Decompose It!

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Diary 1The other day I suddenly got inspired to resume journal writing. I’ve been keeping diaries all my life (see this post) but as it is with zine-production, it’s kind of hard to find time to write when you’re a full-time mom. I tried keeping a pregnancy journal, and I have, but all the entries were actually saved as unpublished posts on this blog. At that time, I didn’t really feel like writing by hand. I don’t know why.

But anyway, the diary I’m writing in now is one that my friend from Salem bought for me when I was there for the Boston Zine Fest. It’s a rather large one, with the front and back covers decorated with black-and-white drawings of guitars, microphones, amps, keyboards, and drums. On the front cover, it says “Decomposition Book – 100% post-consumer-waste recycled pages – Printed with Soy Ink”. Whether any of that is true or not is irrelevant. But I LOVE the “decomposition” part. Really jives with the death metalhead within.

I added the title “Fertile Myrtle” with the H logo when I tried to keep it as a pregnancyDiary 2 journal. Some of the first entries were in fact written when I was going through the IVF treatments and when I found out I was pregnant. Then a few entries when I tried to get back to journal writing again and failed. Again.

So the other day, when I got inspired, I wrote yet another entry about trying to get back to keeping a diary, and I really hope it’ll work this time. Keeping with the inspiration, I added a few stickers that I received from zinesters and penpals I traded with. Cool stickers and decorations really do encourage me to keep writing. So far, I only wrote two entries and they’re short. But I had a great time writing them.

I should really practice my handwriting. I’ve been typing shit for too long, and all of it was on the computer. I mean, if I were typing on my manual typewriter (which requires quite a bit of finger strength and may cause broken nails, bruises, and blisters) I wouldn’t be so hard on myself for not doing much writing by hand. But as it stands, the only time I write by hand is when I write letters to penpals (awesome) and notes for clients (meh).

It might be because of my condition that I get kinda lazy and opt for blogging. But fuck it. I’m done making excuses. Myotonic Dystrophy be damned. I love writing by hand. Diaries and letter-writing shall prevail!

Peace, love and wouldn’t it be so cool if my typewriter could accommodate diaries?

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Bound to Books

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OK bitchKinges. I finally decided that if I can’t manage to write anything, I might as well let the pros do the writing and I’ll be doing some reading of said pros.

My wonderful husband tagged me on a link to a post listing 18 new book releases this upcoming year that “Stephen King fans will love”. I just went through the entire list and read the synopsis of each one trying to see if any of them will tickle my fancy.

So other than The Outsider, by the King himself, coming May 22, I picked the following:

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
The Clarity by Keith Thomas
The Hollow Tree by James Brogdan
Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry
The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly

Now, I don’t know ANY of these authors. And anybody who knows me also knows that I have quite a bit of trouble reading books by any author other than Stephen King (or Richard Bachman, who is also Stephen King). I have trouble because King is not only my favorite, but also the only author I absolutely LOVE. Stephen King to me is more like Stephen God. Any time I try to read a book by anybody else, I always find myself comparing it to King Almighty, and seeing as the Holy Dude is second to none, my current read comes up short, I find it sucks ass, and I do not enjoy it at all as a result.

But I decided to try and get over my obsession (read: worship) and read other books by other authors. Maybe I’ll find one that I will love as much as King (or close enough is more plausible) and have a greater variety of books to read (if the five dozen King books I read is not enough).

As for the genre, I am only interested in horror/thriller/suspense/mystery novels. If my inability to fall asleep persists, I want to have a good enough reason for it, and it won’t work if the novel I read is romance or fantasy, i.e. BORING SHIT!

So the short list above looks like a good place to begin my search.

I just realised that this sounds a bit like my initial obsession with Arch Enemy and my unwillingness to listen to any other metal band… if I managed to increase my musical repertoire, it might be possible to do with books too!

Peace, love and oh my King!

In My Heart of Arts

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61574_430831122470_2287989_nMy mind tends to wander quite a bit when I have my morning tea. If it wanders far enough, it also makes me lose track of time and I end up being late for work. This morning was one of those long and wide mind-wanderings.

Back when I lived with roommates and had no living beings depending on me for survival, we used to have art nights. I just realized I didn’t write much about these affairs in my past blogs, but damn, these were some fucking awesome nights.

We came up with the idea when my roommates and I took a road trip up north and visited the Dada museum in Ein Hod. There was a section of it dedicated solely to what they called “Garbage Art”. Basically, art made with recycled things and discarded objects left in the trash. Random shit that anybody can make. Like a discarded toilet bowl with a boot stuck on the rim.

