Thursday, December 25, 2008

New York, NY: Happy Secular Winter Holiday

I have been home in New York for a week. It has been a grand time, not unlike last year's visit, with an emphasis on Chumbawamba-style festivities: Dizard Holiday Party (prohibition), a high school bar meet-up that was not "awkward," 11th annual lunch at Walker's, meals with Masha+Heather, Carla Bruni(s) with the freshly repatriated Chris Wait.

last call @ Cheesy Pizza!

Claire, Lauren, and I also attended the final night of the Hog Pit which represented, in the cruel shadow of the offensively lighted Hotel Gansevoort, the final nail in the coffin for all things salvageable (if that was ever possible) in the Meat Packing District. Truth be told, I was never too fond of that place - ever haunted by the Dell Guy - but I could not let the doors shut without one final adieu. This was the last location in the area to serve bottled beer for under $10. It was there before Pastis (!) and (un)fondly home to many dirtbag memories. In the spirit of several bar closings past, I tried to make off with a bathroom mirror with the epithet "c*nt b*tch" inscribed in bold font (t'was to be a Yule gift for Sasha!). The object was poorly muffled under my ermine jacket and it unfortunately came out to the bouncer. Drat!

See ya, Hoggy!; Walker's comes but once a year

This was a much more glamorous affair than last year's Bacchanalia (togas)

Annual Xmas Eve dinner party traditions (bizarre gift swap)

Tomorrow I leave for the much anticipated trip to Tokyo with my friend Phillip.

PS - A big cheer to our IWW comrades at Starbucks. Way! To! Go!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Loon Christmas Cards

Rene just send me the link to clips from the Performance Karaoke photo shoot with Guillermo Gomez Peña (!). It is exciting to finally see the images, even if in extra low-res. Here are my SFW pics. All photo credits to RJ Muna.


Ruby+Violeta Luna+Linda Gamino


Unflattering Photos of People Stuffing Their Faces

We had a dinner party last night. It started off as a small good-bye for David and Erin but ended up growing into something larger. Our home is ill-equipped for entertaining on such a scale: we don't have the plates, forks, or chairs to accommodate more than seven people. I did however have a cute little apron to wear. TVL was in town and whipped up a delicious Near Eastern menu (I tried to pass it off as my own to little success, despite the aforementioned apron) and I served drinks: three gallons of whiskey cider, which was sadly not enough.

Here are some unkind shots of the soiree:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Milk and Cookies: For the Love of Industry

TVL, Pete and I had a few cocktails at Twin Peaks on Sunday evening after catching Milk at the Castro Theater. We found ourselves sipping a few with a trio of charming old queens - one of whom owns Hot Cookie, the neighboring bakery and fuel station for meth weekends. With a little persistence I was granted a "behind the scenes" sniff around the cookie factory (joie! produktionsmittel!). The employees were baking novelty macaroon bars and rice crispy treats. You might imagine how some of these confections offended my uptight and sexually repressed Catholic sensibilities (my word!).

Once our friend the owner was out of earshot this young Barbara Ehrenreich got the scoop on the working conditions: $10 per hour and tips ($15-$30 per six hour shift), obviously no benefits apart from San Francisco's "universal" health "coverage", plus average weight gain of 10lbs within the first month of employment. Typical non-union service sector! It's worth a mention that the bakers did seem relatively happy to work at the cookie factory, even in our most candid moments. Constant elevated glucose levels to the point of hyperglycemia could also account for this behavior.

The Brewmaster Cycle

Some of my room mate John's brewmaster/friends from Berkeley came over and we (mostly they) made beer on Friday afternoon. Our Vive La Resistance IPA is going to be ready mid-January. Get ready to glug!

brew barley; add maltose

tasty whiff; add hops!

attempt viewing of 1970s 16mm porn while the hops boils

make sure carboy works; test strength

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Alex's Birthday....

and in glitter and turban, this is what I'm channeling:

Monday, December 8, 2008

MANIFEST DESTINY: Thank YOU + Brief Photographic Retrospective of a Year in the Life of Ruby Fuerza dawt cawm

Happy Birthday, Blog!

This post marks the first of this blog's second year. It's hard to believe I've been in California for over thirteen months now (the magic anniversary happened sometime whilst killing myself in southeastern Ohio). Many things have changed, improved even, in my life since trading the mean streets of New York to fulfill manifest destiny. I never did write my long-winded, introspective essay on personal MD, blah, blah - it's not that kind of blog! - but it is the kind that shall succinctly, more or less, give credit where credit is due. Below is a big list (in no favored order) of merci grazi gracias to all the animals, vegetables, and minerals who have contributed to the beautiful existence that has unfolded here over the past year:

1. Frens - This is the obvious item but it is important to me to acknowledge the anchoring role they have played in my life here. I left a special crowd of MSoBFCs (what of it?!) back East and I don't think I would have softened up so much out here without them (example: yoga! bongos! dare I say it.........glam camping?!). As an emotionally guarded person I give an extra stoic nod to my dear Shrimp.

2. Phillip - He conned me into coming here in to begin with and has been first and foremost partner in adventure.

3. Little Jackie - The best bike ever. Even if one or two of the breaks don't usually work. And it doesn't change gears.

4. Role models - I am luck to have a good union job that happens, at least in California, to be dominated by fashionable women who are also committed to social and economic justice. My boss Kelly is a main role model to me because she pretty much knows what to say in any situation in which a union organizer might find herself. I pretty much want to be just like her in seven years (?). My other co-worker Jollene is my secondary role model because she does my job but also leads a massive radical feminist organization. Her example challenges me every day.

5. 7 Duncan St. - It isn't the biggest house but it survived the earthquake and has a dishwasher! I beg you to check out the old digs on the G and F trains.

6. Burlesque Women - I found the creative community really hard to access (not that there there was time for it) in NYC. I could have never imagine launching my burlesque dreams. The dynamic is different out here and it has lead me to some great people and great adventures!

7. Cheap Booze - This is not an overstatement. Booze really is so much cheaper here than back home. $1 Tecate+Lil Jackie+Shrimp Scampy have consistently made for excellent, low cost adventures. I mainly credit Pop's, Argus, 5hundo Club, and El Rio for making said equation possible.

8. Dolores Park - I never spent time in the parks in NY (eh-hem, drinking citations in Prospect Park). Now I'm there all the time!

9. Weekend Getaways - Apart from Millerton, there aren't fun places to explore back East like there are out here. Even for feeling no emotional connection in the face of nature, I do feel lucky for all of the great vistas I have experienced in the past year.

10. Rainbow Grocery - WHO HAVE I BECOME??

11. Sweet Lula

I think I have listed all of my navel-gazing MD gratitudes for now. I will unscrupulously re-edit the list to account for any glaring omissions. Below are a few never-been-published snaps from the past year: