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Archive for October, 2005

DC Blogs Noted:

Posted in DC Blogs Noted on October 17th, 2005 by dcblogs
Fine Wine, Human Suffering Happy Pants! This meditation on poverty begins after this writer spends a couple of hundred dollars on wine (Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella recommended), and then sees the movie, The Constant Gardner. An outstanding essay. An excerpt:

I was quiet on the car ride home. All I could think about was how the VAST majority of people on the planet live in poverty. Not a simple majority, but an overwhelming majority. It’s easy to putter along in my Honda through our neighborhood – extremely modest by DC standards – and assume that this is par for the course as far as the rest of the world is concerned. But it’s not…

(A nod to Lonnie Bruner for pointing this blog out) Tastette mmmm… There are about 10 DC area food blogs, not to mention the food writing on DCist, that offer a feast of information. This blog by Tastette is a nice addition to the mix. In a recent post she discusses her love of hot dogs. Her post on the subject starts like this:

Is it me, or is there just something about concession stand hot dogs that just tastes great? I find frankfurters tasty in general, but eating one from a hot dog stand in the city is just different.

Homeless Man On G Street Mypurplelink A poem explained by the writer: … his eyes and face told me about a life that was not just his – but ours, you, me and anyone who has a soul and heart. when we strip it al down, we’ll realize that we are all the same trip, the same journey. i owe one person who gave me the eyes to see the world around me as it is. this is yours – your words spoken through me – i give them back to you and everyone else. The first stanza:

I miss that homeless man on G Street His eyes, gaze Deep, black and like a pit Eats me up in bright daylight With a look, he spoke

Two wheel news The WashCycle This is a new blog with news, opinions and recommendations about biking in the DC area. Each post includes numerous links to reference material. A recent post about a National Park Service (NPS) study extending the Mt. Vernon Trail north from its current terminus at Roosevelt Island all the way to the American Legion Bridge had this to say about it:

NPS next has to decide whether or not to go forward with the project and if so, with which of the feasible alternatives to go. WABA has been pursing this project for years. All in all it’s a good project, but it won’t be as nice as the Mt. Vernon Trail segments that already exist.

The cha-ching of change Connecticut Avenue New blog, Connecticut Avenue, is devoted to keeping tracking of the new and interesting of this famous stretch of road. One post looks at the number of businesses closing or moving in the Cleveland Park area.

It’s not news to say that rents are exorbitant in Cleveland Park. Any potential business owner has to know they’ve got to either have a bottomless pit of cash or take in huge amounts of business every month. Or both. If the rents aren’t made reasonable and affordable we’ll continue to have a turnover of businesses at best and a ghost strip at worst.

Blog changes: Urban Fantasy is now EJ Takes Life. In Revolt is now

Photos: reflection in World Bank window; side shot, photo of protestor from the recent anti-war rally.

Blog Hearts

Posted in DC Blogs Noted on October 14th, 2005 by dcblogs

It’s the weekend and that means dating for some, Sinatra for the rest. What follows are stories to help put you in some kind of mood. My First Crush Diva’s Dating Disclosures Before you go out tonight read Diva’s well written and touching story – it’s a happy one from an innocent time. An excerpt: His name was Linwood. Whenever I said his name I’d tilt my head to the left, smile, and say it real slow … Liiinwooooood. Open Letter to Kenneth Cole: I did not exit the club. The hand of a woman grabbed me. An attractive woman. She said, “You’re coming with me.” And took me to the dance floor. From a Non-Fat Latte Liberal. Dating trials: My unnamed candidate that I enjoyed kissing in the middle of Dupont Circle informed me today that he is going away with a friend this weekend ... From Some Great Reward. More dating trials: When I departed I gave thought to a smart aleck goodbye, something along the lines of shaking your hand and saying “thanks for penciling me into your calendar.” But I thought the better of it. From More than a Passing Fancy. Only in DC would “Cross Party Dating” be an instantly understandable concept, and only in DC is this possible: Wonkett Crashes Roundtable on Cross Party Dating, Leaves Alone. Don’t look for a date here: Women are (shockingly!) under-represented on the Sunday talk shows, a new study by the White House Project shows. From fishbowl DC.

Also noted: Crime Uptick – This astute neighborhood blogger, Mari from In Shaw is noticing something: Local community listservs are reporting an an upsurge in crime, she reports. Is there something in the water? Excessive Force – Thoughts about the New Orleans police beating incident. So is it really necessary for us to watch this kind of video? My eyes are glued to it, but I’m a product of the 24 hour cable news cycle. Are we better off seeing this kind of footage? Who knows. From The View From 16th Street.

Blog Playaz

Posted in DC Blogs Noted on October 13th, 2005 by dcblogs
For the Playaz, By the Playaz … Playaz Ball For those who think of Washington, D.C. as a passionless hub, they should remember that it is a city known for encompassing outsiders. The blogging world is no different. D.C. bloggers have embraced a citizen of the South as one of it’s own: Phil and the crew of Playaz Ball. The Playaz consists of Phil, The Guv’na, Wayne, Bon and Tac, and their blog tracks many passions including Conway Twitty, Kenny Rogers, Larry Holmes, muscle cars, nuclear weapons negotiations and style (Kangols). This pipe sucking, moustachioed band of misfits share their adventures in a rip-roaring fashion. They’ve been loyal about posting on the D.C. blog websites and DC’er’s, knowing a good thing when they see it, have honorarily adopted the Playaz as their own. Sporting a spiffy new web page, they are well worth your notice. — By Washington Cube. (Cube has generously agreed to occasionally write a guest entry – and I’m most thankful for her help. ) Teacher Bloggers Teacher Sol Some schools are asking teachers to maintain their own blogs, this writer reports. Blogging is an interest to this writer, a teacher at DC’s Jefferson Junior High School and technology liaison to the DC Area Writing Project. This post includes a list of teacher bloggers.

A Rose by any Other Name Caterwauling This is a lyrical and engaging perspective on perfume: shopping for it, its connection to chocolate and the need for coffee beans. An excerpt:

Wouldn’t it be my absolute luck to fall in love with a fragrance that would serve as a daily reminder of someone whom I’d love to forget?

Also Noted: Any more proof needed that Washingtonians live in an alternate universe: Single Glass of Wine Immerses D.C. Driver in Legal Battle, reports the Washington Post. A driver in DC can be arrested with as little as .01 blood-alcohol content. Reacting to the WaPo report is Father Jim Tucker, an Arlington priest, and author of the blog Dappled Things. He calls the DC law … outrageous. And scary, since I suppose that could have been me on numerous occasions. The gentlemen at The Cleveland Park Men’s Club are inviting readers and everyone else, to the new Cleveland Park Bar and Grill, 3421 Connecticut Ave. (Google map link here) for a joint activity tonight. It starts at 7 p.m. The CPMC writes: In elegant coordination with this Fall’s Gold Cup, our good friend Chris Lindland will be showing off his new Fall line of horizontal cordarounds. Aerodynamic, warm, and fuzzy are these britches. A review of Argia’s. The gnocchi are like silk. The mussels are listed as an appetizer but the serving is so huge that I eat them as an entree. The white wine/butter/garlic sauce whispers rather than shouts, these may be some of the best mussels in the DC area … From Just a Bump in the Beltway. Metro Barbarians: Someone stepped on my toe on the Metro this morning. Twice. The first time, I almost yelled out because it was so shockingly painful. The second time, I bit my lip and elbowed him in the back… Secret Simmerings and Shameful Scandals of the Singular Smash. Office singing confessions: Love to Love You Baby. From More Than My Luggage.

H Street Martini Lounge to Open Friday reports Frozen Tropics.

Blog meetings

Posted in DC Blogs Noted on October 12th, 2005 by dcblogs

Urban Assimilation Purple America This is a blog with the goal, according to its writer, “to unleash equal-opportunity snark on all public characters who subject the American people to their buffoonery — regardless of political affiliation. I started this blog when I started getting banned from commenting on other people’s blogs.” This particular post, thoughtful and provocative, is about racial tension and assimilation in DC. An excerpt:

… Of course, understand that race often becomes a proxy for tensions that are fundamentally economic…but I don’t really think that’s what this is. I can only judge by clothing and demeanor, but it seems to me that the black neighbors who greet my whiteness with hostility are not always the poorest ones, the ones who might reasonably resent newer middle-class residents.

Bally Total Fitness: Or How to Sell Your Soul A Series of Unfortunate Events This writer has been turning out some entertaining work on a range of subjects, such as the multiplayer game “World of Warcraft,” a touching definition of friendship, and “Club AJ: Or Two Hot Chicks Throw a Party.” The most recent post concerns Bally Total Fitness.

