Friday, November 28, 2014

Still Life With Robin: Yet Another Holiday Gift Guide

Image from Yarn Graphics
via Mashable's 15 Weird Knit Gifts
by Peggy Robin

At this kickoff weekend of the holiday shopping season, you are bound to find gift guides everywhere you look. Before I head out to do my holiday shopping, I'm copying and pasting together this hasty column with a quartet of these lists that I hope you will find, um, if not entirely practical, then perhaps diverting. Here they are:

This first list is labeled "31 Life Changing Useful Gadgets," I'd say that's stretching things a bit, but at least a couple of these items do seem to solve an annoying problem of modern life, especially #24, The Trakdot Luggage Tracker -- that is, if it actually works as it claims to do.

List number two advertises itself as "Practical Yet Clever Gifts That Are Anything But Lame." If you go around calling attention to your cleverness as opposed to your lameness, you are bound to provoke people to argue the reverse. See what you think:"Clever" might well apply to the roll-up keyboard (#15), useful to computer-users on the go, and the same might be said for the swivel tray that fits into the car's cup holder (#28). But who needs a single-soda-can refrigerator that's also a USB port? (#17) It's not exactly lame....just superfluous. 

Many of the gifts on list number three fall into the category of "You gotta see these to believe 'em" -- -- a category which when combined with funny cats and porn, may comprise up to 90 percent of what's on the internet. Actually, two of the gifts on this list, #6 Kitty Socks and #28 Kitten Mini Skirt, are funny cat things, covering two categories at once. However, quite a few of the things -- most notably #15 Runny Nose Soap Dispenser and #23 "Crafting with Cat Hair" book -- could only be given to someone you would like to annoy so much that he/she will never want to do a gift exchange with you again.

Getting even more whimsical and impractical is the fourth and last of my list of gift lists, Weird Gifts That Knitters Can MakeUnfortunately, (well, on second thought, fortunately) there are no links to the patterns to create any of these oddities. That's too bad, because if you know people with pet turtles, they might really, really appreciate #8, the turtle shell sweater. On the other hand, if you know anyone who upon receiving #11, the scary knit clown mask, is happy to have it, perhaps consider a call in to an anonymous FBI tip line. 

I have one more list to share with you, but it isn't a gift guide. It's a list of "life hacker" tips. (You know about "life hacker" tips? They're those simple things you can do that are supposed to make life easier -- like how to fold fitted sheets perfectly and quickly each time. People love to post these kinds of lists on their Facebook page or Tweet them to their friends. This list is absolutely without question the BEST life hacker list I have ever seen; it's so good that after you have seen it, if you've ever recommended a life hacker list to your friends, you will feel relieved of the urge ever to do so again. It's here:


Still Life With Robin is usually published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays. This one's a day early because it's a busy holiday weekend.

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