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Wednesday, 19 February 2020 13:29

Over our skis: Wintertime fun beyond the slopes

Written by Allen Adams

Just about every conversation about outdoor activities in the winter here in Maine begins with skiing.

And understandably so. Skiing – both downhill and cross-country – is a huge part of Maine’s outdoor traditions. We have beloved destinations such as Sugarloaf, places that draw skiers from all over. And we have our smaller hills, recreational areas that are no less fun simply because they’re a little smaller – hit up Hermon Mountain and you’ll have a perfectly lovely time.

(Ditto all of this for snowboarding as well.)

As for cross-country, there are all manner of trails winding through the Maine woods – you can find great spots in Acadia National Park. Bangor Muni and the University of Maine both have good trail systems. And of course, tons more in both northern and southern Maine.

Confession time: I’ve never been on a pair of skis in my life.

That’s right, a Mainer by birth and by choice for some four-plus decades, and I have never strapped a pair of skis to my feet. And while I recognize that I am probably something of a relative rarity, I have to believe there are others out there like me – people whose exposure to snowy fun simply never included skis. I know that you’re out there.

This list is for us.

Let’s take a look at a few of the many other activities one might enjoy over the course of a Maine winter.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020 11:39

What is love?

Written by Allen Adams

It’s a deceptively simple question – what is love?

Only it isn’t simple at all, is it? There are so many different ways to define love. So many different ideas about what love is as well as what it isn’t. And so many different ways to approach the question.

And so, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought we might ask some extremely smart and talented people about answering that question via the lens of their personal area of expertise. There are folks from both the academic and artistic realms, people offering their thoughts regarding the oft-complicated answer to that one simple question.

There are a LOT of ways in which to respond. Little was given in the way of qualification – we simply asked the question and let them run with it. And run they did, with responses that ranged all over the map, from the ridiculous to the sublime. Thoughtful, beautiful, goofy … or all of the above. Every one of them a delight.

As it turns out, love is all a matter of perspective.

It’s Oscar time again!

This year marks the 92nd Academy Awards, with the ceremony set to take place starting at 8 p.m. on the night of February 9. Over nine decades of Hollywood’s biggest night of self-celebration and self-congratulation. Nearly a century of dazzling gowns and dapper tuxedos and impactful acceptance speeches and inane interviews on the red carpet. Generations of excitement and disappointment.

As someone who loves the movies, I love the Oscars. Yes, they’ve grown increasingly out of touch over the years, but so what? There’s something exciting about rewarding the best of the best – even if what seems like the best of the best today might not seem so great later on down the road.

This marks the 13th Oscar preview I’ve written for The Maine Edge. I’ve been doing this for a baker’s dozen years. You might think that means I know something. And maybe I do … but not that much. While I’ve gotten pretty good at determining just who is going to win, the reality is that there are always going to be some surprises. That’s the joy of it – you just never know.

Here’s a look at my predictions for the 2020 Academy Awards. I've included write-ups for the big ones and just winners for the down-ballot stuff. As always, bear in mind that my picks here are for who I think WILL win, not who I think SHOULD win; this year especially feels like one where there’s some disconnect between the two.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020 13:46

Breaking down Super Bowl LIV: Previewing Chiefs-49ers

Written by Allen Adams

About five months ago, the NFL regular season kicked off. All 32 teams – minus a wink-wink-not-tanking tanking team or three – set forth on a journey that only two could complete: a trip to the Super Bowl.

We’ve arrived at that place. The Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the San Francisco 49ers in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium on February 2. The Chiefs – led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes and coach Andy Reid – make their way back into the big game for the first time in half-a-century; the last time K.C. was here, the NFL/AFL merger hadn’t happened yet. Meanwhile, the 49ers have a storied Super Bowl history, but other than the Colin Kaepernick-led 2012 run, San Francisco hasn’t made it this far since 1994. That’s 25 years without a championship.

A significant drought is ending, one way or the other. But for who?

Let’s take a stroll through the teams and break down some of the positional matchups to get a sense of which squad stands superior. Of course, the most talented team doesn’t always win. The most prepared team doesn’t always win. The team we think will win doesn’t always win.

You get the picture. Anyone who tells you they KNOW what will happen is a charlatan who is almost certainly trying to sell you something. No one knows how this will all play out, but here’s my best guess – the best guess of a guy who only just snapped the four-season winning streak put up by his prognosticating dog.

Breakdown time.

Maine radio listeners have a wide variety of options on Saturday night, but for a significant number of them, there is only one show and one voice - “The Original Country Gold” with Rowdy Yates.

The syndicated classic country hits request show airs on WQCB Q-106.5 from 7:00 p.m. to midnight each Saturday and has become a destination program for countless listeners in the car, those sitting around a campfire with friends and listeners at home who like to get a little Rowdy every weekend.

So how is it that a radio program that originates in the Lone Star State, and airs on 120 radio stations around the nation, has become so closely linked to the lifestyles of listeners in Maine? Q-106.5 program director Scott Miller has a few theories.

Miller’s radio career began in Canada and has taken him from town to town, up and down the dial, to markets small and large, including stations in Toronto, Chicago and Detroit. He believes “The Original Country Gold” with Rowdy Yates connects so well to Maine listeners because Rowdy is practically one of us.

“Even though Rowdy is a Texan, he lives the lifestyle of a Mainer,” said Miller. “All of his personal appearances here have been huge. He’s a very likable guy in person and on the radio. It’s the state of Maine – Saturday night, fire pits and Rowdy Yates.”

And that is very much a both-directions affection, as he made crystal clear during an in-depth interview, Maine and its people are very dear to Rowdy and his wife, Kim.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 13:47

New to view - 20 of 2020's early TV offerings

Written by Allen Adams

Remember when the fall television lineups were all that mattered?

It wasn't so long ago that that autumn offerings were the be-all and end-all of new TV. Shows that made their debuts in January were considered little more than filler, with the term “midseason replacement” taking on a derogatory tone.

However, as the ways in which we consume television have changed, so too have our attitudes regarding when shows join their respective lineups. Instead of an afterthought, this second season has become a viable entity in its own right, with loads of interesting programming arriving on your screens of choice.

Broadcast networks, premium and basic cable outlets, streaming services - everybody has something for the viewer looking for something new to consume this winter. If nothing else, it seems likely that all tastes - highbrow, lowbrow and everything in-between - will be addressed.

Have a look at some of the intriguing options coming your way.

Welcome to the first Maine Edge cover story of the Roaring (20)20s!

As such, I thought we might have some fun looking back at the last decade’s best cinematic offerings. I’ve been reviewing movies here since 2008. In the ‘10s, I wrote about movies roughly a thousand times. Yeah – I’m as shocked as you are. That’s a lot of ink spilled in celebration and derision of Hollywood’s finest.

So yes, while this story might be a little late to the party, it was important to me to share my Best of the Decade movie list. As per usual with this sort of feature, there’s a real chance that this list could be a little different depending on the day. However, this feels like the right list.

Here they are, in alphabetical order. Have a look!

Monday, 23 December 2019 22:08

2019: The Year in Review

Written by Allen Adams & Mike Dow

Wow – so that was 2019.

We’ve come to the end of another year, and so we thought we’d take a look back at some of our favorite stories from the past 12 months.

It’s a wide variety, featuring interviews with actors, comedians, authors, scientists and more. As always, we did our best to offer up informative and entertaining stories to engage our readers.

Join us as we remember the stories of 2019; here’s hoping you enjoyed reading these stories as much as we enjoyed writing them.

Can you believe I’m doing this again?

Once more, college football’s bowl season is upon us. And once again I, glutton for punishment that I am, embark on my annual Quixotic quest of picking the winners of every single bowl game. You’d think I’d get sick of tilting at this particular windmill, but no one ever accused me of being sensible.

As always, this feature comes with the standard caveat: while I've had some success in the past, I absolutely do not have any real idea what I'm doing.

But bowl season can be fun regardless of your level of knowledgeability. It's an opportunity to watch a bunch of college football teams about which you know nothing. It’s a wonderful dice roll; you never know if you might happen upon a game where something unprecedented takes place. I personally have a bit of a history of stumbling onto wild and unexpectedly entertaining bowl matchups. I’m hoping that tradition continues this year.

And with that - let's go bowling.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 11:35

2019’s best (and worst) at the movies

Written by Allen Adams

We’ve arrived at the end of another year, a year of films good, bad and in-between.

That means it’s time for a look back at what 2019 has wrought in terms of cinema. These lists – both best and worst – are accurate as of press time, though there are some highly-regarded movies that I simply haven’t yet had a chance to see. I imagine that films that have yet to see wide release – “Uncut Gems,” “Little Women,” “Bombshell” – would otherwise be in contention for this list.

(Special note should be made of the glaring absence of Bong Joon-Ho’s “Parasite” – a film that circumstances have prevented me thus far from seeing. I have little doubt that it would be prominently featured; every indication is that it is exceptional.)

And again – there’s no denying the subjectivity of lists such as these. In truth, things could break very differently depending on my mood when asked. Still, these are good, representative lists of movies that you should either a) see as soon as possible, or b) avoid at all costs. Check out full reviews of these movies and the rest of 2019’s slate at our website, located at www.themaineedge.com/movies. You can also find them at Rotten Tomatoes (www.rottentomatoes.com/critic/allen-adams/movies).

(All films listed alphabetically)

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