Nobody loves me, I’m gonna eat some worms. 👿

I am auctioning off an interview at Death to Squirrels. Bidding starts at ONE DOLLAR, closes in less than three hours (6pm EDT), and nobody wants to talk to me! *sniff* Waaaaah!

You can bid either in the auction thread comments or via email if you prefer: send your bid to irisvpluym [at] gmail [dot] com, with “Iris Interview” in the subject line, and I will post a corresponding comment on the thread that reads “Anonymous bid for $____” along with the timestamp on your email. You know: in case there’s a last minute bidding war! 😂

C’mon, I promise you have nothing to fear from talking to me. Unless you’re a squirrel.

 

I have become a global trendsetter/lifestyle guru/influencer!

[CONTENT NOTE: anti-LBGTQi bigotry and harassment; language most foul.]

You know, I really hate to toot my own horn, people. But it remains a simple fact that I was housebound, taking paranoia-level precautions against infection risk, gorging myself on Netflix, hoarding unconscionable amounts of toilet paper, following the news and shitting myself* long before damn near everyone** on the planet recently decided to live exactly as I do!

You might think that by now, I’d have some timely wisdom to impart to you, hard won over these past few years while I’ve been consigned to countless stretches of involuntary isolation. Maybe I’d be servin’ up some pithy, practical tips-’n-tricks to help you navigate these perilous, life-changing, life-threatening times within the context of a “healthcare system” deliberately designed to generate wealth, in direct opposition to health.

Alas, nope. I got nuthin’. Except:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD, EVERYONE.

Also: good luck with that.__________

*What?! No! I am not going to admit publicly on my blog to literally shitting myself after my (second) ileostomy reversal! I used that phrase only figuratively…yep.

**Oh, I am exquisitely aware that not “everyone” is following my groundbreaking life choices. Just look at these @$$holes popping up today in my morning news scan:

“People filled bars like one in Appleton, Wis., on Wednesday night after the state’s Supreme Court struck down the governor’s stay-at-home restrictions.” (William Glasheen/Post-Crescent/AP)

And by “people,” I think it’s fair to say that The Washington Post editors mean “white dudes” because of course they do. (And because of course they are.)

But there are @$$holes a lot closer to home, too. Take this @$$hole for instance, as seen through my fire escape:

“@$$hole on Hudson Street, 5.13.20”
©Iris Vander Pluym

Now you may have heard that every night at 7pm New Yorkers collectively gather at their windows to make an enormous racket, banging pots and whooping it up, just like when it’s midnight on New Years but waaaaay too cold to leave the apartment. In fact you may have actually heard the noise yourself, because that shit is motherfucking loud. The cacophonous chaos is my beloved city’s daily ritual in appreciation of nurses, doctors, first responders and essential workers of all kinds. No one else here may know what day it is, but we sure as shit know what time it is.

Apparently so does the @$$hole. (And his @$$hole friends, too, who stood on the near corner out of range of my shot). Right on cue at 7 last night, the Maskless Minion of Mindless Misery began waving around his “TRUMP 2020 – KEEP AMERICA GREAT” sign 40 feet from my window.

As the raucous din died down, thence began his spittle-flecked shouting of this message in every direction for all to hear, whilst shoving his sign at the faces of passing people and at the windows of passing vehicles. My neighbors were shouting back things like “Go home!” and “You don’t belong here!” This last, of course, is not only a reference to the infamously liberal borough of Manhattan as a whole, but to the West Village in particular – you know: home of the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the world’s undisputed epicenter of LGBTQi culture and civil rights activism before AIDS decimated the local population and then a monsoon of straight white rich yuppies and super-rich absentee “residents” flooded the neighborhood and drove real estate prices right through the fucking stratosphere.

But this being New York and all, the neighborhood still stubbornly maintains its gritty grip on queerness, which is precisely why the @$$hole brigade was here in the first place – and not pulling this shit in…oh, say, Brownsville. If this were not plainly obvious already, it became crystal clear once their feckless leader began taunting my neighbors with “SISSY BOYS!!!” and “LOSER SOY BOYS, ALL Y’ALL!!!” and “YEAH I’M NOT LIVING HERE WHERE THE SOY BOYS LIVE, LITTLE GIRL!!! LITTLE GIRLY MEN!!! NEIGHBORHOOD FULL OF GIRLY-GIRLS!!!” (I do apologize to readers, but the man was speaking entirely in all caps and with multiple, non-ironic exclamation points.)

