The Day in Cartoons: Handmaids Tale - David Fitzsimmons

Handmaids tale David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

This editorial cartoon brings to mind the white hot words of Joan Crawford, Don't eff with me fellas. This ain't my first time at the rodeo.

Seriously, don't.

The comic references Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale in which women are categorized as wives, handmaids, Marthas, or Aunts, and woe if you do not fit into those three options, or if you are infertile. Woe, treble woe.

Artist of the Day: Circus - Yelena Bryksenkova

Circus - Yelena Bryksenkova

Yelena Brykesenkova's watercolor matches my mischievous/adventurous/wanderlust mood this morning. Could be that I have a vacation coming up very soon. Could be that I'm itching to get out of my comfort zone and try something outside of my box. Could be that the weather is heralding that spring is here to stay on its big shiny trumpet.

I am also reminded of the late Amanda Davis'sWonder When You'll Miss Me. If you haven't read it, here's a sample chapter that will convince you that you really want to.
Follow sixteen-year-old Faith Duckle in this audacious and darkly funny tale as she moves through the difficult journey from the schoolyard to the harlequin world of the circus. At fifteen, Faith was lured under the bleachers by a bunch of boys at a football game and raped. Now, almost a year later, a newly thin Faith is haunted by her past, and by the cruel, flippant ghost of her formerly fat self, who is bent on revenge.

Artist Bio:
i was born in saint petersburg, russia and raised in northeast ohio. in 2010, i graduated from the maryland institute college of art with a BFA in illustration.

a few of my favorite things are world exploration, dashing historical men, good grammar, fancy urns, books, elephants, persian portraiture, folklore, japanese things, limericks, elaborate textiles, napoleon bonaparte, silent cinema, russian ballet, and mysterious circumstances.

my website:

Poem Therapy 3:30 P.M. March 29, 2012: Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich, award-winning poet and essayist, dies aged 82

Poetry Pairing

Thank you for your words.

My favorite is Diving into the Wreck

What's Your Favorite Adrienne Rich Poem?

Diving into the Wreck
Adrienne Rich

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

The Day in Cartoons: Syrian peace plan - Hajo de Reijger

Syrian peace plan Hajo de Reijger

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always. Mahatma Gandhi

I keep Gandhi's quote close, but in truth, I have the luxury of turning the channel when the news from Syria turns bloodier and more desperate every day.

I read the 2011 Vogue article about Bashar Hafez al-Assad and Asma al-Assa. In light of the violence, the article is beyond ironic and maddening. So are the al-Assad's recent emails. The end of this regime's tyranny cannot come soon enough. And it is coming.

Bashar Hafez al-Assad, Asma al-Assad, and all tyrants and their supporters, this song is for you.

Interesting reading:
The Guardian - Exclusive: secret Assad emails lift lid on life of leader's inner circle

The Telegraph - Syria: Bashar al-Assad raises questions over commitment to peace deal

The Christian Science Monitor - Arab leaders call on Syria to end violent crackdown

Spring Break Wish List: Vintage and Handmade Gifts

Hand made Blue Parisisal straw hat annedepasquale

Asymmetrical Linen Dress Ramies

Moroccan Inspired Maharaja Leather Sandals Vinod Lekshmanan

black high waisted bikini meshalo

Beach Tote Kaela Katch kaeladesigns

Artist of the Day: Postcard from the Shore - Gildinglilies

Postcard From The Shore &

Artist Bio:
My art, whether expressed through my photography, mixed media painting, or digital collage is inspired by beauty and nature. My images serve as a visual journal where I explore my feelings and the world around me.
You can visit me at: &

This photograph takes me back to all the times I've stood speechless on the shoreline. I think I'll write a postcard to the Pacific Ocean, using word imagery and salmon to express how this photo makes me feel.

Postcard to the Sea

Dear Sea,

deep endless waters a murky turquoise
syllables float just below the surface
harsh seagull cries accompany crashing waves
curled white words crest the surface
like salmon thrusting homeward
with pink mouths forming and unforming
sentences cling to slick bodies
hungry fish slice towards the shore
paragraphs glide on their backs
waters advance and retreat lapping the shoreline
caressing the small pebbles beneath


The Day in Cartoons: Obamacare Bike - Pat Bagley

Obamacare Bike Pat Bagley

I've been healthy all my life. (knock on wood!) I really haven't had to use my insurance save for yearly check up and one seriously stupid cooking incident.

I am a firm believer in preventative medicine. I try to eat right and exercise, (although sometimes a chocolate raspberry almond concrete's siren call has me crashing against the rocks, but I don't crash too often. Sometimes, I'd rather sit on the deck and watch the birds than walk my dogs, but they whine a lot, so I give in).

I have health insurance. I always have. This is my reality. But, for many, for whatever reason, this is not their reality. I want the reality for every member of my society, all 311 million of us, to have access to health care. I know it's complicated, it's expensive, it's political, but let's figure it out, for all of us.

Interesting reading:
The Christian Science Monitor - Supreme Court health-care hearing: How bad does it look for 'Obamacare'?

Huffington Post - Supreme Court Health Care Reform Protest Highlights Opposition's Terrifying Vision Of Future

Reuters - Supreme court weighs all-or-nothing on healthcare law

The White House - What the New Health Law Means for You and Your Family

Authenticated Government Information GPO - 11th Congress H.R. 3962:To provide affordable health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes

CNN - Supreme Court appears willing to let most of health care law stand

The Atlantic - What Happens to the Uninsured If Health-Care Reform Is Dismantled?

