February 29: 5 Elvis CDs, Dick Van Dyke Show DVD, Black Amethyst cream, Bottle of Lonz wine, and Senior Moments book

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:51 PM
Given to Jen from Kathy.

Today's a leap day in case you hadn't realized it and, according to Irish legend, it was the day that women could propose to men.  Evidently our heroine St. Bridget struck a deal with St. Patrick where he consented to having women pop the question on bended knee.  Men would have to pay women a fine if they did not accept the woman's proposal and would have to fashion 12 pairs of gloves to hide the woman's embarrassment in not having any bling.  Personally, if I were a girl, I'd settle for some rainbow-striped toe socks to hide how embarrassing my feet look.

-Profession: Mom, Server

-Favorite surface to drive on: Brick

-You received a book of senior moments; your co-worker told me about a long hair on your face that went unnoticed.  Is there a link between the two?:  I need a drink

-Do you ever camp out under the warming lamps to stay warm during the winter?:  Yes, my arms for sure and sometimes my head.

-Five Elvis CDs is a lot.  Put together a coherent idea using the titles of three Elvis songs:  'I just can't help believin'- 'I got a woman'- 'pledging my love'.

February 28: Around the World board game, Cranberry Woods candle, Single-sized merlot and wine glass, and 2 sacks of nuts

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:43 PM
Given to Kathy from Joe.

Seeing this Around the World game reminded me of something that happened several years ago.  I was celebrating New Year's Eve at my college roommate's condo with him and some people I didn't know very well.  To help bring the New Year in with a bang, we were playing some variety of Scattergories/Cranium/Guesstures.  And I fear I did at least one thing that will forever haunt me.

Again, I don't remember the exact game, but you had to figure out who was who based on clues you were given.  There was this guy in the corner of the room who I pegged as the nurse the whole game.  He kept denying it and all the clues out there said he should have been the taxi driver or something like that.  I kept trash talking the whole time and said words to the effect of "I know a male nurse when I see one."  The game ends and guess who was the male nurse?  That guy!  Well, the bugger ended up going to nursing school shortly thereafter.  I had no idea how profound the power of suggestion was until that moment.   I should have said something like "rodeo clown".

Has no qualms about parting with
3 Bam
-Profession: Marketing Manager

-Favorite Mahjong tile:  Flowers.  I hate to discard them even when they don't fit in the hand I'm going for.

-Your husband says you work 24/7--literally.  What?:  My boss will give us a challenge for work.  I'll go to bed and wake up the next morning with a bunch of ideas and start  jotting them down when I wake up.  But I don't sleep talk.

-You enjoy wine tasting.  Tell me something snobbish you'd say when tasting wine:  It certainly has an oak barrel overtone with a chutney placement and a hint of booger.

-How many times have you driven on the left side of the road and told your passengers, "This is how they do it in England"?:  253

February 27: 2003 New-in-Box Three Stooges Calendar and Caned Mini Rocking Chair

Monday, February 27, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 10:25 PM
Given to Joe from Dale.

Joe can use the unwrapped, new-in-box 2003 Three Stooges calendar in 2 years in 2014 or, if he wants to practice patience, he could wait until 2025, 2031, or 2042 when the dates would line up as they did in 2003.  He could choose to pass this gift along to his great, great grandchildren and have them open it up in 2121.  Either way, there's a whole heaping of daily Three Stooges fun just waiting to explode on someone's desktop.

As for the chair, Joe summed it up best: "Well, hmm...I don't know what my wife's going to want to do with this."

I like Terri with two lumps
-Profession: Engineer

-Favorite position on a basketball team:  Center

-They call coffee 'Joe'.  What do you think they should call a cup of tea?:  The first thing that comes to mind is Terri.

-'Jo' means sweetheart.  Do you remember your high school sweetheart?:  Not too well.  All I remember was that she was known as the red-headed girl.

-You're our sixth bearded gift exchanger.  Are you jolly?:  Yes, I'm jolly.

February 26: Auto Voice Recorder & Note Pad, Bible, and Set of 4 highball glasses

Sunday, February 26, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:44 PM
Given to Dale from Ric.

*The Auto voice recorder and note pad is something that sticks to the window in your car, much like a GPS.  You can push a button to record something and there's a notepad to write something down. *

Which comes first?  Bible, Auto Voice Recorder, or High-Ball Glasses?
1) You fill your glasses with varying levels of church wine.  You have the notes to "Pachelbel's Canon" written on your recorder pad.  You strike the Bible to each glass to play your tune in front of the congregation.

2) After Sunday service, you notice a piece of paper tucked in your bible that says "Need any sacramental wine?  See Fr. Joe".  You call Fr. Joe and take down the date and time you are to stop back up at church.  He fills up your four highballs, places them in a to-go cardboard container, and you head back home.

3) Your recorder's message says "Bible Study--8 p.m. at Judy's".  You bring your Bible.  When you get to Judy's, she is serving strawberry "mock"-tails in the highballs.  Cucumber sandwiches are on the side.

Where's Chip?
-Profession: Semi-retired electronics teacher; Massotherapist

-Favorite kind of tape: Clear masking tape

-You're an avid kite flyer.  Have you ever tried to repeat Ben Franklin's electricity experiment?:  I haven't. Actually, you can build up a charge with any old kite you fly.

You have many hobbies.  Tell me one that's the most unique:  Orienteering.  People call it the "thinking man's" game.  It's big in Nordic countries.  Flags are set up in an area and you have to run to each and get a stamp that you were there.  It's great exercise.  People get into it, too.  They're so hyped up--they wear foam knee pads and scale terrain.  You have to figure out if you're going to go over or around the hill or river.

You're our fifth bearded gift exchanger.  Are you jolly?:  Ho, ho, ho!  Yes, very!  I keep my Christmas cards up all year long.  Keeping them up keeps me jolly!

February 25: Lime desk fan

Saturday, February 25, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 3:17 PM
Given to Ric from Shannon.
There have been 1284 reported cases of accidental
dismemberment with this fan
If it is not clear from the title, this fan has a lime-shaped base with three foam propellors that, when supplied with battery power, provide a nice, cool breeze.  Shannon willingly gave this up because she received a Hello, Kitty one to take its place on her desk.  

Security's a breeze
-Profession: Security Guard

-Favorite deodorant scent:  Old Spice Original

-What are the fringe benefits of being a security guard?:  Little to none.  Well, I do get free parking.  And the residents are nice.

-# of times you've had to taser someone: 0

-How does one settle on 'Ric' as a nickname for Richard?  You have Ricky, Rich, Rik, Richie, Dick, Tricky Dick, Dickie, and Richu.:  Mom called me that and taught me how to spell it that way, too.  I didn't know there was another way to spell Ric until I got to grade school.

February 24: Electronic tire pressure gauge, Stance grip socks, Half-used box of Efferdent

Friday, February 24, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 9:43 PM
Given to Shannon from Aaron.
This has MacGyver episode written all over it
Shannon claims she's "not good" with how to use a tire pressure gauge.  For her sake and yours, here's how the magic happens:

1) Unscrew the small black tire air cap.
2) Place tire pressure gauge on hole.
3) Read the number.  Most cars have between 32-35 lbs. of air pressure in each tire, varying by the season.  Refer to Boyle's Gas Law for how this works.  (Hint: Change in Temperature = Change in Pressure)
4) If it falls in that range, continue driving.  It is is outside of that range, call your rabbi/priest/minister/life coach/exercise partner and ask them what you should do.
5) If they don't know, turn to page 16-c in your car manual and recite the third paragraph aloud.  That will tell you how to proceed.

Your hat should hold my fish
-Profession: Higher Ed Jack-of-All-Trades

-Favorite kind of hat: A legit cowboy hat

-Tornado--run or watch?:  Watch at home.  I've lived through some heinous tornadoes.  They're fascinating, but I need to be able to go downstairs in the basement.

