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    Thursday, December 15, 2005

    My Amusement Park's Holiday Shopping Guide

    Reader, you're a real mess. Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa are all going to be here in 10 days, and you still haven't finished (or started?) your shopping. Get it together!

    It's okay. EL is here to help you out, with her My Amusement Park gift guide.

    1. The Dalkey Archive Press finally brought back Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans into print, after years of existing in the sad state of reduction thanks to Harcourt Brace.

    Here's a taste:

    There are many that I know and I know it. They are many that I know and they know it. They are all of them themselves and they repeat it and I hear it. Always I listen to it. Slowly I come to understand it. Many years I listened and did not know it. I heard it, I understood it some, I did not know I heard it. They repeat themselves now and I listen to it. Every way that they do it now I hear it. Now each time very slowly I come to understand it. Always it comes very slowly the completed understanding of it, the repeating each one does to tell it the whole history of the being in each one, always now I hear it. Always now slowly I understand it.

    2. Brad Mehldau Trio gives a new one called Day Is Done, which includes a new Radiohead cover ("Knives Out") and some awesome Beatles tunes too. (Never liked "She's Leaving Home" as much as I do on this record.) You can listen to a sample on the Amazon link.

    3. Just because it's the holidays doesn't mean you can neglect the "Gay Agenda". For the little girl in your life, think recruitment with Dyke Dolls. They come in many flavors, ahem, types: choose from Diesel Dyke, Doc Holiday, Rockabilly, Jesse (SoCal Skater Chick), Badness (the basketball player), and the Kelly, Christine, and little Soo Jin family set.

    4. The L Word Season 2. See Shane and Carmen hook up for the first time a second time. And throw Reading The L Word: Outing Contemporary Television in the stocking for good geek plus. The Introduction is by Sarah Warn, smartypants behind After Ellen, one of my favorite websites.

    Toys in Babeland asks: Want a toy that augments creativity and communication? Augments, huh? For only ten bucks, you can buy Sex Questions, a game to get the sexy truths and dares out of the one you love (or lust after).

    6. Bitch Magazine has been around now for 10 years! Celebrate with a gift subscription for a friend.

    7. Not a Vicky's Secret fan? Tunggear has some of the best underwear on the Internet.

    8. Another (possibly) bastardized piece of great literature reborn: Sylvia Plath's Ariel is now reprinted from her manuscript!

    The woman is perfected.
    Her dead
    Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
    The illusion of a Greek necessity
    Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
    Her bare
    Feet seem to be saying:
    We have come so far, it is over.

    Just a piece of what Hughes removed. (The new Ariel also has restored the famous poem about T.H., "The Rabbit Catcher", which is incredible.)

    9. The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation's Greatest Magazine (Book & 8 DVD-ROMs) is kind of a fantasy gift: how much could you ever really use this? Can't you just get some microfiche if necessary? Yes, but it's the kind of thing you'd love to get as a gift, isn't it? You'd never buy it for yourself and neither will your giftee.

    10. Is there anything more Pop Art than products of Pop Art?

    Big Spenders:

    11. If you can afford it, the Segway Human Transporter will make your loved one the freak on the weird contraption, squinted at on the streets of your city.

    12. Tassimo T-Disc Coffee Maker. Oh my! New York Magazine says: This baby uses patented T-Discs (glorified pods) that let you instantly switch between making single cups of regular coffee, decaf, cappuccino, latte, or hot chocolates with virtually no preparation or clean-up. The cool thing is that each T-Disc has a little bar code on it, which the unit reads to know exactly how much water to use, how hot to heat it, and how long to brew it. T-Discs come in multi-packs and are available from multiple brands (Gevalia Signature Blend, Twinings Earl Grey, etc.) and are generally way cheaper (e.g., $6.79 for an 18-pack of Kenco Classic Blend) than coffee shop cuppas.

    13. For the art collecter on your list, invest in a Cass Bird print, one of My Amusement Park's favorite contemporary artists. (No pic- go to the website!)

    14. If you bought this impossibly slick herringbone jacket for your good-looking friend, it'd be better than on you.

    15. Or consider a 111-day luxury cruise around the world.


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