October 6th, 2010 | Uncategorized


I just sent this photo to my friend the Queer Theory Professor with the subject line, “which of these things is not like the others?”

She responded, “the second pumpkin from the right?” As a child watching Sesame Street, she would amuse herself during the little ditty (which apparently you can now download as a ringtone) by trying to come up with a reason why each of the things could be “not like the others.”

98 Responses to “test”

  1. Ian says:

    The good doctor is looking especially cute there. Some nice pumpkins too. That are all different from each other because they have different length stalks!

  2. Kate L says:

    … is it because the third one from the left has an attitude? 🙂

    Ian and postdoc from a previous post. I remember, now. I heard about the little violet flower-pattern tea service being a secret lesbian gang sign of the early 20th century midwest from one of our local LGBT activists. Hey, A.B., could you ask the Queer Theory Professor about this?

  3. monz says:

    Awwww, such a darling little pumpkin pussycat! This photograph made my day.

  4. Dr. Empirical says:

    That Sesame Street segment always bothered me, mostly because of the line “Which of these things just doesn’t belong?”

    I took the opposite tack from QTP. I would make up a categorization that included all of the items.

  5. Ruth in RI says:

    The plant thing on the right is poking up in front of the board while the other two are not. Did I get it right?

  6. NLC says:

    The late, lamented “Games” magazine used to have a interesting, “round-robin” variant of this Odd One Out game.

    That is, they would list, say, five items, A,B,C,D,E. The solution was to come up with with five categories such that:

    – A,B,C,D belonged to Categ1 — but not E.
    – A,B,C,E belonged to Categ2 — but not D.
    – A,B,D,E belonged to Categ3 — but not C.
    – A,C,D,E belonged to Categ4 — but not B.
    – B,C,D,E belonged to Categ5 — but not A.

    (I wish I had a spiffy, straightforward example to post; but, alas, my memory doesn’t go that deep.)

  7. maxine says:

    The cat has no stem…

  8. Marj says:

    This is my favourite Dr Winnacott photo to date.

  9. Dr. E, a friend of mine (Harvard professor) told me a decade ago that Sesame Street had decided to alter the song so it wasn’t obsessively focused on finding “what doesn’t belong”, because that encouraged children to discriminate and assign value to difference. I was not sure at the time if she was joking, but it actually makes some sense to me. If differentiation is an important developmental skill, then your method or NLC’s would be just as stimulating without the hint of stigma.

    And maxine, thx for the laugh. Dinah especially appreciates you understanding that tails are NOT stems and addes they off limits to humin touch.

  10. Renee S. says:

    Well, we can flip flop that negative thinking and consider that one of these these things is unique!
    That’s my take on it.
    I’m glad I’m “not like the others.”

  11. ksbel6 says:

    I’m a lefty, mathematician, FTM transsexual, softball coach, teacher with a daughter. Just try to put me in a box.

  12. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    When people used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would reply, “Eccentric”. Did it!

  13. Anonymous says:

    The second pumpkin from the right is visibly dirty (or visibly scarred–depends on what that brownish stuff is). Everything else is apparently clean and unscarred.

    Really, you can find one quality that makes any of them stand out if you wanted. The one on the left is the only one with a significant portion outside the frame, for instance.

  14. Kate L says:

    Oh, ksbel6 (#11), I have a confession to make. Once, I was dismissive of FTM transsexuals. Now, I realize that a FTM transsexual’s image of himself is just as legitimate as my own. And, we are pressing for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to be added to the local city human rights ordinance!

  15. Camron says:

    LOVE this picture! Obviously, everything belongs, because with one single thing left out, it would not be the same, with its own uniqueness and beauty! As a transmasculine lesbian identified, dual religious pathed grad student and artist, happily married, I also have no box on earth that I fit…so what do i do with this box…hmmmnnnn, paint it glorious colors, fill with with deep dark earth and plant a beautiful green growing seed…best use of a box I know of!

  16. ready2agitate says:

    ksbel6, are you left-handed or a commie-pinko-type-of-lefty (like me)?

    ani difranco lyric in speaking about IQ and her childhood:

    They taught me ‘which one is different,
    and does not belong?’
    They taught me
    Different was wrong

  17. Kate L says:

    That makes a pair of us.
    Don’t tell.
    They’d banish us, you know!

  18. ksbel6 says:

    Left-handed, except not really. I eat, write, and kick better lefty. Everything else I do wth the right side. Imagine my poor parents’ dismay when they brought home left-handed scissors and I could not make them function.

    Last time I checked I think it was only about 3% of the population that is truly completely left-handed. Then about 7% is ambidextrous. It is fairly amazing how well the abuse suffered by left-handed folks mirrors that of the GLBT population. Prior to the 1950s when it became acceptable to be left-handed, lefties were quite likely to commit suicide during their teen years. The average life expectancy of a left-handed person has still not caught up to a right-handed person (because they used to also die young from industrial accidents pertaining to equipment that was right-handed use only). Now that it is treated as no big deal though, the gap is closing quickly. Just amazing what social acceptance does to a life.

