Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell Part III

A reminder, if you haven't done so already, to check out the story we produced this week about Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick and her two double-lung transplants. It's one of the most amazing stories I've ever heard. You can find Strangerville on any podcast app, or just listen to the episode by clicking the play button below.

You might remember that sometime ago I complained at you that Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell and that Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell Part II.

Well, I'm worried that you might have forgotten so today I wanted to inform you that Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell Part III.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Encore

A little while ago someone from Utah Symphony Utah Opera reached out to me and Meg and said that they wanted to sponsor Strangerville. Meg was immediately like "HURRY AND TAKE THEIR MONEY BEFORE THEY FIND OUT WE'RE TRASH."

She was, of course, referring to the number of times we have discussed poop on Strangerville and the lack of any discussion whatsoever about such topics as classical music.

When we got the email from Utah Symphony Utah Opera, I had only ever been to one opera in my life. It was when I was in college back in two thousand mumble mumble and I took my friend Erin with me to see one that they were putting on in Salt Lake because my friends Andrea and Shane were in it and it has always been a dream of mine to sit in the back of an ostentatious theater and use those little binoculars while saying things like "superb" and "grey poupon."

As we walked out of the show

Erin: That was really cool.

Eli: It was really cool.

Erin: I bet it would be interesting to go to an opera in English sometime.

Eli: Uh . . . Erin . . . that was in English.

Erin: . . . ok, I'm not good enough of a person to go to operas.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

What's that? You guys didn't think I would get a Pictures & Distractions post out this week? You thought I was too busy and drowning in my own stress tears?

Well, so did I. But then I decided to prove to myself that I CAN have it all.

So, now, your Pictures & Distractions:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A New Dentist

I had a cavity filled this morning because I guess I'm not very good at brushing my teeth and they set the appointment for 7:00 AM when it should be illegal to have appointments.

Every time I see the dentist at the end they try to set my next appointment and they're all "what are you doing twelve-hundred days from now and I'm always like "lady, I don't even know how to brush my teeth well so do you think I have my life that planned out?"

And then she always picks some weekday off in the distance and then asks if I want to do an early appointment on that day so it doesn't interfere with work and I always say yes because this seems like the responsible and lawyerly thing to do and the appointment is so far off in the distance that I just decide that it will probably be totally fine to have to get up before it should be illegal to be awake to go to the dentist's office, which might easily be the most boring place on planet earth by the way.

Then the night before the appointment I look at my calendar for the next day and see that I have to be all the way across town by 7:00 and I know some of you are like "I wake up at 4:00 every day and eat an entire field of spinach while doing yoga as I drive my 16 kids to early-morning violin lessons" and that's awesome for you but I don't do those things and being in the most boring place on Earth on the other end of town at 7:00 is hard for me and I don't care who knows it.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


A while ago Matt asked me and Skylar if we wanted to go to a place called Lava Hot Springs with him because his friends have a cabin there and they had invited him to go for a weekend and had told him to invite a couple of friends.

Lava Hot Springs is a few hours north of Salt Lake City and it's this very strange town nestled in some mountains. Only like 500 people live there so they report sneezes in the town newspaper. And its claim to fame is that it has a bunch of natural hot pools that stay warm during the wretchedly cold winter as a sort of warning about the supervolcano that is going to destroy us all.

We took off on Friday afternoon in Skylar's car. I drove it because it had started snowing and you're welcome everyone between Salt Lake City and Lava Hot Springs for taking the wheel.

By the time we rolled into town it was dark. Matt's friends were about ten minutes behind us so we pulled up to the cabin and jumped out of the car to give Ollie and Duncan a chance to go potty while we stretched out from the drive.

The cabin sits up on a huge hill that descends down into the town in a sort of Grinch-Who-Stole-Christmas kind of way.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

SkyWest: A Story of Malicious Identity Theft

Not to get all Oprah on you, but my favorite thing in the entire world is that people think Skylar is SkyWest (the airline) on Instagram because his handle is @skywest.

Let's all take one quick moment of silence for the airline, who couldn't get their crap together enough to secure a handle from someone who had exactly 387 followers at the time of this writing.

Because people think Skylar is the airline, pretty regularly he gets tagged in posts from people complaining about flight delays, poor customer service, or just including pictures of airplanes and thanking SkyWest for making their upcoming trip possible.

He feels it his sacred duty to respond to at least some of these, lamenting on occasion that "not once" has the airline paid him for his services.

I don't know the fair market value of these "services," considering that the majority of his responses to people's inquiries just look like this:

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pressure on the Barrel and Fullest House

Several of us from various parts of the country descended upon San Francisco at various times on Thursday.  We had planned to spend a weekend hanging out in the city and heading up north to Napa Valley.

Disney Prince Hair Brandt lives in San Francisco now despite my repeated efforts to talk him into moving back to Salt Lake City so I can finally have some competition around here [runs a greasy comb through hair].

Look. I've never really spent time in San Francisco. I don't know much about it. I have no business being there.

BUT, what I do know is that Danny Tanner raised Olsen Twins in one of those houses and so there was absolutely no way I was going to leave the city without finding it.

I told Skylar this. He and I both had some free time on Friday morning while everyone else was working, and so we ventured off together to find the Full House house.

Skylar could not have been less interested in this activity, and I'm 120% convinced that he was intentionally singing the wrong words to the wrong song all morning just to irritate me. (He was singing "Our house--in the middle of the street" but he wasn't even getting those words right and then he would break into the "everywhere you look!" part of the Full House song but instead he would sing "everywhere you go, everything you do" and this was wrong and it was unacceptable and I needed him to just stop AND WE SHOULD JUST TOTALLY STAB CAESAR.)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Four-Layered Caramel Cream Orange Zest Chocolate Mirror Glaze Cake

The Great British Baking Show is on Netflix and months ago Meg was like "you HAVE to watch it because it will change your life" and I ignored her for a while but finally one day in December Skylar, Matt, and I were sitting in front of the TV making a lot of our lives when suddenly Skylar pulled up the show and hit play.

I have never been interested in any kind of cooking show. Usually when someone starts cooking something on TV I immediately change the channel because there is nothing less interesting to me than watching someone on television prepare food.

BUT, the one quality I possess that is even stronger than my dislike for television shows having to do with food is laziness. So I didn't get up and leave.

And that's when I found out that, in fact, there is an exception to my typical rule.

For those unfamiliar, The Great British Baking Show is a program wherein a dozen adorable British people spend their weekends baking in a large and beautiful tent. Their bakes are judged by two judges, who I swear to you are named Mary Berry

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sliced Bras

If the title to this post is clickbate for you, then PERVERT.

But for real, today we are releasing our first Strangerville episode of 2018 and we are doing things a little differently around here this year. I guess you could say this is sort of like THE YEAR OF NEW.

Nailed it.

Check out the episode at the bottom of this post and let me know what you think of the new format. It was sort of Meg's brainchild. And she was using her scary dragon voice when she suggested it and I always just go along with what she suggests when she's using her scary dragon voice. Her scary dragon voice is 120% of the reason why I helped her write this recap last week. And then someone somewhere on the Internet shared that recap and said that Meg Walter has started collaborating with her "husband" to write these things and then Meg sent me a screen shot of that post and was like "WE NEED TO FIX THIS I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO THINK I'M MARRIED TO YOU" which was a lot more offensive than she predicted.

Where was I? My brain is a little fried today thanks to a total cake-tastrophy that happened all. afternoon. Story on that to come later this week. Teaser: my family now has reason to stop talking about my 2013 Robitussin pie.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

World War III

On New Year's day I went to Matt's house. Every year Matt invites some people over for a traditional southern New Year's Day "breakfast." I used quotes because, despite our best efforts, this never happens before 1:00 PM.

I'm not totally sure what Matt feeds us because every time I ask him to identify the food he responds in such a strong southern accent that parts of Salt Lake City are now considered the Bayou. But I do know it involves rice, some greens, black-eyed-peas, ham hocks, and a lot screaming at Ollie to stop jumping up onto the table.

As is usually the case when anything happens at Matt's house, there were more dogs than people.

Duncan is in heaven in these situations because Duncan has so much energy in his little body that he's actually radioactive so when he plays with any other dog, that dog gets sick of him real fast. When there are a gaggle of puppies around, however, Duncan can bounce around and wrestle with each dog until, one-by-one, they tap out for a rest.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Year Of

When I was sitting in my office in the hot tropics with ants literally crawling on my feet in February of 2013, I started having a panic attack. It wasn't my first within the four moldy walls that surrounded my tiny space that had about twice the amount of furniture crammed into it than it should have had.

Me, in my office.