All that stuff I want, but haven't gotten around to (or can't afford to) buy myself.
Actually, there isn't really all that much here. I guess I'm not that material these days, but we'll see. I'm also not going to list computers, or stereo equipment, or any of that sort of thing here—I'm pretty picky, and most everything I'd want would be too expensive to ask for from someone else.
I've also set up wish lists at Amazon—although I think Amazon is kind of evil, after spending almost six months in Southern California, where bookstores appear to be few and far between, I can't see how it makes much of a difference whether I support Amazon, which will give me a discount on books, or the “local” Borders, which is a giant, evil chain store that won't give discounts (unless I buy from their website, which is run by—you guessed it!—Amazon):
You almost certainly want to check my Amazon lists for books, but the following are some highlights.
I only have six John McPhee books—Looking for a Ship and The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed (airships!) in trade paperback, and Annals of a Former World in hardcover (which includes Basin and Range, In Suspect Terrain, Rising from the Plains, and Assembling California). McPhee is amazing—he can make pretty much anything interesting (to be fair, he tends to pick quirky enough topics that they'd be interesting anyway).
The books that sound especially interesting to me are
- The Control of Nature (big engineering projects, such as controlling floods on the Mississippi)
- Encounters with the Archdruid (Charles Park, Charles Fraser, Floyd Dominy, and David Brower)
- Heirs of General Practice (doctors in family practice)
- La Place de la Concorde Suisse (the Swiss militia)
The Readers probably aren't worthwhile, as they consist of excerpts from the real books, and I'm perfectly happy reading the real books.
Graphic novels that look pretty cool and are also fairly cheap:
- Cathedral Child
- Clockwork Angels (US$10.95)
I also really like the looks of Rumble Girls: Silky Warrior Tansie , but I think I'm willing to wait 'til there's a graphic novel (which there is, circa December 2003). Not that I'd say no if someone bought me all the back issues and got me a subscription for the rest....
(Note: Links removed because Lea lost her website to some drug-pushing spam artists. Your best bet is probably checking out a good local comics store.)
Although I couldn't really believe the hype about DVD when it first came out, we watched a couple of DVDs using M's new iBook, and I saw the light. At this point I can't see any point in buying movies on VHS—DVD is so clearly better that it's worth waiting for DVD releases or forgoing them altogether.
- Until the End of the World on DVD. (See also The
Strange Case of Until the End of the World.)
My favorite movie, for lots of reasons. I already have the US release on VHS, and a framed poster, too. But Wim Wenders has been showing a 5.5 hour director's cut for years, and the DVD, which they're supposedly working on, is going to be that cut. The tape's only 2.5 hours, so I'm really looking forward to seeing the longer version!
Wacky Stuff and Other Ideas
The Brunton Pocket Transit. I don't know, I just think these are cool. I don't have a good reason to have one, and they're wicked expensive (~US$240), but they're fantastic compasses. Blame John McPhee—the Brunton Pocket Transit is the geologist's best friend.
I'm also fascinated by the work of Flushing, Queens, New York, artist Joseph Cornell (maker of Cornell boxes), and have so far failed to acquire any books about him and his work.
A deck of Loteria cards. (Inspired by Earthquake Weather.)