How We Chose Fight Boredom Zine Residency Participants

For the sake of transparency, I’d like to write about how we chose the 2012 Fight Boredom Zine Residency participants. You can view the application on the website here. The idea was based on the zine residency program at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax (which I’ve been accepted to – I’ll be in Halifax for the last two weeks of July). I travel around a lot for zinefests and stuff, and I thought it was about time people made their way to Montréal.

As soon as I announced the residency, applications started coming in. We received twenty-eight applications in all – twenty-six via email and two via snail mail. A few days after the May 1st deadline, Stefanie and I sat down to look through all of ‘em. Some people were automatically eliminated. We decided that it wouldn’t be fair to consider the three applications that came in past the deadline. We also eliminated a few applications that we felt had no correlation whatsoever with Fight Boredom Distro’s submission guidelines, nor the Ste-Émilie Skillshare’s mandate. When it got down to it, there were still about twenty projects that we were totally in love with, and we realized it was gonna be a very difficult task. We then eliminated “applications” that weren’t really applications. Some people just emailed a couple of paragraphs about themselves and their zines, and even though they seemed like really great people, it was important to us that the applications be filled out properly. After all, we asked all of those questions for a reason. Having a Q&A style application made things a lot easier when we were narrowing it down to fewer participants and we wanted to check back on various information, for scheduling and the like.

We sat at the kitchen table reading over applications together. Each of us had a notepad and a pen, and as we went along, we wrote down each applicant’s name with whatever notes we thought were relevant, plus a Yes, No, or Maybe. Afterward, we compared our Yes, No, Maybe lists to each other’s. This is when things got really, really tricky. We’d narrowed it down to about eight or nine people, however we each had the same three “strong yeses”. And all three of them were only available during the same time period in September. We knew we could only choose one. So we set that list aside for a bit, and went to work on the June and August residencies.

Our first two choices for June couldn’t make it after all – one had found a job and the other had family visiting. Our third choice was available, so they quickly applied for a passport and bought a Greyhound ticket at an advanced discount. There were two people that we were considering for August, and I went with my gut on that one – I’m really excited about the project and I feel like the Ste-Émilie Skillshare and Fight Boredom Distro are the places to make it happen. I’ve told our second choice that they can be on standby in case something were to fall through.

Back to September. This was the toughest decision to make. In the end, the person who was chosen was one of the two people who applied via snail mail. They sent us a typewritten letter in a hand-sewn envelope and they were one of the first to apply. We’d been excited about their project since the very beginning and just couldn’t resist. Our other two choices know that they will be re-considered if something falls through – we’re really sad that they can’t all be here.

I can’t stress enough how difficult the decision was. Almost everyone had excellent proposals, and I wish they could all stay at the Tulip Farm. There are some projects that I’m really stoked on and even if they can’t create them in Montréal, I wanna do whatever I can to support them and of course add them to the distro catalogue in the future. And hey, maybe we can even become pen pals! I’ve alerted those who were not chosen, and if they’d like some more information or critiques, I’m into it.

I’d like to turn this into an annual event if I’m able to. Anyone who didn’t get in this year can certainly apply next year, and so can you, dear readers. (This year’s participants are listed here).

Hand-Delivered Zines and the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair

In March, I got a distro order from someone who lives in the city. Instead of giving me their mailing address, they told me where they worked and asked if I could drop off some zines. Of course! I put ‘em in my backpack, rode my bike up to the Plateau, and hand-delivered ‘em. I was on my way to a pro-choice demo in the area anyway. I’m pretty sure that delivering zines by bicycle is totally adorable and fun, and I wanna do it more often! Ever since the article about my distro was printed in the Montreal Gazette, I’ve been getting a lot more orders from people within the city, including people who had never even heard of zines before! So, if anyone in Montreal wants to place an order and avoid postage costs, you can always send me an email with your address and we can work out a plan. I live in St-Henri, but I bike all over the city all the time. Let’s talk!

That said, I’ll be tabling at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair all weekend. Please stop by! The bookfair is taking place in two buildings right across from each other – the Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (CEDA) at 2515 rue Delisle, and the Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (CCGV) at 2450 rue Workman. Fight Boredom Distro will be at CEDA, but please make your way through the whole shebang. I hear there’s gonna be free coffee! And the Midnight Kitchen is providing food (there’s still time to volunteer to help cook, by the way).

Mostly, my life has been taken over by a few specific projects. One of them is preparing for the anarchist bookfair – ordering zines, screenprinting patches and posters (and helping friends with their screenprinting projects at the Ste-Émilie Skillshare), and working on some new zines. Still gotta do some cutting and pasting and photocopying and folding and stapling and and and… Speaking of, if you’d like to volunteer at the Ste-Émilie Skillshare, now is your chance! There are info and training sessions for the Sidetracks Team taking place on May 26th and 27th. I highly recommend joining! I’ve been on the Sidetracks Team since maybe two years ago, which means helping print t-shirts and posters and whatnot for various community groups, as well as having access to the space for personal projects. It’s a seriously amazing resource – the more, the merrier!

I’M ALSO WORKING ON TWO SECRET PROJECTS SSSHHHHHH.

If you applied for the Fight Boredom Zine Residency and haven’t heard back from me yet, don’t worry, you will. There were about thirty applications sent in, and out of those, we’ve managed to narrow it down to six people. Of course, we’re only able to choose three. We’re still workin’ on it. I can’t even tell you how difficult it is – there were so many exciting proposals and I wish I could make them all happen. Whether or not you’re chosen for the residency, I’ll still be in touch with thoughts and feedback. Soon!

I was riding my bike to the Plateau yesterday evening, and walked uphill on Clark because dammit I’m just not good at riding uphill. A middle-aged Francophone man stopped me and asked about the feminist killjoy backpatch on my flannel shirt. I told him that I’m a feminist who ruins everyone’s fun.

He asked how old I am. « J’ai vingt-six ans. »

« Et vous êtes féministe, puis vous l’annoncez? Je vous félicite. »

He said he was happy to see young feminists in Québec, he said there weren’t enough of us, he smiled, and he wished me une bonne journée.

(Yeah, I don’t update this blog much anymore, but I write about things on my Tumblr sometimes).

Sunday Morning Caffeine High

LIBRA: September 21 – October 20

Too much nothing has you wanting to ground yourself in things that are real. The next few weeks will call you to organize and stabilize your support systems and the relationships that keep them going. If you can manage to settle in and focus it will free you up to fly off and explore other opportunities as soon as they open up. For the first time in a long time you have a chance to make something happen. The fact that others happen to be there for you is a miracle. If two heads really are better than one your next project will turn out to be a total success.

Real Detroit Weekly horoscopes are where it’s at. I’m still doing med studies (see Culture Slut #25), and they still make me happy. Last night I came home with a cheque that’s gonna cover my bills for spring, and I baked a batch of cupcakes and made a plan to Get Shit Done. I might even treat myself to a postage scale and a fancy new tattoo. And now I’m on a ridiculous caffeine high – drinking coffee with Hari, listening to Patrick Watson on the radio, and riding our bikes down Notre-Dame in the sunshine was pretty much the perfect way to begin the day. And all before nine-thirty on a Sunday morning! Let me tell y’all what I’ve been up to…

Writing letters on the balcony with Sebastian.

Gummi pizza date, photo by Hari.

Parc René-Lévesque à LaSalle. Vincent and I rode our bikes all the way along the Lachine Canal to where it finally meets with the St-Lawrence River. What a picnic!

Vincent Wilde and his tall bike.

