Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Romantic Gift Idea With A Vintage Twist

I could swear that I blogged about this before, but I don't see it anywhere on the blog and it recently came to my attention again, so I'm blogging about it - deal with it! Months ago I found this Message In A Bottle on Etsy (a website I love where you can buy and sell handmade items, including art, photography, clothing, jewelry, and toys) that you can have customized with your own message and then sent to a loved one. My sister just sent it to her husband for her 1st anniversary and he loved it. The 1st anniversary is paper, so it turned out to be perfect. It's a unique way to say I love you with a bit of vintage charm thrown in for good measure. It could be great for a wedding, anniversary or even Valentine's Day. It's really inexpensive, but so thoughtful that the recipient will surely love it. If you need to get a gift for your significant other or your boss needs an inventive idea, it's perfect. The best part about is how surprised the recipient will be, as they will not have seen anything like it before.

How To Cope With Something All Assistants Experience - Stress!!

I meant to post this back in May, but it got buried in the many draft ideas I have not posted yet. For some reason it really resonated with me tonight, so I thought I'd post it. As an assistant in this town, stress is unavoidable. Even if you work for someone nice, the culture within many companies and the pressure is hard to take sometimes. I feel lucky to have a job right now even if it's not as a writer, because so many talented people I know are looking for work. A few months back Tony Robbins was interviewed about ways to manage stress and it's actually really helpful, so I thought I share it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Art of the To Do List

Check out this great article from Lifehacker that gives tips on creating a To Do List in the right way, so that items are manageable, actionable and help you to move tasks forward. This can be helpful with work tasks and creative projects. Lifehacker is a great site, so spend some time checking out all the useful information they post on how to hack your life and become more productive.

Knock It Out Of The Park With This Great Gift For A Baseball Lover

These pens made from salvaged seats from historic ballparks are a truly unique gift to give to the baseball lover in your life. They're a bit pricey, but if budget isn't an issue or you have time to save up for something special, this should really hit it out of the park.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Unique Ideas For People Heading Down The Aisle

If you or your boss doesn't want to do the same old boring wedding gift or something off a registry, there are a few great go to places I often direct people to for unique wedding ideas:

Jonathan Adler - He's best know for his ceramics/pottery, but he also does all sorts of other gifts. His products are modern and whimsical and come in a range of prices. He has a store in Los Angeles, but also you can buy things from his great website.

Etsy -If you want to do something vintage or handmade -- this is the place to buy it. You have to take time to sort through the site and it helps if you have a idea of what you might want, but there is some cool stuff on this site that is very unique.

Nambe - They sell their products made mostly of crystal and silver in department stores and on their website. It's a bit of a wedding staple, but they are always adding new items that often have a modern twist on tradition.

If you like Nambe, but feel that you want to go with something of that ilk that's even more artistic and unique, Michael Aram is a good bet. They also sell items both on their website and in department stores.

All of these are good go to places for general gifts, but they are especially good for engagement and wedding gifts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Great Gift For Those Who Love To Double Down

I'm guessing that lots of assistants have bosses or clients they work with that love poker or some kind of card related gambling. Here are a few gift ideas it might be fun to give people who are into that sort of thing:

Chocolate Poker Chips
- This is a fun snack for a poker party and the recipient of the gift might gain an advantage if they throw off the blood sugar of others. If they are more traditional, but you still want to do a slight twist, get custom poker chips made.

Custom Playing Cards Made With Photos Of Your Choice
- If you have a picture of the gift recipient winning the World Series of Poker or some other tournament, by all means put it on playing cards for them and their friends to play with at their weekly game. That definitely has to give them a subtle mental advantage at the very least.

To round out the gift, why not add the always fun to watch DVD of the movie 21 that stars Kevin Spacey and Jim Sturgess or the truly engaging book Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich that the movie is based on.

