NO BEATING around the bush: The staff of the Mercury works their pasty, shriveled ASSES off for you every week of the year—and what do we expect in return? NOTHING. Okay, that's not quite true. We expect unrealistic, mean-spirited comments on all the stuff we write, and an utterly AWESOME holiday gift... from YOU. We don't think that's too much to ask, and now we're making your Mercury gift giving even easier this season with our annual Portland Mercury Holiday Wish List! No more guessing what the miserly Erik Henriksen or snooty Marjorie Skinner are thinking—we'll tell you exactly what gifts we want, how much they cost, and even where to buy them! We're doing all the heavy lifting here, people! Just read the article, buy us the fucking gifts we deserve, and then enjoy the rest of your holiday season secure in the knowledge we won't be shit-talking you for the entirety of 2016. YOU'RE WELCOME! (Oh yeah... and "happy holidays," or whatever.)
Editor-In-Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey's Wish List[image-1]
1. Underpants with a Picture of a Leopard on 'Em
Look—a man of my prestige cannot be seen wearing tighty-whities. Due to my standing in the community, I am often called upon to take off my pants... for a variety of reasons. Do I want people to look at my underpants region and be disappointed? Or do I want them to say, "OH SWEET GOD, YES, IT'S BETTER THAN I EXPECTED." I think you know the answer—which is why I'd like you to purchase me an insanely sexy pair of underpants (size medium) with a leopard on them from Under U 4 Men. Produced by the luxury briefs firm Bend the Rules, these particular underpants are constructed with a fabric known as Tencel (made from eucalyptus trees!!), and will feel fantastic on any package, particularly mine. And this particular model has a leopard on it! As mentioned earlier, people have expectations when they see me pantless, and I only want them saying one thing: "RRRRAWWRRR!"
Under U 4 Men, 800 SW Washington, underu4men.com, $60
2. 2016 National Parks Wall Calendar
Yes, I agree. Wall calendars are OLD-TIMEY! However! When they feature amazing art, I will nail that thing to the wall faster than someone wearing leopard underpants. Check out the 2016 National Parks Calendar from the Anderson Design Group (and available downtown at Budd + Finn). Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service—going down in August 2016—this freaking GORGEOUS calendar features vintage-looking illustrations of famous national parks such as Glacier, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, Everglades, Olympic, Crater Lake, and more! And at the end of the year, you can frame those beautiful illustrations and hang 'em in your camper trailer, cabin, or office (to make you seem all outdoorsy). Buy this for me, or any nature lover on your list!
Budd + Finn, 316 NW Broadway, buddfinn.com, $32.50
3. Salty and Sweet Laser-Etched Pocketknife
Guys, the apocalypse is coming and I need to be prepared. (And it won't hurt if I look cool while doing it.) That's why I'm eschewing the coward's way of buying a gun (have I mentioned that gun owners are cowards? They're cowards), and will feel plenty safe and secure with a good ol' fashioned pocketknife. But it can't be any ol' fashioned pocketknife! I prefer the ones produced by Salty and Sweet (and sold at Tender Loving Empire) that have a beautiful rosewood finish and are laser etched with cool details, like arrows or a chevron design. But these knives aren't just for looks! They also have a handy can opener, corkscrew, and a sweet sharp blade perfect for zombie brain stabbing. While buying one for me, get one for yourself! (Trust me: When I'm involved you don't want to bring a gun to a knife fight.)
Tender Loving Empire, 412 SW 10th, 541 SE Hawthorne, 525 NW 23rd, tenderlovingempire.com, $24 (smaller size $16)
4. A Lauretta Jean's Apple Pie
I'm tired of sharing. There—I said it. I'm tired of buying a delicious pie, and then sharing it with people who I know would ordinarily despise me if I weren't carrying a pie. It's WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY TIME, people! I want a pie that I can eat all by my damn self, without having to share a single crumb! But not just any pie... ohhhhhh, nooooo. I demand THE BEST PIE in Portland, and that pie comes from the delicious Lauretta Jean's Pie Bakery. Perfectly baked every single time, this golden brown flakey confection is a pie for the gods (and therefore suitable for me). While I usually kick it old school with their heirloom apple pie, I would not throw it back in your face if you bought me a classic pumpkin, blackberry raspberry streusel, or chocolate cream. And you know what? Make it easy on yourself: Order my pie online, pay for it, and I'll go pick it up (devouring every last crumb before arriving home to the disappointed faces of my friends and family). That's what I call a "Happy Holiday."
