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").



links

decay & ruin
Biosphere II
Chernobyl
dead malls
Detroit
Irving housing

welcome to the collapse
Clusterfuck Nation
Peak Oil

got that wrong
Paleofuture.com

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff


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Friday, December 12 1997
I

nhibitions about being "meta" serve a journal no good. Some of the most interesting journal reading is either about the process of journal writing or the journals of others. Of course, to me, these journals serve the role of a "trade publication" in a field of my interest. Obviously, for a more general audience, that trade aspect ("shop talk," if you will) is less desirable.


I

t was hard to accomplish any work this morning due to my hangover.

I'd called in sick to work last night so I could hang out with my friends. It hardly makes sense to go to Comet any more. I haven't done tech support since Red Light bought all the dial-in accounts, and I don't do all that much Comet web maintenance either. I'm just there to make sure the place doesn't catch on fire. But really, it hums along just fine without anyone there. On rare occasions a Windows NT web server needs to be restarted; no one is quite sure why; UNIX servers running Apache never cause any problems at all. In a few days all the main servers will be moved to Red Light along with the BBN T1 line that they're attached to. When that happens, I'll never go to Comet again. I'll be hired by a successor organization to do freelance web work from home. Hopefully there'll be enough money in it to keep me alive. At that point, I'll never need to leave my room again. By the way, if anyone wants to hire me to do web projects, I can be a gun for hire. I might by a tussin-chugging psychotic, but I'm pretty good and fairly reliable. I know my way around Photoshop, can do JavaScript on demand, and have made most of my mistakes already.


J

essika wanted to go to the Downtown Mall for a Downtown Mall adventure. She practically lived on the Mall back in 1995, and she's come to view it with the nostalgic fondness many of us reserve for "home."

Balled Andy drove us down to the Mall, and the first place we went was the Downtown Artspace. A giddy Jen Fariello was taking close-up glam shots of a model's face and had me hold a light for her. Jessika and Andy flipped through the many photos in for-sale bins. Jessika was most interested in photos of familiar people such as Danny the quiet übergoth, Head to Toe Leather and Ana back when she was pregnant with Nemo. Charlottesville is a city of photographers, but then, I guess most American cities are. Photography has a shallow learning curve, so it's an easy pond in which the would-be artist can dabble, mature, or more likely, give up and move on to less interesting but more lucrative careers & hobbies.

We walked up the mall to the thrift store (we had to stop there of course) and then back down again.

A small group of kids were sitting at the tough-guy hangout behind the fountains. They weren't any of the kids who have ever attacked me, just some of their friends, or at least one friend. He wore a bandanna, baggy pants and a beard and he heckled me like a fool with lines like "I heard you got beat up" and "faggot" and a reference to my pepper spray. He was referring, of course, to the incident where a group of scrawny tough guys attacked me, destroyed my sandwich, punched me in the nose, and were blasted by my pepper spray (all, mind you, for opinions expressed in these musings - who needs East Germany?). I stopped and glared at them with Jessika and Balled Andy. They're a sorry lot; one of them is built like a dark little tree stump and looks like he could get an job making stage introductions at a side show. He's the younger brother of the increasingly plump former raver girl; no doubt she left the womb in an untidy state for when he had to use it. Then there was this bleached blond guy; I sort of know him. He's a pleasant little punk rock guy. He looked kind of embarrassed, as did my old friend KC. KC is an Aquarius girl who goes to Tandem. She was one of my early Charlottesville acquaintances, and is an attractive, stylish, interesting, and intelligent (if somewhat neurotic) seventeen year old. Back when she was freshly sixteen, she and I fooled around in the bozART bathroom and behind the Tokyo Rose. I wasn't pleased to see her leaning so close to the idiotic heckling guy with the beard and bandanna. The thought of her soft wet lips wrapped around his rude rifle of inferiour genes makes me lose yet more of my dwindling confidence in the nobility of humanity. But you know, from what Matthew Hart has told me, she has a reputation for picking inappropriate friends. I should have known that; what the hell was she doing fooling around with a 28 year old man like me?

After that little incident, Jessika kept bringing up how much she hated the bandanna guy, and how dismayed she was with KC, not that Jessika ever liked KC to begin with.

We drank coffee in Higher Grounds while watching people walk past the window, commenting about them: the fat black boy with the extremely long sleeves on his jacket, the beefy redneck with a fatter back than belly, making him appear to walk backwards. There are a lot of weird people to scope out on the Downtown Mall. The place makes freak shows pretty much unnecessary. I wonder whatever happened to the guy who had no legs who got around on a skateboard. He used to be the only one who could get away with riding a skateboard on the Downtown Mall. Someone told me once that he didn't have anything at all beneath his pelvic bone; he was a thick featureless stump inside his trousers. And you depressed online journal guys think you have it so bad.

The double espresso had me flexing for movement. Our next destination was Two Moons Burritos on the Corner. We'd run across Elizabeth at her job selling antique Chinese furniture near Chaps, and she'd recommended the Two Moons happy hour. What was once the Rising Sun Bakery, and what had until recently been a non-descript burrito joint is now a classy establishment, with rich wooden detailing and other features common to such places. The staff consists almost entirely of young white women with long straight brown hair. We got a big pitcher of Dominion Ale (a recent favourite of mine) and, naturally enough, burritos. The candle provided to light our experience hemorrhaged all over the the table, and we played with the scented lavender wax. Balled Andy continued his pleasant silent treatment, allowing (or forcing) Jessika and I to talk among ourselves, something we've been doing fairly well for the past two and half years.

I

  picked up my big PS/2 Model 80 from Comet and we returned to Kappa Mutha Fucka, where we found Deya, Matthew Hart, CJ (Matthew's redneck friend from Waynesboro), Peggy and Zach and an extremely drunk Morgan Anarchy. Drunk wasn't the full story, actually. CJ had just renewed a prescription at the university hospital and came bearing his usual assortment of high-potency medications. He didn't have any morphine this time, but he did have something referred to as "nerve pills" and little white house-shaped pills he called "nut house pills." Who knows what handful of these Morgan had eaten, but he was definitely dead to the rational world. CJ was likewise. He was looking especially rough tonight, his longish thinning hair hanging down around weary reddened time-worn facial features. Every scar stood out in glorious testamony to his eventful life and short future.

Quite naturally for a redneck bisexual like CJ, he had a fancy for Morgan, and I could see the former making occasional blunt attempts to touch the latter. I didn't think much of it, but later on the front porch, Morgan was apparently worked up into a sudden animal rage by this unwanted attention, and he shoved the old man off the steps. Witnesses told me later that poor CJ flew through the air like a swan and landed flat on his back with a horrible thud. Matthew was concerned he'd split open his skull. I came out to see what was up and saw CJ crawling like a whithered man in the desert while Morgan careened around on the porch threatening further violence while barely managing to stay vertical.

Matthew and I did what we could to keep the two separated while the others figured out what to do next. The plan was to go visit Steve Weiner and interest him in one of Peggy and Zach's kittens. We took this opportunity to take Morgan away with us, leaving Matthew, Shira the Dog and a miraculously still-walking CJ back at Kappa Mutha Fucka.

But Steve Weiner wasn't home. So we went to visit Ray instead.

Ray's Girlfriend and Fatima

Left: Ray's girlfriend; Right: Fatima. The black dog belongs to Ray. Note the bottle of Carlo Rossi Paisano and the jar of vodkatea.

R

ay lives on Robertson, just off JPA Extended, with a number of people, including a guy with dread locks, tall & weird Fatima Durkee, and Ray's "doe-eyed" blond girlfriend.

Morgan passed out on the floor while the rest of us sloshed up and down the hall socializing. I was having a remarkably good time there. We were in a new place and the not entirely familiar people there seemed to be digging me, what else can you ask for? I thought to myself that this was a place I'd need to be visiting in the future.

Gus with a pan of dextromethorphan

B

ack again at Kappa Mutha Fucka, Jessika, Deya and I decided to do something with the sludge left over from last night's failed Dextromethorphan attempt.

I put it all in a frying pan and boiled off the excess water, leaving behind a thick green substance. Jessika was excited by all the preparations and videotaped it documentary-style. With due reference to her varied experiences, she also suggested a way to smoke the stuff we were manufacturing, which was, as I pointed out, a kind of water insoluble freebase.

Gus and Deya freebasing We sat in the living room and smoked the green Dextromethorphan as if it was crack cocaine, laying a hunk of it on a piece of aluminum foil and, heating it from below with a lighter, and inhaling the smoke through a tube. Jessika also rolled up little green pills of the stuff, which we ate like vitamin supplements.

Meanwhile, CJ the fucked up redneck was coming to on the couch. He staggered up the stairs to go have some sort of bowel movement, and that's when Deya noticed a foul odour from where he'd been lying. Up in the bathroom, she found the toilet seat had been soiled with a malodourous substance. We wondered if perhaps the old man had been ruptured in the fall.

Through his pill and liquor-induced haze, CJ was aware something was wrong. "I must'a taken a fawl!" he theorized. He was wearing a spectacular Ozzy Osborne tee shirt with a muscular bluish Ozzy on the front and a disembodied Ozzy head and incongruous white dove on the back. We didn't want to implicate Morgan at this stage, so we told CJ that Ozzy Osborne had thrown him off the porch. What with all the nerve and nut house pills he'd been eating, CJ was willing to believe anything.

Nothing much happened from smoking and eating the Dextromethorphan freebase, except that we found ourselves laughing a lot more than usual.

one year ago

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