Autostraddle’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide 2010: What Your Girlfriend Or Otherwise-Inclined Pal Wants

Happy holidays and good tidings to you! What is a tiding? Oh, it’s “a piece of information or news.” GOOD NEWS TO YOU. Are you prepared to spend money you really don’t have on things people really don’t need in the silent hopes of receiving something awesome that you also don’t need and aren’t going to buy for yourself? I hope so because guess what time it is….

Holiday Gift Guide time! In which we, the staff of Autostraddle, share our innermost hopes and desires via wish list, just like last year. This will probably give you some really great gift ideas of your own, so, you’re welcome. Let the unabashed consumerism begin!

(Sidenote: if you order via these links, a portion of your purchase goes to support our ongoing existence.)

Executive Editor Laneia:

Tea, Totes, Nature & Fast Veganism

Loose tea is sooo much better than packaged tea in bags. Just thinking about it makes me feel superior to bagged tea drinkers. I think I’d feel even more distinguished and important if I could brew my loose tea leaves in this Bodum Kenya Tea Press. Damn. That’s fucking fancy.

tea press 2I’ve wanted a foldover bag for what feels like forever but has probably only been about a year. This Lucky Brand Abbey Road Leather Foldover Tote in ‘vibrant orchid’ is more or less perfect, I think.

fold-over-toteApparently this book is a French classic, but of course I hadn’t heard of it until last week because that’s how I roll. Nature Stories by Jules Renard (illustrated by Pierre Bonnard & translated by Douglas Parmee) is full of poetry, short stories and ink blot illustrations (!) dealing with nature, of course, and our relationship with it. There’s a snail on the cover. I mean, I’m pretty much sold.

I’m currently experiencing an aversion to eating animals and I need some inspiration re: recipes. Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes is appealing based strictly on the word ‘fast’ in the title. Usually by the time I get around to preparing something to eat, I’m already so hungry that I’m close to passing out. The fact that the recipes will also be low-fat is unimportant, but intriguing nonetheless. Isa Chandra Moskowitz seems to be a Big Deal in the vegan world (see: Rachel’s picks), so that’s exciting.

Also clearly I want what everybody wants this holiday season, which is an Autostraddle Calendar. I’d like to turn it to April and just leave it up all year.

Senior Editor Rachel:

Cooking, Cook Books and a Date Book

First of all, American Apparel Hoodie. What. I am what I am, ok?

If I had my way, I would eat brunch every meal of the day. One step at a time, with cookbooks like Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Brunch: Homestyle Recipes Worth Waking Up For, I’m getting closer to living that dream. Other things you may find relevant to your interests: The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions! Be still, my beating stomach.

Keri Smith’s The Non-Planner Datebook: Maybe it’s pure fantasy to think that this Non-Planner Datebook will change the way I live my life, but then again I think that shared fantasy is the only reason anyone buys a datebook, so why not go for the gold. Also, it’s cute! Look how cute this is! You didn’t think books could be this cute, did you?

white canistersIn the movie version of my life, I am something like a cross between Ina Garten and Tank Girl. I also have a lot more money. In this version, I have a beautiful kitchen where I keep beautiful jars of sugar and flour and such on my vast countertop, so that they are within easy reach when a professional TV crew films me making myself lunch. Also, it’s annoying to have to walk into the pantry every time I need sugar. Look how pretty this Oggi White Canister Sets!

Writer Carolyn:

Hard Drives & Other Essentials

I drop things all the time. Sometimes these things include my computer, which is why I’m paranoid about backing up. But sometimes it can be a huge pain, especially if you drop your external hard drive on the floor while trying to fit it into a suitcase, then plug it in later only to have it ignite and make your entire house smell like burnt plastic (yes, this actually happened). Not only is the LaCie Rugged All-Terrain External Hard Drive huge, it has a friendly orange shock-absorbent aesthetic that makes me think it will be hard for me to break.

I’m an English lit nerd, but for some reason I haven’t read The White Album: Essays in non-excerpted form yet and I want to. The publisher says this:

“First published in 1979, The White Album records indelibly the upheavals and aftermaths of the 1960s. Examining key events, figures, and trends of the era—including Charles Manson, the Black Panthers, and the shopping mall—through the lens of her own spiritual confusion, Joan Didion helped to define mass culture as we now understand it. Written with a commanding sureness of tone and linguistic precision, The White Album is a central text of American reportage and a classic of American autobiography.”

My current backpack is held together in places by cleverly concealed duct tape and super glue and, considering it is my laptop bag, suitcase, and grocery cart, that’s becoming a problem. This High Sierra Access Backpack is duct tape free and looks like it could do all of those things at once.

Bigelow Green Tea isn’t organic or special in any way except that it is delicious, especially if you are into tea to the point where you drink it every day, but not to the point where you want to bother with loose tea leaves or the word “organic” or anything else fancy, which is me exactly.

Associate Editor Sarah

Infinity Scarves & Modern Family Obviously

I’m really excited about Steve Martin‘s new book, An Object of Beauty. I didn’t realize he was all up in the New York art scene, but apparently it’s true. He wrote An Object of Beauty: A Novel based on a bunch of his observations about the art world. I can’t wait until I emerge from my study cave after finals so I can read this! I think it’s gonna be one of those books that simultaneously is really pretentious and really entertaining. Also, one time I saw him at Bonnaroo. He was wearing a white suit.

object of beautyI realize that I am like two years late to the infinity scarf party. But now I live in a place where winter is no joke, so I’ve been thinking much more seriously about my cold-weather accessories. And this Chain Circle Loop Eternity Scarf is so pretty!

I don’t care who you are, you need the complete first season of Modern Family on DVD. I’m serious. Just buy it.

Music Editor Crystal

F-cking Rock & Roll

I can’t think of a better way to spend the holidays than watching Kristen Stewart making out with cute girls or strutting around on stage in leathers, straddling a Melody Maker in The Runaways. Also, Laneia said that the DVD commentary is “The Fucking Best Thing I’ve Ever Heard,” which is pretty serious.

RunawaysOver the past few days I’ve become strangely obsessed with this idea that Jack Kerouac’s On the Road would be brilliant in audiobook format. One of my friends will likely buy this for me so that I’ll shut up about it.

Keith Richards left an impression on me when he said, “Everyone talks about rock these days; the problem is they forget about the roll.” His new autobiography, Life, will no doubt provide me with many more quotable words of wisdom, and quite possibly also the secret to immortality.

Next: Churro Maker, Bon Appetit, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Fred’s Port-A-Pint Folding Beer Glass, Get Super Fit for A Femme and so much more!

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  1. Amy Sedaris’ craft book is probably the funniest thing I’ve ever spent 15 minutes looking at in the Target book aisle. That’s a funny lady, right there.

    And once again, I recommend, for the very enthusiastic coffee drinker in your life, the Aerobie AeroPress. It might look like a hassle to make the coffee with it but trust and believe me when I say that it make the best cup of coffee you’ll ever have.

    (that’s like Aguamenti but for coffee.)
    (i made it up.)

  2. i know this isn’t, uh, what this post is about, but can i just say that i watched the runaways for the first time and i did not get the kstew thing before but I GET IT NOW. oh dear jesus, do i ever get it.

    jesus christ.

    • Hot, right? I bought the Runaways DVD on the weekend and watched it an embarrassing number of times.

      Laneia was right, the commentary really is the best thing I’ve ever heard. *spoiler* At one point K-Stew yells “Get your fucking hands off her!” when some dude on screen touches Dakota and it made my homo heart swell like it has never swelled before.

    • I was actually kind of disappointed with the commentary. I felt like Dakota and K-Stew kept interrupting Joan over and over and it was annoying. Also, it was disappointing because I was hoping K-Stew was a total lesbian at heart, but her comments ruined what could have been believable acting. The girls were clearly not very enthusiastic (seemed almost grossed out) about their lesbian scenes together. I wanted them to be like, “Oh yeah, that was fucking hot, let’s make out right now, in fact.” High hopes, I guess. I always want everything to be more lesbianic than it is.


  4. As a loose-tea drinker and a dorm dweller, I would NOT recommend glass tea pots to college students. They are very pretty; my mom has one and I love it, but that will be one shitty day if and when it breaks. I recommend porcelain (although I’ve already broken one of those) and even more so I’d recommend getting a cast iron tea pot.

    But anywho, I love loose leaf tea! I don’t even drink it out of the bags anymore!

    • Veganomicon is like the holy grail for vegans. (check out the vegan scones!)

      I love all of Isa’s books and I’m not even vegan. My copy of Vegan with a Vengeance is literally falling apart from over-use.

  5. Since my BFF went vegan we’ve made a lot of recipes from Isa Chandra Moskovitz’s books. I largely credit them for keeping her alive (her previous cooking repertoire consisted of quesadillas and lemon cookies).

    There are SO many good recipes. Mom replaced her old banana nut muffin recipe with the vegan one and as long as you don’t tell everyone they’re vegan everyone swears they are the best they’ve ever had.

    Definitely recommended for veggies, vegans, and any other omnivores who aren’t afraid of cooking without meat.

  6. hot laura, come on- you pound nails, you don’t screw them. don’t get screwed get hammered. try and make my puns worse, anyone, i dare you.

    I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD WHO DRANK YERBA MATE. except for all those pretty little paraguayans i guess. i think maybe a couple other people BUT NOT MANY

    is so tasty

    also: zooey deschanel on a bike <3

  7. RIESE. For the love of God and all that is (un)holy, DO NOT BUY A MOTHER FUCKING SCHWINN BICYCLE. Schwinn was bought out by Pacific Bikes (like 9 years ago now) which is officially THE shoddiest manufacturing in the industry and is now carried by none other than Walmart. IT’S THE MAN’S BRAND, RIESE.

