Of Men and Eagles

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Recently, Bust Magazine posted this piece about “manspreading” – the habit that some men have of spreading their legs so wide on public transit that they sometimes take up two seats.

The point that the article makes is strong and I agree with most of it. I, too, have suffered the wrath of men’s long legs on buses, pushing me to the edge of my seat and forcing me to squish up against one of the windows on the bus.

However, the video that they posted shows that the man is not only spreading his legs but also takes up an extra seat by putting his bag on it. That, my friends, has nothing to do with manspreading.

I think it’s a question of communication between people and how it differs from region to region, country to country, depending on people’s mentality in that particular place. I’m just speaking from my own personal experience in Montreal, Canada and Jerusalem, Israel – two separate countries, two completely different mentalities.

For example, in Montreal, if a dude puts his bag on the seat next to him, chances are people will just let that pass because actually approaching a stranger and asking him to move his bag so that you can sit is simply not something that you do (unless you’re an Israeli like me or you got guts). The man is a stranger. You do not talk to strangers. You don’t even acknowledge their presence. I remember riding the bus or the metro in Canada, people would not even make the slightest eye contact. Everyone would suddenly find their shoes extremely fascinating and stare at them during the entire ride. Same thing would happen on elevators.

In Israel, however, people don’t give a shit. If you are sitting on the bus with your bag taking up an extra seat, nobody would have a problem coming up to you and asking you to move your bag. Some may even do it politely: “Is this seat taken?” or “May I sit here?” That’s because the mentality in Israel says that there is no such thing as personal space and there is certainly no such thing as “object” space and if you are riding with heavy ass luggage, you should have stored your bag in the luggage compartment or on yourself.

This issue of no personal space is indeed a problem when it comes to actual manspreading when bags are not involved. So yes, squishing up on windows is wont to happen in Israel, too.

Another thing, I’ve noticed that if a man is manspreading, it may not necessarily be because his balls are too big, but rather because his legs are too long. That is something I’ve noticed with my husband when we ride on the bus. My husband is a tall dude, probably over 180 cm, and his legs definitely reflect that. His femur is twice the size of mine. So when we sit on the bus, it’s rare to find a seat where the seat in front of us is far enough for my man to sit comfortably without manspreading his way to a split. Maybe on the subway it’s a different issue. I guess we’ll find that out when we travel to the States in June.

The major problem in Jerusalem, and I think it’s the same in every Israeli city with a significant religious population, is that if you’re a chick and you see an orthodox dude sitting on the bus with an empty seat next to him, you should not sit next to him. The orthodox reasoning for that stupid more is that if a woman sits next to a man and they are not married, a hard-on may occur and that is a sin.

Now, most buses in Jerusalem have a sign that reads “Every passenger is entitled to sit where they choose (unless in places marked for people with physical disabilities). Harassing a passenger on this matter may be grounds for criminal offense.” Or something along those lines. So technically, you can play the dumb tourist and sit next to the dude. He might say something, or he might just do the polite thing and go sit elsewhere or just stand up.

But there are some buses – mainly those that drive to and from settlements around Jerusalem like Beitar Eilit or Gush Etzion – that fall under the category of “Mehadrin” buses. A funny term, usually associated with dietary laws, to refer to something that is very kosher. It’s just a better way of saying that this bus is fucking segregated! That’s right, men sit in the front, and women are relegated to the back. Now THAT, my friends, is MANSPREADING!

I dare anyone in the diaspora to find a single man who can manspread so wide that he takes up half a bus, and sends all women to the very back. You can’t. And Mehadrin buses or Mehadrin subways do not exist in the diaspora.

Therein lies the real problem. Men will be men living in a by-men-for-men world and will keep manspreading to their hearts’ content, not that I’m justifying it or anything. But the real problem, where I come from, is when men start segregating women completely. There is word that they are actually starting to do that also on international flights. El-Al is screwed.

Lucky for me, I’m married. So if my meaty metalover decides to manspread, I will have no problem stretching out my legs and put them right on top of his. I do that all the time anyway – on the bus, at a bar, on the dinner table, even when we’re home, sitting on the couch, watching TV – and it’s comfy as hell!

Peace, love and I manspread too, and with pride!

Ughtown

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So in an additional effort to promote my Etsy shop, i attempted to post an “Etsy Mini” badge on the sidebar of this blog. I tried using the widgets to do it and picked the “Text” widget where you can paste your own text or HTML. I got the code from Etsy and for some reason, it didn’t work. I tried a million of different ways, widgets, formats, still nothing.

After about an hour of breaking my head, I went to my PMS Blogger site to give it a shot there. And it worked. On the spot. No questions asked, no weird codes, no bullshit. Just wonderful and totally user-friendly.

Since this is bullshit, I decided to try it as a blog and see whether or not it works.

new Etsy.Mini(6292943,’thumbnail’,4,3,1,’https://www.etsy.com’);

And of course it doesn’t.

What a load of crap.

