Friday, April 26, 2013

Interview with Z.F. Thrimej of the zine When Deadlines Become Zombies

Heather Wreckage (maker of comic zine Dreams of Donuts) answers 16 questions

During late January of this year, I had mailed the following questions to Heather. Around mid-February, I received her answers (along with her comic zines), also via snail mail. Here are the questions and her answers:
1. Is there a particular reason or reasons or story as to why you call yourself “Heather Wreckage”? If yes, what is that reason(s) or story?
I always wanted a punk moniker, so when I started Dreams of Donuts & had a stalker, I decided I could get away with it under the farce of “identity protection”.
2. If you found out that 24 hours from now you will die (and it would be a quick and painless death) and you could somehow maybe even magically do whatever you want with the last 24 hours of your life, what would you do?
I would probably just eat a lot of food & get really drunk. Maybe call my best friends.
3. If someone was to play you in a movie about you, who would it be? And/or have you ever been compared to or unintentionally reminded anyone of anyone else and/or anyone famous? If yes, who is it, or who are they?
I would want my best friend Hailey to play me, for sure. She would make it a comedy. When I was a kid I was often told that I looked like the Olson twins. As a teenager it was Courtney Love. Now I hear I look like the lady from Grimes.
4. What compliment have you received that you are proud of?
Recently Tomas (of the zine Rad Dad) spoke highly of my zine in an interview for the L.A. Zinefest, & that was so flattering!
5. Have you ever received a weird compliment? If yes, what was it?
I think because I’m a women I recieve weird compliments from predatory men all the time. But also one time my friend called my laugh a “bitch-cackle”, which I take as a compliment.
6. If you were a non-human creature, what would that creature be, and why?
Uh…that’s a tough one. Probably an elephant, I appreciate their sense of community.
7. What annoys you?
Lot’s of things. I’m a waitress, so jerk customers. Complaining, lack of empathy, wasted food, messes, I could go on forever but I don’t want to be negetive.
8. What’s your guilty pleasure(s)?
Beer and cigerettes, hands down. Also, burrito’s.
9. What is one of your most recent observations or discoveries of something cool or noteworthy or inspiring?
I moved away from Oakland cuz of a breakup with an abusive person & since then have been scared to go back. But last week I went back to work on the Slingshot newspaper, & I ran into my ex. But I felt fine! I wasn’t scared or anything, so I found that inspirational, like I had healed.
10. What 10 (or 20; depends on how curious, interested, or bored you might be) songs and/or albums are (for you) the most difficult to forget?
I can’t nessisarily list songs or albums, but I can list bands:
1. Chrome
2. The Who
4. Cowboy Killer
5. The Lost Sounds
6. Iceage
7. Nerve City
8. The Masters Apprentices
9. X-Ray Spex
10. The Talking Heads
11. Has there been any surprise highlights, lessons, and/or discoveries for you during your process of making mixtapes? If yes, what are they?
Not really. Recently my friend said he was obsessed with a song I put on a mixtape for him, & I was surprised, thats about it.
12. While you make mixtapes, have you ever intentionally sequenced songs (and/or recorded non-song material such as spoken word) in such a way that reveals something new or adds new levels of meaning, flavor, perspective, and/or significance to a previous or next track within the sequence? If so, can you give an example or examples of these sequences, or what they are?
13. (I’m not sure if the following question is too similar to question 9, but just in case it isn’t) what’s something good and recent that happened to you or that you experienced that was more and/or better than you expected?
Yes. I had  a bad breakup when I left Oakland, & recently I dated a friend & it was totally great.
14. Are there any particular goals that you’d like to accomplish or projects that you’d like to work on? If yes, what are they?
Mainly I would like to do an art show soon & also finish another issue of Dreams of Donuts. Also move out of Sacramento by the summer.
15. Have you ever experienced a moment in which you proved yourself and/or others wrong, and that moment is something you’re proud of? If yes, what is that moment (or moments, if you feel like sharing more than one)?
I prove myself wrong all the time. Either making a deadline or making a painting good that I thought would suck. Pretty much I prove myself wrong every day. As for other people, I can’t speak for them…
16. Is there anything in particular that you wish people would understand (or understand more) about you and/or your work? If yes, what is it?
I don’t really feel like people understand me, but I’m ok with that & kind of prefer it. I guess with art, I wish people could understand it takes a really long time to make a comic. I hear people complain a lot that my zine is out-dated. I also hear people say my writing is terrible, but I don’t have a high school diploma so what do they expect? I’m not fucking Shakespeare.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I've started an Etsy store

   I'm not very good at this stuff but I thought I would give it a try.  You can check it out here.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dreams of Donuts #17

Following the Jimbo comic there is an interview section, but I figured it would be easier to type it out here then to scan the tiny text.

Jimbo Interview

Dreams of Donuts:  Before starting your trip, can you describe your history and experiences with depression?
Jimbo:  I've suffered from depression most of my life, starting in my late teens/early twenties, in the early 1990's.  Although it was something that I never consciously admitted to until about 2002, when I was living in Seattle.  I was never honest with myself about it because it seemed shameful to me.  I would see other people practically brag about being depressed, gloating about what medications they were taking to treat it.  I perceived it as a pop culture trend of sorts.  And I hate trends and trendy people.  Ironically, not feeling like you belong or fit in is a part of depression.  I've felt for a long time, and still do, that I'm disconnected from humans, somehow.  Other manifestations of my depression include sleeping disorders, such as insomnia or sleeping too much, fatigue, immobility, lack of self-worth/esteem, loneliness, eating too much, impulsive behavior especially with money, poor hygiene, and many other things I'm sure.  But for sure the biggest thing is what I mentioned earlier about feeling disconnected.  Not feeling I belong, even with people I have things in common with.  So, fast forward to living in Seattle, and my depression finally came to a head.  I was alone and didn't really have any friends up there.  I was left to my own thoughts and things just kinda spiraled downward from there,  I finally came to terms with the fact that I am indeed depressed.  I went to my doctor and he was able to prescribe to me a generic Prozac that was sold at the hospital pharmacy for real cheap.  It did help somewhat, but not in a way that I liked.  Mainly what it did was it made me feel nothing.  I wasn't depressed per se' but I sure as fuck wasn't happy, either.  Also, my dick stopped working.  And part of being depressed is not having an active sex life.  So the last thing you want when you're not getting any is for your dick to just not work at all.  Fuck that shit!  So I stopped taking the meds after about two months.  What helped me the most with dealing with depression was simply coming to terms with it in the first place.  From there I was able to tackle my emotional problems by not letting them get the better of me.  I was actually pretty happy for a few years afterward.  I felt more confident about myself and wasn't so hard on myself about how I look or act or talk etc etc.  I will tell you, though, that for about two years before my walk, thoughts of suicide were, and still are, frequent.  Unfortunatly I'm too chicken shit to take matters into my own hands like that.

Dreams of Donuts:  Pre-walk, you experienced some life changing events that left you homeless.  Can you tell us about them?

