For this, the ongoing Meet Microcosm blog series, we talk to Bloomington collective member Dylan GW. So without further adieu meet Dylan!
Q: What kind of stuff are you doing outside of Microcosm?
A: Well, I’m just getting adjusted to life in Bloomington again. I grew up here, but I went to college in St. Paul, Minnesota for a year. I moved back here during the summer. It was sort of an accident, but I’m happy with it. College was crazy! It was nothing like American Pie, but it was a weird adventure. I lived in dorm with about 100 other freshmen, and they were largely the only people I interacted with the whole time I was there. My college was about the same size as my high school, and it did kind of feel like living in a high school. It was my first time really living in a big city and my first time living in a place where my accent was considered “southern” by a lot of people I met. The winter was long and cold. I watched a lot of movies and read a lot of zines. The whole thing freaked me out. I’m glad to be home.
More recently I’ve been busy getting set up here. I recently moved into a new house. I’ve kept all my stuff in a couple duffel bags for the last 6 months and it was really nice to finally unpack. I’ve started doing creative projects again, which is really exciting. Some housemates and I started a band, the first band I’ve ever been in and I’ve just finished working on my first zine. I’m stoked!
I have a few hobbies. I read for pleasure. I play a lot of Tetris. That may not seem like a hobby to you, but when you’ve dedicated as much of your precious time here on earth to Tetris as I have, it becomes a hobby. I play games on the computer, board and role-playing varieties. A major interest of mine is ravioli and other stuffed pastas. I am very interested in finding new things to put in pasta. What else could one fill a ravioli with? I don’t know, but I’d like to find out.
Q: What’s your favorite zine, and why?
A: Let me just start this off by saying that it’s so hard to pick a favorite zine! There are so many great zines out there. But if I have to pick a favorite, I’ll pick Nuns I’ve Known by Prunella Vulgaris. Nuns I’ve Known was one of the first zines that I ever read. It’s short, it’s well written and it has a nice hand made cover–you can tell that the author really put time into it. It’s about a very specific topic, it’s literally a list of nuns that the author has known, yet it’s super interesting to read. To me, it’s a perfect example of what makes the zine medium unique: information or writing with merit that would never otherwise get published that, thanks to zine culture, gets distributed to a large audience.
Q: If you had to evacuate your home, what are the five things you’d take with you if you could only take five?
A: Is it assumed that I’m wearing pants? I only wear pants when I absolutely have to so I probably wouldn’t be wearing them when the hypothetical emergency occurred. So I’d need to take them as one of the five items. The first item, probably. Then I’d take my laptop. It contains my tunes, my jams and my video games, so it’s pretty crucial. I’d take a copy of God Bless You Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut–it’s my favorite book. Then my stuffed penguin, Pengi. Finally, I’d need a light jacket. It’s getting pretty chilly out there.
I’m against it.
John Cougar Mellencamp
Q: You’re based out of the Bloomington office. What’s your idea of a good day in Bloomington?
A: It would be late May or early June–The college students are gone. The town is peaceful. Sleep in late, but not too late. Walk into town to get some coffee. Read or play Tetris in the coffee shop until your friends also show up at the coffee shop, which they will. It’s pretty much guaranteed. If it’s warm enough, get a group together and go swimming in the limestone quarries or in Lake Monroe. Then go eat some pizza before going to whatever awesome thing is going on that night starts. Remember to stay up late.
Q: What are your five favorite things about Bloomington? As well as the five things you like the least…
1 I love the size of the town. I can walk or bike to anywhere I would ever want to go.
2 Bloomington has everything that a big city has, pretty much. Except for an Ikea.
3 Bloomington has a great music scene, Boxcar Books, an awesome radical book store and a tight-knit, friendly punk/radical community.
4 The food! Bloomington has such good food! We have so many different kinds of ethnic restaurants and so many different choices when it comes to pizza. Disclaimer: We do have an Italian food problem here.
5 It’s beautiful here! Lots and lots of trees, cool old limestone buildings and cute little houses (with cheap rent).
1 Every fall, 40,000 morons move here and spend all their free time drinking, puking and breaking things.
2 Bloomington is so small that you can’t really leave your house without seeing someone you know. It can be a problem if you sometimes don’t feel like talking to people.
3 In Indiana, under 21 folks can’t go in bars at all. Which means that every show in a bar is 21+. That’s a lot of shows.
4 It’s really tough to get jobs in Bloomington. With all the college students, competition for even minimum-wage jobs is pretty stiff.
5 For some reason, developers keep building gigantic ugly high-rises here. It seems like a bad idea, like there aren’t enough people to fill them because they usually sit half empty. They must turn a profit, though, because more keep getting built!
Q: Finally, what do you do for Microcosm day in, day out?
A: Well my specific job duty is shipping–I put labels on all of the packages, fill out customs forms and email customers if there is a problem with their order. I also pack orders–all of us do that in Bloomington. If there’s time left over in the day after packing and shipping I do whatever needs to get done, usually organizing, stapling zines or proofreading new stuff.