Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's raining hearts (365/351)

It's raining hearts (365/351)
Originally uploaded by JenniPenni

such an inspiring photo... it gave me a little bit of hope, on this strangely depressing summer day...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Zine-related Projects

last update: 2010/05/14

Just to keep track of the zine-related projects i'm involved (past, present & future ones). Also some notes on zine collaboration projects i would like to start myself, if i only had all the time in the world ;-)

so i seem to have caught the "translation bug"...

* translate to Portuguese the girlVIRUS fliers i just got from Erin (Clementine Cannibal) yesterday, and then mail some back to her in Canada, so she can spread them around in the Portuguese communities! at first, i thought about translating the fliers just to spread them around in Portugal, then Erin wrote me and reminded me that there are a lot of Portuguese communities in Canada, which now got me to think about all the other Portuguese communities all throughout the USA, and these need the girlVIRUS too!

* i'm still undecided on this one but... Recently i got a zine from the UK, "Witches, Midwives and Nurses", which is a fascinating study of the European history of women as healers from the Middle Ages through to the 20th Century. besides discovering a lot of things i didn't know about, it opened my eyes to what seems to have really happened during the Inquisition's Witch Hunt, since the authors research presents facts that make total sense to me. i'll be carrying this zine in my distro (Invicta Distro) of course, because it's really worth reading!
but back to the point... i'm truly fascinated by this zine and i would love to make a translation of it into Portuguese. i sense [know] that a lot of people in Portugal would be interested in reading it, and maybe not everyone is able (or in the mood) to read the original English version, so, why not make a Portuguese version? but it's a big task (and somewhat a responsibility of course) and it will take me more than just a couple of days to do it, we're talking about a 30-page zine after all!

translating some Riot Grrrl & Feminist flyers, along with «the Fight Boredom Manifesto» (this last one by Amber Forrester) to Portuguese - awesomeness!

translating to Portuguese a mini-zine i received with an order from Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go for my distro. this mini-zine is about how "Zines build strong culture three ways": Literacy, Creativity, and History. 
i find their quick explanation really interesting and it gets the point across in a very simple way, so why not make a Portuguese version of with? sure i used Google Translate for a rough draft-translation, but then i started editing it myself, of course. and yeah, i'm planning on making some copies (of both versions) and send them out in the world. How this will be done is still a secret, though...


* last year, around Fall, i sent my first submission ever for a zine project; the theme was «Windows». now i'm anxiously waiting for the printed results.

* i'm listed in a "worldwide" chain-zine project, and the «Chain Zine #2» arrived this last week to my mailbox. i got my theme "assigned" by the person listed before me on the list and it wasn't a theme that hard to get me inspired. no, i'm not gonna tell what the theme is, you're gonna have to wait until the project is finished and printed! :-p
when i was going through the other pages other collaborators had done before me, and thinking about my theme, thoughts started coming to my mind and i wrote them all down, even made some doodles of imagery or cliparts i thought would go well with it. then i let the writing sit for a couple of days, but also because i had some distro work to do. then i browsed the internet for some clipart, went through some magazines and through my own clippings and stuff. the last couple of days i scanned some photos i had, some clippings, etc. i went through the text i had written, and did some editing, adding some more text (maybe a little too much?), and i used my typewriter to write the text again, to make it more "visually appealing". then i scanned the typewritten page, tweaked with the contrast and printed it on several different sizes.
by now, my page is almost done! which is amazing, since it's my first cut-n-paste zine page i did, and it didn't take as long as i thought, even with all the experiment around with backgrounds & clippings, and the changes i decided to make on the layout and even with the text. although it didn't take a long time to make, i spent a couple of hours before and another two hours after dinner on it, around scissors, bits of paper, glue sticks, getting my hands dirty like they usually say. 
i must confess i enjoyed it, it was sort of relaxing, but i don't see myself doing several zine pages for a "real" zine with that method. maybe a few pages can be done that way, but it's really very time consuming (and gave me a pain in my back) and i almost went crazy with the small pieces of paper spread around my bed. my perzine is supposed to be quite text heavy, so i'll have to use other ways to print & cut-n-paste the text, but this experience was really helpfull for future projects, specially when it comes to printing the text you're gonna use in the right size(s) to fit in the page or along the zine format you want to use.

i'm gonna let it sit for another day, to have the little pieces of paper all dry (from the glue) and then i'm gonna glue the last thing and also, can't forget, i have to add my name/nickname/whatever & a contact. i'm thinking about using my first name, but i dunno... I want to put some things out there with my real name, and i don't think using my last name is necessary, since my first name, being Portuguese, kinda stands out a bit from all the usual english-language first names. while some things i want to share with my real name, others i'll most likely won't, and that may happen with other projects i'm half-involved with ;-)
after my page is done, i have to send it to the next person on the list within two weeks, but i'm quite concerned with the current problem of the closure of airspace in much of continental Europe, due to the volcano in Iceland, while the "cloud" is now moving towards Portuguese islands of Açores and that sucks big time! if it wasn't for the volcano problem, i could probably have the zine sent within the next week :(

* i have a text for a collab zine about Mental Health, and i wanted to transcribe another text for the same project, just to keep my options open. problem is, i haven't finished editing the first text yet, and the deadline is coming soon - May 1st! the distro kinda put all the other projects in the bottom drawer, but blame is one me because i kept delaying going back to that text to finish editing it. and in the meantime, i sort of lost track of the other text i wanted to transcribe. it was a much longer text than the first one, so it would/will take me more time to edit, knowing me the way i do... Still, i would like to have that text out there, it's totally related to mental health as it's about living with someone with mental health problems. maybe i can send it for another collab-zine that might come up in the meantime, or just leave it for later, and use it for my perzine, called «Birdcage», even if this one has been in the making for some months now...

* i'm in another collab zine about Relationship Violence, deadline is August 1st. so i think to myself "plenty of time to work on that one!...", and then we all know that i'll leave it to the last minute.
this might look like a pretty touchy and/or heavy subject to write about, but that's just the way it is... It's an issue that is -or- was present in my life, and i've written about it, so i have experiences that i can share with others.
what i find harder for me about preparing stuff for a collab, is that most of my writings are handwritten, they're all spread around in various journals or notebooks, and i get a bit lazy when i have to transcribe them to electronic text versions. i usually find typos, small grammar mistakes and such, so it's a hard work typing it all into the computer. but that's mostly because i'm really lazy and i have a major tendency to procrastinate... Shame on me!

