My friends and I looooved stuntwoman and actress Zoē Bell’s video BOSS BITCH FIGHT CHALLENGE so much, we felt inspired – nay, required – to make our own.
We may have gotten a little carried away. Maybe.
I’ve had a rough
night week month couple years. I’m feeling particularly exhausted and listless today, and yet strangely motivated to post something here. What’s a chemo-brained blogger to do?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Be well my friends.
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.
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.
40% off mugs
20% off everything else
USE CODE MAGNETZNMUGZ at checkout.
Smash the status quo with original designs by Iris Vander Pluym.
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.
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!
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.
These squirrel skull mugs are fucking badass and you should GET YOURS TODAY.
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:
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.
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.
Behold what the universe hath conspired to deliver up unto me: the skull of a ravaged squirrel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Who needs pearls? You can have squirrels.
Subversive pocket square…
for all your formalwear occasions.
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.