site update

June 9th, 2009 | Uncategorized

Look at all the strange new things going on here! Shawn changed the header up there today. And the new wordpress magician, Alison Abreu-Garcia, has numbered the comments and done a bunch of other little things.

More change is afoot! But don’t worry, we’re just kinda playing around and trying things out.

Thanks to everyone who sent resumes and websites in response to our search for a wordpress helper. By way of introducing Alison, I just have to show you the link she sent in her email. Go here, then click on ” where it says “If your name is alison bechdel, click here.” That just kinda won me over. So, welcome Alison A-G.

Is everyone on board with starting the discussion of THe Little Stranger on 6/28? NLC, thanks for the link to the NPR interview with Sarah Waters today.

105 Responses to “site update”

  1. hairball_of_hope says:

    Ahhh, she’s talented, can use Photoshop (or Gimp), has the requisite spectacles, an easy-to-remember name, and a sense of humor. Hired!

    Suggestion: How about a sticky link to a site suggestion/comment/feedback thread? I can see poor Alison A-G (and Shawn) getting bogged down reading about cats, bacon, and other arcana in the quest for our feedback and comments.

    Not that we don’t want them reading all about radioactive maple syrup monsters…

  2. April says:

    I have nothing to contribute, just wanted to see the little number pop up next to my (contentless) comment. Nice touch.

  3. Jessica Bessica says:

    word, word, word.

  4. Alex K says:

    As a resume hook that is WELL CUTE ! ! !

    I almost wish that I needed a website. Just because… oh, I don’t know. It’s just, like, all you clever people swimming further and further out, and having so much fun splashing about and ducking each other, and me here looking on wistfully in my one-piece with the ruffles at the hips (as if my figure NEEDED that helpful emphasis) and the guimpe contrasting-colour accents that my mother sewed on for me — all bone dry. Doomed ever to remain thus. On the shore. Forlorn.

    Probably with water wings around my upper arms. **sigh**

  5. Feminista says:

    @Alison A-G:

    Welcome to this wacky world of wise,witty women and men. I gurantee you won’t be bored; we discuss everything from Latin puns to politics,from pets to maple syrup.

    As I needed something to distract me while I was struggling with $%& convoluted websites and on-line applications,I browsed through your blog,going back as far as Nov.’08. You,Julia and your friends have had amazing adventures in your travels in such a short time.

    Any plans to visit the state of Kerala,India sometime?

  6. rinky says:

    Alison A-G kinda looks like she could be your little sister Alison B,.. or daughter?

  7. M-H says:

    I’d love to be in on a discussion of TLS – I’m just loving it (about half-way through).

  8. NLC says:

    HOH (#1):
    Suggestion: How about a sticky link to a site suggestion/comment/feedback thread?

    I suspect I don’t have to tell HOH this, but for the rest of us:

    This kinda works now. If you click on the second line (the date) of the lines that appear at the the top of each comment:
    hairball_of_hope Says:
    June 9th, 2009 at 11:42 pm
    <== this guy

    you get the address for a link that points exactly to that particular comment.

  9. hairball_of_hope says:


    Yeah, but that’s not what I was trying to say.

    I meant a separate post or area or someplace that we could deposit our ideas about the website design that wouldn’t be comingled with our musings about bacon, cats, maple syrup, The Little Stranger, whatever. Although keeping us on topic might be as futile as herding cats.

    This special post/area should have a sticky link on the top of the page so it doesn’t get lost in the march of time as AB posts updates on garlic, geologic maps, compost, and Dr. W’s chipmunk kidnappings.

  10. Suz (Bklyn) says:

    A link on the Contact page would work for that as well (though emailing suggestions is one-sided whereas a post and it comments would invite more input and discussion).

  11. Anarcissie says:

    What’s wrong with commingling ideas about web site design with bacon and cats?

  12. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Anarcissie (#11)

    Poor Alison A-G and Shawn might never be heard from again. We’ll find them in a corner munching on bacon covered in maple syrup, while cats rub their bodies along AAG’s and Shawn’s calves, coating them with fur and asking, “Hey! You got any gar you can share? Fish jerky, maybe?” Shawn and AAG will toast this wonderful gig with shots of vodka straight from the freezer. Eventually, they will have to recycle that vodka, and Shawn will find out if AAG can pee standing up.

    Oh nevermind. The llamas ate my brain.

