Brooklyn Zine Fest – day 1!

I shuurrrrre did spend too much money on this thing today, and it was kind of fucking GREAT, and there’s a whole new line-up of people there tomorrow! Stupid Zine Fest, taking all my money.

One of my favorite authors (and an obvious crowd-favorite) was Edison (who totally lists his full name on his zine, but somehow I feel weird doing so on my own blog, for a small child? Erm. No judgement or whatever. I’m just old and crazy). I didn’t want to have to ASK him, but thankfully he freely offered up the translation of his title “My Mashunere Frers Book” (issue 1 and 2): It is apparently pronounced “My Imaginary Friends Book.”

“I wrote most of these when I was little,” he explained. If this is not a line he had already used 100 times and had been encouraged by his mother to use, it definitely fucking should have been.

Other titles I also got from him: “Thoughts on Anglerfish,” “These Creatures Have Teeth!!” “Lots of Zombies,” “The Telltale Phone!” and “How to Raise a Monster.” (“Poe is big in our house,” his mom said. So were exclamation marks, I noticed.) I gave his mom a copy of my “Zombies of North America” zine, because I wanted her to give it to him (Because we both like zombies and monsters and things with teeth and Poe and zines and stuff!! But I also don’t know if it’s too…I don’t know…scary or weird or grown-up for a kid? I mean, it’s obviously not, but…also, is it totally weird for a grown-up lady to give gifts to an stranger who is, like, 7 or whatever? Look, I don’t know how children or humans or social interactions WORK, okay??) (Also, YES, I WAS carrying around copies of some of my zines with me, WHY DO YOU ASK?) with an awkward, mumbled apology, and said that I wasn’t sure if it was “appropriate,” but that I had a zine about zombies, too, and maybe, like, I mean, I don’t know if you want, but, like, a present, and – and then I ran far, far away. I have no idea what she thought I was giving her or why or what she did with it.

Other awesome things I got:

“Red–Lip Clas-sic: A Taylor Swift Fan-zine” – Rellie Brewer, Clown Kisses Press (I bought one, then wandered away and read it over lunch, then came back and bought a second one because I wanted to give it to someone.)

“Fig 1″ and “Fig 2″ and “Winona Rydehair” – Kseniya Yarosh (Mostly, I admit, the title of that first one is just wildly clever. Her “I Love Bad Movies” zines looked rad, too, but I wanted ALL of them, and then I didn’t want to PAY for all of them, and then I couldn’t DECIDE, so…I just skipped them altogether.)

“Scumstache” – Tyler Boss (I bought his cheap one – super-neat illustration, super-neat story – but he had these super gorgeously printed other ones that were just, like, a dollar too expensive for me, including one magic fortune teller foldy thing that was screen-printed and packaged in this cute way by hand. Totally worth $7, but somehow I cannot bring myself, under basically any circumstances, to pay more than $5 for a zine.)

I bought other stuff, too! I’m all excited and inspired! I want to make zines! I’m going back tomorrow! You should go, too! Exclamation!


My Mint account is going kind of nuts with all these (frankly pretty judgey) emails about: “Unusual Spending on Food & Dining” and “Unusual Spending on Travel” and “Unusual Spending on ATM Withdrawals” and “Unusual Spending on Ghost Tours & Small Bone-Shaped Voodoo Store Trinkets with Claims of Magical Powers of Doubtful Veracity.” Yeah, well, bite me, Mint. I get to go to New Orleans sometimes, too, you know.

The last time I was in New Orleans I was like 12 years old? I had beignets at Cafe du Monde and went to some pretty cemetery to take a meeeeeeelllion photos (on FILM, because it was the Olden Times) and went to Brennan’s, where I had turtle soup, which is the thing I always cite as the single best food item I’ve ever eaten in my whole life. I bought a tiny bone-shaped charm at a voodoo store. I mispronounced the word “bayou” in front of a waitress, who literally had no idea what I was even attempting to communicate to her, and everyone at the table laughed at me, and I pretended to laugh, too, but I STILL REMEMBER THAT SHIT AND IT STILL HURTS, YOU GUYS.

