jon_chaisson: (Default)
Oh, it's Monday again?  Our weekend kind of flew by, considering the two of us went on a road trip up north sort of as our little anniversary vacation (it's our 12th as of the 28th).  We drove up to the Mendocino/Fort Bragg area and had a lovely time.  It's a LOOOOONG drive -- 230 some odd miles round trip, per our odometer.  It was also stupidly hot at some of our destinations, which we're no longer used to.  Still...lots of picture taking, lots of drinks, lots of tasty food eaten.  And even a few good local radio stations found!

In other news, it's kind of sad yet amusing when an online troll ends the argument with a version of 'you make no sense you're stupid whatever bye have a nice life'.  It usually means I've not only won the argument, but I've also cut off all their avenues for clever comebacks.  FTW!

In other other news...during this weekend I also read what I have of Meet the Lidwells as well as the Secret Next Project outtakes and I'm glad to say I think both are coming along quite nicely.  Both need a bit of correction and revision work, but for the most part I'm really happy with what I've got so far.  I'm really looking forward to getting these out into the world.  MtL is (hopefully) going to drop in September or October, and Secret Next Project will most likely be released next summer the latest.  Suffice it to say, I am so not used to quick turnarounds like this (given that my last project took two decades...!!), but it looks like I can handle this speed and output without too much stress, which also makes me happy. :)

OKAY.  Time to get back to the boring ol' Day Job.  Woohoo. :p

jon_chaisson: (Default)
Yesterday A. and I went downtown to the March for Science.  This is the second time I've walked down a considerable length of Market Street from the Ferry Building down to City Hall.  Technically it's just over a mile, but it's up a very slight incline most of the way (going from the edge of the Bay inland) and at the speed of everyone else in front of me.  Not to mention a good hour standing at Justin Herman Plaza beforehand.  Or standing on a VERY slow and VERY packed N-Judah train.  And walking a few blocks to the bus stop to head home.  And that we got up and did our shopping today, at the speed of every other person in front of us (and leaving their cart dead center in the aisle, natch).  And walking over to Sakana Bune afterwards for a sushi lunch.

Suffice it to say, mah dogs is barkin' something fierce.  I'm even at the point where I don't want to do the laundry today, even though the machines are open at the moment.  [I usually do it Monday or Tuesday during Day Job hours anyway, when most everyone else in the building is out.]  I walked down the street for some coffee, and that's about as much as I'm doing physically for the rest of the day.

Writingwise, I've gotten caught up with outlining the original 750 outtakes for Meet the Lidwells and at this point I'm just filling in some gaps.  I had a lot of holes in the band's discography (which I'm using as the chronology anchor to the plot), not to mention the barest of endings in mind.  BUT!  I've gotten those squared away for the most part.  The only big thing I need to lay out is the timeline -- in particular, the ages of the band members, when the music was recorded, that sort of thing.  It's not set in stone, but it does make for better continuity.

In other writing much as I'd love to pick up the 750 Daily Words again, now is not the right time.  At least not when I'm trying to get a new project off the ground.  It's annoying, yes, but I must be patient.  Once I get into the groove of the Lidwells project, then I'll be able to set aside some time and brainspace for it.  That doesn't mean I can't play around with some new ideas, though.  My hardback moleskine is starting to gather a bit of dust with the lack of stuff being put into it.  Again -- I just have to be patient.  Soon enough.

In the meantime, going to enjoy the lovely weather we've been having lately!  Slight breeze, but it's nice to be able to have the windows open to let in fresh air!  This is the time of the year when San Francisco has the nicest weather -- mid-60s, sunny and clear, slightly breezy.  Just how I like it. :)

jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
One of those weekends where I choose to make it relaxing instead of trying to pack it with too many things. Saturday was nice and relaxing, as we were both able to sleep in until 8:30 (that's actually kind of late for me), did our grocery shopping, and then hung out until we met up with A's parents for dinner and the symphony. I didn't get any actual writing or art done -- I skipped the daily 750 and the Inktober meme basically to remind myself that it's okay to miss a day. [More on that in a moment.] Slept like crap for some reason last night, but we have no real plans today other than stopping by the farmer's market, so it looks like today will be more relaxation with a bit of football thrown in.

I get tomorrow off as it's a bank holiday, so I'm thinking another trip to the dollar bins at Amoeba is in order. As is a fly-by to the guitar store on Haight to pick up a decent capo (my current one is a dinky little contraption I've had for so long it's starting to rust), as is a fly-by to Japantown to pick up the last Naruto tankobon volume. There may also be some Halloween candy purchasing, but I'll try to be good and not pick up too much.

