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
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Irving housing

got that wrong

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Backwoods Home
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Like my brownhouse:
   tamales in the graveyard
Saturday, January 28 2023
During our normal Saturday morning in front of the fire, Gretchen and I came up with a hilarious idea for a comic routine. It would feature an improv troupe where someone unexpectedly says something incredibly racist and then, because the rules of improv are to always have an attitude of "yes, and...," the next person would just have to go with it. (This, of course, came after Gretchen said something about the Chinese being "a wily people," and I agreed, saying something so racist that I will not be repeating it here.)
Later, I did a little (as they call it in Letterkenny) "chorin'." I went across the Farm Road and brought home two long pieces of smallish skeletonized chestnut oak, though I didn't bother cutting it up. Instead, I split up pieces of a thick chunk of that big damp red oak, some pieces of which I began drying on the top of the woodstove.
Gretchen wanted to go to the Kingston Farmers' Market, which (in winter) is held inside the Old Dutch Church. So we drove with the dogs to Uptown, leaving them in the car while we shopped for the things we wanted. It was nearing the end of the Farmer's Market when we arrived, though it was still bustling with activity, and there were two musicians playing folk music and a pair of gentlemen using the stage to play a rousing game of chess. While indoors in that environment, we wore masks so as to limit our exposure to covid before some international traveling we will soon be doing. The things we bought included a box of grapes, a few tart apples, a box of kimchi, a four-pack of a locally-brewed porter (porters are hard to find in a conventional grocery store), and four black bean tamales from the Mexican woman who used to run a restaurant out of the place where the fancy Italian restaurant Tony & Nicks now resides. We also got a large order of mushroom chowder soup from some vegan ready-to-eat food vendor operating out of the church's kitchen. The weather at the time was so nice (especially for a day in late January) that we sat down at a picnic table amongst the ancient gravestones and ate tamales.

Later Gretchen and I went to visit our friends the photogenic vegan Buddhists, whom we hadn't seen in years. K-y, the female half of that couple is extremely neurotic about covid, so much so that the last time they saw us (early in the pandemic) they brought their own wine glasses to an informal gathering out on our east deck. Part of what's going on is extreme anxiety about their cats, which (I think) she fears will catch covid. This sounds insane, and I could be wrong about this, but I wouldn't be surprised. Today we sat with them on their deck next to a stainless steel firepit that I made the mistake of resting my socked foot against. It immediately melted the plastic material of my sock, leaving a black smudge on the side. Most of our conversation today concerned medical problems. We discussed, for example, Powerful's heart transplant and the fact that he's now living by himself in Albany and likely eating himself to death by following the kind of diet he defaults to when not living in a vegan household. Then K-y told us about the death of her mother, who was wearing one of those shock-inducing implanted defribrillators, which had to be deactivated so she could die in peace. Somehow K-y transitioned without my noticing to a discussion of one of her cat's medical problems, which included a hernia that made all her intestines move up into her chest cavity, and I thought K-y was still talking about her mother.
Next the four of us got into the hot tub, and then the conversation lingered for a very long time on K-ys medical problems, some of which she blames (without sufficient supporting evidence, in my opinion) on covid vaccinations. It seemed more plausible to me that lifestyle changes resulting from the pandemic (which may have aggravated K-y's eating disorders) were more likely the culprit. At some point during all this, I started feeling woozy from the hot water and had to get out and lie on the deck nearby, next to some scatterered lumps of lingering snow. The others were a little concerned, wondering if maybe I shouldn't've had that second beer. (C-s, the male half of the couple, had eaten an cannabis edible and perhaps that heightened his empathy and concern.)
Mercifully at some point the conversation turned to our cabin, and we stopped talking about medical problems. I understand that when one has medical problems, that's all one wants to talk about. But it makes for an oppressive social gathering. Maybe when I'm old and decrepit and have my own aches and pains to complain about, I'll feel differently.


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