jon_chaisson: (Default)
I've just registered [livejournal.com profile] emmalyon and myself for FOGcon here in San Francisco, a smallish science fiction convention that aims to be on par with Wiscon or Readercon--not nearly as big as Worldcon, but decently sized and local...which is cool, since there really hasn't been any science fiction conventions in the area in awhile. They have a rough list of panels at the site that look to be filled with a lot of fun stuff, so I'm looking forward to it. And the fact that it's the easiest commute to get there doesn't hurt (1. leave apartment 2. take #1 bus to Van Ness Ave). It being a completely new con, I'm dearly hoping that, though it may not be a huge turnout, it won't be a complete failure. I like what I've read and seen about this one and am hoping the best for it.

That said, I've got a strong urge to actually sit in on a few panels. I don't mean sit in the audience quietly, but to take part in them. I've never done so before...when I first started going to Readercon in 2001 I wouldn't have entertained the thought, as I thought I was still a writer n00b at the time. Well, ten years down the line, four novels and plenty of projects later, I'd like to think I've improved significantly since then, even if I haven't had any novels professionally published yet (sure, I got paid for some articles for Vision and had an accidental sale to ZYZZYVA, but I mean aside from that). I'm thisclose from that last step, or at least I'd like to think that.

So...what do you think? Should I make that step and offer my services on some of these panels? I did see a few that sound like something up my alley that I think I could participate in, offer my own ideas and thoughts. Am I crazy to make this jump before I'm a full-fledged professional, or should I stop thinking things out so much and just shut up and do it?
jon_chaisson: (Default)
So let's see...first day of vacation, of course we sleep in (which for us means waking up at 7am rather than 5am...oh so decadent!), and then up for morning news watching while having our morning cup o' joe.

By 10am we were out on the road--sort of. Took the 1 bus downtown to Chinatown, looked in a few places but didn't buy anything (although there were a few dragon sculptures I was tempted by, even if they were fake stone). We made our way down to the Macy's near Union Square where we saw one puppy and a number of kitties in the window! :D

Then over to the Westfield Centre (aka SF Center, aka the downtown mall with the Bloomingdales, aka the mall where all the hooligan kids hang out after school) for some more shopping. Emm got a few sweaters from the Eddie Bauer store...I was tempted by a few things, but decided against it. After that we stopped at Borders where I finally got the new Cory Doctorow, and then downstairs to the tea place to check out the great selection they have. And no, we did not stop at Beard Papa's down in the basement, however tempting it may have been.

After that...a long walk up windy and cold Market Street up to the Ferry Building. We did want to eat at Taylor's, but the place was packed, so we stopped at the Golden Gate Meat Company for an incredibly tasty lunch (note to Mythbusters fans--this company is where the gang gets their spare, er, pig parts. :p ). Then over to the Hyatt to check out their REALLY FUNKY Christmas decorations. As I didn't have my real camera with me, I took some phone camera pix which I will upload at some point when I figure out how. Then one last stop in Embarcadero Center for some browsing and some candy-buying at See's (come on, I couldn't resist), and then on the LONG bus ride home. Topped off of course with a pitstop at Angelina's for more coffee! :D

So yeah, nothing too exciting, and it rained for approximately five minutes, but we got some more shopping done, and a lot of walking in!
jon_chaisson: (Marc Anthony confused)
...you've been alternately sunny, rainy, overcast, and clear, all within the space of a half hour. Please, make up your mind!!! Sheesh...
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Yeah, looks a bit too craptastic out there to head up to the Haight to stop at Amoeba today...still cold and rainy. As I said to Emm, if there was a decent inexpensive parking lot nearby, I'd have driven up there. As it stands, there's exactly one lot nearby (a former parking lot for a closed supermarket, and a lot more expensive than it should be), and trying to find a spot on the street in that neighborhood is pretty much a crapshoot. It still amazes me that the 49ers used to play up there at the old Kezar Stadium...I always wondered how the hell people parked for the games up there!!

On the plus side, I now have a nice pile of cds, VHS tapes and dvds that we can trade in the next time we DO go.

So...

What to do today...aside from hang out, drink coffee, and watch random stuff on TV... :p
jon_chaisson: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] emmalyon had to make a trip to her office for a brief time sometime midafternoon today, so we decided to make a trip out of it, rain or not. We took the 47 down Van Ness and got off in front of City Hall and walked the two blocks to the main library, where I spent a record time of ten minutes scooting through their cd collection! More looking around various books...then a zip up to Bristol Farms to buy CHEESE! with the GC I bought her for Christmas. And after that, a short time at her office--nice digs, better than mine, I should say. Then an expensive but filling dinner at Taylor's. They might have pricey burgers, but they're damn tasty!