So here I am, only one week into the two-week trial, and I’ve gone to the gym every day. Something about it just sucks you in. There’s hard body hotties, and girls in cute exercise gear, there’s even a flipping juice bar.

(Nod to DC Cookie for pointing this blog out) Strange D.C. Aventuras en México Laura from Mexico City is in DC and filed this entertaining list of city experiences and observations. Here are the first two:

1. I almost elbowed Thomas Friedman off the sidewalk outside the Hay Adams hotel. 2. I marveled at the array of armored, tinted, drivered Escalades and Town Cars outside the AFL-CIO headquarters.

Mass Evacuation, A Reality in DC? Washington Scribbles City officials talk about preparing to evacuate the city in the case of emergency, but are they really prepared? This writer thinks not. The recent bomb threat at the Washington Monument prompted this supporting analysis. It starts like this:

Was anyone stuck in the traffic on Friday afternoon? In the late afternoon when the city was started to be drenched in Tammy’s tears, a bomb threat prompted the evacuation of the Washington Monument grounds. K and L streets were instantly a chaotic gridlock …

Also Noted:

DCist has developed its own version of Google Map. Check it out. The effort also sparked more than two dozen people to comment. One commenter suggested a “map of the week” to illustrate locations for concerts, plays, restaurants and anything else.

There’s no excuse for bloggers to stay home. Two great events in DC, both of which are open to the blogging public: (Correction: The events are next Wednesday, Oct. 19) Kathryn On …, DC Bachelor, DC Cookie, Rock Creek Rambler, are hosting the Blogtoberfest Happy Hour at 7 at Dragonfly. The DC Webloggers group is also at 7 at Pharaho’s.

DC Blogs Noted

Posted in DC Blogs Noted on October 11th, 2005 by dcblogs
Grandpa in a Coma Better Latent Than Never The grandfather is overseas and, as the title points out, in an apparent desperate way medically. When informed of this, our writer sets to tell a family history about success, power and betrayal. The grandfather’s name would be recognized if it could be shared, the writer tells us, but what is shared is a story about a life leading, physically and emotionally, to, perhaps, a distant end. It starts like this:

My grandpa, my dad’s dad, is in a coma. The doctors say it doesn’t look good. I say, “Good riddance.”I struggled with this a bit the other day when I received the news.

Desert Island Boy

A writer who offers an Arab-American Perspective on Life, Culture and Politics, has information about the earthquake in Pakistan.

Cai Guo Qiang was much louder that Dar Williams Fun things to do in DC Last week I published some posts by writers alarmed by the loud explosions – part of a Kennedy Center fireworks festival – that prompted a flood of 911 calls. Here’s another take on their meaning. An excerpt:

… I started pontificating again and I’d just started on about the war on terror, the recent spate of natural disasters, the potential commentary on us fat bourgeoisie types who want to have nice aesthetic experiences and shield ourselves from the more visceral experiences of the brutalities of nature or fellow man – which has the side effect of dulling our empathy and our social consciences – when, for a third time…

Online Newsletter Jefferson Junior High School This is an impressive school blog, and the first of its kind that I’ve seen in this area. Clearly, this DC school blog has the potential of becoming a national model for other schools. The writing and design is first rate. Congratulations on producing this outstanding work. Credits: Photo outside the Chicago Hilton, taken Monday.


Posted in DC Blogs Noted on October 10th, 2005 by dcblogs

The Blog-A-Thon Washington Cube My virtual friend, Washington Cube, has been working through a list of DC bloggers, reading hundreds of entries and leaving messages. Numbered messages. The people who read and comment on blogs the most, IMHO, are fellow bloggers, and Cube has been interested in seeing how readers react to her comments – will they visit her site as well? Cube, a perceptive and far-ranging observer of pop culture, quirky human behavior and lawn ornaments, is the perfect person for such a experiment. But after being “outed,” she explained her methods and actions. An excerpt:

It left me wondering if people even watch their blogs, and if so, upon seeing a name not familiar to them, do they bother to go check on that person to see what they are about?

Halloween – Hate it or Love it? City Sparkle It’s not too early to begin thinking about Halloween in DC, an event many put a lot of time and effort into dressing up for. This writer has a conflicted relationship with it. It starts like this:

Generally, I don’t like Halloween. The idea of dressing up to drink annoys me …

100 Things about Me I’m not a girl, not yet a wino But one thing isn’t true – and see if you can figure out which one. It’s a fun and snappy read. It starts like this: Generally, conventionally hot men do not appeal to me in the slightest. I spent part of my sixth-grade year living in a thatched-roof cottage in Belgium. The smell of both bananas and popcorn make me sick to my stomach.

