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:
   birthday 47
Monday, February 16 2015
All that wee-hour drinking last night significantly degraded the quality of this, my 47th birthday. As always, initially I didn't feel too bad. We made real coffee to celebrate the day and then lay around in front of the woodstove. Eventually, though, I couldn't even really surf the internet on my Chromebook anymore and just sprawled on the couch next to Gretchen while she continued to read. Eventually, though, I suggested we relocate to the greenhouse, where the sun and snow had made it into something not too different from a tropical white sand beach, one with White Pines instead of palm trees. This morning, temperatures had been about two degrees Fahrenheit, but with sun out they rose to somewhere near 16. An average high temperature at this time of year, by contrast, is 38 degrees.
Usually on my birthday, Gretchen makes me a pizza from scratch as a "cake," and usually that is all over with by noon. Today, though, she made me a delicious reuben using a previously-unknown form of vegan bacon. The pizza came later, after we went over to Susan & David's house. Normally we don't go socializing on my birthday since that's not usually how I like to spend my special day, but I would make an exception for Susan & David.
Gretchen and Susan proceeded to first make the dough for the crust, and then the pizza itself while I leaned against an electric baseboard radiator and absorbed the expensive heat it produced. David had gone on a beer run but soon returned with Modelo Especial beer and hard cider. The refrigerator still contained those horrid Mott's Strawbeery "Ales" that I'd brought over as a gag the other day. Happily, it turned out that they were exactly what Gretchen wanted to drink. She said it tasted exactly like "Boone's Farm," and she meant that in a good way. She didn't mind that, as I put it, it tasted "exactly like kissing an eleven year old girl."
The pizza was a huge success, tempered only slightly by the somewhat-off notes of the "Portuguese sausage" Gretchen had received as schwag for supporting the "world's first vegan butcher shop" in Minneapolis. (It was a little to barbecuey.)
Later we retired to the living room, and soon thereafter David had to go into his studio to be a professor for an online graphic arts class. Susan gave us a tour of the gutted basement (where a new master bedroom will emerge) and her studio, both of which I'd already seen.
Eventually David's class ended and we could go back to speaking at full volume. Susan presented me with a single enormous peanut butter cookie serving as the foundation for a single lit candle to the tune of the copyrighted classic, "Happy Birthday." But my gut was so full of pizza and lingering hangover distress that all I could eat was a tiny amount, and even the thin sliver I'd cut myself was too big and I had to sneakily give most of it to Olive the Dog. Happily, I recovered somewhat after laying waste to the house's one-good bathroom (the one in the basement might not be usable, though there is a nice one out in Susan's studio).
We spent a considerable time talking about a tone-deaf email Susan got from her father after a recent breast cancer scare. Supposedly the guy is an Obama-hating gun nut, and the email showcased the underlying personality disorder that seemed to make his contempt for the weak and downtrodden not just possible but inevitable. The email was devoid of empathy even for his own daughter, and a lack of empathy seems to be the foundation of most right wing ideology. (Empathy isn't always absent in such people, though it is frequently misplaced. When they have it, their empathy tends to be for things that cannot feel pain: embryoes, the invisible hand of the market, the American Flag, "traditional marriage," "the troops" (as opposed to specific soldiers), God, Terri Schiavo, and corporations.)

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