Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Russ Feingold goes after AG on wiretaps...

Progressive Jewish Battleground State Senator Russ Feingold went after Attorney General Gonzales on the wiretaps. The full story here , from Carol D. Leoning of the Washington Post. Here's a snippet:

In a letter to the attorney general yesterday, Feingold demanded to know why Gonzales dismissed the senator's question about warrantless eavesdropping as a "hypothetical situation" during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January 2005. At the hearing, Feingold asked Gonzales where the president's authority ends and whether Gonzales believed the president could, for example, act in contravention of existing criminal laws and spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant.

Gonzales said that it was impossible to answer such a hypothetical question but that it was "not the policy or the agenda of this president" to authorize actions that conflict with existing law. He added that he would hope to alert Congress if the president ever chose to authorize warrantless surveillance, according to a transcript of the hearing.
"It now appears that the Attorney General was not being straight with the Judiciary Committee and he has some explaining to do," Feingold said in a statement yesterday.

Russ, that's what you get for expecting a member of this administration to be straight with you, even the Judiciary. I love you, man, and I hope to G-d you run for president... but I still haven't fully forgiven you for passing this guy's nomination out of committee. Maybe this is karma.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Could someone please clothe the emperor already?

BZ is playing a non-alcoholic version of the State of the Union drinking game on Tuesday. Would love to watch the thing with ya, man, but I think i may need booze to get through this.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Great Question.

Tiffany Cooper, sophomore at Kansas State, wants to know how 12.7 billion dollars in cuts to education are supposed to help help our future. Check out chucklenutz's bumbling answer. The full story, from Think Progress, which also lays out the truth on the cuts and the Pell Grant program, which, despite chucklenutz's bumbling statements, is being cut.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Jewish Women, Chicanas, and Jewish Chicanas...

so last night, I had to share Knucklehead with other women. No, get your head out of the gutter! But we went out for some tasty food and tasty rhythms last night and I wanted to let you all know about it.

We were headed to see Knucklehead's dumbek instructor, Raquy Daniziger, and her band, awesomely titled Raquy and the Cavemen, were playing down in Tribeca. But the menu where they were playing looked a likkel pricey and didn't have a lot of options for a kosher fish vegetarian, so I investigated. After consulting Chowhound, Menupages, Citysearch, and my ace in the whole (Schedule1), things were looking bleak. But one last look at Citysearch found us Lupe's East LA Kitchen on Sixth Ave. Great, funky, tasty, not too expensive place with veggie and meat options, a bar, and (my personal favorite) MEXICAN PEPSI! So sweet, and in a bottle. Delicioso! Knucklehead likes the Jarritos, and I like the Pollo Norteno.

And then, the music. Raquy was awesome, and the whole band was fantastic. I especially liked the musical contributions of sometimes Caveman/Pharoah's Daughter Daphna Mor on recorder, flute, and finger symbols. Plus, Raquy's hubsband was fantastic, and has awesome dreads. If seeing a great mostly percussion middle eastern band wasn't enough for you (and it would've been, they were great), there were a bunch of belly dancers who were fantastic as well.

Go visit Lupe. then, go find Raquy and the Cavemen.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... (wait, what?)

First, the MTA gets regressive with Transit Workers. Now, NYU is threatening to fine TAs. Anyone feeling some dejavu?

Join me (and lots of other folks) today at 4pm to fight for striking NYU workers:

Mass Rally To Support GSOC
Striking Teaching Assistants and Graduate Research AssistantsThursday, Jan. 26
4:00 PM
Bobst Library
opposite SE cnr. of Washington Sq. Park,
70 Washington Square South (a.k.a. W. 4th St.) between Washington Square East (a.k.a.University Pl.) and LaGuardia Place (a.k.a. W. B'way):
trains A, B,C, D, E, F, V to West 4th St.; R, W to Eighth St.; #6 to Astor Pl.;#1 to Sheridan Sq.-Christopher St.; M1, M2, M3, M5, M6, M8 bus;bike on 5th Ave., W. B'way, Waverly, Houston, 9th St. or 10th St.;map <http://tinyurl.com/8359z>; bldg. pic <<http://tinyurl.com/blzcd>http://tinyurl.com/blzcd>]

A lesson in Labor tactics (or why we may have another TWU strike)

Coverage of the MTA's proposal here, coutesy Steven Greenhouse and Sewell Chan.

I'm still not 100 percent sure why 11,000 transit workers rejected the contract. I know the health insurance contribution was not something people were not happy about, but the contract, on a whole, was not bad. Some think (and I'm one) that one of the reasons this deal got defeated was the horrible press coverage, the newspapers telling the world that Roger Toussaint was weak and the deal had very little differences from the contract offered before the strike deadline. Except, as I've talked about before, that's not so.

So, to force the union into binding arbitration, the MTA has gone regressive. They've added a whole bunch of things to their new package guaranteed to make the negotiations MORE contentious (who knew that was possible), including the return of the pension contribution provision, dropping the pension refund, and (my personal favorite) THE EXPANSION OF ONE-PERSON TRAIN OPERATIONS.

I explained this to some friends over the weekend. Binding arbitration is kinda like an argument... Momma K always said that "the truth is somewhere between the two stories." Generally, an arbitrator will look at the positions of the two parties, and, basically, split the difference. Certainly there's a lot more to it than that, but more often than not, that is the general MO. Now here, as my advisor in college would say, is where it gets interesting. Because the arbitrator will often be looking at the last two offers as a starting point... so what this does, is encourage bad faith barganing. If you know an arbitrator is going to come into play, why weaken your position? Why try to make concessions? It encourages stonewalling.

And this, my friends, is part of the plan of the MTA. And of the dissidents of the TWU. See, there are some people in the TWU who have issues with Roger Toussaint. For the MTA, they have a much better shot going to the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB), a board stuffed with 12 years of Back Door George palookas for binding arbitration. For those who would oust Roger Toussaint, they've succeeded in voting down a big victory for him, and have put him in an even more difficult place, with the eventual goal of taking over the leadership of TWU. I think it's pretty wack, really.

But I've also got some tough words for everyone out there, dear readers. This MTA offer is emblematic of the tactics they've used in the last 3 years. Either they're too arrogant or too stupid to realize this union might still go out. And they'd rather blindly push forward with complete disregard for their workers and for us. 11,000 people voted against the last contract, you think they'll take a step backwards lying down?

