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:
   hammering that SUV
Friday, March 9 2007
I came back from two housecalls today with big wads of cash because that was how I had been paid. For some reason this made me jokingly suggest to Gretchen that we go out for "spaghetti with anchovies," a reference to the birthday dinner at Stella's (in Uptown Kingston) that had ended with me puking in bed. The way it is with joking suggestions, though, is that when they're not particularly funny and reflect a side of you that your spouse would like to see more of, they have a way of becoming reality. This was how we came to be sitting at Stella's cramped bar, waiting for a table. Gretchen had made a reservation, but we soon discovered that reservations mean nothing when the people coming in after you are much better regulars than you happen to be. In the end, though, we did get one of the two best tables in the dining room, which are by the window. Outside of that window a police drama was playing itself out in the typical lethargic manner of all police dramas. An intoxicated woman had attempted to park her Saab in a tiny triangular non-space already occupied by a massive pile of filthy snow. In the course of this attempt, she managed to slam into the grill of a large SUV parked behind her, setting off the monotonous call of its security system. At this point the intoxicated woman came into Stella's to notify the owner, but then went out and made a second parking attempt, hammering that SUV a solid second time. At that point some random citizen took charge, ordering the drunk woman out of her car and calling the police, who (coming from a barracks only two blocks away) arrived in the space of a couple minutes. During the course of our meal, we saw first the drunken woman led away in handcuffs and then her Saab towed off to the impound lot. According to our waitress, the drunken woman is something of a regular at Stella's, always coming on weekend nights and never sober.

Back at our place, Gretchen and I watched a videocassette she'd checked out from the Mid-Hudson Library System. The movie was Clockwise, a John Cleese comedy of errors that (for some mysterious reason) my parents owned a copy of back when I was a teenager. Most Americans have never heard of Clockwise, though (according to my British friends) it's well loved in the United Kingdom. Evidently its premise, dramatic details, and comedic lines were judged "too British" for it to have been aggressively marketed here. Be that as it may, I remember finding it hilarious when I wore a younger man's clothes. I watched the movie so many times that I came to incorporate parts of it into my everyday language. For example, some twenty years ago I started referring to "take out" as "takeaway" in homage to a hilarious moment in the film when a teenage girl, suddenly finding herself in possession of a wallet stuffed with money, exclaims, "We can get Chinese takeaway!" For some reason my favorite thing in the movie is the recurring thread of the old ladies, with "Mrs. Marple's" constant nattering about sherry glasses.

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