It's December 23rd. Do you know where your presents are? If you have not made your obligatory trips to the Grove or its fraternal Armenian twin The Americana at Brand, we'll save you some time.
Ironic accessory: DVDs
With the advent of on-demand programming and The Netflix Player, and Bill Gates's death sentence, DVDs are approaching gag gift status. It's only a matter of time until our homes/apartments/friend's couches are wired into a central hard drive containing all of our movies, songs, photos and adult literature, but while they are still making them, there are a few that would make decent gifts this holiday season.
Bottle Rocket: The Criterion Collection - Blu-ray Edition - Before Wes Anderson was Wes Anderson, he was shooting shorts for cheap with his buddies the Wilson brothers in Texas. Wes Anderson goes all-out for these Criterion editions, and there are deleted scenes, commentary and the original Bottle Rocket short that launched a thousand measured tracking shots. Criterion also has The Third Man and Chungking Express on Blu-ray, if you want to be reminded that life is terrible/weird or magical/awesome, respectively.
Grandparents are notoriously difficult to shop for, but since many of them are just coming around to DVD's, perusing Bubbe Klein's local PBS website is an easy way to find DVD's she might like to watch while eating soft food. From local Pittsburgh favorites like My Tale of Two Cities to national programming like the Broadway's Lost Treasures collection, your grandparents will appreciate a gift that reminds them of things they sort of remember.
Block out the rabble back in coach seating: Bose QuietComfort 3 Headphones
Nothing says "I'm prospering in a down economy" like taking these babies out of your carry-on. But these aren't just for junkets or avoiding your roommate. We borrowed a piar of these from a friend and they will ruin you for other headphones. Sorry, Game Boy earbuds, but these make you feel like you are actually at that Hold Steady concert but without all the annoying (well, more annoying than you) hipsters screaming the lyrics to "Navy Sheets".
Paying it forward: 24 Hour Fitness membership
If you're worried about keeping that trim waistline in an economic downturn, this is one solution. Costco is selling two-year memberships to 24 Hour Fitness for $299. We will grant that the Arclight Hollywood 24 Hour Fitness location is not as great for cruising as, say, the Gold's Gym on Cole, but times are tough, and you can make up for any downturn in sauna hook-ups by visiting Pershing Square more often, or putting up a grammar-indifferent Craigslist ad [NSFW]. We're not sure if they try to charge you fees (membership initiation, DNA-free towels) on top of that $299, but it seems like this would be a good way to put a timer on your career plans ("If I haven't booked a series in two years, maybe it's time to to move back to Akron" or "Two years to get those crotch-shot body double parts I keep losing.")
Or cut some holes in a blanket: The Snuggie
If you watch TV any time in the 2-10 AM range, you have probably seen the infomercial for this intuitively designed, why-didn't-I-think-of-this-when-I-was-high invention. At worst, this is a giant bib, but at best, it's a way to keep warm in your apartment or on a plane and also unnerve everyone around you. Available in royal blue, sage green and burgundy, this is the missing piece of your Eyes Wide Shut fantasy and it keeps you warm to boot.