Monday, December 20, 2010

Family Dinner Series Week Nine

Last night I came out into the living room to find out what was causing the banging sound I kept hearing. Uncle Bud, thinking I was clearly insane, made me high five him to prove that I was not sleepwalking.

The irony is that Uncle Bud's own sleep walking, sleep talking and worst, sleep texting, is a constant hurdle in our life as roommates.

Such was the case with Family Dinner Series Week Nine.

The Sunday before the dinner, Bud texted me to verify that we were on as usual. He then asked if I wanted to invite anyone, or if he should invite his coworker who had previously joined us for Week Two. I told him I would like to invite Adam and Frazz, so we could also include our mutual friend Gold who would be flying to his winter gig in Utah the following morning. Bud texted back that my plan sounded good. He would invite his coworker and his coworker's new girlfriend to the following week's dinner, Family Dinner Series Week Ten.

But throughout this whole conversation... Uncle Bud was asleep.

Which is how, Boys and Girls, Family Dinner Series Week Nine turned out to be the most EPIC FAMILY DINNER EVER serving me, Bud, Gilbert Hoss, Bud's Coworker, Bud's coworker's girlfriend, Adam, Frazz and Gold.

Nothing warms a winter night like a full house!

Well... a full house, and some party toasts.

I could only be grateful that I had already made a massive chicken cider stew the night prior. Supplemented with bread, salad, and the most amazingly garlicky spinach artichoke dip ever, the meal was more than hearty enough to satisfy the entire table's appetites.

Conclusion? Any family dinner that starts with champagne and ends with a jigsaw puzzle is a success.

Conclusion #2? Somebody take Bud's phone away while he's sleeping.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I just opened the door to my office and almost had a heart attack.

The office is a rarely used room, so earlier tonight I took it over as the space to organize all my Christmas gifts. Well, just now, I opened the door to add a treat to the pile and for about a minute I was convinced the room was inhabited by the ghost of Christmas Future.

I realize how stupid that sounds, but when you live in the middle of nowhere and you open the door to a dark room and you hear clattering and sleigh bells... what else do you think?

I should probably get used to it.

After all, my house in "the middle of nowhere" is right down the street from a horse farm that hosts holiday themed carriage rides. Clattering is actually horse hoofs. And sleigh bells? Well, they are just that.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Extra! Extra!

I'm back! At the Coast Star, that is. Due to a recent employment change I am no longer working for their direct competitor, and so this week you can find me back on the front page of the Living section. Or, you can read me online!

Musical stars align: River Tree Arts brings Maine Academy of Modern Music to Kennebunk - 12/16/10

All in the family: Local actors star in 'A Christmas Carol' at City Theater - 12/16/10


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Family Dinner Series Weeks Seven and Eight

Family Dinner Series Week Seven was another week of just us three. Me, Uncle Bud and Alias, who from this point forward would prefer to be referred to as Gilbert Hoss.

What up, Hoss?

We had invited one of Gilbert Hoss's friends, but she bailed at the last minute. In fact, she also bailed the week prior. I guess she didn't understand that an invitation to the barn's Family Dinner Series was a highly sought after item, not to be jeopardized with naps and sickness.

You're a very nice girl, Blondie, and I genuinely enjoy spending time with you. But... you are officially off the Tuesday night invite list.

I had a craving for pizza. Not wanting to make my own, and also not wanting to order in, I came up with a Pizza Casserole on the fly. Layers of tortilla, cheese, pepperoni, and grilled veggies. As usual, the boys loved it but honestly, it reminded me of something you eat as a snack in front of football... not a real dinner. Luckily I had some salad and bread on hand to balance things out a bit.

Conclusion? Anything with pepperoni and cheese makes for yummy late-night leftovers!

For Family Dinner Series Week Eight the boys and I went all out in preparation for our most special dinner guests yet. My sister, brother-in-law and two-year old niece Hopper.

Instead of our usual crackers and humus, we snacked on baked brie. Instead of root beers and waters, we indulged in some wine. And in ultimate contrast to the previous week's meal, we had bourbon marinated beef and chicken kabobs, salad, spicy rice, and garlic rolls.

The meal was delicious but most entertaining was little Hopper, who rejected her sassy seat in favor of a grownup chair and spent most of the meal dancing in a crouched position.

"Hey! We have three rules at family dinner," Bud told her. "No hats, cell phones off, and no shaking your bum at the dinner table!"

Usually Uncle Bud has the ability to scare Hopper silly, but the fact that his cell phone rang a minute later, followed quickly by Gilbert Hoss's, must have convinced her that his threat was empty. The bum shaking continued.

Conclusion? The best family dinners often include real family.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Uncle Bud on... Physique?

Me: Hey, I got a new job!

Bartender: Yeah, I know, I already heard.

Me: What? How? Who did you hear from?

Bartender: Let's just say a little robin told me.

Later on...

Uncle Bud: Uh, that was me. And I am neither little, nor bird-like.

Friday, November 19, 2010

On cars and Mexican dip.

It strikes me as strange that I have kept this blog for as long as I have without addressing the issue of my Car. Yes. I capitalized Car. Because my Car causes enough problems that it deserves a little extra emphasis. It's not a car, it's my Car. And my Car... is an issue.

I purchased my car, with the help of my parents, in 2002, shortly after I secured a full ride to a small college in Maine. Paying 90% of the cost of my used car seemed like very little compared to the cash my parents put up for my older sister and younger brother's private college educations.

They felt they were making out like bandits.

I too, felt I was making out like a bandit. I had a car! A lower-case, no issue, no payment car!

But the thing about my Car is... it's a volkswagen. No wait. A Volkswagen. Capital V.

Do you know who should own Volkswagens? People who like tinkering with cars.

Do you know who likes tinkering with cars? Yeah, me neither. Not me. That's for sure.

And making the issue exponentially worse, is the fact that while I am not a bad driver, bad things do tend to happen to me while driving.

(Did you see that? That there was called Creative License.)

The list of... issues... I have survived since acquiring my vehicle is... extensive. There was the time I broke down on the Maine Turnpike in a snowstorm and got stranded at a Dunkin Donuts with a rapidly dying cell phone the day after Christmas. There was the time I spun out of control a mere 100 yards from my own driveway and popped two tires on my way off the road. There was the time my clutch gave out on the first stretch of a trip to Vermont and I ended up stranded at my boyfriend's friend's mother's house for the majority of what was supposed to be a wild spring break. Oh, yeah. And there was the time I drove into a building. Different car, sure. But you get what I'm saying.

So... yes. Some of the time the incidents have been at my own fault.

