Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   ouch my soul
Monday, January 1 2001

When I woke up this morning (or was it afternoon?), I felt bad. I was weak of mind, body and spirit, a listless character from a Hieronymus Bosch painting, too uncomfortable to sleep. I can't say for sure what had done the most damage: the adderrall, the ecstasy, or the tequila, but it really doesn't much matter, does it? I decided to go for a walk just to get my mind off my miserable condition. It was another warm, beautiful day, and the sun did much to facilitate the beginning of my recovery.
Despite my miserable condition, it seemed that nearly every thought I had turned immediately into something sex-related. It was noticeable enough to cause me some concern.
I got some cash out of the bank machine to repay John some money I'd borrowed, then I staggered back to the bagel place on the corner of Wilshire and Wellesley and got myself a full-on turkey bagel sandwich and devoured it out in front. I drank about two thirds of a cup of coffee and then let the rest go cold while watching teevee in the living room.
The walk and the television were exactly what I needed to allow me to go back to sleep, and I slept like a baby until darkness descended.
When I got up, John and Chun were just getting out of bed too. Barfly was on Bravo and I was feeling weird but not all that bad any more. After Chun was gone John admitted that he'd "sort of hooked up with her" last night. "Well, that's okay," I assured him, "you did take ecstasy with her; what did you expect?" Indeed, if she hadn't been there he might well have hooked up with a palm tree, the way he was going.
Fernando called and invited us to come over to eat desserts with his temporarily holiday-swollen family. It sounded like a form of adventure, so I was down for it. John and I stopped at Ralph's on the way to pick up some sort of offering, in this case a pound cake.
Fernando and his family live in an impressive gated compound over in the San Fernando Valley. While their main house is being remodeled, everyone lives in a guest house behind a pool in the back. I knew this was going to be one of those excessively-family-oriented affairs, the kind I most frequently encounter when girlfriends take me home to show their parents, but feeling like I did, I thought this might be a gentle task for my brain.
And sure enough, that's exactly what it was. The house was still decorated for Christmas, with a number of unopened presents deliberately stacked in front of the fireplace. Who had these been for? Why had they not been opened? Quasi-tasteful instrumental Christmas music wafted like incense from an unseen stereo. We gathered around the dining room table and, with consummate decorum, took our seats. There was plenty of, "No, you take this chair, no but I insist!" But there were no off-color jokes, no obscenities, nothing the least bit disturbing or controversial. Joining us at the table sat Fernando, Fernando's Iranian father, his Mexican mother, his sister Monica, Monica's blue-eyed fratboy boyfriend of five years, and a smattering of Mexican relatives, most of whom could speak excellent English. Somehow the conversation came around to the subject of religion, Catholicism particularly. I was relieved to find that though everyone at the table seemed to identify with Catholicism, they all regarded it with a healthy amount of skepticism. After a long repast of champagne, cheese cake and coffee, Fernando's Iranian father finally broke his silence and called organized religion for what it is, "an opiate" that allows those in power to coerce the working class to labor without having to come up with a system of expensive Earthly rewards (hmm, sort of like stock options). I was impressed; somehow I didn't expect the guy to be such a Marxist! For her part, Fernando's sister was something of a chatterbox, making long belabored statements full of the sorts of profound insights common to wide-eyed college freshmen. But, unlike her boyfriend, she seemed reasonably intelligent. The boyfriend had, I realized, the vacant eyes of a Dan Quayle or George W. Bush. In all fairness, I think it's more difficult to look intelligent when you have blue eyes, but still it is possible. For the most part the family seemed to regard the boyfriend with subtle disdain, and (as John pointed out later) if you were aware of this, the little insults he was made to endure were all the more funny. These slights included handshake denial (something I did subconsciously and John imitated), hidden smirks and covertly-jabbing retorts to the very few things he said. So what is a pretty girl like Monica doing with a dumb fratboy? The explanation John gave me later relates to her early school years, when she was picked on relentlessly for her Iranian heritage. Her rebellion consisted of assimilating in every way imaginable with mainstream Anglo culture. She even bleached her hair for a time. But the kicker was when she took up with a blue-eyed fratboy bartender. For the record, I was the only other person present at this family function with blue eyes.

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