As you certainly know, the staff here at the Portland Mercury spend day after day giving every ounce of our talent and energy so you can have a stupid newspaper to read every week that doesn't make you want to throw up. DON'T YOU THINK IT'S TIME TO GIVE A LITTLE BACK?
If you agree, the Mercury is once again willing to help—by coming up with a short wish list of gift ideas from each editorial staff member full of items that we would totally love to see gaily wrapped underneath our holiday tree/menorah/pot plant. Are these gifts also examples of things that YOU might want? Perhaps... but not our problem. Take that up with the loved ones in your life. Right now we're talking about us. And what we want. And when we want it. (Now.) Because... let's all be honest for a second... we totally deserve it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Editor in Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey's Wish List
1) Teddy Ruxpin Holding a Switchblade and Drinking out of a Chewbacca Mug
First of all, these are all technically separate gifts—but they all come from the same place, and they're all affordable, so why not save yourself some time and get 'em for me all at once? The Main Street Collectors Mall and Soda Fountain in Milwaukie is a goddamn goldmine of fantastic geeky gifts—many of which are surprisingly affordable. Gorgeous antique switchblade-style knives for $25-50, bad-ass belt buckles, rows and rows of Star Wars/Star Trek/He-Man and the Masters of the Universe figurines and memorabilia, as well as books, clothing, furniture, knickknacks, AND an ancient working soda fountain where you can suck down delicious milkshakes and sundaes. If you're smart, you'll buy ALL my holiday prezzies here.
Main Street Collectors Mall and Soda Fountain, 10909 SE Main, Milwaukie
2) Duet Vibrating Cock Ring
MOM, STOP READING THIS. Now that she's gone, remember last year's holiday wish list, when I asked for the Tenga Flip Air masturbation sleeve from super awesome, super sex-positive sex shop She Bop? THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT IT'S SOOOO AWWWWESOME! And to doubly thank you, this year I'm asking for another She Bop product we both can enjoy! It's called the Duet vibrating cock ring, which sports TWO vibrating heads for tickling up there while simultaneously tickling down there! Plus it's got a couple of vibration modes (to better control the ride) and is nice and stretchy enough to fit a centaur like me. Toys make fun times even funner—so pick one up for me and let's take this ring for a ride around the block!
She Bop, 909 N Beech, $42
3) Tsubo Acheron Sneakers
Shoes make the man! And that means while I may have the hair of Donald Trump and the style of Bruce Vilanch, I'll still look all cool and intentional IF I have an awesome pair of shoes. That's why—if you don't want me embarrassing you by walking around town in a pair of white New Balance sneaks—you should get me these Tsubo Acheron sneakers from Louie's on SE Hawthorne. The newly expanded Louie's has a store full of great men's casual and fancy shoes to choose from, but I especially love these kicks from the design geniuses at the California-based Tsubo shoes, which combine gorgeous style with hearty construction and loving comfort for my tootsies. Buy them for me, or suffer the consequences of my ugly footwear embarrassing you forever!
Louie's, 3426 SE Hawthorne, $82.95
4) Jam Skating Classes at Oaks Park Roller Rink
One of my most favorite activities in the winter is roller skating at Oaks Park Roller Rink. It's fun, hilarious, and if you go on Friday or Saturday night, it'll feel like you're in high school all over again. You'll see the coy teenage girls, the show-off boys, the odd, but technically amazing, adults—all skating to the beat of today's Top 40 hits. HOWEVER! While I am a very proficient skater, I need to develop some "moves"... which is why you're going to gift me some passes to the Oaks Park "Jam Skating" lessons on Saturday nights! (And you can come along, too!) Let's show up at 7 pm before the rest of the crowds, and the knowledgeable instructors will teach us basic hiphop-style footwork and groundwork skills—with an emphasis on safety so ya don't crack ya neck! After a few of these lessons, I'm sure I'll be the super cool, awesome, and most popular star of the skating rink—that is, if it were still 1987.
