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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Dudes


I have my dad and my brother, and until recently, I had to buy boyfriend (or we-broke-up-but-you're-still-pretty-much-my-boyfriend-so-you-get-a-present) presents. But not this year! I am actually kind of relieved by it, and have decided I'm going to hold off until 2009 because then I don't have to buy another guy present. (It's kind of like the opposite of the Margaret Cho bit about breaking up: "There's never a good time to break up. You just bought concert tickets. A war broke out. You want your birthday present first." Except for me right now, it's: "No, sorry, I can't date you, I don't want to have to buy you a present.")

Last year also added a complication in that I was supporting the WGA strike and didn't buy any DVDs. Well, since they settled the strike, I feel I can recommend DVDs to you this year now!

- BUT FIRST: books. I've already purchased my brother's gift, the delightful John Hodgman's newest book, More Information Than You Require, the sequel to his hilarious first book, The Areas Of My Expertise (which he will also be receiving). The Areas of My Expertise audiobook is amazing and features the wonderful and adorable Jonathan Coulton, whose music is also a good gift choice. I wrote about them both last December, and I am still a fan. (You can also follow them on Twitter, which I highly recommend -- @hodgman and @jonathancoulton.) ALSO: that is all.

- I was among those who were pretty dang peeved when Fox cancelled Futurama. And then when Fox restarted Family Guy after Family Guy's popularity soared on Cartoon Network, I was one of the people shouting, "AND WHAT ABOUT FUTURAMA YOU GUYS C'MON." So when they announced that Futurama's "back, baby!" at San Diego Comic-Con in 2007, I was (and remain!) thrilled. The deal is for four straight-to-DVD movies that will be cut up into four new episodes each, so sixteen new episodes of Futurama made out of four movies. Three of them are already out: Bender's Big Score, The Beast With A Billion Backs, and the newest, Bender's Game. Hooray, Futurama!

- Now that the strike's over, I have been buying a lot of DVDs. And I tend to be pretty generous with letting people borrow them. Unfortunately, some of the guys in my life have kidnapped some of them. Luckily, two are with my brother, and I know where he lives, but the other... may be gone forever. I know that I can get my copies of Freaks and Geeks and the first season of Flight of the Conchords back at any time from my brother, but he's holding on to them for me right now. Tragically, I am probably never going to get the complete series of Arrested Development back. That one is a heartbreaker, and has been killing me since the break-up. Keeping a girl from her GOB Bluth? That's just cruel. COME ON.

- If I were to buy something for someone this year, I would most likely get him the Amazon exclusive DVD of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. It was a side project for Joss Whedon (hooray!), Neil Patrick Harris (hooray!!) and Nathan Fillion (hooray again!) during the writer's strike, and originally was all online. Now you can have it in a DVD! Also, we are in full support of blogs, even if they are run by mad scientists who have unrequited crushes on the girl at the laundromat. Seriously, this is worth buying and having for yourself, not just as a gift. And! It's on pre-order now for only ten bucks. Yay!

- Finally, I have two words for you: Soap Stache. Yes, it is soap in the shape of a mustache. dennisanderson.etsy.com sells Soap Stache and many other wonderful soaps that everyone can enjoy, including beer soaps (!!), so you can pick your (or his) favorite brew. (Blue Moon, anyone? Or maybe you're more of a Guinness or Sierra Nevada drinker...) I have found that boys do like soaps and skincare and cologne if you buy it for them. So don't be afraid to do so. (Sephora can help with the cologne-finding, too.)

Like Jeanne, I've just got my dad and my brother to gift this year. At my house, we have a very, very low-key Christmas because we do a bang-up job on New Year's in the grand ol' Japanese fashion. (Sukiyaki this year! Yes!!) Every other year, my brother and his wife come out to California to celebrate Christmas with us. This year, it's no big brother, and I already know what Dad's getting, so it's very simple:

-I've composed a Mad Men-themed stack of goodies, including the Mad Men Season 1 DVD set, Meditations in an Emergency, and to put a personal spin on it, a great bottle of sake. Apparently my grandfather drank rye a la Don Draper, so that's another option for your liquor-connoisseur father figure. Is that weird, to give your tee-totaling father alcohol for Christmas?

-I actually take after my father in several ways besides our shared lantern-shaped jaw. Both of us will be chained to our office desks when the rest of our respective companies have forced shut-down over the holidays. Fortunately, I have the solution to office doldrums, and it's these totally sweet Origami Post-It Notes. What better time to perfect your nimble paper-folding skillz than when it's quiet?

-Gifts that hark back to a family tradition are great for dads, who want to always think of their daughters as their little girls. My dad and I always loved listening to Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion on weekends together. Probably because we are mysteriously drawn to stories of Americana, it seems foreign and familiar at the same time. NPR.org has a specially-recorded session of songs by Garrison Keillor and his Guy's All-Star Shoe Band: When I Get Home.

-For the well-seasoned traveller in your life, Bedol has an amazing eco-friendly, water-powered clock. Isn't that great? Personally, I hate scrounging around for batteries for a travel clock when I'm traveling, so ta-da! I imagine a guy being endlessly captivated by this kind of wee device.

-In a perfect world, we'd have these hot, new technological marvels on the market for our male comrades to ogle and enjoy. The pod-dining-set looks like interior design FROM THE FUTUUUURE. I love it!

Have a happy holiday season, everyone, we'll be back soon we another gift guide for you!

image from periodicstyle.blogspot.com

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