Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Back That Aura Up With Actual Work

The back of the box for Lady Gaga's Fame perfume reads "Black like the soul of fame." Writer and blogger Virginia Heffernan wrote a really great article about Lady Gaga's The Fame Fragrance. In the article, Heffernan detailed how the scent was supposed to be "based on molecules" of Lady Gaga's own blood so you could have her on your skin, except that it really just smells like flowers. What is this saying about fame? And the merchandising of fame? (Or should I say, Fame? Heffernan pointed out that Lady Gaga went to Sacred Heart, the Fame school.) Celebrity fragrance is a tangible merchandising item with something material you can hold instead of streaming the music for free on the internet, and this is perhaps the closest people can get to possessing a piece of the celebrity (and by "a piece" I mean either the physicalness of the celebrity or in a more general sense, some sort of material manifestation of what Andy Warhol would call "the aura" of fame.) Is it that artists make less money from music now more than ever, and celebrity fragrance is perhaps a way to supplement sales of the celebrity brand?

I heard someone say that they thought people have ideas in the shower is because it's the last place where we don't have our cell phones on us to interrupt our thoughts and make us realize we need to return phone calls and check e-mails, etc. -- so you're unencumbered by other stuff, and your mind is free to wander. So I had this idea in the shower: What if we could bottle celebrity? (Like isn't that what, on some level, celebrity fragrance is all about?) And people would always be trying to steal the bottle? And like, once you put it on you, it's like a Love Potion #9 scenario. People can't help but go crazy about you when they're around. I've been thinking a lot about celebrity fragrance stuff since the last episode of one of the podcasts I do was about celebrity fragrances.

It makes me think of this essay by Andy Warhol reprinted in the issue of Lapham's Quarterly where the theme was "Celebrity," about how he was approached by some big company that asked him if he would be interested in getting involved in their advertising campagn for whatever they were selling. They told him that they wanted some of his "aura" but they didn't say exactly what they meant by that -- and you have to have some kind of actual body of work, not just like, be famous for being famous. He meant, if you're a painter, do paintings. If you're a photographer, have photos. Sidenote: those things will outlive you (and in turn have an immortality) anyway. One's "celebrityness" should be predicated on the work that for lack of a better phrase, supports your aura; your "celebrityness" can't exist on just your name alone. That's why, he explains (I'm doing this by memory, so, you know, deal with it, and by "it" I mean my inexactitude) that whatever your preferred art form is, you should, you know, do it. Then you should count up how many of your pieces you made. That is to say, if you're an photographer, count up your photos. If you're a writer, count up your words and so on. It makes me think about how if you stop doing your art form, you go become some type of expert (write a book, be a celebrity judge on a contest reality show, retire and become a mentor etc.) instead of continuing your art form. Perhaps if you've maxed out your ability to continue some sort of mainstreamy success in your chosen art form in the entertainment or art form, you go do things like teach your art form to the next generation (as in the lead singer from EMF went to go on to teach music -- I found this hilarious Where Are The Now article trending on yahoo, with a decidedly British Brit Pop angle entertaining). What I am NOT saying is "Those who can't do teach." I'm not saying anything about teachers. What I AM saying is that if you're an artist (print, music, etc.) but you've maxed out the success you're going to reach in terms of what we think to be traditional mainstream success, you go do things like mentor on a reality show like Britney on X-Factor or Christina on The Voice.

Ummm...Or the guy in Jesus Jones who became a fitness trainer. Right here, right now, doing crunches, at a gym, somewhere in England.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More Names For Cats

The post-it on the fridge is full! You know what that means? MORE NAMES I CALL MY CATS!

Tamago is the black overweight cat. Oshinko is his sister, with her sleek girlish figure. Some of the following names are interchangeable. Some are for both cats at the same time. Some are just for one cat. You can tell by the name what is what.

