Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gone 'til November..

I'm plum-tuckered out.  Things have been crazy busy this week.  I suppose crazy busy isn't the appropriate adjective; I'm just flat out exhausted from traveling, haven't had a huge amount of time to relax, and don't see that time coming for about a week.  I learned that the midwest was having some of the worst weather they've seen in 50 or so I sitting on my flight out of PWM Tuesday morning heading for Chicago.  SWELL!  Haha.  O'hare grounded all planes for a couple of hours but the folks in Portland were kind enough to let us off the plane while we were grounded.  Back in college I was in Minneapolis heading back to Maine and a snowstorm grounded us for six hours and they kept us on the plane for the first five of those hours.  It was fucking brutal.  I don't swear a lot on here but that's just how brutal it was.  Miserable.  The only time in my life I didn't bat an eye at paying $8 for a beer was when they let us off for a half hour so me and another guy from Bates sprinted to the bar, pounded beers, then ran back to re-board.  Airline travel is miserable.

Anyways I missed my connection for LAX but managed to get on another flight a bit later so I was still set to get to Maui no sweat.  The connecting flight, however, was delayed in Boston for the same reasons we were delayed in Portland so the plan was about 90 minutes late arriving, and concurrently, I missed another connection.  Boo hoo.  So, instead of flying to Maui I took the last flight from LAX to Honolulu, then had to book a separate flight over to Maui.  BUT I MADE IT!  Landed around 9pm, got picked up around 10pm, was in bed around 11pm, then up to move into my new digs for 9am the next morning.  Hindsight says this was poor planning on my part and hindsight is always 20/20.  

New place is swell, though (I wanted to devote an entire post to this and call it "New Place, New Plan (Redux)" but as with the first "New Place, New Plan" only a couple people get the joke so it's not a huge hit humor-wise and I'm on my way to work so if it ever comes it'll have to wait..).  The last couple nights have finally felt like I have a home, whereas my first few months here I felt like a guest in a house and the couple months after that in August and September I felt like a transient.  Having a place to live that you can call your own is nothing to sneeze at.  Remember that, kids.

Time to make the donuts.  Posts won't be coming up for the next couple of days with Halloween making a return to my life.  I'm not super stoked on my costume but I think I'll make an OK Zorro if I can locate a sword and some mustache wax.  Halloween's still weird for me.  It's been all downhill since this:
Cheers (And yes, I will be talking about this costume for the rest of my life.  Old, wrinkly women in the nursing home will be jumping my shrunken, calcium-deficient bones in fifty or sixty years at this picture.  Admit it: It was, in fact, that good..).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tired, but wiser for the time..

It's been really nice to be back in Maine for the last couple of weeks.  I don't know if I was busy or not.  It felt kind of busy but some of it was just challenges that are presented when I wanted to venture around the Northeast without a car of my own to drive.  So some flexibility and fluidity with scheduling needed to apply.  All in all I think I managed to squeeze in a lot of high-priority events.  Things got off to a proper start with a Flatbread dinner minutes after landing at PWM and continued on a proper path from there, as Wallingford's cider donuts were waiting patiently as I arrived home.  TREMENDOUS.  Made it to Gipper's plenty, and all signs lead to having one last dinner there Monday evening prior to my Tuesday, 6:33am departure from the Portland International Jetport as I resume my island odyssey. 

All things considered it was a fantastic trip home.  I feel like this time around I had plenty more big ticket days than my trip home in July as I was more judicious in my traveling.  Yes, I spent a little under nine hours driving to and from Albany, NY, but saw a killer Black Crowes show with my sistas Jenny and KathV and still made it back to greater L/A Saturday to catch all of Skip's football game and hobnob with Bates' finest for the afternoon.  Sunday brought a hastily-planned Casco Bay lobster boat cruise with my sister where the Pabst's flowed like wine.  A good time was had by all involved.

Concluding this past week, and more or less my trip, I suppose, was the wedding of Liam and Rachel, two very close friends.  The gang was back in full force for three nights of silliness, two Yarmouth, wedding-hoopla'd evenings sandwiching a traditional Auburn evening of Gipper's, Goose, and an afterparty which saw about a dozen pallets go up in the span of an hour and multiple bets on what would soon be drawing the attention of the Auburn Fire Department: structure or forest fire?  As luck would have it nothing but my feets caught fire so everyone went home with smiles on their faces.