* earlier this month, another zine-related project came up with a forum post on We Make Zines - Zine Roulette! it would be something in the style of the Secret Santa thing, but with zines. The original idea is that people would sign up to get a random zine from someone, either a zine that that person made or one from their collection (depends on whether the sender makes zines or not); and then people in the list would also send a random zine to someone else on the list. a few people showed interest in joining the project, but right now there's no news about it, so i'm just waiting...


besides these zine collabs & zine projects that are already going on, every once in a while i get an idea for a zine collab, but i put them in the back drawer. not because i don't think the idea is a bad one, or that it wouldn't work, but mostly because i know i just don't have the time to run all these things at the same time. and specially now, that i'm starting the distro. maybe later up-ahead, after i put all the zines & other items in the catalog, put that all online,  and get the distro's website-shop working...
i've posted some (if not all) of these ideas before, but here i go again:

* this one just came back to my mind yesterday, and it tried hard to take form, but i kept on saying 'no', but i'll write it anyway!
Reprint - a collab zine project, featuring submissions (artwork and writing) that were already printed in another zine (individual zine or another collab zine). the submissions would be chosen amongst the favorite submissions a zinester had sent to a collab zine, or printed in their own zine(s). to keep it from being a bit "boring", the submissions have to had been printed over 3/6 months ago, i still can't decide on that, since time has a different "perception" when it comes to the zine world. i'd start by sending "invitations" to some of my favorite zine-writers, i guess. submissions could be sent already with the layout done by the author, and then i would have to tweak it to an European paper size (probably A5, which is similar to half-letter). maybe send the submissions by scanning the original print in the zine they were first published, high-resolution 300 dpi, to be printed in grayscale, so all works had to be previously done in black & white.

* back in December 2009, i was writing a post for this blog, and then came up with and idea for a collab zine project just within Europe or within the countries in the European Union (EU).
according to my research on Wikipedia at that time, there are 48 countries in Europe, while the European Union itself as only 27 countries. one contributor from each country (rests the doubt: EU countries only or not); two-pages max for each, maybe the theme could be divided into 2 parts, being part 1 «my country» and part 2 «what i think about Europe/the rest of Europe». although i realize it would be hard to find one zine-maker in every country, this is still an idea that might be interesting to try. maybe one day, later on.

* just earlier this month, after i started working on the project for my own distro - Invicta Distro - and while i was doing research on how to run a distro/mail-order, i realized that there were quite a few books, and even zines, about how-to make zines, or how-to silkscreen, or how-to start a zine workshop, etc, etc. but nothing exclusively about "distro how-to".
While the “how-to make a zine” books/zines i have also mention a chapter or a couple of pages on distros (how to start & run one, how zine-makers can work with distros, etc), there isn't really a how-to guide specifically on how to start & run distro (or for zine-makers on how to work with distros), as far as i know anyway... So i posted my questions about how to run a distro and whatnot on the We Make Zines forum, and also asking for opinions on if a zine on the topic of «How to start & run a Distro» - it would be like a how-to/guide zine, compiling experiences and tips from other distro owners - would be a "viable" project or not. some people replied about collaborating or not but the response was a bit low so i put it in the back burner until further notice.

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next are a few ideas i had for different zines and/or contents for a zine, topics i would like to receive submissions one day and print a zine, if i only had enough time (and money!) for everything hahaha! now don't go and steal these names, ok?! i will be using them, somehow somewhere, even as a combined project, why not?

Birdcage - the name i've decided on for my perzine project... The name does mean something to me, it came to my mind in a somehow random way but when i think about it makes complete sense. and now i know i'm gonna stick with it!

Paper Scraps - this is a delayed project for an "artsy" zine, the first idea i had for making a zine, actually...

You Suck at Drawing - don't ask... the title sucks too, i know, but the intention is what really counts :-p

Summer Leaves, comes Autumn Breeze - now this is definitely artsy inclined too, since Autumn is such a visual theme. poetry, prose, illustration, photography, comics, whatever has visual & literary content, preferably mixed in the same piece. i got the idea for this project last September, near the beginning of Fall, that explains the theme and the title i came up with.

Busy doing nothing - how about this? yeah, not very original cause i got it from an article on «The 7 habits of procrastinators», but it's the best i could "come up" with... Procrastination is a subject that affects me way too often, so i could build from that to make something ziney about it. 
at the time i came up with this idea, i googled the name and there was already a zine in the UK called «The Art of Procrastination (Or How to Write a Zine)», which left me a bit limited to use the word 'procrastination' for the title. the funny thing is, i found the author of that zine (Philippa or Pippa, who also writes Rebel Grrl Zine) at the We Make Zines community and bought that zine along with many other cool zines she makes!

A Helping Hand - all about Volunteer Work, but i'm more curious about stuff related to animal shelters & animal welfare and about volunteer work made in jails. oh, and when i come to think better, also women's shelters, and literacy programs for children & adults without economic opportunities. i feel if there was more good work done on these subjects, the world would be a better place.

so far, this is it... all the names are down on paper*, ups, i mean in digital form, to make it more real and appealing.
(* actually, most of the names are written on paper, in one/several of my many notebooks/journals where i first write down any ideas i have for zines)

and so far, i think these are all the projects i got thrown in the bottom drawer, some in the "middle" drawer, and a few in the top drawer.

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it's past 3.30 AM now, and i've got quite a few emails & FB messages that i need/want to reply, but i'm feeling too tired to be able to write in proper English without having to go over the text again & again looking for typos and grammar mistakes. i guess i still haven't recovered my energy from yesterday's shopping and doing distro work. 
after i logged off the internet, i still worked some more on distro stuff, and then got under my blankets to read some zines for distro consideration. along with zines i was sent from zine-makers, i also ordered some new zines/issues in a bulk order, and i feel it would be better to read them first to make sure they fit the distro's "spirit". i must have spent like 3 hours reading, and when i noticed the time, it was almost 7 AM (!?!), so i had to turn off the lights to finally get some sleep.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In the mailbox lately - April, part 1

i should/need to write a bit about these last days & the stuff i got in the mail, as some were real surprises, and others are great news for my distro...

Vampire Sushi Distro order
i made a bit of a mess with this one. when Tukru warned me that she had just gone out of stock on two of the zines i had initially ordered, at first i decided to wait for the zines to arrive. but then i decide not to wait and chose another two zines to “replace” the former. In the middle of the mess (my mess!) i ended up choosing a zine i had already ordered from the zinester directly, but eventually i had forgotten about the zine's name. i got this zine in the mail, and the next day i got Vampire Sushi's order in the mail... and saw the zine again. hahaha, I'm such a dumbass sometimes!
but i understand why i might have messed up with this: with so much to think & worry about these last couple of weeks, with starting up the distro, messages & emails back and forth with zine-makers inviting them to the distro and others wanting to send their work for distro consideration, i eventually forgot about that zine i had ordered (or at least, its name!) and didn't notice it when i saw it on Vampire Sushi's website.

Pin-Buttons for the Distro Yeyyy!!
i ordered some pins from a local maker/seller, just enough quantity to get the free shipping discount hahaha. i ordered mostly pin-buttons with specific designs that:
a) go well with the distro's catalog;
b) were made of photos, or had text, or had detailed designs;
c) to be honest, some were also designs that i liked so much i just had to order them;
– all this to get an idea of the quality of their work.
i also added a “custom-made” design i had worked on, by using a clipart of a penny farthing bike and adding the words penny farthing around the bottom side of the pin.
i wanted to experiment their custom-made buttons quality too, of course, since i have to have all these things in consideration when thinking about buying i buttons from them for the distro's catalog!

i though my order would arrive next week, but it happened to arrive a couple of days ago... The end result on ALL the pin-buttons is very good, so it left me really really happy. and i have to be honest, i'm happy because this way a have a local alternative to having to buy buttons from other places overseas. this doesn't mean i am not gonna buy buttons from some international resellers because they have exclusive designs that i can't get anywhere else and are totally zine-related, so they're essential for the distro's catalog! but i feel better knowing that i have other alternatives when it comes to other types of buttons, and that i can even make “exclusive” designs for the distro.
that custom penny farthing button i ordered came out pretty nice, even with the quality of the image i used not being excellent, but it was good enough for the purpose. it came out so nice that i'm thinking about ordering more of them for the distro's catalog :)
after 3 failed attempts at trying to get a "good" photo of this button, this afternoon i finally got a "good enough" photo of this cute pin. (see above!)