    I’m always kind of surprised when more journalists, analysts, etc. do not pick up on the obvious connection between those two things. Especially when both concern about 10% of the population, and in both situations, that 10% far outperforms its 90% counterpart in all major categories required for a successful life. You want to know how to instantly raise the value of your home? Get a GLBT neighbor. The entire neighborhood will go up about 5% in value simply because most of those folks have good jobs and will put money into their property. Same with left-handed folks. For fun, google “left-handed conspiracy theories”…we seriously are taking over the world 🙂

  19. ksbel6 says:

    @Kate L: Thanks for the understanding.

  20. Liza says:

    Is anyone going to the Lesbians in the 1970’s conference in NYC this weekend?


    It’s a CUNY, city university of NY, from friday to sunday. I’ll be there, speaking in a panel on Lesbian periodicals on saturday afternoon. I hope to see some of you there.

    Oh, and check out the new blog I’m working on, the annotated online archive of DYKE, A Quarterly. you can click my name here for the link. Or it’s dykeaquarterly dot com

    There’s tons more to add, but you might as well get a sneek peek.

  21. Dr. Empirical says:

    ksbel6 (18): Every time I visit my mom, she’s nely astonished that I eat with my left hand (I’m otherwise right-handed). Last time, I looked her in the eye and said “I spent my formative years sitting to the left of someone who would beat the shit out of me if I elbowed him.” She still won’t remember next time.

    Camron (15): “transmasculine lesbian identified” I have no idea what that means.

    Liza (20): I’ll be in New York this weekend for New York Comic Con. I wonder how much crossover there’ll be between the two gatherings.

  22. Ginjoint says:

    Dr. E, I’m a lesbian and I don’t know what that means either.

  23. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    My mom used to be bicameral, until she had a stroke and lost the use of her left hand.

  24. Kate L says:

    (ksbel #6) You’re welcome! I also regret something else from my earlier days. Back in the late 60’s, the “adults” in my neighborhood gave the cold shoulder to Smallville’s first openly lesbian couple, who lived just up the street from my family. One day, one of the women was walking by our yard while I was raking leaves, and exchanged some pleasantry with me (I was in grade school at the time). Takling my cue from the “adults”, I said nothing. I still remember the hurt look on her face. I now wonder where she and her partner went when they moved away from town a short time later, and what they thought of us. Years later, I recounted all this to my therapist; she asked me what I thought of the fact that I grew up to be a G A S P! lesbian myself. I thought for a moment, and replied that the universe must have a sense of irony*.

    In my own defense, just let me say that I’m perfectly capable of having a civil conversation, now!

  25. judybusy says:

    I would also love to know what “transmasculine lesbian identified” means!

  26. hairball_of_hope says:

    @ksbel6 (#11)

    And your box is…. Missourian!

  27. One of the “signs” the Xtian church used to identify someone (usually a woman) as a witch was if she was left-handed. You were pretty much dead meat if you were openly left-handed and at all unconventional for hundreds of years in Europe. I can’t help but believe this led to selective breeding, i.e., leftys lost a chunk of their gene pool. I wonder what the proportion of leftys would be now without that terrorism.

    And, hence, the linking of the Latin term for left — sinister — with evil. Ditto that still surviving great lesbian-feminist journal, Sinister Wisdom, who published a lot of us here (me and AB I know fersure — roll call, anyone else?)

  28. P.S. Using etymology while we await a definition from Camron, I’m assuming the loss of a clarifying hyphen in there and beginning with transmasculine lesbian-identified, it makes sense to me as someone who self-identifies as lesbian (same here) who crosses masculine boundaries or in some way transgresses masculinity. Which vaguely makes sense to me if I first assume an ethnocentric, biological-determinist definition of masculine (using the Western white-dominant construct) and chisel it away from definitions of human, then identify it as transgressive in the ways where it inevitably yearns back to that more inclusive and liberating human umbrella.

    Damn, I forgot to use hegemony. But I’m piss-poor at using hegemony in a sentence. Time for another stint in the re-education camp!

    Liza, I’ve told a few folks to look you up at the 70’s dyke thang, not to mention my wandering spirit. Dazzle and dimple, girlfriend.

  29. hairball_of_hope says:

    I consider myself amibidextrous, but I’m right dominant… not sure how much is genetics (Mom and one of her brothers were solid southpaws), and how much is environment (I tend to do things lefty that I learned from Mom, e.g. sewing, cooking, ironing). I did cross-over to sewing righty in my teens.

    I write right-handed, switch-hit (more power righty), and if I had worked on it when I was young, I could have switch-thrown.

    Until my left-hand injury and nerve damage, I always did things which required fine motor control and tactile sense lefty. Still working on getting my full dexterity back, but nerve stuff takes seemingly forever to heal.

    Like Dr. E, I learned to eat lefty as a kid because of the clashing elbows at the table. As an adult, I eat both ways.

    I worked for years for a truly left-handed boss (he played left-handed guitar and even set up the mouse buttons left-handed). As it turned out, the vast majority of his staff over a 20-year period were almost all left-handed. He didn’t consciously look for lefties, he wanted creative engineering staff, and ended up with artists, musicians, writers, and foodies (just like the boss), nearly all of whom were left-handed. He retired and was succeeded by one of his picks, a lefty. The new boss hired his first person, a righty. We all said, “There goes the neighborhood” and we were right. The new hire was a nice guy, but a boring drone with limited social skills and no tastebuds.

    About social acceptance of lefties… it depends on the country and culture. In many cultures, e.g. Middle Eastern, East Asian, lefties are not well-accepted, and it’s considered disgusting to eat with one’s left hand (left hand is supposed to be used for certain bathroom duties).

    In my Mom’s and uncle’s time (elementary school in 1920s), they were forced to write right-handed, and got smacked across the knuckles with a ruler if they wrote lefty. My uncle got mashed his whole educational career, he remained a left-handed writer. My Mom learned to switch, and had drop-dead gorgeous penmanship skills. As an adult, she had an injury to her right hand which prevented her from holding a pen for about a month. It was very interesting to see her write lefty. It looked like her handwriting, but a very childish version of her distinctive script. She went back to writing righty when the stitches came out and the scar healed.

    (… goes back to eating her tuna salad sandwich with both hands …)

  30. Acilius says:

    @ksbel6: Have you had this guy’s experience? (The part about people all of a sudden asking him to fix things now that he’s visibly male.)


    Lefty/Righty- things I learned to do before I turned 6, I do right-handed. Things I learned to do after I turned 6, I do left-handed.

  31. Fester Bestertester says:

    mj#28, how about:

    “Hegemony Cricket, look at that!” shouted Tom, semiotically.

  32. Festerbester, I’m in stitches!

    VERY interesting about the southpaw/creative association. Makes me wonder if being forced to contend with a world set up for “other” encourages creativity, same for queers and girls who don’t buy the girl box.

    I am left-footed and left-eyed, but definitely right-handed. Are most of us some sort of mix?

  33. NLC says:

    As Maggie Jochild notes above (in 27) ” the linking of the Latin term for left — sinister — with evil.”

    A similar amusing example is in French word the word for “right” (as in “my right foot”) droit is also the word for “law” or “right” (as in legal right), etc.

    While, of course, the word for “left” is “gauche“, with all of its associated meanings.

  34. Calico says:

    In Old French, lefties used to be “Sinestre.”

    I eat and write with my left hand, but play sports and music (guitar) right-sided.
    Go figure! I’ve always been a conundrum.

  35. Calico says:

    Oh, and in the kitchen, I always use a knife with my right hand. Scissors are right-handed too, so I guess I’m a mix.

  36. Lurk-A-Lot says:

    I have always wanted to be left-handed; so much so, that when I was very young, I spent hours writing my name with my left hand. I envied a left handed friend for how cool she looked when she wrote. To this day, I still feel there was some mistake made when I was put together: I oughta be lefthanded!

    @ Cameron #15
    I know a bit about trans issues because there are three trans persons where I work; but, I don’t know what “transmasculine lesbian identified” means.

  37. Dr. Empirical says:

    I hope Cameron understands that there’s no mockery implied here; we just want to know!

    Some of the most interesting guitar players I know (Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, Elizabeth Cotten…) were left-handed. I think it forces people to take new approaches.

  38. Kate L says:

    I been Ayn Randed, nearly branded
    Communist, ’cause I’m left-handed.
    That’s the hand I use, well, never mind!
    – Paul Simon, A Simple Desultory Philippic (1965)

  39. Olivia says:

    Some of the comments about the picture make me laugh! Of course, the pumpkins are different from the cat. I agree, the cat has attitude and that makes the difference.
    About being left handed. My mother was raised as a foster child in a Catholic family. She was left handed. She has shared the stories with me about the Nuns who beat her hands with a ruler when she wrote left handed. To this day, she is right handed and has the most legible writing that I have ever seen. They must have scared the crap out of her in those days.
    Now, about being different. I’m a woman who has denied her sexuality for years. I married a man because I became pregnant. Had child number two. When they left the nest, I realized that I was here for nothing…but the good news is that my ex-husband realized the the same. We are no longer married but believe it or not, he has the greatest respect for me and even supports me monetarily. I suppose I couldn’t ask for more from him. Now, asking more from certain friends and family is a different story. You do what you have to do and hopefully in the end, things will get better.

  40. Ian says:

    I was born left-handed, but taught to write with my right hand. So I suppose that makes me ambidextrous. My Dad is left-handed, but had to learn to use his right hand when he had a stroke. Now, I know a neurologist who says this is impossible, but I watched him do it! My maternal grandfather was ambidextrous. Not fully, but could sign his name equally well with both hands.

    I don’t remember any particular pressure to be left-handed, but then I learnt to write before I went to school and the primary method of learning in our family dynamics, for me anyway, was wanting to do everything as well as or better than my siblings. Not that I was competitive …

    @Liza (20): I’m a good typist and have done lots of work for publication both in Britain, and to a smaller extent in the US. I’m currently ungainfully unemployed so I’d offer to help you type up your magazines into a wordprocessor to make transferring them to the web easier. But as I live in Britain, there might be a problem there!

  41. freyakat says:

    Hi Liza,

    I’ll be going to the outer parts of the ’70s lesbians conference: the first session tomorrow
    and one in the next group. Then I have to go teach. And I teach all day Saturday. But I plan to be there on Sunday morning to see/hear Alix Dobkin and Linda Tillery.

