Holiday Fantasy Wish List

This year -- given the economy and all that good stuff -- I'm arranging with most of the adults on my Xmas list to skip the exchange. For the most part, none of us really needs anything and it seems sort of silly to scramble around trying to come up with gift ideas just for the sake of doing so. I think we'll all feel a little pocket book relief this way. I know I am. Still, I am an acquisitive person and even though there isn't much on my "reasonable" wish list, I've been fantasizing about my ultimate wish list, were price not an option. Thus, in a spirit of complete self-indulgence and materialism, I present to you my Fantasty Wish List for 2008. Enjoy. Or don't enjoy, but just judge me for being so greedy.

xmas-jomaloneJo Malone Red Roses Bath Oil

I'm sort of a giant bath whore, as everyone who knows me well can attest. If it bubbles and smells pretty -- by which I mean not fruity or edible, for the most part -- I'm game. Experience, however has taught me that often you pay a higher price for the truly sublime bath products. Amazing fragrances require real essential oils and those require coin. Fortunately, I have a husband who indulges me very well in my Lush and L'Occitane fetishes. However, I've been coveting a bottle of Jo Malone Red Roses Bath Oil by the reknowned English perfumer. It just sounds exquisite, don't you think? However, at $60 for a 25 mil bottle, it's too rich for my blood. And my bath.

xmas-beehouseA Beehouse 48 oz teapot in crackly green

Believe it or not, I've already had -- and squandered -- time with a fabulous Beehouse 48 oz teapot. Chris spoiled me with one for Christmas last year (in a lovely light green crackle finish) and I can honestly say it was the most beautiful and best-performing teapot I've ever owned. No drips, people!  But at $56 a pop, it's ludicrous to pony up for a replacement since odds are I'll just break it again. (Oh! While I'm on the tea subject, this one's not a fantasy, just a recommendation: blood orange fruit infusion from the Tea Haus on N Fourth Street here in Ann Arbor. Love it!)

xmas-canonCanon EOS Digital REbel XSi

Sure, I don't know how to use many of the features on my current Canon Powershot S3 IS camera but that doesn't stop me longing for an even better model. I'm aching to dabble into the world of SLRs, even though I wouldn't know anything about using one. Still, I'm thinking that given how pleased I am with my current Canon, I'd like to try out the Canon EOS Digital REbel XSi.  Prices seem to vary between $600 and $800, so there are no doubt bargains to be had! Bargains!

Some learnin'

Of course, that means I'll need some digital photography lessons to go along with that. I'm thinking something like this Fundamentals of Photography workshop from Midwest Photographic Workshops, but maybe not taught by a Hemingway lookalike.  That seems to run around $250, which seems fairly reasonable if it'll convert me into a world-class photographer in six short weeks. (Also, while you're signing me up for classes, I'd really like to brush up on my French. Seven years of studying the damn language and so much of it is gone. And Spanish. Don't forget Spanish. I need schooled, people. Might as well send me to the University of Michigan where, I learned the hard way, the price tag for a non-degree-seeking course will run you around $5,000. But I'll be able to order in French restaurants!)

Negative & Slide Scanner

I have boxes and albums full of photos I haven't looked at in years. Ditto my family, which also has carousels full of slides that date back to my grandpa's itchy camera finger -- and no projector to view them on. Wouldn't it be fantastic to take the negatives and slides and scan in the keepers for digital posterity, making it much easier to view and share them with everyone and making it possible to dump the ones that aren't of interest? Sure it would. I'd go relatively big with this purchase, not pro-style, but with a pretty high end resolution. I'm liking the look of this Canon CanoScan model, which goes for around 200 clams.

The keys to a shiny new Australia*

xmas-australiaOkay, maybe not the keys to the whole country, but I would so take a trip to Australia. It's been on my list for years and years and after seeing our good friend (and Sydney residents) Gerard and Kim very recently, it seemed like extra incentive to go. Gerard says we need to allow six weeks to do it properly, and that we'll probably want to check out New Zealand while we're over there. (And thank them for FOTC and whatnot.) We're not sure that Gerard's ever met an American or else he'd know that a six-week vacation is laughable. I'm not sure I'd even want to be gone from home quite that long, but since it's a fantasy, let's go for it. I also figure, while we're fantasizing, that a few days on the ground in Fiji, Tahiti and/or Thailand on the way there and back would be a worthwhile diversion. For the sake of comparison shopping, this tour operator offers a 32-day Australia/New Zealand/Fiji package for right around $9,000 a piece. If you're buying me this, it's only polite to buy one for Chris too. *Bonus points for recognizing Dr. Horrible reference

Creative Writing Workshop

Specifically, this Creative Getaway for Writers, hosted by Cary Tennis in West Marin, California this coming January. A friend of mine takes a workshop with Tennis in San Francisco and speaks very highly about him. Plus, I'm pretty impressed with his Five Essential Affirmations and Five Essential Practices that guide his workshop approach. Since I'm such a light and fitful sleeper, I'll need a single room for the event, which puts the price tag for this three day affair at $1,150. Plus, I'll need airfare too. Thanks!

There. That seems like plenty.