What can I tell you? Life seems to get more terrifying by the hour. Sure, you could sit at home scrolling through Facebook and Twitter and getting more and more upset, or you could go out into the world, experience life firsthand, talk to some people, and take a break from the endless succession of screens full of terrible news. Here are some ideas for the latter approach.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 31
BIKESHARE PLANNING: With a long-planned expansion across SF, Bay Area Bike Share's locations are starting to move beyond the central. Now it's the Bayview's time to get the bikes, but first, we gotta figure out where to put them. This meeting is part of that! One area resident says they're attending to ensure that folks who live near "Bayshore Blvd and San Bruno Ave also get convenient access to Bay Area Bike Share." Make your voice heard! Bayview Opera House, 4705 3rd Street, 6-7:30 p.m., free
MESSED UP FAMILY BOOK TALK: If you saw The Family Fang you already know the work of Kevin Wilson, a novelist who specializes in tales of crazy families. His new book, Perfect Little World, tackles a billionaire-funded experiment "bringing together ten different families as a single family unit in order to raise exceptional children." Wilson will be at the Booksmith to read from the book, chat, and sign things. If you go, ask him what Christopher Walken's really like. The Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street, 7:30 pm., free
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1
FREE WAFFLES: The first Wednesday of every month, b. street waffles passes out their Liège-recipe confections for free from 9-11 (or until they run out). Their version of the standard breakfast treat is intended to "replicate what vendors once cooked up in specially gridded irons and hawked from church steps in the seventeenth century," SF Weekly says, but comes in current-day flavors like salted caramel and TCHO chocolate. Capital One 360 Café, 101 Post Street, 9-11 a.m., free
SF RESIDENT DAY AT THE ZOO: The Zoo offers free admission for SF residents on "certain days," and this is one of them. All you need is SF ID, or a bill with your name and an SF address and photo ID bearing that same name, and you'll duck the $19 adult admission and get to see some lemurs. SF Zoo, Sloat Boulevard at The Great Highway, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2
POST-APOCALYPTIC THEATRE: It's the preview night of the American Blues Theatre Company's Some Things You Need to Know Before The World Ends (A Final Evening with The Illuminati) — a "wildly inventive pastiche of sermon, song, sport, schtick, and survival" (their words, not mine) set in a bunker-sanctuary at the end of the world. Who knows, you might pick up some useful tips for the coming years. EXIT Stage Left, 156 Eddy Street, 8 p.m., tickets are $22 tonight ($28 rest of run) and are available here.
BOOZE AND SCIENCE: The Exploratorium's weekly "After Dark" series of events focuses on "Sending Signals" this week — as in, how living things communicate and connect. As you could have guessed by the "After Dark" appellation, attendee connection is facilitated by drinks from their SeaGlass Restaurant, which "showcases artisanal distillers, many organic, and a thoughtfully curated wine and beer list." Besides booze, there are presentations and activities centered around the communication theme. The Exploratorium, Pier 15, 6-10 p.m., tickets are $15 and are available here.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3
LATIN AMERICAN EXPERIMENTAL FILM: Buenos Aires film scholar and curator Federico Windhausen has pulled together a collection of experimental shorts from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay and Puerto Rico to demonstrate "a larger contemporary notion of what it means to be Latin American." The result is a program called El Pueblo: Searching for Contemporary Latin America, which is presented in two parts (“From Passage to Chronicle” and “Performing the Portrait”) beginning tonight. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street, 7:30 p.m., tickets are $10 and are available here.
OCEAN CLEANUP ART: The SF chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, an organization focusing on protecting our oceans and beaches, is holding its second annual "Message in a Bottle" art event, "a collaboration of local artists and environmentalists focusing on the ocean and ocean pollution in an effort to inform the public, inspire change and ignite corporate responsibility." Tonight's the opening, with music from DJ Combsy and "local libations." Busvan, 244 Clement Street, 6-10 p.m., free.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4
TERRIFYING ART OPENING: It's almost a cliché to fear clowns these days, isn't it? We get it, you have a "funny" phobia, sit down. That said, the art of Death of a Clown is deeply disquieting, and not just because we're all afraid Tim Curry's waiting for us in the sewer. "Inspired by the spooky, surreal quality of abandoned amusement parks such as the Six Flags New Orleans," event organizers ask "Are these places truly abandoned? If not, who and what remains?" Arc Gallery, 1246 Folsom Street, 7-9 p.m., free.
DRAG SHOW AT A REASONABLE HOUR: Those of us who no longer have the constitution to stay up for a midnight show were thrilled to attend Juanita More's Puttin' On The Titz event at The Strand back in November — and now we have a follow-up, entitled L'amour L'amour, in honor of Valentine's month. Organizer and star Juanita More tells SFist, "I just love the camaraderie my drag family exudes. We really love each other and it shows on stage... [But] I'm pushing for everyone to show some restraint in the finale group number. It's gonna be difficult as the performance demands that each of us steal the spotlight. I really hope the wigs don't go flying." The Strand Theater, 1127 Market Street, 8 p.m., tickets are $35-58 and are available here.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5
SUPER BOWL RUN: Today's Super Bowl LI, which will be played by the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. Given the Pats' ties to the current administration, I'm rooting for the Falcons on principle, but I really don't give a shit. Where was I? Oh, yeah, there's also a "Super Bowl Sunday 5K Race" in SF today to benefit BuildOn, an organization that provides rural communities in developing nations with access to education. That's something I can really root for. Starting line is near St Francis Yacht Club, 99 Yacht Road, 8:15 a.m., registration is $35 and up and can be done here.
REDWOOD SUNRISE TOUR: Every month, people head to Muir Woods for their monthly sunrise tour of the redwoods, a "particularly beautiful time to visit an old-growth redwood forest." Over the course of three miles, participants will "be introduced to the local plant and animal residents (more likely seen in early morning), all of whom have been invited to stop by and meet you. Note that many of the animal residents are distracted by family or personal concerns and the event often slips their mind." (Oh my god, whoever wrote this, I love you.) Muir Woods Visitor Center, 7-11 a.m., free