A Tale of Two Websites...

Once upon a time, I had a personal website.

Wait, backup: once upon a time, in the late 90s, my geekiest Internet savy friend helped me and my then fiancé build a wedding website. She showed us the basics and then I set to it, writing and designing.

Overtime, that wedding website morphed into my personal website (with a HEFTY section devoted to showcasing the wedding story/ photos). I may even have been using geocities, o0!

In the mid 2000s (2004 or 2005?) I bought my domain name and was even webmastering my mom's website as well.

At the tail end of my pregnancy (2006), I redesigned my intro page. Oh, it was a thing of beauty. It was streamlined and gorgeous, with nary a flashing revolving OMG I CAN MAKE THINGS BLINK thingamajig to be found. (Ahem. I may have been overly fond of those sorts of things in 2001.)

And then, at the end of the two year hosting contract, after I'd had Remy (I'm actually not sure when it was, in fact) I let my domain lapse. On purpose. And never renewed.

Notice how there are no pictures in this post? I don't have any screen shots. And since I switched from Mac to PC (and a couple of computers later), I'm not even sure I have anything saved. Poof! I let it all disappear. And I actually really don't mind. I could try to retrace it, but I don't wanna.

I never looked back. I knew, if I ever did a redesign, that I would essentially start over from scratch, anyway (which remains true).

And personal websites were already pretty obsolete by that point (2007? 2008?) already. Blogging was the platform of choice (and oh, I've been blogging since 2001/2002 when another, even geekier friend introduced me to blogger. I skipped over to LJ for a long while, but now I'm back here, obviously).

What I didn't think about was that having my blog self-bosted (at my own domain name) would one day be something I would want.

Well, actually I did sort of think about that. But I put it in the "one day..." category. And I definitely didn't think about the possibility of my (exceedingly unique) name being registered at that "some day" time by someone else, someone who owns thousands of names and parks commercial sites on them. (In Japanese! Which admittedly looks way cooler before I used google translate to read it.)

Nope. Didn't think of that. Oops.

And so now that "some day" is here, and I'd like to start hosting my own blog, what do I do now? (I've emailed to ask to buy back my name and haven't heard back yet. Perhaps I should try writing in Japanese?)

I started calling myself alexisyael in 1997 or 98. Somewhere along the way it morphed, so now I write it either with no space, as it started, or with a space: Alexis Yael. (That's more of a "real looking" name.)

Either way, that's me, online. Offline I go by Alexis or Lexie (or Lex). I had a Rabbi who liked to call me Yael and that was cool, too, but no one IRL calls me alexisyael. Many of my friends can't pronounce it, for starters! Even at belly dance events it gets slaughtered. For the record, it's Hebrew, with two syllables: "yah-el." Slight stress on the last syllable.

Anyway, I'm just not comfortable renaming myself online. This is my name. (My chosen name, and again, for the record, not my legal name, though I've thought about making it so.) I use this as a dance name, as a nom de plume (although I haven't published much) and I just think of myself, creatively, as alexisyael. Or possibly alexis yael. But the only way to get close to that is with the hyphen: alexis-yael.

It's been suggested (on FB, where I am using my legal name, except on my newly created artist page) that I go back to my legal name. Or at least buy the domain for it (which does seem wise).

I'd also given thought to a new domain, a new blog (and this would be a total rebranding, I suppose, since it would be working off my favorite nickname, Lexie).

But no. I just want my name. And I think I'll just have to live with a hyphen. Unless I can convince whoever owns alexisyael.com to give/ sell it back to me.

Actually, in thinking about it, alexis-yael probably looks clearer anyway. I suppose I'll get used to it, eventually.

But I'm registering every other variation I can think of now, before some one else parks a Japanese ad for proactive on my future website.