So we were like, “Hey, we can make that too!”

And so, every once in a while, we invited over some friends, laid out all our art supplies and made whatever we felt like. If it was drawing, painting, writing, poetry, playing guitar, jewelry making, zine making, fimo molding, knitting, crocheting, absolutely anything goes.

Sometimes, we also tried to set art nights with a theme. We had an art night on Purim once, where we painted masks and noisemakers, some people showed up with costumes, we served Hamantashen and a bunch of sweets. It was so rad! We also had an art night on Lag Baomer and made Smores on our stove top. An art night on Tu Bishvat (the tree-hugging holiday) with a special lecture by one of my friends about all-natural body products. Of course, an art night involving a small zine workshop led by me for anybody who was interested in zine production.

I loved how most of the art nights that we had were attended only by women. Sure, we had some men coming every now and then. I even invited my husband (who was still my boyfriend back then) once, who refused at first because he felt he had no artistic talent.

“You play guitar,” I replied. “That’s an art. Come and play guitar for us!” So he did.

But most of the time, we were all women. There is something special in being in the company of a bunch of women, making art, talking about art, living breathing art, even if just for a few hours. There is no tension, no competition, no animosity, no need to justify or prove oneself for one reason or another. As we saw it, we were all equal, and we were all friends.

These were the thoughts that were going through my mind as herbal tea was rushing through my system in the morning. I started longing for these art nights which do not happen anymore because the roommate clan has disbanded. We each went our separate ways, mostly to the married life and subsequent motherhood. Of course, I regret nothing. I love being a wife and mother. But I certainly wish that “artist” was still included in the list of things that define me.

Peace, love and maybe I could have an art night with my kid and her friends when she grows up.

Overthrow the Laundry Basket

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OTTSQ

I really miss being crafty. I miss writing and making zines. I miss drawing and making collages. I miss trying out new crafts I’ve never tried before. But mostly, zine-production is my most missed activity. Especially after reading my friend’s zine about zines, Overthrow the Status Quo (which everyone should get, and I would link this to her Etsy page if the issue was being sold there, but it’s not. Here’s the link to ZinesByNyxia anyway because all her zines are awesome).

Good zines inspire me to create zines. Great zines inspire me to go crazy with more inspiration and create more zines. And zines that tell me that I should put off mopping the floor and make a zine instead make me feel silly for doing house chores when the time could be better spent with zine production.

I have free mornings on days when I work the afternoon shift, and I have a couple of free hours in the afternoon on days when I work morning. But then, I have my laundry to wash, dry, fold and store. And then I have dishes. And then I have my daughter’s laundry to wash, dry, fold and store. And then I have more dishes. And if I have any leftover time, I try to sleep (and fail), and then it’s time to go to work or go pick up my daughter, depending on my shift, and any hope for zine production dies.

This is why I write blogs. Because seriously, if I didn’t have that, I would go mad. Writing is important to me. Whether my writing is being read or not is completely irrelevant. Writing is the end in and of itself. But at the same time, deep down, I feel that these blog posts are a temporary treatment until I find time for the ultimate cure (i.e. zines).

So that’s why I miss it. And that’s why it’s not just mopping the floor that needs to be put off but everything else. And my house would need to be a mess, I would need to run out of dishes and my daughter would need to run out of clothes, and then maybe I would actually be able to get cracking on paper cuts and sticky fingers.

Peace, love and thank the goddess that at least my husband does his own laundry and sometimes does the dishes too.

 

 

 

Hannukrap

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Since becoming a mother, I realized I’ve become quite ambivalent about holidays. On one hand, I like them because, well, they’re holidays. On the other, I really do not like them because they often involve spending a lot of time with family, which means having to travel to the south, which in turn means having a very upset baby for the next couple of days seeing as her sleeping and eating patterns become all screwy.

So Hannukah was no different. And just like on the September/October holidays, my poor baby got sick, although this was not as a result of traveling to the south but rather as a side effect of the shot she got the previous week.

So the first three days of Hannukah were spent lighting candles, eating doughnuts and shoving suppositories up my kid’s bum. The fever was finally defeated by Friday evening, and the next day, my husband and I had a very nice Shabbat. We took my baby and my dog out to the dog park as it was nice and sunny. On the way back home, my baby fell asleep. My husband chopped up some fresh veggies and we sat to watch TV. The rest of the day went by uneventfully, thank Goddess.

