Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").
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December 11, 1996, Wednesday-the positive feedback loop of social approval
Wednesday, December 11 1996 I went to bed so early last night that I awoke at 3am. But since there was nothing to do at that time, I remained in a state of horizontal uselessness to the cause of mankind. From there my sleep was harassed by strange dreams. I don't know if they were different dreams or the same dream which changed its core theme as time progressed, but I'll relate it anyway:
The interpretation I would place on this dream sequence is that I am apathetically starving myself of affection and companionship and that, despite the fact that I am severely flawed (symbolized first by the third leg and second by the vino and blood), people are indulgent of me, they like me regardless of my faults. It is I who cut THEM off (symbolized by my continuing past the party of the compatible people). At the same time, it seems that I invest effort into things that cause me pain and little pleasure (symbolized by the bottle of Mad Dog) while further rendering me socially useless.
As if to confirm this analysis of my dream, my awake hours (starting at 10am) have been nothing but positive. I went to the Rising Sun Bakery for a boundless $1 coffee, and found myself having a good conversation with Jamie Dyer, who had just gotten off work at Comet. Considering that we both work at Comet, we see relatively little of one another. This is because we are mutually exclusive; with one exception he works the nights I have off and I work the nights he has off. By "work" of course I mean "stay awake and have fun on the computers." While he mostly plays Quake all night, I am a one man construction crew for the way the web ought to be. He and I mostly discussed an article he'd read in this month's Wired magazine about the old cable system that connected the 19th century British Empire. From the way he described it, it sounded like a big creepy Victorian Internet, with some of the blessings of our present Internet, excepting dispersed ownership, dispersed content creation, and straightforward ease of use. Meanwhile Jen Fariello claimed that she was enjoying my weirdness, which she claimed was even greater than normal.
Then there was a brief but meaningful encounter that provided me profound reaffirmation of my social position and approval. This might sound unnecessary for someone of my ego, but for all intents and purposes I have spent the last week and much of the last month in a cave, and it was reassuring to realize the world seemed to still care, in its own anarchic way. The core of this snowball set rolling has grown since then, caught in a positive feedback loop that gleans positive energy even from strangers. This process is augmented by a minor reprieve today in winter's onslaught. But the grey clouds are rolling in.
I found my way to the Downtown Mall for a little spacial diversity. I made it to Sylvia's Pizza at closing time, which proved providential; Mr. Sylvia gave me an two slices of his wonderful Chicken and Broccoli pizza for the price of only one: $2.50. I think I'm in love with that guy, not just for gastronomic reasons either.
I ate my pizza across the Mall from the Mudhouse and then went in for a cup of coffee. the place was laid pack; a couple of relatively dorky kids were discussing how very cool they consider Fatima (Savitri's teenage half sister) to be. The fatter of the dorks farted noisily as he rose from his seat, but no one laughed. I thought that a respectable display of dork maturity. Then in came the King of Charlottesville dorkdom, Patrick Reed to discuss dorky little uninteresting things in a loud affected voice that I tried my best to ignore him.
I took a bath whilst reading parts of The Death of Ivan Ilych from my little novella compilation. All the works in that particular anthology seem to be proto-existentialist, featuring death as a tool to point out the weakness and absurdity of the human condition. It goes well with my way of thinking these days. But still, in my arrogance, I must confess that I often feel as though I have transcended the muck of humanity just by the power of creativity. That notion may be absurd, but it gives me much strength.
My favourite sixteen year old came by to exploit my age; she and I and one of her male friends went to the ABC store so I could get her a bottle of Southern Comfort.
Once that mission had been accomplished, I had her drop me off at Comet where I could discuss some funny web things with co-workers, particularly my discovery of the resurfacing of the infamous Pirate Web Server "Somewhere on this Blue-Green Marble we call home." The most thoroughly shocking (but nonetheless, I must confess, thoroughly amusing) part of that renegade web site is without question the "I like to fuck babies homepage."
I saw Ray Snabley and his youthful ditzy adolescent friends hanging out in front of the Bakery, so I stopped to chat with him for awhile. But not about anything too interesting. He is very impressive in an extremely shallow way. Meanwhile, there was an accident of two Volvos out front resulting in just a little broken glass.
Tad appeared out of nowhere to blow smoke in my face and drone on endlessly while ignoring the answers to the questions he asked me. I was lonely though and endured his company, even going with him (on my suggestion) to the Orbit Billiard Parlour (above Espresso Corner) for some overpriced beer.
I know most of the staff of the Orbit, and tonight I even knew the musician (a woman who knows my name but whose name escapes me). But I knew almost none of the customers. This put me in an awkward position once I became completely exasperated with Tad's company. So I finished my beer and went home, going to bed before midnight.
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