The writing is coming along quite nicely, thanks to adjustments in my schedule following through more consistently. Most of the major work is still line editing right now, so having an outlet for fresh words keeps me on my toes. Much needed and a good thing. I'm still attempting a more consistent blogging schedule, but as long as I hit both WiS and WtBT at least once a week, I'm happy.

So what was that about missing a day? Well, the issue was that, just a few days into Inktober (as well as doing the 750), I started to realize that I was paying more attention on trying to continue an unbroken daily streak than I was on the writing or the art itself. Day 5 and I was thinking, I need to get something done today, but I don't have anything to write about or draw! O NOES! And that's when I had to remind myself that's NOT what these exercises are for. And more importantly, on the whole I write a LOT more than I think I do. So yeah...if I miss a day, even on purpose, THAT'S OKAY. It's not the end of the world.

That said, it's not as if I didn't completely avoid any writing-related things. I actually spent a half hour or so in the back room digging through my files to find all the Walk in Silence and related notes and outtakes. [It's a good thing I did that major purge-and-sort sometime back, because I found everything quite easily.] I wasn't planning on officially starting the final run of that project just yet, but it didn't hurt to get myself prepared for it. The files are now in a single shoebox in a specific area. I should probably do the same with the straight-to-computer outtakes as well, do some printouts and get everything together. Oh, and yes, I am planning on using my nice camera to take local pictures during our trip back to MA next week, for reference as well as for possible cover art.

EEP! That's right, our vacation is next week! How did that come about so quickly?? I still need to make final plans to meet up with our western MA friends (and still have time to hang with the family). It's just a week, but it'll be great to see everyone again!

Hope y'all are having a good weekend! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
This past weekend was one of shopping and erranding. We drove down to Palo Alto (why yes, as a matter of fact I do get the Radiohead song stuck in my head whenever we're down that way, why do you ask?) to Fry's Electronics so I could suss out cameras. While I do have a nice compact Samsung 15 megapixel point-and-click camera, I've been wanting to step up my photography game and try something a little more high end. I ended up with this Sony A58, and I'm loving it so far. There's a bit of a learning curve with all the bells and whistles that come with it, but it's gotten big reviews as a perfect starter camera if you're looking to level up.

[You can see one of my first experiments here at my Tumblr.]

In other news...Spare Oom is finally clean and back to normal, many things shredded, and all the cleaning done. I even managed to squeeze in two WordPress blog entries in yesterday! Woo! Not much else to report...the local YMCA should open back up today (it was closed for its annual powerclean and fix-broken-stuff time) so we'll be back on the treadmills again...also need to start getting some SF Symphony tickets as they finally go on sale today.

Also--HOKEY SMOKES WE'RE GOING TO LONDON IN A FEW WEEKS. Worldcon is gonna be fun and we'll get to meet up with a lot of our friends again, and I'm also really looking forward to exploring the city too! I do of course have a list of places to hit that are Beatle related. Many musical photo-ops have been planned. :)

Hope everyone has a nice week!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Re: the subject heading--last week when we stopped at Amoeba I finally got around to picking up Bob Mould's Workbook 25, the 25th Anniversary of his excellent 1989 album, and after much distraction and other things going on, I finally got around to ripping it to the drive and giving it a listen. MAN, this album still kicks ass after a quarter century. It's a gorgeous album, full of lovely acoustics and incredibly strong songwriting from a guy formerly known only a few years previous as one third of Hüsker Dü, the guy who tore into his heavily distorted Flying V and howl-screamed most of his lyrics. Well worth picking up and giving a listen.

So! What has been going on in JoncWorld? All sorts of fun things.

--Taxes. Finally did them the other day, and though we still owe for both the State and Federal (I know it's my job's fault--I may need to adjust how much is taken out), it's a little less than last year. And it dawned on me that, if I finally follow through with getting published, I'm going to need to start itemizing next year. Whee! That'll be fun. But yes...that bit of silliness is over and done with for another year.

--Work. Work It's not frustrating, but I did have a bit of ridiculousness to contend with. Long story short, if you have any nonspecific questions on how OFAC Sanctions work, I'm your man. Let's just say I had to school a few people on it last week. Much fun.

