Curious George, Cowboy Bebop, salmon searching -- our guide to ignoring Christmas completely
OPTION THREE: GET IT ON FILM
Going to the movies on Christmas has long been the treasured territory of awkward family gatherings, and with the mega-release of Tron: Legacy (playing at various Bay Area theaters) you can take it to the third dimension! Why talk about each others' lives when you can plop down in the Castro Theatre with a tub of popcorn, affix 3-D glasses to your face and zone ... out ... for two hours and seven minutes? Hell, you can even skip the fam-fam and bring your girl Mary Jane, because this is one flick that promises to look real cool with a side of herb — soundtrack, acting, and plot notwithstanding.
And there's no need to be a lonely anime geek by the Christmas tree. Bebop Nights, the recurring get-together of cult classic TV show Cowboy Bebop fans is holding its sixth installment Dec. 25, a day stereotypically characterized by animated features with way, way less cooler characters. Sure, Rudolph and Frosty are bulbous and ebullient, but Spike, Vicious, and Julie are deep space bounty hunters with a penchant for dope background music. Which cast better characterizes your lump of coal attitude this yuletide? (Bridge Theatre, 3010 Geary, SF; (415) 668-6384, www.landmarktheaters.com. Midnight–3 a.m., suggested donation $4)
Other promising showings include Natalie Portman's psycho-ballet thriller, Black Swan, camp of the year Burlesque, the Coen brothers' remake of the western True Grit, and Naomi Watts as CIA agent Valerie Plame in Fair Game.
OPTION FOUR: DRINK
And when all else fails, raise a glass to (and of, see how that works?) booze. Many of your watering hole favorites will be open Christmas Eve and day, but why not try on a new barstool and pack of regulars for size? My pick for caroling into the bottom of your glass is Trad'r Sam (6150 Geary, SF; (415) 221-0733. Open noon–late), a kick-ass Outer Richmond tiki bar where I am cautioned that a solo scorpion bowl mission will result in the ability to see reindeers, unless that's what you're going for. To make your Christmas denial complete, keep one eye on the jukebox, and your clobbering stick handy for any poor schlub who opts for Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas."