intertribal: (Default)
At least, I don't think so.  I mean, no one is talking about it.  There was an article in the paper that was so non-alarmist I pretty much ignored it.  And then I read a comment saying we shouldn't be quick to sneer at Japan's nuclear power plant safety because in Nebraska two nuclear plants are starting to "swim."  I was like, what now? 

But apparently there is this, from a Pakistani news wire:
A shocking report prepared by Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency (FAAE) on information provided to them by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) states that the Obama regime has ordered a “total and complete” news blackout relating to any information regarding the near catastrophic meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant located in Nebraska.

According to this report, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant suffered a “catastrophic loss of cooling” to one of its idle spent fuel rod pools on 7 June after this plant was deluged with water caused by the historic flooding of the Missouri River which resulted in a fire causing the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to issue a “no-fly ban” over the area.
This is what the (local) Columbus Telegram says, among others:
For example, there's a report that a Russian nuclear agency has accused President Barack Obama of covering up a nuclear near-meltdown on June 7 at Fort Calhoun.

In fact, said the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Omaha Public Power District, there was a fire in an electrical switchgear room that day, but the spent-fuel pool was in no imminent danger and a fire-suppression system extinguished it quickly.

The plant temporarily lost power to a pump that cools the spent-fuel pool, but power was switched to a backup pump, said OPPD, which runs Fort Calhoun. During the 90-minute interruption, the temperature of the pool increased a few degrees, but the pool was not in danger of boiling, the utility said.

The reactor and spent-fuel pool are in a normal, stable condition and are protected from flooding, OPPD said. The plant was shut down for refueling in April and will remain shut down until floodwaters recede.

Another Internet rumor claims there's a no-fly zone around Fort Calhoun Station because of a radiation leak.

"Rumors about a radiation release at the site - that never happened," said Victor Dricks, spokesman for the NRC Region IV office in Arlington, Texas.

Dricks said a no-fly zone put in place around all U.S. nuclear power plants after Sept. 11, 2001, has been relaxed, but planes are not supposed to fly or loiter near them.

OPPD spokesman Jeff Hanson said air space around Fort Calhoun is restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration to a two-mile radius below 3,500 feet because OPPD was concerned small planes would get tangled in high power lines.
Basically, comments on this Reuters article sum up the situation:
What I find amazing is that the International Media knows what happened, but the US Media is not reporting it. I guess Weiner was a useful idiot for Obama to the end, eh? Or was Obama’s stupid ATM comment an attempt to distract America from the truth? is where Europe is reporting on the issue. In addition, there has been no reporting on the increase in infant mortality on the West Coast due to Fukishema, which is still an on-going disaster. I am very sad that Reuters has chose to accept government dicta for serious journalism.
People’s paranoia is starting to make me laugh and get scared at the same time. The source for the article is the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency! Come on people! Did anyone actually go to that website? It has an English version and there is no mention anywhere on that site of this ‘catastrophe’. Do a search for Nebraska…no mention of it anywhere... A temporary loss of cooling to spent rod pool is hardly “one of the worst nuclear accidents in US history.” (The quoted part is from the website). Here’s more headline from that website: 1. Obama Orders 1 Million US Troops to Prepare for Civil War. 2. U.S. Forces Plan Direct Action Against American Citizens.
This sort of interplay isn't new, of course.  It's just very, very weird to be so near the center of it.  So for everyone's edification, we in Nebraska are not dropping dead of radiation sickness and have also not been carted away/evacuated/eliminated/any of that shit.  We are, as ever, discussing the next football season, nursing homes, and death row inmates.  Or, even closer to the center of impending disaster, discussing the College World Series and crime.  We are alive!  We are still here!

intertribal: (Default)
I feel like I haven't been to LJ in a while, but that isn't really true.

Dude I'm dating came back from Morocco recently - said there were some nice scenes of police beating protesters because they didn't have the proper permit to protest, of course.  Also, there's a large, beautiful mosque in Casablanca that is built on artificial land on top of the Atlantic - it's architect didn't take into account that the Atlantic will someday come back and bite that artificial land in the butt, eventually sinking the mosque.  It also cost the country a lot of money and displaced a bunch of poor people without compensation.  He also tried to climb this mountain, but failed.