Lauretta Jean's Pie Bakery, SW 6th & Pine, 3402 SE Division, laurettajeans.com, $34
5. Folding Ninja Grappling Hook
Why would I need a folding ninja grappling hook? Ummm, I believe the correct answer is "None of your GOT-DAMNED business!" Look. Your job is to buy me gifts, and then go... away. Do you ask your Aunt Candy what she's going to do with that Cuisinart you bought her? NO! And she's probably doing something disgusting with it. Let's just put it this way: I have a very particular hobby. And this hobby requires me to stealthily climb buildings, trees, museums, and national monuments. Therefore I need a grappling hook that folds down to a convenient size, and is attached to 33 feet of heavy-duty nylon rope. If you also want to buy me a matching black ninja outfit and some flash bangs, that is entirely up to you—but a folding ninja grappling hook is key. Also, if you could be out of your house on Friday, December 18, from 10 pm to 3 am, that would be perfect. (It's not too much to ask!)
Andy and Bax, 324 SE Grand, andyandbax.com, $34.97
Managing Editor Marjorie Skinner's Wish List[image-2]
1. Getaway to LA on Spirit Airlines
Last year I was soooooooo smart, and had a long, sunny vacation in Thailand booked for January—way before Portland's fall rains even began to threaten. This year just didn't go that way, but thanks to Spirit Airlines' new cheap-o daily nonstop flights to Los Angeles, it's easier than ever to dip down south for a quickie with some of our West Coast sister city's (fine... cousin city?) sunshine and tacos. And yeah, so maybe it's not the snazziest flight you'll ever take, but by the time you drink one glass of wine (not complimentary! What do you think this is, Horizon?!), followed by a short nap, it will all be over. So when do you want to go? I'm down whenever! Surprise me!
Spirit Airlines, spirit.com, fares fluctuate depending on packages and dates
2. Brookes Boswell Optimo Hat
I have a tiny, tiny head. My last search for a hat that would suitably protect my face and scalp during a sunny winter getaway (see wish list item one, above) turned up a desperate, too-big solution that got all bent and weird after being folded and packed a few times, anyway. Newly minted Portland milliner Brookes Boswell (who recently moved here from New York) offers extra-small sizing, and while she makes a variety of styles for year-round hats in several different materials, the wide-brimmed, honeycomb patterned, foldable and packable Optimo style in natural sisal straw is the platonic ideal of sun hats, as far as I can tell. I promise I'll wear this one for many summers and vacations to come (again, see above).
Brookes Boswell,brookesboswell.com, $155
3. Marvis Toothpaste
There comes a time in every young yuppie's life when water is simply no longer optimal. It must be sparkling water. Likewise, recently I looked at my tube of Crest and decided something Italian was a small-but-worth-it upgrade. And now I have another expensive (for toothpaste) habit to add to my household's rapid use of CO2 cartridges. In addition to the swanky packaging that begs not to be hidden away in the medicine cabinet, Marvis makes toothpastes in bold, exotic flavors like licorice, jasmine, and ginger mint, plus a classic strong mint, cinnamon, and more. Spruce Apothecary has them all!
Spruce Apothecary,1022 W Burnside, Unit K, spruceapothecary.com, $3-13.50
4. In Bed King-Sized Linen Duvet Cover
I love my dog, but in less than a year and a half of life she has cost us a shitload of money: orthopedic surgery for me (leash accident), a leather couch, and more than 70 feet of new cedar fencing are just a few of the higher priced examples. Having a dog makes having a nice home a constant battle, and now that three different animals sleep on the bed (the cats were there first), new textile arrangements are in order. The black-paneled Pendleton blanket that excels at retaining and displaying pet hair has got to go... not to mention the cashmere throw the dog chewed up. So, I recently scored a good deal on a roomy down duvet, but it still needs a cover. A hardy material in a forgiving color like this gray linen would do nicely.
