Entering the Castle…

On Monday, I finally visited the Tiqa Café & Bakery… you know, the little castle in Deering Oaks that became a little restaurant?

(Oct 17 4:42 p.m.)

The previous time my mother and I visited the park, the place was closed for some reason.  This time, we were only late for the hot sandwiches.

Here is some proof of the experience.

(Oct 17 4:41 p.m.)
Bakery items… and adult beverage list. (Oct 17 4:41 p.m.)

Continue reading Entering the Castle…


The leaves, they are a-changin’

Portland. (Oct 17 4:08 p.m.)

As suspected, the leaves have already changed color in Deering Oaks park.

Scarborough. (Oct 17 12:59 p.m.)

All over the state (and country), of course.  Approaching one month into the season, plenty of pine cones are still up (or were), as you can see:

Deering Oaks park. (Oct 17 4:10 p.m.)
(Oct 17 4:23 p.m.)
(Oct 17 4:23 p.m.)

And the berries…

(Oct 17 4:23 p.m.)
Crescent Beach park. (Oct 20 2:31 p.m.)

Yeah, some have begun to shrivel up… Continue reading The leaves, they are a-changin’


Beyond the Clouds

it was fairly clear:

he did not connect.
He had strayed too far.
His head, out in space,
beyond the clouds,
his furthest

His toxic aloneness
enticed him to “see”

his ideas in motion.
But nothing moved
too far, as he spun.
He burned out big
again, the tired
man of plants.

He was alone
with his pride,
his knowing,
his missteps,
his complex
turning blue,
his mission,
his finale.

(Inspired by the film Approaching the Unknown, starring Mark Strong.)

A Portland visit (Part II)

(Sep 27 11:39 a.m.)
Ship model. (Sep 27 11:39 a.m.)

In late September, my aunt and her boyfriend visited Portland; they met up with me and my mother, and we went directly to the Titanic Artifact Exhibit.  For Part I, click here.

After we got our “Boarding Passes” (with the names and short bios of real-life passengers of the Titanic) we had the opportunity to ask the captain of the ship (a trained actor, seen in this blurry photo) questions.  I don’t remember much of what he said— the visit being over two weeks ago, with my memory these days.  But he seemed to know quite a bit, and had a few things to say before the little Q&A.

(Sep 27 11:43 a.m.)
(Sep 27 11:43 a.m.)

Finally visiting the online sites for the exhibit (during the writing of this post), I saw clear differences in the setup from what’s seen in the events calendar.  Previously, smaller objects were displayed on a wall.  At the Portland Science Center, they were all in floor display cases.  (And yes, there are security measures; bumping a case too hard may set off an alarm.)

(Sep 27 11:43 a.m.)
Security device in top-left of image. (Sep 27 11:43 a.m.)
(Sep 27 11:49 a.m.)
Pixelated blow-up of the Daily Adviser (April 1912).  “Complete Service of the Associated Press.” (Sep 27 11:49 a.m.)

The people in charge of the ship were so confident it wouldn’t sink, it left port without binoculars for the lookouts… Binoculars: just one of the elements that could have saved the Titanic.

(Sep 27 11:43 a.m.)
Porthole. (Sep 27 11:43 a.m.)

The energy required for such a large ship, heh, well… the Titanic “consumed one pound of coal for every foot traveled.”

(Sep 27 11:30 a.m.)
Coal. (Sep 27 11:30 a.m.)

The first-class environment on the ship was, of course, much better than third-class.  Even the tile décor was different.  But, apparently, standards were raised overall.  (Still not great against today’s if you end up hearing the basics being listed as features.)

(Sep 27 11:28 a.m.)
(Sep 27 11:28 a.m.)

The exhibit also features two passenger rooms.

(Sep 27 11:29 a.m.)

The beds were small, partly due to the fact that people back then were shorter— poorer nutrition and all.

Sheet music
Recovered sheet music (Sep 27 11:40 a.m.)

Toward the end of the Exhibition, you had the complete lists of passengers, divvied up by class, and split into saved and lost.

(Sep 27 11:55 a.m.)
(Sep 27 11:55 a.m.)

My mother and I swapped Boarding Passes prior to entering the exhibition, so let’s see if Mr René Aimé Lievens, a third-class passenger… no, he did not make it.  Most of the third-class passengers didn’t make it.  Not only did the captain go down with the ship, but the band too.

Before we left the building, a green screen photo was taken; the whole four of us would be placed in front of a Titanic-themed background.  (Classy stairs, was it?) …Since I’m not bothering to ask anyone’s permission— and because I’m not photogenic— that image is not going up here.

(Sep 27 12:33 p.m.)
Never saw such blue/indigo flowers before.  (Even bluer than this picture.) (Sep 27 12:33 p.m.)

We got a bit lost from that point on.  I basically knew the way back to the garage, but didn’t speak up.  There was more walking than necessary… But I did get a few more interesting shots in the process.🙂

(Sep 27 12:25 p.m.)
The women bought a map around the corner immediately to the right of here. (Sep 27 12:25 p.m.)

…Eventually, I saw aunt J. and her BF holding hands…

(Sep 27 12:17 p.m.)
(Sep 27 12:17 p.m.)

For 1 o’clock lunch, we went to Applebee’s.  I went for something basic, and had the four-cheese macaroni with honey-spice chicken and bacon… with bacon sauce.  Much bacon in the menu.  Others had: fish & chips; salmon and rice; and french fries.  On one TV: tennis.  And… the visiting lovebirds kissed.

(Sep 27 1:13 p.m.)
Flowers outside of the Applebee’s (prior to entering). (Sep 27 1:13 p.m.)

The last item was giving aunt J. her belated birthday cake; slices were served at the Maine Mall food court.  The visiting couple showed us some photos via handheld devices, beginning with a cute dog, and I got to know a little more about the boyfriend and his past. …In the end, he and I shook hands, exchanged numbers, and the visiting two were on their merry way back to the cruise ship.

Overall, it was a nice time and an easy learning experience.  I was tired, of course, but it was good.  And soon after getting home, I fell asleep.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little trip down recent memory lane.  I still have quite a few shots left over from that day, and will work them in later.  Until then…

(Sep 27 12:02 p.m.)
Don’t forget the gift shop!🙂 (Sep 27 12:02 p.m.)
Visitor center

A Portland visit, featuring the Titanic Artifact Exhibit (Part I)

(Sep 27 10:10 a.m.)

It was the last Tuesday of September, and my aunt had a stop in Portland.  She was on a cruise with her boyfriend.  My part in the picture, however, might not have happened. Continue reading A Portland visit, featuring the Titanic Artifact Exhibit (Part I)

Aspie Group

(Oct 1 2:43 p.m.)

Oh, goody a category four hurricane on the east coast and Amber alerts on my phone.

Okay.  The Saturday group.  Yes.

It was the 1st of October… and I overslept.  My attendance almost didn’t happen because there is only one car, and my mother was ready to take off in said car when I woke up.  Talk about good timing.😉 I reminded her that it was a drop-in group— that I could show at any time within the three official hours allotted to the meeting.

So I grabbed a bagel, and we were on our way… But before the drive, a neighborhood cat I mentioned before appeared out of nowhere.  It wasn’t black, so… a black cat did not cross my path.  It’s a little remarkable that I rarely see this cat at all, let alone ever have the chance to photograph it.

(Oct 1 12:54 p.m.)

Okay, so none of the five shots were good.

Finding the building and room was faster and easier than the one on Thursday, where my coordination was a tad embarrassing— aiming to cross the street on foot leftward when the group had previously ventured right of the immediate area.

Social break. (Oct 1 2:34 p.m.)

Needless to say, I was nervous about speaking for myself.  Heck, with Asperger’s, people can be uncomfortable about speaking, period; every member in this group is an Aspie, including the seasoned leaders, so there’s the risk that the whole room may go silent, lol.  Okay, so the group talked.  There was pizza.  And coffee.

Discussions included difficulties in the workplace: being stressed or put into precarious positions while being uncomfortable about speaking up, not being notified, not being told things in person out of “being nice,” and jealousy for sounding smart.  Beyond stigma, Aspies aren’t particularly happy about the political side of things, and would rather live with less B.S. in the world.  Amen.

(Oct 1 2:37 p.m.)

There may be an implied rule to keep the attendance anonymous, but Kate Goldfield, whose writing has appeared in newspapers, may or may not have been there. ;)  And yes, she is an Aspie.  An Aspie from Maine.  She seems more conversationally open, with a bright sense of humor, though obviously nervous…

It’s not enough to know that the group means no harm.  Sensitivities, and thus anxieties can get the better of an Aspie.  The syndrome can be associated with high sensitivity to smells or loud noises.  For me, it’s mostly just the connecting with others; I can look into the eyes of animals, but not so much the eyes of people I’ve connected with.

Fake. (Oct 1 2:37 p.m.)

