my pal Lucy’s new book

May 3rd, 2010 | Uncategorized

Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s book The Big Bang Symphony comes out this week. It’s a really riveting story–I’m almost done with it. Here’s th’ video trailer!

And if you become her Facebook friend you can see the amazing photographs she took when she was in Antarctica. She’s been posting a new one every day to lead up to the book launch. Today’s is an astonishing shot of the open mouth of a wale! All pink, with big furry baleen or whatever that stuff is.

148 Responses to “my pal Lucy’s new book”

  1. meg says:

    “Today’s is an astonishing shot of the open mouth of a wale! ”

    A *wale*? Really? 🙂

  2. Kate L says:

    “Arriving a few weeks later, Alice Neilson, a graduate student in geology who thinks in charts and equations, is thrilled to leave her dependent mother and start her career at last.”

    OMG ! Substitute New Orleans for the Antarctic, and it sounds like my life back in the 80’s ! ! ! 🙂

  3. Kate L says:

    … and, substitute nutria for the penguins. Don’t know what a nutria is? Trust me, you are better off not knowing !

  4. Feminista says:

    #1: Was it a wailing whale?

  5. Kate L says:

    … and big, Murphy Brown – type 80’s hair.

  6. Dr. Empirical says:

    Must be one a them new south wales.

  7. hairball_of_hope says:

    In exciting feline news, comes word that a German mailman has married his cat.

    So glad Rupert Murdoch brings us all the important news of the day.

  8. Renee S. says:

    My relationship with my cats is more of the master/servant type. To those of you with cats in the household, I need not elaborate.

    I wonder if Uwe found his dream cat via a kitty mail order bride service.

    Yeah, HOH, Rupert manages to continually provide us with the most important news. I’m sure the next news item will be about a the world’s largest ball of aluminum foil. Then, when Sarah Palin stubs her toe, it will seem even more important in comparison.

  9. Ginjoint says:

    ::Thoroughly unnerved after a Google image search of “nutria”::
    My God, those teeth, those beady eyes…they look like they’re up to absolutely no good.

  10. Hayley says:

    I was thinking groundhog size when looking at the nutria images…omg, no, they are like medium dog-sized.

  11. Kate L says:

    I vividly remember looking out the porthole of a supply ship taking me out to an offshore rig one day back in the early 80’s. As we exited the mouth of the Mississippi River, I looked back at the very end of the delta and saw… you guessed it, a nutria sunning itself on the rip-rap (blocks of concrete placed there to slow erosion).

  12. Dr. Empirical says:

    It was Edmund McIlhenny, inventor of Tobasco Sauce, who imported Neutria from South America, or so I’ve been told. He thought they’d be a good food animal, but nobody would eat them! They escaped from their cages after a storm, and have infested the Louisiana swamp country ever since.

    There are Cooking With Neutria festivals around the state every summer. They’re really festival-happy in Louisiana.

  13. Andrew B says:

    Am I the only person who finds it weird that books now have trailers? Not necessarily bad, just weird.

  14. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Dr.E (#12)

    A food animal? It’s like eating a giant rat!

    No doubt McIlhenny thought nutria would be good for the hot sauce business. I imagine it requires lots of Tabasco to make them palatable. Tabasco can fix almost any food that’s too awful to eat on its own.

    I have a friend who inherited a nutria-lined raincoat from her deceased mother. It looked like an ordinary Burberry trench coat, but there was this amazing full-length fur lining. Say what you want about animal rights, the politics of fur, etc., I told her I thought the coat might feel wonderful on a naked body (and I was willing to volunteer as the naked subject). Never got the chance.

    (… goes back to putting Tabasco on her eggs, no good grits to be found this far north …)

  15. Hayley says:

    I am waiting for Baader-Meinhof regarding nutria any minute now. Like my Great Aunt Helen was really a were-nutria or my dad was raised by nutria or that nutria shall inherit the earth.

  16. Holly says:

    Alison, please hurry up and finish so I can have a turn! I can’t wait to experience Lucy’s usual blend of landscape, adventure, personal growth, solitude, and grace.

  17. Every time I hear nutria I think about the Marjoe movie The Food of the Gods. Some critic labeled it the worst rodent horror film of all time — worse than Ben?

    Here’s a trailer for the movie. On watching it now, I wonder if I’m correct in thinking/remembering nutria were actually used for some of the scenes of “giant rats”, or if it was all trick photography.

    In contrast, Bledsoe’s book sounds incredible, can’t wait.

  18. Dr. Empirical says:

    Neutria taste pretty good, I hear. People just can’t get past the fact that they’re rodents.

    As for the grits situation, I think it’s a law of physics that you can either get good grits or good bagels, but never both. I pick bagels.

  19. little gator says:

    MY relative(first cousins thrice removed, but who’s counting) William Frakes, helped introduce nutria to North America. He also caught a lot of bighorn sheep for zoos.

  20. little gator says:

    though i heard they were imported as a fur animal.

  21. Kate L says:

    Poor A.B. ! She posts a perfectly charming clip about a friend’s interesting book, and how do we pay her back? With rats! Giant rats!

  22. LOL, Kate L! I noticed the same. And Holly’s kind attempt to direct people back to my book. Maybe my next book should be about nutria?

  23. Dr. Empirical says:

    Unfortunately, it’s hard to carry on a conversation about a book that none of us have read, and hasn’t even come out yet.

    So anyway, last night my trapeze instructor told me I’m “surprisingly graceful” for a guy my size.

    That’s not an insult, I guess, but was it really a compliment?

  24. Hayley says:

    I have already pre-ordered Lucy’s book and I check out her website regularly and think she is wonderful! It’s just like rubbernecking when the “yell” neighbors are chasing each other around the house with baseball bats…my new found awareness of the nutria stopped me in my tracks. Sorry to AB and Lucy.

  25. No apology necessary! I think nutria are fascinating — really! — and somehow even fitting for this post. I just thought it was funny.

  26. Ginjoint says:

    We’re sorry, Lucy. We tend to…um…meander around here. A very easily distracted group. I promise, however, to purchase your book – it sounds awesome.

    And Dr. E – trapeze?

  27. Ginjoint says:

    And oooh – a couple of years ago my aunt and her boyfriend sailed their boat to Antartica. She showed me the pictures – holy crap, I never realized how many different kinds of penguins there were.

  28. Dr. Empirical says:

    Ginjoint: Learning tricks on the trapeze is a great workout, and MUCH more fun than going to the gym.

    The fact that most of my classmates are pretty girls half my age is just a bonus, not my primary motivation for going. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

  29. Feminista says:

    Where were you 40 years ago part II.

