It's the weekend! Here are the five best things to do with yourself this Friday to Sunday:
Game of Thrones Extravaganza
If your life has lacked meaning since the Game of Thrones season finale in June, fear not, for winter is coming (sort of). On Friday, Tourettes Without Regrets is hosting a Game of Thrones variety show at the Oakland Metro. So if you have been boring your non-GoT-watching friends with your ruminations on whether you would pledge allegiance to the House of Stark or Lannister, or internally debating whether you’re more of an Arya Stark or a Daenerys Targaryen, here is your chance to nerd out with fellow fans as you watch live jousting, GoT-themed stand-up comedy, and fantasy “cosplay” burlesque. The night, of course, would not be complete without Westeros medieval house band Thee Hobgoblins — though if you’re a Stark, keep your fingers crossed they don’t break into “The Rains of Castamere.” Friday, Aug. 23. 8:30 p.m., $15. OaklandMetro.org — Zaineb Mohammed
“Soto’s remembrances are as sharply defined and appealing as bright new coins,” the noted literary critic Alicia Fields wrote in the Bloomsbury Review in 1987. She was discussing Gary Soto’s poetry — which mostly encompasses acute and evocative portrayals of Chicano-American life, coming of age, and California, and which has earned him several literary awards — but the statement can just as easily apply to a different kind of remembrance, the kind Soto delivers in his new memoir, What Poets Are Like. In the book, from which Soto reads at Books Inc. Alameda, the longtime Berkeley resident offers sixty vignettes, each about a distinct episode over the course of a long life spent writing: the sting of rejection and the uneasy triumph of success, the death of Cody’s Books and the inherent oddness of meeting readers face-to-face, the hangovers and defeats and moments of clarity — bright new coins, every one. Friday, Aug. 23. 7 p.m., free. BooksInc.net/Alameda — Ellen Cushing
26th Annual Oakland Chinatown StreetFest
The Year of the Snake may be less auspicious than the Year of the Dragon, but regardless, it’s time to celebrate with Oakland’s 26th Annual Chinatown StreetFest. The festival, held between 7th and 9th streets and Broadway and Harrison Street, is hosted by the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and draws thousands each year. Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, the festivities will showcase Chinese culture (as well as others) with performances by US Shaolin Kung Fu Martial Arts, Budabelly Band, and China’s Spirit Music Ensemble. More than two hundred vendors will be on hand offering jewelry, crafts, and food. If you’re in the mood for authentic ethnic cuisine, check out Hawaii BBQ and Mr. Lumpia, or get your fried food fix from the funnel cake and corn-dog stands. Kids can enjoy the carnival or art activities organized by the Oakland Asian Cultural Center and the Oakland Museum of California. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25-26. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., free. OaklandChinatownStreetFest.com — Z.M.
Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Zaineb.Mohammed@EastBayExpress.com.