Jimbo:  I wasn't homeless, actually.  For a few months my cousin took me in, and then I was forced to move in with my parents.  Which, as you would probably imagine, is a pretty devastating scenario for a man approaching his forties.  Basically what happened was that I was in a car accident that took my business away.  I owned my own business driving people around in a Lincoln Town car.  A glorified cab, basically.  On May 28th of 2010 I was on my way to pick up a customer when some dumb ass group of kids ran a red light right in front of my car totaling it.  No was one injured, thankfully.  Anywho, insurance companies are evil fucking gangsters.  Legalized mobsters if you will.  I couldn't recover enough money for them to replace my car and get my business going again.  I lost pretty much everything I owned except for my DVD collection, my computer, and my clothes.  I lost my apartment, my independence, and my pride.  I tried to go back to driving a regular cab, but the money just wasn't there anymore because of the bad economy.  I really had no other choice than to move in with my parents, who live far away from my home of Sacramento and all my friends.  At this point I had just given up on life.  I'm almost forty years old, and have nothing.  I've been fired from almost every job I've ever had for being late to work.  Thank you insomnia and depression!  Every few years this shit happens to me.  I get a decent paying job, get back on my two feet, things are good for a while, then BLAM!  Everything fucking falls apart and I have to start all over again.  Well, throughout my twenties and even into my mid-thirties, this was fine.  I was always able to bounce back.  But this time, I just wasn't in the mood for it.  I'm sick and tired of "getting back up on the horse".  Why I the fuck would I wasn't to do that anymore?  I mean, every fucking time I do, everything just turns to shit eventually, so whats the fucking point?  So, like I said before, thoughts of suicide dominated my thoughts.  I realized more than ever that I just am not capable of playing by the rules of American society.  Which sucks, because believe me, I really wish I could.  I wish I could hold down a job, not fuck off my money, maintain a relationship, and provide a comfortable and honest life for myself.  As far as being homeless, I often think that would be the best fucking thing for me to do.  During my walk I gained an entirely new appreciation for homeless people and how difficult their day to day lives are.  I just don't think I have the strength to do that, day in and day out.  What would take the most courage, I think, is being able to let go of all my vanity.  Things like social networking, having a cellphone, a computer, a bed, running water, dependable food, etc etc.  For now I'll just day dream about having that kind of courage.

Dreams of Donuts:  When and how did you decide to take this trip?

Jimbo: I decided to take this trip last Feb, of 2012.  A few days earlier I was driving home one night, and some Fleetwood Mac came on the radio.  FOr me, certain music applies to certain activities, like driving for instance.  So when that song came on the radio, I started daydreaming about what it would be like to finally have the freedom to do what I want, which is to go on roadtrips.  There's so much I want to see and do, and I want to do it in a car on the open road with the perfect music playing.  However, there's a cost to freedom.  Read my blog post, the price of freedom, to understand my thoughts on this in more detail.  Anywho, then a few days later I was watching True Grit, this new version with Jeff Bridges.  Don't know if you've seen the movie, it's a western.  At the end, there's a shoot out in a valley meadow.  I realized to myself that people back then had much more freedom than we do now.  Back then, it didn't take much money to buy a horse, a gun and rifle, some supplies, and travel across the country.  And there wasn't going to be anyone to fuck with you like cops or the department of agriculture or forest rangers etc etc.  If you wanted to check out of society, no problem!  Well, you just simply can't get away with that shit anymore.  I may be mistaken, but I believe it's actually illegal to be a transient.  Bullshit!  Anyhow, I was thinking that it would be nice to be free like that, and it would also be nice to take my road trips.  And I thought to myself, "well, why not?"  I may not be able to afford an RV or whatever, but theres no reason I can't walk to where I want to go.  I'm broke and poor, so if I wanna see the sights, guess I gotta do it by foot.  I remember hearing about a book when I was a kid of a man that walked across the USA.  He took a lot of photo's and met a lot of people.  I never read the book, but I remember thinking when I heard about it how bad ass that was.  So I decided to take a long distance walk.  For a moment I entertained the idea of walking across the US, but that just seemed too expensive, and quite a bit beyond my physical abilities.  Keep in mind, I'm a depressed mal-content couch potato that couldn't even walk a quarter of a mile when I decided to do this.  So I chose to walk to Seattle.  The reason for that was because I had lived there, so the destination was familiar to me,  Also, it's still on the west coast, and I figured if I got into any serious shit, I'm only literally a day away, no matter how far I got, from rescue if I needed it.

Dreams of Donuts:  Were you scared or nervous or doubtful at all?

Jimbo:  There were plenty of times I was scared or nervous.  Doubtful?  Not really. There was a time when I was though.  I originally started my walk on May 28th.  I injured my foot the first day out and had to come home a week later.  That was the only time I doubted myself.  My depression also kicked in big time again.  I thought for sure I wasn't going to be able to make it back out on the road, and I figured that was just my fucking luck in life.  How typical and predictable that I would fail and that this would all fall to shit for me like everything else I've ever tried to do.  Thankfully, after only a couple of weeks back home, my foot felt fine and I was able to re-start my journey from where I left off in Reno.  And actually, now that I think about it, I was nervous about letting people down.  I felt like I had hyped it up so much, and I was asking for donations and gifts to help me alson the way.  I didn't want to embarrass myself and let everyone down.