As I have mentioned before, gifts aren't about what you spend on them. None of the gifts above are super pricey. It's more about truly knowing what the person is into and finding something that will surprise them and make them smile a little.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Thing You Think Makes You Weird Is Often What Makes You Special

Another late night post because it's hard to blog at work during lunch so far. If you haven't already seen writer and comedian/humorist John Hodgman speak at the 2009 Radio & TV Correspondents Dinner go watch it right now. You will crack up and it will improve your day no matter how bad it has been. He's a guy who became more successful later in life and is truly enjoying it. He got where he is not because he's movie star handsome (although his boyish dork thing is kind of adorable in a certain way), but because he has fully embraced who he is and is proud of being a nerd/geek. You likely will recognize John from his role as the PC in the MAC vs. PC commercials, but that's only one part of his career. If you like his speech, check out his book or one of the public radio pieces he has done, like this one. Try your best to follow this example and embrace what about you makes you different because it's likely the thing that makes you special.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nice To Meet You. Do You Want A Bite Of My Business Card?

So tomorrow is the first day of the new gig. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I'm never happy the first few weeks of a job. I know it's impossible to know everything in the beginning, but if I could I would. The awkward period when I don't feel like I know it all - KILLS me. Anyway, I'm doing a post or two now because I know this will be a rough week to be posting.

I'm always talking about being yourself and capitalizing on what you bring to the table. It's also key to be memorable no matter what creative field you are in. I saw these edible cookie business cards over the weekend and thought they were adorable. The upside is, if you give one of those cards to someone they would never forget you. The downside is that they might eat your info and then not be able to get in touch with you. I guess that means give out two to each person. I for sure like the cookie business cards more than the beef jerkyish meatcards that went around the web in recent months. I have to admit as gross as those seem, people probably wouldn't forget you if you handed those out as well.

Friday, June 19, 2009

An Alcohol Free Martini Shot That Will Make You Laugh

Anyone still hoping for an boozy filled post will be sadly disappointed. A Martini Shot is the name for the last shot of the day on a film set and not some cool new drink at a hotel in Hollywood. That's not the Martini Shot I'm going to talk about today though. The Martini Shot I'm talking about is the show/podcast that writer Rob Long does for KCRW. He has his own very distinct style and manages to instruct without lecturing. I probably should have included him in this piece I did back in April about letting those around you inspire you. He shares bits of wisdom and anecdotes from his years in the business. I often laugh and learn something at the same time. Listening to the pieces doesn't require much of a time commitment, so you certainly have time to check him out on the radio, via Itunes podcast or on his website. Listening to him often inspires me to stop procrastinating and actually do some writing. He's also on Twitter here, if you want to follow him.

Does This Need To Be Mowed?

Generally I have gut feelings about items the second I see them and I rarely change my mind, but this morning I happened upon this item on Think Geek that I can't decide if I love or hate. It's a little charging station for various electronic devices, but it looks like a little patch of grass. I think it's supposed to be quaint and charming instead of hard edged and technological, but maybe I'm just a big geek and the cute grass idea doesn't speak to me. The decision is still pending for me, but for the right tech nerd this would be a really interesting and whimsical choice for a gift.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Gift That Gives Back

It's a great idea to give to a charity in lieu of a gift sometimes, but there are moments when you want someone to have a tangible item. One way to do both is to give someone a pair of Tom's Shoes or a gift card to get a pair. For every pair you buy, Tom's Shoes gives a pair to a child in need. The shoes are comfortable and chic, so it's not had to want to do. If you want to know a bit more about Tom's Shoes and the man who founded the company (Blake Mycoskie), watch this video.

Normally I Would Say FTDon't, But If Vera Wang Is Involved...

I recently did a post about my favorite LA & NYC florists, but I read about something today that I thought was worth sharing. It turns out that Vera Wang is working with FTD to do some flower designs that can be shipped to various locations. I would normally say if you are sending in a city you aren't familiar with to contact the the chamber of commerce there or to call a concierge at a high end hotel and beg for help, so that you can avoid using FTD because often the quality isn't great. Vera putting her own name on the line though gives me confidence, so I would give it a try. Do it at your own risk as I have not ordered yet and do not know what the actual result would be.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sniff Sniff - Do You Smell Something Burning?

Oy re the title of of this post, but it's late and I have a ton on my mind, so live with it! First of all, just an FYI to all who are reading the blog - I got a new gig today and I start on Monday. I will still try to be blogging at night or at lunch (at least once a day), so nothing will really change much. Okay, back to scheduled programming.

