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:
   waste the entire night
Friday, January 12 2001

The more I think about the sneaky act whereby I my job was secretly reassigned from data systems to technical development, the more cowardly it seems. I've been given indications by the various people I've talked to that I should be outraged. For example, today the US-site CTO felt compelled to swing by my cubicle to extend some sort of olive branch. But honestly I'm not upset at all. Any company that makes it's highly-paid project managers do junior web development work has worse deep-seated issues than simple managerial cowardice. For my part, I don't think I have anything to complain about. My boss is an empty rectangle on the workchart and I have a strong feeling I could always jump ship and work for the UK site exclusively.

After work, Chun led John and me to an art opening featuring some of her old colleagues from the days when she worked at MTV. The opening was being held at one of the many studios in Santa Monica's Bergamot Station, a place where my old lofi rock and roll chum Nikolai was working until very recently. It's also extremely close to my workplace.
It was a your typical art opening. Pretty much everyone was dressed in black and stood around sipping white wine (the only kind available; there was no finger food) and chatting mostly with friends. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to see and once you'd seen something there wasn't much sense in going back and looking at it again. There appeared to be only three works, each of them large installations. The room with the wine table was full of grossly over-sized fishing lures set on floor pedestals. In another, six wooden battery-powered tow boats floating in plexiglass tanks tugged at the moveable upper and lower jaws of a set of grossly oversized dentures whose front teeth were all gilded. It slowly yawned back and forth unremarkably under the slightly varying tug power of the boats. In the room connecting the other two there was an installation featuring 22 of those "wave boxes" (transparent plastic boxes filled with water and some sort of viscous gel that, when tipped, causes a wave to propagate from one end to the other). All 22 wave boxes were hooked up motors which forced them to tip back and forth in unison. I believe the asking price was a cool $40,000.
Without much else to do, we went outside and smoked cigarettes. Even John had one.
Our attendance at this opening had a parallel purpose, and once that purpose had been satisfied, we were free to go.
Back at our house, we drank some Scotch and ate various pills. I had some of John's Adderall and John took three hits of ecstasy. Next on our list of things to do was another Chun idea: going to some vaguely Schteveish bar in downtown Santa Monica to rendezvous with some of Chun's friends from that art opening. I don't know why, but I was pretty drunk by this point, and if it wasn't for the Adderall I don't think I would have been having a particularly good time. But I'd taken 20 mg of Adderall and was having a great time. I somehow got to talking about the Adderall to some random chick and she wanted to try some, so I gave her the last pill in my pocket. I don't really remember the details of what was happening, except that immediately after she had her Adderall she told me she was waiting for her boyfriend, the manipulative bitch. And then there he was. Aw shucks, well I guess I'll be moving along then!
About this time John and Chun came to fetch me. John was sort of freaking out and wanted to get the fuck out of there. I hadn't had nearly my fill of the whole Schteveish bar thing and on the cab ride home I was half-tempted to bail out at a traffic light and find my way back. That's how chemically insane I was.
The prospect of another evening cooped up in my living room with John and Chun on ecstasy didn't appeal to me at all. At my earliest possible convenience, I wordlessly escaped, walking up to Wilshire.
The Bicycle Shop is a bar/restaurant on Wilshire that Bathtubgirl and I occasionally went when we first moved into the neighborhood. Subsequently it has decided that since it is officially within the limits of Brentwood, it should henceforth be snooty and overpriced. Anyway, I ducked inside and took a place at the mostly-empty bar, ordering a Manhattan. The bartender took one look at my wild and crazy eyes and said, "I can't serve you, you're too drunk." So I just shrugged my shoulders and politely took my leave.
I continued east down Wilshire to Q's, the super-Schteveish meat market bar where my company held its annual holiday party. I don't know what exactly was going on in my head, I just wanted to be an anonymous person doing anonymous things in a public place. I was all pumped up on Adderall, which is sort of like a club drug in that it makes you want to dance. I found myself dancing in place up on the balcony, the only one really dancing at all. Being nothing but Schteves and Schtevettes, the only drugs they had taken was alcohol. Occasionally some Schteve would look over at me with a look of "what's wrong with him." But I didn't care. I just didn't. Still, there was something humiliating and lonely about being surrounded by all these incompatible anonymous souls, and I definitely had a sense of this despite my addled state. After the bar was closed, I milled around with the others out front. Though they weren't my people, they also weren't John and Chun back on the couch in my living room. Gradually, predictably, they dwindled away and I was left alone. On the walk home I was still feeling pretty good, but I was well aware of what a remarkable waste the entire night had been. I keep trying to convince myself that there must be community in my part of town, that I just have to make the effort to look for it. But every time I do look for it, I end up finding bars even more homogeneously schteveish than the ones I remember from the Corner of Charlottesville. Or, as in the case of the Bicycle Bar, I get kicked out before I even get started! I miss the East. Things made a lot more sense there.
John and Chun were still up when I got home, sitting on the red velvet couch in the darkness under a blanket. We chatted a little, I drank a bunch of water, and in stages the evening reached its inevitable whimpering conclusion.

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