Thursday, November 15, 2007

The List of Greed

It's starting to happen all ready. People want to know what I want for the December Holidays. Here you go:

  • You know... I really got into making this list. Which kind of bothers me because
    1. I'm living through the largesse of my partner so I'm on a limited budget, and;
    2. I'm supposedly trying to teach the value of True Gifts, ala Starhawk:
      • "A true gift supports our growth, makes us more than we were, rather than confirming the giver's superiority. A true gift increases our power-from-within, our ability to do, rather than keeping us bound and dependent. A true gift is sometimes harsh; it may be the withdrawal of the false service that has enable us to cling to our addictions or our limitations." [ - Starhawk, Truth or Dare, pg 210]; and
      • "... Giving each other gifts is a ritual way of expressing care. Gifs help mark points of transition and changes of state. Traditional times for giving gifts are at entry into a community, at initiation, at the year's transition points such as the Winter Solstice, as parts of rites of passage, at ending and beginning times.
        "Each Christams season we experience how gift giving deteriorates in a consumer society into the grossest form of materialism. To reclaim gift giving as a sacred act, we can give gifts of power, which may or may not be material. Generally, they are not consumer goods but things whose value is symbolic rather than measurable in dollars: rocks, shells, curious found objects, food, acts of consideration, children's drawings, bones, flowers, herbs." [ - Starhawk, Truth or Dare, pg 129-130]
    So don't let this list mislead you too much -- while the material booty would be appreciated -- if a card is what works for you, it works for me.

  • Donations of Time -- I can think of about three tasks that I could do much more quickly if there were someone standing around making sure that I don't get distracted and start to draw a topological graph linking the motions of the sun and the moon with the piles of paper, books, and dead plants that need to be dealt with... or someone to prevent me from starting to read the old yearbook that I unearthed from a pile of unopened moving boxes.

    • Clean the Garage

    • Straighten my Office

    • Various Yard Work Chores (see Cafe John, below)

    • Paint the House (still)

  • Books -- this will be complicated... so I'll just send you to what I have at Library Thing

  • Music

    • Sonnes de Mecheco -- they've got a cool Bach piece done as a mariachi.

    • Dance Suites for the Orchestra of Louis XIII.

    • An iTunes gift certificate.

  • House and Home

    • In indestructable steel gazing globe (to replace the green glass one Arthur broke a year ago).

    • Book ends -- not the artsy kind with abstract sculptures on them; I mean the industrial strength library kind that has a tongue that slips under about five books at the end. I need about ten.

    • An electronic photo frame. I have all these photos...

    • USB memory sticks. It occurs to me that I need to back up all my photos...

    • USB microphone. I tried to do some voice recordings on the iMac the other day and all that I could hear when I played things back was the computer's fan.
    • Housecleaning service.

    • Weather Station -- you know, the kind with two thermometers, a barometer, a wind tachometer, and a precipitation gauge.

  • Writing Supplies

    • Business Cards -- yeah, well; I do have them designed -- I just need to print a bunch out.

    • An LED pen to write in the dark with to replace the one Arthur got a hold of.

    • Printer supplies for an HP Photosmart 375, an HP Deskjet 930C, or a HP something or other.

  • Clothes

    • Pants: 32 waist, inseam 32.

    • Shirts: I'm a large (I like the long arms). All of my black turtlenecks seem to have disappeared -- so it's harder to look like a Tortured Artist.

    • Socks -- I don't know what's happened to my socks. I used to have all sorts of fun colored ones. Then I just had white nerdy socks. Then I was lucky if I had matching socks. Now I'm just thankful if I can find any socks.

    • Slippers -- I used to have some slippers to wear around the house to keep my feet warm. I think they got thrown out in the move or something. I'm a size 10.

  • Celon Tea from Savouré.

  • A membership to the Portland Art Museum (I think ours has lapsed).

  • Cafe John -- ah yes. Cafe John. I've been talking about it for years... and as recently as earlier this month... and it looks like it gets harder to do each year. I remember when we used to go to Savouré -- the red velvet chairs, the tables with white linnens, the chandeliers, the little candles and clever flower arrangements, the tea and scones presented on a white service, and Edith Piaf. I'd write, and once someone thought I was enough like Hemmingway (so I heard) that I found my tea and scones paid for. Alas, it is no more. Sigh -- how to fight the ennui?

    • The Table -- 42 inch diameter top, preferably of stone or glass; 42 inches high. It would be great if there were descrete outlets in it to allow multiple laptops to live on it.

    • The Chair -- something Stickly or Arts and Crafts, with wide level arms on which to rest tea cups. The seat should be about 18 inches high to accomodate my legs.

    • The Fountain -- I figure that Cafe John's going to be outside, and falling water will drown out various distractions. I'm seeing something large and square with a lion or an art nouveau dolphin, or else one of those geometrical granite water cascade things, or something vaguely Romanesque , or with bowl upon cascading bowl. Or maybe something like this.

    • The Sunscreen -- OK... I probably mean The Pavilion or maybe a The Gazebo. I mean, honestly; when it's not drizzling and 50 F it's scorching and blinding out -- but I need something with a little more savoir-faire than a tent. I guess in a pinch I could find twenty or so surplus golf umbrellas and sew them into an icosahedron.
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