I thought today I would do a post about candles. Candles can be a generic and dull gift if no time is put into them, but if you find one that smells unusually great or that has a bit of humor to it, they can be a great housewarming gift or present for any occasion. Here are a few I like:

Diptyque Feu de Bois Candle
- I love this candle. It isn't cheap, but it comes in it's own glass holder and lasts a long time, so it's worth it. The candle is a muted color (grayish) and the scent isn't over powering, so it's a good gift to give to a guy as well. It's sort of woodsy, but slightly sweet. If price is no object, this is my favorite.

Fir Balsam Geodesis Candle - This is a bit cheaper than the Feu De Bois, but smells fairly similar.

If you want to give someone a candle that will make them laugh, order any of these from Aromapharmacy. These candles are encased in glass and look like prescription pill containers. They all have goofy names that are similar to real medications. People always get a chuckle and love receiving these. They are reasonably priced and fun to give.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Finding The Impossible To Locate Book

I'm always saying that being a personal assistant in Hollywood is like being a magician. Whether the employer tells you or not, the job can often be about making the impossible - possible. This is one of my specialties and it isn't that I have superhero like powers (if I did I would have controlled the mind of an agent and exec and sold a script by now), but mostly it's because I'm extremely persistent. If I can't find one way to make something happen, I try to see how I can turn the task on it's head and find another way to get it done. I'm always happy to have resources at my disposal to help me with challenges. This morning I read about a site called Biblio where you can search for used, rare and out-of-print books from over 5500 independent bookstores around the globe. I will definitely put that into my files for future use. I've had bosses come to me a bunch of times asking for a book that they think should take no effort to get and then I find out it went out of print years ago. The more you can stockpile resources like this, the better shape you will be in when obstacles arise. Try to look at it as a puzzle to solve and it will make your work seem fun instead of boring.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Babies Shouldn't Be So Hard To Shop For Part Deux

I'm not sure why, but one gift category I get asked about constantly is baby gifts. I'm not sure if it's the age I'm at or that there's a big baby boom in Hollywood and probably all over, but I swear I get asked for ideas for that all the time. Like with all other gifts I give, I try to be a bit inventive and give something that has a bit of a twist, but is still useful for the new addition. Back in January when I started this blog I did this post with a bunch of ideas for baby gifts, so if you missed it, check it out. Here are a few more ideas that I also like:

Feathering the Nest By Tracy Hutson -This is really more of a gift for a pregnant mom. It's a book all about decorating the room in a way that's attractive, eco-friendly and stimulating for the little one, so I suppose they benefit and it's sort of a gift for the baby as well.

Babyhawk Baby Carrier - There are tons of carriers on the market, but I like that this can be worn front and back and that you can design your own or buy one of the in stock carriers. Also the name is kind of hipster mom punk rockesque and that makes me like it even more.

If you want to do a more classic item like a onesie, but add in a little bit of whimsy, Kitsel always has really fun & unique clothes for babies. They have tons of onesies with funny sayings on them, so if it interests you check out this hilarious one for a girl and this cool one for a boy.

Great Gift Idea For the Charitable Foodie In Your Life

I just read about School House Kitchen this morning and I think their products sound great, but since I haven't tasted them here's a link to some reviews. The products are reasonably priced and sound pretty tasty, but another upside is that a part of the profits goes to supporting educational causes and I really love that. This would be a great gift for the charitable foodie in your life, but you could also give this to a teacher for a year end gift.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tips For Stress Free Travel For Your Or Your Boss

A few tips how on to make an itinerary and travel for your boss or yourself go from good to great:

1)On the itinerary, BOLD and if there is space, put in ALL CAPS (use this sparingly) key pieces of information that need to be accessed quickly.

2) If you or your boss is picky about seating, use a site like Seat Guru to see what seats are good on various airplanes and which ones you should avoid like the plague. This site is free and it's awesome.

3) Even if you are using a travel agent, call and reconfirm the hotel, car, etc. It can't hurt and it will give you piece of mind and your boss a smooth experience.