    Today’s the 40th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State Univ. in Ohio.The reaction was swift: students at campuses all around the country went on strike. For those of you who were around and old enough to remember,how did you react? Memories of Jackson State,which happened a few days later,are welcome as welll.

    I posted in late April re: my memories of the first Earth Day. Twelve days after that,and back at Beloit College,here’s what I remember.

    We were on the trimester system,so shutting down at the beginning of the term didn’t make sense. Instead,we cranked out some leaflets on a mimeograph machine to distribute to the workers at Beloit Corporation,a local factory. At a meeting the men decided that women should be the ones to distribute the leaflets,as they felt they’d be rejected due to their long hair,but we could put on a dress or a skirt and be more acceptable.(There was no vote taken or consensus process.) I remember grumbling about exploitation,but I went anyway and passed out leaflets.

    My sister was a senior at Oberlin,not far from Kent State. The Obie prez cancelled classes for the rest of the term,about 3 weeks,and my sister went with classmates on a chartered bus to the big demo in Washington,DC. At her graduation on May 24,many students wore black armbands over their robes.

  30. Ian says:

    Ok, I’ll do it as I’m obsessed – anyone got any nutria and BACON recipes?

    They’re more commonly known as coypu over here. I don’t know why people have a problem with eating rats. I have a feeling it goes back to the black death. People seem to have been jumpy about rats ever since for some reason. (And yes, I know it was really the fleas!)

    Still, people eat squirrels (rats with fur coats), guinea pigs (diva rats), rabbits (sex addict rats) and capybara (hippo rats). I’ve been told they’re all very nice, but I’ve yet to indulge. I’ve never been able to eat rabbit since watching Watership Down at an impressionable age.

    PS The book looks great. When’s it out in Britain?

  31. Alex K says:

    As for “wale”, maybe AB’s wearing corduroy today. Wide-wale.

    As for nutria, can you imagine how happy the average Peruvian peasant would be to find a guinea pig that size on her plate?

    Google “Marcos Zapata” x “Last Supper”. If Christ had chosen Thibodeaux for the Passion, nutria would be a sacrament. Nothin’ wrong with stopping by church for a plate of swamp-rat gumbo and some sanctification, ‘s what I say.

  32. Marj says:

    Um, not sure if I should say this, seeing as how she’s shown up here in person; but your pal Lucy’s awfully attractive…

  33. Pam I says:

    @ Ian, Medusa UK lists the book as being out here since January.

    @Coypu, I am tipped into my 8-year old Nature Study self, when I could reel off all 34 British mammals. The coypu was an upstart from early 20th century, when they escaped from fur farms, IIRC. Now they are wild in East Anglia. I think. I’ll have to go see.
    [back from Norfolk]
    Oh – “Coypu eradicated from East Anglia by December 1989. There have been no confirmed reports of Coypu in the Wild since that time”. Rumours of ghostly coypu persist.
    So 33 species then.
    They are related to porcupines, which do not live wild here.
    Why can’t I remember what I did this morning but all this is crystal (well, slightly fuzzy) clear?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Looking forward to this book. I don’t have a Facebook account. I promised my six daughter’s that I would not go there. I try to give them some sort of independence.
    I watched the video and yes, I am intrigued. I will buy it and read it.
    Those nutrea rats are disgusting. I have a dear friend that hails from New Orleans, LA. Unfortunately, she lives in the north woods of Wisconsin with her daughter. She’s old and she needs tending to. She talks of those ugly rats all of the time, with affection. I respect her but I’m just not into rodents of any size. UGH!

  35. Sherry says:

    I’m not anonymous, I forgot to type in my name. Forgive me. I’m tired. Got up at 2:30am, worked, and then had to drive two of my girls to the airport in Raleigh.
    I’m off to bed….

  36. Heidi says:

    Excited about the new book…I read The Ice Cave not long ago, and the Antarctica part was cool!

  37. Annie in Norway says:

    I have to be the lone dissenting voice here, but it needs to be done. I love rats! Love em… cuddle them and share my healthy veggies and fruit with them. They’re amazing, intelligent, funny and sweet little animals. Hamsters can be evil tempered little buggers but I’ve yet to meet a really bad tempered rat.
    If nutria could be tamed, I’d be all over that in a heartbeat… a dog sized rat 🙂
    I love reading about the arctic/antarctic. I’ll be searching this one out. Thanks for the heads up.

  38. Marj says:

    I’m with you, Annie in Norway. Nutria/coypu: cute or what? But while we’re on the subject of tame rodents, check this out:

  39. Fester Bestertester says:

    I guess I’ve always been kind of confused about Nutria, but now that I see the pictures I’m afraid that I’m more confused than ever.

    What I don’t understand is how do Nutria work as artificial sweeteners? Do you hold them by the tail and dip them in your tea? Or what?

  40. Marj, shoulda guessed there’d be a blog written by a capybara out there. Wait til we start seeing LolCapys!

    And Fester — good one. I’m still breathless over Dr. E ridiculing Alison for her spelling at the top of the thread.

  41. Calico says:

    The Nutria look more like groundhogs/marmutes with tails to me.
    In any case, I’d never eat one.

  42. Dr. Empirical says:

    Maggie (41) Hey! meg (1) started it! I probably wouldn’t have noticed the spelling otherwise. I’m not exactly without sin in that area

  43. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Curiously enough, Dr. E. (28), my husband took up the trapeze for that very reason. He still goes to the gym in the skivvies he bought for appearing on the high wire with Peter Gold, who teaches trapeze at Omega, or Camp Woo-woo, as we call it around here. Very new age summer camp in Rhineback New York. Lynda Barry teaches a writing class there every summer.

  44. --MC says:

    It’s Cinco de Mayo again .. as a verifiable Hispanic, I am tired of it already and am looking forward to 17 Mai .. Norwegian Constitution Day .. let’s celebrate that instead ..

    One of my FB friends sends along this quote:
    “The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.” ~Gloria Steinem

  45. Calico says:

    I live in Quebec, and you know I ain’t gonna mention Cinco de Mayo. As Amy Winehouse sang, “No, no, no.”

    We could celebrate Victoria Day (May 24), or St. Jean de la Baptiste Day (June 24) instead…

  46. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Calico (#46)

    In Puerto Rico, many folks celebrate San Juan Bautista by skinny-dipping at midnight, traditionally doing back-flips and walking backward into the water. This shindig is called La Noche de San Juan.

    I imagine it might be a tad too cold to do that in Québec in June. Or perhaps I am demonstrating my USAnian ignorance and prejudice, assuming that everything that far north is too cold.

