here’s to you, jack

January 25th, 2011 | Uncategorized

jack lalanne

I just heard that Jack LaLanne died. He was my fitness idol as a young child. If I was home sick from school, this wild muscle man was on tv, showing housewives how to tone & trim. He had the most amazing arms, the most amazing polyester jumpsuit, and the most amazing white dog. I was spellbound.

I wanted to be strong like him.

Photo on 2011-01-24 at 23.09 #3

He was 96.

97 Responses to “here’s to you, jack”

  1. Kate L says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… oh,baby, Oh, Baby, Oh, Baby! πŸ™‚

  2. ready2agitate says:


    “At 60 he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat. At 70, handcuffed and shackled again, he towed 70 boats, carrying a total of 70 people, a mile and a half through Long Beach Harbor.”

    I just remember the jumping jacks, but then again, I was very little then…

    Nice pipes, Bechdel! (I learned that argot on this here blog!)

  3. Raffi says:

    LOVE it, Alison!

  4. Minnie says:

    In the early sixties, when I was home with small children, I became a faithful fan of his upbeat show, and would follow along, doing the exercises with my “Jack LaLanne glamor stretcher” I’d sent away for – a big sturdy rubber band which provided resistance.

    Jack single-handedly (strong, huh?) awoke the idea of healthy fitness in us all. What a change!

    Back then, magazines like Popular Science extolled a future of no physical exertion, in which folks lolled on their sleek-looking recliners enjoying pushbutton-automated meals, transport and entertainment.

    (Though that same magazine may have had the cartoon-ad where the muscle-bound bully kicked sand in the 96-pound weakling’s face, inspiring the kickee to build muscle the Charles Atlas way.)

    Jack LaLanne helped me learn to embrace and develop strengths I had not known I had. Thank you, Jack! You live on in our in our hearts, and in our healthier lives.

  5. Ian says:

    Great guns, AB! It’s amazing what muscles hours of inking develop in your arms.

    Is that a recent, or an old drawing? Either way it’s amazing. I remember seeing TV reports about his swimming exploits on British TV, but I didn’t know who he was. There are lots of videos on YouBoob of Jack Lalanne though and he seems pretty radical for mainstream media in the 50s and 60s? Although the things he says about diet and health are exactly the advice you now get printed daily in the newspapers. Incredible really.

    Our revolution waited until the 80s and we had a woman in a green catsuit affectionately known as the Green Goddess.

  6. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    I was in two fitness classes today and both teachers remembered Jack LaLanne as their fitness inspiration. And other fitness teachers have posters of Jack LaLanne up in their studios. He the MAN.

  7. Feminista says:

    Those of you who frequent Face Book: we’re having fun with chickens,cats and other alliterative phrases. Lots of cunning,cheesy characterizations.

  8. Diana says:

    I have to agree with Minnie’s observation. The exercise was great and he was physically impressive. But his honest optimism was what made him a hero. That whole “you can do it” philosophy, which we also saw on Captain Kangaroo and Jon Gnagy’s You Can Draw, appears to have been replaced with a snide condescension. Let’s try to bring back the former, shall we?

  9. Kate L says:

    Ah, but for others television glory can be fleeting. Today, I gave my Intro. Geology lecture on the solar system. When I got to the demotion of Pluto from planet to Kuiper Cometary Belt object, I also talked about the fact that the discovery of an even larger icy body in the same part of the outer solar system had led the International Astronomical Union to decide that to be a planet, Pluto would have had to have cleared-out all objects of essentially equal size from its orbit around the Sun. My point (and I do have one) was that the astronomical team that initially discovered the larger icy body (the first of many, many others) had wanted to call it Xena and had also wanted to name its moon Gabrielle. In years past, this would have drawn knowing glances from some of my women students Today? Nothing! Not even when I said that the astronomers, forced to pick actual classical names, had settled on Eris (the Greek Goddess of [Lucy] Law-lessness) for Xena, and Dysnomia (daughter of Eris) for Gabrielle. Again, no reaction from the sisters in the house. Nothing! I dread to think what they would have made of a Janeway reference. Kids these days!!!

  10. Minnie says:

    I love the drawing of Jack and Happy! Thank you.

  11. Eva says:

    Wait, was Jack’s dog’s name Happy? Is it possible my family dog (circa 1964) was named after Jack LaLane’s dog???

  12. Dr. Empirical says:

    Generational memory is a tricky thing. I’m only a couple years younger than Alison, and I have only the vaguest memories of LaLanne. I don’t remember the dog at all.

    Anyway, nice guns, Alison! Maybe you could draw an anchor on your forearm with a felt pen.

  13. Calico says:

    Miss ya, Jack! I used to watch him as a young child with my Grandmother in MD, on her ginormous Zenith Console B&W TV.

  14. Calico says:

    Nice drawing, too AB! Sweet.

  15. makky says:

    I’m remembering now (w/the aid of alison’s sketch) that LaLanne packed some heat. I wonder if his “showcase” ever gave the back in the day censors any pause. They forced Lucy and Ricky into a 2 bed- bedroom after all.

  16. ksbel6 says:

    Alright, I’m brave, I’ll ask it…is that actually your gun Alison, or are you doing that oh so fun trick I learned when I was about six, where you flex the bicep on your right arm and slowly push the rest up over the top with your left hand to give the illusion that it is like twice as big as it actually is? πŸ™‚ All in fun!

