d_trektone_w: (calla)
So I did it. As my sister set up her first-ever dsl at her place last night, I opened the package and activated the iPhone.

Some of it was straight-forward, but some of it was bumpy, process-wise. My powerbook -- the one that had the hard-drive failure in March -- needed the next version of Mac OS (10.4.x aka Tiger) so I bought the 10.4.6 and downloaded the additional to bring it to 10.4.10.

Fortunately, in preparation for the activation I upgraded my iTunes earlier in the week. Unfortunately, my iPhone wasn't being recognized by iTunes. After some panicked iPhone forum reading, I followed one suggestion to reinstall the same version of iTunes. Trying again, I was off and running ...

Until the actual phone service activation. Which didn't kick in until this morning even though I was otherwise able to use the iPhone last night. I had previously synchronized my address book and calendar from my soon-to-be-retired Palm Pilot to those of the powerbook, and those easily made it over to the iPhone when I synchronized to add a bunch of songs and my one tv episode download on iTunes, the first hour of [livejournal.com profile] andpuff's "Blood Ties" pilot.

Was able to send e-mail (my first was to my sister who responded with the good news of the successful dsl install), peruse the Internet (the pinch-out to zoom is fun), use the Google Map function to see my mom's house and assisted care place from "satellite" view. EDGE was significantly slower than the wi-fi (I was using a neighbor's, even) but still okay.

This morning I called my sis using the new device. Brunched w/Chris F., who took the first pic w/it. We were in The Other Change of Hobbit bookstore (and I posed w/[livejournal.com profile] msagara's new book that just happened to be there):




Yeah, the iPhone's a splurge and I've been reading about the draw-backs. I'll make good on my promise, though, and curtail wine/spirit purchases for a while, at least for my own "cellar."
d_trektone_w: (orchidO)
Last week I went to Phoenix on business. Haven't been doing a lot of business travel the last several years. Think I'm averaging once a year.

The night I got there I gave a call to [livejournal.com profile] uoggb. Maybe we'll connect IRL my next trip out your way. Or even give you a call again in the not-too-distant future. :)

Though I have several friends in Arizona, I decided to spend time with one who's also a co-worker. D works in Chandler (where she moved a couple of years ago) and she drove to downtown Phoenix Thursday night to have dinner w/me and a couple other folks. Matador had okay food and good margaritas.

On the way to her place D apologized profusely that her air conditioning had broken down and she wasn't able to get someone to fix it (she rents a house) until the next morning. I think it was the coolest night in a week, but it was still over 80 degrees F at 11pm. I didn't have much trouble getting to sleep, though.

We didn't have a plan for the weekend (both D & I had taken Friday off) except to relax and catch up. Some thoughts were to go up to Sedona or down to Tucson. Didn't do either during the weekend. Watched DVDS: "Hannibal Rising," "American Dreamz," and "Children of Men." Did some urban hiking (malls) -- eye candy! -- and I even accomplished some clothes shopping.

I hadn't been outside downtown Phoenix in a long time. I still remember when there was only one freeway. There are many, many big box stores in addition to malls, which I suppose isn't surprising since I think I read the Phoenix area is one of the fastest-growing in the U.S. Public transportation seems to be minimal at best where D and I drove around.

Within easy walking distance of D's place (and we did walk!) was A.J.'s, a more upscale supermarket line of a larger grocery chain. The coffee and baked goods were yum, and as we walked through the wine aisle I was amazed at the California presence, including a couple I had specifically looked for and couldn't find in shops where I live. We ended up speaking with Sharon, the store "cellar master" who turned out to be from Sonoma (right next to Napa). Wine talk fun ensued! And yes, the night before I left for home I went back to get a bottle of California wine.

We also went to Kokopelli Winery & Bistro, where we tasted some fun and some not-so-good locally-made wine. The best part of that experience was the opportunity to speak at length with the owner/winemaker, Dennis, who happened by and gave us an extra taste of a not-yet-bottled Cab Sauv (it was good; I hope that means the quality is improving). Dennis was enthusiastic and charming; D and I later agreed we found him easy on the eyes as well.

D & I talked and talked and talked. It was great. I helped her w/her iMac and she was thrilled to be able to use iTunes again. We also dined at Pita Jungle (mediterranean - good, not unique or extraordinary), The Good Egg (standard brunchy foods were decent, biscuit & gravy was good), Priya (generic, not bad Indian) and Voodoo Daddy (seemed more cajun than creole. Jambalaya & fried green tomatoes were uninteresting, alligator sausage was good, both seafood & non-seafood gumbos were very good as was the red beans & rice and the housemade potato chips. I'd definitely return!).

Lastly, I was very happy to visit Changing Hands Bookstore!
d_trektone_w: (The End)
On Sunday I took mom to the extravanganza in celebration of The End, the final installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

Lemony Snicket was absent, but Daniel Handler and Stephin Merritt stood in for him ... )

"Jojishoji," Sunny said, which meant something like, "I don't believe that abridging the freedom of expression and the free exercise thereof is the proper way to run a community."

