Thursdays used to mean schlepping to a synagogue in San Leandro, California for what eventually came to be known as “Thurzdaze @ the ‘Gogue,” a laid-back, low-cost sesh put on by Shai, the custom e-nail wizard of CaliCoil, and Brandon Mondo, the tainted bacon-slanging medible maestro of Mondo Co.
Alas, “The ‘Gogue” is no more. An arrangement that crazy was never meant to last, and frankly, attendance for the event was beginning to outgrow the space even after the sesh moved upstairs from the basement to the main floor.
But that didn’t make it any less of a bummer for those of us who’d grown accustomed to seeing certain friends and acquaintances on that special night — not quite the weekend, but just close enough to taste it. And for those of us who seshed together, it tasted like terps and tacos.
One of the central features of the ‘Gogue sesh was the presence of the El Super Taco Man truck. Another was the absence of Mondo’s award-winning medicated bacon. The resurrection of Thurzdaze keeps one and, to the collective joy of many, erases the other.
So when Thurzdaze finally rises from the ashes, the taco truck is definitely on the scene. And because the new location (a fish and aquarium shop in downtown Oakland) doesn’t have the liturgical hangups of the previous location, bacon is a go. It doesn’t take long for the natural ingenuity of elevated cannabis enthusiasts to kick in, and I see more than a handful of attendees happily munching on bacon-laden burritos.
What the aquarium shop adds in character it currently lacks in room to breathe — if the crowd strained the limits of the last building then it stomps all over this one like Godzilla. But despite the intimate seating arrangement and stifling heat (at least one recent evening) everybody seems happy to be back in the building, even a really tiny building.
It’s so crowded that Brandon can’t find space to set up his edibles. He takes refuge outside in the taco truck. After seeing the massive turnout for the event there is interest in expanding the space.
But it’s a definite improvement in terms of scenery. The novelty of dabbing in a synagogue wears off eventually, but getting lit and watching tropical fish do their thing is endlessly fascinating. The entire room is lined floor to ceiling with illuminated fish tanks, with a glistening rainbow of colorful creatures inhabiting the spaces inside.
One of those fish is an oranda, a type of goldfish known for a large growth on top of its head which reminds many people of a brain. This one has an especially large “crown,” while its tank mate has little to nothing happening on top of its skull.
“That’s Pinky & The Brain, bro,” they guy telling me this can’t stop laughing, but his hands are just steady enough to lower a glob of rosin into one half of a “double bubble” quartz banger. I simultaneously lower a dab of live resin into the other chamber of the banger. It feels like we’re turning the synchronized keys to launch a nuclear bomb, which is a fair approximation for the explosion in my cerebral cortex when he lowers the carb cap and my lungs flood with a braided taste of two distinct terpene profiles while my blood receives a welcome onslaught of THC. He’s still laughing, “Pinky and the f*cking Brain, man.”
Towards the end of the night I’m sitting outside on a chair. A sign on the window beside me prohibits solicitation of politics, religion, candy and magazines. “Well, that disqualifies me on all counts but one,” I say to nobody in particular. Somebody passed me a glass pipe filled with already smoking herb. I hit it reflexively and blow a cloud of smoke at the streetlamp asking, “What is it?” But as the words exit my mouth so does the smoke and I lose myself in the swirling motion it makes as it weaves itself into the already hanging fog.
If anybody answers my question I don’t hear them.
Have you ever been to a smoke sesh? Tell us about your experiences.