Priorities (a short vignette & a couple extras)


Okay, okay; guilty as charged:  I admit it; I’m an unrepentant fan of college football, but really, only when my alma mater plays.  My team’s the Big Red; the Cornhuskers; the University of Nebraska team, in case you need it spelled out further.  I never watch professional football; it seems pretty troglodytic as well as corrupt to me, in fact.  But oh; when those scarlet-and-cream Cornshuckers take the field, my heart soars!  As I hear the school song blaring, and the crowds roaring, and still feel a part of the stadium full of red-clad fans who are totally pumped, and just primed to do the wave, it’s a slice of heaven!  We Nebraskans (and once-Nebraskans) love our team inordinately, and even occasionally go so far as to elect former coaches to the US Congress.  Visitors cannot be faulted for not knowing whether Tom Osborne is a major or minor deity to Nebraskans.

Damn, what a thrill Homecoming was, what with the giant red mum corsages the co-eds pinned onto their woolen coats, their high heels clicking along the sidewalk, the longed-for cool, brisk fall air redolent with the spicy scent of the corn-harvesting wafting about the campus.  I can so easily imagine myself back there again in the easy camaraderie of the masses of fans heading toward the stadium, thousands upon thousands of Nebraskans with a single goal, streaming toward the stadium.  For us, this wasn’t just college football, it was the raison d’être of an entire state!  ‘There is no place like Nebraska…where the girls are the fairest, the boys are the squarest’… I’d walk within the throng, holding hands with my four-foot eleven-inch girlfriend as we headed toward sun-drenched stadium nirvana.

What could be more innocently thrilling, more invigorating, than a home game with our historical rivals, Oklahoma?  For decades we’d played the Sooners, OU’s team.  Even those of us who never otherwise bet on anything would put some wager on the home team.  It was a matter of pride as well as confidence in our boys.  All these years later, I still get jazzed when we play Oklahoma.  I’ll often call my father in Lincoln, and my son wherever he is at the time, prior to kickoff, and again during half-time to either commiserate or celebrate…maybe even when the game’s over; sometimes they’ll call me.  It’s great.

Sometimes I’ll even remember to put on my Grandfather’s ugly red satin Cornhusker tie while I watch, if my wife remembers to dig it up for me.  She loathes football, and usually reads in the bedroom room during the game, so she brings me the tie in the way of some pointed ribbing.  She prides herself on not even knowing the rules, and breaks up when the announcers talk about tight ends, of which position she was made aware by the John Lithgow character in The Hotel New Hampshire.   When she can tell that I’m yelling bad things at the television, she’ll crack the door, and pretend to need assurance that I won’t beat her if Nebraska loses.  She thinks she’s pretty flipping funny.

My mom had died six months ago.  She’d had Alzheimer’s, and had finally needed to go and live in a nursing home.  She was ninety, and in relatively good health otherwise, and might have lived a lot longer, but began knowing less and less about the world around her.  Once an out-of-control infection almost killed her, but she rebounded from that, even though she was approaching late-stage dementia.  I prayed for her to die; life was getting increasing less pleasant for her.  One night, she sat up in bed, spoke a few words, and died.  She did it right, bless her heart; bye, mom; may you journey well.

My dad had spent the last year adjusting to her eventual departure from his world in that difficult and terrible process that some have called the long goodbye.  He wants to stay in their house, and pays no attention to entreaties from my sister to move to an apartment or retirement home near her; damn, he’s a stubborn cuss.  A few months ago my sister brought him to Colorado, and she and I shuttled him from one end of the state to the other so he could visit me and my wife and his other relatives around the state.  He’s become something of a different person through all this; he even decided he liked my wife after decades of not, sometime during his stay.  Weird.  Now he can’t say enough nice things about her, and even laughs at her jokes; the first sign of a sense of humor I can recall…  He doesn’t even throw a fit when she calls him Old Man, though nobody else can get away with it.  She finally asked him, “If ya ain’t old when you’re ninety-two, when the hell are you?”  Maybe he finally thought, “Oh.  Right.”  But in any event, he laughed; another remarkable event.  He took to calling her “young lady”; it makes her laugh.

When my sister finally delivered him back home to Nebraska, we all thought he’d been cured of his sorties out into the world.  Boy, were we wrong.  My brother and his wife invited him to California for a visit to some millionaire’s house they were house-sitting.  Complex travel plans were arranged, and off he went again, after a mere few weeks at home.  He gallivanted around for a couple weeks on the coast, after which my sister and my dad’s infernal poodle picked him up at the airport in Denver.  He was duly exhausted, and eager to get home.  They spent the night in a small city not far from Denver so he could see his sister one more (maybe the last) time, and then head back to Lincoln the next morning.

