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:
   warm bath of tears
Wednesday, February 17 2010
Today's unexpected hangover didn't seem to affect my ability to do Javascript development, though it did encourage me to take several long breaks in front of the television, where I mostly found myself watching episodes of the A&E program called Intervention. The star of each episode was someone with some crippling behavior, usually extreme alcoholism. First we were treated to the person's messed-up life and inability to refrain from destructive habits. Near the end, friends and family were gathered together with professionals to stage an "intervention," usually in an anonymous hotel room. There was invariably some resistance, but our reluctant hero almost always agreed to enroll in a 90 day program. Sometimes the show ended with a story of success, but more often than not there were relapses. And in one particularly poignant show, the ending was not a happy one; the star ended up drinking himself to death.
My favorite episode of all detailed the sad circumstances of a woman named Leslie, cursed by midlife boredom into a form of alcoholism so shocking that all I could do was watch in stunned amazement. Leslie had lost the ability to do anything except sleep and stagger around the house in search of another drink. Sometimes she'd drop to her knees to puke, and fortunately for all concerned she usually tried to aim for a trash can. For lack of other options, her drink of choice was mouthwash, which is 26% alcohol. She liked to sleep with a big two quart bottle as if it were a teddy bear. The rest of her family seemed absolutely normal, though of course she'd already traumatized her three kids and destroyed her marriage. Watching her careen around the house with a single-minded alcohol fixation showcased how bleak the human condition can get even when we're not beset with external tragedy. It wasn't just sad, it was also incredibly moving. But the thing is, the brain is such a large and complicated organ that it's amazing we're not all flailing about like crazy people.

For the past day or so I've been listening to the new CD by Midlake entitled Courage of Others. It's absolutely gorgeous. The music is a bit more consistent than their last CD, The Trials Of Van Occupanther, full of wonderful acoustic arpeggiations and overlays and interplays of wafting guitar riffs. Some of these seem folksy while others are more medieval. All of it huddles and shivers beneath cobwebs of melancholy and against the smooth coffee-stained concrete of vocalist Tim Smith's voice. I particularly like the brooding stomp of "Children of the Grounds" and the warm bath of tears that is "Rulers, Ruling all Things."

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