--Walking, Shopping, Eating. Another fun-filled weekend here in sunny SF, in which our intrepid heroes headed over the Castro and the Mission yesterday. After a very tasty brunch in the Castro (in which a hilarious couple asked us about whether their facial hair made them look Amish) (yeah, I don't know either, but it was damn funny), we walked down 18th Street, stopped briefly at ImagiKnit (one of A's favorite yarn stores) and then for some AWESOMELY TASTY ice cream at Bi-Rite. From there it was over to Valencia, where we stopped at this really fun gift shop that sells all sorts of silly cards, and then across the street to Borderlands Books, where we spent mumblemumble on books. And then today we headed over to Fillmore so A could get a haircut, and for me to spend some time at Browser Books, where we eventually spent mumblemumble on more books. Then it was down to Japantown for some okonomi-yaki! It was probably for the best that I didn't buy any manga at Kinokuniya, then...

--Reading. I finally finished Chang Rae-Lee's On Such a Full Sea and I have to say I was pleasantly entertained, especially given that it's been described as a post-apocalyptic novel. See, this book proves that not every post- climate failure/society failure/pandemic novel needs to be full of zombies, or a horror novel, or a suicide-inducing downer (Cormac McCarthy I'm looking at you). It was not only fascinating, it was quite true to life, extremely heartfelt, and *gasp* didn't exactly have a complete resolution! All in all, one of my favorite books I've read in a long time. Well worth it. And now, I'm reading Carter Alan's Radio Free Boston: The Rise and Fall of WBCN, which I'm finding equally as fascinating--let's face it, I love pretty much any book that tells the history of rock radio, but this one is great because I'm very familiar with not just the station, but many of the deejays involved.

--Writing. Yes, still plugging away at the revision of The Process of Belief. I'm on Chapter 8, and I seem to have gotten past some of the more tetchy "stage directions" parts into some tighter prose, so there's that. As I told A., I figured when I wrote that I was focusing more on the word count than the prose itself, and paid a little too much attention to the visual cues and not much else. Around 2002-4, that tended to happen whenever I was in the zone. In other writing news, I decided to put the 750 Words aside for now, as I want to try something slightly different. More on that later.

--Making plans for our vacation. We'll be in the Massachusetts area in a few weeks and so will hopefully be meeting up with friends and family at that time. Should be fun!

So yes...been a busy but productive week here! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's been quite the long week here in JoncWorld, busy all around. Work has been relatively calm-ish, not that many clients going off the rails, so I can't complain there. Nothing much to report, really.

We made it a point to get back to heading to the YMCA on a nearly daily basis, as I tend to sit on my duff here in Spare Oom for way too long. The first four days were well taken care of, and by Friday we were twitchy from work issues and decided a walk around the neighborhood was in order instead. We headed up California, cut over around 10th Avenue and walked around Mountain Lake before heading back. They've done a really good job at cleaning up the lake this past year--it was drained, dredged, decluttered, had goats eating the overgrowth (no lie--there's a company out this way that rents out goats for all your de-brushing and de-brambling needs!), and had a lot of the invasive species of plant, animal and fish taken away. Not to mention some serious filtration work, as it's right up against the stretch of Veterans Boulevard as it cuts through the Presidio, and the lake has seen its share of litter and toxic runoff through the years. It's nearly done, but they've done a beautiful job.

Today was a roadtrip up to Santa Rosa, which is always one of my favorite places to go here in the Bay Area. It's a large small city, so to speak, population around 160k, but it's spread out quite a bit. Downtown SR is a neat place as it has a large number of restaurants and shops. On Fourth Street there's Treehorn Books, a veritable Narnia of used tomes (it's good for "oh, I wasn't even looking for this, but I want this!" shopping) and up the street there's a really cool Barnes & Noble that's in a large building straight out of the 1920s, complete with a Jazz-Age style front. And just about a mile or two up the road is Copperfield's, a small local chain that saps our wallets every time we go into one of them. So yes, today was a mini-book crawl. :)

Tomorrow? We're not exactly sure. We may head to Q for brunch or we may go to Japantown, depending on what we're in the mood for. The problem with going to Q is the temptation to stop at Green Apple and buy EVEN MORE BOOKS.

There was, of course, a bit of a kerfuffle online about WorldCon this past week, but as I said on Twitter, I really have no horse in that race, so I'm choosing to not get publicly involved. I do of course have some thoughts about it, but I felt it was probably for the best not to add to everything that went on.

