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Weekly Obsessions 

Things we were obsessing about on Dec. 29, 2004

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Too many years have begun with a day of repentant nausea, when the aftermath of the New Year's Eve excess has us making resolutions from our deathbed. Since limiting our vices never seems to work, this year we're looking into scientifically defensible hangover cures. Commercial remedies, like Chaser and Sob'r-K HangoverStopper, use simple carbon as a main ingredient (something just as easily found in a couple of slices of charred toast). Our doctor recommends a vitamin B complex horse pill and a secret weapon called cysteine, which helps counteract the poisonous effects of acetaldehyde (a nasty little chemical bitch that is a byproduct of alcohol processing). Plus, of course, plenty of water. For more elaborate cures based vaguely on scientific fact, look to compelling online resources at www.soyouwanna.com and www.howstuffworks.com. And cheers. N.C.

We have relatives who quilt, knit, and paint, so we've done time at craft fairs before and been forced to admire our share of toilet-paper cozies made out of old bleach bottles. But the wearables found at Feria Urbana (www.feriaurbanasf.com) tend toward the hip and clever rather than the country-cute. The lineup of emerging designers changes at each event (generally held every few weeks), but you can expect to see an enviable plethora of handmade hats, scarves, jewelry, sweaters, and the like, all at prices more reasonable than those at precious boutiques. Most recently we've been dazzled by duct-tape wallets from Tina's Bags and felt-flower-adorned retro-style cloche hats from Miss Fitt & Co. After a holiday season blowout, the fair's taking a break until February. Start saving your money now. J.S.

There's a real disconnect between the ubiquitous iPod ads plastered all over BART stations (silhouetted urban types in mesh clothes uncontrollably grooving their asses off) and people with iPods in BART stations (pasty lawyer types in chinos nodding faintly to Jackson Browne). Imagine what the scene will be next year, when fruits of the mysterious partnering of Apple Computer and Motorola are revealed. There's much speculation about an iPhone-thingy that is likely to be announced at the Macworld Expo Jan. 11 in San Francisco. "We've said we have something coming on this in the first half of 2005, and we're definitely on schedule for that. Hopefully you'll be able to see more about it soon," offered Apple mouthpiece Eddy Cue. We'd have to be blind not to. N.C.

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