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Sorry I never reported on the results of the American Dairy Goat Association cheese competition. I had to go away to the Russian River for my birthday. It was awesome. It was so isolated that when [livejournal.com profile] smallstages and I went to go for a walk we realized that there were no lights around for at least a mile in our secluded, hot-tubbed, over-priced, Cazadero vacation rental. Awesome and relaxing.

Anyways, at the show, after two days of judging, Professor Rosenberg and I awarded the Best in Show and First runner-up prizes to dairies I’d never even heard of before, proving that no fix was in. Best in Show went to Bonnie Blue Farm in Waynesboro, Tennessee for their “Parker” cheese. It was a little (3-5 lb.?) wheel with a hard, brownish rind that looked a lot like a Spanish Garrotxa. The outside was beautiful but with a strong ammonia smell that didn’t bode well. But oh man, once we cored it I knew it was the best cheese I had tasted yet. Cheddary, but sweet. The tanginess of a goat cheese but no Billy around anywhere. Great smooth aftertaste. Excellent cheese.

The First runner-up I can’t even find a website for. Baetja Farm in Missouri with a French-style, surface-ripened goat cheese called “St. Genevieve”. It was honestly one of the best French-style young goat cheeses I’ve ever had that was made in the U.S. Fruity and tangy with an amazing firm yet smooth texture. Right up there with Pug’s Leap and Andante Dairy. Oh look, I found an article about the cheesemakers.

Other professional goat cheeses that I considered seriously for Best in Show were the Redwood Hill Gravenstein Gold from Sebastopol, Ca, and the Haystack Red Cloud, from Longmont Colorado, both washed-rind, firm, somewhat pungent goat cheeses.

Amusingly enough, we went back and forth over the amateur category only to find out that our fist two choices were made by the same person. Ha.

One of the things about judging is that one of the things I get paid for is to write comments on every cheese I taste. Hopefully the folks who didn’t win will realize that my comments are meant to help, not hurt their feelings. Luckily most goat cheese folks aren’t close enough to the city to come to the store to kick my ass. I only criticize out of love, I swear!

Overall – even with a few rancid cheeses that needed to be spat out as soon as possible -- it was an incredibly fun experience. I really like cheese judging. I am very judgmental.
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I know that posts where people are happy get almost no LJ response but tough it out, Dear Readers.

I had a wonderful end of the week. [livejournal.com profile] beelavender was visiting and we went to the beach, saw the Doggie Diner head, and drank a bunch. We even had a fairly spontaneous party that a lot of lovely folks showed up too despite the nasty weather. Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] frothy_mix for going on a beer run when the chocolate stout finally ran out, [livejournal.com profile] anarqueso for the mushroom tarts, and [livejournal.com profile] nodoilies for the ironically wonderful deserts.

Cheeses served:

Brillat Savarin, Laura Chenel cabecou marinated in olive oil, Paneton (French aged sheep milk cheese that looks like a loaf of bread), Capricious (local aged goat cheese), Legendairy* blue gouda, Legendairy blue goat gouda, a huge hunk of Widmer Brick cheese, a an Italian Scamorza in the shape of a pig. We eviscerated the pig instead of Easter-bunny style head-first gorging and I must say, it looked great on the cheese board with its stringy mozzarella entrails stretching out of its tummy. (Hopefully someone has pics)

Sadly Bee had to continue her travels and I had to go to work but then [livejournal.com profile] lunamoonwmn01 stopped by to say hi and look at cheese while visiting town. Juror #4 from my jury duty stopped by too and tasted lots of cheese while we discussed the judge’s smirking and eye-rolling.

Then today [livejournal.com profile] goodbadgirl and I went to Zeitgeist and drank beer and bloody marys in the sun. Unfortunately it was as crowded as mid –July there and the regulars were grumbling. Still there’s not much better than cold beer in an old mason jar during the middle of the day.

