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The ultimate to-do list

Other finds include a ‘Spinmallow.’

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FIRE-BREATHER: New puppet at Heights Toy Store.
  • FIRE-BREATHER: New puppet at Heights Toy Store.
Usually in this space I try to highlight something new — a recently opened store, a big sale, a product we haven’t been able to buy locally before. But last week I came across something at the Design Center that I have fallen so in love with that even though it’s not a new arrival, I just have to write about it. What I found, ladies and gents, is the ultimate to-do list: A pad of pages titled “What You Must Do to Make Me Happy.” The 200 or so options range from the practical — “floss,” “aim,” “pop that zit” — to the more esoteric: “gaze upon me,” “get a life,” “pretend I’m a superhero.” The lister then modifies his or her choice by checking a time-frame — “yesterday,” “immediately,” “from now on” — and a degree of urgency — “please,” “pretty please,” “or else.” Makes me wish I knew someone who was getting married soon. This valuable communication tool could really help get a marriage off on the right foot. • There’s even more room to play at the Heights Toy Store, which has expanded into the space formerly occupied by Shoe Master. But the best thing I came across when I stopped by last week was in the old part of the store, by the counter: the simple but genius Spinmallow, a battery-operated contraption that, well, spins your marshmallow “at a perfect 92 rpms,” according to the package, as you roast it over the campfire. At $10 — roughly the price of two gallons of gas by the time you read this — it’s so worth it. The store, on R Street next to Wordsworth Books, also has new shopping hours: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday (until 7 p.m. on Thursdays) and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. • It’s almost time for pleasant weather again, which means it’s almost time for the semi-annual Duck Duck Goose sale at the State Fairgrounds Hall of Industry. For the uninitiated, this is a gigantic consignment sale of gently used children’s clothing, maternity clothing, toys and baby stuff like strollers and car seats. Volunteers and consignors shop early on Sept. 21; everyone else is welcome 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 22-23 and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24, when most items are half price. Need more info? Check www.duckduckgoosesale.com. • Papers, the Hillcrest purveyor of invites, albums, stationery, birth announcements, journals, cards and the like, will be closing its doors at the end of this month. Everything’s half price until then, so if you’re anticipating any kind of special event in your life in the next year or so, or know someone who’d appreciate a handmade paper photo album for Christmas, it’s definitely worth a visit. • I actually stopped by the Design Center to check out some new arrivals there, not to giggle at clever new ways to be demanding, gratifying as that is. The store has two new jewelry lines: one a moderately priced group of fun, brightly colored silver-and-acrylic pieces, the other a more expensive collection of “river rock” jewelry featuring more muted colors of turquoise, gray and black. My favorite new item, though, is another example of what I love about the Design Center: They’ve always got some goofy little something meant to enliven life’s more mundane moments. This time, it’s what owner Laine Rosen calls the “Elvis” tape dispenser. It looks nothing like Elvis, at all. It looks like the Shmoo grew arms and legs, took on any one of a rainbow of hues, and then went bowling; the roll of tape fits around its waist, and the little sharp cutter-thingy is mounted on one of its outstretched hands. I can’t imagine a better holiday stress-buster than to have this little guy around when you’re slapping gift wrap on that present you can’t believe you had to buy for that bitch you can’t stand. I am too the Green Lantern! shoppingchick@arktimes.com

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