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.

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Blaze of Gory

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When I moved to Jerusalem about 11 years ago, I went out of my way to find the metal community (among other things like the feminist community, the riot grrrl community, and the everlastingly non-existant zine community).

I found small-scale metal shows and metal nights in bars like Uganda, Scream, and Yellow Submarine, and went to them often in an attempt to find the extreme metal underground community – the people who you could always count on to make an appearance at such events.

It wasn’t until I met my husband, seven years ago, that I discovered the elusive nucleus of the Jerusalem metal community. The bar we frequented on a regular basis was Blaze – a rock bar in a narrow alleyway off a sidestreet crossing Shamai, a street in downtown Jerusalem. I would have never found it if it weren’t for my husband. It was that remote.

Before I conceived my daughter, we became regulars at the bar, as part of the nucleus. Over the past seven years, we went to countless metal nights and metal shows, continuing the ritual that was Sunday Metal Night, delightfully headbanging to tunes ranging from the relatively clean tones of old school metal to the brutality of gore metal.

The metalheads who were a permanent fixture in said bar automatically became our mutual friends. They threw a surprise engagement party for us after we got engaged, and we set up a special extra big table for them at our wedding. We even invited them over to our place on Independence Day a couple of years ago, for a BBQ and of course, lots of face-melting metal tunes. We drove in groups to metal shows in Tel Aviv whenever a popular international metal band came to perform, displaying a powerful presence of the Jerusalem metalheads.

Our place of worship was Blaze. Our Congregation of Desecration.

And now, woe onto us metalheads, this bar is two weeks away from its closing day. Blaze Bar closes on October 1. That’s right. My goddamn birthday. The only decent metal bar in Jerusalem closing its doors is a wonderful birthday gift for a Jerusalem metal girl, is it not?

Last night, the final Sunday Metal Night took place. Despite having a hard time finding a babysitter on every metal night since my daughter was born, I was sure I’d have no problem for it this time because as part of the nucleus, parent or no-parent, attendance was mandatory for last night. At least it was for me. I didn’t want to let the final call for metal go to waste.

Alas, my mother-in-law was indisposed. Even after we managed to convince her to watch our daughter after the baby falls asleep, of course she didn’t fall asleep (she never does when she is in a place that is not her room). Plus, our dog had resumed her regular bouts of seizures, which just served to stress us out even more.

I was forced to remove my metal gear and tend to my maternal duties. I told my husband he should go without me and apologize to our friends for my being a flake. He did, and the rest of the evening went by uneventfully. Back in her own crib, in her own bedroom, my daughter promptly fell asleep. I watched a couple of episodes of Wentworth season 6, and crashed.

The end to a depressing fucking night.

Followed by another seizure c/o my dog at 3 a.m.

Fuck this shit. I’m going back to Stephen King. Still the best way for me to forget about shit that depresses me.

Peace, love and Insomnia

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

 

 

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!