Addie’s Little Angel

4 Aug

Recently I learned that the difficulties my granddaughter has had in school are known as Asperger’s Syndrome, and that there is an organization that trains dogs to help kids with Asperger’s – AMAZING!!!  Now I am learning about Asperger’s and doing all I can to help spread social understanding and acceptance, as well as the wonderful news that Little Angels Service Dogs exist!

Please share and if you can donate anything at all, please do!  Share and share and share – that is so helpful!!!   My granddaughter’s story is at, scroll down to Addie, age 11.  Please share the link to help raise awareness and spread KINDNESS!!!  Please take a few moments to learn about Asperger’s and to teach your children to recognize it in their classmates and to be sympathetic and respectful of their special challenges in social settings, especially at school!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

This is my granddaughter, Adairah ("Addie")

This is my granddaughter, Adairah (“Addie”)

Gramma Carmels

Gramma Carmels, Tessa, Addie & Chelsea

Making Amends

14 Jun

It’s Father’s Day and that, for a lot of men, means a healthy reminder that it is never too late to make amends!  The attempt to make amends takes tremendous courage.  Before you consider how to go about making amends to children whose faith in you, and in men, and in God as a Father figure, has been damaged by your repeated failures to act like a man and keep your promises, a word of advice from a grownup daughter of a lame dad who never attempted to make amends.

Step 1.  Put yourself in the child’s shoes.  Stop thinking of yourself, your feelings, your reasons, your circumstances, your excuses.  The fact is, whatever you did (or did not do, and that is the problem), you were the adult, and they were the child, and no matter how mature they seem to you now — that little boy or girl is still inside, those memories of pain, fear, confusion, doubt, hopelessness…those feelings are still attached to thoughts of you.  The moment they found out you could not be counted on for love and support — that is the nerve touched at every thought of you, and they have to set that aside and try to override the negative emotions with rationalization.

Note:  Even if they reject your attempt to make amends, the fact that you knew that was a probability (deserved) and that you attempted anyway — that you were willing to risk pain yourself in order to heal theirs — it at least gives Men and Dads and God as a Father figure a better reputation!

Step 2.  Think carefully about the approach.  More often than not the problem is not the problem — the problem is how you approach the problem.  A handwritten letter of apology in the mail might be a nice touch, unless there is a restraining order in place, in which case, you should follow the law to the letter of it on how to communicate with those you have already traumatized.

Note:  If you write a letter, don’t write about the weather or the hooker you’re trying to save, and never lay blame on anyone but yourself for your failures to act as a responsible parent.  YOU chose to put your impregnating device into an impregnable place.  YOU chose to do things, or not do things, that were destructive.  So, no excuses and no blame game.

Step 3.  Don’t ask for anything in return and don’t expect that all will be forgiven.  Even if you are so lucky as to be forgiven, verbally, the negative feelings and memories will take a long, long time to heal, and you obviously have some growing to do as a human being to understand how bad what you did (or did not do) was and why trusting you enough to let you back into their world will take a lot of positive reinforcement initiated by you.  BABY STEPS:  Give your word on little things, and then keep your word on little things.  Don’t make promises you can’t keep.  Don’t tell lies, fibs, or exaggerations of the truth — be straight.  Don’t introduce your young adult children to your hooker girlfriend.  Don’t leave porn out where your grownup daughter can see it when she finally comes to spend a little time with you.  Don’t tell your children you can’t help them even a little bit with college or rent, when your checkbook shows $500 here and there paid to your 21-year-old friend named Pam.  Someday, you too will have a heart attack or stroke, and your checkbook will become part of the family record.  If you are a sex addict, own up to it and get some real help!

It’s time to man up!  Do or die in dishonor.

Note to the idiot who screwed his many second chances to be the hero to my son:  This is not an invitation to bother me, or him.  We stopped caring about you years ago when you failed to attempt to make amends when it would have made a difference.  It’s definitely too late for you.  Remember the time you were concerned about his well being and asked to speak to him on the phone when you called my best friend’s house the week we left?  Remember when you wrote to him c/o the Safe House PO Box?  Remember when you cared enough to prove to him that you had stopped abusing drugs and alcohol?  Remember when you saw the happy tears in his face?  No?  You don’t remember that?  Hmm.  I wonder how you could have forgotten doing such important things.  Oh well.  Whatever.  Your loss.  Remember the judge’s words, recorded in court, “Leave her alone…no contact…?”  Good.  At least you remember that!  Don’t make me file another restraining order.