  17. Lyte says:

    Why am I always the last to know!? I remember my mom was working out to Jack! I was like… 10?! I would sit and wait till the end just to see his beautiful White German Shepherd. 96 ain’t bad… but I’m still a lil bummed! : (

  18. Eva says:

    So yes, Jack’s dog’s name was Happy…looks like a really sweet dog. Whether my Mom named our beagle mix after the white german shepherd I will probably never know…but I can understand why everyone loved him, Jack, so much…I just saw a one and a half minute video and Jack’s vitality is fairly jumping right off the screen. RIP and come back again soon!

  19. Kate L says:

    Hey, all. I bought a frankfurter with New York sweet sauce from a street vendor today, right here in Smallville, USA! I half expected to turn around and see a corner bodega! Or, witness a grisly murder that would summon detectives Benson and Stabler to the scene.

  20. Minnie says:

    Gaah, Khatgrrl! Get thee behind me, Statin!
    That pic alone is almost enough to knock me off my anaemic plinth – but the way we raise bacon doesn’t do much for pig quality-of-life.

    So for now I’ll stick to the occasional indulgence of Morningstar’s fake bacon when I do crave that smoky, salty, meaty treat. It makes a great BLT with a little olive oil and mustard on the baguette, with butter lettuce and an heirloom tomato.

    Now if it were your honorably-raised pet pig, and you’d done the butchering and smoking yourself (drool, salivate)…

    Meanwhile, if anyone’s found a reasonable fake frankfurter, I’d love to know!

  21. Minnie says:

    “Honorably raised” sounds so prissy! How about “fondly raised”?

  22. Minnie, your BLT recipe sounds righteous. Yummers.

  23. Acilius says:

    @Minnie 22: Morningstar does a great job with pseudo-chicken, but I don’t much care for their pseudo-bacon. Too rubbery. Not as bad their sausages, though.

    @Ljubljana Lesbian 25: I don’t know if Jack LaLanne was gay, but he definitely had his own distinctive way of being male. I remember seeing him on TV when I was a child and being puzzled by him because he didn’t look like anyone else I’d ever seen.

  24. khatgrrl says:

    I’ve never tried Fakon, but I would assume that it would do in a pinch. Hmm, Minnie, I don’t think that I could eat a fondly raised pet pig. I would just keep thinking that I was eating Wilbur. I prefer the anonymity of butcher counter meat. I totally understand your point about pig quality of life. You are very correct about that.

    As for notdogs, I have never found one that has had a decent texture. They have all been mushy.

    I totally agree with Maggie about your BLT recipe. Too bad it isn’t tomato season!

  25. Kate L says:

    Last night, I fell alseep on the couch watching videotapes of Law & Order episodes on the television machine. I awoke just after 4 am, and was preparing to go to bed, when someone knocked on my front door. Never a good sign. It was a man with blood on his hand, and blood on his mouth. I ran to get my cordless telephone, but by the time that I had found the emergency numbers in our local phone book the man was gone. Two squad cars showed up almost immediately. They found no trace of him anywhere. A bad dream, perhaps? Too much D.A. Jack McCoy can do that to you. However, this morning, I found smeared blood on the exterior of my front door.

  26. Tom Barney says:

    There’s a British weekly radio show called “Last Word” which does obituaries. This week’s show featured Jack LaLanne. You can listen to it at

  27. Renee S. says:

    @Kate L.

    Scary stuff!

    “by the time that I found the emergency numbers…”

    Assuming you were perplexed because you were both half-asleep and shocked that it did not occur to you to call 911?

  28. Ian says:

    Speaking of fitness, and remembering AB’s experiments with attaching her bike to a wind-up torch, look what I found:

    This is for sale in the UK, but I’m sure you can get something similar over the pond.

  29. Marj says:

    khatgrrl: I found some fairly acceptable veggie frankfurters in some sort of shrink wrap surrounded by a brownish liquid, but I can’t remember the brand, so that’s not much help…

    Kate L: Yikes!

    Ian: That gizmo should be fitted in all gyms, by law.

  30. Kate L says:

    Snowzilla, the official name for the massive blizzard that is beginning its inexorable march from the High Plains to a walk-up flat near you, begins here tonight.

    Renee S (#29) 911? You mean, a centralized, one-stop emergency number? Yeah, I’ll believe that when I can call it up wirelessly on a star trek-like communicator that I could carry around in my pocket!

    Marj (#31) Yikes! is my middle name. Complete with exclamation mark. But the exclamation mark is pronouced by making a clicking sound in your mouth.

  31. ready2agitate says:

    Wow, Kate, you must be pretty shaken up! I mean, a bloodied man at your door at 4am?? Like life isn’t traumatizing enough! πŸ™

    Minnie, you are surely after my heart, my dear. Delish!

    Myself, I like the Tofurky Italian sausages, but I’ve never eaten bacon so I don’t have anything to compare it too/miss/crave (I know, I know, I may get kicked out of the dykely club, but it’s true, y’all).

    (PS I’ll alleviate you of the well-intentioned need to say: “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING, SISTER!” – If you ain’t never had it, you don’t miss it – trust me.

    Think rabbit or frog or something – something others may love, but you haven’t eaten it, and frankly, it doesn’t appeal to you.)


