I never really know what to say when I'm writing these things, though I thought that it would be a good idea—you know, to let all three of my readers know exactly what kind of weirdo is writing all these self-obsessed ramblings. :)
So, first of all, my name is Zillah. Not in real life, of course, but it's the one I chose to use here when I started this blog, and like a couple of my other online handles, it's become as much a part of my identity as the name I was given at birth. I've chosen to write under a pseudonym because although I feel compelled to write about some very personal things, although some people who know me in my everyday life would probably at least suspect that they know the person who writes this blog if they ever happened to stumble upon it, and although I am not at all ashamed of who or what I am, I don't necessarily want everyone to know who's using the name "Zillah Threadgoode." Perhaps someday that will change, but for now, I have some good reasons (mostly family-related and career-related) for hiding behind this online identity. And anyway, I've found over the years that although "Zillah" is me just as my other online handles are me, to blog under another identity helps me get into the right mindset for writing about the things I write about here.
In real life, I rarely swear unless I'm extremely upset or in a lot of pain—I think that overuse takes away the cathartic power of bad language. I swear a bit more often here, but that's because I do get upset when I'm writing about certain things. Willful stupidity offends me, as does bigotry and the "I know what's best for everyone even if I know next to nothing about them" attitude that seems to be epidemic among certain segments of the population.
In addition to my Christo-Pagan spirituality, I am a feminist and proud of it. I have a very deep need to promote fairness and equality, and though the "feminist" label may seem to limit the focus to women, many feminist voices have recently been speaking up in support of people who are affected by forms of harmful discrimination besides sexism. The way I see it, this is a good thing; how can we demand equality and fairness for women without considering the other ways in which discrimination, hatred, and bigotry hurt people? That would be hypocrisy in one of its worst forms—especially as sexism is often only one of a list of prejudices that can harm a single person. While I can't promise that this blog will be a safe space for all people at all times—I'm as flawed as any other human being, and I can and do make terrible mistakes—I have no tolerance for bigots and bullies. And if/when I say or do something boneheaded that makes my readers feel unsafe, if I'm informed of that fact I will absolutely listen to what those readers have to say and I will do my best to fix the problem. I won't erase the problematic posts (that feels like historical revisionism of a sort, and also a bit dishonest; I don't want to pretend that the issue didn't happen), but I will write a follow-up and I will always do my best not to repeat the offense.
I am older than I care to admit to, given how little I've been able to do with my life in the past few years, and I've had more than a few run-ins with depression and behaviour that looks an awful lot like an eating disorder that would probably be called anorexia nervosa if it weren't for the fact that I really am undeniably fat. I don't have trouble fitting into theatre seats (even those small ones that you get in really old theatres) or airplane seats, but I absolutely do have trouble fitting into clothing that's below size 22. Size 24 is more comfortable. I'm gradually learning to deal with both more effectively than I have in the past—and yes, my spiritual life is a big part of that—but sometimes they do still give me trouble. And though I've long since moved past the phase in which I felt that the world would probably be better off without me, both the depression and my tendency to starve myself when I get upset or stressed out about something are still fairly disturbing to me.
In my spare time, besides writing my occasional posts here, I also do a lot of reading. I love mystery novels, poetry (John Donne is and always will be my very favourite poet, though I'm also partial to Christina Rossetti, Edna St. Vincent Millay, e. e. cummings, and the ever-popular Shakespeare), science fiction, Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, non-fiction books about psychology, teaching, computers, forensic investigation, and the Harry Potter series. I even read a romance novel every once in awhile, though I tend to skip the sex scenes because after awhile they do get boring. There are only so many ways to say "one way or another, they put Tab A into Slot B and had an ecstatically fun time while doing it," even if Tab A wasn't necessarily a penis and Slot B wasn't necessarily a vulva.
Anyway, besides my writing here, I write more or less constantly; I'm working on a couple of things that I'd like to try to get published someday under my real-life name, not so much because I think it'll make me huge heaps of money (though enough to live on would be nice), but because it would be nice to be able to call myself a published author. I also write fan fiction once in awhile—mostly Harry Potter, and most of that tends to focus on doing strange and undignified (and, as I'm told, very funny) things to Severus Snape, but I've also written a few X-Files fics (and I'm still working on a HP/XF crossover that should be quite good once I've fleshed it out a bit more) and even one for a long-time favourite internet series, "The Guild". Recently I've also been writing snippets of a Skyrim fic that may or may not ever see the light of any archive, even the AO3.
I love music. Not many people don't, I suppose, but I really do love most kinds of music and I'll listen to almost anything at least once, though I can't stand most Country & Western, and the really wild stuff that sounds like the instruments are being brutally destroyed tends to make me feel like my ears are going to bleed. My favourite genres are the Blues, Classical, Celtic (a term which can mean anything from bagpipes to folk music to the inspired loudness of the Mudmen), practically anything choral and Rock 'N Roll, especially from the 60's and 70's and, to an extent, some 80's "hair" bands. I don't really like boy bands in general, but I think the lyrics of most Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC songs are hilarious because of how little sense they make, so whenever I'm upset about something I play my "Pop Songs I'm Sort Of Ashamed To Admit I Like" playlist and chuckle at the strangeness of a few of the songs from my teen years.
I also make music of my own; I sing in two choirs, one of which is the Anglican church choir I talk about once in awhile in my blog entries, and I play several musical instruments—the bagpipes and the violin are my primary instruments, but I've also started playing the viola in recent years (the skill set is pretty similar to the violin, though I haven't quite got the hang of reading the alto clef yet), and like many people who play the bagpipes, I'm pretty good with the pennywhistle. I'm not tremendously good at any of them, but it's fun and I probably won't go deaf from them because I've got a very good pair of earplugs. Occasionally, I perform with other musicians (most notably my best friend, who is a fairly accomplished pianist), and our audiences generally seem to be appreciative. There's a piano in the living room that I sometimes experiment with, though I couldn't be said to actually play it under the normal definition of the phrase. I've also been known to mess around with percussion instruments on occasion, mostly claves, djembes, bongos, and conga drums, but mostly I leave those to my younger brother, who actually majored in the playing of percussion instruments in university and is therefore (as I used to tease him) the only person I've ever met who spent four years of university learning how to hit things.
I also crochet. Since I live in a part of Canada that's normally very cold for about half the year and quite chilly for an additional two or three months, this is an extremely practical hobby. :)
So that's pretty much it. I hope I haven't bored you, and I really hope that my ramblings here prove to be interesting to you in one way or another. :)