A Most Satisfactory Win


Nebraska fans don’t seem to care who is coming to play football in their stadium–they turn out for every opponent, no matter how small or how imposing. Last Saturday marked the 350th sellout in a stadium that seats more than 90,000 people. That record dates back to my time at NU, people–nineteen and sixty-effing-two. Of course the stadium was less capacious then. Nebraska had not yet won all those national championships, and still we came to watch.

Faithful fans were amply rewarded last Saturday when the fabled Oregon Ducks came to town. I was certain beforehand that Big Red would lose this game, maybe by fifty points, given Oregon’s history as a powerhouse. Happily, they are so no longer. Nebraska looked good against them on both offense and defense throughout the game. Then the Huskers pulled out a last-minute win by stopping Oregon’s last desperate drive at mid-field on fourth down. Nebraska then took the ball and marched it smartly into the end zone for the win. Hooray!

Nebraska’s new coach, Mike Reilly, spent many years at Oregon State where his team was regularly left in the dust by Oregon. I’m sure I saw Reilly weeping after the game on Saturday. Revenge is sweet, sayeth the long-suffering coach, under his breath of course.

I thought twice about attaching the following photo, given its mean-spiritedness about Oregon’s fancy unis. But I still feel sufficiently jubilant about the game not to give a shit.



Elusive Names


My memory for proper names has got up and went. It started when I was still teaching. I’d be yammering along and suddenly forget the name of some important figure. Grad students learned to recognize the strained look on my face and helpfully called out names: “Aristotle!”  “Cicero!” “Joe the Plumber!”

Great fun was had by all. Except me.

The problem is called “semantic dementia,” and mine has worsened as I’ve grown older. (All us olds hope that the name and the condition bode nothing worse). Experts say memory loss can be mitigated by mental effort and practice. So I’ve developed a little game to play while exercising or driving that I call “What IS That Guy’s Name?”

Yesterday, for example, I was thinking about football, given that today has the first full schedule of pro games. While I can easily conjure up an image of the Green Bay quarterback, I could NOT recall his last name (yes, the condition is that aggravating.) I tried “Aaron Richards” and “Aaron Roberts” and other near-misses. No dice. I have learned that if I wait a few minutes the loop will come around, as my sister might say (she suffers from this condition as well), and sure enough it did. I hope the folks in line at the grocery store weren’t frightened when I suddenly blurted out “Rodgers!”

The condition is quirky. I could not remember the name of the former quarterback of the Cardinals either. I could conjure up his face and I easily remembered that he is now huckstering for a plumber’s outfit. I tried “Luke” and “Kent,” (see how this works?) to no avail, and had to look up Kurt Warner’s name when I got home.

Alas, my memory for other stuff still works just fine. The moment I awakened this morning I remembered that today is the anniversary of 9/11. That brought up a host of memories of that dark Tuesday back in 2001 and its awful aftermath, along with the knowledge that my country is still caught up in its bloody consequences.

I hope Aaron Richards has a better day today than I’m having.





Do What I Say Or I’ll Hurt You

_c6igywhc1ny-tks1s-wxkci-aaaaaaaaaem-j4yffnpbpfs-s1600-498917_39849074 Donald Trump is an authoritarian, and so are those who are attracted to him. (I exclude from the category of “authoritarian” those of his admirers who are too lazy to learn anything about how the world works–they are just ignorant). Authoritarians believe in the exercise of power, but only if this is exerted by themselves and/or the bigger, badder authoritarians they revere.

The ‘fifties father figure was the embodiment of authoritarianism, the man whose word was law in the household and whose every need had to be met Right Fucking Now. Or Else. (HuffPost had a nice essay on authoritarianism back in December of last year:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-weiler/authoritarianism-at-the-h_b_8750344.html;  see also Vox, February 15-16 of this year).

Unfortunately, authoritarianism is ordinarily available only to males for the simple reason that most women are not allowed enough power to give orders that must be obeyed. This gendered aspect of the condition is why anxious would-be authoritarians like Rinse Pubus feel free to tell Hillary Clinton to smile more often–as though her face belongs to him.

Vladimir Putin is the type locality of authoritarianism, and that’s why Trump admires him so. Vlad runs Russia with an iron hand, so much so that everyone is afraid to cross him. Trump is too stupid to see that Vlad was making fun of him when he relied on a Russian near-pun to describe Trump that can confuse those who don’t speak the language–the word Trump’s folks translated as “brilliant” can also mean “vivid” or “colorful.” And that’s most likely what Vlad meant (was he cleverly referring to Trump’s hair?)  If this is so, the comment of which Trump is so fond is a subtle put-down.

I hate authoritarians. The ones I know talk too loud and take up too much space in elevators and parking lots. I most certainly don’t want us to elect one.





Gendered Politics

I had great hopes for last night’s so-called “Commander-in-Chief” interviews with the Presidential candidates. After it was over I added that hope to a pile of others that have been crushed by real life.

Matt Lauer wasted the first ten minutes of Hillary’s interview by asking her about the e-mails. As if the e-mails have anything to do with military and strategic issues. He repeatedly interrupted her as she tried to answer his questions in the level of detail required by their seriousness, talking over her again and again as she tried to finish a point.

Not so Trump. Lauer allowed him to blather along without interruption even though nothing Trump said made any sense or had any connection to reality.

