WCBM Life Style

Jan 01, 2013 -- 12:00am





1 - Chris Tucker - Lyric
1-2 - Disney on Ice, Royal Farms Arena
1-2 - Pumpkin Chucking - Clark's Elioak Farm - Ellicott City
1-9 - 'Richard II' - Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
1-9 - 'Memphis' - Tobys Dinner Theatre
1-16 - 'Grounded' - Everyman Theatre 
1-16 - 'Next to Normal' - Center Stage
1-30 - For Whom it Stands: The Flag and the American People - Reginald Lewis Museum
1-30 - Civil War 150th Anniversary - B & O Railroad Museum
1-30 - The Visionary Experience - American Visionary Arts Museum 
2 - Charm City Fringe Fest - the best of underground music
7 & 9  - Madama Butterfly - Lyric
7-9 - Irish Festival - Md Fairgrounds
7-8 - Greek Food & Cultural Festival - Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 24 W. Preston
7-8 - Kevin Nealon - Magooby's Joke House
8 - Shark Sprint - 10k across the bay
13 - Aretha Franklin - Lyric 
14-15 - Annapolis Symphony - Md Hall for Creative Arts
14-16 - Waterfowl Festival - Easton
14-30 - The Polar Express - Aquarium
14-30 - 'Seminar' - Fells Pt Corner Theatre
15-16 - Alpaca & Fleece Festival - Howard Ct Fairgrounds
20 - Evening with John Waters - The Senator
21-30 - Inner Harbor Ice Skating - McKeldin Square
22 - Trace Adkins - Lyric
23 - American Wing Grand Re-opening - Balto Museum of Art
27 - Gobble Cobble Turkey Trot - President Street
27-30 - Christmas Village - West Shore Park
28-30 - Classical Mystery Tour - Meyerhoff Hall
28-30 - Festival of Trees - Md Fairgrounds





      Fall Movies
     It must be said, and has been said by people other than me, the summer was not a good season for movies.  Box office receipts were down from last summer.  Hollywood is hoping for an autumn rebound.  Early signs have been good.
     Let's begin with the Bill Murray comedy, and some moments not so funny, St. Vincent.  Believe me, on the surface he looks and acts nothing like a saint. But the new to the block kid next door thinks he is.  He has just moved in with his mom, played by Melisa McCarthy, in a subtle role. Murray gets to be a paid baby sitter and proceeds to take him to a bar and race track.   
     They develop an unlikely friendship.  Who wouldn't like someone who takes them to bars and to the track.  Well for one thing, his mom isn't crazy about it. The film works because of Murray.  I recommend it.
     Something far removed from a comedy is John Wick, with Keanu Reeves as the antihero, man of a few words, retired hit man.  He comes out of retirement when three thugs invade his house and kill his dog, a dog given to him by his deceased wife.  
     To be sure there is plenty of action, bullets, dead bodies and car stunts. It is not a subtle film.  Honestly, though some scenes bordered on the absurd, I did enjoy it.  I will say I do think this is a flick for guys.  Rated R.
     Now we're going to war with Brad Pitt in Fury.  Set in Germany during World War 2, Pitt is the commander of a five man crew in a tank called Fury.  They are sent on numerous missions.  So you can expect lots of gore.  I do think Pitt is a better actor than he gets credit for.  The budget was $80 million.  Rated R.
    Next up is a film where we might have Oscar bids when the time comes.  The film is The Judge with Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall.  Set in rural Indiana, Downey is a high priced Chicago lawyer who returns home when his mother dies.  His dad, the judge, was been accused of a serious crime so he decides to represent him.  It should be noted father and son haven't spoken in years.
    The film is heavy on dialogue, which isn't a bad thing.  It is a bit long, but it's good enough that you wont notice.  Rated R.
     Finally we have Gone Girl, with Ben Affleck with his best performance in years.  This is a tense thriller about a husband accused of murdering his wife.  Along the way there are numerous twists and turns to keep your attention.  I liked this one and it is doing well.  Also in the cast are Tyler Perry and Billy Bob Thornton, in his best performance in years.  Rated R.    






     We're going to take a trip out to western Maryland and the fall is an excellent time to do that.  Our destination is Cumberland.  From Baltimore, depending on traffic, it's about a three hour trip.  Our first

stop is the Western Maryland Railroad (13 Canal Street).  I took the 90 minute ride from Cumberland to Frostburg.   The railroad cars are comfortable and provide great views with their big windows.  When you arrive in Frostburg

I suggest you take a walk in town.  You have about 90 minutes before the train departs.