    PPS I was randomly hunting for a gender-neutral term for snowman (has anyone heard? We are due for MORE snow tomorrow here in northeast-ville), and I came across this verrry interesting photo:

    PPPS Snowbeing πŸ™‚

  32. Snowfolk. Snow-based-life-form. Frostykin.

  33. hairball_of_hope says:

    @R2A (#33)

    I tasted bacon once. Feh. You’re right, you’re not missing much. I know, that’s heresy to this crowd. Blame it on that early Clockwork Orange kosher conditioning. I can’t even abide the smell of bacon. Yeah R2A, we’ve been called worse things than “heretic.”

    But those other things you mentioned all fall into the TASTES LIKE CHICKEN camp. Poor chicken, so maligned. In my DTWOF-less comic universe, I envision a cartoon with two chickens sitting at a table eating dinner. One asks what the food tastes like. The other chicken says, “Tastes like frog’s legs.” Was this a New Yorker cartoon, or did I make this one up? The line between memory and imagination is oh-so-blurred.

    I don’t eat hot dogs or sausage (real or fake), so I can’t help you on what’s a good veggie substitute.

    It’s been snowing since midnight here. Somewhere in this mess we’re supposed to get sleet and freezing rain. Lovely. It should go well with the mountains of dirty snow on every street and semi-frozen slush lakes at every corner curb cut. Oh, and did I mention the piles of uncollected trash and recycling that are under/on top of the mountains of snow?

    We’ve had snowy winters before, but I don’t remember the piles of uncollected refuse lingering for more than a few days. This stuff has been fermenting for weeks.

    The city used to hire day laborers (often from homeless shelters) to dig out crosswalks, storm drains, and bus stops, but not these days. So the slush lakes freeze over into wildly dangerous ice pits at the curb cuts, and grow with each snow event/thaw cycle. Such are the joys of February in New York.

    @Maggie (#34)

    Snowfolk. Snow-based life form. I’m starting to look like a snow-based life form. With permanent hat hair.

    @Kate L (#32)

    Smallville doesn’t have 911? Wow. I thought basic 911 service made it to all US locales in the 1980s, certainly for an incorporated city such as Smallville. I suggest you put a label with emergency numbers on the phone itself (police, fire, ambulance, poison control, animal poison control). Having to look up the numbers in a phone book in an emergency is asking for trouble.

    How quaint, who has phone books anyway? I think the last time I saw the Manhattan white pages delivered was about five years ago. I’ll bet Verizon charges for them now. Yellow pages seem to get delivered annually, only because the ads are paying for the book.

    De-clique-ification for non-USAnians: 911 is the all-purpose emergency number in just about all of the US and Canada. 911 dispatchers can send police, fire, or ambulance, and their computer systems hook up with the phone company systems to automatically identify the calling number, and in most cases, the address.

    (… goes back to bundling up for her daily trek in the snow and muck …)

  34. hairball_of_hope says:

    @khatgrrl (#26)

    You’re thinking Wilbur? I’m thinking Arnold Ziffel. According to the Wiki, the cast of Green Acres did not eat Arnold.

    (… goes back to thawing out/drying out from the lovely winter weather …)

  35. hairball_of_hope says:

    From the Incredible Edible Dept. comes word that the new in-thing is clothing made of food.

    Lest you think this is only appealing to carnivores, e.g. Lady Gaga’s meat dress, and the bacon brassiere previously featured here, there are entire oeuvres devoted to clothing made of chocolate, and for the really die-hards, dresses made of cabbage and artichoke leaves.

    Quoting from the article:

    When designing a dress out of chocolate, there are certain things to keep in mind, says Joelle Mahoney, who created a ruffled dark-and white-chocolate mini-dress worn by a model strutting down the runway at a fall trade show in New York.

    “Try to keep the chocolate away from the armpit area,” advises Ms. Mahoney, a self-described “chocolate artist.”

    [… snip …]

    Clothing made of food has taken off in culinary artistic circles with the growth of Le Salon du Chocolat, a trade show that takes place in eight countries and includes a fashion show, in which outfits must be made of chocolate. Designs have included a Xena Warrior Princess get up, gowns with enormous chocolate hoop skirts and carnival-style headdresses.

    [… snip …]

    Le Salon du Chocolat, launched in Paris in 1995, now also takes place in Spain, the U.S., Japan, China, Egypt, Italy and Russia. It always kicks off with a chocolate fashion show. Russian designers have taken to it enthusiastically, says co-founder Sylvie Douce: In Moscow, one model wore a dress with a sleeve of chocolate roses and a headdress of six lit candles. A designer in Egypt created a dress that looked like the robes of ancient rulers.

    Not a word about maple syrup. They don’t know what they’re missing.

    (… goes back to hunting for chocolate undergarments …)

  36. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#32)

    Time to reset your time machine. You need to move on from the 1960s. Perhaps to at least the 1980s. That way, you could have a microwave in the kitchen. And 911 on your phone. Big hair and big glasses are optional.

    I checked, and Smallville has full E911 service, meaning that a call to 911 not only identifies the calling number, it also identifies the address associated with that number. 911 will get you police, fire, and ambulance in Smallville.

    BTW, if you check your campus health center webpage, you’ll find a good list of emergency numbers (including the campus police number). Print out a few copies, post one by your phone at work and the others near your phones at home (and stick one on the refrigerator for good measure, you’ll always be able to find it in an emergency).