I changed my name to Amber Dearest. The other day, I met my mail carrier. He rang the buzzer because someone sent me a letter that required a signature. When I came down to the door, he asked, “Is Dearest your real name, or are you just a dear?” I laughed and told him it was a nickname, and he said, “Amber Dearest, you sure get a lotta love letters!” He said he was excited to finally see what I look like. I think I’m gonna start leaving cookies and stuff at the door for him, he seems real nice. Anyway, I’ve started going by a nickname mostly for the sake of making my legal name a little less Google-able. I kinda wish I’d used a pseudonym a long time ago, but I guess I didn’t realize the internet was gonna be such a thing when I started making zines ten years ago. Uh, I also didn’t think I’d make zines for this long, or that I would turn into a Real Life Adult, so there you go. I also just feel like it’s time for a fresh start. I’m gonna make the last issue of Culture Slut soon, then start a new series. Get better at writing. Focus more on the distro. Live life more intentionally.

I’ve been sober for six months. Two weeks ago marked six months of sobriety for me. This is the longest I’ve ever gone without drinking since I was seventeen years old (I’ll be twenty-seven in October, if you’re keeping track). I’m not entirely sure what to say about it, but I’m fucking proud of myself and I wanna tell everyone. Most of the time it’s easy, sometimes it’s difficult. I’ve written a bit about it here, here, here, and here. I never wake up with a hangover, and I never wake up with regrets. I have friends who have never even seen me drunk! And because I don’t have alcohol to help me along in social situations, I’ve been doing things like signing up for karaoke and volunteering for kissing booths in order to get over my shyness. Indeed, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to Make Things Happen and I’m fucking doin’ it!

I got accepted to the Roberts Street Social Centre zine residency. Fuck yeah!!! I’ll be spending the last two weeks of July in Halifax, Nova Scotia – makin’ zines, makin’ friends, and having the Best Summer Ever. Then I’m gonna go to Sappyfest in Sackville, New Brunswick. Let’s hang out! I’m so incredibly stoked to be spending my summertime on the East Coast.

I’m tabling at the anarchist bookfair. The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair is happening May 19th – 20th (Facebook event here). Please come!

Getting back to real life. I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since I got back from my visits to NYC and Chicago. I had an absolute blast and am already anticipating next year’s adventures. Since then, I’ve mostly been hangin’ with friends, riding my bike, dumpstering lots, planning the Fight Boredom Zine Residency, bla bla bla. In case you wonder why I don’t update my blog anymore, the short version is that I’m scared of becoming an Internet Persona instead of a Real Life Person, and I’m too busy living the punk rock dream to spend my time in front of the computer anyway. Hey, check out the video below, it’s full of zinester babes from the 2012 Chicago Zine Fest. My silly face makes an appearance at 2:25. Happy Sunday!

Fight Boredom Zine Residency 2012

Hello readers! I’ve been working on a new project. Inspired by the zine residency at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, I’ve decided to create my own right here in Montréal. I’ll be accepting three residents this year – likely in the months of June, August and September. Dates are negotiable, as is the possibility of travel funds. Basically, you’ll be living with me for two weeks and makin’ a zine! At the end of your stay, we’ll throw a rad event together. Details are posted below, as well as at this page. Just copy and paste the info, and send it to me either in a Word file, or in the body of an email. Deadline for applications is May 1st, 2012. If you have any questions, please feel free to post a comment.

My bedroom wall, with some of my favourite zines.

FIGHT BOREDOM ZINE RESIDENCY (Deadline for applications: May 1st 2012)

About The Residency: The Fight Boredom Zine Residency was inspired by and modelled after the zine residency that takes place at the Roberts Street Social Centre / Anchor Archive in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. After years of traveling to various cities for zinefests and the like, I want to invite far-away zinesters to explore and create in my home base of Montréal, Québec.

How It Works: For two weeks, you will find yourself living at the Tulip Farm in beautiful Montréal, Québec. This is not a farm, but in fact an adorable two-bedroom apartment in the heart of St-Henri. You will be provided with a pullout couch, bedding, a small guide to gettin’ around and livin’ on the cheap in the city, plus a whole lotta zine supplies (I have basic craft supplies like paper, scissors and glue, as well as numerous typewriters). You’re encouraged to bring anything you feel you may need. Although we may be able to provide you with a small stipend for travel costs, you will be responsible for things like meals and public transportation – but don’t worry, we like to share food and we can probably find an extra bike. [Edit to add: Funding has been confirmed and will amount to $500 per participant, to be put toward travel costs, zine supplies and the final launch party. Receipts must be saved, and any remaining funds will be donated the to the Ste-Émilie Skillshare. Thank you very much to the Union for Gender Empowerment!]

You’ll be living with Amber Dearest, author of Culture Slut and proprietor of Fight Boredom Distro – a pink-haired weirdo who loves picnics, karaoke and scathing critiques of the world around her, as well as Stefanie Canadia, a longtime zinester and artist, who loves animals and is punk as fuck. It’s a veggie household and we’d prefer to keep meat outta here. While neither of us consumes alcohol, you’re welcome to – just don’t be a jerk. Also, you cannot smoke in here! That’s gross.

During these two weeks, you’ll be working on your project with the goal of finishing it on time for a launch party. But, we want you to get out and have fun, too! We’ll show you around the city and make sure you feel comfortable, plus you’ll have access to the Ste-Émilie Skillshare, which is only a five-minute walk away from the Tulip Farm and includes a screenprinting studio, a black-and-white darkroom, sewing machines, craft supplies and a workshop / gallery space. Other nearby goodies include a grocery store, a post office, a basement venue, parks, the Lachine Canal, the Atwater Market, and a 24-hour diner with the best, cheapest, and greasiest fries in the city.

Please note: The Tulip Farm and the Ste-Émilie Skillshare are both located in second-floor apartments and are, regrettably, not wheelchair accessible. There is a friendly cat named Sebastian who lives at the Tulip Farm, so you will ideally not have allergies. There are nearby train tracks, and while we love the sound (and imagined adventures!) of trains passing by, you may not. The Tulip Farm is only a two-minute walk from the metro, which means the rest of the city is basically at your fingertips. Please read the Ste-Émilie Skillshare’s mandate here and Fight Boredom Distro’s submission guidelines here. Feel free to send any questions our way.

In a few sentences, please tell us about the project you’d like to work on during your stay.

Can you give us a brief timeline of your project? What would you like to accomplish during your stay? What is the goal of your project? How do you imagine the finished project? Feel free to include as many details as you’d like.

In the end, we’d like for you to host a launch party for your project, and / or a skillshare / workshop. Please tell us about some ideas and themes you might have for the final event.

Tell us about projects that you’ve worked on in the past. This can include zines, crafts, volunteer efforts, activist organizing, et cetera. Feel free to include your bio here.

What attracted you to the Fight Boredom Zine Residency?

How does your project fall within the Ste-Émilie Skillshare’s mandate, and within Fight Boredom Distro’s submission guidelines?

Residencies happen during two-week blocks in June, August, and September. Are there any particular dates that you’d prefer, or would you rather we choose? We’re flexible.

Amber Dearest / Fight Boredom Distro
344 rue St-Ferdinand
Montréal, Québec
H4C 2S8 Canada
amber.norrean @ gmail.com

Fight Boredom Distro Is Back!

After three weeks of traveling, and tabling at both the NYC Feminist Zinefest and the Chicago Zine Fest, I’m finally home. I’ve added a whole lotta zines to the catalogue, and there are even more on the way. Please click the ‘News’ tab above for all kinds of updates, including a list of events that I’ll be tabling at over the coming months.

Maranda Elizabeth (Telegram), myself, and Bri (Motor City Kitty). Photo by Meredith Wallace. Chicago Zine Fest forever!

I’ve just added All I Want Is Everything #3, Motor City Kitty #17-18, All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues, Reimagining Queer Community: A Perzine, Not ‘Queer’ As In ‘Radical’ But ‘Lesbian’ As In Fuck You, So This Is What It’s Come To…: A Zine About The Trials And Tribulations Of OkCupid and Mend My Dress: Collected Zines 2005-2007 to the catalogue.

