i’ve really got my grump on today. my new typewriter ribbons arrived in the mail, so i was able to finish writing the letter i was working on the other day, but unfortunately, it kind of turned into a screed about how much i dislike someone that both the correspondent & i know. then i checked my e-mail & saw that i had a critical comment from someone in response to a book review i wrote & i got surprisingly pissed off. i don’t know if i am reacting to the fact that it’s storming again for the fifth day in a row & i’m totally over the clouds, or if i’m having a low blood sugar moment, or i’m just naturally even more grouchy than i thought. but if anyone reading this has ever wanted to get on my bad side, it really wouldn’t take too much effort today.
i hope i snap out of it tomorrow because jared & i are planning to go to kansas city to see our friend ellen. i don’t think i have ever hung out with ellen without spending all day chain-smoking. not because she stresses me out or anything, but because ellen is like a cheap domestic beer on a hot summer day–a cigarette just seems like the perfect way to complement an already enjoyable experience. but supposedly i don’t smoke anymore. even though i am totally planning to secretly buy a pack the second jared leaves for his environmental history conference next week & smoke it up for four days until he comes home. i have my doubts about whether or not jared reads my blog unless i specifically ask for feedback about something, so i feel that i can write this with impunity. i guess he will confront me about my diabolical plans if he does read it. the satisfying glow that i’ll get from knowing that he takes an interest in my activities even when i don’t ask him to will surely cancel out any need i feel for nicotine. (& it’s not a need. more like an interest. a general wondering.)
i had planned on going to bingo last night because i haven’t been in like a month & things are blowing up since my usual bingo night was profiled in the local newspaper. (seriously. every day is a slow news day in lawrence, kansas.) but then one of jared’s colleagues invited us out to dinner & i was like, “hmmm. i can socialize with an actual person, that i actually like, & take another little baby step toward having any friends whatsoever, or i can spend $40 to gamble with oldsters who clearly think that i’m totally creepy because i have knuckle tattoos.”
since i wasn’t going to bingo, i decided to use the money i would have spent & order myself some new zines from a distro. i don’t exactly have my finger on the pulse of the zine world since i shut down my distro, so there are always interesting new zines available when i remember that i should peruse some distros. because i only remember like once every eight months. when i ran my distro, i was so convinced that i had regular customers that were looking at the website, like, every other day or something, feverishly anticipating each new addition. i guess that’s how i was with distros before i started one. i’m going to admit something really embarrassing: i once printed out a distro’s entire online catalogue & cut up the print-out & made my own paper catalogue out of it so that i would have something to read in bed. this must have been in 1997 or 1998, when the internet was still new to me. & i remember in like 2000 or 2001, i looked at the pander zine distro website literally every single day. if ericka added something new to the catalogue, i was refreshing like every hour until the description was posted. it was like must-see TV for me. & i always assumed that that’s how my customers interacted with paper trail. even though i now realize that i was just especially kind of crazy & obsessive when it came to zines, until i ran my own distro for seven years & got totally burnt out & now sometimes i can’t even stand to look at a zine.
but i was in a zine mood yesterday…or so i thought. i was finding all kinds of great stuff in one distro catalogue, & i started putting together an order, & then i saw that a zinester that i once considered a super-tight bro had a new zine out. or maybe it wasn’t so new. it wasn’t in the “new additions” section of the website. it was in the regular catalogue. maybe it’s been out for months. a year, even. & this is the first i was hearing about it. this is someone that i used to e-mail with or call literally every day. we made trips across the country solely to hang out with each other. i knew i hadn’t heard from her in kind of a long time (& i am not one to impose myself on others if i get the sense that they might not be feeling it), but i guess i didn’t realize that she was still chugging along, writing awesome zines & selling them & somehow our relationship is so fractured that i had to find out about it on a distro website.
i will make another embarrassing confession: i cried. yup. kind of ruined my day, truth be told. i did not order any zines after all. instead i just bought a new bra. there’s a picture for you: i’m all sniffling & weepy, charlotte is running away from me because she finds excessive displays of emotion distasteful, & i’m measuring my rack in front of the full-length mirror to double-check my bra size. my mood was not improved when i typed my size into the “fit search” box on my favorite clothing website & all it came back with was nursing bras. way to kick me while i’m down, internet. & in such an awesome dual attack: reminding me that i am not pregnant, & that the only other people who have boobs like mine are looking for ways to avoid leaking all over their shirts. i walked away feeling both friendless & profoundly unsexy.