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:
   no indigenous burrito cuisine
Saturday, March 31 2001
So Gretch and I slept on our respective couches in Kristin and Melissa's living room in New Paltz, New York. At some point during the night Gretchen came back and repossessed the silver Leslie Montalto ring she'd given me back last night when she'd thought we were breaking up. Later on this morning we made up more conclusively.
Kristin's brother came over and we all headed down to the Bistro (since it's the only place to eat in New Paltz) for breakfast. On the walk there, Kristin and I could see the Mohonk tower on the ridge above the town and were joking about the way that tower looks from the next town to the west, Accord. Everything is frighteningly similar to New Paltz except the tower is on the wrong end of the bluff. It's like something in the universe is backwards. One feels creeped out, as if at any moment gravity itself might decide to work in a negative direction.
At the Bistro I didn't have any appetite so all I had was orange juice and coffee while the others put away their greasy platters of breakfast foodstuffs. Another indication of how small New Paltz is was the fact that one of Kristin's old school teachers was randomly seated at the table next to us, and they felt compelled to talk shop for part of the meal.
After a brief browse in a record store, we walked back to Kristin's house and she showed us pictures of a strange estate where she and her friends had lived for over a year. The story of this place was sad in all respects. The guy who had designed and built the weird domed concrete structures of the central mansion had been some sort of frustrated architect. He'd had a problem with one of his legs and had gone to have it amputated, but the doctors had screwed up and amputated the wrong leg, so the guy ended up with no legs. An insurance settlement later, he had the funds necessary to pursue his dreams. But then he was hit by a truck, and still more insurance funds flowed in to feed his dreams. When the guy finally died, the estate fell into ruin as no suitable buyer could be found. The owners of the estate started renting it to various marginal people, including a group of satanist swingers. When Kristin and friends finally moved in, they found the satanist's ritual props, underwear, and even diaries (shades of Das Dafino). The story was similar enough to the tale of Big Fun that I felt the need to tell Kristin a little about that experience.
Finally it was time for Gretch and me to bid Kristin and all the rest of New Paltz goodbye. We headed out down the Thruway, talking endlessly about the things we like to talk about. "I'd forgotten how funny and what a good story teller Kristin is," I told Gretchen, adding, "She's no chortling squirrel."
After we were done with the Thruway we headed down the Palisades Parkway on the Jersey side of the Hudson, finally crossing into Manhattan on the George Washington Bridge. Just as we did so we swallowed serotonin unleasing substances, using grapefruit juice to wash it down. It started kicking in as we entered Brooklyn via the Brooklyn Bridge.
Back in Gretchen's brownstone, Sally was gone. This meant that Denise, who has been house sitting and caring for the animals in Gretchen's absence, was still there. Denise had been taking the opportunity of this housesitting gig to further her breakup with her live-in boyfriend Mark. Gretchen really wanted to go walking with me in the park, but nature called and I had to use the bathroom in a major way, the kind of way that feels so damn good when your serotonin levels have been artificially inflated.
Denise showed up with soon-to-be-former-boyfriend Mark, and (not knowing any better and feeling empathetic) I asked him, "So what's your story." "I've been busy," he said blandly. Gretchen and I were sort of in the middle of a big tearful moment, so Denise grabbed her shit and left in a hurry. Later on Gretchen and I went off to do it in the bedroom. "Lesbian bed death," a condition in which lesbians gradually stop having sex with one another over the course of a relationship, has not yet reared its ugly head in the middle of our heterosexual relationship. Still, Gretchen is a little alarmed by my claim that I normally have sex at least once each day with my lovers.
In the evening we forewent a romantic dinner in Manhattan and instead did burritos and lemonade at a nearby burrito joint in Park Slope. There is no indigenous burrito cuisine in New York, but these burritos were pretty damn authentic all the same. On the wall was a huge mural featuring a geographically inaccurate depiction of Los Angeles.
Then we walked over to one of Gretchen's friends apartments, a "walk up" situated above a 7th Avenue store. By "walk up," I mean a place where there is no elevator and one is forced to walk up several flights of stairs. People freak out about stuff like this in other places, but it's no big deal in New York (unless you're in a wheelchair or something).
We sat around drinking whiskey and wine and telling stories. Our big story, told by Gretch and me, was actually Kristin's story about having her car stolen. We think it would make a wonderful short film. Anyway, the couple we were visiting had just returned from a vacation in Spain so they had all these pictures to show us. The experience was better than it sounds, helped enormously by the low-key earthiness of these particular friends.
Back at Gretchen's place, we took Sally for a walk and I tried to explain to Gretchen how atoms (up until iron) are made by fusion in the heart of massive stars. "How are the heavier atoms made?" Gretchen wanted to know, so I told her all about supernovas, though I couldn't remember what physical process was involved in making a star explode. Gretchen's scientific knowledge is rudimentary at best, since all attempts to learn these things in the past were frustrated by poor teaching techniques. I, on the other hand, am all about examples and metaphors, and there's no reason a smart person can't learn about these things if they're explained in the right way.
At some point today Gretch and I looked at some of my old diaries together. The writing I'd done back then had actually been a lot more positive about Gretchen than I'd remembered being. I even stated in some places that I was probably in love with her. Anyway, she seemed pretty happy with my meticulous accounts of our early relationship.

[This account was written on April 7th, 2001]

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