E-Learning course's "diploma"
about a month & a half ago, for everyone else (besides myself LoL) who doesn't read my blog, i paid myself an e-Learning course on «Entrepreneurship and Business Creation», but i didn't actually end it because the topics got way too complex for my little brain and i became so stressed that i just had to quit, after doing about 3 and 1/ 2 classes (the total classes were 5). in the course's “rules” they said i would receive a certificate if i did like 85% of the classes.
surprisingly, yesterday i got my diploma in the mail. they gave me a score of “Good”, if you compare that to a scale from 0 to 5, it's the same as a 4, or in US terms, it's like getting a “B”. that left me even more surprised. oh well, at least now i don't feel (that) bad for wasting those 120 euros on nothing...
i can now add yet another course certificate to my resume... like it's gonna make a big difference anyway! it's not like i'm really gonna add that info to my curriculum vitae or anything, because the useful information and learnings i got from it weren't that significant that i can say i know how to work on a business creation process from start to finish. so, again, i'm starting to feel like it was a waste of money after all!

Zines for distro consideration
i got my first zine(s) for consideration for my distro's catalog. i must say it felt exciting to get them in the mail, it's like they are little treasures to be discovered. now, after all i read about how to run a distro and stuff, i'm aware that sometimes i might receive zines that after reading i won't like them or think they are what i'm looking for the distro's catalog, and then i'll have to learn how to deal with having to reject people's projects.
but so far i've been lucky enough to get good zines! before this "paper" zine i got in the mail, i had already received a zine but it was a PDF file. now i don't usually accept digital files for consideration because you can't really get an idea of what the zine is like in "real", in paper, but this time i opened an exception because i already knew the zine-maker and i had read another zine by the same person before. lucky me, the PDF was good enough to read without burning my eyes or anything, and the writing/layout/etc in itself were/are quite good so it was definitely a «yes!» for the catalog.
going back to the zine i got in the mail though... I'm not gonna go into too many detail about it, but it is also a «yes!» zine, and i have to email the editor back to tell the good news :)

this just proves what i was talking about a couple of days ago, when someone asked me to tell them "a little about my distro, something to show them that it's not super generic", because ''it seemed that every distro around all carry the same zines". i don't disagreed on 100% but neither do i agree with this kind of statement, so maybe i just agree on 50% or whatever. anyway, what i mean is that, even before i got my 1st zine in the mail for consideration, i felt that there are a lot of zines out there being made that are great, good, amazing, excellent, or "just" really cool, and they aren't necessarily featured in every distro's catalog. sure, there are some "famous" zines that are in almost every distro i've ordered from - but, then again, so far i've just ordered from about 10 distros (if that seems like a lot of distros to you, it's cause i like to experiment :-p). then you have zines that are only featured in one distro or another and that you can hardly find anywhere else besides directly from its editor. i also realize a lot of distro owners stock zines that are made by zine editor they are friends with, and i don't see anything wrong with that either, i'd be doing the same if any of my Portuguese friends had a zine (even my friend that did make a zine in the early 2000's). and although i can't really say i'm friends with anyone in the "international" zine scene, there are some people that i can say i get along with very well, and i obviously want to have those people's zines in my catalog! right beside those people, there are people whose zines i admire but i never really got to "talk" much with, so that makes me a little embarrassed to invite them to be in the catalog.

what if some of my favorite zines are "famous" zines, is that a problem? some of them were the first zines i got to read when i (re)discovered the zine world about a year ago, and they inspired me to start writing again, to have a journal again; they made me feel less lonely; they taught me about things i didn't know or knew little of. so why shouldn't i be grateful to them, and why shouldn't i have them in my distro?
but the zine world isn't just "famous" zines, like i said, there are a lot of other good zines out there, even if those zinesters aren't registered on We Make Zines or aren't part of the zine communities on LiveJournal. some of these people i want them in my catalog too, and if everything goes well, i will have them ;-)

all this to say i have an email to reply, to someone who makes an original and very good zine, and sometimes i just don't know how to put my thoughts into words. i want to invite this person to be in the catalog. since the beginning of our conversations, this zine-maker was really very humble and even being kind of a newbie in the zine world, proved to be a very accessible person. this isn't me saying that "experienced" zine-editors aren't accessible or easy to talk to, not at all! i'm just procrastinating a bit on writing that email...

this week i've also gotten some samples/writings from other people, regarding a possible submissions of other zines for consideration. i liked what i read, even though it's way different from what i usual read and from the majority of zines being made, but that's me - i like to read new and different things, i'm always willing to "try" out something new. and so that's what i got to read, something totality new and quite interesting. i'm curious as to what it would/will look like in the form of a zine ;-)

Zines & books bought and on the reading...
this was a really busy week for my postman i guess hahaha. i got another perzine in the mail, but i have a few "problems" with it and i just don't know what to do about it. at first, i thought about writing back to the editor and tell about what i feel could be corrected/improved in the zine, specially since it's their 1st issue of this particular zine, although the editor says not to be new in zine-making. but i'm affraid my advices will be taken as critiques and not as sincere advices on how to improve the zine.
the problem with this zine is that the text size is too small. the layouts are good, everything else is good, but small text size on a quarter-sized zine just puts me off. i even give a discount to the fact that more than a couple of different typefaces are used (handwritten typefaces). i really want to read the zine but the text size is so small it gives me headaches so i dunno if i'm gonna pick it up again and continue reading. and that makes me sad, really.

i also got "about half" of an order i made from Godhaven Ink distro. it's a book called «Surrender», by Mahalia. when i opened the package and flipped through the book's pages, i was puzzled because it looked like it was half poetry and half prose or biography or whatever. i must have been a little distracted when i ordered it, but it must have been something in the book's description that made me click ''add to cart''. actually, by visiting the distro's website now, i read that Mahalia is a poet, but i probably didn't notice that when i ordered it, to be honest...
the pages still looked very interesting, and when i had the book in my hands i felt curious, being the bookworm i am, so i knew i had to read it to find out what it was all about. and so i did. mostly i think it's poetry, and until the part i paused my reading, i enjoyed it.

i'm always a bit wary when it comes to poetry, because it's not the type of literature i'll choose to buy or read, since i find it hard to like and/or understand, even poetry that is written in my native language (Portuguese). and let me tell you, we have some great poets in our literature's history! though i do like some Portuguese poets, like Florbela Espanca, and some of Fernando Pessoa's poems (or some of his heteronym's poems), most of what i enjoy reading from my country's writers is prose.
i think my high-school Portuguese classes are also to blame for my little interest on poetry. i admit that there was a time in high-school where i slacked off on most classes and i even got some bad grades on Portuguese class, what was kinda shameful given my love for reading and how good i was at those classes until that time. my teenage years kinda sucked, anyway, so... let's move on.

