a key of my own

I've made zines about past relationships and zines about long time affairs. I've made zines about bands I love and zines about music I can't stand to listen to. I've made zines that are mostly interviews and zines that are nothing but three paragraphs detailing a momentary mindset of my own. When I was wee, I drew out little newspapers, complete with weather, date, and bannered headlines (probably about our pets or maybe mom washing dishes).

I don't remember learning to read. I don't remember learning to print. I don't remember first deciding to create something written with intent to distribute, any more than I remember learning to use the toilet or eat with a spoon. But I do remember the first time I learned about zine culture (punk personal zines, in this case), laid out my first one (god damn, it was ugly), and got my first post office box.

Up until then, I'd never had a key to anything that was my very own. I didn't really have my own room growing up, I moved straight out of my folks' houses and in with a girlfriend - I don't recall even having a locked trunk or cabinet. But all of a sudden, I had a small place that was mine. I could get mail and never show it to anyone, if I wanted - in fact, no one even had to know I ever received anything. I could slap that address on a zine that I sent out and carry on conversations with people that no one else in my life had any connection to without having to worry about any of them showing up at my front door.

Walking into the outer, always open area of a post office at night to check my mail calms me. It's quiet and cool, and it smells like paper and ink. And if that p.o. box is full of zines and stickers and letters, by god, that's as good as Xmas.

After I folded my last zine - it covered a certain music scene, and I just got tired of doing interviews and herding all the cats needed to make it come out right - I let my box rent lapse. I'd had that address through several different incarnations of zinedom, and it seemed time for a change. So now I'm working on something that might be more than a one shot issue, and I need a way for people to contact me. It's easy to throw an email address on there and call it good, but what fun is that?

So next payday, I'll pick my branch and rent a box. I've overjoyed at the thought. Hey - you have your incomprehensible thrills and I'll have mine.


Mr. Owen Curtis

9 pounds, 4 ounces. Born 9/26. 42 hours of labor. My sister's a badass. Welcome to the world, little man!


a good day to be born

Looks like the time has (started to) come! I'll let y'all know what's up next time I get on a computer.


waiting for the baby

Well, it looks like we're coming up on the big event. My sister Lily is headed to the hospital with her husband and our mama, and words like "induce" and "ripened cervix" are getting thrown around. (How do they ripen a cervix? Put it in a paper bag with a banana?)

I've had so many text messages this afternoon from sisters and close friends that my cell phone ran out of charge. I keep saying, no, it'll be hours and hours before anything happens, but after waiting months and months that doesn't seem like such a long time.

Lily's a hell of a woman, pink velvet around an iron will. I don't know if she's looking at two days of labor or just enough time to call in the troops and push Owen into the world, but either way I know she's got the strength to get through.

A friend just asked if we should bring presents to her in the hospital. I said, "No, she'll have a present - a baby!"


comment moderation

Sorry, y'all, I have to turn the comment moderation on for a while. Asian spammer. Fuck those guys.


I've seen heaven...

and it is Neil Gaiman's library. Seriously. Lock my ass in there and occasionally push food and beer under the door. I wonder what order he's got it all set in. I'm pretty sure every book that I have ever wanted to read is in this room.

I'm quite literally a little sick with envy, in a way that I have never experienced before.

this week in dreams

A few of this week's found eyehooks on I've had dreams like that:


broke as no joke

This is sort of riffing on yesterday's blog, and thoughts about what is worth money and what ain't. I don't talk about personal money matters much, but it's on my mind, so be it.

Paycheck to paycheck's been my entire adult life, since I moved out of my folks' houses at 17 and in with my first girlfriend. She, years older than me, liked to buy electronic toys and get credit cards in my name. Let's just say that when I finally left her, three years later and centuries wiser, this poor boy didn't take nothing but a bag of clothes, a box of books, and enough debt for a third world nation.

Between that auspicious beginning and a tendency toward sex, beer, and rock'n'roll and away from academic and professional success, let's just say I'm not rolling in dough. I shuffled from rented room to slum apartment as jobs came and went. I crossed the country for my sister's wedding with nothing but my boots, $20, and a Greyhound ticket. The whole time I lived in Atlanta, I never had car insurance or got my tags renewed. (Marta: it's smarta!)

Eventually, I came home to Tally and got this state job. When I first started in this office, what I was making seemed huge, a god-send, especially when coupled with actual health care. Ten years later, I'm making the same amount, and it ain't shit. I owe my mama. I owe my pops. I owe my sister. I probably owe you. I pay most of my bills most of the time. I don't pay for cable. I do have netflix. Last night, I ate buttered noodles for dinner. My neighbor gave me the noodles when he moved into his new house. I don't get paid for a week and a half. If I had $80, I wouldn't buy Lyle Lovett tickets is what I'm saying. I'd feed my cat, put gas in my car, and get aa badly needed oil change. I'm trying to find a second job for Saturday or Sunday afternoons, but you can guess how that's going in this college town.

This is a whiney post. Like I said, I don't usually discuss this, because it's mostly my own choices that put me on this economic rung, and times is rough all around. But I felt like venting, so there you go.


God will, but I won't

I've been a Lyle Lovett fan since the late 80s, when we got a few of his albums to play in our new cd player. The hair, the smile, the crooked sense of humor, even his name - the man was born to sing the American story. I lucked out and got to see him as part of a 3 songwriter showcase a few years ago at Ruby Diamond Auditorium thanks to a friend with connections. Hell of a night!

Well, when I found out he was coming back this year for 7 Days of Opening Nights, I had to price tickets. Are you fucking kidding me? Upwards of $80 for a few hours of music? I know, that's not too pricey for a mainstream concert, but that doesn't make it okay. How do you people who go to these things justify that? Is it a matter of only going out to see live music once a year? Have I just been so broke for so long that what looks like a massive bill to me is just an evening on the town to the average Lovett fan?

And, most importantly, who wants to buy me a ticket?