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:
   now for some improv comedy
Saturday, November 24 2001

Gretchen and I had plans to go tour more houses with our genuine-slice-of-Pittsburgh realtor today, but when we met her at her office, she told us she'd cleared out the list, since (now that she better knew our tastes) none of them seemed suitable. So we walked around Squirrel Hill, somewhat delaying our return to Brian and Jen's place. We ducked into a geek-oriented games store in hopes of finding something new and as engrossing as Boggle. Gretchen spent much time talking to the plump pony-tailed proprietor, something of a game expert. He knew all about which games had won which international prizes, and which were the most cognitively challenging. In the end, based on the proprietor's advice, Gretchen bought a game called Carcassonne.
Back at Brian and Jen's place, we met up with Gretchen's parents, and began something of a window shopping spree throughout Squirrel Hill, beginning with a kitschy 70s-theme store called Backward on Forward. Gretchen could immediately sense that there was only so much of this that I could take, so she introduced the idea that I go back to the house where her parents were staying for some downtime. This was exactly what I needed; I even found the computers there were DSL-equipped.
When I'd caught up on things visible by internet, I headed out into the business districts of Squirrel Hill on my own, hoping to find an interesting shop of some sort. But to tell the truth, there was nothing that excited me. The retail options are much more exciting in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
At 5pm, I met up with Gretchen and her parents on Forbes Avenue, and we all did dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Aladin's Eatery. It's actually a 16-restaurant chain, but Gretchen swears by it, having fallen head over heels in love with their grape leaves. I was a bit less impressed; my falafel pita was enormous but was really not much more than an iceberg lettuce salad covered with a thin veneer of bread and garnished with a few falafel balls.
Returning to Brian and Jen's place, Gretchen and I secreted ourselves to the guestroom and watched Wonder Boys, an extremely slow-moving movie about the endearing Pittsburgh-based adventures of a creative writing professor and an oddball student.
The final adventure of the evening was watching Brian's improv comedy troupe, the Am!sh Monkeys, perform at a nearby public theatre. Honestly, I didn't expect it to be very good, and the first thing I did when we got there was suggest that we get some beers. But in Pittsburgh they take their improv comedy seriously. The theatre nearly sold out, the audience was boisterous and participatory (if not especially imaginative) and the show was actually pretty entertaining, in a geeky sort of way. I'd never seen improv comedy before and didn't even know it existed.
We ended the evening at a pink-hued Baskin-Robbins, eating icecream and doing some geeky improv of our own at Brian's behest. It involved our group collectively telling a story, each of us taking turns to contribute only one word at a time.

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