    Look, I know it can be fucking intimidating out there, but I’m a bike mechanic, just come talk to me.

    • can you tell me what bike to get, i don’t know how/where to get one. i look on craigslist and get overwhelmed because since i don’t have a bike, i am limited in the methods by which i could go look at a bike. my friend says not to get a mountain bike. i know i don’t like the kind where you have to bend over like in the races. ideally i would like it to be not heavy. also i need a man bike b/c i am 5’10. WHAT DO I GET

          • Get a road bike, preferably an old aluminum frame. Then take it to your local bike kitchen and they can teach you to fix it up. Great place to meet local lesbians.

            Brands: Peugot (my personal fave and super fast), trek, fuji, motobecane, bianchi

            Make sure you get the right size frame (most important thing, after the color of course). You can go to an expensive bike shop and pretend you are looking to buy a new bike. They’ll help you figure out your measurements. Write them down, then tell them you’ll need some time to think. Then go buy a used bike/frame off craigslist or ebay.

          • YES PLEASE YES PLEASE YES PLEASE! I know a little about bikes (I built mine from the frame up) and I know some basics about some other kinds of bikes but i’m definitely no mechanic. So I’d sure be willing to help anyone out with some stuff if they were interested in doing an article at all. Just shoot me an e-mail or tumblr message if you want!

          • I’d love to do a thing on bicycles. SERIOUSLY.
            I am mega qualified and such. Only thing… FINALS.
            Let me get back to you.

            Riese, email me we’ll get talking about the kind of bike that would work best for you.

          • “I’d love to do a thing on bicycles. SERIOUSLY.”

            NGL, first thought was definitely “OMG how would that even WORK that would take such hardcore balancing skills I don’t even KNOW.”

            Also how one would get “mega qualified” for such an activity. Do you work your way up? Start on an office chair with wheels, move up to a tricycle and just go from there?

            Finals are clearly frying my brain.

          • My “mega qualifications” stem from having worked for an independent bike shop for over 2 years. Not gonna lie, it totally felt like I spent some time in the trenches. You wouldn’t think so at first, but yeah you do kind of have to “work your way up” in these things. First in the sense of earning the respect of fellow mechanics (ie, the men) so they won’t write you off as an idiot, and then in the sense of learning enough about the industry itself to be able to read between the lines of all the marketing BS and trends.

            LAURA. LET’S WRITE THIS… After finals are over.

        • I’m glad to hear that! They brighten my entire life. :D

          The thing about Boston Terrier people is that they become/are COMPLETELY OBSESSED with anything that has to do with Boston Terriers (or French Bulldogs), especially their own. It’s a thing. It’s a huge thing. We spend hours watching youtube videos of other people’s boston terriers. We frequent littlebeasts dot com for the photo of the week. We see a Boston Terrier in public and we freak the fuck out. We will stalk people with Boston Terriers for blocks just so that we can like say hi to their dog. Or maybe that’s just me. But I don’t think it is. Because when you meet another Boston lover there is this instant connection and you can talk for hours solely about these amazing creatures. And we all say the same thing, “I could never get another type of dog.” I could seriously go on for days about them. They are the BEST.

          Also, Boston Terrier = major chick magnet.

  8. Riese! You will NOT regret The Doris Anthology. It is one of the best things I have ever bought/read/owned. She is incredible!! I have read that little (not really so little) book probably 12 times. The way she writes is soothing and rational as well as intelligent and it calms me down in any time of stress to read any of her work. Also Valencia is awesome-sauce as well as anything I have ever read by Ariel Schrag! Please get those three things if anything!

  9. um literally i geeked out at most of the items on this list.

    i’ve always felt like a fashion/clothes outsider. i don’t wear like girlie clothes but i’m not a stone butch either.
    and like when i look at my female friends and my girl cousins and see what they wear and what i’m wearing, i’m either the cool cousin or the “whats her deal” kinda chick.

    anyway, yes i’ve grown into my own but chicks in magazines not only never look like me but they NEVER dress like me or accessorize or express themselves through dress the way i do.

    thank you autostraddle for once again pulling me in and making me feel like i’m not a complete outcast and like i’ve got this crew of chicks feeling what i do and sharing who they are.

    i am going to rock the shit out of that watch and search high and low for those kicks. thank you.
    love it. love love love all of you.

    thank you for making me feel not only comfortable but at peace in my own skin one article at a time.


  10. I have that Lucky Brand tote in turquoise, and I get a lot of compliments on it. Albeit, generally from middle-aged women who are trying to find their daughters a “hip” (their words not mine) over the shoulder bag, not the cute queer girls that I would hope. So, I guess I am the poster child of what middle-aged women think is hip.

  11. Pingback: Pequeñas pero picantes Diciembre 2010 • Lesbicanarias

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