annette picked me up off of the floor where she found me in the hallway of BYU Law School and took me to the doctor that the diagnosis was confirmed. What proceeded, then, was the most dramatic Christmas of my life, including fainting spells, a broken hand, emergency surgery, and law school finals while under the influence of drugs that doctors promised me were legal.

And so it was no surprise when I disregarded Brianne's screaming with a dismissing hand wave, despite the obvious merit in her concerns.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


I'm having some sort of midlife crisis recently, one that I don't have the stamina to try to explain right now. It's causing me to make some rash decisions. For example, I started a furniture-making business with Adam despite having never ever made furniture in my entire life.

The furniture business was a result of a series of panic attacks wherein I suddenly became extremely worried that for irrational and illogical reasons I am going to (a) lose my job, (b) become incapacitated, (c) zombie apocalypse, (d) The Queen of Colors, (e) etc.

I just suddenly became really worried that I'm not being smart with money and that I won't ever be able to retire or provide Tami the lifestyle that she demands.

My friends are extremely worried right now. These are actual quotes from them over the last month:

You need to pull yourself together because I'm counting on you raising Ollie when I'm dead.  Matt

If you become an Uber driver I'm taking your keys away.  Skylar

Please don't start selling your body.  Cathie

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

So last night I went to Wendy's at 11:00 PM because last I checked this is still America and I can do what I want STOP JUDGING ME. I went through the drivethrough because obviously I wasn't wearing pants or shoes and when I got to the window the man handed me a bag with 12 hamburgers in it which was crazy because I only ordered three STOP JUDGING ME.

He said that they just made a whole bunch and they didn't want to throw them out so they were giving them to me and I screamed "THANK YOU" like I just won the lottery but then as I was pulling away I realized that I didn't know what I was going to do with the 9 burgers I didn't order (ok let's be honest, the 7 burgers). And I also didn't want to throw them away because Bob and Cathie raised me in the great depression and one should never throw any food away so then I drove around in the snow looking for homeless people to give them to, and as I stepped out of my car, pantsless and shoeless, to do so, I kept feeling the need to explain to everyone that Wendy's gave me these for free because I didn't want unearned credit for good deeds, but mostly everyone just seemed interested in the fact that I wasn't wearing pants and then one man (whom I actually know) asked me if I wanted one of his blankets.

So yeah. I'm not sure whether I did any good last night. But I did eat 8 hamburgers right before bed.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
Mr. Pants, just as we brought out the stuffing.