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:
   Jessika's job interview
Wednesday, March 18 1998

essika had written "JESSIKA OWES GUS ONE DOLLAR AND TWENTY FIVE CENTS AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT!" in enormous letters on the refrigerator with a water-soluble felt-tipped pen. She'd also left a 12:50am answering machine message claiming to be "Thomas" from the Outback Lodge and speaking in her Kirstin the Eco-radical voice. She still seemed kind of mad about the $1.25 incident when I came across her preparing her eggy slime for breakfast.


nough, enough! The prospect of being pelted by even one more Hello Kitty doll or Leonardo deCaprio biographic colouring book is even more than I can bear. I take back everything bad I ever said about a certain Mayonnaise Jar. Evidently Miss Mayonnaise (who, I have learned, is only thirteen) has rallied her friends to her defense in response to my off-handed labeling of her site as "dreadful." But I've had a change of heart since October, folks. Loud and unexpected MIDIs have a distinct classiness about them that transcends their superficial kitschiness. And endless pastel graphics interspersed with dryly witty adolescent observation has an uncanny magnetism you simply can't find in Tolstoy or Dickens. Leave me alone, web people of tomorrow, I'm an unemployed loveless old man!

Of late I've experienced a strange and unfamiliar malaise. I suddenly feel like my creative and intellectual powers aren't especially formidable. I feel like I'm not creating in anywhere near the quantities of other creative people (I feel lazy.), and that even if I did create things, they would just be crap (I feel like I lack talent.). This is an unusual emotional situation for me. Normally my internalized arrogance far exceeds what I allow to manifest at the surface.


essika and I made some sort of bean dip, ate a bunch of it with corn chips, and then she prepared for (get this) a job interview. Yes, Monster Boy had told her of an opening where he works, in what's known as Central Services at the University Hospital. The only skill he says she must know for the position of Central Services technician is how to run an autoclave, which is about as difficult to master as a microwave oven. Jessika didn't know how to dress for a hospital job interview. Her hair is kind of freaky, what with the big dark roots and bleached tips, so I thought maybe a black wig was in order. "Try to look like Monster Boy," I advised. At first she dressed with a sort of femme look, but then thought a simpler get up was more in order.

We caught a student bus to the hospital. But we quickly became mired in the complexity that is the University Hospital, climbing stairs into whole floors that, while fully equipped with the latest high-tech medical equipment, looked as if they'd been depopulated by a neutron bomb. Untracing our steps (with various levels of success) and asking lots of directions, we finally located Central Services, which appeared to be a big room with a front desk. I waited in the lobby downstairs during Jessika's interview, reading an article in the New Yorker about Bill Clinton's post-presidential future. An Amish couple sat near me; the back of the husband's head was shaved well up into the hairline. I wonder what his medical problem was. Barn Raiser's Neck, perhaps?

When Jessika materialized, she had all the blue paper clothes she'd been required to wear on a tour of the facility. Central Services supplies the hospital with all its sterile gear, so they tend to be just a little anally retentive about the smelly human bodies that work there. Jessika said that her interviewer has asked if she knew Shonan. She'd told him that she sort of did (about the only thing she ever saw him do was kissing Kelly rockstar on the Kappa Mutha Fucka floor) and he responded with something to the effect that if she really did know him, they'd hire her immediately. Shonan is regarded as something of a hero around there. Monster Boy, after all, got his job on Shonan's word alone. Even so, Jessika didn't get the impression that Monster Boy was well regarded around there. "He's mainly here so we can pick on him," her interviewer said.

We walked over to Cocke Hall and checked our email and such. Jessika read my musings, of course, and happily, she didn't feel the need to make lots of irritating little comments. If I ever have anything very interesting to say about her (or her relationship with me) I'll have to do it in some place she can't find. Good thing I have a mailing list.

We used Jessika's blue paper medical clown suit to smuggle out a pack of printer paper for our house. The consultant was on duty, so we had to take measures of sneakiness.

We walked throughout the middle of grounds, going through buildings to look for free stuff. We didn't find much, and between buildings the rain gradually made us miserable. At a certain point we hopped a bus which went in the completely wrong direction, out to Ivy Road near the Tokyo Rose. After we'd made it back to where our bus ride had begun, we attempted to wait for another bus, but none of the right kind was coming and the rain was relentless. A dark drop of dissolved eyeliner ran down Jessika's cheek. When the weather calmed down, we walked home.

one year ago

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