Archives for posts with tag: san francisco

Feller and I made the trek into the city last Friday night to attend Neil Gaiman’s Last US Signing Tour. He’s one of my favorite authors and pretty much the only person in the world for whom I would sit around for five hours to get something signed. We got there just as the doors were opening, and, somewhat as I was expecting, the line to get in stretched down the block. Thankfully, we still got some pretty decent seats.

When he walked onstage around 715, he looked pretty much the way one expects Neil Gaiman to look: all in black with hair that goes in every direction. When he started speaking, I was somewhat surprised to learn that in real life, he sounds exactly the way he does in interviews and audiobooks and the like. I find his voice very soothing and absolutely ideal for telling stories. I told Feller that he reminds me of a cozy granpaw, who you love tucking you into bed because he’s got THE BEST stories.

He read to us from his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The excerpt was delightful and witty, and I am looking forward sitting down and reading it myself. I’m also going to be downloading the audiobook, which he narrates. As I said, his voice is soothing, and he has a delightful cadence and inflection reading the story. (It doesn’t hurt that the audiobook is less than six hours long, which will provide me a nice break from the 43 hour long audiobook to which I am currently listening.) I was actually a little surprised at how short this book for adults is, clocking in at 181 pages, but it’s also a relief. I have so many other books in my To Read pile, that the prospect of adding a tome is not thrilling.

After the reading, he answered some questions and then read a bit from the children’s book he has coming out in September, Fortunately, The Milk, which sounds utterly wonderful. Following that, the signing begun. Feller and I were on the far side of the lower level, so we didn’t even get close to the stage until nearly 11. Feller was wonderful throughout, especially since he doesn’t love Gaiman as much as I do and was there primarily as my Book Mule (they only allowed each person two signatures).

When we finally got up there, Neil was warm and personable. He joked about Amy!, who comes with her own exclamation point, said that now he was really excited about my name, too, and went back to the “Amy and Feller” inscription to add an exclamation point when I asked him. He signed my copy of Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader “Bats Wishes” and drew a little moon on our copy of Ocean. He told the audience beforehand to just ask for a hug if we wanted/needed one. After Feller and I got our somewhat creepy hover picture behind him (as he wasn’t pausing in the signing for pictures), I asked and received a warm, wonderful hug that just cemented his place in my heart at Best Author Ever.

It was just such a phenomenal evening. Almost exactly what I expected but perfectly delightful nonetheless. It was one of those times when you meet your hero, a person you admire greatly, and they don’t disappoint you. He was just as warm and funny as I could have ever imagined, and I’m so glad I had this experience.


I have just, as of this writing at 1.22 am, come home from an amazing concert. I don’t really go to a lot of concerts, partly because I’m too cheap for big shows, I’m too particular for small shows and partly because I never have anyone to go with. But there are a handful of bands for whom I will make the trek into the city by myself without complaint. Tonight was one of those nights. No, no one you’ve ever heard of, but two of my favorites, Micky and the Motorcars and Reckless Kelly.

You know how when you’re at a concert, and your favorite bands are playing your favorite songs, and the energy is really high and the vibe really great, and you’ve got a nice smooth buzz from the beers you just drank, and you’re making new friends with the girls standing next to you, and you’d like some random dude to hit on you despite the fact that you’re married (but they don’t) and, man it’s practically the best concert experience you’ve ever had? That was tonight. It was fucking magical, nearly. I want to experience the feelings and highs and rush and music that I felt tonight every day. Every damn day.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t last, that wonderful, magical feeling, but I know that this will be a night I look back on with gratitude and awe. Everything aligned tonight for just the absolute best possible show I could have hoped for. And not even the drunk-ass lady rubbing her fake boobs all over me could have ruined it.

I really don’t get into San Francisco very often, despite living a 45 minute drive from the city. To be fair, a 45 minute drive is halfway to Phoenix in my mind, so it’s VERY DIFFICULT to convince myself to spend that much time traveling. Add in parking and other nonsense, and I just…no. Not to mention the fact that it’s ALWAYS COLD THERE WTF. But this past weekend, the feller had two birthday parties just a couple of miles apart (one a brunch and one an evening bar thing), and as it turned out, there was a Tweetup I wanted to attend hosted by two of my favorite bloggers, Nicole and Jamie, so we had a full day planned. And it was every bit as awesome as I wanted it to be.

The breakfast brunch was amazing; that group of the feller’s friends are fun and welcoming. There was good food and champagne for breakfast and holy crap, do you know how delicious Martinelli’s Prickly Passion Lemonade is? And even though it’s 120 calories for 10 ounces, and I try to avoid drinking juice because of all the sugar and such, I probably BARELY had 10 ounces of the stuff because my drinks were more like champagne with a splash of juice for color. Not that champagne is any better for me. And so it was 2 pm, and I had a nice buzz going and some good chats with awesome ladies, and the feller and I BOTH managed to pass out during the festivities. Though I, at least, had the decency to wait until the party was essentially over before snagging a quick nap. What? We’re not used to being up at 11 AM and not being able to nap on the weekends.

And then coffee and the Tweetup. Part of me was kind of nervous because what if in real life Nicole was all loud and attention-whorey and I ended up hating her because I’M kind of loud and attention-whorey and having another person like that around exhausts and frustrates me and then I wouldn’t be able to ever read her blog again because it would just remind me that she’s totally not that great in real life and then I would be a sad panda. BUT! She was awesome, though I didn’t really get a chance to talk to her or Jamie due to the noisy bar, the biggest round table I’ve ever seen and the next birthday event starting an hour-ish after the Tweetup. I look forward to hanging with these ladies again sometime.

I love LOVE LOVE my lazy weekends at home when I don’t have to do anything but sleep and sit on the couch watching bad but oh so entertaining television, and I’m so glad we had no Sunday plans, but Saturdays like this one are refreshing.

The date this weekend went … quite well. He took me up Coit Tower, and I knew that the walk was going to be uphill and a little strenuous. I did not realize I was going to want to die halfway there. I also did not realize that I was going to COMPLETELY ruin the effort I had put into my hair because I was going to sweat so much. That part of the date was not so awesome. BUT THE SUN WAS OUT. AND IT WAS WARM. I totally wanted to just lay on the street sunning myself. Soaking it up.

Starting Point, originally uploaded by Being a Dilettante.

The view from the top of the tower was pretty amazing though. See that TINY little clock tower way over there in that picture? That’s about where we started walking. I kind of didn’t think we would ever make it.

We also went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which was cool, even though I TOTALLY do.not. get modern art about 99% of the time. I think my favorite piece, or at least the one I really connected to was Two Ways to Organize, which goes back to my nerdly love of tagging and Everything is Miscellaneous.

This was a good weekend, full of me getting out of the apartment and doing new things, which may (or NOT!) have included some things I’m not going to go into detail about here. Also, it’s nice to know that some things never change, like that “watching a movie” never results in watching a movie.

SANTACON!!!! Now I REALLY wish I had followed them!