Genderdesk pie endorsement

The proper pie for Thanksgiving is pumpkin, and the proper recipe is the one that has been on the back of the Libby’s pumpkin can since 1950.

Everyone says so, including multiple recipe websites, Martha Stewart, and my mother. They cannot possibly all be wrong.

I believe this is the one:

If anyone wants a crust recipe, just ask.

If you want something with sweet potatoes, google a recipe that bakes them with apples, brown sugar, and butter. Don’t bother with the clickbait that has infested this site.

Sarah Josepha Hale, the mother of Thanksgiving

For authentic food at the first Thanksgiving, the Smithsonian has as usual done some very nice homework on the topic: “What Was on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving?” The article also mentions Godey’s Lady’s Book,  whose editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, was a leading voice in getting Abraham Lincoln to establish the Thanksgiving as a national holiday, in the midst of the Civil War.

You can find more authentic menus and recipes at “1887 Thanksgiving Recipes from Godey’s Lady’s Book” and some on this Civil War forum.

Oh, yeah, the coloring…

Sponsored Post Happy ThanksgivingNancyC

This Thanksgiving probably looks a lot different from other years for many of us, but despite all the challenges of 2020, we still have so much to be thankful for! Whatever our Thanksgiving celebrations are looking like, let’s reflect on our blessings today with grateful hearts. Praying you have a happy and healthy holiday and weekend!

Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks. I THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 (TPT)


Wikipediocracy & misogyny: business as usual

Oh dear, and just when things were going so well.

Not gonna say who posted this, because up until this point, they were absolutely magnificent.  Also, because Fae.

But this cannot go without comment. The best reaction to this I have seen so far is “OK Karen: the casual misogyny of Karen memes.” It’s a dead link, but now archived.

Karen: She’s the woman that wants to speak to your manager, the mother you always avoid at the school gates, the woman driver that stole your parking place and possibly even your ex wife…..

In both the US and the UK the name Karen peaked in use between 1965 to 1975 making the vast majority of Karens currently between 54-44 . If you know a real-life Karen it’s quite likely she is every bit the middle aged woman that the meme connotes.

So Isn’t That…A Bit Misogynistic?

Of course it is! If you search for a male counterpart to Karen you will be disappointed, for there simply isn’t one…

I propose that it is actually Karen’s implied lack of sex appeal that makes Karen such an easy tool of casual misogyny. With her sensible, unfashionable ‘mum hair cut’ and practical family car Karen’s biggest social crime is perhaps her unwillingness to cater to expectation of male appeasement. Karen has her own family to prioritise; she does not have time to coddle other men. Karen is a victim of redundancy from male gaze. As a middle-aged woman with a family Karen has little to offer the younger male observer therefore she is relegated to a comic figure defined by unfavourable stereotype and fit only to be ridiculed and mocked….

Where is the (ex) husband in all of this? He is the victim of course, the viewer of the meme, the default male….

So quite why is it acceptable to vilify Karen’s particular brand of female consumerism? Is it perhaps because Karen is so ubiquitous to generation X. From her sex, to her age and even her whiteness; Karen is a generic representation of everything society tells us we are allowed to mock without question.

Yep, punching down.

I’m going to add here that it is interesting they picked a Danish name.  I wonder what the IRA would think of using a historically Irish name like Sheila or Colleen.  Or how BLM would react to a name like Jazmine or Aliyah?  But Denmark is not a particularly large country, and Danes are not known for being particularly aggressive — they were easily overrun and occupied by Nazi Germany early in WWII.  Your chances of backlash, much less violent backlash are very small. While punching a Nazi may be seen as a risky act, and even an act of courage, punching a little Danish girl should be safe enough.

What’s she gonna do, ask for the manager?

“Karen, she is a silver sun, you best walk her way and watch it shine”
(James Taylor and Carole King):


Genderdesk spammed with harmful information about COVID-19

Who is this “Nancy C” and why are they spamming me?

I don’t know.

It started a few weeks ago, but until now I have been too busy to look into it.

The spam is in the form of “sponsored posts” that appear just under my first “stickied” post. Most of them are posted by “Nancy C”, but there are two others, one by someone who likes weird flavors of granola and another by some Australian gardener who has a very lengthy and anal planting list this year, and for some reason makes me happy.

This Nancy C. does *not* make me happy.  I have not yet discovered who or what is posting these, but they consist of veiled advertisements or infomercials posing as recipes for junk food, or book reviews for questionable theologians. They do disclose that the reviewer is getting free merchandise or whatever in exchange for the post, so the commercial aspect, and the SEO reasons for the post, are out in the open.

But why me? I have peeked at a couple of my old WordPress subdomain blogs, and none of them have it. So what is going on here?

The worst thing is that they appear in the blog’s “prime real estate”, the area where my actual new blog posts usually appear. Not that the posts are anything earth-shattering, they are mostly lists of free music sources and other things I want google to put together so I can discover more of them, but they do have “google juice”, based on the reputation I have built over the years.

