The day so far:
Busy weekend

And now, the rest of the story

Back a little while ago from the birthday festivities. Had a SPECTACULAR evening with Katharine and Julie Anne.

I had planned to slip out a little early so Julie Anne and I could play some pool and have a beer or two before we met Katharine for dinner tonight, but ended up leaving work right at my usual time when Julie Anne picked me up. We headed into Bellevue for a few rounds of pool at The Parlor Billiards & Spirits in Lincoln Square. Place has been open for a few years now but somehow we’d never tried it, a shocking oversight. They have something like 20 pool tables arranged to allow plenty of space on each side so players won’t encroach on other games (very often, anyway), and an extensive bar and food menu to keep you fueled up while you scratch your way through a few games of pool.

While we were playing, Julie Anne, who was vibrating in joyous anticipation at the gift she had arranged for me, suddenly could take it no longer and insisted I open her birthday card. Inside were two concert tickets for Vienna Teng on December 13.

My first thought was: How in the world could I have missed a Vienna Teng concert date in Seattle? I have the tour-dates feed in my regular reader, the last time Vienna Teng was in town I had tickets 12 minutes after the concert date was posted to the feed!

Then I kept looking at the tickets and two things struck me:

The show is at the Palace of Fine Arts.

In San Francisco!


Absolutely spectacular surprise, one Julie Anne has been DYING to reveal for a few months now. She remembered a remark I’d made offhand at Christmas two years ago, I said something about how if anyone ever wanted to rock my world, a trip to San Francisco to see Vienna Teng perform live would do it, hands down.

We have second-row seats for the show a week from tomorrow, and we’ll go to a couple of the restaurants we tried on a previous trip and do some holiday-decorations gawking and generally enjoy the Bay Area on a two-day trip.

Such a WONDERFUL surprise! :-D

Katharine joined us about 90 minutes after we got there, and we ran into a few friends from work, both current and previous jobs, so it was a grandly social time. Julie Anne and I played 4 games of straight pool and split the victories evenly—the tables, cues, balls, all equipment was first-rate. Definitely will be returning.

We wandered across the Skybridge between Lincoln and Bellevue squares for dinner at Cheesecake Factory, specifically because it’s the season for their pumpkin cheesecake. Also they serve stupidly large beers, if that’s your fancy, which it was once for us. And we had a great dinner save for the fact that for the second year in a row, they have been SOLD OUT of the pumpkin cheesecake by the first weekend in December.

How do they SELL OUT of PUMPKIN cheesecake at this time of year?

As my friend Jeremy put it so eloquently many years ago at a Dee’s restaurant in Salt Lake City: “What exactly is the season for canned pumpkin?”

So no cheesecake joy, but that was all right in the end. We had some leftovers from our meals anyway and so off we went to our respective homes, the ear-to-ear grin on my face providing all the light we needed for the night-time driving.

What a great day today was. :-)