International House of Dan: Dan's 2012 List of Christmas Demands

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dan's 2012 List of Christmas Demands

I know it seems like I haven't written anything here in 2 years, but what really happened was that my 2009 list was incorrectly labeled "2010", and the 2010 list was labeled "2011" - so I decided it would be best to wait until the list dates would synch up again, which is now.  A lot has happened since - for example: I got married!  Other stuff has happened too: Osama Bin Laden was killed, Mizzou moved to the SEC, U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq, Argentina joined the Tri-Nations, the "Arab Spring" happened, I got the President re-elected, Leo Messi beat Gerd Muller's 40-year old goal record, and much, much more... but enough about that - let's get to my presents!

Preliminary Note: While some of the following language and gift categories are the same as the "2011" edition of the List, you should all read it carefully, as many of the items in question have changed (and improved!). Arigato.

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 whether to get me something, but also what to get me by issuing the following List of Christmas Demands (in no particular order):

1. "Pucara" Model Airplane Kit. I think I had one of these models when I was a child.  There are different brands, of course, and I don't need it to be as nice as this one, but it should definitely have Argentina decals (the FMA IA-58 Pucara is a great little airplane - several countries use it).

2. Money. Money is always an acceptable gift - I only ask that you stick to conventional currencies (USD, Euro, gold ingots, etc.), although other items of monetary value will do as well (platinum ounces, manganese nodules, priceless art, etc.). Just remember the conversion rates for your more exotic currencies... I will not be fooled by 1,100 Iraqi Dinars, 1,500 Burundian Francs, 5,000 Zambian Kwacha, 6,900 Guinean Francs, or 8,000 Laotian Kip - 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!).  The books marked with an asterisk (*) are still on my list since last year:
a. "Coincidentally" by George Rutler

*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. "Will the Boat Sink the Water?: The Life of China's Peasants" by Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao

g. "The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics"

*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 Mizzou Fan's Survival Guide to the SEC", by Higgins, Richardson, and Matter

k. "The Evolution of Polo" by Horace Laffaye
*l. "The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel" by William Goldbloom Bloch
m. "The Kings and Their Hawks: Falconry in Medieval England", by Robin Oggins

n. "The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate" by Robert Kaplan
o. "The Miniature Schnauzer" by Anne Fitzgerald (bonus points if you can find the 1935 edition)
p. "An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned but Probably Didn't" by Judy Jones
4. Clothes. In the continuing process of becoming more of a grown-up, I am still accepting dressier sweaters, slacks, shoes and shirts.  I have become a fan of Etiqueta Negra, so anything similar will probably work. Email me for details on sizes, etc.

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

6. Charitable Donations. As most of you know, I am personally involved with a handful of Chicago non-profit organizations that can always use help - just to highlight a few:  I am on the board of the Argentina Chicago Foundation, a local organization that raises funds in Chicago to help repair schools in impoverished parts of rural Argentina.  Each year we select a project and raise funds toward its completion.  I am on the junior board of Urban Initiatives, a nonprofit that runs health, education, and character development programming for kids in 22 of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). With participation in soccer programs as an incentive, kids are empowered to live a healthy lifestyle, value education, and enhance their personal and social development.  I am also on the board of American Friends of WOTR, which supports Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR), a not-for-profit, NGO currently operating in five Indian states that aims to reduce poverty by helping individuals and communities to regenerate the eco-spaces or watersheds they live in.  Additionally (or instead) please consider making a donation to the Macomb Public Library's Campaign for the Future.  My wife is a librarian with ties to Macomb, IL.  The 108-year old library is in need of repairs and expansion to serve a growing community, and is raising funds in order to qualify for state grants that will make the expansion possible.

7. Trips. I can have a pretty nice time just about anywhere.  Lodging should be included, though a meal stipend is not necessary, oh - and the trip must be for two (now that I'm married). If you insist on my leaving the country for a while, there has been talk of finally making a return visit to Buenos Aires this year - and of course, I'd be happy to attend the 8th International Penguin Conference in Bristol - it's near my birthday, too!

8. "Statue of Frogs". Yes, this again.  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. Evening Wear, etc. Ever since the wedding I've been asking myself why I don't own a tuxedo - and then I remember: I can't justify the expense of one because I never go to any black tie events.  You can address both of these issues.  I prefer a classic tuxedo, single-breasted jacket, with a shawl collar.  Hugo Boss makes a nice one, so do Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren.  If you're shopping online, Macy's and Nordstrom have surprisingly good selections.  Then there is the matter of events to wear my tux to.  Chicago has a number of black tie events each year, but a good starting point would be the PAWS Fur Ball, Adler Planetarium Celestial Ball, Botanic Garden Harvest Ball, and (of course) the Lyric Opera's Opening Night and Opera Ball.  Please keep in mind that that tickets to these things can be very expensive, so I'll need two of them (I'm married now, remember?). 

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. Polo Lessons. Yes, with horses and everything.  These start in April at Barrington Hills Polo Club, but it's not clear yet that my knee will be sufficiently well for me to ride a horse by then (I had ACL surgery a few weeks ago) - so if you would like to buy this for me, please let me know and then check in with me in a few months to see whether I am physically able to use your generous gift.

12. Sports Memorabilia. 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. Adulthood, however, means I'm probably done with jerseys, hats, key-chains, and the like.  The loophole I have found is that tasteful and/or autographed memorabilia that can go into my office is probably ok.  Please continue to be mindful of my team allegiances, however (MLB: Yankees, Cubs, Royals; NFL: Chiefs, Bears; NHL: Flyers; NCAA: Mizzou; world soccer: Argentina; Argentine soccer: River Plate; La Liga: Barcelona; world rugby: Argentina; F-1: McClaren; world polo: Ellerstina; Uruguayan amateur rink hockey: Platense - any other sports or leagues, please confirm with me first).

Happy shopping!


Post a Comment

<< Home