(Updated as of March 2021) PLEASE NOTE: I USE THEY/THEM PRONOUNS AND USE MX. AS A PREFIX. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM USING MS. MISS. MRS. OR MR. IN FRONT OF MY NAME AS THAT IS A BIG DYSPHORIA TRIGGER FOR ME. THANKS!
Hello! My name is Alison (Al) and I'm a writer, barista, crafter, and musician from Canada! I love everything snail mail and have had a lot of mailing adventures in the last few years! A couple of important snippets: 1) I am genderqueer and use They/Them pronouns mostly, although it can vary.- if you don't know what that is, or want to check re: pronouns feel free to ask :) 2) The name I go by is my pseudonym/pen name (Alison (Al) King) but the PO box is registered in my birth name, so that is why there is a "c/o" line in my address- please do include that line so that packages actually do make it to me! Don't panic if you forgot- the wonderful postal workers at my local post office know me quite well by now so odds are that they'll put in in anyways, but it's always best not to risk it! You can just call me Al or Alison though- both work. 3) I love meeting new/different people, even if you disagree with me or how I conduct my life. I believe that everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and basic human decency, so you will never be greeted with negativity from me. All questions, concerns, opinions, disagreement, and love are welcome here. I don't offend easily, and try to practice reckless optimism in all aspects of my life. 4) That being said, I have absolutely no tolerance for willful ignorance, outright spite, and intentional racism/homophobia/transphobia/xenophobia/etc. and will call you out- gently, and always with love first- if necessary.
I love all kinds of music but right now I'm going through a bit of a nostalgia phase- older rock and punk like Weezer, Green Day, Bad Brains, and The Donnas, as well as newer ska and upbeat punk- the interrupters, the Skints, etc. If you're interested in music recs or want some new listening material, let me know! I create yearly and mood based playlists on Spotify all the time, and am always good for an obscure rec! I'm also a musician- I studied classical cello and voice for 12(ish) years, but now I mostly play in a Trad Fiddle Band (still on the cello though! Rebel to the end!) and goof off on tracks with my brothers- who are both musicians as well. As a result, though, I have a healthy amount of appreciation for/love of classical music. There is NOTHING as powerful as a bit of moody Brahms while cleaning, let me tell you. Fun fact- my parents were/are hardcore punk rockers when I was growing up, so I have a healthy appreciation/love for '80s and '90s punk rock, and still LOVE lots of groups from then (Lunachicks, Bad Brains, Beastie Boys, L7, to name a few)
I have a to-read list about a mile long, but at the moment I am reading "Writers and Lovers" by Lily King, and listening to the audiobook of "Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked it All Up" by Tom Phillips. I always try to have at least one fiction and one nonfiction on the go and am a big audiobook person. I also recently got Goodreads as a way to track what I read in 2020- I don't know much about the social features of it, but if you want to add me on there let me know! Generally, though, I really am a sucker for some good angst, love, and NA drama, and/or a good murder mystery (Ian Ranking is a lifelong favourite) and I tend to write in those areas as well.
I love movies. I wanted to be a screenwriter for a while (and maybe still do... shhhh) and I just love when film is done right. Some (pretentious, I know) favourites: Amelie, Barton Fink, Withnail and I, Trainspotting, The Favourite, Little Women (2020 version. Sidenote- Jo in the this recent movie is literally me, I am not kidding. They even joke about her being their only brother. I cried 3 times in that movie.), Moulin Rouge, The Princess Bride, and Cloudburst. I am also a HUGE nerd, so Star Wars, classic Indiana Jones, superheroes (old X-men, Deadpool, Wonderwoman, Marvel Universe up until Infinity War) etc. get me really excited but nothing in this genre will ever be able to top Mystery Men in my opinion, and that is an opinion I will be standing by until my dying day. There is also something to be said for a good documentary- Disclosure, 13th, a secret love, and Quincy are among recent favourites for me.
2020 and 2021 have meant a slow descent into reality TV madness for me, sadly. I've discovered shows like "Ink Master," "Nailed It," and "Next in Fashion" on Netflix, and shows like "Storage Wars" elsewhere. I've discovered some super cool shows recently too though, like "Six Feet Under" and "Superstore," and I did a huge marathon of "Grey's Anatomy" before Christmas and will not be watching the new season (everything went downhill after Christina left although that may only be my opinion because I am HELLA GAY for Sandra Oh).
