Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Dust mite collection

I just went digging through a box of old zines and other crap, looking for blank stationery. I always steal the paper at any given hotel, and I think when I left my place in Astoria, or maybe when we moved to Denver, I threw out this huge collection of yellowing stationery, mostly from Vegas casinos that have since been imploded. So I recently had to start over. I don’t know what I want to do with any of it, but I have a vague idea about doing some kind of chapbook, like a prose-poetry project, with each page being handwritten on a different piece of stationery. This doesn’t translate at all to the Kindle, and 99% of my book sales are now on the Kindle, but it’s still something I want to do at some point.

There are a few things I really miss about doing a zine, and the one big one is getting weird shit in the mail. I still buy a lot of zines, and I’m a sucker for anybody publishing something on indiegogo or kickstarter or any other place that takes PayPal, especially things that are hand-printed or letterpress printed or photocopied or in weird sizes. 90% of the time, I don’t even read the crap, I just hoard it. I like anything like that if it looks cool, if it’s an oddball size like a pocket book, or has a deckle edge binding or is a limited numbered edition, or anything like that. I have a big box that’s filled with nothing but old books and zines like that, half-digest sized things that were photocopied 50 at a time in a Kinko’s with a bootleg counter back in the early 90s.

(What I’m trying to say is that if you publish crap like that, you need to tell me. And at some point, somebody’s going to have to kick me in the ass and talk me into publishing a perzine about medical disorders. Maybe when Hobby Lobby goes bankrupt, I’ll get a printing press on the cheap and do this.)

This paper collection, which also doubles as a dust mite collection and is one of the reasons I have to take an insufferable amount of allergy medication, also has a bunch of travel-related junk. Usually when I’m on a trip, I will grab whatever junk I see, like business cards and stickers and pamphlets and free newspapers and brochures, and shove them in my pockets or my camera bag. Then, when I get home, I will shove all of this stuff into a box, and forget about it for years. And then, when I’m looking for some tax paper for my accountant, I will waste three hours of an afternoon looking at German brochures for pathology museums in Berlin and wonder what the hell I could do with this stuff. I should start a scrapbook of it, but I don’t want to cut up the originals. I also don’t have a cricut machine, a spare room to hold scrapbooking supplies, or a vagina.

At some point, I need to scan in all of this stuff maybe, or create a tumblr of it.  What I really need to do is attach a scanner to our Roomba, so I can just throw all of the paper on the floor and have the robot vacuum cleaner automatically scan everything on the floor.  And it would need some kind of WiFi attachment to upload everything automatically.  I think even this might be too much work, though.