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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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Like my brownhouse:
   hangover demands interest
Sunday, May 26 2013
I had a good hangover going this morning, but nothing is better for one of those than a big nasty shit in the brownhouse and a walk in the forest. Later I'd be taking the dogs down to Ray & Nancy's place, so it seemed like a good idea to take them for a long walk to tire them out. That's not difficult with 11-year-old Eleanor, but it's not easy with Ramona. Today's walk was similar-to-but-larger-than yesterday's. Once we got to the Canary Falls, we went off-trail and found our way down to the base of the falls and then on downstream for several hundred feet before scaling the steep escarpment and finding the southwest terminus of the Stick Trail. Again near Canary Falls, I found Chicken of the Woods, though this time I found 14 ounces of it. Luckily it was cold enough to be wearing a jacket and inside the pocket of my jacket was a blue bag of the sort used to pick up doggy doo. I couldn't have fit all that fungus into my pockets, and I couldn't have scaled the escarpment with hands full of future delectable savoriness.
Back at the house, I was once more craving a BLT, the perfect food for a hangover. I decided to save all the Chicken of the Woods so I could take it over to Ray & Nancy's later. Ray could be entrusted to make it into something delicious.
Nancy had sent me the email message inviting me over, and I hadn't read it carefully, so I thought I'd have a little time to get some work done this afternoon. But it turned out that the invite was for 4pm. In any case, I drank my first caffeine in a week in the form of green & white tea, though since it had to compete with the drag-ass feeling of a hangover it's difficult to say if I felt anything. Drinking that same tea after only a few days of caffeine abstinence early in my caffeine-reset regime had led to powerful feelings of euphoria.
At around 5:00pm I drove down to Old Hurley, bought some Mountain Brew Beer Ice at the Stewarts, and then went to Ray and Nancy's house. Ray had found something to do with the thing in Mark that had compelled him to reorganize my greenhouse yesterday and assigned him the job of mowing the long, narrow lawn. It didn't look like it needed to be mowed, but Ray runs a tight ship down there in Old Hurley.
Ray had grown weary of Mark using his outdoor studio as a smokatorium, so he set him up with his own "office" — an outdoor table and some chairs amid the weed eaters and other equipment that smelled of gasoline and grease.
Eventually I went inside and gave Ray the Chicken of the Woods mushrooms. After separating the woodiest bits from the more edible parts, he prepared them in some fancy way that involved soy sauce and probably a certain amount of frying in oil. The result were perfect morsels of deliciousness that he served as a side along with the Asian noodle stir fry and papaya salad he had made. Mark's wife Lynne and kid are not vegetarian, and Ray often prepares them a separate meal containing meat when they are around (because, presumably, otherwise they might starve). But today everyone was eating the same fucking thing, although Mark and Lynnes's daughter didn't seem to be eating any of hers. (Perhaps she got a cheeseburger later.)
An amusing incident arose during the meal when I casually used the word "asshole" in conversation. Mark's daughter immediately shot up one hand it put the other over her mouth and said "He said a curse word!" To which I replied, "What, I can't say 'asshole'?" It turned out that Mark and Lynne have negotiated a special deal with their kid (who is now maybe eight or nine years old). The kid already knows all the familiar obscenities (Mark in particular uses them as a form of conversational punctuation), and the challenge at this point is to keep her from tossing them around too casually. So the deal is that for every three times adults say a bad word, the kid gets to say one. She especially likes the one that rhymes with duck, and back in Brooklyn when she's earned the saying of it, she sometimes sticks her head out the door and shrieks it into the neighborhood.
Most of the adults present were fans of Game of Thrones (but not Mark, who is philosophically opposed to the television generally). Unfortunately, though, Game of Thrones would not be broadcast tonight. Instead there would be a feature-length HBO-produced historical dramatization entitled Behind the Candelabra about Liberace and his relationship with Scott Thorson, one of a string of live-in lovers. I didn't have much hope for a movie about Liberace (I am not one to find stage flamboyance compelling), but Lynne seemed excited. I stuck around anyway and somehow sat through the whole thing without even getting up to get a beer (Mark, the only other person who would have been drinking at this point, had already crawled off to bed). It turned out to be a compelling dark comedy, reminiscent of Boogie Nights and perhaps other Las-Vegas-situated films. There was just enough sex and obscenity in it that Lynne tried to keep her daughter from watching it, but I don't think anything in it was interesting to her save for Liberace's flamboyance, which was, ultimately, of the prepubescent girlie sort.

On the 3.2 mile drive back home, a disturbing physiological event happened to me. I started trembling as if I was cold (there was a chill in the air, but it wasn't enough to account for it) and my palms started sweating. Then I felt a powerful wave of anxiety that peaked as I climbed out of the car. For a moment I thought I was going to vomit, but then the moment passed. Initially I found myself wondering if perhaps I was suffering from food poisoning. But then I worried that perhaps those delicious morsels of mushrooms we'd all just eaten hadn't actually been Chicken of the Woods.
By the time I plunked down in front of my computer, the worst of the anxiety had passed, but my hands were still trembling too much to accurately move a mouse on the computer screen. By now I was pretty sure that what I was experiencing was a resurgence of today's hangover, which, for me, always peak in intensity at around seven or eight PM. The three beers I'd drunk down at Ray and Nancy's place had tamped it down for a few comfortable hours, but now it was back and it wanted interest. I sipped a small amount of gin (which took a little of the edge off), but I was still trembling when I climbed into bed down in the basement (the Baby had stunk up the upstairs bedroom yet again with her foul diarrhea, which she always leaves as puddles on the floor for the dogs to lap up).


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