Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mainely a Factual Story

It's recently been brought to my attention that it's been a week without a new post. This is true. And what a week it has been!

Amidst my search for employment there have been a number of exciting developments. Jacob discovered a family of velociraptors living on our sun porch on Tuesday. Wednesday through Friday were spent herding the baby dinosaurs outside our apartment and into the park across the street. While Derek was wrestling Bob, Jim and Mary Louise (we named them) on Thursday I went to visit a small nursery called Snug Harbor Farm, where I had a long conversation with the owner, Tony about Landscape Architecture and such. He was very helpful and sent me on my way with a number of contacts and a promise of employment if none of the big wigs were hiring.

Meanwhile, Derek in his infinite bravery journeyed behind the stove to clean up some spaghetti sauce and discovered a number of exciting things, including a .45 bullet.

Since Thursday I've been making calls and setting up meetings with some firms around the area. More to follow next week.

In other news a group of bitter Quebecois have arrived and brought some frigid miserable weather. The warm, sunny weather we've had since we arrived in Maine was replaced by torrential downpours and sub 60 degree days. The windows were closed and our sandals were relieved of their duty by slippers. The wave report as of yesterday was quite exciting with tumultuous action.

Luckily, the good people of Maine discovered the Quebecois Clan hiding beneath the roller coaster at Old Orchard Beach and banished them back to their Canadian home. As a result, the warm weather and sunshine have made a dramatic reappearance.

Presently, Jacob is training for the upcoming Feline Olympics in the high jump event by repeatedly leaping over the gargantuan broom as it sweeps across the kitchen floor.

Monday, August 24, 2009

In no particular order, paticularly

Well, it has been over a week now. I think that we are slowly retaining some acclimation to our new northern surroundings. No moose as of yet, but we were startled to see a rather large representative of the pin-cushion of the animal kingdom as remnant of poor decision making whist applying road crossing etiquette. Not quite sure what region porcupine are most common in, but apparently in New England they are not found to be important enough to inspire someone to yield.

But this post does not have to be about such tragedies. Instead I will direct it toward a theme of cuisine. On Sunday, Kari and I had decided to make the most out the 10-15 foot oceanic swells that had our beach closed from New Hampshire all the way up to a land that could easily be convinced that French is a very common language in American culture. Rightly so I should add, because I had decided that we could head out early in the day and see the tide after the storm (Hurricane Bill) in the morning sun. What we saw was waves attempting to crush and devour any land mass (or material found on land). It was quite stunning and while I could spend all day watching nature be both beautiful and terrifying all at once, we had decided it best not to sit on a rock all day.

We devised a plan to go to dinner and then a movie, which was both very original and new for us of course. We started the evening with dinner at Nunan's Lobster Hut in Cape Porpoise, ME. Nunan's was quite an interesting little shack on the cusp of a marsh and in a small little village where I'm sure the Autumn foliage could lighten the evening landscape with a brilliance of color as exhilarating and capable as the finest painters palette.

Though quaint and kitschy with it's red siding, black roof, and yellow trim, not to mention the interior decoration that makes the most dedicated pack-rat seem like a minimalist, this lobster hut was very strict in their requirements from their customers. It was something, though not entirely, like this;

1. Be here at or before 5pm
2. Expect to have others who show up after you to accost you in polite conversation whilst, and at the same time as, budging in front of you.
3. Bring only cash, for we do not accept credit cards or checks, though we do accept checks but unfortunately are caught in limbo between electronics and written documentation.
4. Expect to eat lobster, seriously there is not much else, but if that does not interest you I'm sure you can go to a Texas Road House and order the vegan special if you would like.
5. Use a bib, it will look childish, but not as childish as you having to walk away from our establishment looking as though you had enjoyed your lobster thoroughly after preparing it in a blender... without the lid on.
6. We have a sink in the dining area and no, it is not a part of the kitsch.

All things considered, this was a lovely establishment combining sumptuous delicacy with an entertaining interior and wonderful staff. The lobster special of 2 x 1 and 1/4 lb. lobsters was more than I could have hoped for, literally, and Kari's chowder was hands down one of the best chowders I have sampled in sometime. By the way, when we were leaving, the poor folks in the kitchen appeared to be enduring what may have resembled steamy volcanic temperatures, so a special thank you them for toughing it out for our dinner.

After stopping back home to check on our feline aggressor to make sure he had enough rations for his night of stalking bugs and tackling twist ties. We then set out to go see a movie entitled "500 days of summer" starring some funny people, doing funny things such as... well, I won't spoil it, but they do provide some excellent advice for homeowners during the film.

As for today, Monday, we were the peak of productivity. Kari searching diligently for a firm worthy of her talents and I running a distance that, for all intensive purposes, was entirely unnecessary. (note to self: ten miles equals pain in more than just legs) We then rewarded ourselves with savory honey seared potato, Blackened, sweet & spicy broccoli with carrots, and a potpourri mixture of littleneck clams and steamers pan steamed in a melange of white wine reduced with red onion, garlic, cinnamon, allspice, and lime.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ways that Portland and Ithaca are Similiar: Part I

Today in Portland there was a health care protest.

