Behind The Butter

a short story

Last night, Adam and I ventured down to Oakland because the day before he had surprised me with two tickets to see Amos Lee at the Fox Theater. I questioned why we hadn’t gotten tickets earlier and gone to the show a mile away from my house instead of driving sixty miles to Oakland, but Adam just smiled and said “the acoustics were so much better at the Fox”. Okay.

I made us dinner reservations here and thought to myself how perfect it would be since the restaurant was half a mile from the theater and featured barbecued salmon and cheesy grits. Then I proceeded to try on all the shoes in my closet when I should have been charging my iphone.

Our dinner reservations were at 7:30, so we left around six and made perfect time. That was, until, we saw that the entire interstate was closed at our exit.

“Can’t we, like, just drive around?” I asked, starting to worry that the restaurant may be out of cheesy grits by the time we got there.

“This is so odd,” Adam said as we drove up to a rent-a-cop in a golf cart that was guarding the interstate exit. After completely getting lost in the back roads of Marin County, we drove up to NBC, CNN and CBS news trucks on the road. Being the savvy navigator that I am, I decided to google local bay area news only to discover that there was an armed gunman in a hotel a block from us that had been shooting a rifle at the interstate. Thus, the interstate closed.


Long story made short, we ate some beans at Sol Food and braved another couple hours of traffic to make it to the theater just as Amos was climbing up on stage. It was an amazing show (perfect acoustics) and we made it back (safely) way past my bedtime after another odd re-route throughout Northern California.

I never got my cheesy grits.

There are no photos to document such events as (typically) both of our iphones died right after the incident.

I’m never leaving the house again.

The End.



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  • Reply
    Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance
    August 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    No cheesy grits = no bueno 🙁 But at least you didn’t end up meeting the gunman?

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    It’s scary, isn’t it?

    I live down the road in Mill Valley and got caught in the traffic coming home from Napa yesterday. Stuff like that doesn’t happen here. But I’m sure that’s what everyone says.

    Glad you made the show. Sorry about the cheesy grits.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Holy cow!! Scary!! I hope nobody was injured!

    Now I’m thinking about deranged gunman and have a longing for cheesy grits.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm


  • Reply
    Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet
    August 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    oh man, what a crazy night…

  • Reply
    Sonia (the Mexigarian)
    August 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    As soon as I read you were going to Oakland, my first thought was, ‘well they’re not going to make it over the bridge’. The news was all about the traffic up there. 🙁 Sorry you didn’t get your cheesy grits. But at least you managed to make it to the show. What exactly is a cheesy grit anyway?

  • Reply
    Corey @ Learning Patience
    August 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Oh… sorry girl! That just plain stinks! xoxo from Trinidad

  • Reply
    Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine
    August 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I so thought this story was going to end in a proposal. 🙂

    Did not predict the gunman, haha!!

    • Reply
      August 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      that is what i thought when i first saw the post title!

  • Reply
    Cassie @ Back to Her Roots
    August 18, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    That is scary stuff!
    But I heart this post so much. Yous be a good story teller. 🙂

  • Reply
    Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    August 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Brutal. Traffic sucks. And gunmen of course suck. But at least Adam had good intentions, so that definitely counts big time.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Totally agree with Casey above!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    wow, what a let down. i know how much some cheesy grits can make your day. i am sorry you didn’t get the gouda grits, but glad you all are safe!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I’m so glad that you are fine at least.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I live in SF and this is why I never leave the city!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather
    August 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Yowza scary! Sad no cheesy grits… You’ll just have to make some for yourself!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Totally worth it for AMOS LEE!!! Love him!!!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Um, yikes… But sweet Moka pot!

  • Reply
    Denise @ Creative Kitchen
    August 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    you know…..this really seems like something that would happen to you. 🙂 Made for an interesting blog post, even if you did have to sacrifice your cheesy grits for it. Glad you got to enjoy your show!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Oh. my. god.

    I was on my way home to the East Bay from Santa Rosa yesterday, and 101 to 580 got redirected to 37. SO BAD, Jenna, SO BAD. A 1 hour drive home took 3 hours. It was horrible.

    Anyways, glad things have opened back up again. Crazy stuff, though, that’s for sure.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Bummer ! Pican is an amazing restaurant. We live in Oakland, and their catfish and grits are incredible.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    August 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Nothing like a calm day on the California highways, eh? I have had similar experiences. In both San Diego and Chicago <–a city with the worst traffic ever! Worse than LA in my experience.

    Glad you made it there, just in time. Whew!

    And iphones dying? Just means you were destined to enjoy the show while you were there and not worry about "capturing it" for later. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I am never leaving my house either!

  • Reply
    amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    August 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Cute story 🙂 Sorry the ending has so “happily ever after”, but that just means there’s a sequel coming!!!

    • Reply
      amy walters, aDESIGNdock
      August 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      Sorry, I just wanted to clarify…I was not meaning “cute” about the rifle shooter…just cute about they way you wrote the story.
      That came accross all wrong 🙁 Sorry ladies.

  • Reply
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    August 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    silver lining…you didn’t get shot??
    glad you enjoyed the show at least!

  • Reply
    Baking N Books
    August 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Yikes. The world is a scary place 🙁

    But at least you got to see a show 😉 – and now Adam simply needs to take you out again for those grits 🙂

  • Reply
    Alysa (InspiredRD)
    August 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Crazy! Glad the show was fun, but sorry about the cheesy grits!

