After using Christmas money for gifts like the Beowulf script book and docbrite's collection Antediluvian Tales, I still had some cash. I was in Northeast Portland this afternoon, post-comic book shopping (Cosmic Monkey Comics, where I told the cashier guy "Thanks for giving us a reason to say 'Cosmic Monkey'; it's a good name"), walking along Sandy Blvd., when I got near the Hollywood Burger Bar and saw it was open. Its hours are, to me, eccentric: a burger place that opens at 7:30 a.m.? That's because it's also a breakfast-served-all-day place, and I hadn't realized that. More to the point, it closes at 4; I'd never been past the bar at a time when it was open. "Hey," I thought as I approached it, "I should eat there if it's open." And it was. So why not a burger?
The building's a small octagon (I'm pretty sure it's an octagon, though I didn't count the sides to be sure), and was three seats away from being full. I settled in on a barstool and went with the standard Original Burger, plus potato salad and iced tea. I whipped out my current reading (Homicide by David Simon); the guy who sat down next to me pulled out an L. Sprague deCamp Conan book. The older guy taking our orders said to someone else behind the counter "I wanna be reading with them." He and I wound up talking a bit; he had a Nelson DeMille on a shelf waiting for a quiet moment, which wasn't going to happen for a while. He told me some of DeMille's plots, and even though I'm not a thriller reader I found them to be interesting ideas. (He also said he was amused that in the film of The General's Daughter, John Travolta played an Irish character.) I showed up there at a good time; the rain started right before I showed up, and at one point I looked out the window to see sunlight coming from one direction and rain from another. The rain had tapered off by the time I set out for the bus and home.
I walked, bussed and walked again to a bus stop at SE 12th and Stark, where power and thus the traffic light was out, and waited for my last bus home. I'm lucky I have low blood pressure, 'cause if I had high blood pressure, then watching some drivers blast through the intersection at full speed would not have helped my blood pressure. Thank goodness most everyone else was treating it as a three-way stop, AS THEY SHOULD. Eef.