International House of Dan: List of Christmas Demands: 2016

Sunday, December 04, 2016

List of Christmas Demands: 2016

It's that time of year again! As we await the mysterious return of the Christmas Gargoyle, I hereby issue the 2016 edition of my List of Christmas Demands. You should know the drill by now, the demanded items are listed in no particular order, and you should get me at least one of them.  One new twist in 2016 - please shop using Amazon Smile so that Amazon donates a percentage of what you spend to Volunteer Immigrant Defense Advocates (VIDA) (more on VIDA later):

1. Argentina Rugby World Cup jersey. I can't get myself one of these because I despise Nike - but I want one. Also, they are very hard to find online for some reason, but some of you are probably going to be outside the U.S., so just pick one up at any sporting goods store.

2. Interesting beers. I traveled a lot this year, and got to sample lots of interesting beers. I've been traveling to Tennessee a lot for VIDA and have become a huge fan of Knoxville's Alliance Brewing as well as various other breweries from the region. Get me beers I won't likely find on my own.  I prefer hefeweizen and wit beers, year round, but I'm open to anything interesting that you think I should try.

3. Books. I don't have time to read for leisure, but I still like receiving and owning books. I'm still picky about books, however, I do not like all books, and I still 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. "Alcoholica Esoterica: A Collection of Useful and Useless Information As It Relates to the History and Consumption of All Manners of Booze" by Ian Lendler
*b. "Mariachi Skull: Observations from the only gringo in a Mexican kitchen" by Gary Every
c. "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" by J.D. Vance
*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. "Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War" by Mary Roach
*f. "El Principito" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (in Spanish, s'il vous plait)
*g. "Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics" by John Derbyshire
*h. "The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals" by E. P. Evans
i. "Maras" by Thomas Bruneau, et al.
*j. "How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written", by Sterling Archer?
*k. "Immigrants in the Lands of Promise: Italians in Buenos Aires and New York City, 1870-1914" (Cornell Studies in Comparative History)
*l. "The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel"by William Goldbloom Block
*m. "A Game for Hooligans: The History of Rugby Union", by Huw Richards
*n. "The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate" by Robert Kaplan
*o. "Con el Deporte No Se Juega - 2" by Caloi
p. "Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks" by Keith Houston

4. Clothes. In the continuing process of becoming more of a grown-up, I am still accepting dressier sweaters, slacks, shoes and shirts. Of course since the process is gradual, I continue to pretty much just wear Adidas Sambas with everything. Email me for details on sizes, etc.

5. VIDA Minions and/or donations. Some colleagues and I started VIDA in January and opened an office in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 1.  The Knoxville office hosts an Equal Justice Works justice AmeriCorps Fellow, who is doing amazing work serving unaccompanied immigrant children in East Tennessee.  She is the only pro bono attorney in a 13,000 square mile area spanning over 30 counties, and she represents children who have court about 6 hours away in Memphis. So, if you ave the money, sponsor our EJW-jAC Fellow in Knoxville and/or sponsor some support staff for her.  Of course sponsoring a staff member is a very tall order, but we also have to cover rent and other expenses at the Knoxville office.  Literally every dollar helps, so if you have any spare donation funds available, please consider donating to VIDA and help us provide pro bono immigration legal assistance in East Tennessee.

6. Other Charitable Donations. Speaking of giving money to other people on my behalf... 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 also on the associate board of Urban Initiatives, a nonprofit that runs health, education, and character development programming for kids in 49 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'm also on the Spanish Advisory Board for Illinois Legal Aid Online, an organization that uses technology to make the law accessible to unrepresented Illinois residents. Finally, I used to be on the Attorney Committee of Safe Humane Chicago, an alliance of non-traditional partners that recognize the connections between animal abuse and interpersonal violence and the benefits of the human-animal bond. SHC runs a number of programs, including the Court Case Dogs, where canine victims of neglect and abuse who have been rescued by police and animal control are paired with volunteers who socialize and train them so they can be adopted by loving homes.

7. Trips. I would still love a trip to a Super Rugby match in 2017, to watch the Argentine team - either at home or away (and away probably means South Africa). As usual, I would also accept work-related trips, such as to the AILA Mid-Year Winter Conference in St. Maarten (wherever that is - sounds warm) next month, or if you want to pay for my flight and hotel to the 2017 AILA Annual Conference in New Orleans next June, I suppose that's ok too.  I also welcome flight vouchers from Chicago to Knoxville, as I go there often to oversee the VIDA office, and my rugby team, the Chicago Lawyers RFC is contemplating a trip to the Cayman Islands to play the Cayman Islands Law Society rugby team.  Feel free to chip in for that as well.

 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. Office Furniture and Supplies. I go through plastic tabs a lot. If you can find the red/blue/green sets, get them. Also, I feel like I need to get a locker for my office so I can keep my workout clothes in.  Something like this maybe.

10. Thomann Beer. Yes, this again too. 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. 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; Super Rugby: Jaguares; F-1: McClaren; world polo: Ellerstina; Uruguayan amateur rink hockey: Platense - any other sports or leagues, please confirm with me first). Oh, and note that some players transcend team membership and even expand my options as they go into new leagues (for example, Matias Almeyda coaching Chivas means I now have a Liga MX team and also a Liga MX hated rival; same with Andres D'Alessandro playing in Brasil Serie A).

Happy shopping!  And please remember to support VIDA at no cost to you by using our AmazonSmile link!


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