Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nightmares of the Benign Kind

I was awakened just awhile ago by a not terribly pleasant dream. In this dream, my senior violin recital was happening. I was playing one of my Bach pieces with great difficulty, because in my dream, my accompanist was playing so fast that I couldn't have kept up with him even hd I taken a handful of methamphetamines.

This was a very silly dream, as no competent accompanist would play the works faster than the sooist can play them. For that matter, I could probably play at any speed that an accompanist could play. It's just one of those things where the mind comes up with things -- even ludicrous things -- that could potentially go wrong and  about which to worry. It doesn't even have to be realistic. Even if Scott could play the music faster than I could play it, he wouldn't do so.

This dream was a pain. I would much rather be sleeping right now than dissecting and re-assebling the meaning behind a silly nightmare. On the other hand, it's a whole lot better than dreaming about someone holding me down in a public bathroom while someone else attempts to sexually assault me. My nightmares have more typically been of that nature.

My mom told me that nightmares before an important event such as a senior recital, while unpleasant and not conducive to quality sleep, are very normal and are typical for most people before an important life event. While I wouldn't exactly complain if I were even one step closer to normal and slept right through the night with no extra-curricular nighttime mental activity whatsoever, neither is a "normal" dream something about which to complain. Given a choice between an accompanist on speed and a rapist for dream subject material, I'll take the accompanist on speed every time.

# Scott, stay away from roofies,  bumblebees, cartwheels, and all other stimulants including caffeine until my recital is over.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kotex Head

Note: This is my mom's best friend's story.It has appeared in a few different tellings at, and has been reprinted a Salamander Society and possibly other sites as well. This telling is an almost verbatim version of the one that was told at Recovery from Mormonism ( and Salamander Society. My mom's best friend gave me permission to share it here, and has no problem with anyone else sharing it. Enjoy!

Imagine this firmly planted atop a guy's head.

It was High Council Sunday, which, in and of itself was bad enough, but to walk in and see Brother X, the reigning a$$hole of the entire stake if not the entire region, was to know that the meeting would likely ruin the entire day for everyone present. This man was so bad that people who were in the know regarding such things as high council visitation schedules would visit relatives out of town or find reasons to attend other wards when he was scheduled to speak.

The problem there was that such things were often subject to change with very little notice, so one get there, see him, and  be stuck. Besides, my dad was either the bishop or in the pric for a large part of my childhood, so we couldn't be skipping off every time Brother X appeared. Theoretically twelve H. C.'s should equal one official visit per year from the guy plus maybe a ward conference, but he always seemed to end up with us more often. It was just the luck of the draw, I guess, and we always seemed to get lucky.

The man was a composite of the most obnoxious qualities of Thomas S Monson, Boyd K Packer, and Richard G Scott, or whatever his middle initial is. Brother X thought so highly of himself that he couldn't quite fathom why he hadn't been translated into a celestial being, or at the very least, sucked up into the great body of G.A.'s.

He once made an allusion to his calling and election having been made sure (is that called the second annointment?) though not in so many words. I didn't know they did that with regular people. I always thought you had to at least be in a temple presidency or something to achieve that status.

But I digress.

Anyway, it was h. c. Sunday, and I walked in to see him on the stand with what was then his entire family. My friend and I think there were six children at that point. The kids ranged from just a few months to almost two to almost three, to twin four-year-olds and a five -year-old, or pretty close to that.

The mother spoke first while the dad struggled with all the kids. In a normal situation, someone else might have helped the guy out while his wife spoke, but he was such a consummate a$$hole that even the righteous among us probably enjoyed seeing him squirm. Then the mother finished her talk, which absolutely no one heard enough to make any sense of because of the ruckus going on behind her, and she took the twin four-year-olds and the five-year-old to stand near the piano to sing for us while she accompanied them.

I think they sang "I Am a Child of God" and that one about "I love brother, he loves me, etc., etc,. we are a happy family." It was actually pretty funny because they were practically killing each other the whole time their mother spoke, and they were still taking any shots they could get at each other all the way  through the song about family love.  Kid #2 had a scratch on his face at the end of the song that hadn't been there when they started.While they were singing, Brother X was dealing with the newborn, the less-than-two-year-old, and the almost three-year-old, who I would say with certainty was the literal spawn of Satan and not the child of Brother X except for the fact that he looked almost more like Bother X than Brother X himself looked if such a thing were even possible.