Dreams of Donuts:What were the first couple of days like, especially since your body wasn't used to walkking such distances?  Also, mentally how were you feeling?

  Jimbo:   That's right, I wasn't use to walking such long distances at all. Or any distance for that matter. I decided to take the trip in Feb of 2012, and I left (the first time I left, I'll  explain what I mean by that in a bit) in May of 2012. So I had four months to get my ass in gear and get in shape. I went from barely being able to walk a 1/2 mile to almost 12 miles in a matter of four months. And still being a heavy smoker and eating like shit during the whole time. 
So by the time I was ready to leave for my walk I was feeling pretty good. Physically and mentally. 
My first day was kinda hard because it was a couple miles further than I had ever walked before. Also because there was a stretch of about six miles where the roadway was totally fucked off because of construction work. The surface was all tore up, which turned out to prohibit any further walking a couple days later, more on that in a moment. I also learned from that six mile stretch of road, that long, straight, flat roads are actually more frustrating than roads that curve about or have hills on them. They just feel like they'll never end. When you have hills and turns, you feel like you're making progress. But the long flat stretches make you feel like you're getting nowhere. 
Despite that, I felt fucking fantastic mentally/emotionally on the first day. I was excited to finally get the fucking show on the road. It still hadn't quite sunk in yet as to what I was  actually doing. Probably because I was so close to home, and would be for several more days. Anyhow, my first night was at an RV Park. Kind of a weird experience, but it was cool.

