On Thursday I "defended" my thesis proposal. I use the term loosely, because it's the accepted term, but it's stupid. I heard it over the years and drew the logical conclusion that it meant my committee would play devil's advocate and try to poke holes in my thesis, or at the very least ask a lot of difficult questions about it. What they actually did was say things to the effect of "This is great, we’re really excited about it, here's some advice, let us know if you have any questions." So that was nice. One of the things I want to do is write a satire about race and racism using aliens, and the consensus is that this could be brilliant and wonderful or it could be horribly offensive, but they feel it will be a good learning experience even if I can't use it in the final product. If I have to scrap it I'll just writer a satire about police brutality and corruption, an overlapping but different issue in which I have some small modicum of personal interest.
On Friday my friend Amanda Esplin had her foot amputated. She's lived with Chronic Recurring Pain Syndrome in that foot for about three years, ever since she was hit by a car while serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That means near-constant, almost untreatable pain worse than childbirth. I don't know how she's endured it for this long and I don't know how she isn't consumed with hatred for God for letting this happen to her, like I would be in her situation. She's one of the strongest people I've ever met. Check out her YouTube channel, One Footed Phoenix, and if you're a Pokemon fan, check out her other channel Pokehaven 99 that has nothing to do with her foot getting amputated.
On Saturday I attended my grandmother’s funeral, and cried a bit, and it was poignant and sad and heartwarming and all the things. I didn’t know I would cry because I almost never cry. It just doesn’t come naturally. I think I would be healthier if I could cry more often. I sat next to my grandfather, and he cried pretty loud a couple times, when they told the story of how he met her and the story of when he showed her his farm and said “We’ll never be rich” and she said she didn’t care. I've never seen him cry before and that was hard. It was a great experience, though, to see how many people loved and missed her. Of course I always believed she was a good person, but I didn’t know what an impact she’d had on so many lives. As soon as the closing prayer had finished, a little cousin seated behind me asked, "Is Grandma gonna wake up now?" Oof. I'm glad I wasn't her parents right then. Even under the circumstances, being with so many family members, including ones I haven't seen in like seven years, was lovely.
My friend and colleague Kylie Smith, whom I mentioned a couple weeks ago after she accompanied me to the police station to interview with Curtis Hooley regarding my complaint against Officer Nelson, participated in a Building Bridges podcast episode on "Intent vs. Impact" in improving relations between current and former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The podcast host put out a call on Facebook for participants, a mutual friend shared it, I saw it, and I passed it along to Kylie because she's passionate about that very thing, and if you care to take a listen you'll hear her give me a nice shout-out, although she calls me Christopher Nelson, but I forgive her for that and I can prove she's talking about me because look, there is no Christopher Nelson, or any Christopher except me, among the graduate and part-time instructors in the English department at Utah State University. Anyway, I don't listen to many podcast episodes because they're very long and I can't multitask very well, but this one is great and Kylie is so soothing and empathetic that she should be a therapist or something.
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.