jon_chaisson: (Default)
Ah, Sunday comes and once again it feels like a Sunday of youth--a sort of day where there's nothing of import to do, maybe a few small errsnds, and that itch that I really should get some work done before it's too late and Monday comes. And in a few weeks or so, it'll also be the Sunday of turning on WAMH's Potted Plant countdown, another old Sunday habit.

Emm and I did a bit of shopping yesterday, and against our better judgement, went to Tanforan Mall in the early afternoon when pretty much all of San Mateo County was there. We also bent the "no bookstores for the next few weeks" rule and stopped at the B&N, primarily so we could buy the Rosetta Stone Level 1 of French. I know, I know...I took four semesters of it in college and it's part of my heritage, so you'd think some of it would have stuck in my head, right? Either way...thought it would be good to brush up on at least a passing dialogue instead of "je ne parle pas Francais" or making a hash of what little I remember from those classes.

Anyhoo...also picked up David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and [livejournal.com profile] aberwyn's fourth Nola O'Grady book, Love on the Run. Looking forward to reading both! So yeah, if you're wondering about the 'no bookstores' rule, it's because I've decided that my birthday present to [livejournal.com profile] emmalyon this year is to go on a Book Crawl.

Yes, a Book Crawl. I know how dangerous that sounds, believe me! :p

Our plan is to make the rounds of some of our favorite North Bay bookstores like the multiple Copperfields (including the one in Petaluma that we haven't gone to yet), the new-and-used stores in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and maybe even Napa. Yeah, I know. This is wine country, we should be stopping at all the vineyards and so on, but we're bibliophiles, not oenophiles. We even did a small book purge to clear up space for possible new purchases! It's gonna be a hell of a lot of fun. :)

Other than that, our weekends have been relatively quiet and unexciting, which is totally fine. After Emm's DC trip and Outside Lands the weekend after, it's been nice to have a few weekends where we do as little as possible except hang out and relax. I figure the rest of today will be a walk to Laurel Village to get more coffee, and a few other boring errands. Such is Sunday.


One last thing! Thanks to listening to KFOG on the way home yesterday, we were introduced to a local band that sounds all sorts of awesome: The Novelists. They're sort of quirky acoustic alt.folk and kind of similar to Ben Folds, and on the strength of one song, I now want to download the album from their site. Well worth checking out! :)
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So today we'll be heading across town and checking out downtown (primarily the Ferry Building) and perhaps walking up towards our old neighborhood in North Beach. I haven't been in that neck of the woods in at least two and a half years, when we were moving out in October of 2009. I believe we went there one last time at one point, I've forgotten when, and ate at Tiernan's, our old haunt, and I remember feeling sad and somewhat depressed that one of our favorite places in the past had gone downhill. It was nice seeing the old neighborhood, but at the same time it felt like it always does when one returns to their old living space--interesting to see again, but at the same time kind of melancholy that things have changed since we've left, or that it doesn't hold the same excitement as it once did. I sometimes still feel the same way when heading back east to New England. Memories are funny that way.

On the other hand, I haven't set foot in the North Beach area in so long that I think it'll feel more like one of our weekend trips again. I never really had any reason to head back there, and the closest I've been to it is the writer's convention at the hotel on Nob Hill, or on one of our infrequent roadtrips to the East Bay where I've been getting off the Bay Bridge and cutting through downtown to get home.

It'll be interesting to see again. Living in the foggy and cool Outside Lands as we do, it'll be strange to be in a part of town at the same time of day where it's at least five to ten degrees warmer and nary a cloud or fog bank in the sky. [livejournal.com profile] emmalyon went over there with a friend the other weekend, and she reported that, at least up in the Washington Square Park area, things have changed around a bit but a lot of it's still the same. I don't have any requests for specific places to stop, though I wouldn't mind stopping at City Lights if we happen to be in the area.

I will, of course, be taking pictures, and will post them later.
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
Today is the 75th Anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge! These are a few pictures of the bridge I've taken myself...



This is the view out of Spare Oom! I like looking out my window and seeing one of our famous landmarks...that is, when it's not enshrouded by fog. :)


Taken from the top of Twin Peaks. That's the Marin Headlands across the bay (and the large mountain to the left is Mt. Tamalpais). The strip of houses between the two bits of green (the Presidio to the north, Golden Gate Park to to the south) is my neighborhood of the Richmond.


My favorite picture I've taken of the bridge so far. We crossed about half of it last year on a gorgeously clear but windy day.


My other favorite picture, this one taken from Battery Spencer, which is just above and to the west of the bridge.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
1. A picture of our neighborhood from the parking lot near the Presidio Landmark apartments, taken earlier today.



2. I love the new scanner I bought. I still need to figure out how to change the settings to color and get photocopy quality, but for now I like the fact that at this point, I'm at least getting a goodly amount of digitizing done, and that's what's important. I want to at least get the writing and the artwork scanned. Any other stuff that needs high-quality digitizing, well, I can figure that out when I get to it.

3. One more week of work, and then [livejournal.com profile] emmalyon and I are on vacation to the east coast! We'll be visiting Boston for the first half of the week, and then hanging out in western MA for the rest of the time. Looking forward to it!

4. I'm having a hell of a time trying to revise/rewrite the opening scene in Chapter 1 of A Division of Souls and it's bugging the hell out of me. I think it might be that I'm out of touch with the story...I may need to give the opening a good strong reread before I start pulling it apart.

5. On the other hand, the revision for Love Like Blood is going strong. Considering I'm on Chapter 3 and I only started revising in the middle of last month, I think that's pretty good. I plan on ramping the speed a little more, maybe get at it at least halfway done by next month.


For tomorrow: a possible walk to the ocean and breakfast at Louis' Restaurant if it's not too crowded, more scanning, a bit of writing, other house errands, and not too much else. It's been a pretty relaxing weekend so far.
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
[Hmm. Come to find out, if I pull the pictures directly from the new camera without using the software, they end up staying in the 2:3 ratio. I'll have to remember that. The software isn't as good as the Olympus software was, but it'll do. I was hoping some of these would come out as the widescreen that they are, but they didn't. Learn from my mistakes, I guess.]

So! [livejournal.com profile] emmalyon and I walked up to the Legion of Honor Museum this morning to check out the Pissarro's People and Artistic San Francisco exhibitions, and to get some exercise in as well--it's a bit short of a mile away and all uphill. There's some great views from up there, as well as on the way up if you take El Camino Del Mar past the golf course.


Looking across the foggy opening of the bay, towards the mountains of Marin, as well as the Golden Gate Bridge.


The Legion of Honor Museum. This should have been a widescreen shot but due to my uploading mistake, it's merely just a bit warped on the edges. Ah well.


The single spire of the Main Building at USF Lone Mountain campus, a construction crane, and the twin spires of St. Ignatius Church, semi-hidden in the fog.
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
...sometimes you don't need to look up to find neat or interesting things. Sometimes you look down:




I suppose this would be a good way to constantly remind your roommate that the rent is due...
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
This morning we checked out the Picasso exhibit at the de Young and later walked through the Botanical Gardens in GGP, and took quite a few pictures. I posted the Garden pictures on my Tumblr, but thought I'd post a few pix here that were taken from the de Young Museum Tower.

Starting with...



We're at the other side of the Music Concourse here. Local artists sell their wares here on the weekends sometimes, and I'm always bound to see someone performing tai chi or kendo. The de Young Museum is in the background, with its oddly-shaped tower in the background.

(And of course, all this morning my brain was going "He was only 5 foot 3, girls could not resist his stare..." :p )


From up above, on the Observation Floor of the Tower )
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
[livejournal.com profile] emmalyon and I took a walk in Golden Gate Park today, starting from the de Young Museum and making our way down to Spreckels Lake (roughly about 2.5 miles), and of course, we took our cameras with us.

I've already posted pictures taken at the Rose Garden over at my Tumblr site, but thought I'd add a few here as well. Enjoy!

Saturday in the Park, I think it was the 11th of June )

And one for good measure...

When we left the park near 36th Avenue, we jumped on the 5 Fulton back up to 6th Avenue (pretty much back to where we started!), then jumped on the 44 to go get something to eat on Clement. The bus dropped us off in front of Green Apple Books, which is always a dangerous thing for us, though we were good and avoided its temptations. However, we couldn't pass up taking a picture of this bit of silliness:




So, all told, with the walk in the park plus walking home from where we stopped for lunch (Pizza Orgasmica), we must have walked total at least three and a half miles today. No wonder we're both sleepy!
jon_chaisson: (Default)


Happy 74th Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge! :)

[And yes, this picture was taken about 5 minutes ago. :p ]
jon_chaisson: (Default)
After quite a few off-days of weird weather or nice-but-cold sunny days, it looks like we're about to finally hit a stretch of warm spring days here in town. Can't complain there! So once we finally decide to get off our butts and get out of the house, we'll be doing a bit of walking, because hey--why waste a perfectly nice day? And yes, I will be bringing my camera, so expect to see a Tumblr post o' pix pretty soon!

This weekend is also when I finally (FINALLY!) finish polishing up the A Division of Souls synopsis, make one quick glance at the two first chapters, and email them off to [livejournal.com profile] dancinghorse for a critique. I want to get that done by tomorrow, because I've made her wait much too long for it. I suppose I have a few typical writerly worries--that the synopsis is a bit too long, yet it is a large novel with a lot going on...that this story could either be a brilliant multi-character event, or just an overcrowded mess...but at this point I'm just shutting that voice up and going with my instincts. I think it's a good story worth trying out, and I'm going to stay with that.

Other than that...we both were convinced most of this week that we had something scheduled or wanted to do, but for the life of us, we couldn't remember what it was, if anything. We have a few things going on in the next few weeks--a Mahler concert at the SF Symphony, the Maker Faire, and BayCon--but nothing this weekend. So! Looks like we'll have to make do with just relaxing and having a bit of fun. :)
jon_chaisson: (Tunage)
So yes, as was my duty, I headed up to Amoeba today for Record Store Day (Emm headed instead over to the de Young Museum to check out the Olmec stone head and the Balenciaga fashion exhibits) and spent mumbletymumble dollars on some nifty things. It was a bit of a chore getting there, as I decided not to wait the extra 24 minutes for the next 33 bus to get me just over a mile's distance. Walking up Arguello to Fulton wasn't too bad...but walking from Fulton up to the northeast corner of GGP is a bit of a chore, since it's all uphill. On the way I did walk by 2400 Fulton, known in 60s lore as the house owned by Jefferson Airplane, which looks pretty much the same as it did back then.

[Side note: one of these days I'd like to take a walking tour through the Haight and take pictures of all the houses and stores that were famous back in the hippie days...I know it's probably been done and posted/published, but given that I live in this city and am just a bus ride away from a neighborhood with a very famous musical history, it would be fun.] [ANYWAY...]

So! The spoils:

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part I dvd

Buffalo Tom, Skins (Ltd Edition with outtakes cd)
Crowded House, Intriguer (surprised we don't own this already)
Crowded House, Travelogue 2010 (3 cd live album I didn't know existed!)
The Feelies, Here Before (Yay, new album!!)
Foo Fighters, Wasting Light (WOOO! Been waiting for this one!!)
Good Charlotte, Cardiology (yet another album I picked up for Emm...I sense a theme here)
Ladytron, Best of 00-10 (I keep forgetting I like them)
Low, C'mon (came with a free 5-track acoustic EP)
The National, High Violet (Ltd Edition with extras cd...again, another theme here)
The Smithereens, 2011 (Yay, new album, with Don Dixon producing!)
Yellowcard, When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes (Yay, new cheap album!!)


