“Inspired by the original” is the tagline for Candy Sunshine, a confectionery homage to the old Wisconsin favorite Candy Raisins. Milwaukee went into mourning several years ago when candymaker Stark’s ceased producing the golden nuggets. Over 10,000 people signed a petition at Save-theCandyRaisins.com calling on Stark to bring back the goodies. Milwaukee’s Osmanium Candy Company has responded by recreating the recipe as closely as possible and marketing it under the Candy Sunshine name. Available in 2.5 and 8 oz. bags, it’s the perfect stocking stuffer for the sentimental sweet tooth on your list. Visit candysunshine.com.
If you only know Laura Ann Masura from her time in the queer rock band Evil Beaver, then you don’t know Laura Ann. She’s now the proprietor of Laura Ann’s Jams, which the company describes as “artisan small batch jams lovingly made in Los Angeles.” Masura’s line includes unexpected natural flavor combos such as raspberry habañero, maple pumpkin butter, blackberry bay leaf, Hollywood marmalade (Valencia oranges with cinnamon and cardamom) and blueberry basil, just to name a few. Visit lauraannsjams.com.
There’s no doubt about it, Kelly Hogan, the grand dame of insurgent country music, released the best album of 2012 – “I Like To Keep Myself in Pain.” Backed by an amazing band (Booker T. Jones, James Gadson, Gabriel Roth and Scott Ligon), Hogan wails and whips her way through a set of astonishing compositions by such notables as gay singer/songwriter Stephin Merrit, Andrew Bird, John Wesley Harding, Robyn Hitchcock, M. Ward and Jon Langford. The recording is available in multiple formats, including vinyl (with a free CD inside). Hogan hurts so good.
There are many ways to keep your ears warm during the holiday season. Wearing earmuffs or hats with flaps are just a couple. Another is by listening to the sunny surf tunes of The Beach Boys. “50 Big Ones: Greatest Hits” is a colorfully boxed set commemorating the Beach Boys’ 50 years in music. The two discs contain 25 tracks each, featuring songs about surfing, cars, girls and, of course, fun, fun, fun. The boys also had a serious side (“God Only Knows” and “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”), but it’s mostly vibrations of the good kind. You can feel the California sun.
Victoria’s secret is out! Now everyone knows that sexy underthings are not exclusive to women. Jack Adams’ colorful and revealing line includes the Body Mesh Jockstrap, available in an array of color combos, including black with red piping. It should do the trick when it comes to making sure the goods are presented in the best light. Visit jackadamsusa.com.
Know someone who is a pig between the sheets? How about someone who is drunk with love? J&D’s Baconlube and Epic Meal Time’s Whiskey Dick-Old No. 69 are lubricants flavored like bacon and bourbon, respectively. Baconlube promises to keep it sizzlin’ while Whiskey Dick offers “gold medal taste.” Visit jdfoods.net and epicmealtime.com.
Bedol’s H2O Clock doesn’t need batteries, just water. Fill it up, set the time, set the alarm – and there are no more excuses for oversleeping after a busy night. Available in blue, green or charcoal, the clocks have digital readouts and remember when it’s time to change the water. Visit bedol.com.
The six-DVD collector’s edition of “The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Favorites” highlights 16 episodes from 1972 to 1978. Featured are some of the funniest and most unforgettable moments from one of the last of the great variety shows. Memorable skits include the “Gone With the Wind” parody “Went With the Wind,” and the stunning list of gay guest stars includes Rock Hudson, Roddy McDowall and Jim Nabors, as well as Dinah Shore, Joan Rivers, Shirley MacLaine and Betty White.
Burnett is not the only funny redhead. “Red, White + Raw: The Kathy Griffin Collection” boasts more than five hours of Emmy Award-winner Griffin’s uncensored Bravo TV specials. The double-DVD set includes the shows “Balls of Steel,” “Does the Bible Belt,” “Whores on Crutches,” “50 & Not Pregnant,” “Gurrl Down” and “Tired Hooker,” as well as previously unaired bonus material.
Nowhere near as despairing as any of the “Real Housewives,” Marc Cherry’s “Desperate Housewives” – Lynette (Felicity Huffman), Gaby (Eva Longoria), Susan (Teri Hatcher) and Bree (Marcia Cross) – have provided viewers with their share of laughs, loves and losses over the course of eight seasons. “Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season” features five DVDs and includes previously unseen bonus footage.
Before Steve Martin was a big time movie star, the original wild and crazy guy made his name as a comedian on TV. “The Television Stuff,” a triple-DVD package, covers a 36-year period over the course of more than six hours. Stand-up and NBC specials, combined with an assortment of TV guest appearances and more, capture Martin at his peak.
The popular sitcoms “2 Broke Girls” and “Happy Endings” bring comic relief with a gay twist. Now the two shows have made it to DVD. Michael Patrick King, the gay man behind “Sex and the City,” created “2 Broke Girls,” the suggestive and potty-mouthed CBS prime-time sitcom. The three-DVD set contains the complete first season of the show, starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as the desperate waitresses/roommates. The complete second season of ABC’s “Happy Endings” features openly gay Max (Adam Pally), one of a set of friends living and loving in Chicago.