Sunday, December 30, 2018


I sit at my desk at home on this snowy Sunday in Salt Lake City. Two dogs are wrestling at my feet, occasionally humping one another even though both are neutered. Apparently we have perverted pets. Skylar has just made a mess of my kitchen attempting to cook pancakes. And it's time to pen a year-end post.

I started this tradition in 2010. Nearly none of you were around then. I mean, around Stranger. I'm sure some of you were alive by that time. In 2010 I wrote to an audience of about five. In fact, in that year-end post, I wrote that during that year "I blogged and wondered how many people were actually reading."

There have been so many dramatic changes in my life and in yours since I quietly wrote those words eight years ago.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Top Ten Most Viewed Stranger Posts of 2018

It's time for one of my favorite Stranger traditions! MAKING A LIST OF ALL OF THE THINGS YOU LOVE ABOUT ME.

But for real. 2018 has been an amazing year in the Strangerverse. I think I enjoyed writing here more than I ever have before, particularly because it has been so fun to interact with all of you. I'm super proud of the progress we've made on making Strangerville sound not so janky, and I credit my truly exceptional and somehow STILL pregnant, partner Meg the Dragon Voice Walter for much of that.

I love Stranger, and I love you. I'll be back next week for my full year-end post. In the meantime, please enjoy a brief walk down Stranger 2018 Nostalgia Lane with this year's top 10 list of Stranger's most viewed posts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Wedding Planning

I had been dreading the prospect of planning a wedding for a while when I asked Skylar to go to hell with me (which is how I refer to getting gay married).

Look. Weddings and I just don't really go together. We have nothing in common. We don't like each other. We're connected by marriage alone.

Skylar almost permanently left me a few years ago when I had a full-blown temper tantrum while preparing for Rebecca's wedding picnic. In hindsight, I blame him entirely for the whole thing. We had been together long enough for him to know that dragging me to a Costco to buy things for a wedding when I hadn't slept well the night before was just begging for a total disaster. 

He combined the two things I hate the most in this world.

He should have totally foreseen the amount of profanities I was likely to scream while dodging shopping carts the size of Mormon SUVs as I held arm-fulls of sliced cheese.

Also, it was really unfair of him to pit me and cheese against each other.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Food Poisoning

Matt said he had food poisoning on Saturday, which was annoying because he was supposed to go to a party with me. Skylar was out of town, presumably because he doesn't love me and needs the occasional break, so Matt's services were especially needed.

I don't trust anyone when they say they are sick. I always assume it's a lie. I think this stems back to the number of times I pressed my face against a hot pad in the 90s right before going into Bob and Cathie's bedroom and saying "I think I have that fever again," like it was just the same one that kept coming back.

Points to Bob and Cathie who never once called me out on that bullshit.

So I drove to Matt's house to bully and manipulate him into just doing the thing he previously agreed to do. But when I got there and wandered the place looking for him, I realized that he either was truly sick or a much better faker than 10-year-old Eli.

Matt was lying on his bathroom floor, moaning, with a large gash on his forehead, which he claims was unrelated to the food poisoning. Apparently he ran into a tree earlier in the day. The point is, maybe don't trust Matt with your fragile antiques or food preparation for the next little while.

Sunday, December 16, 2018


Last week I got engayged. That's the same as getting "engaged," except cuter. Skylar made it clear to me a while back that if he was going to move to the great Mormon Siberia to be with me, I better make an honest woman out of him.

I actually didn't need encouragement. Skylar is the best person on this planet and I feel like I've won the lottery every time he even talks to me. That was sort of true the first time we ever chatted.

It was the summer of 2015. I was climbing into bed, late on a Saturday night, when I decided to check Tinder because I wasn't getting any younger.

This picture popped up:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The 12 Days of Christmas

A present suddenly showed up on our front porch on December 1. We opened it, and soon realized that someone was doing the 12 Days of Christmas for us. Gifts anonymously appeared every day for the next week and a half. 

There was a twist at the end.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Some Really Bad Music

Meg's full-time job is as a writer for Well, that and mob boss. And serial killer. And thermal underwear model. If you can believe it, none of those jobs are even remotely related.

A few months ago she texted me and was like "YOU HAVE TO WRITE AN ARTICLE FOR THE BEEHIVE IN DECEMBER" and I was like "what if I say no" and she was like "I'M PREGNANT YOU CAN'T SAY NO OR IT'S A HATE CRIME" and I was like "well I chose to be gay so you can't yell at me because that's a hate crime" and she was like "I WILL MURDER YOU IN YOUR SLEEP IF YOU DON'T DO THIS" and I was like "you're pregnant. I can outrun you" and she was like "THEN I WILL HAVE ONE OF MY PEOPLE DO IT" and I was like "fine. Don't get your thermal panties in a wad. I'll do it." So I guess I'm basically saying that as it turns out those above-listed jobs actually are related.

What then happened is I spent a sad amount of time on the internet listening to music that is so bad that the internet later sent me an apology letter and a dozen red roses, which was thoughtful but also kind of confusing because I wasn't looking for another romantic relationship in my life, plus I'm pretty sure it's seeing a lot of other people.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Utah's Great Songwriters

The last time I was part of a Mormon congregation’s choir was in 2007. It was a young adult ward and the choir was led by an iconically sarcastic chorister, who is now in the Tabernacle Choir. He used to end every practice session by holding up a large picture of Janice Kapp Perry and saying in an impressively-earnest-sounding voice, “We all came here for different reasons, but we stayed because of Janice.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Thing of the Day

Eli: We can't leave the house until we go through the pile of sheets in that closet and get rid of any we haven't used in six months. I'm sick of looking at them!

Skylar: Oh great.

Eli: Oh great what?

Skylar: You've chosen the Thing To Get Arbitrarily Angry About for the day.

Eli: What are you talking about?

Skylar: Yesterday it was that you couldn't find your favorite shirt because our drawers were "too messy."


Skylar: You were wearing the shirt when you freaked out about it.

Eli: Well that probably wouldn't have happened had the drawers been organized!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Track Workout

I've been going through this phase for the past couple of years called "getting fat and aging" and apart from all of the fun parts, like eating and tv and lying on the floor after work having my servants pour candy into my mouth until I'm unconscious, it hasn't been great.

When I was 22 and eating enough calories every day to solve world hunger while simultaneously complaining that skinny jeans were too baggy on me, grownups (AKA, people between 30 and 55, which to me were all the exact same age) used to say variations of "enjoy it while you can because one day a grain of sugar will land on your face and then they'll have to remove your body from your house with a crane."

Remember those times? Remember when you could drink a gallon of cyanide while soaking in a tub of lard without sleeping for a week and the only effect any of that had was that it somehow made your skin glow?

Now if I turn on a cooking show for more than 3 minutes, I can't wear any of my belts anymore.

A few weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that all of my dress pants are too tight on me to button up and I said the words "I'M A FAT LARD FACE WHO DOESN'T DESERVE HAPPINESS," to which Skylar thought the appropriate response was a very sincere "you do too deserve happiness."