The Great 2014 Gift Exchange!!

To Mush / From Tam

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OMG I’M SO GLAD TAM GOT MY NAME because I LOVE THESE SO BAD YOU GUYS. Two woven pashmina scarves. Two! Warm, soft, international. ALL MINE. I love these, Tam. Especially the large one, which I’m wearing wrong-side-out in this picture because I like it that way AND I CAN BECAUSE IT’S WOVEN AND THEREFORE TWO-SIDED.

I have a habit of sitting on the living room floor with my laptop on the coffee table while internetting. These wraps are perfect for keeping off the winter drafts and I’ve been wearing them regularly. The large one will probably end up as a meditation shawl because it’s so large and awesome.

I have a shitty acrylic version of these wraps, actually; I bought it a few years ago at a truck stop in the mountains on the way back from a gig because I was chilly. It gets compliments, but I’m going to BURN IT because it’s such a poor copy of these, the real thing. These are gorgeous and will be well-used.

Thank you so much, Tam!


To Mikey / From Craig

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Craig knew exactly what to get for the tv snob in me. Oh wait, that’s all of me. He got me an amazing 30 Rock mug with a portrait of the incredible Liz Lemon (née Tina Fey) on one side and the phrase “A splash of lemon” on the other side AND a never-nude pint sized Tobias Fünke. Sure I’m living in the TV of latter days, but I’m thrilled. Thanks, Craig!!!!


To Michelle M / From Justin

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I received my gifts from Justin. He sent me a blue bookmark (I love blue! And I love books!). This will come in handy as I’m a terrible dog-earer. He also gave me a beautiful hand made leather notebook to jot down all my doodles and million dollar ideas in. Last, but not least, he sent the perfect gift – a sparkly little budgie ornament. Every tree should have one. Thank you so much Justin!!


To Harry M / From David P

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Dave P. sent me a 6 pack of Bell’s Porter beer, some Ghirardelli chocolate and two seed cakes for the flock. A big thank you from the flock and me!


To VUBOQ / From Mush

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I received two Sci-Fi related gifts from my exchange person, Mush. First, she sent a Dalek-shaped dish scrubber. I will be able to exterminate all baked on food and grime with it. Second, she sent the Light of Eärendil. It will be a light for me in dark places, when all other light has failed. Thanks so much, Mush for these practical, yet science fiction-y, gifts!


To Nathan / From Ty

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This year I received a delicious box of strange Japanese Kit Kats. I was really confused because Ty’s card arrives two days after the chocolates and I had no idea why I’d had chocolates arrive at my door (secret admirer?). They were delicious, even the wasabi flavoured ones. Thanks Ty!


To DrPara / From TwoPi

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To push off Adam’s wrath, I’m taking time out of drinking to write this! For my bloggie gift giver, I got TwoPi, who actually gave me, what I consider, the coolest gift I got this year. Sure, there was almond biscotti, and some fantastic music (the biscotti was served at a family gathering on Christmas day and the music was played for all of 20 seconds before my aunt gave me that look.) However, it was a day later that I got this amazing gift, as seen in the pics. A cocktail chemistry set, because as much as I love cock, cocktails are my total life (as we’ve seen many a times.) Thank you sir, this will get much use in the apartment over the next 3 months as barren shit winter wrecks my want to go anywhere.


To Ty / From FDot

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FDot got me puzzles (in both calendar and book format), Reese’s spread (suck it, Nutella!) and a cheese slicer in the form of a Polaroid Instamatic (suck it, Kodak!). Both my brain and tummy are grateful!


To Tam / From Adam

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Since Adam is so mean, here is a pic from my sick bed. *cue violin music*

Anyway, due to screwy mail rules to get things to me, I asked my Santa to send me a card (see photo) and make a charity donation. My Santa Adam (who can be mean but made it on the nice list for this) made a donation to the Fund for Global Human Rights (insert Link). They support LGBTI, women’s and children’s rights around the world with only 10% of the funds going to admin. Thank you, Adam for a great choice and maybe some of that will be used in my part of the world.


To TwoPi / From Nathan

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I haven’t gotten a package (yet?), but thought I could at least send a photo of me and Elvis celebrating Crit’mas. (Photo taken from our dining room, looking through the new (under construction) window to the kitchen.)

But then his gift arrived…

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My gift came from Nathan, in Japan, and is an amazing taste of Japanese culture. In the photo I’m holding up a handkerchief/scarf from the Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum, in Osaka. They are known for their collection of Kamigata woodblock prints of Kabuki actors dating to the 17th century. Just below that on the left is a wine glass, and if you look closely you’ll see a young female elf in a Christmas stocking, perched on the rim. The papers that came with it indicate this is one of a series of 6 Christmas themed figurines, but I don’t know the larger context. Next to that is a cd of Babymetal, an awesome act that melds metal and j-pop, and has been one of the more controversial global metal acts from this past year. I can‘t possibly describe them in text, so please check out this video of one of their catchier songs.

