Friday, July 1, 2016

Some Notes on Another Failing Friendship Interspersed with Glen Burnie Remembered Then and Pictured Now Images; and Not Yet Gone With the Wind: Olivia De Havilland at 100

The dazzling Sun seen through power lines along the Baltimore & Annapolis (B&A) Trail, Glen Burnie, Md., 2:01PM June 10, 2016.

This entry contains the bulk of the pictures that I took in Glen Burnie, Md., on my brief, recuperative visit to see my mom three weeks ago.

The B&A Trail outside the Pascal Senior Center along Dorsey Road, Glen Burnie, Md., 11:52AM June 10, 2016.


The pictures were taken on Friday, June 10th (three weeks ago today) while I took a walk from the Pascal Senior Center -- where she volunteers -- to the house in the Harundale neighborhood where she, Ray (my stepfather), and I lived back in the period 1984 - 1987, and back to the center. I'm from New Jersey but spent my teenage years in Glen Burnie, Md., a fact about which I do not like to brag.

To be clear, the pictures and their captions are topically wholly-unrelated to this entry, but I've been meaning to post them and this is just as good a chance as any -- but the result is a sort of split-personality entry.

Another view of the B&A Trail just outside the Pascal Senior Center, Glen Burnie, Md., 11:52AM June 10, 2016.

The B&A Trail for most of its 13.3 mile course runs on a perfect NNW-SSE bearing -- paralleling Gov. Ritchie Highway Rt. 2 -- between Glen Burnie and Arnold, Md. This part by the Pascal Center may actually be part of the BWI Trail loop.

I recall when the trail first opened in 1990. I was already two years out of high school.


Glen Burnie Mutual Savings Bank, Glen Burnie, Md., 12:22PM June 10, 2016.

Yes, the address is actually 1 Crain Highway S. You see, the grid system of Glen Burnie has its "origin" at the intersection of Crain Highway (Rt. 3), Post 40 Road, and Central Avenue. Glen Burnie -- which is actually a Census Designated Place (CDP)* -- is divided into the same sort of quadrants as the District of Columbia (NW, SW, SE, and NE). I wrote about this here -- although I realized I made a mistake on one of the "zero point" thoroughfares, and I have just corrected it.

The street system, though, only applies in certain areas. In other areas -- such as along Ritchie Highway -- the numbering system is out of Baltimore and is in the 7000s and 8000s.

There are actually only two incorporated cities in all of Anne Arundel County (Annapolis and, for historical reasons, the speck of Highland Beach)


The Glen Burnie Improvement Association (G.B.I.A.) building, Glen Burnie, Md., 12:23PM June 10, 2016.

The G.B.I.A. rules as a de facto government in what you might call "Old Glen Burnie."

I recall what my high school friend Luther said one night while we were volunteering at the Big Glen Burnie Carnival at some point in the late 1990s or early 2000s:

Ancient G.B.I.A. Secret, Eh??

I'll never know to what that was in reply. I just remember looking at him when he said it to somebody.


OK, on with the actual entry ...

Just a brief update. OK, it ended up a not-so-brief-update.

It's quarter after five on a Friday late afternoon (evening?) at the start of the July 4th weekend. I teleworked today from home, although I actually took part of the day off and will record it as such. I wasn't feeling that well with a migraine headache that kept me in bed for a while.

The carnival grounds of the Big Glen Burnie Carnival held in late summer every year since 1908, Glen Burnie, Md., 12:24PM June 10, 2016.

I volunteered at the carnival for a number of years back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. with some high school friends (Luther, Mike V., and Brian T.) I honestly don't remember the years, although I do I recall I was living in D.C. at the time for some of those years, so they had to be after 2001.


Last night after work was enjoyable -- going to the National Press Club with a co-worker and friend (who is a member) -- until it wasn't (more on that below). My friend and I had a really nice time at the NPC, having some dinner and drinks.

B&A Trail along Greenway Rd. SE, Glen Burnie, Md., 12:38PM June 10, 2016.


Earlier, I had stopped at the Metro Center Macy's and -- using my credit card -- bought three new polo-type shirts. What I really need are new t-shirts, and I'll get those soon (although perhaps at Target).

Greenway Road SE and Pine Terrace, Glen Burnie, Md., 12:40PM June 10, 2016.