Further, I need people to hear this: this is an important battle for working class living in New York City. These are hardworking people that make our city go, at their own peril. And if they have a benefits package that you want, and you believe in your hearts that everyone should have, your response SHOULD NOT BE "well, i have to pay xyz, so why should they be different?"

We need to be working towards a society where all of us have full free health care and pension, not looking down upon people who might have it a little better than us in some ways. Saying "I don't have xyz" is not a reason the members of Local 100 shouldn't have it. It's a reason to figure out how to get you xyz.

Vote early and often. That's the Chicago way!

So, I know November is a few months away. But those of you who are itching to vote now, I have some ballots you can stuff.

1) The Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards final round is happening right now. Please, go, and vote. Oh, and while you're there, please feel free to vote for the following:

1) Jewschool- I'm a sometime contributor to this blog that has a lot of culture, religious and political perspectives that are definitely left of the mainstream (would you expect anything less of me?).

2) Mahrabu- BZ's blog. Because he's my bud. Oh, and because he's got really great stuff on his blog, on Judaism, physics, politics, and music.

3) Orthodox Anarchist- because Mobius, the site's author, is the mastermind behind Jewschool and some other great sites on the web. And after the ninja kitties fiasco, I'm hoping I can get him some votes so my cred isn't all damaged. :-) Seriously, he's done some awesome work on this stuff, and jewschool was one of the first sites that made me decide I wanted to blog.

You don't have to be Israeli or Jewish to vote in this thing. In fact, you can even vote once every three days. They do check IP addresses to stop ballot stuffing. Get some lefty (ie not insane-o nuke everyone) voices props in the Jerusalem Post. You know you want to.

Oh, and if that wasn't enough voting for you...

turns out I know someone in the Hip Hop Hoodios. Sort of. Went to college with him, Rico knows him, I knew him periferally. Then, he used to run the big Latin Alternative Music Conference while I was with 802. And now his cousin, who came in to help nail down a nail biter in the fall, emailed to let me know he's up for an award in the Jammies. You would think they knew that Jammies already exist, my man Bernie plays at them every year. Anyway, yes, give them love too. And check em out. The illest Sfardic-ish since eating corn on Pesach.

Shopping carts across the five boroughs!

I bet you thought you had to be in Alaska to be in the Iditerod, didn't you?

Not anymore. Well, not exactly.

Revelgirl sent this my way. I can't do it, but it sounds fabulous. Complete with checkpoints, bar stops, and a trash talking bulletin board. Oh, and an afterparty at Tonic.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Gentle life reminder...

I'm going to a wake for a 29 year old in a couple of hours. Because its upstate, I'm going to meet Full Boat and we're going to go together. Technically, I'm not even supposed to go because of my kohen-ness (according to tradition, I'm a descendent of Aaron and have certain extra rules to follow because of that), but I can't even imagine forsaking my buddy who lost her boyfriend.

29 years old. 1 year older than me.


These things genuinely freak me out though, the idea of hanging out with the body for an hour or two is particularly odd to me. Full Boat made a point of telling me, "Yep, Ruby, this is one of things you guys got right. You can go to the person's house, where they can be with family and friends, in someplace familiar and comfortable, or you can go to a room, and sit with the deceased."

Knucklehead, while sad for our buddy, noted that this has hit me particularly hard. I guess it got me wondering about mortality, about "doing the things", about the goals and places and people in my life, making sure i'm true to them all and accomplish some good stuff before I head out. I've had some amazing moments (kissing Knucklehead, playing music to a few thousand people, organizing huge rallies, winning slams at the Nuyorican, playing cards with Schedule1, the Boat, HC, Rico and Fearless Reporter, seeing the Yankees win playoff games) and yet at times, I'm not satisfied. Actually, I'm not satisfied a lot. Guess that's something to keep one going, yes?

G-d bless you, wherever you are. DBQgirl loved you all the way, and she misses you terribly. My hope is that, while this life was bumpy for you, you get release, comfort, and peace. And may we all find the way to whatever it is we're looking for.

Searching for Potato Bilkalekh...

I come from good cooking, erm, stock. Both my Grandma and Nanny K could cook, as can Momma K. But, in reading fellow Jewschool poster (and occasional verbal sparing partner) The Kvetcher's post on Yonah Schimmel, I got nostalgic for my Grandma, because she was the one who cooked the old school Ashkenaz dishes I crave.

The dish that, I think, was one of my favorites, was something called Potato Bilkalekh. How's this for old world cooking:

Boil some potatoes. Fry a bunch of onions in vegetable oil (since this was usually during Pesach, my guess is olive oil). Mash the onions, a few eggs, some salt, pepper and garlic powder into the potatoes. Take small patties of the potato mixture, roll in egg, then matza meal, then fry them.

Now, of course, I enjoyed that when I was a teenager, before I really was cooking a lot on my own, and in the foolishness of youth (where you think everyone's going to live forever, or at least you don't think they're going to die tomorrow), I never got the recipe from her. She passed when I was 22, completely out of the blue to all of us.

Now, I've been doing some internet searching for Potato Bilka, Bilkah, Bilkas, Bilkalekh and (as she pronounced them) Bilkalukh. And despite the over 200 hits I've located, I've only found one recipe which doesn't sound quite right. Guess what it's missing? The onions. So if any of you have any ideas about this, as Pesach really isn't all that far away (gasp!), lemme know.

And, now, because I can't be serious all the time...

Ninka kittens, dancing to ska. Animation from the awesome folks at rathergood.com (remember the viking kitties?), music by 7 seconds of love. Actually, a pretty darn good ska song, if ya ask me.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Now I'm really surprised: Texas Republican stands up, calls out a lot of people

Congressmember Ron Paul (R-TX14) launched a fantastic tirade on Truthout.org. I don't agree with every word, but it is an impressive text. One highlight on the way in:

It's been suggested we need to change course and correct the way Congress is run. A good idea, but if we merely tinker with current attitudes about what role the federal government ought to play in our lives, it won't do much to solve the ethics crisis. True reform is impossible without addressing the immorality of wealth redistribution. Merely electing new leaders and writing more rules to regulate those who petition Congress will achieve nothing.
Could it be that we're all looking in the wrong places for a solution to recurring, constant, and pervasive corruption in government? Perhaps some of us in Congress are mistaken about the true problem; perhaps others deliberately distract us from exposing the truth about how miserably corrupt the budget process in Congress is. Others simply are in a state of denial. But the denial will come to an end as the Abramoff scandal reveals more and more. It eventually will expose the scandal of the ages: how and to what degree the American people have become indebted by the totally irresponsible spending habits of the U.S. Congress- as encouraged by successive administrations, condoned by our courts, and enjoyed by the recipients of the largesse.
A long read, but a good one.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Was it possible for a disgruntled employee to do this and not have the elections administrator find out?" Sancho asked. "The answer was yes."