"What do we want!?!"
"When do we want it!?!"

Across the street from the sign waving Ithac- I mean Portlandians (is that a word?), there were two dirty old guys waving signs and yelling about how Obama is ruining the world.

I thought I was near to commons for about five minutes before I inhaled a bunch of salty sea air.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Coastal Wanderings

Today we embarked on a smallish journey in search of interesting new places along the Atlantic Coast. We started out here in Biddeford and moved northward up to Portland and saw many things along the way.

As we are new to the area we've been in search of a few staple food items that seem to be lacking at the local grocery stores, namely: bagels. We bought a sixer from Shaws last week and were less than satisfied. This morning, in my traditional internet browsing while Derek is still sleeping I stumbled upon a number of fantastic reviews for this place. So we drove through the narrow residential streets of South Portland to find this small (very small) bakery. Much to our dismay they had sold out of bagels before 10 AM, two hours before we had arrived! The woman working at the counter informed us that they would probably sell out before 9 the next morning!! We decided that we would probably head back on a weekday.

Secondly, during our wanderings in Portland I inevitably got hungry, so we stopped in a little cluster of shops with a sign for a place called Anthony's Italian Kitchen. The setting involves a tattoo parlor, a comics shop, a music shop, a gelateria and the cabaret themed aforementioned restaurant. Starving by this point we ordered from the sandwich menu (an Italian Sausage sandwich for me and a BLT wrap for Derek), and boy was the food amazing (and gigantic). The pizza that the French Canadian family sitting next to us downed also looked delicious (Bacon and Pineapple), and the little boy on the other side was raving about his meatball sub.

During our driving adventures we took Route 9 out to Portland driving through the seaside resort towns of Camp Ellis, Old Orchard Beach and Scarborough (Fair?). We passed many interesting sites and stopped briefly to look out over the ocean at a boat launch.

Boat Launch


On the return trip we drove through Cape Elizabeth down Route 77 and caught several glimpses of the massive waves and sea mist that Hurricane Bill is sending our way. There were hoards of wetsuit clad surfers riding the waves in a cove in Cape Elizabeth and many beautiful mist covered fields.

Misty Fields

Upon our return we decided to trek out to Biddeford Pool to visit the beach and check out the waves there, and they didn't disappoint! We set off for a long walk on the beach (awww) and encountered many galloping dogs and feasting birds as well as a few giggling kids on boogie boards. Hopefully we'll get out to the beach tomorrow to hit the waves ourselves!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Here we go!

Embarking on an adventure into the Northeastern corner pocket of the United States. I have been experiencing waves of both excitement and terror as I think of what might be waiting on the door step of every new day that we spend here. Along with attending a program that I think will be most challenging and rewarding at the University of New England, I am now waiting to find out whether or not I will have the opportunity to work researching local wildlife. School does not start until September 7th, but I cannot wait.

All things school and exciting new move! aside. I would like to move on to the subject of driving in new places. I don't know about anyone else, but I suffer from a strange mentality on long drives to demand to be the one who drives. I don't know if it's my inner hero saying
"Don't worry everyone, I'm in control here."
or more likely
"If anything goes wrong, I'll take the brunt of it"
or most definitely
"I have a tiny bladder, thus I shall stop when I must."
What I do know, is that this faux bravery (which is quite uncalled for) has lead me to some very uncomfortable situations. As some of you may know, August is still tourist season in Maine, also dubbed "Vacationland", or as Kari and myself refer to it, "the way life should be". Being tourist season some drivers are not from around here... they are "from away", not our from away, we're more of a "From away, to stay, for now." Not being resident patrons of local establishments and venues these kindly visitors tend to run a but ruthless on the roads.
For the sake of these individuals who I have not met in great detail, thus do not have the right to judge them, I will post this graphical depiction of Maine roadway in tourist season.

You will recognize Kari and myself in the innocent sixteen wheeler set off so vulnerably to the left. I sure do hope that things calm down up here so that I may get about the area and learn, love, and appreciate all of the natural offerings from my new surroundings.

Crazy storm moving in though, so I suppose I should close down the ol' electronic shop, but I shall return with adventurous tales of Lobsters, Moose, Red Sox Fans, River Fording, Getting Lost, Mini-Golf, Theatres with a liquor license, Toll Escapes, and... PIRATES... hopefully. See you all real soon.

A Few Pictures!

Delicious Hawaiian Burgers

'Fridge Magnets

Sun Porch with Empty Boxes and Green Plant

Nuclear Reactor

Anal Retentive


Maine Adventure Part I: Unpacking

After several incidents involving a very large (read 26') UHaul and a car dolly with the Subaru following we arrived to our new home. What followed was a thrilling day of hauling, cat chasing, floor scrubbing and wondering where we had acquired so much stuff, such is the story of moving.

Since this time much has happened. We've been to the post office (twice!), visited strip mall city (way more than twice!), been to the ocean (90+ degree weather!) and generally organized, unpacked and marveled at the myriad of differences between Upstate New York and Maine.