A Frolic of My Own

Jazz, Books, Macs, Food, and Life Outside the Academy

Blogging from Cleveland Park, DC

iJunkman at hotmail dot com

Pages Written
in 2004 = 3

April 12, 2004
A Frolic of My Own has moved! Blogger has been good to me, but it's time to leave the nest. Please update your bookmarks and follow me to the new domain:


It's faster and just all around better at the new place.

Note (1/3/05):I used to be at www.frolicofmyown.com, but a sleazy domain mining site stole that location from me.

April 11, 2004
Over the last seven years, I've made the drive between Washington and Charlottesville on Rt. 29 more than fifty times. Friday, though, as I left D.C. for Easter weekend, I felt that I had made a wrong turn. Nothing looked familiar. The highway never had that grade before. The landmarks were missing. New houses, which looked like they'd been standing for several decades, had been built along the road in the last two weeks. Then I realized that I had never before joined the holiday traffic leaving Washington, and it was my first time to drive down Rt. 29 at five miles an hour.

I've been working on the backend of the blog, and I just wanted to post a test to see if everything is still working.

April 08, 2004
America defeated the fasicists in the second World War and brought back their aesthetic as a trophy.

Either it's hard to report the news these days with a straight face, or snark has invaded the CNN newsroom:
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice told the 9/11 commission today that an August 6, 2001, intelligence memo to President Bush suggested Osama bin Laden was determined to attack inside the United States. Still, Rice said she believed the memo, called "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States," focused on history and "was not a warning."

Do you think NPR is being a little too impartial when they refer to John Kerry as "the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee?"

April 07, 2004
Happy birthday Frolic of My Own! One year ago today I wrote my first post. If I'd known what I was getting myself into, I might have never started blogging. Then again, this year has been full of surprises on all fronts. I failed twice to find a job, earned a Ph.D., became a receptionist, and turned thirty. Next year should bring even more upheaval, with a move slated for June and a third round of trying to find a career.

Changes will be happening on Frolic as well. Once I get the template converted to a new blogging engine, Frolic will occupy it's own domain. The new site will feature fast load times, reliable comments, and a working RSS feed. With any luck, it should be up this weekend.

April 06, 2004
untitledSubscribes to Reason magazine will find on the cover of June's issue a satellite image of their own home. According to the New York Times, 40,000 unique copies of the magazine will be printed "to demonstrate the power and importance of databases." Frighteningly, Reason has also managed to imprint every copy of the magazine with the exact name and address of each subscriber.

untitledWe know that passive verbs make weak sentences, but when fingers hit the keyboard we often forget to put that knowledge into practice. As a gentle reminder, Paul Ford of Ftrain offers the Passivator, a little bookmark that highlights on any website both forms of to be and adverbs. I'm little embarrassed that the Passivator lights up Frolic like a Christmas tree.

April 05, 2004
After the White House received a photo of William D. Leahy, the chief of staff for both Roosevelt and Truman, testifying before a 1945 congressional committee on Pearl Harbor, they finally accepted that historical precedent exists for presidential advisors to testify before Congress and allowed Condoleeza Rice to testify in public about 9/11. This raises the more troubling issue, though, of whether anyone in the White House can read?

April 04, 2004
untitledIt's been blustery in Washington, so Andrea and I decided to see the cherry blossoms today before all the petals blew away. I knew that the trees line the Tidal Basin, but until the tufts of white and pink appeared scattered throughout the Mall I didn't realize how prevalent the cherry trees are around the monuments.

Tourists had taken all the parking spots, so we could only see the blossoms as we crawled through the traffic on Independence Avenue. Instead of admiring the cherry trees up close, we called some friends who live on Capitol Hill and invited them out for a pitcher of margaritas.

April 01, 2004
untitledI hate April Fool's day. Ignoring the hoaxes littering the web feels like deleting spam from my inbox. Inside jokes make public appearances. I'm sure geeks across the globe were spat latté on their laptops when they read that Google would be offering a free gig of email storage (or maybe that is true). People with no sense of humor feel compelled to crack jokes. John Kerry, for example, emailed me one about outsourcing. He was kind enough to warn me in the subject line, so I could delete it immediately.

March 31, 2004
Should the Whitney Biennial become a traveling show? In the Wall Street Journal Tyler Green proposes that the Whitney pack up its twice yearly selection of the best American art and head off to the hinterlands with curators and actual artists in tow. Mount a exhibition in Phoenix. Send a mixed media artist into an elementary school in Oklahoma. Add a few local artists to the show in Omaha.

For a museum like the Whitney, focused broadly on American art, it would seem a natural project. The details might be difficult to work out. Who would pay for the show? Our country's national arts endowment barely survives, and its leader boldest initiative plans to introduce Americans to a little known English writer named Shakespeare. How would you entice the artists to travel beyond the cities? Many of them might have fled these very places and relocated years ago to New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Would anyone show up to see the art?

Judging from the Wall Street Journal's readers' responses to Tyler's modest proposal, the rest of America would just as soon confine contemporary culture to the largest cities. David Lincoln believes that Norman Rockwell is the only artist the rest of America needs. Hal Goldman offers New York a bargain--the city can keep its "offensive culture" and the hinterlands won't make Manhattanites "listen to country music or eat Jell-O with marshmallows in it." That's what they do for fun in the fly-over states? I've been living on the east coast for far too long.

Tyler received more encouraging words from his own readers at Modern Art Notes, but the Journal's readers paint a depressing picture of the cultural war's aftermath. The right won that battle, of course. Conservatives, by parading across the nation's television screens a few artists they knew would upset large portions of the public, managed to convince too many people that contemporary art's primary medium is offense. The problem was not that a few contemporary artists were denied public funds. The problem is that the right created an atmosphere were an artist's attempt to engage with contemporary life are greeted with suspicion. It is not specific artists that were attacked, but an entire way of confronting and understanding our lives.

On a positive note, it's heartening to see a blogger break into a mainstream publication.

March 30, 2004
Libby Copeland, writing in the Washington Post, studies the mating habits of ambitious Washingtonians and discovers that, when trying to get laid, they are as likely to use an Excel spreadsheet as a clever pick-up line. Crashing Friendswaps' annual party, an overly organized attempt to get lonely young people out of their offices, Copeland finds a diversity of backgrounds, since "some of the singles here got their law degrees at Harvard, while others got them at the University of Virginia, and still others at George Washington University."

Last week, I was talking to a current resident of New Orleans who used to live in Washington. When in D.C., he often found himself at parties full of World Bank workers. It was great, he said, to be around folks from every corner of the globe. After a while, though, he began to wonder if countries selected only their most boring citizens for jobs in Washington.

All About Jazz
Arts Journal
Moby Lives
Food Network
Test Kitchen
Version Tracker
Upcoming.org (D.C.)
Kennedy Center

Blog Roll

April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004

Now Reading

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Free interactive commenting by www.SquawkBox.tv - click to sign-up!