Category Archives: zine recommendation

listen, everybody…especially you girls

i was going to write a big post about how to run a zine distro, but i got like 1800 words in (which is a lot), & i hadn’t even finished explaining how to get started. there’s just too much! i wanted to include all the different things i have learned, the good & the bad, & lots of examples, & it just got overwhelming. so i am shelving it for now. i don’t even know if that’s really something people would want to see. but if it…let me know.

this past week has been a tough one. my anxiety has been raging out of control, for reasons i don’t understand. i don’t really have anything to be anxious about. it’s just racing, repetitive thoughts about nothing in particular, insomnia, crying jags…i feel a little better today, but i’m definitely not at the top of my game.

“love letters to monsters” #3 is almost finished. the writing is completed, & the actual zine part of it has been laid out. i just have to draw a cover & write up an intro & an outro. ailecia is working on finishing her half, probably as i am typing this. it looks like the split is definitely going to happen! we might each write another short little piece once we read each other’s halves, but from the conversations we’ve had, it sounds like our zines will complement each other well, while still being really different. we are both writing about lawrence & the concept of “community”. ailecia is writing about leaving grad school & i am writing about being a grad school widow. with both halves, it will be over 80 pages, quarter-sized.

& the truly awesome news: folks in portland will be able to get copies from either one of us! ailecia made the snap decision last night to get a cheap ticket & come out to portland to see friends & stop by the symposium. we are both psyched about having someone in portland that we know really well & feel comfortable around, & we’re both excited to meet/hang out with other people, trade zines, & hang out. we’re both getting in on friday, but ailecia is staying a day longer than me.

it also looks like the pander reunion is going to come together. i might have a casual non-bar/non-restaurant venue lined up, where people can just chill & drink some beers & have fun. i’m just waiting for final confirmation from the potential hostess about what time works for her. it will of course be really cool to meet a bunch of lady zinester long-timers, but mostly i am just excited to do this for ericka. (who is reading this, i am sure. hi. i’m just going to be effusive for a minute.) ericka was super supportive of me & my zines when i was making “a renegade’s handbook to love & sabotage”. it was the most wildly popular zine i ever made, & i credit ericka with a big portion of its success. she got it out there to people, & that paved my post-“renegade’s handbook” path in the zine community in so many ways. she was also really supportive when i started paper trail distro, even though she was still running pander at the time. she helped me out a lot with advice & warnings. i can probably even credit ericka to some extent for this split, because ailecia & i only knew each other initially through getting each other’s zines from pander back in the day, & i never would have become friends with ailecia in lawrence if i hadn’t already known her through zines. i think most ladies that were making zines between 1995 & 2005 probably have similar stories.

in the zine scene these days, i feel like there is a weird, creepy emphasis on what’s happening RIGHT NOW. like, if you haven’t made a zine in the last six months, you might as well be dead. & not to be all sophia petrillo about it, but kids these days really do not want to seem to learn from those who came before them, or honor them in any way. that’s not the way things were when i was coming up. paper trail would have been a very different animal if i hadn’t respected ericka’s input & learned from my experiences being distoed by pander. ericka & i have definitely butted heads over the years, but at the end of the day, i have nothing but respect for everything she has contributed to the zine community & to my life, personally. & i’m hopeful that this pander reunion will be, you know, fun times & hang-outs, but also a way to honor everything that ericka has done for the ladies that will be there.

which means, drama llamas need not apply!

last night i went to the last kickball game of the season with jared, ailecia, & max. we drank some beers & smoked some cigarettes & watched some mighty fine kickball moves. when it was all over, jared produced sparklers from his bag, & since i had the lighter, i lit them. & when i lit mine, it threw sparks everywhere & i burnt the jeebus out of my thumb. i guess it’s a second-degree burn–it blistered up right away, but it didn’t split open or start oozing or turning black or anything. it REALLY FUCKING HURT. i managed not to cry, but it took some work, & mostly i just didn’t want to cry over being 31 years old & burning myself lighting a sparkler. i mean, how embarrassing. luckily, the punks were there with a couple of coolers full of beer & ice, so i could wrap a few handfuls of ice in my t-shirt & treat my thumb. but some dude thought i was trying to snag his beer & he almost body-checked me while screaming, “that’s MY beer!” get over it, dude, i just need some ice. also, it’s pabst. you paid like 45 cents a can.

