Whoever said that bigger was better clearly hadn’t seen these little lovelies! Whether you have some stockings to fill this year or simply need to pack light for holiday travel, this assortment of teeny-tiny gifts fit the bill spectacularly. Sometimes trinket-sized gifts have trinket-sized quality, but all of these picks, from hand-turned wooden spinning tops (above) to Hard Graft’s coin wallet, pack the same punch as full-sized gifts. This year, it’s all about small! Check out all of our picks after the jump! —Max
...but I don't have any. I don't think I do. I can't think of any. I'm sure there are plenty of ways in which I behave in a manner that is irrational in expecting a specific result from an action that has no causal relationship with the desired outcome, but I don't do it consciously or deliberately, and if I notice myself doing it I try to stop. I say "good luck" to people because it's a thing to say, not because I actually believe in luck.
I do sometimes say "knock on wood" and then knock on my sisters' heads, because it's funny, you know, to imply that they have heads made of wood. Does that count?
This is a terrible answer. Sorry, L! You can give me another subject if you want!
Perhaps you have already been up all night listening to BEYONCÉ, the surprise album that our Queen Mother dropped around midnight. Zero PR build-up, zero stunting, just this immensely commanding, soulful, glossy and witty, coherent but variegated, legitimately hip album to bring Christmas early and erase Megyn Kelly from the face of this earth. She's brought in features by Drake (the rat-a-tat on this one!), Frank Ocean (the doo-wop ghosts on that one!), BLUE IVY and Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (who delivers a rousing speech on feminism halfway through "***Flawless," a rework of the syrupy Houston jam "Bow Down"). There's a surprising and wonderful amount of grit, trap and club bounce in the production as well as the usual amount of Beyoncé's rainbow-like vocal soar, and thematically the songs on BEYONCÉ (each accompanied by masterworks of videos! Thank Beysus we can finally free the hundred production assistants who've spent the last month locked up in a room of leftover Destiny's Child merchandise to prevent anything from leaking) create a picture of "womanhood" (in quotes because I'm already afraid of the think pieces) that is unapologetic, self-aware, pragmatic, empowered and fu-cking hot as shit.
I'll calm down now. Just kidding, I'm never going to calm down. Beyoncé figured out a way to make people purchase music on iTunes in 2013. Beyoncé orchestrated a massive drop without a trace of media exhaustion. Beyoncé made 17 music videos and we're going to watch all of them without having to excuse their aesthetic theory or tsk at their pandering. Beyoncé just sonned literally everyone, and there's nothing I like more in this world than a woman outshining her partner in a field that he partway built.5 Comments
The Murder Ballad is an old form of folk song, part folk tale, part true crime, part triumph (of mortal justice), part tragedy (of the death of an innocent). In them, a beautiful innocent is brutally murdered and the culprit is brought to justice and hanged (if male) or burned (if female). That said, the majority of the real popular and long lived ones are about the deaths of women like The Knoxville Girl, Pretty Polly, Little Sadie, and Darlin’ Cory, who are all mentioned in Jim Lauderdale‘s “Old Time Angels.” In his song, however, instead of recounting their pitiful deaths and the story of their killers, he paints the rest of the tale: when these wronged girls rise from the grave to protect all people from violent men, using the very implements their killers employed to kill and bury them.
…I just thought you guys might be interested in that sort of thing. For more on the song and the Murder Ballad genre, you can listen to the All Things Considered segment on “Old Time Angels.”
I placed an order with them on the 6th of September. The web form went through, but I never heard anything back from them, and the money did not go out of my account. I emailed them on the 8th of September to ask what was up with that, and got no response.
I placed another order with them in early October, thinking that maybe I'd done it wrong. This time I wrote down the receipt number to prove to myself that it wasn't a late night hallucination. I heard nothing, and the money did not go out of my account.
On November 29th, they deducted the money from my debit card, and sent me the cup. It turned out not to work for me, but no fucking way am I going through the returns process, so I guess I'll keep trying with it or bleach it and use it for a tiny kitten fez or something.
I'm still waiting worriedly to see if they deduct the money a second time for the second order, as the info in their credit details doesn't give the receipt number.
If they do do that, I don't know what sort of recourse I have, apart from what I'm doing right now, which is shouting into the void and warning whoever reads this that they don't read or respond to their email, and do fill orders more than a month after you make them. Just in case anyone else who places online orders might find that difficult to deal with from a personal finance perspective.
(My account didn't end up overdrawn, and it looks like I didn't end up spending the money I'd allocated to cover that purchase on something else, so I won't even need to take it out of next fortnight's budget. But for fuck's actual sake.)
* This is J-m today, folks. That is not normal J-m levels of snow.
