Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Fucking Birthday



I  have another of those non-milestone birthdays coming up soon. I will turn 20  on Tuesday. 20 is not much of a big deal. I get to change the digit in the "tens" column of my age. Isn't that so incredibly exciting that I'm practically having a tonic-clonic seizure over it? 

Actually, the answer to that is no. There is absolutely no excitement that I can discern that is associated with changing th numeral in the "tens" column of my age. No new privileges will come with turning 20. No magic changes will happen to me. My braces will still be there when I wake up on Tuesday morning and look at myself in the mirror as I brush my teeth. I'll still be a stick figure. 

The only significant thing about my particular birthday whatsoever, and the significance of it is so old that it is no longer relevant, is that had I Matthew and I been born a few hours later, we would have missed California's kindergarten cut-off date and would be one year behind where we presently are in school. Some parents would have kept us out of kindergarten for the year anyway because I was so undersized and Matthew had all the common sense of a fruit fly, but since we could already read, my parents chose to send us off to kindergarten anyway. I don't know if they regret that decision or not. I wouldn't be in the situation I'll be in on Tuesday night if I were still an undergrad, but would I be any happier? Probably not.

My pseudoaunt's birthday is tomorrow. We have a long-standing tradition of meeting the day between our birthdays to celebrate both of our days. Her brother is flying home on a charter flight on Monday morning, and she offered to bring the baby and fly to my school to celebrate with me, but I told her I don't want her to come. Her baby is only 30 days old tomorrow. I know babies fly all the time, and it's at least not a commercial flight, but I would feel horrible if he got an earache because he took a totally unnecessary flight. Jillian called me a  martyr. Scott said it's a sign that I'm growing up when I'm willing to put someone else's interests ahead of my own.

There's a tradition that the other members of the class take the class member with a birthdy and buy him or her just enough beer to get a buzz, but not roaring drunk. Of course that tradition doesn't apply to me since i cannot legally enter  bar, muchless drink beer there. In theory it doesn't apply to Matthew, either, but he could easily walk into just about any bar and order a beer without anyone giving him a second glance. He'll probably go out for a few beers with the group. At least I already know I don't like beer, so I know I'm not missing anything really special.

The only real consolation to any of this is that the acne fairy has yet to pay me a visit. My mom tells me I should be more grateful for that than I am. She actually brought it up at the table at Thanksgiving dinner in front of the entire group of people in attendance, totally humiliating me in the process. Was she ever almost 20? Why doesn't she remember more about what it was like, and how someone this age doesn't like having attention called to physical attributes. Even calling attention to one's few positive traits is only a back-door way of referencing the negative ones -- the ones I supposedly shouldn't be dwelling on.

I decided I'm not babysitting because it's truly pathetic to have so little in common with everyone around you that the only think you can find to do on your birthday is to babysit. Even if you're doing nothing but staring at the walls, it's still better thn having anyone else know that you're babysitting on your birthday.Timmy said he would take me out to dinner except that he has to work. He said on his next night off, which will be God knows when, he'll take me to dinner.

Next year, when I turn 21, I'm going to a bar even if I have to go by myself. I'll get significantly drunk, but not so intoxicated that I will risk alcohol poisoning.

This post probably reads like I'm begging people to tell me "happy birthday" when the day comes in 1 1/2 days, but that's really not the issue. It's more of a snapshot of where I am at this particular moment in my life. 

A conspiracy Theory to Beat Most Conspiracy Theories

This is a reasonable facsimile of Bradford.  He actually looks like this guy except that Bradford has no facial hair, per instruction from the suits in Salt Lake City. Also, Bradford wears white shirts and ties at all times during his waking hours. Jesus apparently wore white shirts and ties at all times, aong with no facial hair,  so LDS men in good standing should be likewise facially shorn and clad in white shirts with ties.

My paternal cousin Bradford -- son of  Mahonri and Marthalene, has been into conspiracy theories for as long as I can remember. He's maybe six years or so older than I am . The truth of the matter is that I have so freaking many cousins on that side of the family -- sixty-one first cousins on my dad's side alone, and that doesn't even count my brother and me because, obviously, we're not cousins to one another, that it's tough enough to keep track of the cousins' names,  much less their ages. 
  


Furthermore, I don't think the verdict is entirely in on that number. Cristelle, the youngest child of my grandparents, and mother of the famous Blitzen Manx and Antarctica Meringue (otherwise known by the nicknames my dad has given them, which are Mutt and Kitty Carry-all), says that she's finished and has even sealed the deal surgically. As far as the other aunts are concerned, though, several are still presumably fertile. They belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose unofficial stance on the matter is "keep  poppin' ;em out until your ovaries have shriveled to the size of raisins and  no eggs could be forced out of them if they were squeezed simultaneously with  Irwin VISE-GRIP pliers by resurrected versions of Brigham Young's henchmen."

Chances are that even as I am typing , at least one of my paternal aunts is in some stage of gestation, unbeknownst to me. In my dad's family, miscarriages are common enough (can you imagine the size the extended family would be if all those babies who didn't make it to viability had survived?) that it's become traditional to withhold announcement of one's pregnancy for at least six weeks or  so after the dipstick has come back with two little parallel lines or whatever the indicator positive for pregnancy is present on a particular brand of home pregnancy test. 

This is actually one of the few traditions in my dad's family that makes at least a modicum of sense. News of pregnancy typically travels much faster and further than does the word concerning termination of a previously announced pregnancy. It's most upsetting to the former mother-to-be, in addition to awkward for anyone else present, to be asked about a pregnancy that didn't make it much past the middle of the second trimester. If the pregnancy had advanced much further along, it's usually obviously enough to everyone that what was previously a pregnancy is no more. No one I know either personally or through the media who has borne as many children as my aunts have, makes it into her 20th week without being visibly with child, with the possible, and quite far-removed as time goes, exception of Ethel Kennedy, whose petite body managed to conceal pregnancies for a remarkable interval considering her size and the number of children she had birthed.

Speaking of Ethel Kennedy, she offers a segue back to the topic from which  I have so egregiously digressed. The Kennedy family is involved in this most recent conspiracy theory of Bradford's. That Bradford would come up with a new conspiracy about the Kennedys or about anything else is far from surprising. He has conspiracy theories about everything from the space shuttle disasters (inside sabotage jobs according to Bradford), to 9-1-1, also an inside job as evidenced by then-President George W. Bush not reacting and being more interested in finding out how Make Way for Ducklings than in the crashing of airplanes into the world trade Center.  He also believes that there is a large conspiracy concerning Walmart not being allowed into in certain cities. He refuses to consider that some cities have standards and refuse to allow in a large corporation that, becqus of the sheer volume in which it deals and to the shamefully low wages and benefits it pays its employees, is able to underprice its competitors, thus forcing the competition out of business in many places. 

