Winters have never really agreed with me, but they became a whole new beast when I moved to Portland.  I can handle epic amounts of snow and biting cold, but the pervasive grayness and overcast nature of this town has more of an effect on my demeanor than I’d care to admit.  It also doesn’t help that this last month we’ve gotten the worst of both worlds, getting a rare freak snowstorm followed quickly by two weeks of driving rain.  It was surreal as me, a born and raised Midwesterner (a region that doesn’t underestimate the snow) to see how flat out incompetent Portland is when faced with weather like this.


An apt metaphor for my life at the time if there ever was one.

Everything just wasn’t right this winter.  I was dry for ideas, “Eddie Van Helsing Christmas” was horribly delayed, I got wait-listed for my favorite con, I gained a ton of weight eating like crap and downing too much beer, and I was still sad over Justin’s death.  It took me the longest time to do the simplest thing.  Last summer I was working six out of seven days and knocking shit out at a frantic pace.  I finally shed all of that and suddenly it takes me forever just to send an e-mail.

That’s why I’m so grateful to April for offering to treat us to a weekend in Cannon Beach, two hours bus ride outside of Portland.  Our relationship began by her reaching out and plucking me from the dark, so for vacation time she was equally insistent.  My birthday was on the 10th, Valentine’s Day was on the 14th (though neither of us hold much stock in the holiday), and being a mail carrier she had President’s Day weekend off.

Yes!  Please!  By all means!  Let’s away!

Mmmyup.  This'll about do it.

Mmmyup. This’ll about do it.

Cannon Beach is relatively quiet this time of year, so hotel prices weren’t too bad for us.  Rain and wind were a son of a bitch though.  Also, while the town is a lovely place to visit, I don’t think either one of us could stand to be there longer than a weekend.  Everything was so twee and geared towards tourists it’d be hard to stand for long.  The main avenue in the town had THREE candy shops within a two mile walk.  I’m getting diabetes in every sense of the word just thinking about it.

Still, I remind myself it’s okay to enjoy things that don’t necessarily have a point.  I’m used to traveling with purpose.  I was only there to relax, wander, eat, explore, and enjoy myself with a woman I adore.  And when it comes to inspiration, I need to remember to take my ideas and drive as they come, instead of trying to beat them out of my head like an abusive factory foreman.  Portland reminded me to do art for art’s sake again.  And I’ll be damned if I draw something I don’t want to anymore, or something I feel I should draw.

And wouldn’t you know it?  Table opened up at my favorite con, I finished “Eddie Van Helsing Christmas“, got my tax refund, and got started getting back to basics.

Amazing what a walk on the beach with a pretty girl will do.

Maybe they're be a day in the future where I won't make an awkward picture, but it's not this day.

Maybe they’re be a day in the future where I won’t make for an awkward picture, but it’s not this day.