(What's Up) WookWook
Jim Dero and Greg Kat of Meow Opinions
Chanky & Lanky
Meowcalm X
Meowm Emanuel
Honey Obese Fat Cat Don't Care
Mr. Fat & Hungry Cheese
Snortle & Chortle
Flopabelle's Canon

...and courtesy of Joe, my husband:
Bartholomew Chubbins
Honey Beast
Little Colossus
Baloney Sausagette


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Procrastination and Spookyness: Things I Did While Trying to Come Up With Other Things, Partially In Order of Spookiness, Partially In Chronological Order, All of Which Really Just End Up Being A Documentation

So I don't know what the problem is but I thought that people giving me prompts to write about would actually give me focus, but everything always derails back into me talking about what I do when I procrastinate. I guess I vascillate (which I do not know how to spell) between very type A and very type B.

So I belong to this group called the Self-Publishers of Chicago (SPOC) and we do things together like publish zines, help each other with encoragement for problems we deal with in the world of independent publishing and culture, support each other in our creative endeavors, eat Clancy's Pretzels Rods from Aldi (only because there's an Aldi near my house, so Clancy's is sort of our unofficial sponsor), and and um, go out for margaritas, the latter of which sounds like we're on Sex and the City of something.

Anyway, so we did a Halloween zine, but my contribution is of course, in only a tiny way related to Halloween. Lucky for you, I have included it here. I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat. P.S. I'm reading at a release event of sorts for this zine thing on Tuesday at Uncharted Books. Won't you join me for some spooky Logan Square action? More info here.

Things I Did While Trying to Come Up With What I Would Write About For This Zine, Partially In Order of Spookiness, Partially In Chronological Order, All of Which Really Ended Up Being What the Piece I'm Writing For This Zine Is
by Liz "Spooky" Mason

-Listened to 36 of 90 tracks on the CD that accompanies the book EVP: Electronic Voice Phenomenon: Massachusetts Ghostly Voices and enjoyed the author's use of the terms "singularity" and "other dimension"
-carved pumpkin to look like Britney Spears at age sixteen, but with creepy missing eyes (see photo below)
-listened to obese black cat wheeze
-Discussed with roommate how far the radius of rabbinical prayer extends to qualify as effective in blessing food to make it kosher, and if the determinate radius could be measured in some way that is similar to radio frequency territory
-started reading pdf titled "Reducing Long-Term Catastrophic Risks from Artificial Intelligence" courtesy of the Singularity Institute, get totally derailed by the excitement of sudden inspiration for halloween costume which required google search for "Britney Spears Toxic video halloween costume"
-Ate leftover pita with tahini sauce
-made coffee
-watched major talking points of previous night's foreign policy election candidate debate
-made more coffee
-drank more coffee
-helped myself to an additional serving of coffee
-Put on "A Little More Personal (RAW)" by Lindsey Lohan and thought "This is actually kind of a good album in a junior high girl kind of a way."
-Youtubed TRL live version of Lindsey Lohan's "Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father)" followed by the official music video and enjoyed that even though the video was from 2005 there was commentary from less than 24 hours ago, quote courtesy of political critic TrollMCTrollinMAKKY: "Why you endorse Mitt Romney? Do all drugged-up Hollywood actresses like you make poorly choice decisions?" Scrolled down further and enjoyed the Yoda-like quote from sage cultural critic krazyashlee101: "She wrote this song, so obvious it is."
-ate 2 (two) pieces of candy corn, proud of my caloric restraint in an attempt to lead healthy low fat lifestyle
-considered working out
-ate huge-ass ice cream sandwich
-Freaked out that I had to be at work in .02 minutes, annoyed with myself that I waited all fucking morning to get ready at the last possible minute and then, combined with the anxiety from consuming too much coffee, had a near heart attack and ironically, proceeded to pretty much have an entire workout what with the sweating and freaking out and getting to work on time
It's Britney-O-Lantern, Bitch

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fake-Out Fade-Out Pop Music Singularity

