Thankful For My Sobriety On A Saturday Morning

Saturday morning, and I feel especially thankful for my sobriety on days like today. In spite of a late night, I was awake at nine o’clock this morning, feeling well-rested and content, snuggling with my cat. I got out of bed and put on the kettle, made a cup of green tea, tidied up my bedroom and sat down to read. I read the letters that I’d gotten in the mail yesterday, and then a zine – Spirits: Relationships With Alcohol & Drugs.

I was at a house show in Verdun last night, tabling with Fight Boredom Distro and doing a zine reading alongside a couple of bands (Critical Convictions from Ottawa and Facials from Montréal). I had been really nervous beforehand, the kind of nervous that makes my guts all queasy and I kept making jokes about vomiting on everyone and then, no, if I vomit anywhere it’ll be on the windows of the yuppie bar on Wellington! A friend had asked if there was anything they could do to help calm my nerves, and I thought about the past, how I would’ve asked for a beer (and then had another and another), and really there was nothing. All I can do now is push myself through it, experience it fully. We had pizza and soda instead. The house slowly filled up with people, many of them friends of mine, and I set up my distro on the kitchen table. Maxx read first, from a zine called The Reverse Cougar Years, a piece about being a sound technician in a field typically dominated by men, then Steve read a hilarious story from Broke Ass #4 documenting his adventures cleaning up and dressing nice and seeing what he could get away with when people were no longer paying attention to the weirdo punk. I read two pieces – an excerpt from The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes #1, and something that I’d started writing last summer called This Is A Punk Show, Not A War, which will surely make its way into one of my zines in the future. There is something scary about these things, about standing alone in front of a group of people, any group of people, but especially a crowd who came to drink and party and see a bunch of bands. But everyone sat on the floor quietly and listened to our stories, and of course my tummyache faded away, because I am always nervous for nothing. When the reading is over, suddenly I want more. I walked away from the stage (I use this term loosely, it was someone’s living room) thinking of all sorts of things I could’ve added. Well, next time.

It wasn’t until later in the night that an acquaintance approached me and asked if I’d like to trade zines. I said yes enthusiastically without even looking at it, and you can imagine how happy I then was to see that it was a compilation on relationships with alcohol and drugs. I read the first couple of pages of Spirits at the show, then finished it today. Numerous contributors had noted this new world of mornings, this time and place that doesn’t really exist when one has gotten wasted the night before. Sleeping in ’til noon and waking up with a hangover was the usual, but now it’s tea and writing and bike rides and sunshine, and it felt so good to be reading this as soon as I’d gotten out of bed, to be nodding along in agreement.

The dreamy Saturday continues, because as I’m writing this, Stefanie has just prepared fresh juice with the Champion juicer that now lives in our kitchen, and I’m about to make a nice breakfast of toast with avocado and hotsauce, and alfalfa sprouts that I grew myself in a mason jar (thanks for showin’ me the ropes, Dave Cave). Then I’ll put on my hoodie and my scarf and ride my bike up to the Mile-End to see a friend’s art installation, and back downhill to Verdun to hang with my bestie. It’s the first of December and we agreed to get together on this day to make plans for the season ahead, our winter survival to-do list.

Fight Boredom Distro News: I’ve just added Telegram #26, Everybody Moon Jump #8, Rot #4, Six Ans De Pouce: L’ordinaire & L’extraordinaire, XXV, SCAM #9, and the SCAM anthology of the first four issues to the catalogue. I’ve also got copies of Well Of Loneliness, a cassette tape by Providence, RI-based queercore crust band Groke, but get ’em while you can ‘coz I sold half of them at the show last night. I also added a Books section to this website, which will hopefully make it a little easier to find your favourite zine anthologies.

Wanna read more about people’s experiences and struggles with addiction and sobriety? Check out Alex #3-#4, Breakfast For Dinner #1, Filling The Void: Interviews About Quitting Drinking & Using, Sub Rosa #7, and The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes #1, all available via Fight Boredom Distro. And if you’ve written on the topic, please send a copy of your zine for distro consideration, I’d love to read it.

The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes #2 / Cheaptoys #10

The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes #2 / Cheaptoys #10 / $2.00

Giz and I made a split zine! In the second issue of The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes, I’ve written about hitchhiking from Montréal to Halifax and the three weeks that I spent on Canada’s East Coast during the summer. Almost entirely handwritten (I have really neat printing, I swear) with simple illustrations throughout. If you ever wondered what a zine residency looks like, this is it. I stayed in the shed at the Roberts Street Social Centre for two weeks, then spent a few days in Sackville, New Brunswick for Sappyfest. Read along as I work through my syndrome de la page blanche and punch a dude in the face. / I’d call Cheaptoys something of a punk-perzine, always full of tour stories and photos from various travels and shows. Giz begins by writing of his experiences in the suburbs of Monaco and Paris, and his desire to leave France for library school. Also documented are his adventures from presenting at an academic conference in Utrecht, Netherlands, to playing Plan-It-X Fest in Bloomington, Indiana (up the scholar punx!), plus an interview with an anonymous graffiti artist, and more. Il faut remarquer que ce split-zine est écrit en français-anglais, un mélange de langues comme on s’écrit dans nos lettres. (It should be noted that this zine is written in a mixture of French and English, just like we write to each other in letters).

