ZZZZZines

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It doesn’t matter how tired I am, if I’m busy enough at work, I don’t feel it until I leave the office. So I don’t know what happened yesterday because I was rather busy at the office but kept falling asleep. I fell asleep while writing an email, dreamt that I am still writing the email and then woke up to find the email empty. I fell asleep while updating a document. I would open the documents folder, fall asleep, then wake up, try to figure out what it was that I wanted to do, then fall asleep again.

I’m sorry if you’re falling asleep reading this post but here is where it gets exciting.

This morning I said “FUCK THIS TIRED SHIT! I slept just fine last night. So, dear bed, you’re not winning this round. No naps for this badass today.” And I proceeded to do an IZM activity!

I spent a hearty two hours organizing my entire zine inventory, including all my Fallopian Falafel issues, all my PMS issues, all random mini zines and post-its zines, all my fliers, postcards, patches, pins and assorted DIY junk. My fingers got all dusty and I felt so accomplished after that and I didn’t even feel a hint of fatigue. I hope that as the month progresses, this new order that I now have on my zine shelf will inspire me to design a catalog and maybe even write a new zine.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love sleeping. LOVE IT! But not as much as I love IZM!

Peace, love and zine is for zombies.

Mama Zine

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I work shifts at the office. I obviously prefer the morning shift so that I can pick up my daughter from daycare when I’m done. But most of the time, I get the afternoon shift. During these days, I have nothing to do in the morning since my daughter is in daycare. Seeing the empty stroller and the empty crib and the empty playpen and my empty arms depresses me to no end and I just crawl back in bed and go to sleep until it’s time to go to work.

The other day however, I took advantage of my free morning to make the most awesome vegetable soup ever – potato, sweet potato, carrot, squash, zucchini, onion, fucking yum!

So then I thought that instead of being depressed and sleeping it off, why not “create” it off? Every time I feel depressed and engage in whatever creative endeavor, I always feel better. And since I’ve been putting off zine-production for far too long, maybe I can use my free mornings to do just that!!

I thought even if it’s just something quick, like a mini zine or a post-its zine, it could satisfy my hunger for zine-production in a jiff. I have just the topic for that and I know exactly what I want to write and how I want to make it.

Next week, I have free mornings on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Definitely more than enough time to bang out a few wonderful little sparkles of zine magic. Oh man, can’t wait!

Peace, love and Dr. Art is still in business.

Oh No…

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Kind of bad event in a kind of bad day.

In the middle of a bunch of clients running around, asking questions all at once and being a pain, the phone rings and an English-speaker with a South African accent inquires about our services.

I was being courteous, as courteous as an Israeli purports to be, but something about that voice stirred my brain the wrong way.

Before the conversation ended, I asked for the guy’s information, but he said he’s inquiring on behalf of someone else. And as I hung up, it hit me. The guy sounded an awful lot like one of my former boss’s employees. High pitched voice, heavy South African accent, and I spoke with him on the phone enough times to know what he sounds like from the other end of the line.

And if I am right, and if he is calling on behalf of my former boss, and if they decide to rent an office here, and if my former boss becomes my client (and will ask me to perform all kinds of secretarial tasks for him, and ultimately reclaim me as his bitch), I am gonna lose it.

My current boss is actually pretty receptive to responses, comments and personal opinions, so if the dude calls back and the name of my former boss comes up as a potential client, I will inform my current boss that:

1) I strongly recommend (borderline demand) that he DOES NOT accept this dude as a client because he is insane, manipulative, and a pathological liar – all that besides the fact that he was recently arrested for embezzlement.

2) In case he does take him as a client, I refuse to have ANY kind of contact with him whatsoever, and he should preferably work during morning hours and not during my afternoon shift.

3) I will also refuse to offer him any kind of secretarial services. I am not his bitch, and he will not make me his bitch no matter how much he plans on paying.

Right now, I am having trouble breathing and am on the verge of a panic attack.

That’s how bad my former boss scrambled my brains.

Peace, love and may the Goddess protect me.

A Craptastic Day in the Life of Badass

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Badass got up on Tuesday morning bright and early at 6:30. The night before, she went to sleep no later than 22:30, so she was not tired that morning as she usually is.

After breakfast, she headed on out to Nachlaot to walk the dog, Joey, and babysit Odeh. After bringing Odeh back from the park, his mother gave Badass the news that she is looking for a Pre-K for the not-yet-two-year-old kid – a tidbit which was rather upsetting for Badass who had developed an affection for the little squirt. Pre-K means that Odeh will no longer need a babysitter, starting September.

From Nachlaot, Badass moved on to the next order of the day: buying a ton of food, stocking up for the 24-Hour Zine Thing which she is planning to do this weekend. First, she bought fruits and vegetables at the market because the grocery store produce is horrible, and the produce at the market is much better. The tomatoes are red as they should be, the bananas are yellow, instead of green with black spots on them, and the potatoes don’t have green moles growing on them.