Attending wasn’t without a few strange occurrences… There was a bit of dé jà vu once I was sitting, listening, under the spell that I might be fitting in.  Since I added my email to the events mailing list, the next day, after seeing 11:11 on the clock after I rose, I was notified of the two upcoming events: both have the same exact locations I attended during aunt J.’s visits!  A blog post or two is pending featuring one of them…

Well, I feel as if the Saturday group was more fitting than the smaller, “adult supervised” one on Thursday.  (And yes, I do feel incompetent.)  Meeting non-neurotypicals… maybe I can begin to make real-life friends as an adult? …Sigh.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Asperger’s and live in Maine, be sure to check out ASM online.

Godzilla vs. Barney the dinosaur

(Sep 29 5:52 p.m.)

It’s been a relatively busy week for me— visiting three new locations in three days, the third only hours from now.  All of them in Maine.  I say ‘relatively’ because I’m unemployed.  But I’ve met five new people so far, and have been getting out of my “comfort zone.”  No reason for stress, though; it’s all family and support groups.

It’s kind of strange that the unrelated events occur two days apart from each other in sequence.  First, was aunt J.’s visit on Tuesday.  (Still processing all the over-ninety photos taken that day… not going to be a short post, I can tell you that!)  Then, a support group for people on the autism spectrum, Thursday… (I was diagnosed with Asperger’s, if you didn’t know.)  We walked for the day; the photo above was of a tree along the improvised path, since one person (probably the group leader) remarked of the ‘interesting’ bark.  The group was moving too fast for me to effectively take photos, but I got a few shots of hills, lol.  There were some dogs too… on the other side of the fence… something completely different.

(Sep 29 6:00 p.m.)

If you’re wondering about the name of this post, well… the conversations entered Jurassic Park science, and approached Godzilla versus ____.  Including a Venus flytrap.  Which is dumb.  Because, as one member explained, the Venus flytrap is so delicate that it needs to be in the right climate and needs the right set of nutrients… hell, it’s so delicate you could kill one poking it; it’s suitable around flies.  But back to the point— Barney came up, and a thought came to me: Barney vs. Godzilla— a satire that the “dinosaur” wouldn’t behave very suitable for children.  The thing is I didn’t speak up. …And I realized why I didn’t exactly fit in.  But the social part I need.

I’ve adjusted a little to something of a morning schedule by the end of the week, in part to be there for my far away friend.  (Hopefully, I won’t prematurely say “bye” in the next phone call with her, lol.)  I’m not used to a morning schedule since high school, hence the lag in blogging; but any incentive to become more versatile and thus grow is a good thing.  In concept, anyway.

…Okay.  Time’s up.  Must turn in. …And so, I shall say: good night, dear readers.🙂

Turn of Fall

Some berries… across the street. (Sep 22 5:49 p.m.)

Frost advisories, yay.😐 The estimated overnight low is 42°F (and colder in some parts).  Still okay during the day— so far, I’ve braved the (moderate) climate, sporting a jacket only when there’s rain.

Morning rain. (Sep 19 10:35 a.m.; two days prior to autumnal equinox)

The decline in sunlight and heat hasn’t stopped all growth.  Some flowers have held together… or even bloom, possibly.

(Sep 22 5:31 p.m.)

These two stood out; I thought they were white, but on second glance I noticed a purplish tint to them.

Best focus I could achieve with the camera… (Sep 24 5:37 p.m.)

Continue reading Turn of Fall

Final Days of Summer (Part II)

(Sep 13 4:37 p.m.)

Many of the ducks at Deering Oaks were wise to flee if I got anywhere close.  Large beings… potential predators.

Blue-winged. (Sep 16 5:35 p.m.)

I watched some of the ducks fly from the hills to the water, gliding in as they landed, I guess using their legs as a source of friction to eventually stop.

According to Boreal Songbird Initiative, mallards (the “most abundant duck in the world”) are a member of the “dabbling duck group”— that is, they “feed by either tipping up or dabbling along the surface, capturing food and straining excess water through the lamellae (small boney tooth-like structures along the sides of its jaw).”

“When field feeding, Mallards generally feed around sunrise and again at sunset; however, in some instances, especially during a full moon, they will feed throughout the night. They will fly up to several kilometers to reach their feeding area, generally a crop field (e.g., corn, peas, barley).”

Friday the 16th was a full moon day… I thought I heard some voices or something outside the house when night fell.  I couldn’t actually tell what the sounds were, to tell the truth.  But back to the park… which wasn’t a crop field.

One mallard wasn’t so afraid of me. Continue reading Final Days of Summer (Part II)