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:
   Thanksgiving, 2010
Thursday, November 25 2010
Sally is fifteen and a half years old, and over the years she has been bothered by various minor medical conditions. On her head, for example, she occasionally sprouts benign skin growths that can expand up to the size of a raisin before breaking off and leaving a scab. On her chest is another growth, this one a large seemingly-permanent subdermal fat deposit. More recently she's also developed the habit of licking a part of her body until all the hair is gone. Within the past few days, she's created such a hairless spot an inch or two to the right of her asshole, making it seem at a glance as if she has two assholes. I didn't think anything much of it, because in the past such spots have tended to heal themselves and regrow their hair. But this morning I was horrified to see that Sally's second asshole had expanded to half the size of a American dollar bill. The skin had also become raw, resembling that of a turkey plucked by a tornado. Gretchen's father, who had lived with various purebred poodles for years, was familiar with this condition, and referred to it as a "hot spot." He didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal. According to the website whose link I just provided, hot spots are triggered by bacterial infections, allergies, or fleas and can usually be treated by antibiotics to break the cycle of licking a mutilation. In bad cases, a cone of shame might be necessary. Sally's case certainly looked bad, so after applying some Neosporin, we made her don an Elizabethan collar.
Later Gretchen's father drove into town to get us some more Neosporin and other products to treat Sally's condition. I suspect he was just looking for an excuse to see what was happening in Kingston on Thanksgiving. You'd be surprised; he found one determined collection of human cells seated in the cold outside the Best Buy waiting for its Black Friday opening, which would not be happening for at least twelve hours. This led me to wonder what sort of savings one would have to experience in order to justify so many wasted hours and so much discomfort.
The Neosporin run wasn't the last made by Gretchen's father today. Later, after accidentally vacuuming up a telephone headset, he drove into town a second time to buy a replacement. The only open store selling such things was Walmart.
Out Thanksgiving began promptly at four with the arrival of Sarah the Vegan (or, as I will start saying, "Vegan named Sarah"). Eventually we five guests in addition to me, Gretchen, and her parents. The last two, though, were Ray and Nancy, and they were over an hour and a half late (though they only had to drive three miles).
Before Ray and Nancy arrived, those of us who were not Gretchen's parents went for a walk down the Farm Road and back. At the end of that road is a house which a gentleman ("G") from Luxembourg uses as an upstate cottage. The other day Ray had told me that he'd heard from a contractor that "the Duke of Luxembourg lives on Dug Hill Road." We'd known G to be a traffic engineer down in the city, but perhaps he really was a Duke living, you know, on the downlow. And since Luxembourg is a duchy (as opposed to a kingdom), he might actually be the sovereign ruler. But no, it didn't take much web research to determine that the actual Duke of Luxembourg is someone else entirely. Wait, why would a nation be satisfied being run by a duke when other nations are run by kings? Then again, Libya has been run for nearly my entire life by a lowly colonel.
Once we had all our guests, we somehow managed to fit nine people around our dinner table (something we'd also managed to do when that food ethics class had come for a meal). Gretchen and her parents had prepared fake-sausage stuffing, cashew tarts, and an unexpectedly-flavorful potato salad (as well as a vegan cheese cake). Nancy and Ray brought over green beans and cranberry sauce, Sarah brought wild rice salad, and Deborah brought dips and spelt bread. Our friend Michæl (the South African vegan from High Falls) brought three different dessert wines.
Dinner conversation was rich with interesting topics and festive merriment. As the wine flowed, certain quasi-taboo topics became seemingly less-so. For example, I didn't seem to have any problem insinuating that size of my camera lens reflected positively on the endowment provided by my Y-chromosome.
Our last guest to leave was the Vegan named Sarah. She and Gretchen stayed up until midnight talking mostly about food issues (of no interest to me) while I entirely cleaned the kitchen and put all the food away. Some of it wouldn't fit in the refrigerator so I was forced to put it out on the east deck. But later in the night it began to rain. Luckily I'd placed the cheesecake under the overhang and covered reasonably-well with aluminum foil.
It had been our second-ever Thanksgiving performed at home, the first at home with relatives.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next