want ad

May 14th, 2009 | Other Projects

Photo 78
Here’s my new assistant Shawn and me, puzzling over how to fix up this website. (In case you’re confused, I’m in the blue.)

Does anyone out there have the skills to help us? We’re looking for someone with knowledge of html coding, some knowledge of wordpress, and some graphic design skills (and programs, like Adobe Suite).

It’s a small freelance commitment, but there might be future tweakings required.

Send some links to your work and/or a resume, and your rate, to velvetpatsy@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you!

177 Responses to “want ad”

  1. Ali says:

    Which website are you fixing up? If this one what are you hoping to change/improve? Shawn looks slightly terrified and you as wisely accepting as confuscious – I wonder what you are looking at??

  2. This website! This blog! This one right here.

  3. K.B. says:

    Just change the mustard color and it’ll be fine!

  4. Tom Geller says:

    I considered writing privately, but I’m sure others are wondering, so…

    What do you feel is missing from the site as it is now? What’s motivating you to change it?

    (I’m a Drupal developer, and can foresee a lot of added functionality that would take advantage of that platform… but that’s pointless if you don’t *want* any of it!)

  5. Ready2Agitate says:

    Welcome to our geeky dykey feministing world, Shawn! Anything that helps Alison helps us! πŸ™‚

  6. Kate L says:

    K.B.

    Right you are! Change the mustard color, and the perfection of this site cannot be improved upon! πŸ™‚ How about something in a nice lavender?

  7. Kate L says:

    A.B.

    The photo you posted with this blog is my best view yet of the geologic map of Pennsylvania and New Jersey that you have on the wall behind you. Kudos!!! πŸ™‚ But how can New Jersey possibly be west of Pennsylvania??? Lambo* confused. Oh, never mind, the photo must have been mirror-imaged! Confusion resolved!

    * My nick-name in grad school.

  8. Ali says:

    I get that it is this blog – but what our perfectionist host are you wanting to change about this much adored site? Shawn looks so concerned by what he’s looking at ??? But I join with R2A in greetings to the new assistant. I too have just seen an unfortunate photo of me. Our Choir mistress is always getting us to relax our abdominal muscles and let it all hang out – so as to increase our lung capacity when singing. That is great and all – but if you are on the front row you can look somewhat pregnant -and I haven’t been for 3 years now!!??!! I am no help with website work I’m afraid – just good at asking slightly useless questions about it. However in looking at some you tube stuff on Alison – I came across a velvet park media video which linked me to two things I am quite interested in – one has anyone seen the Itty Bitty Titty Committee and is it any good or just for the pre thirties brigade?
    Two – does anyone else enjoy the Diana Cage and Emma Randall interviews on the Velvet Park site? They crack me up – but it is great to see lesbian relationships in all their domestic idealogical glory.

  9. Rexlezard says:

    No help from here, but I think Shawn is absolutely adorable.

    (You too, but he’s new!)

  10. regis says:

    i’m the wrong kind of nerd, but i posted a link to this to my lj, which is read by some people who are the right kind of nerd.

  11. Timmytee says:

    Is Shawn “The Mentor”–you’re both looking pretty censorius! Maybe there are some things YOU aren’t satisfied with vis a vis the website, but I think it’s one of the easiest to navigate of any I encounter. Hard to see how it could be much better–I even LIKE the mustard-colored background! Best wishes.

  12. Anarcissie says:

    Given my experience as a web site developer, I had come to the conclusion that there was no one left on the face of the earth, including the dogs and the cats, that didn’t know all about HTML, Javascript, Flash, etc. etc. etc. Especially, there is the dreaded nephew who wants to start his career in the business and the mark, er, prospective client always has to give the work to him to him, just as, when it’s time to fix the car or the plumbing or fight off the IRS, the nephew gets the job, right?

    This website isn’t bad, though. What changes did you have in mind?

  13. Don’t worry, everyone! I’m aware that this website is kind of community property.I have no plans to change anything about how the blog works.

    What I’m trying to do is create a more functional website. This one is somewhat outmoded, since it was designed to house regular episodes of my comic strip. I’ve been transitioning into being more of an author or illustrator than a newspaper cartoonist, so I want the site to be more like an author’s site, or an illustrator’s.

    The blog itself won’t change much…I just need to update various things. Like, that giant ad for Fun Home that always shows up at the top of the screen? That’s gotta go. Stuff like that.

    ‘Kay?

  14. iara says:

    I like the mustard color too.
    I think many of us here are feeling a crushing panic. We are the little animals and we are sensing some huge weather event approaching, or maybe tremors in the foundation… Please Mentor, soothe our fears!

  15. David L. says:

    Shawn is so handsome!

  16. Liza says:

    Hi Shawn. I wish you still lived across the street. I miss you.

  17. Liza says:

    Oh, and here’s an idea: I think this is the only blog on the planet that doesn’t have a way to hyperlink to commenters’ blogs or websites if they have one and want to publicize it. How about it?

  18. Good idea, Liza! I know you suggested that a long time ago. We’ll try and figure it out.

  19. hairball_of_hope says:

    Oh please, whatever you do… make it accessible to folks with visual and motion impairments as per WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0), and/or follow the requirements of Section 508 of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

    Alt-text your graphics so the screen reader doesn’t yammer “graphic” all day. Put the navigation bar in a consistent place from one page to the next. Limit all that damn Javascript that befuddles the visually-impaired with popups, popunders, and whizbang stuff that make it inpossible to navigate. Just say “NO” to frames. Etc.

    Here’s the quick reference on WCAG 2.0:

    http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/quickref/

    And here’s a link to a basic intro to designing for Section 508 accessibility:

    http://www[dot]access-board[dot]gov/sec508/guide/1194%5Bdot%5D22%5Bdot%5Dhtm

    (I substituted [dot] for the real dots so this post won’t end up in spam-block limbo because it has two links)

  20. hairball_of_hope says:

    (… take two… the first one ended up in spam-block hell even though I tried substituting [dot] in the second link)

    Oh please, whatever you do… make it accessible to folks with visual and motion impairments as per WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0), and/or follow the requirements of Section 508 of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

    Alt-text your graphics so the screen reader doesn’t yammer “graphic” all day. Put the navigation bar in a consistent place from one page to the next. Limit all that damn Javascript that befuddles the visually-impaired with popups, popunders, and whizbang stuff that make it inpossible to navigate. Just say “NO” to frames. Etc.

    Here’s the quick reference on WCAG 2.0:

    http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/quickref/

  21. hairball_of_hope says:

    (… and here’s the other link …)

    Here’s a link to a basic intro to designing for Section 508 accessibility:

    http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/1194.22.htm

  22. Jessica Bessica says:

    could you make is taste like bacon?

  23. Maggie Jochild says:

    I too like the mustard color, though I prefer Dijon.

    (Inside political joke.)

    Please, no flashing lights or blaring sound. And yes to the accessibility stuff HOH mentioned.

  24. Diamond says:

    Here’s an attractive example of a WordPress site with good accessibility features – nice clear alt tags, resizeable type, no frames, no pointless animated graphics or silly noises.

    I admit the saffron colour scheme could be described as mustard, but I don’t think WordPress makes that compulsory . . .

    http://www.manchesterbuddhistcentre.org.uk/

  25. Maggie Jochild says:

    Diamante, I’d call that butternut squash rather than mustard or saffron. (Foodie quibble.)

    Thanks for giving us an example. And WordPress, like Blogger (which is used by the majority of leftie blogs out there) is FREE. Blogger virtually never goes down, has great comment moderation options, loads superfast on most computers, and has an army of geeks creating free tweaks to add to its versatility.

  26. Shawn says:

    Wow, I feel so loved already! I’ve written down all your suggestions (with pen and real paper!) and I am casually assessing the new ideas. Happy Friday.

  27. meldyke says:

    Am I the first poster to not have strong opinions about the website? As long as it’s here I’m happy! πŸ™‚

    @ Ali: Itty Bitty Titty Committee is pretty good, but not outstanding. Worth Netflixing, even for the 30+ crowd. My wifey and I liked it, enjoyed having a lesbian film to watch that wasn’t L-word “beautiful”, so that was fun. Enjoy!

  28. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Maggie

    “…Blogger virtually never goes down…”

    Uh, what about yesterday’s #GOOGLEFAIL? Blogger, Gmail, and Google were affected.

    I’m surprised that the right-wingers haven’t gotten all over Obama in a major way for asking for Dijon mustard on his cheeseburger. No spoofs on the “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” commercials yet. Or maybe they have been busting his horns on this and I’m just completely out of touch.

    For those who want a different flavor than mustard for their websites, take a look at the settings in your browser. I never see the yucky mustard color, because I have Firefox set up to use my colors, fonts, and font sizes instead of whatever the 14-year-old nephew wannabe website designer has chosen. Kate, you can set up a lavender default background color if you’d like. I might switch to that, I currently use a light grey background that’s easier on the eyes than the usual bright white.

    I also don’t suffer from all those horrible distractors on the page, because I’ve installed Adblock and Flashblock extensions.

    Other favorite extensions I can’t live without… Image Zoom, Tabbrowser Extensions, Nuke Anything, and Hide Searchbar.

  29. meg says:

    welcome, Shawn!

    Only the very most techie impaired of my friends think I’m a geek, so I’ve got nothing other than that to say.

    πŸ™‚

  30. Ginjoint says:

    I’m baffled by the mentions of this “mustard” color – I see more of a pumpkin. And hey, Shawn! Nice to meet you. That picture of you two – hm, separated at birth?

  31. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ginjoint

    Color rendition on monitors is dicey, particularly with regard to LCD monitors. One monitor’s pumpkin is another monitor’s saffron is another monitor’s mustard.

    Folks who depend on accurate color rendition (e.g. those in the graphics arts, photographic, and printing fields) use an electronic gizmo and software to calibrate the color output on the monitor to a reference standard known as the Pantone Color Matching System (aka PMS… no jokes please).

    The most accurate color rendition can still be found on CRT monitors, for technical reasons that I won’t bore you with.

    I still have a behemoth Sony Trinitron CRT monitor among my display devices on the home computer farm, and it remains my favorite for viewing photos. It was also the favorite warm nesting spot for the cat, and sometimes he would treat me to the tail windshield wiper effect as I attempted to work.

  32. Maggie Jochild says:

    HOH, I guess I missed the failure you mentioned, because I’m a big user of all three and I never had an interruption in service. Maybe it was regional? Or I was asleep, maybe.

    And yes, the wingnuts ARE harping incessantly on Obama requesting Dijon mustard for his cheeseburger, which is why I made the joke. They claim it proves he’s not a Real American, he’s elite/uppity, he eats “funny” — it’s joined the ranks of his eating arugula and Michelle setting up a garden at the White House, all proof that he is the antichrist.

  33. sam kleinman says:

    hey,

    I’ve been using/doing wordpress things for–god, long enough that it’s embarrassing–well, since before it was called wordpress. And, I have enough experience with other systems to be able to make helpful recommendations for other tools that might work better.

    While I have a lot of material/existing code/examples, and I could work to spec, as it were, most of my work (of late) has been in a more advisory/educational sort of role. More like, “you tell me what you want, I get you started with a friendly push in the right direction, and then I provide support while you learn and tinker.” If this sounds good, that’s certainly an option.

    Email is lastname.firstname @ gmail.com

    Cheers,
    sam

  34. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Maggie

    Here’s a link to a Computerworld blog about #googlefail:

    http://blogs.computerworld.com/after_googlefail_will_you_trust_online_apps

    And blogs being what they are, the first commenter is an anti-Linux troll. Sigh.

  35. hairball_of_hope says:

    Back to website accessibility… here’s a link to some resources from Univ. Texas which include samples of good/bad HTML, and a pretty good accessibility checklist:

    http://www.utexas.edu/learn/accessibility/index.html

  36. Calico says:

    Hi Shawn! : )
    Methinks the background color is more of a Marigold…

  37. Calico says:

    Wasn’t Lynx the very first browser? (For scientists and such to share info)

    Here’s a great reference site – Vincent Flander’s
    http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/

    By all means, by posting this link I am not implying that there is anything wrong with DTWOF – I find it easy to use and not tiresome. However, Vincent is a good creator/instructor and funny critic to boot.
    “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

  38. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Calico

    Yup, and plenty of folks still use Lynx (it’s a text-based *nix browser, for you noobies).

    Good accessible web design is terrific for Lynx users, and also for users who turn off auto image loading, or who don’t have every gimcrack bandwidth-hogging plug-in installed.

    If you want a taste of what it’s like to be websurfing while visually-impaired, turn off automatic image loading, Java, and Javascript in your browser, then try to navigate your usual stomping grounds using only keyboard commands. And then imagine your screen reader program chanting “image spacer.gif” over and over again as the page loads. Good luck with that.

  39. Kate L says:

    Did somebody say BACON ? ! ! !

  40. Maggie Jochild says:

    Bacon encrusted with Dijon. Cut thick and served with asparagus and maple-glazed cornbread. Organic arugula salad on the side. Served with Java, or a small locavore glass of Chateau Imagespacergif.

