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Happy New Year, People!

2008 started off pretty great, with the most fun bus ride I'd taken in years. In an effort to make it easier for people not to drive, there's free MUNI service all night on New Year's Eve. This means the busses are full of drunk party-goers. Teens drinking 40's on the outbound, already drunk adults drinking Andre on the inbound.

About a half hour into the new year, after freezing our asses off for 15 minutes, [livejournal.com profile] smallstages and I got on an N. It was pretty empty but a couple of stops later a group of ten drunks got on. Luckily they were happy, friendly drunks who kept standing up to wish everyone a happy new year. Some were American, some had Irish accents, one claimed to be a member of the Hawaiian royal family. Incredibly, during the entire 20 minutes ride, not one said anything racist, sexist or homophobic, which may be a public transit record for drunk people.

Anyways, when they got on, they were discussing where to get off, finally deciding on the stop after mine. That's why I knew something was up when one of them got up and started saying, "Oh shit, this is our stop! Hurry! Get off!" when we were still a couple of miles away. He shooed everyone in his group off except for one couple who either were too busy feeling each other up to respond or sober enough to know where they were. He, of course, didn't get off and just started laughing as the other 6-7 friends realized they weren't where they were supposed to be and tried to get back on. One woman managed to twist her torso back in the front door before the door half-closed on her, making those loud door-not-closing buzzer sounds. She jumped back outside when the door released her, the doors reclosed and we were on our way.

I reflected on the fact that I was really glad I wasn't a MUNI driver on New Year's.

"I can't believe they fell for that!" he said to his remaining friends. They laughed. We all laughed. Everyone laughed except for the well-dressed people talking on their cell phones and pretending to ignore everyone else.

As if we were in a play, a couple of blocks later, the "Hawaiian Royal Family" guy reappeared. How did he get back on the bus I wondered?

"How did you get back on the bus?" the practical joker asked.

"What do you mean? Where did everyone else go?" HRF responded. He had been talking to some woman in the back of the bus and hadn't seen any of the con or struggle to reenter the bus. He claimed that he could see her future and that it was brighter than anyone else's on the entire bus.

"Ah, they got off at the wrong stop," Practical Joker replied and I laughed some more.

As we approached my stop at Duboce Park, HRF said, "Let's get off here" and whispered something to his Andre-drinking friends. They got off and across the street before me and then I realized why they got off early. They were all lined up peeing on the construction fence. It's one of the many historical uses of the Park that made Harvey Milk famous.

"Hey HRF (I used his real name since they kept saying it on the bus), you're pissing in my park!" He mumbled something unintelligible and I left him there.
gordonzola: (Default)
1. It was so busy right before Thanksgiving, such a blur of customers... At one point, [livejournal.com profile] dairryiere and I were discussing something at the cheese sink and someone walked by who gave us the shy nod of punk acknowledgement. We returned it and went back to our discussion. About five minutes later Dairryiere was all, "Hey, that was Aaron (Cometbus)!" I said, "Oh shit, you're right!" We've both known him for years and didn't know he was in town. We were just too dazed from customer service for the information to go to the thinking parts of our brains in time to actually say hello properly.

If you're reading this Aaron, sorry for the brush-off.

2. Martin from Giant Robot liked the Lance Memorial zine.

3. My drinking tolerance is very low these days. I guess I haven't been drinking enough. Cheese broker-paid drinks and a little dinner last night at Thirsty Bear = tipsy Gordon.

4. Number of suggestive "Wookey Hole" references made at the cheese broker holiday party: 6.

5. Picture of my Wookey Hole:
Untitled 69

6. I am so excited about some of the cheese coming in on Tuesday that I'm a little giddy. Let's hope it shows this time.

7. "The Devil Knows Your Dead" is a grim movie.

8. Looking forward to The Shondes on Tuesday at Annie's Social Club. Who's with me?

9. Also looking forward to fun holiday parties, out-of town guests, and the return of displaced Bay Areans

10. Also looking forward to February vacation plans. Yurts!
gordonzola: (Default)
In honor of the anniversary of Ron Apple’s death, I hearby declare this to be Stupid Punk Rock Death Amnesty Day. Mourn those people in your life who were self-destructive, who hastened their own demise and who actually did live fast and die young. Today remember their good qualities, their bands, their parties, their crazy ideas and adventures, everything that drew you to these people in the first place. It’s a day to remember one can mourn a loss without glorifying its circumstances. Today, just today, don’t worry about the grief they caused or the families and people hurt by their deaths. You can go back to that tomorrow if you want, but for now let yourself remember those folks and how you cared about them.

You are welcome to call out your people below but please celebrate the day in whatever way works best for you.
gordonzola: (Default)
About 2 AM on the morning of Thanksgiving I awoke stuffed up with a bad cold. I had to blow off the sibling and children hike around Lake Lagunitas and stay in bed watching football. Well, I watched football after I broke a big rule I had set up for myself: never watch a Mike Leigh movie on a family holiday.

I’m typical in that I do tend to get depressed around the holidays. Not incapacitated, but noticeable to me. One year for x-mas day [livejournal.com profile] jactitation and I had a movie fest with the theme "dysfunctional families". It was fun when lots of other folks were there, but a late night viewing of "Meantime" pushed me over the edge from ironic distance to seriously unhappy. I vowed never again.

If you haven’t seen a Mike Leigh movie, he is an amazing director. He concentrates on family dynamics and class. The cinematic effect of many this-is-my-horrible-childhood movies is autobiographical and individual. "My dad was the most abusive drunk ever." "My mom did more prescription drugs* than yours." Mike Leigh’s films go beyond the personal wallow /squirmy voyeur formula into intense examinations of family, limited options, and people working within their confines and abilities. "High Hopes" is one of my favorite films ever and "Life is Sweet" pretty amazing too. "Secrets and Lies", his kinda breakthrough movie, pulls its punches at the end, so if you’ve only seen that, try another.

But I woke up stuffed up and with just "Career Girls" and the Metallica therapy movie on hand from Green Cine (local Netflix-type company). My head hurt too much for metal . "Career Girls" was awesome . I don’t know why I put off seeing it for so long. Basically two women, housemates and best friends in college, reunite after not seeing each other for six years. It’s about fragility, sacrificing friendship, masking neurosis as best one can, hurting people by accident, still feeling pain from things others don’t remember, and the limits of friendship. It wasn’t as brutal as many of Leigh’s other films but I still ended up calling my friends afterwards, some just to hear their voices on their voicemails since I knew they were gathering for the holiday and away from phones.

I did eventually drive to my parents house with $75 worth of cheese that I ate despite the fact that I knew I wouldn’t be able to breathe afterwards. It was good. For those playing at home I bought the following:
L’edel de Cleron – The best faux Vacherin Mont D’or out their right now. Pasteurized milk but still oozy, earthy, rich, meaty and covered in bark
Fromager D’Affinois – basic brie
Italian Muscato – Cow milk cheese aged in wine. One customer called it "floral". [livejournal.com profile] anarqueso said, "Yes, if by ‘floral’ you mean boozy!"
Tumalo Tomme --Semi-soft raw goat milk cheese from Oregon. Tangy and milky. Any Wipers fans out there? Everytime I cut this I get that "Romeo Roam" song in my head.
Basque Pilota -- Basically an Ossau-Iraty but with 50% cow milk to give it a richer taste. One person called it "Basque Velveeta" because of the texture but that was not meant as an insult. Melts in your mouth. We sold 1000 lbs. of this in two weeks and we are all quite sick of cutting it.
Bravo Farms Chipotle Cheddar --Central Valley cheddar with smoked hot peppers. It’s really cool looking too, all marbled like fatty meat.
Humboldt Fog -- The best of the local goat cheeses. Again, it looks really cool and they use [livejournal.com profile] sarahshevett’s milk.
Rogue Blue -- The limited edition blue from some of my favorite cheesemakers. Wrapped in wine-soaked leaves this might be the best American Blue. Pungent, creamy, rich, salty goodness.

Once again, the cheese was the best part of the meal .

*Ever seen "Postcards from the Edge"? That was a bad movie. Carrie Fisher painfully confronts her mom in the final scene with "You gave me wine as a child.** That’s why I’m addicted to drugs and sleep with horrible men!". It’s like she lost the dysfunction competition with Christina Crawford.
** or something relatively minor like that
gordonzola: (Default)
Work this time of year makes talking to non-grocery workers a little alienating. Most people are busy with looking forward to or dreading their upcoming holiday, but starting to ease off and get ready for a little work break. How was my weekend? It was great if one can call it a weekend when one works both days.