In the I'm Shocked! department, it seems that Diebold voting machines are easily hacked. Who knew?:

As the Leon County supervisor of elections, Ion Sancho's job is to make sure voting is free of fraud. But the most brazen effort lately to manipulate election results in this Florida locality was carried out by Sancho himself.

Four times over the past year Sancho told computer specialists to break in to his voting system. And on all four occasions they did, changing results with what the specialists described as relatively unsophisticated hacking techniques. To Sancho, the results showed the vulnerability of voting equipment manufactured by Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems, which is used by Leon County and many other jurisdictions around the country.

Sancho's most recent demonstration was last month. Harri Hursti, a computer security expert from Finland, manipulated the "memory card" that records the votes of ballots run through an optical scanning machine.

Then, in a warehouse a few blocks from his office in downtown Tallahassee, Sancho and seven other people held a referendum. The question on the ballot:

"Can the votes of this Diebold system be hacked using the memory card?"

Two people marked yes on their ballots, and six no. The optical scan machine read the ballots, and the data were transmitted to a final tabulator. The result? Seven yes, one no.

"Was it possible for a disgruntled employee to do this and not have the elections administrator find out?" Sancho asked. "The answer was yes."
The full story from the Washington Post

"There should not be a single American who today remains confident that it couldn't happen to them."

Are you shocked? I'm shocked. A Florida Peace activist accuses Chucklenuts and his crew of spying on and infiltrating a bunch of Quakers. Quakers. You know, the really peaceful, non violent folks? Worthy of being named by the Pentatgon as a threat:

WASHINGTON - While the White House defended domestic surveillance as a safeguard against terrorism, a Florida peace activist and several Democrats in Congress accused the Bush administration on Friday of spying on Americans who disagree with President Bush's policies.

Richard Hersh, of Boca Raton, Fla., director of Truth Project Inc. of Palm Beach County, told an ad hoc panel of House Democrats that his group and others in South Florida have been infiltrated and spied upon despite having no connections to terrorists.

"Agents rummaged through the trash, snooped into e-mails, packed Web sites and listened in on phone conversations," Hersh charged. "We know that address books and activist meeting lists have disappeared."

The full story here, courtesy of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

As Chuck D says, I ain't trippin, just watch your step.

Don't forget...

Tell people you love them. Remember the ones you care about. And be strong, because they never would want to see you stricken by their loss. Or, as Momma K would tell me whenever I'd get sad about Poppy, "If your Poppy saw you crying, he'd give a boot in the ass!"

Know that you've got people who've got your back.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hope you're proud of yourself, backdoor George.

George Pataki, you're a jerk-off. Yes, I blame you in part for this, though it would paying you too much of a compliment to say the responsibility lies solely with you. But yeah, not getting involved in the process and then bitching about the deal, talking about vetoing, way to show leadership. Why don't you move to Iowa now, we'll throw some old clothes on you, stuff you with hay, and drive a wooden stake down your back.

By 7 votes, Local 100 rejects MTA contract:

The rejection, which seemed to catch city officials off guard, derails a painfully wrought agreement, represents a stunning defeat for the union's president, Roger Toussaint, and opens a potential Pandora's box of complications in any future negotiations. Those on both sides, however, were quick to say that another strike, while a possibility, was unlikely.
At the center of the rejection seemed to be a last-minute concession by the union in December that its members pay 1.5 percent of their wages toward health insurance premiums in return for the authority's dropping its insistence on inferior pensions for new workers. Just how unpopular that change was with union membership became starkly clear yesterday.

Steven Greenhouse covers it from the Freedom hating, Judy Miller backing, Red Sox owning Times...

This thing keeps getting worse, doesn't it...

For anyone who thought all our girls and boys had to do was get home alive, now you know that getting home alive's just half the battle:

On January 16th, after having talked quite normally on the phone with at least two other people that same day, Douglas Barber, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) living in Lee County, Alabama, changed the answer-message on his telephone. "If you're looking for Doug," it said in his Alabama drawl, "I'm checking out of this world. I'll see you on the other side." He then called the police, collected his shotgun, and went out onto his porch to meet them.

From the sketchy reports we have now, it seems the police wouldn't oblige him with a "suicide by cop" and tried to talk him down. When it became apparent he wasn't able to commit cop-suicide, 27-year-old Douglas Barber did an about-face, rotated the shotgun and killed himself. There is a hell of a lot that we just don't know about how this happened. I talked to Doug on the phone earlier this month, and he described how excited he was to have joined IVAW, how he looked forward to taking up the pen and speaking out. Others had spoken with him only days and hours before he permanently quieted the chaos in his head. None of the "classic" signs of suicidal thinking were manifest. He was gregarious and upbeat, playful.

The full story from Truthout.


See, some people get mad when I say this is one facet of the chucklenutz's war on my generation. Debt, draining the education system, and sending kids my age and younger to die or come home REALLY messed up. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ain't some shit to laugh about.

And a gentle reminder from the formerly suicidal guy: people who express "classic signs of suicidal thinking" are often the ones who are on the fence about it.

In the Midnight Hour.


Rico just told me Wilson Pickett has left us.

Born in Alabama, moved to Detroit as a teen, found Jerry Wexler with Stax in Memphis. In the Midnight Hour, Land of 1000 Dances, and Funky Broadway. The smiling memories and dancing feet of millions are legacy. If that man had a dollar for every time someone played one of his songs, he'd have more money than Wal-mart. I hope to make some of kz's post services jam about him tomorrow night. Thanks for everything, Wilson. You've blessed us with some amazing music.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

And in the Jewish Conference/Retreat Division series...

Did I mention the Institute is less than 7 months away?