  41. Aunt Soozie says:

    it’s definitely dijon on my monitor. Hi Shawn, welcome. yeah, they’re all lovely dovey now but look how quickly Alison had to say, easy… easy… now… nothing is going to really change.. everything is gonna be a-okay everybody… easy now… Shawn, I think has preparation for working in this environment you should go live on one o’them lezzie only land trusts for about six years… then you’ll know how it all goes down with the whole community deal…
    okay, I hope i don’t get in trouble for teasing the masses…. but, one thing is that I have noticed lots of new names popping up and posting here… that’s nice to see. people happening by and chiming in and this not feeling like just a couple of people talking to each other…. I like when it gets all juicy and involved and interesting like that…. speaking of juicy, it is so NOT pumpkin Ginjoint… I think your computer is goldenrodphobic. but, we’ll talk off blog about some readings you can upload to increase your monitors sensitivity to issues of value and hue.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Jessica Bessica – you got me laughing like Ernie (as in Bert & Ernie) over the “can you make it taste like bacon?” and I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything while reading or it would have spurted out of my nose while I was laughing! Good one!

    Meanwhile, welcome to the land of make believe Shawn! Have fun!

  43. hairball_of_hope says:

    Maggie, that meal sounds wonderful (except for the bacon, of course). Chateau Imagespacergif? My ribs hurt from laughing so hard at that one.

    “Madame, would you like to try our Chateau Imagespacergif? It’s a good vintage. Tuesday.”

  44. Leda says:

    I love the mustard/pumpkin/marigold but I embrace the changes you are suggesting Alison. This blog is not community property, its yours, but you are gracious enough to let it function as such. A website about your work, which consists of more than DYKES, is an entirely different thing to a blog called Dykes To Watch Out For and you should absolutely have one. It would be great to see a proper website for you as an artist and writer where you can give equal space to DYKES, Fun Home and other stuff. Its a really important part of how you represent yourself and you shouldn’t deny yourself it for fear of upsetting us.

    No need loose anything about this blog (including the web address) but just reposition it, its trying to do too much, or rather you are. Its often easier to start from scratch than adapt, so build your new site and when anyone clicks on the blog link, which I presume would be on the home page of AlisonBechdel.com or LickMyLlama.org or whatever you go for, have it open this page.

    @diamond, the Manchester Buddhist Centre is a tranquil as its website…

  45. Maggie Jochild says:

    LickMyLlama?!!!

    Reticulating splines…

  46. LizGig says:

    Alison, please register and use LickMyLlama.org before it’s gone!

  47. Kate L says:

    Kate tears herself away from comtemplating the many forms of bacon for this thought:

    Hey, maybe the posted photo showing the wall map with New Jersey to the west of Pennsylvania isn’t reversed after all! Maybe, just maybe, the internet blogosphere has grown so large as to punch a hole through to an alternative time line in which New Jersey IS west of Pennsylvania! Mystery solved!

  48. Dr. Empirical says:

    Did you ever see a llama
    kiss a llama on the llama?

    Llama’s llama tastes of llama.

    Llama llama duck.

    http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/llama

  49. Dr. Empirical says:

    Obviously, the map is a view of Pennsylvania and New Jersey AS SEEN FROM BELOW!

  50. Ready2Agitate says:

    Ha!

  51. ksbel6 says:

    I’m not positive we are supposed to toss out ideas, but earlier someone suggested there be a place on the blog for book discussions. That would be cool. I think I could participate in an online book club.

    BTW, Women and Children First is having a “no shipping charges” sale. The GSA at my school just ordered about 10 books for the library and was pumped when the “no shipping charges” email arrived!

  52. Kate L says:

    ksbel6,

    Whenever I hear “GSA”, my first reaction is to think that people are talking about the Geological Society of America. Just like how, on my first trip to San Francisco, I was surprised by all the women geologists who were there. Women geologists tend to wear jeans, flannel shirts over a t-shirt, cut their hair short to keep it out of their eyes on outcrops, and like to wear hiking boots. Doc Martens are the best, if you can afford them. I encountered many friendly women geologists in San Francisco! πŸ˜‰

  53. hairball_of_hope says:

    Hmmm… is “Lambo” the geologist version of the Sylvester Stallone character? What weaponry does a Lambo carry around? A pickaxe and a streak plate? Do geologists still use streak plates, or has that been supplanted by some electronic analysis doodad?

  54. Renee S. says:

    I see Goldenrod Prismacolor

  55. Andi says:

    Alison: How about Josh at Comics Curmudgeon? He does freelance work. Now THAT would be an interesting collaboration!

    Shawn: How about a “Preview Comment” button? Pleeeeze?

    Everyone Else: Bacon! Yummmm…

  56. Ian says:

    The colour seems orangey – Maybe pumpkin, flavoured with English Mustard to me.

    I completely agree with the incorporation of Vermont maple-syrup glazed bacon chops in some way.

    And yes, Shawn wins the full approval of the gay men on this blog, me included. πŸ˜‰

    I do think the move to an AlisonBechdel.com site for your work and keeping the blog and its eccentric community as a dykes, allies, sympathisers and other carbon-based life forms to watch out for is a nice idea. I think we all come under that category somewhere.

    It’s so hard deciding how you want a site to be, especially if your web knowledge ain’t great. I’d follow someone else’s advice and start from scratch for your main site – the AlisonBechdel.com if you will and incorporate this blog into that site somehow. Go mooch around the sites of other authors, artists and illustrators and make notes of the features you like and it pretty soon becomes a workable spec to give your web designer.

  57. Suz (Bklyn) says:

    I second the advice to poke around and see what kinds of neat stuff you find that you might like to have.

    That said, please please please do something that works okay in browsers beyond Firefox, IE, and Safari. (I’m in Opera, which is as customizable as Firefox but loads and runs faster. Love it.)

  58. cybercita says:

    here’s another vote for a change of color.

  59. hetero genus says:

    Marigold or pumpkin on my screen. When I looked at the picture, I thought Shawn might be one of your younger brothers, you looked kind of alike.

  60. hetero genus says:

    BTW, I really do miss your created community. I am, I realize how this sounds, but i don’t care, still visualizing the young ones progressing through life. I realize you are busy and on to other things, but how about an occasional sort of update, like those Christmas epistles with little snapshots of everyone, updates, etc. like Stuart and Sparrow’s kid deciding she wants to attend public school and then, envying the uniforms and structure of parochial schools decides she wants to go there, or a yeshiva, something to really piss off Stuart. Janus could fall in love (again) with young bi female who thinks she is a birth girl only to learn the truth, and embraces Janus’s masculine side, making her rethink… kids go through lots of changes…. and of course Raffi and Stella. He is off to school for the sciences, she creates self help clips for you tube and Cynthia runs for GOP spokesperson. These are crummy ideas, which is why i want to hear the virtual real scoop on everyone. Glad to see you are all well.

  61. Kate L says:

    hetero genus – I had exactly the same reaction to the picture AB posted for this blog. My first thought was, “Hey, there’s a Bechdel brother I didn’t know about!”. Oh, btw, transsexuals don’t rethink their gender identity any more than anyone else does. Janus is a transwoman, and won’t be changing.

    I just returned from the annual Date with Hate at campus Commencement (graduation). Local progressives seize the high ground nearest where graduates and their families enter the colliseum where the graduation ceremony takes place. We do this to deny the choice location to members of the Phelps Family from Topeka. They’re the ones who also carry homophobic signs at the funerals of AIDS victimes and picket the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq. They had their usual homophobic and anti-American signs with them, but this time they had also branched out to anti-Obama signs and anti-semitic signs.

  62. Ready2Agitate says:

    Oh good, Phelps is broadening his tent, how quaint. Good for you, Kate, for representing @ the Date with Hate.

    And HG, I’m with you on wanting to know the real scoop among our cast of friends! But AB won’t be returning to DTWOF in the near term — not unless the Essentials makes brings much larger masses into the fold calling the strip out of its retirement. But who knows, winning awards for fiction may herald new readers whose inquiring minds may want to know…. (sigh)

  63. Calico says:

    AS – Aren’t there 252 colors that most browsers recognize with absolutely no confusion/unwanted alterations?
    (Thinking of what I read in Molly Holzschlag’s book HTML 4 -yeah, I know I need to upgrade hard-copy wise, but it’s a great tutorial nontheless)

  64. Calico says:

    Yes, how lovely to hear that FP has branched out. πŸ˜›
    Fred hates everyone and everything including himself. Sad.

  65. Suz (Bklyn) says:

    Calico–That was then (256 colors), this is now, so to speak. It’s not a consideration any more.

  66. Kate L says:

    Apologies to A.B. for my presuming to speak for one of her characters. A.B. is a gracious host to call this blog communal property, but I guess I should have refrained from speaking for one of her creations!

  67. Riotllama says:

    Hey ya’ll. Please, ask before you lick.

  68. giulia (italy) says:

    noooo!
    please leave it the way it looks now, simple and functional.
    I love your post and “dtwof”

  69. hairball_of_hope says:

    More gender barriers fall in the UK…

    The BBC is reporting that Ruth Padel has been named Oxford University’s Professor of Poetry, the first woman to hold the post since it was created in 1708:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/8054008.stm

  70. Maggie Jochild says:

    I just watched today’s episode of America’s Test Kitchen, and they taste-tested bacon! Artisanal, “real” bacon, to be precise. Winners were Vanderose and Nodine’s, both of which are out of my budget. But they gave a definite thumb’s down to a Farmland product, which cheered me as that’s a division of the evil pig empire Smithfield.

    Oddly, when I went to the ATK website to read more, at the top of the page was this taste test — for Dijon mustard!

  71. pd says:

    Spooky that AB and Shawn wear identical glasses frames.

  72. hairball_of_hope says:

    Hmmm… maybe one reason we can’t agree on calling the default color scheme “mustard” vs. some other food is because we have differing tastes (and color expectations) for mustard.

    I read the Dijon review Maggie linked to, and I happen to like all three of the high-rated mustards (Grey Poupon, Maille, Roland). But they are much yellower (hello turmeric!) than anything I normally use.

    I’m a fan of coarsely-ground/whole-grain mustards, and they don’t necessarily have to be Dijon. IMHO, Grey Poupon Country Dijon is good, and so are the Polish and deli mustards (e.g. Gulden’s, Kosciusko, etc.). All of them are more brown-hued than yellowish.

    I never liked mustard as a kid, probably because I’m old enough to have experienced the joy (NOT) of having a mustard plaster on my chest. I came to enjoy mustard as a teenager, dipping greasy vegetable eggrolls in Chinese hot mustard (which is quite yellow; UKers would recognize Chinese mustard as having about the taste and color of reconstituted Coleman’s dry mustard). Good stuff. Clears sinuses.

  73. Feminista says:

    The website’s color is fine as is. The content is most important to me.

    MUSICIANS TO WATCH OUT FOR: emma’s revolution,a dynamic duo of great wimmin,is wonderful. They were guest artists this PM at the spring concert of the Aurora Chorus (Strong Women Singing Peace); I’m a chorus alumna. The concert’s theme: Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History.

    Now go out there and continue to kick butt,raise hell,and don’t be ladylike! Woo hoo!

  74. hairball_of_hope says:

    Hey Riotllama… may I?

  75. C. says:

    Any position on the “alisonbechdel.com” issue? Oh, I think it is important that DTWOF remains the name of this blog.
    Also important: More strip reruns! (Particularly those not published in “The Essential…”)

  76. iara says:

    clue from yesterday’s NYTimes crossword puzzle:
    “What straights and gays have in common”
    5 letters

  77. Renee S. says:

    Well, I am a great fan of DTWOF, but I am ardently awaiting fresh artistic creations from our virtuoso. Creative energy is free-flowing.

    “Every change is a form of liberation.” ~Paula Rego

  78. hairball_of_hope says:

    Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Kuwaiti Parliament will have its first women MPs. Four female candidates, including women’s rights activist Rola Dashti, won seats in yesterday’s elections:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124253525156827440.html

  79. Calico says:

    Suz – see, I really am behind.
    What educational/how-to tome would you recommend these days for a fledgling HTML-er? (I have Dreamweaver, but of course still need to upgrade my brain).

  80. I was sort of thinking of this as a good template for the new site.

  81. Bookbird says:

    Alison,

    What is it about that site that attracts you? I clicked through (to Cadies Page? is that right?) and was immediately assaulted by the background (messy and dark), badly-chosen colors for the text areas (yellow on blue?? painful!), and little animations and color-flashes all over the place.

    If that’s the alternative, I think what you’ve got now is the right choice.

    Personal request: MORE ART! I still live in hope that one day DTWOF will come back, but even if we never hear about those characters again (sniffle) another thing I liked about those days was the commentary on the artwork.

  82. Renee S. says:

    @AB HAH!!!!! funny

  83. anon et al says:

    re: Cadie template — yes, the digitized music and comic sans would really fit the feel of this blog. ;p

  84. meg says:

    ooooo, the pandas! and the ‘please be my friend’….

    you have *so* got it!

    (it’s kinda like that photo of me in drag, innit? πŸ˜‰ )

  85. hairball_of_hope says:

    If that’s the future of AB’s website, please excuse me while I overdose on syrup of ipecac.

  86. iara says:

    Excellent, you are on your way to “get it write”!

  87. Renee S. says:

    I have a sudden urge to go out and buy a “BeDazzler”

  88. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Renee

    Oh, the Bedazzler is sooo last century. Rhinestones? Studs?

    What you *really* need are LEDs.

    Try these on for size:

    http://www.enlighted.com/pages/bras.shtml

  89. Alex K says:

    AB, is that the root of your tongue I see sticking ALL THE WAY through your cheek?

    I’ll visit your Cadie-format blogge nouvelle, but with keeping an eye on all those pandas (Dr Winnicotts? Hollies?) , I don’t expect to be able to hear myself think.