But others? Others have just been Issues. Capital I. And better yet, Continuing Issues.

Like the fact that in order to start my car I have to quickly jerk the steering wheel to the left while turning the ignition to the right. Or the fact that wet weather, despite having installed a brand new distributor cap, still causes my car to require an ample amount of silicone spray before (maybe) starting. Or how about the fact that only half my dash lights up, except for sometimes, when suddenly the other half lights up, and the unexpected brightness of it on a dark ride home is enough to send me into a tailspin. Or there's also the fact that my clutch is lagging.

Let's just say that every time I call my parents at an unscheduled time, they ask what is wrong with the Car.

Which is exactly why I am excited to report that I got a new job. While I do not plan to write about the job (Welcome. You're Fired.) I will say that the pay associated with the position just may be enough to get me approved for a car payment. And as sad as I will be to kiss my little periwinkle whip goodbye, I am very much looking forward to my only car Issues being MY issues.

Oh, right. I mentioned Mexican dip.

Let's just say that not only am I a girl who has trouble keeping a car on the road, but I am also a girl who 90% of the time is transporting a dish of homemade dip. The two qualities do not go well together.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Uncle Bud on Restaurant Work

"When we were growing up, we would get like one super market brand shrimp cocktail platter for everyone. The little one! With the little shrimps! And then we'd all take turns taking one shrimp. And then, when everyone had one, we would each take one more shrimp. And then that would be it. This time there were no restrictions. So I got a little shrimped out."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Uncle Bud on the DMV

"He goes, I just need proof that you're a US Citizen, and I was like, I am. I was just pissed that I had to wait in line for 35 minutes and then this guy thinks I'm not American. Like, Dude. There are very few people more American than me."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Family Dinner Series Week Six

Family Dinner Series Week Six reinforced two lessons.

One, childhood meals make the best family dinners.

And two, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.

After Uncle Bud requested I make "Pasta and Veg", a staple from our younger years, I called Mom.

"I don't think I even have a recipe for that," she said. "I think I modeled it after something from Bertucci's. It was a fake!"

She told me to get some pasta, parmesan, chicken broth and garlic, and run with it.

I instead found a recipe that included all of those ingredients, and ran with THAT.

The recipe called for one pound of pasta, and because my Tuesday schedule was a little unpredictable (do we all have jobs that are affected by Election Day?) I decided to cook it off the night before. I cooked it, drained it, and tossed it in a bowl with a small amount of olive oil to keep it from sticking. As I wrapped it up, in walked Uncle Bud.

"That's it? Seriously?"

I tried to tell him that a pound of pasta was all the recipe called for but to no avail.

"Bridge. I could eat that by myself."

Alright, fine.

I doubled the recipe.

Well kids, if anyone wants any delicious pasta with grilled veggies, chicken, and a garlicy cream sauce, come on over. Uncle Bud and I both brought it for lunch every day this week, I froze a big container of it, and I still have some left. Oy vey.

Conclusion? One pound of pasta will feed three people. Especially when appetizers include kielbasa. (Thanks, Alias.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

You cursed brat!

You know that part in The Wizard of Oz where the Wicked Witch of the West gets doused with water and starts screaming?

"I'm melting! I'm meeeelting!"

If my barn had a voice, it would sound just like hers.

"I'm leaking! I'm leeeeaaaaking! I'M LEEEEAAAAAKKKKKKING!"

I really hope this rain stops soon.

It's bad for my barn, it's bad for my car, and frankly, it's really bad for my bangs.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Uncle Bud on Reality TV

With Uncle Bud's new xBox, came streaming Netflix. And with streaming Netflix, came my revived obsession with bad television. I have spent a good amount of time recently Keeping Catching Up with the Kardashians, and much to Uncle Bud's dismay, he has caught more than one episode in the process.

The girls do not amuse him.

"You guys are arguing over who gets a Bentley when Bridget and I have to argue over who has to buy toilet paper!"

Pretty sure they can't hear you through the TV there, Bud.

And pretty sure none of them have ever had to worry about buying toilet paper.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Family Dinner Series Weeks Three, Four, and Five

Family Dinner Week Three snuck right up on me, which lead to me falling back on my all-time favorite food. Mexican. We invited my good friend Dan, who is awesome and builds awesome guitars (follow that link!). With him came the two loves of his life, Katherine and Baby Hailey.

I sent a quick text to Alias informing him of the Mexican theme. He brought over some chips, salsa and taquitos for appetizers while I cooked a Mexican Lasagna and mixed up a Taco Salad.

When I realized I had chosen Mexican for the night that our guest roll included a one-year old, I became skeptical, but man oh man did Hailey hold her own. That girl is not afraid of spice! And luckily, as godparents to a one-year old of our own, Uncle Bud and I had a sassy-seat already set up at the dining room table.

Conclusion? No one, not even a one-year old, can say no to a salad with Doritos in it.

By the time Family Dinner Week Four arrived I had fallen into a financial hole so deep I almost boycotted our weekly tradition. Instead, Bud and Alias went shopping and cooked a delicious meal of grilled chicken and steak, spicy rice, and a side salad to rival all that came before it. Then, while I sat on the couch and felt sorry for myself, the boys even set the table!

Conclusion? Whining will, every once in a long while, produce results.

Luckily I got my motivation... and some of my funding... back for Family Dinner Week Five. Uncle Bud had requested an old family favorite from our childhood called Seven Layer Casserole. He even promised to put aside his OCD tendencies that require him to only eat one type of food at a time. Casserole, he wanted! And a Seven Layer one at that.

Conclusion? Do all childhood memories come coated in cream of mushroom soup? YUM.

Stay tuned for more Family Dinners! Perhaps featuring some new guest stars? Alias is already here every night... we're quickly becoming that family with nothing left to talk about...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Uncle Bud on Keeping Busy

"What are you going to do tonight?"

"You're looking at it. Me and this chick flick."

"No, seriously, what are you doing?"

"Oh, seriously? Seriously I was going to bust out some abs so I can look more like Ryan Reynolds. Have you seen that guy?"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Family Dinner Series Weeks One and Two

Uncle Bud and I, along with Bud's best friend, have started a new tradition over here at the barn where we gather together on Tuesday nights for Family Dinner. Bud gives me twenty bucks and mans the grill. Bud's best friend brings over a kielbasa, triscuits, and humus. I plan a menu, grocery shop, cook the meal, clean the house in preparation for guests, and take care of the general cleanup afterwards.

The definition of "Family" is "an even distribution of responsibility" after all......