today i cut my hair. i just trimmed the split ends off. i think it’s probably pretty uneven, but my hair is long enough (waist-length! like dawn schafer!) that i don’t think it’s that noticeable. it was really starting to look like doll hair on the ends. something needed to be done.

yesterday, i found a weird bristly blond hair on the bathroom sink. it wasn’t mine (too short, too yellow) & it wasn’t jared’s (too yellow, too thick & scary). i was like, “WTF?” i personally cleaned that bathroom the day after we moved in & got rid of all random gross hair that was lingering. i was like, “is this some other girl’s hair? is jared cheating on me with someone who has incredibly terrifying hair that seems like a bad wig?” when he got home, i said, “jared, are you cheating on me?” & he said, “what? of course not.” i said i found a weird hair & he said, “was it blond & bristly?” & i said, “…yes,” & he said, “did it look like it came from my shaving brush?” & i said, “um. yes.” mystery solved. all because jared shaves like it’s still 1942, with a brush & shaving cake & a vintage razor.

going to portland

i think i have mentioned that i’m attending the portland zine symposium this year. i get in bright & early the friday morning before the event, & am leaving the monday afternoon following. i opted against stretching out my visit to make it a whole vacation like i did last year, because a) my portland experience last year was so awful, i don’t want to risk re-creating it, & b) after spending two months in philly already this summer, i am kind of sick of being away from home.

i booked myself on to the same flight into portland that ericka (formerly of pander zine distro) will be on, so we can catch the light rail downtown together & check into our hotel. we’re staying at the marriott downtown. no icky punk houses with composting toilets for us! my only disappointment is that the marriott doesn’t have a pool.

i guess i can also make officially public the fact that i’ll have a new zine available at the symposium. i know, i know, i told people i was retired from zines after i quit running paper trail zine distro, but…things change. “love letters to monsters” #3 is about 75% finished. i expect it to be around 40 pages, quarter-sized, written in a long-form memoir style covering some of the highlights & lowlights in the last year of my life. this includes moving to kansas, physical disability, closing the distro, the hubris of proposing to “build community,” exactly why i have no relationship with my mom, etc.

hopefully, this zine will be a split with “alabama grrrl” #9. this was ailecia’s idea, & i hope she follows through on it. we keep making plans for zine-making days & then ailecia fails to follow through (so i have just been writing my half of the zine in my office, on my typewriter). we had booked last thursday as a zine-making day, & ailecia called in the early afternoon to cancel. then she called back an hour & a half later to invite jared & i swimming. i was like, oh, you can’t make a zine but you can go swimming? but i didn’t actually get mad because, dude! i wanted to go swimming! it was my first experience at the lawrence public pool. let me tell you, that pool makes up for every remotely bad thing about living in lawrence (no IKEA, no H&M, half-hour highway drive to the airport, spiders, 100-degree summers, no one shovels their walks in the winter, drunk students running around town every night for nine months out of the year…). it has SLIDES. at a public pool! the curly slide was closed for repairs, tragically, but i couldn’t get enough of the speed slide. i now regret every summer day i spent in lawrence when i didn’t go to the pool.

anyway, back to portland. the theme for this year’s symposium is arcades, apparently, & the organizers want to include games & puzzles in the programs. i’m pleased that they want to include one of my logic puzzles. maybe one of these days i will get around to making another logic puzzle zine. i still love solving them. i get a new book of theme very month, & i sit down every day & solve three. supposedly doing puzzles can help strengthen your brain so you don’t have as much memory loss as you get older. now that i’m 31, i guess i should think about that kind of shit. i’ve even started solving the table puzzles, which i always skipped before. i really prefer the grid puzzles…because they’re easier. i know, i’m awful. i would just read over some of the clues in the table puzzles in the past & wonder how anyone was ever supposed to solve them (especially because some of them are written in such a way that you can’t even write your own grid to solve them). but i got myself a dedicated puzzle-solving notebook & have been powering through. this is seriously dorky, but i am really enjoying the challenge.

