Thursday, August 13, 2009

Roman times

Once upon a time, I did blog entries with a few different sections to address some random topics. I haven't done one of those in some time, so I thought I'd give it a shot.


When this state is buried under a solid crust of snow or ice, or deluged in rain, or some such thing, I generally don't get out for huge weekend excursions. The nearest hopping city is Portland, which is a good hour or so away, and in general I don't mind just hanging out for the weekend, even in the summer. A typical boring weekend:

  • Friday evening: watching TV, chatting online with people, playing video games, reading.
  • Saturday: all of the above, plus some chores, a bit of exercise, and research for the political scandal blog.
  • Sunday: church, a bit of exercise, a lot of reading, some scandal research, and TV
I managed to take a trip to see friends in Minnesota and family in Vermont earlier this summer, but that was before we apparently decided to use a weather machine to steal everyone else's rain. In the past few weeks, the sun has returned and the weekends have been like this

  • Friday: about the same (July 24); playing some Settlers of Catan with friends (July 31); First Friday gallery walk (August 7)
  • Saturday: hiking Mt. Jefferson (July 25); checking out a state park and a free concert in Freeport, then deciding to stay up until the crack of dawn instant messaging a friend in Minnesota (August 1); driving up to East Orland for a wedding (August 7)
  • Sunday: about the same, aside from an August 8 journey back from East Orland that included a visit to Fort Knox in Bucksport.
This weekend is also set to be nice and productive, as I visit my sister in Biddeford, head to the beach, and go to another free concert. These weekends have all been awesome, and I'm glad to make up for lost time. Unfortunately, it happens to make the whole break go past like a shot, while the lounging weekends only really seem to have gone by too fast on Monday morning. Still, it makes for a better story to tell co-workers when they ask how your weekend was.


I'm going to be turning 26 next month. A lot of my friends have recently hit 30. The point of this numbers game? It seems like a ton of violent crime in Maine is committed by 32-year-olds. I started to notice this some time ago, and I'm sure the 31-year-olds are implicated as well, since there's a fair amount of time when a person is 32 when they're convicted, not when they committed the crime. In the past few years, people in this age range have been convicted of six murders, some nasty domestic incidents, and burning down most of the downtown of a tiny northern Maine community.

Maybe I've just gotten a mindset about how 32-year-olds are evil, especially since the last few major incidents in the county were apparently committed by people in their late teens or early 20s. So maybe it's something in the water, maybe it only affects the bad apples, maybe there's been a whole temporal shift that's passed me by...whatever the case, I think I need to get out of here within the next five years.


I grew up in Massachusetts, I moved to Maine, and most people don't seem to hold it against me. There's definitely some resentment toward outsiders that crops up at times, though; I've been told that a "flatlander" refers mainly to Massachusetts, but any other state as well despite the fact that the White Mountains are next door and conceivably make Maine a flatlander state. For the record, I lived in the mountainous western part of Massachusetts that's also known as Lower Vermont.

Anyway, Maine is probably the state where the word "Masshole" is uttered the most. It even has its own Wikipedia article. I've never been called one myself, but have found myself using it on a few occasions. I love the state, but Maine's a popular vacation destination and sometimes the people from Massachusetts can't drive.

The spirit of Massachusetts is the spirit of America...

Most recently, I called someone a Masshole on the way back from this weekend's wedding after a car with Massachusetts tags managed to scoot past an oil truck in the not-really-passing area where the climbing lane ends and the road starts to narrow. Call me crazy, but I'm not a big fan of near-accidents at 60 miles per hour where tanker trucks are involved.

Of course, every state has its jerks, and I think they all deserve some moniker. And no, I haven't sat down and thought of too many, but it might be a project to consider at some point. A Mainer who acts like an idiot, however, is clearly a Maine in the Ass.