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

 

 

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All That I Can’t Say

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Last night I had a bitch of a time trying to fall asleep. I was feeling under the weather and tired as hell, but I was tossing and turning for no less than two hours before drifting off into an uneasy, short-lived sleep.

It felt like out of nowhere. I was suddenly hit by an intense case of anxiety like I haven’t felt in years.

Last night was metal night and I was sitting around with a couple of girls, younger than me, who said stuff like “I’m turning 27 soon, that’s so old!”

I barged into their whining and said “I’m going on 33 in October. What does that make me? Dead?”

Frankly, I must say I regret all the times I complained every time my birthday rolled around and I would say “I’m 19, I’m so old!” or “I’m 25, fucking old!” But I do recall being excited for the prospect of turning 30, because for me, 30 means stability. I saw it as a time in your life when everything suddenly falls into place. A time of perfection and organization, when you feel happy and comfy in all areas of your life – financially, psychologically and emotionally. And that’s exactly where I was and what I felt when I turned 30. I completed my therapy with flying colors, I got a wonderful boyfriend who is now my husband, I have my home, my dog, my job, my savings account, my hobbies and my family, all of which I’m so thankful for and happy with. So for the past few years, things could not be better, except for a few medical issues.

But last night, shit just collapsed all around me. I’m going on 33, and although I personally do not think it’s old (even if I went through some medical issues which would indicate otherwise) while the people around me are still in their 20s and complain about it, I felt a terrible hole. Something lacking.

Last night, these girls were talking about their extensive sexual adventures, body modification, eating disorders, while I stayed as silent as a corpse. I had nothing to add because my sexual history started at the ripe “old” age of 20, and the sexual partners I’ve had could be counted on a single hand with one amputated finger. As for bodmod, I am now at the stage of tattoos. I am not getting any more piercings because taking them off and putting them back on once a month every time I go to the mikve is a pain in the ass. And I’ve never had any eating disorders although my body image issues abound.

But it’s other things that I wish I could talk about and tried saying last night a couple of times, but couldn’t get a word in. Because my issues are those that only people like me can understand. My medical issues, old people issues, trying to get pregnant which is not the easiest thing in the world despite what everybody thinks… things that I want to say but can’t because I don’t have a human BFF (my dog is my bestie) who can understand any of it, or at all. And in a world where people think that 27 is old and where all you need to have a baby is fuck, my experiences are worth shit and don’t make any sense. If I tell them that with all the wonderful things I have in my life, all I want is a full uterus, they’ll play fish, completely at a loss for words.

All the friends I had who have had the shred of a potential of being a best friend moved away and cut all contact. The rest of my friends are my husband’s friends, all guys. No offense to the male specie but there is no way in hell that any of them can understand what’s it’s like to want a baby so bad, you’re willing to sacrifice everything you’ve worked so hard for – psycho-emotional wellbeing, money, relationships, health, all the perfection I reached at age 30 – just to have one, and then to find out that even conceiving will be a bitch, and feeling like half a woman as a result.

And with that, I started crying, rolling around in bed in a mound of anxiety mixed with paralyzing fear and loneliness I have never felt before.

I see the kids on the bus, the mothers with the strollers, the pregnant women, the toddlers with their smiles full of milk teeth, and I can’t stop staring and wishing and wanting so bad. So bad.

Peace, love and health. Only health.

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!

No Presents for New Year

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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.

Jerusalem and Zine

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I started my search for Jerusalemite zinesters again. Every once in a while, I go through a wave of hope and inspiration and start searching again. This is a period of telling myself “Well, it’s been a while since I last looked for zinesters in my area and failed to find any. Perhaps since then, things have changed.”

The first thing I do is Google “zine” and “Jerusalem” and all that comes up is my own website, some interviews people had with me, and a link to my defunct zine Fallopian Falafel (and nothing about my current zine Purple Myrtle Squeegy, which is pretty frustrating. Goddamn site is getting no traffic).

The second thing I do is look up for the search terms in Hebrew (changing the word “zine” to the full version “fanzine” because zine written in Hebrew letters can point me to some unwanted porn sites). But then, all that comes up are forums about fanzines in Tel Aviv and some zine fairs that took place several years ago, also in Tel Aviv. Nothing to do with Jerusalem zines, indie art or DIY culture at all.

Then I look up for related groups or pages around in Facebook, write messages, post posts on Jerusalem community sites, try to reach out to organizations who may be interested. Still nothing.

So anyway, I decided to give all this another shot. Somehow I simply refuse to believe I am the ONLY zinester living in Jerusalem. I know for a fact, I am not the only American living in Jerusalem. Far from it. So from all this mass of American Jerusalemites, I am bound to find someone who is as enthusiastic about zines, or at least about some indie DIY art, as I am. Right?

So here’s another one of my attempts to build a DIY community in Israel’s Capital, and post a call for fellow artists/zinesters:

In case the reader of this post happens to be an artist, writer, zinester, comics writer, or simply interested in talking about and learning more about DIY culture and zines, please get in touch with me! You can do so by commenting on this post or write me an email at fallopian.falafel@gmail.com.

I want to have a chance to get together with like-minded folk for regular nights of zine-production or art-production. Anyone is welcome – men, women, religious or not, Anglos or Hebrews, right- or left-wingers… talent is optional, inspiration is mandatory!

Peace, love and DIYers Unite!

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.

No Regrets

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The website Nego Sentro posted a list of 37 things I’ll regret when I’m old. I’m not old yet, but as a person who doesn’t believe in regrets, I still wanted to know just how right or wrong these people are.

As it turns out, I am still a person who doesn’t believe in regret and these people are full of shit.

1. Not traveling when you had the chance.

I am travelling at least once a year. In the past three years I’ve been to Belgium, Holland, France and Italy. In the past, I’ve been to Poland, Switzerland and several places in the States and Canada, and will soon go to Germany. Further potential destinations include Scandinavia and China.

2. Not learning another language.

I already know three languages, Hebrew, French and English, and am currently in the process of learning German.

3. Staying in a bad relationship.

I can’t say I’ve ever been in a bad relationship. And right now, I’m in a great one. So yeah.

4. Forgoing sunscreen.

Never happened.

5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.

There are many bands/artists who performed when they were not yet my favorite. Once they became my favorite, they either died or stopped performing. Many, i.e. not all. I have seen Arch Enemy a few times, King Diamond once and will see him again, Ozzy once, and I go to European metal fests whenever good bands are on the bill. Next up is Wacken where I am looking forward to Amon Amarth and Carcass among others.

6. Being scared to do things.

Things? What like skydiving and bungee jumping? It’s not only because I’m scared but also because I have no interest in extreme sports. Watch horror movies and riding rollercoasters? Been there. Tattoos and body piercings? Done that. Be a little more specific and I’ll decide if I’ll regret it or not.

7. Failing to make physical fitness a priority.

Integral Tai Chi is my weekly thing. And it’s good shit. And even when you’re old, you can do yoga or martial arts or whatever you want. Age is not an issue when it comes to fitness. You ever seen those wrinkly old men who go jogging in the mornings?

8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.

You’re talking to a feminist. Try again.

9. Not quitting a terrible job.

I did that three times in my life, and am now pretty damn happy with my job.

10. Not trying harder in school.

I never had to try too hard to get good grades. I was smart.

 

11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.

That’s actually true. In my teens, I kept complaining about bad hair days and unmanageable messy curly hair. Today, I miss that head of hair and keep wishing I would get back my curls. However, today I appreciate my looks more than before. I especially love my belly and my chest. I got a good body, and I take care of it.

12. Being afraid to say “I love you.”

I did and still do say it. I was not afraid of it.

13. Not listening to your parents’ advice.

I’m mostly a good girl. If I don’t take my parents’ advice on one thing or another it’s because I know what’s good for me and what isn’t. I took my mom’s advice to eat red meat and spent the rest of the day on the toilet as a result. I know what my body needs. No more red meat for this girl.

14. Spending your youth self-absorbed.

I don’t think that is something to regret. I think it was a necessity. In my teens, I knew I was cold and selfish. I admitted it to myself and my family, and I was happy about it. Today, I don’t regret it because I see it as a necessary part of my psychological development. I saw it as a means of self-preservation, and it was super important to me at that stage in my life.

