Friday, January 28, 2011

Newest HARD CARDS- Being honest with yourself...and others

Three new Hard Cards, my friends.  Honesty is the best policy.  Buy one of these cheap, original, snarky, clever Hard Cards and spread some honesty today.

"Pause the Damn Game" is for those of us who are in desperate need of more than a grunt of acknowledgement for our existence. Perhaps you know someone in your life who hasn't made eye contact with you in weeks, yet occupies prime real estate on your couch. After all you do for them, the least they could do is follow the directions on this card. If this card doesn't work, may we suggest selling a certain game console on eBay and taking yourself out to a nice dinner?

"I Just Want Your Money" gets right to the point. Does your sugar daddy have the wrong idea? Is your baby daddy trying to get back with you? Are you trying to cultivate a gold-digger persona to get on the Maury show? Try this card. Even if it doesn't get you their money, at least you can sleep at night knowing you're being honest about what you want. Their money.

"I Hate You With Every Fiber Of My Being" is quite the indulgent card. Hate is poison no matter how justified, hence the adorable skull-and-crossbones. It poisons you but in a cruel twist of fate doesn't seem to bother the recipient at all. Use this card at your own risk and preferably as a last action. Then give yourself permission to let it go. You'll be glad you did. And the recipient STILL won't care. But then again, neither will you anymore.
Digging these cards?  Can't get enough?  Check out more here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's Only Abuse If He Hits You...

...or so says the law.  We are at a turning point in legislature, people.  Back in the 60s and 70s, they were at a similar place.  Let me show you:

Pre-1950s: Beat your wife.  Beat your kids.  Do it in public.  We don't mind.  It's how you keep them in line, after all.

     RESULT:  A trickle of people begin to think that this isn't right.

Aren't they just the happy family?

1950s:  Beat your wife and kids but do it MOSTLY behind closed doors.  It's alarming to see but totally necessary to keep them in line.

     RESULT:  People are beginning to step in when they see abuse in public.

You could get beaten for stale coffee.  It's in ADVERTISING.

1960s and 70s:  Beat your wife and kids but don't let us see you doing it in public.  Cuz then we have to fill out all kinds of paperwork...    
RESULT:  Women are beginning to stand up for themselves.  Teachers are reporting bruises and injuries on children.  Laws are passed to begin the prevention of abuse.  Most of the abuse definitions are for show and are easily argued away in court.  Programs are begun to offer assistance to victims.  Legal recourse to abuse is in its infancy.
Wait.  I don't have to cook your damn breakfast? TO THE STREETS!!

1980s:  Beat your wife and kids but don't do it in public, don't let them make sounds your neighbors can hear and don't leave any marks because now people are reporting it to the police and family services.  Keep them in line but pretend you don't.   
RESULT:  It is generally accepted that abuse is not okay.  Abuse prevention begins to be a pet project for some big names.  Family law now has to deal with abuse as a defense or grounds for divorce.  Neighbors report arguments, kids are talking to guidance counselors, authors are telling their survival stories. 

Or writing songs about it.

1990s:  Okay, your wife and kids still need to be kept in line but now beating them is just too risky.  Can you, oh I don't know, mess with their heads maybe?  Read up on CIA brainwashing tactics.  That'll get you started.  Then, just think outside the box.    
RESULT:  It is now law that abuse is illegal.  Courts are very much on the side of victims of physical abuse.  Proven physical abuse can get one's children taken from them, hospitals report it, teachers report it, reported numbers rise.  Abusers now have to get creative.
Damn phones.  They're EVERYWHERE.

2000s: Control the finances.  Control their self-esteem.  Take their innocence.  Trap them.  Cause confusion and uncertainty.  Isolate them from people who might empower them.  Make them dependent on you in every way.  But just don't touch 'em.  There, now THAT'LL keep 'em in line.
Verbal face-grabbing.  Now THAT's creative.   
RESULT:  Physical abuse is very illegal.  Emotional, psychological, economic/financial, verbal and mental abuse is now the preferred method.  Courts usually won't recognize these forms of abuse as ABUSE.  They are hard to prove and easy to weaponize.  Legal definitions of abuse may include verbiage about these non-physical types of abuse but it is more for show.  Just like in the 1960s and 70s.
"But he didn't actually hit you?  .........Overruled."

