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:
   success with brand disloyalty
Sunday, March 16 1997

Odd thing to say today: there's a kind of fire you have to conceal to have a hope of putting it out.

I'm at UVA's Cocke Hall as usual for a Sunday. Rami, aka Bad Ironing Board, was here. He's working on creating a web page. I know not where.

skip this paragraph if you are eating

It occurs to me that I should make a videotape of my travails with toilets that are "out of order" so to speak.
I went to the bathroom and walked into a stall, and wouldn't you know, the mad non-flusher had struck again. His output, at which I only glanced for a moment, was a particularly dreadful dark brown hue and shaped like a melting lump of icecream. It was about the size of an average lady's fist. Since the toilet was one of those newer-model ones with a long shallow slope leading down from the front to the water, there was a sort of porcelain "beach" available and that's where the monstrosity lay. It occurs to me that I should make a videotape of my travails with toilets that are "out of order" so to speak.

...and a crack in the front fiberglass from a "run in" with a utility pole guy wire on Wertland Street.
As I passed 13th Street on my way home to the Dynashack, I came upon the strange scene of Persad, Theresa, Monster Boy and Deya, all armed with cans of glossy black spray paint, transforming the colour of Theresa and Persad's decorated white old-model Chevrolet Monte Carlo. I joined them in the task and touched up some thin spots. The paint job applied was pretty horrible, with lots of thick places running down in humps through thin places. But it succeeded in its mission of making the car look more normal. The old silver and black decorations had done nothing but draw attention to the car, which, among other things, bears a "REJECTION" Virginia Inspection Sticker and a crack in the front fiberglass from a "run in" with a utility pole guy wire on Wertland Street.

Monster Boy, Deya and I were kind of hungry, so we went first to Little John's on the Corner in hopes that Monster Boy's raver lackeys would be there to feed us for free. Not only would I have to be a goth, but so now would Deya. She was looking more glamourous than goth today, what with her fake snow-leopard-skin jacket and her new bleached rock-star haircut.

But our raver chums weren't working. Instead we went to Gumby's on 14th Street and ordered a 16 inch pizza, half mushrooms and half black olives. It only cost $6.40. Gumby's makes the absolutely cheapest pizza in town, and it tastes like the absolutely cheapest pizza in town. While we waited for the pizza to be finished, we joked about how Gumby's only employs Charlottesville's most notorious burn-outs. The place frequently bears the distinct aroma of marijuana. But damn, the pizza sure is cheap. And when you get a one-topping pizza, you can actually get two toppings applied to two different regions such that some slices are "crossover pieces" and actually contain two toppings. The more stoned the employees, the better such "crossover pieces" are. Monster Boy Glenn fondly recounted for me the night in the Fall when Matthew Hart (who was then a driver for Gumby's) was terribly trashed on tequila and drove Monster Boy and Jessika on a delivery run simply in exchange for some free pizza. At the destination he allegedly threw the pizza down and shouted, "Here's your fucking pizza!" Needless to say, the complaints Gumby's received that night led to Matthew Hart's firing.

We ate the pizza back at my house while Steve flipped the teevee between basketball and soccer games. I told the others I was too tired to continue like this (having awoken so early) so I went off to take a two hour nap.

When I awoke I found Deya and Monster Boy in the Dynashack kitchen. They'd been to Goth Central and apparently were under the impression that Theresa's sister Angela was going to be getting tequila tonight. Tequila is always a popular beverage if only for its power to make into lunatics those people who can normally handle being drunk.

We first watched videotapes of the Pisces Party and Friday night.

At Goth Central, there was no tequila. No one had bothered to note that you can't buy liquor on Sundays in Virginia. So Angela had picked up a bottle of Carlo Rossi Paisano instead. She was there with her boyfriend Aaron while Theresa and Persad were out finding a movie to rent. I played Monster Boy in a game of chess and defeated him soundly. I had an idea for a drinking game using a specialized chess board with oversized pieces fashioned into shot glasses. When pieces are captured, they have to be drunk by the loser.

When Theresa and Persad returned, we all went to Monster Boy's house (the Hillel Jewish Center) to watch the movie. The Goth Central teevee is in such miserable condition as to be essentially useless; every movie ends up looking like Liquid Sky.

I knew that we'd be craving food of exactly that sort later that evening.
On the way to Monster Boy's house, Monster Boy and I went to Kroger to get another bottle of vino. Carlo Rossi is no longer nearly as cheap as it used to be, so we decided to be experimental and picked up a 3 litre bottle of "Almaden Mountain Burgundy" in a nice tear-shaped bottle. It was even sealed by an actual cork. On a whim I also bought a huge 24 oz. bag of flavoured corn chips made by the Utz corporation. Such a bag normally costs four dollars, but it was on sale for $2.40 or something like that. I knew that we'd be craving food of exactly that sort later that evening.

