Strange Maine

Founded 2005! Freaks. Weirdos. Unmapped roads. Whispering rocks. Deadening fog. Ghost pirates. Lonely islands. THINGS in the WOODS. Home of Stephen King & Glenn Chadbourne. A place where the 4 seasons really know how to live. Maine: the way life should be! This site is a nexus for conversation about Maine's unique strangeness, people who love it, people who have experienced it, & people who are intrigued by it. History, mysteries, legends, current events, cryptozoology, & more.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Zombie Kickball VI video!

Clearly, as always, fun was had by all. Can you tell it's a family-friendly event? Look at all the kids this year!! :) Hot diggity, zombie fun in the sun.

Thanks to Mark Hensley, who took the time to put the film together and post it to my Strange Maine book page on Facebook with this note: "Today was a great day for ZOMBIE KICKBALL in Portland Maine!!! I would like to thank Pete Witham & The Cozmik Zombies for letting me use their song I Wanna Be A Zombie!!! Thanks Guys."

Thanks Mark!
Click on this link for the YouTube Video if the embedded video above isn't working: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsIlOCfARPA

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

SUNDAY: Zombie Kickball VI!

Better late than never. Those sneaky zombies, crawling about under my radar...

Here are the details if you would like to join the horde of cheerful undead kickball players (or just come and watch 'em lurching around the playing field) this Sunday:

WHAT: Zombie Kickball VI
WHEN: Sunday, June 26, 2011 from 12:00pm - 4:00pm
WHERE: Softball field, Eastern Prom, Portland ME 04101
COST: Free! Just bring your undead team spirit and sense of humor, you won't be disappointed.
FMI: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=199022546796183

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bizarre art stunt met with oblivion

"White Heart Bar" (acrylic on receipt folder; 2008)
by Christopher Michael Sullivan
The Bollard is one of the most interesting independent Maine publications around, but every now and then they have a story that is even more wildly-improbably-but-true than their usual fare.

For instance, their June 2011 issue features a short but jaw-dropping piece by Christopher Michael Sullivan, titled "Customer Copy," wherein he recounts his attempts to dazzle Portland waitstaff with his artistic feats of illusion, only to find them so focused on their jobs that no trick of skill was perceived:
Customer Copy: An artistic gift that failed
By Christopher Michael Sullivan

I imagined myself as David Blaine skillfully performing street magic. Not so much the flashy Blaine frozen in Times Square, or the ripped, glowering Blaine who held his breath for 17 minutes on Oprah. I would be the benevolent, unfettered Blaine, the one who wields a simple deck of cards, and who then might suddenly, quietly levitate for an audience of one or two zaftig tourists on a boardwalk. The Blaine who doles out intimate acts like the transformation of a playing card’s color; a delicate trick that brightens the day of the few people fortunate enough to witness it.

As an artist, my deck of cards would be a paintbrush, and my trick would be the transformation of restaurant receipts into paintings. My magic would brighten the night of all the servers who stumbled upon it. It would be my gift to the service industry.

The trick was supposed to work like this. When dining out, after finishing my meal, I would ask for the check and hand the server my credit card. The server would return with a black receipt folder containing my card and the receipt. The server would see me take my card, sign the receipt, and leave. When the server came back to collect the receipt, she would discover that – magically! – the folder now contained two identical receipts: alongside the paper original was an exact replica, meticulously hand-painted onto the inside of the folder.
[...]
I have spent the past two years performing this trick and can assure you that no one has mistaken me for Banksy. In fact, eight “receipts” have been dropped at establishments all around Portland and not one has conjured any excitement whatsoever. They have, without exception, been completely overlooked. After a cursory glance, the painting is mistakenly thought to be another receipt. The work of art, and the magic, are wasted.

My tragic magician’s tale began (as so many tragic tales once did) at the now-defunct White Heart Bar and Cocktail Lounge on Congress Street. [...] Over the course of several weeks and half-price bottles, I studied the rhythms of the White Heart, noting prices, the servers’ work schedules — even the time it took to pour and deliver a drink. I gathered all the information I would need in order to create a convincing facsimile of the receipt I would be given. Then I went to work in the studio, meticulously painting a receipt onto the inside of a folder just like those used at the bar.

After a week of painting, I was ready. With the folder concealed beneath my coat, I returned to the White Heart, ordered and drank wine, executed the switch, and left. A secret magician’s assistant, planted elsewhere in the bar, stayed behind to observe the server’s reaction. He picked up the folder. He entered the totals into the register. Then he put the folder on a stack of others behind the bar and went to take another order.

Maybe the White Heart was the wrong venue, I thought. Two more bars, two similar reactions. Two restaurants, two similar reactions.

Maybe it was a lack of complexity – perhaps the painting wasn’t dazzling enough. I made double receipts, folded and creased receipts, wine-stained receipts, stapled receipts. Nothing. The most notable response was, “Wow! It is really stuck down.” Each time, the work was tossed aside. The hours of preparation, the sleight of hand, and the artifact were all lost on their intended recipients. The work wasn’t received as art. It continued to be perceived as a receipt, and thus failed to manifest magic.
[...]

Click here to read the full article and see more of the paintings! http://www.thebollard.com/bollard/?p=8652
While you're there, don't forget to take a peek at this month's cover story, NPR's Other Enemy," about John Crosby, interviewed while in jail for sending threatening messages to NPR via email, including a death threat directed at the host of the popular show, "All Things Considered." Or, if you prefer lighter fare, a regular favorite Bollard feature is "That's My Dump," a column which investigates the history (and possible futures) of abandoned or ill-treated properties around the Greater Portland area, here: http://www.thebollard.com/bollard/?cat=46

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

WANTED: Psychic & Paranormal Faire vendors!

Hello all -- Leon from the Friends of Fort Knox dropped me a line with a request to let all of you know that Fort Knox is are looking for psychics, card readers and vendors of the unusual for their annual psychic/paranormal faire. If interested folks could contact Leon Seymour at fofk1@aol.com or (207)469-6553.

For those unfamiliar with the Faire, it is being held this year on Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24, Paranormal/Psychic Faire. Those who have attended in the past know that it's a great place to not only meet up with people who believe in things unusual, but it's also a great opportunity to take in the stunning and intriguing environs of the carefully restored Fort Knox.

This unique event, which serves as a fund-raiser for the Fort's continued restoration and maintenance, features psychics, ghost hunters, exorcists, ufologists and renowned crytozoologist and author, Loren Coleman (often seen on the History and Travel Channel). Regular Fort admission and a $2 event donation requested.

To check the Fort's schedule for the Faire, etc, please visit http://fortknox.maineguide.com/events.html
For information about admission fees and area resources, see http://fortknox.maineguide.com/faq.html

Directions:
View Larger Map

Here is the 2011 Paranormal and Psychic Faire Schedule, as of today:

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

10 AM – 4PM Psychics and vendors in the Fort Officer’s Quarters

10 AM – 4PM Lecturers will be available in the Visitor Center

Lecture Schedule
Lectures take place in the amphitheater at Visitor Center.

10 AM- Ghosts of Maine- Marcus LiBrizzi is a Professor English at the University of Maine at Machias. His latest book, Ghosts of Acadia, follows in the tradition of his previous collection, Dark Woods, Chill Waters: Ghost Tales from Down East Maine, the book that inspired an ABC Extreme Makeover—Home Edition in Milbridge, Maine. His other books include Lost Atusville and The Nelly Butler Hauntings.

11 AM- Cryptozoology- Loren Coleman, one of the world’s leading experts on bigfoot, sea serpents and other yet to be confirmed mysterious creatures of the world. Loren is often featured on the History Channel.

12 Noon- Paranormal Investigation Process, Equipment and Techniques (East Coast Ghost Trackers)

1 PM- UFOs? What Do You Think? (Facilitated by local UFO enthusiast Cindy Proulx and Chris Gardner)

2 PM - Cryptozoology- Loren Coleman, one of the world’s leading experts on bigfoot, sea serpents and other yet to be confirmed mysterious creatures of the world. Loren is often featured on the History Channel.

3 PM- Developing Your Sixth Sense (Sky Taylor)



Sunday, July 24, 2011

10 AM – 4PM Psychics and vendors in the Fort Officer’s Quarters

10 AM – 4PM Lecturers will be available in the Visitor Center

Lecture Schedule
Lectures take place in the amphitheater at Visitor Center.

10 AM- Paranormal Investigation Process, Equipment and Techniques (East Coast Ghost Trackers)

11 AM- Cryptozoology- Loren Coleman, one of the world’s leading experts on bigfoot, sea serpents and other yet to be confirmed mysterious creatures of the world. Loren is often featured on the History Channel.

12 Noon- UFOs? What Do You Think? (Facilitated by local UFO enthusiast Cindy Proulx)

1 PM - Ghosts of Maine- Marcus LiBrizzi is a Professor English at the University of Maine at Machias. His latest book, Ghosts of Acadia, follows in the tradition of his previous collection, Dark Woods, Chill Waters: Ghost Tales from Down East Maine, the book that inspired an ABC Extreme Makeover—Home Edition in Milbridge, Maine. His other books include Lost Atusville and The Nelly Butler Hauntings.

2 PM- Cryptozoology- Loren Coleman, one of the world’s leading experts on bigfoot, sea serpents and other yet to be confirmed mysterious creatures of the world. Loren is often featured on the History Channel.

3 PM- Developing Your Sixth Sense (Sky Taylor)

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Odd old Yankee want ads

Found in the January 1954 issue of Yankee magazine, on the page containing "The Original Yankee Swoppers' Columns" (sic). Apparently birds were in demand at the time.
-- Swop: My cute puppy, Toy Manchester Terrier with pedigree. Wanted: Useful things, rare birds, or make offer.

-- I want a hand sled on which I can load heavy stones for drawing away. Will swop with Vantines deodorant spray bottles.

-- Have a natural red fox neckpiece. Would like 20 or 25 jigsaw puzzles (any size); any 3 complete years of National Geographic or Reader's Digest or Holiday or complete year each of all three; and odds and ends of colored yarns (any weight).

-- Will swop crochet work for parakeets or finches.

-- A beautiful old organ with false pipes. Tone splendid. Will swop -- just tempt me right.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Stuffed fish, anyone?

Found in an old out of state newspaper, a fishing curiosity for your entertainment. Mainers have been making mone off of tourists in creative ways for years!!

A Maine Fish Story.

A fisherman in Winthrop tells that he caught a pickerel through the ice on Lake Marancook, last January, and found in its stomach a roll of undigested bank bills amounting to $300.

He thinks that the money was lost by a sporting man whose boat was upset on the lake more than a year ago. —Bangor Commercial.
Source: The Indiana Progress, 7/17/1889, pg 8

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