Christine
chris1slug(a)hotmail.com
PO Box 26632 / Richmond VA 23261-6632

Some Thoughts #89

    As you can see, this issue has come together a bit better than the last small issue.  And for that I want to thank all the advertisers who put in their support, as well as a number of individuals who gave some generous donations.  Thank you so much.  I think that this zine will have a future after all, as it does seem like people do want it to continue, which is nice to know.  It’s been a labor of love for so long, and it’s been so frustrating and difficult of late.  I’ve been doing this zine for half my life.  I started when I was 16.  This coming spring it will be 20 years.  That is a long time.  I’ve been doing the zine as long as many of my friends, punks and readers of this zine have been alive.  That is a pretty bizarre concept to get my head around.  But suffice it to say, it’s become so much a part of me, it’s hard to imagine letting it go.  But, in case you don’t really know what I’m talking about—times have been tough in print media lately, and it’s been a real task to get this sucker printed.  I get tons of stuff sent to me for review, but everyone operates on a shoestring budget these days and no one has money to advertise.  I’ve been bummed out about the business aspect of the scene lately, cause that isn’t my interest at all.  I don’t want to be trying to collect money from people, and I don’t want to be dealing only with ad reps and such.  But times have changed, dramatically.  Those of us who have been at this DIY punk thing for a long time feel the change, feel the pinch, lament the old days in one way or another.  And yet, we still try to give it our all, our best, and our dedication and passion.
    The other big factor in my life right now is that I’m pregnant, and due to give birth towards the end of December.  This has been a really interesting experience for me.  I’ve had a great pregnancy as far as it goes: no complications, no problems, no sickness, very little weight gain, and very minimal hormonal or mental effects.  And yet, it has effected me in some quieter simpler ways, some of which were expected some were not.  Sure it makes sense that the physical limitations of my body change.  I knew that as I grew in the belly, I would be less able to haul boxes of zines to the post office, or carry bags of dirt across the garden, or lift big rolls of paper at work.  I also knew that some amount of nesting instinct would kick in.  I knew that excessive tiredness would be normal.  The main thing that I didn’t expect was the utter unfocused and unmotivated effects it would have on me.  Nor did I expect to be exhausted for days after a big day or night out and about.  I’m a pretty active person.  I’m used to doing things myself, and being capable of pretty much anything I set my mind to.  I take care of myself, and don’t often rely or expect anything from others.  So it’s been difficult to find myself unable to move as I am used to, and it’s especially difficult to accept that all I want to do is sleep.  And read books.  That part is awesome of course, as I've always day dreamed about doing nothing but reading.  And I have really applied myself to that - plowing through a couple books a week.  It's been awesome.  
    However, putting together this zine was very difficult for that reason -- I just didn’t want to do it.  It’s not that it was exceptionally hard, I just didn’t want to review the records I had, or sit at the computer and spell check files.  I have been easily overwhelmed by the smallest tasks.  Lying on the couch reading takes minimal energy, especially when I have also taken to napping, something I have never done in my life.   But eventually I did rise to the task of the zine and really, it wasn’t that much more difficult or grueling than any other issue.  My goal of getting a box of zines to Citizen Fish and Leftover Crack while on tour was part of the motivating deadline factor.  Even though, as it stands, I'm not sure that they will make it.  The nice thing though is that while difficult at times, the experience has been entirely stressfree, and that I have to attribute to the prego hormones.  I’ve been totally mello, totally calm, and just plain serene for awhile now, not really bothered by much.  Early on in my pregnancy, a friend was telling me about how much she loved being pregnant, and how  when things around her got stressful and the bills started piling up, she just rubbed my belly and wasn’t bothered.  And strange as that might sound, that is exactly how I have felt.
    So as we are preparing for this life changing event next month, I have already made the decision that there will not be a usual winter issue of S&L.  So, the next issue will be in the spring and that issue will be the 20th anniversary issue.  After that, I do expect to continue and resume normal publishing.  But then again, anything could happen in the next 6 months, so we shall ultimately see.  Let’s just say that I have faith in S&L that it will find a way to survive, despite all odds.