Now I’m going to ice my tendonitis and try and catch up on sleep. I hope you all had good weekends too.

*oh, how the cheesemakers love to embarrass the retailers
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I thought I was just gonna finish mopping the cheese floor and go home on Saturday night. I had wanted to go to Bombshell but [livejournal.com profile] ginoushka told me it would end around 9:30 and I wasn’t getting off until around 9:15. Gary Fembot had e-mailed earlier about a mysterious Mutants reunion show, but I wasn’t even sure it was that night. He hadn’t called back and the info was murky and mysterious. Like the cheese floor when the mats are removed.

At closing, I went to check my cell phone and it turned out that Bombshell had more performers than usual and I could catch the end. I rushed over despite being hit on by a tweaker in an old dented SUV, ""Hey,ohIthoughtyouwerethiscoolartistIgavearidettotheairportobackin1998. Wellyou’rereallygoodlooking. Whatchadoingtonight?" I took it as a compliment and kept moving.

I got to the John Sims Center just as [livejournal.com profile] final_girl started reading. Her intro to Homewrecker is awesome. Quick plug for that book release party: Valentine’s Day at City Lights, the next night at Modern Times. I saw Mattilda perform and then chatted with a bunch of LJ folks, talked co-ops with Beautiful Toxin, declined both Thai food and an offer to go drink at the Lex and started heading home.

Then Ms. Fembot called. I was tired and looking for excuses to not go out but I had none when I found out the Mutants were playing at Du Nord, all of two blocks from my house. And Sally was performing too. She was missing at their first reunion show. My first chance to see the whole band since 1984.

Before last night I might have equivocated about this, but I’ll say it now. The Mutants are one of the most underrated bands in the entire history of punk. They were from before the uber-masculinization of the scene, when it was full of women and commies and queers. They’re ’79 art punk, the kind that got watered down to make so much bad new wave a few years later, but they were the real thing. Musical and catchy but loud and snotty too. Obliquely political and not didactic. Every show an event. Fun punk not dour backpack punk. Costumes!

Like the last reunion, it was an old crowd. The Mutants are the only band that can make me feel like a kid again. The "pit" moved slowly. The pogoing had a little less lift. There was no violence because all the morons from back then are sober, dead, in jail, or have replacement hips. The Mutants have no new fans; I would guess that 90% of the people there had seen them back in the day. And since that day was a long time ago there was a lot of gray hair thrashing around. Also, I think Bonnie Hayes ordered a drink over my shoulder while I was sitting at the bar.

Over the life of my LJ, a few folks have referred to me as "old school" punk. I have always denied this, and I wish you folks could have been at this show. Man, I knew almost no one and they all knew each other. Hell, half of them could shop at our store and I’d never recognize them. They were also all going nuts and having fun.

I love seeing bands when I know all the songs. And geez, I’ve been listening to these songs for over 20 years. If The Mutants had played continuously, I’m sure I would have been bored of them by now. Or mad about some sell-out album that they would have made in 1994 or something. But because no one had been playing these songs for 20 years they all sounded fresh again. And unlike the last show, the singers dressed up for this show. Suits! Polka dots! Big spiky hair!

They only downer was the announcement of a show they are playing at the Fillmore in April: The Mutants, Avengers, Flipper, and Dead Kennedys. I don’t know if it’s sad or an abomination. I mean without the DKs I might have gone because, for one thing, it wouldn’t be at the Fillmore. But supporting the DKs without Jello is just wrong. I don’t care what he did (or didn’t do) or if people think he’s a jerk (and he’s never been anything but nice to me). If Jello had never been in the Dead Kennedys, they would be about as memorable as No Sisters.*



Oh, and here is a photo of my teen punk rock dream date taken sometime in the late ‘70s. She’s even cuter now.

*I didn’t even dislike No Sisters. But damn if I can remember any of their songs.
**Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] crabbypattie for suggesting the pics from Hardcore California She may be country music royalty, but she is still one of us.