-Have you had a higher education experience that has ruffled your feathers?:  Yes.  I have a 13-year old, $15 parking ticket that wasn't even mine!  I can't get my transcripts until I pay it.  I refuse.  Maybe when it's the 15-year anniversary, I will.

-You have a Japanese last name, but are not Japanese.  Do you get targeted Google ads for saki, small footwear or hayashi rice when you're online?:  No, I don't get any Google ads like that.  A lot of people, though, think it's Italian and put a 'g' in for the 'j' in my last name.  I tell them, "No, it's 'j' for jerk.'

February 23: A Man, A Can, A Plan meal book; Hostess Gift Set; Pencil and Keychain

Thursday, February 23, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 10:48 PM
Given to Aaron from Mark.
Martha Stewart ghostwrote this book from prison
I met tonight's original gift exchanger when doing a swap with someone else about a month ago; in other words, I didn't know him too well.  We emailed earlier in the week to decide on meeting up at a local restaurant.  When I got to the restaurant tonight, I saw a sign on the door that said they were closed yesterday and today for repairs.  I waited around the restaurant entrance for about 25 minutes, but there was no sign of him.

You learn a lot about how to work a corner, where this restaurant happened to sit; among other things, I was giving people alternate dining options.

About 200 feet away was the place where I met him originally.  I decided to go there to see if they had this guy's phone number.  They didn't.   He also quit the restaurant!  I couldn't get a hold of him and he didn't show, so I had to go to plan B.

In fitting fashion, tonight's exchanger is an improvisor.  Ha!  In pulling double duty, he found some items in his car, which I'll give to the person tomorrow.

His plan: Open a can of whoop-ass
on the guy who didn't show
-Profession: Actor; Improvisor

-Favorite kind of telephone:  Smart Phone

-Provide me with another scenario other than food that involves a man, a can and a plan:  A guy gets drunk and goes fishing.

-Your other gift is a hostess set.  1) Are you the hostess with the most-ess?  2) If so, what is your most-ess?:  Yes, I am.  I have the ability to entertain on a shoestring budget.

-You're our fourth bearded gift exchanger.  Are you jolly?:  Yes, I am jolly.  Super jolly, in fact.

February 22: Lucky Hand massager, Vapur eco-friendly water bottle, 101 Dalmatians book and Bunny Pez Dispenser

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 10:20 PM
Given to Mark from Nick.

In putting this conglomeration of gifts together, Nick called it the "feel good" package--the book and Pez dispenser to remind the receiver of childhood--and the massager and water bottle to help the user feel physically good.   And it seems that he succeeded.  Mark said his daughter would love the first two items and that he, being an active chap, could use the water bottle.  However, much like an odd twitch when you hear something uncouth, I turned to face Mark when he commented, "And I can use the massager anywhere, right?"    As a side note, the device looks like the position Spiderman would use when landing on a window.

Who wants to arm wrestle?
-Profession: Teacher and Coach

-Favorite Corporate Logo: Panera Bread

-When you're trying to emphasize a point in class, do you begin by saying, "Mark my word..."?:  No.

-Is there something a kid has done that you've had to scold him/her for, but that you really found really funny?:  It's pretty funny when a kid farts really loud in class.

-On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the strongest), rate your interest in forming an indie rock band with your friends John and Matt, along with acquaintance Luke:  I'd have to say a 1, only because I have a family and I'm done with touring.  If they were going to have me on drums or lead guitar, then I'd have to re-think it, but right now, my chops aren't there.

February 21: Coffee mug and 2 pens

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:49 PM
Given to Nick from John.

Nick's initial reaction: "It's like I should be locked in a room, my mug filled with coffee, and told to get to work."  I thought it would be more like what the proctor for a standardized test might have with them for the intolerable three hours and change--coffee to fight the butt-crack of dawn wake-up and extra pens in case a test taker forgot theirs.

Much like a guy standing next to a souped-up sports car that's not his own to attract women, Nick also thought he could parade around his office with this mug and hit on the women there--pretending he is a law school graduate.  "I'm a Juris Doctor of Love."