Peace, love and technology, schmektology.

Split Ends and Split Zines

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As my husband was looking into concerts in the various cities we are planning to go to this summer, I was doing the same only with zine events and spots. I found a few zine events in Montreal, but not in the time that I’ll be there. I also found some zine libraries in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, but I don’t know if I should really go. I mean, I don’t know how inclusive these small local places are, and I feel like unless I go with someone who lives there and knows the scene and the people involved, I won’t feel confident enough and will actually feel like an outcast. So I dropped the idea.

Meanwhile, I’m focusing more on the new split-zine I’m working on with my friend (same one with whom I made the Stephen King split zine). A zine about journal entries is something I never considered until she brought it up, although I’ve always thought of a perzine as a sort of a diary. But I totally underestimated the amount of entries I wanted to include in it, so if the split-zine will have an even number of pages from either side, we are looking at a zine of no less than 96 pages!

Ninety-fucking-six, dude! And my husband will have the arduous task of printing it. I wonder if the binding could work out with staples or maybe we’ll have to design a spine and make it into a book. A paperback split-book written and laid out by hand, all about two zinesters’ adventures with journal writing… Goddamn.

But as my friend so eloquently said “We should never limit ourselves.” So if this zine is destined to turn into a book, I guess that this is what will happen.

Peace, love and make like a banana and split

This Zine Is Best Before…

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Fallopian FalafelI keep modifying and improving and revamping and adding and editing more and more stuff on my Etsy shop, but I haven’t had a sale in months. My items keep expiring and I spend more money reposting them over and over again than I do actually selling them, which never even happens.

I try to follow the Etsy handbook and their tips for getting more traffic, getting more sales, attract more customers, but nothing seems to work.

Even after paying close to $70 to get more “likes” on my zine Facebook page, and indeed having seen the likes on my page increase, I try to point my new followers to my Etsy shop with countless posts and prompts, but still nothing. Just more likes on the posts, and that’s it.

I recently also printed a worksheet on how to write attractive item descriptions. I’ll try to fill it out at some point and apply it to my items for sale.

Seriously, I don’t even know if keeping an Etsy shop is even paying off for me anymore. If the day ever comes, where I’ve exhausted all my resources, and tried every possible option and tip that Etsy has to offer and have no results to show for it, I’ll simply move all my items to this blog. At least this blog gets some form of traffic, even if most of my views come from people who search “thick women” and “hairy armpits”, at least I won’t spend any money posting my items and none of them will ever expire.

If the readers of this post want to give me a reason to keep my Etsy shop running, please buy some of my awesome DIY stuff by clicking here. All issues of Fallopian Falafel and all issues of Purple Myrtle Squeegy are available, plus six different Alternative Jerusalem postcards, care packages with freebies such as Mistress Distress CDs and mini-zines and other kickass stuff.

Peace, love and capitalism still sucks.

Inspire Me Timbers

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This past Yom Haatzmaut had such craptacular weather, I spent most of the day holed up in my apartment, with the curtains closed so that I won’t accidentally get a glimpse of the shit going on outside. The good thing about it was that it gave me plenty of time to work on my art projects. I managed to design three more postcards, made five different button designs, and finally set up and posted a PDF version of Fallopian Falafel issue 13 online after five years of having it unavailable as such.

So yes, I felt pretty accomplished and quite pleased with myself. On Friday, I left to Be’er Sheva with a overwhelming sense of “wow, I rule”.

But today, I woke up with an overwhelming sense of “wow, I feel like shit”. I think it might have something to do with the dreams I had last night. I don’t remember any of them but I remember the feeling I had when I was dreaming them and it was bad. Very bad. So bad that today I completely lack inspiration, and I’m beyond tired. Even reading Stephen King seems to me like such a chore right now.

I really hope this feeling goes away and fast because I want to start on my upcoming zine, which I was supposed to start last week and didn’t get around to it because of all the other art I was drowning in.

I hope metal night tonight should do the trick. I’m taking over the playlist. Fuck the new blood happy hour assholes. Go away.

Peace, love and buttons.

Zine Slut

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BZFWhile I’m getting ready to travel to the other side of the planet in June, I’m also getting ready to travel there again in October.

I thought that I might catch the Philly Zine Fest in June but it doesn’t look promising, but the Boston Zine Fest in October does! In fact, I think my friend already signed us up as tabling there together, which should be nothing short of goddamn fucking incredibly and wonderfully and amazingly EVERYTHING!

As part of my efforts in gearing up for my very first zine fest (I’ll be so happy to pop that cherry) I’m going over all my completed zines of yesteryear. That includes 16 issues of Fallopian Falafel, 10 issues of PMS Perzine (and perhaps one or two more to come before October rolls around), three issues of End of Words, and a few other random one-off publications like my fiction story insert, Diamond’s photobook and the one of my trip to Barcelona, and maybe a couple more I’m forgetting. That’s a lot of zines. And aside from all that, I also want to make some patches for sale, print a few more copies of my Alternative Jerusalem postcards, maybe make a few buttons with my friend’s help, and also throw in some copies of Mistress Distress‘s CD, not to mention about a million fliers and shit.

Clearly, if I print 10 copies of everything, you can imagine I’ll have a heavy load to carry halfway across the world, which is why my friend suggested that I send at least some of it by mail and she can keep it until the fest.

However, I’ll also have to see whether or not all this load will even fit on the table I will be assigned. You can tell I’ve never done this before.

Also, whether I manage to sell any of my stuff is yet to be seen. But that’s not even the point. The mere experience of being in a zine fest, which has been a dream of mine since I started making zines, is the end in itself. Making new zinester friends and contacts, trading art work and publications, giving and getting fliers and maybe even music – this is the experience I want. Selling a few items here and there will only be a nice little extra, but not the main reason for my participation in the fest.

I’m super-doodly-duper excited for it!

So I’m going over the PDFs of the 16 issues of Fallopian Falafel making sure they’re of good print quality and include the bleed. I’ll print 15 copies of each, send 10 copies to my friend (in batches of course because I doubt I can fit 160 zines in a single envelope), and save five copies of each to post on my Etsy shop – Fallopian Falafel fans rejoice!  Any leftover material from the fest will stay in Boston. My friend said she’ll sell it or give it out or leave it in the library where she works and people can check it out. Whatever she decides.

I get feverish just thinking about all the money I will be spending on printing and mailing out all that shit, not to mention the flight fare, but it’ll be totally worth it, as zine and DIY production usually is.

Peace, love and PMS – Power Mensies Sisters: Out for Blood!

All I Leave Behind

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I had great plans for the Passover holiday. One of them was rereading all my old diaries to find entries that I could include in a new split-zine I will be writing with my friend. This was an activity that I underestimated in terms of just how long it will take me to read all my diaries, which was basically the entire week. So all my other plans fell through, and I just kept on reading, marking pages, highlighting, noting stuff down…

I also underestimated the emotional effect that rereading all this shit would cause. All the corpses that would resurface. It was a rollercoaster of emotions – some parts made me laugh, some inspired me to no end, some parts even turned me on. But some parts were also shocking and terrifying, confusing and utterly heartbreaking, mainly because I couldn’t believe that this was once me. That I would express myself this way, and that this was how I thought I felt and how, in some instances, I completely misled myself. In 2003, I spent half a diary talking about my boyfriend of the time in excruciatingly graphic detail. Not one page would go by without my mentioning how much I love him and all that shit. After a hiatus of at least a year an a half (about a year after he broke up with me), I wrote an angry entry, in big capital letters:

“[name] is a motherfucking shitty asshole! The only good thing he ever did was reveal his true colors when he broke up with me.” Then I went on to say how guys are only good for one thing and that’s fucking. Then I wrote a note to myself to read this entry a couple million times before ever allowing myself to fall into the abysmal hell also known as love.

Although I knew this before, it was only after I read this entire diary that I realized how true this was – I was never in love with this guy. I was obsessed with him. None of it was true, none of it was real. I was misled into thinking I was in love. I was blind to that until I went through therapy and learned to love without killing myself and without focusing my world around “him”. It was only when I met my husband when I learned what true love feels like. And I wrote about that too in my later diaries, when I first met Elad and felt true love for the first time: “I still feel like I come first. Like my inner child comes first, but I love the shit out of this guy – how is that possible?”

I told my husband about the journal entries I wrote when we first met. It turned both of us on. When I put all these experiences in perspective, I suddenly became more attracted to him, even more than before.

Later on I also wrote about the horrible job I had for two years and how I was struggling to keep myself sane by keeping a steady social life, hanging out with my boyfriend, and writing endlessly, even if it kept me up well past my bedtime and I woke up the next day feeling like a zombie. I was amazed at how strong I was and how I pushed myself to write even if I was beyond tired (or as I put it: “somewhere between excruciatingly exhausted and comatose”), and how I managed to overcome my fatigue with the help of my art.

As I read these entries, I felt overcome with a sense of inspiration like I haven’t felt in a long time.

I want to resume my journal writing and I think I’ll start this week. I’ve just been bogged down with zine plans and zine writing (which is no less awesome, I must say!), plus I have a contribution to write to this riot grrrl anthology, plus I have some letters to write, packages to pack, and shit to mail out, plus I have to start this split-zine as well… basically all the stuff I had planned for this past week and managed to do nothing.

AND, I just got word that I’m about to receive a new stack of Stephen King books… oh boy. You’re just gonna drown me in your prose again, Steve, aren’t you? And keep me from getting any decent writing done, isn’t that right? Why must you always be so fucking awesome?

The inspiration to read Stephen King somehow always demolishes my inspiration for creativity. Always. Without fail.

I feel so happy and so sad at the same time. *sigh*

Peace, love and Deicide show in Las Vegas. Can you dig it?