i’m also going to be leading a discussion on “zine ethics” with alex wrekk at the symposium. so i expect that to be kind of fun & interesting. zine ethics is a topic that sometimes brings up some very heated debate. & some of my perspectives on thorny issues have shifted over the years. i used to be totally against people selling zines on ebay, but now…eh. i don’t really care. it’s really unusual to see zine auctions go for significant amounts of money. most people can’t unload a whole pile of zines on an auction site for over $10. i don’t subscribe to the perspective that a zine is exactly the same as, say, a used book, & that the buyer therefore has the right to re-sell. i just kind of see auctions as such a complete non-issue in terms of the financial gains that are generated, it’s barely even worth arguing about.

though i did find out recently that there is some weird used bookstore in portland that sells used zines. i guess they specialize in “artist books,” so zines vaguely fall into that category. & they are trying to sell one of my zines. that’s right, “you live for the fight when that’s all that you’ve got” can be yours for the low used price of $9! it blows my mind a little to try to imagine someone paying $9 for some old zine i’ve written. part of me is like, “if you think you can get $9 for it…more power to you.” & part of me is like, “those nine bucks should be mine, you scavengers!” & part of me is tempted to find that bookstore while i’m in town, walk in, find my zine, take it up to the counter & point out the “no re-selling” clause, & then walk out with it. i wonder what would happen? would they try to bust me for shoplifting a zine i wrote? i’m so curious!

i’m also idly trying to arrange a pander zine distro ex-pats reunion for anyone at the zine symposium that used to post on the pander messageboard back in the day. i am kind of aiming for saturday right after the zine fest. people can get together, talk about what they bought or traded for, gossip, socialize, drink some beers, & then head over to the zinester feud game in the evening. i definitely think there needs to be an all-pander ex-pat team playing in the feud. i joked with jared about trying to stack the survey deck to be ciara-centric. i said, “yeah, my question will be, ‘name a personal zine,’ & i’ll be all *ding* ‘love letters to monsters’! & they’ll be like, ‘&…yes, it’s on the board…with one vote.'” brutal.

so, that’s what i’m going to be getting up to in just a couple of weeks. if you are going to be at the symposium too, let’s hang out. i’m not tabling this year–one of the great things about not running a distro is that i can attend zine fairs in an unencumbered manner. but i’ll have a bag with a calico cat appliqued on it, & i will have zines available for sale & trade. & jared will be back home in kansas, cooking for himself rather than eating my #1 recipe (in my personal opinion, because it’s both delicious & easy to make): cheese-breaded chicken.

look away, vegetarians/vegans, & i’ll explain how to make it:
i use chicken breast tenderloins for myself & thigh cuts for jared (i like white meat, he prefers dark meat). i dip each cut of chicken in melted butter & then roll it in a mixture of bread crumbs & shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese. the chicken goes on to a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. any extra butter or cheese/bread crumb mixture can go over the top of everything. bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes (a little longer or a little shorter, depending on how thick your cuts are) & voila! yummy. i usually steam some broccoli to go with it. this is a good summer recipe because it’s not much work, & it’s good for kids, because hello, it’s chicken & cheese. that’s all i ever wanted to eat when i was a kid. well, that & spaghetti.

quick ps for anyone who reads “the new yorker”–was anyone else so second-hand embarrassed by that article on john lurie that they almost couldn’t stand themselves? it was a whole huge 10,000-word piece (or something–i didn’t actually count the words) on how john lurie isn’t friends with his best friend anymore, & all the mean things they said & did to each other as a result. & none of it is really any meaner than most of the falling-outs i have with people on facebook or whatever. & it was all mean stuff that happens through text messages, cell phones with someone listening in on the line, & social networking websites. john lurie, you are 58 years old. get a grip, dude! & john perry, his former best friend, i don’t know how old you are, but you also need to get a grip. these histrionics would embarrass 14-year-olds. how did this article get greenlighted?

2009: year in review

i have been filling out this survey at the end of the every year for damn near ten years. that makes me feel very old.

1. what did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
lived in kansas.
went whale-watching.
owned a pair of high heels.
had a lipstick shade (l’oreal’s “make me blush”).
made a pie from scratch.
ate roasted tomatoes.
took hormone-based birth control.
bought fresh flowers.
used an ipod.
read a copy of “the new yorker” cover-to-cover.

2. did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
every year, i make ten “resolutions” (they are more like goals, priorities, or guidelines, maybe). every year, they are a very mixed bag of both goofy & serious ideas, some of which are easy to implement, & some of which are immediately going to be rejected as impractical. 2009 was no different. i did manage to write a new personal zine before i turned 30 (“love letters to monsters” #2), i saved a shit ton of money (more than i resolved to, even) & traveled a whole lot, but i totally dropped the ball on things like “take a lot of photos” (i didn’t own a digital camera until three weeks ago) & “learn how to relax”.

i definitely intend to make another batch of ten resolutions for 2010, including 1) only do five distro things a day, everyday, because running a distro is a thankless, pitiless profession & i am going to lose my fucking mind if i work as hard this year as i worked last year, 2) read all the “babysitters club” books in chronological order (again–i already did this in 2002 or so), & 3) give it a rest with the “recreational” smoking. (that’s not code for smoking pot. it means that i want to stop smoking cigarettes on vacation & at parties.) & some others. i expect to utterly fail at a few.

3. did anyone close to you give birth?
cory had a baby on halloween, but we are sadly not as close as we were when she had her first son in 2003.

4. did anyone close to you die?
not that i can recall. how shitty will i feel if i’m just forgetting someone?

5. what countries did you visit?
i spent all damn year in the states, but i traveled a lot within the country. i hit like fifteen different states this year!

6. what would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
downtime for which i do not feel guilty, quality hang-out time & good conversation with jared, a friend with whom i can go for coffee on occasion, fewer “bad self-esteem days”.

7. what dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
august 3, the day we arrived in kansas with the moving truck. it had taken us almost two hours to cross the mississippi river because there was road construction & the bridge was down to one lane. it was 10pm when we got to the house, totally dark, probably over 90 degrees, we didn’t have a key to the apartment, & there was a huge spider hanging over the doorway, so i was too scared to unlock the door once we did have a key. we’d been driving for three days with an angry, homicidal cat, we were tired & hungry & dehydrated, & we had to at least move our bed into the new apartment before calling it quits for the night. once we finally got to bed, a thunderstorm rolled in & we discovered that the bed was directly underneath an enormous hole in the wall/ceiling. i woke up literally soaked to the skin–like i’d fallen into a river or something. & i was too exhausted to care & just went back to sleep.

8. what was your biggest achievement of the year?
i moved to kansas with jared & didn’t flip the fuck out, really. i am not the best at change, big or small, & i have historically not been too excited about dating people who are full-time students, but this transition has been extraordinarily smooth. i think this means that a) jared & i have a really solid relationship, & b) i am not as much of a basketcase as i used to be.

9. what was your biggest failure?
it’s weird to consider this a “failure,” because i don’t think it’s something i can help, but my arthritis has gotten a lot worse in the last year. it’s hard now to do things like hold utensils when i am eating, pull a suitcase or granny cart for more than a couple of minutes, carry a handbag (as opposed to a shoulder bag). it freaks me out because i’m only 30.

10. did you suffer illness or injury?
i think jared & i both had some early version of swine flu in january & i had a tooth (not a molar, even) pulled in june, but other than that, it was a pretty healthy year. well, aside from the debilitating bone deterioration mentioned above.

11. what was the best thing you bought?
a lot of really good zines at the portland zine symposium, my cherry-colored john fluevogs, a little otsu day planner, a new computer, & a cat bed for charlotte.

12. whose behavior merited celebration?
i have always hated the way this question is phrased. “merited celebration”? what the fuck? “behavior”? are we dogs? i’m just not going to dignify this with an answer.

13. whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
see above.