At one point when Brother X was trying to stifle the next-to-youngest's screams, the figurative spawn of Satan reached into the diaper bag and pulled out a Kotex. He peeled off the strip covering the sticky part, then stuck it to his father's head. Brother X must have thought that his little angel was just patting him on the head, or else he was too preoccupied to notice.

So Brother X unknowingly had a Kotex stuck firmly to the top of his head, almost like a Mohawk haircut. The wife and older kids finished their World Wrestling Federation version of their unmusical number, and she rushed over to grab the baby with one hand and very deftly grab both of the younger brats plus the diaper bag with her other hand. She dragged them all off to a cry room or somewhere like that. Because she was flustered, or for whatever reason, she didn't even look at Brother X.

So Brother X got up and began his talk with a typically lame joke I can't begin to recall, but everybody laughed like he was John Stewart or Stephen Colbert. He was quite proud of the response, and improvised with a few more jokes. I don't think he noticed that no one was waiting for the punchlines of his jokes before they started laughing.

By this point, the older three kids were running around the chapel creating all sorts of bedlam, which was the least of anyone's concern until one of them started banging on the piano; the ward clerk grabbed that kid and refused to let go. The kid cried for a few minutes, but eventually settled down. I suspect the attendance count was off that week.

A couple of other Good Samaritans grabbed the other two remaining brats and settled them similarly, which left us all free to focus on Brother X and his innovative headgear.

Then Brother X got to the point of his talk, which I didn't get then and certainly don't know now. At first people tried to stifle their laughter, but it became a lost cause. The bishop was trying to give stern looks from his vantage point on the dais, but even he was starting lose composure.  It would be roughly two seconds of a stern expression, followed by looking sideways off in the distance,  then by covering his mouth, and ultimately feigning a cough, a cycle which repeated itself  every thirty seconds or so. The ward organist tried to pass a cough drop to the bishop, but he waved it away.

Brother X finally concluded his remarks (he was known for his long-windedness, but this time we didn't really care because he had already cut into five minutes of Sunday School time, and what we had just witnessed was funnier than anything we could have seen on TV at the same time, even if we'd had cable, which hadn't yet reached our neck of the woods.

So Brother X sat down, not quite sure what was so funny in the serious part of his remarks, but convinced that he was the white Eddie Murphy, and was probably seriously contemplating giving up his day job as an insurance salesman. As the introduction to the closing song began, the wife returned with the three youngest offspring more or less under control. The ward clerk and remaining Good Samaritans handed their prisoners over to the parents.

Then Sister X took one look at her eternal companion and turned ghostly white. While holding the baby, she tried to reach across a few kids to carefully dislodge the Kotex from his head. It turned out that there was a reason she was trying to be careful in removing it. One of the twins decided to help out by yanking the Kotex off; it came off all right, along with Brother X's toupee. So the kid handed Brother X his toupee with a Kotex stuck firmly to the center. (If I'd known then what I now know, I might have suggested that it should be the new style of temple headwear.)

The look on Brother X's face more than made up for all my years of tedium in sitting through church meetings.

Word travels fast (and this was before the Internet), and from that moment on, Brother X was known throughout the stake as "Kotex Head." He has to be getting up there in years by now, and the kids who are now calling him that behind his back weren't even alive when the incident occurred, but the name sticks just like the Kotex did.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

a guest in my home away from home

not me, obviously, and I have no fever, but you get the idea

I'm at the pseudorelatives' house tonight. It's my home away from home, with my very own bedroom and bathroom. I needed to come over here anyway to play through my violin pieces with Uncle Scott, and it seemed pointless to go home since my mom is not exactly being civil to me. I have a bad stomach ache, which I can have just as well here as there. It's not my appendix, as I no longer have one. It's not my gallbladder, as I no longer have one of those, either. It's not quite painful enough to be a kidney stone, and it's in the wrong place for that anyway. It appears to be a garden variety stomach ache.  Pseudouncle says I've suffered for long enough and am entitled to relief. I don't like too many drugs, but I'm tired of the stomach ache, so I let him inject me with something. I took a pill first but didn't keep it down.

The violin pieces went fine. We're ready to roll. I wish the recital were in one more day instead of in five more days.

Tomorrow I don't have to be anywhere so I'm going to court to hear pseudoaunt deliver the rebuttal portion of closing arguments in a murder case she's second-chair prosecuting.  She and the defense attorney are not fond of one another, and sparks may fly. She's good even under boring circumstances, and these circumstances are far from boring.