The Onion - Cheney Dropped By White House HMO

Poem Therapy 8:10 March 28, 2012: Power - Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich

Living in the earth-deposits of our history

Today a backhoe divulged out of a crumbling flank of earth
one bottle amber perfect a hundred-year-old
cure for fever or melancholy a tonic
for living on this earth in the winters of this climate

Today I was reading about Marie Curie:
she must have known she suffered from radiation sickness
her body bombarded for years by the element
she had purified
It seems she denied to the end
the source of the cataracts on her eyes
the cracked and suppurating skin of her finger-ends
till she could no longer hold a test-tube or a pencil

She died a famous woman denying
her wounds
her wounds came from the same source as her power

How many times do we deny our wounds? Deny the source?

I had a therapist tell me that it is very hard for strong people to admit their wounds and sound like a victim. It's the truth. I may be bleeding profusely from a mortal stab to the heart, but ask me how I'm doing, and I will tell you I am doing well. And in truth, I will be well very soon.

Now that I think of it, my dentist also told me that sometimes very "strong" people are impervious to drugs, in explanation as to why the nitrous oxide didn't chill me out or knock me out.

Sometimes our greatest strength can be our greatest weakness.

This Moment: 7:04 P.M. March 27, 2012

I am out on the deck watching the sun disappear into the lake. The small dog presses his nose into the cool evening air. He whines his annoyance with his leash. Small violet flowers and old leaves speckle the side lawn. Toy-sized planes pass overhead. Robins, magpies, doves, finches, sparrows and wrens, flit from tree to tree, their voices melody and harmony with an occasional solo. The old dog is resting on the sidewalk, her front paws crossed before her. Days ago I saw three white cranes standing in a field. I stopped the car and walked to the ditch bank to take a photo. The smallest of the trio unfolded it's wings and beat the air as if it would lift from the ground. I understood the warning and retreated behind a poplar, watching from between bare branches as the birds stabbed the ground for seeds. The small dog alternates between barking and whining at a runner jogging past. The field is covered with a stubble of green. The air has turned brisk and my fingers are stiffening. The birds intensify their calls as they sing the sun down.

Artist of the Day: The David Bowie Paper Doll - Claudia Varosio

The David Bowie Paper Doll Claudia Varosio

Although I never played with dolls, I've found making paper dolls for politicians, historical figures, celebrities, despots, radio talk show hosts very cathartic.

Listening to the news lately, you would think that the separation of church and state was a new and pressing issue, as if Thomas Jefferson hadn't made the importance of separation of church and state clear in his letter to the Danbury Baptists, or that it wasn't clearly and emphatically stated in the 1st Amendment.

The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Thirty Years War are chilling examples of why church and state just don't mix so well.

Although JFK's speech on religion, might make some throw up in their mouths, can we please just agree that there are a whole lot of people with a whole lot of religions who enjoy the freedom to practice or not practice their beliefs in these United States, and that maybe there are more pressing matters to discuss?

How about we just turn our phones to silent, shut off the TV, the radio, cut out our David Bowie paper doll and sing along:

Modern Love

Never gonna fall for
Modern Love walks beside me
Modern Love walks on by
Modern Love gets me to the Church on Time
Church on Time terrifies me
Church on Time makes me party
Church on Time puts my trust in God and Man
God and Man no confessions
God and Man no religion
God and Man don't believe
in Modern Love

I found Varosio's David Bowie paper doll today and instantly thought, no confessions, no religion.

Artist Bio:
Those old guys stole our best ideas". F.Goudy, 1920.
Hello & thanks for looking at my shop: it's run solely by me, Claudia, who was born in Italy by the sea midway through the (arguably) finest decade of the 19th century. Interview:
For the record: the movie posters on sale here have never been used to promote the films & are in no way official. My work's been featured in: Newsweek, Esquire, Il Manifesto, ApartmentTherapy, MeanSheets, UrbanDaddy, Thrillist, ModCulture, NylonMag, YenMag, RetrotoGo, Filmspotting, CriterionCorner & more.

This Moment: 9:50 P.M. March 24, 2012

An actor is yelling something in Latin on the television in the other room. The small dog's ears perk and he looks to me, gauges my non reaction and settles his head back onto his paw. The old dog unfolds herself and struggles to her feet, walks a few unsteady steps, then slowly lowers herself onto the hardwood. She is sore from yesterday's walk. Tufts of dog hair float briefly. I think to get the broom. I don't. Gemstone and crystal bead strands catch the light and I am dazzled. Tonight, I am a pirate with treasure! The small dog suddenly leaps on his squeak toy and tosses then pounces, similar to a cat harrowing a mouse. I hear my husband talking in the bedroom, negotiating a deadline. Even in his sleep, he works. The old dog is watching the small dog with his toy. Her lip curls to reveal worn canines when the small dog drops his toy on the rug near me. I throw it into the kitchen and the old dog barks her betrayal. My husband's sleep worn voice warns, "we don't have much time." Both dogs are alert, their attention focused on the closed door, the sleeping man's voice behind the door. I tell the dogs, "we have the hours, the days, the years." The small dog turns his head sideways as I speak. The old dog todders over for a pat. None of us know how much time there is. I think of Gandolf, a character in a book from my youth, asking a young Frodo, "What will you do with time given you?" A train slices the silence.

Artist of the Day: Utah Birds and Blooms of the Fifty States - Mara Murphy and Anna Branning

Utah Birds and Blooms of the Fifty States Mara Murphy and Anna Branning

San Francisco's Mara Murphy and Anna Branning are the talented artists of Dutch Door.

I love the duo's state bird and bloom series, and the quilt block/ family crest/ coat of arms design.

Utah's seagull and sego lily are represented well.

Seagulls are famous in Zion, (also known as Deseret or Utah), for saving the early Mormon settler's from crickets. Yes, crickets.

long story short: The Mormon's early crops were plagued by a hoard of hungry crickets. The pioneers prayed and prayed. Suddenly, the sky was filled seagulls, the birds fell upon the crickets and ate them all. The crops were saved. The seagull became the state bird.