4) Even if your boss uses an online calendar or a calendar on a iPhone or Blackberry, give them one paper copy for their trip to take with them, so that if all technology fails they have something. Having something just in case never hurt anyone and often helps.

5) Put all confirmation #'s and Frequent Flyer #'s on to the itinerary. This is CRUCIAL. It makes it easier for your boss if they have an issue and it's proof that you did your job. It takes just a minute or two to add and is useful for resolving problems that arise.

6) Put the itinerary and all other trip related docs in a simple folder with the location and date of the trip. If it's a trip your boss is taking, give him/her one and keep a copy for yourself.

7) Before the person who is traveling leaves (you or your boss) make sure you have gone over the packing/prep list (umm, if you didn't do this you should have) and make sure that whatever needs to be with you or them -- is indeed actually packed.

8) Stay Up-To-Date on whatever online resources can help you. Lots of people use Trip It to do itineraries. It's free and you just e-mail all your reservations to it and it does an itinerary. It might not work for you, but it's always good to investigate stuff like this to see if it can make things more efficient.

If you want to see how I come up with ideas for restaurants and hotels that I recommend to bosses or find for myself, check out this post I wrote in April that has tons of resources in it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This Stuff Is For Cleaning Your Teeth, But It Sounds More Like It Will Rot Them

In theory this Sweet Toothpaste Kit sounds good, but then I really think about brushing my teeth with something that tastes like Cola or Pumpkin Pudding and I want to gag a little. Even if I can get past the taste thing I feel that I will end up with rooting teeth if I use it because it all sounds sugary. If I were to buy one individual tube it would be the vanilla, as it seems the most palatable. Maybe I should try the Sweet Mouthwash Kit that comes with flavors like Sweet Almond and Raspberry Sorbet. Ummm, maybe not.

Truth be told this is a unique and kind of fun little gift to give someone going on a trip or maybe as a hostess gift. I think you just have to embrace the quirkiness about it and have a laugh while you brush. Who knows, it might all taste great.

Blankets For the Friendly Skies

Your boss or clients are probably flying first class or maybe business in this economy, but one great item you can buy anyone who travels to make them more comfortable is a travel blanket. This is a great gift to give to a girl or a guy that is traveling for business or for pleasure. It's also a gift that you can give at a very reasonable price point or go fancy in a material like cashmere and spend more. Here are a few that I've given before on my own or for bosses that I really like:

Nap Sac Travel Blanket
- This is actually a pillow and blanket set and it's under $30. It's super comfy and you can't beat the price.

Brookstone Travel Blanket - This blanket is incredibly soft and costs under $50. They sell a travel pillow, but it isn't included with the blanket like the item above.

If you don't have any budget restrictions my favorite travel set is this cashmere one by White and Warren. It's not cheap, but it comes in beautiful colors, is ultra luxurious and is loved by any recipient that gets it.

Just a few cozy ideas for anyone that will be flying the friendly skies. The people who get these items will be lulled into sleep from all the comfort and you will be responsible!

The Making Of A Great Site

A new resource that I'm really loving is the site that Natalie Portman co-founded called Making Of. It features interviews with writers, directors and actors and gives you an unusually candid view of the entertainment business. It's invaluable to listen to people who are doing what you do or want to do and find out how they approach it. If you're lucky, maybe you can pick up a tip or two. Here are a few videos on the site that I really enjoyed:

Natalie & director Jim Sheridan discussing movies in general and their upcoming film Brothers.

Aaron Sorkin discussing writing.

Mark Fergus talking about writing Iron Man.

Jeff Daniels talks about acting.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gifts For The Dad Who Has Everything Part Deux

Here's a couple more Father's Day Gift Ideas:

I like these Inside Out Martini Glasses. I've never seen anything like them before. You could pair them with a more unusual Gin, like this one.

If your dad is a foodie, how about this fancy Mac & Cheese of the Month Club.

If you want more ideas, New York Magazine put together a good list. You can also look at my original post, in case you missed it last week.