But I still like cemeteries and voodoo and spookiness and fried dough! And I hypothesized that I would like those things especially if I was of drinking age and not accompanied by my parents! And I have learned how to pronounce the word “bayou!” Sooooo…I went back to New Orleans, I guess. AND HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED OH MY GOD:

So okay, the first thing you should probably know is that magic wishing beans are three-for-$1 at the Voodoo Spiritual Center way up on North Rampart, but they’re three dollars EACH literally everywhere else in the city. Also, the lady who works at the Voodoo Spiritual Center is WONDERFUL and exactly what you hope a Voodoo priestess will be. (Well – you’re either hoping for her or for the kind that would be super-sexy and mean and wear amazing haute couture turbans and put on red lipstick SUPER RIGHT, but if you’re looking for the OTHER kind of one, then this one is the perfect example of THAT one.)

Let’s see, what else, what else, what else? Not much else, other than that, really.

Doop bee doooo.

Okay, but:

The French Quarter is actually really really really fucking tiny. Like, you’re looking at a map and you’re trying to maximize the number of voodoo shops you can go to on each day (like you do) and you’ve got it all planned out and everything, and you set out on your first day and you realize that you’ve accidentally just visited each of them twice and it’s 3pm and NOW what are you going to do until the 8pm ghost tour oh right drink a million drinks. I kept passing the same people over and over and over the three days I was there. It was sort of not-anonymous-enough and embarrassing and weird. Maybe people who like friends would enjoy this aspect of it? But it just made me anxious and embarrassed about everything, obviously.

But so the place was small enough that I certainly got an oddly thorough experience in three days. I mean…a thorough experience of the bits I was interested in, anyway. I only ever saw live jazz accidentally (though that does not mean infrequently) and I drank shockingly little. But I tell you what: I learned some shit about motherfucking Marie Delphine LaLaurie, and that’s the truth.

I went on three ghost tours in three days, all covering the same topic over the same small portion of this already-small neighborhood. I got the same story a bunch of times (but always told in amusingly different ways), but it was mostly different stories each time, too. Or, anyway, I was different levels of drunk for each one, so I remember them in different ways. Most of the tours began at a bar. All of them had a stop in the middle at a bar. One of them also ended at a bar. People in New Orleans drink a lot. They also love their fucking ghosts. I went on three tours, but there were ten or twelve more available that I did not have time for.

Oh, what’s that you say? You would like a ridiculously over-detailed description of each tour? OKEY DOKEY HERE YOU GO!

Anyway, here’s some other stuff, which is not about ghosts (except probably some of it is):

I went to the Pharmacy Museum! It was neat.

The St. Louis #1 cemetery wasn’t as cool as I’d hoped, I guess. You weren’t allowed to go inside unless you were accompanied by a licensed tour guide, which I didn’t find out until I was standing there at the gate, so I joined a random crappy tour and didn’t like my guide much. Still – there’s a bunch of stuff I wouldn’t have known if she hadn’t been there. Like, the MAAAASSSIVE gleaming-white pyramid-shaped tomb in the middle of the cemetery is going to hold Nicholas Cage some day. And Marie Laveau was (well – probably) buried in a tomb with her daughter’s name on it, to prevent her fans from defacing it or grave-robbing it or something. That plan hasn’t worked too well. It looked like the photo on the left when I was there, but sometimes it looks like the photo on the right, I guess (or at least it did before they stopped letting people in unaccompanied):

This was not Marie Laveau’s tomb, but some people think it is:

(I asked for a favor from the spirits inside BOTH tombs, just in case.) Marie Laveau, incidentally, was a fucking feminist badass, ran a couple of businesses, had 15 fucking kids, and is the only person who has ever been granted permission from the Catholic Church to perform voodoo ceremonies on Church property. Also she may or may not have had a pet boa constrictor named Zombi. I love Marie Laveau.

The Hotel Monteleone was some schmancy hotel bar shaped like a carousel, where a bunch of famous writers drank sazuracs. I went there and drank Lagunitas, because I’m a rebel. It was maybe four minutes after I sat down at this round bar that I said to the bartender: “I just realized that I’m turning.” He said: “Yes, ma’am, you are.” And that was that.

I met Ginger there at the bar. Ginger is from Columbus, Mississippi, and she is 79 years old, which is younger than all of her friends, who are all in their 80s, but she is not as old as them. Ginger drank (quite a few) champagne kirs. She has five great-grand-children (ONE of whom is very cute and she wanted to show me THAT one’s picture) and five grand-children (one of whom went to Ole Miss and became LIBERAL; one of whom is half-Italian and about my age and lives in Monterey, where there is no crime, and she wanted to show me HIS picture, also). She also had some VERY glamorous photos on her phone of her and her husband in the 60s when they were in New Orleans. She had sewn the dress she was wearing in that photo! “Ah,” I said, “I sewed THIS dress!” She leaned back a little, looked it up and down, and said: “That wasn’t the FIRST time I was in New Orleans, of course; I went as part of my high school senior class trip, as well….” Ginger was staying with a friend in a house which used to be owned by Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney. Ginger SAID that she thought it was admirable that I was travelling alone, but she seemed a little sad for me, anyway. Ginger was the best. I would kind of like to take my next vacation with Ginger. I think I’d be a good wingman for Ginger.

I ate some stuff. I went back to Cafe du Monde for more beignets. They were fine. I’ve had better fried dough at Worlds of Fun. I think they probably go through a LOT of powdered sugar there. If you see little white dusty bits on the pages of my cartoons anywhere, that’s what that is.

I went to a place called Central Grocery for a muffuletta sandwich. It was pretty fucking great. Worth the line.

I also went back to Brennan’s! I had a really excellent bloody mary, and the turtle soup, and something called rabbit rushing, and then I had kind of a psychic breakdown slash existential spiral of despair.

God, I don’t know, probably other things happened, too. I certainly have all sorts of super-cute photos claiming so. But I’m pretty sure it mostly boils down to my (FUCKING AMAZING) ghost tour comparison chart and that muffuletta sandwich. (No, really – have you looked at my chart yet? Go look at my chart.) My cats missed me. I have good cats. I’m going to go eat some ice cream now. And that is that.

I believe I have previously gone on the record as claiming that my current #1 Super-Duper Top Favorite Beer is Stone Enjoy By. Today was the last day of 4.20.15! …And also we still had a 3.14.15 left, too. Sooo…taste test!


Chris: “It’s good!”
Jessica: “Yeah!”

Chris: “Hmm!”
Jessica: “Yeah!”



I ate lunch here on Friday.


It’s called the Children’s Sculpture Garden [of Horrors].


Is it supposed to be attached to this horrifying uber-muscled strangely-proportioned twirly-floppy body that’s sort of sticking sideways up from the rim of the fountain?? Or…WAS IT, at some point? And why is it THE WERST?? And will my nightmares ever stop?

So I guess I signed up for, the dating site for country folk. ( “City folks just don’t get it!”™)

Guess how many black people are on! Also, is there really such a place as “Laurence, Kansas?” Or are like 4 different dudes just misspelling that? Also, how depressing is it that within a single page of potential matches, I already have to start going outside my listed city? (According to Brooklyn Tinder, I could fuck like 70 dudes RIGHT HERE IN THIS GODDAMNED BAR. 26 of them are sitting on this couch, right now. And that is already filtering out all the Republicans, vegans, fatties, and anyone who lists their Meyers-Briggs.)

I thought I was uploading a photo of super-early-era David Bowie. I’m glad that this was the photo I somehow accidentally uploaded instead.

PS – It took me a really really long time to figure out how to make a ™. I hope it was worth it.

PPS – Okay, so there used to be this sad mean horrible fighting couple on the other couch in front of me in this bar and they were depresssssiiiiiiing. But they left and were replaced with this adorable beautiful hipster couple who luurrrrrrrve each other (FIRST DATE OMG™). And now she’s telling him a story about, like, Norwegian babies being…stolen? For…some reason? I don’t know. And she just said: “But as a Norwegian…” and then he said: “Are you Norwegian?” And she said: “No, but my friend is.” And then after I typed all that I also heard her say something about how the stereotype is that Norwegians are all “blond and super-good warriors” and THAT’S TRUE and then he said: “Yes! Also Latvians!”

Oh my god I love them so much you guys. I’m going to ask them on which dating site it was that they met.

Okay, all I heard just now was: “They’re a bunch of assholes. [something something unintelligible] Henry Kissinger.” And then I snorted, and they both turned around and looked at me, and I felt SUPER BAD.




I keep wanting to order the surf clam sushi whenever I’ve had two and a half beers and I’m ordering sushi on Seamless. So this is just a note for my future self:

FYI, FUTURE JESSICA, WHO DOES NOT YET REALIZE SHE’S A LITTLE DRUNK: This is what surf clam sushi looks like:

It looks like if someone from near-future Tokyo – like…2018ish? – was designing a high-tech talking robot which was supposed to look like a creature from ancient Japanese myth which was both a child molester and also some kind of transforming ghost-monster from one of those creepy super-flatly-lit “floating-world”-ish paintings? Like, if they took the tongue from that robot? And then served it to me for $1.98? On white rice? It looks like that.

It tastes…fine. It tastes like almost literally nothing. But with white rice.

(But the “double lobster” roll is fucking GREAT.)

The end!


I know I know I know it’s old news and boring to talk about how awful Dove commercials are (“Be more self-confident, dummy!”). But I hate this one THE MOST!

DOVE THINKS YOU ARE STUPID, WOMEN. And also that your armpits should be more moisturized. And also that you should respect yourself a little, GODDD. And that it’s your fault your daughters aren’t more successful. And also they make Axe commercials, too. Though to be a zillion percent honest, I hate Dove commercials far more than Axe commercials. Which is why I share them with you.

PS – I was looking for a gif of Dennis Duffy calling you a dummy, but then I found this instead and I liked it better.

I know so little about the Beatles that I legitimately can’t tell if this song playing right now on the Two Boots overhead speakers is the them or a cover. (Is this a thing? Is there a relatively unironic-feeling cover of whatever that “koo-koo-catchoo” song is going around these days?)

Does this make me a bad person?

(Chris: I am obviously only asking you.) (And will act accordingly.)

Meantime, though, did you know there was a Two Boots in Park Slope these days??? DUDE. So good.

Also: the Beatles. Boring. There. I said it. I mean, some of it’s fine, the way other ’50s/’60s music is fine? But. That’s all. Right? Right.


Well, BOO, so NO, I did not actually get that award. It was for the James White Award, which I’ve entered three times, and I’ve had some kind of crazy bug up my bum to win, after having been “long listed” the very first year. I think it maybe has something to do with that psychological thing where third-place winners feel super-happy (because they’re totally in the top, and they might not have made it at all!), but second-place winners feel super-mad (because they COULD have been first, but WEREN’T!). Anyway, I was bound and determined to win, but now that I’ve been short listed and still haven’t…I’m sort of over it!

The other two stories I entered and didn’t win with have both been subsequently published elsewhere (year 1 in TRIVIA and year 2 in the Chattahoochee Review [where it was a finalist for the Lamar York Prize, ahem ahem]), so I’m optimistic.

So there’s me bragging for the day.

Also, I bought a little chick that lights up when you throw it against a wall for Easter. It disintegrated ALARMINGLY and filled me with fear and desolation. (WHICH I NOW PASS ALONG TO YOU. HAPPY EASTER, EVERY ONE!)



Oh gurrrrrrrrlll. So like THEORETICALLY, would I be allowed to retweet the announcement that my story is included on the shortlist of anonymously-judged stories (and so listed as titles only, with each title not yet attached to any author’s name) for a contest that I am super duper duper booper excited about and have entered every year for the past three years and was LONGLISTED for the first year and then got NOTHING the second year and oooooohh man at this point I absolutely MUST win it or else I’ll be TOO SAD? Or does that make it too obvious that I am, you know, one of those authors, and therefore, like, make it somehow unfair or whatever, or at least non-anonymous, as far as anonymousness goes? I AM JUST WONDERING OUT OF CURIOSITY.

PS: No-jinxies-no-jinxies-no-jinxies.

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