    I think it will feel weird to be studied (I’m a
    70’s lesbian). The stuff we did still feels vital and connected to the present, i.e. not part of herstory.

    Anyway, welcome to NYC! We’re louder and dirtier and faster-paced than ever before, I think, but
    we do have lots of vitality here.

  42. Lurk-A-Lot says:

    @ Camron

    Re: #37 (my post) & #38 (Dr E’s post)

    I certainly meant no disrespect. If anything, I felt I should have known what you meant by the term.

  43. ksbel6 says:

    @26 hoh: But I was born in Texas 🙂 You’ll have to try again! Also, I too can switch hit. I’m guessing you are familiar with slap hitting (a form of hitting in fastpitch softball where a person hits from the left side of the plate by running through the batters box towards the pitcher and just touching the ball hard enough to put it in play and then running to first base as hard as they can hoping to beat the throw to first base)…I can do that while tossing the ball to myself. I do it as part of our pregame routine to get the defense warmed up. It’s one of my cooler tricks 🙂

    @30,31: I haven’t transitioned yet, will do so as soon as it is feasible. However, to someone who doesn’t know me, I can easily pass as male, and I do often get asked to fix things. I can help with most computer/technology issues, but not with most car issues. I am generally asked by my female, teacher coworkers and I like to play hero and get their problems solved.

  44. ksbel6 says:

    Oh, also, just for the general knowledge, handedness is not directly genetic. Whether or not you are left-handed is determined by a special release of hormones during the pregnancy. So, 2 right-handed parents can most certainly create a left-handed offspring and vice versa, and usually 9/10 times, the offspring is right-handed, no matter what the parents are.

  45. Liza says:

    @Ian, thanks. Having a typist would make my life easier but I’m finding that as I retype portions of the articles (which I’m doing so they will be searchable, since the scans of the actual pages are not) I re acquaint myself with the material and can comment on it better. But I really appreciate the offer, and may take you up on it by the time I get to the later issues. Sending the scans would obviously be no problem.

    @freyakat – see you sunday then. I think it will be awesome to be studied. I’m actively looking for a brilliant, ambitious grad student who wants to build a career on writing about DYKE, A Quarterly. How fabulous would that be?? Also, there will be a lot of us “old bags” there and it should be quite a reunion.

  46. Ian says:

    @Liza(46): Just drop me a line Liza, and I’ll be happy to help out. Free of charge, naturally.

    Scanning really has got so much better and easier. I recently installed an all-in-one printer (scanner/copier/printer) for a relative. Scanning single pages in was just a matter of pressing one button to scan the page, and the software automatically put the scan as a .pdf file in the Documents folder. Wonderful!

  47. Camron says:

    Oh, I love you guys! Ok…Maggie, ya pretty much nailed it! I am FTM transgender…except that I probably won’t actually transition for a number of reasons, and I am in relationship with a lovely woman who, despite the shock of thinking she was in love with a cute butch lesbian, and suddenly discovered she was in love with a FTM trans guy, and decided to keep me anyway, thank the Deity of your choice!
    So we have been batting around labels and discourses and societal construction of gender roles,and I came up with calling myself “transmasculine lesbian identified”. I told my wife that if I ever did actually transition, as far as I was concerned, her identity as a lesbian was hers to keep. Some of this is a little tongue in cheek, but its also serious. She worked hard to come Out in the middle of her life, she had to forge a sense of lesbian identity and figure out how all those pieces fit. She has lost touch with her grandchildren because her son has rejected her because she is gay. She has deep and abiding difficulties in dealing with men, because of a few sociopathic bastards in her past. She has pulled apart and reconstructed her entire sense of self and identity and risen like a phoenix from the ashes…just in time to discover that her best beloved was a female to male transgender. Its not funny. So, I work hard, not at being something I’m not, but rather in finding ways to reconstruct gender and identity that affirms both of us, where ever we end up. “Transmasculine lesbian identified” made both of us grin – it identified that I was trans, and still honored the lesbian relationship, and it just worked. And woe is me, I am still trying to contort this around to get hegemony in…I am losing Post Modern Queer theory points by the minute! (any body who wants to toddle over to my blog and catch a nice rant on my journey to this gender confused space is welcome to do so…http://walkingthelabyrinth-cameron.blogspot.com/2009/07/pardon-me-your-umbrella-is-leaking.html ) I hope what I said here made sense…will continue to answer questions until I either start making sense or hit maximum confusion. Any questions? (and that blog post is an older post at this point…I may need to update it a bit – I suspect my thoughts on gender have grown and changed since then.) And thank you Allison for this wonderful blog with Cats, pumpkins, queer theory jargon and friends!

  48. Calico says:

    #7 – Oh, but she does…you just can’t see it!

  49. Calico says:

    #38 – And Sir Paul is a lefty too.
    Love to watch him play the little old Hohner bass left handed.

  50. bean says:

    #42 freyacat: i was wondering if anyone was gonna say this. i wish i were going this weekend (i’m an ’80’s Dyke now turned queer grrl) because there are some folks on panels i’d like to see. but i’m thinking about representation and who gets to speak for lesbians, and what happens when academics “study” us. when i looked at the program (a while ago, now) it seemed like it was going out of it’s way to be all “’70s Lesbians; it’s not just about man-hating feminists.” but feminism, and activism in general and activist movements were so crucial to people’s lesbian identities then, as far as i can tell. i hope this comes out. it seems young lesbians almost never identify their lesbian identity with their feminist understanding anymore. “I can’t help it, I was born that way, so just let me get married!” seems to predominate. in the 70s, it seems, women understood marriage as the patriarchal, oppressive institution that it is…

    ok, that said, cameron, ksbel6, and everyone, this video is for you:


    a transcript is available on a website called thenewgay dot net.

  51. Kate L says:

    I just spent an anxious few hours, wondering if I had accidentally taken double my blood pressure medication. I didn’t remember taking it this morning, so when I went home at noon to walk Madame Dog, I counted out my daily dosage and took it, then. Even though my weekly pill dispenser thingee was empty (it runs through saturday). As soon as I swallowed the pills, I started to wonder if I had doubled up. It’s been several hours, now, and I’m still here. Thank goodness. I don’t know if Madame Dog would be any good at running the house. In all the years that I have known her, she hasn’t so much as turned on a light in that place!

  52. khatgrrl says:

    Kate L. I’m sorry for your stress today. Perhaps a funny similar story will help…
    Two weeks ago, my neighbor was awakened by an early morning phone call. Rather that go back to bed, she decided to get up and start her day. She went downstairs took all or her pills and then realized that she was holding the dog’s pill organizer in her hand! She totally panicked, called her physician(once they opened!) and finally called poison control, who reassured her that she would be fine. She has decided that pills must never be taken prior to coffee! We did all end up having a good laugh about it later. Hope that you are well.

  53. Kate L says:

    khatgrrl, Thanks! Five hours later and I feel fine!

    Say, does anyone know where I can download WAV sound bites for Star Trek Voyager*? I think the official Star Trek site used to have such a page, but I can’t even find that site anymore! I could find plenty of Star Trek – related ringtones, however. If I had one of those cellular communicators, that is!

    * The campus women’s center is showing an anti-bullying movie next week, and I want to find the clip where Janeway says, “You know, I’m usually pretty easy to get along with. But I don’t like bullies, and I don’t like threats, and I don’t like you!” The director of the women’s center is a big Kathryn Janeway fan!

  54. Kate L says:

    Now seven hours on, and I’m still here! Janis Ian is performing not 100 feet from where I type these words in my little office. I have slides to prepare for next week, however. A tear rolls down Kate L’s face as she bows her head in silence.

  55. Kate L says:

    First, I don’t move to San Francisco in the 70’s, now I miss Janis Ian? When will this end?!! Janis Ian sure is purdy, though. Easy on the eyes, as we say in these here parts.

  56. Xena Fan says:

    Maybe the professor did not consider the cat as a “thing”. Maybe the professor considered the cat as a living being or, better yet, a furry person!

  57. freyakat says:

    @57: or, as May Sarton would say, a ‘fur person’…

  58. Kate L says:

    The local campus newspaper ran an article on Janis Ian and her concert here last Friday night (within a stone’s throw of the old campus building that I work in). It turns out that Janis Ian is married to her womyn partner, and that in Great Britain they are recognized as legally married!!! 🙂 Wow! Now, I know why I wasn’t able to attend her concert… I live in an alternate timeline from Janis Ian! In her universe, society recognizes the worth of anyone in a loving, caring, relationship, and will recognize their union. Here in my timeline, candidates for governor of New York calls lesbians and gay men “dysfunctional”, and while corporations have rights, lesbians and gay men do not. Golly, I’ll bet the patriarchal hegemony in Janis Ian’s timeline is on the run from the forces of change and progress!

  59. Kat says:

    hm…..I had an absolutely brilliant set of thoughts on the visual discrimination/differentiation thing and its pedagogical role, but of course that was in the middle of a work day when I couldn’t get away to get on the internets and comment. Now I can’t remember all of it…..hm….will mull and then return.

  60. Kate L says:

    Thanks, Renee S! (#54). I’ll pass it along to the director of the Women’s Center. She is showing an anti-bullying movie, this week. And, she’s a Janeway fan!

    Oh, and while I was on YouTube, I found THIS CLIP of Paladino’s anti-LGBT rant…

  61. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#63)

    Hmmm… I wonder how many folks thought they were having terrific sex because they felt the Earth move?

    Harkening back to a long ago conversation… they do have a small nuclear research reactor on the OU campus, which in this day and age they don’t publicize on the Internet. Hope it didn’t suffer any damage. Pretty sure the corporate sponsor of the reactor is Kerr-McGee (folks, if you don’t know who KM is, rent a copy of Silkwood or put it in your Netflix queue). You’ll get a very accurate story about what happened (although it was geography-challenged, wrong location for the plant with respect to Oklahoma City), and a glimpse of Cher portraying a 1970s dyke. Back in the day (1981 or so), Cher used to hit The Duchess around 3AM (closing time is 4AM) so she could study the patrons for her role. We all acted so cool and pretended she wasn’t there.

    (… goes back to looking online for Joan Larkin’s poem about The Duchess …)

  62. Kate L says:

    hairball (#64). Oh, hairball… 1981, late nights/early mornings at the Duchess. I was a mild-mannered womyn geologst at the OGS back then. By day, anyway. Do you think we met each other, back then?

