I’m in Maine, teaching at the venerable Maine Media Workshops. We had a great week, great class, nice bunch of folks. I haven’t told too many people about it though, cause in terms of cell phone connectivity, I might as well be in Mongolia. The cell plan there might be better. I hear that after 9pm, you can yak all you want for free. Or is it, you can call all the yaks you want for free. Dunno. Have to read the fine print.
My cell signal I’m sure is out there, somewhere in the fog. Thing is I don’t have a boat. I’m land bound, so I drive around, looking for it. I find it here and there, glimmering at the end of the block, like a special effect in the movies. Five bars! Come closer, it beckons like a siren. And then it vanishes, just like those ball players in Field of Dreams.
We’re right at the water, so I’ve been thinking about penning a word doc on a thumbdrive and stashing it in a bottle, and hoping the coastal currents carry it New York way, just to let Annie know I’m safe. It’d be almost as efficient.
I’m operating my communications efforts at the behest of AT&T because Verizon lied to me. The man at the counter told me when I updated to the Storm that it’d work no problem on a Mac based system. A little software assist, and bing, the Storm would be smooth. Like buttah.
No. After two days of trying, which even consumed a freelance day rate to a tech savvy assistant, everyone at the office had dubbed my new phone the “ShitStorm.” Brad and Drew, on their way to Photoshop World, dragged my caveman ass into an Apple store to buy an Iphone. Which is what I made the pictures for this blog with. Thankfully it does takes pictures. Cause otherwise, that puppy’s just so much useless weight on the drag strip right now.
Oh well, it’s Maine. (Forget it Jake, it’s…Chinatown.) That beautiful stretch of Northeast that the rest of the country only remembers when they think about going someplace where it’s not too hot in the summer. Lots of nice folks up here. Though it must be admitted, there is a substantial, crusty group of natives who think being born in the state of Maine automatically bequeaths to you the right to be grumpy towards anyone not born in the state of Maine. And boy, in the summer, there are lots of those folks. Vacationers everywhere. Folks from the big city who de facto have no brains, can’t tie a bowline, get up senselessly late in the mawning, and are just uselessly frivolous because they weren’t born and raised up in good old Maine, the land common sense. In particular, if you’re not from here, you absolutely cannot operate a motor vehicle with any skill whatsoever. Given that fact, I drive very cautiously, so I don’t pull a move that will piss off a local. You never know. The person driving that pickup truck you just cut off might be a congenial, blue jeaned, hard working man of the land with a few acres and a barn full of cows. Or he just might be a genuine, deep fried state o’ Maine wingnut who got rid of the cows long ago and now has the barn stuffed with more heavy caliber automatic weaponry than a Somali warlord.
Nonetheless, people are on the roads, though. The traffic in downtown Camden on the weekends looks for all the world like the Manhattan side of the Holland Tunnel at 5pm. Why are all these folks here? Don’t they know there’s nothing to do here? I mean I guess there’s stuff to do, like hiking, boating, fishing, antiquing, staring at the fog, beating back mosquitoes who when they score it feels like you just got stung by a Black and Decker power drill with wings, or trying to decipher driving directions given out in a Maine accent. But most of these endeavors smack of relaxation, so I’m not all that interested.
Best reason I know of to come here is…ice cream. If you are wandering around downtown Camden and are not interested in buying a duck decoy or a hoodie with a picture of a lobster on it, head for Camden Cone. They’ve got this flavor I’ve not seen around before–black raspberry chip. Scoops of purple inundated with big chunks of chocolate. Only downside was that after I finished, I walked six blocks with my empty ice cream cup, eventually just putting it in the truck and taking it home to throw out. Say what you will about New York, but every ten feet there’s a trash can. More tk….