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").


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Like my brownhouse:
   family-style at the local Mexican restaurant
Sunday, February 15 2015
I had a fun evening planned; Gretchen had arranged for 15 of us to descend on the new Mexican restaurant in Uptown Kingston and have a big family-style meal in celebration of my 47th birthday, which would actually be happening tomorrow. Earlier in the day, though, I wanted to clear my schedule and get some nagging web work done so the evening could be given over entirely to good times and great oldies. To help with both the work during the day and the socializing that would later happen tonight, I took my usual 120 mg recreational dose of pseudoephedrine.
I wrapped up my work earlier than usual, so I treated myself to a nice hot bath. The only thing better than a hot bath is a hot bath while under the influence of marijuana, so I'd brought my little brass redneck pipe to the tub with me, along with a mug of green tea. (I've pretty much stopped drinking black tea, at least for the time being.) Earlier today, I'd had some Naked-brand mango smoothie, and though the chemicals present in mango are supposed to heighten the effects of marijuana, this afternoon I didn't notice them being especially powerful.
Gretchen returned from a shift at he bookstore at around 6:30pm and we immediate drove into town. Due to unseasonable conditions, Gretchen had left the Prius idling in the driveway. Temperatures were just below four degrees Fahrenheit, which is an extreme I have never experienced in the early evening. (Such low temperatures usually only happen in the early morning after the cooling effects of an entire night, and they're rare more than a week or two either side of "peak cold," which, in this climate, falls on January 22nd.)
There were two other occupied tables in the Mexican restaurant when we arrived, which may not be too bad for a brutally cold Sunday night. A large table had been assembled and reserved for our use, and I took a seat at the Jesus position (if you picture the last supper, though of course, there were seats in front of me as well). I ended up sitting directly across from Jenny from the animal sanctuary in Willow, and she ended up being the person I spoke with the most. Ray sat to my right and Nancy to my left, but for some reason I barely spoke to them at all. Gretchen had the misfortune of being down at the end of the table on the other side of the boyfriend-of-a-friend and Sarah the Vegan (whom she has hung out with a lot lately), so she didn't get to participate in the gossip and gails of laughter at the table's other end, where Mark, Maresa, Susan, David, and Deborah all sat. A large number of drinks had been brought, including a twelve pack of Sol Mexican beer, a six pack of Little Sumpin' Sumpin', and a smallish Mason jar of pre-mixed pomegranate margarita that Ray had brought. It was somehow both cloyingly sweet and poisonously-strong at the same time (Susan would later describe it as "tasting like gasoline").
As for the food, Gretchen had prearranged the whole thing with Veronica, the full-figured Mexican woman who runs the place. We started with multiple baskets of chips & salsa, followed by two large bowls of guacamole made by Verionica right there in front of us. Next came a kale salad which for some reason included apples; it was very much the kind of thing I would not normally eat, but everyone else seemed to love it. Later came peanut-encrusted tofu, which was a little bland unless one added hot sauce and the cashew-based sour cream that Gretchen had made and brought. The highlight of the meal was probably the course of tamales that came out, followed by rice & beans (when I wished we still had chips on the table) and then some sort of delicious open-faced tortilla. This wasn't the sort of stuff I would have ordered off a menu, but it was good enough in a situation such as this. It's great to bypass the long, tedious process of ordering.
As for the gifts that were showered upon me, Deborah brought me a collection of seed library seed packs (two of which featured art by people in attendance). Michæl was one of those artists, and he'd brought me an enormous slab of inch-thick Plexiglass that had been taking up room in his studio. I think he imagines me using it to build a section of transparent floor in the greenhouse. Susan (who was the other seedpack artist present) and David (who is a seedpack artist, but not of any seedpacks I received today) gave me a collection of zombie toy animals and a bottle opener that had been made from a 50 caliber shell (with bullet but no charge). As for Sarah the Vegan (perhaps with Nancy), she got me a nice rectangle bottle of a locally-distilled vodka. I drank some towards the end of the meal and it had those notes of apple that make Hudson Valley apple vodkas such a delight.
Back home, Gretchen and I went pretty much straight to bed, but I woke up at around 2:00am full of energy. I proceeded to spark up some birthday marijuana and drink several units of various boozy drinks in hopes of easily getting back to sleep. The internet seemed to be full of interesting things to see and read, though, so I stayed up for several hours having a one-man birthday party for myself. I checked the temperature at some point and it was -1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

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