Can anyone still think gender doesn’t matter? Will Hillary have to put up with this crap when she becomes President? If so, I think she should assign a secret service agent (preferably female) to take aside any reporter who interrupts her in order to impart a little lesson on real-politick.




The Clinton Rules



Yep, it’s been awhile since I posted but I’m still here.

This is my favorite pic of Hillary, taken while she endured eleven hours of mindless grilling about Benghazi from Rethugs on the House oversight committee. Which proved to be yet another nothingburger ginned up by her enemies. These piles of aery substance date back to Bill’s presidency, when he was accused of running drugs through a tiny airport in Arkansas. I kid you not.

Then there was Vince Foster, and Whitewater, and the vandalism supposedly done to the White House when the Clintons left it. All nothingburgers.

The Clinton Rules dictate that anything the Clintons do must be read by the press as suspicious. Famously, she used a private server when she was Sec/State, just as Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice had done before her. Powell is now denying that he suggested to Hillary that she also use a private server, and the press has taken his word for it rather than hers. I want to shout at my teevee:  “And you’d rather believe a man who lied to the UN in order to get us into a war of choice?”

And now the AP is trying to make something out of the e-mails dredged up by the FBI and leaked by members of Congress.Which amount to another nothingburger. (If you don’t believe me, read Matt Iglesias’s take at Vox, which ably dispels the wishful thinking in the AP piece). (http://www.vox.com/2016/8/24/12630586/ap-response-clinton-foundation).

Now the press is crying for the Clintons to “shut down” their Foundation. As if this were even possible. James Carville pointed out all over the teevee dial yesterday that if they close down the Foundation people will die–people to whom the Foundation delivers AIDS meds, food and clean water, and other medications. As Carville put it, the job of the foundation is to take money from rich people and give it to poor people.

Is that maybe why the Beltway pundits hate the Clintons?

Now Trump is about to go on trial for fraud, and he is playing fast and loose with his campaign funds (demonstrated, for example, by his failure to donate money he raised for veterans TO veterans). Do these issues and the other fishy Trump deals (like not paying people who work for him) get equal time in the smear machine? Nope.

I could go on but Goddess all of this is tiring. Sometimes I wonder how the Clintons manage to get up and go to work every morning, knowing that anything they say or do will probably generate bad press for them.

But Hillary is both tough and smart, and she sure is resilient. This afternoon she gave a barn-burner of a speech about Trump’s racist screeds.With any luck, that–along with his about-face on his immigration policy–will suck up all the air/space for awhile.

PS: Sassy is doing well. I remembered that she used to eat the calming food that had been prescribed for Inky, and that she became unable to keep food down shortly after I took her off that food. Put her back on it, and she’s been fine ever since. Seems she had a case of the jitters, or whatever it’s called in Cat.





Sassy Update Too

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday I took Sassy to the emergency vet because all through Saturday she vomited every time she ate, no matter what I gave her even in small portions (those just produced a smaller spot on the rug). I hoped that the emergency vet would give her a nausea suppressor and some famotidine, which, as all heartburn sufferers know, mellows a sore esophagus.

They gave her the shots I requested and hydrated her, but not before they insisted on x-rays. They took the very same shots my own vet had taken the previous Wednesday. Their radiologist said “there’s nothing in her stomach.” That is, no hairball. At first I was jubilant–wow! no surgery! Then I realized that this assessment disagreed with that made by my vet. How will we reconcile these diagnoses? I worried all the way home as Sassy meowed her indignation at being pawed (ha ha) by vets twice in five days.

She was fine during the rest of Sunday and happily ate the chicken and rice prescribed for her by the emergency vet. But this morning she barfed it all up.

Does this mean that Sassy has an obstruction somewhere we can’t see? Does she have some other disease like irritable bowel or, heaven forfend, pancreatitis? But no, that’s probably not the case because her blood work is fine.

Sorry to whine like this. But I’m living with a very sick cat and nobody seems to know what is the matter with her. So far I’ve spent $1200 trying to find out. (That seems even more outrageous when I type it). I hope to talk to my vet today–I’ll keep you tuned.

Sassy UpDate

I can’t remember whether I told the immense audience of this blog that my remaining cat, Sassy, is a sweet girl who, unfortunately, has an enlarged heart. Hence her interior workings are somewhat fragile.

So when she began vomiting Tuesday evening, I took that as a very bad sign. Luckily, my vet was able to see her on Wednesday on a drop-in basis, so Sassy was at the clinic during a long morning. Turns out she has a huge hairball in her tummy. If she can’t get rid of it naturally, the vet wants to consider surgery.

As Trep might say, Yikes! That’s an enormous risk with a kitty who has Sassy’s ills. Let’s hope she can pass the hairball by herself. I’ve got voluminous instructions on how to feed her (small servings six times a day;  soak dry food in water) and orders to give her lots of Laxotone. I also asked that she be shaved (again) in hopes we could mitigate her intake of fur.

I brought her home late yesterday afternoon, and she was my shadow through the rest of the day and last night. She’s not a cuddly cat, but she likes to stay close. She seems much better this afternoon, wanting to play, so the feeding regimen may be working. Let’s hope so.

The prognosis for a kitty with an enlarged heart is not good, but I’d been hoping she would overcome that somehow, just as she overcame abandonment. Keep your fingers crossed. (Sorry there’s no picture;  I haven’t transferred the photo files from my other computer yet).