Archive for September 10th, 2006

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By the Seat of My Pants

September 10, 2006

Is it Sunday already??? What an incredible weekend! I engaged in some very un-me like behaviors, which was liberating and wonderful. Let’s start on Friday night, when I got to see MATSUI!!! play for the Trenton Thunder. The Thunder loss (which was fine with me, as I am a SeaDogs fan) but I got to see MATSUI!! in action, which was great. There were Thunder fans who trekked up from New Jersey – who were wearing these brightly colored, store manufactured Hawaiian print fan shirts. S looked at me and said “Last time I checked, there was nothing tropical about Trenton, NJ.” Cute. On Saturday, after a routine morning of getting my oil changed, I was pleasantly surprised when the owner of the car dealership where I go for service gave me 2 tickets to the SeaDogs game to be played THAT evening. YES. MORE MATSUI!!!

Because S had gone to the game the prior evening, (she doesn’t particularly like baseball, but will accompany me because as she says “well, there’s beer there,” I felt it in my best interest to find someone else to attend with me. And find somebody, I did. One of my favoritest people ever was going to be on the Saturday morning bus from Bangor to Boston. That particular bus connects in Portland. I managed to convince her to get off the bus, spend an awesome day hanging out at some of my favorite Portland locations, and then go to the game with me. Only catch? I promised to drive her home after the game. Hello, ADVENTURE!!! And as an added bonus, she lives very close to Lesbianville, MA, another of my favorite locations. YAY. I think this excursion a was good idea for both of us (me, and my friend) because….I’m not as spontaneous as I’d like to be – I find I often think things through to death, and find I live my life in sometimes very calculated segments – And I like to keep my friend on her toes. She’s actually more family to friend than me, and I’m totally stoked whenever I can get some extra time with her. I knew this was going to be a great time.

DSCN0336

The game started on time, but after only one inning of play, there were massive thunder clouds passing over and it began to pour. Shoot, rain delay. We stuck it out for about 15 minutes inside the dry spots of the stadium crowded in with about 5000 of our closest friends. We made the executive decision to get S to pick us up, take us to get a bite to eat, and leave for MA a couple hours earlier. Probably a good thing, because when they DID start play again, the game went into extra innings (the SeaDogs won, and now advance in the playoffs) and we’d probably have gotten there at like, 5 in the morning!

The drive was fun. There was lots of story telling, and good conversation. We can’t stay at my friend’s house because of their pet situation (S’s allergic) so round two of the adventure began for me and S. We headed to the Best Western hotel in downtown Northampton because they said they had 1 room left, and of course they would give us the discount rate we found in the travel-guide S picked up at the Mass Pike rest stop. Excellent. Except for the fact that our room keys wouldn’t work, and even though the desk clerk put forth great effort into breaking in to the room, it was all for naught – it wasn’t happening. It was already after 1:00am at this point, and my nerves were getting a little shot. Believe me, they’ll be getting a letter from me. Actually, I hope it’s good enough to get a nights stay, because we plan on returning and going to The Big E in just a few weeks time.

Anyway, we got a (similarly priced) room at the hotel down the road, where it took about an hour or so for us to settle down enough for sleep. We (unfortunately) woke up on the early side, enjoyed the complimentary continental breakfast (which included a waffle bar, excellent!) provided by the hotel. We then walked downtown Northampton for a little bit, which I always love doing. Except…..I loved it a little less this time. When I lived in Noho, there was only ONE chain establishment on the very quaint, very independent Main Street. Of course, it was a Starbucks. Being as I hate Starbucks coffee, and no one I new ever went there (I preferred (and still do) the Haymarket, right down the block) so I mostly ignored the existence of the chains in town. Then, shortly after I moved away, Quiznos took over Barts, a local ice cream store/cafe. Though I found this somewhat disturbing, I had lots of other things on mind and kind of ignored the store’s existence. This trip….The chains have made themselves known and now they are impossible to ignore.

Invaders

Yep. Dunkin’ Donuts has moved into downtown Northampton. Damn. I understand that there are practically more DD’s in New England than there are people, and that they have to be located no more than one mile apart from each other, however….yuck. Their appearance only solidifies my belief in the corporate take over of small town America, and it deeply, deeply saddens me. This is an issue that Portland is dealing with as well, as the city council is seeking to limit the addition of any more formula restaurants in the downtown core, including the “Old Port” district. Right now there is a DD, Starbucks, AND Baskin Robins in the Old Port – but that district is considerably larger than Main Street Northampton.

Oh well.

As long as you still find items like this:

Doll parts, anyone?

at small, independent stores….I guess there is some good left in the world. I just wish there was more of it.

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