Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rock and a hard place

I'm stuck in the hinterland known as the place where my practicality butts heads against my principles. It's a bit of a pickle.

Because I'm trying to move away from extravagant xmas presents from siblings, outlaw parents, outlaw grandparents, and the like, I haven't provided preemptive gift list suggestions this year, as I think doing so would be hypocritical and a tacit endorsement of a system that I'm trying to extricate myself from. Yet, at the same time, I know that by NOT providing a list, I leave myself open to all kinds of well-intentioned but misguided items that will subsequently be sitting in my basement until such time as we do a basement clean and they make their way to Goodwill and the like. Is it awful of me? I don't know. I know you're not supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth and be grateful for the sentiment, etc. - but surely we've all been the recipients of gifts where we appreciate the thought and feelings behind them but can't bring ourselves to submit to the actual execution? It's kind of crazy how wrong people can get it, sometimes.

Anyway, so I'm torn. I hate the waste when people spend their hard-earned dollars on stuff that's just not me. But I'm not going to submit a list. All this pent-up frustration has to go somewhere though, and so here are some things that I adore.

Roll Call of Awesome:

BleuForet cotton tights. These are the BEST cotton tights in the whole, wide world. They're so soft and stretchy and warm - like the very best attributes of soft, thin socks and tights mashed up together without any of the thigh-cinching, waist-pinching aspects that can go along with tight-wearing. They are ridiculously expensive, so I can accept that all my cotton tights can't be BleuForet brand. The grey, prune, violet, and pine coloured ones are particular favorites of mine.

In the winter time though, tights are generally a good bet for me. Black, opaque, fishnet, patterned, they're all good and since I almost exclusively wear skirts and dresses to work, I'm always blowing through them.

I've been pining after this for a while. David Chang edits this kind of expensive magazine called Lucky Peach (well, expensive by magazine standards, I guess - it's $28 for 4 issues). It's a compendium of food writing from people and chefs I admire, all packaged in a cool, hip little bundle.

Other good literary-based gift ideas for me: Amazon gift cards so that I can stock up my Kindle, renewing my subscription to Entertainment Weekly for me.

Cast-iron cookware. I don't use Teflon anymore and I'm almost exclusively cast-iron when it comes to cooking nowadays. The problem is, that I only have a small, 10" skillet and while it's seasoned beautifully, as you all know, when I cook, I COOK, and I cook for a crowd. So a big, 14-15" cast iron skillet would be lovely.

As a daily fruit eater tired of retrieving bruised bananas and pulpy pears from the bottom of my purse, a banana guard and a froot guard would be lovely, cheap, stocking stuffer presents for me. So practical!

You also can never go wrong with gift certificate to my favorite stores: CB2, Crate and Barrel, ModCloth, Joe Fresh, Ruched, Anthropologie, Social Butterfly on the Danforth. PEOPLE LOVE GIFT CARDS. THAT'S WHY THEY'RE UBIQUITOUS.

I just recently started using this stuff after reading about it in the pages of In Style magazine for the past 17 years. I got a trial, sample size from my friend M and it's kind of changed my life. A little blush and a bit of eyeliner go a LOOOONG way with me - turning me from a wan, snake-eyed, sickly looking thing in the winter, to someone who looks robust and healthy and glowing. Seriously. I've gotten mad compliments from colleagues who are all like, "you look fantastic after having a baby!!!" and then you have to go and admit that it's all smoke and mirrors and it's only because I'm wearing a bit of this stuff on my cheeks. It's so easy. I don't know how to use highlighter or any of that shiz - but I can rub this stuff on the apples of my cheeks. I find it hard to justify buying a full-size bottled of the stuff though. It's like $30 for a little bottle of dye. That shiz just ain't right.

Sorry for the GIANT photos. Thanks to my gal, Mindy Kaling and her super-smart guy writer friends who helped contribute to her Black Friday gift guide, I've been hepped to Creative Recreation shoes. Look at those kicks. Just look at them. That's some fly, motherf**king s**t right there, folks. That's like the perfect Dotytron shoe. Uh huh. Hot. And they're hella affordable, too.

That's it for this installment of Roll Call of Awesome.


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