  13. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Suz (Bklyn) #10

    That’s exactly what I mean. A sticky link to a thread where we can bounce ideas off each other, not just deposit stuff in a suggestion box somewhere, unseen by others. A place where AAG, Shawn, and AB could throw out ideas for discussion, “Hey kids, would you like the website to have sparkly rotating animated .GIF Mo graphics?”

  14. CLR says:

    Very nice header. Yay!

  15. Therry and ST. Jerome says:

    I’m so glad bacon entered the discussion so early on, and I’m fine with TLS entering the stream on June 28. Gives me time to get to a bookstore and buy TLS and drop Ian McDonald and read the Sarah Waters. Looking forward to the sparkly rotating animated .GIF Mo graphics asap.

  16. AlisonAG says:

    *waves to everyone*

    Thanks for the introduction, AB. I’m glad everyone is enjoying the numbered comments! On the chopping block for today is comment previews.

    @h_o_h (#1)
    I like the sticky idea. I’ll discuss it with AB. In the mean time I don’t mind sifting through all the cats and bacon. I’m mildly allergic to cats and I’m a vegetarian but we’ll ignore those details.

    @Feminista (#5)
    Yeah, it’s been a very eventful and wonderful year. I had wanted to make it to Kerala but it was getting unbearably hot and the thought of going anywhere south was incredibly unappealing. Next time I’m in India I definitely want to spend some time there.

    @h_o_h (#12)
    Yes, I can pee standing up… oh do I have stories…

    I’ll start working on that sparkly rotating animated .GIF of Mo. How about a sparkly animation of all the DTWOF characters dancing in the background of the site, complete with loud music that automatically loads with each page. I’ll take song requests.

  17. Tea says:

    i want bacon.

  18. Nan says:

    In the endearing self-portrait cartoon of Alison B. above, isn’t there something vaguely reminiscent of Hilary Knight’s Eloise drawings? Something in the fingers and the relationship of head to body? πŸ™‚

  19. Ian says:

    Welcome AAG! You’ll get used to us! Top of my list is the butternut squash/mustrd/pumpkin colour … Hmmmm. Add bacon to butternut, pumpkin and mustard? There’s a recipe in there. Just be glad it’s bacon and not maoist orange cake.

    Who’s the geography maven here? I just took a geography test on the BBC website (and got 3/7 πŸ™ ). Anyway, it was talking about limestone formations and I learnt two new wonderful words – clints and grikes! Isn’t grike just a great word?

  20. Timmytee says:

    That’s great pic of AB drawing herself! The second one I’ve seen. Are there more? Anyone know if any other cartoonists are known for this?
    @ 16 AlisonAG: So far you’ve done a wonderful job updating the site. Don’t forget the jumping pandas, OK?

  21. hairball_of_hope says:


    I probably don’t have to remind you to do your best to make the site accessible for visual and motion impairments, but I will anyway. See my earlier comments here:

    I was at a vendor show for the visually-impaired over the weekend. Some of the adaptive/assistive tech stuff was really cool, but folks all groused about the difficulties of using screen readers with all these damn “multimedia-enhanced” websites. A pox on Adobe Flash content. Our conversations didn’t even get to the sites which foist audio on the unsuspecting user. Embedded audio that downloads and plays automatically makes using the screen reader impossible.

    A very common problem, even on seemingly normal sites, is the insistence of web security dweebs to use a graphic with scrambled-looking codes as a security device to thwart automated programs from snarfing up data or stuffing ballot boxes or whatever. Often, there’s no screen reader alt-text or audio alternate for the visually-impaired. Maddening.

  22. Chris says:

    That new header is great, but it seems like it could be a sign that DTWOF might never come back, and that makes me so sad. πŸ™

  23. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ian (#19)

    Speaking of bizarre bacon combos, check out this item from a recent NY Times:

    In the spirit of two wholly American pursuits β€” overeating and winning β€” comes the Takedown, a cooking competition where anything goes.


    β€œI realized that there was definitely room for small competitions without any rules.” Hence the candy chili at one of the first events, and the blue cheese-bacon cookie β€” β€œblech,” he said. But he’s a champion of creativity. β€œThe candy chili and the blue cheese bacon cookie, these are things that are awesome,” he said. β€œI’m totally encouraging people to take crazy risks and do stupid stuff. It’s so fun to see them succeed or fail spectacularly.”


    Predictably, his Bacon Takedown in March was mobbed β€” there was even a waiting list for contestants, and not one but two varieties of bacon ice cream. (Bacon-whiskey bested bacon-avocado.)

  24. AlisonAG says:


    Accessibility is definitely something on my list. I saw your comment on that earlier post and have spent some time reading through the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

    The automatically loaded audio has always been a big pet peeve of mine. I can imagine it is quite the assault on those using a screen reader. Can you recommend a screen reader program (for OSX or Ubuntu)? I’d like to traverse the web and with one to get a better sense of where the problems are.

  25. hairball_of_hope says:


    Probably the easiest way to play with a screen reader is to download the Knoppix 6.0 Linux live CD with ADRIANE 1.1. Boot it on a PC (it might boot on an Intel Mac, I don’t know).

    There used to be a great site called Bobby Online that would evaluate the accessibility of websites, but it’s now defunct. Not sure what’s replaced it that’s free, but there are firms and orgs that evaluate websites for a fee.

  26. hairball_of_hope says:


    I made the assumption that you know how to burn a .ISO to a CD, probably a safe assumption for you.

    For anyone else who has never created a bootable live CD from a .ISO image file, look for an option in your CD/DVD burning software that says something like “Burn CD from image.”

    Windoze users can also download a single-purpose application that does not need installation called BurnCDCC. The only thing BurnCDCC does is burn .ISOs to CD. Download, unzip, and click on the .EXE file. Burn the CD from the .ISO.

  27. iara says:

    Dear AAG,
    Welcome! though I wonder if you are one of the people that have always been here with us on this blog, with a different name?
    Anyway, speaking of accessibility, please do not forget us hard-of-hearing folks. I am ok with missing out on the music, but please do not add any more hearing sensitive stuff, where for example, you can’t get the joke unless you hear the song. I know it is pretty low priority, but it would be really great to add subtitles to AB’s videos or include a transcript.

  28. Maggie Jochild says:

    Those “decipher this phrase to proceed” security roadblocks always trip me up, and I don’t have any (known) visual disabilities, just 53-year-old vision and an overactive linguistic imagination. HATE them.

    Clint Grike sounds like a TV Western star from the 1960s. “And now, Maple Syrup Theater presents Standing Up While Eating Bacon, starring Clint Grike and Naomi Littlestranger”.

    Tell us the definitions, Ian! Or your version thereof.

    Anarcissie, the term “comingling” always gets me a little moist. If ya know what I mean…

  29. Alex K says:

    I knew “grike”, having had to look it up whilst being chivvied through ULYSSES.

    But “clint”? “A rock formation that makes your day”. Full stop.

  30. geogeek says:

    I tried that BBC test and got 9/14. I got all of the “generic” questions correct, and all of the actual place names incorrect. So cool to see that they had two geology and two ocean/atmosphere questions!

  31. geogeek says:

    But I just noticed that I saw neither grike nor clint…

  32. Maggie Jochild says:

    The geography test mentioned above can be found here. I got 7 out of 14, and really was lucky to get that many. For all us Free Rice addicts, I note on the same page are also English, French, Physics, and “Maths” quizzes.

    On an entirely other note, but in line with the topic of right-wing terrorism (a la the killing of Dr. George Tiller), a former military, anti-Semitic/racist eliminationist opened fire in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum this afternoon. He shot and gravely injured a guard but was then shot by two other guards. I just wrote about his connections and the issue at Group News Blog.

    So, when we get the option at this website to have our name linked to an e-mail or website — get yourselves disposable, anonymous e-mail accounts, folks. The Right is on the rise, and they are predisposed to violence.

  33. Maggie Jochild says:

    I just went and looked up the definition of grike and clint myself — deep fissures, basically. Hmmm… Here’s an album showing a photo of “Hart’s tongue fern growing in grike”. WHAT is this reminding me of?

  34. ksbel6 says:

    As an update to the Holocaust Memorial shooting, the guard that was critically injured has since died.

    CNN is reporting this as the third terrorist attack in the US recently (the first was the shooting of state police officers, the second Dr. Tiller).

  35. hairball_of_hope says:

    I got 9/14. I was surprised I got the UK placename questions right, I was really just guessing on them. Most of the earth science questions were easy (difference in magnitude between 2 and 4 on Richter scale, parts of a volcano, which storm was not tropical… tornado). The Ordnance Survey questions were biased towards UKers, fortunately they use the same meteorological symbols as NWS, and the same color for topographic contour lines as USGS, so I didn’t blow all of them.

  36. hairball_of_hope says:

    I saw some of the CNN coverage of the Holocaust Museum shooting when I went out for lunch. The anchor brought up the 88-year-old shooter’s website live and started reading it on the air, until she realized that it was so racist and offensive that she said, “I think I’ll stop here and get some guidance on this, it’s very racist and hateful” and then the video from the scene replaced the website shot.