Then she headed on to the grocery store to buy some ready-made food, stuff to hold her stomach and to keep her alert while producing the zine for a consecutive 24 hours – frozen pizza, granola bars, yellow cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, bread, rice cakes, chips, Bamba, veggie chicken nuggets, a cake, tuna, eggs, tomato paste and some oregano which she was running out of. Carrying the heavy load back home she wondered if she would actually be able to stomach all that food, not to mention the load she bought at the market – plums, nectarines, a bucket of cherries, dried peaches, raisins, dates, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, onions and bell peppers. Even now, she is still considering buying grapes and a couple of bananas.

When she finally got home after that preposterous groceries spree, she had just enough time to make a sandwich, freshen up and head to the office.

Things at the office went by rather smoothly, until the end of the shift when the ultimate crappy part of the day stormed through the door.

As she works the evening shift, Badass is responsible for closing off the reception area before leaving the office. The reception door is an accordion glass door with a few panels that need to be unfolded and locked. As she pulled the first panel, the door quite literally exploded in her hands, shattered and spread across the floor.

With the loud bang it made, she screamed and ran the other way before noticing that some of the shards had gotten into her sandals and were scraping the soles of her feet pretty badly. For the split second in which it happened, she actually thought it was a vivid dream or something she imagined, and that soon enough, she’ll either wake up or snap out of it and realize she screamed for no apparent reason. Considering the horror book she’s been reading and the horror movies she’s been watching, Badass is used to having bad dreams and imagining horrible things. She also experiences moments where the line between reality and fiction disappears altogether.

But this was no fiction. She had shards of broken glass all over her hair, arms, legs and clothes. Blood was trickling from the small cuts on her right hand. 

In her utter state of shock, she was dimly aware of one of the doors of another office opening, followed by the sounds of panicking footsteps hurrying towards her. One of the clients had heard the bang and the scream (in fact, the entire office had heard it), and came to see what happened.

“What was that?” He asked, and as he saw the bewildered secretary bleeding and standing on a pile of broken glass, he added “Oh God! Are you ok?”

Was she ok? She couldn’t tell. In a state of shock, you often don’t realize if you’ve been badly injured. She frantically checked her head and her face for any major injury and could barely believe she found none. Clearly, if the door had fallen on her head, she would most likely have her skull fractured or suffer a concussion, in which case, she would be lying on the floor, either semi-conscious, unconscious or very much dead.

The client proceeded to calling an ambulance to check up on Badass and make sure she is not injured in any way she is not yet aware of. Then he called up the boss to let him know what happened. Then he snapped some pictures of the broken door for insurance purposes. Other clients showed up inquiring about the bang, and many even offered to help. Some sweeped up the shards and put them in a cardboard box. Others gave Badass a glass of water (Oh, no! More glass! she thought with a sigh). Others gave her wet tissues to soak the blood and dust herself off from the small fragments of glass which lingered on her skin and feet.

When the paramedics came, they disinfected the small scratches on her arms, and gave her a band-aid for one of the slightly bigger one. They asked her several times if she would like to be taken to the hospital for any reason. She said no, since she wasn’t dying and she had already gotten a Tenatus shot a few months ago after cutting herself pretty badly with a pair of scissors.

The boss showed up a few minutes later, and offered to call up a cab to take Badass home instead of bothering with yet another bus. He also gave her 100 NIS for the cab fare.

On her way home, Badass quietly went over what had happened. First, she was amazed she got away with no more than a few minor scratches, and that it was nothing short of a miracle that she wasn’t hurt in a serious way. Second, she was grateful that the clients were so nice to her. Third, she was also grateful for the boss to have come over to check up on her, and even offering her a cab and money for it.

My previous boss would have NEVER done anything quite like it, she thought. This one time at my previous job, I had a high fever and my eyes were popping out of my skull when I finally decided to go home, and my boss gave me shit about it. So giving me money and calling me a cab? Yeah fucking right!

Finally, she thought that with all she suffered at her previous job, this incident was a minor, almost insignificant setback. She remembered that back at her other job, she was sifting through a stack of papers, when suddenly, a huge brown cockroach crawled out and walked on her hand. It was only after completely losing her mind that her boss at the time finally got his heavy ass up to call an exterminator.

I would pick ten huge piles of shattered glass over having a cockroach walk on my hand any day! she thought. 

Keeping with the day’s broken glass theme, Badass put a light dinner in the microwave, when another bang announced that the glass plate she put it on broke as well.

She was surprisingly nonchalant about it (hey, after breaking a thick glass door, you would be, too), and went about the rest of her evening.

Despite the fact that she was tired as hell (hey again, after breaking a thick glass door, you would be, too), she had a benefit concert to attend that evening at the Jerusalem Theater – an acoustic show by an Israeli artist she liked for a long time, Aviv Geffen.

The concert was organized as a fundraiser for the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center, and as a volunteer, she got a ticket for half price. She knew that Aviv Geffen was a self-proclaimed feminist, but the fact that he played a benefit show for the JRCC made his proclamation a lot more solid, and Badass had nothing but the utmost respect for that. This show proved to be the fantastic part of her day.

The auditorium was pretty well filled, and the seats Badass got were high up on the balcony, with perfect visibility.

