<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Sunday, October 19, 2003
I Am (Not) Scissors Shirt

Took a trip downtown to Queen West today for Canzine. Took me a little while to figure out where on Queen Street I had to go, but thanks to a handy map I had everything figured out by the time I actually left the apartment and found the place without any problem. It was far more crowded than I expected, and I think (upon blog reading) that I missed one of the downstairs rooms of zines (goddamn!), but I still spent about an hour and a half wandering through the crowds and tables, flipping through zines, looking, reading. The crowd was more of a political and/or underground music/art sort of group than I'd been hoping for, and I think I may have stuck out from the crowd a little (though I did get a few compliments on my Om shirt), though it was still fun.

I ended up paying the voluntary admission fee and getting a copy of Broken Pencil at the door. I argued with myself over this fee. On one hand, I want to support the people and the event; on the other, the donation was actually more than I usually spend on lunches for myself all week at school. (I will say, though, that I am seriously cheap and at times choose hunger over shelling out for yet more York food.) No debate over the issue of Broken Pencil. For someone trying to find new and interesting zines, it's perfect.

One of the first tables that I found was giving away absolutely everything for free. I did not realize this at first, letting some seriously interesting zines and magazines slip away. Once I figured out the deal (by asking, curiously enough), I, well, took:

1. Room of One's Own: Celebrating the Best in Women's Literature.
2. The winter 2002 issue of The Malahat Review.
3. An issue of This magazine (their slogan: Because everything is political.)
4. And the summer 2003 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism. Don't know what inspired me to pick this one up and keep it, but I did and here it is, on my desk.

I picked up samplers and free issues wherever I could. Upstairs, however, there were tons of things that I wanted to buy, and I had to keep myself under careful control. I ended up buying:

A hand-sewn zine called syn: desultory. Oddly shaped, aforementioned sewing, illustrations--all cool, but what made me leap at the chance to buy it was that it's freewritten. Or at least it reads like freewriting to me. Fantastic!

A wacky cloth-covered collection of pages, complete with sewn-on magazine picture. It's a journal.

Issue #14 of Highest Population of Rock Stars, which reads as part journal, part freewriting, part illustrated wackiness.

Also by the same author as HPRS, Issue #1 of Pumpkin. Small, purple and wrapped in a red ribbon.

A paprika button. Random loveliness and spice combined.

A sequin-and-bead bird on a small spring. It was 25 cents, and a totally understandable purchase from someone with a strange obsession with small birds.

I headed back downstairs for one last look around when I stumbled across something new on a table I'd already visited. It was a black T-shirt with a small white picture of an open pair of scissors. Lord only knows why I wanted this shirt so much, but I did. The scissors shirt somehow encompassed everything cool and quirky that I enjoyed and excluded everything that I did not. I was scissors shirt. Scissors shirt was $15. After a desperate search through my bag I discovered that I had $12 and some pennies. No go. And the only ATM that I could find was out of order. It was a sign.

"Damn," I said. "That's what I get for giving donations."

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 11:49 PM


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