Mighty Life List
Aug 11 2009

Young Love Unrequited, The Soundtrack

This is the last gift sponsored by Sandisk slotRadio, so I thought we might actually talk about music. Since John Hughes passed, I’ve been thinking about how much more I enjoy movies when a director is passionate about the soundtrack.

My favorite Hughes scenes are about the music that’s playing in his characters’ lives. Remember Duckie lip-syncing to “Try a little Tenderness?”

Or Ferris Bueller’s “Danke Schoen” cum “Twist and Shout” on the parade float:

And of course, The Breakfast Club dance scene:

Then there are the Hughes songs that knock you flat and replay footage of your bedroom ceiling, circa 1985.

“Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds

“If You Were Here” by the Thompson Twins

“If You Leave” by OMD

So this present celebrates the music Mr. Hughes brought into our lives. If you win, I’ll send you everything you need for a nostalgic movie night.

The Ringwald holy trinity:

breakfast
The Breakfast Club

16candles
Sixteen Candles

prettyinpink
Pretty in Pink

An absurdly large box of Watermelon Flavored Pop Rocks, (Purchased after I ate the packages I bought for you at the corner store. Taste the Explosion!):

poprocks

And, of course, a Sandisk slotRadio:
slotradio

It comes with a bunch of songs already, but also gives you the option of picking your own music. Before you load your workout mix, I’d like you to check into these:

The Ultimate John Hughes Playlist
John Hughes Movie Soundtrack Hits

Leave a comment below, bonus points if you tell me about your favorite music-related movie scene. Be sure to include your email address in the field provided (so I can reach you if you win) by August 14 at 5 p.m. PST. Just one comment, please — I have to delete duplicates for fairness. Random.org will decide who wins. I’ll contact the lucky via email, and I’ll also tell you who won here.

Danke schoen to Sandisk for making this gift project a go. It’s been fun.

Jun 12 2009

Winner! Plus Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Congratulations, Emma #181! Random.org indicates that you are the chosen one. Enjoy your slotRadio and perfect ice cubes.

The rest of you may have some shopping to do, but fortunately your Father’s Day ideas are inspired. Freddy made Moo Cards from photos her dad has taken, so he can share his Flickr address with photo subjects when he travels. Evil Science Chick would love to replace the powder blue Mustang her father sold when she was born so he could buy a family car. Adel says, “My dad loves bouncy balls for some reason, so a big bag of bouncy balls would probably be his ideal father’s day gift.” And when Melissa was six, she picked a all the dandelions from the yard and left them in the mailbox for her father. He was on his way to punish her for shattering yet another pair of glasses when he found the bouquet, and decided against it. Awww.

Congratulations again, Emma! And for everyone else, here are the rest of your Father’s Day ideas:

Handmade and/or Sentimental
Big batches of homemade soup for the freezer
Transferring all his photo slides to digital
Homemade cards
Homemade book on the theme of “I love you more than…”
Repay college tuition
A card I made in college with a picture of us and words cut out of
baking
a macaroni encrusted picture frame of me
Baseball game scrapbook

Personalized

A brick engraved with his name and the details of his service to the USMC. The personalized brick is now among the many on the path at the Marine Corps Memorial here in DC.
Framed Photos
Portraits of the kids in their “My Dad Rocks” t-shirts
stepping stone imprint of our daughter’s feet
Mug with daughter’s handprints
Photo mousepad

Booze and Food
Beer of the month
Hot Sauce of the Month
Single malt Scotch
Tequila
Mr. Beer Homebrew Kit
A carton of cigarettes and a twelve pack of beer
Six-pack of PBR and a can of mixed nuts
Vintage Bourbon
A bag of “goodies” from the Sierra Nut House

Hobbies
Hiking Walking Stick
LA Times Sunday Crossword books
A Small Orchard
Anything from Lee Valley, a mail-order catalogue for woodworkers and gardeners
Painting lessons
Golf bag, shirts, jackets, pants, clubs, shoes, balls
Sunrise fishing trip
Tickets to the US Open golf championship for him and his favorite golf partner, my husband
Golds Gym for Wii
Enertia Electric Motorcycle
New Train Set
Chrome for his Harley
Afternoon of hang gliding
Gardening supplies
Ashtray
Kayaking
Sailing trip
adult tricycle