The show started at 21:30 and lasted for an hour and a half – pretty long for an acoustic show, but that may have been due to the couple of interruptions that came up. There was some sort of alarm, as if someone opened an emergency exit door or sparked a cigarette. Both times, Aviv had to stop the show to let the theater producers disable the alarm before he could continue.

He sang some of his older popular songs, Ahavnu, Ha’im Lehiyot Bach Me’ohav, Emesh, Mal’ach, Hashir Shelanu, Milliard To’im, Or Hayare’ach, and Mexico, among other more recent ones. He also invited onstage Shlomi Shaban and sang a couple of his songs with him. This Shaban guy proved to be extremely talented, and a brilliant keyboard player.

During the encore, Aviv played an incredible acoustic version of Sof Haolam, featuring some reverb effects on the final screams. It was such a powerful performance that for the second time that day, Badass felt the line between reality and fiction blurring. Only this time, it was a positively-induced blur.

Badass’s long day ended at midnight. As she got home, she made like the glass door and crashed.

Peace, love and writing in the third person shreds.

Restless in Jerusalem

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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.

Abuse in the Workplace

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Just a few minutes ago, my coworker spoke to someone who claimed he called yesterday at around 4:00 p.m. and nobody answered. So after ending the conversation, my coworker turned to me and asked me if there was a phone call yesterday that I may have missed. I told her that around that time, I was cleaning the bathroom and washing the dishes at the other end of the office so I may have missed it. And she said: “Oh, ok. No problem.”

Just like that. No problem.

That kind of response is a big deal for me, and here’s why. Last night, after doing a bunch of house chores and watching a movie, I was still not in the mood to go to sleep (surprise!). So I read a little more of a diary I wrote last year. Around March or April of 2011, I was still working at the soup kitchen I now call We-Take-Pleasure-At-Abusing-Our-Employees Inc. During one week, my former coworker at that place went to the States for her grandmother’s funeral, so I was left to suffer my boss’s wrath to its fullest extent.

Mr. Executive Dickhead was also in the States on a fundraising venture and I had to call him every hour or so to write a bunch of emails. I wrote in my diary that I worked my ass off and broke my neck holding the phone receiver with my shoulder because our boss was too cheap to buy us decent headsets. And the dude dictated to me over the phone 14 pages worth of emails. So yes, I did work my ass, and my neck, off.

At some point on that same day, the asshole calls me back and started screaming at me, accusing me of not answering the phone. And that wasn’t the first time either. It was part of his daily routine to scold and verbally abuse his employees for not answering the phone, while it was ringing off the hook, and at times where we got five calls at once. We were only two secretaries, and during that week, I was only one. And it’s not that I wasn’t answering the phone because I did, all the time. It’s that our phone system sucked and was malfunctioning more than once a day, and our boss still found it necessary to accuse us of any technical problems with the phone or the internet. So obviously, if someone called us and didn’t receive an answer, he would call our boss and rat on us. And then, the boss would call and scream at me. SCREAM! After I nearly killed myself writing his emails and taking his shit, the ungrateful fuck screams at me for his cheap standards of not having a decent phone system. That’s besides the fact that he would buy himself a plasma screen for his office, while at the same time refusing to get us an AC for summer or turn on the heating for winter. During summer, we’d get dehydrated, and during winter, I would barely survive, wearing gloves and a tuque in the office. Did my boss give a shit? No, of course not. He loved to see us suffer.

Also, his verbal abuse knew no bounds. One time, I was at my stand, and my coworker was at my boss’s room writing emails. So the only person answering phones was, once again, just me. My mom called the office and reached my boss’s extension by mistake. It didn’t even ring by me. The call just went directly to my boss’s office. When my boss answered his phone to find out that it wasn’t for him, he screamed: “Who transferred this call to me? I’ll strangle you!” And then, transferred the call to me. Clearly, that strangling remark was directed at me. And when I picked up the phone to find out it was my mom, I wanted to say: “Hold on a second, mom, there’s someone I need to strangle.” I wanted to scream back at him and say “It’s my MOM!! Why would you think I would transfer her to a shitfaced motherfucker like you?!” I wanted to but didn’t.

Any time I went into this office, my self-esteem would automatically drop into the minus range. It was a force of habit. No matter how much effort I put into my work, no matter how much I would literally risk my health and my mental state by simply being in that environment, I would always leave feeling like garbage juice. Even my salary didn’t make up for any of it. Taking shit for 50 hours a week and barely scratch the 5 Gs a month (NIS) was so draining and depressing, I would come back home crying every day.

So now that I’m working at my new job, with a decent heating/AC system, a decent phone and internet system, with a boss who treats me like a human being, who went and bought me an extra personal heater when I said I was cold, and who doesn’t scream when we fail to answer the phone, and with a coworker who says “no problem,” when I missed someone’s call, this is a big deal. Even if my salary is still nowhere near fabulous, at least I’m being appreciated, and my self-esteem is back with a vengence.

I just needed to get this out there.

Peace, love and all quiet on the work front.

The Four S’s

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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!