10/2/13

Maine-lining the month.

Ah, September.  It's the month I use up all of my vacation.  Sadly, it's over, and I only got a few trips in.  I'm hoping for a warm October so we can do a little more backpacking.  It's hunting season though, so you gotta be careful walking in the woods.  On the other hand, you could make a game of it and wear a brown suede jacket and a pair of white gloves.

To start the month off right, the weekend after labor day we headed up to Maine with our friends Vidna and Pootie.  Unfortunately, unlike our last two visits, we didn't have a full moon.  Vidna was on hardcore drugs for a series of vicious insect bites, so the girls had to take up most of the slack in the drinking department.  The one good thing about lack of a full moon meant we could get some good shots of the Milky Way like this one by Pootie.

As always, Jesus was our co-pilot.

You may remember Action Jesus, who accompanied us on our last trip to Maine. He recites the Lord's prayer (in its entirety) when you push a button just above his ass-crack.  He sounds a little like the guy who does all the movie trailer voice-overs. In a world... where pharaohs rule the day…and nobody has underwear...

Come get some.
He rides with us on the dashboard, and guards us against shitty weather, idiot drivers, and bad seafood.  This year, JC couldn't wait to hit the beach:

Take this Lobster and eat of it, Brah.
He didn't disappoint.  We had great weather during the day, and we only got a bit of rain the night before we were leaving, so I count it in the win department.   There's a very slim chance I'll burn in Hell for dressing up Jesus for the beach, but my guess is that if JC came back now,  he'd be shopping at Abercrombie and wouldn't be caught resurrected walking around commando in some rough-woven robe.  

We didn't swim because the water was ridiculously cold, but we took a walk on the beach one of the days, and spent most of our time walking Marginal Way.  It's a beautiful walk with stunning natural seascapes and it's custom-made for photographs, except for one thing.  And as always, that one thing is the same thing it always is:  Idiots.  And I'm talking about a special kind of idiot.  The kind that needs to reaffirm his or her existence by tagging a building with spray paint, or carving their names into a picnic table or a desk or a tree.  The ones that need to shout to the universe "I WAS HERE!" even though the universe and the rest of us wish you weren't.  Check this out:





What you are looking at is hundreds and hundreds of stones stacked on top of one another.  Why? Because one idiot made the first stack and a thousand other idiots followed like lemmings.  It might as well be graffiti.  It ruins the natural landscape and it annoys the ever-living fuck out of me.  Can you tell?  

When I climbed down next to them to take the pictures, I 'accidentally' knocked a few of them over on my climb back up.  Vidna is more direct.  He just walked up next to some guy who was building one and kicked over the one right next to him.  It totally reminded me of this:



Anyway, I have no idea why humans have to do stuff like that.  Why can't we just leave shit alone?  It doesn't make sense to me.  

I did take a few pictures, but when you're out with an actual photographer and his wife, and your camera is a piece of outdated junk, you don't take too many shots.  I thought these clouds were cool:


 The obligatory sailboat shot:


On the drive up, Vidna lets me pick the music, since I'm always riding shotgun.  I decided that the theme of the drive would be 80's music, so I "obtained" some Time-Life 80's collections and after about twenty minutes of listening to it, we realized that either 80's top-40 music was way crappier than it seemed at the time, or we were weren't listening to what was on the radio.  There were a few gems that I liked back in the day, like Scritti-Politti's Perfect Way, or Tommy Tutone's 867-5309, and of course a Rick Springfield tune or two, but a fair amount of the songs were flat-out horrible.  

For every "One Thing Leads to Another" or "I don't like Mondays" there was a "Mickey" or a "Voices Carry."  The musical landscape was all over the place, so a compilation album that spans a whole decade was probably not the best choice for the drive. We had SuperFreak and the Safety Dance on the same Album and I think that must break some kind of natural law.  At least it was before auto-tune, so if you sucked, everyone knew it. It was still possible for a horrible band to have a hit though*,  so I guess it wasn't any different than today.

We had a good time, like we always do.  We ate at a steakhouse called (coincidentally, I think) The Steakhouse, and it was pretty good.  I had a hunk of filet mignon the size of a baby's head that was a little too rare for me, along with a giant salad and a baked potato and sour cream.  They had a full menu, but hey, you know, it was a steakhouse so I didn't want to go with the fish.  Not the best piece of raw beef I've ever had, but not bad.  After dinner I was so full I thought I was going to spend the rest of the night sweating meat.

The month flew by after that, mostly because it seemed like everything conspired against us getting out in the woods or on a lake.  A death in the family, the most disgusting plumbing job I've ever had the opportunity to perform, (a post that is coming very soon, once I take a break from obsessively showering to rid myself of the memory)  and some crappy weather prevented us from enjoying the month like we usually do.  We did manage to get out last weekend for a couple of days.  Here's a few pictures for your enjoyment.  I finally remembered to throw my tripod in the canoe.

Sunset. Duh.

Venus on the horizon


I'd live here if I could


We're just a speck on a speck on a spiral arm...

      This is my first full week back to work in about 30 days, and it's kicking my ass.  I've never wanted a weekend more in my life.  But by that time, I should have the disgusting plumbing story ready to tell. I don't want to remember it, let alone re-live it, but I will.  For all of you.  Because I care.

*Missing Persons, I'm talking to you. Terry Bozzio, your reputation will never recover.  I don't care if the singer was your wife at the time.  Sometimes, you gotta put your foot down.)


