Computer Girls Christmas Guide

Confessions of an online Christmas shopper

Illustration by Bob AulI'm all for supporting the booming economy by spending my hard-earned dollars in a three-week frenzy at the height of the holiday season; I'd hate to have the collapse of international capitalism on my conscience. But the crowds and the parking and the constant din of tinny Christmas carols and the bastardization of a cultural event into just another excuse to spend money—that I can do without.

So I'm doing all my shopping online this year, thus further cementing my reputation as a cranky recluse. Nestled in my robe and slippers in front of my computer, a cup of steaming-hot cocoa within reach, the warm blue glow of the cathode-ray tube illuminating my peaceful features—these are the sorts of things that can put a girl in the holiday spirit.

And there's some cool shit available online. You can fulfill your familial obligations while sitting on your butt andsupport your local merchants at the same time. Just check out the Computer Girl's Gift Guide below and let your modem do the walking.

Nixon and Elvis coasters, Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation.Nixon memorabilia makes a great gift, especially for any budding neo-conservatives in your family. This set of four coasters ("handsomely boxed," the site says) features the famous picture of Nixon shaking hands with Elvis. Enjoy the thrill of setting your drinks on the former Chief Criminal's face, and know that your money is going to support the rehabilitation of Richard Nixon. And if coasters don't turn your crank, gobs of other Nixoniana are available at the gift shop. $32; www.nixonfoundation.org.Bondage gear, Electric Chair. Imagine the look of joy on that special someone's face when she finds a chain bikini top or a set of ankle shackles in her stocking. The Electric Chair site, offered by the venerable Huntington Beach store, also carries a number of other clothing and accessory options, including body jewelry, flight jackets, Doc Martens and lots more. For the open-minded adults in your life. Chain bikini, $70; ankle shackles, $50; www.electricchair.com.Surfrider Foundation membership, Surfrider Foundation. Instead of giving yet another material good to clutter your recipient's life, give the gift of cleaner beaches and unpolluted waters to your loved ones. The Surfrider Web site allows you to submit all the necessary information online; a membership kit will be winging its way to the recipient within a few weeks. Why not pick up one for yourself while you're at it? Adult membership, $25; student/senior membership, $15; www.surfrider.org."God Loves You & So Do I" bumper sticker, Crystal Cathedral. Plaster the inspirational words of the Reverend Robert Schuller on the rear of your car for all to see and be annoyed by. A bargain at only 99 cents, this sticker would make a great stocking stuffer. And a lot of other stuff is available, including letter openers, thimbles, magnets and, of course, assorted Possibility Thinking tomes. 99 cents; www.crystalcathedral.org.Holy Land Anointing Oil, Trinity Broadcasting Network. While we're remembering the real reason for the season, why not drop by the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Gift Shop at the TBN site? For only $4.99, you can meet all your anointing needs with this mixture of olive oil, frankincense and myrrh, which blend to create "a special aromatic fragrance unique to the land of the Bible," according to the site. And there're lots of stained glass, carved angels and other holy relics awaiting you. $4.99; www.tbn.org.Urban Traveler Kit, Urban Decay. Short on Litter, Road Stripe, Graffiti or Violence? Then check out this collection of grungy nail polish in assorted yucky colors, from the original anti-pink, anti-pretty cosmetics company. And there're tons of lip gunk, body jewelry and other decorations to give you that proper air of decayed glamour. And if you can't decide, gift certificates are available. $40; www.urbandecay.com.Assorted event tickets, OCNow.com. Through an arrangement with Tickets. com, the Orange County guide offers tickets for all sorts of special events. You can purchase passes to holiday events, sports games, concerts, The Little Mermaid on ice [shudder] and so on. There's also an auction section where you can bid on hard-to-find tickets, such as the upcoming Rage Against the Machine concert at the Great Western Forum. Prices vary; www.ocnow.com. At Home on the Range: The Cookbook for the Deranged, At Home on the Range. At last, the cookbook based on the terminally weird cooking show out of Newport Beach. Order now, and you can even get a copy signed by hosts John Crean and Barbara Venezia. You can also get gift packages that include aprons, T-shirts, videos and more. $19.95; www. hotrange.com.

The above is just a sampling of what's available online. There are gobs more: books by Orange County authors, music by local bands, Goth gear and far too much stuff to list. It's all out there for those who are just lazy enough to seek it out online rather than getting off their butts and hitting the malls. Here's to us: the few, the proud, the shut-ins.

Sell Wyn stuff at machineage@mediaone.net.
 
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