Breaking News: the News is Heartbreaking

Drugs, politics, scandal, murder, mayhem, traffic, and weather.

It’s no wonder I rarely watch the news considering the weather is the only potentially pleasant topic (and if it isn’t sunny and 80 degrees than the weather can barely be deemed an agreeable subject).

I remember waking up unnaturally early in the morning all throughout my grade school career and turning on the news and toaster as soon as I stepped downstairs to the kitchen. I probably could have slept in an extra 10 minutes if it weren’t for my partiality towards Eggo waffles with a light amount of butter and a liberal amount of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, and the morning news, but it was worth a bit of missed sleep to happily greet the day.

wjzWhile gulping down my waffle and trying to keep my sugary fingers limited to the area around my napkin, I would tune into WJZ channel 13 news, and aim for a level of knowledgeableness that those as young as I was rarely achieved. True, the information I was retaining was more about local stories, such as the year’s Polar Bear Plunge, interviews with local businesses regarding the effect of whatever weather pattern we were in the midst of, the Raven’s chances at bringing another championship back to Baltimore, and the musical styling’s of a particular club or charity group, but I loved greeting my city each and every morning through channel 13.

puppies and rainbowsAnd now, it saddens me to turn on the news once so full of charm and energy. Maybe society has increasingly given into the lawless ways that were once so forbidden in the past, maybe I just never noticed the doom and gloom almost ever-present on the television as a child, maybe now our society is more attune to the serious and seriously disheartening subjects, or maybe I just keep tuning in right after a happy story about rainbows that lead to puppy friendship and happily ever-afters with more rainbows.

But really.

Things have got to change people, and fast, because if I have to listen to one more story about a corrupt/cheating/drugged out politician, I may be in danger of spitting out my Eggo waffle in an almighty rage before proclaiming to the neighborhood a distaste for my negative perception of the media and then proceeding to light my house on fire (with the cat toted away to a safe location) as I gleefully watch all of my televisions melt into a dreary heap.

And that’s not a story you’d be pleased to see on the news.

Advertisements

Bingo with the Ravens

I love football. I love bingo. But only once a year do those two loves coincide in one glorious event. Raven’s Bingo!

DSCN0922Growing up just outside of Baltimore, I have long been a supporter of the purple and gold, the strong and bold, the Baltimore Ravens. Come game day/purple Friday you’ll see me parading around in my jersey, donning my sparkly raven earrings, and professing my hatred for the Steelers.

Growing up with such avid bingo goers as my mother and grandmother, I’ve been going to bingo almost every Saturday night since I was 10 years old and my mom believed that I could stay up until 10:30 without passing out. Come bingo time you’ll see me parading around the house with my bingo marker, wearing a light jacket to keep out the chill from the firehouse, and professing my desire to take home big money.

About once a year in the summer time my Mom and I faithfully flock to this event. Purple, a women’s-Ravens-support-club-awesome-thing-group hosts the Ravens bingo at M&T Bank stadium (club level, baby!). They provide the purple, the fans provide the passion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is magic. (Though not quite O’s magic)

Despite sweating ourselves silly in the line outside (one girl almost fainted so I gave her my water bottle to stay standing), once we entered the magnificently air conditioned makeshift bingo hall, any emotions other than pure joy left our minds.

DSCN0956

Not only did we get to enjoy LaQuan Williams (WR) and his bingo calling prowess, but we were also treated to delicious food, free bingo souvenirs, a beautiful view of the city, and the potential to win fabulous prizes such as signed footballs from the team, gorgeous canvas prints of the players, and a picture with LaQuan.

DSCN0949DSCN0926

No, my Mom and I didn’t win (though our hearts leapt when we waited occasionally). Yes, I had a fantastical night of starring at a Ravens player and marking my bingo card.

So look for me standing in line next year, I’ll be the girl decked out in purple, grinning from ear-to-ear, and sweating profusely.

An Artscape Adventure

Every year, Baltimore, MD hosts America’s largest free arts festival, Artscape. If you can brave the heat and risk the rainy weather, you’re in for a treat and a day filled with presentations so astounding and innovative that you redefine your definition of art.

Instead of trying to do justice to the visually marvelous through mere text, I’m going to share my experience through picture and video. I’m no where near being an artist, so please forgive the camera and video quality and be sure to look for the meaning behind the screening.

DSCN0972

DSCN0993

DSCN0996

DSCN1004DSCN0979DSCN0995

DSCN1003

When asked what can heal our community

When asked what can heal our community: ( I wrote “enthusiasm”)

I helped pain this, can you tell?

I couldn’t believe that an event so unique had been frequenting my community for the past 30 years and I had never appreciated and experienced the artistic adventure. While some of the projects or performances were a bit trippy, I loved I only wish that I could have taken pictures of all the vendors’ shops and wares. I’d seen pictures sewn with yarn, a shockingly deep portrait of a deer, book pages fashioned into a hanging decoration, perfect woodworked animals, and concrete sculptures bursting with life.