    Glad MSM are finally calling these incidents for what they are… domestic terrorism. Remember when the GOPers and right-wingers were demanding apologies/resignations because Homeland Security dared to release an accurate assessment of right-wing loonies as domestic terror threats?

  37. hairball_of_hope says:

    And in chicken cutlet news, Reuters is reporting that Miss California Carrie Prejean, has been ousted from her throne. Wonder if she has to give back her enhanced boobs?

  38. ksbel6 says:

    My geography knowledge sucks…5/14. I guessed on almost every question…I was pretty good on the ones about storms, volcanos, and meteorological symbols. I smoked the “maths” quiz though πŸ™‚ Use it or lose it.

    Oh, and I’m not worried about the right wing nuts. I live in Missouri. If they show up at my house, and I feel threatened, I will just shoot them. Right in the front yard. I’m protected by the “castle” law.

  39. Ready2Agitate says:

    ugh – the shooting at the Holocaust Museum. This belongs in Michael Moore’s book “Stupid White Men.” It’s painfully easy for a white man with weapons to get into security areas, since, as a society, we’re so heavily conditioned that it’s black folks (and folks of color) we should be afraid of…. I’m so sad about the guard. Likely a man of color, I’m guessing. πŸ™

  40. Ready2Agitate says:

    5/14 bc I know my Africa geography (2) and made some educated guesses (e.g. Richter scale). Otherwise, I’m just foggy, it seems.

  41. hairball_of_hope says:


    Yeah, but I think the shooter’s age (88) might have given him a pass on most people’s radar, regardless of race. Of course, he WAS walking from his car to the museum with a long gun (rifle or shotgun, not sure), so you’d think someone might have noticed.

    Let’s see how long it takes the DOJ to announce it is investigating this as a Federal hate crime. Probably a lot less time than it took them to decide to investigate Dr. Tiller’s murder.

  42. Ian says:

    Ahhhh Maggie Jochild (#32), ’twas not that test that strained my brain – ’twas this’n:

    These questions are a bit more difficult and seem to be more on physical geography.

  43. Ian says:

    PS I got 8 out of 14 on the one you posted! πŸ™

  44. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ian (#43)

    I got 5/7 on this one. Cute that the answer to one of the questions was a fave around these parts, an igneous formation to watch out for… dyke. And it was spelled that way as well.

  45. Maggie Jochild says:

    Thanks, Ian. I got only 3 of the 7 on the correct test to which you linked, and I only got one of those because of your comment earlier.

    Update on the Holocaust Memorial shooting, from a BBC article: “The dead security guard was named as Stephen Tyrone Johns, who had worked at the museum for six years and ‘died in the line of duty’, the museum said. James Von Brunn served time in prison for a 1981 gun incident
    Law enforcement officials said they were investigating for any possible connection with terrorism or hate crime.”

    The connection to hate crime and terrorism will be very easy to find, if they only admit it. His website is rife with hate, mostly anti-Semitism and racism, and he’s already been proclaimed a hero by Stormfront.

    R2A (#39), I’ve not seen visual confirmation, but since in the U.S. the given name Tyrone is used overwhelmingly by black men, yes, it sounds like the guard was a man of color.

    I’ve been to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and in that whole section of DC, I think it is illegal to carry a weapon in public. So a man of any age with a rifle will have set off alarms. It’s unclear whether the terrorist got through anything beyond the front door.

    The day I went, the museum was choked with 10-12 year old Jewish boys on a school outing, wearing peyes and kippot, a few with tallit. They began rowdy and mischievous, like any group that age, but by halfway through, they had become pale and silent. It broke my heart to move along with them. The idea of an assassin breaching that sacred space makes me physically ill.

  46. Kate L says:

    geogeek, I LOVE that name! And, I sure hope A.B.’s literary group is a big hit… otherwise, our top two subjects in this blog are going to be bacon- or peeing-related!

    hairball… since I am in exile from the land of Rachel Maddow (MSNBC is still scarmbled like an encrypted Klingon transmission on my cable system), I watched the horrible news out of Washington unfold on CNN. They had a terrorism consultant who had worked for George W. Bush on, and at one point she (yep, she) was tearing into Janet Napolitano, President Obama’s secretary of homeland security, for having previously suggested that former military veterans had the military training and issues to be a possible group where domestic terrorists might be recruited. Even though CNN had just identified today’s shooter as a disgruntled vet. And even though Timothy McVay (the Oklahoma City bomber) was a disgruntled vet.

    also – hairball, you read topographic maps, too??? Marry me, marry me! πŸ™‚

  47. hairball_of_hope says:


    The “gun incident” was a bit more involved than that. He showed up at the Federal Reserve in 1983 with a revolver, a hunting knife, and a sawed-off shotgun, and was intending to kidnap the board to protest high interest rates.