The second day turned out to be quite difficult. My goal was to get to Washoe Lake State Park, 16 miles away. But I got a late start, and god damn it, I was fucking sore and tired and blah blah blah. There was more of that fucked off road surface to deal with, too. I just felt like I didn't have any energy. Felt like it was taking forever and that I was moving at a snail's pace. Late in the afternoon I was at the edge of town. I had done only about 8 miles so far. Straight ahead of me there was what seemed like a giant hill and I felt like I just couldn't conquer it. There happened to be a cheap motel right there and I decided "FUCK IT, I'm getting a room". Initially I was really disappointed in myself for only covering 8 miles, and also I felt like I kinda let myself and my followers down by staying at a motel. You see, when I was doing research for my trip I ran across this kid's blog online who just got done walking across America. I read all of his stuff and watched all his videos. His approach was to stay in motels as little as possible. I was trying to follow his example. What I realized though as I continued my walk, was that it was better if I just did it my own way. No matter what happens during this entire experience, I have to be true to myself and my abilities. Anyhow, so yeah I was bummed to have to get a room, but I was also relieved to be off my feet and done for the day. I posted my blog entry that night and expressed how bummed I was for staying at a motel, and sort of apologized to everyone for being such a fucking pussy. But the response I got from everyone was really positive. Nobody gave me shit. Everybody comments along the lines of "it's ok, you'll have bad days, dude don't worry about it just go at your own pace" etc etc. That's when I realized what I mentioned earlier, about doing it my way and being true to myself. I also realized after reading everyone's comments that I had a lot of support, and it felt really good and it was really inspiring. SIDENOTE: there were many times during my trip, especially when I wasn't able to get online for a few days, that I felt really exhausted or burned out or depressed or whatever. But when I was able to get online, I would always see a bunch of comments on the Facebook page from people, friends and strangers alike, that were very supportive. Everyone cheering me on. I gotta tell ya, it sounds fucking cheesy, but that shit really does fucking help. A LOT! Every time I was down and I saw those types of comments I felt renewed and inspired. (special note to you, Heather: never turn down support from your friends. Use that shit!)
Anyhow, so the next morning, the third day, I started off, and had to tackle that big hill first thing in the morning. I wasn't as apprehensive about it as I was the night before. I had gotten some rest, and everyone's support really fucking helped me feel better about myself. So I tackled the hill. I intentionally took my time. Paced myself. Didn't rush it. It turned out to not be nearly as hard as I had imagined it. When I got over the crest of the hill I saw a big mountain to my left and the lake to my right, with the highway running through the middle. I took a moment to take in the scenery. It's a view I've witnessed dozens of times in a car. But when you're on foot it's a lot different. Everything is bigger. You can smell everything. The colors are more vibrant. There's a lot more texture. Anyway, 8 miles later I was at Washoe Lake State Park. I had called them a couple months prior to ask them what the walk-in fee was to camp over night. They didn't have one so they just let me stay there for free. Really cool of them! Found a site to pitch my tent and chilled out for a while. My foot was really fucking with me though from the fucked off road surface from the last two days. I mean, it really fucking hurt, a lot. I was getting kinda worried at this point. I chilled for a couple hours, then I felt a bit better, so I walked around and took pictures of stuff. When I got back to camp, I noticed something that I had not seen before. On the edge of my campsite, there was a rock. And on the rock, there were two paws from a fucking dog or coyote or some shit that someone chopped off and left there. Really fucking weird. It turned out to be an omen of sorts, because my feet were killing me so fucking bad, I ended up having my mom pick me up to take me to my next destination which was my grandparents in Reno. By this time I was wondering if I had some sort of stress fracture or some shit in my foot, it hurt that bad. So my plan was to chill at the grandparents for a few days and see if I would heal up. Unfortunately it got worse, and I ended up having to go home a few days later. I was fucking devastated. I thought I was going to have to postpone the trip, maybe til the following year, or even worse, cancel it all together. Obviously I felt like I let everyone down, and myself. But even worse was that I felt like this was my fate. You see, before taking this trip I've pretty much never accomplished anything in my life. Drifting from one job to the next. A whirlwind of apartments and room mates for nearly twenty years. Nothing getting done and just running in circles and always failing at one thing or another. I thought that this was just yet again another turn in that cycle. I felt like I was surely never going to do anything in my life. that I was doomed to hopelessness and failure. 
Well, for whatever reason, my usual fortune changed for the positive for once. About week after getting home, my foot was feeling a lot better. So I started taking short walks. Just a mile a two, then six, then like 11 miles or whatever. There was absolutely no more pain in my foot YAYYYYY!!! So after two weeks of resting up I was able to restart my journey.
To sum it up, physically the first few days were challenging, but I made a conscious decision to not be a pussy and get over myself, if that makes sense. Mentally/emotionally it was also ups and downs. You get down on yourself when you feel like you're not accomplishing what you set out to do, but then your friends cheer you on and support you and that energy kinda takes over and jump starts your soul. And the further away I got my starting point the happier I was. Still though, it really hadn't set in yet what I was up to and in for. So that was my first couple of days!      

Dreams of Donuts: Once you got going, what was your trip like?  Were you getting any outside support?

Jimbo: Well.... gosh, what can I say? My trip was amazing, hard, aggravating, frustrating, enlightening, relieving, exhausting, adventurous, scary, fun, surprising, lonely. Just about any emotion you can think of I probably felt. Although I suppose we all feel different emotions all the time depending on the immediate situation or what's going on in our lives. The difference during my trip though was that I was feeling all those things for a whole new set of reasons I have never experienced before. 

