Triple-SF Weekend: Clue, Cake, and Tea!

Had a fun weekend that bled a little into the workweek which generally is good. We drove up to San Francisco a few times, and for the most part it was great. Let’s see what we got.

Friday and Saturday were mostly lazy, but we offset the weekend for fun. We met up with Jeff, Thom, Kevin, and Marcela and Saturday night started out at Custom Burger and Lounge connected to the Americania Hotel which appears to be a run-of-the-mill Best Western chain hotel, but they had a swanky lobby, complete with an Egg Chair! The burgers were pretty good with some decent choices and very tasty sides. We probably should have just stuck to the lounge side of the place and ordered burgers from there and kept to the drinks. I had a nice gulp of my favorite bourbon (Bulleit!)

We walked down to the Boxcar Theater which is a tiny (TINY!) theater that had put together a showing of Clue. They bill it as a play based on the movie that was based on the game. They had surprisingly well cast portrayals of the movie’s actors while still poking fun at the characters derived from the game as well as some of the game’s conventions. One of the most fun parts was the stage was viewed completely from above only as if the audience were watching the game being played. The rooms were laid out like the board game! Especially hilarious was that sometimes the characters would “run” along the grid patterns between rooms at key points. It was really made for fans of the movie which seemed to play endlessly on TV for me growing up. The cast is really into it, and the whole crew really throws themselves into the production, so we’d love to support them more. If there are still seats, it has the highest possible recommendation to go. We’re already planning visiting again for when they do Little Shop of Horrors in May.

Sunday was a down day, though we did head out to buy some music. That might get its own writeup, but for the most part it was just hanging out.

Monday was Valentines Day, and while it wasn’t planned specifically for that, Perma-Valentine-Julie had secured tickets to see CAKE! We’d never seen Cake live, but it’s one of those bands where we own all their albums and we can’t help but sing along to all their songs. It also doesn’t hurt the singer has almost perfect diction when singing and the lyrics sometimes repeat. It was at the Fillmore, so we parked at the Japan Center and ate ramen from Sapporo-Ya which we’re not going to link because they forgot our gyoza order. So there! It was ok — ramen is really all about the stock and less about the noodles themselves, and it was certainly filling… though I could have been filled a little more with those tasty dumplings… ANYWAY. Cake, we got there just ahead of 8. Doors were at 7. There was no opener, and they started almost immediately after we got there! That was surprising! We rocked out for about an hour then there was an intermission and some more show. All told almost two and a half hours. They played most of the songs I wanted to hear including “Sheep Go to Heaven” and “Arco Arena” and (of course) “The Distance” and even had a couple sway-left-and-right songs like “Sad Songs and Waltzes.” It was a great show. They unfortunately didn’t have their newest album for sale (either they ran out or misplaced them at the merch window), so we’ll have to find a way to buy that soon.

Oh I forgot. At the end of the Clue show the art directors for the theater came out to thank us for coming then gave us all passes to see a sneak preview of the movie Unknown! I’ve always been a Liam Neeson fan but after his performance in Taken, I don’t want to miss a minute of his middle-aged-badassery. I want to grow up and punch people in the throat. Anyway, we knew it meant extending the weekend all the way to Tuesday, but hey it’s fun. It was at the Metreon so we drove up in the relatively light traffic and just missed most of the rain. Ate at the amazingly dead Metreon food court — all the major stores are gone: Sony pulled out its “Style” store and Playstation store, The “Airtight Garage/Tilt” arcade was closed, and even the Chronicle Books kiosk was gone. We walked over to the escalators to the theater and then we saw a line that ran all the way down the length of the Metreon then up the stairs to the top floor, and we got in the slow moving line only to be told with maybe 30 spots in front of us that the theater had filled up. Boo.

Rather than go on a rampage with our “particular set of skills” we walked over to Samovar tea house in the adjacent Yerba Buena Gardens. Not a bad way to end the evening with a smoky Lapsang Souchong. It really is one of the best places to chill out with some tea, and the wait staff is very friendly. Julie did some sketching while there and the results are breathtaking as usual.

Of course, the evening wasn’t really done — we had to drive back in the blustery rain which was a real mess, but we got back safe and sound, so I poured a measure of Oban (the last in the bottle, actually) and am sipping it while writing it up.

Next weekend we’re taking classes at The Crucible! Let’s see how that turns out.

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