Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

The Sugarbutch 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

December 6, 2010  |  miscellany  |  14 Comments

The last few years, I’ve done a holiday gift guide of sorts, ideas for gifts. Last year I focused on non-gendered gifts, gifts that could be for anyone. In 2008, I specifically listed things of masculine-of-center or dapper interest. When I started this in 2007, I had a butch/femme guide which included some typical girly girl gifts as well. Because I’ve got a gender fetish, I like gift giving excuses, and I like to give gifts that are highly gendered (well, when I know the person who is receiving it would like that kind of thing, of course) and gifts that are a little decadent, maybe classic and a little uncommon, things that we wouldn’t necessarily buy for ourselves but that add that little extra pizazz to our outfits, our gender presentations, our fashion.

This year I’m focusing on my own personal wishlist: things butch-related that I’ve always kinda wanted in my arsenal, but don’t yet have. If you’d like to buy one of these things for me, well gosh, thanks in advance, I’m flattered, and if you email me we can perhaps figure that out. (You can also make a donation to Sugarbutch by using the Paypal button over there at the bottom of the sidebar. This site is an expensive endeavor, and is a labor of love, and any financial support is greatly appreciated, and will probably go toward the new bed that Kristen and I need.) But that’s not the purpose of this list so much as to share some inspirations and ideas for the holidays.

One more note—if you are an Amazon shopper, consider clicking through my Amazon links before your final check out, will you? If you start here before you check out, you’ll give me a tiny amount of kickback, a few bucks here and there that I can put toward the cost of this site. And hey, if you’re going to be shopping there anyway, why not help me out? I’d appreciate it.

These gifts could be for girls or boys or grrrls or bois or your mom or your lover or whomever, and is not intended to be restricted to one type of gender. It’s just things that I am currently coveting, and would love to receive this year. On to the ideas!

Monogrammed handkerchiefs seem so classy. I have definitely picked up the habit of carrying one around, though usually it’s one of the hunter greens that Kristen has given to me. Sometimes I need to wear something a little more classic and upscale, though, and something a little more delicate and monogrammed would feel special. I know it seems a little indulgent, but isn’t that partially the point? To get someone something they wouldn’t necessarily get on their own, to encourage a dapper or polished expression that makes us just a little extra sparkly.

It seems silly to pay a lot for a gym bag, I mean just any bag will do. I have a cheap canvas bag from the national scuba diving association because my sister is a member and ended up with two bags from them, so she let me use one. It is, sadly, on its last legs and the zipper just broke, but it’s still pretty much functional, and I can’t quite find the perfect bag to replace it. What I really want is the Fred Perry Gym Bag, but it looks like I missed that window and it’s no longer available. But that style! The retro two-toned barrel bag is exactly what I want. Wish I could find one with a similar look! Any leads?

While I’m talking about gym bags … I already have one actually, but a personalized dopp kit might be a great gift. A “dopp kit” is another word for a toiletries bag for travel, basically. Not sure where that came from but it’s a kind of sophisticated word for a (in my mind) necessary accessory. Etsy has quite a few, I like this traveler bag in navy seersucker. I always keep one packed for quick & easy traveling, and I take one to the gym also. Makes it easy to have everything all in one place, I don’t go around searching for things when I need to pack for a trip. Makes it much easier. There are ones that hang, too, and ones that have lots of little pockets … just depends on what you’re looking for. I like these, probably because it reminds me of the one my dad had when I was growing up.

I can’t justify the cost of a Bookbook Macbook cover when I just don’t have the disposable income these days, but oh my gosh I love them. I see they have iPad covers too. Oh, I suppose I can add an iPad to this wishlist, while I’m at it. For all the traveling I’ve been doing these days I think it’d be really useful to be able to carry around books in one device, since often a third of my carry-on is filled with books. Because they’re necessary! What if I get to Portland or Northampton or Providence or Tuscon and I need to reference something and I don’t have it on me?

I’ve been a little obsessed with shawl-collar sweaters this season, and of course they’re $200+. American Eagle has a nice one, though, for only about $60. I’m not crazy about the color navy but I bet I’d wear it regardless. I keep seeing guys in this kind of sweater everywhere, and I love the look of the shawl collar. I’m not usually one up on fashion trends, but this seems like a new thing for me. I’ve looked at other stores in my price range (like Old Navy and H&M) but it doesn’t look like they have these kinds of sweaters … doesn’t it just look like the kind of thing you’d wear while skiing the French Alps, or sipping hot chocolate by a fireplace while going over an important document on your iPad, or getting out of the car with bundles of holiday packages in tow to greet family? Seems so classic and boyish and adult.