Summer Reading

If you're interested in utilizing the web to help with your career in entertainment (and really - who isn't?) you should check out this piece on Anne Thompson's Variety Blog (Thompson on Hollywood) about a book called Fans Friends and Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age by Scott Kirsner that explores what building an online audience and learning to leverage social networking tools can do to help your career. I had always planned to write about this and post it today, but in a strange coincidence, Anne also wrote about my little blog yesterday! Check it out if you feel so inclined.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Idea That Bloomed This Morning

Okay, I know the title is cheesy, but I slept badly, so try and let it go. I was thinking this morning about flowers for some reason, so I thought I would share with you my favorite place in LA and a few others. This is one gift category that I have many resources for, but really tend to utilize very few. If I find a vendor I like and trust I say why go elsewhere. Here's the info on my favorite florist and two others just to be fair:

A couple of years back my amazingly knowledgeable friend Michele Craig (who was once personal assistant) told me about Petals by David and I haven't looked back since. Before that time, I had been using the preferred florists of various bosses with mixed results. David is great because he can do many different styles and work within a wide range of different price points. My favorite thing that he does is a mix of Hydrangea and Roses because it looks lush and elegant. I have never had a bad experience using him and he's also very nice. His work is always beautiful and not super over the top (although if you asked for that I'm sure he could do it). Check out the website for arrangement and event flower samples, but keep in mind he's flexible and can work with what you want.

I didn't think it was fair to only list my one favorite and not give the posting any depth, so here's a good New York Florist option and one other florist in LA I've heard lots of things about:

I've been reading about and hearing of Eric Buterbaugh for many years. It's amazing that in this town even when there a many vendors that do something only a few names come up again and again. I've heard great things and the pictures on his website show the range of his work - from more architectural to just simple and sophisticated. I think that for his signature more artistic stuff you have to have a big budget, but after viewing the site I did see some more streamlined options at a reasonable price point. You can view a variety of samples at his site.

For some reason the employers I have had in the past few years don't often do flowers in NYC. I always have ended up doing wine, gourmet food baskets and sweet treats. When I think of New York and flowers I often think of a florist that one of my prior employers loved that always hit it out of the park and that is ZeZe Flowers. This place isn't really for the budget conscious, but if you are ordering for client from a boss that's not always the biggest factor. I think they can do things in a lower price range, but to get what they are known for you are looking at a higher cost. Their website also has some samples to view.

I know I could have made this list really long and listed every popular florist on both coasts, but I thought it would be more useful if I pointed out a special few.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The iPhone 3G S Is Near

I love my iPhone 3G (with the exception of it's not so perfect battery life and the fact that AT&T reception can sometimes not be a thrill) and I'm not going to buy the new iPhone 3G S, but the geek in me kind of wishes I could. I know it isn't practical because I'm looking for a new gig and the one I have works fine, but I'm jealous of some of the new features. I'm also dying to know the answers to some of the questions not answered today at the keynote, like will AT&T support tethering (this allows you to use your iPhone to get your laptop online) and WILL they charge of for it and if so, how much? Also I'm stunned that my current iPhone will now cost only $99. In lieu of the new iPhone I get a 3.0 software upgrade on June 17th that will add some new features to my phone and for that I'm grateful. Also, once the upgrade arrives, there are some great new apps that will be able to leverage the new capabilities.

Lather Up & Jot Down Your Best Idea Yet

A week or two ago on Twitter, I commented that I have many of my best ideas in the shower and that maybe my destiny was to get rich creating some kind of paper and pen that was waterproof. I knew the moment I tweeted it that:

A) The item probably already existed.

B) That Twitter being what it is, I would soon get tweets from companies that made such products.

That night and the next day I did indeed get two tweets regarding such products:

Aqua Notes

Rite In The Rain

As goofy as it seems, it's really important to be able to harness your creativity when it strikes, so I would probably buy this. I'm the queen of using post it notes and any method I need to in order to stay organized as a personal assistant, so these could come in handy for remembering something crucial that pops into my head for a boss.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Few Gifts For the Vinophile Who Has Everything

Most of the wine lovers I know are pretty passionate people who buy everything wine related they can get their hands on, so it's hard to buy them a present that has to do with wine. Here are a few gift ideas for the Vinophile in your life that they might not know about:

I just heard about this recent book by A.J. Rathbun that's all about wine cocktails. This would be a great hostess gift or just a fun thing to give a friend who loves wine. I love that he took the whole hipster mixologist vibe and wrote about wine drinks. As I have said before, gift recipients tend to really get enthused about something that's surprising and unpredictable and this definitely falls into that category.