  47. Pam I says:

    It’s now 00.01 here inn UK, election day is here and I am scared.

  48. meg says:

    Wot, me?


  49. Ian says:

    @Pam I(48): I’m not scared exactly. This is the first election I’ve experienced that looks likely to produce a hung parliament, which would be a novelty for me! I’m not convinced the polls are correct though.

    Mostly, however, I’ll be glad the campaign is over. I don’t know you Americans stand the long campaign from the first primaries to the November vote.

  50. Melissa says:

    I don’t get into politics as much as most. I don’t give it a second thought. If we’re going to change something, then we’ll change it on our own. It can be done. It’s me and my connections that make a difference.
    You all will be alright.
    In the end, it doesn’t matter what party you are for. Democrat or Republican…’s about you and what you can do to make a difference. It’s about you and what you are willing to do to make things better.
    It’s not about mumbling words and talking tall…it’s about what you can physically do.

  51. Acilius says:

    All I know about UK politics is that pre-election polls have always underestimated the Conservative Party’s strength by at least a few percentage points, and that if that pattern holds today David Cameron will be prime minister tomorrow.

  52. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Dr. E (#18)

    Is the Dr. Empirical Location Principle of Bagels and Grits analogous to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle or the Pauli Exclusion Principle?

    (… Three quarks for Muster Mark! [and a pint for Hairball] …)

  53. Marj says:

    #52, Acilius – yes, that’s why we’re scared…

    #53, HoH – I wish I was as clever as you!

  54. Annie in Norway says:

    @45 You’d love 17 Mai here in Bergen, –MC. It’s less of a Norwegian national day here than an -international- day. We do get lots of people in traditional bunader (Norwegian national dress) but we also get every other national dress at the same time.. Japanese kimono, Eastern European, African, South and central American etc etc. It’s a huge party. Lots of fun. There’s also a parade with lots of traditional buecorps (um.. drum and bugle corps) and other paramilitary stuff marching side by side (and partying with!) GLBT pride groups. We love everyone here and generally get along just fine! ^^

  55. Jain says:

    I live in Eugene, Oregon, and teach English in a former mill town an hour up into the mountains, where I am regarded with suspicion as an emissary from the hippie metropolis. Every few years though we bond over my sorry stories of losing everything in the garden to another nutria infestation. Adolescents who’d been sure I was a hopelessly pacifist tree hugging loser are amazed to see me bare my teeth and hiss, and be invited to come by any time, armed.

  56. NLC says:

    The has nothing to do with any of the current topics but…

    …this is something of a hot topic here in the Northeast, and this ad was too good to not to pass along: [Click Here]

  57. Kate L says:

    I’m wrapping up the semester in my introductory geology classes with a discussion of climate and climate change. Coincidentally enough, the United States House of Representatives is also having a committee hearing to publicize the recent Parliamentary committee finding in the U.K. that climate scientists at East Anglia University did nothing wrong in their research. “The explanatory hearing will include testimony from Lisa Graumlich, director of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, who served on the British panel that last month exonerated the CRU scientists of any malpractice.” (Huffington Post) The Republicans have only called one witness to attempt to claim that climate change isn’t happening. A person identified as a Christopher Monckton of Great Britain. Does anyone know anything about this man? I’ve heard him talk about climate, and quite frankly he acted like he was pitching googlies! I was gobsmacked that anyone would say the things that this Monckton character said! Blimey, I say! Blimey !!!!

  58. Dr. Empirical says:

    HoH (53) I frequently confuse Wolfgang Pauli with Linus Pauling, so perhaps I’m not the best one to answer, but if you consider “Goodness” and “Badness” as quantum states applying to bagels and grits, then the Grain-Based Foodstuffs Exclusion Principal is roughly analogous to Pauli. Anywhere you can get good bagels, any grits you might come across (a rare event) will be both lumpy and runny. Where good grits are abundant anything they call a bagel will actually be a dinner roll with a hole through it.

    The question remains as to how far the exclusion field extends around an individul bagel or bowl of grits. Careful observation will be required, preferably in a formerly bagel and grits-free zone, such as… Antarctica.

  59. Kat says:

    @Kate L, #3:
    “… and, substitute nutria for the penguins. Don’t know what a nutria is? Trust me, you are better off not knowing !”

    Um, no, I have no idea what a nutria is, and this discussion has not clarified things, but rather left me with a most bizarre mental image!!!!

    Re: British elections: An English friend on Facebook posted something this morning about wanting to kick out the Tories and have a “Lib-Lab” parliament….Is that a term that has come up in British media, or did he invent that, I wonder. Pretty clever….

  60. Ian says:

    @Kat: ‘Lib-Lab’ is a term that hasn’t really been used since the 70s/80s. It’s not new, but it’s a long time since I heard it.

  61. NLC #57 — I watched the Youtube video link you provided about “Mr. W” and was getting increasingly perturbed until the end. Had to rewatch it then. Very very clever. And yeah, a growing issue here in Tejas too.

    Kat, dear, nutria are extra-large water-loving rodents originally from South America who were introduced to Louisiana for some misbegotten reason and have now spread (we definitely have them in Texas) to cause much damage to freshwater vegetation and folks’ peace of mind. Somewhat like kudzu of the cricks.

  62. Acilius says:

    @Kat: “Lib-Lab” and similar labels for Labor-Liberal collaboration were most used, I think, in 1974, during the hung parliament that resulted from the February 1974 general election. It’s cropped up occasionally since. For example, there was a time in the mid-90s when Labor and the LDP made something of a united front against the Tory government led by John Major (well, headed by John Major.) In those days there was a lot of talk about a return to “Lib-Labbery.” In fact, I subscribed to The Economist for a couple of years based solely on their fondness for the term “Lib-Labbery.”

  63. Dr. Empirical says:

    I suppose “Lib-Labia” would be found in an entirely different type of publication.

  64. Judybusy says:

    NLC: Thanks for the video–very smart and funny.

    Annie, Mai 17 sounds like so much fun! Why, oh, why did my great-grandparents leave such a fine country???

  65. Alex K says:

    Blogjack: SCIENCE has just sent out an e-mail announcing that a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome has been assembled.

    At last, the chance to learn if Neanderthals were, erm, lesbian.

    The search continues for grotesquely long forelimb phalanges at appropriate strata in caves known to harbour Neanderthal remains.

    In other news, David Cameron, with poached-egg protuberant eyes and the sleek smuggery of righteous entitlement, is likely to avoid proportional representation. Details on request from Ian / Pam (see above). Don’t blame me, I voted LibDem.