As for writing...? I'm happy in that I managed to get four out of seven days' worth of 750 Words done, considering. The "Townies" idea is expanding in unexpected and interesting directions, turning into some kind of pre- (very pre-) Bridgetown Trilogy story. I figured it would head in that direction eventually, but I wanted to let it expand organically rather than forcing it into a specific shape. That's why I let the 750 lag for a short while, so I could let the ideas simmer a bit. This may or may not expand into the next major project, but we'll see.

Chapter 5 of The Process of Belief was a big pain in the ass and most likely needs another go-through, but I finally got it done early in the week, and jumped in on Chapter 6. That too needed some tough love, but less in the prose and more in the editing department. There's still a lot of stage direction to get rid of, but not nearly as much as the previous chapter, and much easier to clean up. Book 3 kind of feels weird to revise, as it's pretty much Act III in a very long story arc. While it ties in with Books 1 and 2, the overall feeling of this one seems different. There's a hell of a lot more ongoing tension, and I think that's what I'm feeling with it. In a good way, of course.

I also FINALLY finished off the Blogging the Beatles series over at Walk in Silence! Yay! I admit I lapsed a bit on it, but I like how it ended, and that leaves me free to add new posts. Starting this week I'll be working on some new Walk in Silence stuff for your reading enjoyment. I should also be starting up on the Welcome to Bridgetown stuff as well, as I have a few ideas to work on there.

Which brings us to a few other web-related things:
--Will I ever update my Dreamwidth site again? Probably not; I'm thinking I'll copy the poetry posts to a document file and then shut it down, as I just don't use it anymore.
--Will I stay here at LJ? Of course--I have a permanent account. I still check it on a daily basis, maybe comment now and again, though I'm pretty much just at the weekend updates at this point. It'll remain the personal blog. I do have the other one, Scribble Diem, which I haven't updated since May of 2012, so that one I'll most likely close down at some point, as I just don't use it anymore. Maybe create one of those LJ Books and then ditch it.
--Tumblr. Yeah, I haven't posted there in some time, have I? I need to rectify that. Thing is, I haven't taken any pictures worth posting lately. Maybe that'll give me reason to start rescanning my stuff (and maybe photographing some of the larger or more colorful things) and posting those. One of my aims this year is to reignite my love for art, so why not?
--In cleaning up the Joncblogs, that'll mean that Walk in Silence and Welcome to Bridgetown will become my main go-to websites. I will endeavor to post links here and elsewhere so others are aware, of course. I have both connected to Twitter and Tumblr so they'll show up both places.

So yes...busy week. Busy, but productive! And that's what counts. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Not too bad of a start for 2014 so far.

--750 Words: Decided on the second day that I'm going to use my "morning words" as a playground for trying stuff out. Have a few days' worth of supershort dialogue-only stories and a day of me talking to my Spare Oom mascot (a blackbird finger puppet named Lon Dubh) as we debated what I should be writing about.

--Bridgetown Trilogy: Finished Chapter 41, started up on Chapter 42.

--Personal: Did a major e-recycling run to get rid of our old TV, my older external drives, and a boatload of wires and other bits and bobs. In the process moved a few things around in Spare Oom to open up more space. We're going through our books again to thin out the herd, so I was able to find more room for more of my music books. Lastly, picked up a new guitar riff that sounds a bit like Coldplay's "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" (one of my favorite tracks of theirs). Thinking I should probably plug in the PC mike and start recording some of these riffs as they come up. Will add them to my Drunken Owl folder of demos, see where they go. Alas, have not gone to the gym yet this year. Need to fix that.

On Tap:

--Hoping to work on the next Blogging the Beatles post some time today. This one should be relatively quick, as I'm only hitting two songs.

--Today's 750. Not sure where I'll go with it, we'll see.

--Boring errands: laundry, a bit of produce shopping around the corner. Also: FOOTBALL! Go Niners!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Another rare weekend with little to no plans this time out. I have to pick up one of A's coworkers from SFO on Sunday afternoon, but other than that, we don't have much of anything else going on. Maybe a haircut and lunch somewhere on Divisadero. Woo, we're exciting people! :p

Not too much else to report here...The Great Trilogy Revision is going well. On ADoS I'm at the level where it's cosmetic work now--or more to the point, it's where I'm aware that I shouldn't tweak it any further than I have to. On TPoM it's going okay, but still needs a bit of work. Just reread Chapter 9 which I just fixed, and found that it still needs a lot of work. Like the ADoS revision, though, I'm finding that it's alternating between decent chapters and Oh God This Sucks chapters, so I've definitely got stuff to keep me busy.

