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:
   anything for purple pie
Thursday, November 13 2014 [REDACTED]
Gretchen went directly to work (in Uptown Kingston) from the City this morning, and at some point she called me to say that Mark, Maresa, and the woman who runs Aba's Falafel would all be meeting for dinner at La Florentina for "purple pie" (what we've started calling their sformato with tahini). I never want to miss out on a meal at La Florentina, but I really didn't want to have to drive into town separately to meet them. So Gretchen proposed that I come into town with her at 6:00pm, go do something for an hour while she attended some writerly event at Outdated (that hip coffee shop/antique store in Uptown), and then we'd go meet the others for purple pie. When we got to Outdated, I got a cup of coffee and thought maybe I could just blend into the background while the writerly event happened. Soon after taking my seat, though, I realized I was far too close to the event's speakers to do any such thing. And in any case, Outdated had turned off their WiFi. So I became just another spectactor at the event, captive though I was. After awhile, though, I got into a Zen groove with the experience, enjoying the sips of my coffee as I stared at the numerous visually-interesting things on the wall (my seat was oriented in such a way that I had to strain my neck to get a good look at the speakers). As for the event itself, well, let's just say it wasn't my thing. Three African American gentleman had been gathered to read from and discuss a non-fiction letter writing project they'd been part of in which they somehow shared their experiences as black men or as gay men living in America today. It was all very academic and almost completely unleavened by what I want in situation where I am called upon to sit still and listen: stories. (There were two brief stories and they were actually good: one referenced a conversation with one of the guy's mothers about the time she'd pulled a pistol on him. The other related the time that same guy had gone come to Vassar College to apply for a job and couldn't bring himself to drive in because he assumed, as a black man, the guard at the gate would never let him in.) Still, clearly I was the odd man out; everyone else in the room (they were mostly middle-aged white women) were nodding along and making occasional grunts of agreement. I kept waiting for a seam to appear in the program where I could tactfully get up and make my exit, but it didn't arrive until Nina (the woman serving as MC) invited us all to select a strangers in the room at random, go up and introduce ourselves, and then write a letter to that person (as a continuation of the letter writing exercise). It still wasn't an ideal time to do so, but I made a beeline for the door. I looked around for Gretchen, but she was not there. So I headed back towards the car (parked on John Street). By now a light rain was falling. Off down John Street towards the east, I heard Gretchen call my name. It turned out that she'd left Outdated moments before I had and, assuming I'd somehow left before her, had went to look for me at the Stockade Tavern. She'd completely missed me when she'd come over by the speakers to take their pictures. Evidently I'd blended seamlessly into the muted greens and yellows of the antiques.
On the drive over to La Florentina, Gretchen said she'd absolutely loved what had just taken place. She said she was particularly struck by how the men, obviously activists on black and gay issues, also embraced feminism. She said she'd never heard of such holistic support for other equality causes before. As for my critique that there hadn't been enough story telling, Gretchen said that their thing was academics and the language and content of their schpiels were in keeping with that framework. To my way of thinking, that is no excuse. There is no idea that cannot be gotten across with a story, preferably a good one.
As always, the purple pie at La Florentina made up for all the hassle that had stood in its way. We ordered two sformati, lots of house salads (though I had a bowl of the white bean soup instead of my usual minestrone), two big puffy breads, and we split a litre of the house Merlot five ways. That's the only wine that's any good on their wine list.
We stayed there a long time, and by the time we'd left, the drizzle was beginning to turn into snow. On the drive home south down US 209, the snow looked like we'd gone into Warp Drive every time I turned on the high beams. At our house on Hurley Mountain, it had started to accumulate on the vegetation. I don't think we'd yet had a frost, though the forecast called for one tonight.

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