Family Time
A bag of circus peanuts and a road trip to Gettysburg
A nice meal
Child seat for his bike, helmet for the kiddo
2 copies of a book on a subject we are both interested in- one for each of us- so we can talk about them as we both read them
Extend our satellite TV channels
Day off from parenting
Disney World with his 3 grandkids
Hammock
I flew home one year as a complete surprise
A weekend without a schedule
A trip to Kansas City to cruise around all the places he liked to go as a kid with stops at his favorite BBQ and burger joints.
A day of antiquing together

Gadgets
Wireless headphones
GPS
Flip video recorder

Handyman Enablers
Chainsaw
Ladder
Manure fork
The Nail Jack

Tickets, Gift Cards, Donations

Opera tickets
Circus tickets
Movie tickets
Concert tickets
Sports tickets
eBay gift certificate
Borders card
Best Buy card
Gift certificates for rounds of golf, and a series of Sunday mornings where no one asks him to do anything, so he can play guilt-free
In-N-Out gift card
Heifer International donation

Practical

New bumper for the pickup
Travel toiletry kit
Underwear
Detail his car
A puppy
Tractor attachment

Media

Magazine subscriptions
Best-of This American Life
Stupid American History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions
Louis L’Amour book
I renew my Dad’s subscription to Smithsonian Magazine.
Great Professors lectures on DVD from The Teaching Company

Jun 10 2009

I Got Your Dad a Present

I got a Father’s Day gift for your dad. But why am I buying stuff for your dad? It’s not what you think! We’re just good friends.

Actually, I’ve been meaning to make little surprises for you guys for years, but it’s kind of labor intensive, and expensive, and I suck at errands, and there’s a lot of reality TV between me and my grand ideas. You understand. I finally got my act together because Sandisk slotRadio offered to foot the bill for my theme-gifts project, as long as they got to pick the themes. Of course, they threw in some slotRadios too. Sweet.

They picked Father’s Day, so I made a Lazy Sunday Kit, which contains restful things. Would you like to know what’s in it? Yes:

The Aforementioned slotRadio
It’s like a walkman, but instead of CDs or tapes, you put in a little memory card that comes preloaded with music you didn’t have to download. This one comes with 1,000 Billboard songs, but you can buy other cards if you like. Also, there’s room for you to upload your own mixes if you want to hear something that’s not on the card.

A One-Year Subscription to The Week Magazine
I’ve told you about this epic magazine before on The Morning News. Here’s what I said:

The Week is a news digest for the impatient and globally curious. Say you had a genius friend who read three-dozen of the world’s best newspapers every day. Then say that friend agreed to write a summary for you featuring all the best stuff he found on every subject.

That’s The Week—excerpts from the top columns, news articles, business deals, real estate, gossip, and even TV listings. Best of all, it’s slim enough to fold in half and read during one good, long soak in the tub. You’ll emerge wrinkled, but utterly prepared for the most arduous cocktail party.

Warning! This will be shipped to whatever address the winner provides. So you’ll need to think really hard about how much your dad means to you.

Oxo No-Spill Travel Mug
A travel mug with an agreeable clicky button on the top that opens and closes the cup when you press it. You could practically throw the thing in a bag and it wouldn’t spill. Genius. Now dad can read his magazine anywhere he wants.

The Perfect Cube Silicone Ice Cube Trays

These make excellent, perfectly cubular ice cubes. I’m including these instead of a bottle of bourbon, because I technically have no idea who you are. You could be like sixteen, and Bam! You’re corrupted. Suddenly I’m a corruptor. Anyway, please use these perfect ice cubes in the tasty beverage of your choice — cocktail or otherwise. Kids, stay away from drugs.

Now, isn’t that a nice present? I think so too. I spent a lot of time agonizing at the mall today. Anyway, if you want it, or your dad does, here’s the deal. First you have to live in the continental U.S. or Canada. If you do, please leave a comment below about the ideal Father’s Day gift. Be sure to include your email address in the field provided (so I can reach you if you win) by June 12, 2009 at 12 a.m. EST. Just one comment, please. I have to delete duplicates for fairness. Random.org will decide who wins, and I’ll contact the lucky via email. I’ll also tell you who won here.

So, ready? Best Father’s Day Gift on record? Aaaand go!