Heading home!

March 30th, 2014 | Uncategorized

Been in Oz and NZed for 5 weeks!
A total of 22 plane hours ahead of us.


Actually that’s only to NYC, then another leg home to VT. Thank god I lugged the giant tome The Goldfinch with me all over tarnation.

41 Responses to “Heading home!”

  1. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    I’m glad you and Holly had a great trip.

  2. John Boren says:

    I hope you guys have a safe and comfortable trip home.

    Just looked up The Goldfinch. I didn’t know Donna Tart finally had a new book out, so thanks for mentioning that as well.

  3. NLC says:

    Welcome back to Vermont.

    The last week or so we’ve been experiencing some kind of weird liquid snow that the Eye-on-the-Sky guys are referring to as “rain” (who knew?), all of which means mud season is starting with a vengeance.

    Anyway, nice to have you back….

  4. Glenn I says:

    You can lug a whole library on an e-reader.

    But then I’m one who prefers stuffing tattered paperbacks of classics in my carry-on. If I forget one on the plane or in a hotel room, it’s easily and cheaply replaced.

    I would never take a Bechdel book on a round-the-world jaunt, for instance.

    Happy travels! Love the snap.

  5. M-H says:

    I just wanted to thank you for your talk on Sunday (the first one) and your gracious handling of the questions. But mostly I wanted to thank you for signing a program for me (via the lighting tech, my friend Katie). Hope you fly safe.

  6. Ethan says:

    Oooo! More than 22 hours on a plane! Sounds like heaven to me. :o/ Safe travels home.

  7. Ellen Orleans says:

    Ah, but you each have such a terrific traveling companion. Between the headphones, The Goldfinch, and bouts of fitful sleep, I trust the flight will go fast enough. Wave to me when you fly over Colorado.

  8. Ella Gul says:

    Thank you for visiting! You were brilliant at All About Women!

    Have a safe flight!

    Ella x

  9. judy horacek says:

    Thanks for visiting! Glad you had fun on this side of the world. x

  10. I just read The Goldfinch. The opening grabbed me like nobody’s business, but I had some questions around page 500 or so. Would be interested to hear what you end up thinking about it. Also, yay for the great trip and for being on the home stretch.

  11. Diamond says:

    Susan, no.!0: Yes, me too on the Goldfinch. Was there a major flaw in the plot or did I miss something? Overall I loved it though, so am very happy to reread.

    In the meantime, further book news is that Sarah Water’s next book now has a title, cover and publication date . . .


  12. Kate L says:

    Kate L looks up at the sky and waves to every passing airliner flying over Kansas, hoping to catch Holly and A.B.’s attention.

  13. Stinky Jay says:

    I lurk here, but thought folks might be interested.

    “The Rule” gets analyzed:


  14. Spud Helmarsson says:

    The “All About Women” conference thing is online – all 9 1/2 hours of it. Alison’s solo presentation and panel are in there.

    There’s also a bit of, um, objectification happening during the solo Q & A. Is it offside to flirt with someone who’s talking about female subjectivity? 😉

  15. Kate L says:

    Coincidently, Stephanie Be of the Huffington Post has a story out on the internet machine entitled, “14 Aussie Phrases Americans Should Start Using”. Hmmm… what do Australians call the internet machine?

  16. Kate L says:

    Gay Pride Day came early this year, at least in Smallville. The 5th annual Smallville Gay Pride Parade was yesterday (it’s always held early to coincide with Open House Day at Moo U). The parade ended up in Triangle Park, as those of us in the local LGBT rights movement call it. But the park has another name, in that it is named for a local businessman who passed away a few years ago. The dedication plaque in the park describes him as having had a cheerful word for everyone, and I can tell you that is true. And, that it is appropriate that the Smallville Gay Pride Parade always ends at the park named for him. The first openly gay couple in Smallville were two women who moved to town in 1969. They did not have an easy time of it. The adults of the day treated them as outcasts. Except for the man Triangle Park is named after. I remember waiting in his shop for a haircut one day as a fourteen-year-old, and seeing him cut the hair of one of the women. They were having a pleasant conversation, just as he would have with another other customer. This was so unusual compared to how all the other adults treated the women that to this day, 45 years later, my sense of surprise is still engraved in my memory. So, Happy Gay Pride Day from the High Plains! 🙂

  17. Fi says:

    Love this story, Kate. Vivid.