Saw X-Men, don't have anything to say about it beyond what I told [ profile] cafenowhere (Leland Palmer as Dean Rusk?).  Yesterday I watched an interesting little extremely low-budget horror movie on Netflix called The Ceremony (don't ask me what's up with that cover), about a guy graduating college who finds that his roommate has left behind an odd little book surrounded by a ring of burning candles.  Being concerned about fire safety, the main character blows the candles out, and being a curious student, starts reading the book, which turns out to be a history of a ritual used to summon Satan, here "the man in the white suit."  Of course he reads some unfortunate parts aloud and things start happening around the house, culminating in a phone conversation where he tells a friend, "The furniture, it came alive.  It had to be contained."  It takes its cues from Paranormal Activity and had some interesting touches, particularly when the main character learns to his horror that he can understand as well as speak the language being spoken by the presence in his house.  It's creepy, it has a cast of essentially one person, and it's well-made on a shoestring budget.  Good job, director James Palmer.  Horror fans, check check it.

I've been putting all my writing efforts into the novel, which is now at 77,000 words.  Unfortunately, it's nowhere near finished, so looks like I'll be overshooting that 100,000 word goal.  This is how it's getting done: I made an extremely detailed outline of 10,000 words, and I'm writing it scene by scene, often out of order.  I do foresee problems with flow and continuity and a believable evolution of characters, doing it this way, but at least it's getting done this way, right?  I'm going to quit my job in July to devote the rest of the summer to writing this thing before I move to D.C. to start graduate school. 

Had a David Lynch moment today while driving to work.  We've had construction in the left lane of this one big swerving road for a month now, so all the regular commuters automatically drive in the right lane even before we're told to merge right.  But today there was a new big flashing construction sign telling cars that the right lane would be closed up ahead, so go into the left lane.  Everybody's like, wow, maybe they finished the left lane and are starting work on the right lane?  And after about a mile of driving in the left lane, with no sign of construction on the right, the old familiar big flashing sign pops up telling cars that the left lane was closed, so we all scoot back over to where we started.  Calisthenics for cars, I guess.  Speaking of David Lynch, I'm trying to convert my mom to Twin Peaks.  It's going... interestingly.  One of my tactics is comparing it to our favorite shared show, the British cozy-mystery series Midsomer Murders.  They both feature a gamut of weird people in seemingly-innocuous, scenic small towns, grisly murders, and supernatural undertones.  If you're unfamiliar with MM, I've always thought it was what Hot Fuzz was tipping its hat to.  MM is also one of the few TV shows to ever make me cry (in the episode "Green Man," which is very environmentalist).  Someday I'll do an ode to my favorite MM episodes, cuz it's a wonderful show.

I'm almost done with Alan Heathcock's Volt (one more story to read).  Also almost done with Godforsaken Lord of the Rings (two more chapters).  

Here's an acoustic version of Korn's "Freak on a Leash," with Evanescence's Amy Lee.  Shut up, I don't shop at Hot Topic!  Also, Evanescence did a cover of "Thoughtless" that I like, but a lot of Korn fans are all "what the fuck this song has to be full of AGGRESSION and RAGE D:<" and I'm like, whatever.  

intertribal: (baby got an alibi)
It's budget cutting time at the university, and while majors, faculty positions, staff positions, departments, and structures are being eliminated, the coach of the men's basketball team - which hovers somewhere between "appalling" and "merely embarrassing" in league play - has received a $100,000 raise to a salary of $900,000 each year.  Nebraska actually does a little better than most universities in this regard, because the athletic department supposedly doesn't receive university subsidies and never ends up "in the red," because wealthy Nebraskans have their priorities straight.  But, substitute Nebraska for almost any other NCAA-member school and you've got essentially a money drain that's untouchable

My mother was complaining about this disparity and I said, "Well, you know what the athletic department is, right?  It's the Department of Defense."