Roald Dahl is in his warm-up
rowing playlist
-Profession: Treasury analyst

-Favorite power tool: Rotary saw

-They say men think about sex 98% of the time.  Since you lived in Georgia, how much of the time was Georgia on your mind?:  When you live in Georgia, I think you're thinking about sex even more because of all the cute southern belles in their little dresses.  When you're away from the state, I would say Georgia's on your mind a lot more...because of the belles.

-You were a rower.  Is it more like powering a Viking ship or a bunch of guys singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and sipping on champagne coolies?:  Rowing is definitely tougher than it looks.  It's not like Ryan Gosling in The Notebook.  I'd say more toward the Viking ship idea.

-You can transpose anything you hear on the radio to playing it on the piano.  What's your musical guilty pleasure?:  Oh, anything Lady Gaga.  [click here to listen to Nick's Lady Gaga piano medley]

February 20: Plush bunny, Bottle of Orange Crush, Candy cigarettes, fortune cookie and various Sony swag

Monday, February 20, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 10:49 PM
Given to John from Julie.
No spine, but I've got my Orange Crush
It's President's Day and I'm looking at this rabbit that Julie gave to John and it got me wondering if any one of our U.S. Presidents had a pet rabbit.  Turns out JFK had one named Zsa Zsa and Honest Abe had one, too.  Here are some of my favorite Presidential pets, courtesy of wikipedia.
  • Benjamin Harrison: 2 opossums--Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection
  • Herbert Hoover: 2 crocodiles
  • Calvin Coolidge: A pygmy hippo named Billy
  • Teddy Roosevelt: A one-legged rooster
  • Andrew Jackson: Pol, a parrot taught to swear

"YOU don't run me,
and THEY don't run me!"
-Profession: Lawyer

-Favorite Constitutional Amendment:  The fifth

-This being President's Day...who's the most underrated U.S. President?:  John Adams.  He was overshadowed by everyone around him, mostly Washington and Jefferson.  If you read history, he may have been the most key guy.

-Which TV lawyer do you most closely emulate?:  I'm like Mitch McDeere from The Firm.

-Can you recite a quote from a famous John?:  "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."-John F. Kennedy

February 19: Toilet Seat and Hair Cutting Mannequin Head

Sunday, February 19, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 4:12 PM
Given to Julie from Billy.
She's heading straight for the bathroom
No, no, this is not a bidet where a hose shoots water from the woman's mouth and provides an extra degree of clean for the user.  Bidet, it turns out, comes from the French word meaning 'pony' from the notion that a person rides a bidet like he or she rides a pony.  Most interesting is that 95% of Italian households have one.  This may not sound like a big deal to you, but it helped link another fun fact I heard a few years ago on the John Tesh radio show.  He said the average age that Italian men leave their parent's home is 32.  Do you see the connection?  There's no reason to leave if they're spending all their time on one of these contraptions.  Since it's the average, Italian men who leave sooner must not have a quality bidet in their home.  Those who stay longer, well...must have super clean Tesh-ticles.

Is there a Rosetta Stone for Pittsburgh?
-Profession: Sony collegiate representative; student

-Favorite kind of ice: crushed

-Since you represent Sony, what happens if you're caught using, for instance, an Apple product?:  You get a stern warning.  They say we (other reps) should be using our Sony Vaio instead of a Macbook.  We could get fired I suppose.

-Do your parents understand you or are there experiences/expressions that they are completely out-of-touch with?:  They look at me like I'm insane.  My father literally does not understand me.  My mom works in electronics, so she's more hip to what goes on.

-But some people don't understand the natives from Pittsburgh, which is where you're from.:  Yes, most people there say 'crick' for 'creek' and 'slippy' for 'slippery'.  My parents, for example, say 'Warshington' for 'Washington'.  It's embarrassing.

February 18: 2 Reusable, Eco-friendly Sandwich Bags

Saturday, February 18, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:27 PM
Given to Billy from Justin.
This is just the gateway into hemp clothing
Billy is a teacher, soccer coach, winemaker, speaker of French, outstanding friend, spouse and father to his own kids, and a man I consider to be like a second father.  I enjoy his company whenever I see him and I had the privilege of enjoying lunch with him for this gift exchange.  He got two very cool reusable, environmentally friendly sandwich bags.  Since he's a teacher and usually takes his lunch into school every day, these are particularly handy.  Though I thought I heard him say "principal will never know" and "marijuana stash" under his breath to his wife as we were leaving the restaurant.

