2020 sapped my love of cooking, and 2021 has been a struggle in the kitchen. Recently, I bought a case of instant ramen–something which I never really ate in my 20s like everyone else because I lived at home during college. This isn’t salt package ramen; the brand is Mama, and it’s a Thai import. Along with the “chicken” seasoning, there’s a separate package of chili–and, as a white person, I appreciate that level of control–and a package of pure fat for flavour. That’s what puts this ramen over the top. Of course, I also add frozen peas because I always have them on hand. As we head into the cold weather (finally!), I’m adding all the chili to keep me warm at night.

Sunday is our September market day, and I haven’t been able to think about anything else all week. Except that it’s dread, not excitement anymore. The market isn’t just the four hours I’m behind the table, or the Saturdays I spend baking. It’s all the other prep, like drying and packaging starter, printing and folding zines, cutting stickers, counting inventory and cash. I’ll never be sure if it was monetizing a hobby or, you know, the global pandemic that killed my bakery dream, but I can’t wait to be done.

This coming Sunday is the penultimate market; our last day is October 24th. The calendar wasn’t so kind to me this year, and Canzine, unfortunately, falls on the exact same weekend. To that end, much of September has been about getting promotion ready to go, so that when that October weekend comes around, all I have to do is post and send.

(Don’t forget you can buy sourdough starter by mail, too!)

One of the letters I wrote to you last year was about my record collection and Ringo Starr’s self-titled solo album. I turned it into a zine, titled for a lyric from a song by Sloan: The One About Ringo Starr. Turns out, Ringo has a new EP coming out this Friday. He wasn’t the best singer of the four of them. He didn’t write the most songs. John even said he wasn’t the best drummer, but John was a jerk. Ringo was the best personality in The Beatles, at a time when personality was becoming more important than music. He made them fun, and that’s still what music is about for him. That’s why he sings his friends’s songs and takes everyone on the road with him.

The One About Ringo Starr is one of the zines I’ll have available in print for Canzine, but you can download the digital and printable versions over at itch.io right now.

(That song by Sloan is “Lines You Amend,” by the way.)