The part of the night that turned bad -- and when don't my nights turn bad, no matter what I do? -- was stopping in at Fox & Hound and having a rather ugly verbal encounter with Jamie. At this point, I'm afraid this friendship, which has been waning for a lengthy period, is more or less over. There is a specific (proximate) cause for the current death spiral, which I don't want to delve into in this entry.

Trees in the backyards of houses along Manor and Wardour Roads, along the B&A Trail, Glen Burnie, Md., 12:40PM June 10, 2016.


To be clear, though, it has been a very rocky friendship since its inception back in 2010 when we were both working as temporary Census workers for the D.C. group quarters enumeration.

What a (for us, then, well-paying) racket and a hoax that was -- not to mention, nationally, a catastrophe given the 2010 GOP landslide that enabled every crooked state legislature to gerrymander the hell out of state and Congressional districts, contributing to the political disaster we have today. The next Census is likely to be super-ugly because everyone now knows what's at stake.

The legendary Sunset Restaurant in Glen Burnie, Md., 12:44PM June 10, 2016.

This place was there back in the early 1980s. I remember going there with my mom and dad when my dad came down to visit and stayed with us (my stepfather didn't mind). That was in 1984 when I was living at Little Road.

My friend BK in NYC has his own stories about Sunset Restaurants involving parents ...


There was one thing in particular that was said that suggests he has been speaking disparagingly about me to Oooza Perruzza, the Anthropomorphic Crow, beloved of the good and the great M. WADE Tipamillyun, both foundational members of the 17th Street Gay Mafia. If it is true -- and I am surmising that by what he said to me last night -- then that is a real deal-breaker for me. That's a bridge too far.

The parking lot of Harundale Plaza, Glen Burnie, Md., 12:52PM June 10, 2016.

Harundale Plaza is the successor to the old Harundale Mall (and Annex!) that used to occupy this site. That mall -- as I recall from a large, carved rock placed in the mall -- was "the first covered mall on the East Coast" (that may or may not have been technically true) and then-Senator John F. Kennedy was there at the 1958 dedication.


With Jamie and me, it was a contest during all-too-frequent arguments of who could say the most vituperative and vicious things, and it's deeply depressing and I just can't have that anymore. I recognize that I have two settings -- docile and explosion -- and he has one setting -- dominate alpha male. That was problematic to begin with, but now life circumstances have changed and our friendship has been fading for a while despite the occasional wonderful time with him -- and acknowledging his sustained extreme generosity in buying drinks for me.

1600 Ingalls Rd., Glen Burnie, Md., 12:57PM June 10, 2016.

This is the Harundale neighborhood of Glen Burnie -- a planned post-war community that was constructed in 1947. It was sort of Anne Arundel County's version of Levittown.

Of note, I (re?)-realized when walking down Westway -- one of the two residential side streets that parallel Ritchie Highway, the other being Eastway -- that the streets are all alphabetized (from Farrington Rd. to Little Rd.), though not in any standard syllabic way (as in D.C.).


More depressingly for me, it had become another part of the larger garbage fire that is my personal social life in this goddamn D.C. neighborhood from whence I want and intend to move to the quieter Maryland (Montgomery County) suburbs with Quill either later this year or in 2017.

1801 Little Road, Glen Burnie, Md., 12:59PM June 10, 2016.

This was the house my mom, Ray, and I lived in between 1984 and 1987. It looks rather different now, especially with a huge two-story garage addition in the back. I recall we bought the house from an old Catholic couple (there was a Virgin Mary statue in the yard) who had occupied it probably since the 1950s. I remember finding very weird old newspapers and magazines in the small attic -- including gay erotica themed stuff.

We should have just stayed there instead of buying the house on Old Stage Road, which ended up a very costly disaster.

Whoever owns it now, well, they have a lot of dogs. There was a ginormous Rottweiler staring at me from behind the fence when I took this picture. I don't think he "just wanted to play."

Oh, yes, the 1800-block address is on the local Glen Burnie grid.


I mean, I understand from a certain perspective, it makes sense that they would establish a strategic relationship and, perhaps, even a notional friendship given what both of them do in such close proximity to each other. But from my perspective, given my own history, to speak to him about me and throw those ideas back at me is just unacceptable.

Ritchie Highway as seen from Westway by Little Road, Glen Burnie, Md., 12:59PM June 10, 2016.

The road was just called "Westway" as I recall -- no "Road" or "Street" or whatnot followed it. The road dead-ended about three houses down into a forested area where the Marley Creek flows.


