2007 gift guide: for him (by ac)

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Grace and I are living proof that opposites really do attract. And I mean complete opposites. She’s southern, I’m northeastern. She’s wine and cheese, I’m pizza and beer. She’s Justin Timberlake, I’m the Clash. So, when she asked me to help with this gift guide I was a little worried that the stuff I’d pick would have zero appeal to the average design*sponge reader. However, some of the comments from this post gave me hope that perhaps there might be a few of you out there who are looking to shop for AC’s of your own who may not be dreaming of unwrapping a bird decal this holiday season. Quick note: Grace lays out these pictures so that they’ll “look pretty” together, and they’re not really grouped the way I would group them (by product category) so bear with me if I seem a little disoriented as I walk you through these. It sort of feels like I’m leading you through a pile of stuff that I left strewn about the apartment (which I suppose shouldn’t feel that unfamiliar to me…)

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[Image above, clockwise from top left: I think a nice watch makes a great gift for a guy. Now this watch in particular is insanely expensive (it’s on my “things to buy when I’m rich” list), so unless you’ve got over 2 grand to spend on a watch you shouldn’t even click here. The watch I wanted to use for the guide (but couldn’t because the picture was too small or something, you’ll have to ask Grace) was this one which is also really expensive, but very cool. Bottom line, Kenneth Cole makes nice watches at a whole range of prices. This poker chip set is a great gift for any guy who likes poker/card games. Classic Bicycle cards are way cooler than any fancy “design” cards, they’re easier to play with, and the guy in your life won’t be mocked mercilessly by his friends for having strange cards. Stick to basics. However, there’s no reason you can’t get him a fancy (to a guy) beer glass like this one from Bodum. If he’s a music fan you can go with these Shure headphones – they really sound great, and they’re good for a guy who doesn’t want the chunky big headphones. For the music fan who also plays video games, you’re really not going to go wrong with something like Guitar Hero (I’d go with III, personally –
but each one has different types of music), or Rock Band (These things are turning out to be as tough to find as the Wii this year, try Craigslist or Ebay if you can’t find them in your local stores. Good luck!). If he’s a constant cell phone jabberer and uses one of those bluetooth things, he may appreciate the Jawbone – which is mostly famous for cutting out all the background noise usually associated with those things (just don’t let him be one of those guys who wears it around all the time when he’s not actually talking on it – so lame. My personal rule: in the car only, but that’s just me). I like these Imooi cuff links because they can dress up an outfit (a little) or also still be cool enough to wear out on the town. Obviously, the Iron Maiden Vans aren’t going to be for everyone, but they totally rock (I personally have the high tops).]

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[Image above, clockwise from top left: Ok, so let’s say he’s not really into clothes: that’s the sort of thing that could change if you bought him some nice
jeans
(ie, the more expensive designer jeans that he probably thinks are outrageously priced, and would never buy for himself). Grace talked me into my first pair (which were Diesel) and I was hooked. Same thing with shaving accessories, these are the kind of things that he wouldn’t buy for himself, but could really like. I was personally an electric razor guy until like a year ago (sadly, from reading this post – I know, pretty geeky) when I discovered how much better shaving with an actual razor is. I use the Fusion, so this kit from The Art of Shaving seems perfect (at least to me). For the Apple fan, Grace already covered the nano and iMac below (had you even heard of those before she put them in here??), but one thing you may not have thought of is the new Apple keyboard. It’s really slick, lightweight, and fun to type on (and quieter). For your more serious music/headphone fan these Grado’s sound and feel amazing (also, fyi, Grace chose the “prettier” photo which is one of their top-of-the-line models, they have much cheaper ones which also sound incredible). I think that comedy cd’s/ box sets are really fun, and usually the kind of thing people don’t think to buy themselves, but appreciate when they have. Great for long drives, or when you need to clean something. Right now I’m into old Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce – but you can still catch Grace and I laughing to a Lewis Black, Patton Oswalt, or even (gasp!) Dane Cook. For the true Xbox 360 geek (not that I know any…) who enjoys playing online with his loser friends and laughing like an idiot (what a chump!) you can’t let him use the cheap-ass headset that came with the system (which makes him look like he works at a call- center), so go for the much “cooler” wireless headset. (Which you should definitely encourage him to wear on one ear while he wears the Jawbone on the other!) Lastly, here are some Oakley sunglasses, which pretty much speak for themselves. (I also chose these ones, but Grace thought they were too ugly to include – did I mention that we were opposites?)]

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[Image above, clockwise from top left: Back to the Xbox (who grouped these photos?) for a second – if he has an Xbox 360 and an HDTV, perhaps he’d like an HD-DVD player? This is by far the cheapest one you’ll find, and it integrates very easily with the game console. Oh, and the picture looks amazing, so he’ll like that. Here’s one that I’m intrigued by: the Myvu, which lets him watch videos on his iPod, laptop, or whatever portable video device he might have, and gives him more of a “full screen” experience. It also has the added value of making him look like a complete fool, which is always fun. (Hmmm, I seem to have chosen a lot of gifts like this, and all I can say is most guys look like fools when they’re having the most fun. At least I do. Just ask Grace.) For a real HDTV and gadget geek, consider the Slingbox. You’ll have to click on the link for a full explanation of what it is (don’t even try to figure out how it works). I love these Clash shoes – they remind me of being in 8th grade and writing the names of bands I liked on my jeans. Basically, they rule. Lastly, the PSP (try your local Best Buy or Circuit City if they’re sold out online) – you can get a few different colors for it now, but you have to buy these (kind of lame) “packages” or whatever. Still totally fun (especially when they don’t get stolen).

These are my picks for the holiday season- not your typical Design*Sponge fare, but hopefully something that will help you shop for the AC in your life. Grace’s picks are below (after the jump) Much more appropriate for the guy in your life who isn’t a 30-year-old teenager like me. I suppose they deserve gifts, too.

Happy Holidays!

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[image above, clockwise from top left: wobble cognac glasses $50, john allan’s mint hydrating conditioner for men (it smells so good on them!) $17, deadly squire neck tie $53, wire coat rack $300, dart coat hooks $39, nooka watch $135, bamboo business card case $18, wooden laptop bag $298, wooden usb stick $91, abici men’s bicycle $950, ipod nano $149 and up]

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[image above, clockwise from top left: spider thermos $39.99, paperclip and safety pin cuff links $45, chain bottle opener $9.95, wooden rotolog watch $250, eco-friendly arbor skateboards $250, canvas tote $98, ben adler gloves $40, automoblox cars $39]

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[image above, clockwise from top left: flying vee shelves $100, modern cigar case $18, hand hook $79, bucky ball soccer ball $150, jimi wallet $15, coat range coat rack $175, designer emulation kit $29, big gear key ring $65]

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[image above, clockwise from top left: music mug $36, new imac (hey, big spender) $1199, gold hard drive $260, noise-cancelling headphones $200, AM/FM radio $180]

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[image above, clockwise from top left: perpetual wall calendar $80, eco-friendly wallets $48, fire wire speakers $120, flashlight with case $120, PXR-5 EL watch $125, manhattan flask set $75, vintage typewriter key cufflinks $75, pair of smoke glasses $230]

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[image above: log bowls by loyal loot collective, $71+ each. ac uses these for cufflinks and change]

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[image above, left to right: alba clock $85, all terrain tripod $25-$45]

hammocks

ok Grace…so I read D*S daily b/c you’re fabulous. But seriously???…I really be into a guest blog from the comedian that is your significant other! Can’t beat gift ideas and a laugh :)

Natty

Wow this an AWSOME guide ..thanks AC for all this work..so many cool things! by the way fantastic photo of you too .. it couldn’t represent your thoughts any better … Thanks again AC and Grace !

Mesh

But… I was so excited to give my husband those bird decals (which I do own…) AC’s post was very funny and informative! Thanks:)

brand-eye

being married to a 30 year old teenager who is into music, poker and beer, i really appreciate ac’s gift guide. thanks!

jenni

Great picks AC! My husband got the Jawbone and likes the sound quality. But the design is not so great. On me, it looks like a rectangle stuck to the side of my face.

The new Mac flat keyboards are awesome and SO NICE to your wrists. You don’t have to hold your hands at such a high arch. Place you hands flat on a table and curve your fingers just enough as if you were typing. That’s kind of what it feels like. My wrists and fingers have been thanking me ever since.

Courtney Baker

Oh this was quite enjoyable. You guys are such a cute couple! Guitar Hero is definitely the way to go . . . I just wish I knew when the version for a mac was to be completed. Oh! Grace, where is your beautiful shirt from, or wait, maybe it’s a dress?

grace

thanks guys, i’m so glad you like the post (and picture)- it was all ac’s ideas. he’s a good one ;)

oh, and the dress is one of the liberty designs from target.com

grace

modish

Haha, you’re right grace! The photo of you two was well worth the wait, it’s awesome!

And thanks AC, you reminded me I should get my bf a new razor to go along with his “designer” (not jeans, but…) cycling top from Rapha which is already hiding under the tree… http://www.rapha.cc/index.php?page=350

Katy

Buy him new Imac! Go for the big screen, believe me!
It was was the first thing I bought when I got laid off from House & Garden (retail therapy).
I can’t keep my Mac hating software developer boyfriend off it!

arin

I really enjoyed reading this post and got some good ideas, too.

Tina

Could you two be any cuter?

A job well done AC,
you’ve come up with some pretty terrific suggestions.
Bravo!

Megan

Wow!!! This was so helpful! And perfect for my husband who wouldn’t be so thrilled about the bird decal.

JuliaL

AC- I already got him the xbox 360. which is nice because it gets me quite time. I would totally opt for the poker set, but then his friends would start hanging out at the house! If only poker were more like solitaire.

joy

oh my goodness – that photo of you two is so great! (i totally feel the video game-playing significant other reference!)
ac, such a great job and so funny – love the guys’ perspective!
-joy

Randi

AC this is the most useful guy gift guide I have seen anywhere this year. You definitely have the same hobbies as my BF and I would have never thought of the poker set (perfect!) and the comedy CDs (ditto–he will love them for the car). Thanks again!

jody

What a GREAT post. I went right to the Amazon website and bought my boyfriend the Lenny Bruce box set. It’s the PERFECT gift.

Thank you!

Leigh

This posting was absolutely hilarious. Swap out the x-box for a ps3 and there you have my life.

I must say, Grace, I think all the watches you picked out are way, way cooler. Unfortunately my beer drinking, video game playing husband would probably rather receive the ones AC chose :(

Angie Montreal

I also have a 12yr old/33 yr old boyfriend. He’s getting a Wii.
But I think he would LOVE those Iron Maidon Vans as well. He’s seen them twice in concert. Once in the front row. The second time he got hit in the face with a drumstick, after which his friend who went with him caught it on the rebound off his face.

I think it’s something about our generation….

janet

this is an awesome post! getting gifts for my hubby is always tough. i’m in the process of buying a 30th bday gift for my lil’ bro. thanks AC!

JHill

i live with a 30 year old teenager who would very much appreciate all the xbox toys. I will agree that Rockband is EXTREMELY fun. Also, AC you are totally hilarious.

michelle

Love this post! Totally hilarious and great stuff, too! Thanks so much!

susan

oh my goodness. this is so much fun. have you thought about stand up ac?
love love love the photo!

alexandra

It seems everyone has their own AC (I have a Josh). I must admit that I did get hom some things from Etsy (porcelain cups and plates with “I love you mor ethan zombies live brains” by foldedpigs), but some of this stuff is so GREAT. Thanks AC. As far as a watch goes, my guy loved the Reveal watch from MoMA store and the price is under $100! Just another idea.

camilla

fantastic! you two make such a good posting pair… i see some hilarious potential in a valentine’s day gift duo posting!! keep it up!

jodi

awesome!!!
ac rocked the post & all of the gifts you featured are excellent. well done!

and grace, i’m kicking myself for not buying that dress when i saw it at target. you’re a lucky girl! at first glance i thought you had splurged on something from alison kelly. ;)

Barbara

Love this. The funny thing is as much as I love design and seeing all the pretty things. Instead of the hubby, I’m the one with the gaming systems, and the tech gadgets and the love of bands a la The Clash. So of course I love his picks…

jo

hilarious…love the guides but have to give ac the one up as my husband would be totally perplexed by anything design related :)

Carrie S.

Ha ha! LOVE this guide. I’m desperate for gifts for The Hubs this year; last year I got him a Pro-Ject turntable (glossy candy-apple red…everyone wins!) so I feel like I’ve got to come up with something good. Those beer glasses from Bodum might do the trick. Thanks, AC, for keepin’ it real. Seriously, you should do a weekly column!

jenene

I would like to state for the record that my boyfriend asked for those double-insulated bodum beer/coffee glasses and he LOVES them. I think they are pretty spiffy too.

jon

AC is a great personal shopper too. He helped my wife get me an xbox and my social life and work has suffered since. Thanks AC! FYI Grace is very good at ping-pong on the xbox.

ho!!y

I like AC’s picks WAY better if not just for the fact that my husband would be devastated like a child if he were to open most of Grace’s picks.

I LOVE the Iron Maiden slip-ons – they’re been on MY list for a long time (I hosted the metal show on Georgia Tech’s radio station for 4 years).

There’s an Art of Shaving store here in Atlanta and I’ve drooled over those sets for my hubby. One day I will get him a set.

I LOVE the wireless headset for 360. We both play online and have the crappy ones; it would be so awesome without the cord! & we also have the Xbox HD DVD player and LOVE it. It really is the best price for an HD DVD player…

Last, I have huge noise canceling headphones that I adore. I think they’re Philips and I can’t live without them!

grace

ouch! he’d cry about speakers, a cigar case, an ipod, cufflinks, headphones, a clock, a flash or a wallet?

grace

jenilou

Hilarious! I thought I was the only one dating a gadget-obsessed “opposite.” What a relief to know there’s more of us out there.

I want so desperately to send this link to my guy to show him that bird-decal loving analog ladies and wrist-watch obsessed digital boys go together perfectly. But then I’ll be revealing my secret source for the boy gifts?

BTW, I pre-ordered Rock Band for the PS2 last week from Target. I believe you can still get them for PS2 (which my mr gadget prefers.) it’s for the PS3 that’s sold out, yeah?

Patricia

This is classic stuff, especially the very telling photograph of the writer (and significant other). I was rolling on the floor (from laughter) half the time while reading this post. Also got some great ideas- THANK YOU, as many guys are so difficult to shop for.

Margaret

Amazing gift ideas. It will take me days to go through. Never saw so many excellent gift ideas for guys.

Thanks so much for your hard work, AC, it is greatly appreciated.

jill

great stuff! thanks for making it so easy to please our geeky, techie, design-friendly other halves. Must have the Iron Maiden Vans – so he can wear them with “The Sword” shirt.

jill

p.s. – once you get your man a pair of expensive “good butt” jeans – he won’t go back to the slouchy ones.

Sarah

love the ideas! especially the comedy cd’s as my (wonderfully simple in the only the best ways!) musician boyfriend is very much a low-fi technophobe that is opposed to watch-wearing, wallet-using, and relies on the barber for a beard trim.
which, you know, makes gift-buying a bit of a challenge.

drea

wow, this made me laugh outloud. you guys are amazing. adopt me?

lush

i agree with everyone…the pic of you both is great. my husband and i are also proof that opposites do attract. he is beer and the clash too, though i too like beer and a good bloody mary…and champagne. alright, that’s enough. only kidding. great post! and the new imac is on my list, as mine now makes a whirring sound whenever it starts up!!

Spagtown

I came here in total gift desperation thinking how to convince my boyfriend that ceramic birds were for everyone. oh thank god- thanks for the man gifts!

Lesley

Fabulous – but manly – of course!

I love Nixon watches…can’t go wrong with Iron Maiden vans and….well anything wood finished is super!

Lesley

victoria

dude!! awesome photo. i love that he made you do that. AND, wow – he did his homework – well done AC!

Lucy Gazelle

Truly hilarious and refreshing! Great work, you two! Can’t wait to find out what my quiche-baking, French-speaking, snotty-designer-wearing, but Wii-playing, car-racing, Mac-obsessed, iPhone-coveting guy chooses from among all the pix. I love him for his split personality!

chic

Does AC stand for Alan Cummings? Just joking, you resemble him. Thanks for the guide, it was funny and interesting.

Anna Spiro

Fantastic Guide – great to get a guy’s point of view with gift ideas for men! Thanks AC and Grace!
XO
Anna

zee

That photo is awfully cute! Grace, I prefer your picks because they’d go down much better with my boy who digs quirky design as well as the usual tech, beer, computer games stuff. Although AC has given me a couple of ideas too. Thanks!

nancy

TOO CUTE!!!

ac, you just solved so many of my christmas list woes for my hubby. now i won’t feel so guilty when i forward him grace’s suggestions for ME. THANK YOU!

Leah

Loved the post! He should definitely do a guest post every Christmas.

And to reiterate everyone else, the picture of you two is ADORABLE!

leah

ha! i loved this post! my husband is definitely an ac type guy, same age and same interests and hard to find good gifts for, so i absolutely loved these ideas! the pic of you guys is perfect. :-)

JennyW

Thanks AC (= ideas for my husband) and Grace (= ideas for my brother)—I always have the hardest time with those two!

Pam

this is awesome and so TRUE it’s not even funny! my guy can never have enough Vans or tech gear! hilarious!

fancy

Are AC and my husband secret twins? I think I’ve gotten at least half of his recommendations for my hubby already, so that leaves the other half over the next few years.

Megan

This was PERFECT! I finally figured out what I should get my partner thanks to AC…I bought the jawbone immediately after reading this guide. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Anne A Wong

This is hilarious, it was made for my beau… except for the Iron Maiden Vans, those are for me. My beau has been insisting on an Xbox, even though he already has a PS2 and a Nintendo DS.
It appears that maybe all men are the same after reading some of these comments…

P.S.: Even else has said it too, but that’s a fantastic pic of you two

sp

love the suggestions – adding the jawbone to my gift shopping list

melissa

BOTH of you did a fantastic job! I’m so inspired by it all. I have to add..”Yay” for the Automoblox. My son has 6 of them (given over time) and we ALL love them. Great product.

Stacy

I don’t know if anyone has noted this, but that gold external hard drive DOES NOT cost that much. It’s $189. What a mark-up!

Bryan X

Awesome list, Mister and Miss Sponge

LOVE the Gold Hard Drive and All Terrain Tripod.

But what I (and every other man) REALLY needs is more firearms, medieval weaponry and motorcycles.

You can never have too many of those things.

keith

wonderful guides, i won’t be buying for myself, but now may have to amend my own list! let ac know if he ever needs to laugh like an idiot, he’s not alone, look up mr. grandpa

ho!!y

Back at Grace:

Like I said, I went to GT. I’m a nerd. He’s a nerd. We have a 5.1 home theater, so speakers are useless. He thinks smoking is disgusting, so no cigar case. Cufflinks would not excite him in the least. & everything else, we have.

We have a lot of stuff. We’re hard to shop for. D:

Amanda Margaret

dont worry AC
my boyfriend spends his sundays finding new music on pandora and reading pcgamer
you arent the only overgrown boy
thanks for the helpful hints!
xoxox
ps. grace is it sad that i already knew where your dress was from? im a target fiend

Jayme

Awesome guide!
And I have that same dress you’re wearing!! Yay for great taste!

Llubav

Fantastic! thanks for all the great ideas AC. I like that there’s something for every budget.
you two are cute!!

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