In the 1980s in Northern California, skateboarders weren't exactly considered brainy. At the time, style dictated that teenage boys' hair cover their eyes, which didn't promote the idea that an intellect lurked under there. Widely misunderstood, "grommets" had one thing going for them: Thrasher. Using cool graphics and a colloquial voice to address its subject in obsessive depth, the publication was and remains a skater's staple.
Now people know better: The sticker campaign of the 1990s ("Skateboarding is not a crime") and the brilliant documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys alerted the public to the history and culture of the sport. Tonight, Thrasher honors its "Skater of the Year." The Explosion, the Enemies, and surprise guests entertain at 9 at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $18.50-20; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com. – Hiya Swanhuyser
Traipse and Trill
Ah, for an old-fashioned Christmas, with snow, and horse-drawn rides in jingle bell encrusted sleighs, and apple-cheeked carolers singing on street corners. Well, we can't do much about the Bay Area's lack of frozen precipitation and equine transpo, but the Union Street Starlight Sing-Along can deliver the a cappella tunes. Each year, local school, church, and neighborhood choral groups join with serenade-happy celebrants to wander the lane singing to anyone who'll stop and listen. Bring an optional toy donation for the San Francisco Fire Department Toy Program and meet at 5 p.m. at 2122 Union (at Webster), S.F. Participation is free; call 456-6455. – Joyce Slaton
Run Away It's gonna take a miracle (mile)
In any normal context, few people would be willing to run three miles for a T-shirt. So there must be something else, some ineffable reward that drives individuals to get up early on a Sunday morning to run: After all, the Christmas Classic 5K and Miracle Mile is a successful annual event. Could it be the joy of traversing a scenic slice of San Francisco's finest park? Maybe it's the sense of comradeship innate in exercising en masse. Or perhaps it's nothing more than benefiting a benefit-worthy organization -- in this case, the Heart of America Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Regardless, the mile race is on a slight downhill and the 5K is mostly flat. Registration begins at 7 a.m. at 36th Avenue and JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $25-30; call (650) 291-8531 or visit www.peopleevents.org. – Owen Otto