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MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

Maine, Episode I: Hey Joe by Sam M. '07

The one with the game of ultimate frisbee in the rain.

First of all, friends don’t let friends do 5.12 on video.

Especially not while friends are on vacation in Maine and only get the chance to check the blog server two or three times a day instead of their usual six hundred.

However, sometimes other friends like Joe ’08 let friends come up to their houses for a weekend. Joe lives in Portland, which is “Maine’s business, financial and retail capital and the largest city in the state,” as well as a fantastic place to spend a weekend. So, I ended up taking sometime out of my incredibly busy schedule to hang out with Joe and appreciate the harmonious blend of cityscapes and seascapes in the metropolitan hub of Maine’s South Coast region.

I was in Maine for three days, so I thought I could split my experiences across three entries–kind of like “The Mummy” trilogy.

Sorry, I thought of “The Mummy” because they played what I assume to be “Be Cool” on the bus ride up and I saw a brief where The Rock (aka The Scorpion King)… uh, did something. I don’t know, I kind of passed out with A Prayer For Owen Meany open to page 89 in my lap, and then I briefly woke up when the bus driver told us that he couldn’t get the movie back on and he was just going to drive to Portland. So, I don’t know what prompted that, but we ended up getting to the city about 40 minutes late. It’s kind of disconcerting to wake up on a bus in Maine realize that your stop was 20 minutes ago, but I was able to calm myself down with a discerning eye for road signs (I love Ambuh).

But it didn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things, because I was paranoid and got to the bus station an hour early and got on the magic 5:15 bus that doesn’t really exist according to the schedule. So actually, I was 20 minutes early. Except that Joe had already been waiting for 40 minutes. But I never believed in linear time anyway.

Since my life is a lot like this anyway, it was raining when I got to Maine, but I nevertheless decided that it would be a great idea to play ultimate frisbee at Joe’s high school. Every single person in Maine is apparently much better than I am at ultimate frisbee, but luckily the 20 people playing had no idea who I was or what team I was on. So, my primary weapon in the game was stealth and I usually just stood there unguarded until the thrower decided to cut his losses and chuck it randomly at my head. I did catch the game-winning, or rather game-ending point, but everyone was so wet and muddy that, to me, when it ended it seemed like everyone was a winner. I also took a fantastic fall into a huge mud puddle and completely ruined, in my usual spectacular fashion, one of the two non-pink pairs of pants that I had brought up for the weekend.

From there we went back to Joe’s house with his friends Liz and Manya, who don’t go to MIT and thus don’t get class numbers according to the MIT blog style guide. We cooked dinner, played rummy, and pondered whether eating frozen cookie mix would be more or less healthy than eating sugar and butter mixed together in equal proportions. What do YOU think? We also found out that nobody likes orange or yellow Starburst the best, which I’ve kind of suspected all my life. We read about when it’s best to renovate a house and when it’s best to raze it. We discovered a lot about home repairs, but discovered even more about ourselves.

Then Liz and Manya went home and Joe and I checked the weather forecast for tomorrow, finding that winds and a thunderstorm had spontaneously turned into intermittent rain and 84 degree weather–almost perfect for a hike the next day. Optimistic, we headed off to bed for five hours.

Sorry, I gotta get some sleep if I’m gonna get my alchemy on in UROP tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get some time to revise this on my lunch break, but it’s more important that I spew it all out like turkey offal from a plant in Carthage, MO tonight before I can refine it into pure oil and carbon black tomorrow.

Photographic evidence of the trip is forthcoming.

2 responses to “Maine, Episode I: Hey Joe”

  1. Mitra says:

    Well the raw cookie dough might have raw egg, right? Not that raw egg has stopped us before. btw, remind me to tell you something about MIT astrophysics

  2. Joe says:

    smile Someday Sam might learn the magic buses come on magic schedules as South Station (on the Red Line, just like Kendall/MIT) is much better than Logan

    but until then Sam will insist that the cookie dough is more nutritious. However, with all the bad news flying out around hydrogenated vegetable oil, who knows? And Mitra, everything anyone would need to know about MIT astrophysics is learned by watching the Fantastic Four, though it’s always good to go above and beyond, or so my middle school teachers always said. smile