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Annual News-Sentinel Gift Guide

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Posted: Friday, December 10, 2010 1:53 pm

Staffers share their holiday 2010 wish llists:

Maggie Creamer, City Hall Reporter

• After giggling out loud to “Then We Came To the End” about workplace antics, I want Joshua Ferris' new book “The Unnamed.”  (Between $13 and $15, Tom’s Used Books, 108 N. School Street).

• This vintage turquoise Smith Corona typewriter would be ideal for writing letters or just looking pretty. ($155, or at a local thrift store).

• A new boutique on Lodi Avenue has cute gifts for the ladies, like this awesome owl necklace, and it is affordable. ($12, Urban Chic Fashion Boutique, 435 E. Lodi Ave.)

• As my obsession with upper lip plumage only grows deeper by the day, I found this wonderful mustache chalkboard from some crafty ladies in Sacramento. ($14,, search seller: TheMonsterAndMe).

• Cheese is the best, and gelato is also a nice treat, so I would like a gift certificate to The Market at Crush, a boutique grocery store. ($20, Crush Kitchen+Bar, 115 S. School Street).

• I adore this fair trade messenger bag, not only because it is cute, but because it is made through a vocational training program in South Africa. ($89,

• I love taking pictures of my everyday life so my friends and family can keep up-to-date back at home. I would like to upgrade my photo game to the Canon Power Shot G11. ($499.99,

• Lauren Nelson’s prints of children on the swings at the Grape Festival take me back to going to the carnival with my dad. ($9,, seller search: TheUrbanHippie).

• Donations to charities can always be some o  f the best gifts. This year, I’m planning to donate to the Liz and Laura Foundation, in memory of my friend Laura Rosenquist. Laura was an incredibly bright spirit who unfortunately lost her battle with cancer, so I want to donate to the charity she helped start. ($ The sky is the limit,

Luis Gonzalez, Graphic Artist

• I hear safety goggles work great when riding your bike at night. Especially in preventing bugs in your eyes. ($10.74, Uvex Fury Safety Goggles at

“Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig, from Better World Books. The company gives money to profound literacy programs for each book you buy ($11.48,

“12 Step Program” album from progressive rap group Panacea or metalcore band Underoath’s new album, “Ø (Disambugation).” $10-$15; Rasputin, 6623 Pacific Ave. in Stockton).

• Anyone can treat me to a bowl of hot and sour soup from Ming Sing Chinese Restaurant. Having it while it rains is something special ($6, 840 W. Lodi Ave.).

Peppermint hot chocolate! Give me the ingredients from Apple Market, or give it straight to me from House of Coffees. Any way you choose to give it ($4-$6).

FEED Health Backpacks are pretty darn durable, as its made from 100 percent recycled nylon, and can withstand my constant abuse of backpacks. Each FEED Health backpack sold will donate an identical backpack to a Community Health Worker (CHW) working in a Millennium Village in Africa. ($125,

Pam Bauserman, Panorama Editor

• Do you love to run, walk or workout? If so, try these New Balance tennis shoes to keep your feet in tip top shape while doing your exercise routine. ($69.95-$149.95; Burton’s Shoes, 226 S. School St.).

• If you are a person who enjoys making their own salad dressing, you may need one of these containers to store ready-made dressings in your fridge. ($6.99; Lodi Cooks, 5 N. School St.).

• For easy cooking and meat you know is done, this electronic meat thermometer will tell you when it is time for dinner. ($19.99, Lodi Cooks).

• Is your holiday decor in need of updating? Try sprucing it up with some glass candies from the Knowlton Gallery. ($30-$156; Knowlton Gallery, 115 S. Church St.).

Lauren Nelson, Lodi Living Editor

• I have too many Polaroid cameras that I can’t buy film for, so the new wide Fuji Instax 210 is a spectacular idea. It lets you take fun instant pictures with that great Polaroid look — and has film that actually exists.($99 with film,

• Lodi artist Natalie Hansen makes a variety of necklaces and jewelry pieces that are truly unique. Beads, metal, silver — you choose what you like (prices vary,, seller search: LifeIsACollage).

• Any crafty person will love an assortment of beads that can be used in oh-so-many ways (prices vary, Bunches of Beads, 7 N. Church St.). 

