Goose Flesh

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I must admit. I am kind of upset that Stephen King decided to take a break from writing and publishing novels at a faster rate than I can read them and instead invest more time in movie adaptations and TV series.

My husband and I still follow his progress. We saw the Dark Tower (see review here), last night we saw the remake of IT (more on that below), we are currently watching the series of The Mist and Mr. Mercedes. Earlier, we also saw the remake of Carrie (review here), the series 11/22/63, and Under the Dome. I enjoyed all these to a certain degree, but not as much as I enjoyed the respective books/novellas.

The remake of IT was amazing. I definitely liked it way more than the 1990 version of IT. I thought it was wise to divide the story into two separate parts instead of making a single movie consisting of constant flashbacks where the viewer has to keep track of two stories at once. Also, Pennywise was far scarier in the remake, I mean, holy shit! Every time he appeared, I screamed out loud.

But again, nothing compares to the novel. I read it a while ago but I still remember how terrifying it was. My perception of reality was completely distorted, I’ve had nightmares, and spent my days looking over my shoulder in fear of seeing a creepy clown like Pennywise. It ultimately became the scariest book I have ever read, and still is to this day. You can read the full review I wrote at the time here.

But I still enjoyed the hell out of the remake. I highly recommend IT to all horror freaks.

Peace, love and I need a new SK book seriously

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This Is the Painkiller

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It started with pain, then continued with more pain, and along came another twist of pain. So I need to escape with everything I got because anything else happens and I’ll just give up.

So here are my plans to forget, ignore and self-medicate:

Metal night: I haven’t been since this whole ordeal began. I was happy about it at first – keeping a safe distance from a smoke-filled environment is always a good thing – but after a while, I missed it. And now that I feel like shit, I really need it. I’m going tonight.

Writing letters: I don’t know how much of an escape this will be as I will no doubt be revisiting the horror in letters to my penpals… but maybe I won’t. In any case, letters have been piling up for the past month and I really need to reply. And maybe reading and replying to other people’s problems will help me forget about my own.

FindersReading: Always the best escape. I just finished Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams and just started Finders Keepers. King’s fiction is so realistic that living in his world and forgetting about my own is so easy and feels so natural. The dude is my ultimate salvation.

Zine-making: I have yet to start the layout of my zine about my trip to Salem. I procrastinated on
that because the crap I had to deal with left no room for any will to make any crafts. All I wanted to do was go home, wrap myself in winter blankets and cry. But there is a certain sense of peace and comfort in the zen vibes of zinestering. I just need to get it started and let it carry me off to the land of forget-escape-heal.

Guitar-playing: I’ve been neglecting Melissa for far too long. I hope I didn’t forget the opening riff to Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law”. I need to set up a time to play with my husband again. Not just to refresh my fingers on the solos of Marilyn Manson’s version of “Sweet Dreams” or on the blistering riffs of Green Day’s “Basket Case”, but also to relive that elation that only playing guitar can cause. That sense of oh-my-god-this-feels-so-fucking-rad-what-was-I-sad-about-again is an escape like no other. And Melissa is a pro at that.

Peace, love and pain, pain, killer, killer.

Bang to the Beat of the Gun

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Yesterday, I read the final story from a book my friend got me for my birthday – The Best Place on Earth by Ayelet Tsabari. Not a book I would pick to read on my own, but my friend sent it to me and I said I’d give it a shot, and was pleasantly surprised.

Anyway, the last story of the book, titled as the book, includes a part where the character describes the difference between living in Israel and living anywhere else. She says that the quiet that saturates every other part of the world (or particularly the place where she was at the time) feels lonely and boring. In a stark contrast to the noise and the stress of daily life in Israel. She says that maybe it’s the fact that in Israel, there is the ever-present shadow of death lurking everywhere, the fact that you can die at any moment that makes this place so fast-paced and so loud.

In another story, the author also depicts life everywhere else as safe and comfortable. But that it only depends on how one perceives it, because safe and comfortable can also be described as utterly boring.

This is how I view it. When I lived in Montreal, nothing moved. Everything was quiet, everyone kept silent and to themselves, nothing moved, and I was bored and depressed and I couldn’t stand it.

