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:
   the least-dense forms of musical storage
Thursday, March 14 2019
It was a beautiful springlike day, and I was able to comfortably walk to Bubby's for my Thursday burrito for the first time in months. Unfortunately, though the burrito I ordered was vegan, the one I got contained sour cream. At one point I might've liked sour cream in my burritos, but this long into my veganism, it just tastes gamey and gross. But not so gross that I didn't just eat it without complaint. I don't want to be one of those people who demands a brand new burrito when the one I got contained things I didn't ask for. That's a pattern of behavior that results in even more secretly-added ingredients that one does not want to be eating. The burrito would've had to contain eggs for me to have done that.
When I got home tonight, I made another firewood-salvaging foray down the Stick Trail, this time returning home with a backpack weighing 112.4 pounds. The wood came from the same general area where I'd gotten wood yesterday, though it was from dead trees felled a little closer to home (as well as a large awkward piece cut from a log felled during one of last fall's salvages).
Gretchen had seen a musical event come up in her Facebook feed that Chrissy had said she was interested in, and she wondered if I wanted to go. The venue was a bar in Midtown Kingston called Tubby's. Tubby's occupies the space formerly occupied by a dive bar we'd never gone to called Broadway Joe's, which famously had oversized statues of several pop culture icons on its roof: both Blues Brothers, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe. Gretchen had seen Tubby's menu online and been impressed by how vegan-friendly it was. These days I'm usually up for going out for a meal and drinks, so before long we were at Tubby's (which even has parking in a sketchy alleyway lot in the back). Whoah, Tubby's was hipster heaven. Nearly all the men had lumberjack shirts and lumberjack facial hair, and the women were dressed in muted earth tones and wore thick-framed glasses. In addition to the usual bottles of libations behind the bar was a fairly large library vinyl albums. (I joked at one point that they should use wax cylinders instead, which are even less musically-dense than flat records.) For me, that was taking hipster credibility a bit too far. That was valuable real estate being wasted on one of the least-dense forms of musical storage available. Music on vinyl seems great in theory. It's organic, man! But tracking down an album and a song is much easier with an MP3 file on a music player. Don't like lossy digital formats? Fine, store them all as FLAC files. Don't like the precision of digital recordings? Fine, mix in an overlay of pre-recording surface noise, run the whole thing through a processor to subtly speed it up and slow it down, and then filter it to add whatever artifacts you like. But it's not my bar, so what really matters is the atmosphere, the beverages, and, if there is any, the food.
We ordered our drinks and food at the bar. The unusual item for us was vegan hotdogs and chili dogs, so we both got those, though I got chili as my side and Gretchen got tatertots (they didn't have french fries). For her beverage, Gretchen got a extremely dry sour beer that she very much liked. I got the $7 mezcal margarita, which came with its rim dipped in pink salt. That's fun and even a bit festive.
We were soon joined by Chrissy, who is (of course) still processing her nearly year-old breakup with her husband (Nick) of nine years. At this point, though, the details are more mundane but also enormous, like how to go about selling her beautiful Victorian house in Uptown and then have money to buy her next place. Sellers aren't interested in contingency offers, and she can't really be temporarily homeless (even if it meant, say, living for a time in our basement) because of the houseful of stuff she has to find a home for. I didn't much participate in the conversation except to make little asides, such as comforting her with the idea that, though she'd be leaving her yardful of perennials behind, there was no telling what wonders would be at her next place. Maybe it would come with a cave! (That's the kind of thing I would like.) I then added in an exaggerated aside that "we're always finding caves when we go up to the Adirondacks." For some reason Gretchen felt it important to jump in at that point to note that we'd only ever found caves at one place, "the yurts," where we went early in our Upstate existence. But we'd found two different caves there, so I didn't think it was the "lie" Gretchen immediately decided it was. That part of the conversation kind of put me off my feed, socially speaking, for the rest of the evening.
As for the music, well, there were supposedly three different bands performing tonight. And one of those was supposed to involve a cello. But the opening act was just some guy with a small box equipped with a keyboard and knobs, and he was using it to make a constant noise that sounded more like some uninterrupted unremarkable industrial process than music. We went back to the the back performance room (which also contains vintage pinball and videogames) to see what was going on but only lasted for about 30 seconds. There were others, though, who seemed enraptured by the "performance." We didn't end up staying there long enough to see the band that included a cellist.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next