  66. Ian says:

    @Alex K: My nerves are very stretched waiting for the count to start and for the results to start coming in. I voted Lib-Dem as well. The results for my constituency aren’t due to come in until 3:30 am. The only bonus I see of Cameron winning an outright majority is that we won’t have all the horse-trading come Friday morning and the bleak spectacle of a hung parliament and the Opposition attempting to get a vote of no confidence if the Government loses due to the coalition breaking down.

    I’m distracting myself from the wait with cookery. I’m cooking pork steak with several kinds of veg, and a rhubarb and ginger crumble (the rhubarb being from my allotment of course).

  67. Kate L says:

    The Voyager 2 spacecraft, launched in 1977, has encountered a problem beyond the orbit of Pluto as it seeks to become the first human-made object ever to enter intersteller space. I’m guessing it’s Klingons. Where’s Janeway when you need her???

  68. Kate L #68 — The article linked to states “The spacecraft had already given us remarkable views of Uranus…” Heh-heh.

    Dr. E, I volunteer to personally research the origins of Lib-Labia. NO, Ginjoint, I called it first!

    And to complete the smutty repartee, every time you talk about your allotment, Ian, I remember to touch my boobies.

    On a more elevated note (but not much), BagNewsNotes today has an entertaining photo of the three UK election nominees in debate.

  69. Pam I says:

    Voting is closed, the first exit poll predicts Tories with most seats but not the necessary 326 (ie half the total plus one) to form government, so they would have to cosy up with whoever wants to play. This is only guesswork so far.

    I’m off to the count for my home patch, my own MP has a safe seat but the local council (it’s simulateous elections for national + local politicians) is likely to go Liberal – there are two seats in it – which would be good news for the dont-demolish-the-market campaign I’m part off. But the Liberals will cut farther faster than the old Labour grouping. There’s one photo I’ll be waiting to catch. If I get it, I’ll let y’all see.

  70. Marj says:

    I voted liberal too. Is that a working majority among the Brits represented here? As I recall, the complete phrase back in the seventies was “Lib-Lab Pact”.

    Maggie #69: that photo or one very like it surfaced on a popular TV news quiz last week; one of the participants remarked they looked like Kraftwerk in concert…

  71. Amy says:

    Ian (67), your coping strategy sounds delicious. I remember being too wound up to eat the night of the 2008 US elections–I wish it had been rhubarb season, not that I have anything against root vegetables. Any new pictures of your allotment’s bounty? (Yes, I’ve been reading quietly for a while…)

  72. Andrew B says:

    Alex K, 66, of course some Neanderthals are lesbians. Haven’t you heard of Liz Cheney? (My apologies, GEICO-style, to any Neanderthal lesbians who are reading this.)

  73. Renee S. says:

    I thought Mary Cheney was a lesbian, not Liz.

  74. Renee S. says:

    oops, I should have said Mary Cheney is a lesbian

  75. Kate L says:

    Oh, young ones. Just imagine how wound up I was the night of the ’68 U.S. elections. After such a promising start in March, we ended up with President-elect Nixon in November.

  76. Renee S. says:

    Speaking of genomes, etc., here’s an interesting article for those of you interested in anthropology:

  77. Feminista says:

    #76 Kate L: I spent a weekend canvassing for Eugene McCarthy in South Bend and Ft.Wayne,Indiana that spring. It was two months before RFK was killed.

  78. Alex K says:

    @ 73 / Andrew B: Good one on Mary Cheney!

    News flash: Britain has been left defenceless against asteroid barrages — Lembit Opik, visionary Liberal campaigner for anti-space debris satellite networks and serial celebrity love-rat (first a relatively staid British TV presenter as partner, then one half of the Cheeky Girls “Touch my Bum” Rumanian pop duo), has LOST what was previously thought to be a SAFE SEAT — to a Tory!

    Just when you believe you’ve got your head around British electoral science, this sort of thing happens…

  79. Marj says:

    Greens one – BNP nil.

    But that’s about it for good news.

  80. Ian says:

    @Amy: I’ll be taking some more pics this weekend. And posting about it. If only to remind Maggie Jochild to touch her boobies (says Aunt Soozie).

    And yes, it was a very bizarre election. I always stay up and watch it, no matter the result, but at 2 am I realised I couldn’t take anymore and went to bed.

  81. Ian says:

    PS Any news on Shadocat? We still haven’t heard from her have we?

  82. Acilius says:

    I watched the election returns last night, I felt an unusual sympathy with all the MPs who lost their seats since I, like them, am expected to clear out of my office this morning after several years. I’m not losing my job, just relocating as they remodel this building. Still, I never would have thought that Jacqui Smith, Charles Clarke, Lembit Opik, and I would be emptying our desks simultaneously.

  83. Kate L says:

    (Feminista #78) It was All the Way with RFK, myself (an actual slogan my sister wrote on a sign she held up at a speech by Robert Kennedy at this midwestern university that March). But you (Gene) McCarthyites and us Robert Kennedy people are all friends again, now. The night of the ’68 California primary in early June, after CBS News projected Robert Kennedy the winner, it looked like the future was taking shape. That night, RFK said, “Now it’s on to Chicago, let’s win there.” I decided to skip the rest of the television coverage, and went to bed. When I woke up, Robert Kennedy had been shot in the head and was near death in a L.A. hospital. The time-line had been altered, the Democratic nominating convention later that summer in Chicago was a brazen display of political machine muscle on the convention floor, and violent police muscle against demonstrators on the streets outside the convention center. After the general election that November, the Republican Reign of Error that has been going on pretty much non-stop since then was begun.

  84. Andrew B says:

    Renee, 74, you’re right. I got my neanderthals mixed up. A little unfair of me, as Mary is not as much of a neanderthal as her sister — or at least not so outspoken about it.

  85. Calico says:

    #68 – I read that too, and I think this is so fascinating. I can’t quite wrap my brain around the fact that this thing is something like 10 billion miles away from earth, and can still transmit data.
    Re: Janeway, somebody reposted the Ryan’s Hope pilot on YT, and I watched it again last night.
    I remember seeing it on TV in ’75 – one of the first shots is Great Kate waving to s friend, and entering Ryan’s Pub with her poster of her brother Frank…the first year of that show was so much fun to watch.

  86. Pam I says:

    Just got up after four hours sleep. We did not get the change of council we desperately hoped for and needed in Haringey. My two penn’orth after Labour took several more seats (against the national trend), is that the threat of the tories getting power nationally, got out the previously more apathetic Labour voters on this side of the borough and in the swing seats in the middle, to vote for the old tribe. As a lifetime socialist it is weird to be backing the Liberals but based on what real people actually do rather than how parties mandate you to behave, the Liberals are currently a better choice for this borough.