The last time I was in court with pseudoaunt, which was about a month ago, a truant officer showed up and questioned me as to why I was not in school. He had to examine my ID carefully to determine that it was not a fake and that it really was I in the picture.  I suppose the same thing could happen again tomorrow. I've totally given up on the idea of being able to sneak into bars or clubs before I'm legally old enough to be there; it would just be nice not to be accosted by truant officers when I'm going about my business. Oh, well. That's the way the ball bounces.

This, too, shall pass . . . like gas.

My stomach hurts, most likely because I'm nervous about my recital. I'm trying not to take any medication for it because I don't like the idea of being a stoner.If it hurts for too much longer, however, a stoner I must be.

I've already exceeded my recommended daily allottment of  violin practice I should have done for the entire day and I still need to run through songs with my accompanist tonight. C'est la vie.

Mommy Dearest is not happy with me, but that's the very least of my concerns at the moment. She will get over it. It's just one more thing that, too, shall pass . . . like gas.

Pseudouncle called me and told me to eat a bowl of ice cream or sherbet to help my stomachache. I'm not sure it's a remedy typically sanctioned by the AMA, but what the hell. I'll give it a whirl.  I probably couldn't keep half a bottle of Guinness down, so that is off the table.

My Friend Paganini and The Ever Elusive Sleep

My dad got home about ninety minutes ago. I talked him into running through the Paganini Cantabile that we're playing together for my recital. It took him about half a century to tune his guitar, but then he played his part perfectly, so I suppose it was worth the wait.  I played through a few other pieces as well, ncluding the Elgar sonata I'm using as my modern selection. I don't love it , but then, I couldn't find anything modern that I loved. Elgar is at least tolerable.. Tomorrow evening I'll rehearse with pseudouncle, who is my acompanist. I won't play through the flute/violin piece until Friday night, but I'm confident that my flutist will nail her part and that the parts will go together. There's little point in worrying about it at this point. In a worst-case scenario, my mom could play the part. I've practiced with her already.

I can't pretend that it's business as usual this week, although I've at least already been accepted into medical school. Nothing I do or don't do correctly in my recital will change that.

My brother was accepted into a medical school, and it's a very good one, but it's in the northeast. (Incidentally, I've received notification of four other acceptances, but I've already committed to my first choice.) He doesn't really want to spend the next four winters fighting hypothermia and frostbite, but he would prefer that to attending medical school in, say, Grenada.  He's decided to pay the deposit and to hope that an almost equally prestigious school in a warmer climate accepts him. Forfeiting the deposit would be a small price to pay, and I believe he gets the deposit back anyway  if the school fills all its slots, which it quite possibly will.

I shall attempt sleep, though I fear it may be a futile attempt. I hope that anyone else on the North American continent who is reading soon finds sleep. Those on other continents, have a great day.

winter carnival at Dartmouth

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Favorite Shower Curtains

The Many Looks of Rumer Willis

Mother May I?

My mother told me to shut the hell up on my blog.

Crazy People On the Twitter.

                                           PHOTO REMOVED SO I WON'T BE SUED

I've been mildly obnoxious on the Twitter in the past few days.  Several weeks ago my buddy Judge Alex posted a picture of himself with his mother on various social media. I tweeted a response that he resembled his mother except that she was prettier. I did not have to respond, nor did I have to say his mother was prettier, though it was the truth.   Had I said he was prettier than his mother, THAT would have been rude, but telling a man his mother is prettier than he is not all that insulting. A fellow tweeter, however, took exception to my words.

  1. OMG..You really wrote that here? That's terrible... Why would U ever write that?
  2. Dec 30
    retweeted your Retweet

I casually read her right-wing nut  job tweets until she posted something rude to someone else, who happened in this case to be Megyn Kelly.

Then I tweeted her own words back to her.

  1. Your hair looked better then...go back to it. Look at all the favorites you got!!!
  2. OMG..You really wrote that here? That's terrible..Why would U ever write that?

She didn't respond, which is just as well. She's a tea-bagging  idiot. Not all right-wing ideologues are idiots, but she is. The two of us have little to absolute zero common ground.

Recently I made another comment.

For the record, I was referring to the production company as opposed to not the cable news channel. The impetus for my comment was the canncellation of Judge Alex.  Another right-winger misconstrused my intent and commented.