    (… goes back to her obsessive fact-checking existence …)

  37. Kate L says:

    New Scientist has an interesting article on the brain structure of transsexuals.

    Thanks, hairball (#38)! I have been trying to get a more recent photo of myself posted on my work webpage. I’ve sent the powers that be a photo of me standing in front of an outcrop three times, now! Heck, I’ll send it to anybody here who wants to see it. I’d like to get your impressions of its suitability. And, did you know that Lily Tomlin is coming to Smallville next week? It’s true! As is only fitting, since the name of Smallville figured in the title of one of her early comedy albums. The Smallville city commission was fixin’ to take their final vote on adding LGBT to the Smallville human rights ordinance tonight, but the heavy weather put an end to that. They will meet next Tuesday night, when I’ll probably be spending all of my evening class period waiting for the last student to finish their first exam.

  38. cd in Madison says:

    The Bechdel Rule is referenced on the Dorothy Surrenders website today, along with her pledge to watch only TV and movies that follow the rule.

    Herewith my first attempt at inserting a clickable link, following the excellent instructions below. If I screw up, Mentor, will you help me out?

    Click Here!

  39. ksbel6 says:

    The entire city has pretty much shut down for at least 24 hours while we watch 20 inches of the white stuff pile up. Yuck.

    On a happy note, Ian seems to completely understand the Pythagorean Theorem now, and I know you were all worried about that, so you can relax.

  40. Kate L says:

    ksbel6 (#41)Whew! Well, we were wondering…

    I’m up north of you, and north of the Pleistocene-Level Snowfall Line. It’s still falling, though, whipped up from time to time by hurricane-force winds. Oh, if only I were a hardy Vermontaineer!

  41. C. says:

    James Kochalcka was named Cartoonist laureate of Vermont.

    I can’t believe this.

  42. hairball_of_hope says:

    @C (#43)

    It’s a three-year term, perhaps it will be AB’s time next go-round.

    Quoting from the press release on CCS’s website:

    Despite its small size, Vermont has had a disproportionately large impact on contemporary cartooning. Celebrated cartoonists Alison Bechdel, Harry Bliss, Steve Bissette, Jason Lutes, Ed Koren, and Rick Veitch call Vermont home and The Center for Cartoon Studies is attracting the next generation of talent like Joe Lambert and Colleen Frakes to the state.

    Must be something in the maple syrup.

    (… goes back to sleet and freezing rain …)

  43. Ginjoint says:

    Figures my state doesn’t have a cartoonist laureate. Even if we did, the voting for it would probably be rigged. (Hm – note to self: mayoral election coming up soon. Need to trawl some cemeteries for verfiable names to register under…)


    It’s now whiteout conditions here – Snowzilla has arrived. The wind is howling. I’m half expecting to see a cranky old lady on a bicycle flying by my window.

    Kate, did you let the cops know the next day about the blood on your door?

  44. ksbel6 says:

    @Kate L: Nope, I’m significantly north of you…up an entire weather line…which means you are generally about 5 degrees warmer than I am (in both summer and winter) and we get more snow than you do, although you get more ice than I do.

  45. Acilius says:

    @Ginjoint #45: Thank heavens my state doesn’t have a Cartoonist Laureate, they’d probably pick the most extreme right-wing editorial cartoonist they could find.

  46. Kate L says:

    Ginjoint (#45) Yes, I called the police to let them know about the blood on my door, and to let them know that I had checked on my next door neighbors the next morning. They were fine (I had been afraid that the bloody man who disappeared was one of the college kids there, and that he had gone home). The police officers on the scene that night looked through the neighbor’s windows and knocked on the door, with no response. They said they couldn’t “knock down the door”. The police seemed unimpressed about the blood on my door, because there was no crime to investigate. It’s creeping me out, but I told them I’d leave it up for a week in case they changed their minds.

    ksbel6 (#46). Wow.. are you Ed Scultz (North Dakotan on MSNBC) north?

  47. ready2agitate says:

    ginjiint no ginoink no dang this little handheld typing machine! GJ – Happy upcoming election & congrats to the state of IL on legalizing civil unions (what?)

    HoH, in Boston there’s nowhere to park so the neighborliness is starting to get ugly round these parts…0

  48. Minnie says:

    hairball_of_hope (#37), there is a photo of a someone wearing meat in Penny Tweedie’s website:
    Click Australia, then Arnhem Land.

    Penny Tweedie, photojournalist, died last month. Her photos are a joy. I learned about her when I listened to the Jack LaLanne obituary that Tom Barney (#28) posted. Thank you, Tom.

  49. Ian says:

    It’s true, ksbel6 did indeed explain Pythagorus’ Theorem to me yesterday afternoon. She succeeded where 5 had failed previously. Charged me a hundred bucks for the pleasure though! Hehehehe.

    Hope all of you are keeping warm and cosy throughout the snowstorm. I can’t imagine that much snow.

  50. ksbel6 says:

    @Kate L: Not that far north, just enough north of you to make a difference in the weather. I’m clear in the northeast corner of Missouri, about 40 miles directly south of Iowa. Our weather is not Des Moines weather either though, because they are too much further north.

    I gotta tell you folks, I’ve never seen such a snow storm. There were times yesterday when I literally could not see the back of my yard. When I went out to try and create a path for the dogs this morning, I discovered the snow almost all the way to the top of my 4 foot fence. Wow. That gate will not be getting opened for a few days.