On Monday, my family planned a birthday party for my grandmother. It took place in a Karaoke place in Be’er Sheva. My husband and I absolutely DESPISE Karaoke. Seriously, Karaoke was the reason earplugs were invented. Karaoke killed the hippy with the unplugged acoustic guitar and his coombaya circle. Karaoke was created solely for people who can’t sing but who think they can.

But everybody was going to be there, including my cousin from Belgium. I spent most of that evening going back and forth between the room where my family was, with the awful sounds of Karaoke and the cigarette-smoke-saturated air, and the next room which had neither. My baby, being attacked by my family she doesn’t know and sounds she didn’t particularly care for, failed to fall asleep that night, as she is wont to do whenever she is anywhere that is not her bedroom.

A word about Karaoke:

Back in Montreal, I went to a drag queen club (Cabaret Mado) on an evening of Karaoke. The people who went up to sing were actually quite talented, so I wasn’t suffering much if at all. A couple of years ago, my friend from Sweden came to visit me in Israel and after she insisted endlessly, I joined her for another Karaoke night. She got up on stage and pretty much wiped the floor with any other wannabe singer who came up after her. So that was also ok.

But my family… no. Just no. I bring earplugs to most of my family’s dinner parties and holidays events because I know there is bound to be singing. And my family is made up of loud Moroccans who don’t need any electronic device to make them sound like they’re singing through a goddamn bullhorn. Earplugs have been my salvation in all my family events. But I forgot to bring them this time around.

Plus, the songs they choose in Karaoke are mostly Middle Eastern tunes. Anybody who knows me, even as a passing acquaintance, knows just how I feel about that music. Bleeding ears is not even the word.

So when my dad came to see me and my husband sitting in the other room, he said that he doesn’t understand why loud singing Moroccans torture us so much considering all the loud metal concerts we go to. The mere fact that he even compared the two was baffling to me. But I explained that the music we listen to involves extremely talented musicians playing their instruments like sheer gods, and talented vocalists tearing up their microphones, whereas the auditory abomination known as Karaoke coming from the next room has neither talented vocals nor talented musical instrumentation.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my family. So it was still nice to see them and to show off my daughter. But I’m glad that going to the south is not something we do too often, and I’m glad that Karaoke is not something that my family does too much either. But sometimes I wish these machines had Rammstein songs included in their repertoire. Because if they do, the next time my family decides to torture me with a Karaoke night, I will see to it that I will torture them back with some badass industrial German tunes.

Peace, love and also, seriously you guys have to stop smoking already.

The Metalhead Life

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What people tell me when they find out I like metal:

But you’re so quiet, how can you listen to a bunch of noise?
The reason I listen to your so-called “bunch of noise” is the very reason why I’m so quiet. The music does all the screaming for me. And besides, it’s NOT just random noises. It’s music created by some of the most talented musicians the world has to offer. The perfection of the riffs, the percussion, the bass, the synchronization of all these instruments and the intricacy of the melodies appeal to the trained ear in a way that no other music can.

But you’re so sweet, how can you listen to such violent music?
Again, this so-called “violent” music allows me to soothe my anger without the need to physically or vocally expressing it. And violence is not the only theme of metal. Much of it is about empowerment, taking back control, speaking out, standing out, being yourself, standing up against oppression, being united for a just cause… there is a lot of positivity to be found in metal.

But I thought you were Jewish, so like what, you worship Satan?
Yes, I am Jewish. No, I do not worship Satan. Just because the theme of the satanism does appear in certain genres of metal does not mean I suddenly follow the occult. Kindly destupidify yourself.

How can you even understand what they say?
Yes, there are bands, mostly gore metal bands like Decapitated and Cattle Decapitation among others, where it is really impossible to understand what they say. However, personally, I always found that the music is more important than the lyrics. So I really don’t care much if I don’t understand what they say. But there are a ton of other metal bands where the lyrics are perfectly enunciated. Melodic Death metal bands like Amon Amarth and Arch Enemy for example. Also, you can always find the lyrics online. So whatever.

So you want to kill yourself or something?
No. I want to keep on living for as long as I can so that I can keep on listening to awesome shredding music, and hoping to not have to listen to assholes like you.

