Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Arthur Milligan: Time for an experiment

Typical writer; I've barely arrived at the inn and I've already got the computer plugged in so that I can start in on this. I suppose if you're going to spend a couple weeks at the beach "on assignment", it's good to present evidence that you're working as quickly and frequently as possible.

It should be a fun assignment; Maxim is doing a beer-themed issue for October, and I managed to wangle an assignment to cover Old Orchard Beach's "Oktoberfest in August". I guess the idea is that nobody really wants to come to Maine in October, and even if they did, this is the kind of tourist town that more or less shuts down after Labor Day, anyway. It's cutting the deadline kind of close, but I just look at that as "less time for the editor to fuck everything up."

(I kid. The editor over there is great, and not just because he is reimbursing me for expenses.)

The whole thing was kind of last minute, to the point where the only place I could find to stay was here at the "Trading Post Inn". The brochure says it was a trading post a couple hundred years ago, but it seems to have been a bed & breakfast for nearly as long, now. It's got a nice location right on the beach, but some of the amenities leave something to be desired - I'm using dial-up right now, for crying out loud. There's not even any staff here, really; I had to check in and collect my keys from a motel three doors down. The "breakfast" part of the equation is apparently just bagels and orange juice dropped off every morning.

Not only that, but they told me they couldn't let me book the two-bedroom suite (which was all that was left) solo. I said I'd pay for the whole thing, but the guy on the other end of the line said that the inn is actually owned by some sort of estate or trust, and the management contract is very specific about each bed being occupied. I wound up talking an on-line acquaintance into coming up to bunk with me; I get the idea that Jake works too hard anyway, and could use the vacation.

The only catch I imposed on him is that I'd like him to add his thoughts to this blog, too. I think it would be a neat angle to get multiple views of the fest and then synthesize them into one article; hopefully we can talk some of the other folks staying here into participating, too (just stick your name in the title so that I know who's writing what). I'll buy some beers for whoever wants to pitch in. Or, rather, Maxim will. I think I can sell that.

Looks like I'm the first person here; flying into Portland rather than Boston was a good idea - the first train up from there doesn't arrive until noon. Now I think it might be time for me to get a little shut-eye - I slept a little on the flight from San Francisco, but apparently not enough.


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