As far as support goes, yeah I got a lot. My folks financed most of the trip, which I can't thank them enough for. But I also had the help from all of my friends and other members of my family, during the trip I had some help from a few strangers, too. I networked as best as I could on the interwebs. I had a gift registry on REI and everything I asked for was purchased for me by my friends. Really fucking awesome! People also donated to me gift cards to like Wal-mart and fast food joints and shit like that. Some people even gifted me gear. One friend of mine drove all the way from Sacto to Reno just to give me a sleeping bag. Totally fucking awesome. What I mostly wanted for support though was places to fucking crashed. Like I said, I networked as best I could but only a few people were able to host me. Everyone that did though was also totally fucking awesome. Fed me, got showered, comfy bed etc etc. Really nice. A few random strangers here and there would buy me something to drink or eat or whatever. Totally awesome. One night I even asked a random dude out in the middle of the woods if I could sleep on his property because I couldn't find anywhere I felt safe enough to camp. He was totally accommodating. That was actually probably the most memorable night of my entire trip, but I'll save that story for another email if you want to hear it (too bad you weren't able to make it to my presentation!). But as I kinda mentioned before, the most helpful and supportive thing anyone did for me was to cheer me on from the interwebs. That ALWAYS turned my mood right around and gave me the emotional energy I needed to continue on. I also had awesome support from a few close friends that helped with things like updating my Facebook page when I didn't have internet, or getting online to find shit on Google Maps when I didn't have internet connection on my phone and shit like that. I'll tell you, Heather, another very important thing I learned on this trip is that people want to be involved. If there's some amazing shit going on, people want to feel like they were essential to the process. Especially when they know it's someone like me who shouldn't be able to do shit like this because of his mental of physical condition. People want to see the underdog overcome hurdles, be they internal or external. Everyone who helped me was happy to help, and I was and always am very thankful for it. 

Dreams of Donuts: What was your arrival to Seattle, and then back home, like?

Jimbo:  Here's the video to my arrival at the Space Needle
When I got there I was kinda bummed that there weren't more people there, because I had made my best effort to arrive on a Saturday when most people would have the time off. But, I was really really fucking happy to see the people that were there waiting for me. A few old friends I had not seen in a very long time, and someone who I had never met before that followed me along my entire trip. He showed up with his wife and kids. Fucking RAD! I was also very relieved to finally be fucking done with the whole thing. I hung out in Seattle for a week, trying my best to wind down.
Coming home was good. My friend Lori (you probably met her at the Hideaway when you and I met) drove all the way from Sacramento to get me. Her son lives up there, so we all hung out for a couple days then headed back to Sacto. I stayed there for a couple weeks because I was not looking forward to getting back to my parents house. 
While I was in Sacramento after the trip, I found myself having a very difficult time interacting with other people. I don't know if I was having a hard time decompressing, or if the decompressing I was experiencing was normal and it was just new to me, or what. I couldn't look people in the eye (kinda have a hard time doing that anyway). It was hard for me to carry on any sort of extended conversation except with a very select few people. Meeting and being introduced to someone new was absolute hell. I just didn't have the emotional capacity for it, nor did I have the energy to even fake it. I tried my best to be as polite as I could when I met new people or crossed paths with a stranger, because I know they couldn't possibly know what I was going through and what I just did. I try my best to not be a fucking dick. 
I think it took me a good couple months to finally "come down" from my trip. Solitude and stillness was preferable.

Dreams of Donuts:   I guess one thing that drew me the most to your story is although you struggle with depression (since being depressed is such a debilitating thing, like for me I can't even brush my teeth sometimes), you did something totally incredible, but when I met you post-walk, you said that you were still unhappy.  And in a way that meant so much to me, because your adventure wasn't the ultimate cure all for you, depression was still a part of your life.  Do you feel defeated because of that, or do you feel accomplished?

Jimbo:  Well Heather, that means a lot to me when you tell me that it meant a lot to you. I'm thankful that you can relate. And I know. I know all about it. Not being able to take care of personal hygiene. Eating too much or too little. Sleeping too much or not enough. LITERALLY not being able to move or get out of bed. Anxiety in social situations. Not feeling good looking enough, smart enough, like-able, etc etc. Being in a completely different universe from everyone around you. It's lonely and vacant and desperate. Do I feel defeated? Absolutely not. Do I feel accomplished? You bet your fucking ass I do! You're right, my adventure was NOT the cure all for my depression. But that's exactly the point, isn't it? Despite my being a fat, ugly, chain smoking, malcontent, couch potato I defeated the odds. I did something that I wasn't suppose to be able to do. I had doubters during my trip. No one said anything to me before or during the journey, but a couple of very very long time friends of mine told me when I was done that they didn't think I could do it. But that's because they've known me for 25+ years. They have ever right to believe that I couldn't do this because they know my track record. And my accomplishing this made them even more proud of me and happier for me. It was more special to them because of that. And it was more special to ME also because of that. And yes, I still suffer from depression, it is what it is. It's something I have to live with and deal with. I'll get more into that with the next question.