People always say profound things about their first time... the first time they fell in love, the first time they kissed, the first time they saw this beautiful place... and there's also the eventuality that there will be comparisons to everything else after the first thing, because hey, that's your frame of reference. Last August was the first time I went to a big Jewish conference/retreat/event, so it should come as no surprise to you that, now that I've had a day to decompress, I've started comparing Limmud to last year's National Havurah Committee's Summer Institute. I realize this might be completely unfair. Especially since I've used phrases like "one of the best weeks of my life" and "life changing experience" to describe the Institute.

But it's my blog.

Also, maybe by comparing them, I can help them both grow and be even better next time. I could do this like the preview to a baseball playoff series:

1) Introductory programming:
NHC's intro program was great. I learned a great new tune and had a really interesting discussion with new folks. Also, I think you could definitely count the Everett Fellowship as an introductory program of a sort, as in an introduction to the community with a group of newbie peers, which gives the Institute an advantage. They're also helped by the fact that Limmud's opening program was taking place while Knucklehead and I were hurtling through the catskills in Brain on our way to Kutchers.

Advantage: Institute

2) Services:
Both had several different interesting options to choose from during most days. The Institute's had a little more variety, except Kabbalat Shabbat which was all of us in a big gym (which was a billion times better than it sounds). However, the one thing better than BZ leading shabbat services is BZ leading shabbat services with a guitar, which did happen at Limmud, but not the Institute. Also, I got to lead a service at Limmud with Knucklehead and NF, so

Advantage: Limmud

3) Classes/Workshops:
This is difficult to compare, because Limmud only had workshops (as defined by the following parameters: workshop- only one session; class- more than one session). The Institute had both. At Limmud, it would certainly be possible to offer 2 or even 3 part classes. The absense of classes means either you're shoving a lot of content into 75 minutes, or scratching the surface of an incredible thought provoking journey. Or both. One workshop I took, Dr. David Arnow's Moses and the Passover Haggadah: The Human Role in Redemption, had a lot of great content, and Dr. Arnow really knew his stuff. But there was so much to cover, we were really pushing through it to end the session in time and didn't get to discuss all that much. He could have benefitted from an extended session, or even two sessions. The Institute has both, and I felt like I got a lot out of two awesome classes as well as my workshops.

Advantage: Institute

4) Social Justice content
(note: This is totally arbitrary, this may not be all that important to you, but it is to me. And it's my blog.)

Limmud had several workshops per day on this, from multiple perspectives, including my favorite session of the weekend with Rabbi Jennie Rosenn (see below). On the other hand, the Institute had one or two things, but this was one of the places where I felt it was lacking most last summer.

Advantage: Limmud

5) Creative content
(see note by category four)

The institute had several 4 day long classes on arts, a series of writing workshops culminating in an open mic, several jams each day, a closing concert and a talent show. Also, you could bang on the table during Zmirot. Limmud had some great artists as well, but the schedule was such that it really didn't open up. Maybe I was spoiled by the Institute, but I certainly expected a lot more musical and creative interaction. The difference was, at the Institute, there was so much fantastic interaction within the community in addition to the workshops with the artists. The "teacher as student, student as teacher" really came across here.

Advantage: Institute

6) Accomodations

This is a real battle. Humidity and uncomfortable beds versus very strange heat functions. old school kitsch versus college asthetics. snow and ice versus gooseshit. But between the really confortable beds, the only two hour drive, and the meat meals, Limmud wins by a nose.

Advantage: Limmud

7) Community intangibles

Limmud had a huge New York contingent, which was nice, because I did get to see a lot of old friends during the conference... but the Institute seemed to have a lot more diversity in multiple areas. I feel like at the Institute, I started the week as an outsider, but grew to know a bunch of the people there, whereas at Limmud, my virtue of knowing a bunch of the organizers made me a bit more of an insider (even though I still feel like the simple kid around all these things). The institute also had a much more open vibe to me. Knucklehead noted to me this difference on the way home: that the Institute erred on the side of openness, on giving everyone a chance to speak their piece, where Limmud seemed to err on being a bit more polished, cerebral. Being that I take creative and rough around the edges over polished and a bit more restrictive...

Advantage: Institute

The Institute in 6 games.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Russ Feingold for President?

GodofPoool and I were talking yesterday about the late great Senator Paul Wellstone being someone we'd fight like hell for to get elected President. I mentioned to him that there was another progressive Dem who kept winning close races in sometimes red midwest states, a gentleman named Russ Feingold.

It seems I'm not the only one entertaining hopes of a Feingold run:

Feingold for President blog
Feingold for President petition
Russ For President
Draft Russ
New York for Feingold

Guess what? I've spoken to Norm... We're gonna live in the trees!

The National Havurah Committee's SUMMER INSTITUTE is less than SEVEN MONTHS AWAY!

If you had told me last January that one of the things I'd really be psyched about 7 months in advance was the Institute, you would have been met with skepticism. NOT TODAY. Maybe it was that (while Limmud was a great time) the things that Limmud lacked were things the Institute had in spades (like the constant flow of creativity out of the participants, something that was present, but not as much so at Limmud, or that we were allowed to bang on the table).

But I've been devoting a lot of energy to tell folks I know about the Everett program (go to this amazing week long program for 100 bucks, everything included) and about the institute in general. So nu, BZ, when can I register online?

When my labor side meets my jewish nostalgia side...

Because I don't have blind allegiance to anyone, not even pastrami that I've loved for most of my life, turns out there are other reasons to be frustrated with the sudden closing of 2nd Ave Deli:

EAST VILLAGE — Former workers at the 2nd Ave. Deli were as hot as the pastrami they once served when they heard the news Wednesday that the famous eatery was likely closed for good. Now, they’re threatening legal action.

The workers met with their union representatives from Local 100 of Unite Here!, a restaurant workers union, to discuss a possible breach of contract.

“This could be a potential labor dispute,” said Dennis Diaz, an organizer with Local 100, adding that the deli’s management hadn’t informed the union about its pending closure. “Workers are owed vacation and sick days. There’s two weeks severance, which is only two weeks, but still something. He didn’t even give them their last week of pay.”

reality sets in on 2nd Ave Deli.

From Eater: postcards of the hanging

Wow. But Eater also had this to say:
The good news: Lebewohl says he's received offers from other landlords in the city to open up shop in their buildings. Meantime, the dearly departed signage might pop up on eBay yet: Lebewohl says he plans to give most of it away.

Long Live 2nd Ave Deli. Long Live McHale's.