    Sorry to rabbit on people of the world (outside Haringey) but I knew you were fascinated by the news from this little corner of this little city in this little country.

    I’m off for a very long hot bath.

    Meanwhile the boys are arm-wrestling for control of the country. Will be some days before that result arrives. The pound has dropped as the City has not managed to put its boy at the top in one move.

  87. Kat says:

    Maggie (#69), the “Flamingo” photo is pretty awesome.

    Also, I’m still hanging on to my mental image of a nutria: large like a beaver, long-haired like some guinea pigs, tail like a rat, and maybe big ears like a rabbit, or something…..

    Speaking of rats, I saw a woman taking her white rat for a walk yesterday….ah, Berkeley, you never fail to surprise me.

  88. Calico says:

    OMG I think I just learned the source of the word for the dish “puttanesca.”

    I think Sydney called Mo her “little puttanesca” at one point, no? Or the other way around.
    In any case, yow.

    (Also refer to the French word “Putain.”)

    Please forgive if I am wrong on any of these accounts.

  89. Kate L says:

    Kate Mulgrew and I are about the same age. She must have been in her late teens when she played this part !

  90. Annie in Norway says:

    @88 I’ve tried to train our rats over the years to walk on a harness… but they usually -hate- it. They however are tailor made to fit inside the ‘kangaroo pocket’ at the front of a hooded sweatshirt.

    I was at the vet with one of our girls (a black eyed siamese dumbo rat named Saga :)) and a lady sitting beside me with a pomeranian asked what was in the carrier. I braced myself for the inevitable freak out when I said ‘rat’ but she surprised me. She asked to see Saga, petted her and loved up on her. (Saga of course took this in stride since she’s 100% convinced she IS the queen of the universe and everything revolves around her).

    Sorry for the complete hijack. I really AM interested in fragile and extreme ecosystems and I really will find your friend’s book 🙂

  91. Ian says:

    Looking on Youtube in order to distract myself from the farce that is British politics, I found this – Ronnie Barker’s mispronunciation sketch:

    Anyone who’s a fan of wordplay will find this a joy to behold.

  92. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Calico (#90)

    Yes, you are correct, the dish does indeed reference the Italian (and Spanish) word for a whore. It’s spelled putta in Italian and puta in Spanish, and obviously shares the same Latin to Vulgar Latin to Old French to Modern French roots, as shown in the word putain.

    I had a very shy Cuban friend who was always too embarrassed to order pasta puttanesca. If she wanted it, I had to give the order to the waitperson.

    My understanding of the dish’s linguistic origin is from old-time brothels. In addition to providing women for hire, they served pasta with a mélange of other stuff, typically capers, olives, anchovies, garlic, perhaps some pignoli. Thus the dish we now enjoy as linguini puttanesca.

    Tomatoes are a somewhat modern addition to the traditional puttanesca sauce. Hard to believe now, but tomatoes were once thought to be toxic because they are part of the nightshade family. They are a New World plant which made its way back to Europe and the rest of the world.

    I like pasta puttanesca quite a bit, but all that high-sodium stuff is a killer. I drink gallons of water after eating it.

  93. Feminista says:

    #84 Kate: I had or have no hard feelings about RFK supporters. If I’d had a fuller understanding of his support of the UFW and non-unionized farmworkers,I most likely would have supported him then. My family supported the grape boycott for many years,and I remember hearing activist Rudy Gonzalez,who later got involved with La Raza Unida,speak ca.1967.

    Also,I remember watching the DNC in Chicago on TV that summer and the horrible Oscar Meyer Weiner commercials that came on all too often. Seeing the out-of-control police was shocking,and it was,as they say,a radicalizing event for me. Although some of my Unitarian friends joined SDS in high school or college,I found the burgeoning women’s liberation movement spoke more to my interests.

  94. Kat says:

    Hairball, I think there are multiple versions of the puttanesca story. The one I heard was that the prostitutes could prepare this dish quickly between clients….

    I’ve also heard that these stories are apocryphal.

  95. Calico says:

    #94 – Well, I was watching “Bitchin’ Kitchen” on, a cooking and comedy show featuring Nadia G. (She was first on her own YT videos), and she mentioned the name came from a time when, once a week, sex trade workers in Italy were given a certain amount of time to go out and do their weekly shopping-so things had to be cheap and had to last a while.
    The stuff thay bought would usually consist of pasta, olives, capers, olive oil, and garlic.
    I love pasta as it is such a tabula rasa-let your imagination run wild!
    If you watch Nadia (last name Giosia), know that the Sopranos-style accent is more for fun – she doesn’t always talk like that!

  96. Calico says:

    Oh, and yes, during the Middle Ages and even beyond I guess everyone thought eating tomatoes would kill you.
    God, I love tomatoes.

  97. hairball_of_hope says:

    Ah, spring is in the air (achoo!)… the birds are chirping, the trees are blooming, green shoots are erupting from the dark soil. What better time to celebrate the renewal of life? And perhaps the awakening of one’s libido. How else to explain right-wing Christian homophobe George Rekers hiring a male prostitute to accompany him on a European vacation?

    Rekers, in case you weren’t aware, is a Baptist minister who co-founded the Christian anti-gay group Family Research Council with James Dobson.

    Quoting from the article:

    Reached by New Times before a trip to Bermuda, Rekers said he learned Lucien was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. “I had surgery,” Rekers said, “and I can’t lift luggage. That’s why I hired him.” (Medical problems didn’t stop him from pushing the tottering baggage cart through MIA.)

    Yet Rekers wouldn’t deny he met his slender, blond escort at – which features homepage images of men in bondage and grainy videos of crotch-rubbing twinks – and Lucien confirmed it.

    At the small western Miami townhome he shares with a roommate, a nervous Lucien expressed surprise when we told him that Rekers denied knowing about his line of work from the beginning. “He should’ve been able to tell you that,” he said, fidgeting and fixing his eyes on his knees. “But that’s up to him.”

    This of course, has me wondering who else will fall from grace in the Maggie Mendacity Countdown Pool. We really should have a pool (like the various Dead Pools) to bet on which celebrity or hypocritical “guardian of family values” will be exposed as a fraud or cheat.

    (… goes back to her pile of Kleenex and running nose, awaiting the last opera broadcast of the season, appropriately enough, Lulu …)

  98. Judybusy says:

    Annie, if we were to ever sit next to each other at the vet, I’d also meet your rat and pay her the appropriate homage. Please just understand that my cat, Rachel is the true Queen of the Universe. 🙂 Or at least play along so I don’t have to pay later!

