Wednesday, May 1, 2013

same song, second verse (a little louder, but not much worse)

It was almost -- not quite, but almost -- fun to go to today's "Physics of Fractures" lecture and understand exactly  what the professor meant by what he said. he asked if anyone present had ever suffered a compound fracture. I looked around for someone else to raise his or her hand, but no one did, so I raised mine. He asked the nature of my fracture.   I told him it was a tib-fib break incurred in a freak hurdling accident. I was wearing shorts, so he wandered over to look at my leg. A few scars are still visoble. After asking for permission to do so, he probled the site of the fracture briefly. He said it was a little further up the leg that most tibia-fibula fractures are. I told him it was because that was where the hurdle came down on top of my leg with most of the other hurdler's weight directly on  the hurdle.  He asked if I have any of the early xrays of the injury eeasily accessible. I told him I think my dad has copies at home. He asked me to bing them to the next session of class if I can locate them.  It's not exactly something I'm excited about reliving, but in the rand scheme, looking at a coule of xrays is a small price to pay in order to please a professor.

It's not like looking the graphic murder photographs from Jodi Arias' trial, or any such thing.  I was initially being facetious when I suggested that the attorneys and judge were in collusion to gain for themselves inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records for officiating in the world's longest murder trial. By now, though, I'm starting to belive my own joking conspiracy theories,  They make the number of sidebars in the OJ trial appear minimal by comparison.  a/t the rat things are progressing, Jodi arias' sentence will be a moot point. She'll either be reeased as  very old woman by the time the rial concludes if she's found not guilty, or if she's found guilty and even sentenced to death,  she will succumb to old age long before the Grim Reaper appears in the form of lethal injection, the electric chair, or any other draconian means of capital punishment used by the State of Arizona.

On the Jared front, there's not a great deal of new information. Jared's dad is officially sleeping on the couch in his den. I understand that such falls under the category of either  too much information of a violation of privacy, but it's not like Dr. X's patients read this blog and know who he is. All of Dr. X's siblings have called him to tell him he's being ridiculous and that the last thing the lDS church needs is a missionary in the mision field who truly does not want to be there.   Jared's father's answer to that was that Jared's serving a mission was not necessarily going to do one bit of good for the church, but that it would be good for Jared. He didn't explain how sending someone halfway across the world (assuing Jared was sent to a remote mission; for all we know, he could've ended up in Pocatello, Idaho, where almost everyone is Mormon, harassing  the few nonmormons on almost a daily basis) who had no desire to serve a mission.

Various plans have been proposed for financing Jared's education. Typically my parents ar the first to offer, which is why, even though my dad makes so much money,  we live beneath the standard of poverty. My mom thought it was a good idea idea for us to  ourselves as far removed from this particular family feud as possible. There's a limt to how far we can stay out of it, though, since it's my name emblzoned on Jared's bicep. I cetainly didn't ask him toput it there, though. I hope his future wife likes it. Maybe they can name their first daughter Alexis.

I was thinkng of other names, words, or slogans jared could have used for his tatto. "Mom" is still may favorite. "Jesus Saves" might have been nice as well, as it's a phrase the LDS Church typically eschews. This one's wordy -- more suitable for a bumper sticker, which is where I originally saw it -- "Jesus loves you; everyone else thinks you're an asshole." He might have needed to use both arms for that one.

I think my personal favorite is the following: "I'm serving the same kind of mission that Thomas  Monson did." Tommy, with all his known humanitarian aid to widows far and near, did not serve a mission as a young man. I think he may have done a mission president stint after he had already gotten old and fat and rich, but living the luxurious life of a mission president, residing in a virtual palace with a generous stipend from the church, with his wife there beside him and presumably with rights to all the consortium or conjugal activity or whatever term one might use to euphemistically  refer to s-e-x  as one can fit into his busy schedule, is not the same as the missionary service provided by the young men and women in the mission force. Hell, with enough Viagra, a mission president could conceivably do the horizontal paso doble for the duration of his service as mission president, with an occasional retreat from thr dance floor/bed to  berate the young missionaries under his jurisdiction for any and all hand-to-kielbasa contact, deliberate or otherise,  while his assitants actually kept the mission up and running. The logical explanation for why this doesn't happen, most of us suspect, is that, with some notable exceptions, by the time a man has reached sufficient stature in the church to be called as mission president, he'd need more Viagra than even Conrad Murray could have been persuaded to prescribe to Michael Jackson had that been the King of Pop's magic potion of choice, in addition to a paper bag to put over his head. In fairness, the wife would need something to occlude her vision as well.