on writing & my future "promised" perzine
well i wasn't planning to write about this when i first started this post, but while i'm writing this i'm also multitasking (as usual) and i opened a text file to edit; it's "just" some stuff i wrote before dinner. i was just getting ready to leave my bedroom and go to the kitchen, when i had this weird burst to write. about my zine project and about writing in my journals. my so-called "zine project" that's what got me here (to make this blog) in the first place. it got me to sign up on We Make Zines and to start dreaming of making my own zine, my very first. but i got lost in the ZineWorld and reading other people's zines became more exciting than working on my own zine.
though i have collected several texts, articles, images, written my own texts, journal essays, made mock-ups of several different zine sizes & different paper foldings, etc. Almost everyday that i turn on the computer, i will find something interesting on the internet, bookmark it and save the page and/or pictures with the intent to use them somehow when making my own zine.
starting my distro came bit as a savior for me. since i couldn't contribute to the zine scene by making my own zine, well, i might as well help spread other people's words (zines!) around the world (though i'm mostly trying to appeal to future European costumers) with a mail-order service, most commonly known as distro.
but know i've gotten the "zine-bug" again and have been thinking about making my zine, maybe in a couple of months or so, when the distro is finally working on 100% or close enough, like 80% or 90%. and then i can distro my own zine, wouldn't that be fun?

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this post is way too long, i wonder if Blogger servers can take it hahaha!
but i should be working on the distro anway, and trying to write down those damn Submission Guidelines i've been trying to write for days now! and on answering emails regarding distro stuff, that's important too!

Friday, April 2, 2010

To-Do List

* answer msgs from nice Etsyans ;-) »» DONE!

* burn cd for LM trade - URGENT »» but i keep procrastinating it as usual... and it makes me feel really bad that i do this, given in consideration that LM was too kind to send me her zines ;-(

* write something, anything, about 2009's (nonexistent) Halloween celebration »» forget that, last year's memories are gone by now!

* email distro in Singapore on shipping rates »» better forget about this one too...

* file latest & read zines from MP's order(s) »» this one is a work-in-progress, as with any other zines i get in the mail

* my 31st birthday is coming, right next friday... BLAH! »» like, this was last november's... way too long ago. though i kinda remember how the day went, i probably must have written about it in my journal at the time and it makes no sense to make a post about it now, when it's been over 4 months...

lookup OpenOffice's help on spell-checker features »» DONE! oh yeah!! this one was a real brain teaser and was driving me mad at first, but by now i've got it well understood.

* update my "zines stuff & contacts" database »» yeah, right... i'm doing that for my distro's database now!
before the distro's idea, i even started a spreadsheet for my zine collection but it was a huge time-waster (and a big pain in my back) to go  through all the boxes/containers and take out all the zines and catalog them that way. i even got my dad's digital voice-recorder and used it while i went through some of the boxes. then i stored the audio files in my computer. and i never touched them again! what was i thinking, really?
i've come up with an easier way now: i go trough all the emails on distro orders, etsy orders, and direct contact with zine-makers, copy-paste that info and i'll have a much more accurate list of (almost) all the zines i have. but i'll leave that to after i get the distro's database done & updated to full max ;-)

* get my hair dyed! geez.. and a cut too, while i'm at it »» DONE! and what a bad idea that was. well, not exactly bad-bad, but defenitly a "not-so-good" idea. i cut my hair by my chin line, in the winter. now that's smart! then the dye got a bit too dark than what i wanted, also the color didn't come out quite as i had wished. but i should be used to that by now, the color never comes out 100% like i wish... Unfortunately, this time the color didn't last as long as usual, and now i'm in need of a good haircut, again, to trim the ends and maybe dye it closer to my natural color (boring brown) though always a bit darker, as it makes me look older, or, in reality, it makes me look more my real age and not like i'm in my early 20s...
Maybe i should just change my hairstylist, i guess, but now isn't the best time for that; unless i find that part-time job i'm in so much need of...

* make copies of cool fliers i get from other zines & distros to send as goodies/extras/on trades »» i've done a few copies but it's not the same thing as an "original" flier, since most of them come in colored paper or are color copies and such... Anyway, it would be better-easier-cheaper to do it on a copy-shop rather then with my home printer...

* get postcards about Porto's beautiful city! »» postcards for ME, but also some (many? a few? dunno?) postcards (not too expensive of course, otherwise i can't buy that many!) to send out to the world... Well, to the "zine world" actually, i've been wanting to send postcards to some nice zine-people i've got to "know" over the last year. maybe it would be cool to have some extra postcards to send with distro orders, no?

Where do my zines come from? (now with a new & better map!)

 [ continuous updating // last update: 2010/04/02 ]

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i found this really cool feature on Facebook, this travel map where i can easily "pin" down the places where my zines come from. i think this map works much better than the one i had previously posted about in last December.
well, whenever i remember and/or get new zines i go over the map (on my Facebook page) and add the new places, if they're not there already.

p.s.: i just wished it looked better on this page than what i thought it would, cause it looks good on my Facebook page, and if you click the map, it takes you to TripAdvisor's website, where you can get a good look at the map anyway...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

i miss you

i miss writing here, yep. maybe its a weird thing to say but lately i've been so tangled and busy with other things that i even stopped writing my Morning Pages, which were kind of a daily writing journal/diary type of thing. i just didn't have the time anymore, after waking up, mostly because lately i've been waking up too tired and there are always some bad vibes around here.

while i'm writing this quick post, i'm also updating the "former" zine reviews blog i had created, explaining why that blog is now on a hiatus, perhaps a very long one, who knows...

the thing is - i started a zine (and books!) distro. yeah, me! so to save me some time, i'll just x-post part of the other blog's post in here...

i've moved on to a more important project, starting my own little distro - Invicta Distro. you can pay us a visit here.
the website is still a bit under-construction but you can read a little about me and why i decided to start a distro, and also learn the meaning of the distro's name.

while we're at it, i'm accepting zines for distro consideration, so if you have a zine, stop by the distro's website and read about Zine Topics to get an idea of what types of zines i'm looking for.
but if your zine (or self-published book) doesn't exactly fall into those topics i mentioned, i'm available to talk about your project, i'm always open to read different and new things!

i thought that if i was going to be reading all those zines & writing about them, i might as well try and share them with the rest of the world by distributing them! this is not the main reason why i started the distro though, don't get me wrong! you can read about why i started the distro in the About section of the distro's website ;-)
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i couldn't spend the day working on distro stuff because i had some "Spring" cleanings to do in my bedroom. i turned on the laptop to do a quick check on emails but everything was calm so i went to do some cleanings. every now and then i would come back to check my emails, but the whole day was calm enough, no distro emails, no Facebook urgent messages or anything, so i kept doing my cleanings after dinner and i'm now quite satisfied with what i've accomplished! it means i can go back to sleep in my bedroom (leaving the couch for tv zapping), and secretly read under my blankets before going to sleep...

so i'll be off to bed soon... a new and mysterious book awaits me. when i opened the package and flipped through its pages i was puzzled because it looks like the book is half poetry and half prose or biography or whatever. i must have been a little distracted when i ordered it, but it must have been something in the book's description that made me click ''add to cart''. the pages still look very interesting, and when i had the book in my hands i felt curious, so i just have to read it!

