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  • Volcano

    Volcano

    Kids love blowing things up. Provide them with a safe outlet for their destructive impulses, and perhaps you can distract them long enough to hide the breakables.

    $15 at Sam&Seb | Buy

    | Posted 18 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Ice Cream Scoop

    Ice-cream-scoop

    The perfect ice cream scoop. Tie a ribbon around the handle, and pick up a pint of gourmet ice cream on your way over. You will be invited back.

    $17 at Amazon | Buy

    | Posted 18 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Everything is Illuminated

    Everything-is-illuminated

    by Jonathan Safran Foer Please read this book, it’s exceptionally satisfying. An excerpt: “She always saw through him, as if he were just another window. She always felt that she knew everything about him, that could be known-not that he was simple, but that he was knowable, like a list of errands, like an encyclopedia. He had a birthmark on the third toe of his left foot. He wasn’t able to urinate if someone could hear him. He thought cucumbers were good enough, but pickles were delicious–so absolutely delicious, in fact, that he questioned whether they were, indeed made from cucumbers, which were only good enough. He hadn’t heard of Shakespeare, but Hamlet sounded familiar. He liked making love from behind. That, he thought, was about as nice as it gets. He had never kissed anyone besides his mother and her… He had never seen another man naked, and so had no idea if his body was normal. The word “butterfly” made him blush, although he didn’t know why… He admired magicians more after learning the secrets of their tricks.”

    $11 at Amazon | Buy

    | Posted 18 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Tamara Hensick Big Wishes Wishbone

    Tamara-hensick-big-wishes-wishbone

    What do you wish for your loved ones? Health, Joy, Prosperity. Welcome babies into the world, wish your girlfriend well at her new job, get your brother’s married life off to a solid start. You can give them as is, or attach your own tag with a wish written out.

    $3 at Melange | Buy

    (1 1/2" L x 1" W)

    | Posted 15 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Limited Edition Anakin Skywalker Lightsaber

    Limited-edition-anakin-skywalker-lightsaber

    I can almost hear you pushing your heavy-framed glasses up for a better look. Behold, my geeky brethren, the Limited Edition Anakin Skywalker Lightsaber. It’s an official reproduction from Episode III; the accent pieces are plated with 18K gold. Comes with a numbered metal plaque and certificate of authenticity. (Your breath is totally fogging the screen.) Oh yeah, it also comes with a display case. No Lightsaber collection is complete without it.

    $370 at Target | Buy

    (11")

    | Posted 15 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Skinny Mini

    Skinny-mini

    ON SALE, QUICK PICK Leather Envelope

    $100 at Kenneth Cole | Buy

    (Regularly $125)

    | Posted 14 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Journal Memory Boxes

    Journal-memory-boxes

    BY REQUEST This acid-free, 100 percent cotton journal features a suede-lined compartment where you can store mementos. The box closes with a magnetic clap, so your treasures will stay put. You could use it as a baby book, storing a locket of hair, baby booties, and a snip of blankie fabric. Or use it as a travel journal and secret away bits of stone from the piazza, a wine label, and a stalk of lavender from the guest-cottage garden.

    $25 at Kate's Paperie | Buy

    | Posted 13 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Burgundy Deluxe Doorman

    Burgundy-deluxe-doorman

    BY REQUEST Maxwell writes, “Since it’s all springy now, and Spring means rain, I think you guys should try to find some nifty umbrellas and post them on your site.” I’m tired of all the dreary black umbrellas, so we’ll start with this beautiful deep red doorman umbrella. It’s sturdy and windproof, with sixteen panels, a curved handle, and a 62” arc.

    $24 at Umbrellas.com | Buy

    | Posted 11 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Clear Blue

    Clear-blue

    BY REQUEST A blue-tinted, transparent umbrella with metallic handle, so slick.

    $20 at Umbrellas.com | Buy

    | Posted 11 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Airyusha Robotan Toilet Paper Holder

    Airyusha-robotan-toilet-paper-holder

    Talk about robot butler. This little robot head screws into your bathroom wall and dispenses toilet paper out of his mouth. It’s made of ceramic and comes with a roll of toilet paper.

    $35 at Audio Cubes | Buy

    (Available in black, white, yellow or red.)

    | Posted 08 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Shure E3c Sound Isolating Earphones

    Shure-e3c-sound-isolating-earphones

    Yes, all of us know that iPod headphones are crappy. Several of my friends have solved the problem by buying a pair of these babies, and now all of them are evangelists. One of them read that, when you’re wearing them, you feel as though the music would come out of your mouth if you opened it. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    $165 at Amazon | Buy

    | Posted 07 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Organic Cocoa Surface Graphic

    Organic-cocoa-surface-graphic

    These adhesive shapes peel off and stick to your walls in whatever pattern you choose. Much easier than spending days covered in wallpaper glue, and a potentially more dramatic result. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but these cellular ovals are pleasantly versatile. Each package comes with eight 16” or 7” decals. In the photo pictured, they’ve mixed both sizes.

    $37 at Sprout Home | Buy

    | Posted 06 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Anything Fun Is Wrong

    Anything-fun-is-wrong

    QUICK PICK, blank journal.

