So here I am fighting through another unhappy winter. Sometimes when I feel like this, I force myself to surge energy through my body, propelling me (at least mentally) to a better place. Sometimes I don’t. I curl up in a nest and sleep a lot, read to distract  myself from the thoughts that scare me, and in general I do not like to speak to others or leave the comfort of my personal, protective space (this is usually my bed). I often wonder what I can do differently, or how I can make myself go out into the world when all I get is a panic attack in my chest and a head full of unwanted ruminations. It does not help that it is such a cold winter in the Midwest, and this limits my ability to take a walk in what I can consider a safe space. Not getting outside makes me feel lazy, which makes me depressed, which makes me feel unable to complete my school assignments, which stresses me out, which causes a panic attack, which makes me tired, which makes me not want to do anything, which leads to me looking out the window and wishing I could go outdoors for just a moment to catch my breath. And the cycle repeats.

I have been perusing my little zine library, because I have a few relating to depression (if you suffer like I do, pick up Maranda Elizabeth’s “Winter Survival Guide” zine. I hope they’re still selling it on Etsy….). But lately, reading about depression only serves to make matters worse. I used to love the winter. I don’t know what happened. I suppose that maybe it’s just that any season is no good without friends, and with the prospect of nothing going the way you want it to, and the feeling (however it may be misconstrued) of everybody breathing down your neck with a mouthful of flames.

I don’t know where I was going with this. I suppose just rambling for the sake of some peace of mind. I will hope that winter ends swiftly, and the grass turns green, and I will lose this unwelcome and sickening visitor like a shortening shadow.

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I got a new zine submission for the distro! It’s on my Etsy page! Submitted by Neo of Washington, this awesome 30-pager is full of short stories, self-described by the author as “short stories from a long wild life that I am excited to have lived and surprised to have survived.” It’s called I Know You Know My Heart #1, and it’s SO WORTH the $3.50. Plus, each cover is hand designed by the maker! And don’t forget to check out Neo’s blog at iknowyouknowmyheart!

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If you know anyone else who makes zines and is looking for a distro to host their work, tell them to contact me at paperdollcircusdistro[at]gmail.com

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On a less enthusiastic note, I’ve decided enough is enough, and I’m heading back to school. In the past, my record has been far from exemplary. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have a problem with learning. I love learning. I love reading, writing, participating, even math! (I will admit I hate doing group projects, though. This is COLLEGE, not a middle school book discussion. I don’t want to meet up with three strangers at a Starbucks and make a PowerPoint). What I DO have a problem with is anxiety. The….well, “episodes” I have are completely crippling. I finally went on medication this year that seems to be helping, at least in the short term, and I feel it’s now or never to return to class.

But how am I gonna pay for it? I don’t have a real job and of all the places I’ve applied, not a one has called or returned my call. I guess it’s just not a good market. I felt like I was pretty hire-able. I’m not a drug addict, a drinker, a no-show or an irresponsible worker. But people just aren’t hiring me. What else can I do?

Yeah, I know, loans. The thing is, even at 21 years of age, I’ve never gotten a credit card. Every time I apply, I am refused because, and I quote, “You don’t have enough credit.” Well no shit! I have also applied to FAFSA before but didn’t get anything. I’m trying again but I’m not optimistic.

I guess I never realized how expensive real life is. I feel sick recalling the day I spent $100 on new clothes at Forever 21. I wish I had been more money-conscious. Now I’m paying for it. Does anyone know where money can be made? And no, jokes about selling my body will not be laughed at or tolerated.

Luckily the candle business is steady enough that I have a couple hundred dollars saved up for the first month of my payment plan. But if I can’t come up with something more substantial by June….I just don’t know.

:[

When I find awesome stuff on the Internet, I HAVE to share it. It’s like a bug. I know things find their way around without me saying a word, but still! I like sharing! So here’s 5 things I looked up and/or found online this week.

1. The Lie page on Wikipedia. It’s not like anyone really needs to look up a definition of the word lie, but this page is pretty awesome. It has basically every “classification” of a lie, plus neat extras towards the bottom (always the best part of any Wikipedia article). For example, going into detail about Paul Ekman’s research into lie detection, which was the preface of the show Lie to Me. Probably my favorite is the link to Psuedologia fantastica……aka compulsive liars. Whenever I come to this site, I fall into a well.

2. This photo of a Pikachu kitty. Enough said.

so cuteness DOES still exist online!

so cuteness DOES still exist online!

3. For some reason, this gif of a guy hitting a panda mascot. And, for that matter, all the videos of mascots on YouTube completely biting it and/or making idiots of themselves. Especially this one.

panda hate will not be tolerated!

4. An article on another WordPress site, Cross Epoch, about a human transmutation circle. Some people won’t get this, but it’s a reference to an anime show called Fullmetal Alchemist, which if you haven’t seen you should. I was really surprised how much research this person did into the fundamentals and past of alchemy in the eastern world. I was also amazed to see how much work the author of the manga and inspiration for the show put into making these circles that look like complete abstract gibberish to me. Neat!

5. The Star Wars This Is Madness bracket has finally wound down to the top 2: Yoda vs. Vader! To be honest, I have no idea who’s going to cinch it, and I’d be okay with either (although I did vote Vader, because COME ON!) I got so mad watching this thing progress, though. SERIOUSLY, HOW did R2 make it that far? He has no legitimate lines and is essentially comic relief of a slightly higher caliber than 3PO (I’m at least grateful that he didn’t last past the first round)! Don’t get me wrong; I think R2 is essential to the series, but is he the best character? Is he even top 5? No.

Browsing the posts on an Etsy group I belong to called Team Zine, I stumbled across  Brandy, the creator of the zine Pixelated. She is starting a collaborative effort to fuel a new zine! It sounds awesome! Join her if you’re interested in her neat idea. I’m already working on a submission of my own.

Check it out here. And check out her shop, here. Pixelated is a cool zine.

In other news, I’m still working on finding people to help me with zine submissions of my own. If you don’t know what I mean, see the post below. In the meantime, I’m striking out on my own. I think I’ll do a prose zine about the weird conversations my boyfriend and I get into, and maybe also pepper it with little facts and things I’ve learned this week. Whatever! That’s the great thing about zines, I think. You can make them about anything and they are still fun to read. People’s conversations, ideas, recipes….it all makes sense even when it’s modge-podged together in a quarter-page size booklet with an outlandish title. That’s the power of self-publishing! NOW GO FORTH AND ZINE!

 

It sounded better in my head, but I will muscle up and not erase it. :P

Today on my Etsy I premiered my next candle, since the Lon Lon Milk ended up as such a success. It’s Chateau Romani! It’s a champagne-scented soy wax candle that looks like the real thing from the Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask! Check it out:

chateau1

I’m actually fairly proud of it, and I hope it gets some publicity! If you know anyone who likes Zelda, pass the word on for me! :]

DISTRO NEWS

I’m looking for more contributions to our little zine distro! If anyone reads this who loves zines, makes zines, or knows of someone who makes them, please contact me at paperdollcircusdistro[AT]gmail.com! I’d love to work with you! I’m especially looking for any poets interested in collaborating on a poetry/prose mini zine with me. It’s something I’ve had on my mind for a long time and I want to put it into action! I have two ideas.

1. A general collaboration zine. You send me poems, I’ll compile them, and we put it to print! Yeah, there’s some legalese about you releasing your work for print, but it’s all in the name of getting it out there! I have some poems I want to print but it’s just not enough to make a zine’s worth on my own :[

2. A stream of consciousness-type zine. People send me in WORDS. Not poems, just phrases, like a line or two of prose. I compile it into one long flowing zine that will span 8-16 pages. I think this has the potential to be really really neat.

So there you have it. Anyone interested, contact me!

milk1People are generally warned against the “Ides of March” but so far, it’s been holding a lot of luck for me! Today on  my Etsy I premiered the first zines in the Paper Doll Circus zine distro! I’m so excited. Plus, I started a new project that’s already gotten me some publicity in the Internet world! Come on, Spring! I am ready for you. //FIGHTING\\

 

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PEOPLE WITH CAMERAS

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 The first zine I’ve had for a while, called “People With Cameras.” It’s a color photo book of…..you guessed it, people with cameras! Charles, the creator, found these old pictures at a resale store. Something about that just seems awesome to me. Although it does make me wonder who gives away their old photos to resale shops…?

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The zine costs $6 and is available on Etsy here. Or, if you’d prefer, I can send you an invoice via PayPal. Email me at paperdollcircusdistro[at]gmail.com for details on that.

THIS IS THE SLOW CENTER OF THE SPINNING WORLD

slow center1

The second zine is a fantastic poetry zine submitted to me by Carrie of California. Her sister wrote a poem that she then illustrated and turned into this little beauty! Her description of the zine is simple, but true: “it makes you feel like you’re sitting the CA sun.”

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This zine is also going for $6, and is available via Etsy here, or again, can be bought via a PayPal invoice. Your call!

Moving along to the new project: I’ve recently started making candles. It was really just a hobby, something new I wanted to learn. But when I was shopping for soy wax at Hobby Lobby the other day, I came across some cute little milk bottles and of course, the first thing I thought of was Lon Lon Milk. And behold! A couple days of planning and work, and the finished product is available to the general public!

milk2

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks it was a good idea, as the bottle has gotten some publicity on Reddit, Instagram, and Twitter. Nice!  I’m doing a test run of 6 bottles right now, available on Etsy here. I’m now looking into washable, empty Lon Lon Milk bottles and making candles of Chateau Romani!

Happy New Year! Let’s start off with a skip in our step, and a whistle on our lips.

The Top Ten Whistling Songs

10. Goodbye, Stranger – Supertramp

Described as the “ultimate one-night stand” song, I couldn’t NOT include some classic Supertramp. A little 80s, a little campy, and awesome.

9. Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard – Paul Simon

I doubt if anyone really knows what this song is about, but no one can deny it’s catchy tune. One of my absolute favorite songs, period. Unfortunately for me, when I saw Simon live in 2011, he did not play this song. I think he’s just gotten too old for the whistling bit. If I could’ve come to the rescue….. **sigh**

8. The Fishin’ Hole – Andy Griffith Show

Who DOESN’T get this song stuck in their head on a lazy Sunday afternoon? Most people can recognize the whistling bit that comes at the beginning of each episode, but what you might not have heard is the great full song sang by Andy Griffith himself! Classic.

7. Jealous Guy – John Lennon

All my friends can tell you that in general, I am NOT a Lennon fan. He just doesn’t mesh with me well. To each his own. But I do love this song. Mostly because Elliott Smith covered it once live and it blew me away (uh, pun not intended). Here’s the live Elliott version. I think he kills it, and even though it’s not perfect, I love everything about it.

6.  Sissyneck – Beck

A lot of people tell me they aren’t huge fans of Odelay. I don’t get it. It’s a phenomenal album, and this is definitely a track that stands out. It reminds me, weirdly, of driving around in the middle of a hot summer day.

5. Sweet Georgia Brown – Brother Bones

Man, they could realllly whistle. I think the song speaks for itself here!

4. Daydream – The Lovin’ Spoonful

Another cute one from the Lovin’ Spoonful! I found these guys only recently and have been loving everything I’ve heard so far, but this takes the cake.

3. (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding

A sad story. This song came out a little while after Redding’s death in a plane crash, and went on to be his biggest success, winning two Grammy Awards. The carefree whistling at the end of this track is both uplifting and tragic when you think of the context of its release.

2. Life is Beautiful – Deadly Premonition (video game)

Recently, my boyfriend and I played a “horror/survival” video game called Deadly Premonition. While I can see why the game became a cult classic (by far one of the weirdest games I have ever played) there was a certain thing that totally stuck with me: the whistling theme that would come in at the most inappropriate times during cut-scenes. They would be talking about a murder or other sinister event and wham!, you’d be listening to this little ditty in no time.

1. Twisted Nerve

It’ll get in your head. And freak you out. Known for its inclusion in the Kill Bill movies, less well-known for the 60′s movie of the same name in which it first appeared. Check it out, it’s worth the watch.

Honourable Mentions:

Golden Years – David Bowie

Games Without Frontiers – Peter Gabriel

& I guess pretty much anything by Andrew Bird.

Let me know if you have a favorite I didn’t list! I always love to hear new songs with whistling, hand claps, or stomping feet! :]

I’m happy to announce the beginning of the Paper Doll Circus Zine Distro!

OPENING SOON!

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You might be asking: what’s a distro?

di·stro [dee-stroh]: noun.

a distribution source for independent publishing

(zines, comics, etc.), indie music labels, and other

do-it-yourself crafts.

I am a huge supporter of independently published artwork. I believe real change can be achieved through a small group of active individuals, and I will strive diligently to that end….so I decided to start my own artistic distro. There are many zine distros in the Northwest (Seattle, Portland) and on the East Coast (New York, Pittsburgh), but I have yet to find a true fan base in the Midwest. That really bothers me, because I love zines (I have only made one myself, but I enjoy reading and learning from them as well)! I figured the least I could do was encourage others who write and create art to keep at it. Individuals selling within the same market creates more of a buzz than each person trying to create a following on their own. I want to help artists reach out in a collaborative sense. To make an arts collective. I’m not interested in making a profit for myself; I just love the idea of self-published work getting out to more people, especially in my area. There aren’t enough people who think for themselves, who aren’t afraid to write or draw or otherwise create what they’re thinking and want to express their opinions.

Please check back often for more news on the upcoming opening of our distro! We’ll be posting new zines, comics, musical ventures and more from Chicago and beyond!

 

Do you write zines? Draw comics? Make music or other crafts? We are always looking for new artists and would love to host your work!
Contact us with a sample at paperdollcircusdistro@gmail.com

guerilla innovation

bottled stars.

I like to take walks. Long or short, brisk or lazy paces…there is just something about cool air that clears my thoughts. On a few occasions when I’ve found myself walking through a more “urban” area, I take a seat on a bench and watch the people who rush by, always on a schedule. I suppose there’s something to be said for that. You’re never quite bored, always completing some sort of task. But it is so hard to maintain an individuality when all you can think about is where you need to be next. Adults never take the time to “smell the roses” . When did we lose this sense of wonder? When did we become so apathetic to what is going on around us but doesn’t concern us directly? Children take the time to look around them, to notice out-of-place details and the little nuances in a person’s tone. They have an insatiable curiosity. Is this another thing we must give up on the pilgrimage to adulthood?

No. Hell no. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m a huge advocate of self-love and optimism overcoming personal obstacles. It might sound stupid to believe that a good attitude can make so much of a difference, but I think the Law of Attraction may very well exist. Read the rest of this entry »

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