14. where did most of your money go?
plane tickets (twice to kansas & back, once to portland, once to boston), moving expenses, a macbook pro, savings, & pretty much an entirely new wardrobe over the course of the year.

15. what did you get really, really, really excited about?
i’m not sure i am spry enough to get “really, really excited” about anything, but i always feel pretty psyched when jared makes pork loin in wine sauce with mashed potatoes & steamed broccoli for dinner–my favorite meal. i was also excited to go back to boston for the xmas break, & i was very pleased when nicole won on “america’s next top model”.

16. what song will always remind you of 2009?
anything by lady gaga.

17. compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? maybe a touch happier.
b) thinner or fatter? a smidgen fatter. i blame the fact that there is nowhere worth going in kansas, so i sit around all day eating jared’s amazing cooking.
c) richer or poorer? richer. or at least increasingly responsible with money & good at saving.

18. what do you wish you’d done more of?
writing. taking walks. staying in touch with friends. spending quality time with jared. cooking.

19. what do you wish you’d done less of?
dicking around on the internet. doubting myself. moving houses. giving a fuck what assholes think.

20. how did you spend xmas?
sick in bed in the house we were sitting in boston, alone, eating crackers & drinking orange juice & watching “dexter” season one on netflix instant viewing. nothing says “happy birthday, jesus” like vomiting & serial murder.

21. did you fall in love in 2009?
stayed in love.

22. how many one-night stands?
look, i’m not a math major.

23. what was your favorite TV program?
“project runway” (even though season six was a motherfucking yawn), “america’s next top model” (nicole makes up for the miscarriage of respect for vision that was teyona), “friends”, “the simpsons”, & i am getting pretty into “dexter,” though i think it is too soon to add it to the favorites list. i go through these little TV obsessions & then i forget.

24. do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
actually, yes.

25. what was the best book you read?
i greatly enjoyed water for elephants by sara gruen, the liar’s club by mary karr (probably the best book i read this year, though obviously not new), operating instructions by anne lamott, the essential dykes to watch out for by alison bechdel, it sucked & then i cried by heather armstrong, into thin air by jon krakauer, girl zines by alison piepmeier, & the harry potter books (read for the millionth time). it’s a little hard to choose–i read right around one hundred books this year.

26. what was your greatest musical discovery?
please. i don’t “discover” new music. i spent the year alternating between a mix CD that nicole made for me when i moved into my last apartment in boston, & a mix CD that lauren martin sent me as a trade for “love letters to monsters” #2.

27. what did you want and get?
to get the fuck out of boston, a credit card, the fluevogs, an ipod, a really nice digital camera, & to add a boatload (almost fifty) awesome new zines to the distro.

28. what did you want and not get?
more time for myself, to find my pace as a writer, more communication with friends, to have really & completely quit smoking, for kansas restaurants to be better.

29. what was your favorite film of this year?
i barely went to any movies this year, so i will just say “harry potter & the half-blood prince” (saw it three times) even though that scene where bellatrix & greyback burn down the burrow was fucking ridonkulous.

30. what did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
i was 30 this year! awesome! jared took me for breakfast at sorella’s & carissa met up with us there. then he gave me some downtime for writing, before we packed a bag full of extra layers & headed to the harbor to catch our whale-watching boat. we saw a whole bunch of humpback whales, including a mother & baby. we had dinner at some fancy italian restaurant in the north end. i’ll admit it: i ate veal lasagna & it was fucking delicious. sorry, vegetarians. you only turn 30 once (& yeah, i know, those veal never will). then we went back to the house with some beers & jared made me an extremely delicious flourless chocolate cake & bart & david came over & bart pretty much ate my entire birthday cake single-handedly, went all nuts on a sugar high, & then crashed like a four-year-old. after we went to the bed, our fan shorted out & there was a tiny fire & i screamed & jared yelled at me, which made me sad at the time, but the next day, it all seemed pretty hilarious (& he apologized). & charlotte captured a mouse in the middle of the night & jared threw it out the window. all in all, not the greatest day for animals. or bart. but an awesome day for me!

