The Rain in Maine

Week two winds up for the CarnyMobile and the current rains may once again spoil some of the fun. The past few days have been mixed, with an actual “weekend” trip, one gig, and lots of time killing.

Friday night turned out to be fun. I went with Melissa, my coworker, to a nonprofit happy hour at a bar across from the state house. Had a few pints, met a few folks, and then met an actual South Carolinian who just started working in Concord for the Sierra Club. Marie’s from Spartanburg of all places, and went to USC. Ended up having a few more drinks with her, rolling over to another bar where the bartender deserted me with a free round. We spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how to bring progressive activism to SC, a deeply conservative, Republican state.

I spent a nice Saturday in Portsmouth, not too hungover, trying to coax March of Dimes walkers to take a break and play a game. Not a lot of traffic stopped, but I got to enjoy the sun, practice my sledge balancing (I hope to be able to balance one on my open palm and one on my foot at the same time). Sunday was a scouting day in Manchester and Nashua.

I took my bike along with me for some exercise so I parked the van near a Manchester MS walk route and biked around looking for potential sites. Found a few places and had a tasty lunch at the 80+ year-old Red Arrow diner. Off to Nashua, which felt like a distant Boston suburb. Their park would work but there weren’t any good locations downtown. Along the way I found stencils here or there, enjoyed the fact that Nashua had diversity, and convinced myself that New Hampshire has a shit-load of bikers (the Harley and Japanese kind).

RedArrow

Spent Monday doing graphic design for PrioritiesNH. I formatted some photos of the “educational vehicles” and posted them on their site. I also designed a few small posters for the games, wrote a tech rider for the CarnyMobile, and had to deal with online lighting companies to get a fricking sandbag order to happen. Ahh, all in a days work.

Yesterday I drove to Portland, Maine for my Tuesday/Wednesday “weekend” and brought a wave of rain with me. I got to spend some time with Patricia, a friend from SF. She moved there 6 months ago and was kind enough to offer me a futon to crash on. Being that she and her boyfriend are currently unemployed, they spent the day with me. We had a great pizza down by the wharf, then a wicked cool ice cream at the Cold Stone Creamery. You order a flavor of ice cream, they mash it down on a frozen stone counter, and add goodies into it. I chose banana ice cream with brownie and peanut butter added in. Damn it was good!

I then got walked and drive to some graffiti walls and found stencils. All total over the past few days I found 25 stencils in Portland and 1 great one on a bridge off a New Hampshire freeway (I had to climb the rail and jump a creek to get the shot. After I left and had driven a few miles from the site, the NHHP drove by with lights flashing. Did someone call 911 and rat me out?). It felt great to be in a city that had culture, graffiti, and cute women. Jose, Patricia’s boyfriend, thought that since Portland’s a port town, it has more funkiness. I agree with that theory and also realized that SF has made me into a culture snob (sorry, no Harley’s on this trip).

NHPeace

Today, Patricia and I were going to try to meet up with another SF friend who lives in Brunswick. Cheryl called me to say that she was extremely busy and would try to meet up with me at a later time. So Patricia drove me out to the Portland Head Light, a big light house on the Atlantic. We walked around in the mist and wind, along the rocky shore, and I felt like I was back on the Pacific. We picked up Jose and went a little further out to a bird sanctuary and had a short walk before it started raining again. Then I drove home.

PortlandHeadLight

I have found a few new ways to while the time away while alone in Concord. Bought some cheap juggling balls from a toy store near my place and have been practicing daily since then. Just tossing two balls right now, but have already improved. I also bought a deck of knot tying cards at the LL Bean outlet here so have been taking my time learning knots. I’ve realized that my left-handed insecurities from childhood play a great deal in both of these activities. But having lots of time to work out the problems, and to practice, makes all the difference.

I caught up to the latest Lost episode tonight. iTMS saved the day for filling the gaps that I couldn’t find online. I’ve also gotten into The Boondocks cartoon series. Ruckus makes me laugh every episode, and I am once again sucked into African American humor (uh, did any of you know that I wanted to be JJ from Good Times when I was a kid?). I’m also getting into Podcasts thanks to my friend Ian and his very-Ian Float-e-Cast). When I’m doing long drives in the van, I take my iPod along and listen to Democracy Now, Now, Puzzling Evidence and have started looking into other Podcasts to take along with me.

I also hope to make a short mp3/podcast of my own for HappyFt. Current working title is Music to Juggle to. Might set up the audio gear (yes, I brought the whole laptop rig with me) and DJ a show soon.

OK, tomorrow is an admin/pre-show day before I hopefully have a three-day run of gigs. Rain may cut some of the shows out, but I’ll be in West-NH overnight doing Mother’s Day events. And the Piggies will be around so I can shoot a photo for ya.

“Ring the bell and win a prize! No one walks away empty handed. STEP RIGHT UP….”

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