The rhetorical heat had risen, though not nearly to the high voltage I prefer when I fuck with conservatives. That’s when I decided to contribute my $0.02 to the verbal volleys and began shouting “Run him over!” at the passing cars and buses, and whining loudly with bitter disappointment as they missed him. Up until this point during his one-man troll show he seemed to be enjoying the back-and-forth jabbing and jeering, but at that he shut up for a moment, lowered his sign and spun around in my direction. “RUN ME OVER, THAT’S NICE,” he harrumphed. Well if anyone would know about “nice” it would be this dude amirite?

There were many, many witty and original zingers like:

“YOU’RE LOSERS!!! LOSER!!! LOSER!!! LOSER!!! LOSER!!! LOSER!!! YOU’RE AAAAALLLLL LOSERS!!!”

“WINNING!!! ALWAYS WINNING!!!”

“LOSERS KEEP WALKING!!! WINNERS CAN STOP HERE AND SHAKE MY [ungloved] HAND!!!”

He did get awfully quiet when a large black man on a bicycle stopped to engage him. Gosh, I wonder why that is?

“Do something else,” I heard someone say. “We’re getting bored.”

As we all know, conservatives are nothing if not boring, and so I would soon turn my attention back to my current Netflix binge.

Today I learned via my upstairs neighbor that these tools also made an appearance at the liquor store around the corner. That’s right: my liquor store. Not to buy booze though, just to taunt the extremely essential worker running the register with more tedious and unoriginal anti-queer barbs. And one of the @$$holes got himself arrested for spitting on a woman who told him to put on a mask.

Good times.

My first thought was I’m so happy these particular people are doing exactly the right things to catch COVID-19. Obviously our world would be a far better place without them in it. Unfortunately, that’s not how the virus or conservatives work. They cannot help but do their worst damage to the most vulnerable and defenseless among us. Kovid Karrying Konservatives are bound to infect not just each other at their junior fascist circle jerks, but other people upon whom they inflict themselves, many of whom have no choice in the matter.

Have a nice day.

CONFESSIONS OF A DEADBEAT BLOGGER.

[CONTENT NOTE: disgusting bodily functions and fluids are discussed and drawn (poorly).]

To my beloved Many Tens of Loyal Readers:

As you may know, in August 2018, our colleague Caine lost her battle with colon cancer. I was and still am devastated to lose my longtime (Pharyngula/SciBlogs-era) friend, FTB comrade-in-arms and sister trauma survivor.

What you probably didn’t know is that Caine and I shared something else in common: the exact same colon cancer diagnosis. She had that bomb dropped on her just a few months after I did. Unlike Caine, however, I am reticent – or chickenshit? take your pick – about exposing much of my personal life online. As much as I admire it, I do not possess even a fraction of the courage Caine did to write so openly about her life and her illness.

By December 2017, after my first four cycles of chemo and 28 doses of radiation, I was still blogging regularly. But cancer treatments had begun to take more (and more important) pieces of my life and myself away from me. Where writing used to “flow” for me, I was now finding myself blinking back at a blinking cursor. Ideas became jumbled, everyday words escaped me, my focus and concentration kept slipping. Writing coherently about anything of substance was (and still is) an often tedious and frustrating process for me. I naturally drifted away from blogging, and from social media too.

When Caine first wrote about her cancer, I reached out to her immediately and shared with her what was going on with me. We stayed tightly connected (privately). When we lost her, I lost my source of so much comfort and strength from the only person in my life who truly understood what I was going through. (I hope that I gave her some strength and comfort, too. I know I made her laugh at least once or twice.)

As the 1-year anniversary of her death is upon us, I find I would like to start blogging again. Not so much “in Caine’s honor,” but more like…in her footsteps? I mean that I would like to be more open about my health and my life. And yes, this is waaaaay out of my comfort zone.

To be honest, these new blogging endeavors of mine may turn out to be a total bust: nothing more than a bunch of cutting-&-pasting items of interest I find on the ‘net, maybe calling attention to worthy candidates, causes and clicktivism, perhaps keeping readers informed of nefarious squirrel activities. Or, you know, I might fizzle out completely (again). Like many things about my future, I don’t really know. I do know that I miss being a part of this community, and I would like to contribute again to the extent I am able.