ARE YOU KIDDING? yet another FOX hater, who has never watched. Good lord, we are in trouble

I didn't bother to correct her misconception in my response.

Who hasn't watched Fox? I've watched FOX. While I'm not a hater, I'm a FOX disliker.

She responded:

I'm sorry, if you've watched it, then there is no way you can dislike it. :)

I used Merriam-Webster's definition of bigot without using the term itself in my reply:

I'm sorry, but I find your obstinate devotion to your own thought processes to be most scary.

She dismissed me with a condescending:

*shakes head* lol never mind.

I can't help wondering if either of these birther basket cases, has any cluse that it's a nineteen-year-old know-nothing on whome they're wasting their tweets.
I really need to get my real life back. In seven days and three or so hours, my rehearsal will be finished and I'll have my life back.

I hope no one else takes this nonsense seriously. I certainly don't. at the same time, I think both of these women, if they're really women, are morons.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mindi Carpenter, Karen Captenter, Richard Carpenter, Sarah Brightman, Renee Fleming, Johnny Depp,and Ellen Degeneres

Mindi Carpenter

Mindi Carpenter has an interesting voice. It's  not delicate. She sings songs that her aunt (and legal first-cousin -once-removed) Karen Carpenter made famous.

Her father, Richard Carpenter, is not a dork. He pens arrangements so that Mindi can sing the songs that her father and her late aunt Karen recorded and performed in the seventies and early eighties. Her father may not have deliberately set her up for failure, but some people do that to their offspring.

Mindi doesn't sing operatic works. I don't know why. I doubt that she even owns Soprano Solos Book I.

Sarah Brightman does sing operatic works. So does Renee Fleming.

Johnny Depp doesn't usually sing operatic works.

Ellen DeGeneres does not sing operatic works. I'm not sure if she sing at all. She dances, and she has a television show.

To anyone who reads this blog occasionally, I'm not under the influence of any controlled substances. I'm just seeing what happens if I post something about the people about whom I wrote.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Rich Kids of Beverly Hills: Revolting Non-Entertainment

25-year-old "kids"
I just watched what is perhaps the most disgusting program currently on TV. It's been touted as having been created for the purpose of making the Kardashians appear more down-to-Earth. I'm not sure it succeeds in that regard, as a TV show cannot accomplish the un-accomplishable. All it does accomplish is to make everyone on or associated with the program look every bit as stupid as they all presumably are.

The show of which I write is Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. I have issues, for openers, with the title. Since when are twenty-five-year-olds kids? Just because the two main characters haven't completed college and have no jobs and are essentially irresponsible derelicts doesn't make them kids. I'll be finished with medical school and  at least mid-way through my residency by the time I'm as old as they are.

The two protagonists (or maybe they're antagonists; I can't tell what it is the producers want us to think or feel about these vapid people) are twenty-five year old Dorothy Wang and Megan Stewart. Both women are intellect-challenged, have over-inflated egos, and possess equally oversized senses of entitlement.

Probably what offended me more than any one thing was reading an interview of Morgan Stewart in which she said, "I could have gone to medical school; That just wasn't the path I chose." I have news for her. No, Morgan Stewart, you could not have gone to medical school. A person has to have a functioning brain in order to go to medical school. You are not even approaching smart enough to go to dental assistant school school, much less to go to medical school. You are stupid, Morgan Stewart. Medical school students are smart. You may have a lot of money, but money doesn't buy looks, class, or intelligence. You have less than you think of the first, almost none of the second, and even less of the third.

Dorothy Wang is only marginally less disgusting than her friend Morgan Stewart.  She didn't anger me by falsely stating that she could have gone to medical school had that been her choice, but I still don't like her.

It was by chance that I saw tonight's epsiode of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. I don't plan to watch this show again because, as I said once before in discussing a TV program I can't even remember, it's remotely possible that my family is a Nielson family and that I just don't know it because no one bothered to tell me.  I would very much hate to unwittingly help this show to stay on the air by watching and having my viewing of it charted in the favor of the idiots who star in the show or the idiots who produce it.

We as a society have better things to do than to watch such drivel. I will provide a very finite list of supplementary activities that are better uses of one's time than is watching Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. 

