Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Binder of Documents

I poured over a binder of documents that if presented carefully should have helped someone in court. It was late, and I was tired. But it didn't matter.

The contention of litigation didn't care that I was tired.


That's what people do.

They spend their time just fighting each other. Sometimes over petty things. Sometimes over significant things.

And I get involved because they ask me to.

I went to law school in 2008 with this eternal optimism that if I worked myself to exhaustion, I could be good at this, and one day I could actually help people stop fighting and find peace.

Was that naive?

Part of me wants to insist it wasn't. Because if it was naive, that might mean that the calloused lawyers who make people hate lawyers are winning. But part of me wants to admit that it was naive. Because letting go of that optimism feels a little like relief.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The F Word

I was playing throw the ball with Duncan on campus at the liberal arts college next to my house when two female students approached and asked if they could pet him.

Eli: Sure! If you can get him to come to you.

Student 1: So do you live here on campus?

Eli: No. But thank you for thinking I'm young enough to be able to!

Student 1: Obviously I didn't think you were a student. I thought maybe you were a groundskeeper or something.

Eli: Like Hagrid?

Student 2: Anyway, we don't have age restrictions here. This is an inclusive safe space.

Eli: Sounds like my dating life!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell, Part II

Before you read about today's drama, let me remind you SINCE YOU ALREADY FORGOT HOW COULD YOU that Strangerville Live is somehow already next. freaking. week.

I don't know where the time goes. Probably the same place all of Duncan's toys are going. If I ever find that place I'm going to get a lot of my chewed up socks back. 

The point is, you should get your tickets for our September 8 show right now if you haven't done so already. It's going to be so much fun.

Voice: It IS a lot of fun! I've been there and I loved it! 

Eli: Thanks, whoever said that!

You guys: Um, Eli, that sounded like your voice.

Eli: No, that came from over there.

You guys: No. It came from your mouth. You didn't even try to make it look like you weren't talking. Your mouth was moving the whole time. You would make a terrible ventriloquist.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell

There's this room in my house that you have to walk through to get to my bedroom and I have no idea how any of the prior owners of this hundred-year-old place used these two rooms. I wish I could sit them all down and find out. But I can't. Because they are literally all dead. Well, except for the two guys who sold it to me. But they never lived in this place. They just flipped it and probably thought it was a miracle that some idiot was willing to buy a house that has a bedroom that is only accessible by walking through another bedroom.

When I bought the place I decided that I would make the back room my bedroom and the odd in-between room an office.

And thus began three years of treating the largest bedroom in my house as a "just throw it in there" space. Because despite my professional ambitions, I have never furnished or treated the room like anything even remotely close to an office.

Last week I panicked. Well, actually Skylar panicked. You see, on the very rare occasion that Skylar is in town and not earning Holy Virgin Mother Mary Celestial Being Status at some Marriott, he works from my kitchen table and keeps Mr. Doodle company.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Crime & Punishment

I have spent my weekend in home improvement hell and I need to tell you every single detail but right now I don't have time and at least 12 of my fingers are currently bleeding so I'm basically typing this all out with my nose which is unfortunate because I only type like four words a minute with my nose and that's only if they're short words and tomorrow is the eclipse which I accidentally referred to last week in a work meeting as the "apocalypse" and I didn't realize that I had done that until two days later when I was reliving the meeting because that's what you do when you have anxiety and now I'm wondering why nobody corrected me because it means that either they think I'm a crazy doomsdayer or they're all crazy doomsdayers or maybe nobody was listening to me and I don't know which of those is worse.

The point is, we have a new Strangerville episode and I'm tired and my fingers are bleeding and I just need you to listen to it. So do me a major solid and click on the little triangle play button below and tell me how sexy my voice is with its hair pushed back.

We love Strangerville. We love you. We love doing this. We love snuggies. And we love this episode. Please enjoy it. And I'm supposed to ask you to please become a Strangerville Patron.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Charlottesville Vigil

A long day went by. It was long for me but surely much longer for others.

I felt a heaviness that I've felt too much lately.

A heaviness because of the disgusting show of white supremacy and Nazism with which we were all assaulted this weekend. And because of so much of the hurtful response to it.

I came home tonight and turned on the TV, almost habitually, and saw live coverage of a Charlottesville vigil. The news station just pointed a camera at it for a very long time without commentary. The crowd of hundreds or thousands or it might as well have been millions broke into every familiar song together.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Things I Never Thought Would Need To Be Said

White supremacy is wrong.

Nazis are evil. All of them.

Misogyny is disgusting.

Antisemitism is unacceptable.

White people are capable of committing terrorism.

Christians are capable of committing terrorism.

Hurting or killing people for standing up to white supremacy is terrorism.

This cannot be ignored or accepted.

Following up any of the above statements with a clause that begins with "but" is unhelpful at best and reprehensible at worst.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I Just Sent You Something Really Important

Skylar: I just sent you something really important.

