Last week I was lucky enough to be in New York having a whale of a time over Passover and Easter. At the start of the week, I arrived at my parents’ house in NJ to find two awesome parcels waiting for me from Niku and Sage containing copies of Niku’s collage zine I’d contributed to and my cycle girl on badges made by Sage. As I was getting ready for the readings later in the week, I found out it was Joanne Morton of the FCW network’s birthday on the day of the reading, which gave me the idea to do the reading as a kind of an Adventures in Menstruating #4 launch party with goody bags, which I had great fun putting together with my best friend Matt the night before. They were little red paper bags tied with ribbon and contained a red ball and jacks, two red lollipops, and a badge among other bits and pieces and flyers. He also made a t-shirt for me with iron-on letters that spelled out ‘Menarche Now!’ – the slogan from Sarah’s story in Adventures in Menstruating #2. Toys in Babeland donated a gift set including a reusable shopping bag (which gives the bearer 10% off every future purchase), vibrator, lube, and (most importantly) batteries, and my brother got me some classy chocolate-covered matzah. It was super cool having an all-male send off for my comedy menstrual gig, actually. And thus, a party was born.
My friend James read a really sweet intro and then helped me raffle off the t-shirt and the Toys in Babeland bag to raise some money for Bluestockings, and the menstrual comedy fans were really generous. It was a great atmosphere at the reading – a really warm and enthusiastic crowd, and (since I was only there for a few days) served as a welcome and a farewell for my flying visit. I was really psyched that Microcosm’s Sparky got to NYC in time to attend because we’d never had the chance to meet in person before and she’s really friendly! Huge props to long-time supporter Jenna from Radical Reference and the Barnard Zine Library who’s attended the Bluestockings readings a few times now, and all the staff working that night for joining in and making me feel so at home.
Later that night (after a karaoke, pineapple juice and rum-themed send-off) at The Living Theatre I read some more on my own and also with a fellow baseball-loving, Doctor Who geek college pal. It seemed like a great small venue – I’d recommend it and will most likely head back there again to see other work. I met awesome people at both readings, including another woman who had a women’s health-super-hero-alter-ego, some radical teachers, and wicked cool readers who were already familiar with the zines and well-versed in the menstrual hi jinks.
The next morning I finished the triptych with a visit to the anarchist bookfair where I donated zines to the Sex Workers Outreach Project and traded some more for some vegan chocolate peanut butter cups and screenprinted speculum stencil patches. I also got chatting with lovely people visiting from Wooden Shoe Books in Philly, who were the first shop to ever carry my zine, and picked up some info from Books Through Bars, ABC No Rio, and Teaching for Change (got a book of radical lesson plans).
Zines I picked up (awesomely, all trades, actually):
For the Mobile Menstrual Zine Library:
Where Have all the Placentas Gone?
Herbal Abortion: A Woman’s DIY Guide
What Your Momma (or your doctor or your teacher or anybody) Never Told You About Your Period
I also got Dave Roche’s newest zine, About My Disappearance 2, because he’s awesome and I miss him but I hear he’s having a whale of a time in Australia right now so I can’t complain.
More details to follow on those zines as I read them.
I’ll leave you with the Bluestockings bathroom – a joy to behold with a bathroom book, artwork, lots of space, an awesome minimalist bucket sink (you’ll have to visit to see that part – it’s inspired) and, if you’re that way inclined, a hand-rolled cigarette lovingly left in the toilet-roll basket. Crazy.
I’ll post more when the ridiculously long-winded jet lag of doom wears off.