I can’t for the life of me truly understand the law of supply and demand.

Olechko is a new photo blog. This particular work, Tea Party, is collage of three photos that together create a dynamic and compelling scene.

Also Noted: What is the refrigerated shelf life of Jello? Its been two weeks, and I am really hungry, writes DC Last Call. One commenter chimes in: The fact that it tasted like chicken frightens me a bit. Adams Morgan robbery at DC2009. Rolling Stones concert reports at DC Cookie and Rock Creek Rambler. First day of class in Bologna: Professor oversleeps. From Dairy of an Albatross. Blog name change: The energetic and entertaining writer Chasing-Random Thoughts has renamed her blog – with new URL – to Chase-ing Complacency. So update those links. A Connecticut friend’s blog, ctweblogs, was featured in the New York Times Sunday Connecticut section. Unrelated, I wrote this piece for Blog Critics about the sale of Weblogs Inc. to AOL.

Blog nooooooooooooooooooo

Posted in DC Blogs Noted on October 7th, 2005 by dcblogs

Your Taxicab Zone Map Sucks Jimbo An infuriating aspect of DC is the cab zone systems. It’s primed to fleece tourists and continually irritate even veteran city residents. It’s a system aided and abetted by a zone map that’s impossible to read, decipher and use, as Jimbo points out. But instead of just offering a delicious rant this writer goes one step better and redesigns the map. That’s right – he redesigns the map. Check it out. There’s even a PDA version of Jimbo’s Taxicab Zone Map. If they ever hand out awards for most useful blog posts in DC – I know, an incredibly, block stretching line– this post may finish first. An excerpt:

Let’s start with the orientation of the map. How many DC maps have North pointing 45% to the left?

News Reaction

From Top:Rhinestone Cowgirl and Peekaboo Bird flu warnings. Birds of a Feather Roundup:

On the issue of using the military to enforce quarantines: Freedom or security…you pick. From Dry Humping The Whore of Babylon

It’s splendid that we’re all up in arms (rah, rah, rah!) but let’s face it: the required mutation in the germ to make it infectious among humans has not happened yet, no evidence exists that it is going to happenDirect Current.

Also Noted:

Habana Village: Que bueno! Review by A Capitol Life. … the only place I can rely on to get a decent bite of Cuban food in the city. DC United blog: The DCenters. Recent weather blog arrival: DCweather. An encounter in the Hollywood for Ugly People from Pie Pants. The DC Tenants Action Council asked that I post a note about campaign for affordable housing, stronger rent control and tenants rights. Rents are rising, affordable housing is disappearing and DC tenants are feeling the squeeze. It’s looking for people to join its mobilization effort. Details at the website. Of general blogging interest: The Electronic Freedom Foundation reports on a Delaware Supreme Court ruling protecting the identity of an anonymous commenter on a blog. The blogger, in this case, made some derogatory comments about an elected official.

Blog discounts

Posted in DC Blogs Noted on October 6th, 2005 by dcblogs
Note: A combination of Blogger being down last night and travel (see photo slice of Boston left and lower right) limits today’s link offering to just a few. Print this out for $5 discount to the World Premiere of UpShot. This could be a blogging first! Go to the Lighting Designer’s Life, print out the blog post and get a discount for this play at The Church Street Theater. It runs through Oct. 16.
DC Theater Review of UpShot : To say Upshot is one cool piece of theatre would be accurate, but that statement alone would not do it justice. Ami Dayan’s play is highly entertaining and full of dark humor.

I have that scarf! Regarding Harriet Miers, the Supreme Court nominee. From Athlens Fabulous 101 A tourist and blogger recounts her experience at the Holocaust Museum: i cried and had a panic attack the entire time i was in there, but it was something important to do. From Superblue. Fluidity of warfare Our writer heard author Robert Kaplan speak about his new book, Imperial Grunts, at Politics and Prose Bookstore. An excerpt: He mentioned several times in the talk (as he does in the book) about how impressed he has been with the enlisted men, NCOs, Lt.’s and CPTs he came across during his time in the field. This drew some emotional comments later by anti-war leftists who were incredulous that these men who had murdered 20,000 and maimed 50,000 civilians were anything to be admired. From Hanging Together. Related: The Atlantic excerpt of Imperial Grunts. Washington Post review. Best caption in the history of journalism. From Newley Purnell.

