We'll start with the bad......On January 2nd, it was 67 degrees in South Portland Maine. I wore shorts and a sweatshirt when I took my dog to the beach down the street. My boyfriend Gary was hell bent on taking off his shirt. When you have a body like his, clothing should always be optional. Due to the fact that we live in an upscale neighborhood, he decided to keep his shirt on. I had actually hoped that the unseasonably warm temperatures would mean a mild winter for us, but I was sadly mistaken. We are having a Siberian winter. We went from unseasonably warm weather to unseasonably cold. This week, we experienced dangerously low wind chills that reached 30 below zero. When your snow loving border collie thinks it’s too cold outside, you know it’s cold.
As most of you know, Russ and I are living in a winter rental near a private beach in South Portland. Before I go any further, if any of you are thinking a winter rental would be fun or an adventure, think again. If I could do it all over again, we would have not left our State Street apartment until we bought a place of our own. Moving into Lance’s condo was a mistake because we had to move out 6 months early and only had a few weeks to do so, which is how we ended up in this miserable winter rental. I’ll tell you one thing, home is not where the heart is. We live in a house that belongs to a sweet woman in her 80’s named Ruth. She was smart enough to go to Florida for the winter. Other than a couch, a chair and our tv, we do not have any of our furniture in the house. Everything we own is in a very small storage unit on the 4th floor of a big old building down on Commercial Street by the water. To say living in this winter rental is miserable is an understatement. I spent much of my life feeling displaced and I had hoped to never feel that way again, but unfortunately I get to live this way until the end of April. Last year, I bought a new mattress. It’s in storage. I sleep on two ancient twin beds pushed together to make a king size bed. I have not had a good night's sleep since we moved in just before my birthday back in October. The bedroom I sleep has old windows covering 3 of the walls, so I need 3 comforters to stay warm. On cold nights, you can feel the breeze blowing through the room. Turning the heat up to conquer this would make our astronomical heating bill completely unaffordable. We brought our own bedding, clothes and our computers, but everything else we own is in storage. Had we stayed at State Street, we’d probably be in our own place by now and if not, we’d at least be warm. The heat was included in the rent there. To make matters worse, the bar has been closed for about a month now, so that has put an even bigger financial strain on us this winter. This winter rental is not home. It does not, nor will it ever feel like home. I look forward to the day when we can truly settle into a place of our own. A place we can personalize and feel comfortable in. A place we can call home.
Just so you’re not sitting there thinking, “Oh great, he finally posts another blog and all he does is bitch,” I thought I’d clue you in on the good things too.
Gary and I have been together since the end of last summer and things are going really well. It’s the easiest and most natural relationship I’ve ever been in. We don’t fight or argue, but we do laugh all the time. We have such a good time together. The other good thing about the relationship is that neither of us is trying to change the other person. We’re not planning a life together, or planning our wedding (yuck!), rather we’re enjoying each day as it comes. So I won’t say he’s “the one” or make bold predictions about our future together, I’ll simply say “so far, so good.”
Another good thing…….We think the newest and upcoming incantation of Springstreet will finally find the true identity of the bar. Normand Paquin of Mainestreet fame, is still our fearless leader, but he’s putting Ernie Cote, also of Mainestreet fame, at the helm of the ship! Our bartender, a legend in his own mind, will be Harold! He’s been on board since Normand opened the bar and I’ll still be the promoter, DJ and graphic artist. It has sucked financially for Normand and the staff at Springstreet being closed this long, but ultimately it will bring about good things. We are making some much needed upgrades to the space. We will re-open Thursday Feb 15th at 7pm with Karaoke hosted by DJ Larry. I’m psyched to bring 80’s night back on Friday nights. I’ve spun everything from neo and retro soul to techno, top 40 remixes to hip hop and rap, but 80’s music is the only music I’ve spun where people clap at the BEGINNING of the songs! I have over 600 songs in my collection of 80’s music and I’m adding to it all the time. I have pop, new wave, soul and dance music. My music spans the entire decade and not just the few years in the middle that we usually associate with 80’s music. The 80’s saw me go from age 12 in 1980 to age 21 in 1989. I was obsessed with music and pop culture during that time period, so I am the perfect person to host and DJ 80’s night. Every third Saturday of the month will be “Club 117 hosted by Shawn.” These will be blowout dance/theme parties hosted by our very own Shawn Durost. The remaining Saturdays of the month will be unveiled soon, but expect some great new things catering to different niches of the bar’s clientele! Some bars have pool tournaments, some bars have dart tournaments, wait until you see the cool tournaments we’ll be unveiling in the coming months! Since we’re essentially starting back at square one, we’ll only be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm to close. As we get things rolling again and get back on our feet, we’ll expand our hours and our schedule! Look for the return of the Springstreet Sessions in March. We will feature local favorites such as Andi Fawcett and Vanessa Torres, but we’ll also be brining in some musicians who will be making the Springstreet debut! You can visit us at our website at http://www.springstreetportland.com/ or on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/springstreet04101 -- be our friend on there! We hope to see you soon!
Another good thing……I’m getting a new HP 9000z laptop and photo printer. Now all I have to do is learn how to use the Sony H5 Digital Camera I got for Christmas!
Enjoy the rest of the winter everyone and I look forward to being able to invite you to our new place once we finally move into a place of our own! Don’t let Valentine’s get you down, just use the day to reflect on all the love you have in your life. If you’re single, don’t let Hallmark for FTD make you feel inadequate, rather celebrate your friends and family that day!
Take care, stay warm, and as always, thanks for reading!