the Little Red Reviewer

Adventures in the Borderlands.

Posted on: July 16, 2013

A quick break in Hugo nom’d reviews for this short commercial break. Warning: this post includes way too many pictures. it might take a while to load, but there’s good stuff at the bottom for you.

Not sure if I mentioned it, but I’m in California for work for most of July.  For those of you keeping score, I’m an hour south of Sacramento. low humidity? it never rains? This mid-west girl is in heaven!  We’re setting up new locations and training new associates, and i have never worked so hard in my entire life.

What did I do my first free weekend? Go to San Francisco, of course! A very good friend from high school lives here now, so he gave me the tour.  First stop, lunch at a Ramen shop in San Mateo, where residential rents are easily more than I make in a month. I am obsessed with Ramen, and this was the most amazing bowl of Ramen I’ve ever had in my entire life.

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Can’t you just smell that divine porky broth? Miso Ramen is heaven in a bowl.

Next stop, THE BEACH!  I’d never been in the Pacific Ocean before. . .

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About 10 minutes after this photo was taken, fog began rolling in. . . .

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So those people soaked up to their thighs?  yeah. . .

my friend: you might want to step back, this look like a really big wave coming in.

me: how do you know it’s gonna be a big one?

. . . .  SPLASH

me: ummm, can I put my pants through your washing machine?

We saw surfers:

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and then MORE fog rolled in . .

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Alright, enough of my #idiottourist photos, let’s get to the stuff you’re really interested in! like this!

SAM_3369 borderlandsBorderlands Books is a famous San Francisco bookstore.  You don’t need to walk in and say “umm… where’s your scifi/fantasy section?” because THAT’S ALL THEY DO.  a small section of Mystery and some Horror in the back, but the place is at least 70% scifi and fantasy books.  Staff is ultra friendly, and the store is designed to be welcoming and encourage people to stay a long time, chat with the staff, chat with other patrons, and I’ve never seen so much Subterranean Press books in one place in my life (except maybe John’s house, but he’s been collecting for years).

If only there was  Ramen shop next door. 😉  There is a cafe that’s connected inside, but it’s not a Ramen shop.

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That sign is pretty much for the whole place.  They have some funny Vintage postcards (sorry postcard buddies, ya’ll got cheapo California postcards).


We were giggling at all the naked ladies.

What one thing didn’t I take a photo of?  the stack of goodies I bought!  Borderlands is shipping them home (they’ll get home before I do), all I kept aside was Blackout by Mira Grant.  waiting for me when I get home at the end of the month will be the Fearsome Journeys anthology, the Weird Compendium edited by the Vandermeers,  Declare by Tim Powers, The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner, Edge by Thomas Blackthorne. . .  some other goodies too.

Stay tuned for more #idiottourist photos!  Because while I did finish Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, and am working on a review, my brain has been utterly fried from work this past week or so. While my brain is recovering, ya’ll are gonna get #idiottourist photos and you’re gonna like it!

15 Responses to "Adventures in the Borderlands."

Welcome to the West Coast. Some of us never leave. 😉 Good ramen is hard to find, even out here. It’s the one of first things I’m guaranteed to eat when I get to Japan, along with melon bread. I hope you enjoy Cali – I’ve got family in SF, but no way I get down there while you’re in the state.


Melon bread? what’s that?

At least you have Ramen shops here.


Melon pan:
Incidentally, Cooking With Dog is unintentionally hilarious viewing.

If it’s Asian, we have it. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a ramen place to rival any of my favorite tonkotsu ramen (pork broth) places in Osaka-Kyoto. We don’t go out for Japanese much anyway, since my wife cooks better than many of the restaurants.

I would die in the Midwest.


what? there’s no melon in there?I’ve seen Cooking with Dog before, it is so weird and funny, the Chopin music really makes the video. Sounds like you are the most spoiled guy in the world!

Have you ever heard of Wagamama? it’s a British/Japanese fusion restaurant, we picked up one of their cookbooks a few years ago, and have been making crazy ramen ever since.

you wouldn’t die in the midwest. the huge freshwater lakes make up for the nasty humidity. and you can get everything you need to make the best ramen at home, without having to deal with restaurant drama.


‘idiottourist photos’ work just as well. Posts like this are great. Could have looked at at least another, um, say, 50 photos of that book store! How sad am I – I tried to make the photo bigger so I could check out the titles! Yes, I am that sad.
Lynn 😀


I wish I’d taken more photos, I wish I’d spent more time there, I wish I’d chatted up the staff more. I’ll e-mail you the full size full rez pictures, you can zoom in. 😀


Sounds like you’re having a great time in CA. Good thing your friends let you borrow the washing machine. Tho I guess a trip to the laundromat would give you more time to read.


i did more laundry at my hotel on Sunday night and spent the time reading the Mira Grant! 😀 I wish I had more free time out here. dumb business trips, they actually expect me to like, work ‘n stuff. 😉


I want to go to there, that bookstore. I would ask them for all the recommendations and walk out with a pile of books a mile high.


i had to force myself to stop shopping, my pile o’ goodies was getting way too big. this place is dangerous and wonderful and brilliant and I want to give them all my money! bookstores = heaven!


Awesome photos, and I envy your bookstore raid! This is making me more eager than ever for my first visit across the pond! (There will be pictures galore on my own blog too, no doubt.) Do post more. 😀


yes! you need to post more pictures! of everything! travel, local stuff, yes yes yes! 😀

and yes, I’ve got more pics coming.


Awesome. Thanks for sharing. Adventures rock!


when i’m too busy to write reviews, this is the crazy kind of thing I post instead. 😉


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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