    Now, if he had shown up at the Fed today protesting something or another, he would have been hailed as a hero, not a wack job.

    @Kate L

    Someone posted a link here to MSNBC’s website where you can watch Dr. Maddow (assuming you either have the bandwidth at home and/or the IT folks at work allow streaming media). Or you can read the transcripts there (which is what I usually do because all streaming media are blocked at my job).

    As for the topographic maps, I’m just showing my age. I learned to hike with a real orienteering compass and topo maps, none of this sissy GPS stuff. Someday I will learn how to use a sextant for navigation. πŸ™‚

    Marriage offer… you gotta quack like a duck, dear. That video link you posted says it all.

    (… exits singing that Irving Berlin classic, “Dancing Beak to Beak” …)

  48. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Typo… that was supposed to be 1981, not 1983. Where is that damn preview function?

  49. Renee S. says:

    7/14 geography

  50. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Maggie (#45)

    CBS News has a photo of the security guard, and yes, he is black.

  51. Renee S. says:

    6/7 GCSE, but there were a couple of questions that were the same on the previous test, plus a hint about clints and grikers, so I am guessing my score would be a mite lower.

  52. Renee S. says:

    oh, and WELCOME AlisonAG!

  53. Ian says:

    @hoh#44: (I am loving that we can respond to specific numbered posts among the many!). Can you believe that I got the question about igneous formations to watch out for … wrong? πŸ™

  54. Gregg says:

    I guess as someone already mentioned, changing the banner probably foreshadows the non return of DTWOF.

  55. Timmytee says:

    I just noticed: the actual expression, “Dykes to Watch Out For” seems not to occur on this home page. We have “DTWOF”, and “DYKES”, and “”, but not the full name of the strip. I think it’s unlikely, yet POSSIBLE, that someone coming to the site for the first time might say, “WTF?” (I’m off to have a bacon-&-spicy-brown-mustard sandwich.)

  56. little gator says:

    I was lucky enough to contribute an artifact to that museum. A friend of the family who had babysat my mom when she was little was among the first US army folks to reach Dachau. We had a typed copy of a letter he sent his parents about it. Copies had been made for many friends, and my mother had the one her parents got. We sent it to the museum with every bit of info she could remember.

    He starts by telling his parents that is they hear horrible things they are most likely true.

    He says no one cauld have failed to know what was going on. He saw dead bodies on railroad platforms with local ppl causally stepping over them. You couldnt take a train in or out of town without seeing them.

    To the surprise on many American soldiers, none of the released Poles wanted to return to Poland while the USSR pwned Poland.

    It’s not exactly an original source but it does date verifiably to the middle 1940s if anyone cares to analyse the paper and typing. On tiny bit more of Holocaust evidence.

    I was born in 1957 and one time a classmate asked the teacher why we never studied WWII. Her answer was that there was no need because “We all remember it.” The few scraps of 20th century history I was taught in school was labelled current events, even if it was 20+ years old.

  57. AlisonAG says:

    just testing the preview button

  58. hairball_of_hope says:

    Oh look, there’s a ‘Preview’ button. And a ‘Post’ button, for the cocksure impatient ones among us.

    I’m testing the preview function…

    (… mid-preview …)

    It says “Previewed comment:” then displays the post. Do I click ‘Post’ now? Let’s see what happens…

  59. NLC says:

    Here I am trying out the “Preview” button…

    …and now the “Post” button

  60. hairball_of_hope says:

    Bravissima, AAG! I love it! And it didn’t require Java or cookies to work.

    AB, give this girl a raise. Or some grade B maple syrup.

    I’m gonna go ahead and click ‘Post’ without the preview…

  61. hairball_of_hope says:

    Oh yeah, this is gooood. Thank you AAG!

  62. Timmytee says:


  63. ksbel6 says:

    Hey AAG: as long as we are making suggestions, how about a “move to end” button at the top that takes us to the last post? I don’t even know if that is possible, but I waste lots of time scrolling.