How about Wine Salami?. No that's not a misprint, I said WINE SALAMI. I think this is the perfect gift for the foodie in your life that also loves wine.

Winerd is also a great option. It's a board game all about wine. This would also make a great hostess gift for the right party.

If you make a tiny bit of extra effort when trying to find gifts for people who have everything and are obsessed about a particular topic, it can really make a big difference. As I have said before, the quality of the gift often doesn't have to do with money. None of the gifts above are pricey, but they are all unique.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gary Vaynerchuk Is Crushing It Big Time

I've written about Gary Vaynerchuk on this blog before, so check it out if your not familiar with him. He's basically an entrepreneur and passionate social media guru who is about to break way into the mainstream, if he hasn't already. He has a book coming out in October all about harnessing your passion and the power of social media, in order to succeed. He was recently speaking to indie booksellers and publishers and there is video of it online. The video is worth watching no matter what field you are in. Harnessing your passion and the power of social media, video and the Internet is useful even if you are a writer or creative type and not selling a retail item like Gary's family does (wine). Gary started off selling wine and now some of the best known brands in the world are consulting with him. The video is a bit long, but take the time to see at least some of it. I swear you will feel motivated and inspired and it will have been worth your time.

I'm Drinking The Kool Aid When It Comes To Google

I love Google. My adoration is out in the open for all to see. I'm a loyal devotee who uses gmail, google calendar, iGoogle and other offerings. It's still in beta, but there's a cool new Google site called Google Squared. I tried it this morning and I found it to be pretty cool and I think when searching for the right things it will be very useful. Google Squared is basically an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection similar to a spreadsheet. Visually it's a better way to process information that seems cleaner and less overwhelming. Try it out and see what you think.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Few Cool Gifts For Kids

If your boss wants you to find just the right present for his/her kid, the child of a client or you just have a kid you need to get a gift for, I have a couple of gift ideas for you that recently caught my eye:

Leapfrog Text & Learn
- I'm not the first one to say this, but this truly looks like a Blackberry for kids. The main purpose of it is to touch the letters and hear them said back to you. Engadget did a write up of it here if you want to know more.

Mini Kick Scooters - These are basically a smaller and more stable Razor style scooter for little kids.

Graffeeti Shoes & Backpacks - The shoes and backpacks from this company come with a pen that kids can write on them with and fill in some of the white space. They are pretty reasonable and it seems like a fun way to let kids express themselves.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Own Your Category & Be The Best At What You Do

On the web especially, but really in any part of the entertainment business it's crucial to try and aim to be the best at what you do and own your category if you possibility can. You might not get there at first, but it's best to aim high. There's so much noise on the web and so many outlets for people to get information and entertainment offline and online, that if you don't keep people interested and provide something valuable people will move on and do it quickly. Here are three people who I think own their category and are the very best at what they do on the web:

Whitney Matheson/Pop Candy Blog @ USA Today - I've been severely addicted to this blog ever since I started reading it. Whitney has her finger right on the pulse of all things pop culture and she never fails to share entertaining and informative stuff about television, comics, music, movies and more. Back when I was working in content/programming at Netscape tracking and sharing trends in movies and other parts of the arts, she was an invaluable resource to find out about new stuff and to make sure I was on the right track about what I was following. There are PLENTY of pop culture blogs on the web, but for my money, not one of them even comes close to Pop Candy.