Eli: To my house?

Skylar: No. It's an email. You need to go look at it. It's one of the most important things I've ever done.

Eli: What is it?

Skylar: It's just . . . well I put something together to let you and Jolyn and Meg know how I feel about you.

Eli: Something sentimental?!

Skylar: Yes. And now I'm kind of embarrassed. It's not . . . look. It's not that big of a deal. I just wanted you guys to know how much you mean to me.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Perfect Omelette

Originally published by Skylar in 2013 in Facebook notes, which Skylar does not understand nobody ever views:

The Perfect Omelette

I find myself in the kitchen today. The scene of many tragedies, but this time it will be different. I’m gonna make an omelette. Just an omelette. It’s so easy. People have been doing it for centuries. I think they found cave paintings of little cave people cooking little cave breakfasts. It should be instinctual. Plus I have a nonstick pan. It really shouldn’t be hard. I am a domestic goddess.  
  • Step 1: Research

Jamie Oliver makes the Perfect Omelette. Jamie Oliver makes the perfect man.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How Do You Know When It's Time For An Intervention?

As a follow-up to last week's post in which I implied that Matt may need an intervention if he allows one more puppy into his life, I give you the following:

This weekend I went to Jackson Hole Wyoming because I'm basically a cowboy now and I wanted to experience having my heart stop multiple times because DID YOU KNOW THEY JUST LET CATTLE STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY IN SOUTHERN IDAHO WHY DO THEY DO THIS. So I asked Matt if he could take Mr. Doodle for me for a couple of days.

Matt obliged and sort of acted like he wasn't really that excited about it but then at negative eleventy o clock in the morning on Friday he texted me and asked when Duncan was coming over and I thought that maybe he was just trying to plan his day but then I found out that he was just working from home and it didn't matter when Duncan came over and he just wanted to know because Matt wants ALL THE PUPPIES.

Then I drove to Jackson Wyoming and almost murdered all of the cows of America with my car and recklessness.

On Sunday I texted Matt to find out how things were going and he responded with this picture:

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Hard Conversations

For the last couple of years I've been silently obsessing over something about which I have been unable to come to a conclusion.

I don't love conflict. I'm usually a peacemaker. I'm not bad at dealing with conflict, but I don't like what it does to me. If I have a dispute with someone over something that really matters to me, it is usually difficult for me to get it out of my mind until that dispute is resolved.

What this means is that I tend to keep frustrations to myself in order to avoid rocking the boat.

Good thing I didn't decide to go into a career where people sometimes have disagreements!

Oh wait.

When it comes to representing other people's interests, I buck up and deal with the contention, even if it does have a negative effect on me.

I hadn't realized how damaging this flaw can be until a few years ago. By the time I was leaving Palau, my relationship with Daniel had completely soured. There were a lot of reasons for that, some of which I've talked about here before. But as I unpacked that complicated year over the next many months, I came to realize that a big reason things became so unnecessarily toxic was because I had clammed up and completely avoided being real with Daniel.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

It's His Dream Come True: Diving Into A Pile of Dogs

Matt's birthday was on Monday so we had his birthday party on Tuesday because we're badasses like that. He turned eleventy, but if you hear the way he says "now get off my lawn," you might think he's much older.

Being able to tell people to get off his lawn is a new thing for him. For the last many months, the yard at Broome Bungalow has looked like Xeriscaping gone wrong. (DID YOU GUYS KNOW THAT'S HOW IT'S SPELLED)

When he bought the place the yard was fine. Nothing fancy. But there was some grass and some bushes. Unfortunately there was no sprinkler system and, realizing that he was going to have to dig half the place up just to install one, he ultimately decided to just rip everything out and start over.

He really got sick of me saying some variation of "I really like what you've done to the place" every time I have visited him in the dirt-covered and dusty backyard over the last five months. But I don't feel that bad about it considering that he texted me at 11:47 last night to inform me that the Strangerville Live image I put on Monday's post "sucked" but then graciously offered me an "A for effort." He then emailed me with a cleaner version, which I have since used to replace the old one.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My Falling Out With Jolyn Metro

One of my coworkers told me yesterday that his wife is very concerned about Jolyn. So much so that she asked him to check with me and make sure that "things are ok."

Apparently she has assumed that Jolyn and I had a falling out and for that reason Jolyn has been removed from Strangerville. FIRED. ELIMINATED.

This made me sad because I was really hoping people were instead developing my VERY PLAUSIBLE conspiracy theory that Meg has been slowly poisoning Jolyn for 18 months and she's coming after me next and by Christmas and Strangerville will both be renamed and Meg Worship, respectively.


But apparently, instead, at least one person thinks that Jolyn and I split up because of creative differences like Simon and Garfunkel (obviously I'm Simon). But it's not true. Jolyn and I have NO creative differences.

Actually that's a lie. We have one significant creative difference.