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

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Like my brownhouse:
   rapid percussive din
Wednesday, September 24 2008
At a certain point today, the greenhouse drainage ditch compelled me to finish it, and I had it sloping ever-so-gently downward to the surface of the earth. After I was satisfied with it, I began feeding ten foot segments of four inch PVC and HDPE sewer pipe into the ditch from the greenhouse end. I'd push the chain of pipes until I had room enough to add another segment, and then I'd push it along some more. I'd put a cap on the end to keep the front of the assemblage from digging into the dirt on the sides of the ditch. The pipe proved surprisingly flexible when the ditch bent subtly this way or that; it seemed the PVC was actually a bit more flexible than the HDPE had been in my earlier tests (an outcome that I hadn't expected). For those wondering why I didn't just assemble the pipe along the side of the ditch and drop it in, it's important to mention that the topology of the ditch was too complicated; in some places the ditch actually passed through short tunnels, either beneath roots I'd preserved or, in one case, directly beneath a three-inch-thick White Ash tree. When I make my artifacts, I go out of my way to destroy as little nature as possible.

Tonight Gretchen would be going to the Broadway Theatre in Kingston to see the Indigo Girls with her friend and colleague Dorothy, and she had an extra ticket. So I decided to come along. I'm not a huge Indigo Girls fan, but I respect their music and like a few of their songs.
Before the show and before meeting up with Dorothy, Gretchen and I had dinner at the Indian restaurant nearby. The place was packed with Indigo Girls fans, many of whom looked to be middle-aged lesbians. This particular restaurant is strictly BYOB, and one of the tables had brought a whole cooler of beers. Gretchen and I had brought a bottle of wine. There was only one waiter in the restaurant, but somehow he maintained a cheerful attitude as he ran from table to table taking orders, delivering food, and apologizing for the delays. He seemed to enjoy sliding along the carpet for the last foot or so of every trajectory he executed.
The theatre was packed tonight and weren't a whole lot of men in the audience. I turned to Dorothy at one point and said I probably wouldn't wait in much of a line trying to get to the men's room. As always in situations like this, when Gretchen needed to use the restroom, the men's room was the obvious choice.
Opener for the show was a male/female harmonizing duet fronted by a guitar-strumming Kathleen Edwards and her sidekick, a hip looking dude playing either electric guitar or keyboards. They had a good thing going on: sort of like the Indigo Girls, but with meatier tonality in the arrangements (and advantage of having the sound of an electric guitar simmering beneath the typical singer-songwriter acoustic-guitar-and-vocals thing).
The Indigo Girls aren't spring chickens anymore. Tonight onstage they looked like a couple of middle aged white trash housewives; the now-somewhat-impish Amy Ray appeared to be wearing a pair of pajama bottoms.
One of the hardest working members of the Indigo Girls' crew was the woman sitting at a console at stage right. Her job was to tune guitars and hand the correct instruments to the the performers between songs, retrieving the ones that had just been played. There was a large rack of guitars for her to pick from, and mixed in with these was at least one mandolin and what appeared to be an electric banjo. Every song seemed to require a different pair of instruments, although in some cases this might have just been a precaution against them going out of tune.
Near the end of their show, the Girls brought Kathleen Edwards back up on stage to help them sing their classic, "Closer to Fine." By this point a large group of young nubile lesbians were dancing in front of the stage blocking our view and we had to stand up in order to see anything.

The problem with the Indigo Girls is that their music is very uniform from one song to the next, which makes a whole concert of their music a little hard to get through (mind you, this is something Gretchen volunteered on her own). For me, the main problem with the Indigo Girls is that many of their arrangements are consist of the harsh strumming of acoustic guitars, a style of play that yields a constant rapid percussive din, one with surprisingly little tonal content. (This is one of several reasons I have never liked anything by the Violent Femmes.)
Meanwhile out in the hallway, amidst the usual tables selling CDs and teeshirts was a table promoting marriage equality in New York State. They'd designed a surprisingly hideous teeshirt.

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