Feelin’ the Zine Love

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As a lonely Israeli zinester, surrounded by people who know nothing of zines, who have no interest in them and don’t even know how to properly pronounce the word “zine”, coming across some zinester love is rare for me. And if I do come across it, I cherish it and never never take it for granted.

So today, I felt the zine love coming from all the way across the ocean, namely from Australia, by the amazing zine queen Nyx and Sea Green Zines, who featured the zines I sent her in her Happy Mail Monday video podcast! Aside from this totally kicking ass in and of itself, Nyx included also a segment about Nina (Echo Publishing) and her artwork, postcards and a mini-zine in that same video.

Being named in this podcast, along with other such incredible zine makers suddenly made me feel not so alone. And being part of this community is what makes it all worthwhile. It’s exactly what I felt during the Boston Zine Fest I attended in 2015. People of different backgrounds and identities, united in a common love for the craft, in an event and a setting with nothing but mutual respect, love, appreciation, inspiration, encouragement, trading and sharing zines, comments, experiences and positive feedback. This is what I felt during the zine fest, and what I felt again watching this video.

There is nothing better than that. It simply made my day, and my week.

This Thursday is Tai Chi Thursday. During the meditation part, there is the “appreciation stage” during which you need to think of two good things that happened to you in the last few days. I can totally see myself focussing on this zine love as one of the majorly good things.

The second good thing I will think about is that I finally bought a new bag! At first, I was thinking of getting something that would be fitting for a zinester travel bag, where I can pack all my zines tools for making zines on the go. But then I thought a bit more about it, and it didn’t seem appropriate for me right now, considering my life and also the country where I live. I mean, there is no way I could pack a pair of scissors in my bag. This is Israel we’re talking about. There are security personnel in every hole and a pair of scissors is a weapon. Plus, I don’t really travel anywhere anymore. And even if I did, I also wouldn’t pack a pair of scissors as it would be confiscated.

So instead, I decided to get a purse where I could fit all my most important stuff – wallet, mobile phone, work keys, home keys, ID, journal, pen, lunch (for work), charger, chapstick (never leave home without it), checkbook, my most recent reading material (a zine or a Stephen King book) and a pack of gum.

I was looking for a very specific bag: black, made of hemp, with a lot of compartments, and I found it at the mall. It’s the first thing I got to cross off my list of resolutions! I also ordered an Amon Amarth patch to sew on the top flap of the bag. It’s gonna look badass. I’m so happy and excited about it!

Peace, love and zine magic forever!

 


Get messy and follow the bleeder: Like my page, PMS Mess!
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ZineWriMo: Color It In

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As part of ZineWriMo 2018, I am now in the process of making a colorful minizine. I’m actually kinda struggling with this a bit.

Reason 1: I don’t have a decent set of colors to work with. I went to the office supplies store this morning and bought a new set of markers failing to notice that it doesn’t even include the color purple. PURPLE! My favorite fucking color and it’s not even in the set.

Reason 2: I’m on the first day of my period and am not in the least bit inspired to make anything mindblowing.

Reason 3: I suck at drawing.

Anyway, I made the front cover which is already something. My idea for the zine was to use a different color on every page and fill it with a few words that I relate to the respective color (eg. Purple: grapes, geffen, royalty, healing, serenity, bruise). A bit on the kitschy side but whatever.

I hope to finish it before heading home because once there, I need to sleep. I got no more than four hours of sleep last night because of this horrible fucking cough.

It’s amazing how Murphy’s Law always gets me. Back during International Zine Month, when I was working on my zine, I also went through a bout of coughing my lungs out on a regular basis. I even complain about it in the zine itself. Why is it that whenever I need my strength and need a decent night sleep to get in the zinestering mood that Murphy decides to return with a vengeance and make me gasp for air?

Motherfucker!

Peace, love and I rather choke on Purple Haze

Focus My Ass

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My head hurts, my throat feels all bloody and my nose is a faucet. I’m trying to focus through. My aunt decided that I should stand up in front of a bunch of people I don’t know and give a speech about my uncle who was killed when I was five. So yes, I’m trying to focus and trying to come up with what to write. And it’s even harder to do when I’m sick. And it’s even harder to do when the speech I have to write is in Hebrew. And it’s even harder to do when all I have to work with is five years worth of super fuzzy memories and super fuzzy newspaper clippings circa 1987. Focussing on the fuzz… right.