The omission of Monson's middle initial was a deliberate act on my part.  I now no longer humor the LDS head honchos  -- my own grandfather or any of the rest of them -- by including their first or middle initials while using their names. It's an affectation that reeks of delusion of grandeur. If the Twelve, the First Presidency , or even the Quorums of the Seventy, (it pains me to hit the shift key as I type the words used for the ruling bodies of the church; perhpas my next step in the progression of my grand apostacy will be to refuse to capitalize anything related to the Church other than the name of Jesus himself) wish to dupe themselves into believeing that they're in possession of some sort of trandendency and that the use of a first or middle initial somehow adds to the mystique (just like the curtain behind which the Wizard of Oz hides),   more power to them,  but the last time I consulted  theU. S. Constitution, amendments included, or any of my state or local laws (I didn't bother consulting Utah laws; I wouldn't be all that shocked to see that the state if Utah, with its reputation for extreme adherence to  the principle of separation of church and state, had passed a law that the Grand Poohbahs of the official State Church be addressed or referenced only with inclusion of the requisite initials.

Jared's grandfather called his son, Jared's father. the grandfather told his son that if his son were to cease to cover the expenses related to Jared's education there was nothing he, the grandfather could do to keep him from paying for his son's education. He reminded Jared's father that his own undergraduate schooling and medical school had been taken care of by his parents with no strings attached, and if his conscience allows him to do otherwise where Jared is concerned,  neither he (the grandfather, nor anyone else, with the possible exception of Jared's mother, can force Jared's father to payJared's college and grad school expenses. The one thing he can and will do if necessary, Jared's  grandfather said, willbe to pay for Jared's educational costs, including living expenses himself, and to do so with funds from Jared's father's share of the inheritance that the grandparents plan to leave their children. It's either pay now or receive less later,  Jared's grandfather told his own son, while reminding Jared's father that children's educational expenses are tax-deductible.  unless Jared's immediate family is in a much less stable financial situation than any of us had any reason to believe, Jared's father will see the light and continue to fork over the funds needed for Jared to cntinue his studies. Moreover, if Jared's family financial situationis so dire, exactly how did Jared's father plan to pay for Jared's mission? By the time the kid's suits have been purchased and the monthly stipends paid to the church, a mission costs a family roughly ten thousand dollars.  It's small change compared to the total cost of a UCLA education, but niether is it chump change.

My prediction: Jared's father will pray about it and will decide, whether because God inspired him or whether he added up the dollars and cents involved in the decision, to do the right thing.  He won't forgive Jared immediately, as Jared's father's image will suffer among his church peers. (So will his mother's, but she doesn't care.)  Jared willbe forgven eventually, but the main thing is that Jared's father will, if my predictions are correct, be off thesofa and back into his own bed within a week.

My brother Matthew is going ahead with his own mini-protest.  He's already had thirty fake tattoos with the name "Alexis" made up by some guy who operates a T-Shirt  kiosk in Venice Beach. He has at least twenty-six people already committed to attending. Persuading so many people to do this cannot have been an easy thing, as it's common knowledge that LDS services are boring as Hell. I'm seriously impressed with Matthew's organizational and persuasive skills. Perhaps he shoould consider a career in sales or even in politics rathr than in medicine, as are his current plans.

# the non-artist still known as Alexis


  1. It boggles my mind how silly this whole thing is. Jared is presumably a very bright young man with a big future ahead of him. Most people would be delighted to have such an accomplished son. That he's in the middle of such a big fallout over deciding not to do a mission is utterly mindblowing to me. Families forever, my ass.

  2. my dad is always threatening me about our being together for time and all eternity. I told him he and mom aren't sealed in the temple, and Matthew and I are neither seled to them not botn under the covenant. he just laughs and says, "Oh,I'm sure the family will take care of that before rigor mortis sets in."