Alder & Co., 616 SW 12th, alderandcoshop.com, $280
5. Make It Good Pebble-Knit Sweatshirt in Black
I'm really good at tending to certain aspects of my wardrobe—my ankle boot collection is dialed, and I'm well stocked in dresses and socks—but for some reason I'm terrible at buying sweaters, which is a ridiculous disadvantage in this climate. It's like I have face blindness, except with sweaters. I can't even recognize their presence in stores because all I can see are the ankle boots. I seriously have like three sweaters, and they're not even that warm, and by the time it's January they'll be holey and even less warm. But then it will be spring, and it'll be like, "Time for new ankle boots!" and I'll forget all about my poor overtaxed three sweaters. Bottom line is: I really need sweaters, and this one is locally manufactured, goes with everything, and boasts a totally reasonable price point.
Make It Good, makeitgood.com, $80
News Editor Dirk Vanderhart's Wish List[image-3]
1. Carpentry Classes
I attempted to make a shed not that long ago. I'm still attempting, actually. Behind my house—roofless, doorless, and rudely slathered in white paint—the fruit of my efforts has languished for weeks, mocked and befouled by the neighborhood raccoons. In my possession as I type this: all the materials and tools required to slap a roof on that bad boy. Not in my possession as I type this: Any semblance of confidence I can perform said slapping. So I need you to link me up with the folks at Northwest Woodworking Studio, which offers an array of classes to novices who'd like to stop being a subject of their significant other's near-constant derision. The studio recently offered a class on framing tiny houses, which would have been super handy before tackling this albatross. A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step, people. Hook me up.
Northwest Woodworking Studio, 1002 SE 8th, northwestwoodworking.com, classes range from $275-475 depending on duration
2. Canvas and Leather Traveler Duffle
For years, I've been hauling around a dumpy-but-cavernous tweed bag on trips. It's the same dumpy tweed bag my father hauled on trips before me, and I actually like a lot about it. For one, it's distinctive enough that I'm not checking the tag of every black suitcase the baggage carousel disgorges. More importantly, I almost never have to use the baggage carousel! This thing fits anywhere, and I've perfected a disdainful sneer I shoot at flight attendants when they see me casually Mary Poppins it into the overhead bin. Still, I think I can do better. I've been casting about recently for a suitable replacement, and this Traveler Duffle from Will Leather Goods fits the bill. It's pricey, sure, but not even a touch dumpy. It's also the sort of thing you can hand down to your son or daughter, confident they'll callously cast it aside in favor of something newer.
Will Leather Goods, 1022 W Burnside, Unit N, willleathergoods.com, $395
3. Bullwhip Bar Wraps
Close readers of my yearly wish list will note that for the past two years I have very politely requested the Cielo Sportif, a dream bike handmade here in Portland by Chris King. The Cielo people ignored me. Y'all ignored me. So this year I went ahead and bought one on my own, which, yes, felt a little abasing. But here's the deal: I'm not done asking. I purchased a bicycle frame (and fork) from the company, and now I have to build the damn thing up. So let's try something simple this year. Can you just buy me some decent handlebar wraps? Like these amazing honey-colored leather doodads from the folks at Portland's Walnut Studiolo? Don't you think you owe me at least this much, after all the trouble you've caused?
Walnut Studiolo, walnutstudiolo.com, $132
4. Mt. Hood T-Shirt
I've resided in some terrible parts of this great nation, everybody. I used to live in Southwest Missouri, for instance, about an hour north of the Arkansas border. In our airport gift shop, rather than any items that might speak to the unique "culture" of the area, we had shirts that read: "Missouri: Nothing tips like a cow." (I'm pretty sure they make the same shirt for Indiana, and probably the rest of Middle America.) ANYWAY, now I live in a place I enjoy, and I can't seem to stop collecting ephemera to help me rep Portland. Feed the affliction with this nifty tee from Grafletics. Size medium.
Boys Fort, 902 SW Morrison, grafletics.com, $28
5. Humiliation for My Enemies
You've probably heard by now I'm the
Mercury's undisputed master of Challenge of Mondor—the single finest attraction at Salem-area theme park Enchanted Forest. When we had our staff retreat there this summer, Senior Editor Erik Henriksen challenged me to a duel on Mondor four times, and each of my victories was more crushing than the last. I thought the matter was settled, but lately word's reached me that Erik's been whispering cowardly falsehoods, seeking to sow doubt about my supremacy. This cannot stand. A $75 gift certificate to the park is enough to ensure that a fresh year on the planet is marked, for Erik, by humiliation and pain when I once again trounce him at Challenge of Mondor. Well worth your donation.
