Says Melissa: "I need to get my boyfriend something really great, and I'm completely at a loss for what to get him. I was sure I'd be able to think of something, since I'm ordinarily good at this kind of thing, but he is a CHALLENGE. I would really appreciate some much-needed inspiration from the Outblush team! He's an ex-skateboarder, astrophysicist wanna-be, music fanatic with a degree in English and Creative Writing. And he's kind of a closeted geek (Stars Wars, Heroscape, Tolkien, etc. but you'd never guess it.) He loves his bicycle, but he's not a bike snob. His favorite bands are probably Pearl Jam and Bright Eyes, but he's also a huge hip-hop fan. I'm at a loss. I hope you can help!"
Hi, Melissa - Marian here. Thanks for being so specific! Hopefully he'll enjoy some of the following.
Leading off with some geeky music stuff, how about the 1) first and 2) second Video Games Live recordings ($13 each)? Or just the first one if you're not sure whether he'd enjoy orchestral versions of themes from the likes of Castlevania, Halo, Myst, and Tetris. Or you could play straight to his love of music with a 3) year's subscription to ad-free, high-quality Pandora One ($36).
And any geek with a creative writing degree ought to read 4) Ben Lerner's Angle of Yaw, the very existence of which makes prose poems cool. For spacier (sorry) reading material, there's 5) The Hubble Wars, which delineates just why and how it's not easy being a giant faraway telescope.
And you say he's an xsk8r? Does he still like the footwear? If so, you can find some cool space images, or some even cooler astronomy charts or astronomy equipment schematics, and turn them into a 6) custom pair of skate shoes at Zazzle. ($varies)
Merry Christmas to you and happy birthday to your boyfriend, Melissa! Drop a line back?