I'm not big on the holiday season, and neither is anyone who has to buy presents for me.
Like any good geek, I'm an early adopter. Those go-to gift ideas? I've already bought them for myself. I've had the Kindle Fire on pre-order for months and I just tore myself away from hour 17 of the Lord of the Rings box set long enough to hammer out this post.
For those of you not in the know, a good portion of nerd-dom is based on consumption. We immerse ourselves in our favorite passion. We study it to the point of mastery then commit to living it. What that means for our loved ones is that we are impossible to shop for.
So what's a devoted dork lover to do for the geek who has everything? Get creative and help your nerd live in the world of his or her creation.
I came to the hard realization that my trombone skills, despite a glimmer of promise during the ska era, will probably never be appreciated. However, big time dork heroes like Jonathan Coulton, Ed Helms and Kermit the Frog are re-invigorating the bluegrass scene.
Besides until there's a "Fiddle Hero" offering on PS3, I'm going to have to go learn a real skill. Buchanan Music has everything you need to start your musical journey anew. Professional harmonicas are a good entry level item and banjo lessons are available if you really want to commit to the art of picking. Check out for all the details.
Pair it with: A growler from San Tan Brewery. Every bluegrass band needs a jug playing accompanist. Get a full one for yourself too. Things are bound to get noisy.
2. For the Kitchen-Science Geek:
I like to cook...mostly because of the cool kitchen gear, but also because I like to channel Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad when I'm muddling something with my mortar and pestle. This gift pack is the best of both worlds. Cartel Coffee Lab's offers the Chemex bottle for your joe ($40).
Not only does it look like a piece of equipment you could smuggle out of 5th period chemistry, but its simplicity of design gives more body to your brew and therefore more kick to your daily habit.
Pair it with: The Mox Sapphire from Kiki's Cupcakes Service (Kikiscupcakes.com) Admittedly, these are based on Magic the Gathering, and not BB. However, for my money (and my hesitance to actually immerse myself in meth culture) these blue ice beauties are a fair substitute for Heisenberg's formula. Order by the dozen. Prices vary.
Note: Check out more foodie gifts featured daily on Chow Bella's series, Gifted.
3. For the Speculative Geek (in February):
Arguably the coolest department at ASU, the Origins Institute, will host Professors Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss for a discussion on biology, cosmology, religion, and a variety of perspective-altering topics. Dawkins, the author of The God Delusion will also sign his new book following the event.