Enchanted Forest, 8462 Enchanted Way SE, Turner, OR, enchantedforest.com, $75
News Reporter Shelby R. King's Wish List
1. Scrabble Deluxe Turntable
As a diehard word nerd, Scrabble is my favorite game. I love making obscure words and feel so much joy when I pull an X or a Q out of the depths of my worn Crown Royal bag. Most of all, I love that any disputes that arise can be solved with a dictionary. There are two things I don't like about regular Scrabble: the stationary board and the non-stationary tiles. Enter the Scrabble Deluxe Turntable. Not only does the board spin so that the current player can see the options from all angles, the tiles are anchored in little wells, so when someone drunkenly bumps the board it doesn't wreck the perfect lines.
Cloud Cap Games, 1226 SE Lexington, cloudcapgames.com, $99.99
2. Brooks PureConnect 4
In 2006 I started running because it was a cheap hobby I could do outside. Since then I've dropped thousands of dollars on my supposedly inexpensive hobby. I realize this isn't a lot compared to people who snowboard or buy expensive road bikes or any number of other hobbies, but it's a lot to me and I consider a new pair of shoes a special treat. When I get those shoes I wear them until they fall apart. The last time I got myself a new pair of running shoes was 2013. I only wear Brooks, always and forever. Amen. I really want the Brooks PureConnect 4. I will wear them until 2018 and think of the special person who gave them to me every time.
Fleet Feet Sports, 2258 NW Raleigh, fleetfeetsports.com, $100
3. Gift Card to the People's Yoga
You know what running does? It makes for balled-up, tight muscles. My calves hurt, my sciatic nerve bothers me when I'm sitting down, and I have various other kinks and aches because I am old. Sometimes I try to stretch at home, but I have the attention span of a flea, and I get distracted before I can do much to improve my situation. I need structure, people. A schedule. Someone to remind me to breathe, who says "namasté" to me. I need some yoga in my life. This place is near my house and it's a socially aware company that even offers scholarships to people who can't afford memberships. They're worth your money.
The People's Yoga, 3016 NE Killingsworth, 4940 NE 16th, 4210 SE Belmont, thepeoplesyoga.org, however much you want to spend
4. Viator Tote
I schlep all my stuff around in an orange backpack that I bought for $4 at Goodwill long enough ago that it's falling apart. It's functional for holding my laptop, my notebooks, my lunch, and the 200 pens that are usually floating around in there, but it's pretty ugly. I try to ignore it, but I have tote envy. If I could walk into an interview and pull my legal pad and the pen I stole from some bar out of a fancy Viator Tote bag like this one, I'm sure my source would take me much more seriously. They would tell me all their secrets. They would give me all the scoops.
Orox Leather Company, 450 NW Couch, oroxleather.com, $550
5. Crock-Pot Smart WiFi-Enabled Six-Quart Slow Cooker
I love slow cookers because they make me feel like someone is cooking for me. When I walk into my empty house after a long day at work and I have to make my six-year-old dinner (again. Even though I just did it yesterday), and my dark, cold house is filled with the alluring aroma of simmering pork, or the rich smell of braised roast with potatoes and carrots, or the spicy scent of simmering chili, it's like someone's been thinking about making my evening easier. But what if I forget to turn it on in the morning? Tragedy! PB&J for dinner again. Not so with this mostly unnecessary, but completely fascinating piece of kitchen wizardry! I can remotely start dinner with my phone. Genius.
Kitchen Kaboodle, 404 NW 23rd, kitchenkaboodle.com, $149.99
Copy Chief Courtney Ferguson's Wish List[image-5]
1. Grimes' Art Angels on Vinyl
I have such a lady boner for Grimes' new album, Art Angels, I can barely keep it in my pants—but I will for all of your sakes. It won't be out on vinyl until December 11, which is just enough time to make sure the Canadian artist's fourth album arrives in my stocking come holly-jolly time. Like Grimes' (AKA Claire Boucher) breakout 2012 album, Visions, it's superbly weird, catchy, and brilliant, fusing mainstream pop with the helium-voiced goth of yesteryear's Cranes. It is amazeballs, and features other cool lady Janelle Monáe. Hearts are leaking from my eyes.
