xmess turned out just fine. I spent the morning chatting with lisagail--that is I got up at noon and spent the first couple hours I was up chatting with her--and then catherine called to tell me she was on her way to the city and would call me when she and barbara were done with their catching up and wanted me to join them (barbara's her ex--it's one of those lesbian-only deals where your ex becomes your best friend which is what lisagail and I have going basically except that I'm not a lesbian anymore) so around four I went over to barbara's house where we talked about fucked up families (b has one, I have one. c has an awkward dysfunctional one, but they all love each other without the weird psychological games b and I get to deal with) and being freaks who had found other freaks to hang with basically. it was almost a love-fest except that the word itself was uttered only once.
it was nice. then we went to see "night at the museum" which is a cute Ben Stiller movie about a new night guard at the museum of natural history in new york who finds out that at night everything--including the t. rex skeleton and the tiny men building railroads and fighting for the roman empire and whatnot--comes to life. the beginning was a little slow and dumb but it got better and by the end it was really amusing. there were lots of inside jokes for adults to keep it interesting even though it's kind of a kids' film.
the theater was crowded but all the loud obnoxious teenagers in the lobby must have gone to see "black christmas" because they weren't in our theater.
we hung out for a little while longer but we were all beginning to yawn in rapid succession so around 9:30 we broke it up. I won't see catherine again till next time she visits or if I ever have time and money to go to NY. barbara and I should hang out a little more I think although she's actually got a chichi web content editing and writing job whereas I'm still a loser who hasn't finished his dissertation but I think that's fine with her. she's a rhetoric grad school dropout. thus we see what happens when you quit and when you stick it out.
in half an hour I go to therapy and then I must work at least some. no need to jump in with both feet but I do have to finish grading in the next couple of days. sigh.
xmess in my neighborhood is not very different from a regular sunday except that fewer merchants and taquerias were open--but I did get a can cun burrito and it was really good although I still don't quite see how I ate one every day. by nighttime it was deserted which is very different from usual and I was thinking about how it seems that the people missing were the middle to upper middle class "tourists" (either from out of town or the east bay or peninsula) who come to the bars and provide the drug dealers with their business--because even the drug dealers were gone, without customers for the evening. there were a couple of prostitutes wandering around the back streets of the mission--or junkies. or both. not much business back there I guess except that all the johns know to go there so if you do see a car it usually is approaching the lone figure in a very short skirt.
there are so many stories to tell in this neighborhood it is unbelievable. I hope it never gets cleaned up. catherine was talking about how she feels much less safer here than in NY and I was like "??" but I guess it's all sanitized now. the other day I saw a guy on mission street with a t-shirt that read "I liked the OLD new york."
I will admit that being a guy is very different from being a woman in the inner city though--unless you are someone at least who knows her way around the streets and how to stay safe it's not very inviting for a woman to walk around in the mission or down in SOMA after dark. I wouldn't have done it. but I do now. it's one thing I am very conscious of and although I don't like the marked difference between how an american city feels to a woman after dark and how it feels to a man I'm not sure what to do about it. I could help to fund women's self-defense initiatives. sometimes I think there should be workshops for people who feel uncomfortable in the city at night.
there should be consciousness-raising workshops for men who have never given it much thought--what to do and not do in the presence of a woman on the street. there are a lot of guys who have no clue that walking right behind a woman after dark is one of the most threatening things you can do. I can't tell you how many men I have come this close to decking because they insisted on walking just off my shoulder and behind me without passing or slowing down. it still feels threatening at times but usually I just want to turn around and give the guy a lecture: if I were still a woman you'd be in serious danger! one false move and I was ready to poke my keys in their eyes or give their balls a good kick. usually I'd slow down and make them pass or show their hand. they all passed. someone with poorer impulse control than I would have taught them a little lesson though.
well look. it's time for therapy. wonder what we'll talk about.