Artist Bio:
what's behind the dutch door?

two friends, two antique printing presses, a bunch of ink and a whole lot of paper.

mara murphy and anna branning, friends and co-workers for many years established dutch door press, a design & letterpress studio, in 2006 in a beautiful victorian house in san francisco. we named our press after the entryway to our studio- none other than a dutch door.

with an affinity for rich color, vintage patterns, natural forms and symmetry we create unique and boldly colored designs for our greeting cards, posters, and invitations. all of our designs are printed by hand on our antique chandler & price platen press or our equally lovely vandercook simple precision 15 proofing press.

Watch and Listen Weekend Playlist

For the last few years, I've had suitcase dreams. I'm either packing a suitcase, losing a suitcase, or lugging a suitcase around.

Suitcase is a nice word for baggage.

What I know for sure, is it is time to listen to what my dreams have been trying so hard to tell me: Sister friend, it is time for you to sit down, unpack your bags, and hand those fools their baggage claim tickets.

How about from now all of us declare we will carry only our own bags? Don't you feel lighter already!

It's pretty clear from the play list that I am having attitude this weekend.

Have yourself some attitude, too.

Miranda Lambert - Baggage Claim

Aretha Franklin - Respect

Zeus - Are You Going to Waste My Time?

Jack White - Love Interruption

Lissie - Go Your Own Way

Ramones - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Erasure - A Little Respect

Heartless Bastards - Simple Feeling

Peter Bjorn & John I Know You Don't Love Me

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Come Undone

Elbow - Grounds for Divorce

Wye Oak - Holy Holy

Joss Stone - Karma

Poem Therapy 3:07 P.M.: How to Make a Game of Waiting- Jennifer K. Sweeney

How to Make a Game of Waiting
Jennifer K. Sweeney

This is a capsized game
and there is no display of aces at the end.
Buy a rare and expensive plant that never blooms.
Rearrange your books by the color of the spines.
Bury all your keys that don’t unlock anything.
These are not rules but merely suggestions
of what has worked for others.
For instance, the man who painted landscapes
on his daughter’s sheet music.
Put a big rock on your desk.
Do not name the rock.
Take the numbers off the clock and mail them
to your creditors.
Stitch the hours onto a kite.
Every night, ask until you can hear what replies.

I'll add to the poem the following:
Buy a half dozen chili chocolate cake bites.
Eat them as if you were a very small squirrel
with very small teeth.
Do not eat them all at once.
Divide them and hide half in the burrow of a cabinet
as if inside a tree hollow.
When you have finished eating
do not ask, say, the words you have been swallowing
these long years.

Artist of the Day: Landscape 042 - Walter Helena Photography

Limited edition 8 x 8 inch faux-Polaroid Hahnemuhle photograph Landscape 042 Nadine Walter Helena Photography &

This photograph reminds me of being out on Antelope Island in early June, with the briny water of the Great Salt Lake stinging my legs.

I think that's what I'll do this weekend: Head out to the island and take photographs.

Nadine of WHP's photo have an ephemeral quality to them. They look like they were taken on the move, as if the photographer were documenting every stop of her journey, almost like the photos I like to take as a car passenger or from my window seat in a plane.

Artist Bio:
WHP is Nadine, a girl from the West Coast always in search of a warm wind and silence.

I produce high-end, fine art photographs available in limited editions of 25.

I travel often and I always carry my camera with me (a Canon EOS 50D) ... a very heavy necklace.

Through my printing styles, the photographs become pieces of art; thick paper, texture beneath the ink, intensely saturated colours. The prints appear hand painted and the collections featured here aim to capture the dream-like transience of spaces.

I take immense pride in the reproduction of my images. Each individual WHP image is part of a themed collection and is available in a variety of sizes from 5 x 5 inches to 40 x 40 inches.

The Day in Cartoons: Non Sequitur - Wiley Miller

Non Sequitur Wiley Miller

Cavemen and Puritans. Yep, that has to be who is behind the wheel of this Model A Ford driving the GOP off the road.

Maybe someone should show these guys the latest 2012 models available in a showroom nearby, or at least have this quote made into a bumper sticker:

You can’t win a general election with the angry, white, male vote. from The Republican Party’s demographics problem by Fareed Zakaria, CNN

Interesting reading:
NPR - The Republican Party And Women

Women's Political History - Whatever Happened to Republican Feminists?

Artist of the Day: Paper Necklace and Bracelet - Dorisse

Set of Necklace and Bracelet made of Book pages Dorisse

The sculptural texture and form of Munich-based artist Dorisse's jewelry reminds me of pieces I've seen made of mica. I love that she uses old books to create her jewelry and art.

Artist Bio:
My name is Doris, friends call me Dorisse, and that is also my artist name. I am 45 years old, German, I live in the south of Germany with my 6 year old daughter.

Creating things is my live. Whithout doing that I could not exist. I am a creator, an artist, and I am really bad in selling or promoting myself.
The first sale I made on the age of 13 (32 years ago). Classmates bought my bead jewelry. I studied art history on the University and I have the title "Magister Artium" (Master of art). In 1988 I took my trade license for artists. I sold most of my items by word-of-mouth-recommendation

When I was in Italy for a scholarship in 1991, italians could not pronounce my name correctly. They did not say Doris, It sounded like Dorisse. Soon my nickname was Dorisse, and so it is also my pseudonym as an artist.

I had a cool studio with a nice saleroom downtown until the birth of my daughter (nearly 5 years ago). And just now I discovered the Internet, so my Internet shop exists only since a couple of months.

Now I have a wonderful, really large studio that is in the mansard. There are different "corners" for the different works. Actually: two big Tables for the porcelain work, a little one for the jewelry, and there is the place for the easel. Also my computer place is here. You nearly cannot see the walls, because they are full with bookshelfs. Normally I am working in the nighttime, when my daughter is sleeping, listening to audio books. In summer time I love to work in the garden.

