Elsewhere on the 'net

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Email is [my username] at outlook dot com

Who are you?

I'm InvisibleUp, although you can just call me Viz. I'm your friendly network neighborhood ghost. OOOoooOOoo~...

Nah, I'm not into the spooky sort of stuff. (Heck, I've been playing around with other sonas lately...) Internet identity aside, I'm a 20-something gay trans woman (with an absurd amount of curly reddish hair) just making her way in the world. Working a day job doing electronics testing and programming work. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

I'd like to consider myself a nice, caring person. Above all else I'm determined to help people be the best them that they can be. I'm not about being edgy, or hateful, or demeaning. If you're having a bad day, I hope you can just chill here and read about Sonic or AOL or whatever. A friend of mine once called me "a breath of fresh air", so I'll take that as an invitation to be the spring breeze in your sails.

What is this site?

Mostly a dumping ground for random thoughts. It's split up into some broad categories.

The Articles section, the earliest one that actually had semi-regular content, is where I try and explain and/or gush about things that interest me or stuff I'm working on. It doesn't get updated super often though, because coming up with content is hard.

Some newer sections are the Hacking Notes, which contain some notes and utilities for modifying older video games, the Projects, which is a list of more substantial stuff I worked on that can stand on their own a little, and the Doodles, which is just where I try to creatively express myself.

This website started way back in 2013 as a way to showcase the few personal projects I was working on at the time. Back then I was using a niche service that let you host pages out of your Dropbox. By some miracle the company hasn't folded, but as you can tell, I've long since moved on from that.

Around 2014 I came across a significantly better webhost, Neocities. It had a whole community, which let my page be noticed by all sorts of people! Some of whom I'm still close friends with today! Isn't it neat how you can meet people on the internet? I even met my girlfriend there!

In 2015 I started writing "articles" for my website, as I felt the need to post about what was on my mind at the time. Back then, it was my fascination with the well thought out user experience that old operating systems had. I was toying with the idea of writing a Linux desktop environment borrowing some of these old concepts, but as with many of my loftier ideas, that never came to fruition. Nowadays I've cooled down on the article writing, but I might still pick up the pen from time to time. Maybe something silly and playful, maybe some deep thoughts about the state of society. It's my website. I can do whatever I want!

In 2019 I got fed up with Neocities' restrictions and started renting my own web server. This has had its pros and cons (pros: more control; cons: less community), but ya know, having invisibleup.com is pretty cool. I should do more with it...

What do you do for fun?

It varies! Ignoring the entirely too much time I spend on social media...

I'm sorta-kinda-eeehhh?? into video games. I'll play them from time to time, but I absolutely would not call myself a "gamer". I just think the whole medium is neat, what people can do with them, the experiences and emotions they can express and how they use what they have to their advantage. I'm just also done with the super twitchy high-intensity stuff, really. Some games I'm kinda into either right now or in the past are Night in the Woods, the Freedom Planet series, deltarune, Tetris Attack, a lot of the Sonic series, X-COM: Enemy Unknown, hitting 'shuffle' on my SNES ROM collection and seeing whatever pops up... you know how it is.

I've been getting more into manga/graphic novels and anime lately. I absolutely adore Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, as well as Witch Hat Atelier and Cardcaptor Sakura, among others. I'm a sucker for the Studio Ghibli stuff too, works like Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro. All great stuff.

Occasionally I like to write fiction. I have an AO3 page if you wanna check that out? And sometimes I like to draw! Check that "doodles" tab for more. I like to do photography on occasion too, but given the sensitive nature of that I'm not gonna post any photos online. (Will say though; Minolta made some darned good lenses.)

My musical tastes are... unorthodox. Honestly, SoundCloud, YouTube, and old video games shaped my music tastes way too much. But in short, the things I like are either earworms with a good bassline (I'm a sucker for 80's J-Pop and 00's alternative) or nice instrumental pieces that really make you experience the music, not just listen to it. (stuff like Fleetwood Mac, Styx, Blue Album-era Beatles and Pink Floyd.)

What are your thoughts on the world?

The world sucks right now. Let’s not even pretend otherwise. It’s painful to see my friends cry out in help as they’re stuck in shitty situations barely above water because of the pointless greed of others. I was in that exact same boat, until the stars aligned and led me to a position where I can not just survive, but thrive.

