Schlafenland

0

Those who know me well know that sleep is my most hopeless of hopeless addictions. My attempts at getting over it included waking up early to exercise, eating more raw veggies and drinking more water. Although these attempts were met with considerable success, I am still a pillow-lover extraordinaire.

My problem now is that although I love sleep, I can’t fall asleep to save my mother’s life. It takes me a good hour to an hour and a half to slumber away on a good day. On an average day, it can take up to two hours. On a really bad day, and especially if I have tea or water before bedtime, it takes me up to three hours, plus waking up to pee in one- to two-hour intervals. This is also a reason why I always turn down a cup of tea after dinner, or a glass of water after 9 p.m. even if I’m quite thirsty. I rather go to sleep on the verge of dehydration than having to wake up every hour to take a wizz (or just get up every five minutes if I haven’t managed to fall asleep yet).

Even if I am really tired (as I am now due to lack of sufficient sleep), slight distractions can keep me nice and alert for hours at a time – my husband snoring, weird sounds from the fridge or the living room sofa (don’t ask), my dog coming in to sleep next to us on the floor, and nightmares galore. Last night, my dog came to sleep with us and woke me up in the early morning hours because she was dreaming and whimpering in her sleep.

I also try various things to induce sleep: clear my mind, push away all worrying thoughts, find the most comfortable position I can, wash my face with hot water, and read, but alas. Sometimes I avoid setting the alarm if I can afford to do so. I realized that setting the alarm, especially for an afternoon nap, can keep me awake just as well. This past weekend I managed to sleep until 1:30 p.m. Such bliss!

I don’t want to resort to sleeping pills or whatever other prescription meds, but I’m running out of options.

Peace, love and sleep marathon on Passover sounds absolutely delightful

No Presents for New Year

0

So New Year’s is coming up, and just like any other Christian New Year I will be doing nothing. New Year’s for me is as unimportant as the Jewish New Year is to Christians. Thinking back on all the other New Years I’ve had, they were either uneventful or absolutely horrible. I’m pretty sure I wrote about this once, though I can’t remember where, so here it is again.

I don’t remember any New Year parties before Y2K, so nothing happened then.

In 2000, New Year’s eve fell on a Friday. So it was the Sabbath. I did nothing more than watching the NY ball drop on TV, expecting my computer to go up in flames and waiting for nukes to fly. Nothing happened of course and life went on as usual.

In 2001, I slept. In 2002, I slept some more. In 2003, I was up north with my boyfriend of the time, getting drunk and freezing my ass off in a cabin that had no heating. The following day I spent with my head in the toilet. In 2004, some more sleeping took place. In 2005, I wrote this post. The following years, I was in Israel (and still am) where the “Sylvester” is virtually non-existent. It’s just another day where you go to work and, while looking over your schedule for the day or writing another invoice, you realize “Oh yeah, it’s January 1st,” in a rather nonchalant tone. Same thing happens on Christmas.

There were some New Year’ses that sucked ass. Like in January 1, 2010. It was the 30-day memorial of my cousin who passed away from brain cancer. So the first thing I did that year was looking at the gravestone of an 18-year-old kid, while my grandmother was screaming bloody murder.

In 2010 to 2012, schlafen marathons galore, and maybe even some Stephen King books.

In 2013 I had a blast – namely my elbow was blasted to hell and beyond. So I spent my New Year’s at the hospital. How awesome is that?

In 2014, I was still struggling to find a date for my second surgery and Hadassah Hospital kept postponing it. And then I slept.

This year, there’s a party at Blaze, but I don’t care. I rather stay at home and get some writing done. Now that I have some time cleared, I may actually make something of myself, and celebrate New Year 2015 in the company of my typewriter, stationaries, pens and paper. Who knows, maybe I can even start a new issue of PMS!

Peace, love and January is in winter anyway so it sucks no matter what.

IZM – Day 3: Zine Distro Appreciation Day

0

Yesterday was Zine Distro Appreciation Day, and I haven’t written anything about it on my blog for reasons I will detail in a minute.

That day was supposed to be the day I will order a zine from a distro (and I did) but I also combined it with the activity set for July 18, i.e. order from a distro that I don’t usually order from. So I browsed the Stolen Sharpie Revolution site for various zine distros. Many seemed great but the problem was the prices for the zines and the shipping to Israel. Anytime I found an interesting zine, the price would be over $4.00 and the shipping was approximately $5.00.

Seriously? Over $9.00 for one zine? That must be one fuck of a good zine!

Anyway, I finally ordered a zine called Orange & Blue from Bottleson Thesill Distro. I’m not sure what the total price of the order will be, but at least I got the activity done.

Yesterday, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. because I had to pee like a motherfucker. And although I was tired beyond my wits, I couldn’t fall back asleep. I finally got up at 5:30 and got ready to go to Hadassah Hospital for my follow-up about my elbow. Remember, I had that fracture and the subsequent surgery and the metal implant which make my x-rays look like Terminator? Right, so I got the freaking awesome news that it’s finally over. My ulna has mended, thanks in no small part to the homeopathic treatment I’ve been taking. I have one more checkup in October with the doctors who operated on me and I’ll set a date for the surgery to remove the plate sometime around December.

Despite the great news (and the fact that it was delivered by the most amazing doctor ever, who liked my tattoos, said that playing guitar is the best physical therapy I can get, and that smoking weed once in a while is actually a good thing!) I was a freaking zombie by 11:00 a.m. that day. When I got to the office, I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Looking through zine distros made my head spin, and even reading Stephen King (Under the Dome) made me fall asleep. So I thought that maybe I’ll just continue once I get home.

But no such luck. My boyfriend’s family invited us for dinner at this fancy (very unkosher) restaurant. I had just enough time to shower and get dressed.

The food was great (shivers and gags caused by “crabs and shellfish” on the menu notwithstanding), but we made it home only at 22:00. We watched an episode of Modern Family and 6teen, and then I crashed like a plane on the barrier of the Dome. I woke up again at 3:30, but this time I managed to fall back asleep until my alarm rang at 10:30.

Yes, I slept for close to 12 hours. Hopefully that will be enough to keep me alive and alert for the stuff I have planned for tonight: Take my dog out to the park, re-read my favorite zines, and continue Under the Dome. My boyfriend also wants to go to a gig at Uganda Bar. I don’t know if I’m really up for getting dressed up, taking the bus (because the boy wants to drink), go to this heavily left-wing bar, stay sitting outside because I can’t stand the music any more than I can stand the cig smoke that will be stuffing up the place, freeze to death, and finally take a taxi back home because the busses are no longer running at that time.

So I think I’d rather stay home with my zines and my dog and Stephen King.

Peace, love and chocolate souffle. Just because.

Who Nose?

0

So I’ve been making some headway with my Af zine, but I’m back in sleep mode, which I don’t get much of anyway. Seriously, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. for no apparent reason and couldn’t fall back asleep. I finally got up at 6:30 and went to physical therapy to twist my elbow a bit, then back home to take out my dog and pack my lunch, then back to the center of town and work.

So evidently, this evening, I’ll get back home, tired out of my wits, plop on the sofa with a pint of ice cream and watch Blue Murder or some other lameass TV crime drama, thus resuming my lack of creative endeavor.

On a positive note, today I found a 20 NIS bill. And yesterday I got the new typewriter ink ribbon I ordered on ebay. Also, if the weather’s nice, we might hit the beach on Saturday.

So I think the inspiration is there. I don’t have much left to do to complete the zine, so if I manage to keep my eyes open during the day, and keep them shut at night, I should be done by early next week.

Peace, love and falling asleep on the half-finished zine and waking up with pieces of construction paper glued on face.

Make a Zine. Kill a Roach.

1

This past weekend, I finally did the 24-Hour Zine Thing. Before, while and after I was doing it, I still felt it hard to explain to people who are not familiar with the zine community exactly what this challenge entails, mainly because not many of them could imagine anything that would be exciting enough for them to actually keep them awake for a whole 24 hours.

My mom asked me if there are any prizes at the end. I said, “Well, yeah! You get a pin that you completed the challenge, an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, and of course, your 24-hour zine.” Clearly, that’s not what she meant. I further explained that if she’s referring to cash prizes, that goes against everything the DIY zine community stands for. “We don’t use money to fuel our creativity. We use inspiration. We create for the sake of creating.”

This, along with some healthy food and lots of cups of herbal tea, is what kept me awake and alert throughout the 24 hours. I am a sleep addict, so I actually expected it to be much harder than it was. But since I’ve prepared for this challenge for a whole year, mentally, physically and nutritionally, I managed to pull through.