22 comments:

  1. Ogunquit, eh? Smart to visit after Labor Day.

    I live about two hours north of there.

    Much less scenic, and much more dirty.

    Great pictures!

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    1. Do idiots make rock piles where you live too?

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    2. According to Google, those piles of rocks might be original piles of caveman poop. Seems cavepeople diet was mostly dirt so when they dumped it came out looking like rocks. Honest.

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  2. The very moment I saw that first photo of stacked stones I wanted to run all over kicking the crap out of each stack. Why ruin a beautiful view with man made crap stacks. Gawd but that is annoying. Loved the night view of the stars -magnificent.

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  3. Whoo-hoo! Rick Springfield! Many parks in Maine are actively discouraging people from the whole rock stacking thing. I guess it's a substitute for sandcastle making when you are at the ocean but have no sand.

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  4. As always, reading one of your blogs is a highlight of my day. How the hell (ahem) did you manage to dress Action Jesus like a Surfer Dude??? Did you go out and buy a Ken doll dressed similarly? Did you enjoy stripping down two male dolls? I just don't know about this... :-) The sunglasses are the crowning touch, though.

    I have been to a rocky beach in Maine, though not as nice as that one, and I don't remember seeing rock piles. I can see why they irritate you and I hope you didn't break a toe "accidentally" knocking them over. Love the reference to Mr. John Belushi's statement in AH. That man could do more with facial expressions and eyebrows than most actors emoting at top volume.

    Your photos are simply breathtaking. If that's bad photography, I'd hate to let you see 99.9% of the wretched things I come up with.

    Can't WAIT for the plumbing story, because frankly, I don't know how anything could be worse than the chipmunk carcass in the pipe...

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    1. I didn't get many good shots in Maine. I was happier with the ones I got while camping. We were there last year and there were just a few piles. It's completely out of control now.

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    2. Yes, the auguring the rodent is going to be hard to top.

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  5. God, I love Maine! Even in the summer with all the freaking mosquitoes in the sun and the deer flies in the shade (or was it the other way around?). Anyway, to get clean, you had to paddle out into the middle of whatever lake we were camped on (no mosquitoes away from land), strip down, jump in and soap up (using biodegradable soap of course), rinse (easy when you're treading water), crawl back in the canoe, dry yourself off, spray insect repellent all over you, then get dressed and return to land, quickly covering yourself with a mosquito net. To get in the tent at night, everyone would gather at the door, we'd unzip it, leap in, zip it back up, then spend ten minutes smashing all the mosquitoes you sucked in with the grand entrance. Hopefully you got them all, or you'd spend all night swatting your tent mates trying to finish the job. In the morning, the window over your head would be covered with the things, so you could escape the tent and run for the netting around the table where you'd light as many mosquito coils as possible, hoping the cloud of smoke over the island didn't cause the firefighters to dump fire retardant on you from an airplane. Anyway. I love the coast and I'd be eating LOBSTAH instead of steak if I were there! Looks like you had a grand time, the pictures are awesome!
    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Thanks Jay. Also, Maine in the summer sounds absolutely horrifying.

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  6. I highly recommend a trip down to York for Wild Willy's burgers. We used to head up to Wells every summer but our kids are teens now and it's "soooo BOOOORRRING" with obligatory eye-roll. So we took them hiking in the White Mtns of NH. A couple medium-difficulty hikes and suddenly lazing at the beach sounded not so bad... Ha! That'll learn 'em!

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  7. The rock stacks are called "cairns" in hiker world. They are used to mark trails in rocky area where someone may be lost from the trail, or to point out hazards or points of interest. I have no idea why some dink needed to grow a flock of them, its ridiculous! Last time I was Marginal Way they weren't there, it was much prettier. Great post, especially Jesus as lobster brah! Pics are quite lovely as well!

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    1. I don't even like them when I'm hiking. I almost had a nervous breakdown when I came around the corner and saw all these. One thing is for sure, nobody will get lost, or fail to miss the point of interest.

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  8. Thoroughly enjoyed this one Johnny. I will miss you in the afterlife though as Malibu Jesus will see to it you spend an eternity in Hell playing with Ken Dolls.
    Great pics bro.

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    1. Nah, we're gonna be waiting in line at the Black Forest for the Fastpass tickets.

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  9. Love these pictures! Looks like a peaceful place (that I'd likely ruin).

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    1. As long as you don't leave piles of shit lying around, we're good.

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  10. As irritating as those rock piles are, they are better than the people who carve their names into trees, cliffs, etc. The rocks can at least be returned to their natural state.

    And I think you're being unfair to Missing Persons. Neither John Lennon NOR Paul McCartney could keep their wives from "singing," so why expect an '80s half-been to do it?

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  11. In North Carolina, they have signs posted that say to basically only leave footprints. That says it all.

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  12. In North Carolina, there are signs posted that say to leave only footprints. That says it all.

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  13. As a Mainer myself (South Portland, baby!) I'm gonna have to blame the rock piles on the person we like to blame for all of the stupidity in our state these days... and that's our Governor- Paul LePage. :) I can't be certain it was him, but the odds are decent.

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  14. As a Mainer myself (South Portland, baby!) I'm gonna have to blame the rock piles on the person we like to blame for all of the stupidity in our state these days... and that's our Governor- Paul LePage. :) I can't be certain it was him, but the odds are decent.

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