Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Matt Sent Me A Very Important Text

Matt texted me on Sunday morning. It was a picture. And he followed it up with "adopt this."

I was tired from getting up at negative eleventy o'clock to take Natalie to the airport, so I threw the phone aside and ignored the text.

Matt sends me these things from time to time, telling me that I have to take in a new puppy if I "care about Ollie at all." I've successfully resisted every single one of these attempts at manipulation. Because I, Eli Whittlebottom McCann, do not want a dog.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Natalie's Tinder

Almost exactly four years ago, I was hitting my low point in The Land of Coconuts. How it has been four years since I was living in Palau makes no sense to me but it does mean that you people are getting super old and I hope you've been saving for retirement and getting all of your colonoscopies. Also, prune juice.

I met some amazing people while I was in Palau. People who deserve to have entire galaxies named after them for how supportive and wonderful they were to me during that time when I was experiencing Island Ebola. (I call it "Island Ebola" because "Island Fever" is far too inept a phrase to explain the emotional explosive diarrhea).

No exception was my friend Natalie, whom I met on a boat one day. Natalie and I formed an immediate bond because she was experiencing her own isolation trauma. Except she had much more reason for it. Natalie was a Peace Corp volunteer and she was sequestered to a very small jungle village that was so tiny and isolated that she used to refer to the town I lived in as "The City."

My town had 10,000 people living in it. 200, if you only count people who regularly wore shoes.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Ever since I started to Airbnb out my basement a couple of months ago I have regularly experienced this thing where I think there's a burglar in my house 20 times a night. It is amazing how often I forget that someone is staying in my basement. So I'll be lying in bed, minding my business, being a good person who doesn't deserve bad things, and then suddenly I'll hear a sound from below, sit up in my bed, let out a little scream, remind myself that I let these people in, and then resume my lying-in-bed-good-person position.

And so last night when I heard the sound and started to panic, I quickly reminded myself of the situation. I calmed down remarkably quickly, congratulated myself for not letting anxiety win this time, and I eventually fell asleep.

As I was getting ready for work this morning I remembered the incident and I also remembered that last night I did not have any Airbnb guests staying with me. So I think there was a legit burglar in my house. And I did nothing.

They better not have taken my Snuggie.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
Quinn snapped this picture so he could later show me how ridiculous my life is. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

America's Spirit Animal

So I just realized that last week I was supposed to announce the winner of the Strangerville Live raffle. But I didn't do it because lazy. And distracted. And also sometime around Wednesday I started thinking I had black lung. Then I thought it was just pneumonia. Then I thought maybe it was Plague. Then I binge-watched Bob Ross on Netflix and forgot I was sick until just right now.

So now I'm wondering if I have Swine Flu. And also I just realized that I've been wearing the same shirt for 48 straight hours. Like, legit, I've slept in this thing even. And I didn't notice until just right now. And this is especially sad because I've been to work in the last 48 hours. Twice. And also I can't totally promise that I'm going to change by tomorrow. I can promise that I plan to sleep in it tonight.

I got distracted again. See? It's very confusing to be me.

The point is, I finally drew names from the raffle. I actually wrote the names down on little pieces of paper, put them in a hat, and drew one. And I just realized right now that I covered my eyes when I did this, I guess so no one would think I was cheating. Which seems a little silly now considering that I'm home alone and nobody could see me anyway.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Episode 12: A Year in Review

If you can believe it, Jolyn and I have somehow lived a full year since we launched Strangerville. Take that, our parents.

Ok, truthfully, our parents never expressed doubt that we could survive the year. But Jolyn and I need to funnel our teenage angst somewhere and Bob & Cathie are firm and steady targets for this sort of thing because they're mature and they don't fight back when nonsense is spewed at them, which is exactly what I look for in my life associates because I have a very loud bark but ultra-sensitive ears.

Where was I? Oh yes.

The one-year anniversary of Strangerville is upon us, and Jolyn and I need you to come celebrate with us. We have cake and everything. Unfortunately you can't have any because this is a podcast and we ate it all anyway. Unless you want to go get your own cake and then listen to this episode while you eat it. There's a 12% chance Jolyn will jump out of it if you get it from Baskin Robbins. Even higher if the cake is large enough to fit a human inside.

This year has been amazing and this is largely because of you. We have had so much fun building Strangerville and sharing it with all of you. You have made Strangerville so much better than it ever could have been by sharing your stories, your feedback, your voodoo, etc. And we don't know where we would be if you hadn't helped us spread the Strangerville word by sharing your favorite episodes on social media and bathroom walls.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

This is Brianne

I told Brianne that I was pretty sure I had pneumonia considering that the cough I inherited from winter 8 weeks ago has not only failed to die but has actually gotten stronger in recent days. Brianne informed me that I was being a hypochondriac, but then gave me an office-appropriate physical, which she does at least once a week.

I use the term "office-appropriate" with some tongue-in-cheek when I talk about my sassy-single-mother assistant who isn't afraid to tell me regularly that I'm "behaving like a child" and "stop bothering me, I'm busy" and "can't you take your requests to someone who cares?!"

