Giddy Town

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Today is a good day and here’s why.

Jerusalem PrideJerusalem Pride March

When I came back from Germany, I was a little upset that I missed the Pride March in Jerusalem that took place on August 7. But as it turns out, they probably postponed it because of the security situation, what with all the rocket showers and stuff. So today is the new date for the march and I’m pretty excited for it. I don’t much dig the left-wing (read: anti-Zionist) environment in such events. However, the pride and the colors and the promotion of love, tolerance, diversity, health, respect, human rights and freedom is definitely where I want to be today, and definitely something I strongly stand for and support. It’s such an imperative movement in Israel’s society, which purports to be democratic, but still has so much discrimination against such minority groups. Hooray for pride!

Retro Vibes

For the Pride march, I decided to bring both my digital camera and my film camera. I haven’t used my film camera in a while because it is quite heavy and also because film and film development is quite pricey nowadays. But yes, I brought it anyway because the pictures it shoots are just so sharp and crisp and professional. And I have much more control over the depth of field and the focus and the amount of light and the shutter speed needed for an awesome pic. I shot a few pictures earlier this morning at Retroshalayim. This is a vintage and antique market that takes place every Thursday in downtown Jerusalem. As I walked by there, I saw some booths selling faded turquoise typewriters and got all excited. One of the merchants was selling them for 350 NIS and the other offered it for 200 NIS. The prices are of course up for bargain. But even if I could afford it, I have no way to drag around a heavy typewriter, especially during the Pride march. So I settled for shooting some photos of the typewriters and the market as a whole. That was pretty damn awesome too.

New Art Project

I want to start making postcards of Jerusalem. Some of my pen pals have asked me for Jerusalem postcards and I sent them a few I found around souvenir shops. Most of them show the usual landscapes of the Old City, Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, camels, the David Citadel at night, etc. But now I’m looking for something a bit more unconventional. So I am planning to use the pictures I will shoot at the Pride march, as well as those I took of the retro market for postcard-making. I also hope to take some photos of the metal nights I will be attending this upcoming week – Metal Night on Sunday, and Festikassach on Tuesday. This will be a great way for me to show to my non-Israeli friends a side of Jerusalem that they will most likely never see on the 6 o’clock news – the way I see Jerusalem and the way I experience it. I would gladly accept tips and suggestions from artists who make or have made postcards in the past on how to go about it. If any of my dear Constant Readers fall into that category, please comment! Speaking of Constant Readers, see next paragraph.

Stephen Fucking King

Today was post office day, so when I checked my PO Box, I found a letter from one of my old friends who is now my new pen pal (yay!) and a notice for a package, being the Stephen King book I ordered (double-yay!). I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t get the book on time because the post office was on strike (or so I thought) and the holidays are coming up. That’s besides the fact that I’ve been jonesing for a Stephen King book for several months now. If I get stuck without a book to read on the holidays, I go crazy. I will be with my big, loud Moroccan family most of the time, whom I love to death, but sometimes the noise and the crowd gets too intense and I need to retreat into a dark secluded room and listen to music, or into the dark foreign worlds of Stephen King and revel in his impeccable prose. So I’m relieved and super thrilled that I got my book! It’s another one of his short story collections called Four Past Midnight. Muahaha!

Aside from that, after the Pride march this evening, I will be going out for hummus with my boyfriend. Yummy hummus + yummy boyfriend = one bitchin end to one bitchin day!

So yes, definitely a good day.

Peace, love and give me some good dreams to match my good reality.

Webmasterminding

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I’m so happy with my new blog design that I was inspired to go all out with some of the other sites I run.

Banner for Etsy

My We Make Zines Profile

Last time I updated my WMZ profile was sometime around the International Zine Month of 2013. But since then I still kept visiting it from time to time and I loved the way I customized it. Unfortunately, some time ago, something happened to the website and my profile magically reverted back to whatever default template it had, and it looked ugly as hell. So a couple of days ago, I tried different templates, played around with the options, got upset because I couldn’t find just the right one, but then I finally nailed it and I’m super happy with the result! Check it out for yourselves here!

