July 16th, 2018

Oregon Coast 1

It was sunny on the Coast. ALL THE SUN.

Sunday, I road-tripped. I have the sunburn to prove it, but that I won't show.

After getting my car's oil changed Saturday, I wanted to drive a longer way. It's hot in Portland, so a morning drive sounded good. I quickly settled on a Sunday morning drive to Seaside.

I think that was the longest I've driven in a single trip in this car since maybe September 2016, and that trip was to a Kalama, Washington restaurant I'd meant to revisit, followed by going a little farther up to Longview and crossing the bridge to drive down Hwy. 30 back to Portland. My Sunday trip was more than twice that distance.

I took my time — traffic out of town on the Sunsrt Highway was steady but manageable, and cops were out in force giving speeding tickets — and, for instance, stopped at a view point along Hwy. 26 in the forests of the Coast Range. Once in Seaside, I parked at the northern end of the Promenade, briefly went out onto the beach, then went back to the car, got my hat, and walked. For the first time I walked the entire length of the Prom, then doubled back on roads about a block off of the beach.

At the suggestion of a friend who has a family home in Seaside, I got a good lunch at Grizzly Tuna, a drive-up shack. Fish tacos and fries on the side of Hwy. 101. I then got more food and something caffeinated (a side salad, a hash brown and an iced macchiato) at McDonald's, because I wanted to get online for a bit. And following the Same Neighborhood Rule, I drove up to Astoria, briefly sightseeing while taking pictures. I walked a good distance and, among other things, saw one of the deer that visit the town.

In "only myself to blame" news, I thought I'd covered up enough to avoid a bad sunburn. I hadn't. I started to recover from that by stopping on the way home at the Scappoose Fred Meyer to buy a needed juice (I'd also forgotten my water bottle, which I'd left in the freezer to get chilled), then, once I was back at the house in Portland, having a cool shower then lotioning, lotioning, lotioning. I'LL BE BETTER ABOUT SUNBLOCK NEXT TIME.

I'm feeling lazy, so instead of embedding photos from the trip I'll link to the Facebook album I made of them.
Cartoon Chris

The Doubleclicks! Exclamation points for them are apt and valid!

I didn't get out this weekend just for the beach. Friday night, after spending time in buses, a library and the Nerd-Out bar to enjoy air conditioning, I enjoyed air conditioning in a place WITH A CONCERT.

The place is Books With Pictures, a comic book shop doing a damn good job of being welcoming, inclusive and fun: a bright-walled, airy space filled with books, zines, art, and comfortable seats. The shop has events: talks on comics history, artist get-togethers, workshops, and more. I do some of my comic shopping here (on top of the titles I subscribe to and buy via my usual shop, Bridge City Comics); I want to support it.

It's extra-easy to support Books With Pictures when, like it did Friday night, it hosts a concert by The Doubleclicks! The Doubleclicks, the sister team of Angela Malena-Webber and Aubrey Turner, do geek-folk music, often gentle, sometimes sly, usually hilarious, and they've been doing that since 2011 when they formed in Portland. They sing about Dungeons & Dragons, inconvenient superpowers, falling in love with your childhood friend who became a supervillain, and being a geek in this world that's sometimes weird about it, AND being a geek in this world where even some other geeks are weird about it. Their anthem "Nothing to Prove" is about that.

Angela now lives in Los Angeles, working in the city's comedy and improv scene, but came back for this concert (plus they tour nationwide; they'll play DragonCon in Atlanta later this summer). The people packed into Books With Pictures were excited. It was, ultimately, Standing Room Only. It was also all-ages friendly, with lots of kids, so "Sexist Bullshit" and "Oh Mr. Darcy" were out, that second song because of the line "Not every asshole has a heart of gold." (Angela did make sure it'd be OK to sing their newer song "Sensitive Badass.")

"This is a song about feeling awkward and not wanting to go out!" Angela said to introduce "Cats At Parties," their opening song. More than once while introducing songs or bantering in-between songs, Angela would bring up something and say "I should write a song about that," and she often does, so hey, audience, maybe you inspired a song. (One song that night was created Mad Libs-style. It included the fantastic word "crepuscular.") There were singalongs, people pretending to be cats, people pretending to be velociraptors, and good-natured jokes. The closing song was the love song with the line "I love you like a burrito."

After the show, Aubrey and Angela posed with kids for photos, signed copies of the issue of the Marvel comic Mockingbird that featured them as characters, and caught up with people. It was a feel-good night. I wrapped up by buying some comics (another way to support Books With Pictures!), checking on a book I'll buy later, and headed home.