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").


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Like my brownhouse:
   dead construction site
Tuesday, September 30 2008
At noon Gretchen and I drove with the dogs over to Redhook to attend yet another WKZE parlor session, this one featuring the singer/songwriter Dar Williams. The day was cloudy and cool, so parlor session was held indoors and the dogs had to hang out in the car. We showed up later than most of the others in the audience and were consigned to the back. The audience as maybe thirty or forty people, which is fairly intimate for a Dar Williams show.
I'd actually seen her once before a couple years ago at the Rosendale Street Festival and had thought she was good, if perhaps a little singer-songwriterly for me. Today she opened with an especially weak song with a chorus that simply repeated the line "It's gonna be alright" six times in a row. But later songs were much better and, for me, surprisingly enjoyable. It definitely helped that the audio inside the radio broadcast facility was nearly perfect, though occasionally Dar would overdrive the nearby speaker with a thumb pluck of the bass E string of her acoustic guitar.
At some point Gretchen turned to me and reminded me of that scene in Hedwig and the Angry Inch where Hedwig is holding forth on his miserable post-German life at a far-flung fringe stage at an outdoor music event called the Menses Festival. As (s)he's doing this, off in the distance off-screen, before what sounds like an enormous screaming crowd, is none other than Dar Williams. To the casual viewer, it comes off as a put-down of Dar's excessively "vaginal" music. But then, just as Gretchen was done reminding me of that scene, Dar began to introduce her next song with some background on its author, Stephen Trask, whom, she reminded us, had done the music for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. With that, she launched into an absolutely lovely all-acoustic version of Trask's "Midnight Radio," which is on the Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack.
After the parlor session, Gretchen and I took the dogs for a walk in the construction site directly behind the WKZE studios. This site looks to be an attempt at a multifamily development. One multifamily unit appears to be completed, and there's another with forms in place ready for a big concrete footing pour. What's strange about this site, though, is that it is absolutely unchanged since the last parlor session we attended back on Labor Day. Actually, that's not entirely correct. There have been a few changes. Some weeds have started growing amid the concrete forms and there are now a great many lush Pokeweed bushes festooned with purple berries (and if you've been eating them for weeks now you will definitely have gotten sick at least once). It appears that the Great Real Estate Collapse of 2007/2008 has claimed this site as well.
Next we went to the nearby Redhook Curry House, a place whose buffet we used to frequent often until Gretchen, experiencing gastric phenomena on a drive home, swore off the place "for good." This time there was no buffet, so we ordered a Mushroom Shag and an Aloo Gobi Matar, as well as an order of chapatis. Additionally, we both began our late lunch with bowls of mulagatani soup, which was delicious and head and shoulders above the entrees. Sadly, those proved undercooked, amateurishly flavored, and otherwise mediocre-to-dreadful. Certain Indian restaurants should only be experienced through their buffets, where diversity allows Darwinian forces to come into play, making it possible for good food to find its way to your plate.
As always when we're in this region with our dogs, we took them for a walk at Poet's Walk, a place where it's nearly impossible to avoid encountering someone with a penchant for freaking out (however passive-aggressively) about your offleash dogs.

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