Moving to Israel, I was thrilled by the excitement and the flow of events. How people appeared to be moving together and thinking together without even noticing it. How people would all stop together whenever there was a siren on Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron, and how life suddenly resumed when the siren stopped. Also how traffic and pedestrians stopped flowing into the street when there was a suspicious object in the area, and how they spilled back into the streets when the danger was removed. And how complete strangers suddenly become your only safety net when you all congregate in a safe space during a siren. How danger, fear and tragedy brings together people from different backgrounds, descents, origins, cultures, and yes, even religions.

During these times in Jerusalem, we all stare at each other to make sure the other person is of no threat. When a suspicious person walks onto a bus, again, this sense of togetherness comes through – everyone shifts together, everyone fumbles in their purse or pocket for a self-defense object (pepper spray, gun, a blunt object).

Stuff like that never happened in Montreal. In Montreal, you had to look for your community and your safety net, and even they might not want to join in your fear and may not care about your tragedy. This is the loneliness of a quiet place. The boredom in the overwhelming lack of danger.

One day in our office, we had a wave of clients waiting in the hall. A Muslim family walked in, facial expressions changed at once, the wave shifted back, the two people who owned a gun reached for it, all at the same time, everyone on high alert in a heartbeat. It was like some kind of morbid dance. But it’s through this dance and this atmosphere where I felt most at home. It was like I found my entire extended family, my true safety net, the only people I can trust no matter how sketchy and disappointing some of these people can be in other areas of life. In this one thing – danger – we all stand together, move, think and speak together. Because you can die at any moment, and you must dance with the crowd in order to survive.

I also wrote about this in my upcoming zine. I said that safe and comfortable are not adjectives that are usually used in the same sentence as Israel. But that is where I feel safe and comfortable. I know the dance, I learned the steps, I know what to expect and what’s expected of me.

I love this place. I love the noise, the stress, the danger, the fear, the excitement, the love and the hate. It’s the mindset you learn to accept – taking the bitter with the sweet, the life with the death – and appreciate every moment.

Peace, love and war and hate.

Zine Gems

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Whenever I come across a great zine, I get inspired to produce more zines. And since a big part of zinestering is trading and sharing, please allow me to recommend the amazing zines I recently got/traded so that you may also be inspired!

SHEcho Publications
Nina (aka Zina) makes a slew of amazing zines and comics through her indie publication project Echo. I contacted her one day when I was looking for a new zinester to make a split zine with during International Zine Month. Since she has already found another zinester for the project, she suggested we trade zines and later on maybe a split-zine will work out. I picked some of the zines from her website and she sent me those and many more! She writes a pretty awesome zine called Different Heartbeats about feminism, punk shows, zine fests, DIY projects, and more. She also wrote a comics for International Zine Month called Scissors & Chainsaws. You know that “bonus points” section on the IZM activities list, the part that says make a comic every day and make it into a comics zine at the end of the month? Well, she did it! Scissors & Chainsaws details Nina’s activities all throughout the month of July all in comics form. I recently wrote her an email telling her that I wish I had half of her skills in comics, and that her art simply inspires me to try and create more of my own. Amazing talent, great sense of humor, endless inspiration, a feast for the eyes, and pure fun! I highly highly recommend you check it out!

PMS 9 - cover 2Zines by Nyxia
As if I WASN’T going to write about my zine crush and my best penpal friend! Nyxia Grey is the shiznit, and if you haven’t read any of her zines yet, you really should. Her perzine Everything.Is.Fine is mainly about feminism and eating disorders, but she writes a bunch of other zines as well and also makes her own feminist art – bookmarks, pins, amazing collages… I recently read her special 24-Hour Zine issue about the elbow injury she suffered and all the subsequent hardships she went through this past summer. Nyxia is a great writer. She manages to make the reader feel the pain that comes across so clearly and bluntly in her prose. As someone who suffered an elbow injury as well, I was amazed by how eloquently she described everything that I have also felt when I got injured and all though my healing process. I found myself nodding briskly in absolute agreement with everything she wrote. Other zines she wrote include the split-zine she made with me – Boo’ya Moon – about our mutual favorite author, Stephen King; Did That Hurt? a special zine about tattoo safety; Rad Rag – Your Flow Is Fly! about the period (Nyxia’s best seller in zine fests); Cure Huntington’s Disease – a special zine about the genetic condition (all profits made from this issue are donated to Kindred Laurel Lake, a nursing and rehabilitation center in Lee, Massachusetts that helps those with Huntington’s Disease); and a whole lot of other amazing stuff! Check out her Etsy shop and see if you don’t leave with a packed cart!