After snaking a post-wedding ride back to Auburn and immediately falling asleep at the after party I awoke to a crisp, fall morning and, well, no one else at the house besides the owners.  As luck would have it Ma was already out of bed so my call did not wake her and she was happy to swing by and grab me, but this pickle enticed me to begin heading home on foot.  I was still attired as nicely as my closet allowed for the previous afternoon's wedding (think college professor more than power broker..) so my sweater and corduroy blazer kept me toasty warm even as I was rocking $4 Surfah sandals on my feets (I found these to be more appropriate than either the asic's running shoes I brought home or the 8" Chippewa loggers I had been wearing most days as they're my favorite footwear and I'm going to miss them this winter as it'll be the first winter in seven years we won't see snow together.  I hope I showed them enough love over these last couple weeks..


K, got that little recap all out of the way.  The Black Crowes show was legit.  Very, very happy I made it back to see them.  I was tempted to squeeze in a round two viewing but when J.Mac came up with Citizen Cope tickets I decided two shows was enough.  There's certainly some temptation to cruise to San Fran for a couple of days in December to catch a show or two during their six night Fillmore stand but that's another story for another day.  The show took place at The Palace, an old, fairly seedy-looking theater whose interior was either very well-restored or has just aged remarkably well.  Going in I had hoped to hear an acoustic version of "Good Friday" and I was lucky enough to have that dream come true.  I felt kind of silly though because it was the third song of the night and I didn't recognize the harmonica opening right away so it took a little while for me to build into things.    Overall I was quite happy with the setlist and the seventeen minute "Wiser Time" in the first set was absolutely killer.  Jenny-babe hooked it up from her Pepsi-folks and we were within ten rows of the stage, which isn't bad starting pay.  Low key, heady crowd down front, too, which was a plus, with the exception of one moron who tried to hop on stage and proceeded to get crosschecked by Chris Robinson and his mic stand.  Silliness all around.  The show continued as planned, as far as I could tell.

Not a video of aforementioned stage-bum-rusher.  Just a video of good music..

The Crowes do a lot of taping of their shows so I broke down today and bought the show from their archive site.  I'm a sucker for tracking down the live shows I've been to so naturally I was going to scoop this as it was readily available.  It's put a nice smile on my face this evening as I've been collecting the items I brought home so they can be repacked sometime on Monday.  It's going to be a little more weird heading out this time around as I don't really have a definitive plan on when I'll be back to the 207 again.  I'm sure I'll be back next summer at least for Em's Run but other than that I've really got no plan.  We shall see, eh?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is this silly?

Got gifted a Rainwater LP at the Citizen Cope show I went to on Monday.  Hadn't heard anything off of it other than "Keep Askin" and that was at Bonnaroo well back.  Anyways, a lot of the album has static in between songs like you'd normally hear listening to vinyl (hence the "lp" tag on the album, I'd suspect..).  Cracks and pops and whatnot.  Brought me back to all of my parents albums I used to listen to back in the day.  And the time I bought an ODB album on vinyl during the couple years in high school I braided my hair and wore oversized sweat suits.

Anywho...this album is also sold on vinyl.  If I were to listen to the vinyl, in between tracks would I be hearing vinyl static...while hearing vinyl static?  Is that silly to anyone but me?  I'd think this scenario would cause the world to implode upon itself...but I guess not since it hasn't happened yet and I think the album has been out for quite some time.  Ya, Amazon says March.  Something tells me at least one of those suckers has been sold and listened to by now and we're still spinning.  Maybe, as crafty as Clarence Greenwood seems to be (he ties a proficient hair knot..) the "vinyl static" has been removed from the vinyl...but, how would you know?  Right?  Because you'd still be hearing static from the vinyl on the needle.  I need to stop thinking about this; I'm sure no one cares about this but me and I don't care all that much. 

Maybe it's like in Wayne's World when they're all in the studio looking over the set of Wayne's basement and Garth says "We're looking down at Wayne's basement. Only that's not Wayne's basement. Isn't that weird"  Weird, indeed, good sir.  Once again, Wayne's World provides.

Show was solid though, low key vibe.  The stage could have been higher.  I had my boots on and I still struggled to see.  Mother fucking tall people.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Things are shaping up nicely..

It was an excellent idea to come back for this wedding hootenanny a week early.  I've been able to line up plenty of entertainment.

