Last week on Baltimore Fishbowl, the return of Sara Lynn Michener’s popular Dating Data column, “My Dinner’s on Me, and Here’s Why,” featuring Sara’s probably-best-to-pay-your-own-way advice to women on dinner dates, found Rosalia applauding: “Amen, Sara! Well written and practical piece.” Our reader Donald, though, didn’t fully understand Sara’s exception to her own economic rule.  He first quoted Sara, “If he declares he is paying for dinner in a respectful, nonthreatening way that doesn’t make the quills on my feminist crest flare up, I will let him. This doesn’t mean that I expect men to figure out how I want them to ask. I am merely confessing that I can be seduced into it by the right attitude,” then asked her, “So no means no, except when it sometimes means yes. Gotcha.”

Sara herself replied, “There are exceptions to every rule, which doesn’t mean that I am going to start saying no when I mean yes, it means I am going to say yes when I mean yes.” Oh, and she sweetly inserted a smiley face. No further word from Donald.

Our coverage of George Huguely’s trial and his jury’s deliberation captured many readers’ attention. After Huguely received 26 years in prison, we asked in our Marco Polo segment, “Do you think the jury recommended the right sentence?” Nosy Parker–whose self-appointed nickname’s one of the most memorable yet–weighed in thoughtfully and somberly, saying, “It’s better than nothing, but not enough. Strip away the sport-related media mania and the identities of the perpetrator and victim, and what you have is a brutal murder by an individual with nothing to say that would mitigate a heavy sentence. IMO, kicking through a door to get at someone and deliver a brutal beating is a pretty good indicator of murderous intent (that could justify a first-degree murder conviction), but the jury didn’t see it that way.”

In his post “Is Baltimore ‘Slowly Turning into a Ghost Town’?” staff writer Robert M. O’Brien responded with a “troubled” and basically resistant mind to a Business Insider story that frowned down on Baltimore’s deteriorating pockets. Readers echoed O’Brien’s passionate stance.

Leslie F. Miller wrote, “I guess I don’t mind what outsiders think. Baltimore has architecture, art museums, thriving communities and small businesses, delicious food (some of the best restaurants in the country), parks, bike lanes, trees, beauty. It’s inexpensive; you can own a big house with a yard for a pittance and still be in a safe place. The people who leave come back because it’s worth it to live here. So let them stay away. Baltimore is for Baltimoreans and for the people who are smart enough to keep the C on Charm City.”

Ryan Selvy added, “‘The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.’ It’s a quote from Batman but I really think it relates to Baltimore. Baltimore has been in rough shape for many years, but I believe it’s showing signs of turning around. Let the outsider haters hate outside, but we’re busy focusing on fixing it here. I love Baltimore regardless what naive outsiders think.”

Finally, local poet Elizabeth Hazen’s lovely Real Life Modern Family essay, “The Science of Searching,” proved a lively discovery for many.

Elisabeth said, “My favorite sentence: ‘Children of iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, we learned to love the smell of minerals rising from the earth after a heavy rain, the scent of rust and worms.’ Beautiful essay!” And Chris noted, “The geologist’s daughter strikes again with her beautiful poetry in prose.” Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Readers, thanks for stirring our thoughts! Keep your opinions coming.

Sincerely yours, Baltimore Fishbowl