As an art historian I am very influenced be fine art. Paintings, sculpture, architecture. But not only, Often I see something, and I get just an intensive feeling. That can be certain colour combinations, or structures ( in the nature, in fotos, fabrics, fashion, materials...)

Artist of the Day: First day of Spring with Snowdrops

First day of Spring with Snowdrops Tim Irving

Yesterday it was a blizzard. Today it a world made of sunshine.

Check out Suffolk-based photographer Tim Irving's beautiful photographs. My favorites so far are: Think Pink and Street Party, (and because of my fascination with rhinos, The Great Vegetarian.

Artist Bio:
I was given a camera when I was 9 years old and I've been taking photographs ever since. My photographs are inspired by my childhood memories, I spend a long time creating the concepts based on these memories and work to achieve the images by using traditional photographic techniques. I attended art school for four years, I studied painting, drawing, and graphic design.

You can keep up with what I'm doing by visiting my blog

First Day of Spring Wish List - Vintage and Handmade Gifts

Be cheery with Emerald Green Dress LadyTA

Obsidian Wind Chimes with Cholla Cactus Mushroom WingsAndWindChimes

Painted Daisy Seeds FlorentineGardens

pink joy applique clutch with burlap mamableudesigns

Natural and orange fiber necklace superlittlecute

One Sentence: March 18, 2012

Recipe for a happy Sunday: Large crock pot; one and one half cup balsamic vinegar; one white onion, sliced; one bag small Irish potatoes, one head red cabbage, sliced; one head green cabbage, sliced; cook on high for four hours; dash of cream horseradish; white stoneware; large tine flatware; heavy glassware; family; two dogs; one four-year old in Spiderman goggles and hand gear.

St. Patrick's Day Wish List: Vintage and Handmade Gifts

Vintage Irish Silver Shamrock Brooch with Connemara Marble WonderfulAntiques

Vintage 1.20 Carat Old European Cut Diamond Engagement Ring ErstwhileJewelry

Rosemary Pine Nut Shortbread Cookies ButterBlossoms

Heart Shaped Green Clover MarianneLoMonaco

Vintage 50's Jonathan Logan Blue and Green Floral Dress WhenDecadesCollide

This Moment: 7:56 A.M. March 17, 2012

The wind sounds like a chorus of furious ghosts. The sky is gray, the color of melancholy. A small woman in yellow quick steps, as if dancing, on the sidewalk in front of my house. I hear my husband yell the small dog's name and know he has once again broken from his leash and is running free. I imagine his small face pressed into the wind, his smug self-satisfaction when he saunters back into the yard. I woke from a dream of falling, of watching the man plummet headfirst through the blue sky that September morning. Why am I dreaming of him eleven years later? A steady caravan of cars roll past, their headlights a mute point. My husband has his starched shirts spread out on the bed and is removing them from the plastic sheaths. The small dog noses the discarded wrapping and stamps his back paw before settling between the shirts and the growing mound of plastic. A truck pulling what appears to be an igloo drives past. Tree branches are knocking back and forth in the wind. The storm is minutes away.

Watch and Listen Weekend Playlist

I heard Got Nuffin on the way in this morning, and it was the perfect start for this day, and I think, the perfect start for the weekend.

Having nothing to lose is the way to leave the "what ifs", the fear, on the side of the highway. Open the door, kick it out, whatever it is, and drive away.

Think about it: either you really have nothing to lose, like a job, family, lover, or it's up to you to make it happen for your job, family, lover by whatever means possible.

Either way, let's live like we have nothing to lose, if only just for the weekend.

Spoon Got Nuffin

Kathleen Edwards Change the Sheets

The Black Keys Sister

A Band Of Bees I Really Need Love

The Dandy Warhols All The Money Or The Simple Life Honey

Anna Calvi Desire

Otis Redding Try a Little Tenderness

John Lennon Instant Karma

Susan Tedeschi You can make if you try

Ane Brun Do You Remember

Angus and Julia Stone Big Jet Plane

The Day in Cartoons: Davida and Goliathphant - Bill Day

Davida and Goliathphant Bill Day

53 percent of the population may appear like a minority, to some.

Better duck!

fyi: I googled "GOP and women", and these were the first articles:

Chicago Tribune - Woman troubles: The GOP's bizarre quarrel with reality

The New Yorker - Has Limbaugh Identified the G.O.P.’s Woman Problem?

Huffington Post - Fighting the GOP War on Women From the States

The New York Times - Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment

Emily's List - Tell the GOP to leave women's health care to women!

Fox News - Yes, there is a Republican war on women voters(if Fox News acknowledges the GOP's issue with women, well, it's bigger than we think)

The Daily Beast - Senate Dems and Republicans Square Off Over New Violence Against Women Act

One Sentence: 4:57 P.M. March, 15,2012

Tiramisu and Italian coffee makes the medicine of the day go down much smoother.

Artist of the Day: Let It Be - Amy Giacomelli

3 Word Pears ... let it be Amy Giacomelli

Worry will do nothing more than make the issue larger. Walk away. Think of something else. Make something. Do something, anything, for someone else.

Let it go. Let it be.

And listen to the Beatles while you're letting it be.

Let it be, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Yeah, There will be an answer, let it be.

Artist Bio:
I have been painting as a full time profession for 20 years, that's half my life! ;) It is my pleasure to bring you handpainted works of art created by me in my studio in beautiful Colorado.

Ides of March Wish List - Vintage and Homemade Gifts

Custom Japanese Renaissance style knife BoneCreations

Legend of The Seeker Kahlan Dagger Sword of Truth princessnightmare

Pocket Knife Necklace JaneBVintage

SPIKE Knife Hand Forged Carbon Steel rekamepip

18 inches custom damascus knife Vicky Waqas

Women's History Month 2012


Library of Congress - March is Women's History Month

The White House - Presidential Proclamation -- Women’s History Month, 2012

National Women's History Month - It's Women's History Month

UK Women's History Month - What About Her Story?