So not only is “Nancy C” trading in on the reputation I have built to sell her marshmallow vendors, or whoever she is shilling for at any given moment, and make it look like I am linking to her own sponsored products, she is actually removing the usefulness of the blog for me, since google is now indexing her “new posts” as mine. Yes, I googled a few of the titles, and google has indexed them to other sites.

For the moment at least it seems I am not able to stop them, but at least I will put up a disclaimer.  Because her last “new post” goes too far.

This is from a post titled “Never-fail sweet potato pie”. If you didn’t read it when she spammed me with it, and you want to read it now, here it is on the Wayback Machine.

And it looks like I’m not the only person with some concerns, because it’s been archived three times in the last 24 hours.

For my international readers, a short explanation.

America is in the middle of a pandemic.  It is called COVID-19, or just coronavirus.

Our second-largest national holiday, Thanksgiving, is just coming up in November.

Now there are two ways to go with Thanksgiving this year. One is the way of Donald Trump, who just retweeted someone mocking any health and safety precautions.

The other is with the CDC (Center for Disease Control), which is begging people to stay home this Thanksgiving.

“Nancy C”, the promoted post spammer, is firmly with Trump. She is assuming you’ll need “lots of pies for the holidays!” Not just pies, but the kind of sweet potato pies they have in the South, the region that also promoted slavery before it was ended by our Civil War, the region that promoted the KKK after the Civil War, and the region that still promotes Donald Trump.

Please stay home. There will be other Thanksgivings, other years, this is not the year for it. We have seen enough of those superspreader events on the White House lawn. Now Trump’s other son has it, and two of his lawyers are in isolation. And you know we don’t have access to the kind of health care they have.

Keep your family safe. Stay home. If you do, you may just increase the chances they will still be alive next year.

Genderdesk cannot prevent people from posting this stuff to genderdesk blog, any more than Twitter can stop Trump from tweeting misinformation. But we can publish a denial, and we will.

We do NOT endorse the “Nancy C” superspreader Thanksgiving.

Stay home.

Visible mending

The trend is to not mend ripped jeans.

But this was not always so.

And sometimes it is cold. Or you have a hole in something else you don’t want to give up. Or you are in a place where you can’t replace the ripped item – like if you are traveling through a place where you can’t get stuff for a standard sized western person. Or maybe you just don’t want to be a slave to fashion.

Standard way of patching jeans: first you reinforce the hole by stitching back and forth over it, then you cover it with a patch. Obviously you need a machine to do this. There are ways to make this nearly invisible, depending on how much effort you want to spend.

This is a visible patch with a contrasting piece underneath. Personally I don’t think it will hold, but it is probably meant as a fashion statement. But you don’t need a machine, just a needle and thread.

This is a Japanese technique using a decorative running stitch, reinforced with a piece of fabric on the back.

The search terms are boro (for repairs) and sashiko for the generic decorative stitches. The tradition is white contrasting thread over indigo dyed fabric. This was used to make a garment warmer by sewing layers together.

Sashiko stitched coat

There is also something called kantha which is how they make quilts from old saris in India. Here is one with rows of contrasting thread.

Lots of patterns.


You can even buy samples with pre-printed patterns, that wash out after you embroider them.

There are even more to be had with search terms like “seamless japanese mesh pattern”,  “seamless japanese ocean wave pattern”, or “japanese fish scale sashiko pattern”.

Look what’s happening out in the streets

Grace Slick live 1969

And the street today?
And the street yesterday, protest against the WMF’s law firm Jones Day.

Roy Cohn?
August 2017, “How Donald Trump and Roy Cohn’s Ruthless Symbiosis Changed America”



Hmm, some more sources on these Twitter dudes. Andy Ngo, a propagandist masquerading as a journalist (also this Twitter thread):

COVID Halloween

Well, the most important holiday of the year is almost upon us, so it’s time for that last-minute Halloween shopping.

We are kind of tired this year, so it’s going to be something with minimal effort.

For pumpkins and catrina-style makeup see the old genderdesk post: Death – always in fashion.

Otherwise, this is what I’ve got for you this year.

Glow in the dark monster jars. There are several types, there are a lot of DIY links here. Basically, you paste tissue paper on the inside of the jars using something called “mod podge”, which if you look up the chemical composition is nothing but flour, water, and some Elmer’s type white glue. Then you stick in a tea light. I’m not sure how they stay lit all inside of a jar like that.  Maybe they don’t. If you want to get fancy, there are versions with glow sticks, and if you are ambitious you can google them, but we do not want to get fancy. We just want to get through this holiday without infecting anyone, although we do want to be reasonably scary.

But what about COVID? Doesn’t it ruin the costume?

Not necessarily, you can incorporate it into your outfit, but again this might be too ambitious.

Here is a Cruella de Vil mask from this video.

Another video here if you want to sew your own mask.