This oenophile turns his nose at
your cleanskin
-Profession: Special education teacher

-Favorite action movie hero:  He-Man

-Match Game:  _______  Goat:  Get Your?  [I'm sorry, we were looking for 'Billy']

-Explain to me the real reason people gurgle, sniff, swirl, and smell their wine prior to really drinking it?:  They're trying to dilute it a little bit so it doesn't hurt going down.

-I've got a stopwatch ready.  Let's see how long you can say GOOOAAAL like the Spanish-speaking soccer announcer?:  [He bellowed it out for 25 seconds]

February 17: LED touch panel phone and Dora the Explorer party invitations

Friday, February 17, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:54 PM
Given to Justin from Maria.

If you're feeling a little down on life, here's a story that will lift your spirits.  Justin's pretty short on friends and it's been that way most of his life. That's why he was quite thrilled with his gift today.  He got a new LED touch panel phone whose features include an electronic calendar, calculator, nightlight, and--what Justin was most intrigued by--hold music.  That's part one.

Part two involves his lack of friends, well, soon to be non lack of friends.  As Justin and I were talking, he had this brainstorm to send out these eight Dora the Explorer cards out to some acquaintances to have them come over to play with his new phone.  He'd coax them into putting their numbers into his phone so he could call them when he felt like eating pizza with someone.  Yay!

The "bicycle pump" dance move
hits too close to home
-Profession: Graduate student

-Favorite dance move: bump-and-shuffle--it's a white guy dance move

-You've hiked the Appalachian Trail.  Any similarities to the Oregon Trail video game?:  There's rampant dysentery, every so often you have to ford a river, you do start out with more money if you're a doctor, and Zeke is a popular trail name...and he usually dies.

Meet your new neighborhood paperboy

-You biked over to meet me today.  Are you an avid cyclist?:  I am.  But I have had my share of spills.  Once, a guy turned right in front of me and cut me off, forcing me to swerve and hit a pot hole.  I rolled end over end on the pavement--ripped my clothes and got pretty bloodied.

I landed right by this bus stop.  A woman came over and asked how I was.  She said I could pedal back to the hospital, which was a few streets back.  Then this guy at the stop came over and was appreciating my bike.  He told me that  it looked I knew what I was doing around bicycles.  He then asked me if I had a cigarette.

-Do you just have a road bike or do you ride other kinds of cycles?:  I like my tall bike.  It's about five and a half feet up to the seat.  When you ride it, people wave to you.  It makes you feel like the mayor in a small town.

February 16: Movie trivia jigsaw puzzle

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:33 PM
Given to Maria from Dave.

It's a simple puzzle.  You have to pair the movie puzzle piece with its clue piece.  Here are a few sample questions from the puzzle to give you a head start if you end up purchasing it.

Q1) This actor turned down the lead in the Bourne Identity that ultimately went to Matt Damon.
Q2) What film was loosely based on Gerald Ford's memoirs?
Q3) What restaurant does Paul blow up in Paul Blart: Mall Cop?

A1) Paul Giamatti
A2) Sex in the City 2
A3) Why did you even watch this film?

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
-Profession: Dental Office Manager

-Favorite toothpaste flavor:  Cinnamon.  Close-Up is the only one who makes this now, but Colgate's coming out with one.

-What's your slang name for the 'saliva ejector'?:  Spit sucker.  We call it 'Mr. Thirsty' when we have kids come in.  The cavities are called 'bugs'.

-What are the perks for working for a dentist?:  24/7 flossing done by him.  And if I ever run late and don't have time to brush my teeth, I use a brush at the office.

-In your other medical visits, what has been the oldest magazine you've seen on the rack?:  A Highlights that was five years old.  Did they even know it was there?