Babymetal is a worthy addition to my collection of Japanese metal music. Awesome!

There is also a collection of snacks! From left to right:

· Yellow packaging, the only latin text “Ca+Fi”; snacks are star-shaped, puffy, brown; looks a bit like breakfast cereal; has a mocha flavor. This went over well with Heather and the boys.

· Large white package, with a big-headed yellow baby: strips that look like a cross between Fritos and corn husks; crisp; flavor is a little beefy? Could be Fritos, soaked in beef boullion, then dried and fried up crispy. I like them, but I’m in the minority.

· Blue package: “Mike” popcorn! A pretty straightforward popcorn, but there’s a curious taste to the salt – sea salt, or a hint of anchovy? A nice take on a salted snack.

· Box: “Milky”. Holds a bunch of wrapped candies, that look a bit like taffy. They’re white, and hard, flavor is of dairy – milk? Whipped cream? Something like that. Heather likes them the most of all of us.

· Card and strip: A strip of Pokeman themed packets of gum; the gum tastes very similar to juicyfruit. Not bad, but I feel like I’m foolishly opening the package and eating the gum from a collectable of some sort….

Nathan: Thank you!!! You rock!!!


To Xi-Heather / From Polt

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My gift came from none other than the amazing Polt! He sent yarn, which Godzilla is already starting to make into a red and green striped hat, and Mama Polt’s baking (represented by an empty plate because, well, they were cookies and peanut brittle. And they were delicious.) And he also sent the Godzilla mug, which made me laugh with glee (enough that the 14-year old wondered what the heck great present I’d just gotten). Thanks Polt!


To Kristen / From Harry

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I got the best gift ever because it involved JELLY FISH! Yes, Harry sent me a little packet of jelly related items, including some fun and festive jelly bellies! Not pictured here is a super cute card and chocolate bar I received. The little paperweight even glows in the dark but I’ve yet to try it out. GO JELLIES!


To Adam / From Mikey

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Mikey gives the best gifts! He gave me Tod Browning’s ‘FREAKS’ – starring my beloved Pepper’s predecessors/inspirations! I’m also dazzling at the lovely smells of ‘Fifty Shades of Brown Lavatory Mist’. As many of you know, I’ve stopped pooping in 2015; but not everyone that I live with had the same New Year’s resolution. (I’m looking at you, Mr. Sombrero, Spring and Ollie!) And last but not least, Mikey bestowed upon me a ‘Mr. T In Your Pocket’ keychain soundboard that features such hits as, “I pity the fool!” and “First name: Mister, middle name: period, last name: T!” Thanks Mikey!


To Craig / From Michelle M.

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Michelle got me this awesome Lego mug that is pretty much the best mug on the face of the planet. Even Lego Craig approves, and he’s very particular when it comes to mugs. She also gave me a delicious bag of chocolate treats which did not survive long enough to make it into the picture. Thanks Michelle!


To David P. / From VUBOQ

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My bloggy exchange gifts came from my bloggy bestie Steven! Two awesome handmade Japanese-style tea mugs in the likenesses of my cats Lisa and Millhouse, cat toys, a cheap 80s porn DVD and a reusable Urban Outfitters canvas bag!!!!!


To Justin / From DrPara

So my gift-giver this round was Jason Galkus, aka @Jay_the_Gay, aka The Infamous Dr Para. Allen was best man in a wedding in Chicago this summer (which sadly caused us to miss Tam’s going away party slash Puntabucrowd reunion) and while we were there, we did in fact make a special trip down to the south side to meet Jay in person, so it was extra special fun to happen to end up with him as gift-giver this year J

I have to say, Jay was so amazingly generous – with a veritable bottomless cornucopia of gifts! He was so thoughtful, he even included a gift for Allen and one for Lisa!

Here is a photo of me holding the wrapped presents by the tree (one of my own extra-specially-humiliating Christmas hats included for readers’ amusement [hopefully Jay in particular will get a kick out of that]):

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And another showing the extra goodies that Jay included on top of the wrapped ones, for me and Lisa:

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and lastly I had poor Allen wear another equally-embarrassing elf hat to show off the present Jay sent specifically for him:

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The unwrapped goodies were three bags of delicious gummy bears, plus Ghirardelli Chocolates for Allen and Lisa for which Jay included a note making it clear that I was to keep my paws off them 🙂 He will be happy to know that I have indeed obliged and not had a single one!