    Today, one of our many farmer’s markets opened. I got asparagus and goat cheese and am thinking of turning them loose on some pasta. Calico, I’m right there with you with the tomatoes! My seedlings are ready to go in, but as it’s going to be in the mid-fifties for the next week, they’ll be hanging out under the lights for a while longer. I also recall they used to be called love apples.

    Just to ramble on a bit more, I bought ice cream at my beloved Pumphouse (all local cream and ingredients)yesterday, and the woman working had the most beautiful tattoos reminiscent of botanical drawings. They were all plants and insects from her garden.

  99. Acilius says:

    I certainly hope it was not the prostitutes’ customers who ate the puttanesca. I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to be a prostitute under any circumstances, but it certainly wouldn’t have been made easier if your customers came to you after consuming a hearty meal of pasta, garlic, olive oil, etc.

  100. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Acilius (#101)

    Yes, the clients ate the pasta puttanesca, and probably the women ate it as well. If both parties reeked of garlic, anchovies, etc. I doubt either would be olfactorily offended. Of course, given the hygiene standards of the day, odors quite a bit more offensive than garlic were likely drowning out the garlic. With those hygiene standards in mind, the idea of eating food prepared by a putta in a brothel doesn’t do a thing for my appetite.

  101. Metaphysical says:

    I have been sitting here for forty minutes reading all the comments on the “Spider Webs” post and articles from the Classical Feminist Writings Page, and realizing I have so much to learn. Does anyone want to instruct a ninth-grade feminist? What should I read? Who should I admire? Should I go and redo my English homework and put little women’s symbols as O’s? Help, please.

  102. Metaphysical, you should read and admire whoever speaks to your heart best, because there are many different definitions of feminism and while some wage war on each other, it’s the war of horizontal internalized oppression and you can sidestep it entirely. (I recommend you do. Anyone who spends a noticeable amount of time trashing other feminists is not focused enough on the big picture and how to actually move forward.)

    Just off the top of my head, I’d recommend you read:
    Judy Syfer’s “Why I Want A Wife”
    “The Hole/Birth Catalogue” — I think this essay is in Sisterhood Is Powerful but not sure
    “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House” essay by Audre Lorde
    “The Redstockings Manifesto” aka “The Woman Identified Woman” by the Redstockings Collective
    The S.C.U.M. Manifesto
    The introductory essay by The Furies and also their works on class analysis
    “The Politics of Housework” by Pat Mainardi
    “Women and Lying: Some Notes On Honor” by Adrienne rich
    “A Movement of Poets” by Jan Clausen (and then read the poets she talks about, but absolutely Judy Grahn, especially the Common Woman poems and “A Woman Is Talking To Death”)
    “This Bridge Called My Back” edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa
    The Combahee River Collective Statement
    Any copy of Conditions, Sinister Wisdom, Common Lives/Lesbian Lives, Heresies, Off Our Backs, Dyke, or Amazon Quarterly you can get your hands on
    for scifi, “The Female Man” by Joanna Russ, “The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Kin of Ata Are Waiting For You” by Dorothy Bryant, and “Woman On The Edge Of Time” by Marge Piercy
    “Zami: Another Spelling of my Name” by Audre Lorde

    This will get you the basics up to around 1980. When you move into post 1980 work, especially women’s studies analyses, make sure you read THE OROGINAL SOURCE MATERIAL FIRST before you read a later dissection of it.

    Also, to understand what was happening in lesbian-feminism, it’s essential to listen to women’s music albums which was a separate, profoundly influential world of culture. Meg Christian, Cris Williamson, Alix Dobkin, and Holly Near to start with.

    And maybe it goes without saying, but read ALL of Dykes To Watch Out For, hopefully in order, for a brillaint insider’s glimpse and documentation of what was going on era by era.

  103. Kate L says:

    … I also hear that the complete 7-season DVD set of Star Trek: Voyager is out. No, I’m not joking! I remember being surprised that the pioneering feminist in my family (who is also a distinguished scientist) had been a big fan of the original Star Trek TV series, but knew nothing of Captain Kathryn Janeway. I sent her some VCR tapes of a few episodes I happened to have, and she really enjoyed the series! Also, Kate Mulgrew (who played the role of Janeway) has remarked that many young women have told her that her portrayal of Janeway inspired them to become scientists!

  104. Jain says:

    Maggie! Great list!

  105. Ian says:

    Maggie, that list should be typed up somewhere, and posted as a page in its own right.

  106. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Maggie (#104)

    Wow, names I hadn’t thought about for ages. Awakened by your sagely list, I went to a dust-encrusted corner of my bookshelves (ok, so I won’t win awards for housekeeping) and dug up a copy of Jan Clausen’s poetry collection ‘After Touch’ from 1975 and reread a few of them. I bought it at one of her readings, probably in Park Slope.

    For a few minutes, I was transported back to that place and time, and to that age in my life. How empowering those poems seemed at the time. Thirty five years later, it’s amazing how much attention and power the statement, “I am a lesbian” still holds, and how few public women come right out and say it.

    (… goes back to sneezing from her dusty trip down memory lane …)

  107. Metaphysical says:

    Wow, Maggie, thank you so much! I’m off to the library now…

  108. Thx, y’all But it was a smart question to begin with.

    I’ve made it part of the business of my blog to reprint various ovular feminist writings that are hard or impossible to find elsewhere (combatting erasure). Thus, not to blog-whore, BUT if you go to my blog (clicking on my name will get you there) and search the labels, you’ll find a lot of the essays and poetry mentioned above. They are consistent big draws every week internationally in my blog statistics, and when the link is to a place where access to women’s literature or even the internet is hard to come by, I feel a surge of gratitude to all the women who dared write those sentences in the first place. Happy mother’s day to all of them.

  109. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Great job Maggie! I’ll have to catch up on my reading. The big hoohah at my church is that the Naomi Circle invited all the women in our church to a brunch next week, and my only thought was that I’d rather get a sharp stick in the eye. I think I need to self-identifying as a woman more often. Right now it’s WAY down on the list of indentifying characteristics, well after opera nut, Second Viennese School nut, Dykes nut, and former red head, of which the only remaining characteristics are a curious lag in going gray. But I had a GREAT dream last night of meeting a couple of transmen whose hormone therapy wasn’t going too well, and confessing that my familiarity with transpeople came from my abject devotion to Alison Bechdel, who supplied my entire sex education, excpet for that provided by Wally, who also taught me to drive stick shift and to make gravy.