For Family Dinner Week One, we invited Frazz and Adam for a delicious feast of Thai Peanut Noodle Salad and a mix of Beef and Chicken Kabobs, marinated in a Soy Ginger Sauce.

Conclusion? Delicious!

For Family Dinner Week Two, we invited one of Bud's coworkers who shall, for public school working reasons, remain nameless.

[Side note: Bud's Best Friend has also chosen to remain nameless (some people are not as keen as I on having their lives published on the Interwebs), but he has yet to choose his alias. And so, Bud's Best Friend, you are from this point forward to be called "Alias". Until you put down that Xbox controller and think of something more creative.]

Anyway, for Family Dinner Week Two, I prepared a Red Bliss Potato Salad with Peas, Green Peppers, Red Onion, and a Honey Dijon Vinaigrette, along with Turkey Burgers Stuffed with Blue Cheese and Bacon, topped with Spinach and Tomato. FROM SCRATCH.

Conclusion? I made three red-meat eating boys LOVE turkey burgers!

Not, bad, kids. Not bad at all.

The Family Dinner Series fits in with two of the goals on my Mission: Life List, which I will share more about soon. Those goals?

1. Cook more adventurously.

2. Eat more adventurously.

Care for some photographic evidence?

Week Two's ingrediants! I went shopping with a $40 budget, and spent $49. Not terrible.

Turkey burgers in progress! My first time working with ground meat, and I stuffed it! High five, me!

Cooked to perfection on the grill. Way to rule your role, Uncle Bud. Nice work to you too, Alias.

Hey! Boys! Want to be on the blog!?

Guess not.

Stay tuned as the Family Dinner Series continues!

Monday, October 11, 2010

An observation...

Columbus Day is not really much of a holiday anymore. Schools and government workers have it off, but no one else, really. Stores are open.... Planet Fitness is open........

In Kennebunkport, on the other hand, Columbus Day is a very special kind of holiday. Exodus Holiday #2.

Exodus Holiday #1? Labor Day.
Exodus Holiday #2? Columbus Day.
Exodus Holiday #3? New Years.

On Labor Day we lost our so-called "Summer Residents". Today, we lose our retired summer residents, the snow birds / beach bitties that are bound for Florida, the Bush family, the entire extended Bush staff, and Bush Secret Service (plus families).

Yesterday, driving through the Port was stop and go at about five miles per hour.

Tomorrow? We fly.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Uncle Bud on Hair Care

"If you plug in my hot rollers, I'll go to the bar with you."

"You look like THAT and you think hot rollers is all you need?"


"Alright. Where are they?"

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Last week I had the opportunity to interview the director of an upcoming community production of 'Godspell', which somehow lead to me watching an hour and a half of a dress rehearsal for the performance. I had never seen the show before... yet quickly realized that I knew all the music. Do the rest of you have parents who played Broadway musicals on vinyl throughout your childhood?

Anyway. I wrote a preview of the show for the Coast Star and tried to have a little fun in the process. Check it out!

Holy Entertainment!: It takes a community to produce this 'Godspell' - 10/7/10

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Uncle Bud on Winter

This winter is Uncle Bud's first winter in Maine. And after spending five winters in Buffalo (population 270,000), and every previous winter in West Hartford, Connecticut (population 61,000), he knows he's in for a bit of a change living in Kennebunkport (population 3,700).

"I'm going to buy a wii tonight."

"You're buying what tonight!?"

"I'm going to buy a WII tonight. I'll need something to do here."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Back in black! (and white!)

After an extended break from the local newspaper, I'm back. And very excited about it. While my break from writing was plenty full, I still missed running around town, meeting new people, and spending my Sundays writing on deadline.

My life without deadlines, it turns out, is chaos.

For my first assignment back, I met Helen Revis-Rose, a local Kennebunk-er who just published her first book, Brave: A Memoir of overcoming shyness.

Shy no more, Kennebunk author shares her story
- 9/29/10

Check it out!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

That's Jo-Incidence, with a C!

The series of coincidences in my life this past week has been enough to send me back to church. Except, in another strange twist, just last night, a scheduling conflict between my dance class and an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting ended with my sister and I teaching Irish Ceilis on an actual alter. So don't go calling me born again yet.

This morning I had the incredible opportunity to sit down and talk with one of the two girls who spent their childhood living in my barn. Among a slew of coincidences throughout our chance meeting, came one that struck me as particularly funny:

My name is Bridget Mary, and I live in this girl's former home.

Her current home is a duplex, of which she and her husband rent out half.

Her tenant's name?

Mary Bridget.

I am not even kidding.

Now if only I could have coincidentally mowed my lawn and weeded my gardens before her arrival!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Squirrels in my pants!

Ok. I know I often rant about the creatures who co-habitate my barn, but bear with me while I broach the subject one more time.

For those not familiar, I live in a property that one might call "unconventional". Actually, that's not what one might call it, it is exactly what it is called, according to the paperwork that denies me homeowners insurance.

But you can always get insurance! You might insist.

Sure I can. I just don't happen to have the luck of sneezing gold, and I'm not quite willing to sign over my first born.


"Unconventional" properties sometimes come with "unconventional" residents. And true to form, I share my barn home with one brother, one cat, some bats, a few chipmunks, some persistent squirrels, and about a bajillion mice.

Which is fine.

I mean, it's really not fine.

But ever since last year's fiasco when the squirrels invaded and broke the heating system and I retaliated by KILLING THEM ALL, me and the wildlife seem to have reached a truce. They stay in their part of the house, and I stay in mine. They leave my wiring alone, and I don't call back the pest guy to, in his terms, "get them buggers".

At least until now.

Kids, someone's gone rogue.

Lately, around 9 PM, and then again at 5 AM, the rodent racket in my closets is ridiculously hard to deny.

I have the best bedroom ever. It is huge. And the only room in the house in which the ceiling was build ABOVE the beams. When means I have this neat, sort of... gambrel ceiling, that slopes up from the wall behind my bed, and then back down to the three closets that face my sleeping area.

[Yes, three! THREE! Mmm, closets.]

[And yeah, I totally just whipped out "gambrel". Whattup.]

Anyway. The slope is mimicked in the attic above me, with lots of nooks and crannies for the creatures to explore. And lately, one such creature, seems to have taken a liking to riding the slope right down into the closets. Then, the rodent scratches around for a while, trying to figure out how to get back out. In truth, the animal might not be going rogue so much as he might just be stupid.

But in any case.

I know my rodents... and the volume of the scratching has lead me to believe the animal to be a squirrel. But, with no long visible scratches on any of the closet walls, I'm thinking it is probably more likely a chipmunk. Whatever it is, it is much too loud to be a mouse. And frankly, has too big an appetite.

