Grrrl Flop

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Last night, I went to a punk show at a local bar. The first band on the bill was a girl punk band from Russia. So I thought, like, “Pussy Riot”, fuck yeah! Or at least some form of riot grrrl band.

I sampled their music via YouTube and found a song of theirs that was rather interesting and sounded a bit like it was inspired by Bikini Kill.

I got really excited for the prospect of seeing a live riot grrrl band in Jerusalem, which very rarely or never happens. So I wore my Bikini Kill t-shirt and sort of fantasized about the Russian band going onstage, playing some of their original material, and then spotting me with my shirt and saying “This next song is dedicated to the badass chick with the Bikini Kill tee,” and break into a cover of “New Radio” or “Rebel Girl.”

But that didn’t happen. Not even close. The first song they played was the one I sampled from YouTube, and it was their only acceptable, slightly riot grrrl-y song. The rest of their show was made of a medley of muddied-down songs that sounded nothing like punk, or even music for that matter. The organizers may have referred to it as punk, but I refer to it as WTF?!

My husband was suffering and said “Punk is not complicated. Verse, chorus, verse. You don’t even need much technical talent. Hell, WE were better than that!” He was referring to our Mistress Distress project back in 2012. And yes, compared to last night’s show, we weren’t half bad.

Needless to say, I was utterly disappointed, considering my fantasy of earlier that day. I mean, they didn’t even have to cover a Bikini Kill song. They could have just played a few more songs that sounded more like their first one. That would have been good enough.

I’m still looking for a riot grrrl scene in Jerusalem, so when a band like that comes to town, it’s only natural that I get my hopes up way too fucking high.

Peace, love and sigh…

Boston Zine Fest, Here I Come!

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Remember this post? So Boston Zine Fest is now official and so is my participation in it! Well, I haven’t bought the plane tickets yet, but I’m definitely getting there!

The Boston Zine Fest will be taking place in October 10 and 11. I’ll be in Boston and Salem for about a week, tour the Salem streets and sites which will be in full prep gear for Halloween, go to a feminist tattoo shop and get on with my Dark Tower tattoo, hang out with my zinester friend and of course table with her at the fest.

So in preparation for all that, here is a list of things that I still need to do:

1) Make some patches for the zine fest

2) Complete unfinished zines and photocopy the recent 24-Hour Zine one

3) Make some more fliers

4) Pack all that shit and mail a final box to Boston so I won’t need to carry it in my luggage

5) Design Dark Tower tattoo and set up appointment with tattoo shop

6) Order plane tickets, duh

7) Notify family, coworkers and my Salem friend of final dates

8) Check whatever financial stuff for the trip (have enough spending money, etc.)

9) Plan with my friend places to visit in Salem during pre-Halloween festivities

10) Check up on weather conditions in New England in October. I think I’ll need to pack some layers and some winter gear.

11) Last but not least, I should not forget to freak out over all the awesomeness!!!!! So exciting!

Peace, love and hey all you Bostoniers, come say hello!

More About My Favorite Month

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This International Zine Month is fun as shit.

I traded and bought some pretty awesome zines so far. Usually whenever I buy or trade zines, it’s always a gamble because I never know if the zines I get will be any good. Sometimes I end up with zines that aren’t all that good, but I feel bad throwing them out so they just end up cluttering my zine collection.

But this month, so far, all the zines I got in my mailbox were gems and I was so excited to read them all.

I’m still waiting on a few packages and will also be sending some out tomorrow. It’s a busy month for the post office!

Plus, I completed my 24-Hour Zine Thing and will be working on yet another zine this Friday afternoon and next Monday night. I’m meeting up with friends and having a crafternoon/art night that is long-overdue. So the Friday crafternoon (July 24) will be the small quasi-zine event that was originally intended for the 25th. I need to remember to bring my camera.

Speaking of cameras, I am also planning what I call a “silent zine”. It will include photos, drawings, comics and collages, but no words. Well, there will be some words, like the titles of the photos/artwork, the name of the zine on the cover, a table of contents and a contact page at the back. But the rest of the pages will be full of visual art as opposed to verbal art. Thus, silent zine.

I am so fucking excited for that issue!! I’ve never done anything like this before. Maybe this could be the new zine skill I’ll be teaching myself this month?

Peace, love and more letter-writing tonight!

Ai Zee Em 2015!

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I got back from my honeymoon last Saturday but haven’t had a chance to write a blog about it due to jet-lag coupled with end of the month duties at the office. But I don’t think I’ll write about the honeymoon just yet (even though it was beyond awesome!) because it is now July which means INTERNATIONAL ZINE MONTH!

I think that if I write a daily post of my activities this year as well, I rather do it on We Make Zines because I hardly sign on to it anymore. And what better time to sign on to We Make Zines on a regular basis than during IZM?

But like I did in 2013, the activities listed on the poster will have to be changed around a little to fit my interests and my schedule.

Below is the original poster, followed by my list and edits:

izm2015poster

1) Top 10 list of reasons I love zines

2) Re-read my favorite zines

3) Order from Zine Distro

4) I’m from Israel. I ALWAYS read zines from countries other than mine, so this doesn’t apply to me. All activities move back one day so I’ll be organizing my zine collection that day.

5) Updating my ZineWiki posts is something I have trouble with. I think the links there are weird or whatever… So that day, I’ll “try” to update my ZineWiki

6) I’ll focus on postcard-making that day

7) Make flyers for my zine and my Etsy shop

8) I don’t want to write a letter to a zinester I don’t know. So I’ll write one to a zinester I recently met.

9) Send a care package to a friend. I know just what to send and to who.

10) Make some mail art: I’ll continue making postcards

11) Send zine out to be reviewed

12) Zine trade day: I think I’ll trade with my usual partners in zinestering

13) Leave zine in a public place

14) ValenZine’s day: I know who my zine crush will be this year!

15) Send zine to distro for consideration

16) Start 24-Hour Zine Thing

17) Finish 24-Hour Zine Thing

18) Review a zine: probably whatever zine I buy from the distro on July 3

19) The only quasi-zine shop in Jerusalem is Uganda and it’s just another left-wing bar which sucks ass. So on this day I’ll order from a new distro than normal

20) Free Zine day! I don’t know who will be the culprit this year though. I’ll have to figure it out.

21) International Zine Library Day: There are no zine libraries in Jerusalem, so I’ll just send my zine to one.

22) Since I already did the activity on the 21, I’ll do something else, maybe work on a new zine or design the photo album I’ve been planning to do in forever.

23) Instead of a one-page zine, I’ll make a new issue of End of Words, my post-its zine, which is just as small as a one-page zine

24) New skill, new skill… I’ll have to look online for a zine skill I don’t know so I could teach myself.

25) Zine event: My friend wants to have a crafternoon with a new zinester she met. Maybe that could be the zine event!

26) None of my family members are interested in learning about zines, so on that day I’ll just continue working on the zine I started on July 22.

27) Find a compilation zine to submit to.

28) Cook with a recipe from a zine

29) Post a photo of me with a zine

30) Meh, I’ll be reading zines the whole month, so on that day, I will move forward with the zine or photo album I mentioned before.

31) HallowZine: I will commemorate my old zine, Fallopian Falafel.

This month definitely sounds like fun! Follow my progress on my We Make Zines profile.

Peace, love and off to my activity!

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