I never intended to create a blog.

Okay, that's patently untrue. More accurately, I never intended to maintain a blog. The blog was a placeholder. The real reason I bought the domain name was to create an online portfolio for my photography, but I was writing my thesis at the time and couldn't justify the hours I'd need to build a website from scratch. And so, with a gentle click, this blog charmingly wiggled its way into the world. I would caress it during those late nights in my windowless office, affectionately referring to it as my means of procrastinating productively. My blog, I'd coo, how much lovelier you are than that fat pile of reading on my desk. Oh yes you are, oh yes you are. 

The thing is, I completed my thesis in February. Three months on and it's wearing the early signs of neglect. A cobweb lazily hanging from the search box; a messy scrape under its header from when it tried to climb the length of the guttering behind the house and no one was around to see it fall.

My excuse is that I've been too busy, and I have. And it's been great! Last week I gave a lab on the science and ethics of targeted memory erasure, which, as some of you know, is one of my most favourite topics. Ever. Earlier this week I taught on stereotyping and ambivalent sexism (another pet topic) and tomorrow we're discussing the debate surrounding whether homosexuality is innate, which totally gets me riled up. And next week I'm teaching on the social construction of gender. I love teaching at Epsom as well. Everyone out here is so friendly and the classes always have a really positive vibe.

But being busy isn't a valid excuse. In fact, it's recently struck me that being busy - in the way that I've been busy - is on par with being incredibly fucking lazy. It's passivity in disguise. This year was meant to be my break from academia, but somehow I've committed to more than a full-time load and once again I've left no time for anything else. It's a habit I need to break. It bugs me.

I'm picking up a fat wad of essays (like cash but with less value) this afternoon, so the next ten days are sliding into a single sigh of frustration. And then: the finish line, when time will come flooding into my life like a rush of fresh air. Right? Right.


So, ah, yeah. That's why I haven't posted much recently. Not sure being busy holds up in a court of, you know, blog-rearing law. In fact, I'm pretty sure if we stick to my vague analogy of the blog being my child, then I'm the worst kind of parent - "I'm not a bad parent, I just have better things to do with my time. I never even wanted the blog in the first place! Leave me alone!"

Anyway, here are some photos from Lina Scheynius's flickr:


The Auckland Zinefest is coming up (applications close next week so get in quick!) I got excited and decided I wanted to make a science-themed zine, but then realised I didn't actually know what a zine was. In fact, my experience of zines can be reduced to a single encounter one winter's night when I was seventeen and my friend Holly was distributing zines at an EP release. But then she ran out and I never got to lay my hands on a physical copy. So ah, yeah, my experience of zines was never really an experience at all.

Google and Wikipedia can only take you so far on occasions such as these, so I tried this crazy idea of asking "people", namely the lovely Aimee and Jono, about zines. His reply still makes me snicker:

Primarily a form of self-indulgence, zines have become a popular method of letting the world know when you have too much time on your hands. They often deal with the real issues: '5 Great Bands I Saw At The Kings Arms in 2003', and ask the hard questions: 'Is Dumpster Diving Vegan?' It is also a great way for fantastic writers whose work is not 'accepted' by the big 'mainstream' writing journals to get their alternative poetry 'out there'.

Not only is it important to choose content anyone could have written, it's imperative that the materials used be equally uninspired. An A4 printer, a biro pen, a pair of scissors, a glue stick and a selection of crayons is all you need. When you're sure you have created all the content you'll need, just photocopy it 20 times and staple it together.

You can give your zines away or sell them for between $2 and $3. Your target market is other people who have also made a zine for this event.

I think he should make a zine about it.

In other news, Lazy Soosan is a neat little zine celebrating a different letter of the alphabet in each issue: