Blogger Breaks Down Facebook Check-Ins in S.F.: Here are the Highlights

Categories: Blogs

Just checking-in

In case you were wondering, The Cheesecake Factory at Union Square has 155,356 Facebook check-ins and counting (18 of which were from friends of mine), and ranks as San Francisco's 12th most checked-in place.

Blogger Max Woolf mapped out check-ins in S.F. -- which has approximately 8,000 Facebook places to check-in -- to discover where San Franciscans (and tourists) are publicly visiting.

Whether it's that you think people actually care you're at the Giants game, you're searching for hipster points by tagging yourself at Dolores Park, or that you're simply addicted to Facebook, your check-ins are recorded. Here are the highlights of your self-idolatry:

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From Blogs to Galleries: Q&A with Supersonic Electronic's Zach Tutor

Jen Mann
What is Lost

Zach Tutor's blog Supersonic Electronic, has grown immensely since its creation in 2008. What started as a personal blog with images of art, cats, and cute girls was eventually tailored down into a collection of pieces from new contemporary artists that's so refreshing and expansive it could kind of knock you out. Now, in it's sixth year, Supersonic Electronic has amassed over 325,000 followers on Tumblr and features dozens of new images per month, interviews with select artists, and an online store.

With the tremendously successful website under his belt, Tutor has added curation in a physical gallery space to his resume. San Francisco's Spoke Art hosts the 3rd annual Supersonic Electronic Invitational, a show that features a line-up of over 40 of the best new contemporary artists from around the globe. The selections, just like those shown on
Tutor's blog, celebrate a new kind of artist, those from the "electronic school of contemporary art" -- influenced heavily by the presence and accessibility of the internet through the aughts and teens.

Tutor, who lives in Mississippi was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

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The Write Stuff: Donna Laemmlen on Homework for Life

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Ben Aronoff
Donna Laemmlen has taught storytelling and screenwriting at the Academy of Art University for the past ten years, and she's been a creative story analyst for even longer. An adaptation of her short story "Fay" is set to start shooting this fall. Her flash fiction just won the 2013 Able Muse Write Prize in Fiction and will appear in its Winter 2014 issue. A graduate of the MFA in Writing program at USF, she lives and writes in San Francisco.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

These days, I say I'm a writer first, and then a teacher. It used to be the other way around, and before that, I would just say teacher. I think a lot of people view a writer's life as being reckless, with a negative connotation, so it's taken a while for me to admit that's exactly what I am. You have to be willing to crash and burn and not worry about the inevitable follow-up questions. The trick is learning to do it proudly.

What's your biggest struggle, work or otherwise?

Learning to live a balanced life. There's a never-ending need for more -- more pages to generate, more patience with the writing process, more confidence in your voice, more to read and more to study. As my mother, who was a teacher, used to say, "Being a writer means having homework for the rest of your life."

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The Write Stuff: Alli Warren on Work That Measures Success on Its Own Terms

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Andrew Kenower
Alli Warren lives in Oakland. Her first book, Here Come the Warm Jets, was just published by City Lights. Previous chapbooks include Grindin', Acting Out, and Well-Meaning White Girl. Recent work can be read in Lana Turner Journal, Dusie, and Elective Affinities, and heard on KQED. Alli edits the magazine DREAMBOAT, co-edits the Poetic Labor Project, and formerly co-curated The (New) Reading Series at 21 Grand.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

Depends who's asking. If they seem sympathetic to the troubling fact that, in our culture, doing is so intimately tied to employment, I'd probably say that I do lots of things, some to pay rent, and some for love. It's probably helpful to distinguish between my job and my work, both of which compel me, but for different reasons. I've never had the least bit of career ambition. My job allows me to feed and clothe myself. I don't expect it to fulfill me. I'm not sure I'd want it to.

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The Write Stuff: Austin Smith on the Death App and Not Taking a Pea

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Austin Smith grew up on a family dairy farm in Illinois. He has published four chapbooks of poetry, and his first full-length collection of poems, Almanac, was published by Princeton University Press in September. He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

I say I'm a poet. If they ask, "How are you going to make any money writing poems?" I ask them, "How are you going to make any poems writing money?" It usually confuses them so much they leave me alone.

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The Write Stuff: Tupelo Hassman on Art as Parole

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Bradford Earle
Tupelo Hassman is the author of Girlchild and the first American ever to win London's Literary Death Match. She lives in San Francisco's East Bay where she can be found, most days, having a root beer on tap at The Hog's Apothecary or at

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

I'm a writer and a professor. This sounds like some mega high-falutin' bullshit to the lucky few who still associate any glamour with the ivory or ink towers but there it is. I don't like to waste time when I meet people. I like to get right to the meaningful questions, like, "Would you ever perform a striptease?"

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

Time. Finding time. Making time. Creating time. Whatever verb one can do to time, I'm down for it, aside from "kill" or "waste." I can't believe people have so much time they can kill or waste it. That's the height of the first world right there. Like people using macaroni and beans to craft a picture of a Thanksgiving turkey while other people starve. I'm living in the third-world country of time.
>. Follow Litseen at @Litseen.