I really should be reading more of the Hugo-nominated stories, but I think my brain is too focused on my revision work. I'm having trouble switching gears, plus I started reading too late. I'll see how far I can get, though...

Other than that, not too much going on. I'm already on the back end of 1967 with my Blogging the Beatles posts, so that means I'll be hitting The Beatles (aka the White Album) pretty soon. Since that's a whopping 27 songs there, I've decided to divvy it up into the four separate sides just to keep it easy to read, and easier for me to write! I do have a lot to say about that album as well...not just the background, but some of my favorite late-era Beatle tracks are on that one as well. :)

On that note...hope everyone has a good weekend! :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
First, to get this out of the way:

WOOOOO!!! GO PATS!!! :D :D :D :D :D

*ahem* Carry on...

Been a surprisingly productive weekend here at Casa TC. Yesterday was mostly Errand Day, as our cupboards were emptying out. So, shopping at Westlake Mall! I had a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more of food at World Market, so we went a bit wild with snacks (various chocolates, Zapp's potato chips with an interestingly vague flavor name of "Voodoo", some maple pecan popcorn, among other things) some pumpkin ale, and some wine. Also, a good portion of regular food was purchased downstairs at Trader Joe's.

We also decided to head over to the DSW shoestore for new footwear specifically for our Paris trip in a few weeks [HOKEY SMOKES, is it coming up that quickly?!??]. As I have been informed that I will apparently be laughed off the continent for wearing New Balance sneakers, I spent the extra money and got some nice and comfy solid black Nikes. Emm got a nice pair of walking shoes as well, along with a pair of pumps which surprised both of us (she normally doesn't wear them).

Spare Oom got another good going-over yesterday as well...I managed to combine all my work-related stuff into one box and shoved that into the closet, magazine piles were thinned out, and things were moved so I can actually use the loveseat behind me again! Now I just need to make a trip to the Fort Mason book drop and the Goodwill up the way, and the floor will be even more open.

Today was Clean All The Things! Day, so I did quite a bit of vacuuming and dusting, arranging, throwing away, and wiping up of said Things. I really should have taken a Claritin, as I am still slightly congested from the Great Dusting of Jon's Corner of the Bedroom. Clearly I should have done this quite some time ago, and it would not surprise me in the least if I find myself NOT snoring from congestion tonight. And lastly, I just kicked off an email to our building maintenance guys (cc'ing our building manager, of course) detailing some plumbing issues. Nothing horrible, but just enough to warrant fixing.

So! It's just past two pm here, I'm kicking back and listening to WAMH online, and wondering what I'm going to do with the rest of the day. Emm is currently in the kitchen making a giant batch of applesauce, but once that's done we'll most likely take a walk up to Land's End and then over to the Quickly on Geary for some bubble tea. So what's next?

I'll be working some more on Chapter 6 of A Division of Souls, and I know that it's going to be a big pain in the ass like Chapter 5 was...but I'll going into that in another post momentarily. In fact, a lot of writing-related thoughts I'd like to touch on in the next post. Stay tuned!

Also...I need to install the Rosetta Stone Francais software and get crackin' on it, as we have just a few weeks for me to brush up on a foreign language I haven't actively studied since 1993. Geez, and I call myself French-Canadian...! The packaging is a bit vague as to how many people can use it, and how many computers it can be set up for, so I'm thinking maybe setting it up on the Spare Oom PC here, and then onto the Lenovo, that way we can get it up and running and the both of us can use it. As I've said, I can passably say the little things one needs--y'know, the please, thank you, I'm afraid I've eaten too much cheese, things like that--and I can understand it a lot more than I can speak it...but I should at least try to recapture more of it.

Okay! Time to head outside and enjoy a bit more of this shockingly warm day (I say shocking, considering it's been in the 50s and foggy for the last few weeks) and partake in some tasty bubble tea.

MOre soon!
jon_chaisson: (Default)
A much quieter and more fruitful sleep last night, it seems. Downstairs neighbor was quiet, and I took a decongestant and put on a snore strip so I wouldn't keep everyone else (including myself) up. We are now hanging out in the living room watching NFL GameDay Live and vegging out until it's time for us to head out to the Symphony.

Here's one of my favorite interpretations of what we're going to see:

Sort of Fantasia as made by Gerald Scarfe, no? ;)

Other things...


