Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Ring in the new year, wring out a spine

I seem to have rung in the new year by somehow wringing out my back. Something in my lower back is fucked, in an entirely different way than usual. I think it’s just tight muscles, and not some greater damage, but it always drives me nuts when this happens. Typically, in three days, it’s all over, but I spend the whole three days wondering if it’s something horribly worse and I need to see a doctor or a chiropractor. It would be helpful if I owned an MRI, or I had some kind of table or contraption that I could strap into that would mechanically snap my spine into correct position.

A lot is going on with the zine. The first thing is that issue #11 now has an ISBN: 978-1-4303-0628-3. It will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders in a matter of weeks. The price at everywhere but lulu’s store is now $14.95; it’s still $10.95 at lulu. So if you’re morbidly afraid of their store, or hate their shipping options, or are very locked into Amazon’s wishlists and address book and all of that, you can now buy it. You pay $4 more on Amazon, and I make 50 cents less, plus I had to shell out a hundred bucks for the setup, but so many people think something isn’t real unless it’s on Amazon, that I felt I had to do it. So there.

The zine now has its own myspace page: myspace.com/aitpl. Feel free to add it to your friends and get… well, whatever you get out of MySpace. I haven’t really figured it out. It’s interesting because when I created the profile, I said the zine was female and slim/slender, and got a deluge of friend requests from dudes who are functionally illiterate but search solely on those two criteria. I changed it to male and then got a bunch of friend requests from strippers and whorey types that are probably just dudes. Some sociology grad student looking for ideas on research should probably get on this.

I’m also creating a soundtrack for the zine. It should be interesting, since three people have responded, and their songs are punk, country, and A3 (which is both and neither, I think.) More on that when I get more songs.

I also have the themes for the next two zines picked, and I’ve mentioned them to everyone who contributed to #11. I’ll talk about that more later – I’m more concerned with pushing this issue before I get rolling on the next one. If you’re really itching to write something for the next issue, email and I’ll tell you more.

I finished reading all of my journal entries from 2000 and 2002-2006. (I did not write during 2001, and I will probably write an essay explaining why.) I don’t know the exact division, but a bunch of entries talk about weather and my bitching about it; a bunch talk about how I’m sick; and a bunch talk about how I can’t write. I don’t know if those are interesting to anyone else, although sometimes the weather entries get pretty insane and hilarious when I’m dealing with the New York summers with no AC. What doesn’t fall into any of those categories gets into my longer essays, which I really do like. And a lot of those are reactions to some kind of media: book, movie, music, or whatever. Some are strictly reviews, but some are more interesting stories relating to some part of my past versus said media. I’m not sure why I’m explaining all of this, since there are a couple of links to the left that will show you everything, but the summary of all of it is interesting to me. Taking ten years of your life, cutting it in half, and looking at the layers like the rings in a tree trunk is always an interesting exercise.

Speaking of bitching about health, I’m going to take an hour-long shower to see if the hot water shakes out this spinal kink.