  63. Dr. Empirical says:

    I was just watching Mythbusters. While testing a tornado-proof suit, Adam exclaimed “Jeezum Crow!”

    I’ve never heard anyone else say that eacept Alison.

    Overall, I disapproved of the episode. It was entirely devoted to cross-promoting another Discovery channel show, which by an amazing coincidence, aired right after Mythbusters.

    Whatever happened to the hot tattooed lady welder, Scotty?

  64. Kate L says:

    …and the heat wave of the summer of 1980! No one at O.U. could forget that!!!

    Boomer, Sooner, and Out

  65. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#65)

    Maybe in 1983 or so? In Norman, I sometimes hit Zanzibar’s, but usually I headed up to OKC to a neighborhood-ish dykebar whose name I don’t remember, and some of us sometimes trooped off to a glitzier place called Angles that was mixed L/G, all in the 30s near Penn.

    Those were the days when OKC folks still wore Western boots to go out steppin’. I have a closet full of nice ones from Tener’s and Langston’s in Cowtown, back when Tony Lama and Nocona boots were made in the USA. Alas, I don’t have enough cartilage in my knees to wear them much these days.

    But it’s much more likely you would have found me at the free classic movie showings on campus on Wednesday nights or pedaling around town, perhaps doing my several-times-a-week bicycle trip to Thunderbird Lake via Rt. 9. Oh how I miss my cartilage….

    I’ll bet you were sitting around the duck pond feeding them stale bread. When did you escape back to KS?

    (… goes back to imagining escape from work via that Chilean mine rescue capsule …)

  66. ksbel6 says:

    @hoh: When you say Cowtown, are you referring to KC? I was bopping around jr. high and high school in the mid 1980s in KC in boots myself. I still have them. I was just trying to be Garth Brooks. OK, I’m still trying to be Garth Brooks, just not quite as hard.

  67. Kate L says:

    (hairball #68) I lived in the apartments across the street from the duckpond! We did see each other, if only from a distance! I left Oklahoma to go to work for Chevron in New Orleans in 1983.

  68. hairball_of_hope says:

    @ksbel6 (#69)

    Nope, I mean the OKC Stockyards area, Agnew Ave. off I-240. Or is it I-40? Or maybe I-44. Whatever. They all converge in/loop around OKC and end up crossing I-35 at various points.

    (… musters up her Nancy Sinatra imitation and goes off singing… “These boots are made for walkin’, and that’s just what they’ll do, and one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you, da da doo da da doo da da doo” …)

  69. Kate L says:

    (hairball #71)There have been several times when I’ve nearly lost my life in the convergence of interstates in Ok City (pronounced “Oak City”, you all)! Btw, did you know that Midwesterners in the United States habitually refer to particular interstates as I-40 or I-70, rather than “the 40” or “the 70”, as Californians do with the 5 (Interstate 5)? I’m enjoying this trip down memory lane! I just hope everyone around the world finds this as endlessly fascinating as I do! 🙂

  70. ksbel6 says:

    @72: I have one…in the Kansas City area we all say “40” or “7” or “40 hwy” or “7 hwy”…most other places I’ve been say “hwy 10” or whatever…

  71. grrljock says:

    @Kate L #72: I must split hairs here and say that only Southern Californians say “the 5” or “the 405”.

  72. Kate L says:

    ksbel6 (#73) Well, you are way, way east of me! 🙂

    grrljock (#74) Sorry!! Oh, I would have known better than to have said such a thing if I had just moved to Berkeley but in 70’s!!!

  73. Kate L says:

    ..backin the 70’s. Bake in the 70’s. Back in the 70’s. There!

  74. I know it’s not yer blog but I bet Alison won’t mind:


  75. Kate L says:

    What makes this day different from all others? In addition to Holly Rae’s birthday? Well, I fixed my car’s headlight all by myself. Also, I inadvertently solved the mysterious case of the Rachel Maddow filter on my cable tv! Yesterday, my cable service’s actual cable ripped away from the outside of my home, no doubt causing me to miss the traditional USA Network Olivia Benson marathon this weekend. 🙁 However, when the cable company replaced the cable this afternoon, and I fired up the television machine, what did I see but MSNBC!! The last time I could watch MSNBC from home, Chris Matthews was talking about chads and disputed ballots in Florida. Now, though, I’m looking forward to the Rachel Maddow Show on Monday night the way some religious zealots look forward to the next apearance of Saint Mary on a slice of toast! 🙂

  76. Kate L says:

    … I got up at 6 am this morning, and MSNBC was still there on my television machine!!! It turns out that Rachel Maddow isn’t on during the weekends, it seems. 🙁 I don’t know what I was expecting… maybe I thought that MSNBC was now Dr. Maddow’s own cable channel, like I hear Ophra is getting her own cable channel. Anyway, tomorrow night just imagine me before my television, waiting for the start of the Rachel Maddow Show and squeeling for joy like the Beatles* had just arrived at LaGuardia**!

    * – The Beatles. The group Paul McCartney was in before Wings. They were quite the music sensation back in the mid-1960’s!

    ** – LaGuardia. Famed New York City mayor in the 1930’s. An airport named in his honor was located in the exact same spot that Kennedy International is located today!

  77. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#79)

    Aaaank! LaGuardia Airport (LGA to the weary traveling cognoscenti) is located on Flushing Bay in northeast Queens. Its runways are too short for modern international jetliners, and thus, it does not host international flights (nor is US Customs located at this airport). It does boast a facility at the northern end of the airport known as the Marine Air Terminal, which is where the original Pan Am Clippers were based (the Clippers were amphibious sea planes). The MAT is now used for the Delta Shuttle to Washington National (DCA) and Boston Logan (BOS). (N.B. I refuse to call DCA Reagan National.) General aviation (private planes) also use the MAT, although most corporate jets and private aircraft in the NYC area fly out of Teterboro Airport in NJ, right off Rt.46.

    International flights arrive/depart from John F. Kennedy International (JFK), located on Jamaica Bay in southeast Queens. Until December 1963, JFK was known as Idlewild Airport. The airport was renamed from Idlewild to JFK one month after the assasination of Pres. Kennedy on 11/22/63. And of course, when the British Invasion of the mid-1960s occurred, the Beatles landed at JFK in February 1964.

    As someone approximately my age plus a smidge, you should know the original name of the airport from the theme song to “Car 54 Where Are You?”

    De-clique-ification for young’uns and non-USAnians: Car 54 Where Are You? was an early-1960s TV sitcom which involved the misadventures of a bunch of incompetent NYPD cops. Two of the actors, Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis, later appeared in the mid-1960s sitcom The Munsters, a competitor to The Addams Family in the wacky horror family comedy genre of the time.

    Now it’s time for the sing-along (lyrics from memory)…

    There’s a holdup in the Bronx
    Brooklyn’s broken out in fights
    There’s a traffic jam in Harlem
    That goes back to Jackson Heights
    There’s a Cub troop short a child
    Khrushchev’s due at Idlewild…
    Car 54 where are you?

    (… goes back to her memories of the grand days of flying out of JFK, in particular the spaceship-looking TWA terminal designed by Saarinen …)

  78. Cheryl says:

    thank you hairball, you gave me hope!

  79. Kate L says:

    Ok, Ok, I’ve never been to New York. I’m just a poser as far as this exotic and mysterious place is concerned! I was supposed to go there on a family vacation 45 years ago, but dad got sick. So, everything I know about New York I learned on television. And none too well, it seems! Once, I was back east, close enough to the NYC epicenter that people talked like they were from there. I found it strangely comforting, and I think I know why. I may never have been there, but I’ve heard that accent so much in the mass media that it seems familiar!

    Did you know that the original name of Baltimore Washington International was Friendship Airport? I always thought that was a user-friendly name for a major airport serving the capitol of a world power!

  80. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#82)

    Yup, and the original name of Chicago O’Hare was Orchard Field, which is where the IATA abbreviation ORD comes from. This info comes from having spent way too much time stranded in Chicago. There’s a photo exhibit of ORD in one of the American Airlines concourses showing the construction and history of the airport, including the IATA abbreviation.

    Related rant… I recently went to a bank to open an account, and they pitched one of their credit cards to me, telling me how wonderful the card was because of all the airlines I could use the points on via frequent flyer miles.

    Said I, “If I never sit in another airplane seat again for the rest of my life, I still will have spent far too many years of my life with my knees crammed up my nostrils, eating bad (or non-existent) airline food, dealing with lost or damaged luggage, missed connections, and surly gate agents. I don’t want miles or points, I want cash back. If your card doesn’t offer cash back, I’m not interested. Period. I have seen enough airports, hotel rooms, and rental cars for three lifetimes. And don’t get me started on airport security.”

    The bank officer, taken aback at my rant, quickly wrapped up the account paperwork.

    In the late 1980s, I had a long-term assignment in the DC area, and I used to weekend commute from DC to NY every other weekend or so via the Shuttle.

    In those days, you could park right next to the terminals at National, hop on whichever Shuttle was closest to departing without reservations or paperwork, they did all the credit card stuff on board the airplane (the Pan Am Shuttle ran on the 1/2 hour, the Eastern Shuttle on the hour).

    It never ceased to amaze me that I could get from my apt in College Park MD to my apt in Manhattan door-to-door in less time than it used to take me to commute to Long Island from Manhattan via the railroad. If I left my apt in MD at 6PM, I would be standing in my NY apt before 8:30PM, and that included parking at National, the flight, and catching a cab at LGA.

    Nowadays, with all the stupid security and whatnot, it’s faster to drive to DC, and much less hassle.

    I used to imagine how Nora Ephron and Carl Bernstein did the same commute during their marriage. Although I think Nora did more of the commuting via the Shuttle, Bernstein didn’t spend as much time in NY as Ephron did in DC.

    I did do some flying out of BWI in those days, because it was way more convenient than attempting the Beltway at any time of day/night to get to Dulles. I don’t remember when they changed the name from Friendship, it was already called BWI when I was using it.

