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
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Irving housing

got that wrong

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Like my brownhouse:
   clown car debate
Thursday, August 6 2015
This morning as I fed the cats, Oscar wasn't present. That was unusual. I can't know exactly what goes on his head but I'm fairly certain that there is nothing he thinks about more than wet food. I went out into the yard to call for him, but he didn't respond or come running up the way he would have done had he not been indisposed. By now I'd been joined by Oscar's best friend Celeste (aka "the Baby"). She was acting unusual and out of sorts, and proceeded to follow me around with a vehemence I'd never seen her exhibit before. She followed me up to the Farm Road and then back to the driveway, plunking down on the ground whenever I lingered for a moment. The strangeness of her actions had me wondering if she'd witnessed something terrible last night. I began to worry that I would never see Oscar again. But then fifteen minutes later I went out into the driveway and saw Oscar sitting there, Celeste a few feet away. Where had he been? In any case, when I reminded him of breakfast, he reverted to his old form and was soon eating with gusto. Perhaps he still hasn't adjusted to the change of schedule from our housesitter back to us.
In the woods this morning out near the southwest end of the Stick Trail (approximately 41.922485N, 74.108134W), Gretchen happened to see a baby bear run past about 50 feet in front of her. It was, she said, a little smaller than Eleanor. The baby was soon joined by her mother and another baby, some of whom proceeded to climb a tree. At the time Ramona was off in the woods out of sight and Eleanor was nearby and oblivious. The babies soon came out of the tree and the family moved on, disappearing down the escarpment. At that point Eleanor caught the scent of the bears and became very excited, but Gretchen was able to distract her with misdirected enthusiasm mixed with praise. At that point Ramona showed up, also very excited, but Gretchen was able to lead them all away down the Stick Trail, giving the bears time to make their getaway.

I took a recreational dose of pseudoephedrine in the mid afternoon, which is kind of late for me, but I knew I'd be socializing tonight and I wanted to be alert.
This evening Gretchen and I drove over to Susan & David's place east of Woodstock, bringing a large amount of pesto bowtie pasta Gretchen had made. Susan and David had their barbecue going, and ultimately we'd be eating burgers, grilled vegetables, and corn on the cob. I ate so much corn on the cob as a kid that I don't actually like it very much, but I can eat my way through an ear of the stuff, and it's always better than I expect it to be. We neglected the portobello mushrooms on the grill, and they dried out and charred, though they still proved delicious, particularly when cut into pieces and mixed with the pasta.
With my beer preferences in mind, David had bought a four pack of Kelso "Industrial Pale Ale", and by the end of dinner I'd had two of those. Being that they're 10% alcohol, I was already pretty well hooched up. And then, unusually, there happened to be some demon weed available. By the time we sat down for the first Republican debate of the 2016 primary season, I was in a mood to be entertained. At that point David handed me my third Kelso, which I gladly accepted. Watching this imminent clown show was not something to be done without a beverage in hand.
We had to tune in Fox News, because that was who was hosting the debate. Normally we allow Jon Stewart or some other commedian do our Fox News watching on our behalf, but tonight would be Jon Stewart's last night hosting the Daily Show, so we were going to have to watch it ourselves. There's also something about watching a presidential debate that makes it something best done live.
Since this would be a big night for Fox News, with a lot of people like us watching only because of this one particular freakish event, the Fox personalities running the debate seemed to be on their best (that is, most authentically journalistic) behavior. Technically, it was less of a debate than a journalistic interrogation, comprised of a series of questions for each candidate that they could answer or evade as they saw fit. I'm used to seeing Republicans treated with kid gloves by Fox News personalities, though tonight these same personalities released their inner bitches. In my marijuana-and-DIPA-altered state, I wasn't prepared for the harsh questions, which began (for me) with Megyn Kelly interrogating Trump for the boorish language he routinely uses when describing women. It quickly became clear that Fox News was using the debate as a way to slice away at the malignancy that Trump has become for the Republican party. But other questions of other candidates were fairly harsh too, such as the one for Jeb Bush about why he'd been involved with the Michæl Bloomberg Foundation even though it supports the Republican bogeyman Planned Parenthood (the only kind of parenthood that Republicans support is random and inconvenient). Though Donald Trump was mostly who we'd come to see, it was valuable to see the others. I couldn't follow a thing Marco Rubio said after David pointed out how enormous his ears are. He should donate parts of them to a pediatric burn clinic and run in 2020 after they've had a chance to heal. Ted Cruz came across as deeply creepy, while Scott Walker's eyes made him look both stoned and sadistic. I was favorably impressed with John Kasich when he talked about the need for supporting the poor and insane and the practical (and expensive) problems that result when they are ignored. Jeb Bush looked fat and too beta to be president, whereas Chris Christie seemed more alpha but weirdly over-tanned. As for Donald Trump, he was as idiotic as ever, but I could see his vehemence and no-bullshit way of talking connecting with a large plurality of Republicans. He's not going to be an easy cancer to cut away.
One final thing: the debate was held in a place called "the Quicken Loans Arena." The grossness of the name of that venue alone sums up my feelings about the modern Republican party and this field of candidates in particular.
After the debate, we all had pieces of a berry pie (I can't remember what kind) that David had baked. The two hours of the debate had given my stomach a chance to process the huge dinner and make additional stomach capacity available.

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