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Friday, October 13, 2017

Seeking the Snallygaster

Maryland's Infamous Monster

For as long as I can remember I've been a collector of stories.  I like learning new things about people, places, and things (ok, just nouns in general), and it's rare that I hear a story that I deem completely insignificant or unworthy of remembering.  That said, my love of stories is much like an addiction: each story ups my tolerance, leaving me wanting more.  I've harvested and collected hundreds, thousands, of stories over the years, always in search of a new favorite.  That's why I was surprised to learn that a centuries-old story has been quietly lurking right in front of me (or maybe above me) my whole life.  That story is a Western Maryland legend known as the Snallygaster.  With Halloween fast approaching, now seems to be the perfect time to share the Snallygaster with you.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Upside Down Parenting

I realize this is supposed to be a column about parenting. And, I realize that I’m generally supposed to write about parenting children. Normally, that’s my topic. Today is different, however. Today, I’m going to talk about parenting our parents.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Domestic Safety

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Many people think of domestic violence as physical brutality but it is much more than that. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse.”

Friday, September 29, 2017

Why Mother Matters

Some people love it, most people hate it. I’m talking about Mother the new movie from filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, creator of brilliant-but-hard-to-watch movies like Requiem for a Dream and the award-winning Black Swan. His new effort has been called “divisive” and for good reason: It’s an art film with a wide release, marketed as a mainstream movie starring Jennifer Lawrence. Critics generally like it, but Mother is the first movie since 2012 to be rated “F” by audiences via CinemaScore. The film is allegory, steeped in metaphor and wrapped in symbolism, wherein everything has more than one meaning. Critics can’t even agree on its genre. Is it horror? Drama? Maybe even a subversive comedy? No wonder people are leaving the theater confused (if they didn’t walk out before the end credits started rolling).

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Tears of Defeat

I was an overscheduled child. By the time I hit high school, I was on the cheerleading squad, swim team, in the marching band, pep band, pit band, jazz band, drama club, concert choir, women’s chorus, auditioned choir, youth in government, all kinds of school committees, and half a dozen other activities. I was a busy kid, to say the least.

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