jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
This weekend's plans are to head to the theater on both days! Today we're heading to the Sundance Kabuki in Japantown to see the Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week (if you're not already familiar with it, it's about their touring years and made by Ron Howard...I've been told that they've also added extra footage in the form of the complete Beatles at Shea Stadium half-hour doc as well!). And tomorrow we're heading over to the Embarcadero Center downtown to see a performance of Richard II. Should be fun!

In other news, I've already skipped a few days of the Daily 750 Words from my whiteboard schedule, but I'm okay with that. I had a good solid 17-day record going there. I was just too worn out from Day Job issues and wanted to keep whatever creative energies I had left for the blog posts and my editing. I'll most likely get back to it come Monday when I have more time and energy again. The whole point of that exercise is not about writing on consecutive days, anyway. It's just about getting into the habit of getting words out on a consistent basis. Which I already do!

Other than that, planning on having a reasonably quiet and relaxing weekend. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's been one full week since I bought my new computer, and it's running just fine. I've had it running all week doing various scans and updating my Plex server (I'm under 'joncwriter' if you're curious). The processing speed is indeed faster and it's not taking nearly as long for certain processes to finish up. All my programs have been reinstalled and are working great. The only downside is that my browser favorites are all out of whack, so I'll need to take some time to fix them at some point! [Oh, and the other downside is that my new keyboard's layout is slightly different from the old one so I have to get used to it. Some of the buttons are in kind of weird places quite different.]

Meanwhile, the long weekend is here and we don't have too much planned. We'll be heading up to Petaluma to visit the in-laws today (despite dealing with the heavy North Bay traffic, considering the holiday and that the Bottle Rock festival is this weekend too). A will be heading to a movie on Sunday afternoon, and on Monday we'll probably be doing not much but hanging out, maybe going out for lunch or something.

A nice, relaxing weekend. Gotta love those. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Whew! Been a whirlwind of all sorts of things lately. Last week I had to head into the Concord office twice in one week -- Monday to deal with the audit team wanting to go over the specifics of my job (well, not my position per se, but the fact that I'm an SME for OFAC sanctions scanning) and Thursday for our 'quarterly celebration of success' (it's about as corny as it sounds). Added to the fact that Emm had to wake up at 5am for a stupidly early meeting on Tuesday, my Friday the both of us were feeling a bit overtired and loopy. Suffice it to say my editing/writing was minimal.

Add to that, on Saturday we chose to drive down to Watsonville to hang out a little bit at Gizdich Ranch, where they sell all kinds of tasty apples. It was hella hot and dusty there, so soon after we found an excellent ice cream drive-in near the shore in Aptos (the strip it was on definitely reminded me of Wells Beach up on Maine), and then headed back via CA 17--the road that crosses over the Santa Cruz Mountains. Once at the crest we took CA 35 the rest of the way. This was definitely one of those "lovely drive, but what was I thinking??" roads, where the southern half of it is squeezed down to about 1.5 lanes due to it having so many switchbacks. It's essentially a well-paved cowpath for about 4 miles. Found some great overlooks, though! There's a few wonderful vistas where you can see the entire stretch of Silicon Valley below, with Mount Tam and SF waaaay off in the northern distance. Got some great pix out of it!

Sunday morning was spent at our local zoo, where we got to see all three red pandas! Nearly all the animals were either in their pens, or passed out in the shade. It was too hot for everyone! The giraffes and zebras at the savannah area seemed to like it, though! The rest of the day we hid inside, watched football and ate pie. All in all, a busy weekend!

So yeah...any writing done in the interim? Sadly, not that much. I did get a few lines of editing/revision done last night, but not enough to make a significant dent. I'll need to kick it up a notch in the next few days to get back into the swing of things.

Which brings me to the 'tapping a foot on the ground'. Due to being ridiculously busy, I've kind of felt like I'm flailing in mid-air over the last few weeks, so it feels good to be able to extend my limbs and touch the ground now and again to remind myself it's there. It gives me something to aim for, a solid base to come down to within the next few days. My work priorities have finally returned to normal, so I can focus more on the creative ones again. Ah, the price I pay for having a day job!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Random bits:

--Apropos of nothing, I just realized that when I post on LJ, I usually prefer to use the HTML screen instead of the Visual Editor screen; when I post at my WordPress blogs, it's usually the other way around.

