Swiss Army Knife

“Of course, this is a Victorinox. They purchased Wenger in 2005, and the quality has gone down a little, but as base model multi-tools go, it’s a solid choice. It’s got the toothpick, and that’s iconic. You won’t see that in a Gerber tool. Plus, you know red is a power color, and that’s so me.”

Cashmere Sweater

“The undercoat of the Kashmir (that’s how it’s spelled, for their region of origin) is very soft and fine, and has excellent insulating properties. The hair from musk ox is similar. The Inuit word for musk ox is umingmak, which means ‘bearded ones.’ I learned that while I was in Alaska last summer. It was wild there. So much good salmon, and I tried moose sausage. It tastes a little like beef, but a little gamier. I found this great diner that served some local beer, a lot of locally sourced food. I love Alaska. I feel like I could live there.”

Espresso Maker

“Remember that time your sister’s boyfriend called it ‘expresso’? And then he insisted that espresso was the type of bean, rather than the process used to make the beverage. What a moron! But then your sister never was one for picking out decent guys. If she had a little more confidence, maybe did something with her hair, she might find someone.”

Leather Bound Journal

“This reminds me of the summer I spent in Prague. I found an old bookstore, across the Charles Bridge and near the little bakery where I got coffee and a roll every morning before biking around the city. The most beautiful girl worked there. Dobromila was her name. She spoke very little English, but we connected on an almost spiritual level. I am telling you, you have to get to Prague. You haven’t really been to Europe until you’ve seen Prague.”


“You know, in the Middle Ages, only the nobles and the wealthy wore gloves. They were considered a status symbol. Only commoners wore mittens, which is ridiculous, because everyone knows that mittens keep your hands warmer! No, no — I love these, though. They make me feel like a king!”


“The man who invented Eau de Cologne wanted something to help him with being nostalgic for his hometown. This is such an interesting fragrance. It kind of makes me homesick for Prague. Isn’t that funny — I haven’t thought of Dobromila in years, and now I’m just flooded with all these memories!”

Magazine Subscription

“I read something online the other day that over the next few years, fewer and fewer magazines will appear in print. Something like ‘1920-2020 was the century of the magazine.’ I mean, I get it — the feel of real glossy paper in hand — there’s nothing like it, but everything is going online.”

Tickets to a Sporting Event

“Oh, I hate that you spent money on these! Steve at the office has a connection that can get us great seats for next to nothing. I could have just asked him. I mean, these are great — don’t get me wrong, I love them, but you shouldn’t have spent this kind of money. You got burned on these.”

Electronic Gadget

“Hey, I have one of these — well, I have the newer version, but this is great! It will be so nice to have a backup!”

Gift Card

“I heard this story on NPR the other day that people who get gift cards spend almost 40 dollars more than the value of the card. Crazy, right? I think it was Marketplace. Did you know Kai Ryssdal was in the Navy? Yeah, he went in after he graduated from Emory. My cousin Randall went to Emory — you’ve never met him, but he ended up working at a Jamba Juice and has massive debt. He should have gone to some state school and saved his parents the heartache. Not that it mattered to Aunt Kathy and Uncle Richard. He’s a CPA and she made some decent money running one of those Curves places in a strip mall for a while. But yeah, I’m sure this will come in handy for something. Thanks.”