• Until I take my own southwest road trip to buy my own hand-crafted jewelry, I’d like to own The Orvil Jack Turquoise cuff hand-picked by Knowlton Gallery owner Robin Knowlton. Her Italian handbags are pretty great, too ($600 cuff, Knowlton Gallery, 115 S. School St.).

• The MacBookPro laptop would great to own, and a dream to find under the Christmas tree. Some say, with that, I’d be able to be on Facebook and Photoshop at the same time! Simply amazing. ($1,300; 

• I heart magazines, and I spend so much money buying artsy and international ones that are hard to find. Magazine subscriptions to “Me,” “Jamie,” “Frankie” and “Lula” would make life so much easier ($20 and up, online).

• Three words: “1973.” “Winnebego.” “Brave.” I want to brave the open roads like the writer of, but I also want to transform it into a kitschy photo and art studio in the non-roadtripping season. Of course, I’d drive around Lodi handing out peppermint hot chocolate in the winter ($600 and up; Braves and equally awesome campers make appearances on Lodi-area Craigslist quite often).

Joelle Milholm, Sports Writer

• Nothing’s better than toasting to the holiday spirit by popping a bottle of Abundance Vineyard’s Almond Flavored Sparkling Wine for $12.

• As a rugby player, I am always looking for a new jersey to sport like the Guinness Performance SS Rugby Jersey. ($59.99, world

• Being from Colorado, it’s nice to have a tasty reminder of home like the Rocky Mountain Favorites special assortment from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, 115 S. School St., #4, for $19.95.

• On busy days in the newsroom, sometimes it’s hard to find time to grab lunch, and that’s when some $4 burritos from a taco truck would come in handy. Or just moving the truck right outside the newsroom would be even better.

• I have some copies of Claude Monet paintings, including my favorite Sunset in Venice, that would look much better in a nice frame from McKinley’s Frame Shop, 11 W. Pine St., and make my apartment not look like a college dorm anymore. (Prices vary).

• It’s always nice to have some new tunes to listen to and I would like to add the Sigh No More album by Mumford and Sons to my collection. ($9.99 at

Dan Evans, Chief Photographer

Bed Stu Quarter Oxford shoes: Every respectable working man needs a nice pair of oxfords to wear to the office. Black pairs are everywhere, but a good looking brown pair is hard to find. ($78, Urban Outfitters).

“Decision Points” by George W. Bush: From the small bits I have heard on various radio talk shows, this inside look at George Bush’s presidency could be eye-opening and change the way many perceive his actions. (Price varies; Tom’s Used Books, 108 N. School St.).

Emerald Tattoo gift card: I like tattoos and I like free stuff. ($200, 2525 S. Hutchins St.).

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED: We all look forward to that one big gift Christmas morning. If anyone wants to drop a few paychecks on me, go ahead and buy me this lens. It can be written off as a work expense, right? ($2,199.00,

Dinner for two at Alebrijes Mexican Bistro: I never pass up a chance to eat Mexican food, especially when Ruben Larrazolo is manning the stove at Lodi’s finest Mexican bistro. ($50, Alebrijes, 1301 W. Lockeford St, Suite D).

Zef So Fre$ T-shirt: For months Maggie Creamer and I have been obsessing over the South African rap trio Die Antwoord and their “Zef,” meaning poor but fancy, style. I can wear this shirt and spread the word of Zef and this one-of-a-kind musical act. ($20,  

Light Pen: A delightful green, blinking light pen to replace the one savagely broken by Lodi News-Sentinel business reporter Jordan Guinn. (Priceless).  

Marc Lutz, Technical Designer

• Because I’ve shunned driving a car as much as I can possibly get away with, my mountain bike has become my main mode of transportation. Just because I’ve given up a modicum of convenience, doesn’t mean I’ve given up comfort. A 2010 Trek 6500 ($899, City Bicycle in Lodi).

• Outside of drawing, my other passion is movies. Since my library contains nearly 500 DVDs, I need more shelf space to finish displaying my hobby. Orchard Supply Hardware has raw wood shelves for a little more than $4 each and shelf brackets for just over $1 each.

• Since the missus and I cook like mad, a perfect kitchen aid would be a big, bold KitchenAid mixer with all the attachments. Lodi Cooks sells the machines, which retail for around $369.

