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:
   time-disregarding banter
Saturday, May 5 2012
Down in the Rondout of Kingston this evening were the usual gallery openings that come on the first Saturday of every month. Gretchen and I left the dogs at home this time, which made more room in the car for Nancy when we picked her up at her place. I was doing the driving and there was a space open directly in front of KMOCA (the only gallery we usually go to), but there was such a big throng spilling out onto the sidewalk that I decided it was best to park somewhere else. Gretchen couldn't imagine making a decision like that, but I think Nancy could. We're the kind of people who prefer to do tricky things like parallel parking in front of a minimum of witnesses. Not that Gretchen would do a better parking job; she just feels she'd be ready with an effective retort should someone confront her for leaving an inch-deep skuff on his bumper. So I ended up having to park around the corner and two blocks up the hill.
There was a Cinquo de Mayo theme going on at KMOCA, with a bunch bowl full of lemonade liberally spiked with tequila. As for the art, a lot of it featured the sort of low-relief sculpture designed to be hung on walls. I like that sort of thing, but whenever I see mechanical elements, it always seems like a shame that they aren't moving. The back room of the gallery was a single work, a dome-shaped spider web made out of used ballerina tights, or a "yeast infection waiting to happen," as a group of us punch drinkers decided.
Normally our group of friends hangs out at KMOCA until it closes down and then we (including Deborah and Michæl from KMOCA) all go out for dinner together. But today those of us without KMOCA responsibilities decided to walk over to Broadway to look at some gallery shows there. I barely ducked into any of those galleries, being more interested in things visible from the street: an iron staircase built on the side of a building that had supposedly cost $40,000, and an ominous recently-developed crack that Paul pointed out in the brickwork of one of the old buildings (now housing yet another pizza shop).
Originally the plan was for us to get dinner at Armadillo, which seemed somewhat fitting given that it was Cinquo de Mayo. But Deborah later came up with an alternate plan to accomodate all the artists participating in today's show. She got a reservation at a new restaurant in the Rondout named Mint. So there we were at Mint, with Gretchen and me trying to figure out if a vegan meal was even possible. At first the vegan pickings looked thin and I was down on the idea of eating there (and Paul was all gung-ho to drive any absurd distance to find just the right place). But I gradually came around to the idea of eating at Mint. They had french fries and reasonable pasta options, and they even had some sort of tofu dish, though I doubted they had a cook who could prepare it non-ineptly.
The main problem with Mint tonight wasn't the food; it was their lack of staff. Still, they did their best to make up for it by dropping big trays of complimentary food in front of us to keep us happy while we waited for them to take our order. Unfortunately, none of this food was vegan. One tray featured delicious-looking toast coated with parmesan cheese and another featured batter-fried calamari that only my vegan identity kept me from eating. But it was painful; I felt like a two-year-dry alcoholic denying myself a shot of fine single malt scotch placed in front of me.
But eventually the food came and some of it was okay. Unfortunately, the kitchen staff at Mint has yet to get the memo informing them that pasta is best made using water containing a certain amount of salt; I'm not much of a foodie or gourmand, but I'd internalized this nugget of human wisdom before I was a teenager.
We ended up spending many hours at Mint, and despite the slowness of the food, we had a great time. A great many comic things were said and gales of laughter kept erupting. As always, my brownhouse came up as a subject of discussion, though today there were ideas for additional out buildings: a menstruation hut and a circle-jerk shack (these were mostly coming from Tricia). Meanwhile Paul was wondering how best to source huge chunks of rock to make a sort of outdoor Stonehenge-themed wedding chapel. The idea is that something so obviously pagan would serve as a visual signal that his church is open to a wide range of ideas about faith and commitment, including (especially) gay marriage.
Tonight I'd hoped it would be warm and had optimistically dressed in shorts, a tee shirt, and flip flops. But by the time we got out of Mint, the sun had set and there was a bit of a chill in the air. So when the inevitable extended goodbye banter stalled us for a good fifteen or twenty minutes on the sidewalk south of KMOCA, I found myself having to flex my muscles to generate heat. The supermoon in the sky was shining down with a surprising amount of light, but unfortunately not all that much heat. Eventually Gretchen figured out that I was annoyed and moved to accelerate the needlessly-slow goodbye procedure, but soon I could tell that she had lapsed back into time-disregarding banter. "Now we're entering this part of the conversation," I sighed in the general direction of Nancy. Only then did Gretchen conclude her social business.

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