--Updated my PC to Windows 10...at present it's doing all the background tweaks and updates and should be good to go within the next few minutes. Now that I've got A Division of Souls ready for release, I had time to take care of it. The only thing I really needed to make sure of is to save my IE Favorites (yes, I know, I know...) since they didn't get saved for the new browser. I instead saved the folder to my Dropbox so I can access it from pretty much everything I use to go online now. Everything seems to be good so far.

--Man, our front windows were dirty! I just finished giving them a good cleaning, and they look SO much better. These are the only windows that get this dirty, really...they face the street but are recessed a bit due to it being the fire escape, so they don't get hit by the rain or condensation like the kitchen windows do. Yeah, I know, boring info. Sorry about that.

--The Insane Final Edit of The Persistence of Memories continues apace. This is the book where I got consistent with the daily numbers, which on the one hand forced me to be economical with the action, but on the other hand made me a bit repetitive in my prose, so I think I may have a better time excising than I thought. Still, there's about 30k words more in this one than in ADoS, so it'll take time. I'd kind of expected this, actually, so I'm fine with TPoM not coming out until the end of the year at the earliest.

--Tomorrow's plan is to head over to the Mission for book and yarn shopping (and perhaps some BiRite ice cream). We don't head over to that part of town all that often, partly because it's way on the other side of town with no quick way to get there (and yes, our hipster tolerance is kind of slim), but it is fun to stop at some of the neat stores down there.

And of course most importantly, my first book drops in 5 days!! Woo!!! :D
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
You know, a few weeks ago when I looked on the calendar, I noticed we had The Marriage of Figaro to go see today, but that was it. And we hadn't planned anything big for tomorrow, even though it's officially our tenth anniversary.

Cut to yesterday's momentous news on marriage equality, added to it being Pride Weekend, not to mention the ALAAC (librarian's association conference) taking place, and San Francisco has suddenly become Party Central. I'm quite sure it's going to be increasingly silly and fun tonight. Even if we're going to have to take the 1 down to Van Ness and probably walk from there to the opera house (and leave a few hours early at that) because our usual parking is going to be impossible, the Civic Center area promises to be festive. I've half a mind to take my camera just to take pictures of the mood and any events.

Tomorrow we really don't have too much planned, not that we were expecting to. We're not ones to make a big celebration out of personal events. I mean, the big day back in '05 went like this: wake up, get dressed, head to the court house, have the judge get us hitched (all before 10:30 if I recall correctly), and head over to the diner for pancakes and coffee. This would be followed up by a trip to Barnes & Noble for some book browsing, then spending the day watching movies because it was early summer and it was too damn hot out to do anything else. No big reception (that wasn't until October), no big party, no big to-do. The return to mundane everyday life was almost amusing, heading to work that following Monday with my new ring, looking at it and trying to wrap my head around what had just happened to me within the course of a year.

So yeah, tomorrow? We still don't have concrete plans, but we're reasonably certain it's going to include pancakes and coffee (as Sundays usually are). Not sure about the book store considering our pathetic attempts at trying to curb our bookbuying habits lately, but we shall see.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Hey, if my local news can use that as a commercial bumper, I can use that as a subject line. ;)

I took a brief break from the evening writing sessions to put together a new filing cabinet that I got off Overstock. It's one of those Ikea-type pieces with about 93,458 pieces to it (including wood glue for the wood dowels!), so it took a bit of time and a lot of elbow grease to get it all put together. There were a few tricky moments (one dud screw and two wheel mounts with screw holes that didn't quite line up with the predrilled holes), but I got it done. Now I have a few boxes to break down, things to refile into the cabinet, and a crapton of renegade Styrofoam bits from the packaging. Guess I'll chalk up today as a cleaning day!

Also on tap: finish off the WtBT post, daily words, and maybe a bit of make-up writing and revision.

Other than that, we have all the Horsey Football games today (okay, three horse teams and a warehouse team) and some food shopping, so it does look like it's going to be an easy Sunday. Can't complain!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Sunday is here once again. These weekends go by way too quick! Ah well...at least I'll be on another vacaction in another few weeks, in which we're going to Portland OR for a few days. [I promise I won't come back home wearing a trilby, a beard, tight chinos and singing Lumineers songs.] That'll be our last vacation week for the year (well, for me, anyway), so I'll consider that my own official start of Q4...slogging through the remainder of the year with nary a day off and too many ridiculous requests coming my way at work.

Yesterday was quite productive, actually. A road trip to Half Moon Bay for picture-taking (part of a writing project I've taken part in), we also got some shopping done at HMB's farmer's market as well as a few other stores. I zipped out again for more shopping at TJ's, with a side trip to the bank for funds and quarters, and finally forced myself to stop at Jiffy Lube on the way home to buy new wiper blades for the car. Heh--man, when the guy at the garage took the old ones off, the look on his face was priceless, they were so bad!!

Also, yesterday was the day Jonc gets CDs in the mail! I'd found a sweet deal on the new George Harrison box set (The Apple Years 1968-75) on Amazon and ordered it for the collection. [Will I need to get 2004's Dark Horse Years box set now...? Maybe...] It's a nice package and the cd packages look pretty sharp, with some interesting recent commentary on it. Best one is George's son Dhani talking about the cover of Electronic Sound, with George explaining exactly who the people in the painting are!

Today? Not too much planned. Going to try to sneak in some artwork and other things that I didn't get to last weekend. I've also been doing pretty good with the 750 Words lately, so I'll be able to sneak that in as well, in amongst the football games and other things going on.

Writingwise, Two Thousand is coming along quite nicely. I like the characters I've created, and I'm having a hell of a lot of fun with the dialogue. After the (admittedly startling) realization that Chapter 1 could sit alone as a short story (more on that in a sec), I came to the conclusion that this book would grow in the same way, each chapter a standalone that ultimately ties in with all the others going on. The Dickens way of writing a novel, I suppose! I know it's been done before, but this is a new way of writing for me, and I'm looking forward to trying it out. Related, I did my first read-through of what I have so far, and while I have the bones of an interesting story, it definitely needs some revision and expansion. Not too much, but enough to tighten it up.

I'm also revisiting my old writing habit of minor future outlining, which I used for the trilogy--coming up with ideas just a few scenes or chapters ahead, and using that as a guidepost for what I need to write. That was always the best process for me, so coming back to it felt good and right.

OK, time to get ready for the day and get things done. Even if it is only 9:30!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
I spent most of yesterday needing to remind myself that it was Friday and not Saturday, even though we did many weekend things such as having lunch in Japantown (and of course doing some manga tankobon shopping while there), walking, and a bit of laundry. Today is actually Saturday, last I checked. Plans for today include driving up to Petaluma to have lunch with the in-laws, and perhaps a bit of shopping at the newish Target up there as well. Other than that, not much else.

I was originally going to post something yesterday, but chose against it...I realize I'm at that point where I'll sometimes type out some kind of rant, or maybe just some longwinded blathering, and I'll just lose interest before I hit the Send button. I'm thinking a lot of it is due to my coming to terms that everyone else is going on about the same thing, so who am I to add to the noise? Either way...we all have our own thoughts and opinions, and I'm just choosing not to broadcast them anymore unless there's a good reason. That would most likely explain my low online profile as of late.

Anyhoo. What's going on in JoncWorld, anyway?

Walk in Silence is moving ahead very quickly. Not only am I already on Chapter 5 already, but I've finally broken the 10k wordcount, and I finally did more than 1k in a single sitting. Woo, go me! Heh. I've already come to the conclusion that I'll be done with the first draft a hell of a lot quicker than I expected, and that I'll be doing some serious rewriting and revision afterwards. There are a lot of points that I've merely skimmed over, and a number of points that I should make endnotes for, and will do so during the second go-round.

Not much else going on in the creative world at the moment, but I'm hoping to squeeze in a blog post or two this weekend, and maybe even a few other personal creative thigns as well. I believe we are planless tomorrow, so that should give me some time to work with.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Conversation on Friday:

Me: Ok, so we're going to the opera tonight (Madame Butterfly), and we're going out for dinner on Saturday for our anniversary. Any plans for Sunday?
Emm: Not that I know of.
My email: *ding* Oh hey, here's a reminder from SF Opera that you have plans to see La Traviata on Sunday.
Me: ...?
Me: *checks Yahoo calendar and email* *finds that I bought tickets for it back in November*
Me: Oh. Well. I guess that answers that question.
Emm: More opera? Yay! And also? You doofus. *laughs at me*

So yes...our weekend has primarily been about Going Everywhere. Tonight's anniversary dinner is at Café de la Presse downtown, where we're finally using the gift certificate my sister got us last Christmas. Should be fun! The only downside being downtown parking is laughable, so we're just going to hop on the 1 California bus a few blocks from there. I'm hoping the bus back isn't too bad, considering it's Pride weekend and everyone's going to be bus-hopping tonight and tomorrow, but I'm sure we can make do. And we'll be bussing it tomorrow for the second opera as well (Pride festivities take place at City Hall, which is right across the street from the Opera House). Thankfully that one's an afternoon show, so travel shouldn't be too bad.

