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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got that wrong

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(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   interest in culinary matters
Wednesday, August 2 2006 Today's activity was a drive across the Hudson to Poughkeepsie and then north a few miles to Hyde Park and the campus of the Culinary Institute of America (which goes by the acronym CIA). Gretchen had set up a reservation for us at the Institute's on-campus Italian restaurant. First, though, there was an obligatory foray into the bowels of the place in search of J, our friend from High Falls, who was back in some cafeteria. At the CIA it's sometimes hard to distinguish between cafeterias and classrooms, since everything there is about food.
There isn't much to be said about the meal we ate except that our waiter was obviously very new to the job. When he interacted with us, he did things so deliberately and slowly that I actually became aware of parts of the waiter job that I'd never consciously noticed before. When he wasn't interacting with us, we could see him being trained in the art of, for example, throwing a table cloth over a table.
After dinner, we were allowed (on Gretchen's insistence) to look around in the kitchen. It had been hot in the dining room where the vintage 2001 air conditioning clearly wasn't up to the curveballs being served by the newly global-warming-enhanced tropics. But the kitchen was much worse, though perhaps it wasn't quite as bad as outdoors. The only people I saw doing work there were some gardeners, and they were planting shrubbery amid active sprinklers.
Just before leaving, we walked down a hallway clearly designed for visitors. On either side of this hallway are big windows into classrooms, each with a sign giving us the name of the food-related multinational corporation doing its sponsoring. In a theatre-like classroom, a man was giving a lecture on wine. In a kitchen-like laboratory, students were making pastries. In another classroom a projected slide was showing how best to cut an onion. It all kind of reminded me of one of those movie montages in which a specialized educational field is depicted in all its cartoonish specificity.
Mind you, none of this was particularly interesting to me. I'll never have much interest in culinary matters. I like to eat food and I like it to taste good, but I'm not particularly interested in how it gets that way and not especially upset if it doesn't. Gretchen and her father, on the other hand, can converse about food for long epochs of time. The other night a conversation about the utility of wind power (which I find fascinating) was somehow hijacked by a conversation about chocolates (which I find incredibly dull) and efforts to restore the wind power subject proved so futile that I actually had to leave the room.

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