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
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Irving housing

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Like my brownhouse:
   constant threat of short-notice visits
Saturday, September 14 2002

Since I'll soon be hip-deep in power tools and two by fours, I've been re-reading How Buildings Learn, perhaps the most pragmatic and unpretentious architecture book ever written. I'd bought the book back in 1999 when I lived with Bathtubgirl in San Diego, and back then I regarded it strictly as theory. But now I'm reading it for practical pointers about what works and what doesn't historically. For example, I want to add gabled windows to two unpleasantly-long expanses of blank roof on the new house in Hurley, and I want to learn about suitable materials as well as designs to avoid. If I were to study only traditional architecture texts, I might be encouraged to build such nonsense as geodesic Fuller domes (which are difficult to build and maintain and nearly impossible to use) or find myself emulating Frank Lloyd Wright (who made no apologies for his invariably leaky roofs and many impractical ideas).
Meanwhile, people keep traipsing through our brownstone, seeing if they'd like to spend $400,000 for 750 fancy square feet in one of the toniest parts of Brooklyn. It feels like a full time job just living here, what with the constant threat of short-notice visits. Tonight the notice of one such imminent visit came well after 6pm, while I was in the bathtub. Suddenly we had to run around making beds, washing dishes, turning on all the lights, and even vacuuming rugs. Gretchen likes the apartment to be "fabulous" whenever a prospective buyer comes around, and if it speeds up the process of selling this place, I'm all for it.

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