So now we're home, hanging out, watching Rosemary & Thyme...nice start to a long relaxing weekend. :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)


Taken at the aquarium section of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. They just recently reopened it after doing some major refurbishing (read: tearing down and completely rebuilding it), and it's pretty impressive...and a lot bigger and more fun than I expected! (BTW, I joined in early and bought a membership, so A)we went in the "member door" and didn't have to wait in a long line, and B)we don't have to pay the nearly $25 per-adult price!)

So what did we do after that?

We drove down to Pescadero for sandwiches!! :p Well, we originally wanted to go to Duarte's, but there was a 30 minute wait I didn't feel like sitting through, so we went to the pizza/sammich shop up the street instead. So yeah, lots of driving today. We're tired now. :p
jon_chaisson: (Groucho Marx)
Apparently Bill "A Bold Steaming Pile of [CENSORED]" ORLY Bill-O the Clown O'Reilly thinks that San Francisco is the Den of Iniquity, Sodom and Gommorah, and Full of Leftie Pinkos that Want to Kill America:



Aside from his camera team obviously filming some weirdos out of the 760,000+ people that live here...clearly this man has never set foot in this city.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Hey gang! Made it home in pretty much one piece--with our luggage in tow this time, mind you--and are currently kicking back and watching TV and generally being lazy now. We've been up for twelve-plus hours now (we woke up at around 3:30am ET, so I think lazy is a good thing right now. ;)

So yes, we are home! I will post pictures and stuff within the next few days when I have more energy. For now, sneak on over to [livejournal.com profile] jonchaisson to check out a rare picture of the original Belfry!

Oh--and one of our local bay islands went partially up in flames while we were away...geez, we can't leave this city alone for one minute, can we??
jon_chaisson: (Default)


Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] head58 for pointing this one out!
jon_chaisson: (Orson Welles)
This afternoon we're going to see What You Will, what promises to be a very fun and funny one-man production starring Roger Rees. He's going to offer Shakespearean soliloquies alongside silly stories about productions of his work.

This one was definitely a spur-of-the-moment decision, brought on by the appearance of its star on KRON4 News last weekend...it just looked like so much fun that we immediately ordered tickets as soon as that interview was done. Promises to be interesting!
jon_chaisson: (Just One of Those Days...)
Well, sort of.

The Festival of Sail (SF's version of the Tall Ships thing) has as part of its festivities, pirate ships, cruise ships, schooners, fireboats (the one that fought the Marina District fire during the '89 Loma Prieta quake is featured), and whatnot. Which means that this neighborhood is hoppin' with people this weekend.

About a half hour ago I thought I heard some loud booming noises--and I think this one, which actually has guns, was setting them off.

Took me a few moments to realize what it was... It's yet more proof that there's never a dull moment here in the city... :p



Of course, some of you out there know my past not-too-enjoyable experience with Tall Ships in Boston, but that's another post. ;)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Well, I was hoping this weekend would be a much more exciting and relaxing one, but a stomach bug had me feeling a bit off the last few days. Didn't stop me, though...Friday we did quite a bit of walking around the neighborhood, down the length of Columbus towards the Transamerica building, stopping to eat at the Elephant & Castle on Clay (the first place we went to eat when we were first looking for an apartment here, and also known as 'the bar that has my music collection' :p ) and walking back. We had hot dogs and macaroni salad (separate, of course) for dinner, and watched the insanity of foot and car traffic in our neighborhood because of the fireworks. And yesterday we went various places in the Mission, including this ice cream shop (which had some ZOMG YUM flavors of ice cream), Luna Park for lunch, Imagiknit (hey, Emm had a viable reason), Borderlands Books, Dog Eared Books, and a few other shops. By that time, though, we were both tired and in need of naps. Anime was meh last night (please, Naruto, make those damn filler episodes end soon!) so random TV was watched...

Today I'm feeling a bit better, though we really don't have much planned except some shopping and I'd like to switch and wash the bedsheets. Given the way our laundry facilities have been acting lately, though, I'll have to see about the second. Other than that, I'm thinking some more writing work is on tap. I've been lazy on that the last few days due to feeling a bit under the weather.

----

Other stuff: After slogging through Douglas Coupland's Polaroids from the Dead as my to-and-from-work reading (far from his best, it's more of a mishmash of random nonfiction musings and a way-too-long ending section inspired by OJ Simpson's Brentwood), I've decided to take a break from his fiction and read some other stuff. In particular? Malory's Le Morte D'Artur. Why, of all things, am I reading that? Partly because Emm was watching a documentary about it on the Roku, and partly because both of us had a hankering to read some classics (she's been jonesing for The Canterbury Tales lately). And in all honesty, with that classic memes book going around, I think I need to read more of them. ;)

Writing: Again, took a few days off from LLB Revision 2 due to feeling a bit off and exhausted, but hope to pick it up again today. Emm mentioned yesterday about "narrative urgency" in mystery books and how she's been foisting them upon me in hopes that it sinks in. ;) And it has! I have to say that my worst enemy when writing first drafts is that I have a habit of writing 'mood scenes' of characters looking frustrated and saying something to the effect of "something's wrong but I don't know what, and it's pissing me off." Granted, it's okay to have one or two of them, but I use those reflective scenes way too often. Call it one of the downfalls of writing cinematically, I guess. Still, it looks like Emm's cunning plan has worked, as R2 has caused me to do two things: rewrite weak scenes, and cut out a lot of the reflective scenes as well. I'm even happier than usual as to how it's turning out as well!

