Rather ironic that I’m off to a blogging conference at a time when my blog has been full of so much fluff. Fluffier fluff than usual, even. My deranged determination to not fail the blog365 challenge has led to some pretty lite posts, I know, but I’d like a gold star for not missing any days throughout kidney surgery and that demonic respiratory virus earlier this month and, last but not least, the ruptured tendon that made typing less than enjoyable for the last few weeks.

Wait, no, I haven’t soldiered on because of blog365, I did it because I love you, my loyal readers. It’s all about you, lieblings. It’s always all about you. I do this for you, and only you.

Yeah, right.

OK. So, while I’m gone, here’s the Washington Post’s Sunday Source piece on thrift shopping.

Incidentally, if you wear an 8 1/2 or 9 and have very skinny calves – last week Veronica and I spotted a divine pair of high-heeled, tall, red leather boots at the first store they mention, Look Again Resale (900 King St., Alexandria).

But I digress. The point of this post is to direct you to a couple of the very fun thrifting blogs they gave a little well-deserved love to in one of the article’s sidebars. My favorites are Righteous (re)Style and the DC Goodwill Fashion Blog.

This all comes full circle, at least in my mind, since I thought BlogHer DC was Tuesday, and I’d be able to fit a quick trip to Goodwill into my day on Monday to drop a few bags of clothes off that are ready to find a new home. On the upside, now my Tuesday is pretty wide open…

Thursday’s TwinTech event was a smash hit. I know this because it was reported as such in the paper and by associates who went. Apparently, I could get away with saying I know this because I was there, because three people have sent me messages telling me that they wanted to say hi but couldn’t get across the room before I disappeared. Stranger still, someone described what “I” was wearing, and it was in fact what I was wearing that day. Well, on the upside, if there are two of me maybe now I can get more work done. I just wish I’d keep me informed of what I’m doing when I’m out flouncing around at networking events without me.

I should have some coffee before I try to follow that thought any further. Maybe I’ll just back up a bit.

Last Thursday I went to the Internet Advocacy Roundtable event, Here Come the Millennials, Politics Beware, at the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s. Authors Morley Winograd and Michael Hais presented on their new book, Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics, followed by an hour of interesting discussion with the audience.

After that, I went to Nevin Kelly’s gallery for the opening of the show Sondra “not my sister” Arkin and Ellyn Weiss curated, called Under Surveillance.

For some time we have watched with concern, anger, even fear, as the area of personal privacy available to each of us shrinks due to the technology and the license now given both to the government and private corporations to watch and listen to us. Under Surveillance presents the responses of twelve very different artists to this fact. Curated by Ellyn Weiss and Sondra N. Arkin.

The opening had a good turnout and it was lovely to see old friends, but I was too tired to stay long and will have to go back another time to get a really good look at the art.

Info from the gallery’s blog:

Curated by Ellyn Weiss and Sondra N. Arkin, “Under Surveillance” will feature the work of Scott G. Brooks, Groover Cleveland, Richard Dana, Anna U. Davis, Aziza Claudia Gibson-Hunter, Rosemary Luckett, Elizabeth Morisette, Ann Stoddard, Tim Tate, Ruth Trevarrow, and the curators themselves. The exhibition will reflect the artist’s concerns over the technology and the license now given both to the government and private corporations to watch and listen to us.

The show is up until October 8, 2008, the gallery is located at 1517 U Street NW in Washington, DC.

The first time I really noticed stikman was in a crosswalk in Philadelphia. At the time, I thought that the city was trying to send pedestrians a message. Possibly, “Dear pedestrian, the drivers of Philadelphia want you dead.”

IMG_7340.JPG

I posted a picture and then I promptly forgot to do any more research, even after noticing that the figure appears in random places in DC. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to look any further for info because there’s a little article in today’s paper, “On the Trail of the Mysterious Stikman”. That’s good enough for me.

Tomorrow is the High Holy Day known more commonly as the Water Lily and Lotus Asian Culture Festival at the beloved (at least in our house) Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Today, Saturday and Sunday Artscape takes over a big chunk of Baltimore.

For those who don’t want Visual Art messing with their musical experience, there’s also Whartscape. Line-up is on the website, but with the disclaimer, “Schedule subject to incomprehensible changes at the drop of a hat!” which has an honesty to it I appreciate.

As a sidenote, I’m annoyed to see that we missed Mark Hosler preforming Negativland’s new project, Thingomatic last night as part of Whartscape. I recently tried, not very successfully (my fault), to explain Negativland to Sean and Rania.

Speaking of Sean, he’ll be at X Saturday night, which you should also go to.

Nothing has exploded and no one is wounded in Phil Nesmith’s photographs of Iraq. And that might be the most extraordinary thing about his show, opening Saturday at Irvine Contemporary.

“My Baghdad” chronicles Nesmith’s two trips to the war zone in ambrotypes– hazy, antique-looking images created on glass plates.

The surprisingly placid images were shot in 2003-04 and during a brief stint in 2006, and they include barren Iraqi landscapes, birds on a wire and sunsets marred only by a passing helicopter. They have the patina of old Civil War photographs, but were shot digitally — because things move too quickly in Iraq to pull out a large camera and wait for a long exposure. “It’s too dangerous for that,” Nesmith says.

[read the whole article]

Phil’s blog is here and this is his [tag]Ferrotype[/tag] site.

The opening reception for Phil Nesmith: My Baghdad is at Irvine Contemporary from 6-8 on Saturday. You should check out his work. And encourage him to sell me the picture I want to buy that isn’t for sale, if you just happen to have him cornered.

Yesterday the Washington Post had a pair of articles about a longtime colleague who passed away over the weekend.

Ellen Edwards, writing for the Washington Post Style section, summed up a first (second, third and fourth) encounter with Sally Smith perfectly:

“At first glance you might have thought you had come upon some improbable tropical bird, full of color and feathers, dressed in layers of patterns on patterns, a pile of rolling blond curls on her head.”

[read the whole piece]

The obituary in the Metro section had a more serious in tone:

Sally L. Smith, 78, founder of the Lab School in Washington, a school widely known for its innovative curriculum and its uncommon success in unlocking the mysteries of learning for those who learn differently from others, died Dec. 1 of complications of myeloma at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

[read the entire obituary]

Sadly, I was highly sensitive to Sally’s perfume and so most of our interactions were by phone, so I missed many of her more spectacular ensembles. I certainly experienced her boundless energy and enthusiasm, though.

Poor Husband thought I’d finally gone completely mad when I, in the course of random conversation in the car, mentioned the daily shark and alligator feedings at the aquarium downtown.

“We don’t have an aquarium downtown!”

He was laughing at me.

“Sure we do,” I replied. “It’s in the Treasury Building.”

Now, as soon as the words came out of my mouth even I realized it was one of the most ridiculous thing I’d ever said. As Husband is a native Washingtonian, if he didn’t know about this secret aquarium, it must not exist. But I was sure I’d been there. I could see the location vividly in my mind. Had I imagined it? Was that possible?

As it turns out, I had my building names confused, but not the physical location. I want that on the record, please. There is so a National Aquarium in Washington, DC and it’s every bit as loony as it sounds.

And they do have public shark and alligator feedings. Piranhas, too, if you’re so inclined.