September 2004

Items: 1-22 of 22

  • Red Robot Hoodie


    People send Sam Brown titles, and he draws pictures to match. He displays his drawings on Exploding Dog, where they provide unique perspectives on phrases like, “Please try not to forget me,” or, “I am not worried today.” Robots are a running theme, and this red guy is a fine example. He’s printed about 10 inches tall on the back of your black, hooded sweatshirt. The front zips up. Robots are cool.

    $45 at Exploding Dog Store | Buy

    | Posted 19 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Round Deco Brooch


    Brooches are the easiest, cheapest way to make a bland outfit look stylish. You can pin them to the neck of your turtleneck, or to the lapel of a nondescript black pea coat. These pieces are getting tougher to find at garage sales, and people are laying down hundreds of bucks for a replicas. I love this surprisingly affordable one from JC Penny’s. Their wreath and feather brooches are great too, so dig around a little.

    $32 at JC Penny's | Buy

    | Posted 19 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Junipero Gin


    Junipero is a beautiful gin. It’s a pet project of the brewmaster at Anchor Steam in San Francisco, and is made by hand in a small, copper-pot still. Martini Republic’s description hits it on the head: “Clean but not light like Plymouth. It is smooth but not the least bit tame, the spices shining through and the finish leaving a bit of a tang in the nose. The aroma is not as strong as Sapphire, nor as mediciny as Bombay.” Pour it over some crisp ice, give a brief stir, and ease it into your martini glass. A breath of vermouth is all you’ll need. Now find someplace to put your feet up.

    $32 at BevMo | Buy

    | Posted 19 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Candy Cigarettes


    Return to a time when parents gave their children cap guns, Cracker Jacks still had swallowable toys inside, and you could buy candy shaped like a carcinogen. Candy cigarettes sure take you back. They may taste like sugared chalk, but the nostalgia factor is off the charts. Lean against the nearest wall, dig for your imaginary lighter, and lift one to your lips. When the powdered-sugar smoke goes straight up your nose, double over in a fit of uncontrollable coughing. Now that’s satisfaction.

    $6 at Candy Warehouse | Buy

    | Posted 19 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Franklin Pagemark Dictionary


    So you’re reading, and you come across a word you don’t know. You: a) stop, set the book down, and lug out your ten-pound dictionary, b) underline the word and promise yourself that you’ll look it up later, or c) turn the page and live on in ignorance. If you tend to fall into the “c” category, things might be easier if you had a dictionary the size of a bookmark. This one houses the complete Merriam Webster Dictionary, and clips onto your latest read. I love it. You can use it until you start trying to use “schadenfreude” and “quiddity” in general conversation; then we’ll have to take it away.

    $40 at Discovery Channel Store | Buy

    | Posted 19 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Bite Me Cross Stitch Kit


    Home Sweet Home, the Lord’s Prayer, and Bite Me – truly the triumvirate of American cross-stitch. Try your hand at embroidery with this simple, sardonic kit. It comes with fabric, thread, pattern, and instructions. Now that’s a lovely housewarming gift.

    $12 at Subversive Cross Stitch | Buy

    | Posted 19 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Condensed Knowledge


    Synesthesia is the ability to smell colors and taste music. Mama Cass Elliot did not die by choking on a sandwich. Frottage is the “rubbing of one’s genitals against a nonconsenting, unsuspecting person.” This is stuff you need to know. Condensed Knowledge is a bathroom book from the team at Mental Floss magazine. They make art, literature, and science accessible without being condescending. This is a great gift for curious sorts. It will smarten you right up.

    $11 at Amazon | Buy

    | Posted 19 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Big Blue Bath Bomb


    Draw a bath, climb in, and drop the bomb. It fizzes, zips around the tub, and turns the water a deep turquoise blue. So much fun! It’s like bathing in soda pop, except you come out soft and smelling like lemon and lavender. You’ll give up showers for good.

    $4 at Lush | Buy

    | Posted 18 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Chevron Striped Shirt


    This is a first-date shirt. It’s trying, but not too hard; classic, but not standard. Also, three-button cuffs are seriously lickable. There’s a slight crinkle effect to the fabric, so it looks a little messy. It’s 100 percent cotton, machine washable, and it has a tiny zig-zag stitch down the front where the buttons would normally be. Pick up a bouquet on your way over, and you can’t lose.

    $60 at Bluefly | Buy

    | Posted 15 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Patricia Tweed Coat


    ON SALE How Winnie Cooper is this adorable tweed coat? It has built-in scarf, so you can’t leave it behind when you go ice skating. Now all you need are some mittens, sturdy boots, and a cup of hot coco.

    $120 at Anthropologie | Buy

    (regularly $248)

    | Posted 15 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Vinyl Accessories


    You could use more dinosaur in your wardrobe. Down By Vinyl is a one-woman business based in Seattle. She embroiders purses, wristbands, and book covers with your chosen design. The dinosaurs are my favorite, but I also love the fire-breathing chick, and the little gun that says “pow!” She also makes “curse purses,” which are little tampon or pad wallets that have a bleeding heart embroidered on the outside. Nice.

    $30 at Down By Vinyl | Buy

    | Posted 15 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Tealight Holders


    These tealight holders make a lovely modern centerpiece. Pop in a few candles, light them up, and you’re ready for a dinner party. The holders have a clear lacquer coating over silver leaf, and come in two sizes (two candle or three).