Victims of abuse today are finding more and more often that the system is failing them.  Legal definitions of abuse are generally interpreted as pertains to physical or sexual abuse only.  It is hard to get a judge to rule on any form of non-physical abuse.  No judge wants to rule that the children go with a parent claiming to be a victim of emotional abuse only to later find out that parent made it up to get custody of the children.  There must be some way to legally define non-physical types of abuse that can be provable, enforceable and difficult to weaponize.

Yeah, it's a cat picture.  Sue me.

I admit I don't have an answer to this except that the courts need to make those early mistakes and get some rulings on the books about non-physical abuse.  The courts need to set some precedents, even if they are shaky, for future cases to build on.  We're going to have to make some mistakes as casualties in the long-run of protecting people who are abused in ANY way.

Preach it, B.

I have watched so many lives and families crumble into a gray muck of bleakness because of abuse where no fist was ever swung, no private parts ever violated.  I would even go so far to say that non-physical abuse makes up the VAST MAJORITY of abuse cases.  But you couldn't find a chart or graph showing that because no one cares to count them.

Insert graphic of
imaginary pie chart showing
non-physical abuse majority

A devil's advocate might say, "Prove it."

Pictured:  Smug male privilege.

I would respond, "Give me a judge who will listen and advocate."

                             Justice Sotomayor:  Hey dudes.  I'm a judge now.  Heh, heh.
                             Men Everywhere:    But...but...she's BIASED!!! 
                                                             She might rule in favor of what's right!!!  *GASP*
                             Justice Sotomayor:  /facepalm

What kind of solutions do you have to the problem of non-physical abuse and the prosecution thereof? 
I'd love to hear your ideas. 
Let's begin a conversation. 
Perhaps someone who pulls strings might hear us.

Barry?  Michelle?  Anybody home?

I Vote For Longer Days

There are simply not enough hours in the day.  Or maybe...if there were more hours in the day I'd use them up just as quickly as I use up my allotted 24.

I'm sorry the posts have slowed down.  I'm still here, still working on fabulous content for you, my chickadee.  Have faith.  Stay with me.  It'll be worth your time, I promise.

Oh and....

I love you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Love Offbeat Mama!

Offbeat Mama. This site rules.

It is run by the same woman who started Offbeat Bride.  The point is that there are people out there who get physically ill by the constructs of the Wedding Industrial Complex and the Baby Industrial Complex.  These websites help them get the info they need on stuff to buy, info to know, people to love.  The support and positive message is absolutely fantastic!  Seriously, if there is ANY part of you that is not mainstream, you'll probably find something there to love.

That said, I submitted my blog post My Son's Queer Fairy Godparents to Offbeat Mama and they will be featuring it really soon!  *HAPPY DANCE!*  The tentative go-live date is on February 14th, 2011 at noon.  That's Valentine's Day, people! 

I do Psychodoodles because I love my son.  This blog (I hope!) will lead to being able to supplement (if not replace) my income so I can give him the best life possible.  I think it's totally fitting that my blog is being syndicated (read:  more exposure = more possible revenue) on a day about love.  Because this blog is being done for love.

And that way, I can celebrate and not sit at home all curmudgeonly, grumbling about how love sucks. 

I'll post the link to the guest post on Offbeat Mama as soon as it's live!  And thanks to all of you for your support and good juju!  I love you guys!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Am I Dead?

No, chickadees.  I am not dead.

I am, however, a single working mother with a douchcanoe for an ex, doing four jobs at the office for all the people they've furloughed or downsized, and a struggling entrepreneur.