Happy Autumn! Emm and I took a nice long walk in the Presidio yesterday, and walked through the Presidio Heights/Pacific Heights area over to Fillmore, where we cut down to Japantown for lunch. As you can see, our autumn doesn't have the change of foliage colors like New England does. It's actually the warmest and nicest time of the year for us, and the fog clears up quicker than usual out our way. Looking forward to enjoying the weather while we have it!

Let's see...what else...the revision of Chapter 6 is slow going--just like Chapter 5 did, and I think I know why. Again, I like what the scene does, but it's not written the right way. I think one of the reasons is that the character isn't really himself. This scene is from Nehale's point of view, the same person who kicked off the trilogy with an intensely strong Awakening ritual, but he seems so powerless and unfocused here. This means that I'll have to do some major rewriting of the scene to make it work. It's a chore, but it's gotta be done, and I think I can do it.

Other than that...not much else to report! Hope everyone's been having a good weekend!
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Woke up at stupid:early AM due to downstairs neighbor and her boyfriend making noise from around 3AM onwards (noises did include the usual bf/gf late night things, but also included loud laughing, dropping things, and general lack of understanding that the rest of the building was trying to sleep). I unfortunately also kept Emm up with my snoring. So yeah, the both of us were up before the sun today.

[As an aside...seriously, what is a good way to combat serial snoring? I always sleep on my side, and have taken decongestants and have used snore strips in the past. I know exactly why it happens, but I'm yet to figure out a way to keep myself quiet at night. Any suggestions?]


The weekend is finally here! This past week was one of those where I kept getting the days mixed up...I kept thinking Thursday was Friday, basically for the sole reason that I had to actually drive to Concord out in the East Bay for one of our quarterly meetings. The drive wasn't all that bad, and the building we're in is quite nice (or more to the point, one hell of a lot better than the dump I used to work at on Market Street!!). And then there was yesterday which felt like a Saturday, and was interrupted by a towed space shuttle flying by my apartment.* And with my brain slightly out of sync due to waking up stupid-early, today sort of feels like an extra day. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. :)

As for tomorrow, we'll be heading to the Symphony to see them perform Ravel's 'Bolero'. Looking forward to of my favorite pieces, that!

More later...Emm is waiting for me to get off my duff and shower so we can go out and play. Hope everyone has a good day!

* - See my Tumblr for pix!
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 [ 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 [ 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! :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Whew! Long day today. Double win at IKEA, as I was able to get a new Billy bookshelf--I think their model has changed somewhat, as this one is about four inches higher, an inch or so deeper, and about an inch or so wider. Still, was able to park it in place of the smaller one and fill it up with all the YA and manga. The shelf near the door is now filled with my music books, and we even have some space left!

Also! NEW DESK! Bought this puppy right here for a measly $69, and it's quite nice. So now Spare Oom has two desks in it, at least until I get rid of my old one. I'm going to post something down in the lobby and see if anyone here wants it, and if not, then I'll go the Craigslist/Goodwill route.

I still need to move around and/or arrange a few more things here in Spare Oom, but I'm really liking how it's shaping up. I shall post pictures once everything is settled.

I should also add that it was RIDICULOUSLY foggy for most of the day, at least here in San Francisco. The stuff as so thick that on a stretch of Route 35 near the Olympic Club (yep, that's where they had the big golf tournament the other week), I could barely see three cars ahead. It cleared up a little more by the time we hit 280, and of course it was relatively clear by the time we got past SFO. It kinda-sorta cleared up a little this afternoon, but it's now ridiculously foggy again, and I can hear the foghorns in the bay going off like crazy.

Now to write some words!
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The weekend has arrived! And I'm quite happy about it. The work week wasn't exactly a crazy one (although there were a few frustrating moments of work WTFness), but I'm happy it's the weekend nonetheless, because we have some fun events planned.

Today is going to be a hot one in the city, which is actually a rarity. It's supposed to get into the triple digits inland, which means it'll at least get up to the 80s here. It's actually kind of nice when it gets toasty here, because it doesn't get humid, and there's always a breeze from somewhere. So yay for nice days off!

So today we'll be heading down to Fillmore Street, either by foot or by bus, we haven't decided yet, to do some shopping and lunching. Japantown is actually a short walk down Fillmore from California, so I can head over to Kinokuniya and pick up the last volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist that I need (and the next of Saturn Apartments, which I'm finding quite lovely). After that we'll have lunch at Inferno Pizza, which Emm says had a wonderful beer list. I can't promise anything, but chances are good that books will be purchased on the way home.

