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
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   eyes on the delta
Thursday, November 9 2000 Don't blame me; I didn't vote.
Don't blame me; I voted for the loser.
Don't blame me; I accidentally voted for Buchanan.

This is an account of something a friend and I did about a two and half years ago, as written by that friend: [REDACTED]

Two pints and you are drunk enough to be bad.

You lean back,
and your eyes go all slitty.
Your feet brace against my sandalled feet,
and I go all slutty.

Why don't we pay our bill? you ask,
or words to that effect.
I slip back, into the vortex,
rubbing my toes
against your tomentose

Yes, why don't we? I want you
to see
upstairs before we go,

At least let me get the tip, you say.
(What am I paying for? Not why, what?
I don't want to buy anything.)

I lead you up
the stairs, past black light paintings of nude goddesses
(one looks to be a portrait of a real woman),
up to the room of skinless dogs and phrenological heads.

Pool players go through the motions.
Another jukebox in a junked car.
Diversions that interest us not.

The no-smoking room is deserted.
We sit on opposite sides
of a vinyl banquette that has lost its booth,
back to back and head to head,
unstudiously paying attention to each other.

I turn and let my arms admit
what I can't.

Loud people come and go.
'Fuckin _____!
Man, this ____ is fucked!
Fuck, man!'
I bury my face in your neck as a precaution,
as a comfort,
because it tastes good.

We get up eventually--
there's only so much to do
in such a room,
magic though it be.

Down and out and round
to the back we go,
all tangled up in each other,
looking at silos,
and vats,
the glow of the pool room hovering
over it all.

You push me against a cool tank
and I enjoy the sensation,
and want to be taken advantage of,
but no one seems to have the upper hand.
We see eye to eye, and hipbone to hipbone.

We walk back to the car
but don't get in.
An old bum stumbles
'round a half-block away from
our fumblings.

Do the headlights of the passing cars
truly illuminate
what you're doing with your hands?

I feel faint,
the way I do when I eat
very hot Thai food.

I drive like a boyfriend,
one hand on the wheel.
You lean like a girlfriend,
head on my shoulder.

I don't know where to go.

Anyway, back to the situation at hand:
After work today, I hurried home because soon a party would be happening at my house. All day long I'd been watching the decline of Dubya's lead against Gore in Florida. The delta was 225 by the time I made it home to my television.
The party had been Linda's idea. Two weeks ago Linda was still functioning as my boss. Now, in the grand scheme of things, she's just a regular civilian. She's very bright, in her 30s, and in many other subtle ways reminds me a lot of Nancy Firedrake, except her variety of androgyny is completely different.
This party was something of a going away party for Linda, and it turned out that I didn't really have to do anything special to prepare for it except straighten up my living room. Linda (and partner Julian) arrived bearing a case of beer and a half gallon of Abolut vodka. We immediately set about to fixing vodkateas, although the Celestial Seasons variety of Lemon Zinger wasn't working; it tasted too much like vitamin pills once dissolved into vodka. The failed vodkatea could only be salvaged by a massive addition of orange juice to recast it into the role of screwdriver.
People from work began showing up. I knew most of them fairly well, though there were a couple people whom I really only know by face. Mostly, though, these were people from the now-defunct Community group. We even had an appearance of Laurie the erstwhile Community DBA (whose idea of a party is more along the lines of a Renaissance Faire - with all that sociological baggage). She's been looking for a job for the past few weeks and, since she's finally found one, today she handed in her two weeks notice. In her new role her database talents were being squandered as she'd been assigned the mundane task of front end documentation.
Eventually my housemate and most of the UK team (including the CTO) showed up. My drunkenness, all the activity and the fact that the party was happening in my house had me pumped up and social in a way that my co-workers are not accustomed to seeing. I was telling the UK CTO how bright my housemate John is and that I thought he could learn anything he needed to know in the course of a weekend.

At the appointed time (and when this was, I do not know), we moved the party to a club called Lush near the corner of 20th Street and Wilshire in Santa Monica. One of the guys I don't know from work has a "funk" band and tonight he and his band were playing and having a CD release party at Lush.
I rode to Lush with Linda, but Julian couldn't come because he's underage.
Anyway, Lush was packed with people, many of whom I recognized as colleagues at my workplace. The band was playing some sort of hopelessly uninteresting funk that seemed to consist entirely of "jams." It was adequately danceable, but it lacked all the qualities that people normally associate with good music. As fellow UK-team-member Frank put it the next day:

"It wasn't that it lacked a certain regular repetition of beats over time, but I wouldn't say it had rhythm. And it wasn't that the musical notes didn't bear a certain mathematical relationship to one another, but I wouldn't say it was melodic. In dance music you need to build tension and release tension. In this music all it did was gradually build and build and then squander the tension."

It's analyses like these that leads me to think of Frank as something of a Matt Rogers figure.

I forgot to mention that by this point we'd been joined by John's friends Fernando, Catherine and some undeclared former girlfriend of Fernando's, and they seemed to be having a fairly good time. Nobody was dancing, so I got out in the middle of the dance floor and danced a few times, then joined Linda where she was sitting by herself on a convenient bench in the back of the dance floor. I'd shrug and say something about how easy it is to inject energy into a lackadaisical party scene and she'd just, well, I don't know.
Every time I encountered the UK team, they'd complain about how horrible the music was. I don't think they stayed very long. And, for that matter, I don't think my housemate John stayed very long either. At a certain point he and Catherine went off to do hanky panky like they have been doing on weekend nights of late. [REDACTED]

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