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!

 

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All Order the Place

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A few posts back (right here) I described how annoyed I am with the lack of order in my daughter’s room, which doubled as a guest room, tripled as my work room, and quadrupled as a storage room. I realized that the reason I was so annoyed by it was because of who I am as a person. I like order in my house. Order in my house breeds order in my mind. Disorder and clutter irritate me and cause chaos instead of peace of mind.

There is this post where I describe how thorough I am with Passover cleaning (usually). And there is this post where organizing the house (or rather a room) is the stuff of daydreams for me. Also, whenever my mom comes over for a day or two, she always leaves things where they shouldn’t be. In fact, it happened more than once that I had to call up my mom and ask her “Where did you put this and that? I can’t find it anywhere!” I can’t go to sleep unless I reorganize all the stuff that my mom misplaced.

And yes, I also kept going into my daughter’s room trying to dream up a solution for the clutter and see if there is any hope for order in there.

So it is no wonder that today, as we finally got a new closet for my daughter, I finally feel at peace again. We managed to clear out some of the furniture in my daughter’s room after all, to make room for the closet which is much bigger than I imagined (and it’s awesome!). And I know that once I clear out the clothes from the drawers of the chest and organize it in the closet, that means we can clear out even more furniture. Clutter will be a thing of the past and my daughter’s room will look more like a little baby’s room rather than a garage.

Although dirt, dust, hair and fur doesn’t bother me so much, clutter does. And when everything is back in order, the only natural thing to do is to clean up. Otherwise, the order doesn’t look complete. So once the closet was delivered and set up, I spent the rest of my morning cleaning up. And then everything fell into place. Everything is organized and clean and my peace of mind is reclaimed.

Besides all that, last Friday, we had some workers over. They spent the whole day painting our living room and kitchen, cleaning up the mold that turned coal black due to what seems to be years of neglect, throwing out the old and rusty dishwasher that we never use and replacing it with a new cupboard. Convenient, organized, decluttered, cleaned, Tetris’d the fuck out of the place.

Next up, getting a new laundry machine! I do so much laundry, I am not surprised that our machine is starting to show the initial signs of a nervous breakdown. It leaks, it quite literally crumbles at the edges, it causes power surges without fail, it makes a fuckload of noise and dances around to the beat. Not to mention the countless times our house was flooded because the tube that drains the water from the machine fell out of the hole that leads to the sewer. If that is not a reasonable cause for lack of peace of mind, I don’t know what is.

Peace, love and Saw and Order (just because)

I Like to Move It

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At long last, Elad and I finally moved into our new place. It was supposed to happen in January (if you remember this post), but kept getting postponed for reasons beyond our control (if you remember the last paragraph of this post).

We spent all of Friday and Saturday settling in. So now, instead of having a single bedroom, a tiny living room, a tiny dining room, a minuscule and claustrophobic computer room, a small bathroom with a stand-up shower and a laundry corner, we now have one big bedroom, one guestroom which doubles as a work room for me and my zines, a rather large computer room (which fits all of mine and Elad’s guitars, all our amps, a double-tower of CDs, the computer and all its equipment, including a sound system and an effects box), an enormous living room with a nearby dining room, the cutest most adorable kitchen you’ll ever see, and a nice little laundry space. Plus our bathroom, though still pretty small, has an actual bathtub! Showering is so much more fun and I no longer hit my elbows and knees on walls and shower doors when I shower. All that, with the added bonus of a boidem. We have a STORAGE SPACE dudes! So necessary for hoarders like ourselves.

All we need now is a bigass closet (which we already ordered and are supposed to have it delivered on Wednesday), a decent desk for my work room and matching chair, and a bigass bookshelf for all of my Stephen King books (all 50+ of them!) and all my feminist literature and other random fiction. Then we can put the finishing touches (i.e. our posters, art and photos) and we’ll be as snug as a bug.