My Hadass420 Etsy Shop

I am trying really hard to get more people to buy some of my zines. Of course, I always prefer trades, but sometimes I feel like I am spending more money reposting expired items than actually selling them. And so, I thought a revamping of the shop might attract a bit more traffic. I mostly updated the shop details, the name, the description, etc. But I also designed a new banner (more or less the same one I used for the header on We Make Zines). So far, there hasn’t been any more traffic, but I still try to post it wherever I can – Facebook, We Make Zines, the PMS official blog (more on that below), and of course here. Go check it out!

Purple Myrtle Squeegy Official Blog

I started this blog ages ago and I used to update it pretty often with any kind of art project I attempted, but then I stopped updating it. I think it was because I found WordPress to be much more interesting and way more user-friendly than Blogger. But recently I visited the blog yet again and checked out how much they improved the customize options. So just like with this website, I tried out different templates, designed various headers and completely changed the entire layout to make it more organized and more reader-friendly. And of course, I posted links to all my other sites in another attempt to increase traffic.
I am super pleased with the final product. And you may check it out as well, here!

New PMS Facebook Page

As yet another effort on my part to publicise this zine, I opened a Facebook page for Purple Myrtle Squeegy Perzine. I have one for Fallopian Falafel, which I don’t update anymore because the zine is RIP. And I never opened one for PMS before because… well, I don’t know why. I just didn’t. But now that I went all out, I decided to open it after all. So far I have only 11 likes, but I hope that sooner or later, it will get a bit more visibility. That’s a hint for you to check it out, here, and “like” it while you’re at it!

Aside from the above pages, I also run the Crafts for a Cause Etsy shop and the Fallopian Falafel official blog, but I haven’t updated these two because I really don’t know if it’s worth it. Fallopian Falafel is no longer being produced and I’m thinking of moving all the FF material to this blog, and just let the readers download whatever PDF’s they want. I already did most of it on the respective page (here). So maybe I’ll just delete the FF blog…

The Crafts for a Cause shop doesn’t have as many items for sale as it used to in the beginning. And nobody seems to be interested in the little items that are for sale. I’m thinking of closing this shop as well and donate whatever I have left to the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center. I’m sure they would have preferred the profits that these items may have yielded but since there are no profits to speak of, this is the only alternative I can come up with.

Constructive comments and suggestions on all of the above from professional web designers and stuff would be very welcome.

Peace, love and all comp and no books makes Badass a sad panda.

So Wacken Awesome!

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Purple Myrtle Squeegy – A PMS Perzine issue 8 is now published. This issue is all about my Germany trip, the Wacken festival and my tour of Berlin. It is 50 pages long, size A6, printed in full color, featuring lots of pictures, and the regular Twigs comics section. Made by hand, paper, construction paper, scissors, glue, typewritten texts, and some funky backgrounds.

The zine is available for trade and also for sale on Etsy.

Here are a few excerpts:

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The New Me

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As you noticed, my blog layout is completely different.

For the last few weeks, I’ve felt like a change was needed. And not just a change of blog theme, but a change of perspective on life and a change of how I define myself.

I’ve noticed that the grrrlVIRUS movement has much less importance in my life as the movement itself died. Nobody I know talks about it anymore, there are no new posts on any of the related pages or social networks – it’s simply vanished.

The grrrlVIRUS event that was supposed to take place in Berlin a few years ago never happened, and I was so utterly disappointed by it. I think my lack of interest in the movement started then. That’s besides the point that I was the only active member of the Israeli grrrlVIRUS branch. Forget active, I was the only member. Any demonstration I went to – Slutwalk, Pride, whatever… I was the only one holding a grrrlVIRUS banner, I was the only one giving out flyer and trying to spread the virus. 

I don’t think I burned out. I think the virus simply died. There is no more interest in it and I’m no longer involved.

So I no longer define myself as a grrrlIVIRUS-infected chick. I am still a riot grrrl though. I think my tattoo has never been more accurate as it is now – “a true riot grrrl never dies”. I still listen to the music, I still make zines and I still revel in DIY magic. The main difference between riot grrrl and grrrlVIRUS for me is that the latter was a passing fad, whereas the former was one that shaped me for already 14 years. It’s not something that will simply disappear, or die just as easily. I’m still a feminist, and riot grrrl is the movement that defines feminism for me.

