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:
   worlds cohabitating
Monday, May 25 1998


  had a fitful night's sleep. There was one dream where I was the only person in a big crowd who was willing to rush forth to save various critters (babies and dogs, mostly) from several extremely vicious alligators in a small town in southern Virginia (where, in reality, Alligators cannot be found).


n the morning I came downstairs to find that the front porch was a complete disaster of melted purple and red candle wax. Evidently, someone had the brilliant idea that he/she could prove how very punk rock he/she was (perhaps with a view to impressing a possible sexual partner) by flicking wax all over the place. It was a bitch to clean up (requiring charcoal fluid as a solvent), and the whole time I did so, I muttered, cursed and mockingly sang about punk rockers and the anarchy that they don't even understand, the kind that only translates into me having to work extra hard after one of their infantile playschool sessions. Jessika was up too, and she tried to tell me it was probably just an accident, but I couldn't see how it could have been. Wax was absolutely everywhere. It must have taken a long time and lots of deliberation to have created that kind of chaos. Before I came here to Olssen Hall to upload my musings, I left a big sign on the porch that read

Go Away
or die
sorry, the party is somewhere else

I'm completely sick of even the idea of having friends, especially needy, juvenile people trying so very very hard to fit in and be cool. Losers, that's what they really are. It's so transparently obvious. Deya and I had big discussion about this yesterday, I forgot to mention.


kay, well perhaps I was over reacting. It turns out that the culprit for my problems wasn't those who I'd originally suspected, so I'm not mad anymore. But that doesn't mean those feelings articulated aren't pent up in me, affecting my every social decision.


ack at Kappa Mutha Fucka, I found Deya's mother Marianne had returned yet again to help with the arduous task of cleaning up the house. It's not easy to clean with so much crap still in the way, but she made do anyway, moving all the stuff out of our dining room and then sweeping and mopping it. When it was empty and clean, the space was easy to project my nostalgic visions, as if it was a holodeck. This was the room where Shira the Dog had birthed lifeless, legless stinky brown "pups," "pups" that had been left to dry by Shira's negligent owners, leaving marks evident to this day. This was also the room where Wilbur the Cockatiel's cage had hung before he panicked and set himself tragically free. For a period of time, Monster Boy had lived here as well.

For the Summer, Jessika and Deya have a sublet, a single large room to be shared by both of them, in a big mansion on Wertland Street close in to the Corner, directly across the street from the old location of Goth Central. It is to this one room that most of Kappa Mutha Fucka's communal property was to be moved in these last few days. Unfortunately, the room is entirely furnished, meaning that most of our furniture is unnecessary. We've sold some (at the yard sale), thrown some of it away and intend to get rid of even more. Matthew Hart is supposed to pick up some of his stuff, but he tends to be kind of unreliable about social and logistical deadlines with people (such as ourselves) who he is no longer trying to impress. Today there were many trips to the Wertland Street apartment to drop off crap. More on those in just a bit; they were actually rather interesting for their "worlds in collision" qualities .


arlier today, on the way back from UVA, I ran across one of the Brick Mansion in the 'Hood guys, a hippie Ecoradical named Jerry who often visits his nice hippie girlfriend living in a hippie house on Washington Street (only a block away from Kappa Mutha Fucka). When I told Jerry I was thinking of going on a road trip, he suggested I consider buying his old Audi. He said it has some door latch and power windows problems, but it runs just fine. He only wants $700, so I started considering the question of possibly buying it.

Sarah Kleiner, having Memorial Day off from classes at Tandem School, showed up in her old Volvo to help us with the task of moving stuff to the Wertland Mansion. I rode with her on one of the deliveries, and had her stop at the Brick Mansion to look at the Audi. It had a number of dents in the side near the front and back (I pictured the "so stoned" driver shouting "Whoah!" as he careened gently into a beloved tree) and one of the windows had been duct-taped shut. But, unlike any car I've ever owned, it had very little rust and the interior looked to be in good shape. Jerry wasn't home, but his housemates said a few helpful things such as that it "runs good."


ext stop was the Wertland Mansion. I'd never been there before but had heard Jessika and Deya talk about the place. They described it as being populated by "frat boys" - not real frat boys, but boys who looked and acted like frat boys. Boy, did they ever. In their bathroom they had a big poster of a scantilly clad blond babe. In the room across from Jessika and Deya's room was a mammoth black and white close-up of a supermodel's million dollar face. Stolen street signs decorated the hallways in a few places; for example, above the men's room hung a sign advising "NO DUMPING." Get it? Har har.