The analogies are actually kind of fun.  We've got this department that supposedly generates enough revenue to make up that spending - tickets and merchandise, war - but maybe doesn't, and it's built on the backs of young men (and some young women) and fancy gear and armor, and fuck those young men and women when they leave the department.  If they're not strong enough, then they're on their own.  Oh, and the department's got a lot of cheering, waving fans. 
intertribal: (when I am through with you)
Mark Christensen doesn't want me to run for president in Nebraska.  He's sponsoring a "birther" bill in the state legislature that would require presidential candidates to provide long-form birth certificates to accompany the following sworn affidavit: "On the day I was born, both my birth father and my birth mother were citizens of the United States of America."  Oh Mark Christensen!  Isn't my US citizenship good enough for you anymore?

The Journal Star points out: "Six other U.S. presidents besides Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, had foreign-born parents: Thomas Jefferson, whose mother was born in England; Andrew Jackson, whose parents were born in Ireland; James Buchanan, whose father was born in Ireland; Chester Arthur, whose father was born in Ireland; Woodrow Wilson, whose mother was born in England; and Herbert Hoover, whose mother was born in Canada."  Well, we could have lived without Andrew Jackson, I suppose, he seemed like kind of an ass.  Maybe William Jennings Bryan would have won and made us a quasi-socialist country if Woodrow Wilson was ineligible?  Probably not.

Christensen says that it
"is not clear what the nation's founders meant by the phrase 'natural born citizen.'"  Um, except no.  And of course the comments defending the senator are like, "we just want to know if the guy is eligible!"  Birth certificate is all that's needed, people.  Look it up.  Parents' citizenship is irrelevant if you were born in the United States.

But this does provide support (if any was necessary) that nativist hysteria is what's behind the "birther" movement.  It's not about eligibility - it's about keeping the national "gene pool" pure.  I suspect that if that list of ineligible former presidents was given to Christensen, his natural response would be: "Oh well - exceptions made if your parents were citizens of European countries."  I don't think he'd say it out loud, even though this reads like a very clear attempt to keep the children of immigrants (read: DIRTY MEXICANS THAT ARE TAKING OVER OUR COUNTRY) out of the presidency.  The fact is that doing this would make a huge number of people I know - who are currently eligible to run for the presidency, except they're not old enough yet - ineligible for the job.  Many of them are some of the smartest people I've known, but who cares about that?  In bringing up the possibility of foreign allegiance the bill is also, essentially, punishing children for the "sins" of their fathers (the sin: being a foreign national, or even just being born in a foreign country - LB654 isn't exactly clear, but I don't think law is Christensen's strong suit).  Ironically, these are the same people who don't want to feel guilty about being from slave-owning, Jim Crow-enforcing stock, because that's punishing them for the sins of their fathers.  But well, that's ethnic nationalism in action.

When I read this article to my mother this morning she said, "Right, and why stop there?  Why not prove that your grandparents were citizens?  Or, or - how about you have to be Native American?"

Meanwhile a reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy is reaching his full-grown adult form.  I can't wait for internment camps too!
intertribal: (Default)
I have written/elaborated on an outline for the novel (yes, the same one I've been "working on" for the past 6 years).  It is 16 pages (9,700 words = 10% of the novel's projected word count) long.  I think my goal is to somehow write the novel by continuously elaborating on the outline?  I guess this puts to rest any idea that I might be a pantser instead of a plotter.  LOLOLOL.  Don't even tell me if this isn't going to work, all you people who have successfully written novels.  That's pretty much what I accomplished over university closedown.  I didn't do any work on short stories, people.  But good news is, the two short stories I spent autumn working on - "Absolute Zero" and "Infested" - both made it into the anthologies they were written for (Creature!  Thirty Years of Monster Stories, ed. Paul Tremblay and John Langan, and Bewere The Night, ed. Ekaterina Sedia).  Just got the acceptance for the latter story this afternoon before I headed out for New Year's, so I was already in a chipper state before I had the ouzo.

The Twilight Zone marathon has been on SyFy all day.  Saw "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" earlier.  Still a great and necessary story about I-have-seen-the-enemy-and-it-is-us in my book, as trite/predictable as it may seem to modern audiences (clearly not so trite/predictable that we have learned not to repeat Maple Street's mistakes).  ETA: This episode reminded me somewhat of Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived In the Castle, particularly when the one guy's like, "Are we going to pick apart the idiosyncrasies of every man, woman, and child..."  But I will make a post specifically about We Have Always Lived In the Castle.