Please, make an effort to plan your visit to Artscape either this year or next to experience emotion you’d long forgotten about. But, on the chance that you can’t make it into Baltimore, check out the local arts scene around you. It may be weird, it may be uncomfortable, it may be confusing, but if it makes you truly feel something within, then the art has served its purpose.

1 Bucket List, 2 Shoes, 5Ks

bwc realI had been signed up for the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K for the past couple of months. Ever since I began working on my health and saying yes to life, I’ve been looking for ways to appreciate myself, the community around me, and everything that is capable of being achieved. And this morning, I found all of those things and much more when I finally completed the race.

IMG_2170

Two months ago I was running consistently, focusing on obtaining a quality education, eating healthy foods with conviction, stretching every morning, avoiding TV time, planning for my career-oriented future, and taking care of my personal appearance.

Preparing for this race has provided me with a deep and profound appreciation for myself and my body.
DSCN0844

Showing up to the Inner Harbor today I looked out upon the 3,211 other female participants and was overwhelmed by the support and positivity exuding from these lovely and lively ladies who were all prepared to reach their goals and prove their worth. Attending this race has strengthened my sense of community.

I have failed. I have struggled. I have thrown in the towel, given up, stayed down, and vowed to never care about trying again. But I have also risen to the occasion, succeeded, pushed myself, and reached beyond my grasp only to find my fingertips brushing the stars.

Associating myself with this race has shown me that anything is possible.

I ran a 34 minute race. I came in 1,410th. I was 108th in my age division. And none of that matters.DSCN0852

What matters is that I crossed a life goal off of my bucket list and showed myself exactly what wonders this life is capable of holding.

O’s Magic

Since before I was born, I’ve been an Orioles fan. I may not be the most avid or knowledgeable baseball watcher, but I truly enjoy the sport, and even more than that, I love attending the games.orioles logo

I’ve always gone to the O’s games with my family, but around last year I realized that it had been a good 4 years since we’d last ventured into Camden Yards. So for Father’s Day 2012 (delayed due to hectic schedules and weather complications), I decided to give my dad tickets to a game of his choosing, which we used by watching the Orioles play the Rays.

camden yardsDespite the threat of rain, constant humidity, and eventual loss of the O’s, we had a great time as a family. The beautiful Baltimore skyline greeted us as we drove into the city early that morning for a bit of exploring. We took a stroll by the warehouse right next to the park and paid a visit to Boog’s BBQ stand where I got a picture with Boog Powell himself. After satisfying our craving for deliciously overpriced ballpark food, we took our seats in one of the top decks. But the height of our seats and the fact that they were a mere $17 didn’t deter us from having a lovely afternoon. We could see perfectly and had plenty of people around us to add volume to the cheers reverberating throughout the stadium.

Unlike Ravens games which can get intense and loud, the Orioles games are oh so calm and relaxed. There is a real family atmosphere to be found with all of the children toddling around in their orange jerseys while grandparents patiently wait in lines for the tots’ cotton candy. Despite the child behind us kicking my mom’s seat and playing his video game rather loudly, everyone was so well behaved and courteous, further adding to our pleasant experience.

IMG_2091

IMG_2092I truly love spending time with my family, and the strong sense of community that the O’s could provide for me was great too. Every now and again you just need to know that you’re a part of something larger than yourself, and it may take yelling “O!” during the National Anthem with thousands of strangers to feel that sense of unity.

Charm City

baltimore skylineI’ve lived just outside of Baltimore, MD my whole life. As a child, I never frequented the city unless it was to visit the prairie dogs at the Zoo or pay testament to Barney on Ice. Once I grew up a tad and  figured out how to properly work the light rail, I could really begin to appreciate the beauty of the city and everything Baltimore had to offer (my Super Bowl-winning Ravens). I fell in love.

I don’t consider myself a city girl by any means, but there’s just something about Baltimore that pulls on my heart strings and makes me feel like I’m comfortably at home but also capable of discovering untold adventures. Everything that Baltimore offers is dear to me and I am so grateful that I’ve grown up next to such a prominent and delightful town.

I think Tracey does a pretty good job of describing Charm City:

In Baltimore, I’ve:

DSCN0095

The Harbor was gorgeous at night

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The prize was meeting Torrey Smith. GIVE ME MORE CARDS!

Played Bingo in Ravens stadium.

Celebrated my anniversary on the Inner Harbor.

Gotten an internship with a premier medical center.

Tolerated my brother at baseball games.

Beauty and the Beast!

Beauty and the Beast!

Bonded with my Dad on the 20 yard line.

Relived my childhood with my Mom.

And created memories that are bound to last a lifetime.

We all have that one special place around where we grew up that just calls to us, and for me, that’s Baltimore. I hope that one day I can find some way to give back to the city I love. For right now, I’m content to just reflect on all the wonderful experiences it’s lent me and continue planning for more memorable times.

baltimore harbor