That might sound negative but it's not.  I'm single and that's AWESOME.  I'm working and that's DOUBLE AWESOME.  My ex is a douchecanoe but that's why he's my ex.  And entrepreneur, struggling or not, is TRIPLE AWESOME!  I sold three Hard Cards over the weekend!  Get 'em while they're hot people!  Click here and get one of your very own today!  Only five bucks for snarky original art by yours truly!

So I've been very busy and with no internet at home, time is tight.  I have goodies in store for you my chickadees, so don't fret!  Here's a taste of things to come:

  • TUTORIAL:  How to Make a Zebra Cake for Your Boss Without Being a Suck-Up (And What the Hell is Zebra Cake?)
  • New Hard Cards!
  • TUTUORIAL:  How to Make A Vintage Button Bouquet for Your Sister's Wedding
  • The New Macho of the 21st Century (and Why the Old Macho Isn't Good For Anyone)
  • ...and MORE!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Newest HARD CARDS- For people who can't take a hint...

Four, count 'em, FOUR new Hard Cards added to my Etsy shop today!  Check it out!

"Sorry 'Bout The Crabs" is a cheeky fun way to be responsible and let your previous partners know about their possible exposure. The cute-as-a-button smile on the crab's face and his waving claw let the recipient know that it's okay. They have shampoos for that now.

"I Can't Miss You If You Don't Leave" is a subtle hint that they've worn out their welcome. It's not a goodbye-forever kind of card, although it could certainly be used that way. It's kind of like Christmas: it loses its specialness when we're bombarded with it for a fourth of the year. Maybe phrasing it that way will help your recipient understand your intention. Or maybe you could affix it to a box of all their stuff.

"I'm A Grown-Up Now...I Can Eat Cookies For Breakfast If I Want" is the perfect sentiment to send to your parents, or any other person who continues to treat you like a child. The college freshman in their first semester, the post-grad moving out of state to start their career, the emancipated minor rubbing their parents' noses in it. Because, truly, what better way to announce your adulthood then by chowing down on Otis Spunkmeyer at 7 a.m. with wild abandon?

"You Give Me Ulcers" lets the recipient know EXACTLY how they affect you. As anyone with an ulcer can tell you, the gnawing, shooting pain in your gut definitely can put a damper on your day. Just like your recipient does. Only it's everyday. All the time. And you've had quite about enough. This card is paper Maalox, people.
Hallmark doesn't know how you feel.

We do.

Hard Cards are for those times when you need to get a message across that may be difficult to do verbally. Maybe you have a fear of confrontation. Maybe you're afraid you might kill someone if you have to say the words aloud. Maybe you have a friend who just needs an anonymous hint. Maybe you want to frame it and put it next to your mirror as a self-reminder.

Whatever the reason, these cards say what you can't.

All the cards are original works of art.  That means you are not getting a Xerox copy but an actual piece of my artist soul, channeled through my hand and out my pen into your very mail box.  Each card is lovingly, snarkily crafted and measures approximately 6" x 6".  They are hand-drawn using black permanent waterproof and fadeproof ink on 140 lb. acid-free, cold press, archival-quality watercolor paper.  This is fancy-pants stuff, folks!  Each card is shipped protected in the embrace of a sealed plastic sleeve.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why I Am A Cunt

I love how people, especially men, like to throw the c-word around like it's the biggest gun in their arsenal.  I know some women don't like the word and maybe to them, it IS the biggest gun to be shot with. 

Pictured:  A highly disturbing and oft-repeated misuse of the c-word.

I personally like the word and associate positive connotations with it.  Other words used as weapons that I take positively:
  • bitch
  • whore
  • man-hater
  • femi-nazi
  • battle axe
  • dragonlady
  • harpy
  • slut
  • tramp
  • ...and many others!

The worst name to call, the dirtiest thing to censor, the hush-hush body part we don't speak about...
and the source of all life on this planet.

Why do I take these words with a gracious smile?

Because the people who use them as weapons are threatened by my success and confidence, as well as the success and confidence of all women who won't take shit anymore. 

What not-taking-your-shit-anymore looks like.

I am not a meek doormat. 

I am not rouging my cheeks hoping for a bacon-homecoming by some paunchy self-entitled penis. 