    Way back in August, right around the time that the last issue came out, we went up to Philly for the annual Pointless - Hot August Nights punk fest.  There were a lot of problems and things didn’t turn out as they could and should have, but none the less, I got to see a lot of good friends and a bunch of favorite bands, and all in all, despite the crap, we had a great weekend.  In a way it was my last big Hoo-Rah out.  At the time, I was unfazed by my pregnancy -- protected by my husband and some close friends from flailing punks in the pit, but I was right up front for Severed Head of State, World Burns to Death, Hellshock, Kylesa, No Hope for the Kids and all the others.  One friend did comment that they were surprised, that pregnant as I was, I was able to withstand the momentum of the shows and a 4 days fest.  I was lucky.  Timing wise, it was just before I started to feel encumbered in my body.  I was still able to do pretty much anything, and while perhaps more tired than usual, I was able to draw on the reserves that we all do for a crazy weekend.  It was that weekend that I felt the first flutter of the little guy.  I think that Erik was freaked out that I was going to decide I had to stage dive or something crazy, that I have never done in my life, he was so stressed about me being right up front and on stage.  But of course it was fine, the kid in utero got to listen to some rad tunes, and I felt protected by some good friends from any potential jabs to the gut.  Fueled by Hellshock, I was one happy girl, especially the manic and crazed set the played early in the day in a basement in West Philly just before they hopped on a plane home.  Hellshock for breakfast, as I say, it doesn't get much better that  I missed seeing Witch Hunt twice that weekend, which was a bummer.  And it was unfortunate that a bunch of bands didn't get to play at all.  All things considered, I thought it worked out pretty okay in the end, as far as making the best of a crap situation.  But I'm not gonna write a full recap from the fest here, cause I already did it for  my column in MRR.  While there likely won't be anymore summer time Pointless Punk Fests in Philly, the good news is that "The Church" has been able to continue to hold shows.
    The rest of the fall season here in Richmond has been pretty quiet, especially for me.  Our local all ages club, the Nanci Raygun was shut down at the end of August.  We still manage to pull together something here and there, at a smaller bar or house.  But there has been nothing too steady or regular, nor have there been all that many bands passing through.  And many of the ones that have I have missed due to my still night work schedule.  But these things do always sort themselves out, and I’m sure that there will be more good shows in the near future.  Perhaps even a new venue will arise.  Anything is possible.  We’ve got a new local punk band, Parasytic who are like an extension of my punk rock family - made up of good friends and my husband.  They just recorded a demo, they’re awesome -- totally my style of metallic punk.  It’s cool to have a local band to be super stoked on.  They’ve played a few shows, so now I just have to get out to one of them. 
    So in the meantime, the seasons are changing, the days are getting shorter and darker (wah!) and the leaves are falling.  The garden is still green, since we haven’t had a frost, or a freeze yet, but it is barely producing anything and it probably won't last that much longer.   It’s a sad time of year for me.  I hate the cold dark days.  I get depressed and sad.  While the changing colors of leaves is exciting, as are the comfortable crisp fall days, it’s the beginning signs for what is to come (death-winter...), and I always have found it a hard transition.  Before long, it will be real cold and real dark and barren outside. And yet, before I know it (yikes, in a matter of weeks!) I will have a little one to take care of, and who can imagine what kind of joy, fun  and ultimately change of focus  that will bring.  So hey, rock it through the winter... and I’ll see you in the spring.
PS on a practical note, there was an entire box of review material (zines and music) that got lost in the mail on it’s way to Ian.  So unfortunately, a bunch of stuff that should have been reviewed is gone and won’t be.  I can’t even tell you exactly what.  But if you feel something is missing, let me know—you can always resend it.  We do the best we can, and we tried to get it all up to date, since it will be a longer time until the next issue.  Keep that in mind, the next issue will not be until spring, and if you want to send zines, music or books (!) for review, please do, but it will take a bit of time....  Likewise, if you have a subscription, be prepared to wait a few months for the next issue.  Until then.....—CBL