I've been asked about my email many times. Most folks assume I'm a transplant from Arizona. I don't have a thirty second explanation that fits into the confines of small talk for that, and it's often plagued me.
So here's the story.
Once upon a time, in the ancient days of my.yahoo.com, complete with the little avatar that you could dress and change hairstyles on, just like a paper doll, I needed a unique name to use to create my site.
I didn't really want to use an incarnation of my name. This was early days, when you didn't really know what horrors you were opening yourself up to on the intarwebs. I was, perhaps, a tad paranoid. But it got me to thinking.
I wanted to use something that was meaningful to me, but that hadn't already been snapped up.
Phoenix, the firebird, had always been a favorite symbol of mine. I'm an Aries, which is a fire sign, so clearly that was appealing. But the Phoenix not only burns, it comes back.
Regeneration. Rebirth. Renewal.
The idea of beginning anew is one that I have a long acquaintance with. Over the last several decades, my life has blown up and started over more than once. While I won't bore/horrify you here with tales of past relationships, I will share that I've been booze-free for over nineteen years at this writing.
As apt as that image felt to me, it clearly resonated with others as well. If I didn't want to end up as Phoenix42 or some silliness, I needed to make it unique.
I sat in my basement office and pondered. The years of conflagrations and restarts, of rebirths, stretched out in my memory, and a snippet of a Paul Simon song played. 'Still crazy after all these years.'
Still crazy. Still burning things to the ground, and still starting over. Still learning, still becoming. StillPhoenix.