"For that 'natural' look men look for...Seventeen." 
Start early, ladies. 

I am not looking for the approval and acceptance of my fellow women. 

For all these reasons, I am scary and threatening and larger than life.
Me.  Not giving a shit what you think.

Why is lil' ol' me so scary?

Because I know what I want.  I will accept nothing less than what I want.  I am a strong person, with a good heart.  I am a good mother, a good friend and a good citizen.  There is nothing wrong with me. 

There is no reason I shouldn't want, have or aim for anything I desire. 

So I'm a cunt for it.  A big, radiant, smiling, successful, happy cunt.  If I'm being called a cunt, then I know I'm on the right path.

Tee-hee!  Suckers.

(P.S. An excellent book on this subject, and one that helped change my own perception of the c-word years ago is "Cunt" by Inga Muscio.  I HIGHLY recommend you purchase several copies and leave them in buses, doctor's offices and gym locker rooms.  As well as reading it yourself!)

"Cunt" by Inga Muscio
Changed my life.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Son's Queer Fairy Godparents

I broke off my engagement with my son’s father on February 2, 2010. Exactly 18 days later, I took a pregnancy test and began my long-awaited and now confusing road into motherhood.

My son, Escher Eric was born October 16, 2010, five days late and perfect. Throughout my pregnancy, my personal village came oozing out of the woodwork to gift us with hand-me-downs, rides (I had no car), midnight snack runs, laundry help and even cash. I have had a history of depression, often times feeling as though I were so alone in the world and no one cared about me. Lo! and behold, here were all these people selflessly giving of themselves and their time for little ol’ me and little ol’ Escher. My cup of gratitude runneth over.

Among these fantastic villagers are two couples: one lesbian and one gay. They are both long-term relationships, co-habitating and super excited about Escher’s birth! Both couples are Escher’s godparents and both couples are more involved even than Escher’s own father.

I want Escher to have an education about life that came from more than just Mommy’s mouth. I want him to go to a Seder, a Catholic Christmas Mass and a burning of the Yule log at Solstice. I want him to live a life as free of gender pigeon-holing as possible, learn tolerance and follow his bliss. You know, the usual. But I also wanted him to know that sometimes girls love girls and boys love boys and that the "love" part is what’s important, not the genders on either side of the word.

I wanted this specific part of his life education for several reasons. We live in the South and although there are lovely people here there is also an atmosphere of homophobia. I didn’t want public school to teach him that bullying people who choose alternately is okay, or that he has to do it to avoid the bullying himself. Also, I grew up knowing only a specific kind of love and feeling weird when I felt love that was different than that. I identify as bisexual and feel I’m getting the most out of life when I can give and receive love from both males and females.

In wanting this for him, I asked all of my friends to please include us in their spiritual/religious events as well as elements of their lives that differ from the "norm." I made it clear I don’t want us to be recruited or baptized or proselytized but simply to let us absorb what it is about their lives that makes them feel most happy and complete.

I asked my friends B and C, the lesbian couple and M and J, the gay couple to be Escher’s godparents. B is a militant feminist agent of chaos who works as a rape victim advocate. She is intimidating, loud and hard-fucking-core. She has never been mushy over babies until Escher. C has hairy armpits and a love of tiny vicious animals. Her maternal instinct was shocking to me because it had been hidden before now and she is so good at it. M has a desk job he hates and a camera he loves and is just launching his photography career as a freelancer. He tries to pretend he is cool as a cucumber but J’s enthusiasm makes M drop his cool-guy exterior in a minute flat. J is kind and Southern and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. I have never in my 30 years of life EVER seen a man THIS excited about being near a baby.

J asked me a question right before Escher was born that I will never forget. He seemed a little hesitant, not quite sure how to phrase what he wanted to ask me.

"When you asked us to be Escher’s fairy godfathers, did you, actual GODparents?"