Dooce Blog/Heather Armstrong
- This blog is in my opinion the best personal blog that currently exists on the web in terms of content and execution. I only started reading it in the last couple of years, but I know it's been popular for quite some time. What makes this blog great is that you don't have to relate to every topic she writes about to enjoy it. She often writes about her ADORABLE and hilarious 5 year old named Leta and her current pregnancy. I don't have kids or necessarily even plan to have them, but her writing is so personal and full of such wit and humor, it's irrelevant. She also takes truly amazing pictures of her dogs and various other things. In my dreams, I aim to be as witty as she is in my writing (not on this blog, but with my other things I work on), so she serves as a constant source of inspiration to work harder. She recently wrote a book that I ordered and am planning to read it right when it arrives. In a related note, one fan of Dooce who has a blog that I recently started reading when I discovered her on twitter is Karyn Murphy. She's a producer and was Ashton Kutcher's assistant, but she's also a great writer. She was able to take inspiration from the blog she loved and mix in her own snarky sense of humor and write a blog that truly makes me laugh out loud. She did what I suggested in that she found her own angle and perspective on the world and is on her way to leading her category of best blog about not wanting to have kids! Please take time to read both blogs, I promise it will be the highlight of your day. Both women are on Twitter, so if you want to follow Heather, click here or Karen click here.

I'm aiming to own my category and do my best with this blog. I've been a personal assistant (and aspiring writer) for many years and had not seen someone really sharing great tips and all it takes to be a fantastic and creative personal assistant, so I'm trying to fill that niche and be the best at what I do. I might not be there yet, but I'm giving it my all.

A Trend That's Growing Even Bigger

Video Games are growing even bigger in popularity if that's possible and the entertainment business seems more and more interested in developing games and movies based on games. This week is the big conference of the video game world, E3. The other day the LA Times ran an interesting piece about the convergence of Hollywood and gaming and how many directors are getting into the mix, click here to read it.

On a related note, the Digital Power List recently ran in the Hollywood Reporter. This is such a crucial part of the industry now that these names are worth knowing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

What To Get For The Dad Who Has Everything

I had been pondering doing a blog post about Father's Day gift ideas and then a few people asked that I do it, so I spent a bunch of today trying to brainstorm some interesting ideas for a variety of dads. So here are some good ideas to suggest to your boss for his/her dad or for your own father:

I just posted this the other day, but I love it. It's a cool new computer bag that has inside stretchy pieces to tuck your other gadgets into, so that all is organized. I also love the messenger bags from Timbuk2. You can also buy a gift certificate from Timbuk2 to have someone create their own bag, but the prefab ones are more reasonably priced.

My dad would love these computer mice that look like cars. They come wired or wireless.

Products from The Art of Shaving or a gift certificate for services at the locations they have that offer them (not all, so check the list) is always a good idea. Even a dad that's not super metrosexual would love a shave. If this store isn't in your area, look for a local barber or men's spa that is near where you live. You could also add a fogless mirror for the shower to this gift.

If the Father is a new dad, get him a diaper bag that looks cool enough for him to be seen around town with from Diaper Dude.

I'm always recommending this Dream Blanket from Brookstone to people. It's soft, cuddly and reasonably priced. It comes in colors that aren't girly, so if your dad likes to hang in front of the tv often, this might be a good idea.

If your father is a BBQ guy, get him this leather grill apron, some artisanal barbecue sauce and The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen.

I really like these funky and cool drinking glasses from Zwello that look like they are a bit wobbly, but don't fall over. They are really reasonable and you might have money left over to buy a bottle of Compass Box Scotch to go with them.

If you want to go the food route, but still keep it manly, you can buy these bacon caramels that I've featured before or these bundt cakes flavored with premium spirits. Update - Staring on Friday the bundt cakes are 10% off in honor of Father's Day and they are donating 10% to Share Our Strength.

You could also get one of these yummy chocolate bars that has scotch in it and add it to the present above.

If your dad is really into sports, you might want to get him this bottle opener that's made from an authentic major league bat or one made from a vintage tennis racquet.

If your dad likes cufflinks, but you want to get him something with a bit more originality, try motor or tire cufflinks if he's into cars or this hammer and saw cufflink combo if he's handy or likes to build stuff. This site also has lots of unique choices.

I might try to do a second post on this subject, but if I don't, I hope this list was helpful. Even if none of these choices are right for you, use your knowledge to think up something exciting that your dad would like. It's truly not about the money you spend, but more about the time and though that went into the gift.