This year, like last year, I celebrated New Year's with the local Greek population.  But this year I not only broke a plate, but I participated in the women's folk dance!  Second time around I started getting the steps right.  Considering that last year I chickened out for fear of embarrassing myself, I for one am fairly proud.  Onward, to Namek2011!  Selamat Tahun Baru!

intertribal: (something in my eye)
My mother is listening to Christmas music while vacuuming (don't ask me how!).  I just went to three different stores to get some fucking chocolate sprinkles (non-existent at CVS, sold out at Hy-Vee, finally found at Target - bless you, Target, you have never failed me).  Radio is strange on Christmas Eve.  There's the really awful pop-Christmas songs (sorry, I hate them - I also don't like Trans-Siberian Orchestra's stuff), the quiet devotional stuff that plays on NPR, the rock station that doesn't know what to do except play rock that is more optimistic than usual, and 94.1, which has resorted to "Whoop!  There It Is" and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)."  I listened to 94.1.  My cat is hiding in the basement shelving, behind the gift bags, because fuck if she's going to listen to extremely loud renditions of "Silver Bells."  There's a sugar-dusting of snow outside, but the streets are wet and the air is humid.  Because Nebraska doesn't ever know what it's doing, weather-wise.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, and Merry Survival to everyone.  Just don't end up like the people in this movie, okay?

Yes, I think that Black Christmas (1974) is actually a decent movie. 

ETA: A couple pictures of Christmas in my part of the world (my cat in the pre-assembled Christmas tree, the view outside my house 1 and 2, and the country road to my hair dresser's house).

intertribal: (uprooted)
Well, if you're like me, that is.

When I got back from Mission, Kansas (a decently picturesque town outside of Kansas City, full of extreme hills and winding paths, that I unfortunately couldn't get any pictures of because I was driving alone), my mom showed me this picture in the paper:

And said, "Where do you think that was taken?"  It turned out it was Holmes Lake - basically the suburban playground lake in the middle of our small suburban city (let's go running/let's go biking/let's go watch the fireworks/let's not look at the pond when we're in the middle of the drought).  I had no idea there was any wildlife of that size at Holmes Lake.  The photographer is Wayne Hathaway - the whole story (w/ more pictures) is here.

Anecdata from my experiences driving on the interstate: many people are assholes afflicted with road rage during in-town driving.  That is true in Lincoln and it's true in Mission and it's true in New York.  But as I see it, anyway, there is a much higher amount of care for others on the interstate.  Some of this is of course because an accident on the interstate is more likely to lead to death, but it's not just that - ex., something blew off the roof of one of the vehicles in front of me (and into the ditch) and the people in the vehicle next to it slowed down and rolled down their window and communicated this to the driver with hand signals.  People let other people in and out of the exit lanes.  There's no honking, and this weekend there wasn't even any crazy driving.  If people aren't paying attention to the road, it doesn't show.  I, at least, constantly think about how all the cars around me are doing, especially when new cars enter from a ramp on the right - are any of them going to need to go into my lane?  It's a nice (mental) change of pace.
intertribal: (Default)
First off, what the hell is up with LJ's "subtitle"?  "Discover global communities of friends who share your unique passions and interests"?  Sounds like a robot took over.

So I was looking at the Culver's menu (my mother's obsessed with their ice cream), and had a good time with the pictures.  In case there are people that don't know, Culver's is a Midwestern burger chain.  As with anything Midwestern, there are weird undertones of "family values" at Culver's.  Their claim to fame is the ButterBurger.  Sounds bad, actually not that bad.  Part of their slogan: "If you’ve been to a Culver’s and experienced fresh, delicious food served with friendly smiles, you’ve been Culverized."  Yeeee-aaaah.

First we have some slab chicken on stone bread:

Next we have some alien crabs on bread:

And the winner, a sandwich to rival the worst sandwich I have ever had:

It looks awful as shit to me (true, good food to me often involves rice, but not always, and I do eat sandwiches and burgers).  I mean, McDonald's has better photos.  I'm not saying the food itself is shit, mind you - I've never had any of these particular beauties - but can we maybe invest in some better photography?  Slap some lettuce and tomatoes on this shit?  Just for the hell of it?
intertribal: (i drink it up)
How cool is my alma mater high school, yo?
Several Lincoln East High School students were suspended Wednesday for making or distributing fake "green cards" thrown onto the field after the championship soccer game against Omaha South.

Sixty percent of Omaha South's students are Latino -- and the green cards were an apparent reference to immigration status.

East administrators have talked with administrators at Omaha South. They also have talked with students who accepted the cards, stressing they are just as culpable for condoning the actions of those distributing them, Cassata said. And, they talked to a couple of students who waved American flags because the flags hadn't been present at other soccer games.
I shouldn't have to note that East is the high school that has the second-lowest percentage of minority students, and the lowest percentage of students who qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch.  In other words, it's the old rich white high school.  Bonus from the assistant principal, who used to be my biology teacher who advocated creationism, and also got a veteran history teacher fired for showing Baghdad E.R. (HDU show injured soldiers!):
"We saw absolutely zero green cards during the game, and we were extremely proud of our students," Mann said.
Yes, the moral of the story is to be proud of the students who didn't display green cards under threat of ejection from the game.  Wow!
intertribal: (every night i call your name)
[The job being: I'm a Project Assistant for a university professor who gets contracts from the state department of education to do research on whatever the department wants to know about.  Last year it was the transition to a new testing program.  This year's project, failing schools, is one I've been involved with the whole way.] 

I don't have an education background at all, and all of this is of course based on a sampling of Nebraska schools that are classified as failing in some way, and not meant to be conclusive.  

1.  Failing schools have "difficult" demographics.  Either there's a lot of minorities or there's a lot of poverty or both.  Indian schools fail almost by default in this state.  There is a crazy superintendent man who jumps from Indian school to Indian school, misusing funds and planning new buildings.  Research says you can't fix most schools that chronically fail. 

2.  Principals harbor a lot of pent-up rage toward Hispanic students that move, because they don't want to have to implement an ELL program and the students bring down their scores and then move away.  As a result, people will either build new school districts away from urban centers to stay away from all the minorities, or will force the minorities to stay in their own school district outside of the urban center.  And by urban center, I mean like, 20,000 people.  Some principals will tell Hispanic students to go to a different school.  This is actually illegal.  

3.  It feels like there are a lot of kids being placed in special education, especially in small rural schools.  Whether that's a jump in awareness, a jump in diagnoses, or a jump in actual prevalence of cases, I don't know.

4.  Most parents don't get involved except to complain, or so teachers say.  Many parents seem scarred by negative experiences when they were in school, and in any case are too tired from working thousands of shifts at finger-chopping meatpacking plants to sign little worksheets saying they read to their kids or checked their kids' progress.  In "diverse" schools, schools invite white parents to be a part of parent committees. 

5.  Older teachers mock younger teachers for being panicky or "too creative."  Younger teachers mock older teachers for having been there "since the building was built."  Everyone will say that there is collaboration in their school, but I seriously wonder, considering all the passive-aggressive stuff that comes out in interviews. 

6.  A lot of times students need to be bribed to try to do well on tests with pizza parties and cupcakes.  High school students. 

7.  Schools seem to think that an inability to do story problems in math can be solved by upping reading comprehension skills.  I can say for one that this would not have helped me. 

8.  Some teachers want to be part of a unified curriculum, and some teachers want to be able to do whatever they want.  If you bring up changes or research or anything, these latter teachers will say, "I've been teaching for X-years, I would hope that I know what I'm doing!"  Few are comfortable being assessed, critiqued, criticized, or judged in any way.  Principals say they assess teachers more than teachers say they are assessed.  Schools are distrustful of outsiders, especially outsiders from "the government."  Outsiders want the state to intervene in failing schools, possibly by firing principals that are judged to be ineffective, but neither the state nor the schools want this. 

9.  Education is something that the general public goes absolutely crazy on.  It's getting close to the level of abortion et al.  There's basically 3 perspectives: 1) "Public school is a black hole and public schools should receive no money.  Why should I have to give them my hard-earned tax dollars when I don't have kids/my kids go to my super awesome ["exclusive"] private school?" 2) "Stop blaming the socio-economic environment.  Tell those kids/teachers to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.  Motivate them harder!" 3) "I'm a teacher and I think you're being really mean to teachers, because they would give up body parts for their students and they love these kids more than their own parents love 'em and they are really trying the best they can!"  Most of the people with the loudest opinions do not actually have kids in public school.  See #4.

