Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Semi-automatic DIY Mechanics : 'Zine Issue #1 is (almost) more fun than day-dreaming on 8-20-08

Look what all the cool kids are doing when they can't sleep?
Last night The Mighty Rockford Peaches played & lost another basketball game. I wasn't there, I was at home, popping codeine for my aching back and doing arts & crafts 'cause I wanted to have something to show for myself when semicolon returned from the Tough Game. "Look!" I told Twitter: "I made an insomnia poetry book!" And Twitter said it was good.

As y'all know, if a tree falls in a forest and no-one hears it, who cares? Similarly, if I make a 'zine for tinkerbell but not for the blogopshere, then no-one can comment on it, and then it doesn't count. So, semicolon took my hodge-podge slapshot creation away from my feeble hands and transformed it into SLAPSHOT MAGIC. It's packed with 10 insomnia poems, including one you can't find on the internets! Special BOOK EXCLUSIVE. Want one?

Of course you do! It's super cheap, free shipping for everyone, even for the sleeping children of Narnia. You'll also get free Auto-Straddle stickers! Also I did the cover art, just saying. (Babypop did the lettering, I drew a pickshur of myself) I'm very multi-talented. Even if you've not read it, if you think you know how good it's gonna be, please share in the comments. We'll be collecting blurbs for the back cover today.

Check out some sample pages:


BTW, I've had a long love affair with the 'zine, having hit adolescence at the zenith of the riot grrl/zine-ing explosion. I had one, I've got many, and I could talk about 'zines all day. Perhaps theres 2-3 girls in the audience tonight who know what I'm talking about. Can I get a witness? Maybe I'll take a field trip to the Barnard Zine Libraray to get back into the craft. 'Cause that's what I need. Another non-profit hobby. Also, FYI Blogs are not zines..

[croadcore /cristy c.road]
Since I was on a roll with the arts&crafts I applied a similar can-do spirit to figuring out the store HTML & consequently did auto-store inventory. If you visit the store page, you may notice that I'm slashing prices like Wal-Mart. Why? 'Cause I'm moving and I'm trying to get rid of 50% of my stuff ... and 'cause I wanna get crackin' on the next round of auto-gear STAT using colors like grey and black 'cause this time we picked some SERIOUS colors and Crystal only wears black. I think my design team didn't realize that many people (especially men & lesbians) aren't neon sprites of rock 'n roll and pop-pleasure like my lovely friends are, and these darker souls want something subtle. Also I learned a lot about you people doing inventory, like that none of y'all are skinny like Shane 'cause XS boy-briefs are still fully stocked! They don't fit me either, but I have an ethnic ass. Chase the remains of auto-gear stock at the store (we're out of Papi-tees in Medium, FYI, so grab the last Large NOW!) here.

If you ever at any point purchased auto-gear or are purchasing it now, you have the option of clicking the "with auto-gear" button next to the 'zine and you can get a copy UNDER COST -- yes, just $5 sweet bucks. For the former -- you're fully welcome to pay full price if you want, but I totally get it if you want to get a bargain 'cause the auto-gear was full price. Also don't underestimate the power of where your money went: The Super-Important Foundation for Riese's Brill Ideas/Recaps and The Layla Love Angel Fund. Seriously, you're all very special and I love you all as friends. Except for the meanies.
Last year I blogged about Dream-Whip, my favorite 'zine of all time, and the good folks at Microcosm Publishing sent me all this awesome stuff, like Cristy C. Road's zine Indestructible (initially intended to be the final issue of GREENZINE). All the art in this post is Cristy' s. Also, she's in that Live Through This: On Creativity and Self Destruction book I threw out there for Book Club #1 and read anyway.
quote: "Sometimes as I'm drifting towards sleep, in the beginnings of that dissolution, I wonder where I am, when this is, and realize that at these moments I could be anywhere, anytime, for all I know: eight and napping in the trailer, my broken arm in a cast, or thirteen at night clutching a pillow to my neck, or twenty in the arms of my boyfriend, or twenty-seven in the arms of my husband or thirty-three next to my imaginary daughter; at every place in the whole spinning shape that is my life, when I am falling asleep, I am the same person, the identical awareness, the same fuzzball of mind, the same muck of nerves, all along the line. I forage through my life and everywhere -- there, there, and there -- it is only me in it, the very same me, the same harmless lump, the same soggy weirdo, the same sleeping, breathing bun." (Lorrie Moore, "Angarams")

1) Perez Hilton Burned Up the Blogosphere, Cosmetics, Fashion -- and Music (@wired)
2) I wanted to link to this article but it's just for Harper's subscribers so I extended my privileges to y'all and downloaded it for you to download from me: Elegy for a Rubber Stamp by Lewis H. Lapham, on the memorializing of Tim Russert: "I don't doubt that Russert was as good at the game as anybody in Washington, but why the five-star goodybe? ... why a requiem mass for a pet canary? (@harpers)
3) Why Zines Won't Die (@good magazine - 2007)
4) What kind of person Blogs ? (@bps research digest) and Who Blogs? (@science direct). E.g., neurotic females = likely to blog.
5) I Meet the Business End of Citibank's Anti-Adult Business Policy (@waking vixen)
6) It's a Maddow Maddow Maddow World: "Huzzah huzzah and glory be! Today is a day of great jubilation and celebration here at Broadsheet!" (@salon)
7) "What's the Buzz?": the search for the perfect caffeine-infused snack, (
8) 14 Ways to Use Twitter Politely (@the morning news)
9) How "the man" kept Playgirl down: Believe it or not, there was a time when women read Playgirl for the articles. (@maclean's CA)
10) Baring their souls: From Carole King to Tori Amos, confessional artists have sung with searing honesty about everything from divorce to menstruation. As Liz Phair's classic album Exile in Guyville is re-released, Laura Barton celebrates the women who shared their dreams and demons. (@the guardian uk)
11) Awake by Tobias Wolff (@the new yorker)



Anonymous said...

A tall, tightly packed, white girl with an ethnic ass. Damn that's sexy.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes wonder if it's not wise to keep every zine I ever received or made, but, as we talked about before, maybe they'll make a comeback, and I'll have something to show for once upon a time.

Adam said...

I'm surprised Lozo hasn't cleaned you out of extra smalls.

Adam said...

(also, the WV link has an extra " at the end...I'm sure most people can figure it out, but I didn't want to let you down on my link editing duties)

Dave "Ethnic Balls" Lozo said...

I have seen your ass. If you gave me 100 words to describe it, I don't know if I'd choose ethnic. It does have that funny accent, so I guess I get it.

And while I haven't purchased any of the XS boy-briefs, I have tried them all on to make sure they were as fashionable as they were comfortable and flattering.

I bet that helps you sell them.

green said...

when i telepathically ordered 2 copies, i had no idea how awesome this zine would be! the pages feel papery and the words have letters in them! it's like i've died and gone to auto-heaven.

caitlin said...

the zine looks so good. i love the uh huh her page. i am very *excitant* about it. also, as soon as i saw that about maddow i sent it to hav asap. love a lesbian on the teevee. go team.

A. said...

Maddow is getting her own show?! This has just made my day. I watch far too much MSNBC already, but now I'll have a full un-disrupted hour of Rachel Maddow.

I hope that didn't come off as sarcastic.

Also... why am I seriously considering giving you twelve bucks?

a;ex said...

Hey, I have that shirt you're wearing! Oh wait, jk.. that's me. Sometimes I can't tell the difference you know?

Also, you guys, I have serious plans for the printing of this zine. We'll show you more pictures as soon as we have a printed one (soon! I promise!)

And then you'll realize that you're not just giving Riese $12, but you're actually getting something quite precious and totally handmade (which is rare these days) in return!

The links are awesome today.
And I had something to say about your ethnic ass, but I think I'll keep it to myself.

Vashti said...

Ooh, that 'zine looks snazzy. I order b&w though cuz I'm tight on cash/stingy? But now I'm kind of regretting my decision. OH WELL.

Also, you can add me to the list of people whose dreams you have invaded. I don't remember what you did in my dream but you were there and I woke up confused.

Mercury said...

I dreamt about Riese too, a while ago. I didn't have a chance to categorize her ass though.