February 15: Whitman's chocolates sampler, picture frame, Snoopy holographic pin and ceramic dish

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 10:32 PM
Given to Dave from Mary.
A nuke, though, is a strong deterrent
The only way a chocolate sampler is any good is if there's a legend that comes with the package.  I like the coconut, peanut butter, and nut combinations, giving a slight nod for dark chocolate coatings.  But, the ones with the neon-colored fruit fillings...oh man!  I'd take toenail clipping fillings rather than those.  Cherry cordials are kind of in that in-between stage.  There's a real piece of fruit in there, but the syrup can get all over if you are going for just a half-bite.  I think the reason that people go for the half-bites is because they don't want to get one of those nasty fruit filled ones.  Let's hope Dave's yum-yum likes them all.

Feb. 16 is "Do a Grouch a Favor" Day
-Profession: Internet Marketer

-Favorite mammal: cat

-You went from engineer to online greeting card seller.  How does that happen?:  I started out in software training, then web design.  I learned how to market products well, and from there, got into the internet marketing business.

-Is there a holiday that could use a card?:  Yes, National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day [May 15]

-Sweetest Day is a fabricated holiday, created by a greeting card company, which is celebrated on the third Saturday in October in the Great Lakes region.  Since you work with online cards, tell me a holiday your company will create:  The Universal Fasting Day.  People can have tea or water, but no food.  A purely American invention.  And the card designs will feature vast landscapes of barren desert.

February 14: A Rose, Ceramic coffee cup, Snoopy Whitman's sampler and Ghost Hunting book

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 10:39 PM
Given to Mary from Angie.

Ahh, today is Valentine's Day.  Whitman's chocolates and roses and cupid figures and love songs and fuzzy, pink sweaters.  Do those ring any bells for you?  Or perhaps you're married and the most you get from your spouse is a grunt and a head nod.  Perhaps that's all you get any day of the year.  I don't know and I don't judge.  But for everyone reading, here's a get lost in it, don't want to leave it, gimmie some more sugar baby, this is divine, I'm booking you for next year, hug!

There's a certain randomness to when people sign up for days in this year's gift exchange, but today was no coincidence.  Out of all the people in the world, I picked Mary as my Valentine's Day exchanger.  Why?  Well, silly goose, it's because Mary's awesome and a sweetheart and she's on the cusp of being in my T-Mobile Fave Five!

Line judges fear her
-Profession: Catering Sales Manager; Wedding Specialist

-Favorite Napkin Fold:  Bird of Paradise

-If you could invite three other Mary's to dinner with you, who would they be?:  Mary Poppins, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Mary Todd Lincoln

-Do you ever bring your job home with you to your own social time?:  Yes I do.  I spend lots of time researching the menu and I pay a lot of attention to detail.  I even make the Bird of Paradise napkin fold in the wine glasses.

-You're an enthusiastic tennis player.  Do you grunt like Maria Sharapova on every return?:  No, I'm not a grunter.

February 13: The Giant Bag Clip, plush dog toy, and Pot of Gold chocolates

Monday, February 13, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:13 PM
Given to Angie from Hal.

Valentine's Day is tomorrow and people often fret if they don't have a special someone to share the day with.  That's why I think this pairing of gifts is perfect.  Say you are solo.  Open up the Hershey's Pot of Gold chocolates starting at 8:30 a.m. and nurse them throughout the day--one after breakfast, two for a mid-morning snack, etc.  And with each bite, tell your new plush dog Morgan how much you adore her/him and how you hope with a magical kiss, s/he would turn into a fabulous prince or princess and cast you away to a mystical land.

After this day of make-believe, you then dig into the sour cream & onion chips with a 2-liter of Coke and watch re-runs of Breaking Bad.  When you're on the second bag of chips, use this handy Giant Bag Clip and call it a night...only to relive it tomorrow.

-Profession: Research Assistant

-Favorite mountain:  Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park (Maine)

-What's the most ridiculous trip you've ever made for food?:  When I was in college, I drove about an hour into West Virginia to eat sub-par Italian at an Olive Garden.  There was this wait for 40 minutes.  And I forgot my tiramisu.  I have no interest in going back to get it.  That, however, was not my memorable trip to West Virginia.

