Purple Myrtle, After All

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I read some of my posts from June 2006. It was shortly before my Aliyah, so it was interesting to remember my frame of mind of the time. It also reminded me of where I was, physically, when I wrote these posts. My old playroom!

I lived with my parents in a big duplex, originally divided into three separate units – the top one, that we rented out to different tenants every year; the one on the ground floor where we lived; and the basement apartment that we decided to keep for ourselves and not rent out. And so it was that I, being an only child, had two rooms for myself – one on the ground floor that was my bedroom, and the second, my playroom, in the basement.

My playroom was my favorite. It contained all my favorite stuff and I could spend endless hours there doing anything I wanted. This was where I kept my laptop, my TV, my stereo, my CDs, my guitars, my amps, my posters, some of my books and magazines, and a bunch of art materials. It also had a sofabed, so technically it also doubled as a guest-room.

At some point, I decided to paint it purple. The new color, coupled with the fact that I always turned the heater up to 30 degrees, made any visitor feel sleepy. Anytime I had friends over, they would go into that room, plop onto the sofabed and start dozing.

Thinking back on it now, I’m pretty sure that this playroom would have been the perfect studio for a zinester. If I had been a zinester during my years in Canada, my playroom would have also included a small desk with my typewriter, a stack of papers and construction paper, a collection of magazines, my scissors, my gluestick, a pen and a sharpie. On the wall above that desk, I would hang all my favorite zines. I would also keep there my DIY bookshelf with all my traded zines and copies of my past issues. Inspiration in such a room would not be difficult to come by. Add some scented candles or incense, and I’m good to go.

This is what I had in mind for the extra room in our current apartment. But since we moved in, I got pregnant, gave birth, and this room became my daughter’s bedroom.

Maybe one day, with less maternal responsibilities and with more space in the house, I could recreate my pretty purple playroom, and include a zine-work space, and actually put it to good constant use.

To any zinesters reading this, what does your workspace look like?

Peace, love and totally spacing

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No More Holes

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196033_4689712470_599_nA few years ago, I wrote a zine which included an article I wrote about piercings. I said something along the lines of how I like piercings and how I am not doing it for attention and how it’s become a way of life. I was 25 when I wrote that piece and though it still rings true today, I think it would ring truer if the word “piercings” would be substituted with “tattoos”.

Back in the day, I preferred piercings over tattoos because I said that if I ever get tired of one or more, I can simply remove it and all that would be left is a little hole. But with tattoos, removing them could be tricky.

Today, however, I have come to see tattoos as my preferred method of body modification. I form a closer connection to my tattoos because they become a new birthmark or I feel as if they’re a part of my genetic makeup. Even if their meaning for me has changed or if I feel their message doesn’t represent me anymore (which hasn’t happened yet) they’re still part of who I am and will remain with me until the day I die.

Piercings don’t. As pretty as some of them are (I especially love oral piercings. Fucking stunning!) they’re temporary and can be removed at any time.

At the hight of my piercing stage, I’ve had a total of eight piercings. Not much, but enough for my surgeons to gawk at the plastic cup they gave me for keeping my metal before whatever surgery I had to undergo.

My grandfather pierced my ears when I was a year old. I pierced my septum when I was 20, then my right nipple four months later. I got a belly ring at 21, a labret at 23, my left nipple at 26 and a rook at 27.

I had already started getting tattoos by the time I got my labret, and now have four of them. A small one of my logo on my right wrist, a slightly bigger one of my guitar on my left hip, and a half-sleeve on both arms.

Events took place at different stages of my life which forced me to remove almost all of my piercings one by one.

My ears:
After losing my favorite pair of earrings (Star of David earrings I got for my 14th birthday from my aunt in LA), I failed to find a pair that I loved as much. My right one also kept getting infected. I keep trying to find a pair that I like and that doesn’t hurt too much, but to no avail.

My labret:
As any gorgeous oral piercing tends to do, my labret did a number on my oral health. It started to destroy my lower front teeth. The gums were receding and I got scared of any further damage. Off it went to never go back.

My left nipple:
This one came off after my efforts to fight the reoccurring infections proved futile. I had it for about four years, and the infection kept coming back every one or two months. Finally, I found myself unable to touch it and didn’t even let my husband (who was my boyfriend back then) anywhere near it. Off it went. Fuck that painful shit.

