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March 2011

A hilarious western cartoon spoof sure to haunt the dreams of young children

Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp: The Tourist) is a chameleon with an identity crisis. Kept in captivity, he makes himself the hero of elaborate plays, using a Barbie torso, a windup fish and a dead bug as a supporting cast.
    Dear Bay Weekly:     We all know that the issue of when puzzle solutions should appear has been put to bed, several times. However, as a kind-of speed reader, I'm weekly dismayed as I finish reading the letters and — zip — my eyes stumble onto the crossword answers. How about a compromise? Publish in the same edition as the puzzle, but upside down. Thanks for your consideration. –Gaye Williams, Annapolis
    Dear Bay Weekly:     In May 2009 you published my Bay Reflection, “After the Strawberry Storm.”     Every spring, usually in May, when we would get a strong storm with wind and plenty of rain, my great grandfather Johnny Burns would say, “Well, that was the strawberry storm. Now we can get on with spring.”

This Second Star Productions work is clever as a TV sitcom, with the warmth of live action and evolving characters.

There is immense talent at 2nd Star Productions and when the company challenges themselves with a great script, as they did with My Fair Lady, the result is spectacular. When they work with weaker scripts, however, they cannot grow beyond the script limitation, Be My Baby is such a case.

Identity and integrity figure large in this Dignity Players’ showing that addresses the masks we hide behind.

What is truth: fixed standard or fluid interpretation? Is a visionary artist an outsider or an insider? Is an expat a pioneer or a coward? Is a fist perhaps just a hand? Is an ex-lover ever a friend? These are just a few of the themes in Donald Margulies’ 1992 Obie Award-winning play, Sight Unseen, a provocative and entertaining look at an artistic superstar and the forces that shape him.

Anne Arundel County Public Library’s
new administrator, Skip Auld,
is learning to pull dollars
out of thin air

Skip Auld will have to be a magician to pull all he wants out of Anne Arundel County Public Library’s incredible shrinking budget.     Anne Arundel was a big step up for Auld, who came here in early November from running the Durham County public library system, about half the size of Anne Arundel County, in North Carolina.     Auld’s big promotion came with a bigger problem.

Where would we be without them?

“People want and use their libraries in pretty tremendous ways,” Anne Arundel County library administrator Skip Auld told me when we met.     His words rang true to my experience. When I moved to the Calvert-Anne Arundel border 26 years ago this month, I promptly got cards for both libraries. (Now any county’s library card works in every other county throughout Maryland.)

For her 10th birthday, Maggie Strandquist asked her guests to help her help animals in need

For the big One-Oh, Maggie Strandquist of Arnold said no to presents for herself and yes to presents for the animals at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.     “I didn’t think I needed anything, so I thought who else needed things,” Maggie reports. “I love animals and really wanted to help them, so I thought of the SPCA.”

Now’s the time to prepare your fruit trees and berry bushes

Fruit quality and size are based not on the amount or kind of fertilizer you apply but on how well you prune the plants in the spring before they bloom. You should be pruning your apple, peach, nectarine, apricot, pear and cherry trees now, as well as your blueberry, raspberry and blackberry shrubs.

If you want to catch fish, you’d better know how to tie a fisherman’s knot

One simple thing an angler can do to help catch more big fish is learn to tie the right knot correctly. In a life of fishing and after working in a sports store for a good number of years and listening to countless tales of big fish broken off, I’ve learned many anglers aren’t sure which knot to tie or how to tie it.