And some odd freebies, including random posters, an Epitaph Records sampler, a Christian Gospel sampler, and a Belle & Sebastian seven-inch. I figure that B&S single is the only thing I'll end up saving...

I was very close to buying the new remaster of The Church's Starfish (which has an album's worth of extra tracks), but I think I'll wait on it for now, since it just came out and was a bit over twenty-two dollars. Yeah, in the past I'd have picked it up despite the price (and if I hadn't picked up the Harry Potter dvd, it may have made the cut), but I figure I'll wait for a sale or find it online for cheaper.


So! After a few hours' of browsing and listening to the Kinks' Lola vs Powerman and the Moneyground, Part One (a very odd choice for Amoeba's store play, but a nice one nonetheless, at least it wasn't something horrible or earshattering), I headed out to Golden Gate Park to meet up with Emm, who by this time was hanging out at the Arboretum. I cut through due west, surprising myself by finally finding Hippie Hill (and yes, there were neohippies there) as well as the very quiet and nice AIDS Memorial Grove, before coming up on the back end of the Academy of Sciences. There was, I believe, a high school band playing Sousa marches on the Music Concourse stage. That's when Emm and I finally met back up and headed home. We stopped at the Hawaiian BBQ place on Clement on the way (Two large chicken katsu sammiches and 2 drinks for just $8.50? That's a steal!), a quick shopping stop at the Smart & Final, one last stop for iced coffee/tea, and then home.

So yes...I'm tired, but we had quite a lot of fun today, and I got to celebrate Record Store Day in the process. Woo!
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)


Absolutely gorgeous blue sky today, taken at Lake and 29th Avenue.

Dusk

Feb. 5th, 2011 06:48 pm
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)


The Marin Headlands, from outside the window in Spare Oom

Happy Xmas

Dec. 25th, 2010 02:24 pm
jon_chaisson: (Default)


Hey all! Garry Crimble and all that! :)

Things are swell, if a bit rainy, here in San Francisco, and we're both inside and staying warm and playing with our new toys. Both of us got some pretty nifty things this year--[livejournal.com profile] emmalyon completely surprised me by getting a Nook Color (and, without irony, also got me the Mark Twain autobiography, which is the size of a small country, even though it's only Volume 1). And a chocolate Christmas Peep! Other fun presents from Emm and family included various books that I'd wanted, a nifty USB mike for recording, the Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 dvd, a Wii game (De Blob), and even some nice shirts! Also, received the first volume of Questionable Contentstrips, and a tee shirt from the site (Winslow the mp3 player happily proclaiming "I am full of music!"), which I am wearing right now. :p

Ooky weather notwithstanding, we did go out for lunch, this time to Sakana Bune, our local sushi boat restaurant and ate our fair share of sushi goodness. We are now inside where it's warm and dry, so we don't have to deal with the rain that's currently pouring down in buckets, and the wind that can easily destroy an unsuspecting umbrella. Such is winter here in Northern California...still, life is good, things are going okay, and we're both in fine spirits.

Hope everyone's having a spiffy holiday season! :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Up at my usual early time here, as somehow I still need to work today. The good thing is that one of the managers has decided that working from home until the end of the year will somewhat alleviate our stress, so I'm sitting here in Spare Oom, reading the internets and waiting for my shift to start. I'm hoping that today's dead (read: hoping we won't have any emails/calls from clients who have left things until the absolute last minute and are having a meltdown because of it). This is not only so I can have a slow, relaxing day, but that I can actually get somewhat caught up. What with most of my team out sick or on vacation this week, it's been one hell of a screwy couple of days. I'm hoping we can sign off early and I can use the rest of this day for winding down and not doing much of anything except relaxing.

