A Blog About… NOTHING! Grawwrrg

Dearest friends, it’s been awhile.

Today is rainy, chilly, and full of mother nature’s angst. I absolutely adore it. It’s the first day of Spring Break, and I have to tell you that I woke up feeling like Captain Planet. I was full of happiness and joy.

It floats because it's magic!

I just went to the gym and did some intermediate rowing. If you’ve never rowed, I’m wondering how you manage to live! It’s probably the most enjoyable experience a human being can ever do legally. We all know what boats are, right? They’re those floaty things. So you get in a floaty thing, and you bring a paddle. Then you paddle in the water. It’s simple. It’s hard. It’s winning.

To comment on today’s rain, I will mention that I recently went to Seattle for a Phi Theta Kappa conference. I wrote a bunch of blogs about Seattle, but they’re mostly just me gushing over the rain. It’s so beautiful there! Much like today, it rains and rains and rains. Everyone there is so calm and relaxed. Even the homeless people speak articulately and with respect! I’d recommend visiting there at the very least. It’s probably the calmest, dreariest place on earth. I love me some dreary.

Hmm, let’s see. What else can I say? Oh yea. Am I the only one who was disappointed with the ungodly lateness of Spring Break this year? Spring Break ought to occur in the middle of the semester. I know. I know. We always pair it with Easter because we love to be efficient, but I respectfully protest that pairing if Easter happens to coincide with the End of Time! I would kindly like to call this, as my generation points it, a huge fail.

This is exactly what I look like when I'm asleep.

Anyway, now that Spring Break is here, guess what I’m doing? I’M SLEEPING! I’ve forgotten how good it is to just lay in bed and not get out. When I woke up this morning, my sheets were so tightly wrapped around me that I felt like a burrito. I was a burrito of warmth and comfort.

To bid thee farewell, I’d like to give a shoutout to all my wonderful friends in Pine Ridge for the Alternative Spring Break! I’m sure you’re all having a lovely time! I’ll be enjoying gratuitous amounts of rest and relaxation in your honor! Yea, I just did three sentences in a row that ended in exclamation points. I’m that excited!

Bread and Cheese: A Brief Moostory

Oh hello there, fine sir or lass. Today I bring you a brief history of the Bread and Cheese Creek, circa Kelsey. I was debating on whether or not I should throw in some dragons and holy wars, but I thought against it. Here’s some cool info!

As you may or may not know, Bread and Cheese Creek is a tributary that flows through Baltimore County for 8.5 miles before ending in Back River, which leads to the Chesapeake Bay. The name, Bread and Cheese, comes from a favorite meal of soldiers during The War of 1812. With no real means of preserving foods for long periods, soldiers of the day were forced to eat hardtack and cheese for sustenance. …mmm, sustenance.

Mmm, delicious rock.

Hardtack, by the way, is essentially a big rock that has been painted to look like bread. It’s not delicious, but it never gets moldy! And don’t worry, if you were a soldier in 1812 you’d eat the mold anyway. Those guys were tough. During the Bread and Cheese cleanups, I often crawl on my hands in knees around the banks of the creek and pretend to be a British soldier. I whisper softly in a British accent while I do it. Don’t judge me.

On September 11, 1814 general John Stickler and his troops of 3,200 put up camp along Bread and Cheese creek to wait for the British to advance. The next morning scouts returned with news that the British troops were moving slowly forward and eating breakfast at a nearby farm. Two soldiers, younger than you are now, snuck up along the bank and KAPLOW’D General Ross, The Brit’s General, with some bullets. Yea, I know. Kaplow is probably not the appropriate word there, but I’ve always wanted to use it in a sentence.

Oh hey, blog reader, in case you didn’t know, America did win The War of 1812. Just throwing out that history tidbit for you.

Moo.

So anyway, in the 1900’s a dairy farm called “The Dundalk Dairy,” was built along a large portion of Bread and Cheese Creek and operated for several years. It was later purchased by the government to build Merritt Boulevard. Yea, you drive down that road every day. It used to be full of cows. COWS I TELL YOU!

