Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gift Guide: For Him

This is a little late, but I thought I'd post it anyways in case anyone is stumped. My house is currently full of boxes, and everything is in a state of disarray. I'm moving on Thursday, before going to Phoenix this weekend for Christmas with my parents, then leaving for Hawaii shortly thereafter. (I'm getting married in two and a half weeks!) Life is a little crazy right now, so I apologize if posting is spotty. I'll try my best to sneak in a few more posts before the holiday.

4. Bicycle Silver Edition Poker Cards, $5 5. Sage Soap, $7 6. Ceramic Soap Dish, $20

7. Art in the Age Spirits**, $40-48 8. Hella Bitters, $20 9. Whiskey Disks, $30 
10. Bourbon Maple Syrup, $35 11. Tovolo Perfect Cube Tray, $11 12. Oatmeal Stout Homebrew Kit, $19

**These are awesome: made in small batches by an artisan collective, based on the recipes of early American settlers, with all natural ingredients, and absolutely delicious. We have Root and we love it- it  tastes like root beer (but better)!

16. Feuerhand Lantern, $42 17. Tiffin Carrier, $30  18. SOG Flash I Knife, $45

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hey, It's Christmas!

Christmas is almost here, which means that the holiday music season is in full swing. And the third volume of Hey, It's Christmas is out! Hey, It's Christmas is a collaboration between a bunch of indie artists to cover holiday classics. Some of the renditions are absolutely breath-taking, some are lots of fun, and few are lovably weird. And, best of all, you can download the album for free (though they do take donations)! Click over to their site for the download.

P.S. You can still get Volume One and Volume Two

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Short Film: В лесу родилась ёлочка (The Forest Raised a Christmas Tree)

I have a delightful Soviet cartoon for you today. "В лесу родилась ёлочка" is probably my favorite Russian holiday song, and this little cartoon makes it even better. For the non-Russian speakers, I've included a translation of the song under the video. Basically, every night at midnight in the artist's studio, all of the pictures come to life, and on this night they decide to watch a movie together. It's quite a fun little holiday cartoon.

Fun Fact: Even though the song translates "ёлочка" as a "Christmas tree," it would be more accurate to call it a "New Year's tree." New Year's (Новый год) is a much more significant holiday in Russia than it is in the US, and most people decorate New Year's trees rather than Christmas trees. 

Made in 1972

English Lyrics:
The forest raised a Christmas tree, 
‘Twas silent and serene 
In winter and in summer 
It was slender and so green. 
The wind sang it a lullaby: 
Sleep Christmas tree, sleep tight! 
The snow was making clothes for it:
 It was a pretty sight! 
A trembling bunny put himself 
Beneath its arms so wide; 
The hungry wolf just passed him by - 
A lovely place to hide! 
Some sleigh bells rang throughout the woods,
 The snow was crisp and clean, 
A horsey brought a forester 
To hew that tree so green. 
And now it comes to visit us, 
With lights and garlands bright, 
While all the children dance and sing
 To greet it with delight!

(Translation by Arthur Durando and Irina Popov)

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I am currently buried in a bunch of books regarding Islamic discourse in Chechnya and will not escape until this term paper is finished. Hopefully it will be soon... 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Song for Sunday: Jenny O.

After spending well over eight years in a variety of performing art groups where preparation for Christmas performances begin in August, I would say I'm more familiar with Christmas music than any one person should be. (Calculating that one should listen to Christmas music approximately one month a year, I've had enough exposure to last me at least forty years.) There are still some songs that are old favorites that I don't mind listening to a few times, some that have been so imbued with memories that they probably (hopefully) can't get too overplayed. But every so often I make my favorite sort of holiday find, a new, unfamiliar song that still captures that worn, familiar warmth of the holiday season. "Get Down for the Holidays" by Jenny O. is one of those songs.

"Get Down for the Holidays" by Jenny O.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Gift Guide: Wordy

Words are wondrous, wily creatures, waiting to be crafted and spun into winding webs of meaning, whispered in quiet, clouded corners, or cried out across the din... and writing is a beautiful struggle with these elements. These are a few of my favorite selections for those that appreciate the written word, from quotes for the wall to good journals for a jotted thought and pretty notes to be sent with love:

19. Feliz Navidad, $5 20. Typographic Nativity Card, $4 (or 6 for $10) 21. Brilliant New Year (10), $13
22. Noel Postcard, $10  23. Holiday Critters (10), $14 24. Be Merry, $7