This puts a damper on any writing plans I may have possibly had, but I'm not too bothered by it. It's fun times together (which somehow always includes getting coffee and/or going to a bookstore as well), and July is nearly empty for us until end of month. There's a possibility we may met up with A's parents, but that's still up in the air.

In the meantime...hope everyone's having a good weekend! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
...but that's due to having gone over to the Mission District to see Mary Robinette Kowal and Marie Brennan read at Borderlands, and we may have bought a few books in the process. Book stores tend to have that effect on us. ;)

This was also the second time I've deliberately driven over to the Mission rather than take the bus, because I knew it would take less time. I don't mind taking the bus, but that particular line is extremely unpredictable, as it drives through some of the heaviest traffic in town. The trip from the Richmond down to the Mission is actually pretty straightforward, and there's a pretty big parking garage down there on 21st and Bartlett (just off Valencia) that I can park at. I think this how I prefer the Mission--there's some neat stores down there, but I like a good quick escape when I get overloaded by the hipster/bro factor. And there's also the fact that we had just enough time to walk over to Bi-Rite Ice Cream over on 18th and Dolores for some tasty goodness--and believe you me, it's well worth waiting in the long line.

In other news, we decided another lazy weekend was in order and apart from doing some shopping in Daly City, we did little else except watch another few chapters of that film history documentary, among other things. She also bought a giant pork roast and made some heavenly tasty carnitas out of it, enough that it's been our dinner for the past few days. It's a super easy recipe--buy pork, cut up into bits, slow-cook with a few other things for about 3.5 hours, strain fat, break up into smaller bits, serving size depending on how much you want to snarf down in the first sitting. No promises, but there may be some left for me to have for a bbq pork sandwich later this week. Woo!

So, about the writing? Where am I with that?

Well! It seems kind of weird to suddenly be in this different schedule, but I'm quite enjoying it. I finally updated my whiteboard and it has nothing but "WIS" (Walk in Silence) written on it, Monday through Friday. The weekends are empty for the time being, and I'm letting myself have that for now, at least until I get more situated. I'm averaging about 400 words a day (sometimes more, sometimes less) so far on WiS' outline, but I'm fine with that. I'm not too focused on the word count this time out--I'm focusing on getting a tightly sculpted outline of what I want to talk about here. I'm also well aware that this is very different from writing fiction, where wouldn't dare restrict myself this much. The point of the book is to balance the memoir and the music, and I want to make sure one doesn't overpower the other.

Oh! Also, I got an email from my high school freshman year English teacher, asking me if I'd like to write a short-ish piece for a book she's putting together. The offer was quite serendipitous, considering that I'm in totally the right frame of mind for it, so I of course decided to accept. I've got a few ideas I'm toying with, and should be able to hit the mid-June deadline without an issue. Yay writing assignments!

I've got a few other "unofficial" writing things going at the moment too--little fun things that I won't go into just yet, but they're waking up some long-dormant styles and thought processes that may or may not also make it into WiS, or maybe just life in general. It may take a little time, but I'd like to think it's worth doing it.


On that note...hope everyone has a good week! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Okay, maybe a couple. Yesterday was our foray over to the Haight to do a bit of walking around and shopping. It's kind of an interesting neighborhood to be in somewhat early in the morning, considering most of its stores don't open until around 10 or 11am. We took a walk around some of the streets with the main aim of heading over to Crepes on Cole for breakfast, where they make some great scrambles. After that we walked a bit on Cole, took a few pictures of the Victorians, and headed back to Haight to browse the stores. We stopped at the Haight Ashbury Music Center for a short bit, where I ogled at their collection of guitars and mandolins (and was serenaded by the store's awesome speaker system, which was inexplicably playing The Bee Gees' Main Course album!). After a stop at Booksmith (surprise surprise), we headed over to Amoeba, where I surprised myself by buying only two cds...we did, however, end up buying a number of dvds, including a fascinating 16-disc set of all the Emma Peel episodes of The Avengers. Can't go wrong with that!