     Admittedly it wont take too long to check out the shops on the main street.  But I think you would enjoy stopping in the Hotel Gunter, a historic hotel with a glorious grand staircase.  Also, check out the pictures on the

walls.  It will teach you about the history of the hotel and town.  The main street is only about 100 yards from the station.  If you don't want to walk, hang out in the station or drop by a gift shop close by.  Walking to Frostburg

University requires a longer walk, but you do have the time.  If you get tired in town a shuttle will pick you up. 

     This trip runs Thursday through Sunday, but that can change as the seasons change.  There are other opportunites to ride the rails.  Also offered is a dinner train and something called the Maryland Junction Express.

For the Frostburg trip tickets vary with seat location.  The average price ranges from $33.00 to $60.00.  The dinner trains are a bit higher.  By the way, you might inquire about the Murder Mystery trains.  For information

301-759-4400 or to go

     There are of course other things to do in and around town.  If you like the outdoors there's Dan's Mountain State Park, Green Ridge State Forest and Rocky Gap State Park, the location of a casino.  If you plan

on camping check out the Allegany County Fairgrounds, C & O Canal National Park and Hidden Springs Campgrounds.  If hiking is your thing visit Great Allegany Passage, Rocky Gap and Green Ridge State Forest.

Other places to consider would be Tri-State Zoological Park, Alpacas at River's Edge Farm, the Historical Society, C & O Canal National Historic Park and Museum, Canal Place Heritage Area, George Washinton's

Headquarters or the Gulf War Memorial.

     If you're planning an overnight, there are many choices.  A few of them would be the Cumberland Motel, 9 Decatur Guest House & Hostel, Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Mountain View Motel.  Lodging that is located

downtown and close to just about eveything is the Cumberland Inn & Spa (120 Greene Street).  There are 13 rooms all with a different look.  You can relax in the room or in the lounge, with a TV, snacks and reading

material.  Rates vary with the season but I think $109.00 to $119.00 is close to average. (240-362-7111

     The easiest way to reach Cumberland is 70 to 68.  The town makes for a very good getaway destination.  And let me say again, western Maryland is an ideal location for autumn foliage.  Keep in mind their season

is two to three weeeks ahead of ours in the central and eastern part of the state.  For more information on Allegany County go

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A Tribute To Our Military

Sep 11, 2011 -- 8:46am


A Military Tribute


Now that I lay me down for some sleep

My family’s secure as I take a quick peek.


With all of my heart I must give my thanks

to all those in uniform - regardless of rank.


Each time that they’re seen my heart sure does swell,

They serve our great country and serve it so well!


Freedom’s not cheap, it sure isn’t free...

If it wasn't for them, then where would we be?


They give us their all, and do what they must,

with God they do live, and in God they do trust.


So as I lay down and rest my tired eyes

our freedom still rings, and our flag - it still flies!


Safe is my family, my country, my home,

Because of our Military it must surely be known!


My very last prayer in the deep of the night:

"God bless them & keep them strong for their fight."



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Thank You United States Military

May 02, 2011 -- 3:16pm

Nino Mangione

Only a minute number are born to take on such a mission! Imagine leaving the luxuries of American life. The likes of leaving behind your favorite sporting events and your favorite TV shows, the fast food restaurants, the nights out on the town, the cookouts. Leaving behind perhaps your girlfriend or wife, your mother and or father, your brothers or sister, your best friend, maybe even your own son or daughter, basically everything you grew up ever or just began loving! Imagine your former lifestyle is now just a faraway fantasy. Every day you spend your free time hoping to one day return to that former utopia. As if this scenario was not unbearably thought-provoking, just try and fathom the idea of waking up each day with the sword of jihad pinned up against your throat! For those days where you are fortunate enough to avoid the jihadist dagger you wonder will tomorrow ever come? Or will today be your last? Every day you wake up in fear as you dwell in the most dangerous location his holiness above has allowed to ever exist! You routinely gaze upon ruin and carnage both from a physical and mental point of view. You see the blood and destruction first hand of both your enemies and allies. You just hope and pray it would come to an end. Who would trade your everyday American existence of freedom and liberty for such a hellish way of life? Only those who understand that freedom is not an eternal virtue, rather it is a occasional lifestyle that must be defended with the blood of heroes! As Ronald Reagan once said “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction” Thank you United States Military for making sure freedom does not become an extinction in America! Thank you for taking on all the above to save us the burden of having to do the same!


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