And you subject your kid to that noise? What kind of mother are you?
I am the kind of mother who will show my daughter that there are other genres of music out there besides Mizrachit, and that diversifying your playlist is not a bad thing. Being a metalhead does not mean that you are loud, violent, worship Satan, are incoherent, and suicidal, and it certainly does not make you a bad mother. In fact, the metalhead community is made up of amazing people, warm, kind and inviting, and if you are lucky enough to count yourself among these awesome people, you will discover a wonderful culture that encourages and supports individuality, respect, self-esteem, empowerment and pure fucking metal. These are the kind of values I want my kid to have.

Peace, love and headbang bang bang!

 

Living Carcass

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Last night, Carcass performed live in Tel Aviv. It was their first time in Israel in 25 years or something. The first time I saw them live was at Wacken in 2014 and if you were following my previous posts or read it in my zine, you would know that I wasn’t entirely blown away by their performance at the festival. So I rather expected their Israeli show to at least be slightly better. I don’t know what it is, maybe I’m getting old, but no, I wasn’t blown away by their Israeli performance either.

Don’t get me wrong. Carcass is amazing! They’re an epic band with a sound like no other. I absolutely love their songs. My husband and my metalhead friends loved the fuck out of their show. So after the show was over, I was trying to figure out why I didn’t.

We drove to Tel Aviv that evening after Shabbat came out. I didn’t wear as many layers as I usually do in this time of year because I expected it to be much warmer in Tel Aviv. It usually is, but this time it wasn’t. Fucking freezing weather and I curse thee winter. Asshole season, seriously.

The first band on the bill was Shredhead. I expected my ears to bleed seeing as I was told they were metalcore. But the band didn’t suck as much. I was just happy to be at a metal concert again.

After Shredhead was done tearing up the stage, and before Carcass was set to come up and (hopefully) pulverize it, the soundguy, for some godforsaken reason, decided to play a medley of ACDC songs.

Now, I’m sure I will make me some sworn enemies coming to my house with torches, but I. CANNOT. STAND. ACDC. A bunch of untalented cock-rock musicians, fronted by a guy who sounds like a dying cat choking on a frog. And all their songs sound the fucking same!

Anyway, when that shit was over, Carcass finally came up. A lot of their opening songs were from Heartwork and Surgical Steel. Two amazing records. The live songs were pretty good, except that I really like singing along to songs played live but Jeff Walker wasn’t singing exactly as he does on the record, so I had a bit of a hard time with that.

I also expected them to play at least one song off of Swansong. In fact, they played one and a half. That’s right, one and a half. They played the intro to Black Star, which is my favorite Carcass song ever. I screamed and started headbanging myself crazy, but then right before the beginning of the first verse, they suddenly switched gears and started playing Keep On Rotting. And I was like standing there going “What the fuck? Why would you do that?!”

A fucking tease is all it was. It may seem like a minor infraction but I think this is what killed it for me. I was livid. If you’re gonna start playing a song, play it to the bitter end. I told my husband after the show that I really think Carcass hate their own record. They probably think that Swansong is a piece of shit and refuse to play it live and think they can’t possibly destroy these songs any more than they already are so playing an intro to a song and then flick the switch and move on to another is perfectly acceptable.

It isn’t.

The rest of the songs were mostly from their older records, none of which I know. I found it irritating that they didn’t always hold for applause before playing the next song so at some point it just made it sound like a single longass endless song. They also played a couple of songs from their latest, Surgical Steel, which is also pretty good. And the last song was Heartwork, which I would have loved if I wasn’t so disappointed by the non-existence of Black Star.

Besides that, Jeff sometimes joked with the crowd, but his heavy British accent made it impossible for me to understand him. The rest of the crowd did, which is amazing assuming that they’re all Israelis with English as a second language, and I’m a Canadian with much better English than them, but I still failed to understand what the hell Jeff was saying. I think it’s like the French French who can’t for the life of them understand the French Canadians. Give me the old osti d’criss and be done with it.

I think another reason I didn’t enjoy the show as much as I should have is because earlier that day, my daughter had been either teething or experiencing some pain from the shots she got last week and was whining quite a lot. I felt bad leaving her in that state and going to a different city and coming home so late. I left her in the care of my mother-in-law who is great with her, but still. It wasn’t me. I felt as if I was abandoning her when she is in pain. In fact, my mother-in-law told me she didn’t fall asleep until 12:15 a.m. So how was I supposed to enjoy anything knowing that my daughter is in another city suffering and needing her mother?

Anyway, I’m still glad I got to go. I guess. Tonight, we have Sunday metal night. I plan on adding Black Star to the playlist and listen to it in all its full-length glory. And may the Goddess have mercy on anyone who dares to cut it short.

Peace, love and Carcass, keep on rotting yourself.