My favorite things about our new place:

  1. We have had a record player forever but never used it because we didn’t exactly have much space for it and also didn’t really know how to plug it. But in our new place, we put the record player in our ginormous living room and Elad, being the tech wiz that he is, plugged it into his elaborate sound system, and we listened to old records during all of Friday while organizing the house.
  2. Our kitchen has just doubled in size. We got much more work space available, a bunch of spacious cupboards, and a window. WE HAVE A FUCKING WINDOW IN OUR KITCHEN! We NEVER had that in our other one! I love the hell out of it.
  3. Our bathtub is the shiznit. Bathtubs kick ass and after moving all the stuff and sweating my ass off and getting dust all over me, I took the best shower ever.
  4. My work room features the Riot Grrrl bookshelf I found a while back and I spent all of yesterday and this morning setting it up with all of my zines, all of other people’s traded zines, all of my High School agendas, notebooks and diaries, and all of my folders with bills and statements and other boring stuff.
  5. Our windows are much bigger, or at least seem so because the house is so well-lit, so much better lit than our previous place. We also have light switches and lamps all over the place so even at night, we bathe in bright lights.

The actual move may have been a hassle (and wasn’t without its mishaps, to put it mildly) but the best thing about it was finding things that we thought were lost forever and actually managing to put our hoarding aside for a while to get rid of shit that we really don’t need. Like, I own not one but two broken laptops. I kept them for years for God knows what reason. On Friday I told Elad “Fuck it. Just toss them.” It feels so good to get rid of shit!! Oh my God!

Our dog, Diamond, is a little disoriented. On the day of the move, she kept trying to go out the door and go to the old apartment (which happens to be right across the hall from us).

“This is home now, Diamond,” I tried to explain. “Here is your bed and your food bowl.”

And yes, this is our home now. We’ll have a housewarming party, invite friends, install mezuzot, blast our record player, and look forward to much happiness in our beautiful new crib.

Peace, love and home supersweet home.

Packing List for 2016

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Right now, my life is all over the place. I have about a dozen reminders set on my cellphone every day so that I don’t forget shit. So I am making this list of resolutions mostly to set a certain order in my life and set clear goals so that maybe, with a little hope and perseverance, I may actually get it done.

1) Complete PMS issue number 13 on my trip to Salem: Lord knows it’s long overdue since my trip was in early October. I have all the written material and all the backgrounds. I just need to sit my ass down and put it together.

2) Go over all my belongings and throw stuff out: I need to do this to get ready for our move to the new apartment in mid-January. But we own so much useless stuff, it’ll take forever to go through it, so we might as well start now.

3) Start eating complete healthy breakfasts: I need to get into that habit because just having tea and cake in the morning does not fit in with the healthy lifestyle I am trying to achieve. Omelette, cheeses, fresh veggies, apple juice (because orange juice gives me heartburn). That’ll be my breakfast of champions!

4) Get a little more in touch with my spiritual side: I am considering reading a short psalm of Tehilim every once in a while. Not really chozeret bitshuva or anything, but just invest a little more in my connection with the Higher Power as She is playing a very important part in my life right now.

5) Cook and bake more: My mom says I am underestimating my potential as a Moroccan culinary genius. Coming from a long and illustrious line of such geniuses (including both my grandmothers, my mom and my aunts) I may have very well inherited that particular gene. I won’t know unless I try it out more often.

12045762_10152983389257471_3634203185435079558_o6) Practice more guitar: Yes I’ve had that resolution a while back and never really followed through with it. But now that I have a new Fender Strat to inspire me, I may actually be able to do it!

7) Complete the photo album of my husband and me: I already got all the photos in order which was a huge feat in itself. Now I need to find a way to put them all together in a pretty photo album (or several ones) and print it.

8) Avoid unhealthy environments: The bar that my husband and I go to every Sunday is filled with smoke. I decided to take an indefinite hiatus from metal night in order to avoid inhaling my way to carbonated lungs. A sad but necessary step.

9) Go to sleep earlier: And wake up earlier as a result. I find that I can achieve much more when my day starts in the a.m. For example, having time to cook my complete breakfast!

10) Power walking with my dog in the morning: Yet another thing I can achieve if I go to sleep earlier and wake up bright and early. I’m a slave to my pillow, seriously. But I should really start my day with an early rise, a healthy breakfast and a power walk, and save my pillow labor for the weekends.

Peace, love and baby steps.

Interior Design in DIY

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Me next to the riot grrrl display library that I once found in a garbage room.

Me next to the riot grrrl display library that I once found in a garbage room.

A while back, I wrote a journal entry about how lovely it would be if I had my own work room. I’ve been putting off zine-production mainly because sitting at a proper table with my typewriter is not really doing it for me. I said I want a private room with a pull-out sofa as a work station. All my zine material and zine collection will be kept there along with posters and DIY decorations to inspire me.

