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:
   dealing with girls
Monday, March 30 1998

wanted to get things done today, specifically, I wanted to finish some projects for my Dad upon which I'd been procrastinating. There was a paper to type and a whole set of updates to my Dad's website that needed doing. But I was dogged at every stage by nagging little problems. I discovered that my version of Word for Windows 7.0 didn't naturally know how to save in HTML format. Interestingly, this hadn't been a problem until today; although this would have been a major problem a year and a half ago when I did a massive series of just that sort of translation using other equipment. Another problem was that my very handy, very elegant units conversion program suddenly decided it wouldn't work anymore, and my Dad's papers are heavily infested with feet-to-meters conversions that I (the typist) need to do. So I rode my bike through the almost oppressive summerlike heat to UVA's Olssen Hall and easily obtained from the Internet what I needed, Microsoft's abominable, inflexible, dunderheaded Internet Assistant (well known for inserting zillions of unwanted <FONT SIZE=X> and <FONT COLOR=YYYYYY> declarations; NO I DON'T WANT YOU TO BE MY DEFAULT HTML EDITOR, WHAT ARE YOU, CRAZY?) and something called Vulcan Converter (which still needs to be hacked).





eggy was visiting Jessika during a big part of the afternoon. They mostly stayed in Jessika's room as Jessika converted a window curtain into a dress. Peggy was planning on taking us shopping (as often happens when she's visting), but after I'd waited a long time for Jessika and Peggy to get in gear to go, Peggy decided not to go after all. By that time, I'd managed to complete the updates to my Dad's web site (though I still needed to upload them).

When I need to do something, I've found that it's always easier, faster and more fun to get on my bike and just do it myself. I'd wanted to go shopping mostly to obtain some electronic solder, so again I headed out. I had to return home a couple times to get things I'd forgotten, but eventually I made it to the nearest hardware store, Martin Hardware on Preston Avenue, which is pretty far away. After I had my solder, I returned to the dumpster from which I'd snagged my fully functional Pentium motherboard yesterday, but further examinations revealed nothing of any interest.

I went to the Downtown Artspace to order memory for Jen Fariello's Macintosh. I was going to do this weeks ago, but I wanted to see if using super-cheap DIMMs for PCs worked without problems on mother's Mac (they did). I was there mostly to make good on a past promise.



A financially-desperate woman was there with all her dark room supplies, eager to unload them for cheap in order to get her power turned back on at her house. Jen's feelings about photographic equipment are sort of like my feelings about computer equipment, that is, "you can never have too much." It makes sense in a way, because it's good to have a backup if a broken tool isn't working, and of course you can always network computers together. But it also reflects a strange gadget-obsession that seems to be an important part of becoming an expert in a technical field. Jen bought everything the woman had. She wasn't as interested in getting more memory for her Macintosh after that, even wondering a little why I was there. I felt kind of stupid for having even come. It seems like every time I go to the Artspace, I accomplish almost nothing. People are always showing up and distracting her, and she never pays me enough attention to allow me to explain complex subjects. It makes me wonder sometimes if all Jen does is a kind of socializing cloaked by professionalism. It seems to be making her money, whatever she's doing. One thing that had Jen very excited today was the possibility that a visting contingent of people from Playboy Magazine might possibly rent her space for whatever it is that Playboy Magazine does when it swings through a frat-infested college town.





ack at Kappa Mutha Fucka, I used my solder to attach more power connectors in my secondary Pentium box. In the midst of this, Jessika appeared on the stairs and asked why I never come out to play anymore. She was wearing a new blue wig and her freshly-tailored curtain dress. I didn't know what to say really.

I'm having familiar feelings of alienation related to Jessika, compounded in various ways by Deya. These feelings became very clear yesterday, and today they intensified. I feel like I have nothing in common with my housemates, and also like I'm acting completely artificial around them most of the time. I have nowhere to relax but my own room, and no one to really talk to at all. As comfortable as I usually am with girls, I'm also always on guard, and though it's something I didn't really notice at first, it's evidently been gradually eating at me. I'd never really considered what would happen to me if I spent all my time hanging out with girls, but today I realize it's driving me nuts.

Right now as I type, Jessika and Deya are off somewhere, and I feel a sense of relief that they're not downstairs wondering why I'm not hanging out with them. But I also have a certain insecurity that perhaps they're giving up on me.



Jessika and Deya don't understand me at all. To them I'm a glorified doll, really, with a strictly limited set of actions (in the universe of human actions) expected from me. When we're out, they babysit me. When I'm home, they monopolize my time getting me to play their games and go on their little outings. They discuss lots of things among themselves that I'm not privy to, even plans for events they intend to take me to. I know the things I want to do don't interest them, so I don't bother to ask. They don't like the news, they don't really like much of my music, they don't understand computers, and they don't know anything about nature or scientific principles. What's more, they're unskilled and unschooled in any fields that interest me. What they like to do is anything related to clothes, cooking and shopping. When they're doing these things, you can usually find me waiting and waiting and waiting.

Another thing I hate, and I know this sounds harsh but this is how I feel, is the fact that a large fraction of my housemates' friends have tiny ever-present human parasites crawling, squalling and puking all over them. How adorable. I hate babies. I love dead baby jokes.

None of these things were ever an issue when it was just me and Deya, but Jessika is far more demanding of both my attention and my time. Giving her this time and attention, I'm missing out on a more fulfilling, more interesting life.

The image in the background is a painting I did of my old girlfriend, Leslie Montalto.

one year ago

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next