    $11 at Buy Olympia | Buy

    (5" x 8.5")

    | Posted 05 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Chutes T-shirt

    Chutes-t-shirt

    T-shirt designers agree, conflict is best viewed from afar. Military maneuvers can be so darn pretty from a distance. These lazy parachuters float through distinctly unfriendly skies as a fighter jet awaits.

    $24 at Karmaloop | Buy

    | Posted 05 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Sea Vase

    Sea-vase

    $88 at Fly-Bird | Buy

    (No longer available.)

    | Posted 04 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • TV-B-Gone Keychain Remote Control

    Tv-b-gone-keychain-remote-control

    TV-B-Gone is a control-freak dream device. This mini-remote turns off almost any television without harming it. An amusing gift for those who prefer conversation to a “Three’s Company” rerun.

    $15 at Target | Buy

    ( 2-1/2Lx2W".)

    | Posted 01 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Good Earth Teas

    Good-earth-teas

    Tuck a few Good Earth teabags in your purse and you’ll never have to submit to the indignity of Lipton again. Their original Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Blend, is like a chai without all the calories and prep work. It also makes a feisty, satisfying iced tea. Their Green Tea Blend includes lemon grass, which gives it a mild tang.

    $3 at Amazon | Buy

    | Posted 01 Apr, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Geishas Pillow

    Geishas-pillow

    Seems like I come across a new crazy-expensive-pillows site every day. This one is a silk-wool blend stuffed with down. The sweet geishas are printed on the front and back.

    $77 at Fly-Bird | Buy

    (No longer available.)

    | Posted 31 Mar, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Scrabble Cuff Links

    Scrabble-cuff-links

    QUICK PICK

    $64 at Uncommon Goods | Buy

    (Silver and Scrabble. .6"x.6")

    | Posted 31 Mar, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Picnic Service Set

    Picnic-service-set

    Stow service for eight right next to your spare tire. This colorful basket contains plastic plates, bowls, cups, and flatware; you add the corkscrew. Tuck it in your trunk and you’re ready for roadside wine and cheese whenever the weather permits.

    $36 at Target | Buy

    | Posted 31 Mar, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Boostaroo

    Boostaroo

    The Boostaroo is a portable amplifier and splitter that works with MP3 players, DVDs, laptops, Gameboys, or portable TVs. It can give you 100 percent volume kick and lets you share any device with up to three people.

    $25 at Think Geek | Buy

    | Posted 29 Mar, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Girl Scout Cookies

    Girl-scout-cookies

    When I moved to a big city, it never occurred to me that I’d be sacrificing my Girl Scout cookies. The wee green ones don’t come to my door or stake out the grocery stores I frequent. My cupboards are cookie-free, and I’m starting to have withdrawal symptoms. The Girl Scouts don’t sell cookies online, but I did find a site where you can download a mail-order form and have Lemon Cremes delivered direct to your door. You have until the end of April to stuff your freezer with Peanut Butter Patties and Caramel deLites before the cookies disappear for another year. Stock up.

    $4 at Girl Scouts, Patriots' Trail Council | Buy

    | Posted 29 Mar, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Confederacy of Dunces

    Confederacy-of-dunces

    John Kennedy Toole committed suicide in 1969 and never saw the publication of his novel. Confederacy of Dunces is a hilarious and tragic book that explores the life of decidedly unlikable Ignatius J. Reilly. Excerpts: “Your total ignorance of that which you profess to teach merits the death penalty. I doubt whether you know that St. Cassian of Imola was stabbed to death by his students with their styli…Pray to him, you deluded fool, you ‘anyone for tennis?’ golf-playing, cocktail-quaffing, pseudo-pedant.” “Santa, honey, that’s a sweet little Blessed Virgin you got on top that TV,” Mrs. Reilly said. …Santa said, “Ain’t it nice, though? It’s a little Our Lady of the Television. It’s got a suction cup base so I don’t knock it over when I’m banging around in the kitchen. I bought it by Lenny’s” “Lenny’s got everything,” Mrs. Reilly said. “It looks like it’s made outta nice plastic, too. Don’t break.” “My mentality, uncontrollable and wanton as always, whispered to me a scheme so magnificent and daring that I shrank from the very thought of what I was hearing. “Stop! I cried imploringly my godlike mind. ‘This is madness!’”

    $11 at Amazon | Buy

    | Posted 29 Mar, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Retro Bullet Planter

    Retro-bullet-planter

    For years I’ve been covetous of my friend’s 1950s bullet planter, and now I can have a shiny new one all for myself. It’s made of fiberglass and steel, and it beats the heck out of terra cotta. I like it in white with a tall succulent or unusual tropical flowers. Scoot one into that weird bare corner in your apartment, and make yourself a martini.

    $140 at Fly-Bird | Buy

    ( Bowl 15.75"d Stand 22.75"h)

    | Posted 25 Mar, 2005 by Margaret Mason
  • Track Top Jacket in Mushroom

    Track-top-jacket-in-mushroom

    QUICK PICK

    $79 at Ben Sherman | Buy

    | Posted 16 Mar, 2005 by Margaret Mason

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