    (… goes back to imagining burning her frequent flyer cards, à la burning draft cards …)

  81. Kate L says:

    (hairball #83) I used to fly so often that I thought of myself as a dolphin of the air. That ended 7 years ago, when I made the mistake of flying a few days after starting my first blood pressure medication. I also had lunch en route at one of those fine airport dinning establishments, and midway through the meal an exterminator came out of the back kitchen talking about rats. I think they use a powerful blood thinner to dispatch rats. Anyway, the combination of blood thinner medication, an airline flight, and possible exposure to an anti-coagulant rat poison nearly did me in. The day after I got to my destination, my blood pressure crashed. I couldn’t even sit up in bed, let alone stand, and I couldn’t stand to open my eyes because the room kept spinning ’round*. I had no medical insurance, so I had to tough it out. Two weeks later (I was visiting friends, fortunately) I flew back home, but I haven’t flown since. I’m grounded! Earthbound, to use the name of one of my favorite kid’s science fiction novels from the 1960’s (although A Stitch in Time was my absolute favorite!).

    (…goes back to watching her Rachel Maddow Show countdown clock…)

  82. Feminista says:

    @83 HoH: Ah yes,who can forget Francis Muldoon and Gunther Toody. “Oo-oo! Jumpin’ Johosephat” Toody would exclaim when excited,which was quite often. Our family enjoyed that show.

  83. Dr. Empirical says:

    I’m sitting in the airport as I read these flight posts. Fortunately it’s a short flight today.

  84. Kate L says:

    I saw The Rachel Maddow Show on my television machine last night! 🙂 Wow, it was just as if young Dr. Maddow had dropped by in person to talk with me about topics of the day that she found interesting!

  85. Kate L says:

    Next Monday, there will be a reading by womyn of the stories of womyn who have been sexually assaulted in the local community. My friend, the director of the campus Women’s Center, asked me if my account of my having been sexually assaulted five years ago could be among those personal stories that will be read there. I told her, yes.


  86. Acilius says:

    Hats off to you, Kate! You’re very brave. Good luck!

  87. Kate L says:

    I think I win for the most number of reply posts to one Alison blog… Dr. Winnacott, tell me what I’ve won! 🙂

    I just advance voted. Despite what Karl Rove said a few days ago on Faux News, more registered democrats are advance voting than registered republicans, at least in key election races. As soon as that made the news airwaves of the legitimate media, Faux News launched a story about how advance voting is subject to “voter fraud”. Btw, I showed up at my polling station in the local court house, where the advance voting setup seemed to be in the hands of retired farm folk. I don’t know why the woman who signed me in (and asked me to verify my date of birth, a first for me when I vote) referred to me as “this person”. My hair too short, perhaps? Lastly, George W. says that his “only failure” as president was “not privatizing social security”. Has he learned nothing? And, why did a mental image of Mo reading this in the Daily Distress spontaneously pop into my mind?

  88. Jain says:

    Voter fraud? In Oregon we all vote by mail. It works fine.

  89. Kate L says:

    To quote the “news” story on Faux News: “When you vote by mail, who knows who fills out the ballot, or if they have someone standing next to them, telling them how to vote.”. Someone standing next to them? A member of Acorn, perhaps? Or from the local “Death Panel”??

  90. Kate L says:

    The really sad thing is that there are people who get their world view just from Fox News and a few other right-wing sources. A recent poll showed that, on average, the more a person watches Fox News the less they know about what is going on in the world. That’s quite a thing to say about Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch. Also, if Republicans don’t have the crushing victory on November 2nd that Fox News commentators are now taking for granted, some of Fox News’ less stable viewers might have their rabble roused, with unpredictable consequences for the rest of us.

  91. ksbel6 says:

    Completely off topic: My softball team finished 3rd in the state this weekend. It was our 4th trip to the final four in 5 years, but we never did manage to win the big trophy. The closest we came was last year when we lost to a private school in the championship game (there is a huge difference between sports in a public school (restricted by who lives in your district) and sports in private schools (they can recruit and use scholarships to get the better athletes, also, the students do not even have to live in the state of Missouri)). Anyway, this was my last season, so I thought I would let you guys know how it turned it!

  92. Kate L says:

    Women’s softball is my favorite spectator sport… along with women’s basketball! 🙂

  93. hairball_of_hope says:

    @ksbel6 (#94)

    Your last season? Are you giving up coaching *and* teaching, or just coaching? Hope it’s your own decision, and not being forced upon you.

    (… goes back to pondering the improbability of Texas being in the World Series …)

  94. Marj says:

    Kate L: “Faux News” – love it. Good luck for the reading tomorrow.

  95. ksbel6 says:

    @hoh: Just coaching, entirely my decision. Lots of folks trying to pressure me into not giving it up actually, which feels really good, but it is the right time for me to go. Since you seem to know quite a bit about sports…my pitcher and catcher are both juniors. This was my pitcher’s first year as the starter, so I knew she would have some growing to do this season. I have been lucky and have had lots of talent to work with the entire time I have been head coach, so I did not want to do it last year when the new person might be perceived as incompetent when they were not as successful as we have been in the past. It turned out to be a much better season than I anticipated, so it was a double win for me. I got to enjoy one more year of fun, and when the new person takes over, it should be a super easy transition for them. Essentially just put the girls out there and stay out of the way. Also, I want to take on more academic challenges, like being department head and teaching AP Calc, so I will not have as much time for coaching as I did previously.