It was Game Day.  And by that I mean the day the Cornhuskers played Oklahoma.  I’d agreed to keep them abreast of the game by cell phone until they could get far enough east to pick up a radio station carrying the game.  We spoke by cell multiple times; it was a close game, and just fantastic.  By half-time, Nebraska was a mere three points ahead.  But our last call brought news of a real, no pun intended, game-changer. 

 My sister had just gotten a call from our aunt, our mother’s sister. Her husband, also in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s, plus other complications, had experienced some crisis, and his life was ebbing fast.  He was in a coma, with no hope of waking without massive brain damage.  She asked them to come to them in western Nebraska, as she needed their help.

The ‘help’ was helping her decide whether or not to pull the plug on my uncle’s life.  Soon; as in: immediately.  I pictured where they were on that long, straight highway heading east on the Great Plains and the yearned-for home for dad; now a detour north was necessary.  I cringed at this new burden that had just been laid on my dad’s fragile and aged shoulders.  My God.

Whoa; we kicked it around for a bit.  My dad was voting to say “no” to the plug-pulling, even though he didn’t seem to have enough information to make an informed decision, but was additionally quite adept at meting out guilt and shame, which Auntie did not need.  I thought about it all for a bit, then talked it over with my wife.  We came up with some ideas he might want to consider, including the advisability of being more of a sounding board for Auntie, asking questions and allowing her to decide.  We figured she should have all the votes, really; he’d been her husband for sixty years, after all.  My father’s role should just be a supportive one.

The game resumed, and was getting really competitive.  Damn; I bit the bullet and phoned, knowing they were getting closer and closer to Gering and Auntie.  I spoke to my sister briefly about my thoughts, thinking that she might remember them better than my dad would later on, and might be able to use a few hints.  She then handed her cell to my dad; I tried to keep my foot from tapping with impatience.  They weren’t far from the turnoff to the hospital; I launched into my spiel, acknowledging to him that he was walking into a really fraught situation, letting him know I’d be with him in spirit, and was offering my free advice (cheap at twice the price).  I didn’t get too far before he interrupted me.

“Mmm-hmmm…thanks, son; what’s the score now?  How are we doing?”  I told him that Nebraska had just scored, and let him know the score…and eventually said goodbye…to a dead phone; the old man had…fucking hung up.  They obviously had come in range of a radio broadcast of…the game.

Gradually I became aware that my head slowly shaking back in forth in utter amazement, having forgotten that a lot of Big Red fans have certain priorities hard-wired into their goddam DNA. In a tick or two, I heard my wife, closeted in our bedroom, but obviously within earshot, burst into peals of laughter that turned into choking and snorting guffaws which finally leveled off into occasional chortles and chuckles as she realized exactly what had happened. I guess my “Dad…dad…dad?  Goodbye, dad” were sorta dead giveaways. Nebraskans just fucking kill her.  Small wonder.


I’ve reprised this wee story I wrote a number of years ago because Mr. wendydavis and I were reminded of it a week or so ago, and began laughing at the memories.  His father, the Old Man, is now 97, and his quadruple by-pass surgery warranty seems to be about up, as is, apparently, his life.  He’s been calling the ambulance quite a bit lately to transport him from his unassisted living apartment at a local nursing home…to the ER.  One of the recent times was the day before the Cornhuskers were playing their new big rivals, the University of Miami.  Some time ago, the Cornhuskers had been Raptured Up to the Big Fooking Ten or, and Elevated Status means New Adversaries, it seems. The docs let him out of the hospital sooner than we’d figured on, but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they’d understood his desperation to get home to watch The Big Game.   Well, plus…he’s 97.  ;-)


The votes are being tabulated in Catalonia, and it looks as though the two Independence Parties will win a majority of the seats in Parliament.  The leaders say they will press on toward independence unilaterally, disregarding Spain’s refusal to allow a referendum.

Oh, hell yeah; the EU Elites have issued all kinds of dire warnings to them.  Good on them; I wish them well.


The World Will End Tonight as the Blood Moon Will Go into a Total Eclipse

Tonight will be the fourth appearance of a blood moon over the last two years, in what is known as a tetrad series. The last time was in 1982; the next will be in 2033.

NASA says not to worry; pffffft.  John Haggee will make his last broadcast live-streaming the event.  Oh, wait; this just in:

“While that row continues, Hagee will spend Sunday hosting a live programme as the blood moon appears.

“Pastor Hagee believes this exceptional celestial alignment is consistent with Biblical prophecy and with God’s unfolding message to humankind,” promotional material for the show said.

Hagee told the Guardian the blood moon means “an event of historical significance to the Jewish people is occurring or will occur”. Asked what the implications are for the end of the world, Hagee said there were “none”.