Blog Wonk

Posted in DC Blogs Noted on October 4th, 2005 by dcblogs

From Indymedia to Folk Media
Prod & Ponder
This post may be blog wonk, but it’s very good blog wonk. The writer, an adjunct professor in conflict and analysis and resolution at George Mason University and whose ‘Net roots go back to the BBS days, looks at the evolution of
Indymedia which he says suffers from “ambiguity of purpose.” Of Blogs, he writes:

What’s made blogging popular and compelling isn’t its structure or the technology behind it, it’s blogging as a genre: the juxtaposing of the very personal, even mundane, with broader life, politics, and community. And it’s finally dawned on me that, for no good reasons, that’s what’s been increasingly missing on Indymedia.

The Night They Bombed Washington
The loud blasts Saturday night alarmed many DC residents. People gathered in lobby of my building for a serious discussion about dirty bombs, percussions and water vapor, while trying to find out what happen. The explosions turned out to be John F. Kennedy Center-sponsored fireworks. This writer offered a report from the scene in his neighborhood.

Behind me I heard Mrs. Morris, a retired employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who has told me, over and over, and over again, how that agency has not been properly administered since the death of J. Edgar Hoover, said, just loud enough for everyone who was gathering to hear, ‘Oh my God they’ve blown it all up!”

My Terrorism Freak-out: So, at this point I’m pretty sure that some sort of apocalyptic attack has taken place … I don’t think I had felt this rocked since I was stuck in traffic on Canal Road on Sept. 11th … From Charlie Don’t Surf.

Dear All Those Who Wish to Detonate Loud Explosives in DC: Please, please, give us some kind of warning when you light fireworks in our fair city. From Talkin’ Shit About A Pretty Sunset.

Washington Post report:
Fireworks Cause Deluge of Panicked Calls in DC.

Also noted:

Celibate. Rhymes with Celebrate: Old relationship and visions “in pure white linoleum” by a writer celebrating her celibaversary. From Dealing in Subterfuges

A point about the power of blogs: Bloggers have been urging the National Zoo to consider the naming the baby panda, Butterstick. The campaign is getting media attention. Just imagine if we were to devote our powers to actual problems! From the Beaverhausen Blog.

DC Chinatown as seen by a newcomer to this city. The entire area was a sea of well-off people dressed uniformly in black. From Katie: A Wanderer from a Little Town in Tennessee

Photo: GW hospital

Blog birth

Posted in DC Blogs Noted on October 3rd, 2005 by dcblogs
Photo: Scene from Foggy Bottom block party

Noah Amalah Amalah delivered a baby boy. Amalah – who has a gift for writing in a flowing, conversational style – has been sharing details and joys of her pregnancy on her blog with, literally, the world. There were over 300 comments to this recent post penned by a guest blogger, Jason, the father.

Isn’t he just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?! Noah Corbin Storch was born at 10:35 AM on September 30th. He weighed 9 lbs. 15oz. and was 21 inches tall. From Iraq Chairborne Stranger This blog is “one guy’s thoughts over a one-year deployment to Iraq, courtesy of his travel agent, the US Army.” He is a DC resident. An excerpt from a recent post:

Although I can say without a doubt, that you should ignore all of this bullshit media about the Iraqi Army being “untrained” or back and forth quibbling by media elites on what constitutes if the Iraqi Army is ready to fight. I work with the Iraqi Army every day, and I can assure you, that the Iraqi Army run multiple combat patrols every day, they get attacked every day, they get blown up every day, they take small arms fire every day. They don’t run ….

Good Deeds, Smart Business Insurance Scrawl This is a sophisticated blog on insurance law and related matters by Marc Mayerson, a partner at Spriggs & Hollingsworth, a litigation firm, in Washington, D.C. who represents policy holders. He also teaches insurance law at George Washington University’s law school, and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. His commentary is detailed and insightful. Some recent posts analyze insurance issues post-Katrina and Rita. This post concerns multiple storm deductibles. It starts like this:

Americans in the Gulf States have endured Katrina and Rita in close succession, similar to how their Florida neighbors suffered through a series of hurricanes last year. Those who have been affected by these hurricanes naturally turn to their insurers for help. When losses stem from both of the recent hurricanes, however, insurers can compound their insureds’ financial woes by requiring them to absorb separate deductibles for each storm …