A week ago Saturday, I drove to Bowdoinham to gather information about the town for today’s Explore feature in the Sun-Journal’s b-section. Things went much better than I anticipated.
It’s not as if I thought that Bowdoinham wouldn’t offer up interesting things to write about. No, last Saturday, I was in a pissy (see definition #2) mood, running on fumes after a long week. Actually, when I walked out the door committed to spending a few hours dredging up details for my story, I was dreading leaving the warmth of the wood stove and going out into the bleak, dreary November cold. I also know that this type of writing about local communities demands (if done well) putting boots on the ground in order to connect with the sense of the place.
This is my seventh Explore feature. The town of Wilton was my first one back in May. Seven is a number that comes up in my writing and in my latest book of essays—it is the “perfect number,” after all. Continue reading →
Being without power and being inconvenienced by a lack of electricity is admittedly a first world problem. However, when you live in the first world, electricity is an expectation. So, being without electricity generally sucks.
As tempting as it is to keep writing about issues and politics, I just don’t feel like taking on immigration this morning. I know the president gave a speech about it last night. I’m sure that half the country is aflame with hate and spewing vitriol this AM, but I just don’t have the heart or the energy to do the usual binary shuffle this early in the day. Although……
Speaking of vitriol, me and the newly re-elected governor rarely see eye-to-eye on any issue—that being said, three of my best five days for blog stats in 2014 involved posts centered on good ole’ Paul LePage—like this one on NASCAR and economic boondoggling. The next four years should be good ones for anyone buying stock in the LePage Blogging Industrial Complex. Continue reading →
His story isn’t new. However, it’s one that’s been embellished. Sometimes it’s important to shine a little truth around, to at least temper some of the misinformation.
I find it telling that Governor Paul LePage, the recipient of largesse from benefactors when he was in his teens, continues to further his own twisted ideology and war on the poor, this time on the backs of 19 and 20-year-olds. In essence that’s what he attempted to do, except that a federal appeals court ruled that it was illegal, on Monday. Continue reading →
We all have a finite period of time here on planet earth. No one knows if there’s an encore, or not. I’m betting there isn’t.
Given that our days, breaths, and narrative arc runs up against “the end” at some point, why do we piss away so much of our productivity and creativity? That’s the kind of existential question that warrants a much longer treatise than I’m going to give it today.
Richard Ford has a new book. It’s another meditation on the life of one Frank Bascombe. I haven’t devoted much time to Ford’s writing, but based upon Wednesday night’s intriguing interview with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, I’m likely to read the new novel. Continue reading →
We’ve just stumbled through yet another mid-term election. As if the weeks of candidate commercials and political advertorials weren’t enough—we’ve now had to endure a week’s worth of hand-wringing and Monday morning quarterbacking coming from the pundit class.
If you aren’t Republican (I am not), then waking up Wednesday morning left most of us lefties scratching our heads. Some were even depressed about the results, talking about moving somewhere else. While progressive issues like raising the minimum wage, legalizing pot, and rejecting the passage of personhood won out in many states, this was a minor palliative for non-conservatives, with the counterpoint being that a Republican wave washed across the national landscape. Is this a sign that voters still have some progressive inclination? Better, it might demonstrate the schizophrenic nature of those going out to vote. Continue reading →
Back in 2009 when I lost nearly 60 pounds and went from being the typically overweight white guy approaching middle age, to a slimmer version of that guy, I’ve become “cold-blooded.” When I say, “cold-blooded,” I don’t mean in a Truman Capote, killer sort of way, either. I mean that when the weather turns cold—like it has in the last week—I’m always freezing.
I guess those 60 pounds of blubber helping me fend off the chill of winter in ways that being not quite svelte, but by no means a fatty, no provide me with that buffer. Last weekend’s falling back an hour and subsequent early snow was a premonition of what’s just around the bend. Thursday’s dampness and temperatures hovering all day in the low 40s forced me to face the inevitable—it’s time to break out the hat collection. For the next five months, I’ll be rocking a winter hat for most of my waking hours.
When I was a teenager and concerned about what the opposite sex thought of me, I didn’t like wearing hats. Mainly this was because it matted my dark locks. This, despite being told by old-timers that most of one’s body heat exits through the top of their head (this is not true, apparently, so go figure—I’d dispute the experts on this). Continue reading →
Most mornings, I’m up and at my laptop working at 5:00 am. Being a notoriously light sleeper, I find the best time to work for me, and when my energy is at its peak, is between then and around 2:00 or 3:00 pm. So, in order to leverage my strengths, that’s how I usually structure my days, at least when I don’t have outside responsibilities or appointments that prevent me from doing so. That’s how I roll as a free agent.
When I’m working, I enjoy listening to music, usually on headphones or through ear buds. It’s a habit I’ve developed so I don’t disturb Miss Mary when she’s down below, working in her office area, before she’s out and about making sales calls.
My music sources of choice are usually radio stations (rather than music services like Pandora, although I’m not averse to Pandora) that also stream their content. One of my favorites is WMBR, which is the MIT campus radio station. I think I’ve come to appreciate WMBR more than prior defaults like WFMU and KEXP, is that their early morning Breakfast of Champions and Late Risers Club slots during the weekday provide a mix of punk, post-punk, and current indie pop and rock that jives with my eclectic tastes and the desire to stay as current with the rock genre as I can now that I’m post-50 and no longer young.