  110. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Well, that and my friend Lillian, who had to go back to Montreal and have her operation redone when they botched her urethra.

  111. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    She was very fond of satin blouses, usually fuchsia, and pencil skirts.

  112. Error error Will Robinson!

    This is what happens when I go by memory alone instead of checking sources. First, “The Redstockings Manifesto” is categorically NOT the same as “The Woman-Identified Woman”. The latter was by Radicalesbians. Some overlap in membership, I think, but different statements. I am genuinely embarrassed about this. For years I wore a button that read “A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion”, I DO know better.

    Second, “The Hole/Birth Catalogue” was by Cynthia Ozick, which means it is more likely to be found in The New Ms. Reader. 1972 vs 1970.

  113. Marj says:

    I’m such a lightweight! Of the inspirational titles on Maggie’s list, I’ve only read the fiction – and not all of that. I think I must have absorbed my politics by osmosis.

    This is completely off-topic, but could any of you lovely geeks recommend open source software for reading MS Word docs? I don’t want to do anything fancy…

  114. Calico says:

    #105 – Yay!
    Kate Mulgrew and Helen Shaver are two of the coolest heterosexual women I have ever known of.

  115. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Marj (#115)

    OpenOffice is a full-fledged office suite with nearly-complete M$ compatibility for import/export.

    OO includes word processor (Writer, equiv to Word), spreadsheet (Calc, equiv to Excel), presentation graphics (Impress, equiv to PowerPoint), diagramming tool (Draw, equiv to Visio), database (Base, equiv to Access), and math equation tool (Math, not sure what is commercial equivalent).

    There are versions of OO for most major operating systems, including Windoze, Mac OSX, Linux, Unix, BSD, etc.

    Download it from

    When you first set it up, go into Tools, Options, and set the file formats under Load/Save, General to the M$ equivalents, so you don’t have to remember to use ‘Save_As’ each time you save a document. Specify the type of document (e.g. text document), then select the M$ 97/2000/XP equivalent under ‘Save As’, this is the most-compatible of all the M$ formats.

    If all you want to do is READ a Word doc and not edit or make changes, you can also download a free reader from M$, they call it Word Viewer (there’s also a PowerPoint viewer), but of course, it only works on Windoze. My two cents: If you’re going to download all that bloatware, you might as well get something that’s really functional, such as OO, instead of a crippled viewer.

  116. Judybusy says:

    metaphysical, to Maggie’s list, I’d add: All the Women Are White, All the Blacks are Men, But some of Us Brave: Black Women’s Studies edited by Barbara Smith–she co-founded the Combahee River collective Maggie mentions. bell hooks also has written some powerful stuff.

    I am in my mid-forties, so am out of touch with current writings. I think the website Jezebel does a good job dissecting current culture from a feminist perspective. Lilith magazine is great for Jewish feminism, too. I’ve never opened a copy of Bitch. Any opinions?

  117. Kat says:

    You can read Bitch online. I don’t think it’s the full content of what gets printed in the magazines, but they have a few blogs.

    I’ve actually become quite bored with a lot of the mainstream feminist blogs, which is odd, considering that they’re primarily written by women my age, with roughly my education level and stuff….

    Feministing is an approachable place to start, though, for someone who wants to learn about feminism and how it relates to super-media-saturated 21st C life.

    (perhaps that’s why my interest in it has diminished)

    In addition to the music Maggie mentioned, I would also look to some of the “girls with guitars”* from the 1990’s. Ani DiFranco and Dar Williams are some of my favorites (“Not a Pretty Girl” from Ani, and “When I Was a Boy” By Dar Williams are great songs about female identity and the nuances thereof)

    I don’t happen to like Jezebel, myself, mostly because of their very tag line “Celebrity, Sex and Fashion for women”….not stuff I’m into. They do have some good articles from time to time, though.

    I have to say, I’m pretty sure that I learn more from hanging around here than just about anywhere else on the intertubes, so thanks folks, for being the awesomest blog commenters ever! And a big thank you to Alison for hosting all of us and tolerating our refusal to follow a thread!

    *Don’t blame the messenger, I didn’t name them that…..

  118. Kat says:

    Click Here!

    Interview with one of the Feministing bloggers, who has a new book out. It’s a collection of essays about the moments in our lives that make us define ourselves as feminists.

  119. Kat says:

    hm….apparently I’m terrible at HTML…Sorry…

    [The MHRS (Mentor HTML Rescue Squad) at your service.]

  120. bean says:

    i posted on the feminism 101 question on the previous post, but for now i’ll say this…

    maggie’s list is good. basically if you get through Sisterhood is Powerful, you’ll have caught a lot of it. For historical documents and movement history, it can’t be beat.

    It’s also good to follow SIP up with This Bridge Called My Back, because a lot of the material and writers in This Bridge are noticeably missing from SIP.

    finally, Our Bodies, Ourselves is a must for really getting the whole “personal is political” thing and “here’s why feminism really matters in real women’s lives.”

  121. Kate L says:

    (Calico #116) Thanks! 🙂 Characters in popular dramas like television shows prepare young folk to imagine people in unconventional roles – even as the captain of a federation starship, a job held in previous generations of fiction only by the Captain Kirks of the world!

    (Marj #115) hairball is right, as always! 🙂 go to the microsoft home page (I almost typed “home world”) and search for Word Viewer or Powerpoint Viewer, and you’ll be directed to a free download page of these authentic Microsoft products. I always direct my students there at the start of a semester, esp. in Fall (I tend to teach 100-level classes). Also, Adobe Reader freeware is available thru the web site, direct from those folk.

    (hairball, #108) I am a lesbian are words that are still said only in very private conversations out here. For example, only literal moments ago, I was visiting the coffee shop near my academic dept. building. A young woman I know to be lesbian (she’s at all the meetings! :)) was busy studying for finals next week with some of her school chums. She gave me one glance , than quickly looked away as if she had just seen the sun!That was the only admission on her part that I was in the small shop just a few feet away from her. I always say, reading DTWOF for me was like watching the original Star Trek in the 1960’s, with its then-radical idea that all sorts of races could work together in harmony. Imagine, actual LGBT people living out loud, like anyone else does! When I watched Star Trek back in the 60’s (I saw the original debut episode from a hospital room where I was recovering from a traffic accident that left me unconcious for 24 hours), I knew that was not the world that I inhabited, but perhaps it could be! Alison Bechdel provided me with a glimpse of a more perfect society, one I’ve been working towards in my own small way ever since I was first introduced to the perfect Vulcan logic of Mo!

