Holidailies 2019 Begins!

Welcome back!

I had planned to put an entry here in January, on the occasion of this journal's 20th anniversary. It was also going to be this journal's final entry. I liked the idea of formally closing the book, but it was thwarted when I discovered that my installation of Movable Type had gotten so out of date that I couldn't even log into it anymore.

A few months ago, Elaine fixed that for me, so I can blog again, if I want to. And it's now the 20th Holidailies, so, what the heck, let's do this.

(Most of what follows was written back in January.)



I haven't really had a journal here in years.

For one thing, I've moved to social media. I started the ol' Soapbox before the word "blog" was coined, before RSS, before LiveJournal, before MySpace, before Facebook, before Twitter. These days, for better and for worse, there are other ways of sharing what's going on with your life. For another thing, I now have a day job—most months, anyway—and the people reading this journal are old enough to remember Dooce. And for a third thing...

...y'know, using my first name as my personal brand across all online platforms used to seem like a better idea. Go know that I'd end up changing it.



Back around the start of 2018, I was dithering about whether I was really going to start on estrogen. While I'd been socially transitioning for awhile, it was a small comfort to know that I could always go back into male drag if I wanted to. Say, if I were going to the movies and expected to need the bathroom. I wasn't entirely resigned to being conspicuous all the time, and I was concerned about losing even the option of melting back into the crowd.

Granted, every time I did have to present as male, I felt even more strongly that I really didn't want to do that anymore. On the other hand, I have never liked elective medicine of any sort, and what if I changed my mind?

Somewhere around this point, I rediscovered my copy of The Mirror and the Veil, Viviane Serfaty's 2004 monograph about American online diaries and blogs, in which I was the subject most cited. (She didn't actually tell any of us that she'd written about our journals—there's an attempted justification for this in the introduction—but eventually somebody found it and the word spread.) It turns out that it can be useful to have an outside perspective on your life between professionally bound covers, because this is what turned up on pages 119–120:

What Shmuel seems to have been trying hard to do is to escape the rigidity of the binary, either/or difference between the sexes, not only through language or pictures, i.e. through representation, but also through modifications in his body. Repeatedly saying that he is not inclined towards homosexuality, he still wants to experiment with some of the trappings of femininity, thus attempting to undo the knot of identity, sexual organs and discourse. Using his writings to explore feminine practises, Shmuel is engaged in a search for a deeper understanding of gender difference as it was imposed by culture on his body.

Oh, I thought. This really isn't going away.



So, hi. I'm the escribitionist formerly known as Shmuel. These days, I go by S., in both personal and professional contexts. (I don't expect this to be the name I settle on, but for now, it fits.) I'm nonbinary, and my pronouns are they/them.

If I were still hand-coding these pages, I probably would have retitled the journal for these new entries...but as matters currently stand, I'd rather not make changes that will affect the archives from the rest of this decade.



In addition to being Holidailies, it's once again #MusicAdvent time! This year, the assignment is to share a song from an artist whose name starts with "A" on Dec. 1, with "B" on Dec. 2, and so on.

(I have a couple of questions about this. When we did this with alphabetical song titles in 2015, we skipped X; I'm not sure if that'll be the case this time. And are solo artists alphabetized by first name or last? I'm tending toward first.)

I'm starting out with aberrantkenosis, known for taking MIDIs of popular songs and replacing the existing instruments with a soundfont consisting of horns. You can find his work on SoundCloud and Bandcamp. Here's his take on "Cruel Angel's Thesis":

(As a bonus, here's my own honkcore version of "Mr. Heat Miser.")



Postscript: I don't remember how to turn comments back on, and I just accidentally deleted all the previous comments of the past decade, so, umm, look, you can find me on Twitter if you want to get in touch?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by S. published on December 1, 2019 10:01 AM.

Dinos! was the previous entry in this blog.

So here's where I'm at right now... is the next entry in this blog.

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