Good tidings from GodofPoool...

... who reports to me that he spoke to Big Jim McHale yesterday, the last day of operations for McHale's as we know it. GodofPoool tells me that Big Jim is serious about re-opening somewhere in Hell's Ki.... Clinton, and soon. Ah, if we could somehow combine the burgers of McHale's with the fresh cut fries and battered onion rings of The Blarney Stone. The waitress who formerly hates us told me it would take a year, but I did notice the Joe Franklin's/Bennigan's lunacy emptied out... hmm, maybe all is not lost. Anyone hear anything about Second Ave Deli? Zappy was ready to punch a wall when he heard that not only did McHale's close up nearly 2 weeks early, but that Second Ave is gated up as well.

Long Live McHale's!

Freedom Fries in the City of Brotherly Love

They throw batteries at their own players (and Santa Claus too). And they still serve freedom fries. The employment hunt brought me down ever so briefly to Philly (apologies to the Philly fam I didn't see, I basically just had time for dinner and hadn't seen Zappy in a long time). The interview went decently, we'll see how things move along. I was kinda taking in Philly as a city because there's the chance this job will require relocation. Traffic = bad, although I've drove in worse.

Anyway, Zappy (dude, we need to come up with a better call sign) is an old friend from my first post college organizing days. Plus, there are times when he makes me look a middle of the road conservative Democrat. After we both left the wretched leadership of let1000flowersdie, we stayed tight (as being in a rough organizing campaign with good people can do). He's now organizing for the only union that chose being kicked out of the AFL-CIO instead of betraying the politics of any of its members or staff. They're also the only union where the President can only make the highest salary grade of all their collective bargaining agreements.

Now, seeing as I hadn't seen him in ages, and the last time I was in Philly I was visiting CharmedChemist, who keeps kosher, with Knucklehead, a kosher vegetarian, it was time for a cheesesteak. We sampled some of both Pat's and Geno's. We hit Pat's first, and it was a great steak, of course I got mine with extra onions, and was going to get American when Zappy admonished me, so I went with the Cheez Whiz. Tactical error was not getting Birch Beer, which they have in the fountain there.

We went to a bar nearby for a drink in between the taste test, and Zappy noted that, at Geno's, there's a picture of Officer Daniel Faulkner, and a picture of Mumia Abu Jamal next to it, with the tagline "In Memory of Officer Faulkner, who was Murdered by Mumia Abu Jamal." I look at Zappy in disbelief, he says, yeah, man, there's a ton of that stuff all over this neighborhood. We head into a neighborhood bar, where a jack on the rocks and pabst draft is six bucks. Not bad, not bad at all. We watch the fucking flyers take a one goal lead, have a few and head back. On round 2, we split one from Geno's. In the argument about who's paying, we start cursing each other out. Zappy got the first round of steak and a round of drinks, I want to return the favor. Zappy, being in his natural state (considerately belligerant), starts cursing me out. The woman at the register asks Zappy if he kisses his mother with that mouth. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that, working at Geno's for however many years, she's heard the words before. On our way away from Geno's, I stared again in disbelief. Not only are their steaks inferior, but they serve "freedom fries". Wow. Zappy and I thought about all sorts of snappy retorts to the register woman, including, "Actually, my mom is dead, she was killed by Mumia." Or walking up with a steak from Pat's, ordering a whole ton of stuff, then cursing a lot and noting that Geno's subs are inferior anyway.

Zappy, my stomach is screaming in pain, while my taste buds are greatful.

Philly's not all that bad.

On the other hand, they throw batteries at santa claus. How much shit would I get for my NY sports team gear?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Limmud postmorte: the extended RIOT ACT mix!

As Sashinka noted, she, along with Shamirpower, BZ and myself, were trapped in a snowbound Borschtbelt paradise without inter-net all of Sunday, and of course today was the, ahem, Exodus from Middletown back to wherever you came from (quite possibly the UWS or London).

The conference was (over?)loaded with great courses and activities, so a few brief highlights from the last 48 hours of the conference.

My favorite Sunday session was, without question, Labor of Love: An introspective musical journey through our liturgy with Danny Maseng. Now, still being somewhat new to all this, I cheerfully admit I actually had not heard of Danny before the conference. With a mother who teaches Sunday school to second graders, it’s pretty hard to miss the greatness of Debbie Friedman, but I was told he’s wonderful, don’t worry, Ruby, you’ll love him. Went to Shabbas morning musical services, and not only did he bring wonderful music to the morning, every now and then he’d say something really short and insightful. Wanted to do his Sunday session, but that was before staying up till 3 something jamming with BZ, Avi Fox-Rosen (who also had a cool workshop on singing), Bara Sapir (who sang over the rainbow like she wrote it), and a few of our friends who gave us the gift of Limmud from across the pond. I got up for an am session, and I was tired. I decided I would stop by, and then split a little bit into it, to say hi to Knucklehead or catch a nap. Once Danny started, I couldn’t leave. He gave us a great look into his inner musical workings, as well as some incredible nuggets of knowledge about Lecha Dodi, the passage between Adonai Elohaychem Emes and Mi Chamocha, and the prayer immediately following the Borechu, noting that the passage from Isaiah it was adapted from called G-d the creator of both Good and Evil, and rhuminated on why the Rabbis wouldn’t want that talked about in the prayer. Really thought provoking stuff. Thanks, Danny.

Also had a great time listening to Basya Schechter as part of the closing program. Homegirl’s got some serious music in her, in case you weren’t sure.

So, Knucklehead and I were up until 4, along with BZ and a few other new friends, including TheLastTrumpet (did you get that from one of my favorite Lyrics Born/Lateef jams?) jamming the night away. Except we were also leading a Martin Luther King service with NF at 8am. I don’t know how we got up, but we made it and it was a lot of fun. Unfortuntely, the net being down made my drosh a lot shorter, as I wanted to actually quote Dr. King’s statement of “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and compare it to Shifra and Puah’s act of civil disobedience. We picked out some great tunes, some of which I think Shamirpower recorded.

All in all, a great time. Props to the staff and board of Limmud NY who made it all happen. One thing Knucklehead pointed out to me, and I can definitely see her point, is that 75 minutes just scratches the surface of these serious topics. Maybe, for next year, there could be a few courses that are multiple days? Second, it's the artist in me, but I'd love to see more in the creative world next time round. A time and space for a jam session or three, and some way to stagger the creative programming so they're not constantly up against one another. Admittedly, the Rubester was disappointed with what went down in the open mic, was hoping to see some of the people at the conference do their thing, but in the end it was me, TheLastTrumpet doing some tasty covers, and the 944s, two older gentlemen singing a few songs.

