Tuesday Premonitions.

CONTENT NOTE: Graphic image. No, seriously: g-r-a-p-h-i-c. Contains a partial photographic image of an open wound with medical-level detail of a laparoscopic procedure; female frontal nudity.

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Hey, so whatcha doing Tuesday? Nothing nearly as fucking strange as I am, I’ll bet. As I mentioned in my last post, September kicks off Surgery Season here in New York City, and we’re about to kickoff on Tuesday with a laparoscopic exploration under anesthesia (“EUA”). At least two surgeons and possibly three will be having themselves a really close-up look-see at the tissues they would need to construct what radiation has destroyed – namely, a functioning colon as well as a sparkling new vagina. I call this aspiration “Plan A.”

My colorectal ladysurgeon is running the show, along with the gynecological oncology d00d, tho I’m not yet sure whether this mysterious”plastics” person I’ve heard so much about will also be in attendance. Regardless, there will no doubt be biopsies and good times galore. Which, ideally, I will sleep right through.

Back before my first surgery, i.e. the initial colon resection plus bonus ileostomy in February of 2018, I found myself working with my therapist, my original colorectal surgeon and his Physician Assistant to help me visualize exactly what would be done to me. I had started with some Google image searches, but what I found didn’t seem to line up with what had been explained to me. Also, most images I found, whether photos or drawings, were of men, and I was having a hard time relating those bodies to my own. I ended up creating this:

…wherein the dotted line represents the outline of an ostomy pouch, the oval is the stoma itself and the rest of the marks are incisions. It turned out not to be entirely accurate due to various issues and considerations during the operation, but for my “trying to get my head around this shit” purposes, it was close enough. As un-ugly as I could possibly conceive of it, anyway. I remember the night before the surgery lying in bed, running my hands over the soft, smooth, unblemished skin of my belly, and deeply grieving that it would never, ever feel like this again.

So now there’s this fuckin’ EUA on Tuesday. And I’ve had one before, performed by the very same colorectal ladysurgeon back in March when she gave me an(other) ileostomy. I already know what the recovery is like, and it isn’t terrible: it’s like the deep soreness from a couple hard punches to the gut, that gradually fades over a week or so.

Why, then, am I having so. much. anxiety. over this? Lard knows I’ve been through worse – a lot worse. And there is much worse to come, for sure.

Well, I have a theory. I think it’s because I’m terrified of what they will find, or more precisely, of what they will not find. That the radiation damage has kept right on blooming for all these months, and now there is not enough healthy tissue left to re-do a colon resection. That the blood supply to critical areas has deteriorated to the point where successful healing will be practically impossible. That Plan A gets scrapped. There is no Plan B, at least not one discussed in any detail, because Plan A is the only one with any potential for a good outcome. And it has been impressed upon me, many times, that we only have one shot at fixing this.

So I took to drawing again. Only this time I wasn’t trying to create anything approximating medical accuracy, although it would turn out to embody exactly that, at least in part. I made what envisioning this procedure feels like to me – if that even makes any fucking sense. And once again, I made it as un-ugly as I can possibly conceive of it.

Before you proceed, I just want to remind you again of the content note at the top of this post. I mean, this stuff is triggering to me, which is why I’m doing it in the first place: to help me process it in a healthy way.

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I’m trying to be productive today! UPDATED.

I’m afraid there are not enough recreational chemicals in the world to get me through today without tears and rage—to say nothing of the next four (eight?) years. But look! I made this.

womensTwithfinger

I’m working on some other #notmypresident designs too. Sort of. Half-assedly. If you have a specific request I’ll design something for you, too.

*flags bartender*

*orders another*

Be well my friends.

blackTresist

 

whiteTresist

Say hello to my little friend.

While waiting for some prescription refills today, I wandered through a couple shops in my neighborhood. I made it a point, as I always do, to browse my favorite thrift shop. Oooh, some sweet sofas! But nah, I’m good. Nice art too, but nothing that would work for me. And hey, I’m always looking for new specimens to add to my eclectic flatware collection…shit outta luck. *sigh*

And then, there he was.

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I painted my sofa because Jonathan Adler.

Jonathan Adler is a designer based in New York City with a storefront shop in the West Village on Greenwich Avenue. I have sort of a love-hate thing for this d00d because, well, I loooove many of his designs, and yet I haaaaate the stratospheric pricing.

First, the love. If I had to describe Adler’s overall aesthetic, I’d say midcentury-modern-meets-obnoxiously-opulent-whimsical-retro-pop-culture-plus-drugs. Yes, drugs.

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Buy my $#!+, people. ON SALE.

40% off mugs

20% off everything else

USE CODE MAGNETZNMUGZ at checkout.

Smash the status quo with original designs by Iris Vander Pluym.

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This is your semi-regular reminder that the work I do here—and yes, it is work—is not without its costs, timewise and otherwise. If you buy my exclusive merch, I get a (small) cut: WIN-WIN.

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dtsmugs

Do your part to shake the sheeple from their stupor and break the hypnotic spell of the enemy rodents by drinking from these striking mugs—BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!
#squirrelpocalypse

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hottearsmug

Everything tastes better when conservatives are crying.
That is just a fact, people.
Sipping from this nifty mug will soothe your rabid rage at right-wing blowhards and repel conservatives from your general vicinity.

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mugcompositeThese squirrel skull mugs are fucking badass and you should GET YOURS TODAY.

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WHAT?! You mean aren’t in the market for a mug? WTF. Well, then I guess you can shop for other exclusive items here.

40% off mugs

20% off everything else

USE CODE MAGNETZNMUGZ at checkout.

Or you could, you know, just pay me money:

payme__________

All proceeds to fund smashing the status quo, subverting the patriarchy, dismantling white supremacy, waging war on warmongers, obliterating the oligarchy, sustaining struggling friends, monitoring the squirrel menace, mocking conservatives and/or cat food.

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I recognize that many people do not have the bucks to spare, and in any event no one should feel obligated to contribute to my cat food fund. Particularly when they’re thisclose to eating cat food themselves.

Thank you for all of your support.

I must have been a VERY good girl.

Behold what the universe hath conspired to deliver up unto me: the skull of a ravaged squirrel.

squirrelskullwatermark

Okay, so technically it might not be the skull of a squirrel. How the hell would I know? I am not some kind of -ologist, people! Nevertheless, I am going to have to insist that it is indeed the skull of a squirrel, because it is just too perfect for my purposes. (Hey—conservatives make up their own facts all the fucking time. Why can’t I for once huh? HUH?)

And what might my diabolical purposes be, exactly? Well I wasn’t quite sure at first. But then I photographed it, the results of which you see above (watermarked). And I found it weirdly, oddly beautiful. Also kind of badass, you know? As in, evoking death and the transience of our mortal existence, or perhaps the face of some imagined alien being.

But of course what really, really pushes my button is that it’s a dead squirrel. Because let’s face it: the only good squirrel…is a dead squirrel. I ask you: could anything be more full of win?

Why, yes! Yes it can: its provenance.

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My Amazing Lover™ is the proud owner of a planting bed, one that sits beyond a slatted fence and just above street level. It’s full of lovely perennial plants like crocus, white tulips, pulmonaria and some waxy-leafed ground cover I gave him, extracted from the tiny yard behind my palace on Perry Street. He keeps it well weeded, watered and mulched. One day, he said there was something he wanted to show me in the planting bed. He pointed out the disembodied skull, which had a patch of gray-brown fur and some whiskers attached. “I think it’s from a squirrel,” he said.

OMG *swoon*.

The next day we discovered it had been moved, and now rested a foot or two away. The fur patch appeared to be significantly smaller, and I could no longer make out whiskers. By the following morning it had been moved once again, and picked clean by nocturnal scavengers. Circle of life, and all that.

I could not stop thinking about it, that small skull lying in the mulch. (I am super weird. FYI.) A few days passed. My Amazing Lover™ was on his way to me, and called to ask if I needed anything. “I need that squirrel skull,” I said. Like it was the most ordinary thing to ask for in the world.

“Okay.”

A few hours later, I was in possession of a clear ziploc bag containing my prized possession.

THAT’S RIGHT MY PARTNER BROUGHT ME A SKULL THAT MIGHT POSSIBLY BE FROM A SQUIRREL MAYBE.

If that is not the ultimate sign of deep and abiding love…well, I just don’t know what is.

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And because I am about nothing if not sharing the love, I plastered that skull all over a bunch of stuff at my online store, so you too can be part of the #deathtosquirrels revolution.

mugcomposite

 

squirrelskullring

Who needs pearls? You can have squirrels.

squirrelskullbandana

Subversive pocket square…
for all your formalwear occasions.

Erasure and Victorian women.

