Amilyn

2018-12-17

Painting of Amilyn Holdo holding a blaster pistol

Spoiler Warning for The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and Star Wars in general.

I’m discussing Star Wars with the exclusion of Episode 1 to 3 here since I don’t consider them part of my personal Star Wars experience. You might disagree but that’s how I’ll do it.

I’ve enjoyed the Star Wars movies ever since I was a kid. I watched the original trilogy countless times, I really don’t know how often. Until about a year ago, my favorite of them was, as it is for many others, The Empire Strikes Back. Even after becoming aware of its many problems, it still remains an excellent piece of film making and I can watch it and the other two films over and over again. But although I really enjoy them I never really understood how much Star Wars meant to many people. So many fans seemed to have a deep emotional connection to these movies and I always wondered why and couldn’t quite understand it. Sure, I liked the movies, very much even. But they didn’t mean that much to me.

And then I saw The Last Jedi.

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Tags: Star Wars, movies, trans

How I Found Myself

2018-12-07

This is part two of a series of posts about my trans experience. The first entry was Every Way Was Wrong, about my childhood and youth.

This part is about my process of self-acceptance and my eventual coming-out.

A german translation is available.

Panorama photo of Vancouver, English Bay

As I have written in part one, I knew that I was actually a girl early on, around age eight or nine. Not seeing any way how to safely express this, I decided to hide and bury these feelings deep. That of course didn’t prevent them from surfacing again and again over the years. However the representation of trans people and especially trans women that was available to me first and before that the complete lack of knowledge in that regard prevented me from acting on them for a long time.

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Tags: trans, coming out

Every way was wrong

2018-09-23

Content warning: gender dysphoria, trans-hostility, self-harm, violence, sexual assault

Over four years ago I wrote about the violence and abuse I experienced as a child and teenager, what that did to me and how I live with it. Since then, a lot has happened and I came to accept a few very important things. Back then I thought I would be writing a follow-up at some point. It turned out that post was just the beginning of something much bigger.

Since then I've come out as a transgender woman and started to live as my true self. This is part one of a series about my experiences up until that point.

A german translation is available.

Black and white portrait of a 4 year old child with curly hair

Recently I went through my old childhood photos. This is the latest one in which I still recognise myself. Everything after that is already showing someone in a mask who I don't see myself in. I'm about four years old in that picture.

I remember when I was eight to nine years old I often lay in bed, unable to sleep, desperately wishing to wake up next morning with a different body, a different name, a different life. I wished to live as the girl I really was. From then on I would not be able to live that live for almost another 25 years. Having been assigned male at birth I was denied that life and instead forced to masquerade as a boy. During that time, I did not understand what these wishes and feelings meant. I lacked the knowledge and vocabulary to express any of it. So I buried it deep and tried my best to perform as the world expected it from me. This is an extremely hard task, especially as a child, and I failed at it frequently.

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Tags: trans, childhood, youth

Making a Eurorack module

2018-02-18

I've spent the last twelve months getting into analog modular synthesizers and building my own Eurorack system. One thing that almost every modular synth needs is a way to reduce the final output signal to a level that headphones or computer audio interfaces accept. That level is called "line level" and it usually should be between -1.5 and + 1.5V, preferably even less to avoid clipping. Audio signals in a Eurorack modular synth however often range from -5 to +5V so they need to be lowered before sending them to any other audio gear. This signal processing is called "attenuation".

In my system, I often need one to three outputs and I've been using my two dual VCAs for that most of the time. The problem with that is those VCAs could be much more useful for other things so I wanted to have a dedicated output attenuator with four channels.

An attenuator is probably the simplest synthesizer module there is so it's probably a good starting point to try building your own modules and Doepfer even have a schematic for it right on their DIY website.

Hand drawn curcuit diagram

So, I went to my trusted local electronics hobby store and picked up the parts and had myself a nice weekend project that I'd like to share.

Electronic parts in a chaotic pile

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Show Less. Dump the Rest.

2016-07-07

Look, how beautiful

I recently moved my photography work from Flickr to a page on my own website and in the process, selected a much smaller set of images. I used to have about 150 photos on my Flickr account, all of them uploaded at a time when I deemed them good and then never touched again. I never went through that list and sorted out the ones I really no longer liked because I thought it was a good thing to have a lot of work to show.

When I decided to move my collection over to my personal site I first planned to take along the entire thing but then thought "Who will ever actually page through hundreds of mostly mediocre photographs?" – I certainly wouldn't.

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