Dreams of Donuts: What are your plans now?  And also, what advice do you have for others with depression issues?

Jimbo:  Plans:
When I was training, I would have my headphones on with music that got me going. I can't express how incredibly helpful music was to my training. It got me pumped. I walked faster and harder. I nearly started to jog a couple of times (but I never did because I'm too embarrassed). Between the music and the vigorous walking I felt powerful and virile. And those feelings often carried on during the walk. And during my walk I had plenty of time to daydream. So I decided that when I was done I would make a big announcement that my next big plan is to train to run a marathon. I figured if I could go from zero to all out in a matter of four months, imagine what I could do in one year. And I figured that if I could run a marathon distance by the end of 2013 I would see what I could do to get into the 2016 Olympics in Rio. I still believe I could do that if I really put in the effort, but unfortunately I have been putting in NO effort for ANYTHING the last couple months or so. When I was done with my walk I continued to take daily walks of about 6 miles or so. But eventually the problems of everyday life caught up with me and I got distracted and I haven't taken a walk in a couple months, at least. 
But I've found a new purpose. The Sandy Hook school shooting really affected me. Normally when these mass shootings happen all I do is sorta shrug my shoulders and think to myself "wow people are fucked, what the hell is wrong with everyone". Then I go on about my life. But Sandy Hook was different. If there's one thing I can't fucking stand is people that harm children. I just simply can not tolerate it when I hear about kids getting physically or emotionally or sexually abused. It's fair to say that I even get a bit enraged when I hear of these things. Being unemployed has afforded me the opportunity to sit around on my ass all day and watch tv. So the day that happened I pretty much watched every unfold on the news as it happened over the course of about 4 days. 
Now, there's a lot of debate going on right now in this country about how to deal with these mass shootings, and violence in general. The gun control topic is a fierce debate, and I have my opinions on that subject, but there are better people than me to make those arguments. But if there's one thing we can ALL agree on, is that the state of mental healthcare in this country is in shambles. It's an issue that simply needs to be addressed, no way around it. And one aspect of mental health is depression. Well, that is something that I know about and can identify with. And I feel an overwhelming sense of obligation to help others that suffer from depression like I do. 
So what I would really like to do is walk across America. When I walked to Seattle it was pretty much a selfish endeavor. I did it for me. For the adventure. But if I do a walk across America, this journey will have purpose and meaning. It will be a mission. I would like to take the walk to raise awareness of depression, especially for me, but ultimately for anyone that will listen. I would raise awareness by giving my presentation to whoever will listen. I want to share my story. Talk about my walk to Seattle and my battle with depression and how those two things affected each other. I still haven't had any speaking engagements since the one I did last October at Lori's house, and I'm horribly bummed about that. I feel that I have a positive message that I can share with people. I know I can help people with my story. I want to talk to whoever will listen. High Schools, therapy groups, AA meetings, backyard bbq's. Whatever, it doesn't matter. Then, when I'm done with the walk, I want to start a Depression Anonymous group. I don't know if there's anything like that out there or not, but it makes sense to me. Healthcare is expensive enough as it is, and mental healthcare or therapy or whatever is probably out of reach for most people, even if they have health insurance. I want to do something similar to what AA does. Hold public meetings that anyone that feels the need can attend to discuss our problems with depression. But not just sit around and talk. It would also have the same type of support system of sponsors just like AA does. So that people can have someone to call in the middle of the night or whenever, if they're having trouble with whatever it is at the moment. If someone can't afford 60 bucks an hour or whatever for therapy, there's no reason that they shouldn't be able to get help. Doctors are not psychiatrists yet they can prescribe all sorts of drugs to people for depression. Doctors are expensive, and so are psychiatrists and therapists. This would be a non-profit volunteer type thing. 
In order for any of this to happen though I need to get a fucking job! BADLY! I really couldn't rely on my folks for help with something like this. It's just too big, and they're having issues with their marriage and with the house right now. Everything is sorta all up in the air. If I can't find a job by the end of March, or maybe April, I'll have to abandon this plan. Or the walk, at least. Reason is, I need to be able to save money for about 10 months or so in order to do this. There's a few other things that need to happen in order for all this to work out, but getting a job is the main thing. I haven't really made any announcement about this idea or anything just yet since all my shit is all up in the air right now. I've hinted at it to a few friends. So for now, if you plan on mentioning anything about this in your zine, I'd keep it to a minimal, because I just really don't know what is going to happen yet. I will DEFINITELY keep you posted!