31. what one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
if every single day was sunny & about 74 degrees. & if i could somehow train jared to make me coffee every morning, but i know that will never happen in a million years.

32. how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
winter: jeans, chunky sweaters, & sorels, with my hair in a french twist pretty much every single day. wool handbag.
spring: skirts & dresses, all knee-length A-lines, & mary janes. enormously over-sized sunglasses. tote bags. t-shirts & hoodies. cloche hats.
summer: wore my hair in bun every single day. lipstick. scoop-neck tees & unflattering shorts because it’s too fucking hot to give a shit. hot pink sauconys with no socks.
fall: corduroys of every cut & color. turtlenecks & ruffled sweaters. sweater tights. a lot more purple & green.
in sum: i tried to do casual american classics with an urban/european sophistication, but am convinced that i can’t pull off anything too fancy since i weigh more than 110 pounds & am covered in tattoos & pretty much never wear make-up & i use rubber bands from newspapers to put up my hair.

33. what kept you sane?
as much as i hate to admit it…sudoku & the occasional pack of anxiety cigarettes. also, to-do lists, “top model,” harry potter, & therapy.

34. which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
no one. i only for eyes for jared. & that is the truth, as much as it weirds me out to say it.

35. what political issue stirred you the most?
abortion abortion abortion. george tiller’s murder. the stupak amendment. WTF with all the wingnut anti-choice/anti-woman assholes? this especially resonated with me because dr. tiller was murdered two months before i moved to kansas. now there is exactly one abortion clinic in the state, should i ever require another abortion. & it is in kansas city. & there is a 24-hour mandatory waiting period, & mandatory anti-choice counseling. & it makes me so fucking angry.

36. who did you miss?
amanda colianni, nicole, & jrae: the triumvirate of my favorite ladies. bart. carissa. LB. my dad. luckily only one of those people is dead.

37. who was the best new person you met?
i am pleased to have re-connected with ailecia after all these years, & to now be her next-door neighbor. i was excited to meet stephanie, even though trying to be friends with a grad student is no picnic. best new zine i read in 2009: “when language runs dry”.

38. tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
when jared wears a comically over-sized hat emblazoned with a sports team logo, he totally looks like a teenager trying to sell flomax he filched from his grandpa’s medicine cabinet. & cookbooks are really not joking when they tell you not to work pie dough excessively. i also learned that if i don’t get my morning coffee, i seriously freak the fuck out.

39. what did you devote most of your energy to?
the goddamn motherfucking zine distro. no more of this madness! i’ll shut the thing down before i have another year like 2009. i feel like i barely even had time to breathe with all the work i was doing.

40. quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“but he don’t understand the power of the claw/
the claw, the claw, the claw.”
–“claw” by motorhead

in which charlotte attacks & my mom is a crusty punk

the next-door neighbors, ailecia & alyssa, threw a housewarming party last night to christen their new house name: the cockpit. (don’t think about it too hard.) jared got his pre-game on in his typically classy fashion:

yes, that's a martini in a jam jar

look closely, you can see the olives.

ailecia’s parties tend to be events. jared & i are not really big on events. we’re big on kicking back in our armchairs & reading books. but you know, they’re our neighbors & our buddies, so we swung by to say hello. we secured a nice fellow with a naive appreciation for the feline species to cat-sit our feral she-beast while we’re in boston for the xmas holiday break. he has no idea what he’s in for:

abandon hope, all ye who enter my personal space!

when jared & i were driving out from boston to kansas in our moving truck in august, we swung by bowling green, ohio, where my entire immediate family lives. or…lived, before my mom convinced me to give her $600 “for rent,” & then used it to pay for a one-way greyhound bus ticket to new orleans because she “heard there were jobs down there”. you know where else there are jobs? cranberry harvest. seriously, has my mom become a crusty traveling punk at the tender age of 54? is she going to come back to bowling green in a boxcar, sporting dreadlocks & an aus rotten ass flap? i can only hope! maybe i’ll see her spare changing outside jimmy john’s gourmet sandwich shop in downtown lawrence once summer rolls around again. she will doubtlessly be flying a sign that solicits funds for both herself & whatever mangy dog she adopts, sure to be wearing leash made from a frayed length of rope & its own saddlebags made out of an old pair of charharts.