He obsesses on the Lost Tribes of Israel. According to Bradford, they're not hiding inside the center of the Earth via a hole in the North Pole, as some of the lDS church's more eccentric adherents believe. I'm inclined to agree with Bradford on this one tiny sliver of a point. His solution to the quandary, however, is no more plausible than is the "journey to the Center of the Earth" theory.he more extreme Mormons believe.  Instead of the more commonly held yet still quite bizarre theory of the Lost Tribes hiding out in the center of the Earth, perhaps clothed in heat-resistant suits to protect them from the extremely high temperatures of the Earth's core (or then again, maybe the magic underwear alone does the trick), they are hiding in plain sight, in only slightly out-off-the-way locations, such as the Basque regions of Spain and France, parts of Appalachia (the particular inhabitants are known as Melungeons  by others, but Bradford knows that "Melungeon" is just a code name for one of the Lost Tribes), Prince Edward Island, the Azores, wherever the Gypsies reside (Gypsies are members of the Lost Tribes of Israel), the Lapland region of Scandinavia, and Antarctica (unknown to the rest of the world, there ARE humans indigenous to Antarctica, and they, too, are of the Lost Tribes of Israel). 

There are other locations of the Lost Tribes I have neglected to mention, primarily because I've neglected to memorize them all. Bradford purchased beach ball at The Dollar Tree that is essentially an inflatable globe. Whenever inspired, he prays over his geographically decorated beach ball,  then points with his eyes closed. Wherever his middle finger lands (both he and his father possess the idiosyncracy of using their middle fingers for pointing, thus giving the impression that they are flipping off whatever or whomever at which they're pointing) is where the Lost Tribes are. We're not quite sure how he found the Gypsies using this method, as Gypsies are spread far and wide in a geographical sense, but no one asks Bradford about this because no one wants to hear his convuluted answer.

The preceding  are  merely illustrations  of the weirdness that surrounds Bradford's conspiracy theories. The totality of his theories would comprise an encyclopedic volume. You're not any more interested in reading about all of them than I am about writing of them. Still, the most recent obsession is interesting enough that I will share it with you.

Bradford believes that there were and are no such people as the Kennedys. I suppose if there's someone who lives across the street from you who owns and operates a sanitaion company or some similar business who happens to have the surname of Kennedy, that person and his or her family might be real, but the Kennedy family who contributed a president and two  U.S. senators to our nation is nothing more than a myth. They were all Hollywood actors hired for their toothy facial resemblance and taught the Boston accent by a team of speech pathologists.  They were never married to their supposed spouses. The offspring are also Hollywood actors hired for their prominent teeth that even years of expensive orthodontia could not quite overcome. 

JFK himself wasn't even a Hollywood actor. He was a mannequin -- a rather high-tech mannequin for his time, but a mannequin nonetheless. Voice actor Von Meader provided the voice-overs for JFK's speeches and press conferences. 
The nation was actually being run by K. LeMoyne Billings, a former "Kennedy" confidante and "JFK" aide, according to Bradford. Before K. LeMoyne Billings came into the picture, the myth of the Kenndys didn't actually exist. Joe, Rose, Honey Fitz, and the rest were invented retroactively and history was rewritten. (The Mormons aren't the first, according to bradford, to rewrite history.)

There was no conspiracy surrounding for JFK's supposed 
assassination, according to Bradford. Oswald really wanted "the mannequin otherwise known as JFK" (of course Oswald didn't know he was a mannequin) gone for whatever reason, and acted alone. The only conspiracy in the whole operation, according to Bradford, was making it look like a legitimate assassination when it was a mannequin and not a human body that was shot. It took major Yankee ingenuity to come up with fake blood on the fly, Bradford explained.

JFK. Jr., despite being a mere Hollywood actor (for some reason they chose to hire an actor that more closely resembled the fake spouse than the fake Kennedy, which ended up working to the conspiracy's and to JFK Jr. himself's detriment), was gaining too much momentum, according to Bradford. He had political aspirations of his own, according to Bradford, and possibly just enough looks and charisma to succeed politically. The system wouldn't work if a fake Kennedy with a brain found himself in an actual position of power. That's why his small plane was surrounded by other planes producing fog and jamming the communicative abilities of his instruments that might have allowed him to successfully land his plane in the fog.

Maria Shriver was never coinsidered enough of a threat that she faced any danger by way of conspiracies to stop her. The powers that be trusted both her and her Austrian-born husband to screw things up for themselves without the necessity of any help from the insiders actually running things. The same is true of the male faux offspring of Robert and Ethel Kennedy.

Bradford believes Karl Rove may now be controlling the
Kennedys, now a much less significant task,  though he's not certain who held the reins between the days  of K. Lemoyne Billings and Karl Rove.


My mother believes Bradford is a full-blown schizophrenic.   My dad thinks he's chip off the old block known as Mahonri except that he's  less dangerous. He may be spouting compete madness, but he's at least not stealing toilet paper, toothpaste, and condiments from the home of every relative whose home he's allowed to enter. My parents have agreed to disagree on this one as long as we all keep our distance from Bradford. We didn't tell anyone in that branch of the family our address when we last moved, although Mahonri mysteriously found us anyway. My mom sent out "we've moved" cards with a new fake address on them, and she hung a sign on our front door that says "The Pretaskys." (She found the sign at a yard sale, and the name seemed too obscure for someone to invent.)

I don't really think Bradford is homicidal, but I'd hate to have him find me purely from the nuisance standpoint. I'm glad none of the Utah branch of the family  knows about our condo. my medical school is a large place. Bradford or any of his almost equally loony siblings would have a hell of a time trying to track me down even of they showed up at the right university, which is a good thing, as I don't want to deal with messy matters such as restraining orders.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Popsicle Toes



A song Knotty recorded reminded me of a particularly disgusting memory. Because I  have no access to study materials, I am bored. I have no alternative other than to share my boredom and, hence, my disgusting memory with you,  my readers. (The word hence isn't commonly used, but you may remember that it appeared several times in Jonbenet Ramsey's bogus ransom note, as well as in numerous communications written by the late Jonbenet's [may the poor little soul rest in peace]  late mother. So it appears that, until Mrs. Ramsey's death due to ovarian cancer, only Patsy Ramsey and I commonly used the word. Still, I think it's a good word and will continue to use it.

