Thursday, February 27, 2020

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

All y'all, Strangerville Live is NEXT WEEK. It's in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 6 at 8:00 PM. There will be snacks. We are bribing you with food to get you there. We usually only try to bribe you with promised nudity!

I went to Jolyn's apartment the other day and held her dog on my lap while she practiced her story in front of me. Then I told her she was pretty and I would vote for her for president because that's the kind of friend I am.

Her story is wonderful. So are the others. You need to come. Get your tickets here. Bring friends. Tell them the event is featuring a series of lectures on the breeding habits of silk worms. That way they'll be pleasantly surprised when they get there and find out it's really a series of lectures on the breeding habits of chickens.

So come.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:
We've joined a cult. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Is Technology Really All That Bad?


As of the date you are reading this, there are over 19,000 articles on major websites across the internet that start with the line, “Today we are more connected than ever, but people feel more disconnected than at any other time.”

I didn’t fact-check myself on that. I don’t get paid enough to do my own fact-checking. It could be a wild and bogus claim but you can’t challenge me on it because we don’t allow comments on this site.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

5-Step Moisturizing Regimen

My moisturizing journey and skin care habits have been wrought with mistakes and youthful ignorance. I visited a tanning bed or two in my early 20s. "I just want a slight glow," I told myself, as I fried my largest organ in radiation chambers that came with a warning.

I cringe at the thought that in 2009 my sister, uncle, and I went to Guatemala and baked our bodies under the almost-equatorial sun to the point that we had rotate ourselves in a moving line under a spigot that dripped cold water for two full days. "But think about how tan we'll be when this all peels off," I remember one of us saying. "Totally." the other two responded.

Fortunately before I moved to Palau in 2012 I had started to think more about my future. "I don't want to come back to the U.S. looking like dried leather," I told a woman at the grocery store who had noticed I was shopping for sunscreen, just like she was. She said she was going to the Caribbean for a week. "Same," she said. "Why would I want to be hot for a few months if the price is prunes for a lifetime?"

I didn't moisturize in Palau. The air did that for me. But I did obsessively protect my skin from UV rays to the point that I did not receive a single sunburn in the time I lived there.

A year or two after I moved back I started dating a guy who was probably too young for me. "What are you thinking?" I asked him when he told me he was going to a tanning salon after work. I heard myself turning into an old man, so I just went for it. We were standing on the side of South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City, getting ready to cross the street. "Learn these lessons in your youth!" I shouted, impersonating some unnamed elderly person while shaking my fist.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Pictures from my Phone & Weekly Distractions

The other day I wrote to you about Skylar's proclivity to misplace things and how he wanted praise for going five months without losing his wedding ring. That night:

Eli: Did you read my post about your wedding ring?

Skylar: YOU FOUND IT?!

Eli: Found what?

Skylar: . . . [hiding his bare left hand] NEVER MIND!

At least he's exceptionally hot.

And now, your Pictures & Distractions:

Monday, February 17, 2020

Wedding Ring

My husband has decided he should "get credit" for "not losing" his wedding ring. He told me this the other night like he had saved a bus of children from going over a cliff.

"I feel like you haven't adequately recognized how amazing this is," he told me.

To clarify: I have been married to this particular husband FOR FIVE MONTHS.

I told him I was deeply concerned that he thought this was praiseworthy, mostly because this meant he expected, and continues to expect, that this thing I put on his finger would go missing in very short order.

"We all know this is going to happen at some point," he said in a tone that also screamed "I have literally lost five driver's licenses since I met you."

I would be lying if I said I hadn't worried at least a little about the fate of that ring. I remember wondering about this when I bought it. Skylar does tend to lose stuff. We both know this. One time a relative sent him a $100 bill in the mail for some life milestone and in one single move he pulled it from the envelope and stuck it in my pocket. "I'll misplace it immediately if I set it anywhere else," he had told me.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Strangerhood of the Traveling Snuggie, Part 2

(Hey--we announced Strangerville Live the other day. March 6 in Salt Lake City. Come, please. Get tickets HERE.)

The Strangerhood of the Traveling Snuggie has continued its wild journey. (If you missed the first round of photos, you can find them here).

The Snuggie has been adorned and patched with personality from all over the country. For those still waiting for some Traveling Snuggie love, be patient. The Snuggie has miles to go before she sleeps.

Christina, Adel Iowa

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

So Online Dating Wasn't Just For Weirdos?


“She met him through the internet,” I heard a woman whisper in the tone of scandal. This was 1999 and I was fifteen. The woman was a family friend, and she was gossiping about a mutual acquaintance who recently found love.

“Oh dear,” my mother responded. “How dangerous.”

Something weird be happening on the Internet.

Two things:

First of all, we've announced our next Strangerville Live! Come join us in Salt Lake City on March 6 at 8:00 PM. I'm hosting (possibly entirely through song) and we'll be featuring four other storytellers:

Inventor of the circus

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Heated Blankets

There are heated blankets and heating pads plugged into nearly every outlet in my house. The gas fireplace is constantly running. Sometimes I come home to find Skylar standing over the stove, warming his hands.

You'd think I was forcing him to live in the wilderness. He acts like we've made a home of the great frozen tundra. "Can you sit on my feet?" he'll ask me once a day. "I promise this isn't sexual," he unnecessarily reminds me.

He carries around the house a gigantic mug that says "Merry Christmas" on it.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

I Must Have Praise.

Ok so this is going to be awkward but a couple months ago one of us, and I don't want to name any names here, wrote a pretttttty dramatic post on this site about a knitting project.

It was me. I'll just own it. I was the one who wrote it. Whatever. We all have our moments. Last year you guys started crying when Skylar beat you at Mario Cart.

What? Oh, also me?

This place sucks.

Anyway. You'll recall I was working on this scarf that was eleventy thousand percent over my head. I had fooled myself into thinking I could do anything. No task was too big for this guy. I channeled my inner-participation-trophy-loving-coddled-millennialism and determined I was too big to fail! (Not a fat joke.)

And then the next thing I knew I was repeatedly throwing, nay chucking, a ball of yarn and needles across a room and screaming so many profanities no one ever gets to go to heaven again.

Not even Moses you guys.

Eventually I kind of sort of figured it out and even though it took so much brain power that I am now personally the leading cause of Climate Change, I got this [string of obscenities] project [string of obscenities] the [particular obscenity] done.


Sunday, February 2, 2020


A few years ago I started having ongoing debates with a friend about whether the existence of an afterlife is scarier or less scary than there being no afterlife. She was devoutly religious--Mormon--but she said about once a year she would wake up in a panic, thinking "OMG what if I'm totally wrong and there is no God!?"

She said she has to force herself not to think about this possibility because it freaks her out so much. As she was telling me this I started laughing, because apparently I'm insensitive in the face of another person's most terrifying vulnerability.

Really, though, I found it so funny because my whole life I have literally had the exact inverse of this fear. When I was a kid I went through this phase for about a year where the thought of living forever kept me up at night.

"What will I even do, forever?" I remember thinking. "Eventually I'll run out of TV shows to watch."

I got to a point that I had to force myself to stop thinking about this because it was not productive.

I told this friend that I could not relate to her fear because what she's essentially contemplating is the possibility of a thing you can never possibly confirm. Because the only way to find out there is no afterlife is to die and cease to exist, but if you cease to exist you can't know, well, anything. Because you no longer exist.