No more than a couple of weeks after writing that entry, I got the news that our neighbor from across the hall is moving out and that we can have his apartment! Great news already since we’ve grown tired of the smell of mold in our apartment and also the incredible lack of space in the 40-meters we call a home.

Our neighbor’s apartment is at least twice as big as our current place. The living room is probably three times as big as ours. This is a huge plus seeing as our tiny living room is so packed full of shit, it appears to be on the verge of explosion. We have two sofas, two coffee tables, three guitars, three amps, a dog, a laptop, a huge TV and sound system all crammed into that tiny hole. Can you imagine how much more amazing our living room will be with all that extra space? Especially when I hit it up with some technicolor curtains?

Aside from that, the bathroom has a bathtub as opposed to the stand-up shower we currently have. I don’t even remember the last time I took a bath. Man, that will so rule!

And instead of having just one bedroom, we will have three! A huge master bedroom where we can finally have two separate closets and no more losing hoodies for me (how the fuck do I manage to lose hoodies?!). A computer room for my lovely computer geek husband. And a third bedroom which will be perfect for any progeny we might have but which will now serve as a work room for me until said progeny will come to be.

This past weekend, I was lost in fantasies on how to decorate my work room. A pull-out sofa for sure, preferably a padded burgundy one, upholstered with faux fur or velvety fabric, a rug (so much better than these damn ceramic floors) purple curtains, posters of Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy and some riot grrrl bands, my zine collection and my journals organized in alphabetical order on my riot grrrl display library (pictured above), a zine wall of fame featuring my favorite zines, a small cupboard for all my zine and art material, a stereo system with all my CD’s and cassettes, maybe also one of my guitars with a small amp, scented candles, oils and incense for inspiration, and of course, my typewriter. Also I want to make a small sign on my door that says something like “Zinestering in process. Come on in!” Which is so much better than “do not disturb”. Hell, I WANT people to join me.

THIS IS GONNA BE SO FUCKING COOL!!

We’re moving only in January and time has never gone by so slowly as it is right now.

Peace, love and 24-hour zine things will be so much better from now on!

The Beautiful People in My Beautiful Life

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You know, I’ve heard of people talking about someone in their life who makes them into a better person or made their life better.

“I feel like a better person, and I enjoy my life a lot more when I’m around Mr. XYZ,” they would say. But I never actually thought that made any sense. You’re either a good person or you’re not. You’re the master of your own fate.

But then I met someone who improved my life so drastically that it did in fact make me a better person. I married him.

I know that sounds corny but it’s true. I just thought about my life before I met Elad and after I met him and noticed so many things that changed for the better.

The first thing I changed thanks to the man is my job. I had the most awful job on the planet. When I met Elad, he realized that not only does this job take up all of my time (that was a 50 hours a week job), and that I have no social life as a result, but that it also sabotages my psycho-emotional state because the boss was a verbally and emotionally abusive motherfucker, and I would come back home crying on a regular basis. Elad told me to quit on several occasions but I was afraid that I would not find another job and get into debt as I did when I quit that job once before and was forced to come back because I was flat broke.

“So go look for another job, and quit once you find one,” said Elad. “You don’t owe this guy anything, not even a two weeks notice.” Arch Enemy inspired me, but Elad gave me the final push, and I did indeed find a better job and I quit that godawful place with a self-satisfied grin on my face. No two weeks notice. Nothing. And now, I have the best job ever (20 hours a week), nice staff, awesome boss, who I actually invited to my wedding and signed as a witness.

Also, thanks to Elad, I get to travel more – Since we met, we’ve been to Belgium, Holland, France, Italy and Germany, and we also took a road trip to Eilat. This summer, we’re going to Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Montreal.

I go out a lot more – to bars, mostly on Metal Night, restaurants, parks, concerts, the beach…

I have more friends, most of whom I met through Elad and our shared love of metal.

I HAVE A DOG! Did you get that?! Thanks to my husband, I have a life and can finally afford to have a dog.

I have a rich and vibrant social life. My psycho-emotional state has never been better, not to mention my sex life. I’ll spare you the details, but I’ve experienced things with Elad that I have never experienced with any other partner or even myself.

I take better care of myself, I cook more, I eat better, I exercise more, and meditate more often. I have become a better person.

I also have a chance to be more creative. Because my job is so convenient, and because it’s part-time, I have more time for my arts, crafts and zine production. Now I may sometimes get lazy on that aspect. I mean, since I started my PMS zine in 2010, I only released 10 issues. That’s two issues a year, which is nothing.

And that brings me to the next person who made my life better – my Salem friend. Because ever since I met her, which was barely six months ago, I already released two issues of PMS, one of which was a split zine with her, and we have plans for two more split zines way before this year is over, plus extra art projects that I made (postcard designs, button designs, a contribution for her zine, ongoing letters and packages we exchange back and forth), as well as the International Zine Month I am planning on doing this July including another 24-Hour Zine. So this year, I will have released at least five issues of PMS, three of which will be split zines with my friend.

Thanks to her, I feel more inspired and my creativity took on whole new proportions that I never even thought possible. Laziness is no longer on the bill. Seriously, I wish all my friends were as enthusiastic about zines as she is. Maybe if they were, we could finally have an Israeli zine fest that I am so longing for.

So corny or not, I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to my husband and my Salem friend for intertwining in my web of karma, thus improving my life as a feminist and as a person, and I’d also like to thank the Forces that Be for making our roads intersect.

You guys rule!

Peace, love and on a completely unrelated note, come on Summer! Get a move on and get here already!

The New Me

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As you noticed, my blog layout is completely different.

For the last few weeks, I’ve felt like a change was needed. And not just a change of blog theme, but a change of perspective on life and a change of how I define myself.

I’ve noticed that the grrrlVIRUS movement has much less importance in my life as the movement itself died. Nobody I know talks about it anymore, there are no new posts on any of the related pages or social networks – it’s simply vanished.

The grrrlVIRUS event that was supposed to take place in Berlin a few years ago never happened, and I was so utterly disappointed by it. I think my lack of interest in the movement started then. That’s besides the point that I was the only active member of the Israeli grrrlVIRUS branch. Forget active, I was the only member. Any demonstration I went to – Slutwalk, Pride, whatever… I was the only one holding a grrrlVIRUS banner, I was the only one giving out flyer and trying to spread the virus. 

I don’t think I burned out. I think the virus simply died. There is no more interest in it and I’m no longer involved.

So I no longer define myself as a grrrlIVIRUS-infected chick. I am still a riot grrrl though. I think my tattoo has never been more accurate as it is now – “a true riot grrrl never dies”. I still listen to the music, I still make zines and I still revel in DIY magic. The main difference between riot grrrl and grrrlVIRUS for me is that the latter was a passing fad, whereas the former was one that shaped me for already 14 years. It’s not something that will simply disappear, or die just as easily. I’m still a feminist, and riot grrrl is the movement that defines feminism for me.

Back of VestMy patches vest has a large print of the grrrlVIRUS logo on the back, and I’ve been considering covering it with another large patch. I’m not sure which one yet. I’ve been considering either Mercyful Fate, Amon Amarth or a classic one of Arch Enemy, like from Wages of Sin or something. I also need to remove the grrrlVIRUS patch from the bottom right of the vest and replace it with something else. 

For my blog, I changed the description of “The Badass” on the top right. No mention of grrrlVIRUS is made, and I’ve added some things that I identify with more and that define me in my current state, based on my current interests.

I’ve also been considering changing the picture and the text in the page “About the Badass.” It will be a little more detailed and a little less pretentious.

As a little yet important change – I no longer wear the typewriter necklace I’ve been wearing for the past five years. I still love typewriters and still use my own when I produce zines or write letters, but the necklace is now faded and worn out. I am now wearing a Thor’s Hammer pendent that I recently bought online. It’s a similar one that Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) wears onstage.

Aside from that, I feel the need to detatch myself from people who are too left wing. I simply can’t stand just how hateful some of these people can get. I’ve been right wing since I moved to Israel, and I’ve been Zionist for as long as I can remember. The reason I added these people in the first place was because we had other things in common – feminism, metal, punk, zines, pro-GLBT sentiments, etc. But when it comes to nationalism, they couldn’t piss me off more. During the latest conflict with Gaza, a shitload of infuriatingly ignorant, naive, and shockingly anti-Semitic posts flooded my Facebook and my WordPress feed. I have some friends who are left wing but still level headed. These will remain my friends. But as for the ones who can’t stand to say the word “Zionist” without adding “equals Nazi”, they can fuck off.  I already unfriended one of these people on Facebook. I need to weed out the rest.

I needed this redefinition to reclaim my balance, put my identity in focus, and admit to myself that this is who I am. No matter who I’ve been and what I said and what I wrote in the past, my present is the only thing that matters.

Peace, love and change is good.