GIVE THE GIFT OF THE MAIN EVENT (NO, NOT THE STREISAND MOVIE)
Want to impress that special someone? Sure, you could get her the perfect sweater or her favorite movie or CD, but everything breaks or wears out eventually. Why not make a lifelong memory with a concert, sporting event or trip for two?
Imagine whisking your sweetheart away for an intimate show at a little cafe or front-row seats at a big arena because you had the foresight to check for tickets way in advance. To find tour schedules for your favorite artists, try Pollstar.com. For example, Erin McKeown already has several 2008 dates scheduled, as does k.d. lang. And if you sign up for an auto-notify account, you can get email updates when your favorite artists tweak their schedules. Just read our Sound Check column, plug in the names, and plan your concert road trip!
For your favorite couch potato, explore sites like Audiences Unlimited and NYC Visit for information on how you can be part of a studio audience. Or wrap up a good video camera so you and your better half can make an audition tape for the next installment of a show like The Amazing Race. If we have to endure a protracted writers’ strike, we can at least populate the reality shows and game shows in 2008. Get your friends together and organize a group trip to Jeopardy tryouts — come on, you know you can sweep the Potent Potables category!
If your girlfriend has a favorite sport, surprise her with season tickets or tickets to the championship way in advance. Tickets for the 2008 WNBA season are on sale now, and various ticket sites offer email alert services for other sports.
If the tickets you want just aren’t on sale yet, remember, gift certificates aren’t just for iTunes. Sites like CoasttoCoastTickets.com and OnlineSeats.com also offer cards and certificates that can be redeemed for sporting and entertainment events. What better way to save yourself when you can’t remember whether she was talking about the New York Jets or the singing, rumbling Jets from West Side Story?
A LESBIAN VERSION OF THE FINER THINGS CLUB
Speaking of musicals, you can buy theater gift certificates from the Theater Development Fund, then plan a trip to New York whenever it best fits your schedule. Or explore off-Broadway shows, including plays at queer-friendly venues like the Zipper Factory and HERE (the latter also has touring productions).
If you lean more toward La Bohème than Rent, put together an opera package that will guarantee you an encore. Buy tickets to see out lesbian soprano Patricia Racette as Magda in La Rondine at the Los Angeles Opera from June 7–28, then make like a good gay jet-setter and wing off to Paris to see her partner, mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton, sing in the world premiere of The Fly at the Theatre du Chatelet in July. (Yes, it’s an operatic version of the classic 1986 Jeff Goldblum–Geena Davis film.) Or just hang out in Los Angeles for a while: The Fly will arrive at the L.A. Opera in September.
If you prefer Parker to Puccini, put together an itinerary that supports the handful of remaining feminist bookstores. The Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press maintains a list of women’s bookstores, complete with URLs and descriptions. Make your way from Word Is Out in Boulder, Colo., to People Called Women in Toledo, Ohio, or cool your heels at A Woman’s Place in Calgary, Alberta, and then warm up at Wild Iris Books in Gainesville, Fla. Print a few copies of our Across the Page column for recommendations, and check an extra suitcase for your purchases.
THE WONDER OF GRRRL GEEKS
If your special someone loves comics and sci-fi, treat her to the ultimate geek trek: Start with WonderCon in San Francisco from Feb. 22–24, then surprise her again with a sojourn in San Diego for Comic-Con International from July 24–27. Smaller comic cons like the New York Comic Con (April 18–20) are also planning for 2008. And individual artists like Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For) often blog about upcoming appearances.
Or — quick, before there are no hotel rooms left — get a room and a costume or two for the 2008 Official Xena Convention in Burbank, Calif., Jan. 25–27. If you prefer slayers to warriors, monitor sites like Whedon.info for announcements of Buffy conventions, including the Starfury 2008 convention in Bristol, England, Feb. 1–3. Be sure to practice your Spike accent for that one.
Last but certainly not least, the dates and location for Gaylaxicon 2008 have been announced. LGBT sci-fi, fantasy and horror fans will flock to Washington, D.C., Oct. 10–13. Expect lots of Battlestar Galactica: Razor reviews and re-enactments! Just don’t even pretend that Starbuck is actually straight.