but i digress. i had coffee with my siblings at grounds for thought in bowling green, where i often whiled away my teenage hours sipping hazelnut hot cocoas & perusing “factsheet 5”. my sister, dani, brought along her seven-year-old daughter, malachite. i am always psyched to see malachite because she’s my only niece (neither my brother nor jared’s brother have any kids) & i am her only aunt related by blood (dani’s husband only has brothers–about ninety of ’em). i really want to remind her that she has an aunt, & i harbor a little fantasy that she thinks of me as a “cool aunt,” with tattoos, who travels wherever the wind takes her, hashing out homegrown feminist theory & sowing dissent across the land. this is just a fantasy though, because she’ll be old enough to seek out blogs like this one in a couple of years, & when she reads that, she definitely will not think i’m cool.

she was excited about the cat though. charlotte was in her fancy sherpa carrier (approved by airlines) with its mesh sides & handy shoulder strap. we didn’t dare let her out, because…she’s pure evil. i mean, come on:

wanna lose twenty pounds? come any closer & i'll rip off your arm! problem solved!

but malachite was all, “i wanna see the kitty! take the kitty out of the bag! i want to pet the kitty!” she stuck her face right up against the mesh window of the carrier to get a better look. “uh, you might want to back off a little…” said jared, but too late. *scratch* right through the mesh, charlotte lashed out & scratched my seven-year-old niece right in the face. & all of us, me, jared, clark (my brother), & dani busted up laughing. malachite considered for a moment & then screamed, “she’s a goblin!” which only made us laugh harder. oh, the laughter at children…wait, that’s not how the saying goes?

anyway, we did not stay long at the party. everyone was dancing & gettin’ down, drinking beers & having a great time. jared & i decided to clear out & have a great time our own way.

don't all reformed anarcho-punks spend their saturday nights playing boggle?

jared is fantastic at boggle. if this whole grad school thing doesn’t work out, he could be a professional boggle player. i also think he’d excel at writing sitcom dialogue. but i was truly the star of the night. in a typical boggle round, jared easily scores at least twenty points & i’m lucky to scrape five. he finds words like “detests” & i don’t even see obvious gimmes like “sad”. but i scored the boggle equivalent of a scrabble bingo–the much ballyhooed, heretofore thought to be mythical eight-letter word: “listless”. that’s eleven points! & this is where i find excitement, living in kansas. i wonder why my long-distance friends aren’t lining up to come visit?

i also had to deal with my distro website committing hari kari yesterday. the front page had been cannibalized by the first page of the catalogue & the skeleton frame, which contains all the navigational links, had disappeared into the ether. i didn’t build my own website & it has taken me six years to get a handle on the basics, like writing link code & changing background colors. i don’t know how to build a new skeleton frame or re-create an image map from scratch. i spent hours trying to fix it & making the problem worse. i finally got it sorted out, only to wake up this morning & discover that the page for collections & subscriptions had erased itself & the links page had gotten re-named somehow, so it wouldn’t load. this is what i get for using free, open source web maintenance software! technology, why doth thou forsake me?

two other zine-related things–
1) i want to recommend the newest zine i have added to the paper trail catalogue: “doctrinal expletives” #5. there’s a piece on the fictive kinship bonds that folks try to build with each other in collective/punk houses (somewhere in new orleans, my mom is getting frustrated by her roommates scarfing up all of her vegan dumpster stew & drawing mustaches on her crimethinc “boy/girl” poster, so she knows what i’m saying [in my imagination]) & how it’s kind of bogus & obnoxious. it is something about which i want to think/write/read more.
2) i don’t know if it’s too late now to contribute to this anthology being compiled about “zine girls of the 90s” now that they are all grown up, but i am still thinking of cobbling something together & at least posting it here, even if i dragged my feet on getting into the book. it’s not my fault though! i was distracted by the unspeakable awful-ness of the call for submissions. i will probably write more about that too.