DC Zinefest Weekend 2014

My dried up carcass sitting behind my somewhat-less-than-popular table

My dried up carcass sitting behind my moderately popular table

When I heard about DC Zinefest I wanted to go.  Problem is, I hate to drive.  Four hours in the truck for a six hour event didn’t equate to my maths, if you know what I mean.  So I talked to my honey, and we decided to throw our sixteen-year-old young ‘un into the gas guzzler and make a weekend of it.

We got there Friday around eight o’clock.  At that point our thinking was amazingly clear after a full day of work and two hours on 95 North: we decided to go and see the various monuments at night, which none of had ever done before, while the crowds were reduced.

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Let me preface this next part by saying that, when it comes to the great patriotic monuments, I am pretty jaded and cynical.  I didn’t expect any part of our excursion to be poignant or touching.  So I was surprised by my reaction to the Lincoln Memorial.  I was profoundly moved (although I did make a Megatron joke on Twitter as we left).  There was something about the place that stirred me.  I’ve always had a hearty respect for Lincoln — the rangy wrestler, the great orator, the gentle and eloquent beanpole  whose bodyguards carried brass knuckles — and I felt like I was standing beside his ghost.

The next day was DC Zinefest of course.  It was a great time (as all Zinefests are) with lots of cool people and a huge crowd.  When I say “huge” I mean that it was literally shoulder-to-shoulder trying to get to the restroom.  Packed.  At some points even jammed.

If you’ve never been to a Zinefest, you should really try one.  These things are direct-from-brain-to-paper publishing extravaganzas, unfiltered, unmoderated, creativity tsunamis.  If you’re a writer, a Zinefest is a great way to get some inspiration.  Kind of like grabbing a naked, 220-volt imagination wire.  Hats off to Dirk and Ari and all of the organizers for their hard work, dedication, and success.

Just like I did after RVA Zinefest last year, I’ll be writing a separate post to review all of the great ‘zines I came home with.  Give me time to read ’em, will ya?

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Sunday we went to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.  There was a moment of drama as we walked up to the door and I saw the security checkpoint sign.  I always walk around with a pocket knife, and I forgot to leave it in my vehicle back in the parking garage.  Ooops.  Had to surreptitiously bury it in the mulch outside.  Luckily it was still there when we left and I was able to retrieve it.  Losing a $100 knife would’ve sucked.

I’m sure I’ve been there before when I was kid or something, but it didn’t sink in.  You appreciate this kind of thing much more when you’re an adult.   Here’s a selection of pictures that really don’t do the place justice.  It’s free and it’s great, but not awesome.  Lots of the displays are copies, and there is no obvious traffic flow pattern in any of the halls.  Which means that you have people going every which way, and on a Sunday afternoon, that’s just crazy.  Still tons of fun though.

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So that’s the trip in a nutshell.  Next post: ‘zine reviews!

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