Hmmm, I think I'll spring for a tanktop so I get a zine for $5. I'm just... gonna wait for the billing cycle to close... cause I think maybe I'm already over my credit limit this month...

autumn m said...

ok really.... really. not that your poems arent great and stuff, but i think i can pass on buying stuff, especially when i dont get it. ok so umm i had never heard of uh huh her until i read this blog. i like them. i told my friend about them and another band called northern state. this is what she said and i qoute "ok uh huh her kinda makes me wanna die.......and northern state doesnt get any better" what a sad day.

Crystal said...

I'm excited about the zine. I was tempted to buy some of the merch because of the ridic prices, but I just know I could never wear those colours. Can I be a consultant on the next round of Auto-merch? I feel like I can provide valuable input on behalf of dark souls everywhere.

riese said...

anonymous: thanks for reading!

burningsteady: I sometimes wonder if it's wise too but the other day I had to explain to Alex what a zine IS, and I was so happy to have them on hand! I even thought remorsefully of some of my favorites that I no longer have.

adam: Lozo's kinda stingy.

adam: thank you captain.

dave "ethnic balls" lozo: Is "damn sexy" one of the words you would use? Thank you for the positive review, you should be a salesman!

green: omg, that is so true about the words on the page and the letters, that is DEFO going on the back cover!!

caitlin: thanks tiger! i love the uh huh her page too 'cause I love Uh HUh Her. let's keep dropping "excitant" all the time. Go team excitant!

a. Well, technically you're not giving me 12 bucks, 'cause it costs money to make/ship it. And anyone can cheat and just pay 5 bucks (in which case you'd be giving me nothing), 'cause it's not like I'm gonna check to see if you really did buy auto-gear. But, that being said ...

because it's cool, because it's a handcrafted item. I don't know why I paid for 'zines in high school, I just did, and I had a two dollar lunch budget then. The article from GOOD magazine offers some illumination.

I liked them, I think it's neat. Semi's gonna print 'em up super hawt, and I don't think anyone will regret ordering it, y'know? But that's just my opinion.

Sigh. Yay Rachel Maddow!

a;ex: It did occur to me that people might think that was me in the photo. You can give me the ethnic ass comment in a private tweet.

That's a really good point about a precious, handmade special item. I bet it costs money to make, too. But personally I'd rather spend my money on beer and women. JK, I'd buy it if I didn't make it. Actually I will buy one right now from myself, I wonder if that would make Paypal explode.

vashti: I wonder why it is that internets people are so pervasive in the dreams of others, I feel like someone should write their thesis about it. And thanks for the order tiger, maybe you'll wake up in a color world just the same like the wizard of oz!

mercury: You can take your sweet sweet time, sweet Alaskan princess. I like being in people's dreams, I should write one called 'You wouldn't like me if you met me in a dream."

autumn m: I don't like northern state either but I went to their concert, they're kind of annoying. I don't blame anyone for not liking uh huh her.

You're right, don't buy anything. Just read this blog. It's totally free. Save your money for snacks and beer would be my advice, 'cause beer isn't free on the internet, like this blog is.

riese said...

crystal: Haaayy! I love you and you can be a consultant representing people who wear black in Texas when it's 105 degrees outside. I'm confident you'll deliver the deliverables on behalf of dark souls everywhere. I too am excitant for the 'zine, yaysers!

Vashti said...

I blame all of my internet dreams on my in-depth exploration of the world wide web before beddy-byes every night.


Did you just call me tiger?

autumn m said...

why would you go to a concert of a band you didnt like??? and honestly i think i like northern state because everyone else hates them. thats how i roll. and i will save my money for snacks and beer. good call. and to think, i spend money on other things. what a waste. totally found this awesome new swimsuit style. its called wholesome swimwear. check it out, i bet you'll laugh.

A. said...

Oh Semi and Riese, you know I'm going to buy one. I'm a sucker for your writing and everything your little posse does.

I'm just finishing up the longest day ever at work, all breaking news all the time. I wish I had chosen to be an astronaut when I grew up rather than a broadcaster.

But... I just bought brand new converse online and they arrived today so I get to tear open that package as soon as I finish my hour long drive home.

Then I'll order the 'zine, and I won't even cheat. As long as my hard earned 12 bucks goes towards peanut-butter related products.

riese said...

vashti: You bet I did! And i agree about your theory.

autumn m:In response to your question "why would i go to a concert of a band I don't like."

Well, Stef invited me and Carly to go and so we went. I didn't know Stef yet, so I didn't know if I'd even like STEF! let alone the BAND! BUT! you know what? I DID like Stef! AND I loved the performance. I don't want to listen to them all day long, but they're really energetic performers and it was a good experience. We also went and got some kickass Mexican food that night too, at a place I'D NEVER EATEN AT BEFORE. I mean I don't even know spanish. It was probs at least $12 but totally worth it for sure. Sometimes I like to really go out on a limb with my money/credit, that's how I roll. Carpe diem, you know?!

a.: That's the spirit! Yay!

I am sort of second-hand excited for your converse! getting things in the mail is a joyful and exciting event for everyone. like today, I got a book in the mail. I thought it was gonna be LYING but it wasn't, but it was a really awesome book called WHAT IT IS that I'd ordered to get free shipping on LYING, which is strange, considering LYING is never coming, it's like amazon is lying about lying. Anyway enough about me oh wait one more quick thing about me; I had to go to the post office to pick it up though 'cause harlem is retarded.

I'm gonna get a peanut butter nature's valley granola bar, and peanut butter cups, and a big jar of peanut butter, and then I'm gonna write a zine about it! Yay!

green said...

i just realized how awesome "semi-automatic" is. have you used this before? did i miss it? i miss so much.

Health Articles said...

I'm excited about the zine. I was tempted to buy some of the merch because of the ridic prices, but I just know I could never wear those colours. Can I be a consultant on the next round of Auto-merch? Well, technically you're not giving me 12 bucks, 'cause it costs money to make/ship it. And anyone can cheat and just pay 5 bucks (in which case you'd be giving me nothing), 'cause it's not like I'm gonna check to see if you really did buy auto-gear. But, that being said ...

riese said...

But where are the health articles?

stef said...

remember when northern state opened for tegan and sara and we went? there was no san loco factored into that equation at all actually.. that's some BULLLLLSHIT. i don't like to go anywhere without san loco. also, maybe i was drunk (i was nervous!) but that fateful day at luna lounge i feel like we stuck around for approximately ten minutes of northern state and then carly had to catch a train or something.

regardless, i like northern state and not uh huh her, and if i had twelve dollars i'd probs buy a zine. the automatic win tank has done wonders for my love life - not even making that up.

the other day i was walking in the bowery and saw all these posters up for the uh huh her album and was like 'wtf, did riese put these up?' and then remembered that uh huh her are a real band that exist in the world outside of this blog, and then i was very sad.

carlytron said...

aww, northern state cd release party. i remember eating mexican food drunkenly. aww, northern state opening for tegan and sara. i remember riese nearly killing me. good times, good times.

i like uh huh her and northern state and sometimes i end up seeing bands i don't like. those are called "opening bands." you know what else? word ver is "xlnty," which is obvs short for "excellenty" which is not a word but i think it should be.

autumn m said...

why has everyone here seen northern state in concert and i havent? that's BS.

caitlin said...

remember when we went to northern state before tegan and sara? i do.

autumn, i got you a present today. i bought some copies of the 'zine, in black and white and color, you can have either one, just tell riese and she'll send it to you. i just felt like you needed it. maybe it'll make more sense in 3d. also, who doesn't like paper? i sure do. think of it as christmas in july. and if you're jewish, well then it's the first and only night of hannukah. and hopefully someday you'll get to see northern state in concert. keep the hope alive.

autumn m said...


caitlinmae said...

I haven't seen northern state in concert!
I haven't even seen Tegan and Sara in concert, or know if sara is spelt with or without an H!

But zines, man, zines!
I'd much rather spend $12 on a zine than on a northern state, except for vermont because it's really pretty up there.

also- I totes loled at Stef's comment because I had a similar thought when I saw those posters. Like, UHH exists outside of the autouniverse? they have fans that I don't twitterfollow? also, for stef, my word very is hwikou, like haiku, which you do superexcellently.

basia said...

i saw northern state open for T&S when they played at the church next door to which i will be moving in a few days. they said they left out some of their more risque stuff because they were in the house of god. so apparently i've not seen the best of them... i thought they were ok but my friend thought they were horrible and spent the entire T&S set talking about how horrible northern state was. afterwards, we discovered one of the northern state girls was within earshot the whole time. true story.

where does excitant come from? i feel like i missed something. i was excitant about the women's beach vball final but they didn't roll around in the sand (while the men did - wtf) and in their post-match interview all they talked about was how they're retiring coz it's time to have babies babies babies, which made the feminist deep inside me go "grrrrrrrrrrrrrowl!" and it was not the type of growl i'd tuned in for. wah, i need a drink.

stef said...

i have never seen uh huh her (although i have seen them push buttons and make goldfrapp songs happen). i have however seen northern state approximately a bajillion times. i love those girls; they are my peoples. part of the appeal really is that 99% of the universe can't stand listening to them.. also, two weeks ago i ran into hesta prynn in two separate bars on two different days, clearly something cosmic is happening and i should brush up on my rhymes in case they run out of sassy white girls.

dear autumn,
your profile says you were born in 1987, making you even younger than semicolon, so maybe you missed out on the golden age of the zine. i will teach you! they were good days. in pre-internet times, it was very difficult to get your opinion heard, so we used to write our smoke signals and poems about dinosaurs down and print and staple them together and send them via carrier pigeon, and that way we would find out about neat things like wholesome swimwear and health articles. try it - you might like it! your negativity makes me sad, and i will probably write a series of haikus about my feelings and then publish them in a zine.

"why" and then five dots.
cos "ethnic ass" bernard is
stuck in the 90s.

autumn m said...

i was born in '86. and my bad for being all negative. didnt mean to.

riese said...

green: [actually i must admit that someone i used to know who had a habit of starting blogs and then deleting them 5 times in one night once started one called semi-automatic automechanics. i don't remember what it was about but i have a guess.

stef: I totally do, yes, they are so full of life and energy. san loco that's what it was called, i remember it was delcious and i texted Crystal to tell her that she should've been there. I do remember that carly was tired and had to take the train back to nowhere new jersey down the shore. i saw the uh huh her posters today and I was like, that is weird, that must be how people feel when they see it, like how i feel when i see it. oddly no one has sent me a free copy of this album yet and I don't know why.

carlytryon: awww, I lol'ed again thinking about when i almost killed you. that never got old. I'm glad I didn't break your ankle or something like that girl did at the basketball game, that wasn't as funny. I should do a top ten worst opening bands i've ever seen. the worst is usually the openers for bands that should be openers. like when i saw the crash test dummies.

autumn m: everyone here has seen northern state 'cause me, carly, stef and caitlin were all at the tegan & sara concert that they opened at. magic happens on this blog it really does. also i think a lot of people who read this have seen t&s on tour.

caitlin: I think three demensions, and golden paper, make everything better. i also do indeed remember when we went to northern state before tegan & sara. I though they were very energetic creatures in nice pants. don't they wear free city or something like that? Whatever it was it was nice and helped inspire me to try to kill Carly, which was awesome.

autumn m: because caitlin is so nice.

catlinmae: It's spelled without an H. Why have you never been to a T &S concert? It could change your life and be the most amazing experience of al lthe expereinces you've ever had the chance to experience in your whole life you know? I like Vermont too, I think it has nice mountains, but not as nice of course as the 'zine. I hope UHH realizes how much we've contributed to their image and success.

basia: I think Northern State is an acquired taste. I do love their rhymes though< i mean they have some really hot lyrical stuff going on, some good beats and rhymes and some good performance mojo. I wish that they were gay though and I secretly think they could be if they really tried. I used some of their tracks on the vlog. That is so awesome that you are moving into a church. Also um, the answer to your question obviously is on the nex tblog.

stef: As the music expert I am very upset that you've never seen Uh HUh Her I would like to get your professional opinion on the exact magnitude of their awesomeness just saying. I think you should join Northern State.

As you know your letter to autumn has made you the Biden of Commenters rather than the Al Gore of commenters, in that you have been chosen by the resident COmment Contest Winner (Alex, since we haven't had a new one since) to be a comment contest winner and you will be receiving your 'zine in the mail, and it will be just like the 90's, but without the cute boy alerts.

autumn: It's okay ,clearly we find conflict exciting, and you're getting a zine!