Labor Day

Sep. 6th, 2005 11:24 am
gordonzola: (Default)
A week after the hurricane I feel like I can finally write something non-disaster-related. I’m not saying anyone else should feel that way, but the magnitude of the suffering and having a crazy busy week left me with not much else to write or think about.

And here it is noon and they’re blaring the emergency test sirens.

But yesterday was Labor Day. I went to a party of co-workers who live near Precita Park. I manned the vegetarian grill while eating pork ribs and talking to vegans. Besides the wonderful food and the fact that many of my favorite people were there, and no one I needed to avoid, the best thing about the party was the punk band.

I don’t know how old the neighbor kids were. 12? 13? The band was two boys with long hair who’s voices hadn’t quite changed yet. They kept referring to their dads as their ‘Managers". And they fucking rocked. Seriously, they were tighter than many bands I’ve paid to see and they did almost all original material. Even their covers were inspired, the "Teen Titans" theme song stayed in my head all day.

Their name is Hellakraptor. Watch for them.

I have hardly seen [livejournal.com profile] defenstr8r since she’s been to town and since she’s an a-list fag hag, I was gonna meet up with her at the benefit beer bust for Hurricane victims at some bar in the Castro. She called and said it was too crowded though so instead she and [livejournal.com profile] fightingwords came over. [livejournal.com profile] ubiquity75 came too (as well as a couple of people who’s LJ names I didn’t catch) and I got to meet her before she returned to Wisconsin.

I love having people over to my apartment again. With [livejournal.com profile] dairryiere’s stuff almost all moved in, it’s starting to feel like a home again.
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Sunday was a really nice day around town for me. During my drive x-country I got to thinking that there are some things I don’t take advantage of, living in a bigger city than anywhere I traveled. When I got back to town and [livejournal.com profile] nodoilies* suggested we use her MOMA membership I thought, perfect.

Then I got an e-mail from my mortician, cheese-shopper friend who’s in the band Binky. Her band was playing Union Square which, for non-San Franciscans is the park surrounded on all sides by pretty much the most expensive retail real estate in this whole ridiculously expensive city. I thought it was a guerilla stolen-power show but in fact they were part of the "Jewels in the Square" series that has artists every Sunday. They seemed to be the only non-jazz band of the whole series, but sure enough they were billed as "All women, all punk". The 100 or so folding chairs were full of tourists when they started playing about half of whom had left by the end of the first song. But others came over and enjoyed the show. The punks, who of course arrived late, hung around the edges. The Tiffany and Co and Saks Fifth Avenue buildings towered over the band as the played.

Any free trip top the museum is worth it but will someone explain Tuttle to me? No, not Lyle Tuttle, Richard Tuttle. What wasn’t boring seemed well, like a waste of time. For both him and us. I mean, I don’t need to get all art, but what context does one need to not see his works as that of an artist, not a scribbler?

What made this trip especially worth it was an animated short by South African artist William Kentridge who created an great work using charcoal. The erasure from moment to moment created a cartoon with a trail of past action, an amazing effect. The story is ostensibly about the development of a beachfront property in post-apartheid South Africa, but really the beauty of the drawing just took my breath away.

No Doi and drank iced tea as some Filipino band rocked the Filipino Cultural Festival "Youth" stage. Their sound system was a lot better than Binky’s. As soon as they ended, some DJ started spinning records of my youth, I swear there was even some old Afrika Bambaata. The fest was ending so maybe they were just trying to clear the crowd with old folks music.

Then it was time to go to sushi with visiting Ljer [livejournal.com profile] gismonda and local Ljer[livejournal.com profile] reveritas. Bonita, yum. Eel, yum. I wish I could remember what that restaurant was when I ate there 5 years ago.

A foggy N Judah ride home, and that was the end of my very San Francisco day. The end.