Because when I opened the closet this afternoon, this is what I found:

One of my favorite scarves ever - and a cashmere JCrew one that has matching gloves no less - has been destroyed!

Oh, rogue chipmunk. You think you're so clever? Game on, buddy. GAME ON.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Uncle Bud on Lawn Care

My lawn is... well, as my mother says, lush.

Uncle Bud has a solution.

"I've been driving by this guy in Limerick that sells riding lawn mowers out of his front yard. As soon as I start making mad cash, I'm buying you one. Vintage. And I'll paint it matte black, and install a cooler. Obviously."

It would beat that $30 push mower...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Income Barn.

I don't know if any of you have ever watched "Income Property" but it, along with just about every other show on HGTV, is one of my favorite programs. If you ever see a curly-haired girl sneaking into a near-vacant beach property armed with a bag full of snacks, don't worry. It's just me breaking into Mom and Dad's place to watch endless hours of home improvement shows.

Man, I need my own cable.


The show has inspired me to work on my own home, with the ultimate goal of being able to rent it out. We live in a summer community, which means year-round residents like myself have the unique option of leaving our own homes for a few months of the year, in exchange for a pretty healthy chunk of change. Mom says she likes every part of this plan except for the inevitable truth where I move in with them. I guess I'll have to explore some other options.

Unfortunately, right now I don't so much have an "Income Property" as I have a "Money-Sucking-Soul-Crushing-Barn".

So there is some work to be done.

I am excited to announce that the work begins TODAY. Although "work" is a relative term as all that is happening today is the arrival of a new dishwasher. "New" is also a relative term, as the dishwasher is actually the one that was in Mom and Dad's beach house when they bought it back in 1994.

Still, a functioning dishwasher is better than the one I have now. Because as convinced as I may be that my existing dishwasher will heal itself after just two more months rest, Uncle Bud likes to remind me that when the issue is not filling with water, and the appliance includes a heating element, my self-healing philosophies need to be set aside.

And now, in a celebration of irony, I will excuse myself to go wash the existing pile of dishes so everything is clean for the arrival of my new appliance.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Life with Uncle Bud

You know how part of being in your twenties is having unfortunate roommates?

Well, I don't have that problem.

I mean, sure I've had my share of terrible tenants. The guy who drove his car up onto my front lawn and left it running all night was a real winner. But right now, and for the past four months, I have been lucky enough to live with my little brother.

Because said brother works in the public school system, and because not everyone prefers to have their real identity repeatedly written about in a public setting, I will not be calling him by his real name in this blog. But I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you all to "Uncle Bud". In addition to regularly grilling me up some mean hot dogs, he's a pretty funny guy. And since my daily life is now peppered with his thoughts on things, it seems only fair to share his wisdom and advice with you all.

Like this little bit, on cooking.

"Preheat to 350? That means 400. Set it and forget it."

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Turn and face the strain, ch-ch-changes!

No, I am not referring to some future David Bowie tribute at karaoke night. Nor am I referring to this most wonderful season of fall.

I am referring to this page! The one you're on right now. Take a good look around, kids. Things done gone and got all kinds of spruced up.

Cute, right?

My "non-traditional student" friend Amanda likes to tell people that her major at the University of Southern Maine is "not sucking at life". Taking some inspiration from her blunt way of putting things, I decided that right now is as good a time as any to get my own butt in gear, life-not-sucking wise.

And so, welcome, to an old blog with a new facelift, both visual, and in content.

While, for the past year, this space has served a productive purpose in showcasing links to my news articles, it has seriously lacked in creativity. Realizing that a writer, like any artist, needs a venue, I've decided to repurpose this blog as a place to showcase my projects. I will still post links as I am published, but I am also resolved to make a greater effort to write. Purely for the sake of writing.

Ha! Hahahahaha! Oh, man I almost believed myself there.

Always the multi-tasker, I admit that I will not actually be writing purely for the sake of writing. I will be writing as a way of motivating myself through other life-not-sucking projects about to get underway.

That's right, kids. Join me as I remake my wardrobe with help of fashionista friend Mariah. Come along for the ride as I finish building my in-home dance studio. Live the day-to-day life of the roommate of a Manimal. Watch as I recruit builder, electrician, and plumber friends to remake this barn into a rentable property.

I probably should have titled the blog So You Think You Can-Wear-Property-Wars. A crazy mash up of the best of prime time HGTV, TLC, and... well... Fox.

Instead I titled it The Small Town Adventures of Vicky Fajita. Because this is the epitome of a small town. I have what one could call... adventures. And to the shock and horror of my mother and father, the townies continue to call me Vicky.

Oh, look out you rock n rollers

Monday, August 16, 2010

August Anxiety.

I have this thing I've termed my August Anxiety. You know, as opposed to my other year-round anxieties. My August Anxiety was born out of the fact that each of the last two Augusts has brought a totally unexpected and life-changing event.

August 7, 2008 my brother-in-law found out he was about to be deployed. My sister was pregnant. When he asked if could move back to Maine to help out with the new baby while he was away, I of course said yes.

August 12, 2009 I was called into a meeting at my office and was told my position in sales had been eliminated. Suddenly unemployed, and suddenly having to cancel the upcoming closing on my dream home, my life again changed direction.

It's now August 16, 2010 and my life-changing event has yet to happen. So, if any of you have the means to publish a novel, I'd officially like to invite you to a reading I am a part of, tomorrow night, Tuesday, in Portland, Maine.

Maybe we can stave off a traumatic event with an incredibly exciting one?

Friday, August 13, 2010


I realize it has been forever AND A DAY since I wrote anything in this here blog and for that I apologize. It's summer. I'm party boating. What else can I say?

Here's a quick rundown of what you've missed:

Make these last!

I'm taking a three week break!

Back to the boat!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Uncle Billy

My Uncle Billy is in town and I am so excited. Did you know that I judge people entirely on their ability to tell a good story? Well, I do. And as storytellers go, Uncle Billy is TOPS.

Tonight we went out for dinner and Billy and I both got seafood. Me, because I never see a reason NOT to get seafood, and Billy because, hey! It's Maine! Let's get some seafood!

I went with fish and chips, while Billy went with fried clams.

"I haven't had fried clam bellies in five years!" he exclaimed.

Luckily they lived up.

"Man, these are good. Remember when we would get these down at the Connecticut shore? And they'd be all mushy? And have sand in them? And sometimes parts of cars? Like a piece of a key? Or maybe a syringe? Like, hey! [picks at tooth] What is that? Oh. A needle."

No needles tonight, kids.

They should put that testimonial on the menu!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ace Reporter I am NOT.

While I admittedly was the first to hear of Taylor Swift's arrival in town, it has recently come to my attention that I am by no means worthy of any "Scoop" like nicknames.

According to an article posted by none other than my own newspaper, George Bush Sr.'s boat, Fidelity IV, ran aground at Gooch's Beach around 3 PM yesterday.

Ace Reporter that I am, I arrived at the scene by 4 PM.

Ace Reporter that I am NOT, I arrived, blanket in hand, for a late afternoon nap after working the 5 AM shift.

I slept like a baby, fetal position and all, on that beach, until my pre-set alarm rang at 5:30 PM. Then, I stared at the water for a while deciding whether or not I needed a swim to wake me up. Thinking the waves looked a little rough for my liking, I packed up my things and left.


It could be time for me to find a new line of work.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shake that thang, hey mama mama!

Remember when my dad and I... and our friend Paul... and then later my friend Sean built that dance studio in my barn? Well, I've been using it. And let me tell you, 85 degree heat makes this dancer a little cranky.

That said, I figured I'd try to catch some of the action on film.

Whoops, that's a little blurry. Let's try this again.

A little better... Question. Does the fact that my feet are too fast to be caught on film make me a total rock star?

Apparently I think so.

T-8 weeks until my Irish Dance exam. Let's do this.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I love me some lobster...

...and so does the Travel Channel!

And so they traveled to Kennebunkport for a Lobster Roll showdown as part of Food Wars.

The contestants? Alisson's and The Clam Shack.

The winner? ...We don't know yet.

But what we do know is that the after party at Alisson's rocked, and I was there to cover it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

oh, baby BAby!

I love when people are somewhat deceptive about their lives. And the more you get to know them, the more layers you discover.

I first met Paige Brown through a friend, and for a while, thought she was only a nanny.

When I later realized she was a nanny as a way of helping to support herself while getting her own business going as a children's photographer, I wanted to know more. So I interviewed her!

Kennebunk woman focuses her photography on children's portraits - 6/24/10

Oh, babies.

By the way, I totally scored a used Pack-N-Play for only $10 off Craigslist. Bring yo'babies ovah!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Money! That's what I want!

It's been a pretty... expensive week over here at Bridget M. Burns headquarters. A week involving a lot of rust, some major septic issues, dead rodents, and sick animals. The full range of these issues would make a great episode of "Dirty Jobs"... and an ever better episode of a new show I just came up with JUST NOW, that I like to call "Broken Barn".

Mom, Dad... I'll fill you in when you get here. But get the tissues ready, will you? Because I'm feeling pretty damn sorry for myself.

Luckily the writing work keeps coming!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Catch up!

I've been working a lot. Like... a LOT. For my regular job, my writing job, and a certain temporary government job that I have been formally warned I am not allowed to blog about, under penalty of PRISON.

In any case, it hasn't left me that much time to update this blog. So in case you're the type who only reads my articles online, go grab yourself a tasty treat and a refreshing beverage. You're in for the long haul.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

And if you like this...
it's cause my little sister wrote it!

Last Wednesday, my friends Bob and Mariah invited me to join them at a Spose show. Another chance to hear wildly inappropriate jokes in Ogunquit? I was on board.

Of course Spose is not a comedian, but rather, a hip hop artist, whose catchy lyrics, well known in Wells, are now hitting radio stations all over the country. He's also Mariah's best friend's ex-boyfriend. So there ya go.

I recently heard a mother call into the radio and ask the station DJ if he knew whether or not Spose's upcoming in-store performance would be appropriate for all ages. The DJ seemed certain that the rapper could keep things tame, but after seeing him live, I have a vision of that mother, hands clamped firmly over her son or daughter's ears, storming out of the store.

If you were offended by my last article, by all means, don't read this one. The Phoenix is anything but family-friendly. Same goes for Spose.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Last weekend, a date and I headed down Route 1 to see Khris Francis's adult comedy show at Oxygen, one of Ogunquit's many gay bars. I had signed on to review the show for the Coast Star, figuring it would be a nice change of pace. With the night labeled as "adult" we knew it would be raunchy, but I don't think either of us was fully prepared for the shock value to come.

At least, I know I wasn't prepared for the moment that my gracious date was called to the front of the room to assert his masculinity by taking a blow job shot.


For those of you who are NOT 21 year old girls, let me explain how a blow job shot works.

Step 1: Place your hands behind your back.

Step 2: Eat a maraschino cherry out of the shot glass in front of you.

Step 3: Suck out the whipped cream below the cherry.

Step 4: Taking the entire shot glass in your mouth, throw back the remaining liquor - generally something chocolaty - and bow to the applauding Ogunquit crowd.

I later found out that at this point the co-owners were in the back of the club freaking out because they weren't sure which of us was the journalist, but they knew that one of us was being publicly embarrassed.

Hey, it's all part of the job, right?

The real challenge came in writing the review of the show, as the Coast Star, while boasting quite a few hip writers, is not exactly edgy. I sat down, considered my liberal definition of "family friendly", toned it down two notches further, and wrote what I considered to be a tame, but entertaining version of the story.

I still got a bit of a reaction.

"Bridget!" my family friend Ted exclaimed. "You said lesbian!"

Well, yeah, Ted. I did.

But... it could have been worse.

Trust me. It could have been much worse.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

He out popped the Buzzard and Oriole!

For the past three mornings, I have been greeted at one of my barn's windows, by a robin, tapping on the glass. Every morning the sound jerks me out of my 7-AM-haze as I look around desperate to find what animal has infiltrated now. And then I notice the robin. Tap, tap, tapping, until, as soon as it sees me, it flies away.

If the bird were a cardinal, I would believe it to be a sign from my Grandmother, who has shown up before, and who will likely be making an appearance in a couple weeks when we all gather together in Wisconsin for a Burns family reunion.

But a robin??

I know I live with squirrels, chipmunks, and mice... but that doesn't mean I want any resident birds.

I'm not Cinderella.

Although... the timber framing in that bedroom does look familiar...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Grab somebody, work ya body, work ya body!

In addition to "writer" and "sandwich artist", I am an Irish Step Dancer. It is something that has been a huge part of my life since I was four years old. It is something that is about to become an even bigger part of my life, as I train in preparation for my Irish Dance teaching certification exam, officially set for this coming September, in Boston.

Yesterday, to aid the effort of me OWNING that exam, my dad and I, with the help of our friend Paul, built the first piece of my new (in! house!) dance studio. A 8' x 16' raised dance floor, with just enough 'give' to cushion my old-lady knees.