Also, while I love the Five Boroughs, i was reminded of the line from Rounders, “You know, if we wanted to take each other’s rolls, we could have just stayed home.” How can we spread word to other communities out there to make this even better next year?

Yasher Koach to all who made it happen this weekend. Now, sleeping in a smaller bed, but with heat on in the room.

watch the right...

no, really, look out for some blog links on the righ' han side. Just not now, too tired to stare at html words I don't get.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Be true to what you said on paper.

I'm too tired to do more Limmud roundup, so...read this instead.

I'm tired. And one of the things I'm tired of is how this country "honors revolutionaries" by reproducing the most bland, benign, milquetoast versions of them for public consumption.

Once again, a reminder that the last speech Dr. King made was in support of sanitation strike.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Limmud Day Two/Three Riot Act roundup- the EXTENDO REMIX!

Jewschool gets a taste. But you, my loyal readers, get a likkel more. Live, from Shamirpower's Mac (which for some reason is not showing all the nifty text shortcuts), from the Greck family cradle, it's the Riot Act, Limmud style!After Mamma K regaled me with stories of Kutsher’s past lives, Knucklehead and I beat Shabbas up the hill (by a nose) to arrive for Kol Zimrah style Kabbalat Shabbat. BZ lead a great service, as always, with some help from unnamed musical friends joining the frey on various drums and a double bass. Continuing with the musical theme, Danny Maseng and Debbie Friedman led a rousing Shabbas morning service, although they had some choice (and justifiable) words for the confusing new Reform movement Siddur. A great mix of some tunes I knew and some tunes I didn’t know, they really got everyone involved in it, a great service.

In the HOLY SHIT I'M OLD department, the daughter of the Rabbi who lead my bar mitzvah studies (and who I babysat for when she was three or four) is HERE and is a sophomore at Brandeis.

I’ve been to several great workshops, but my personal favorite right now is Rabbi Jennie Rosenn’s Social Jusice and Spirituality- Tikkun HaOlam & Tikkun HaMiddot. A group of about 12 of us or so dove into the “dichotomy” of social justice and spirituality. Rabbi Rosenn’s eventual endpoint was that there should not be a division or boundary between doing social justice work and spirituality when it comes to Judaism. Starting with my favorite Maimonides (the highest of the 8 levels of tsedakah in Laws of Gifts to the Poor), we examined the reasoning behind the commandments to social justice, and the impact they have both on the person giving and the person in need, including Maimonides statement that it’s better to give 1 dinar 1000 times than 1000 dinars once because of the effect on the giver, and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korha’s “Anyone who averts their eyes from a plea for tzedakah is like someone who worships idols.” Other excerpts, including Deuteronomy 15:7-8, the Shulhan Aruch- the Laws of Tzedakah, and Midrash Tanhuma Chayyei Sarah and a fantastic discussion well shepparded by Rabbi Rosenn lead us to Avraham. Avraham’s kavanah is exemplefied by social justice action; he prays by arguing with G-d to save the lives of innocent. Rabbi Rosenn’s course fit an ideal for me: a few great sources, a few thoughtful people, and great discussion lead by someone who had an idea, and let us talk it out and come to a thoughtful conclusion.

One of the cool people at Rabbi Rosenn's workshop is Melissa Shiff (www.melissashiff.com), who does some really intriguing visual arts, including a juxtaposition of regular people onto the Ten Commandments film shots, so Jews could actually visualize themselves leaving slavery. Stop by and tell her Ruby sentcha!

There are actually a lot of great musicians/artists at this conference, it's really been an awesome experience. Most of the workshops I've attended have been social justice based, which is hard considering I really want to do social justice work in the Jewish community, if only they'd have me. I think i'm going to try to do some more arts and cultiah stuff tomorrow. Knucklehead has, as always, been really supportive. Unlike the Institute, we've been hanging out a bit more, which has been really wonderful.

Also, unlike the Institute, they've had fleishig meals. Yeah meat!

Now, dear readers, rumor has it I can learn some new gambling games for Purim. The Boat will love them, considering that purim gambling games are usually played drunk, and I'm sure he'd love to have me betting money while I'm three whiskey bottles to the wind. No chance, Boat. But if you're reading this, do you want to do lunch on our way back to the city? We could even have you and the Godofpoool join us post rally.

Knucklehead and I got together with NF to hook up a Monday Morning MLK service, which I'm really excited about. even grabbed some new reeds on the way out of town for the occasion. Also looking forward to the open mic, where maybe I'll express my frustrations more, well, loudly.

Believe it, there’s a lot of Limmud left, hopefully Shamirpower will let me sneak in another post before we head back to the five boroughs. Shavua Tov!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Limmud NY: Back to tha Roots!

I grab Knucklehead and head for the hills in a few moments. Momma K reminds me that Nanny K grew up in South Fallsburg and has been telling me all about Kutshers, how they'd need two busboys per table, and how my Nanny (full boat and schedule 1 will love this) would go to the children's dining room with the fam because she didn't want to get all fancied up. "I'm going to the track later, could you bring me a steak?" That should answer Full Boat's question of why I dream about horseracing.

Limmud's schedule looks amazing, and will no doubt reduce me to flipping coins in some time slots. Bringing the leftover gelt and Knob Creek from latkepalooza to ensure I make some new friends, or at least maintain some of the more recent ones. It all looks pretty serious. First stop: KZ style Kabbalat Shabbat with BZ, Shamirpower et al.

More friends doing big t'ings and Limmud in T-minus 8 hours

While I have been away from my apartment, I've had two wonderful women subletting it. The process of subletting can be great or terrible, depending on who you happen to run into. I had a few great duos interested in the place, but what sold me on Jen and Sarah was two things. One was they seemed like really great people, smart, friendly, and decent. And they rolled with the punches when my landlord bumped the rent right before they were moving in. The second thing that sold me was their music. Jen told me they were musicians and I found some of their stuff and was drawn in. What can I say, I'm a sucker for creative folks, that's why I hang out with most of you.

