Thursday, April 06, 2006

NOT DEAD YET: A Dispatch From Baghdad

OK, THIS BLOG ISN'T DEAD ... YET. In the short term, I'll still be posting random stuff when I feel like it until I figure out what I want to do with this blog. And for my friends who think the "Not Dead Yet" lede-in might be a bit insensitive, it's referring to this blog and not my hometown buddy/freelance reporter David Enders, who happened to talk to me via Google Chat this afternoon from the Iraqi capital. (Go buy his book.)
2:15 PM me: are you still in baghdad?
David: yeah
i'd be clinically insane by now if it wasn't for IM
8 pm curfew blows...
2:16 PM me: it's a life line, for sure
play some eucher
2:17 PM David: forbidden by the militias
me: cards are forbidden by the militias?
David: in some places
me: batgammon?
David: not sure
me: what about online porn?
2:18 PM David: tacitly accepted
this is an arab country
2:19 PM David: in fact, i'm pretty sure a good part of the [population] doesn't know computers have any other use
i'm only half serious
the haifa street guys claimed to break legs and such when they caught people playing cards
i don't know what the other militias think about them
2:28 PM me: it seems like you wouldn't want to piss off the men with the guns
David wanted me to note that the Haifa Street Guys not liking cards thing happened last year. But still ... it's a war zone. You should be able to pass the time when you're holed up the way you want to and not having to worry about armed militias and the like. Is Go Fish taboo too?

David, hang in there. Be well.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

NEXT STEPS: The Oculus May Die

YEAH, I HAVEN'T POSTED IN A WHILE. Work's been busy. I'm not sure I'll have time to maintain this blog at the level of general excellence that you and I expect from my abilities. A few months ago, I wanted to dive in and concentrate on architecture and urban planning blogging, but all of that evolved into something else. I'm not really sure what The Washington Oculus is anymore.

Since I co-founded, developed and later left DCist, I have felt that in many ways I've been a major bricklayer that has helped form the foundation from which this city's blogging world has been built. I started blogging (on an earlier version of this blog that accidentally got erased) back in 2003. It's been amazing to see the D.C. blogging community grow, evolve and adapt over time. I'm glad that I've been a part of it.

While that's all been cool, it may be time to take a step back, reclaim some of my sanity and kill this blog so I can concentrate on more important things, professionally and personally. But we'll see. Maybe the Oculus will linger on for a little longer and will turn into something else entirely. I do have three billion ideas floating around in my head.

Many thanks to all my readers.

UPDATE: OR MAYBE IT WON'T DIE. If you've ever been freaked out by clowns, here's something that's creepy: An instructional video on how clowns are supposed to act around elderly people at nursing homes, courtesy of Screenhead. Too good not to pass on.
>> "Don't Stand Around a Large Cluster of Clowns" [You Tube via Screenhead]