Welcome to Maoist Orange Cake. Each week one of our Divas posts a thoughtful (but not necessarily serious) essay on whatever calls forth her Voice or strikes her Fancy. We invite you to join us wherever the discussion leads.
Motto of the MOC: Sincere, yes. Serious? Never!

"I would also like to add that ‘Maoist Orange Cake is possibly the best name for a blog ever. Just my twopence." -- The Sixth Carnival of Radical Feminists, 1 October 2007

The Twelfth Carnival of Radical Feminists is up at The Burning Times blog and mentions one of our posts, Helen 'Wheels' Keller, for recommendation. Orangeists spreading our zest!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


By request, below the fold we're going to post photos of some costumes worn by Maoist Orange Cakers this year and in the past. If you'd like to add to this line-up, e-mail your JPEGs, GIFs or BMPs to one of us. And please continue celebrating little gator's post on Halloween.

The beauty of hand-made costumes, using masks from Venice and creative assemblage:

(Kat, Halloween 2007)

(Creating that medieval "layered look")

(Kat's boyfriend, Halloween 2007)

(Kat's boyfriend Halloween 2007, close-up of mask)

Costumes used by Kat's dear friend Paul Joseph Serna of the Houston Grand Opera in production of Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) and La fille du regiment (The Daughter of the Regiment)

little gator has come through with some photographs of her pumpkin carving party for 2007 and the glorious results, below. In the last photo, the woman in white shirt and black pants is little gator -- only a backside view, maybe we get to see your face next time, too? (please?)

This is not a Halloween costume -- rather, it's from my infamous Pirate Birthday Party of 1984, at Lake Merced in San Francisco. A rowdy crew of dykes and children dressed as brigands swarmed the rowboat concession at the lake. We had cutlasses, pistols (my flintlock shot caps -- o how I love cap pistols!), a plank to walk, and cannonballs (dodgeballs painted black). Within half an hour, we'd cleared the lake of anyone but us. My Chocolate Heart Attack cake from Just Desserts had to be cut with a plastic dagger. This shot is after my roommate and one of the great loves of my life, Sharon "Lava" Franklet had persuaded me to insert my flintlock into my breeches for added effect -- I let her do the placement and adjusting. I was an out-of-control Mary Bonney. It was my first birthday after Mama died. The tattoo between my exposed cleavage was a red rose emblazoned with "Mom."

Last, but not least:

(Ghost doggies, as references in little gator's post)


kat said...

I love the ghost doggies!!

Driving around today, I saw what must have been an elementary school on parade. I was moving, so I couldn't see very many of the costumes well, but there was one that was beyond cool: a papier-mache eyeball!! It came about to the kid's knees, and was completely round.

Maggie, your pirate party sounds phenomenal. It must have been a blast!

A friend of mine had a similar b-day party as a kid, but hers was Robin Hood. They were in the paddle boats in Lake Merritt (in Oakland), and a regiment of "the kings men" (really some disguised parents) attacked them and tried to steal the gold.....too cool....

Happy Halloween, everyone!!

Maggie Jochild said...

Hey, Kat, heard about the 5.6-er with an epicenter 20 miles north of San Jose, felt as far north as Sonoma -- did yr windows rattle?

kat said...

so, what was totally weird was that despite it being the biggest earthquake since Loma Prieta, I didn't feel a thing. Not one little shudder.

I heard it though. There's a really unmistakable sound that comes with earthquakes (just a split second before, actually), and I heard it while making dinner. I thought "oh, weird, there was the earthquake sound with no earthquake attached....huh...."

The only significant damage was to the control tower of a little municipal airport near San Jose. Otherwise it was just stuff falling off store shelves and things. The news was funny. They showed the damage to the dollar store in SJ, and all I could think was "Well, at least it was only $12 worth of stuff"!!

We had one over the summer that was much smaller, but the epicenter was just over the Berkeley Hills (the Orinda/Walnut Creek side). It was in the middle of the night and the bed rocked a little. Coupla cracks in the walls, and we all know there's no sense asking the landlord to fix them.

long answer for a short question....sorry!

Maggie Jochild said...

Oh, I know the sound you mean, although I'd forgotten about it. Hard to describe. And I read somewhere that not everybody can hear -- something about the frequency.

I once rode through a biggish quake in the San Francisco Public Library (the old one, that was solid granite or marble or whatever, no give at all). I was in the basement stacks, in a line waiting to use the copier. First there was that sound, which was extra loud that time, possibly because of the building's failure to yield. Then all the metal shelves and the books on them began rattling simultaneously, which was an extraordinary sound. Then a BOOM! as the shock hit. All within less than a second of each other, really. Some people screamed and dove under tables. I just grabbed a chair to lean on because my knees gave out. A full 20 seconds later, a wino who had been passed out at a table, snoring loudly, woke up with a jerk and yelled "Earthquake!", and his delayed reaction gave us all permission to laugh, to met each others' eyes, and to admit we were scared shitless. I gave up on my copying mission and went home.

Was the quake over the summer along the Hayward Fault? That's the one which gives me the willies, much more than the San Andreas. After an itty-bitty quake on the Hayward in 1979 or thereabouts, my girlfriend and I went to either Sunol or Mount Diablo that weekend and found chasms in the dirt road six feet deep, with clear subduction shift visible. I took some photos, went home and moved the bookshelves on the wall over my bed.

kat said...

yeah, it was a 4.2 on the Hayward fault. The epicenter was 2 miles east of the Oakland hills and Piedmont. the little Montclair Village neighborhood was really shaken (the wine store there lost almost it's whole stock). It seems that that one did more actual damage than the one a couple of days ago. Several grocery stores had their windows break, as did Dream Fluff Donuts (at College and Ashby in Berkeley)....

