Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tamatha's Wish List: Books, Movies, Booze, Oh My!


Books - I may have become a much less prolific reader in recent years, but that doesn't mean I don't still covet books.

I was first introduced to this annual collection of short stories in 1998 when my roommate at the time was given a copy by her folks for Christmas. She made the mistake of leaving it out in the living room, where I picked it up and devoured it. I never realized how much I enjoy short stories, but that collection was eye-opening and fabulous. I've been asking for it every year for Christmas since. I highly recommend this collection, even if you don't think of yourself as a short story fan.

Given my experience with the Short Story collection from this series, I've had my eye caught by this collection edited by Dave Eggers a few times. Last year, while doing my Christmas shopping, I picked up the Nonrequired Reading for 2010 and read a little; my interest was finally piqued and I asked for it for Christmas last year. It was a smart decision. The first part of the collection is a random series of lists and the like. For example, this year's collection has a list of "Best American Ominous Place Names" and "The Best American Poems Written in Response to Arizona Senate Bill 1070." The second part of the book is a mix of non-fiction essays and short stories, which are fantastic.

The other thing that's great about this book is that the stories, essays, and lists are chosen and compiled by students involved in 826 Valencia and 826michigan. If you are unfamiliar with the 826 programs, it is group of eight non-profit tutoring and writing centers that offer various free programs to help students become stronger writers. You can find more information here.

This book has been recommended to me by several people from various areas of my life, so it clearly must be excellent. I can't wait to read it.

DVDs - Why yes, I am old school and still own DVDs.

I re-watched this film this past summer and was reminded why I fell in love with it in the first place. Maya Rudolph and John Krasinksi are wonderful and their characters are incredibly charming. For those unfamiliar with the movie, Rudolph and Krasinski play a couple expecting their first baby and who are looking to relocate to new place to raise their child. They visit a few friends and family across the US and one couple in Montreal, in search of the place that feels right. The movie is hilarious and sweet and sad and touching and wonderful. It's the sort of film I am going to want to revisit repeatedly, so it's a good DVD to have.

Up until a few months ago, I was actually lucky to have a fabulous local, independent video store. Sadly, the competition from other purveyors of movies and the internet in general, finally took their toll on the video store, and it closed. Stranger than Fiction is the last movie I rented from them. Watching this film really makes me wonder what the hell Will Ferrell is doing with with his film choices. His performance in this film is lovely. It's the story of a man trying to find the narrator whose voice he hears in his head. Although the theme of a person in a serious rut who finally breaks out of his comfort zone is one you will recognize, it doesn't feel overplayed and the way it's addressed in this film is part of the joy of it. Like Away We Go, Stranger than Fiction is a sweet film that leaves me feeling happy. What more do you want from a movie you own?

CD - I mentioned being old school, yes?

I was actually introduced to Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago pretty soon after it came out. The Main Squeeze and I were over for dinner at a friends' house, and they had this--on vinyl, no less. I remember really liking it, but for some reason, it took me until last Christmas to ask for it. I'm not making that same mistake twice. I got to hear the latest Bon Iver album this past summer when it was available for your listening pleasure You bet it's on my wish list.


Cashmere socks - (I encourage you to buy local, but if you like the ones pictured, you can find them here--note these are not 100% cashmere.)

I think that socks as a present have a seriously bad rap. On the other hand, I guess it's possible that other people don't love socks (the fun kind, with patterns) the way I do. I'm not sure what's wrong with them. I live in New England, and I gave up vanity for the joy of warmth years ago. Cashmere socks, though, are the best of both worlds. They are warm and cozy, yet stylish enough to be worn to work and they work well with jeans. Wool socks can be far too itchy (and a raglan wool sock peeking out from a trouser leg isn't the right kind of business casual--SmartWool socks being the exception, of course), but not cashmere. Cashmere socks also have the benefit of providing a bit of affordable luxury. And you can often find them in fun patterns, which is tres important.


One of the things that I love about the Demeter line of Pick-Me-Up Cologne Sprays is that they are not terribly intense. I don't have to worry about my perfume being overpowering with these colognes, which, in these times of people with scent sensitivities, is a blessing. Besides, you don't want to be *that* woman, the one who people can smell coming a block away (and still smell too long after you've passed). The Demeter Fragrance Library has a incredibly wide range of scents available, which is another great thing about them, so every woman should be able to find a few that she likes. Given my love of tea, it's not too surprising that I should be drawn to these two particular scents. Sadly, I'm currently out of both.

Booze - It's the holidays, right?

I've had my eye on this particular bottle of libation for a few years. It's quite beautiful. And I do like ginger. This past summer I was at one of our local, fancier, bars, and they had some of this, so I realized it was my perfect opportunity to try it and see if I liked it enough to splurge on it (or ask someone else to). It was delightful for sipping. And I can't wait to try it in any number of cocktails. In fact, they have a recipe on their website for a Ginger Snap: 1/2 part Domaine de Canton, 1 part spiced rum, and 4 parts egg nog. I love me an egg nog martini, heavy on the nog, so this sounds delicious.


One of the things that makes me easy to shop for is that all my friends and family know that I love silver jewelry, so if all else fails, or if the perfect silver item catches their eye, they know it's a good bet. The ring set I linked above, however, is sadly out of my price range. And out of the price range of the people buying for me. So this is truly a *wish* list item. I was introduced to the work of Garnet Girl Designs this past summer. And although her work is more than I can afford, I don't doubt that it's worth it. I covet this ring set so hard, that I actually hesitated to list it, because it's going to break my heart when some other lucky lady gets it. But, perhaps you'd like to check out some of her other pieces? Ahem.

1 comment:

  1. I like your taste in movies, lady. And it's just given me an idea for a gift for a friend! So thanks.