Back of VestMy patches vest has a large print of the grrrlVIRUS logo on the back, and I’ve been considering covering it with another large patch. I’m not sure which one yet. I’ve been considering either Mercyful Fate, Amon Amarth or a classic one of Arch Enemy, like from Wages of Sin or something. I also need to remove the grrrlVIRUS patch from the bottom right of the vest and replace it with something else. 

For my blog, I changed the description of “The Badass” on the top right. No mention of grrrlVIRUS is made, and I’ve added some things that I identify with more and that define me in my current state, based on my current interests.

I’ve also been considering changing the picture and the text in the page “About the Badass.” It will be a little more detailed and a little less pretentious.

As a little yet important change – I no longer wear the typewriter necklace I’ve been wearing for the past five years. I still love typewriters and still use my own when I produce zines or write letters, but the necklace is now faded and worn out. I am now wearing a Thor’s Hammer pendent that I recently bought online. It’s a similar one that Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) wears onstage.

Aside from that, I feel the need to detatch myself from people who are too left wing. I simply can’t stand just how hateful some of these people can get. I’ve been right wing since I moved to Israel, and I’ve been Zionist for as long as I can remember. The reason I added these people in the first place was because we had other things in common – feminism, metal, punk, zines, pro-GLBT sentiments, etc. But when it comes to nationalism, they couldn’t piss me off more. During the latest conflict with Gaza, a shitload of infuriatingly ignorant, naive, and shockingly anti-Semitic posts flooded my Facebook and my WordPress feed. I have some friends who are left wing but still level headed. These will remain my friends. But as for the ones who can’t stand to say the word “Zionist” without adding “equals Nazi”, they can fuck off.  I already unfriended one of these people on Facebook. I need to weed out the rest.

I needed this redefinition to reclaim my balance, put my identity in focus, and admit to myself that this is who I am. No matter who I’ve been and what I said and what I wrote in the past, my present is the only thing that matters.

Peace, love and change is good.

Restocking on King

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King MercedesThis post is inspired by Catherine Elms‘ post on the same subject.

My birthday is coming up on the eve of Succot (my Jewish birthday is always the most accurate one). My family knows me as a Stephen King book addict (see this post and this post, and like a bunch of other ones) and on every birthday they buy me a gift certificate to Steimatzky to help me along my latest book binge.

However, I’ve come to realize that Steimatzky rarely has any Stephen King books that I don’t have. I think this is because I have 38 of his novels (and collections of novellas), and it’s hard for me to find a book of his that I don’t yet own. In fact, the only time I found SK books in Steimatzky that I don’t own is when I had none.

So it’s for that reason, I decided to score books online and made a wishlist of these books, which will complete my Stephen King novel collection short of only four books (Dreamcatcher, Cujo, Insomnia and Eyes of the Dragon). King’s nonfiction, comic books, screenplays, short stories not included in any collection, and anything else the dude’s published will have to wait until later. The novels are what’s really interesting me now.

If anyone reading this is interested in buying me one of the books from this wishlist, here are some pointers:

1) The book must be in English: I can read French and Hebrew just fine, but too much is lost in translation and makes me a sad panda.

2) The book must be brand new: I made the mistake of ordering used books in the past. Never again. And if it’s a gift, new is best.

3) Paperback over hardcover: I find paperback books easier to handle and easier to read. Hardcover ones are too heavy, especially if I’m taking them with me on a trip (and also shipping costs increase significantly). But it’s not a must. If no paperbacks are available, I’ll gladly take hardcover.

Here is the list of my coveted books in no particular order:

11/22/63
The Colorado Kid
From a Buick 8
The Regulators (as Richard Bachman)
Blaze (as Richard Bachman)
The Bachman Books
Cycle of the Werewolf
Nightmares and Dreamscapes
Skeleton Crew
Everything’s Eventual
The Tommyknockers
Mr. Mercedes
Gerald’s Game
Firestarter
The Dead Zone
Revival (pre-order, to be released in November)

I have a dream that one day I’ll have the complete King collection (until he publishes yet another one) and then I could take a picture of me with towers of his books all around me, wearing my PJ shirt that reads “Keep Calm, all things serve the beam.”