I’m not complaining. I like it busy. Plus I had my full-on yearly buyer stress on Friday of looking at the cooler, stacked floor to ceiling with cheeses of varying perishability and thinking, like I do every year, "I fucked up. We can’t sell all of this." Luckily by now I know I think that every year so I try not to pay attention to myself when I get that way.

And I love that the gawths have started encouraging dress up days around the stressful times of year and that [livejournal.com profile] anarqueso loans me her derby hat so I can look distinguished and grey. One co-worker took one look at me and asked , "Where is the lactose –free ultra violence milk?" * Another asked after my missing cod piece.

I had to thank a co-worker for dressing like my teenage punk rock girl fantasies come to life but I won’t go into details. Another co-worker said, "I’m gonna wear a tie more often. People keep giving me their phone numbers."

As for the cheese department well, did you guys see "Grizzly Man"? Here’s the last thing the vegan saw**

*What did they call milk in that movie?
**oh, just kidding. And I know [livejournal.com profile] dairryiere posted this already but I love it too much not to do it myself.
gordonzola: (Default)
Oh, 4th of July. What a strange holiday. I think most of us urban folks get tired of playing fireworks or gunfire? by the early evening and just try to settle in for the night.

My co-worker Freedomcine had an international party of friends come over to watch the Euro Cup soccer championships in the morning. Unfortunately, I’m a stupid American, so I didn’t realize the game would only be an hour and a half. I was informed of this on my way over by one of my favorite cheese customers.

I usually only talk about the customers I hate because, let’s face it, that’s more fun for all of us. But there are quite a few people who I look forward to seeing every week who I know only through selling them cheese. The goth-punk mortician, the teacher who looks like Ray Romano, the chef guy who always has a big plan that never pans out, the sweet older lesbian couple who offer to set me up on dates with friends of theirs, the old woman who grew up on a farm and special orders gallons of raw milk etc.

I was walking past the new mural on Church St. when I heard, "Hey it’s the cheese guy," which I never get tired of hearing. This favored customer lives most of the year abroad, traveling as a professional photographer and when I looked at his website one day I was blown away by how good he is. I told him I was going to watch the soccer match and he said, "I tried to find a place to watch for an hour last night!" Evidently the pay-for-view folks are cracking down and bars/cafes now need to charge per person if they want to show sporting events. Supposedly they even send out people to collect the money if a commercial establishment orders up the game. Fuckers. I invited him to come with me but he looked at his watch and said, "well, it’s over now."

Oh. Heh.

I’ve always felt that schmoozing and party talk were strong skills of mine, it’s what one truly learns in college, but they abandoned me upon entering the party. I was feeling painfully shy and awkward around a large group of people that knew each other well and always gathered for soccer events. Plus they were already pretty drunk and I wasn’t. An indication that it wasn’t my crowd was that every single person who ate one of the cookies I brought, said "What’s in these?" and they didn’t mean "Are they vegan?" or "What’s the recipe?" I snuck out when I felt I had monopolized my host for too long.

I walked by the Mime Troupe show. Nothing made me want to stop and watch.

I was content to be home for the day but [livejournal.com profile] twomartinis convinced me to come over to her place for an evening BBQ. I told her I was feeling shy and she promised it would be a small friendly gathering. I baked more cookies because I’m a little obsessed right now and headed over to the fog belt. I ran into the ex girlfriend of my ex wife on the bus and we couldn’t pretend not to see each other like we often do, but it was actually very sweet. I work with her sister’s lover and that’s where she was heading, so I sent my regards.

I was incredibly glad I left the house because Two Martinis made amazing food. One of the guests was a friend of my Arch Cheese Nemesis but I got over it relatively quickly. Then my LJ and real worlds collided.

I know I have some issues about internet friends. No offense, but I don’t trust you folks to not be psycho until you’ve proved yourselves. And I don’t expect my LJ and Non-LJ worlds to meet without planning. Though she has an LJ, I know Two Martinis through [livejournal.com profile] arasay, one of my oldest friends. I’ve known Arasay so long that I even went with her to stalk the guy she had a crush on before he became her husband. Anyways, one of the other guests called a friend for a ride home and he turned out to be [livejournal.com profile] msjen’s hubby. I have met Ms Jen in real life because she’s a friend of [livejournal.com profile] defenestr8r who was my first internet stalker. In a good way.

The theme for the day: San Francisco is a small, small town.

*Just a note about the music. Whipping Boy is the album I dig out every July 4. It’s a great album but good luck finding it. Incredibly unsubtle in that early ‘80s punk way the first song is called "America Must Die". The next song is about "gunning down the President". It’s an unheard classic. I got it from a friend when she joined the Army and got rid of her records. After it ended I put on Carl Perkins.

Hello 2004

Jan. 1st, 2004 11:10 am
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I assume other people have noted the similarities between Halloween and New Year’s Eve. People dress up and desperately look for the right party or place to be. There’s social anxiety that comes with every sip of booze. "Am I having enough fun?" "Could I be having more somewhere else?"

I went out this year on New Year’s Eve for the first time in at least 12 years. I actually felt fairly immune to the social pressures since it was such a novelty. See, my parents go hunting every New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Day is a bonus hunting day since it’s a holiday so my Dad’s hunting buddies deign to allow women up to the clubhouse during that 48 hour period only. I don’t actually know if that’s still true, but it was rigorously enforced when I actually did hunt for the last time, during the ‘70s.

So I usually house sit with my lover or a small group of friends, getting away from the city craziness. Sometimes I tried to plan with my old friends but none of them live in the area anymore and I never ended up making it out of the house anyway. This year I decided to be a little more adventurous.

After a pleasant musical interlude at Adobe Books, who’s owner is one of the few people I see regularly who knows my parents, [livejournal.com profile] jactitation and I wandered the streets, sat in Dolores Park and made it to our downscale local bar right before midnight. I felt like a 19 year old when I realized I’d never been at a bar at Midnight on New Year’s before. It looked like the Fourth of July since everyone was wearing American Flag top hats (sale at the party store?) and setting off fireworks just outside the door.

There were the old sailors who’d been coming to the bar forever and probably spent most of the New Year’s Eves of their lives there. There was the group I decided had to be the owner and his friends because I’d never seen them in there before and they seemed too comfortable to be strangers. There were the drunks who kept trying to fool people by Yelling out "10 … 9 … 8 …" every few minutes and then laughing.

Then there was the other similarity to Halloween. It’s a night when the bonds of compulsory heterosexuality are loosened. Just like dressing in drag is "ok" on Halloween, it seems like the mandatory midnight kissing is something looked forward to all year by some folks. One woman seated next to Jacco and me was there with her boyfriend but seriously making out with her girlfriends under the pretext of New Year’s tradition. "C’mon, give me a real one," she’d say. Under the cover of custom and alcohol excess, a lot of people were getting their first, or yearly, homo kisses.

The task of being awake for the New Year and being drunk completed, Jacco and I left our unfinished Anchor Steams on the table and headed the three blocks for home to watch the last Sopranos episode on our rented DVD. It started to rain so I had to put my "Happy New Year" tiara on over my 49ers wool hat.


Dec. 1st, 2003 01:03 pm
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Thursday [livejournal.com profile] jactitation was sick. After calling the video stores and having no answer, I called [livejournal.com profile] nodoilies and she kindly lent Jacco a few videos and a DVD that I went to pick up so Jacco wouldn’t have to watch the Macy’s parade and "feel-good" movies all day. As I left Nodoilies’s apartment, I realized that I had just called too early and almost every store, including two of the three video stores within three blocks of my apartment, were open. I got Jacco a lamb schwerma from the Middle Eastern place for sustenance and left for my parent’s house.

Thanksgiving, because of certain child custody issues, has become the only Must-Attend holiday at my family’s. It’s fairly small, just my parents, my brother and his wife, my sister, her husband and their three kids. I brought no witnesses. It tends toward the dull side especially now that the dog is dead and people can’t project their weight issues into concern for its health. One of my biggest family regrets is that I didn’t keep a journal of passive aggressive dog/weight comments over the years that were really directed at other people or just instructive of people’s own personal insecurities.

Highlights? My 15-year-old rebellious niece* wearing headphones and singing along, too loudly in the way headphone wearers do, to Tupac "Changes". I was, of course, the only one who recognized it. "What are you laughing at Gordon?" Mom asks.

"Oh nothing."

Besides that, my other niece had recorded a CD of show tunes ("Little Mermaid", "Annie" etc.) as an audition thing for some famous-if-you-live-in-LA music teacher. My brother-in-law, a semi well-known (if-you-live-in-LA) defense attorney and frustrated musician, played the music and sang the duets with her. Aren’t father-daughter duets the creepiest thing imaginable? Especially with that creepy-anyways "Annie" theme song? ("Together at last / together forever / tying a knot they never can sever")

*Who, for the record, is just as white as me.


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