So you're listening to a song and it gets all quiet and then boom! It comes back full force. In Britney Spears' Till the World Ends, there's that part about three-quarters of the way through, where the music gets all compressed sounding, all quiet and muffled? Then it reopens and comes back, spreading itself back open. (Sort of appropriate, considering the "world ending" topic of the song.) What I like about it is that it's more than just the typical  "Fake-out Fade-Out" device used in pop song construction (like Madonna's Hung Up) because of this subtle little extra noise they add in Till. It's the sound almost of the buzz you hear for a second when you turn on or off the TV. And then when the music reopens, you hear a Britney sex-kitten breath out, like this ahhhhh, that reminds me a little of that Philip K. Dick quote from The Divine Invasion:
You are the breath of your Creator, and as he breathes in and out, you live. Remember that, for that sums up everything that you need to know about your God. There is first an exhalation from God, on the part of all creation; and then, at a certain point, it starts its journey back, its inhalation. This cycle never ceases.
Interestingly, at the end of the Till video, you see Britney push the grate off the sewer where the all night dance party was (and during which we see the world explode). I'm noticing that in Britney Spears videos, that's an example of this common thing that happens where "It's supposed to end -- BUT NOT REALLY."

What I mean by that is that I remember reading somewhere that the video for Everytime she was supposed to die (in a bath tub, after sustaining a head injury) and reborn as a baby. But then NOT REALLY. Her head rises out of the bathtub and IT WAS ALL A DREAM. There was somebody who must have decided they couldn't show Britney dying. Who are we kidding though? Everybody talks about her being dead in the eyes anyway.

Last Scenes of Till the World Ends

Last Scene of Everytime

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Technological singularity" is a thing.

While I was searching around the internet to see if anybody has written a book about the cultural history of the conept of singularity, I found what looks like someone's academic paper about technological singularity.

A "technological singularity" is when a technological advance happens, and that advancement is so complicated, that if you were to take that technology back in time and show it to somebody in the past, they wouldn't understand it at all. That is to say, the technology is too difficult for anybody that came before it to understand. (A dinosaur wouldn't understand a computer etc.) Sometimes it can also mean that AI overtakes human intelligence in a Matrix-y kinda way.
That pretty much explains any TV show or movie about going back in time. What happens if you transplant a caveman in Encino? He doesn't understand the slurpee machine. (And certainly, nobody understands how Pauly Shore could be funny.) What happens if you play Van Halen on headphones to a teenage boy in the 50s?! He thinks its an alien. And so on.

I found a good site about singularity tropes on television, and it made reference to the concept of technological singularity as being "The rapture of the nerds," which I took to mean, when the revolution comes the nerds will be the elite few with the brains and know how to understand technology that the rest of the mindless sheep have not woken up to, also very Matrix-y.

By and large a lot of the writing about technological singularites sems to be about reaching a point where there's no going back; things have gotten either so chaotic or so unpredictable and complicated that the feeling of safety in believing in cause and effect is unreliable. Mmmm... Chicken or egg omelette? Neither. Who wants to eat a chicken omlette? That's like asking if a pig can be kosher.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Singularity Questions Not Really Ever Answered

One Singularity Sensation

The idea of some type of consciousness making an actual decision to cause the singularity to explode into some kind of big bang is interesting to think about, and I would like to believe it. But nothing has ever fully convinced me. My hunch is that most people think when they die they'll get all these big questions answered about god and other relevant topics. But just because you die it doesn't necessarily mean you'll get all those questions answered. And even if there is a god it doesn't mean you'll get the lowdown on him/it/her/they.

What if god was there the whole time in plain sight but we don't have the type of senses we need for god detection? Maybe it's like those people that are missing the part of the brain that makes them recognize people's faces, so they might see the same person everyday and they have to rely on context clues when that person shows up to tell them who they are. Maybe it's like we don't have God goggles or something.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How many times?

