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March 31st, 2013

Me-Time, We-Time, Me-Time Again

Portland has sun and warmth again. Finally. The spring's plant-sex, oh, I mean pollen, might make me and many others regret that statement, but I've been waiting for this.

I shouldn't wait to be more social. This morning I was vaguely thinking of how it'd be nice to see people when Benja Barker, one of the creative Portland people I've met through being friends with Atomic Arts actors, Stumptown Comics Fest attendants and Alter Egos Society participants, posted on Facebook that he was looking to have a brunch with someone he knows. That includes me! At his suggestion, we rendezvoused late this morning at Sckavone's, a reliable and relatively cheap restaurant -- also an ice cream place my friend Matt Kaplan is very fond of (I think he's made sure his entire Portland-based family's had ice cream there), but I think brunch shouldn't include ice cream, sorry -- and we caught up. We'd last had an in-depth talk in September at the Bagdad Theater, while we waited for the late night showing of the 1989 Batman; plenty's happened since then. He's put in to play some part in Atomic Arts's final Trek in the Park, this summer's upcoming live version of "The Trouble With Tribbles"; he doesn't know yet what he'll get. We gave work news and living-quarters news; he also surprised me with a Stumptown Comics Fest tidbit I honestly hadn't expected, but I'm glad it's happening. (I like Stumptown. Enough that I once sang profanely about it.)

For the rest of the day, it was Me-Time, after that stretch of We-Time. I had my car and was at liberty, so first I walked SE Division from 41st (where Sckavone's is) to 50th, then wandered back among the houses a couple of blocks north of Division. I visited with a cat along the way, petting and finding out what was too much petting when the cat almost bit me (I'm fine! So's the cat).

I drove out to Heads High, a barber shop I've started going to at the suggestion of my friend Gerald, hoping it'd be open. No, but the sign in the window was one of those "Will Return At" signs that made me think (well, hope) maybe it'd be open later, so I killed more time -- this time by going to the Holgate library nearby. Wifi, my iPad, headphones and a power jack meant I could spend a while online, visiting virtually with others. I know funny people, thank everything. That was a couple of hours of my afternoon, then I got back in my car. I drove past Heads High and saw that nope, it was closed all day; so was the chain barber shop I also sometimes go to. So my needed haircut will need to wait, but it will be soon; and heck, I was still with my car and at liberty, why not just drive?

Which led me to Milwaukie, where first I treated myself to a frappé and a tiny burger at McDonalds -- it's fine, I wasn't ever going to be a hipster anyway -- and got back online as well. And then a real pleasure: a trip to the Milwaukie boat launch, on a shiny and wave-kissed late afternoon, where I sat on a rock and read. (Just started: John LeCarré's The Honourable Schoolboy, at my dad's strong recommendation.) Off by myself, I felt comfortable enough, and in need of sun enough, that for a time I took off my shirt. Getting more surface area for absorbing Vitamin D, and doing so carefully, I hope. There was some noise from pasing motorboats, including one with a water skier, and the Canadian geese who were around made their presence known. I knew to step carefully; the geese make their poop known, as well. But generally it was different degrees of not-too-loud, sometimes the lapping waves caused the only major noise.

A little more time with people after that, by visiting the Milwaukie Things From Another World comics-and-related store soon before it closed for the day, and then home. I had laundry to do. I also had an apartment to open up, so this increasingly nice weather could get into it.

And that brings me up to Now. The rest of the night should be comfortable. Especially since I feel good about today.