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.

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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!

 

Post-IZM Blues

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I’ve recently found that slowly but surely I’ve managed to return to myself and my regular programming – art, activism, writing, reading, exercise, music, social activities, the usual mischief.

July kicked ass. I’ve worked hard and managed my time accordingly and have thus made zines, wrote some shit, attended Slutwalk, attended Pride, organized art mornings, kept with my weekly Tai Chi routine, read and am still reading lots of King books, and tried to stay as active as possible even within the realms of my maternal duties, as limiting as some of them may be. Yes, there are 24 hours in a day. I’ve owned them and filled them up to the fucking rim.

However, after an exchange between me and my husband regarding boring financial issues, we’ve agreed that I should give up my free mornings so that I may be able to pick my daughter up from daycare at a more reasonable hour and not have to keep her there until 18:00 and be charged for babysitting services. It comes out to hundreds of Shekels every month, and that’s a lot. But what I will be sacrificing to avoid such an expense is a lot, too.

“I won’t be writing anymore,” I told my husband. ” I also won’t have time for Tai Chi, or zine-production, or post office errands, or cooking, or dishes, or laundry, or sleeping in, or anything else. I will be reduced to being just a part-time secretary and a full-time mother. Nothing more.”

But money talks.

And bullshit walks.

So along the bullshit goes and sacrifices have to be made. I may have one morning a week for a while at least. And I’ll cram a whole load of things into it. Maybe I can revamp my weekends into something manageable and at least keep my Tai Chi routine…

Pfff, yeah right! After working only mornings shifts, I will be so tired by the end of the week, I’ll just pass the fuck out. No exercise, no zines, no writing and I’ll be too tired to care.

I really hope I won’t be too upset. Ink still runs through my veins and it still needs to bleed out onto a blank page. Tai Chi is necessary for my myotonized muscles lest they cramp up again, and I cannot afford a sedentary lifestyle. Zines breed positivity and I can sure use it right now.

But money still talks. And lord knows that following a morning shift, my pillow also talks my ears off.

Maybe I should start drinking coffee. Fuck this shit.

Peace, love and 24 hours in a day, my ass.

Order Rules and Toddler Shreds

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I know this sort of post bores you to bloody tears, but hey, do I give a rat’s ass?

Organizing the house is one of my favorite pastimes. And passing the time it does, pretty much until I lose track of it and get to work late.

This morning, I planned on organizing a couple of garbage bags full of my kid’s winter clothes and giving them back to my sister-in-law. But after getting some kitchen chores out of the way, I found myself with less than an hour to take on that heavy load, so I decided to do some more minor organization tasks… which turned out not to be so minor after all and I got to work late anyway, but yeah.

Somehow, I always manage to have a bunch of papers piling up on what I call our “front desk”. It’s all bank statements and credit card statements and salary slips and a whole bunch of other boring shit that I fail to put away. So I organized that.

But as I was going to the other room to get the folders where I store said boring shit, I came across my DIY bookshelf. This bookshelf was once a product of an order-obsessed chick, with her zines organized by date, traded zines organized thematically, a shelf for her diaries, a shelf for her high school agendas (also organized by date) and sketchbooks, and a shelf for folders of boring shit.

The bookshelf that was once neat and tidy looked like it was hit by a shitstorm, followed by a hurricane with a touch of a flash flood. Though none of it was wet as the allegory would suggest, this bookshelf is now the product of a demolition-obsessed toddler, with shelves filled with torn papers. Luckily, she’s still too short for having inflicted such devastation on my zines and traded zines in the top shelves but, goddamn, what a mess!

To organize my annihilated bookshelf would mean putting torn agendas and diaries back together first before putting them in the right place, and that alone would take me a whole morning. So after a five-minute long longing look at the decimation before me, just begging me to be organized, I reluctantly walked away and back to the pile of boring shit papers.

Once that was done, I decided to organize our dining room table. I don’t know how we always manage to clutter it up, but I was getting sick and tired of having to constantly push a bunch of random stuff to the edge of the table just so we could have dinner.