  18. Carrie says:

    I wanted to let you know that I recently started a blog partially inspired (and named) by the “Bechdel Test” concept. I spend time looking at and for media that fits with my own world views as a woman, and the test has been helpful for me, among other things! I hope that you don’t mind (and if you do, let me know!), and that you will take a look at the blog sometime! (http://bechdeldarling.blogspot.com/) Sounds like you had a marvelous time in New Zealand – I lived there for a year awhile ago, great place.

  19. Kate L says:

    Thanks, Fi! (#17)

    Btw, the comic neue font has been released as a replacement for comic sans. Comments, font aficionados? This is the kind of thing I could have had a serious discussion with my dad about (he studied to be a commercial artist back during the Great Depression).

  20. Kate L says:

    The local LGBT rights group that I’ve been active in has traditionally been pushing for the right of lesbians and gay men to marry. In fact, we’re supporting a lawsuit by two gay men here in Smallville and two women in Lawrence, Kansas, to force Kansas to abide by the full faith and credit clause in the federal constitution and recognize the fact that they legally married in other American states. But recently we’ve also been very involved in the issue of transgender rights (particularly since the State of Kansas no longer recognizes the right of someone who changes sex to vote). A brave, young transgendered man recently agreed to have his image on a billboard here in Smallville as part of the Face of Trans campaign out of the City (Wichita). Here is a link to my LGBT organization’s FaceBook page with Adam’s billboard as our lead item.

  21. Kate L says:

    … And, here is me liking the billboard, as the kids say.

  22. Catswallop says:

    Fun Home: The Musical was a runner up for the 2014 Drama Pulitzer! (Shoulda won it, sez me.)

  23. Andrew B says:

    Well, The Goldfinch won the Pulitzer for fiction and Fun Home, the musical was a finalist (one of two, aside from the winner) for drama. Congratulations Lisa and Jeanine and indirectly Alison (and everybody else associated with the show)!

  24. Mentor says:

    [AB (and Pulitzer nomination) in the Washington Post: [HERE] –Mentor]

  25. hairball_of_hope says:

    In other trans news, the Indian Supreme Court has now ruled that trans is a third gender.


    Quoting from the article:

    “Recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue,” the Supreme Court’s two-judge bench said in its ruling.

    “Transgenders are also citizens of India. The spirit of the constitution is to provide equal opportunity to every citizen to grow and attain their potential, irrespective of caste, religion or gender.”

    A person who is transgender does not identify with the gender stated on their birth certificate.

    The court ruling – which came after hearing a petition filed by a group of transgenders demanding equal rights – recognised the community as a marginalised group and directed authorities to implement policies to improve their socio-economic status.

    The petitioners’ lawyers said that this would mean that all identity documents, including a birth certificate, passport and driving licence would recognise the third gender, along with male and female.

    The government will also have to allocate a certain percentage of public sector jobs, seats in schools and colleges to third gender applicants, said lawyer Sanjeev Bhatnagar.

    (… goes back to munching on matzo, while marveling at the walls of prejudice that keep tumbling down …)

  26. NLC says:


    So where does this leave Asok?

  27. Andrew B says:

    And in the latest walls-of-Jericho event, the Finnish Post Office is releasing Tom of Finland stamps:


    I have not checked this in any detail, but (1) if that site is a hoax it’s very elaborate (2) if you google “Finnish Post Office”, google sends you to that site.

    I vaguely recall a dtwof which included a tube of “Tom’s of Finland” toothpaste. The joke depended on the reader knowing about Tom of Finland and recognizing the incongruity between the wholesome image of Tom’s of Maine natural products and the um, less wholesome image of Tom of Finland. You couldn’t make that joke any more, or at least not in Finland. The Post Office already made it, and they were perfectly serious.

    (But shouldn’t there be something about llamas?)

  28. Acilius says:

    @Andrew B: If the Tom of Finland stamps are a hoax, they’ve fooled Slate.

    My theory is that this is an attempt to stop people finding Tom of Finland sexy. What could be a surer anaphrodisiac than stamp-collecting?

  29. NLC says:

    Ah, I see.

    I never knew about “Tom of Finland”. I remember the strip that Andrew B mentions above. However, here in New England (I don’t know how widely they’re distributed) there’s a brand called “Tom’s of Maine”, which makes a line of “all-natural” body-care products (including what is probably their best known offering, a variety of toothpastes). I just assumed the strip was making a passing allusion to this.