Well, Inventing Eve's CD is finally complete. And I'm here to tell you to check it out. Like some of my favorite groups, their music is a tasty blend of a lot of great different styles and sounds. Take a listen, and support local music!

Now, pack, buy reeds, pack car, visit Mom, get Knucklehead and race Shabbas to Kutsher's for Limmud. The program is ridiculous, and it's doubtful that I'll be sleeping all that much. Look out to Jewschool for coverage. Was worried I was going to have call Schedule1 repeatedly for Giants updates, but Carolina's performance last week took care of that.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Limmud in t-minus 17 hours...

I'll be blogging here and guesting over on Jewschool to talk about the greatness that is Limmud NY. I'm psyched for a MLK freedom service on Monday (which is the first portion of Exodus, awesome!) which I'm helping Knucklehead and NF lead, and for an open mic which I'm going to read at, to say nothing of all the incredible programming.

Thank you, #11.

Okay, so this made me cry. I don't care. Thanks for the memories, Mess. Nineteen Ninety Four!

One miner's life = $440.00

Not that we should be surprised, but we should at least know that mine safety enforcement has eased substantially under the Bush Administration:

At one point last year, the Mine Safety and Health Administration fined a coal company $440 for a "significant and substantial" violation that ended in the death of a Kentucky man. The firm, International Coal Group Inc., is the same company that owns the Sago mine in West Virginia, where 12 workers died last week.

The $440 fine remains unpaid.

The story, from the Philadelphia Enquirer.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Two things you should do

Okay, if you eat non hekshered cow, please go to McHale's before they close. The Northeast corner of 46th and 8th St in Manhattan plays home to this 50 year old burger giant. You should go there. In the next two weeks.

Thing number 2: Tallahassee by The Mountain Goats. Wow. they should've called this album "a hearbreaking work of staggering genius". Unbelievable.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Aw, I love you guys too!

When I get props, I give em back. Love to Mobius and the kids at Jewschool. Check out their site as a hub of lefty-Jew commentary. And, Baruch Hashem, perhaps some comments from me. Now, if they'll only hold their fundraiser on nights that aren't my birthday party...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Journalist gets home invasion in Iraq...

While I just found out about this story, doesn't it seem odd that a journalist investigating the whereabouts of the billions of dollars that are neither going to Katrina victims nor our education system gets hooded and tied up? I'd love to hear an explanation...

The story, from the UK's Guardian.

More art my people are doing...

So, you know how some of you say to me, "Hey, Ruby, what should I be listening to? What creative things should I be checking out?"

Glad you asked.

I'm linking to two friends today, and you should give them your attention. One's one of my favorite poets in NYC, the other is one of my favorite (anti)folk singers here.

I mentioned Ove before. But I'm mentioning him again because I just found out that while when he was in Cali for a little while this summer (while I was on the primary trail), he was getting filmed for a documentary called Spit, which has names like Nikki Giovanni and Woody Harrelson attached to it. It's in Cali February 10th, which means I'm sure it's going to be here in the five boroughs before you know it. This guy is amazing and deserves to be filmed. Plus, unlike certain activist poets you may know, he still has phat dreadlocks. I get to say I knew him when we were doing writing exercises together at the laundromat in Astoria.

Jenn Lindsay is an amazing, warm, incredible person, and then put her on a stage, or in front of mic, and you have power. Her stuff is unbelievable, cutting right to what you're thinking and feeling. I'm thinking of her now because I know she's at work in the studio on her new album, and has privately raved to me about how much she loves the new stuff. Plus, she's come back to Brooklyn after some time away from the City, and has found her home here.

Check em out, support em, and tell em Ruby sentcha!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The tastes, sights, and sounds of Latkepalooza II

Latkepalooza was brilliant. I'm sad we missed last year, but look forward to making it an annual event. We were graced with the wonderful presence of all sorts of great people, even though some Knucklehead's and my best friends couldn't be there (the list of nos on the e-vite grew more sad as time went by), people who came two hours, who left two kids at with family, who left their new son for the first time (!), who stopped by even though they had kids to teach and things to do in the am, poets, activists, teachers, cooks, bakers, candlestickmakers (no, not really), musicians, new friends, old friends... it was hot. Even after trying to hurd people from the kitchen repeatedly because of the need for cooking space, the kitchen remained backed. Special props to folks that really helped the party flow and gave me breaks from grating potatoes and cooking latkes, especially with Schedule1 visiting the Sharkmaster in Reno.

The latkes came out great. Knucklehead's chevruta's husband threw a bunch of pepper into the second batch, and I threw a lot of cajun seasoning into both batches, giving them some more flavor of their own. Thanks to him, Lamb, Mommapoet and Tyshare for giving me a lot of help on the latkes, you guys are awesome! And speaking of flavor, Knucklehead's cookies were the bomb, and folks had a lot of fun making them. Lemme just say, y'all who missed it, missed a serious party.

Ah, and as promised, the soundtrack for this year's latkepalooza:
1) Hello (remix)- Lyrics Born
2) Christmas in Hollis- Run DMC
3) The Hanukkah Song- Adam Sandler (live)
4) Christ for President- Billy Bragg and the Blokes (live)
5) Protocols of the Elders of Zion- Rav Shmuel (live)
6) Christmastime for the Jews- Darlene Love
7) Long Haired Radical Socialist Jew- Hugh Blumenthal
8) Hanukkah Song, pt 2- Adam Sandler (live)
9) Santa Baby- Eartha Kitt
10) Sevivon- Sagol 59
11) Oi to the World- No Doubt
11) Zat You, Santa Claus- Louis Armstrong
12) Happy Joyous Hanukkah- Klezmatics (live)
13) Christians and the Pagans- Dar Williams (live)
14) Don't Fuck with Santa Claus- The Ripcordz
15) If I had a HAMMER- Pete Seeger (live)
16) Light one Candle- Peter, Paul and Mary (live)
17) Rumania, Rumania- Eartha Kitt
18) The Night Santa Went Crazy- Weird Al Yankovic
19) W Sucks- Robyn Hitchcock
20) Auld Lang Syne- The Ripcordz
21) The Latke Song- Debbie Friedman

Merry Latkepalooza to all, and to all, a good night.