So what's for today? It may sound boring, but we're heading up to the other end of Clement for the farmer's market. It's a relatively recent thing in this neighborhood, having started up in the middle of last year, but it's gone over so well (and most of the stuff ends up selling out by afternoon) that they've extended it for another year and may even extend it another block. We've bought some great produce there the last few times, so it's well worth it. Other plans today? Not much...just a few boxes of books to donate to the Fort Mason library store, and perhaps finally getting the car washed. Yay mundane weekend plans! :p


The writing side of things has been slow but productive...I'm about halfway through a longish chapter of The Process of Belief, and it dawns on me that this chapter here is right about where the title starts making sense. It still feels a bit awkward as a title and might be changed, but that's still up in the air. And as for other things, I'm happy that I was finally able to write that Fuzzbox post over at Walk in Silence. Added to that, I came to the realization that I definitely need to assign myself a schedule for the posts for WiS as well as Welcome to Bridgetown. I'm thinking that the Bridgetown posts could be written on the weekend, as those usually take much longer to write. And as for the music posts, it occurred to me that I should probably turn that into my own version of the Throwback Thursday meme that goes around on Twitter...perhaps working on a music post throughout the week would work, posting it on Thursdays.

In other writing news, the 750 Words fell by the wayside again due to another crazy week at work, as well as wanting to use more time with the TPoB revision, but I'm sure I can pick it up again when need be. I'm not too worried about it. I did manage to finally get some of my previous plans in motion, however--I now have a clipboard at eye-level with my desk that has a list of upcoming blog posts to work on, and I finally found something at the kitchenware store up the street that I can use for my "idea jar", which is also on my desk. The idea jar is something I've been wanting to do for some time, using it sort of like a primer for any writing exercises or projects I want to partake in (including the 750 Words). I tried this once before to some success, and I'd like to try it again.


So yeah, another fun-packed weekend here at the home...!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Let's try this again, shall we?

It's been a busy couple of weeks here in Spare Oom and elsewhere. We've had a busy schedule of things going on, including a double-header last Saturday of A Prairie Home Companion and Beethoven and Mason Bates at the SF Symphony. Work featured a new scanning program that's supposed to make my work easier but has instead turned the entire week into a giant clusterfuck of biblical proportions (not affecting me directly, but seriously affecting the workflow so much that it's affected clients' workflows--yeah, it ain't pretty). On Thursday I was out most of the morning getting a work PC refresh (and high time for it). Suffice it to say, the last two weeks have been filled with all sorts of WTFness and letting things slide so as to retain some semblance of sanity.

That's not to say it hasn't been a complete wash, though!

--750 Words: I've let this slide on multiple days this past week due to the work issue or simple exhaustion, but I aim to pick right back up where I left off. My 750 have been meandering as of late, though, a lot of random babbling about things. Now that things have quieted down a bit (sort of), I'd like to return to the daily morning words as an ongoing exercise in attempting short story writing. I'd written two examples earlier of dialogue-only scenes and enjoyed it immensely, so I'd like to continue with that. I've always complained about being unable to write short stories, and I think this is a good way for me to change that.

--Journaling: I think doing this has definitely helped on a personal level...I'm forcing myself to channel any frustrations or personal thoughts into a notebook rather than on Twitter or here on LJ, and in effect it's given me an outlet where I don't have to worry about editing or censoring myself. Not that I'm known to curse a blue streak or think impure thoughts on a normal basis, mind you--more like I've given myself free rein to say whatever's on my mind without the worry of what others may think about it. And hey, no trolls! And in the process, I think it's cleared up a lot of my other writing...if I write in my journal early in the day, the inner frustrations and distracting thoughts are already purged, leaving me with a clean slate for other projects.

I've also been making sure I keep my desk calendar updated as well--I have one of those hardbound "engagement calendar" books that I picked up from Green Apple and have been making it a point to write down what I did that day creatively, however big or small. I'm doing this as another exercise, this time to gauge my creative output and see where I may need adjusting or if I'm doing better than expected. I haven't done this in ages, and it's actually kind of fun. I don't have any set goals for word count (other than the daily 750), so it's more like a creative diary for me.

--Revision: Almost done with the 2013/4 revision run for The Persistence of Memories! I may want to run through this novel one more time on my tablet after it's done, just to give it a once-over, but this revision run for the most part has been pretty smooth. A few changes and rewrites here and there, but for the most part a lot of it has been surface cleaning, mostly changes in grammar and phrasing. Two more chapters and I'm done with this pass! Then to start on the revision of The Process of Belief. That one's going to need a lot of work, but I'm looking forward to it.

--Submission: No word yet on the Angry Robot submission, but I did happen to hear back from the JABberwocky Literary Agency after sending something to them some months ago. It was a rejection, but hey--it was something!

--Blogs: Due to busy weekends and crazy weekdays, I'm a little behind on these, but I hope to get caught up again once everything calms down again. I'm about halfway through the next-to-last Blogging the Beatles post at Walk in Silence, and may write something new for Welcome to Bridgetown soon. I noticed that I don't have much daily traffic on those blogs, but I'm happy to say it does go up a bit when I do post, so that's a good sign.

--Music: Been making it a point to pick up one of my guitars and noodling around during slow moments. Or more to the point, creating slow moments in the day, and using said noodling as a way to unwind. Haven't written anything new other than a few riffs, but hey, it's something. Plus, it's keeping me calm, which is good. I have a habit of going straight out some days and exhausting myself in the process. Music has charms to soothe the savage breast, as Congreve says.


...and that's been the last two weeks!

Today's update? Had a nice long walk to Q and back, and will be heading down to the symphony again tonight to see another Mason Bates piece ("Liquid Interface") and a few Beethoven pieces. We may drive this time, as it's an 8pm show and I'm sure we'll both be too tired and irritable to wait for the buses at the end of the night. Saturday night in downtown San Francisco can get a bit silly. And WOO! Long weekend! Hoping to get a caught up with stuff that fell by the wayside, maybe post a few things, and maybe even relax a bit.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Is it officially springtime yet? I don't remember. Then again, what with it starting to get sunny here on the west coast while the east coast gets hit with yet another snowstorm (as well as the time change that took place while we were on vacation in a state that doesn't observe it), I'm still a bit out of sorts there. I'm actually kind of surprised it's Saturday already.

So what's going on? It's been a while since I updated here, aside from the Scintilla posts. Been a while since I've posted anywhere, actually. My online presence has been sparse all around. Most of the time I've been working on the last stretch of the A Division of Souls revision, but I've just been tiring of online drama and trying to keep up with quick-witted Twitterings. In a way, I think I've just felt like living life at my own pace for awhile instead of trying to keep up with everyone else, and I'm feeling the better for it. Mentally I've been feeling a lot calmer and my thoughts have been clearer.

Now that I'm back on the mainland and back on track, I do plan on returning to my various writing projects this weekend. I need to continue working on the Blogging the Beatles posts, plus I have quite a few Hawaii pictures I'd like to put up on my Tumblr...I also want to work on Walk In Silence, as I've got a few ideas I'd like to work on.

I did manage to get a lot of cosmetic editing done on ADoS during my vacation (thanks to my Nook!), and hope to finish that up as well. I can see where I may need to back up and fix a few things from about halfway through and on to the end, but for the most part it's coming along well. I'm aiming for being done by mid-April and making the first steps for submission in May.

So! What are we doing this weekend? It's going to be a nice couple of days out there, so chances are good we may end up going for a walk in one of the parks. A bit of shopping (we emptied out our cupboards before we went on vacation), maybe a stop at Japantown (yay, manga and cupcakes!). It's been a crazy week of trying to catch up on sleep and get ourselves back on track, and I'm quite happy the weekend is here.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Ah, Friday...thanks for coming! It's been a mercifully short week due to a holiday and taking my birthday off, but it's been a BUSY short week here in BankLand. One coworker's laptop has decided to commit harakiri and another coworker sounds like she has the plague, so we've been a bit shortstaffed. Added to the fact that I'm reverting to work I haven't done in at least six months so I'm a bit rusty.