The Daily Beast - Women in the World

The Guardian - How we can connect with feminism's global future

The Christian Science Monitor - Women who shaped history with a pen

Aljazeera - How one religious scholar fought for women's rights and won

Women in World History - Women in World History

NWHP - I've included a few questions about American women and their achievements. To take the entire National Women's History Project quiz on American women, and to get the answers click here.

Women’s History Month Quiz
Created by Margaret Zierdt, National Women's History Project Board member

Can You Identify These Women of Great Vision and Achievement Whose History Is Our Strength?

1.Who became the first female Secretary of State of the United States, appointed by President Clinton in 1997?

5.Who is considered the first American woman to be ordained by full denominational authority in 1864, and who also campaigned vigorously for full woman suffrage?

8.Who was the first black woman and the youngest poet laureate in American history when she was appointed in 1993?

10.Who was the female lawyer who worked for equal rights and suffrage, co-founded the ACLU in 1910, and helped write the Equal Rights Amendment?

11.Who led the fight to criminalize lynching, helped form the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and aided many black people who migrated from the South to Chicago?

12.Who became the first female president of Harvard University when she was named its 28th president in 2007?

13.Who became the first woman vice-president candidate on a major political party ticket when selected in 1984?

14.Who volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War, earning the nickname “Mother,” and after peace became an attorney advocating for veterans?

15.Who was the United States delegate to the United Nations who championed and won approval of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948?

16.Who earned a graduate degree from Oberlin College in 1888, was the first black woman to serve on a Board of Education (in D.C.), sued to integrate restaurants in the 1950’s, integrated the American Association of University Women at age 85, and was a founding member of NAACP?

17.Who wrote "The Feminine Mystique" in 1968 and became a leading figure in the Women's Movement?

22.Who is the architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., which she designed when she was only 21 years old?

35.What woman attended the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, signed the Declaration of Sentiments, and lived to see women win the vote in 1920?

39.Who sculpted the full scale marble statue of Lincoln which is in the Capitol Rotunda, becoming the first female and youngest artist to receive a commission from the government for a statue?

49.Who introduced America to French cooking in her books and television series from 1963 through the 1990's?

The Day in Cartoons: Let Them Eat Slime Jen Sorensen

Let Them Eat Slime Jen Sorensen

If you've been to a school lately to have lunch with your child, you know school lunch isn't what it was when you were a kid. Other than the rolls and vegetables, it look a lot like Franken-food.

Of course the Let them eat slime is an allusion to the oft-quoted Let them eat cake, incorrectly attributed to the unfortunate French queen, Marie Antoinette. Looks like perception really is reality.

Even though I know she didn't say it, here's my letter from Marie to Cake:

Dear Cake,

I should have said pie.

Marie Antoinette

P.S. I don't blame you for anything.

Artist of the Day: Pocket Manfriend Ray - Nicola Rowlands

Pocket Manfriend Ray Nicola Rowlands

Artist Bio:
Check out my blog:
Follow me on twitter: @nicolarowlands
Find me on facebook:

Thank all the gods for Manchester England based artist Nicola Rowlands for her brilliant cards and wee folk, which have infused the day with humor and cheered me out of my stormy cloud. I love them!

I like the idea of carrying a manfriend around in my pocket, (or handbag since my skirts and dresses rarely have pockets).

It's really hard to believe it's the 21st Century and that women are 53 percent of the population, with all the religious fellas and political fellas never ending use of women to grind their axes on, and with recent Limbaugh and Maher's double standard sexist blather. The c-word and the s-word are the last refuge of cowards. The b-word can easily be applied to both genders, and female dogs, but it's still not very nice.

It is such a relief to know I have a manfriend who doesn't want to tell me what I should do with my womb, my thoughts, or my life.

My manfriend wants to just hang out with me, have a cup of coffee, and talk, like my opinion, my thoughts and feelings matter. My manfriend wants to be my friend, not my daddy, not my lord and master, not my teacher. Just my friend. And that is best of all.

Poem Therapy at 10:30 March 14, 2012:

You & I Belong in This Kitchen
Juan Felipe Herrera

longtime hermano Bob tells me
one of the monks in brown directs us to the deep sink
made of two sinks the hose & the silver table where all
the spoons & metal tongs are clean
wait at the entrance for directions the monk gave me
but he is in there & points me to another sink
made of two sinks & a silver table where all
the spoons & metal tongs are clean
scrub off the rice burned at the bottom
there it is clinging to the sides of the steel
outside working the hole in the earth
three monks in brown stir the blackish pots boiling
four mouths of mud cakes for the new lunar year
the dragon the people the monastery the mountains
one monk stands staring into the nothing
no thoughts around him
the other monk descends through the scaly fog two
children angle an exploded tree limb back & forth
so the sparks play with them to the left
the meditation hall is curved & faces Escondido
down below where my father drove his army truck
& pulled our trailer to a stop on Lincoln Road in ‘54
I watered spidered corn & noticed the deportations
little friends gone the land left to ice alone
lunch is served we go to the line the spoons
and the speckled tongs await by the brown rice
white rice eggplant kim chee & a grey shade pot
pour the seaweed soup we go with our tray & sit
the mud cakes are ribboned in red & gold & green
there is a way to do this
it requires listening & seeing &
silence silence the bell rings
longtime hermano Bob & I at the parking lot
we leave brown cloth brown cloth
naked spoons naked pots
steam rises from the sink & the view
the view with no one in front or in back

there is a way to do this
it requires listening & seeing &

We are all in the kitchen together. You and I. Each of us need each other to survive. We need each other to feel alive. Each of us need silence, the freedom to stare into the space before our eyes with no thoughts around us.

Sometimes, even in the kitchen, we need to be alone.

The Day in Cartoons: Girl Scouts - Bob Englehart

Girl Scouts Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

The Girl Scouts helped my daughter learn about service and community. I appreciate them for all they do for all the girls.