-Oh?  Do tell:  Also in college, we had this whitewater rafting trip.  When we were on the river, I looked back and saw a river guide jump out of the raft because of a large whirlpool.

-What do you think you've got a better chance of escaping--whirlpool or quicksand?:  I think quicksand because I don't think you sink as quickly if you're struggling.  Plus, there are jungle vines to pull you to safety.  If you're in deep water, you're finished.

Marvel can turn anything into a comic book character...I mean, Quicksand?
What's next?  The Human Iron?  The Deadly Ice Cube Tray? 

February 12: Brutus the Buckeye globe

Sunday, February 12, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 10:58 PM
Given to Hal from John.

This week ends with another fitting bit of irony.  As I have mentioned in posts prior, people do not know the person they're giving their gift to nor who they're getting the gift from.  John gave this Brutus the Buckeye decorative globe to Hal, who happens to be a graduate of Ohio State, along with four of his children.  He also owns a bar that features a good deal of Ohio State memorabilia (see below).  Needless to say, Hal was thrilled at this latest addition.
Buy yourself an ice cream cone when you find
Lloyd Carr's picture

-Profession: Bar owner; retired teacher

-Favorite Muppet:  Kermit

-You're an avid weightlifter--I need some advice.  How many reps using the little lime green weights at the gym should I do to get completely ripped?:  Umm...

-You described yourself as a 'pack rat'.  If you had a sizable number of Sammy Davis Jr., Sinatra, and Dean Martin albums around, what would that make you?:  I guess a Rat Pack pack rat.

-You're very knowledgeable in the field of astrology.  What do you make of the daily predictions that come in the newspaper?:  They're a guide and I see how I fit in them.  They fit a certain pattern, but a lot of times, people are combinations of different signs or have different influences that makes a straight-up reading more complicated.

February 11: Six glasses, six coasters and a lemon squeezer

Saturday, February 11, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:29 PM
Given to John from Jennifer.

Jennifer mentioned very casually that she had an entire attic full of unused wedding presents.  Hold on, an entire attic full of gifts?  No wonder why she was so eager to participate!  But isn't that how wedding registries are supposed to be useful?  She didn't mention if she used one or not.  Watch out friends of Jennifer.  If Mr. & Mrs. Re-Gift bring you a Kitchen Aid mixer, a Keurig espresso maker, or Egyptian cotton sheets for your next party, see if you can swap it out for something else in their collection.

Travels in Nicholas Cage's
Ghostrider sidecar
-Profession:  Supply Chair Manager

-Favorite home appliance:  Propane gas grill

-To get extra laughs at parties, do you excuse yourself to the restroom by saying, "I'll be right back--I'm going to the john.":  No, never.  But I think I'll use it now.

-# of times people said you could be Brad Garrett's cousin?:  One, but it's from the same guy at the gym who tells me that all the time.

-Vacation travel is usually fun, but you do an extensive amount of business travel for your job.  How would you characterize it?:  It's like I'm going back to hell.

February 10: Remote controlled Mitsubishi Lancer

Friday, February 10, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 10:52 PM
Given to Jennifer from Brian.

Two things really jump out at you if you know Brian: his love of Japan and his tricked-out Mitsubishi Lancer.  He laments about his monthly car payment, but Brian is known for, umm, teaching many young girls to drive in it, as well as doing figure 8s in empty, snow-covered parking lots that the police tacitly allow.  One passenger--Brian didn't mention from which experience--gave him a remote-controlled mini version of his adult-sized one.  And in uncharacteristic fashion, he sent it down the Nile of gift exchanges to Jennifer.

"The Ghost That Haunts Me":
My Temp Test
-Profession: Communications Coordinator

-Favorite Beatle:  Paul

-Do you have a memorable 'car' story (police, making-out, crash, etc):  I failed my written temp test.  I got made fun of a lot for that.

