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{CH Christmas Gift Guide}

Alright, it's that time of year again, so quite procrastinating and get a jump on that X-Mas list. Here's over a dozen ideas to get you in the spirit...all without even having to get up off your seat!

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{Nara Glasses}

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Drink in the New Year in style this year with these neat glasses from acclaimed artist Yoshitomo Nara.

Order from Cereal Art

{This American Life: Stories of Hope & Fear}

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Everyone's favorite weekly public radio show, This American Life, has a new two-disc collection of episodes called Stories of Hope & Fear. This cult-like program includes stories from TAL veteran's David Sedaris, Jonathan Goldstein, and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgeman. The collection also features music from Thurston Moore, Blonde Redhead and RZA. This would undoubtedly make a perfect soundtrack for a long drive to those wonderful in-laws of yours.

Order from Amazon.

{(W)rapping Paper}

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Let your friends know you really care by wrapping their presents in well known rap lyrics. Choose from Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby", House of Pain's "Jump Around", Sugarhill Gang's "Rappers Delight", or my favorite NWA's "Straight Outta Compton". The (W)rapping Paper is close to being produced, sign up on the mailing list for updates.

Order from Si Hill Design.

{The Ex Voodoo Knife Set}  

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This artsy knife set comes with a Knife Holder & 5 Stainless Steel Knives, plus it let's your guests know that you are not someone to be messed with!

Order from Perpetual Kid.

{iKaraokee}

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Now you can bring the fun of karaoke into your home. iKaraoke sends the music from your iPod to your stereo minus the lead vocals. Now you can sing along to all your favorite indie tunes and sad bastard music...say 'thank you Griffin Technology'. The bad news is that this doesn't ship til January.

Order from Griffin Technology.

{I Like You by Amy Sedaris}

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In the mood for entertaining? Well, you will be after reading (or listening to) this. Actress, author, and comedienne (and sister of author David Sedaris) Amy Sedaris has just released a new book titled I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. It is an "entertaining guide to entertaining" and includes recipes, meal plans, decorating suggestions, music choices, conversational ice-breakers, and hospitality tips to create the perfect evening at home. Whether it's an intimate night for two or a luncheon for twenty, Sedaris offers her own advice to make guests feel welcome and the host look good. I Like You is the essential handbook for full-scale entertaining the Sedaris way.

Here's some audio clips (courtesy of her website)...

"Introduction"

"Introduction (Continued)"

Planning A Party

Party Log; Grieving

"Grieving (Continued)"

"Recipe for Paul's Zucchini Fritters; Amy's Success Story (cupcake business)"

Order from Amazon.

{The Double Life of Véronique}

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Have a film snob for a friend? Why not get he or she this new set from The Criterion Collection. This 2-disc release of The Double Life of Véronique marks the DVD debut of one of the seminal arthouse works of the '90s, and the last of the major films by director Krzysztof Kieslowski (The Decalogue, Three Colors Trilogy) to make it to DVD. Criterion’s impeccable standards of quality and high-def transfer do justice to film’s striking visuals, shot through a yellow filter and drained of the color blue. This is an essential purchase for fans and collectors as well as a great introduction to Kieslowski’s work.

Order here.

{Peter Greenaway: The Early Films}

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If that last DVD didn't interest you perhaps this new collection will. Peter Greenaway (8 ½ Women, The Pillow Book, Lumière and Company) has often been reffered to as 'one of the most inscrutable, brilliant and possibly deranged mind in modern cinema'. A perfect gift for the movie buff in your life, this 2 DVD set features Greenaway's early films inlcluding the full-length The Falls.

Order here.

{Sympathy For The Record Industry Cover Art}

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You can get great artwork on LP from some of 'low-brow' arts finest like: Mark Ryden, Camille Rose Garcia, The Clayton Brothers and others. I've got a nice little collection building up myself, although I have yet to open any of the records to hear any of the music, which is a shame...or isn't, I dunno.

Order albums here.

{Champloo Samurai}

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Got an Anime addict for a friend? Then no doubt he (or she) would dig this collection. Champloo Samurai's story revolves around three people (Mugen as the wild warrior, Jin a well-mannered swordmaster, and Fuu a ditzy waitress) who come together as the adventure unfolds. This is directed by Shinchiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Animatrix), designed by Kazuto Nakazawa (Kill Bill Vol 1) and Mahiro Maeda (Last Exil, Vlue Submarine 6).

Order here.

{The Curse of THe Golden Flower}

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The Curse of the Golden Flower opens in select theaters Stateside on December 22nd, but if your impatient like me you can find the import (with the appropriate region code) on ebay or your local Asian video store. The plot centers around a volatile balance of power between a King (Chow Yun Fat), a Queen (Gong Li), and his three sons. Betrayal, deceit, and passion unfold, pitting one against another. This wonderful piece of moving art includes many of the creative team behind Hero and House of Flying Daggers. The film marks the reunion between director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern) and his muse (and former lover) Gong Li...and with a budget of $45 million it is the most expensive Chinese film to date.

View the trailer.

{Apartment Therapy}

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From not enough space and too many things to not knowing what color to paint the living room walls, many of us struggle with their apartments/homes. Now Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan shares do-it-yourself strategies to transform your apartment into a well-organized, beautiful place that suits your style and budget.

Order here.

{DVD Fish Tank}

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Don't you hate it when you throw a party and your guests end up watching TV? Then why not turn your TV into a conversation piece with DVD Fish Tank. It's exactly like it sounds, pop in the disc and real fish swim around your screen. It's great for drunk adults and children alike, plus it's alot less work than maintaining a real tank.

Order here.

{Six Feet Under Box Set}

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Quite possibly the best television show...ever! Alan Ball's (American Beauty) compelling drama digs where others fear to tread, whether dealing with the family funeral parlor business, personal issues, or each other. If you've already seen the Fisher family: Ruth (mother), Nate and David (sons), and Claire (daughter) then go through the emotions all over again. This unbelievably cool package and contains 25 discs (5 discs per season), plus lots of other goodies.

Order from Movieweb.

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