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  • I made some Budget Press today. Saturday I’m going to a zine-fest in Riverside to read, and Sunday I’m going to a grant-giving pizza party in order to get the word out for my upcoming publication and hopefully get some pre-orders. To help with these goals, I decided to make up some small flyers to pass out to drive people to my website. But then I thought a bit and realized the best publicity for Budget Press would be to actually have some publications that people could see, so I decided to print up some of my old publications to hand out. It was time to make some Budget Press the old way.

    I still have the tower from my very first computer, which I have saved for a decade because of the information that was in it, all my Budget Press, so I finally retrieved all the work on the hard drive. I spent hours going through those old files, all the poems and pictures and people. I thought of the story for each one, who they were, how I came across them, why I published them. I chose two of my favorites to print up, one of them by a writer that will be in the new publication.

    I went to the Kelly Paper store to buy cover paper for the first time in years and wandered the aisles, touching different sheets of paper and holding them up to the light. The cover paper is always the most expensive part of the process, and everything seemed to cost ten dollars more than in the past. Making all the copies to place inside the paper should cost more, but I always was able to lie cheat and steal those somehow, though it was a lot easier to steal copies from Kinko’s back before the cards. When Budget Press first began I would just walk into an office at the nearby college and print up hundreds of copies at a time, until one day someone finally came up and asked me who I was and what I was doing. Well now I have a copy machine in a college office I can use, but I didn’t want to draw any attention to myself from the lady at the desk. So I got everything ready and figured I can do some of each project before I become overly suspicious. This morning after my last final I went into the office and no one was there! So I stole I lot of copies from the taxpayers of northern San Diego County today!

    I did go to Kinko’s (or whatever it’s called now) to print up the covers and use the white-out and paper cutter. Then I came home, folded and stapled, noticed how badly I had cut the paper, and then applied the final and most important step, I stamped the back. I remember when I first bought my Budget Press stamp, back when thirty dollars was a week of food. It was a self-inking stamp, my signature at the end of each individual copy, and once I had that, I felt legit. Now all I have is the stamp itself, crooked and a survivor of razor surgery to detach an old address, but I still have it. Now I have to remember that on certain paper, the ink takes longer to dry!

    The only thing missing from the original process is the seal-a-meal. Some of you may remember those, you would put something in plastic wrap and then the seal-a-meal would melt the plastic together, thus sealing the meal. I found one of those at a thrift store one day and I would seal-a-meal every copy. But that was not something that has made it through my life.

    So now I have some Budget Press to give away, have to mine the old stuff before I can create something new. I am not really looking forward to going to Rivercide and seeing some of the people I will see, there are many reasons I don’t go there much anymore. And the pizza thing will be a room full of people I don’t know. But I guess this is what needs to be done to pull myself out of a far too-long hibernation. Either that or I’ll end up staying inside all summer, just sticking my head out for class.
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