  • Reply
    Molly @ RDexposed
    August 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Another trickery!! Show me the ring!!

  • Reply
    Shayla @ The Good Life
    August 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    That was so scary! I live in the Bay Area and heard about that on the news this morning. Glad to hear you’re ok and got home safely! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I work in San Rafael and traffic was terrible! Sorry about the restaurant…good thing Sol Food is an EXCELLENT substitute! Have you tried the Bistec sandwich yet?

  • Reply
    French Heart
    August 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    You were going to Oakland after dark and worried about one PD contained lone nut. Naive little sweetie. When I lived in SF (best part) this kind of stuff & worse went on all the time. It ain’t all Farmer’s Markets & consignment goodies. 😉

  • Reply
    Krystina (Organically Me)
    August 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Oh Jesus. Not getting shot by a crazy man > cheesy grits. 😛

  • Reply
    Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    August 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Good story. I guess you’ll have to make some cheesy grits at the ELR home 😉

  • Reply
    Julie @ Sugarfoot Eats
    August 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I love love love love love Amos Lee! He’s my favorite singer. Did I mention that I love him? 🙂 I’ve seen him in concert 3 times so far.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    stuff like that happens to me alot 🙁 at least you saw the show 🙂

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    oh my goodness that’s crazy! glad you made it to the concert! my husband and i LOVE amos lee!

  • Reply
    Sally Anne @ PaleoRunnerGirl
    August 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    My goodness! What a night! However, it just makes the date even MORE memorable! Years from now you will get to tell your kids about the adventure in Oakland and how you had a “wild and crazy” past! 🙂

  • Reply
    Corrie Anne
    August 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    OOo! Amos Lee. So great. The gunman would totally freak me out! But I’m glad you made it to the show!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Oh dear, at least you got to see Amos! I love how soulful he is, Amos Lee pandora is what saved me during my internship!

  • Reply
    Katie P
    August 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Oh Jenna, I am so sorry that some crazy man pooped on your party and you didn’t get to go to Pican. You must go back some time, my dining experience was one of the best in my life. Our server was stellar and the pecan pie with buttermilk ice cream is smashing. And if you want to double date my handsome man and I would be happy to join you and Adam. I figure the more people I dine with the more of the menu I get to taste!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    August 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    That’s scary! But sooo worth it to see Amos, right? 😀 I love him!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Holy crap!

    I guess you dodged a bullet. Literally. Very scary. There are some truly ill people out there. Glad that you made it home safe.

  • Reply
    Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    August 18, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Wow. Your gunmen-traffic jam is getting major press. I came home, read the paper, and found a big fat Associated Press article all about it. Eureka Times Standard. Small world.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Ohh gosh, my girls and I went to the city yesterday for dinner and hit that same traffic. 580, right? Luckily we were taking the 101 and got out of the traffic right after the 580 offramp just past San Rafael, but still… those couple of minutes were torturous. At least you guys made it to the show, though! Too bad about the grits 🙁
    By the way, how is Sol Food? I pass it every time I go to church and I’ve heard it’s amazing, but I’ve never taken the initiative and actually gone there. Definitely on my restaurant bucket list though!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I’ve had the cheesy grits at Pican and hope you get to try them soon! There are so many amazing restaurants in Oakland- I just moved here from the city and have been impressed time and again by the amazingly delicious food here. Hope you make it back soon!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Was totally NOT expecting the story to feature a gunman! Sorry about the lack of grits though, that would have made me sad too!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    But at least you got to see Amos! You lucky, lucky thing 🙂

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Amos Lee just did a free concert a couple weeks ago in Maine where I had my summer internship, and it KILLED me that I was out of town that weekend! Seriously, I’ll be kicking myself for that one for life!
    Jealous of your concert attending, not jealous of your run-in with an armed gunman!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 4:55 am

    how scary!! but it is a story you both will carry with you forever! ha. I’m glad you both got home safely and still had a great time.

  • Reply
    Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count
    August 19, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Too funny!!! Those are the kinds of things that always happen to Ralph and Me!!

  • Reply
    Kait @ One Love Run
    August 19, 2011 at 5:58 am

    How crazy ! At least the concert was worth it!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Perry
    August 19, 2011 at 10:52 am

    So sorry you didn’t get to Pican. My husband is actually one of the managers there so if you ever want to head back there, just let me know, and I will make sure your cheesy grits plus some other yummy bits are ready for you. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley Lavin
    August 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Hahaha! You’re funny! That’s crazy btw….glad you made it to the concert though!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Sorry you missed out on your cheesy grits! But so glad you got home safely.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Ugh! This so sounds like something that would happen to me.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Ugh, my poor sister was on her way to my house from Fresno that same night, via 580 and the Richmond-San Rafael bridge…it should have taken her no more than an hour to get to Santa Rosa from there…instead it took 3.5 hours just to cross the bridge…so awful. Random gunmen suck.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Wow I really thought Adam would have some secret reason for bringing you to Oakland haha. Crazy experience!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 12:51 am


  • Reply
    Tracey at Small Bright Pebbles
    September 1, 2011 at 4:54 am

    I’m glad you didn’t encounter the gunman. And I’m pleased to hear that you made it to the show. I would love to see Amos Lee live and I hope it was worth the delay getting there.

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