Looking Stupid Holiday Gift Guide 2020


A Gun (no link, do your own research)

Listen man, I’m not here to tell you how to live your life. It’s a guide not an instruction manual. I’ve never even shot a gun. The last time I held one M***** H*** had put it in my hands next to his van outside the Gilman, it wasn’t loaded and when he was like “let’s load it!” I got spooked. Solid teenage memory, no regrets. Anyhow, it’s only getting more crowded on planet earth and basic things are becoming scarce. Things once thought free and a basic right are now being sold on the commodities market. Buckle up!

Replica Dinosaur Skeleton

They’re selling the real thing but I don’t know, aren’t you supposed to buy one at auction and then loan it out to museums? If you keep it in your house that’s just kinda gauche right? This T-Rex is a little rote, but there’s fun options, there’s a baby triceratops that they just added, in addition to a few other classics. I guess it’s all about what kind of message you want to send with your gift. I wonder if different astrological signs have different dinosaur preferences? It’s worth someone looking into, but I am not that someone. 

Ambergris Essential Oil – Naeem Juwan

I straight up didn’t know what this is when it was suggested for the list. Naeem released a beautiful album this May, and he’s a beautiful guy, so this isn’t really a shocking addition to the list knowing the source. I suggested Naeem do a beauty product cause he’s a put together man, and he went ahead and dunked from the foul line. I acted like I sorta knew what Ambergris is, and went to link to the Lhasa Karnac page, a local retailer who I never frequent, but see as an important Berkeley fixture, probably because their original location was next to Bows & Arrows, the fantastic sneaker shop I worked at while I was going to Community College in the suburbs. Anyhow, this stuff is not found at Lhasa Karnac, or hardly anywhere. This pure “essential” mixture is over 100 years old from the perfumers private collection. According to the website copy its character is “clean, soapy, aromatic, vivid, and cold”. Based on that description, I would date this essential oil until it lost interest in me and stopped texting back. 

If you must know what Ambergris actually is, Naeem described it over text as “Whale ‘vomit’, this substance helps whales pass squid beaks through their system but it’s also used in high end perfumes similar to musk or civet.”

Wacky Waving Guy

An ex girlfriend always pointed to these and said “That’s you! That’s what you look like!” so now i’m telling you to buy them for a friend and put a little piece of me in their home. 

Frozen Roast Eel (Bulk)

The Eel Depot has so much more than just eel (of which they offer 5 varieties, as well as an eel sauce). There’s a fancy Japanese to-go counter down the street from my Moms house, and once a month I’ll go over and splurge, get the $15 sashimi. I always save the one piece of unagi for last. It’s a generous portion, but I’m a sicko and desire more. This morning I was fantasizing of all manner of raw or smoked fish, anything that smells like low tide. First I thought an Everything Bagel with Lox was the answer, but then I thought what if? And here we are at the Eel Depot. What if?

1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC – Shomi Patwary

Our second guest entry comes from the lovely director Shomi Patwary. Shomi is among the smartest of New York directors, the ones who choose to live in New Jersey, a state that is much better than people give it credit for. I can’t summon what it takes to make the case now, but trust me when I say it’s more like California than Californians would ever care to admit. If they would simply take Philadelphia away from Pennsylvania perhaps people would take the state more seriously, but it would make it less like California on the whole, and add Eagles fans into the population. A dangerous and ultimately unknowable group of people. Shomi knows cars, and is very patient when I text him stupid questions like “What’s curb appeal?” He’s from Virginia Beach and has tons of amazing Neptunes and Clipse stories at the ready, but not in a shitty way, and he only moves forward, you’ve seen his work on the Desus and Mero show this past season. All that considered it makes sense that he’d suggest a beautiful 33 year old Benz that’s currently a steal at a bid of 6K with a week to go. Fuck a Playstation 5. A collab in the truest sense of the word, this is a pre-merger AMG Mercedes. I was gearing up to do a whole “it’s the first night of Hannukah so fuck Mercedes for being Nazis” schtick, but the first time I ever “drove” a car was in the lap of a family friend named Gadi, an Israeli businessman and former paratrooper, so who  am I. What a sick car. Also, I should note, I do not have the discipline or patience to live in New Jersey and commute, but I believe in my friends who do. 

Graffix Bong 

A couple years ago I did some searching to see if I could find a Graffix bong, a staple at Zebra on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley when it was a head shop with stuff like a whole shelf of sexy devil stickers in addition to being a piercing and tattoo parlor. I couldn’t find a prayer about the company, not only were they not around anymore, but there was very little evidence online that they had ever existed, it made me feel crazy, like Bruce Willis at the big reveal in the Sixth Sense. Now they are back. The company is still in Arizona I believe, where apparently all the bong companies started out. They are offering the basics of their original range, and it’s all affordable and looks good. The practice space industry dads that Sick Feeling shared a space with across from Pies and Thighs. Humongous practice space for New York, now shuttered for a few years. Anyhow, the practice dads had a green plastic Graffix bong on their side of the room, and since people who front hardcore bands don’t do shit at practice half the time, I have many fond winter memories of watching Don lose his mind while white nuckling the practice dads ancient Graffix bong, and look forward to finally buying my own this year. I think I’m gonna splurge and get the bubbler. 

Old Rip Van Winkle (10 Year)

I gotta be honest, every time I’ve had this stuff I’ve been celebrating or mourning and I don’t remember what it tastes like, only that it’s the best whiskey I’ve ever had. Thanks to JVL for ever bringing it down off the top shelf for staff. 

Sabre T Shirt Launcher

“The world’s first and only rapid loading and firing T-Shirt cannon. With its patented electronic firing mechanism this cannon allows the user to load and fire a t-shirt every 2 to 3 seconds to ranges from 10 to 300 feet. The launcher comes equipped with a tripod allowing a 360 degree 3 axis rotation, remote gas line, oil, O-rings, manual and a Lifetime Limited Warranty.” 

This thing is worth every penny of its $35,000 price tag and I want it. Every year they don’t incorporate T Shirt Cannons into fashion week, it’s a failed fashion week. That’s why every fashion week is a failure. 

Jing Fong Peking Duck & Pork Bun Kit

Honestly I was thinking about the Peking Duck at Peking Duck House, which I miss very much. I highly recommend the place for birthdays, because it’s BYOB, so you can split the bill evenly without all that stupid bullshit at the end, which by the way, if you are the cause of that end of dinner back and forth? Don’t go out to dinner. Anyhow, Peking Duck House features a duck in a chef’s hat as its mascot, hanging on a banner outside and embossed on the menus. The image is evil, psychotic, and wonderful. I was going to link to Tao’s duck kit, which is also on goldenbelly, but really I couldn’t stomach it for the joke. Jing Fong is a classic, love the escalators and how gigantic the room is. I had the idea for this because my friend Nick got a shitload of Chicago style pizzas in the mail the other day, and I’ve been lurking the Goldenbelly site for an hour or two in the days since. I am no longer sure if I’m becoming more of who I am or losing track of my identity entirely. 

Furry Hooded Bear Suit – Judnick Mayard

What if Furries are onto something? If you don’t want to create your own custom suit, adopt a fursona and go to conventions and have sex with other people in fur costumes occupying a fursona, but you want to feel encased in a soft blanket, this is the demiliterized version for the civilian population. Judnick, in addition to being an amazing writer and producer (Lazer Wolf Season 2 out now!)  is a comfort enthusiast who I trust, because well, I trust her with most anything. Also, I wear jeans indoors, everyone’s more comfortable than I am. She originally suggested a metal grinder because she’s a good person who is trying to help you, but I’m not. So here we are, talking about levels of comfort I will never find. I hope you already  have that grinder. You do, right?

Second Furry Option 

There was this great graphic T for sale at Good Company a few years back that said “Some Dogs are Cops” and had a start photo of a German Shepard on it. German Shepards are just like Mercedes Benz in that they’re not strictly Nazi fare today, but they’re still Nazi adjacent. But again, Gadi had a German Shepard, so what do I know?. 

Microdosing Kit – Jake Moore

I’m the first one to say this is too cute by half for myself and most of my friends, but people are different and this seems like a really mellow way to tell your corporate friends to loosen up a little. The vial feels more GOOP adjacent than a ziploc baggy of shrooms, even if one feels more dignified than the other, it prolly doesn’t to people who don’t do drugs. Jake Moore, the brilliant director and DP who suggested this item, is the kind of guy who looks like he’s never done drugs in his entire life, but will party you under the table and you’ll never know what hit you because he’s so nice and always gets his work done no matter how insane the deadline. You’ve seen his work this year in all the good fashion shit, you just don’t know it (Telfar UGG collab?!). Jake was my coworker at VFILES many moons ago and all the editors commented on how great his style was (it was and is great). He always blushed and demurred, but finally one day, a friend asked to photograph him for a trend piece in New York Magazine and he relented, saying in the moment “how many people are gonna read this anyhow?” It was the first piece on Normcore, and his photo was featured on the first page of the article. 

Blank Single Stitch T Shirts
The world has enough T Shirts, and they haven’t even made them well since everyone switched to a double hem in the mid to late 90’s. If you insist on buying new t shirts, get something actually special. I’d recommend something from Colour Plus, or an impeccable bootleg from Justified Arrogance if you aren’t shopping at the Good Company. But really, search for single stitch t shirts on ebay and etsy to cut to the chase when you’re digging for pre ‘94 vintage, I swear by the blanks which are in the $12-$20 range. You might as well get some 80’s roll collar Brooks Brothers shirts, reverse weave Champion crew necks, and orange tab Levis while you’re at it. Look at you now, so handsome.