15. Caring too much about what other people think.

Actually, I never cared about it when I was younger. The older I get, the more I start to care, for other people, not for myself. But yeah. Most of the time, I don’t give a shit.

16. Supporting others’ dreams over your own.

What? Oh, maybe it’s for people who have kids and don’t support them when they pursue their dreams and shit. I’m not there yet.

17. Not moving on fast enough.

Physically? These people really need to get their shit together and start making more sense or being more specific… I think that these days, things are moving way too fucking fast. I like to stop and take my time and live in the moment. It reduces my level of stress and improves the quality of my life. I just don’t see how I’ll regret that.

18. Holding grudges, especially with those you love.

I rarely hold grudges. And with those I love, they tend to fade away pretty quickly.

19. Not standing up for yourself.

Sometimes, standing up for myself involves getting into a fight. So if not standing up for myself means avoiding a fight, I go for the cleaner of the two. And I never regret thwarting a fight.

20. Not volunteering enough.

I volunteer in my own way. I contribute my time and efforts to the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center in several ways. I volunteer as a freelance reporter sometimes. I volunteered at the JSPCA once. I think I’ve done enough.

21. Neglecting your teeth.

I removed my labret to keep my teeth healthy. That was a major sacrifice, dude. And yes, I do brush, I do floss, and I go for yearly cleaning. My teeth will fall out eventually. No matter how much I take care of them, they will end up in a cup of water by the end of the day. This is part of being old.

22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die.

Done that. And what the people who compiled this list are forgetting is that grandparents will probably talk your ears off about their life and about “the good old days” without you asking them anything.

23. Working too much.

Ha! Not. I got lots of hobbies and I have a rich social life. I work when I’m at work and I’m very good at the skill of taking a break, taking a nap, take the time to cook and eat and meditate. No regrets there.

24. Not learning how to cook one awesome meal.

I know how to cook several awesome meals. So y’all can eat it. No regrets yet again.

25. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment.

See number 17. Consistency, people!

26. Failing to finish what you start.

I can’t think of a single thing that I started and didn’t finish… I started learning German in university and didn’t take any further lessons until just recently. But I am committed to it now and I will finish it. Duolingo helps a lot.

27. Never mastering one awesome party trick.

I’m not much of a party person. So party tricks are not my thing. I rather go to a live show and headbang till my neck gets sore.

28. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.

I don’t. Although in my culture, people love to tell me how to run my life, how to talk, how to dress, what to eat, when to marry, how many kids to have – none of that has any effect on me. I don’t know how these people never get tired of bugging the hell out of me with no results to show for it.

29. Refusing to let friendships run their course.

Done that more times than I can count.

30. Not playing with your kids enough.

Not there yet.

31. Never taking a big risk (especially in love).

A big risk? Depends what you consider to be a big risk. If dating someone I met online is a big risk, then I took it. Twice. If having unprotected sex is a big risk, I also took it. Three times.

32. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network.

“Networking may seem like a bunch of crap when you’re young.” It still seems like a bunch of crap. And I’m doing pretty good for myself. So there.

33. Worrying too much.

Nope. I take it easy.

34. Getting caught up in needless drama.

See previous question.

35. Not spending enough time with loved ones.

I live with two loved ones – my boyfriend and my dog. And I visit other loved ones (parents and family) every other weekend. That’s pretty good considering other people who see their loved ones once a month or only on holidays or never.

36. Never performing in front of others.

I did that a couple of times! Haha!

37. Not being grateful sooner.

I think that every time I overcome another hurdle, I become more and more grateful. Quitting my awful job, going through therapy, finding a great boyfriend and lover, getting a dog, living in Jerusalem, travelling, being happy… I’m grateful for all that. After I was diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy, and later after I broke my elbow I started appreciating my body more. Being grateful that I can still walk, talk, move without much effort, function perfectly fine in my daily life, and do so much more than other people in my condition could only wish to do. Also, during my weekly Tai Chi exercises, the final part is meditation and it involves the “stage of appreciation,” where you need to think of two good things that happened in the last 24 hours, no matter how small. The instructor says “a grateful heart is a happy heart.” And I’m pretty damn happy.

Regrets are a waste of time. Appreciate the past, live in the moment and believe in the future.

Peace, love and a bunch of other zen shit.