So when everything is over (the universe), does it (the universe? reality?) all fold in on itself? How many times has that happened? Isn't that what the cylons believed in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, that everything keeps happening over and over again? I can't remember what episode it was in and I can't figure out what to plug into to find the quote, but I did find it intriguing that the cylons were the bad guys and they are monotheists and the humans are the good guys and they're the polytheists. Hip hip hooray for some good ol' pagany mother earthy touch-with-our-roots theism.

It makes me think of David Eagleman's book Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, one of the stories is about how one theory of the afterlife is that right before we are reborn, we get to decide what kind of a being we can be for that life. Specifically, we can decide whether we want to be a simpler being than we were in the past life. But here's the thing: you don't get to remember what you were before. So let's say in this life you're a human. After you die, right before you're reborn, you can say, "Wow, life was really hard as a human. Maybe I'll become a simpler being for the next life, like say, a horse." And as you're turning into a horse, you're thinking "Oh no, what have I done? I'm losing my essential human-ness, who? what?  Hee haw HEE HAW" and then you're gone, all memory of the subtleness of humanness disappeared, gone forever...So if, each time, we decide to become something simpler, then what were we before? Before all the simplifying started?

So...Do we keep starting over and over? Is it the same thing? Do we get simpler? More complex? Do we reach a state of complexity where we use up all the everything and fold over? And start over?

Sort of unrelated note: David Eagleman is a neurologist/writer. Also the consultant for the show Perception and a bunch of other super interesting brain-related endeavors.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The First and Also, The Glorious Common Feeling of Falling

So the topic I seem to be preoccupied with lately is the concept of singularity.

There's a variety of TV shows, movies and video games related to the word of singularity. It would be cool if somebody did some kind of anthology about the concept of singularity and how it captures the public's interest in the topic, and how those concepts play out in our media. There are definitely websites that touch on some of this stuff (historical singularity -- when life has gotten so chaotic its impossible to predict what might happen, technological singularity -- when technology is so advanced that anybody who came before it wouldn't understand it or when AI overtakes human intelligence etc.) But I feel like I keep encountering the concept of singularity in my own media consumption and state of mind as of late, almost as if I've been surrounded by a cultural history of the topic.

So but this singularity, let's start here...

What came before the Big Bang? Clearly I am not the first person to think about this. But specifically, I am really caught up in thinking about how the universe supposedly started from a singularity. A singular what?  This is the part that causes me a great deal of both anxiety and wonder. I love thinking about this but it also makes me nauseously butterfly-stomached. I recently learned that this compelling sick fucked-upness feeling manifesting physically, specifically in reference to this concept of "what came before the before?" is commonly described as the "feeling of falling." (I also have the same feeling when I think about "if the universe is always expanding what is it expanding into?") I was delighted to learn that THIS IS A THING. It was very exciting to me that other people experience this wonder in the exact same way I do. And then I thought, But of course! If we're talking about singularities, we all come from the same, er, thingy. Of course we might experience things in the same way as each other. (Sometimes. Maybe?)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ray of Blight #3 Celebrity Smells, Now Available For Your Listening Pleasure

Ray of Blight is the podcast I do with one of my friends, and this episode focuses on celebrity fragrances. To collect fragrance samples we did a guerilla smell recon mission with the aid of index cards, plastic bags, a pen and a whole lot of giggling. Also, we have another installment of *NSYNC Fan Fiction, as well as Oops I Did It Again performed karaoke-style with lyrics transcribed by Google Voice Mail. Then we got an equipment upgrade!

A small sampling of relevant subtopics, as discussed: Britney Spears' Radiance and inner death, celebrity dust and genetics, drum and bass notes, the many extremes of Christina Aguilera, Taylor Swift's eyes, Everybody Wang Chunging, Perfume the movie, Faith Hill and synthetic grapefruit crossover fruit smell, boring ladies named Heidi, Paris vs Perez, Alicia Bridges, Beyonce, Justin Bieber's vulva-shaped fragrance bottle, soda suicide, CĂ©line Dion, Seal's forehead, celebrity perfume marketing, Lady Gaga, a drop of blood and a femur from Angelina Jolie, The Flame by Cheap Trick, The Dollhouse, Jennifer Lopez's Love & Light vs Love & Glamour, SJP mannishly horsin' around with Matthew Broderick, Crazy Train, confusing John Candy with Usher, Innocuous by Phil Collins, Rihanna, the smell of plastic bags and index cards, Hilary Duff's Whipped With Love, spirit mother of Kohl's Daisy Fuentes, Mariah Carey's festive Tinkerbellian Perfume, bubble gum-ish body souffle, retail therapy, nightmares on Fantasy Island.

