I actually had to miss a couple of weeks of my one night out and it definitely started to affect my well being! So, this past Thursday, I was as giddy as a school girl about the prospect of some free time.

It all started out pretty well. I had a very productive day, work-wise and I was able to scramble to get the house in order for when my mother-in-law showed up with my kids. I spent the first part doing some shopping. I am trying to live within a budget so my new thing is to take photos of items I want to get when I don’t yet have the money for them. My “Gap Outlet” money won’t be available until the 15th, so let’s hope the items I found are still there by then.

The evening activity was not a solo one. Swapping my nights to Thursdays and a hiatus means my social calendar is getting a bit full. On this past Thursday I was meeting a few people from my Alameda Cowork group at The Hob Nob. I arrived at The Hob Nob early and STARVING. I quickly ordered, but I had a feeling this was not going to be good. Even as my food arrived and I ate (rather quickly), I could feel the beginnings of a tiny cluster headache forming behind my left eye. I thought the food would help it go away, as well as foregoing the alcohol for water.

My coworking buds arrived. I was really happy to see them, but dammit if that headache just kept gnawing at my brain. I couldn’t form thoughts. Couldn’t concentrate. It was like the fog it was causing was worse than the pain.

So, sadly, within an hour I just had to throw some cash on the table and bow out. I was very sad. I hate to miss a party and I HATE to miss my night out.

Still, I managed some time to myself and was home at a very respectable 8pm where I got to see my kids and my husband. It was ok.

And there WILL be a next time!


Going Solo


I heard Eric Klinenberg on a local radio show today and was really excited to hear about this book and his findings. I currently do NOT live alone, but I did for most of my single years. I loved having my own place. Hated having room mates (no offense to my room mates, it was me, not you). One of my biggest transitions from single to married and then to mom was giving up my time alone. I miss my solitude. I crave it. And, it’s why the whole “One Night Out” thing started.

Single people, I salute you! Enjoy your time. The loneliest you can ever be is in a bad relationship.

In the meantime, I will just grab my free time when I can!

Often, part of the charm and part of the necessity of having one night to yourself is that you are, indeed by yourself. Doing fun things solo can be daunting even to the most outgoing person. Since moving to Alameda, I’ve found a few favorites where I can have fun or a nice meal without feeling self conscious. It’s made my one night out all the more alluring.

1. The Pacific Pinball Museum

I admit that I loved pinball when pinball wasn’t cool (well, was pinball ever not cool?). When Lucky JuJu opened years ago and expanded to the Pacific Pinball Museum, I felt like a heaven on earth was created for me and only me! Tuesday is a great night to play at the PPM. It’s definitely not crowded. Of course, now that I’m switching to Thursdays, that may change. Even so, it’s such a great place to be solo. I love being able to try just about everything they have to offer. For one cover of $15, you can get into the zone and forget all your troubles. With the decade appropriate music, I might add.

The curators of the PPM are down-to-earth and friendly, without nary a second glance at a middle-aged mom out to play pinball by herself. I keep bugging them about an annual membership program. I’d probably go more than I do now. Let’s hope the rumor of them moving to San Francisco is NOT TRUE!

              Faith from Kamakura always treats me like royalty!

2. Kamakura

Overall, sushi is one of the most solo-friendly dining experiences no matter where you are. Mainly, because of the bar and the way sushi chefs will interact with those at the bar. I particularly love Kamakura for its amazing sushi selection, friendly chefs, a great bar with an excellent premium sake selection–including a three-flight option, and a flat screen for those nights when sushi, sake, and sports are the perfect combo. I was told that you should share a hit of sake with the chefs, but I must say, I’ve been a little shy about doing that. No worries though. I’ve been there enough by myself, not only do I get special treatment from the chefs, but Miz Faith herself will come and say hello, offer me extras, and always make me feel special. At the end, everyone gets a sweet orange dessert and plum wine as well as a fancy goodbye send off from the staff.

3. American Oak/formerly Barceluna

Barceluna on a Tuesday night was the best. Now, with my schedule changing and the restaurant becoming American Oak, I’m sort of at a loss. Still, love the location and the layout of the place. I’m sure the bar will still be as friendly as ever, and as a bourbon lover, I am feeling pretty good about this. My full review to come. I’m hoping the same friendly bartenders are there. Before the official name change, the bourbon samplings were excellent, so I can’t wait to go back.

4. Burger Meister

Okay, I know this is a chain and not the top option for a lot of people, but sometimes I don’t have the budget for anything else or there will be something going on at the other joints completely ousting me from my solo dining comfort zone known as the bar. The Burger Meister is a great place to be alone. A nice bar area with tvs, decent food, and in spite of this place being a chain, I always get friendly non-pushy service. Love the food and the decent wine by the glass. And, it’s next to the movie theater, so that’s a big plus.

5. Alameda Wine Co.

I have never felt so welcomed in a bar ever. The people on staff don’t know me from Adam, but you’d never know it. They are welcoming and friendly. The space is nice and comfy with decent munchies and GREAT wine. Because they have a good selection of wines by the glass, I can try out a couple without getting into too much trouble. Proximity to the theater is a plus.



I’m back on a regular schedule of One Night Out. Tonight I’m meeting my friend, Samsarah, for dinner and a movie. I also may start blogging for the Alameda Patch. Things are in motion…

Switched my night to Wednesday this week to accommodate my friend, Maurice’s SF conference schedule. The drinks at Clock Bar and dinner at Saha were worth the switch, but I’m ready to resume Tuesdays!

It was so exciting to get to guest blog at Modern Kiddo this week and bring more people to the ONE NIGHT OUT MANIFESTO. That said, I ended up taking my night on Wednesday, further reinforcing my numer one rule of keeping it to the same night. My goal is to get that back on track for Tuesdays starting next week.

I just read this article about having an artist date night. I actually have the book, The Artists Way, but never fully put it into practice and until now didn’t realize that my concept of the One Night Out is very similar to the Artist Date night.

So there you have it. Reinforcement.

Thanks to the fabulous gals behind Modern Kiddo who invited me to guest post about my little one nights!

Check out their blog. It’s full of the cutest kid design, rad vintage finds, and other things that make stylish parents drool!

Read my post here!

Haven’t posted in a while about my sacred Tuesdays. Nothing much to report except that they are still happening. Two weeks ago, I picked up my friend, Kevin, and we headed to San Francisco to see OF GODS AND MEN. Excellent movie. Very different from my usual nights and times of sipping sake and eating some delectible. Food for thought, way!

Last Tuesday, I was all by my lonesome and did my usual trek to Kamakura sushi. Before that, despite the high gas prices, I ran errands and enjoyed just driving around in the drizzle. (NOTE: I broke the “no errands” rule. I survived.) I was able to snap a sneaky photo of Kamakura’s owner, Faith, who just fascinates me. No one can shove a candle in some green tea ice cream and sing Happy Birthday like Faith!

I’m especially proud of the fact that I still kept my date with myself even though we had just come back from a three-day jaunt down in Monterrey. Believe me, I needed to be alone.

This Tuesday I had a simple night at my friend, Lynn’s house. We cooked dinner and drank wine and talked.

Sometimes, that’s all you need.

*Next week: it’s time for the Dames again. We’re heading to the Taddich Grill in San Francisco on Monday. Check in on Tuesday because there will be tales and accompanying photos! The Taddich doesn’t have a website, so the link sends you to Yelp. I can’t wait. I love how the bar seems to be in the middle of the place, the booths are all square and woody, and it always seems to be hopping.