Alas, I am slightly late with my Annual Greed List – the large (and, yes, uncut) list of things I desire for Christmas. Why do I do this? If you’re really interested, here’s a brief history of the Greed List.
The briefer version, however, is that I think “What you want” is a reflection of “Who you are” at this moment – your music, your hobbies, your fandoms, help define who you are as a person. I find it fascinating as a history, watching how what I’ve desired has mutated – for example, the list used to be heavy on physical Things, which then changed slowly into digital objects as MP3s and iTunes became big, and this year thanks to the gigantic television we bought, I’m back to wanting Things again.
(And it allows me to chronicle strange bumps in my desires; for example, this list contains not one single book. Why? Is it because I stopped loving books? No! It is because I just got off a book tour for Fix, and I am so overflowing with books I need to run down my pile.)
And while I guess I could just shove my Amazon Wishlist at you and run, why bother? I want you to know who I am in this moment, and so I not only list what I want, but explain why I want it.
So. Here’s what I’d like for this gallumphing holiday season.
Review My Books.
So as of today, I have officially written three books:
If you haven’t bought them yet, obviously buying them is a good thing for me. But if you have, and you haven’t left a review somewhere – whether that’s at Amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes and Noble –
Well, authors are hungry for reviews. Every review helps shape the retailers’ recommendation engines, and enough reviews (even negative ones) makes it far more likely that Amazon or Barnes and Noble will recommend that author’s book to someone else. So even if it’s a two-star review of “Didn’t hook me,” well, actually, that helps.
So you wanna get me a gift that costs you nothing aside from five minutes of time? If you’ve read my book, rate my book somewhere. Which you can do for literally any other author you like!
PlayStation 4 Charging Station ($15.99)
It’s rare that my top money-gift is so affordable and so practical, but here’s how it is:
The charging station we have for our current PS4 controllers is crap. They’re two little balls you have to a) plug into the controller, and b) seat in the charging station, which means the balls inevitably aren’t seated right and it doesn’t charge.
Which would be a hassle just for gaming, but alas, our DVD player is also our PS4 which means that we’re continually going to watch a movie and finding the “remote” dead. We need a design for charging that isn’t frickin’ stupid, which this is, so I want this. Or something very much like it that doesn’t suck.
iTunes $30 Gift Card To Buy In The Heights ($15.99) and Weird Romance ($9.99)
So anyone who’s been following me this year will know of my great affection for Hamilton – the best thing that happened in 2016 was winning the Hamilton lottery and getting front-row seats to see the original cast performing.
And the guy who wrote Hamilton is called Lin-Manuel Miranda, and he’s had a hell of a year. He also wrote the soundtrack to Disney’s new film Moana, which is ridiculously hummable.
But the trick is that Disney hired Lin-Manual before Hamilton even debuted on Broadway! And normally, “Disney hires a Broadway writer” would be a step up in your career, but Hamilton had hit so big that most people assumed they’d hired him because “the writer of Hamilton” would help promote their film.
Which brings us to our grand conclusion – which is to say Disney hired Lin-Manuel based solely on the strength of his first Broadway musical, “In The Heights,” which I could use on my iTunes, stat.
In addition! The directors of Moana are famed for filming The Little Mermaid – which was the debut of Disney’s greatest songwriters Ashman and Mencken, who wrote Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. And their first Broadway musical, Weird Romance, is finally available on iTunes, which I would also love to hear.
So basically, a bunch of debut musicals from people I love.
Craaaaaazy Socks ($10 or less)
My current “Wacky Socks” collection includes Spock socks, Bacon socks, Fallout socks, Apollo 13 socks, and Reindeer socks.
You wanna get me crazy socks? You go right ahead.
The Last Guardian on PS4 ($59.99)
The annoying thing about being locked into one gaming platform for years is that you miss the classics that appear only on one game system. And for years, people have raved about games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, which were supposedly these great moody experiences that people remembered forever – but they were on the PlayStation, and I am an Xbox kid.
But now the guys who did Ico and Shadow of the Colossus have a game out for the new PS4! And it’s supposedly awesome, with you breaking out of a prison to find a gigantic barn-sized bird, and you have to befriend and train the bird to survive, and it’s weird and crazy and lovely from the previews. Apparently, you basically find a mega-dog and try to make it your friend.
I would like this game.
Dungeon World ($18.99)
This is a pen-and-paper RPG that’s kind of like Dungeons and Dragons, but is focused on roleplaying instead of hack-and-slashing, which is what the latest D&D hammers on. In most RPGs the Dungeon Master sets up the adventure – mapping out the castle you’ll be storming, all the people you’ll be talking to, et cetera.
In Dungeon World, you cooperatively get together to create a campaign together, agreeing on what the coolest thing that could happen is. And that requires people to move away from “I beat what the DM throws at us” and towards “We create a story with triumphs and dramatic setbacks.”
How do they do that? I do not know. ButI wish to find out.
Corner Gas: The Movie ($16.99)
This is the conclusion to the Canadian Seinfeld, a gloriously goofy show set in Dog River which I adore. This is a national treasure of a show about nothing – and while I know there’s no great storyline to conclude (Corner Gas was infamously hostile to running storylines), I’d like to spend one last ninety minutes in the company with these absolutely lovable dorks.
Final Fantasy XV, PS4 ($59.99)
Here’s an interesting fact: Aside from Final Fantasy X, I haven’t really liked any Final Fantasy Games. They’re all beautiful, and complicated in all the ways I want them simple (five million ways to configure a character!) and simple in all the ways I want them complicated (you’re stuck on a linear story and can’t deviate from it!).
But the reviews say that FFXV isn’t quite a normal Final Fantasy game; apparently, it’s four guys driving around on a big fantasy road trip, doing errands and becoming closer friends. I’m willing to take a chance on that – especially because even if the game isn’t such great shakes, it’ll look great on my big TV.
Avatar on Blu-Ray ($19.96)
Speaking of dumb things that look beautiful, one of the joys of our massive hi-def TV is that movies really pop when you show them on Blu-Ray. And Avatar is a movie that isn’t very good, but it is absolutely visually stunning, I want to see how it looks on The Magnificence.
Router Table ($159.99)
Yes, I’m still doing woodworking! Though not in November, alas, thanks to a whole bunch of hideous news. But we hope to keep wooding things up, and to do that we’ll need a table to stick my new router in. Which I am very much happy with.
Gone With The Wind Blu-Ray ($12.11)
So this is one of the greatest visual spectacles ever filmed, and we have one of the greatest screens ever created. We need to see the Burning of Atlanta on our big screen.
The Godfather Blu-Ray ($22.00)
Again, another visually spectacular movie. I only really need the first movie (my shameful cinema opinion is that Godfather II is severely overrated), but damn will this look nice on my gigantor TV.
Dr. Strangelove Blu-Ray ($22.49)
I have been on such a Stanley Kubrick kick lately, it’s ridiculous. And this isn’t my favorite of his films, but it is beautiful and I want to rewatch it with all the extras that only come with the Criterion collections (which do phenomenal behind-the-scenes restorations with loads of interviews).
Watch Dogs 2 for PS4 ($59.99)
This is getting decent reviews – basically, “Hi, this is a clone of Grand Theft Auto with a few tweaks.” But that’s not a bad thing! In Grand Theft Auto, you run around a city and cause mayhem with guns and cars, and that is a fun formula on a day when you’re pissed off about things. It doesn’t have to be genius – it just has to have a few running firefights.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
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