Go listen to it now! And we're on Facebook too if you want up to the minute news. You know, late breaking celebrity smell updates. Extra! Extra! This just in! The above picture is just a sampling of what took over my kitchen table for the project.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

MC Escher D2P2 Mix Tape July 2012

So my most recent scientifically-tested super special July mix tape is up, which is the perfect upbeat mix for dancing or working out to (if I don't say so myself) Dance Dance Party Party (more info about that dance party style exercise class) mix is up on Soundcloud, where I DJ under the name MC Escher. (Apple killed Mobile Me which was my web host for my own website where I normally upload my sound-related stuff up like mixes, performances and so on). So in the mean time, until I have that up and running, you can download one long mp3 of the mix to listen to/dance/work out to. It starts with a slow warm up part, ends with a last fast song and then there's a cool down song. And for that last fast song, there's a voice that announces it's the last fast song so you know to really work that shit out. I edited them together with cross fades, and some of the songs I just took the money shot, you know, the best part of the song.  click here to go to Soundcloud (or on the image above) to download the mix (or just stream it), and there's a track listing there if you really like something and want to seek it out elsewhere. I usually announce in advance on Facebook when I know I'm going to be DJ-ing so you can come to class and hear it.

Unrelated sidenote: Why did I not think of this perfect DJ name to describe me? Britney Van Halen. Doh!

And final sidenote, even less related: my bike is parked outside the window and people keep dinging my bell on it, which is a little hamburger, and I want to go outside and shout "Paws off the hamburger!" But I would just sound like a crazy person. But really! Paws off the fucking hamburger!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quimby's Bookstore Podcast #6 Up, With Caseen Gaines and His Book Inside Pee-Wee’s Playhouse

So I finished mixing down the sixth episode of the Quimby's Bookstore Podcast, which features an interview with Caseen Gaines, the author of Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Untold, Unauthorized, and Unpredictable Story of a Pop Phenomenon. Click here or on the picture above and you can go listen to it.

Caseen talked to a lot of people involved in the show, as well as many fans, and it's really a fun book. And I must say, I didn't really watch the show that much as a kid when it was on (late 80s, early 90s) but I loved the first Pee-Wee movie as well as the Christmas special. In some ways I do sort of feel like Pee-Wee Herman is a part of my childhood, which added to making this interview special for me. I guess what I'm saying is that it was kind of like sitting down with someone and just reminiscing about stuff you loved when you were younger but with the added benefit of adding the social commentary that you can do as an adult. Intelligent observations about pop culture, so satisfying.

Relevant topics touched on in the with Caseen: public persona, breaking the fourth wall, the concept of hommage vs. rip off, tribute vs authorization and so on. It was a super fun interview because Caseen is charismatic, funny and extremely articulate. He's a high school teacher, and I bet sitting in his class is super fun.

You can listen to this episode at or find it (and subscribe) to the podcast on I-tunes, or even go to podbean where it provides a link to I-tunes if you need some guidance. You have options for streaming live or downloading, depending on what your preferance are, or if you're not a Mac person and still want to listen to it. At the podbean site I also included some links to things we talk about in the interview.

