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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").



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   pantomime-based laughter
Friday, March 15 2013
Our friend Michæl (one of the co-owners of KMOCA) had curated a show of contemporary art at a small gallery in SUNY-Ulster (aka "Ulster County Community College"), and so of course Gretchen and I went, showing up at about 7pm. The place was mobbed, and with all the talking and bad acoustics I soon gave up on trying to have a conversation with anyone. The show was called Cut & Paste and featured art by fifty artists. I wasn't actually in much of a mood for looking at art, and though I did walk around and look at everything, I ended up spending most of my time looking through a collection of tiny handmade books covering such topics as "Crows," "Birds," "Blue Things," "Ugly Big New Houses," "Machines," and "Answers." They'd all been assembled using pasted-together clippings from magazines.
As the show wound-down, a group of us coalesced around the idea of going to Momiji (the Japanese restaurant in nearby Stone Ridge). This group consisted of Gretchen, me, Deborah, Deborah's boyfriend Stephen, and Jane the cellist (if you Google Jane the cellist, she's the first listed). I ordered the vegetable-fried noodles, which ended up being the most delicious thing I've eaten at a restaurant in awhile. I've been sort of off my feed regarding sushi ever since I stopped eating fish, but I had some of a roll containing mushroom and it was similarly divine. Gretchen and I will be eating again at Momiji next week, so I know exactly what to get for next time (the "aged tofu," for example, is nothing special).
Dinner conversation focused for a long time on the subject of pantomiming. I'd been talking to Jane about something and came into the conversation being had by Gretchen, Deborah, and Stephen a bit late, but I could see that it had to do with the ridiculousness of extending a pinky while pantomiming talking on a phone. "How about when we pantomime rolling down a window on our car and we make the motion of turning a crank, even though it's actually just pushing a button?" I asked. And then I proceeded to relate how one might tell another driver that they had neglected to take their granny down off the roof rack. I pantomimed turning a crank (to demonstrate the idea of rolling down a window) and then I pointed upward (to get across the idea of the roof) and finally moved my hands in the way an elderly person would when operating a walker. At this point we were all laughing so hard that we were in danger of collapsing our lungs. We were the kind of hysterical table that drives you crazy when you're in a restaurant trying to have a pleasant meal, and at one point Stephen made the mistake of looking over at the next table (it consisted of three people who looked to be in their mid-20s) and they were all staring back in annoyed fascination. But of course now they probably thought we were laughing about them. Then again, since our comedy had all been built around pantomimes, they could have been in on it had they wanted to.
Towards the end of the meal, when the rest of the weekend was being mapped out, Deborah convinced Gretchen to join her in seeing a Harold Pinter play in Rhinebeck. Our friend Jim would be starring yet again, as he had in Waiting for Godot, and it would be another work in the Theatre of the Absurd genre. When I heard that, I immediately knew I shouldn't be going. Sitting through Waiting for Godot had been one of the worst two hours of my entire life. But that was okay; Jim had specifically not invited me for fear I'd blog about it.


For linking purposes this article's URL is:
http://asecular.com/blog.php?130315

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