This DIY mask video is not only for Halloween, you can also use the general instructions if you want to color coordinate your wardrobe with your masks. Look to Nancy Pelosi for your sartorial inspiration. (And why is “Masks of Nancy Pelosi” still a red link, after they have been featured by Elle, CNN, and even the NYT???!?) Here’s where she buys them, but the site keeps crashing.

This thing is a turnip. It’s what they used to carve over on the other side of the pond, before our Native Americans introduced the world to pumpkins. This is said to be very labor intensive, you carve the face before you do the inside so you know how deep you have to take it, then you scoop it out with a spoon, also it smells terrible when it gets hot, so you have to dry it out for a few days before putting a candle in it. This does not score well on the genderdesk rubric for low maintenance projects, but it’s an example of what can be accomplished.

Hmm, wonder what our Jess Wade might be
up to for Halloween, up there in her chemistry lab?  Maybe this?

Meanwhile, back at 39th and Vine, where is Madame Ruth?….

Ah here she is, played by Anne Bancroft.  Hmm, Bancroft , Bancroft, that sounds familiar…OMG she was Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate.

Well, here she is as Madame Ruth, reading palms.

[Note: this has been stickied to try to bypass the weird ads that have just started appearing in the area for new posts. What are they? I don’t know. ]

This disgusting food post is not by genderdesk.

WordPress statement on sponsored ads: “bottom”, “sidebar” or “in a banner”.


Is this a toy? You decide.

It has the reeds of a harmonica, or an accordion.

It can cost as little as $10, or several thousand dollars.

All female jazz band plays Route 66:

No idea what this is…Chinese gypsy?  “Libertango“.

“Libertango” seems to be something of a standard for this instrument. Everyone does it.

Okay, if you liked Ena Yoshida (above) here is a different performance of “Libertango”.

Want to buy one? Here are thirteen of them compared, playing the same tune (including a “Clavietta”, “Vibrandoneon”, and claviola), so you can hear the difference. [YouTube].

And what about teh menz, you may ask?

Melodica Men play Bohemian Rhapsody:

I don’t know which is better, the fake mustache or the grimacing, but they would be pretty good even without the comedy.

This guy is kind of fun, and shows you what the instrument is capable of.




Reed organ playlist

Since Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is apparently a Thing for reed organ, or maybe some kind of insider joke, I may as well start a list for reed organ/folding organ/preacher’s organ/parlor organ. But is it Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor BWV 565″ or the lesser known Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in  Minor BWV 538″, also called “Dorian” for its absence of a key signature…

The reed organ was quite popular around 1900, but gradually became supplanted by the pipe organ in churches, and the piano in homes.

Mark Twain had a piano for his daughters, but his roots were with the older music of the reed organ.

So what did they all play? Let’s get the Bach out of the way first.

Here is “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” ( no idea which one), played on a reed organ by a Canadian guy, Rodney Jantzi, who repairs them. (Yes, I have been binge-watching reed organ repair videos on YouTube, and am up to part 6, they are fascinating, even better than Barbour’s car engine disassemblies.)

And of course we must have a woman, here is Diane Bish playing it on the world’s largest outdoor organ (although it is a pipe organ, not a reed organ).

And just to go off on a tangent, here she is playing the oldest playable organ in the world, on a mountaintop in Switzerland. The bellows to play the thing are larger than she is. But again, this is a pipe organ, not a reed organ.

So here are some reed organ standards, historical stuff, or just stuff people like to play on them: (links to scores in green)

Places on the internet to find free music

General organ and harmonium methods

A few from ebay, once you know something exists, you might be able to find it online:

  • whitney's improved parlor organ cropWhitney’s Improved Easy Method Parlor Organ, Lyon & Healy, Chicago, Illinois,  1886. 100-page music lesson book
  • Selected Compositions, Harmonium, Organ, American Organ Church Voluntaries, edited and arranged by J.S. Anderson. Vintage Piano/Organ Sheet Music
  • Messe Solennelle Aquatre Voix Soli & Choeurs, G. Rossini, Music Libretto, c1870. Solennelle, Aquatre Voix, Composee et dediee Madame La Comtesse Pillet-Will, Par G. Rossini, Partition pour Chant Avec Accompagnement de Piano et Orgue-Harmonium. Propiete des Editeurs Enregistre aux Archives del Union; Mayence Chez Les Fils De B. Schott 20067. Gioachino Antonio Rossini (29 February 1792 – 13 November 1868) was an Italian composer who gained fame for his 39 operas, although he also wrote many songs, some chamber music and piano pieces, and some sacred music. He set new standards for both comic and serious opera before retiring from large-scale composition while still in his thirties, at the height of his popularity. RARE LIBRETTO C1870s, MUSIC FOR PIANO AND HARMONIUM ORGAN
  • National Guide to Reed Organ Playing, by W F Sudds, pub by Oliver Ditson Co., Boston, 1882.

…and afterwards maybe watch The Inspector General (1949) – Danny Kaye


Bonus: video of 1910 Estey Model JJ demo in museum (“Amazing Grace”).