Here’s something else worth mentioning. When a study was done on the most polluted tributaries in Maryland, good ole B & C was number three on the list. That means the creek got a bronze medal in awful. I mean, I’m all for getting medals, but I don’t know if that’s one we’ll want to put on the fridge anytime soon.

So what can you do? Like I said in my previous blog, there is a BONANZA! filled cleanup on April 2nd, this Saturday, from 8am to 2pm. Lunch will be catered to all volunteers, and it’s going to be a blast!

Oh yea, here’s the address for you!

Durwood Field

7599 Durwood Road

Dundalk, MD

Clean Bread and Cheese Creek! A Week’s Worth of Love

Prepare yourself, blog reader! Today begins a week long expose into the world of Bread and Cheese Creek. We’re covering it’s history, it’s cleanup contributors, it’s everything! I’m going to spend the next week teaching you everything there is to know about the good ole B&G–leading up to the April 2nd cleanup! Let us begin.

This is John, GreenHeart, Long

Many years ago a boy was born in an unnamed hospital. His thumb was not green, but his heart was full of an earthly spirit. As this boy grew into a man, he spent much of his youth carousing a local stream behind his home. This stream was pristine, as an elementary poet might say, and the man was pleased with his life. As the man grew older, he began to notice trash wash down the stream. The waters grew dark, and the banks eroded. A cloud came over this stream, and a plight of negligence clogged its waterways. Some called it trash, some called it pollution, but most considered it a victim of urban development.

This man’s name was John Long. The stream he so treasured was the Bread and Cheese Creek. As suburbia took hold, the once pristine waters of the creek turned into dirty muck. Rather than being a home to fish and other wildlife, the stream as it is today is more likely to house couches, grocery carts, and even the occasional bowling ball.

A picture of the Berkshire Portion of the Creek

A few years ago, Mr. Long took it upon himself to clean up this stream. He formed the The Bread and Cheese Creek Cleanup Organization, and he began to seek out volunteers to help him with his cause.

Last semester I stumbled across this organization, and I brought a couple of friends to the cleanup. This year, having gotten a taste for that oh so precious bread and cheese, I had the bright idea of using the cleanup as a focal point for a Mass Communications group project! I got a group of friends together, and we’re calling ourselves the planeteers! Can you dig it?

This is where you come in, blog reader!

April 2nd, 8am to 2pm, the Bread and Cheese Creek Organization is having a cleanup of the Berkshire portion of the creek. My ace team of planeteers, as well as myself, will not only be attending the event but have procured our own table of goodies and lollygags. Let me fill you in, my dearest friends, on what a wonderful adventure awaits!

The cleanup itself is located at:

Durwood Field

7599 Durwood Road

Dundalk, MD

In addition to having the lucky opportunity to help your local environment, there will be a free catered lunch for all volunteers!

We’re selling wristbands, t-shirts, and shrubbery that you may plant along the creek. We’re also holding a 50-50 raffle!

These are the bracelets we're selling!

Captain Planet, also called Mr. Long, is suffering a funding cut on this year’s cleanup events. Come to the cleanup and help out in any way you can! Even if you’re not the dirty creek-cleaning type, there’s plenty of work for all volunteers! Everyone is welcome. Did I mention that there’s free food?

McDaniel Made Me McSad

A few days ago I went on a trip to McDaniel, home of winners. Last year’s Distinguished Graduate, Teaira Scott, matriculates there, and she spoke highly of the institution.

We took a CCBC van to the joint. See how I said joint instead of institution? That’s some new-age jargon to make me look cool, dog. It was Van #4 of Dundalk. We took seven people, Essex took one, and I believe Catonsville took two or three.

At the Dining Hall--It was a buffet!

Let me take you straight to the truth, blog reader. McDaniel is full of middle/upper class white kids who love sports. They say about a third of the student body is involved in athletics, but looking around campus you’d think we were at the Jersey Shore. Even the women were showing off their guns. I felt like that flabby guy at Gold’s Gym who ends up going deaf because of all the manly grunting that’s going on.

