Friday, February 25, 2011

On the rocks

I am already excited for Maine Restaurant Week, so when my editor called to ask if I could write a sort of preview to the week's "Signature Event", I was immediately on board.

Blue Sky bartender Paul Russell to stir things up at statewide competition - 2/23/11

Drinks? Dessert? Let's go, kids!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Uncle Bud on teaching Elementary School

As a kick off to February vacation, Uncle Bud's class got treated to some screen time.

"OK, what do you think of these movies for school today? Hook, Newsies, Full Metal Jacket."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Adventures in Car Shopping Vol. 7

Me: And now, first gear has stopped working completely, and if I come to a complete stop and forget to put the car in second before I slow down, it won't go into any gear. So I have to turn the car off, put it in gear, then turn it back on. Everyone thinks I'm flashing my brights at them!

Greg: Bridget. It's time.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Book Report

There was a time in the last year when I was dumped and feeling very sorry for myself. A friend, in a well-intentioned effort to make me feel better, said, "It's OK, Bridget. He reads books! Do you honestly want to date somebody who reads books?"

Um. Yes.

I mean, seriously, do you know me? I am a writer. That inherently makes me a reader. I grew up in a family that was read aloud to at the dinner table. I fall in a crowd of friends that spends one day of four-day ski weekends skiing, and three days curled up in front of the fire with a book. I am the new girl, at the new job, who doesn't make friends during lunch because I relish my full hour to curl up in the corner of the cafeteria and, you guessed it, read.

I am a (proud) book nerd.

Which is why it was so distressing to me to learn that bookstore chain Borders recently filed for Chapter 11.

I know, I know, I shouldn't be crying over the potential demise of a big box store. I mean, I've seen You've Got Mail and all. But there was a point in my life when I was working as a nanny in Burlington, Vermont and Borders was an almost daily stop for me.

They were within walking distance! Their bathrooms easily fit strollers! They had a children's section! And a wide variety of cheesy chick lit that I could read aloud to Baby in a sing song voice, him none the wiser!

Plus, the fall of such a giant makes me worried for our smaller independent stores. Which is why I am so grateful that my community's novice bookstore is hanging on, with the expertise of seasoned booksellers and the resources of its determined owner.

Community bookends: Bookstore keeps people connected - 2/17/11

Read all about it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Uncle Bud on Working Two Jobs

"Work Monday day, work Monday night, sleep three hours. Work Tuesday day, work Tuesday night, sleep three hours. Work Wednesday day. Die."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Adventures in Car Shopping Vol. 6

Dan: Bridget. Haven't you been driving this Volkswagen for about ten years now? I mean, I'm pretty sure I remember getting rides in this car when I was sixteen.

Me: Yeah, that sounds about right.

Dan: What I'm saying is, I think you've gotten your money's worth.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Family Dinner Series Week Twelve

Family Dinner Series Week Twelve was another epic night with multiple guests.

I mean, sure, Gilbert Hoss boycotted the event for reasons not worth discussing. And sure, I did have to leave him a voicemail explaining that messages left with Uncle Bud never make it to me, and if he plans to boycott again, please call me directly. Preferably before I pick up the "Family Size" package of chicken.

But even without him, our table was full.

My friend Jesse joined us again... again bringing a new wine to try. Also in attendance were Dan, Katherine, and lovely baby girl Hailey, for one last visit as a family of three before becoming a family of four.

Apparently I've only ever made eleven dinners successfully in my life because by Family Dinner Series Week Twelve I was completely out of ideas. So I did what anyone would do. I went to and I looked up "chicken".

Yeah. That results in about a million recipes. But I managed to choose one.

For appetizers we had hot pepper and cream cheese dip with crackers. For dinner, I made honey mustard chicken with bacon, roasted vegetables, and more clearance priced Stovetop stuffing.

The meal was a success. And Jesse bonded up right with Dan's adorable little family.

But with no one "Hoss-ing" me from across the table, something was missing.

Conclusion? Gilbert Hoss's absence may not have left a real hole in our menu, but it did leave a real hole in our Family Dinner shaped hearts.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Adventures in Car Shopping Vol. 5

Me: I actually want the 4-door model in manual transmission.

Salesman: And do you want a pink unicorn in the backseat?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

When my editor contacted me last Friday afternoon and asked if I could complete a story on the Chinese New Year for Monday morning, I knew I was taking on a challenge. Weekends are tough. Language barriers are harder. And when time constraints force interviews to happen over the phone, or worse - email, my stories definitely lose something.

Family-style celebration: Today starts the Chinese New Year, Year of the Rabbit - 2/3/11

Thankfully, some of that New Year luck was in my corner, and a 400-word story quickly grew to 1000. Happy New Year, kids! Let's hope it is prosperous and healthy for all.