I attended high school on the edge of the northern Central Valley of California. In many high schools in central  and north-central California, agriculture is a major area of curricular study and extra-curricular activity. When we were freshmen, my close friend Megan decided for god only knows what reason that she wanted to become an aggie. She enrolled in Animal Science 1 and joined the Future Farmers of America. Megan tried so very hard to persuade me to join her in becoming an aggie, but it was something I had even less than absolutely no desire to do.

I participated in academic decathlon. As humiliating as it is for me to acknowledge this, as I've taken so many shots at cheerleaders and their stereotypically deficient intellects, I will for the first time in this blog admit that I even did a brief stint as the flyer for the cheer squad when my parents were out of the country for six weeks one autumn. (They never would have agreed to it for safety reasons.) My cousin Kevin, who was my temporary legal guardian during that interval, probably would have signed papers allowing me to quit school and join up with the U.S. Marines if I had asked him to do so. Being the flyer was fun while it lasted, though I'm really not cheerleader material.

If I'm not the cheerleader type, though my cheerleading service was short-lived, I supported my school in many other ways. Everyone should do his or her part, and I did. The Academic Decathlon was a breeze for me, as it was a perfect fit for my interests, so my participation in it could hardly even have been considered a sacrifice. I played my violin, sousaphone, and piano in the name of school spirit. Though I'm the ultimate morning slug, I dragged myself out of bed for 5:00 a.m.  diving practices. Our school had a heated pool, but it was  heated only to 80 degrees, and eventually we had to get out of it to dive again. Pre-dawn in February in northern California is freaking cold. We were within bike-riding distance [for really serious bike riders, anyway; I'm not claiming to have riden the distance myself] of the place where many members of the Donner Party perished many years ago due to cold and starvation. Many people think of California as balmy and almost tropical, and in some places it is. In other parts of California, there are two seasons: hotter than hell, and colder than whatever is the opposite of hell.

I played the piano and violin. At the time I played tennis, dove, and hurdled. I accompanied the school choir on the piano (there was financial compensation for this, though I charged less than I would have charged had I been accompanying any choir other than my own school's choir), and occasionally helped the marching band by playing ther sousaphone. I now have a slight case of scoliosis, which is very likely due to trekking up and  down streets with a sousaphone [which weighed almost as much as I weighed] resting on my left shoulder during my formative years. 

I hurdled for the school track team,  once suffering a serious injury in the process, literally leaving tissue from my body on the track of a competing school after the ambulance had carted me away. I was true to my school -- just not to the school's ag department.

So when Megan called me one fall night to beg me to go with her her to the school's animal quarters for her once-every-six-weeks turn at feeding the animals in the wee hours of the morning, I could have come up with at least a quadrillion reasons not to accompany her. I had a cold. My mom was sick, and turning the alarm off at 4:45 would have awakened her, which I didn't want to do when that time of the morning was probably the only decent sleep she was likely to get all night. Megan's dad's car was needed a new muffler, and he'd probably wake up the whole neighborhood with his noisy car. The bottom line was that A) I didn't partcularly want to get my lazy butt out of bed at that hour; and B) even if I wanted to get up before the sun did, I didn't wish to spend the time with farm animals. 

Megan, however, was one of my very best friends. Her dad would drive her there, but he had no intention of getting out of the car and traipsing into the animal enclosures with her. She was scared to go there all by herself, particularly in the dark. In the end, friendship trumped laziness and my concern for the proper sleep of my mom and the rest of the neighborhood. At 4:45 sharp that morning, I heard the distinct rumble of megan's dad's noisy muffler as his car approached my cul de sac. I disarmed the alarm, grabbed my backpack with books,  exited the house through the front door, and got into the back seat of Megan's dad's 1990-something Chevy Impala.

The school farm was located on the extreme west side of campus, only partially within the city limits. The entire facility was darker than dark, as even the moon chose not to cooperate with the illumination situation on that early morning. 

Megan had been given the key to the circuit breaker box in which the light switch was located. She unlocked the box, flipped the light switch, and instantly the place became lighter but not a whole lot less creepy. 

I first stood and watched as she took a bucket and filled it with whatever it was she was supposed to feed the sheep. She refilled the bucket and emptied the contents into different bins. It soon occurred to me that, as little as I desired to get my hands and shoes dirty with the filth of both agriculture's products and its by-products, we'd get out of there a whole lot sooner if I helped her. We went next to the poultry area, which was easily the most foul-smelling place in the entire animal care facility. I distinctly remember vowing to toss the shoes I was wearing, which had been a favorite pair, into the rubbish before I entered my house again.

We went next to the cow enclosure. A paid staff milked the cows in the off-hours, but that had happened hours earlier, and the paid workers were long gone. We gave the cows their hay and whatever else (silage, I think) that they were supposed to be given. One cow licked my hand, which grossed me out, but at the same time I thought it was kind of sweet.

Last we made it to the pig pen. We began filling pails with corn and silage. (There's a difference. I'll explain it someday if anyone really cares.) Megan dropped some of each mixture into one bin, as I did the same into another. She moved to a third feeding station when something startled her to the extent that she screamed. A smarter person than I would have run as fast as I could have run in the opposite direction, but on that particular morning I was more curious than prudent. I tiptoed over to see what had caused Megan to scream. 

In the enclosure of a Hampshire pig (black on both ends with a large white stripe around the midsection) and her four piglets were two reclining human bodies. We soon recognized them as April Underhart and Danny Binger, two senior Aggies.  One or the other of them(I can't for the life of me remember which one, nor can I remember whether or not the award was actually received)  had just been nominated for the American FFA Degree, which was apparently a huge deal in FFA circles. (The name always sounded redundant to me: American Future Farmer of America Degree; What other nation's degree would the Future Farmers of America confer? The Canadian Future Farmers of America Degree? The Belgian Future Farmers of American Degree? Or perhaps, for the sake of variety, the American Future Farmers of Kuwait Degree; I just always thought that for such a supposedly prestigious award, a few aggies could have put their heads together and could have come up with a better name for it. ) 

Both Danny and April were partially clothed.  Danny's toes were in April's  mouth. The two of them had apparently fallen asleep that way. They had slept through the turning on of the lights and the noises we made as we went about giving the animals their breakfasts. It was only when Megan screamed that they were awakened. It took longer than one might have thought necessary for April to disengage Danny's toes from her mouth.

Megan's dad had heard the scream and had gotten out of the car to see what the problem was, but stood back when he saw that it was only a couple who couldn't find a more comfortable spot than a pig pen for their coupling activity. 

April and Danny were apparently worried that if this incident were reported to authorities, all sorts of bad things might happen to them. I'm not sure if Megan had any intention of reporting it anyway (I personally didn't consider it any of my business, as I was merely along for the ride), but when Danny and April offered to cover Megan's early-morning feeding duties for the remainder of the year in exchanged for her silence, she didn't hesitate in the least in taking them up on their offer. She handed the keys to the light and circuit breaker box off to April, and we headed back to Megan's house to eat breakfast in leisure in the roughly two hours before school was to start.