NASA coverage will be here.  Enjoy.

18 responses to “Priorities (a short vignette & a couple extras)

  1. Bedtime for (the fundament) Bonzos. Lights OUT!

  2. mormons disavowed their LDS member who was issuing dire warnings, but said: ‘of course it’s always good to be prepared for any emergency. food, water, batteries, sex toys, etc. of course, they’re supposed to have enough of all that stored for a year, in any event.

    sleep well after the eclipse. i kinda hope the world ends, myownself. what does it even mean? lol.

    oooh, the sturgeon blood riseth!

    haggee is such a rat’s ass, but aipac lovse him, and vice versa. they don’t even mind that he used to say that hews would go to hell unless they converted. sigh. he raises lots of bucks for them thru CUFI. ‘when israel stands alone, it will signal the Second Coming!

    oooh, it’s two songs!!! how fine.

  3. It means, BETTER. :

    P.S., your ring galaxy makes a cameo appearance at 2:15 (G’night).

  4. i’m sombrero, but right after the ring was the cat’s eye. lovely. sleep well.

  5. i’ve been trying to discover what position podemos (via pablo iglesias) has taken on catalonian independence, but all i can discover is that it’s for them to say, but that he hopes they don’t choose to leave spain. of course the federal government will make it as hard as they can, and had tanked their various referenda granting them even limited autonomy.

    under franco, basques and catalans were crushed, tortured, and imprisoned. this interviewer , tariq ali, talking with iglesias, says there are still some 8000 in prison. he also said (at the end of may 2015):

    “And we believe that if we govern in Spain, there will be fewer Catalans and Basques that want to leave because in our view no one has produced such a feeling of independence in the Basque Country and Catalonia as the Spanish right and the conservative Partido Popular has caused.”

    i put some of his recent tweets in catalan into the bing translator, and they are nonsensical at the very least. ;-)


    Does anyone know if the world ended last night? or any of john hagee’s predictions came true? i cannot tell.

    • In the abstract, solidarity requires the self-governed to self-constrain. Iglesias’ could support such self-governance but Catalan independence is much a creature of neoliberalism and right-wing domination. This issue is difficult for him as it appears that the predominantly right-wing Spanish media would misrepresent objections as a Socialist suppression of liberty.

      • what makes you believe that independence is neoliberal? perhaps you are just far more versed in the parties, and yes, i’ve read that mas may be center-right, or was. but this says:

        ” Spain finds itself at the intersection point of two economic crises, one global, the other home-made, or, better,Ôhouse-madeÕ. The former derives from a generalized failure of neo-liberal globalization to address a whole set of burning existential problems, like the uncontrollability of financial flows and anthropogenic climate change. InSpain, corporate de-regulation policies have devastated the territory through over-construction, environmentaldegradation, demographic concentration and low-quality housing standards, particularly along theMediterranean coast. Despite the two crises being deeply inter-linked, no

        incumbent politician seems able toaddress them, either jointly or separately. Within this broad set of problems, the form of the state is being increasingly questioned. Is Spain a majoritarianor consensual democracy? The Constitution simultaneously stresses the unitary character of the state andgrants autonomy to regions as Ôautonomous communitiesÕ. But in practice, since at least 2002, several decisionsindicate a majoritarian vocation clearly eluding minority representation and local democracy. Thus the decision of the Spanish High Court of Justice (Tribunal Superior de Justicia) to suspend portions of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia after it had been already approved by referendum (18th June 2006) can be seen as oneof the key catalysts in the subsequent rise of the soberanista (pro-sovereignty) movement.

        Another factor was the approval of anti-terrorist legislation under JosŽ Mar’a AznarÕs second term in government (2000-2004) andthe consequent abuses of the US-led Ôglobal war on terrorÕ, which had contributed to polarize public opinion in Catalonia possibly even more than in the Basque Country. In practice
        the mechanisms of collective bargainingand brokerage set up during the transition to democracy (1975-1982) have been deeply eroded. This has in turn badly affected the degree of trust necessary for political coexistence.”

        but of course, i dunno the author. but several op-eds have said much the same. but i do remember reading that catalonia is a fifth of the spanish economy.