Confessions of a Welfare Mom

19 Sep
2002 Carma&Son

Geology Badge, Webelos 2002

I am deeply offended by Mitt Romney’s accusation that welfare=laziness. When my son was born tragically early, I could not return to work – he would have died. I lost everything. I had perfect credit for 8 years. I’m a mere secretary with a  GED, and I had never looked for government handouts. And when the State Medicaid program paid for my son’s healthcare in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, I thought, well, everyone in my family has been paying taxes all their lives and we’ve never been on welfare, so I guess that’s what we paid for. Also, for 12 years I did valuable community service as a volunteer for families. I was part of a NICU support group, I founded a Young Astronauts Science & Math Club, I was a Cub Scout Den Leader, Registrar, Treasurer, Activities Planner, and Child Protection Training advocate. I also arranged amazing Science field trips for the homeschool community in Colorado Springs. I helped my neighbors. I forged a relationship with our Muslim neighbors that made a difference in the lives of Christians and Muslims there. I worked super hard to pay my debt to society. I am deeply offended by Romney’s attitude, and anyone who has that attitude is part of the problem with America.  If you agree, you are welcome to share my story with others.


Science & Math Club, YEARS in the Rockies 1998-99

In 2004, I started from scratch with nothing but a 13-year-old mini van, what I could fit into it, and $2000 cash thanks to Earned Income Credit on my federal tax return. My husband at the time was mentally unstable, self medicating, and unpredictably violent – it was unsafe for me to remain in Colorado. I took my son, not his (he never adopted), and came to California where I had 3 friends who know my word is gold. My friends helped me by loaning me furniture & small appliances, and loaning me money for rent. All of which I returned and paid back the following year. Today, I own my own home. I did it all on my own. With money I saved in my 401k – which took quite a hit in 2008, thanks to the de-regulated investment industry and white collar criminals. I bought the home based on my own good credit, with money I borrowed from my 401k. I am also paying my son’s tuition at CSU this year – not the government, not the taxpayer – I am, out of my secretary’s salary.

My son is an AP Scholar. He’s never taken drugs, gotten drunk, or taken advantage of anyone in any way. He’s the most decent kid you could find in America. He hates no one. He ridicules no one. He is kind, thoughtful, thrifty – everything a Scout is asked to be EXCEPT he knows that gay doesn’t rub off on anyone and it isn’t the cause of HIV.

My son was raised on welfare for the first 2 years of his life. Then I worked part time and got SSI for 2 years because of his special needs, and then therapy paid off and he no longer had special needs or SSI. Thank you very much. So what taxpayers did is invest in an extraordinary human being who is contributing to the quality of life in everyone who knows him. And I am quite certain that my 12 years of community service as a volunteer has more than made up for the help I needed from taxpayers!

Furthermore, my entire family are part of the 47% working poor and most of them are Republicans who would rather die than need food stamps. My schizophrenic brother could have gotten welfare, but he didn’t want to. Instead, he washed dishes, collected recyclables, and went hungry. Then, hopeless, in 1983 he committed suicide. Partly, society is to blame for stigmatizing our poor and disadvantaged citizens. My brother was a great writer and could have written something that might have changed lives if he wasn’t constantly shunned, feared, and talked about socially as a burden.

My entire family is part of that 47% – hardworking, good citizens. Honest, decent, nice people, several with some pretty serious existing conditions. It pains me that some of them fail to respect what this President has accomplished.

Bottom line, in my opinion:  There is little difference between Corporate Welfare and Social Welfare.  Both are essential to a thriving community and require wisdom and integrity.  We have seen plenty of examples of abuse of corporate welfare, too, and they have done great harm to our economic health as a nation.

Carma Chan
Tarzana, California

Author, 10 Most Annoying Things People Say to NICU Parents
and Memoirs of a Remarkable Survivor

Jaycee Dugard demonstrates the best revenge.

