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Until the zine coalesces into a printworthy form, Tony is starting this sort of freeform journal/digital soapbox as a way to get the ball rolling. Anyone and everyone is allowed - nay, encouraged - to add to what's here!


Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011

This weekend under the direction of Robert – whom one hacker recently referred to as “the Quasimodo of NoiseBridge,” which I’m sure he didn’t mean to sound as catty as it does – a new construction project began: sanding down the recently installed drywalls. As with the drywall construction, it primarily affects the kitchen, cafe, classroom and church portions of the space, with those ensconced in the Hackitorium at the other end blissfully ignorant of all disruption. I, Tony Longshanks - initiator of this new NoiseBridge Zine conceit that I really hope will turn into something many-splendored and substantial – was present late on the night of Saturday, Dec. 17 when the project began. I was making butternut squash soup in the kitchen: a hearty winter treat which I originally intended to make for dinner on Monday the 12th – you see how “life gets in the way.” I aimed for a late dinner on Saturday, but in the event didn’t arrive at the Bridge until the ridiculous hour of 2 a.m.

For the next three hours, with the assistance of several much-needed and greatly appreciated sous chefs - including Troy, visiting from Berkeley; Zephyr, whose first attempt at pureeing the soup in a food processor ended in horrifying failure; and most of all Justin, whom I like to call Justine, and whom I will most likely move in with if and when I’m kicked out of my squat, as I hear he has an ample and commodious walk-in closet that would suit me and my vast wardrobe of vintage clothes perfectly. (Really, you should come by Wheatgrass – my current squat – some time, I’m the most ridiculous squatter ever. When the Sheriff comes I’ll be out on the street with my rack of ties, scarves, bandanas in every color, and dress jackets.)

Justin(e) did an awful lot of chopping, mincing, dicing, and slicing of an awful lot of vegetables and other nutritious but labor-intensive produce items. The soup, finally finished and served around 5 a.m., thrilled and delighted all who tasted it, unless they were just saying so to spare my feelings. Passersby were heard shouting comments along the lines of "TasteBridge scores again!" and "Yet another stunning victory for our palates."

Sadly, I'll probably never be able to duplicate this culinary triumph, as I just kinda blended four different recipes together along with whatever I found in the TasteBridge spice rack. As far as my rapidly disintegrating memory serves, the ingredients list included two medium-sized butternut squashes, one and a half tart green Grannysmith apples (Justin’s teeth marks were found in one of them), three carrots, fresh ginger & garlic (lots), a plethora of onion (both red & yellow), butter, sour cream, several chicken bouillon cubes, veggie broth, plus ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, curry powder, & a judicious amount of cayenne pepper. I'm sure there were other things....

Shit. Chicken bouillon cubes. And I told someone it was vegetarian.

I am a monster.

Robert and his three-man construction crew patiently waited to begin sanding the walls until cooking operations were complete. (Among the crew was Gene, who visited the Bridge for the first time only a few days ago, and likes it so much he hasn’t left since.) The sanders donned white lab coats, clear plastic face shields, and other ridiculous paraphernalia that made them look something like a cross between "Sister Act: Part 3" and the music video for Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science" (which I am old enough to remember watching on MTV when MTV was GOOD, yo.)

A follow-up visit to the kitchen at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night revealed that little had changed in the interim. Robert, having taken only an hour-long cat nap in a quiet corner, was still sanding along with different helpers. He looked hilarious in his white lab coat, hair sprinkled with silver and white powder and a streak of white dust beneath his nose, giving him the aspect of an aging coke fiend. Paparazzi was on hand to snap a photo which hopefully will be posted in short order. Overall the mood on Sunday evening was quiet, mellow, low-key: in a word, dull.

Gene was still in the kitchen, almost in precisely the same spot he had been in when I left early that morning. “Do you need a place to stay? We can fit another person at my squat,” I told him. I do believe he’s going to take me up on the offer. Martin has spent the last couple nights at Wheatgrass as well. Others in need of shelter are encouraged to seek me out so we can go out squat-scouting together, and/or to attend the Tuesday 8 p.m. meeting of Homes Not Jails at the Housing Rights Committee office, 417 South Van Ness (near 15th Street). Don’t focus on the illegality of squatting. Focus on the nice-ness of having a place to sleep that isn’t a couch you’re not supposed to be sleeping on in the middle of a hacker space that is almost always bright, dusty, busy and full of noise.

Below is a map I recently drew of the space. Did I forget anything? Some names are my own, like Hackitorium, and the Café, which is what I call the area between the kitchen and living room.

Actually, I'm new to this wiki stuff so I don't know how to post an image file? Help a bro out.