  90. Renee S. says:

    @HOH

    WHEWWWWWW!

    I was mesmerized for a full 8 minutes staring at the Hypnobra.
    Uh, Where am I?

  91. Jessica Bessica says:

    That blog did not taste like bacon. And it was visually assaulting. However, I do have a bedazzler. Should I send in my resume?

  92. Ready2Agitate says:

    Winnicotts? Hollies? Why no, those pandas would clearly be SPINNING MO’S! (Oh, and poor Mo, how she would rather rot in hell than become a spinning brand icon).

    Now everyone, go pet your cats – it’s just a bad dream.

  93. Timmytee says:

    I’d like to see NUMBERED COMMENTS on the site. (Sorry for shouting!) As for the CADIES site–WTF?? Best wishes to all.

  94. Suz (Bklyn) says:

    Those background pandas really need to shine and twinkle, AB. Step it up.

    Calico–Sorry, I have no recs. Maybe check out HTML for Dummies next time you’re at Buns & Noodle? Also Google around for web design guidelines, web design for tutorials, and so forth. There’s a lot out there.

  95. Suz (Bklyn) says:

    Oops. Web design tutorials, not for tutorials (unless, of course, that’s what you’re wanting to put online).

  96. Ian says:

    I used to use htmlgoodies.com as a really good reference point on the web for all web design-related thingies. No remuneration was received for this endorsement! But I did find the site very useful.

  97. ksbel6 says:

    @iara: So, what’s the answer?

  98. Calico says:

    Alison – you’ve got to be kidding, right?
    God, I hate those MySpacy-type pages. MIDI “music” is even worse.
    (now I need to go recalibrate my eyes and ears)

    Thanks Suz! And Ian too.

  99. Ginjoint says:

    God, that MIDI music…that was pretty funny, Bechdel. I do like R2A’s rejected idea of spinning, sparkly Winnicotts, though. Cats on a lesbian website – who’da thunk?

  100. Therry and ST. Jerome says:

    Welcome Shawn! And Ihappen to like the mustard color, so you won’t get any technical razzledazzle from me. @HoH, I will leave the technical razzledazzle to you, if you don’t mind. I’ve been an admirer of yours from your first post.

    In my mind, the color mustard smells like bacon.

  101. iara says:

    @ksbel6 and anybody else wondering about the crossword clue. The answer is: “LONGA”

    I also learned something else from that same puzzle. Did you know what a baby llama is called? – a “cria”

  102. Ginjoint says:

    I know that a longa is a musical notation, iara, but I’m just not getting that clue. Help?

  103. NLC says:

    Ginjoint
    Yeah, it took me a couple of reads to get it as well.

    longa ==> “Long A”

    as in
    “What strAights and gAys have in common”

  104. ksbel6 says:

    Nice explaining NLC. If you work crossword puzzles enough, you will start to see those faster. Like you know “EPEE” is going to be in there somewhere…it is a short sword or knife…or TseTse is a type of fly…weird, unimportant information gets stored in your brain.

  105. Ginjoint says:

    ::headdesk::

    Thanks, iara – I had the (correct) pronunciation going on in my head, with a short A. I should’ve known to break it down. And oh yeah, ksbel – “epee”! That one sure tripped me up the first time.

  106. Ellen O. says:

    In keeping with the theme of Fun Home, your Vermont essay in _State by State_, and a touch of DTWOF, the new website should be an introspective, non-linear, occasionally self-referential, certainly circularly-reoccuring place that’s a little out of place among other websites.

    Between November and April, a foot of electronic snow should fall at random intervals, turning the screen white until viewers insert quarters into their CD-drives to activate cyber-shovels which dig the site out. Similarly in September and October, monetarily-activated electronic cyber-rakes will clear out fiery piles of maple, oak, and elm leaves. In May, the site will be mud-splattered, with much of the text obliterated.

    Without warning, the image of Sydney should appear to critique the site unfavorably. This will be done in a hand-written (not customized font) text balloon. Sydney will then click a remote to activate her large screen plasma T.V., causing Rachel Maddow to appear briefly announcing Ms. Bechdel’s touring schedule for the season. Martha Stewart will look on, longingly.

    Finally, at the close of each session, a young Alison will leap into a swimming pool, where her father awaits to catch her. Splashing noises follow as the screen fades to blue.

  107. Kate L says:

    A.B.

    I visted Cadie’s site when you posted the link yesterday. It’s taken me this much time to recover. Still can’t get that MIDI tune out of my head, though. And when I first tried to return here, and couldn’t, I found that I had typed Yikestowatchoutfor !

  108. Andrew B says:

    I vote for Ellen O’s concept. Except — weren’t the quarters supposed to fly out of our CD drives? C’mon Alison, we’re still waiting on that one.

    Shawn has a great look of speechless, wide-eyed horror. Shawn, have you ever considered a career on CSI-type shows, as the guy who finds this week’s horribly mutilated, partially decomposed corpse? There might be some money in that.

    I like Alison and Shawn’s choice of colors. They just need Holly to show up wearing something green (appropriately), and they’ll have all the primaries.

  109. Kate L says:

    No, no, Shawn’s look is not one of speechless horror – it is a look of intense, focused concentration!

  110. Kate L says:

    This morning, I sat in on a master’s defense conducted via the internet from Saudi Arabia, half a world and 8 time zones away. I drove to the department myself and did not wear a burka. Was I being culturally insensitive?

  111. Ellen O. says:

    Yes Andrew, good memory. But this way, Alison receives funding for the site. A (former?) hot button issue.

  112. rubicat says:

    Hi. I was sent here by Carolyn, and I would love to help, but I’m not much of a backend codegeek; I do front-end web design (i.e. WordPress baffles me).

    So, I’m not sure how helpful I’d be, but I’d love the opportunity to work with you. My site: http://www.rubicat.com – you should be able to sniff out enough about me and my awesomeness to see if I can be of service. I agree with other comments, though, about the mustard colour. I’m getting some retinal distress ovah here!

  113. ksbel6 says:

    For those who care, I finally finished “Afinity” by Waters. Great book. Little disappointed by the lack of hot sex, but exciting ending. I liked “Tipping The Velvet” and “Fingersmith” better, probably the later being my favorite. There’s just something so cool about a woman writing porn in like 1850 or whatever πŸ˜‰

  114. Renee S. says:

    @ksbel

    almost finished Night Watch. I received Little Traveler for my birthday this week. Can’t wait to finish one and start the other.

  115. ksbel6 says:

    I’m starting Night Watch tomorrow! Is Little Traveler the new one?

  116. Renee S. says:

    @ksbel

    yes

  117. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ellen O

    Good, but you forgot black fly season, right after mud season. There will be swarms of biting black flies, which can be repelled by your choice of bug repellents. Fifty cents in the coin slot will buy a few spritzes of DEET or a completely ineffective herbal alternative, made of cilantro, galanga root, and wormwood.

