October 18, 2009
The problem: Why is a lane of a busy downtown Baltimore street closed to traffic during the evening rush? The back story: Charlie Dell has had plenty of time to observe what's been slowing down traffic along Franklin Street just east of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. For more than a month, the Catonsville resident noticed that the southernmost lane of westbound Franklin has been blocked off to allow drivers to enter and exit a garage between Paca and Greene streets near the Social Security Administration building.
October 16, 2009
What was in the water of Montgomery County when director Spike Jonze grew up there? His talented, self-destructive movie version of "Where the Wild Things Are" connects to the woe-is-me side of the childhood psyche. In Jonze's vision of the classic Maurice Sendak picture book, Max, the scamp who escapes to a world of wild things after his mother calls him a wild thing, becomes a needy guy whose new friends echo his own loneliness and melancholy. He's more of a mood-swinger than a vine-swinger.
September 27, 2009
Many banks automatically cover your debit or ATM card transactions when you don't have enough money in your account, even if you never asked them to do it. It comes at a price, of course. Banks might charge $35 for each overdraft, no matter how small your transgression. Suddenly, a $3 blueberry muffin costs $38. But the days of enrolling you in an expensive overdraft protection program without your say-so may be numbered. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd says he is drafting legislation that would require banks to get your permission before enrolling you in the service.
April 17, 2009
There's a lot of pitching angst out there right now, but let's keep it in context. Did anyone think Mark Hendrickson and Brian Bass were going to be lights out? (For more, go to baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog)
December 18, 2008
The Virgin Mary as a fiery women's libber? Joseph as an insecure, self-doubting man? The angel Gabriel as an inexperienced, error-prone teenage boy? William Gibson's quirky, colorful and spectacular take on the Christmas story - The Butterfingers Angel, Mary & Joseph, Herod the Nut & the Slaughter of 12 Hit Carols in a Pear Tree - is at Rep Stage through Jan. 4. The compendious title recalls the names given to Christmas pantomimes in Victorian England, such as Harlequin and the Old Man of the Sea, the Emperor, the Ogre, the Good Fairy, and the Princess.
October 14, 2008
8 p.m. [ESPN] If I understand this right, the series follows a group of gamers going around the country (including Baltimore) competing against each other in the Madden NFL video game. Much angst apparently ensues. In a world where a song written by glum rocker Morrissey can be part of an NFL promo ad, I suppose anything is possible.