After a crazy 24 hours, Knucklehead and I pulled together a fantastic shindig. Great people, music, food, booze, and merriment. People even drank the eggnog! The cajun tinged latkes gave them a nice flavor. Next year, I think I may want to add an element of sweet to them (no, not sweet potatoes, as they burn at different oil temperatures. stay focused, people). Here's a question for the reading public: should we make latkepalooza post new year's as a regular date, or should we box out other parties for position and stay somewhere around the holiday season. This year was an exception, because of Knucklehead's southern hemispheric travels and hanukkah's late arrive.

Stay tuned to later for more details on the cd mix of the year (so far) the Latkepalooza 2, electric bugalu soundtrack.

In other news, who left a brown sweater and a black wrap at Knucklehead's? Anyone want some gelt or hershey's kisses?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Shorn! and just in time...

I hope Fearless Reporter doesn't make me take down my icon, but my head lost a lot of its reach an hour ago. Sadly, it's too short. Sigh. Sorry Schedule1. The good news is I have an interview thursday, and another one in a week and a half in Philly...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Kalikow admits he was wrong, and ANOTHER LEGEND CLOSING?!?!?!

"I put out a proposal that I thought would be most palatable to the union, and it turns out I was wrong."

What, you didn't hear them say "no pension cuts" a gazillion times?

At least the Mayor isn't drinking the same crap Back Door George is on.

In bad news, NY1 reports that ANOTHER NYC LANDMARK RESTAURANT is in jeopardy. The famed Second Avenue Deli is apparently in a rent dispute with its landlord, who wants to jack the rent up 5K, more than 20% of what their rent is now. Okay, now, so Mayor who had signs printed in Hebrew characters, would you like to do, uh, do something about this?

And now, an even more personal reason to hate this administration.

They underfund No Child Left Behind, leaving Knucklehead and other NYC teachers with more problems. They claim TAs aren't workers, leaving NYU grad students like my ole friend Eiprelle without a contract.

Now, awful economy + infant at home + army experience + contractors are being paid ca$h to go there =

My cousin is going to Kuwait. For a year. I just don't know what to say or do about this, aside from pray we don't get a call about him being the next US contractor that's kidnapped and being held for ransom. And to pray that he comes out of there alright, with his soul in tact.

G-d bless you, Michael.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back Door George doesn't give a shit about the five boroughs or about collective bargaining, blows a lot of hot air while considering move to Iowa...

Lame Duck Bitch Ass Tall Bag of Shit outgoing Governor "Back Door George" (courtesy of Full Boat) Pataki seems to think the best way to honor a tenuously negotiatied solution to bitter labor struggle is to, well, veto it. Yeah, veto it. Proving once again he just doesn't give a shit about us here in the city and would much rather be working on his consevative record for Iowa. For all of his talk about the importance of negotiation, it seems Back Door George only means that important "when it suits him addenda". Or, better, as Knucklehead's Dad put it, the ole Repuublican standy of "I've got mine, so fuck you." Maybe we could arrange for Pataki's driver to go on strike, too.

The story, from the wire tap burying, judy miller publishing, red sox owning times.

Steven explains it all...

So, many people have been asking me, Ruby, what did TWU Local 100 gain with its strike? They got almost the exact same deal, they said. They look like losers, they must be demoralized in their return to work. The strike was totally pointless. Right?

Ah, dear readers. I have to say, I was a little miffed that so many intelligent folk, who are wise enough to look past the mainstream media rubbish when it comes to Dumbya's shock troops, seem to have truly bought into the rhetoric of the mainstream nyc news media.

In an article I would've posted sooner if not for the constart stream of people, music and good times the past week, Steven Greenhouse (i think one of the only prolabor writers on the staff of the times, or at least the one that hasn't been shot yet) lays it all out. Heere's a Ruby summary:

1) They wanted pension off the table. They went out over that. And they got it. How's that not a victory? And while they wanted the retirement age lowered, it remained at 55, and the push to raise it seven years was a big MTA plank.

2) IN ADDITION, they got the following:
Paid Maternity Leave
MLK as a paid holiday.
Better health benefits for retirees
An improved disability plan
a bump in "assault pay" for subway and bus drivers who are attacked.

Congrats, Roger. You've done well for your constituants and for all of us in NYC.

Baby spends first full day home of new year with fever, but at least i win money...

Knucklehead was talking to me a lot in her sleep last night. Turns out she had good reason, as she went to bed and then woke up feeling awful. Her temperature broke 101, and the Knicks don't even do that most nights. i've been bringing her soup, tylenol, and watching clue with her for much of the day. Was rewarded by getting decent cards and playing them well, picking up 40 bucks playing hold em. Good thing too, I coud really use that cash.

Monday, January 02, 2006

should farley farley, words and stuff, yadda dah-da, Old Lang Zyme.

In light of my convo with Mrs. Buddy (sorry, Mrs. Buddy, give me a better nickname with which to refer to you b/c I like to avoid the real names when possible) last night, around 11:59:30, where we talked about how stupid the televising of the ball falling was, and in honor of BZ's most recent post, I created this spontaneouns New Year's acrostic last night. It premiered on BZ's blog, but I figured I could put it here, and then you'd say to yourself, hmm, who is the BZ guy, and why did Ruby write this funky acrostic?


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hey La, Hey La, my baby's back!!!

tho she forsook me for Machu Picchu and adventures with her brother, Knucklehead lands in T-minus 1 hour. Excitement, relief, joy (and a little bit of fear about the traffic I'll encounter in procuring her from LaGuardia) and the secret hopes of smuggled coca leaves. mmmm, coca.

Sometimes, angels need
airplanes to double as air-
borne transportation.

And speaking of haikus, turns out a friend of mine is doing a tri-weekly competition on live journal called Iron Poet. Seems it's time for the Rubester to get busy.

But first, getting busy picking up beautiful Chicana Jews from the airport. She's even flying my favorite hold 'em hand. (you know, A-merican A-irlines?) AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA

A Nefarious New Year!

So, after spending most of the day hanging around Schedule1's apartment, going to Tom's Diner, sleeping, playing poker, watching Sifl and Olie, I took Schedule1 to Hopecake's party, put in an appearance and went out to the Nefarious Ones' party in Brooklyn Heights. Lemme just tell you that hoping to find parking in their neighborhood is like hoping to find a legal parking spot by Grand Central during rush hour. But I found it, and had an amazing time. Great people, lotsa booze, a chocolate fountain, and pirate porn. Mmm, whiskey and chocolate. Good times. Welcome, 2006! What a way to ring in the year!