* I don’t know why I still use her LJ link. I don’t think she’s updated in like two years.
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I decided to do all my going out for the week on Thursday. Often when I’m faced with the problem of too many things to do on one night, I end up second guessing my choices to such a state that I don’t go out at all. I choose the opposite path this time. I was going to do everything.

But first, I had to have a horrible day of work. Those don’t happen very often for me. It was just a long string of annoying coincidences of minutia* combined with a few more surprisingly stressful situations thrown in to keep me unbalanced. I am quite sure I was an asshole to everyone around me. I tried not to talk to customers because the ones looking for a fight can sense this even if I have my full retail face on.

When I first got off work, I had to rush to Modern Times Bookstore to check out internet "friend" [livejournal.com profile] finalgirl who was reading from her new book. We’d never met, but when I was walking in I recognized her from her user pic. Just as I introduced myself, I realized I was still in a terrible mood. Thankfully, she was really sweet and friendly. I am incredibly appreciative that she seemed happy to meet me, because any more stress or weirdness was going to send me over the edge. Internet "friend" [livejournal.com profile] kest was also there but I have no idea what she looks like.

Daphne (Final Girl) is a really engaging and powerful writer and you all should check out her tour dates if you like that kinda stuff. She’s from the Sister Spit school of poetry performance, but if I may continue this into a frighteningly weak metaphor, she’s more of a teacher than a student. The thing about something like Sister Spit, or any performance movement really, is that it spawns derivative as well as great work. Honestly, this can make me wary of the poets I don’t know because of the Wallow and Repeat factor. In another essay, I could get into the importance of encouraging mediocre work, but for this entry just let me say that Daphne is the real deal.

I missed the other poet reading because I had to run to Artists’ Television Access to catch my one-week housemate Gilbert’s movie in which my long-term housemate stars. It was an experiment in banality and sound, the dialogue being recorded on separate tape decks and played back live by Gilbert as the movie images played. This effect made the interaction of the characters, who were meeting for the first time to buy/sell an item, less "natural" and more strained, calling into question the usual societal niceties of interaction and the "is there attraction?" vibe that can occur from random meetings. It was only 10 minutes long so I don’t want to read too much into it.

After that, there was a performance of "Birdsongs of the Bauharoque". It involved puppets and songs about "peace on earth". Luckily it also involved $1 Dutch beer because the punk show I wanted to go see wasn’t anywhere near starting and I didn’t want to go hang out at the bar alone. Surprisingly, "Birdsongs" was really funny. The main performer went on some overly long tangents but had a great sense of humor. It will defy my description, and you will question my taste if I described it. But the whole was bigger than the parts. For example, when their was a hippie-ish song about wanting peace, and not destroying the planet it contained the line, "and the trees say ‘please’". This would be embarrassing and groan-able except that just then a big tree puppet appeared and yelled, "PLEEEEEASE!" in a death-metally growl.

Finally I went to The Eagle to see my new favorite band, Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil Eyes. At to my list of things that I love about San Francisco that the best punk venue is the leather bar.

Though I thought I’d left my bad day behind me, it reared it’s ugly head again at the bar. I was hanging out with someone I’d always nodded to but never had the chance to talk with. Unfortunately, I said something in a way I didn’t intend, and drew blood from a still gaping, previous-relationship wound. Then I realized I had actually stumbled upon them a few months previously when her ex-girlfriend was breaking up with her. I’m afraid to her I’ll always be associated with ugliness and being an asshole with bad timing. Sigh.

I just couldn’t make it all the way through the show unfortunately. I saw The Sixteens and Mutilated Mannequins, but at 1 AM, knowing I had to be at work at 7:30 the next morning, and there’d be other opportunities to see Veronica Lipgloss, I decided to go home and try and get a little sleep. I decided not to answer any of my LJ comments that day also, so please forgive me.

The rest of the week has found me getting reacquainted with my electronic friend, Television. I hadn’t watched "Paradise Hotel" in awhile and all I can say is WOW. Two psychotic breakdowns occurring at once. I predict lawsuits no matter what waivers they had people sign. I really wish there was a message board for psycho-analysts to discuss the reality TV show characters and diagnose them through their actions. "Paradise Hotel" is the ultimate in Are-there-places-where-people-actually-act-like-this? television.

*You’d be really bored if I went into it. I swear.
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Posting about nice things is incredibly boring for the reader so I wasn’t going to write anything about it, but I had a really nice day on Sunday. However, I realized it’s important to document the good moments or life can seem really depressing when it comes time to do that end-of-the-year entry. So here goes:

[livejournal.com profile] jactitation and I watched "Me Without You" soon after I got up. Smart movies make me happy even if they depress me at the same time. "Me Without You" is all about power struggles (acknowledged or not), betrayal, and relationship patterns amongst close (female) friends. What I loved about it besides the obvious plot was that it also hinted at lots of other family issues lurking just below the surface but beyond the scope of the movie. None of the online reviews I saw do it justice at all. "MWY" begs the question, often unsaid and even unacknowledged, about whether a friendship is really equal, really healthy and how much individuality can be sacrificed without doing permanent damage. The last scene is wrenching for reasons I don’t want to spoil.

Bass started booming through the walls an hour after the movie ended. I hadn’t see any block party signs, but there it was. Somebody had closed of Steiner between Waller and Haight and DJs played hip hop all afternoon long, interspersed with anti-war speeches (or spoken word tracks). Spontaneous dancing in the street is always a good thing. I didn’t stay long, but I did notice that there was no organization listed on any of the street closure signs or the stage and there’s no listing of the party permits anywhere I know to look. That’s a good part of Steiner St. to close off since no busses run there. Almost as good as my block would be, actually.

Jacco and I then went out for a drink with our housemate who’s leaving town for six weeks. Our local bar was mercifully empty. I’ve decided that I will only consider it my local bar on Sundays through Wednesdays or on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays before 8 PM. Otherwise I bear no responsibility for it. Jacco, Housemate and I talked about what a great trip she’s going to have and how much we’ll miss her. Awwww.

Soon it was time to head out for the all-day queer punk show*. I missed the first four hours but still managed to see The Quails, The Haggard, nomy lamm, Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil Eyes, Tartuffi, Sisterz of the Underground, a few folkish singers I didn’t catch the names of and a two person white hip hop thing with synchronized dance moves that was actually pretty good. I missed Tribe 8 because they played ridiculously early in order to make it to a showing of their movie at the film festival. My friends said when Tribe 8 and their entourage left, the average age of the crowd dropped 10 years.

As I mentioned yesterday, Veronica Lipgloss are my new favorite band.** I can’t even describe their music because there was just too much going on. Four band members and four dancers and after one song no one had much clothes on. The band and the dancers were in the audience. The audience was on the stage. It was all wonderfully confusing. The only troubling moment was when two women fell down on top of each other next to me while dancing. I, being well trained in pit etiquette, reached down to help them up when someone bumped into me. I fell on top one of the women, my hand landing right on her crotch.

How’s that for a potential situation? I’m one of about 10-15 guys at a dyke event, probably the least faggy guy there, and I get caught with my hand in a lesbo crotch without permission. In the 1980’s I would have been killed for that. Thank god I know people in this town. She laughed it off when she saw my panicked face.

The beer kept flowing and the bands kept coming. nomy lamm did a wonderful thing with pre-recorded beats that sounded kind of like what Peaches would sound like if she had a better voice and good politics. I barely caught nomy’s set because I had been making out with a hot punk femme in the parking lot across the street from SomArts. I’m surprised I didn’t miss nomy completely considering that I always seem to miss her performances by a few minutes ***.

When The Quails finally came onstage most of the audience had left. The show had been going for 8 hours and it was a Sunday night. The Quails seemed a little cranky about it, but someone in the audience decided to make it ok.

