Saturday, 8 November 2008

Election Fever, Literally

So, to quote my friend (and Official Adventures in Menstruating Bluestockings Gig Groupie, so some of you may know him) James, a lot of us had the best Guy Fawkes Day ever because of this guy. Our collective buzz was harshed the next day when all the votes were confirmed in California to be supporting Prop 8. Please don't hate on California as a whole, tempting as that is, or you'll be forcing all the hip and liberal Californians to pretend they're from Oregon, just like we Americans abroad always had to say we're Canadian...until Wednesday. But yeah, it was amazing to hear Our Barry say 'gay' on national television and use it as a normal adjective, so let's hope there's more good news to come.

If you're not suffering the credit crunch too badly and are in the area, you might like to attend Ladyfest Manchester this weekend. We'd been planning to but have been stymied by the flu, so just a quick heads up to people who were expecting us that we will be taking a lot of vitamin C and waiting for next time, unfortunately.

I've been kicking around an idea for a while to do a blog about our wedding, tracking it in retrospect so there's a bit of distance to reflect on it and really share what we did and why and how and what it meant. It was difficult to find the time to do it as we were planning, and I didn't want to just throw another blog out there if I didn't need to...but I'm feeling more like even if people choose not to use any of my ideas for their own weddings, at least another lesbian wedding is out there in the public domain, just kind of...being visible. What do you think?

In the meantime, bed and the US remake of Life On Mars for us, I think. Night!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Too early to call.

While I'm up, waiting for the election results (I voted by post, which fed my mail-art fetish as an extra bonus), here's some other non-election related stuff.

In news closer to home, Sarah's just told me that the Mooncup got a mention on Women's Hour today in the thrift section. (You may also want to check out the piece on sexism and homophobia in the workplace, which I haven't listened to yet but will check out tomorrow.)

Also, props to M L Madison and Brittany Shoot for their Feminist Review co-editorships!

More later.


Friday, 31 October 2008

The motif continues.

Happy Halloween!Italic

I went as Ms. Scarlet from Clue* to our Cluedo**-themed Halloween dinner and cocktail party. It was fun dressing up as characters from a different Tim Curry film for a change, actually.

Just a quick note to say that Zine Yearbook 9 has just come out and it includes 2 pages from Adventures in Menstruating, as well as lots of other good stuff. It's kinda like the Doctor Who Annual and it's pretty rockin'.

I was lucky enough to get a free copy as a contributer, and it's at my mom's house as we speak. She's loving it and sent a couple of pictures.

I can't wait to read it myself. Hooray for parcels in the post!

In the meantime, I haven't forgotten about Adventures in Menstruating #4, which is long overdue. We've had some big distractions over the last couple of months, but are getting back into the swing of things now, so I'll keep everyone updated if we get time to do any live stuff before the end of the year.

Until then, careful now with the candy corn.


* Clue is called Cluedo in the UK.
** Cluedo is called Clue in the USA.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

I take mind maps literally.

On one of the translucent, subject specific, topological maps layered horizontally in my brain, there is a Public Toilet Map. This is handy for obvious reasons, but sadly my mental map has become marred due to an altogether avoidable quirk I've picked up in recent years:

I photograph toilets.

This means that some of the little mental map icons have related images attached to ratings now. Sheffield train station: AVOID. Copenhagen airport: Import a 'number 1' with reckless abandon - these toilets are lovely.

The reasons for the ratings range from practicality to aesthetics - space for a sanitary disposal unit (SDU), space for your ass, inherent design flaws in the SDU and related mess of the cubicle...width has a lot to do with it. In fact, the whole thing started when I was doing action research for my comedy performance lecture on public sanitary disposal, The SDU and YOU.

After this past weekend, sadly, my tiny bladder is no longer overjoyed with Marks and Spencer's second story standby in the centre of town - you have to be Narrow McNarrowstein to feel the facilities are, in fact, facilitating anything like the relief you're after. The height is also a concern, unless you need a handy armrest. I can't get that comfy in a public toilet though, no matter how much good reading matter I have in my tote. It's confusingly huge and could be a bidet, or a baby changing table or something. Maybe a drinks cabinet. Amazingly, the cubicle photographed above is not the narrowest in town, in that you can actually see space between the SDU and the bowl, so I'll not complain any more about this photo.

But, to quote Kermit the Frog in Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, let's view the problem from another angle:

The toilet paper dispenser is in my 'dance space', as it were. Come on, M&S, I have just about managed to learn to replace the empty toilet roll in my bathroom at home with a new one as soon as the old one gets used up (Does this make me a grown up? Or would a real grown up be mature enough not to ask?), how come you can't get your ducks in a row? Next refit, let's go for wider cubicles (or hey, even actual cubes maybe) and a more minimalist design all round.