I came back home from work on Thursday evening at around 6:00 p.m. I tried to sleep a little before diving into the challenge, but I didn’t sleep too well… I don’t know if it was the excitement or what. But I finally got up at 8:50, set up my working space (i.e. my bed) and started writing at 9:00.

I alternated between my typewriter, Rose, and my pen. Especially as the night grew darker and people were sleeping, I didn’t want Rose to make too much of a racket.

The writing part was really my favorite. I got into the Zone more times than I could count. And I wrote much more than I expected.

A while back, I asked the organizers of the challenge what they meant by writing a 24-page zine in 24 hours. Is that 24 double-sided pages, which really means 48 pages? Or 12 double-sided pages, which is 24? They said it’s up to me.

So when I reached the 12 double-sided pages mark, I said it’s too early and it’s too easy, so I kept writing until the 24 page mark and banged out a 48-page zine (including the cover and the table of contents).

I finished the writing part at 3:30 a.m. and took a short food break and a tea refill.

Right before I started the layout, I noticed I had no glue. I get ready for this marathon for a whole year, and I forget the glue. That’s so me… So I had to settle for scotch tape which isn’t too practical when you have layers of background and collages. But I manged to make it work.

The layout is the longest but the most creative and challenging part for me. What I also love about working on the layout is that it doesn’t require as much concentration as writing, so I can listen to music while doing it. Again, because people were sleeping, I opted for my player instead of my stereo, and skipped whatever ballads shuffled into the mix, so that they won’t put me to sleep.

I started getting tired at around 4:00 or 5:00 a.m., but that was a momentary lapse, and my tea refills helped a great deal.

At 6:30 a.m. I decided to have a light breakfast and got some rice cakes with cheese. I sat at the dining room table and took no more than two bites before noticing a movement in the corner of my eye. Turns out that not everyone was asleep at my house. I shared my voluntary insomnia spree with a cockroach.

Luckily, the roach was far enough away from me, so that instead of screaming, I started whimpering, again, with an effort to not wake up everybody else.

The roach was in the area between my roommate’s room, my room and my bathroom (we each have separate bathrooms), so the first thing I did was close my bedroom and bathroom door, and sprinted back to the kitchen area. Before it could disappear, as roaches tend to do if you turn your attention elsewhere, I quickly grabbed a bug spray, which was made especially for ants, not roaches, and sprayed the fucker while whimpering and moaning my head off.

For a moment, the roach just stood there. I later told my boyfriend that it looked like the bug was mocking me: “Seriously? I can survive a nuclear bomb and you’re trying to kill me with ant spray?” Then, it looked like it actually hit him: “Holy shit! You really are trying to kill me with it! AAAAA!!” And finally started running with its ugly bug skitter, on its creepy skinny legs, and its long tentacles and antennas and whatever other freak anatomy it possessed. It ran along the crack of my roommate’s bedroom door, noticed it is too big and fat to fit under it, ran on underneath a pile of suitcases that were stacked up in the corner, and out of sight.

I was terrified as always, but I was more pissed off than anything. Why does shit like that always happen to me? Why is it that the only roachophobic person in this apartment is the first one to spot a cockroach? Why is she the only one there, or the only one awake in this case, to struggle between freaking out and taking care of the situation, then freak out some more, wondering if an ant spray actually managed to kill a big fat ugly motherfucking roach? And for fuck’s sake, WHY NOW? Out of all the times it could have picked to land on me, why did it choose to do it smack in the middle of my 24-Hour Zine Thing time and ruin the rest of my day?

I cursed in a whisper-scream and stomped my foot like a stubborn kid.

I never quite finished my rice cake, and looked to the corner every two seconds to make sure the roach wasn’t gonna come out again.

It took me about half an hour and my utmost strength to get back into my room because I had to pass by that stack of suitcases. I finally took several deep breaths, ran like hell and slammed the door.

I got back to work, but this time, I turned down the volume on my player to keep an ear out for anyone who might wake up.

At around 8:00 a.m. I heard my roommate’s mom walk out of her room. I called out to her without opening my bedroom door, afraid that the roach would choose that exact moment to leap in through the door. I asked her to take a look in the corner under the suitcases and check if there’s a dead cockroach there. Had she not done that, I would have stayed in my bedroom until somebody would come in and find me slimmed down to a thread, with a makeshift toilet in the corner. It’s a phobia, dude. Nothing else exists when I’m in the presence of the object of my fear.