Is it any wonder, then, that anytime I hear the song "Popsicle Toes,"  my mind instantly travels back to that chilly October morning when Megan and I came across April and Danny in a moment of rather crass intimacy. Incidentally, a month or so later, April developed a rather serious case of E. coli, from which, fortunately, she made a complete recovery. Her doctors assumed she picked it up from something at the school farm. Megan and I could have clued them in on a likely more specific cause, but we didn't because a deal is a deal.



Monday, November 24, 2014

How can a sane person with taste buds dislike Grape Crush?

Fluid of the Gods


Jared came over to my house for awhile tonight. I just found out that he doesn't like Grape Crush! I suppose I could take the attitude that it just leaves more for me, but I'm not certain I'm willing to be quite so laissez-faire about such a fundamental issue.  He could like the Dodgers and I would probably live with it. I supposed I'd be Ok with his being an atheist as well as long as he were not overly evangelistic about it, which most atheists I know are not. I could probably even be tolerant of a preference for Bosendorfer pianos over Steinways, although I'm not sure he plays well enough to know the diffewrence either by touch or by sound. (For the record, if he announced that he was signing on with Warren Jeffs' crew, that would be a deal-breaker. One has to draw the line somewhere.)


But not to like Grape Crush? What's not to like? It's basically the fluid of the Gods, particularly in bottled form. Does that mean a person who dislikes it has Satanic tendencies? I'm just not quite sure what to make of this. I would understand his point if he were avoiding carbonated beverages for health reasons, but he downs Dr. Pepper as though the stuff has acne-fighting properties. 

I may need to take a closer look at Rafael.

P.S. If you have not guessed, I have too much time on my hands. My mother took away my textbooks for two days. I could go into my brother's room and get his, as she didn't confiscate his for the obvious reasons, but I am either, depending upon how one views it, either living in or a guest in her home. I'm going along with her "no studying for two days" plan. It may very well kill me, but I pride myself on being a gracious guest.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nineteen Kids and Subtracting

There but for the grace of God  I could have gone.

   At "The Original Duggar Family Blog, a post appeared     
   under the heading "Support the Duggars." readers of the 
   blog were encouraged to post messages of support to the 
   Duggars and to their program, 19 Kids and Counting.     
   The following response appeared. 


I LOVE this show. I cant go a day with out watching it. I watch every show and then watch them again. I feel like ive known the family my entire life. I dont know what i would do if they canceled the show.


I didn't respond to the comment at the blog because the site is heavily moderated, and my  response would never have seen the light of day.

I would, respectfully or otherwise, respond here to the original responder that he or she would be well served by acquiring a life of his or her own so that his or her own mental and/or emotional well-being were not dependent upon the continuation or cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting.



Unsupervised Babies Sleeping in Cribs and other Bizarre Cautionary Tales



I have a week off from school and am back at the homestead, or at least in the general vicinity of such. I went to babysit my Godchild this morning because he kept his mother up most of last night and she is exhausted. I held the baby and played with him for an hour or so, but he eventually fell asleep, so I swaddled him (it's a new technique all parents must learn now; it's amazing that I survived almost twenty years without ever once, to the best of my knowledge, being swaddled; I don't think my mother could properly swaddle an infant if her very life depended upon it) and put him in his bassinet in his mother's room.

I then went outside to help my Uncle Scott with his
recycling. He told me to fold up the cardboard box in which the baby's crib had originally been packaged. As I was folding the cardboard so that it would fit into the city-provided recycling bin, I noticed the following statement printed in moderately bold black letters in the center of one side of the box:"Do not leave baby unattended in crib."

Exactly what sentiment did the manufacturer wish to convey with the message? Is the implication that even when a baby is asleep in the crib, at least one sober and responsible adult should be standing guard and watching the child every second of every minute the child is in the crib? Are parents required to take sifts during the night even when the baby is asleep in order to accomplish this? Since they already must take shifts when the baby is awake, this would result in both parents getting zero amount of sleep every night at least until the kid outgrew his crib. Is there something inherently defective with this crib in particular, or are all cribs, regardless of make or model,  equally hazardous to babies? 

It seems that people (although perhaps quite naively) assume that a baby can safely remain in a crib in a state of sleep or, for shorter intervals, even in a state of wakefulness. Does this particular crib my aunt and uncle selected for their baby possess something akin to a trap door with a trigger that even a newborn baby can manipulate, thereby escaping said crib/prison? If so, is Ralph Nader aware of this function or malfunction? Or are all cribs by definition unsafe unless an adult is directly supervising whatever infant has been placed in the crib?

Or does the crib's manufacturer intend to convey that the supervisory capacity of its cribs is not without limits, as in a parent should not leave the child in the crib without another adult in the house to supervise the child while the parent attends mass or goes off to play putt-putt golf at a miniature golf course five miles from his or her home?  The company makes good cribs, but not cribs with superpowers. One should not expect even this manufacturer's  crib to detect and remedy choking, fever,  wet or messy diapers, hunger, loneliness, or other hazards of infancy.  Under this interpretation, a parent could conceivably go so far as to drift off to sleep with his or her child sleeping on one of the manufacturer's cribs in the next room. 

But how are we to really know this is the correct interpretation of the manufacturer's disclaimer? The box said:  "Do not leave baby unattended in crib." Call me anal-retentive if you wish, but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable leaving a child to sleep in the crib that came packaged in that box unless I was prepared to sit and stare at the baby until it was time to remove him from the crib. What if the crib has a secret sensor that alerts CPS if a child is not properly attended in the crib? Is it really worth risking having one's child caught up and possibly even lost in California's dismal foster care system over a failure to heed a what would seem to be a clear directive?

I pointed this out to Uncle Scott. He told me that I and not he will be the one to be arrested for child endangerment, as it was I who put his baby to bed before coming outside. I reminded him that I had placed the child in the bassinet next to his mother, and not into the crib in the adjoining nursery. As far as we know, the box the bassinet came in bore no similar warning.

I wish I'd taken a picture of the threatening package label before I folded the box multiple times, jumped on it in order to compact it, and shoved it deep into the recesses of the recycling bin. The box is now ensconced in the filth of recycling, and I have no intention of digging it out.