Advice for people that suffer from depression:
I'm not sure that I'm the one to "advise" anyone on how to deal with depression, but I am more than happy to share what has worked for me, and to share some words of encouragement. I think that's the best and safest way to approach it, because everyone is different. 
Like I mentioned earlier, the single most proactive and helpful thing I did for myself regarding my depression was to come out of the depression "closet". I acknowledged it, confronted it, and came to terms with it. Probably the next thing, and this was very recent for me, was to accept it and treat it the same way alcoholics treat their disease. Alcoholics feel that they are alcoholics for life, even if they haven't had a drink in 20 years. I have to treat my depression the same way. Once depressed, always depressed. Kinda like what you said about my story catching your attention when I talked about still being depressed after my walk.
The main thing learned from my walk was that no matter what I do, it's going to be hard. Walking 20 miles a day everyday for two months was really hard. But you know what else is really hard? Being depressed! Being stuck to the couch or in my bed and letting my life go by. That is really hard. It's hard to deal with and it's hard to live like that. So I figure if my life or the activities I want to pursue are going to be just as hard as suffering from depression, I may as well try and do what will make me happy. Also, and I know it sounds silly, but EXERCISING. It REALLY does fucking help, a lot! There's a reason all the so called experts recommend exercise for people with depression, because it's true! And believe me, I know how difficult it is to just get out of the bed sometimes (or most of the time for that matter). But it's one of those things where you just have to make a conscience effort. You have to force yourself to do whatever it is that you need or want to do. And if you can keep it up, it gets easier and easier to do and then you don't feel so shitty about yourself. 
The only thing I would say to others suffering from depression (and I know this sounds all Tony Robins and shit, but it's true) is that you don't have to let it control your life. You REALLY can do whatever it is you want to do! You just have to make an effort. Even a small effort is important. A small step will lead to a big step and then more steps after that. And it's ok to ask for help. Whether it's from your parents or other family members, someone at church or school or even someone you work with, or your friends or whoever you feel you can trust to come out to. Just don't be afraid to ask for help. There is absolutely no fucking shame in that at all. And finally, there is no shame at all being an individual that suffers from depression. Don't let that stop you from doing anything. No one has the right to give you shit for it or hold it against you.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Maximum Rock N Roll 360 Zine Reviews

  In the May issue of MRR, both Dreams of Donuts #15 and I Am What I Am are reviewed, although they're not the best reviews, in my opinion.  Oh well, you can't win them all.

I have always liked a graphic zine and this one happens to be about Occupy Oakland, but it eschews the political rants for a daily life narrative which is a pretty different perspective than most of the stuff I've read so far.  She talks about camping at the plaza and how rough it was, but then about the inspiring moments too.  There are some other stories in here about a couple houses around town and then some things about traveling.  As per usual with things written about places I lived or have lived, I got a little bogged down with trying to figure out who the fuck this person is (didn't).  Interesting read.
My own note, I love that although I make a zine that gets around pretty good, most people have no clue who I am due to my antisocial tendancies.

This is a really well drawn, but somewhat confusing comic of a write-up of a dramatic sketch regarding racism in the 60's feminist community.  The confusion only comes from it being kind of a photocopy of a photocopy of a seven person sketch told with illustrations of Siamese twins.  Sometimes conversations can seem trite to people that have the privilege of not having themand like beating your head against a wall for the kids that can't not have them, this zine does a pretty good job of bringing up racism in feminism.  This is at times dated, but poignant and still, unfortunately relevant.  The drawing and text are really cool, and this zine is definatly worth picking up if you like comics, feminism or discussions on racism.