31 was kind of a throw-away year for me. I lost too many friends and relatives, work just limped along, and - strangest for me - I didn't release a single zine the whole time. Looking back at it, that's a major sign that something just flat wasn't right in my life at the time.
But here I am now, 32, climbing out of the doldrums. Last night, I sat down with some pictures, graphics, and articles at my living room table. As I downed a few beers, I cut pieces of paper into smaller pieces of paper and then glued the snippets to yet more pieces of paper. I have no idea why I love doing that so much. I feel like I've truly accomplished something when I see those copies come popping out of the machine at Office Depot, ready to be collated, stapled, folded, and shoved into a stranger's hands.
The most fun I ever had with that last bit was at the show at the Beta Bar a couple of years ago. I'd run an article on the brand-new-at-the-time Tallahassee Rollerderby Team as the center spread, and I finished the final paste-down and copying just a few minutes into a show that was a benefit for the squad. I wanted to be able to hand out issues that night, but I'd run out of time for assembling the copies. So I walked into the venue carrying a box of loose pages and my long-arm stapler. The roller girls (Capital Punishment!) laid that puppy out and put it in order, sending me set copies to be stapled, folded, and thrown on the merch table. Somebody brought me a draft beer while I worked, and the issue disappeared as quickly as we could put it together. Beer, zines, and hotties in short skirts collating for me? The ultimate zinester fantasy.