"Hey Quails, since there’s so few of us, can we all get on stage?"

The Quails looked at each other and Quail 2**** said, "Sure, why not?"

"Whoo-hoo!" said the crowd. There may have only been 30 of us left but everyone was dancing. The Quails were faster and tighter than usual and even had their horn player with them. It was just one of those shows were you feel like everyone there is your friend. Definitely one of the most fun shows I’ve been to in years.

To top things off, I helped sweep cigarette butts into the garbage after the show. Someone who I didn’t know saw me from across the SomArts side yard and yelled, "(name of my co-op here) Cheese Department in the house!"

Oh, the fame.

I made my way home and I must have been pretty drunk because I left this mysterious comment in [livejournal.com profile] greasyspoon’s journal. I don’t know what I was trying to say.

*"MR. Sister" was a Mr. Lady Records/Sister Spit co-production. Whoo-hoo!

**Please read this as hyperbole.

***The reference is in the third to last paragraph of that entry.

***They don’t really refer to themselves by number anymore but I thought that was one of the cutest things about their first album so I will continue to.
gordonzola: (Default)
I helped put on a "(Pay) Off the Pigs!" party last night as a benefit for a co-worker. She had an interaction with the law recently that ended with her being shipped to Southern California on a 10 year old arrest warrant that she didn’t know about. That was, to put it in an uncharacteristically subtle way, from a very different time in her life. In the meantime she’s changed some of her troubled ways, had two kids, and is one of the most solid people at my workplace.

But that didn’t matter to the courts who have released her but put her on probation until she pays thousands of dollars in fines and penalties. My friend Bruce (see this entry ) was the main organizer, but I stood at the door all night collecting donations and selling raffle tickets. We had many wonderful prizes, including gift certificates, haircuts, knitted goods and the ability to give a public spanking to a particularly obnoxious co-worker. I brought lots of fancy-ass cheese I got from a trade show for free. Another co-worker sold shots of home made absinthe. Another wandered the party offering kisses or spankings for a dollar. Her ex-girlfriend lurked nearby snapping Polaroids to sell for the benefit blackmail fund.

One of the things that I love about my workplace is the way that people come together to help each other out when they need it. Bikes get stolen, people get ill and can’t work, unexpected situations threaten to change someone’s life and most co-workers will pitch in some money to help. We rarely raise all the money needed, but it shows that we care and that they aren’t alone. Since we’re a coop the fact that people believe in mutual aid is hardly surprising. But when I saw people (and I was collecting the $) who I know aren’t friends of a person giving money to help, it’s still touching.

And the party was a party too. It was one of the really hot SF nights that only happen twice a year or so, so "It’s Getting Hot in Herre" was played more than once. As was the unofficial party theme song "Pork and Beef" by The Coup ("If you got beef with the c-o-p s / throw a molotov at the p-i-g s / cuz they be harassing you and me / you gotta understand that we’re still not free") Then the MRR and Scam Punks showed up incredibly drunk, still in their costumes hours after the punk anti-war parade they held in the Mission. I’m talking loud-obnoxious-falling-down drunk. . . hanging-all-over-each-other-making-out-then-suddenly-fighting drunk . . . it’s-3-am-so-let’s-go-steal-some-beer drunk.

They’re so cute.

To me what makes a great party is an elusive balance of the inability of any one group to dominate it. "(Pay) Off the Pigs" had punks and hip hoppers , queers and straights, Giants fans, A’s Fans and sports haters, grocery workers and others.

All in all, a wonderful San Francisco evening. Imagine if it we had warm nights more often. . .
gordonzola: (Default)
I had a wonderful Sunday. My workplace had a booth at the Folsom Street Fair this year. Even better, we were just giving stuff away. Amidst the overpriced food, drink and leather accouterment we had to convince people, at times with a riding crop, that our stuff was FREE and that they needed to take it.