Sidenote: I realized something lately, and that is that I think my favorite thing to do is sit around with my friends and talk about/make fun of media. Some people like to travel, some people like to knit, some people like to decoupage, some people like to cook. I like to sit around with engaging people and talk about media, which sometimes devolves into making fun of certain things in the entertainment industry. (Hence a totally different podcast I do with my friend Sacha here.) That explains why I love things like MST3K, Amelie Gillette's "Hater" stuff in The Onion, or just the parts of Beavis and Butthead when they were making fun of the music videos -- people making fun of things (when the making fun of is warranted) is amusing to me. And I feel like the creative endeavors that I take the most amount of joy in usually include elements of comedy and music. And I am not talking about the Capitol Steps. They sound like a parody of bands that do comic musical performances about politics, except that they are actually a band that does comic performances about politics.

ANYWAY, click on the above picture and go listen to it and leave a comment on I-Tunes that YOU THINK IT'S AWESOME.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

More Names For The Cats

The Double Headed Heart Shaped Kitty Monster
Once again, the post-it is full. Specifically I am referring to the post-it that I hang on the fridge, next to the grocery list, the one that I write down the ridiculous names I call my cats. That means it's time to type it up and post it on my blog. In case you're new to this, the deal is that I have 2 kitties. Tamago is the male, and he's quite a fat slob chunky charlie. His sister Oshinko is smaller and slimmer. Both are black cats, and both are my little lovers who cuddle with me and steal my heart. They probably don't know their names since I rarely call them the same name twice. See if you can tell which names are for Tamago and which names are for Oshinko, and which are names for both of them as a unit.

Obese-Wan Kenobi
King Mushenkamen
Portly Gentleman
Paws to Reflect
Turkey Lurky
Night Beast
Blub Chub
Blub Hub
Turkey & Turkey Incorporated
Fat Caliper Claw
Fat Walrus
Oh This Isn't the Grocery List?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Episode of Ray of Blight Podcast Available For Your Listening Pleasure

The second episode of the pop music podcast I do with Sacha Mullin called "Ray of Blight" is up! It's available at podbean and I-Tunes for streaming or downloading as a you see fit, and of course it's free.

This week we talk about the surreal musical releases offered by actors.

A small sampling of relevant subtopics: Donna Summer, Molly Ringwald, David Hasselhoff, anonymous *Nsync fan fiction, Raise Your Voice staring Hilary Duff, Many Mamas, Many Papas, Esther Rolle, Drunk Text, Minnie Driver, Spotify, Hal featuring Gillian Anderson, Charlotte Rae and Friends, Don Johnson, Ken Nordine, The Alice in Wonderland TV Musical, Celebrity Vinyl by Tom Hamling, Melissa Joan Hart, Yentle, Britney Spears, Jewel Staite, Lindsay Lohan albums, Russell Crowe, You've Got the Touch, Maaya Sakamoto, The Brady Bunch Theme performed jazzy and majestic, Philip K. Dick, Ringo, Jack Wagner, a chocolate lab snout, HR Giger, celebrity classification, well rounded entertainers, The Golden Age of cinema, boy band archetypes, Venn diagrams and more.

(Can't find it on I-Tunes? Click here to go to podbean, then look to the right, scroll down a little, and there's an icon that says "subscribe with I-Tunes.")

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ray of Blight Episode 1 Now Available

The first episode of the pop music podcast I do with Sacha Mullin called "Ray of Blight" is up!

Sacha and I are friends. Friends who talk about pop music. And we eat in as many as three or more diners in a night. And then we laugh ourselves silly. Won't you join us?

In our first episode, we discuss pop stars making surreal television or film appearances.

A sampling of relevant subtopics : Ghost Writer Over a barrell part 1 (1of3) Episode 27, How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall (Part 1), The Voice (Week Three) Coaches Couch - Frenchie, Jewel and Jessica Simpson, Billie Piper, Stacey Q, Doctor Who, The Ice Castles theme by Melissa Manchester, Blaze Berdahl/Lenni Frazier You Gotta Believe, Taina: Original Television Soundtrack, the internet, Over the Rainbow by Jevetta Steele, Trapped in the Closet part 2, No More (Baby I'ma Do Right) (US Retail CDM) by 3LW, Google Voice Jewel Staite Search, Kurt Loder, Britney Spears, Sonic Youth.