Tomorrow we're going to the opera to see John Adams' Nixon in China, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing it. I've been a fan since hearing it in college (and remembering Main Street Records in Northampton was all over it when it was released back in 1988), and I quite enjoy Adams' stuff (check out his Short Ride in a Fast Machine, which I could probably describe as "contains every single instrument in the symphony, including the small bits of stuff they found in the back cupboard, and playing the equivalent of exclamation points"). He's quite diverse and experimental, but a lot of fun.

I think somewhere in between I might get some writing done as well... :)
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I'm still not happy with my writing output at this point. And I know it's my own damn fault. I've been letting myself get distracted again. I know exactly why I'm doing it, and I've already talked about it here, so I won't repeat myself.

So...time to pull out the Big Guns again--the Schedule.

The Schedule under this here cut to save space )


I love it when I find the perfect book completely by accident.

[ profile] emmalyon and I went to Green Apple yesterday for our usual book shopping, and as I walked past the PC/Computer/HTML how-to section, a book caught my eye: Scott McNulty's Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read. This is EXACTLY what I need to get the WP site up and running correctly. This is one of the weekend projects I'd need to work on initially, just to make sure I have it up and running okay. Once I have the technical side down, then I'll be able to blog to my heart's content. I'll let you know when that's up and running.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Man, I don't know what happened, but today I am just full of determination to get way too many things done. Perhaps it's the self-nudge I gave myself when I bought that new bookcase and ended up shifting Spare Oom around a bit. Ever since then I've been itching to get all sorts of things done. I'll be honest, the last few days have been deliberately lazy and decidedly unproductive, at least where writing is concerned, as I needed to unwind from the hell that was last week.

So today I've finished the laundry, vacuumed the apartment, washed the kitchen floor, went outside for an abbreviated walk around the neighborhood to buy stuff at the corner store (and get coffee, of course), checked to see if my scanner still works with the new PC (I haven't used said scanner for at least a few years, and the answer is "yes", though the photo-tweaking software it came with is out of date and doesn't jive with Windows 7)(no worries there, I have PhotoShop, so it worked out!), and it's just hitting 3pm now. I'm wondering what else I need to do today before it gets too late.

Also yesterday, I emptied out that second wooden crate (the one that was underneath the Spare Oom window) and everything is now in the large blue storage bin, which is now sitting next to my bookcase. Everything is now in one area, ready to be sorted, instead of all over the place. The next-to-bottom shelf of the bookcase is now full of manila folders containing random semi-sorted writings, artwork, and other Joncswerk that I'll need to go through. That stuff will stay on the shelf, just in better order once I'm done with it. I haven't decided what to do with that now-empty wooden crate--I may either use that for additional closet storage, or I may keep it in Spare Oom for non-writing files.

But yeah...if this bit of determined creativity is going to stick around awhile, I'm not going to complein. :)
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Today's excitement included quite a lot more walking, a lot of impulse purchases, really tasty brunch, and even tastier ice cream. And it's not even 4pm yet!

Started out by walking up to Q Restaurant, our favorite local place at the other end of Clement, and had brunch. I ordered the black bean cake benedict (sort of like a crab cake only made with black beans and other small veggie bits in it, topped with eggs benedict and a few slices of avocado), which was heavenly and quite messy. And of course as always, we timed it so we got there about 20 minutes before the lunch crowd came in.

From there we walked to the end of Clement and caught the 33 Stanyan, which took us down to the Mission. Our main idea was to go to Borderlands Books, but since we were a bit early, we of course stopped at Imagiknit on 18th Street, where Emm picked up more yarn to play with (including some Malabrigo that had a wonderful dark blue (color name "Paris Night") that she'll use to make a scarf for me).

Heading east down 18th we were tempted by Bi-Rite ice cream, but given our fattening brunch, we figured we could wait a bit, so onwards to Borderlands Books! We picked up the latest [ profile] seanan_mcguire book One Salt Sea, [ profile] aberwyn's second Nola O'Grady book, and all three of [ profile] burger_eater's Twenty Palaces novels (OSS and 20P book 3 were both nicely displayed up front, I should add), among other things. I like to make sure I support my LJ writer peeps! :)

(I should add that the Mission District is definitely becoming more and more of a Hipster Haven, at least on the strip of Valencia we were on. Lots of cafés, galleries and boutique stores opening up down that way.)

