Woo-hoo! So, since monday, I have made my way through 2 books and half way through the third. The first two books were, in my opinion, pretty awesome. The first one was the awesomest, because its totally my thing. I read: The Rick Mercer Report Paperback Book! Yes! If you don't know who Rick Mercer is and you're Canadian, shame on you! I didn't say you have to like him, I said you have to know him. If you're American, he's kind of like John Stewart or Stephen Colbert except funnier. Also his humor is uniquely Canadian, so while you could youtube him I doubt you Americans would get it. You may also be a little offended by his talking to Americans segment. But before you get your patriotic panties in a twist please remember, we live beside the most arrogant and powerful nation in the world, if we didn't laugh at you we would have to find a way to kill you. The second book had its ups and downs, its called Waiter Rant, it was based on the author's blog.
Its not that he's a bad writer, its just that so many of his flaws are also my own, and he wound up waiting tables well in to his late thirties, I mean sure he got a book deal and found somthing else to do, but still, it makes me antsy.
The last one that I'm reading right now is David Sedaris's When Engulfed in Flames. At the outset I found it a little hard to get in to, which was too bad really because I have read nothing but good about this book, maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough to get it.
In other news, and this is the best news of all, I have 4 lbs of the best hand-made chocolate in Canada, if not the world, sitting in my freezer waiting to be devoured by my family on Christmas day. I'm not going to lie the suspense is killing me. To help myself along with the suspense I got some humbugs and peanut brittle from the same company. If they weren't so nicely gift-wrapped I would have already taken a chocolate or two and moved the other around to hide the hole. I got 4 boxes when I only actually need two (one for Grandpa and one for Mom, my dad thinks chocolate is a lame gift, as does my sister) so I will probably be busting one of those extra suckers in... oh... about 2 hours. Lets just say my plans for this evening involve getting hungry with a couple of my girlfriends without actually, you know, exerting ourselves.
Ok here's my last little bit. As you all know, I'm more or less perpetually single, probably because I think I'm the shit, though maybe not, it seems to work for men. Anyhow, in spite of my single status, people ask me for advice. I'm lucky that thus far it hasn't actually led anyone astray. But this is what I'm hearing a lot of: "Oh my GOD Laura, you've got to help me, I have no idea what the fuck to get for______ (fill in the blank.)" This question is usually from, the newbies if you will. The people that have been together for under a year. They're conflicted, many of them would like to buy something super-extravagent as the ultimate statement of love, but alas we are all students. The other thing I'm hearing (from the guys) is a way more cautious approach. It seems like a lot of men don't want to set the bar too high. Jewelry, (as in the good stuff not the crap from ardenes, or even the slightly more upper-scale gold or silver PLATED jewelry) is totally out of the question in their minds, since its clearly setting the bar pretty damn high. Ok I see where you're coming from, but just to clarify, if you buy a girl jewelry she is not going to expect it for every single occasion from now until when you guys break-up... I swear!
However, I think I have a solution that will satisfy both my sentamentalists and my under-achievers. A gift that shows you care. Now I see people scratching their heads, what does that MEAN Laura, and here we arrive at one of the fundamental differences between men and women. Women like stuff they can't use but that makes them feel special, hence the appeal of jewelry, men like stuff they can use. So for the caring stuff, for girls I can see a bunch of insanely cute gifts given over a date: A nice mug w/ hot chocolate mix + a small bottle of bath bubbles, a gift card for a manicure at her fave place (usually around 20$ guys), something small for her pet or child if she has one, and of course something that says: I get you, a DVD that suits her, a mixed cd of all of "your songs" + ones you'll know she'll love a vintage pair of earings like the ones Audrey Hepburn wears in THAT scene of THAT movie that she loves. I know that this is really detailed stuff, but a gift should never be totally generic, polish it off with a great note or card and you're in business.
Ladies, shopping for a guy can be difficult. It's really tempting to just get him nice clothes that he'll never wear or some lingerie for you to wear (a double present really) it's also tempting to get him something really sentimental, like a scrap book of all the special moments you shared... which he may look at once but will wind up in the bottom of his closet for safe keeping. Now the clothing idea isn't half bad actually, (see above about guys liking practical gifts) but I suggest practical AND fun, or sometimes just fun. Tickets to a hockey game, a year long subscription to a beer of the month club, barbecuing accessories... a new golf club... a super awesome home-cooked meal. Once again, find a way to make it personal. Oh! I know, a manly cook book (Gordon Ramsey is manly, Nigella is so awesome men can't handle her) a cook book is a gift that keeps on giving. Actually I think books are awesome presents, but I make this suggestion with some trepidation, remembering my time in highschool where during "reading period" the guys would scramble for the sports section of the newspaper because they quite simply, did not read.