I'd say this week's been a bit of a wash schedule wise, but not entirely. I happened to get some serious editing/revision done on A Division of Souls and finished up Chapter 17, in which the opposing forces begin putting themselves into position for a Big Showdown later on. Now to work on Chapter 18, in which one of our heroes finds out where she stands in all of this. After that I'll have to do a bit more shuffling, pasting and editing...I've been grabbing about three or four chapters at a time, reordering and combining, and then working through the new files one at a time. This seems to work quite well, as many scenes end up getting fleshed out, and the slow, clunky and/or extraneous bits get cut out. This is similar to the way I wrote the second and third book--mapping out a few chapters ahead of time with some skeletal notes, and working on them. Not only does this make me focus more sharply on the prose and what needs work, but it also makes the process that much faster. Considering I started this revision late last year, I think I've made some serious progress in a relatively short time. It's also reminded me of what process works best for me.

I've been squeezing in poetry and photos where I can, so it's not as if I'm ignoring it. Plus I don't have too much to share photo-wise that I haven't shared already. I can of course post some of my older pictures, but I'd also like to take and post new ones too. As for the weekends--art and Walk in Silence in particular--it's been a bit of a busy month with other weekend events outside the house, so I get to it when I can. Music has been going well, as I've been gravitating to my guitar collection quite a bit lately. Just need to make sure I play with the Wacom and get some WiS work done too. I also need to update my WordPress site again. I'm a bit behind in my 'Blogging the Beatles' series, and there are a few other posts I have burbling in the back of my brain that I'd like to post as well.

Also, now that I have a replacement laptop, I can sit out in the living room with Emm again. I haven't been the last few days, mainly due to a few writing-related things that I wanted to take care of in Spare Oom, but I do plan on getting back out into the real world again. And as I'd mentioned somewhere else, I actually do like the setup of Windows 8, as it gives me that little bit of a roadblock to keep me from drifting off into internetland--by the time I get to the main screen, my brain is saying "what are you--GET BACK TO WORK, SLACKER!" and I return dutifully. :)

So! What's on tap for the next few weeks?

--Dutch paintings at the de Young Museum this Sunday (including this famous one!)
--Peter Hook (former(?) bassist of Joy Division/New Order) talking about his new book next Thursday
--Elgar's Enigma Variations at the Symphony next Friday

...and not much else, as far as I know. I chose not to go to the SF Writer's Conference this year (I may go next year though), so February is open for the most part. I'm hoping to get a good chunk of writing work done that month as well.


Hope everyone has a nice weekend!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's been a relatively relaxing weekend for the most part, so I can't complain. The weather's been weird the last few days, so I'm not entirely sure if/when it'll rain. However, it's been a bit on the cold side so I get to rock my wool coat I bought in Paris, so it's not a total loss. ;)

So Saturday started off with a trip over to the Marina! It wasn't exciting as it sounds, of course...this was to drop books off at the Fort Mason SF Library bookstore, and to also drop off a handful of clothing and other things at the Goodwill up the street. This in the process has greatly cleared up a lot of space in Spare Oom, which is always a good thing. Now I just need to get rid of a few boxes and also put a few things up online for sale, and the room will be even clearer. Yay clean room!

After that we did a bit of shopping and came home with another new toy--this here new laptop we picked up at Best Buy to take place of the sadly-departed Lenovo. This one's an Acer Aspire M, which I'm REALLY liking so far. I'm happily embracing the Windows 8 that came with it--as everyone's saying, there's a bit of a learning curve with it, but it's relatively easy to pick up after some playing around. I figured out rather quickly that if you use the oft-forgotten and ignored Windows and Menu buttons down at the bottom row, you can do some deft moving around. I also chose to go with a touch-screen. I don't use it as much, but it helps when I'm navigating various places. I can see how some people who've been using older Windows versions might be worried or annoyed by it, but it's not nearly as bad as everyone's making it sound. Just like any other computer, you can tweak a lot of it to fit your tastes and uses.


Yesterday I made good with my whiteboard schedule and spent some time with my new toys! I spent a good hour with the synth, which did come with a user guide, but is more of a schematic than a booklet on "nifty things you can do with this here box of knobs and buttons". But as one does with such toys, I just turned it on and started fiddling around with the settings. In the process I somehow created a Nine Inch Nails-like beat with weird noises, which was kinda cool. I'm thinking once I understand this little thing a bit better, I should be able to do more with it. I do like how it has a headphone jack so I'm not bothering Emm in the other room, but it also has a built-in speaker as well so I can use it as background if I want to, say, play my guitar along with it.

