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:
   yard saling at night
Friday, May 22 1998


n the morning I came down the stairs to find what looked to be a Steinbeckian flop house. There was some mysterious dude sleeping on Jessika's leopard print day bed with what looked to be Jatasya sleeping on the floor beside him under the same blanket. Maybe the dude was her boyfriend, the guy with little cat turd dreadlocks attached to an otherwise shaved head, conclusively demonstrating that he just can't let go. Over on the other couch, the striped Monster Boy couch we're going to have to dispose of in less than a week, lay some completely unfamiliar goth dude. Meanwhile Morgan Anarchy lay sleeping on the seldom-used hammock in the back. The huge morning population of Kappa Mutha Fucka seemed to run counter to the stated goals of both of my housemates, namely, less hanging out, fewer drunks, less drinking, and (overall) less gratuitous punk rock coolness (so that the task of packing, cleaning and moving may be accomplished without distraction). But who was I to ask questions? I had gone to bed last night; I had no way of knowing what circumstances had brought these people to my house.

Later on, much later on (for these people are the kind who awaken at noon), Jatasya and friend had vanished, Morgan Anarchy stumbled from the hammock to his feet to bum that first golden cigarette, and Johnny Boom Boom came down from Jessika's room for a refreshing smoke.

Mostly what all this activity meant to me was that I could get in gear and start cleaning, patching and fixing this house from which we must soon depart. Those who had spent the night were mere obstacles to me in what I needed to do.

And obstacles they were. The goth guy was one of those loathsome types who needs to have his music playing continually. Since the downstairs CD player is a temperamental, contemptible device I bought at Snooky's (never buy anything at a pawn shop!), it utterly refused to play the goth CD he'd brought, and he had to settle on my CDs, from which he played Pantera and L7 (hardly goth, but that is what he played). But he wasn't content with just putting on a CD and listening to it, no, he felt the need to skip forwards and backwards to songs he wanted to hear in the order he wanted to hear them. You know, Josh Furr was the same way, and he's in jail now on the charge of attempted murder.

Deya went on several errands to pick up things: little screen clips for the obscure antique screen door broken by the excesses of Theresa and a weedeater for our terribly overgrown lawn (which has been mowed exactly once). She came back with screen clips that I eventually found a way to use, but no rental place was renting weedeaters for "insurance reasons." But then I heard a lawnmower start up behind the house and saw that Deya had commandeered the mower of Angela, our friendly cat-loving English neighbor (at the time off at work, though many months ago she'd told us we could use it). Deya was managing to use it against the long grass by tipping it backwards at something like 45 degrees. In no time at all she'd done most of the back yard. At that point I took over and did the rest. Wow, it felt effortless, certainly compared to the progress we'd been making with a one-hand scythe. But soon I was exhausted and sopping wet with sweat.

Meanwhile that goth dude had grown so desperate to hear his goth music that he'd gone up to my room and started playing his CD on my computer (the one I'm now using to type this account). Now, I didn't know this goth dude at all, so it seemed presumptuous for him to be in my room, my place of escape. When I encountered him there, he asked if it was okay for him to be there, and what else could I say but that it was fine? But then I started feeling resentful that I couldn't continue cleaning my room as I needed to, and I bitched to Jessika, asking why she had to bring home so many damn people last night. She said that the poor goth dude had been "stranded" in Charlottesville, but she offered to kick him out of my room all the same. And of course the goth dude told Jessika that I'd said it was okay for him to be there.

There was a plan afoot to have a yard sale as a means of getting rid of some of the accumulated crap in our household. Johnny Boom Boom and Morgan Anarchy made signs, sipping on fake vino as they did so. On a whim, they decided to schedule the yard sale for 10pm tonight; that's about the time Johnny Boom Boom reaches maximum energy.

Eventually Deya took all the extra people away, leaving just Jessika and me, and shortly thereafter Jessika set off for her job at the Jefferson Theatre. Ah, the house was finally deliciously empty, so I took a bath.

In the evening, Deya and I cleaned out the basement. We piled up all the useless junk we found down there next to the fence of one of the adjacent apartment complexes so later, after dark, we could sneak it all down to a huge trash pile that accumulates at this time every year.


'm watching a fascinating show about the death penalty on A&E (carried for these last few days on ever-reliable pirated cable). The death penalty has always fascinated me, especially the goriest kinds. As a child I often drew pictures of beheadings, hangings, and uniquely disgusting killings carried out only in the minds of eight year old boys.

There were only a few years in this country during which the death penalty did not exist, 1972-1976. It just so happens that this period coincided with the emergence of my awareness of what authorities may do to bad people to enforce the law. I was four in 1972, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional. I don't remember this happening, all I knew as I grew up was that governments in the United States didn't kill people, no matter how bad they were. The execution of Gary Gilmore in 1976 came as a serious shock; it seemed like an archaic throwback. I never dreamed in those days there would ever be a day like today, when executions are so common in this country that they barely constitute national news.


hen Deya and I got around to disposing of the basement trash, everything went smoothly except that some stupid girl was trying to make her dog go potty in the yard I was trying to sneak across, and I didn't want her to freak out and call the cops or anything bad like that. The girl was evidently a natural blond or something, because she couldn't figure out why her dog was refusing to evacuate its bowels. But it was obvious to me; the dog was distracted by my creeping around carrying stuff and couldn't concentrate on the task at hand. If the girl had actually been walking her dog, this wouldn't have been a problem, because the scenery would have soon changed.

Deya and I didn't want to deal with people after a whole day of working our asses off, so we decided to reschedule the yard sale for tomorrow morning. This wasn't hard, since no one had bothered to put up any of the signs that had been made.


ut we didn't consider the word-of-mouth factor; soon we were descended upon by lots and lots of people, girls mostly, all here to shop at our yard sale and, incidentally, party as if it was 1999. Deya and I had been drinking vodkatea, and though I was in a merry mood, having gone from cranky to sociable, Deya remained true to her feelings arrived at while sober. Was that a complex sentence or what?


ell, to make a very long story uncharacteristically short, the party ended up moving to the water tower on the hill above Fontaine Avenue. A bonfire was built, some of us (including me) climbed the tower (though I was frightened by how drunk I was), while others stayed on the ground or tried to climb but failed. In crossing the fence, I managed to tear my pants severely enough that I had to be careful how I sat or else my balls would hang out unappetizingly. Jatasya was there, making more sense than I'm used to her making of late. She told me that her boyfriend has gone away. Perhaps this had something to do with her coming out of her shell. She was, by the way, among those unable to climb the tower.

Eventually Esther the Triplet asked me to show her the way back to Kappa Mutha Fucka on foot. We stopped on the way at the Amoco for fries and chicken, paid for by a ten dollar bill I'd found today. As we walked down Fontaine eating and laughing, we were alerted by a girl's screaming and crying. We ran to see what was the matter and saw that her seven year old shaggy white and orange cat lay in the street still and bloody, quite obviously dead. We offered to help the girl, but she was embarrassed by her emotions and carried her cat away to mourn in private.


one year ago

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