-Your job involves promoting seatbelt safety.
Rank these in order of importance: vacuum belt, seatbelt, chastity belt
1) Seatbelt--that's my job!
2) Chastity belt--I have two daughters--that will come in handy!
3) Vacuum belt--I can't imagine my house without one

-Bonus question.  Name a 'Crash Test Dummies' song and get this free Motts Applesauce:  Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm  [CORRECT!]

February 9: Two wine glasses and a blank card

Thursday, February 9, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:26 PM
Given to Brian from Rhonda.

Brian got two decorative wine glasses from Rhonda, as well as a blank card.  The wine glasses--self explanatory.  The blank card--open to interpretation.  We had some guesses as to what Rhonda wanted to write.

1) Dear Brian, You can stop serving your girlfriend wine out of the Kings Island coffee mug next time she's over for dinner.   Love, Rhonda

2) Dear Brian, Have a drink on me!  And another!  Bottoms up!  Rhonda  P.S. I do a great 'Running Man'.

3) Dear Brian, My place--Saturday night.  7:00 p.m.  I'll have the merlot.  XOXO, Rhonda

Japanese women dream of
going kickboxing with him
-Profession: Software engineer

-Favorite kind of sushi:  Tuna maguro

-You have been to Japan and love Japanese culture.  Does every dream you have ultimately have two barefooted geishas walking on your back?:  Not every dream.  But that sounds really good, though.  It's going to be my daydream now.

-When you go to Japan, do they consider you exotic there?:  People go out of their way to look at me.  Before, they used to secretly snap pictures of me with their cell phone cameras.  They gawk, but I think they're getting used to foreigners.

-Tell me the most useless phrase you know in Japanese:  I would like a piece of kelp for dinner from your home aquarium.

February 8: Glass teapot

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:23 PM
Given to Rhonda from Lesley.

The irony keeps coming.  Rhonda packed her gift, which you'll see tomorrow, in a bag decorated with various tea decanters and tea pots...and gets this wonderful World Market teapot today!

Well, Rhonda you look so fine
-Profession: Career Information Specialist

-Favorite kind of sock:  Footie

-When in need of assistance, how many times do people say "Help me, Rhonda.  Help, help me Rhonda"?:  Oh all the time!  I mean it!  My cousins call and say that.  Co-workers.  If I hear that song on the radio, I turn it off!

-Have you ever talked your way out of a traffic ticket?:  I have tried...and failed.  I tell the officer that it wasn't me who sped, it was my evil twin.

-Your job is in the career services area.  What's an alternate career you could have?:  My daughter threatens me that I should never do this in public, but I do a pretty decent 'Running Man' routine...after a couple of tequila shots.  So, dancing would be it!

February 7: Cake plate

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 11:30 PM
Given to Lesley from Hannah.
Where the bleep are the crumbs?
We've had our taste of irony when picture frames were given to the picture framer (see January 24).  Today, irony greeted us once more.  A cake plate reeks of wedding registry and Lesley is a bride to be.  More interestingly, her own cake plate was recently cracked when her future mother-in-law accidentally dried the china too hard [maybe she needs a de-stress kit, eh?], separating plate from pedestal.  "I can actually use this", she says gratefully.  "I don't need to make fast tracks on the glue job for the other one".  Bravo!

-Profession: Marketing Strategist

-Favorite Newman's Own Salad Dressing character:  Low-Fat Ginger Sesame (see below)

-You have a unisex name.  How many times have you been confused as being a man?:  All the time...well probably three times a week.  DIRECTV thinks I'm a male.

-We've known each other since we were in diapers.  
How have I changed over the years?:  You're taller.
How have you changed?:  I think I've gotten a little wiser.

-You're a marketing specialist.  How can you give a cake plate a little pizzaz?:
I'd add crumbs to the photo, along with someone's mouth by the edge of the cake like they're going to consume it.  The fork should have crumbs on it, too.  It really should be called a cake platter because it has a steam, which is different than a cake plate, which is normally flat.  I'd also add a recipe for the cake that's on the box.
My favorite is the Caesar Newman,
but I encourage you to cast your
own vote