sometimes i need to read books to. that doesn't mean i'm tired of reading zines! but it seems like i see some people dissing books in favor of zines, which makes me sad. all my life i've loved books and read too many to remember the number, but when zines (re)appeared in my life, about a year ago, i felt so excited about this (new) medium and started reading mostly zines, leaving some books unfinished. i could feel some sort of connection to some of the people who wrote some zines, and/or identify myself with some of them, sharing similar life experiences and thoughts and problems. they made me feel less lonely, specially when the times got harder and after losing my job. they would give me a little hope that i could some day accomplish something important in my life, something that could reach out to other people, something that could make a difference. but that's a whole new story...

i wish the day had 30 hours instead of 24, so that i could read a lot more! but it only has 24hours and i can't spend most of them reading, even if i tried. 
so the last couple of months i've been reading zines mostly. but everyone needs a bit of fresh air sometimes, don't you think? i value reading, above it all, above the differences of the mediums - books vs. zines -, above the type of "literature" - fiction, poetry, comics, how-to guides, journals -, above the so-called independent publishing vs. mainstream publishing companies. i just like to read, it's as simple as that.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

my day today...

this is basically what i did today. this time i decided to leave writing style behind and just put it like a To-Do List (in this case, Have-Done List).

- wake up
- write
- wash up
- make & eat "lunch"
- go online
- play FarmVille
- browse Issuu.com for free downloadable e-zines about alternative fashion, feminism, art & design, illustration & comics... and also download a new "mainstream" fashion & lifestyle Portuguese magazine (i'm human, after all!)
- find a couple of the alternative e-zines from Issuu on Facebook and message/friended/fan-add them
- stop to wash the dishes, do some cleanings in the fridge, separate garbage for recycling
- close all the window blinds in the apartment
- grab a cereal bar as snack, sit in the sofa relaxing to "examine" a new zine, while trying to write a draft for a review about it
- stop because of people arriving, no privacy to continue lounging around in the sofa reading weird zine & writing about it
- go online again
- answer emails to distro, update labels on some emails about zines that already arrived
- leave Etsy feedbacks
- research & compare prices on books, zines & misc merchandise online
- second try at the Big Cartel to experiment on setting up a small online store
- failed at setting up the store at Big Cartel, because the shipping costs & PayPal settings still confuse me - i prefer to deal with each order personally, depending on the buyer's country, amount of items/weights/sizes - so that i can see what size of envelope is needed, what type(s) of postage(s) can be applied, etc
- stop to have dinner
- go online again
- check Facebook messages/notifications and whatnot
- browse & read/print PayPal Help pages about payment options, email payments, PayPal fees (blergh!), making & sending invoices, etc
- think about setting up a very basic store just using Blogger, because by now i'm quite used to the way their sites (blogs) work
- stop to get a bowl of cereals ("midnight snack")
- stare at my laptop's screen and wonder what should i do next... Ah!! find an image to go along with this post
- done that
- read article on Tasks Lists & To-Do List
- browse info on a software that is an online task manager, sign up to a free account to experiment such software
- realize i will hardly ever use that again. what happens when i don't have internet connection? how can i "manage my tasks" then? their intentions are good, but the internets aren't always in a good mood for that.

and to think i've bought quite a few Moleskine's little notebooks and never use them... bahh!

- stare at my laptop's screen again and wonder what should i do next......

Sunday, March 7, 2010

7.1. Developing a Business Plan

i'm on Class 3, from the total of 5, and i have to finish the course until March 11.

as i'm given this work assignment to "Develop a Business Plan", i come to realize that from the 13 topics questionnaire, i don't know how to answer over half of the questions.

this afternoon and after dinner, all throughout this classes's program, i've been trying to read and trying desperately to understand the program, but for most of it i couldn't.
this is making me feel so frustrated and depressed. this makes me feel stupid. like i've lost what was (still) left of my intelligence...

what was i thinking when i signed up for this shit?! did i really think i had enough neurones left in my brain, after all these years of useless classes of this and that, of working for free at training jobs, with no experience and working my ass off to learn new technical skills and developing some socializing skills? all this for what?
for a dream of almost 2years working at a "steady" job and then seeing my "dream" torn apart almost overnight. i know i was the one who quit the job, i know. but i couldn't go on at it the way it was, i was going crazy.
and here i am now, 3 months later, feeling like a total loser, stupid, frustrated, angry, and feeling guilty for the money i spent signing up for these Entrepreneurship classes.

i know that maybe i should face the fact that perhaps i'm not ready (yet) to create my own business. i don't have the management, marketing, selling knowledges required, even less the financial stability to engage in such an investment. maybe, just maybe, i should wait a while. maybe restart looking for a shitty part-time job. but this is what i had been doing before i started the class and i wasn't being that successful in finding a job! damn this vicious circle, damn this country i say! i don't damn my own country with pride, but with grudge.
i know i can't be perfect all the time, i can't be the know-it-all. but i was never taught to think or behave differently. and this makes me feel even more stupid.
i think i'm gonna give up studying for tonight, i have to stop torturing myself, i'm already feeling like i'm falling down through that dark hole of depression... again.

lately, the only times when i feel good are:
- while i'm reading - zines mostly -, i've set the TAW book aside for a while, but know i feel i should pick up on the reading and the lessons...,
- while i'm writing on my journal, doing my first TAW lesson everyday after waking up,
- while i'm sleeping, this way i don't have to think and worry about my useless life.

i do try to see the bright side of things, i do try to live one day at a time. but it's getting harder and harder, i'm alone in my trials and it's getting harder to keep any of the hope i still might have left inside alive. 
it's hard to believe that my life will ever change, it's hard to believe that i'll ever get out of here and move on to something better, to a life of my own.

and i apologize, to you reading this, for the whole gloomy rant.

Monday, March 1, 2010

cloxazolam 2x

Cloxazolam (marketed under brand name Sepazon, Olcadil (Brazil, Portugal and Spain), Akton (Belgium), Lubalix (Switzerland) is a drug which is a benzodiazepine derivative. Cloxazolam is metabolised into the active metabolite chlordesmethyldiazepam (delorazepam). It possesses anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative and skeletal muscle relaxant properties. 

A sedative is a substance that induces sedation by reducing irritability or excitement. At higher doses it may result in slurred speech, staggering gait, poor judgment, and slow, uncertain reflexes. Doses of sedatives such as benzodiazepines when used as a hypnotic to induce sleep tend to be higher than those used to relieve anxiety where as only low doses are needed to provide calming sedative effects.

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for the first time in months, a double dose of my lovely sleeping pills seems to be working to fulfill its purpose. i used to need a triple dose to make fall asleep and have a perfect night of rest. so i guess it's good news that tonight i only took 2 pills, at around midnight, and two hours later i started to feel the effects. my eyes feel tired, my brain is getting blurry and i'm getting slow. i really need to change my sleeping habits, or else i risk developing a serious sleeping disorder. 

i also need to get up early, in the morning, so that i can continue my e-learning classes. i kinda messed up the first class on friday, and today i had a new class available online but i didn't want to take it because i haven't completed even half of the previous class. i stopped on the first task assignments ("homework") and have been procrastinating around it... Sure it makes me feel bad, it makes me feel guilty and incapable of accomplishing things. 

but things haven't been easy around here, i haven't had that many quietness at home, mostly thanks to my neighbors, they are such morons! on the weekends it's worse, because their little kids don't have school/kindergarten... so they spend their time at home shrieking, running around, jumping on the beds(?). or when they leave the house, they "forget" to take their dog with them and he barks for hours. the condo building i live in, we've come to the conclusion that it has very poor isolating materials, otherwise we wouldn't hear so much from the neighbors noises. but i have my doubts that the construction of the building is the one to blame, and not the rude, arrogant, and disrespectful attitude of some of my neighbors.

know i just need to force myself to forget about emails and facebook and facebook games, turn of the laptop and get ready to go to sleep. i would really like to read a little before going to sleep, it's a habit that i have for years and treasure... though i'm not sure if i won't fall asleep before i can pick up a zine to read hahaha

bad news: a lightning storm has come and that means we have to shut down the wireless modem... So, that's really the end of internets for tonight. 
bye bye

Sunday, February 28, 2010


so i came up with this post's title and it reminded me of David Bowie's song. that's the only reason why you're seeing this image here.
now that i think of it, i wouldn't mind listening to some David Bowie's but i think it would make me feel a little too nostalgic and i would end up feeling down, so better not!

there were a few changes this last week, although nothing really that BIG or of great importance in a person's life.

i changed this blog's name and the concept. why?
well, since my first (and only, if any! lol) zine ever is still cooking and will take a while to come out, i was starting to feel that it didn't make much sense to keep calling this my «My Zine Project 2009: the misadventures and perils of making a zine...». also, i hardly ever posted stuff about my perzine project, just a couple of random thoughts and bits. i mostly write about the things happening (or not) in my everyday boring life, so i might as well turn this into a more "personal" blog.
i'll keep writing about zines and books, about the stuff i get in the mail (though i now have the other blog to post specifically about zines i get in the mail), i'll share links about other websites and things i find interesting and worth sharing with you.

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there's a lot of multitasking going on in my life right now: 

- i'm taking e-learning classes on «Entrepreneurship and Business Creation» [blogged about here]. the first class was a bit more complex than what i thought, and that kinda got me down. not being able to read the whole class lesson because it started getting noisy around me didn't help much either. 
i finished the first chapter of the class and then had "homework" to do, which consists of writing about how and here i see myself & my life 15-20 years from now, what i would like to be doing in that future or what i would like to have accomplished. it's mostly writing about myself, my life goals and my plans (dreams?) for my future... and it freaked me out! the "homework" tasks are supposed to be posted in the course's private forum, so that the e-teacher can read them, and it can be discussed with her and other students taking the same class. for obvious reasons, i don't feel that much comfortable about posting my dreams and talk about myself and my life to a complete stranger(s). but i'll have to to it, one way or another, if i want to finish the course successfully and not regret the money i paid for it! 
at one point, i came to realize that i don't like to talk about my life and dreams/projects because i feel i will never succeed, and i also feel that one of my ideas for starting my own business may not be such a good idea after all, and i'll end up broke or something worse if i get myself into it. that is, if i ever get enough money to start it, anyway.

- i'm doing the TAW (aka The Artist's Way) book "lessons", and while i keep procrastinating on doing the Week 1 Tasks, i decided to continue reading the rest of the book, to get a general idea on the whole thing. i want (and need) to feel confident about this book, i want to believe that it will help me make (better) changes in my life.

- i've started a new blog, it's just another Zine Reviews blog!, no big deal, but i felt so excited when i first had the idea that i got down to work and put up the blog in a day. now i need to start writing about the zines i referred to on the first posts, otherwise it will make no sense to keep the blog online and go around advertising it out loud on Facebook or on the We Make Zines community.

- i'm sort of keeping a journal right now; i have been doing it for about a month now. 
it's part of the TAW's study: you have to write (at least) 3 pages of stream-of-consciousness longhand morning writing everyday, if possible just after waking up (in the morning, or in the afternoon, which is more my case), because it's the moment of the day when your brain isn't yet fully "active", the logic part of your brain (the dreaded left side of the brain). don't want to get into too many pointless details about this writing exercises, but if you're interested in learning more about this book, feel free to visit the official website and browse the official forums.
what i'm trying to explain is, with all this journaling-like that i've been doing, i've come up with some really intense texts. sometimes i start writing about something that's bugging me and end up writing about something else completely different. i always find this interesting and a little bizarre (in a good way).

- i've been replying more often to posts on the We Make Zines community. specially when it's a call for submissions - someone asking for contributors to a particular zine project. i wish i could reply to all the call for entries, i would like to be able to write more, to develop my writing style; to learn how to write fiction maybe? but, of course, not all the themes posted appeal to me, i don't always have something to say or a story to tell. and i can't draw or have photographic skills so that i can contribute with artwork, so i'm really stuck to writing and that's it.
* last year, i sent my first submission ever for a zine project; now i'm waiting for the printed results.
* i'm listed on a "worldwide" chain-zine project, and hopefully, i'll be getting to make my page around next month.
* i've edited one text for a collab zine about Mental Health, and i want to transcribe another text for the same project, just to keep my options open.
* i'm waiting to know the deadline for a collab zine about Relationship Violence so that i can send it my work.
these might look like some pretty touchy and/or heavy subjects to write about, but that's just the way it is... These are issues that are -or- were present in my life, and i've written about them, so i have experiences that i can share with others.
what i find harder for me about preparing stuff for a collab, is that most of my writings are handwritten, they're all spread around in various journals or notebooks, and i get a bit lazy when i have to transcribe them to electronic text versions. i usually find typos, small grammar mistakes and such, so it's a hard work typing it all into the computer. but that's mostly because i'm really lazy and i have a major tendency to procrastinate... Shame on me!

- these last couple of days, i've caught the shopping spree virus, again. i know i shouldn't be doing that, but i found new zines that look interesting and having the chance to buy them through their creators is something i really enjoy doing. i made one distro order, though, it was a new distro (to me) that i've never heard of in the USA and they had some zines that looked interesting and weren't expensive, so... it was hard to resist.
next week, i'll be getting zines i've ordered last weekend, so the next couple of weeks i think my mailman will be very busy ;-)

- this can't exactly be considered as something i am doing or have been doing, but it's something that's been on my To-Do lists for quite a while: i owe a letter to a female zinester in Canada (or is it Jamaica, now?), and i owe a trade to a Californian female zinester. i hate my procrastination habits, i'm ashamed of my laziness, really! girls, i apologize for this sad behavior of mine!

