Monday, April 07, 2008

When the streams are ripe and swelled with rain...

Just some odds and ends for a dreary April Monday…

I cleaned my deck yesterday. It looks very nice, thanks for asking. On the advice of some friends who know these things, I opted to scrub with soap rather than power wash.

Friends who recommended this: You have temporarily lost my trust.

Cleaning a deck is prolonged misery. Seriously.

With most of the work around the house that I do – even the arduous stuff – there are usually milestones along the path to completion that bolster my spirit and keep me going. Not so with the deck cleaning.

Upon completing the task, I hobbled inside and collapsed on the couch, drawing inexplicable laughter from my usually-supportive wife. Feebly, I asked her what was so funny.

"People wash decks everyday for a living," she said.

"Yeah, but ours is bigger than most."

"So."

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"We knew we were going to win."

The sweet reward of yesterday's work was watching the Orioles game on the DVR. I dutifully watched them fail to muster any offense against Felix Hernandez for eight innings, and not once thought of stopping the game. Probably because I couldn't move my arm enough to lift the remote.

Nevertheless, as soon as Nick Markakis hit a double to lead off the ninth, I paused the game and called Abbzug into the room. Something's going to happen, I thought.

And, sure enough, with a few singles, a passed ball and a little bit of luck the Worst Team In Baseball (this year's Orioles) had managed to win their fourth-straight (now five, after another one-run win today!) since losing on opening day.

I know I'm usually the first in line for the orange Kool-Aid, but damn if it didn't feel great to get this win and, more importantly, to hear Dave Trembely say afterward in his press conference: "When Markakis hit that double, we knew we were going to win."

The Orioles have been quitters for the past decade – see last year's 13-31 record in one-run games for starters, then try the annual mid-summer collapse for your main course.

But maybe things really are starting to change.

Now, does anyone have a napkin I can use to wipe off this orange moustache?

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Our local politics reporter from The Sun has a great piece totally unrelated to our county. In this Op/Ed, Larry Carson writes about his experience covering the city beat in Baltimore for the News American during the riots that followed Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

Walking up Gay Street - past burning storefronts, past looters carrying suitcases through the broken display window of a pawn shop, and past Baltimore police cars racing by on their way from one riot call to another - I could hardly take it all in.

That Monday after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s murder was chaos in East Baltimore, where I struggled as a raw, 23-year-old police reporter for the News American to gather information. Strangely, none of the looters gave me a second glance, and I was calm and unafraid. Young, white, with short hair and wearing a sportcoat and tie, I probably looked like a police officer. I overheard several actual officers lamenting that since the new emphasis on civil rights, they had to arrest suspects instead of taking them around a corner and beating them.

One black man who passed me shook his head and said it was a "shame" what was happening all around us.

And it was. Nobody deserved to have his business ruined, his home burned, his possessions stolen. It was tragic, but then so were the years of injustices to Baltimore's African-Americans - confined to "their" schools and neighborhoods by racial prejudice, unable to find the kinds of jobs and opportunities whites had, yet spurred by the hopes that Dr. King aroused in all of us.
It's actually much more than a snapshot of that time and those riots, however, as it delves into Carson's experience growing up in a segregated Baltimore. You should probably just go ahead and read the whole thing.

2 comments:

Kathy O. said...

What you should do: Let my dogs come over and poo all over your deck for a week. Once you get that cleaned up it will look sparkling. Trust me, it works.

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