I will say that the Gym smelled exactly like a gym should: sweaty and full of love. We went on a campus tour, and the outside of the buildings were beautiful. They were very colonial. Unfortunately, the inside of the buildings were equally as old. They had wooden chairs. Maybe CCBC-Dundalk spoiled me with their fly swivel chairs, but I was on the verge of tears when I had to sit down on mother earth’s precious wood. All right, I wasn’t really tearing up, but I was bitter. The classrooms looked like what you’d expect on Little House on The Prairie.

Near the Athletic Field and Science Building

With that said, the academics there seemed to be pretty good. I sat in on a Women in US History course, and it seemed like something I could really get into. I spoke with the professor after class, and he seemed to be a man of an upstanding skill and talent. Fist-pumping jocks that they are, McDaniel kids must be pretty intelligent too.

So let me break it down for you. McDaniel costs 43,000$ a year if you live on campus. Scholarship opportunities are vast, but the average student pays about 20,000$ a year. The student body is not diverse. Academically, the school is impressive. They have a great Science program. There seems to be a small-school community feel to the campus, if that’s what you dig. All things considered, I give the school a 3/5 on the Mark’s Judgmental Scale.

Stay classy, CCBC.

I Dream of Irish Vagrants and Handcannons

Hey there Blogosphere! I just woke up from a nice sleep, and I wanted to share my dream with you. I’m writing it in a journalistic style—just the facts, mam. I have about a dozen notebooks full of dreams, but most of them are nightmares. Be careful, blog reader! You’re going into my subconscious, and nothing good can come of that.

This is Dream Land

It is the 1920’s. My best friend and I decide to open up an English-teaching shop on main street. We open the shop, and it’s immediately successful. I have no idea why teaching the finer points of language is so popular, but it is in my dream. Don’t judge me. So I’m teaching stuff about English, and my partner , my best friend, decides he doesn’t like the way I’m doing it. We get into a big argument, and I leave the shop. I walk across the street (I’m wearing one of those awesome political caps from the 1920’s) and I go to a gypsy psychic woman.

Apparently these hats are called "Skimmers"

She tells me my old girlfriend lives in town, and I should go visit her. I find my best friend, we close the shop, and we go off main street to visit my ex-girlfriend. My life is awesome, and I tell her so. She says her husband is ok, but sometimes he gets a little crazy. It looks like he might hit her, and it makes me very sad. There’s this weird moment where I say, “I’ll take care of it.” If it were a movie, this is the part where the background music would get all intense. Anyway, my friend tells me not to get involved, and he makes us leave. On the way out her husband gives us some alcohol and tells us to go get tipsy.

The Family Estate

In the dream I’m an Irishman, and my name is McReilly or something—you know, something Irish. I came over from the motherland having inherited my family’s estate, but when I got here some distant relative screwed me out of it. I don’t know how I know all this, but for whatever reason my friend and I decide to go mess with the estate house. I give him the alcohol from The Husband, and we go buy a little hand cannon. The hand cannon is exactly as its name suggests. It holds ten little cannon balls, and it shoots. It’s very similar to a potato gun.

So we walk to my ancestral home, and I start pelting it with cannon balls. Apparently I’m very strong, as I have no problem holding and shooting a cannon that probably weighs a couple hundred pounds. I keep shooting the mansion-esque house, and eventually it falls down. My friend and I get scared and run.

The Creepy Doll Store

As we run back to main street, it gets dark. By the time we get there it’s “happy hour,” and the place is packed. I’m pushing through a crowd of political top-hats, and I come across the English shop that I used to own. It’s been turned into a doll shop now. It’s not one of those happy and loving doll shops. It’s full of clowns and creepy things, like the clown from IT.

Then my phone vibrates from a text, and I wake up. The End. I wish I could add more detail to the story, but no one wants to read a 3000 word blog post. This is the buts and nolts of what happened. What do you think, Mr. Spielberg? Should I move to California and start a film career? I WANTS TO BE IN THE MOVIN’ PICTURES, GUV’NA!