Jackpot Records, 3574 SE Hawthorne, jackpotrecords.com, set to retail for about $24
2. Polka-Dot Wool Coat from Twill
Who has two thumbs and wants to own every coat ever? Your mom! Just kidding, guys, it's me. More specifically, this navy-blue polka-dot number from cute SE Belmont shop Twill, which always has cozy and stylish clothes for ladies who don't put on too many airs. This wool warmer has great pockets, opportunities for upturning one's collar, and adding a beanie for a rakish sailor-about-town joie de vivre. Want!
Twill, 3352 SE Belmont, twillclothing.com, $138
3. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me Print
Things get real spooky in the Twin Peaks prequel Fire Walk with Me, but maybe never so freaky as when Laura Palmer is handed a painting of this eerie wallpapered scene and is told "This would look nice on your wall," only to find herself in the artwork later in the film. Eeeeeek! That's some Black Lodge shit, right there. A nice crafty person on Etsy has made a print of the prop. I want to fuel my nightmares by hanging it in my bedroom, as it would indeed look nice on my wall.
4. Pilates Reformer Classes
With a never-ending series of shitty back problems, I probably need to go to Pilates classes on an ongoing basis. Not just the affordable mat classes, but the crazy-expensive sessions with the medieval-looking strappy-pully contraptions. They've helped my chronic back injuries in the past, but I just can't seem to scrape together enough cashola to go on the regs. Won't you give the gift of healing to a lifelong desk-worker? Plus it's cheaper than a Rascal "mobility scooter." I'd gladly go to either the professionals at Studio Blue or Pearl Pilates, who have been very nice not to laugh at my Pilates ineptitude in the past.
5. Residence at the Sou'Wester
Staying at the charming-as-hell Sou'Wester near Astoria would fulfill a dream of mine: pretending I live in a John Waters movie. I'll pack my cha-cha heels and curlers, dangle a cigarette from my chapped lips, and hole up in one of the resort's many vintage trailers to while away the hours like Divine and Mink Stole in their finest hour. I'll be in the 1950 seven-window Westcraft Capistrano, looking cool as hell and reading comic books while the wind and rain howl outside. I won't be coming back to town, thankyouverymuch—I live here now.
The Sou'Wester, 3728 J Pl., Seaview, WA, souwesterlodge.com, $60-158 a night
Senior Editor Erik Henriksen's Wish List[image-6]
1. Just Cause 3
There are games that let you explore massive worlds and shape epic stories, like BioWare's Mass Effect and Dragon Age. There are games that offer white-knuckle combat and unforgettable characters, like Naughty Dog's Uncharted and The Last of Us. And then there are games like Just Cause 3... which exist solely to convey the childish, nihilistic thrill of blowing shit up. Avalanche Studios' Just Cause games are basically chaos simulators, offering players endless ways to destroy stuff in the most creatively irresponsible ways possible. Just Cause 3 promises an army's worth of cars, planes, speedboats, grappling hooks, and explosives—and 400 square miles of virtual Mediterranean to reduce to pixelated rubble. All accounts indicate Avalanche is raising the bar with this installment. Probably just so you can blow it up. Bars explode, right?
Video Game Wizards, 9712 SE Foster, shopvgw.com, $60
2. Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine
The new collection by Adrian Tomine boasts six interconnected stories, and if they're anything like Tomine's unforgettable previous work—which you've seen in Optic Nerve, The New Yorker, and more—they'll be hilarious and horrifying, brutal and graceful. With book after book, Tomine manages to find exactly the places where modern ennui and loneliness thrive—places that are also inhabited with characters who never feel anything less than utterly real. As I'm reading it, Killing and Dying will probably be my favorite book ever; as soon as I'm done, I'll probably spiral into a horrible depression, at which point I'm going to need some Death Star-shaped waffles to cheer me up.
Cosmic Monkey Comics, 5335 NE Sandy, cosmicmonkeycomics.com, $23
3. Death Star Waffle Maker
Whoa! How convenient! True to its name, the Star Wars Death Star Waffle Maker is—well, it's a waffle iron that makes waffles that look like the Death Star. I... I do not know what else to say about this? Obviously waffles are the perfect food, and obviously this is the apex of technological and culinary craft and ingenuity, and obviously every morning of the rest of my miserable life would be a billion times better if I started it by eating Death Star-shaped waffles. UNLESS THAT DICK LUKE BLOWS THEM UP.
