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:
   travels with Cecelia the Brazilian Girl
Thursday, February 20 1997

Cool thing to say today: it's good to occasionally act completely unlike yourself, especially while sober.

I had intentions of driving back to my childhood home near Staunton, and so set off in my Dart. But motoring west on Wertland I came upon Cecelia the Brazilian Girl walking with little Yayson (who used to come visit Josh Smith at Big Fun). All I did was stop to for a moment and she hopped in to go wherever I was going, leaving little Yayson behind. He opened his little mouth to show me a very painful looking tongue piercing he'd just received on his little tongue. For the record: I will never get my tongue pierced since it is already the ugliest tongue known to mankind (for some reason it is crisscrossed by canyons: maybe a childhood fever destroyed tracts of tastebuds).

We headed west on 64, and aside from the incredible warmth and clarity of the air, the drive was as uninteresting as any other. We spoke little; we were in our own little worlds. I was pretty tired of course since I had been up since 1am.

At my house, my psychotic brother Don was hauling goat shit out of the barn in a wheelbarrow and dumping it in the little garden in the front yard of the house. He looked wild with his long wavy brown hair and flaming red beard. He said nothing. He just looked intensely at Cecelia like he does all the girls who match his familiar standards.

I knew Cecelia would like my Temple of Læpöm, which is a "sacred place" I established in the early 80s across the road on a parcel of land called "Pileated Peak." Together we climbed the hill through the Pitch Pines (Pinus resinosa), entered the sacred grove and sat in the circle of stones in the center. What could we do but marvel at all the old skulls and stones, festooned as they are with mold and the moss of ages? It takes a long time to look old the way everything in the temple looks old. Back all those years ago it had been my intention for the place to one day look like a religious ruin. At the time I'd been reading James Michener's The Source and the idea of ancient ruins had appealed to me so much that I'd decided to create some of my own. Now, some 15 years later, I have the ruins I'd wanted then. And the ruins come complete with creepy trees; I'd thought ahead enough to plant a number of Canadian Hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis), one of the more gothic trees native to North America.

In addition to the hemlocks and fairly spooky looking pines, one thing makes my Temple of Læpöm more gothic than any another single factor: it is also a cemetary. Through the 1980s, you see, I always buried the most precious of my animal companions in the Temple. In fact, the animal whose burial first consecrated the ground was Betström, a particularly friendly hen who died of advanced chicken senility (referred to at the time as "Etström's Disease") in 1981. In addition to the many chickens buried there can be found the skull of my old Labrador Retriever dog, Wilbur (1972-1982), still in a featured and fully exposed location at the summit of large mound of rock at the head of the Temple. Cecelia says that when she was a kid she also maintained a cemetary. Hers was for the many fish that died under her stewardship.

Cecelia was a perfect match for this creepy kind of nature in exactly the way that a gortex-bedecked hiker is not.
We continued south into a region of older Pitch Pines and honeysuckle, where a great patch of Lycopods asserted their persistence with beautiful green foliage against the orange-brown of the thick needles on the forest floor. Cecelia was a perfect match for this creepy kind of nature in exactly the way that a gortex-bedecked hiker is not.

Then we climbed around under the low boughs of White Pines (Pinus strobus) and explored the strange carpet of fine White Pine needles, peeling back successive layers to greater and greater amounts of decay to the fine soil below.

Back at the house, my father had returned from shopping. It's always embarrassing to have him meet my friends, since he is notably depauperate of social skills. He does his best, but that usually amounts to over-involvement. For example he wanted to pour milk in Cecelia's coffee instead of letting her do it herself. But I can't complain; he gave me $20 and lots of things to eat. We even had some vino to sip for the drive back to Charlottesville.

With Cecelia as my burden (a not egregious one, don't get me wrong) I couldn't do what I normally do: sleep and eat take-away with the folks. So she and I headed back over the mountain in the Dart. I had already done what I'd came for, to give my father finished projects and to pick up new ones to work. I also gathered up some electronic gear (mostly an "LA Metal" distortion pedal) for my low-fi studio musicianship.

We stopped at the old Folly Mills building on the corner of 613 and 872 to look around inside. In all my days, I've never looked in the building. I just never thought to (the no trespassing signs were never a big consideration). But with Cecelia and her attendant interest in the macabre, it was incumbent upon us to have a look. There wasn't much to see, really. The inside space has three different levels, though. Cecelia thought it looked like a place where one could squat (live rent free) if one had an inclination. We gathered some old slate shingles as momentos.

Cecelia has an idea that we should make stop-action moviews with roadkill animals. It would be like claymation, but done with corpses. Corpse-mation, if you will. So on the drive back to Charlottesville, we kept a look out for corpses. We found a nice deer rib cage on 613 and a beautiful red fox on I-64 coming down Afton Mountain. But the groundhog Cecelia tried to gather in northern Charlottesville smelled entirely too bad.

I can see how both daughters ended up being goths.
I took Cecelia to her house in the suburban hell that abuts Albemarle High School. And soon enough I'd met her father (a rather conventional looking guy with an almost undetectable accent) and her mother (a red head who speaks in broken English; she looks remarkably like Leticia). One has to take ones shoes off to enter the house. But it's a nicely kept and fairly large town house, decorated extremely sparsely with pastel colours. I can see how both daughters ended up being goths. The dominant colour in Cecelia's basement room is white, but it's all Victorian lace.

Cecelia and I made ourselves a little lunch of leftovers. I stuck mostly with vegetables while Cecelia cooked herself a hasty chicken drumstick. Both she and I have been rather hesitant to eat chicken since the weekend. On the 17th while we were at Blue Hole, Tiffany told an appalling story of someone who bit into a Chicken McNugget only to have their mouth sprayed with a mayonaise-like substance from some sort of disgusting tumour or cyst! Yah! Now that is gross. I used to like chicken, see.

I chatted some with Cecelia's mother. It could be that one of the reasons that Cecelia's mother seemed to like me is that I have a job. She suspects that I could be a good influence, you know; like most parents of goths, Cecelia's mother is worried.

I drove back home and slept from 3:30pm until work.

At Comet, I had a remarkably complex interaction in Sam 'n' Ellas Punk Rock Chat with a diversity of people: everyone from blixa to James to DART. James was trying to lord his biological knowledge over me with meaningless credentialism as I postulated that some day it might be possible to download DNA from electronic mass storage devices and make new human zygotes mechanically after using computer software to determine what traits the little synthetic will be endowed with.

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