By Juan Barquin
By Ciara LaVelle
By George Martinez
By Kat Bein
By Ciara LaVelle
By Travis Cohen
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Monica McGivern
Junior Couch Potato
Like it or not, this kid takes after his father, a man who hasn't gotten off the couch since All in the Family was still on prime time. The couch potato gene has been inevitably passed on to junior, who, until now, hasn't had the chance to become one with the remote since daddy won't cede control of the thing, no if's and's or but's. The Weemote 2 is a remote made just for the kids, allowing them to brainlessly channel surf, just like daddy, through 10 programmable, child-safe channels. Even better, it works with almost all TVs, cable boxes and digital recording contraptions such as Tivo. If the kid wants to tune into Sex and the City, however, it ain't gonna happen. For that, he's still gonna need daddy. And if dad asks the kid how he learned to master a remote, all the kid has to do is echo that old anti-drug commercial and say, "I learned it by watching you!"
When this kid was only four years old, he was already criticizing camera angles used on his Barney videos. He also thought that Hayley Joel Osment was a terrible casting choice in that I-see-dead-people movie. He's also appalled that there was an American Pie II. Now a precocious eight-year-old, this kid wants to make movies. And not just any movie, either. He idolizes Steven Spielberg, even though, once again, he was disappointed with the use of Osment in AI, which, he thought, could have been a much better movie if he had any input in it. Though his hands are still too small for a Panavision camera, the Intel Play Digital Movie Creator is a good training wheel, an update of the old 8-mm camera allowing up to four minutes of digital video and audio. The thing also comes with editing software just in case the junior cameraman isn't pleased with his final cuts.
There's no way in hell a skeptic would ever believe a thing on the Sci Fi network's smash hit Crossing Over with John Edward. You believe it all and have seen every episode thus far. In fact, you could have sworn you channeled the spirit of Elvis at karaoke night even though your friend said your performance was absolutely pitiful and not even close. So what? Disbelievers are missing out, you say. You may not be able to get your friend to sit through an entire episode of Crossing Over because she says Edward's quick-draw McGraw tactics make her crazy, but perhaps the book Crossing Over will help convince her that it's not b.s. and that he does hear dead people. Fat chance, but it's still an amusing read either way.
$34.50, Books & Books,
265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, 305-442-4408;
933 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach, 305-532-3222;
Forget about music making the people come together. In this snap happy person's eyes, photos bring people together--by no choice of their own. "Everybody get together for a photo," is this person's fave phrase. And one photo isn't good enough, either. As a result, the Lomographic Society has created the Supersampler camera, a pocket-sized four-lens camera that has the ability to shoot four panoramic pictures in one shot. At least you won't have to hear "Say cheese" four times in a row.
Because of your apartment's paper-thin walls, you know way too much about your neighbor. This person's amorous activities are more reliable than your own alarm clock, but you never, ever set your alarm for 1 a.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. At least your alarm has a snooze button. With this guy, there is no silencer to muffle his screams of ecstasy. A subtle hint, perhaps, will do. The Electronic Stretch Screamer looks like a cross between the Hulk and Herman Munster but when stretched, it makes a most-irritating shriek; even better, when you squeeze its head, gross stuff comes out. He'll get the picture. You hope.
14075 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami Beach, 305-944-5341;
7795 SW 40th St., 305-262-5767;
Mariah Careyed Mom
Who works harder than your mom? She puts up with all your nonsense, does your laundry, cooks you dinner and doesn't harass you about the lack of grandchildren and a spouse even though you know it kills her. She wears the soccer mom hat for your younger brother, the stage mom hat for your JonBenet-ish sister (but she's no Patsy) and is the only person who visits your older brother in jail on a weekly basis. There's barely time in her day for a Calgon moment, but still, mom looks fab. How does she do it, you wonder? Although she hasn't yet checked herself into a clinic for exhaustion, oftentimes, she's on the verge. Remembering to call every Sunday is fine, but nothing shows your appreciation for all she does better than a Pamper Me basket from Baskets By Lisa, a collection of serenity-inducing items such as candles, lotions, truffles, a relaxing CD and other things that show you care enough to send the very best.
$35-$150, 305-754-0057; www.basketsbylisa.net