Oaks Park Roller Rink, jam lessons 7-7:40 pm on Saturdays, $7 includes admission to the following skate session
5) Survivalist Manuals
Just to make it easier for you to buy terrific gifts for me, don't forget that Andy and Bax is a goddamn treasure trove of unusual holiday present ideas. Besides the expected military garb and camping gear, you'll also find things you never knew where purchasable in a quasi-military store... like Soviet-embossed liquor flasks! Ninja outfits! Throwing stars! And... a gorilla suit? Sure, why not! But since I'm very concerned about the upcoming zombie apocalypse (and who isn't?) I'd like you to buy me a selection of their very informative survivalist manuals (which make great stocking stuffers). There's the Special Forces Handbook, Explosives and Demolitions, Improvised Munitions Handbook, and my favorite—which will be used daily around the office—Boobytraps! Get me these manuals and rest assured that awesome people like me will be around to make the world a better place tomorrow.
Andy and Bax, 324 SE Grand, manuals $7.97 each
Music Editor Ned Lannamann's Wish List
1) Ludwig Vistalite Drum Kit
As a former apartment dweller who recently graduated to house living, I no longer have to worry about making noise. But the crappy old Tama Rockstar DX drum kit I got back in high school (still with original factory heads!) just isn't going to cut it. That's why I need this gorgeous vintage Ludwig drum set from the '70s. It's part of their acrylic, see-through Vistalite drums line, and no, they don't make 'em anymore. There is nothing cooler in the world than clear drums, but Revival Drum Shop has tons of other insanely great stuff, with vintage, new, and custom drums, percussion, T-shirts, and all kinds of other bizarre things to bang on.
Revival Drum Shop, 1465 NE Prescott, Ste. C, $1,700
2) Dunderdon Fleece Sweatshirt
It's cold and wet out, which means it's hoodie season. Swedish workwear manufacturer Dunderdon makes the greatest hooded sweatshirts known to man. Luckily, one of their two US outposts is right here in Portland, which means you can pop downtown and pick this up for me today. Now, this isn't the $10 cheapo hoodie that you get at the state fair—these cost a little extra, but I'm worth it. With a full zipper and cozy pockets, this will keep me warm and dry until July. I'll take a navy blue XL.
Dunderdon, 1300 W Burnside, #300, $129
3) Salt & Straw Ice Cream Pints to Go
Speaking as one of the world's foremost experts on ice cream (hips don't lie!), we have one of the all-time greatest ice cream makers in the entire world right here in town in Salt & Straw. (Only New York's Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream comes close.) Salt & Straw makes crazy, far-out flavors that only an insane person would come up with—pear with blue cheese, cinnamon snicker doodle—but somehow, they make them taste like unicorns orgasming rainbows directly into your mouth. (In other words, delicious.) That's why you need to bring me several pints of their butterfatty miraculousness, or don't even bother coming over on Christmas.
Salt & Straw, 2035 NE Alberta, 838 NW 23rd, $8
4) Teenage Engineering OP-1 Synthesizer
This isn't the Casiotone I had as a kid; this is a beautiful, versatile, compact synthesizer that includes a sampler, a four-track recorder, a built-in FM radio, and the capability to create more sounds than I'll be able to make in one lifetime. Synth and music electronics store Control Voltage is a mind-boggling wonderland of keyboards and modular synth kits—with some of the components made right here in Portland. Walking into their North Mississippi store is like time traveling and hearing the sounds of the future; it's the most fun toy store in town.
Control Voltage, 3742 N Mississippi, $849
5) A Weekend in One of the Sou'wester's Vintage Trailers
I deserve an out-of-town getaway, and there's nowhere I'd rather go than the Sou'wester Lodge, an old-school seaside resort with a lodge, cabins, and RV hookups, but I'll stay in one of their gorgeous, lovingly-cared-for travel trailers that date from the '50s. The cozy retreat is about 15 miles north of Astoria, and they've got events and live music, making it the coolest place to stay on the coast.
The Sou'wester, 3728 J Place, Seaview, Washington, souwesterlodge.com,$58 & up a night
News Editor Denis C. Theriault's Wish List
1) Taser X26C
I totally could have used one of these sleek little stun guns over the summer when I caught two dudes taking shit from my new house. This gun is designed to solve problems just like that one! And they never create any of their own! This one's not as powerful as the model Portland police use, but it will go through bulletproof vests. Order it in a variety of finishes—I prefer clear!—and it even comes with a handy training DVD. Simple! Don't get this for that felon on your shopping list; background checks are required. And don't worry about this "less-lethal" weapon going to anybody's head. For instance, Portland cops never, ever wind up being sued for misusing Tasers and have bigshot feds telling them to dial things back. Oh... wait....
The Home Security Superstore, thehomesecuritysuperstore.com, $999
2) 72" Rubber Speed Bump
So, yeah, I'm a new homeowner. Or should I say "owner," since the only thing I technically own is a piece of paper telling me some financial institution has dibs on kicking me out. However! This means I'm very much in the market for housewarming gifts. I'd be happy with anything people normally give in these circumstances: vases, cookware, appliances, cheese boards, Ikea wine goblets, but here's what I need: a portable speed bump. Because my house just so happens to be on North Fessenden in St. Johns—a notorious cut-through route for speeding trucks too lazy to take the (slightly) longer official route from the St. Johns Bridge to the Port of Portland. (Tradeoffs, tradeoffs, tradeoffs, as they say on real estate TV shows.) The city is sensitive to the neighborhood's plight—but it'll take state grant money to make anything happen. And even then, nothing will happen until 2015. I'd rather not wait.
Global Industrial, globalindustrial.com, $137.95, plus $1.50 for set of four steel anchoring spikes
3) Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Yearsby David A. Goodman
When I bolt awake at 3:39 am, fretting over the inevitable dilapidation of my real estate investment, one of my favorite ways to pass the time is firing up my phone and diving into the minutia over at Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki. Of course, this rarely actually ever beams me back to dreamland—something about light from a flickering screen doing a terrible job of coaxing down an overactive mind. Which is why this book—a wormhole of Trek continuity and history, but rendered in non-glowing, non-flickery paper and ink—would make for a much-improved sleep aid in the wee hours. And in the morning, I can show it off for the handsome conversation piece that it is—and trust that no one will ever, ever, pretend to be bored.
St. Johns Booksellers, 8622 N Lombard, $99.99
4) Lego Architecture: Willis Tower
By all rights, kits that promise the inevitably frustrating experience of sorting and then painstakingly assembling tiny plastic blocks should have stopped exciting me about the same time as furtively sipped liquor and awkward attempts at flirting with girls started. But Lego has cleverly managed to hurdle that reservation by branding a bunch of its new sets with the grownup word "architecture." So here I go. My favorite is the glass-and-steel Willis Tower—a landmark that reminds me of my hometown and a design perfect for the blocky right angles for which Lego is famous. It's also simple enough that I can put it back together if my kids get hold of it and tear it apart.
Lego Store, Lloyd Center, 2201 Lloyd Center, $19.99
5) Pop to Play Structures
Now here's an idea: Maybe I should put something on this list for my kids! If you're the kind of parent too sensible to buckle under your kids' constant whining for expensive and overly articulated playsets they'll inevitably destroy, but you're also too fussy to let them clutter your house with cheapskate cardboard boxes, these Pop to Play structures might represent the middle ground you can live with. Made up of sturdy cardboard notched to fit together like puzzle pieces, these structures—two different castles and a farmhouse—offer elaborate yet fundamentally simple platforms for imaginative play that won't have you scurrying around the house looking for missing plastic detritus two hours after you open presents.
Etcetera, 8621 N Lombard, $17-21
News Reporter Sarah Mirk's Wish List
1) No Drum Circles Poster
I need three of these posters letterpressed by Olympia artist Sarah Utter: one for the home, one for the office, and one to keep on me at all times just in case I need to whip it out and establish an emergency hippie perimeter.
Land, 3925 N Mississippi, $15
2) North St. Backpack-Pannier
I'm tired of being that nerd who has to choose between either (a) lugging around a giant backpack or (b) using my bike pannier as a massive purse that screams, "HELLO I AM A CYCLIST PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT YOUR SPANDEX REGIMEN." Some kind soul needs to buy me a nifty North St. convertible backpack-pannier—a purty, handmade, waterproof backpack (with special reflective stripes and space for a U-lock) that will snap easily onto my bike rack.