- last but not least, i'm still unemployed. like this is some really big news, really... I've stopped being so obsessed with spending my days reading the emails i get with job ads and browsing websites for job ads. but this hasn't stopped my from felling guilty, though. i just don't have the strength/courage/willpower/whatever to do that every day or to apply to every single "shitty" job ad i see. last time i applied to one of these, it ended up being a dead end, tricking people to buy things disguised under the name of "Telemarketing". now i don't mind getting a part-time job on a call-center or a help-desk, if only these replied to my applications... 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

getting ready to start an e-learning course next wednesday...

a couple of weeks ago i started browsing around and found a Portuguese e-learning company that has various classes on various subjects. and i found a few classes that look quite appealing to me. on one hand, there isn't much "utility" in most of those classes, when it comes to "professional" utility. on the other hand, on a personal level, those classes include various subjects that interest me, some of them that i was always interested in learning.
and part of me would really like to "get away" from the other things/subjects i've worked professionally before. i was getting tired before i quit my job, anyway, so maybe that was a sign that something needed to change. and when i started reading the «Artist's Way» and browsing the books' online forum, i began to think that maybe i really need to change my path, maybe take the next route, diverge a little from the "original" path. because, in reality, i don't have a career, so i don't have to keep doing the same things over and over and over, do i?

i've signed up for two courses on that E-Learning website, one starting this month and the other in March. i was kinda afraid at first, because the course that seemed to be most useful at this moment, «Entrepreneurship and Business Creation» was one of the more expensive ones from my choices. but after an online chat with an old close friend, he said he didn't think the price was that much expensive, considering the advantages of learning online and all that. so i took the courage and signed-up!
i didn't catch the first "season" of the classes, but a new course is starting again this next Wednesday, i have already managed to paid for it and now i'm allowed to attend the classes as soon as they start.
i hope i do well in this course and that i'm able to finish it with good grades or whatever they call it on e-learning.
after this class, i was thinking about taking their «Introduction to Psychology» course, because i'm quite interested in Psychology, i like to read and learn stuff about it. although, again, it's a totally different study subject from my highschool and "post-highschool" studies and from the various jobs/trainings i had, always connected to graphic design, desktop publishing, photography and such...
(after way too much googling for a suitable pic, here's this)

at the beginning, i had some doubts on how i was going to tell my parents that i was getting into an e-learning class, and how they were going to "accept" it. to me it felt weird, because it seemed like for the first time in years, i had made a decision of my own, without consulting, or at least, informing them first. i delayed the topic for a few days and then "introduced" it in a conversation, and they took it alright. the funny thing is that none of them ever asked if i was planning to pay for the classes myself, given the fact that i've been unemployed for over 2 months now, and that my bank account's money doesn't grow on trees.
i find it "funny" how people try and avoid talking about things that they're not interested in talking, or getting into a discussion about it. the money i spend on my "extras" always comes up when they decide to pick a fight with me after i get something from the mailman... But this time, there wasn't a word about me spending money to pay for these classes.

it's sad that when i try to understand my parents and why they act the way they do, i can only come to a conclusion that hypocrisy as become part of their "values system". i don't remember being taught that. or maybe they've been like this all their life and i was just too stoopid to learn it (fortunately for me?) or too blind to see it (unfortunately for me).

Friday, February 5, 2010

it's been over two months but...

... i'm still unemployed, yey. to tell the truth, it's not like i've been trying 100% to do my best at looking for jobs, but daily seeing pointless jobs ads can be a little too overwhelming. and i end up not "going the extra mile".
then, suddenly, someone [dad] had this idea that i should take a Photography course.
about 4 years ago, when i first started working/training on photography, i had told him i would like to take classes on that, because i like photography and would like to be better at it etc etc. but my "request" was shrugged off as being unimportant or making no sense. then i worked in the real world of photographers and studios and printing lab; this was my life for the last 3 years or so. and now that this ended, is when daddy remembers that i could make good use of professional photography classes. well, f~cking duuhh!
at first i was so angry at his suggestion, that i sort of pretended to be interested in his idea and even browsed the internet for local schools were they have those classes. most of them are way to expensive, at least, to my point of view! actually, he hasn't even mentioned who is supposed to pay for such classes. obviously i'll have decision power over taking those classes or not, if i'm the one to pay for them.

at first, i even thought that maybe if i let some time go by, he will end up forgetting the idea... and probably move on to the next thing to nag me about. but then i started browsing around and found a portuguese E-Learning company that has various classes on various subjects. and i found a few classes that look quite appealing to me. on one hand, there isn't much "utility" in most of those classes, when it comes to professional utility. on the other hand, on a personal level, those classes include various subjects that interest me, some that i was always interested in learning.
and part of me would really like to "get away" from the other things/subjects i've worked professionally before. i was getting tired before i quit my job, anyway, so maybe that was a sign that something needed to change. and when i started reading the «Artist's Way» and browsing the books' online forum, i began to think that maybe i really need to change my path, maybe take the next route, diverge a little from the "original" path.
because, in reality, i don't have a career, so i don't have to keep doing the same things over and over and over, do i?

now, the funny thing happened tonight, as i went online on msn to chat with an old friend who's coming to town this weekend. he's a photographer, go figure... After almost 30 years, he decided to change and follow a new and different path: he went to take a professional Photography course, for over one year. and while doing this, he discovered what he wanted to do. i was really happy for him, when he told me his story, over a year ago. and tonight, i started telling him a bit about what my (messed up) life is like right now, and since he was on photography, i told about my dad's "suggestion" to take classes on Photography, my feelings about the issue, etc. then i was looking at some of his photography works, from his time in the course and now as a freelance.
and now i'm so sure that i don't want to take, at least, some photography classes.
i never stopped liking (loving?) Art Photography, i was just tired of all the amateur photos i saw everyday. i was tired of doing the same things at the lab over and over again, without much room for innovation or improvement. it's true that i learned something almost everyday, whether it was on how to handle costumers, schedule deliveries, schedule my own time of work. and sometimes i would learn a bit more on how to correct or frame some more complex photos. all this thanks to my co-worker and mentor, to whom i'll always be grateful.
but it came to a point when that was not enough.
my brain needs new things, every now and then, if not frequently. i like learning new things, on the subjects that interest me, of course. if it's something i wasn't interested before, i will hardly like or even feel motivated enough to go learn it. and by now, at the age of 31 [gosh, i feel old!], i think i now well what are the things that interest me and the ones that don't.

i've signed up for two courses on that E-Learning website. i was kinda afraid at first, because the course that seemed to be most useful at this moment, «Entrepreneurship and Business Creation» was one of the more expensive ones from my choices. but after that talk with my friend, he didn't think the price was that much expensive, considering the advantages of learning online and all that. so i took the courage and signup. though this class is starting a bit earlier than what i'd expected (right next week), i'm still thinking of how am i going to tell my parents about it. it's weird, because it seems like, for the first time in years, i've made a decision of my own, without consulting, or at least, inform them. either way, i always have the chance to give up on taking that class, because i haven't payed for it yet.
the other course, is «Tourism and Cultural Heritage», but it starts near the end of the month, so i've got plenty of time to change my mind. i had chosen this class first because it was one of the "not so" expensive ones and i wanted to try something more "simple" to see if i could succeed on a E-Learning course. it's a bit of a silly idea though, because this course's program isn't that "simple", even if it has some subjects that interest me, it makes me wonder if it's really worth spending my money on it...

what i know for sure is that my mind is still messed-up at this moment. to much to think about, too many decisions to make, somethings to let go of and some other that i must take in.
discipline, commitment, hope, strength, all these and maybe more will be needed if i wanna accomplish anything in the very near future. where do i go to get these, who do i turn to?...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

in the mail lately, some ramblings and a photo

yesterday my last order from the Book Depository arrived :)
i'd been trying hard not to spend money on "extras" (as i've mentioned in many previous posts), whether it's books or zines, and i only succumb to my obsession for such items on times of great need... Ok, this explanation doesn't make that much sense, but... what i mean is, i try to buy books/zines only when i feel i really really need to read a particular book/zine, or when i feel i need to have a particular book because it's important, for professional reasons, and, of course, personal reasons too.

