Fall for Fiction

Adult readers – Making its paperback debut in time for the autumn weather, Rebecca Makkai’s acclaimed third novel The Great Believers (Penguin, 2018/2019), a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times book review’s “Ten best books of 2018,” more than lives up to the hype in the way that it stunningly tells the story of a group of gay friends in Chicago and the impact that AIDS has on them during the 1980s and beyond. A few years before Rebecca Makkai wrote her loving portrait of the gay community, another straight female novelist, Ann Patchett, created the unforgettable […]

Vinyl Destination

One of the best things about the vinyl revival is that albums initially issued on CD (and in some cases cassette) only, during the mid-to-late 1990s and throughout the early part of the 2000s, are finally getting the chance to be heard in the beloved, “warm,” classic format. Originally released in 1999, the eponymous debut by Disney darling turned sex kitten Christina Aguilera is now available in a 20th anniversary limited edition on vinyl “pressed on genie orange with fiery red swirls” from RCA / Legacy. Keep in mind this is before her Xtina transformation as she and the far […]

Meet and Greet: Johanna Dolan

Canadian activist Elaine MacDonald once said, “A life coach does for the rest of your life what a personal trainer does for your health and fitness.” Life coach and trainer Johanna Dolan’s work exudes empowerment. Dolan recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud on her work and deep Baltimore roots. “I am a native Baltimorean,” began Dolan. “I was born in Towson and lived on Pratt Street. We moved when I was in second grade to West Virginia. My dad was a truck driver during the week and a minister. On Sundays, we would go to whatever church we were attending at […]

Hagerstown Hopes Furthers Outreach, Programs, & Events

This is an exciting time of year for us at Hagerstown Hopes. We recently elected a new board of directors and were humbled by the number of outstanding applicants we had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with. All applicants brought great ideas and showed a commitment to our mission to strengthen, support, and unite the local LGBTQ community. Now that we’ve secured the longevity of our organization and built a foundation for outreach programs, we look forward to bringing new and exciting programs, resources, and events for the community. When we made the decision to branch out into community […]

The Big, Bad Scary

As a bona fide horror buff, one of the things I love about the genre is that it’s constantly evolving. Looking back, we can see trends. The 70s brought us religious horror with films like The Exorcist and The Omen. The 80s established the teen-slasher flick with titles like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. More recently we endured a celluloid sea of zombies before venturing into arthouse horror films like The Witch and Hereditary. What I find to be so interesting is that horror films, like all films, have to be relevant to audiences to be […]

America’s Pastime and Me

I remember getting my first baseball glove. I was five, and it was from Kay-Bee Toys. Growing up there was a vacant lot between my house and our neighbor’s to the right, so every spring and summer I would drag cinder blocks across the grass and make a diamond. Sometimes I would get the other kids in the neighborhood to play a full pick-up game with me, but usually it was just my brother, father, and myself. When I was ten, I begged my parents to buy me a tee-ball set, but only because it had a genuine rubber home […]

Navigating Venue and Catering Fees

The first purchasing decision you’re likely to make when you’re planning your wedding is your venue. The second is your caterer. These are generally your two largest purchases, and it’s best to make them in that order.  Sometimes the venue is a stand-alone cost, and sometimes it’s combined with catering. There are pros and cons to each. For the purposes of the moment, we’ll consider venue and catering separately. In Maryland, venue fees start with a no-cost home wedding and continue up into the low five-figure range. Costs can vary by season; by day of the week; and on weekends, […]

The Right to Disconnect

In reading through the fall issue of HR magazine, I came across an interesting article that would seem odd to an American audience. The article focuses on France and Spain’s increased effort to decrease workplace stress by allowing employees the right to disconnect from electronic devices while not on duty. In our society, where exempt employees seem to be on the clock sometimes 24/7, this approach may be something to consider as we look at our own work-life balance. Specifically, the article cites that the blurring of the line between work and personal time, and the accompanying stress and intrusion […]

Is David Bowd Perfectly Fine with Your Mom sitting in on a Job Interview for Salt Hotels?

David Bowd is the co-founder and CEO of Salt Hotels, currently spanning five properties, including Provincetown’s Salt House Inn and Eben House. He has no problem steering the next generation of hoteliers, having lived through his own mother attending his first interview for a hotel position. David talks his community work with Salt School, launching the Salt Hotels brand, and responds to humanity’s discovery of how to fold a fitted sheet.   Kevin: As a hotelier, is it time to retool the expression, “Even the salty customer is always right?” David: It’s a very old fashioned phrase that doesn’t always […]

Oh, I See

On September 26th, 2019 the leather community lost a leader, a historian, a mentor, a leather contest producer, and a very colorful character. I lost a dear friend. I will never forget Vern Stewart. I first met Vern in May 2001. In March of that year I became a leather titleholder when during a contest at the Club Hippo in Baltimore, I was selected Maryland Mr. Drummer 2001. In May I traveled to Scranton, Pennsylvania, for the Pennsylvania Mr. Drummer / Drummerboy 2001 contest. It was Kentucky Derby Day and I ducked into the Silhouette Lounge to watch the race. […]