My Uncle Scott mentioned that when his family got their first computer -- one of those T-Rex colossal desktop models -- when he was a kid, he was reading the directions aloud to his father as his father was assembling the thing. In the instructions, right in the middle of reasonably important content about what cables to attach where, in bold print inside a text box appeared the warning: "Do not operate computer in a shower stall with water running." Scott asked his dad why the directions would say such a thing. His dad answered that presumably at least one idiot had done that very thing and had probably sued the manufacturer either for damage to the computer or for injury (or loss of life, which would have been a mere technicality, as the person who did such a thing must already have been brain-dead). To prevent future similar lawsuits, the company inserted the disclaimer into its instructions. Anyone stupid enough to operate a desktop computer in a shower stall with the water running (I can imagine a drunken or drugged-out frat rat taking his laptop into the shower with him, which is still quite stupid in its own right, but a desktop?) is probably too stupid to read the instructions telling him not to do that very thing.

I googled "stupid instructions" to see what the Internet had to say about the subject.  A frozen pizza offered the warning, "Always bake with the crust side down." It never occurred to me to bake a pizza with the crust side up, but I cannot imagine that the end result would be good.

"Do not drive with sunshield in place," was included in the instructions on one of those cardboard windshield covers intended to keep temperatures down in parked cars. The sad thing is that with the way some people around here drive (I've had two ridiculous accidents that were not my fault) it really wouldn't make much difference whether or not they left their sunshields on their front windshields while driving.

"Use care when operating motor vehicles until you know how you react to medication" was printed on a prescription bottle of dog's pills. That's what I always tell The Pope whenever I give him his pain meds.

"Do not eat toner" was included in a print cartridge's instructions. For most of us, this is simply silly and a non-issue. The problem here lies in the fact that someone with Prader-Willi Syndrome (mild to moderate retardation in regard to everything else, but subjects are absolute savants at acquiring food and will eat non-food when food is unavailable) probably couldn't read the warning label. An individual with pica (an uncommon urge to eat things that wouldn't ordinarily be considered edible) probably wouldn't really care about the warning if it were toner that he or she craved. (Usually it's something more like dirt, chalk, or Play-Doh that pica sufferers would choose to eat.) Hence, the warning is a waste of print except perhaps in the instance of litigation.

On a motorcycle helmet-mounted rear-view mirror, the following disclaimer was offered: "Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you." Where else might anyone smart enough to operate a motorcycle (which, granted, isn't saying a hell of a lot, but still . . .) think they could possibly be?

A label on a package of peanuts contained the following advice: "Warning! May contain peanuts!" I understand both the pervasiveness and the seriousness of peanut allergies, but wouldn't the contents of this label be considered slightly redundant, particularly if the primary label on the front of the package said "PEANUTS"?

This disclaimer, sort of the antithesis of the disclaimer on my Godchild's crib packaging, was found attached to a double stroller: "Remove occupants before folding stroller."  I would ask if, in all seriousness, anyone really needed to be told that were it not for the large number of people who cannot remember to take their children out of their cars before going to work or about other business. I'm not intending to be funny here because there's absolutely nothing funny about it, as we all know.

In order to end the list on a lighter note, I'll share my personal favorite disclaimer, which was found on the packaging of a digital thermometer: "Do not use orally after using rectally." Really?

For your own peace of mind, I will share with you that my Godchild and his mother are both now awake. He isn't in his crib, so the point of crib supervision or lack thereof is moot, although since he's being fed, I would suppose one would say the child is under supervision.  CPS will have to find another candidate to lose in their system today. *****


***** I'm being somewhat facetious in my criticism of CPS. From what I've been told by mandated reporters to the system, which includes basically everyone over twenty-five who is related to me, CPS is far more likely to stand by idly without adequately investigating a case of child abuse or neglect than to wrongly remove a child from his or her home.



FREEDOM!  I have a week off from school.





Saturday, November 22, 2014

no life in Idaho, which lends itself to bizarre rumors

This is a reasonable representation of an Idaho couple. I had to search hard to find the male half of the couple without a moustache, as Mormons, which many Idahoans consider themselves,  don't look favorably upon facial hair.


I'm not sure why I'm sharing this except that I'm having a little trouble sleeping. We're getting the week off, so matthew and I are driving home tomorrow. Since it's just for a week, I'll let Matthew drive and I'll share my parents' cars when I need transportation. For Christmas, Matthew and I will each take out own cars home because we'll want the freedom of coming and going as we please.

Anyway, the story I'm sharing is about my Aunt Colleen. She's my mom's oldest sister. She is, paradoxically enough, a Mormon. She's the only Mormon on my mom's side of the family. Aunt Colleen converted after she married  my Uncle Douglas, whose family had converted just before he was born.  the two of the were married for about thirteen years before my Aunt joined the LDS church, primarily because my aunt wouldn't even consider converting until the ban on blacks receiving the priesthood of the church was lifted in 1978.

Aunt Colleen and Uncle Douglas are roughly as liberal as true-believing Mormons go. They've never tried to convert my mom, to reconvert my dad, or have never taken subversive steps to indoctrinate Matthew or me. I believe they're still registered democrats, which is an anomaly in and of itself. They're not liberal to the extent that they grow their own (of anything in the backyard, or that they travel in a fried out combie, and they more or less look like mormons, although Aunt colleen lost the0 bullet-proof-hair look shortly after her senior pictuire was taken in 1963.

During the year when my mom was the most ill with leukemia, Aunt Colleen took care of Matthew and me for the summer. She wanted to keep us there for the fall. In restrospect, my parents should have accepted the hospitality on our behalf, because that fall was the time we had the infamous relative-of-a-relative babysitter who practically allowed me to starve myself to death (I was, under this babysitter's lack of supervision, as an almost-six-year-old, conducting my own scientific study concerning whether or not the human body could sustain itself on candy alone, with the primary flaw to the study being that eventually even candy lost its appeal to me;  since no meals were neing prepared,  for all intents and purposes, stopped eating)and wh sent Matthew and me to school most days wearing the clothing we had slept in. the babysitter spent a lot of time sleeping, watching soap operas, and speaking by long distance (before cell phones were quite so ubiquitous) with her boyyyfriend who was serving on an lDS mission For the record, LDS missionaries are not supposed to speak via telephone to their girlfriends, but there are ways around every rule and individuals who are willing to resort to those ways in order to break  said rules.

Aunt Colleen was a voice major in college.  She continued her studies while traching snd, once she was married, while her children (of which she has four) were young in order to eventually end up with a doctorate in vocal performance from Northwestern. She now is a music professor at a unioversity in Idaho. for her level of talent and qualifications, she would probably be considered underemployed, but her work opportunities are limited geographically by her husband's medical practice.Hence she's stuck teaching voice at a university in Idaho though her talent and qualifications would allow her to teach amost anywhere.

