^ Ink calendar by Oscar Diaz, link.

"Ink Calendar makes use of the timed pace of the ink spreading on the paper to indicate time. The ink is absorbed slowly, and the numbers in the calendar are ‘printed ‘ daily. One a day, they are filled with ink until the end of the month. The calendar enhances the perception of time passing and not only signaling it. The aim of the project is to address our senses, rather than the logical and conscious brain.

The ink colors are based on a spectrum, which relate to a “color temperature scale”, each month having a color related to our perception of the weather on that month. The colors range from dark blue in December to three shades of green in spring or orange and red in the summer."


Yesterday I went into town to check out the Octapod's zine library and see if any zine related things were happening there (Bird In The Hand Zine Shop is running a monthly zine making day with the Octapod). I wasn't disappointed to see the only people about were two of the coordinators, who were busy doing other things, so I just browsed through the collection. They're in the midst of deciding how they want to catalogue the sizable collection and I signed up to help. There are a lot of zines there and currently they're in a bit of a mess, but I managed to find some goodies and read them with a cup of tea that one of the coordinators made me.

I read some really good stuff. It felt like I'd stepped into a time warp - some zines weren't dated, but the popular culture references within acted like date stamps, containing them within their time and place. I read a lot of Newcastle zines, and reading a few pages you could tell which ones were made by Novacastrians. It really felt like standing in the same spot and winding back the clock, Newcastle seemed so interesting through someone else's eyes. A time when there was more than one cinema in Newcastle and they weren't all owned by corporations, the Palais still existed, public transport was a dollar a trip. I imagined what it would have been like to be 19 in 1999 as instead of 9. There were some really interesting observations about Newcastle contained within those zines, and when I stepped out after 3 hours reading, Newcastle felt like a nicer place, less industrial and cultureless. The fact that so many zines have been produced by Novacastrians it's as if this city makes people want to capture a part of it. I considered that the people who wrote those zines, years ago, and made all of those lovely observations about Newcastle and it's grimy charm, have probably long since moved on and likely no longer hold those feelings about the city, but I liked what they'd said.

I remembered this quote from a zine called "Delectable' (which contained some interesting Newcastle historical facts); "Where Melbourne has a cafe on every corner, Newcastle has a pub. I think it's got something to do with their different climates and people". Newcastle isn't so much like that now I suppose, it's more like... on every street corner is a dilapidated closed down pub or a try-hard trendy bar. Another of my favourite zines was called 'Starzine', made by writer Paul Byron which again painted Newcastle in another light.

I felt annoyed that I couldn't take the zines home with me and reread them, and I considered photocopying some of them, but instead I just made some notes. Clever stuff. As a result, zine ideas are flying all around my head again and I am trying to will myself into doing it. C is going away next week for 18 days and I'm thinking of just immersing myself in it while he's away. I'm hoping to make a few more trips in to the zine library, it was an interesting experience.

Afterwards I went out into Civic Park and saw a couple standing ten metres apart doing tai chi, a teenage boy watched them curiously as he skated precariously along the edge of the fountain, a man had fallen asleep reading a book on a park bench, a paper takeaway bag blew around in the grass, a huge black crow the size of a small dog looked me right in the eyes. I walked past my friend's work, being a Saturday he was far from there, but I still had the urge to call out his name. I heard a Things Of Stone And Wood song I'd never heard coming from an empty restaurant I'd never been in. I got lunch at quarter to 5 just before the shop shut and I sat outside while they closed and burned my fingers and tongue trying to eat it too quickly. I bought overpriced marked down stationery. I walked to the bus stop. The bus driver's hands were shaky and his first two attempts at putting my ticket in the machine failed clumsily, he handed me my change and the crumpled ticket. A man got on my bus wearing brown-framed 70's era bifocals and sporting some of the longest, well maintained men's hair I'd ever seen. When he sat two seats in front of me I noticed the very prominent balding spot on the crown of his head and thought how sad it must be that he has lovingly taken care of that mane for so many years only to have it fall out little by little. We passed a sausage sizzle on the side of the road for the homeless, they ate very quickly and by themselves. Then I got off my bus and walked home. I've decided I'm going to appreciate Newcastle and stop avoiding it. I want to go for more walks, while I still have time to.

Later on we went to a 'tapas night' at our friend Kyle's house which was lovely. Today C and I went to the soccer to watch the Jets play and then went to Film Society to see an interesting documentary called 'Garbage Warrior' about sustainable living. Thought provoking.

I went to a shop called Blue Star Elements yesterday, which I've never bought anything from because it's on Darby Street, making everything twice as much as you'd like to pay. They have a lovely selection of overpriced papergoods. I got a few nice things. See...

^ Envelopes (and writing cards) by Cavallini & Co. Pricey.

^ Two cliched Paris-themed postcards. Cavallini & Co.

I also made an order on Booktopia (a kind of Australian Amazon) with the money I am getting from the gig I played last week, for some cute stationery and things. They'll take some time to arrive (and Paige might even pack them?). I ordered...

^ 'Good Mail Day' (this one's actually a gift from C I wasn't meant to know about, but I did ask for)

^ Wonder Woman Mix and Match stationery & Romance Pulp: 30 Postcards (by Chronicle Books)

^ Cathie Olivas stationery set (by Dark Horse Comics)

...and some cheap cat postcards I can't find a picture of.

Aaaaanyhow, thank you for reading my rant about zines and stationery and miscellanea. I'm sure it's not all as interesting as it seems to me.