10.  There is a minimum proficiency that all students, regardless of poverty, ethnicity, English-speaking status, or special education status, are expected to reach for the school to not "fail."  It is the same standard for all these groups. 


Apr. 15th, 2010 12:20 pm
intertribal: (she just smiled and turned away)

A deer did jump out in front of the car I was driving recently (I've been out in rural Nebraska again), but it got across the road before the car could hit it.  Also spotted were pheasants, turkeys, geese, llamas, goats, Palomino horses, Holstein cows, a loose dog, a small hawk, and a stray cat.  Then there were all the dead animals on the road, on the walls, on dinner plates.
intertribal: (but the levy was dry)
I've been off conducting research in the field for my job - we investigate "needs improvement" schools - and one of the places I visited was a school on a reservation.  This is rural Nebraska, so things are isolated enough as it is, but it felt even more so that way at this school.  Most of their teachers are white and live across from the school building in a little row, friends only with each other, without access to ambulances or police departments (except for the FBI, if it's an emergency).  They have massive amounts of administrative turn-over - one principal walked into the school after he was hired and walked right back out.

The teachers are frustrated that they can't do much to get students out of abusive home environments.  Most of the family set-ups are always in flux - cousins moving in and out, grandparents taking over for parents, students moving from house to house.  Alcohol and meth abuse is a huge factor - some students start using in 3rd grade.  A 2nd-grader recently committed suicide.  Students are often out of school because of funerals in the community (the road you take to get to the school is a dangerous bendy road with lots of crosses on either side).  Teachers say students don't see the point in doing well.

Students at this school much prefer non-fiction to fiction.  And the genre they dislike most of all?  Science fiction and fantasy.  A couple reasons were offered for this (who knows what the real reason is):
  • Those are not "their" stories.  Lack of relevance.
  • They don't want to escape into fantasy, they want a better reality.  Like there is a certain stress point at which real life difficulties make fictional escapism totally irrelevant.
Of course, there is escapism going on - into alcohol and meth.  Part of what these answers show is what the staff thinks science fiction and fantasy (fiction in general?) are "supposed to do."  But I found it interesting that sf/f was the genre singled out as the least appealing.
intertribal: (strum strum)
So it turns out two songs that I love from 104.1 ("The Blaze!", otherwise known as Lincoln's only rock station) are called "Creep" and "Big Empty," and they're both by the Stone Temple Pilots. What are the chances, right?  This after discovering that another title-less wonder was "Interstate Love Song," by the same band. 

Seriously, I used to think all they'd done was "Sour Girl," which is by far the worst song of the four.  Maybe I'll just start assuming all songs I've heard a million times on The Blaze are by the Stone Temple Pilots. 

Also, I (now) know they're from California, but "Creep" and "Big Empty" are two good examples of what I would call "Nebraskan rock."  Note that this does not mean the bands behind the songs originated in NE.  I have a pretty low opinion of the Nebraskan-based music I've heard, and at any rate I don't consider any of that stuff "representative of the state"... whatever that means.

ETA: Holy crap, just found another one, "Plush."  Radio announcers, you have been letting me down!  
intertribal: (the light and the dark)
Warning: it's from The Onion.  Not that I read The Onion, but one of the moderators at CornNation linked to it, saying "This is exactly why I've stayed away from Omaha for most of my life."  It gets a little ridiculous at the end, but until then, this could be real.  As in, there are MANY people who do share these beliefs.
Lifelong North Platte resident Fred Linder, 46, revealed Monday that he doesn't think he could cope with the fast-paced hustle and bustle of Omaha, the Cornhusker State's largest city.

"Oh, sure, I bet it'd be exciting at first, going to see 9 p.m. showings of movies, shopping at those big department stores, and maybe even eating at one of those fancy restaurants that doesn't use iceberg lettuce in their salads," Linder said. "But I just don't think I could put up with all that hub-bub for more than a day or two."

