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

 

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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.

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.

My Tired Is Tired

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So I woke up on Wednesday morning when I heard my husband and my dog coming back from the morning walk. I figured that since I work the afternoon shift, I can afford to sleep a little longer, but I had to pee like a motherfucker. So I got up and went to the bathroom, where I looked at my watch without my reading glasses and deduced that it was 8:00 a.m. I wondered how it is that I didn’t wake up earlier when my daughter does. I came out of the bathroom and looked down the hall and saw that the door of my daughter’s room was closed, which meant she wasn’t in there anymore.

I turned to my husband and said “Did you already take her to daycare?”

“No,” he answered. “You picked her up today.”

“What?”

“You worked morning today. You picked her up, right?”

“No, I work the afternoon shift today…” I wasn’t really following the conversation. Something didn’t make sense, so I added. “Wait, what day are we?”

“It’s Tuesday,” he said.

“What are you talking about? What time is it?” I asked still completely out of it.

“It’s 6:00.”

“In the morning?”

“No, it’s evening!”

Usually when I work the morning shift, I finish early enough to have time to go home, sleep for an hour, then get up and go pick my daughter up from daycare. But what happened now was a classic case of George Carlin-ation. In his “Jammin in New York” stand-up show, he says: “Did you ever fall asleep in the late afternoon and woke up after dark and you don’t know what goddamn day it is?”

I was convinced it was Wednesday morning, when it was actually Tuesday evening. What I thought was my dog’s morning walk was actually her evening one. And what I saw as 8:00 was actually 18:00. And I had slept for a straight 4 fucking hours and my daughter was still in daycare. I slept through the 3 p.m. alarm that I had set. I slept through both phone calls from the lady who runs the daycare.

“Oh my God!” I gasped when it finally hit me. “Go get her NOW!” I told my husband who was already halfway out the door.

Lucky for me, my daughter was used to being at daycare until 18:00 on days when nobody can pick her up at 16:00. But it didn’t stop me from being so completely disappointed with myself.

“What in the fuck is wrong with me?” I asked after my husband came back with my daughter. It’s like the whole evening just disappeared.

I recall working the morning shift and trying to find a meme that adequately described just how fucking exhausted I was. There was nothing to do at work and I was trying to keep myself awake by shaking my hands and hitting my face. Anybody who would have seen me would have thought I was having some sort of seizure or was going crazy. I should have known that my one-hour nap would turn into a four-hour long absence of consciousness. I honestly think I quite literally passed out.

27-I-will-nap-here-cat-meme

Anyway, my daughter was completely oblivious to this lapse of judgment from her mother, who was still trying to make sense of what goddamn day it is. Seriously, even after I already knew it was evening, I caught myself getting dressed for work. My mind had checked out.

And this is my punishment for being stupid. I am never taking naps again.

Peace, love and sleep is for the weak

Motherzinester

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It wasn’t easy, but I did it!! After almost two years of having made no more than a single mini zine, I finally managed to produce a full-length one. This is not an issue of Purple Myrtle Squeegy, and I wonder if I’ll ever make another one from that series. This issue is called Ima Badass (a play on words to those of you who speak both English and Hebrew) and it focuses on my experience with pregnancy and the onset of motherhood. It might be a one-off, or the first of a few. I haven’t decided yet. All I know is that it needed to be done. You can’t be a zinester and a mother without writing at least a single zine about motherhood.

IB cover

The format of this zine is slightly different from the previous DIY issues of PMS perzine. Since I rarely had any time to work on it, I did most of the layout by computer. The cover is a photo I took while my month-old daughter was napping on my lap. Although it’s mostly cut-and-paste, the script is all computer typed. There are no backgrounds because that would have involved a hell of a lot more time and effort, which anyone with a baby would understand that I simply don’t have.

But still, I did it! And it’s as raw and intimate as any perzine should be.

A huge thank you to all my awesome zinester friends and artist friends for your constant inspiration. A special thanks goes out to my husband for finding the time in his crazy schedule for printing this issue. And another special thanks to Shoshana for contributing a beautiful drawing included in the zine!

Peace, love and babies

Room 101

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Hello EdenToday, I struggled to organize my daughter’s room but got frustrated because no matter how many things I put away, it always seems so cluttered.

So I sat on a chair looking around the room, pondering on the evolution of this room.

We moved to this apartment when I was two months pregnant. We haven’t even started considering a nursery, much less how to set one up. At the beginning, we used that room as a storage room until we found a place for all the stuff we had. Soon thereafter, it became my work room as well as a guest room.

We kept postponing setting up a nursery. My husband finally suggested we wait until two weeks before my due date. But then two weeks before my due date was when I finally gave birth. And so it was that we had a baby and nothing else – no diapers, no bottles, no clothes, no toys… we had a broken crib and a used car seat. Of course, even before we brought her home, we got a bunch of gifts and my husband went shopping with his sister for a whole stack of things we would need.

So as it stands, my daughter’s room is now a cross between a child’s room and a guest room, with a touch of a zinester’s work room and a goddamn storage space.

And we can’t unclutter it.

  1. We need the guest bed because my mom sleeps there when she comes to visit (plus there is a large compartment under the bed for storing more things).
  2. We can’t get rid of my work station because where else would I lament my lack of time to get any zinestering done? Plus it’s a kickass desk which my daughter could also use later on.
  3. We can’t get rid of any chest because my daughter has no closet and that’s the only place where we can keep her clothes and bedsheets.
  4. And as broken as the crib is, we still use it, even if my husband is so annoyed by it he said we should burn it once our kid graduates to an actual bed.

Above all that is a small bedside table under the desk, two guitars, three radiators and a laundry basket.

So feeling completely hopeless by this room being on the verge of explosion, I closed the door and am now planning a door sign with a nice frame.

Peace, love and only a metalhead would understand that title