• For my artistic side, I’d have to get online. Wacom sells the Intuos4 drawing tablet for about $500. 

• Shared laundry rooms and laundromats can be expensive and tiresome. A welcome addition to our home would be a Frigidaire stacked washer and dryer, available at Lowe’s for $849 (and, like Santa, they deliver!)

Jennifer Howell, Photographer

• I love old, pretty, vinage things. I walked into The Antiquarium in Downtown Lodi and found several things, but fell in love with this glass bell and tray. ($35, 18 West Pine St.).

• I am a foodie and love to cook and bake. I strolled into the new Frosted Flour Cakery and supplies. I found the frosting tip ($1.29) to make grass on my cupcakes. But I also discovered they have a beginners cake decorating class (gift certificate for the cost of the class is $35). (904 W. Lodi Avenue,, 369-CAKE).                

• I need film for my FujiFilm Instax Mini I got last Christmas. (Twin packs (20 Pictures) are online at for $12.95 each).

• I am a “Gleek” through and through. The entire first season of “Glee” on DVD would be great. ($39-$60,

• I’d like to spend some quality time with the kiddies, which is why a gift certificate to the Mud Mill would be fun. 115 S. School St No. 1, 365-9900.

• I love PDC in the Old Woolworth Building. There are great props for my photography. I fell in love with this hat as soon as I saw it. $35, PDC, 115 S. School St., 333-7777.

April Hanchey, Advertising Representative

• My No. 1 gift this year is the “Crafters Choice” Babylock sewing machine. It is a Christmas fantasy for crafty minds. ($599 (special through Christmas); Rydel Healthy Home, 26 W. Lodi Ave. 333-2941).

• I like the Old Vine Zinfandel called “95240” from Benson Ferry Vineyards because it’s hearty and established. I like the label and I like and it’s priced right. ($11.99, Benson Ferry Vineyards, 112 W. Pine St. 365-6622).

• If you can’t find any holiday ornaments at Pier 1 Imports, you did not turn right after entering the front door. I like anything that looks glittery and/or nature made. If you are a bird collecting type, there are cute owls and penguins to decorate with. (Starting at $4 at Pier 1, 1379 S. Lower Sacramento Road).

Zumba! It’s fun, gets you moving and out of the house! My instructor has a rubber sole dance shoe that makes it easier for turns and steps. My tennis shoes are just not keeping up with the dance steps — or maybe it’s just me? ($46.99 from Releve’ Dance-Wear Co., 9630 Bruceville Road. #104 in Elk Grove).

• For when you feel like being girlie: “Outspoken” perfume by Fergie. ($28.

Rich Hanner, Editor

Jessie’s Grove touts its 2005 Royal Tee Zin as having flavors of cedar, French Oak, plum and blackberry.

I just know Royal Tee is a gift from the wine gods. It is subtle, complex, delicious.

 The Royal Tee is produced from vines 119 years old. They say good things take time, and the Royal Tee is a prime example. It is simply sublime. A caveat: I am no wine expert. I just know what I like, and I know this is a very special wine. It is priced at $42, so it’s not something you’re going to use to stir up wine coolers for a crowd. But if you are looking for a splurge, a bottle for that special occasion, a bottle that exemplifies the best Lodi has to offer, think about Royal Tee. It is available at the tasting room of the rustic and charming Jessie’s Grove winery at 1973 W. Turner Road and at the Cellar Door on School Street in Downtown Lodi.

• I strayed, I admit it. I used a Weber grill for many years but when it was finally time for a change, I  bought a cheapie grill with lots of funky features including a light, a propane tank gauge and a bottle opener. I have lived to regret it. The gas gauge failed within days and a the light bulb cracked when I tried to replace it. The exterior developed a bad case of metallic acne. 

So now I long now for the reliability of a Weber, particularly the Weber Genesis Grill, the Sherman tank of gas grills. The Genesis E-310 has a good-sized deck, porcelain-enameled cast iron grates, and an electronic ignition button. That’s it. Nothing fancy. J ust solid and heavy and built to last.

Last time I checked, they were on sale at OSH on Cherokee Lane for $499, about $150 less than you’d pay in grilling season.



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