Added Linder: "And parking's a nightmare there."

Linder expressed doubts about Omaha's "hectic pace" while having dinner at the home of Pastor Bob Egan, the longtime spiritual leader of North Platte's Holy Christ Almighty Church.

The drawbacks to life in Omaha cited by Linder include the crime, traffic, pollution, and rudeness of Omahans.

"You read such awful stuff in the papers about that place," Linder said. "Every month, it's another murder. Between the drugs and the crime and the street gangs, it's almost as bad as Wichita."
In all fairness, driving to Omaha IS a bitch.  And there was some "armed-and-considered-dangerous" murderer running around there a couple days ago. 
intertribal: (yes and)
I feel like I've been away from LJ for longer than usual.  For no reason really.  I've been working on a story that I thought died an uneventful death many months ago - makes me realize how much I've grown as a writer, to tell the truth.  I've also been working on a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle featuring a Germanic castle of some sort and it made me realize that I write stories like puzzles - I write things down as they come, and it becomes a matter of stitching the parts together, waiting for the right combination of sentences to come.  This is probably totally obvious and asinine, but keep in mind I actually know very little about the mechanics of writing. 

This is the most important thing I discovered during my leave of absence:

I wasn't paying much attention to college football when this happened (in 2007).  But I've been saying "I'm a man!  I'm 40!" for the past few days at random intervals.  The tentative clapping at the end is the best part.

I spent New Year's Eve with essentially the entire Greek population of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Had ouzo for the first time.  I'm not a big fan of licorice, so I'm not a big fan of ouzo, but it's all right.  There was much breaking of plates.  Then we left and went to O Street and O Street was lame, as usual.  I almost died doing the human shuffle on the dance floor because the dance floor was covered in alcohol and my boots had no traction, but Christina caught me, so I survived.  Then Christina almost died walking back to the car (winter is not a wonderland in heels, apparently) , but I caught her, so she survived.  Oh, and I got $1 from a balloon.  The end. 

Oh yeah, and I discovered the new One Republic song, "All The Right Moves."  I like it.  Reminds me of all the 5-star recruits that have fizzled out at Nebraska, because we are apparently destroyer of impressive high school players.  What can I say.  Our defensive MVP at the Holiday Bowl, Matt O'Hanlon, was a walk-on, no lie.  That means he happened to be at UNL and decided to try out for the team, and repeatedly cut it during try-outs.  "The epitome of what Nebraska football's all about," he is. 
intertribal: (the light and the dark)
A.  Nebraska's happenin'.

Tim Griffin, ESPN*: Nebraska's 33-0 victory over Arizona in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl was much easier than anyone would have ever expected. It pushed the Cornhuskers to their 10th victory in a season for the first time since 2003.

Ted Miller, ESPN*: Wow. That was a complete butt-kicking... Nebraska showed up and punched Arizona in the mouth on both sides of the ball. Over and over and over and over. And over again. It's not an exaggeration to say that Arizona didn't have a single positive moment in the entire football game.

LA Times: The Holiday Bowl is... supposed to be about entertaining games with gobs of points by both teams.
Nebraska, ranked 20th, ruined that tradition, dominating No. 22 Arizona, 33-0, in front of 64,607.

APA 33-0 Holiday Bowl rout of Arizona is providing further evidence that the Cornhuskers are on the verge of becoming major players on the national scene again.

Big 12 Conference: First shutout in Nebraska's 46 bowl appearances, first shutout in Holiday Bowl history, first shutout by a Big 12 team in a bowl game.
*: With this performance, Nebraska has elevated themselves beyond a “sexy pick” for next season... Still, the Wildcats’ effort should be praised in one regard: It is quite an arduous task to make the Holiday Bowl boring.

Dr. Saturday:
Nebraska strung up Arizona's offense in the first quarter and spent the next three beating on it with a stick, until 'Zona quarterback Nick Foles fell out in the fetal position... The garbage-time chatter in the ESPN booth about top-10 preseason rankings was like the planning session to launch the campaign for 2010: The Year Nebraska Is Back.

Every Day Should Be Saturday
If we’d made the Holiday Bowl drinking game dependent on Wildcat points, we wouldn’t have this rusty barbed wire halo of a headache today.

