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.