Restocks include Bananarchy Now!, Pinch Kid #1, Get Fit For The Pit #1 and Telegram #22.

Zines soon to be added include Show & Tell #6 – #9, Doris #29, Real Life: A Magical Guide To Getting Off The Internet, Telegram #24-25, Echo Echo #9, Ker-Bloom, Unicornzine and FIT: A Zine About Sports, Fatness, Feminism & Disability. For more information on how to submit your own zine for distro consideration, click on the ‘Submit Your Zines’ tab above. Alongside the usual, I’m especially interested in zines about quitting drinking, zines about sex work, zines about living on the cheap, perzines that make you feel hopeful, and zines that were created in Canada or Québec, written in both English and French. Please send recommendations my way!

Hello January, Hello New Year!

Green tea and zines at Caffè Mariani.

Dear friends, I have so much to say.

We’re already eleven days into the New Year and I’ve been feeling pretty inspired and optimistic – as I do with all sorts of fresh starts. I’ve found myself out of the house, exploring the neighbourhood and adventuring with friends every day this year. Although I’m falling behind, I’ve been participating in Fun-A-Day Montréal, by writing letters everyday and working on several zines. In fact, I’m co-organizing the event with a friend, though I must admit that deciding to throw an event during the holidays and while moving into a new apartment was a little ambitious on my part, and I didn’t get to put nearly as much effort or promotion into it as I’d have liked to. So let’s call this a pratice run for next year.

A gift from Julia in Quebec City.

Lists, lists, lists. My resolutions this year are to learn how to approach people and be more sociable, to stay sober, to travel lots, to write reviews of every book I read, and to simply make things happen. So far, so good.

I’m planning a lot of trips this year. I’ll be tabling at the NYC Feminist Zinefest on February 25th and I would love to see some friendly faces there. I don’t know a lotta people in the city, but I’ll be traveling with my twin and possibly a couple of friends. Got a place for us to crash? Get in touch. I’m pretty stoked about the idea of a feminist-themed zine event and the organizers seem like really great people who understand how important it is to keep zines accessible – the event is free and it only costs five dollars to table! Here’s a little profile of me on their site.

I’ve also just begun my year-long Pizza Date project, which you can read about here and keep up to date on via Facebook. My first date of the year was last weekend. Tiffany and I went to Super Pointe on Ste-Catherine. The pizza is pretty mediocre, but we had a great time exchanging records, zines, patches and trinkets, listening to Bratmobile and The Ambulars, and talkin’ about Courtney Love and stuff. It was pretty dreamy.

In March, I’ll be tabling at the Chicago Zine Fest, which is always the highlight of my year. I’ve dedicated ten whole days to my visit this year. Gonna get tattooed by Alana Robbie (again), have a pizza date with the South Side Letter-Writing Club, take a million pictures in the black-and-white photobooths… Wanna hang out with me and show me around? I’d like to see your favourite thrift shops and secret hideouts in the city.

And if I can swing another trip, I’ve been asked to participate in a zine reading at Food For Thought Books Collective in late-April, and word has it that there’s going to be a zinefest in Amherst. Hello, Massachusetts!

That said, I’m on the hunt for new zines for the distro. You know that I like zines by queers and feminists, but I’m especially interested in zines about quitting drinking, zines about sex work, zines about living on the cheap, perzines that make you feel hopeful, and zines that were created in Canada or Québec. I’ll accept material written in English et en français. If you’ve got a zine that you think would fit well with the catalogue, please send along a copy for consideration – or if you simply have recommendations of other zines you’d like to see stocked, let me know!

I’ve recently added Dig Deep #3 / Your Secretary #10, Bring On The Dancing Horses and Sassyfrass Circus #6 and #7 to the catalogue. Many more are soon to come!

