The Last-Minute-And-Probably-Too-Late-Anyway-But-Oh-Well Gift Guide

There are some Christmases (or birthdays or any other holiday, really) when I finish my shopping early, and have thoughtful, lovely presents for everyone on my list. They’re wrapped with gorgeous paper and tied with bows. I stayed within budget, and some are possibly even handmade. However good my intentions may be, though, those Christmases tend to be infrequent (read: almost never).

Fortunately for me, I finished my shopping today. But as I wandered the aisles of my favorite gift store (no, really) I started thinking about what to do if I totally mucked up and didn’t get someone a present. Instead of presenting somebody with an I-Obviously-Bought-This-At-The-Grocery-Store-On-The-Way-Here gift, go for the gusto. Wallow in your lateness. Make the most of it. Give your person a gift that is so magnificently unexpected, so hilarious, so MIND BOGGLINGLY ASTOUNDINGLY AMAZING, they’ll forget it was even late.

For instance, take the book Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir. This would be a good gift for anyone with a sense of humor. If you don’t know anyone with a sense of humor, give it to outdoorsmen, conspiracy theorists or aspiring writers. You can buy a copy here.

Consider a lifesize cardboard cutout of Edward Cullen. I know this seems like a serious gift, but it all depends on who you give it to, and how. For maximum impact, plop a Santa hat on Eddie’s head, hide him in your recipient’s closet (or if you live in a temperate climate, outside a window) and start a countdown. When you hear shrieks, you know your gift has been discovered. This works best for people who hate Twilight, literature majors or people who don’t like undressing in front of other people. Bonus points for WD-40. You can buy one here.

What is possibly the best food on earth? Bacon. What is the best way to save money? Take a brown bag lunch to work. How can you prevent your apples from getting squished? A lunchbox. How can you give the greatest gift ever: a way to save money and protect food in the magic of bacon? A bacon lunchbox, of course! In the entire history of lunchboxes, this one is clearly the best. Give this to your favorite teacher, construction worker or cubicle-dweller. Give it to your favorite chef. Give it to anyone who eats. (Protip: fill it with (cooked) bacon for a baconstravaganza.) You can buy one here.

The Tauntaun Sleeping Bag is perhaps the pinnacle of ThinkGeek.com merchandise (and let me tell you, they have thought up some amazing things). I still haven’t figured out why somebody hasn’t done it sooner! What could be warmer than the thought of snuggling up in a pile of steaming intestines? Send this to your favorite smallish child, animal rights activist or your friend who just bought a ticket to Siberia. You can find it here, if it hasn’t sold out yet.

If you bestow this beaded headdress on one of your friends, it proves two things. One: Lanvin was producing just as many beautiful clothes in the 20s as it is today. Two: you have impeccable taste and know your fashion history. And the best part? Your recipient will look fabulous in it. Give this to your local fashionista, your most recently engaged friend, or your favorite Josephine Baker impersonator (perhaps with a few bananas). You can order it here.

Thus concludes this awesomely awesome gift guide of awesome (patent pending). If there’s anything you can learn from this advice, it’s this: do your Christmas shopping early. But if you can’t, don’t freak out and play it safe. Go for something weird. ‘Cause when the wrapping paper hits the floor and your recipient suddenly announces her hatred of Bigfoot/Twilight/bacon/Star Wars/Lanvin, she can always regift it, right? Right.

Lest you think I’ve quit posting

I haven’t. Just not here. It’s complicated, but let me sum up.

I have a huge fear of forgetting things. It has followed me my whole life, resulting in boxes of old school papers still under my bed, stacks of old magazines and scraps of papers with nothing decipherable written on them my purse. On the internet, this phobia manifests itself in manymanymany tabs open in my browser at once, and a freakishly long scroll in my bookmarks. Lately, I’ve been trying to sum up this links in posts here, but that seems too clunky and needs more organization than I’m willing to give it.

So I turned to tumblr. It has become a semi-real time stream of links and quotes and photos I know I’ll want to remember someday, a sort of virtual inspiration board. I’m also trying to upload some of the more random photos I have saved on my hard drive that are just taking up space.

That’s all! Click, look, love.

Linkspam

» Jello packages have undergone a ridiculously adorable redesign. I adore they type treatment, and love the how it balances retro and relevant. [via Brand New.]

» I used to love the Fug Girls, but lately they’ve been Not Getting It. Case in point, Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte (with a lovely short version of The Boots) and Rihanna in Chris Kane. Perhaps this is when I realize I’ve been immersed in High Fashion so long I don’t realize when normal people miss the point?

» Advanced Style: proving, once again, that old people dress better than you.

» Witness this amazing typographic wedding invitation! See how it strikes the perfect balance between retro and modern! Much like the nwe Jello packaging! [via libertylondongirl]

Tabs that are open in my browser right now

Flars

I have this really unfortunate habit of opening interesting websites in tabs, but never closing them. Over the course of a week I accumulate tabs that just keep piling up and up and up, my computer just keeps getting slower and slower and slower. So I thought I’d share.