I love their cookies. Samoas and Lemonades are my favorites. What are yours?

Girl Scout Website - Girl Scouts

Huff Post Women - Girl Scouts Changed the World 100 Years Ago -- Now it's Our Turn

-- How Much Is a Girl Worth? Transforming the Girl Scouts at 100

U~T San Diego Photo Gallery - Girl Scouts turns 100

Artist of the Day: The Last Good Emperor - Jenny Silva

The Last Good Emperor Jenny Silva

Artist Bio:
My life is all about my two American Pit Bull Terriers and presenting positive images with them here in the north Florida area. I love photography and stenciling
This image of a dog crowned as an emperor, got me thinking again about an article I read last night about the Koch brothers, which led me to think of emperors of the past, which led to thinking of the Prieuré de Sion's, (a not so secret secret society since Holy Blood, Holy Grail) failed goal of an emperor-run one world order, which led to thinking about Bush Sr's push for New World Order, which then made me think of Bush Jr. and the belief-defying owl ritual recounted inThem: Adventures with Extremists, which devolved into thinking of dictators, despots and their effect on human lives, which lastly led to thinking of corporations, which now that they are people, (thanks so much Supreme Court), just may be the new emperors on the block. Or are the Koch brothers the heir and the spare? (read the Bloomberg article and you decide).

I start with a great picture of a dog and end with a thoughts on genocide and corporations. Poor puppy!

Based on what we know of past emperors, using good and emperor is an oxymoron on par with benevolent dictator.

The history of emperors and monarchs is fascinating, now that they're really history and can't wreak havoc. The last hurrah of twentieth century emperors and dictators saw atrocities on an incomprehensible scale.

I've listed two relatively unknown genocides below, as well as a list of monarchs and related articles, and the Koch article that started this train down the tracks, in case you're interested in further reading. (You may also be interested in Armenia, but there's a law against calling the systematic deaths of 1.5 million genocide, fyi. (Historical note: When the Nazis were trying to figure out how the could get away with the Final Solution and asked their Fuhrer this, Hitler replied, "who remembers Armenia.")

Emperor Hirohito and Nanking

Wilhelm II and the Herero and Namaqua

What about the 21st Century? Darfur, the first genocide of the century continues. Some quibble over which noun to use, massacre or genocide, when referring to Hafez al-Assad and Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

Bloomberg - Koch Brothers Sue Widow of Cato Chairman Emeritus Over Stock

The Economist - A Survey of the 20th Century: The last emperors

University of Michigan Department of History Ian Mladjov's Resources - MONARCHS: chronology and genealogy lists

Wikipedia - List of monarchs who lost their thrones in the 20th and 21st centuries

Artist of the Day: AulaniPhotography


This is exactly how I feel, and how I look today.

Artist Bio:
Not a day goes by that my mind is not thinking about creating something. I am happiest when my creativity is being put to use, and photography has always been my biggest love. Nothing excites me more than returning home with pictures to go through and finding that one image that stuns my eyes and makes my heart ache with happy pride.

I have always been a crafty person and my mom always tells this story from back when I was three-- I used to get up in the morning and watch the art programs that used to play on T.V. One day I was watching and I brought to my sleeping mom a basket I made all by myself. She said it was cut, there was glue, and it was woven together...and I was only 3. She always tells me that she wishes she had kept it. Well the passion for art and crafty things has been with me my entire life, and I finally decided that it was time to sell my art. I put a lot of time and heart into the pieces of art I create, and I love doing it.


The Day in Cartoons: Mormon Posthumous Baptism Cafe - Daryl Cagle

Mormon Posthumous Baptism Cafe Daryl Cagle

Religion and politics are seriously hot button pushers for the majority of Earth's inhabitants, (so I am going to very carefully put my finger on the button without pressing down too hard).

I live in Utah, so I am smack in the epi-center of all things Mormon. A lot of practices or beliefs people who are not from here and have never heard of or imagined until watching recent news, may seem strange or inexplicable. Yes, I agree, but most practices and beliefs not your own or the dominant culture's are strange and inexplicable, if you really think about it.

But here is where practices and beliefs head into territory not even angels should tread: appropriating religion and/or identity, especially when an entire population is persecuted for that religion and/or identity.

Read more about the subject:

Huffington Post - Ask A Mormon: Am I Going to Be Baptized After I'm Dead?

NPR - Mormon Church Limits Access to Controversial Baptism Records

CBS News - Mormon church moves to end Holocaust baptisms

March Books - 2012

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea - Charles Seife
The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshiped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. Now it threatens the foundations of modern physics. For centuries the power of zero savored of the demonic; once harnessed, it became the most important tool in mathematics. For zero, infinity's twin, is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything.

Secret Son - Laila Lalami
Raised by his mother in a one-room house in the slums of Casablanca, Youssef El Mekki has always had big dreams of living another life in another world. Suddenly his dreams are within reach when he discovers that his father—whom he’d been led to believe was dead—is very much alive. A wealthy businessman, he seems eager to give his son a new start. Youssef leaves his mother behind to live a life of luxury, until a reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends. Trapped once again by his class and painfully aware of the limitations of his prospects, he becomes easy prey for a fringe Islamic group.

The Four Levels of Healing - Shakti Gawain
In this profoundly exciting and challenging time, individuals may find they are involved in a difficult yet fascinating learning process -- both their personal evolution and the evolution of human consciousness. In this book, best-selling author Shakti Gawain describes the four levels of human existence -- spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical -- and explains the importance of developing all four. She also provides the meditations and exercises readers need to begin their own healing journeys.

Hector and the Search for Happiness - Franacois Lelord
Hector is a young psychiatrist in Paris who does not understand why his patients in this most beautiful of cities are unhappy. So he decides to take a trip around the world--from Paris to China to Africa to the United States--and to keep a list of observations about the people he meets, hoping to find the secret to happiness.