After that, I pulled out the tablet and started toying with that again. For some reason it was being very touchy and not exactly working the way I want it, but I think it's partly due to me just being so new with it. Test drawing #2 ended up being one of my made up maps I like drawing. It's not the same as doing it on paper, but I can get used to it. I think one of the things I need to get used to is the placement of the tablet. They suggest you place it so it lines up with the monitor (this way your movements will be mirrored on the screen), but I found that having it off to the side a bit worked just as well. It'll take some getting used to, but the learning curve is pretty easy. It's just a matter of getting used to it.


Today is a bit up in the air, as I'm not sure if we're actually going to do anything outside (plus there's football!). Later on in the day I'll be working on Walk in Silence and doing a bit more playing with my toys. I do need to get MS Word up and running on this laptop, so I will most likely do that today as well. So if anything, we'll head to the gym, have lunch, and then spend the rest of the day relaxing, watching games and playing with our toys. I may even get some writing done too!
jon_chaisson: (Default)
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: (Default)
We have nothing of import planned this weekend! After weekends of symphony or shopping or the in-laws visiting (and FOGCon happening next weekend), we stumbled upon a free weekend! Which is good, because I've been exhausted the last few days. Sleeping until 7:30 might not be considered late to most people, but that's a good 2.5 extra hours of sleep for us.

Added to that, we've finally been given another stretch of lingering rain and cool temperatures. That's actually what we should have gotten a few months previous as a typical San Franciscan winter, but I can't complain (other than my sinuses pounding)...we definitely need the rain to fill up the reservoirs and keep the hills and mountains from catching fire later on in the year.

So! Things I actually do want to do (or must do) this weekend:
--Get haircut (we're doing that soon)
--Food/stuff shopping
--Write out and mail rent check
--Do our taxes (honestly, I usually have them done MUCH earlier, I've just been distracted!)
--Laundry
--Writing/research for Walk in Silence
--Play with new website idea (long-term...more about this in a future post)

On that note, we'll be heading out momentarily (in the rain, natch) to head down to Fillmore so I can get my haircut at SuperCuts, then walking down the block to Japantown for lunch (okonomiyaki, woo!) and shopping (more manga, woo!). Whee, mundane life! :p
jon_chaisson: (Default)
This is the first weekend in awhile where we don't have anything planned. No trips, no driving anywhere, no opera/symphony, no events, not even any hiking plans. The only shopping is a trip later to Trader Joe's, and that's it. We're considering it a vacation from all our vacation plans, considering June was packed, we were just in Seattle last weekend, and in a few weeks we're heading back east to visit family and friends. We do have the State Fair next weekend (as well as the last Harry Potter movie, though I think we're probably going to wait a week on that to avoid the crowds). So yeah...this weekend? Nothing. :)

This, of course, makes me want to make a list of things to do this weekend anyway. To wit:

--Wait for the DishTV guy to come in and install our new receiver box. Our old one finally decided it didn't want to give us audio anymore. He should be here sometime before noon, hopefully. So come to find out, we were waiting for the DTV guys to drop off the receiver box at the store, where I'd then pick it up. Which I did, while on my way to drop off some e-recycling. It's activating itself right now.

-- Trader Joe's run, as stated above. No TJ run, but Emm walked up to the Fresh & Easy while I prepared stuff for the recycling. We may do a run to the Grande tomorrow for fruity goodness.

--WRITE. (Ed.: I'm getting there, just getting this other stuff done.)

--Finally run a hard-drive eraser on my old PC so I can donate it, as it's been gathering dust in my closet for the last year or so. Done! Didn't clean it, but didn't have to, as the e-recycling place will do it for us (for an extra $30 I could have had them crunch the hard drive into little tiny microscopic bits, but I don't think I needed to go that far...). Also dropped off the old phone, the old Roku, and the old router. More room in Spare Oom (and my closet)! Yay!

--Continue cleaning stuff in Spare Oom, perhaps? It could do with a bit more tidying. And dusting, come to think of it. Currently doing this. Put stuff up on eBay as well. Yay getting stuff done! :)

--WRITE some more. I'd like to see if I can get a lot done, perhaps play a little catch-up.


And if we feel the pressing need to go outside, perhaps we can do a coffee run or something.


But yeah...other than that...I got nothin'. :)
jon_chaisson: (Stan Brakhage)
...we're going to see this movie on Saturday at the Kabuki:



This totally looks like something I'd have watched in college. :p

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