Well it’s that time of year again. As in the past, this is what I am submitting to the collective Santa of my friends, family, and benefactors. Tongue in cheek though. It’s a reminder to me (of things I want to buy) more than anything else. But if you are unshakably resolved to buy me something, at least now you’ll have a few ideas for things you know I’ll love. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s buying a gift out of perceived obligation knowing full well that I have no idea what the person wants or needs. What a waste for all parties involved, you know? I’m intrigued by Scroogenomics (summarized here), and particularly the idea of donation gift cards where you give a gift in the form of a donation of a specified amount to a charity of the recipient’s choosing. How perfect is that? We both meet our gift exchange obligations, and instead of either of us getting junk we won’t use, that money goes to a worthy cause. Seems ideal to me. I really hope that catches on. But until then…
If you’re curious, this list is a tradition I started a few years back. Although the recently re-vamped MySpace has broken all of my old links to my blog there, as well as destroyed all my formatting — which stresses me out too much to deal with right now — you can still view the previous years here: 2007, 2008, and 2009. I eventually got a lot of that stuff, but there’s also some great stuff on it that I have yet to get my hands on (like a belt buckle from Black Crow Arts, a bucket of IKB paint, or exclusive Wanderers merch from the insanely-expensive German site Rockabilly Rules). But I’m going to do my best to keep it new and exciting this year. Though I’m coveting far too much to leave any room for my traditional jokes (see previous years). So without further ado, my wish list for 2010, in no particular order:
- Dirt Devil
I have a vacuum I inherited from Jared when he moved over five years ago. Since then — I am embarrassed to admit — I have used it very rarely. It’s just a hassle to drag out, and I think it’s old and probably needs to be emptied, which I’ve never done. I need a convenient solution here to ease me into the idea of cleaning my carpets. What I’m imagining is a powerful but handheld vacuum like a strong Dirt Devil or Dustbuster. Something I can use to get the dust bunnies and cobwebs, powerful enough to do the floors, but easy to wield, manage, and empty. For I am very lazy. And for all my considerable powers and victories in life, I am relatively helpless when it comes to this stuff.
- Johnny Marr’s Signature Fender Jaguar
For over a year, there’s been chatter of Johnny Marr finally getting a signature guitar model. I’ve even read him talking about the specs. But it’s not on the market just yet. Though I wish it was going to be a Gibson or even a Ric, these days he’s playing Fender Jaguars. And Fender, as usual, is way more on the ball than Gibson. Unfortunately. But I’ll take what I can get. Do I already have a Jaguar? Yes. Do I need another one? Absolutely not. Am I gonna get one anyway because it has Johnny’s blessing? Of course I am.
- Nile Rodgers Tablature
I tried my best not to re-list anything I’ve mentioned in previous years, but this one bears repeating. It’s an awesome guitar tablature (sheet music) book covering the stylings of Nile Rodgers… but it can’t be bought in or even ordered from the U.S.! I need some international help on this one. Or if anyone knows how to get around the international restrictions, please clue me in!
- Jewelry (Rose Gold, Lapis, Tumbaga)
I’m not really a bling kinda guy, you know. I don’t wear necklaces or rings. But I’ve had a bracelet this last year that I’m really digging. And secretly I’m mesmerized by the pink hues of rose gold and the near orange gold color of tumbaga. And I’ve had a life-long obsession with dark blue lapis. Do they make chunky chain bracelets that use any of these materials? Or short of jewelry, what other useful item could I find that incorporates precious metals and stones? Ideas?
- Navy Vinyl Jacket
While we’re on the subject of fashion, my latest jacket obsession (which has lasted over a year now really), is the need for a dark navy blue pleather/vinyl jacket. I’m talking about the shade of blue that’s so dark that it’s almost black. I see leather jackets in this color every so often, mostly on women. Someone somewhere makes a non-leather jacket in my size in this unique color. I just wish I knew how to find them.
- Seven Layer Caramel Cake
A few months back, a coworker received a cake shipped all the way from the East Coast. I had a piece and almost passed out. This place Caroline’s Cakes will ship you a cake in ice so that it arrives here in California fresh and ready to eat. Their caramel cake has frosting that tastes like a See’s “Bordeaux” (which incidentally is another dynamite gift idea). If not for Christmas, this would also be a great birthday idea for me or for anyone whose birthday party I’m attending.
- Buddhist Alarm Clock
A couple years ago when I was in the thick of my battle with anxiety, I was desperately exploring ways to reduce stress in my life at every level. Trying to find ways to improve my mental health and sleep habits, as well as just getting to where I didn’t wake up every morning in a state of undefinable dread. Well those days are gone, but I still wonder about one of the options I never followed through with. You see, I wake up every morning, as I have for years, to the sounds of the local 80’s R&B station. Don’t ask me why. I honestly don’t know. But the idea of peacefully waking up each morning to the sounds of a gentle bell or harbor noises sounds magnificent. Assuming they’re powerful enough to rouse me from my notoriously deep torpor.
- Demolition T-Shirt
Though I’ve tried to curb my t-shirt habit this last year, one is still eating away at me. While going through my storage unit stuff recently, I came across a dozen or so WWF wrestling magazines from 1988 and 1989. I gave them to the only actual wrestler I know (Virgil), but not before I flipped through them for old time’s sake. In them, I saw ads for vintage WWF merch, including t-shirts for many of those classic wrestlers. Since then, I’ve desperately wanted a Demolition shirt. Why them? They were among my favorites when I was little, but also they’re just obscure enough that only a fan would recognize the shirt. The web is crawling with crappy bootleg shirts, but if Santa can find me a classy one in men’s XL, I will be one happy camper.
- Mouse Rug
It’s a mouse pad that’s designed to look like a little Persian rug, complete with fringe. Seriously, there’s a company dedicated to making these. Open sesame!
- Monkey Island 1 & 2 “Special Edition”
By and large, my days of playing video games are over. Frankly, I don’t know how people my age find the time! But there are a few from the past that hold a special place in my heart, and the Monkey Island series may well be at the top of that list. The music and just the whole mood of those first two games is hard to put into words. It was — at least for me — as magical as any movie experience has ever been. I want to live in that game. But we’re talking early 1990’s technology here. That is, until the last year when they released “Special Editions” of those first two games on PC, which include all new artwork and music… while still retaining the option to switch back to the “classic” mode. I must have this. And you must buy it for me. (As far as I can tell, they are only available via direct download. And they’re cheap!)
That’s the most exciting stuff, but as always, a sure winner is a 2011 wall calendar. I hang calendars on the wall at work, and I leave it up to my loved ones to choose what monthly pictures I’ll be staring at for the next year. So surprise me!
Despite my attempts to rid myself of excess “stuff” this year, somehow I ended up with an overflowing “want list.” So much so that I had to work hard to narrow it down to an even 10. (Plus the wall calendar which I guess makes 11, but never you mind!) Of course narrowing down means that there were some other things I strongly considered but ultimately rejected. If you care, these included:
- Fireproof Safe
I wanted this to store a backup hard drive so that in the event of a disaster, all my writing and pictures wouldn’t be lost. I guess it’s not a ridiculous investment, but at the end of the day, if I were to lose all that stuff… it would be tragic but maybe also liberating in some way. My life might take a new direction if I were free from that stuff. So I’ll continue to be careful, but I will leave some of it up to fate.
- Professional Camera
I like photography, but mostly I just like pictures of myself. I’m secretly jealous of the quality pictures my friends are able to take with their high-end digital cameras. There really is a shocking difference, and it shows. But I also know that I am way too lazy to carry one around and use it much. And I can’t exactly snap myself all the time. Maybe what I should have asked for is a full-time personal photographer with a professional camera.
- Black Velvet Painting(s)
What self-respecting rockabilly boy doesn’t like trashy exotica and kitschy art? I’m enamoured by the gaudy black velvet paintings I see at bars, and I want some really sleazy ones for my place. But then, I’m not really into decorating that much. So this is more of a “someday when I buy a house” type wish, along with diner furniture, a giant Alex Ross heroic portrait of myself, etc.
- Operation Shirt
This actually would have easily made my top 10, but sadly I have such little hope of ever finding one that I didn’t even bother to officially include it. I’ve so desperately wanted this Operation design… long story short, the search for it is what first led me to Threadless where I’ve since bought tons of other shirts. But by the time I got there, production of this particular shirt had already ceased due to a lawsuit. If you ever find one in men’s XL on eBay or whatever, you buy it for me! You do it, Santa! You hear me? I will pay you back, whatever the cost. Best. Shirt. Ever.
- The Lament Configuration
Which is to say, the puzzle box from the Hellraiser movies. There are several companies that aim to make replicas, but I think I’ve found the best one. Of course I want the fancy model and a dome to display it, but perhaps I could settle for the Rubik’s version. Sure, it all looks cool, but it’s just another useless trinket. I mean realistically, where the hell would I put it?
So there you have it. As I said, I’m not really into gift exchange because of all the gray area. I don’t know what you want, you don’t know what I want (except I just told you), and we don’t know what we’re each spending on each other. Or even if we’re getting each other anything at all. Why put ourselves in that situation? I continue to advocate just sharing a meal for Christmas. Let’s carve out some time to catch up. That’s plenty of present for me this year. Well, that and Monkey Island.