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The Write Stuff: Susie Meserve on Legacy, Fear, and The Creativity Notebook

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Ian Winters

Susie Meserve's poetry chapbook, Faith, was published in 2008 by Finishing Line Press. She has just finished writing a memoir about the year she traveled the world with a man named Ben. She blogs regularly about writing, reading, and life, and with the fine writers at

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

I say, "I'm a writer, and I teach." I started telling people I was a writer fifteen years ago, on the advice of one of my teachers who told me it's important to identify that way even if you're aspiring/attempting/up-and-coming/unpublished. So I decided, I'm a writer. I have been ever since. Now I feel a little less like a fraud when I say it.

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Road Trip Recreation for 75th Anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath

20th Century Fox
Henry Fonda in his Academy Award nominated performance as Tom Joad in the 1940 film version of "The Grapes of Wrath"
Reaching 75 years is a momentous accomplishment and has to celebrated in a grand manner-- even if the thing being celebrated is a novel.

John Steinbeck's classic Pulitzer-Prize winning 1939 American novel The Grapes of Wrath is reaching it's diamond anniversary in 2014, and to ring in the milestone of the book that has become a staple in most high schools and universities in the United States, The National Steinbeck Center is recreating the journey of the Joads -- literally.

Well, not down to the exact details, but the center has enlisted the help of three artists in conjunction with other cultural and educational organizations to follow the Route 66 path of the fictional Joad family through real American towns in the Southwest beginning in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, and continuing through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and finishing in Bakersfield, Calif.

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Michael Chabon on Becoming Bored and Briefly Amusing Your Children

photo courtesy of Michael Chabon
I first met Michael Chabon at last year's Notes & Words event, a big blowout party at the Fox Theater that brings together authors and musicians to benefit Children's Hospital Oakland. He told a story included in his collection of nonfiction, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son, about the first time he spoke with his kids about smoking marijuana. He told the tale with as much candor as he'd shared with his children; Chabon is very charming and often quite funny, and spoke with wisdom and eloquence about being a parent.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author is doing a benefit for Oakland's Park Day School this Wednesday night, and was kind enough to talk by phone. When I brought up the story, he laughed, responding: "I forgot about that one. I had no idea, man. That was just a little tiny appetizer of a conversation at the start of a long and often surprising banquet." His kids had taken him off guard, of course, and he'd handled the situation as best he could.

Chabon and wife Ayelet Waldman have four kids, the oldest of whom is a freshman in college; their youngest, ten, attends the K-8 Park Day School, where the other three are alumni.

If I were going to talk with kids I wouldn't even know how to address their relationship with literature right now. I feel like it's changed -- how they're engaging with it must have changed so much since I was in elementary school; can you talk about that?

There's no doubt it's really in flux right now. I think everybody's relationship to the printed word is in flux right now. And I don't think anybody really has a good handle on just what it all means; I certainly don't. But it's my impression that our kids are definitely increasingly digital entities; parents, even younger parents, still tend to be analog, at least to a certain degree, and parents I think tend to have a strong relationship with books, printed books on paper. I think at least through the earliest years when it's story time -- when kids are being exposed to texts -- they're still being exposed to picture books and their parents read to them from books. I'm sure there are plenty of parents who are reading to their parents from iPads, but even so they're reading them eBooks, which is just a digital form of the same thing, with illustrations and words on the page. So, I think kids' initial exposure to literature is still more or less what it has been for a while now. I think as they start to hit the fourth grade, fifth grade and into middle school -- that's when it might start to get a little more confusing, from the point of view of an old person like me, but by then I think there has been a foundation laid for a relationship with books and literature.

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The Write Stuff: Peter Kline on Passing and Having an Intense Engagement with Language

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Lisa Beth Anderson
Peter Kline's first book of poems, Deviants, was published in 2013 by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. He teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco and at Stanford University. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he is also the recipient of residency awards from the James Merrill House, the Amy Clampitt House, and the Kimmell Harding Nelson Foundation. His work has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Tin House, the Best New Poets series, and elsewhere. He lives in San Francisco.

What are you working on right now?

My first book of poems, Deviants, was just published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. Deviants is a book of estrangements. As the title might suggest, many of the book's speakers are isolated, disaffected, excluded, or otherwise separate from society. My poems of the last few years have been concerned with passing of all kinds -- with passing as a man or a woman, as gay or straight; with passing through unseen, passing by without stopping to help, passing over the threshold, passing from innocence, passing from consciousness, passing from life. My speakers wear many masks -- they are loners and flirts, worriers and snarlers, supplicants and Jeremiahs. But they all share an urge toward both transgression and transcendence, and they all have an intense engagement with language. I want my poems to stick both in the mind and the craw, to be beautiful and memorable and at the same time strange and disconcerting. I am also interested in challenging the easy relationship between speaker and reader through the use of shifting personae whose designs on the reader are slippery and sometimes adversarial, in the tradition of Sylvia Plath and Frederick Seidel.

Most recently, I've been working on a series of poems in a form I invented, a slender, eight-lined "mirrorform" that begins and ends with the same line. To my surprise, many of these have come out as modern psalms addressed directly to the Divine -- though a pretty cheeky kind of psalm.

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