Page 223, The End, by Lemony Snicket.
d_trektone_w: (spider)
A couple of months ago I received an e-mail from a new lj user who noted we both had as an interest the author E. Lynn Harris. It reminded me of the booksignings I attended earlier this year.

I wandered over to Mr. Harris' website ... and lookee here! I guess this is just in case I need to be identified later. LOL!
d_trektone_w: (noble)
Last week I went to two booksignings for author E. Lynn Harris. Thursday was A Different Light (gay bookstore) in San Francisco and Friday was Cody’s (general) in Berkeley. ADL’s a regular stop for Mr. Harris, but Cody’s was new for him so I figured I’d go there instead of to the Saturday venue, Marcus Books (African American) in Oakland, which is always packed for his signings. He tells fun stories and at ADL he only did a Q & A. I’m glad I went to Cody’s as well because there weren’t as many questions, so he read. However …

At ADL Mr. Harris recognized and acknowledged me as a regular when he was signing books. At Cody’s he nodded toward me (I think) when he was speaking from the podium. When we queued up and he had his assistant take pics of him and the occasional fan, when I was up to get books signed, he said to her, "You’ve got to take one of me with my stalker!" Fortunately, he was smiling and didn’t appear to be readying a restraining order, so I grinned and stood next to him, arm in arm. We spoke a bit longer than at ADL, which was nice. He can’t wait for the "Dreamgirls" movie and mentioned he’d already been invited to a sneak preview when I asked him about the casting.

Was tempted to go to the Marcus reading/signing, if only to reinforce the “stalker” thing, but didn’t. Maybe next time.

Did have a delicious dinner with [livejournal.com profile] debmats right afterward at Berkeley’s Café Rouge (sometimes referred to as "Zuni Café East"). Stuffed squid, house-made patés and mortadella, pork w/polenta and shavings of summer truffles. Yum, yum, yum.

I should always end a stressful work week by being called a stalker by a favorite author.
d_trektone_w: (huffWine)
Yay! New Tanya Huff novel in my hands (well, lap at the moment) -- nice after a stressful day at work.

Also picked up the anthology, Children of Magic, with stories by Huff, Fiona Patton, Michelle West and Alexander B. Potter, among other folks.
d_trektone_w: (calla)
In the last week or so, two stores where I've shopped for years are going through closure/changes. Makes me sad, but that's business. Sigh ...

A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books in San Francisco.

Cody's Books, the original store on Telegraph in Berkeley.


Both had wonderful author events. ACWLPB memories include: local boy who made good, B.D. (Brad) Wong, at his memoir-signing; David Foster Wallace; William Gibson; my third cousin (or something like that) Julie Otsuka; and the kid-book event for They Might Be Giants. Cody's: Colson Whitehead; Dan Simmons; Neil Gaiman; Margaret Cho.
d_trektone_w: (jpLVchoc)
Favorite Novel:
Last year was a tough one for me and I didn't read as much fiction as usual. At the top of my not-very-long list, though, is "Fledgling" by Octavia E. Butler and the runner-up, Tony Book 2
aka "Smoke and Mirrors" by Tanya Huff.

Favorite Concert:
The Erasure Show at The Independent in San Francisco in May. Or rather, both of the Erasure shows I saw. Wonderful! While it would've been great to see all five shows, the two I attended were fantastic. A DVD of the Cologne tour stop is waiting for me at the Virgin Megastore or somewhere else.

Favorite Play or Musical:
Wicked. No, Les Miz. No, Wicked. No, Les Miz. No, Wicked. Yeah, the touring company of Wicked. Yeah, Fiyero. Yeah.

Favorite CD:
Tie. The dreamy Kate Bush double-cd, "Aerial." The Cyndi Lauper "The Body Acoustic" even though some of the songs weren't. The Lauper-Sarah McLachlan version of "Time After Time" still makes me cry.

Favorite snake:
No, not really. I love all my snakes. All seven. The baby is still alive. Yay!


10/22/05



1/26/06
d_trektone_w: (Default)
Ever since dad's passing I'd been having a tough time reading previously-unread fiction. Mentioned this in [livejournal.com profile] catsittingstill's lj. Re-reads have been okay, but I'd start something new, short story or novel, but not been able to get into it. Not that the problem stopped me from buying books, of course.

Fortunately, my break-through was with Octavia Butler's novel, FLEDGLING. I won't say anything more as it was an advance reading copy and the official publication is set for October. And Ms. Butler will be doing a short book tour, as noted in [livejournal.com profile] octaviabutler. Yay!

I'm so happy to have just picked up the DAW anthology, IN THE SHADOW OF EVIL. It includes "Slow Poison" -- my favorite story from last year that I didn't read. [livejournal.com profile] andpuff read it at the Boston Worldcon and it was a lot of fun. (Who Let The Dogs Out?) Great to have it in printed form.

Now I'm going to give CAST IN SHADOW another try. [livejournal.com profile] msagara also has a story in the above anthology, btw.

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