North St. Bags, 2716 SE 23rd, $250
3) Dynamo Lights
Commence arguments in favor of spending $250 on wheel-powered dynamo bike lights! (1) They're super bright! (2) They're unstealable! (3) I lose everything and these are unloseable! (4) They don't need batteries! (5) Regular stealable, loseable, battery-powered bike lights cost like $40 a pop anyway! Splurge a little on a super practical gift! Please?
Clever Cycles, 900 SE Hawthorne, $250 & up (includes new wheel)
4) Salt-N-Pepa Buttons
Shoop! Shoop ba doop ba doop ba doop! That's all. These rad pen-and-ink drawn buttons are by Nathan McKee.
Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak, $5 for set
5) Building Stories by Chris Ware
Chris Ware's innovative comics collection will keep me busy reading sad stories in creative formats all the way from Christmas to New Year's Day. The board game-sized boxed compendium includes 14 distinct stories about people living in one building printed as a newspaper, books, pamphlets, and a magazine. I love it. I love it and I haven't even read it yet.
Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch, $50
6) Two-Pound Can of Omelet Mix
When the Big One hits, y'all are going to be crying for brunch.
Portland Preparedness Center, 7202 NE Glisan, $50.36
Managing Editor and Style Columnist Marjorie Skinner's Wish List
1) Schmidt's Deodorant
As my friends and coworkers may have noticed, I have a touch-and-go relationship with deodorant. For most of my life I have preferred to sit in my own stink (personally I think I smell pretty good) than to smear around a nasty chemical-smelling chalk or a useless crystal slime. Enter Schmidt's, the only deodorant to have ever moved me to genuine excitement! Certainly it's the only deodorant worth gifting. It smells good (but subtle) and it's all natural, yet despite these things, it's effective! And it's made locally in small batches and comes in two scents as well as fragrance free. I'll be needing a lifetime supply, please.
schmidtsbeauty.com, $8 for a two-ounce jar (a little goes a long way)
2) Osei-Duro Bogalon Bag
Full disclosure: I've known Molly Keogh, one half of the team behind clothing line Osei-Duro, for well over a decade. But I'm just one of many who have fallen for designs that merge the influences of the company's dual headquarters in Los Angeles and Accra, Ghana. Their Bogalon bags use a Ghanaian technique of hand weaving and printing cotton mud cloth to create eye-catching graphic patterns.
Sword + Fern, 811 E Burnside, #114, $110
3) Pointer Brand Denim Chore Coat in Indigo Blue
I bought a house this year, which means I now spend most of my free time fantasizing about building and tearing out walls. Except that unlike the apartment days when my hands rarely got dirty, now I can actually do it. Taking truckloads of construction debris to the dump requires a certain level of practicality in your dress, and this denim jacket fits the bill; sturdy in the face of dirt and nails, it's also kind of chic, don't you think?
Hand-Eye Supply, 23 NW 4th, $80
4) A Détacher Duncan Heels
I fell in love with a similar pair of A Détacher heels earlier this year, which, to my dismay, were both impossible to fasten tidily (suede ribbons are a good idea in theory) and way too big for my foot. This slimmed-down, simplified version is straightforward and equally cute. Obviously, they go with everything.
Una, 922 SE Ankeny, $485
5) Stone & Honey Polis Bracelet
It's no easy feat to stand out from the crowd of jewelry designers in Portland, much less the world. But with Arcos, Teresa Robinson's latest collection from her Stone and Honey line, she's done it with original styles in bronze and waxed linen, tapping into how hot the incorporation of fiber in jewelry design is right now.
Copy Chief Courtney Ferguson's Wish List
1) Black-and-White Laser-Cut Dress
Sharks with lasers precisely cut each of the circles in this rad dress—at least, I think that's how laser-cut designs work. And they're Portland sharks too, not underage sharks with tiny fins in terrible swimming conditions. Emit specializes in pillows, bags, skirts, and dresses with pop-art, '60s-style designs and modern sporty silhouettes. Their shop is one of the downtown pop-ups that sprout up in vacant storefronts during the holidays. So what I'm really trying to say is hurry! You have T-minus 28 days left to hit up Emit's brick 'n' mortar to get me this awesome frock.
Emit, 535 SW 6th, emitcreative.com, $290
2) Plaid Leggings
Who doesn't want to wear pajamas all the time? No one, that's who. But unlike Walmart patrons, I'd like to land on the dapper side of the jammies-in-public divide—I think I can get away with wearing these plaid leggings under a skirt with no shame while maintaining optimum comfort. These babies by PACT in "Portland Plaid" are super soft and warm, yet still fun. Look out leggings, I'm looking to move into you.
Radish Underground, 414 SW 10th, $38
3) 35mm Resin Bracelet
The Etsy shop Duck and Cover specializes in big jangly bracelets made out of 35mm film encased in clear resin. Holy mother of holiday shopping, that's the kind of jewelry I want! Artist Nikki Hollander uses strips of celluloid from 35mm and 16mm films like Cry Baby, E.T., and Star Wars to make accessories of delight. While I love Cry Baby to death, I want my Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me 35mm trailer preserved in bangle for all of eternity. Good thing Hollander loves doing commissions!
Duck and Cover, etsy.com/shop/duckandcovershop, $60
4) Roller Derby Helmet
I do what you could modestly call "dabble" in recreational roller derby. As an amateur, I fall a heck of a lot. Sometimes on my hematoma-besmirched hip. Sometimes on my big old casaba-melon head. While I love my bike helmet and it's been staving off concussions on the regular, I'd like to upgrade to a full-on derby helmet that fits my head snug and proper. So this 187 Killer Pads brain catcher is perfect. Because as one derby chick said about my current helmet sitch, "Hmm, your head's shaped weird." And yet I'd like to keep it in its current peculiar state.
Flywheel Skate and Style, 2032 NE Alberta, $40
5) Sauna and Steam Room
Ugh, another thing about dipping into the roller derby pool... all those screaming muscles. I could really use some sauna and steam room time. By all accounts, I hear the Scandinavian-inspired Löyly is a lovely and rejuvenating spot to hit. (I should stop thinking about hitting things—help me, Löyly!) If you're feeling super generous, they also offer all manner of massage and foot soaks, which sounds like the bee's knees for my blistered and barking dogs.
Löyly, 2713 SE 21st, $20 for two hours or $100 six-visit punch card
Arts Editor Alison Hallett's Wish List
1) Powell's Indiespensable Subscription
Every six weeks, members of Powell's subscription book service open their mail to discover the prettiest package a book lover could imagine—a signed first edition of a big-deal book like Jonathan Franzen's Freedom or Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles, for example, or an exciting small-press title like Leni Zumas' The Listeners. Each special-edition volume comes packaged with clever extras, from handcrafted chocolate from Alma to a bonus broadside from a notable author, and the book themselves warrant their own special section on the ol' bookshelf.
powells.com/indiespensable, $39.95 per shipment
2) Fletch Skirt
I am not a fancy-boutique kind of a person, yet I desperately covet most of what's on the rack at the excellent local shop Radish Underground. The owners pick good stuff to sell! Case in point: The Fletch skirt—handmade by San Francisco outfitter juleselin—is literally—LITERALLY—the perfect skirt. (I am using words correctly.) A versatile basic that hits just above the knee, it's both flattering and comfortable, and the bamboo/cotton blend is stretchy and soft. I've already got it in green and black—I just need it in blue or gray (or both!) and I'll never need to wear pants again. (All the better to show off my new legwarmers, made from recycled old-man sweaters—yes, also purchased at Radish. I HAVE A PROBLEM.)
Radish Underground, 414 SW 10th, $59
3) Subscription to Portland Center Stage
Portland Center Stage recently stopped offering complimentary review tickets to the Mercury—which means if I'm gonna keep reviewing their shows, I need to get my hands on some tickets! Pony up, and I'll tell you what I really think about the The Santaland Diaries.
Portland Center Stage, pcs.org, $225
4) Pendleton Wool Blanket
I'm sick and tired of crappy synthetic blankets that weren't all that warm to begin with, and are even worse now that all their filling is lumped up all weird on one side. (It is possible that I wash my blankets incorrectly.) A decent wool blanket is definitely in the "things adults should own" category, and why look any further than Pendleton's sizable range of styles and colors? I'm torn between a pretty/spooky leaf-skeleton pattern ($358), and the Yakima camp blanket in Green Heather ($124)—either one will do. (Queen sized, please! I like to stretch out.)
