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May 2013

Follow the smoke to the Naptown barBAYq

This weekend brings the third annual Naptown barBAYq Contest and Music Festival to the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds. This two-day fundraising event is organized by the Parole Rotary Club and has expanded to include two days of music as well as a large field of barbeque competitors with names like Que and a Half Men and Aporkalypse Now. Last year’s event raised $30,000 for local charities.

And a forest is halfway to heaven

Spring is in the air, and our hands are in the earth.    

Shad, perch and rockfish — why choose when you can fish them all?

It was opening day of trophy rockfish on the Chesapeake, but Moe and I were going shad fishing. Crossing the Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore, we could see that our decision was sound: The surface of the Bay was churned milky white from the breaking waves driven by near 40-knot winds.

 From low places to high

Governor Martin and First Lady Katie O’Malley may not be aware that in 1985 I tried to convince the gardeners in charge of the state properties in Annapolis to apply compost to the turf. The idea was met with great resistance because the gardeners thought it would take too much time, and they did not believe it would improve the turf.     We’d already been turned down in higher places.

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower returns

The moon wanes through morning skies this week, reaching last quarter Thursday, May 2, when it shines between the faint constellations Capricornus and Aquarius and is high in the south by dawn.

I saw this movie, so you don’t have to

The Big Wedding is a special romantic comedy. It is a movie so vapid, so devoid of genuine emotion and so mind-numbingly dull that it is, in actuality, an achievement in bad filmmaking. After a few minutes of this dreck, you begin to wonder whether or not this movie is in fact some elaborate prank. It must be acknowledged that writer/director Justin Zackham (Going Greek) has accomplished the impossible: he’s found a way to fracture time, making this 90-minute film feel like it stretches into infinity.

A brilliant staging of Arthur Miller’s moving tribute to bonds that bind

Sometimes you want a simple beach novel to bide away the time, and sometimes you want to be in the presence of a master who can control language, inflection and develop great profound meanings. If you are in the latter mood, Bay Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Price is the show to see.  In The Price, Miller revisits the family dynamics he explored in Death of a Salesman. This work has some prescient lines for today, some of the most realistic (and often, painful) family dialogues and confrontation written this side of Eugene O’Neill.