Theresa at Goth Central.
From left: Theresa, Aaron and Angela at Goth Central.
From left: Monster Boy, Angela and Persad eat chips and watch tee vee at Monster Boy's place.
Mostly-empty bottles of vino, mostly-empty bags of chips, magazines and unfinished projects litter Monster Boy's floor.
The movie we watched was Four Rooms, which is divided into four mostly-unrelated stories that are unified by the Wizard of Oz-tin-manesque bellhop who interacts intimately with the characters in each of the four tales. We smoked some pot before the movie got going. At first, I was not particularly impressed with it. In the first story I have to admit that the only thing that really caught my attention was the few topless witches of the witch coven. But their toplessness was gratuitous. The second story was pretty dull as well. The third though was wonderful. It was called "The Misbehaviors" and concerned a suave macho man and his wife setting out for New Year's Eve on the town while leaving the mischievious kids behind. Not wanting to employ a possibly pedophilic babysitter, the father tips our hero, the bellhop, $500 to keep an eye on the kids. The thing that made this story so good was its keen insight into human personality and psychology. Everything was a dramatic series of measures and counter-measures and counter-counter-measures. The father could bluster and threaten, but the bellhop knew that he had no choice but to turn to the bellhop for child care at that particular late stage of the evening, and so held out for the big money. The children meanwhile worked their own measures on the bellhop, who was frazzled by the experience. In the end the apartment is in flames and both the children and the bellhop have discovered that the odour in the air is not someone's feet but "the goods" on the father, so to speak. The last tale is a rework of the classic Hitchcock story of someone risking the loss of his finger in exchange for the possibility of owning a car based on the reliability of a cigarette lighter. This story's coolest attribute is the way it subverts all notions of suspense. Each of the stories is written and directed by different people. So there is an inevitable loss of coherence. But the acting throughout was similar. Monster Boy remarked that it was animated and cartoonish. It definitely wasn't a modern style of acting. It was more like 30s acting. In its own way it was beautiful for its sheer anachronism. Like most things anachronistic, it appealed greatly to the goths.

Somewhere during the watching of the movie, Monster Boy busted into the huge bag of chips. We all stuffed hanfulls of chips into our mouths endlessly. Our satitiation conincided almost perfectly with the end of the bag. Everyone remarked on how wonderful the chips had been. They tasted like Doritos®, but they didn't have nearly so much yellow cheesy gunk on each chip. Thus they had a more subtle flavour and more of them could be eaten. The Almaden wine we'd purchased was also very good. It's more sophisticated-tasting than Carlo Rossi. Looks like we'll be drinking more Almaden in the future.

We watched much of Joe Christ's Sex, Blood and Mutilation again. I like it more every time I see it though it's such a piece of voyeuristic crap.

Monster Boy was anxious that so many of us hanging out in his room might soon raise the ire of the German neighbor (and I was ready with the video camera for just such an incident), so when Angela, Aaron, Theresa and Persad had gone, Deya, Monster Boy and I went to my house. Monster Boy brought some of his own CDs; stuff like Marilyn Manson.

She claimed she had heard of the Big Fun Glossary, however, and that impressed Monster Boy.
I found myself falling asleep, but when Monster Boy suggested we go try to get free food from Little Johns' ravers, I rallied. The ravers weren't there of course, so, in an effort to warm up, we went to the Espresso Corner. An attractive girl (with long dark blond hair and exposed arms and shoulders) was running the counter and Monster Boy was interested in meeting her. He was encouraged when she gave him a soon-to-be-day-old Lemon and Poppy Seed muffin for free. But then when he encouraged her to join us on the couch (even pointing me out as a writer of some import) she said she couldn't; she had to work "a double" tomorrow. She claimed she had heard of the Big Fun Glossary, however, and that impressed Monster Boy.

We ended up going into the Orbit Billiard Parlour and I ordered Bass Ales for Monster and myself from Savitri, the bartender. Monster Boy was amazed at all the people who knew me there, but he didn't enjoy the atmosphere very much. As we walked back to the Dynashack I commented that what we need is a place where we can go and hang out with cool people like ourselves. Such a statement is a ridiculous truism, I know, but I said it anyway and naturally Monster Boy agreed.

I passed out in my bed and don't remember the others leaving.

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