I was never raised with a religion and honestly had no idea what a godparent did. (I do now as I looked it up after J asked me this.) I only used the word ‘godfather’ because it was the closest approximation to what role I wanted them to play in Escher’s life: teaching him about love and tolerance. I told J my intention and he seemed to relax a little. (I think he was worried that I wanted them to take him to church!)

What began as my own desire for Escher’s education turned into four people who were honored and utterly enthusiastic about being in his life. All four of them have gone waaaaay above and beyond what I asked them to do. I am tremendously grateful for their gifts to our little family and continue to be impressed by their dedication and devotion to a tiny baby who has a future of love to look forward to.

(I wrote this in support of adoption rights in the GLBTQ community, as a way to thank my son’s fairy godparents and an article that may inspire other mamas to let their village help teach their children.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

HARD CARDS- We say what you can't.

Hallmark doesn't know how you feel.

We do.

Hard Cards are for those times when you need to get a message across that may be difficult to do verbally. Maybe you have a fear of confrontation. Maybe you're afraid you might kill someone if you have to say the words aloud. Maybe you have a friend who just needs an anonymous hint. Maybe you want to frame it and put it next to your mirror as a self-reminder.

Whatever the reason, these cards say what you can't.

All the cards are original works of art.  That means you are not getting a Xerox copy but an actual piece of my artist soul, channeled through my hand and out my pen into your very mail box.  Each card is lovingly, snarkily crafted and measures approximately 6" x 6".  They are hand-drawn using black permanent waterproof and fadeproof ink on 140 lb. acid-free, cold press, archival-quality watercolor paper.  This is fancy-pants stuff, folks!  Each card is shipped protected in the embrace of a sealed plastic sleeve.

Take a look at the following Hard Cards just posted in my Etsy shop:

"I Regret Giving You My Number" is just right for when you've only been on a date or two. Maybe they didn't look like their picture. Maybe they are really nice but just not your cup of tea. Maybe you heard they might have crabs. Whatever the reason, this card is perfect for breaking up with someone you don't know that well.

"Sorry My Standards Are So High" is for when you get into a fight about someone being a lazy, no-good layabout with neither drive nor ambition. You just want them to pick up their socks, help with the kids, aim for a promotion. Just look at your life now. You are SO much better off than you were five years ago. This card is the ultimate apology.

"Would a Phone Call Kill You?" is the quintessential card for mothers, deployed military and students away at school. Haven't heard from someone in a while? Wondering if they are lying dead in a ditch somewhere? Send them this card and find out for sure.

"You Turned Out Just Like Your Father" could be a good thing or bad thing. Depends on their father. This is a perfect card for wives, mothers and kids. Use caution - be sure you know exactly how they feel about their father so as to make your point with precision.

"You Are A D---" says it all. Short. Sweet. To the point. The recipient must be dense as hell to not get this powerful message. However, many d***s are in fact that dense. Be prepared for quizzical looks, head/butt scratching or "Huh?" And then maybe flying objects once they understand.

"Your Kids Miss You" is a sweet message tinged in guilt. Deadbeat dad? Cheating spouse? Workaholic? Or just a plain old message to your parents? All of the above!

"You're Just Mad Because I'm Smarter Than You" is a message with a wide range of purposes. That dumb bully who picks on you in class. That boyfriend with an ego who can't spell to save his life. Your big-mouthed politico of a sister. Everyone is smarter than someone. Send them this card.
Won't you order one today? 
You're beautiful/handsome, talented and oh-so-kind and generous.  (Did the flattery help?)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Women Are Too Sexy For Combat

I heard this story on NPR’s "Morning Edition" this morning about a Congressional panel being put together to look at changing a policy that bars female military service members from serving in active combat.

Excuse me. WHAT?

Forgive me, I had no idea I was so ignorant. I thought women did serve in active combat. I may have gotten this impression because of these women I see coming back with gunshot wounds.  Shrapnel.  Missing limbs. Dead. If women aren’t in active combat already how are they coming back home in such conditions?

From what I understand, the policy says women can’t officially be assigned to combat duty.  But plenty of women serve in "support to combat units," often close enough to the kill zones to warrant these injuries and funerals.  So basically women can take the hits but they can't get the jobs.