Also thankfully, as noted yesterday, my family's package has finally arrived at our door after being in limbo Narnia for just over a week, which means that aside from the DELIVERY FAIL of one of my Aunt-in-Law's presents, we have everything. You know, in retrospect even the delivery of the fam's package was weird--the US Mail guy buzzed our door repeatedly and animatedly, and when I answered he let me know a package was downstairs in an almost creepily happy sort of voice. I never saw the driver, so now I'm wondering if that was Tumnus dropping it off or something...

All that said...things are good here out in the Richmond. Emm's got the day off and will be doing some last-minute food shopping up in Laurel Village. All the presents are wrapped and technically under the tree (our tiny tree's on top of a desk and the presents are on the floor underneath). It would not surprise me if my boss let us out a little early, just to spread the holiday cheer. Despite my backed-up workload, I wouldn't say no.


Hope everyone has a great Christmas Eve...stay warm, have fun, and enjoy yourselves! :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
No Pats game here on the west coast. BOO! X( On the other hand, we do get the Raiders/Steelers game, as well as the Bucs/Niners game, so at least we do have some local games. Although I've a feeling the Niners are going to tank as usual...this is definitely not their season...

Today continues the weird weather: the rain sun rain sun MAKEUPYERFRIGGINMIND who-knows-at-this-point is most likely going to play havoc with any ideas of going outside, although a quick run for coffee may be in order, as usual. It's freakin' COLD out this morning, in terms of San Francisco weather at least (yeah, I know 49 degrees is balmy back east, shut up). The psychotic weather should end somewhere around Tuesday, just in time for a few sunny days near the end of the week. Just in time for Turkey Day! :)

Not too much else to report here...I need to start the laundry, straighten up Spare Oom a bit, maybe even do a bit more cleaning. You know, the usual boring housecleaning. I believe we have nearly everything we need for our Thanksgiving food preparation ([livejournal.com profile] emmalyon is gonna make butter tarts!!), so I don't think we need to do much food shopping, especially since we bought quite a bit from the Grande around the corner yesterday.

And later, while listening to the Potted Plant Countdown (thank you, streaming WAMH), I'll be doing more work on Love Like Blood. As mentioned briefly on my Facebook page, chapter 9 needs a bit more work, so after I finish this go-round, I may backtrack and go over it again. It still feels a bit rough. Plus my usual Sunday afternoon poetry over at Dreamwidth.

Hope everyone has a nice Sunday!
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
So outside it's a gorgeous blue sky with clouds up in the North Bay and a few to the east of us.

About two hours ago? This:



Clouds of DOOM coming from the west, with brilliant sun coming from the east.

Further proof we have extremely weird weather here. O_o
jon_chaisson: (Default)


I admit this song gets stuck in my head now and again.

AND! The packed parking lot you see at around 50 seconds in? That's the one we go to on Masonic, and yes, it does get packed there. The neat thing is that they actually have someone out there directing traffic to keep the turnaround smooth.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
So I pretty much goofed off yesterday between football and doing other non-writing, non-productive things (well, aside from going out for a walk and doing the laundry), and it occured to me this morning that:

--I completely forgot to listen to the Potted Plant Countdown on WAMH's streaming site (Yes, [livejournal.com profile] head58, they still have it after all these years, but I don't think they give away potted plants anymore...)

--I completely forgot to do my Dreamwidth poem posting. [On the plus side, I also realized that the subject of holidays could possibly be used in this one. Thank you instant inspiration!]

Ah well...at least I have today off, so I can work on the latter sometime today. And perhaps getting some actual work done as well would be good.



On tap for today:


Going to see this around the corner at the 4 Star later today. I have to say the actor has Ginsburg's voice down perfectly, right down to the delivery of the famous poem itself. I suppose it's fitting that I'm going to see an indie movie about poetry and San Francisco and alternative culture, at an indie movie house around the corner from my apartment here in San Francisco where I do my writing... :)
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)


Taken about 7am yesterday morning out our living room window.

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