Small Bird, Tell Me - Helen Papanikolas
"She carries literary dexterity and grace to its ultimate...Being rooted in her people, she is able to probe deeply into their personal experiences and foibles, with compassion and understanding." from The Greek American

The Little Book - Selden Edwards
Thirty years in the writing, Selden Edwards's dazzling first novel is an irresistible triumph of the imagination. Wheeler Burden-banking heir, philosopher, student of history, legend's son, rock idol, writer, lover, recluse, half-Jew, and Harvard baseball hero-one day finds himself wandering not in his hometown of San Francisco in 1988 but in a city and time he knows mysteriously well: Vienna, 1897. Before long, Wheeler acquires a mentor in Sigmund Freud, a bitter rival, a powerful crush on a luminous young woman, and encounters everyone from an eight-year-old Adolf Hitler to Mark Twain as well as the young members of his own family. Solving the riddle of Wheeler's dislocation in time will ultimately reveal nothing short of one eccentric family's unrivaled impact upon the course of human history.

This Moment: 12:23 P.M. March 10,2012

I am on the side deck sitting crossed-legged, absorbing the sun's warmth, and like a lizard, hoarding it for later when the snow returns. The small dog is all nose, face pressed into the ground, an olfactory detective. The old dog barks her warning at cyclists speeding past the house, crouched over their bikes like jockeys. A pheasant's protests grates like a car engine refusing to turn over. Four crows pitch and change lanes in the air inches above the barren apple trees. A slight breeze stirs the wind chimes and the hollow sound of bamboo knocking together joins with ceramic discs and metal tubes chiming the last days of winter goodbye. The small dog is curled into my hand scratching his flank.

I am angry and relieved, back from a ten-minute dog hunt after the small dog broke from his leash and pursued a cyclist. I returned home to find him panting, full of burs, and utterly pleased with himself, the leash trailing behind him. Now he is back to barking at cyclists and joggers, looking back to me with a kind of plea in his voice for release. I allow myself to feel the almost loss of him, imagine what I would have done if I had found him on the busy road. Sometimes I think love for a tiny being is almost too much for a human heart. I hear, but cannot see the plane passing overhead. A bird is singing, staking it's claim on territory. The old dog thrusts his head under my phone for her ear scratches. A toy-sized plane buzzes noisily to the west and I realize it's been months since jets from the nearby base have filled the sky with their intense daily punk rock screams. Soon buds will appear on the branches of the neighbor's pear, peach and apple trees.

Watch and Listen Weekend Playlist

On the way to pick up a pear and pecan Gorgonzola salad for lunch I sang along with the windows rolled down and the heater on. Click past the ad, to see this darkly comic music video.
Simple Song - The Shins

Heard about the Israeli-based puppet band on NPR on the drive home, and had to have a little talk with myself to wait until a stoplight to look them up on youtube. You'll love these guys. Boots Are Made for Walking - Red Band and Marina MB

The ultimate "he said, she said" art-infused video, and yes, you can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness. Someone I Used to Know - Kimbra

This makes me want to take a road trip to the ocean and go snowshoeing, and record both on my Flip. Skinny Love - Bon Iver

The video is just a photograph and lyrics - there are live versions, but her voice here is strong. Florence reminds me of a young Loreena McKinnit. What the Water Gave Me - Florence and the Machine

My suggestion is to skip the middle of the video and just listen, unless you like odes to Flashdance. Anna Sun - Walk the Moon

A beautiful voice. Love is Requited - Elisa

I'm speechless. Watch and see if you can articulate anything other than, Oh Wow!Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men

And now for some oldies:
This takes me back to college when my poet friend introduced to me to underground music stores. Babooshka - Kate Bush

I love his words and his mellifluous voice. Indigo Eyes - Peter Murphy

The video is just so, bad, but I love that warble in his voice so much. A Little Respect - Erasure

While I'm going down memory lane, here's Siouxie. She performed on a tiny stage at the Utah State Fair, back when she was starting out. I had never seen or heard anyone like her. She is still a wild woman. The Killing Jar - Siouxie and the Banshees

And a mix of blues:
Speaking of wild women, I've been listening to Shemika ever since I ordered her very first CD, (basically because I love the blues and I liked the name of the studio, Alligator Records). Freeland - Shemika Copeland

Only Etta can dis like this and get away with it. Wet Match - Etta James

Skip the ad and get right to her silk on skin voice. The Look of Love - Diana Krall

Purple Sweater Barbie at 53

Purple Sweater Barbie Cheryl Oz

On this day in 1959 the Barbie doll made its debut at the American Toy Fair in New York, the doll was designed by Ruth Handler and introduced by Mattel Toy Company costing $3.

Diet drug retailers and plastic surgeons the world over rejoiced.

I love art dolls or handmade dolls for aesthetic and historical reasons. I especially love voodoo dolls, but will never own one unless it is of the molded chocolate sort that can be eaten and doesn't take itself or its intent seriously.

I never played with dolls when I was a little girl. The only doll I can remember receiving was a Raggedy Ann doll and she was ok, since she doubled as a pillow. I liked to climb trees, run, swim, ride my bike that I bought with money I earned washing cars, hang out with the neighborhood boys. All the neighborhood girls my age wanted to play house wife, or play shop at the mall, or wedding day, with their vast array of Barbies.

I hated Barbie. Hated her.

My favorite game was drama in which you acted out very dramatic stories. They generally involved mystery and a bit of blood. For a very brief time, another girl moved into the neighborhood that loved stories, hiding in forts, swinging from the Bowery rafters, and watching suspicious neighbors in case they were Soviet spies. But then she moved away. Inexplicably, all my boy friends turned shy, wanted to hold hands instead of hide out in tree forts. The neighborhood girls still played with dolls, but now wanted to hold hands with real boys instead of pressing Ken's plastic arm around Barbie's impossibly small waist.

