Originally created 10/04/04

The week ahead



I know early October seems a bit premature for dropping holiday hints, but the folks at Neiman Marcus figure that when your stocking stuffer of choice comes with a $1.45 million price tag, a few extra weeks to save up might come in handy.

Every year, the exclusive Dallas-based retailer salts its Christmas catalog with a few very high-end, if somewhat impractical, gift ideas.

This year's catalog features a $1.45 million personal bowling center, a $10 million zeppelin or, for the cheapskates, a $20,000 suit of custom-fitted armor. Other fantasy gifts include custom automobiles, an opportunity to play at the Grand Ole Opry and a submarine. Now I know that bowling in authentic 15th-century armor while your blimp hovers overhead has been a dream for very few, but the fact that it's now possible makes the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog this week's Best Bet.

Here's what else is going on.

MONDAY

ONE, TWO, THREE STRIKES

Allow me a moment of mourning for my beloved Seattle Mariners. By the time you read this, the regular season will be over, along with Ichiro Suzuki's successful run at the single-season hit record and the long and storied career of designated hitter Edgar Martinez. This is my least favorite day of the year. Just give me a minute ...

TUESDAY

GREATEST HITS, AND THIS TIME WE MEAN IT

That's better. Speaking of hits, today John Denver's Definitive All-Time Hits lands in stores. Now I'm not sure whether labeling this posthumous album as both definitive and all-time means that previous greatest-hits packages should be considered impostors, but it's nice to see that the folky king of easy listening can continue to release records, Tupac-style, some seven years after his death.

WEDNESDAY

BUG BUSTING

I'm not sure why there's no official beginning of flu season. After all, we mark the start of summer, the beginning of baseball (sorry, it's on my mind) and the other assorted seasons that begin and end annually. Why not a national flu day? In the absence of official recognition, I'm marking Oct. 6 as the beginning of flu season. Now go get a shot.

FRIDAY

MARTHA 'MAD DOG' STEWART

Today, master criminal and hostess with the mostest Martha Stewart will begin her sentence at a minimum security prison in Alderson, W. Va. The prison, often referred to as "Camp Cupcake," has also been the temporary home to Manson family members Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme and Sara Jane Moore and jazz singer Billie Holiday. I can't wait to see what sort of tasteful, shabby-chic prison tattoos she ends up with.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.