At the university in Idaho at which she is a professor of music, not much hapens by way if student social life. I'm sure the usual conjugations and occasional drinking and recreational drug use happen despite the dominant religion of the region being pervasive, but as university life goes, students peesumably spend a great deal of time involved in such activities as waiting for the UPS truck to arrive and watching the grass grow. I'm speaking of literal grass -- the kind that most of us use to create lawns -- but the students
there may own ultraviolet lights so that they may watch another kind of grass grow as well for all I know, but I'm only surmising. An environment so lacking in stimulation or legitimate culture  (culture in this ) meaning availability of art, music, theatre, etc., as opposed to a local way of life is only a few very short steps from siblings  breeding with one another and the like.
Anyway, daily activity is so lacking in ordinary stimulation that the student body takes a keen interest in the lives of faculty members. First of all, the lives of these faculty members are not the stuff with which tabloids are filled. 
This is Idaho.  I doubt that there is as much as a single faculty member with a hot tub who uses it au naturale.
People there in general, and university faculty in particular, do not, as far as anyone actually knows, engage in activities that any sane individual would care enough about what these people are doing even to give thought to it, much less to exchange gossip about it.  The place is dull, and the people populating the place are even less exciting.

Imagine, then, the surprise that faced my aunt when she received an anonymous letter, presumably from a student, advising my aunt that it had become known among students that she, my aunt, had suffered a case of AIDS at the age of seventeen.

My aunt is sixty-three, which would have placed her, depending upon the time of the year,  at the age of seventeen or so in 1968.  Retroactive research indicates that the very first case of AIDS appeared in the United States in 1968, and was traced to a particular individual, who was not my Aunt Colleen.

Furthermore, had my aunt contracted AIDS in 1968, the diagnosis would have amounted to a death sentence. Short of divine intervention, my aunt wouldn't be teaching vocal performance or anything else, or at least not in Idaho or anywhere else on Earth.

This story might have been newsworthy had there been the slightest truth to it if only because my aunt would have been the first known individual to have survived Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. How my aunt might have acquired this virus would, one would presume, be somewhere between boring and irrelevant. It probably would have required immaculate conception, except that I don't think you actually call something conception when it's a virus being transmitted as opposed to a child being conceived. I can't know for certain if she had sex before she was married, and I don't really care, but neither should any of the students at her university, and furthermore, the word on the street was that she lived the life of a nun before she was married.

The saddest thing about this is that the university in question isn't even BYU. It's a poublicly owned school, where any sex that is legal by government standards, as in presumably anything between consenting adults (she lived in New York at the time, where the age of consent was seventeen, if that matters) is of no consequence in regard to university staff members or to anyone else past the age of consent. 

Why would any college student care who or what his or her sixty-three year-old professor slept with, and what were the consequences of said conjugal incident? 

For the record, my aunt thinks it's hysterically funny. She thinks her bishop will probablty eventually get wind of the story and will call her in for questioning, at which point she plans to laugh in his face.  My uncle was upset about the rumor until he found out that it didn't upset my aunt, so he doesn't care anymore, either.

What is it with students in Idaho? Do they have potatoes inside their heads in the spaces ordinarily occupied by brains, or is it mere cultural ignorance causing such idiocy ?
Is it genetic, or does it just happen to anyone who lives there for long enough.

I'm beginning to believe that Napoleon Dynamite -- set in Idaho, in case you'd either forgotten or had never known in the first place  -- had its roots in reality.

that uniquely Idaho look






Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sheep of Fresno: Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

If you're a guy in Fresno and can't find a date, you apparenty look for a sheep.
Note: All subjects are innocent until found guilty in a court of law or until said subjects admit to their misdeeds.

I went of the date on Friday night. I had fun. With discretion supposedly being the greater part of vlor, I won't say much more about it except that the fact that "Rafael" even showing up was almost enough to make the date a success in my book. It's far too early to tell if this date was an anomaly or if it is a foreteller of greater things to come in terms of my social life, and that in the future boys mught not actually treat me as though I have the ebola virus . Time alone will tell.

I'm studying now. I'm obviously not studying right now, but instead taking a brief respite from what has been a day, or even a weekend, of studying, minus Friday night. My brother's study group is here. They're "studying." I joined them for a half hour or so of their "studying," but then retreated to my bedroom to get back to the real thing. I can only tolerate so much frivolity, or alleged frivolity, before I must return to the steady grind that is the reason I am here in the first place.

I share this next bit of news because it relates to me in a way as I have cousins who attend Fresno State. http://www.documentingreality.com/forum/f225/fresno-state-student-sexually-assaults-sheep-police-say-149417/
A  5th -year engineering student at the university was caught there in the sheep department of the school farm in the act of copulating with a sheep. He gave all sorts of lame excuses for his contact with the sheep, first saying he was wrestling with cattle. When it was pointed out by campus police that no cattle were present, his reponse was that all farm animals are the same. (It's good that he's not a bio-engineering major, I suppose.) He man was your basic computer engineering major. The suspect later amended his alibi to suggest that the stress he was under due to midterm exams caused him to seek out animals on which to perpetrate violence. I believe he followed up with even less plausible excuses.

It was reported that the man was arrested and charged with bestiality [which is a crime in California though not in all states]  as well as with cruelty to animals. The assaulted sheep is being monitored by a veterinarian.

The 23-year old suspect's name has yet to be released. I have a problem with this. If a 17-year-old high school student experinces dissatisfasction with her calculus grade and, as an act of retaliation, accuses her instructor of having looked down the front of her dress, his picture is typically plastered in ginrormous form all over the front pages of every local and regional newspaper, and sometimes his alleged misdeeds even make it onto Nancy Grace's program. Then the girl recants her accusation. The recantation appears in fine print just below the section of the classified ads that concerns the selling of used tractor tires. Nancy Grace typically foregoes coverage of the recantation.

Yet this animal abuser manages to keep his name out of the public light for at least three days, and I think it's been even longer than that. What about the public's right to know? The sheep of Fresno and surrounding areas are at serious risk, and deserve the protection that publication of this 5th-year engineering major's name could provide. For that matter, how do we know his activities will stop with sheep? He said he was wrestling cattle. Perhaps it was the mere fact that he could not distinguish an ovine  from a bovine that protected the vast herds of Holsteins in California's San Joaquin Valley. Perhaps  even the dogs and cats are at risk.