Come on over, Sugar.

I'll show you how to shake what your momma gave you. Irish style.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


People often ask me if I have dreams of writing for publications larger than the Coast Star. And the truth of it is... I really don't.

I would love to write for national level magazines, and I would love to write novels, but as far as newspapers go, community journalism is where it's at.

[By the way, when I say "I would love to write novels," I mean that I would love to write published novels that I could casually stumble upon in national bookstore chains. I get tingly just thinking about it!]

In any case, I had a really interesting conversation with a friend the other day on the merits of community journalism. He told me a story of a writer from a small town paper, who always made sure to focus his stories on the people of the town. Apparently their readership increased to 130% every time he was published. I'm not exactly sure how that clearly inaccurate figure was created , but the point is, every time this man was published, everyone in the town picked up a copy of the paper, if not multiple copies of the paper.



Everyone likes to see their name in the paper. With the exception of the police notes and the obituaries, it is generally a sign of good things. Knowing this, the man would include as many local names as possible in each story that he wrote. In fact, in one interview, the man stated that if he could simply publish the phone book, he would be golden.

Smart man.

I love calling local people and telling them that our newspaper would like to feature both them and the work they are doing. 99% of the time, they are extremely excited with the news. Positive feedback is always a good thing, and to be recognized for your work, especially in this economy, creates a good feeling glow.

On the other side of things are those that pick up the paper to see MY name. Several of my regular customers at that little country store buy the paper solely when I am published, as a pledge of support to me and my work. And like the positive feedback above, this also creates a good feeling glow, regardless of the fact that some do it simply to be nice, and never actually read the articles.

Sure it would be a huge accomplishment to be published in... say... the New York Times. But for me, there is just as much satisfaction in convincing a tired landscaper to bring home a newspaper with his six-pack because he liked the way I made his breakfast sandwich earlier that same day and hey! Check it out! I'm on the front page this week, Bub!

So... I agree with the journalist my friend told me about. Names are key.

But I think the bigger theme is that community journalism is community supported. And as a girl who oh-so-loves that good feeling glow, this level of newspapers is where I'd like to stay.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We're gonna party like it's 2006.

I mentioned that there were big projects in the works, and while my actuality never quite matches the magnitude of my plans, the statement does still ring true.

I had this past week off from my job at the little country store down the street from my house. This allowed me time to catch up on some much overdue housework, organize my finances, and... write.

I declared early on that I would take the week to... "Finish My Unfinished Novel!!!!"

This was obviously a lie.

But the idea was that I would sit down and force myself to write in the time that I would have otherwise been making you all (delicious!) breakfast sandwiches.

Do you know what happens when you sit down at your computer to finish an unfinished novel?


And a lot of it.

This.... book? That I'm writing, is a project I started years ago. YEARS! And the thing is, I always wanted it to be written from the point of view of the 23-year old girl who started it. But now, though only four years older, I read what I wrote and want to scold that girl for her ridiculousness. And so, working hard to truly represent how a fresh-out-of-college-not-quite-yet-jaded girl would see the world, caused a lot of staring at the window and thinking on things.

Luckily there was some writing also, and a dent has officially been made. (!!)

This is a very good thing as last August, in an act of either courage or stupidity (the results are not yet in) I boldly promised my mother that I would present her with a finished manuscript for her 2010 birthday.

OK, the results just came in. It was stupid.

But for a girl that cannot write without deadlines, it was also necessary.

Now please excuse me while I buckle down and channel the dumpster diving days of my youth. There are stories to be told, and for better or for worse, I'm going to tell them.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Deadline! Deadline!

FTonight I'm working on some short pieces about (top! secret!) winners of this year's Phoenix "Best of" issue. While I do that... you can read this.

The concert was great - although festivals tend to run a little long for my short attention span. Luckily there's nothing like handsome men in cowboy hats to hold my interest.

It is also worth mentioning that I started my Saturday night out with a really amazing dinner at Portland's own Back Bay Grill, where my lovely bartender may or may not have fed me a line that may or may not have ended up in the final review.

I'll never tell.

But... go there! And try the latkes. They're delish.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Another week, another story.

It's Kennebunkport in the winter and I have found the best group of friends. And they plan the best nights. Including pot luck dinners and poker games set to Mariah Carey remixes.

Never underestimate the power that Mariah Carey has over Seasonal Affective Disorder.

So much power in fact, that I pumped out another three articles this past week. And you! You should read them! (!!!)


Friday, March 19, 2010


It's been a big week over here at Bridget M. Burns incorporated. Which I guess is my really cheesy way of saying that it's been so exciting over here at the BARN, that I danced circles around my living room screaming VERY late Wednesday night when I discovered that I would have four front page stories in Thursday's edition of the Coast Star. Two on the front page of the paper, and two on the front page of the living section. Plus one additional story buried deep inside.

Oh, community journalism. How I love you so!

Read up! And also, you know... buy an actual paper copy if you have a chance. I could use the job security.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rainy Day Reading

Remember when I went down to York and was mistaken for a high school girl?

The resulting article appears in this week's edition of the York Weekly.

Re-reading the article just now made me want to abandon today's deadline and pick up a book. I am currently reading Eat, Pray, Love and, despite the fact that Funny or Die recommends the book to any young man hoping to catch a "cougar", I like it!

"That's because you're actually a 45 year old woman inside, Bridget," Adam assured me.

A 45 year old woman who is continually mistaken for 18.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I kind of have some incredibly exciting news.

I wrote the front page story in this week's edition of the Coast Star.


I remember the excitement that came with seeing my first Coast Star byline like it was yesterday. Which is probably because it was only four months ago.

The excitement grew the first time my name appeared on the front page of the Living Section.

The first time my byline appeared "above the fold" I nearly lost it.

And then this week, after a lot of hard work and rewrites, I made the front page.

The FRONT PAGE, y'all!

Here's a (classy macbook mirror-image) close-up of my byline to prove it:

So go pick up a copy already!

Not only could this be worth money some day (ha! ...haha!), but the story is definitely worth reading. It's all about how the Kennebunkport Historical Society may have to sell off some of their artifacts due to increasing operational costs and dwindling membership. As a girl who lives in a historical building in Kennebunkport, I found this totally unsettling, and will be joining the society myself, asap. You should, too! I say that here, because I could not say that in my story. You know, because I finally managed to write an unbiased news piece.

Which is exactly how I made the FRONT PAGE.

Who wants to take me out to celebrate?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Voltaire... or Hair?