Over nineteen years later when my daughter was a toddler, I can't tell you how surprised I was that she adored Barbie and insisted on owning all of them, on wearing Barbie dresses and princess dresses and molded pink high heels, and insisted that I play Barbie with her, so she wouldn't have to be all the voices.

I played Barbie goes to college, Barbie travels the world, Barbie encounters a terrifying shark in the bathwater and wins, and liked it.

The Day in Cartoons: Kony cops an internet campaign - Peer Broelman

Kony cops an internet campaign Peter Broelman, Australia

"Here's the biggest problem. Do you wanna know what it is? Nobody knows who he is. He's not famous. He is invisible," said the documentary's maker Jason Russell. "Here is how we are going to make him visible."

Watch the film, Kony 2012. It's only twenty-nine minutes of your time.

Invisible Children

Invisible Children uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony's rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in central Africa to peace and prosperity.

CBS This Morning - Charity defends "Kony 2012" video, expenses

CNN - Joseph Kony: Brutal warlord who shocked world

Hindustan Times - Storm over viral campaign to arrest Uganda's Kony

Joseph Kony

Artist of the Day: Sea Woman - Carlos C. Lainez

Sea Woman Carlos C. Lainez &

I've been dreaming of fish lately, and for whatever reason, I've also been thinking of Marie Antoinette, so this witty drawing by Carlos c. Lainez, illustrates both thoughts.

I've always wanted to live by the ocean, but the reality is, I've lived here so long, next to a salty sea -- where only brine shrimp can thrive, good thing since they are the dietary staple of the largest migratory bird population in the world-- that I would probably long for the desert.

Artist Bio:
Hello, welcome to The Smoking Cat shop. In this store you can find collective work of Carlos C. Lainez, Carmen Guerrero and Antonio Crespo.

We love the illustration, painting, drawing and engraving. We also like the illustrated books. Sometimes the pictures write beautiful stories. Further, the words of a book may be the most beautiful illustrations.

Thanks for visiting and we hope you like our work and enjoy them.

International Women's Day Wish List: Vintage and Homemade Gifts

Wonder Woman Version 2 CiaranMonaghan

Mother mybeardedpigeon

Fulani woman with Maria Theresa Dollars cathysavelspaintings

Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History faystreetstudio

Nepalese Bride Matryoshka AmyPerrotti

The Day in Cartoons: Wonderful Nobel - Gianfranco Uber

Wonderful Nobel Gianfranco Uber The Guardian

Today is International Women's Day. Perhaps the 21st Century will see equity and equality become the norm for women the globe over. Let's hope so!

Enjoy the articles and slide shows:
The Washington Post - INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY GOOGLE DOODLE: Colorful logo celebrates 101st anniversary of empowering day

The Christian Science Monitor - International Women's Day: How it's celebrated around the globe

-- International Women's Day: Michelle Obama shows Hillary Clinton some love

The Vancouver Sun - International Women's Day 2012: Images from International Women's Day 2012

Poem Therapy 2:58 P.M.: Dream In Which I Meet Myself - Lynn Emanuel

Dream In Which I Meet Myself
Lynn Emanuel

Even the butter's a block of sleazy light. I see that first,
as though I am a dreary guest come to a dreary supper.
On her table, its scrubbed deal trim and lonely as a cot,
is food for one, and everything we've ever hated: a plate of pallid
grays and whites is succotash and chops are those dark shapes glaring up at us.
Are you going to eat this? I want to ask; she's at the stove dishing up,
wearing that apron black and stiff as burned bacon, reserved for maids and waitresses.
The dream tells us: She is still a servant. Even here.
So she has to clean our plate. It's horrible to watch.
She pokes the bits of stuff into her mouth. The roll's glued shut like a little box
with all that sticky butter. Is this all living gets you? The room, a gun stuck in your back?
Don't move, It says. She's at the bureau lining up bobby pins.
Worried and fed up I wander to the window
with its strict bang of blind. My eyes fidget and scratch.
And then I see myself: I am this dream's dog. I want out.

According to the Jungian dream expert I heard on the radio sometime in the not too distant past, all people, animals and things in dreams represent ourselves, or aspects of ourselves.

Based on the dreams of the last week, I see myself in symbolic form as: a very aggressive man, a salmon, a large rock in Hawaii called Hat Island, a mischievous black-speckled brown fish, a woman accusing a man of unimaginable selfishness, red shoes, an anthropomorphic rhino beetle, a baby with blues eyes, an Orient Express-type train, packed suitcases, an ancient Aztec soccer player, friends that are enemies in disguise, a condescending police officer, a church pew with a turquoise cushion, a bare knuckle boxer at an opera.

Bare knuckle boxing at the opera? My dreams are evidence, that symbolically, I am a serious mess.

I heard Lynn Emanuel read close to seven years ago at the Finch Lane Art Gallery, also known as the Art Barn. I had never heard or read her poetry, but after her reading, purchased all of her books that night.

I will admit listening to her poems, especially inside getrude stein, Inventing Father in Las Vegas, and Homage to Sharon Stone, I got an immediate literary crush, (crush for lack of better word choice), in the same way people get celebrity crushes when they see actors or performers.

I didn't jump and wave or take her picture or ask for a picture of us together, but I did get her autograph - she signed my books.

The lines Is this all living gets you? and I am this dream's dog remind me why I immediately fell for her words.

Some Days Ask Questions, Other Days Answer Them

Finally Allison Long Hardy

Some days, some years, even entire decades ask or answer questions.

Today, this is a day that answers questions.

Read Deepak Chopra's The 3 Questions To Ask Yourself When Things Go Wrong

Here are the questions:
1. Is this a problem I should fix, put up with or walk away from?

2. Who can I consult who has solved the same problem successfully?

3. How can I reach deeper into myself for solutions?