October Trip to New England: Still on, of course. However, we will need to contact Expedia (or Delta) to tell them that if they're going to consistently reschedule the flights (which is understandable), they're going to have to take into account that we CANNOT land in Atlanta at 9:40 in the morning to catch a connecting flight to Bradley that takes off at 9:15. Trip's not until October, but still...I'm thinking we'll have to call at some point in the next month or so to have them fix that little error. ;)

---

...and I think that's about it for now. I need to shower so we can do our shopping and spend the rest of the day slacking off watching TV relaxing. Hope life is good elsewhere out there in LJ Land!
jon_chaisson: (Default)


Beer, Sports, Internets, and a Place to Get Hitched. And this is the New England-based bar the next block down from us.

I love my neighborhood. :p
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Nothing too exciting to report...just did a lot of walking, a lot of watching of TV, a goodly amount of eating tasty food, and a lot of picture taking.

Evidence of the picture-taking hidden below cut )

Hope everyone else had a spiffy weekend!

Roadtrip!

May. 31st, 2008 05:12 pm
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
Meanwhile, in the "Can't Get Any More West Than This" Department...



(Taken at the intersection of Pescadero Road and Rt 1.)
jon_chaisson: (Marc Anthony confused)
When walking through the produce section in the local Safeway last week...

...I think the last thing anyone would expect is for someone in the back area whistling "Five O'Clock Whistle" very audibly and joyfully.

Much to the giggly amusement of [livejournal.com profile] emmalyon and myself. :)

...and for those who don't know the song... )
jon_chaisson: (Default)
...that Pat's Cafe is TEH AWESOME.

I really don't know why it took us this long to eat at a small restaurant about 3.5 blocks away from our apartment, but nonetheless--great food, fun atmosphere, excellent service. And they have the luck of being just one block away from the end of the Powell/Mason cable car line.

This place is definitely going on my list of "not your usual Fisherman's Wharf/North Beach eats" places that I shall be writing about soon. :)
jon_chaisson: (Tunage)
Here's a just-updated list of who's going to be there, for those who are interested:

Radiohead
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Jack Johnson
Beck
Wilco
Manu Chao
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
Widespread Panic
Primus
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Steve Winwood
Café Tacvba
Broken Social Scene
Regina Spektor
Devendra Banhart
Cold War Kids
Galactic’s Crescent City Soul Krewe
Lyrics Born
Andrew Bird
Steel Pulse
Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
M. Ward
Drive-By Truckers
ALO
Matt Nathanson
The Cool Kids
Two Gallants
Dredg
Little Brother
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Donavon Frankenreiter
The Mother Hips
Black Mountain
Sidestepper
Nellie McKay
The Coup
Goapele
Bon Iver
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk
Sean Hayes
The Felice Brothers
Rupa & the April Fishes
Back Door Slam
K’NAAN

You can find the festival website here.

I'm still debating whether or not to go...sure, it's in town (and easy to get to), but a three-day ticket is $225.50 (that's $451.00 if the both of us go), which is a bit steep for us, and in all honesty, out of the list, there's only about five bands there I wouldn't mind seeing. They will be listing single-day tickets at some point, though...will see how much it will be.
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)


Looking east out one of the windows next to my desk. This is looking down Bay Street towards the Embarcadero, where Bay ends. You can see the eastern half of the Bay Bridge (Yerba Buena Island, which anchors the bridge, is just out of view), and the hills of Berkeley are off in the distance.
jon_chaisson: (Emm and Jonc Pictures)
Emm and I went to The Legion of Honor this morning and checked out the Annie Liebovitz retrospective they were putting on, and decided to take some nice pictures of the building while we were there...


This one was taken from the other side of the reflecting pool across the street. I had a great wider angle shot, and it would have been a much better picture had the hippie bus not been where it was...I only got the back end of it on this one... :p



Here's another shot, later on in the day, from front grounds...



And yes, this is an actual Rodin "Thinker" on the grounds.



And looking northeast, you can see a famous bridge from there...



Or, if you look east, you can just about see downtown through the haze...



By far, one of the classiest buildings we've been to in town, and it has quite the neat collection. :)

(PS the icon was taken today too...)

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