I first started giving more thought to the phenomenon of erasure in 2013, after hearing talks from Susan Jacoby and Jennifer Michael Hecht at CFI’s Women in Secularism 2 conference (yes, that one). Both presentations touched on the stories and accomplishments of women being written out of narratives in favor of men’s, a well-documented and observable manifestation of male privilege. A woman’s erasure turns out to be even more likely when she is a nonbeliever or otherwise unorthodox (Christian/conservative privilege); similarly, atheist men also tend to be erased from historical narratives in favor of believers (same).

Erasure of racial, sexual and other minorities should be too obvious to need mentioning, but I will mention a few off of the top of my head*:

As with all modes of privilege, for those with intersectional identities the likelihood of erasure is compounded. And as with all modes of privilege, erasure is self-perpetuating.

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Buy my $#!+, people.

My little blog adventures (blogventures?) continue to enrich and sustain me in so many ways. However, not one of those ways is “financially.”

Until joining this network, I’ve never blogged in a space that generates revenue by serving up ads. Frankly, the way this whole ad dealio works leads to some comically absurd results. The algorithms that generate ads for a site are based in large part on its content, but apparently the ghosts in the machine are not sophisticated enough to detect satire, mockery, snark or general derision. So for example at Pharyngula (and PZ is nothing if not a fire-breathing atheist and first-rate mocker of religious ridiculousness), we are all regularly treated to ads imploring us to sign up for Christian Mingle, attend Mormon colleges and join the fucking Jehovah’s Witnesses. NOBODY’S CLICKING ON THAT SHIT. I don’t see it because I’m logged in, but I can only imagine what the ad feed looks like here: Crisis Pregnancy Centers, squirrel feeders, Jerry Coyne lecture tours and worst of all, the Democratic National Committee. Christ.

The work I do here—and yes, it is work—is not without its costs, timewise and otherwise. I was recently inspired, thanks to a colleague and a commenter here, to propose a WIN-WIN: I make it easy for you to buy cool stuff, and then you buy it. I get a (small) cut, and you get cool stuff.

All proceeds to fund subverting the status quo, smashing the patriarchy, dismantling white supremacy, waging war on warmongers, obliterating the oligarchy, sustaining struggling friends, monitoring the squirrel menace, mocking conservatives and/or cat food.

BUY MY SHIT.

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Look, I’ve organized it into collections for you.

conservativetearslzstorebanner

conservative tears

Soothe your rabid rage at right-wing blowhards and repel conservatives from your general vicinity!

conservativetearssamples__________

dtszstorebanner

#deathtosquirrels

Do your part to shake the people from their stupor and break the hypnotic spell of the enemy rodents BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! #squirrelpocalypse

dtssamples

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medicareforallzstorebanner

medicare for all

Help drag the USA up to the standards of 20th century civilization by demanding single payer health care NOW!

medicareforallsamples__________

pspzstorebanner

perry street palace™

For my Many Tens of Loyal Readers™ at Perry Street Palace™, now’s your chance to join the Official Palace Army™! Demonstrate devotion to Your Humble Monarch™ while shamelessly shilling for Iris’s other blog! Proudly announce to all the world your support for the senseless overuse of Trademark Symbols™!

pspsamples __________

irisiriszstorebanner

iris iris

Research shows that people tend to behave more ethically when cued that they’re being watched: adorning yourself and your home with this eye-catching (<-hahaha) collection instantly improves the behavior of everyone around you! IRIS SEES YOU. #creepychic

irisirissamples

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But okay, so maybe you don’t want any more actual stuff. I totally get that. (Big shoutout to mah NYC peeps! MY KINGDOM FOR A WALK-IN CLOSET.) In that case you could just, you know, pay me actual money. YES. If you appreciate what I do here, maybe put some money where your infotainment is and PAY ME. :D

payme

Naturally, all of this goes only IF you have a few bucks to spare. Many people do not, and in any event no one should feel obligated to contribute to my cat food fund. Particularly when they’re thisclose to eating cat food themselves.

AGAIN: All proceeds to fund subverting the status quo, smashing the patriarchy, dismantling white supremacy, waging war on warmongers, obliterating the oligarchy, sustaining struggling friends, monitoring the squirrel menace, mocking conservatives and/or cat food.

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Isn’t this fun? This is fun.

Have a nice day.

Whack-a-Mole.

I mentioned the other day that when prominent figures in movement atheism mansplain how to feminist (or pull a Dear Muslima), it really ought to be debunked and/or mocked every time. I had envisioned “Whack-a-Mole, but with squirrels. Or possibly, douchebro atheists.”

Well. I was too lazy to work on Part 3 of the Coyne series inspired.

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