First of all I'm happy to say I've added "hootenanny" to my lexicon.  Rob Zombie's current tour with Alice Cooper is called the "Gruesome Twosome Halloween Hootenanny" tour.  While it's unfortunately I missed their performance last night at the Cumberland County Civic Center recently I've reconnected with Robert and his hellbilly ways through eBay where I was lucky to stumble upon this gem late one night:

I had it shipped home as I didn't have an address on the island at the time of the impulse buy so it was waiting for me Monday evening when I made it back to the 04210.  This could potentially be my favorite eBay purchase ever and I've got a feedback score of 57 with !00% positives so it's not my first eBay rodeo.
I went to this concert back in high school with Nick, Randy, and Luke Robinson.  Ya, a mod squad we were.  Holy smokes.  We sw him at the Central Maine Civic Center pre-city takeover and present Collisee status.  AKA back in the good ol' days.  Saw plenty of freaks last night, so much so that for the opening acts we hung out in a penalty box to protect ourselves from the hundreds (read: less than 1000 in attendance, I'm sure..) of people who wanted to get dead.  This was really about his heyday, though, as Sinister Urge had just been released and a lot of folks were still super high on Hellbilly Deluxe.  I know I thought it was a kickass album, and still do.

But yeah, it was a hell of a show.  I remember we were about the lamest kids there.  Some people rolled in in a hearse.  And fuckers dressed up like kids from Children of the Corn and handed out fliers to get people to go to their fucked up website.  God damn freak shows, I tell ya.  I was considered the "most hard" because I was wearing a Subway polo shirt that I had picked up at Sal's Boutique.  Fairly certain the rest of my party was in A+F as that was the standard getup for high school kids in Auburn in the early 2000's.  Bunch of winners we were, really.  Looking back I can't fathom how I had no problem spending thirty or forty bones on a t shirt when I was making six or seven dollars an hour.  I guess Lester Burnham said it best when he worked all summer to by an 8-track player: "It was great. All I did was party and get laid. I had my whole life ahead of me."  Indeed.
Actually, we weren't the lamest people there.  One of the opening acts played six or seven songs of angry, close-to-speed metal chock full of death, murder, and rape lyrics but in between every song the lead singer would pony up to the mic all heart felt and whine things like, "We will never forget this!!" practically tearing up like a middle school girl writing in her diary about how Jimmy Football Hero touched her hand while he was reaching for the ketchup in the lunch line.  Vagina Face.  Grow up.  Can I get Charles Barkley to throw out an "embarrassing" right here.  "That's EMBURRRRUUUSUUUNG."  Thanks, Chuck.
Anyways long story short it was kick ass.  For whatever reason in those days Rob had a pretty strong affinity for Lewiston and even played a couple of Halloween shows there over the years.  Literally, on Halloween.  Rob Zombie.  Pretty big deal.  In Lewiston.  I didn't go but man I bet it was extra kickass.
Under most conditions I'd be pretty steamed that I missed a show like Zombie and Alice Cooper (rock legend, I'd probably feel like Wayne and Garth did if I had made it down...not worthy..) but I've actually already got a stellar live music lineup dialed in for the weekend.  As soon as I finish this up (the Zombie t-shirt tangent was supposed to be a couple of sentences and a picture.  Go figure..) I'm hopping in the shower ad then heading to Albany to see the Black Crowes.  Stoked.  Love the Crowes and had been planning seeing them while I was back for awhile as a few of you know who read back in the day when I'd actually post on the semi-regular.  Should be kick ass but super rushed as I need to (NEED TO!) hot shot it back to Maine Saturday morning so I can see Skip coach.  Haven't missed a season in my 26 years on this rock so I'm not about to start now.  Go Bobcats.

Then for Monday J.Mac came through and scored tickets for Citizen Cope at Port City Music Hall in Portland.  Small-ass venue so should be a lot different than when I saw him in Tennessee at Bonnaroo a couple minutes back.  GIVE ME ACOUSTIC PABLO PICASSO, DAMMIT.

Then, you know, The Crowes will be in Burlington Tuesday and Wednesday...if inspiration strikes you never know...  We'll see how tonight goes and go from there.  Shit, Burlington's just a rental car away, right?

Wish me luck driving in this weather.  It's raining cats and dogs and blowing goats out.  F this weather; give me the nice fall weather the rest of the way through.  Cheers.

PS.  Hootenanny.  Up until last night I'm pretty sure the last time I've seen or heard hootenanny used was in Disney's animated Robin Hood from back in the day.  I think it's in the "Robin Hood and Little John walkin' through the forest" song right from the beginning.  Robin Hood was the first thing that came to my mind when I heard hootenanny on the Zombie/Cooper commercial at Gipper's so it must be true.Oo-da-lolly, what a weekend.

P.P.S. Zombie is the goddamn man:
Nice double meaning there, right?!  The "god damn" modifies "man" in current American slang-lish to mean "quite good," while at the same time Zombie, in his stage presence, at least, more or less damn's God.  Think about it for only a couple of seconds or you might just have your mind blown before your weekend even begins..