In addition to the pictured gifts, the entire box came with a USB flash drive loaded with music Jay thought I’d like, and a Christmas letter to go along with the gifts.

The three wrapped presents were particularly thoughtful. Jay included his own explanations in his letter, of each. First was a DVD of The Opposite of Sex, which has been in my list for years, so now I have no excuse not to watch it:

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(and yes, Jay, I do own a copy of Rocky Horror Picture Show, to answer your question)

Next is W Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage:

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… which I have not yet read either. This was an inspired choice, since Maugham is one of my absolute favorite authors, though I’ve only ever read his short stories. I’m truly thrilled with this gift and it’s going to be my next book as soon as I finish the book Allen got me for Christmas (Ghostwritten by David Mitchell)!

Last came a novel I had not yet heard of by another favorite author of mine:

… which I have not yet read either. This was an inspired choice, since Maugham is one of my absolute favorite authors, though I’ve only ever read his short stories. I’m truly thrilled with this gift and it’s going to be my next book as soon as I finish the book Allen got me for Christmas (Ghostwritten by David Mitchell)!

Last came a novel I had not yet heard of by another favorite author of mine:

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… Jay had no way of knowing this, but I’ve always loved Tom Robbins. Jitterbug Perfume in particular is one of my favorite books of all time, so I’m truly looking forward to this!

All in all, I’m overawed with Jay’s thoughtful choices. And I did try not to eat all the gummy bears at once but (apart from the few Allen and Lisa managed to snag) they’re all long gone.

Thanks so much, Jason! Your gifts were truly lovely and thoughtful and I’m thrilled!


To: Talita / From: Heather

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I received a cake boss flower pan, that I can not wait to make little cakes in. I also got a candle that I already started burning as you can see from the picture. And Arianna’s favorite part of the present Christmas treats, that she couldn’t wait to open! Thank you so much Heather, I love everything!


To: John / From: Kristen “The Kid”

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I received my presents from Kristen (a.k.a. “The Kid). Kristen sent me a gift certificate from the Home Depot, which will be used to find the many projects I have to do around my house. This specifically will be used to purchase paint for my kitchen cabinets. Or perhaps new plants for my yard if I am too lazy to paint my cabinets….

Kristen also sent me the “Title” EP by Megan Trainor. While I am uncomfortable thinking about Kristen’s bass or lack there of, I can say that based on the lyrics of some of the songs, I am concerned for the welfare if her future husband…

Thank you for my presents Kristen! I am enjoying the cd and the gift cert will go to good use!


To: Polt / From: John

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My Christmas Gift Sender was john eliot, and I got one of those AMAZING homemade artwork things he does! This is obviously of Superman, and its unfortunate you cant see all the intricate detail in the photo. I recognize the issue it came from, although I dont remember which title and number. And i know it’s based on John Byrne artwork (which means nothing to you if you’re not a comic book geek like me. but since I am, that makes it all the more awesome) I don’t how he does it, but this the simply incredible. Thanks john eliot! Now I just have to find the right place to put it in the house….


To: FDot / From: Marcus

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My Bloggy gift arrived from MARCUS! It featured two items. 1. A lovely sheet of the most bizarre Disney stickers I’ve seen. I swear Donald and Pluto are staring at me, Daisy and Mickey are trying to pass the blame for…something, Minnie and Goofy are just being simpletons and it looks like Chip and Dale are all set to go mano-a-mano. They are chipmunks after all, nature’s striped rats. There are also some disembodied heads stuck in clear plastic bubbles. Maybe they insulted Droopy Dog. 2. A vintage 1950’s Archie pin. Archie Comics is headquartered only .2 miles from me, so my hope is to show up wearing the pin and get offered a job. If not, the pin is 60 years old and a little rusty in the back, so I can jab whoever turns me down and give them tetanus as revenge. Two great items that I will thoroughly enjoy. Thank you Marcus!


To: Marcus / From: Talita

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For Gift Exchange 2014, I received a pair of sea green vintage sunglasses with gold detail from Talita. Thank you so much for the glasses 🙂


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6 thoughts on “The Great 2014 Gift Exchange!!”

  1. Everyone did a great job as usual. And hey, this post arrived before Valentine’s Day. Go us. Merry Christmas last month everyone.

  2. What great gifts! I’m always amazed at the hand made gifts – we’ve got some talented people in this bunch. And some very thoughtful people. And some very funny people. And Adam.

    Adam, you forgot to (insert Link)!

  3. Such wonderful gifts from everyone and your comments were so fun to read! If I had known my comments were going to posted here (Michelle probably told me), I would have busted out the writing instruments. At least my thank you card to David was better than this lame comment.

    As a big fan of heavy metal, that BabyMetal is just weird. I don’t know if I liked it, but I watched the whole video.

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