        • “Opposite Podemos, the Catalan right stands to gain significantly from the elections. “Mas has hijacked the soberanista [sovereignty] movement,” says journalist Guillem Martínez. “It is true that the Spanish government did not let the Catalans vote on their future, but neither did the Catalan government allow the Catalans to vote on the largest cutback of democracy and rights in Europe since 1945,” he added, referring to Mas’s drastic austerity policies. Mas’s propaganda, Martínez underscores, has combined the idea of an independent Catalonia with his party’s neoliberal agenda of privatizing public services. And that economic policy has been devastating. “Catalonia is one of the richest regions in Europe, but its income distribution is increasingly skewed,” wrote journalist Andreu Missé in the magazine Contexto. Poverty has soared, especially among children, while education and healthcare have suffered deep cuts and further privatization. “For five years,” wrote Missé, “the Mas government has turned its back to the ever-growing number of poor in Catalonia.… The ideological debate on independence has eclipsed the urgent and real problems facing millions of people.” Ultimately, “the political culture of Convergència,” Martínez says, “is no different from that of the PP.” ”

          Iglesias cannot be for right-wing nationalism and a right-wing and identitarian nationalism works in favor of hegemonster crapitalists.

        • Iglesias:
          “We are sovereigntists, but we think that sovereignty is about public services, that the importance of a hospital or a school is not so much the flag that it flies but rather if these are quality public services.”

          The privatizers drive the Catalan independence movement and blame Madrid for the consequences of their austerity. This fraud will continue until independence when another must be deployed (probably condemning public assets they expropriate so they’ll need need public debt to bring these assets up to market requirements).

          “[W]e believe that if we govern in Spain, there will be fewer Catalans and Basques that want to leave because in our view no one has produced such a feeling of independence in the Basque Country and Catalonia as the Spanish right and the conservative Partido Popular has caused.”

          Because, like here, the right blames the central government for the abuse from crapitalists.

  6. Since WE’RE still here; guess we missed the “rapture” :
    Though blue, I believe we got the better of ‘it’ .

    • you seemed convinced that you’re still here; about myownself, i can’t say. but then i live in a time warp most of the time, and my grounding is…often questionable.. ;-)

      lovely, lovely images. do you know the music? it didn’t say.

  7. Big Ten. Yes. Your Huskers get to chomp on my master’s degree alma, the Northwestern Fighting (Wildcat) Journalists. In 1968, the big game for the Wildcats was University of Southern California; the stadium was filled with folks who wanted to see O. J. play. What a staggeringly different time.

    Even my rapture-prone friends and relatives missed the rapture if their presence on Facebook is not an illusion for those Left Behind. I was hoping that we would be done at least with Hagee. What a piece of Christian entrepreneurialism!

    • Go Wildcat Urinalists! Flush them corncobs! Sis Boom Bah!

      oy, hagee is a force of…of…un-nature.

      wow, that you have rapture friends must mean you’re a very live-and-let-live hombre; good on ya. i have enough trouble abiding my in-laws of that ilk.

      OJ: ‘if i did it’, lol.

      • I have a Christian dominionist Netanyahu-is-the-shiznit Hagee-acolyte as a relative. Outside of religion and politics, they are good people. But repeating the talking points on religion and politics. Thank goodness, none of them are pushy about it. Or believe in excommunication for political or religious differences; I have a couple of elementary school friends that I kept up with for years who suddenly turned that way.

        The others are not that extreme and some are actually curious about the facts of news – what, where, when, how, and then the why opinion.

        • i feel like that about a lot of our mormon neighbors, good people except for their religion. ;-) but a few of my in-laws put on those extremely worried eyes and faces when they cast their gazes my way. “Oh, such a pity you’re going to hell; other than that….we kinda like you.” ;-)

          poor Old Man, though, has reportedly been way stressed out and losing sleep over ‘world events’, and his one son had signed him up for a plethora of fundie Xian newsletters by mail. you know, where obama is a muslim socialist, and ruining the world doing something or other.

          please give my best to miz THD, but then, my best ain’t all that great lately. (ya don’t really have to tell her that part…) :-)

  8. Love the thread, my college (I was actually on the field for the first two games, on an academic and athletic scholarship) faculty, the contemplative Dour Cardinals

    during my frosh year trying to follow the player numbers on the programs at kickoff. School colors, red and black or red and white. Attending school and getting my winter ’71 non athletic draft number coming in well past the 300 mark to pretty much assure avoiding the all expense paid vacation to SE Asia, that was it for football type sports and degree based edumication.

    Loves you and yours wendyedavis, *fun reminiscing*

    • ‘the dour cardinals’, seriously? man, it must be hard to play in cassocks! which one are you in the photo, nonquixote? prolly the one in the front row not paying attention to the playbook of the day, eh?

      glad ya didn’t have to get sent into the War for Dominoes, dear, my stars.

      when i first published this eons ago at (the accursed), folks simply wouldn’t believe the scene went down as it did. ooof; some dude sitting in an airport in chicago or somewhere got on the thread, announced that he was a nebraskan, and boy howdy, was it the truth. purdy fun corroboration altogether.

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