  64. Ame says:

    I love the addition of numbered comments and a preview button for the blog–definitely grade B syrup-worthy. My personal wish would be for the dtwof strip archive to be searchable–by episode number perhaps?

    Hmm, the preview function didn’t work for me just now–I will try it out with a different browser, perhaps.

  65. Ame says:

    Back again, this time with Firefox… And alas, preview doesn’t work again. Puzzling…

  66. Timmytee says:

    @ 63: A button? Nowadays everybody’s gotta have a button! For everything! Back in MY day we had to scroll down the whole page–no matter how many comments there were–with a HAND CRANK! Kids these days! Wadda ya gonna do?! Ya give ’em numbered comments; ya give ’em maple syrup; ya give ’em BACON! An’ they want a button! Sheesh! πŸ˜‰

  67. hairball_of_hope says:


    You don’t need no stinkin’ mouse to scroll, you’ve got good geek street creds… use the keyboard. [CTRL][END] takes you to the bottom, [CTRL][HOME] takes you back to the top.

    (… scrolls back to her brain archive of Wordstar commands …)

  68. shadocat says:

    That preview button has got me all kinds of excited…

  69. shadocat says:

    Alisons; that is just awesome!

  70. sk in london in portland says:

    “Drawing comics (as Spiegelman puts it, “make boxes – fill them – cartoonists and undertakers – same business”) is one of the most constraining art forms.” from today’s…. just made me think of the Bechdel lineage…

  71. Maggie Jochild says:

    Nebraska physician LeRoy Carhart — whose home address plus photos of him, his wife and children were published on one right-wing terror-advocating site after the murder of Dr. Tiller — has stated he’s willing to perform third-term medically necessary abortions in Kansas, to fill the void left by the loss of Dr. Tiller. Read about it here.

  72. Zeugma says:

    @Maggie #28: Do you know those lovely lines of Blake’s,
    “Embraces are cominglings from the head even to the feet,/And not a pompous high priest entering by a secret place.”

    (I wanted to post this after reading your comment, and then read all the following posts on the terrorist assassination in D.C., and this seemed almost too frivolous. Yet I suppose that even amongst tragedy and terror, we still need poetry and bacon. Not to mention moistness.)

  73. Feminista says:

    @Zeugma #72: “Give me liberty,or give me (fill in the blank with your choice: poetry,maple syrup,Vermont,compost,Emma Goldman,Democracy Now…).

  74. Feminista says:

    Re: off-topic posts. Didn’t we start the Maoist Orange Cake blog for that very reason? Will it rise again?

  75. Maggie Jochild says:

    Zeugma, no, I’d never heard those lines, but I do love them. Thank you!

    Maoist Orange Cake found a new recipe here, I believe.

  76. Ready2Agitate says:

    Wow Kat is back and so is little gator. Thanks for that info on the Holocaust museum, LG. I know the murder isn’t *particularly* or *exclusively* about race, but I knew it, I just knew it. That poor soul working a museum security job. His familiars must be devasted. And isn’t anti-semitism on the rise in Europe? *shudders* Just a sad sad day, after another sad sad outrageous murder (Tiller’s).

    And yet: still so much joy to be had in Life (the artistic renderings of AB and the blog meanderings of this group among them). Do not go gentle into that good night, friends.

  77. Leda says:

    Love the new (Eloise-esque) header, although I’m a little dissapointed my suggestion of was not taken up. Maybe the relevant permissions were not obtained…?

    Hey I just previewed my comment!Pointing out an otherwise embarrassing spacing issue which I have now happily resolved, phew!

  78. ksbel6 says:

    @hoh (#67): That works wonderfully when I have a keyboard. I use my phone for the internet most of the time, hence lots of scrolling.

    I’m glad a doctor is stepping up in Kansas. I wish more would join him as a message to the terrorists.

  79. Duncan says:

    hoh, I agree that people like the Holocaust Museum shooter should be described as terrorists, but why MSM? Why not call them for what they are: corporate media?

    And you won’t want to go too far with calling people what they are, or you’ll have to call a lot of people terrorists.

  80. hairball_of_hope says:

    The Guardian article that the peregrinating SK (#70) referred to can be found here:

    “When you’ve been revealed in all your pathetic nakedness, there’s nothing else to lose” – Art Spiegelman

    (…wow, the Preview function allows multiple previews, now I’ll *really* kick myself for typos…)

  81. wow.

    preview button! Too bad I don’t have anything to say that’s worth previewing.