  51. Calico says:

    Ittttt’s Baconnnn! (Meat Loaf!)
    Here’s a wonderful picture from a 1925 pamphlet.

  52. Acilius says:

    @Ian #51, ksbel: There must be something in the air, I taught a class about Pythagoras yesterday. More about the cult associated with his name than about the theorem, but I did show this picture:

  53. Marj says:

    Warm thoughts to everyone coping with Snowzilla. Hope you are not all frostykins…

  54. Ian says:

    @Acilius: I really like that statue. Thanks for posting the pic.

    And I’ll second Margot’s warm thoughts. What with Snowzilla and Cyclone Yasi (what’s the difference between a cyclone and a typhoon?) and the riots and revolutions in North Africa, the world’s feeling a bit chaotic at the moment.

  55. ksbel6 says:

    @Acilius: Cool pic! I find the Pythagoreans just fascinating…all those funky cult rules…crazy.

  56. hairball_of_hope says:

    Off-topic, but somewhat related to earlier posts…

    Apparently the new trend in Japan is scanning one’s physical books into e-book form because living space is at such a premium. The iPad and other easy-to-tote technologica make this possible.

    Kind of sad to me, we’ve all lusted and lamented about our shelves of the deadtree variety. No one’s going to photograph a file directory listing one’s e-books, that’s for sure.

    But what will the shy among us do at parties in these barren living spaces? No bookshelves to inspect, and it’s too nerve-wracking to engage in conversation with total strangers. Off to the kitchen to peruse the spice racks, unless they’ve also figured out how to make little capsules of spice and herb concentrates that save space in cramped Japanese apartments. In my book (pun intended), that would be part of the future hell that Minnie described above in post #4, with pushbutton food dispensed via some NASA-designed system while our bodies rot away on memory foam recliners.

    Ironically, the book-scanning service is called “jisui,” Japanese for “cooking for oneself.”

    An interesting quote from the article caught my attention:

    Japanese will buy 67 billion yen worth of e-books in the fiscal year ending March 31, most of it comics for mobile phones, Yano Research Institute’s Ueno said.

    Obviously, they are doing some things right in Japan.

    (… goes back to another day in her weather-addled city …)

  57. Kate L says:

    Well, events are moving fast, out here at the Melody Ranch. Lily Tomlin is coming to town next week. I intend to be there with bells on. Well, metaphorically speaking. The Smallville city commission, snowbound this past week, takes it final and decisive vote on adding LGBT to the town human rights ordinance this Tuesday evening. I shall be giving an exam in my evening class as they begin. I intend to walk into the august chambers of the Smallville city commission just as the addition to the ordinance passes. Shall I then do a victory dance? Please advise.

  58. ksbel6 says:

    @hoh: Comics for mobile phones? Yuck. I have apparently reached the generation gap. I want to feel my comic books and smell my comic books and wipe the little spit bubble off the page when a particularly hard guffaw makes one come flying out.

  59. Andrew B says:

    I could enjoy comics on an iPad-sized device. It’s hard to imagine good comics on a device that’s too small to allow page layout, though.

    This is also totally off topic, but it’s hard not to be both inspired and a little frightened by what has been happening in the Arabic-speaking world, especially Egypt, over the last couple of weeks. The Egyptian uprising appears to be genuinely popular, as opposed to some of the “revolutions” of the last ten years that were basically victories of Our Faction over Their Faction (e.g. Ukraine, Lebanon). The possibilities for the Egyptian people are great, as are the risks. The regime is far from defeated, and a successful revolution could be hijacked by Islamic fundamentalism or some new secular dictator. Here’s hoping for a genuinely democratic and stable outcome.

  60. Kate L says:

    Andrew B (#61):

    A thousand people in the street/ singing songs and carrying signs/ mostly say, “hurray for our side!”.
    Buffalo Springfield
    “For What It’s Worth” (1967)

    I keep looking for the door back to the 60’s. It’s got to be around here, somewhere!

    The Smallville city commission will probably approve adding LGBT to the local human rights ordinance this week, the interim chair of this dept. saw how slow my Windows XP office computer is, so he had me select a brand new electronic computational device with 21st century flat screen at dept. expense, AND I just bought a ticket to next week’s Lily Tomlin* concert!!! Y-a-a-a-a-a-h-h-h-a-a-a-w-w-w!!!! I’ll be steppin’ in tall cotton, now!

    * My memories of Lily Tomlin’s debut at the start of the second season of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In in 1969 is one of my most vivid memories of the 60’s. Right up there with the Moon landing and the March on Washington. Are you with me, DTWOF bloggersphere? Yeah, sure you are!
    “A gracious good morning!”
    “Yeah, I’m a rubber freak…”

  61. Kate L says:

    Excuse me, I should have said “My memories of Lily Tomlin’s debut at the start of the second season of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In in 1969 am one of my most vivid memories of the 60’s”. And don’t tell me that her debut was at the start of the 1970 season! I must recall it as a 60’s happenin’ event!

    Another 60’s comedic memory: “Pie are not square. Pie are round. Waffle are square!”
    – Professor Irwin Corey

  62. Kate L says:

    Hey, where is everybody? πŸ™ And what’s that crunching sound off in the distance? omg, it’s the Langoliers!

  63. Kat says:

    well, Kate, the California kids are all out of the house, enjoying the ridiculously warm weather.

    @Marj, #55: I read your comment early yesterday morning, before I’d had any caffeine, and thought the last word was “foreskins”……then I thought “oh, boy, here we go again….” Then I came to my senses and re-read your sentence!

  64. Alex K says:

    Very disconcerting. I thought lesbians followed pro sports — can this comment of mine really be the first mention of the Super Bowl on this blog?

    Go Steelers!

  65. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Alex K (#67)

    The ghost of Lombardi lives… Go Packers!

    Not so much because I’m enamored by the Packers, it’s more because Ben Rothlisberger is a misogynist sexually abusive creep who’s been allowed to get away with reprehensible and criminal behavior because he’s a sports star. I suppose if the Eagles faced the Steelers, I’d have to choose between Michael Vick’s abuse of dogs and Rothlisberger’s abuse of women. I’d root for Vick.

    Not so sure about the lesbians/pro sports connection, I think that might be a dated stereotype. I know quite a few straight women who are into pro sports, and an awful lot of straight men who are not into sports at all.

    For some odd reason, during nearly my entire worklife of 3+ decades in male-dominated tech fields, I’ve been surrounded by guys who are NOT into sports. Maybe the geek genes overrode the sports genes, if such things are genetically influenced.

    I had lunch with two male coworkers on Friday, and I asked who they were rooting for. One didn’t even know who was playing, and neither had any plans to watch the game. But we did have a lively conversation about antenna design, and the minutiae of the technical and political forces at work impeding the broadcast and reception of the various public radio stations in New York. Typical.

    (… goes back to her own flavor of geekiness, reading the release notes for Debian v.6.0 Squeeze. Go Linux! …)

  66. Dr. Empirical says:

    I didn’t discover that the superbowl was this weekend until Friday. I thought “That explains why there were still tickets for the Barnes Foundation on Sunday.” While everyone else is watching touchoffs and kickdowns (my grasp of the jargon may be flawed), I’ll be viewing Monets and Matissi.

    Still don’t know who’s playing.

  67. ksbel6 says:

    Well, as a FTM (yep, major stereotype there), I can tell you that the Green Bay Packers are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers and I’m predicting Green Bay 24-Pittsburgh 21. We’ll see. Rodgers is not as good as Rothlisberger, but hopefully the Green Bay defense will step up. I agree with hoh, Rothlisberger is an ass and I do not want to think about how much worse he will be if he gets another ring. He is no Tom Brady, but with another ring, the comparisons will start flying. Just silly really. Brady is easily the best quarterback of the modern group. Unfortunately, my knowledge of players is decreasing every year because since Lloyd Carr retired from Michigan I don’t follow the game like I used to. I watched the college game religiously during Carr’s tenure and then would track all of his players through their pro careers (hence all the knowledge about Tom Brady). Talk about a classy guy…do some research on Lloyd Carr sometime. Wow. And, I have several personal letters from him, the last one inviting me to a tour of the Big House sometime when I am in Ann Arbor. One of these days I’m going to take him up on that offer.

  68. Kate L says:

    ksbel6 (#70) There’s a football game today? πŸ™‚

  69. hairball_of_hope says:

    I knew something looked wrong when I typed that name, it’s spelled Roethlisberger.

    @Dr. E (#69)

    The plural of Matisse is Matissi? Ok, but those football spoonerisms have got to go. It’s touchdown and kickoff.

    @Dr. K (#67)

    Where will you be watching the game? In a pub filled with USAnian expats? You’ll have to drink your tasteless American beer chilled to be authentic, but you’ll be forgiven if you opt for a tastier European brew instead. You’ve got the UKanian spelling of flavour down pat.

    Don’t know what time pubs close across the pond, the game starts so late (23:30 GMT) that you’ll likely totter home from the pub in time to shower and head to work. That should bring back youthful memories, if your ethanol-fueled youth was anything like mine.

    @ksbel6 (#69)

    I’ve never followed the college game, I’ll take your advice and look into Lloyd Carr’s legacy. While you’re in Ann Arbor, give that cube sculpture a good spin. Its twin on Astor Place in Manhattan had a renovation a few years ago; it was hard to spin before the renovation, but it seems a bit better now.

    A quick Wiki search and now I have finally learned that the proper name of the Tony Rosenthal sculpture in Astor Place is Alamo, and its Ann Arbor twin is named Endover.

    (do a cut-and-paste on this URL if the parentheses mung up its clickability)

    I agree that Brady is the best of the current crop, Peyton Manning is second. Only Brady is what I would call a “money QB,” the guy you can bet money on and rarely lose. Other money QBs in my book are Joe Montana, John Elway, and the great QBs of my youth, YA Tittle of the Giants, Bart Starr of the Packers, Roger Staubach of the Cowboys.

    (… goes back to rooting for the Linux team, Go Penguins! …)

  70. Ian says:

    What’s “American Football”? Never heard of it. πŸ˜‰

  71. Kate L says:

    I may not know much about American football, but I knew enough to click on The Onion News Network and find more out about this Ben Rothlisberger. Anymore, I get all my information on the world from either The Onion News Network or Fox News Channel. They seem to carry the same news stories. P.S.: Some of the info. on Rothlisberger is in strong language, which may shock our delicate sensibilities.

  72. ksbel6 says:

    @hoh: I have spun the cube numerous times in my lifetime. I absolutely love that campus. I have my fingers crossed for my offspring to head that way when the time comes.

