Have a nice trip, see you next fall

Here we go again. Booze, pumpkins and cutting implements.

Here we go again. Booze, pumpkins and cutting implements.

There was plenty in the local media Friday about how the Aurora Borealis – the northern lights – may be visible in parts of Maine due to solar flares earlier in the week (or something, I’m not a damn meteorologist).

Given that I understand the basic concept of light pollution, I didn’t expect to be able to see it from the parking lot at work, but I thought I’d give it a go anyway.

So I wandered outside around 9:00 p.m. to glance up to the heavens, and sure enough…nothing. What I did discover, though, was less awe-inspiring and more unnerving.

It was cold. Sure, I was in shorts and a button-down shirt. But it was genuinely, noticeably cold.

Fall is here. Shit.


Oh, Rhode Island, I will never leave you: The 2014 RISF Breakdown

My happy place.

My happy place.


“You must be the guy with the blog,” one of our first customers said to me Saturday morning in India Point Park. “We wouldn’t have known about it, if it weren’t for reading that post!”

My fellow bartender Pat and I fell about laughing at the surreal nature of the comment. There I was, 220-odd miles from home, hungover and opening beers at 11:00 a.m. in Providence, R.I., and someone puts my accent and my weekend job together and recognizes me from this irreverent and over-promoted blog post.

And that’s just one of about 15 million memorable moments from this year’s Rhode Island Seafood Festival, which to my mind was the best one yet. Read on for more… (more…)

Derelict in my duties, here’s a column instead

Hey gang, remember me? I used to write posts on this blog every now and again.

Unfortunately I’m mentally and physically incapacitated after last week/weekend’s Rhode Island Seafood Festival, which I’ll be writing about later in the week for sure.

Until then, here’s a meager piece offering in the form of my column from Sunday.

Parts of it will look familiar, given it’s based off of a post I wrote a couple weeks ago, but it’s got that central Maine-centric twist for newspaper readers. It’s probably pretty relevant for green card immigrants too, I’d wager.

As always, thanks for reading!


Out and About: Portland Brew Festival


That's better! God bless America.

God bless America.

If there’s one worn-out old phrase that has rung true fairly consistently for me over the last few months, it’s “you only live once.” Not that terrible “YOLO” shit that those idiot kids live by these days, either.

After a relatively engagement-free August, I’ve got a couple of big weekends coming up with this weekend’s Rhode Island Seafood Festival and two friends’ wedding in Nebraska in mid-September.

Today is the Labor Day public holiday, but I’m working so that I could take my day off later in the week when I head to Providence. While many people were making plans to go out of town for the three-day weekend, I was kinda relishing the idea of having a quiet weekend at home to charge the batteries for Rhode Island.

That was, until last Tuesday, a coworker asked me if I’d heard about the Portland Brew Festival.

Uh oh. Did I mention I like Maine beer?


You can cram a lot of things into a year




I passed a bit of a milestone this week.

It went by without a great deal of thought, but I tend to think about dates a lot. Calendar dates, not person-and-person dates. I mean, I think a lot about those, too, but that’s another story for another day.

It’s been one year since I packed up some of my worldly belongings, stored others with my various family members around Brisbane, filled up a dumpster outside my old apartment with piles of shit I either no longer needed or couldn’t take with me, and set off for the U.S.

I know that technically it’s not that big of a landmark in my life, given I came back a couple of months later to actually formalize my immigration process and secure a green card, but it did represent the first step on probably the ballsiest journey in my life: quitting my job and moving across the world.

Obviously I’ll probably end up writing something a little more nostalgic upon the anniversary of my immigration, but I thought I’d throw together something about the fun things I’ve seen and done in the past year.

It’s hard to narrow it down, but I’ll try…


Out and About: Some firsts in Franklin County

C'mon, Maine. Give everywhere else a chance alright?

C’mon, Maine. Give everywhere else a chance alright?

A few weeks ago, I had a thing in the paper about all of the “firsts” I’ve experienced since I moved to Maine.

All of the things I mentioned were pretty obvious really, as were the items on the list of things I’ve yet to do.

This weekend just gone, I was kindly invited along to a friend of a friend’s 60th birthday party in Farmington, a college town in the paper’s circulation area, about 40 miles from Augusta.

Figuring it was a great chance to see some of the countryside and get a bit of a locals-only experience with some true Mainahs, I jumped at the opportunity. But I managed to do some other cool stuff for the first time as well…


The first step is the hardest

Pictured: Again, not medicine.

Pictured: Again, not medicine.

I didn’t mention this when I posted last week’s column, but it wasn’t what I had intended to submit for the newspaper.

I wrote that on the Thursday night before Friday’s deadline, and churned it out in about 45 minutes. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a column idea until then; I just wasn’t happy with the other one I’d put together the night before.

The original submission was based largely off this post, in which I bemoaned how tentative I’ve been in being a grown-up, biting the bullet and setting myself up as a patient of a doctor’s practice, just in case I ever need treatment.

I scrapped the column mostly because I felt it didn’t go anywhere, and also because it wasn’t really grounded in Maine or anything recent. Well, that definitely changed.


The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems

Ill just take a couple of cases.

I’ll just take a couple of cases.

There’s an old joke that gets passed around back home, and probably around the world, in which the U.S. is the target. It goes:

“What do American beer and sex in a canoe have in common?”

“They’re both fuckin’ close to water!”

Geddit? I think the first time I heard it, I probably laughed, because until that point in my life, all the experience I’d had with American brews was what could be found in your average Australian bottle shop was Budweiser and Michelob Ultra, the latter being somehow less flavorful than breathing air.

But in this long-awaited and uneducated (but not unsolicited!) critical analysis, I’m here to tell you: that joke is full of shit. American beer rules.