  82. Don’t let it go to your head or anything, AAG, but you’re my new deity.

  83. Kate L says:

    (Ducks, yeah ducks)
    Oh, hairball, you’re just tormenting me, now! πŸ™‚ Hey, I’m willing to get a feather transplant!

    Last night, CNN did a credible job of covering the murder in Washington DC. CNN’s Lou Dobbs linked the murder of the security guard to the murder of George Tiller in Wichita and spoke about the recent upsurge in right-wing violence. However, the evening commentators on Fox News seemed to be ignoring what happened at the Holocaust Museum.

  84. susan irene says:

    Last night I watched (free on Youtube movies !) The Times of Harvey Milk, a 1984 documentary on Milk’s campaign and then his assassination by a right-wing opponent. It was so moving to watch and remember. Toward the end, some of the activists (like Sally Gearhart) who worked with Harvey talk about the community’s responses to the violence.

  85. Feminista says:

    @Susan Irene #84.

    I saw the documentary soon after it was released,and yes,it was very well done. And 25 years later my sister,nephew and I saw Milk,very moved with its acting and accuracy. Both films brought me to tears.Harvey Milk will not be forgotten: people like Cleve Jones,one of Harvey “recruits”,have been in the leadership for among other things HIV/AIDS activism and education.

    I got to know Randy Shilts,who didn’t know Harvey but admired him,while we were students at the University of Oregon in the 1970s. As co-coordinator of the University Feminists,I did much coalition work with L/G,Black,Chicano & other progressive groups.

    Randy co-founded the Gay People’s Alliance and served as its first coordinator; I remember him as very energetic and intense. Sadly,he died of AIDS in his 40s,but his long-lasting contributions included landmark coverage of HIV/AIDS for the San Francisco Chronicle in the 1980s. Further,his well-researched books on LGBT activism and history expanded our knowledge of many unsung heroes.Examples: And the Band Played On and The Life and Times of Harvey Milk.

  86. Timmytee says:

    # 84 susan irene: Thanks for posting that link–watching right now.

  87. Gretchen says:

    Worlds collide.. Welcome Alison A-G, indeed! As I’m sure you know, Alison is a Vassar alum. I’m a librarian at Vassar who’s been handing your books to students who ask what it was like to be a lesbian back in the eighties for years! Not that I’m taking credit or anything at all like that; I’m sure she would have found you without me, especially now that you’re a famous literary writer and all, but I’m just bursting with pride back here in the college nest. So clever and creative…congratulations to you both!

    And here I was just checking in on your site to relieve the tedium of the summer when students are away and all kinds of big thorny projects emerge. Back to replacing videos with DVDs, etc…

  88. Renee S. says:

    @ Doesn’t Matter~then why did you bother to post?

  89. Renee S. says:

    oh, I she that she got snipped.

  90. Ame says:

    OK, I have just discovered that my attempt to preview the query, “Preview working now?” (#90) resulted in a premature post. Sorry about that…

  91. Ame says:

    Except now it’s gone. I’m confused.

  92. Ame says:

    OK, I’ve belatedly realized what’s going on with the preview/post thing. Sorry for all the unnecessary external processing…

  93. Kat says:

    Hi R2A!

    So, AAG’s link and self-advert is the cutest thing in the entire world.

    Geography quizzes?! Be back in a sec….
    (Boyfriend and I have done competitive simultaneous online geography quizzes. His uber-fast clicking only sometimes beats out my uber-random and thorough geography knowledge).

  94. Kat says:

    “are the cutest things”

  95. Kat says:

    gah! It’s telling me I need the flash plug-in, which I installed, but it still won’t let me access the quiz.
    gah, I say.

  96. geogeek says:

    @hoh #47/Kate L,

    Er, I actually did learn how to use a sextant for navigation. As of 5 years ago, someone on board a commercial vessel still had to be able to navigate without electronic hoo-has, though apparently training in Morse code has fallen by the wayside. Morse is great as a communication-of-last-resort because all you need is something binary.

    Thanks for the name compliment! I are a geek, fer sher.

  97. Maggie Jochild says:

    Re the Milk documentary: The problem with that film, and the current Milk movie, is that lesbians as they existed and organized in San Francisco are written out of the picture. It is “gay” in the traditional sense, which means gay male almost entirely. Sometimes this is simply garden variety sexism — you know, how much more interesting all things male are to the larger culture and to “queer” culture in general. Sometimes it’s laziness. But for a few of the folks involved, it’s deliberately done, because lesbian analysis and herstory of the times conflicts with mythmaking and oversimplification of troublesome issues like class and race, in addition to sexism.

