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:
   fourteen for now
Monday, January 14 2002
When it rains, it pours. All kinds of good things came today, and they arrived via snail mail. I'd gone through all this work scaring up evidence of my salary for the past year and a half and then here was this letter from the New York Department of Labor telling me that they'd revised my revised my monetary determination because of new data and now I could expect four hundred or so dollars each week!
If this letter hadn't come today, my opinion of the New York Department of Labor would have been permanently tarnished by an incident that happened earlier today. I called them to complain about the weak-ass examination they'd performed on my former employer's payroll data, but after steering through a long, frustrating touch-tone telephone maze, I was informed that there were too many calls coming in and that I should call back later. Then the system, instead of throwing me into a queue, automatically hung up! How hostile is that? Not even Earthlink tech support pulls that kind of shit.
Oh, but there was even more good news. Yahoo paid up my severance as promised (I'm feeling so warm and fuzzy that I almost included an exclamation mark and a hyperlink), and then this woman in Japan sent me a check for my painting Fashion Victim. I can't sell paintings worth a damn in this country, but people living on foreign islands are willing to pay me good money for them.
Still hurting with the losses I suffered shipping my stuff to New York from California, I went out of my way to pack the painting so that it would survive anything short of a trans-Pacific plane crash. I protected the canvas with two layers of heavy-duty cardboard interspersed between two layers of bubble wrap. The outer box used to contain a piece of junky Ikea furniture. It occurred to me that the most well-known new Scandinavian brand names (Ikea and Nokia) sound like Japanese words to my ear.
I had Sally with me when I went down to Seventh Avenue to mail the painting, but I had to leave her outside the post office, tied to a parking meter. There were two young blond women behind me in line, and though they tried not to be obvious about it, they were clearly discussing the number of men they had slept with. "I lost count," said one. "Fourteen," said the other. "That's sort of what I was gonna say," responded the first. "I started making a list, but you know sometime's it's hard to remember what you did and what counts, so I almost forgot about David," said the second. "Oh, you can't do that!" the first exclaimed. Just about that time, they noticed that I had a roll of clear plastic tape. Their sorry parcel, whatever it was crammed between two loose pieces of cardboard, desperately needed some. When they asked for a bit of mine, I said sure, "knock yourself out." The second of the two took a look at my parcel, with its warning "FRAGILE FINE ART," and asked if I was an artist. She had a single ripe whitehead on her chin that her friend had failed to warn her about and it stared up at me longingly. I agreed that I was an artist, but that I hadn't painted in three years. "It's good to sell art now that I'm unemployed," I added. She agreed, acknowledging that she too was unemployed. "I don't know anyone who has a job," I remarked. Despite my lack of either ongoing artistic pursuits or gainful employment, I think becoming number fifteen wouldn't have been impossible.

I celebrated today's successes with a dinner comprised of a forty of Old English malt liquor and an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's mint chocolate cookie icecream, topped-off with several dozen turd-shaped pretzels.

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