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:
   standards of massage
Friday, March 12 1999
Some kind of construction down on the second floor resulted in creeping power outages in the main office where I work. We, the industrious and ever-antlike employees did what we could to route our power strips to the few plugs still carrying precious juice, crawling under desks and bumping our heads. Productivity sagged for most of Web Design and Marketing as we did our best at unfamiliar workstations, hoping to "maintain focus." At noon I decided to take a little vacation.
Kevin the DBA took me along when he went on an errand downtown to the "downtown networking room." This room is located in an ISP on the 12th floor of one of the spires of San Diego. It's the point of presence beyond the firewall where all the live company servers sit on racks serving up our site via high-bandwidth connections. I deal with these machines all day long across a T1 line from the office, but I'd never actually seen the machines before. It's an impressive and somewhat intimidating collection of hardware. More impressive still was the room itself, an immaculate windowed enclave with burnished aluminum racks and neatly-routed blue network cable, nothing at all like the chaos of the networking back at the office. Kevin is familiar to the guys running this ISP, and he can walk in without showing any credentials. But there's a guy just outside the server room at all times and I definitely felt like we were being watched. And why not? I'm sure this installation is worth a great deal, and the information it contains is worth even more. The thinly-veiled micro-activity was like a modern version of a library of books, but somehow also flowing with the force of Niagara Falls and the speed of light. The blinking indicators on tranquil beige boxes was a remarkable spectacle of the information age, but to everyone concerned it was familiar and unremarkable. To me, though, it was an impressive symbol of man's progress (for better or for worse) since that sunny day of his first deliberate arrowpoint. I felt like I'd emerged from a time machine 10 or more years into the future. This is what Comet.Net had aspired to become in the months during which it went from premier Charlottesville ISP to bankruptcy.
The employees were a multi-ethnic collection of dorks, one of whom chided me for bringing my ever-present tea mug into the server room.
I wondered what it was like to work in a downtown skyscraper. Things are different downtown. No one knows your name and everyone walks everywhere. Unlike on the East Coast, everyone exchanges eye contact on the busy sidewalks, so the social mind races. She's sexy, she's not, he's an old man, probably smoked a lot, that guy's probably gay, that little girl is going to grow up to be one hell of a sexy woman. She's Mexican or Chinese, I can't tell which; perhaps she's just "Pacific Rim." That's a cute dress.
During the anonymous wait for an elevator, a pretty blond girl with desperately-concealed acne was giving me the sidelong eye. When she disappeared with one last glance, Kevin said, "She's the kind of girl I'd have a one night stand with." I could tell Kevin was in a generally good mood, because nearly all he talked about was the girls as they passed. It was a beautiful day, so we ate Mexican outdoors within the open-air Horton Plaza.

Kim's friend Cindy came over this evening. She's the cousin of Pete (Ludmilla's boyfriend), and mixed in with the intelligent (though somewhat naïve) chit-chat were a few caustic remarks about that guy. Of late Cindy has been dating a genuine warm-blooded man and the effect on her life has apparently been dramatic (at least according to Eric the defense engineer). She's begun wearing makeup and fashionable black party dresses such as the one she was wearing tonight. She wants to look good for her man, but evidently it's carried beyond that. Her man has gone off somewhere for the next couple weeks, and she's dressing up simply because it's become a habit for her. She's not a little girl any more.
We drank some Pacificos and Anchor Steams and then hit the sushi place down on Newport, where we moved on sake and Sapporo. By the time we hit the bar across the street, Tony's, I was pretty much ripped.
In Tony's, we ran across another Kim, the massage therapist who works at the acupuncture place on the other end of our block. This the same Kim who'd found my Kim's keys when she'd lost them back in December. The new Kim was with her long-haired boyfriend and a number of girls, two of whom were speaking partly in sign language. We joined them just as a fraction of their numbers were heading outside for a smoke (believe it or not, in California all bars are non-smoking areas). I found myself sitting next to a couple of the miscellaneous girls and realizing that, though Kim was clearly the most beautiful of all these girls, I was still "interested" in the presence of additional females. I decided I was helpless to these feelings, and that they were a hard-wired aspect of my male programming. I told Kim of this observation, and she didn't take it very well despite the fact that it contained a compliment. She pulled Cindy aside and told her my observation, adding that she'd lost all remaining faith in men.
A little while later I was almost passed-out drunk and Cindy came over sat down next to me. For some reason she spontaneously proceeded to massage my neck and head. It felt wonderful given my sorry state, but it pissed Kim off. As a massage therapist, she saw this "massage" as amateurish and unnecessarily sexual. As she later told me, "it was the kind of massage a girl gives to her boyfriend as preparation for sex." Kim was embarrassed to have the other Kim witness these goings on. The other Kim is, you see, an "energy worker" in addition to being a professional massage therapist. My Kim felt that it was obvious to the other Kim that there had been no strong connection between us and that Cindy had slipped in to the void and taken advantage of the situation by providing me with a flagrantly sexual massage.
While the "massage" was happening, Cindy suddenly sensed Kim's growing rage and asked if it was okay to continue. Kim shot back with a wicked glare and a furious head shake and the "massage" evaporated. I was momentarily angry, seeing this as yet another unnecessary instance of Kim's jealousy. But when Kim explained her feelings to me later (as outlined in the preceding paragraph) I could sort of see her point. It was a socially stupid move for Cindy to begin giving me such a "massage" right after Kim had finished telling of her disappointment with my unfaithful inclinations.

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