Holiday Gift Guide: Love, Fear, Death and Westworld

Holiday Gift Guide: Love, Fear, Death and Westworld

By Libby Coleman


Because ’tis the season!

By Libby Coleman

Part of OZY’s 2016 holiday gift guide, in which our staffers and contributors clue you in on what they want to give and what they want to get.

Libby Coleman spends 80 percent of her time reporting and editing for OZY, 45 percent trolling and 5 percent sleeping. Among her many passions are board games (winning by a significant margin), travel, short short stories, comedy, free food (best two words ever) and listening to Chance the Rapper on repeat. She has recently discovered that Survivor is still on the air (CBS — check it out) and still fantastic.

Give: Drinks … 

This is for the people you don’t know that well — weird cousins, your Craigslist roommate. Zythologist favorite Spotted Cow is everywhere in Wisconsin but can’t be found elsewhere, so friends grab a bottle whenever they’re in the newly red state. Matcha powder — smooth like cocaine, green like weed — is the most delicious drink ingredient when mixed with water and shaken. Don’t confuse this pure goodness, which can be bought from Breakaway Matcha, with the limp green tea you’ll get from a tea bag. $50.

… and Food

Dandelion Chocolate is a San Francisco chocolatier that sells chocolate from around the world (Tanzanian and Ecuadorian chocolate are my personal favorites). Some highlight bitterness, others are sweet. All taste better than Hershey’s. This stuff will run you $10.


Give: Nice Words, aka Books

A good friend recommended Ryan Holiday’s Ego Is the Enemy, and despite the title, it’s a real winner. The professional and personal development advice in this book, which uses historical figures who succeeded or failed in teachable ways as examples, is top-notch; it asks readers to give up their egos, to be humble enough to learn from their mistakes and to rebuke official titles in favor of actual accomplishments. Other good buys, all in the $15-to-$25 range, are a selection of Michel de Montaigne’s essays on love, fear, death and more, Asterios Polyp (the world’s greatest and most underrated graphic novel) and Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night (a cautionary tale about pretending to be someone or something you’re not).


Get: The Comedy Package (Improv Classes and Stand-Up Comedy Tickets)

Ali Wong is so funny, she’ll add years to your life. Seeing her live would be the ultimate dirty-comedy experience and I want it (runners-up include Naomi Ekperigin, Amy Schumer and Anthony Jeselnik). If the Ali Wong dream, at $50 to $300, proves impossible, you can find me watching Baby Cobra, her special, on loop on Christmas Day. Also, I’d like an improv class. UCB or Groundlings would be ideal, but in the Bay Area, I’ll take BATS Improv. 

Get: My Walls Are Bare, So Let’s Fix That

Here I am, realizing that my tastes are expensive. Art, it turns out, costs a lot. But so does rent, and having bare walls in a place you’re paying too much for is just sad. So this Christmas season I’d like Marc Chagall prints — the greatest Russian-French folk artist to walk the earth — of The Birthday and Lovers Roses. I’d also like some of San Francisco artist Tom Killion’s wood-block prints, which depict San Francisco and Marin County’s natural elements in great detail and beauty. In addition, I’d take a membership to an art museum — top of the list would be San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, newly reopened this past year. Someone out there will drop $50 to $300 on me. Right?

Get: Television, From the Future

I’d like the next season of Westworld … now. I just need to know. I’ll do anything.