He's making a list, and checking it twice...
Thursday, December 16, 1999
Wish Lists

Well, I successfully wrote those four one-page essays comprising my English 255 take-home final by the deadline. That's the good news. The bad news is that one of them was okay, one of them was too vague, and the other two were crap. But at least they're done...

All I have left, then, is the overdue Women's Studies homework.

So... on to the subject of Amazon.Com wish lists, which, a week or two ago, suddenly showed up in most of the journals I read.

While I have no problem with that, I confess that my first reaction to the entire notion was that of puzzlement. Why, I wondered, would anybody want to use such a thing? Doesn't it take all the fun out of both sides of the gift giving/getting equation?

My first counter-reaction was that perhaps, just perhaps, I felt this way because I don't have any particular occasions when giving or receiving gifts is socially obligated. My family hasn't done Chanukah presents in ages, f'rinstance.

I do give birthday presents -- almost invariably books -- but this is confined to people I know well enough to have a good idea of what would be up their alley. Generally, the only thing that worries me is that they may already have the book in question, but I seem to have gotten lucky so far.

I also make the occasional spur-of-the-moment gift purchase when I find something that seems perfect for the recipient, if I have the cash on hand. Either way, why a wish list? It's more fun to give stuff I've picked out, or have noticed the recipient mention wanting in a less formal context. And I can't help but feel that it's more fun on the recipient's side also, to get stuff you didn't actually request, and might not even have thought of.

Well, that was my train of thought, and I was sticking to it, when I remembered how I got my Random House Unabridged Dictionary (2nd Ed.), which I had lusted after for years, before my brother bought it for me as a birthday present. Which is to say that first I mentioned said bibliophilic lust (not intending for him to do anything about it), after which he said he was getting it for my birthday, and asked just which edition I wanted. To make matters easier, I put a link to its page on Amazon.Com on my home page.


Okay, so the more I think about it, the more sense it makes, although I don't expect it to affect my own gift-giving process.

Still, regardless of my personal attitudes, and despite the fact that, at the Bookstore Manager's request, I already have a wish list of sorts over at Clean Sheets, the fact remains that I'll use almost any excuse to take a break from studying. Which, combined with the peer-pressure factor, is why I put together my own list over the past week or so. It's not actually intended for use, but, hey, it might be of interest, especially as it features a small portion of my List of CDs to Buy Once I Win the Lottery.

This is an entirely unrelated matter, and a bad transition, but my student loan still hasn't arrived. I went to Financial Aid to check on this, and was told that I should get it in the mail next week; apparently, the wheels are in motion, but it's currently trapped somewhere in the college, where they're busily separating the portion that's supposed to go towards my tuition from the portion I'm supposed to receive. So I had to borrow this month's rent again, this time from my brother. But as long as it does come next week, that's okay.

Now, about those poems.

I've heard from a few of you so far, but I'm sure there are more takers out there. So... if you want your very own, personally inscribed bit of verse by Yours Truly, drop me a line with your name, snail-mail address, and whatever specifications your heart desires, within the parameters already described. I'll be getting to work on this next week, so act now!