    You learn something every day…

  30. Mentor says:

    Controversy Inspires Original Cast and Creators of Fun Home to Stage Concert Production at College of Charleston

    The original cast and creative team of Fun Home, a 2014 Pulitzer Prize finalist based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, will reunite for two special concert stagings at the College of Charleston next week after South Carolina lawmakers attempted to withdraw funding from the school for including the source material in its curriculum. […]

    Article [HERE] –Mentor]

  31. Kate L says:

    Good for them! And,I’m telling ‘ya, those kids got talent! 🙂

  32. Anonymous says:

    AB, in case you can encash some of those frequent-flyer miles that you’ve been collecting, Swann Galleries (New York) is holding an Edward Gorey auction. May 7. At least go window-shopping — Click Here!

  33. Alex K says:

    Oh, fudge. Who knows why the link above doesn’t work? Mentor, au sec ours! (“To the dry bear!” Thank you, Autocorrect.)

    [Alas the URL is missing from the link tag.
    If you can supply this I’ll wave the appropriate wand. –Mentor]

  34. Mentor says:

    The lesbian scourge of S.C. Republican lawmakers is coming to town … with music! […]

    Article on the special concert performance of FHtM mentioned in #30 above: [HERE] –Mentor]

  35. Kate L says:

    … and this just in from Latta, South Carolina, local residents staged a mass protest outside of the Latta city hall to protest against the firing of their police chief, Crystal Moore, because she is (GASP!) a lesbian!

  36. Kate L says:

    … also, the Smallville Board of Education voted this week to include sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination policy. Said the School Board chair, “It’s my job to protect these kids”. The Smallville Daily Bugle Zeitung published an editorial supporting the inclusion.

  37. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate (#36)

    re:”It’s my job to protect these kids.” Wow. Those same words might have been uttered not long ago to discriminate against LGBT staff and kids.

    What a difference a few years make.

    It used to be that every smidge of LGBT victory in the courts would seem like the earth was opening. LGBT and allies would hug and shed tears, the Westboro loonies would spout their venom, and talking heads would pontificate on the Sunday talk show rounds. And the victories were spaced far apart.

    In the past two years, nary a week has gone by without another state/municipality removing restrictions on LGBT rights, particularly with respect to marriage, and it barely gets noticed by those outside the specific jurisdiction. I suppose it should be considered progress that advancement of LGBT equality is considered almost a done deal, but for the details.

    I ferverently hope it never gets taken for granted, or we will be refighting these battles in a few years akin to Roe v. Wade.

    (… goes back to wandering in the matzo desert …)

  38. Kate L says:

    Thanks for the comments, hairball – I was thinking the same thing! Btw, in my own Unitarian way, this Easter Sunday evening I’ll have my very first matzo ball soup. Next year,gefilte fish ! 🙂

  39. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate (#38)

    Matzo ball soup is easy to assimilate, gefilte fish, not so much.

    Matzo balls (kneidelach is the plural, kneidel is singular) are dumplings, two different styles prevail. One style is light and fluffy (the variety I prefer). The other is leaden and hard, and sinks like a stone both in the soup bowl and in the stomach. De gustibus non est disputandum.

    Gefilte fish (gefilte means chopped) is definitely an acquired taste. Even my cat refused to eat gefilte fish, which is the closest most humans ever get to eating something that resembles cat food.

    With copious amounts of horseradish (assuming you’ve got the sinus stamina for horseradish), you will probably survive your first gefilte fish encounter. I recommend the reddish-purple stuff, which consists of beets and horseradish grated together. The beets take the edge off the horseradish, and the color looks pretty too.

    If you have any choice in the matter, the frozen logs of gefilte fish from the grocer’s freezer case that you cook yourself with carrots and onions are actually ok. The stuff in the jar can be vile, especially the jelled goopy stuff.

    BTW, if it’s not Passover and I don’t have horseradish in the fridge, I substitute sambal oelek or garlic sambal chili paste, these are the Thai chili pastes made by the same company (Huy Fong) that makes the addictive Rooster sriracha chili sauce. As the young’uns say, “Wicked good!”

    (… goes back to her yeasty leavened dreams of pizza and pasta and beer …)

  40. Kate L says:

    … the motzo ball soup came with leaden motzo balls, I’m afraid. The soup itself was like chicken soup, only with dumplings instead of chicken. As Spock would say, fascinating*.

    * – My apologies to Leonard Nimoy, who certainly knows motzo ball soup.

  41. Calico says:

    Nice, so Ms. Tartt has a new book out!
    “The Secret History” is burned into my psyche forever; I haven’t read “The Little Friend” which received mixed reviews, but this new one I hope to be a good and riveting read.