My aunt chose me to give that speech because she says I’m a good writer. But this is different. This so-called good writer needs to read her writing to a bigass audience made up of complete strangers. That is what freaks me out, because when the written word translates into spoken word, I might as well be mute. The only time I ever gave speeches was in school, in front of classmates, and it was for grades so I managed quite well and scored high. But now, I may very well trip over my words, stutter my way through whatever it is I plan to put down on paper, and do it all under the scorching sun of southern Israel.

The rally where I’m set to make a complete fool of myself is on September 27. Still trying to focus and I’m sick as fuck.

I’d rather be doing something creative like working on my daughter’s photo album. Picabook is where it’s at.

I’d rather be reading. Stephen King is totally where it’s at.

I’d rather fucking sleep. My bedroom is totally and completely and desperately where it’s at.

But alas. I’m at work. Sick. And trying to focus on something I’m hopelessly fuzzed-out about.

Help me.

Peace, love and holidays shmolidays.

Positively Zen

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Tai Chi Thursdays are totally where it’s at.

Today, I did my first Integral Tai Chi routine since maybe February 2016. It was slightly more difficult than I remembered since I’m so out of shape, but it was just as much fun and rewarding. I had to use the videos I used in the past because I got a little rusty and didn’t quite remember all the movements and the mantras, but eventually, it came back to me and the workout flowed as naturally as it had in the past. A couple more times and I’ll be able to do it with ambient music instead of videos, meditating with Sheila Chandra’s “Sacred Stones” in the background, and all will be right in the universe again.

The final segment of the workout, as always, is meditation. There are several stages of this segment, one of which is the stage of appreciation where you have to think about two good things that happened to you in the last 24 hours or the past week. So I thought about my daughter finally being healthy, no more fever, no more suppositories, no more sleepless nights, and I smiled a huge and honest smile. Then I also thought about yesterday. I had the day off work and used the time to bake a broccoli quiche. Both my husband and my daughter loved the holy hell out of it, and my huge smile became even bigger. Thank the Mother Goddess. Blessed Be Her Name.

As I came out of the meditative state, I made a decision to try my best to reduce the amount of negativity in my life. I want to stop lamenting the weather. Instead of thinking about how much winter sucks, I should focus on the warmth I feel when I’m at home with my loving husband, my amazing daughter and my beautiful dog. Instead of thinking about politics and getting all pissed off, I should focus on the peace of mind that I always have when I surround myself with my art and music. Instead of worrying about my health, I should focus on my Tai Chi routine and look forward to next Thursday so that I can indulge in yet another workout and recharge my state of positivity.

Always focus on the positive. A grateful heart is a happy heart. Namaste.

Peace, love and invocating the dragon.

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

 

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.

What Vacation?

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This year’s holiday season has been the absolute worst one I’ve ever had.

It’s ironic that on one of my previous years’ holiday posts I said something along the lines of “I like holiday season because it’s my birthday and when the zodiac turns to Libra, the stars tend to align and all is right in the universe.”

Well this time, the zodiac and the full moon of Tishrei must have been in some kind of retrograde because goddamn! First my birthday and the fact that, first, my dog got sick, and then my daughter got sick. Then the back and forth rides from Jerusalem to Givolim, then Be’er Sheva, then back to Jerusalem and back to Be’er Sheva, then back to Jerusalem and all the way to Zichron and back to Jerusalem. My daughter constantly being confronted with people she doesn’t know, and being strapped to a car seat for endless rides, completely screwed up her routine and sleeping patterns and finally ended up being sick with a fever and eye infection for the entire fucking holiday.

My husband came back home from work yesterday and said that everyone kept asking him how was his vacation, and he’s like “What vacation?”

Seriously, vacation? What the fuck is that anyway? If holding your kid and feel her going up in flames is a vacation, then yes, we had a blast. If sticking a thermometer and a bunch of suppositories up your kid’s bum and rubbing antibiotic cream into your kid’s eyes and having her hate you as a result is a vacation, then oh boy, that was one hell of a vacation! If spending every waking hour at the doctor’s clinic turning your kid into a guinea pig being poked and prodded all over and having her hate you even more is a vacation, party on because my vacation kicked your vacation’s ass.

I don’t want any more vacations. I want my routine. I want my daughter to be healthy, have fun with her friends at daycare, and go to sleep at a normal hour and not wake up at 2:00 a.m. due to a body temperature of 40 fucking degrees.

This traumatizing holiday season is making me dread Passover and dread next year’s holidays even more.

On a brighter note, I got a new Stephen King book to keep me busy and hopefully make me forget about this steaming pile of horseshit known as a vacation.

Peace, love and here’s to a silent baby monitor