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:
   notes of feces
Saturday, June 21 2008
We got a phone message this afternoon that Kevin Postupack of Staunton Virginia's Kronos Art Gallery had a show hanging in nearby Woodstock, NY. We know Kevin through my mother (they are both part of Staunton's "art scene," such as it is) and, as you may recall, Gretchen gave a reading at Kronos Art Gallery back in January. But Kevin had once lived in this area, and this probably accounts for the connections necessary to hang at the Varga Gallery in Woodstock. (Every time I drive past the Varga gallery on Tinker Street, my brain automatically inserts an "I" in front of the first "A" and transposes the "R" and the "G.")
Penny was up from the city, so she joined us for our drive out to Woodstock. It was a beautiful sunny day, and some again hippies were in the lawn beside Varga, cobbling together a setup for the production of extended electronic grooves at high amplification.
Varga is a small gallery, and Kevin's work was just in one small room of it. The works he was hanging in this show were abstract and comprised mostly of the tiled rectangular pieces of old CDs and DVDs that had been stained, scuffed-up, or painted over. This was in keeping with much of the other art in gallery, particularly that of Ms. Varga herself, which are often abstract and include large mosaic grids.
Woodstock is a town of crazies, and nothing brings out the crazy element like an art opening and its attendant promises of free vino and fresh blood. We were actually lucky this time, as the soul-sucking gentleman Penny had ill-advisedly befriended at a similar Woodstock event (and then spent weeks extricating herself from) never showed up. There was, however, one man with such bad body odor that I found myself avoiding rooms he'd just been in. When I say bad, I mean he had more than just the fragrance that comes with unwashed clothes and unscrubbed armpits. There were notes of feces and/or continual flatulence in his bouquet.
Kevin and a friend of his named Ben joined Penny, Gretchen, and me when we dined in the outside garden at the Garden Café. I didn't realize it at first but Ben was only sixteen years old; he lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia and had traveled up to Woodstock with Kevin. Ben knows Kevin through his parents, who are both in the psychiatric industry, as is Kevin's wife. What was interesting about Ben other than his age was that he is Bolivian by birth and had been adopted ten years ago from the poverty and land-locked drug production of his native country. It's common for teenagers to be surly and uncommunicative, but that doesn't describe Ben; he was fully engaged in the dinner conversation. Indeed, there were at least two adults at the table famous for dominating conversations, but he held his own. At some point we adults were talking about what we wished we'd done back when we were Ben's age and I said I wished I had worked harder to get rid of my virginity. At that point in the conversation, this was shocking enough to make people chuckle and advance the depth of the conversation, but not so shocking that I'd regret it later. This led into an extended conversation about relationships until it was Penny's turn to be just shocking enough to advance the conversation. On hearing of Ben's several-week-old relationship with a girl, she proposed a bit of magical realism wherein she and Ben would exchange bodies, Freaky Friday style. "I'd know how to take care of your girlfriend, believe me!" boasted Penny. On the flip side of the exchange, though, Ben didn't think he could get into the proper mood to entertain a bald man in his 40s.
There is a new sandwich on the Garden Café menu, one built around pressed panini and filets of portabella. I ordered one of these and found it delicious, though I was still a little too ill from my ongoing head cold to completely enjoy it. With our food, Penny had bought a bottle of rosé wine, though Ben, being only sixteen, voluntarily restricted himself to a similarly-colored pomegranate-based beverage.
Being the first day of summer, the sky still contained considerable light at 9:11pm as we climbed into Penny's Toyota Matrix for the ride back to Hurley. "Have we not learned the lessons of 9:11?" I asked.

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