And more.

More info at, including info about streaming/downloading it there or on I-Tunes.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dance Dance Party Party Mix Tape #2

Here's a link to a free download of my Dance Dance Party Party Mix Tape #2.

I DJed as MC Escher on 3/21/12 at Dance Dance Party Party (DDPP or D2P2, as I like to call it). Chicago hosts one of the many chapters of the female-only cult phenomenon known as Dance Dance Party Party. No instructors, no fitness goals and there are only three rules in the room – no boys, no booze, and no judgment. It's an hour of booty-busting music twice weekly for ladies only. The lights go down, the music goes up, and like when you used to dance around in your room when you were a kid.

And hey! published an updated version of a piece that originated on this blog, which I then revised for my zine. It's a review of a steampunk erotica book called Carnal Machines but it's also a meditation on the difficulty in writing for a specific genre. Huzzah! Thanks, Lords and Ladies of SPC!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The 24 Hour Zine Challenge

I made a zine for the Quimby's 24 Hour Zine Challenge, based on pictures of things my dad has pulled out of animals in his years as a veterinarian. Click here to order it if you want it! It's a quarter-page size zine (roughly 4.25"x5.5"), 28p and b&w. It's called Prizes: Things My Dad Has Had to Take Out of Animals.

The 24 Hour Zine Challenge was silly and fun. Some store regulars and zinesters stayed overnight at Quimby's, and made zines or new issues of their zines. We ate snacks (lots of Pocky), drank coffee and laughed a lot. One of my co-workers brought crazy snacks from the food stampesque apocalyptic religious snackarium near his place in Pilsen. He stayed on the clock all night, scanning covers of old Punk Planets for the store website. My other co-worker worked on his comics and then curled up in his sleeping bag and somehow slept. Lots of people visited us to show support and hang out, and once particularly awesome store regular (Carrie) brought snacks for us, which I thought was adorable.

I had all these big ideas about taking pictures of the snacks throughout the night as it had been depleted, and I was going to put pieces of paper out with the time, but I only did it once, at about 7:29pm. A few hours later someone saw it and said, "What's the story with this? Why do you need to have this random time right here? Also, it's definitely NOT 7:29 any more. " So then I decided just to scrap the time-next-to-the-food project. I have this reoccuring theme in my life about how I have this tendency to get so caught up in documenting an event that it overshadows me just experiencing the event. "This is a real slice of life! We're making history!"

When the owner came in the morning, he took one look at me and said, "This was all just an excuse for you to wear your pajamas at work, isn't it?"

I still have the pictures from the event on my camera! But I can't get to my camera now to post them now because I'm on the couch with the cat all snuggeled up next to me, and hell no am I moving when something this cute is happening. Also, it's plugged in in the bedroom, and Joe is sleeping and I don't want to wake him up.

Anyway, on an un-related note:  Here's a link on my website for a free download of my most recent Dance Dance Party Party mix tape as one continuous track. I DJed as MC Escher on 1/25/12.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Caboose #8: reDraft Picks

So I finished Caboose #8: reDraft Picks. It's $1.00. You can get it at Quimby's. I'm pasting in the nice review my co-worker, the talented artist and writer Edie Fake wrote of it on The Quimby's Bookstore website, 

Yes, yes, yes! Liz put the staples in Caboose #8 just SIX HOURS before the bell tolled on 2011 (official year of the Revenge of Print, fyi) this is may win the superlative title for- "Last Zine of the Revenge of Print" -and it should win a lot of other things too.  Reworking thee creme de la creme of her Masonic Blog, Redraft Picks maximalizes the laughs in what I think we can call Liz's "signature mashup" of celebrity culture, pop mayhem and life lessons. Wanna learn about what happens at a Britney Spears release event minus Britney Spears?  An expert and even semi-scientific system of measuring the entertainment value of a Hollywood biography? How Quimby's got all that vintage porn? Caboose has got answers, baby. -EF