* The Observant Settlements at the Mountainback got exactly as screwed as I thought. We're talking deliberately-isolated tiny towns on mountaintops buried behind 1m of snow since Thursday. It's not the little babies' fault (and those towns have a disproportionate number of little kids), but if you deliberately go and set up your town somewhere hard to hard, I'm sorry, you're not going to be the top priority when rescue is stretched thin and going into the third consecutive day of full-blown emerg protocol.
* Power was restored to about 20k people in J-m. Thousands are still without power.
I’ve been looking forward to this guide since before Thanksgiving. Call it what you will. I’m not afraid to let my cat lady flag fly. I’d be proud to give or get any gift on this list. Because if a cat doesn’t make you smile, well then I don’t know what will. The only downside to be a cat owner is that since we don’t (usually) walk our pets, you don’t get all the approbation that dog owners do. You have to show your cat spirit in other ways. -Amy
I do have some hydroponics gear my folks gave me for Christmas two years ago; I just don't have the right electricity hookups to use it outdoors yet. But I will! And then I will have tasty fresh vegetables and it will be awesome.
2. In the meantime, my herb greenhouse is doing very well - I'm currently running basil, mint, chives, rosemary and a ton of parsley, and I'll be picking up a coriander plant from the parents at Christmas. It's fantastic having fresh herbs at hand all the time, and the greenhouse arrangement has stopped the possums from eating all my parsley. I could never go back to dried herbs now, and it's made my cooking a whole lot bettr.
3. I fear I may have to default on Yuletide. This story's not shaping up the way I wanted it to, and I've had a whole bunch of last minute stuff land in my lap. I don't wanna, though. :/
4. Still plenty of days left for questions for the December talking meme. Prompt away!
1. Ruth Graham covers the Mark Driscoll plagiarism affair for Slate. Graham’s summary links to the vital coverage of this from Warren Throckmorton and Jonathan Merritt, but like most of the reporting on this she neglects to mention that: 1) some of the passages Driscoll swiped were terrible – inaccurate, third-rate culture-war banality; and 2) Janet Mefferd, the radio host who first publicized these charges, is herself a fringe-right whackaloon who makes Alex Jones seem mainstream.
Kudos to Graham, though, for mentioning the Matthew 18 dodge. Whenever any public figure in the church gets caught red-handed, they always go running to Matthew 18. Anyone who responds to critics by piously citing that passage should be presumed to be guilty, guilty, guilty.
2. The Healthcare.gov website was a bug-ridden frustration machine when it first launched. Now that it’s running better, a lot of people are signing up for insurance coverage they could never afford before.
But almost all of the stories I’ve read about health care enrollment — pro or con — have been written from the weird, fringe perspective of those kids from school who did their homework early. We’re Americans. If we’re gonna sign up for health insurance, then our first question is “When’s the deadline?” Nobody says “When’s the first possible day on which I can enroll?” We’re looking at the other end of the calendar — when’s the latest possible day for me to start working on this?
A lot of the Healthcare.gov coverage of the past two months has read like an article written March 1, fretting that most Americans hadn’t yet filed their income tax returns. This is how most of us do things. Reporters, of all people, should know this.
3. Mother Jones has a must-read special report: “Newtown: One Year After.”
“A year after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mother Jones has analyzed the subsequent deaths of 194 children ages 12 and under who were reported in news accounts to have died in gun accidents, homicides, and suicides.” And they’ve posted an interactive photo album with portraits of these young victims.
As Kurt Vonnegut said, “I like the American culture, such as it is, but let ‘s get rid of the f–king guns.”
4. A new report uses the Millennium Development Goals to measure how one backward city in the developing world is losing ground on maternal mortality and newborns’ health. Where is this Third World city? It’s right here, in Philadelphia.
5. You’re Not Allowed to Kill Civilians. And for God’s sake, how many weddings are these idiots going to bomb? There is nothing brave, honorable, constructive about bombing weddings. Bombing weddings does not protect our freedoms. Bombing weddings does not defend America. Bombing weddings does not serve our national interest. Bombing weddings just kills people at weddings.
Yet we’ve been doing it for years, and apparently no one at the Pentagon or the CIA has the slightest clue how to not bomb weddings. Idiots.
6. Jan Edmiston: “Repeat After Me: I Have Enormous Power”
You have enormous power too – especially if you are a pastor or if you are a church person of any kind. You have the power to mess with people’s impressions of Christianity. You have the power to welcome someone who is unwelcome in conventional culture. You have the power to introduce a different narrative about what Jesus is about and who God is.
7. Since we already did “Christmas in Prison,” here’s a great Aussie take on a similar idea, Paul Kelly’s “How to Make Gravy“: