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:
   embrace your past
Friday, March 2 2001
Last night via Linda I'd learned I'd been banned from Bathtubgirl Central for various liberties taken with Eva the Art Director, but by today Bathtubgirl had relented, which was a good thing because I wanted to introduce BTG to Gretchen tonight during Linda and Julian's webcast.
Bathtubgirl has been suffering for the past few days from some sort of pelvic inflammatory condition, but yesterday she'd finally gotten around to taking advantage of her coverage as a domestic partner under my company health care plan and had Snow take her to the hospital.
Gretch and I showed up at Bathtubgirl Central a little on the late side, but the Friday show had been extended for our benefit. By now Linda was stripped down to nothing but her black bra and panties as she danced in front of the webcam. She was looking pretty damn good, so Gretchen told me. Indeed, Gretchen (who, by the way, had dressed for the occasion in her black "sexy" dress) was blown away by the attractiveness of both Linda and Bathtubgirl. "How do you manage to surround yourself with so many hot women?" she wanted to know.
I made the mistake of smoking pot, which was bad because it made me somewhat paranoid about the power relations in the room. Everyone was being civil to one another and both Bathtubgirl and Linda conversed at length with Gretchen, though the banter was entirely superficial.
Talking to Julian while high on marijuana, I suddenly realized two things. The first was that I like to delegate logistics to other people (Linda agreed vehemently that I am this way), and the second was that I am unusually good at making snap arbitrary decisions and sticking to them. This feature of my creativity is essential to such talents as programming, where arbitrary decisions have to be made all day long at highly intricate levels and time can't be wasted mulling over them. A variable name should be descriptive, but why waste time deciding what it should be?
As Gretch and I were leaving Bathtubgirl Central, Bathtubgirl shouted to Gretchen, "Make him take you some place nice!"

Next on our Friday night tour, we drove to West Hollywood to the apartment where Gretchen's childhood friend Annie is staying. I met Annie back in January of 1989 when she was still a tall hippie chick in baggy clothes. Now she's dressing more sexy and Hollywood, with big chunky shoes, a little exposed midriff, and her hair dyed in black and white stripes. Tonight she was following a policy of "embrace your past" - wearing a skirt that had been fashioned out of blue jeans with tie-dye webbing sewn in between the legs. It was an absolute fashion horror, or at least Gretchen thought so, but somehow, with her devil-may-care charisma, Annie was pulling it off.
Annie is an aspiring musician and is visiting Los Angeles from her hometown in Maryland to work on recording a CD. She's picked up on Los Angeles business principles quickly, always with an eye open for an "angle," "capital," "investors," and an interest in "marketing product." When she learned she could send her marketing spam with my DSL connection, she was overjoyed.
Annie's hasty adoption of the gratuitously capitalistic Los Angeles world view leaves Gretchen utterly cold. Gretchen, it should be noted, is something of a leftist radical, having worked as a union organizer, sexual harassment seminar instructor and, now, (believe it or not) professional poet. Such lefty luxuries are partly a consequence of a wealthy family. She's very East Coast and very not-LA.
There were others hanging out with Annie, although I can't remember all their names. Aside from John, Annie's tall red-headed goy boyfriend, everyone there seemed to be Jewish and know each other through the Kabala Center in Hollywood (yes, that's the place Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell have been stylishly going lately). For the most part Gretchen was appalled by their clothing decisions, which included such things as black leather fringes, metal-studded belts and that skirt I mentioned earlier. She's been living in Brooklyn so long that she's set herself up for something of a shock.

The plan with Annie and the friends was to go out to a club down in the bario south of the 10 freeway to see one of Annie's friends play. But many delays stood in the path to actualizing our plan. The most important of these was Annie herself, who kept having to run back to the house to get things.
On the way to the club, we were following Annie's boyfriend John in his Mercedes, but he wasn't being too considerate in his role, repeatedly blowing red lights and leaving us stranded.
By the time we got to the show, the act we'd come to see was already over and some other act had begun featuring a hot chick in a fetishy maid outfit singing to guitar and bass accompaniment. The woman whose band we'd come to see negotiated with the door man and the cover was dropped to just $3/person, at which point everyone in our contingent fell all over one another in an effort to pay each other's cover. But later at the bar there was none of the generosity I've come to expect hanging out with people with nice white collar jobs. These people, they were more from the struggling actor sector of Los Angeles society and weren't nearly as casual with their money. I bought Gretch and myself each a Sierra Nevada and gave the bartender a $2 tip. When he thanked me for it, Gretchen was amazed, saying "bartenders never do that in New York." "They usually don't do it here either," I noted.
The venue was less of your standard stand up rock and roll joint and more of a sit-down place, with dark lighting, red vinyl opium-den-style booths and lots of romantic little tables and chairs where one might have expected a dance floor. Attendance was sort of anemic tonight, which gave the antics on stage something of a poetry reading feel.
Gretchen and I stood around by the bar with the girl with the black leather fringes. Like Gretchen, she had unabashedly lesbian tendencies. The two discussed the possibility of maybe going out to a dyke bar together on Saturday night and hopefully getting laid. "You think I'd get laid in this dress?" Gretchen asked the girl in the black leather fringes. "Um, you know, I don't know, it's hard to pick up people in a bar," she said. But later she privately indicated to me how good she thought Gretchen's cleavage was looking.
A rock and roll band fronted by a plump Mexican woman got up on stage and performed a series of songs about heartbreak and loss. In one of them the guitarist unexpectedly busted out with a guitar riff with all the distortion and menace of peak-period Metallica and I could tell he'd been waiting all night to do that. In a later song he ran his guitar through an effect that left it sounding like a system of small bells.

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