  122. Hayley says:

    A book that spoke to me as I was in my second year of college, starting to take some really great feminist classes at a small women’s college in PA; also coming out in what may have seemed a perfect place to come out but in many ways not…The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker didn’t hurt at all either. I love Maggie’s list and want to revisit those I’ve read and tackle those I have not. I am totally over nutria now. But I didn’t know about baleen…so now I’m into baleen whales.

  123. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Hayley (#124)

    “…I am totally over nutria now. ”

    Just remember three magic words to get through some off-putting cuisine… “Tastes like chicken.”

    (… goes back to her three magic words, “Pass the Tabasco” or more likely, “Pass the Pepto” …)

  124. Or as Bobcat Goldthwaite said when asked what the difference was between hamsters and gerbils — “Gerbils have more dark meat.”

  125. Hayley says:

    I wasn’t talking about eating them! I haven’t eaten meat for 22 years. But, my proverbial skeleton in the closet is that I used to help my dad skin muskrats that he trapped for fur. Seriously, in the basement of our house. Come to think of it…I never knew how he disposed of the carcasses…Ugggghhh. I wouldn’t even consider eating something with a face.

  126. Hayley says:

    Err…having said the above, I really have no problem with anyone’s choices in life. Eat what you like…

  127. Annie in Norway says:

    @Kat (119) I love Dar Williams’ music also, though I confess my favourite of her songs is Christians and Pagans. Another fun song about tolerance and family.

    @Hayley (124) I was gifted an antique chatelaine case with scrimshaw made of baleen. I still can’t wrap my brain around using our fellow creatures’ teeth and bones for needlework implements. These days I use bamboo knitting needles.

    Re:127, I was reading a thread on a pet rat forum I frequent about the idea of veg*ns using oysters and other shellfish as a viable/ethical protein source. I remember reading in Animal Liberation (Peter Singer) that he also sanctioned sustainably harvested oysters as an ethical source of protein (apparently he later revised his opinion)…

    I have always been VERY interested in the ethics of food and HUGELY interested in sustainability questions and decreasing our footprint on the planet. I’ve come to different conclusions (we’re not vegans in our household, but we do eat sustainably, produce our own protein and compost almost all our waste), but on the whole I agree with a lot of the ethical concerns of veg*anism.

  128. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kat (#119), Annie in Norway (#129)

    Another Dar Williams fan here. My favorite is February. I can relate… I have definitely lost to February.

  129. Marj says:

    Thanks for the advice HoH (#117) and Kate L (#123). I’ll try OO first, but if the technicalities defeat me I’ll visit the M$ home world for bloatware (which sounds uncomfortably like some hellish artificial marine-derived protein source… )

    Eat what you like, but I do get vaguely irritated when I say “I’m a vegetarian” and they say “do you eat fish?” Since when is a fish a vegetable?

  130. j.b.t. says:

    Great feminist magazine? Brain, Child! “For thinking mothers.”

    Also – Metaphysical, maybe Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth for something a little more contemporary and pertinent for high school even.


  131. j.b.t. says:

    I may have said something about this on this site once before, but a great, feminist-oriented book that came out last year is The Vegetarian Myth. Superb analysis.

  132. Haykey, here I was feeling bad about making a meat joke to a vegetarian. No worries, buddy.

  133. Kat says:

    Not strictly feminist, but “intersecting” with anti-corporate sentiments is Wolf’s “No Logo.”

    Hairball, I pretty much adore every song on “Mortal City,” the album that features “February.” “Iowa” and “As Cool as I am” are two of my all-time favs.

  134. Feminista says:

    #135 kat: No Logo’s author is Naomi Klein,who’s been compared to Noam Chomsky for her depth of knowledge and analysis of globalization.

  135. Kat says:

    Whoops!!!!!! sorry bout that.

  136. Betsy says:

    I love that there are other Dar Williams lovers here! Huge fan since 1993! Although I’ve seen her more than a dozen times in concert, I enjoy her recordings more than live these days. Another great song besides the others listed: “What do you hear in these sounds”

  137. Hayley says:

    I love you people. I have seen Dar a lot at this folk festival in Hillsdale, NY…Falcon Ridge. There is a Dar camp on the hill and when Dar plays the festival the Dar camp sends off small -time fireworks or does something fun for Dar who is always delightfully engaged with her audience.

  138. Dr. Empirical says:

    I always smile when people identify as Dar fans. The cute little girl who used to flirt with me in the bathroom line at the Iron Horse Cafe and discuss writing as a craft in the back of the Muni while the Nields were doing sound check back when they were a trio has come a long way!

    Hayley (140) I haven’t been to Falcon Ridge since they moved the site. How is the new venue?

  139. Hayley says:

    Dr. E…Dodd’s Farm. I like it but it isn’t the same. No barn with draft horses and cattle grazing on the hills in the distance but it lends itself well to the various stages and camping. The weather just has not been cooperating with the new site, though. Last year was just a giant mud puddle. Spent most of our time pushing out vehicles and then, on the last day, taking the ride of our life in the Volvo with people shouting “Don’t stop! Don’t stop!” It was a hot mess. Love it though and love the Nields!

  140. Dr. Empirical says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever NOT been rained on at Falcon Ridge.

  141. Kat says:

    I’m sooooooo jealous of any of you who have been to Falcon Ridge!! I’ve always wanted to, but I’m on the wrong side of the country, and going all the way to New York just for a concert is kinda out of the question.

    One of the reasons I admire Dar so much is that she sounds even better live than she does in concert. I have no patience for pop/rock/whatever bands who sound fine on recordings but really crappy live…

  142. Hayley says:

    Kat, combine it with other close by treats…Boston, NYC or Martha’s Vineyard. One year, when the VW Bus was still running, we just camped our way around for a week after the folk festival. Took a ferry from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard and stopped and did whatever looked good on the map. Falcon Ridge is a really great experience.

  143. Dr. Empirical says:

    Time was, the two Raptorfests, Falcon Ridge and Winterhawk, were at the same venue on consecutive weekends. The volunteer crew could just camp for the week in between, relaxing, playing music and skinny dipping. Good times…

  144. Kat says:

    Hm…….I wonder if Falcon Ridge dates come even anywhere close to “baroque camp” dates…..

  145. Duncan says:

    By a remarkable chance I found The Big Bang Symphony in at the public library the other day, so I checked it out. Pretty nice. I think I should read some of Ms. Bledsoe’s nonfiction about Antarctica, though, maybe after I get back from Korea.

    Anyway, it started out a bit shakily, but after a while it settled down and carried me along. I’m glad I read it. (By the way though, in case Ms. Bledsoe happens to see this, the word is “hijacked,” not “high-jacked.”)