So I then I got to thinking: what better way to tell the story of the past two years of my life than…a webcomic! Yes! Having never done one before, indeed having rarely even read one unless PZ or someone posts one? PERFECT.

Enjoy?

[Read more…]

Vacay!

Vacation Iris.

Yes it’s vital and necessary work, but I gotta tell you: keeping on top of the enemy rodent menace is exhausting. My partner and I have not had a real break in a loooong time, so we’re headed where the WIFI may be spotty (I may or may not post anything for a week or so), but the rum cocktails will be abundant. It will be glorious! Unless the fucking squirrels show up and RUIN EVERYTHING, of course. So if you kind people could just keep them distracted for a minute while I make my getaway, I would really appreciate it.

kthxbye!

Happy birthday PZ!

happybirthdaypz

It is once again the time to mark the joyous occasion of The Great Tentacled One’s completion of another orbit around our sun. Longtime readers of mine may recall that in February of 2011, PZ Myers published my little screed In Defense of Mockery on Pharyngula. At the time I was a fledgling blogger, and hardly knew whether I might be any good at this writing stuff. That boost of confidence—and the readers I gained that day—meant the world to me then, and now. By 2013 when PZ posted Casualties of War, I had come a long way in a short time, thanks in no small part to his generosity and encouragement. But this past year? He brought some serious next-level shit, man: he invited me to write for Freethought Blogs (!!!). For all of this and more, PZ has my undying affection and appreciation.

Today I will be celebrating the good professor by imbibing squid ink cocktails and copious amounts of calamari.

Happy birthday, my friend.

Long may we mock.

squidinkcocktail

Barchetta’s Spezia cocktail.
vodka, caper brine and squid ink, whole caperberry garnish

__________

Now normally on these sacred occasions, I’d post some of PZ’s more trenchant blurbs, culled from his writings over the previous year. Just a sentence or two that strike me, like this one (perhaps my all time favorite):

[I]magine the culture we would live in now if, instead of a dead corpse on an instrument of torture, our signifier was a child staring in wonder at the stars. –PZ Myers

But in the past year the world has changed. For example, US government policy is now dictated by a madman via 140 character tweets in the middle of the night (Eastern Standard Time). So in keeping with the zeitgeist, please enjoy these pithy bon mots from the master:

Fuck you, Grandma. –PZ Myers

I could be quite happy with an octopus arm transplant. –PZ Myers

Stop me before I #ChristianMingle. –PZ Myers

So fuck the police. –PZ Myers

I’ll smack hope a few more times with a ball peen hammer and see if I can’t get it under control. –PZ Myers

OK, motherfucker, then do it. –PZ Myers

Stoned fish are so much more cooperative. –PZ Myers

I’ve made it on to the list! I feel so appreciated. –PZ Myers

Hate is a strong word, but not strong enough for my feelings.-PZ Myers

Go fuck yourself. –PZ Myers

Hear, hear!

Iris: MIA.

Hello, beloved readers. You may have discerned my absence from this space for a little while now, which is not typical for me. Seems that perhaps some sort of explanation is in order.

I’ve been going through some difficult personal shit. Without getting into specifics, processing trauma and abuse—even many years later—is not exactly easy or fun, but it becomes absolutely critical when the unfortunate manifestations blindside you (again), seemingly out of nowhere. Suffice it to say that I have an amazingly supportive partner, a tight circle of friends (i.e. “chosen family”), and a skilled therapist* to guide me. In the meantime however, I am finding it very difficult to focus, concentrate and opine for your infotainment upon the vital and timely topics of fascist doucheweasels, patriarchal shitheads, racist conservatives, treasonous theocrats, native-born white d00ds in local bars suggesting an upside to the day’s news out of DC, terrorist squirrels and other assorted menaces.

Then again, I only have one rule—and one rule only—for posting: whatever I want, whenever I want.** So here, have some of that. [Read more…]

Hahaha no.

A few weeks ago commenter “permanganater” took time out of his busy schedule to mansplain to me why, how and what I “should be focusing on tackling” on my own blog. I mocked him for that (per #deathtosquirrels protocol), then Brony took him apart for completely misreading the very post he was complaining about. He floundered on, and I ignored him.

Also relevant: readers here will no doubt recall with great reverence and awe my brilliant new hashtag #muschniwogdowis, an acronym for Most US Citizens Have No Idea What Our Government Does Or Who It Serves.

Well here comes permanganater again on a #muschniwogdowis post to say this:

[Read more…]