so, moving on to the books i got...
the first one is «the Photojojo Book», which i found out about trough the Photojojo website, after following some links from the very cool CRAFT magazine blog.

i browsed Photojojo's online store, read details and saw some really interesting photos from pages of the book, so i got excited about the photography projects and the DIY potential of it.
since i've been dwelling with the idea of trying to find a job or "make" my own job, starting by trying to get some freelance work, the photo projects i saw on the book seemed like an interesting place to look for ideas...
now that i got the book in my hands, i've already browsed trough all the projects and it might really have some good projects for me to try out. what worries me is that all projects require tools or materials that not "everybody" has at home, so i'd probably have to spend some money buying stuff if i want to try one of their projects.
all projects have somewhat of Do-It-Yourself in them, and are much like a custom-made product (if you see them from a business potential point-of-view), so that would probably require me an amount of market/target research and also pricing studies... It's a bit overwhelming, i guess, considering i'm all alone in my "quest" for freelance work and/or building my own business... there isn't that much support from my parents, as it has always happened throughout the these last 8-10 years when the topic «starting my own business» comes up.

let's talk about something else, moving to the other book i got... «The Artist's Way», by Julia Cameron.
i had read about this book a while ago, on an Etsy forum and in some references related to Keri Smith's books. so i browsed for it on Amazon to read some sample pages and decided that maybe this is just the right book i need for this particular moment in my life.

i started reading it last night (or should i say... this early morning, around 5 am?). at first i got a bit suspicious because of its subtitle «A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity». i should have researched some more on that Spiritual part of the title... to be honest, it started giving me "itches" because of my atheist "beliefs".
The author started talking about God and the "Great Creator" stuff like that, and that's when i started thinking that maybe i really shouldn't have bought this book. really. because, if i don't believe in the existence of god or gods or whatever, would could i follow through the book's lessons and exercises if it was based in believing that? still, i "forced" myself to read some more, in hopes that somewhere ahead Julia Cameron would offer some other alternatives to religion... and fortunately (for me), she did!
so, i'm now going to keep reading it and whenever i read the word God i'll think of something else. my inner self power, my inner Goddess, Mother Earth, the Universe, etc etc...
hopefully, i'll learn something from this book. i've just created an account at the book's official online forum, just in case... maybe i can find some portuguese readers or even a local study-reading group, who knows...

and today, i got another lovely thing on the mail, my etsy order from Erin P., the latest issue of her Anon zine, along with some copies of a past issue. as usual, full of inspiring collages, and this time Erin writes a little and shares some of her experiences as an art therapist. her story made me admire her even more now, besides as an artist, also as a human being.

and to end this long and boring post, here's a crappy photo! think of it as my gift to you, my "thank-you", for reading all the way to the end of this post...
i didn't get to catch the sunset today; by the time i noticed, the sun was gone but the sky was still burning...
Beautiful colors, i just knew i had to take a photograph of such awesomeness, so i went to grab my camera as fast as i could and took a couple of photos from my living-room window. (the outside of the window is kinda dirty from the last rains, so don't be surprised by the weird spots on the image...)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just shut up and obey

a couple of days ago i started making a "To-Do" list again, after about 3 years of quitting. i just quit because in the end i hardly ever accomplished half of the items i used to write down. i made daily list, weekly lists, even monthly lists, and i still have that journal around somewhere in my chaotic bedroom.
but, once again, just like the last time(s), i haven't finished half of the tasks i wrote down on this new list. i guess i shouldn't be so surprised, procrastination does rule around here...

it hasn't been easy to accomplish things, besides the usual "excuse" of procrastination, things haven't really been easy around the house lately.
on the positive side, i got two packages in the mail this week, my order from Cindy Crabb zines distro and my order from Corinne Mucha's comic books. stupid old lazy me, and i still haven't emailed them back about getting the packages ok.
but, on the negative side, the packages i got in the mail annoyed my parents. as usual. with a couple more books i'm expecting to arrive during next week, i can imagine what's it gonna be like then...

to continue on with the negative stuff, my job search isn't going very well. it's going nowhere, actually, since i haven't found any proper ads that i can reply to! plus, all the human resources companies i've been browsing online, besides the ones i had joined a couple of years ago (and never got a message back from them), with their over extensive online application forms, that's just all too overwhelming for me to handle right now.

today, specially, seems like a hit-and-miss day...
the day started as all the other past days. i woke up before noon to my alarm-clock/cellphone and only got out of "bed" at around 2pm for lunch with my parents. i say "bed" because the last couple of weeks i've been sleeping in the couch. out of free will, really! this Winter is being harder (colder) than the last one; my own bedroom is like a freezer and the only place in the apartment where we have heating is the living-room because of the fireplace. so my parents felt pity on me and started letting me sleep in the couch.
but tonight i'll be back to my bedroom... so much for pity now.

and this is happening as a "punishment". it's like i'm 13 again and i have to abide to my father's rules/orders. specially those kind of rules that don't make much sense and you can tell they're actually a form of punishment. and sometimes it's a punishment that also doesn't make sense, or doesn't require such harsh measures.
aaahh, the joys of parenthood! to have the right to discipline your children whatever way you feel like to, and without having to justify your decisions and demands, even when they are completely opposite to the examples you give in your own actions. that has always been so typical in my parents... why am i even surprised, after almost 30 years of this bullsh*t?

this is what happens when you are unemployed, a full grown adult yet still living with your dysfunctional family.
the good old golden rule that every parent follows: «As long as you live under my roof, you'll live by my rules»
well, guess what, i'm not a teenager anymore. i might not be able to get into drugs or alcohol, as a way of escapism, but i can still escape the effects of your oppressive behavior, i know i can, somehow...

with all these stupid things happening around me, i can't seem to pick up where i left working on my zine. this makes it all even more frustrating than it already is, of course.
not working on the zine, not writing back to people i promised letters to, not connecting with new people i admire.
not having the (mental) strength to accomplish these simple and easier things is disrupting the part of me that was determined and persistent, my whole self-confidence. how will i accomplish the harder things?
how will i find the confidence and leave out my natural shyness if i ever get a job interview? it's just one of those things that make me feel really anxious and terrified most of the times, interviews. if you don't count the interview i went to in last november, i haven't had to go to a job interview for almost 3 years now.

i suppose i'll have to make friends (again) with benzodiazepines - my magic sleeping/anxiolytic pills... Starting out tonight, has i already took my double dosage and i'm keeping track of time in case i need to take the third pill. and with three little magic pills i know i'll sleep like a rock tonight.
it will probably slow my brain when i get in bed, which can be good sometimes, because for some strange reason my brain seems to get more active when i'm lying down trying to fall asleep. it's usually that time when i get all sorts of ideas and a big urge to write everything down, every topic and idea, and to develop writing essays.
while i'm at it, i must confess: i haven't written in my journal for about two weeks. and, of course, i've been having the "side effects" of bottling up everything inside. no wonder i find it hard to fall asleep, even when it's very late at night, or to concentrate during the day...

i'm a mess, maybe on my way to wreckage, who knows. and who can save me? is there anyone or anything out there? any hope left?