11 Jul

Last night I watched Diane Sawyer’s interview with Jaycee Dugard, who was violently ripped from her family at age 11 and found 18 years later.  One can easily feel the range and depth of hate, outrage, shock, and bewilderment of the mother, but more riveting than the reality horror show of two monsters preying on children to feed their narcissism was the child’s victorious spirit!  “Living well is the best revenge,” it has been said, but few adults practice that wisdom.  An 11-year-old girl, now in her early 30s and the mother of two daughters she gave birth to at age 14 and 17 while enslaved and terrorized, demonstrates this better than anyone!  She will not allow the monsters to devour one more morsel of her identity or rob her of one more minute of happiness.  She will not spend her time getting even in noble ways, such as championing a cause that should have been championed by the police who were grossly negligent of their duty to monitor a convicted child rapist who was on parole during the entire 18 years he kept Jaycee locked in his back yard.  Even during her captivity, she spent her lonely thousands upon thousands of hours befriending spiders and stray kittens, journaling, and dreaming of seeing her mom again.Jaycee is a remarkable woman whose attitude about surviving child rape and extreme isolation is a profound inspiration!  I hope her mother will follow her example, and let the system correct itself.  She already lost enough time and joy with her daughter.

It is highly unlikely that the reader has ever experienced anything close to the horror and losses dealt this child.  Learn from her!  Read her memoir:


Barnes & Noble:


A Stolen Life book cover


Carma Chan rarely blogs.  Jaycee’s triumph deserves recognition and is worthy of mention!

Twitter @Carma_Chan

Holy aardvark, Batman!

30 May

Copyright Dave Sim 1978

Readers of indie comics know immediately who’s in the news again today.  His name is Cerebus, the aardvark barbarian turned prime minister turned pope anti-superhero, created by Dave Sim.  Word on the street is that Dave–can we call him Dave?–renounced his title as ‘Godfather of indie comics’ years ago when it caught on, so we’ll call him champion of indies.  He has to be happy today–his Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to digitize Cerebus and offer it as a web comic more than reached its goal within hours and doubled overnight!  What does that mean for Cerebus fans?  You will be able to pass on this classic anti-superhero, intelligent and amusing story to your grandchildren to read on their electronic tablets.  Cerebus will be going everywhere in the virtual world faster than a speeding bullet.

For those who don’t already know the most amazing thing about Cerebus, this aardvark exists because a man said he would do something impossible and then he did it.  He did it on time and without excuse or apology for the unexpected curves.  Dave started in December 1977.  He proclaimed he would create 300 issues.  This in a time when Marvel and DC were whipping up superheroes like cotton candy.  Cerebus is now a 6,000-page series of graphic novels that is as well-known by geeks as The Watchmen.

This success at Kickstarter is good news for the Cerebus film project that is currently in post-production, directed by Oliver Simonsen.  Although it is not directly connected to this Kickstarter campaign, the popularity of Cerebus is thus established and will help sweeten the pot for the production crew when it comes time to negotiate the tricky business of film distribution rights and its theatrical debut.  The film is slated for release in 2013.



Written by Carma Chan
Copyright 2012

Twitter: @cerebusfilm @cerebustv @carma_chan #buggidoscodge

Check out the perks for Kickstarter donations from $1 up

Creative Equalibrium

11 Jan

This is a call for intellectuals and nurturing people everywhere to get loud in the quest for fairness and freedom of self expression.  For example, let’s consider an underused stone for people who throw tantrums in glass houses:  Misandrist.

Anyone who has heard someone labeled a misandrist in the past year, please raise your hand and tell us all about it.

Some time ago, an illustrator/storyteller invented characters through which certain controversial ideas could be portrayed.  It does not matter who the young artist was or whether the storyteller had boy parts or girl parts.  What matters is that this creative spirit could be your child.  Now keep it in that light.

An artistic soul expressed ideas that were counter-culture.  Said artist was then labeled by mighty forces with the deadliest word of the decade in that pop culture.  One must question the motives of stone-throwers, especially when we are merely talking and sketching ideas.

Today, my son is in college with a double major: Cinema Arts and Accounting.  He is a talented boy with dreams of directing and writing movies.  To pay the rent, he’ll work in the accounting field.  I write this to ensure  my son’s freedom to explore and express ideas:  I believe that Dave Sim cherishes traditional Womanhood and femininity.  There are essentially two types of people born into this world:  traditionalists and catalysts of change.  We catalysts ought to wholeheartedly embrace our counterparts, traditionalists.  Nature has a purpose for holding back change, and for bringing forth change, in due season, ebb and flow.  Traditionalists and catalysts must look at one another as equally important parts of the Big Picture.  As a wise, ancient king wrote:  To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

It’s all good.  Carry on, our wayward sons.


Sign here if you agree that a traditionalist has a right to express ideas and catalysts ought not bully them.  Yes we CAN all just get along.


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