    Also, I vote for tourist avatars who go leaf-peeping in autumn, the avatars also funded by the Paypal coin slots on our computers.

  118. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    It’s only culturally insensitive if you were also washing down your BLT sandwich with a beer.

  119. hairball_of_hope says:

    I’m still hoping for a site that tastes like dark chocolate.

  120. ksbel6 says:

    @Kate L

    Along with what HOH said, and puffing on a cigarette πŸ™‚

    Also, I’m thinking some of you guys really need to eat more often (and possibly just more). I’m pretty sure I haven’t ever wanted/needed/desired any webpage to taste like any particular food.

  121. Calico says:

    GJ – “Spinning, sparkly Winnicotts”
    Priceless.
    Maybe with a MIDI version of Queen’s “You’re my Best Friend.”
    ; )

  122. iara says:

    And how about, at random times, a llama slowly making its way across the page? Then the mouse stops working properly, it starts slipping around. If you had thought ahead and already purchased a blue sequined bra from the paypal shed, you can use it to regain control while the llama hangs around on your screen, otherwise it is too late: you’ll be lucky if you even get anywhere close to the paypal button, so you just have to helplessly wait until it decides to go away again.

  123. hairball_of_hope says:

    Raw garlic… how did I forget the raw garlic in that ineffective herbal bug repellent? Cilantro, galanga, wormwood, and raw garlic. If the smell doesn’t kill you, the wormwood will make you hallucinate (wormwood is the active ingredient in absinthe).

    @iara

    That meandering llama reminds me of some odd program that I saw on a friend’s PC. A cat randomly walked around the screen, hanging off application windows, and then would walk off. Don’t know the name of the program, however.

    @ksbel

    But it’s chocolate! It’s a major food group. Along with pizza. Part of my alternate universe food pyramid. It’s always gratifying when some research study comes out proclaiming the health benefits of my favorite foods. Red wine? Dark chocolate? Polyphenols and antioxidants. Tomato products? Lycopenes. I’m still waiting for a study that touts the health benefits of dark beers, stouts, porters, and ales. Then I’ll be all set.

  124. NLC says:

    …chocolate! It’s a major food group.:

    Do you know Sandra Boynton’s “Chocolate: The Consuming Passion

    Among other things, the book contains a number of recipes. My favorite is the one for “Hippo Pot De Mousse”,
    an (easy) chocolate mousse recipe which ends with the note (from memory):

    “…spoon into eight large wine glasses. Serves one.”

  125. Kate L says:

    I walked right past the bacon in the supermarket aisle the other day. What’s wrong with me???

  126. hairball_of_hope says:

    @NLC

    Hadn’t seen that from Boynton, but it sounds about right. I used to have one of her cartoons on the cube farm wall which read, “Things are getting worse. Please send chocolate.”

  127. Ready2Agitate says:

    Cilantro, HOH – do you mean Citronella?

    And llamas, y’all? Shouldn’t they be emu’s?

    Don’t know if others checked out Rubicat’s url, but I enjoyed the cat photos in her portfolio. I’m not one for dressing up my cats (or anyone else’s), but there’s some high femmes and at least one butch daddy in there, and just some gorgeously nekkid felines.

  128. Ian says:

    @R2A: I heard basil and mint also help to deter flies.

  129. Renee S. says:

    Wondering when we will get the book review forum

  130. hairball_of_hope says:

    @R2A

    I really did mean cilantro, aka coriander. I just picked some botanicals at random which I seemed to recall had some reputed effect on insects, plus the garlic.

    Citronella would be sensible, and possibly effective. This is supposed to be an *ineffective* bug repellent, but one that sounds vaguely plausible in the DTWOF universe. Mo would use this stuff, Sydney would be using the DEET.

    I have a vision of Mo mixing up a batch of this stuff in a blender, then bringing it to a picnic or barbeque with the rest of the DTWOF gang. Mo dabs it on herself, the garlic makes her smell sort of like a Italian dried salami. Stuart mistakes the bug repellent for dip, and eats it on his pita chips. The aroma from the bug repellent creates a mephitic cloud that overwhelms the picnic.

  131. Ian says:

    @HOH: I’m trying to garden organically and among the many methods of stopping slugs and snails from eating everything is a spray-on solution made from boiling up some garlic bulbs. There’s a possibility your recipe could work! πŸ˜‰

  132. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ian

    I don’t doubt there’s something in the garlic that repels insects. It certainly works on vampires. πŸ™‚

  133. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ian

    Have you tried the shallow saucer filled with beer for slug control? Back in the distant past when I had access to a garden, I used to put jar lids filled with beer next to the tomato plants. In the morning, I’d find besotted slugs in the beer.

  134. Ian says:

    @hoh: I haven’t used beer traps because I’m squeamish about emptying it of dead, drunk slugs the morning after! Yuck!

  135. ksbel6 says:

    Ah Vampires! Buffy The Vampire Slayer anyone?

  136. geogeek says:

    Ian – possible slug tip: if you’re trying to protect a small area (I’m a renter, and mostly just have planters) you can put a ring of salt around it. Even in Seattle, where it’s supposed to rain 4 cm/day, this works pretty well. I refresh it every 10 days or so. If you have a larger area, the copper fence works pretty well: get a strip of copper an inch or so high and set in ON EDGE, not flat, around your precious bundles of joy. Don’t forget to pick out the slugs trapped inside the perimeter…

  137. geogeek says:

    Probably easier to just get someone else to empty your slug traps.

    I once made the serious mistake of salting my slugs directly, instead of just leaving an unappealing salt barrier. I had read that it killed them, which it does, but was not prepared for the foaming and thrashing. I’m not quite a “never kill anything” person, but this was too much for me.

  138. hairball_of_hope says:

    Yeah, getting the slugs soused seems like a much better way to go.

  139. Renee S. says:

    @ksbel…my mistake, the book is the Little Stranger, not the Little Traveler. Starting it today

  140. ksbel6 says:

    So no takers on the Buffy The Vampire Slayer thread? Wow, I thought for sure several of you would jump on that.

    @geogeek: I agree, salting slugs is pretty terrible. The ring is the best way to go.

  141. hairball_of_hope says:

    Article from the Wall Street Journal on same sex marriages and court challenges to restrictions/taxes on health and survivor’s benefits:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124285325940940677.html

  142. geogeek says:

    Besides slugs, I fo course have snails. It turns out that they were imported to serve as escargot (pun totally intended), and there are even instructions about how to catch, ranch, and cook them in a Sunset Magazine cookbook I have. I’ve been meaning to do this for years now. In fact, I’, probably repeating myself to yall, since I think about it every spring.

  143. hairball_of_hope says:

    Ranching snails and slugs? *Ranching*? I have visions of beetles with saddles on them rounding up the snails and slugs in the corral. Giddyup! Yeee-haaa!

