My 2015 Gift Guide

On the couch in my bathrobe.

Contemplating your holiday shopping

I love gift guides. Every blog and lifestyle site and webmag has a seasonal breakdown For Him and For Her and For Fido and Under $50 and I read them all, even the ones that are obviously sponsored. (Does the Gawker staff honestly have an opinion about which brand of shaving cream I put under the tree?)

I have no idea why I am so addicted. They just prove to me over and over that few of us need extra crap. Will your coworker thank you for Secret Santa-ing that brass hashtag paperweight? Tis the season to feed the machine of capitalism the disposable garbage it craves!

I have put together a little gift guide of my own, based on the media I have been consumed with the past few weeks. Be warned, I’m going to gush, because these are things that fill me with joy and are worth your cash.

  • Jessica Jones
    • First on the list is a television show. I guess I’m recommending you subscribe to Netflix.

      You may have already heard this is a terrific show, but it bears repeating. I loved the noir framework, the incisive exploration of surviving abuse, the outstanding cast, all of it. It’s amazing. And my favorite part of this A+ show is Krysten Ritter. She’s astounding. The other day I was walking to the bus and found myself imitating her sullen, stomping, hands-in-pockets stride. I want so much more Jessica Jones: another season, right away, and movies and games, and t-shirts and mugs, whatever they’ve got, give it to me, take my money.

  • Fallout 4
    • Next, a video game, a new addition to a classic series. I read a review that said Fallout 4 is a great game if you like the previous ones because it’s more of the same. Like that’s a bad thing. This is a nearly perfect game. I say “nearly” because I haven’t finished it yet, and I’m in no rush.

      There’s one aspect of the game that is brand new, though, and it’s my favorite part: you can build settlements for wasteland settlers. I am obsessed. I haven’t finished the story mission because I keep tweaking my guard posts and rethinking my bunkhouses. It’s absorbing, compulsive, trance-like, the kind of fugue state that only occurs in the games that really hook me. I open up the workshop and zone out debating whether I need a hanging or a standing lamp. My only complaint is those damn malingerers up at Tenpines Bluff. It makes me wonder about my own socialist leanings; I mean, I’ve done everything but feed them from bottles, and they’re STILL unhappy?

      Also, the super mutants sound like Cookie Monster. This game rules.

  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin
    • I was having a particularly bad run of books when I discovered this amazing jewel.

      You see, I check out ebooks from the Seattle Public Library; I keep about 12 holds going most of the time, and they become available to download at random times. It’s a nice surprise–kind of like getting good mail. But I’d had a couple of promising titles turn out to be totally unreadable. This is maybe a separate post, because it’s kind of a note to myself for my own writing, but: a) description is tedious and must be kept short; b) repetition is boring and easily edited out.

      Anyway, I’m getting distracted because N.K. Jemisin is not guilty of these things. Her book is wildly inventive, fast-paced and exciting, with fascinating characters. She’s tremendous, just tremendous, and I plan to read everything she’s ever written. If you are looking for a sci-fi/fantasy-type book, read this immediately.

  • Off the Wall
    • Finally, some music for your holiday! What, not a trendy recommendation? Ah well. If you don’t own this album, buy it now.

    I’ll leave you with this, a theme song for the capitalist machinery that owns all our souls. Happy Holidays!