Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Everyone Else is an Idiot

Skylar and I have a term to describe someone who is behaving incompetently in the moment. We call them "mall people." But with a strong emphasis on the word "malllll."

When someone in front of us sits through a green turn signal,

"Mallll people."

When a person leaves their grocery cart in the middle of an aisle in such a way that no one can get through,

"Malllll people."

When we go hiking and an entire family has gone off trail despite the signs asking people to stay on the trail because going off trail in that particular spot is bad for the vegetation and animals who are trying to thrive in that area and that family is eating a family-sized bag of Cheetos and dropping half of them onto the ground and they're screaming to each other about how hot it is and one of the kids is throwing rocks at a landmark that took millions of years to form,

"Malllllllllllllllllllllllllllll people."

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Locked Out

Skylar called me just as I was leaving the office the other day to very suspiciously ask me when I was going to be home.

It was suspicious to me, anyway, because when I told him I was on my way but needed to run an errand he seemed disappointed but then refused to explain why.

Eventually I got it out of him. He had locked himself out of the house. I don't know how he did it, exactly. But I had several sudden flashbacks to living with Rebecca when he admitted it and it only seemed fair to give him the same mean-spirited and demoralizing lecture I used to give her on a weekly basis.

I am going to be such a good parent if any of you die and give me your kids.

By the time I made it home, a rainstorm had moved in and Skylar was hiding under the covered patio in the backyard.

He followed me to the door, looking ashamed, AS HE SHOULD, and that's when I discovered that I also did not have a key to get into the house.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

10 Tips For How To Respond to Someone Who Is Coming Out

Coming out of the closet never ends for a gay person. You have to do it all the time. Constantly. For the rest of your life.

Every time you make new friends. Get a new job. Talk to people at a party.

I start every morning looking into the mirror and screaming "YOU ARE A FABULOUS HOMO."

And it's never not a little stressful.

But it does get easier, which is good. It's good that it gets easier because coming out to people at the beginning is phenomenally intimidating. I don't know if I could find the right words to really explain what that kind of fear feels like. They should make a new word to describe that feeling. Judy Garland should include that word in her lecture when she visits people as a ghost to tell them they're gay (that's how we find out).

Since I have now come out to roughly, let's see, multiply by 60, carry the one, take the square root, ELEVENTY million people, I know everything and I'm ready to mansplain it all to you so please read the below in as condescending a voice as you can muster.

(Note, I am aware that not everyone is the same and that some of the ideas below may work better for some people than others, and I welcome any of you with insight to chime in in the comments. I offer these only as general thoughts that have occurred to me over the years.)

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Camping: The Ground Got Harder

(In case you missed it, we announced our next really fun Strangerville Live show. Check out this link for info and tickets; as always, tickets are first come/first serve and there is some limited seating.)

Two years ago I decided that I needed to occasionally force myself to do what the kids are calling "commune with nature." To do so, I told myself that I was going to make it a priority to go camping one time a year.

The reason for this, and I swear to you I'm not joking, is to get myself to be more grateful for shelter.

It's not because I think camping will be fun. It's not to prove anything to myself. It's because I love the inside so much and I wanted to find a way to love it even more so I decided that if I slept outside once a year, the pure contrast would make my couch and temperature-controlled home so much sweeter.

Look. I've basically said this before. Camping is an insult to our ancestors who invented electricity and the internet and Netflix so that we would never have to go outside under any circumstances whatsoever. Going camping is basically nothing more than squandering an inheritance. Except it's miserable instead of fun to do.

But despite my respect for all the McCanns and Whittlebottoms who have come before me, including the ones who were polygamists, I have committed myself to this once-a-year camping vow.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Attempted Homicide

The exciting news is that we have a date for our next Strangerville Live show. We'll be back at Church & State on Friday, September 14. And obviously we want every single one of you and your grandmas to come and support the storytellers. But the more important reason to come is to see if I accidentally kill Meg and her unborn child.

It all started when Church & State told us that something happened to their small stage and they don't have it anymore. The cause of the disappearance is still a mystery to me. But they said that if we wanted a stage, we better bring our own.

I asked Jolyn and Meg how many stages they had lying around the house and they had like 50 but all of them were being used that night so they didn't have any to spare. So I asked them if they even thought we needed a stage in the first place and both of them, in unison, screamed "WE WANT PEOPLE TO SEE OUR BEAUTY."