The rook:
After my wedding, I had to remove my rings once a month to go to the mikveh (the ritual bath). It was a pain in the ass to remove them and an even bigger pain in the ass to put them back in. The most difficult one was the rook. My ring was with a pressure ball which I could never snap back in, so I just left it as is without the pressure ball. But it was still difficult to remove and put back. Recently, I tried changing the ring itself to a curved barbell, but it didn’t help. So last week, after coming back from the mikveh, I decided to not put it back. Pretty as it was, it’s not worth my rage every time I try putting it back in and fail about a dozen times before I succeed.

The belly ring and my right nipple:
These two came off after I got pregnant. The belly ring started to hurt even during my first trimester when I was barely showing. And the nipple simply got pushed out when my breasts started to swell. I suspect that the hole was still there even after I gave birth to my daughter because I found that it was much easier for me to pump and easier for her to nurse on my right one. But I never tried to put my rings back in even after I stopped breastfeeding.

The septum:
This is the first voluntary piercing I got, and the only one I still have. I even have the same ring since I was 20. I changed it a couple of times over the years but always came back to it because it was the most comfortable one. Curved barbell, 14 gauge, spread slightly wider at the curve so that I could easily flip it upside down into my nose whenever I need to hide it. I can also easily remove it and put it back in, no problem at all. My daughter also likes my septum. She points at it and says “Agil!” [Ring] and then points at her own nose and says “Gam ani rotza!” [I want one too!]

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So now, every time I think I ought to get another piercing, I think about how painful it will be to eventually have to remove it because all my other piercings met the same fate and got relegated to my jewelry box, where they will slowly become oxidized. And then I think, fuck that, I’ll get a tattoo instead.

When my daughter grows up and decides to get a piercing, I will take her to the tattoo shop, she’ll get her piercing wherever she wants, and I’ll get a tattoo of one of her drawings as I’m planning to do. Maybe on one of my shoulderblades.

Peace, love and bodmod is for the freaks. Popular kids should steer clear and fuck off.

Metalhorns With Baby Fingers

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Juggling being an active zinester artist with being a mother is tricky. But juggling being an active metalhead with being a mother is damn near impossible.

Whereas I can easily use my free mornings for zine-production every once in a while, the metalhead life is mostly a nightly deal. But my nights are packed to the rim with maternal duties.

Joy to the Jerusalemite Metalheads, Blaze Bar has reopened and is once again reinstating the occasional Sunday Metal Nights. But just like before, the problem for me is finding a suitable arrangement for my daughter. She doesn’t like strangers, so I can’t get a random babysitter to drop by and look after her. And also, she doesn’t fall asleep in a place or a room that isn’t her own, so I can’t drop her off at my mother-in-law while I go off to my headbanging life.

I can’t believe I’m actually considering taking her with me to the metal bar, but I’m fucking desperate. I miss my metal nights and I miss the guys. And I would really like to introduce her to the metal scene a bit more. She seems to like heavy music. Nirvana is her favorite, and she took to Arch Enemy almost immediately (she calls them Angela, of course she does, since the Arch Enemy of Angela is the real Arch Enemy).

But then, there is a slew of other issues to consider. For one, and the most problematic one, is the cigarette smoke that is prevalent in the whole place. Toxic, dangerous, smelly as fuck, and doesn’t ever leave your hair, your clothes, your skin… You go to bed smelling worse than your own child’s diaper after a bean-soup dinner. So exposing my daughter to that is just really bad parenting.

Then, there is the loud music. At home, she listens to Nirvana and Arch Enemy at a normal volume and happily headbangs to it. But at the bar, she would most likely need headphones, and even if I do manage to find a pair made for babies, could I be completely sure that she would even agree to wear them at all times? Hell fucking no. I’d be lucky if she agrees to keep a hat on her head. Which brings me to the next problem.

It’s October. Jerusalem nights have become cold. Very very cold. Even if I were to bundle my kid up in a heavy winter coat and a tuque and a scarf, I would still be worried about her catching a cold. This is the time of year when viruses become ravenous, and the young make easy prey. Exposing her to this fucking freezing air is bad parenting yet again.

Finally, Metal Night starts around 9:00 p.m. and gets really good around 10:00. My kid’s bedtime is 8:30 p.m. After that, she becomes cranky and miserable. If she goes to sleep too late, she has trouble waking up the next day, so we have to wake her up which means she will be cranky and miserable for the rest of the day. It’s her routine, and anyone disturbing it will ultimately know her unabated wrath.

But I miss my metal night. I miss my nightlife. And I miss Blaze, for fuck’s sake.

Peace, love and my neck needs a break, literally.

Holicraze

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Every time someone asks me “How did you pass the holidays?” I say “It passed.”

And thank the good Goddess it did. FUCK! It was so long! Too long. Way too long.

I don’t know why this year it seemed much longer than in previous years. It could be because every holiday started on Sunday night, so it would just be an extension of the Sabbath and seemed to go on forever.

It might also be because my daughter is nearing 2 years and being an active little cookie, she was bored out of her mind, bouncing off the walls, and not going to daycare. So every day, we struggled to find ways to entertain her.

The days simply crawled by. Towards the end of the exhausting ordeal, Elad went to play basketball in the park. He told me about one of the guys he played with who said “I’m so bummed that the holidays are over next week!” My husband replied to him “You don’t have kids, do you?”

(Cue hysterical laughter)

September 27 was the day of the Rally for fallen soldiers and their families. You might remember my rant in one of my previous posts where I was convinced I would make a fool of myself while giving my speech at the event. However, this day went by far more smoothly than I could have ever imagined. And it so happened that I did NOT make a complete fool of myself! Quite the contrary, in fact. I didn’t stutter or trip on my words once. After the ceremony, random strangers, people I don’t know and who don’t know me or my family or my deceased uncle, came up to me and told me how much my speech moved them.

I could hardly believe it. I mean, this is me we’re talking about here. Me! Who can’t for the life of me speak a decent phrase, can’t form an acceptable argument, can’t win any debate, let alone in Hebrew, to the point where I choose to just keep my mouth shut. Me, who always believed that silence is power and chose the written expression over the spoken one every chance I got. I actually spoke in front of a big-ass audience and moved them all to tears.

I think it might be because I kinda cheated. When I went up on that stage, the lights went out and the only spotlight was on me. The rest of the auditorium, with the entire audience in it, vanished into complete darkness. So it was easy for me to imagine I wasn’t really speaking to anybody and that the place was empty.

The rest of the day went by smoothly because this was the one day during chol hamoed where I didn’t have to find ways to entertain my daughter. The rally took place in Kfar Hanoar in Maayanot. It was a huge park, grass everywhere, a nearby petting zoo with goats and cows and ponies, a big stage in the middle of the park with music and tiny tiny dancing kids, my daughter among them, a temp tattoo booth, mats spread out all over, tons of food… All we had to do was give my daughter space and chase her around. She was so worn out by the end that she fell asleep ON THE WAY to the car and didn’t wake up until we got back to Jerusalem.

But yeah, the rest of the days, dude, snails go by faster. Yesterday, I was so relieved to finally get back to our regular routine. It was a bit difficult for my daughter, at first. We totally confused her over the past fucking month like “Ok, back to daycare,” “Or maybe not”, “and not today either”, “but today yes,” “and today again no”… Who wouldn’t be confused with such a non-routine?

So yes, it passed. Mazal Tov bitches!

Peace, love and I’m two times 18. Chai chai ve’kayam!

 

Blaze of Gory

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When I moved to Jerusalem about 11 years ago, I went out of my way to find the metal community (among other things like the feminist community, the riot grrrl community, and the everlastingly non-existant zine community).

I found small-scale metal shows and metal nights in bars like Uganda, Scream, and Yellow Submarine, and went to them often in an attempt to find the extreme metal underground community – the people who you could always count on to make an appearance at such events.

It wasn’t until I met my husband, seven years ago, that I discovered the elusive nucleus of the Jerusalem metal community. The bar we frequented on a regular basis was Blaze – a rock bar in a narrow alleyway off a sidestreet crossing Shamai, a street in downtown Jerusalem. I would have never found it if it weren’t for my husband. It was that remote.