It is currently available for $2.00 + postage via Fight Boredom Distro, and is in stock at Bus Stop Press (France), Portland Button Works (US), and Vampire Sushi (UK), and will soon be available at Stranger Danger (US). I accept Paypal and well-concealed cash (just click How To Order).

Fight Boredom Distro Updates: Other zines I’ve recently added to the catalogue include Hungry: A (Re)collection of Memorable Meals & Disordered Eating, Radio Antarctica #1, Skinned Heart #3 – #4, Pinch Kid #2 – #3, and the Shotgun Seamstress anthology – and yes, I’ve finally written descriptions! I’ve also just added Well Of Loneliness, a cassette tape by Providence, RI-based queercore crust band Groke. The tapes are baby pink for goodness’ sake!

If yr in Montréal, please come see me this Friday! I’ll be tabling with the distro and doing a zine reading at a house show in Verdun, featuring Critical Convictions, Facials, and Vile Intent. Facebook event here.

Reasons To Order Zines From Fight Boredom Distro – Right Now!

1. The website will be on hiatus from October 16th until the New Year – so this is your last chance!
2. Every order placed this week will come with a free copy of Teacups & Typewriters, the Tulip Farm newsletter.
3. I’ve just added a whole bunch of zines to the catalogue – check out the news here!
4. I’m about to go travelin’ and every little bit helps.
5. It’s my birthday and it’ll make me happy.

Say Hello To September’s Fight Boredom Zine Resident!

Khristina Acosta is a mental health worker and caretaker living in central New Jersey. A co-organizer of C.L.I.T. Fest New Brunswick, she is interested in making people of color (POC) more visible in the punk and DIY scenes. Her zine will be about how a string of disappointing romantic situations have convinced her to be non-sexual with anyone until January of 2013. Although these disappointments were the catalyst, it will also deal with issues of consent, boundaries, mental health, family history, failed polyamory, and both internalized misogyny and white suprematism. Overall, what it means to be a sex-positive feminist while figuring out how to unlearn your oppressive and unhealthy habits. An avid reader of zines, this will be her first zine coming to fruition and not just floundering in Google Docs.

An update on the Fight Boredom Zine Residency: Bri, the first-ever participant, completed her zine in June and information can be found here. Teresa, the August resident and Lacy, the September resident (whose projects are outlined here) both had to cancel due to having found jobs. If and when Teresa’s zine is finished, it’ll be in stock at Fight Boredom Distro, and we’re hoping to have Lacy here next spring / summer. We weren’t able to find a replacement August resident on such short notice, however, we talked to our second-choices for the residency and are so happy to have Khristina coming to stay with us at the Tulip Farm for two weeks! She’ll be here from September 26th – October 10th. Subscribe to this blog and ‘like’ Fight Boredom on Facebook to keep up with all the latest scoop.

The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes #1

The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes #1 / $1.00

This is the zine that I completed as artist-in-residence at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s a quarter-size perzine, mostly typewritten, with a few handwritten phrases and sparse cut-and-paste details. I’ve written about accepting loneliness as an inevitability and staying sober in a world that seems to want me drunk or dead. Excerpt: “The heaviness on my chest, the fluttering in my tummy… they are always going to be there. It is time to stop searching for the remedy and to finally accept them as a part of me. I want to embrace my sadness without letting it keep me in bed for days on end. And if my anxiety keeps me locked in my apartment, I’d like to invite someone else over.”

It is currently available for $1.00 + postage via Fight Boredom Distro, and will soon be in stock at Vampire Sushi (UK) and Stranger Danger (US). I accept Paypal and well-concealed cash (just click How To Order).

Read in a safe place, take care, and write me a letter. ♥

Fight Boredom Distro Is Up & Running Again!

After several weeks spent on the East Coast, I’m finally home and getting back to Real Life. I’ve just updated the website and added Broke Ass #3 – #4, Imaginary Windows #5, Photomill #2, Playing Victim #5, and Unicornzine to the catalogue, as well as the two zines that I created during my zine residency in Halifax, Nova Scotia – The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes (a perzine about lonely times and radical sobriety) and a bilingual mini-zine called Kurt Cobain Was A Feminist / Kurt Cobain Était Féministe. I’ve also started carrying cassette tapes! I’ve got the Force Quit / Fail Better split tape in stock, Glitterbomb by Eekum Seekum, and Settings by noisy Chicago duo The Ovens. Get in touch if you’d like to have your own cassette available in the distro.

Restocks include Pourquoi Je Suis Féministe, Pinch Kid #1, All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues, Sassyfrass Circus #6 – #7, Reimagining Queer Community and Not Queer As In Radical But Lesbian As In Fuck You.

You can place orders online anytime (just click How To Order for more details), and if you’re in Montréal, please come see me at Queer Between The Covers, the annual queer bookfair (Facebook event here). It’s taking place this Saturday, August 18th at Centre St-Pierre (1212 rue Panet) from 11am – 6pm. ‘Til then!