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Philly Secret Santa

Christmas 2007 is officially over

Yep. Saturday night Jes and I exchanged our last gifts at Rob and Leah’s with dear friends. The deal: Handmade gifts under $30, secret Santa style. For me, it was memorable because I officially gave birth to The Sutter Puppet, my gift to secret giftee, Niff. I was equally delighted to receive from Eleanor, a handsome, framed, silk screen portrait of myself. She rolled a hot pair of Eleanor Briefs™ into the deal; one which pretty accurately portrays its contents. Thank you so much, Elea.

Meet The Sutter Puppet

The Niff isn’t exactly an easy recipient when your dealing with special occasion, hand-made gifts. Not that she’d be particularly picky, as long as you put some thought into it– it’s just that she’s so damned talented. Someone in my position (with a tenth-grade art education) has only one choice: Be Clever. I riffed off of Rob’s Virtual Stan idea from years ago and created a Virtual Sutter. I probably couldn’t have pulled it off without the help I got from Paul Muller’s videos. After the party, we drove back to Niff’s house in stitches listening to her portray her true love as he would issue instructions on how to give oral sex to a man… er, oneself, in this case. “You go up… down… updownupdown.” I should mention now that I made the puppet anatomically correct (read: he’s got a ween). Sutter absolutely hates this little clone– a sign that it’s a great gift, say some– and I’m really sorry that’s the case. He should have a little self esteem and learn to love himself for all his wonderful qualities. Freckles, button nose, deep voice, six-foot-long legs. Coincidently, Kevin Nocoins, who bagged Sutter himself in the gift match-up, also presented a Sutter doll. His exaggerates (slightly) the length of Sutter’s arms and legs. Penis is distinctly absent. Pure Nocoins.

Merry Christmas, The Niff! I look forward to seeing your YouTube channel light up with Sutter Puppet vlogs.

I’ll let Jes explain her part

Though Ian argues that Niff is hard to make things for, I got Jason Santa Maria (Stan), and I would say that he’s harder. I feel like he’s the type of person who has everything. Thank goodness for the inside source system! Liz Danzico helped me out a lot by letting me know Stan’s current needs. Since I didn’t think potholders would be all that impressive of a gift and I couldn’t guarantee that a bike bag I made could hold pounds of a bike chain lock, it came down to making something NYC related.

As I thought about it, it occurred to me that the only real points of fondness I have for New York came from my visits with my college friend Dan Steinberg. Going to visit Dan in New York meant getting tours of Chinatown and learning about the gang wars it experienced, or getting the first tenement building pointed out on a walk to the store. So, I thought, why not make a(n) NYC guide like a Dan tour? Move over Lonely Planet!

Garnering Dan’s help along with my cousin Miah, the Internet, and coworkers, I developed a conglomerate of little factoids, cool spots to visit, and maps galore to put into a Moleskine notebook. Insert a bunch of cool pictures, rub in the headings, expand the spine to hold it all, and use the leftover map to make a new spine and little case for it, and there you have it! Poor Stan has to try to read my handwriting, but it’ll do. I’m hoping he’ll find it useful enough to not get lost at least, but he seemed to like it. Though Moleskine has already come out with similar books, I think he’ll like mine better.

Thanks Liz!

Not only did Liz save my gift with giving me good hints, she also got my name in Secret Santa.

She made me a little pillow packed with punch. Okay, so it was really just overstuffed as much as possible. I like my pillows to be as close to a sandbag as can be–pretty hard; Ian illustrated my preferences by drawing a cinder block, to give you an idea. Liz’s pillow was certainly firm (and came with extra stuffing just in case), but it wasn’t hard. Though the pillow was undoubtedly awesome with its tissue and thermometer pockets, I was slightly worried it’d be too soft. Until I slept on it. Wow! I am won over Liz! Thank you! Thank you!


  1. A Sutter Puppet vlog is probably the best goddamned idea I’ve heard in my entire life.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
  2. Hideki Okubo wrote:

    Hi Jes and Ian. Christmas here in Australia looks different from that in U.S. Santa rides waves on a board rather than riding a sledge.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 2:53 am | Permalink

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