    $35 at Saigoniste | Buy

    | Posted 15 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Coconut Dry Oil Mist


    This smells like summer by a backyard pool. It’s a light spray-on moisturizer that comes out in an even mist, and is soft without being slick. The Body Shop offers this product in several scents, including papaya and grape seed among others, but the coconut makes you feel like grabbing a Coke from the cooler and turning up your transistor radio. It smells as good on men as on women, and doesn’t leave you all slippery like most lotions. Tuck it in your beach bag and mist away when your skin tightens in the sun.

    $10 at The Body Shop | Buy

    | Posted 15 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Steep Teas


    Tea is good for you. It warms you up, calms you down, and gets you good and thinky. Forget the mug of bitter black water with a limp Lipton bag stuck to the side. Bah! Treat yourself to a tidy little package of quality, whole-leaf tea that tastes as good as it makes you feel. Steep tea is a small, hip company made up of people who obviously love what they’re doing. They mix their own tasty blends, and the flavors are always changing. Steep also has a handy caffeine-content rating system, and their package design is amazing. Their variety packs have helped me figure out what kinds of teas and ingredients I prefer, and the sweet “tea matchboxes” make you feel like you’re opening a small present every time you brew yourself a cup. Try some. You will like it.

    $20 at Steep Tea | Buy

    (for a selection of teas)

    | Posted 15 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Jet Track Jacket


    Jets! Slow Shirts makes limited-edition apparel with a sense of humor. This is an asphalt-colored track jacket with blue jets silk-screened on the back, and a small jet on one of the wrists. The jacket is American Apparel, which is a good thing. They may be gone by the time you get there, so also look for their superior camcorder and Viewmaster shirts, or check out their latest line.

    $48 at slowshirts | Buy

    | Posted 15 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Whip Creamer


    Real whipped cream is good for your bum. It tastes better and feels creamier than canned whipped cream, and shames a tub of foamy Cool Whip. Then again, most of us don’t want to spend half an hour with a hand mixer and a carton of heavy whipping cream. That’s why Crate and Barrel offers up this handy instant whipper. Pour your cream in the bottle, attach a little gas canister thingie and press the button. Magic! You have yourself some instant homemade whipped cream.

    $40 at Crate and Barrel | Buy

    | Posted 15 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Nars Dolce Vita Lipstick


    When I was a kid, my grandmother told me that the point of makeup was to look as though you weren’t wearing any. I was thirteen at the time – and wearing metallic blue mascara – so the advice didn’t take for a few years, but still. I read about Dolce Vita in In Style’s annual beauty roundup a year or two ago. They said it was the most universally flattering color, and they were right. I know because I’m always pinning my girlfriends down and forcing them to try it on. It smoothes your lips and adds a natural-looking polish. Like most Nars lipsticks, it tastes fine and smells a little bit like chocolate. I wear it when I want to look healthy, but not made up. Otherwise, I wear red. Sorry, grandma.

    $22 at Nars | Buy

    | Posted 15 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Coconut Foot Creme


    This cream smells great, feels soothing, looks like a cross between a gel and a lotion, and your skin just drinks it up.

    Of course, the real gift is the foot rub.

    $9 at Burt's Bees | Buy

    | Posted 14 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • The Undertaking: Life Stories from the Dismal Trade


    Thomas Lynch is an undertaker, and also a poet. The Undertaking is a prose book that outlines his perspectives on dying, death, and what happens next. It’s beautifully written, and carefully considered. Here’s a brief excerpt on suicide. It’s a bit graphic, so skip it if you’re squeamish: “He took the deer rifle from her father’s closet, lay on the bed with the muzzle in his mouth, and pulled the trigger with his big toe. It was, according to the ex-girlfriend, ‘a remarkable gesture.’ As I considered the gesture on the table before me, it struck me, he looked ridiculous. His face had been split in two by the force of the blast, just above the bridge of his nose. He looked like a melon dropped from the cart, a pumpkin vandalized by neighbor boys. The back of his head simply wasn’t. Here was a young man who had killed himself, remarkably, to deliver a message to a woman he wanted to remember him. No doubt she does. I certainly do. But the message itself seemed inconsequential, purposefully vague. Did he want to be dead forever, or only absent from the pain? ‘I wanted to die,’ is all it seemed to say clearly. ‘Oh,’ is what the rest of us say.”

    $12 at Amazon | Buy

    | Posted 09 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Stupid Creatures


    I love these little guys! John Murphy is an artist who makes mini monsters out of your socks. Each one is handmade, and no two are alike. Look over his gallery for a full range of examples, then buy a beastie for your baby.

    $40 at Stupid Creatures | Buy

    (for ten inches or smaller)

    | Posted 09 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Menstrual Cramp Relief Patches


    Hey, you know how once a month your lower back starts moaning, and your abdomen expands to three times its size, and things that once seemed merely irritating now seem cataclysmic? No? Go away. The rest of you, come closer, I’m about to rock your world. ThermaCare Heatwraps are like hand warmers for your underpants. They have a sticky patch on the back, just like pads. You peel off the backing and affix them to the front of your underwear. There, they rest against your abdomen and release heaty goodness for several hours. This, as you might imagine, feels so good that your mouth will hang open in relief. Also, it decreases your desire lunge for people’s throats when they take the last cookie.

    $7 at | Buy

    (for three)

    | Posted 09 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason
  • Ona Pitcher


    This sleek, modernist pitcher by Crate and Barrel looks a lot more expensive than it is. It works great as a water pitcher or wine decanter, but it’s a pain to get orange juice pulp out of the handle. Still, it’s such a great piece that it’s worth an extra scrub. If you give it as a gift, tie a bottlebrush into the bow and you’re all set.

    $27 at Crate and Barrel | Buy

    | Posted 04 Sep, 2004 in September 2004 by Margaret Mason

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