In summary,  I honestly would like, somehow, to preserve, or rather, reestablish this friendship, and I miss the old Jamie (even with all our arguments) when we used to spend so many nights at Larry's Lounge and Fox & Hound, but it just doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Too much debris-filled floodwaters have passed under the friendship bridge and it has collapsed.

How's that for a metaphor?

As a concluding thought, if this friendship is really over, then it will be the last one to go of all those friends that I had from 5+ years ago with the exceptions of Andrea (whom I met about 5 years ago) and Quill (whom I have known since 1990). Oh, I also include as remaining friends Chester and Mike G., although I don't see them much. (In the case of Kristof, I enjoy seeing him once every two months or so but we aren't really friends anymore.)

I'm not entirely sure what it means that I've given up on so many friendships -- including those not just for obvious reasons -- but there it is.

Ingalls Rd., Glen Burnie, Md., 1:05PM June 10, 2016.

Ingalls Road is the last one along Westway (heading south) that is a through-street into the rest of the Harundale 'hood, which I suspect is Trump territory.


For this holiday weekend, I intend to have a regular Saturday afternoon gym workout and evening laundry chores followed by the usual restaurant/bar hop. For Sunday, I'm supposed to have lunch with Quill and Andrea (they haven't met before) in Bethesda (either at Rock Bottom or Tapp'd). For July 4th, I have no plans, although Jake invited me to a party at his place in Ballston (Arlington) with all his 20-something straight friends.

Saunders Way, Glen Burnie, Md., 1:06PM June 10, 2016.

I recall catching the school bus to then-Corkran Jr. High (now Corkran Middle School). There are large willow oak trees along this street.


There is a chance of rain / thunderstorms on July 4th. Yesterday's Euro model has a deluge here of up to 3 inches while the GFS did not. I haven't really looked today to see what is being forecasted. Right now, it is almost hot outside -- 88F at KDCA at 5PM -- and quite humid -- dew points in the lower 70s Fahrenheit.

There is a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for the Baltimore/Washington area for this evening but it doesn't appear that there will be a widespread outbreak.

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard composite mode looped 5:15PM - 5:54PM July 1, 2016.


Above is the radar loop while I was composing this entry. It shows a broken line of thunderstorms to the south and east of D.C. and Baltimore. As of 6PM, it looks as though KDCA and KBWI may have been clipped by the storms. The sky is dark off to the south and there is the occasional rolling peel of thunder, but it is just partly cloudy here and the Sun is out.

For tonight, I dunno. There's really nothing to do. I guess I'll go to Trade, though I may take a walk over to M Street in Georgetown.

The B&A Trail in Harundale, Glen Burnie, Md., 1:07PM June 10, 2016.

This is the trail -- obviously, an old rail line (the old B&A rail line) -- heading almost due south toward Marley Station Mall.


Before I sign off, below are a few links to some good reads.

The first one is by a New York Times op-ed contributor named Jared Yates Sexton, an assistant professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University, who attended a Trump rally in Greensboro, N.C., and gave an account of the moral depravity, bombastic ignorance, and verbal violence he encountered there. He speculated on why Trump supporters behave that way:

A Trump victory really would likely spell the end of this country as it exists -- and, quite possibly, a violent breakup.


Grassy area by the bend of Irene Drive and Nancy Road, Glen Burnie, Md., 1:11PM June 10, 2016.

I guess the long-ago developer named the streets after his daughter and wife and/or mistress.


The next one is from It is a very good summary account of the political chaos in Britain following the Brexit vote in both the Conservative and Labour Parties:

View outside the Pascal Senior Center, Glen Burnie, Md., 2:12PM June 10, 2016.


And the obligatory, always-worthwhile-to-read Jonathan Chait piece:

The last sentence sums it up nicely:

"Obama is a socially cosmopolitan, intellectual technocrat, and a highly effective one. He can proudly defend that record. He'll never out-populist Donald Trump."


Oh, yes, how could I not note this:

Olivia De Havilland Turns 100

Ms. Olivia De Havilland at 100.

Here is an NPR article link (which includes the above picture).

Her sister refers, of course, to Joan Fontaine, with whom she had a legendary feud, and who died at age 96 in late 2013.

Updated 11:56AM 7/2/2016

We love you.

End of Update.


OK, that's all for now. Given that this entry turned into a much lengthier one than I planned and that I posted the bulk of the pictures I had wanted to feature, I am going to refrain from any Saturday Evening Post entries and instead will just have a jukebox Saturday night one.


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