Pendleton, 900 SW 5th, pendleton-usa.com
5) No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics edited by Justin Hall
Okay, okay: I actually own this already. But this anthology of queer comics—which doubles as a crash course in underground comics over the past 40 years—is worth mentioning in any gift guide. No Straight Lines is an unusually satisfying collection, full of funny, personal stand-alone strips and stories by artists exploring both their own sexuality, and the medium they're working in. It's a fascinating, absorbing read, and it should go without saying that you certainly don't have to be queer to appreciate it—this is an absolutely vital window into an often-underrepresented segment of comics history. And if you don't know a goddamn thing about funnybooks? This anthology is a perfect place to dive in.
Try Cosmic Monkey Comics (5335 NE Sandy), Bridge City Comics (3725 N Mississippi), or Floating World Comics (400 NW Couch), $35
Senior Editor Erik Henriksen's Wish List
1) Fine Cinema
Specifically, two new Blu-ray sets that will keep me staring at my TV, dull-eyed and slack-jawed, for weeks. First: Tarantino XX, a 20-year retrospective featuring eight films Tarantino picked as his most essential: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Tony Scott's director's cut of True Romance, Jackie Brown, both Kill Bills, Death Proof, and Inglourious Basterds. Plus, there are five hours of new bonus features, a good number of which likely feature a twitching Tarantino shouting about movies no one else has ever heard of. Or! Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection, a ridiculously awesome set containing 15 of Hitchcock's classics, from big ones (Rear Window, North by Northwest, Vertigo) to less-big ones (Family Plot, Rope, Marnie, Frenzy). It also boasts over a dozen hours of documentaries, commentaries, and screen tests—and hopefully footage showing how Hitch crept into Tippi Hedren's closet each and every night so he could watch her sleep.
Special order from CD Gamexchange, various locations, cdgamexchange.com, Tarantino XX, $119.99, Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection, $299.99
Remember when Kettleman Bagel Company kept Portlanders alive with delicious New York-style bagels? And then Einstein Bros. ruined everything? Dark times, my friends. Dark times. Luckily, Bowery Bagels has gloriously ascended, offering truly excellent boiled bagels—and they have breakfast and lunch sandwiches too, and house-made schmears! Including kimchee schmear! WHA?!
Bowery Bagels, 310 NW Broadway, $16 for a baker's dozen
3) Totally Mad: 60 Years of Humor, Satire, Stupidity, and Stupidity
Mad magazine has profoundly influenced countless individuals, be they very small children or functionally illiterate adults. Now, Mad's worst material has been shoveled into a hardcover you'll be ashamed to have on your shelf—it's packed with everything from fake ads to movie spoofs to fold-ins to Spy vs. Spy to a million other gleaming examples of inane bullshit. It's a thing of beauty.
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, $34.95 (Cheap!)
4) Game of Thrones Life-Sized Replica Iron Throne
A 350-pound, $30,000 fiberglass replica of the throne from Game of Thrones. I NEED IT. Yes, fiberglass does seem like it would be uncomfortable to sit on, and fine, $30,000 is kind of expensive. Then again, Ygritte will be totally impressed when she sees that not only have I won the Iron Throne, but also that I had it sent—at enormous expense—to my palatial studio apartment in the North! "You know everything, Erik Henriksen," she'll murmur in my ear. I'll whisper back: "Yes, I do, and this blurb must be incredibly annoying to anyone who doesn't watch Game of Thrones. Now, let us bone as if we were on premium cable."
store.hbo.com, $30,000 (plus $1,800 shipping)
5) A Suit
I dress like a halfwit six-year-old. (Today's hoodie features the Ghostbusters' car chasing the Pac-Man ghosts.) So quick! Somebody handsome-fy me with a striking suit from the nationally renowned clothiers at Duchess—a place so classy their website doesn't even have prices. (This means a Duchess suit costs somewhere between "something crappy from Men's Wearhouse" and "a giant-ass Game of Thrones chair.") How about if you set up a fitting appointment for me, and then you write them a check, and then I'll strut around town looking dapper as fuck? That is, after all, what Christmas is all about.
Duchess Clothier, 2505 SE 11th, #10