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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   tussin's effects on painters and models
Sunday, March 2 1997

Thing to say today: heaven may just be a big archive in the sky.

According to the article, URLs have a half life of only 44 days.
I had an interesting e-mail from someone who had read in the March Issue of Scientific American about someone who is archiving the complete publicly-available content of the Internet for cultural reasons. The individual writing was pleased because, along with American presidential election coverage would be the Big Fun Glossary and these musings. I wanted to read the article, but could find no place on the Corner that sold the magazine and so was forced to go to the Clemons Library at UVA. I am very interested in the subject of extremely-long term information archiving, which is beset by so many subtle problems as to make it a field far more complex than one would think initially. Not only must data be archived in a seemingly permanent way, but it must be encoded in a way that can be read by equipment that will exist at all or distant points in the future. Biology keeps information archived in DNA, but the constant revising necessary for survival in a changing world slowly destroys most traces of the earliest version in living forms. Fossil DNA is fragmentary and hard to interpret, but a surprising amount of success is being had in resurrecting genes of fossil animals. What about the information on the Internet? According to the article, URLs have a half life of only 44 days. That means that half the links in the Big Fun Glossary to external sites were bad 44 days after I had created them! Preserving the state of the Internet occasionally preserves a record of our culture along with a record of the current Internet biases (for example, a bias towards the English language). Pseudo-scientific bullshit which would surely make my father wince: we can always cast copies of these archives into the oceans of the universe for space aliens to find like messages in bottles. For me, as someone who hopes to have made an impact on the world by the time I die, internet archival is a possible form of... uh... how about "eternity." Heaven may just be a big archive in the sky. Here is my life so that the future may know. There are others more worthy of leaving their mark, surely, but if they don't leave their mark, it is their fault. By the way, the archive of the Web itself is expected to require 2 terabytes of storage (two thousand thousand million bytes) of information. I expect to see hard drives that big costing $200 sometime during my lifetime. I already have 1 tenth of one percent of that amount of storage on the hard drives in my Shaque in Staunton.

At my house, those housemates who paint (Ches, Andrew, Elizabeth and John) were busy preparing canvases for a session of painting. Cecelia the Brazilian Girl had agreed to pose for them. Soon both Brazilian Girls (Cecelia and Leticia) arrived with Monster Boy. I was just then starting to clean my room, which has become an unsanitary rats nest over the past couple of months.

The air was warm (almost hot) and humid. It was so warm that the door and many of the windows had been flung open wide. John drove me and the goths to the Barracks Road shopping center so that we could get wine, beer, tussin, and Dextromethorphan-containing gel caps. Cecelia and I had intentions of tussing today, see. As for the weather, it couldn't have been a better day for tussin.

I should note that Monster Boy had never seen anyone down 4 ounces of cough syrup as quickly as me.
Back at the Dynashack, the goths and I began drinking the Mooseheads I'd bought while the housemates worked out the tricky details of cramming five artists (I'd decided to paint too), Cecelia and four easels into the combined space of Andrew's room and the living room. Complicating matters was the fact that Penley, Elizabeth and John were painting on huge canvases (more than sixteen square feet each).

I went outside and drank my extra-strength Kroger Tussin (containing, in total, 295mg of Dextromethorphan and 600mg of pseudoephedrine as active ingredients). Cecelia's gel caps contained, in total, a slightly larger dose of both ingredients. But she only ate some of the gel caps and augmented that with a small container (1 ounce) of some Dextromethorphan-containing cough syrup. I should note that Monster Boy had never seen anyone down 4 ounces of cough syrup as quickly as me. I met his surprise with, "why fuck around?"

At some point Monster Boy revealed some of what he knew of my blackout phase during the night of the 28th. It seems that the second place we'd gone to had been Carter's Mountain, which is one of the low but rugged nearby mountains just to the south of Charlottesville. It is where the famous wreck in Jesse's truck took place (see the Dec. 23rd entry). Well, it seems that I had passed out in the back of Hobi's car and Jesse and Monster Boy carried me to the edge of a bonfire they had started. But I remained virtually comatose and my friends became worried. Then, after I'd been returned to Hobi's car and been clawed and kissed by an equally-intoxicated (but far more mobile) Theresa and after I'd puked on Hobi's car, I got a ride back to my place in Monster Boy's car. I rode in the back with Theresa and something fairly fucked up (of a half-assed sexual nature) apparently took place during the whole of that ride. Monster Boy isn't sure what happened. Perhaps he didn't want to know. After many observations by me and others I have reached the conclusion that all people (without exceptions) are oversexed while in blackout. It isn't just my problem.