So on the way back we deemed it time for Bi-Rite ice cream! Thus:

Malted vanilla ice cream with crunchy caramel bits in it...and a scoop of cinnamon ice cream underneath. VERY tasty.

After that, we'd decided to head back and jumped on the 33 Stanyan back to the Richmond...

...and ended up jumping off in the Haight again, where we found this and brought it home: Ami Spruce Burgundy guitar from Art & Lutherie guitars out of Canada, and [ profile] emmalyon's birthday present! She'd seen one just like this up in Brattleboro when we were there in July, and found one at the guitar store in the Haight.

And finally we hopped back on the 33 back to our neighborhood, walked down Clement, got yet another coffee, and headed back home. So yes, lots of walking and eating and spending. I think we're good with the musical instruments now (note to self: hide any pictures of accordions from Emm, she seems to have a thing for them too). Expect some recordings in the future. :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Ah, the long weekend finally approaches. It's been a hell of a week and I've been waiting for the holiday weekend to arrive.

So! What's on tap for the weekend, then?

--Today we're driving down to the Pescadero/Half Moon Bay area, which we haven't gone to in some time. We'll be lunching at Duarte's Tavern (we haven't gone there in ages), and yes I WILL HAVE MY OLALLIEBERRY PIE. We'll head back by stopping at the roadside farmstand (if it's open) and the awesome Ink Spell Books in HMB. I don't believe we had any other plans for shopping, but we'll see.

--The usual errands of cleaning and perhaps a bit of food shopping...nothing too exciting there. Although I really should make a conscious effort to continue straightening up Spare Oom. There are some books we can donate to the library and clothes (and things) we can donate to Goodwill, pictures we should hang, and bins to sort through.

--Downloading. I promised [ profile] emmalyon I'd download some new albums she's been looking for, so I'll either use eMusic or Amazon for that.

--Writing, of course. Nothing new to report at the moment, but I may have an update at the other writing LJ soon.

Other than that, I plan on sleeping late, doing some walking around the neighborhood, and attempting to relax. Hope everyone has a good weekend! :)
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 [ 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: (Default)
Man, I have been lazy with the posting lately!! I haven't even posted any poetry at Dreamwidth (or written any lately, for that matter)...well, I have my reasons...been busy doing all sorts of things around the house, as well as focusing mostly on the A Division of Souls revision. To wit:

--Spent a good day yesterday starting to box up books for those who requested titles from the Great Book Purge. I seem to have run out of smallish boxes, so I may need to improvise. We'll see what happens. On the plus side, Spare Oom is looking a little cleaner, though the loveseat is still piled up with boxes and packing material.

--Spent even more time shredding paperwork I should have gotten rid of a few years ago...mostly bills and whatnot that are over two years old. Once that's done I can go through the plastic bin that's full of random stuff and file/shred/save/etc.

--Ran a few computer cleaners on my Spare Oom PC...been a little while since I've done so. I usually don't like running other things while I'm doing that (it kind of defeats the purpose), so I let that run in the bg while shredding. Emm had the radio going in the other room so I got to listen to that music while getting things done.

--Laundry done! I keep meaning to divide this up over the course of two days--once midweek and once on the weekend--so I don't have an overabundance, but I keep forgetting to get quarters. Still...glad it's done.

--Shopping done! We did quite a bit yesterday...went to the seaside Safeway to get the bulk of it (and on the way, saw the new Fresh & Easy that's slowly being prepared for opening up on 32nd Ave and Clement (long story short, it used to be an Albertson's before they up and left like the Baltimore Colts a few years back)). After that, we took a walk up Clement for errands, stopped in a few stores on the way back, and got all our veggies at the Grande around the corner.

I didn't get any vacuuming done, but I'm sure I can get that done soon. Though it takes twice as long now as it did in our old place, considering that it took me about ten minutes to vacuum the entirety of our old place, I think I can spare a half hour at some point during this coming week. ;)

And so today, we'll be spending the rainy afternoon inside, watching Anne Sofie von Otter at the SF Symphony, which also means lunch at Max's and the temptation to buy even more books at Books Inc. around the corner. It's an afternoon show, so I'll have plenty of time upon return to get some more writing done tonight. I also want to write a writing-LJ post too, so I think I may be able to squeeze that in somewhere. This definitely feels like a Sunday I'm used to: wet weather, an afternoon out, some last minute work, and the nagging feeling like I'm forgetting something. ;)


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