The other day I drove down to York to cover an event at the local library. Basically it was a reading group for middle school girls, lead by four high school girls, sponsored by Mainely Girls. So you know. Reading, girl power, etc.

I walked in to the library and approached the front desk as instructed by my editor.

"Hi, I'm looking for the after-school reading group?" I asked.

"Oh! Are you one of the high school girls?" the librarian asked.

"Oh, um... no," I stuttered. "I'm a reporter."

The librarian was clearly embarrassed and assured me that I would appreciate comments like that in a few years. To be truthful, I appreciate comments like that right now. But I had to wonder if it was my post-deli work appearance that lead her to believe I had come from the high school, and not my oh-so-youthful glow.

Turns out it was my hair.

When I got down to where the group was meeting I realized that like me, all of the high school girls had their hair pulled into messy side ponytails.

Good thing I just worked out a deal where I babysit in exchange for haircuts. It seems it may be time for a trim.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Localvores Unite!

Back when I lived in Vermont, the term localvore was common vernacular. Little did I know, here on the coast, it is not.

It wasn't until I wrote a piece about the New School's new dinner series, did I learn that local food is still a new movement in Maine.

Read all about it!

And... eat up!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Can I git yo' DiGItS!?

Now that I'm "Bridget Burns, the writer" I figured I should get some business cards. You know, to promote myself, maybe get some new assignments, and encourage people to send me story ideas.

Plus, they're a really easy way to noncommittally give my phone number to cute boys.

The front is the same as the heading on this blog. Which by the way, is a photo of the barn I live in. And the house that was once attached to it, before it burned down.

The back lists my mad writing skills. Articles, Short Stories, Blog Entries, Novels, E-Mails, Speeches, Press Releases, Twitter Updates, and Love Letters.

And then there's my phone number and email address.

Pretty cute, right?

Please excuse the bloody band-aid included in the photograph. My other line of work involves knives, sharp corners, and other hazards, not good for people like me who can't even walk through a doorway without crashing into the frame.

I'm fine, by the way. Just a little lightheaded from blood loss.

Call me! *wink*

Sunday, February 28, 2010

"So, you wanna go to a real party?"

I have another Music Seen out in this week's Portland Phoenix. Another... creative? Music Seen. When Jeff hired me for the job, he mentioned that he liked to see variety in the section, which is convenient for me, as living in Kennebunkport in the winter kind of limits the "typical concerts" I am able to attend.

This time I wrote about a Ceili I attended up in Portland, with my sister, brother-in-law, and baby niece. For me it was just another Sunday, but for the Phoenix, it was that aforementioned and oh so sought after "variety".

Mom wasn't so sure.

"Oh boy you're gonna get fired from that job! First the carol sing, and now this. What are you, asking for the boot!?"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Family Fun with Gravestones!

I recently had the chance to meet and talk to Barbara Moon, a Kennebunkport resident who lives not very far from my barn, with her husband and her host of gravestone rubbings.

Did you ever stop to think about how romantic old gravestones can be?

Yeah, me either.

But they are actually incredibly fascinating, and sadly, disappearing due to pollution!

Check out the profile I wrote here:

Also, my first news story was published. Here's the link... and here's my fair warning that it is nowhere near my best work. Let's hope next week's news piece raises the bar a little.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Five W's

I am currently writing some stories for the news section of the paper, and ohmygod is it hard. Ok, it's not hard... it's just....... not the features section. And as a girl who has written exclusively for feature sections, music websites, blogs, alternative weeklies, and style magazines for the past four years, I find myself a bit challenged.

I mean, I can't even speak without a sarcastic slant, let alone write!

Luckily I am working with an incredible editor who has taken extra time out of her day to explain step by step (literally!) what exactly is wrong with what I have submitted thus far, and how to correct it. Because she understands that I know how to write... I just literally forgot how to write straight news.

Links to follow... if I succeed.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I keep doing this thing where I forget I have a Phoenix article due until the morning of deadline, or sometimes the night before. Then I have to quickly ask for a one day extension and search our listings for a last minute Monday night show to review.

Which is how I ended up hanging with hippies.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Raise your glasses to... Mom and Dad!

This past weekend my parents were honored by being named Town Marshals for the town of West Hartford in the annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade. They asked me to say a few words at the party held in their honor. Instead I said about 1000. What follows is that speech, in its entirety.


West Hartford Parade Fundraiser

February 6, 2010

I have been attending this yearly fundraiser for literally as long as I can remember, so I am assuming that a lot of you here already know who I am. For those of you who do not, my name is Bridget Burns. And while I have stood before you many times in the past, it was usually in preparation to dance a two-hand reel. Tonight, I stand before you in recognition of my parents, this year’s town marshals, Greg and Norine Burns.

While most people learn their heritage from their parents, my older sister Morrigan and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly claim full credit for our family getting reconnected to our Irish roots. You see, it all started one day when my sister came home from nursery school and announced that she had told her teacher that she was Chinese, and I, was Japanese. Mom and Dad took this as a sign that they weren’t doing enough to educate us on our family history, and the next thing we knew we were both enrolled in Step Dancing classes with Sheila Stevens and the Shamrock School of Irish Dance.

Step dancing opened doors for us that we never expected. My sister and I have performed Irish dance everywhere, from the floor of the State Senate, to a parking lot in New Jersey where we joined hundreds of other dancers in an effort to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. Step dancing has connected us with everyone from cast members of Riverdance, to President Reagan, to Jim Moriarty, host of the hit (though now defunct) cable access TV show, and radio program, the Irish Hour.

It was also through our involvement in dance that our parents became familiar with the Irish American Home in Glastonbury, which of course lead to their participation in the Central Connecticut Celtic Cultural Committee and it’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

While Morrigan and I joined our dance school’s contingent, our parents – the new young couple on the West Hartford Parade Committee – marched with the Hoseys, Morans, Stauntons, Murnanes, and Bernie Reilly-Duffy. And of course, Liam.

It may be hard to imagine looking at him now, but my “little” brother Liam was so young when my parents marched in their first parade, that he couldn’t actually march. Instead, he was in a snuggly. Later, able to sit up on his own, he rode the parade in a wagon. A few years after that, Liam appointed himself head of the West Hartford Parade Float committee, and from that point forward managed to be a pivotal character on many an Irish-themed design, built mostly in our own driveway. In fact, now that I think about it, in all of Liam’s years “marching” in the parade with Mom and Dad, I’m not sure he’s ever actually marched!

While I do not remember everything from my parents’ early years on the West Hartford Parade Committee, I do remember getting really excited to go over to Pat and Bridie Moran’s house. Partially because I thought it was so cool that someone actually went by the nickname, Bridie, but mostly because I knew she would send us home with a bag of her delicious scones.

I also remember helping out at the annual Colleen Pageant. Morrigan and I loved to get dressed up in our matching Laura Ashley jumpsuits, to go onstage and hold the Waterford Crystal Question bowl for Colleen contestants like our own Mary McGloin. Of course by the time we were old enough to enter the pageant, it had switched to the more gender-neutral scholarship competition - much to Morrigan’s relief and my own tiara-loving dismay.

And of course I can’t forget all of the hours spent peeling vegetables in preparation for the Club’s corned beef and cabbage dinner. I supplement my current career as a writer, by helping out in a small kitchen down the road from my house. So… thank you. Without you all teaching me how to efficiently peel potatoes at such a young age, I might not be quite as gainfully employed as I now am!

In fact, Liam also has you all to thank for his current employment. When applying to be a carpenter’s apprentice, Liam was asked if he had any experience framing.

“Oh yeah,” he said, recalling a past float. “I framed a pub on a trailer bed once.”

“How about roofing?” the carpenter asked.

“Yeah, we thatched the roof,” Liam replied.

Since moving away from West Hartford, eight years ago, I have gradually pared down my Connecticut visits to around six annual trips. The first three are obvious: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. The second three? The Festival, the Fundraiser, and the Parade. I think the fact that these three events now reserve the same recognition as national holidays is a clear reminder of how huge a role this community has served in our upbringing.

A lot of you here are probably aware of the fact that my parents plan to eventually retire to their vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine. What you may not realize, is that this parade is one of the biggest factors still holding them to Connecticut.

Sure, they will miss their careers in the West Hartford public school system. And of course they’ll miss their historic home that they have spent so much energy restoring and keeping up. And it goes without saying that they will miss their extended families and all of their other friends. But… I have a strong suspicion that the Irish Club, and the community that comes with it, is what they will miss the most. Frankly, their Maine-based social life is looking pretty bleak without it!

An old acquaintance recently asked me where everyone in my family is currently living. I explained that Morrigan and I both live in Maine, with Liam scheduled to move there this coming summer, and my parents headed up sometime after retirement.

“Wow, that’s so funny,” the acquaintance said. “That you all ended up in the same state.”

“It’s not that funny,” I responded. “We’re ridiculously close. If we didn’t all end up in Maine, we probably would have all ended up somewhere else.”

And I guess this is where we come full circle. Because the fact is, while we originally got involved in all of these Irish activities – dance, the club, the parade – in an effort to reconnect with our roots, in the end we really just grew closer to each other. Our heritage bonds us, and even though my sister, brother, and I have all moved away from home, and even though our careers have taken turns we never expected, the one constant that remains in our lives regardless, is our family.

I guess that’s just the blessing of being raised in an Irish household.

We love you, Mom and Dad! Congratulations!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"10 Points Sure!"

My favorite class in college was Creative Nonfiction. My favorite assignment within that class? Writing an adventure narrative. So when my editor at the Coast Star gave me the green light to write such a narrative for the paper, I was beyond excited.

I think part of the reason I love writing adventure narratives so much, is that I'm not the kind of girl to take your typical adventures. I don't rock climb, ski, or jump out of planes. My adventures include coaching a hormonal swim team and interviewing local business people.

This time the adventure was attending a local trivia night.

What is ... trivia night - 2/4/10

Let's face it. With my tendency to stick my foot in my mouth and drive my car off the road... everything I do is a bit of an adventure.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Almost Famous

I have been wanting to work as a writer for the Portland Phoenix since I moved to Maine at age 18. Eight years later, after getting laid off from a full-time sales gig with the same company, I am finally there.

Once a month I put on my "music journalist" hat and head to a show with notebook in hand. Below is a list of links to articles I have written so far.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bridget Burns, the Writer

There are two people in Kennebunkport named Bridget Burns. There's the one everyone knows... and then there's me. Wherever I am - the bank, the gym, or the town office - there is already a Bridget Burns in the system, and I have to double check to be sure the person helping me has pulled up the correct information on their computer. At this point, I am extremely accustomed to people asking me if I am "Bridget Burns, the hairdresser".

Last night, a parent of one of my high school swimmers came up to me and said, "Are you Bridget Burns, the writer?"

I died.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Art! Surfing!

This past week I interviewed a surfer from the local shop Kennebunk Outdoors Surf & Skate about wall art he is making using fiberglass and surfboard resin.

Not only was Ron so fun to talk to, but he also promised to let me borrow a board this summer to finally (FINALLY!) really learn how to surf.

It's about time.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Every few weeks I get curious about the actual population of Kennebunkport. I know it's a small town, infinitely smaller than the "town" where I grew up, but I always forget the exact number of people that live here. So when another member of the swim team mentions that they know where I live, or another person laughs that they recognize my car from being broken down at the Sunoco, I jump online and look up our population. Again. As affirmation that it's not so much that I stick out in a crowd... as it is there is just no crowd to begin with.

It was on one of these information missions that I found an especially interesting town tid bit:

For every 100 females there are 88.0 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.3 males.


I guess that explains the lack of available dates, Mom.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I am so excited about this week's article and insist, INSIST!, that you all give it a read.

One of things I love most about my job is that it allows me to ask all the dorky questions that I always have, but with solid reason for my curiosity. I have known the Bob in the article for years - ten years in fact - but only recently did we actually become friendly with each other. Conducting this interview of him and Brian, gave me such great insight into his character, and affirmed that he and his roommates are a crew I definitely want to spend more time around.

Plus! I learned a lot about dry lay stonewalling! Which, it turns out, is actually incredibly interesting. Something I never would have guessed about... well... rocks.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Small Town Adventures of Vicky Fajita

It would seem that when you're speaking to someone elderly and hearing impaired, the name "Bridget" can sound a lot like "Vicky". Especially through the phone lines when they call the store to place a dinner order.

And sometimes your boss will ask if she can call you "Brigitta" and your co-worker will think she said "Fajita" and then boom, you have a new last name, also.

The next thing you know there is a dinner special at work called the "Vicky Fajita" and the locals are coming in declaring, "Good morning, Victoria!"

Oh, Kennebunkport.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Part of the reason I wanted to start this here log, is to provide one central location with links to everything I write.

Well... not EVERYTHING I write. I'm not linking you right to that private journal, kids.

But nice try.

Anyway, here's a quick wrap up of work I've done for the York County Coast Star, and the York Weekly over the last couple months. I'll list the Phoenix separately. Parental discretion is advised.

Read up!