ThinkGeek, thinkgeek.com, $40
4. Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Insulated Growler
Ever since discovering the vacuum-sealed, stainless-steel bottles made by Bend-based Hydro Flask, my (usually grumpy, usually thirsty) trips around Portland and hikes in the Columbia River Gorge have gotten significantly better. Hydro Flask's sleek, lightweight bottles are near-indestructible, easy to carry, and hide an insulated interior that, according to my rigorous, field-based, scientific research, keeps liquids ice-cold until the end of time. But what I really need is a growler-sized Hydro Flask for beer—so that whenever I'm near a far-flung brewery—say, Hood River's Double Mountain Brewery—I can fill it up and have 64 ounces of their perfect IRA, perfectly cold even after I get back to town.
US Outdoor Store, 219 SW Broadway, usoutdoor.com, $55
5. The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Phil Szostak
UGH, ANOTHER STAR WARS THING, you say and I reply YES, because what's this December about if not Star Wars? (Nothing. This December is about nothing else.) Sure, The Force Awakens might turn out to be garbage—but if nothing else, J.J. Abrams' film is sure to look gorgeous, in part because he assembled some of the best and most inventive artists in the industry to brainstorm what the Star Wars galaxy might look like 30 years after Return of the Jedi. The Art of Star Wars collects their until-now top-secret concept art—both the stuff that was used in the film, and the stuff that wasn't—and I'd like nothing more than to gaze upon it while I guzzle beer directly out of a vacuum-insulated growler and cram Death Star waffles down my throat. I'll probably get syrup all over the pages. :(
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, powells.com, $40
6. A $15 Minimum Wage and at Least 50 Percent of All New Residential Development in Portland Set Aside for Affordable Housing
I know, I know. This is a pretty big ask (it's even more expensive than Just Cause 3!) and I'll totally understand if you can't make it happen, but man. It sure would be nice if all of us could keep living in the city that's our home.
Music Editor Ned Lannamann's Wish List[image-7]
1. David Bowie's Five Years
Starting with 1969's immortal "Space Oddity," David Bowie ignited an astounding run of perfect albums and singles that wouldn't let up until the '80s. Everything Bowie released during those first five years, from 1969 to 1973, is collected on his stellar new box set, appropriately titled Five Years after the opening track on 1972's classic The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Each and every album from the period—including 1970's heavy The Man Who Sold the World, 1971's sublime Hunky Dory, 1973's covers collection Pin Ups, and a pair of live shows from the era—is included, along with a thick, gorgeous hardback book and a special two-disc set of B-sides and rare versions. While it doesn't track down every last obscurity (and it kicks off Bowie's history in '69, ignoring the false starts and juvenilia that led up to his breakthrough), it's a sumptuous way to get a big chunk of his catalog in one fell swoop. No joke, this is some of the greatest music in history, and on Five Years it all sounds fantastic, whether you go for CD or spring for the enormous vinyl edition.
Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside, musicmillennium.com, $149.98 CD, $249.98 vinyl
2. Chrissie Hynde: Reckless: My Life as a Pretender
A lot happened to Chrissie Hynde before she started the Pretenders in the late '70s. Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, she was a student at Kent State during the university's fatal shootings in 1970, made trips to Canada, Mexico, and Paris, and was a fixture on the London scene during the early days of punk. She almost married Sid Vicious for a green card! Hynde's new memoir, Reckless: My Life as a Pretender, covers her early days before she became a rock star, and the last section of the book has lots of info about the formation of the Pretenders, too. While the book cuts off abruptly after the tragic deaths of Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon in the early '80s—leaving her later years unexplored—Hynde's writing is vivid, conversational, and sad. It's quite a story.
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, powells.com, $26.95
3. Sicario on DVD
The best movie I saw all year was Sicario. (Yes, I'm pretty sure it's better than Star Wars.) Denis Villeneuve's searing, unbearably tense drug thriller featured phenomenal performances by Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro, plus jarringly beautiful cinematography from Roger Deakins and a deeply unnerving score from Jóhann Jóhannson. In short, it was the most agonizing and exhilarating time I've had at a movie in a long, long while, and who doesn't want to relive that kind of experience over and over in the comfort of one's home? So pre-order me a copy of Sicario on DVD—or better yet, Blu-ray—and have Best Buy ship it to me when it comes out on January 5.