As we weirdos passed the normal residents on the stairs, they'd say "hi" maybe once and then try to pretend we weren't there. They had the frat boy haircuts, the frat boy clothes, the look most of God's America is shooting for, but to me, submerged as I've been in the gratuitously counter-cultural, it's just alien. Where were the facial piercings, the rude hair dyes, the, I don't know, stained tee shirt, to provide a slight reassuring indication of rebellious sentiments? For them, in regard to us, it was no doubt the same thing. They were wondering what they were setting themselves up for. They'd already seen Jessika and Deya, who, with the exception of some of their clothing choices, aren't too out there. But throughout the day we provided a steady parade of increasingly bizarre people helping their new summer housemates move in. First it was me and Sarah Kleiner. I had big baggy blue pants, combat boots and a sweaty teeshirt emblazoned with a message in Swedish: "Mr. Bygg 'ökar din räckvidd'" Sarah had (omigod!) a nose ring, obviously bleached hair and not especially dainty footwear. Later in the day we had Johnny Boom Boom with us. He has a pierced lip, a strange little orange cap, and ripped jeans covered with hand-stenciled slogans rolled up high over his meticulously-tied combat boots. The kicker was when Wacky Jen joined us on a delivery; she recently dyed her hair very very blue, the sort of thing never seen anywhere near guys like these.

In the evening these clean cut American guys all had a barbecue on the front porch of the Wertland Mansion. About a dozen of them showed up for it. They all looked exactly the same to my eye, and, interestingly, there were no girls at all. Not a single one. It was a big fat sausage party that they were having. Now, these guys obviously like girls (judging by how they decorate), but they apparently only want to get near them when they're sporting boners. They are evidently unfamiliar with the concept of socializing with girls. I understood tonight's particular lack of females better once I had discovered that after the guys had eaten, they'd all gathered in one of the rooms to do the one activity most calculated to alienate the ladies: watching football (or some such sport). Do people even play football this time of year? I don't know, I don't care. None of my friends care either. In general we all share a complete lack of interest in all things athletic. I remember afternoons back in high school when I would sit in the principal's office bad boy chair in preference to attending the mandatory pep rallies.


ohnny Boom Boom and Sarah Kleiner vanished, leaving Deya, Jessika, Wacky Jen and me hanging out in the suddenly very cluttered room Deya and Jessika will somehow share this summer. We had a sort of party, eating Jelly Bellies until we were giddy and slightly ill, sort of like a five year old's idea of the perfect party. Later we went down to sit on the mansion's wide front porch. We were exhausted and, despite the Jelly Bellies, hungry. Provisions for making tacos had been purchased a couple days ago, so we decided to go back to Kappa Mutha Fucka for a sort of last supper.

I rode with Wacky Jen and we stopped at her place on the way to fetch some cheese and sour cream. As she drove, she told me that when she was a kid, her family ate tacos whenever they felt like preparing something kind of ethnic. One of her grandmothers in Wisconsin is so fixed in the Protestant culture that she won't eat spaghetti; it's tainted by unappetizing Catholic immigrant associations. I told Jen that my Dad is from a German Catholic family in Wisconsin and went on to recount the prejudices instilled in him. As a kid in the 20s, my Dad only knew of a few Lutherans (suspiciously "across town"), some Jews who came around periodically to collect rags, and bands of gypsies who would arrive in wagon trains, set up camp in a field, and steal everything not nailed down.

As we prepared and ate our tacos, I played an obscure Heart LP (one of the few things not yet packed up). With full stomachs, we soon became sleepy, but Deya and I fought this feeling and rallied, carrying off large amounts of stuff and throwing it away in the huge trash pile behind the adjacent apartment complex.

Wacky Jen headed off to her parents' place in Lexington (35 miles south of Staunton) and we housemates all went to bed fairly early. This was to be our last night in Kappa Mutha Fucka.


one year ago

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