Coincidentally, I added this rating to my toilet topology on the same day the Guardian G2 ran
an article about women and the design of public spaces. I was psyched to discover that there is a women's design service, and that they actually have produced a definitive work about toilet cubicle design. I was just as unsurprised to read measurements and statistics evidencing male-centric urban design. Read the article at the link above, and check outthe WDS website Gendersite for articles and case studies on women and public inconveniences.

And as usual, check back here for updates to my own personal (if ad hoc) case study.


P.S. Some of the other maps in my head include: Subway Stops, Cafes that have Soy Milk, Copy Shops and Branches of Muji.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Back in Town

Had a great summer, came home to see the BBC coverage of RepubliCon (it sits better with my zeitgeist if I fool myself they're comic book collectors or sci fi fans). Found this awesome vid courtesy of an FCW mailing.

Cheers to those who came to the readings and we'll update more thoroughly soon!

In the meantime, I'm gonna go register absentee.

Friday, 22 August 2008

NYC - Bluestockings reading tonight!

So we're doing a reading at 7 pm at a great venue on the lower east side where we've read twice before and been made to feel really welcome. Directions/info available here.

We've practically been in a different state for every day of our visit - four in one day on Tuesday...hoping to see some familiar faces at the show!

Oh yeah - check out the menopause episode of That 70s Show - it rocks.


Sunday, 10 August 2008


We're on the road in about 20 minutes, which is just enough time to say a quick thank you to our awesome hosts at la-diy-fest Berlin and to the other performers for sharing their stuff with us. More later!

(Edited to add that the title is dumplings in honour of the dumpling cafe just north of neukoln in Berlin. Their all-day, all-you-can-eat brunch was an amazing way to spend Sunday, and although I only managed four dumplings, they were awesome. Sarah read some poetry, I coveted the 1950s chairs and coffee tables, and it was awesome. I'll post a link when I get hold of it, because, seriously, guys, dumplings.)

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Show time.

This is what it's supposed to look like. Although, you know, you tell me - do you prefer the one font or the two? I like the bewitched-esque font for the newlywed-ness, but the century gothic has been the zine cover default for a while now, although London Between is the inside default.

Anyway, logo aside, the gigs are as follows:

Friday 8th August, 7:30 pm
Studiobuhne, Kreuzberg, Berlin

Friday 22nd August, 7 pm
Bluestockings Bookstore,
Lower East Side, NYC

If we have time for more, I'll fill you in, but you've got two continents to choose from so far.


Sunday, 27 July 2008

Zinecore Radio

So I have always had the opinion that if you do three or more of something, you're in it for the long haul, probably ever since tenth grade geometry when I started plotting points with feeling. Hannah Neurotica is getting ready to do her fifth episode of her radio show and wants some readers and listeners. Check it out.

Speaking of three of something...the new issue of AiM isn't ready just yet- it's the live show we're fixin' to do, that flyer below. For some reason it's uploaded in blue, but it's actually meant to be red and black! I'll speak to my adobe-wrangling friend John about vectors when he gets back from Canterbury, but in the meantime, enjoy the purdy colours.


Thursday, 24 July 2008

Friday, 6 June 2008

Feminist Tested, Feminist Review Approved

So, Feminist Review has done a piece on the zines, and it's pretty darn glowing. I'm incredibly flattered and just wanted to say thanks. Their website is a pretty handy-dandy resource and I'm adding it to my links over there on the right.

Thanks to Brittany Shoot, who does half of HollaBackBoston among other nifty things, for the props.

I'm kinda speechless, which is very out of character for me. I'll just point out the awesome patchwork of covers someone over there put together to go with the article.


Saturday, 31 May 2008


Evidently, we are demolishing and redecorating. Earlier today, we went into town to escape the plaster dust and meet our friend Jemima from Firesuite and her new (and adorable and generally well-behaved-except where coffee chains are involved) dog (she peed on Cafe Rouge's alfresco area, which was kinda funny and no one got hurt).

On the way back, I saw a lonely maxipad on the pavement between a bus stop and a building.

I spent an amused few minutes on a mini stake-out (ok, I pretended to be waiting for a bus at the bus stop - but it was totally a stake-out) and saw that no one passing by acknowledged it or appeared to notice it or react to it, but somehow no one stepped on it. It was spooky. Like a ghost pad that no one sees but everyone can feel its presence, like a little shiver of social stigma up the spine. Only one guy of about 20 passersby actually visibly took an extra big step around it, but that was it. Even the guys holding heavy boxes of computer equipment they could barely see over missed it. So that's a 5% acknowledgement quotient by my count, with a 1% margin of error allowing for human spatial awareness on the city streets which helps us navigate by some kind of jedi mind trick anyway.

At the same bus stop, this charming piece of eye pollution was also on display.

Let me break it down:

First of all, it's a patronising South Yorkshire transit ad operating under the misapprehension that it gives a shit about affordable and convenient public transport, so, you know, totally fair game.

Secondly, the 'artiste' cleverly (or serendipitously) uses the 'together' tag line to urge us into collective action. So far so adbusty. But the message derails here, I feel, in that the writer goes on to urge the gentle reader (in words and universal symbols) to defecate. Not on the bus, not about the decline of affordable and convenient public transport, just, ya know, kind of in general, it would appear. There is an acknowledgement that this would be a taboo act, in that we should 'miss behave', so it's not a complete non sequitur. The public installation concludes with a recent addition to the English slang canon which onomatopoeically namechecks the sound machine guns make when they are shot off into the air in celebration. I absolutely hate that this word has fallen into common use, particularly among school-age boys, and I challenge it every time I hear it as normalising gun violence and casual gun use.

Thirdly, I feel there are mixed messages I must reconcile and address the following contradictions to our mystery author: we should misbehave and defecate publicly, but not be so vulgar as to call it anything other than a 'poo'; we should use preschool terms instead of anything so crude and fricative as 'crap' or 'shit', but the extremely violent and plosive 'brap' sound effect simulating a machine gun salute is fair game; the handwriting, terminology and bathroom-wall-humour aspect point to a probably young probably male-identified writer, but he urges us to 'miss' behave (is the message only for women or is it an unfortunate spelling error?); and we're discussing poo, but the pen is red - don't you feel you've missed a trick here?

And finally, also to the artiste, if you have a permanent marker in your hand and you're on a city street, do something beautiful or at least spell correctly.

Sorry, end of rant.

When we got in later this evening and trudged our veggie gyoza-ed asses up to bed, the first thing Sarah said as we walked upstairs toward the partially de-wallpapered corridor was, "Oh, it looks like a bloodstain on underwear."



Monday, 26 May 2008

Hélène Cixous quote

And why don't you write? Write! Writing is for you, you are for you; your body is yours, take it. I know why you haven't written. (And why I didn't write before the age of 27.) Because writing is at once too high, too great for you, it's reserved for the great - that is, for great "men"; and it's "silly". Besides, you've writtena little, but in secret. And it wasn't good, because it was secret, and because you punished yourself for writing, because you didn't go all thw way; or because you wrote, irresistibly, as when we would masturbate in secret, not to go further, but to attenuate the tension of it, just to take the edge off. And then as soon as we come, we go and make ourselves feel guilty - so as to be forgiven; to forget, to bury it until next time.

Write, let no one hold you back, let nothing stop you: not man; not the imbecilic capitalist machinery, in which the publishing houses are the crafty, obsequious relayers of imperatives handed down by an economy that works against us and off our backs; not yourself. Smug-faced readers, managing editors, and big bosses don't like the true texts of women - female-sexed texts. That kind scares them.
-Hélène Cixous summer, 1976

Sarah just read me this from some research for a paper she's writing and I was like...yeah.


Friday, 9 May 2008

Dum dum de dum...

So...we thought we'd manage to make it to Ladyfest London at least as spectators, but if we're gonna make honest women of each other next month, we've gotta get down to business here with the insane amounts of planning going on.

Charlotte in Sheffield said that Annie Sprinkle in New York said that lesbian!weddings were shockingly traditional, even when deconstructed and undermined at every radical feminist angle. Or something like that. I'm paraphrasing. And I think it was Annie Sprinkle...

In any case, we're on hiatus til the end of July, and then hoping to head to the US until the end of August. We're finally planning to get to the west coast, so if you're gonna be there, give us a bell. I'm hoping to get Adventures #4 out by then...should I be putting that in writing at this stage? I'm reminded of what Douglas Adams said about deadlines.

Cork was great - can't say that enough. Hope Ladyfest London is just as awesome - I can vouch that the film programme will be, and Saturday night's band lineup is pretty inspired - get down there if you can, if you haven't already, and to our pals that are working it for the festival - you know who you are - hope you're having a wicked time and that it all goes according to plan.

Ladyfests have become a bit of an addiction for us, I think - there are holes in my mental map for the ones we haven't been to now. I've just done a tiny comic for Il Pleut des Gouines #10 all about that - and that was the last official activity on our radar for about six weeks.

I'm still on the email, and we're still 'at home' to visitors, and we totally need to do coffee with the Cartwheels, and I'll probably blog a bit more instead.

Have a good one.


Sunday, 27 April 2008

From MAN to ORK

And to think we were nearly turned away and diverted to Shannon because of the fog. We've been here since 10 pm Friday night and it's been awesome. Off to bed now, to dream of trance cello, amazing bands, and late night jam sessions with instruments provided by toys r us. Thanks and well done Ladyfest Cork! Full update after we return and recover from three all-nighters in a row.


Thursday, 24 April 2008

Cork: city of dreams and menstrual comedy.

Should you happen to be in Cork, Ireland this weekend, here are our Ladyfest gig and workshop details:

Funny Period - random comedy bits from us: Friday at midnight at Cyprus Avenue above the Old Oak on Caroline St. Queen Kong are on just after us, and I promise not to be the catalyst for an international incident involving ski pants again. (Sorry, Dave.)

Saturday we are doing 2 workshops in the Lee Room of the Victoria hotel:
1 - 3 pm is Bloody Brilliant - menstrual musings, comedy and activities
5:30 - 7:30 is the impro(v) comedy workshop - we wanted to call it Whose Cunt is it Anyway? but it's just listed as an impro(v) workshop.

If I can swing it, I'm hoping to screen my short film, The Fuck You Story, sometime Saturday evening.

And Saturday night, also at the Cyprus, we're following Party Weirdo who are on at 9 pm. We're doing 9:35 til 10:05 and it's gonna be our usual shtick plus some new bits and any impro we try out with some new impro peeps, we hope.

Then after that it's our Hag night! If you're in Cork, please join us!

If you're in Sheffield, I can recommend the Fem08 conference, afterparty hosted by Lola and the Cartwheels.

If you're in Stratford, please attend Shakespeare's birthday party for me.

If you're in London, be our proxies at the London Zine Symposium. This is my first time missing it and I'm gutted. Big up to Nat and Edd for organising this every year, and cheers to Eran for making all the previous ones tons of fun.

If you're anywhere else, I hope you, too, have a lovely weekend. In fact, I'd like to know what you get up to!


Sunday, 20 April 2008

Digesting with a short attention span.

I have become a matzoh ball.

Watch the pretty colours as we roll off to bed.

Happy Passover to those of a passoverly persuasion.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

nearly on the road

i'm just trying out writing from my phone. I'll be in new york for a week from this friday and may do a reading sunday afternoon. Pardon the lack of caps.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Writing lines...

I will not adhere to a self-imposed media blackout.
I will not adhere to a self-imposed media blackout.
I will not adhere to a self-imposed media blackout.
I will not adhere to a self-imposed media blackout.
I will not adhere to a self-imposed media blackout.

You'd think I'd be good enough at multi-tasking to maintain a blog, check my myspace, return emails and lead a fairly ordinary life, right?

Luckily, I managed to remember various user names and passwords, looked at the old myspace, and discovered Party Weirdo were playing about 2 miles away from us tonight, about ten minutes before the doors opened. So we scarfed down spaghetti, got dressed, and dashed out of the house. We got there about five minutes before the first band, which was a hilarious guy who did covers using a music program on an old nintendo gameboy. It was one up from circuit bending and we were totally hooked. He'll be on our myspace soon.

The Weirdos rocked the house as usual, to a pretty hefty crowd, and Em did mad things with her pointy-fingered dancing. It was the first time we actually saw Chart Your Cycle the song, as we'd been backstage last time waiting for our cue. Hopefully they'll post some photos somewhere soon (I was stunt photographer). And I would have missed the whole thing if I'd kept avoiding the internet.

I'm in New York next week, I should mention, which is one of the perks of having not quit my day job. If you're around, give me a shout.


Saturday, 23 February 2008


Just a heads up that we've been invited to perform and do a workshop at Ladyfest Cork at the end of April.

So...get your Cork on.

Hope to see ya there.


Thursday, 24 January 2008

New Year's Resolution: Say it with tampons!

Thanks to swissmiss for pointing out this inspired addition to the collective tampon art canon. This UnBeige logo was designed by Melanie Rodgers, and it's screaming out to become a font or text generator of some kind, no? I can think of a hundred uses.

In other news, I'll be posting some highlights from our recent New York trip in the coming days. Jet lag has hit hard this year.

And a couple of people will be pleased to note that I've finally routed out the obscure (to me) bit of blogger that wasn't set to display comments. You can now comment at will!

Happy belated 2008!