Archive for February, 2008

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a bonus second post of the day….

February 28, 2008

….to make up for the one I didn’t post yesterday.

My mother is a very common-sensible-type person. While most everyone I know is in the same boat as me and shivering in their long-johns*, my mother just sent out an email with the subject heading:

“How to Reach Me in Mexico”

Tra la! It is a blustery winter month and she is off on a cruise. To the Baja Peninsula. To whale-watch. And perhaps indulge in a margarita or two, if she is very wise.

This morning I suffered frost-bite of the little finger as I scraped ice off the car. Really. It still hurts. I keep pressing it, to check. Yes. Still hurts. I am suffering for my art. SUFFERING. FOR MY ART.

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*I don’t actually own a pair of long-johns, but a few days ago my class engaged in a very serious conversation about long-johns, and how wonderful they are. And quite silky and stylish these days. I had no idea. Get me LL Bean on the phone, stat.

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get out the calendar

February 28, 2008

Maine Maple Sunday! March 23rd!

“Join Maine’s maple producers each spring as they celebrate Maine Maple Sunday – the day when sugar makers around the State open the doors of their sugarhouses for the public to join them in their rites of spring – making maple syrup. Here’s your chance to see first hand how 40 gallons of maple sap is turned into just one gallon of that golden delight you pour over hot pancakes…”

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a clarification

February 26, 2008

A friend from Chicago wrote to let me know that she thinks it was very cruel to mock my poor snowed-in Chicago friends in my last post. I replied to assure her that I was not mocking you, my dear Chicago, I love you too deeply. I was merely offering you a shopping tip. If I was mocking you I would tell you that I went all the way to MAINE and YOU STILL HAVE MORE SNOW.

Though we are expecting more than six inches of it tonight, so we’re all pretty much equally screwed.

Despite the oncoming snowstorm of doom, I am still loving Maine, and I am especially loving the fact that here you can steal two cases of beer from the mini-mart and wind up on Maine’s Most Wanted list.*

*(’tis true…case 070035, November, 2007.)

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Chicago, get your Maine on.

February 25, 2008

From today’s Associated Press:

LL BEAN TO EXPAND TO CHICAGO

L.L. Bean is expanding its retail presence outside of the Northeast, the company announced today.

The outdoor gear and apparel outfitter said it plans to open a store in the Chicago area this September. It would be L.L. Bean’s first store in the Midwest.

The 30,000-square-foot store will be located at the Arboretum at South Barrington, a retail center that is now under construction in Chicago’s northwest suburbs.

The expansion into the Chicago area is part of a larger retail expansion strategy, L.L. Bean officials said.

The company plans to grow to 32 stores by 2012. It now has 10 full-priced retail stores in nine states stretching from Maine to Virginia, and 16 smaller outlet stores.

I know how much snow y’all have been getting lately. Best to pick up a pair of these:

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On another note….South Barrington???
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day trip

February 24, 2008

One of the very first things I noticed about Maine was the sun. So bright, almost blindingly so, in a way we seldom see in the winter midwest. The sun went away here for a couple of weeks during all of the recent snow, but it came out again this weekend, and I took it as a good omen that if I went on a little (emphasis on the little) road trip that I wouldn’t wind up digging myself out of a ditch or accidentally caught in a storm.

Years ago I did a year abroad with a most remarkable group of people, and one of them found me here….and she’s from Maine! and filled with lots of good advice. Her name, coincidentally, is also Anne, and she left me one of my very favorite comments so far. On the subject of me wanting to see the un-touristy bits of Maine, even up near Canada, she wrote:

If you drive up towards Canada, it’ll go something like this:

Civilization, less civilization, lots of woods, moose, moose, international border … whoa, strip clubs and farms!

As much as I look forward to seeing if this is true, I set my sights a little lower today and took a day-trip to Bath. Darling. Highly darling, and I bet that if I make another trip to Bath in about four months that it will be so crowded with tourists that I won’t be able to see it properly. Bath is the “city of ships” and it’s a town with a long history of ship building. Like, 400 years of shipbuilding. How cool is that? Right there on the Kennebec River. Up from the river there are lots of little shops, all stretching along two major streets that intersect and you have to climb up, up from the water and down, down as the streets wind along, in order to see them all. It feels very English.

After Bath I wound my way down to Brunswick in the car. I had hoped to visit a bookshop there, but it was closed, so I’ll make that trip again. Instead, I sat on the common and watched some local ice skaters.

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The skating rink is what they do with the town green in winter and there is a bandshell at one end, and a lovely inn overlooking it. Mark – you asked me for a picture of an out of the way motel….but so far I’ve only seen charming inns, so this picture will have to do:

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my piece

February 20, 2008

If the weather cooperates, this weekend I may go for a drive. But not sure where. I’ve had some great suggestions from people who have commented here, and I’ve had an interesting time this evening with the map. Maine towns have great names. Here are some of my favorites so far:

Moosehead (natch)

Skowhegan

Kokadjo

Mattawamkeag

Wytopitlock

Squapan

Oquossoc

Passadumkeag

St. Agatha

Then there are towns that make me wonder if, after awhile, the founding fathers of Maine didn’t perhaps get a little bit overwhelmed by the whole thing and just threw darts at a map:

Denmark

Paris

Norway

Mexico

Poland

Scotland

Peru

I’m a little daunted by the size of the state. Maine is a heck of a lot larger than it looks on a map. However I need to find a story, as I need to produce a six-minute documentary radio piece in the next 3 months, and I need to find my story quick. Have you ever read the Shel Silverstein book, “The Missing Piece”? I’m probably horribly bastardizing the story, but as I remember it, it’s about a circle that is missing a triangular piece, and it rolls around finding various bits of triangles and asking each triangle, “are you my missing piece?” And none of the triangles fit properly, and none of them want to join him, and the circle just rolls sadly but determinedly along until, one day, in the most unlikely place, he finds a triangle that fits just right, and then he’s all complete and happy. The end.

This is how I envision myself in the next few weeks – doing all kinds of research, and driving out to all kinds of odd and fabulous and interesting places, and asking all kinds of people, “are you my story?” And probably a lot of them won’t be quite right, and they won’t want to join me, but eventually I will find my story, and produce my piece, and then I will be all complete and happy. The end.

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very, very bad!

February 19, 2008

Is it bad that I passed a real estate office this afternoon and thought, “maybe I should stop in…”?