Coffee With That Blog Archive 2010
To make a long story short: I was browsing a well-thumbed copy of the Book of Common Prayer (1928 ed.) when I discovered tucked into its pages a secret codex titled Schedule of Events. It took a while to decode this — I had to wait until exactly 6:00 p.m. and then expose the parchment to the vapors of dry vermouth — but I can now reveal that Anglican (and hence, World) History will end precisely at ... but maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.
It’s hard to remember sometimes that Christmas is a religious holiday — not just a school vacation, mandatory shopping season, and reliable catalyst of family conflict. If it weren’t for the occasional old-time carol slipping in between chestnuts and reindeer on the December playlist, one might reasonably wonder what this all has to do with a tiny slumbering deity in some backwater town in Galilee.
It’s hard to be a Luddite nowadays. Technology is all-pervasive; many of us schlep around with pocket-sized devices on which we could, in theory, paint a masterpiece or shoot and edit a high-def movie, complete with soundtrack. Bangor developer Jesse Grosjean has even created an app to turn your iPhone into a circa-1980 word processing terminal.
My Zeitgeist monitor must be on the fritz: the needle has been trending up toward "Cheerio" even as temperatures fall into single digits, along with the hours of daylight. I find myself staring in bemusement at these smiling faces around me. Can it be that all these folks actually like winter?
Being a thoroughly modern American as well as a responsible journalist, I decided to take a poll.
We don't call it commuting. But most working Mainers, like people everywhere else, have to head out early each morning for the trip to the office or the school or the job site. Maine being what it is, these daily treks can be pretty colorful, down winding country roads or through snow-filled hollows or across icy watercourses. Still, it's just the drive to work. You get used to it.
Attention, holiday shoppers: Maine has a little surprise for you this Thanksgiving weekend.
We awoke around 5 a.m., across much of the state, to an odd pitter-patter outdoors, which at first, swimming upward through layers of semi-consciousness, we could hardly put a name to. Something like rain, only more substantial. Frozen leaves blowing against the windows? Chipmunks dancing on the deck?
How many people have I heard this week saying that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday? I lost count by Wednesday; the sentiment seems pretty widespread.
What's odd is that nobody bothers to elaborate. I mean, why not Christmas, or Easter, or the Fourth of July? Explain, please. But they don't. The conversations go like this:
A. Thanksgiving is my my favorite holiday.
B. Mine too!
Except for one that went:
C. Not Halloween?
"Most of the world's work," said Winston Churchill, "is done by people who don't feel very well." Which suggests, by logical extension, that much of Maine's work must be getting done right now, in these early weeks of not-quite-winter, when viruses in their trillions swirl like macro-molecular clouds through stuffy offices and classrooms.
The charming older lady behind me in the express line (14 items or less) was lugging a gallon jug of milk, so I scooched my stuff over to make room for her. "Those things get heavy after a while, don't they?" I said.
"And cold!" she replied, plopping it on the conveyor.
Shirtsleeve weather, days before Halloween. Who would have believed it? That's item one.
Item two: The morning DJ on the local community radio station, WERU, played a set of decent music that lasted all the way through my 25-minute commute to Rockland. I'd put an exclamation point here but it might detract from the serious tone of this blog.