ZineWriMo: Baby Zinester

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I was sick yesterday, so I didn’t do anything. I didn’t go to work and slept most of the time. But I felt better later on in the day.

20181113_164834I picked my daughter up from daycare and during a momentary lapse of my attention, she stole one of my mini-zine blanks. So I let her have it and gave her her set of markers. She’s a week away from being 2 years old and she made her very first zine yesterday!

In fact, she loved it so much, she asked me to make another blank for her. So I showed her how to do it, making sure that she knows the cutting part is something that only mommy does and she’s not allowed to use scissors. She scribbled all over the place and got some marker ink on the table, but it was such a treat for me to watch her having so much fun with it!

So I guess that was my activity for yesterday: teaching my daughter about zines and making one with her. Welcome to the zinester community, my lovely baby girl!

Peace, love and snails and turtles

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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.

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.

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.

Summer Sweetness

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20180517_153514Here is a nice little story that may restore your faith in humankind, just in time for Shavuot.

As some of my followers may know, I’ve recently ordered a Stephen King book from Book Depository. The item was dispatched within three business days, as they promised. They said it would take within 10 business days to make it to its destination, i.e. me.

I waited over two weeks before going to the post office to see what the hell was up. They had no idea.

The following day, I received a message via Facebook from a stranger who said he is trying to track down a person bearing my name and maiden name who lives in Jerusalem because he received a package that was mistakenly delivered to him.

So not only is he not my Facebook friend, he is a complete stranger. And he didn’t simply return the package to the post office as most people do, he actually went out of his way to track me down and deliver the package to its rightful addressee.

This is a big deal. Especially for me because this is a Stephen King book we are talking about here. It is tantamount to sacred scripture. Any other person would have just tossed it, and that would be sacrilege!

So it turned out that he works in the center of town, where I also work. He just dropped by my office to give me my package. The million thank-yous I told him didn’t seem to be doing justice to just how grateful I was. Really, how awesome is that?

To top it off, today is hot as hell. FINALLY! I can do away with the hoodies and the layers and the winter gear, and replace it with kickass tank tops and summer dresses. Not to mention, my baby will stop fussing around when I dress her because I probably just won’t! There is some baby chub that requires some serious smushing. A little pair of shorts or a cute little onesie and finito.

This is the positivity that only sunshine can bring. Say what you want about Israeli heat, blue skies breeds smiles, there is no denying that.

Peace, love and sunscreen

 

 

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