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
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Backwoods Home
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(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   react to difference
Sunday, July 29 2001

setting: New Paltz, New York

I was pretty sick of the idea of brunches by the time we made it down to the Bistro for obligatory pre-departure Sunday brunch. The sound of things sizzling on the grill and the smell of grease, these were not what I was seeking. So I waited outside while the others waited in line. I don't even live in New Paltz and I'm already completely tired of the Bistro. It is to Sunday noontime brunch as Bacchus is to Friday night drinking. [REDACTED]
For brunch I ate a decidedly lunchlike meal. I made the mistake of ordering a vegetarian sandwich and when Gretchen wanted to try a bite I realized why I always order meat around her. I can grin and bear it but the truth of the matter is that I hate it when anyone, I don't care who they are, wants to sample my food.
On Church Street in front of Kristen and Melissa's house there was a youngish man playing guitar and watching his reflection in the window of a parked truck. Self image was important to him; he sported a perfectly honed and feathered mullet on his head, the longest hairs covering the nape of the neck sprouting from a narrow sector starting well behind the ears.
We'd been joined by this point by Johnny (Kristen's friend Amy's husband). He'd come to save the day (as he loves to do) and take Melissa to the airport so she could fly home and visit her parents for the next few days, thus avoiding the stresses and weirdnesses endemic in New Paltz. We hung around the apartment talking and breathing secondhand smoke until Melissa needed to go. At that point Gretchen and I headed for home in the Punch Buggy Rust.
We stopped in Manhattan at the 5th floor apartment of Gretchen's friend Mary Purdy (whom Gretchen first met in Oberlin). I was suffering from a headache and Gretchen suggested I drink a cup of tea. Mary Purdy had some frozen grapes in the refrigerator and she offered them to us. They're wonderfully refreshing unless you have bad fillings (the ones I had installed a year ago have begun to hurt of late).
Gretchen and Mary Purdy had a lot of catching up to do, but for my part I felt the need to draw this relentless socializing to a conclusion. So I climbed back into the Bug and headed further southward down Manhattan, en route to Brooklyn. Somewhere around 60th Street a small group of plump little black boys started inexplicably hurling objects at me. I could think of no reason for their doing this other than the fact that my car was so clearly different from all the other cars on the street. Creatures tend to notice and react to difference. Chickens will peck a sick comrade until he or she is dead. Housewives spend their afternoons watching Jerry Springer or their money to gawk at circus freaks. When ten year old boys are unsupervised, their reactions to difference can, it seems, be violent. I heard a clunk on the roof but was already out of range before the little bastards could inflict any damage.
Manhattan was a bitch to cross. The worst part, in and around the intersection of 9A and Canal Street, was only about 200 feet long, but it took about 20 minutes to get through. Then I was home free all the way to Park Slope. That's when the parking nightmare began. I circled the block and then circled the other block until I found a tiny little space into which no one else could squeeze.
Yolaya was still housesitting when I showed up, but she left shortly afterwards. She'd left the teevee on a station that was playing one gangster movie after another, so I watched a few while working on video I'd shot during my crosscountry trip.
Later I went out for a piece of pizza. I would have eaten it on the walk back home, but I could find no suitable place. When I got home I found Gretchen was there, and since my pizza contained meat I realized she wouldn't want it in the house (in an effort to stay in touch with her Jewish roots, see, she's been enforcing a paradigm of no-meat-in-the-house-means-I'm-probably-Kosher). So I acted like I had to go to my car and used the opportunity to each my pizza in piece. It's the sort of subterfuge I had to use all the time with Bathtubgirl (about completely different issues). Sigh, it would be ever so nice to live in a situation where no such subterfuge was necessary.
I didn't think I'd seen the movie Rushmore, so Gretchen and I watched her videotape of it. I realized some distance into the movie that I'd seen it before and hadn't been too impressed. It's one of Gretchen's all time favorite movies, but it still doesn't really speak to me.

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