This site is, in part, one small act of rebellion, a beacon of hope for those who wish for each and every person to be the master of their own destiny. And me? You could view me as the spirit of the future that once was. A future where humanity is optimistic about connection, about possibilities, about the world. A good future that just never came…

I may be powerless in the face of the problems of the world, but I’m here, and I’m determined as hell. And that has to count for something. Perhaps, in a better time, a better place, I can finally rest. But this time is not here and not now. The old world dies as the new world struggles to be born, and now is the time of chaos.

...theatrics aside, I do recognize that posting blog posts and throwing a few bucks to my friends when they need it is a mere fraction of the work required. I’m doing what I can. I’ve already gotten dozens of emails and messages thanking me for the things I’ve written. In particular, the article I wrote about my struggles with ADHD has helped so many people. Heck, I’ve inspired a few people to make their own cool websites!

Sure, one person can’t change the world on their own. It’s gonna take all of us together. So let’s all work towards a better world as much as we can, alright?

Where do you want to be in the future?

An excellent question! Because, yeah, I have three-quarters of an electrical engineering degree. (There's reasons for that...) And I thought, for a while, that I was into the embedded programming stuff. But... hm, now that I'm out of the weeds of it, I'm really not? Programming is a fun enough career I suppose, but I'll have to admit I mostly just gravitated to programming because, growing up in a small town without a lot to do, the computer fascinated me.

But there is a whole world out there that I'm afraid to say I'm not terribly acquainted with. Perhaps, if and when I want to take up university again, I could pursue something else? One thing I considered a while back was being a librarian. Organizing books, doing research and reference, catalog management, that kind of thing. It seems nice! But realistically, the job prospects are poor and it’s very hard to get a good job in the field. I could be a sociologist? Or a technical writer? A civil engineer?

Ideally, I'd want to focus on making the world a better place. Building communities, being sustainable, helping the underdogs, all that jazz. Practically... the computer programming stuff is decently fun and it pays pretty well. Bah.

It's hard to predict the future. I sure as heck didn't think I'd be here of all places. Only time will tell where the winds of fate may carry me...

Why are you a ghost?

It’s interesting how we typically view ghosts as these scary creatures, right? A grim reminder of what once was, haunting you in perpetuity. See, I’m not really about that. I just thought it would be cute to draw myself as a ghost!

...mostly because it’s a pun on the username. Ghosts are typically invisible, right? And I came up with my username about a decade ago when I was watching one of the first online gaming charity marathons, ran by ExtraLives.org. (No relation to Extra Life.) They were playing Super Mario Galaxy, and they were on the level where you pick up the boo ‘shrooms. And I needed a username to talk in the chat, so “InvisibleUp” it was! The ghost sona came later. And I think it fits me like a glove!

Originally I used some silly logo thing that looked vaguely like a ghost from Pac-Man, but one gender transition later and I got quite tired of that. I wanted to be a person and not an abstract entity. Funnily, as the years have gone by my sona has looked more and more like me with a splash of paint. Strange what self-confidence does, isn't it?

But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes ghosts are inappropriate for the setting. Because, yeah, trying to insert a soft friendly ghost in a serious setting is, well, awkward. And sometimes I just ain't in that kind of mood.

I've been rotating around some other ideas lately, straddling the line between sona, OC and identity crisis. (Happens to the best of us.)

My usual ghost sona A cool snek sona, drawn by mirrorprism What if crow? A kinda grumpy lizard fella

We've got Val, a snake sona (started as a joke around my ghost sona's tail, kinda grew into its own thing after a while), Vivian, a crow (lots of them outside my window, seemed cool), and a lizard critter whose name I'm still deciding on. Definitely not done with ideas. You like foxgirls? And yeah, I'm absolutely definitely a furry, lol. No shame about that.

Of course, an option always was to represent myself the way I am IRL. But I’m not super comfortable with that. I value my privacy! ...that said, if I ever decide to make YouTube videos, I suppose I’d have to show my face anyways. Ah well. We’ll get there when we get there. (It's not like I look bad or anything, quite the contrary!)

How can I support you?

I am in absolutely no dire need of money any time soon. But if you insist, you can kick me a few bucks on Ko-Fi. And if you really really insist, I also have a Patreon. No pressure of course!

Really, all you gotta do is browse my site and maybe send a message about the things you liked. I just hope you have a good time here!

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