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Five Things – 7 January 2016

No, I did not do any of these posts in December. At first, I was just taking a break after November. November was a crazy month. I did a lot of writing. I’m proud of myself for working so much, but I did need a breather. But then …

I was hospitalized for a staph infection. The doctors did throw some terrifying scenarios at me as soon as I got there, but I did indeed survive and without having to be cut open. I’m very grateful. The last thing I wanted was to be put under and cut up, no matter how many painkillers would have been available had they decided to perform surgery.

Being somewhere without access to pen and paper or a laptop or any computer with a keyboard for a few days really sucked. I was happy to get out of there and get back to work. I was close to asking a friend to sneak in a bootable Linux flash drive so I could use one of the hospital computers. It was touch and go. I was getting pretty desperate for a text editor. If I’m concerned I might be hospitalized again, I’m carrying a bag with writing materials and my Chromebook that day.

Still, it wasn’t a wholly bad experience. I got over my fear of needles. They took blood so often and gave me so much antibiotic that I began to become used to it. No brownie points for this, though, as I hope to never go through this again.

Oh and they had some excellent tomato soup. I hated tomato soup when I went in, but now, I love the stuff. I’m a changed man.


After telling myself for probably the last 8 or so years that I’d finally begin to regularly watch basketball, I finally am. I’m catching most of the Maryland Terrapin womens’ games and when I can’t, I’m following online. I still don’t know entirely what terms like “off the dribble” mean or entirely what a point guard does, but I’m learning. It’s a process. I won’t become John Edgar Wideman or anything, but it’s pretty fun. Winning helps, too. I say this with no shame.


I’m happy to see Mike Piazza finally make the Hall of Fame. Looking back, he had some impressive accomplishments, especially in light of so many of his contemporaries being linked to steroids. I’m hoping I can go up to Cooperstown for the induction. As a long-term Mets fan, the only thing that could have made this sweeter would be the Mets having won the Series last year.


I’m not even mad about the Ravens 5-11 record. And not just because they beat the Steelers twice and nearly ruined their playoff chances. Injuries obliterated this season. But Joe is already doing his best to get back next year, Suggs wants back and Steve Smith isn’t retiring now after all. The Ravens will be fine. I’m just kicking back and watching the playoffs and getting ready for baseball, now.


Governor Larry Hogan is pledging a few hundred million bucks to tear down vacant houses in Baltimore and replace them with new development. This is a huge thing. I just hope it doesn’t end up only gentrifying these neighborhoods and meaning that the people who live there and most need the help now won’t get it. If this is followed up in the next year or so with a commitment to a real Red Line alternative other than buses, it probably will end up helping those who need the help now in these neighborhoods.