    Oh nevermind. I must have been nipping on the beer intended for the slugs.

    I have to ask… how does the cookbook suggest getting rid of the slime? Or is that considered some kind of delicacy?

  144. geogeek says:

    The slime apparently cooks off when you blanch them and pull them out of their little shells. Then you cut off the guts, which are in a kind of bag they leave tucked into the curly part of the shell, and cook the muscle part in, say, garlic sauce…

    I like the beetle image – a friend of mine suggested turtles…

  145. hairball_of_hope says:

    I think turtles or tortises, while faster than snails and slugs, would be too slow to round them up. Slugs climb trees (not sure about snails, maybe they do too), and I don’t believe the carapace-covered reptiles are very good tree climbers.

    I remember seeing huge banana slugs all over the place on a trip to northern California (maybe around Eureka?). I was in a state or national park (Redwood?) and they had a sign near the vistor’s center which said “Slug crossing, watch your step” and sure enough, these enormous bright orangey-yellow banana slugs were crossing the walkway. Fascinating critters, but nothing that I’d want to EAT.

  146. hairball_of_hope says:

    I can see a storyline developing from the slugfest (pun intended). Stuart “ranches” slugs in the garden as part of his locavore gardening, but the slugs kill the tomato plants that Sparrow is growing. Various houseguests are enjoying Stuart’s home-cooked meal (linguini with slugs in marinara sauce) until they learn they are eating slugs from the garden. Mo looks horrified when she finds out, and gargles her parsley soda in self-defense.

    Obviously, I’m suffering from DTWOF withdrawal. And with AB transitioning CTA or CTI (cartoonist to author, cartoonist to illustrator, respectively), I worry that we’ll never get another fix of DTWOF. Maybe it’s time for another fan fiction flirtation, similar to the Daily Distress contest. Some of my favorite ads never made it into the DD: On and On and On Anon (perfect for ranters who identify with Mo), and Birch Bark Toilet Paper (I’d buy the fascinating scent “Nerd Pheromones”).

  147. Kate L says:

    New Hampshire may not have same sex marriage yet; we (in the USA) may not have universal health care yet… but at least now we can carry loaded weapons into our national parks! NO, I’m NOT making any of this up! πŸ™ United States Senate resident eccentric Tom Coburn (Republican of Oklahoma) tacked on an “amendment” to the credit card industry regulation bill that President Obama just signed into law that gives people the right to carry loaded guns into the national parks.

  148. hairball_of_hope says:

    Kate, you and I have each spent enough time in Oklahoma to understand that while Coburn is an eccentric in the Senate, he’s a pretty ordinary specimen in his native Oklahoma.

    Here’s one instance where I wish Obama would take up GW Bush’s practice of a “signing statement.” He’s a lawyer, I’m sure he can figure out a way to avoid implementing that amendment.

    Just wait until the first domestic dispute ends in gunfire at a National Park or Park Service employee is shot in the line of duty.

    The amendment allows CONCEALED firearms in the National Parks in accordance with the laws of the state/locality in which the park is located. There are some parks which straddle state/locality boundaries; exactly how will that be handled if the states/localities have differing regulations on concealed weapons?

  149. iara says:

    @ geogeek
    Here is how I cook snails:

    First you have to, yes, ranch them. That means getting them to eat something innocuous, like flour or cornmeal, so they poop out all the bad stuff. If you catch them after a big rainfall, they are already out and about and active, so you just give them a little shower to get most of the gunk off and then put them in a big pot full of flour for a day or too. Don’t worry about them “having enough to drink” – snails are the easiest pets to keep, they just go dormant when there is no water, and can stay that way for months, even in hot weather. VERY IMPORTANT: must put a lid on pot, one that allows some air to get in, because they will escape. I once left the lid off for a couple of hours and for months afterwards I was finding snails in the most unlikely places, all over the house.
    You will be able to tell when they are starting to poop out their digested flour, so then they are ready to cook.
    Here is the way they are cooked in Greece: you cut off the top of the shell (center) but leave them in the shell. Cutting off the top relieves the pressure when you pull them out. Blanch them (that’s the sad part) and cook in a tomato sauce: start by sauteing some onions, then add garlic, tomatoes salt, pepper and some herb of choice (I prefer bay leaves for the snails, but you could instead use basil or oregano- whatever you do, don’t just throw in a bunch of different herbs, you need to make up your mind!). You serve them with the sauce and lots of nice crusty bread. Everybody struggles to get them out of the shell – using toothpicks, sucking them out or whatever. They are delicious.
    Warning: If you are in the US, make sure these are the regular, European snails mentioned above, the ones that got away (you can google them if you are not sure). Most slugs and some other snails are poisonous, so be careful!

  150. ksbel6 says:

    Here in the great state of Missouri, not only do we have the right to carry concealed weapons (which the majority of people here voted against when it was put on a ballot) but we also have “castle protection” meaning we can shoot and kill anyone we feel threatened by in our houses or on our property. A local woman shot and killed her live in boyfriend a few years ago when things turned violent during a fight and she is back at home and happy as a clam. Gotta love this state!

  151. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Iara

    Said Lucy as she ate her snails (with ketchup), “I think an American cousin of yours ate my geraniums.”

    http://www.angelfire.com/film/lucylove/lucysnail.jpg

  152. Timmytee says:

    Y’know, we’ve had a few commenters registering disgust when we talk about BACON. What can we expect if this SNAIL discussion continues much longer? ;=) Best wishes to all, and happy Memorial Day. It’s the unofficial beginning of Summer, right? (Alison, is all your snow gone yet? I’d bet your frosts aren’t over–a couple of healthy ones here south of Lake Erie just this past week!)

  153. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Timmytee

    I’ll bet if you wrapped those snails in bacon, the umami junkies on this blog would be all over them.

  154. rinky says:

    I’ll just put in my two cents worth. I’m thinking the background colour looks different on different monitors. I see marigold. I’m pretty sure some colours are “more the same on lots of monitors” than others.

    Yes, put in lots of cool website type stuff that I don’t yet know about and so, don’t yet realise I need.

    What’s with the bacon obsession? Where have all the vegetarians gone? Although I do think any vegetarian who had ever squashed an insect or snail (on purpose)(like me) should be OK with eating snails. I’m just not. Yet? They look to icky to eat.

  155. Alex K says:

    @snailranchers: The verb that you are mishandling is pronounced to rhyme with “mince”. R I N S E, “rinse”. A clean snail is a snacky snail.

    I love regional accents, but when we cycle from worsh to ranch, we have cycled too far.

  156. hairball_of_hope says:

    Gay mayor of Texas town chooses love over job:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124294991033245475.html

  157. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Alex K

    That explains it! Iara described cleaning the snail alimentary system via flour or cornmeal, but it never occurred to me that there was a pronounciation issue at work.