I have some questions.
Why are women STILL being relegated to "support" roles? 

Why are we continuing 10,000 years of male-dominated human history where the men say, "We get the honor, valor and excitement. You get the laundry..."?

Why can’t my military sisters get honor, valor and excitement too if they want it?

Pictured:  The epitome of female valor and excitement.

Additionally, the military is set up so that the fastest way to get promoted or rise up through the ranks to becoming an officer is through completing combat missions. But...but...but women are not allowed to be assigned combat missions! This is a fundamental reason why many women are simply barred from achieving an officer rank without sucking a lot of metaphorical (and presumably, actual) desk-job dick.

Waiting for her promotion.


I have some more questions:
Why is there not a march for this?

Why is no one screaming about this?

Why am I only hearing about this now at 29 years old?
On that same NPR segment, I heard a clip of an exchange between a high-ranking male military leader and a female former-Apache-helicopter-pilot missing both her legs from an explosion while she was "supporting" a combat mission. I don’t have the exact quote verbatim but my extremely accurate paraphrase goes like this:
COL. DICKHEAD: You women want to serve in combat? Okaaaa-aaay, but you have to sleep in the mud with no hygiene and no TV.
MS. FUCK YOU: (calmly) Done that, bitch. Is that all you got?

Visual representation of how the conversation ended.

This raised my hackles like you would not believe. Seriously? Col. Dickhead thinks that television matters to a woman who wants combat missions? His biggest concern is that women won’t be able to change their tampons in the trenches? That there are no women or girls anywhere that ever played in the mud and liked it?

 *GASP!*  You're right!  She HATES it.

I would expect that if a woman enlists, then she knows that she may have to go into combat zones. Some women even seek out a military career for this specific reason. If I had any desire at all to enlist, I would be enraged to find out I couldn’t fight, couldn’t get the hazard experience and couldn’t earn that officer rank. And then I’d be stuck in the military, "supporting" a male combat troop and a war I don’t believe in for a country who segregates me, away from my family, and without being able to work off my frustrations in the war trenches, all while being denigrated and possibly raped by the "brothers" I’m supposed to support and depend on.

Military Manual for Female Service Members
"Serving Your Men in the Field"

And don’t even get me started on the "women in the trenches are distractions and liabilities to male service members" debate. To me, this smacks of the blame-the-rape-victim argument.

Oops. Too late. I got started.

The supposed debate is two-fold.

Firstly, they say that if a woman is injured in combat, then a man would simply be compelled to rescue her or tend to her injuries, despite others being injured worse, putting himself at risk, and possibly jeopardizing the mission and the entire team...because he’s a man and can’t help acting on the damsel-in-distress principle.

Yeah.  She looks like she needs your help.

Secondly, they say that if a woman is in the dirty, muddy, primal trenches with dirty, muddy, primal men she is just too sexy for these over-stressed and under-fucked heros of the day that they can’t help but ogle her, touch her, make sexual comments to/about her and try to put their penises into her, thereby compromising the mission because they can’t keep their eyes (and penises) on the road.

"I found her in the trenches.  She's MINE.....huh?  What war?"

In a nutshell:
Chicks are just too weak and sexy for combat.
Those poor dudes can’t help having their instinctual buttons pushed.


The toughest people I know (besides my dad) are female. We have had to wade through crap, and I mean CRAP, for thousands of years. We have been enslaved, ensnared and excluded. We have been beaten, sublimated and ignored. We have raised families, run households, and started businesses. We birth 10-pound children through 10-centimeter cervixes, for chrissakes!

Like so.

I found a great comment on this issue here that sums up perfectly what kind of jackasses our military is composed of:
"...I think it's more [than] some men [getting] threatened. I've posed this before - why do men fantasize about women being in control of them or in power over them but if it happens in real life, they feel like [their] manhood is threatened and they have to overcompensate?"                                                                                        - candycane3482


"Don't threaten MY manhood, missy."