Twigz and DeadbeatSquimoo
aka Beth, makes a rad comics called The Deadbeats. During International Zine Month, we traded zines, and as I already wrote in one of my We Make Zines blogs, I was sitting at the office and thought I’d flip through the zine she sent me for a couple of minutes. I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting. Her comics feature short one-liners that are cheeky, funny and sarcastic all at once. The issue she sent me (her first one actually) also featured a page where I could draw myself or my own comics character next to one of her deadbeats, so of course, I drew Twigz. I loved it so much and wrote her an enthusiastic message asking when I can expect the second issue of it! I don’t know if any of the readers of this blog are into comics zines, but if you’re looking into some sweet ones, The Deadbeats is a great one to start with!
So now that I read all these awesome zines, I am beyond inspired and have been working on a new split-zine with Nyxia all though this past week. Once this one is done, I have about half a dozen other ideas for future zines lined up, and I can’t wait to start on them all!

Peace, love and oh yeah, you should check out my zines too, they’re not half bad 😉

Real vs. Read

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Once again, I am in that mode or frame of mind or whatever you wanna call it.

That frame of mind where I’m so conflicted, I feel torn in half.

It’s not as bad as it sounds since the conflict itself is not earth-shattering or life-threatening in any way. But still, I’m like, wahhhh!

On one hand, I got a bunch of kickass ideas and plans for creativity – flyers, zines, patches, even a DIY business card. And on the other hand, I have this huge Stephen King book (11.22.63 in case you’re wondering) staring me in the face and I’m dying to go on reading it.

It’s just so easy to let go of this thin creative thread and just fall into the mind-numbing make-belief world of Stephen King, and letting yourself drown and feel yourself sinking deeper and deeper until reality ceases to exist. This reality which sucks dick anyway. This reality which saw it appropriate to steal the life of an innocent 16-year-old girl whose only crime was to love and support a community which deserves to live in a safe, tolerant and democratic society and enjoy equal rights.

Who the fuck wants to stay alert and conscious when the world around them goes shithouse? And where in this morbid reality can you find the right amount of inspiration to create anything at all?

Reading is so much easier. You don’t need to move much to do it, except for turning a page every once in a while. You don’t need to think, because the book does all the thinking for you. You don’t need to talk to anybody or entertain anybody or take care of anything. You don’t need to be creative and find the right words and put them in a perfect order because you have it all perfectly done right in front of you, black on white.

But then, the book is over. And you come out of it only to drop like a brick right back into the shitpile that is this reality. And you come out of it to realize you haven’t made anything of yourself. And you come out of it to notice your back is aching, your eyes are bloodshot, and your husband fell asleep while he was waiting for you to give him his birthday treat, but you were too fucking busy cheating on him with Stephen King.

So which way do I go? Do I pick up my lazy ass and create some sweet shiny sparkly sunshiny art? Or do I give in to the torturous temptation of literature and disappear into the twisted dark worlds of the King?

I guess I’ll have to figure out after my husband’s birthday dinner.

Peace, love and happy birthday to my loverboy!

Giddy Town

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Today is a good day and here’s why.

Jerusalem PrideJerusalem Pride March

When I came back from Germany, I was a little upset that I missed the Pride March in Jerusalem that took place on August 7. But as it turns out, they probably postponed it because of the security situation, what with all the rocket showers and stuff. So today is the new date for the march and I’m pretty excited for it. I don’t much dig the left-wing (read: anti-Zionist) environment in such events. However, the pride and the colors and the promotion of love, tolerance, diversity, health, respect, human rights and freedom is definitely where I want to be today, and definitely something I strongly stand for and support. It’s such an imperative movement in Israel’s society, which purports to be democratic, but still has so much discrimination against such minority groups. Hooray for pride!

Retro Vibes

For the Pride march, I decided to bring both my digital camera and my film camera. I haven’t used my film camera in a while because it is quite heavy and also because film and film development is quite pricey nowadays. But yes, I brought it anyway because the pictures it shoots are just so sharp and crisp and professional. And I have much more control over the depth of field and the focus and the amount of light and the shutter speed needed for an awesome pic. I shot a few pictures earlier this morning at Retroshalayim. This is a vintage and antique market that takes place every Thursday in downtown Jerusalem. As I walked by there, I saw some booths selling faded turquoise typewriters and got all excited. One of the merchants was selling them for 350 NIS and the other offered it for 200 NIS. The prices are of course up for bargain. But even if I could afford it, I have no way to drag around a heavy typewriter, especially during the Pride march. So I settled for shooting some photos of the typewriters and the market as a whole. That was pretty damn awesome too.

New Art Project

I want to start making postcards of Jerusalem. Some of my pen pals have asked me for Jerusalem postcards and I sent them a few I found around souvenir shops. Most of them show the usual landscapes of the Old City, Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, camels, the David Citadel at night, etc. But now I’m looking for something a bit more unconventional. So I am planning to use the pictures I will shoot at the Pride march, as well as those I took of the retro market for postcard-making. I also hope to take some photos of the metal nights I will be attending this upcoming week – Metal Night on Sunday, and Festikassach on Tuesday. This will be a great way for me to show to my non-Israeli friends a side of Jerusalem that they will most likely never see on the 6 o’clock news – the way I see Jerusalem and the way I experience it. I would gladly accept tips and suggestions from artists who make or have made postcards in the past on how to go about it. If any of my dear Constant Readers fall into that category, please comment! Speaking of Constant Readers, see next paragraph.

Stephen Fucking King

Today was post office day, so when I checked my PO Box, I found a letter from one of my old friends who is now my new pen pal (yay!) and a notice for a package, being the Stephen King book I ordered (double-yay!). I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t get the book on time because the post office was on strike (or so I thought) and the holidays are coming up. That’s besides the fact that I’ve been jonesing for a Stephen King book for several months now. If I get stuck without a book to read on the holidays, I go crazy. I will be with my big, loud Moroccan family most of the time, whom I love to death, but sometimes the noise and the crowd gets too intense and I need to retreat into a dark secluded room and listen to music, or into the dark foreign worlds of Stephen King and revel in his impeccable prose. So I’m relieved and super thrilled that I got my book! It’s another one of his short story collections called Four Past Midnight. Muahaha!

Aside from that, after the Pride march this evening, I will be going out for hummus with my boyfriend. Yummy hummus + yummy boyfriend = one bitchin end to one bitchin day!

So yes, definitely a good day.

Peace, love and give me some good dreams to match my good reality.

Restocking on King

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King MercedesThis post is inspired by Catherine Elms‘ post on the same subject.

My birthday is coming up on the eve of Succot (my Jewish birthday is always the most accurate one). My family knows me as a Stephen King book addict (see this post and this post, and like a bunch of other ones) and on every birthday they buy me a gift certificate to Steimatzky to help me along my latest book binge.

However, I’ve come to realize that Steimatzky rarely has any Stephen King books that I don’t have. I think this is because I have 38 of his novels (and collections of novellas), and it’s hard for me to find a book of his that I don’t yet own. In fact, the only time I found SK books in Steimatzky that I don’t own is when I had none.

So it’s for that reason, I decided to score books online and made a wishlist of these books, which will complete my Stephen King novel collection short of only four books (Dreamcatcher, Cujo, Insomnia and Eyes of the Dragon). King’s nonfiction, comic books, screenplays, short stories not included in any collection, and anything else the dude’s published will have to wait until later. The novels are what’s really interesting me now.

If anyone reading this is interested in buying me one of the books from this wishlist, here are some pointers:

1) The book must be in English: I can read French and Hebrew just fine, but too much is lost in translation and makes me a sad panda.

2) The book must be brand new: I made the mistake of ordering used books in the past. Never again. And if it’s a gift, new is best.

3) Paperback over hardcover: I find paperback books easier to handle and easier to read. Hardcover ones are too heavy, especially if I’m taking them with me on a trip (and also shipping costs increase significantly). But it’s not a must. If no paperbacks are available, I’ll gladly take hardcover.

Here is the list of my coveted books in no particular order:

11/22/63
The Colorado Kid
From a Buick 8
The Regulators (as Richard Bachman)
Blaze (as Richard Bachman)
The Bachman Books
Cycle of the Werewolf
Nightmares and Dreamscapes
Skeleton Crew
Everything’s Eventual
The Tommyknockers
Mr. Mercedes
Gerald’s Game
Firestarter
The Dead Zone
Revival (pre-order, to be released in November)

I have a dream that one day I’ll have the complete King collection (until he publishes yet another one) and then I could take a picture of me with towers of his books all around me, wearing my PJ shirt that reads “Keep Calm, all things serve the beam.”

Ah, that’ll be a grand day!

Peace, love and oh, the picture must also include the King tattoo I plan on getting based on the Dark Tower!