More Worthwhile Activities Than Watching Rich Kids of Beverly Hills

1.   defungizing one's toenails
2.   having a colonosocpy, endoscopy, or both
3.   learning to play the harp
4.   perfecting the skill of writing with one's non-dominant hand
5.   playing Monopoly
6.   memorizing The Declaration of Independence if one has not already done so
7.   painting one's garage [if one owns a garage]
8.   applying to medical school
9.   rotating one's tires or someone else's tires
10. memorizing the bones in the human body
11. volunteering in a soup kitchen
12. collecting toiletries for a homeless or battered women's shelter
13. baking bread
14. watching "Judge Alex" while it's still around
15. conducting one's monthly breast self-exam
16. collecting cans for recycling
17. completing one's local newspaper's daily crossword puzzle
18. singing in a community choir
19. becoming a page turner for a piano accompanist
20. walking a dog
21. perfecting the art of walking on crutches
22. making crank phone calls
23. making meatloaf
24. finger painting
25. watching a live trial in person
26. sitting on a beach

I could go on all night, but I'll stop. My point is that we as a society are better than this vacuous program, and we have more important things to do with our time than to watch it and to make these twenty-five-year-old self-titled  "rich kids" even richer. If you really like the show, by all means you should watch it, but my suspicion is that you are, as am I, too smart to sit through more than a single episode.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Major Milestone

5' 2.75" Alexis playing hopscotch.

I went  into my dad's office at the hospital here in the city in which we live. He has offices in [I think] five different hospitals and one at home as well, but his home base is here. A scale is kept in the hall not far from his office, and my dad told me he should measure and weigh me since it hasn't been done recently. I don't have a problem with being weighed or measured right now since I'm a legal adult and no one can really do anything about it if they don't like my numbers.

I won't say what my weight is because it's a bit depressing. I work hard to take in calories, but they don't seem to remain in my body.  I look like a stick figure.

The good news is, however, that I am five-feet-two-and-three-quarters inches in height. When we got home, my dad marked my height against the wall at home and measured with a tape measure, and got the same result.  It's official. That doesn't make me quite average in height, but I'm about half an inch taller than I was last time I was measured. I may be finished growing or I may have a little more height to gain. Time will tell. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nothing is missed with Tena Twist.

Join me in a whopping case of the hibby-jibbies.

Some things should be missed. On my list of things that are best missed,  Tena Twist commercials rank pretty damned high . Is anyone else overly creeped out by the Tena twist commercials? I'm referring to the ones in which late middle-aged women gyrate allover television screens to the tune of the tuneless Tena Twist jingle. Perhaps the commercials appeal to people who need the product. Maybe the commercials are even making headway toward  de-stigmatizing the previously taboo topic of  female incontinence.

As for me, I really don't care. Some subjects are best left taboo, and for  good reason. Face it, dear reader: the act of wetting oneself is not presently, nor will it be at any time in the foreseeable future except  perhaps in the very kinkiest of settings,  cause for praise, honor,  or adulation.  Sometimes people need a reality check. The people promoting Tena Twist products are most definitely among those who would benefit from a heaping does of how things are in the real world.

Furthermore, the Tena twist commercials are so bad that the only effect they could possibly have on the overall level of stigma related to female incontinence would be to worsen it.  The women gyrating all over my television screen would do nothing to make the condition of incontinence less of an embarrassment were I suffering from the condition of incontinence. I desire no commonality whatsoever with those creatures, which is also a reason why I wouldn't by tena twist products even if I had a need for them. If the choice were between using Tena Twist products or manufacturing  my own solution to the problem, I would use Pampers, old sofa cushions, or whatever absorbent material I could obtain either lawfully or otherwise to craft a suitable alternative.

Before seeing the Tena Twist commercial,  I had a more-than-adequate reserve of subject matter to fuel my nightmares for at least the next forty years. Now, with the addition of Tena Twist-related cognitive trauma, my bank of substance for nightmares has been bumped up to fifty years at the barest minimum..

All the Tena Twist commercials have accomplished for me is to guarantee that :a) any baby to whom  I ever give birth will be delivered by Caesarean section whether or not any obstetrician on the planet thinks there is a medical necessity for such, and I'm willing to use the medical knowledge I will have accrued by the time I find myself pregnant to surgically remove my own  the baby in the unlikely event that I cannot find an OB-GYN whose Mercedes payments alone will not persuade him to perform the procedure; b) any baby I have will be surgically removed the day an ultrasound indicates that he's reached the grand sum of six pounds, ready or not. My uncle told me that vaginal deliveries and large babies are both contributory factors to female incontinence.

If anyone reading this actually likes the Tena Twist commercials, we'll have to agree to disagree.