Before I conceived my daughter, we became regulars at the bar, as part of the nucleus. Over the past seven years, we went to countless metal nights and metal shows, continuing the ritual that was Sunday Metal Night, delightfully headbanging to tunes ranging from the relatively clean tones of old school metal to the brutality of gore metal.

The metalheads who were a permanent fixture in said bar automatically became our mutual friends. They threw a surprise engagement party for us after we got engaged, and we set up a special extra big table for them at our wedding. We even invited them over to our place on Independence Day a couple of years ago, for a BBQ and of course, lots of face-melting metal tunes. We drove in groups to metal shows in Tel Aviv whenever a popular international metal band came to perform, displaying a powerful presence of the Jerusalem metalheads.

Our place of worship was Blaze. Our Congregation of Desecration.

And now, woe onto us metalheads, this bar is two weeks away from its closing day. Blaze Bar closes on October 1. That’s right. My goddamn birthday. The only decent metal bar in Jerusalem closing its doors is a wonderful birthday gift for a Jerusalem metal girl, is it not?

Last night, the final Sunday Metal Night took place. Despite having a hard time finding a babysitter on every metal night since my daughter was born, I was sure I’d have no problem for it this time because as part of the nucleus, parent or no-parent, attendance was mandatory for last night. At least it was for me. I didn’t want to let the final call for metal go to waste.

Alas, my mother-in-law was indisposed. Even after we managed to convince her to watch our daughter after the baby falls asleep, of course she didn’t fall asleep (she never does when she is in a place that is not her room). Plus, our dog had resumed her regular bouts of seizures, which just served to stress us out even more.

I was forced to remove my metal gear and tend to my maternal duties. I told my husband he should go without me and apologize to our friends for my being a flake. He did, and the rest of the evening went by uneventfully. Back in her own crib, in her own bedroom, my daughter promptly fell asleep. I watched a couple of episodes of Wentworth season 6, and crashed.

The end to a depressing fucking night.

Followed by another seizure c/o my dog at 3 a.m.

Fuck this shit. I’m going back to Stephen King. Still the best way for me to forget about shit that depresses me.

Peace, love and Insomnia

Focus My Ass

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My head hurts, my throat feels all bloody and my nose is a faucet. I’m trying to focus through. My aunt decided that I should stand up in front of a bunch of people I don’t know and give a speech about my uncle who was killed when I was five. So yes, I’m trying to focus and trying to come up with what to write. And it’s even harder to do when I’m sick. And it’s even harder to do when the speech I have to write is in Hebrew. And it’s even harder to do when all I have to work with is five years worth of super fuzzy memories and super fuzzy newspaper clippings circa 1987. Focussing on the fuzz… right.

My aunt chose me to give that speech because she says I’m a good writer. But this is different. This so-called good writer needs to read her writing to a bigass audience made up of complete strangers. That is what freaks me out, because when the written word translates into spoken word, I might as well be mute. The only time I ever gave speeches was in school, in front of classmates, and it was for grades so I managed quite well and scored high. But now, I may very well trip over my words, stutter my way through whatever it is I plan to put down on paper, and do it all under the scorching sun of southern Israel.

The rally where I’m set to make a complete fool of myself is on September 27. Still trying to focus and I’m sick as fuck.

I’d rather be doing something creative like working on my daughter’s photo album. Picabook is where it’s at.

I’d rather be reading. Stephen King is totally where it’s at.

I’d rather fucking sleep. My bedroom is totally and completely and desperately where it’s at.

But alas. I’m at work. Sick. And trying to focus on something I’m hopelessly fuzzed-out about.

Help me.

Peace, love and holidays shmolidays.

IZM Zine Unveiled

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I promised you some photos of my IZM Zine so here they are!

Cover

Also, I posted the zine on my Etsy shop so you can buy it here.

Intro

In case you have an awesomely bitchin zine of your own and want to trade, do contact me! I love me some trades and zinesters kick ass.

July 5

About the IZM Zine:
32 pages
Size A6 (1/4 page)
Black and white
Text-heavy (handwritten and typewritten)
Little to no computer used in the making of the zine

 

July 3

Amazine indeed!

Page 22

Peace, love and zineroots revisited