    I was there.

  98. Feminista says:

    @Maggie #97.

    You’re absolutely right. In fact,as we left the film,I noted that Anne Kronneberg was the only lesbian featured. My sister and I both agreed that a lesbian-centric film needs to be produced,starting with the Daughters of Bilitis in the 50s and including the varieties of lesbian feminism in the 70s.

    When I team-taught Intro to Women’s Studies one term,one of my co-teachers was Andrea Weiss. She went on to make films like The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, about a hidden-from-his/herstory Black women’s big band and a follow up to that film,Ruby and Tiny,featuring two band members in their elder years. I recommend both.

    Tiny’s famous quote about the Sweethearts: “I just loved them gals.”

  99. Kat says:

    There’s at least one documentary on the Daughters of Bilitis. It plays on the SF PBS station every year for Pride Month.

    Here’s my question, though:
    How come all of the documentaries and stuff that PBS shows for pride month come from, at best 1990. I’ve seen the DoB documentary at least 5 times, same for “It’s Elementary” and seemingly everything else!

    Haven’t any documentaries about the LGBT communities (and ESPECIALLY the women in those communities) been made in the last 15 years? How bout the last 5 years? Hey, are any brand new?!

    Oh, one last thing:
    If I see that “walking tour of the Castro” one more time, I think I’ll scream.
    “It’s just like a small town! Everyone feels welcome and comfortable!”
    ……um, no….not so much.

  100. Feminista says:

    @Kat #99:

    Deborah Chasnoff made a sequel to It’s Elementary,called It’s Still Elementary,in the last few years. I found out about it through Rethinking Schools, a progressive teachers’ publication/network. Among the interviewees are some of the then-fifth graders filmed in Madison,WI; they talk about how their lives have changed in the ensuing years. Some came out,others became allies,and some are now activists.

    Tell us more about the DOB doc.

  101. Kat says:

    Cool. I’ll have to search the KQED schedule and see if it’s getting air time this year.

    …’kay, I’m back…one of my students lost his stuffed animal and was all upset (some of my best internet-ing happens in the naproom of the preschool where I work. I’m in a dark room with snoring children at the moment).

    The DOB documentary:
    As far as I remember, it focused a lot on Del and Phyllis, their histories. there were lots of photos and first-hand information.

    I did a quick google search, and it’s called “No Secret Anymore” and is more about Dell and Phyllis than anything else. It traces the early lesbian activism, and follows their work through the decades. It was made in 2002.

    My work internet filter is not letting other sites through, so I have to just give that quick overview.

    Interestingly, the name of the organization comes from the poems “Les chansons de Bilitis” which were purportedly written by a contemporary of Sappho, and discovered in Greece by the poet Pierre LouΓΏs in 1894.

    LouΓΏs, in fact, wrote them himself, and Bilitis is an entirely fictional character.

    The first three poems “La flute de Pan,” “La chevelure” and “Le tombeau des NaΓ―ades” were set for Mezzo-Soprano and piano by Claude Debussy.

  102. Kat says:

    The internet filter is also blocking the newest post on this blog……again, I say GAH!

  103. hairball_of_hope says:


    Hey! Can you do something to turn off those STOOPID Walmart-looking smileys every time we type an emoticon?

    I hate those damn things (and the details on them are so poor I can never tell which variant of emoticon was originally typed unless I turn off image loading).


    P.S. Are you paranoid now that you’ve experienced the nit-picking geeks on this blog who find a zero-pixel dot, and look over your HTML and CSS with a fine-toothed comb? Just wait until we fire up the webcam when you’re not expecting it. πŸ™‚

    (…previewing ways around emoticon-graphics… just add a stray period after it…)

    :). ;). :(. ;(.

  104. Dr. Empirical says:

    Kat: At a guess, I’d say that the station had paid for unlimited broadcast rights for those particular docs, and showing something different would cost money. If you want to see something new, Donate!

  105. Feminista says:

    @Kat #101: Thanks for the film info.

    Dr.E #104: Good point about the broadcast rights. However,I’m sure many of already donate to public and independent media.

    Lyon and Martin(1972)wrote also that they chose the name 1955 because it sounded like it could be a benign organiation,like Daughters of the Nile or Eastern Star. These were women’s auxiliaries to men’s fraternal organizations,very active until the early 70s; e.g., Elks,Moose,Shriners. That way if a card-carrying DoB member got caught during a bar raid & had her wallet seized,she could simply say it was a women’s auxiliary. What a smart idea!