I think this section has evolved the most since I set up this profile the first time, and I'm not ashamed of it. Currently, my craft obsessions include: postcard making, collage, journaling, crochet, sewing my own clothes (hand sewing- I do not own a sewing machine and have a lifelong distrust of the things), and chaotic scrapbooking. One of my 2021 resolutions (if you can even call them that, really) is to try more new things though, so I've been joining a lot of swaps for crafts I've never done before, and I'm really excited!
IF YOU WERE EXPECTING A REPLY FROM ME AND IT HASN'T ARRIVED WITHIN 2 MONTHS, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I reply to absolutely everything that warrants a reply, and I wouldn't stop replying without any warning. Odds are that my letter didn't reach you, and I will absolutely write a new reply once I know that. I started 2020 with approx. 37 penpals and came into 2021 with approx. 17. I think 37 was a too high number, to begin with, but I hate to think someone thinks I left them hanging when a piece of mail didn't arrive. Let me know! Also- I am always game to start a new penpal relationship- just let me know if you're looking and we can see if we're a good match!
I will 100% love anything you send to me, but I especially love things that have a little bit of effort put into them (if you have time- I know life is busy and sometimes it's too much) and a little more than just a name/swap name/username type note. I'm not collecting anything specific (other than Jones soda bottle caps but that doesn't count here) but I love little things that I might not have yet. I'm a junk journal-er and I love chaotic art (embrace the mess y'all)! I also love when things aren't quite perfect, slightly off, and funky or unusual! Some Specifics: POSTCARDS: I love everything unusual, art cards, drawings, handmade cards, and anything in the "...huh?" category. I'm not a huge fan of touristy postcards or ones with vague quotes, but I can always make use of those as well if need be! TEA: I'm overloaded with too much green tea at the moment!! Please don't send more green! I'm fairly easy with any variation of tea or flavouring, I just have a large amount of plain green tea and it's not generally my favourite. WASHI AND STICKERS: I don't really care for washi with lots of text or with that plastic-y coating, but other than that I love most everything! Stickers are much the same- I'm drowning in letter and number stickers, so please refrain from sending those, as well as specifically branded stickers and puffy ones (that stick up from the page- not much use for those at the moment) but I love almost everything else! MAKEUP/BEAUTY: Please refrain from sending these unless the swap specifically asks for them. I very very rarely use makeup outside of occasionally for work and I really dislike the huge amounts of plastic and non-reusable materials used in most beauty products. If you have something specific and low-waste or plastic-free that you would like to send, please send me a message first to confirm, and if it's part of a swap requirement please try to pick something as eco-friendly, gender-neutral, and plastic-free as possible. Thanks!
I debated adding this section for a while as it has the potential to come off as really preachy, but please know that's not my intention. Since 2019 I have been slowly moving everything I do and consume in an eco-conscious and plastic-free direction, and have achieved a fairly sustainable balance in 2021. I cook and bake all of my own food from scratch when I can, and when I do order out it's from places that can cater to a plastic-free delivery. I use re-usable everything (yes, I even have a bidet and do not buy toilet paper, which is a direct result of the pandemic. One good thing to come out of it, I guess?) and I rarely produce garbage anymore. Currently, the biggest producer of waste in my life is my swaps and crafting, and I'm looking to reduce that. Please refrain from sending me things wrapped in lots of plastic or many layers of wrapping. I save and scrapbook all of the envelopes and letters/notes etc so don't worry if you wrap your envelope in packing tape or use lots of plastic stickers, and I'm very inventive with reusing and recycling, but some kinds of plastic just aren't built for re-use. And, if you're sending me something that you're unsure if I'll get any use out of (I'm talking specifically household things like candles, gadgets, products, etc) please do check first. And- if you have any tips, tricks, recipes, or hacks OR if you want some of mine, let me know! I'm definitely not in a position to judge anyone for their lifestyle and I know I'm in a privileged position to be able to do this (and have the desire to do this) in my life. Thank you so much!
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