» First up, we have a link to DIY leggings. I’ve been thinking more about the awesome muscle leggings idea I had, and kind of want to try some. If I can’t find some white leggings, I might make my own.

» Threadless tees! Why the guys’ section? I have no idea. But I love Threadless. I have two of their shirts, and was scouting for ideas for nifty tee shirt designs for a tee that may or may not ever materialize.

» A friend alerted me to the awesomeness that is whichgoose. Those headpieces are a-freaking-mazing. I absolutely adore the butterflies, but that could be my love of Alexander McQueen speaking.

» Rules for Time Travelers? I think so. Everybody should know these in the event they should stumble upon a tachyon anomaly.

» New Moon set pictures? Um. I am totally not a closet Twilight (lol)fan. Nope.  Negatory,  not at all. Move along, there’s nothing to see here.

» And more gratuitous hot guy pictures. I think this link means I officially have senioritis. (I kind of love Bradley Cooper though. He did such a good (and by good, of course, I mean ridiculously cheesy yet kind of amazing) job in Alias. Until he got killed or witness protectioned or whatever happened to his character.)

» Who else is glad So You Think You Can Dance is back? I love love love this show, and can’t wait for a new season of exquisite choreography, strong technique and brilliant performances.

» The last tab is blank. It’s loading–I can see the loading symbol going round and round and round. There’s no url, nothing on the page, just white space. I have no idea how it got there. Perhaps it’s a symbolic palatte cleanser.

Three Bullets

» The Baby Vamp Rings from Bittersweets New York.  Lately I’ve been really digging vampire-themed jewelry, but most of it is much too over-the-top with blood and campiness. This is just right, satisfying both my newly born love for ridiculous rings and my need for tasteful (is there such a thing?!) vampire accessories. There’s nothing like displaying one’s nerdiness in a subtle way, yeah?

» I just discovered Park & Cube, which has rocketed onto my list of favorite blogs, thanks to posts that get around to eventually talking about trees and  chronicles of dinner conversations about bulbasaur. Shini’s style is effortlessly tomboy-chic, and her DIYs are completely inspiring (I love the . Alexander Wang  studded bag idea, and her version of the Doo.Ri tights is pretty much awesome).

» I’m back in the real Washington (not that poser Washington DC; I’m such a West Coast snob) and have a few more days until the new quarter starts up, so semi-regular posts should start again. The East Coast was fun (Jefferson Memorial! Botticelli! Watching bullriding while drinking wine!) and since I stayed with my octogenarian great aunt and uncle, definitely a change of pace. I’m a loser at taking pictures, but I might upload a few in the next couple days.

Blogstravaganza

» Originality is such a tough concept to grapple with (it might be easier if we lived in 400 BC). Ambika posted a quote with an interesting take on the subject.

» Indie rock is the only way to go.  Dudes wearing short shorts will never be not funny.

» The Sartorialist once again proves to me that I would dress 5000 times better if I were a man. He is genius at finding people who play well with texture.

» I’m feeling rather démodé for not cooking with Quilted Chanel Butter. I must make a note to myself to pick up some the next time I’m at the market.

» I just stumbled upon this fabulous giveaway at Grosgrain. The coat is gorgeous–I love the details.

» My best friend from high school is getting married soon, and I’ve started reading wedding blogs to help her out. The ribbon embroidery on these Lela Rose dresses is just exsquisite.

» I never thought of doing a DIY out of old tee shirts. I definitely have enough of them to make something spectacular–all those old, shapeless tees that I know I’ll never want to throw out because they remind me of great times. This way I can keep the memories and get wear out of them.

Things I Love This Very Minute

» The video for Lily Allen’s new song, “The Fear.” The video itself is fun (she looks smashing as usual–that dress is absolutely adorable), and song is pure satire (one of my most favorite things).

» “Puppet” with Myf Shepherd from Numéro Korea January 09. I’m loving the over-the-top hair, the flower headdresses, the colors, and especially the makeup. Somehow it managed to hit a perfect balance of edgy and girly. Myf’s eyes are just haunting. You can find these and a few more photos at Capture the Castle.

» “The Final Countdown,” possibly the best 80s song ever recorded. I just realized it’s as old as me. And still awesome.

» Paper flowers. There’s something so enchanting about their beauty. I never thought anyone could improve on natural flowers, but the time and meticulous handcrafting that goes into these little works of art, plus the knowledge the artist must have of the original flowers, has completely changed my mind. The white headdresses are from Chanel’s recent couture show, and the colored ones are from a local shop, aNeMonE Paper Flowers. I’m so enamoured with the idea…I smell a DIY coming on.

» Theme parties! I’ve just been invited to a 1920s-themed murder mystery. A period clothing dress code will be enforced, so I spent way too much time last night researching the Roaring Twenties, from makeup to hair to the clothes (oh, the clothes!). I learned how to put my hair in a faux bob, how to do 20s-style makeup, and found a couple dress patterns straight from vintage fashion magazines. My favorite is made from lace and satin, and I think I can tackle it in an afternoon, so I’m heading off to buy fabric tomorrow. I might even tackle the cape!