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:
Wednesday, April 22 1998

en Fariello had suggested that I come to the Downtown Artspace in the afternoon to man the gallery so she could run errands and such. I agreed, and I even came early when she called me to tell me she needed me earlier than expected.

But when I got there, it was the same old same old, with lots of frantic activity, strangers, semi-strangers, friends and mild acquaintances. I didn't feel especially needed or useful, so I went off to the bank to deposit assorted checks in my possession.

When I came back, things had settled down. Jen Fariello and some anonymous actor dude with extremely bleached hair went off to do a photoshoot, levaing me alone in the gallery. So I worked on my musings, interrupted occasionally by things such as:

  • Nikolai came running in anxiously saying he'd seen the actor Paul Newman (with wife) on the Downtown Mall. Never content to leave a celebrity uncelebrated, Nikolai had of course felt compelled to run after him, chit chat, and invite him down into the gallery. But Newman evidently had other things to do today.

  • Then came Cory the Former Coffee Cart -now Burrito- Girl with Wacky Jen. Cory was in desperate search for a cheap airplane ticket to Europe, and had heard that "the Web" was a good place to look. So she wondered if I could help her, since she claimed to be entirely (and deliberatelty) ignorant of "computers." It was an irritating and time-consuming distraction, but I helped her anyway. I was very happy when Jen Fariello came in to say she didn't want her phone line tied up anymore.


  was at the Artspace for an incredibly long time. Evening descended and Nikolai wanted to work on a website for a band he says he will be joining once he moves to Chicago. The band is called Busride, and he's never played with them yet, but he had a tape to play to put me in the mood.

Nikolai's idea of what constitutes good web page design do not conform with any standards that I know. He likes web pages to look sort of like his art: busy, over-accessorized, and (taking full advantage of their non-static nature) moving. He goes for loud, contrasting colours, overlapping layers of text, unnecessary diacritical marks, huge background images, and massive animated GIFs. He thought it would be best if I could get text to fly around the page, but since that's kind of a tricky thing to do in Netscape 3.0, I thought I'd introduce him to the infamous <BLINK>  tag. I've never seen anyone lap up something so completely obnoxious so quickly.

The funny thing about all this was that Nikolai had no real content for these web pages. He had no discography, no album covers, no lyrics, no sound samples, no band biographies, no nothing. He just rooted around in piles of art and photography (some his own, some belonging to others) and ladled it heavily on the pages. Often he'd play around with the images in Photoshop for awhile, hitting it with every conceivable filter. It was brutal, I tell you.

The only real sense I ever had that I was doing anything of any quality was on the opening page, where I made an eye-to-mouth animated GIF. But it was so huge it that performed poorly on Jen Fariello's 120 MHz Macintosh.

The results eventually ended up online, but I doubt you'll see them in my web portfolio anytime soon.

Why was I spending all this time working on Nikolai's depressingly obnoxious website? I don't know, I guess I felt some sense of duty because he's been instrumental in what looks to be the imminent sale of Toby Far Afield. But Nikolai was a tough taskmaster. He didn't really seem to care that I hadn't eaten all day and that I was becoming cranky with hunger and lack of caffeine. He did eventually go get me a cup of coffee at the nearby Jewish Mother (a new bar/restaurant on the Mall), but the one who really saved me was Wacky Jen. She came by several times in the evening and sat with me while I was working on the depressingly horrendous website. At one point she went on a food run and got me a couple gorditas from Taco Bell as well as a twelve pack of Red Dog beer. That improved everything.

Others who came by in the evening included Kirstin the Eco-radical and her friend Leslie. In the state she was in, Leslie found Nikolai's art to be fabulous, and she bought some of his drawings right there on the spot.

By the time I'd given up on getting a free website at Tripod, it was late and Jen Fariello kicked us all out.


acky Jen drove Nikolai and me to a house on Graves Street in Belmont because Nikolai had things he needed to do there. It was the place once occupied by Jamie Dyer and David Sickman back when Jamie started wooing David's former wife. It's a fine old house with cheap rent, one Jessika had hoped to move into recently. The house is being sold and everybody is being forced out now. Tonight it was looking somewhat barren with the unusually harsh lamps reflecting on lumpy plaster walls painted in arbitrary primary colours. There were a few guys present, only a few of whom I knew, and wrestling was on the television (the television table was an old refrigerator that had been painted red. For mostly social reasons, I took a bong hit. I had no idea how fucked up I was soon going to be.

Suddenly watching the wrestling on teevee turned into a completely new experience. I was tuned in to the symbolized animal behaviours being presented, which included an awful lot of sexual content, especially when the muscular "girlfriends" of wrestlers were allowed to enter the ring and "work out for themselves" personal grudges allegedly developed while watching their men fight.

But the bong hit was too intense for me to pay attention to anything except my body. I felt waves of extreme tension sweep over me, causing me to tremble and even convulse. For a time I feared I might vomit, and then I started thinking my heart would explode.

Unfortunatelty, for all these negative physical symptoms, I had relatively minor changes in visual perception. I was kind of creeped out by the social situation, mainly because I felt I was being privy to something I shouldn't have been.

When Wacky Jen wanted to leave, Nikolai wasn't ready to go, but he came along anyway and she dropped him off at his place.


y miserable physical condition had improved phenomenally by the time we made it back to Kappa Mutha Fucka. I found myself telling Wacky Jen the whole Monster Boy - Rebecca - Dink Boy - Theresa sex & violence saga after we'd observed Dink Boy walking with his trademark gait down JPA.

Deya came home, at which point I guess Jessika finally felt comfortable to come down from her room.

We chatted for awhile about various topics, including how much we hate smoking marijuana.

one year ago

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