It's partially the fault, partly that the epicenter of the most recent one was farther from town.

I'm really glad that I've never had to deal with an earthquake while at school working....I'm gonna go knock on wood now....

ooh, Maggie, you should see the new SF main library. It's gorgeous. That's where I saw Alison Bechdel most recently. She was presenting with 3 other folks, including Lenelle Moise (who I hadn't heard of before, but she's super-duper-cool!!)

Maggie Jochild said...

Oh, wow, I know the wine store you mean! I walked by it all the time -- I lived on El Dorado a block up the hill from Piedmont. It's near the gates to the cemetery, yes?

I'd love to see the new library, although I was pretty fond of the column and marble majesty of the old one. Moving to San Francisco from living in a land collective in Colorado, and having $1.50 per week spending money after bills were paid (but it was 1978, you could do that then), the library was a main hang-out for me. I marveled at the fact that they had Lesbian Connection in bound volumes. And when they built the new library, I followed the outrage as so much of their stacks were digitalized and then destroyed (especially the old newspapers) -- I don't believe scanning copies all the information available in ephemera.

Just like I don't believe there is such a thing as a complete translation.

Plus I myself have records on disk in formats that I'll have a hard time reading if my old PC gives up the ghost, unless I re-install old versions of Word, etc. on a new hard drive. So what happens in 50 years when (a) peak oil has come and gone, making computer components extremely expensive, (b) nobody knows how to program for antique software, and (c) the originals are landfill?

Part of the way we've proven Emily Dickinson's passionate relationship with her sister-in-law Susan Gilbert is from the originals of her poems. She'd shunt them next door to Susan in a basket of bread and flowers, Susan would write editorial notes all over them and send them back with a bottle of homemade wine, and Emily would rewrite it according to Susan's ideas. They had a daily exchange this way for decades. Emily wasn't a recluse so much as she'd found her soul-mate (who unfortunately, in a lesbian panic, married Emily's worthless brother, but at least they got to stay next door to each other.) The loss of Emily's originals very nearly occurred, in particular because the woman Emily's brother/Susan's husband Austin fucked around with for years, Mabel Loomis Todd, was selected to be the first editor of Emily's work after her death. She's the one who changed all the pronouns of Emily's love poems to Susan. Still, the truth has survived and is now out.

Sorry, went off on a Emily Dickinson tangent there. Emily, Ripley, Antarctica -- I do have my rabbitholes....

shadocat said...

Maggie, Emily is also one of my rabbit-holes; when I first read her poetry, I frlt I'd finally found someone who writes the way I think. Then when I read her work it's original form, it just confirmed it.

Another rabbit hole is the work of Chaim Potok; I am a total groupie. I have a question for you---I've heard that there's a "sequel" of sorts out there to "Davita's Harp"; either a short story or a sort of "novelette"---have you ever heard of it?

little gator said...

I just knew it would be a good idea to put Emily's gingerbread on this page.

Jana C.H. said...

These stupid broken ribs made me miss my favorite Halloween activity: watching the kids go by at Market Street and 22nd Avenue in downtown Ballard on Halloween. My usual post is right outside Starbuck’s with a big cup of hot chocolate, keeping track of how many various superheroes I see, and pirates, and fairy princesses, and whether fire fighters are still as popular as ever, and if the number of soldiers and sailors seems to be going down or up. Nothing scientific about it, mind you-- just for my own amusement. I wasn’t up to it a week ago, though now I could handle it easily.

On an earlier thread we had been speaking of gender-bending costumes with special accoutrements, and I have a tale about just such a costume.

Back in my days with the gay square dancers, we often had parties at local gay bars—men’s bars, of course, because almost 90% of the square dancers were men. At one of the parties they decided to have a contest for the Best Cowboy. Rather than complaining in the usual feminist fashion that it ought to be “Cowpoke” or something like that, I took them at their word. If they wanted a cowboy, I’d give ’em a cowboy.

I was in a good-looking but not outrageous Western outfit and my figure was still closer to boyish than to matronly. I borrowed a t-shirt from one of my friends and retreated to the bathroom, where I rolled it up and stuffed it down my pants. Most of the shirt between by legs so it wouldn’t show; in front was a prominent bulge of a reasonable size. Well hung, but not ridiculous.

When it was my turn to strut down the catwalk, I gave ’em a big smile, held up my arms in triumph, and turned this way and that to make sure everyone got a good view. The audience went wild with laughter and applause. I ended up winning second place, and I’m certain it was entirely due to the bulge.

The real joke, however, is that in any other group of people, almost no one would have noticed the bulge at all.

Jana C.H.
Saith News of the Weird, 2006: A study shows that sexually promiscuous male bats have bigger testicles and smaller brains than monogamous bats.

Maggie Jochild said...

Shado, I hadn't heard about a sequel to Davita's Harp -- will have to check that out. Let me know if you find out something.

I've been to Emily Dickinson's house, and grave -- part of a Muffdivers of American Literature tour some friends and I took several years ago. I wrote a short story about it, which I plan to post at Meta Watershed on December 10, her birthday.