Ah, that’ll be a grand day!

Peace, love and oh, the picture must also include the King tattoo I plan on getting based on the Dark Tower!

How to Say Zine in German

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I came back from Germany last week and I thought I would write a longass blog about it. But then, I wrote a longass journal entry about it instead, and now I’m also thinking of writing a zine about it.

So no, I won’t write a long blog about it. But I will say this: Wacken is the best festival in the world and Berlin is awesome!

And I will also say this:

Wacken featured my top three favorite bands of all time (Arch Enemy, King Diamond, and Amon Amarth, in that order) and the best show was definitely Amon Amarth. For me, it’s right up there with the Arch Enemy show I saw in Montreal in 2008. I screamed so loud, I lost my voice for the rest of the trip, and I headbanged myself into almighty Valhalla until my neck went stiff.

Our stay in Berlin was great and we did everything that you would expect a metal couple to do (more about that in my zine). I especially loved how organized and how easy the public transportation is. My boyfriend and I kept comparing it to the transport system in France and in Italy, and marveled at how much better and how much more tourist-friendly the Berlin system is. Even with all the long and complicated names of the stations, we still made our way around as easily as we do when in Jerusalem, and as easily as we would if we were in Montreal.

Now back to the order of my life:

I put off zine-production mainly because of all my health issues and my back-and-forth between hospitals, clinics and operation rooms. I said that once this is all over, I will write a zine about these health issues. But now that it’s all over and it’s done and it’s behind me, thank the benevolent Goddess, the last thing I want to do is revisit it. And so, as you may have already guessed, my next zine issue will be about the Germany trip and will include a bunch of great photos and will be printed in full color!

Excerpts from this zine will be posted here and will be available for sale on Etsy once it’s all nice and done.

I’m also planning a new tattoo. And the issue of my zine which will come after the Germany trip one will feature a picture of the new tattoo, as well as some unrelated pieces about Washi tapes and snail mail art.

I miss making zines, I really do. I haven’t made one since last year and it’s not just because of the health issues. I am still struggling with heavy Stephen King addiction. I have a whole list of SK books just waiting to be purchased and injected into my blood stream and I’m trying really hard to not give up and let myself splurge whatever money I have left (after spending a whole chunk of it in Germany) on a new stash, because I know that if I do, these planned zines will never see the light of day. My head will be buried in my ultimate drug of choice, and my SK binge will resume, and any zine-making potential will eventually be tossed over my shoulder and onto the back-burner of my mind. Worst of all, I will totally not even give a shit. King tends to do that to me.

So wish me luck in my zine-making endeavor since the end result will be one that you may enjoy as well.

Peace, love and here’s a lovely metal couple!

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Saved by the Divinity

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The war in Israel is still going on and the anti-Israel world is still going shithouse. As if this wasn’t predictable.

But I recently realized something amazing. If I had been accepted to that German internship that I applied for last year, I would be in Germany now, along with other Israelis who may very well be extreme leftists and a group of Palestinians who may also be anti-Israel, and I would be in the midst of an extremely charged political climate which causes Europeans to gravitate to the anti side rather than the pro. And I would be utterly miserable. I mean,  in devastatingly sheer and complete misery. And I would be in it for a full six months. That’s besides the fact that I would worry myself into psychological oblivion thinking about my family in Be’er Sheva under constant fire and missing my boyfriend and my dog.

However! As if I needed any further proof of the Mother Goddess’s existence, She saved me from this misery and borderline insanity by making the organizers decline my application for the program. And now I am in Israel, which is truly the only place in the world where I can feel safe as a Zionist Jew and support my troops with pride.

As I am still going to Germany from July 29 to August 7, I will most likely be forced to hide my identity. I am even inclined to speak to my boyfriend in English during our stay in Europe, which is rather upsetting to say the least. But at least it will be for only 10 days and not six months. And then, I will return to Israel in one piece and resume my unyielding support for my country and its armed forces.

May the Goddess see Her Chosen People through it all.

Peace, love and amen.