Since Cecelia was doing the modeling, the housemates had agreed to play music suitable for her. Thus we started out with my Dead Can Dance CD and moved on through Elizabeth's Joy Division CD, both played on Andrew's stereo.

I started out painting with intentions of creating something worthwhile, using acrylic on cardboard. But as the tussin kicked in, I soon lost my drive. I felt too much energy in my body and a tendency to fall into a listless trance. Eventually I went outside and sat on a couch and chatted with Leticia. Monster Boy went off to work.

Cecelia was dressed in black and purple with long feathers in her hair and all manner of netting and and jewelry flourishing gothicly on her arms and forming a complex envelope over her skirt. She had trouble holding still at first, but as the tussin kicked in she settled down and became a statue. I myself felt like a statue. I was in a extremely good mood, but I was unsettled by the fact that I could accomplish nothing. I chatted some with Steve and Ches in the kitchen about the Internet Archiving project. Conversation is fun and completely stress-free on tussin. Simple social graces seem to come naturally and they feel sincere to extend. I was enthusiastic about all the paintings being painted and freely complemented all the artists on their works.

Cecelia and I went into my room and played music for a very long time; she on keyboard and me on guitar. It took awhile to get everything sounding reasonable together (this was no doubt complicated by the tussin), but then we fell into an endless trance...she playing a simple note progression over and over to the canned drummer in the keyboard and me playing mostly base lines. I broke yet another string on my guitar in all of this and had to cope with having only three strings!

Then Cecelia modeled even more for the housemates while I sat in the same room, like a statue. The lesson from this experience is that tussin is a good drug for artistic models but it is of no use for an artist.

I went into an intense phase that would have been a freak out had I not been prepared.
Cecelia and I went west on Wertland to the Horrid Crash Pad in the Wertland Apartments adjacent to Dead Man's Curve. The few people there, all men, were unknown to me except for Jeremey, the guy who lives there and is missing a front tooth. We were there for only a short time before we'd smoked some pot. The pot had the effect of bringing forth the full force of the little remaining Dextromethorphan still in my circulation. I went into an intense phase that would have been a freak out had I not been prepared. Some vaguely annoying girl who I have never met before showed up at a certain point. When one of the guys set off for the store to pick up smokes, I gave him $5 to pick up a 12 of Beast Ice.

Cecelia and I met Monster Boy at my house after he got off work at midnight and we set off for the Corner. We had hopes of smoking more pot. You have to understand, Monster Boy was now completely sober and did not wish to remain so. The only sporting thing to do was to see to it that he got some form of drug into his system. Monster Boy does not like the Horrid Crash Pad, but in this case, if he wanted to enter an altered state it was going to be essential for him to grimace and bear it. I was being very blunt about the Machiavellian social engineering we were doing. I said that I'd bought the Beast Ice and left it at the Horrid Crash Pad not as any form of benevolent gesture, but as a toehold on bowls of pot to be passed around in the future.

I would have bought my friends drinks but by this time my wallet had been depleted, a fact I loudly proclaimed to all within earshot.
But no one was at Jeremey's Horrid Crash Pad. We checked the St. Marten's Café on 14th St., where he said he'd be, but he wasn't there either.

We ran across him and the vaguely annoying girl outside the Orbit, and she invited us back to the Horrid Crash Pad. It seemed like everything was falling in place. Propelled by inertia, though, I took them both into the Orbit. We were about to turn back, but I'd received an enthusiastic acknowledgement by Savitri (who now works there, it would seem) and I felt I should say hi. I would have bought my friends drinks but by this time my wallet had been depleted, a fact I loudly proclaimed to all within earshot.

At the Horrid Crash Pad, we sat with Jeremy and the vaguely annoying girl and smoked lots of pot and told the most hilarious series of jokes and stories. For some reason I was exceptionally lucid and my wit seemed to me to be manifesting with perfect timing. This may have been a lingering effect of the tussin. For example, when the subject of a drug containing a red powder came up, I asked if it was "ground up firetrucks." As stoned as we were we laughed and laughed at that one. Another amusing situation came when the vaguely annoying girl told a joke about gay people and neither Monster Boy nor I laughed. She quickly followed with a disclaimer that she didn't mean to offend any gay or bisexual people. To this I said, "No, I think we should ship all the faggots to Siberia and make them piss in the snow!" She became horribly embarrassed and buried her head in her arms. By the end of our little visit, it is fair to say that I was left with a very favourable assessment of Jeremey's intelligence.

Read some more tales of tussin.

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