Sometime in 2016 Brianne decided that we needed to bring some feelings back into our relationship, which had soured due to a little thing called "work" and "professional responsibilities." And so she instigated an "I love you" policy, which meant that we were required to end every single office interaction with a mutual exchange of "I love you."

I complied, because this is less complicated than protest, and we began loudly pronouncing our love for one another six to seven times per day.

Be it known that Brianne and I work in a law firm that employs roughly 400 people. What this means is that during 2016, a small army of folks consisting of a large range of personalities observed our sentimental pronouncements on a daily basis. This was met with mixed reviews.

Monday, January 16, 2017

How To Get A Southern Gentleman To Work For You For Free

I received an automated voice message, an email, and two texts last week telling me that this chair I ordered at a store in Salt Lake City, which would be delivered "for sure before Christmas," would arrive on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I was told I needed to be home to greet the delivery people. I knew this wouldn't be a problem because we suck at celebrating this holiday so I wouldn't have anything else going on, but my office would be closed for the day.

Then on Sunday I received all of the automated messages again, this time with a "window" for delivery, which was something like "sometime between the first crescent moon and the howling of the snowchest wolf."

I've never been a delivery service company so everything I'm about to say is fully marinated in ignorance and probably served with a side of inadvertent pretense, BUT: why is it so difficult to schedule a delivery for a specific time?

I kind of get it when a service provider can't give anything more specific than a one or two-hour window because they have appointments throughout the day and it may be difficult to gauge how long it might take to fix a problem before actually seeing the problem.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Probably because I look super hot in jean shorts, we had an amazing response to Monday's announcement of our Strangerville Live show. So amazing, in fact, that we sold out tickets in about a day. Fortunately we were able to secure a much larger (and cooler) space at Impact Hub that will be able to accommodate a sexier Stranger crowd (I always say, the more Strangers, the sexier the room. Twice up the barrel, once down the side).

We are on our way to selling out that larger space, too, and since the University of Utah football stadium is not available on February 23, we are going to have to cap out with this venue. SO, if you want to be there for the show, you should probably not wait to get tickets. We will sell at the door, if there are any left, but please don't count on that. Once we sell out, we won't be able to let anyone else in, and it would break June Snapple's heart if we had to turn anyone away at the door.

Also, because my hair looks so good today, I've decided to have a raffle. Leave a comment about Trixy Meowman or The Queen of Colors on this post and include your name. I'll draw at random and give two tickets to the winner (and if you already purchased, I'll comp your tickets or give you two extra so you can bring more friends--whichever you prefer). Honor system here. Please only enter for yourself and only one time. Give everyone an equal chance. It's what Oprah would want. I'll announce the winner next week.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
Taking a walk through Westminster campus.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Letters From HR

Week One

            Good morning dear office and happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday. This is your friendly office HR rep here to help you ring in the new year! I’m new around these parts and happy to be working with you! Because of the incident with Fred in November, HR has a new mission to improve office morale and as a part of that mission, I have decided that this year the HR rep should be better about communicating with you all through messages just like this one. Through the end of 1984, I will post a letter on the front door every week with uplifting messages for you all to read and think about for the remainder of the working days. My messages will usually just contain an inspirational phrase to help you remember how important the work is that you all do here! So please take a moment to read these messages every Monday morning and help me make 1984 our best, and safest, year ever!

            We’ll start this week off with an old classic: When life hands you lemons, make lemonade! This is a message I know each of us who is still here in the office can definitely use!



Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Huge Announcement

As you know this is The Year of Creativity for me so now I'm an an artist and I demand that everyone refer to me as "Willow." I just painted one black line on a dirty canvas and I've already listed it on Craigslist for $1200. I'm pretty legit now.

I told you that as a part of The Year of Creativity, I would be unveiling some new creative projects that will expand the Strangerverse and turn into yet more barriers to Bob and Cathie getting extra grandchildren out of me.

Well today I give you one of those announcements. Now introducing:

Courtesy of Matt Broome

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Salt Lake City is snowmaggedon lately. E'ry day there is another 97 feet of snow that I have to go out and shovel off of my driveway. And e'ry day this takes one full hour. And this morning I had to do this with a horrible cough and a voice so deep that there are earthquakes in Djibouti every time I answer my phone.

Send help.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:

First, a video. Because I love Paul Simon. Not because I'm good at this.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Celebrity Flight

Skylar took a flight from L.A. to Salt Lake City last weekend. While he was at the airport in L.A., he started texting me.

In the above video, Skylar stealthily moves the phone from his hand to show a girl sitting at a table with someone who is probably her mom. I wanted to show you this video so you could weigh in. But:

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Year Of

To recap this other post:

Rather than have New Year's Resolutions that I abandon with reckless disregard on January 7th, I choose a different theme for each year and then drive my three friends crazy by yelling the theme at them for 12 straight months.

I started this in 2013 and have done the following:

2013: The Year of Attitude

2014: The Year of Honesty

2015: The Year of Standing Up for Myself

2016: The Year of Productivity 

For the past several months I've been thinking about what I want out of 2017. Obviously I considered all of the usual options: The Year of Hot Yoga; The Year of Nudity; The Year of Murder; etc.