KMPH, KSEE, KFSN, KJEO, KAIL, KNXT, Valley Public TV, Fresno Bee, Valley Voice, Fresno State's own Collegian, why are you not all over this story? What is keeping you out of the local courtrooms, filing petitions for the release of the alleged offender's name? The good people of Fresno and Clovis (I believe part of the school farm may fall within the boundaries of the city of Clovis) have a responsibility to protect their animals and a right to know. Get on this story, local media! And if not you, where is Nancy Grace when she is actually needed?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Social Life?

not an actual photo of "Rafael" because I'm not a complete fool, but a reasonable likeness



Alexis has a date for Friday night!!! (I ordinarily loathe extra exclamation points, but this latest development merits them.) I'm going out for dinner with one of my classmates. He just turned twenty-three, which makes him barely three years older than I. That pretty much is as close as they get in age to me in my med school cohort  (not counting my brother Matthew, who is less than a minute younger than I, so is on record the same age as I even though he is listed on his extended birth certificate as the second-born twin).

The relative closeness in age is assuming I don't count three total dorks in the cohort  who still behave as though they're in middle school. This is not hyperbole.  These hollow-skulled "peers" of mine actually giggled the first time the class was shown a nude body of a corpse. I didn't really perceive the giggles as those of the nervous sort, either, It seemed that the fools genuinely found view of a nude 88-year-old female corpse to be a source of mirth. It is my hope,  for the common good, that these three morons do not survive the first year, much less the entire procress of medical school. I think it would be better if these  idiots, all of whom must have been legacies to have gained admission in the first place,  are soon invited to leave and not to return. It's not that I wish anyone ill will. (Actually there are a couple of people in the class upon whom I sort of wish ill will, though not these three.) It's just that I feel that the world would be a safer place if these one-tenth (or less) wits were never to gain possession of licenses to practice medicine. I'm not even totally comfortable with the idea that they have licenses to operate motor vehicles. Malpractice suits can only go so far in terms of compensation for loss of life and limb.

Anyway, the guy with whom I'm going out is from the San Joaquin Valley. (We will not hold that against him.) His fake name (I'm not giving out his real name in the unlikely even that he might google himself and get extremely lucky) is "Rafael."  His father is an MD specializing in family practice. His mom is a respiratory therapist. He's in my brother's study group, which usually meets at our condo, and with whom I also study sometimes. "Rafael" is sharp. His test scores aren't quite as high as mine, but I'm not sure he puts in quite the study time that I do. That's not to say he's lazy; he seems to take his studies seriously. I just can't expect everyone to be as obsessive as I am.

I do not need Matthew's approval or consent consent to date anyone. If the prison system would go along with it, I could have a soiree  with Charlie Manson if I so desired, and Matthew would have no say whatsoever  in the matter,  not that that would ever happen,. For the record, this date is happening with Matthew's approval. It will be interesting to see how it goes down if I ever choose to date a guy of whom Matthew does not approve. In our lifetimes, Matthew has dated more girls of whom I did not approve  than I can count on the fingers of  both my  hands. (Thank God, his taste in women has recently improved.) My way of handling my disapproval of Matthew's previous dates as long as they did not directly affect me was to express my opinion and then to leave well enough alone.

There was that prom date our junior year in which a bimbo asked Matthew out because she wanted to get him drunk and be impregnated by him because she thought her looks and his brains would make a superior baby. ( You may remember my previously shared evidence of this girl's stupidity. she was fired from a bank teller job for giving out free traveler's checks. The account holder hadna premium account that allowed for free traveler's checques. What you, I, and everyone with an IQ in the positive values knows is that this means that the account holder pays the face value of the  traveler's checques but that any incidental fees associated with acquiring travelers checques are waived. Bimbo did not understand this conceopt. she thought free travelers' checques meant free travelers' checques, and the bank account holder she served that day walked out of the bank with ten thousand dollars' worth of travelers' checques without forking over a cent. I'm not certain how the discrepancy was resloved except that it was Bimbo's very last day of employment at the bank. Back to the matter at hand,  I suppose the concept of intelligence is relative, but this was Matthew of whom we are speaking -- the boy who less than two years ago thought I was lying to him when I told him pygmies were real; he thought they were a Disney creation, more or less like Oompah Loompahs. I'm not sure Einstein's genes would have been sufficient to negate Bimbo's stupidity, but Matthew's ? In what universe could Matthew and this young woman [she was 18 and he was 15, so in California it would have been statuatory rape along with everything else] have produced a marginally intelligent child? My guess is that the baby would have been good-looking, but that's as far as my predictions go. 
The whole issue was that in order to prevent this pregnancy from happening, my parents expected my date and me to double-date with Matthew and  Bimbo to the prom in order to serve as his chaperones and in order to prevent my parents from becoming grandparents to a cretin nine months later.  How lame can a situation get? One does not double-date with one's twin to a prom.. It just isn't done (sort of like how you don't tug on Superman's cape or spit into the wind) except perhaps in parts of the Ozarks and Appalachia, where, instead of double-dating with one's twin, one actually dates one's twin. For the record, the double-date didn't happen because shortly before the prom was to happen, I suffered a severe compound tibia-fibula fracture, in addition to a clavicle fracture, just in the nick of time to prevent me from the indiginity of being seen at a school event with my brother. My dad paid my best friend and her date to be Matthew's chaperones.  I can't speak for any other couples and their sexual escapades, but none of Matthew's sperm got close enough to Bimbo's eggs to telepathetically communicate any intentions, much less to conjoin and conceive a child.

Anyway, I hope that by now Matthew comprehends that he is powerless to prevent me from dating whomever I choose to date. i would, however, listen to anything he had to say about a prospective date of mine, and if his reasons for the date being a bad idea seemed sound, i would seriously consider what he had to say. In this case, however, he has no issue with "Rafael."

I like Rafael. I'm not madly in love with him, and I seriously doubt he's totally gaga over me, either. Dating at our age is healthy, though, and it is about time I had a date. I believe I am the very last girl in my cohort to have been asked on a date. The out-of-town date with Jared didn't count. Out-of-town dates when no one else in the cohort knows the person do not count. I could be making Jared up for all anyone knows.

Except for last Friday night, when I was back home visiting my new Godson, this will be the first Friday night in nearly three months that I haven't spent studying. I suspect my grades can take the hit with no major negative impact.

Pinterst wouldn't take the first print of "Rafael's" picture. I'll see if it will take this one. Otherwise, no Pinterest on this post..

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again

I looked for a picture of a girl in scrubs riding a horse but couldn't find one.


I've returned to school. Academically speaking, I don't think a whole lot went on in my absence. Matthew's study group was meeting in our apartment when I got home, and I couldn't discern any advancement whatsoever. If it were only Matthew on whom I were relying for input, I'd consider the source and rethink the matter, but a few of the people in the group have functioning brains, and the consensus was that not much new material had been presented in any class. (Perhaps that's why the profs were so willing to let me out of there for a week.) Most of the emphasis was on clinical work, and I did my share of that at another hospital, and had my hours logged and signed off by the surgeon in chief.