    Guess my saddle-toting beetles won’t be going to the snail roundup. They were so looking forward to showing off their lasso skills.

  158. Leda says:

    Hey Llama fans, I am in a cafe with my laptop and someone (not me) has written on the side of the table next to me, “M.Jones is a Llama.” Its unclear wether this is clearly the compliment I think it would be in these circles. My drama teacher when I was 15 was an M. Jones but he bore an uncanny resemblance to an owl…

  159. iara says:

    @hoh – that was an unusually feel-good wsj article, thanks!

    @rinky – thanks for the heads up on eating snails from the vegetarian front. I would like to add that the Greek Orthodox Church also allows you to eat snails during Lent, when the truly devout must abstain from all animal products.

  160. Ian says:

    @Timmytee: I accept that people have the right to eat snails, even if I disagree with their actions. What’s unacceptable is seeing them do it in public where impressionable children could get confused about what’s right and wrong. Why those snail activists have to come on this blog and shove them down our throats I’ll never know.

  161. Virginia Burton says:

    I’d like to second Andi’s suggestion that you add a “preview” of each post before it’s posted. This is the rare blog where grammar, spelling, and cogent thinking are important.

  162. Maggie Jochild says:

    It doesn’t take like bacon (or de-slimed snails), but The Dallas Principles are a national grassroots strategy that I think will fill our bellies and excite our senses. I just signed up and blogged about it.

  163. Maggie Jochild says:

    Oh, hell. I meant TASTE like bacon. Preview, yes.

  164. Kate L says:

    hairball

    (National Parks that extend into more than one American state with different gun laws) We’re not talking about logic, we’re talking about the law. Unintended consequences are par for the course! I can remember the first day I moved to Oklahoma to start work at the University of Oklahoma. I stopped at a gas station to ask directions, and the gas station guy began mocking my “accent”. I’m from Kansas, the state immediately to the north of Oklahoma! The gas station guy sounded like the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart immitating Senior Brit Correspondent John Oliver.

  165. Kate L says:

    Then again, it could have been worse. Check out this special report on current affairs in the Lone Star state of Texas, ripped from the electronic pages of The Onion (“America’s Finest News Source – TradeMark)…
    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/texas_constructs_u_s_border_wall?utm_source=a-section

  166. Kate L says:

    I really, really should get one of those “slow down, cowboy”, messages along about now…

    But I just saw this on the CNN web page about Finney County, Kansas, (several hundred miles west of where I live in Kansas) becoming a majority non-white county. I remember a few years ago when I stopped for lunch in Garden City (one of the cities mentioned in the article), and a woman in the restaurant came up and said hello because she mistook me for her physician, who was originally from Pakistan. The man from the university who I was with agreed with me that I did not particularly look Pakistani, and he should have known because he was!
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/05/22/garden.city.kansas.minorities/index.html

  167. Ready2Agitate says:

    Vegetariana, presente! (just wanted to make my snail-reading presence known πŸ™‚ )

    Loved that WSJ article. The perils of ICE & ridiculousness of that 4th-term elected mayor not being able to marry his beloved and live in the US – apparent.

  168. Aunt Soozie says:

    Hi Alison,
    just tried to post on the next post and got an error message… what are you two doin’ up there in Vermont.. and why are we in NJ backwards.. hmm… guess I have to go back and read all of this discussion… had been lazy in my blog comments reading lately… but, apparently I missed something important.
    beautiful photo of the red trillium. Did you get a new camera?? Are you going to start each post now with a photo of you and Shawn?

  169. Kate L says:

    Aunt Soozie,

    A.B. just means that the framed geologic map of New Jersey and Pennsylvania on the wall behind her and Shawn is backward (A.B. must have reversed the photo before posting it). I, too, tried to post on the next blog, and got an error message. It’s like we’re trapped back here in Stephen King’s The Langoliers. Listen! Did you just hear a crunching sound, getting closer and closer?!!

  170. rinky says:

    @iara interesting about Orthodox church and lent – thanks

  171. Maggie Jochild says:

    Kate L, I spent years trying to get over the nightmares brought on by the Langoliers. Now you bring it up again. (sigh)

    I wonder if garlic would ward them off?

  172. Aunt Soozie says:

    Of course, I’d already searched through every posting on here to see and NO mention of New Jersey or is denizens being backwards… though now I remember a backwards map being mentioned here somewhere before… then again, I was the one who thought she saw HOH say she was a he somewhere here too… so…. but, yeah, when you use the built in camera on your iMac everything is reversed… it gives you a mirror image. So, hence the backwards NJ…thank you Kate L.!!

  173. ksbel6 says:

    @ Kate L: I saw that article on CNN also, very interesting.

    @Ginjoint: crush status?

  174. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    I’m sure you heard the following joke in Oklahoma (please don’t shoot me, I’m only the messenger):

    Q: Why does Oklahoma have so many tornadoes?

    A: Because Kansas blows and Texas sucks.

    If you think having a Kansas accent is out of place in Oklahoma, try a New York accent on for size. Oh, and being the only person in a five mile radius with dark hair in a sea of blonds and mousey browns kind of stood out too.

    The folks who had the biggest problems were the Iranians. There was a sizable population of Iranian students at OU (geology, petroleum engineering, etc.) pre-revolution, and they all got stuck in the US after the fall of the Shah in 1979. The locals, not being particularly well-versed in world affairs, started taking out their anti-Iranian aggression on these poor students, and that lasted well into the Reagan era.

    I remember one Iranian guy with a thick accent that was a smush of Persian and Oklahoman telling me that he told people he was from India so they’d leave him alone. He joked that the average Oklahoman couldn’t find either country on a map, so he was safe with that lie.

    But that was 25 years ago. Norman OK is much more diverse these days. Doesn’t mean they like outsiders much more than before, but they hide their dislikes better.

  175. hairball_of_hope says:

    Apparently not every US locality with a meatpacking plant is as accepting as Finney County KS. Read about the cultural strains in Shelbyville TN:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124303310871748603.html

    In the article, I noticed a major difference between the US-born and immigrant workers – the immigrants were shlepping from all over the country for the chance to apply for these jobs processing chickens, but the US-born workers were all locals who were claiming some form of entitlement because they live nearby. I wondered, if the US-born workers had made such arduous attempts to find work, would they have found jobs? The article didn’t recount any similar attempts by the US-born workers to find jobs far away from home.

    Of course, that could be the reporter’s bias in writing this story, but I think if any of the US-born interviewees had shlepped far and wide to take a job paying under $10/hour, it would have been mentioned.

  176. Timmytee says:

    Hey! When I said I liked the mustard color, I didn’t mean to skip the post, pics, and commenters! About all I’m getting on the next post (marked “friday”) is the DTWOF header and an endless page of Gulden’s Spicy Brown. Best wishes.

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