All right: I need some help. This is sort of a variation on the holiday_wishes meme in that I don't want you to give me these things--I want you to help me find them so Mom and I can buy them. (By the way: I BOUGHT MY ARWEN DOLL WOOT WOOT WOOT. Fugagorn, the Fug of Men, will be pleased.)
Sister Girl wants a Hermione doll of some sort (this is her favorite character).
Mom and I are desperate to think of things to get George--he's one of those people who's just not very forthcoming about wanting stuff, whereas Mom and I are all about the stuff. What I need mostly for him are recommendations. He really liked Band of Brothers, very interested in WWII, watches the History Channel a lot, loved Master and Commander, liked the John Adams bio that was so big last year, plays the drums and likes swing/big band music, and liked reading political books like Worse than Watergate (but we're trying to keep away from that kind of thing now that the election is a done deal, because he gets a little too riled up about it).
What we really want to get him is "something like Band of Brothers." (I'm pretty sure he has the book, also, so this is strictly a "similar product" recommendation.) That, and he mentioned wanting a DVD of the Phantom of the Opera Broadway show (hard to believe I'm not actually related to this man, isn't it?), but as far as we can tell, no such thing exists. And speaking of swing music, can anyone recommend any specific CD compilations?
(ETA: I should add here that George is my stepfather. Just so you know the age demographic we're talking about here. Fairly conservative guy, although he voted for Kerry. Served in the Army Reserves and plays with a few bands in his spare time. More of a reader than my father was, but needs large print. I just got an email from Mom about a suggestion I just came up with, and it turns out... he doesn't like musicals. Except for Phantom. And Blast. And Smokey Joe's Cafe. And... I don't know.)
I'm looking for Phantom of the Opera in the original French (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, Gaston LeRoux). I've found a great annotated English translation that we're buying, so that's covered, but I was a French minor and I'd really like to have the original French to brush up with. I'm having a hard time finding it, though--the one at Amazon, if you read the reader reviews carefully, turns out to be "abridged for students of intermediate French." Uh, no.
Finally: I am looking for this doll that the Franklin Mint put out. I have been haunting their website for about a year now, but they've never posted it there. I saw it in the Franklin Mint store at the Galleria which, I discovered two Fridays ago, isn't there anymore--probably because they finally figured out that there's not much of an audience for walk-in purchases of overpriced dolls and collector plates. It's the White Witch from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and it has a tall pointy gold crown and it's bitch-ass tall and it's reaching back to stab you with a freakin' awesome dagger from the Stone Table scene and it is, quite simply, the most bad-ass doll ever created. But it was something like $200, so I never asked for it or tried to get it. I did show my mother, and it turns out now that she's almost as obsessed with it as I am--she's the one who reminded me today, and said she'd buy it if we could find it. But I've never seen it anywhere but this one store that doesn't exist anymore, not even on the secondary market. Fnarrr.
This is totally off-topic, but I was browsing Lemony Snicket items and found this. The author and product descriptions are priceless. I highly suggest that you read the product descriptions for some of the other movie tie-in products, like the Pessimistic Posters and the Ponderous Postcards.
Also: I'm finally getting myself a P.O. box so that I have an "address" I can give y'all. Like cards and postcards. I just like mail.