  73. ready2agitate says:


    (Thanks for that video, bean.)

  74. hairball_of_hope says:

    Yaay for the cheeseheads. The Packers won. I’ll bet the NFL and all those advertisers breathed a sigh of relief, now they can give Aaron Rodgers the big endorsement bucks. It would have been mighty awkward for them had Roethlisberger won.

    Football season is over, opera, hockey, and basketball seasons are in full swing. The groundhog emerged from his lair last week. Two years ago the critter took a nip out of Mayor Bloomberg’s hand. Shame he didn’t do it again this year. Who knows what the groundhog saw on his day last week, likely piles of snow and trash as he was pelted with snow and sleet in yet another winter storm. That would make me want to burrow away for another six weeks of winter, but groundhogs know better. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training next week. All of this means one thing: Spring will be here. Sooner than we imagine. And not a moment too soon.

    (… goes back to burrowing under the cocoon of blankets in her lair …)

  75. Feminista says:

    Have been thinking about what our DTWOF denizens would be saying about the Superbowl. Lotsa strong opinions as usual.

    Sparrow and Stuart avoid the game,preferring to attend a yoga and meditation session (with child care provided by the Crimson Crescent Creative Childcare Cooperative). They try to convince Mo,who was the last to realize the SB was taking place this weekend,to join them.She’s considering it,as Sydney’s been glued to the tube,considering the game great material for her next paper,tentatively titled “Managing Masculinities: A Peek at Prevailing Pontifications of Post-Feminism in the 21st Century.”

    Clarice and Lois have joined Ginger and Samia at their house to watch the game on their newly-acquired 65″screen TV. Ginger can’t refrain from making some ironic comments,and wonders whether her students will be asleep or agitated in class tomorrow. Janis and Jasmine have brought artichoke,Marcona almond and goat cheese dip,sliced vegetables,and pomegranate-blueberry juice and have retreated to the upstairs. Janis,who now attends a cool alternative high school,reads The Color Purple while Jasmine works on a memoir of her maternal relatives. Lois gets so worked up that Clarice suggests she take a time-out in the back yard. Since it’s -17 F,Lois refuses,but goes into the kitchen to nibble on hummus and pita bread and sip diet Coke.

    To be continued…

  76. ksbel6 says:

    @Feminista: I don’t know, Lois always struck me as a Packers fan. πŸ™‚

  77. Andrew B says:

    Ian, American football is a game in which the ball is rarely played with the foot. Oh, we are the very regents of logic, yes we are. It’s strange how the rest of the world is always setting itself against us — and logic.

    Raffi and some soccer friends took the opportunity to go snowboarding at a nearly empty ski area. Sort of like being Jewish on Christmas. Stella turned the tv on late in the game, hoping to catch the special episode of Glee. She didn’t care much for the game but was fascinated to observe how publicity can change the meaning of an otherwise trivial event. It added to her growing interest in media.

  78. Alex K says:

    @72 / h_o_h: I went upstairs around 2130, after failing to grab something yummy — a cast-iron Victorian coal grate — during frenzied last-moment eBay bidding, with every intention of following the game on BBC1. Then I picked up the latest NEW YORKER, and… drowsed off, two cats jostling for warm soft space on my stomach. They both won.

    I keep waking up halfway and realising that no, I really CAN’T turn onto my side and into a more comfortable position, as to do so would discommode the cats. What a saddo, eh?

    This morning, up and about, discommoded cats fed, cat turds sifted out of catbox and newly commoded (well, dumped into the loo bowl, which I understand some call the “commode”), and soon-to-be-soft-boiled egg joggling gently away in the autocooker, I clicked over to the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE website and read the news. There’s always next year. Honestly reported, my egg tasted not a whit less delicious for the Packers’ win.

    A whole nother year for Roethlisberger to keep it in his pants. Wonder how he’ll manage.

  79. Acilius says:

    @Alex K #67: “I thought lesbians followed pro sports.” That’s interesting, I’d never heard that one.

    I grew up in a liberal college town in the 1970s, so the first stereotypes of lesbians I encountered were caricatures of actual lesbians people knew. The one I remember was that they were given to long, painfully earnest discussions of topics that meant nothing to anyone else. Now, decades later, I’m married to a Quaker, so I know that there is an entire religious denomination which makes long, painfully earnest discussions of topics that mean nothing to anyone else its highest sacrament, but in those days I thought such discussions were a defining characteristic of lesbians.

    Only when I approached my teens did I start to encounter stereotypes of lesbians based on sexual behavior. One day I was reading an issue of Mad magazine. There was a cartoon showing a physical education teacher supervising a class of girls, saying “I love watching young bodies develop.” The next panel showed her looking at a photo of the same class at home alone, saying “I love watching young bodies.” It took a while for me to figure out what point they were making. When I finally got it, I thought of the all-too-respectable women I’d known throughout my life on whom this “joke” reflected, I was nauseated.

    As for sports, all the stereotypes I’ve heard evoke the image of that leering teacher. So they don’t leave much room for team loyalty, obsessiveness about statistics, collection of merchandise, etc. The usual idea seems to be people getting sexually excited about bodybuilding and individual feats of strength, much like the things that made Jack LaLanne famous. I’ve even seen cartoon images that put LaLanne’s spandex outfits and tall hairdos on stereotyped lesbians. So it does take courage for an American lesbian to speak publicly of her admiration for Jack LaLanne, and my hat’s off to AB for doing so.

  80. Feminista says:

    #79 & 80: Thanks. Anyone else want to contribute to this scenario?

  81. Ian says:

    @Acilius: To be fair, the leering, lecherous PE teacher is also a male stereotype.

  82. Mentor says:

    [Note: More Bechdel Rule discussion. –Mentor]

  83. Andrew B says:

    Lesbians of a certain attitude will be sorry to hear that Tura Satana died. She played the gang leader in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. The first lesbian I knew who was a fan of the movie was also a San Francisco 49ers fan. She really twisted my head around, in a good way — I wound up with a lot fewer clichΓ©ed ideas about lesbians, and people in general. (I’d provide a link re Satana but I have limited internet access where I am now.)

    Bean, thanks for the link. Finally got a chance to view it yesterday.

  84. Acilius says:

    @Ian 84: I’ll resist the temptation to say something insulting about male PE teachers.

  85. Kate L. says:

    In less than one hour from now (7 pm High Plains Local Planetary Time, High Midnight Greater Croydon Time), the Smallville City Commission begins its last, decisive discussion and vote on extending the Smallville human rights ordinance to LGBT folk as people, too. This is it. Endgame. The Grand Casino. We Smallvillites shall emerge from this walking onto the sunlit uplands of the 21st century, or shall be rudely cast down into the muck and mire of the 20th if not the 19th centuries. Once more into the breach, dear friends! Oh, we few, we happy few, we blessed band of Sisters and Brothers… well, catch you on the flip-flop, ya’ll!

  86. ksbel6 says:

    @87: I’m a teacher myself, and I never resist the temptation to say something insulting about male PE teachers. The majority of them are assholes. Usually stemming from some mediocre performance in an athletic event against mediocre competition that happened 200 years ago.

  87. Ian says:

    @Kate L(88): How’d the decision go Kate?

  88. Jain says:

    Huh. Love ya ksbel6, but our PE teacher’s our union president & grievance chair, and I think he’s great. Definitely the guy you want to call when conversations with administrators are not going well.

  89. Kate L. says:

    (Ian, #90) I was two hours late to yesterday evening’s Smallville City Commission meeting on adding LGBT to the local human rights ordinance, due to having to give my evening class their first exam. Striding into the august Smallville City Commission chamber, I felt as a citizen of ancient Rome must have felt walking into the Imperial Senate forum. A citizen was addressing the commissioners. His words? That the commission should not add LGBT to the ordinance because it would be “against the Word of God”. And, with that, two hours of citizen comment had ended. The commissioners spoke briefly among themselves, with the mayor closing with an eloquent statement about how this addition would be an advance for civil rights. He then called for the vote. The ordinance passed, 3 to 2. The mayor then called for a 10 minute break, and during that time, one of the 2 “No”- voting commissioners saw my rainbow-colored lapel pin, and asked me, “Did you drive in from Lawrence?”. Lawrence, Kansas, is the home of Moo U’s collegiate-sports rival and reputed bastion of progressivism in Kansas. It is better known locally as, “Berkeley on the Kansas River”). In fact, I was born in Smallville. After the break, the commission took up a proposal by the other “No”-voting commissioner to term-limit commissioners to two terms, a clear swipe at the mayor, who is retiring after having been elected to the commission for four 4-years terms. There was time for public comments here, too. I stood before the commission and recounted all the effort that it had taken my father to run for city commission back in 1967, and that this would have just been the start of his sacrifice of time and effort had he won election. I said that instead of putting artificial barriers in the way of people who wanted to serve a long time on the commission, we should instead be thanking them. The mayor seemed pleased by my comments. The term limits measure failed on a 2 to 3 vote, with the 2 commissioners voting to pass term limits being the same two who voted against adding LGBT to the human rights ordinance.

  90. Kate L. says:

    The Moo U student newspaper published this photograph of last night’s historic events in their morning edition. It is misleading in several ways. First, it was taken at the doors to the commission chamber, loking outward from where the commissioners and most of the people in the audience were. Also, you can’t tell the players by their expressions. The woman in black who looks distraught is actually a member of the local PFLAG chapter who was very much in favor of the ordinance. The two men in the front row who look like a couple probably are not, because one of them is a former mayor very much against adding LGBT to the ordinance.

  91. Kate L says:

    I believe that THIS LINK will take you directly to the webcast of the Smallville City Commission’s debate on adding LGBT to the city human rights ordinance. It also includes public comment.

  92. Feminista says:

    Kate L: Congrats! All of your hard work has begun to pay off. Also I think it’s important that you mentioned your dad and your homegirl roots.

    I know that you often feel isolated at KSU & I know you’ve connected with the women’s center. I looked online and saw that they offer an excellent undergrad major and grad certificate in women’s studies. If you haven’t already,this would be a great place to find friends and allies. Women’s studies is big on cross-disciplinary courses as well.

  93. Ian says:

    That’s fantastic news KateL, I’m so pleased for you. And Feminista is right – you’ve made a big contribution towards getting those rights for your community by speaking up.

    Capt Janeaway would be very proud of you!

  94. ready2agitate says:

    Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo! No backward-turning for the residents of Smallville – woo-hoo! I look fw to watching the vid., Kate. Congrats! πŸ™‚