The things that bothered me most on that table were the electronics – three remotes for our TV and sound system, a wireless keyboard and mouse and a wireless joystick. So I moved these to our electronics drawer, but not before reorganizing the drawer itself which was a whole other shitstorm – a bunch of intertwined cables and wires and chargers and spaghetti running up, down and around cameras, 3-D glasses, batteries, users manuals, a handheld vacuum cleaner and a broken iPod. I blew a hearty 20 minutes fumbling around with all of it and trying to Tetris the wireless keyboard into it, along with the mouse, the joystick and three remotes.

Even though we can now see the actual dining room table and the “front desk”, my mind keeps going back to my DIY bookshelf. I can almost hear its cries of disorder anguish.

I also have the living room bookshelf to look forward to. My growing Stephen King collection isn’t going to organize itself, and space shall be cleared to make way for the King, oh yes it shall.

I’m excited for the imminent return of the order-bug. I wonder how long it will take for my toddler to exterminate it. I bet not long. Not long at all.
Peace, love and happy International Zine Month!

Mother vs. Writer

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I am currently reading Stephen King’s On Writing. I never thought I would read that book because I was pretty sure none of it was going to have any zombies or vampires or aliens or ghosts. The reason I finally decided to read it is because Stephen King is a master storyteller no matter what the theme is. And I was right. So far, I had just read the first part, “C.V.”, and I was transported.

As I finished the part, I started thinking about my own experience with writing. Sometimes I look back at my writing life and it feels like I’m looking at someone else’s life. I filled pages and pages, drowning myself in metaphors and similes and tea-refills. I lost track of time. I forgot to eat, sleep and shower, and sometimes even breathe. I would write an essay, then move on to a journal entry, followed by a blog post, and then an article to the entertainment section of the Jerusalem Post. And I would still be left scratching my fingers down to the bone as the writing adrenaline was rushing, and I burned to write something more.

Looking back at these old writings, I marvel at how brilliant it is. I discovered a girl with endless inspiration and hope for a glorious future in writing.

Now I can make excuses about why it hasn’t happened and say something cheesy like “life got in the way” but the honest truth is that I simply don’t want to. I rather spend time with my daughter. The drive and the elation I felt when I was writing pales in comparison to the constant unyielding ecstatic joy I feel when I’m with my daughter. She makes me happy in a way that nothing else can. Even when she cries, even when she refuses to sleep, even when she flails her little hands at my face when I try to change her diaper – my daughter is the light of my life. Even mundane activities that I sometimes complain about, like endless piles of laundry, can make me happier than any journal entry or personal essay can. When I dress my daughter in her fresh new clothes, and see how beautiful she looks in anything she wears, I thank the Goddess for the piles of laundry and wish for more.

Back when I had a constant flow of words pouring out of me at any given time, I was only a writer. I wasn’t a wife and I wasn’t a mother. I changed as a person. My list of priorities has changed. My identities changed. When I added wife and mother to the list, they went right to the top.  While back in the day, my mind was running wild with more ideas for writing, now it is running wild with more ideas for what children books to buy, what toys to get for my daughter, what new food she might like to eat, what new things I should teach her, what I can do to make her life better and happier. Basically, anything that has to do with being a mother is the only thing I am interested in now.

I might still create something or write something here and there (if this blog is any indication). My daughter is a year and a half. She loves books, she loves to draw, she absolutely adores music and dancing. Teaching her about art and writing is definitely something I want to do. So maybe I can lead by example.

Stephen King says that art is a support-system for life. And this was true for me for most of my life. I can safely say that if it wasn’t for my art, my writing, my music and my zines, I would undoubtedly be a maggot-infested, decomp-ridden corpse, six feet under a cold tombstone right now.

But today, it is my daughter that keeps me going. It is the intense desire to see her grow up and learn new things and discover her own unique passion that keeps me scratching my fingers down to the bone with anticipation. Motherhood is an adventure. Any mother would tell you that. But to me, motherhood is, like my art was in years past, a support-system for life.

Peace, love and all writers begin with ABC.

Slutty Mother, Feminist Baby

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So Slutwalk Jerusalem is coming up for the 7th year in a row. I noticed that every time someone posts about it on Facebook, there is a shitload of back-and-forth comments mostly by trolls who have no idea what Slutwalk is even about and think they can criticise it however they want.

I don’t really care about that. Slutwalk is about women reclaiming their bodies. That’s it. It’s a good thing. It’s a positive thing. But people still comment on it, saying it’s demeaning and offensive. So if people are offended by women claiming ownership of what they obviously own, said people can go fuck themselves or get a brain.

I’m going along with a group of friends. I was also planning on bringing my daughter along and dress her in her new onesie (pictured here).onesie smash But my husband said he won’t let me. It’s funny and rather ironic that he won’t let me do something when it comes to feminism. But in this case, I think he’s right. Although I want to expose my daughter to the movement early on in her life, I think that a year and five months is far too young to actually take part in marches that involve being in the scorching sun for a long time, shouting slogans, and (let’s face it) putting yourself in certain danger by counter-protesters.

I want my daughter to be an activist and be strong and stand up for her rights as an empowered woman, but I also want my daughter to be safe. And Slutwalk Jerusalem is not exactly the safest place to be on May 18. So she will stay with my husband, who can do his own share of exposing our daughter to feminism by reading her one of her favorite books “Feminist Baby”, including the Slutwalk-inspired part that says “Feminist baby chooses what to wear, and if you don’t like it she doesn’t care”, as well as teaching her the Rosie the Riveter feminist fist, demonstrated in the book by the feminist baby herself.

So next week will be nice and packed. With the hopes that my daughter doesn’t get sick in any one of those days, this is my schedule for the upcoming days:

Friday, May 11: Bake cookies, go to Be’er Sheva for the weekend
Sunday, May 13: Work morning, pick up daughter, bake broccoli snack (new recipe!)
Monday, May 14: Tai Chi morning, work afternoon
Tuesday, May 15: Doctor’s appointment and blood work, work afternoon
Wednesday, May 16: Write letters to penpals, work afternoon
Thursday, May 17: Bake pizza-flavored pasta quiche (another new recipe!), work afternoon
Friday, May 18: Smash the fucking patriarchy at Slutwalk with a group of badass bitches, and make the world a better place for my daughter, then go to Be’er Sheva for weekend and Shavuot.

If all goes well, I might try to start a new issue of my zine and include a piece about Slutwalk. Between taking care of a child and taking care of a child, I don’t know when that will be, but yes. Zinesters shall zine.

Peace, love and sluts

As I Was

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Yesterday, I made a few lists in my journal to see how my habits and hobbies have changed from my pre-maternity to my post-partum time. I wanted to see if I would be able to reclaim some semblance of my pre-pregnancy life.

Things I regularly did before pregnancy and motherhood include:
– Zines
– Tai Chi
– Baking/cooking
– Reading books
– Writing letters
– Power walks
– Playing guitar

Things I do now:
– Laundry
– Raising my kid
– Sleep

Despite that enormous shift, I have managed to engage in some of my earlier activities. I made a zine and am working on another one, I baked cookies, I read two books and am ordering a few more, and I wrote some letters. This is not bad at all considering parenting is a full-time occupation. And yes, I did most of these while neglecting laundry and sleep.

Now, I am not stupid. I know that all these activities will never take a front row seat in my life ever again. I’m under no illusions about that. My life right now is all about my daughter and everything I do is for her, and I love and cherish every minute of my life as a mother. So these other activities that define me in every other aspect of my life will not be regular activities as they have been before.

But since they are important as part of my self-care, I will still try to find/make time to do them. I think it’s also important for my daughter to see her mother engaging in self-care and doing things that she likes. I want to lead by example and teach her that she too should take care of herself and do things that she enjoys and that are important to her, whatever it may be. If she grows up to love art just like her mother, that’s great! I will be thrilled to make art with her. If she grows up to love playing basketball like her father, that’s amazing! I’ll sign her up for lessons or encourage her to play with her father in the backyard or the park.

I think it’s especially important with activities that promote good health, such as Tai Chi and power walks. I want my daughter to lead a healthy active lifestyle and make exercise a regular part of her weekly routine.

SO! The next item on my list of things to reclaim is my Tai Chi exercises. I seriously need to get my ass back in shape, dammit. Not to mention my back, my legs, my arms, my neck, my abs… I feel completely wrecked. Integral Tai Chi should do the trick. I am attempting to make it a weekly thing as it was once before. But instead of Friday mornings (during which I am too busy with my daughter) I will set it on Thursday mornings.

Fuck sleep. Sleep is for the weak. The Dragon will devour any shred of my drowsiness and The Phoenix will team up with The Tiger to make me own the day and fuck shit up.

Peace, love and Corpse is for the Living

chakras