Your Secretary #10 / Dig Deep #3

Please note that I have a new mailing address:

Amber Forrester
344 rue St-Ferdinand
Montréal, Québec
H4C 2S8 Canada

I’d like to write recaps of Expozine, my trip to Halifax and fun stuff like that, but have not yet found the time. You know how I always give myself too many projects to work on at once. ‘Til next time!

Halifax Readers, Listen Up!

Hi, friends! Just hangin' at the Union for Gender Empowerment, same as every Wednesday afternoon.

I’m going to be in Halifax, Nova Scotia from December 15th – 23rd. Totally on a whim. As usual, I haven’t made any real plans yet, but I’m looking forward to spending some time at the Roberts Street Social Centre, meeting up with a few pen pals, and having Brad show me all the best pizza. And maybe crashing on your couch? Seriously, get in touch.

Anyway, if you currently reside in Halifax, now would be a really awesome time to place an order with Fight Boredom Distro and avoid the cost of postage. You can just email me a list of zines you’d like (or comment on this entry), then pay me immediately via Paypal, or with cash in person. I’d be really happy to bring a stack of zines your way! And to go out for tea! Please note that some of the zines say ‘temporarily out of stock’ next to the titles; they will be re-stocked in the New Year. Listed below are some new titles that were just added to the catalogue this week and come highly recommended. Just click on the ‘How To Order’ tab above for more details. The entire catalogue is listed above in alphabetical order.

Bring On The Dancing Horses
This is the kind of perzine that ought to be savoured over several sittings, then read and re-read. Named for one of the best songs that came out during the year I was born, and containing sixty-something half-size pages of beautifully-written non-fiction about long-distance bike trips and a month-long stay at New York City’s Bowery Manor squat, Bring On The Dancing Horses is a zine about travel, love and anarchy. Might sound cliché, I know, but Shaun possesses excellent storytelling skills and manages to describe his life and politics in a way that is intelligent, thoughtful and endearing. In writing about relationships, he says, “I’ve heard friends say they’ve never felt love like that first love. I don’t know how to respond. I only know that mine become more intense with each successive burst,” a feeling that I can completely relate to. I’ll be honest, I let myself get lost in this zine for a week or so, and it’s one of numerous recent events that has really made me re-think the kind of life that I’m living. Highly recommended.

Culture Slut #25
This is the latest issue of Culture Slut. I write about heartbreak, Patti Smith, quitting drinking, participating in research studies for cash, an obsession with knuckle tattoos, and life in Montréal. Cut-and-paste, quarter-size, 30 pages. Please read it in a safe space; I had a rough year.

Hungry: A (Re)collection of Memorable Meals & Disordered Eating
What a wonderful zine from Clara, whom you may know from Little Gardens For Invalids and I’ve Got Strange Powers. Although illustration is her main means of expression, this zine is one of her more text-heavy efforts. Completed during a two-week residency at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Hungry chronicles memories of meals throughout her life – documents of disordered eating (consider this your trigger warning) as well as moments shared with friends and past lovers. It’s beautiful and unique and absolutely worth a look.

Pinch Kid #1
I seriously can’t get enough of this zine. Kit has a way with cut-and-paste and does some pretty adorable illustratin’ as well. With a combination of some vintage typewriting and neat handwriting, Kit expounds upon their recent “deconversion” from Christianity and a newfound love of science (“Drugs or religion aren’t needed to walk through the park in awe of how much we have in common with the organisms around me; all I need is a basic knowledge of biology!”), living with integrity inside and outside of the “queer community”, body dysmorphia and experiences of anti-trans bigotry, confronting racism in oneself and a whole lot more. Kit asks a lot of questions in this zine, and it feels like the beginning of a really excellent conversation.

Root #6
First of all, this is one of the most amazing zine covers I’ve ever seen. Talk about eye-catching! In this issue, Sarah writes about her love of bicycles and a burgeoning interest in long-distance bicycling. She writes about creating the Brevets Cycling Club, designed to be welcome to cyclists of varying skills levels, and going on bike trips with these lovely people. Pages are alternately black-and-white and full-colour and feature photographs, maps and some nice cut-and-paste work. Adventure time!