The Scores Report
Stop doesn’t even begin to describe what the Cornhuskers did to the Wildcats on Wednesday night. Stop is something you do when you’ve had too much to eat. Completely shutting someone down to the point of feeling sorry for them is what Nebraska accomplished.

San Diego News Network [the funniest live game updates out there, from an uninvested San Diegan]:
There’s 6:50 left on the clock and Nebraska has a 33-point lead.  I don’t think I’ll miss anything of significance... It’s hard to find a weakness in Nebraska. Judging from this performance and their near-win against Texas, the Huskers are closing the season considerably better than their No. 22 ranking suggests. This team belongs in a BCS bowl.

Sports Shakes (California-based): That wasn't the Holiday Bowl.  That was a smackdown... It was as if the rain and fury cleansed the program of the Callahan era. Gone are the embarrassing losses, the hideous score lines, and the disgruntled fan base, at least for now. Bo Pelini has this program on the right track, and if tonight was any indication, the Big XII may have to brace for another wave of dominance on the plains.

Inside The Shoe (Ohio State): 
The statistics are grim so I will not delve into them. Suffice it to say that they [Arizona] mustered 109 total yards in 51 plays. So Suh moves on and the remainder of the teams in CFB especially the Big 12 heave a sigh of relief.

Shakin the Southland (Clemson, a Nebraska-compatriot team): 
Nebraska is almost Bammer-like genius in its coaching hire:  Bo Pelini.  These guys are doing a number on Stoops and Arizona this evening, and look to be the class of the Big 12 North for the near future.

NewsOK (Oklahoma):
Then Nebraska ran all over Arizona.

SB Nation:
Nebraska absolutely dominated Arizona in Wednesday night's Holiday Bowl. The Huskers outscored the Wildcats, 33-0, but it gets worse. Nebraska had 21 first downs, compared to Arizona's five; 399 total yards to 108 (most of which were gained in garbage time with the game already out of hand); 226 yards rushing to just 62. It was an absolute destruction by the Bo Pelini led defense.

Green Valley News & Sun [also very funny Lovecraftian live game updates, from an Arizona fan]: 
Nebraska's front four (including you-know-who) has swallowed everything... A nightmare... That about does it. Zac Lee hits a wide-open Niles Paul for a 74-yard touchdown to put Nebraska ahead 33-0. With the way Arizona is playing offensively, it might as well be 400-0.

Arizona Desert Swarm:
Terrible. Period.

Mike Stoops, Arizona head coach, graduate of Cardinal Mooney high school: "When you think you have arrived, that’s when you are going to get whacked. And we certainly got whacked by a much better team."

Bo Pelini, Nebraska head coach, graduate of Cardinal Mooney high school: "Nebraska is back and we’re here to stay."

So long, Suh!

*: Picked Arizona to win the game.  Those are just the ones I know of. 
intertribal: (the world that summer)

Nebraska in Nebraska. The mysterious Nebraska Field does not seem to have achieved even local fame. The town of Minden only boasts a Pioneer Museum, and each December hyper-decorates itself to defend its reputation as Christmas City.

Leo Belcigus. Lions are not native to the Low Countries, but here is one particular specimen that is nevertheless very local. The Leo Belgicus is a lion transposed on a map of the area, its ferocity symbolizing the belligerence of a nation fighting for its life.
intertribal: (boom boom pow)
Someone just posted this description of Lincoln in the Husker fan blog, Life in the Red:
A drinking town with a football problem...
intertribal: (Default)
My uncle* just got us tickets to the K. State-Nebraska game tomorrow! Winner takes the North Division and plays Texas for the Big 12 Championship!


*: who is a K-State fan

oh, great.

Nov. 20th, 2009 01:55 pm
intertribal: (things i put myself through)
from the Lincoln Journal Star, via the wild hunt:

A woman who sued the University of Nebraska saying the school fired her after learning she is a witch has agreed to settle the case for $40,000.

The university made the offer "solely to compromise the claim ... without admitting the validity of plaintiff's contention or any allegations of wrongdoing by the defendants," attorney David Buntain said in an October letter.

Does this mean I have to stop wearing the triquetra to work? Crap-oh-la.
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