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
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Like my brownhouse:
   Rosendale Street Festival, 2007
Saturday, July 21 2007
This evening Gretchen and I met up with Penny and David and carpooled to the Street Festival in Rosendale. This is the annual event in which the main drag through town (Route 213) is closed down and, food and beer stalls appear along the sidewalk and stages are provided for musical acts. Parking is a nightmare in Rosendale during the festival, but somehow we found a spot across Rondout Creek behind that ugly brick-box church (the one adorned simply with a big, slender aluminum cross). I'd taken a couple pseudoephedrine earlier in the afternoon in anticipation of the festival, and on an empty stomach, the stuff was pushing me to my psychological limits and I was having trouble keeping it together. I found myself clenching my arms either in front of my chest or behind my back, but there was no way I could let them swing freely. All of these unpleasant effects would disappear the instant I took my first sip of beer, but that was being delayed by cash issues. As representatives of our respective couples, David and I walked all the way through Rosendale to the Stewart's to hit its cash machine, which was somehow still pumping out the twenties. There were dozens of motorcycles parked outside the Stewart's, and nearly all of them were Harleys. The ease with which motorcycles are parked probably justifies the risk of driving them.
The majority of the people at the festival seemed to be young, in their teens and early 20s, an age that's starting to make me feel old. They were doing all the silly things people that age do. A group of them sat atop the roof of the porch of a beautiful house making random comments through a bullhorn, including "Herpes is forever! Please use protection!" Meanwhile a couple yellow-shirted officers from the Ulster County Sheriff's office were hustling a short handcuffed Hispanic man through the crowd for having committed, one assumes, some crime. Periodically their trajectory took them through slow-moving clouds of exhaled marijuana smoke.
Once I had a beer (and one to give David), I tried to meet up with the ladies at the fire station for the Dar Williams performance, already in progress, but the crowd was too big to find them. I ended up with David and a woman named Donna, one of the people who had been with him and Penny this morning on a mushroom walk south of the Ashokan. After I drank my beer and David had sent a text message to Penny to get her and Gretchen to meet us, I went to get another beer. Donna didn't want to see any more Dar Williams, and neither did I, so (despite the fact that we'd just met) we went off together to find a stage featuring better music. We ended up watching some kind of nerd-metal act sung by a guy with rainbow-colored hair. But it was repetitive and five minutes was all we could take, so we went looking for another stage. There didn't seem to be much else happening, so we headed to the Bywater Bistro, the restaurant occupying the space formerly occupied by the Cement Factory (that ultimately-abandoned attempt at rainbow flag gentrification in Rosendale). There we'd be rendezvousing with Gretchen, Penny, and David. But just before we got there I saw fledgling English Sparrow go running out into the street. Fearing it would be crushed, I scooped it up in my hands as a couple young boys warned me with the spurious (and oft-repeated) wisdom that the mother bird would reject the baby if it got human scent on it. Donna and I tried to find a place to release the baby in a side yard, but the little flightless bird kept charging away from the darkness towards the street. Eventually I took it to a back yard and put it in a planter in a place where the only artificial light was coming through a tight picket fence that not even this tiny bird could squeak through. Donna was somewhat taken aback by my reflexive (and probably doomed) heroics and said, "You're a good person."
In the very back of the yard behind the Bywater, on the high bank above Rondout Creek, a young muscle-bound gentleman performed a fire dance using fuel-soaked whips as he stepped among flaming patterns made by lit petrochemicals that had been squirted into the grass. No dance is complete without music, and this took the form of melodic techno blaring from a PA system. The dancer had a head mask featuring a skull design that could be displayed as a creepy alternative face by holding his head low and looking back at his feet with his actual face. Periodically the dancer would crack one or both of the whips, sometimes making an intense flash of fire whose burst of infra-red radiation could be felt as an immediate hot flash across the face. The display was entertaining for about two or three minutes, but eventually Gretchen and I were bored and moved indoors. The kitchen was closed, but Gretchen somehow got one of the waitresses to scare her up eight or nine french fries.

Someone nabbed for committing a crime at the Rosendale Street Festival.

The sheriffs spent a good half hour escorting him through the throng.
Style note: that pedestrian is entirely too young to be out and about in a teeshirt featuring drawings of wolves.

Dar Williams singing and playing guitar.

Penny, David and Gretchen at the Bywater Bistro. Click to watch a video clip featuring Penny laughing.

Me at the Bywater Bistro.
Style note: The retro-stylish shirt I'm wearing here was left by one of our houseguests (a former boyfriend of Mary Purdy), a gentleman far more stylish than myself.

David and Gretchen.

The dancing fire dude. Click to watch a video clip.

Whimsical statues on a Rosendale porch.

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