Telegram Ma’am #23
“Of course the past can never change, we hear that so often we don’t really think about it anymore. But what if you did think about it? Like, right now? Everything that has happened up to this moment absolutely cannot be changed no matter what.” This appears on the last page of this issue and has had quite an affect on me. I am learning to finally let things go. Maranda’s writing is often strong, honest and profound, and this is no exception. This issue covers a two-month stay at a mental health institution, a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, radical sobriety, identifying as genderqueer / genderless, their Be Your Own Therapist project and more. Featuring cover art by Clara Bee Lavery. I really can’t recommend it enough.

Root #6 by Sarah Evans, a new addition to Fight Boredom Distro.

Culture Slut #25 – Now Available!

Culture Slut #25

I pulled an all-nighter and finished my latest zine. Culture Slut #25 is about heartbreak, Patti Smith, quitting drinking, participating in research studies for cash, an obsession with knuckle tattoos, and life in Montréal.

Cut-and-paste, quarter-size, 30 pages. Please read it in a safe space; I had a rough year.

Order online through Fight Boredom Distro or my Etsy shop, send me a mixtape, or come see me this weekend at Expozine in Montréal.

The First Snow & Adventures In Zine Organization

I went to bed at 2:45 in the morning and woke up four hours later to the first real snow of the season. And it didn’t bother me at all. I am slowly unlearning my hatred of the winter and trying to look at it in a more positive manner. Preparing yet another winter survival strategy – this year, it means planning a week-long trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia as well as a visit to my hometown to see my family, looking for a new apartment in Montréal, working on zines and teaching myself to play the ukulele. Today has been really hectic and it’s only halfway over. I was out of the house shortly after sunrise, and on the metro toward Parc-Extension, where I went for a blood test as part of a pharmaceutical study that I’m participating in. Afterward, I finally sat down to respond to some emails that had been sitting in my inbox for over a month. Honestly, I don’t really enjoy writing emails and people are likely to get a speedier (and more thoughtful) response if they send me snail mail. Just sayin’. Afterward, I was off to another study at the Montreal Neurological Institute, then I grabbed a couple of slices of pizza and settled in for an afternoon of staffing at the Union For Gender Empowerment. Have since been drinking green tea, listening to this mix of 1960s girl groups posted on Rookie and trying to get some things prepared for Expozine this weekend. (Facebook event here). The boots that I thrifted for eight bucks have been keeping my feet warm and dry. Score.

Still left to do: Stop by Vincent’s to pick up a drawing that he’s contributing to Culture Slut #25, go to the Ste-Émilie Skillshare to edit and print some photos, pick up Maranda and Yaz at the bus terminal, grab some dinner and perhaps head to Jesse‘s craft night if I’m not too exhausted. Long day, and pretty typical, actually. In case you ever wondered why you never see me, or why I don’t update my blog so much anymore.

Something else I’ve been up to: Re-organizing my zines! Maybe one day I’ll even count them, but for the time being, they are at least in alphabetical order. I’m considering donating a large portion of them to the zine library at the Union For Gender Empowerment (as part of what I want to do here involves expanding and promoting the zine library, as well as getting my letter-writing club going again and other such things). I’ve already donated about twenty-five of my books. Lately, I’ve been feeling strange about hoarding all of these fantastic things away in my bedroom where no one gets to see them but me (and others who occasionally spend time in my bedroom, wink-wink). Besides, I’d like to move to a new apartment soon and this’ll give me a couple of crates less to carry with me.

My bedroom floor.

Sebastian has always loved zines.

Never-ending stacks of zines.

8 Letters: A zine about knuckle tattoos.

Does anybody have contact info for Johnny who does the zine 8 Letters? I’d like to distro it, but his NYC mailing address is no longer valid and I don’t have any other info.

Zine books!

How do you store your zines? Do you think you’d ever be able to part with your collection?