August 4, 2005
AS THE GREASY bass line dropped, the smoked-out backbeat kicked in and the guitars started twanging and moaning, I knew I'd be all right. Then Jaguar Wright's earthy alto fell in, ripping into "The What Ifs," the first cut off her 2002 debut, Denials, Delusions and Decisions. I knew I'd be safe. See, I got all the right questions / And you've got all the wrong answers / And I got all of the sadness / And you end up with all the laughter ... She took me home. I hadn't heard realness like that in a while -- a rainbow voice ornate with the blues.
December 13, 2002
Mike Leigh's All or Nothing is an exhilarating movie about sadness and renewal, set in a London housing project. It's an unlikely follow-up to Leigh's brilliant Gilbert and Sullivan extravaganza, Topsy Turvy. But in its own way All or Nothing is piercingly musical, too, from the first shot of a girl pushing a mop through the hall of an old-age home while an elderly woman advances toward her slowly, with a cane, resisting help. In lesser hands the material would be dreary. Mike Leigh, both a superb filmmaker and a humanist, grasps the rhythmic beauty of the scene and turns it into a poem on the duty of the young character and the determination of the older one. Leigh has a way of depicting force of habit that accentuates the positive even when what's happening is negative.
September 7, 1997
They wanted to say goodbye to someone they felt they knew.Thousands of people left messages and a field of flowers at Kensington Palace, Princess Diana's London home; stood in line for hours to sign a book of condolences at St. James's Palace, where her body lay before the funeral; performed the equivalent task by signing a guest book on the Internet; or wrote a few brief words at British embassies and consulates around the world.One wreath of white flowers outside the consulate in New York stood 7 feet high.
March 24, 2002
Winston Cup racing is a difficult life for families. A minimum of four days a week is spent on the road, at race tracks spread across the country. On the other three days, there are often appearances for sponsors and other commitments. When is there time for family? Every team can tell a tale of birthdays and anniversaries missed. Of children's ballgames and dance recitals unattended. Of separations and divorce. But seldom do those woes reach that point among the sport's stars, the drivers.
September 8, 2011
O, say can you see relief (pitchers) in the future of professional baseball in Maryland? The losing team's fan's simultaneous lament and cry of hope that there's always next season has grown a little more poignant as the years have gone by. The Baltimore Orioles have been in a slump that will soon be measurable in decades rather than years. The bright star of Cal Ripken Jr. and his exemplary work ethic kept fans interested locally even as the Orioles organization closed up shop before the start of the postseason year after year.
May 1, 2011
Thursday, April 27, was an extremely sad day for the United States of America. That a sitting president should feel the need to release his birth certificate in order to quell nasty rumors about his eligibility to hold office was shocking, but then to hear even that did not wholly satisfy the doubters, some of whom are now questioning his college records, is almost unbelievable. I cannot help but think this is a result of prejudice. Because he is biracial? Has an unusual name? I had been hopeful that we Americans had progressed beyond that.
July 14, 1994
They had gathered at a West Baltimore rowhouse wearing black tuxedos and fancy dresses, preparing to mourn a 79-year-old family leader who died Sunday and was to be buried this morning.Instead, they pulled up to the Edgewood Street house to find firefighters digging through debris, pulling out a stack of charred Bibles that were part of a family collection, and ambulances whisking the deceased man's widow and daughter to the hospital.The wife, Georgia Hamlin, 77, and daughter, Joyce Black, 59, were dressing for the funeral when an air conditioner on the second floor overheated and ignited, fire officials said.
September 11, 1994
If only for a few hours, the turmoil of a country hundreds of miles away did not dominate Walter Rolton. Amid the strains of reggae and calypso music at the 13th annual Caribbean Festival, he almost forgot the unrest in Haiti.But concern for his homeland and the strife among his fellow Haitians is never far from his mind."Yes, I do think of there much, very much," Mr. Rolton said yesterday as he sat against a tree at Druid Hill Park and watched thousands of festival-goers. "Sometimes you think about it too -- much and you do nothing else.
January 18, 1991
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When three Navy officers in dress uniform knocked on the door of Michael Scott Speicher's Jacksonville home at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, his wife, Joanne, knew why they were there -- to tell her that her husband had been shot down in the Persian Gulf."
June 4, 1993
BILL Clinton has made two major forays into foreign affairs so far. His first was a winner: The embrace of Boris Yeltsin at the Vancouver summit probably helped democratic reformers increase the size of their victory in the Russian referendum.His second was a loser: He announced his intention to coerce the Bosnian Serbs to the peace table with air power, then dispatched his secretary of state to Europe to bring the allies along; instead, Warren Christopher brought back the first public humiliation of an American president since World War II.What caused this loss of leadership?