view counter

Time to fill your freezer

A dilapidated hotel holds more than dusty sheets in this hilarious thriller

Compass Rose Theater creates a small, intimate miracle

      For the first two weeks of October, the U.S. Boat Shows are the hottest ticket in Annapolis. 

Rockfish crave spot, but in a pinch white perch will satisfy

I strained to keep my severely arced rod from touching the gunnel as I plunged the tip deep into the water. A large and powerful fish about 20 feet down was intent on crossing under my skiff. Had the line, humming from the tension, contacted the hull it would likely have snapped. On the other hand, if the stressed graphite rod banged the gunnel, it could shatter. I was doing my best to avoid either catastrophe.     My partner in the bow was handling his own critical situation....

When water replaces air in the soil, plants die

If plants are wilting in your gardens despite all of the rain we have been having, it is due to a lack of oxygen in the soil. This is a bigger problem in heavy-loam soils than in sandy loam or loamy sands. Heavy soils become saturated with water faster than sandy soils because the pores are smaller and thus exclude all the air.     The roots of plants need oxygen to function. We have received so much rain that air in the soil has been replaced by water. If the problem...

Little creatures look for a fearless leader in this fun comedy

Since the dawn of time, Minions have been looking for a master to serve. The yellow cylindrical beings are attracted to the baddies of the world and biologically compelled to assist them.     But they’re terrible at the job.     These yellow dunderheads have managed to cause catastrophes from the extinction of the dinosaurs to Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. For their constant failures, they are expelled from society.     In their icy...

A superhero a fraction the usual size delivers big laughs

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is an ex-con who wants to go straight. A burglar with a master’s degree in electrical engineering, he can’t even keep a job at Baskin-Robbins. Desperate to earn child support money so he can see his daughter, he reverts to crime one more time.     But mysterious millionaire Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) isn’t the doddering old man he pretends to be. Pym is a genius who has invented a suit that allows its wearer to shrink to the size of an...

How Eddie McGowan made a local stop on the Celtic circuit

There may be nothing quite as rousing as men in kilts wailing away on bagpipes — at least to Eddie McGowan.     A group of bagpipers walked into a bar, and he was smitten. “I knew I had to learn how to play,” says McGowan, whose appreciation of all things Celtic has grown into the Annapolis Irish Festival.     Back in 2010, McGowan talked a few bands into coming to Annapolis for a weekend of music.     “That first year was...

Area premier gives the popular film a song-and-dance twist

Catch Me If You Can: The Musical, an area debut, is a song-and-dance celebration of the lovable conman, Frank Abagnale Jr. (Ron Giddings), and the FBI agent who caught him, Carl Hanratty (Joshua Mooney). The fugitive traveled five million miles impersonating an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer and cashed $1.8 million in fraudulent checks — all before turning 21.     The story is many things. It’s the sad tale of a broken marriage between big talker Frank Sr. (Tom...

Unity Gardens grants grow leaders as well as plants and flowers

Plants and flowers aren’t the only things that grow in a garden. Leadership and civic involvement can also bloom. That’s a motivating idea behind Unity Gardens, a nonprofit that backs its philosophy with dollars.     “We want projects that build community partnerships, bringing in volunteers and creating opportunities for leaders to emerge and take on new projects,” says Unity executive director Barbara Dowling.     Twice each year, Unity...

Who dunnit?

It wasn’t quite the mystery of whether aliens landed in Area 51, but around Casa Melamud everyone was perplexed and spending considerable brainpower trying to solve the case of the missing fish.     It is my habit to go out every evening after dinner and cast my pole from my dock, trying to catch fish for our lunch or to bait my crab traps. I have been consistently getting a handful of medium-sized white perch. Unhooking the fish, I’d tossed them on the dock. ...

From Major League to local teams, the nation’s pastime is alive and well

“I see great things in baseball,” wrote America’s poet Walt Whitman 169 years ago. “It’s our game — the American game.     “It has the snap, go, fling of the American atmosphere.”     Baseball lays out an inviting green carpet on which nine leaping athletes chase each other while throwing, catching and hitting a white ball. They take the field full of hope, follow the rules, trust in skill and and believe luck...

Put up some Dilly Beans

At the farmers market and in the garden, summer has boldly arrived. Succulent cucumbers, herbs and peas are ready for a feast.     Take some time to put up that abundant harvest. Can it, preserve it and ferment it in ways that will save and enhance the flavors of summer. Preserving provides quick, easy toppings and snacks that are a bright reminder of summer freshness for months to come.     Early summer’s green beans are verdant and crisp. Pick or pick up...