bestbuy.com, $27.99 DVD
4. Neil Young's Bluenote Café
I've been a huge Neil Young fan for many years, but I'd begrudgingly written him off after too many dismal albums like Fork in the Road and Storytone. I quickly changed my tune after seeing his extraordinarily great show at the University of Portland last month, so it's back to all-Neil, all-the-time for me. Luckily Young's new album isn't another collection of anti-GMO screeds—it's excavated from his vast archives of unreleased stuff, in this case the 1988 tour with his Bluenotes backing band. This was a great and unheralded period in Young's career, when he played bluesy, old-time rock 'n' roll, and if that sounds corny, you haven't heard songs like "Ordinary People" or "Bad News Comes to Town." Get me the new double-disc Bluenote Café, or be a real hero and spring for the limited-edition four-LP vinyl version.
Everyday Music, 1313 W Burnside, 1931 NE Sandy, everydaymusic.com, $19.99 CD, $84.99 vinyl
5. Skee-ball Machine from Oaks Park
Apparently I really, really like rolling balls up small hills into little holes, because wherever there's a skee-ball machine, I'll be glued to it for hours, spending all my quarters trying to top my last score. That's a pretty bad way to lose money, so do the smart financial thing and buy me my own vintage machine! There's a fellow on Craigslist who's got one for sale, a refurbished unit he acquired from Oaks Park and it sounds like he's gonna have more for sale soon, too, once he fixes the others up. All you need is $1,500, oh and you'll also need to find me some sort of indoor lane where I can keep the damn thing.
Search for "Oaks Park skee ball" on craigslist.org (listing URL changes weekly), $1,500
Food Critic Andrea Damewood's Wish List[image-8]
1. Giro Reverb Bike Helmet
I'm not the kind of gal who looks cool in those state-of-the-art bike helmets that swoosh all around and come to 1,000 points in the back. I pedal too slowly for such flashy frippery. So when I upgrade my noggin protector, I want something that's a little more retro. The helpful goateed dude at the Hollywood District Bike Gallery helped steer me toward the Giro Reverb, which has the rounded look of a skate helmet and a brim to keep rain outta my Warby Parkers, but is also more lightweight and ventilated than its competitors—a bonus for the hot-headed.
Bike Gallery, various Portland locations, bikegallery.com, $59.99 (on sale right now for $39.99)
2. A Ticket to Portland Food Adventures
I get regular emails about the Portland Food Adventures other people are going on—I've never managed to snag a ticket to one of the events; a December 9 meal with Mae chef Maya Lovelace is already waitlisted. But here's the breakdown: You pony up $125 and get a six-course meal, with pairings and tip included, cooked up by a great chef (upcoming possibilities include Ryan Roadhouse of Nodoguro and Daniel Mondok, the new chef at Raven & Rose). Then, after you're fed and jolly, they send you away with $40 to $60 in gift certificates to the chef's favorite spots. That's a food adventure that keeps on giving.
Portland Food Adventures, portlandfoodadventures.com, $125
3. Le Creuset Saucepan in Cherry
Part of the reason I'm married now is that I told my then-boyfriend that until I could put a bunch of Le Creuset on the registry, he'd be on the hook for buying it for me every Christmas. Le Creuset isn't cheap, but I'm convinced that this classic enameled cast iron line from France is the greatest cookware money can buy. It lasts forever, holds temperature like a champ, and is super cheery and bright. I still need this nicely sized enameled cast iron saucepan that I'm positive will make me great beurre blanc AND Top Ramen.
Kitchen Kaboodle, various Portland locations, kitchenkaboodle.com, $241.20
4. Boet Mixed Media Wall Hanging
I've been a huge fan of Boet designer Emily Bixler's stuff for a couple of years now. She works primarily in jewelry, crafting unusual and striking earrings of brass and horsehair, and bold necklaces with crochet and metals. But if you swing by her shared shop on East Burnside, she also often has immense wall shields, crocheted in bold patterns that drape down into brass chains. Those can run to $750, but for a design splurge more approachable to a freelance food writer, there are also smaller raw silk wall hangings in beautiful gold and neutral tones with geometric features and dangling tassels. This one's going in the bedroom, baby.