Turns out the ant spray was strong enough to kill the roach. Hurray for me. Ughhh…

I kept on working with my music, my tea and my random short food breaks. By 6:00 p.m., I started getting very tired and this time, it didn’t go away. The tea lost its power. But I managed to pull through.

By this time, I had already started designing the cover. It was the last thing I had to do. I tried different designs, and it took me about four hours to complete. I finally came up with something that pleased me, then put the finishing touches and completed the zine about 20 minutes or half an hour short of 24 hours.

I brushed my teeth and crashed for a straight 14 hours. From Friday night at 8:30 p.m. to Saturday morning at 10:20 a.m. No joke. I don’t think I’ve ever slept for that long. I woke up like a zombie with my body buzzing all over.

Soon, I will be sending my zine to the organizers of the 24-Hour Zine Thing. I hope they like it. Because, roach incident notwithstanding, I so completely and totally enjoyed that experience!

Photos of the completed zine can be viewed here.

Peace, love and yes, I am considering doing it again next year!

Restless in Jerusalem

0

I just figured it out. When you don’t work on the holidays, you’re more tired than you are when you work on regular days.

This Passover holiday is simply exhausting – both physically and mentally. This year is the first year I am not working on Chol Hamoed since I moved to Israel. My boss asked me to pay a short visit to the office today and Thursday, just to check up on things, but that doesn’t really count as (much) work. However, every day this week, I am packed to the rim with shit to do.

Let’s start with last week. Every morning last week, I had to wake up early to walk the dog and babysit, and went to sleep late because I had to clean the house. On Wednesday, I babysat in the morning again, then had to go to work early because my coworker had to leave early, and I had to replace her. Then that night, while cleaning, I manage to injure my finger and spent the night in the emergency clinic down the street, came back home at midnight, with my incapacitated left hand because of the injury and my incapacitated right hand because of the tetanus shot they gave me.

On Thursday, I woke up early yet again, because I had to go to work even earlier than the previous day and work for twice as long as I usually do. I came back home nearly comatose and collapsed for no more than an hour and a half, at which point I woke up to a loud pounding on my heavy shelter room metal door. I stumbled out of bed, still very much out of it, and opened the door to find a rather distraught roommie on the verge of tears. Turns out that the girl we considered as a potential third roommate (who hasn’t even signed the lease) decided to take over the house, refused to give us back her key, threatened, intimidated and lied to my roommate with her phone camera in her face, and we later found out she also destroyed some things in the room and the bathroom and stole some items, too.

Basically, we decided to call the police, but by the time they came to the apartment, that girl and her boyfriend had already left. The only thing we had left to do was to immediately call a locksmith and change the locks, which we did.

When things finally died down, my roommate and I went on cleaning the house – her with her heavily shaken self, and me with my still aching arms. We finished cleaning at a little after midnight, at which point my boyfriend called me asking if I want to go out. I said yes even if I was dead tired.

That night, we got home at 3:00 a.m. Apparently my boyfriend’s night wasn’t over yet and tried to see if I was up for something more. When I replied in the negative, he backed off and also went to sleep (don’t you love it when guys actually understand the word “no”?).

The next day, I managed to sleep until 10:30 a.m. (still too early for me). My boyfriend went home and I headed for Be’er Sheva where I spent the Shabbat/Passover holiday. It was loud and crazy, but that’s the way it always is when we’re 30+ people in the same house.

I went back home on Saturday night and my boyfriend came to pick me up. Both of us were exhausted, but that feeling paled in comparison to our horniness, so we went with it this time.

On comes Sunday. Oh, Sunday Sunday! How I hate that day. Even on Chol Hamoed, it manages to piss me off. I woke up at 9:30 a.m. (will I EVER have a chance to truly sleep in?) and called a client who was potentially supposed to work with me. He told me he was not up for it, which meant I have the rest of the day to myself (yeah right… see below).

I also called the JRCC because I had a donation for them since last week when someone purchased an item from the Crafts for a Cause Etsy shop. They said I can come in at 4:00 p.m. that day. So I thought “Sweet! I can start working on my zine!” I worked for no longer than an hour, when Ariella called. I walk her dog and babysit her kid three times a week. She said she spent the holiday in Maalei Adumim (a settlement on the outskirts of Jerusalem) with her son, and left the dog at home. She asked the neighbor to take out the dog on Saturday, but during the walk, the dog managed to escape from the neighbor. The blind, 13-year-old canine somehow managed to make it from Nachlaot all the way to Armon Hanatziv on the other side of town, then got hit by a car. Luckily, some tourist found him with an injured foot, but pretty much alive, and took him to the SPCA in Talpiyot – about a 30 minute walk from my house.

Ariella said she was on her way back to Jerusalem and asked if I’d be willing to help her with her son, because there was no way she would be able to handle both him and the dog. I accepted. I met up with her at 2:30 p.m. in the sweltering heat, and carried her poor little dog, who was struggling, whining and freaking out on the ride home.

I got back home at 4:30, tired as fucking hell and hungrier than that. I ate, and went right back out to the JRCC to donate the money. I wanted to mail out the order too, but of course, the post office was closed. I went back home and tried to sleep but couldn’t. Some other girl was supposed to come visit the room but didn’t at the end. Apparently, she found that we were too religious for her purposes. I don’t know what that means. I mean, we had a non-Jewish roommate living with us and we got along just fine. Maybe she was planning on having a Chanukat Bayit with a huge whole pig sitting in the middle of the table with an apple in its mouth… who the hell knows, and who the fuck cares.

Anyway, that night, I met up with my boyfriend again and we went to a metal night. I was beyond tired, still, and hungry, still, so I bought some kosher for Passover meal at Coffeshop and went to Blaze, where I fell asleep on the bar.

Today is Monday. My day started at the fucking annoying hour of 7:30 a.m. I went to babysit Ariella’s kid, then went to the post office to mail a bunch of shit, and now I’m at work. I need to leave soon because I want to go home and pick up some flyers before I head off to the JRCC fundraiser and then meet up with my mom, who is staying over at my place until Wednesday. Tomorrow morning, I have to babysit again, and my dad is also coming tomorrow night. Then, on Wednesday, my parents and I will drive to Be’er Sheva for a Bris of a new family member, and a birthday party of another one. Then, on Wednesday night, I’ll take the bus back to Jerusalem, smoke my brains out with my boyfriend, then on Thursday, I’ll have to go to work again, then leave for Be’er Sheva yet again for the second holiday. *Phew*

Zine-production, which I hoped to fill my holiday with, is impossible. It is therefore my conclusion that Chol Hamoed is more tiring than any other regular work day.

At least, I take comfort in the fact that it is FINALLY nice and warm outside!! I love the sun! It makes me happy.

Peace, love and rice cakes.

The Four S’s

0

Sleeping, Smiling, Smoking and Singing

This week on Friday, I get to invest a fuckload of time on one of my alltime favorite activities – sleeping. Just thinking about it makes me smile. Smiling and sleeping are two things I don’t do much of because my job doesn’t allow it. Seeing as I wake up at 5:30 every morning, it’s obvious I don’t get much sleep. As for smiling, or laughing, well, let’s just say that one of the unspoken rules at my workplace is smiling=not working. So basically, if you’re happy, it means you’re slacking off.

One time, my boss came in while I was talking to my co-worker. The topic of conversation was work-related, and I happened to find something rather amusing and let out a small chuckle.

“Everyone enjoying themselves?” My boss asked in an overtly sarcastic tone.

“Yes, unfortunately, when one is at work, one must suffer,” I replied under my breath, echoing a line I had already used in one of my previous posts.

Thus, no smiling allowed. Laughing is a cardinal sin. Sleeping… what the fuck is that anyway?

Moving along, the Good Lady knows I’ll be compensating for the eight months that I missed out on exercising the facial muscles that are activated when baring the pearly-whites. I’ll be hanging out with my Swedish grrrlfriend and my Israeli partner in patriarchy-smashing, smiling till my cheeks ache.

Then it’s off to Europe with my man, at which point I’ll be exercising my neck and shoulder muscles at the Graspop Metal Festival in Belgium, headbanging my coldheart out to the beat of Ozzy riffs and Arch Enemy shreds, flushing out all my frustration at the system with every thrust of my neck and every flip of my hair.

Then I’ll be carbonating the hell out of my lungs, and perhaps going on an intensive neurocidal spree, at the Grasshopper coffee shop in Amsterdam.

And in between all that, I will sleep so hard, I will practically rip the sheets and beat the stuffing out of my pillow until it begs to be put out of its misery. Hell hath no fury like a badass schlaffen marathon. You wait and see.

In essence, the only bad thing about this vacation is that it will eventually end, and I will have to resume my frowning-and-lack-of-hay-hitting routine. But until then…

Peace, love and Graspop Grasshop – a winning combination!