Saturday, October 01, 2005

XC@JD: the 'zine.

Following counterintuitive's practice of using acronyms (SUMB=swearing under my breath), we decided to speak in acronyms although XC@JD (cross country at Juan Diego) was really as far as we took it. Juan Diego High School, for those of you who don't venture into the south part of the Salt Lake Valley, is the new complex built by the Roman Catholic Diocese, and includes a church, a Catholic Center, a primary school, a middle school, and a high school, and is very deluxe. They sponsored an invitational meet this morning.

My son did very well--his best time so far in a true 5K--!7:47. Zach, however, streaked by him at the very last and beat him by a fraction of a second. Those of you not following this story will be enlightened to know that Zach is the formerly second place runner that Walker has been beating in the last few races, now restored to second place, for who knows how long.

This is the last race before Region, which is on October 10. On the training schedule, there are a bunch of training runs, including "run the Region course" and "run the State course." Last year at Region, the first-place runner for my son's high school had a bad race, so the team didn't qualify. We're hoping that this year will go better, and that on October 19, we'll all be at Sugarhouse Park cheering the West Jordan team on.

Today's a day that required split second timing on everyone's part. It's one of the last few market Saturdays, and I have agenda items to accomplish before the winter. In squirrel fashion, I have nuts to store--really, actual pecans from the organic pecan growers in Hurricane. I had to buy some more tomatoes to roast, more basil from which to make pesto to freeze, etc. So we had to get up early enough to be downtown by 8. We hauled our produce down to Draper and Juan Diego, caught the beginning of the junior varsity boys race, then the varsity girls. We were finished with the varsity boys by 10:45 or so. My adorable husband the historian is helping his son move into his first house today, whereas I have been facilitating two 'zine workshops for the Utah Progressive Network's Youth Activism Summit. Whereas when I left the house, Bruiser and my son, just arrived home from the race, had stretched out on the couch for a rest or perhaps even a nap.

I have been on my own case this whole week because I offered to do two two-part workshops. Nobody asked me to be this volunteer-y--it was, like, "Will you help us by teaching a 'zine workshop?" and I'm all, "Sure, why don't I do two two-part workshops, to be spread out over two days?" Whose ass was I actually kissing by being this helpful? Of course, it's all turned out fine, and I'm enjoying it very much. The youth activists, several of them anyway, know more than I do about 'zines. For instance, did you know there's such a thing as a "distro"? Here's one to check out: http://www.microcosmpublishing.com. This place serves as a distributor for a bunch of indie products, such as t-shirts, posters, books, 'zines, stickers . . . as well as a manufacturer of personalized buttons and stickers. It's a cool site, and helped me understand a little more about how some 'zines might be circulated on more than a micro-local level.

My own experience with 'zine-making has been connected with my experience as an imaginative writing teacher. In my intro classes, we generally finish the course by making a class 'zine, which involves collaborating on various elements of the 'zine, but allowing a lot of latitude in individual page designs. I have always loved the eclectic effects such 'zines have. The youth activists, however, had amazingly creative ideas for their 'zines. What about a 'zine that focused on public restrooms in SLC? Photos and reviews. It could spin out into issues about other types of public spaces. Or a group of high school aged punks doing a 'zine about the bands, both local and touring, that come through SLC. These guys had already thought a lot about the project.

I think I should do a 'zine about Saturdays at the megastore household. I might call it "@the megastore." Certain people would be out and about doing good works, such as helping people move and lifting heavy items, or teaching people who already know about how to make 'zines how to make 'zines. Others are taking a nap with a dog after having run 3.1 miles in their best time ever. I would definitely have photos, and there would be witty captions. Or perhaps poignant captions. Ou sont les neiges d'antan*? One never knows, really, how many more races in the season there will be to run, or at which to cheer.

*"where are the snows of yesteryear?" Francois Villon

4 comments:

Sleepy E said...

Ah zines, so much to do, so little time. I'm just happy that Mid-B finally pushed through and is embarking on the Rejection Quarterly project. Hopefully I can live vicariously through him and get the zining out of my system...

The problem with doing a zine is that if you actually do a good job and create a compelling product, then it never ends. you must do another and another and another unti you die, God forbid. Best case scenario: it grows out of control and you have to spend every waking moment managing it.

Lisa B. said...

Isn't the zine world full of one-offs? I say, the rhetorical situation is that you're going to continue--it's the zine production equivalent of "willing suspension of disbelief"--and then you only continue if you feel like it.

Anyhow, are you a ziner?

middlebrow said...

Cool stuff on the zine world lisa b. And I'm loving the ongoing narrative of your son's races. Please keep them coming. If I don't always respond, I assure you I always read. It lets me relive my two years in high school as a two miler. I was slow. My best time, I think, was 10:30 for two miles. The problem with the two mile race was that it was run on a track and on a track you can be lapped. I still remember these elfish creatures from Gig Harbor High School effortlessly lappping me.

Sleepy E said...

Never did make a zine but always wanted to. Seemed like the right thing to do living in Seattle after graduating from college in the mid-90s. There's something very DIY and punk rock about zining, which I like. I don't like the idea of a one-off zine...That's a book...or a stapled together group of pages...called a book. A zine has continuity. It's a magazine, for Chrissake, without the maga.

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