Boet at Six/Seven, 811 E Burnside, #111, shopsixseven.com, $375
5. Wine and Ice Cream Delivery
I want wine and I want ice cream and I'm a grownup, so I can have it! If you get it for me. I'd like a membership in the Southeast Wine Collective club AND a subscription to King Creamery's monthly ice cream delivery. As part of the wine club, I'll get perks like discounted bottle and case purchases and VIP entry to events, and two shipments of three tasty wines in a year—bottles include the fancy Division Wine Company's Björnson Vineyard Quatre Pinot Noir. And I'll chase it with sweet, creamy King Creamery ice cream, who will bring three fresh pints a month until you cut me off (WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!). December's flavors are peppermint chocolate flake, pineapple upside-down cake, and the Nutcracker, a brown butter ice cream with peanut brittle and chocolate fudge. Kthxbai.
Arts Editor Megan Burbank's Wish List[image-9]
1. Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine
One of the best things about covering Portland's art and lit scenes is discovering new reading material, and Kelly Sue DeConnick's Bitch Planet series is one of the best comics I found this year. Publisher Image Comics describes Bitch Planet as "Margaret Atwood meets Inglourious Basterds," and unlike most empty PR copy, that's 100 percent accurate. Scripted by DeConnick and illustrated by Valentine De Landro, Bitch Planet takes sexist B-movie tropes and upends them handily, with no shortage of gleeful, feminist-informed mischief. It's set in an interplanetary women's prison, but it has more in common with Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video than the gross exploitation films it skewers. Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine collects the series' first five installments for easy, on-the-go misandrist indoctrination. Don't leave home without it!
Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch, floatingworldcomics.com, $9.99
2. Snow Fort Beanie
Because I am a woman who lives in Portland, I am required by law to wear a beanie through the dark time known as the Pacific Northwest winter, and to adhere to a tomboy-chic dress code at all times. There's one local retailer that can help me out on both of these fronts: Wildfang, whose menswear-inspired line would impress even Françoise Hardy, patron saint of the 1960s bangs 'n' striped T-shirts look. Wildfang's Snow Fort Beanie, which I've been eying for months, might just make me a wintertime convert, as we face down the cold, short days ahead. It's cozy and American-made, and while I wait for the sun to return in April, it'll stand up to the elements, and maybe even the ennui—it's available in four primary colors. I'll take three, please.
Wildfang, 1230 SE Grand, 404 SW 10th, wildfang.com, $28
3. Mulholland Dr. Criterion Collection Blu-ray
Mulholland Dr. is quite possibly the scariest movie I've ever seen, and I love it. Who is that menacing cowboy? Why is the monster behind Winkie's really a woman? If David Lynch doesn't know what the key and the box symbolize, does anyone? What is Laura Palmer doing inside Club Silencio? Whether you choose to think of Mulholland Dr. as the dying dream of Diane Selwyn, a polemic against Hollywood's treatment of women, or a room inside the Black Lodge, it's a movie that demands re-watching. The new Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection boasts a restored digital transfer supervised by Lynch himself, and DELETED SCENES for further scrutiny. This is our DVD!
Criterion Collection, criterion.com, $31.96
4. Fancy-Ass Nail Art
My how-to-be-a-woman skills begin and end at being able to put on eyeliner (with the aid of 3,000 Q-tips). Smoky eye? Don't care! Full-face makeup? Only on Halloween! And though nail art looks cool, so does not resembling a Pinterest fail. So I'm entrusting my pixie mitts to the nail-deco masterminds at Finger Bang, who can make my nail design dreams come true. What'll it be? A geometric motif? A tiny pizza slice on each fingernail? The words FUCK OFF so I can let my hands do the talking when randos on the street tell me to smile? Unlike when I try to paint my nails myself, the only limit is my imagination—or I can get a Mystery Manicure, and leave the tough decision-making to the real nail art wizards.
Finger Bang, 2725 NE Sandy, fingerbangpdx.com, $45
5. World Wildlife Fund Bison Adoption Kit
Ever since I took a fateful trip to the National Bison Range in Montana two years ago, I've considered the American bison to be one of our greatest creatures. I love observing their majesty from afar, and also in bison burgers (I know, I'm a monster not a vegetarian). I also love conservation. What better gift than to combine my enthusiasm for bison with a good old donation to the World Wildlife Fund? If you adopt a bison in my name, that money goes straight to protecting bison and their ilk (elk? TOO MUCH????), plus I get an adorable plush bison to hide whenever a man comes over to my house. It's win-win.
World Wildlife Fund, worldwildlife.org, $55