Don’t worry. It’s probably not your fault that you’re insane — let’s conspire to somehow pin blame on the pharmaceutical companies and overzealous doctors.
Oh, I apologize, I actually started mid-rant, but I need to comment on a colleague's Christmas wish list.
The new “Cool Stuff for Christmas” list includes:
- A Smart Car-sized calendar watch.
- An LCD picture frame with a fanged woman wrapped in autumn foliage.
- A box.
Okay, so the box is actually a waterproof and fireproof ioSafe Solo USB desktop external hard drive. It’s easily the coolest thing on the list, but after the first two, it might as well be a shoe box full of Post-It notes.
Was I the only one perusing the ads as I was shoveling helpings of roasted bird into my face? I’m no Jim Rome when it comes to gadgetry, but last year our gift to Grandma — a proud owner of a VCR, wall phone and analog television — was the LCD picture frame.
We’re not exactly on the cutting edge of innovation here. I suppose that the frame does come with a remote so you can pause the slideshow, a mild breakthrough. Finally, technology has afforded us the same ability we once had when we thumbed through photo albums and left it open on a certain page.
I admit that I’m not one for wish lists in my personal life. I prefer to treat the requests more like odd ransom demands or Sunday shopping lists. What do I really want for Christmas? Tide, maybe some dish soap or a towel. I could really use a jar of frosting and a package of graham crackers, possibly a photo of my cousins doing handstands. Knit booties for my dog, a skull necklace carved from a single seashell, ceramic gargoyles, a Happy 30th Birthday table dressing, a donation made in my name to the lottery of my choosing.
Understand where I’m headed with this? It actually works pretty well. I keep the family on edge and wind up with enough dryer sheets to last me until the next holiday. By no means is that an exaggeration. I have enough dish soap to easily last me until 2012, unless I go through another hand bubble phase — it’s fun but doubles your time at the sink when it’s your turn to wash the dishes.
Now, for gifts cooler than a fossil calendar watch. No, Fossil is not the brand, but the status symbol is on the outs given that everyone carries two or three items with a clock as a rudimentary feature. Besides, no executive would purchase a watch with so few diamonds.
Cooler Stuff for Christmas.
- The Xeros Waterless Washing Machine. Nylon beads knock out the dirt, and it uses 90 percent less water. I’m done with suds, now I can watch what I can only assume will look like a mix between a bean bag massacre and a snow globe from the confines of my laundry room.
- The nook. I’m not sold on the e-reader yet; in fact, someone show me an English major that ever would be. I need to make notes, and I look at a screen so much throughout the day that I can barely squint at the television after work. That said, the nook sold out for a reason this holiday season (intentional rhyme). According to reviews, the nook is everything but the rough feel of a page. It has the contrast and same colored text as a printed book and it lacks the headache-inducing backlight. I don’t discount the value of a library in the living room, but if the shelves are filled with Oprah book club picks, no one is taking you seriously anyway.
- Motorola’s Droid. Confusing, indie, college film class advertisements aside, I played with the Droid this weekend and applaud my self-restraint. Seconds away from canceling my current plan, I was ready to sink my communication resources into a phone with greater battery life, more memory and a more powerful camera that could make photos posted to Facebook all the more embarrassing. Yes, I’m comparing the Droid to my backless LG flip phone, but I nearly renamed it and carried it out in a bassinet.
- Any gaudy monstrosity of a flat-panel HDTV. It’s great for a wish list because — at least in my terms — you can keep on wishing. My television works, and until a bowling ball accidentally flies through the screen, I’m waiting to update — even though broadcasts in widescreen make some programs appear as puppet shows (all I can see is hands, the actors are off-screen). However, I dare you to watch any fight night, football game or action flick in HD, and not immediately purchase one. Thankfully, many local taverns have made the switch, and I can find a temporary HD fix over a plate of wings.
I could go on. I want to go on, but the newsletter needs to roll, and the web guy is itching for this link to go live.
And I’m not saying that I want them all. I think they’re just better options than a watch that looks like a slate with a leather strap or a picture frame reminding you of all the fun you used to have. If I hear one more person declare how attractive they used to be, I’ll run for office and outlaw the photo. It’ll be the world’s first photo-burning extravaganza that wasn’t directly involved with a bad breakup.
OK, so I want them all. Dare I say need them? Yes, I need them. Best to stop before I turn into a child with the gimmes.
What’s on your list? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(All in good fun, Alix.)