I'm clever this morning; I've got to write more I'm in the zone.  Must be home field advantage.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October is 1/3rd completed...

...and this is my first post of the month.  Also my first post from Maine in a couple of months, too.  Yep, back east coast for a of couple weeks, until the 26th.  Liam is getting hitched and I wasn't going to buy a ticket home for just a long weekend; I wanted to (somewhat..) get my money's worth.  Landed in Portland around 5pm EST on Monday and haven't looked back since.   Very, very happy to be back for some fall season.

I can already tell it's going to be a challenge working back into an EST sleep schedule.  I didn't go to bed Monday night, choosing to rather muscle up on Tuesday and just try to get back on track Tuesday night.  Instead I dozed off on the couch for about four hours early Tuesday evening and now it's nearing 2:30am and I'm again wide awake.  I wouldn't say it's something I'm especially worried about, but I can tell already it's going to be interesting negotiating sleep into my routine for the next few days.  I found last time around two weeks is just long enough to have a miserable first week back then become fairly accustomed to sleeping at normal times again for the second week so upon return to the island another miserable sleep week will be on the horizon.  So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

I knew I would definitely be coming back now for quite some time so the couple of months on-island between my East Coast trips felt very disjointed because I didn't bother to find a permanent home over this period of August - early October.  Two globe-trotting friends were kind enough to let me get back settled by sleeping on their couch.  Both were traveling home for a week each in early August so my first couple of weeks back I had a bed...then sort of milked their hospitality in exchange for monetary compensation, chores, and a gigantic free dinner Hula Grill provided for my employee of the month prize from the summertime.  I'm not going to lie though, there was a little stretch where things where things were fairly snug as both of them and their respective boyfriends were home on the regular...but that's neither here nor there now.  Once again one roommate left for my final ten days as she traveled cross-country from NY to LA with some friends.

To Anna & Steph: you girls are the best and your generosity will not go unnoticed or unrewarded.

This situation was all due to the fact J.Mac had discussed a possible return to the 808 so I felt it would be better to wait on choosing a long-ish term home until his plans were finalized, with eyes on locking down a  nice place for us post-Liam's wedding.  Quite surprisingly this worked out exactly as planned.  Upon my landing at PWM I had a message waiting that my rental application was approved for a nice three bedroom condo in a posh little spot in the Kahana district of Lahaina.  It's a nice corner unit with an ocean view and should provide a significantly upgraded home base for our shenanigans this time around.  J.Mac lined up another friend to make the trip so we'll be one happy family by early November.  Between lots of hours at the office and viewings and applications my final few days on the island were not spent in the sunshine to a great extent and thus I am pretty unimpressed with my current pasty complexion...but in the long run F you for judging me as I'll get back and be well-bronzed again by the end of October as you New England folks will be frosted and nearing snowfall.  Sorry about your luck.

But for the first time in my life I actually took a bit of initiative and didn't procrastinate and for this I am immensely proud of myself.  Too bad that spark wasn't there for my thesis..


I'm really joking about the tan and I don't mean to hate about the snow.  I'm going to miss it this year, I can already tell.  I feel almost as though life is too easy out there as I just deal with riding through a rainshower in 80 degree temps every now and again.  The air was crisp exiting the airport terminal and it was a tremendous pleasue to walk around the waterfront for a bit in Portland Moday evening, eat outside at Flatbread and then roll home with the windows down on Rt. 100 rather than the hustle and bustle of I-95.

And as I put my baby out to pasture when I dipped out in July I'll be taking a bit of my island lifestyle around town  as my old two wheeler will be my mode of transportation.  Let's just say it's well below the quality of my Schwinn Cruiser parked on the island.  It's a mountain bike I picked up in middle school saving pennies and Christmas checks which I rode about ten times before I left it for dead in the back of our garage.  The wheels are a hair smaller, the frame is shorter from seat to handles and I just didn't feel like I could get up on it and muscle up hills like you can on a single speed.  I want to go fast, all the time.  I don't care if it's hard.  So many gears make for too many options, so I left it in the high gear and just made it work as best I could.  At least I'll finally get a little bit of return on investment now.  I rode it today down to the bank and the post office and over to Bates and back home again.  It's by no means ideal but it will certainly get the job done in the interim, provided the lightly dry-rotted tires don't crack and pop out on a commute. 

It was nice to see a couple other people on bikes around town today.  It was also nice to ride a bike for more than five minutes without becoming plastered in sweat. 

Another example of why the 207 is the way life should be.  Cheers.