Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Around-the-clock Christmas music for the past month has caused me to really listen to the words—and I'm shocked!
I love Christmas music and I'm not ashamed to admit it. And I'm not a Christmas music snob—I listen to it all. I have some very musically inclined friends who are a little snobby about their music; if it isn't classical music or traditional folks songs from across the globe, it's junk as far as they're concerned. Me? I like it all. And I get to indulge in it all this time of year, thanks to radio stations that play Christmas music around the clock from before Thanksgiving to just after the big day. I listen to a Baltimore station at home and a Washington station in the car, so I get a fair mix of styles and artists. I love hearing the old Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme, Tony Bennett (and the new Tony Bennett) and …
Friday, November 23, 2012
The sudden death of a high school classmate clashes with a holiday created to express thanks for what we have.
I realize I'm getting older—I get slapped in the face with that hard, cold truth every time I pass a mirror. And I realize that death is an inevitable part of life. But I'm no more prepared to be losing members of my high school class at the age of 55 than I was at the age of 18, when Carol "Shelly" Schreiber became the Kenwood High School Class of 1975's first member to slip the surly bonds of earth. Less than two weeks after the graduation speeches that included the typical "the world is your oyster, the sky's the limit, win one for the Gipper" sort of inspiration, Shelly was gone. It was shocking and stunning to deal with the sudden death of a peer who, if we were to believe all of those speeches, faced only endless possibilities and …
Friday, October 12, 2012
I get a lump in my throat every time I think of the date and realize the Birds are still playing baseball.
Neither my heart nor my sleep patterns can take too much more of the heart attack baseball being played by the Baltimore Orioles. But that said, I get a lump in my throat everything I simply think of the fact that the Birds are still playing baseball on Oct. 12. Who would have thought it at the beginning of the season? On April 10, I published a column about the clean slate that every new baseball season presents to all baseball fans, but especially to the long-suffering fans in Baltimore. I wrote about the promises made, year after year, about this year's crop of youngsters, and the fan favorites who were routinely traded away or allowed to get away to teams offering better pay, and how it gets tiring to hear that this year is a …
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Your Patch editor is taking a much-needed vacation.
Dear Dundalk Patch Readers, Effective today, which happens to be my one-year anniversary with Patch.com, I am taking the first vacation I've had in that year. I will be out of the office until Monday, Oct. 8. In the interim, if you have any Patch requests that need immediate attention, please email Associate Regional Editor Sean Welsh at sean.welsh@patch. com. In my absence, I would appreciate it if you keep being the fabulous Dundalk Patch supporters that you are. Keep reading, keep posting your Calendar of Events items, announcements and photos, and keep sending in news tips. I'll return in two weeks, hopefully recharged and ready to jump back into the 24/7/365 news cycle that is Patch. Thanks! Marge
Monday, August 27, 2012
A new school year begins with endless opportunities and possibilities.
Today is the first day of school for most local K-12 students. To make me feel even older and more removed from my own school days, I did a little math. Today's new freshmen are members of the Class of 2016. Today's new kindergartners are members of the Class of 2025. I don't know about you, but when these kindergartners graduate, they will do so 50 years after I graduated from high school. It just doesn't seem possible. I have a relationship with my school days that I'm sure many—if not all of us— have. Some school memories, including some from first grade (I'm so old my school—Mars Estates Elementary School in Essex—did not have kindergarten when I was that age) seem like they were so recent I could simply reach out and touch them. …
Thursday, August 23, 2012
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the East Coast one year ago today.
One year ago today, a 5.8 earthquake centered near Richmond, Va., affected much of the East Coast. You don't need me to tell you that East Coast earthquakes are quite rare. Yet we've had two in the past couple of years, and I missed them both. Sort of. The first one, a couple of years ago, came and went with the explanation that the tenants on the second floor of the building I worked in were doing some work. Only after it was confirmed as an earthquake did my colleagues and I say, "Oh, so that's what that rolling thunder-like noise was." Last year's event, which was confirmed as a 5.8 magnitude quake by the U.S. Geological Survey, was much more apparent and left quite a bit of damage in its wake. And here's how I missed that one. I was …
Friday, August 10, 2012
Make sure graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars are on today's shopping list!
In case it snuck up on you (or you didn't know about it in the first place), let me be the first to tell you that today, Aug. 10, is National S'Mores Day! I was rather disappointed to learn that S'Mores Day is not on my company's official holiday list, but there's always time to lobby for that. In case you were never a Girl Scout, or never went camping, a S'More is a confectionary treat made from graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars. The usual technique is to roast the marshmallow over a campfire, and then create a sandwich with layers of the gooey marshmallows and a few chocolate squares between graham crackers. (I confess to substituting Peeps for regualar marhsmallows—the sugar coating carmelizes and adds another dimenison …
Thursday, June 21, 2012
A question asked and an effort beyond regular duties results in a different angle from which to cover a story.
I'm a big fan of the philosophy of "you won't know unless you ask." On Tuesday, I was doing some advance coverage of Wednesday's shipment of cargo cranes to the Seagirt Marine Terminal—an action that would temporarily close the Bay and Key bridges to traffic. The m/v Zhen Hua 13, sitting low in the water and loaded with four, 14-story, state-of-the-art cargo cranes, was scheduled to arrive at Seagirt late Wednesday afternoon. Members of the media were invited to the marine terminal to get the story, and were also encouraged to gather at Sandy Point State Park to shoot photos as the ship passed under the Bay Bridge. Because the Maryland Transportation Authority officials made the decision to close the spans, I thought I'd call them to see …
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
He woos the women while chasing off male competitors who dare enter his territory.
I've been enjoying what I think is a greater number of cardinals this year than I recall seeing in past years. And because of some behavior I observed earlier this month that piqued my interest, I have actually done some reading about their habits and mating traditions. I was photographing a male cardinal that was feasting at a feeder in a friend's backyard. He would eat for a moment, fly off, then come back almost immediately and repeat the cycle. At first, I thought my presence at the sliding glass door was making him skittish. Then I wondered if perhaps male cardinals assist in raising the babies, and thought maybe he was returning to the nest with food for the family. So I started watching to see where he was flying off to, knowing …
Monday, May 14, 2012
The yeoman efforts of many Dundalk Elementary School staff members made the Mother's Day essay project possible.
It's an extremely busy time of year, with proms, weddings, picnics, cookouts and any number of outdoor projects vying for our time and attention. Most of us are booked to the hilt, and few of us need anything extra thrown at us. Teachers probably feel the strain more at this time of the school year than any other time, so I wanted to make sure I thank the kind and dedicated folks at Dundalk Elementary School. When I announced that I would publish Mother's Day essays contributed by Dundalk Patch readers, I also thought it would be great to involve local students in that effort. A friend put me in touch with Margie Lookingbill, a prekindergarten teacher at Dundalk. I floated the idea of enlisting a couple of classes to write essays, and …