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:
   ASCII valentine
Thursday, February 14 2002
In my personal universe today, there was a conservation of valentines. The one I sent (an ASCII-"art" heart emailed to Gretchen) was matched by a heart made of Sculpey®, complete with a little metal loop so I can hang it somewhere.
In the afternoon I met Gretchen at Union Square in Manhattan and she was so pleased to have convinced me to leave the house that she bought me a couple beers at a nearby divey bar called the Belmont Lounge (117 East 15th Street). Aside from a half dozen slacker-hip bartenders having an employee meeting, we were the only people there. From the stereo came the sound of catchy pop rock one doesn't hear on Clear Channel radio, starting off with the Pixies' Monkey Gone to Heaven and then followed by Nirvana's Incesticide.
Next we went to a nearby shoe store and I tried on a variety of casual shoes in hopes of replacing my aging Vans sneakers. After walking around in three different vaguely-similar shoes (all of them made of black leather and sort of bootlike), I decided on the cheapest in the selection, a $50 pair of air-cushioned Merrells, fabrique en Chine. I decided to donate my old Vans to the homeless and shoeless gods of New York, so I hung them on a fence in front of the George Washington statue in Union Square.
For dinner, we went to a restaurant called Chat 'n' Chew. It specializes in friendly waitstaff, fairly inexpensive American comfort food, and deliberate multimedia tackiness. For example, my bloody mary was called a "Mary Tyler Moore" and there was a wagon wheel within four feet of our table. To give an indication of the sort of music likely to assail you in Chat 'n' Chew, we managed to hear both Glen Frey's "The Heat is On" as well as a song by Phil Collins before our meal was done. I will say this, however, my catfish po' boy tasted authentic enough; it would not have been completely out of place in New Orleans.

The fence in front of the equestrian monument in Manhattan's Union Square,
the final home of my old Vans sneakers, originally bought from a San Diego
thrift store for six dollars in 1998.

I find a Citibank subway map sticks nicely to my face at Chat & Chew.
Those girls behind me are having some sort of somber Valentine girls' night out.

The Virgin Megastore featured security devices on most of their CDs, but not on a copy of Guided by Voices' Selective Service. Another, less personally-beneficial observation: can the contrast be turned up any further for the cover of Michæl Jackson's next album? When you've had your last facelift, take heart, there's always the contrast knob.
Back home in Brooklyn, Gretchen and I watched a movie called Nurse Betty on the Sundance Channel. As a zany exploration of the grey area lying between delusional fugue states and professional acting, we found it most entertaining.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next