International House of Dan: November 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dan's 2011 List of Christmas Demands

Preliminary Note: While some of the following language and gift categories are the same as the 2010 edition of the List, you should all read it carefully, as many of the items in question have changed (and improved!). Mahalo.

In years past, this list was only made available via email to a select crowd. Around 2006 I decided to be more inclusive and share with any and all of you the opportunity to revel in the joy that is giving Dan presents. You are not all expected to get me all of the things on this list, it only matters that they are all gotten; if one of you wishes to tackle the whole thing, that's ok, and it's ok if each of you takes on a single item. I only ask that each of you finds the gift level you feel is appropriate... and then exceeds it! Happy Holidays.

It is that time of year again, when all of you begin scratching your heads for ideas of what to get me for the Holidays. In keeping with tradition, I will help you decide not just if, but what to get me by issuing the following List of Christmas Demands:

1. A very wealthy client who will pay me very handsomely to attend occasional meetings around the world. Let me be very clear: I've been incredibly lucky since starting my own practice in the people who have hired me to represent them - my clients and I select one another - but I am only human, and like all humans, I dream of a steady source of substantial income in exchange for limited but interesting work. Basically, I need one of you to become the next Richard Branson and hire me as your big-picture legal guy. Failing that, I suppose that if the current Richard Branson wanted to take care of this particular item, that would be ok as well. This position should allow me enough time to focus on my volunteer and non-profit work without having to worry about things like rent, bills, student loans, or other living and social expenses.

2. Money. In lieu of the aforementioned work arrangement, the underlying purpose of it will suffice as well. I ask that you stick to conventional currencies (USD, Euro, gold ingots, etc.) but other items of monetary value will do as well (platinum ounces, manganese nodules, stocks and bonds, etc.). Just remember the conversion rates for your more exotic currencies... I will not be fooled by 1,800 Colombian Pesos, 2,100 Venezuelan Bolivares, 8,900 Indonesian Rupiahs, 10,000 Iranian Rials 19,000 Vietnamese Dong or 32,000 Romanian Lei (old Lei, not New Lei). I know these are all just under $1 USD.

3. Books. I like books, but not all books. I'm picky about books, so I tend to shop for obscure little reads that nobody else likes at used book stores that sell them for far less than they are worth. The following selections are made in no particular order (do not worry about duplicating a selection, booksellers are excellent about exchanges and I promise I'll exchange the other person's, not yours!):

a. "International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals" by Philip Alston, Ryan Goodman, and Henry J. Steiner

b. "The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy" by James Evans

c. "International Law Stories" by John Noyes, Mark Janis, and Laura Dickinson

d. "Interesting Collection Of Curious Anecdotes, Scarce Pieces, And Genuine Letters: In Which Some Obscure, But Important, Historical Facts Are Cleared Up, And Set In A Just Light (1790)" by John Mansfield

e. "Birth of the Chess Queen: A History" by Marilyn Yalom

f. "At Home: A Short History of Private Life" by Bill Bryson

g. "All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge"

h. "The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals" by E.P. Evans

i. "Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning", by Richard H. Allen

j. "The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge, Second Edition: A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind"

k. "The Law of Nations: An Introduction to the International Law of Peace" by Brierly (any non-fiction book entitled "The Law of Nations" is a safe bet, the older the better!)

l. "The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel" by William Goldbloom Bloch

m. "Man on trial: History-Making Trials From Socrates to Oppenheimer" by Gerald Dickler

4. Clothes. In the continuing process of becoming more of a grown-up, I am continuing to accept dressier sweaters, slacks, shoes and shirts. I was recently informed by a reliable source that a number of my sweaters are "Cosby-esque", so sweaters should be given priority. Email me for details on sizes, etc.

5. "The Simpsons" Gear.
DVD's, collectibles, games, apparel... these are always a good bet.

6. Schnauzer Paraphernalia. As most of you know, there is now a black miniature schnauzer living with me. Consequently, I am a fan big fan of schnauzers. This is an "advanced" gift item though - as one would have to know me relatively well to select an appropriate schnauzer gift. A clever bumper sticker may work, but a creepy nutcracker ornament is simply unacceptable.

7. Trips. I can have a pretty nice time just about anywhere. However, since I work alone, it's probably best to stick with weekend getaways and open-ended dates. I expect lodging to be included, though a meal stipend is not necessary. If you insist on my leaving the country for a while, I would suggest Argentina, particularly my mother and sister's birthplace of San Juan - home of some of the world's best wine and roller hockey, and host of the 2011 Roller Hockey World "A" Cup. Another option is Wiesen, Germany (see #10, below), and though I generally oppose New Zealand and most things Oceania, I suppose I would be willing to check it out in the fall...

8. "Statue of Frogs". One of my professors in law school had a small metal figurine on his desk, it was three frogs dancing on a base that read "Statue of Frogs" (a brilliant play on UCC 2-201!!). I have searched far and wide for one of these, for several years, but to no avail. I STILL can't even find a picture of it. I want one.

9. Furniture. It seems by now that I will not be moving offices any time in the near future. I have most of the necessary furniture in place, but not all of it is mine. Specifically, my desk and a big, glass coffee table were in the office when I moved in. I could stand to replace these, and I could also use a small couch to put along the back wall. If you would like to buy me furniture for my office, email me for measurements and styles. Oh, and a coat rack. I also need a coat rack for my office. The standing kind.

10. Thomann Beer. There is a small brewery/restaurant in Wiesen, Germany, (a borough of Bad Staffelstein, in Bavaria) called Brauerei-Gasthaus Thomann. I have no reason to believe that I have any ownership stake in or direct family relation to the owners of this establishment, but I am very interested in sampling their hefeweizen. Failing that, they apparently have coasters. Some of those would work until I get myself to the brewery one day.

11. Penguin Encounter. I expect that this will be as great as it looks, so please feel free to purchase multiple packages.

12. Sports Paraphernalia. As most of you know, I am a big fan of various sports teams. You name the sport, country, and league, and I probably have a team I really, really like, and a team that I really, really dislike. The links at the margin of this blog should help in this regard (River Plate, Yankees, Mizzou, etc.), but a clarification needs to be made: the new Kansas City Wizards owners changed the name and logo of the team a few weeks ago (or as they put it, "rebranded" the team). I am not happy about this, and while I may continue to support the team, I have no interest at this time in acquiring anything with that new logo on it. Wizards gear is ok though, and may be available at a discount now that the team name changed!

Happy shopping!