I love working at a place that has a booth at the biggest perv fair in the City. And it was nice to hear from the adoring customers instead of the annoyed ones. In fact, it was pretty refreshing since the night before I had to deal with one of the most obnoxious customers I’ve seen for a long time. He went up to a biracial co-worker and said, "Do you speak English? Have you ever heard of tofu?"* My co-worker looked at him with a totally straight face and said, "To-fu? What’s that?", even though she was actually stocking it at the time.

But she was still pissed off, so I got on the store intercom a few times in the next 10 minutes and said "To-fu? What’s that?" in a mocking voice.

So it was really nice to have an appreciative audience yesterday. Because it is the leather fair, we brought licorice whips, Newman Os Tops and Bottoms (kinda of an organic Oreo but separated), organic fruit leather, condoms, lip balm, and temporary tattoos. A dyke friend and I decided to go as bears so she made thick fake mustaches for us (out of carpet I think), a belly wig for herself, and we wore more or less matching mirrored shades and macho baseball hats. Her "That’s Mr. Fag to You!" shirt outdid me though.

Unfortunately, as we dressed at the store, we got a panicked phone call from the booth telling us that they WERE OUT OF EVERYTHING. We quickly loaded up a handtruck with 10 more cases of fruit leather and a hug box of lip balm and headed out to the event. Trading off clearing the crowd and navigating the fully loaded cart, it took us about a half hour to get through the cheek to cheek crowd over the five blocks from the store. Overall it was very butch and went with our outfits. However, I worked up such a sweat that my mustache fell off when I joined the others at the table and took my first sip of beer.

My bear co-worker had a little song and dance for us to do that she had designed the previous day while working cheese. To that annoying, but catchy , Pink song she’d sing, "We’rrrrrrrrrrrrrre / Bruce and Lance /So you better get this party started." while holding a piece of cheddar in each gyrating hand. However without my ‘stache we called it off. The real bears were alternatively amused and upset by our outfits. One took offense when my co-worker said to the hairiest one of all, "You’re my mentor."

The wonderful thing about volunteering to do this event was that we could drink as much as we wanted since we weren’t on the clock. In fact, we soon found out that we all had smuggled beer into the event. My co-workers never cease to impress me. After a few hours we realized that everyone walking by was looking a lot cuter than they had been when we arrived. Time to stop drinking? Well, maybe. It’s always much more fun, I find, to be at a booth at a street fair rather than just walking around looking for fun. This way, the fun comes to you.

Eventually we gave away our fruit leather and lip balm and folded up our table. While we waited for the company truck to pick us up, we were total freak magnets. People were taking pictures, weird boys with Klingon ears were offering massages. In fact, the last-call dregs of the entire fair seemed to be attracted to us. At one point we had three fucked up, creepy guys hovering around us asking for beatings, cigarettes, beer or just staring. After we chased them away, we didn’t let anyone even pause. As soon as some creepy-vibed dude slowed down, we all started yelling, "NO! Keep moving. Nothing to see here."

Though at this point I did see an ex looking especially hott in a PVC enema nurse outfit. She pointedly didn’t introduce me to the boy she was with. I also said, "Oh my god, a Young Pioneer uniform fetish!" to a guy with commie pins and a red scarf. He stopped, amazed, "You’re the first person to get it all day!"

"I have kind of a commie fetish myself," I replied.

And then it was time to meet my housies at Walzwerk , an East German restaurant celebrating its anniversary. I love German food and this place is done up in the kitsch of the owner’s youth. With all the Social Realist art, I should have invited the Young Pioneer to come with me. I did have my Hungarian Young Pioneer housemate though. We ate free sausages, potato salad, chocolate desserts and drank very expensive beer at cost. I ran into a lonely sales rep who had had a huge fight with last year, but we chatted and discussed food.

And then I walked home with my housemates and went to bed. What a special day.

*Ignore for a second that tofu has only become an English word relatively recently.


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