(no subject)

Hello from gruesome coastal Massachusetts! I'm 17, I have a 4.2 GPA and a long haired boyfriend, and I work in a tiny bookstore where I wrap stuffed animals until my fingers bleed. And then I come home and wrap some more, just for kicks, while doing Calc homework with my teeth. Everything is pretty much excellent.

1. Little necklace pendants. I like to string a bead or little pendant (not sure what you'd call them) on a piece of thread around my neck and wear it until the thread breaks. My record so far is 14 months... thread is tough stuff. If you have a special bead/button/whatever, I have a loving home for it!
2. Snail mail. Particularly drawings and stories from your life. I like hearing about people and places and things that happen to people other than me. Especially stories about times when you fell in love; those are my favorites. :)
3. Mix cds (or tapes). I'm into Neutral Milk Hotel, Animal Collective, Leonard Cohen, Devendra Banhart- that kind of thing- but if you have a better idea, I'm game.
4. Gifts for a 12 year old boy. My boyfriend is working 60 hour weeks to support his mother and two brothers, and Christmas presents are low on his list of priorities. His youngest brother's name is Ewan, and he's frighteningly smart ("You know, it's difficult to be a kid because everyone has these weird expectations", dreams about "organic machinery", skeptical of reincarnation. That kind of smart). He's into post-apocalyptica pretty hardcore, loves Fallout, and watched A Scanner Darkly about seventeen times. Cory Doctorow-type books would be a plus.
5. I'm a huge Firefly fangirl. If you know where to find any Firefly merch... that would be crazy and great.
6. Makeup. Eyeshadow and good liquid eyeliner in particular. I live on a tiny island without chain stores- no Target, no Walmart, no McDonalds, no nothing. The entire contents of a CVS would be ideal, actually.
7. Advice. Have you ever helped someone disengage from weed culture? Have you successfully disengaged yourself? Oh man, could we ever use a hand with this one.
8. The Children's Book by AS Byatt. This is a stretch, I know, but it's worth a try.
9. Surprises! I'll be sending out ten surprise boxes this year, and if anyone wanted to do the same for me, I would reciprocate right back at you. :)

10. And finally, a gift that costs nothing and that everyone who reads this can give me, consciously or not... please keep an eye open for a friend of mine.
His name is Zak, and he's homeless. He's newly 21, 6'2" or so, long dark hair, brown eyes, tan skin. By now, he's probably very dirty. He has a big chin and a long crooked nose and white teeth. He wears patchwork jeans and big black boots and a houndstooth fisherman's hat. He's charming and he drinks too much. He might be playing guitar or french horn or xylophone or ukulele or accordion when you see him, or asking you for spare change, or sleeping with your girlfriend (...you'd be surprised), or dancing over-enthusiastically at a Leftover Crack show.
Zak is simply my favorite person. Being homeless, though, he's necessarily hard to get a hold of, and I only hear from him when he gets together fifty cents and calls me on a pay phone. If you run into him, say hello, please, and ask how things are going, and maybe offer him a shower, or a cup of coffee. Whatever.
He doesn't bite, and he's got all his shots, and I love the idea of the lovely people in this community keeping a collective eye on him. Thank you. <333

My address:
PO BOX 1339
Nantucket, MA
02554
I DOUBT I'll see him in NY, but if I do, I'll tell him to call you and get him a cup of coffee!
I guess I won't see him in Australia either, but I will send lots of "find fifty cents" hopes out so that he can get in touch with you.
Has Ewan read Doctorow's Little Brother? If not, or if he has but doesn't own a copy, I can send. :0)
He almost certainly hasn't- in fact, that's the one I had in mind. A copy would be greatly appreciated!
I will keep a look out for Zak. It would be quite a trip to get to Idaho, but stranger things have happened. I have a friend who is like this. His name is Michael, and he jumps trains. :) So I understand that it is not impossible for friends to show up anywhere at any time.

Also, I will try and send a mix CD I made. I made a massive compilation of song with literary references. Money is really tight this year, so it might just be easier to email it ultimately. I will try though! :)
Cory Doctorow's got a lot of his stuff available for free download on his website: http://craphound.com/?cat=5

I don't know if you could make it work as a Christmas present, but you could always pass the link along if he likes Little Brother...