When not much goes down acadmeically, that leaves entirely too much time for things to go down socially. The word is all over the place about my ex's dissing of Enemy #2.  She seems to have lost status, and, by association, her friend has lost it as well. I may be blamed and may be targeted for retaliation, but these two are losing power by the minute, which sorely limits their positions to do anything that will cause me any legitimate grief. Furthermore, the dean has been apprised. They need to watch their steps for their own good. I don't care one way or another if they stay or go. If they stay, in two years when class rankings are calculated and matter in an official sense, there are two members of the class whom I will surely officially  no matter how hard they study, and they are going to find themselves lmited to a study group of two soon if their actions do not become more socially acceptable. If they go, good riddance, and they will be someone else's heaache. 

It's weird and entirely based upon my perception and not on reality, but with every mile that the plane moved closer to my medical school and further away from my home yesterday, I could feel the tension within me increasing. It must even have been discernible, as my ex, riding along with me in the plane, commented upon it. He said I'm stressing out too much, but that the biggest mistake a medical student can make is to not take it seriously enough. Before the quarter is over, chances are that someone's life and/or death will have passed through hands, and the outcome will have depended upon our actions. It's a rather sobering thought. 

It used to be that a med school student didn't get within breathing room of a patient until year three of medical school. Now we're managing intakes at the very beginning of  thrid month of school. In theory, life or death should not depend upon our actions, but the reality is that sometimes a situation is  critical before anyone other than we in the little white coats with "Student" badges are aware of it. if we're smart, we clamor loudly for help, and usually someone else jumps in and gets us the hell out of the way before we do any damage that cannot be undone, but until that happens, we're the only ones there to help the patients. This is particularly true when an ER is swamped.

I already have my two babysitting jobs for this week booked. One is for a professor who is not my professor but who has heard that I have a knack for keeping young children safe and happy at the same time, and that I follow parents' instruction to the letter. The other gig is for a third-year med-school male whose wife had a baby five weeks ago. She desperately needs to get out more. She and her husband -- the med school student -- are catching dinner and a movie.

Jared and I had a nice date just before my migraine set in. He probably caused the migraine, but that's another story for another day's blog. We saw, of all things, Meet the Mormons. We had free passes; we never would have paid even Monopoly money to get in to that movie.  I'm loathe to admit that we behaved most immaturely, laughing aloud what should have been the most serious parts, and even going so far as to throw popcorn at the movie screen. (An usher approached us, and I was sure we were about to be ejected from the theater for throwing popcorn. The usher whispered to Jared, "I'd throw popcorn at this movie, too, if I wouldn't lose my job for it." ) Wouldn't you say this movie is a real public relations coup for LDS, Inc. ? I would say it was a waste of perfectly good popcorn, but Jared had a coupon for all-you can-eat refills on one of those giant popcorn tubs. We snuck in our own sodas.

Jared is sweating out the waiting process for med school. He's taken the MCAT twice, for which I coached him all summer (he also took the Kaplan test prep course), and has submitted everything. He's now playing the waiting game. He doesn't have a music major to gild his lily or to pad his application, but he has a solid pre-medical course of study with a 4.0. He'll make a fine doctor if given the chance, I suspect he'll be given that chance, although it may bein Timbuktu. On a more serious note, he says he'll go anywhere n the U.S.  Cost is no major object, because his grandparents are footing the bill. He really regrets having no more Spanish fluency than what he got out of high school Spanish plus two quarters of college Spanish, but a Mormon mission would not have helped him in that regard, as he was to be sent  somewhere like Ghana, where Spanish flows about as freely as does the water there.

I really feel caught between two worlds right now. Here at medical school is where I belong, and I felt that way 100% until good old Jillian had to go out and have a baby. Now my heart is split between the two places. I'll be home for almost a week for Thanksgiving break in eighteen days. I hope Jillian and scott had no plansto actually hold their own baby during that time, because they'll have a tough time wrestling him from me.  After that, it's just two weeks until finals are over. 

Then I get almost a month off. I'll play Fairy Godmother  (seriously, I'd love to show up to the baptism in totl Fairy Godmother get-up, but I'd hate to be repsonsible for the priest having a coronary; I actually like the particular priest) but also catch up on sleep and have a little winter frolicking in Utah. Utah is not my favorite place, but the place in Utah where I have free lodging is not even a thirty-minute drive from Sundance resort, which gives me discounted passes.

What I thought might be unattainable seems to be mostly done. I'm through the roughest part of Quarter One of med school. I've been warned that Quarter Two is academically the toughest thing I'll face in my med school carreer, but I feel up to the challenge. Academic hurdles have never been my Achilles' heel. 

Have a pleasant autumn. I initially intended to tell you to have a nice fall but,  nice or not, I really don't want you to fall, so I'll choose my words more carefully.


I'm not a huge Barry Manilow fan, but I love this particular song, which I would like to dedicate to my Godchild, Andrew Scott Bryson.  (I'll share the story on the two middle names in a future blog. His parents aren't ordinarily the pretentious sorts who would give their child or children multiple middle names, but there's a legitmate reason for Andrew having both Scott and Bryson as middle names.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Migraine Vision, Among Other Things

I'm seeing things sot of like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamons."


I spent most of thr day at the hospital with the Godchild from heaven. Some people, including close relatives of mine, consider newborns a bit boring, but I find them fascinating. They've so recently come here from elsewhere that I can't help wondering what they know that they cannot share with us. Little Andrew is a joy in every sense of the word.

I'm coming down with a killer headache. I'm going to take migraine drugs and try to sleep it off. I hope to be over it in time to go to the hospital tomorrow, but if not, there's always Wednesday. Timmy and I don't fly back until 5:00 o'clock on Wednesday, and we're flying charter out of here, so we have no traveling to get to th airport or no TSA screeing to face once we get there.

The luxury if sleeping off a migraine or any other form of illness was something I took for granted before medical school Now I ordinarily have to be ill or injured enough to be admitted to a hospital  - and not a mere E.R. patient (as in if one or us checks in to the ER with symptoms of appendicitis or a kidney stone, it damned well better be one of those two things or something more serious or else) -- before it's permissble to miss a class or any other duty because of illness or injury, It's probably the rough equivalent to calling in sick from the front line of a major war zone when one is engaged in active military duty. Although some of my peers somehow find ways to miss classes. I think they're playing Russian Roulette with their continued enrollment in the program, but they probably think I'm playing the part of the OCD Queen of the Western Hemisphere.

Anyway, it's off to Loopy Land for me. I hope to return to some state of lucidity by midmorning.