I’ve had my eye on a valet stand for a long time. If I was still working at a daily office job, I would definitely pick one up—I’m never quite awake enough in the morning to make smart decisions about my clothes, so it’d be better if I set ‘em all out the night before and had them all ready for me. Seems like there are lots of valet stands available online, ranging from about $75 to $250 plus. I wouldn’t need anything too fancy, just somewhere crisp and easy to lay out my next day’s clothes.

Anything by Kenneth Cole. Seriously, anything. Even if I already have that shirt or those pants or that leather bag, I would not mind another one. I will probably wear through it eventually, may as well have a backup. I mean how great is that raspberry scarf with the grey vest and black tie and jacket in that photo? I love it. If I had to pick one store that was the only place I’d get my clothes from, it’d probably be that one. Okay, that and Etsy. I know that’s kind of cheating, but the accessories at Etsy are essential—belt buckles and cuff links and ties, oh yes. I even requested an Etsy gift certificate on my wish list to family.

That’s all for this year! Hope this is useful in your gift-giving in the next month or so. I’ve been making the slow transition to celebrating solstice instead of christmas, so I think this year the gift exchange will be done on the 21st.

I’m curious, though: what are you most wishing to receive this year?

Oh, and … got any good gift ideas for Kristen, or for femmes in general?

PS: Fist Me This Christmas by the Wet Spots has been stuck in my head for the last week.

UPDATE: A couple more ideas, and some more links.

  • Holiday Wish List Made by Femmes from the Fuck Yeah Femmes tumblr. Support femme artists! Such as these aprons by Radical Muffin!
  • Feminist Gifts for Teen Girls from Bitch Magazine, in case you have a teen girl in your life
  • Other gift ideas that I didn’t mention and are great ideas: wooden hangers. Might seem a little anti-climatic, but they really upgrade a closet. And also, giant ice cube trays for my whiskey. Apparently, regular ice “bruises” the whiskey by melting and watering it down, but giant ice cubes don’t melt as fast and keep the whiskey more pure.

You Are Never Ready

August 5, 2009  |  poetry  |  5 Comments

Thanks to Alisha for introducing me to this piece of poetry by Nicole Blackman; it is precisely what I needed. It’s hard to find online, so I’m reproducing it here, in case you also need to hear what she has to say. See more of Nicole Blackman’s work at NicoleBlackman.com. This piece is reproduced from her book Blood Sugar, which seems to be out of stock from Akashic Books – hopefully not out of print, though, because I really must get my hands on a copy.

You Are Never Ready
Nicole Blackman

In four minutes you will be gone and I must tell you why.

When a star crashes, the angels are electrified.
Your life changes in ways you can’t imagine.

When your dreams are perfect, they run like machines and leave you dizzy.

When you first discover you’re dying, everyone seems to be saying goodbye.

When your dreams are perfect, they run like machines.

You must change your life. You are never ready.
You must change your life. You are never ready.

There are people you have to leave behind, they just dirty up your mouth
they don’t value your treasure.

You fall down, you kiss up, you love them, it’s not enough.
They’re nothing special and you’re just a treasure.
If you had no magic here you’d be just like everyone else.
Imagine the tragedy.

You must change your life. You are never ready.
You must change your life. You are never ready.

Love is like crying is like writing is like dying.
You’ve got to do it alone.

I know it’s tragic to be tender.
I know it’s dangerous to be kind.
I know it’s vicious to care.

Listen to me, I know what’s going to happen.

You don’t need a window, you need a fire escape,
you’ll need a skylight to get where you have to go.
I can’t tell you where.

And you dreamt that you were hollow
and you dreamt that you were whole.
Reconstruct what you remember
and it comes out in pieces.

You must change your life. You are never ready.
You must change your life. You are never ready.

Those below you can’t hold you up
everyone is gone gone gone
everyone is gone gone gone
learn to swin alone learn to fly.

You must change your life. You are never ready.
You must change your life. You are never ready.

Cast them off like long rope and learn to swim the dark water alone.
Look up to the stars stars stars and know that this is your sky now.

lift your arms and go
step forward in Nureyev leap
blink fast and whirr over streets
hover over trees
speed past taxis
don’t even bother to wave
at the children who watch you
awestruck
brushing past skyscrapers
and looking up up
slip off the long skirt
that slows you down
and don’t look back to watch it
billow to earth
tell the cool jets and Superman
that you’re passing them
feel your hair stream back
with wind blinding you
forcing your dry mouth open
no one can touch you now
get out of this fucking world
as fast as you can.