Then Jolyn was like "can't Matt just build us one?" And I was like "I OBJECT" because I'm a lawyer and that's how we talk all the time. And I told Jolyn that I don't need no man in my life to build things for me and I'm perfectly capable of building things on my own.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

White Coat Ceremony

Last week I attended something called "white coat ceremony." This is where 150 grown people are dressed by other grown people on a stage in front of a crowd of grown people.

The whole thing felt a little like a premature celebration of achievement. But it's apparently a big deal for medical students. Just before they start classes, they have this introductory event where they are bequeathed white coats that are perfectly tailored and stylish on the women but kind of look like boxy Walmart Halloween costumes on most of the men.

Skylar invited his parents, who flew to Salt Lake City, to attend the event. My parents went as well.

It was TWO HOURS long. It was kind of like a graduation. There was this whole procession thing where all of the new students walked in as the most dramatic music I have ever heard in my entire life played. Several school administrators and faculty stood on the stage and one-by-one took the podium to give speeches about how special and amazing all of these new students were.

If you've ever wondered why so many doctors have huge egos, you should go attend one white coat ceremony.

Then each person was called up, one at a time, so someone could help them put on a white coat. This took a full eternity.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Sweet Treat

Please check out today's Strangerville, which includes one of my favorite stories we have ever produced. More info at the bottom of this post.


Matt had a party yesterday because his town had its summer festival and they were shooting off fireworks at the park just behind his house. He throws this party every summer because his backyard is a perfect vantage point for fireworks viewing. 

Matt decided to prepare a taco bar for the 20 or so guests that would be coming to the party.

Now, I wasn't born in a barn. Bob and Cathie taught me Jesus's's way, which is that one should never go to any party empty-handed. So I called Matt yesterday morning and asked him what he thought I should bring.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

Toward the end of my Europe trip a few weeks ago I got a text out of the blue from Matt that said, "sorry about your house."

This is a terrible thing to have someone say to you without any context whatsoever while you are thousands of miles away from home.

A few days and eleventy flights later, I walked into the place at 1:00 in the morning, wondering if the reason for Matt's apology would be readily apparent. It was. During the two weeks I was gone, Matt completely rearranged my entire house. He moved paintings and furniture. He hauled stuff from one room to another. He made a pile of lamps and other decorations that were to be discarded. He even bought some stuff and left me a bill.

How much do you have to hate someone's taste to show up and do something like that while they're on vacation?

Anyway, your Pictures & Distractions:

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Golf and Buses

Skylar started medical school yesterday while I went golfing.

I would have traded him places in a heartbeat.

And no, I'm not interested in going to medical school. I'm just even less interested in going golfing.

But I have to go once a year. Yes, "have to." Don't give me that whole song and dance about how we choose our own adventures. Once a year I am invited to a work function that requires me to go golfing and I'm not totally sure what would happen if I didn't go but I suspect at least prison is a possibility and look at this face it was not made for prison.

I could, you know, practice. Then maybe I wouldn't be terrible at it and then maybe I wouldn't hate it with a hot and fiery passion. But that would require me to golf more. And I don't know if you've picked up on this yet, but I hate golfing. Kind of a lot.

So instead of practicing, I show up to a golf course in God knows where at God knows what time when it's Satan knows what temperature to play exactly one game of golf each year.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Woven Tarp Bags

A little while ago this thing, that's probably a drug front and is definitely run by the Utah Mafia called "The Beehive", was launched. Meg writes snarky content for it, and we are also running a weekly podcast through it called Hive Mind. In it, we complain about TV and movies. So if you've ever listened to Strangerville and thought, "I would like to hear even more of their thoughts on The Power Rangers," you are in luck.

Hive Mind is being produced under The Beehive's channel, so you can find it on any podcast app by searching for The Beehive and looking for Hive Mind episodes. You can also find Hive Mind here.

And in other news, after a few weeks of break, we are back with new episodes of Strangerville. Please enjoy the below, which includes a story from me about leaving Ukraine recently. For those who hate the sound of my voice, I've included the text of the story.

This time in Strangerville, Meg and Eli absolutely do not judge anyone for breastfeeding their adult children, and a grandmother nervously navigates the security area of an Eastern European airport.